Reading Between the Wines Book Club

A book blog that provides readers with quality reviews from their favorite authors throughout the romance genre as well as fun interviews, guest posts and fabulous giveaways for our readers.

One Night of Scandal (an After Hours novel) (Entangled Brazen)

One Night of Scandal (an After Hours novel) (Entangled Brazen) - Elle Kennedy One Night of Scandal is a sinfully sexy frienemies to lovers story that you won't want to miss!

Darcy Grant is looking for one night of passion after a disappointing break-up, the last place she expected to find it though was in the arms of her ex's best friend... Reed Miller is part owner of the night club, Sin, with his two friends and fellow ex-MMA fighters. He has watched Darcy from afar since she first stepped into the club on the arm of his best friend, AJ. Knowing she was off limits from the start, Reed kept Darcy at a distance with a cold demeanor. Now that she's single though, Reed valiantly tries to keep his attraction in check but the temptation proves to be too much. Will one night be enough or will Reed end up fighting for more?

There was no denying the sexual tension between Darcy and Reed in the first After Hours book, One Night of Sin. And in One Night of Scandal that tension is only amped up more. Reed and Darcy fight a powerful attraction, combustible chemistry, preconceived assumptions, and the guilt of being together and possibly hurting AJ. The story was intriguing and provocative with characters that I loved. Reed's dirty talk was smokin' hot and Darcy really never stood a chance against him. I am sooo looking forward to AJ's story, he more then deserves a HEA!

This is only the third book that I have read from author, Elle Kennedy, but she has proved so far to write engaging and sizzling hot romances. I can't wait to read more from her and the After Hours series! One Night of Scandal can be read as a stand-alone but you really don't want to miss Gage's story so be sure to pick up One Night of Sin as well!


Ruin - Rachel Van Dyken A beautiful story of living, love, and loss.

Melt for Him: a Fighting Fire novel

Melt for Him: a Fighting Fire novel - Lauren Blakely Great story, review to come...

The Perfect Game

The Perfect Game - J. Sterling 4.5 Stars

J. Sterling hit this one out of the ball park! It's Jack F'n Carter y'all! Don't walk, run to get The Perfect Game now and make room in your harem of book boyfriends for Jack!

Cassie Andrews just started her junior year of college at Fulton when she meets the infamous Jack Carter outside a frat party. Drop-dead sexy with an ego to match his womanizing reputation, Cassie can see why girls drop their panties at his feet. But she wants nothing to do with him and refuses to be another notch on his bed post, no matter how irresistible he seems. But Jack can't help but be attracted to the feisty blonde who seemingly wants nothing to do with him or his status as star pitcher and MLB prospect. He has a long road ahead of him if he hopes to convince Cassie that she's changed the game for him and he is no longer the guy he use to be. When one mistake leads to a heap of hurt, betrayal and heartbreak though will they be able to dig their way out of the anguish and despair to find their perfect future?

The Perfect Game was a complete sucker-punch of emotions throughout. There was one point in the story that I literally felt ill along with the character and eating a big ole' hamburger right beforehand did not help. But I can't articulate how much I loved this story, I simply could not put it down! I don't want to say too much because there was so much that Cassie and Jack went through that getting too deep would be spoilery. J. Sterling's writing was beyond superb. She weaved a rich tale with characters that were both compelling and impacting. Cassie and Jack's journey was absolutely intense and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough so see what would happen next! It was a story of love, trust, redemption and forgiveness. But the conflict was wrapped up too quickly for me, the last 10%, and I was left still wanting by the end. I'll definitely be picking up the next book in this series and I have a feeling that all three books are going to turn into a binge read of epic proportions!

Bang Bang

Bang Bang - Rachel Van Dyken Bang Bang is no less then what I have come to expect from the awesomeness that is Rachel Van Dyken!

Amy is a member of the De Lange family. A family detested in it's own mafia cirque. And her father is one of the worst. Always looking for a quick buck and not afraid to take his anger out on his daughter or his wife if he can't find it. Amy's only asylum is in the arms of her best friend and neighbor, Axton. But that all changes one bullet riddled night when she learns that the young man she thought she knew better then anyone turns out to be a member of a revered mafia family...her family's enemy. And he died trying to protect her. Now, five years later, Amy is desperate and abashed at what her future holds when a ghost from the past arrives like a blackened knight. He only wants one thing. Her. But there are others that want something only she has and they're all too willing to risk her life to get it.

Action, suspense, humor and amour - Bang Bang delivers it all in a fast-paced novella that shouldn't be missed. Fans of the Eagle Elite series, Axton and Amy's story is a must-read. New readers, Bang Bang makes a wonderful novella to dip your toes into Rachel Van Dyken's incredibly compelling mafia world with. Welcome to the family! All the characters that I have come to love in this series make an appearance and the dialogue between some of these boys had me rolling. I was left wanting more from this dynamic group of characters and I cannot wait for the next installment in the series. Well written but not as steamy as what I have come to expect from these sexy mafia members. All in all though; a terrific novella with new characters that I loved and look forward to seeing more of and a great introduction to the Family for new readers.

Meeting His Match (A Match Me Novel) (Entangled Lovestruck)

Meeting His Match (A Match Me Novel) (Entangled Lovestruck) - Katee Robert I love Katee Robert's books and Meeting His Match was no exception. You can see Linda's full review of this title at Reading Between the Wines Book Club!

The Hook Up

The Hook Up - Kristen Callihan After a rocky start where I thought for sure that The Hook Up was going to be a DNF, I ended up loving the story and I am so glad that I stuck with it!

Anna Jones and Drew Baylor meet their senior year in college. Total opposites, it had to be fate that sat the football star and high school outcast next to each other. Drew knows nothing about Anna's hellish years as a teenager but when he see's her, a lightening bolt of awareness shoots through his body. And Anna's reaction to him is not much different. But Anna want's nothing to do with anyone who has a constant spotlight on them. Drew isn't one to give up easily though on something he wants, and he wants Anna. By his side, in his bed, and with him always. Even if that means he has to play along with her sex-only, hook-up rules...for now. When he decides to change the rules though, will Drew be able to hook Anna for good or will he loose at the most important game he has ever played? The game of love.

The Hook Up is a wonderful, sexy, and tension filled new adult romance that is the perfect kick-off to fall and football season! The story is completely character driven, which is my kind of romance. Drew made a swoon-worthy, multidimensional hero that I couldn't help but fall in love with and the chemistry between him and Anna was sizzling. So what made me almost set this book down in the beginning? Right off the bat there was an insta-love connection between the hero and heroine that I could not get on board with. After time and midway through the story I finally started to feel a deeper connection between Drew and Anna besides just a physical attraction but at the beginning it was not believable for me. Anna's attitude at the start of the story also rubbed me the wrong way. She instantly disliked Drew and judged him because of his success in football and her inner dialogue disparaging him because of her own insecurities became repetitive. Eventually though, her character began to develop into something other then a snide harpy and I was able to empathize with her. Both Drew and Anna have become products of their past; Drew has a fear of being left and Anna has a fear of being ridiculed. And they each much learn to let that past go if they ever hope to have a future with each other.

All in all, The Hook Up was well written and an enjoyable read. This was my first time reading a book from Kristen Callihan, though she has been on my radar, and I'll definitely be picking up more of her stories. The story also flowed at a good pace with vivid world building. It was easy to picture the college campus and football fields. Drew's teammates provided some great comic relief and I look forward to seeing more of them in future books. I hope that Anna's friend George gets his own story in the future as well though I disliked his sister and Anna's best friend, Iris. She was self-centered and demeaning, and there was nothing about her that I liked. I can't wait to read Gray's story next, Drew's sexy best friend. It sounds like it is going to be full of angsty goodness!

Dante's Fire

Dante's Fire - Jennifer Probst While I did finish this story and parts of it were enjoyable, for the most part I was confused over the hero. A lot of his actions and reasoning did not make sense to me and it was the longest time before I figured out what he actually WAS. And the whole consequence with his powers while carrying on a lasting relationship just did not seem feasible. Full review to come...

Burying Water

Burying Water - K.A. Tucker View our WINE CLUB review of BURYING WATER at Reading Between the Wines Book Club!


Breathe - Kristen Ashley Review to come...

In Her Wake: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella

In Her Wake: A Ten Tiny Breaths Novella - K.A. Tucker In Her Wake is an incredibly soulful story, leading us on a touching and tragic journey through the events that started it all. Don't mistake it for a retelling of Trent and Casey's book, Ten Tiny Breaths, because it is a story all it's own. It was wonderfully written, well paced, and I empathized with the characters throughout.

Cole Reynolds had it all. A great family. A promising future. Awesome friends and a loving girlfriend. Until one drunken decision at a college party destroyed it all. Now his friends are gone, his family is shattered, and he can't even imagine a future because his present is filled with such turmoil. Lost in guilt he almost looses the one thing he has left, his own life. But in doing so he also gains some clarity. He needs to reach out the to one person who could understand what he is living with and the one person he needs forgiveness from the most. The only other survivor of the tragic accident that was his fault...

I don't recommend you reading In Her Wake until after you've read Ten Tiny Breaths, you'll get so much more out of the story. Ten Tiny Breaths was Casey's story, heartbreaking in it's own right but it couldn't encompass the struggle that Trent/Cole faced on his own and the events that brought him next-door to Casey and Livie. I'm really happy that K.A. Tucker decided to write this because it helped me understand Trent's motives better and cement in my mind just how perfect he is for Casey. Trent had understandable fallen into a downward spiral that led to nowhere but darkness but was able to climb out of it and into the light for Casey, to make her world better. He took an incident that could have been, and almost was, soul-shattering and life-destroying, and was able to turn it into something beautiful. In Her Wake contained a lot of powerful messages, and even being a few years (give or take lol) past my college years, it didn't affect me any less. A wonderful addition to the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Trent and Casey's story!

The Beautiful Ashes

The Beautiful Ashes - Jeaniene Frost 4.5 Stars

The Beautiful Ashes is a smashing debut into the new adult romance genre from veteran paranormal romance author, Jeaniene Frost, that you won't want to miss!

Frost's flawless writing style transports readers into a captivating world of demons and angels, where the fate of the world balances on one young woman's shoulders...
Ivy is searching for her missing sister, the last person she has left after the recent death of her parents. But in her search she discovers a terrifying truth, the visions she has been seeing since she was a child are real, and her sister is trapped in their nightmarish grip. The only person who can help Ivy rescue her sister is Adrian, a beautiful stranger who tells her not to trust him. But Ivy can't help the pull she feels towards him and the more time they spend together the stronger it is. Adrian is destined to betray Ivy though and he is keeping more then one secret from her. On the hunt for a holy relic, jumping through demon realms and barely escaping with the skin on their backs, will Adrian's secrets be Ivy's downfall or can she learn to survive in this new, dangerous world where everyone wants her dead without him?

The Beautiful Ashes is completely different from Frost's Night Huntress series and spin-offs, yet little character nuances topped off with her first-rate writing reminded me of beloved past characters - something I did not mind one bit. With an original and compelling plot despite the good versus evil scenario, I was fully immersed in the story from beginning to end. One thing that was classic Frost was the 'throw so much shite at the heroine to see how much she can take and find out if she breaks' edge. Does that sound like anyone else? LOL Ivy never had a hope for a little respite the entire story. It was action packed and kept me on my toes guessing what was going to happen next, what secrets Adrian was keeping, and who Ivy could really trust. Each of the characters were intriguing and complex and I went through -lived- all of Ivy's emotions; all the rushes, the anger, the fury, the heart-break. She is very young and naive in this new world that has been opened up to her, but she is also not a quitter and definitely has the right amount of spunk in her to get her through this nightmare that is now her life.

The story was well-paced as well, but the romance was slow to build and walked the line of Y.A. and N.A. in the sense of any passion between Ivy and Adrian never became too steamy. Though there was plenty of sexual tension and build-up between the two, it was less then I was hoping for coming from Frost and the reason that my rating for The Beautiful Ashes didn't top a full five wine glasses. Adrian made a great anti-hero though. Is he good? Is he bad? Or is he just so good at being bad? So many questions and not all of them were answered by the end of the book! Frost is an addicting read, no matter which of her stories you pick up and I am anxiously awaiting the next!

Now, when is book two?

No Limits

No Limits - Lori Foster 3.5 Stars

I'm a fan of MMA so anytime I can get my hands on a well-written fighter story I am happy. No Limits is the first full-length novel in Lori Foster's Ultimate series and made a decent start. Though the prequel, Hard Knocks, sets up the series wonderfully, you don't have to read it to understand No Limits.

Lori Foster is a well known admirer of mixed martial arts and the love of the sport shines through in her writing. SBC fighter and champion, Cannon 'The Saint' Colter, has returned home after a close victory in Japan. Bruised and busted, he arrives only to be called to a lawyers office and find out that he has inherited half of a pawn shop and house from a man whose granddaughter has never been far from Cannon's mind. Three years ago he rescued a young Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers with vile intentions. He sees this as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her and pick up where they left off now that she is all grown up. But Yvette can't forget the circumstances that forced her and Cannon together, no matter how determined she is not to be the victim ever again. Cannon isn't going to make the same mistakes he made before though and let Yvette go so easily. He's willing to fight for them both, even if that means ripping through her internal shields layered with scars and loosing his famed control. Because this is the most important match Cannon has ever fought and he's fighting for keeps.

Cannon is a book hero to love. Big, sexy, smart and protective; Cannon keeps his neighborhood clean and runs a rec center to keep kids off the street and out of trouble. He's known Yvette most of her life but until now their age difference has always been a hindrance in his attraction for her. I really loved his go-get'em attitude when it came to Yvette and his patience when needed. He's definitely a swoon-worthy hero. There was a long standing mutual attraction and past between them that was believable. However, I did not find Yvette's character engaging at all. She continuously questioned Cannon's motives throughout the book despite the fact that he was always open and upfront. Her internal dialogue became frustratingly annoying early on with her inability to accept anyone at face value and instead assuming they treated her with kindness only because they saw her as a victim. This in-turn causes an abundance of sexual tension that Cannon has a hard time dealing. To put it bluntly, there was a lot of rehashing of Yvette's issues and not a lot of progression in the story.

There were some other instances in the story that I found off. One being Cannon's obsession with Yvette from the start but still willing to engage in one-night-stands until he comes face-to-face with Yvette. Though admittedly this doesn't last long and Cannon gently turns down all the bar flies and ring bunnies afterwards it was still a contradiction to his character. Also, the doling out of Yvette's traumatic experience and the consequences of them was drawn out which lessened the emotional impact it could have had. Two different subplots infused the romance with some action and intrigue but it wasn't balanced well. However, I did find the cast of secondary characters and fighters incredibly endearing and I am really looking forward to their own stories. The women they seem to have paired off with so far for future books have that perfect amount of spunk and attitude that I enjoy reading.

I admit that I have to catch up on the Love Undercover series so I will enjoy seeing another side to the start of Cannon and Yvette's story ( set three years prior to No Limits) when I finally read Getting Rowdy and Dash of Peril. That being said though, I didn't feel that I missed any integral part to their story by not reading those two books.

Bottom line, while No Limits may not be my favorite book in Lori Foster's impressive arsenal and there were plenty of hiccups in the plot and story-line, I am intrigued enough by secondary characters to continue the Ultimate series. I think if you're a Lori Foster fan this may be worth you time to pick up for a few hours just to enter the world she has created here and hope for better next time around.

One Night of Sin (After Hours)

One Night of Sin (An After Hours Novella) - Elle Kennedy One Night of Sin is a wickedly sexy story from Entangled's Brazen line that features an ex-MMA fighter with a rough past that he can't seem to shake and a woman who after taking a ride on the wild side, never wants to get off!

Skyler Thompson is on a date with another man when she first notices Gage Holt. An unexpected meeting in an alley is all it takes for good girl, Skyler, to find her inner bad girl. But Gage is resistant. He knows Sky ins't a one-night-stand kind of girl and deserves far better then him. However, Sky is determined to show him that she is far from innocent and can have a no-strings relationship with him. The last thing she expected was to fall for him the more she got to know him. Because under that gruff fighter appearance is a man that will go to any length to protect those he loves, even if that means sacrificing himself. When Sky's unable to hide her growing feelings any longer will Gage run for the hills or will he battle the demons of his past for a chance at love?

One Night of Sin was a wonderfully entertaining chance-meeting love story. Gage and Skyler had a combustible chemistry from the first meeting that never let up. Together these two lit up the pages! I loved Skyler's determination to go after what she wanted, and what she wanted was Gage. And what women in their right mind wouldn't? Big, sexy, intense, alpha MMA fighter - yes please! The story was fast-paced and flowed well for it's novella length. Definitely a hot little quickie that I'd recommend picking up!

Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella

Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella - Laura Kaye Fans of Laura Kaye's must-read Hard Ink series will love this sojourn into the group's sizable yet reserved teammate, Edward “Easy” Cantrell, in Hard To Hold On To.

The novella immediately follows the second book in the series, Hard As You Can. Jenna, Sara's sister, has been rescued from Church's gang by the Hard Ink crew but is battered and traumatized. Desperate for comfort and security, Jenna seeks Easy's presence. They have an inexplicable connection that eases her fears. But Easy is battling his own demons, ones that have only accumulated into a downward spiral since the death of his friends and teammates a year ago. Easy is floundering in the dark and Jenna is his light while Easy is Jenna's rock to keep her grounded in the hear-and-now, instead of in that black room she was held captive in. They have an easy chemistry that blossoms into a budding romance that is as sweet as it is sexy. Fear, acceptance, heart-ache and discovery; Hard To Hold On To was a touching story that contains a powerful message. And while it lacked the action that the previous books in the series had, the author more then made up for it in heart. Secondary characters play an integral part in the story as well, which is something that I love in this series. Their presence and support was strong and just what I would expect from them.

Due to the ongoing story-line and the circumstances that put Easy and Jenna together, I would recommend reading Hard To Hold On To in series order. Though each couple is their own unit and each book containing a HEA it technically could be read as a stand-alone but I think you'd get more enjoyment out of the story by reading it with the series.

Bottomline; Hard To Hold On To is an emotion-packed wallop of a story that was a wonderful addition to an already amazing series. I only wish Easy could have had a full-length story of his on with more time to explore all of those new feelings between him and Jenna. I hope to see more of them and what the future holds for this couple in future installments.

Rock Addiction

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss) (Volume 1) - Nalini Singh Nalini Singh explodes onto the rock-n-roll contemporary romance scene with her new self-published title, Rock Addiction!

Molly Webster knows all about being in the public eye and never wants to experience that spotlight again. So when hot rock star, Zachary Fox, catches her eye Molly is uneasy about returning the attention. But she can't seem to help herself. When Fox requests a ride home from a party, Molly knows that she should say no. Any association with Fox threatens to hurtle her fears from the past straight to the present. She's been good for so long though, the temptation to let go for just one night is too great. But when one night turns into one month of passion and pleasure, can Molly keep her heart separate from her body? And will Fox let her?

I didn't even read the blurb for Rock Addiction when I saw it available on NetGalley after seeing Singh's newsletter announcing the upcoming release. All I saw was "Nalini Singh" over a sexy rock star cover and I was sold! Set in Singh's home of New Zealand, a place that I have always wanted to visit, she brings the beautiful country to life on the pages with her eloquent writing style.

Though Rock Addiction is a totally different direction then Singh's paranormal romances, you can still feel the heart she puts behind every book with her writing. Bad boy Zachery Fox, lead singer of School Boy Choir, is a strong, determined character that knows exactly what he wants. He doesn't plays games, he goes after it. I really loved him from the get-go. He is also a very naughty little rock star. *wink, wink* The chemistry between him and Molly burst from the pages. At the beginning, I will admit that Fox and Molly's relationship was purely sexual. And boy was it hot. However, this caused a bit of an emotional disconnect for me but as the story progressed so did the connection between the two and this is when I really started to get lost in the story and never want to leave. You know Fox wants more but Molly is resistant to anything deeper. Molly was a sweet character and someone I think that readers can easily relate to. I liked her ability to communicate her feelings with Fox and vice versa even though she was understandably reluctant at first. The secondary characters were enjoyable to read about as well and Rock Addiction laid down the foundation for the rest of the series and characters, and I am excited to see where they go from here.

Bottom line: Rock Addiction was a sexy and enticing foray into the contemporary romance world for Nalini Singh and I am looking forward to more from this talented and diverse author!

Currently reading

The Fiery Cross
Diana Gabaldon