Loveswept

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1) by K.J. Charles

an-unseen-attractionRating: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Historical; Mystery 
Publication day:
 February 21, 2017
Length: 
247 pages  
Publisher:
Loveswept

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

My View: An Unseen Attraction is an interesting historical that goes with K.J. Charles’s style. As always, it’s well-written and detailed; perfect for the period and the mystery ahead. Everything from the weather to the clothing plays a part in the book.

This story can be considered a friends-to-lovers even when we don’t see much of the friendship taking place. The setup reminds me of a game of Clue; trying to determine where the murder was committed, how, by who, when, etc. There are players inside the boarding house and outside forces.

Some parts moved at a quick pace and others dragged. The sex scenes were a bit hard to follow and Rowley’s preferences, mixed with Clem’s responses were some sort of surprise. Almost like having stuntmen taking their place. Plus, they switched from confident to needy in a blink of an eye.

If you are a K.J. Charles’s fan, love historicals or mysteries, this story is for you. It’s easy to read an interesting enough for a single day read.

What I liked the most: The period’s details.

I wanted more/less: Less details about Rowley’s work and more interaction with other characters.

Who should read it:  Fans of historical mysteries.

ARC provided by Loveswept, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Guarding Mr. Fine by Helenkay Dimon

guardingRating: 4 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publication day:
 February 14, 2017
Length: 
240 pages  
Publisher:
 Loveswept

As an agent with the CIA’s special activities division, Seth Lang lives for risk—and yet he’s stuck playing bodyguard to the U.S. consul general in Munich. Although Seth’s last assignment nearly killed him, babysitting some desk jockey in a suit sounds way too easy. But when he lays eyes on the new top man, tactical expert Rick Fine, Seth’s thrilled to see just how hard this job is going to get. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet has a body worth guarding—and he requires hands-on attention day and night.

Dispatched to a German consulate to expose the murder of his predecessor, Rick finds himself in an extremely vulnerable position. He needs a man like Seth—in so many ways. This mission will inevitably plunge them both into jeopardy, but each new threat only brings them closer. Rick just hopes that he can keep his deepest, darkest secret hidden—or else risk imperiling a relationship they’re both fighting for their lives to protect.

My View: Guarding Mr. Fine is a romance with an international political plot line as an important element. It starts with a quick introduction to the main characters, directly into the action. The author didn’t waste time letting us see their personalities and in Seth’s case, his profession.

One of the things I like the most about this story is how comfortable the main characters are in their skin, even when they struggled to connect with a partner. They are so into what works for them, that opening their hearts is more frightening than climbing down a multi-story building.

The romance plot is simple, but the undercover investigation adds to the book flow. Figuring out the good and bad guys isn’t hard, but still enjoyable. There are characters from previous books included but this is definitely a stand-alone book. I love the banter and the quick wits of all the characters, not just Seth and Rick.

There’s a real sense of danger throughout the story and a good sense of place. There are not many changes in settings, but it’s easy to visualize the ones introduced by the author. Overall, this is another good book in the series.

What I liked the most: The chemistry between the main characters.

I wanted more/less: More alone time between Rick and Seth outside the bedroom.

Who should read it: Fans of the series and law enforcement stories.

ARC provided by Loveswept, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

The Talented Mr. Rivers by HelenKay Dimon

mr-riversRating: 3.5 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary
Publication day:
 September 13, 2016
Length: 
214 pages  
Publisher: 
Loveswept

As the son of an international crime lord, Will Rivers only inherited one thing after his father died: trouble. The Pentasus organization deals in kidnapping and murder, and Will wants no part of the power grab that’s tearing leadership apart. But the only way he’ll be able to escape is with some help from his former bodyguard, Hunter Cain, whose sculpted body and brooding looks keep Will awake at night. Somehow, Hunter has resisted the tension between them . . . until, suddenly, he gives in.

As a German intelligence officer working deep undercover, Hunter has a very good reason to keep Will in the dark about his identity and his intentions. Although the sex is hot, Hunter’s true feelings are a growing liability. Now the only way to save Will from his old life is to push him deeper into danger. But when two strong men are each determined to protect the other, the heat isn’t just combustible—it’s a firestorm.

My View: The Talented Mr. Rivers is interesting, and it works as a stand-alone. I didn’t read Mr. & Mr. Smith, but it’s not necessary unless you want to know how a pair of secondary characters got together. The only reason I see it can be a problem is if you needed more information to get the opening scene from this book into context.

I liked the ideas behind this story. I just didn’t love them. The main character’s relationship is a good mix of smexy and sweet, and we get to experience it with them. Their possessiveness is sexy without turning into Alpha nonsense. The reader can see their attraction and how they friendship is the foundation of their HEA.

One thing that bothered me was the lack of setting and character development. We know they’re in Paris, that Will is British, and Hunter German, but there’s nothing that pointed to it other than Will affinity for tea. I needed a little more to get invested in them.

What I liked the most: Will’s personality.

I wanted more/less: More of a setting and tridimensional characters.

Who should read it: Fans of mobsters and crime stories.

ARC provided by Loveswept, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

The Deeper He Hurts by Lynda Aicher

The Deeper He HurtsRating: 4.25 stars
Genre: 
Contemporary; BDSM
Publication day:
 September 6, 2016
Length: 
224 pages  
Publisher: 
Loveswept

Asher Ruggiero, a partner at Adrenaline Kick Adventures, is living a lie. As a control freak whose big Italian family thinks he’s straight, Asher likes his encounters concise, dirty, and discreet—until his company’s new rafting guide walks into work, dripping with brooding, intense sexuality. Sawyer Stevens is a mystery man with secrets and rough edges, and he makes Asher want to get to know him inside and out.

Ever since the tragic death of his parents, Sawyer has dedicated himself to the rush of adrenaline that comes from pleasure and pain. Moving from one guy to another, hiding when life gets too complicated—that’s all he can handle. So why does Asher make him long for something lasting and honest, when the gorgeous geek can’t even be true to himself? Sawyer wants to give Asher his heart, but he just doesn’t know how. After all, a life without integrity is a life without passion—and that’s the one thing Sawyer craves.

My View: The Deeper He Hurts has a good combination of BDSM elements and romance. The plot is simple, but the main characters are complex enough to carry the story. Even when it’s the second book in the series, there’s no real need to read the previous book to enjoy this installment. Only if you want to have background information about Kick and some of the secondary characters.

The beginning is a bit rush, and it took me a moment to get into the story. After Asher and Sawyer met everything started to make more sense. The pacing flows well until they get a steady relationship. Then, the jumps in time (when they were apart) we just skimmed over.

The BDSM scenes were essential for the development of the MCs’s relationship. There were simple but efficient. The psychological impact was far more important than the pain inflicted. The author did an excellent job showing the distinction between sex and play; letting the characters show the reader why they were part of the lifestyle and how they fell in love.

Overall, this book has a great couple, lots of kink, and a compelling backstory. There’s a touch of “magic dick”, but in the end, we get to see a better reason for the MCs to evolve. If you’re looking for more than a spanking scene or public play, this is your story. Also, be prepared for a very graphic representation of pain and play.

What I liked the most: The trust between Asher and Sawyer.

I wanted more/less: I wanted to see the times between their meetings.

Who should read it: Fans of contemporary BDSM.

ARC provided by Loveswept, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.