Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Divider

Silver Silence – Nalini Singh – 5 stars

June 13, 2017 Boookluvr Reads, NetGalley 2

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

Silver Silence – Nalini Singh – 5 starsSilver Silence by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 6/13/2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 464
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Silver Mercant is the cool as ice assistant to Kaleb Krycheck and the director of EmNet.    Silver can handle any crisis without breaking a sweat, but can she handle a sneaky bear?

Valentin Nikolaev is alpha of StoneWater clan and he and his bear have both take notice of Silver Mercant.  Her brilliant mind and take no crap attitude are exactly what both of them need.  Now they just have to figure out how to convince her to give them a shot.

After an attempt on her life, Silver finds herself moved into Denhome, the home of the StoneWater clan and a certain exasperating bear.  Living in a community full of rowdy bears who have no understanding of personal space or boundaries seems like it would be torture for someone as buttoned up as Silver, but she quickly finds that the bonds of clan aren’t so different from those of her own family.  Silver finds herself charmed by the affection, humor and loyalty of the bears and her icy exterior starts to thaw.

Valentin has got Silver exactly where he wants her and now he just has to figure out how to keep her there.  He knows that bear sneaky isn’t going to be enough to sneak up on this woman, he’s going to have to be cat sneaky.

Watching the relationship between Silver and Valentin develop was swoon worthy.  The two of them had far more in common than what we initially see, but it is clear that they are meant to be together.  Silver’s strength and attitude make her the perfect match for a man who has so much responsibility on his shoulders and hurts from his past that he is still trying to fix.    Valentin loves everything about Silver, even her cool attempts to push him away.

When the consequences of Silver giving up silence became clear, my heart broke for both of them.  I very rarely cry when reading books but in this case there was no other option.  Just when they finally come together and both acknowledge who the other is to them, they realize they have to risk it all to keep her alive.  Watching them fight their way back together made the momentary heart break worth it in the end.

 

A few of my favorite moments from the story:

  • Silver gives Valentin’s mom an ultimatum to get over her issues or get out.  Watching the future relationship between these two is going to be interesting.
  • All of the pet names Silver and Valentin had for each other.  The affection they had was laced in to every single one.
  • The glimpses of the Mercant family where we realize none of them are as silent as we expected.  I hope we get to see more of Arwen and Pavel in the future.  I’m also curious if E and S are going to end up together.
  • Valentin and Dima’s visit to Silver’s office – she never stood a chance.
  • The waffle date – Valentin was still being cat sneaky.
  • Ena having tea and a chat with a certain someone.  I loved how composed and in control she was.
five-stars

Divider

Below the Belt – Jeanette Murray – 4 Stars

April 6, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 0

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

Below the Belt – Jeanette Murray – 4 StarsBelow the Belt by Jeanette Murray
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-04-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Romance, Sports
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

There's more than one way to win in the debut of the First to Fight series...

Athletic trainer Marianne Cook is ready to do whatever it takes to turn the men of the Marine Corps boxing team into fighting machines. After all, her ultimate goal is to land a job training professional athletes. But when she notices a certain hard-bodied marine trying to hide an injury, Marianne realizes that she’ll have to use covert tactics to get him talking.

First Lieutenant Brad Costa has waited years for the chance to fight for a spot on the Marine Corps boxing team, knowing he has to push twice as hard to get half as far as his younger counterparts. Brad tries to downplay his injuries to the attractive trainer who has his dreams in her hands, but Marianne isn’t buying it. Maybe it’s time to deploy some targeted flattery.

As Brad and Marianne’s attraction turns red-hot, there’s more than one person having a hard time keeping their eyes on the prize…

I will admit that I decided to read this book because of its cover and the fact that the blurb didn’t do anything to make me run away from the pretty cover made it easy to go “MINE”.  I ended up with a story I liked quite a bit and a team that I can’t wait to read more about.  The characters are fun and I admit that I’m particularly looking forward to when a certain younger, thinks he’s God’s gift to women, Marine meets his match.  *snicker*

In this story we get to meet a man who is driven to be on the Marine’s boxing team because of a desire to honor his father’s memory.  He’s always wanted this chance but when he injures himself early in the tryout process he’s struggling between what is right and what he needs to do to not be kicked out of the tryouts.  He’s aloof and grumpy but absolutely shocked at his reaction to the team trainer.  He doesn’t want to want her nor does he want the distraction of a relationship but he just can’t resist the way she calls to him.  I enjoyed seeing him struggle with his attraction to her but my favorite part was seeing him start to let people in.  He’s someone to admire other than his secret but I could understand why he took so long to finally admit what was happening to him although I wish he hadn’t gone about it the way he did.  His gesture at the end was funny to read but you knew it came from his heart.  Brad is such a good guy to his core he just needed to see it and understand that while he could be focused on making the team the key is… TEAM.

Our heroine has her own issues with wanting to be seen as the trainer not a woman.  When Brad starts to mess with her preconceived notions of what she wants moving forward she’s resistant.  I enjoyed watching her struggle but also appreciated her willingness to see where they went.  I did get frustrated a bit with her seeing the worst in some situations even as I understood where she was coming from.  She’s strong but is willing to see the other side once she stops to think about it.  I liked how she really just wanted him to open up to her but allowed him to deflect her at times.  I enjoyed seeing her admit to her mom that she had someone but mainly loved seeing her blossom in to her own as she became more comfortable with her job and her relationship with a man who adores her.

Both characters had a lot of waking up to do during this story and needed to accept who they were in order to make a future.  The way Ms. Murray weaves their story was a lot of fun to read and seeing how the rest of the characters interact makes me ready for more from this team.  I look forward to seeing more of the coaches and our pair from this story as the others in the team meet their match!

 

four-stars

Divider

Last Breath – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 stars

March 4, 2015 Berkley Trade 0

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

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Last Breath – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 starsLast Breath by Jessica ClareJen Frederick
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-03-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

From the bestselling authors of Last Hit comes the next in the steamy series that explores the exquisite power of our darkest passions . . .

Regan: I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I’m at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he’s here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He’s also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it’s wrong to fall in love with him, but I can’t seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath, but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can.

Daniel: For the last eighteen months, one goal has dictated every action I’ve taken. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and befriended criminals all across the globe to find my kidnapped sister. In every brothel I raid and every human trafficking truck I stop, I hope the next face I find is my sister’s. In a hidden brothel in Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken, and still sane despite her weeks in captivity. I should leave her behind or send her home, because the last thing either of us needs right now is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I’m less able to let her go.

MATURE AUDIENCE

I put the content warning up for this one because it has a very brutal start but damn if it isn’t worth every second of reading.  I loved Nikolai but Daniel is nothing to sneer at and his heroine Regan is definitely his match.

We met Regan in Last Hit as our sweet heroine’s nice yet more worldly roommate who gets the raw end of the deal when they are kidnapped and because she is an extra she is sold in to the sex trade.  Regan does what she needs to in order to survive but she doesn’t make it easy for the men who come to see an American cry and snivel.  She’s using every trick she can think of to check out while things are being done to her but she may be almost to her breaking point by the time a man comes to purchase her for his private use.  What she gets is a man determined to get her out of the situation and get her back to people in the states that have been looking for her.  I loved how she was so ready to fight but also was smart enough to bide her time for the correct opening.  I also loved how she worked so hard to keep it together when most would’ve given up and settled in to die.  She’s a fighter and as she spends more time around her rescuer we get to see that she isn’t completely healed but on her way to a life that will be perfect for the woman she has become.  Regan is a survivor in many ways but I loved seeing her open up to Daniel as time passes.  She deserves every bit of happiness that she gets and he will be the man who makes sure she wants for nothing.

Daniel was a character I enjoyed in our brief glimpses of him in Nikolai’s book but this story showed how much depth he really has.  He’s been searching for his sister who was kidnapped and believed sold in to the sex trade with some thinking she’s already dead.  Daniel will not believe it so has in many respects sold his soul to the devil in order to get news about women matching his sister’s description in the underground sex trade.  He’s rescued a few from slavery but still hasn’t found her.  He’s agreed to do the dirty work of getting Regan back with the hopes that this will also lead him to his sister and with the Bratva needing a line on a hacker.  He soon finds that not only is there more to Regan’s kidnapping than they expected but this strong woman is someone that he can’t live without even as he won’t hold her to anything.  He was amazingly patient with her and protective of her but in a way that felt natural and not smothering.  He just wants her happy and whole but doesn’t expect her to want him even as he craves her.

This story is not for the faint of heart but was very compelling and kept me cheering for Regan as she reclaims herself and also for Daniel as he gets the answers that his entire family needs to heal.  I’m gladly going to keep up with this series as they continue to release….

five-stars

Divider

The List – Anne Calhoun – 4.5 Stars – Contest

March 3, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 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.

The List – Anne Calhoun – 4.5 Stars – ContestThe List by Anne Calhoun
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-03-03
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, General, Literary, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: the publisher
The List (An Irresistible Novel)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L9B7CCS" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Who’s on top?

Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

Ok bear with me for a few…  This isn’t an easy book to read or review in some respects.  You need to be patient as you read this as you might be tempted to dislike the heroine but give her a chance.  She’s who she is because of where she came from and what she had to deal with growing up.  I found myself understanding her in many ways because I could see myself in her ways of protecting herself from what she sees as a fundamental flaw within herself.  The hero is someone you will not have any issues with as he is definitely swoonworthy in his devotion to the woman who captivated him from the start.

Let’s start with what I adore about Daniel:

  • His devotion to the heroine even as she tries to drive him away
  • His understanding that it isn’t him at issue but something within her
  • His devotion to his family
  • His acceptance that they are two distinct people and should be free to have their own pursuits
  • His message on the first day *you won’t see it until the end but dear lord*
  • His way of getting her to start seeing him *admittedly loved how sneaky and dirty he was*
  • His naughty as hell side *fans self*

Now let’s see what caused me to like Matilda *Tilda*:

  • Her knowledge that Daniel isn’t at fault
  • Her acceptance that she wants him even as she fears hurting him
  • Her soft heart hidden under the ice that she wears so well
  • Her ability to see what people need even as she won’t see her own needs
  • Her ability to spot something special in things that she herself doesn’t understand but craves with all her being
  • Her love for her grandmother
  • Her wilder impulsive side that is there just waiting for someone to see it and encourage it
  • Her true nature that just needs someone to truly accept her and love her

Now…  the two people who I wish would fall off the face of the earth for what they did to a younger Matilda that made her in to the seemingly cold woman who believes something is wrong with her…  well I am not going to give them away here but trust that you will want to put them in a special spot in hell for what they did to her psyche when she was vulnerable.  This of course also causes Daniel some pain as we see but you’ll love his understanding of what is truly going on and admire how much he was able to let go as much as it hurt him to do so.  This is a man worthy of love and devotion which you’ll see he eventually gets from the one woman who completes him.

 

I adored this story and since the team at Berkeley are so generous…  I have a paperback copy of this one to give away to one lucky commenter.  All you need to do is tell me something about the person(s) that ground you.  We all have someone that has held that place in our heart that we know accepts us as we are…  Mine was my grandfather Sophus who I knew loved me as I was…  Leave a comment by 3/11/15 at 11:59 pm CT for a chance to win the paperback.

four-half-stars

Divider

What A Woman – Judi Fennell – 4 stars – Contest

March 3, 2015 Penguin, Read in 2015, 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.

What A Woman – Judi Fennell – 4 stars – ContestWhat A Woman Published by Berkley Publishing Group on March 3, 2015
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

After starting her housecleaning company, Manley Maids, one woman is determined to make it on her own. And what a woman she is…

Now that Mary-Alice Catherine Manley—Mac—has her hunky brothers working for her, she can sit back and watch the business roll in. But her new assignment quickly tosses that plan out the window. Mildred, her grandmother’s best friend, needs her house cleaned and Gran has volunteered Mac for the job. The problem is Mildred’s cocky grandson. He thinks Mac’s at his beck and call, but she has a few things to tell him…aside from how hot he is.

Jared Nolan is currently lying low, nursing some broken bones—and a bruised ego. The former professional baseball player let himself be used by woman once, and now it could rob him of his beloved career. No woman is ever going to call the shots again, which is why, when the bossy Mac shows up, he’s going to show her who’s really in charge. He’s just not prepared for the undeniable attraction between them. And with the two of them in one house, there’s no telling who will come out swinging…

Ok I was very very bad and started this series with the last book…  OOPS!  I will be going back to read the rest and don’t believe I suffered by starting late.  This was a sweet book of two people who have been meant for one another since they were kids but as many know you don’t always know what you’ve got until it’s gone or in theory buried.

Mac (Mary-Alice Catherine) loves her life and her business even if she had to learn how to count cards in order to make her brothers help her out for a bit in order to get some much needed publicity and growth for her new company.  She’s smart and extremely caring which is why she is bound and determined to not succumb to her childhood crush when she’s stuck with him as they clean out his grandma’s house.  She gets to spend time around him as he heals from a devastating injury but is not willing to let him walk all over her.  She pushes him to be more than he expected and will not let him get away with treating her or others like dirt no matter how much he protests.  I liked her willingness to do things for others without expectation of repayment but mainly liked her attitude of taking no prisoners.  She is who she is and she doesn’t hide it from anyone.  She wants a partner but isn’t in a huge hurry to find one as she really wants her cleaning business to take off.

Jared… sigh…  I have to admit that Jared made the book for me as he struggled with who he really was and this new appreciation for who Mac is.  He struggles with seeing her as a woman finally and also with his past treatment of her.  You get to see that while she wasn’t trying to ruin the good times for him and her brothers she really was being a pest.  Both of them get to see things thru the others eyes in this and it makes you/them appreciate what they have.  He finally gets answers as to why his parents are the way they are and it helps him discover who he really is and what will make him happy.  I liked his grouchy side and once we get a bigger picture as to what makes him tick you can appreciate why he struggles so hard with what Mac means to him.  He’s something else but I did want to hurt him when he pulls his stunt near the end of the book…  was it appropriate in some respects but dammit man communication is CRITICAL!!!

Overall this was a cute book about childhood nemesis (not really but will make sense when you read) finding true love where they didn’t expect it.

Now for the good news…  I’m giving away my finished copy that was used for reviewing this title.  All you need to do is comment below with either your first crush or your first enemy… Comment by 3/11/2015 at 11:59 pm CT in order to be entered.

four-stars

Divider

Last Hit – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 stars

February 5, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, 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.

Last Hit – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 starsLast Hit by Jessica ClareJen Frederick
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

From two bestselling authors—the first in a deliciously bold new series that takes readers to the most dangerous edge of desire . . .

Nikolai: I have been a contract killer since I was a boy. For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the sight of my tattoos. The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all spoke of danger. If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have. I have ever been the hunter, never the prey. With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me. Opening my small, scarred heart to her brings out my enemies. I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.

Daisy: I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life. Home-schooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna. I like to believe the best about people. Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me. Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man who has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness. With him, my heart is at risk . . . and also, my life.

*hangs head in shame* Yes I know Mel..  I know..  bad Stephanie for not reading this earlier…  I’m just a bad, bad girl…  *snickers*

Anyway I have to say I am mad at myself for not deciding to pick this up earlier but I am glad I finally read it because man oh man is Nikolai something else.  There is not a lot of sexy times in this book but you know what…  IT DOESN’T NEED IT!  There is so much tension in this book that you won’t miss the main event and will be happy when these two finally have that moment.  This book is more about two on the surface different people that really are the perfect match.  We have sweet, virginal (yes… VIRGINal) Daisy, who is so naive and overwhelmed by life in the real world, and Nikolai, who is  jaded and in his eyes filthy not fit for anything good.

The journey these characters take is one of discovering your worth, your heart and finally living free from the tethers of your past.  I adored seeing Nikolai struggle with small talk and how to court Daisy.  He’s so used to just having sex as a form of stress release and it meaning nothing than a way to take the edge off that trying to woo someone is just a foreign concept to him.  This is a man who has no friends but has only existed to kill and earn money.  He has a heartrending past and watching him finally become fully human was beautiful.

Daisy is fully human but has spent her life being isolated from the outside world by a man who was battling his own demons.  I loved her enthusiasm about even the tiniest things and appreciated that she didn’t hate her father but wanted to do nothing more than help him.  Her guilt where he was concerned is honest and raw which I appreciated.  I also liked that she understands how naive she is but doesn’t use it to throw up her hands and quit.  She’s stubborn and strong which shows as things come to light.  Her ability to see Nikolai as a human being is tested but thankfully she sees thru to his core personality even as she feels betrayed.

I personally cannot wait for Daniel and Reagan’s story to unfold next plus look forward to seeing more of Nikolai/Daisy in later stories.  If you are looking for a book that is more about tension and building a relationship even if it is shrouded in lies then this one is for you.

 

five-stars

Divider

The Distraction – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars – Contest

January 29, 2015 Berkley Trade, Contest, Read in 2015, Sent 4

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 Distraction – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars – ContestThe Distraction by Sierra Kincade
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Literary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
The Distraction (The Body Work Trilogy Book 2)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L9AXY7G" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The seductive story that started in The Masseuse continues...

Anna Rossi knows that opening your heart only gets you hurt. But Alec Flynn is just too good to resist…

It’s been three long months since Anna’s seen Alec, since he saved her life and lit up her soul with unquenchable desire. Being without him has left her on edge, but his bravery has motivated her to change her life and go after what she’s always wanted—a job where she can help people. She can’t wait to show Alec the woman she’s become in his absence, or to prove how much she’s missed him…

Three months away has done nothing to slake Alec’s need for Anna. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made his life any less dangerous. The last thing he wants to do is hurt Anna, but if giving her up is the only way to save her, he’s not sure he can do that either. He’s determined to have her for as long as he can. Except his past is creeping up on him faster than he knows, and this time he may not be able to keep her from becoming collateral damage…

I just can’t give up on this story even as things in the relationship between Anna and Alec set off big old warning bells in my head.  She’s obsessed with him so ignores everything and everyone who is concerned about how much pain he has brought to her just by being involved with her.  I get it but at the same time there is something that isn’t healthy about their relationship but circumstances are what is causing a majority of the issues as they can’t spend much needed time getting to know one another outside of their amazing chemistry.

I enjoyed this installment more than the previous one because we did get to see how much they truly need one another outside of the bedroom.  Alec is willing to do so much in order to protect Anna and you can feel how badly this whole mess is hurting him because he knows it is killing her.  He’s growly and protective but I did get a bit fed up with his inability to just lay his cards out on the table in the name of protecting her.  Honesty is something they both desperately need but both of them keep so much from one another that it causes conflict every single time it is revealed.  I got why he did it..  I honestly did but at some point I would hope that he would just realize that it always comes out in the worst way possible.

Anna is stronger in this story than the previous one and I appreciated that immensely.  I liked the spine we got to see as she stands up for herself in most ways and definitely does so in the end.  I look forward to seeing more of this side of her develop and hope that the conclusion will keep her spine stiff enough to not settle for anything less than she deserves.  Her willingness to see the good in people is severely tested in this story and my hope is she will still be open to people but a bit more open to listening to her inner self when something isn’t quite right with the facade presented to her.

Overall I enjoyed this one and hope that we not only get the final resolution for Anna/Alec but also get to see Amy happy with ummmm well read this one and you’ll see who I hope she can find happiness with.  She and her daughter deserve happiness and I’d love to see it with XXX…. *snicker*

 

So I’m going to start something new with this review…  In this case my review copy was a paper copy provided by the wonderful people at Penguin/Berkeley Publishing and I am running out of space to keep every single copy of a book that I get no matter how much I love them so…  You get to start winning some of them…  YAY!!!  In this case to win my copy of this book comment below by Wednesday, February 4 at 11:59 pm US Central with something you’ve done in the name of love/lust/extreme like that isn’t something you would normally even consider doing….  

four-stars

Divider