Source: the Author

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Beyond Forever – Kit Rocha – 5 Stars

October 24, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

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

Beyond Forever – Kit Rocha – 5 StarsBeyond Forever (O'Kane for Life, #2) by Kit Rocha
Published by Kit Rocha on October 24th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 132
Source: the Author
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five-stars
five-flames

Before they were the King and Queen…

Six years before the Beyond series started, an ambitious bootlegger named Dallas O’Kane caught a very pretty thief named Lex with her hand in his safe.

The rest is very sexy history.

In Beyond Forever, follow Dallas and Lex through the turning points in their relationship, from the night he caught her trying to rob him, through his rise to successful bootlegger, to legend, to Sector Leader--with Lex always there, willing to give him the push he needs.

Beyond Forever is a prequel novella that jumps through time to tell the story of the biggest moments in the formation of the O’Kanes and their King and Queen. It will be far more enjoyable if you’ve already read Beyond Control, and contains spoilers for the entire Beyond series. 

I don’t even know where to begin… I really don’t…

I will say please pay attention to the blurb especially with respects to reading Beyond Control before you read this.  There are definitely spoilers for the series in this but without reading Beyond Control you won’t have a measure as to where this couple is now, then and way back then where the majority of the novella is set.  You’ll miss what is so crucial in this novella and why addicts of the series clamored for this story.

Dallas is not what we know him as now when we start the flashback portion of this story.  He’s smart, stubborn, and determined but he isn’t the King we all know him as.  He stumbles upon a thief who throws him off his game a bit but there is something about her that screams to him in a way he can’t fully ignore.  I loved seeing this glimpse of the man behind the legend and as the flashback moves forward we can see where the seeds for the confrontation in Beyond Control were sowed and know how much the drama there was forged in the beginnings of the King and Queen.  Dallas would truly be nothing without Lex but it took many years for them to finally find balance.

Lex pushes all the buttons but we get to see how early she truly fell in love with Dallas.  She’s driven but seeing how she struggled with getting him to understand how to balance what he wanted with what he truly needed made me love her even more.  She pushes him to be all that he should be and also makes decisions that need to be made when Dallas struggles with what has to be done.  Lex knows Dallas isn’t weak but also knows that he will sacrifice everything to do what he thinks has to be done to keep his people safe.  He has a huge blind spot and if it weren’t for Lex pushing the O’Kane’s we love would not be in existence.  I enjoyed seeing her vulnerability when it came to Dallas but I also hated seeing how much she was willing to tolerate just to be by the man she loved but didn’t have.  It made a lot of Beyond Control come in to focus as they really were not a healthy dynamic until the brutal moments in that story.

Be prepared to see the King and Queen in a different light after reading this and appreciate the work that it took to get them to what we know now.

five-stars

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House of Payne:Max – Stacy Gail – 4.5 stars

October 23, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

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

House of Payne:Max – Stacy Gail – 4.5 starsMax by Stacy Gail
on October 16, 2017
Pages: 305
Source: the Author
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four-half-stars
four-half-flames

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains flashbacks of violence and drug abuse, and the impact of these factors on family members. If you have issues with these elements, this book is not for you.

Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is across the street from the Mad Cow diner, but it might as well be on another planet as far as waitress Paradise Simone is concerned. She’s a good girl from Waukegan with a past she’d rather forget, and a future that goes only as far as the next day. What does she know about superstars and paparazzi?

But Pari does know danger when she sees it, and tattooist Max Kulagin has it written all over him. A proper Waukegan girl should know to steer well clear, but she can’t resist Max when he leaves beautiful, intimate art sketched out on cheap diner napkins.

Beautiful, intimate art…of her.

Max knows ugliness. He was born in it. Raised in it. Had it shoved down his throat every goddamn day. So when he stumbles across true beauty, he worships it. There’s a deep sensuality in the waitress who likes to suck on her pen whenever he’s around, and he’s just the man to bring that beauty out in her. She might be a lady in the street, but one look at Pari tells him she’s going to be a freak in the bed.

And in the shower.

And while he’s driving with her head going to town in his lap.

The life Max leads might be in the spotlight, but it’s Pari who gets caught in the glare. When her past catches up to her, it’s her life that holds all the excitement, and not in a good way. But there’s no force on earth that can take Max’s beautiful Paradise away now that he’s finally found it.

93,000 Words

***This standalone, mildly erotic contemporary romance contains a woman with an oral fixation and a man who’s happy to encourage it. There are multiple sex scenes that include oral sex. No cheating, no love triangles, no cliffhangers. HEA guaranteed. Due to adult language and sexual content, this book is not intended for people under the age of eighteen***

I have to say Max made me smile at times because of his over-the-top need to keep Pari safe and comfortable.  He does so much to show what she means to him even as he struggles to understand what she actually means to him.  This is a couple that has a good amount of heat but the fact that they just fit makes it an easy read and easy pairing.  Are they perfect?  No… both of them make some mistakes… but their pairing just flows once they get together with no major drama or stupid issues.

Pari made me smile with her innate warmth and gentleness hidden under a spine made of steel.  She’s quite funny with her struggle to not curse but man, oh man when she curses the results are EPIC.  I enjoy  her love of life and really loved when she finally realizes what she needs, wants and deserves.  I think this story shows that we all struggle to understand what we want and where we fit but when we find it we should hold on with both hands.  She’s quite open with what she needs from Max in the bedroom and elsewhere but also sees what he’s saying with his actions which makes her extremely rare.

Max has to be one of my favorite characters.  He’s such an unapologetic personality who says what he thinks, means and doesn’t give a hoot about how others perceive him.  Well, this is what you think but in reality we have a man who suffered a horrible betrayal so he cares what people think but hides it behind an inventive vocabulary and the attitude that he doesn’t care.  He’s so gone over Pari that he shows the vulnerability behind the mouth and what we get is a huge softy that will do anything for someone he loves.  His willingness to open his eyes and ears to listen to what she tells him when he crosses a line shows that he is a great guy under everything.

This pairing made me extremely happy as they bring the best out in each other but at the same time don’t change each other to be together.  They are very good at pushing each others buttons but in a way that makes the other stronger… not weaker…  This was a nice way to revisit the House and see how everyone is doing.

four-half-stars

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Defending Their Mate: Part 1 – Moira Rogers – 3.5 Stars

October 5, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Sent, Steph 1

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

Defending Their Mate: Part 1 – Moira Rogers – 3.5 StarsDefending Their Mate on September 18, 2017
Pages: 72
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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three-half-stars
four-flames

It's been three months since her new pack saved Grace from captivity. They're everything she never knew to expect as a werewolf--loyal, devoted, and fiercely protective. But her peace of mind is threatened by the arrival of her mating fever--and the crushing desire it brings.

The last time she went into heat, her wolf would accept none of her captors, and the thwarted need almost drove her mad. Now, she finds herself drawn to two very different wolves. Connor's easy, affectionate nature makes her feel worshiped, sheltered. And Mac's inner darkness calls to her own feral cravings...

Tragedy has left Mac emotionally locked away, unwilling to take a mate. It doesn't matter that Grace sparks lust as well as his instincts. He'll keep her safe, defend her--with his life, if necessary. But he can't risk his heart.

Control over his wolf is all that matters to Connor--until Grace. But claiming the beauty is anything but simple. Falling for her could shatter the bond he shares with Mac, and cost him everything that's kept him sane.

When Grace goes into heat, all bets are off. Because only one thing matters--soothing her fever.

NOTE: Previously published as Defending their Mate Part One & Part Two as Mia Thorne. Though the stories have been reissued, the content is unchanged.

Let’s admit it now…  I suck… I got this early from Moira Rogers but actually completely disconnected while I was out of town and didn’t read this until now…

This being said I appreciated seeing Grace start to come to terms with who she is and what she needs.  I also appreciated that Mac and Connor are both struggling with what they want and need versus what they think the other two are thinking.  Grace is coming in to heat which means she believes she needs to leave before she hurts people.  She’s afraid but the time she spends around Mac grounds her in a way she didn’t know was possible.

This story is a very short start but as with the last book – Protecting Their Mate – the story is meant to develop over multiple installments.  I appreciated the view of the struggles being experienced between each party as they interact but also how they try to figure out who they actually are and what they need/want.  You think you know but the struggles Mac, Grace and Connor are facing could prove too difficult to overcome if they don’t talk to each other.

Grace doesn’t fully trust her instincts and knows she’s strong.  This makes her scared to fully let loose as she doesn’t think that the others can handle her but Mac shows her that not only can he handle her… he can push her to heights that she didn’t think she could reach.  She also is shown that her wolf can have fun by just being able to run with a partner and no restraints.

Connor has a damaged wolf.  He also has an interesting relationship with Mac where he allows himself to be ordered by the older man which provides his wolf with a level of comfort.  The fact that he wants Grace complicates things because he knows Mac wants her as well.  There is a dynamic of extreme trust and devotion between the two men which is hot as hell but isn’t one of them wanting each other sexually.  They just compliment each others needs in a way that they don’t completely understand.

Mac…  now Mac has interested me since the last book… I want to know all his secrets and am looking forward to the rest of this book.  He’s going to be a hard one to let his walls down and trust what he’s feeling with the two of them.  I love his ability to sense what the other two need and how he doesn’t force things to go his way.  He is very in tune with his pack but especially Grace and Connor.  There is a huge sense of honor and duty to him but that is what will cause the pain that we know will be coming in future installments.

While this one wasn’t perfect it is part one but I look forward to reading the next installment so I can learn how these three damaged souls find happiness.

three-half-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part Three) – Moira Rogers – 4 stars

August 11, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Sent, Steph 1

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

Protecting Their Mate (Part Three) – Moira Rogers – 4 starsProtecting Their Mate (Part Three) on August 7, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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four-stars
four-half-flames

Part Three (of Three)

As the full moon raises tensions--and appetites--Ashley indulges her wildest fantasies...and discovers what it truly means to belong to the pack. But Blake's control is tested as outsiders descend on the pack's territory, and Ashley discovers that following her heart may be the only way to find her mate.

Ashley's heart longs for one man, but her wolf demands that she test herself against the alpha. Can she settle for a life of never knowing, or will she risk everything for Blake?

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

So we have seen Blake and Ashley struggle over the last two books with what knowing what they want and in this book we finally see it pushed to the brink as Blake wants to make sure that Ashley is with the wolf that is strongest and that her own wolf cries out for.  He struggles with his inability to keep her completely safe in the conflict with the other pack but the issue isn’t with his strength but the fact that even with the best laid plans something can go awry.  His actions and choices make him do something that is not truly needed but I understood his actions.

Ashley also is struggling with her own wolf but considering her background the fact that her wolf is being cautious is understandable and I appreciated her own honesty as she even struggles with what the real answer should be regarding who she takes as her mate.  While I didn’t like Blake’s action I did completely appreciate what we got as a result of it…  Lucas, Ashley and Blake…  oh yeah…  YUMMY!!!  The way this is wrapped up did make me happy as it was clear from book one that Ashley did have real feelings for Blake even though what brought them together could’ve explained some of it there was just a connection that was true from that moment forward.

I am happy that there is word about more books with the rest of the pack so I will sit here and try to control my urge to ask for updates as they work on their Kit Rocha titles…  but hey…  Moira Rogers…  More???  Now??? Please???

four-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part Two) – Moira Rogers – 3.5 Stars

July 31, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Steph 1

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

Protecting Their Mate (Part Two) – Moira Rogers – 3.5 StarsProtecting Their Mate (Part Two) on July 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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three-half-stars
four-flames

Part Two (of Three)

As Ashley settles in to her life at the lodge, she meets more of her new pack mates--including wicked, intense Jud. His touch arouses her hunger--and Blake's possessiveness. Lucas, the unyielding alpha, grows concerned with the attachment between Blake and Ashley and sends Blake out on a mission.

While Blake is away, Ashley meets the most elusive member of her new pack--the enigmatic Connor, a hacker who, like her, was raised among humans. For Connor, sex is volatile--dangerous--and being near Ashley draws out the feral edge of the wolf inside him. As Ashley's connection with Blake--and with Lucas--grows deeper, an outside force threatens the peace of the Last River pack.

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

And… it continues…

Lucas sends Blake away in order to provide his second much needed breathing room so everyone really gets to figure out what Ashley needs.  You may not like this as the story continues but his reasoning is sound and it gives others a chance to get to know her better.  Yes, Mac and Connor take over making sure she gets what she needs which is a moment that is enjoyable even as you sense that everyone understands who she is meant for even if her wolf hasn’t fully embraced it yet.

Jud is another interesting character so I am looking forward to when we get more from Moira Rogers in this world as I hope his story is told.  There is a bit more told about how the pack operates and the history but mainly the focus is on Ashley figuring out more about who she is and what she wants.

Lucas really intrigues me as he seems to always hold himself back but I sense that if we get his story there will be a lot of pain buried behind this powerful Alpha.  I also cannot wait to see what happens with Connor and Mac as there is a lot of concern with Connor which I hope proves to be a lot of worry about nothing.

There is also a discovery of another female werewolf so tension starts to rise as the worry surrounding this other “pack” comes in to the picture with plans being made to meet with them.  I think that this new discovery causes ripples that fold in to the next book as Blake is on edge with his own struggle to be certain that Ashley has a choice.  He wants her so much but his need to take care of her causes tension along with her own need to find out what her wolf needs.

Part three wraps this up so stay tuned for next week…

three-half-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part One) – Moira Rogers – 3 stars

July 31, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Steph 1

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

Protecting Their Mate (Part One) – Moira Rogers – 3 starsProtecting Their Mate (Part One) on July 24, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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three-stars
four-flames

Part One (of Three)

Blake is on a mission from his alpha--to track down a werewolf whose parents dragged her into the human world years ago, one who may be in danger. He expects the lead to go nowhere, given how few wolves live among humans, but he discovers something rare indeed, caged in a basement: a beautiful, curvy woman gripped by the fever, ready to mate.

Ashley Todd has never fit in. She's always been too much--too big, too demanding, too aware of the wolf hiding beneath her skin. She's been locked away for months--been alone for a lifetime--and in walks Blake to save her from her prison. Her rescuer is hard, intense--a dominant wolf whose bossy attitude makes her growl...and yearn to submit.

Soothing Ashley's mating fever is Blake's responsibility--and his pleasure. Their passion is explosive, undeniable. But what started out as a job for Blake quickly becomes something more, and the toughest part of his mission looms: taking Ashley back to his pack so she can choose her permanent mate from amongst his brethren.

Ashley is drawn to dominant Blake, but meeting the rest of the pack reignites her desire. She is overwhelmed by her new life and all it entails, but embracing her inner wolf means embracing the truth: if she doesn't explore her attraction to the other members of the pack, she'll never find her forever mate .

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

Imagine living a life where your fundamental nature was considered foul and needed to be suppressed.  This is reality for Ashley who has been locked in the basement of her family home by her father.  He is what she is which is a werewolf but has gone insane so doesn’t feel that his very nature should be considered acceptable and living as a human is the goal.

Ashley has finally hit her limit and is trying to escape while in heat when she hears someone trying to get to her and smells the scent of death.  She is relieved to be free but at the same time conflicted by the fact she’s always been told she wasn’t right.  She misses her family but the new life she is going to be building is so right for her and I enjoyed watching her bloom under the attentions of some seriously yummy males.

This first installment introduces us to the main members of the pack but focusing on the potential bond between Blake and Ashley.  Blake wants to make sure that Ashley has a choice in what she wants and needs so she knows she’s free compared to her past.  He’s strong and definitely wants her but makes sure that her needs in the midst of the mating fever are taken care of by the pack.  I loved Blake but also loved her interactions with Mac and the other packmates.

I’d like to say that this is on par with my love for the O’Kane series but this first installment left me a bit shaky as I wanted to get more time of Ashley and Blake getting to know one another before we had her with others.  I know I know… just me being a bit greedy.  LOL

and… on to part 2…

three-stars

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Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 Stars

July 19, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 StarsRocky Mountain Home by Vivian Arend
Pages: 507
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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five-stars
four-half-flames

The FINAL NOVEL in the bestselling SIX PACK RANCH series by New York Times Bestselling Author Vivian Arend.
-------------
There’s no distance you can run to escape the past.

Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.

Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.

When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.

Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.

But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.

This final novel in the series contains the following:
A sexy, dirty, cocky-as-hell prodigal son Coleman with massive bridges to rebuild. A woman able to see to the heart of the matter yet bold enough to speak the truth. A family of extraordinary resolve and endless love. A wedding or two. And babies—oh lordy, the babies…

Ok anyone who knows me knows I have LOVED the Six Pack Ranch Series by Vivian Arend.  I didn’t want it to end but all good things must come to an end and this series ends on the story all of us have been waiting for…

JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE

ok ok you get the point…  but damn if I wasn’t waiting with baited breath as we watched the others finding their way while wondering what our favorite asshole was doing.  I loved Jesse…  love him even more now but even Vivian would have to admit he was a weeeeeeeee bit of an asshole.  Yeah I got it …  I honestly got why he reacted the way he did.  I don’t forgive him for it but things aren’t always exactly as they seem so finding out what the final nail on the coffin was for his time in Coleman territory made his behavior so much more heartbreaking.

Jesse meets a woman at a bar who is obviously out for the same thing he is… a good time in the sack while forgetting things that noone else needs to understand.  He’s a bit surprised when he wakes up in the morning and she’s gone but life moves on.  The woman in question, Dare, really did enjoy her time with him but the surprise she’s left with means she’d like to have been able to find him.  She’s strong and as we get to know her we learn why she was there while also seeing that her strength is also a bit of a downfall as it has left her a bit isolated.  She deserves so much but fear holds her back and with her backstory it makes sense.  She posted on her blog a picture of Jesse which leads to him finding her then finding out that their little roll in the hay has a little complication.

I loved seeing Dare not beat around the bush with Jesse but I especially liked that she didn’t immediately take him up on his offer to marry her.  They both deserved better than that and I think that this gave them both the time to finally realize what is important.  Jesse had a lot of growing up to do and while he did it there was some strain on what they were building together.  Both of them were both shaped by actions in and out of their control so seeing how they supported one another by calling each other on misconceptions made me smile.  Her reaction to meeting all the Colemans was also perfect as she got to see who shaped the man Jesse really is behind the asshole exterior.  He’s got such a huge heart but he’s stubborn as a mule which makes them a perfect pair.  I honestly adored watching them battle but never crossing the line in to bullying or hatred.

As the synopsis says… BABIES BABIES BABIES but we would expect no less from the Colemans.  I look forward to the next series and know there will be a lot of fireworks with the first couple.

Oh… and Vivian… if you read this…   we need dragons and bears and cowboys and more more more… hint hint…  😉

five-stars

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The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

July 18, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent 1

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

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.
The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Red by Tiffany Reisz
on July 11, 2017
Pages: 248
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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four-stars
four-flames

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

I admit to being a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz.  I really enjoy her writing no matter the genre but this story is something hard to define and yet I couldn’t put it down.

The premise is interesting in that Mona is doing everything she can to keep the gallery her mother loved open but even though she does everything she can the gallery is still in dire straits.  She ends up making a deal with a mysterious stranger that unlocks her inner siren and saves the gallery.  The stranger takes us all down a seductive path that delves in to fantasies that are mild in the beginning but then gets stranger and more disturbing but still intriguing as the book progresses.  I found the descriptions of the artwork to be my favorite part as the words seem to leap from the pages with an almost visceral impression on my brain that I felt at times like I could touch the images as if they were here.

This book is not for the faint of heart as the sex described is disturbing to many but the underlying current is one of consent and exploration.  We must remember that this is a work of fiction and even though some of the kink described is beyond my level of comfort others would find this to be exciting and something they wanted to try.  Malcolm is mysterious and as you get to the end of the book you understand why he is such a mystery.  I appreciated the twist at the end because it again proves that Tiffany is great at keeping something hidden from the reader until the pivotal moment where this bit of surprise is needed.

This is another moment when I ask…. when do we get more?  I know this book will not be for everyone and even the bloggers that I know who love Tiffany were of mixed feelings when it came to this one.  I liked it a lot but do not go in to this one without an open mind and a willingness to push the boundaries of what you are willing to read and experience.

four-stars

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The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane – Kelly Maher – 4 stars

July 5, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

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

The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane – Kelly Maher – 4 starsThe Bridesmaid and the Hurricane by Kelly Maher
Published by D Ink Editions on July 4th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 234
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars
three-flames

A one-weekend stand over a year ago, and now they're coworkers...

Being a woman in TV is hard enough, but when the boss is trying to derail Radhika O’Leary’s career from behind the scenes, she has to make sure every aspect of her work—and her life—stands up to scrutiny.

Of course, the double standard is alive and well and Malcolm Jones, the broadcast meteorologist known as “Colm” to his friends and “The Hurricane Hottie” to his fangirls, knows that fame can hurt just as much as it helps. When Colm moves to DC, he’s excited to work with Radhika—her professional reputation is sparkling, and so are the kisses they shared that one weekend over a year ago when he was in town covering a blizzard.

But when Radhika is paired up with Colm for a project, all she sees is a looming storm over her carefully constructed career. Sparks still fly between the two journalists, and if they’re not careful, lightning might strike and alter the course of their lives forever.

So…  I meant to have this posted on release day but… ummmm…  yeah.  I found myself enjoying naps too much so this got delayed by a day.

The book opens with our heroine dreading another day with her horrible boss, Bella.  You will see this character pop-up over and over in the story which serves to make you dread seeing her name as much as Radhika hates to hear it.  Radhika is not looking forward to the day for more than just having to deal with this woman; her one-night *okay okay* two-night stand which was only supposed to be a rebound fling is now going to be working at the same station she works for.  She’s strong but there is something about Colm that calls to her even after not seeing him for a year.  I loved how they ran in to one another and you could sense that the chemistry that fueled the two-day fling is still there.  She’s been burnt so severely before that she has issues with seeing him but I understood them and appreciated that he didn’t let that stop him nor did he judge her for those issues.  She also has some great friends that support her while still kicking her ass at moments when she needs it most.  She also is strong enough to help her friends out and you sense that this is a woman who defends those who mean something to her even if she could get burned or hurt by the fall-out.  I liked her spunk and how when push came to shove the feelings she has for Colm cause her to take the chances she does with him.  She’s smart and independent but still craves the roots that many of us want but never find.

Colm… yeah..  I really liked Colm.  He’s smart and driven but such a sweetheart when it comes to his family.  He also never forgot his incredible two-day fling with Radhika so when he gets a chance he does not squander it.  He also makes sure to do what he can to protect her career as he knows that their involvement could prove tricky but he wants her too badly to not try.  Yes, he protects her by making sure that if they were to get involved there would be no blowback from an HR perspective plus knows that her abilities speak for themselves so adding this layer of “I’m not your boss” is a smart move even as it gets tested late in the story.  I also liked how he really worked to be honest with her and take it slow as he wanted to make this comfortable for her.  His feelings were strong and steady but his understanding of why she struggled made me enjoy the wait.  We see a couple who truly respect each other even as they want nothing more than to recreate the two-night fling.

You will enjoy how the boss has her downfall but I think the key to me was seeing how Colm did everything he told her he would do even as everything blew up.  He really was a great character so seeing how true he was to her made me smile.  I look forward to more of this series and hope that we get to see her other friends meet the partners they need or want.

four-stars

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Ashwin – Kit Rocha – 5 stars

March 7, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published 1

Ashwin – Kit Rocha – 5 starsAshwin by Kit Rocha
Series: ,
Published by Kit Rocha on March 7th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Military, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure
Pages: 380
Source: the Author
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five-stars
five-flames

The first book in the follow-up to Kit Rocha's bestselling BEYOND series...

Gideon's Riders, Book One

Lieutenant Ashwin Malhotra is a Makhai soldier—genetically engineered to be cold, ruthless. Unfeeling. His commanding officers consider him the perfect operative, and they’re right. Now, he has a simple mission: to infiltrate Gideon’s Riders, the infamous sect of holy warriors that protects the people of Sector One.

He’s never failed to execute an objective, but there’s one thing he didn’t anticipate—running into Dr. Kora Bellamy, the only woman to ever break through his icy exterior.

When Kora fled her life as a military doctor for the Makhai Project, all she wanted was peace—a quiet life where she could heal the sick and injured. The royal Rios family welcomed her like a sister, but she could never forget Ashwin. His sudden reappearance is a second chance—if she can manage to touch his heart.

When the simmering tension between them finally ignites, Kora doesn't realize she's playing with fire. Because she’s not just falling in love with a man who may not be able to love her back. Ashwin has too many secrets—and one of them could destroy her.

So… be honest…  how many of you have wanted this book since you first met Ashwin???

I mean come on!!!  Admit it… he’s lean, mean, scary as hell but damn damn damn does he read hot when  you meet him.  And let me tell you… it was worth every damn minute of waiting to get this book.  He’s hot.  He’s obsessed.  He’s only got eyes for Kora… and damn if she isn’t one lucky woman.

I quite enjoyed seeing this machine (or so he and his handlers believe) realize what it means to find family and a place where he belongs.  Kora plays a huge role in it but honestly Ashwin needed to finally find somewhere that he was looked on as human.  Are they still guarded with him initially?  Yes but there is still a sense of honor in the Riders that make this group a perfect place for him to break down the training and brainwashing to become more than anyone imagined.  Is he still lethal and scary?  Yes but there is now a sense of peace to him that was missing when you saw him before.  He’s amazing as he starts to feel things and accept them as the new normal.  His innocence when it comes to this is fascinating but his willingness to try in order to be what Kora needs says volumes.  He’s not perfect but what he is means more than the perfection that is expected of his genetics.  I loved watching him navigate parties and group settings where he was expected to just be… relaxed and having fun.  Ashwin made me proud as he is forced to realize that an apology… a sincere apology… can undo so many mistakes and give him what he needs to survive.

Kora is so damn strong that you instantly understand why she fascinated Ashwin beyond just the secrets he knows about her.  She is honestly worried about the fate of the engineered soldiers to the point that she gets in trouble with command as she tries to treat them with humanity.  Behind this strong exterior is a woman who cares deeply and mourns each loss as a failure on her shoulders even when she performs miracles for so many.  She’s finally starting to grasp Sector One as her home and the fact that they truly consider her family even as she mourns the man she believes is dead.  Her joy at Ashwin’s arrival to the Sector is tempered by her concern that this man will never believe himself to be capable of human interaction and love.  She reads him so well and can see that behind this mask is a man who truly wants to be free.  Their coming together is both hot as hell and tender as they both realize what it means to be a part of a whole.

We get to see more of the Riders and I must say that Ana/Deacon will be fun to read about but I am very intrigued by the views we get of Gideon.  He’s a hard read but underneath this seems to be a man who loves deeply while still being able to be ruthless to protect his people.  I also enjoyed seeing Ace and Cruz as protective dads but Cruz shines as he is one of the first to push Ashwin to realize what is happening to him.  There are other pushes but Cruz is the one who could hit him hardest in so many ways because of their shared history.

Now…  when’s the next one going to be ready… huh huh huh I mean…

five-stars

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