Posts Categorized: NetGalley

An Indecent Proposal – Katee Robert – 4 stars

August 31, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

An Indecent Proposal – Katee Robert – 4 starsAn Indecent Proposal by Katee Robert
on August 30th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General, Contemporary
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katee Robert continues her smoking-hot series about the O'Malleys-wealthy, powerful, and full of scandalous family secrets.

Greed. Ambition. Violence. Those are the "values" Olivia Rashidi learned from her Russian mob family-and the values she must leave behind for the sake of her daughter. When she meets Cillian O'Malley, she recognizes the red flag of his family name . . . yet she still can't stop herself from seeing the smoldering, tortured man. To save her family, Olivia sets out to discover Cillian's own secrets, but the real revelation is how fast-and how hard-she's falling for him.

Plagued by a violent past, Cillian is more vulnerable than anyone realizes. Anyone except Olivia, whose beauty, compassion, and pride have him at "hello," even if she's more inclined to say good-bye to an O'Malley. While his proposal of sex with no strings seems simple, what he feels for her isn't, especially after he learns that she belongs to a rival crime family. Cillian knows that there is no escape from the life, but Olivia may be worth trying-and dying-for .

So I sort of entered in to a series on book 3…  AGAIN… which I keep saying I won’t do but then keep doing over..  over.. and over again….  Yeah, well in this case I quite enjoyed the book and didn’t feel like I was lost so am glad that I did it!

Olivia isn’t looking for a man nor does she want any trouble but she is drawn to a man that embodies trouble by virtue of his last name.  She’s hiding from her past and wants nothing more than to raise her daughter away from the family business but she can’t quite escape.  She’s drawn to a man who she should dislike, perhaps even hate, but the chemistry between them cannot be denied.  She tells herself only this one time nothing more but there is something about the way he behaves that makes her crave more of him.  I liked her even as she was fighting her attraction for him but especially liked that she listened to her heart and mind versus trying to take everything on herself.  She’s smart and that is something that isn’t the norm with heroines of many mob related rom-susp books.  I appreciated that she struggled but also appreciated that she trusted him even though she barely knew him.

Cillian was something else.  He’s at a huge crossroads in his life after the death of one of his brothers.  He’s still struggling with what happened and that has led him to make many changes in his life which includes giving up alcohol and partying like he used to.  He finds himself drawn to Olivia and after their first scorching encounter he can’t seem to shake the need to be with her.  He proves himself so quickly to be there for her even at the expense of his family but this is a good thing.  I loved how growly he could get but also his ability to just be there for the woman that he knows is his.

The story moves quickly but it kept me interested as I enjoyed seeing two damaged people find one another.

four-stars

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Homecoming – Shannon Stacey – 4 stars

August 30, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

Homecoming – Shannon Stacey – 4 starsHomecoming by Shannon Stacey
Published by Penguin on August 30th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, General
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Defending Hearts returns to small-town New Hampshire where a substitute football coach and a guidance counselor tackle love.

They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again . . .

Sam Leavitt has returned home to Stewart Mills with one goal: to fill in for Coach McDonnell and lead the high school football team to the championship. He doesn’t have time for distractions or commitments—but he’s unable to resist falling for the sexy guidance counselor he shared a hot night with months ago.

Jen Cooper knows what she’s looking for long-term, and it’s not Sam—even though the night they shared was explosive. Now, with Sam back in town and working by her side, picking up where they left off is too great a temptation to resist. But before long their fun fling is looking like a future together. And as the championship approaches, Sam is faced with a big decision that will either break them apart—or help them find their way home.

I struggled a bit with how to rate this one as I had issues with the heroine until close to the end of the book.  She’s a counselor but it felt like she spent a big chunk of the book judging our hero which started to annoy me as I LOVED Sam.

Jen is looking for Mr. Right for Life not Mr. Right Now.  She wants something she didn’t think she’d ever want…  something like her parents but the man she shared a single moment on the hood of her car holds more appeal to her than anyone she’s ever met.  He isn’t right for her because he’s not going to be in town for any longer than it takes Coach to recover.  She decides that she’ll just explore the  chemistry between them but nothing more.  No relationship… just fun… then she’ll work on finding the man who will be her partner.  She’s quick to judge his reaching for her as a coping mechanism and just as quick to write him off but does finally realize that something has changed between them as we get towards the end of the book.  I liked her but she isn’t my favorite SS heroine.

Sam is just yummy!  He’s got a lot to work thru and it comes in stops/starts as he works out his issues with his past.  I loved how he recognized how badly he wanted Jen and even as he tried to deny that she was who he wanted for the rest of his life he didn’t completely fight it.  His issue wasn’t with her but more his denial that this small town was the place that was his HOME.  I got why there was a struggle and appreciated it as he tried to do something with his life that kept him in the region he felt most comfortable in.  He really didn’t understand what his question meant to Jen but the fact he owned it in the end made me happy.  I felt for him because a crappy childhood can cause you to equate the location and actions of others suspect with an incredibly difficult ability to trust that staying is a good idea.  He’s such a great guy that I think it colored my reactions to Jen which isn’t fair but is what it is.

I think you’ll like this story and may have the same struggle with Jen that I did but they really are home for one another so stick with it.  She’ll prove herself and he will make things right…  I mean that is why we love romance!  HEA..  HEA… HEA…

four-stars

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Shift – Sidney Bristol – 3 stars

August 19, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

Shift – Sidney Bristol – 3 starsShift by Sidney Bristol
Published by Kensington on July 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Action & Adventure
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

Nothing shines like classic cars under the Miami heat. With engines revving hot and emotions running high, sparks are sure to fly . . .

Tori Chazov isn't exactly the girl next door. For one, if the neighbors found out she's an FBI asset and the daughter of a KGB defector, she'd have to grab her go bag and run. Then there's her day job: making magic happen under the hood of big beautiful muscle cars. She's more likely to be wearing engine grease than mascara, and most guys don't fantasize about their mechanics.

But then most girls don't fantasize about FBI tech geniuses, either, and Tori has it bad for Emery Martin. Emery has a past. She can see it in the way he keeps his body honed like a weapon, in the mysterious scars under his snap-button shirts. She can see it in the way his eyes follow her around the room, even though he never says a word.

He's going to have to start talking now, though. A vicious Russian hit squad is on the way to Miami to take Tori out for good. And without Emery's help, she might not make her last great escape . .

This wasn’t a perfect book but I did enjoy the main characters and find myself wanting to read the next one in the series.  I am going to have to chat with someone that I know that read and DNFd book one to see what that one holds but I would like to see what Gabriel has in store.  If you haven’t read book one I think you will be ok as I wasn’t completely aware of that being out (yeah I know I’m a mess).

Emery is basically a master hacker, information gatherer and overall super-agent even though he isn’t really an agent or maybe he is or …  yeah his exact ties to the FBI aren’t fully clear but he’s the assumed brainiac/geek/nerd but what he actually is well…  let’s just say I’d love to be in Tori’s shoes when his attention is fully focused on her.  He’s got his secrets (which I wanted to know more about dammit) and past which impacts his choices in life.  He’s convinced that Tori isn’t in to him but he’s been in to her for quite a while now and when circumstances push them together he takes advantage of them.  I liked his devotion to her and keeping her safe but the fact that he doesn’t try to fully cocoon her made me happy.  He’s also quite controlling in the sex scenes we get but it is a good kind of controlling even though I sort of wish we’d gotten more glimpses of this but the story arc kept them busy outside sexy times.  I look forward to seeing him a bit more in Gabriel’s story but know we probably won’t get much more of his backstory.

Tori was a fun character in a lot of ways.  She’s initially having conversations in her head with her dream version of Emery but admits that this is nothing compared to what she wants from real Emery when she finally spends time with him.  She’s had a crush on who she thought he was but the real him just completely does it for her.  She’s loyal to her twin sister, Roni, and her father but there’s a part of her who wonders if she’ll find someone that can accept who she is.  Her history was interesting as well so perhaps we’ll get more of this when/if Roni’s book comes out.  I liked how uncertain she was about being sexy for Emery but also enjoyed that she didn’t completely obsess over it.  She’s who she is and luckily for her he’s completely in to who she is so while she might want to have the more girly trappings the fact she doesn’t have to really does it for her.

Overall a good, fast read but I do wish we had a bit more time to completely know both of them.

three-stars

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His Royal Favorite – Lilah Pace – 5 stars

August 17, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

His Royal Favorite – Lilah Pace – 5 starsHis Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace
Published by Penguin on August 16th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Gay, Contemporary
Pages: 182
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

The conclusion of Lilah Pace’s racy, romantic male/male duology following His Royal Secret...

James, Prince of Wales, is making history. He's decided to come out to his subjects—and the world. However, telling the truth means exposing his relationship with lone-wolf reporter Benjamin Dahan. Although Ben never wanted commitment, the unexpected depth of his feelings leads him to join James in the media's harsh spotlight.

When the news story explodes across the globe, Ben can endure the mockery and dirty jokes. But after his tragic past is cruelly revealed, his life begins to implode. Can even his love for James be worth this?

James has it no easier. His revelation divides the country and sparks turmoil within the royal family. He must struggle to defend not only himself and Ben, but also his younger sister, who hovers on the brink of a breakdown that could endanger her life.

Is Ben strong enough to survive the onslaught and stand by James' side? And will James have to make a choice between Ben and the crown?

I was so happy to get my hands on this one as I quite thoroughly enjoyed part one of this story.

At the end of part one we were left with the idea that our boys might’ve hit the limit of their relationship but we all knew that these two could not be kept apart.  Ben is willing to step up to the plate and be there for James even as it threatens to tear him apart.  He’s got his own reasons for not wanting to be in the limelight and his need to be seen as his own person causes him to make mistakes which threaten his happiness with James.  I loved how he was with the family and especially adored the way he figured out how to work with the Queen.  He sees the real truths that are hidden behind the polite masks and stands up for what is right even as it may hurt those he loves.

James was such a sweetheart in this as he tries to do the right thing for everyone even if it means giving up something that is the only real thing he has ever had for himself.  His battles with his uncle to do the right thing, his battles with the Queen…  his battles with everything around him in order to get his sister what she really needs… and the biggest battles…  the ones with himself as he struggles to finally be happy.  I loved seeing him try his damndest to get Ben to feel at home in this new life but I also enjoyed seeing him realize that it wasn’t something he could fix.  He didn’t try to force something that wasn’t there which made him very approachable.  He was scared of what would happen to his sister and what would happen to Ben but he still didn’t try to make it be completely about his wants or needs.

The treatment that his sister’s storyline gets is important on many levels but the main thing I took from it is…  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness nor should it be avoided..  Mental illness is something that is not shameful..  it isn’t something that can be healed overnight and just by acknowledging that there is an issue that needs help is an immense source of strength.  One should seek assistance even if you are afraid.  Light is available at the end of the tunnel and often the illness LIES to keep you in the dark.

You will enjoy seeing what happens to everyone at the conclusion of this story and I came away from it quite happy.

five-stars

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Burn Down the Night – Molly O’Keefe – 4.5 stars

August 15, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

Burn Down the Night – Molly O’Keefe – 4.5 starsBurn Down the Night Published by Loveswept on August 9, 2016
Pages: 334
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars
five-flames

A battle for control turns explosive as a beautiful con woman takes a bad-boy biker hostage in this edgy, seductive novel set in the world of Everything I Left Unsaid (“Toe-curlingly sensual.”—Katy Evans) and The Truth About Him (“Absolutely one-click worthy”—J. Kenner).

The only thing that matters to me is rescuing my sister from the drug-cooking cult that once enslaved us both. I’ve run cons my whole life, and I’ll use my body to get whatever I need. Max Daniels is the last connection I have to that world, the one person reckless enough to get involved. Besides, now that his brothers have turned on him, he needs me too.

The deal was supposed to be simple: a place to hide in exchange for rescuing my sister. Now he’s my prisoner. Totally at my mercy. But I’m the one captivated. Enthralled. Doing everything he asks of me until I’m not sure who’s in control.

We both crave the heat. The more it hurts, the better. But what if Max wants a different life now, to leave the game . . . to love me? I thought I knew better than to get burned. Now I’m in too deep to pull away. And the crazy thing is . . . I don’t want to.

Thank you to those who were posting their thoughts on this book – Bree in particular – because they made me go grab this from NetGalley.  I am glad I went ahead and gave this a chance even though I haven’t read the others in the series because…

HOLY CRAP WAS THIS ONE HOT…  AND … ANGSTY … AND … ALL THE FEELS

This book starts out with a few bangs as the heroine cuts loose with a couple of well-planned explosions but you immediately know that she really doesn’t want anyone to be hurt, she’s just desperate.  This desperation to rescue the only thing that matters to her, her sister, makes her do things she really doesn’t want to do but her guilt and love drive her to take the measures needed.  Olivia was such a lost soul that I felt for her as she struggled to do the right thing and finally let someone actually help her.  She’s had a hard lot in life which has made her extremely guarded and unable to process when someone actually does something nice for her.  She shies away like an abused animal from affection even as she craves it.  I loved seeing her finally open up to others even as she fought to get Max to do some of the same.  There is a purity of spirit in her that, even though she tries to bury it, shines thru in her actions and concern for others.

Max is like Olivia in many ways…  He’s convinced that he deserves nothing good, he’s worthless, family is better off without him…  I could go on but as you’ll see he’s really a good man at his core who made decisions that weren’t the best.  He was born in to a MC life but tried to escape it until his brother was drawn in which led him to come back.  He wants the best for his brother and will do what it takes to keep Dylan free from the hell that is MC.  I loved seeing how devoted he was to making sure that his brother wasn’t tainted by association with him as it showed his heart was in the right place.  He isn’t expecting to find someone that he wants to connect with but the chemistry between he and Olivia cannot be denied.  They both don’t expect to have anything good in their lives nor do they think they deserve it but somehow this pair of damaged souls manage to heal one another.  They aren’t perfect but they fit one another completely.

You can’t help but be drawn in to the story between these two strong characters so don’t bother fighting it.  I didn’t feel like I was lost even though this isn’t the first story so dive on in.  I will be going back and reading about Dylan and Annie though so….

 

four-half-stars

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Dirty For Me – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

August 8, 2016 Kensington, NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

Dirty For Me – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsDirty For Me by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Kensington on July 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Erotica, General, Action & Adventure
Pages: 300
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

Ezekiel "Zee" Chase has a complicated past. Born into a family whose wealth grew from the seedy world of big-time crime, he ran away as a teenager and made a home for himself on the streets of Detroit. By day, the mechanic works at a local garage. But by night, he throws down with the best of them in Detroit's gritty underground fighting scene. With all those muscles, he's never had trouble with women--until he meets one who challenges him to the greatest fight of his life. . .

Tamara Eliot is a hardworking corporate high-flyer who appreciates the finer things in life, from her expensive perfume to her designer handbags. More than anything, though, she likes to be in control--and when Zee explodes into her life, she feels anything but. He's the definition of a bad boy: brash, fiery, and of course, irresistibly hot. And there's a darkness about him that keeps her coming back for more. As Zee takes Tamara deeper into a world she never knew existed, she just might prove to be the one opponent he won't be able to dominate--at least not without some pleasurable convincing .

I am trying to figure out how to review this one without it becoming a fan girl letter to Jackie…

This book sets up what should be a very intense set of stories about a group of close friends who made a family out of not so great circumstances.  This first book is about Zee who is keeping a pretty big secret from his friends and is driven by a memory of what might have been.  He’s convinced that he’s only good for a no-strings fling but finds himself oddly attracted to a woman who he feels is too good for him. I liked seeing him realize who he really was, what he really wanted and even better…  that he wasn’t his father.

The woman who makes him wake up has spent the last few years being the perfect daughter.  She’s taking atonement to a whole new level by suppressing her entire personality, dreams and self in order to make up something she shouldn’t have to for parents who don’t deserve her.  She meets Zee when she accompanies a co-worker to a gym in a not so great side of town.  Sparks fly between them that are undeniable but Tamara is determined to make her parents proud by working hard, marrying the man they picked and, in general, not allowing herself to be anything other than a rich princess.  Zee is supposed to only be a fling that doesn’t mean anything during the last bit of freedom that she has.

What we get with the two of them is amazingly hot sex but a sense that these two can heal one another.  They can push each other to fully embrace who they are without shame, without judgement and without the burdens of the past.  They really will grab at you but …. I have a feeling as much as I enjoyed them….  The next two pairs will put their scorching story to shame with the small glimpses we saw in this one.  I cannot wait for the next book and look forward to seeing how the rest of the gang find their happy endings…  😉

four-half-stars

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Rock Wedding – Nalini Singh – 5 stars

July 28, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

Rock Wedding – Nalini Singh – 5 starsRock Wedding on July 19, 2016
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love...even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

I honestly don’t know where to start with this one…  I really don’t.  Nalini is a masterful wordsmith that wrings the emotions out of the smallest things.  She made me cry repeatedly in this book and yet all I wanted to do was read more..  cry more..  blubber more…

Abe and Sarah were amazing to follow as we saw a woman in love with a man who was at a point in his life where nothing mattered.  He was so wrapped up in his own pain and journey that he didn’t see (didn’t want to see) the path of destruction he was creating.  Sarah isn’t perfect in this story but as you get to know her you see what caused her to be the way she was and how much sheer strength she has.  I felt for her as some of her story called out to me as she navigated breaking free from her past to finally stand on her own two feet.  She develops such an amazing backbone that you cheer for her as she finally sees that she matters and has friends.  While I did get upset at her for taking so long to finally trust Abe again, I got it…  I really did get it.  She was trying to protect herself from the only person who could (and did) truly hurt her.  You’ll love watching her admit her own failings while not excusing his part in encouraging her to withdraw even farther in to her inner demons.  I loved her acceptance of him even as she struggled to protect her heart.

Abe…. my dear, dear man… He’s someone that loves so deeply that he cannot bear when something happens to take the object of his love away from him, he self destructs.  I loved how he owned up to his mistakes.  He didn’t make excuses.  He didn’t expect that she forgive him.  He desperately wanted her to let him in but knew it was something she had to do.  He couldn’t make her but he hoped beyond hope that he would be able to win her back.  I loved how supportive he was of her independence in so many ways.  His first big present to her made me melt as it showed how much he paid attention to her.  He also shows her his demons without any embellishment or shame which honestly made me cry.  He really made such huge strides in his life that I finished the book smiling from ear-to-ear as we got to see what happens when two people really do the work to make something beautiful out of the wreckage.

The glimpses of the other couples was fun but the focus really was on two people who were just meant to be.  They both weren’t perfect but no one is.

So thanks Nalini for making me cry while on my lunch at work, I really did love these two.

five-stars

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His Royal Secret – Lilah Pace – 4.5 stars

July 19, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

His Royal Secret – Lilah Pace – 4.5 starsHis Royal Secret by Lilah Pace
Published by Penguin on July 19th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Gay, Contemporary
Pages: 224
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The first in an enchanting new male/male romantic duology from Lilah Pace, author of Asking for More and Begging for It ....
James, the handsome, cosmopolitan Prince of Wales, is used to being in the public eye. But he's keeping a king-sized secret...James, next in line for the throne, is gay.
He’s been able to hide his sexual orientation with the help of his best friend and beard, Lady Cassandra. Sometimes he feels like a coward for not coming out, but he daren’t risk losing the crown. If he did, the succession would fall on his deeply troubled younger sister, Princess Amelia. To protect her, James is willing to live a lie.
While on holiday, he meets Benjamin Dahan—a rugged international reporter with a globe-trotting, unattached life—who catches far more than James's eye. And when Ben is transferred to London, it seems fate may finally be smiling on James.
But what began as a torrid fling grows into something far more intimate and powerful. Soon James will have to decide who he is, what he wants from life and love, and what he’s willing to sacrifice for the truth...

I’m going to start this with the note… Lilah Pace can send me anything and everything…. please…  cause .. LOVE.

Now on to this particular title that had me begging for the next one ASAP.

Imagine if the Prince of Wales was… shhhh…. GAY?!?!?!?!?  I mean what would the impact be on the order of succession?  Who would inherit the throne?  Would they allow him to reign as King and head of the Church of England? Scandal…. Scandal… Scandal…  How could he manage to have a love life or find love if he’s forced to remain in the closet?  Would he have a “beard”?   This is the story that His Royal Secret starts where James is living a lie.  I mean it is a lie he has gotten used to but it is a lie.  He’s got his best friend, Cass, acting as his scandalous lady love but this is getting harder and harder to maintain.  He’s on a trip to Kenya when he meets a man who he’s intensely attracted to and they have a moment that ends up having a major impact on both of their lives from that moment on.  I loved how loyal James is to those who matter to him.  There is such a huge sense of honor to him that results in him being willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of The Firm aka the Royal Family.  His love for his younger sister was something to behold as she struggles with her own inner demons.  I appreciated that he was willing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe and to let Cass have a life of her own.

Ben was something else.  I had moments where I loved him and moments where I wanted to hurt him as he failed to look at things from James’s point of view.  He has such a prejudice against what he perceives to be the life of the Prince that he overlooks the man behind the title.  I think he knows who James is but it isn’t easy for him to let go of those notions.  I loved how he gives James a chance to experience things that a closeted gay man in his position could never have and that he keeps his word.  He truly does honor his word even though he is sitting on the story of the century.  His struggle with his feelings and what James means to him was realistic.

The end of the book will make you whimper as you want to know the rest of the story ASAP but it was such a good read that I’d hate for you to wait until closer to the second title to come out before you read it.  Go ahead and read it now then re-read it before you read part two… *hint – LOVED LOVED LOVED*.  This isn’t everything is pretty sunshine and roses but the men are definitely made for one another with a story that you could see playing out today.

four-half-stars

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The Bourbon Thief – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

June 29, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

The Bourbon Thief – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Mira on June 28, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, Literary, General, Romance, Historical
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

From the internationally celebrated author of the Original Sinners series comes a brand-new tale of betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150-year-old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

I struggle with how to explain this one without giving away secrets but here we go any way…

There are two time periods (actually sort of 3… hmmmm….) that are presented in this book but you won’t be thrown back and forth like crazy between the periods so if your afraid of it because of that…  worry no more.

Present day is a man meets a woman at the bar, they play a bit in bed, she tries to steal from him and then he gets told a story.  The present day piece is not the main story you want to hear even though I’d almost like to know more about Cooper as he might have his own story to tell but I digress.  Paris is the woman who has attempted to steal a very valuable bottle of bourbon from him and while he’s pissed she makes a deal with him that he can’t refuse.  She’ll tell him a story and at the end of it he’ll be compelled to give her the bottle as it is rightfully hers.  This is the real story you are wanting to read and it isn’t the most beautiful or happy story.

We get to see the dark underbelly of a Kentucky bourbon dynasty where anything will go in order to keep the family line intact.  We have murder, incest, rape and all sort of other secrets that come to light as Paris reveals the story of the last of the great Maddox family.

Tamara is the golden Maddox princess but her life isn’t all sunshine and love.  Is she spoiled?  Yes….  but not all is right in the Maddox household.  There are so many secrets that start to unravel on her birthday and they come to light slowly over the course of a few years and the reader is taken along for the ride.  We get glimpses of the founding of the distillery and the madness that started it all.  We also see that this latest behavior by the scion of the Maddox line is not the only time where darkness has entered it but that the line has had issues all along.

I enjoyed this story but I will warn you that this isn’t for everyone.  There are things that come to light as Paris reveals the history which might make (honestly should make) one uncomfortable but I found myself drawn to the characters and wanted to know more.  I’d like to see more of Paris in the future as she intrigued me but this doesn’t read like a start of a series so perhaps that will never happen.  If you don’t mind darker tones to a story then I’d say go grab this one but if even the idea of rape or incest makes you extremely uncomfortable then you might not like this.  I will note that I did like what happened to the person who attempted the rape so… there’s that…  Once again Tiffany has given us a story that isn’t pretty in tone but keeps you interested in knowing more about the characters and wanting to know how it all plays out.

four-stars

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Stealing His Thunder – Sparrow Beckett – 4 stars

June 21, 2016 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

Stealing His Thunder – Sparrow Beckett – 4 starsStealing His Thunder on June 21 2016
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars
four-half-flames

From the author of the Masters Unleashed series, Sparrow Beckett revs things up with two lovers on a collision course in the first Masters of Adrenaline novel.

Nothing gives Addison Kennedy a rush like stealing cars. The Lexus was the perfect target, but before she can get its engine purring, she's cold-cocked unconscious. When she comes to, she finds herself on a bed with a blonde, tattooed god standing over her.

Fox Larson is shocked to discover the thief he knocked out is actually a hot girl. Bringing her home may not have been the smartest move, but he wasn’t about to leave an unconscious and defenseless woman in a parking garage. Besides, if she’s part of an auto theft crew infringing on his territory, he needs to pump her for information.

However, Addison has personal drive that won’t be denied and she’s desperate to prove Fox’s group needs her skills. Submitting to his kinks in the bedroom is a hot yet complicated bonus. When a big job goes bad, and Addison finally gets her chance, will she succeed in stealing his thunder?

This is my first story by Sparrow Beckett and I have to say it will not be my last.  This was a relatively quick read for me but it had some really nice chemistry between the leads with a fun storyline.

Addison was entertaining to read about as she isn’t what she seems.  She’s smart as hell but bored in the life she has which is responsible without any sort of excitement.  She knows she should be good and follow the expected path but she craves excitement with a side need for making money to support her family.  I loved this about her but mainly enjoyed how she pushed for what she wanted even as she struggled to truly know what it was.  She’s also great with Fox and his team so seeing her need to be included made me laugh.  I also could identify with her fighting the need to submit to someone as it is something that many of us have issues accepting.  She’s the perfect partner to Fox as he needs someone to push him outside his own comfort zone but also he needs someone who won’t always do exactly what he wants.

Fox was hot as hell but at the same time I just wanted to strangle him as he kept spouting lines that made him seem like he was back in the dark ages.  I got the whole dominant side of him in the bedroom but outside of that space I wanted him to just let her in.  She was going to do it any way so why not have her do it where he could truly protect her?  His mastery of her in the bedroom was definitely swoonworthy and damn HOT!  I liked how he worked to get under her skin and in to what she truly craved even as she denied it as much as she could.  There is something about seeing a man who is extremely focused on making sure that there is no uncertainty in the fact that BOTH of them was satisfied by the time their encounter was over unless it was a lesson.  The focus when a dominant has his mind set on something can make one *shiver*…  😉

I’m looking forward to more stories from this author and need to go back to read the backlist.

four-stars

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