Genre: General

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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
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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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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
Buy on Amazon
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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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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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Everywhere and Every Way – Jennifer Probst – 4 stars

June 3, 2016 Gallery Books 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.

Everywhere and Every Way – Jennifer Probst – 4 starsEverywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst
Published by Gallery Books on May 31st 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, General
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

Hot on the heels of her beloved Marriage to a Billionaire novels, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst nails it with the first in an all-new sexy romance series featuring red-hot contractor siblings who give the Property Brothers a run for their money!

Ever the responsible eldest brother, Caleb Pierce started working for his father’s luxury contracting business at a young age, dreaming of one day sitting in the boss’s chair. But his father’s will throws a wrench in his plans by stipulating that Caleb share control of the family business with his two estranged brothers.

Things only get more complicated when demanding high-end home designer Morgan hires Caleb to build her a customized dream house that matches her specifications to a T—or she’ll use her powerful connections to poison the Pierce brothers’ reputation. Not one to ignore a challenge, Caleb vows to get the job done—if only he can stop getting distracted by his new client’s perfect…amenities.

But there’s more to icy Morgan than meets the eye. And Caleb’s not the only one who knows how to use a stud-finder. In fact, Morgan is pretty sure she’s found hers—and he looks quite enticing in a hard hat. As sparks fly between Morgan and Caleb despite his best intentions not to mix business and pleasure, will she finally warm up and help him lay the foundation for everlasting love?

I was approached with this title just before the crazy whirlwind that was BEA.  I then proceeded to get pneumonia and forgot to get back to the publicists with my email address that I use for NetGalley but…. They thankfully took my plea for the title and sent me the link to grab this from NetGalley so here we go.  I had another title in front of it but once I started it I was hooked.

Imagine living your life trying to make your dad finally be happy.  Imagine not being completely true to yourself but living a sort of half-life as you struggle to finally get approval… If you can imagine that you have a lot of what Caleb is going thru as we open this book.  He then not only loses his dad he also is confronted with the fact that he now has to find a way to work with his two estranged brothers in order to save what he had made his life.  There is so much pain, hurt and sheer stubbornness holding the boys apart that you will want to just slap them but at the same time as the whole story unfolds you understand it.  Caleb is all strong, sexy MINE male but we see how much of a true softie he is.  He’ll make you swoon and let’s be honest ladies…  If you are lucky enough to find a man you are just barely getting involved with that says stubble is just fine…  well hell..  instant melt.  I mean we all know that spending time shaving our legs isn’t our favorite thing but we also all know that for a new relationship or just fling we go the extra mile for smooth baby smooth.

Morgan made me happy with her fight, softness and general kick-ass personality so I enjoyed getting to see her hold her own against all the men.  I also felt for her when her story comes out as that would cause most women to give up hope but she’s so much more than that.  She tried so hard to keep him at bay but there is something that just is with her and Caleb so you will enjoy seeing her lose the battle.  The first scene in the bar cracked me up and her reaction afterwards was immensely satisfying.  I also enjoyed how she just fit with them and wasn’t afraid to wade in to the tension between the boys but also knew she had to let them figure it out between themselves.

Now…  I have to admit I am looking forward to the next story but honestly… the final brother will make me happy if what I think is true is true.  If it is true you will not be able to keep me from that book even if I am in the middle of something else.  The next book will prove painful I’m sure but if my hunch plays out then book 3 will just be ANGST CITY….. *sigh*

I also admit to being jealous of the work they were doing and could imagine the artistry that they created in the house.  I did have the chance to meet The Property Brothers while I was at BEA and found myself laughing as they were mentioned.  I’m pretty sure they would enjoy the fact that they were mentioned in here as they definitely have the sense of humor to enjoy it.

four-stars

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Until November – Aurora Rose Reynolds – 3.5 stars

May 31, 2016 Read in 2016 1

Until November – Aurora Rose Reynolds – 3.5 starsUntil November by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Published by Aurora Rose Reynolds Genres: Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Erotica, General
Pages: 250
Buy on Amazon
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three-half-stars
five-flames

November is looking forward to getting to know her father and the safety of a small town. After leaving the big apple and her bad memories for Tennessee, November starts working for her dad at his strip club doing the books. The one time she’s allowed there during club hours she runs into Asher Mayson. He’s perfect until he opens his mouth and makes assumptions. November wants nothing to do with Asher but too bad for November fate has other plans. Asher Mayson has never had a problem getting a woman that is until November. Now all he can think about is making November his and keeping her safe.

THIS IS NOT A CLIFF HANGER.
Newly Edited and Updated Version
*Recommended for mature audiences 17+ due to strong language and sexual content.*

If you want a quick, hot read that will make you laugh a few times as the main pair come to terms with one another, well this one is for you.   It is a very hot read with the teasing and tension hitting the moment they meet but when they finally act on it… yeah… *fans self*

I loved Beast from the moment we meet him and seeing his reactions to people just managed to crack me up.  You’ll love him as well and I hope that as I finally read this series we get to see him a bit more.

November hasn’t had the best of lives with a mother that so seriously needed to get much worse than she got but hey karma will get back at her later.  I liked how November took the hits but kept fighting to be loved and to stand on her own feet.  She isn’t weak nor is she stupid but man oh man does she NOT know what to make of Asher.  Her interactions with his family and her own new-to-her family made me both laugh and feel for her as she finally gets something that she never had growing up…  unconditional love and acceptance.  I appreciated that she didn’t want to be weak but wanted to be kept in the loop no matter how hard it might be to hear.  She also was a great blend of a woman who loves girlie things but also is willing to get dirty (yep in many different ways) if the occasion calls for it.

Asher started off as a bit of an ass.  You aren’t sure what to make of him and then you start to get more information about who he is, what makes him tick and the family “curse” which then makes you adore him.  He’s very driven to protect what is HIS even as he can’t quite make her understand that he isn’t kidding.  I appreciated getting the look at how much he values family and truly understands what it means to want to provide for those  you love.  He made me so happy and so mad many times during the story but that is a good thing as some of the storyline honestly made me roll my eyes.

I didn’t really care for the “suspense” part of the story as it was very cheesy but otherwise the main pair made me very happy and I will be looking for more in the series.

three-half-stars

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The Undoing – Shelly Laurenston – 5 Stars

March 29, 2016 Kensington, Read in 2016, Sent 1

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

The Undoing – Shelly Laurenston – 5 StarsThe Undoing by Shelly Laurenston
Published by Kensington on 2016-03-29
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 400
Source: the publisher
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five-stars

A risk worth taking…

No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.

But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.

Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!

Ok Vida…  I cannot stress this enough..  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!  You will get hugs and maybe if both our schedules can work out at RT a drink for sending me this ARC.

Now to the book….

Those who know me know that Shelly Laurenston is a drop everything author for me even with the craziness of my job and school.  When this one arrived in  my mailbox I might’ve squealed a bit then jumped right in.  It was so worth having to stay up later to work on homework just because of our lovely Crows and the poor men who fall in love with them.

Jace was someone that most people would have a hard time knowing but I think she and I would fit in just fine together.  I love to just curl up and read while avoiding the world.  The fact that my local grocery store now has delivery just makes it so much easier to get off work on Friday and not leave again until work on Monday.  My cats have gotten used to this fact and I think enjoy it as much as I do.  Jace needs to figure out something to get her away from the other well-meaning Crows so takes advantage of an offer to work with the Protectors.  What she finds is people who get her and truly accept who she is even with her quirks.  She also ends up finding an amazing man who doesn’t think she’s damaged or bizarre but really gets HER.  I loved seeing her open up and become the woman she was meant to be even as the world is in crisis.

Ski… *seriously happy sigh*… this is a man who just understands her once he puts all the pieces together.  He has spent most of his life dealing with the characters that are the Protectors and now he’s found a woman who truly can fit in his world while keeping him on his toes.  He needs someone that is capable of being independent in many ways but still needs him.  He’s also such a fun character to get to know as he manages to balance his own interests with the immense responsibilities that are on his shoulders.  I also couldn’t help but love….

His CAT….  yeah we have a book with animals that are just as funny as the people who own them with their own quirks and awesome mannerisms.  Ski’s cat and Jace’s puppy will keep you giggling at various moments plus..

BRODIE HAWAII!!!!!

Oh and we get CLIPBOARDS… People get to finally start showing why they are critical for the battles to come and I loved how this story continues to build as we see more of the inhabitants of this world….

Also…  The Sisters made me have to sit the book down and laugh for a few minutes…

Yeah ok I am babbling here but this is why Shelly Laurenston is an automatic GIMMEE and I am so happy to have crossed paths with Vida in Kansas City.  I am glad we met and she keeps feeding me with titles that make my book-reading soul happy.

five-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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Begging For It – Lilah Pace – 5 stars

September 1, 2015 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.

Begging For It – Lilah Pace – 5 starsBegging for It by Lilah Pace
Published by Penguin on 2015-09-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they're taking are far more dangerous than they'd imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is...

It’s over…  *sigh* … It’s really over… unless we can talk her in to letting us see them again Jonah and Vivienne’s story is over..  *SOBS*

As I work to come to terms with the fact that there isn’t another story of theirs coming out I have to share what I thought of this one.  We get more of the people surrounding our pair in this story but we also finally get to see Jonah completely…  YAY!!!

Vivienne still has a messed up family who choose to believe that she went after her rapist and that she wasn’t raped.  I mean who cares as long as the facade is kept.  I mean who cares that you chose to ignore her when she did try to say something and when he basically admitted it when Jonah stood up for her.  She’s not being honest right???  Right???  I mean I wish we didn’t have to deal with them at all in this book but it did help finally let her see that nothing was going to change and as much as she adores her niece there comes a time when she has to do what is healthy for her.  I felt for Vivienne in this story as at the beginning she has to take a stand (I must say BRAVA) and let Jonah know she wants it all or nothing.  She also proves her worth by standing up for him when everything looks bleak and standing up for them when he falters.  She gets her strength completely back in this book and finally comes to terms with something that her therapist has been trying to get to all along.  I enjoyed seeing her grow as the story went on and finding a healthy balance in her mental state.

Jonah…  my dear tortured Jonah.  I adored him in this even when I wanted to scream at him.  He’s such a good man under all of his issues there is a general goodness that the years of torment cannot touch.  I loved seeing his family other than his stepdad and how hard they all work to bring the asshole down.  He’s right when he wants more than just the games with Vivienne and what he does to work towards a completely healthy relationship shows he’s in it for all the right reasons.  He has a long way to go to come to terms with his own past but I think he’s in good hands with Vivienne and her therapist.  This story also underscored how easy it is to take things out of context and twist them in to something that makes someone look evil or depraved.

The side-story of abusive relationships made me sad and I was glad to see him starting to heal from going down that path.  *I’m not saying who cause I think it helps the story not to say who*  This also makes me want his story and see him find his match.  I’d also like to see our loved alcoholic get his one and only but hey I’m greedy…  LOL

five-stars

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30 Days – Christine d’Abo – 3 stars

August 31, 2015 Kensington, 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.

30 Days – Christine d’Abo – 3 stars30 Days by Christine d'Abo
Published by Kensington on 2015-07-28
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Erotica, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

For years, Alyssa has been going to bed with a memory. Is she ready to wake up with a fantasy?

Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mate, but not Alyssa Barrow. She met Rob at nineteen, and they were set to live happily ever after—until he became ill. In his final days, Rob urged his beautiful, young wife not to abandon happiness—or pleasure. He even left her a special gift, a sexy game plan to help her move on: Thirty cards with instructions for thirty days of passion. You'll know when the time is right, he'd said. Now it's two years later, and when Alyssa meets her hot new neighbor, Harrison Kemp, she begins to think the right time is right now…

From his sculpted thighs to his devilish grin, Harrison is the kind of man women want. Before she can lose her nerve, Alyssa tells Harrison about her long-ignored cards…and asks him to help her fulfill them. It's a favor he's more than happy to, um, perform. With his skillful touch, and the hot press of his lips against her skin, Alyssa finds herself re-awakening to life—and a host of other sensations. But what began as not-so-innocent fun soon grows into true intimacy, and Alyssa realizes she's opening herself up not just to sex…but to love. When it comes to a future with Harrison, what's really in the cards?

Saucy, heartwarming, and insightful, 30 Days explores the agony—and the ecstasy—of starting over, and how a little encouragement, and a little courage, can go a long way…

Be ready to tear up a little bit as you read this but also be ready to have a couple of issues with both the hero and heroine…

I’m struggling a bit with this one…  I liked it but I didn’t like how little we got to see of who Harrison is and what he wants other than thru her eyes.  I didn’t like that we really had limited time with him outside of what they did in bed or when they were fulfilling one of the cards.  I liked what we saw of him but I found myself wanting more of his time than of her time.  We just get a glimpse of a good man that has his own demons to put away but I just don’t see how they can be in love without more from him.

My biggest issues were with the heroine and her obsession with the past.  I get that she lost the love of her life… I really do… but I struggled with how much we had to hear about him and what he meant to her and blah blah blah.  Okay that sounds a bit harsh but come on really????  In real life there are these sorts of stories but I guess we have uncovered that in my fiction I don’t want to constantly hear about the ex or see the heroine obsess over her dead true love.  I mean we are in the story to see a couple develop and to be quite honest I felt for Harrison as he was fighting a ghost.  Granted what let him in to her life was her wanting to use the cards the man left her but dammit…  I wanted to understand more about the pull they shared which was constantly interrupted by the musings she had about her dear, sainted dead true love.

Yeah I guess I am a meanie but overall the story wasn’t bad but wasn’t something that I adored.  I liked the idea of the cards and the way it could bring someone back to life but dammit I want my couple to be a couple without a constant ghost cropping up.

three-stars

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Deadly Strain – Julie Rowe – 3.5 stars

June 15, 2015 Carina Press, 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.

Deadly Strain – Julie Rowe – 3.5 starsDeadly Strain by Julie Rowe
Published by Carina Press on 2015-06-15
Genres: Action & Adventure, Contemporary, Fiction, General, Military, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 242
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars

Book one of Biological Response Team

Major Grace Samuels, a trauma surgeon deployed to Afghanistan, spends her life helping her fellow soldiers overcome disease and combat injuries. But her own wounds are harder to heal. Wracked with guilt over the death of a fellow soldier, she finds comfort in her only friend and appointed bodyguard, weapons sergeant Jacob "Sharp" Foster.

Sharp feels more for Grace than a soldier should, more than he wants to admit. When the team discovers a new, quick-to-kill strain of anthrax, he tries to focus on the mission to find its source. He knows he can help Grace defeat her demons, but first they must defeat the deadly outbreak.

Sharp is Grace's most loyal ally, but in close quarters, he starts to feel like more. She can't watch someone else she cares about die—but she might not have a choice. The closer they get to finding the source of the strain, the closer it gets to finding them.

79,830 words

Interesting story about modern day biological warfare and those who work to keep us safe.  I look forward to more from this series as the work that went in to researching the biological weapon and special forces personnel showed in a believable threat with action that kept me interested during the story.

Grace just wants to do her job and do it well.  She wants nothing more than to save lives and make a difference to those she works with but she’s also haunted.  She will never forget people she’s served with and lost but one loss haunts her more than any other.  When they get a call to go check out a suspicious set of deaths at a relatively remote outpost, she has to come to terms with not only her past but the man who wants to be there for her future in order for any of them to have a future.  She’s driven and damn good at what she does which shines thru even as she doubts herself because of survivor’s guilt.  I liked how she would work herself to the bone in order to get answers but mainly liked that she does what she has to in order to survive and complete the mission.  She is someone that I would want in my corner should the worst happen as you know that she will sacrifice herself if it means more survive.

Jacob..  *swoon*…  he’s something else but I would expect him to be all that and a bag of chips.  He’s Special Forces but he’s also a man who has discovered the woman that makes him a bit crazy.  He’s driven to protect Grace from not only outside threats but also herself as he discovers more about how driven she is.  When he pushes her you understand her frustration with him but you also see why he pushes her to let go.  She needs someone who will act as a relatively neutral voice of reason in order to get her to eat and take care of what her body needs.  She really does need a babysitter in some respects but the way Jacob goes about it occasionally made me laugh.  He was someone that while driven to defend his woman also realized that she was quite capable of holding her own.  He didn’t coddle her but instead worked to make her see his side even as much as she hated that.

Overall this was an interesting story with some information that will frighten those who haven’t kept up with modern or heck even old-school biological warfare.  The weapon described is frightening in nature made more so by how much of a possibility this is.  I hope that we never see something like this created but one never knows what evil is out there.

 

three-half-stars

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