Roxy’s Reviews

Review of Safe House (Steel Infidels) by Dez Burke

As far as I know, this is Author Dez Burke’s first foray into writing a series, and boy oh boy, book one in the Steel Infidels is hot. Extremely hot! Um… Did I say hot?

Safe House is a short read about an attorney/biker boy Flint Mason and good girl/veterinarian Dr. Kendra Shaw. He’s all alpha; she’s headstrong, and by the book’s end, one can see that they’re going to make an awesome team.

I highly anticipate reading book two of the series, and based on what I’ve read in book one, I envision that book two will have lots of conflict and drama, between the Steel Infidels and their rivals, the Liberators. Plus, there’s tension between Flint and his younger brother, Sam. And then there’s the mystery surrounding Flint’s best friend’s murder.

I’m delighted that the sexy-as-sin Flint, with his muscles of steel and his scintillating tattoos, is deeply attracted to a full-figured, black woman. A woman like Kendra, who’s certainly not like the kind of women he dated in the past. However, the man is quick to appreciate Kendra’s outward beauty (and of course, the beauty that lies within). The man has good taste. And the man knows how to please his woman, in bed and out of it.

It’s true that Flint and Kendra’s relationship moves quickly, but I read purely to escape the rigors of reality and have fun, so the rate at which the two consummate their attraction to each other doesn’t deter me from giving Safe House the 5-stars it deserves.

Once again, kudos, Ms. Burke, for a job well-done!

Buy it now: Amazon

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Review of A Special Kind of Love by Tamara Hoffa

Since the beginning of time, people have been prejudged and treated unfairly because of their race/ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, ability (or disability), economic and social background, nationality and so on. Anyone can be misunderstood, maligned or even murdered because of these perceived differences. In short, prejudice, as well as discrimination, is one of the scourges of our society.

Ms. Tamara Hoffa deals with issues of prejudice in her novella, A Special Kind of Love. In this story, Sharon Daily moves to Wyoming to begin her new life. Her son, Aaron, has Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition which is oftentimes misunderstood. Not only does he need support from his mother,but also sensitivity and an unconditional love. Sharon fits the bill. He also requires a special kind of man, a father figure, who is willing to understand and be patient with him. Tanner West is that kind of man. Unfortunately, not even Aaron’s own biological father loves him as a father should. It’s a good thing Tanner fulfills the role of surrogate father effortlessly. Ms. Hoffa also touches on the issues of race and race relations as Tanner is a Native American living in a white man’s world.

Although, A Special Kind of Love is a relatively quick read, it doesn’t feel rushed or underdeveloped at all. Ms. Hoffa weaves a story which shows how the relationship between Sharon and Tanner develops, from a mutual attraction to a burning passion for each other. The vivid descriptions give me some insight into Ms. Hoffa’s own character, as her love for nature, horses and her understanding of children with Asperger’s Syndrome permeated every page of her story.

Buy it now at Amazon or ARe.

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Review of Skin Deep by Dez Burke

I’ve read many modern day twists, or versions if you prefer, to the “Beauty and Beast” fairytale, but Dez Burke’s “Skin Deep” was one of the most endearing I’ve read in a long time. In this story, an aspiring actress, Angela Neil, was given the perfect (and paid) opportunity to not only ease her financial burdens, but also to be NASCAR Champion, Shane Davis’, ‘fake girlfriend’ so that he could convince his parents and the rest of the world he’d started to live again after a fiery crash left him scarred. However, what happened in this beautifully written story was a man who had hidden behind the shadows (both literally and figuratively) regained his confidence and found a reason to live and love again.

One of the things I loved about this romance story is the way Ms. Burke created the sexual tension between Shane and Angela, which started from the very first time they saw each other. What’s more, there were times when they almost did ‘it’ and when ‘it’ didn’t happened, I was sitting there on pins and needles waiting for the time they would actually get it on. But I must applaud Ms. Burke at this juncture, because when Shane and Angela finally succumbed to the attraction which simmered every time they were in the same room with each other, it wasn’t gratuitous at all. Not. One. Bit. This was because Shane and Angela had invested much time and effort into getting to know each other, developing mutual respect, and finally falling in love (although they didn’t admit it to themselves or each other as yet) so the act of making love was just a natural culmination of what they meant to each other.

Another thing I loved about this story was the way the heroine Angela wasn’t afraid to express her wants and desires inside or outside of the bedroom, how she was determined to play the role of her life to the best of her ability, and most of all, how she wasn’t repelled by Shane’s scars, even from the very first time she met him.

Also, I believe Ms. Burke deserved kudos for the way she made her characters, even millionaire Playboys, very relatable, since they do have the same foibles of human nature just as ordinary folks do. So I got a glimpse of Shane’s insecurities, his hurt and anger when people looked away from his scars in fear or disgust, and how he’d convinced himself he wasn’t good enough for the lovely Ms. Angela Neil.

As of today, “Skin Deep” is definitely one of Ms. Burke’s best works for the year. However, I just get this strange feeling her best is yet to come.

Buy it now at Amazon or ARe.

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Review of Trading Up by Mahalia Levey

Have you ever found yourself trying to live up to other people’s expectations, rather than living the life that is pleasing to you? Well, that’s exactly what Cam’s existence has been like, particularly because she’s the daughter of a politician. However, for one night, she decides to remove the shackles of parental and societal expectations and indulges herself in a night of decadent delights in the form of sexy Jonah Dawson.

Mahalia Levey’s Trading Up opens with Cam and Jonah, who are set up on a blind date by Madame Eve’s matchmaking service, luxuriating in the ambiance and enjoying the flavorful cuisine at Cimmerian Nights, a fitting title for a place where patrons enjoy an obsidian dining experience. Yet, Cam and Jonah are denied the pleasure of seeing each other since they are blindfolded, and have no other alternative but to get to learn about each other through their other heightened senses. This is symbolic of how Cam has had to live her life, perpetually deprived of the freedom of doing and saying whatever she wants.

Throughout this story, readers have the opportunity to live vicariously through Jonah and Cam’s experiences, from getting a tattoo to role playing. And a plethora of sensory images abound. The ending is satisfying as there is the promise that this couple will remain happy, at least for now.

Trading Up is another quick, delightful installment of Decadent Publishing’s highly successful 1Night Stand series, and follows Levey’s other 1Night Stand stories, Burn Me If You Can and Tell Me No Lies. Not surprisingly,I highly recommend Trading Up.

Buy it now at Amazon or ARe.

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