Posts By: Steph

Beyond Forever – Kit Rocha – 5 Stars

October 24, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Beyond Forever – Kit Rocha – 5 StarsBeyond Forever (O'Kane for Life, #2) by Kit Rocha
Published by Kit Rocha on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 132
Source: the Author
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five-stars
five-flames

Before they were the King and Queen…

Six years before the Beyond series started, an ambitious bootlegger named Dallas O’Kane caught a very pretty thief named Lex with her hand in his safe.

The rest is very sexy history.

In Beyond Forever, follow Dallas and Lex through the turning points in their relationship, from the night he caught her trying to rob him, through his rise to successful bootlegger, to legend, to Sector Leader--with Lex always there, willing to give him the push he needs.

Beyond Forever is a prequel novella that jumps through time to tell the story of the biggest moments in the formation of the O’Kanes and their King and Queen. It will be far more enjoyable if you’ve already read Beyond Control, and contains spoilers for the entire Beyond series. 

I don’t even know where to begin… I really don’t…

I will say please pay attention to the blurb especially with respects to reading Beyond Control before you read this.  There are definitely spoilers for the series in this but without reading Beyond Control you won’t have a measure as to where this couple is now, then and way back then where the majority of the novella is set.  You’ll miss what is so crucial in this novella and why addicts of the series clamored for this story.

Dallas is not what we know him as now when we start the flashback portion of this story.  He’s smart, stubborn, and determined but he isn’t the King we all know him as.  He stumbles upon a thief who throws him off his game a bit but there is something about her that screams to him in a way he can’t fully ignore.  I loved seeing this glimpse of the man behind the legend and as the flashback moves forward we can see where the seeds for the confrontation in Beyond Control were sowed and know how much the drama there was forged in the beginnings of the King and Queen.  Dallas would truly be nothing without Lex but it took many years for them to finally find balance.

Lex pushes all the buttons but we get to see how early she truly fell in love with Dallas.  She’s driven but seeing how she struggled with getting him to understand how to balance what he wanted with what he truly needed made me love her even more.  She pushes him to be all that he should be and also makes decisions that need to be made when Dallas struggles with what has to be done.  Lex knows Dallas isn’t weak but also knows that he will sacrifice everything to do what he thinks has to be done to keep his people safe.  He has a huge blind spot and if it weren’t for Lex pushing the O’Kane’s we love would not be in existence.  I enjoyed seeing her vulnerability when it came to Dallas but I also hated seeing how much she was willing to tolerate just to be by the man she loved but didn’t have.  It made a lot of Beyond Control come in to focus as they really were not a healthy dynamic until the brutal moments in that story.

Be prepared to see the King and Queen in a different light after reading this and appreciate the work that it took to get them to what we know now.

five-stars

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House of Payne:Max – Stacy Gail – 4.5 stars

October 23, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

House of Payne:Max – Stacy Gail – 4.5 starsMax by Stacy Gail
on October 16, 2017
Pages: 305
Source: the Author
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four-half-stars
four-half-flames

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains flashbacks of violence and drug abuse, and the impact of these factors on family members. If you have issues with these elements, this book is not for you.

Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is across the street from the Mad Cow diner, but it might as well be on another planet as far as waitress Paradise Simone is concerned. She’s a good girl from Waukegan with a past she’d rather forget, and a future that goes only as far as the next day. What does she know about superstars and paparazzi?

But Pari does know danger when she sees it, and tattooist Max Kulagin has it written all over him. A proper Waukegan girl should know to steer well clear, but she can’t resist Max when he leaves beautiful, intimate art sketched out on cheap diner napkins.

Beautiful, intimate art…of her.

Max knows ugliness. He was born in it. Raised in it. Had it shoved down his throat every goddamn day. So when he stumbles across true beauty, he worships it. There’s a deep sensuality in the waitress who likes to suck on her pen whenever he’s around, and he’s just the man to bring that beauty out in her. She might be a lady in the street, but one look at Pari tells him she’s going to be a freak in the bed.

And in the shower.

And while he’s driving with her head going to town in his lap.

The life Max leads might be in the spotlight, but it’s Pari who gets caught in the glare. When her past catches up to her, it’s her life that holds all the excitement, and not in a good way. But there’s no force on earth that can take Max’s beautiful Paradise away now that he’s finally found it.

93,000 Words

***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a woman with an oral fixation and a man who’s happy to encourage it. There are multiple sex scenes that include oral sex. No cheating, no love triangles, no cliffhangers. HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of eighteen***

I have to say Max made me smile at times because of his over-the-top need to keep Pari safe and comfortable.  He does so much to show what she means to him even as he struggles to understand what she actually means to him.  This is a couple that has a good amount of heat but the fact that they just fit makes it an easy read and easy pairing.  Are they perfect?  No… both of them make some mistakes… but their pairing just flows once they get together with no major drama or stupid issues.

Pari made me smile with her innate warmth and gentleness hidden under a spine made of steel.  She’s quite funny with her struggle to not curse but man, oh man when she curses the results are EPIC.  I enjoy  her love of life and really loved when she finally realizes what she needs, wants and deserves.  I think this story shows that we all struggle to understand what we want and where we fit but when we find it we should hold on with both hands.  She’s quite open with what she needs from Max in the bedroom and elsewhere but also sees what he’s saying with his actions which makes her extremely rare.

Max has to be one of my favorite characters.  He’s such an unapologetic personality who says what he thinks, means and doesn’t give a hoot about how others perceive him.  Well, this is what you think but in reality we have a man who suffered a horrible betrayal so he cares what people think but hides it behind an inventive vocabulary and the attitude that he doesn’t care.  He’s so gone over Pari that he shows the vulnerability behind the mouth and what we get is a huge softy that will do anything for someone he loves.  His willingness to open his eyes and ears to listen to what she tells him when he crosses a line shows that he is a great guy under everything.

This pairing made me extremely happy as they bring the best out in each other but at the same time don’t change each other to be together.  They are very good at pushing each others buttons but in a way that makes the other stronger… not weaker…  This was a nice way to revisit the House and see how everyone is doing.

four-half-stars

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Deacon – Kit Rocha – 4 stars

October 6, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

Deacon – Kit Rocha – 4 starsDeacon by Kit Rocha
on August 29, 2017
Pages: 268
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four-stars
four-half-flames

Book #2 in explosive new series from bestselling author Kit Rocha...

Ana has trained most of her life to achieve one goal: to prove that anything men can do, she can do better. Now she’s Sector One’s first female Rider, and being the best is the only way to ensure she won’t be its last. Distractions aren’t allowed--especially not her painful attraction to the reserved but demanding leader whose stern, grumpy demeanor has already gotten into her head.

Deacon has spent the last twenty years trying to atone for his past, but the blood he spilled as a mercenary and assassin will never wash away entirely. If his riders knew the extent of his sins, he’d lose their trust and respect. It’s easier to keep them all at arm’s length, especially Ana. But his newest recruit’s stubbornness is starting to crack his defenses.

And their sparring matches are driving him wild.

The passion sparking between them can’t be denied, but neither can the vengeance barreling toward Deacon. When his old squad comes back to punish him for his betrayal, Ana and the Riders are squarely in the line of fire. The only way to save his people may be to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But first, he has to convince Ana not to follow him straight into hell.

This is another instance where I suck…. I blame the stress of school and then waiting to know what happened with my dad’s house in Rockport after Harvey.  Thankfully Dad is okay and his house came out of the storm with no real damage… He’s lost his garage and shed but his house is good.

This being said… Deacon was who I expected him to be and his match in Ana is completely appropriate.  Deacon has a history that isn’t pretty but at his core he is a very good man that does things that need to be done even thought they may not be pleasant.  He struggles with this as he doesn’t feel like he deserves the level of respect those around him offer and does not want to veer in to the idea of being worshiped.  The kicker to this is … people that have his mindset are ones that deserve the trust and faith while those who reach for it often do not deserve any such devotion.  I appreciated that he wanted nothing more than to keep Ana out of his mess but at the same time understanding that she would jump in because, like him, she really wants to do what needs to be done to keep others safe.  He was strong and I loved how he showed his softer side in moments with Ana.

Ana was an amazing discovery.  She’s a heroine that can kick ass but also has a very clever brain that enables her to interpret data coming in from sources and from her own observations in a way that is uniquely her.  She is the first one to figure out there is more to Deacon’s story than meets the eye but she also pushes him to step back in to his role as the boss faster than he might’ve had she not been a safe haven for him.  She has so much to live up to but I think the fact that she recognizes this and doesn’t take her role lightly or what she needs to do to make sure to not make a mess for any of those looking up to her for becoming a Rider.  She also struggles with what she feels for Deacon but they both bring out the best in one another along with some sweetness that is needed in the world they inhabit.

This was an interesting story with some appearances from the other Sectors which made my O’Kane loving heart happy.  Kit Rocha never fails to entertain me even in moments where life seems to be running amok.

four-stars

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Defending Their Mate: Part 1 – Moira Rogers – 3.5 Stars

October 5, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Defending Their Mate: Part 1 – Moira Rogers – 3.5 StarsDefending Their Mate on September 18, 2017
Pages: 72
Source: the Author
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three-half-stars
four-flames

It's been three months since her new pack saved Grace from captivity. They're everything she never knew to expect as a werewolf--loyal, devoted, and fiercely protective. But her peace of mind is threatened by the arrival of her mating fever--and the crushing desire it brings.

The last time she went into heat, her wolf would accept none of her captors, and the thwarted need almost drove her mad. Now, she finds herself drawn to two very different wolves. Connor's easy, affectionate nature makes her feel worshiped, sheltered. And Mac's inner darkness calls to her own feral cravings...

Tragedy has left Mac emotionally locked away, unwilling to take a mate. It doesn't matter that Grace sparks lust as well as his instincts. He'll keep her safe, defend her--with his life, if necessary. But he can't risk his heart.

Control over his wolf is all that matters to Connor--until Grace. But claiming the beauty is anything but simple. Falling for her could shatter the bond he shares with Mac, and cost him everything that's kept him sane.

When Grace goes into heat, all bets are off. Because only one thing matters--soothing her fever.

NOTE: Previously published as Defending their Mate Part One & Part Two as Mia Thorne. Though the stories have been reissued, the content is unchanged.

Let’s admit it now…  I suck… I got this early from Moira Rogers but actually completely disconnected while I was out of town and didn’t read this until now…

This being said I appreciated seeing Grace start to come to terms with who she is and what she needs.  I also appreciated that Mac and Connor are both struggling with what they want and need versus what they think the other two are thinking.  Grace is coming in to heat which means she believes she needs to leave before she hurts people.  She’s afraid but the time she spends around Mac grounds her in a way she didn’t know was possible.

This story is a very short start but as with the last book – Protecting Their Mate – the story is meant to develop over multiple installments.  I appreciated the view of the struggles being experienced between each party as they interact but also how they try to figure out who they actually are and what they need/want.  You think you know but the struggles Mac, Grace and Connor are facing could prove too difficult to overcome if they don’t talk to each other.

Grace doesn’t fully trust her instincts and knows she’s strong.  This makes her scared to fully let loose as she doesn’t think that the others can handle her but Mac shows her that not only can he handle her… he can push her to heights that she didn’t think she could reach.  She also is shown that her wolf can have fun by just being able to run with a partner and no restraints.

Connor has a damaged wolf.  He also has an interesting relationship with Mac where he allows himself to be ordered by the older man which provides his wolf with a level of comfort.  The fact that he wants Grace complicates things because he knows Mac wants her as well.  There is a dynamic of extreme trust and devotion between the two men which is hot as hell but isn’t one of them wanting each other sexually.  They just compliment each others needs in a way that they don’t completely understand.

Mac…  now Mac has interested me since the last book… I want to know all his secrets and am looking forward to the rest of this book.  He’s going to be a hard one to let his walls down and trust what he’s feeling with the two of them.  I love his ability to sense what the other two need and how he doesn’t force things to go his way.  He is very in tune with his pack but especially Grace and Connor.  There is a huge sense of honor and duty to him but that is what will cause the pain that we know will be coming in future installments.

While this one wasn’t perfect it is part one but I look forward to reading the next installment so I can learn how these three damaged souls find happiness.

three-half-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part Three) – Moira Rogers – 4 stars

August 11, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protecting Their Mate (Part Three) – Moira Rogers – 4 starsProtecting Their Mate (Part Three) on August 7, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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four-stars
four-half-flames

Part Three (of Three)

As the full moon raises tensions--and appetites--Ashley indulges her wildest fantasies...and discovers what it truly means to belong to the pack. But Blake's control is tested as outsiders descend on the pack's territory, and Ashley discovers that following her heart may be the only way to find her mate.

Ashley's heart longs for one man, but her wolf demands that she test herself against the alpha. Can she settle for a life of never knowing, or will she risk everything for Blake?

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

So we have seen Blake and Ashley struggle over the last two books with what knowing what they want and in this book we finally see it pushed to the brink as Blake wants to make sure that Ashley is with the wolf that is strongest and that her own wolf cries out for.  He struggles with his inability to keep her completely safe in the conflict with the other pack but the issue isn’t with his strength but the fact that even with the best laid plans something can go awry.  His actions and choices make him do something that is not truly needed but I understood his actions.

Ashley also is struggling with her own wolf but considering her background the fact that her wolf is being cautious is understandable and I appreciated her own honesty as she even struggles with what the real answer should be regarding who she takes as her mate.  While I didn’t like Blake’s action I did completely appreciate what we got as a result of it…  Lucas, Ashley and Blake…  oh yeah…  YUMMY!!!  The way this is wrapped up did make me happy as it was clear from book one that Ashley did have real feelings for Blake even though what brought them together could’ve explained some of it there was just a connection that was true from that moment forward.

I am happy that there is word about more books with the rest of the pack so I will sit here and try to control my urge to ask for updates as they work on their Kit Rocha titles…  but hey…  Moira Rogers…  More???  Now??? Please???

four-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part Two) – Moira Rogers – 3.5 Stars

July 31, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protecting Their Mate (Part Two) – Moira Rogers – 3.5 StarsProtecting Their Mate (Part Two) on July 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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three-half-stars
four-flames

Part Two (of Three)

As Ashley settles in to her life at the lodge, she meets more of her new pack mates--including wicked, intense Jud. His touch arouses her hunger--and Blake's possessiveness. Lucas, the unyielding alpha, grows concerned with the attachment between Blake and Ashley and sends Blake out on a mission.

While Blake is away, Ashley meets the most elusive member of her new pack--the enigmatic Connor, a hacker who, like her, was raised among humans. For Connor, sex is volatile--dangerous--and being near Ashley draws out the feral edge of the wolf inside him. As Ashley's connection with Blake--and with Lucas--grows deeper, an outside force threatens the peace of the Last River pack.

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

And… it continues…

Lucas sends Blake away in order to provide his second much needed breathing room so everyone really gets to figure out what Ashley needs.  You may not like this as the story continues but his reasoning is sound and it gives others a chance to get to know her better.  Yes, Mac and Connor take over making sure she gets what she needs which is a moment that is enjoyable even as you sense that everyone understands who she is meant for even if her wolf hasn’t fully embraced it yet.

Jud is another interesting character so I am looking forward to when we get more from Moira Rogers in this world as I hope his story is told.  There is a bit more told about how the pack operates and the history but mainly the focus is on Ashley figuring out more about who she is and what she wants.

Lucas really intrigues me as he seems to always hold himself back but I sense that if we get his story there will be a lot of pain buried behind this powerful Alpha.  I also cannot wait to see what happens with Connor and Mac as there is a lot of concern with Connor which I hope proves to be a lot of worry about nothing.

There is also a discovery of another female werewolf so tension starts to rise as the worry surrounding this other “pack” comes in to the picture with plans being made to meet with them.  I think that this new discovery causes ripples that fold in to the next book as Blake is on edge with his own struggle to be certain that Ashley has a choice.  He wants her so much but his need to take care of her causes tension along with her own need to find out what her wolf needs.

Part three wraps this up so stay tuned for next week…

three-half-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part One) – Moira Rogers – 3 stars

July 31, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protecting Their Mate (Part One) – Moira Rogers – 3 starsProtecting Their Mate (Part One) on July 24, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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three-stars
four-flames

Part One (of Three)

Blake is on a mission from his alpha--to track down a werewolf whose parents dragged her into the human world years ago, one who may be in danger. He expects the lead to go nowhere, given how few wolves live among humans, but he discovers something rare indeed, caged in a basement: a beautiful, curvy woman gripped by the fever, ready to mate.

Ashley Todd has never fit in. She's always been too much--too big, too demanding, too aware of the wolf hiding beneath her skin. She's been locked away for months--been alone for a lifetime--and in walks Blake to save her from her prison. Her rescuer is hard, intense--a dominant wolf whose bossy attitude makes her growl...and yearn to submit.

Soothing Ashley's mating fever is Blake's responsibility--and his pleasure. Their passion is explosive, undeniable. But what started out as a job for Blake quickly becomes something more, and the toughest part of his mission looms: taking Ashley back to his pack so she can choose her permanent mate from amongst his brethren.

Ashley is drawn to dominant Blake, but meeting the rest of the pack reignites her desire. She is overwhelmed by her new life and all it entails, but embracing her inner wolf means embracing the truth: if she doesn't explore her attraction to the other members of the pack, she'll never find her forever mate .

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

Imagine living a life where your fundamental nature was considered foul and needed to be suppressed.  This is reality for Ashley who has been locked in the basement of her family home by her father.  He is what she is which is a werewolf but has gone insane so doesn’t feel that his very nature should be considered acceptable and living as a human is the goal.

Ashley has finally hit her limit and is trying to escape while in heat when she hears someone trying to get to her and smells the scent of death.  She is relieved to be free but at the same time conflicted by the fact she’s always been told she wasn’t right.  She misses her family but the new life she is going to be building is so right for her and I enjoyed watching her bloom under the attentions of some seriously yummy males.

This first installment introduces us to the main members of the pack but focusing on the potential bond between Blake and Ashley.  Blake wants to make sure that Ashley has a choice in what she wants and needs so she knows she’s free compared to her past.  He’s strong and definitely wants her but makes sure that her needs in the midst of the mating fever are taken care of by the pack.  I loved Blake but also loved her interactions with Mac and the other packmates.

I’d like to say that this is on par with my love for the O’Kane series but this first installment left me a bit shaky as I wanted to get more time of Ashley and Blake getting to know one another before we had her with others.  I know I know… just me being a bit greedy.  LOL

and… on to part 2…

three-stars

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Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 Stars

July 19, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 StarsRocky Mountain Home by Vivian Arend
Pages: 507
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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five-stars
four-half-flames

The FINAL NOVEL in the bestselling SIX PACK RANCH series by New York Times Bestselling Author Vivian Arend.
-------------
There’s no distance you can run to escape the past.

Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.

Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.

When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.

Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.

But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.

This final novel in the series contains the following:
A sexy, dirty, cocky-as-hell prodigal son Coleman with massive bridges to rebuild. A woman able to see to the heart of the matter yet bold enough to speak the truth. A family of extraordinary resolve and endless love. A wedding or two. And babies—oh lordy, the babies…

Ok anyone who knows me knows I have LOVED the Six Pack Ranch Series by Vivian Arend.  I didn’t want it to end but all good things must come to an end and this series ends on the story all of us have been waiting for…

JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE

ok ok you get the point…  but damn if I wasn’t waiting with baited breath as we watched the others finding their way while wondering what our favorite asshole was doing.  I loved Jesse…  love him even more now but even Vivian would have to admit he was a weeeeeeeee bit of an asshole.  Yeah I got it …  I honestly got why he reacted the way he did.  I don’t forgive him for it but things aren’t always exactly as they seem so finding out what the final nail on the coffin was for his time in Coleman territory made his behavior so much more heartbreaking.

Jesse meets a woman at a bar who is obviously out for the same thing he is… a good time in the sack while forgetting things that noone else needs to understand.  He’s a bit surprised when he wakes up in the morning and she’s gone but life moves on.  The woman in question, Dare, really did enjoy her time with him but the surprise she’s left with means she’d like to have been able to find him.  She’s strong and as we get to know her we learn why she was there while also seeing that her strength is also a bit of a downfall as it has left her a bit isolated.  She deserves so much but fear holds her back and with her backstory it makes sense.  She posted on her blog a picture of Jesse which leads to him finding her then finding out that their little roll in the hay has a little complication.

I loved seeing Dare not beat around the bush with Jesse but I especially liked that she didn’t immediately take him up on his offer to marry her.  They both deserved better than that and I think that this gave them both the time to finally realize what is important.  Jesse had a lot of growing up to do and while he did it there was some strain on what they were building together.  Both of them were both shaped by actions in and out of their control so seeing how they supported one another by calling each other on misconceptions made me smile.  Her reaction to meeting all the Colemans was also perfect as she got to see who shaped the man Jesse really is behind the asshole exterior.  He’s got such a huge heart but he’s stubborn as a mule which makes them a perfect pair.  I honestly adored watching them battle but never crossing the line in to bullying or hatred.

As the synopsis says… BABIES BABIES BABIES but we would expect no less from the Colemans.  I look forward to the next series and know there will be a lot of fireworks with the first couple.

Oh… and Vivian… if you read this…   we need dragons and bears and cowboys and more more more… hint hint…  😉

five-stars

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The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

July 18, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Red by Tiffany Reisz
on July 11, 2017
Pages: 248
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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four-stars
four-flames

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

I admit to being a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz.  I really enjoy her writing no matter the genre but this story is something hard to define and yet I couldn’t put it down.

The premise is interesting in that Mona is doing everything she can to keep the gallery her mother loved open but even though she does everything she can the gallery is still in dire straits.  She ends up making a deal with a mysterious stranger that unlocks her inner siren and saves the gallery.  The stranger takes us all down a seductive path that delves in to fantasies that are mild in the beginning but then gets stranger and more disturbing but still intriguing as the book progresses.  I found the descriptions of the artwork to be my favorite part as the words seem to leap from the pages with an almost visceral impression on my brain that I felt at times like I could touch the images as if they were here.

This book is not for the faint of heart as the sex described is disturbing to many but the underlying current is one of consent and exploration.  We must remember that this is a work of fiction and even though some of the kink described is beyond my level of comfort others would find this to be exciting and something they wanted to try.  Malcolm is mysterious and as you get to the end of the book you understand why he is such a mystery.  I appreciated the twist at the end because it again proves that Tiffany is great at keeping something hidden from the reader until the pivotal moment where this bit of surprise is needed.

This is another moment when I ask…. when do we get more?  I know this book will not be for everyone and even the bloggers that I know who love Tiffany were of mixed feelings when it came to this one.  I liked it a lot but do not go in to this one without an open mind and a willingness to push the boundaries of what you are willing to read and experience.

four-stars

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Audiobook – Goddess with a Blade – Lauren Dane – 4.5 stars

July 17, 2017 Audiobook, Listened to in 2017, Steph 1

Audiobook – Goddess with a Blade – Lauren Dane – 4.5 starsGoddess With a Blade by Lauren Dane
Published by Carina Press on June 6th 2011
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Urban, Romance, Paranormal, General
Pages: 265
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty.

A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas's new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she'll mete out her own brand of justice.

Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can't let it distract her from her duty—to find and battle the killer before more women die.

73,000 words

Ok I know I am late to the party on this series but I ADORED the banter between our leads as they fight their attraction to one another and the strong dislike they also have regarding their roles in society.  There is something refreshing about characters who are open and honest about who they are with no apologies for their actions if they are what is needed.  They both apologize for items that are out of line but they do not back down as they do what they were meant to do.

Rowan is the vessel for an ancient Celtic goddess and was raised in the service of the First.  The First is an ancient vampire who considers Rowan to be his daughter even though she now is tasked with killing those vampires who kill humans or break the treaty that keeps the various races in balance.  She’s tough and is not looking for anything other than to make sure that the new North American Scion understands what she’s supposed to do and stays out of her way.  She meets Clive and immediately dislikes him not only for being a vampire but for being an insufferable, stick-up-his-ass jerk who thinks he is all mighty and powerful.  She works to figure out who is this latest rogue vampire with help from her crew but keeps having to deal with Clive and the attraction that she feels for someone she shouldn’t want.  I loved watching her jump in to things without regard for her own safety but seeing Clive try to get thru to her how much she means to those around her was enjoyable.

Clive is such a damn asshole… yes… a damn snobby, stick-in-the-mud and stick-up-his-ass asshole.  Yet, I found myself enjoying him as we got to see more of who he is.  He’s not fond of meeting this Hunter as she killed his predecessor (yes it was definitely deserved) but he’s taken aback as he finds himself drawn to her.  He’s very protective of his people and very fierce when it comes to protecting the Vampire Nation even as he knows there are things Rowan should be let in on in order to more efficiently and effectively do her job.  I loved seeing his fierceness as he fights to get her to not go off on her own trying to find the killer in their midst but ultimately failing as she will do her job no matter the cost.  Clive is someone you learn to love as the series progresses as he may be a fuddy duddy in some respects but damn if the man cannot get dirty with the best of them.  There is a reason why he is in the position he is in and it isn’t just because he is a good businessman.  He’s ruthless and deadly but when it comes to Rowan he is such a damn romantic man.

The good news is by waiting so long to start the series all the books are out so you can read them back to back but I do warn you … you will scream when you get to the last one and I hope that Lauren Dane is able to get back to this world soon as I adore the characters and want to see more of the story that is still out there.

four-half-stars

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