Tag Archives: Lexxie Couper

Review: Muscle for Hire by Lexxie Couper

CJ’s Review

Muscle for Hire by Lexxie Couper
Contemporary romance released by Samhain Publishing on January 29, 2013

Protecting her was never going to be easy.

After sixteen years as the personal bodyguard to the world’s biggest rock star, ex-SAS commando Aslin Rhodes excels in the role of intimidating protector, oozing threatening menace. Now that the singer has retired, Aslin takes a new assignment as a military consultant on a blockbuster film. But just as he’s getting comfortable in the world of Hollyweird, he faces an unexpectedly immovable object. An American martial arts expert no taller than his chin, who promptly puts him on his arse.

Rowan Hemsworth’s focus is two-fold—keep her famous brother grounded, and never again be a defenseless victim. She has her hands full as the fun police, keeping her brother’s money-sucking entourage at bay. But nothing prepared her for the British mountain of muscle who makes her knees go uncharacteristically weak.

When a string of accidents on set convinces Aslin that Rowan—not her brother—is the target, things get bloody tricky as he tries to convince the stubborn woman she needs his protection. And accept that she belongs with him. In his arms, in his bed…and in his heart.

Warning: The strong, silent type don’t come much more silent and strong than Aslin Rhodes. But when he does speak his British accent will drive you mad with desire. As will his menacing, dominating power. And what he can do to a woman on the back of a motorcycle.

When I first saw this ARC up for grabs, I leaped on it without hesitation. A strong, loyal heroine? A guy who could effortlessly throw me against the bed? Yes, please!  Oh, and the fact he had a British accent didn’t hurt either. I’d never heard of Ms. Couper or her books before, but after reading the blurb I thought I was getting into a pretty standard romance with some spicy bits. I didn’t realize just how hot it was going to be.

When I first started reading I was a little hesitant. The story seemed scattered, with too many outside influences obscuring what was really going on. All that changed as soon as Rowan puts Aslin on his arse, but not for long.

Ms. Couper seems to have drawn Rowan from some of the most common tropes in fiction, trying to blend them into one character. She’s both the overprotective big sister, who doesn’t know when to let go, and the girl who’s turned badass to hide her vulnerability. Unfortunately she comes off two-dimensional and pasted together. She’s frustratingly stubborn and can’t seem to accept that others might be right. Usually a strong, protective heroine automatically endears herself to me, but Rowan’s irrationality tested my patience on numerous occasions.

Aslin falls into genre stereotypes too, although he didn’t annoy me nearly as much. It probably helped that he ticked off my fantasy boyfriend checklist: tall, strong and British with biceps worth talking about. And let’s not forget the ability to bring a woman to orgasm three times in the space of several paragraphs… and then over and over again all night long.  I’m not the only one who’d need an ice cream break, am I? I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of lovely tender moments later in the book which gave depth to his character in a way I wasn’t expecting.

I really liked the premise of this book, and the mystery element was pretty well done. I managed to guess the culprit in the first chapter or two, but confirming my suspicions was probably the main reason for me sticking with the book until the end. I also enjoyed Ms. Coupers ability to make me giggle with her one-liners. Chris and Rowen were particularly good at it, with such gems as “You insured your face? Oh, Chris, I thought we talked about that kind of pretentious crap?” and “That’s taking my animal magnetism to a whole different level,” when a kangaroo takes particular liking to Chris.

I’ll admit, I’d thought, hoped, the relationship would be explored a little more carefully. The sex seemed to overshadow everything else.  I found the insta-lust, although not unbelievable, rather crude, and the insta-love way over the top. It seemed to be mere days before they’re declaring their love for each other.

I found the action in some sequences to be confusing and difficult to imagine; several times the characters seemed unaware of their particular spatial constraints. The catalyst for Rowen’s desire never to become a victim feels contrived and not very thought out and I struggled to understand how Aslin saw enough of a pattern in two accidents to jump to the conclusion that Rowen was the target, not Chris.

Overall this book didn’t really excite me. I don’t think its potential was fully explored but aspects of the plot pulled me through to the end. I’d say people who like a side of a whodunit with their sex give this book a try.

Grade: D+

You can buy a copy of Muscle for Hire here.

Welcome Vivian Arend, Lexxie Couper, and Jess Dee!

Today we have three fabulous authors visiting with us! Jess Dee, Lexxie Couper, and Vivian Arend! They’ve got new releases coming up – and it’s a series of books that take place in the same location. They’re a lot of fun and the books they write are hot – as you’ll see when you read the excerpts. Shew! There’s also a fourth connected book that is available for free right now. That’s right – free. And I, being the kind soul that I am, have conveniently provided a link for you. 😉 But the point is to see what the ladies have to say, and they’ve provided excerpts for all of us to read!

Picture this:

You. On an island. A warm, tropical breeze tickles your skin as the sun kisses every inch of your exposed flesh. Waves lap gently over the snow-white beach while a gorgeous bartender serves you yet another mouth-watering daiquiri.

Luxury surrounds you.

Swim. Snorkel. Scuba.
Hike. Stroll. Sunbathe.
Relax. Read. Recline.
Dance. Drink. Laugh.
Be seduced.
Be desired.

Sound appealing? Then why not visit the brand new, five star luxury hotel, Bandicoot Cove on Bilby Island, just off the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia.

There’s something magical about the island. Perhaps it’s the sheer luxury of the resort. The escape from the daily grind of real life. Or maybe it’s all that intoxicating island air. Whatever it is, people tend to fall in love when they visit. And when they fall, it’s usually forever.

Now you can fall in love too. You see, the hotel is about to open its doors to the public, and in preparation for that big day, hotel manager, Kylie Sullivan is planning a soft opening. A trial run. A make-sure-everything-works-smoothly run.

You are invited to share in the magical moments of this special weekend. You may not be able to attend personally, but you can experience the magic of the Island through a brand new anthology by Jess Dee, Vivian Arend and Lexxie Couper called Bandicoot Cove.

Bandicoot Cove consists of three very hot novellas. (We’re talking steam-up-the- windows, wipe-me-down-with-ice hot.) Each novella is a contemporary, m-f-m ménage, and the books are being released through Samhain Publishing. Want to know the good
news? There’s a fourth book too. A short story that’s also a free read! And the short is a ménage a quattro, called Exotic Indulgence.

The four books stand alone, but the characters in all the stories know one another, so you’ll get the opportunity to meet the characters several times throughout all the books. If you’re going to read one anthology this season, make it’s one that’ll warm your heart…and your body!

We’ve included a little snippet from each novella just to whet your appetite.
Hope you enjoy them.

Lex, Viv and Jess

Paradise Found by Vivian Arend
(Releases 23 Aug at Samhain)

Fate is a wind that can change at the drop of a heart…

“Paige is cooking up a storm.”
Mason walked the length of the room with any hesitation, not stopping until he was pressed firmly against her.
“She always cooks up the most mouth-watering mischief.” He lifted her chin with his fingers and kissed her. A momentary buss on the lips, just enough for her to taste him, tease her senses. “What’s next on the menu? That’s what I want to know.”
He dipped his head again and took his time opening her lips to his caress. A series of small kisses along her jaw, a butterfly soft touch to the corner of her mouth. A tantalizing stroke of his tongue over her lower lip.
A low level of excitement and delight accompanied his teasing touch. She was totally surrounded, boxed in by two solid male torsos. Trent’s erection pressed hard into her right butt cheek, and the longer Mason kissed her, the more his interest rose as well. She tangled her fingers in his hair and held him tight. Twisted her hips slightly, rubbing both of them, slow and deliberate. She might be encircled, but she still had a say in this adventure. It looked as if there was no need to prolong the wait for one of her favorite parts.
Being totally cared for by two men. Four hands bringing her delight, stroking and guiding her pleasure in ways she’d never dreamed possible before getting involved with them. Paige pulled her lips free and Mason leaned his forehead against hers. Trent’s fingers caressed her hip slowly. They both waited, patiently. Time paused, their three bodies slowly becoming more attuned to each other as their breathing synchronized. Her anticipation rose—there was some specific mischief she had in mind.

Tropical Sin by Lexxie Couper
(Releases 6 Sep from Samhain)

It takes more than a rock star to rock your world. Sometimes you need a friend.

His hands roamed her torso, up to her throat, back down to her hips. He squeezed her arse cheeks before raking one hand down the back of her thigh and tugging her leg up. She willingly obeyed his unspoken direction, wrapping her leg around his hip to grind her pussy up and down his still-constrained cock.
“I want to make love to you, Mack.” His breath was ragged, his eyes ablaze. “Right now.” He slipped one hand under the hemline of her shirt, his fingers brushing her bare flesh beneath.
She sucked in a swift gasp, the contact somehow more electric, more arousing than any she’d ever had before.
Of course it is, McKenzie. This isn’t just anyone. This is Aidan. The guy’s had your heart in his pocket since you were kids. Even if you didn’t know it.
She whimpered, bringing her hand to his as she arched her back. She wanted him to touch her breasts. Not just touch them, but cup them, squeeze them. She wanted to feel the callused strength of his hands mold her soft flesh, hands skilled in extinguishing heat now on the verge of setting her on fire. She wanted to feel him possess her.
“Then what the hell are you waiting any longer for?” she asked, directing his hand up to her breast. Over it.
“Oh, God, McKenzie.” He moaned, his body stiffening as his fingers found her pleasure- swollen flesh.
He dragged his thumb over her rock-hard nipple, teasing it through the thin lace of her bra. It puckered harder to his touch, as if it too said, “Yes, why have you taken so long to do this?”
Her breaths grew shallow, more rapid with every stroke of his thumb pad. But it wasn’t enough. It was torture.
Like he always knew when she wanted popcorn at the movies, like he always knew when she needed chocolate, like he always always knew when she needed to hear his voice and called her from the fire station, now it seemed he knew exactly what she wanted him to do to her.
God, it was wonderful. More than wonderful. It was amazing. Sublime. It was…
Right. So goddamn right.

Island Idyll by Jess Dee
(Releases 20 Sep, from Samhain)

Adolescent fantasies can grow into very adult realities.

His long, slim fingers trailed ever so lightly against the sides of her breasts, making her nipples bead and her knees weaken.
“Have to touch you,” he said on another growl. His thumbs stroked her nipples over her dress, once, twice. And then again.
Dear God. It was too much, too exquisite. She groaned in his arms, writhing against him.
Laughter and chatter erupted in bursts mere meters away, and she tensed immediately. “Oh—”
He cut her off with a soothing, “Shhhh.”
The relative darkness might cloak them in privacy, but they still stood in the open where anyone could walk past. A thrill shot through her. “Touch me,” she whispered. “Please.”

Hot breaths of air tickled her neck and he moved his arm down until he found the hemline of her barely-there dress. His fingers slipped beneath it. Silver heat prickled her leg as his hand feathered over her skin.
She held her breath. Couldn’t exhale. Forgot how.
He brushed against her thong.
“Ah!” Her exclamation was a breathless gasp. If she’d been aroused before Josh arrived, she was a livewire now. “More,” she begged shamelessly, and widened her stance to give him easier entry. She needed his touch. Needed it more than she needed her next breath.
“Si,” he whispered, his voice rougher than she expected. But then her own voice had come out a good three tones lower than usual, the result of the carnal desire that held her transfixed. He thrust against her ass, pressing his erection into the cleft, her dress and his pants a sensual barrier she’d as soon weren’t there.


Each author is also very generously giving away a backlist ebook. So what’d you think of the excerpts. Have you ever read any of these authors before? Or taken a trip Down Under, to a place like Bandicoot Cove 😉 ? I’d love to visit that continent some day!

Got any questions for Jess, Lexxie, or Vivian? We’re going to have three winners, so three of you are going to be very lucky readers!