Novella Review: Down the Aisle by Christine Bell


Down the Aisle (A Dare Me Novella) (Entangled Brazen)

May Contain Spoilers


I don’t get to read many Brazen titles because my reading schedule is jam-packed with releases from Entangled’s other lines. When I saw that Down the Aisle dealt with fertility issues, I immediately wanted to read it.  I haven’t read many titles dealing with this issue, so I was curious to see how Christine Bell handled Lacey’s disappointment that she can’t get pregnant.

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Meet Trick Matthews from Christine Bell’s Dirty Trick and Giveaway!


Please say a big “Hello” to Trick Matthews, sexy hero of Christine Bell’s Dirty Trick!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Trick Mathews] Loyal, hard-working, quick to laugh.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Trick Matthews?

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Mr September Throwdown! Who Gets Your Vote?

The six heroes from this month’s BRAZENS are battling it out to be your Mr. September. Who gets your vote?

Each day this week the six heroes are stopping by some awesome blogs to answer both sexy and sweet personal questions, so you can really get a taste of what they’re like ;)  Each day you get to cast your vote, and at the end of the week one sexy hero will be crowned the winner of the #MrSeptember Throwdown!

Remember, each vote also counts as an entry for one of SIX prizes so be sure to follow along and vote every day to increase your chances of winning!  Visit Entangled in Romance for a recap on the awesome prizes!

Now, to meet the men competing in the #MrSeptember Throwdown!

Whew! Hot, hot, hot – these men have definitely turned up the heat!

Ian: Wicked Games by Samanthe Beck (part of the anthology)

Grayson: Seducing Mr. Right by Katee Robert (part of the anthology)

Landon: Tempted by His Best Friend by Cari Quinn (part of the anthology)

Derek: Protecting What’s Theirs by Tessa Bailey (part of the anthology)

Jett: Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh

Trick: Dirty Trick by Christine Bell

Here are today’s questions for the men

Question #7: What’s the sexiest fantasy you’ve had about your leading lady?

Ian: Well, there was the shower thing, but we’ve done that. And then there was the Halloween, incognito thing, but we’ve done that too. Then, of course, there was the bondage thing, and, yep…you guessed it…

Grayson: It involved bending her over my desk…

Trick: How much time do you have? Not a lot? I’ll just tell you the dream I had last night, then. We were at a little Italian restaurant tucked into a dark corner. Right when the waiter came over, I ducked my hand under the table and slipped it between Gracie’s legs. She was wearing a skirt but no underwear, and as soon as I touched her, her face went all pink and her eyes got glassy. She was so hot and…*clears throat* anyway, when it was her turn to order, her voice did that sexy little hitch it does? She didn’t move away though. She just sucked in a shuddery breath and asked for a glass of wine. When the waiter left, she looked me dead in the eyes and said “You better be prepared to finish this, buddy. And remember, payback is a bitch.”  That was a lie. Because payback? Was fucking mind-blowing.

Derek: I’m working late and she comes into the police station. Dripping wet from the rain. I can tell she’s feeling a little desperate for me. Which is perfect, since I’m always desperate for her. As usual, I’ve been growing restless…I always do when I’ve been deprived of her too long. Without a word, I walk her to my office and tell her to strip while I look my fill. Then I put her on my desk, where she’s been inhabiting my head for hours. Then I make her ask nicely for every thrust of my hips.

Jett: The moment I saw that Kink Kit in Allegra’s hotel suite, I imagined exploring what was in that box with her. Tying her up, teasing her mercilessly…oh yeah, frigging hot.

Landon: Refer to the law firm encounter mentioned above. Steff bent over the counter, her firm, supple body bared to my touch, her moans echoing off the walls… *clears throat* Next question, please.

Question #8: Favorite comfort food?

Ian: Bourbon or whiskey

Grayson: Breakfast food–eggs, French toast, bacon, hash browns.

Trick: Rib-eye steak, medium rare, baked potato with sour cream and butter, creamed spinach on the side, followed by Apple pie with caramel sauce.

Derek: Ginger’s chicken pot pie. The way she keeps trying to improve the recipe…she doesn’t realize I love it just because she made it.

Jett: Pav. Nothing beats the perfect Aussie pavlova. Meringue base, lashings of whipped cream, topped with strawberries and passionfruit. Best comfort food ever. Plus there’s always whipped cream left over and I can think of many sensual uses for that…

Landon: Pizza at Mama Leone’s, with optional garlic enhancements. Ah, the memories.

Now cast your vote!

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Review: Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh


Title:  Wicked Heat

Author:  Nicola Marsh


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


Competitors by day, lovers by night…

Allegra Wilks has had the worst month of her personal and professional life. To save her company, she must go on her would-be honeymoon and land the luxury eco-island resort’s lucrative advertising account. But when a lingerie mishap leads her into the arms of a wickedly distracting Australian, Allegra’s tempted to skip the trip and explore the most sensual kiss she’s ever experienced. Too bad their chance encounter at the airport is just that.

Having recently lost his company to his former best friend’s shady business tactics, Jett Alcott is headed to a South Pacific resort to secure an advertising account that will resurrect his reputation and career. Realizing the tantalizing Allegra Wilks is on his flight, Jett envisions a week filled with business and pleasure. But Jett doesn’t know Allegra’s fighting for the same account, or that there’s more at stake than his heart.


I am pretty game to read anything with the Entangled name printed on the cover.  I have discovered a lot of great new to me authors among their various series romances, so when I won a copy of Wicked Heat, I was all geeked to read it. I’ve read Nicola Marsh previously, and I enjoyed her other books, so when I had a break in my schedule, this book got cued up on the Kindle.

This is a hot, fast read.  Allegra is not having the best luck lately; she’s been dumped right before her wedding, and her advertising agency is on the skids.  She’s lost a big client, and some prospective new business signed elsewhere.  Desperate, she decides to risk everything on the pitch of a lifetime to score a luxury resort empire’s advertising dollars.  If she can get this done, her agency will be set for life.  It’s only after she meets Jett, a flirty, sexy Australian who is also traveling to the resort island, that she finally begins to understand that there’s more to life than working and being in control all the time.  She had been willing to marry a friend of her parents for his business connections, and now she’s thankful that didn’t work out.

Jett is at a low point in his life, too.  His best friend since childhood has been fleecing their ad agency for years, and now it’s tumbling into bankruptcy.  His partner has fled for greener pastures, leaving Jett to wallow in the mess.  Desperate to get his career back on track, he is determined to win the same account that Allegra is after.  With his pride in tatters, he finally sees something to shake him out of the doldrums.  Allegra is striding very determinedly though LAX, leaving a trail of lingerie scattered behind her. 

From the moment they meet, the attraction between Jett and Allegra combusts.  They can’t keep their hands off each other.  Allegra sees Jett as an opportunity to put her dull, restrained love life in the past, and a chance to really let go and have the time of her life.  She lives for her agency, so she isn’t expecting anything long lasting from the cocky Jett, so she’s surprised when she begins to develop feelings for him.  She knows that their relationship can’t go anywhere; they don’t even live on the same continent!  When she discovers that Jett’s on the island to pitch the resort business, too, she’s dismayed.  She can’t just tell him that she’s there to do the same thing, with an almost identical pitch!

The major conflict is Allegra’s inability to level with Jett about why she’s at the resort.  It keeps her worried and distracted, giving Jett the impression that she’s cool and detached and not really that into him.  I think this would have worked better as a shorter book, and I found my attention wandering from time to time.  I loved the setting, and both the beginning and the ending.  There were a few times during the middle that I thought both Allegra and Jett needed to grow up.  Jett in particular acted like a petulant little boy when he found out that Allegra hadn’t been completely honest with him.  Now, seeing that he’s still stinging from her friend’s betrayal, some of his behavior made sense, but I was still disappointed that he was willing to jeopardize what’s left of his career when he decides to get back at Allegra by getting very, very drunk at the very resort he is trying to score business from.

Because this is such a fast read, it’s perfect for little bursts of free time.  Load it up on your phone and you won’t even notice those annoying waits at the store or gas station, because you’ll be too busy wondering how Allegra’s going to come clean and not mess up her hot new relationship with Jett.

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

Entangled’s Surprise Release: Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh

Who doesn’t love surprises? The people behind Brazen Books sure do – and they just couldn’t wait a whole month before putting out another book for their readers. Surprise! If you need something to read today, Entangled’s newest book combines steamy island romance and high personal stakes. What a combination!




About the book:

Competitors by day, lovers by night…

Allegra Wilks has had the worst month of her personal and professional life. To save her company, she must go on her would-be honeymoon and land the luxury eco-island resort’s lucrative advertising account. But when a lingerie mishap leads her into the arms of a wickedly distracting Australian, Allegra’s tempted to skip the trip and explore the most sensual kiss she’s ever experienced. Too bad their chance encounter at the airport is just that.

Having recently lost his company to his former best friend’s shady business tactics, Jett Halcott is headed to a South Pacific resort to secure an advertising account that will resurrect his reputation and career. Realizing the tantalizing Allegra Wilks is on his flight, Jett envisions a week filled with business and pleasure. But Jett doesn’t know Allegra’s fighting for the same account, or that there’s more at stake than his heart.

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“You should do that more often,” he said, reaching out to trace her bottom lip with his fingertip. “You’re beautiful, but when you smile? Wow.”

Uncomfortable with his overt compliments, Allegra sat there and let a guy she’d just met touch her lips with a slow, sensual caress. His fingertip traced her bottom lip in a butterfly-soft sweep that left her breathless.

Their eyes locked as he lowered his hand, and what she saw made her wish she could ditch Palm Bay and travel to Australia.

Blatant lust. Strong. Sexy. Seductive. His eyes deepened to an incredible green that matched a favorite jade pendant she wore often. He wanted her, and in this crazy moment, the feeling was entirely mutual.

He raised his beer to his lips and took a long swig, his heat-filled stare never leaving hers.

Damn, she had no idea what to do in this situation. Make a joke to diffuse the tension? Acknowledge it? Flirt?

She hated feeling out of control, had instigated steps her entire life to avoid it. Yet in a loaded thirty seconds, Jett had made her damp with just one look and made her flounder.

“Is the blatant charm an Aussie thing or is it just you?”

Thankfully, he blinked, and broke the scorching stare that made her want to grab a napkin off the bar and fan herself. “It’s me.” He leaned in close. “Time you fessed up.”

Yikes. Was her reaction to him that easy to read?

“To what?”

His lips almost brushed her ear. “You’re battling an incredible urge to drag me into the nearest janitor’s closet and ravish me.”

She laughed at his outrageousness. “Sorry. I don’t do sex in cleaning closets. Too many hazardous chemicals.”

“Yeah, those pheromones can be killer.”

She loved his quick wit and for the second time in as many minutes, wished she’d met him at a different place, different time.

“Pity.” He reverted to a smoldering stare that had her wishing she’d ordered a vodka shot chaser. “Sex in confined spaces can be fun.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” Heat crept into her cheeks and she signaled the waiter for a glass of water. To douse herself with.

“Not the answer I was hoping for,” he said, shifting his barstool closer so their thighs brushed. “Would’ve been better if you’d said, ‘Sounds good, Jett, let’s go try.’”

She cleared her throat and gratefully accepted the water from the waiter, drinking it all and wishing she could run the cool beaded exterior across her forehead. “How did we get onto this crazy topic?”

“Started with you wanting to ravish me.” He clinked his beer bottle to her empty glass. “Seriously. There’s no need to hold back. I can take whatever you want to dish out.”

Happy Birthday! A Brazen Celebration!

Entangled’s steamy Brazen line turns one year old this month, and they have a huge celebration planned.  Check out the press release below for their giveaway plans, as well as their sale on select Brazen titles!


Brazen Books, who brought us Wrong Bed Right Guy, Officer Off Limits, Seducing Cinderella, and Tempting the Player – to name just a few – is turning 1 this month, and they’re celebrating in a big way. They’ve got a ton of great things going on this week, including Twitter parties, FB events, and even a huge sale!  Full deets below:

Review: Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey





Title:  Officer Off Limits

Author:  Tessa Bailey


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:


His need to possess her is non-negotiable.

Story Brooks’ fiancé just called off their wedding two weeks before the happy day. As if that isn’t bad enough, her semi-estranged father, an infamous NYPD hostage negotiator, has suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to examine her lack of emotion over the broken engagement, she hops on a plane to reconnect with her father before it’s too late.

Playboy hostage negotiator Daniel Chase has never, not once, been refused by a woman, so when a debate over hospital snack foods with a delectable kindergarten teacher ends in flat-out rejection, he makes it his mission to seduce her. His only obstacle? She’s the daughter of his mentor who implicitly forbade Daniel from pursuing her.

Despite her father’s warnings and Daniel’s troubled past, Daniel and Story can’t resist their intense attraction to one another. But when the reason for her fiancé’s abrupt wedding cancellation comes to light, can Story and Daniel’s already forbidden relationship survive?


Tessa Bailey’s books just keep getting better and better!  I really enjoyed Officer Off Limits, and found the mix of sensuality and humor very agreeable.  The only reason this story worked for me, though, is because the heroine is so strong.  The first chapter has her getting dumped by her intended two weeks before their wedding, and she starts out restrained and, while not quite timid, certainly not forceful.  She gets a measure of satisfaction by ordering the most expensive bottle of champagne and charging it to his tab, but this is peanuts compared to getting dumped in a restaurant.  Two weeks before their wedding.  What a jerk!

When Story’s father suffers from a heart attack, she flies from CA to NYC in an attempt to patch up their rocky relationship.  She meets a sexy guy in the waiting room, and doesn’t know whether to be relieved to learn that he’s her father’s partner, instead of a psycho stalker with strong opinions about snack foods.  Hostage negotiators for the NYPD, both men are tough, no nonsense men.  Daniel takes it one step further.  Bounced between foster homes when he was a child, he has developed a wall around his emotions that even the most skilled mountain climber would not be able to scale.  A traumatic experience when he was sixteen changed his life forever,  leaving him mentally scarred and even more wary of relationships.  To compensate for what he perceives as his greatest weakness, he is a full-on, raging alpha.  Dear, me! This guy puts on one heck of a front – he hops from bed to bed, never staying with the same woman longer than it takes to get his clothes back on.  He has no close relationships, and keeps everyone at arm’s length.

Daniel came across as such a jerk at the beginning of the book.  He is attracted to Story and makes no secret that he wants to get to know her tan lines better.  When she rebuffs him in the waiting room, she only piques his interest.  Even learning that she’s Jack’s daughter, and that his mentor will flay him alive if he tries any funny business, isn’t enough to get him to back down.  Like a blood hound, once Daniel’s on the scent, it’s hard get him to focus on anything else.  He thinks a quick hook up with Story will get his mind back on work, but the silly alpha is confused.  Story isn’t like the rest of the women he’s known, and after her disastrous engagement, she wants to call some of the shots.  So not what the demanding Daniel is accustomed to.

As I stated previously, if Story has been even one notch more submissive, Officer Off Limits would not have worked for me.  Daniel is so dominating, and I will admit that alpha-jerks are not my favorite hero types.  But with Story’s developing confidence, the two play off each other well.  The author had me believing that jaded Daniel was so enamored with Story that he couldn’t think of anything else. That he was willing to risk Jack’s wrath to spend just one more minute with Story.  As their relationship deepens, he begins to learn to trust again, and Story slowly draws out his tender side.  I was so convinced that he was maturing and and growing emotionally.  This was one couple, with their quirks and hang ups, that I wanted to find their HEA.  Even the admission from Jack that he had been meddling in their relationship didn’t lessen my enthusiasm for this couple.

Like in my last review of a Tessa Bailey book, while I would normally suggest tossing this in your beach bag for a summer read, instead I recommend settling down with a few ice packs and cold beverages.  This is a scorching read, and with temps hovering in the upper 80s, I’m fearful you will get heat stoke if you read this while lounging outside in the sun.

Grade:  B+/A-

Review copy provided by publisher

Guest Post: Tessa Bailey’s Top Ten Cop Movies and Giveaway!

Please welcome Tessa Bailey to the virtual offices!  Tessa is here to share her Top Ten Cop Movies! After, enter to win a copy of her smokin’ hot His Risk to Take!  Please check back later this morning to read my review, too!

Top 10 Cop Movies by Tessa Bailey


Hi Julie, thanks for having me! So happy I could stop by to talk about my favorite cop movies in honor of my latest book, His Risk to Take, part of my Line of Duty series for Brazen.

1. The Other Guys – Any movie starring Will Ferrell is an automatic favorite. Throw in Mark Wahlberg and you’ve got yourself a winner.

2. The Inside Man – I actually watched this movie recently as research for my series. It involved a hostage negotiation and the NYPD Emergency Services Unit, which my heroes belong to in the Line of Duty series. There’s a great twist at the end – and you gotta love Denzel J

3. End of Watch – Saw this one recently. I was more a fan of the format and originality of the film. It takes place over the course of almost a decade, focusing on two partners in the LAPD. Sweet, sad, funny.

4. Turner and Hooch – A classic. I watched this movie a zillion times growing up. A big loveable dog and Tom Hanks. It’s like an instant pick-me-up.

5. Mystic River – So dark and twisty, but it’s an incredible story. My favorite thing about this movie is the ending. Nothing is actually resolved and the bad guy doesn’t learn his lesson or face consequences. It’s scary and refreshing at the same time.

6. The Usual Suspects – Hysterical and incredibly smart – plus I love Kevin Spacey.

7. The Departed – I LOVE this movie. Such incredible acting…and God, I love me some Matt Damon. There’s just something about that Boston accent.

8. Point Break – I have memories of watching this movie on Sunday mornings with my dad. It’s almost like the movie should be classified as terrible, but you have too much fun watching it to care. And come on, you have to love Swayze.

9. Training Day – Another Denzel movie. Rookie cop gets paired with veteran who isn’t what he seems. There’s a lot of twists and turns – such a great movie.

10. The Boondock Saints – I’m kind of a fan of stories about vigilante justice and this is one of the best. Two brothers take the law into their own hands. It’s totally a classic.

Thank you, Tessa, for sharing your Top 10 cop movies with us!

Ready for your chance to win His Risk to Take?  Just fill out the widget below.

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Purchase links:

Visit Tessa’s website –

About the book:

The greater the risk, the hotter the reward…

Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation on the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.

Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into the pub he’s at with his new coworkers and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?