Musings on Sept 1, 2016

September 1, 2016 Uncategorized 1

I am happy to say that I am working on being more consistent with reviews on the site.  I may have also persuaded someone to occasionally review titles with me on the site so expect some additional titles and opinions coming soon!  I’m excited because I love sharing things with people and to have someone else be willing to put her opinions out here is YAY!!!!!

So this month is gonna be a new start in a few respects –

  • My bachelor’s program starts Sept 12 which also happens to be my 46th birthday… yeah…  NOT COOL but I know that if I stick with it I get the degree in March 2018 so I’ll do it.
  • My workout program starts on Sept 6 with a small bit being done as I review the yoga dvds I have at home this weekend.
  • My closet will have one final purge this weekend as I finish going thru shoes and purses so all items in the closet and dressers really mean something vs just being clutter.
  • My meal changes will be taking effect this month as I work harder at not eating fast food.  I need to also purge soft drinks but baby steps including drinking more water.
  • The duo also is not immune from changes…  They will be back on the whole “hooman trying to kill us by only feeding us small amount 3 times a day” routine which is painful but they (BELLA) need it.  I’ll have to keep an eye on Macaroni so he doesn’t lose a ton of weight but the Diva definitely needs to get a bit smaller like her hooman.
  • My DSLR will start getting some use as I try to make a new habit of a photo a day plus it’ll come in handy as I start to expand my horizons and bake bread.

So yeah there are changes but I like these changes as I try to get out of this funk I’ve been in for a while now.  I like my life now but I know that I need to wake up and do some things that will let me be a better version of myself.

Do you have any changes that you are making in your life so you can feel more comfortable in your own skin?

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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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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The Songbird’s Call – Rachael Herron – 4 stars

August 29, 2016 Read in 2016, Sent 1

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

The Songbird’s Call – Rachael Herron – 4 starsThe Songbird's Call Published by HGA Publishing on August 29, 2016
Pages: 271
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

From international bestseller Rachael Herron, comes a book too delightful to put down:

Once Adele, Molly and Lana were The Darling Songbirds, a world-famous country band. Now they're just three sisters who barely speak. But that's about to change.

Middle sister Molly arrives in town, and is immediately drawn to the neglected little café where she worked as a teenager. Could she dare to bring it back to life? As lead singer, Molly had always been the voice of the band. But caught between controlling big sister Adele and demanding baby sister Lana, she never felt heard. If she's going to reopen the café, she'll do it on her own terms, no more being bossed.

So the last person she should fall for is the handsome Sheriff Colin McMurty - the man whose job it is to tell people exactly what to do.

When we finished the last book the surprise of Molly’s arrival set us up for this story of the second sister.  She’s at a crossroads in her own life where she needs to figure out what steps to take next and to heal a bit from the mess her life has been.  She’s shocked to see how bad of shape the property is in but even more surprised about her reaction to Colin.  You’ll like her spirit as she really does love her sisters even as they drive her crazy but mainly because she’s a fighter who is finally realizing where she belongs.  I loved how she was willing to put in the work, defend herself and then own when she does make a mistake.  She’s strong, soft, caring, and basically someone that you would love to know as she is very loyal to those around her.  I loved how she didn’t take things for granted and that when things came to a head she owned her actions.  She’s smart and what she makes out of a horrible situation is something to be incredibly proud of.

Colin has his own issues and seeing him finally get to act on his old crush was fun.  I appreciated all that he was willing to do in the name of protecting his family but I did get pissed at him for not understanding the position he put Molly in and assuming that he KNEW best when it came to handling the situation.  He’s such a good man that watching his struggle to realize that he wasn’t his father was a bit disconcerting but his effort to make Molly his was amazing.  I might’ve teared up a little because it took a lot for him to make the gesture he did.  I also enjoyed his controlling behaviors once I understood where they came from and how he worked hard to keep that need at bay.  He wants to be everything his father wasn’t which causes a lot of tension that isn’t needed.

I cannot wait for this trilogy to conclude as I want to see what Lana has been up to and see how they will all come together again.  Molly and Adele have come to a truce but will this last sister be able to reconcile?

Thanks again to Nat for bringing this author and title to my attention.  I now need to go to her backlist and read more…  LOL

four-stars

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The Darling Songbirds – Rachael Herron – 3.5 stars

August 22, 2016 Read in 2016, Sent 1

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

The Darling Songbirds by Rachael Herron
Published by HGA Publishing on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 375
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

From international bestseller Rachael Herron, comes a book too delightful to put down:

The saloon had always looked old-fashioned, but now it resembled a set in a ghost town. The problem was that Adele wasn't in an old western, or a ghost town. Darling Bay was the sleepy gold-rush town her great-grandfather had given his name to.

The town she'd left for good a long time ago.

The building is a ruin, the business is broke and customers are scarce. Add into the mix Nate Houston - the handsome, guitar-playing bartender who had always believed he would be the next owner - and Adele has one potent cocktail on her hands.

Can a rundown saloon in a sleepy town finally offer Adele a way into love?

Relationships are at the heart of women's fiction, and Herron could teach a master class on creating them. Chicklit Central

This heartwarming, hilarious, and red-hot contemporary romance will leave you wishing for a marina view of your very own. From sisters to second chances, this small-town romance will make you laugh and cry. Herron's characters are grounded and relatable, but her twists and turns leave you satisfied as a reader. For a good time, pack this beach read on your vacation! You'll love this book.

Rachael Herron seamlessly blends romance, friendship, and laughter. Barbara Bretton, USA Today Bestselling Author

A FULL-LENGTH STANDALONE, a great entry into the world of Rachael Herron's sexy and hilarious books.

Occasionally I get review requests from fellow bloggers who also work as author’s assistants, these have consistently been good finds and this trend has continued with a “new-to-me” author.  This particular title is the first one in a new series about a trio of sisters who rose to fame as singers until everything changed when tragedy struck.  The trio split up and now don’t even really talk to one another or see each other.  The bitterness and issues are not ones that will be easily overcome because they have roots in the fundamental differences between the personalities so it will take effort to get past the past.

Adele has always been the fixer, the people pleaser and the one who makes sure everything goes correctly.  She’s now at a point in her life where everything seems to be working against her but she’s determined to get the bar/hotel/cafe that her uncle left to the sisters sold and start rebuilding her life away from painful memories.  She’s not expecting the place to be in ruins nor the man who runs the bar.  As she starts to clean up the bar and work on her uncle’s apartment, she realizes that perhaps this is where she needs to be for the life she deserves to have.  I loved how she started to open up as she finally embraced the town and Nate.  I enjoyed seeing her fall for a man who has his own secrets but mainly the fact that she owned her mistakes without any fake apologies or excuses.  She’s finally realized what part she played in driving the sisters apart and is working on the personality trait that brought it about.  The estrangement isn’t entirely hers to fix or take blame for but she does make the gesture to repair the rift.

Nate was someone that I quite enjoyed.  He’s not a man to run away from a problem but is a man who has his own demons to slay.  I enjoyed his stubborn streak but also loved the fact that he does so much for so many.  He wants to make a go of the property and attempted to buy it from her uncle so harbors a bit of resentment for the woman he believes is stealing what should be his.  He thinks she’s callous and unfeeling because none of the sisters showed up for their uncle’s funeral but in reality the memories were to painful along with her being off the grid when he passed.  Nate has some major issues he has to work thru and his attraction to Adele isn’t something he ever planned.  He made me laugh, sniffle and then happy as he works thru his issues and in to a life that really is perfect for him.  A good man with a heart of gold describes him well and his naughty side would make me quite happy..  *grin*

So take a chance and start this series..  book 2 releases next week so keep an eye on this page for my review of book 2.

three-half-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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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Musings for August 18, 2016

August 18, 2016 Musings 1

I am going to start doing more of these musings posts here so please get used to seeing them..  I may ramble *ok ok I WILL ramble* but I hope that some of them might prove interesting or provide some form of entertainment.

As many of you know I just recently finished my Associate’s Degree and am about to start my Bachelor’s program, I will whine and complain and fuss about this but overall this is a good thing for me to get under my belt so just bear with me as I mutter.  The program I am taking is offered by Bellevue University and is called a Cohort program which basically means an accelerated program where I take one class every 6 weeks or so with everything *and I mean everything* scheduled in one fell swoop.  What this means is I know what class I am taking for the ENTIRETY of the program and have an END DATE!!!  So my classes start on my 46th birthday (Sept 12) and will be done on March 12, 2018.  I also get to have the same instructor and classmates for the entire program so we will work together to complete our degrees in Business Analysis and Management (BS) using the online format.  I’m sort of looking forward to seeing who is in my group and where they all are as Bellevue University tends to have a lot of military participation.  If you are comfortable with writing papers in the APA format please let me know as I will probably need help making sure I get things correct.

Now on to more entertaining things…

I hope you have enjoyed the fact that I have more reviews going up…  I know I love to read and being able to get back in to the groove again is proving to be refreshing for my mind and soul.  I have quite a few titles that are scheduled for later in October and November so be on the lookout for those….  I also have some that I’ve read that come out later this month and next month so I hope you enjoy learning about them as we get closer to the release.  I’ll tease some of them on my Twitter feed so 😉  I’m curious though…

Are there any titles you are looking forward to over the next couple of months?  Any authors you really want to see?  Is there anything you’d like to see me do with my reviews or the site in general?

I appreciate anything you wish to offer and hope that this idea of posting regular musings or just off-the-cuff posts will be something you’d like to see.

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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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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Willing Victim: Remastered – Cara McKenna – 4 stars

August 16, 2016 Purchased, Read in 2016 1

Willing Victim: Remastered – Cara McKenna – 4 starsWilling Victim: Remastered by Cara McKenna
on July 8, 2016
Pages: 146
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A re-release of the 2010 fan favorite, with light revisions and an expanded ending.

For the past couple years Laurel's been coasting, hiding in the backseat while her life drifts off course. Then one summer afternoon a tall, built bruiser named Flynn strides in and steers her straight into an infatuation she never saw coming.

Flynn introduces Laurel to things she’s never imagined before—to the violent but exciting realm of the underground boxing circuit, to rough sex and even rougher role-playing, and to an attraction she craves even as it intimidates her. As Flynn invites her deeper into his world and his life, Laurel has to make a choice—let fear keep her holed up where it’s safe, or take a chance and fight for the man who makes her feel more alive than she’d dreamed possible.

This was a very quick read for me but I enjoyed getting to know Flynn and Laurel as they unexpectedly found something that gave them everything they never hoped to find.

Laurel is at loose ends at this point in her life but seems to be content with this even as she feels restless in her skin.  She isn’t sure what she wants or needs but when she follows the man who stepped in to help when she didn’t… well…  she finds out that perhaps this masterful, dominating man is exactly what she needs.  She’s intrigued as she is invited to watch what he likes to do to the women who he shares his bed with but is in some respects frightened by her strong need to be in that place with him.  She comes out of her shell with his guidance and it causes her to want more than what she thinks he is willing to offer her.  This relationship that they build also makes her realize that she needs to decide what she really wants for her life and to quit being scared of what may come.  I liked seeing her start to own herself and even though she still has work to do you can see that she really is on the right path.

Flynn… *fans self while looking around for an ice bath* … yeah this man so does it for me.  He isn’t looking for anything other than a good time but as he spends more time with Laurel you get the feeling that he’s really not just in it for the fun they have in the bedroom.  He’s definitely a man who knows what he likes but he’s also a man who wants to make sure that his partner gets what she needs as well.  I liked getting to see how he balanced his domineering side with the softer side.  He’s a man that knows what he wants when he sees it but is also one that is willing to see where things go.  He isn’t going to stifle the core of the person he’s with and we see that towards the end of the story.

I quite enjoyed this quick read and still have more from Cara to go back and check out.

four-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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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