By now, everyone knows my fangirl love for Maya Banks so this review has me so conflicted. Fans of the KGI series have been dying to know Hancock’s story – especially after we saw the softer side of him in When Day Breaks, and if you take out a big chunk in the middle of the book – I loved Darkest Before Dawn. But somewhere partway through, the book went WAY off in a different direction and I felt like the heroine had been switched out with someone else. I’m not even kidding when I say that I started to wonder if perhaps since this was a galley copy, Maya had done one version and then decided to go in another way and the book just wasn’t put together properly.
Guy Hancock has popped in and out of the KGI series, sometimes helping and sometimes working against the Kellys, so we’ve never really known what made him tick. When his “sister” Eden was in danger and was kidnapped in When Day Breaks, even the Kelly’s were shocked to see that Hancock had weaknesses. I was so looking forward to this one and read it in one day, but I alternated between loving and hating it.
Closer than he has ever been to his goal of taking down Maksimov, a terrorist he had intended to be his final job, Hancock is ordered to track down an American woman who has evaded a group of militants that wanted to tie up loose ends. Once he has the woman, he knows she will endure horrible things, but he tells himself that sacrificing one to take this man out and save many is worth it.
Honor Cambridge was working at a relief center in the Middle East when it is suddenly hit by an explosion. Everyone around her is killed and although she is injured, she is determined that she will not die at the hands of these terrorists. Gathering all of her courage and will to live, she manages to evade the terrorists that are relentlessly chasing her and just about gets to the border where she can seek help.
Hancock and his team finally track Honor down and convince her that they are there to help her. On the verge of being captured, she has no choice but to trust them. During their journey, Hancock’s team comes to respect and admire Honor and they all become conflicted about their mission.
But here is where the story takes Honor from a kickass woman who manages to escape a violent group of extremists and is determined to live at all costs, and turns her into a spineless, pathetic woman. I almost stopped reading, I was so pissed off and that has NEVER happened with a Maya book for me. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to ruin it for people, however I can tell you that there are some scenes that were so unbelievable and took the story so off from where it had been leading, that you may find yourself wanting to quit reading.
As hard as it might be, keep going because she does right the train and get the story back on track but my entire perception of Honor was completely ruined. The whole thing left such a bad taste in my mouth, I had to take some time between reading it and writing this review to process whether I completely hated it, or if the redeeming qualities were strong enough to outweigh it. Honestly, time has not helped that indecision.
On the plus side I think the stories of Hancock’s team members are going to be great ones, I enjoyed seeing Hancock and the Kelly’s sort of make peace, and there was a lot of action. It started great and ended well but I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed with Hancock’s story. There were many people that hated Donovan’s story where I loved it, so maybe my opinion won’t be the prevailing one, but I suspect it will.
Rating: C- (only because the parts I liked I really liked)...more
Get the fan out before reading this one because it is HOT! It’s also sad and funny – but mostly hot. After a four year gap between books, Lora Leigh is back to her Bound Hearts series with Secret Pleasure and it was worth the wait! In other books we have seen glimpses of Alyssa Hampstead in The Club and there were references to what may have broken her or hurt her so badly, and now we have the full story.
At the age of eighteen, Alyssa Hampstead is quietly setting herself up to break free of her political family and have a life of her own. At a party one night, a chance encounter with cousins Shane Connor and Sebastian De Loren results in a passionate kiss that marks them all. Knowing their “siren” is too young and under her mother’s thumb, the cousins wait for Alyssa to travel to Spain on a summer vacation. They spend five months planning their seduction of the woman they cannot forget. Once they have her alone, they pull out all the stops to get her to explore the passionate woman she is.
After weeks spending every moment with Alyssa making plans for the future, a blackmailer threatens to send pictures of her naked between the two men to the press unless they not only cut off all contact with her, but also pay monthly sums of money into a trust account. Their families insist that they follow the demands and take steps to ensure the men cannot leave and go to her. That sets off six years of separation that just about kills all three of them. The men work tirelessly to eliminate the threat to Alyssa while she goes on to marry her friend so they can be each other’s “shield”. Just as they figure out who the blackmailer is and eliminate him, someone tries to kill Alyssa.
In order for the three of them to finally have their happiness, they have to figure out who has it out so badly for Alyssa, and how to piece her back together after all she has been through. What results is a story that alternates between seriously hot sex scenes, some really sad scenes where you can almost feel Alyssa’s pain, and some funny moments as well.
One of the things I did not like however, and this happens a lot in books, is the whole virgin having mind blowing orgasms thing. This virgin also handled two men at the same time and had mind blowing sex. Just once, I would like a realistic virginity losing scene. This did not affect my overall enjoyment of the book though.
Another thing that can be annoying if not executed properly is the whole I must leave her to protect her thing. This wasn’t a case where the men intended to never see the woman again but fate throws them back together. These guys knew they would be with Alyssa in the end, they just needed to clean up the garbage first. Because of this, I was able to get past the whole protection routine.
I love this series; it was one of my favorites of Lora Leigh so I really hope she’s going to continue with it especially since I’m dying to read the story of Alyssa’s best friend Summer. We got a teaser of who she will be with and I suspect it will be another kick ass book.
Overall this was one of my favorite books in the series. It was a long time coming and Alyssa, Shane and Sebastian were all loveable characters. You could feel for all three of them throughout the book and I love a story that evokes emotion. Fingers crossed we don’t have to wait so long for the next installment!
Every time I read one of these books, I’m reminded of why this is one of my all-time favorite series. I’ve met Shayla Black in person at Lora Leigh’s Raw and she was one of the sweetest people, so that’s just an added bonus for me! Wicked For You is the 10th book in the Wicked Lovers series and although most series start to fizzle out around this time, this one just keeps getting better! Wicked For You is our chance to get to know Dominion’s long-time employee Axel and his heroine Mystery. The story has everything you’ve come to expect from this series – crazy hot sex, alpha men and a fast-paced plot.
Axel Dillon has been somewhat of an unknown in the Wicked Lovers books. We see him pop in and out – usually playing with the club’s receptionist Sweet Pea, and always there to defend the ladies, but we really don’t know much about him.
Six years ago Axel was hired to rescue the daughter of an Oscar winning Hollywood director who had been kidnapped leaving a nightclub. Since that time, Mystery Mullins has been unable to forget or get over Axel, even though he rejected her when she threw herself at him during her rescue. Determined to finally screw him out of her system, Mystery dons a disguise, walks into a bar and seduces Axel. After the mind blowing sex, she runs out on him and disappears into the night with him not knowing it was her.
Through a series of events, Axel realizes that the woman that just blew his mind was the job he had been unable to get out of his mind. Turning her down six years ago had not been easy but she was a nineteen year old girl that had just been kidnapped and was running on adrenaline. Pissed off and determined to confront her, Axel heads to her hotel where he finds that the person who had kidnapped her years before, seems to be a threat again.
Once it’s obvious that Mystery is in danger, Axel steps in to help protect her alongside her bodyguard Heath and the action heats up from there. The story kept a steady pace not lingering too long on any one scene which I liked, and of course there was the steamy sex. Considering his place of employment, it is not surprising to learn that Axel is a Dom and Mystery is naturally submissive.
We got to see more about Sweet Pea and I suspect her book is going to be up next and that its going to be very emotional. The relationship between Axel and Sweet Pea was really quite sweet. I loved both the hero and the heroine and there were some twists in the story that I did not see coming.
Overall this was a great addition to the series and I cannot wait for more!
In His Keeping is the second novel in the Slow Burn series by Maya Banks and I could not wait to get my hands on this book. Ordinarily books with psychic elements are not my thing but the first one, Keep Me Safe, had me hooked from the get go and I couldn’t wait for Brock’s story. Maya threw me for a loop in the early parts of this one because I kind of thought this was going to wind up a two man, one woman story with Zach, Beau and Ari, but instead I was left even more curious about Zach’s future love. I didn’t necessarily love the overall story of Beau and Ari as much as Caleb and Remi, but I definitely loved watching Ari come in to her powers and kick some ass!
Arial Rochester has lived a very sheltered life with her parents going to extremes to keep her safe. Although the full scope of her gift is not known until the story starts developing, Ari’s parents are very aware that the little girl that was left on their doorstep as an infant is both unique and in danger. Determined to set out on her own, she gets a job as a teacher and her own apartment and finally starts to live a little. During an attack by a student, Ari uses her gifts to save herself and someone catches it on camera leaking it to the media. Her parents prepare to get her out of the country and then suddenly disappear.
After viewing the now viral video of Arial’s attack, Beau Devereaux finds himself strangely preoccupied with the delicate woman he sees being attacked. Security is their business, but the team knows from experience that the woman likely has psychic abilities. Since she is not their client, he tries to push the situation out of his mind. When an injured Ari shows up at his business claiming that her father always told her to seek out Beau or Caleb if they disappeared, he struggles to make sense of it all. The only thing that Beau knows of her family is that Ari’s father was the last person to see his parents alive and that alone has him on edge.
In the beginning, Ari’s naiveté and dependence on her parents kind of grated at me but set in the context of the story it made sense. Her “parents” had gone to great lengths to not only pamper and spoil her, but also to protect her from people that would exploit her abilities. She very quickly comes in to her own and starts to kick some serious ass, never having had the opportunity to do so before. By the end of the book I would put her up there as one of my favorite bad ass female characters. She literally levels buildings to save and protect the people she loves.
As with the usual formula for these types of books. Beau and Ari fall quickly for each other and hard. The book is pretty much non-stop once the action gets going and a lot of stuff happens in a relatively short amount of time. There are a few really touching moments between Ari and Ramie and the way she puts Caleb in his place is hilarious. Really enjoyed the book and I cannot wait for Zach’s story which is out next in June. There are a few different publication dates floating around out there but Maya has recently announced that she is scaling back a bit and as a result a bunch of release dates were shifted. Although this makes me sad because I love reading her books and cannot wait for them, Ms. Banks is a machine and put out an insane number of amazing novels each year.
Overall, this one was a great addition to the series and set up Zach’s story nicely!
Midnight Sins is the first book in the Callahan series by Lora Leigh. This one is not new, but I hadn’t gotten around to starting the series and I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner! Ms. Leigh writes some great romantic suspense books and this one grabbed me right away. Rafer and Cami are a loveable couple that you can’t help but root for. I’m usually nauseated by the whole “I can’t be with him because losing him would destroy me” story, but this one was an exception. Given the overall plot, it was completely reasonable that Cami would fear losing Rafer.
Cambria Flannigan has grown up in the shadow of her murdered sister, with the entire town believing Rafe and his cousins were somehow behind the deaths of numerous women. Her father has ignored and verbally abused her all her life and her mother has hidden behind Valium. Cami’s big sister, Jaymi, had tried to be there for her as much as she could and when she is brutally murdered while Cami is only 13, she shuts her heart down and tries not to let people in.
When his best friend Tye is killed, Rafe Callahan takes the man’s wishes seriously and while looking out for his friend’s widow, begins a sexual relationship with her. Jaymi was devastated after the love of her life died and she starts seeking comfort in the arms of his best friend. After she realizes that her little sister Cami is looking at Rafer the way she used to look at the love of her life, she knows she has to end things despite Cami’s young age.
Growing up, Rafe and his cousins have been outcasts in Corbin County but no one can quite figure out why. The fact that three Callahan brothers married three of the daughters of small town royalty, and then they all died in mysterious circumstances seems to be the only reason that everyone has it out for the boys. They can recall times where their grandparents used to dote on them and love them, but now when they see their grand kids in town they act like they are nothing but dirt on their feet.
One thing I liked about this book, but could also be a bit disturbing for some, is that the book starts off from Jaymi’s point of view. She hurts for her little sister because of the way that she is being treated by their parents and she is dealing with the grief of losing her husband, but she’s also dealing with some very disturbing phone calls and threats. Not wanting to raise the alarm she keeps the calls secret from Rafe because she knows the voice on the other end of the phone, she just can’t quite place it. When she finally figures it out she is taken and brutally murdered near where the Callahan cousins are camping in an attempt to frame them. They catch the killer but most people still suspect the Callahans. There is a very beautiful scene between Jaymi and Rafe and it made me tear up reading it.
The book has a lot of action and the story moves very fast which I liked. I had no idea who the bad guy was and oddly it makes me happy when I don’t predict it all. I loved Cami and Rafer and there is plenty of story to go around for the cousins’ books. I will review the next book in the series shortly but if you are a fan of romantic suspense you should definitely give this series a try!
His to Take is the ninth book in the Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black and can I just say this series just keeps getting better! Admittedly when I read the blurb, I missed the connection between the hero and Kata (who was featured in book 4 of the series) and Carlotta her mother (who had her story in book 6.5 of the series), but when I figured it out, I was really looking forward to seeing another member of that family. Joaquin Munõz is determined to avenge the murder of his only friend and partner and will stop at nothing to make that happen. Believing Bailey Benson may hold the answers he is looking for, and knowing she is in danger, Joaquin kidnaps her to keep her safe.
Joaquin Munõz closed himself off to everyone after the death of his father when he was a teenager. He has kept himself from his family, only has one real friend, and his relationships are kept to one night stands. When his former partner and good friend is killed while investigating the disappearance of a woman, Joaquin cannot stand by and do nothing. After other women are kidnapped and killed in the same manner, he knows that he needs help and reaches out to his sister’s husband Hunter. When the link between these murdered women and the man who had been working for Callie’s father becomes clear, everyone agrees to help Joaquin track down the remaining women on the list they have compiled. They each take a woman’s name and head out to track her down.
Bailey Benson is a gifted dancer on the verge of her big break. An orphan with very few friends and no family, Bailey is lonely but otherwise happy. The only dark spot in her life is the nightmares that she has been having since she was a child that feel like a memory, but her parents always assured her that it was a figment of her imagination. Bailey wakes up from one of her nightmares only to find a man standing in front of her who quickly drugs her to knock her out. When she comes to, she is handcuffed to a bed in an unfamiliar place with a man she has never seen before telling her he believes she is someone else entirely.
This book had so many high points for me but my favorite was the involvement of pretty much every single character we have met and loved in this series. We start seeing Hunter and Kata who are now expecting their first child, but throughout the book we end up seeing everyone and in particular, we get to see a lot of Callie, Thorpe and Sean. Callie and Bailey develop a friendship, and considering Callie has always felt like an outsider, I loved seeing that. Callie was one of my favorite women in the series.
Another thing I enjoyed was that Joaquin did not seem to know he’s a Dom, so watching him explore that was fun and hot. At first Bailey is not aware that she’s being held in Dominion and when Callie takes her for her first tour, she is simultaneously horrified and intrigued at the activities taking place. Joaquin goes on quite the journey from realizing how he’s been keeping everyone at arm’s length to protect himself, learning about being a Dom, exploring that with Bailey, and ultimately coming to terms with the fact that you cannot always protect yourself from being hurt.
This book brought some closure to the storyline that is started in Callie’s book and there was a sweet moment with Callie, Sean and Thorpe that made me love the three of them even more. Bailey and Joaquin were a great couple with tons of chemistry and the book had plenty of action to balance out the steamy stuff. I am really looking forward to Axel’s book which is the next one up. We have learned very little about him even though we have seen him a lot and I suspect his book may be my favorite of the series. Overall I loved His To Take and this was a great addition to the series.
Midnight Action is the fifth book in the Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy, and if you are a fan of this series – this story is the one we’ve been waiting for. Throughout the books leading up to this one we have seen the genuine hatred between Jim Morgan, the leader of a group of mercenaries who have been the focus of the previous books, and Noelle, aka the Queen of Assassins. But as we all know there is a fine line between hate and love and I couldn’t wait to find out all about what had led them to this point.
Eighteen years ago, Jim was part of a black ops unit and was given a mission to track down and capture a traitor who was selling information to the enemy. In order to achieve his objective, Jim seduced the man’s daughter Noelle but what started as just another job quickly turned in to genuine love. Unfortunately that love cannot stand in the way of completing his mission, and he has no choice but to betray her. Noelle has never recovered from the devastation of finding out the man she loved had been using her to go after her beloved father. Flash forward to present day and Noelle has been offered five million dollars to kill the man she had once sworn to kill for free. Instead of taking care of the job and pocketing the cash, she finds herself at his compound in Costa Rica warning him. In order to find out who has taken out the hit, Jim and Noelle must work together and find a way to trust each other just a little.
Where to start. I had crazy high expectations for this book to the point I was worried I would be disappointed. I shouldn’t have worried, Ms. Kennedy delivered and these two are by far my favorite couple of the series to date. While I couldn’t wait for Jim and Noelle to have their HEA, I didn’t want Noelle to suddenly turn in to a mushy, love sick woman because that just would not have jived with everything we had read up to that point. Thankfully she maintained her bad ass persona right to the end, with the odd emotional moment mixed in. Noelle had a difficult life before meeting Jim at the age of 17. Although her mother and step-father were very wealthy, and materially she had everything she could have wanted, she had been suffering abuse at the hands of her step-father for years. After Rene’s abuse, Jim’s betrayal, and finding out her dad wasn’t who she thought he was, it is really no wonder Noelle distrusts men and keeps her stone cold bitch persona up even around her own team.
We knew at least some of the reason Noelle hated Jim from the blurb that had been released, but we haven’t had any clues as to why he felt the same way. I don’t want to give too much away because the reasoning is a pretty big twist, but I LOVED this new turn in the story. We really got to see a side of Jim and even Noelle, that had not been exhibited in previous books, and it made for a great story. Given that they both had very real reasons to feel the way they did about each other, it took careful story telling to get them to the point where they could believably get to the start of their HEA. There is one scene in particular where Noelle beats the shit out of Jim and unleashes all of her heartache and anger, and it was very emotional to read. In the end the way he finally manages to get her to admit her feelings, although strange to many people, was actually very touching and it showed that Jim really knew Noelle in a way that no one else does.
There were so many things I loved about this book it is impossible to list them all without giving it away. Noelle obviously has some issues given that she seems to genuinely enjoy killing people, but she is also fiercely loyal to those she cares about (even if she won’t admit she cares), she holds her own in any fight physically and mentally, and she is a self made woman. The twist I talked about above was awesome and I really liked how it all played out. We get to meet Bailey and there is an interesting story to be told with her and her HEA. But the thing I probably loved the most was the set up for Liam’s story. We get a peek at who that may be with and I have many theories as to how that’s going to work but I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Overall, this was another fantastic addition to the Killer Instincts series and Jim and Noelle have chemistry that jumps off the page. The sex between them is smoking hot and I really hope we get to see their story develop further – perhaps with Noelle having a baby. Bring on Bailey and Sean!
Hope Burns is the third full length book in the Hope series by Jaci Burton and I was really looking forward to this one. The story focuses on Emma’s sister Molly Burnett and local business man Carter Richards, and it was clear from previous books that there was some serious history between these two. The former high school sweethearts have not seen each other for 13 years as Molly has not been back since she skipped town all those years ago. Coming home for Emma’s wedding, Molly is determined to get through the ceremony and get right back on the road. A family emergency puts her careful plans – and her heart – at risk.
Molly Burnett hit the road right after her high school graduation and never looked back. Her family and friends have speculated as to why she refused to even visit, but no one could have guessed what really happened. Convincing herself that she likes the freedom of moving from place to place and job to job, Molly is content to reassure everyone that her life is great. Her sister’s wedding, and her position as the maid of honor, have left her with no more room to run. She will return to Hope, get through the wedding and get the hell out of Dodge right after.
Carter Richards has made a good life for himself in Hope. He purchased the auto shop where he had his first job, and over the years has opened more locations. He earns a decent living, owns his own home that he is renovating and is ready to settle down and have kids. Running in to Molly when she is literally just rolling in to town, it becomes clear to him that he has not quite gotten over his first love. Unfortunately she is still running from him and cannot say loud enough that she is heading out of town right after the wedding.
With Emma off to her honeymoon, Molly prepares to head out of town and get back to her life. After her mother takes a fall and will be immobilized for several weeks, Molly knows she has to step up and stay. Emma has been handling everything on her own for years and she deserves her honeymoon. When she finds out her mother has been working on a town revitalization project she is excited to take over. Unfortunately her mother has been working closely with Carter on the project and that means a lot more time with the man she was hoping to avoid.
During the time they spend together, Molly has a chance to get to know the adult Carter and realizes that he is nothing like the young man she left behind. Telling herself that she can just have a fling with him and move on, the duo begin heating up the sheets and spending time together doing couple things. Carter knows he wants her to stay and have a future with him, but every time things get close Molly panics and pulls back.
I loved these two. They experienced something as teenagers that many adults would have had difficulty handling and they reacted as typical teenagers would. There were two scenes that really stood out for me and I thought Ms. Burton wrote them perfectly. The first was when Molly confronted Carter after her sister’s wedding and let out all of her hurt and frustration. He allowed her to vent and get things off her chest, but was quiet about how he had been affected. His turn comes later and Carter does not hold back when he unloads on Molly, saying the things he has been keeping pent up for all those years. It was clear that no matter how much time had passed, those two were stuck in the past and in their pain.
One of the enjoyable things about this series is that the community is very close knit and even though some people have had “their” story already, we still get to see a lot of them. I am really looking forward to Chelsea’s story and we get a glimpse at who her HEA will be with. Thankfully its not a crazy long wait, their book hits stores in April 2015.
So far this is my favorite book of the series. I loved both main characters and I was dying to find out what this history was between them. I was a bit worried there would be build up but a unsatisfactory story, but I was wrong. The couple had crazy chemistry and the book was not crammed full of plot points distracting from them. Cannot wait for the next one.
Every time I think I have found my favorite Maya Banks book, she sets me straight with the next one! Keep Me Safe is the first book in Ms. Banks’ Slow Burn series and I could not put it down. The new trilogy contains plenty of suspense, love and even psychic elements, but at the core this book is a gripping story with loveable characters. Although Maya is known for her smoking hot sex scenes, Keep Me Safe really focuses on the emotional side of the relationship between Caleb and Ramie while setting up some future stories in the series.
Caleb Deveraux lives a life of privilege, aware that there are risks to that, but believing that his family is safe. When his security proves ineffective and his little sister Tori is kidnapped by a deranged psychopath, Caleb will do whatever is necessary to find her. He sets out on a mission to track down psychic Ramie St. Clair, who has a history of helping families find their missing loved ones. While she has been in hiding for several months, money and power help track her to a remote cabin.
Ramie is barely hanging on by a thread when Mr. Deveraux shows up on her doorstep accusing her of selfishly withholding her gift. What he cannot know is the toll that locating the victims takes on her, and he does not give her a chance to explain. Shoving his sister’s scarf in to her hands, Caleb throws her immediately in to the same hell his sister is experiencing. Watching what he has done to her, a horrified Caleb knows that he can never possibly repay the debt he owes her. He leaves to rescue his sister but promises her that he will be back to help her. When he returns she has disappeared again and this time he cannot find her.
Flash forward a year and Ramie is at the end of her rope. The lunatic chasing her continues to stay one step ahead of her and she has nowhere to turn. After she has to abandon her car, her purse and all of her belongings, a desperate Ramie calls Caleb Devereaux in a panic. After having searched for her consistently for the last year, Caleb had given up hope of locating the woman he owed so much to. To her relief he immediately agrees to help keep her safe and sends his best people in the area to protect her until he can get to her.
Caleb takes Ramie to his family home, which has significantly beefed up security since his sister’s abduction. Despite resistance from his brothers and his sister’s horrified reaction, he insists that she stay while they track down the man who is stalking her. Forming plans is difficult since the killer appears to have some type of a connection to Ramie and the team struggles to take him down.
The series is full of characters that I cannot wait to read more about. Although this is “Ramie and Caleb’s story”, the book serves as a great introduction to all the people we will be seeing in the series. Tori’s story is going to be heartbreaking after all that she has endured and it is going to be emotional to see her come out the other side. Caleb’s brothers are also a great story waiting to happen so I can’t wait to read the rest.
Ramie has been through hell and back. Knowing that she may be the last chance for many people, she has tortured herself doing whatever she can to help locate family members. She has been on her own since childhood with no one ever looking out for her, and trusting Caleb does not come easy. Her story was difficult to read at times but she was written in a way that she did not play the victim. Sure she had her moments but overall she is fighting to survive and did not give up. Caleb was a great match for her because he came from a supportive family, he was determined to make things right with her and he would not give up. Their story was really sweet.
Overall I loved this book and cannot wait for the next one. Thankfully it is being released in January 2015 so I don’t have to wait long!
Taking It All is the final book in the Surrender trilogy by Maya Banks and revolves around Chessy and Tate Morgan. Based on the blurb that was released I knew this was going to be very emotional and Maya did not disappoint. In addition to a powerful story about the main characters, there were some minor side stories about the other two couples, and the epilogue wrapped the series up in a way that we weren’t left with questions. We also got to see some Damon Roche from the Sweet series which was great because he was one of my favorites.
Chessy has always been bubbly and happy and she is married to the love of her life. When her husband becomes wrapped up in his business and starts to neglect her, Chessy just bites her tongue and suffers in silence. The duo live a dom/sub relationship and used to frequent The House, an elite sex club owned by Damon. Lately they rarely even see each other let alone have sex, and Tate has been neglecting his duties as her dom. Joss and Kylie are insanely happy with their lives and that makes Chessy long to have her husband back even more. With their anniversary coming up, she decides to discuss her concerns with Tate so that they can go back to being happy.
When Tate’s business partner up and left him, he went on a mission to prove that he didn’t need anyone else to make his company a success. He buries himself in the business and doesn’t notice how miserable Chessy has been. On the night of their anniversary dinner, Tate arranges a business meeting in the bar of the restaurant the couple are supposed to be celebrating. Time gets away from him and Chessy is stuck sitting in the restaurant, cold food in front of her, and completely devastated. She gets up to leave and on the way out sees Tate at the bar with his potential client, who happens to be a very attractive woman.
The anniversary fiasco is the catalyst that Chessy needs to confront Tate with the way he has been neglecting her. Her husband is completely shocked as he was oblivious to the pain she was in and he vows to do better. Chessy is thrilled that she seems to have her loving husband back and things seem to be back on track. Tate arranges a night at The House for the couple and makes plans to bring some of the steaminess back to their sex lives. While they are there he takes a phone call from a very wealthy potential client and that decision puts Chessy’s safety and their marriage in jeopardy.
There were some very powerful and emotional scenes in this book and those scenes were written perfectly. Chessy is absolutely devastated by her husband’s decision to place business before her, but Tate is equally devastated that he let his wife down. I loved seeing Joss, Dash, Kylie and Jensen rally around her. Chessy was there to kick their butts when they were screwing up their relationships so it was their turn to pay it forward.
Overall I really enjoyed the book and the entire series was fantastic. My only complaint about Taking It All is the number of times the words dominant and submissive were used. It felt like overkill and at times it distracted me from the storyline. In actuality the “dom/sub” situation played a fairly small role in the overall arc of the story, which made all those references even more conspicuous.
The story was fast paced and I was invested in Chessy and Tate as a couple. They clearly had a deep love for each other and even though Tate screwed up large, I was rooting for them to work it out. I was happy to see that Maya didn’t resolve the situation quickly because it would not have been believable and I would have lost all respect for Chessy as a woman. There weren’t a ton of sex scenes but when there was one, it was hot hot hot.
This was a satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that I really enjoyed. All three couples were loveable and worked through some pretty big issues to get where they were. We got three very emotional stories that draw you in and each of the books I could not put down. The epilogue tied the series up nicely and I am sad that we won’t be seeing more of these characters. Another awesome series for Maya!
In general I do not read cowboy books, western type books or anything of the sort, but I always make an exception for anything Lorelei James writes. My first experience with her writing was with her Rough Riders series and I was immediately hooked. After meeting her in person at Lora Leigh’s RAW a few years ago, my fan girl crush on her only grew. She is so down to earth, fun and approachable and the James Gang had a blast. Sadly, the Rough Riders series has come to an end, but James’ other cowboy series Black Top Cowboys is in full swing. Hillbilly Rockstar is the 6th book in the series and is about Harper’s sister Liberty Masterson, and country music star Devin McClain.
After one of his crew members is attacked while laying in Devin McClain’s bed, his record label insists that he bring on security. Devin grew up in Muddy Gap, and he reaches out to one of his childhood friends, Tanna, whose brother owns a security firm. Even though he does not believe he needs protection, the label digs its heels in. During the meeting at GSC Security, Devin reluctantly agrees to bring on one bodyguard but does not want people to know that the person is guarding him.
After an injury ended her military career, Liberty Masterson drifted until she was hired by GSC. Her career gives her personal satisfaction and she is working towards buying a home of her own to settle in to. During her meeting with Devin and his team, it is clear that he doubts her abilities. When the team reveals that the only way to ensure that no one knows Liberty is his body guard, would be for her to front as his personal assistant, Devin flippantly remarks that it is a good thing he is not attracted to her. With the promise of a $100,000 bonus at the completion of the contract, Liberty checks her pride and asks for her little sister Harper’s help. Of course Harper is delighted to have the opportunity to give her sister a make-over and Liberty undergoes a complete transformation.
Due to their extremely close quarters, Devin and Liberty get to know each other on a personal level, and he finds himself revealing stuff to her that he has never discussed with anyone. After his baby sister died of cancer, Devin kept an emotional wall up between himself and everyone else. He has a healthy sexual appetite, but has only engaged in oral sex for the last year and a half and Liberty is testing his resolve in that area.
Liberty is the kind of female heroine I love. She is strong, both physically and mentally, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it. She is comfortable in her sexuality and the chemistry between her and Devin is off the charts. It is not long before the two are heating up the sheets, but both seem content with the idea that their fling will end when the tour ends.
Devin was my idea of a perfect hero. He has confidence in Liberty’s abilities with respect to her job, and out in public she takes the lead. In the bedroom, however, it is a totally different situation and he has no problem taking the reins. The couple inevitably falls in love with each other, but Liberty refuses to acknowledge that they may have a future together.
Hillbilly Rockstar had all the elements that I love in a Lorelei James book – a sweet love story, a couple that you can totally get behind and root for, and smoking hot sex. Another fantastic story by Ms. James!
Ordinarily novellas or shorter stories are not my thing but I do read them if they are a part of a series I am already in to. Taken is a collection of novellas and short stories by Lora Leigh. All of these have been previously released so if they sound familiar that is why.
This one is the first in Ms. Leigh’s Tempting Seals series and even though it is short, Raven and Reno are one of my favorite couples from the series.
Raven has been in love with her best friend’s brother since she was a teenager but she is convinced that she is too much like her mother to allow herself to be with him. While her father was away on missions as a Seal, her mother would fall apart and when he died, her mother never recovered.
Reno has known for years that Raven is in the one but he has also known that rushing her would be a mistake. He needed her to realize that she was stronger than her mother and that she would be able to survive and thrive when he was on a mission. He’s done waiting and he sets out to show Raven how good it could be between them.
The sex between these two was smoking hot and their chemistry jumped off the pages, but there was also a very sweet story there. We see some of Raven and quite a bit of Reno in future stories in the series but I would have loved to see these two get a full length book. Overall it is a satisfying and enjoyable introduction to the Tempting Seals series.
For Maggie’s Sake
This story picks up after Dangerous Games and is the third in the Tempting Seals series. I don’t want to give away too much about Dangerous Games in case you haven’t read it, but the story in this one is directly related to the goings on in the previous book so it would not do well as a stand alone.
Joe Merino was a Seal and now works for the DEA. He has been in love with his best friend’s wife ever since he blew his chance to be with her. Now that Maggie Samuels’ life is in danger, he goes above and beyond to protect her, while trying to take down those that threaten her. We get to know Joe a bit in the previous book and there is only a couple of quick mentions about Maggie so it was fitting that most of the novella was surrounding their relationship as opposed to the story that drove the series. There was some of it to move it all forward but the majority of time was spent on the couple.
Overall a fast, enjoyable read but not one of my favorites of the series.
This story is the 6th in the series and I was really looking forward to getting Macey’s story after seeing him in previous books. I was slightly disappointed that it was a novella but it was still enjoyable. Mason March (Macey) is the communications guy for Reno’s Seal Team. His home is a fortress that few people are invited in to. When Emerson Delaney, the Admiral’s goddaughter is kidnapped by terrorists, Macey hides her in the one place he figures is the safest – his underground home. After lusting after her for years, Macey knows that having her in his quarters is a bad idea, but it’s the safest option for her.
Emerson has lived her life in an emotional vacuum, with her parents always preaching about duty and honor. Up until Macey, she had been sure she could live the life that she was supposed to and not let anyone close or ask for love. She doesn’t stand a chance when Macey sets his sights on seducing her.
I loved this couple. Macey is a sweet, alpha man and Emerson is a feisty, strong woman. There is a scene in the epilogue that is adorable and one of my favorites. A quick, but enjoyable story that doesn’t do a whole lot to move the overall plot of the series forward, but still serves its purpose.
The Elite Ops series is a spinoff of the popular Tempting Seals series and is the second book in the new series. Night Hawk is the code name for Lillian Belle, one of the female agents of the Elite Ops group. Although they have signed away twelve years of their lives in exchange for a new life with a new identity, she finds herself drawn to Black Jack, another operative. Night Hawk’s group is supposed to be limited to intelligence gathering and she hears a rumor that directly impacts Black Jack’s mission. There is no doubt that the duo are drawn to each other but both seem to accept that it is never going to happen so they settle for one kiss.
The events in this book are related to probably my favorite book in the Elite Ops series, Maverick and it sets the book up nicely. Eventually this couple gets their own full length story so I think this one was really just put out to set the rest of the series up. It was a very short freebie and it made me look forward to Black Jack as well.
This book is the first in the Wounded Warriors series and given the way Lora Leigh writes her Seals and other military men, I really hope this one continues! Ethan Cooper has been lusting after his prissy neighbor Sarah Fox since she moved next door, and when he looks out of his window and sees her laying in her backyard naked, he is unable to look away. After returning from the Army, Cooper opened a local bar that frequents bikers and all types of people so in his mind he thinks Sarah is way out of his league and would never be able to tolerate his sexual needs and desires.
Tired of being known as the town virgin since she relocated there, Sarah is determined to break out of that and live a little. After being the victim of a senseless crime when she was a teenager, she spent years running and has finally found a place she wants to call home. Ethan may not remember it, but the two had met before and he was the primary reason she moved to town. Now she is ready to do something about it.
Loved this couple and story. Ethan is your typical badass alpha man and sometimes comes off as overbearing but not in a way that ruins him. Sarah may be innocent in some ways but girlfriend has a bad side and she wants Ethan to help her discover it. There wasn’t a ton of suspense in the story but that is partially because it was a short one. The time was spent developing the relationship and getting to know the hero and heroine better and the sex was hot! Really enjoyed this one.
This story is the second in the Wounded Warriors series and given that the first two have been short stories as opposed to full length, I’m a little worried the entire series will continue that way. I’m hoping not, but even if it does I will keep reading them because I enjoy the characters that have been introduced. Nick Casey is one of the men that works at Ethan’s bar and we were briefly introduced to him in Coopers Fall.
Sheila is the daughter of the man that Cooper and his bouncers report to when they are gathering intel on criminal activity in the area. After being fooled by her first real boyfriend who was only with her to get a lucrative job from her father, Sheila is understandably wary about men that report to her father. The two dance around each other with neither willing to admit they love the other, but expecting the other to admit it.
I hadn’t read this one and I’m not sure how I missed it. It was a great story, I loved the two leads and I really enjoyed the set up for future books in this series.
When I found out Jaci Burton was releasing a new series, I could not wait to get my hands on it. I didn’t read Hope Smolders which was the introductory novella for Burton’s new Hope series and instead dove right in to Hope Flames. You can check out my review of Hope Flames on the site, but I was sadly underwhelmed by it. Despite that, I wasn’t about to give up on the series because I love Burton and the secondary characters sounded really appealing. I am so glad I stuck it out! Hope Ignites is the second full installment and revolves around rancher Logan McCormack and movie star Desiree Jenkins. I loved both of the main characters and their chemistry was smokin’ hot!
Logan is the brother of Luke, the hero from Hope Flames, who lives a solitary life running the family ranch. Deeply scarred by his parents’ relationship, Logan has sworn to remain single forever. Growing up, Logan and his brothers were always aware that their mother was miserable living on the ranch. Their father loved her deeply and they saw how their mother’s behavior hurt him. After their father died, she wasted no time finding a new husband, leaving Hope, Oklahoma, and her boys behind. Logan is convinced that no woman could possibly love the life he lives and he is mostly content with that. When a movie company approaches him about renting his land for a shoot, Logan figures the money is good so why not.
Desiree “Des” Jenkins is the current “it” girl in Hollywood. After growing up a military brat, she longs for a home of her own where she can put down roots. Knowing that an actresses has to strike while the iron is hot, Des has worked steadily for the last 7 years with very little time between movies. Des and her best friend Colt have known each other since they were teenagers and are lucky enough to have been co-stars in a number of successful movies. Their current project is a sci-fi movie being filmed on Logan’s property since the landscape can pass for being on another planet. The two may heat up the screens as lovers but in reality, Des is Colt’s “beard” and helps keep the fact that he is gay away from the press.
Logan’s sole interest in the movie being filmed on his property is the money they are paying him but his housekeeper/mother figure Martha is a huge movie buff and forces him to go down and check on things. Although he has no real interest in doing so, he would do anything for Martha so he heads down to see what all the fuss is about. While there he runs in to Des who has been out jogging, and he is immediately taken with her beauty and her direct nature. For her part, Des is attracted to the rugged owner of the ranch but he seems to go out of his way to be rude and abrupt. Trying to get to know him better, she invites Logan and Martha to the set to see everything in action. The sparks continue to fly and soon they are burning up the sheets. And the walls. And the floor.
There were so many things I loved about this book but the biggest were Logan and Des. Logan is an alpha, hard-working man who doesn’t care what people think about him. He is a gentleman who believes in treating a woman with respect, opening her doors and paying for dinner. On the flip side, he has no problem going all caveman in the bedroom, and the chemistry between them is scorching. Des is a woman after my heart. She says what she wants, doesn’t pull punches and is not afraid of being herself. She wants Logan and is not ashamed of that and she propositions him at every turn. Logan is not used to women like her but they agree to enjoy each other while she is there.
I also loved how loyal Des was to Colt. She fiercely guards his secret and even when Logan confronts them in a jealous fit, she refuses to set him straight. She encourages Colt to take the leap and officially come out of the closet, insisting that he should be free to love his long time boyfriend in public. Des fits in with Emma and her friends, she forms a bond with Martha and she loves being on the ranch. Of course Logan convinces himself that they are from two different worlds and she would never be happy on the ranch, leading to the inevitable break-up but even when he was being a stupid man I was still rooting for him. Seeing how unhappy his parents were, you can’t help but understand and sympathize with him.
Loveable hero and heroine, interesting secondary characters and sex that will steam up your mirrors, make this a great read. One character that had me intrigued from Emma and Luke’s book was Emma’s sister Molly. There were references to something big happening and her leaving town, and her story is up next so I can’t wait for that. Thankfully it comes out in a couple of months so I won’t have to wait long. Definitely glad I stuck with the series!
I officially have a new book boyfriend! For years I’ve been all about Eric Northman (helped along by my minor obsession with Alexander Skarsgard) but he has now been replaced with Swanny. When Day Breaks is the newest book in the KGI series by Maya Banks and centers around Swanny, the adopted member of the Kelly family who was imprisoned with Nate, and Eden Sinclair, the world’s most beautiful supermodel. Action, sizzling romance and an insecure hero, combined with a “holy shit did that just happen” scene, made this one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Daryl Swanson (Swanny) is the teammate who was rescued with Nathan in Whispers in the Dark and he still bears the physical and mental scars from their capture and torture. A large scar down the side of his face, numerous scars on his body and all of his nightmares have Swanny fully believing that love and a family will never be for him. He is dedicated to his team and his job and most days he’s okay with that.
Eden Sinclair is one of the world’s most beautiful women. A supermodel with the world at her feet and a loving family that would do anything for her. When someone begins threatening her life and taking shots at her, she chalks it up to a crazy stalker. She has no way of knowing that she is being targeted as payback for something her father did when he was in the military years before. After the threats escalate in to actual violence, Eden’s brother Ryker calls in Nate, Joe and Swanny who he served in the military with. Their job is to keep Eden safe while she completes a major modeling gig in Paris.
I loved these two together. Swanny was so insecure about the scars on his body and face that when Eden lets it be known that she’s attracted to him, he pushes her away because he doesn’t feel he’s worthy of her. Watching them get past their individual demons and then help each other with theirs was really sweet. The action part of the book slowed down for just enough time that we were invested in them as a couple but not too long that we were getting bored. When it picked up again, I could not put the book down.
I really enjoyed seeing more of Skylar in this book and getting to know her a bit better. There has been very little info about her but now I actually want to read her story. She is an awesome combo of kickass woman and beautiful, feminine charm. Skylar played a role in helping Swanny accept that Eden really was attracted to him, and also helping Eden understand some of why Swanny was having such a hard time accepting that. I hope we see more of this friendship as the series goes on.
We also got more background and information on the mysterious Hancock. He has popped up in several books, some times hurting, and some times helping KGI. We haven’t been able to tell which side of the line he is officially on, but this mission is personal to him. It turns out Eden’s dad and Hancock have history, and while we didn’t get the full story, we got enough to intrigue us. Hancock joins forces with KGI to help bring down the threat to Eden and we see a different side of him.
I figured I had a pretty good idea of how this book was going to go and then Maya hit me with a curve in the story that had me actually yelling holy shit. It was everything I love in a good book – suspense, romance, a twist, hot sex. Bring on the next one!
Lora Leigh is back!! For a little while some of her books seemed like she was dialing them in but with the latest Breed book Rule Breaker and the newest installment in the Nauti Girls series, Ms. Leigh is back on her game! Her books were always good, but for fans of her writing “good” was a step down from great. I’m happy to say she is firmly back with great. Nauti Enchantress is the third book in the Nauti Girls series and centers around Dawg’s third sister Lyrica MacKay and former marine Graham Brock. Steaming hot sex scenes, plenty of adventure, and a sweet love story bring all the elements that made me fall in love with the Nauti Boy series way back when I read Rowdy’s story.
Lyrica MacKay is not like her sisters. Rather than letting Dawg, Rowdy and Natches guilt her in to behaving in a way they would prefer, she meets each man on their own grounds and as a result she has had more freedom than the other girls. Since she met Graham at the age of 18, Lyrica has flirted, tempted and teased him in an attempt to get closer. A genuine friendship strikes up between her and Graham’s sister and that affords her the chance to be around Graham even more. After someone tries to shoot Lyrica during a girls night out, she reaches out to Graham who rides to her rescue.
Graham has been doing his best to distract himself from his growing attraction to Lyrica by methodically sleeping his way through the majority of the women in their town and the surrounding towns. Believing he is not the happily ever after type, he stays away from her in a attempt to “save her”. Not going to lie, that trope can get old, but I was able to overcome it and enjoy the writing and the rest of the story. The McKays knew Graham’s parents and there is a very touching scene where Natches talks to Lyrica about his relationship with the elder Brock. While the group tries to figure out who is after Lyrica, Graham is unable to stay away from her. Despite the fact that he’s convinced things will never work, he finds himself falling for her more and more and you are left wondering why Natches is being particularly hard on him. Once the story comes out about him and Graham’s father, it all makes sense. Waiting for him to pull his head out of his ass and realize he can’t walk away is a little frustrating but it makes the final scene that much better!
Although this series focuses primarily on Dawg’s younger sisters, I really love that we still get to see plenty of Rowdy, Dawg, Natches and the rest of the group. This book brought quite a few more of the previous characters back and it was nice seeing what they have all been up to, aside from making Lyrica and her sister’s lives hell. As overbearing and protective as all the men are, it is clear that they all love the girls very much and are trying to protect them from the enemies they have made. It is also sweet the way they are trying to ensure that all four have a man that are capable of protecting them since they are now all in their fifties. I really hope the series continues and we can see what becomes of all those daughters.
The sneak peek we got at Zoey’s book had me anxiously running to Ms. Leigh’s site to find out when that one will be coming out. We haven’t heard or seen much of Zoey since she confronted Dawg and the rest of the guys when the sister’s were first introduced and it seems as though she has held the most secrets. I cannot wait to read it!
I think I might have a new favorite Maya Banks series. Well at least until I read the newest KGI book. Giving In is the second book in the Surrender trilogy by Ms. Banks and in a small way it is a spin-off of her popular Sweet series. In this installment we get Jensen and Kylie’s story and this one had me all teary right from the beginning!
Kylie Breckenridge is still reeling from the death of her brother Carson, the only person who has ever protected her and been there for her. Horribly abused as a child, Kylie has survived by keeping everyone at arms length and hiding herself. Working at the company her brother and his best friend Dash started, she is content to manage their office and never go after her dreams.
Jensen Tucker is Dash’s new business partner and he’s tired of watching Kylie run herself in to the ground. He can tell she’s not sleeping or taking care of herself and his protective instincts are all riled up. Jensen also sees that Kylie’s talent is being wasted in the office manager job and he gives her a project to show her that she is capable of so much more.
There was no mystery, no one trying to hurt them, just two people working on their issues and there was more than enough story to fill the book. If I had any complaints there were just two small things that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book, but kind of irked me. The first was the number of times the word dominant was used. We got it he’s dominant, but it could have been used a little less. The second was that I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Kylie taking on new challenges at her job and succeeding. I know the work part was secondary to her emotional issues but I think her confidence in business was part of her transformation. Like I said it wasn’t enough to ruin the book, just caught my attention.
Both Kylie and Jensen had difficult childhoods and the scenes where they confided in each other were very sweet and emotional. There of course was the inevitable “break-up” that these books call for and it was nice to see a role reversal with how it all worked out. One thing I really liked was usually in most books where the one partner promises to not be so dominant with the other, that doesn’t last. The man usually plays nice for a short time and then just cannot control his alpha instincts. Jensen keeps his word to Kylie and that was nice to see.
I did this series backwards I haven’t read the first book yet but after seeing how in love Joss and Dash are, I can’t wait to go back and read their story. I’m sure it was just as emotional as this one and from the blurb for Chessy and Tate’s story I have a feeling that one will take the cake emotion wise. Cannot wait to read it!
Midnight Pursuits is the fourth book in the Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy. I was introduced to this series when the third one was released but went back, read the first two and now it is up there as one of my favorites. Ms. Kennedy writes some bad ass women who are also seriously damaged and I’m loving it. This instalment surrounds the rookie from Jim Morgan’s team Ethan Hayes, and the master thief from Noelle’s team, Juliet Mason. After the teasing that Juliet dished out towards Ethan in Midnight Games, the sexual tension between the two was obvious but the relationship that built between them was even more appealing.
Ethan is the youngest and newest member of Jim’s team earning him the nickname of rookie. He had a perfectly normal childhood, in deep contrast to the childhood that Juliet had and the wistful way she listens to him talk about his parents makes you sad for her. There is one scene where she breaks into a bakery to steal him cookies to remind him of his mother and that was too cute. In previous instalments Ethan seemed laid back and sweet, but damn the man has an alpha side! While house sitting for Trevor and Isabel when they head for their honeymoon, Ethan intercepts a call from an injured Juliet and rushes to help her.
Juliet is one of Noelle’s most heartless team members and doesn’t care who she steps on to achieve her goal. At least on the surface. After she is severely injured during a deeply personal mission, Juliet has no choice but to let Ethan help her out. When they uncover a conspiracy that shows that others, including a 15 year old girl, are in danger Ethan cannot turn a blind eye. Juliet is determined to see her mission through but grudgingly follows Ethan, telling herself that she’s only doing it so that she can move on to bigger fish.
I love strong female characters in my books, but I also like a lot of emotion. Juliet offered both. There is no doubt that she is ruthless and vicious but that kind of made me love her even more. She is unapologetic about the way she dispatches with the assassin that killed her brother, but the way she handles Anastacia shows her sweet side as well. Ethan accepts both sides of her and doesn’t try to change her which just increased his appeal.
As Juliet and Ethan get closer to bringing down the person that orchestrated the hit that killed her brother, things between them heat up. But we also get to see more of Noelle, D and Jim and man I cannot wait for Noelle’s book. I just know without a doubt that this one is going to make me cry even more than Abby’s did. There are still a few team members we have heard of but haven’t seen yet so I’m keeping my fingers crossed this is one series that keeps going!...more
Rule Breaker is the latest instalment in the popular Breeds series by Lora Leigh. Often times with long running series, the story gets stale and it is difficult to remain interested. That is not the case with this series. This book did a lot to move the overall arc forward, while giving us a satisfying, steamy hot couple.
Gypsy Rum McQuade is a woman on a mission to atone for a sin that was never really hers. Believing she was at fault for the death of her brother and hero, Gypsy keeps emotional and physical distance between her and everyone in her life. On the surface, she is a party girl who lives a flirty, carefree life. She works at the family image consulting business, helps out at the family bakery and answers phones for Navajo Covert Law Enforcement Offices. Dig a little deeper and you find that Gypsy has been working secret missions gathering information for the Unknown. Thought to be a fairy tale or myth, the Unknown is said to consist of six warriors who are chosen to protect what is most important to the Navajo people.
Rule Breaker is one of Jonas’ most trusted enforcers who is set to become the Division Director in Window Rock. After he and his brother Lawe Justice witnessed the horrific death of their mother and her mate, Rule has sworn to never take a mate. He goes to the extent of adding in a clause to his work contract allowing him to run should he ever start to feel mating heat. Rule’s lion recognizes its mate immediately, but knowing the man will run, it bides its time. With danger all around Gypsy, the lion is determined to protect its mate, while the man fights for the woman he loves.
Rule Breaker was a fast paced story that brought us resolutions to some situations, a few answers to questions and of course some big cliff hangers. There are still so many characters that haven’t had their own stories and rather than getting bored and wanting a new series, I cannot wait for each breed book. Ms. Leigh ended this book on a perfect note that will have you anxiously checking her website to see when the next one is coming.
I loved Gypsy and I really enjoyed seeing that softer side of Jonas outside of his mate and his child. Rule’s determination to not take a mate was completely understandable and watching him struggle with the subconscious knowledge that his lion had claimed Gypsy, made for a great story. It was easy to figure out who the person was that betrayed Gypsy’s brother, but that did not lessen the enjoyment of the book for me. As usual for a Lora Leigh book, the sex was smoking hot.
One thing that stood out that I really enjoyed about the book was that the primary focus wasn’t on the mating heat and the effect of the heat on the couple. Yes it was there, but in some of the books the overall storyline took a back seat to the heat and in this one I thought they were balanced perfectly. The mate trope is one that I love so I don’t get tired of that, but there is a lot going on with the Breeds and I was happy that the stories moved forward.
Overall a great addition to the Breeds series. Cannot wait for the next one!
Theirs to Cherish is the eighth full length book in the Wicked Lovers series by the amazing Shayla Black. If you haven’t been reading this series and are a fan of BDSM books, I highly recommend you get started right away because no one writes BDSM quite like Ms. Black. She started long before the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon and gets even better with every book. It has been a long wait for Callie and Thorpe’s story and I was really excited to dig in!
Callie Ward has been on the run for almost a decade, accused of killing her family. With no way to prove her innocence, she had no choice but to walk away from her family fortune and name. Hiding out in Club Dominion for the last 4 years, Callie has felt a sense of belonging for the first time in her life. In other books in the series we have seen the bratty submissive doing everything in her power to tempt and taunt Dominion owner Mitchell Thorpe. In an attempt to make her boss jealous, Callie begins submitting to Dominion newcomer Sean Kirkpatrick. As she learns to let her guard down, the walls around her heart begin to melt too and Callie finds herself in love with both Sean and Thorpe.
Believing he has been doing the best thing for Callie by staying away from her, Thorpe has watched from the shadows as she submits to, and falls in love with Sean. He doesn’t trust the other man, but when Callie finds out Sean isn’t who he says he is and takes off, the two men must team up to find out who is after her, and keep her safe. I was a little worried at the beginning as to how the story was going to pull off having the two men end up with Callie at the end given all the animosity and tension between them, but it came together in a believable and sweet way.
I’ve loved every book in this series and one of the primary reasons is the way that Shayla always makes sure to integrate the characters we’ve fallen in love with from past stories, in every book. Sometimes its just a brief mention, other times they are part of the action, but you always get updates about what they are up to. I wish all authors did that because once you fall in love with the characters it sucks to never hear about them again. In this book we got to see a bit of Logan which was awesome and I’m really hoping we will get Axel’s story soon. I have a feeling its going to be realllly good.
Typically in these kinds of stories I find myself rooting for one guy over another but both Sean and Thorpe had me rooting for them. Each man provided something that Callie needed and the sex was smoking hot! Sometimes the woman on the run to protect the men trope can be annoying, but in this case Callie wasn’t worried about them getting hurt, she didn’t want them in trouble for harboring a fugitive. That was a little more reasonable than the woman believing the big strong men she loves will be killed if she sticks with them. My only complaint is that we have to wait a year for the next book in the series!!...more
Hope Flames is the first book in the new Hope series by Jaci Burton. I am a huge fan of Burton’s Wild Rider series so when I saw that she had a new series coming out, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. She writes smoking hot sex but one of the things I enjoy about reading her books is that the sex isn’t the primary focus. A lot of authors lately seem to build a storyline around the sex but Ms. Burton builds strong characters and interesting worlds, and then adds the sex as a bonus.
Emma Burnett is a veterinarian who has recently moved back to her hometown of Hope, Oklahoma to take over the practice of the popular town vet who had recently retired. When local police officer Luke McCormack brings in his injured police dog Boomer, the sparks fly. Luke promptly puts his foot in his mouth by asking Emma out in a way that makes it look like a pity date and Emma says thanks, but no thanks.
After a disastrous marriage and divorce, Luke is determined to never do a serious relationship again. He is careful to only hook up with women who know the deal, and his first impression of Emma is that she’s not a one night stand kind of woman. Emma has her own relationship demons and is as adamant as Luke that she does not want a boyfriend or complications.
A burglar has targeted Hope’s medical facilities, stealing all the drugs and frustrating the police. Their first break comes when Emma happens to catch a glimpse of the guy and Luke moves in to her place to protect her while they try to catch the guy. The couple and their dogs fall into a comfortable routine, despite their insistence that the relationship is just casual.
While I really wanted to love this book, I’m afraid it was just okay. There were several things that frustrated me and interfered with my enjoyment of the story, and I found myself focusing more on those things than the overall book. The first thing was the constant mentions about this horrible relationship that Emma had been in. It was brought up so often that between her inner dialogue and comments from her parents, I was expecting something much more dramatic. I’m not trying to trivialize what Emma went through, but it felt a little anticlimactic when we got the whole story.
The second thing that irked me was the wrap up of the two “dramatic” storylines. It felt like once we got to the end, there was a mad rush to finish the book and I kind of sat there and said “where’s the rest?”. There was also a complete overreaction by Emma to a situation that came out of nowhere. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t get specific, but that part had me wondering if I had been missing pages because it felt like I must have missed something.
Despite these issues, the secondary characters were really interesting and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I’m hoping that this was just a one-off because I really enjoy Jaci Burton books overall....more
Do or Die is the first book in the Reluctant Heroes series by Suzanne Brockmann. This new series is a spin-off of Ms. Brockmann’s popular Troubleshooters series and in fact Do or Die is set in the TS world. Characters Martell Griffin from Force of Nature and Deb and Yashi, who work with Jules Cassidy, all play prominent roles in this book. If you are a fan of that series you are going to love this one.
Phoebe Kruger is an attorney in her first few weeks at a prestigious law firm when she is pulled in to assist on a file with one of the firm’s super secret clients. The partner in charge of the file is injured in a car accident and no one else seems to have any information on him. Knowing nothing about the client except what she is able to dig up on the internet, she heads to the prison where he is serving time, in to offer him what should have been the deal of a lifetime. Teaming up with Martell Griffin, a police officer turned lawyer, Phoebe must convince her client to work with the government or two kidnapped children will disappear for good.
Ian Dunn is a former Navy Seal who has apparently gone rogue and turned to a life of crime. When Phoebe and Martell show up at the prison, Dunn not only turns down the opportunity to get out of jail and rescue the two children, he does all he can to make the duo go away. Refusing to take no for an answer, Griffin pulls some strings and a few short hours later Ian walks out the front doors of the prison but he is not a happy man. The lives of his brother and his brother’s family depending on him staying IN jail so in addition to having to plan a rescue for the kids, he also has to figure out a way to convince the mob that he didn’t go back on the terms of his deal with them.
After taking off with Phoebe in tow, Ian beelines to his brother Aaron’s house to warn him of the impending danger. The mob has friends in high places so they know immediately that he is out and they also head there. After a shoot-out, Aaron, Ian and Phoebe are trapped in the panic room and with the house surrounded by police and the mob, they have no choice by to contact Griffin and the people he reports to for help getting out of the mess. In turn Ian must agree to rescue the kids – which he was going to attempt anyways.
Do or Die is a fast-paced book with plenty of action, interesting characters and an adorable main couple. I really loved Phoebe and Ian, although her naivete about the criminals that she represents was a little unbelievable and frustrating. That was a very minor irritant and overall I really enjoyed the book. The most interesting character in the book was Francine and I absolutely cannot wait for her story. Just from the bits that Brockmann dropped in the book I know that one is going to be a huge tear jerker and I’m going to love every minute of it. The only complaint I’ve ever had about her books is that there is typically a large gap between them and I’m one of those that forgets a lot of stuff when you have to wait a year. Hopefully that won’t be the case for this series.
On a side note I must say I love that Ms. Brockmann writes great romantic suspense books but she does not hesitate to have gay primary characters. For the most part gay couples usually appear in M/M erotic books or they are friends of the primary couple, and it is refreshing to see them take part in a story with more than just sex. She also avoids stereotypes and writes realistic men that you can relate to.
If you are looking for a well-written book that has a lot of action and likeable characters, you will enjoy this one. I cannot wait for the next one to be released! ...more
After the Storm is the 9th book in the KGI series by Maya Banks and it is the story that I have been waiting for! Chances are, if you are a fan of this series you too have been waiting for Donovan’s happily ever after, and Maya delivered as usual. It had the perfect amount of sweetness, hotness and emotion and you will most definitely fall in love with Donovan even more!
Eve is on the run with her younger siblings Travis and Cammie when they wind up in Kentucky Lake. Planning to stay only for a short time while Cammie recovers from an unknown illness, Travis gets a job at the hardware store the Kelly’s own. Rusty recognizes some of herself in Travis and enlists Donovan’s help to find out what is going on with the family.
Can I just say I’m totally in love with Donovan? Although he is happy for his siblings and the love that they have found, he is also a little envious. His house has been fully built on the Kelly Compound but he has not decorated or really furnished the home. He has been waiting for his future wife to come in and put her touches on the house and this just adds to his appeal.
As soon as he sets eyes on Eve, Travis and Cammie, his protective instincts kick in and Donovan immediately wants to find out what they are running from. Eve panics and attempts to hit the road again with her siblings, when a tornado hits town. Cammie and Travis make it into a culvert but Eve is caught up in the storm. After being rescued, Eve realizes she cannot run with her own injuries, Travis injured and Cammie still severely ill. Left with no choice but to trust Donovan and KGI, Eve let’s down her guard and confides what they are running from.
I don’t want to give away too much but the inevitable rescue scenario was done really well. In addition to the regular Kelly team members we get to see a little more of Skylar who is one badass bitch, and I can tell there is a killer story there waiting to be told. For that matter, after reading this book I’m dying to read Swanny’s story too. He’s such a sweetheart with Cammie, who is extremely scared of men and he endured a lot of the same treatment and torment as Nathan.
If I had a few small complaints about After the Storm they would be a) the number of times it is mentioned that Donovan has a soft spot for women and children and b) that there wasn’t more “action”. One of the things I love about the KGI series is the planning and execution of the missions so I missed that action part a tiny bit. Definitely not enough to ruin the book for me – it is up there as one of my favorites in the series.
On the plus side I felt we really got to know Rusty a lot better and got to see her as a strong, confident Kelly woman and that was great to see. There is one scene with her that literally had me yelling “yay” in the middle of the night as my poor boyfriend slept beside me. Oddly he didn’t find the scene as scream worthy as I did…
Overall Donovan’s story gave me exactly what I had hoped for. Eve is a fighter who fiercely protects Cammie and Travis, and she will be good a great match for Donovan, and will fit right in with the Kelly women. Maya has done it again!...more
Theirs To Keep is the first book in the Tangled Hearts trilogy by Maya Banks. After following Maya’s posts on Facebook regarding this trilogy I was really excited to read it and as usual, she did not disappoint! Where a lot of Maya’s most popular series center around a group of friends and/or family, with each character having their own story, this series is going to focus on the core relationship between Elle, Cade and Merrick.
Cade Winslow and Merrick Sullivan are best friends who own their own private security business. Merrick is also a professional mixed martial arts fighter who is on the cusp of his shot at the championship. When the two are pulled out of bed to investigate a break-in at one of their clients, they discover Elle hiding in a cupboard covered in blood, terrified out of her mind, and unable to remember who she is or what happened to her. Both men are instantly drawn to the wounded woman, and after getting her some medical help, they take her home to help her recover. Elle may not remember anything about who she is or who hurt her, but she instinctively knows she is safe with the two men. As she recovers physically, small snippets of her past come back to her, but she is still unable to remember her name or any other important details.
With most books that have this type of a relationship, the men have experience sharing a woman before they meet “the one”. That was not the case in this book. Cade and Merrick both want to protect Elle, but they also both start to develop feelings for her. The two decide that their friendship is too important to them and that the answer to their problem is for both men to be in a relationship with her. One thing I love about Maya is her steaming hot sex scenes, but in this book the sex doesn’t come until much later in the story. If you are looking for a purely erotic book then this one isn’t for you, but the fact that the sex took so long completely made sense with the story that Maya was developing between the three. The focus is on the emotional relationship between them and was really about Elle and her journey to get strong enough that she was ready to remember her past.
The book takes place over the span of about a year and during that time Merrick makes his play for the championship, while Elle helps Cade with the business to free up Merrick’s time. The two men have made some enemies in the course of business and that provides some of the action to keep the story going at a fast pace. Cade and Merrick are completely lovable and their loyalty to Elle and their determination to protect her at all costs comes off as endearing not assholish. Elle is a very fragile and wounded woman when we meet her, but she grows throughout the story. She almost doesn’t want to remember her past because she’s so happy with what she has found with the two men but she eventually realizes that she can never be whole unless those pieces are filled in.
Warning – if you are not a fan of cliffhangers then you may not like this book as much. This isn’t a story where Elle meets the men, falls in love, gains her memory back and they all live happily ever after. I suspect that there are some very unhappy times coming up for this trio in the next book and I’m hoping that in the end they come out stronger than ever because I really loved all three. If you like your stories tied up all nice and neat then you will be disappointed, but it is a beautiful story that sets up the next book perfectly and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!...more
Burn is the third and final installment in the Breathless Trilogy from Maya Banks and I couldn’t wait to read it. One of the things I really liked about this series was that all three books were released within six months so it wasn’t a painfully long wait in between! I loved the first two about Gabe and Mia and Jace and Bethany and couldn’t wait to read Ash’s plunge into love.
Ash, Jace, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Ash, it’s the woman who changes everything he’s ever known about dominance and desire…
For as long as he can remember, Ash and his best friend Jace have shared everything, including their women. Now that Jace has fallen head over heels in love with Bethany, and Gabe is madly in love with Mia, Ash is left feeling a little adrift. A chance encounter in a park has Ash obsessed with finding out everything he can about Josie, an artist and jewelry designer. I was a little worried at first when Ash sees that Josie is wearing a collar from her dom, because I’m not a huge fan of stories where the hero is trying to steal the heroine from someone and in the dom/sub situation I like it even less. However I shouldn’t have worried, Maya pulled it off as usual. After finding out that Josie has pawned all of her jewelry, Ash buys it all and offers it back to Josie if she agrees to have dinner with him.
Maya is a master at writing the dom/sub storylines and her sex scenes are always steaming hot. While the love story moved fast I really enjoyed the relationship between Ash and Josie. After Josie is beaten up by her previous dom, Ash packs her up and moves her in with him – all before they’ve even had sex. After she moves in Ash takes it on himself to exact revenge on her ex-boyfriend and while vigilante justice may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I gotta say I actually liked that Ash handled this himself and didn’t just hire someone to do it. Once Michael (the ex) is taken care of, the couple settles in to a happy routine. Josie bonds with Ash’s friends and becomes close with Mia and Bethany. The only thing standing between Ash and Josie’s happiness is that Ash purchased all of her art and didn’t tell her and we know at some point that is going to come out.
To say that Ash is estranged from his family is an understatement, and we get several uncomfortable scenes between him and his mother. His sister Brittany comes to Ash asking for help and has decided to cut ties with their overbearing parents. Ash sets her up with an apartment and a job and the two work on building a relationship. When Mia and Bethany invite Josie out for a girls night, she invites Brittany along and while there she meets her new man. It was nice seeing a resolution to Brittany’s story even though it wasn’t her book.
The inevitable happens and Josie discovers that it was Ash who purchased all of her artwork from the gallery. She packs up all her belongings and moves out of Ash’s condo. Mia and Bethany come over and after talking to them she realizes that she over reacted and decides to move back. I don’t want to spoil the story, (view spoiler)[ but after deciding to take Ash back, Josie goes home to call him but once there she is viciously attacked. She manages to call Ash before passing out and the scene when he gets to her actually made me cry. I won’t give away too much about who attacked her, but I will say that Ash does not take the attack on her lightly. While she’s recovering he arranges an art show to exhibit all of her work to prove to her that she is talented, which I thought was very sweet. (hide spoiler)]
This book was a great conclusion to the trilogy and it neatly tied up any loose ends. I’m sad that there won’t be any more because I loved all three books and the characters, but Maya did a great job of leaving you satisfied.
Drawn Together is the final book in Lauren Dane’s Brown Siblings series and she saved the best for last! While I’m really sad to see the series end, Dane did the series justice and ended it in a way that will satisfy her loyal fans. Throughout all of the books we have seen and heard a lot about Raven, the mysterious, bitchy best friend of Erin and Brody. While she could be downright vicious to outsiders, Raven was always fiercely loyal to the two Brown siblings. I just “knew” there was an incredible story waiting to be told about her and Dane did not disappoint.
As a side note if you haven’t read Sway, which is the first book in the Delicious series, there may be a few characters that you do not recognize. While it is not completely necessary to read that one first I definitely suggest it.
Raven is a no-nonsense kind of girl who most people in town are intimidated by. She says what she thinks and does not apologize for it, which has earned her quite the reputation and made me love her. Her softer side shows when you see her with Erin’s son or Brody’s kids and I really love that she has those two in her life. They were some of the most touching moments in the book. At a celebration for her friend, Raven runs into Jonah Warner, a high powered lawyer that knows what he wants. After raising his daughter alone for the last several years, he is ready to enter the dating world again. He hires Raven to do a full back tattoo for him and the two have some smoking hot sex.
While the sexual relationship happened quickly I really liked that the two didn’t immediately fall in love. They knew they had a connection and that it was something deeper than just sex but it wasn’t like they had sex once and then began planning their wedding. Raven has a lot of issues from her childhood and it just would not have made sense for her character. The way Jonah was written made you really root for him. He was very supportive of Raven and had her back, but he also called her on her bullshit which very few people in her life do. He brushed off her constant denials about their relationship and her attempts to scare him away, and he kept coming back to show her she could trust him.
I also really liked that Dane didn’t have Raven meet Jonah and all of a sudden her issues disappeared and she could trust again. It was beautiful watching her overcome her fear of spending the night with someone and had it been rushed it would have taken away from that. Instinctively she knew she could trust him, but it didn’t happen over night or come easily.
While there were some parts of the big reveal that you could guess, Dane went in a completely different direction with the twist than I was thinking. Its always fun when an author takes you by surprise in a story that you are really in to, and this one in particular was very emotional. I read the entire book in one sitting and Drawn Together has taken the spot of my favorite book in this series.
Overall, a very emotional and satisfying conclusion to a series that I loved. I hope we hear more from the Brown family once the little ones are all grown up!...more
The Cascadia Wolves series was my first experience with Lauren Dane’s work and since then I have devoured everything she has written. While I love all her books, this series holds a special place in my heart. We have seen brief glimpses of the wolves in the De La Vega Cats and Bound by Magick books but I was really excited to return to the world of Nina, Cade, Grace, et al. The wait was worth it – Unconditional was an excellent addition to the series and it sets up stories for the other two series as well!
Police Officer Michelle Slattery is woken up one morning by a frantic call from her best friend’s mother reporting that there has been a struggle at her friend’s apartment and that she is missing. As a witch, Michelle is vaguely aware that witches are being targeted all over but she has no idea how bad the situation is. The Owen witch clan sends her to the offices of the Pacific Pack for tracking help and she runs into someone she never thought she would see again. As the Enforcer for the Pacific Pack, Josh is fully aware of what has been going on with the witches and when Michelle, his high school sweetheart, shows up the man is determined to help her find her friend. The wolf is determined to claim its mate.
While Nina is probably my all time favorite female character from Ms. Dane’s books, I loved Michelle. A no-nonsense kind of girl, she is confident in her ability and her job. At the same time, she is not determined to block Josh out and turn down his help which was a refreshing change. I also really loved that Josh had confidence in Michelle and didn’t try to wrap her in cotton and protect her since she was a poor helpless woman. The couple had each other’s backs but not in a suffocating kind of way.
While looking for Michelle’s friend they encounter a dark magick, the likes of which none of them have dealt with before. The witches, wolves and cats are all on a quest to figure out who and what is behind this, while protecting their people from the attacks. While Michelle becomes more confident with her craft, they make progress in discovering who is behind the attacks but the enjoyable part for me was watching her become involved with characters we have loved for a long time. I hate when authors continue a “series” but we never hear from the ones that started it all again.
I have a love/hate relationship with the way these books end. Love because it sets up for the next one perfectly and hate because now I have to wait to see what happens and the next book can’t come soon enough! If you are a fan of the Cascadia Wolves, de La Vega Cats or Bound By Magick series be sure to read this installment. If you haven’t read any of them yet – start at the beginning you won’t be sorry!
The Wicked Lovers series is high on my favorites list and I always wait for the next one in anticipation. After getting glimpses of Xander in previousThe Wicked Lovers series is high on my favorites list and I always wait for the next one in anticipation. After getting glimpses of Xander in previous books I was really looking forward to his story. I loved that the story played out and that it wasn't a sudden rush that all was well in their world. London was very well written and I love that she was not a typical size 2 woman. Now I'm eagerly counting down to the next book!...more
I couldn't wait for this book and J.R. Ward didn't let me down. Blay and Qhuinn have been one of my favorite couples since the beginning of the seriesI couldn't wait for this book and J.R. Ward didn't let me down. Blay and Qhuinn have been one of my favorite couples since the beginning of the series. I'm also super excited about the next book because Wrath/Beth are my still my top book. The story set up future pairings quite nicely. I really wish we got more than one a year in this series!!...more
This one had been sitting on my TBR pile for a while. I love Jaci's books so I finally started it today at lunch and finished it tonight. I love a gooThis one had been sitting on my TBR pile for a while. I love Jaci's books so I finally started it today at lunch and finished it tonight. I love a good suspense book with a romantic twist and this one did not disappoint! I wasn't able to find out when the next one comes out but hopefully it's not a long wait!...more