Lord and Master is an erotic romantic suspense trilogy whose tone and setting remind me a little of a Danielle Steele or Sidney Sheldon novel. It has the makings of a dramatic family saga with all the necessary over the top emotionally fueled energy bursting from the pages. Family, secrets, deception, betrayal and eventual redemption are all facets of this multidirectional story that centers around one young woman-Luna Gregory. Told in three parts; Lord and Master, Her Master’s Servant, and The Marchioness, each part taking us deeper into world of Luna Gregory.
Part one-Lord and Master-was enjoyable and the strongest in the trilogy. Straight forward with a robust beginning, Jagger introduces us to the key players while setting up the plotlines and romance. Luna Gregory is a 26-year-old personal assistant of the Marchioness of Lionbridge and lives permanently on the Arborage Estate. Calm, cool, and collected, I enjoyed discovering the different faces Jagger imbibes Luna with. She’s naturally intelligent and witty but Jagger makes her more approachable with her sarcasm, earthy speech, strong will, and love of speed. There are undercurrents of classism and misogyny that foreshadow the events that are coming.
Various secondary characters dot the scenery, adding to the intrigue as the reader tries to figure out their agenda. The Marchioness, who maintains a firm steady role, stays in the background though her machinations are far reaching. The romance builds fast and burns bright. Luna and Stefan’s introduction is amusing with a decidedly Mills and Boon feel to it. All burning loins and scornful looks. Stefan comes off as a privileged playboy who believes his looks and wealth give him certain rights. Luna isn’t a virginal school girl who’s easily impressed and Stefan must work to catch her attention…and keep it. While the sex scenes are certainly racy, calling them erotic is pushing it. The ending events rip Luna’s world apart and readers are left wondering what happens now?
Part Two-The Master’s Servant-opens on a thrilling note with Luna horrified by the sheer audacity of the Marchioness’ plans. Unable to handle the betrayal of her lover and her mentor, Luna appeals to a friend and heads to Scotland (Shetland) to work and heal. Stefan searches far and wide, eventually finding Luna, and their reunion is anything but forgiving. Angry, Luna and Stefan attempt to work past their issues but instead continue to punish each other. The horse is strong out of the gate but falters quickly. I am disappointed by the lack of action as we spend a large portion watching Luna and Stefan play power games as she forgives Stefan for his duplicity and lack of attention though I’m not sure why. He does nothing to truly earn it. The writing becomes choppy, the narrative repetitive, and the dialogue flashes between formal and incoherent. The underutilized characters and lack of development are frustrating. It’s a very awkward read. Stefan and Luna both act like children, striking out and trying to make each other jealous as they struggle to reconnect. The sex is angry and violent and though Jagger tries to persuade us it’s spicy kink, I don’t buy it. One aspect I really disliked was how ugly the women were to one another. Eventually, all roads lead back to England and we are left with the knowledge that trouble has come to Arborage.
Part Three-The Marchioness-is the final last installment and while a little better than part two, it’s not by much. Luna and Stefan are back at Arborage. Stefan has put on the mantle of Marquess of Lionbridge while Luna helps to manage the estate, this time by his side. It is rather similar to book one with Jagger slowly building back up the suspense and intrigue though the villain(s) are ridiculous and the feeling of falling down the rabbit hole is strong. Stefan’s family and Luna’s friends are all on hand for the finale and Luna goes behind Stefan’s back multiple times to thwart their enemies. She becomes the one thing she despises-a manipulator. Dramatic scenes and seemingly coded dialogue help to amp up the anticipation until you realize Jagger is doing nothing more than adding filler to plump up the thin storyline. The romance and sex are tetchy between Stefan and Luna though the erotic elements are strongest in here. Any connection between them is now forever lost to me and the chemistry feels forced and ill-fitting. The ending is an overly dramatic fait accompli that read like a scene from the Godfather.
Lord and Master proved to be a disappointment as I got further into the story with its general lack of cohesion and the slow deterioration of the main characters and plotlines. Jagger’s attempts to manipulate and force her story where it clearly did not want to go only served to alienate the most enjoyable aspects of it.
Jackson Paige AKA Jax Pain. Drummer of the up and coming metal band- Manix Curse. Jackson shocked to see his old loverOriginally posted at SmexyBooks
Jackson Paige AKA Jax Pain. Drummer of the up and coming metal band- Manix Curse. Jackson shocked to see his old lover walk through the door of his tattoo shop after he left her with no explanation five years earlier and never looked back. Time hasn’t dulled his feelings for her and he wants back in her life but once she hears his reasons for leaving, she may be the one this time who leaves and never looks back.
Jami Dillon. A contract attorney who always follows the rules. She never expected to see her greatest heartbreak when she comes looking for her younger brother, Mason, concerned over some of the choices he’s making in his life (book one-Beautiful Crazy). She is stronger this time around but still hiding some pretty deep scars. She can’t/won’t allow Jax to break her heart again…because this time she won’t survive it.
I was really looking forward to reading this installment after reading book one, Beautiful Crazy, and briefly meeting our leads. Second chance romances with an opposite attraction trope and buoyed by some serious undertones? Sign. Me. Up. Unfortunately, what should be an emotionally complicated and extremely sexy romance struggles under the weight of too many tropes, an underdeveloped storyline, repetitive dialogue, and two characters who romance I didn’t buy.
The beginning starts off on a high note as our hero and heroine run into one another for the first time in five years. It’s deliciously tense scene with plenty of sexually fueled anger and shock. We learn that Jackson and Jami were fellow law students and lovers. Jackson lets us know right off that he left her one night without so much as a goodbye and that she deserved it. And you believe it because Jami comes off rather snobbish in her attitude and dialogue. Right away Lane sets up the dichotomy between this couple- giving more credence to Jackson’s claims. Jami is so uptight and rigid while Jackson seems to go with the flow. Jami followed her parent’s demands and became an attorney while Jackson grabbed his dreams with both hands and is a talented artist and musician. I liked the tone of this couple and was ready to see how Lane was going to break them and then put them back together whole.
Their next meeting is at Jami’s brother’s engagement party and that’s the beginning of where the story started to fail for me. Jackson and Jami have an interlude in the guest bedroom and while it was H.O.T. as all get out, it felt manipulative. Jami doesn’t say boo to Jackson over his disappearance five years ago but we are suppose to believe she will fall into bed with him a few days after seeing him again?
From there the relationship picks back up with Jackson and Jami bobbing and weaving; unsure if this was the route they wanted to take again. It made me nervous too. We really don’t get to see what they were like previously nor do we get to see the fallout so I never got a good feel for how they were compared to now. Also, while the chemistry between them is smoking -Jackson is quite the bossy boy with the dirty mouth- I was more weary of what kept the attraction alive for five years of no contact and how easily it was for them to fall back into it.
Jami and Jason’s reconnection is littered with numerous pitfalls. Jami is a control freak who lacks self-confidence and self-esteem due to her parents’ constant emotional attacks on her. They really are awful people. She develops some coping mechanisms but they aren’t healthy. Jackson also suffers from some self-esteem issues. When we learn exactly why Jackson left Jami five years ago, it explains some things but also makes him look like a huge arse and I lost respect for him. Lane does an admirable job of facilitating communication between Jami and Jackson over Jami’s many issues but they seem to rehash the same things over and over with no real insight or resolution. Lane truly misses an opportunity to dig in and extract more from both characters. As it was, they stay pretty much one dimensional and boring.
I did enjoy seeing some familiar faces from Beautiful Crazy. Kelvin and Mason are still crazy in love and the band is on its way to stardom. Mason and Jami have a wonderfully close sibling connection and their interactions are where she seems to really shine. Lane gives just enough interaction with various other the secondary characters to ensure fans there is more Rock and Ink to come.
Beautiful Mess suffers from the dreaded sophomore slump and is sadly not of the same quality as the first book in the series. It does have a solid base, strong writing, and plenty of potential so I hope this was just an anomaly and book three brings back quality I know Lane is capable of.
I picked this up on a whim after hearing Grace Draven lavish praise upon it. Thoroughly enjoyed. A well written pnr with just the right amt of darknesI picked this up on a whim after hearing Grace Draven lavish praise upon it. Thoroughly enjoyed. A well written pnr with just the right amt of darkness and humor.
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes you have to pass the pain around in order to survive it.”
Fifteen-year-old Lane Roanoke didn’t know much about her mother’s family except her mother likened the Roanoke legacy to a nightmare you can never escape from. When her mother commits suicide, leaving a note begging forgiveness for not being able to wait, Lane is sent to live with her grandparents on the family farm in Osage Flats, Kansas.
Upon arrival, she meets her high-strung cousin, Allegra, her loving grandfather, and her standoffish grandmother. Accepted into the family with open arms, Lane soaks up the love offered and blossoms. But the undercurrents that flow through the house doesn’t escape Lane’s notice. And when Lane discovers the truth, she runs as far and fast as she can.
Eleven years later, Lane receives a call from her grandfather. Her cousin has disappeared and he wants Lane to come home and help find her. Lane doesn’t want to come home but she knows she needs to face old ghosts and make amends if she wants to completely free herself from the past and have a future.
The Roanoke Girls is an evocative tale of abuse, survival, and forgiveness. It tells of a family’s insidious legacy and it’s devastating consequences through the voice of a young woman who attempts to break the cycle. Slow and steady, Lane’s conversational style narrative flashes between the past and the present and tells her story in mixture of defiance, anger, and hints of longing that haunts you
“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
The story opens with a glimpse into the past, revealing the big secret almost right away, announcing it with no warning and walking away. It remains this huge elephant in the room that everyone knows about but doesn’t talk about through much of the book. The story moves forward, focusing on Lane, Allegra, and their grandfather, the fateful summer they spent together, and the catalyst that ripped them all apart. We are shown the astronomical dysfunction in this family and the coping mechanisms that Lane and Allegra unconsciously adopt to handle the confusion and turmoil in their lives. It is heartbreaking and uncomfortable to watch unfold; made more so once you realize the level of sickness involved and the efforts of those around to normalize it.
“Sometimes people who love us can still hurt us.”
Lane and Allegra are two intelligent, brilliant, and flawed individuals who don’t exactly endear themselves to you. They are cracked pieces of glass that cut and slice while you wait for them to shatter into a million pieces. As teenagers, they embraced being “the rich and beautiful Roanoke Girls” and accepted the tributes they felt due them without any thoughts to the cost. A small but potent romance only serves to intensify the pain as you watch an older and wiser Lane try to discover what happened to Allegra. Bits and pieces of hers and Allegra’s lives are slowly exposed like a raw nerve. You experience each twist and turn on the emotional roller coaster they were riding and learn the heavy price they paid for their decisions.
Guilt, I’m discovering, is an emotion that’s almost impossible to kill.
This story stayed with me long after I finished as I tried to sort out my feelings about it. Engel brings to the forefront some sensitive subjects with no excuses or attempts to sensationalize in order to add drama to the story. She streamlines the storyline, choosing to lay out the events in a brisk economical manner, making each discovery so much more shocking because of the lack of artifice and drama. We are given an intimate look into the personality of a narcissistic predator and the way they are able to manipulate their victims; using love and affection to excuse their behavior.
The Roanoke Girls was certainly not what I was expecting and for that I’m glad. I look forward to reading more Engel in the future.
One can always count on Stacey Kennedy for a tantalizing erotic romance with strong dynamic characters and a smooth well-built storyline. Add in a bosOne can always count on Stacey Kennedy for a tantalizing erotic romance with strong dynamic characters and a smooth well-built storyline. Add in a boss and subordinate storyline and I'm melting like cheese on nachos. The first installment in her newest series-Filthy Dirty Love-introduces readers to a very dominate lieutenant and a young rookie police officer who discover their one night stand from the past didn’t even put a dent in the passion and desire that surrounds them. Now working together, this couple will uphold the law during the day and break it over and over every night. ...more
Frankly, the cover, the premise, and heroine were the only good things about this book. I was fully expecting some fun, sexy, and lightweight escapismFrankly, the cover, the premise, and heroine were the only good things about this book. I was fully expecting some fun, sexy, and lightweight escapism. Instead we get a hero who's a complete arse, a cast of boring stereotypical characters, a narrative that flips between somewhat engaging and a bad porn script, and a storyline that had so much potential but fails on all levels. ...more
Guilt and forgiveness is the powerful base on which Megan Hart builds her story of two families who are torn apart and then rebuilt by tragedy. Poignant, heartfelt, and raw with realism, Hart writes in the past and the present to take readers on a journey that examines the intricacies of human nature and the choices that shape us. Rich in details with complex characters and bold honest dialogue, All The Lies We Tell stays with the reader long after they reach the end. ...more
Favorite Quote: “Any pizza is personal-sized if you believe in yourself.”
Tallulah Corentine expected some down time after cheating death a few times in her last assignment but her employer isn’t the most considerate of bosses. In fact Seth, the God of Storms, isn’t considerate at all. When Tallulah is contacted by the Seattle PD about a body, she’s dismayed to find a child bearing the mark of Seth has been murdered and fears her old boyfriend Prescott, the right hand of death, has had a “hand’ in it. Tallulah soon learns that this is one of eleven murders that span the countryside. All soon to be clerics to the gods and goddesses.
As every cleric and priest in North America make their way to Las Vegas for the annual Convention of the Gods, Tallulah worries that they have all just painted a huge target on their backs. With the help of a demi-god, a teenage stowaway, and a man who just screams “bad luck” Tallulah has to discover and stop this killer before they strike again.
Driving Rain is the second in Sierra Dean’s delightfully dark and amusingly suburban-like urban fantasy series that pairs a smart mouth cleric for the God of Storms with his son, a gorgeous demi-god trying to find his footing in this new to him world. A heavy character driven base fuels the story with snappy wit infused dialogue, an intriguing mystery, and some forbidden romance as it flows smoothly along towards the end. Fans of the show Supernatural are sure to enjoy this series as the heroine, Tallulah, reminds me heavily of Dean Winchester and like Dean, her job is thankless, painful, and often done under duress. Leo, her current unwanted sidekick, is a shoe-in for Sam (Dean’s long suffering brother).
“No, I don’t need sidekick . I don’t need an assistant. I work alone.”
Unlike book one, this installment is pretty low key action wise and not filled with constant danger. In fact, I really felt this installment was extremely calm; focusing on more on emotional internal issues. Tallulah is extremely excited for the annual Convention of the Gods. Not only is it a three-day long party, it will give her a chance to see Cade, the bad luck priest of Audra and a romantic interest, and her twin sister Sunny, a cleric for Apollo. She hasn’t seen her twin in over five years and any attempts to stay in constant touch with her would have drawn unwanted attention to them. Family, companionship, and love are the three things Tallulah misses the most that are denied to her due to the rules for clerics. The gods and goddesses don’t like being second best to anything or anyone so any relationships beyond their own temple are forbidden.
“I felt a pang, thinking of the life my sister and I might have had if not for the stupid marks we’d been born with. I hadn’t even had a chance to imagine being something else because I’d known my whole life this was my fate.”
Tallulah Corentine is the type of urban fantasy heroine I love. Strong, intelligent, loyal, and fallible. Born with a special mark that announced to the world she was a vessel for a God, her future was decided without her knowledge or input. Tallulah is a cheer-worthy urban fantasy heroine. Her love of American muscle cars and 80s hair metal bands give her an amusing and decidedly human edge. Tallulah has been with Seth since her parents handed her over to his temple as a child and while she resents 99.9% of her time spent working for him, there is that 1%-that single moment when her life feels more of a gift than a curse.
“In my whole life I’d never had people cheer like that for what I did. I felt…I felt special. I felt seen.”
A series of plotlines hold your attention while keeping the main storyline flowing smoothly. We learn Tallulah is still dealing with the fallout from her last gig and she has been charged by a God to find the person responsible for killing the cleric. Deans use of time travel in the resolution of the main conflict was surprising (we don’t see much time traveling anymore)but felt a tad lazy in its attempts to resolve a previous plotline. I’m curious to see if Dean writes in a paradox for Tallula to solve in the future.
Dean brings back her dynamic secondary cast to help Tallulah with an introduction of a few new faces to help. One such new face hits Tallulah hard in the heart as she tries to show a teenager that being a cleric is anything but the glamorous and fun money making gig she seems to think it is.
“So it’s a take your juvenile delinquent to work day, then?”
I love the dynamics with which Dean infuses her characters. These well developed entities are so deliciously layered that you aren’t sure what their game is but you can’t wait to find out. This world is so open to more exploration. Dean has not even begun to tap into it’s potential for new adventures and new characters in which to help Tallulah carry them out.
Through Driving Rain takes a different route than book one, it still offers fans the action, suspense, humor, and unpredictability that we have come to expect from Sierra Dean. I do wish the villain had been a bit more involved in the story. The reasoning behind the murders was sad but I felt there was more to it then we were told. Regardless, I loved revisiting with Tallulah, Leo, and the rest of the gang and getting a deeper, more personal look into the emotional side of Tallulah. I look forward to the next book in the series-Highway to Hail-which is slated to release early 2018.
The Temptation of Dragons is an interesting fantasy based mystery that brings together a widowed female priest with an alternate world. Father Penny White somehow “sees” an injured dragon and offers him his last rites as he lies dying. This brings her to the attention of the Lloegyr (supernatural shapeshifters and otherworldly beings) and those who handle the alliance between them and humans. Father White is offered a job as the new liaison and soon finds herself embroiled in a supernatural murder mystery while trying to keep her baby brother from mortal harm.
Growing up, I loved Andrew Greeley’s Father Blackie Ryan mysteries. They were a compelling mixture of family, humor, religion, mystery, and a touch of the paranormal. I think I enjoyed them the most because Father Ryan always preached through a benevolent (female) God and never used the bible to excuse bad thoughts or deeds. When I was offered this for review, I thought this would be something similar, just more fantasy imbibed. Ehhh…not so much so.
The world set up is extremely detailed and well defined. Cymi is knowledgeable on the church and also well versed in fantasy-both of which are a huge part of our heroine’s life. I enjoyed the meeting of various characters of the other world. Snail sharks-LOL. I found it very interesting and odd that Christianity seems to be the supernatural religion of choice. While a fan of fantasy and mysteries, I found myself unable to fully connect with the story or the characters. Extremely verbose, the dialogue far outweighs any action. The religious aspects are a strong component of this story-far stronger than I was comfortable with. I also had issues with the continuous inclusion of various fantasy based tv shows. It was never ending. I got to 30% and realized a majority of what I read was religious instruction/definition....more
Favorite Quote: “Give her hell, Sam Hamilton. And try to look less serial killer and more solid citizen. Smile, why don’t you?” He forced a smile at her. Willie blinked. “Eh, maybe not.”
Sam Hamilton has been feeling about lonely since his best friend found his soulmate. When he meets Ivy Stephens, a young lady who is interested in adopting one of the strays he helps to rehome, Sam falls hard and fast. But Sam has some serious baggage in his life. Baggage that will do anything to make sure Sam’s attention stays firmly on them. As Sam and Ivy grow closer, Sam is worried Ivy may be too nice to fit into his life. But Ivy soon proves to Sam and everyone else that being nice doesn’t mean she can’t get down and dirty when she needs to.
Zero to Sixty is the third installment in Marie Harte’s sexy and humorous Body Shop Bad Boys. This series spins off her McCauley brothers series with its focus lasered on the Webster Garage and the four gorgeous, sexy, commitment-phobic mechanics who work there. There is some character/storyline crossover but it’s mild and not invasive. Each book can be read as a standalone though previous romance storylines carry over.
Harte introduces Ivy Stephens to Sam Hamilton with a bit of a meet cute. Ivy is out searching for a stray puppy (Cookie) she has been taking care of on and off. Sam is also out looking for Cookie. They run into one another and Sam agrees to keep Cookie at his home until Ivy can talk to her landlord about having a pet. Sam decides the best way to get to know this gorgeous woman better is to vet her for Cookie’s sake through a few “dates.”
“Ah, just so we’re clear, we don’t give dogs away to just anyone who wants them.”
“I mean, puppies are popular. We’d have no problem getting him a good home. A friend of mine was asking about this little guy just the other week.” She frowned. “I have a good home.”
“If you’re not busy tomorrow night, we can grab a beer or something. Talk about plans for Cookie.”
I reviewed the first two books in the series- Test Drive and Road Assistance-and thoroughly enjoyed. Harte does a wonderful job of individualizing the characters and storyline so you don’t feel as if you’re reading the same romantic set up with just different names. This installment felt softer and less conflicted than the first two. The same engaging narrative, sexually enhanced romance and endearingly characters are present but Harte chooses to leave the dramatics by the curb and gently walk this couple to their HEA.
Sam is the best friend and roommate of Foley Sangers (the hero of Road Assistance). Also a mechanic at Webster’s Garage, Sam was pretty much raised by Foley’s mom, Eleanor, his own mother an abusive addict. Single, gorgeous, and ripped, Sam is honest to a fault and a total gentleman despite what his size and mannerisms suggest. A bit of a loner, Sam’s relationships with the opposite sex consists mainly of hook ups. The most important things in Sam’s life are Foley, Foley’s mom, and his job.
Ivy is a massage therapist who stays to herself. Intelligent, good looking, and a genuinely nice person, Ivy is also a bit of a loner as her family has all but abandoned her for reasons unknown and her last serious boyfriend used her to get through school then dumped her. Ivy doesn’t carry a chip on her shoulder like Sam does. She is content with herself and her life.
Harte takes Sam and Ivy’s relationship slow, allowing them the time to get to know one another using an appealing mixture of trepidation and awkwardness. Opposite attraction romances are the best and Harte does this one with justice. Fantastic dialogue, dry humorous wit, and a layered storyline allows readers to see beneath the surface and experience first hand the emotional issues they are dealing with. Ivy has pretty much laid her demons to rest but Sam is still struggling with his childhood, his time in prison, and general feelings of unworthiness. Ivy sees Sam and accepts him as he is because she understands the root of his pain. She is someone he has unknowingly been searching for. I love the humor she uses to help defuse his guilt and shame.
“So there you have it. You’re dating an ex-con.”
“Can I ask you something personal?”
“Is it true every prisoner makes license plates? Did you wear black and white striped uniforms? Have a ball chained to your ankle? Break up rocks with an Acme pickaxe?”
“You watch way too much TV.”
The sexual role reversal in here is interesting and works with the overall tone of story. Ivy is the one who not only sets the parameters of their relationship but also initiates the initial sexual aspect. She instinctively understands that Sam has some confusion between intimacy and sex and gives him all the power as she sets out to seduce him.
“You said I can touch you, right?”
“Yeah, don’t stop. Just keep petting me, baby.” He blinked at her once, then shut his eyes and groaned. “I’m gonna sit…right…here.” He shook, then sat unmoving, breathing hard.
“God, you’re gorgeous.” She stroked him from his chest to his belly button, never having been so close to perfection before. Then, because she figured the poor man had suffered enough, and her underwear would never be salvaged if she kept stringing this out, she unsnapped his jeans.
He started, his eyes remaining closed.
“You still okay?”
He swallowed. “Yeah.”
Barely a whisper, but he’d given consent.
Of course, no Harte book would be complete without the antics of the rambunctious Webster mechanics and various other characters from this series. They all step in, unasked, to help Sam deal with these new feelings of his and to explain why Rays wasn’t the right choice for a first date. Harte introduces a few new characters whose personalities fit right in with this bunch and I hope we see more of them in the future.
Zero to Sixty is a lightweight romance contemporary brimming laughter, love, and family. Perfect escapism for the romance lover in all of us. Looking forward to book four, Collision Course, which is Lou’s story. *fist pump* Release date is 10/27/2017.
I am a huge fan of the writing team Kit Rocha. From their steamy paranormals (written under Moira Rogers) to their post apocalyptic erotic romances, I have devoured everything they have written. I love the strength and equality of the characters who are portrayed in these stories. Strong, intelligent, dynamic people who will do anything for those they love and care for. They aren’t saints by any means but they strive to do what is right in the end. I was extremely pleased to see they would be spinning off the Beyond series and exploring beyond Sector Four.
Gideon’s Riders is based in Sector One. Rocha grants us an exclusive invite to interact with the Riders, their leader-Gideon Rios, and the large and inclusive Rios family. Set approximately six months after the explosive and long reaching arc finale of the Beyond series, new readers can comfortably start here though you miss out on the original world building and inside knowledge on certain scenes, plotlines, and character arcs. Regardless, Rocha does a light recap to help place everyone on the same page starting out.
The first in a new series, Kit Rocha continues to beautifully showcase their skills as talented writers. This glorious world is ever expanding and evolving with nonstop action, suspense and mystery yet balanced nicely with delicious romance and some light-hearted moments. Its perfect blend and consistency is what has makes this series and its creators a must read. A brilliant and emotional read that is as intoxicating and engaging as the series it spins off of. More so in fact because in Ashwin we are able to see the struggle between doing what is expected and doing what is right. We watch a man, whom for all intents and purposes has violently strove to keep his emotions buried deep, finally accept his ‘defects’ and willingly fall in love.
“Will you teach me how to do this right?” His expression was so serious. So earnest. “How to love you?”
The blending of the suspense of the story with the sensual awakening and self-discovery of Ashwin is a fantastic reveal. I will admit I had some stirrings of deja vu when I read about Ashwin and Kora’s backgrounds. Singh does something similar in her Psy/Changeling series though there is no comparison beyond that. Long time fans will find this romance (and perhaps the series-we shall see) isn’t as erotically blatant as the sexual freedom encouraged in the Beyond series though that doesn’t make it any less tantalizing. Ashwin isn’t a novice to sex and carries quite the repertoire of pleasure inducing skills. He knows how to make a woman feel good. However, with Kora, this is the first time he’s ever cared about the woman he’s with. Everything Ashwin does is gauged by Kora’s reactions and emotions. She is his conscious. His leash. She is his everything.
“Lieutenant Malhotra is loyal to exactly one person in the world.”
Nonstop action and rich dialogue fuels the story as you frantically absorb all the nuances and shifts. The plot was remarkable in its elements and I found myself riveted as the story slowly and seductively reveals itself. While there is quite a bit going on, Ashwin is not only a personal journey but also a setup for the world and character base, the clear and concise writing style leaves no confusion.
With each scene we watch Ashwin and Kora learn to embrace who and what they are by opening themselves up to the unknown, forgiving their supposed indiscretions, and embrace the here and now. They bravely face their fears and overcome obstacles while dealing with external factors that try to stop them. Neither plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire arc.
The supporting cast is intense, well developed, and mesh well with our protagonists to create a full bodied story. Each is more than able to carry their own story and I look forward to reading each one. Complex and convoluted; we see everyone here has an agenda and does not always play by the rules. Alliances are made as enemies come out of the woodwork, threatening the well being of all involved. The differences in the ruling styles and proclaimed “kings” of Sector Four and One are fascinating to learn about. Gideon Rios is literally viewed as a God by his people. They would and have laid their lives down for him and his family. The fact he doesn’t use that to his advantage is interesting. He is one of the most intriguing and secretive people in this world so far and I’m very curious to see who he sees as his “goddess.”
Once again, Rocha leaves me both satisfied and wanting. Ashwin gives readers a seemingly impossible romance while continuing to entice readers to join them in this new world that celebrates love, laughter, and life. Fans of Rocha’s should definitely add this new series to their already overflowing lists.
I picked up Mack Daddy on a whim. The title and cover caught my eye and I am a sucker for a good second chance romance. Mack Daddy tells us thGrade: C
I picked up Mack Daddy on a whim. The title and cover caught my eye and I am a sucker for a good second chance romance. Mack Daddy tells us the story of Mac (McKenzie) and Frankie. College roommates whose friendship turns to something much more but circumstances made it impossible for them to be together. Now 8 years later, Mack and Frankie are given another chance at love but again the circumstances aren't quite right. Will they let this opportunity pass again or will they finally seize their destiny?
Ward begins the story in the present while giving us the background of this couple's relationship using the past. Ward's humor shines through and I found myself quite amused for the first 1/2 of the book. The second half wasn't as entertaining. The pacing slows down dramatically and I found Mack and Frankie's reconnection extremely verbose and somewhat repetitive. The leads seem to get stuck in a rut. I was put off by Ward's attempts to describe someone with OCD. The last 10-15% introduces a huge twist that is nothing more than a plot device to help smooth over any lingering feelings of dislike over Mack and Frankie's emotional/mental cheating and I really felt it cheapened the story.
All in all an okay story but definitely not one of Ward's better endeavors. ...more
Gilded Cage is the first in Vic James dystopian fantasy series based on a world that is controlled by the magically elite who require the commoners to serve them for ten years of their lives. Hints of romance flavor this story as James sets up a complicated and heavily character integrated world. The premise is certainly interesting. Who doesn’t get a bit of a chill when presented by what looks to be a David and Goliath type of story? The enslaved will rise up with the help of an unknown source to topple the autocratic ruling body. Hell to the yeah! The strong writing and solid base shines through but the sheer enormity of the storyline with its many many layers, and varied characters who are involved is overwhelming. It felt like I was hearing one million voices all trying to make me understand what was happening at once. While I appreciated the efforts James extends to personalize this world, showing us both sides of the coin so to speak, I admit I just couldn’t find the connection to any of the characters. No one stood out for me. No one screamed champion. No one looked to be my David. The ending left me a little peeved as I felt as though I just finished an excruciating race only to be told this was only the first leg of my journey. My questions left unanswered were legion. Interesting to an extent, the story just tried do too much to the detriment of my enjoyment....more
Cross My Heart is a sweet and sweet quick read that focuses on Liam Cross and the woman who steals his heart-Isis. Told from Iris's point of view, IriCross My Heart is a sweet and sweet quick read that focuses on Liam Cross and the woman who steals his heart-Isis. Told from Iris's point of view, Iris and Liam meet at his brother Lee's restaurant though his being a cop makes her instinctively weary. Homeless, she does the best she can and keeps to herself though the Cross family quickly recognizes a fellow survivor and slowly begins to absorb her into their family. Well written with engaging dialogue and a plausible storyline, Cosway takes her time fleshing out Iris and building the romance between her and Liam. A hint of steam gives the story some heat and Conway is sure to end the story with an HFN and hints to the last book and brother-Trevor. ...more
Thomas’ small town contemporaries are always a welcome respite as they weave a cozy tale of love, laughter, pain, and heartbreak of small town living. Similar to her Harmony series (reviews here), each book pushes forward on the arc while, discussing one or two characters romances while dealing with a small thrilling mystery on the side. The fifth book in Jodi Thomas’s Ransom Canyon series takes readers back to the small town of Crossroads, TX with a few new romances and mysteries while updating us on some well-known residents and introducing us to a few new ones
Wild Horse Springs had all the ear markings of a typical and entertaining story but seems to lose its way quickly. Even with its normal multiple storyline threads, there is a disorganized feeling to the writing that is only matched by the rambling narrative and random head jumping. Thomas uses the same familiar formula that has worked for years, telling the story from four seemingly unrelated points of view slowly revealing the common denominator that binds them all together. But for me, in this instance, it doesn’t work. I found the main romance uninspiring and drenched in unnecessary purple prose while the second romance was far more entertaining but has less time and space in which to develop realistically. Both romances are fueled by insta-love but Thomas doesn’t give us any clues to what the appeal between any of them is beyond the fact they’re all single. The third “romance” has been dragging out since the beginning of the series and offers very little advancement. After five books in I’m still unsure if this is even a romance or just a childhood dream one of the leads refuses to let die.
Three main storylines circle around, feeding off one another as they slowly merge together though as I stated earlier, the plotlines felt underdeveloped and the narrative predictable and rambling. Even Thomas’ strong characters can’t pull this story out of the rut it’s in. The ending is a fast wrap up, leaving this reader frustrated with more questions than answers. As always, each book leaves off with the promise of more to come, giving Thomas a way to continue to build on the arc and the various relationships of the town.
I’m not sure if I will be continuing this series. While I have enjoyed my time spent in Ransom Canyon, it just isn’t holding the same sense of energy or appeal that her earlier series did. I’m also starting to see a decline in the strength of Thomas’ writing. We shall see.
Favorite Quote: “This is so good. Thanks for making me shower.”
On the heels of Higgins’ entertaining and thought-provoking If You Only Knew, Higgins revisits her sleepy little town of Cambry-on-Hudson, New York in On Second Thought. Using the dysfunctional O’Leary family and the timeless topics of love, loss, family, and second chances, Higgins builds a story on the relationship between two half sisters who, despite their murky history, find themselves growing closer as they bond over their mutual losses and unknown future.
Kate O’Leary wasn’t looking for love when she met her husband. At 39 years old, Kate played the dating game for years only to discover as she got older being single wasn’t a death sentence. She meets her husband Nathan while photographing a wedding and after a brief courtship, they marry. Four months later, Nathan dies in a tragic accident. Kate is utterly shocked by how fast she found and lost at love and now is unsure where to go from here.
Ainsley O’Leary has been with her boyfriend, Eric Fisher, for eleven years. She has loved and cared for him through the good and bad times and fully expects him to finally pop the question at a party they are throwing to celebrate his being cancer free for 18 months. After her brother in law’s accident, she is stunned when Eric uses Nathan’s death as an excuse to move on. Without her.
Lost and homeless, Ainsley moves in with Kate and attempts to help her cope with losing Nathan while trying to understand herself how the man she loved for so long could toss her away like trash. As Ainsley and Kate both stagger through the stages of grief in their own way, they learn more about themselves, each other, and the people around them.
I have been a fan of Kristan Higgins’ writing for years. Her entertainingly flawed characters, small town eccentricity, complicated romances, and underlying base of realism provides a wonderful sense of escapism for those who enjoy a hearty laugh as they watch these characters navigate the pitfalls of love as they struggle to find their footing in the world. I like this new direction that Higgins’ is taking in her writing though I can’t place it firmly in one genre or the other. Higgins’ focus on Kate and Ainsley’s life learning journey together into the next period of their lives harkens to women’s fiction while the various romances that decorate the story are a nod to the contemporary. Either way you choose to view this story, it is a must read for all fans.
Alternating the narrative between Kate and Ainsley, we flash between the past and the present, gaining insight not only into their personal lives but also the relationships they have cultivated along the way. It’s interesting to see certain scenes from both perspectives and the different ways they chose to respond. Both have adopted certain coping mechanisms as adults in response to their chaotic childhood; Kate is somewhat reserved, using her camera as a shield while Ainsley is a people person who chooses to be as indispensable as she can in order to prove her worth.
Higgins layers Kate and Ainsley’s feelings with plenty of laughter, sorrow, pain, and honesty. You can feel the range of emotions these women are experiencing and share with them every step of the way. Kate is furious at Nathan for dying so suddenly and feels guilty for that anger. She’s not only mourning the loss of his life but also the loss of her own. She gave up almost everything tangible in order to be with him and now he’s left her alone in a life she only felt a part of because of him. She struggles to stay connected with his family only to realize that grief is the only thing they have left in common.
Ainsley’s is not only mourning the loss of her lover but also her relationship with his parents. Her own mother died young and she was raised by Kate’s mom and her dad. Her father was not around much due to his job, her siblings were much older, and she always felt like a burden to her stepmother so Eric’s parents became the family she always wanted. She is angry at all the time she invested into the relationship, the things she took for granted, but mostly with Eric’s careless treatment of her. He broke it off with no warning and then blogged about it for the whole world to see. She was humiliated and hurt by his actions.
Kate and Ainsley’s journey is bolstered by a strong and vibrant cast of secondary characters contributes their own stories, adding the necessary pieces to the puzzle until the full picture evolves. We meet friends, bosses, exes, and family members in casual, seeming innocuous settings only to be shown later their impact and how much the past can affect our futures. I loved meeting the people who had a hand in creating the women Kate and Ainsley are today and I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from If You Only Knew.
Once again Higgins’ thoroughly entertains and delights while tugging at your heartstrings as she invites readers to share in her latest release, On Second Thought.
I loved the premise behind Something Borrowed. A hate fueled relationship that becomes a second chance romance between a very angry heroine and a former drunken playboy hero. Elle’s best friend is having a destination wedding and wants Elle to attend and sing at the event. The problem? Elle’s nemesis, Jackson, will also be attending. As Jackson and Elle spend time together, Elle learns Jackson had some serious issues he is now working through and she MAY have once again allowed her anger to get the best of her. They give in to their sexual attraction and discover something much stronger blossoming between them.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the beginning. Ella is a humorous and entertaining mess whose dialogue had me crying with laughter as she grumps and fusses at everyone. No one is safe from her opinion or bad mood. As I got to spend more time with Elle, I realized I didn’t like her. Often in these situations, you discover there is a really good reason for a person’s’ extremely anger and/or hatred of someone. But, Elle is really just an angry person. Her hatred of Jackson was amusing until you realize that his crimes were more blows to Elle’s pride than anything. The domme aspect was an interesting but it’s a hard personality to write. In my experience, most fictional domme’s either come off as posers or bitchy. Elle’s dominatrix side doesn’t mesh well with her anger so she comes off more a bitchy sadist. Jackson seemed to like it, but I didn’t buy it. I was also dismayed that Jackson seemed to be the only one who experiences any real growth and change in here. His growth reflects on Elle so she actually looks better than what she really is.
Regardless of my issues, Something Borrowed is well written with strong character driven plotlines, hilarious dialogue, and some extremely intense and emotionally freeing sexual scenes. A personable and fun cast of secondary characters keeps the story moving along and not so serious. Fans of anger fueled second chance romances are sure to enjoy. For me, this heroine was just too angry to fully enjoy the story....more
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series so I was dismayed to discover I did not like book three. ThNOTE: I don't rate DNF reviews.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series so I was dismayed to discover I did not like book three. The story starts out interesting enough with a “spanking contest” between Chino and Maddie. The attraction has always been there but Maddie has a bit of a chip on her shoulder towards Chino and apparently all it took was some kink to knock it off. From there Tan builds the romance while introducing random subplots to give the story a bit angst and controversy. Not bad but I didn’t get the same level of connection or chemistry between them that I got from other couples. What did me in was I couldn’t take the conversations between Chino and Maddie. Every time one of them opened their mouth I cringed. At times they sounded like d-listers from a porn set. Overall, this story didn’t have the easy flow and organic cohesiveness I felt the first two had....more
Fans of the hit show Empire and deliciously outrageous soap operas will gobble up Lisa Marie Perry’s latest erotic offering like it’s their last suppeFans of the hit show Empire and deliciously outrageous soap operas will gobble up Lisa Marie Perry’s latest erotic offering like it’s their last supper. Featuring a hip hop record company on the brink of failure, a pair of siblings reunite to take back the company that was stolen from them by their so called friends and lovers. Though the romance is a strong element, readers will willing ride this crazy train through all the drama of heartbreaking betrayal, firefueled revenge, blistering hot erotic sex, and a crazy cast of characters who you will love to hate and hate to love....more
Favorite Quote: “Well, you know how we Americans are. Rebelling against the crown since 1776.”
Crown Prince Colin Sinclair and his royal siblings are forced to flee to to the United States after a coup in their country results in the assignation of their parents. Settling in Charlotte, NC Colin becomes the official caregiver with some help from friend. When their cover is blown and plastered all over the tabloids for the world to see, their country offers Colin a deal. Marry a princess of their choosing and the Sinclair family will be allowed to return home. But Colin is tired of being at the mercy of his country’s government. Taking matters into his own hands, he proposes marriage to the one person who has held his heart for ten years.
Della Hughes may have met the Sinclairs under less than happy circumstances but over the years she has grown to love them all, especially the oldest, Colin. Della doesn’t believe in fairy tales or happily ever afters but when she learns her prince charming is REALLY a prince, she is shocked. Willing to do anything for this family, Della agrees to a marriage of convenience but when the honeymoon goes from fake to real, Della isn’t sure she can walk away at the end, Or if she even wants too.
Royal Scandal is the first book in Marquita Valentine’s Royals in Exile series. Set in the US and the Isle of Man (a real country-part of the British Crown), the story revolves around the Sinclair family and their fight to regain their heritage. I’ve been enjoying the new trend of royals falling for commoners romances that have been trending the last few months. It is for me the ultimate modern fairytale. Lightweight and humorous, this friends to lovers romance is relatively low in angst and conflict with a surprisingly bite of heat. Valentine focuses on Colin’s and Della’s romance foremost but effortlessly blends in the history of happened to their parents and the cause while advancing each sibling’s story to prepare them for their own stories.
The story opens with Colin and his brother Theo trying to console their colicky youngest brother. Valentine gives us the bare bones of what is happening and sets the stage for the romance to come. When one of the family bodyguards informs them they have a visitor, Colin is shocked by a gorgeous and bold young woman demanding to know why her family is being evicted from their home. Colin realizes that his family’s need for privacy is forcing the caretakers out onto the streets. He let them stay and gains a friend in the process. Della Hughes. The book then jumps forward ten years in time which dismayed me a little. We are told of the depth of the friendship Della and Colin holds and everything she has done for the family but I would have enjoyed seeing some of it play out. Della essentially adopts the role of “mother” to the babies and helps Colin with the older ones during that time.
I liked Colin and Della. In fact, I liked all the siblings. Each one is individually fleshed out and Valentine makes sure we see their differences and the possible snags that may hamper their futures. Colin is the oldest and he takes his responsibility seriously. Exiled at age nineteen, he assumes the parental role over all of them (Theo- age seventeen and the twins, Charlotte and Imogen-age fourteen) though the ones that depend on him most are the two youngest Sinclairs. Aiden, age fifteen months and Pierce, age four months who are some seriously cute kids. Though fashioned somewhat as plot devices, Valentine characterizes them in a way that you instantly forgive her. Colin is seriously overwhelmed but I liked that he isn’t portrayed as a martyr. He has fallen for Della hard but doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. Especially since his future remains uncertain and he has not been completely honest with her about who he really is. Intelligent, understated, loyal, and funny with sexy dominant side that comes out later on.
“Do be a good girl and sit very still while I wash you.”
He tweaks a nipple and desire makes me whimper.
“That’s yes, your highness.”
Della is his perfect match. Also smart, sexy, loyal, and funny, she gives as good as she get and isn’t one to play games. The chemistry is sweet and steamy with some nicely done longing and sexy internal thoughts. The added bonus of their history together only adds to the overall appeal. She too fell for Colin years ago but feels he only sees her as a friend. I love the relationship she has with Colin and his family. It has a separate quality to it that didn’t seem dependant on the attraction between her and Colin.
The marriage is the pivot of the story and its pacing increases two-fold. This couple does a rapid about-face, going from platonic and willing to suffer in silence for their love to full frontal lust filled mattress dancing. While Valentine expands on the romance, she also expands on the somewhat machiavellian plot behind the family’s exile. The two storylines start out running parallel and slowly begin to intertwine. I enjoyed watching Colin and Della’s love for one another truly blossom and grow once they got out of each other’s way and the political machinations were interesting. Unfortunately, the storylines begin to compete against each other. I felt the seriousness of exile plotline cast a small shadow over the romance.
I also had an issue with Colin’s omission of some important details. Some things he remained tight-lipped about for too long while others he allowed Della to make her own assumptions about, knowing when she found out she’d be furious. And she was. I think she deserved a bit more groveling and explanation on his end though overall his reasons were understandable.
The ending gives Colin and Della the happily ever after they both deserve and a nice little epilogue to clue us into the next Sinclair sibling’s story.
Royal Scandals is altogether a royally fun and flirty romance that engages and satisfies despite the few issues I encountered. I am looking forward to the next in the series, Royal Affair, which is set to release March 7, 2017.
Safe Bet takes us back into the lives of this series dream couple-Drew and Fable-with a few additions. Readers of the series will remember WadeGrade B
Safe Bet takes us back into the lives of this series dream couple-Drew and Fable-with a few additions. Readers of the series will remember Wade (childhood friend of Owen’s) and welcome newcomer Sidney. Wade was recently signed to the SF 49ers and Sidney has been hired on as a nanny/personal assistant after her parent’s cut her off for lying about her activities. When a series of random circumstances set off rumors that Drew and Sidney are having an affair, Drew and Fable come up with the ultimate plan-Sidney and Wade will pretend date for a week and set the paparazzi straight. Only, when Sidney and Wade get to know each other better, all bets are off.
This is an adorable romance contemporary with a hint of spice. Little angst and steamy chemistry surround two young adults just starting out-one who questions the legitimacy of his dream and the other who is still discovering theirs. A faint coming of age feel to the narrative blends well with the storyline. I enjoyed the fact that while both characters had a past, neither were judged for it. Murphy spends ample time with previous heroes and heroines-letting us see how their lives have progressed since their stories. Fans may sense the recurring theme of fake relationships and find this HFN just as enjoyable though somewhat short. ...more
FBI agent Eden Collins vowed never to return home to Clear Springs, Montana. Growing up the daughter of an infamous cult leader, her childhood was not pleasant. When Eden receives an anonymous picture of a homicide victim who has tattoos similar to those of her mother’s followers, Eden knows it’s time to head home to confront her past and hopefully catch a killer.
Sheriff Zach Owens is in over his head when girls start disappearing and turning up dead in his small town. Eden Collins’ sudden arrival in town seems a little too coincidental but Zack will use whatever and whoever he can to stop the killer(s). Only, he doesn’t count on her being so attractive or him being so protective of her. Zack knows she is the only one who can access the inner sanctum of the reclusive cult but fears he may be sending her right into the killer’s arms.
The Devil’s Daughter is a deviation from Katee Robert’s usual romantically focused fare. The first book in her Hidden Sins series, this intense psychological thriller builds a layered and complicated story that takes a look into the world of cults and the powerful allure behind them. Through the eyes of a former member. The edgy atmosphere lends a hand to the overall dark and mysterious quality the story holds as Robert’s leads her readers down a rabbit hole of power, sex, mysticism, and murder. Heavily character driven the book effortlessly balances the intensity of the murder investigation with the internal struggles of the heroine, FBI agent Eden Collins, creating some interesting dynamics.
I don’t want to go back. Please don’t make me. It was the cry of a child in the dark. She’d worked very, very hard to leave that child behind, but the little-girl voice had a nasty habit of popping up at the worst times.
Robert’s has a definite gift for nail biting stories that leaves you hanging onto every little word. She pulls no punches and allows you little time to accept before tossing you next challenge. Smooth flowing with minimal fillers-this story grabs you and doesn’t let go till the end. The narrative is easy to follow, even with the occasional head jumping. A strong investigative base allows readers an inside look while steady pacing and intense suspense flies us all the way home. The romance and the conflict blend effortlessly together though the romance remains a low-key presence that doesn’t offer readers any real concrete resolutions in here.
With one girl missing, and now one dead, all eyes turn towards the local cult Elysia, and Martha Collins, its charismatic leader. Zach attempts to question Martha but is instantly stonewalled. A war veteran with some PTSD, this small town sheriff’s mama bear style protective warrior status is a direct result of his traumatic experience. Intelligent, handsome, and loyal to the core, he takes each death personally and struggles with maintaining a professional demeanor.
“Do you often collect people you considered yours?”
“Call it a habit I’ve never been able to escape.”
When Eden appears in town, Zach isn’t instantly on board with her help but soon grows to trust her as he sees her commitment towards justice-a trait she shares with him.
Eden Collins’ left home 10 years ago after a traumatic event that left her convinced death would soon follow. Completely reinventing herself, she becomes a FBI agent. A strong, intelligent, emotionally isolated heroine with a strong sense of justice and deep-seated vein of vulnerability. Calm, cool, and collected, she hides her insecurities well. It’s only when she comes home does those insecurities and fears come roaring back to the surface. Though she sees the truth behind her mother’s false prophecies and god-like stature, she is more than aware of the power her mother welds. A power that Eden struggles not to fall back under herself.
She looked like the kind of woman who’d gather lost souls to her ad hold them till they were whole again.
Which is exactly why she was so dangerous.
I enjoyed meeting Eden and Zach. Robert’s works to build on their connection, showing us a team that works well together despite their differences. The romance is slow burning though heavy with chemistry. Robert’s takes her time exploring Eden’s and Zach’s attraction, using the investigation and their individual demons as speed bumps. Eden has spent her adult life alone and on the move. Her childhood has left her unable to easily trust and her job sends her everywhere. Engaging dialog and revealing emotional scenes help to tip the scale towards love. Zach’s protective streak comes out strong concerning Eden. While he wants to protect her from harm, he doesn’t coddle her. He recognizes her strength, skills, and tenacity. Though Eden doesn’t feel she has anything to offer Zach, he refuses to give up on them.
He was like a golden god who’d wandered into this strangely domestic scene, and she didn’t know how to reconcile the two conflicting impressions.
A varied cast of secondary characters are well developed and fleshed out. They slip effortlessly in and out of the story. We see many different relationships in here that further explore the mentality behind cults and the various methods that are used to keep the followers complacent and faithful. Eden’s mother is complex character who we get to know through Eden’s eyes. I found Eden’s ability to see right through her mother’s hype interesting and wondered if it was her childhood that allowed for that or her extremely strong will.
As we get closer to solving the mystery there are some very intense reveals that left me shocked. The duplicity and deception left me reeling at the implications. The ending is an explosive finale that resolves the conflict and answers all our immediate questions but leaves enough open to lead us into book two. The Devil’s Daughter is an excellent endeavor and sure to appeal to fans of romantic suspense with a strong thriller/mystery base. I am looking forward to the next in this series; to be announced.
Riley Steele became a high-end prostitute in order to keep a roof over his siblings heads when their parents died heavily in debt. He has reacGrade: C
Riley Steele became a high-end prostitute in order to keep a roof over his siblings heads when their parents died heavily in debt. He has reached most of his monetary goals and is now looking for a way to ease himself out of the business for good when an ex-girlfriend calls him for help from an abusive boyfriend. Riley never found out why Brianna left him but he has never stopped loving her and offers her a place to stay. When trouble finds its way to Riley’s door, he will have to come clean to Brianna and risk losing her again.
The first in a romantic suspense series based on a trio of siblings, I admit I was a little startled to find the romance was far more subtle than the title implies. I expected an erotic fueled base but instead found the romance was more of an element then a central point of the story. An interesting premise starts out strong though I felt the story faltered in places, only giving us the bare bones of certain scenes. There was also some issues of contradiction-we’d be given one scenario and then it would change later on The slow burn second chance romance is used to give props to Riley’s changing dynamics and the suspense plotline. Decent main character development through the secondary characters seemed to flesh out better and I found myself more curious too see what’s in store for them. Looking forward to seeing what’s in store for Charli and Con....more