Genre: Romance

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The Angels’ Share – JR Ward – 4.5 stars

July 27, 2016 Berkley Trade, 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 Angels’ Share – JR Ward – 4.5 starsThe Angels' Share by J.R. Ward
Published by Penguin on July 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Sagas
Pages: 432
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation…

In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior...or the worst of all the sinners?

And now for the continuing saga of the Bradford Family….

I can just see this being made in to an evening soap opera or perhaps a telenovella in the future because it just flows like one of those epic train-wrecks that we see on those shows.  The last book ended on a bit of a surprise note with secrets being exposed and a family undergoing a major change.

The patriarch of the family is dead and has left chaos in his wake by virtue of stealing millions of dollars from his kids along with the Bradford Bourbon holdings.  He’s also left behind a scandal in the form of a pregnant soon-to-be-ex-wife of his son.  Lane finally has the love of his life by his side but is now having to hold together his family in order to right the wrongs perpetrated by his father.  He’s strong but how much can one man take on his shoulders?

There are a lot of twists and turns in this one but I think you’ll enjoy the ride.  We have the pieces coming together for Lane… Gin’s life falling apart around her both of her own making and just in general as she realizes how big of a mess she’s in…. Sutton finally having to face that even though she loves someone she has to let go (Nope nope nope want her and him together)… Edward finally seeming to understand his life and perhaps show some growth…  Samuel T was such a broken man and I loved seeing his inner battle more…

In general there are so many story-lines that are playing out during various points of the book that I really felt like I was watching a TV show and as much as I’d like to say that I hated it…  well…  I’d be lying because…

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You just can’t look away… I need more more more…

This has:

  1. Slutty ex-wife
  2. Drunk older brother in love with someone he can’t have *thinks he can’t have
  3. Who dun it???
  4. In love couple who actually are happy…
  5. Mother who is drugged up and lives in a fantasy world
  6. Momma who has cancer
  7. Dun dun dun….  the return of the lost brother….
  8. SCANDAL in the fact that millions are missing
  9. Who’s the father x2….
  10. Surprise new characters that I adored
  11. Villains GALORE

I could go on but you get the point…  CRACKTASTIC…

on a side note…  *ahem* Erin and team…  when can I get the next one??? *bats eyelashes*

four-half-stars

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His Royal Secret – Lilah Pace – 4.5 stars

July 19, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

His Royal Secret – Lilah Pace – 4.5 starsHis Royal Secret by Lilah Pace
Published by Penguin on July 19th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Gay, Contemporary
Pages: 224
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The first in an enchanting new male/male romantic duology from Lilah Pace, author of Asking for More and Begging for It ....
James, the handsome, cosmopolitan Prince of Wales, is used to being in the public eye. But he's keeping a king-sized secret...James, next in line for the throne, is gay.
He’s been able to hide his sexual orientation with the help of his best friend and beard, Lady Cassandra. Sometimes he feels like a coward for not coming out, but he daren’t risk losing the crown. If he did, the succession would fall on his deeply troubled younger sister, Princess Amelia. To protect her, James is willing to live a lie.
While on holiday, he meets Benjamin Dahan—a rugged international reporter with a globe-trotting, unattached life—who catches far more than James's eye. And when Ben is transferred to London, it seems fate may finally be smiling on James.
But what began as a torrid fling grows into something far more intimate and powerful. Soon James will have to decide who he is, what he wants from life and love, and what he’s willing to sacrifice for the truth...

I’m going to start this with the note… Lilah Pace can send me anything and everything…. please…  cause .. LOVE.

Now on to this particular title that had me begging for the next one ASAP.

Imagine if the Prince of Wales was… shhhh…. GAY?!?!?!?!?  I mean what would the impact be on the order of succession?  Who would inherit the throne?  Would they allow him to reign as King and head of the Church of England? Scandal…. Scandal… Scandal…  How could he manage to have a love life or find love if he’s forced to remain in the closet?  Would he have a “beard”?   This is the story that His Royal Secret starts where James is living a lie.  I mean it is a lie he has gotten used to but it is a lie.  He’s got his best friend, Cass, acting as his scandalous lady love but this is getting harder and harder to maintain.  He’s on a trip to Kenya when he meets a man who he’s intensely attracted to and they have a moment that ends up having a major impact on both of their lives from that moment on.  I loved how loyal James is to those who matter to him.  There is such a huge sense of honor to him that results in him being willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of The Firm aka the Royal Family.  His love for his younger sister was something to behold as she struggles with her own inner demons.  I appreciated that he was willing to do whatever it takes to keep her safe and to let Cass have a life of her own.

Ben was something else.  I had moments where I loved him and moments where I wanted to hurt him as he failed to look at things from James’s point of view.  He has such a prejudice against what he perceives to be the life of the Prince that he overlooks the man behind the title.  I think he knows who James is but it isn’t easy for him to let go of those notions.  I loved how he gives James a chance to experience things that a closeted gay man in his position could never have and that he keeps his word.  He truly does honor his word even though he is sitting on the story of the century.  His struggle with his feelings and what James means to him was realistic.

The end of the book will make you whimper as you want to know the rest of the story ASAP but it was such a good read that I’d hate for you to wait until closer to the second title to come out before you read it.  Go ahead and read it now then re-read it before you read part two… *hint – LOVED LOVED LOVED*.  This isn’t everything is pretty sunshine and roses but the men are definitely made for one another with a story that you could see playing out today.

four-half-stars

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The Bourbon Thief – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

June 29, 2016 NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

The Bourbon Thief – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Mira on June 28, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, Literary, General, Romance, Historical
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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Shadow Rider – Christine Feehan – 4 stars

June 28, 2016 Read in 2016, Snagged at Con 2

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

Shadow Rider – Christine Feehan – 4 starsShadow Rider by Christine Feehan
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on June 28th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Pages: 480
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance”* is back with a sexy new series starring a Chicago crime family that hides a dark, mystical secret...

Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.

While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…

With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her...

So at RT in Las Vegas this year I met a fun person, Amy, who was jonesing for this book…  I went to the Feehan event because I had others who I know love her stories but after seeing the trailer and being around people who were so excited..  I knew I wanted to read this.  Imagine my surprise when it ended up being one of the books that Erin and the team at Berkley were nice enough to include in the bags they gave bloggers.  Amy also got lucky enough that Jo (Kindle Jo) had her copy and didn’t need it so…  AMY SCORED ONE!  I have to say that still ranks as my favorite moment of the convention as the look on her face was priceless.

I went in to this with a slight bit of knowledge about the Shadow Riders but still wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this or not but I have to say I need book 2 NOW because this story drew me in and the fact that I want to know more about the rest of the family.  There is something seriously messed up with the way they were raised but there is such a strong sense of family that you can’t help being curious about who will be their matches.  The good thing for people who get addicted is that there are branches of the family so my guess is that if this goes well there will be a lot of stories to tell.

Francesca was a strong character who was put in a bad spot and truly only wants to be safe.  She doesn’t want to be beholden to anyone but I also adore that even when she gets the windfall from our hero she is stubborn enough to not want to use any of it.  I liked her strength and the fact that she does want to be her own person even as she is offered the world.  She’s also such a generous soul who is so drawn to our hero even when he pulls his caveman stunts but calls him on it then understands it as she gets to know the real him.  I liked how she argued but she wasn’t stupid and knew when to back down.  She doesn’t run stupidly in to trouble which made me happy.

Stefano… dude he was such an ass at the beginning.  He is used to getting things his way and truly struggles with the fact that something he never thought would happen not only has happened but is happening to HIM.  He’s not as huge of an ass as I thought initially because once you get to know him you’ll understand why he is the way he is.  Does he have stalker tendencies?  Yes.  Would you be frightened if someone in real life behaved the way he does with her?  Oh HELL YES.  Did I still love his overbearing self at the end of the story?  Yep Yep Yep…  GIMME MORE…  He’s sexy as hell and instantly devoted to his Francesca as soon as he senses her.  There is something about such a dominant man being brought to his knees by his finding the love of his life that just does it for me.  He’s not a good man by traditional standards but is a good man in so many respects.  You’ll understand when you find out the family business…

I can’t wait for more stories from this series and look forward to reading all of them as soon as possible.

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
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
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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The Pages of the Mind – Jeffe Kennedy – 4.5 stars

June 2, 2016 Kensington, NetGalley, Read in 2016 1

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

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

An Orphan's Throne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

four-half-stars

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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
Goodreads
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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Mr. and Mr. Smith – HelenKay Dimon – 5 stars

May 26, 2016 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.

Mr. and Mr. Smith – HelenKay Dimon – 5 starsMr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon
Published by Random House Publishing Group on May 24th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Military, LGBT, Gay
Pages: 210
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars
five-flames

Secrets and seduction make for an explosive combination in HelenKay Dimon’s edgy, thrilling new series, which kicks off with a novel about two men who can handle any threat—except the one posed by desire.

Fisher Braun knows how to keep a secret. As a covert paramilitary operative, his job—and his life—depends on it. He’s at the top of his game, ready for action and always in control. No enemy has ever brought him to his knees, but one lover has: Zachary Allen, the man currently sharing his bed. The perfect package of brains and brawn, Zach is someone worth coming home to, and Fisher hates keeping him in the dark about what he does. But the lies keep Zach safe. Until the day Fisher loses everything. . . .

Zachary Allen is no innocent civilian. Although he plays the tech geek, in reality he’s deep undercover for the CIA. In a horrible twist of fate, the criminal enterprise he’s infiltrated has set its sights on the man whose touch drives him wild. Zach would do anything for Fisher—except blow his own cover. Now, in order to save him, Zach must betray him first. And he needs Fisher to trust him with all his heart if they want to make it out alive.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

What do you get when you have two men who have an abundance of chemistry?  You get this book and all the sexy man on sexy man action that it contains.  All I have to say is “MORE MORE MORE CAN I HAZ MORE????”

We start by getting to see Fisher in the middle of his worst nightmare come to life.  He’s going to find out that what he thought was bad is infinitely so much worse than he could’ve ever imagined.  He’s such a hard soul to get to know but what this is hiding is a man who needs someone to just STAY.  He needs someone to love him for everything that he thinks he isn’t but is and show him that he can be their everything.  I loved how much he struggled with what happens but loved that HelenKay didn’t make him fold immediately.  We get to see someone truly struggle with what he feels, thinks he knows and projects on others around him because of his history.  His angst and struggle made everything hard on both men but honestly there wasn’t another way for this to play out.  If the struggle didn’t happen then nothing else would’ve worked.

Zach is having to do the one thing he never wanted to do but, like Fisher, he is struggling with his past.  He’s also struggling because he made a choice that has led to this breaking point even though there really wasn’t another way for this to go with who he is at his core.  You can feel how hard he just wants Fisher to listen to him, to believe him and to accept him but there’s also an undercurrent that he expects the worst.  His interactions with the team and Fisher will have you turning pages quickly because you want to know how this plays out.

The sexual tension between the men has a tendency to explode on the page which will keep you fanning yourself as you try to cool down but keep reading.  I also loved the storyline outside of the love story and need more about this especially H&W. *HINT HINT*  I mean if that gets told it’ll be something else because I think there is going to be an interesting twist there.  The whole idea of this organization existing even in its damaged state is something that will cause some havoc and seeing the team flush all of the rot out would be fun to read about.

Thank you to HelenKay and to her agent Laura Bradford because if Fisher and Zach didn’t make it to the page it would’ve been a great loss to readers.  These two were amazing to read!

five-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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Fight to the Finish – Jeanette Murray – 3.5 stars

March 9, 2016 NetGalley, Penguin, Read in 2016 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

three-half-stars

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