Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Hands On Me by Kim Carmichael

      Title: Hands On Me
                  Tramp Stamp, Book 1
       Author: Kim Carmichael
       Release Date: September 9, 2012
       Publisher: Keith Publications
       Category: Contemporary Erotic Romance
       Type: Kindle

Agent Gwen Fredricks is a living target. Captured after a failed mission, the code to crack a safe has literally been permanently hidden on her. To free herself, she must retrieve a final key. All Agent Colin Alexander has to do to avoid a desk job is get a code said to be on an enemy agent. He never dreamed it would actually be on the agent, especially Gwen.

The simple shoot-and-swoop mission takes a turn for these two sometime-lovers and full-time rivals when they call a truce to give into their desire. Now with the promise to keep both hands on each other at all times, they share a night together. When morning comes they must decide if what they feel for each other is worth betraying their agencies.

The elevator door opened on the thirty-fifth floor of the Grand Park Hotel and Gwen Fredrick stepped into a trap.
She glanced along the long hallway lined with artwork, fresh flowers and oriental rugs. This hotel was the perfect setting for the most elite, or the most illegal. She had no doubt why she was here, and it wasn't for a luxury vacation.
Though she memorized every detail about this mission, she checked the room number one more time. Nothing could be taken for granted, a lesson she learned well. She backed up against the wall and reached for the handle of her semi-automatic handgun, a small but sufficient weapon to get the job done. Headquarters claimed this should be a simple shoot and swoop.
Her heart pounded a warning. This assignment was her penance for messing up before. She found the door and took a breath, placing her hand over her chest.
Her life was nothing but deception and tricks, most of her own making, but she had no option but to keep moving forward. She slid the master key card into the slot. The light on the lock turned green. She exhaled, held up her gun, turned the knob and kicked the door in.
"Stop!" A man yelled.
The barrel of another gun met her inches from her face. She tensed, not from the gun, but from the familiar inflection in his voice. The position of both their weapons hid the man's face.
"Get in and lower your gun, or we'll both lose."
"Back up and lower yours, or you won't have a hand left." No one told her what to do, not ever again. The click of her cocking her weapon echoed around them.
He stepped back. "Get in and close the door."
With her gun still raised, she stepped and waited for her opponent to flinch first.
"Now." He moved a fraction of an inch.
She did the same, and with the silent acknowledgement they would both comply, they lowered their guns in unison. She almost shot herself in the foot at the sight of the man who greeted her.
Before she made a mistake, she de-cocked her gun and shook her head. "Colin?" Her body betrayed her by trembling. Was this her punishment?
"Gwen." He shoved the gun in his waistband. "You're the one. I would have never guessed."

Dialogue Highlight:
"You're bleeding." He reached forward and dabbed the sheet at her mouth.
For a moment, she allowed him to tend to her. Unless she was in a hospital, she always  
do for herself. The hospital was her spa, her getaway, but not here. She knew his touches,
knew what he could do with his hands. It had been too long since she was this close to a man
who didn't repulse her. This close to him. His fingertips grazed her cheek, sending a different
type of searing heat through her. She took the sheet. "I can do it."
He didn't surrender the fabric, only kept up his ministrations. "I didn't mean to do this to you. It was just a reaction."
Words. Agents could give off words like they shot guns. Often and accurate. "I think you didn't finish your job."
"You don't know anything." He put his hand over hers.
She tightened her jaw. His touch was warm, welcome, and she couldn't give in.
"I never meant to hurt your face." He moved closer.
"So the rest of me is okay?" The aroma of soap, gunpowder, and man swirled around her, making her dizzy. She needed to escape, even if it meant another punishment. "Why spare  my face?"
At first, he didn't answer. His eyes darted to different parts of her, and he exhaled. "That's the face I see in the dark when I'm alone. I don't want anything to take it from me."
This was about him, not her. She wanted to tell him to go to Hell, but before she got the chance, he pressed his palm to her face and ran his thumb across her lip.
"There's something else I picture in the dark when I'm alone." His breath brushed against her, a sweet, savory meal in itself.
"What's that?" She clenched her teeth at the way she leaned into him.
"This." He moved his hand from her cheek to the back of her neck, and pulled her into him, connecting their lips.
His kiss was exactly as she remembered. No matter if she was training or on assignment, she woke up too many nights hugging a pillow or tangled in the bedding, dreaming of this kiss. Now it was reality.
In the here and now, she got the opportunity to taste his tongue on hers, a delicacy that was Colin alone. His taste was something she would spend days trying to remember and recreate in her mind during the nights.
He wrapped his arms around her and pressed his body to hers. She found herself surrounded in a mixture of textures, hard, tight muscles and a soft, demanding mouth.
She was trained to act to any change, but she couldn't control her reactions to Colin. Couldn't control the way her core heated or the way her stomach twisted as he kissed her lips, her ear, down her neck. She pushed him back. "What are you doing?" She fought to catch her breath, catch herself.
"Putting the code and the key aside." He took hold of her chin, staring right into her eyes. "Both hands on me."
He remembered. Of course he did, that's why she wanted him. Her heart stopped halfway through a beat. He never forgot anything including their pact. It was the rule they gave themselves since their first time together. If they decided to spend the night, both of their hands were on each other, no deception allowed.
One hand was already on him. Her stomach bottomed out in that painful, yet delightful drop. For the first time in three months, she decided to forget the code and the key as well, and placed her other hand on his shoulder.

I decided to read this short story because I was intrigued by the idea of a story contained within just a few pages. It is really hard to pull off something that people enjoy reading with such restrictions. And the story line sounded quite good with a male and female lead on opposite sides of the fence, but chemistry that could not be denied. So I bit and I am glad that I did.
Gwen is an agent with a target on her back – literally. She has not done so well on her last couple of missions so this one is a must complete or become a target herself. And the literally? Well, her agency decided to make her a living target by secretly placing a code within an intricate tattoo on her back. She knows that failure on this mission means certain death for her because of the code she permanently carries with her.
Colin is every woman’s fantasy bad boy. And he is bad – even works for the bad guys. He and Gwen have crossed paths a time or two and have reaped some steamy benefits from those encounters on more than one occasion. Colin hasn’t had the best of luck with his last few missions either and knows that failure to procure the information housed within a safe makes him the next mission to obliterate. But Gwen throws a wrench in his plans to conquer and destroy because he cannot hurt her and struggles with his duty to carry out orders and his affection for Gwen. Obviously, there is only one thing to do. Have hot, steamy sex of course. And leave the decisions for after their time spent together.
The title serves two purposes. The two, being on opposing sides, but refusing to deny their sizzling attraction develop a way to allow themselves pleasure without fear of betrayal. Hand on me is how they allow themselves to give in to the desire – both hands of each having to stay on the other’s body the entire time they are together. Colin and Gwen secretly desire more than just one night, but both knows that more would be impossible given their positions. But just maybe … there might be a way for them to both give their “agencies” what they want and have each other two. Time is short and they will have to act quickly if they have the slightest shred of a possibility of being together.
I have to tell you I was super skeptical going into this book. I didn’t think for a second that I would be satisfied at the conclusion of the story. How can you read a story of approximately 20 pages a walk away without a bazillion questions? Well, I did have a couple of questions, but they weren’t the bad kind that make me want to bash my head against the wall. Ms. Carmichael did a fabulous job of creating two characters that couldn’t be more ill-suited for each other, while being exactly the perfect match for one another. The reader is given the right amount of information that allows an understanding of Colin and Gwen’s pasts without inundating with sensory overload. Additionally, we are left to infer what we want in the end; most of us no doubt going for the inevitable HEA.
My only complaint is that I would have loved to read more of these characters. The story is just soooooooo short! From the bit of information gleaned within this story, I am sure that their full story would have been a great one. One thing is for sure though. If Ms. Carmichael can pull off an enjoyable story within these few pages, she is one to watch. I would be more than happy to read a full length novel from this author just to see what she can do with so much freedom. Keep an eye on her … and read this story! You will see what I am talking about.
 (eBook copy provided by author/tour company in exchange for an honest review.)


  1. thank you so much for having me on your blog and for this amazing review :-)

    1. You are more than welcome, Ms. Carmichael. I really enjoyed the book and look forward to more. :)


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