This was just stunning. So much angst, so much pain is heaped upon our central characters and the last 100 pages or so, I could hardly stand to breath...moreThis was just stunning. So much angst, so much pain is heaped upon our central characters and the last 100 pages or so, I could hardly stand to breathe. I galloped through this as I binge read the whole series.
It's so wonderful to see the character development throughout these books - the attention to fine detail by the author is meticulous as Colton and Rylee slowly realise the depth of their feelings for one another.
Colton is breaking my heart and the ending - OMG. It's a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.
Betting on Grace is the first full length novel from Nicole Edwards’ new Dead Heat Ranch series which focuses on five sisters living and working on a...moreBetting on Grace is the first full length novel from Nicole Edwards’ new Dead Heat Ranch series which focuses on five sisters living and working on a ranch in Texas with their father. The first book centres around the relationship between Grace Lambert, one of the sisters and two of the ranch hands, Grant and Laine. I recommend reading the prequel novella, Boots Optional, to see how these three got together in the first place.
Get ready for some more explosive hot cowboy action – we join our threesome several weeks into their secret relationship and, as hot as it is, things are not really going that well. They’re struggling to find together and keeping their unconventional relationship a secret is taking it’s toll as Grant appears to be attempting to put some emotional distance between himself and the other two, fearing the wrath of Gracie’s father when and if he eventually finds out that his beautiful daughter is sleeping with two of his men!
Grant is a very conflicted cowboy. He loves it when Laine calls him baby but a wretched childhood has left him unsure about love and commitment but he really comes to value the relationship he has with these two and there’s some fairly emotional scenes in store as he eventually opens up to them, possibly for the first time in his life. Watch out for his no-good father who will slither in to attempt to spoil things for him.
Laine is very different from Grant – he’s very open and very receptive and he knows that this relationship he has with Laine and Gracie is something very special. He knows that he loves them and is pretty sure that they love him too. He has it all clear in his head but Grant’s reticence and Gracie’s fear of her father discovering their relationship puts his his happiness on the line and he begins to despair that the other two will ever open up and admit their feelings.
Gracie is a feisty, kickass heroine who is desperately in need of the love of these two cowboys after she has never really gotten over the death of her Mother. I felt a bit sorry for her as she seems to have thrown away all her hopes and dreams and just settled for what she has now. Grant and Laine are perfect for her – no way she could ever choose between them.
It’s so good to be back in Nicole Edwards’ sexy Texas where the weather is hot and the cowboys are even hotter. She does a fantastic job of depicting a hectic, busy ranch and laying good foundations for the rest of the sister’s stories which are still to come. We have a little insight to all of their possible relationships, not a lot but enough to truly whet the appetite. As always Nic does an amazing job of combining super-hot erotic scenes with real, heartfelt emotion and this is another fine example of a ménage relationship based in true love.
Oh, holy crap! I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry so hard. I think I was in shock, I ranted at the author’s publicist and then refused...moreOh, holy crap! I can’t remember the last time a book made me cry so hard. I think I was in shock, I ranted at the author’s publicist and then refused resolutely to move onto book 2 even though it’s on my Kindle (although I’ve since relented!) and couldn’t start another. I then picked it up again the next morning and tried to make peace with what had hurt so bad and yet again found myself sobbing painfully into the book. Carnage is it’s name and never was a book so aptly titled and even the cover image of a bleeding heart is highly appropriate. There is apparently a Carnage Support Group on Facebook and, believe me, you’re going to need it but beware – here be spoilers although you won’t find any in this review!! Hold on to your hats for one one heck of an emotional roller coaster epic of a book!
First, a warning. The age of consent in the UK is 16 and you should be aware that this book touches on the issues of drug-use, cheating and under-age sex. It all ramps up the shock factor though and makes this a highly compelling read.
I love ya, Georgia Rae, show us your tits.
The book really is an epic sweeping through a couple of decades and it all starts when Georgia is 11 years old and hanging upside down from a pair of monkey bars when Sean, two years her elder, walks into the garden and admires her pink knickers. From this moment on, Georgia knew Sean was the guy she was going to spend the rest of her life with. BUT they’re very young and he must bide his time. Sean is in a band, the eponymous CARNAGE, with one of Georgia’s brothers and they’re on the brink of making it BIG.
I got a real warm fuzzy glow of a British childhood through rose tinted glasses that so closely mirrors my recollections of my own upbringing – it made me super nostalgic. In fact, I really did read this part of the book with a big old goofy grin on my face, enjoying every second knowing that it was all too idyllic and preparing myself for the proverbial bubble to burst in spectacular fashion. And burst it surely does – as Carnage rocket to stardom when Sean is just 18 and Gia only 16, mistakes are made, resentment is born and festers and they go from blissfully in love to absolutely devastated and lost. The world, it seems, does not want to see Sean and Georgia happy together.
I don’t think it’s fair to reveal any more plot details. All I can say is that I was seriously NOT expecting what happened in this book so my advice is to avoid all spoilers at all costs and go into this one blind and experience it just as the author intends and just allow it to happen. Not many books can shock me these days but this one did – more than once. Twice I found myself yelling NOOOOOO at my Kindle in the back garden to the amusement of my neighbours and this book really does make you ‘feel’ in ways that so many just can’t.
It’s an incredible emotional roller coaster taking you from absolutely ecstatic highs to lows lower than you ever thought possible in romantic fiction. I absolutely fell in love with Sean – the gorgeous Rock God that he is. Despite being blessed with classic good looks and a precocious musical talent, he’s actually very charming and funny and, despite everything that happens here, Georgia is his one true love – no one else will do.
Georgia, for her part, I did find hugely frustrating sometimes. I did understand her pain but there were a couple of moments in the book when I really did want to bitchslap her. But, despite this, she’s very funny and very warm and very possessive of Sean and doesn’t take kindly to groupies trying to get their hands on her boyfriend and she’s definitely got a fiery temper which she finds hard to rein in. I did like her a lot and experienced the whole gamut of emotions right along with her and her pain is stark and palpable as I felt myself dragged right down into the pits of despair right along with her.
The whole story unfurls rather like a Shakespearian tragedy (Hamlet possibly springs to mind) as just about everything that can go wrong, does go wrong as Sean and Georgia and their circle of friends and family seem to lurch from one epic disaster to the next. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure. A big shout out must go to all the secondary characters most especially Cam, who has a highly significant role to play and whom I truly also adore. Georgia’s brothers and friends are all also so very vividly drawn and this book warms my English heart as it’s littered with British slang and swearing so familiar to this reviewer! For those that need it, there’s a handy glossary at the beginning explaining the meaning of words such as bollocks and shagging. I had to giggle at the words that I just didn’t realise were peculiar to us Brits!
Deep at the heart of all of this carnage is a very beautiful and touching love story which you can truly believe in. There’s no gloss on this – this is real love in all it’s terrible splendour. These two are in love right from that first moment they first lay eyes on one another and it’s a love that never once releases it’s relentless hold, despite what they have to endure. It’s a book that takes you from the highest highs and sends you crashing down into the abyss – a book that you ‘experience’ rather than read as the whole tale is unleashed upon you by Lesley Jones.
It’s a cracker, for sure, and now that book 2 is already released, my advice would be to read this one and then to move straight on to the second one just for the sake of healing. You’re going to need it. Trust me!
Well, Holy Crap!! I absolutely love it when this happens. I wasn’t asked to review Degradation and just happened to notice it as a new release and jus...moreWell, Holy Crap!! I absolutely love it when this happens. I wasn’t asked to review Degradation and just happened to notice it as a new release and just something about the blurb called to me and I bought it from Amazon and absolutely, totally freaking loved it!! I really think this is possibly THE most exciting debut I’ve read in 2014 and I came across it by chance. Now, I’m recommending it to all of you out there who enjoy a dark and edgy romance, one which will push your boundaries and keep you glued to the page. I know there’s a lot of you out there and I’m highly recommending it to all you dark romance junkies.
I have to say that Tate really doesn’t get off to the most auspicious start in Degradation. She’s a good girl, about to go to Harvard, is pretty much everything her parents expect her to be and is moving to Boston where her older sister, Ellie (AKA OCD Barbie), lives. Ellie isn’t home but her boyfriend, the really rather dangerous Jameson Kane (AKA Satan) is and after spilling her champagne all down her shirt, he takes advantages and things escalate and he ends up giving her the ride of her life but, of course, she’s just fucked her oh so perfect sister’s boyfriend. Ooops!
This is a pivotal moment in Tate’s life – everything changes for her. Go forward 7 years – she’s never seen Jameson Kane again, she didn’t go to Harvard, her family disowned her and labelled her a whore and Tatum O’Shea is a very different creature. Seems James’s rough treatment of her has awakened a sleeping and sexually aggressive tigress that was lurking beneath the surface of the cute but ultimately innocent little kitten, a side of her she didn’t know was even there. Now she’s living on the seamier side of Boston in a low-rent apartment, has several temping jobs, is barely making ends meet, is going from one casual sexual relationship to the next but she is happy. She has good friends and, now removed from the expectations of her oh-so middle class family, she is finally able to be herself and has undergone a sexual revolution and is completely at one with herself and her sexuality.
She didn’t expect to bump into Jameson Kane but a temp job brings her back into his cross hairs and he finds he can’t keep his eyes off this tigress that he created. He’s never forgotten that night and definitely wants a repeat performance but Tate has grown up and changed so much and she’s his sexual equal now but he has to work hard to get her to agree to spend some time with him. After a couple of scenes of temptation and sexual one-up-manship, Jameson tries to coerce her into an agreement – he tries to employ her but she’s wise to his games and eventually they agree that she will quit all bar one temp job and spend time with him for an agreed sum of money, essentially making her his whore. This sounds bad, I know, but both Jameson and Tate have pretty dark sexual proclivities – he likes to treat her really mean and, of course, degrade her a little and she totally gets off on it. Nobody has pushed her boundaries quite like he can and no one has ever felt so good to him as Tate does and they enter into THE most delicious, dark and totally captivating relationship.
Let The Games Begin!
James Kane is really quite a bastard – he’s arrogant, sadistic, deviant, domineering, demanding and cruel. God, I LOVED him! The devil may not be wearing Prada but he sure is wearing a designer suit and walking around in the guise of a Fortune 500 stockbroker and this man is as dark as Lucifer himself. He tells Tate that he will never love her, doesn’t even like her very much, he only wants to fuck her and will do it until he tires of her and then he will dump her. And she loves it!
“Let's get something straight about this power situation, Tate. I fuck you when I want, where I want, how I want. You come when I call. If I want to see my ex girlfriend, or any ex girlfriend, I will. I'm with you right now, this moment. That's all you get from me,” he told her.
I actually came to adore Tate, despite her not so stellar beginning in the story – she did after all sleep with her sister’s boyfriend and is sexually aggressive and promiscuous but I really grew to love her. Under all the war paint, the tiny shorts, the sexual bravado and cutting edge sass still lurks a girl that needs affection. She’s just got a lot better at hiding it over the years.
“Good girl Tate falls for Satan, who would've thought,” he teased. She rolled her eyes.
“I'm not a good girl,” she pointed out.
“Yes, you are. You've just gotten very good at hiding it,” he replied.
This is all out dark and edgy, pushing boundaries – a bold and brave debut novel from an author who is not afraid to push things just that little bit further. It’s darkly erotic as we go from scene to scene of rough sex with these two as they satisfy a carnal hunger like no other. Jameson Kane really is a complete bastard to Tate but she completely gets off on it – loving the way he objectifies her and pushes her to dizzying sexual heights she never before thought possible. This is a text conversation between the two of them……
“Yes, my liege?”
“How can I answer you and -,”
“Why do you let me treat you the way I do?”
“I told you, I like it.”
“I would kill another man for talking to you the way I talk to you.”
“That's very sweet.”
“Do you think there's something wrong with me, treating you the way I do?”
“Not necessarily. It's consensual. Empowering.”
“Yes. You have the power to hold me down, say things, call me names. Slut. Bitch. But I have the power to say stop. End it all. Your power is an illusion. Mine is real.”
These two are like two predators slowly stalking around each other, both of them trying to be a little more alpha than the other and, despite the dark sexual edge to the story, it even has a bit of a Pretty Woman/Cinderella kind of vibe going on – only with biting, slapping, cheating and really rough sex. But, of course, there is no Prince Charming or Cinderella here – just Lucifer and his succubus, both sexually aggressive and the perfect match for one another even if neither of them is prepared to admit it.
“You have ruined me, Tatum O'Shea,” he told her. “Completely wrecked me.”
A big shout out must go to the secondary characters in this novel, most especially Ang and Sanders. Ang is Tate’s best friend and fuck-buddy and he’s a wannabe B rate porn star. They have the most incredible relationship indulging in sex like most friends just go watch a movie together but Jameson and Kane will be develop a strong dislike for one another as jealousy rears its ugly head. Sanders, is Jamesons’s PA, staunch ally and supporter – he’s very zipped up and detached and emotionally unavailable and more than a little bit of an enigma but Tate manages to chip away at that icy armour and they become friends, much to the surprise of Jameson.
This was just such a fabulous debut novel from Stylo Fantôme – her style is witty, dry, challenging and incredibly captivating. Once I could retreat away from the world with this book, I completely devoured it becoming more and more entranced as the novel edged towards it’s conclusion and we are left with the intolerable yet exquisite cruelty of a humdinger of a cliffhanger as just about everything hangs in the balance. Roll on September 22nd and the release of the sequel. I can’t wait – this was such a special find for me, something new and exciting and I think this has the potential to be really BIG!
It’s a brave new world out there and today it belongs to Stylo Fantôme.
5 dark and degrading stars.
“Prince Charming could never treat you as good as the devil,” he teased. She shrugged.
“Maybe not. But maybe so. What'll happen to you, if I'm ever so blessed to find this magical S&M Prince Charming?” she asked. He looked at the ceiling. He didn't want to think about that moment.
“Go back to hell. Find another succubus,” Jameson replied.
“Whoever she is, I hope she's as good as me,” she whispered.
“No will ever be as good as you, Tatum.”
Check out my review at Sinfully Sexy and enter the giveaway and read an excerpt.
This was an OK and quick read but just a few too many lies and deceptions and coincidences for me to fully connect with the characters. Major Cliffy a...moreThis was an OK and quick read but just a few too many lies and deceptions and coincidences for me to fully connect with the characters. Major Cliffy alert.(less)
Blurred is a novella of the Connections series and, in strict reading order, it’s 3.5 on the list. It’s very unlike the previous novella in the series...moreBlurred is a novella of the Connections series and, in strict reading order, it’s 3.5 on the list. It’s very unlike the previous novella in the series, Dazed, which told a complete story in itself of Aerie and Jagger. There isn’t really a storyline to Blurred per se, it’s much more of a background read to the major plot twist in the first two books giving us the story from Ben’s POV, allowing us to see how he feels about it all. This obviously contains major spoilers for Connected and Torn, so I have to say that you need to have read at least those two books before embarking on this one.
If there is a moment in time that comes to alter the course of your life forever—mine would be the day Caleb Holt told me I had to disappear. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I’m alone and left to pick up pieces to a life I don’t have. Rock bottom. It’s a phrase I never thought I’d use to describe myself, but it’s the only one that fits.
I started Blurred with very mixed feelings about Ben Covington. He’s really not been my favourite person in romantic fiction – I understood why he did what he did but he’s always been the anti-hero and has always come across as a bit of a douche. But I have faith in Kim Karr and, even though the girl on the cover does look like a vampire, i was prepared to go in with an open mind and attempt to make my peace with Ben.
At the end of this novella, I confess that I’m still not very enamoured by Ben. Most of this served to remind me just why I have never liked him. I did understand his sadness and desperation at his situation and how he’s lost the two women who meant the most in the world to him, Dahlia and his Mother, and this part of the novella was handled seamlessly but I’d forgotten how he cheated on Dahlia with River’s sister Bell, who has also not been a very likeable character in the series so far and a potential romantic liaison between these two seems fairly fitting (birds of a feather and all that).
Ben continues to deal with the tragedy of his life by losing himself in booze an easy women and, if you like your heroes deeply flawed, then Ben’s upcoming novel Frayed is probably a sure thing for you but I didn’t really find anything in Blurred to make me like Ben any better. For the most part, he still seems fairly self-serving and shallow and I still don’t like him! Let’s say that he is pretty much River Wilde’s polar opposite.
Blurred is mostly a retelling of what has already gone before in the series told from Ben’s POV with a few more details surrounding the case that forced him to disappear that actually only serve to deepen the mystery. It’s definitely all background – he and Bell haven’t even started seeing each other by the end of this one but I think it sets up the potential of a fairly antagonistic and difficult relationship that will feature in Frayed between two very challenging characters. I can’t fault the writing – Kim Karr is always excellent, I just don’t care for Ben or Bell.
Black Collar Empire is the first full length novel in the new Black Collar series from A N Latro. There are two prequel novellas, Black Collar Beginni...moreBlack Collar Empire is the first full length novel in the new Black Collar series from A N Latro. There are two prequel novellas, Black Collar Beginnings: Cuba and Black Collar Beginnings: New York each giving us a little background to the two Brothers who are heir apparent to the Morgan Family Crime Syndicate. The series will continue with Black Collar Queen due for release next spring.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark
I have to say that this book was a bit of a departure for me. I read exclusively romance novels but I wanted to give this one a try – it’s very much a Mafioso style thriller and not at all romance. It’s exceptionally well written and has an almost dark film noir quality to the narrative. Told in the present tense third person POV, it has an edgy feel to the whole book.
We begin as Seth Morgan has returned to New York after a two year exile working with a Cuban Syndicate at the behest of us Uncle, the head honcho of the family. And when I say family, think Corleone not Waltons. This is not the warm welcome he probably, in all honesty, didn’t expect – his brother hates him, the woman he loves hates him and his uncle is guiding the family in a different and unexpected direction. Everything has shifted and now the favoured son is a little lost, trying to get up to speed with all that he has missed while he has been gone. The only person pleased to see him is his little cousin Emma, not so little anymore it seems!
This is such a harsh, brutal and cold depiction of life inside a syndicated crime family where loyalty is often fleeting and deadly. Seth’s fear throughout this book and his novella, was a palpable thing and I honestly had no idea which direction this was all going to take. I trusted no one and constantly feared for Seth’s life – the author isn’t afraid to take out big, important characters at the end of a smoking gun!
Emma is a Principessa –a crime Queen in waiting. Still at High School, she’s edging closer to the life that most of the family have attempted to shelter her from and she grows exponentially during this novel, moving on from canny school girl to absolute rightful heiress to the family. She manages to show that she’s made of sterner stuff than the other women in the family and is every inch a Morgan.
I did really enjoy taking a break from my regular reading this this series of books – crime thrillers aren’t really my drug of choice but I did enjoy how well written this novel was and just how suspenseful it came to be. A thrilling read.
Rogue is book 4 in the Real series. The first 3 books centred on Brooke and her relationship with Remy and Rogue is the story of Brooke’s best friend,...more
Rogue is book 4 in the Real series. The first 3 books centred on Brooke and her relationship with Remy and Rogue is the story of Brooke’s best friend, Melanie and Greyson King. While it does work perfectly well as a standalone, it does of course contain mild spoilers for Remy and Brooke’s story.
Brooke said you were my Real. That’s what she calls the love of her life now. But you are not my Real, Greyson. You’re my knight in leather gloves who went rogue.
Real by Katy Evans was the top book of 2013 for me and Remy one of my top book boyfriends of all time. Katy Evans sure knows how to deliver powerfully intense but seriously fucked up heroes and Greyson ‘Rogue’ King is cut from the same cloth as Remy – he’s fiercely protective, possessive and he’s also got some pretty shady secrets to hide and he’s singularly focused on his girl, Melanie, knows he wants her and will go all out to ensure that she’s safe from the threat he and his organisation pose for her.
She’s that one precious diamond every robber wants to steal, that kitten every dog wants to chase, the mare you want to ride, bridle and tame—but not completely. Oh, no, not all the time because her wildness excites you. Her wildness makes you wilder. Her wildness makes you fucking ravenous
Greyson is the heir apparent to The Underground – the organisation behind the underground fighting circuit that Remy stars in and they are loan sharks extraordinaire and hold no prisoners when it comes to calling in a debt. Greyson has, for a long time, wanted no part in this shady organisation but his father has something over him, something he took from him a long time ago that he values highly and, to get it back, he must take care of all the debtors on the list and Melanie is right there, right at the top.
Unbeknown to us she had bet on the fight that Remy threw thinking it a sure thing and finds herself seriously in debt with no way to pay it back. The Underground has been putting the heat on her and now they have passed her debt over to Greyson King to collect. Greyson has been watching Melanie since she first started jumping up and down, screaming Remy’s name right next to Brooke. He’s been completely enthralled by her and has forbidden anyone from going near her. She’s become irresistible to him and he craves her desperately even though he knows that he is the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to her.
Up until now, Melanie has always appeared to be an all out party girl – bubbly, vivacious, loyal. We had no inkling that she was up to her eyeballs in debt and absolutely no idea just how lonely she is. She’s stunningly beautiful, no wonder Greyson finds her irresistible, but yet she’s never been able to find ‘the one’ although she’s worked her way through a series of very forgettable one night stands. She sees the way that Brooke looks at Remy with 100% focus and absolute love and affection and really wants to find that for herself. She’s looking for someone to love and be loved by – something really special. She wants her ‘real’.
Greyson steps in to help her one night as she’s left her Mustang hoodless in the rain and sees her home safe but can’t resist spending the night with her, despite his better judgement. They spend one perfect night together but Greyson has to keep on the move and leaves her to stew. I think it’s fair to say that Greyson sends Melanie from ecstatic highs to lows she thinks she can never climb out of. He treats her like a princess when he’s with her but she’s never really sure where she stands, where he is and when, if ever, he’s coming back to her. Greyson for his part knows he should stay away, he definitely considers himself to be no good for her, but Melanie makes him feel human and loved and makes him feel like a real man, not a robot, a hired killer. She makes him feel real.
Despite the fact that Greyson is keeping massive secrets from Melanie and she, for her part, thinks she is keeping secrets from him, she has never felt safer than when she’s in his arms. He’s possessive, protective and they share an irresistible, unprecedented magnetism and she makes him feels emotions that he never intended to feel, never wanted to feel, never expected to feel and yet he finds something good and pure in her that he’s never experienced before and he doesn’t want to corrupt her and expose her to the corruption of his lifestyle. He exists in a world consumed by darkness and evil and she’s like a blinding light to him, brightening his shady existence.
This was such a pulsating, compelling story that I devoured this is less than 24 hours – it was nigh on impossible to put down as I could see their worlds on a collision course and knew that there were going to be difficult times for these two ahead. Never has a central couple in a novel seemed more right for each and yet so wrong. As always with Katy Evans you get red hot, super-combustible sex scenes and Melanie and Greyson, at first, connect intensely on a physical level so HOT it’ll have you reaching for the air-conditioning. There’s a strong sense of urgency to these scenes, neither of them are ever sure it will happen again and they take as much as they possibly can from one another while they have the chance. The depth of their feelings for one another is palpable and their intense connections radiates off the pages and you can definitely expect a thrilling, pulsating conclusion to their story.
We only get to see a little of Brooke and Remy but what you do get will seriously warm your heart. Remy is still staring at Brooke like she hangs the moon and wait until you see him with his son. *sigh*. The next book in the series will feature the gothic Pandora and I will be very interested to see what Katy Evans can do with her. We know she’s been hurt but, to date, she comes across as bitter and twisted. Can’t wait!