Posts Categorized: NetGalley

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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Stay Until We Break – Mercy Brown – 3 stars

June 20, 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.

Stay Until We Break – Mercy Brown – 3 starsStay Until We Break Published by Intermix on June 21, 2016
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars
three-flames

What happens on the road stays on the road in the latest New Adult novel from the author of Loud Is How I Love You.

Twenty-one-year-old Sonia Grant, a business major, has big plans for a career in the music industry. So when she’s offered the job of tour manager for her best friend’s band, she jumps at the chance for some real life experience. When her number one crush, bassist Cole McCormack, jumps her the first night on tour, she hopes she’s in for three weeks of some hot backstage action, too. But Cole turns out to have more up his sleeve than she or anyone realized.

Nobody knows that Cole is on the road to party like a rock star one last time before quitting his dream to take a more practical job and settle down. What he hadn’t planned was to fall in love with a girl he believes is out of his league. Will Cole play out the rock star fantasy he thinks Sonia wants from him, or tell her the truth and take the chance that she’ll either break his heart or make an even bigger dream come true?

What happens when you are forced to give up your dreams in order to help your family?  What happens when you follow your dreams against family wishes?  We find out when we get this pairing from Mercy Brown.  I didn’t know exactly what I was getting in to when I started but I am glad I decided to give this one a chance.

We have Sonia who isn’t living up to the expectations of her wealthy parents.  Well we think she isn’t but looking at the ending I think there has been a lot of changes on both sides and while they won’t see eye to eye on everything…  there seems to be a bit of thawing from both sides.  Sonia reminded me a lot of who I was around men and still am in many respects.  She’s shy, self-conscious and not experienced being around the opposite sex but there is something about her connection with Cole that makes her want to be so much more to him than yet another notch in his belt.  I liked how she did stand up for everyone in the band but herself and, when push came to shove, put herself out there to face one of her biggest fears.  She shows how much the band and Cole mean to her by everything she does to make sure they reach their dreams.  Her story with Cole made me happy in many respects because it was never just about their chemistry but more about two people who have so many things going against them but still need each other in order to be free.

Cole was someone that I enjoyed getting to know.  I liked being in his head as he struggled with being the man he thought Sonia wanted but also being the man he knew he needed to be for his family.  He’s so down on what he’s worth that he neglects to see that he is worth so much more than just a paycheck.  His talent shines thru and you’ll love how this turns out.  He’s such a sap when it comes to Sonia but also so certain that he isn’t worthy of her that he almost misses out on something that is so much more than just a tour fling.  You had to appreciate how much he was willing to give up in order to do what was right by his mom and sister but that’s why he’s the man that deserves everything.  I enjoyed seeing him let Sonia in and also seeing her open up to him as they find something we all search for and most of us don’t ever find.

Overall a good read and I can’t wait to see more from this author.

three-stars

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Dating the Guy Upstairs – Amanda Ashby – 3.5 stars

June 19, 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.

Dating the Guy Upstairs – Amanda Ashby – 3.5 starsDating the Guy Upstairs Published by Intermix Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars
two-flames

From Amanda Ashby, author of the charming contemporary romance Dating the Guy Next Door, comes an all new story of a fake relationship that might not be so fake after all...

LIARS OR LOVERS?

Young librarian Riley Harris has always maintained her independence, leaving the drama of love to anyone silly enough to fall for it. Her Jane Austen novels are as close as she cares to get to “true love.” Luckily, her handsome upstairs neighbor—and landlord—Will Henderson feels the same way.

Since his ex-fiancé crushed his heart, Will devotes himself to charity in an effort to atone for the misdeeds of his wealthy, ruthless father. So when Will needs a date for his brothers high-society wedding, he asks Riley to be his faux girlfriend.

After a spontaneous kiss throws both Riley and Will for a loop, they find themselves fighting their mutual pride and prejudice against love. And when Riley is rocked by something from Will's past, both will need to decide whether to follow their heads or their hearts...

We all know what happens when a story tells you that the main characters don’t believe in the whole happily ever after crap.  Yeah, we get what happens in this story but it was a nice ride to see them proven wrong.

Riley has watched her parents flit from relationship to relationship with disastrous results which has left her being very driven to be self-sufficient.  She’s willing to do anything that her boss requires just to get a chance at the promotion that would help her pay for her mom’s latest mess.  This includes watching a hamster and even going on a “date” with the woman’s nephew.  I felt for her but enjoyed how she was willing to put everything in to her friendship with her landlord, Will.  When she agrees to be his fake girlfriend for his brother’s wedding she realizes that perhaps she isn’t as against the whole happily ever after as she thought but maybe he is the one who will be her other half.  I liked her but did get a bit frustrated with her reluctance to let him in.  She has her reasons but they just began to wear on me towards the end.

Will was another story.  I liked how he opened his eyes to her once he was pushed in to the corner but I also liked how he tried to make her understand that he saw her.  I didn’t like how he was able to turn things on and off based on his perception of things but I did understand why he was the way he was.  It wasn’t easy to watch but overall he made me happier than she did.  He’s got the moves and words for her but some of his actions were not the best.  I loved the way he showed her what she meant to him finally and appreciated that it showed how closely he paid attention to her wants and needs.  He knew her to a level that we all wish someone was there for us but it took him a bit to realize that this was everything.

Cute story with a little bit of fun and smexy times.

three-half-stars

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The Pages of the Mind – Jeffe Kennedy – 4.5 stars

June 2, 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.

The Pages of the Mind – Jeffe Kennedy – 4.5 starsThe Pages of the Mind by Jeffe Kennedy
Published by Kensington on May 31, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Romantic, Romance, Action & Adventure, Historical, Science Fiction
Pages: 432
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

An Orphan's Throne

Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.

Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer--she's a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne's ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.

Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect…

I love this world.  There I said it.  This world makes me so happy and I was extremely excited to see that we would have more stories about it with new people to fall in love with.

Dafne spoke to me with her tendency to be hidden in the background and comfort in books.  She’s not much of a people person but those she allows close mean the world to her.  She takes her word very seriously but yearns to have something of her own that she convinces herself she will never have.  As she finally gets out on an adventure we get to see exactly who she is and what she is made of as she is faced with the chance to have more.  I loved seeing her struggle to understand what was happening to her but mainly loved her finally owning who she is and what she deserves.  She’s going on such a journey in this story so sit back and enjoy the ride.

Nakoa is just amazing.  I have to say he might beat Harlan in sigh-worthy moves but both of them have a special place in my book boyfriend heart.  He can’t speak her language but he still manages to show her how much she means to him and that they were always meant for one another even though she had never met him.  There is something about a man that is so powerful being so soft for his lady that just does it for me.  There is something else about him that does it for me and that I will leave to you to discover but suffice it to say he’s incredibly sweet and sensual but that isn’t even what I am referring to.  If you want to know what it is just message me and I will spoil for you but only if you seek me out.  I loved reading that moment and knowing what it means to them made it so much more than a simple moment.

This story continues from where we left the Kingdoms with more of the world to explore and find out.  I look forward to our next pair because that will be incendiary to say the least.  The way that we get to see so many people from the other stories made me very happy.

four-half-stars

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Fight to the Finish – Jeanette Murray – 3.5 stars

March 9, 2016 NetGalley, Penguin, 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.

Fight to the Finish – Jeanette Murray – 3.5 starsFight to the Finish by Jeanette Murray
Published by Penguin on 2016-03-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Romance, Sports
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars

The author of Against the Ropes takes her First to Fight series another round with a novel of a JAG officer who loses his cool, when love delivers a knockout punch...

Kara is a single mom working hard to keep life running smoothly for herself and her son, but a custody battle is wearing her down. When her friend suggests asking a JAG officer for some unofficial advice, Kara agrees—and soon finds herself officially head over heels...

As a Judge Advocate, Graham has seen his share of nasty custody disputes—and he plans on keeping his distance from this one. But this purposeful, passionate woman has a way of drawing him ever closer to the edge. And when Kara’s ex starts to throw his weight around, Graham will have to choose between toeing the line or stepping into the ring...

I admit that I have enjoyed this series because of the sexy boxers and the women who are strong enough to stand beside them.  We get to see strong, sexy men but also see women who do not let themselves be lost while being involved with strong personalities.

Kara is someone we’ve seen around the periphery but getting to know her in this book was fun.  I liked how she has worked so hard to do what she loves but at the same time raise a strong son who has so many things against him.  She’s vulnerable and lonely but is resigned to living a life that isn’t 100% under her own control.  I do understand why she was determined to just deal with the cards she was dealt but loved how her attorney reacted when she finally found her voice.  She’s confused by what she feels for Graham but she can’t seem to let him go.  I loved how she decided to be honest with him and say it wouldn’t work but I hated that she kept the real reasons from him until late in the story.  Her reaction to his cave-ish man moment was a bit off the handle but she owned that which made me happy.  Did he deserve a bit of a dressing down?  Yes but… he really didn’t do anything wrong enough to warrant her knee-jerk reaction.

Graham was something else.  I did adore his acceptance of Kara’s son and all that his life entails.  He really wanted to be able to have her in his life and understood that this was part of it.  His kindness and understanding while being patient for her to finally come around was sweet while also being hot as hell.  I appreciated that he realized what she was to him very quickly and made his mission to be taking some of the load off her shoulders while still letting her be her.  He was also sexy as hell in the bedroom but what I appreciated more than anything was the fact that even in his cave-man moment… he really was trying to do the best thing.  He walked a thin line but walked it well as he tried to free the woman he loved from a life that wasn’t fulfilling to her.

This series was a lot of fun to read and I look forward to more from this author.

three-half-stars

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Kidnapped By The Billionaire – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

March 8, 2016 Macmillan, 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.

Kidnapped By The Billionaire – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsKidnapped by the Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Macmillan on 2016-03-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

Get lost in the deeply passionate, darkly sensual new novel from Jackie Ashenden, Kidnapped by the Billionaire.
He kissed her the way he’d run her down, conquering her, taking her…

A priceless plan. An illicit attraction.
Seven years ago, billionaire-turned-bodyguard Elijah Hunt lost everything he had—his family, his future—and now he wants revenge. But when he decides to kidnap the daughter of the man who ruined his life, Elijah gets a lot more than he bargained for. Violet Fitzgerald is nothing like her corrupt wealthy father. In fact, she’s so disarmingly independent—and irresistible—that she just might be dangerous…

And a love that’s too good to be true.
Violet never thought she’d feel a connection to her captor. But there’s something beneath Elijah’s steel-bodied exterior that makes her want to know him more deeply…and surrender to his every demand. But once Elijah’s erotic fantasies become a reality—and he and Violet develop a real romantic connection—he finds himself in a quandary: Is he still the one in control? Or has Violet imprisoned him—body and soul?

Jackie Ashenden's novels are:
"Sexy, emotional." -Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author
"Tantalizing . . . explosive."-Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Mine to Take
"Not to be missed."-RT Book Reviews

Ok, Jackie is a master at making you want to hate the hero but then love him as you get to understand more about their demons and what has driven them to be the damaged men you meet.  Elijah is no exception as he is driven to a desperate act in order to complete his mission.  You’ll sort of hate him but he’s someone that was given one of the hardest moments that anyone could ever survive and came out the other side a different man.

We’ve seen Elijah in the previous books as he seemingly thwarts our other leads in their pursuit of their own revenge and answers but as we discover in this story he had his own ax to grind with our bad guys.  He’s now having to scramble to complete what he believes to be the best revenge for his loss but, as he discovers when he meets our heroine, perhaps what he needs has been standing right in front of him in the guise of a spoiled princess.  I loved how severely he lived his life because of his trauma but as we saw the walls tumble down around his inner self there is a man with such a deep heart and feelings that just needed to find a new mate.

I LOVED VIOLET *ahem* I really loved Violet and how she surprised everyone with how strong she is.  She really got to come in to her own true self and find out that she was ready to be seen as the strong person she was.  She really surprised me as she let go of her dreads which allowed her to hide and accepted that she couldn’t escape Elijah.  She tried but was smart enough to wake up quickly and embrace what she was stuck with.  As she opens her eyes and heart to a man that is not what he seems, she also has to realize who her family truly is and accept that her biological ties may not be what she should focus on.  I also appreciated that she pushed Elijah and accepted his dark side while working to make sure he saw the light side that deserved to live.  She’s insightful and isn’t willing to just take the easy ride if push comes to shove she can and will push hard.

This series has been so wonderful to read and I look forward to much more from Jackie.  I know she will push me to the dark side but then deliver heroes that love their partners with no reserve once they accept that this is truly theirs.

four-half-stars

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The Queen – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

November 2, 2015 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2015 0

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 Queen – Tiffany Reisz – 5 starsThe Queen by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Mira on 2015-11-01
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Once upon a time, Nora and Søren made a fateful deal—if he gave her everything, she would give him forever. 

The time has finally come to keep their promises. 

Out of money and out of options after her yearlong exile, Eleanor Schreiber agrees to join forces with Kingsley Edge, the king of kink. After her first taste of power as a Dominant, Eleanor buries her old submissive self and transforms into Mistress Nora, the Red Queen. With the help of a mysterious young man with a job even more illicit than her own, Nora squares off against a cunning rival in her quest to become the most respected, the most feared Dominatrix in the Underground.

While new lovers and the sweet taste of freedom intoxicate Nora, she is tempted time and time again by Søren, her only love and the one man who refuses to bow to her. But when Søren accepts a new church assignment in a dangerous country, she must make an agonizing choice—will the queen keep her throne and let her lover go, or trade in her crown for Søren's collar?

With a shattering final confession, the last link in the chain is forged in The Original Sinners saga. It's the closing chapter in a story of salvation, sacrifice and the multitude of scars we collect in the name of ecstasy—and love.

Ok I am going to do a rare thing and use gifs to help a bit with summing up my thoughts going in to this book…

This was me as I processed the end of the Original Sinners series…

Which was closely followed by:

You see like many others I DID NOT want to let these characters go but Tiffany gives us a great story that ends in a way that made me very happy even as I was sobbing because it was over.

I can’t say much without possibly spoiling some of it but we get:

  • Confessional Sex – not a spoiler because Tiffany promised us this and YEP she delivered.
  • Kingsley being his usual self with all the personality in the world and such a deep love for our beloved priest even when he was at odds with him.
  • A sense of the gamesmanship between the trio and how that impacts those around them.
  • A better idea of the dynamics between Nora and Søren as they struggled to understand what they were to one another.
  • Did I mention confessional sex???  Cause…  if not…  CONFESSIONAL SEX….  yes I went there… *fans self*
  • An amazing scene that made me all sentimental and was such a great way to address certain items.  (Can I be any more vague? *cue evil laugh*)

All in all this was a story of a woman finally coming in to her own, a man who is driven to do things because of his need to punish that which he loves the most, a man who loves but won’t open his eyes and mind to what his love really needs or who they are, and a glimpse at the incredible people they have become after so many years near and with one another.

I hate that we are done with the series but Tiffany hasn’t completely closed the door to additional stories with these characters but instead has closed the door, for now, to longer glimpses at their lives.  We may still see them popping up in other places but for now I must accept that Søren is taking a small break from us to continue being with those he loves the most and  I can always go back and read those stories again.

I must say thank you so much to Tiffany and all the people who worked so hard on this series.  You’ve made me more comfortable with experimenting with things that seem outside my comfort zone which means I have expanded my horizons in reading and life.  I cannot thank you enough for opening these doors for me.

five-stars

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