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Sarah Castille does it again!!! I simply love this new series of hers. Ruin and Revenge is a series following a family of mobsters….er um I mean businessmen. I recommend reading the first book in the series, Nico. You can still follow this book, but you definitely lose something if you haven’t read the first one. Plus its Sarah Castille, you can’t go wrong.
Gabrielle is bent on revenging her husband’s death. Her every action and thought revolves around her husband’s memory and finding those responsible for her husband’s death. During her quest for vengeance, she gets shot which winds her up in the hospital sharing a room with sexy Luca.

Luca has been burned by a woman before. So when he lays eyes on Gabrielle, in a hospital bed no less, he is reluctantly smitten. His pursuit of her is only slightly dampened by the fact she is a police officer and they are on opposite sides of the law.

I really like this book not only because it is written by one of my top fav authors, but also because it has great characters. Luca is deliciously alpha male. He knows exactly what he wants and doesn’t stop until he gets it. Gabrielle is no wilting flower. I can’t stand the whole damsel in distress routine. Women can kick ass just like men and Gabrielle demonstrates that fact. Just like the old adage says, “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”. Well she does, but she also brings a .22 caliber pistol, a .44, and a taser. She doesn’t allow Luca to pull the ole caveman routine and forces him to see her as his equal.

I love Sarah Castille’s books, so I might be a bit biased when I say this book is great and I recommend the read.

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Hard to Break by Bella Jewel

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Oh Tazen…..Tazen….Tazen… Tazen Watts is a celebrity in the car building world and has always been an unobtainable God until the day he walks into Quinn’s auto repair shop. Quinn has been working on cars for as long as she can remember. She works hard to prove herself as an accomplished mechanic, in a male dominated field. She also works tirelessly running her father’s shop. She is doing the best she can but the shop is failing anyway. The mortgage is overdue and the bills have pilled up, which causes Tazen Watts to take notice.

Tazen wants to buy Quinn’s shop and turn it into a custom build shop. He values the location and sees a great business opportunity. The only problem is, Quinn has absolutely no interest in selling. She has poured her life’s blood into the shop and isn’t going to let it go without a fight. Let the sparks fly!!!

Hard to Break is a definite enemies to lovers story. Quinn hates the arrogant nature of Tazen and his blantant come-ons. Tazen is drawn to Quinn’s fiery nature and loves how she doesn’t fall down at his feet, but he needs Quinn’s shop and she is standing in his way.

I love the story’s progression. At different times throughout the book I found myself disliking each character. Tazen comes across as an arrogant jerk and indifferent to Quinn’s plight. Quinn starts out as a strong-willed woman but can be somewhat bratty. But, in my opinion, these flaws only highlight their character and relationship evolvement.

While Hard to Break is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. There are no cliffhangers and you get a definite resolution. I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review, and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Wild Nights by Tina Wainscott

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Wild Nights by Tina Wainscott is the third book in the Justice Alliance Series.  I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review.

I haven’t read the other two books in the Justice Alliance Series but I was able to follow the book just fine.  The book focuses on Saxby Cole, an ex Navy SEAL who is assigned to go undercover at a sex resort.  Someone is drugging women and selling them to willing buyers so they can be date raped with no memory of the night’s events.  His assignment is to ferret out culprit and shut down the operation.  Saxby is someone who does not make commitments to women.  The typical love ’em and leave ’em bad boy.

Now enter Jennessy Shaw, recently jilted girlfriend who is determined to have a good time.    Jennessy travels to the resort to let her freak flag fly so to speak and prove to herself that she can let loose.  Saxby and Jennessy are hit instantly by insta-lust but Saxby cannot cave to his desire to rip her clothes off while he is on assignment.  So you have the back and forth of my job….but she is so pretty…..must focus on my job……but she is so hot.   I think you can guess which one wins out.

I wouldn’t exactly call this book innovative or groundbreaking, but it has a good story line and likable characters.  Saxby has issues with monogamy due to his horn dog father.  He feels like it is in his genes to be unfaithful so he never commits to a woman.  However, he is very loyal to his friends and cannot tolerate women being abused.  He is wonderfully alpha without being disrespectful or coming across as an asshole.   Jennessy is sensible and strong.  Not once did I have the overwhelming desire to want to shake her, pull my hair in frustration, scream at or throw my Nook. She knows when to listen and follow directions and she is very smart about her actions.

Saxby and Jennessy are true partners in this book.  They rely on each other and use each other’s best skills in order to solve the case.  There is no I am strong man.  You weak woman.  You listen to strong man.    The major conflict is Saxby’s resistance to accept his feelings for Jennessy.  He constantly fights against the little love bug that is burrowing into his cold heart.

If you are looking for a fun read that has some action and a few naughty scenes then I recommend checking out Wild Nights. You won’t be disappointed.  I give this book three solid I like it stars.

Happy Reading

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Bound by Night by Larissa Ione

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A new series by Demonica author, Larissa Ione, is a great read that is more than just your usual flat romance/erotica novel.  I am a huge fan of her Demonica series, so when I seen she had a new novel out I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it!   I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review.  Well, I can say I wasn’t disappointed in the least and I can’t wait to get the next novel in this series.

This is the first novel in the MoonBound Clan Vampires Series.  Yes I said vampires.  Now, don’t groan.  I know some of you are thinking oh yeah, just what I was waiting for yet another vampire novel.  Now I will agree, this particular genre has been a bit overdone especially since the Twilight/True Blood phenom.  But Ione has added an original twist to her vampire lore.  Ione has intertwined vampire lore and the Native American heritage in a way that is unique and very engaging.

In Bound by Night, there are no sparkly vampires or vampire night clubs.  Instead vampires are hunted and enslaved; seen as nothing more than animals fit only to serve humans.  Vampires are the new slave trade, and Nicole Martin’s family has made a fortune selling and exploiting vampires.  That is until a slave rebellion changed Nicole’s life forever.

Riker is a turned vampire.  Ex-military and commanding member of the MoonBound Clan, he hates humans.  His mate was taken and turned into a slave by the Martin family and he blames them for her death.  So when the opportunity arises to kidnap one of the last surviving Martins, who happens to be head of a vampire research company, he jumps at the chance.

The novel’s characters are strong and engaging.  Each one has allowed their own prejudices to be the driving force behind their own lives.  But events force them to face their own preconceived notions throughout the course of the story.  One thing I enjoyed about this novel is that is Ione used paranormal romance to highlight greater societal issues.  The characters in this book are reluctant to believe the other isn’t a horrible monster.  They are happy living in their own bubble of hatred and it isn’t until they are forced to burst that bubble, to ensure their own survival, that they truly begin to challenge their own views.

The writing was well done.  The story moved at a pleasant pace, I never felt things were bogged down or moved too quickly.  The lemony scenes are tastefully done.  There is no slurping or squishy noises, honestly why do writers put those things in books?  This isn’t a smut for the sake of smut kind of book, which have their place don’t get me wrong.  The sex between the characters is important and serves as a turning point.

I will go ahead and tell you, there is no cliffhanger but events are set in motion for the next book.  The next book is due out soon so you won’t have long to wait for the next installment.  So happy reading!!

 

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

 

Sigh….what can I say about this story? I absolutely loved it. The story was just beautiful. The way it was written truly captured my heart. You see these characters, warts and all, develop into more meaningful relationships and find peace within themselves.

The story is about A.J. Fikry a curmudgeonly 40 year-old widower that is hell bent on becoming a full-time alcoholic, driving his small bookstore into the ground, and dying as soon as possible. He sees the world in the scope of stories and literary devices. To him, everyone is either a main or supporting character in life. Each person their own novel with dramatic climaxes and twisting story plots. He has effectively isolated himself from everyone but then something miraculous happens; a small child is abandoned in his bookstore.

A.J. slowly begins to come to life as he takes on the responsibility of being a father. The story then shows how A.J. transforms from a bitter recluse into a loving father and prominent member of the community.

I can’t really say enough about this book. I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love with A.J. Fikry. Wrought with humor and life-illuminating realism, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a book that will definitely leave you thinking and reflecting on your own relationships and what is important in life and why.  This was definitely the best book I have read so far this year!  I highly recommend.

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MMA Fighting + Angst = In Your Corner by Sarah Castille

In Your Corner (Redemption, #2)

With the second installment in the Redemption series, Sarah Castille doesn’t disappoint.  While I highly recommend you read the first book in this series before beginning this one, it is not absolutely necessary.  You should be able to follow the story and put together the pieces without reading the first book in the series.  While it does bring back characters and settings seen in the first book, it is a stand-alone with a definite conclusion.  NO CLIFFHANGERS!  

This installment focuses on the relationship between Jake and Amanda. Seen breaking up in the first book, Against the Ropes, this is the story of their reunion two years later.   Jake is a MMA fighter that is torn between family obligations and his true desires.  Amanda is a strong-willed lawyer that has a very hard time with true intimacy. 
 
This book also highlights the societal double standard when it comes to a sexually active woman.  Amanda has been around the block and makes no qualms about her experience.  HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH!  Too many times in the romance/erotica genre we are force fed the virginal heroine that needs to be saved and educated by the strong, well-experienced alpha male.  This is not the case.  Amanda has needs and doesn’t feel ashamed by those needs. She knows what she likes and isn’t afraid to ask for it. 

The storyline progresses well.  Although Jake and Amanda’s one step forward two steps back relationship, does cause the story to feel a bit bogged down at times.  That being said, I feel the progression and regression of these two is needed to allow for character growth.  Amanda has to learn to deal with her fears of intimacy and Jake has to learn how to be patient with her; and this takes time.  There are no immediate fixes for these two.  Each one has to work through their own issues.

I really enjoyed Sarah Castille’s latest and would highly recommend it.  You get a definite conclusion and the HEA you hunger for.  Happy reading!!

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Latest Blood Hunters Novel

 

When I was asked to review the the newest installment in the Blood Hunters series I was thrilled!!!  The Blood Hunters Series consists of, now, five books each focusing on various characters while contributing to an overall story.  Each novel comes to a definite ending, however you really need to read the previous books to understand each one.  It just so happens that Marie Treanor is selling her first book in this delightful series for a mere .99……So get hoppin people!!!

Marie Treanor’s writing grabbed me and didn’t let me go.  I found myself drawn in immediately and didn’t want to put down the book.  The writing flows nicely and allows the reader to really absorb the story.  I tried the first book in the series on a lark and was very happy I did. 

One of the main differences in this book, when compared to the previous novels, is that it starts in America and moves to Budapest.  With this we get a nice introduction to Cyn and her merry band of mercenary hunters. 

In New York, a vampire serial killer is on the loose.  Cyn and her fellow mercenaries are trying to find the killer before anyone else dies.  Cyn, the leader of this group of mercenaries, is a tough, self-sufficient woman.  She is no damsel in distress and I simply love that about her.  In her search for the renegade vampire, she comes across Bela. 

Ahh Bela.  You love to hate him.  Bela makes no excuse for what he is, a vampire with a hell of a sex drive.  The phrase, loveable rake comes to mind when thinking of Bela.  He is loyal to a few and kills without a qualm.  Having recently decided to tour the world with a band of musicians, Bela is in New York when the killings begin.  Coincidence?  Cyn doesn’t seem to think so.  While under suspicion of murder, Bela begins his pursuit of Cyn.  What a pursuit it is.  Bela makes some less than savory decisions which shines a light on his less than scrupulous character.  At one point I really wanted Cyn to introduce him to a sharp, pointy stake.  But Bela does have some redeemable qualities, although no one would ever accuse him of being a saint.   

I don’t want to give away too much because there are some twists and turns in this book.  But I will say what I love the most about Marie Treanor’s heroines is that they are not the wilting flower found in most paranormal romance novels.  There are so many paranormal romances where the woman is weak, suffering from some childhood trauma, and needs her knight in shinning armor.  That ain’t happening here.  These heroines are fighters and equals to the alpha males that pursue them. I will always be partial to Mihaela but, Cyn is certainly running a close second. 

I highly recommend this new installment and, if you haven’t read Treanor’s work before, hope you guys give this series a try. For 99 cents you can’t go wrong!  Happy reading!!!!!

 

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His to Possess….Me to Find Boring

His to Possess (His to Possess, #1-6)

His to Possess is all six books of the His to Possess series all rolled up into one.   

Out of a job, running low on money, and nursing a broken heart Jessica goes to a neighboring city hoping to find a job so she can start a new life.  There she meets Dane Rainier after she mistakes him for her ex-boyfriend Storm.  Dane is her port in a storm, literally. While she is standing in the pouring rain and trying to hail a cab, he offers her a ride in his limo to a job fair.

Dane seeks her out to have dinner with her.  Sparks immediately fly.  Jessica decides Dane is exactly what she needs to get over Storm and decides to take him back to her motel room. 

As luck would have it, the job fair yields a job offer for one of the most respectable businesses in the city.  Now, just go ahead and take a guess who her boss is.  Come on….guess!  Yup, predictably, Dane Rainier is now her new boss.  

They go through the whole we work together we couldn’t possibly sleep together thing, only to end up having nooners in his office.  Things are going well between them until Storm shows up.  Storm has decided that Jessica is the jelly to his peanut butter and can’t live without her.  Bing, bop, boom, Jessica ends up being in the middle of a love triangle.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did.  The characters have their HEA and the book comes to a definite end, which me likey, but it just felt too rushed.  
    
It had all the right ingredients, but it just fell flat for me.  The story line was very predictable, the plot didn’t develop at a believable rate, and the characters were kind of flat.  I just couldn’t connect with any of them.  If you are looking for an easy read with only a dash of angst, then this book is for you.

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A Semi-Paranormal Romance Novel with Spanking and Stalkerish Tendencies

Safe in His Arms

Becca has a thrilling weekend with a Marine, named Zac, that she meets at her sister’s wedding.  They have a great time and part ways.  However, Becca is left with a lot more than just steamy memories.  Nine months later she is raising a their child alone, as Becca believes that Zac has been killed in the line of duty.

Flash forward seven years later.  Becca walks into apartment to find Zac fighting with their so-called nanny.  Becca’s world is turned upside down as she is thrown in a world of secret espionage.

Zac has been watching Becca and their son Parker from afar (only slightly creepy).  He has secretly been providing for them throughout the years through various avenues; a great apartment that has unbelievably cheap rent, money found in the elevator, winning a car, etc.  It was the only way he could provide financially for them without Becca becoming suspicious.  He has stayed away to ensure their safety, until he realizes they are in danger and he must save them.

Now, one interesting turn in this book is that Zac has um….supernatural or psychic abilities.  He intuition is always spot on and he has out of body experiences during times of extreme stress.  It also seems that Parker has inherited some of his dad’s supernatural mojo.  At first I was intrigued how this would play out in the story, only to be let down in the end.  It went nowhere.  Zac has these abilities, only for them to fail fantastically when he needs them the most. Okay.  So why even bother if it doesn’t drive or add to the story?  In my opinion, the whole psychic thing was a dead end that only detracted from the story.

The lemony scenes were….alright.  Becca has a spanking fetish.  Since she has no man to speak of, she surfs the internet and lives vicariously through spanking and submission websites/blogs.  To feel sexually satisfied she takes matters into her own hands so to speak.  How do we, as the reader,  know this? Well not dead, psychic, creepy stalker Zac has placed some cameras in her apartment and monitors her “cummings” and goings frequently.  That’s just weird.  The sex scenes were somewhat awkwardly placed.   It almost read as the story was written and the sex scenes were added as an afterthought.

I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t do it for me.  I give it 2.5 stars.

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A Misery Loves Company Book

Solace in Scandal

Elena Bardot’s father has been running a Ponzi scheme that came crashing down. As a result, Elena Bardot has been run out of town by the press and is in hiding. With no place else to go, Elena retreats to a secluded home to finish her dissertation for her Ph.D. This home just happens to be owned by the family of one of her father’s co-conspirators. Enter Alex Wolfe.

Alex Wolfe is recently released from prison, having been convicted of insider trading. He is seeking a quite life at home in order to regroup from the scandal that ruined his family name. Alex is determined to salvage what is left of his family’s businesses and reclaim in rightful place.

At first sight Alex knows who Elena is immediately. Although he is angered by her presence he agrees to let her stay to finish her work. The two share an immediate and undeniable connection. Just too bad that connection doesn’t include trusting each other.

I liked the premise of the book. A sort of misery loves company coupling between two consenting adults. I also liked how we see both points of view in the story. The story progressed nicely. There was no immediate love at first sight. Lust at first sight yes, but no wedding bells were ringing. I was very pleased with the character development. Each had their own misgivings but, through the progression of their relationship, worked through them. I recommend this book and give it four stars. Happy reading smut puppies.

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