Rainy Day Friends

Rainy Day Friends
Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

MI5 and Me

MI5 and Me
MI5 and Me by Charlotte Bingham

Friday, August 29, 2014



When it comes to family, Ian Dare gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. Until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him dealing his half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget. 

Riley Taylor believes herself immune to domineering men
until charismatic Ian Dare turns a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and she discovers she likes his brand of control in the bedroom. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything. (love story, contemporary romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sports heroes, bad boys, billionaire)


Riley’s outburst popped the bubble of anger that had been surrounding Ian all day. She stood at the elevator, pounding at the button in a panic, and his anger, which should never have been directed at her, dissipated, replaced by concern.


She ignored him.

The elevator door opened, and Ian bolted forward, grabbing her around the waist and yanking her back before she could step inside.

"Put me down!" She struggled, but he waited until the elevator door slid shut to do as she asked.

She spun to face him, fury on her expressive face.

"What the hell was that all about?" he asked.

"You tell me! I came here to check on you, and you treated me like persona non grata in front of your family."

Yes, he had. He’d never been so angry or hurt, and it made no sense. Why the hell did he care if his half siblings showed up or not when he hadn’t wanted to invite them in the first place? He’d only done it to get Riley’s address and phone number, and when she’d bailed too, he’d taken it as her choosing Alex over him. Which clarified his blinding anger, to camouflage the hurt.

But none of that explained why she’d suddenly freakedbecause thats what shed done. Yeah, hed been an ass, but not enough for her to react that way. He knew she wouldnt budge until he gave in first.

"I’m sorry," he said.

Her eyes opened wide.

He was just as shocked by the words that came out of his mouth. Words he never used, because in his experience, they made him weak. With this woman, it seemed there was nothing he wouldn’t do or say.

Needing space, he stalked over to the wet bar in the living room and poured himself a drink. Pausing for a long sip as the liquor burned down his throat, he studied her, seeing her for the first time tonight.

She wore a white, strappy dress that clung to her generous curves, her curls falling over her shoulders and down her back. Now that he’d regained his sanity, he wanted nothing more than to grab hold of all that gorgeous hair, pull her hard against him, lose himself in her warm, wet body, and forget that he’d allowed his half brother to get to him. Make her forget that he’d treated her so badly, but that wouldn’t solve anything between them.

They’d both overreacted. He understood his own reactions, at least when it came to her. He still didn’t understand hers, and the mystery of Riley remained.


Dare to Love (Dare to Love, #1)Dare to Love by Carly Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips is a 2014 CP publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

All I can say right now is I had to take a cold shower after reading this one. It is hot, hot, hot!!

Riley and Alex Dare are good friends. When she meets Alex's half brother, Ian ,at a family gathering, the two of them make an all consuming instant connection. But... that doesn't make theirs a match made in heaven.

Riley is fiercely independent after seeing her mother go through an abusive marriage. Ian is dominating and protective. When he gives a command you obey... period. Ian's controlling nature stems partly from his resentfulness of the his father's second marriage and family. Bitter and determined to never be like his father, Ian stays in firm control of everything he can and that includes Riley. While Ian's demands are helping Riley let go of her inhibitions in the bedroom, it causes many problems for them in most other areas.

As Ian's feelings for Riley deepen, his controlling personality threatens to smother her. For Ian, it's all about gaining Riley's trust. For Riley it is all about learning to trust , and we all know how hard gaining trust can be and how hard giving it can be. So, is there anyway these two can learn to compromise?

I was really into this book. Ian's family background makes for some really interesting reading. His father keeping a secret family hit Ian hard, harder than it did his mother or his other siblings who have all moved on and even forged relationships with their half- siblings.
Riley's life is complicated. She has job problems, she has a dark background that threatens to shatter any contentment she might gain, and of course she wants to trust Ian but she's afraid of his power over her. The romance is scorching. These two have chemistry and then some. They can not stay away from each other and barely come up for air sometimes. If like your romance hot, leaning toward the Erotica side a little, you will not want to miss this one.

The secondary characters are also well developed and I can not wait to read Alex's story. Over all this series looks very promising. I recommend this one to contemporary romance lovers who can handle high heat and mild erotica. 4.5 rounded to 5

View all my reviews



Quarterback Alex Dare, had it all -- an all-star football career and his choice of willing women -- until a severe injury forces him into early retirement. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn't impressed by Alex Dare’s wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests. 

This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it’s to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love? 

Dare to Desire Excerpt:

"Alex, I believe you know Madison Evans."
Blindsided and his half brother knew it Alex strode up to her. He inhaled her familiar fruity scent, which only served as a reminder of the hot times hed spent breathing her in as his cock moved inside her body. Her effect on him was potent, and even the most common expressions failed him.

"Alex," she said, her cool tone bringing his head out of the desire-filled fog he’d found himself in.

"Hey, Angel," he said, using the endearment he’d started calling her during their brief time together. Another sign he’d had it bad, whether he’d wanted to admit it or not.

Her head whipped up, her eyes narrowing and settling on Ian. "This won’t work." She turned to go.

Alex still had excellent reflexes, and he grabbed her arm before she could stride past him.

She glared.

He didn’t look away, determined to win this battle of wills. This potential job, which had interested him on an intellectual and emotional level initially, suddenly felt even more important, and she was the reason.

"We need to talk," he insisted.

"I have nothing to say."

"Ian’s proposition said otherwise."

Madison looked over his shoulder in search of Ian and frowned. "Well, the traitor is gone. No big surprise there."

Smart man, Alex thought. "If I let you go, will you stay long enough to discuss this position Ian and Riley want me to take?"

She let out a frustrated puff of air.

He took that as a yes and released her.

"Us working together is not a good idea, and somewhere in that thick head of yours, you know that."

"Because we slept together? More than a couple of times?"

She set her jaw. "That was a mistake."

Ouch. That hurt, he thought, and filed away the why to deal with later. "I want to know more about this training program and what my role in it would be."

"Why? You can’t possibly be interested."

"It sounds more like you don’t want me to be interested."

She rolled her shoulders back even farther, stiffening her posture. "You’re right. I don’t. This is a serious project that could help a lot of people and have far-reaching positive repercussions for years to come. I need a partner willing to go all in. And let’s face it, I’ve seen your staying power. It’s nonexistent."

He winced, knowing she was really referring to him and relationships. And she was right. At least, that’s how he had been. Six months with nothing to do but live in his own head, had brought changes she knew nothing about.

Eyebrows raised, stern expression on her face, she glared at him as if he were something she’d scraped off her shoe.

In the span of five minutes, she’d insulted him more than anyone had in probably his entire life. So why was he turned on? He shifted his stance in a futile effort to adjust his cock and gain some sort of ease or comfort. Not happening around her, and he knew it.

"I’ll give you that one insult because I deserved it."

She wrinkled her nose in confusion.

Good. He liked her off balance. Much better than spitting mad. "Any more and I’ll have to take action."

She opened her mouth then closed it again, because as they were both intimately aware, he’d have no trouble following through on his threat.

"Care to tell me what you have planned for this program?" he asked, deliberately all business. He strode over to the chair at the head of the table and settled in.

She obviously realized he was serious because she headed for the stack of folders on the table and sifted through them.
Coming up with the one she wanted, she opened it and glanced down only briefly before speaking. "Football players anyone in training for prolonged periods of time live a very regimented life. From what and when they eat to their exercise routine to when to practice and attend team meetings, everything is laid out for them. One injury and everything changes." She eyed him warily from beneath her lashes.

He was surprised she’d still worry about his feelings after how he’d treated her. "Go on. I can take it."

She nodded. "Suddenly they can eat what they want, when they want, and they gain unhealthy amounts of weight that isn’t balanced out by the exercise they used to do. Lack of education and preparation result in poor financial choices. Most athletes run through any good money they might have made in a short amount of time. Marriages crumble from the strain. Not to mention, they get bored, and depression sets in. I have statistics, but for now, you can just take my word for it."

He didn’t have to. He’d begun experiencing some of it himself.

"What’s your solution?" he asked, impressed with the knowledge she already had regarding the problem they faced.

"Education." She tapped the folder on the table. "All football colleges and universities need to have programs geared to post-career options. It’s not enough to offer a finance or business major. They need to target post-professional life. From our perspective, that means we start from the ground up. We contact schools and propose just such an approach. We hire ex-players willing to speak to the kids about the importance of thinking beyond football. And at a team level, we begin to provide all sorts of counseling and training. Nutrition, business classes, psychological counseling. Another goal is to eliminate the stigma of retirement, and to do that, we need to prepare our players for the future." She finished her speech, her cheeks flushed pink and her eyes wide, her passion for the subject evident.

Fuck, she was gorgeous.

He’d seen a similar look on her face before, right before he’d slid his fingers inside her and teased her to climax. He closed his eyes, dragging in a controlled breath.

Wrong time, wrong place. Wrong everything.

He might want to return to where they’d been before he’d opened his big mouth and thrown her out of his hospital room, but she wanted nothing to do with him. She didn’t trust him, and he didn’t blame her. He needed to win her over before he could let himself even think about sinking back into her body. She needed to see he’d changed, grown up.

And maybe he needed to prove the same thing to himself.

"I’m in," he told her.

"Excuse me?"

"I’ll take the job."

She pinched the bridge of her nose. "Didn’t Ian tell you it’s up to me who to hire?"

Alex shook his head, silently cursing his manipulative brother. "No, I think the plan was to throw us in here like gladiators and see who survived."

To his surprise, she let out an amused laugh.

The desire to kiss the dimples on either side of her mouth was strong. Beneath the table, he curled his fingers into fists, curbing his desire. His frustration wasn’t as easily controlled.

"I really don’t think we can work together," she said, sobering.

"Then I’ll just have to convince you otherwise."



iTunes: http://bit.ly/Qakc1j

Dare to Desire (Dare to Love, #2)Dare to Desire by Carly Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dare to Desire by Carly Phillips is a 2014 CP publication. I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Alex is the star quarterback for the Tampa Breakers. He's popular, good looking, and financially comfortable. He has been dating Madison Evans, a social worker he met when his best friend, and now his sister-in-law, Riley was going through hard times. So, life was good until.... Alex experiences an athlete's worst nightmare, a career ending injury. Madison wanted to be there for Alex but he pushed her away. Now, Madison is working on a program that helps athletes adjust to life after sports. Ian hooks Alex up with a job working in the program, but the hitch is he will have to work side by side with Madison who is still very angry with Alex about the way he treated her. Can Alex rise to the occasion and show Madison the kind of man he really is? Will Madison ever be able to trust him again?

Madison his having a really hard time with her family and as Alex learns more about her past the more determined he is to prove to her he has changed. But, Madison is just as determined to protect her heart.

Madison's abandonment issues will be a major hurdle for her to overcome. Alex still has a marketable face and is getting offers that could put him back in the spotlight. But, Madison's insecurities may make it impossible for her to deal with that.
I felt that of the two main characters in this story, Madison was the the bravest. She had a truly horrific childhood experience and now she is losing the foster family that has meant the world to her. Taking a second chance with Alex could be her undoing, but she works really hard to overcome her fears and work on her personal demons.
Alex also went through something that could have derailed him on so many levels but he has a good support system and decides to make the most of his life after football.
There were many heavy issues addressed in this story that sadly happen everyday in families, blood related or not. The decisions concerning the health and care of our parents is also so heartbreaking. While this book is very spicy and sensual, and romantic, I loved the mature nature of Madison and Alex's relationship as they did the right things by others and themselves.

Another solid installment in the Dare Brothers series. Next up Gabriel's story- stay tuned!

4 stars

View all my reviews  

Dare To Surrender:

After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she’s been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible.

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become
or risk losing her for good.

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more?

Amazon http://amzn.com/B00IRKQ08Q

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dare-to-surrender-carly-phillips/1119939834?ean=2940149794027&itm=1&usri=dare+to+surrendder

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dare-to-surrender/id825177209?mt=11

Dare to Surrender (Dare to Love, #3)Dare to Surrender by Carly Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dare to Surrender by Carly Phillips is a 2014 CP publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story ties into the two previous Dare Brothers novels and is part of the Invitation to Eden series. This book can be read as a stand alone.
This one features Gabe and Isabelle. Gabe became the head of his family at a young age. He expanded the family business, raised his two siblings, put them through college, got married and then the marriage came to a sudden and tragic end. He has no interest in developing a close bond with a woman again. Until he sees Isabelle.

Isabelle is taken though. She lives with Lance, a man she thought she would spend her life with. But, a rude wake up call has her running out into the night with nothing but the clothes on her back. When she is arrested for stealing her boyfriend's car, the arresting officer is none other than Gabe's younger brother Decklan. Gabe comes to Isabelle's rescue. But, will she go from on man to another without ever standing on her own two feet?

This was another good book in the Dare series which examines how a young woman can find herself in an dependent relationship without really realizing she is doing so until something happens and she finds she has no money or possessions, or a place to call her own. It all belongs to the man in her life. That is where Isabelle was and could have very easily fallen back into that same complacency with Gabe. No, Gabe was not Lance, thank goodness. But, Isabelle needed to explore her own interest, her own contributions and get herself a career in order for her to move forward on equal footing in a relationship. Her confidence is not at all like Gabe's and as hard as it might be, he allows her to step out on her own, even if he sort of manipulated things a little here and there. The results were amazing. But, it's not all take and no give- Gabe has not felt anything for anyone in so long and Isabelle is helping him to cope with his painful past. Gabe still carried an insurmountable guilt about the past. He was fine helping Isabelle deal with her insecurities and issues, but still had a hard time opening up about his own.

This story has the distinction of being told in first person, where as the previous installments were told in third. I loved hearing story through Isabelle's point of view though and I hope future books in the series will use this format or perhaps the dual first person trend.

Once more the romance sizzles and burns, the chemistry is spot on, interesting secondary characters that I hope will get their own story someday, and of course a satisfying HEA! 4 stars

a Rafflecopter giveaway ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carly Phillips has written over 40 sexy contemporary romance novels that today's readers identify with and enjoy. After a successful 15 year career with various New York publishing houses, Carly is making the leap to Indie author, with the goal of giving her readers more books at a faster pace at a better price. Her Serendipity books will still finish up in January/February 2014 via Berkley as planned. Carly lives in Purchase, NY with her family, two nearly adult daughters and two crazy dogs who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. She's a writer, a knitter of sorts, a wife, and a mom. In addition, she's a Twitter and Internet junkie and is always around to interact with her readers.


Website: http://www.carlyphillips.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarlyPhillipsFanPage

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carlyphillips

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10000.Carly_Phillips

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carly-Phillips/e/B001I9W0MS

Dare to Submit Synopsis: Release: Sept 8

Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?

Pre - Order Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00MAODJA2 iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dare-to-submit/id904586718?mt=11

Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain

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