Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Moving day ...

Faithful readers, there is only so much frustration I can accept with Blogger, so I'm taking my show on the road.

Please come join me at Wordpress, where I hope life is less stressful and annoying.

Same blog name, new blog address: cupcake's book cupboard.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Consume Me

Faithful readers, if you have learned anything about me from reading this blog, you know that I enjoy reading novels that feature some hot headboard rockin'. The more the merrier, in fact.

So imagine my glee over Consume Me by Paige Matthews! Check it out!

The blurb: 

Emma O'Connor's interest in bondage and submission has led her to the training program at Devoured. With past sexual experiences less than par, Emma wants nothing more than to submit to a Master. With her need for pleasure and her desire to please, Emma finds herself exploring the desires that have remained subdued; although unsure if she could make a good submissive.

 Marcus, the Dom in charge of the training program at Devoured, is more than interested in the feisty submissive. When Emma walks in for her interview, Marcus knows he's met his match. Consumed by nothing but thoughts of her, Marcus begins to doubt his ability to stay in control and his previous stance on collaring a submissive. Marcus finds himself unsure of his feelings for Emma, and his responsibility to the other trainees.

When a threat surfaces against Emma and her past comes back to haunt her, Marcus must admit his feelings for her in order to protect her, or risk losing her forever.

 Join Marcus, Emma, and the rest of the Devoured Club Doms and Subs in the second installment of the Devoured Club Series.

Author Stalker Links:
Purchase Links:

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 Still not sold? Read some excerpts:

Excerpt 1:
“Yes, sir, I am ready.” My voice was full of need and desire. I felt the wetness drip down my legs as the thoughts running through my head mixed with the musky smell of my arousal. I heard Marcus walk toward what I believed was the bed.
When he returned, I felt the energy surging between us. Marcus began to run the thick leather fingers of a flogger over my ass and back; lightly caressing my skin and the insides of my thighs. A shudder went through me as he pulled the flogger across my pussy. My body was on edge, and I could feel every nerve end jump under my skin as the flogger ran across it.
Marcus started to tease me, changing the intensity of his motions; caressing strokes to lighter strikes. My mind was slipping further and further into the euphoric space of the submissive.
“Sub, tell me why you hesitated earlier in the lounge?” His voice broke through the buzz of the room. Marcus ran his hands over my breasts, rolling them through his fingers, pinching my nipples, the pain radiating out and down through my body, causing my pussy to clench at his touch.
“Sir…I...um…” My voice broke as he landed a light strike against my thigh. How the hell did he expect me to think when he was making my body feel so good?
“I’m waiting, pet. Answer me.” His voice full of demand; the flogger landing more forcefully on my ass.
“Sir…Public nudity brought back a bad memory, sir. I’m sorry. I won’t hesitate again.” My voice was shaky at best. Please, please don’t ask more. The speed and rhythm of the strikes picked up, landing on my ass, back and thighs, sending my body and mind back into that wonderful space. Marcus paused, and I dropped my head on to his shoulder.
His fingers ran over my pussy, finding the moisture that was still dripping down my leg. A shiver ran down my spine. Oh God, please, please, please can I come?
“We will talk about that in more detail later, but one more question before I allow you to come.” THANK GOD.
“Yes, sir?”
Excerpt 2:
“What are you doing here, Marcus?” I asked as I made my way around him to go and lock the door.
“I wanted to see you, Emma. Nothing wrong with that, either.” His hand caught my abdomen as I tried to maneuver my way back around him, pulling my back tight to his chest. “You smell good.”
I tried to pull away, but his arms held me tight. “I smell like frosting, pastry and cake batter. But, hey, whatever floats your boat.” I shrugged my shoulders as he let me go. I headed to the work
table to put away the fondant pieces.
Marcus had stopped in the door way, and was now leaning against it. The man was hot, and even though I tried hard to not let my libido be affected by him, I failed. Miserably. His dark hair currently hung down over his forehead into his eye, as he watched me place the fondant pieces onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. “Want help?” he offered standing straight and walking toward the counter.
“It would go faster. Soooo…” I let the word linger in the air. “Again, why are you here?”
“Well,” he started as he washed his hands and took another cookie sheet from my pile, then looked around for the parchment paper. “I wanted to see you. See if you maybe wanted to grab some food.” He looked up at me, and I handed him the roll of parchment and continued placing my pieces onto my sheet.
“I already ate, but thanks anyway.” I finished filling up the sheet I was working on, and began toward the walk-in.
“Why are you being so cold tonight?” I heard him ask as I entered the refrigerator. I paused before answering. Why was I being a bitch? It wasn’t like we weren’t talking.
“I guess I just can’t read you, Marcus. One minute it’s ‘I want to be professional’ and the next minute, you’re texting me all the time, and showing up. It’s confusing, that’s all. And, to top it off, you haven’t told me much about you.” I returned to the metal workstation and pulled another cookie sheet. There were about three hundred fondant pieces that needed to be put away. As I grabbed the
parchment paper, I turned, and walked into Marcus’s rock hard chest. I hadn’t even heard him move to me.
“There’s nothing to be confused about, Emma. I enjoy your company, and I want to see you outside of the club.” His hands encircled my waist and pulled me tight to him. His fingers grazed my chin and tilted my head up to look at him. “As for me, ask away. Anything you want to know, I will tell you. But first…” His eyes bore into mine, and I felt the familiar buzz of electricity hum between us.
Excerpt 3:
Marcus placed me in the middle of the king sized bed. He moved back and swept his eyes up and down my body. My skin felt like it was on fire, every nerve ending was alert and ready for his touch.  I watched him as he shut his eyes and try to regain control.
“Sir?” I asked with anticipation. I was hoping that he would continue. I was as wet as a cat in the rain but happier than one. I wanted him bad. Part of me knew that I shouldn’t let myself get too close – that had ended badly once before – but there was something about him that drew me right into the line of fire.
“Emma, you don’t know what you do to me.” His voice was rough and his body was stiff. He got off the bed and walked over to the armoire on the other side of the room. When he turned around, I saw that he had a blindfold with him.
My pussy clenched in excitement. I enjoy being blindfolded, and the idea of my other senses being heightened made my orgasms that much stronger, well, at least the couple of times that I had agreed to it. I watched as Marcus walked back over to the side of the bed.
“I’m going to blindfold you, okay?”
“Yes, sir.” I nodded and sat up so that he could easily secure it around my eyes.
His hands brushed my hair out of my face and tied the material tightly so that it would not fall down. His fingers lightly grazed down the sides of my neck and over my shoulders before caressing the base of my neck and the tops of my breasts. A shiver ran through me under his light and seductive touch. It was enough to tease my skin but not hard enough to fully acknowledge the motion.
“You are so beautiful.”

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Oh, HELLO. He had me at flogger. For reals. 

While you read, play a little background music to get the mood.

Seriously. How fun does this look? Hot headboard rockin' and a mystery and a romance? And some SPANKY PANKY?

Le swoon.

Even better, you can win yourself your own darn copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blog Tour: Stripped

For about a year, I waitressed at a restaurant next door to a strip club. The girls would come in after their shifts, enjoy some cocktails and dinner, and always tipped well. They were hard working and determined to make the money they could in a job that had a definite time clock attached. I realized that my preconceived notions about what kind of women stripped for a living were wrong.

Abby Gillis is another example of someone you might not expect to be a stripper. She's a college graduate, has two younger sisters and a younger brother whom she supports, and she's the daughter of a drug addicted mother. She strips because it pays well. She also has a day job that she took for the insurance it provides. At only twenty-four, she is mature beyond her years and nothing if not pragmatic.

But then one day, she meets Chris Reneau. Or Dr. Chris Reneau, as the case may be. He's every bit as pragmatic as she is, obsessively so, in fact. He has a lock around his heart and has thrown away the key. There is something about Abby, though, that takes a set of pliers to that lock. Before he realizes it, he's falling for her. Abby, ever in protective mode, resists. She has her brother and sisters to look after. She doesn't have time for romance.

This is a fun book with a good amount of romance, including a few scenes of hot headboard rockin'. While not terribly explicit, those scenes are steamy enough for those of you who like a little erotica mixed in with your book reading. Abby is lovely, if not occasionally frustrating. Fortunately, Chris has a friend who is a psychiatrist, and that character helps give us insight into why Abby (and Chris, for that matter) behaves as she does.

If nothing else, you will read this and find yourself sympathizing with strippers. Sometimes they really do have a heart of gold.


YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Book Tour for: Stripped by Brenda Rothert. This tour will run from October 7th to October 12th.  See the full blog tour schedule here.

Release Date: 05/27/13
New Adult Contemporary Romance
262 pages

Summary from  
Abby Gillis is used to being called a promiscuous, uneducated whore. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re a stripper. Since her job allows her to support her siblings, 24-year-old Abby takes it all off in stride. She’s never had trouble keeping men at arm’s length – until she meets ER physician Chris Reneau, who is sexy, sweet and interested in more than what’s beneath her clothes. As their relationship unfolds, Abby becomes increasingly aware of the desire building in her for the first time, and of her yearning to be wanted by the one man who truly sees all of her.

Commitment-averse Chris finds himself in uncharted territory. He wants Abby, that’s clear, but he can’t accept not having all of her. As the distance between them erodes, he tries to convince Abby to give up stripping for a chance at something real.

As the two of them get closer, Abby realizes that truly baring it all has nothing to do with her body. Chris makes her feel more exposed than she ever has, and she has to grapple with what’s left when her notions about herself and those around her are stripped away, leaving only the naked truth.

Available from:
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About the Author
Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.
These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres.

Where to find Brenda:
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Saturday, September 28, 2013


by Bronwen Hruska
Published by Pegasus
288 pages
Genre: literature
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
4.5 / 5

I am a public school kid all the way. Public elementary, junior high, high school, college, and graduate school. In-state tuition! Holla!!!

I even teach at a public school. So private school is something of a a foreign entity to me. I hear the stories of elitism, parents who buy their kids out of trouble and into swanky private universities, spoiled brats who aren't as smart as they think they are. But how much of that is clouded by public school jealousy over private school perks?

This novel doesn't so much address the discrepancy as it does pry off the lid of what makes private schools successful. For the students in ultra private (and expensive, at over $50,000 a year) Bradley, success comes by way of medication.

Sean somewhat reluctantly sends his third grade son Toby to the school. Not that Sean foots the bill; that joy falls to his wealthy in-laws, who regularly extol the virtues of being a Bradley grad. Sean and Toby live alone in their rent controlled New York apartment, Sean's wife Ellie having decamped in a fit of depression. When Bradley's administrators suggest - which is a kind way of putting it - that Toby get evaluated for possible medication to solve a phantom ADD problem, Sean resists. But there is a hint of a threat: if Toby doesn't get on Ritalin, he might be kicked out of Bradley.

There are several stories going on here, and all of them are interesting and fun to read. There is the medication thread, complete with $350 a session psychiatrists, and there is the maternal abandonment by Ellie. We also have Nicole, Sean's sister, whose child is ensconced in a New York public school. Nicole is adamant that private schools produce snobs, but would she put her daughter in one if she had the chance? Nicole's observations and sentiments help balance out the private versus public debate, as do those of Toby's tutor. There also is a romance brewing between Sean and another character.

You certainly know where Bronwen Hruska comes down on public v. private. She leaves no ambiguity whatsoever regarding her opinion, but by the time you finish the book, you will agree with her. Despite the clarity of her sentiments, she does try to show you both sides of the issue. She addresses the bonuses of private school and the risks of public.

Sean is as likable a character as I've encountered in a while. He's hapless at times, but he's a good father and a good man. That he delves into self-loathing is understandable, just as we understand his frustration with Bradley and with his ex-wife. We want his romance to work out for him because he's a decent man trying to do his best for his son.

This is a fun, interesting book. Enjoy.

(Never) Again

(Never) Again
by Theresa Paolo
Published by Penguin Group
209 pages
Genre: young adult
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3.5 / 5

We've all been there. That teenage first love, the one you obsess over during class and race to meet in the halls. The one who makes high school more bearable.

The one who breaks your heart.

The one who finds a way to show up, just as you have put yourself back together.

Liz is just that girl. She's a freshman in college, and she rejoices over having gotten over the loss of her first love. Zach left her, moving to a different state, and, worse, he stopped calling. Just like that. She has a new boyfriend, a best friend who is on her side, and a family who loves her. Who needs Zach?

Well, she gets the answer to that when he shows up on her college campus.

This is predictable YA lit, but fun predictable. Liz is a fairly faithful rendering of a college freshman who wants to think she has her life together, but who is only fooling herself. We know she's settling for the current boyfriend, and we know where her heart lies. But Zach crushed her, and surely he can't expect to show back up as if nothing happened, right?

Zach is more than a one dimensional YA love interest. He has his own struggles, although we never quite come to understand why he behaved as he did. His apparent dumping of Liz is only tacitly explained, and doesn't make much sense once we get to know him. Still, though, we do understand why he still cares for Liz, and we also understand his frustration.

The overwrought crisis that pulls the two together is almost comically hyperbolic, but by that point, you just want Liz to realize what the rest of us have known for 200 pages: she belongs with Zach, and he's there, waiting for her.

As an unrepentant lover of YA novels, I did enjoy this one. Yes, it's predictable, but it's fun. And Zach is super cute.

Leaving Haven

Leaving Haven
by Kathleen McCleary
Published by William Morrow
352 pages
Genre: women's fiction
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
5 / 5

Oh, faithful readers. I really liked this book, and I'm still a bit annoyed that it ended.

The titular Haven in question is a newborn infant whose parentage is somewhat convoluted. His forty-year-old gestational carrier is Georgia, who has a teenage daughter with her chef husband John. Georgia and John always wanted more children, but years of lost pregnancies and failed in vitro procedures left her ready to forsake another attempt. Ready, but not quite willing. When Georgia muses out loud to best friend Alice about getting a donor egg from Georgia's younger sister, Alice volunteers. She and her husband Duncan have a daughter the same age as Georgia and John's, and the two women are best friends. Why not donate an egg?

If only it were that simple.

Just a couple of months before giving birth, Georgia discovers catastrophic news that careens her marriage, her friendship, and potentially her pregnancy into an abyss of agony and uncertainty.

Told from the perspectives of both Georgia and Alice, we get to know the two women and their families. We empathize with Georgia's lost pregnancies and her frustration and grief over not getting pregnant a second time. We hurt with her, just as we both adore and are vexed by her two sisters. We feel her love and passion for her husband, even if he may not be all that he appears. When Georgia suspects him of being unfaithful with a cook at his restaurant, we hold our breath, hoping it isn't true. Georgia deserves better than a husband who is not fully devoted to her.

Alice, too, has a husband whom we suspect is not as good as she deserves. Duncan is focused on his job, almost to the exclusivity of his family. He is a creature of habit, steady and predictable. After a decade and a half of marriage, we feel Alice's restlessness, even if she is desperate to create the stability she lacked as a child. Duncan is a good man, but he's boring. And he lacks passionate interest in his wife. We don't suspect his fidelity to her, but there are different sorts of fidelity, aren't there? Is emotional infidelity any better than sexual?

When the breach occurs between Alice and Georgia, Kathleen McCleary expertly steers us down the middle. She does not choose side and she demands that we do not either. Each woman has a reason for her actions, and rather than align ourselves with one over the other, we instead should hope that they reclaim their friendship. Even more than their marriages, their relationship with each other is the true emotional source for this novel. One of my favorite passages is when Georgia acknowledges that the loss of her friendship with Alice hurts more than any failings in her marriage.

At first, though, I thought the ending of the book pointed to McCleary picking a side. But after I thought about it, I realized that she really didn't. She ended it as it needs to end, even though I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters.

There are moments of humor sprinkled throughout, which is excellent planning by McCleary. Things get emotionally fraught, so having those light-hearted episodes grounds us in how real this situation is. Even Georgia's sisters, who could have been stock characters, are realistically drawn. We understand their jealousies and sympathies.

Is this a perfect book? No. Some of the character motivations do not ring true, and one of the husbands is so mysterious that his behavior is unaccounted for. That made me  question him more, which is not the direction the story should take. Our attention must be focused squarely on Georgia and Alice. One of the subplots, involving Georgia and Alice's daughters, is meant to parallel their mothers' relationship, replete with betrayals and emotional pain. The denouement of their relationship makes us wonder if the same will happen between Georgia and Alice.

Read this one, then come back and discuss it with me in the comments. Did you take a side? Whose?

The Accidental Call Girl

The Accidental Call Girl
by Portia Da Costa
Published by Virgin Digital
320 pages
Genre: erotica
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

Say you're in a hotel bar one night, trying to relax a little and perhaps escape a dull party. An attractive man spots you, buys you a drink, and then invites you up to his room. Before you can assume it's a generic pick-up, he mentions payment. You realize that he thinks you are an escort. What do you do?

Lizzie decides to toss aside her otherwise fairly staid and predictable life and head upstairs with the delectably gorgeous John Smith. She figures a night of hot headboard rocking sounds pretty darn fabulous, so off they go. John reveals that he occasionally enjoys spicing up his sexy times with a little spanky panky, and Lizzie is amenable. When he suggests hiring her again, she agrees, fully intending to let him in on the truth about her not really being an escort.

For his part, John is drawn to Lizzie. He suspects she is new to the escorting business, but her lack of experience turns him on even more. And when John Smith is turned on, sexy times ensue. These two don't just rock the headboard, they rock a bathroom stall. Amongst other locales.

Don't go looking for a lot of substance here. This book is what it is, and that's hot. HOT, I tell you. John and Lizzie know how to enjoy the carnality out of each other, and Portia Da Costa can write some hot headboard rocking, let me tell you.

This is the first in a series, and if the rest of them are this steamy, consider me sold.