The Beast really is a modern day retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast story but, be warned, this is no fairy-tale. In the fairy-tale Belle’s...moreThe Beast really is a modern day retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast story but, be warned, this is no fairy-tale. In the fairy-tale Belle’s goodness healed the Beast and he became a charming and handsome man. In this story, it’s far more a case of our heroine discovering the darkness in her Beast and finding that she really rather likes it and deciding to stay there with him.
Dimitri is our Beast and he’s a Russian criminal underlord whose mentor has turned on him and attempted to kill him and has disfigured him in the process. Now, fearing for his life and knowing his scars making him instantly recognisable, he is hiding out under a false name in a penthouse in Vancouver living an incredibly reclusive lifestyle constantly trying to stay one step ahead of his nemesis.
Dimitri really is not one of the good guys – he’s a cold-blooded killer, a career criminal and likes to take his frustrations out on well-paid whores who he pushes to their limits and to within an inch of their lives. There’s very few redeeming features in our beast – he’s been betrayed by a man who is every inch as bad as he is and he’s so incredibly wrapped up in himself, he cares for no one.
Columbia, our Beauty,is an abused young woman who is trying to protect her younger sister from her depraved father and the only outlet for all her emotional turmoil is self-harm – cutting herself. She’s a damaged soul but she still finds time to be a social activist and sneaks into Dimitri’s penthouse with the intention of confronting his fake persona about a building project in the city.
Talk about your case of mistaken identity!
Of course, our huge Beast of a sociopath, finds his Belle and takes her captive and tells her he will either have to kill her or keep her forever and so the story really begins and is told by both Columbia and Dimitri with alternating POV’s which helps to understand what they’re both thinking and understand their thought processes.
I did enjoy this and I loved to see how much they affected one another – Dimitri I think brought out the darkness in Columbia and she found the light in him and, rather than heal one another, I think they just found their perfect match. The sex is pretty hot although really rather brutal and, as I said earlier, this consent, at least at first, is rather dubious and this is a man with very dark sexual proclivities so be warned.
I’m giving this one a 3.5 although it was almost 4 stars because they went from captor and captive to desperately in love far too quickly for me and I began to lose the connection I’d originally had with the story. It just seemed to happen in one screaming orgasm with no real build up – I think I would have much preferred to see their feelings change more gradually especially given that both of them have strong and deep reasons to mistrust other people. I do, however, think fans of dark erotica will love this one.
We both know that it's wrong to cheat So why do I dream of you all night long And baby I'm bad for you And you're bad for me So how can something that feels so right Be so wrong
Ridge is the second book in the Wild series. It does work perfectly well as a standalone although reading book one, Wild, will give you some good background to the character’s story here.
We first met Ridge and Mia back in book one, Wild, and I really did think they were going to be a hard sell as a couple. After all, Mia was Ridge’s brother’s fiancé and they destroyed him and his faith in love by cheating on him – they’re both anti-heroes in their own right but behind every apparent misdemeanour is a much deeper story and that’s what we’re treated to here. I will say that I think this is the darkest book that Adriane Leigh has ever written. Both Mia and Ridge are desperately fucked up individuals with some serious issues to deal with and Ridge comes across really much more of an anti-hero than anything else but I did really love this – it’s raw and gritty and full of so much unbelievable pain that I completely devoured it. Be warned – there is cheating in this book.
We begin with Ridge deciding that he has to end his relationship with Mia. Despite his brother Lane having now found happiness with Kat, Ridge still feels an overwhelming burden of guilt over having cheated with Mia and really wants to rebuild his relationship with his brother and so, after a night of incredible passion, he ends things leaving them both heartbroken, lost and bereft. Little do they know but Ridge’s actions are tantamount to hitting the self-destruct button for both of them as they both spiral further and further into the hands of the demons that have always tormented them.
Ridge finds himself in so much emotional pain, it was almost palpable as I read his story. The only thing that can ease that pain is the wrong thing and that is Mia and he’s vowed to stay away. So he decides he can find solace in a new relationship and picks up the first girl he finds in a bar, Amy, and attempts to make a go of it with her. She falls for him in a big way but he never really returns those feelings although he attempts to do the right thing but he treated her appallingly and I felt so sorry for her. She was being used by Ridge in the worst possible way but she fell in love with him all the same and Ridge frightened her – he likes his sex just on the wrong side of pain and likes to push the woman he’s with way past her boundaries. Mia could take this and that was what made her so perfect for him but poor Amy was just terrified by this and Ridge got off on her fear but still she stayed. I really did hate the way Ridge hurt poor Amy – she didn’t deserve any of what she got and she should have left long before she did but love makes women blind and never has that been more true than in Amy’s case here.
Ridge is completely consumed by his lust and love for Mia, nothing else comes close to soothing his demons. He’s overwhelmed by so much anger, so much rage, always teetering on the edge of taking it just a little bit too far and hurtling towards self-destruction and, boy, does he ever come close. He’s a recovering addict and there are dark times in this book when so badly craved the oblivion of a hit from a drug of his choice and he tries to hard to resist, burying his emotions under a veil of alcohol and nicotine, anything to take the edge off the darkness.
But nothing compares to Mia – wanting her is SO wrong but ending things with her has sent both of them on such a destructive path. He and Mia share the same dark sexual proclivities and their scenes together are so freakin’ hot – this is seriously ANGRY sex, absolutely full of passion. Being with Mia is the only thing that has ever made Ridge’s miserable existence worth living and being apart from her is tearing him apart. There’s an invisible pull between them that can’t be ignored and it leaves a trail of broken hearts in its wake.
This really is Adriane Leigh’s darkest book to date and Ridge, beyond a shadow of a doubt, her most deeply flawed hero and it’s quite a departure from what we’re used to from her but it works, oh so well. It’s full of raw pain, anger, rage, grief, remorse – just about every destructive emotion you can think of, you’ll find here in droves. Mia and Ridge are such a desperately flawed pair and both so badly in need of one another, only they can fix each other and being apart nearly kills them. They really do manage to fix one another and it’s a beautiful thing to see how good they are for one another, although they fight it all the way.
I think this is Adriane Leigh’s finest novel to date – I know the cheating theme won’t work for everyone but, hey, nobody’s perfect and this book shows that even the most apparently deeply-flawed individuals still have their story to tell, their cross to bear and the underlying theme is that love, the right love, can heal the deepest wounds.
Rare and Precious Things is the fourth book in The Blackstone Affair series. It doesn’t really work as a standalone and to fully appreciate this, I th...more
Rare and Precious Things is the fourth book in The Blackstone Affair series. It doesn’t really work as a standalone and to fully appreciate this, I think it is necessary to have read the previous three books – Naked, All In and Eyes Wide Open. If you haven’t yet read them and appreciate an uber-possessive, protective and sexy as hell alpha male hero then I can highly recommend them.
We begin Rare And Precious Things with a mysterious prologue that dips into history several centuries old which, I think, will have Raine’s historical romance fans squeeing in delight. There’s someone you know mentioned here!
We rejoin the blissfully happily and newly wed Mr and Mrs Blackstone on their wedding night and they both have beautiful and significant wedding gifts for each other. Ethan, however, really has one thing on his mind – the poor man has got a major case of blue balls after a couple of weeks of abstinence in the lead up to the wedding and as you’d expect, there’s some red hot sex lighting up the first few chapters. I really enjoyed this – Ethan and Brynne have been through the mill and things have been tough for them but it’s so wonderful to see them together happily anticipating the arrival of Baby Blackstone. It’s hard to believe that only four months have passed since they first met that fateful night.
Despite everything appearing to calm down for them, Ethan is still massively over-protective and possessive, constantly worrying about Brynne, fearing for their safety and that of their unborn child. He’s so in love with her and it’s so beautifully portrayed by Raine – his longing for his wife, his overwhelming feelings for her are almost palpable as you read this book. He can’t stand to be near her and not actually touching her, even if it’s just a hand on the small of her back – he has to have that physical connection. He’s absolutely my favourite kind of book hero – intense, protective, possessive, dominant and he has all these qualities in droves.
Not everything is rosy in their world – Ethan is still plagued by nightmares, tortured by the demons of his past that live on in his subconscious and Brynne still has unresolved issues with the events of her past. Rare and Precious things really does bring us full circle on these story-lines where everything is revealed and explained and we do ultimately get full closure, as do Ethan and Brynne which allows them to, finally, move forward together and put the horrors of the past behind them and look to the future and their new arrival.
I so enjoyed this – it took us beyond the Happy Ever After of the wedding day and allowed us to see just how deep their love is and how they help and support each other and allow their beautiful relationship to heal the wounds of the past. They’ve still got some issues to put to rest and it really is a beautiful thing to see how these two slowly help each other to heal.
Ethan’s a changed man from the self-assured playboy he once was – he was happy to flit from one night stand to another and never thought he wanted or needed more than that but his love for Brynne and the way she loves him back has changed everything and nothing will ever be the same again.
I love you so much, Brynne, and I can’t make it in this life without you. I’ll never regret our baby, and I’ll never stop loving you, or our children. You’re my life, and you’re stuck with me. And you are the most beautiful woman in the world. In the fucking world! Do you understand me, Brynne?
Le Sigh! Ethan really has been one of my most favourite book heroes of the last couple of years and I watched sadly as the progress metre slowly counted down towards 100% on my Kindle, knowing that their story was almost done. I don’t think I’m quite ready to leave these two behind yet and I hope for more to come in the future. Raine writes really long paragraphs, lots of introspection on behalf of both characters and there’s not page after page of dialogue so, even though my Kindle told me this had roughly 250 pages, there’s a lot of words to a page and I ended up feeling that I’d read a much longer novel. The dual POV works so well – there’s nothing I like better than being in the mind of both protagonists in a romance novel, it’s so important for me to know how they both feel and that’s done beautifully here.
So as I look back over the Blackstone Affair as a whole series, I think Raine has taken us along a very tortuous and angsty path and their happily ever after, so richly deserved, has been hard-fought and difficult but it is finally here. This series has been full of overwhelming passion, heart melting tenderness and heart stopping emotion – it’s sexy, romantic, suspenseful and really quite sublime. It has everything I could ever want or need in an erotic romance and I have loved every second I’ve spent with this tortured couple. It’s another winner from Raine and fans of the series are going to love watching Brynne and Ethan come full circle and await the arrival of Baby Blackstone with them. Plus there’s a promise of more to come in the future involving other characters from the books – can’t wait!
Undone is the second book in Rebecca Shea’s Unbreakable series. Although we first met Landon back in book one, Unbreakable, this one works perfectly w...more
Undone is the second book in Rebecca Shea’s Unbreakable series. Although we first met Landon back in book one, Unbreakable, this one works perfectly well as a standalone and it’s not necessary to have read Unbreakable first. Although, I can highly recommend it as an excellent read!
Undone is Landon’s story – he’s the highly delicious, inked cop that we first met back in Unbreakable, Jess’s story. I got the impression that he was only meant to be a background character but somehow he just developed a life of his own and I knew I was left wanting his story after reading Unbreakable. There’s just a few hints, a few little teasers about his traumatic past and his intense loneliness to leave me wanting more and I’m so glad that we finally now have his story.
Landon works had as a cop with his partner, Matt. He has ambitions to work as a detective and he plays as hard as he works. He goes through women like a hot knife through butter, never sleeping with the same one twice and certainly never allowing them to kiss him on the lips. He’s a total manwhore but it’s plain to see that this seemingly tough, singular man is in fact burying his emotional pain in one casual one night stand after another. He believes that seeing a woman more than once will just complicate things, he feels nothing for them and never emotionally connects with them. That is until he meets Reagan!
I don’t know what the fuck just happened, but I think I may have my hands full with this woman—and for the first time ever, I think I’m ready.
Reagan, although actually an OB/GYN doc is working a couple of shifts in her Uncle’s bar when Landon and Matt are called to a disturbance there and Landon takes one look and he knows he has to have her. BUT, he finds he likes her a little too much to just take her home for one night and discard her and they start to develop a beautiful friendship.
I so enjoyed this dysfunctional couple – Reagan, at first appearances, seems to be feisty and confident but getting to know her better reveals her vulnerability and insecurities. She’s also has sadness in her past causing her to be mistrustful and wary of being let down but the darkness in her past pales in comparison to Landon’s.
Landon has another very important relationship in his life – with his younger sister Lindsay. They have shared an awful childhood of abuse and abandonment and Landon is and always has been fiercely protective of her. They have a beautiful relationship which really does show that Landon is capable of love, whatever he may think. But, their past is just awful. Landon is really quite cagey about this, and only slowly reveals the full extent of it to Reagan but, when he does, it’s incredibly emotional. Nobody should have to endure what they endured and it really did make my eyes well up – these two kids really did seem to have been abandoned by society, by the community around them and Landon is so damaged by his experienced, it made my heart hurt. No wonder he is mistrustful of fully connecting to someone, fully trusting them and allowing them in – he’s terrified of the pain of abandonment and won’t allow anyone one close enough to hurt him like that again.
Of course, Landon’s rules about only sleeping with a woman once and Reagan’s refusal to sleep with him on a first date leads to a very angsty journey for these two. I’m never happier than when an author is heaping misery and angst on our central characters and Rebecca Shea does this so well. They develop a beautiful friendship and genuine feelings for one another but are so very scared to take the next step – Reagan because she fears Landon will just walk away from her and Landon because he is scared of his developing feelings for her.
“I’m going to break my rules for you, Reagan,” I whisper in her ear. “Rule number one. I never fuck the same woman twice. Rule number two. I don’t kiss women,” I say, pressing a gentle kiss to the side of her cheek. I turn her around gently by the shoulders, positioning her in front of me. With the tilt of her chin, I kiss her. Softly and gently, I kiss her, succumbing to the feel of her soft lips on mine.
This was yet another emotionally intense and very sexy romance from Rebecca Shea proving that Unbreakable was no fluke, no flash in the pan. With Undone, she’s showing everyone that she’s a force to be reckoned within the romance genre and she definitely proves her mettle with this one. It’s a soulful, compelling read that really did have me turning the pages at an incredible rate – I just had to know what was going to happen next, what was around the corner for this couple. I rooted for them, so desperately wanted them to shed those cast-iron emotional defences, especially Landon, and just wake up and see what they have, what they share and grasp the happiness they both so richly deserve and just run with it.
This is a powerful story of love and how that love can heal and save an apparently broken man. Landon’s story will make your heart hurt as the full atrocity of his past is fully unveiled and Reagan’s willingness to fight for him, to stand by him really does mend his broken heart. It’s a beautiful thing. Of course, there’s plenty of ups and downs for this couple throughout the novel and a couple of real shocking, dramatic moments – just the way I like it. It’s a page-turner and it’s another heartbreaking romance from Rebecca Shea!
I didn’t believe her when she said she was complicated.
She didn’t believe me when I said I had secrets.
I didn’t understand the truth, even when she let me glimpse behind her mask.
She didn’t understand that I couldn’t live with the consequences.
I thought she was a saint.
She thought I was a sinner.
Too bad we didn’t try to find the truth.
We both paid the price.
We destroyed each other.
Well, I don’t think it’s any secret that I am a huge fan of Pepper Winters and I completely devoured the Monsters in the Dark Series so I jumped at the chance to read an early copy of Destroyed. Pepper is known for her dark erotic romances and, when she gave me this book, she explained that it’s not really dark, just a bit grey-ish so my curiosity was piqued and I delved straight in.
What we’ve got here is really something very different – it’s like a darkly deviant retelling of Beauty and the Beast with all the Disney stripped away and the gothic fairy-tale exposed. It’s even set in a gothic style mansion with a cavernous underground fight club set in it’s basement and an ominous entrance marked by impressive doors that depict heaven and hell.
Obsidian Fox is the owner of this club - he’s all scars, tattoos, muscles, gruffness and barely contained violence, a man to fear and respect. To be part of his illegal underworld, he demands obedience, discipline and the utmost secrecy He’s a man with a very dark past and an aura of mystery completely surrounds him. He won’t allow any one to touch him apart from in one to one combat and he oversees his club with a ruthless ferocity and intensity. And then one day, Hazel Hunter wanders in as an invited guest and the minute he sees her he loses a part of himself and he knows he has to have her even though he cannot even begin to understand the strange connection he feels with her – something he has never felt for anyone ever before. He has to have her and coerces her into staying with him but she has a secret and this secret will destroy them both.
Obsidian Fox is an incredibly dark character – very much scarred physically and emotionally by his horrendous past and his conditioning and can be lethally violent. He’s arrogant with a cast-iron will but infinitely alone – he’s a tortured, bleak black soul and he’s never found any semblance of peace in his life and Hazel has something that can offer him this and ease his soul and begin to thaw out his cold black frozen heart for the first time in his life but it’s this which will ultimately destroy them both.
Hazel also has a troubled past and an even more troubled present. Fox offers her something that she can’t refuse, something that could solve her problems and she agrees to his terms but she’s keeping so much back from him. She’s terrified of him and yet incredibly strong and resilient and determines to keep her end of the bargain even though all her instincts tell her to run and get the hell away from this man. Hazel is all passion, fear, strength and innate sadness. To Fox, she’s different from any other woman he’s seen before – she appears to be elusive and unobtainable.
This was such a darkly fascinating tale as both of their pasts are slowly drip-fed to the reader as you progress through the story. When Hazel first walks into Obsidian with her friend Clue, the whole gothic mansion and underground fight club came vividly to life through the writing. I could almost smell the club pulsating with testosterone and virile energy and feel Hazel’s uncertainty that she really shouldn’t be there.
Their relationship is one of the most challenging I think I have ever read – there are so many obstacles in their way and their growth and progress together is slow. Sometimes it really is a case of one step forward, two steps back – there’s so many issues to deal with but they really do have a lot in common even though it’s not immediately apparent. I so wanted them to get past the barriers and really connect – these two could be so good together but it was just never going to be that easy.
There’s a whole lot of angst, despair and fury packed into this novel and Pepper Winters makes some brave plot decisions and I’m so glad she did even though she made me ugly cry – anything other than that outcome would have been cheesy and she goes for the route less travelled and even though it’s incredibly sad, it’s the right one. This is a dark, twisted tale that will leave you frustrated yet desperate for more and I think it’s really quite different from her Monsters in the Dark series. The blurb’s not giving much away so be prepared to step into the unknown and let the experience wash over you.
Click HERE to enter to win a signed copy of Twisted Together at Sinfully Sexy.
Intertwined, tangled, knotted forever, our souls will always be twisted together, our demons, our monsters belong to the other.
I think Twisted Together has been probably my mostly hotly anticipated book of 2014. Tears of Tess and Quintessentially Q were undoubtedly amongst my top reads of 2013 and Pepper Winters really has put this unconventional couple through so much. They’ve had so much to endure, been so broken that Twisted Together was going to need to be really special to give this story, their journey together, the closure it so badly needed and it absolutely delivers. This book is HUGE but it needed to be – there’s so much to work through, so much to come to terms with that it needed to be this long to fit it all in.
So, Twisted Together is another intense, emotional journey fraught with danger and suspense, the kind of story we’ve very much come to expect from Pepper Tess is now so broken – Q’s esclave fifty-eight, the feisty girl with the seemingly unbreakable spirit is now truly broken. Q has done what he can to bring her back from the emotional hell she was trapped in but it’s not enough. He wants to marry her but, before he can make her Mrs Mercer and embark on their honeymoon, he needs to take her on a crescent moon, to reawaken her spirit to finally allow her to move past the horrors of the past few weeks and the unrelenting guilt that is now consuming her.
This story dripped with emotional agony as Tess struggled to find her former self, the girl who loved to endure her Master’s pain – she’s prepared to put up with anything for her Maître and this willingness to do what he wants despite her inner turmoil is breaking Q’s heart. He’ll do just about anything to bring back the feisty slave he fell in love with and, of course, Q’s methods are unconventional to say the very least.
Poor Tess – the depths of her despair really did make my heart hurt so badly. Her once indomitable spirit is now broken as her sleep is haunted by all-consuming night terrors as she is force to relive her ordeal over and over again on a nightly basis. Her screams are breaking Q’s heart as he can do nothing to rouse her until the dreams reach their ultimate, terrible conclusion. Their collective pain is palpable, the sense of loss that they share despite being together is tearing them apart but Q will do anything to bring her back and you can trust this sadist maître to use extremely unconventional methods.
Q went to great lengths, tore the world apart and savagely killed anyone who stood in his way to get Tess back from her second kidnapping in the previous book and deeds such as these do not come without repercussions and there will be consequences. There are dark days in store for this troubled couple and there is still much to endure so hold on to your hats as you’re about to be taken on another hair-raising and heart-stopping ride the like of which only Pepper Winters can deliver.
There were moments when I was reading this when the world just slipped away and all that I could hear was my own frantic heartbeat as I almost didn’t dare to turn the page, afraid of what was to come next. Afraid that Pepper wouldn’t allow these two to finally get their happy ending. It’s harrowing and suspenseful and I absolutely devoured this book as their story consumed me. Real life faded into the background and all that existed was Q and Tess, Monsters in the Dark and those that sought to tear them asunder forever.
Pepper delivers another powerfully dark romance, chilling in it’s execution with richly drawn characters which I have really come to love and hold dear over the course of the three books. Q and Tess mean so much to me that their ordeal is hard yet compelling to read. Twisted Together is full of horror and darkness and yet there are moments of genuine humour despite everything that is happening to them, Tess and Q remain quintessentially themselves - Q is still a darkly tortured sadist maître and Tess is still his feisty esclave no 58 and you can expect some scorching hot scenes between these two as they rediscover their love of pain together.
The book has everything – moments that will steal your breath away and moments that will make you smile BIG. It’s dark, it’s suspenseful and it’s HOT AS HELL. Just what we’ve come to expect from Pepper Winters.
Well, this is my favourite kind of series. The characters recur but every book is a separate story and there are...more
Just how SINFULLY SEXY is that cover??
Well, this is my favourite kind of series. The characters recur but every book is a separate story and there are no cliffhangers and they can each be read as a standalone. The series had, in the two previous books, centred around G-Men but in Night Moves our hero, Easton is brother to Taz, hero of the previous book and not a G-Man himself. He’s a multi-millionaire CEO with very particular tastes in the bedroom and and a real big commitment-phobe.
He first meets our heroine Darcy on a beach in Belize when she is nursing her emotional wounds after finding her fiancée doing the old horizontal shuffle with another woman and the attraction is instant and incendiary but Easton knows that she’s looking for revenge and won’t allow himself to be used in that way.
He leaned, his lips brushing my ear. “Baby,” he said on a rough whisper, "I want to fuck you in the worst way possible. What I don't want is to be some revenge fuck of yours in order to get back at your cheating boyfriend who you'll most likely get back with before you land in D.C. I'm not that guy, love. When I fuck you, there'll be no doubt in your mind as to who you're with and why you're with me, understand?"
And with that quote, you pretty much get the measure of Easton. He is tall, dark, seriously sexy, bit of a man-whore and is completely steering clear of anything that smells remotely like commitment. He’s got a few dark secrets which have shaped him into the man he is today and he just enjoys women, enjoys their bodies (and this is smokin hot) and he likes a lot of variety. He’s absolutely never going to fall in love and commit to just one woman.
“Is that what you really think? Do you truly believe that you've been fucking a dangerous sociopath?"
"No," I stated firmly. "I think I've been fucking someone who doesn't know who or what he is, much less what he wants. I think he's someone that has some baggage he hasn't dealt with which is a shame, because he's almost perfect otherwise”
Enter stage left – Darcy Nicole Sheridan, a spoiled brat to put it kindly. She hasn’t just been brought up with a silver spoon in her mouth, she’s got the whole dinner service in there and she has always been given what she wants, whenever she wants by her indulgent parents without ever having to work for it. She’s spoiled, self-centred, sarcastic and seriously stubborn and you’d think there wouldn’t be a lot to like but like her I did. And quite a lot. Despite all those glaring flaws she’s also smart, self-assured, sympathetic and, throughout the course of this book, evolves into a far more likeable human being as her parents and Easton take a stand and force her to work hard for the first time in her life.
“You're being an ass," I snapped, hoping to get his ire up, along with anything else on him that cared to rise to the occasion.
"I am an ass," he spat, "You should've figured that out a long time ago. I don't want to be an ass - not with you at any rate. You didn't deserve the things I did to you last night.”
I did really enjoy this – Andrea Smith writes great stories and Night Moves is yet another of these. There’s a lot of verbal sparring going down between Easton the British CEO and Darcy, his crude colonial and you will enjoy these two as they war against each other and, ultimatly, that incredible connection that they share. Andrea Smith’s books are always fun to read and suspenseful and then there’s always a darkness to them that you’re never quite expecting.
The abuse in this story is only very briefly touched upon – it’s not gratuitous and there’s only enough to let you know what has happened in the past but I found it INCREDIBLY uncomfortable to read. I read a lot of dark erotica without even batting an eyelid and I had to think hard about what made this so difficult for me to handle and, in the end, I think it was the nature of the abuse and the gender of the perpetrator. As a mother of sons, this was desperately hard for me to read. Please don’t let me put you off – the two scenes that bothered me were very short and necessary to the plot and I was quite shocked at the depth of my reaction to them.
“I raised my chin, defiantly. “Do it.” I challenged him.
He looked back at me, in wonder... an easy smile resting on his lips. Something flashed in his eyes as he continued studying me, and before he was aware of it, I saw a vague and saddened disappointment reflect through his eyelashes.”
So this is a sexy love story with an arrogant British hero that you are going to love despite his cocksure attitude and a smartass heroine who learns a few lessons the hard way and, ultimately, another fantastic romance from Andrea Smith
This is my first book from A.L. Jackson. Last year her Regret series caused a huge splash in the Blogosphe...more
Hearts have a way of finding their way home.
This is my first book from A.L. Jackson. Last year her Regret series caused a huge splash in the Blogosphere and I had a nagging feeling that I was missing out so, when I was offered the chance to review a new book from her, and a first in a new series at that, I jumped at the chance and I’m so glad I did. This may be my first book from A.L. Jackson but it definitely won’t be my last.
If you like a whole lot of angst and emotional pain with your new adult romance, then Come To Me Quietly definitely ticks all the right boxes. We have three main characters – Aleena, known as Aly, her older brother Christopher who she is rooming with while they are going through college and Jared, Christopher’s childhood best friend. The book starts with Jared roaring back into town on his motorbike. He’s been gone six years and it’s immediately apparent that something very bad happened when he was last here causing him to go completely off the rails and do a stint in juvie. Now, after having worked away for a few years, Jared is back and bumps into Christopher in a bar who invites him to stay with him and Aly.
The story is told with alternating POV’s from Aly and Jared and the back story is also slowly revealed, bit by bit, in flashbacks. Jared is a broken man. What happened in the past has cast a lengthy shadow over his life and he can’t get beyond it. He’s besieged by an overwhelming lack of self-worth, he can’t get over his guilt at what happened and, although he can acknowledge his growing feelings for Aly, he doesn’t believe himself worthy of her. He thinks he destroys everything he touches and my heart broke for him. He’s completely ruled by the depth of his heartache and scarred both physically and emotionally by tragedy and regret.
Maybe I just wanted to torture myself, to make myself pay a little more, although no amends could ever be made. I already tried to pay the price, but fate wouldn’t even allow me that.
Despite Jared initially appearing to be the archetypal bad boy on his motorbike, there’s a sensitive and beautiful soul hidden deep down beneath all that sadness. He’s paid a terrible price for the mistakes of the past and he is quite simply broken. He had always had a real fondness for Aly in the past even though to him she’s just been a little kid but now he finds that she’s blossomed into a beautiful young woman and he can’t help the instant attraction and deep affection he feels for her. He doesn’t think he deserves her but it’s a real tough battle for him to ignore that incendiary connection they share.
“I’ve wanted to kiss you every single second of every single day since the moment I opened my eyes to find you standing over me, Aly. But you know we can’t do this.” My voicecracked. “I don’t get to have this. I already told you . . . you deserve someone who can love you, someone who will be good for you, and you know that’s not me.”
Aly was such a sweetheart. She has harboured a starry-eyed crush on Jared for many years and time and distance hasn’t dimmed this in any way and the minute she sees him again, those feelings come rushing back. She wants nothing more than to help him heal and just love him and soothe away all the pain but Jared is building up huge emotional walls and is reluctant to let her in.
I so enjoyed this – it’s an emotionally intense second chance love story with a tortured soul of a bad boy right at the centre. The writing style is sumptuous as AL Jackson just takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster of a ride and when Jared’s back story is finally revealed, it’s a real tearjerker. What this poor boy has suffered – my heart cracked in two for him. It’s hard to see how anyone could ever come back from this but, slowly, Aly’s love and affection begin to let him FEEL and LIVE again but will it be enough? Will Jared ever be able to let go of the past and embrace the future that Aly’s love promises. Come To Me Quietly packs a powerful emotional punch that will leave you breathless – it’s at once heartbreakingly sad and incredibly uplifting.
There were a few loose ends that I felt needed more closure but there is to be a sequel and, although there’s no cliffhanger here, I definitely felt that their story is not yet complete. Come To Me Softly continues their story and is due for release July 1st 2014
It’s nigh on impossible to put into words how much I loved this book and how much it touched me. It’s a compelling story of love and loss, incredible...more
It’s nigh on impossible to put into words how much I loved this book and how much it touched me. It’s a compelling story of love and loss, incredible happiness and crippling sadness, a gut-wrenching, tear-jerking emotional roller-coaster of a ride which I was unable to put down once I’d started and I read into the wee small hours of the morning to finish this because I just had to know how it ended. Better perhaps to say that I dreaded how it was gong to end. In fact I feared the ending, right after reading the prologue which, I have to confess, had me crying by page two! I felt instinctively that I was about to embark on something really special and Fighting Redemption absolutely delivered.
I am a big fan of Kate McCarthy’s – I’ve loved and adored her books before. You know you’re going to get fantastic characters – heroes and heroines that seem real and a captivating plot but I think it’s fair to say that she outdid herself with Fighting Redemption. I had high expectations going in and I wasn’t disappointed but she’s definitely raised the bar exponentially higher now than ever before but I have confidence in her ability to deliver. Fighting Redemption is unforgettable, powerful, incredibly moving and it will live on my heart for months and years to come.
So this is Ryan and Finlay’s story – thrown together by chance and circumstances in childhood, they have practically grown up together. Ever since that first day when Fin stumbled at school in front of him, she has triggered every protective instinct in Ryan and he has loved her and only her for as long as he can remember. Ryan has endured a painful childhood that really did make my heart hurt but he has an incredible friendship with Fin’s older brother Jake that finally offers him salvation from his situation as he practically grows up with them.
As grown men Ryan and Jake join the Army, rise to the ranks of the S.A.S and go off to fight in Afghanistan. The horrors of war, the deep effects on those who serve and those left behind are powerfully served up here – it’s gritty, realistic and harsh and you had better get the Kleenex on standby. I cried buckets!
I adored Ryan – his incredible strength both physical and emotional, his restraint, his awesome physique and just the way that he loved, adored and cherished Fin. It really was a thing of beauty. He’s constantly trying to do what he thinks is the right thing by Fin, often being selfless and sacrificing his own happiness for what he thinks is best for her. He’s a soulful, passionate and very sexy hero and, for the longest time, the simmering sexual tension between the two of them is almost palpable – it’s unacted upon for years although they are deeply longing for one another but constantly denied but, when they finally can resist it no longer, their connection is incendiary and white-hot!!
Fin is a heroine after my own heart. I identified with her closely. She’s a clumsy nerd just like me – in fact, this is pretty much my favourite combination in a book - the geeky heroine and the tough alpha hero. Fin is a sweetheart – unfailingly honest and incredibly generous and giving. It’s no wonder Ryan adores her. She has much to endure in this book and so much to lose. My heart hurt for her on so many occasions and, as I neared the end, I was so afraid of how things would turn out.
I’m a military wife myself and Kate McCarthy really does a fantastic job of showing just how hard it is for the family left behind as the soldiers go off to war. The fear, the pride and the long months spent apart are vividly recreated here – it’s incredibly realistic and spoke to me on a very personal level. The whole story did – it touched my heart in a way that very few books have ever managed to before and I am never going to forget this one.
As with any Kate McCarthy book, this story was hard to put down. She writes incredibly compelling and captivating plots and her writing style and the pacing are perfect and I just allowed this story to roll over me, never once really knowing how it was going to end but preparing myself for the worst. It’s been one of the highlights of my reading year and one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s just exquisite.
Reaching toward him, I run my fingertips down his cheek and then trail them gently across his lips as a single tear runs down my face. “I would rather have one night with you, than to live the rest of my life with the possibility of never being able to experience loving another person the way that I love you.”
Holy Moly!! This is one of the best books I've read this year. If you enjoy a book that packs an emotional punch, a book where you can really feel soul deep the emotions of the central characters then this one is for you.
I’ve read and really enjoyed L.B. Simmons before – the first book in this series, Running On Empty, was a feel good romance and I loved it but nothing could have prepared me for the emotional roller-coaster I was about to embark on when I picked up Running In Place to read. I got all misty eyed by page two – just reading the prologue made me realise I was in for something far deeper here. I started it Saturday night and I finished it Sunday morning, stopping only for sleep and to make coffee. I quite literally could not put it down and I was engrossed right from the tear-jerker prologue all the way right through to the epilogue which also made me cry. This book is quite simply breath-taking – it’s beautiful and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.
So we start with Noah & Tatum, both working at the same bar, both very broken by the pain of their past, both dating other people in doomed relationships, both of them are ‘settling for less’, unsure of their own self-worth. They’re kindred spirits and slowly they come to realise this and develop an incredible connection which made my heart positively melt.
You have no idea how much your words, when I read them, touched my soul. To know that someone out there feels the same pain, the heartache…well, it makes me feel not so alone.
My heart hurt so badly for Tatum right from the very first page. She’s masking a world of sorrow, years of hurt behind a fake smile and a quirky sense of humour. I literally ached for the lost childhood, the terror and pain she has endured, her loss, the guilt she feels over that loss and the blame that is heaped upon her and, most of all, I hurt for just how alone she is and has been for years. The people that should have been there to protect her and to cherish her have either lashed out and abused her or simply turned their backs. From the child quaking in fear, hiding in her closet to the adult that is settling for a loser fuckwit of a boyfriend because she can’t even begin to believe that she deserves anything better – she quite simply broke my heart.
Noah can see this pain a mile off. He recognises it – it’s completely familiar to him. He’s also suffered the pain of loss, the lack of love and he completely ‘gets’ Tatum. She touches him soul deep and he aches to just take her in his arms and ease some of that pain. Sorrow is casting long shadows over both of their lives.
Then, once again leaning forward, he places his lips tenderly on every single inch of my marred skin. After what seems like hours, he utters, pride lacing his tone, “Beautiful. These are your strength, Tate. What you’ve overcome. Never be ashamed of them.”
Words cannot express just how much I loved Noah. Right from the very beginning, before anything happened between him and Tatum, my stomach did those crazy little flip-flops every time he was on a page. I just adored him. He’s sexy, funny, very protective I just melted into a puddle right at his feet. I love the way the lyrics that he writes showcase his deepening affection and love for Tatum. He’s also holding back emotions and feelings, conforming to the life he’s supposed to be living and his relationship with Tatum just allows him to be free, to unleash all those pent-up feelings and finally just be Noah, for the first time in his life.
Her eyes break away as I continue to speak, my head shaking back and forth as I finally throw down my gauntlet. “I’m tired of denying myself the only thing in my life that I’ve ever really wanted. And I want you. Every part of you,flaws and all.”
There’s no doubt about it – these two heal one another. This is journey of self-discovery, of learning to let go of the coping mechanisms both have employed for so long to deal with the pain of the past, of learning to embrace the beauty of the love they now share (and it is a thing of beauty), learning to accept themselves for who they really are and, eventually, moving forward together to a happier future.
“I have no right to attempt to make a life of my own. I have no right to believe that who I want to be can even exist. But, most of all,” his tear-filled eyes rise back to mine, “I have no right to love you as much as I do. But, goddamn Tate. I do. I love you so much that it hurts. My heart is deliberately being torn from my chest, leaving a void that no one will ever be able to fill, no matter how far away I am. You have to believe that.
Please believe that.”
It’s not all about the intense emotions, there’s also plenty of humour here too – like when Noah suggests that Tatum helps him wash his jeep, braless in a white T-shirt. We get a little glimpse of Blake & Alex and her adorable daughters plus we get a bit closer to Trace, Tatum’s big brother. Theirs is also a fractured relationship that needs to be healed. Harlow also has a pivotal role to play – she’s wise beyond her years and, as always, is there to pick up the pieces when everything seems lost.
I loved this book so much – if you enjoy a story that you can connect with on a deep emotional level, that you can really feel everything along with the characters and completely lose yourself in, then Running In Place will absolutely work for you. It’s told from their alternating POVs which really allows you to get inside both of their heads and ride the gamut of emotions right along with them. It’s a story of salvation and how love really can conquer all the pain of the past, it’s captivating and breathtaking and it’s truly a thing of beauty.
Writing this review has been quite cathartic for me. When you get so caught up in a book like this, it’s almost impossible to move on to your next read without a massive book hangover and pouring all my feelings into this review has definitely helped.
This one started out with a bit of a Cinderella vibe for me. Rather than Cinderella disappearing and only leaving behind a glass slipper, our heroine...moreThis one started out with a bit of a Cinderella vibe for me. Rather than Cinderella disappearing and only leaving behind a glass slipper, our heroine Alexis has an incredible and highly sexually charged encounter with a mysterious stranger at a masked ball and, after giving her a mind-blowing orgasm, he disappears out of her life leaving her with just a memory of knee-buckling lust and intense, beautiful blue eyes.
I reach up to remove his mask, but he stops me by taking my hand and placing a kiss on the back of it. The silent gesture tells me that he doesn’t want to take it off. I don't question him, and he just holds my hand in his as we walk in silence back through the campus grounds. Before I even know it, we’re standing right outside my building. He places a soft kiss on my forehead while caressing his fingers up my arms, and I see a slight smile forming over his lips. “Thanks for the dance,” he whispers, while stepping back a few paces before finally turning himself around. I watch as he walks briskly towards the large iron gates, away from me, and out into the night.
The next day, after confessing her mysterious encounter to her best friend Alyssa, they embark on Operation Orgasm – a quest to find this enigmatic stranger. They don’t have to look far – he’s a new arrival in town and is friends with her college room mates, Ryan and Neil and his name is Brandon.
Brandon is a darkly brooding, mysterious student with an even darker past. He’s got so much pain and sorrow locked away that he just doesn’t consider himself good enough for someone like Alexis and he tries to keep his distance, despite their incendiary attraction and the proprietorial possessiveness he feels towards her. I really did love Brandon and his tragic past is a real shocker. He’s suffered far more than anyone of his age deserves to have suffered.
Alexis is a sweet heroine even if she is really rather naive. She’s had a bad experience with her ex, Matt, and is now slow to trust but she can feel herself falling deeply for Brandon and wants to learn his secrets and to comfort him but he’s always putting up emotional barricades and just will not let her in.
“I’m afraid that if you leave now, then … I’m scared you won’t let me in, and you’ll push me away.” I whisper as I slowly bring my hands up and around his neck. He takes a deep breath, while moving his hands onto my hips and squeezing me gently. “And I’m scared,” he says in a hoarse whisper, “I’m scared of what and how I’ll feel, if I let you in.”
I did really enjoy this – there’s so many twists and turns and revelations that I truly never did know what was coming next. It’s very sexy and Brandon is definitely a hero to get your heart racing. I will say that there were a huge amount of misunderstandings and jumping to conclusions by the central duo and, sometimes, I really wanted to bang their heads together and to scream at them to listen to each other instead of constantly judging one another. Brandon, when he finally lets down those defences, is sexy and charming and I cared a lot for him and found myself desperate for these two to work through all the difficulties and find that Happy Ever After together they so deserved.
There’s also a mother of a cliffhanger – just when everything finally seems to be coming together and they are finally happy, something strange happens to set the whole story off in yet another direction. We will have to wait for the release of Misplaced Trust to find out what’s next for Brandon and Alexis. There’s a great host of secondary characters to love as well as a few you will hate who all richly deserve their come-uppance.
When you were mine, you made everything better. You made my life better. You made me better. You have been my medicine. You made the hurt disappear. My past is one that I can never escape, I know this now.
Holy crap!! After that kickass cliffhanger in Wreck Me, we pick up right where we left off and the quote above is in a letter that Damon has left for Josephine. I read the first few chapters with bated breath not really knowing quite what was going on, fearing the worst.
I really didn’t expect the story to take the course it did for at least the first half of Restore Me. I love it when an author can surprise me. Damon is making things extremely difficult for Jo – he’s being completely cold towards her. Jo, despite her extreme misery at the way he is treating her, is determined to stand by her man through thick and thin, She loves him she knows he loves her and is determined to restore that once happy and easy relationship they once shared.
I do so love it when the author heaps the misery on the characters and, of course, us the readers. It makes the happy so much more enjoyable when it finally comes along. I am probably never happier than when my book characters are suffering and there seems to be no light at the end of tunnel. Call me an evil sadist if you will but I really love to ride all that angst with them and feel their pain – it makes the beautiful happy ending all the more sweet when it finally comes around.
And we do get a much happier ending in this one than we did in Wreck Me although the epilogue sets up the final instalment, Accept Me, beautifully.
I really enjoyed the writing style although I felt this story was too short – I read it in just a couple of hours and was surprised to find myself at 100% on my Kindle. J.L. Mac writes fantastic characters. Not only do I completely love Damon and Jo, I love all the secondary characters too - Brian, Damon’s long suffering assistant, Grams who is an absolute scene stealer, the ornery old Captain who still appears in dreams and Noni the barista that Jo goes to for coffee every day. They all contribute to a fantastic reading experience.
It’s not as steamy as the first book but, eventually, it’s very romantic when Damon snaps out of his catatonic state. He still adores Josephine and Josephine still adores him.
Everything. I’d be lost without you. Josephine, you save me a thousand times a day in a thousand different ways and you don’t even know it. I remember thinking that I wanted to be your person that day at the accident. Even back then I wanted to be there for you.
I’m looking forward to what promises to be a thrilling and action-packed final instalment to this trilogy in Accept Me when the past is about to come roaring right back to complicate the fragile happiness that Damon & Jo now share.
Music plays a very important part in this book, most especially to Remy and Brooke and it does have its very own playlist but I want to dedicate this...more
Music plays a very important part in this book, most especially to Remy and Brooke and it does have its very own playlist but I want to dedicate this song to Remy for what he did in New York and what it meant - The Last Fight by Velvet Revolver. Damn you Remy, you made me ugly cry!
I’m every woman’s adventure, damn you, and I don’t want to be yours. I want to be your fucking REAL. You get that? If I fuck you, I want you to belong to me. To be mine. I want you to give yourself to me—not Riptide!”
I have read and loved so very many books but, every now and then, a book comes along that stands head and shoulders above all the others, a book that simply takes your breath away, steals your ability to concentrate on anything else, a book that completely consumes you and owns you. THIS is that book. It’s such a soulful. beautiful and emotional story and even now, when I close my eyes, I’m right back with Brooke & Remy. Nothing is forgotten – this book will stay with me forever.
Brooke first sees Remy at an underground boxing fight. She’s been dragged there by her best friend Mel and she’s not prepared for what is about to happen. As Remington “Riptide” Tate takes to the ring their eyes lock and something passes between them – time stands still and they share an instant and unshakable connection. At this point, just a few pages in, I knew I was going to love this book. I knew it was special and even told my friend who I was sitting next to at the time. She gave me a quizzical look and said ‘What? After just two pages?’ and I just nodded. I knew instinctively this book was going to be exceptional.
Remy is a fallen boxer now competing in an underground circuit. He’s in prime physical shape – he’s pure masculinity and raw beast, sex on a stick, a six-foot-plus tower of testosterone. He’s tall, dark with piercing blue eyes – every girl’s dream and he has a reputation for going through women like a hot knife through butter. He’s a bad boy with a bad reputation. There’s a darkness within and he has an incredibly short fuse – he’s suffered so badly in his past. The people who should have been there for him and loved him have turned their back on him when he needed them most. Now, he has a small entourage of people close to him, those that he trusts and he is fiercely protective of them and is incredibly slow to trust.
I don’t think it’s even possible to find the words to express just now much I loved Remy but I will try. He’s an absolute tower of physical strength but inside he’s deeply flawed and is incredibly vulnerable and so unbelievably complex. Experience has taught him to observe, to hold back and to say very little but that steely blue gaze is incredibly expressive and conveys more than he could ever put into words. Despite his obvious powerful physical strength, there’s a vulnerability in there that is so mesmerising and brings out all my protective instincts – I wanted to run my hand down his face, rub my thumb across his bottom lip and tell him that it’s all going to be OK. He wants Brooke with a passion but knows he needs to hold back – he’s so incredibly intense that it’s going to be all or nothing and he needs her to learn about his ‘darkness’ before he can let herself go and allow him to take her.
“When I take you, you’ll be mine,” he says, a soft promise in my ear. He slides his thumb along my jaw, then gently kisses my earlobe. “You need to be certain.”
As a man of very few words, he uses songs to tell Brooke how he is feeling by playing her songs on her iPod so she can listen to the lyrics. I loved how Katy Evans did this, how carefully she chose her songs and, as the book progressed, the songs they chose for each other made my eyes shimmer with unshed tears. I was losing it and fast. This is the song that Remy chooses for Brooke - Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls.
And I’d give up forever to touch you … Cause I know that you feel me somehow… You’re the closest to heaven that I’ve ever been and I don’t want to go home right now…
“I want to say so many things, Brooke, and I just can’t find the words to tell them to you.”
He sets his forehead on mine and inhales deeply. Slowly, still breathing me in, he drags his nose along the length of mine.
“You tie me up in knots.” He presses my mouth with his. Briefly. Then he withdraws, breathing hard, and looks at me with heavy-lidded eyes. “I want to play you a thousand different songs so you get a clue of what … I feel inside me…”
I also completely adored Brooke. She’s had her hopes and dreams shattered at a young age and is now trying to carve out a new path for herself. She’s a tower of strength to Remy, represents everything he thinks he is not good enough for but she is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, falling irrevocably in love with Remy but she doesn’t understand what he is hiding from her and why is he is holding back. When she does eventually discover his secret, she chose to stand by her man through thick and thin whatever the future may bring and I loved her for it. Remy may be the epitome of a hard, tough masculine physique but the emotional strength and fortitude lies with Brooke. Remy needs her and will never be able to let her go.
“I’m so fucking in love with you I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore.”
As Remy continues to hold back and Brooke practically melts with desire and unsatisfied arousal, the sexual tension between the two of them built to such an incredible intensity that I was so unbelievably turned on and desperate for them to make good on all this pent up emotion. When they do finally come together it was everything and more that I hoped it would be. The sex is very hot and the scenes beautifully erotic but what makes this extra special is the emotion in those scenes is powerfully palpable and leaps right off the page. You know just how much this means to them and, now that they’re together, I began to fear what was ahead and what was likely to tear them apart and I couldn’t bear the thought of that – I knew how much it would hurt Remy and I cared so much about him by this time and my heart was breaking for him.
As the events of the final few chapters unfolded and I realised what Remy had done and why, my eyes once again started to fill with tears and by the time we got to the last few pages, I was all out sobbing, ugly crying. A book hasn’t made me cry like that in ages – it’s so incredibly emotional, so soulful, so heartfelt. The writing is sublime – I was right there with the characters in every single scene, I could see everything, especially the pulsating energy of the fight scenes and the raucous crowds. Most of all I could see Remy – he lived vividly in my imagination, he was REAL to me. There’s a scene when Brooke climbs into the shower with him and, of all the scenes in the book, this one lived the most vividly in my imagination – not really sure why but it seemed so incredibly intense and emotional.
I open the glass shower door, and step inside with his beautiful slick skin and big hard muscles, pressing my naked breasts to his back as I wrap my arms around his waist. He groans and tugs my arms tighter around him, and the words I love you are there inside me. I've never loved anyone in my life and I never imagined it could be like this.
This is just about the perfect book for me – it has just exact right mix of eroticism and emotion and it’s beautifully paced. I loved the way Remy’s eyes would slide to Brooke just before a fight, the way he would stare at her trying to read her, the way they shared songs to say what they could not put into words – I loved everything. The anticipation of them finally getting together was frying my brain and I could not put this book down and I read deep into the wee small hours to finish it with a pair of headphones on and sobbing away! It’s beautiful, soulful, compelling, powerful and quite simply just exquisite.
As I look back on my reading experience with this book and think about how it made me feel, I know that I have been in the presence of greatness.
There’s now a piece of my heart that will forever belong to Remington ‘Riptide’ Tate.
I’ll take you hard, and soft, and every way in between.” He grips my face in his hands and looks down at me, his nose touching mine. “I’m going to fuck the shit out of you.”
Oh God, yes!
I have loved every single book in this series and Rock With Me is no exception. This time it’s the turn of Leo, Meg’s oldest friend and famous rock star and Sam, his Sunshine. Sam is Luke’s sister and we had a pretty harsh introduction to her in Come Away With Me when she acted like an arch-bitch to Natalie but, now we understand her reasons behind it, it’s hard to dislike her.
I love series like this – you have a complete story in each book and a beautiful happy ending but you’re constantly in touch with the whole Montgomery gang and we’re able to keep up with those characters that we’ve fallen in love with in previous books and Kristen Proby does this so very well. Everyone, heroes past , present and future, all remain steadily in character and it’s totally believable. You really feel that you’ve come to know these people as friends and I read the scenes where they all get together and rib each other and just have so much fun with a big ole goofy grin on my face. I love the camaraderie between all these characters.
Leo is a slightly edgier hero than we’ve seen from Kristen before. He’s all rough edges, tough harsh exterior, covered in tatts and piercings but, deep down, right where he’s trying to keep it hidden, is a heart of gold and he’s falling in love with Sam. He tries to resist it, he’s convinced himself that he doesn’t do relationships, doesn’t believe that his lifestyle leads to much trust and he tries to play it cool and keep it just physical but there’s a spark between these two that will not be denied.
He escorts me to the door, his hand on my low back, and as we wait for our hosts to answer the door, he leans in and whispers against my ear, “As soon as I get you home, I’m going to fuck you until you can’t walk.”
I swallow hard, but grin sassily. “Promises, promises.”
Sam is prickly, tough cookie. She’s had a relationship end badly in the past and she’s scarred by her experience and is slow to trust and doesn’t want a relationship either but, the more time she spends with Leo, the more intense their physical relationship becomes, the harder she knows she is going to find it to walk away and fears getting her heart broken.
“Samantha, I’m not going to make love to you tonight. But I’m going to kiss the fuck out of you.”
They’re both stubborn, set in their ways and it takes a long time for both of them to see the beautiful thing that is building between them. The edgier theme continues as their sex life is decidedly more aggressive than we’ve seen before in any Kristen Proby book and there’s some ferocious and incredibly erotic sex scenes as well as beautiful emotional scenes where they are clearly making love, not fucking.
“I’ve never in my life felt like this,” he murmurs and continues to make love to me.
“You are everything I’ve ever wanted, Sam. More than music. More than anything.”
There’s a few standout scenes for me – the first time that Leo & Sam kiss in the garden during a family gathering, the scene in the rain when Sam gets a flat tyre and there’s a smokin hot rocking chair sex scene that will probably be forever etched in my memory!!
Another nod must go to Levine, Sam’s kitty – I just adored him!!
I loved every second of it, never once did my attention start to wander and I never felt the need to skip. I do think both Leo and Sam are slightly edgier central characters than we’ve seen from Kridsten Proby before and the angry sex was decidedly edgy but that's not a negative for me – in fact, all that pushed this up to the first five star rating I have given for this series. I very much enjoyed their snark and their sarcasm and the snappy one liners they were constantly coming out with. They made me laugh. Lots of times. I love the way Leo calls her a brat and the way that Sam doesn't take any crap from anyone. They’re just another couple to treasure in this thoroughly enjoyable series.
The pacing is beautifully done - the characters slowly get to know one another and, as a reader, I really enjoy the growing feelings between them and Kristen Proby seems to do that better with each book she writes. It's never instalove or sappy - it feels more genuine, more realistic. The central couple always start off fiercely attracted to one another and the deeper affection builds slowly - I like that they never declare their love straight away and I like that there's always barriers that have to be broken down, a reason to wait for the happy ever after.
So, this is the first five star I have given for this series and if you’ve enjoyed Kristen’s books to date, you’re definitely going to love this one. Caleb and Brynna up next – can’t wait!
We rejoin Damien and Nikki just as their agreement is drawing to a close. Blaine is just adding the finishing touches to the painting and, by midnight...more
We rejoin Damien and Nikki just as their agreement is drawing to a close. Blaine is just adding the finishing touches to the painting and, by midnight, Nikki will be a million dollars richer and released from Damien’s contract. Of course, neither of them really wants to be released, they’re so completely absorbed in one another, they have an almost telepathic connection and we’re about to embark on an emotionally exhausting journey with them.
Nikki is still tortured by the demons of her past, the need for pain never really goes away and the attentions of the paparazzi will push her to the limits of her ability to cope. Damien is acutely aware of this and reads her so well – he understands when the need consumes her and it hurts him and he feels guilty for her finding herself in situation that bring on that desire to hurt herself. Nikki’s angst was really quite palpable as was Damien’s almost constant concern.
Damien also has demons in his past that are about to roar back into his life in a way that we could not possibly have forseen. He’s still a closed book, holding too much back and not really sharing with Nikki despite her encouragement. He does eventually share with her but it takes nearly the whole book
Their love for one another verges on obsession and, despite their game coming to an end, Damien continues to dominate Nikki. I just totally adore Damien. He’s a wonderfully attentive powerhouse of a lover, a controlling, domineering uber-alpha hero and drop-dead gorgeous. He cares so much for Nikki and is THE most attentive lover with scene after scene of delicious and kinky sex - it’s so incredibly hot, I’m surprised my Kindle didn’t catch fire, and, of course, it’s deeply, deeply emotional. The sex is just super-volcanic and scorching hot.
Nikki and Damien take us on such an emotional roller-coaster in this one as we go from deliriously happy right to the depths of despair and there is a tantalising cliffhanger and their future is left very uncertain in this one as we prepare for the momentous events of the next book. I’m willing for them to find that Happy Ever After that they truly deserve.
I will say that this is four not five stars because it started to drag just a little during the middle part of the book. A big percentage of this book is just Nikki and Damien and it takes almost the whole novel for the whole plot to move on from where it begins – of course, when it does move on, it moves on in such spectacular fashion it will leave your heart pounding and take your breath away.
I’m very much looking forward to Complete Me and I really hope that J Kenner can find a little happiness for Jamie – my heart is breaking for her. She needs a man like Damien.
4 stars kinky sexy romance
Series Reading Order
1. Release Me
2. Claim Me
3. Complete Me – Expected Publication July 30th
ARC courtesy of Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley
Becs: I think it’s probably a well known fact around these parts that I’m a die-hard Nicole Edwards fan. I’ve read pretty much everything she’s ever published and loved every book. For me, as a reader, she’s like the Perfect Storm of an author combining super-nova hot erotic scenes with deep and heartfelt emotions. She’s my go-to author for erotic romance and she’s never once let me down. Her books have always explored ménage and male/male pairings within that setting but Ethan marks a first for her - a male/male only erotic romance, I don’t read a lot of M/M romance and I was really looking forward to this one and invited my gorgeous co-blogger Monique to join me so we could read and review this one together. She’s a seasoned m/m reviewer and reads nothing else these days and our reading habits rarely cross over so I thought it would be fascinating to see how we both react to this - for me as someone who’s deeply invested in the characters after reading the previous novels and for Monique to read Nic’s first full M/M romance. As she’s not read the previous books in the series I gave her a very brief run down, Becs-style, of Ethan and Beau’s involvement in the series to date to get her up to speed and off we went. Over to you Mo............
Monique: I can totally see where you and all the fans of Nicole Edwards are coming from… HOLY FUCKING HOTNESS! Becs… these Walker boys are a hedonistic delight of sheer pleasure… I WANT THEM ALL! I think Nicole Edwards should rewrite the series making them ALL Gay! Starting with Sawyer… now that, would make me VERY happy!!!
Despite your reassurances I have to admit, I was a little nervous of going into this book, firstly blind, as I had not read the other books in the series and secondly because as an M/M only reader I have seen authors try to transcend the divide between M/F romance and M/M romance and fail miserably, not because they are poor writers but because the fans of the two genres tend to have a different perspective on what they want from a romance even though two men can be as gooey eyed over each other as a man and a woman there is a certain writing style needed to ensure they are not completely emasculated. Did Nicole Edwards achieve this? In the most part I would have to say yes, I could still sense the underlying tone of an M/F, M/M/F, M/F/M erotic romance, but that is exactly what this series is. Did it appeal to me as a strictly M/M romance reader? Absolutely… I loved it! And, I also love the fact that authors like Nicole Edwards are taking a leap of faith with their fans and readers, introducing them to a genre that in most cases is all very new. I have been on my own voyage of discovery with M/M romance and haven’t looked back since, so I would definitely say those wanting to dip their toes in, the starting point is HERE with authors like Nicole Edwards that give you a taste of something different, which opens up a whole new world of M/M erotic romance with some amazingly talented authors and for this I applaud her because… you did good girl! And coming back to my first concern, even though Ethan is slap bang in the middle of a series, this book can definitely be read as a standalone, at no point was I lost or confused by past events as Nicole gave us a brief history and insight into the characters, enough for me to WANT all those boys!
Becs: LOL Mo, Sawyer is definitely straight - I met him in my birthday story, remember? Back to Ethan, the star of this show - he has been a bit of an enigma since the beginning of the series. In the first book it’s not apparent that he is gay and he rarely gets any page time but, as the series has progressed, his sexuality has become obvious but he’s always been a bit of a bystander to the Walker Brothers shenanigans rather than getting fully involved. He’d come across as a little bit cold and gruff, closed off and distant compared to the rest of the Walkers so it was just wonderful to read this novel and see his character develop and for him to finally open up. At long last get up close and personal with Ethan and, when Beau gets through that seemingly impenetrable facade, he’s a warm and loving man, just like all his Brothers. He’s never really struggled with his sexuality, he’s always accepted that he’s gay - what he’s struggled with is explaining this to the people around him, wary of their reaction after one of his first experiences has taught him to be cautious and it’s a real shocker when it’s revealed.
Monique: Not having read the series, my initial impression of Ethan was that of a frustrated and angry young man in emotional turmoil, hurting with no outlet, internalising and hiding from his own truth, using his anger as a shield, wanting Beau and all he has to offer but fearing his own vulnerability… of being hurt, of loving and losing control of his emotions, because in his heart he couldn’t deny what he was feeling for Beau, but was resigned to a life of meaningless sex and fuck buddies, who didn’t need conversation, because even talking was way too intimate for Ethan. To follow his heart and go with the emotions that overwhelmed him with Beau, would mean that he would have to feel and to feel would mean the carefully constructed walls around his heart would crumble, leaving him to face those demons that had kept him distanced from those he loves… all because of that secret, which he had kept locked within those wall for the last nine years.
When we found out the truth behind his self-imposed isolation, it just about broke my heart, inside, he is so lonely and I could understand his volatile behaviour and I suppose the reason for not sharing it with the Walker clan, although they are the most big hearted loving bunch of folks you could meet. But Ethan seems to be the sensitive soul of the family and I think that’s why, even though not much gets past them, they had given him room to come to terms with things himself. Beau also seems to understand this about Ethan… and I have to tell you, that man has the patience of a saint, not wanting to push Ethan too hard, realising it would be like poking a wounded bear with a stick! …But not for one minute letting up on his determination to get his man, making sure that Ethan is aware he ain’t going anywhere until he sees the light.
Becs: Ah, Beau - I really adored him when we first got to know him way back in Zane. Beau is a man who’s been confused by his sexuality for a long time only having sex with women when he shared them with Zane. He’d harboured some pretty strong feelings for Zane (my favourite Walker) but he only returns that affection as friendship. It’s become apparent in recent books that Beau has a strong burning attraction for Ethan that he’s finding hard to resist but Ethan has been pushing him away although they have shared some seriously hot kisses. I loved Beau - he’s a big old alpha cowboy and he knows what he wants and what he wants is Ethan. He’s struggled with confusion over his sexuality for a long time and doesn’t have the amazingly loving and stable background the Walker Boys have and he struck me as a really lonely soul and I just wanted to reach out and hug him. He deserves to fall in love and Ethan is just perfect for him.
Monique: Becs… you are so right about Beau’s family, I wanted to do some serious damage there! But, you know what… again it was Curtis and Lorrie that showed their true light, and enveloped him with the love and affection he should have had from his own parents! I felt Beau was a little insecure and a big part of that had to do with them and their attitude, plus his lack of sexual experiences, although it didn’t dampen his confidence in any way! I also found him very intuitive, knowing Ethan needed to come to terms with his emotions, understanding and caring for him, slowly breaking down those barriers and it was so lovely watching Ethan let go, finding comfort in Beau with just the nearness of him finally settling his anxieties… with both men having feelings for each other neither had experienced before, learning to love and be loved in return, and I totally agree Becs, these two are perfect for each other!
Becs: I very much enjoyed Nic’s first foray into male/male romance. I found the sex scenes to be off the scales hot - she manages to pack so much emotion into them. Their need for one another, the deep feelings that they share, when they finally admit to them, were palpable and together they’re practically combustible. As I rarely read M/M, I confess I found these scenes as hot as any other m/f or m/f/m or m/m/f that Nic has ever delivered before and more than once found myself heating up despite it being 5 below outside! Air conditioner at the ready I think!! Mo, with your wealth of experience reading M/M, how did these scenes compare for you?
Monique: At last we get to the sex!!! I have been good so far and reigned in my effusiveness… didn’t want to embarrass you too much Becs… But OMG!!! These two are, how did you put it? Combustible, yep, I would say they could set me alight anytime. They are Sexy as Fuck!! ...With two big alpha males vying for dominance, the air was thick with testosterone and so erotically charged, I was zinging… I loved their aggressiveness, and talk about the sexual chemistry between them! It was quite the heady experience I can tell you… so how did the sex scenes compare? …well, I think Nicole Edwards has that one down to perfection.
Although there is a lot of sex in this book, it’s not all about the sex, which for me is important. The emotion is intense and powerful, but there was also a passion and intimacy that was just mind blowing! Nicole Edwards, showed us these two characters, warts and all, all their vulnerabilities laid bare, with all the raw pain and hurt, which for different reasons were kept locked deep inside. They are soul mates, they really are, drawing strength and courage from each other and I could feel it all in my heart, so much it was aching… Nicole Edwards totally endeared me to Ethan and Beau… I loved them, and I am seriously hoping another one of those delicious brothers turns out to be Gay …either that or the lovely Ms Edwards needs to start writing M/M.
I had a couple of niggles reading this, the main one would be there is some repetitiveness that I felt wasn’t necessary, same sentences repeated a couple of paragraphs later perhaps worded slightly different. And the colour of Ethan’s eyes, blue-gray or gray gaze, there is a lot about the eyes in this book, which I get because there is nothing more intense than gazing into someone’s eyes, especially for Ethan and Beau who were unsure of themselves, afraid of their emotions and tried to express and convey with their eyes what they were unable to express with words… personally once I know the colour of the eyes two or three times is enough for my mind to register the fact.
Other than that I loved this book… I am only sad that, as much as I would love to read the rest of the series, as you know, I just don’t read or enjoy hetro romance as I used to… but I am happy that at last I have had the opportunity to read and review a book with you Becs… and the plus… we both loved it …and hopefully between the two of us we can persuade Nicole to write another M/M!
Becs: We’ll have to see what she comes up with next. She likes to keep her readers in suspense and often surprises us!
This series for me is a little bit like coming home. I’ve become so invested in all these characters and I’ve got to know them so well that they feel almost real to me and it’s just heavenly to see yet another Walker Boy brought to his knees by the love of his life. These boys are big, growly alpha cowboys and when they fall, oh boy, do they fall hard and Ethan is no exception to this.
There’s more going on here as well as they deal with small-town narrow minded thinking and I think I almost melted into a puddle when all the Walker Boys stood together against some narrow minded homophobic idiots. Sexy much??? Again, the original Alpha Walker, Curtis, is the star of the show - he may be nearing 70 but age has not dulled protective instincts and I love how he always stands up for what is right. He and Lorrie definitely raised those boys right!
So for me, this was just another fantastic erotic romance from Nicole Edwards - I think she embraced the M/M genre and made it her own and I’d like to see her explore this more in future books and future series. I think she goes from strength to strength in each novel and this is absolutely my favourite type of series to read - each book is a complete story, there are no cliffies and we get to revisit cherished characters time and again. I can’t wait for more Walker boys. Nothing from the Club Destiny crew in this one but a brief glimpse of Tessa and Cooper from Devil’s Bend.
Oh, to live in Nicole Edwards hedonistic, sexy world. Where orgasms are mind-melding and life-altering and where any girl can end up as the filling in...more
Oh, to live in Nicole Edwards hedonistic, sexy world. Where orgasms are mind-melding and life-altering and where any girl can end up as the filling in a Walker Brothers sandwich. I think, definitely if you’ve read Nicole Edwards before, that you know that you’re not going to get straight forward m/f erotica here and neither should you expect it. Oh no!! What you get is a virtual smorgasbord of erotica where the author bombards you with a shock and awe display of sensuality that will leave you breathless!! We have m/f, m/f/m, m/m/f and also m/m. If you like multi-genre erotica, you are going to totally love this one! Even the warning in the blurb turned me on. I told my hubby I was reading Nicole Edwards again. He knows what this means!
This series, Alluring Indulgence, crosses over frequently with the author’s other series Club Destiny and, while these will work as a standalone, the crossovers are getting more involved and I’m going to add a recommended reading order at the end of the review. It’s well worth checking out the other books in the series if you haven’t already – they’re incredibly sexy and I love the way a series like this shapes up with an ongoing background story and characters you get to know and love and revisit while each book has a complete love story in it.
Now, it’s the turn of Zane Michael Walker, youngest of the Walker brothers and we last left him in the hospital beaten to within an inch of his life by Jake Sanders. We rejoin him three months after the attack as he is about to be discharged from the hospital and I love that Zane didn’t bounce out of bed 100% fit a few days after the attack. He’s suffered a traumatic brain injury – it’s only right and realistic that it takes him time to recover. He’s physically much like the other brothers, tall, dark with smoky blue eyes, muscular, powerful and sexy as hell with his adorable crooked smile and his country boy charm. He’s fiercely protective, especially towards Vanessa, and his defence of her has earned him a bad enemy in the shape of a very mentally unstable Jake Sanders. He’s got a short fuse and is quick to anger and is furious to find out that Jake has been harassing V while he’s been in the hospital. He’s not about to stand for that and sweeps a really rather reluctant V up into his arms, determined to protect her.
Vanessa, from now on known as V, is such a sweetheart. She’s got a bad case of PTSD after witnessing Jake and his cronies knock seven bells out of Zane with a tyre iron and nearly kill him. She feels responsible and is horrified that she wasn’t able to help or protect him. She’s also the daughter of a promiscuous woman most people in Coyote Ridge consider to be the town bike. She’s inherited a very undeserved reputation by proxy just for the misfortune of being her daughter. Consequently, V has become fairly withdrawn, is very slow to trust and has some pretty cast iron emotional defences to prevent anyone other than her best friend Zoey to get close. She’s finding Zane incredibly hard to resist even as she tries to deny her feelings, that smokin hot incendiary physical connection they share cannot be resisted and they succumb time and again with white-hot scenes that will have you reaching for a fan!
He’d have her flat on her back and naked in the blink of an eye. For some reason, when Zane was close, her clothes just seemed to fall off.
Of course, this is Nicole Edwards and it’s never going to be a simple as just Zane and V doing the old horizontal shuffle. Enter stage left, Beau, Zane’s best friend. I LOVED Beau. Even if he’s not a Walker Brother, the dude needs a book of his own. Pretty please, Nicole? The guy is HUGE in more ways than one, a big, tall, protective alpha who is more than a little bashful around women and a real teddy bear. I defy you not to love him – he reminds me a lot of Cole from Club Destiny. Anyway, Zane and Beau are going to share V in the most delicious way possible and she is going to lose her mind to the pleasure that these two can deliver ensemble.
When Zane stilled her head by gripping her hair even tighter, V managed to look up at him.
“Oh, yes, baby. Tonight we’re going to fuck you until you scream.”
This is much more than just great erotica though, and it is really FANTASTIC erotica, as Nicole Edwards delivers on great character development and a soulful, angsty romance that will have you desperate for these two to find that elusive Happy Ever After that seems to hover tantalisingly just out of reach. The background story of the Alluring Indulgence resort and Club Destiny continue as we get to catch up with pretty much every loved up couple we’ve met to date in both series with trips to both Vegas and Dallas with a few secrets revealed but far more questions asked to keep us guessing and anticipating the next books.
As promised, this is multi-genre erotica and you’ll have more than one brother pondering his sexuality as we get a few insights into their relationships which promise more red hot books in the future. My only regret about the whole series is that the boys don’t have a younger sister – I would have loved a story like that where the poor girl has not only an incredibly alpha Dad but six seriously protective older brothers. Very much looking forward to Travis in the autumn. Oh yeah, and sexy Sawyer. And the twins……..heck, I’m looking forward to all of 'em!!
4.5 stars really, REALLY sexy erotic romance
Club Destiny Series Reading Order 1. Kaleb 2. Zane 3. Travis 4. Sawyer 5. Braydon 6. Ethan 7. Brendon
Suggested Reading Order – Alluring Indulgence + Club Destiny
Conviction – Club Destiny # 1 Temptation – Club Destiny # 2 Addicted – Club Destiny # 2.5 Seduction – Club Destiny # 3 Kaleb – Alluring Indulgence #1 Infatuation – Club Destiny # 4 Captivated – Club Destiny # 4.5 Zane – Alluring Indulgence #2
Well, this was an incredibly romantic and very sexy conclusion to the Stark Trilogy. It’s sensual and evocative, full of raw passion, heart melting te...moreWell, this was an incredibly romantic and very sexy conclusion to the Stark Trilogy. It’s sensual and evocative, full of raw passion, heart melting tenderness and heart stopping emotion. It’s a beautiful story that shows just how love really does conquer all.
We’re back with Nikki and Damien in Germany as he prepares to stand trial for murder. There’s an air of desperation as they try to hide away in a private little bubble knowing, all the while, that reality is out there, waiting for the chance to rip them apart, possibly forever. They indulge themselves in really hot sex as they try to block out what lies ahead and forget the disaster that is looming large on the horizon.
“Fuck reality,” he whispers when he releases me. “I want to stay in our bubble as long as we can.”
I did really enjoy this one and definitely felt that I got the closure I needed after embarking on this series and investing in Nikki and Damien. Right from the beginning we’ve been aware of their awful childhoods, Nikki’s propensity to self-harm, Damien’s history of abuse and the barriers and obstacles that all these place between them and finding that elusive Happy Ever After. That’s not to mention the ever-growing threat to Nikki’s safety which will frighten the seemingly unflappable Damien Stark
Looking at all three books as a whole trilogy, I would probably put this right up there near the top of the list of erotic romances. Damien is an intense, dominant and very caring hero who very much commands your attention every time he appears on a page. It’s no wonder that he has a legion of female fans out there melting into puddles at his feet. He’s very sexy and there’s a whole lot of steamy action right through the entire trilogy which is BDSM-lite – really nothing more hardcore than a little bondage and a little light spanking. It’s really just kinky sex – very, very hot kinky sex. Damien’s life has been radically changed by Nikki – he’s still that self-assured billionaire we met right back at the beginning of Release Me but now his whole focus in life is her. Nothing is more important to him and he will do anything to keep her safe and to keep them together.
You’re what gives me strength. If I am what centers you, Nikki, then you are what anchors me. Every time I touch you, every time I bury myself deep inside you—Nikki, don’t you see? You are the talisman of my life, and if I lose my grip on you, then I have lost myself
I enjoyed getting inside Nikki’s head and I thought J. Kenner did a great job of sympathetically handling the issue of self-harm and letting us understand the thought processes that see Nikki on the verge of holding something sharp against her skin, desperate to feel that pinch of pain as a way of blocking out the emotional distress that threatens to overwhelm her. Nikki grew from strength to strength as the series progressed as she drew on the love that Damien gave her and it empowered her and, in the final book, we find her moving on with life professionally and growing in confidence.
There’s a great host of secondary characters, none of them very happy, and I sure hope that the author has something planned for Jamie – that girl is holding out for a hero and she needs one pretty darned soon. If I have any criticisms it would be that the second book dragged a little for me and seemed low on plot right until the very end and I did actually find the murder trial rather anti-climactic. I do understand why it was done as it sets in motion events that will have far reaching effects on the rest of the book BUT, if you love erotic romance and I really do love erotic romance, this one will definitely work for you especially if you love a tortured and dominant billionaire and, if you’ve not tried this series yet, now is the time to buy all three and read them one after another. I truly believe that you would get the most out of them reading them that way.
There’s an incredibly romantic ending that will have fans of this series sighing with satisfaction and I think I can guarantee you closure at the end of this one.
I think it’s safe to say that I pretty much disliked Summer O’Sullivan at the beginning of this one. She’s a spoilt little rich girl, daughter of an a...moreI think it’s safe to say that I pretty much disliked Summer O’Sullivan at the beginning of this one. She’s a spoilt little rich girl, daughter of an airline magnate who now finds herself in danger. With the threat to her safety increasing and business taking him overseas, Summer’s father hires a series of bodyguards to watch over her, all of which Summer manages to dispense with by means of some pretty brattish behaviour. She’s spoilt, wilful, demanding, high maintenance, headstrong and a total brat and yet I actually grew to like her.
She meets her match in Flynn Grant, sinfully sexy ex-soldier who still works covert ops and is less than impressed to find himself babysitting a Paris Hilton wannabe. He takes the job under duress but, once he realises the threat to Summer is for real, whisks them both away to a croft in the wilds of Scotland with only the most basic of facilities where they spend their time becoming more intimately acquainted. Flynn is an experienced dom and Summer is curious about BDSM and wants to have a go at being submissive – the only problem is, there’s not a submissive bone in her body.
In the end, I did enjoy this one. There’s a lot of humour, it’s very sexy and I loved the brusque burly Flynn who will take absolutely no crap from Summer and won’t let her get away with anything. He sees beneath her brattish behaviour to see a girl who’s only had love and affection shown to her by way of expensive gifts and he slowly begins to admire her willingness to explore her submissive side, her loyalty, her vulnerability, her sensuality and her big heart.
Flynn is fiercely alpha, sexy as all get out, very protective and a little exasperated with Summer and it was fun to watch how they screamed at each other like a pair of angry cats as they constantly fell out and made up with angry sex! To be fair, there’s a highly implausible suspense plot with danger seemingly coming at them from all angles but it was a lot of fun, a bit of a romp. I did find the sex scenes very erotic as Flynn slowly taught Summer the beauty and grace of submission.
Jack and Abbie from The Pleasures of Winter get a mention in passing but we don’t see them.
It’s been a while since I’ve been in the loving arms of a Kristen Ashley alpha hero and it’s so nice to be back – it kind of feels like coming home. When I first discovered Kristen Ashely, I read her books slavishly but, now, I have to wait for new releases and I was so excited and honoured to received an ARC of Raid and I’m delighted to report that it’s another classic Kristen Ashley – compelling, romantic and sexy as hell!
Raiden Ulysses Miller, from now on known as Raid is our Unfinished Hero. He’s absolutely typical Kristen Ashley hero material – he’s bossy, he knows what he wants, he’s protective, he’s gorgeous and he’s burning white-hot for Hanna, our dorktastic heroine. Raid has had it tough it has to be said. After growing up with a violent, bullying father he joined the marines and lost most of his crew when an op went totally FUBAR in Afghanistan and has returned home and now works in the shady underworld headed up by Knight Sebring. When he looks at Hanna – he sees something that’s full of goodness, a complete contrast to his life so far and he sees her as his reward for a life lived hard.
Hanna, his reward, is our totally dorky, cute, sweet and very lovable heroine – think Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock as gorgeous, loveable kooks in a chick flick and you have the measure of Hanna. She’s been crushing on Raid her whole life and he’s never once noticed her. Now he’s back from the Marines she’s hanging out at his sister’s cafe in the hope that he will see her until she sees me him making out with a woman who couldn’t be more different than her. Losing hope, she gives up and decides this is a turning point and that she must go live her life to the full as Raid is never going to be hers. She hardly ever saw Raid but, unknown to her, he had started to notice her.
So, Raid pursues Hanna and she can’t believe her luck but questions his motives and we start along the tortuous angsty path that you’ll be familiar with if you’re a Kristen Ashley fan. Raid is just a little bit kinky and likes to play and Hanna finds that she’s really not as vanilla as she thought as they practically set fire to my Kindle with their steamy sex scenes. Oh yes, I enjoyed these!! Raid, of course, is fiercely protective of Hanna – she’s like a ray of sunshine brightening up his dark, troubled world and the Raid that came back from Afghanistan is not the same man that went but, slowly, Hanna is putting that smile back on his face and helping him heal and face up to his nightmares. Raid, right from the beginning, knows that Hanna is the one that he wants but can he keep her protected and hidden from the shady world he inhabits?
A big shout out must go to the scene stealing pair of Miss Mildred, Hanna’s great-grandmother and Spot, her very ornery cat. Miss Mildred may now be sitting in her porch chair in the sunset of her life but she’s a fiercely protective old matriarch and sees straight away that Raid is perfect for Hanna but also sees the fire burning inside and warns Hanna to be prepared. She’s not a woman used to holding back her opinions and I laughed frequently at her antics and also at Spot, ankle slasher extra-ordinaire! Hanna also has a best friend that you will recognise if you’re a die-hard Kristen Ashley fan.
I did think Raiden was a pretty unusual name and had to giggle at the following scene……..
“Raiden is a silly-ass romance novel hero’s name my Mom came up with to torture me,” he replied. I stifled a giggle and remarked, “And Raid isn’t silly?” He smiled. “Raid’s a badass’s name.”
OK Raid – you sure are a badass so we’ll let you get away with that one but that made me laugh!!
This is a great continuation of the Unfinished Hero series and we get to catch up with Knight, Anya, Creed, Sylvie and Deacon – I sure hope Deacon gets his story some time very soon. I loved every second I was with this book – it’s funny, its very sexy, it’s sweet and romantic and there were a few gasp out loud moments and I even cried a little too and it’s pretty much all kinds of awesome! It’s just about perfect contemporary erotic romance. Kristen Ashley, really at her finest.
This was like taking a step into the unknown for me. I don’t read a huge amount of New Adult romances, I’m mostly an erotica gal, but something about...more This was like taking a step into the unknown for me. I don’t read a huge amount of New Adult romances, I’m mostly an erotica gal, but something about the synopsis of this one really appealed to me and I decided to give it a go and I’m so glad I did. It’s a highly accomplished debut novel and I devoured it in one sitting. It’s intriguing, fascinating, sad and very compelling and has a real Pretty Woman vibe going on.
Drew is our hero – all American college football star, born with a whole silver dinner service in his mouth. A highly privileged childhood with his Father and Step-Mother but it seems money doesn’t buy happiness and right from the getgo Drew’s bone-deep sadness and extreme vulnerability were there in full force. I really felt for him – at first, I had absolutely no clue what was driving this guy to deceive his family that he had a girlfriend and, even as I guessed some of it, nothing would have prepared me for the whole shocking truth.
So he decides to hire Fable to be his one week girlfriend to take home to his wealthy family to spend Thanksgiving with them. Fable is most definitely from the wrong side of the tracks and, due to her loser and often absent mother, has taken on whole responsibility for raising her wayward thirteen year old brother. She works in a bar and also as a waitress and has a bit of a reputation amongst the college jocks for being easy and so Drew decides she’s the one for the job.
He’s wealthy enough to offer her a sizeable sum of money to make a big difference to her and her brother’s lives – he must really need to convince his family he’s dating. At first, I wondered if he was gay but his obvious attraction for Fable convinced me otherwise.
I really liked Fable. For a young girl, she’s a wise old soul and she’s very intuitive and soon begins to see that not everything in the garden is rosy at Drew’s family home. She guesses part of the dark and terrible secret, the motivations behind Drew’s actions but she and Drew do not know it all and there is more shocking revelations to come.
It was so lovely to see how these two travelled the road not yet taken – two kids from totally opposite backgrounds finding something in common and solace in one another's arms. Drew is damaged with a capital D and he’s putting is life on hold dealing with his issues, not really living at all, but Fable sets something free in him and she comforts him on a level that he’s just not been able to find before. Fable also lacks in self-worth and I wish I could say that Drew helped her there but he’s a little too wrapped up in his own issues but there is potential for more as the story is not yet complete and with a bit of a cliffhanger, we are left hanging on for more.
Wanderlust is a dark erotic novel that explores dubious consent, captivity, and power play. Please do not read this if you're uncomfortable...moreHOLY FUCK!!
Wanderlust is a dark erotic novel that explores dubious consent, captivity, and power play. Please do not read this if you're uncomfortable with the subject matter or under 18 years of age.
Can love come from pain?
I think it’s very important that you take the content warning at the top of the post seriously. This is dark erotica and contains scenes of sexual violence, abduction, dubious and non-consent. But, if all of that piques your interest and you’re over eighteen, then read on.
I’ve not read Skye Warren before – I’d always meant to and now I feel that I’ve been missing out. What a talented author – the writing style is hauntingly atmospheric and wholly compelling. I was engrossed in this book from beginning to end and, even after closing the last chapter, it still remains with me, completely unforgettable. It’s darkly fascinating, mesmerising, and achingly beautiful.
Evie has had a very unconventional upbringing with her extremely paranoid mother who warned her constantly against the dangers lurking for a young, single girl in the outside world and tried to keep her locked up and away from the perceived evil beyond. Evie feels caged and, desperate to see a bit more of the world, sets off one day in her battered old Honda, ready for what lies ahead. Turns out, her mother’s paranoid ramblings were a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Evie starts her journey naively optimistic with a burning ambition to see Niagara Falls and, as Don Henley started to croon ‘On a dark desert highway’ gently in my sub-conscious, Evie takes a wrong turn and ends up at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere and catches the eye of Hunter, a brooding trucker, and declines his offer to buy her dinner. Turns out ‘no’ wasn’t an option and Hunter is everything Evie’s mother had so obsessively cautioned her against – a beast of the highest order. He wants Evie and he is going to have her – she has no say in the matter. I felt a lurch of fear deep in my heart as Evie stepped out of her crappy motel bathroom to find Hunter lounging in the chair as if he belonged there. He takes her brutally, uses her all night, drugs her and throws her bound into the back of his truck as he decides that he’s going to keep her.
"That's a good girl." He leaned down, whispering into my ear. "I'm sorry about this. I really am. You’re too good."
Hunter strips Evie of her freedom , her ability to consent and takes her as and when he wants. He’s a rapist, a man we should loathe and detest and yet I came to love him. He’s a broken man, a victim of circumstance and lies and has suffered deeply in the past. His hopes, his dreams, his whole belief system stripped from him as his worst nightmares came true. To learn his past is to gain an understanding and nothing here is black and white, there are only shades of grey. Hunter, although on the surface, seems to be nothing short of a monster, has hidden depths that Evie slowly starts to see. Despite his role as abductor and abuser, Hunter also takes on the hero role as he rescues Evie more than once and eventually attempts to do the noble thing by her. He’s a good man who’s been corrupted by his experiences but despite his brutality, there are moments of gentleness and tenderness and he’s fiercely protective of Evie.
“Don’t you see how fucked up this is? That you beat up those guys for…for…” Here my courage deserted me. “For what you did,” I finish lamely.
Evie just about broke my heart and I shed many tears for her. Her childhood has been difficult and she’s never had a loving, positive sexual experience. From a background of abuse, she’s got a surprisingly optimistic outlook on life and, rather than being broken by her past, she’s eagerly looking forward to slaking her wanderlust and hitting the road and discovering the world beyond the confines of her Mother’s oppressive paranoia. She endures so much in this novel and I admired her bravery and her courage. She’s managed to escape the cage that her mother kept her in to stumble blindly straight into another form of captivity. The freedom she craves so deeply hovers ever out of her reach.
I cried for having stayed with my mother too long, not knowing what a normal life would have been like. I cried for finally summoning the strength to leave, only to have all her worst fears prove true. Most of all, I cried because I felt relief to have been captured.
She’s no doormat and escape is constantly on her mind and makes several attempts all of which end in violence of some form. She’s not blessed with luck and her bad run with sexual experiences continues as she definitely leaps from the frying pan into the fire. I could almost hear Tess Durbeyfield mournfully berating her mother at this point “Why didn’t you tell me there was danger in men-folk? Why didn’t you warn me?" Of course, Tess saw herself of a victim of her own ignorance of men whereas Evie now sees herself as a victim of her own innocent optimism and blind faith in others.
Just when everything seems lost and Evie is losing all hope, a simple gesture of human kindness from a hermit helps restore some of her faith in humanity.
Both Evie and Hunter take an incredible personal journey in this one with forgiveness and absolution taking central roles. Hunter, at the beginning, is darkness personified – he’s been accused and punished for something that he didn’t do and now his moral compass is skewed – he may as well live up to the deeds he’s been falsely accused of. Evie starts off like a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights – she’s terrified and rightly so but she grows immensely throughout the course of the book and she’s virtually unrecognisable by the end of the story. She grows from strength to strength, and is able to take matters into her own hands. Hunter may strip her of her liberty and her right to consent but he can never take her mind and she maintains her integrity from beginning to end.
I think it’s up to the reader to decide whether Evie’s apparent love for Hunter is born out of Stockholm Syndrome or something deeper. Personally, I took it to be that she came to know him so well, she grew to understand him – these are two broken people coming together and healing one another. It’s a dark and twisted journey and morals and principles that I hold deeply were questioned as I found myself able to forgive Hunter and want him to be happy, to find an equilibrium with Evie. It’s mindfuckery of the highest order – I shouldn’t love him but I do. This book consumed me, I just could not put it down as I watched these two tortured souls take on their own and each other’s pain and slowly find common ground and forgiveness and move beyond the horrors of the past to something really quite beautiful and special.
I’d recommend this for anyone who enjoyed C.J. Roberts’ Dark Duet or, possibly, Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas. Yes, this is dark erotica but it’s a fairly soul-shattering love story too and deeply emotional with unexpected flashes of humour. It’s a deep exploration of power, guilt and ultimately forgiveness.
Mr Cavendish has got it bad. No doubt about it. He is head over heels in love with Bianca, completely besotted, and it is a feeling completely alien t...more Mr Cavendish has got it bad. No doubt about it. He is head over heels in love with Bianca, completely besotted, and it is a feeling completely alien to him. He’s never felt this way about anyone before and his possessive and protective instincts towards her are on turbo-charge and in overdrive. He can’t imagine his life without her, is terrified that something may happen to her and can scarcely function when she is is not breathing the same air as him. He’s lived his life as a total man-whore – sexual desire just another bodily function to be sated like hunger and and thirst. His many partners were just there to serve his needs, he never made an emotional connection to any of them. He’s completely blown away by his feelings for Bianca, his absolute desire to dominate her consumes him and his fear that her father may harm her causes him to hire a team of security for her.
Bianca’s heart is still sealed inside a block of ice. Her traumatic childhood has made it difficult for her to trust and she, too, is overwhelmed by her feelings for James. She’s also falling further and further in love but she’s guarded and is holding back and James understands this and gives her the time she needs and her heart slowly starts to thaw. He can’t tell her he loves her because it means so much to him and rejection would just about break him. The scene when they finally do admit their feelings to one another is quite simply beautiful. Bianca is still having nightmares and the patient tenderness James shows her as he calms her down is stunning. Mr Beautiful can be so gentle, caring and loving when he needs to be. Le sigh!
Mr Cavendish, sadistic dom extraordinaire, is also back in all his glory and, as much as he loves Bianca, he still desires to punish her for every slightest perceived misdemeanour's and they really do share some very delicious scenes on The Fourth Floor! Bianca is just a hot mess for him, always ready to melt into a submissive puddle at his feet and, let’s face it, who can blame her? He knows her limits and he always pushes her to them but he reads her well and she never once has to safeword out of any of their scenes.
But, this is about more than just the beautiful love story between the central characters. This is also a story about the deep and lasting bond between best friends Stephan and Bianca. Theirs is an incredibly special relationship and, until now, has always excluded everyone else but now they both need to make room in their hearts for someone else as Stephan becomes closer to Javier and Bianca and James move closer to committing to one another. Stephan has saved Bianca before during their awful childhood and he would still die for her.
So, this is deeply romantic as Bianca and James overcome many hurdles and obstacles in this one all the while moving steadily closer to the devastating and dramatic conclusion that will have your heart pounding and take your breath away. It’s a real shocker!
There are peripheral characters too that I hope will have their stories told as they positively intrigue me – Lana and Akira, Tristan and Danika.
If you’ve loved In Flight and Mile High and are fully invested in James and Bianca finding their Happy Ever After, then you are going to absolutely adore this as you smile, laugh, despair and enjoy every second of their story. The Mr Chapter titles are back and here’s a few to whet your appetite – Mr Scandalous, Mr Uncivilized, Mr Manipulative and Mr Porn Star to mention just a few.
James & Bianca - it's been such a wild ride, I've enjoyed every second and I sure am going to miss you.
This is another deeply erotic and highly emotional instalment in Bianca and James' story.
It's the second part of the Up in the Air Trilogy and it does...moreThis is another deeply erotic and highly emotional instalment in Bianca and James' story.
It's the second part of the Up in the Air Trilogy and it doesn’t work as a standalone. You need to read In Flight first – I can highly recommend it. If you like hot, dominant alpha males, it will definitely work for you. Also, my review may be slightly spoilery for In Flight so please make sure you’ve read that before you carry on here.
We pick up a few weeks after the end of the first book. Bianca has recovered slowly from her injuries and is keeping James at a distance and is now back at work flying and is on a night stop in Florida. James is desperate to see her again and will do almost anything to get her back. She does eventually agree to meet him when she is back in Vegas.
Once she sees him again, she knows she is powerless to resist his charm, the deep attraction that they share is all-consuming and they are soon reunited. We’re starting to see two sides to James Cavendish. There is James, doting, caring boyfriend – he will do everything and anything for Bianca, he thinks of everything, tends to her every need. He worries about her constantly, fears for her safety and there’s a sad vulnerability to him. His feelings for Bianca run so deep but his fear that she will not return his feelings and leave him again is all too apparent.
I love any touch from you. It feels caring, and I want that. I want so much for you to care for me.
The other side of this man is Mr Cavendish – a very much in control dominant. Their BDSM scenes together in this one are simply delicious and quite a lot edgier as they play a little harder in their dungeon on the Fourth Floor than they did in the previous book.
I think this was so well done – the second book in the trilogy is traditionally very difficult to write and often the most criticised. It’s neither a beginning nor an end and can often just be filler but R.K. Lilley does a really good job of maintaining the integrity of the characters while allowing us to get deeper inside their personalities, all the while moving the story along at a believable pace. Their chemistry is still positively volcanic, the romance a little sweeter and I felt everything with them – their overwhelming desire for each other, their desperation and fear that this won’t work out and, although neither will say it, their obvious love.
Everyone’s relationships progress further with this one, including Stephan’s and the secrets in Bianca’s past rear their ugly head once again. I think it’s beautifully done, it doesn’t feel rushed, you can feel the intensity growing between Bianca and James, even if neither of them will actually say the words. I am rooting for them to find their HEA, to find an equilibrium that will suit their reticent personalities.
We end on a moment of drama, while not quite the cliffhanger we had in In Flight, this sets up the final part of the trilogy beautifully. Grounded will finish this story off and, at the time of writing, is currently slated for release on February 26 2013. I can’t wait.
Holy Freaking WOW! Make room Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, Braden Carmichael – there’s a new fictional boyfriend in the har...more
BE STILL MY BEATING HEART!
Holy Freaking WOW! Make room Christian Grey, Gideon Cross, Braden Carmichael – there’s a new fictional boyfriend in the harem and that man is Mr James melt my freakin' panties Cavendish. How much did I love him? Let me count the ways!
He’s a super uber-alpha dominant male, he’s possessive, protective, controlling, a bit of a sadist, romantic, tender, fierce, generous, caring, soulful – I could go on and on and rain down superlatives but my heart and stomach really did do crazy little flip-flops the whole time I was reading this and they are still doing it now as I think back and remind myself! I have a major crush on him.
He had moved in behind me, and he gripped my hair softly, breathing warmly on my neck as he spoke. “Are you so unaffected by me?”
He meets the very reserved flight attendant Bianca and they share an instant, mind-blowing connection. The world around them grinds to a halt as they just stare at one another, completely unable to look away. Mr Cavendish is seriously rich and uses his wealth and influence to see her again and they embark on an incredibly passionate D/s relationship.
It’s not just all about the sex though – I loved the way he tenderly took off Bianca’s make-up when she was falling down drunk, the way carried her and held her when she cried, the way he just wanted to care for her and cherish her and protect her from the world.
Of course, there’s more to it than that – they both have troubled pasts and both are keeping secrets and only a few are revealed in this instalment. One of those secrets will have huge implications for Bianca before the end of this one and they’re being so guarded that they struggle with the dynamics of their relationship.
“I’m so afraid I’ll offend you beyond all repair, and that you’ll never let me know how. You’ll just leave and never speak to me again. Would you do that?”
I’d just like to give a big virtual hug to Stephan, Bianca’s best friend, a gay flight attendant, and her biggest and fiercest protector. They share a uniquely special bond and I loved him, almost as much as I loved Mr Cavendish.
Of course, there are sequels to come and this one ends with everything up in the air and on a moment of absolute desperation. There’s absolutely no way in hell that I’m not moving straight onto the sequel. I’ve given this book 5 stars. I know that I’m a generally positive reviewer, I like most of what I read but I rarely give out 5 stars but I dragged that fifth one out for this one because of how it made me feel. I just LOVED it.
Everything has beauty. Even the ugly. Especially the ugly. Because without ugly, there would be no beauty.
This is another wild and crazy Madeline Shee...more
Everything has beauty. Even the ugly. Especially the ugly. Because without ugly, there would be no beauty.
This is another wild and crazy Madeline Sheehan ride. It’s all kind of crazy, it’s raw, it’s edgy, it’s full of foul-language, appallingly behaved men, unfaithfulness, violence, sexual violence and general badassedness. God, I LOVED it!! I didn’t just read this, I devoured it. I read it one sitting – couldn’t put it down and forfeited sleep to finish it. Who needs sleep anyway!
I’d say this is nearly as much a continuation of Eva and Deuce's story after the final events of Undeniable as it is Ripper and Danny’s story. The ramifications of what Frankie did to Eva and to Ripper in Undeniable have far-reaching consequences which cast a lengthy shadow over all of their lives. Deuce and Eva are struggling badly. They’re drifting further and further apart completely unable to come to terms with what happened and Deuce is taking his foul temper out on everyone around him, pushing Eva away when she really needs him. My heart broke for them – I’m desperate for them to be happy as I’m so invested in them after reading Undeniable.
Ripper is Deuce’s Sergeant at Arms and he is badly scarred and heavily traumatised by what Frankie did to him. He’s had his life practically destroyed two times now – at first when his parents died and secondly when he nearly died at the hands of Frankie. His club is everything to him, riding his bike gives him a peace of mind that booze or sex never can He’s recovered physically and tried to move on but he’s walking around his life, more than a little pissed off, not giving a shit …………………… until Danny. He suddenly sees her as a beautiful young woman rather than Deuce’s kid and he’s finding it very hard to resist her.
BUT, he knows that Deuce will kill him if he touches his daughter and the Club has become his family and it’s a tough choice to make – the woman he’s falling in love with or his club?
I really loved Danny – she’s a tough cookie. She’s grown up around the MC and isn’t wearing any rose-tinted glasses about the whole scene. The last thing she wanted was to fall for one of her Dad’s henchmen but you can’t help who you fall in love with. Together, Danny and Ripper pretty much melted my heart. Ripper is rough, raw, foul-mouthed and chauvinistic but, deep down, there’s a heart of gold and that heart loves Danny. He’s such a broken soul, he’s badly scarred and disfigured but Danny sees beyond his scars to the beautiful man beneath that she is beginning to fall in love with.
He was an incredibly beautiful man. The scars just forced you to look a little harder to see what was still there, and what was still there was the squared, strong bone structure of a Greek god, the heavily muscled stature of a boxer, and a deviously sexy smile.
There’s so much raw emotion pulsating off the pages of this book – it made me despair, it made me happy, it made me cry and it also made me laugh a little. I really enjoyed the whole MC setting once again – if you like Sons of Anarchy, and I really like Sons of Anarchy, it’s a given that you’re going to love this book, Set in the badass world of the MC, the men are rough and ready, the women incredibly feisty and focal and it’s a gritty, raw, incredibly energetic and completely engrossing story from beginning to end, full of realism that will make you gasp with shock and keep you turning the pages right until the very end.
This was a lovely, sweet and super steamy romance.
Brady Scott, sex God Special Forces soldier, tall, lean, built and totally gorgeous has recently mov...moreThis was a lovely, sweet and super steamy romance.
Brady Scott, sex God Special Forces soldier, tall, lean, built and totally gorgeous has recently moved to town. He’s been having anger management issues and has been ordered to get his head straight by his Commanding Officers before going back out on active service. Brady has some serious Daddy issues having grown up protecting his younger sister from their drunken, abusive father after their mother died.
He spots and is instantly attracted to Joss who is sitting alone on a blanket at the town Labor Day firework display. She’s got multiple piercings, tattoos and pink streaks in her hair –this is a way of carving out her own identity in the world after she’s grown up alone, in care, after the death of her mother.
When they first meet, the chemistry between Brady and Joss is INCENDIARY. He liquefies her insides and melts her knees with their first kiss and they have a super steamy, deeply passionate one night stand and then they part to go their separate ways, never to see each other again. Well, that’s what they think! Turns out that Brady has moved in next door to Joss and they are now neighbours!
So, after a blazing start to their relationship, you just know that these two are going to take the rockiest path possible together. Brady needs to confront his past before he can move forward and Joss finds his hot and cold mood swings, his anger too much to deal with after the childhood she has lived.
This was a short but very sexy contemporary romance, the story never once felt rushed, the characters are well developed and if you’ve enjoyed Laura Kaye’s books before, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone
At last, one of the most hotly anticipated sequels of the y...more
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone
At last, one of the most hotly anticipated sequels of the year is finally here and it’s another sexy read, probably about twice as long as Naked and, interestingly, told entirely from Ethan’s POV.
We pick up exactly where we left them at the end of Naked with Brynne running from Ethan and Ethan losing his head in rage and grief and regret. He’s a broken man at the beginning of this one, a wretched creature without Brynne. His exile from her has forced him into utter desolation.
He does, of course, manage to win her back and most of the novel is dedicated to the progression of their relationship told from his very possessive and protective POV. It’s very intriguing to get inside the head of an alpha-male like this, to see what makes him tick and what motivates him. Ethan is a man obsessed, his every waking minute and some of his dreams are consumed by Brynne and his fears for her safety and he can’t imagine life without her now. She is his Aphrodite and he her Eros. Ethan and his American Beauty.
I don’t know any other way to be with you. It’s all in for me. And I want it to be all in for you too.”
We get to learn the secret that has tortured Brynne for so long and it’s a real shocker. I could only feel profound sadness for what she’s had to endure. Ethan’s past is also revealed and the poor man has really suffered but he still isn’t at the point where he can share all of that with Brynne.
It’s a very erotic tale as their passion burns white hot and they light up the pages of this novel with their frequent lovemaking scenes. Ethan maybe filthy between the sheets but he’s also a real gentleman with Brynne and I had a real thing for the way he kept kissing her hand. Le sigh!
I did feel, after their reconciliation, that their story began to lack direction and I didn’t fully see the threat to Brynne or where Raine Miller intends to take the story next. There’s no cliffhanger at the end of this one but certain elements of the story are left unresolved and things unsaid.
I had to have a giggle at the dig Ethan makes against the Fifty Shades books. Sure, they’re not mentioned by name but it’s obvious what Brynne and Gabrielle are cooing over.
I mean, who reads this crap? Who has time? Why even read about sex in a book when you can have it instead? I don’t get that. And billionaires in their twenties? I mentally shook my head and pretended to care. I’m such a bastard.
So, this book is mostly just an erotic romance, the rest of the plot doesn’t really move much further in this one. I developed a real fondness for Muriel, the toothy newspaper hag who, when she spoke, kind of reminded of an extra from My Fair Lady with her exaggerated cockney! There’s obviously going to be a connection between Ivan and Gabrielle – perhaps they will get their own story eventually. As a Brit myself, I felt that this had a better British feel to it compared to Naked. Ethan uses all the right slang and it didn't feel at all Americanised which is how I felt when I read Naked.
(view spoiler)[ I am totally not sold on the epilogue being told from the POV of Ethan’s fish. I’m hoping that this is not going to be the case for book 3! (hide spoiler)]
4 stars contemporary romance
The Lovely Ethan
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