Author: Jackie Ashenden

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Dirty For Me – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

four-half-stars

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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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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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Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!

August 18, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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

Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!Living in Shadow by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-08-12
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 232
Source: the Author
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five-stars

Finding his way out of the darkness could be the biggest fight of his life.

Living In..., Book 1

Law professor Eleanor May is fine with taking over a class for a colleague on sabbatical. She’s not so fine with the hot student who’s always seated front and center. Once upon a time she was that student...and the scars remain eight years after it ended.Yet this guy seems different from the others. Despite the alarm bells in her head warning her about history repeating itself, she is drawn toward the forbidden once again—even though this time it could consume her.

Lucien North’s past is darker than the ink on his skin, a reminder of a time when survival was a fight to the death. Seducing his beautiful professor wasn’t supposed to be part of his plan to put it behind him, but there’s something about Eleanor that’s gotten hold of him and won’t let go.

Together they light up the night, but will their powerful desire lead them to love—or drag them both to the brink of disaster?

Warning: Contains a younger man so hot he might scorch your fingertips, and forbidden lust so tempting, there’s no point in trying to resist. Check your inhibitions at the door—it’s WTFery 101 and class is in session.

So…. imagine you’ve finally managed to move on with your life after years of being in an abusive relationship that makes you suppress your inner desires as they’d been used to hold you captive for so long.  They’d been twisted and torn but in your deepest self you need this in order to feel whole…. Well if you can imagine this then you know our heroine, Eleanor, and can see why she finds the young man at the front of the class she is teaching to be such a threat.  She’s not ready to let go again and trust in someone but he calls to her and she finds that the more she tries to control the situation by pushing him away the less control she actually has.  She’s such a strong character but  her need to submit is something that is core to her mental health that she is finding harder and harder to keep buried.  As she begins to trust this younger man she also begins to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex and even more surprisingly finds that she is healing a younger man with an old soul who needs this bond they share to finally put his own demons to rest.

I’m going to keep Lucien’s story to myself and let you get to know him the way Eleanor does.  I will say he is amazingly hot and oh soooo yummy but his struggle with control will make you want to heal him.  He needs a strong woman who will push him to his limits but one that will yield to him, trust in him and love him enough to stand by him when the truth of his past comes out.  He’s so good at keeping others out that watching him let her in was oh so good.

I always love Jackie’s tortured heroes and heroines so this one was no exception.  They both have such an amazing amount of healing to do and seeing them find their way was very enjoyable.  As always Jackie’s very generous with me and my known grabby hands for all her stories so I can’t help but thank her for this story and the many others she’s sent my way.

 

So …  how about a quick giveaway???  Two Nook or Kindle copies up for grabs just tell me…  do you love tortured heroes/heroines as much as I do??  I’ll draw the winners on 8/22/14 at Noon Central so get your comments in before then!!!

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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Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars

February 10, 2014 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 0

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

Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 starsHaving Her by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-02-11
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 333
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Behind every heroine is the pain that binds her. Lies We Tell, Book 2Manga café owner Kara Sinclair has one burden she’s been carrying around so long it’s bordering on pathetic. Her virginity. Getting rid of it, though, means doing the one thing that scares her the most—letting down her guard with a relative stranger. Which makes her best friend’s older brother Vin Fox’s offer too tempting to refuse. Vin barely has room in his schedule to turn around, much less worry about Kara and her crazy quest. When she insists on going ahead with a plan that he considers unsafe, though, enough is enough. If she wants to lose it, she can lose it with him. Bonus: he gets to play out his darkest fantasies, slave collar and all. Kara thought dealing with a known entity like sexy-as-sin, controlling-as-hell Vin would smooth the way. But when it comes right down to doing the deed, not even the safety of a costume can fool her demons. By then the game has gone too far...and the consequences could bind them together forever. Or tear them apart at the seams. Warning: Contains a sexy, brooding “fix you” hero and a heroine who isn’t afraid of anything...except “normal.” More kinky cosplay losts-and-founds than you can shake a riding crop at. WTF Infirmary is booked up; please make an appointment before you read.

If you haven’t read Taking Him yet…  please do so before you read this one.  While you don’t technically have to there is a lot of tie-in between the two stories as they overlap and knowing the prior story does help a bit to get you more in the head of these two.

Kara just wants to get rid of the annoying thing called her virginity but she just can’t seem to do the deed with the men she meets.  When she mentions this plan to her best friend’s older brother she gets more than she expected as he offers to be the partner..  of course this is after some immense teasing on her part but when he offers it becomes something she can’t help but want.  As they come together she has to confront her demons and finally stand up for herself in her private life.  This is a woman who has so many reasons to not let someone in her heart and body but when she finally does the results are amazing and the power she gains over her past was beautiful to watch.  I loved how she finally stood up for what she wanted even as it killed her to do so.  She has so much more strength than she knew which Jackie brings to life in moments that had me crying and yelling at my Kindle.

Vin…  sigh…  Vin…  bless his stubborn soul.  He’s so misguided about what is going on with Kara that it made me laugh at times as both of them really didn’t understand what they were getting in to when they came up with the slave/master arrangement.  He feels an incredible amount of responsibility for everything around him and that leads him to not take care of himself.  As he gets what he needs from this arrangement with Kara he feels an amazing amount of release in their stolen moments but at the same time is suffocating himself with a level of guilt for what he believes to be being selfish.  As he struggles with this guilt the unexpected happens and his reaction to it made me want to hurt him as much as he was hurting Kara.  I understood both sides of the conflict but still wanted to hurt him… (yes Jackie I know you did warn me) … You can’t stay mad at him as you watch him struggle with trying to do the right thing all the time and his actions in the end will make you tear up at the huge amount of (as Maisey Yates says) FEELS that are evoked.

So…. here are a few notes:

  1. Have Kleenex cause you will need them a bit
  2. Have ice cause oh dear lord are the two of them hot hot hot together
  3. Have someone you can talk to as you get ready to bash Vin upside the head but ya know Kara has a few moments as well
  4. Don’t read unless you can sit down and gobble this up in one sitting

 

Special thanks to Jackie for giving me a chance to read this one really early…  You can always send me things cause your dirty heroes with feels are just ummmm HOT!!  Also thanks for not expecting a review of any kind let alone telling me what to write for said review.  I appreciate getting the chance to read both of these stories and will be happy to take more of your dirty heroes off your hands…

five-stars

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