Source: NetGalley.com

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The Talon of the Hawk – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 stars

May 4, 2015 Kensington, NetGalley, Read in 2015 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 Talon of the Hawk – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 starsThe Twelve Kingdoms: The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on 2015-05-26
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

A HEAVY CROWN

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…

Pssstttt…  go here before noon on 5/10 to try to win a paper copy of this….  now…  yeah…  you want it…

This was my favorite of the series…  I adored the hero in this and also loved seeing the full picture finally be visible.  We have a chance to see the other sisters but this is definitely a story about a woman who NEVER really got to be herself.  Watching this strong woman be broken apart and then finally allowed to come in to her own was worth every minute it took to read the book.

This story opens with Ursula finally heading back home to report to her father and the news she has isn’t going to be something he wants to hear.  What she doesn’t realize is there is more going on at home and it isn’t good.  She’s unsettled when she arrives and notes that the surrounding area is quiet plus strangers are at the gates.  She’s confronted by these soldiers and realizing they are hired mercenaries does not put her at ease.  She also sees the area bursting at the seams with a populace that seems to be not only frightened but seemingly lacking hope that anything good is coming.  She’s even more unsettled as she sees a strange man standing by her father as he gives her a very public dressing down.  The man unsettles her but she’s still hopeful there is something good still in her father even as he cavorts with a new woman.  As she starts to try to get back in her father’s good graces we get to see her struggle with his increasing madness and obvious corruption.  It takes others pushing her to run for her life to get her to open her eyes about the real peril she is in.  I enjoyed her but truly loved what she becomes as our hero pushes her to lance the deep wounds she has carried since childhood.  This poison was killing her and by finally finding someone that was there for her…  only her… she finally gets to have a partner to carry her burdens.

Harlan… *fans self* dear stubborn yet sweet Harlan….  only you could reach her even as she tried her damnedest to push you away.  I hated the final fight but knew you would stick by her side until the end unless she definitively said leave but my bet is you would still find a way to help her from afar.  I enjoyed the way you worked past her defenses while still pushing her to be all that she could be.  You don’t want her to completely change but you wanted her to finally be honest with herself and see things without being clouded by blind loyalty.  I adored your ways of showing her your strength but mainly enjoyed how you acknowledged her strength and just held her without judgement when she finally allowed you to know her worst secret.  I loved how you let her get it out and then worked hard to show her nothing of it was her fault.  You didn’t coddle her like a victim (which she was) but you made sure to clearly state who was at fault.  She is a lucky lucky woman to have your devotion.

I will be nice and warn Jeffe now….  I WILL BE GIVING YOU A BIG OLD HUG AT RT.  While I am still not a huge fan of Ami I adored Ursula and Harlan.  This was a perfect end to the tale and while I will always want more…  I am happy with the way this trilogy played out.

five-stars

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Glimmer – Beth Kery – 4 stars

April 28, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 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.

Glimmer – Beth Kery – 4 starsGlimmer by Beth Kery
Published by Penguin on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Because You Are Mine, a scorching new novel about forbidden desire…

After graduating from her M.B.A. program, Alice Reed is surprised when she’s recruited for the management training experience at legendary Camp Durand, owned by Durand Inc.’s young, billionaire CEO, Dylan Fall. The company usually recruits from Ivy League schools, not insignificant colleges like Alice’s.

Alice enthusiastically accepts, but she still wonders why Dylan would choose a girl from the wrong side of the tracks for the prestigious program. But after a passionate encounter one night, she discovers exactly why—Dylan wants her, and Alice can hardly resist his fierce sexual appetites, though she is amazed that she could appeal to an experienced, sophisticated man like Dylan.

As Dylan introduces her to thrilling, erotic territory, Alice discovers a delicious new part of herself. Night after night, she steals away to find ecstasy and escape in Dylan’s arms. But behind her lover’s powerfully magnetic facade, Alice senses darkness, secrets from Dylan’s past lurking in his beautiful, lonely mansion—secrets that are starting to haunt Alice. And the ghosts of the truth might tear Dylan and Alice apart forever . . .

This was an interesting story about two people from different places in their lives finding one another.  Well… sort of… in some respects they are this but there is more to this story that I won’t give away.  I found the pairing to be honestly compelling in some ways as we have the fact that he is the CEO of a company that she wouldn’t mind working for but we also have her relative innocence in sexual matters and his experience.  I found the sex scenes to be well done and very inspiring… *evil grin*

Dylan is a very guarded man and is relatively private.  Most people don’t know much about his background or past but he is incredibly driven to be everything that he needs to be in order to keep the company he runs at the top of their game.  I liked seeing him push our heroine out of her shell but when we find out what he’s kept hidden I found him to be irresistible.  He’s got a past that we see before the biggest secret comes out but honestly his beginnings just make him more open to the need for charity and the good the camp does for kids.

Alice….  she’s a hard one to like in some respects.  She’s guarded and more likely to snip at you than to work with you.  Please note that once you find out how she was raised you will understand it.  I enjoyed seeing her struggle with the fact that she has an opportunity most would kill to have but she feels like she doesn’t truly belong.  She also has a sense of failure or inadequacy when she is confronted with the fact she has to help these kids.  I liked her spunk but mainly I appreciated how honest she was about her fears.  She’s very attracted to Dylan and is shocked when she finds that he is just as attracted to her.  She’s also not afraid of the games he wants to play and starts to come in to her own as the story progresses.  Her reaction to the big secret is realistic and I look forward to reading more.

Now…  when I can I get my hands on Glow…  hmmmmmmmmm

four-stars

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Signal Boost – Alyssa Cole – 4 stars

April 27, 2015 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 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.

Signal Boost – Alyssa Cole – 4 starsSignal Boost by Alyssa Cole
Published by Carina Press on 2015-05-04
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Fiction, Gay, General, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 158
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

When technology stopped working, the world as they knew it ended.

In a secluded cabin, John and his loved ones have survived. He should feel grateful. But his family is in his face 24/7, he has to watch his best friend, Arden, and brother, Gabriel, flaunt their love, and as a techie in a Luddite world he’s pretty much useless. The cabin is brimming with people, but he feels utterly alone.

Until he catches Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous raiding their garden. Mykhail is an astrophysics student, he makes John’s gaydar ping like crazy and he thinks he knows what caused the devastation. He’s on a journey to his university to find answers, and John invites himself along. Partly to get out of the house, and partly because he can’t let Mykhail go without acting on the mutual attraction that’s so obvious even John’s mom is playing matchmaker.

The closer they get to campus, the more Mykhail lets down his walls. But with answers come secrets both devastating and deadly, and before they can save the world, they’ll have to save themselves.

I was so happy to see John got his story.  This is an interesting look at what could happen if we were hit with a flare that knocked out our power grids.

John is restless but loves his family.  He wants something he doesn’t think he’ll find as who thinks that it will be easy for a gay man living out in the middle of nowhere during a world-wide crisis to find love?  He is shocked when he feels the spark of attraction for a man who appears out of nowhere to try to steal food from their garden but when they find out more about the reason behind the failure of the power grid and breakdown of society as they know it … well this just gives John something to do.  He’s driven to go with this stranger and see if he can provide any assistance or at least get more information about what’s out there plus getting to spend more time with this man….  well that’s just a win.

Mykhail was someone I truly felt for.  He’s lived his life pleasing others and trying to be what everyone else wants while suppressing his true self.  I felt for him as he struggles with what he did post-flare but also with who he is.  This is a man who is truly a great guy but with his upbringing he struggles with not only being gay but also going after what makes him happy.  I felt his struggle with his actions but admired the way he did what was right even as it might be what killed him.

Overall I found this to be an interesting story with some parts that were brutal in many respects but sadly I could easily see happening should we ever end up in this same situation.  Stress brings out the worst in many people….

four-stars

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Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3 stars

April 25, 2015 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 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.

Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3 starsShoulda Been a Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Published by HQN Books on 2015-03-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 111
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

In this sexy, sweet prequel novella to her new series, USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates welcomes readers to the charming small town of Copper Ridge, Oregon, where it's never too late for second chances.There's not much about his teenage years that Jake Caldwell can be proud of. Except maybe for keeping his hands off cute, kindhearted Cassie Ventimiglia. She was the only one who saw him as more than a tattooed rebel who couldn't wait to leave the ranching life behind. Now he's back in Copper Ridge to sell his father's property—and staying right above Cassie's coffee shop. And out of nowhere, the girl he's never forgotten is offering a whole lot more than fresh-baked muffins…Jake's dark, smoldering appeal hasn't changed one bit. But Cassie has. Following everyone else's rules didn't quite work out. Time to ask for what she's always wanted…and what Jake's more than happy to give: a wild, hot romance that could make a one-time bad boy realize he's back for good.Don't miss Part Time Cowboy, the first in the Copper Ridge series, from HQN Books!www.MaiseyYates.com

Nice quick read from Maisey Yates with a not really a bad guy falling for a not really a good girl.  Well…  they both have their moments but ultimately they are true human beings with wants and needs that don’t fall fully in either camp.

Cassie has always been the good girl.  She has always followed the path of least resistance only ever trying to be something that would be worth all the sacrifices her mother made.  She only ever tried for something (sort of) once and that ended up with the boy she felt everything for leaving after she even expressed an interest.  She’s now divorced, living in a rented apartment and starting her own coffee shop.  She still is in a rut trying to be the good, dependable Cassie everyone expects but the arrival of her high-school crush causes her to do something unexpected.  She tries for what she wants and needs rather than be the person they all expect.  I adored seeing her take this chance and felt for her as she struggles with not knowing what it will bring.

Jake isn’t the bad guy people made him out to be.  Did he steal? Yes… Did he do other things that weren’t good? Yes… but when you see what was actually driving him you understood it.  He has been drawn to Cassie from shortly after they met but knew he wasn’t good for her.  He left because of something else and now is in town only to clean up his father’s holdings so he can head back to Seattle to take hold of what he thinks he needs.  As he spends time in Copper Ridge he struggles with not only his feelings for Cassie but his past and what drove him to where he is now.  I enjoyed his struggle and was happy when we finally get to see the man behind the mask.  He’s a good guy who just needed someone to truly see him.

Overall a nice start to a series and I will have to read more….

three-stars

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The Virgin’s Night Out – Shiloh Walker – 3 stars

April 7, 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.

The Virgin’s Night Out – Shiloh Walker – 3 starsThe Virgin's Night Out Published by Shiloh Walker on April 6, 2015
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

Sloane Redding is the shy one, the timid one. The morning of her wedding, she's dumped by the man she'd thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. Humiliated, she turns tail and runs, leaving Nowhere, Alabama for a job in the city. Sloane sets out to remake herself. She succeeds...on the outside. On the inside? Different story. She still the shyRedding. Still quiet, still more interested in standing on the standlines. But all of that is about to change.

The night before her brother's wedding, she strolls in the lone bar in Nowhere wearing wicked red and she's got one goal in mind: to show her ex-fiance just what he lost.

The night before his best friend's wedding, D.B. "Boone" Cassidy walks into the lone bar in Nowhere, Alabama with one goal in mind. Get wasted. Former military, he's spent the past few years as a security specialist and all around troubleshooter. It should have been easy to spot the trouble that night...a sexy woman in wicked red. It should have been easy. Yeah, right.

One thing leads to another and his plans to get wasted turn into a night with the sexy woman in red . Boone gets the shock of his life the next day when he shows up at his friend's wedding to find out he'd just spent the night wrapped around his best friend's little sister...and that isn't the only surprise.

Includes a bonus story, Tempt Me

I just can’t fully explain why this one didn’t completely gel for me but … *sigh* … it didn’t.  I liked the hero, heroine and the other characters in the story but I struggled with the fact that the story felt rushed.  We get a beginning where the two meet, have their interlude, she disappears and then they really meet….  We get a middle where she struggles with the results of their interlude and what to do/say…. and then we get the end where we get more about what he’s gone thru in the middle and where we get our resolution.  It felt a bit rushed but as I said I really did like the characters…

Sloane is the heroine of this one and I admit to understanding where she comes from when it comes to making a change in your life.  She’s decided to come back home and make it clear that her ex is just that… an ex.  I loved seeing her spunk when she in no uncertain terms showed him that she was capable of taking care of herself but when a man at the bar steps in to help… well how can she turn him down.  She also cannot turn him down when he brings out a side in her that has never seen the light of day so when she agrees to go to his room she’s surprised but oh so ready to enjoy what he has to offer.  As the title suggests she is a virgin but she does enjoy herself other than what sets up the rest of the story.  I liked her strength about what she was going to do and how she followed thru but did not agree with the secret she kept.

Boone was someone I would’ve loved to get to know better.  I think what we saw of him was someone who was already attached to Sloane before they met but he doesn’t know what she looks like at all.  When he runs in to the woman at the bar he can’t resist tasting her or taking her…  finding out she’s a virgin… well that was a surprise!  As he deals with an unexpected issue he is struck by the fact that he wants to know her but she’s gone by the time he gets back out there.  He finally sets eyes on Sloane at her brother’s wedding and while he knows he isn’t the man she deserves he is still drawn to her.  He is a man who has his own issues to deal with but we don’t realize how badly he is hurting until we see him at the end.  He does see her briefly before things go to hell but even then they both don’t show/tell each other what they want.

I have always enjoyed stories from Shiloh so I was sad this one just didn’t work for me as much as I had hoped.  Please don’t get me wrong…  the story wasn’t horrible but I just felt that it was a bit rushed and wish we had more time with the main characters.

 

three-stars

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The Virgin – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

March 30, 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 Virgin – Tiffany Reisz – 5 starsThe Virgin by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on March 31, 2015
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

The controversial story before the story continues in the critically acclaimed and award-winning series The Original Sinners.

For years, Kingsley Edge warned Eleanor the day would come when she, the mistress of a well-respected Catholic priest, would have to run and hide. She always imagined if that day came she'd be running away with Søren. But instead, she's running from him.

Knowing Søren and Kingsley will their use their influence to bring her back, Eleanor alone, penniless and scared takes refuge at the one place the men in her life cannot follow: the abbey where her mother has taken orders. Behind the cloistered gates of the convent, Eleanor hides from the man she loves and hates in equal measure

She cannot, however, hide from her true nature. When Eleanor befriends a young virginal nun, she faces a startling sexual awakening. But Eleanor can't stay forever, and the lure of her real life beckons beyond the locked gates. But to follow her fate means to leave Kyrie behind, a sacrifice Eleanor refuses to make

The lure of the forbidden. The temptation to sin. The price of passion has never been higher, and Eleanor will have to pay it if she ever wants to go home again.

What do you get when you have a woman who isn’t so good at holding her tongue and a convent?  What happens when the thing you never expected happen …. happens?  What do you do when all that you know is up in the air and things look their worst?

These questions all get answered in this book and we get to go on a journey where a King meets his Queen and a young woman finally realizes who she is along with who she isn’t.

We also get to see Juliette’s reaction to Kingsley in a kilt and to see the start of the wedding that we all have been cheering for.  By the way I can’t say I would blame Juliette in the least not to mention the sight of Kingsley and Søren in kilts might make me a bit … ummmm…  yeah…  If you didn’t know who Tiffany had in mind for the two men above let me clue you in… For Søren – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau  and for Kingsley – Gaspard Ulliel

*Gives you a few minutes to cool down*

Again I am going to be careful to not give spoilers as I adore this series and the twists/turns are what make me happiest as I read these.  We get to see Nora start to evolve in to the woman we know in The Siren and the path she is on is one that all of us go thru in our lives.  I mean we all have those moments where we just don’t know what to do…  We don’t know who we really are nor do we have any idea of what to do with the rest of our lives until if we are lucky we have one of those moments where everything becomes clear.  Granted most of ours don’t involve discovering you are a switch in love with one of the most clearly dominant men known….  Also most of ours don’t involve running to a convent where you discover love and also what you are meant to be in the next part of your life.

I adored watching Elle become more and more her own person but mainly watch her mature in the time she has in hiding.  She’s starting to wise up and realize that things aren’t always so determined but that she not only has talent but is also her own person outside of the relationship that has defined her since she first met her priest.  She’s also good at realizing the best thing for her is outside the walls but the best thing for someone else is not the same…  This made me sad but also quite happy as it was the right decision and truly made for the right reason.

Now…  my favorite part of this was….  Kingsley meeting his Juliette…  I loved seeing our jaded and oh so weary King meet the woman who we know holds a big part of his heart and is his match in every single way.  Her story made me sad but it also sheds light on why they work so well together plus seeing King floored is something precious.  He’s very much a man who still hasn’t decided what he wants to be but in meeting her…. well…  we get to see the man we all adore as he steps up to be what he has always been meant to be.  I loved his journey and how this plays out as Nora is also having her own awakening.

The way the two stories weave together is amazing and it kept me enthralled from beginning to end.  The slight breaks as we get to see a bit of present day helps keep you from being overwhelmed but seeing two key figures finally get on the path that will ultimately bring them complete happiness was wondrous and beautiful even as it was angsty and painful.

As much as this pains me to say… only one more book to go….  I can’t wait for The Queen as much as I curse it as it will be the last book for a while (I’m holding out hope for more) from Tiffany with these characters as the primary focus.

 

five-stars

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The Companion Contract – Solace Ames – 4.5 stars

February 10, 2015 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2015 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 Companion Contract – Solace Ames – 4.5 starsThe Companion Contract on February 9, 2015
Pages: 233
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

Control. Submission. Power.

Amy Mendoza knew she'd never have a Cinderella story. She walked away from the ashes of her childhood on her own, and signed her first porn contract the day she turned eighteen. The money's been good, but it's time to walk away again before the life drags her down. When a mysterious stranger offers her an unusual contract—sexual companion to a recently relapsed rock star—she accepts.

Amy quickly and gratefully falls into an easy rhythm of control and submission—but it's not her client who keeps her up at night. Emanuel, lead guitarist and the man who hired her, occupies her thoughts—and soon, her bed. Their connection is intense, and although Amy knows sleeping with Emanuel isn't what she's there for—isn't what she's being paid for—what's between them is too strong to ignore. But there's more to Emanuel than Amy knows, and submitting to him might come at too high a price…

89,000 words

Wow… This was something unexpected that made me very happy as a reader.  The subject material isn’t fluffy and the heroine is definitely not the normal type but she’s very honest and open with her flaws/strengths.  I enjoyed reading the nuances and relationships that are in flux throughout this story but also enjoyed the threads that weave through the characters showing how lives evolve over a period of months.  I think what struck me most was the fact that Solace is not afraid to show you the dregs and low points but also makes the high points realistic for the characters.  There is not a perfect happy ending for all of the characters but there is an ending for them that shows they are on the path to being fulfilled.  There is no magic bullet that makes everything better but hard work and some pain can make it possible for you to find what you need.

Amy was a very strong character who is at a crossroads in her life.  She isn’t completely fond of being a porn star but hey it pays the bills and honestly her issues aren’t with the sex but that she’s feeling a bit burnt out.  She’s approached by someone she has idolized from afar to be a sober companion for a band member but this isn’t a “Hey let’s keep you on the straight and narrow” type companion…  This is a keep him sexed up and happy so he stays off drugs companion.  She’s happy to be used in this manner but she also does her part to be the other type companion.  I liked her no nonsense approach but loved seeing her internal struggle with what she wants from her idol and what she thinks is going on.  She’s smart as hell and extremely practical but is incredibly vulnerable behind her walls.  As she gets involved with our hero we get to see more of this vulnerability but strength.

Emmanuel is something else.  He isn’t easy to read but you can sense his enjoyment of Amy even as she was fulfilling the contract.  Their relationship actually builds nicely thru the story.  We get to see them interacting outside of the bedroom before they actually have sex which builds the tension.  Sure she gives him a blowjob really early in the book but most of the book is them building up to their eventual pairing and not of them being paired from moment one.  I enjoyed that buildup as we get to really see what makes them tick apart and together which made the final outcome very worth the wait.  He’s very complicated but for Amy he just is someone who also has flaws but deserves adoration and love.

I am going to have to get the rest of the stories out today by Solace and keep my eyes open for more.  This was a very well done story of recovery and owning one’s self no matter what your life’s path is…

four-half-stars

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Radio Silence – Alyssa Cole – 5 stars

February 3, 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.

Radio Silence – Alyssa Cole – 5 starsRadio Silence by Alyssa Cole
Published by Carina Press on 2015-02-02
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Fiction, General, Multicultural & Interracial, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 169
Source: NetGalley.com
Radio Silence (Off the Grid)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00N0MYHC2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

No one expects the apocalypse.

Arden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the "off" switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family's cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.

It turns out isolation doesn't necessarily equal safety.

When scavengers attack, it's John's ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden's life, so he can't be all bad…but he's also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren't bloodthirsty maniacs.

No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there's a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?

Book one of Off the Grid

69,000 words

I have to give credit to both Alisha Rai and Bree for getting me to notice and read this title.  I hadn’t really paid attention to it until I saw them on Twitter gushing about the title and then I needed to read it.  I am so glad I took a chance on it because it was AMAZING.

My review is not going to do this justice but you really need to take a chance on this title because:

  1. We have a strong heroine, Arden, who is struggling with finding her place in this new reality.  She’s honest about her issues but also is very open to change.  I loved her struggle with guilt about not spending time with her parents but appreciated that she didn’t use that as an excuse to fall apart.  She is a good person to have on your side because even with everything that is going bad in the world she won’t let it keep her down.  She’s tough, caring and oh so a match for…
  2. Gabriel… dear lord is this man HOT.  I loved his surly exterior as he becomes the man in charge and tries to keep everything as normal as possible in a world where nothing is the way it should be.  Answers are not forthcoming from the outside world but he is not one to fall apart.  His surliness masks a really sweet man who truly loves his family and is fascinated by Arden even as he growls at her like he can’t stand her.  There is so much to this man and I enjoyed getting to see his personality over the course of the story.
  3. John…  bless his heart..  He’s such a sweet, funny man who brought some much needed laughter as he realizes he has NO SOCIAL MEDIA or ELECTRONIC GAMES…  I mean what the HELL man…  How can we all survive without Twitter….  He’s also a good foil for the intensity of Gabriel.
  4. Maggie is also available as a bit of drama but also a nice resource for Arden in this world gone wrong.  I liked how strong she is even as young as she is.  She’s very smart in many ways but we get to see her vulnerability as she struggles with missing her parents and worrying about a boy she was starting to know via social media.  I liked how she showed that she was capable of being more than just the kid sister who needs coddling although I wanted to hurt her when she did something incredibly stupid.

Overall this book kept me enthralled not only because of the sheer chemistry between our main pair but because of the world that they find themselves in.  I want to know more about what exactly is going on … I mean we don’t know exactly what happened or how widespread it is or…. seriously you will be wanting more more more as you read this just because we don’t know.  I look forward to more of this series and will be keeping a close eye out.  I’m also going to be *ahem* slightly stalking Alyssa in order to find out about more stories from her as she kept me engaged every step of the way thru this one.

GO GRAB THIS ONE NOW!!!

five-stars

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The King – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

January 22, 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 King – Tiffany Reisz – 5 starsThe King by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on 2014-11-25
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley.com
The King: The Original Sinners Book 6<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L0XO1VK" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan's kink kingdom.

 

Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club­: a dungeon playground for New York's A-list that'll change the scene forever.

 

The club becomes Kingsley's obsession—and he's enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can't subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won't rest until King's dream is destroyed. It's one man's sacred mission against another's….

I was a little late reading this due to a bit of a reading slump that took up most of my October, November and December…  I’m going to apologize to those who might have been interested in knowing my feelings on this one back when it first released but hey…  things happen..

Now..  I keep trying to forget that we only have 2 more stories after this one about our beloved Nora, Søren and Kingsley *whimpers* and this one helps remind me why I love this series, Tiffany’s writing and the world of the Original Sinners.  Like the others in the White Years we see glimpses of the current day interspersed with memories of the past and how they made the personalities in to those we fell in love with in the Red Years.  This one focuses on Kingsley and his complex relationship with Søren.  We get to see how the Eight Circle came in to being and finally get to see Sam.

Kingsley is at a crossroads in his life where all he does is indulge in self-destructive behavior doing nothing but being a playboy and running a not so clean club.  While he has some of the New York elite in his pocket he isn’t the power broker we see in the Red Years.  He’s still a bit lost after nearly being killed and missing something major from his life.  He likes to play but he hasn’t found something to truly make him feel alive until a figure from his past starts to make an appearance in his life once again….  Søren…  the man he loves and in some ways hates…  It hurt to see the vibrant King we know and love in the Red Years as such a shadow in the beginning of this.  I loved getting a glimpse of his pain in most ways but it wasn’t easy to read at times because of the pain.

I enjoyed seeing Søren and getting a glimpse of what was going on while the story told in The Saint was unfolding.  King was enjoyable as he realized how much his former lover would have to deal with if he ever opened his eyes to the other side of his precious Eleanor.  I also loved hearing about the readings that both Søren and Kingsley had from their Domme teacher as we know they ended up being fulfilled in a way that made me extremely happy.  I also enjoyed the story of Sam and how she plays a critical role in what becomes The Eighth Circle.  She was a character I want to see more of and I hope that Tiffany will give us a bit more of her in a short story or extra.

I have two favorite moments –

  • How the name of the club came to be – let’s just say there’s some fun that was had by King …  *snicker* and a certain other person.
  • Kingsley holding baby Fionn.  Seriously it was a beautiful moment and the love Grace shows for everyone is inspiring.

Once again this story has moments of hot sex but this story is more about how things came in to being and about the heart behind our trio.  I love these stories because of the story and the sexual aspect is secondary.

five-stars

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Under His Touch – Jeffe Kennedy – 3.5 stars

January 19, 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.

Under His Touch – Jeffe Kennedy – 3.5 starsUnder His Touch on January 19, 2015
Pages: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-his-touch-jeffe-kennedy/1120159551?ean=9781426899461
Source: NetGalley.com
Under His Touch (Falling Under)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00MTGFACQ" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
three-half-stars

Amber Dolors knows better than to get involved with her boss. Devastatingly handsome in his sharp suits and sexy beyond belief, he possesses an air of command that fuels her darkest fantasies. But she's worked too hard to get this job, and keeping it will lead to a brilliant future. She won't cross that line—even if his way of giving orders and demanding her best performance gives her delicious warm shivers.

Alexander Knight prides himself on his integrity and self-discipline. After all, he hasn't risen to the position he enjoys by indulging his whims over ambition. He also isn't blind. He's certainly noticed his sharp, young assistant is hot as hell. His self-imposed sexual hermitage doesn't stop him from watching her. And endlessly fantasizing.

The day Alec's cool reserve cracks and Amber catches a glimpse of something simmering beneath his apparent indifference is the day everything between them changes. Alec gives her what she's been looking for sexually—as masterful in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. He finds himself in the grip of an affair that tests even his boundaries, while Amber's new role as willing student pushes them both past any consideration other than mutual longing.

87,000 words

I’m going to admit to struggling with how to rate this one…  I loved the heat level between our main pair and dear lord do they burn things up when they are near one another but I struggled with the way both of them acted – he does the whole “I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself” and she does the whole “I just want to be with him so I’ll just deal with his no I shouldn’t but I want to routine”  Yes…  She does tell him off a bit and handles herself well when the worst happens but I just got frustrated with their inability to just say “Fuck it” and go for it.

Amber struggles to define what she wants in a man and relationship but she does know that she isn’t happy with the plain Jane vanilla stuff she’s had but she can’t seem to find someone that is willing to show her the other side.  She’s also very driven in her career and is happy to learn from the best but she can’t help but fantasize about her boss a bit.  I mean he is older, sexy and even better….  seems to be the type to know exactly how to control her in the bedroom as well as the boardroom.  She’s pretty naive in this but I didn’t think she was as naive as he makes her out to be.  She’s very much a fish out of water when we start this but I felt in a lot of respects she acted older than our hero.  She’s smart and does know what she wants even though she hasn’t actually had it yet.  I liked her openness to new experiences and that she really was very discreet with business and personal matters.  I just didn’t like how long she put up with his attitude nor did I like that she seemed to be unwilling to listen to him or others about their concerns.  I mean she heard them but I don’t think she completely understood where they were coming from because she was so focused on him.

Alex… dear lord is the man sexy but he’s got ISSUES.  He wants Amber so badly but he’s convinced himself that the combination of her youth, inexperience and the fact that she works for him makes her completely off-limits.  Mind you she could quite easily transfer to a different team with no repercussions to her career or his, she’s younger but in all honesty old enough to make her own decisions and most of all his issue isn’t  because of any of that but because of his ex-wife.   He’s so messed up because of what she did to him that he doubts his own mind and needs.  As he fights to keep away from Amber he actually is confronted by what is special about her.  He’s got to open his eyes to the world around him again and start living without the fear of his past coming back to bite him.  I liked that he was extremely honorable about his wish to make sure that she wasn’t harmed in any way by him but at the same time he was offered chances to take away that aspect and he kept turning them down in the name of protecting her.  I enjoyed it when he finally agreed to be with her even as I chafed at the restrictions he tried to put on it.

Overall this was a very nice read but I really wish that some of the issues had been resolved a bit quicker so we could’ve seen more of these two together.  Jeffe makes me a very happy reader and this one was no exception.

three-half-stars

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