Posts Categorized: St. Martin’s Press

Make You Mine – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

May 5, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015, St. Martin's Press 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.

Make You Mine – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsMake You Mine by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Macmillan on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Gothic, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

In the Nine Circles Club, one lucky man gets more than his share of money, power, and women--until he meets a beautiful opponent who plays in the name of love…in Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden.
He's raising the stakes.
International playboy Alex St. James always plays to win. Whether it's betting on a high-stakes card game--or bedding a high-class socialite--the gorgeous world-class gambler knows how to beat the odds using his brains, his body, and a whole lot of charm. But there's one woman who's immune to Alex's bag of tricks--which makes her the perfect challenge…and the ultimate prize.
She's going all in.

Once a special operative in her native Russia, Katya Ivanov knows what kind of man Alex is. As his personal bodyguard, she's seen him seduce the richest women, place the riskiest bets, and break the hardest players. But to even a score from her past, she's willing to take a gamble on her reckless boss. Even if she has to pretend to be his lover. Even if he drives her mad with desire. And then she never wants this dangerous game to end…

This story made me very happy!  We have a really strong heroine with a hero that can definitely keep up but can’t keep his guard up around a woman who makes him feel.

Alex has a lot of secrets that he has buried for years.  This has cost him his family but also has hardened him to the point where he thinks all he wants is a quick bit of play and then move on to the next no-strings-attached fling.  He plays hard and unless you are paying attention you will see him as a playboy with a ton of money who really doesn’t care for anything.  After dice are found with his stepfather that gain access to an exclusive poker tourney it is determined that he needs to be the one who attends.  Alex wouldn’t have let it be anyone else but now he needs to figure out how to keep protection around him without making the person he is targeting aware of it.  His idea is to use his female bodyguard but when he sees her in something other than work clothes and also spends more time around her…. well…  then it gets complicated.  His story will make you mad, sad and then joyful as we find out his past then celebrate his future with a partner who truly knows him.

Katya is an amazing heroine in many respects.  She and Alex are definitely peas in a pod in more ways than they know so seeing two extremely stubborn people find one another was explosive.  There is so much she has kept buried for so many years in order to make others happy so she struggles with figuring out what it is she wants and needs.  The fact that she is absolutely loyal to those who don’t really deserve it was heartbreaking but I still enjoyed her even with the big chill she presents.  She’s not cold in any way, shape or form but she needed to find someone that could push her to expand her limits.  She’s also intriguing in the way we see her start to feel… be a woman with wants and needs… but mainly open up to someone that deserves it.

I can’t wait for the next story as the pair will be quite entertaining….  he’s going to make it clear to her that she’s HIS….

four-half-stars

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Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

October 6, 2014 NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 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.

Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 starsSweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-30
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

CAN’T FORGET THE PAINIt took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURENothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.

I’m loving this series so much and this entry has an amazing balance of suspense and romance.  I loved the fact that we have two people who really have always felt something for one another even though one of them wasn’t really aware of what the other one meant to them even back then.

Adam has buried himself in alcohol and women to dull the pain of not being there for the woman who meant everything to him when she needed him.  As his town starts to unbury the past he is forced to recall the horrifying details of what happened that long ago night and is confronted with someone that he never expected.  I loved how damaged he is and how aware of his own weaknesses but still making the effort to not slip back to addiction.  He’s so strong but shows such a weakness when it comes to his heroine.  I loved watching him work so hard to stay within boundaries with her and truly respect her even as he wants to get the answers he so desperately needs.  His need for her leaps from the pages and you’ll probably want him for your very own….  I have to admit to sighing a few times as his need shines thru.

The one thing I am not going to do is give the heroine completely away.  Her journey is part of the story I wouldn’t trade because as you see her work thru her issues you get to see how much she needs Adam.  She’s got so much guilt and so many secrets that you want to help her but know that she needs to do this by her own terms otherwise she won’t be able to move forward.  She’s very strong and my hope is Shiloh will give us more time with her as she gets on with the life that has been in limbo for so long.  She’s got a strong soul and it shines as it lets go of the secrets and embraces a future with a man that is everything to her.

The story told about this town is not a pretty one or an easy one to read.  As someone who has lived with an abuser as a child it hit me a bit harder than some but I loved that Shiloh went there.  I think while it is something that is disquieting and honestly disgusting in nature it is something that happens every day all over the world.  Only by bringing stories to the public, even fictional in nature, it hopefully will make some people do more research to see what they can do to help victims of these horrible crimes and also bring those perpetrators to justice.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-stars

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Long For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 Stars

May 13, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 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.

Long For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 StarsLong For Me Published by Macmillan on May 13, 2014
Pages: 80
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

Christina Bell remembers what it was like to be part of a loving family. The youngest of the Bell children, she simply cannot believe that her dad, or anyone else she loves, had a hand in her mother’s disappearance. She’s looking forward to moving on and spending more time with her sexy best friend, Guy Miller, who she is starting to see in a whole new light.

Their attraction sizzling and love deepening, Christina feels confident in her life and ability to handle what comes her way...But when Nichole’s body is found—and the mystery of her death slowly reveals itself—Christina is left not knowing who to trust. What if Guy, her one true desire, proves to be her biggest danger?

Loved this one in so many ways except…. I wanted more at the end… Greedy I know but damn damn damn..

Guy has always been in love with Christina (Tink) but other than one stolen weekend has kept those feelings from her no matter how much it cost him.  As information comes to light about the trauma from her past can he really still hope to have a future with the woman who means everything to him?  I loved Guy in all the glimpses we’ve seen of him as the stories of the siblings were told.  He’s such a great friend to all of them but his constant presence in Tink’s life was the most beautiful thing.  You see his struggle with remaining only friends with her as she struggles with her own issues but there was something amazing as they spent more time together in an intimate fashion.  You see his feelings in everything he does to get her the answers she needs even as the answers destroy him.  He’s such an amazing man and the strength he shows was mind-blowing.

Christina is used to being different.  She’s always struggled with finding her place in the world and quieting her mind.  When she finally got the diagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia things started to make sense but then in a moment her world was shattered.  She’s always had Guy to center her but wouldn’t let it become anything more because nothing stays.  She’s not afraid to speak her mind but the sheer amount of fear she hides behind a devil-may-care attitude broke me a bit.  As she struggles with the answers to the tragedy of her past she also struggles with her feelings for the man who is her rock.  She wants to shut down and ignore everything but as others force her to confront the truth behind her own issues outside of the family tragedy she realizes that she could lose something much more precious…

They have some really steamy times but to be honest the conversations they have and the feelings they share with one another were so powerful that I really didn’t want to see the story end…  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

five-stars

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Burn For Me – Shiloh Walker – 4 Stars

April 26, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 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.

Burn For Me – Shiloh Walker – 4 StarsBreak For Me by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-22
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 80
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

Jensen Bell had twelve happy years before her mother disappeared and her whole world went to pieces. Since then, she's become a cop—one who takes great pride in her work, and in helping keep others safe. The saving grace in her own life has been Dean West, the only man who can make her burn with desire and help her through her burdens. But when a shocking discovery turns her life upside-down, even being wrapped in Dean’s arms might not be enough to keep her out of harm's way, in Break for Me by Shiloh Walker.

More to the story of a missing woman and the mess that it left behind with her family…

Dean has been lusting after Jensen since he met her but he’s never made his move.  He senses that she wouldn’t handle him moving in on her so has been watching and waiting for a chance.  He’d walk away if it wasn’t for the fact that he has seen the same longing reflected in her eyes at rare moments so he just can’t give up on the one woman who has really sparked his interest in years.  Once he finds out her history he finds a kindred soul in more ways than one as he has a massive source of pain in his own past.  Different but still as life-changing to him as hers was to her path in life.  I loved how he stood for her as she gets the news that part of her needed but the other part of her always dreaded hearing.  He worked so hard to keep strong for her and watching him struggle with what he wanted from her but wasn’t willing to risk what he finally managed to get from her was a bit heartbreaking.  He’s an amazing man and I hope that we get to see more of them together as the other stories release.

Jensen is the strong one.  She channeled the pain of her past in to the career she loves but she’s lonely.  When she sees Dean she’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame but can’t seem to let her guard down enough to take a chance.  As things start to flare between them she gets word that something has come to light which throws her for a loop.  As she struggles with this information she also struggles with the intense passion that Dean has unlocked within her and seeing this strong woman come to terms with this intense need was interesting to read.  She’s strong but I liked that she let herself feel when with Dean even as she wanted to retreat.  She’s good with everyone around her but seeing her get someone who will truly cherish her as much as she deserves made me happy.

A good second part to the story arc which will continue in Long For Me….  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St.Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

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Break For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 Stars

April 26, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 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.

Break For Me – Shiloh Walker – 5 StarsBurn For Me by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-04-01
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 80
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

Scarred long ago by the disappearance of his mother, Nichole, Tate Bell aches to spend his days and nights with Ali Holmes, a woman he’s loved for years. But while Ali’s heart pines to be with Tate, her head has reservations... Ali knows that Tate has never forgiven his father for the fight he had with Nichole right before she left the house—and was never heard from again. Ali thinks that Tate's unresolved anger is a force to be reckoned with...even though the heat that blazes between them is undeniable. Now both Tate and Ali are left to wonder: Can love really conquer all? Get lost in a world of secrets and shadows in Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker.

Smoking hot with a hero that really believes himself so damaged and likely to be a monster because of his past.

Ali loves Tate with all her heart but knows this isn’t what he wants to hear.  She’s been willing to be his lover in private but an acquaintance during the day.  I use acquaintance instead of friend because in a lot of respects that is what it felt like.  Did they spend some time together in public?  Yes..  but… there is always a wall up and in many respects that sort of wall would make it seem like a lesser relationship than a friendship would have.  She’s aware of the trauma of his past but if he won’t let her in why should she keep hurting herself by letting him give her so little of himself?  I liked her willingness to push him away even as it hurt her but I loved the fact that when push comes to shove she really does open her arms to help him heal.  She’s smart and someone that I would potentially love to know in real life as she has had a hard time in life but doesn’t let it break her.

Tate…  my dear broody, stubborn as hell Tate.. I loved your depths and wish that you had woken up before you put Ali thru such pain.  Well and put yourself thru the wringer as well as you work thru the pain of your past.  I loved your strength and once you were confronted with the truth that you were honest about what you needed/wanted.  I loved watching you struggle with what you believed was right even as others knew what you were doing to keep yourself hurting.  You will love watching how sexy he is but I think the fact that he’s held on to what he had to in order to function was amazing.  Was he right?  No…  but as you’ll see in the story it made sense even as much as it didn’t.

Overall a very good start to the series and I can’t wait to see more.

five-stars

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The Billion Dollar Bad Boy – Jackie Ashenden – 4 stars

March 17, 2014 NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 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 Billion Dollar Bad Boy – Jackie Ashenden – 4 starsThe Billion Dollar Bad Boy by Jackie Ashenden
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2014-03-11
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Erotica, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 100
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

The Billionaire’s Club: a fabulously sexy contemporary series about some of the world’s wealthiest, most powerful men and the women they claim…and keep. The face of the Morrow company, Donovan Morrow is the ultimate Trojan. But despite his entrepreneurial gifts—in the boardroom and the bedroom—he always comes in second to his big brother, Jax. Until Victoria de Winter, a beautiful and brilliant corporate rival, enters the picture…Victoria has enjoyed great success in her family’s business—and now that she’s engaged, she seems to have her future all figured out. But as soon as she meets Donovan, she is tormented by their mutual desire…and soon she is his to possess. But what is the price of surrendering to the Billion Dollar Bad Boy?Don’t miss Jax’s story in The Billion Dollar Bachelor, available now! And Sean’s story in The Billionaire Biker coming in April 2014.

While overall this was an enjoyable story I can see where there might be some issues for readers.  The heroine is actually engaged at the start of the story and while you know upfront that the relationship is not one of love but convenience please don’t read this if any sort of infidelity bothers you.  In this case I didn’t get too fixated on the engagement but I know many see this as unequivocal cheating and won’t look beyond that to the “arrangement” the two of them have.

Victoria has always wanted one single thing – her father to treat and consider her his own daughter not just the kid he adopted to make his wife happy.  She’s lived most of her life (mom died at 8) wanting to matter to her father but knows that he just sees her as a burden.  She’s desperate to get the land that Morrow is selling in order to maybe just maybe finally be seen as a de Winter and get a bit of her father’s attention/affection.  As she works to get the deal she is forced to deal with Donovan Morrow who is adamant he will not sell the property but plays games with her and causes her to maybe want something real….  She’s so locked up and used to living behind a mask that the fire unleashed by her chemistry with Donovan throws her for a loop.  I liked how she was honest with herself once the walls started to come down and that she stood up for herself in the end.

Donovan just wants to be a real Morrow.  Sure he is related by blood to his family but his father never considered him worth anything, even when he did things that made him deeply ashamed in order to get information for his dad.  He’s so good at putting on the mask everyone expects to see and when Victoria manages to get under his skin he just keeps lying and saying there is nothing there.  I liked how he was so able to see behind the mask with Victoria but hated how he wasn’t willing to give her the chance to show him that her feelings were real.  He needed to have a major wakeup call but I did get that his actions were a direct result of years of damage from his prior lifestyle and not a direct attack on Victoria.

The two of them have a chemistry that burns up the pages but there is a definite amount of heart and angst that play factors in the story.  Donovan just needed someone to show him he was worth everything and Victoria needed someone to show her she belonged.  They find this in one another and I am happy to have read the story.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley.com for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I really did enjoy it!

four-stars

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Death and the Girl Next Door – Darynda Jones – 3 Stars

October 28, 2012 NetGalley, Read in 2012, St. Martin's Press 0

Where do I start with this…  It has the snark and humor that I expect from Darynda but for some reason it fell a little flat for me.  Not that it isn’t worth reading but maybe I expected too much from it after the others I have read from her.  This is YA so do not go in to this expecting a major romance and sexy times.  The fun with this is the interaction of the leads plus her friends.

Lorelei lost her parents years ago and has been stuck living with her grandparents when odd things start to happen.  I mean odder than normal for her..  she can see visions of people when she touches them so that isn’t exactly normal.  She however sees someone that no-one else saw and then runs in to the same gorgeous boy at school where he is a new student.  Combine this with the bad boy in school starting to stalk her and weird doesn’t even cut it.  She’s conflicted and doesn’t know what is going on but whatever it is the two boys are at the center of it.

Jared…  our mystery sexy boy…   turns out he is more than expected and I enjoyed learning about him.  I’m intrigued enough where I want to read more of this series to see how it all plays out and if he turns out to truly be on the good side and not one of the bad guys.  I think the disappointment comes from the whole insta-love thing that goes on more than his character.

Cameron is a bad boy in theory but when you get to know him he’s just misunderstood and saddled with more than any one mortal (?) should be saddled with but then so is Lorelei.  He’s got a bit of depth to him I’d like to see more of and I think I know who is partner is going to be…  🙂

Throw in a couple of great friends and a secret that has been kept from all of them for a good time but just something was missing that I can’t put my finger on unfortunately…  🙁

Thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

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