CC’s Reviews

 

 

Title: The Best Friend

Author: K. Larsen
Genre:  Romance Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – dual
Published: July 6, 2018

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4 Stars!  

 

Aubry Clark is an interior designer who has learned to appreciate all that life has to offer. While on location for a photography shoot, Aubry is in the right place at the wrong time. Upon realizing how precarious her situation has become, it’s too late to reverse what she has witnessed. Causing Aubry to transition to survival mode, she no longer has the choice of freedom.

“Most days of life are unremarkable. They start and end with no true memory made.”


Mike Chesterfield lives on his trust fund and enjoys flying his plane as often as possible. Known as a playboy, Mike has always felt a connection to Aubry yet he’s been hesitant to act on the attraction. However, he does not foresee how his thrill-seeking activities will affect him and Aubry. Acting to protect what he knows, complications arise.

“Mike sighs and draws slow small circles on my skin. “There are two side to every story, Aub.”


What occurs between Mike and Aubry is intense as each try to make the most of their limited time together. Mike knows the danger of their situation but by trying to shield Aubry, he must hurt her and lie to the one person he cares about the most. To Aubry, Mike’s actions are contradictory and don’t add up. Though she knows the truth, others begin to question the facts causing extra tension.

“The brain is powerful. It can make us believe lies. It can sway us to remember or block out truths or fallacies. It’s a skilled illusionist.”


Told in dual POV, Aubry’s experience is vividly felt as she tries to maintain a grasp on her reality. Once she discovers Mike’s role in her situation, she can’t separate her mind and heart. As she processes the truth, Aubry isn’t willing to let it all go without a fight. For Mike, life has always been convenient for him; however, once he realizes and values what is important, his actions show his true nature. 

Going into this book, I was expecting a twisty romance suspense and I enjoyed the elements of what occurred between Mike and Aubry in the first half of the story. After it all started to settle, I did feel some character disconnect since it seems storylines from previous books better enrich the total character experience. Aubry is a strong character and I like how she accepted challenges no matter how grim or difficult. Though he is quite sexy, I wanted to know more about what makes Mike tick. 

The Best Friend is a story about trusting your gut instinct when it comes to love and life. This book would appeal to those looking for a romantic suspense with darkish elements.

 

 

Note: while this book is not part of a series, I recommend reading in order for the most fulfilling experience.
The Tutor by K. Larsen The Brother by K. Larsen The Best Friend by K. Larsen

 

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Title: Power Play
Author: Cara Dee
Genre:  MM Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person 
Published: January 30, 2018

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4 Stars!  

 

At 21, Abel Novak-Hayes is a professional hockey player who tries to balance his condition with routine and low stress. From a young age, Abel relied on a close friendship with his father’s best friend to keep him grounded, but once Abel started to develop feelings for him, the dynamic changed causing Abel to feel rejected. With some nerve, Abel decides to chase the truth. 

“He was warm and all comfort and protection. This was my home.”

Madigan Monroe is a proprietor of a successful tattoo shop and has always valued his close bond with life long friends. Intent on keeping his promises, Madigan tries to avoid hurting Abel but fails on several levels. Knowing he must be honest, Madigan comes clean with all that he is. 

“Well, you have nothing to worry about.” He gestured toward the back, and I took the hint to return upstairs. “Mouthy little subbie boys are my weakness.”

As Madigan and Abel learn their sexual proclivities are very compatible, they become more open about exploring their kink. Abel finds the protection and nurturing that he always craves. With Mad always assuming the dominant role in their relationship, the transition to Abel wanting to call him “Daddy” feels completely natural and leads to some hot and filthy scenes. 

“You better clench, boy,” he’d advised afterward. “If you lose a single drop of Daddy’s come, you’ll get the belt.”

This is my first DD/lb book and I enjoyed how the kink was portrayed between Madigan and Abel. With them, it wasn’t just about age play and Abel being treated as a Little, but that Mad is also a Daddy Dom. The dynamic suited them perfectly in and outside the bedroom. Nutella is not optional. Lol!

In this book, there are many secondary characters included in the storyline, and at times, I was at a bit at a disadvantage and wondered if certain books should be read in a particular order since it seemed to detract from more in depth analysis of Abel’s difficulties. It’s clear that Madigan has a long history with Abel’s parents and I wanted to feel more of that impact toward the end. That said, the strong bond between Mad and Abel was effectively conveyed.

Power Play would appeal to those who have an open mind for kinkery and appreciate the risks of taking a chance on love.

 

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Title: Broken Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Book three of four
POV: First Person – dual
Expected publication: July 10, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

In the third book of the Edge series, Caden’s demons are tested as his surroundings have the ability to recreate past trauma. Determined and detached, Caden is willing to take the risk in order to feel complete again. However, Greyson isn’t about to stand down while Caden’s mind and body are ranging a battle. Stubborn to a fault, Greyson makes certain decisions and sacrifices that are potentially destructive.

“The very things I loved about her were the things that made her difficult to keep.”

As more about Caden’s past is revealed, the balance between detachment and emotions becomes a necessity. Forced to confront what was hidden, Caden relies on Greyson to enable his healing. Faced with an enormous sense of duty, Greyson discovers factors that could inhibit or harm Caden and that’s when it all shatters.

“Sometimes you have to stop pushing. That’s all I’m saying. Let things be the way they are. You could make things worse.”

 

Divided into three parts, the reality of their current situation is intense and it forces the issue at hand; however, I was hoping a more emotion and more depth. With a steady pace, tension continues to escalate as the direction begins to shift to an unexpected plot point. 

In Broken Edge, the author continues to test boundaries with her characters by showing their vulnerabilities and how love isn’t always logical. For Caden and Greyson, the struggle isn’t over and I look forward to reading how it will all end. 

 

 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss 

 

*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – dual
Published: May 27, 2010

 

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5 Stars!! 

 

Lochan and Maya Whitely aren’t your average teens, but rather have assumed the responsibility of de facto parents for their three younger siblings. Being just over a year apart, they have always relied upon each other like best friends and partners. While Lochan is practical and reliable, he is also painfully shy which creates problems for him. Maya is loving, tender and gives Lochan the calm he so desperately needs. Together, they are complimentary in many ways yet their closeness can ruin everything they love.

“I wipe my cheeks and turn my head to look up at him. “We haven’t done anything wrong! How can love like this be called terrible when we’re not hurting anyone?”

With Lochan and Maya their priority has always been to keep everyone together in spite of their mother’s negligence. Surrounded by parental challenges, in addition to their own personal insecurities and high school drama, Lochan and Maya soon discover feelings that complicate their lives. Knowing how they feel for each other adds pressure and they try to fight what feels normal to them; however, it slowly becomes known that such a relationship is forbidden.

“I’m so aroused I can hardly thing. I’ve got to calm down. I’ve got to stay in control. I can’t let this happen.”

Told in dual POV, this exacting and thoughtfully paced plot is riddled with angst due to the unknown and complex character development. Getting into the minds of Lochan and Maya serve to show how heavily their actions impact their hearts. Fearful of losing their family and each other, they are still wiling to fight for what they believe is a universal truth for them. Written in such a manner that allows the topic to be believable, yet isn’t an excuse for their difficult choices, the author balances societal norms with the possibility of an aberration.

“There are no laws, no boundaries, on feelings. We can love each other as much and as deeply as we want. No one, Maya, no one can ever take that away from us.”

 

This story is not for the faint hearted because emotions run high to the very end. From the first page, tension mounts while various plot points continue to cast doubts and fears on what is to come. Starting this book, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect other than being extremely nervous about the taboo factor; however, my fears were assuaged due to the author’s skillful prose and highly vulnerable yet likable characters.

Simply put, I loved Lochan and Maya. There were so many moments when I hurt for Lochan and just wanted to insulate him from the world, but I also admired his strength and how he assumed burdens beyond his years. As for Maya, she was the glue that held it all together and I respected how she was able to do it all with grace. Together, Lochan and Maya were at their strongest, as both were willing to make sacrifices. Additionally, their siblings add so much personality and depth by bringing out certain traits within Lochan and Maya.

Ultimately, there’s no way to truly convey the enormous sense and range of emotionality contained in this book. Though I understand why certain choices were made, I still wonder about the possibilities. This story is beautifully and painfully tragic leaving a lasting impression. Forbidden is about how love can be a true sacrifice but also a gift that forever gives.

 

 

 

 

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Title: Ven (V Games #2)
Author: Ker Dukey and K Webster
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type: Book two in a series
POV: First person – dual
Published: June 27, 2018

 

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4 Stars!

 

Veniamin “Ven” Vetrov is the oldest son caught in his family’s web of power. While he is expanding businesses in his own right, his father continues to manipulate his life. Feeling a romantic connection with the daughter of a rival first family, circumstances change permitting Ven to pursue what he thought was always a longshot. However, the stakes are high as nothing seems to be transparent.

“I believe in fate. And we are fated.”

Diana Volkov is the oldest daughter of a powerful family. Groomed to take over the business she made profitable, everything changed when a startling discovery is made. Forced to pay for her choices, Diana must start over in a world where men rule. Knowing the limitations, she acts based on survival.

“When you live among wolves,” she tells me, tugging gently on my beard, “you learn to play like one.”

With a complex cast of villainous characters, Ven and Diana try to obtain the inevitable despite the consequences. To Diana’s dismay, her dishonesty and deceit hurts the one person she admires and loves. While Ven tries to move forward by immersing himself in distractions, Diana’s status irrevocably changes causing her to fight for her honor and rightful position. 

“Show me how to use a knife,” I tell him. “I want to know how to cut a man from his chin to his balls, and I want to know how to do it before they even have a chance to strike.”

What I liked about Diana is that she is a force within a world of morally corrupt wealthy men. Standing strong, she wouldn’t let them see her insecurities. That said, there was one decision where she shorted herself and should have been more savvy about risks. As for Ven, he wanted to escape the cast shadow of his father’s greed and that was commendable, but, I wanted more about his struggle over the years and how he branched out. Lastly, I was really looking forward to the games, but also hoped for much more detail about the competition and a longer struggle (mentally and physically) for a certain character. 

In addition to Diana and Ven, there are secondary characters that truly escalated the plot – namely Vas Volkov and Vika Vasiliev. Individually, they are either discounted or disgraced and that makes them much more interesting. While getting more of Vas will happen, I hope Vika gets her own book. Additionally, I’m patiently waiting for the timeline to coincide with Viktor’s return.

Within this landscape of greed and debasement, the pace is quick leading to gruesome action and a dark underbelly of illegal activities. The authors weave an intricate web that continues to expand. Ven would appeal to those looking to peak into a dark world without limits.

V Games series:
Vlad (The V Games, #1) by Ker Dukey Ven (The V Games, #2) by Ker Dukey

 
 
 

 

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Title: The Collector
Author: John Fowles
Genre:  Fiction/Classics/Psychological Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV: First person – dual
Published: May 1963

 

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5 Stars! 

 

 

Frederick Clegg is a simple man who led a lonely life. Working as a town clerk, Frederick tries to make friends, but his oddities prevent any real connections. Self-conscience about his social class and education, Frederick believes his luck will change now that he’s won the pools. With his winnings, he finds the monetary means and fortification to execute his dream of securing a companion – a beautiful young woman he’s admired for years, but rather than woo her, Frederick plans her capture.

 

“All right, you think I’m not normal keeping you here like this. Perhaps I’m not. But I can tell you there’d be a blooming lot more of this if more people had the money and the time to do it.”


Miranda Grey is a vibrant twenty year-old art student from an affluent middle class family. Her life seems to be bright and full of potential until she encounters Frederick. Waking bound and gagged in a cellar, her life drastically changes. To her credit, Miranda is determined to take steps necessary to survive.

 

“I must fight with my weapons. Not his. Not selfishness and brutality and shame and resentment.”


Told in four parts, the book begins in Frederick’s POV where he explains his thoughts and justifications for his actions. Quickly, it becomes clear that Frederick isn’t treated well by many, even Miranda issues demands to him, and this causes a bit of a sympathetic view. However, his need to keep Miranda overrides any sense of morals as he provides everything she wants given she remains his possession.

 

“Don’t look like that,” she said. “What I fear in you is something you don’t know is in you.”


With a shift to Miranda’s perspective, the tone dramatically changes and creates an alternate view of her belief system, hopes, and how she tries to survive captivity. At first, she seems snobbish and demanding, and in some ways she is, but she is resolute about doing what she must to ultimately escape. Reading about her coping mechanisms is compelling, along with her ideas of beauty, love, violence and art which make broader statements about the state of society at that time yet still relevant today. 

The way Frederick treats Miranda is perverse in certain ways, being a butterfly collector by hobby, she becomes his prized aberrational specimen. Though he believes he wants unconditional acceptance, it becomes clear what Frederick wants. Additionally, his own behavior is contradictory in that he has become what he’s always looked upon with disdain. Ultimately, the truth about Frederick is revealed leaving a lasting impression.

In this novel, the dynamic between captor and captive is deeply complex. While misguided love seems to be Frederick’s motivation, obsessive qualities soon appear. The dichotomy between creating worlds to justify reality was also fascinating and the author used these elements with exacting precision. And, the character references to The Tempest are skillfully apt. 

The Collector is a book that resonates long after reading the last word. A psychological thriller in genre, and perhaps one of the earliest of its kind, it delves into the minds of its characters and offers brutal honesty even when the reader is hoping for an alternative reality. I highly recommend!

 

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Title: Gilded Agony
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre:  M/M Romance
Type: Book seven in the Guns n’ Boys series
POV: Third person
Published: March 24, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Two years later in the timeline, Domenico and Seth are living in the Amazonian jungle while Dom is the acting cartel boss known as Toro. While surrounded by the luxury of their compound, Dom tries to insulate Seth from all the violence and carnage he must endure. But even though Dom keeps his promise, Seth begins to feel isolated and craves the emotional intimacy he once shared with Dom. Amidst these feelings, Dom is forced to deal with business complications that could affect his long-range goal. 

“I understand how it feels to be in that kind of position. Sometimes you can’t say no. You just do what you have to do to survive, and then you leave that behind.”


As a faction is working against Toro’s hold in his territory, the suspense mounts but once Seth begins to take certain actions, the level of tension is off the charts. Knowing how disastrous and dangerous the consequences could be to Domenico, Seth and their family, the authors pushed these emotions all the way to the edge. And what occurs left me reeling and worried about the emotional impact.

“If you tell me right now that you really don’t want me anymore, then you can go. But I need you. There is no me without you.”


Coming into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of character development, but Dom and Seth continue to grow as a couple despite setbacks getting to that point. Always holding Domenico to a position of strength made his pain so much more compelling. As for Seth, at times I wanted to strangle him for his choices but also empathized with his feelings. 

 

With the overall plot continuing to propel Seth and Dom to a place where they can return home, questions remain about a mysterious character. I’m looking forward to reading Mark’s new book and what he will experience. And, I still want to know about Miguel! 

Gilded Agony is a story about how love can be imperfect and volatile at times, but also passionate and loving. I highly recommend! 

 

 

Guns n’ Boys series:
Guns n' Boys He Is Poison (Guns n' Boys, #1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Paris (Guns n' Boys, #2.1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Homicidal Instinct (Guns n' Boys, #3) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Swamp Blood (Guns n' Boys, #4) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Chokehold (Guns n' Boys, #5) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Gilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7) by K.A. MerikanGuns n' Boys A Breath of Innocence (Guns n' Boys, #8) by K.A. Merikan

 

 

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Title: Cutting Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Prequel in a series of four books
POV: First Person
Published: June 1, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

 

This novella prequel goes back in time to when Captain Caden St. John and Major Greyson Frazier meet during their deployments. Volunteering as a surgeon after 9/11, Caden’s motives are personal but his dedication and focus to healing is boundless. Reared in a military family, Greyson knows the drill but it being around Caden starts to change her long-term outlook. 

“I want the taste of your cunt on my fingers when you leave.” Fly open, pants halfway down my ass, I was already wet for him. “I want you to be sore so you’re thinking of me when you land.”

Upon Caden’s arrival, Greyson is assigned to monitor the mental state of surgeons on duty. As they work together, their attraction is mutual and combustible. Caden is self-assured, competent and hot as hell, but Greyson becomes aware of Caden’s limits. 

“He stared at the way his thumb stroked the scars on my wrist. “I went out to prove that I could.”

Getting to read about how Caden and Greyson meet is essential to the foundation of their story. Additionally, the tone of being on base during wartime is effectively and convincingly conveyed and it underscores how Caden and Greyson process under stressful situations. 

Cutting Edge focuses on how people push themselves for a greater good and how they can find a deep connection during traumatic times. This prequel can be read any time after the first book, Rough Edge. 

 
 
 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss

 

 

 

 

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Title: The Vamp Experience
Author: Courtney V. Lane
Genre:  Paranormal/Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person
Published: June 7, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

 

At twenty seven years old, Regan Barcel became the product of her environment: detached and driven. Though successful in her career, her personal life has suffered. Upon receiving a fatal prognosis, she leaves it all behind to fulfill all her fantasies.

“Inside me was a free spirit dying to get out. She became strangled by my overbearing, control-freak personality…”


Tall, dark and handsome Calind Glace is assigned to provide Regan with her personal experience. Being an Adonis, it’s easy to swoon over his good looks and alpha ways, but Calind proves to be exactly what Regan needs. 

“If I left things at your preferred personal limit, this won’t progress. I will constantly blur the lines of your boundaries.”


Though Regan is a prickly and demanding character, she is also processing her fate and what her life has amounted to. Knowing she doesn’t have anything to lose, letting go is the only way she can experience it all. Along the way, her fantasies become layered with parts of her own reality causing her to make choices.

“I’ve finally broken you, sweetheart. You would do anything to have my cock inside you.” He thumbed my lips and pressed in forcing my lips to part. “Wouldn’t you?”


Told from Regan’s point of view, discerning where illusion and reality intersect becomes blurred. With Calind delivering a plethora of erotic fantasies, staying within the confines of her experience is a no brainer. However, Calind’s offerings require Regan to give what she gets. 

The creative paranormal and fantasy elements of this story are boundless making the reader question what is part of the experience. There were times where I wanted a bit more of a definitive line which would have supported certain plot points pertaining to Regan’s family. Though Regan was an obstinate character and often acted to her detriment, it also made her vulnerable showing a different side to her impenetrable exterior and I liked that. Lastly, Calind’s personality was complimentary to Regan’s turbulent side because while he wasn’t perfect, he was also willing to make sacrifices.

The Vamp Experience is a story heavily focused on paranormal and erotic fantasy within a complex landscape. This book will appeal to readers who enjoy drawing their own conclusions.

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. 

 

 

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Title: Epoch
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Book two of a duet
POV: First Person – dual
Published: April 9, 2018

 

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5 Stars! 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, Swayze Samuels is conflicted with her present and past. Still searching for answers in hopes of a greater good, the risk is high as Swayze can lose what she loves the most. 

“I don’t want to lose him. It’s not fair to ask him to share me with another life. It’s insane to ask him to understand. And I’m tired of feeling ripped down the middle.”


Told in multiple POVs, the emotional impact is felt by every character, as each has their own needs. Having to make decisions, even if its in best interest of another is painful and yet they make such sacrifices. 

“What if we all carry something to the next life? It’s possible we just don’t recognize it. Wouldn’t that be the purpose of the soul? Random knowledge. Déjà vu moments. Hidden talents. Oddly familiar faces.”


In this book, the author successfully creates a world where life isn’t a predictable or easy path. With Swayze, I empathized with her plight and felt the emotional loss when she ultimately decided to forge ahead. Griffin is one sexy character but he also grounds Swayze and ultimately acts in the only way he can. As for Nate, he is in his own category. In spite of his loss, Nate is stronger than he thinks.

“I think a part of you will be mine to love in every life.”


Overall, this duet is an incredible story that delves into the possibility of the unknown and how fate might be larger than we think. With emotions high, these characters remain true to themselves despite the pain during the process. 

Epoch offers a unique and hopeful story about second chances. I highly recommend!

Transcend duet:
Transcend (Transcend Duet, #1) by Jewel E. Ann Epoch (Transcend Duet, #2) by Jewel E. Ann

 

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Title: On the Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Dark Erotic Romance
Type: Book two of four
POV: First Person – dual
Published: June 12, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

As the timeline continues without interruption in On the Edge, book two of the Rough Edge series, Greyson and Caden are trying to confront the thing that has driven a wedge within Caden and potentially within their marriage. As they begin to recognize signs, they alter their behavior, but extracting certain answers remain elusive.

“I’d married a strong man. A rock. A man who didn’t know how to fail.”


Delving into tough mental health issues, the effect takes hold creating a myriad of emotions and reactions. For Caden, the dynamic becomes explosive causing him to make choices that could further harm the outcome. Though Greyson tries to balance her psychiatrist hat with also being a wife, her roles complicate as much as they serve to simplify the process.

“Every word was a challenge to my assumptions, and every space between her questions was an opportunity.”


As the plot unfolds, the level of complexity and conflict rises. With such strong personalities at play, no one is willing to surrender without a fight. Getting into Caden’s POV slowly reveals more about his past and how the mind reacts in order to survive. Though Caden remains confident, detached and irresistibly domineering, there is a screaming vulnerability that percolates under the surface. Reading about his struggle is fascinating yet painful, as his emotions vow to duel until the end. I loved the developing dynamic and how complicated Caden’s battle is becoming.

“I’ve always wanted you. That’s all there is to it. Past, present, future. It just is. There’s no starting point, and there’s no end.”


 

In this multi-faceted and gripping story the plot points continue to build creating tension and a sense of foreboding. Knowing these characters are willing to sacrifice and fight for each other, the stakes are high for considering what is at risk. With the ending at a pivotal point in their lives, the author is successfully taking the reader further into the depths and intricacies of the characters’ minds and hearts.

On the Edge, is an intensely realistic story that touches upon human weakness and immeasurable strength. CD Reiss has expertly created a narrative that leaves the reader hanging on every word. I highly recommend.

 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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Title: Transcend
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Book one of the Transcend Duet
POV: First Person – dual
Published: March 26, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars!

Swayze Samuels is a 21 year old nanny with aspirations of becoming an elementary school teacher. Throughout her life, she experienced situations that she couldn’t logically or scientifically explain. Feeling these memories and sensations caused her to question things but always seemed to subside on its own. Now that Swayze is experiencing it again, complications arise when she realizes an unexpected connection.

“Something’s wrong with me,” I whisper while choking back a sob. There’s a lifetime of concern etched into his forehead as he slowly shakes his head. “No. Nothing’s wrong with you.”


Nathaniel “Nate” Hunt is a widowed professor and new father trying to find his way. Upon hiring Swayze as a nanny, his past comes full circle as she seems to be a missing link. Not a stranger to tragedy, Nate has accepted his fate yet he won’t reject the chance to reconcile his questions. 

“I need you to be the one to stay,” he whispers.”


As the story unfolds, it is clear Swayze is coming to terms with her life and she is in love with her boyfriend, Griffin, as he provides a sanctuary for her. But with attachments to an unexplainable past, Swayze begins to divide her emotions without fully knowing how it will affect everyone around her. Ultimately, there isn’t an easy answer and Swayze’s heart dictates how she should proceed.

“I’m so afraid of losing him in the process of finding myself.”


Prior to starting this book, I had some insecurities about character dynamics and the level of angst, but while, there is a good dose of escalating angst, the unique plot line combined with the individuality of these characters added much more and elevated the story. Swayze is funny and awkward at times which makes her endearing. I also like how she tries to deal with her situation despite not fully understanding how it works. 

As for the men in her life, Griff is sexy as all hell and tries to understand most of Swayze’s quirks to a point. However, Nate stole my heart for a number of reasons. I hope he gets what he needs and that process is going to hurt. With so much still pending, I’m hoping for a certain outcome that strengthens these characters. 

Jewel E. Ann is a new author to me and I found her writing style to be approachable and covering a range from angsty, funny, sexy and poignant. Transcend offers a unique and hopeful story that will make your heart ache and get your stomach all twisty wondering what is to come.

Transcend duet:
Transcend (Transcend Duet, #1) by Jewel E. Ann Epoch (Transcend Duet, #2) by Jewel E. Ann

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Title: Dangerous Control
Author: Annabel Joseph
Genre:  Erotica/BDSM
Type: Book three in the Dark Dominance series
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: June 4, 2018

 

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4 Stars!

 

 

Massimiliano “Milo” Fierro is a violin maker for his Italian family’s prestigious business. With a passion for music and craftsmanship, Milo has a quiet yet commanding way about him. But when it comes to thoughts about his childhood friend, it’s nothing close to pure.

“You want me, don’t you?” she asked in a small voice, searching my gaze. “I want you too damn much.” I meant it as a warning.”

Lilly-Alice “Alice” Nyquist is a violin virtuosa who recently accepted an orchestra position at the Met. Being in New York brings her closer to Milo, the man she’s adored since she was a child.

“You’re big,” she said. For the first time, she looked as if her courage might falter. Yes, I’m big. I’m mean. I’m bad and rough.”

As circumstances happen, Alice and Milo rekindle their friendship but they also know that their feelings run deeper. Trying to fight his attraction to Alice, Milo believes staying away is the best way to protect her from his sadistic tendencies. However, Alice is willing to prove she can be the perfect maso-submissive. 

“My ass felt empty now, but my pussy was so, so full of him. He banged me there against his headboard, and it hurt, but it felt magical too, and when he started grinding his pelvis against my clit, I lost it.”

 

Told in dual POV, the passion Milo and Alice share for music and family is part of their strong bond. Not wanting to compromise what they already share, Milo must reconcile being a Dominant with the woman he loves. Meeting Milo halfway, Alice shows that she is a worthy partner.

Of all the Dominant characters in this series, Milo intrigued me the most and I’ve been looking forward to his book. With his passion, he warmed my heart but being that Milo is the owner of The Gallery and has the reputation for being a master sadist, I wanted to experience his expertise much more. However, their chemistry was still off the charts and the kinkery was quite hot. As for Alice, she is the perfect balance to Milo and I liked her tenacity.

Dangerous Control will appeal to those who enjoy a romance with BDSM elements between two characters who learn to find their way together.

 

 

 

Dark Dominance series:
Dark Control (Dark Dominance, #1) by Annabel Joseph Deep Control (Dark Dominance, #2) by Annabel Joseph Dangerous Control (Dark Dominance, #3) by Annabel Joseph

 
*Note: Each book can be read as standalones but it best to read in order for the fullest experience. 
*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Rough Edge
Author: CD Reiss
Genre:  Erotica
Type: Book one of four
POV: First Person – dual
Published: May 22, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

After serving fourteen years in the army, Greyson Frazier is a psychiatrist acclimating to private practice and a new marriage. With a competitive streak, Greyson pushes limits within the confines of a structured environment but she slowly realizes the boundaries have changed.

“There’s so much we’re going to do together.” He kissed my neck. “We’re going to build an entire life out of a war.”


Caden St. John is a heart surgeon who volunteered his time to mend injured soldiers. Having a complicated past, Caden has always been able to separate his emotions but circumstances emerge that cause Caden to fight what he feels. 

“Something was there with us, in the room, and it wanted me.”


Together, Greyson and Caden are a complimentary couple with each offering a balance to their dynamic. As Greyson begins to observe changes in Caden, she attempts to help him using scientific methods but she also is willing to try what he believes will chase away his fears. As this pain and pleasure cycle occurs, their relationship escalates leading to self-discovery and to questions about limits. 

“I rotated my fingers on her nub, watching her try to maintain control over her questions. “While we’re doing it and you were hurting me? If I said stop, could you?”

 

Told in dual POV, Caden oozes dominance, sex appeal and offers a steady demeanor. With much mystery behind Caden’s conflict, the intensity of his inner struggle is effectively conveyed. In responding to Caden’s demands and needs, Greyson unexpectedly learns more about her own sexuality but her focus during this process is on healing Caden. 

In starting this book, I was under the impression this author was returning to her roots, and upon finishing, it definitely seems like that holds true. In this narrative, these two characters are complex, dynamic and willing to sacrifice and fight for each other. Additionally, the pathos present in Caden is constantly at the edge of his behavior driving him to force out his darkest demons. I am hoping it gets even darker as more is revealed and in how Caden and Greyson are able to reconcile what they discover.

Rough Edge is an intensely erotic story about characters making sacrifices and pushing limits. With a pulse on her characters and a plot that breathes on its own, CD Reiss will take you on the edge. 

 

The Edge series:
Rough Edge (The Edge, #1) by C.D. Reiss On the Edge (The Edge, #2) by C.D. Reiss Broken Edge (The Edge, #3) by C.D. Reiss Over the Edge (The Edge, #4) by C.D. Reiss Cutting Edge (The Edge, #0.5) by C.D. Reiss

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Nasty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #2) 
Author: Callie Hart
Genre:  Dark Romantic Suspense
Type: Book two in a series
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: May 25, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, Felix Marcosa and Sera Lafferty continue their journey but Sera has many questions for him now that she knows the truth. Though Fix has delicate information, it isn’t enough as they discover dead ends and new layers that complicate their circumstances.

“This is what happens when you go looking for death instead of running in the opposite direction. You find it. Or, inevitably, it finds you.”


Prepared to make sacrifices for Sera, Fix is determined to take the search all the way to the end. During this time, more is revealed about his past and how it’s connected to his business partner. Simultaneously, the stark reality of Sera’s childhood begins to surface and underscores her need to defend herself.

“I will never break you, Sera Lafferty. What would be the point? That fiery defiance that burns inside you? I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I adore it. I worship it.”


Told in dual POV, Fix and Sera develop added dimension as they relate to each other and how they deal with threats. While Fix exudes a cocksure attitude, filthy mouth and smart-ass comments, he will also go to great lengths to protect what is his. Sera is a force of her own, and while she’s never met someone like Fix before, she doesn’t hold back no matter the consequences. Together, their chemistry is combustible and I love the push/pull dynamic they share. 

“I’m beginning to think you might be a little obsessed with my ass,” I fired back. “Damn right I am. I’ve seen plenty of assholes, and yours is by far the loveliest.”

 


This series harkens back to signature Callie Hart with flawed but relatable characters and a narrative that continues to build complex layers. I absolutely adore Fix and his everything that flows from his sinfully erotic tongue. As for Sera, she is quietly complicated but that’s what makes her stronger and admirable.

Nasty is full of edgy, heart pumping action, dark humor and sex appeal. I highly recommend and look forward to see how the story continues, especially with that ending.

Dirty Nasty Freaks series:
Dirty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #1) by Callie Hart Nasty (Dirty Nasty Freaks, #2) by Callie Hart

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: The Surviving Trace
Author: Calia Read
Genre:  Romance/Time Travel
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – dual
Expected Publication: May 21, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

Serene Parow seems content in her life with an antiques business and a fiancé that wants to set a wedding date until one day she becomes distracted by an old photograph dated 1912. Always interested in history, Serene begins to imagine what life was like in that era and particularly for one unknown man depicted in black and white. As she searches for answers, the truth takes Serene on an unexpected journey.

“Like everything else from this time, my mind whispers, you’re touching a piece of history.”


When Serene is transported back in time, she is confronted by the mystery man that has consumed all her thoughts. Seeing him in the flesh is a shock, but as she pairs the face (and body) with a name, she discovers much more about what makes Etienne tick. In trying to determine her purpose, Serene realizes the complexity and instability of her situation.

“His eyes dip toward my lips for a millisecond, then he moves toward me. I’m almost confident he’s going to kiss me. And if he does, I know I won’t stop him.”


Told mostly from Serene’s perspective, experiencing the level of unease and curiosity she feels is effectively conveyed and I felt immersed in her transition and the era’s history. Serene is a strong, competitive character that is compelled to do the right thing and ultimately trust her instinct and heart. 

“This connection we share is undeniable. It transcends time and all logic.”


 

Between Serene and Etienne the chemistry is combustible and the push-pull dynamic they share adds to the building sexual tension. Etienne infuriates Serene yet the more she gets excited, the more intrigued he is. While Etienne slowly reveals more about himself, he becomes sexier and completely won my heart.

This book offers an interesting premise with time travel. Due to the theme, some things just are inexplicable and it adds mystery and romance to the storyline rather than casting doubt. Throughout reading, it made me think of the possibilities, choices and fate these characters experienced. With endearing characters and a convincing narrative, Calia Read pens a compelling and thought-provoking story. 

The Surviving Trace would appeal to those who enjoy mystery with romance.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Rough, Raw and Ready
Author: Lorelei James
Genre: Romance/Erotica/MMF
Type:  Book within a series, but can be read as a standalone
POV: Third person
Published: November 10, 2015

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

Chassie and Trevor Glanzer are happily married and they continue to overcome their family’s ongoing issues. While they are busy running their ranch, Trevor’s old friend and rodeo roping partner, Edgard Mancuso, makes an unexpected visit after three and half years have passed causing old feelings to resurface.

“You don’t remember how wet and eager my mouth felt sucking every drop of spunk from your cock? You don’t think about how deep I reamed that tight asshole of yours as you bucked and begged me for more?”


Though Trevor never could forget about Edgard, having him so close again begins to fill a void that Trevor chose to ignore. Being dedicated and loyal to his wife, Trevor battles strong feelings toward the only man that also captured his heart. While Chassie is an adoring wife and strong woman, she notices the unsaid words and stolen glances between Trevor and Edgard all while she also develops her own endearing bond with Ed.

 

“I’m stunned by the way you make me feel, Chass.” He pressed his mouth to hers. “Worthy.” A soft brush of his lips. “Safe.” Another kiss. “That I have value to you beyond what we both feel for Trevor.”


Once the truth surfaces, Chassie knows what’s at stake but she doesn’t want to lose her husband and she begins to willingly view their options. For Trevor, he has to overcome longstanding fears about his relationship with Ed and will do whatever it takes to keep Chassie content and happy.

 

“I never want either of you to be ashamed of what you feel for each other, or feel like you have to hold back in front of me or in our home,” Chassie said. “What you had was private, but now it belongs to all three of us. Can you guys handle that?”


What I loved about this book is how these characters approached an unconventional relationship. With this threesome, they built a foundation with one another individually and all together. While I was initially concerned about feelings of jealousy, it was quickly extinguished by the balance Chassie, Trevor and Ed share with each other and the chemistry between all is off the charts.

In this series, Chassie and Trevor both had to overcome certain adversities and challenges and seeing them come together is rewarding. I liked Chassie’s open mindedness and her ability to accept what makes her happy despite what others may think. Trevor is more of a broody cowboy at times but his love and respect for Chassie never wanes and his sexual appetite is insatiable. As for Edgard, he offers so much heart to the storyline making me love his sincerity and dominating ways.

Rough, Raw and Ready, is a steamy story about how three people fall in love and have the courage to live how they choose. This book will appeal to those who like sexy as hell cowboys and like to think outside the box when it comes to relationships.

Note: While it’s best to read the books in this series in order, Rough, Raw and Ready can be read as a standalone.

 

Rough Rider series:
Long Hard Ride (Rough Riders, #1) by Lorelei James Rode Hard, Put Up Wet (Rough Riders, #2) by Lorelei James Cowgirl Up and Ride (Rough Riders, #3) by Lorelei James Tied Up, Tied Down (Rough Riders, #4) by Lorelei James Rough, Raw and Ready (Rough Riders, #5) by Lorelei James Strong Silent Type (Rough Riders, #6.5) by Lorelei James Branded as Trouble (Rough Riders, #6) by Lorelei James Shoulda Been a Cowboy (Rough Riders, #7) by Lorelei JamesAll Jacked Up (Rough Riders #8) by Lorelei James Raising Kane (Rough Riders, #9) by Lorelei James Slow Ride (Rough Riders, #9.5) by Lorelei James Cowgirls Don't Cry (Rough Riders, #10) by Lorelei James Chasin' Eight (Rough Riders, #11) by Lorelei James Cowboy Casanova (Rough Riders, #12) by Lorelei James Kissin' Tell (Rough Riders, #13) by Lorelei James Gone Country (Rough Riders, #14) by Lorelei JamesRedneck Romeo (Rough Riders, #15) by Lorelei James Cowboy Take Me Away (Rough Riders, #16) by Lorelei James

 

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Title: Evolved
Author: N.R. Walker
Genre: Romance/Sci-fi/MM
Type:  Standalone
POV: First person
Published: April 21, 2018

 

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4 Stars! 

 

Lloyd Salter is a professor of philosophy who lives a private life due to his OCD tendencies need for solitude. After failed relationships and limited friendships, Lloyd decides to purchase an A-class companion android unit called Shaun that is completely personalized to his intellectual and physical preferences.

“Are you nervous?” Shaun asked. “Your heart rate is elevated and your pupils are dilated.” “You can see that?” “Of course. I am designed to be attuned to you.”

As Lloyd introduces Shaun to his lifestyle he realizes how he has missed a connection with another person. Shaun’s responses to Lloyd are based on his programming but he craves just as much companionship as Lloyd. Evolving more than Lloyd could have ever envisioned, it appears that Shaun can feel human emotions and this takes them into a completely new level.

“I didn’t want to make him do anything. I wanted him to be my equal.”

This book’s theme certainly intrigued me from the beginning due to the moral questions surrounding a relationship between a human and synthetic creation. For Lloyd, he didn’t view Shaun as a robot but always treated him as he would a person. With the complexities of microprocessors and cutting edge technology, Shaun becomes more than just circuitry making this process interesting and quite entertaining.

“I traced my thumb across his bottom lip which slid with lube, like lip gloss. I couldn’t resist the urge to bend down and kiss him, plunging my tongue into his mouth.”

The idea of personalizing your own male android is very appealing and the naughty options are endless! But in this story, there is also balance between companionship, humanity and love. I related to some of Lloyd’s idiosyncrasies and admired his morals. As for Shaun, he made me laugh and as the plot developed, I easily connected with his character. The chemistry between Lloyd and Shaun is off the charts too.

This author is new to me and I enjoyed her writing style combined with an original plot. Evolved is a MM romance story that addresses how society might advance bringing both positive and negative changes. This book would appeal to those who like the unconventional in relationships.

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Title: The Art of Mutual Pleasure
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre: Erotic romance/MM
Type:  Standalone
POV: Third Person
Published: March 29, 2017

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

Benjamin Snowley a young gentleman in the midst of a physical and emotional crisis due to his need for self-pleasure and being aroused by certain deviant acts. Feeling as though his urges for onanism are against societal norms, and because he wants a wife and child in the future, Benjamin seeks medical intervention for his affliction. Committed to healing himself, Benjamin sets out to reinvigorate his body and calm his mind.

“How can the same man be so graceful yet so debauched at the same time?”


As Benjamin learns his naivety has been harmful, he doesn’t want to be ashamed of the pleasure he experienced. With the help of an old friend, Benjamin is learns to accept who he is and embrace his sexual needs without guilt.

“If you were one of those men,” Benjamin said, losing all inhibition, “not only would your cock be inside of me, but also rub against another at the same time. I would squeeze you both so tightly.”


What transpires in this novella is an incredibly hot journey of self-discovery. From the beginning, Benjamin is an endearing character who tries to do what’s expected of him but it simply doesn’t mesh with his desires. When he experiences such a low point, it’s felt and rooting for Benjamin is like second nature. 

“I am my own master, and my vices are my own.”


The writing team of K.A. Merikan delivers a story of historical significance with a spin of filthy goodness. The Art of Mutual Pleasure would appeal to those looking for an unabashedly erotic and stimulating read with some heart. 

 

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Title: The Prophet
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Dark Romance
Type:  Book two of three in the Cloister series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication: May 1, 2018

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4 Stars!

The Prophet opens with an uninterrupted timeline and resumes at a crucial point for Adam and Delilah. Knowing the penalty for her actions, the risk was high and Delilah pays for her transgression.

“She will be punished and cleansed until a serpent no longer dwells in her heart.”

As Adam is punished in a way that further fuels his need vengeance, the dynamic begins to shift and other unexpected contingencies arise that complicates the plan. Pushing forward is the only option leaving Adam to question loyalty.

“The water can’t wash away my sins. Not this one, especially.”

Told in dual POV, the tension continues to mount given the level of corruption and need to control. With practically every move being monitored, the feeling of desperation infiltrates the tone. Additionally, Delilah’s need for answers compounds as she realizes time is limited and they set it all in motion.

“I’m sorry,” he whispers again and releases his hold on my mouth. I kiss him through my tears and wrap my arms around his neck.”

This plot is steeped in action with various factions pushing limits. There were also more glimpses into Adam’s past that explain his lack of faith and his connection to a certain character. In fact, I started to appreciate her vulnerabilities and better understand her choices.

As for Delilah, I want to feel more of a connection between her and Adam and she remains a bit of a contradiction based on her thoughts and actions. With the addition of Evan, the plight of her future is grim no matter what happens but Evan’s tastes infuse depravity on a different level.

In The Prophet, Celia Aaron crafts a story that touches our fears and vulnerabilities. With corruption at every turn, the sense of being trapped is felt. With a crescendo ending, I am looking forward to the final book, The Church, in order to see the depths these characters will take to procure freedom and power. Needless to say, I am hoping for deep revelations and dark villainous action.

This series would appeal to those who want to be immersed in romantic suspense with a dark edge.

The Cloister series:
The Maiden (The Cloister, #1) by Celia AaronThe Prophet (The Cloister, #2) by Celia AaronThe Church (The Cloister, #3) by Celia Aaron

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Title: Knotted
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Dark Romance
Type:  Book one of three in the Trails of Sin series
POV: Dual – first person
Expected Publication: May 1, 2018

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3.5 Stars!

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Conor Cassidy grew up as a country girl on a ranch with dreams of becoming a veterinarian. At 16 years old, she seemed to have it all, a loving family and a boyfriend she adores, but her life changes in the course of one night.

“You were there, looking right at me, holding me with your presence. It made a difference.”


Jake Holsten always knew what he wanted out of a life, a life in cattle ranching and the fiery girl he called as his own. When the unexpected occurs, Jake is forced to question those he trusts and protect the girl who always had his heart.

 

“I did the only thing I could to protect her. I broke her heart because I love her.”

Told in dual POV, the experiences of Conor and Jake begin like most teen romances that evoke unbridled love and a deep connection. However, when they experience a life changing event, Conor and Jake are left to pick up the pieces. As Jake learns more, he takes the lead in an effort to shield Conor from danger but he also isolates her in way that shatters her heart.

“I’ve been wandering aimlessly, so lost and far away from myself. But I just found the door that leads me back.”

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As years pass, Conor’s pain doesn’t diminish but she also isn’t about to let all her dreams vanish. Pursuing her education, she finally has the impetus to return home and claim what is hers but she surprised to learn the reasons Jake kept her away. Now that Jake can protect Conor, he is dedicated to helping her heal.

In this narrative, a serious issue is at the forefront and then family complications further compound the situation. When it was time for Conor to confront her demons, Jake took the lead and at times it felt like he was undermining her strength. Additionally, the secret lost impact on me because it caused Conor so much unnecessary pain. While I did feel a connection between Conor and Jake, their reconciliation felt a little rushed. However, they did come full circle and I liked the symbolism of the ending. 

Knotted is a story about tragedy, sacrifice, trust and healing. This book would appeal to those looking for a second chance at romance.

Trails of Sin series:
Knotted (Trails of Sin, #1) by Pam Godwin Buckled (Trails of Sin, #2) by Pam Godwin Booted (Trails of Sin, #3) by Pam Godwin

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*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Wheeler (Four Fathers #4)
Author: Ker Dukey
Genre: Dark suspense
Type:  Book four of four
POV: First person – Male
Expected Publication: April 23, 2018

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4.5 Stars! 

 

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Jax Wheeler is a successful entrepreneur with depraved tastes and predatory practices that feed his soul. Not one to be a people person, he manages to put on a believable persona in order to blend when needed. Protective of his teen daughter, she is the motivation that keeps his mask in place until it all irrevocably changes.

 

“I hate this part of pretending to be like them. Normal. I am not like them. And I sure as hell am not normal.”


Obsessive, exacting and sarcastic, Jax lives in the shadows of darkness and immorality. While his behavior crosses many boundaries, the fact he is a dedicated father adds dimension and humanity to his complex character. 

 

“Control is something I seek and want, and everyone can be controlled if you really want to dissect their psyche and find the trigger inside them.”


From the first page, I liked Jax with his neurotic and abnormal tendencies. Though his actions are monstrous at times, his perspective of not fitting in is completely relatable. There were so many times when I laughed out loud at his inner monologue and when he finally loses his controlled exterior, well, I was completely addicted. 

“She cut out my hollow heart and destroyed it ….”


In this novella, the pace is quick yet it certainly delivers an impact that was quite welcome at the end. [insert evil grin] As such, I definitely want to read more bout Jax and a particular younger character that peaked my interest in future books. 

Wheeler is a dark suspense steeped in unabashed depravity. For those looking for a thrilling ride in the mind of a charming yet dangerous man, look no further.

Four Fathers series:
Blackstone (Four Fathers, #1) by J.D. Hollyfield Kingston (Four Fathers, #2) by Dani René Pearson (Four Fathers, #3) by K. Webster Wheeler (Four Fathers, #4) by Ker Dukey

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

 

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Title: Wishing Well
Author: Lily White
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Type:  Standalone
POV: Multiple and shifting
Expected Publication: April 18, 2018

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5 Stars!! 

 

 

Meadow Graham is a journalist who interviews the one man who holds answers to her sister’s death. While the clock ticks away, Meadow is ready to make him pay for his choices.

“Not only that, but you are my last victim, the woman who will forever mourn the last life I took.”

Vincent Mercier is a successful hotelier and with such resources he is able to satisfy his particular needs. Always in control, he’s able to create a certain world where he pulls all the strings. But with three days remaining before his execution, Vincent is ready to tell all. 

“And there it was, the moment I knew she was mine for the taking. The moment her cloak of rebellion faltered just enough for me to read inside and take hold of the desperation within.”

Told in shifting point of views and past/present timelines, what ensues is a tightly constructed plot full of twists and a steady crescendo of suspense. From the beginning, Vincent’s wicked motivations are crystal clear and the anticipation of reading how it will all unfold is enthralling. With Vincent being devastatingly handsome and devilishly charming, he easily ensnares the players in his game. 

“Desire is a slippery thing, easing inside a person’s skin to capture, to taunt, to strengthen and spread out until your mind becomes mud and your heart races in an effort to escape your chest.”

 

Aside from Vincent, the other main characters are just as crucial in this storyline and offer additional impact. Meadow’s role is one that offers contradictory feelings at times and enhances the question of how she will avenge her sister. This book is exactly what I love about thrillers and Lily White’s writing because while I was racing to get to the end, I kept slowing down to savor every page. Each character is compelling and elicits a range of emotion as the storyline pivots in a calculated direction. Trying to speculate the trajectory of this plot was refreshingly impossible and I loved it! 

Wishing Well is a psychological thriller at its finest. This book would appeal to those who want to be completely ensconced in deception and the relationship between sacrifice and tragedy. I highly recommend!

 

 

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Title: Double Vision
Author: L.M. Halloran
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type:  Standalone
POV: First person
Published February 22, 2018

 

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3.5 Stars! 

 

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Upon graduating college, Eden Sumner is ready to relocate back to the Pacific Northwest for medical school but upon attending a party one night, her fate forever changes after meeting two people. Inquisitive by nature, Eden’s life takes a much different course.

“Loyalty comes at a great cost, usually paid for in blood.”


Liam Rourke is a man with many answers and abilities. Though full of Irish charm, he isn’t a stranger to dangerous situations. Upon laying eyes on Eden, he knows the imminent risks.

“But it’s the look in his eyes that peels back my layers and finds the dark center of me.”


What ensues is full of action and deception with Liam and Eden trying to navigate through a web of greed. Feeling a fairly instant connection, each of their choices are based on protecting the other but soon it becomes apparent that no one can be trusted.

“No matter how far you fly, little dove, you’ll always come home to me.”


With continuous action, Eden learns much more about her past than she could have ever envisioned. Making choices that aren’t necessarily in her best interest, she tries to remain true to her heart despite the consequences. 


While I enjoyed this story, there were times when it felt like too much was trying to be squeezed into the plot and it left a superficial impression. Though I liked Liam’s character, I also wanted more sexiness and since he is also a Dom, more exploration of his kink. Eden seemed contradictory at times even knowing she isn’t a part of this underworld. 

Double Vision is about being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe. This book would appeal to those looking for a romantic suspense.

 

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Title: Love Drunk
Author: Marita Hansen
Genre: Romance
Type:  Book 4 of 4 within the Broken Lives series
POV: First person – dual
Published March 7, 2018

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3.5 Stars!

 

 

Continuing in the Broken Lives series, nine years have passed in the lives of Dante Rata and Clara Hughes. For Dante, he is on the cusp of a becoming a rockstar with a pending debut record deal but before he can move to the next level, rehab is a requirement. Agreeing to such terms, Dante is ready to move forward and try to cast his demons aside, but nothing is ever straightforward in his life.

“He continued, “I wanna know everything we did together, and you’re gonna help me remember it all. Cos if I get more memories as good as that one, my life isn’t as shit as I’d thought it wuz.”


Clara is adjusting to her new life as a rehab counselor, and given her record, she is grateful for the opportunity. While she’s paid for her mistakes, her love for Dante hasn’t waned over the years. Not expecting to ever have the chance to see Dante again, it all changes very quickly.

“He was so perfect it made my heart ache, and so beautiful it made my memories stir. In that moment, I could see innocence in him, of the boy I’d fallen in love with.”


As Dante’s path crosses with Clara, it brings a slough of controversy and causes many feelings to surface. With Clara trying to protect Dante, she tries to keep her distance but Dante continues to make it hard for her. Though his doesn’t have precise memories of his time with Clara, the sensation of a connection is present as he tries to discover the truth. When an unexpected development occurs, Clara and Dante make the decision to help each other despite their vulnerabilities.

“Like now. Because he still gave off that aura of vulnerability every time he spoke of his tragic past. It was such a conflicting trait of his, clashing with his intense sexuality, the man a paradox.”


Told in dual POV with candid dialogue that propels the plot, circumstances offer twists and challenges that bring Clara and Dante closer. The cast of secondary characters is vast and also full of diversity, which is unique to this series. Tane and Killer were definitely the highlight for me along with L. While others added to the various ongoing peripheral plotlines, I wanted more emphasis on the development of Dante and Clara as a couple and individually, as it started to feel like Dante hadn’t matured nor were the complexity of his issues truly resolved. While this author can certainly craft a multifaceted storyline, this one lost it’s way for me.

Love Drunk and the entire series is about taking responsibility and staying true to one’s beliefs. These characters make many mistakes which makes them human, but above all, their bond to family and friends always prevails. 

The Broken Lives series:
Broken English (Broken Lives, #1) by Marita A. Hansen Shattered Poetry (Broken Lives, #2) by Marita A. Hansen Jagged Pill (Broken Lives, #3) by Marita A. Hansen Love Drunk (Broken Lives, #4) by Marita A. Hansen

💋(F)BR with the Shhluts: Twinsie Hawkey, SueBee, Loyda, Timi, Dayna, Lu, Myla and Mer! 💋

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Title: Sinner
Author: Sierra Simone
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type:  Book 2 within the Priest series
POV: First person – male 
Published March 15, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

At 36 years old, Sean Bell is a successful businessman on the cusp of achieving a long-term career goal. Trying to balance work and his personal life hasn’t been an issue because Sean has treated sex like a transaction and takes control of whatever comes his way. Now that a big development deal is causing bad press for his firm, Sean must fix the problem but doesn’t anticipate such a challenge.

“I don’t know what a good man would do in my place. I can only guess at what an unafraid one might do.”

Zenobia “Zenny” Iverson is following her life-long dream of serving her community and studying to become a nurse. At 21 years old, Zenny wants to have her own life outside of her parents’ influence but still feels some doubts about her chosen path. Before taking the big plunge, Zenny realizes she hasn’t experienced all she could and finds a way to sate her curiosity.

“It’s more like … I need to make sure that I keep not doing anything. Or if I do something, that it’s the right something.”

What ensues between Sean and Zenny is steeped in desire, as Sean has thirty days to teach Zenny all about the pleasures of the flesh. With Sean as a natural teacher, he eases her into lessons that are sizzling hot. 

“When it gets wet like this, that means it needs attention. It needs to be fucked.”

 

 

Told exclusively from Sean’s POV, the tone of his character is immediately felt with his cockiness and drive to succeed but it’s also apparent that he is a dedicated son and brother. Since he experienced an incredible loss during his childhood, Sean always assumed the responsibilities associated with being the oldest sibling and also the burdens. But what also transpires is that Sean finds a way to heal old wounds and find a balance that has been lacking. 

Together, Sean and Zenny have many differences in their personality, goals and life experiences, but they also seem to ground each other in unexpected ways. For Sean, she is also a teacher of sorts and makes him realize certain life choices aren’t in his best interest. I like how he evolved and how he was committed to his family during especially trying times. 

In this story, there are multiple taboo elements adding to the plot depth and I appreciated the increased steam factor. While Sean proved to be a dirty man, he was also caring and funny. Zenny proved to be a challenge to me because while I halfway understood her initial rationale, at a crucial time, she faltered at the expense of Sean and it felt uncharacteristic. 

Sinner is about self-reflection and ultimately being true to what you believe. This book would appeal to those looking for smoking hot scenes but also a journey about family and love.

Priest series:
Priest (Priest, #1) by Sierra Simone Midnight Mass (Priest, #1.5) by Sierra Simone Sinner (Priest, #2) by Sierra Simone

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Title: Intrepid
Author: Keri Lake
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type:  Standalone (A Vigilantes Spinoff)
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Pre-order on Amazon

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Ty is a man fueled by pain and vengeance. Vowing to uphold his promise, Ty begins to exact his carefully constructed plan and hopes to silence his inner demons. However, he is challenged in an unforeseen way and must balance the need for justice versus destruction.

“Because although that first kill was sloppy and terrifying, there was also something deeply satisfying about silencing the screams.”

Serafina “Sera” Kutscher is a college student trying to break away from her controlling father. Since experiencing a deep loss, Sera believes she should live without regrets but she can’t escape the scars of her past. With a standoffish attitude and innate insecurities, Sera begins to slowly trust but she is surrounded by deception and lies.

“I’d come to trust people by how much pain their eyes held, and his bore the endless depths of sorrow.”

From the first page, Ty’s point of view is conveyed in a gritty and compelling manner that underscores his need to act as a vigilante. Hardened to the point where survival is instinctual, Ty learns how to be a predator yet his spirit is still vulnerable and broken. For Sera, she seems to be her own worst enemy at times and makes some bad decisions based on her need to be accepted. While Ty and Sera share a certain push/pull relationship, this tension starts to affect each of them differently causing doubts about moving forward yet they can’t stay apart.

“You’re the knife in my skin tonight. The temporary pain that’ll make me forget everything else. I’m going to fuck you, Sera. I’m going to fuck you so hard that every time I think back to this night, I’ll feel the pain over and over like a scar across my memories.”

 

With suspense of the unknown continually building as Ty attempts to achieve his goals, I kept rooting for him to succeed in his gruesome necessity to exact an eye for an eye. While on the outside he seems impenetrable, Ty also tries to quiet the voices from his past and those moments were deeply moving. Though Sera’s behavior provided a challenge for me at times, she remained true and ultimately persevered to the next level which was admirable.

Those familiar with Keri Lake’s writing know that she doesn’t shy away from pushing the boundaries and the plot takes a few pivots and twists revealing a multi-layered story showing thoughtful character dimension. Additionally, it feels like the city of Detroit is a character in that the overall tone of abandonment and suffering further emphasizes the plight felt by Ty and Sera. 

Intrepid is an adrenaline-charged plot steeped in a dark underworld full of shadowy players. This book would appeal to those who enjoy an edgy, romantic suspense. 

*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Liz and Loyda!*

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Title: Dirty
Author: Callie Hart
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 3 in the Dirty Nasty Freaks series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication Date: March 30, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

 

 

Sera Lafferty is an entrepreneur living in Seattle. While driving cross-country to attend her sister’s wedding, inclement weather causes Sera to spend the night in small country town. When she tries to adjust to the unexpected delay, she doesn’t expect the additional distraction of a handsome man in black.

“There was something about him that made me feel very small. He was raw, untapped power, a storm trapped inside a bottle, and I got the feeling he raged day and night, no matter way.”


Felix “Fix” Marcosa is a hitman currently on assignment in the middle of nowhere. With every detail planned, Fix isn’t usually surprised by many things, but a fiery woman desperate enough to share the last available motel room with him captures his interest in spades. 

“I’d benefit immensely from watching you slide your fingers over your wet pussy. It would drive me insane. Especially if you hitched your shirt up and pulled down your bra so your tits were exposed.”


As Sera and Fix realize they are stuck with each other for a while, details about their pasts are slowly revealed bringing certain truths to the forefront. Trying to deal with Fix’s actions and balance her need to support her sister, Sera has to choose between what she believes is right for her. But when she must face her biggest demon, Sera tries to trust someone to help her through it. Acting on his instinct as a natural protector, he tries to do what he can in their limited time. 

“I’m not that simple to figure out, Fix. You’ll never see inside me. You’ll never piece the fractured pieces of me back together long enough to make a whole picture, so don’t even try.”

 

 

Told in dual POV, the chemistry between Sera and Fix is scorching. Fix is intense, mysterious, forthright and devastatingly handsome. Plus, he’s very comfortable using his assets to get what he wants; however, it’s just rare for him to want someone like Sera. While she isn’t blind, Sera is quite an independent thinker and isn’t ready to fall into bed with Fix just because other women fawn all over him. Instead, they have an addictive connection causing them to verbally spar while a flirtatious subtext is omnipresent. 

Dirty is a fast-paced story with suspense, sexual tension and one dirty talking hero. From the first page, the dynamic storyline hooked me immediately with captivating prose are signature Callie Hart. I am so excited for this new trilogy and cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.

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Title: The Maiden 
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 of 3 in the Cloister series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication Date: April 3, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

 

At 21 years old, Delilah joins the Cloister to fill a void and get answers. While believing she was prepared for the truth, she soon discovers a web of deceit and a hierarchy of complex lies, corruption and abuse. Despite what she learns, Delilah forges ahead under the guise of being a proper Maiden all the while being tempted by a ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“His kiss isn’t soft. It isn’t a request. Or even a demand. It’s a total and complete annihilation of me, and the creation of us.”


Being the Prophet’s oldest son, Adam Monroe is in a coveted position at Heavenly Ministries. While his roles are varied, he is a Protector tasked with the safety of a new Maiden. At first blush, she appears like all the others, yet Adam senses something about her that calls to his needs.

“You belong to me. I don’t care what happens. You are mine.”


As Delilah navigates her way through Maiden training and learning the ways of the Prophet, she realizes how desperate her situation is starting to be yet leaving isn’t a viable option. Not knowing whether to trust Adam is a continual question but she wants more. While Adam seems to have his own agenda, he knows the consequences of his actions will be severe.

“Does that bother you, Maiden? That I want to own your cunt and wear your taste on my lips for as long as it lasts?”


From the first page, an atmosphere of uncertainty and immorality surrounds this cast of characters. For those who are believers of the Prophet, they follow with blind allegiance and further subjugate those who show any doubt or rebellion. Though Adam has his beliefs and shows some vulnerability, an air of mystery remains about his intentions and his choice in participating in this illusion. 

As this face paced plot progresses, the secondary characters underscore the level of wickedness and manipulation while adding doubt to who can be trusted. The mounting tension and swirling layers of mystery is insidious. Ending in a cliffhanger, I have many questions about Adam and his motivations. With Delilah, I’m looking forward to more insight into her past and how it caused her to take such a dangerous risk. Of course, there are certain characters who need to pay for their actions.

The Maiden is a gripping story that shows how evil can be disguised by the light. With intricate levels of lies, those who join the Cloister are forever scarred. With a total of three books in this series, I’m anxious to know how dark and depraved the games will be. 

The Cloister series:
The Maiden (The Cloister, #1) by Celia Aaron The Prophet (The Cloister, #2) by Celia Aaron The Church (The Cloister, #3) by Celia Aaron

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Title: Guns n’ Boys: Bloodbath (Guns n’ Boys, #6) 
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre: MM Romance
Type: Book 6 in the Guns n’ Boys series
POV: Third person
Publication Date: March 4, 2017

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4.5 Stars! 

In Bloodbath, book six of the Guns n’ Boys series, Domenico Acerbi and Seth Villani begin their journey into the Columbian jungle intent on infiltrating the world of an arms dealer. Making such a connection is another step closer to their end game yet danger surrounds them at all times. Operating under aliases, Dom, Seth and Mark are challenged in new ways forcing Seth into a violent path and leaving Dom to wonder if Seth will be forever changed.

“This was his life, and it was time to face the bloody truth about it. Seth nodded and stroked Domenico’s hand. “Anything for you,” he said in Italian.”


When it appears that Domenico and Seth are finally accepted into the fold, another round of tests prove to be their downfall causing a bloody path of destruction in its wake. In regrouping and relying upon a vital ally, Domenico uses his acute senses to reign terror and to stake his claim in hopes of securing their future.

“His confidence was like fuel to the fire in Seth’s chest. “No one’s stopping me from this. I am going to have you.”

From the first page, the pace is swift with adrenaline spiked twists and compromising situations continually testing Domenico and Seth. While Dom thrives in violence, Seth is the opposite and Dom doesn’t want to see the innocence in Seth permanently shattered. In addition to Seth’s trials, Mark experiences a coming of age moment that further strengthens the connection he shares with Dom and Seth. 

In this book, secondary characters continue to offer more dimension to the ongoing plot line. Miguel is an effective yet mysterious addition and the friendship he shares with Mark is comical at times due to Mark’s teenage ways. Dana certainly surprised me in this one, even though I still don’t fully trust her, she proved her worth. A most entertaining surprise is the introduction of Nero (his assets included) and I wonder how his role will continue to unfold. With Domenico and Seth, their bond proves to be strong enough to endure the bloodshed and scars. 

As expected, the writing duo of K.A. Merikan pens an erotic read with compelling characters and a stimulating plot. This series would appeal to those seeking a romance embedded in an action-packed mafia setting. I highly recommend!

 

Guns n’ Boys series:
Guns n' Boys He Is Poison (Guns n' Boys, #1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Paris (Guns n' Boys, #2.1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Homicidal Instinct (Guns n' Boys, #3) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Swamp Blood (Guns n' Boys, #4) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Chokehold (Guns n' Boys, #5) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Gilded Agony (Guns n' Boys, #7) by K.A. MerikanGuns n' Boys A Breath of Innocence (Guns n' Boys, #8) by K.A. Merikan 

 

The story continues in Gilded Agony published on March 24, 2017

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Title:  The Chateau (Original Sinners #9)
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotic Romance/Thriller
Type: Book 9 in the Original Sinners series
POV: Third person
Expected Publication Date: June 5, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

At 24 years old, Kingsley Boissonneault is a Lieutenant in a French military agency. Upon being given a new assignment to infiltrate what appears to be a kinky cult, Kingsley sets course to complete his mission. However, he doesn’t expect his personal life to intersect with work, and as a result, he learns more than he could have hoped.

 

“I can tell from how patiently you wait. Only those who’ve served know how to be humble.”


With Kingsley, there is never a dull moment and though he approaches this assignment with his usual vigor and lustful nature, he learns that his adversary is quite talented in her sadistic practices. While performing the tasks required of him, Kingsley returns to a past where he once surrendered to Søren. Quickly realizing Madame doesn’t have any limits, King plays her game because to play is to win. 

 

“You see, it’s not what I can do to you. It’s what you’ll allow me to do to you. If your willingness to suffer is infinite, then my capacity to hurt you is bottomless.”


As this plot takes the reader down a certain path, it becomes clear that not all is what it seems. Passing each test, Kingsley advances until the final level becomes a truth that he’s always known. Showing his vulnerability, Madame is relentless in her pursuit causing my heart to break for King.

 

“Not all problems are meant to be solved,” she said. “Some are meant to be endured.”

 

Madame is an interesting character who might seem like another well-known Original Sinner sadist, but she is quite different in her methods. With her motivations, Madame is a force to be revered and yet feared. While Kingsley is looking for answers, Madame is able to turn his world on its axis. 

Throughout, Kingsley has his usual charming, sexy moments but grasping the level of his loneliness during this time underscores his connection to Søren and his need to submit. With his time at The Chateau, Madame proves to be a crucial element in King’s future. 

The Chateau is an erotic and thrilling story that offers introspection and shows the depth these characters will take to obtain answers. Plus, getting more of Kingsley is always a good thing, as he never disappoints.

Original Sinners series:
The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1) by Tiffany Reisz The Angel (The Original Sinners, #2) by Tiffany Reisz The Prince (The Original Sinners, #3) by Tiffany Reisz The Mistress (The Original Sinners, #4) by Tiffany Reisz The Saint (The Original Sinners, #5) by Tiffany Reisz The King (The Original Sinners, #6) by Tiffany Reisz The Virgin (The Original Sinners, #7) by Tiffany Reisz The Queen (The Original Sinners, #8) by Tiffany ReiszThe Chateau (The Original Sinners, #9) by Tiffany Reisz

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title:  Dearest Ivie
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone novella
POV: Third person
Publication Date: March 13, 2018

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4.5 Star Review! 

Silas is a vampire from the old country who is quite proper but doesn’t adhere to any aristocratic snobbery. Upon laying eyes on a fiery woman, he decides it is time to pursue her before it’s too late. 

 

“I don’t have time to waste. And instead of finding out what things look like, I want to know what they feel like.”


Ivie works as a nurse at a healer’s clinic and speaks her mind no matter the consequences. When she meets Silas at a bar, she knows he is above her class yet she is curious and drawn to his charming ways.

 

“It doesn’t matter what you look like.” He lifted his head and stared at her. “The details of size and shape don’t matter to me. The fact that it is you…that is what makes it beautiful to me.”


Incredibly attracted to each other, they find a natural connection with Ivie bringing light into his life and Silas offering a steadiness that settles Ivie. Not one to move too quickly in her relationships, Ivie wants to act on her feelings and trust what they have. 

 

“Shut up and get into me.” He didn’t require any more urging than that. With a tremendous hiss, he bared his canines and bit her neck hard, the pain lancing through her body and translating into pure pleasure by the time it reached her core.”


What ensues is a story that hinges upon integrity and digs deep into emotions when the truth is revealed. For a novella, it certainly packed an unexpected punch in the feels department. With a certain plot development, it brings more questions as to Silas’ family and what is to come in future books for a new character in the series. 

Dearest Ivie is a book about family and being true to yourself. It also shows how much we can sacrifice for loved ones but also not lose hope. 

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Title:  The Smallest Part
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Publication Date: February 13, 2018

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4 Stars!

Mercedes Lopez is a hairstylist with a passion for creativity and making people look good. Growing up, her Hispanic family was close and provided a strong family structure. At eight years old, Mercedes met her closest friends and their lives would continue to remain entwined in good and trying times but knowing she could keep his heart was worth all her sacrifice.

“Does anything scare you?” There was laughter in his voice, and she didn’t respond. He scared her. Noah scared her. Losing him scared her.”

Noah Andelin is a psychologist who believes in the goodness of people. Learning from a young age that life can be challenging, he finds a family of friends that nurture his soul. Relying on strong bonds, Noah sets course to adulthood knowing he will always have his friends but he also knows she will be the one.

“I want to be your lover. Your partner. I want it all. Not the small part or the private corner. I want the whole damn thing, all of you. And I want to give you all of me.”

As Mercedes and Noah pick up the pieces from a tragedy, they survive together based on a rhythm they’ve always felt. Amongst the feelings of pain, guilt and anger, they are able to support each other emotionally to offer stability in a sorrowful time. Trying to protect Noah and his daughter, Mercedes acts selflessly to the point of fighting the truth until she succumbs to what she has always wanted.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”

Shifting between past and present sequences, this narrative offers layers of dimension to its characters and the circumstances surrounding their lives. There are precious and poignant moments throughout their lives and all these memories stem from being there for each other. From the beginning, I loved Noah’s slow but steady approach that showed his strength and insight. With Mercedes, she is a force and someone who is a worthy partner and friend. 

In this story, the subject matter is handled in a sensitive manner showing the vulnerability of these characters but also how the consequences affect others. Additionally, the secondary characters serve to connect certain plot points and underscore the value of friendship and family. 

The Smallest Part is a story of sacrifice, loss, acceptance, friendship and love. This book would appeal to those who want an epic story of friend to lovers. 

 

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Title: Dorchadas House
Author: Emmanuelle de Maupassant
Genre: Gothic erotic romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third person
Publication Date: March 9, 2018

 

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4 Stars! 

After her father passes, Iris Muir decides to leave the bustle of the city and accept a job on the Scottish island of Eirig, a place where traditions are abundant and the town remains outside of modernity’s grasp. Wanting an adventure and a place where she can belong, Iris acclimates to her new surroundings yet many questions begin to emerge as she witnesses certain circumstances. Perplexed by her intuition and lustful feelings, the traditions call to her and Iris is ready to submit to higher purpose.

 

“I shivered again with the knowledge that something had called me here. I’d wanted to escape, and had been brought all the way back, to where I rightfully belonged.”


Told in stylistic prose that capture the atmospheric and gothic tone of this narrative, the chill of uncertainty is pervasive. Along with the mystery and allure of erotic pagan practices, Iris tries to understand the metamorphosis that is occurring and begins to trust her body over irrational fear. Coming full circle, Iris finally feels like she is home.

 

“She’ll protect and guide, as the Laird’s heirs worship you. It’s their sacred duty, and yours now, Iris.”


Dorchadas House offers an eerie tale about one woman’s quest to find her destiny. Fantasy and mystery mixes with reality making this story intriguing and provocative. For those who haven’t read this author, she always succeeds in creating a unique world where boundaries are without limit. This book will appeal to those who want to be immersed in a different time where gothic eroticism pervades. 

*A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: One Too Many
Author: Jade West
Genre: Erotica/Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Multiple
Publication Date: March 1, 2018

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

A year ago, Grace and Brett Foster decided to leave the bustle of the London and purchased a seaside inn. Despite hard work and effort, the business isn’t a financial success and they need to find a way to save their dream. With finances becoming burden on their marriage, all seems to be diminishing. Not having many options, Grace and Brett are determined to make it all work and when a mysterious handsome man offers a proposition, they ponder the consequences.

“So much fucking cash. Everyone has a price. Everyone.”


Thomas Heath is a successful businessman with his own agenda. Upon staying at the Foster’s B&B and overhearing a private conversation, Thomas decides to intervene with a financial incentive. Knowing Grace is attracted to him and that Brett is considering the offer as well, Thomas wants to seize this opportunity.

“The sonofabitch needed to fuck my wife while I watched, just as much as we needed the money he was offering for doing it. It put us strangely on par.”


With this indecent proposal on the line, Grace and Brett process what the money would mean to them. When the night arrives, certain rules apply but even so, Thomas is in full control and Grace responds to his authority and ministrations. Between them, there is passion and which leads to incredibly hot and dirty scenes. Watching their interaction, Brett must hold back his insecurities and get a hold on his lust until he can reclaim his wife. 

“She kissed him like she wanted him, because she fucking did. I watched my wife kiss another man with a pain like I’d never felt, right in my gut as my fucking cock kept on throbbing.”


What ensues is a storyline that offers not just erotica but also an unexpected departure into the difficulties of marriage and complacency within oneself. Additionally, the element that brings Thomas to the Foster’s lives was a surprise and continued to develop by adding dimension Thomas’ character. As Grace, Brett and Thomas seem to move forward, more complications arise. 

As always, Jade West’s characters have a realness offering relatable vulnerability as Grace and Brett must discover whether their foundation is solid. With Thomas, his evolution is more complex and isn’t necessarily related to something he can control. His dominant side is so sexy but his softer side is also very appealing. I really liked Brett and how he showed his true compassion and love for family. Of course, could Grace be any luckier in her situation? Lol. But seriously, she holds her own and I admired her strength as well. As these three learn more than they could ever had hoped, achieving unity becomes their goal. 

Needless to say, this one ticked many boxes for me. It had many hot and filthy times but I was also invested in each character and how it would all turn out. One Too Many would appeal to those seeking erotica at its finest and also a story with a heart. I highly recommend.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Crazy Madly Deeply
Author: Lily White
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: March 14, 2018

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5 Stars! 

Holden Bishop grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but he always remained true to those he loved despite being labeled a freak by those who were lesser. When an incident occurs, it begins a cruel and maddening cycle irrevocably affecting Holden’s life.

“You broke me down until I was small like you. Does that make you happy?”


Michaela Paige is one of the popular rich girls who outwardly appears to enjoy a gifted life of opportunity and privilege. Always doing what is expected of her, Michaela lives in silence until she finally finds her voice.

“I promise I’ll speak up when I should. I promise I won’t bow down to what other people want when I know it goes against everything I know is right.”


While living distinctly different lives, Holden and Michaela cross paths one fateful night and it changes their entire perspective and future. For Holden, he acts to protect his loved ones and his strength lies in his innate ability to remain good in the face of injustice. With Michaela, she always admired Holden but also knew he was off limits due to his own limits. Now that Michaela finds herself in a situation, she and Holden learn much more about each other than they could have imagined.

“I’d barely had time to catch my breath before his mouth was on me, his legs shoving mine apart, his fingers dipping down to places that had me moaning while he swallowed those sounds and worked me in a frenzy, never stopping, never slowing down…”


In starting this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect but it certainly delivered in the feels and angst department. From the onset, Holden’s integrity is evident and his pain is felt on so many levels. In not knowing Holden’s fate, the angst is high as the plot continues to unfold. Viewing Holden through Michaela’s eyes is a tasty treat as he definitely the strong, silent type but he is more complex than she initially realizes.

What ensues is heartbreaking and maddening to see how misconceptions can ruin the lives of these characters. However, while there is suffering there is also light and goodness that shines even brighter. This story was an incredible journey with thought provoking prose and characters that stir so much emotion. 

Crazy Madly Deeply would appeal to those who want to get lost in the plight of these characters and come out stronger in the end. I highly recommend.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Under His Stiletto
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre: MM Erotica/Kink
Type: Standalone
POV: Third Person
Published February 24th 2018

 

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4 Stars!

 

While working on a construction site, Mike and his co-workers spot a pretty woman walking along the sidewalk. After a catcall or two, Mike agrees to apologize for their behavior. Upon laying eyes on the lady, Mike is entranced and when she tells him he needs to be punished, he is ready to be disciplined.

 

“I love penetration. I’ve mostly been pegged, but it’d be hot to take Momma’s dick.”


Appearing perfectly coifed in her custom vintage fashion, Momma is comfortable with her choices and has the tools to dominate. Accustomed to kinkery, Mike is attracted to Momma and wants to please her in every way by being a good boy. 

 

“That’s okay, honey. It’s all right now. Momma will take care of you. “


What ensues is incredibly salacious as Momma teaches Mike the lessons he needs and fulfills desires she hasn’t fully explored until these moments with him. Of course, Mike goes to lengths to make his Momma happy.

 

“Thank you for the lesson, Momma,” he whimpered, losing it completely when he thought about this gorgeous creature in vintage lingerie fucking his arse while he bent over for her. “


In starting this novella, I wasn’t completely sure about how the dynamics would mesh, but it certainly exceeded my expectations in the kink department. There were some cringe-worthy moments and I loved how boundaries were pushed. Momma was sweet and nurturing but she also enjoyed administering punishments. As for Mike, he had a big heart from the beginning and soon proved he was ready to abandon his lad pad for Momma. 

Under His Stiletto would appeal to those who are willing to try Mommy kink with a twist. 

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Title: Vlad (The V Games #1)
Author: Ker Dukey & K Webster
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 in a series
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: February 26, 2018

 

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4 Stars!  

 

At 22 years old, Vlad Vasiliev is the first heir to a powerful family dynasty built upon illegal enterprise and the infamous V Games. Abiding his father’s wishes, Vlad is to marry the oldest daughter of another ruling family in order to solidify the Vasiliev name. Understanding the importance of such a union isn’t lost on Vlad but he also has his own agenda and he is ready to take his family to a new level. 

“Even if I never use you. You are mine.”


Irina Volkov, the youngest sibling in her family, maintains the books of Volkov Spirits and is an artist. Always in the shadow of her older sister, she accepted this subservient position out of love and respect but Irina is strong, beautiful and a powerful force in her own right. Believing in the idea of true love, Irina is holding out for the man she’s admired since childhood but doesn’t think he ever noticed her. 

“The Volkov women are known for having spines of steel – they do what needs to be done when the moment arrives.”


When Vlad’s fiancé and her sister, Irina, move into the Vasiliev estate, the wedding nears but all isn’t what is seems. With varying factions vying for power, Vlad is on the top of his game yet he is tempted by Irina’s innocence. As they enter a game of secrets, Irina must decide if her family loyalty is stronger than what she desires. 

“Nothing will snuff out what has begun to rage between us. An inferno.”


In Vlad, what ensues is a multi-layered plot with rich main and secondary characters that test the limits whether it leads to deceitful or violent means. Vlad’s domineering ways seer the pages and Irina’s charm is effervescent. With some surprises and drama, the plot pace consistently builds until certain secrets are revealed. 

With this new series, Ker Dukey and K. Webster show their collaborative efforts continue to produce effective suspenseful, dark and sexy scenes. I look forward to book two and the commencement of the V Games. 

 

The V Games Series:
Vlad (The V Games, #1) by Ker Dukey Ven Book 2

*An ARC was generously provided for an honest review.

 

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Title: Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)
Author: Annika Martin and Skye Warren
Genre: Romance Suspense
Type: Book 2 in a series

POV: First Person – Dual

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4 Stars! 

Brooke Carson is the perfect student and obedient daughter; however, her life irrevocably changes during her sweet sixteen birthday party when she witnesses a crime and is taken hostage. From that moment, Brooke is ready to break from a gilded cage to the light she’s been seeking. 

 

“That’s what you’re like, you know? A pretty little bird and you keep singing, thinking someone’s going to understand.”


Stone Keaton is a man with a tortured past and set on course for vengeance. After laying eyes on a demure teenager who’s seen too much, he knows she must be silenced. Not one to shy away from violence, Stone prepares to do what is needed but then he realizes there may be another solution to his problem.

 

“Fighting for that last bit of dignity, even when she was losing everything. That’s what spoke to me.”


Knowing how the past has shaped him, Stone wants to protect Brooke from his inner turmoil and the danger surrounding him and his friends but she offers something he’s never had. By staying in the shadows, Stone is able to watch her but as time passes, he needs to feel the peace only she can offer. With sexual tension at high levels, it is combustible with Stone’s dominant and wild energy and Brooke’s unguarded innocence.

“You’re so fucking pretty.” Her voice trembles. “Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing?” Because I can’t stand her delicate eyelids and her bow-shaped mouth. She’s so fragile, so breakable, and I’m a goddamn sledgehammer.”


Told in dual POV, these characters immediately show their true selves and it creates more intrigue into how Brooke and Stone will develop individually and as a couple. At first, I wasn’t sure how the dynamic of their age difference would work but it becomes clear that Brooke provides Stone with a cushion he’s never experienced and he accepts her unconditionally. While the influence and consequences of Brooke’s life are clear from the beginning, I wanted to know more about Stone’s past that just a few recollected memories, especially since it’s been his driving force for so long. That said, I enjoyed this story, the unique plot elements and Stone’s dirty mouth. 

In reading Hostage, it was my first introduction to writing duo of Skye Warren and Annika Martin and their collaborative effort felt seamless. While I was expecting a darker read, the action and connection between all characters kept me intrigued. Also, I really love the cover design and it captures the overall theme of the book.

Hostage would appeal to those who are looking for a fast-paced romantic suspense with darkish elements. 

Criminals & Captives series:
Prisoner (Criminals & Captives, #1) by Annika Martin Hostage (Criminals & Captives, #2) by Annika Martin

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Title: Blood Red Rose
Author: Fawn Bailey
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 1 of 3 
POV: First Person – Multiple
Expected Publication: February 24, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

At 18 years old, Harlow Granger is an aspiring ballerina on the cusp of getting her big break until one fateful day when she is taken against her will. Upon realizing her predicament, Harlow begins training as a submissive all in the expectation that she will serve her master. 

 

“I bled for him, beautiful dark blood washing over the makeshift stage as I danced.”


Thorn is a mysterious man with financial means to get exactly what he wants. Admiring her from afar, he knew she would be perfect for his needs and Harlow seems to bloom under his watchful eye despite the harsh circumstances.

 

“For that man, I would have done anything. It made me want to sob.”


As Harlow tries to adjust to her training, she is shocked by her reactions and tries to please her trainer in every way. While she clings to the hope of escaping, certain developments arise until the inevitable happens. 

 

“Brokenly, I succumbed to his demands. I ate his cum like a whore and felt every bit the broken plaything he wanted to turn me into.”


The contrast between Harlow and Thorn is immediately evident, as she is young and impressionable yet Thorn is experienced and hardened. The tone is also conflicting in that what Harlow experiences and feels seems to tilt on its axis throughout her plight. Unsure of what she understands, Harlow begins to direct her feelings in ways that will only cause more harm. 

What transpires is a dark themed captive story that pushes Harlow’s boundaries and tests the morality of other characters. With being the first book in a series, much was introduced but there are many questions that remain about Harlow and Thorn. 

In Blood Red Rose Fawn Bailey pens a narrative that is rich in erotica and creates vulnerable characters that cause different reactions. This author’s first formal foray into the dark shows promise and I’m curious to see how it all unfolds.

Rose and Thorn series:
Blush Pink Rose (Rose and Thorn, #0.5) by Fawn Bailey Blood Red Rose (Rose and Thorn, #1) by Fawn Bailey Pure White Rose (Rose and Thorn, #2) by Fawn Bailey Last Broken Rose (Rose and Thorn, #3) by Fawn Bailey

*I won an ARC in the author’s buddy read giveaway.
*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey!*

 

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Title: The Velvet Caress
Author: C.P. Mandara
Genre: Erotica/BSDM
Type: Book two of Velvet Lies series
POV: First Person – Multiple

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

 

Without interruption in the timeline, the storyline continues with the newlywed Jennifer Radcliff Matthews battling for her life due to a dose of poison. Shaken by the situation, Mark Matthews is concerned for his wife and will take all measures to find the culprit who seeks their demise. With guilt over his past behavior, Mark believes he deserves this turn of events and seeks penance in a place where he can atone and briefly forget about the consequences. 

 

“The thing was, you couldn’t take life for granted, it was precious and you had to savour each and every day you were given as if it were your last.”


With Mark standing firm with his decision with the need to be punished, he submits for one night to a Dominatrix despite his dominant nature. What occurs tests Mark’s threshold for physical and mental stimulation but it also gives him the reprieve he so desperately needs. Throughout his session, the methods used were deliciously erotic, quite edgy and tested Mark’s boundaries.

 

“I needed raw emotion, skin on skin contact, and a taste of something brutal. The dominant male had left the building, and all that remained was a shell of the man I once was. Would I always feel like this? I hoped not.”


As Jennifer recovers, it becomes clear there is a larger force at play regarding her family background. This knowledge adds to the ongoing plot points about Albrecht Stables and Michael’s Radcliff’s vengeful motivation but also creates questions about how it all happened. Though Mark has unlimited resources, it is difficult to find those he can trust and relies on a character who is eager to employ certain methods to make a traitor talk.

“Well, I don’t actually know his name.” “You’re fucking kidding me. Do I have complete twat tattooed across my forehead or something?”

 

 

 

With varying points of view, this narrative offers multiple and suspenseful intersecting plot points. Learning more about Jennifer’s background and her actions to protect Mark, she has evolved from a spoiled rich girl to a woman of substance. As for Mark, he is in a new position with loving feelings toward his wife but also acknowledges that he isn’t a vanilla saint. It isn’t a secret that Mark completely melts my panties and what occurs is kinky and combustible!

From the first page, I was completely enraptured by the storyline and how the circumstances continue to change in this ever evolving and ongoing plot. With suspenseful elements and stylistic writing, C.P. Mandara pushes carnal boundaries and keeps the reader wondering what is next. Needless to say, I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds in the next book. 

The Velvet Caress would appeal to those who appreciate the exotic elements of kinkery and enjoy the tension of romantic suspense. I highly recommend!

 

Velvet Lies series:
The Velvet Chair (Velvet Lies #1, The Pony Tales #7) by C.P. Mandara The Velvet Caress (Velvet Lies, #2, Pony Tales, #8) by C.P. Mandara

 

*A copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Gentleman Nine
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: February 19, 2018

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4 Stars! 

 

Amber Walton is a kindhearted person who works with special needs adults. After breaking up with her boyfriend of nine years, she is heartbroken and trying to pick up the pieces. When Channing, one of her oldest friends, becomes her temporary roommate, Amber starts to process her feelings and see her life in a new perspective.

“You have to focus on the solution, or rather, focus on what you truly want.”


Channing Lord is on a contract job assignment in Boston and reunites with a childhood friend, who has a special place in his heart. Always able to garner attention due to his model looks and easy personality, Channing begins to question his decisions and must tackle life’s challenges.

“You either have to make something happen for yourself, or it just falls into your lap when you stop searching.”


As Channing and Amber become reacquainted, it’s as though time hasn’t passed and their connection remains strong. Wanting to protect Amber, Channing offers advice and tries to heal her aching emotions. While Amber is thankful for Channing’s friendship, her long buried romantic feelings toward him resurface but she doesn’t want to compromise what they already have. After realizing the situation, Channing makes it hard for Amber to resist his charm.

“I don’t ever want you to forget what this feels like, Amber. I know I won’t ever forget this.”


Told in dual POV, the sexual tension is combustible with Channing being a constant temptation and Amber trying resist at every turn. It certainly isn’t one-sided as Channing discovers more than he could have imagined and ultimately must make the right decision. Once all is out in the open, Channing and Amber think their rules can insulate them while having some naughty fun.

In addition to the fun and sexy times shared by Amber and Channing, unexpected situations arise causing them to make difficult decisions. During this time, the tone shifts to one with some angst but also shows the dimension in these characters individually and as a couple. From the beginning, Channing charmed me and I enjoyed how he was always grounded in many ways despite his playboy past. Amber is a noble character and her emotions were completely relatable.

With Gentleman Nine being my first Penelope Ward read, I expected a fun, sexy read and it certainly delivered on those points, as well as, offering a bit of angst and realistic life circumstances. This book would appeal to those who enjoy a friends to lovers romance.

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: Shiver
Author: Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine
Genre: Erotica / MM
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

Published October 15th 2017

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4 Stars!

 

 

 

Jesse Clark is a recent archeology graduate trying to make ends meet. One night he accompanies his good friend to an exclusive sex club and discovers a completely new world. For Jesse, this one time is enough but unbeknownst to him, he’s been noticed by a man who excels in the hunt.

“He looked like the devil himself lording over hell, but I hadn’t known at the time how tempting that sinful prince would be.”

Salvatore Wolfe is a man of exotic tastes and has the wealth and drive to get what he wants. Upon seeing Jesse in his club, his predatory instincts take over despite his efforts to avoid past mistakes. As a wolf on the prowl, he’s prepared to ensnare his little lamb.

“You have the face of an angel but respond to orders from the devil. That’s a potent combination, Jesse.”

With Salvatore setting his traps, he couldn’t be more pleased by Jesse’s continued willingness to submit to his desires. For Jesse, Salvatore offers a place of safety and his trusting nature becomes a continued temptation. What ensues between these two is quite hot, as Salvatore is dominating in every way.

“I spread my thighs as he moved further down my body, and I used the restraints around my wrists to pull myself up and buck against him as he went. When his lips brushed over the crease of my thigh, I closed my eyes.

Told in dual POV, it becomes immediately apparent that Wolfe is predator with a dark past. As he calculates and manipulates, he can’t hide his true feelings for the little bit of light in his life. While Jesse is much younger than Salvatore and a bit naïve, his character offers a needed balance and a sense of goodness. Knowing Salvatore’s true tastes, the sexual tension of what’s to come is intriguing.

Overall, I enjoyed the predator and prey elements, along with Salvatore’s darker side. I was hoping for more of Salvatore’s past, but what was revealed remained aligned with his character right until the very satisfying end.

Shiver is a story of lust and obsession where boundaries are crossed. This book will appeal to those who enjoy their MM action with some kinkery.

 

 

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Title: The Silver Cage
Author: Anonymous
Genre: Romance/MM
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

 

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4.5 Stars! 

 

 

Michael Beck is an aspiring freelance journalist and blogger who primarily earns a living by streaming as a gamer. At 25 years old, he’s slowly adapted to adulting but now he has an opportunity of a lifetime to transition his writing into a more serious pursuit. As Michael tries to ingratiate himself with his easy personality and commitment to an accurate portrayal, he begins to discover more than he could have imagined about his subject and himself.

“I was giving myself permission to reopen the door to Michael Beck, because I didn’t have anything else in left in my life.”


Caleb “Cal” Bright is a reclusive best selling author sequestered by his own volition. Upon begrudgingly accepting to be interviewed for a profile, Cal is prepared to regurgitate answers to unimaginative questions so he can be left alone again. However, what starts on a rocky and standoffish foundation evolves into the unexpected causing old feelings to come full circle.

“I do believe I deserve it,” I admitted. “That doesn’t make it any easier.”


As Michael and Cal set a professional course, a mutual respect is present and as their time together passes, Cal slowly begins to reveal many layers of his personality and beliefs. Learning more about each other leads to decisions that cause complications but both embrace their choices despite the consequences.

“I got down on my knees very deliberately. I wanted him to know that I wanted this, and that I wasn’t acting on a whim.”

 

 

Told in dual POV, these characters become alive from the first page. While Cal’s personality is steeped in refinement, education and wealth, he is also deeply conflicted with the conventions of his family’s religion and his own actions. Often coming across as aloof or abrasive, Cal is confronted with Michael’s uninhibited lightheartedness and it balances him in ways he hasn’t felt in years. I loved Cal and certainly empathized with his conflict. With Michael, he always felt like breeze of fresh air infusing energy and newness.

What ensues is a story that evokes strong emotion in relation to choices and expectations regarding family, love and one’s own beliefs in religious constructs. The impact is deeply felt whether it be the sensation of attraction, admiration, despair and loss. Knowing the plight of Cal and Michael, the author remains true these characters. 

The Silver Cage offers a poignant narrative that will leave lasting impression. This book will appeal to those who want to delve into complex feelings no matter the painful consequences. I highly recommend! 

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Title: The Lucky Ones
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: Third Person
Expected Publication: February 13, 2018

 

4.5 Stars!  

Allison Lamarque is at a turning point in her adult life. At this pivotal time, she receives a letter from her foster brother after thirteen years have elapsed without any contact. While she has fond memories living with the Capello family, she also has unanswered questions about the circumstances surrounding the night that caused her life to change. Upon deciding to travel back to the Oregon coast to pay her respects to Dr. Vincent Capello, Allison must confront her emotions and many family secrets. 

 

“When distant relatives contact you out of nowhere, it’s never good. Never.”


Being the eldest, Roland Capello took a chance on contacting Allison after all these years for the sake of his father and siblings. Harboring feelings he has tried to reconcile over time, Allison’s visit brings many memories to the surface.

 

“Never too late to come home,” Roland said, and squeezed her hand again.”


As Allison is determined to discover what happened the night of her accident, she uncovers information that creates more questions about the family she loved so dearly. Step by step, complications arise causing conflicting feelings about her perceptions and how to handle such destructive secrets. 

 

“He’s good at pretending things are okay when they aren’t.”


From the first page, Allison’s story unfolds in such a compelling manner with her situation bringing forth a range of emotion. With strong secondary characters in Dr. Capello, Roland, Deacon and Thora, the dichotomy between truth and lies is further explored leaving each to weigh heavy consequences. The moral dilemma presented is quite interesting and attaching emotion to the motivation really intrigued me, as I understood the plight of each character despite positive or negative results. While the Allison and Roland share a deep romantic connection, the suspense element really drives the story and causes Allison to evaluate how she can move forward with Roland. 

In starting this book, I was expecting a solid mystery, and the author certainly delivered on that point, but the plot offers much more with complexity and an intricately weaved plot bringing the characters full circle. As such, Tiffany Reisz pens a masterful and provocative narrative that allows the reader to experience the highs and lows of humanity.

The Lucky Ones is a suspenseful story about the intricacies of family, secrets, grief and sacrifice. I highly recommend!

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: The Elder
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Mystery/Romantic Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: February 6, 2018

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3.5 Stars

Arabella Matthews is an Azalea city police detective and a single parent. Assigned as lead on the homicide case, she effortlessly takes charge. Knowing the city has limited resources, Arabella must accept reinforcements from the Sheriff’s department. Accepting the help wouldn’t be too bad except for the King name and how they view citizens from her neighborhood.

“You can’t just walk into my life and fit, just like I couldn’t do that to yours. We are pieces to entirely different puzzles.”


Benton King is an attorney and known to be the uptight elder King brother. Working in his father’s law firm, Benton is dedicated to his profession and his family’s legacy. When Benton’s father is murdered, he’s in shock but can’t sit idly by while the investigation is under foot.

“In neat blue cursive, the note said, “You’re next.”


While Arabella and Benton seem to be opposites, they find an unexpected balance and attraction to each other. As they are determined to obtain answers and find the killer, they partner together in their search. Slowly, Benton begins to realize there is more to life than the firm and Arabella sees that there may be more to Benton than she thought. 

“Why did kindness bring them to the surface faster than anything else, even pain?”


In this plot driven story, the mystery builds as the investigation unfolds with possible motives and suspects. Step by step, the consequences become more dire causing Arabella and Benton to rely upon each other. Adding to the cast of characters is Porter, Benton’s younger brother and town Sheriff, whose carefree personality infuses the plot with humor. 

What I liked about this story is the quirkiness of a small town where gossip is abundant and older residents like May Bell seem to be wise. With an underlying theme of socio-economic disparity and racism, it adds an unfortunate realism but these main characters rise above. Overall, I liked the author’s writing but the storyline felt predictable and I wanted more development between Benton and Arabella. 

The Elder will appeal to those looking for a murder mystery with a side of romance. 

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.

 

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Lonestar Liz!*

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Title: Devastate (Deliver #4)
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Dark Romance
Type: Book 4 in a series
POV: Third Person
Expected Publication: February 6, 2018

4.5 Stars!

For Tate Vades, life hasn’t always been easy but he’s adapted to his situation. Pining after his good friend for some time, he believes he can capture her heart if only he can find her missing sister. When Tate decides to act on his plan, he is tested physically and emotionally in ways he never could have foreseen. 

 

“What is the price you’re willing to pay?”


Lucia Dias has been separated from her family for eleven years and learned quickly that she couldn’t trust anyone in her current surroundings. Employed by the local underworld boss, she knows her place but is beginning to lose hope of having a different life.

 

“What is it going to be Lucia? The easy way? Or…” He tightened his fingers against her throat, cutting her airflow. “The hard way?”


As Tate’s path takes him to Caracas in search of Lucia, he begins to realize that his journey is more than just finding her, but also about reconciling his past and fighting for a future. For Lucia, the hope she lost is resurrected when she connects with Tate on a deeper level than she ever expected. As they start to trust each other, the risks are high but they are willing to fight for a chance.

 

“With his hands on her hips, he drove inside her, feeding her every ruthless inch and unleashing the last of his restraint.”


With Tate’s history, the loneliness of his character pervades, but even during his darkest times, his humanity didn’t wane. Finally finding what he’s been searching for, Tate doesn’t back down and stakes his claim toLucia. Most importantly, Tate evolves as he learns from his past and embraces who he is now. Throughout this plot, Lucia’s plight is heavy and the hopelessness of her situation is strongly felt – ranging from her stubborn resignation to infusing passion into desperate times. 

Told in third person, the plot tension builds at a steady crescendo leading to gritty moments filled with psychological implications and adrenaline pumping action. Adding to the appeal of Tate andLucia are secondary characters that continue to be weaved into the ongoing plot of the Deliver series. Van Quiso’s role in this book is monumental for his own character arc and also for Tate’s personal growth. With his added presence, the plot felt more cohesive. Lastly, the inclusion of Cole Hartman made my heart flutter again and can’t wait to read more about him being part of the Freedom Fighters. 

In true Pam Godwin fashion, Devastate follows a complex plot rich in earnest characters and effective scenes that evoke a sense of strong emotional strength. What I always love about this author’s work is her ability to stay true to her characters and to take a darker path when it furthers the storyline. 

Devastate is dark story paralleling the trials and tribulations of characters placed in harsh circumstances but showing how resilient one can be. I highly recommend!

Deliver series:
Deliver (Deliver, #1) by Pam Godwin Vanquish (Deliver, #2) by Pam Godwin Disclaim (Deliver, #3) by Pam Godwin Devastate (Deliver, #4) by Pam Godwin Take (Deliver, #5) by Pam Godwin 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Loyda and Lonestar Liz!*

 

Title: Peep Show
Author: Isabella Starling
Genre: Erotic Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual

 

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4 Stars!!

 

Bebe Hall is a twenty-something party girl lost in her own fears and emotions. Trying to escape the pain but also feel like she belongs, Bebe focuses on her own pleasure and fun. It isn’t until one night when she witnesses the pleasure and pain another woman feels at the hands of her neighbor. Not one to walk away from danger, Bebe tests the limits.

“I DARE YOU TO GO NEXT.”


Miles Reilly is man who enjoys controlling his environment. Upon noticing he has an audience, Miles doesn’t shy away but rather clearly communicates his willingness to connect with another. While he guarantees to provide quite the show, there is much more to Miles than what he presents.

“I wanted to know what she tasted like with me inside her. I wanted to know how sweet that cunt was after I’d forced orgasm after orgasm out of it.”


Told in dual POV, the characters of Miles and Bebe evoke an immediate emotional response. At first, Bebe is easy to dislike due to her socialite lifestyle without much regard for what really counts. However, as more is revealed, it becomes apparent why Bebe is makes such irresponsible decisions and she earns more respect as she confronts her vulnerability. With Miles, he has much to hide and doesn’t want to burden Bebe with his own problems, but he soon finds reason to break from his shell.

“Why do you fucking insist on avoiding the problem when it’s staring you straight in the face?”


Between Miles and Bebe the sexual chemistry is off the charts with both not having many limits when it comes to pleasure. While there are steamy scenes, the story also evolves into multiple layers depicting how circumstances can be the impetus for self-protective behavior. For me, reading what Miles endured was heartbreaking but it’s also a realistic view at how fragile humanity can be at times. I also liked how he seemed to powerful on the outside while inside he was filled with pain. 

When starting Peep Show, I was expected an erotic novel and it certainly delivered on that aspect, but it also conveyed a range of emotion with two characters that are shattered but not beyond mending.

For those looking for incredibly sexy times but also a plot that makes you empathize on many levels with the characters, I highly recommend Peep Show.

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Seek by Mia Sheridan

Title: Seek
Author: Mia Sheridan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Published: January 22, 2018

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Olivia “Livvy” Barton is a woman of means but her financial security doesn’t insulate the pain when her fiancé mysteriously vanishes. Using available resources, Livvy hires a man to escort her to Colombia to obtain answers. With parts of the country ravaged by natural disasters, Livvy must rely on her escort to provide a safe passage but she cannot be shielded from what is to come.

“I guess love can make people take risks that aren’t necessarily wise.” She furrowed her brow. “Yes, I guess so.”


As a former soldier, Thomas is thoroughly trained to accompany Livvy to South America despite sharing the risks involved in such a journey. On the surface, he sees Livvy in a certain light, but it quickly becomes clear that she is more than just a pretty face. Committed to protecting her, their experiences intensify in their short time together. 

“She was strong. I realized that now, but a person couldn’t be strong all the time.”


Upon arriving in Colombia and being isolated in the jungle and small villages, Livvy and Thomas begin to reveal bits of their past and true selves. Relying on Thomas feels natural for Livvy but this time also begins to prompt more introspection into Livvy’s choices and motivations. While she is determined to find answers for Alec’s disappearance, she is prepared for heartbreak. Though Thomas isn’t initially invested in the outcome, he starts view Livvy in a different light based on her resolve. 

“A thrill seeker and a homebody. We’re a funny pair, aren’t we?” she asked softly.”


Told in dual POV, Livvy and Thomas come from different backgrounds, but their commonalities create a bond. Understanding what they endured, adds dimension to each character in that there is empathy and the mixed emotion of how they will move forward. Feeling their chemistry, Thomas exudes so much raw male strength and sexual energy that it is palpable and completely relatable when Livvy sneaks a peek at him and ultimately acts on her urges. With pending tension of the unknown, surrendering to the moment is all they agree to have. 


“She’d wear the evidence of this night on her body in the morning, and at the half-formed thought, a fierce surge of satisfaction, of possession, surged through me.”


From the beginning, I liked Thomas and how his past and present actions defined his character. With Livvy, initially I was worried that she would be a snob but very quickly it becomes clear that she isn’t defined by money but rather her heart and a deep need to protect. I admired her tenacity and willingness to take the journey despite knowing the consequences of such closure.

With a twisty reveal at the end, the plot and characters come full circle. This author’s writing style is always engaging, as she has a precise ability to combine emotion and vulnerabilities with added self-reflection and inner strength. 

For those looking to read a romantic suspense with worthy characters and an introspective journey, I recommend Seek.

*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Deep Control by Annabel Joseph

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Title: Deep Control (Dark Dominance #2)
Author:  Annabel Joseph
Genre:  Romance/Erotica/BDSM
Type:  Standalone within a series
POV:  First person – dual

Expected Publication: January 22, 2018

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4 Stars!

 

Dr. Ella Novatny is well-respected theoretical astrophysicist heavily focused on her career but when she isn’t immersed in the lab, she needs the escape of pain delivered by a Dom’s hand. Offered a job in New York, she must travel by plane and face one of her fears. However, when she is thrust into a completely uncontrollable situation, she is tested in more ways than she expected.

 

“I have a tendency to worry about things. To overthink. My field of science is based on questions more than answers.”


Captain Devin Kincaid is a pilot and known to be playboy sadist. Comfortable with his traveling and uncomplicated lifestyle, his time at The Gallery keeps him busy and sated by submissives. After meeting a certain masochist, Devin’s need to play with others becomes diminished but his past still affects certain decisions. 

 

“It was fun-ishment. But I can do punishment, too.”


As Ella and Devin find a common bond with pain, she begins to trust Dev but certain vulnerabilities flair causing Ella to do what she knows so well. Even with Ella’s pushback, Devin assures her of his intentions, but when Devin’s latent emotions surface, he must accept what he feels to move forward.

 

“Just lie there and imagine my cock moving in and out of you, pounding your hungry, juicy pussy.”


Told in dual POV, getting into the minds of these characters feels effortless. I admired Ella’s intellectual abilities and understood her deep need to protect her heart. While Ella works hard, she also needs an equally impactful release achieved by being a submissive. With Devin providing the security and touch Ella craves, she’s able lose control and quiet her mind leading to hot scenes.

 

“Things are always better after you fuck me,” I said. “You have a magic cock.”


From the beginning, Devin oozes sexiness as a Dom and while in his pilot’s uniform. While these two may have been an unlikely match without kink, their attraction builds as plot points are met. What I always appreciate about this author’s writing is her consistency in staying true to her characters. 

Deep Control will appeal to those who enjoy BDSM play and also a romance about characters trying to find their way together. 

Dark Dominance series:
Dark Control (Dark Dominance, #1) by Annabel Joseph Deep Control (Dark Dominance, #2) by Annabel Joseph Dangerous Control (Dark Dominance, #3) by Annabel Joseph

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Rules of Engagement by Lily White

 

Title: Rules of Engagement
Author:  Lily White
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First person – dual

Expected Publication: January 17, 2018

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4.5 Stars!

Mia Jennings is trying to support herself in the big city but losing her last job has created a financial crisis. Feeling desperate, she enrolls in an interactive cyber game with viewers on the dark web. Adding to her dilemma, Mia accepts a position at a company with a seriously enigmatic boss.

“But desperation has a heavy price. It’s a toxic poison that makes you do things you would never normally do.”


Donovan Stone is the owner of Stone Industries a large, multinational software company. With his prickly personality and certain needs, Donovan is resistant to hire a new assistant but there is something about Mia that keeps him intrigued and isn’t about to make it easy on her.

“I’m not rude. I’m clear about my thoughts.”


As Mia learns to adapt to Donovan’s quirks, their employer-employee relationship takes shape with Mia learning much more than she anticipated and wishing she could terminate her participation in the game. With Donovan taking pleasure in Mia’s discomfort, he continues to push her until the tension becomes unbearable between them. 

“This was the type of kiss that vanquished all doubts I had left inside me that, to Donovan Stone, I was a woman worth taking a chance on.”

Tension mounts as Mia realizes the impact of her vulnerability as her predator makes his constant presence known. Despite not being able to hide, Mia raises the stakes compounding the risk. As she tries to end the game, more surprises are waiting for Mia.

“Rule No. 1: Do not enter the game unless you intend to finish. Once accepted, there is no escape.”


Donovan was a standout character for me based on how he dealt with his past. While he can be abrasively honest, I was instantly intrigued and charmed by him. As for Mia, her desperation and need to please was successfully conveyed and led to her poor decision. However, I liked her overall determination and the fact she didn’t concede to Donovan’s challenges making them a good match.

From the beginning, a certain pace is set that allows for the suspense to mount. Combined with a tense dilemma and distinctive characters, the plot unfolds and lures the reader into a world where rules are meant to be broken. For those who enjoy romantic suspense with a unique plot, Rules of Engagement will keep you entertained to the very end. 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

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Title: Tales from Cushman Row
Author:  Suanne Laqueur
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/MM
Type:  Book 3 of 3 in the Venery series
POV:  Third person

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4 Stars! 

 

Tales from Cushman Row is a compendium of deleted scenes and the author’s notes focusing on the character development of Javier Landes and the relationship he shares with Steffan Finch. Organized by chapter themes, each scene offers further dimension into these characters by exposing vulnerabilities, revealing humor and ultimately a sense of harmony. With the inclusion of chapters dedicated to the progression of Jav and Stef’s sexual encounters, it certainly satisfied the need to have something extra after finishing A Charm of Finches.

 

“Feel good?” Jav whispered. “God, I never had it so good.” Propped over Stef, Jav’s eyes seemed to harden. “You ever gonna let anyone else fuck you like this?” “No way. Never.”


Overall, getting insight into the author’s writing process was like watching cogs click into place, and these extras enriched my overall reading experience. For those who enjoyed the Venery duet, this book will answer some questions you may have and sate any residual cravings toward Jav. I highly recommend as supplemental reading. 

 

“Listen to learn. Learn to tell. Tell to teach.”

 

Venery series:
An Exaltation of Larks (Venery, #1) by Suanne Laqueur A Charm of Finches (Venery, #2) by Suanne Laqueur Tales from Cushman Row (Venery) by Suanne Laqueur

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CC’s Review ~ Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed by Selena Kitt

 

Title: Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed (Original Version)
Author:  Selena Kitt
Genre:  Erotica
Type:  Book 1 of 3 in a series
POV:  First person

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5 Taboo Stars!! 

At 18 years old, Leah is a high school student who spends the majority of her time with her best friend, Erica. Due to natural teenage sexual curiosities, they discover what Erica’s father, Mr. Nolan, is keeping hidden under his bed. From that moment, a world of pleasure opens to Leah and she wants to experience it all. 

“Doesn’t it feel good to be bad?” I touched my lips, still wet with her juices, and nodded. I had to admit – it really did.”


Mr. Nolan is a widower of five years raising his daughter on his own. Knowing his daughter and Leah are such good friends comforts him to a degree, but Leah is catching his attention in a new and dangerous ways. As the temptation becomes too great, Mr. Nolan and Leah succumb to their desire leading to scorching hot scenes.

“Oh yes, fuck me, Mr. Nolan. Put that big, hard cock in my wet little cunt.” Just whispering the words, hearing them out loud, was beyond exciting.”


In starting this Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed, I had certain expectations and this book delivered by exceeding on the forbidden and smut scale! To be clear, this particular version is the original and uncut story that delves into the taboo on so many wrong levels, but it’s also cringe-worthy in that what transpires is sexually erotic. 

With all that occurs in the relationships of these characters, the recurring theme is the exploration of being uninhibited despite societal conventions. This version may not be for everyone, but the author unabashedly embraces the forbidden and successfully pushes the boundaries, as nothing is off-limits. 

For those who are looking for a truly taboo story, Under Mr. Nolan’s Bed will keep you glued to the pages, fanning yourself and wondering what did I just read?! I highly recommend.

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Prince Charming by CD Reiss

 

Title: Prince Charming 
Author:  CD Reiss
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  Dual – first person

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4 Stars!

 

Cassie Grinstead is a FBI agent assigned to uncovering a white supremacist cell. While investigating her case, she believes a popular hacker named Alpha Wolf can be an asset as an informant; however, identifying him proves challenging. If Cassie succeeds, she will earn the longstanding promotion she’s been seeking and also the much needed validation of success.

“Even though I do want him, very much so, and it’s that very real threat that he is lawless that piques my interest as much as never seen him try to hard.”


Keaton Bridge is a man known to have strong hacking associations, but even with a reputation that precedes him, much mystery remains. Knowing his long-term goal, Keaton has been planning for the day, but when he meets Agent Grinstead, he begins to question his timeline.

“Whenever I’m in a room with you, I feel like you press against the world. My world. My attention.”


With a family history of single mothers, Cassie knows the struggle and also has an inherent distrust of men. Coupled with her job, trusting people isn’t easy for her. While she knows Keaton is hiding many truths, she is deeply attracted to his veneer and the possibility of cracking it. For Keaton, he believes there’s more to Cassie than just a shiny badge and he’s waiting for the opportunity to tarnish her.

“Do you kiss a girl after she’s had your dick in her mouth?” He takes me by the back of the neck and kisses me deeply.”


Told in dual POV, the chemistry between Keaton and Cassie is palpable as their witty banter propels these two as a couple. Not known to back down, Cassie remains a strong force and challenges Keaton on an equal plane. With her background, they compliment each other perfectly and once they surrender to their feelings, sparks fly. 

From being introduced to Keaton in King of Code, I was immediately intrigued by his character and discovering more about him was satisfying. With Cassie’s tough exterior, it was good to know what makes her tick and also understand her loving relationship with Nana. For the first half of the book, the tension surrounded Cassie and Keaton but then it started to escalate as Keaton’s past was unavoidable and leading to a faster pace. However, I did want a bit more into Keaton’s past and the second part of Cassie’s investigation wasn’t fully reconciled. Perhaps, that will lead into a third book?

Ultimately, Prince Charming offers a romance between two unlikely characters that discover their differences are just as unifying as their similarities. As their priorities align, they get closer to the truth. With this author’s writing style of punchy straightforward prose, it enhances these characters and the overall storyline. 

For those seeking a contemporary romance with a fiery heroine and British gentleman, Prince Charming will appeal to you. 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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CC’s Review ~ The Christmas Truce by Tiffany Reisz

 

Title: The Christmas Truce
Author:  Tiffany Reisz
Genre:  Erotica/BDSM
Type:  Book 0.9 of The Original Sinners series
POV:  Third person

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4.5 Stars! 

On Christmas Eve, Nora is feeling lonely and missing Søren. Though Nora made certain choices, she and Søren have been separated but never far apart. With Kingsley to keep her company, they reminisce and share their Christmas wishes with each other until they decide to attend midnight mass.

“I think I belong to him. I think I’m supposed to belong to him.”


Upon being reuniting with Søren, the longstanding friendship, love and submission is ever present as they agree to a truce for one night. With this union, wishes are granted for these characters with incredibly erotic scenes between this unholy trinity.

“Mais…it is Christmas. You want me at your threesome? Ask nicely. Gift-wrap it a little for me.”


Divided into two parts with the first being more reflective, the storyline comes full circle incorporating longstanding emotions and physical cravings. Getting more of Nora, Søren and Kingsley, especially in these written scenes, is a feast for the senses and a wish come true. I highly recommend The Christmas Truce!

Note:
The Christmas Truce is a free short story available on the author’s website.

 

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CC’s Review ~ Her Master’s Christmas by Lily White

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Title: Her Master’s Christmas 
Author:  Lily White
Genre:  Erotica/BDSM
Type:  Book 2.5 of the Masters series
POV:  First person – dual

 

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5 Stars!

 

Christmas is Rebecca’s favorite holiday and for the past three years she tried to show her festive mood in creative ways despite her Master’s refusal for a traditional celebration. This particular year, however, Rebecca’s rebellious acts cause Aiden to offer her a reminder of how a proper courtesan should behave.

“Rebecca was an enigma wrapped in seduction, a mystery that no man could possibly understand. No man, but me, that is.”

Though Rebecca’s transgressions may appear to be minor on the outside, Aiden will not be manipulated. With the commitment of procuring and training a courtesan, Aiden uses this opportunity to enlist Rebecca’s help and to also teach his courtesan a lesson. Slowly, Rebecca begins to sense that Aiden may have reached his limit and is ready for a new courtesan. Despite feeling rejected, Rebecca tries to give Aiden what he wants in hopes of staying with the Master she adores.

“I loved him. I belonged to him. I’d given over my life to him in pursuit of his pleasure.”

Told in dual POV, the complexity of these characters is evident based on their actions and thoughts. Further delving into the dynamic surrounding their relationship adds more dimension to Aiden and Rebecca individually and as a unit. With each offering an incredible range, both surpass expectations and it leads to unexpected developments.

“I wanted to brush the lines of anger from her skin, but I was enjoying the way she fucked me like she wanted to kill me.”

While this book is short in length, it certainly makes an impact offering more into the minds of Aiden and Rebecca. Known for being a mastermind of manipulation, Aiden once again rises to the occasion as his capacity to exact what he wants is precisely executed. With Rebecca, her character really clicked for me due to her adaptive abilities and using her senses to strengthen her position. Offering many future possibilities, Rebecca continues to earn her role as Aiden’s prized courtesan.

In starting this novella, I had high expectations for depravity and psychological manipulation and it definitely delivered on both elements. Though this is a holiday themed story, the dark plot is complex making it a book to read at anytime, especially if an Aiden fix is needed.

Her Master’s Christmas bears Lily White’s unique brand of darkness and lures the reader into a world with twists and without limitations. I highly recommend!

Masters series:
Her Master's Courtesan (Masters, #1) by Lily White Her Master's Christmas by Lily White Her Master's Teacher (Masters, #2) by Lily White Her Master's Redemption (Masters, #3) by Lily White

 

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Collaring Cinderella (Princess After Dark #1) by Isabella Starling

 

Title: Collaring Cinderella (Princess After Dark, #1) 
Author:  Isabella Starling
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Fantasy
Type:  Standalone within a series
POV:  First person – dual

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4 Stars! 

At eighteen, Ella Monroe wanted to attend university but had to put her plans on hold. Living with her step-mother to save money and cleaning the home of a wealthy man, Ella dreams of one day having her own loving family and can’t help lusting over the man of the house.

“Tell me to have a taste. Tell me you’ve been saving it for me, princess.” “Have a taste,” she begged. “Please Rafe, one taste…”

Rafael “Rafe” Goldwyn is the heir to a jewelry fortune. Having a playboy past, Rafe now has his eye on a certain girl in hopes of claiming her. When Rafe’s father gives him the impetus to move forward, he doesn’t hesitate and is anxious to dazzle his princess. 

“She was decadent, like a fucking delicious dessert I shouldn’t have been having, but it tempted me with its sugary sweetness and the cherry on top… And I couldn’t get enough.”

As Ella and Rafe have some hot close encounters, it further fuels his desire to taste her sweetness. With Ella enchanted by Rafe and with the help of a close friend, Ella transforms herself and is ready to attend the ball.

Told in dual POV, this modern retelling of Cinderella offers the familiar range of emotion with Ella plagued by her evil step-mother but also empowered by the goodness of a loved one. Of course, Rafe is gallant and doesn’t tolerate anyone mistreating his lady. With steamy chemistry and sweet love, their story is one to warm hearts. 

Collaring Cinderella is a fun novella that will appeal to those looking for a contemporary perspective of a charming fairytale infused with naughtiness.

Princess After Dark series:
Collaring Cinderella (Princess After Dark, #1) by Isabella Starling Breaking Belle (Princess After Dark #2) by Isabella Starling

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Christmas Daddies by Jade West

 

Title: Christmas Daddies
Author:  Jade West
Genre:  Erotic Romance/Holiday 
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First person – dual

Published: December 18, 2017

Buy Now!  Amazon

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4.5 Stars!!

 

Jenny Morris is a hard worker and new at her first internship position. Having an active imagination, she lusts over her boss and pens her dirtiest fantasies. With Christmas approaching, Jenny is home alone in a new town but when her boss asks for a favor, she is willing to do her best to comply with his request. Now that Jenny is surrounded by a cozy holiday setting, one longstanding wish remains to be fulfilled. 

“I wanted a man who’d take what he wanted and leave me a whimpering, squelchy mess of fuck yes!”

Jackson Hart is a non-nonsense type of man driven by his career. From the beginning, he sees potential in Jenny but he is cautious until he discovers Jenny’s extracurricular hobby. Deciding to keep her as close as possible, he respects the boundaries but Jackson soon realizes he is more than willing to satisfy a certain wishlist. 

“I’m going to fuck you through every single one of your fucking fantasies,” I told her. “Every single one.”

Told in dual POV, the personalities of Jenny and Jackson are felt immediately. With Jenny being younger, she wasn’t too naïve and her sense of humor added to her level of maturity. Though Jackson is a mature figure, he exposes vulnerabilities in hopes of moving forward. Together, their chemistry is combustible and they embrace their own needs without apology. 

This story has some sweetness (creamer excluded) but it is also balanced by the author’s signature hot dirtiness making it a perfect holiday novella. For those looking for a quickie read it’s guaranteed to keep you warm and tingly in all the right places! I highly recommend! 

*Note:
Christmas Daddies contains a set of 3 full-length novels: 
Call Me Daddy by Jade West Sugar Daddies by Jade West Dirty Daddies by Jade West
Plus, bonus content for all three and an exclusive Daddy novella for Christmas. *This review is only for the novella. 
CC’s review for Call Me Daddy
CC’s review for Sugar Daddies
CC’s review for Dirty Daddies

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ The Man in the Black Suit by Sylvain Reynard

Title: The Man in the Black Suit
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  Third person

Expected Publication: December 19, 2017

Pre-order on Amazon

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4.5 Stars!!

 

Acacia Santos works as a concierge at a luxury hotel in Paris. Educated at the Sorbonne and able to speak multiple languages fluently, Acacia takes pride in her position yet her past dictates her career choices and the need to remain fairly unnoticed. It isn’t until a high-profile guest at the hotel causes Acacia to act on instinct which leads to unexpected results.

“Our scars don’t define us,” she said simply.”


Nicholas Cassirer is a man of means and is driven by his need to obtain justice for his family. Getting entangled in the underworld has given Nicholas access to dangerous connections and valuable information but his search continues. During his stay in Paris, certain events occur that bring attention to his dealings. 

“I think you saw the same spark in me, even when I was hiding who I was.”


Placed in danger, Acacia acts based on her moral judgment but what unfolds is much bigger than she could have expected. Not one to trust blindly, Nicholas exercises caution but goes to noble lengths to protect Acacia despite her independent ways. Leading to what they believed to be an unlikely union at first, Nicholas and Acacia forge a passionate path uniquely their own.

“I’ve been afraid for so many years, I’m not afraid anymore, not while we’re together. I’ve waited a long time for you.”

From the beginning, the established tone is prefaced upon contrasts in that there are good and unselfish acts benefitting many versus the immoral and egocentric acts that disrupt lives and communities. With this overlying concept, the decisions made by Acacia and Nicholas further examine such choices and how one person can make an impact either positively or negatively.

Told in third person, the plot points develop at a steady pace allowing the characters to solidify congruously. With the mask of mystery upon Nicholas, it’s unknown whether Acacia will sacrifice her principles or if Nicholas will achieve his final goal. While there are times when it seems a safety net is firmly in place, the plot pivots leading to another layer of details that deepens the story. 

Nicholas is a noble character and shows an extremely gentle side with Acacia, but I also understood his vulnerability and deep need to exact vengeance. Acacia is a character that accepts her responsibilities and doesn’t eschew difficult choices. I liked her spirit from the beginning, and though she could be stubborn at times, her reasoning is justified. Hiding from her past wasn’t easy but when confronted with the reality, she rises to the occasion. The connection between Acacia and Nicholas is one steeped in respect and their romance is incredibly loving and full of chemistry. 

The Man in the Black Suit is rich in complex issues ranging from racism, terrorism and stolen art/antiquities. Centered on the romance, these characters must confront serious obstacles to move forward. With a lyrical writing style, Sylvain Reynard successfully takes the reader on a rewarding journey with worthy characters. I recommend! 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review. 

 

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Title: Bad Dad
Author: Sloane Howell
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First person- dual

Expected Publication: December 27, 2017

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4 Stars!!

 

For the last ten years, Landon Lane learned how to adapt to different situations but running from the shadows of his past proved to have consequences. As a single dad, he’s avoided romantic entanglements and has gone to great lengths to protect his son, but now Landon has a chance at freedom. With more at stake then just his well being, he makes a decision that will impact those close to him. 

“Don’t ever let someone call you weak for feeling something. Ever.”


Emma Hart is an elementary school teacher who recently returns to her small hometown. Leading a fairly quiet life, Emma is dedicated to her job and when a situation requires her attention, she intervenes to help her student. Needless to say, Emma is completely surprised she lays her eyes on the student’s father. As their attraction continues to develop, Emma must accept the risks.

“You ever want something that’s just beyond your grasp?”


Leading a fairly isolated life has been easy for Landon, and when difficulties arise, he confronts the matter head on. However, Emma is the opposite and she must learn to stop running from her problems. Preparing for the fight of his life, vulnerabilities are tested and Landon must rely on what he knows to be true.

“I stormed right toward my past and left the future on hold. Had to face it. End it.”


Told in dual POV and with a steady pace, the storyline unfolds to reveal Landon’s unique background. Having his perspective helps to offer understanding to his choices and underscores the measures Landon will take to protect his loved ones. With Cora, she was a bit challenging by falling into her old patterns when she should have known better. The father/son relationship between Landon and Logan was heartwarming and felt natural. Additionally, Joe is a secondary character that infuses humor and a sense of camaraderie into the plot. 

For me, I really enjoyed Landon’s backstory and how he evolved. The action sequences were adrenaline charged and his character arc didn’t follow a predictable formula. 

In Bad Dad, the themes of family, friendship, honesty and acceptance are effectively weaved into an entertaining and endearing story. For those looking for romance steeped in action, I recommend! 

 

 

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Title: The Director
Author: Lily White
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First person- dual

Published: December 13, 2017

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4 Stars!!

 

Emma Hart’s life irrevocably changes when she is abducted and given a terrifying proposition. With limited options, Emma’s rationale for her choice is the path of least resistance. However, when confronted with what lies behind door number two, her perspective radically changes to where every single last moment is earned.

“So, what will it be?” He asked, the silky croon like sandpaper against my senses now that I understood the type of monster he was. “Fuck or die?”

Ethan Cole is a director with certain professional goals. As he studies people for emotional subtleties, he captures each unadulterated nuance on film. Without filters, Ethan creates a world of violence, pain and raw fear.

“But I have better uses for a woman like you.” Leaning closer, his lips brushed across my cheek when he said, “You won’t like them, but I will.”

As Emma’s time becomes limited, she learns how to survive in ways she could have never foreseen. Using what she believes to be an advantage to manipulate her situation, Emma is still left vulnerable as the time for her final performance nears. While Ethan continues to control the environment in furtherance of his vision, the course set.

“I believe there’s a fire inside you that’s not present in many women. I’d like to use that fire for my personal gain.”

Told in dual POV, the nefarious tone of this novel is mainly felt through the perspective of Emma as she endures the reprehensible actions of her captors. Yet, even with these conditions, Emma manages to retain a sense of humanity. As Ethan’s experience is shared sporadically, his agenda is clear showing his ability and willingness to thrive in this depraved environment. Knowing her demise is near, Emma must process all her emotions and summon her resolve into the ultimate final act.

This novel definitely dives head first into a dark and evil world where limits are nonexistent. While Emma’s situation is desperate, she managed to channel an inner strength she didn’t know existed though at times it seemed to provide exactly what Ethan wanted. However, with the level of darkness evident in the physical acts, I was hoping the psychological elements between Emma and Ethan would have been equally as potent. Though there was manipulation, it felt offset by certain actions at times.

In The Director, Lily White creates a disturbing and grisly story that will keep readers on edge at all times. The theme of adaptation pervades the plot which allows for the characters to act the way they do. While it isn’t justification, it just becomes a means to an end. This one isn’t for the fainthearted but for those who like to test their limits. I recommend!

 

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Title: Fear the Wicked
Author: Lily White
Genre:  Psychological thriller/erotica
Type:  Book 2 of 2
POV:  First person- dual

Published: November 29, 2017

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4 Stars!!

 

Jacob Hayle has abandoned his parish and it’s questionable as to whether he’s also left behind his faith. Looking for answers, he travels to his childhood home hoping to gain insight into his own shadows and also those belonging to his brother. 

“Vengeance was the steady pulse inside my heart, the black shadow over my eyes and the caustic veil that smothered me day in and day out until I promised myself to take it.”


Jericho “Elijah” Hayle is a man with a mission. Having left behind his past, his vision is about to become a reality. Using effective and inventive ways of manipulation, Elijah’s choices underscore the level and depravity of his vengeance.

“Wickedness is only relieved with pain. And pain is a balm to the sinner’s soul. It flays you open, settles inside, and shreds you until there is nothing left.”


What ensues is a steady crescendo that tests the balance of good versus evil between twin brothers. With both having experienced circumstances that would beget the question of faith, their paths deviated taking very different directions. The notion of piety in religion is also a crucial element in the plot separating those that blindly follow and others who maintain their faith despite setbacks.

“But just like the rest of the fucks that call themselves holy, the only thing you know to do is lie.”


Told in multiple POV, Elijah’s arc offers dimension to a character that is plagued by injustice but his version of righteousness is quite askew. For Jacob, he further develops and makes conclusions about what defines him and beliefs. When the brothers unite, it is such a telling and intense moment that I just wanted to absorb it all and for as long as possible. 

Throughout both books in this duet, my feelings toward each brother shifted many times as I was trying to decipher hidden meanings and the motivation for their actions. In regard to Eve, her character felt the least dimensional but her healing process was realistic. Ultimately, the mysterious and ominous tone adds to the somber plot as the author pulls the reader into a world where good is shadowy and evil is downright tenebrous.

Fear the Wicked is a dark psychological thriller that examines faith and sacrifice taking the facade of wicked and righteous. I recommend!! 

Illusions Duet:
Illusions of Evil (Illusions Duet, #1) by Lily White Fear the Wicked (Illusions Duet, #2) by Lily White

 

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Title: ETERN1TY
Author: Erin Noelle
Genre:  Romance/fantasy
Type:  Book 2 of 2
POV:  First person- dual

Published: November 30, 2017

 

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4 STARS!! 

With the opening of Eternity, the timeline continues without interruption as Lyra Jennings and Tavian West return to their respective homes after their European journey. With each needing to reconcile their past, just in different ways, they are both ready to move forward in their relationship. For Lyra, she has a renewed outlook and Tavian makes the most of every moment. For both, numbers define their lives.

“All I know is she’s it – my One.”


Knowing time is limited, Lyra and Tavian are committed to the journey and start to live as they choose together. Each day brings them closer and to places where Lyra never dreamed about before meeting Tavian. As the numbers blur, the hope for a different meaning remains.

“Those aren’t … That can’t be…. No one else’s did that.”


Told in dual POV, the character development for Lyra and Tavian is rich as they grow as a couple and certain realizations come to light. Despite Lyra’s fears, she progresses tremendously and in a realistic way where Tavian may be the impetus but Lyra is ultimately making her own choices. As for Tavian, he is a character of honor and completely irresistible. The chemistry between these characters is palpable and they really balance each other. 

In starting this book, I wasn’t sure what direction the plot was going to take but the mystery of the numbers retains its allure until the end. The overall concept remains an intriguing one and it underscores the question of how. Heavy on romance but also with looming tension of the unknown and some conflict, this storyline is engaging and intriguing. 

Etern1ty offers a unique storyline with memorable characters that focuses on living life to the fullest despite experiencing setbacks. I recommend!

EXP1RE Duet:
EXP1RE (EXPIRE Duet, #1) by Erin Noelle ETERN1TY (EXPIRE Duet, #2) by Erin Noelle

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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Title: Millions
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Book 5 of 5
POV:  First person – dual

Published: November 28, 2017

 

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4 Stars!

 

Continuing without interruption in the timeline, Elder Prest and Tasmin “Pimlico” Blythe are thrust into an unexpected circumstance with conflict and tension requiring swift action. Elder doesn’t hesitate in his search and knows there will be a much more dangerous battle ahead. As Elder tries to keep his demons in check, Pim is also tested in a way where she needs to reconcile buried emotions from her captivity.

 

“I didn’t need Elder to complete me. I didn’t need time to cure me. I only needed to trust myself and I’d finally remembered how to do that.”


Once Elder and Pim are reunited, their circumstances remain ominous as Elder must confront the Chinmoku to end their longstanding vendetta. Fueled by honor, Elder prepares to fight and is willing to offer his own blood to keep Pim safe. What ensues is filled with action and sacrifice.

 

“I’d done what I feared I never would. I became him just as he’d promised. I smiled as everything went black.”


Told in dual POV, Pimlico’s emotional healing continues as the final pieces are reconciled. Showing incredible fortitude, Pim’s resilience is a beacon for Elder as he releases the bindings of his past. Communicating and learning together, these characters have evolved into a unique relationship where they each have scars but are no longer afraid of the pain.

 

“You’re stuck with me. For however long my stupid heart keeps me alive.”


In this final book of the series, all ongoing plot points are resolved leaving Elder and Pim to focus on their future. From the very beginning where Elder offered Pim a penny for her thoughts to the priceless gift of freedom, these two characters find peace and hope in each other. While their struggles had many lows, they didn’t compromise their core and I liked how there weren’t sudden shifts in what makes Elder or Pim tick. Though there are elements weaved into this plot that include certain secondary characters, I’m not sold on whether their roles necessarily enhance the storyline specific to Elder and Pim; however, I may be in the minority on that point. 

In Millions, Pepper Winters ends an epic journey with Pim finding her voice and Elder accepting peace. With courage and redemption as a recurring theme, this series offers a range of emotion, action and romance that will endear readers to the main characters. 

Dollar series:
Pennies (Dollar, #1) by Pepper Winters Dollars (Dollar, #2) by Pepper Winters Hundreds (Dollar, #3) by Pepper Winters Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters Millions (Dollar, #5) by Pepper Winters

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was an ARC (f)BR with the Shhluts! 
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Title: Touch Me
Author: Adele Knight
Genre:  Erotic Romance
Type:  Book 2 of a series
POV:  First person

Published: October 11, 2017

 

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4 Stars! 

 

Three years ago Avril Miller put her dreams on hold for love and now she is ready to get back on track despite her mistake. However, there has always been one man that never failed to appear in her fantasies and who held a deeper part of her mind than she would like to admit. Knowing she has limited time to act on her desire, Avril makes a bet where losing is still winning.

 

“We had been playing this game for three years now, drawing the other in with heated glances and accidental touches. We pushed each other to the edge but refused to take the first to jump.”


Luke Reynolds is full of sex appeal and charisma but there’s been one girl who got away from him despite being in close proximity at times. Now that Avril is available, Luke is ready to win their wager and double down on his investment. 

 

“Luke ripped his lips from mine and pressed our foreheads together. “You owe me a fuck.”


With chemistry that is off the charts hot, Avril and Luke succumb to their cravings making the first time together combustible. Luke is one dirty talker and Avril is ready for all he offers. By fulfilling her fantasies, Luke is definitely a power player and doesn’t discriminate when it comes to carnal pleasure. 

 

“Greedy girl,” he purred. Firm hands slid across my skin, parting the gown and exposing my swollen mound. “Is this what you want?” His thumbs dragged up my slit, coating the tips with my juices and spreading my lips apart.”


Told from Avril’s POV, she is resolute in learning from past mistakes despite some remaining mystery about her pivotal decision years ago. Knowing the time Avril and Luke waited to act on their feelings, it certainly compounds the steam factor. While Luke isn’t shy about verbalizing what he wants, Avril isn’t a delicate flower and I like how she was a good balance for Luke. Additionally, there are some sweet moments that ground and offer dimension to Luke’s character.

Touch Me is a novella that offers sexy and dirty hot times but also captures the sweetness and vulnerability of its characters. I recommend to those looking for a quick but memorable read. 

Touch Me series:
Tease Me (Touch Me, #0.5) by Adele Knight Touch Me (Touch Me, #1) by Adele Knight

 

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Title: Savage Bonds (The Raven Room, #2) 
Author: Ana Medeiros
Genre:  Erotic Suspense
Type:  Book 2 of 3
POV:  Third Person

Expected Publication: December 12, 2017

 

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3.5 Stars!

Without interruption in the storyline, Meredith Dalton’s investigation into The Raven Room and murdered women continues with Julian Reeve as the primary suspect. While trying to launch her career in journalism and attempting to protect Julian, Meredith is secretly getting information any way she can but when she prods too far, certain mysterious figures are ready to quiet her. 

 

“Corruption, trafficking, murder. Those are my suspicions. Can you help me find proof for that?”


Recovering from the loss of a loved one, Julian’s life is turned on its axis. A long time friend offers him a bit of solace but Julian realizes things are spinning too far out of control. As he regains perspective, he knows what needs to be done in order to keep attention from his extracurricular activities. 

 

“You think there’s a chance you’ll walk out of this unscathed? That’s not how it works and you know it.” “I’m sure there’s something we can do to fix this situation, to reach an agreement.”


Many plot points are at play with some answers revealed but mostly more questions are posed as bits of information are synthesized to the next level. With the focus on Julian and Meredith, secondary characters continue to gain importance and knowing who to trust is a constant battle since each has their own self-interest at stake. As the cadence begins to swirl a little over halfway into the story, alliances start shifting until the very end reaches a boiling point. 

While I gained some clarity into these characters due to added dimension, Julian’s character still remains a mystery overall. His motivation to protect himself and the Raven Room is clear but there is much more to learn about his past and present connections. With Meredith, she remains a bit of a thorn in my side. I do like her tenacity but still question her judgment and cannot envision her to have a lasting relationship with Julian other than friendship. 

In addition to greed and secrets, eroticism is very present as these characters must feed their desires. I would have liked a little more regarding Julian but was certainly satisfied with the variety and dirtiness. 

In Savage Bonds, the author continues to weave an intriguing web of deceit, mystery and allure. There are many details in this series and reading in close succession is recommended. Hopefully, the wait for the final book isn’t a long one. This series would appeal to those enjoy crime mystery in an erotic setting, 

The Raven Room series:
The Raven Room (The Raven Room, #1) by Ana Medeiros Savage Bonds (The Raven Room, #2) by Ana Medeiros Untitled (The Raven Room, #3) by Ana Medeiros

 

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Title: EXP1RE
Author: Erin Noelle
Genre:  Fantasy Romance
Type:  Duet
POV:  First person – dual

Published October 26, 2017

 

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4 Stars! 

Lyra Jennings was born with a special gift but it can also be viewed as a curse. Not knowing what her vision of numbers meant until one memorable day, Lyra then guarded her heart and chose to live a life at a distance from others. As a professional photographer, Lyra is able to observe and not form connections. Deciding it’s time to complete a task she’s postponed for years, Lyra takes a trip to Europe in search of resolution and possibly new creative discoveries.

 

“I’m ready to ‘surrender to what is’ and ‘let go of what was’—the first two steps in my newly adopted life motto.”


Tavian West is a college math professor ready to take his annual solo vacation where he completes items off his bucket list. Learning at a young age to take advantage of time and opportunity, Tavian sets course for Europe. With his easy personality and charisma, it’s effortless for Tavian to form friends wherever he travels. 

 

“Your way sucks, and I’m gonna prove it to you.”


The paths of Lyra and Tavian converge during a horrific event and they rely on each other for safety and temporary companionship. Recognizing Lyra to be a guarded person, Tavian tries to befriend her and show her how life needs to be lived. Though Lyra has her reasons for not getting attached to Tavian, her boundaries begin to blur as she documents Tavian’s adventures in pictures. 

 

“Well, you failed miserably, buttercup. And I’m starting to think you enjoy teasing and tormenting me.” He presses his length into me and adds, “Two can play that game, ya know?”


What occurs between Lyra and Tavian is a slow burn and their chemistry is palpable. Tavian’s appeal rests in his intelligence, outlook and affable nature. As he offers a lightheartedness balance to Lyra’s world, their banter is fun and sexy. During their limited time traveling together, Lyra starts to view the world in a different way rather, which gives her the strength to take more chances.

Told in dual POV, the characters are richly developed and the cadence of the story feels natural as the plot progresses. The author, Erin Noelle, is new to me and I like her sensibility in creating characters with real problems and vulnerabilities. Additionally, the story felt unique and offered a couple of twists.

Exp1ire offers a storyline steeped in romance but is also about taking chances despite the consequence of hurting later. It isn’t about the destination but rather about the journey. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading how it all ends!

EXP1RE Duet:
EXP1RE (EXPIRE Duet, #1) by Erin Noelle ETERN1TY (EXPIRE Duet, #2) by Erin Noelle

 

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Title: Most of All You
Author: Mia Sheridan
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First person – dual

Published October 17, 2017

 

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3.75 Stars

Ellie Cates learned at an early age that life can be cruel. Suffering from her loss, she never found solace or trust in anyone, especially men. As a result, Ellie hid her pain and formed a hard protective shell around her emotions.

 

“But no one could fix anyone else. We could only fix ourselves.”


Gabriel Dalton experienced the unthinkable as a child but because of his resolve and possibly sheer luck, he escaped captivity and was determined to reclaim his life. Despite his fears, Gabriel wouldn’t let his circumstance define him or change his outlook.

 

“I told myself that if I ever got out of there, I’d spend every morning watching the whole sunrise simply because I could.”


Years later, Gabriel still has one final hurdle to overcome and needed the help of another to move past his fear. Though his motive is honest, his flawed idea leads him to Ellie – or rather Crystal, a stripper who begrudgingly agrees to help him until her own insecurities and fears overrule. However, when an event occurs that forces Ellie to accept help from Gabriel, it sets in motion a process that Ellie doesn’t want to acknowledge and one that Gabriel so desperately craves.

 

“I know how to remove myself. I know how to do that. I want to stay present. That’s what I need you to help me with. Staying.”


Told in dual POV, this is a story that portrays two characters and how they used different coping mechanisms to process painful events. Gabriel is definitely a pillar of strength and was able to use all positive memories to reinforce his belief of making the most of what he has. Having kept her feelings inside for so long, Ellie needs to learn how process her loss and also develop self-confidence. While Gabriel is the impetus, she must stand on her own in order to become the partner he needs.

This plot certainly had the potential to really dissect emotions and past pain with a focus on healing. While I empathized with both characters, I expected a bit more intensity for Ellie and Gabriel as they negotiated their way together. My favorite element was the parallels of Gabriel’s sculpting with life’s struggles and resolution. 

Most of All You is very much a love story with a hero that has a heart of gold and a heroine that is stronger than she believes. The level of romance is high and the author’s prose brings beauty to these damaged characters. This book would appeal to readers looking for a tender and sweet story.

 

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Title: Pitch Dark
Author: A.M. Wilson and Alex Grayson
Genre:  Dark Suspense/Thriller
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First and third person

Published September 15, 2017

 

 

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4 Stars! 

 

 

Aislin Mathers was a girl trying to survive in a rough neighborhood and in a household with a drug addicted mother. When Aislin befriended a neighbor boy, he became her sole respite from reality until one day she disappears without a trace. 

 

“I’m so sorry,” she says softly. “You got hurt because of me.”


Fifteen years later, Detective Niko James can’t stop looking for his best friend and the light in his life, Aislin. Feeling like he should have protected her on that fateful day, he is dedicated to finding and keeping her safe.

 

“I’m not sure how I’ll survive knowing the truth, knowing I didn’t protect the one person I was meant to protect.”


With Niko following all leads to find Aislin, he doesn’t stop looking for answers in order to bring justice to her. Returning to their hometown seems to heighten Niko’s memories until he receives the news he’s been dreading. Trying to focus on a new missing persons case seems to help harness his kinetic energy and offers an opportunity to give someone a second chance.

 

“She’s very perplexing, and the more I’m around her, the more I want to figure out her story.”


Told primarily in first person, the landscape of this plot is measured and full of possible suspects and motives. Additionally, there is a much darker and mysterious perspective that adds to the tension and emphasizes the horrors of its situation. This POV is in third person, and while at first it caused some pause, the authors’ intent is purposeful and effective. Experiencing the layers of loss through Niko’s eyes is sad and sometimes his quest seems fruitless but he perseveres. With clues scattered throughout the storyline, the ultimate reveal is quite twisty and unexpected. 

In this novel, the collaboration of these two authors felt seamless and they convincingly captured the ominous circumstance surrounding such horrendous circumstances. Though there were plot points that could have been tightened up, the overall tone of loss and the effects of long-term abuse were effective. With light at the end of this book, the epilogue felt a little too extended but provided insight into recovery. 

Overall, Pitch Dark is a suspenseful story about a man’s search to find what he’s lost and about surviving dark and difficult times. 

 

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Title: Michael’s Wings
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre:  Erotica/BDSM (MM)
Type:  Book #6.3 in the Original Sinners series
POV:  Third person

Expected Publication November 7, 2017

 

 

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4 Stars! 

 

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In this companion collection novella, we are reunited with Michael Dimir and Griffin Fiske. During this time, Michael is still in art school and Griff is busy being Griff. Upon receiving news that causes Griff to reevaluate his life, he wants to move forward and proposes marriage to Michael. 

 

“You know you own me as much or more than I own you. And that’s exactly how I want it.”


As Michael matures and enters a new phase of his life, he accepts his insecurities and embraces his inner strength. Once knowing the answer to Griff’s question, Michael is excited to offer Griff a grand gesture to show how equally balanced they can be in every dynamic of their relationship. This leads hot and sexy times.

 

“This is the real reason I’m marrying you,” Griffin said. “Good power bottoms are so hard to find these days. I gotta lock you down.”


Falling into the personalities and idiosyncrasies of these characters is so easy. With Michael being one of the softer characters in the Sinners series, he is by no means weaker offering a quiet but impactful dimension. His connection with Griff is sweet and endearing. While Griff has a more charisma, his loyalty to Michael never wavers and they both are naughty. Getting some time with Nora is always a treat as she never fails to entertain.

Michael’s Wings offers a tender moment in the lives of two characters that deserve the love and respect they’ve earned. I highly recommend to those already familiar with the Original Sinners series and want some kink with their romance.

 

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Title: Taking What’s Owed
Author: Alexa Riley
Genre:  Erotica
Type:  Standalone in a series
POV:  First person – dual

Published October 20th 2017

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4 Stars! 

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Marley is trying to trim down so her wedding dress will fit perfectly. Going out for a routine jog in the park, she encounters a hooded stranger who has a different type of exercise planned. Before she can scream or run, Marley is overpowered and taken to a private location. Knowing she is in danger, Marley tries to appeal to this man in an effort to escape but he is too strong and forceful.

“You’re not getting out of here that easy.” “What do you want from me?” I beg, pushing on his chest. He grabs my wrists easily and pins them above my head. “Can’t you tell?”


Harrison has been watching Marley and is tired of waiting for his treat. All of Marley’s fight and negotiation adds to his excitement and he’s not about to let her go until he is finished filling and claiming her.

“Look how horny you are for it. How your pussy is begging me to get you off. Are you a little cum whore, princess?”


Although this story is a quickie, it’s filled with lots of dirty goodness you cum to expect with Alexa Riley’s Forced Submission series. The steam factor is palpable with adrenaline spiking emotions and raw need. There are also different elements included that will appeal to certain fetishes. Known for having twists in the series, this story offers a sweet ending even if it was a predicable one. 

Taking What’s Owed offers a hot and forbidden read that also touches upon acceptance and love. For those looking for a naughty escape, this one won’t disappoint. 

Forced Submission series:
Taking What's Mine (Forced Submission, #1) by Alexa Riley Taking What's Ours (Forced Submission, #2) by Alexa Riley Taking What's Hers (Forced Submission, #3) by Alexa Riley Taking What's His (Forced Submission, #4) by Alexa Riley Taking What’s Wicked (Forced Submission, #5) by Alexa Riley Taking What's Naughty (Forced Submission, #6) by Alexa Riley Taking What's Owed (Forced Submission, #7) by Alexa Riley

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Title: Guns n’ Boys: Chokehold
Author: K.A. Merikan
Genre:  Erotic Romance/MM
Type:  Book 5 of 6
POV:  Third person

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4.5 Stars! 


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In Chokehold, book five of the Guns n’ Boys series, Domenico Acerbi and Seth Villani are on the move, with Mark in tow, trying to cross the Mexican border underground and without incident. Completely cut off from their resources, Domenico relies on limited funds and a handful of trustworthy contacts until their supposedly safe passage is compromised.

 

“We will build a bright future. Disperse all the shadows.”


For Domenico and Seth, their path hasn’t been straightforward and during this time in Mexico, their circumstances add stress to their relationship. With Domenico temporarily home bound, Seth quickly acts to support the family but Dom has his doubts. Working hard and for little money, Seth accepts new his role but he’s also harboring strong feelings about the past that are percolating at the surface. As tensions rise, Dom knows where his heart belongs but his insecurities lead him to act in a way that forces Seth’s hand. 

 

“I don’t know if I even deserve to be forgiven, but I need you so fucking much. I can’t imagine being without you anymore, and that is the truth.”


With Domenico on the mend and never long without a prospect, he finds an unexpected alliance and a chance to gain leverage in his long term goals. As the dynamic between Dom and Seth shifts, they acknowledge how each offers balance and they are able to finally put the past behind them. 

 

“Despite all their differences, it was what they were to each other. Mirrors in which each of them could see only the best of themselves.”


Told in dual POV, this character driven plot focuses on the connection between Domenico and Seth and how their past deeply influences their future. While Dom and Seth have such diverse personalities, they share core commonalities finding comfort and love in subtle and overt gestures. Reconciling the time when Dom and Seth were in Germany was a huge hurdle to overcome. Additionally, with their commitment to Mark becoming part of their family, their bond becomes even stronger. 

With Dom and Seth so far from home, the ongoing plotline of the Villani family saga continues but with new leadership, there is also renewed hope one day this duo can return to Italy. Whether these alliances can be trusted is yet to be revealed. 

It’s no secret that Domenico Acerbi is one of my favorite fictional characters and with each book, he and Seth continue to grow. Their sexy banter and complimentary personalities provide intense and humorous times. With Mark in the periphery, he also adds dimension and has become an integral component to their family unit.

As always, the writing team of K.A. Merikan offers an erotic read with compelling characters and a stimulating plot. With the series end coming in book six, the feeling is bittersweet as I look forward to reading what happens yet selfishly don’t want to say goodbye.

This book would appeal to those seeking an erotic romance embedded in a mafia setting. I highly recommend!

Guns n’ Boys series:
Guns n' Boys He Is Poison (Guns n' Boys, #1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys He Is Mine (Guns n' Boys, #2) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Paris (Guns n' Boys, #2.1) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Homicidal Instinct (Guns n' Boys, #3) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Swamp Blood (Guns n' Boys, #4) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Chokehold (Guns n' Boys, #5) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Bloodbath (Guns n' Boys, #6) by K.A. Merikan Guns n' Boys Box Set - Books 1-3 + Guns n' Boys Paris + FREE "Blood&Marriage (gay romance) by K.A. Merikan

 

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Title: Mischief
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre:  Erotic Romance/Halloween theme
Type: Novella – Book 8.6 in the Original Sinners series
POV:  Third person

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4 Stars!! 

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It’s autumn and time for Nora’s visit with Nico, her submissive. Since Nico is French and hasn’t celebrated Halloween, Nora is determined to give him a truly unique experience during their weekend together in New England. 

 

“He loved the way she tasted. He loved the way she moved. He loved her pussy, her wetness, the way her clitoris throbbed against his tongue… She came hard, clenching all around his three fingers buried inside of her.”


Of course, any time with Nora is going to be filled with mischief so when Nora and Nico decide to take a graveyard stroll, they meet someone who is willing to play trick or treat. 

 

“I asked ‘trick or treat’ last night and you said ‘trick’ …”


Being reacquainted with Nora is always a kinky treat and Nico is always ready to please his Mistress. Getting to experience a bit more of Nico enhanced the connection they share and why his role is so important to Nora. Though I do have more questions for the future.

In addition to the steamy times, I liked the spooky elements weaved into the plot. 

In this novella, the tone is erotic in that anything is on the table for Nora but a feeling of romance pervades balancing the elements of trick or kinky treat. I highly recommend!

Mischief is a free novella (book 8.6) that occurs after The Queen (The Original Sinners, #8) by Tiffany Reisz

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Title: Sick Fux
Author: Tillie Cole
Genre:  Dark Romance
Type: Standalone
POV:  Dual POV
Publication Date: October 7, 2017

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4.5 Stars!

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Ellis Earnshaw grew up on a secluded estate where her only contact was with family and a limited number of childhood friends. After her mother died, Ellis relied on her father and forged a friendship with a boy whose father worked on the estate. At nine years old, Ellis would host tea parties while playing the role of Alice and her new friend would be Rabbit and play along every time. 

 

“He took her from her dull world and into one of bright colors and magical creatures.” I squeezed my doll. “And now I have met you. Have you come to show me a new world?”


Heathan James was labeled as a troubled kid and sent to live with his estranged father. During that time, Heathan’s odd behavior continued but he began to focus on the blonde girl who resembled a perfect doll. As their friendship grew, Heathan and Ellis were inseparable but then circumstances and time changed it all. 

 

“Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock . . .” I kept my eyes on my pocket watch, pushing everything else out of my mind…”


At ten and twelve years old, Ellis and Heathan were forced to grow up and endure years of pain and abuse. When the actions of these depraved men crossed lines that Heathan fought to protect the only person he ever cared about but so much was taken away. 

 

“I didn’t know how or when, but if they ever made her cry or took her the way they took me . . . I would fucking end them all. And I knew that I’d enjoy it. ”


Vowing to punish those who abused him and his Doll, returning to Ellis is his goal, but in finding her more than a decade later, Heathan resumes his role as Rabbit while Ellis redefines her role as Dolly. What ensues is a relationship that is utterly unique to Rabbit and Dolly as both have innumerable scars from their past yet they manage to find a place where they can be free from their pain. Taking control back, Rabbit and Dolly implement their bloody plan of revenge while taking pleasure in their trail of justice.

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“To be a champion, my little Dolly, you must learn how to defeat the bad men.” He paused. “You must learn how to kill, darlin’. Kill and kill and kill.”


Clearly, Rabbit and Dolly are psychologically damaged characters yet revelations occur helping to insulate the bit of sanity that remains. Knowing the cause of their vulnerabilities underscores their need to avenge what was lost, they find light in each other instead of living alone in darkness.

Told in dual POV, the experience and emotion of each character leaves a strong and lasting impression. Ellis’ transformation to Dolly is sad yet uplifting when she makes her own choice. With Heathan, his role as Rabbit serves to protect Dolly and to also make her as strong as possible. It was especially touching when Rabbit gave his Dolly memories of normalcy despite his own weaknesses. When Dolly had her moments teetering into madness, her character dimension was complexly layered offering stark glimpses into a broken mind but there was also a dark sense of humor associated with it. 

From the beginning, the tone and writing kept me engaged. While the subject matter involves sexual abuse of children, the scenes are depicted in an impactful way but is not gratuitous. Evolving from a place of pain, these characters evolve based on survival skills and ultimately find their own brand of love. Additionally, the elements of Alice in Wonderland were cleverly weaved into the plot infusing familiar themes in a distinctive manner.

Sick Fux offers a dark plot steeped in revenge depicting how fragile the human mind can be when it comes to survival and in finding a connection between two damaged characters. I highly recommend! 

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Lonestar Liz!

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Title: Italian Sonata
Author: Emmanuelle de Maupassant 
Genre:  Gothic Romance/Erotica
Type: Book 2 of 3 in the Noire series
POV:  Third person
Publication Date: October 1, 2017

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4 Stars! 

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Set in 1899, Lord Henry and Lady Maud Franchingham set sail from London to Europe celebrate their honeymoon. With Henry’s debutante cousin, Cecile, under his charge she also travels with the couple in hopes of experiencing her own discoveries. Upon arriving at Castello di Scogliera on the Amalfi coast of Italy, Henry and Maud venture out on their own while Cecile remains at the coastal castle. While the estate and gardens are exquisite, this fortress isn’t enough to conceal secrets and devious motivations.

 

“There are many places in the Castello where all is not as it seems. As in life, piety above and devilry below.”


As Henry and Maud make the most of their private time, married life certainly hasn’t conventionalized their relationship. Knowing the diversity each craves, Maud orchestrates erotic scenarios to indulge their sexual needs. During this time, Henry and Maud are blissfully unaware of lurking danger. 

 

“How many women would you like, my love? How many soft mouths?” 

“Or would you like a man to join us?”


With the focus on Cecile, she adjusts to her new surroundings and befriends Lucrezia di Cavour, half-sibling to Lorenzo di Cavour. Feeling a sisterly bond for the first time empowers Cecile to entrust Lucrezia with secrets. As Lorenzo begins to share his darker urges, Cecile is lured by his temptations proving her naivety in more than one way. But when Cecile continues to witness inexplicable oddities, it leads her to take action despite the threat of peril. 

 

“My dear Lucrezia, what form would your rebellion take, had you not my little cages to rail against? I merely feed your desire to disobey.”


Narrated in third person, the atmosphere of the story is truly felt by all the senses appealing to aesthetic beauty of the Italian locale with the scent of citrus groves and the warm mist of the summer sea. However, as gothic elements are methodically weaved into the picturesque façade, deceit and depravity begin to reveal the true nature of these characters leading to a much darker reflection with some. 

While Cecile seems to be the most pure and naïve character, her constitution is strong proving she is a modern woman for the era. With the continued development of Henry and Maud’s relationship, their nonconformity is thankfully ever present but Maud’s history remains more of a mystery due to new plot point. The inclusion of Lorenzo and Lucrezia is extremely intriguing and adds depravity with a degree of taboo.

Given the era of this novel, the author effectively pinpoints the pulse of issues affecting women during that time. While characters like Maud, Cecile and Lucrezia push boundaries, they must still play the game. 

In Italian Sonata, Emmanuelle de Maupassant recreates a captivating world with her lyrical prose. For those seeking a gothic romance steeped in mystery and eroticism, I definitely recommend! 

Noire series: 
The Gentlemen's Club by Emmanuelle de Maupassant Italian Sonata (Noire Book 2) by Emmanuelle de Maupassant

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Title: Incubus
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre:  Fantasy Romance
Type: Standalone
POV:  Dual first person
Released: October 18, 2017

 

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4 Stars! 

 

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Once under the service of a goddess, Lilah has been banished from the only family she’s known. Since then, she has been determined to regain the good graces of her ruling deity, and while it’s been a long learning experience, Lilah believes she has a solution that will rectify her problem.

 

“No more would I feel the freedom of the night or the unbreakable strength the moonlight gave me. Unless….”


Roth de Lis is powerful incubus that has battled with his duality for centuries. Knowing how to sate his beastly side has become second nature but upon discovering a certain raven-haired beauty following him, both man and immortal are prepared for a satisfying seduction.

 

“You must grant me everything I ask within reason on that night. That’s not too much to ask, is it? He blinked at me slowly, innocently, but the look wore thin on him.”


Under the guise of her earthly profession, Lilah gains access to Roth and slowly learns about his past and sacrifices. Learning that Roth isn’t the reckless demon as previously thought, Lilah tries to resist his charms because she doesn’t want to be a fool once again.

 

“He rushed to me and kissed me roughly, staking a claim that I belonged only to him. Being swept up in his arms and captive to his sensuous mouth sent my every nerve ending tingling.”


Told in dual POV with alternating chapters between past and present, the character development is evenly paced and certain questions about Lilah and Roth are answered at appropriate intervals. Getting a bead on both characters felt natural. Additionally, the secondary characters, including immortals and gods, add depth, humor and hot times to the storyline.

The idea of an incubus intrigued me from the start and Roth’s story proved to be worthy, as his easy sex appeal and charisma make him irresistible. The constant internal struggle between the incubus and human side provided an interesting dichotomy and made Roth a more balanced character. As for Lilah, I completely related with her tenacity and witty sense of humor. While Lilah was so scarred from her past, she was still courageous and didn’t compromise her values.

The characterization of Greek gods and goddesses was also a favorite element. Though I wished a particular character wasn’t so hypocritical and should have lead by example, the storyline still weaves effortlessly between the mythology of gods and immortals. Apollo, Voltaire and Ares definitely peaked my interest and I wonder what is to happen to Corinne.

In Incubus, Celia Aaron weaves an imaginative and mystical tale steeped in romance and sacrifice where the reader is transported into her penned world. For those who enjoy romance with paranormal and fantasy elements, I definitely recommend!

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Title: Illusions of Evil
Author: Lily White
Genre:  Dark Erotica/Suspense
Type: Book 1 of 2
POV:  Multiple
Releases: October 18, 2017

 

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4 Stars! 

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Jacob Hayle is a Catholic priest who runs a small-town church in a socio-economically depressed and fairly isolated locale. For 12 years, he abstained from his dark and sinful ways, but when a mysterious woman arrives on church grounds, Jacob begins to be truly tested with temptation in his sequestered sanctuary. Praying for strength to overcome, Jacob soon realizes someone else seems to be controlling his fate.

“How long do you think you’ll be able to hide from your past … to keep history from repeating itself?”


Eve represents all that is pure and offers her supplication with blind allegiance. Caught in the web of deceit and malevolence, she willingly chooses to obey as a means of absolving her masochistic guilt. 

“I’m going to transform you.”


As the level of manipulation escalates, Jacob’s resolve begins to descend into temptation and the beast within craves to be sated. Though he tries to fight, Jacob’s past is a constant reminder of how destructive and evil he can be. For Eve, she readily accepts the pain and ultimately surrenders to the pleasure.

“I’m awake now, beautiful. I’m paying attention and I’m so damn hungry, there might be nothing left of you by the time I’m done.”


Told in multiple POVs but with a focus on Jacob, the character development is measured with an ominous tone permeating the landscape. Knowing Jacob laments his past adds to the internal battle of staying true to his vows as a priest. His fight is deeply interesting as this dynamic depicts a timeless conflict with the addition of good versus evil. With Eve’s perspective she actually causes more of an imbalance and adds tension due to her role.

From the beginning, I was intrigued by Jacob’s struggle and how it was going evolve for him personally and professionally. At times, I wanted Jacob to remain resilient but the moments when he exposed his vulnerabilities truly showed his flaws. As for the creator of this madness, his character and purpose remains an enigma but I am curious to know how far it will go. With Eve, she was the toughest character for me to understand in her completely brainwashed state. Despite knowing her background and comprehending how such a situation can arise, part of me was waiting for her moment of revelation. 

This is a story that lures the reader from the first page and offers some twists while pushing the theme of virtuous against heretic. There are times when I wanted more action but I liked the tension and layers of mystery. I especially liked the sacrilegious actions that led to some hot moments. 

In Illusions of Evil flaws and sins are pushed to limits. I recommend and look forward to reading the conclusion in book two! 

 

Duet:
Illusions of Evil by Lily White Fear the Wicked

 

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Title: Monster
Author: Marni Mann
Genre:  Dark Romance/Suspense
Type: Book 2 of 2
POV:  Multiple
Publication: October 12, 2017

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4 Stars! 

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Shank is a man with unique tastes. Operating underground for years, his life has taken a different turn leaving him with few options. During this time, Shank is asked about his story and shares his experiences without any edits. Getting into Shank’s mind is disturbingly honest and while there is madness, there is also a level of acumen steeped in darkness. 

 

“In his mind, nothing was off-limits”


Someone is seeking answers with the knowledge that it will be complicated and horrific, yet there is also an opportunity to learn on multiple levels. Though wanting to feel separate from the blood, violence and hatred, it cannot be avoided. Fighting what is already present can either make one stronger or ultimately weaker.

 

“You’re the reason I’m doing this.” I lifted him higher until his feet were off the ground, and I shifted my weight forward to put all my strength on his throat.”

 

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Told in multiple POVs, the foundation is laid while intersecting and mysterious plot points begin to grow testing the integrity of the entire landscape. As the tension mounts, the inevitable is palpable yet there’s no way to know how it will all unravel. Staying true to her characters, Shank remains a depraved villain to his core and will go to any length to protect what he believes to be sacred. While his honed predatory skills do not deceive him, Shank cannot control every situation.

With secondary characters that play a pivotal role in this storyline and roles of good versus evil are delineated; however, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious as to which characters are redeemable or not. Adding to the uncertainty is the chapter arrangement which feels ominous due to foreshadowing and cleverly placed pauses adding pressure of the unknown. 

Crafted by a versed author, Monster is a complex plot steeped in guile and dark suspense that lures the reader from the first page. For those who enjoy lurking in the shadows, I highly recommend! 

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Title: Gun Shy
Author: Lili St. Germain
Genre:  Dark Suspense/Thriller
Type: Standalone
POV:  Multiple – first
Publication: October 6, 2017

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4.5 Stars! 

 

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Cassie Carlino and Leo Bentley are high school sweethearts looking to escape their bleak hometown of Gun Creek. All seems to be on track for the aspiring football player and smart cheerleader until the consequences of a missing girl begins to seep into their lives causing a chain of horrific events. 

“He looks at me with eyes that have seen violence since I last gazed into them. I know because I recognize the hardness inside his soul; it matches mine.”

Eight years later and on parole, Leo returns home to find his family even more of a mess and Cassie is a shell of woman. With guilt and sorrow for the pain Leo caused Cassie’s family, he tries to maintain a distance but his love for her hasn’t waned. Watching her from afar, he slowly begins to realize his worst fears. 

“She will not be my vice. She will not be my forgiver. She will not be my redemption.”

While Leo was away, Cassie learned to cope with her family’s predicament. Knowing what her life has become, Cassie wants to protect Leo from the town’s Sheriff, who also happens to be her ever protective step-father. But when another teen goes missing and other clues begin to mount, further complications arise.

“You can never run away from your past. It will chase you through the night, and all into the next morning.”

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As Leo and Cassie slowly find their way back to each other it isn’t for long as secrets and lies begin to unravel causing swift action to protect what is known to be true. What ensues is a disturbed descent into the long-term effects of manipulation, abuse and obsession. 

From the beginning, this story is addictive with an adrenaline induced pace and a multi-layered plot that pivots into many twists until it all unravels into a methodical chaos. Adding to the calculative plot points, is the heavy sense of desolation and desperation these characters endure creating a grim landscape. Told in multiple POVs, it is easy to empathize with Cassie and Leo, while the unique use of a third perspective answers many questions. 

Within this storyline, it becomes clear that the characters are evolving and no matter how much you want them to sway one way, the author is prepared to convincingly take her characters to the end. Leo is such a nurturing character and doesn’t shine his responsibility in any way despite being wronged. Cassie proved to be strong in a unique way that allowed her to persevere. And the ending? Loved it! 

Gun Shy is a deviously twisted and suspenseful read that enters the psyche of its characters without any apology. I highly recommend!

*An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Liz and Loyda! 

 

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Title: Hideaway
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Suspense

Type: Book #2 of 4 in a series

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3.5 Stars! 

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In this timeline about one year has passed since Corrupt ended. Since then, Kai Mori has continued on a path of redefining his life and moving on from past mistakes. However, there is one major element from his past that he must confront in order to fully be free and content. 

“I think you’re far too concerned with the secrets you know exist rather than the ones you don’t.”


Banks grew up in a troubled and not ideal situation but thanks to one person she felt a strong familial connection. When certain events occurred, Banks was left alone but remained loyal to her family despite her own wishes. As Banks begins to realize what her current situation is lacking and the possibility of a different path, she starts to veer toward the one person that may be worthy. 

“I’m scared of you even with your mask off. Because of everything you make me feel.”


Now that Kai has the chance to protect his secret and make a deal with the only person that also knows the truth, he is determined to make it all happen. What he doesn’t expect is the obstacle caused by Banks. Shifting from past and present, the significance of the unique connection Kai and Banks share is evident but it also adds tension to their dilemma. 

“You don’t know which way to turn, and you won’t see that you’ve gone the wrong way until you’ve gone too far.”


Told in dual POV, the motivations, regrets and hope Kai and Banks individually experience are clearly communicated. As a couple, there are factors that keep them apart more than they are together but it seems to add to the sexual tension. Though Kai claims to have a darker side, it really doesn’t show. For Banks, her background is a big issue and while understanding her predicament, Banks needs to reach a certain point before realizing what is holding her back.

In addition to Kai and Banks, one other particular character has a key role in this plot. For me, his presence was very strong, and while I liked the added dimension, it also made Kai’s story feel secondary at times. Leading up to Devil’s night, the tension mounts for the big dark finale but when it was all revealed it felt underwhelming considering the buildup. However, I did like the promise of more for my favorite Horseman.

Hideaway is a book that offers mystery, secrets and romance. For those looking to reunite with the Horsemen, their story continues in a way that will keep you wondering what’s next.

Devil’s Night series:
Corrupt (Devil's Night, #1) by Penelope Douglas Hideaway (Devil's Night, #2) by Penelope Douglas Kill Switch (Devil's Night, #3) by Penelope Douglas Nightfall (Devil's Night, #4) by Penelope Douglas

 

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Title: Pretty Broken Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls #4)
Author: Ker Dukey & K Webster
Genre:  Dark Erotica/Suspense
Rating: 4.5 Stars!!!

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As Pretty Broken Dolls opens, the timeline continues without interruption leaving all the main characters in a precarious situation. Benny will do whatever it takes to find his stolen doll, and to make his life right again. Knowing certain factors are out of his control, Benny must rely on the one person who reveals himself as his ally, as everything Benny ever wanted is at stake.

“You think I’m going to let you be my puppet master? My sugar daddy now?”

What ensues is a uniquely dark path that has been carved out for Benny and his deep needs. The concept of unconventional is at its apex as Benny’s monster is ready to protect his doll and chosen family at any cost. With the events set in motion, operating under the radar of the law is impossible which further causes complications.

“He’s coming apart at the seams, and I want to be the one to sew him back together. That’s what I do for my dolls. I stitch them back exactly the way I like them.”

Told in multiple POVs, the level of depravity is ever present. Knowing these characters are able to find a connection amidst their disturbed minds is deliciously complex and intriguing while also causing contradictory feelings of comfort and distress. Getting inside Benny’s head is like experiencing life without boundaries or simply feeding a sinister Id. Additionally, learning more about pivotal characters adds layers of dimensionality that doesn’t necessarily serve to excuse behavior but rather simply explains how it all started.

“Why do people keep taking my doll from me? Why can’t I just be happy, left alone with what’s mine?”

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With engaging writing, swift pacing and the added unknown factor of what lurks on the next page, the storyline remained addictive until the very last page. The sexual elements by far exceeded my expectations and the final outcome soothed my unconventional soul. 

In Pretty Broken Dolls, Ker Dukey and K. Webster successfully create characters that are clearly broken but somehow their crazy pieces perfectly fit together. This is a journey meant for those who thrive in the unconventional. I highly recommend the entire series!

Pretty Little Dolls series:
Pretty Stolen Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls, #1) by Ker DukeyPretty Lost Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls, #2) by Ker DukeyPretty New Doll (Pretty Little Dolls, #3) by Ker DukeyPretty Broken Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls #4) by Ker Dukey

*(F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey, Liz and Loyda!*

 

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Title: The Ghostwriter
Author: Alessandra Torre
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction/Suspense
Type: Standalone
POV:  Multiple – first & third
Expected Publication: October 2, 2017

 

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4 Stars! 

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Helena Ross is a successful author living with a secret. Even though Helena writes relatable characters, she has struggled with establishing connections and guards her essence with certain rules. For the past four years, Helena’s choices further compounded her need for a solitary existence. After receiving news of her terminal illness she decides to tell her story and learns the value of honesty, acceptance and friendship.

“Once I write her story, she will be real, she will be exposed, dead to edits but open to everyone’s eyes.”


Over the next three months, Helena shares her story in what will be the last book of her career. Along the way, Helena’s defenses become penetrable and her perspective seems to slightly shift. While this occurs, the inevitable is looming and the tension of Helena’s secret mounts.

“How can a person know what they can handle if they aren’t challenged by life?”


Told in multiple POVs, Helena’s words set the landscape of a grim narrative about a neglected attempt at marriage, motherhood and other successive failures. With a strong secondary cast supporting the pacing of Helena’s biopic, they add dimension to the tragedies but also breakthrough moments underscoring the gravity of Helena’s loss of time and misdirected behavior.

As the story unfolds, the pacing is fairly measured with questions being raised at different intervals in search of the ultimate answer with a twisty revelation. While Helena doesn’t make it easy to like her, she does have relatable emotions, especially those that make her question how to assimilate or experience a sense of normalcy. Of course, her deepest regret is eroding what’s left of her emotional and physical strength.

Knowing this book is Alessandra Torre’s first foray into the non-romance genre, it is a worthy effort showcasing her stylistically recognizable prose. Though I was expecting a deeper connection with the protagonist and felt some plot points needed further introspection, the story held my interest and I empathized with the reality of her predicament.

Steeped in contemporary fiction with elements of suspense The Ghostwriter is a book about sacrifice, loss, and acceptance.

*An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey and Loyda!

 

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Title: The Brother
Author: K. Larsen
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type: Book 2 of a standalone series
POV: First person – dual
Expected Publication: October 2, 2017

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4 Stars!!

 

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Nora Robertson is trying to move forward with her life post captivity. While she has a decent handle on some aspects, her love life is non-existent. Having developed certain desires, Nora is afraid to seek what she needs and still pines for the past. 

“Society often shouts at us to fit into the mold. And I don’t. I never have. So this lingering guilt seeps in…”
Liam Lockwood has a plan that will avenge the pain his brother caused him. Intrigued by her contradictions, Liam watches and waits until it’s time to make contact. What Liam doesn’t expect is to find someone that may actually be just as broken.

 

“I’m not the good guy, Nora. I’m no hero.”

As Liam is determined to sate his anger, he begins to learn her quirks and what makes Nora tick. Despite her painful past, she is still willing to take some risks and voice her reservations. Though Nora is haunted by a different man with green eyes, she sees that Liam has his own vulnerabilities and needs that make him unique. 

“Honestly, I want all the beautiful parts of you and all the ugly parts too.”

 

For Liam, he cannot believe he’s found a woman that can give him everything he craves. While Nora also realizes that Liam isn’t afraid to go over the edge with her darker desires. As they compliment each other in this regard, it leads to some hot times! 

 

“His forearm pins my head to the floor. I half-heartedly try to struggle as he thrusts in with such force, that my breath catches and I go stone still. He lays into me blunt and heavy. It’s punishment.”

 

Told in dual POV, getting into the minds of Liam and Nora is essential in their development individually and as a couple. Liam held onto to his anger and resentment since he was a child but ultimately realized Nora has only accepted him as a whole. With Nora acknowledging that her present and future is more valuable than her past, it opens the way for her to become who she really is. 

The Brother is a story that portrays two broken characters and how they find solace in each other. While Liam’s methods were questionable, I enjoyed his dark side and how he redeemed himself. Reading how Nora was able to embrace the past and use that to progress in her healing was admirable. Most importantly, I liked how they accepted their kinky desires and didn’t make apologies for it.

This book would appeal to those looking for a romance with darkish undertones. 

*Note: The Brother can be read as a standalone; however, Nora’s story begins in The Tutor

*This was a (F)BR with Loyda!*

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Title: A Charm of Finches
Author: Suanne Laqueur
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Romance 
Type: Book 2 of a series
POV: Third Person
Expected Publication: November 1, 2017

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4.5 Stars!! 

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As we reconnect with Javier “Jav” Landes, he’s at a point in his life where he wants to experience a real relationship. Based on his previous attempts, Jav is intimidated and feels a bit naïve but he’s ready when a certain man’s coordinates converge with his own. 

 

“Give me this chance. Please. Let me love to find out who I really am.”


Steffan “Stef” Finch is an art therapist to abused males of all ages. His job is emotionally demanding but Stef has an earnest quality that nurtures and provides comfort to those who need it the most. As his steady and self-effacing manner flows into his personal life, Stef balances Jav’s naiveté and offers sense of trust.

 

“Anyone can be a boyfriend. I’m your curator. Your mate.”


Geronimo “Geno” Caan is a teenager in the midst of preparing for college. Close to his twin brother, Geno learned to rely on their bond from birth but when he discovers the twin bond is compromised, Geno suffers the most from the betrayal. 

 

“Survival depends on resiliency while escape relies on common sense.”


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For Geno, what ensues over a year is heartbreaking as he must fight to regain his sense of self. When Geno hits a low, he is matched with Steffan Finch as his art therapist. Trying to confront his fears, he learns of other’s struggles and how they chose to survive, realizing he isn’t alone in darkest times. 

 

“You can’t make it go away,” Stef said. “But you can make it smaller.”


Parallel to Geno’s struggle, Jav and Stef forge ahead in their relationship but before Jav can give all to Stef, he must come to terms with his family’s abandonment. Coming full circle, these characters accept how family is not only defined by lot but by choice. With the addition of secondary characters, the emphasis on healing is paramount. 

 

“Listen to learn. Learn to tell. Tell to teach.”


With a realistic narrative and adept style, Suanne Laqueur’s writing focuses on the emotional impact of how characters endure life’s challenges. Feeling Geno’s pain is intense and yet throughout the darkest times, he remains true to his heart. With Geno’s story making such an impact, the journey for Jav and Stef felt a bit secondary but I liked how their lives intersected. A standout for me is Micah and how he elevated the theme and acted as a paternal figure. 

A Charm of Finches is a book that explores the levels of inner strength humans possess when faced with adverse situations involving emotional abandonment, acts of violence and abuse of power. In the lives of these characters, their stories may differ, but their coping mechanisms share a commonality proving the tools of survival are subjective but also necessary to heal. I highly recommend! 

Venery Series:
An Exaltation of Larks (Venery, #1) by Suanne Laqueur A Charm of Finches (Venery, #2) by Suanne Laqueur

 

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Title: Forget Me Not
Author: Willow Winters
Genre: Romance
POV: First person – dual

Rating: 4 Stars

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FORGET

 

 

Robin Everly suffered a trauma when she was 12 years old. Since then, she’s tried to move forward and pursued a career in psychiatry in an effort to help others with trying situations. However, she always wondered what happened to the boy she loved and felt survivor’s guilt over the years. When Robin experiences another loss in her life, she hits an all-time low.

 

“You can help me and I can help you.”


Always watching from afar, Jay is a loner yet can’t help but to intervene when he witnesses Robin’s depressed state. From that moment, he forms a plan to reunite in order to heal Robin but also to face the truth.

 

“I would give anything to have all of you,” I admit to her with absolute truth.”


In trying to recreate the setting of their childhood trauma, Jay and Robin attempt to push through boundaries to confront their fears and emotions. With each having their own feelings, Robin needs for Jay to accept the sincerity of the love she feels for him which includes the good and the bad. For Jay, his past memories are much more complicated and longstanding which stifles his progress but also insulates his anger and distress.

 

“I feel bad for her, I really do, but it doesn’t make the anger wane. Not in the least.”


What ensues is tense and mysterious as clues begin to reveal the level of damage caused by such a painful past. As Jay and Robin try to forge ahead, it is not without more heartache and pain. Knowing they are broken, they try to mend each other in ways that seem no one else can do. Told in dual POV, the state of mind for each character underscores the intensity of their experiences. The abuse that they suffered is heartbreaking yet having each other during those times offered some moments of solace.

 

“I will always hold your hand,” I tell her.”


This is my first book by Willow Winters and I enjoyed the storyline and the need to get answers. At times, some plot points felt like they could have been more developed and this would have enriched the overall experience. For example, while I understood the intensity of the situation between Robin and Jay as children, I didn’t completely experience how those feelings translated into their teen/adult lives. Also, I was hoping for more background on Jay’s relationship with his father since this was the root of all their pain. That said, I was still intrigued and felt invested in the well-being of these characters. Having read this one, I will look forward to additional books by this author.

Forget Me Not is a story about survival and the long-term effects of tragic circumstances. Offering a journey between broken characters, their path is heartbreaking but also steeped in hope and sacrifice.

Forget Me Not series (recommended to read the prequel first)
Something to Remember Prequel to Forget Me Not by Willow Winters Forget Me Not by Willow Winters

 

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Title: Dark Dominance
Author: Annabel Joseph
Genre: Erotica/BDSM
POV: First person – Dual 

Released on September 25, 2017

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4 Stars!! 

 

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Juliet Pope is a business manager for an eccentric artist. While she is proficient in her career, personal relationships have been a challenge based on Juliet’s choices. Wearing her emotions on the surface, Juliet’s vulnerabilities are ever present and when her final Dominant/submissive relationship fails, she crashes.

“I belonged here in this colorful, comfortable place. The marble penthouse was a fantasy…and so was Fort St. Clair.”

Forsyth “Fort” St. Clair is a wealthy businessman and sadist who has been unlucky in his past relationships. Since then, he’s chosen non-emotional connections with his submissives. While out with his friends, Fort notices drunk woman outside a BDSM club in need of help and despite the warnings, he offers assistance. Feeling a mutual attraction, they bond in an honest way but Fort isn’t looking for a relationship.

“I’m into tears and power trips. I’m into capriciously hurting you because it’s unfair, and because you’ll let me do it anyway.”

Knowing Juliet is vulnerable and that his instinct says to stay away, Fort finds a way to reconnect with Jewels. Experiencing her openness actually makes Juliet more appealing as a person and a submissive, and while Fort has his doubts, he is content with his decision to contact her but is unsure if she can withstand what he needs as a Dominant. 

“I want to do all kinds of perverse, painful, lustful things to you, but it will be a pure power exchange.”

From the outset, Fort and Juliet agree to view their arrangement as strictly physical. Fort’s brand of sadism involves consensual non-consensual play and pushing the pain threshold. For Juliet, she isn’t sure about her propensity for masochism, but after their first scene, it’s clear she is a maso-slut. 

“He pinched and worked my clit, pressing fingers against the sensitive nub to the point of pain. I bucked my hips, trying to escape his rough caresses, but he only fucked me harder and faster.”

As they continue to test the waters, the goal is for Fort to bring Juliet to his exclusive BDSM club. When it’s time, the intensity and connection they share is apparent to all, but with each successive scene, Fort begins to worry about emotionally harming Juliet and protecting himself from something real. 

Told in dual POV, the plot moves at a steady pace while each character is peeling back the layers. Juliet recognizes her feelings for Fort are more than just physical and while she tries to hold back, it’s a futile effort. Considering her past, Juliet is still willing to take another chance on love. However, Fort’s nickname proves to be telling because he isn’t about to lower his defenses 

Throughout their sessions, the intensity of Fort’s sadism is palpable and there were moments when I squirmed for Juliet, but she needed to receive the pain as much as Fort needed to administer it. While not everyone may not understand that dynamic, it was right for them and the transition felt authentic. 

In Dark Dominance, vulnerabilities and chances are explored which ultimately lead to honesty and trust. For those who enjoy some sado-maso activities, I recommend! 

Dark Dominance series (standalones within a series):
Dark Control (Dark Dominance, #1) by Annabel Joseph Deep Control (Dark Dominance, #2) by Annabel Joseph Dangerous Control (Dark Dominance, #3) by Annabel Joseph

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Sparks by C.P. Mandara

 

Title: Sparks
Author: C.P. Mandara
Genre: Romantic Suspense/BDSM/Erotica
POV: First person

Released on August 29, 2017

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4.5 Stars!

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Lois Reeves is an operative who must prepare for her next undercover assignment. In order to do so, she needs to understand her pain threshold and learn how to be a proper submissive. Upon meeting her exasperating trainer, she didn’t expect an immediate attraction to him but Lois is determined to succeed in her assignment.

“If I was a fly trapped in a spider’s web, the guy in front of me was a fucking tarantula: venomous and deadly.”


James Leverett is a Dominant and is simply known to be the best. Contracted to train many submissives at Elite Encounters, he’s intrigued by Lois and doesn’t believe she can truly submit. That said, James is more than ready for their game of dominance and submission.

“I am going to break you. That’s the whole purpose of this exercise. From the moment the door inside that room closes, I am not going to be Mr. Nice Guy.”


As Lois’ session begins, she quickly learns that James is steadfast and ever so perceptive in pushing her pain and pleasure threshold to the max by introducing Lois to all sorts of play. Tested physically and emotionally, when Lois shows she’s able to handle James’ shockingly kinky tactics, she’s permitted to advance to phase two of her training.

“No, I can’t take any more of this, but I didn’t say a word. The current increased, and as the wand wriggled and danced on my clit, finally my world exploded.”


When additional details are slowly revealed about her mark, Lois begins to realize the danger of her predicament; however, she remains committed (and stubborn) despite James’ warnings. Emphasizing the emotional elements of submission and pain, Lois is schooled in vulnerabilities causing her to check her past and try to stay focused on what’s ahead. Knowing James may have an edge over her, it doesn’t take Lois long to see through some of his techniques.

“He ran his fingers down the side of my face and I shuddered, though it wasn’t in revulsion. I just felt helpless, and strangely enough, I was beginning to realize that this kind of thing turned me on in the worst way.”


There were so many elements that I loved about this book! Lois is the perfect heroine for me – intelligent, assertive, a bit vulnerable and sarcastic. James is so enigmatic, handsome and exacting. At times, I was grinning like a fool with the sexy banter between James and Lois with neither retreating. Their chemistry was palpable! When it came to session time, James didn’t disappoint with his easy confidence and electric sex appeal as he reigned over Lois’s body.

In Sparks, the character connection is intensely rich and the intentional mysterious elements added to plot and character intrigue. What I’ve come to learn with C.P. Mandara’s work is there is usually a twist and that morsel prompted an evil smile from me. This kinky read proved to be much more and I highly recommend to all kinksters! I look forward to the next book in this Special Agent series!

*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

*This was a (F)BR with Twinsie Hawkey! *

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4 Stars! 

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Taylor Harden is a hacker/coder on the cusp of revolutionizing a new computer code to the world. Believing his system is unhackable, the inevitable occurs just days away from the reveal causing Taylor to find the hacker, protect his investors, preserve his company and reclaim his rightful place in history. When Taylor follows the clues to the hacker he doesn’t expect to be a pawn in the game of cat and mouse.

“I was the Everest of the hacker world. They wanted to get me because I was big, I was a challenge, and I was there.”

Harper Watson grew up in a small town with certain privileges associated with wealth; however, she learned early there are no guarantees. With her vision and heartfelt reasons, Harper does the unimaginable by luring Taylor within her realm of code.

“I like to know how things work. Once you know that, you can do anything.”

As Taylor slowly learns that Harper has a plan, the constant give and take that occurs sets a quick pace leaving Taylor at a disadvantage. When Harper actually reveals her terms, Taylor is shocked but is more than willing to succumb to her demands.

“I’m going to fuck you like you fucked me.” I twisted her hair in my hand and yanked her head back. “And you’re going to take it.”

During this process, Taylor slowly begins to crack Harper’s code, but while doing so, he discovers what he’s lost along the way. Offering a sense of community, Harper shows how people matter and the cost of irresponsible success.

“I’d been perforated between what I’d wanted before I met her and what I wanted after, then she ripped me in two.”

From the beginning, I admired Taylor’s work ethic and appreciated the added dimension of humanity as the plot developed. With Harper having skills that are equal to Taylor, it showed how they can work together on higher level despite the general sexism that pervades their industry. While I had issue with part of Harper’s reasons for hacking Taylor, the overall storyline surpassed my doubts.

Told from Taylor’s POV, I enjoyed getting in his head and reading about his primal urges toward Harper. Additionally, Taylor’s friendship with Keaton was endearing and interesting on many levels, as it certainly added to the suspense of the ongoing plot.

In King of Code, CD Reiss effectively shows her versatility in writing romance infused with sexual tension and the fundamental theme of social responsibility. At times, the tech world created in these pages felt so foreign but it also carried the idea that any code or language can be created and understood.

For those who enjoy a push and pull romance, I recommend King of Code!

Standalones within this series:
King of Code by C.D. ReissQueen of Rust by C.D. Reiss

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Her Master’s Redemption by Lily White

 

Title: Her Master’s Redemption (Masters #3)
Author: Lily White
Genre: Dark Romance
POV: First Person – dual

Releases on September 7, 2017

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4.5 Stars!

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Anthony Bernal is an exacting and mature Master that lost his edge due to a tragedy; but when a second chance is offered, Anthony immediately acts in an attempt to find closure. Due to the logistics, Anthony seeks refuge in a fellow Master’s home but is surprised to discover that the Society’s rules dictate how to handle this unusual situation. 

“What you would have so easily thrown away, I have acquired. Your life is no longer yours, but mine.”

While suffering at the hands of monsters, Seraphina Ashland exhibited incredible fortitude and is desperate to control her own destiny. In making certain choices, Sera’s life comes full circle when she realizes the identity of her rescuer and how she must fight yet again and confront her biggest demon.

“How much did the universe hate me to pluck me from the moment I thought it all would end, just to plant me back at the beginning?”

What ensues is series of events involving Anthony and Sera that test their own limits. For Sera, she has been tortured using unimaginable methods and while she is broken in many ways, her last bit of resolve is centered toward someone that has the ability to ultimately break her. By cracking into tiny little pieces, it also gives Sera the opportunity to rebuild but only if she can truly submit. 

“Your life is no longer yours, but mine.”

The emotional pain these characters experience is profound but when adding the psychological and physical elements, the gravity of their situation is compounded and it’s palpable. Neither has an easy situation and regaining their wholeness comes with a price.

“I’d been stripped down to the bone, every bit of my pride and self-worth peeled away until all that was left was an empty husk.”

While on the surface Anthony may seem like a Master with a big heart, he is also serious and demanding. Seeing him as calculative while also being compassionate endeared his character. When it came to his dealings with his good friend those moments tested the tenacity of both men and feeling such intense emotions ultimately propels Anthony into thinking like a Master again.

“Once I was secured, he tucked his palms beneath my ass cheeks and buried himself inside me so deep I was barely able to take him in. My chest arched up, my breasts hungry for touch, as he moved inside me like a man gone mad.”

From the beginning, Sera won my heart due to her ability to carve out a protective shell to survive. The most satisfying moment for her character growth was when she was willing to confront her fears despite knowing the depths of hell she would have to experience again.

With some twists and characters from the previous books, the plot takes the reader down a dark path of redemption where the characters become more broken than they were from the start. While it is cruel and evil at times, it is also the way the world functions for Masters and courtesans in the Society. Is it depraved? Is it wrong? Is it manipulative? Is it intriguing as it pertains to the human condition? The answer is yes to all! 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed (and painfully at times) the chosen path for Anthony and Sera. I also welcomed the inclusion of Aiden as a strong secondary character and was relieved to see he hasn’t softened in any way. 

For those who truly appreciate psychological manipulation and can survive in the most sinister of environments, I highly recommend Her Master’s Redemption!

Masters series:
Her Master's Courtesan (Masters, #1) by Lily White Her Master's Teacher (Masters, #2) by Lily White Her Master's Redemption (Masters, #3) by Lily White

*Side note:
Even though this book can technically be read as a standalone, this series should be read in order. If book one seems too dark then please start with book two. Her Master’s Redemption has spoilers for the previous books and to fully understand the depth of the plot and how it affects all characters, it’s best enjoyed in order. 

 

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Title: Weapon (Three Blades #1)
Author: DH Sidebottom
Genre: Dark romance
POV: First Person – dual

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As a young girl, Elsie Grey showed promise and was drafted to the infamous Three Blades. For ten years she was groomed and trained to be a Weapon. Now, at 28 and with her newest assignment, Elsie begins to uncover more than she could have imagined as it leads right to her past and a place where she’s kept locked away.

 

“It’s all I know. Just because something isn’t right, doesn’t mean it’s not what we need.”

Euan Sinclair has a role that allows him to see multiple perspectives. Using his position, he gets close to the intended target which complicates his job but he isn’t afraid to take a risk professionally or personally. But cracking Elsie’s defenses may prove to be the hardest task he’s experienced.

 

“His touch always softened something inside me, warmed the ice that I had constructed to help me survive. And giving in to that would prove fatal.”

Being a Weapon, Elsie learned to keep her emotions in check, knowing her family is within the organization, she mustn’t have any other distractions. However, she soon discovers layers of complex deceit that makes Elsie question those she trusts. Since that is a short list, getting answers leads to more questions.

 

“Not everyone in this world is scared by violence and lies, Elsie. The truth is often received with hostility.”

From the beginning, a tone is set establishing a camaraderie among members of Three Blades with Elsie being the most lethal. The sense of looming danger and risk is ever present but Elsie doesn’t let it bring her down as she knows how to thrive in it. Seeing humor in dark situations is one of Elsie’s defense mechanisms which adds to her appeal. 

 

“Oh, it would only take me one shot to kill you, but where’s the fun in that?”

As the pacing incrementally escalates and mirrors the plot points, the level of greed and power that’s exposed forces Elsie to confront her emotions. Knowing what must be done doesn’t make her decision any easier but Elsie isn’t about to let anyone suffer for her. 

Elsie is an interesting character. I admired her loyalty to those she deemed to be family and revered her ability to kick ass at a moment’s notice. Considering the past, her reluctance to open her heart was understandable but again Elsie proves she can overcome. To balance Elsie, Euan’s adds warmth and the possibility of an entirely new dimension for Elsie to experience. Aside from Elsie, Frank was my favorite character. 

In Weapon, DH Sidebottom successfully crafts an adrenaline charged plot steeped in greed, deceit, friendship and sacrifice. For those who like action with romance this will not disappoint.

Three Blades series:
Weapon (Three Blades #1) by D.H. Sidebottom Samurai (book two)

 

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Title: Three is a War
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Book 3 of 3  (to be read in order)
POV: First Person

 

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4.5 Stars!

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Three is a War opens without interruption in the timeline as Danni finds herself right back at square one. Though this time, the rules have changed and only she can change the course. Danni needs to make the impossible decision. Knowing how she is ruled by her heart, trying to listen to her mind isn’t always the easy but she doesn’t want this torture to continue. Cole and Trace have made their intentions clear – they will fight for her until one man is clearly chosen.

 

“I’ll fight through the agony and do the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do. I’ll choose which part of my heart I have to let go forever.”

As this emotional dance continues, Cole shows his passion and oozes sex but he also holds on to the notion that their love is steeped in history and trueness. Danni’s pull toward Cole feels natural and her attraction is more than just physical, especially getting the answers she’s been seeking for so long. 

 

“My eyes lift, and my head follows, as if everything inside me is pulled toward his presence, as if my very soul knows its mate is near, and I need to go to him.”

Being the ever logical one, Trace may emit steely control but he is bracing for her decision and doesn’t undermine the past Danni shared with Cole. However, with four years passing and the new love he and Danni forged, he believes it’s enough of a foundation to move forward. 

 

“He’s insanely potent. Not just his delectable scent. It’s his intensity. The way he stares at me like nothing else exists.”

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Since Cole’s return, tension has been building and the knowledge that one man will ultimately be turned away is looming. While these three try to give all they can, it takes one particular incident to act as the impetus for Danni to choose. 

 

“Punish me. Wreck me. Tear down my ruins. Excavate me from my sins. Hurt me. Spank me. Set me on fire. Make be burn.”

What ensues is a roller coaster of emotions. Knowing the inevitable from the beginning of the series, it adds to the dense aura of tension and while trying to prepare for Danni’s decision, it doesn’t make it any easier. The range of feelings is for these characters is vast. One minute it seems that Cole will be the frontrunner, while in the next sequence, the pendulum swings to Trace. However, when Danni makes her choice, the dam breaks free. 

Going into book three, I expected deep feelings to emerge and it did not disappoint in eliciting raw emotion ranging from sadness [insert tears], relief, anger, jealousy and happiness. In this series, the potential for heartbreak is great, as both Cole and Trace are different but equally good men and this creates palpable tension in the plot because no matter who wins, it seems as though it will feel bittersweet. 

From the onset, I wasn’t sure what man would prevail, but had faith that Pam Godwin would make it right for the characters and storyline. With a winding journey of discovery, pain and love, Pam Godwin’s character arcs are perfectly pitched and the resolution offers poised reflection. I highly recommend Three is a War!

Tangled Lies Series (to be read in order):
One is a Promise (Tangled Lies, #1) by Pam GodwinTwo is a Lie (Tangled Lies, #2) by Pam GodwinThree is a War (Tangled Lies, #3) by Pam Godwin

 

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Title: Muscle Memory

Author: Style Fantôme

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Type:  Standalone

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4 Stars! 

 

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Suffering from amnesia due to head trauma, he awakens in a hospital without any links to his identity except for the clothes on his back and the drugs that were found in his bloodstream. Conveniently called John Doe, he slowly begins to carve out his own rebirth as Jon Doherty but starting over has a disadvantage since he can’t work without real identification. However, it’s the second chance he desperately needed.

“It will be scary, but it’s got to be better that whatever I was doing before.”

With the help of a social worker, Jon tries to acclimate to his new world. While he is aware of certain traits or abilities, Jon’s memory remains closed except for the few instances he gets a sensation or a feeling he can’t place. 

“I was fearless once, she had said. Maybe I can be fearless again.”

While Jon’s story gained local and national news, no one ever recognized him and it’s as if he lived in a bubble. Trying to move forward, Jon forges friendships but feels like he’s only experiencing a lesser or low calorie version of his previous life. Not knowing how to combat those feelings, he pushes them aside until he can no longer ignore his body’s memories.

“She’s my ghost, she haunts me. I don’t remember her, but I know her.”

One night, Jon’s axis shifts again when he recognizes her. Hauntingly familiar with her blue eyes, Delaney Carter instantly reacts to Jon and in that moment his past merges with the present. Seeking answers for so long, it becomes clear that Jon’s previous life was intense and steeped in poor choices, yet the feeling that Delaney is part of his muscle memory is undeniable.

“All he knew was her skin felt like home and that when she breathed, he was the one taking in oxygen.”

What occurs is an interesting turn of events among characters that are trying to do the right thing in the name of love. While not all their choices are perfect, it serves to highlight insecurities and what others will sacrifice. The evolution of Jon’s character really elevated him in my eyes because he acknowledged how lucky he is to have friends that truly care about his well-being. Plus, knowing how reckless he was in the past made his transition all the more enriching. 

Told in alternating chapters between the past and present, this arrangement allows for the intensity of each time and adds to the tension of what will be Jon’s future. As for Jon, I appreciated his tenacity and felt his frustration of trying to remember. Delaney certainly proved herself and her selflessness was admirable. A special shout-out to Sloany because she was an amazing character that brought levity and firmness when needed.

Muscle Memory is a story that makes one wonder about the what ifs in life, as in one moment it can all change. It is certainly an interesting plot and the turn of events felt realistic. The pacing is steady and the writing flows effortlessly between dialogue and inner monologue, which seems to be a signature within this author’s style. With the romantic notion of true love, this book also delves into friendship, sacrifice and second chance. I highly recommend!  

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Nate by Celia Aaron

 

 

Title: Nate
Author: Celia Aaron
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Standalone
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: August 25, 2017

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4 Stars!

 

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At thirteen years old, Sabrina Petrov lost her family due to a mob hit. Upon being saved by Nate, he’s acted as her guardian and protected her from impending danger. Since then she’s pined for him and now that she’s 18, her attraction has turned to more adult pursuits. 

“I just feel like I’ve been a victim for most of my life. First with my father, then with his killer, then when you found me. I don’t want to feel that way anymore.”

Nate Franco has risen his way to mob boss of the Philadelphia syndicate. Known for his sense of humor, Nate has proved his ability as a ruthless leader but it appears there’s a rat in his organization. While sniffing out the problem and further solidifying his position, Sabrina proves to be a thorough distraction. 

“I’m trying to do the right thing here, can’t you see that? For once in my life, I’m trying to put someone else first. Put you first.”

As tensions rise, and even though two trusted associates surround Nate, a different mob family threatens to take what Nate deems to be his. Based on a longstanding mission of revenge, Sabrina becomes a target and while she’s been living a sheltered life for the last five years, she isn’t deterred by the danger.

“If this was the life I was choosing, then I needed to see all of it, to understand my choice on every level. Nothing could scare me away from Nate.”

In the midst of a rival gang war, Nate tries to control the feelings he harbors for Sabrina. As her former guardian, he should only view her as a family member but Sabrina is constantly reminding him of her adult status and how she wants more from Nate. Using her assets and sassy mouth, she penetrates Nate’s restraint which puts him in the position of punishing her bratty behavior. Across his knee is exactly where Sabrina wants to be and their push and pull continues until Nate asserts himself right where he should be.

“You gonna kill me one day. You and that sassy mouth. But if I die with my dick inside you, I’ll die a happy man.”

Told in dual POV, Nate’s sense of humor shines through and adds to his charm. Knowing he is a boy from the neighborhood who earned his street credentials adds a dimension to his likability. While he tries to deflect his trait of generosity, it’s apparent by his actions and it earns the respect of his friends. As Sabrina has viewed Nate as her savior for years, she views his soft spot to be endearing even though she’s aware of his darker propensities. Accepting him for what he is enhances Sabrina’s character. 

Due to the ease and efficacy of Celia Aaron’s writing style, it’s easy to get drawn into the action of this plot and I was invested in Nate’s struggle against competing factions. While I discovered who the rat was early on, it didn’t lessen my interest in how it was going to be unveiled. Plus, I enjoyed all the scenes with Nate’s friends and their camaraderie.

While I enjoyed the story, I still wanted a little more character development to show their connection and how their feelings became more amorous, especially given the 15 year age difference and the added taboo element. That said, there were some hot moments where Nate dominated in deliciously naughty ways.

Overall, Nate is an entertaining read that showcases the author’s ability to spin a suspenseful fictional world and balance an intriguing romance plot. For those enjoy action with some kinky moments, I recommend!

 

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Title: Bait

Author: Jade West

Genre: Dark Romance/Erotica

Type: Standalone

Publication Date: August 14, 2017

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4.5 Stars!

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Abigail Summers is on the run from hurtful emotions and past trauma but being caught is exactly what she craves. Not disillusioned about the danger of her longtime fantasy, Abigail creates an online profile hoping to find the person who can sate her urges and make her feel again. 

“I’m seeking my monster in the darkness. I’ll run but you’ll run faster. We’ll play cat and mouse until you catch me.”

Phoenix is recovering from a loss and dealing with the mess it left behind. While he is a loving father, socially he’s been living in solitude and realizes it’s time to move forward. Upon viewing online profiles, one person particularly appeals to his predatory needs. 

“Scared pussy always hurts so fucking bad. Scared pussy always fights. And scared pussy always tastes the best.”

As Abigail and Phoenix begin to correspond by messaging, they both experience a wave of excitement as both need to satisfy their dark desires. Despite his warnings, both in words and imagery, Abigail believes she’s finally found her monster and Phoenix is ready to give chase to the bait. 

“I head to her left and she runs to the right. Runs further into the darkness. The bait is snared. Mine.”

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What ensues is an adrenaline rush as unknown elements of the monster’s identity and when the chase will begin creates blood pumping excitement. Once the game commences, fear is present but also sexual excitement that can only be quenched from a fruitful hunt. 

“With my beast of a dick stretching her pussy to gaping and metal bars grating her deep, she comes for me as she cries out. It’s wild. It’s hard.”

Told in dual POV, the vulnerabilities and struggles experienced by Abigail and Phoenix feel weighty. With each having their own regrets, they also share the common thread of wanting to start again and shed their enormous emotional burden. As the chase continues, it starts to fuel their need for something more. When secrets and deep scars are revealed, Abigail and Phoenix learn to trust each other with feelings that have been deeply buried. 

Abigail is easily likable and her experience certainly draws empathy. Her long-time fantasy adds the dimensional element of Abigail being slightly unsteady and shows how desperate she really is to feel any sensation other than being numb. Running with the wind in her hair and fear deep in her lungs, she is adamant about getting caught by her monster. 

Phoenix brings the element of logic to the story, although his desire overrules. Knowing what he brings to the experience, physically and mentally, distinctly gives him the advantage as a predator. While Phoenix has an intense dark side, it is balanced by the love he shares for his family proving he will go to lengths for them. 

Bait is a story about loss and how two people can find solace together in the darkness. While how these characters meet is certainly unconventional, it proves to be right for them and I like how they found their unique way. As always, Jade West crafts a story about every day characters that is compelling and erotic. When reading this in the dark, be sure to look over your shoulder every now and then for the monster that may be lurking.

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters

Title: Thousands (Dollar, #4)

Author: Pepper Winters

Genre: Dark Romance

Type: Book 4 of 5

Releases August 15, 2017

 

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4.5 Stars!

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Thousands opens without interruption in the continuing timeline of Elder Prest and Pimlico. After losing control, Elder believes it’s safest for Pim to remain at a distance but when Pim makes the decision to do so, the situation forces Elder to acknowledge what he’s known. At this point, the plot line shifts to a more introspective examination into what drives Elder’s behavior and need for a certain structure. While revenge and protecting his family has been a priority for Elder, there is much more behind his reasons of feeling guilt and being indebted. 

“She trusted me to keep her safe. This was me honouring that trust even while she begged me to break it.”

Despite her past, Pim’s fortitude is ever present and now that her mind and body continue to heal, she is no longer content in settling for the inconsistences of Elder’s words and actions. As she pushes for more on a physical and emotional level, Elder reacts by distancing himself but seeing Pim’s courage and ability to trust is the impetus to give more of himself. 

“But now I was awake and ready to feel everything. And those scraps and stars weren’t enough anymore. I wanted planets. I wanted galaxies. I wanted his heart.”

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Upon returning to her home country, Pim must face a longstanding conflict and when she does, another layer of healing seems to elevate Pim to a healthier place. Feeling fortified to a degree, Pim is willing to do whatever it takes to prove her love for Elder. In this moment, Elder is pushed to his limits as Pim wants all of Elder and she isn’t about to relinquish her desire for the sake of playing it safe.

“Standing over her, cock hard, heart fast, mind a mess, I growled. “I’ll fuck you. I’ll fuck you until you can’t stand to be fucked anymore. And then I’ll fuck you again. And again.”

What transpires in Thousands is an interesting push-pull between Elder and Pim. For one, the sexual tension is palpable, as both characters want each other so badly that it drips from the pages. Secondly, there are layers of long-standing emotions that reveal much more about Elder and Pim individually and as a couple. As Pim’s healing continues on multiple levels, Pim proves that she is a worthy partner to Elder, and at times, takes the lead while embracing her fears. Elder’s conflicts remain difficult to assess but when Pim pierces through his final layer of armor, he unleashes a physical and emotional side that incredibly rewarding and panty melting. 

Told in dual POV, getting in the mind of Elder and Pim is vital to understanding their motivations. There are times when Elder’s resistance is infuriating yet knowing his rationale adds to his appeal and reinforces his need to protect. While both characters made progressive strides, Pim embraced her new role with tenacity to show just how much of a survivor she actually is. Not knowing when Elder’s past will be put to rest, he and Pim are prepared to fight for what they have despite the consequence. 

In this series, Pepper Winters successfully creates a vivid world with a complex plot and multi-dimensional characters. With themes of redemption, healing, trust and love, Thousands offers a story where vulnerabilities become strengths. I highly recommend Thousands, and with one book remaining in the series, I look forward to reading just how it all ends!

 

Dollar series:
Pennies (Dollar, #1) by Pepper Winters Dollars (Dollar, #2) by Pepper Winters Hundreds (Dollar, #3) by Pepper Winters Thousands (Dollar, #4) by Pepper Winters Millions (Dollar, #5) by Pepper Winters

 

*An ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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Title: Reception (The Kane Trilogy #4)

Author: Stylo Fantome

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotica

Type: Book 4 of the Kane Trilogy

 

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4 Stars! 

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In this novelette, we are given a glimpse into the married world of Jameson Kane and Tatum O’Shea-Kane. As Jameson becomes a bit jealous about male attention Tate receives, he decides to assert his dominance by throwing a back yard barbecue for his work associates. Yes, Mr. Antisocial is having a party! During the event, Tate is on her best behavior but Jameson has a different idea about the whole situation.

“You want to know what I love?” “What?” “When you shut the fuck up.”

What transpires is true Jameson and Tate with their combustible sexual chemistry and opposite personalities that compliment their needs in every way. Getting some of Jameson’s alpha-ness is a welcome treat and he certainly hasn’t lost his touch. Of course, Tate is her old self pushing all Jameson’s buttons until he unleashes his wrath. 

While Reception is a brief story, it is enjoyable being reunited with such memorable characters and experience Jameson’s brand of fun. 

Sanders Excerpt- 5 Stars!

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Sanders Dashkevich has been a fixture in Jameson’s home since he was a teen. As legal guardian, Jameson provided an education, a home and sense of belonging to Sanders. Now that Sanders is 21 years old and fulfilled his educational requirements, he is ready to move out on his own, but the impetus for his decision is unexpected.

“I’m sorry,” Jameson whispered, his arms tights around Sanders. “I should’ve … I should’ve been more careful.”

Adhering to his sense of honesty and morality, Sanders doesn’t see any other options to resolve his dilemma but it doesn’t make it any easier to leave. In anticipation of his departure, Jameson and Tate present Sanders with a gift that puts him in an unlikely position. 

As much as I want to share what occurs in this Sanders excerpt, I will exercise self-restraint. However, I will say that it makes perfect sense for Sander’s character arc and I’m not surprised by it at all – and I mean that in a good way. Sanders is a rich character that offers a wide range of mystery, so while Stylo Fantome admittedly hasn’t been able to sync with his character to write a full length novel, reading this passage is satisfying but still makes you wonder what Sanders has to offer. 

For those who are fans of The Kane Series, I recommend! 

The Kane Series:
Degradation (The Kane Trilogy, #1) by Stylo FantomeSeparation (The Kane Trilogy, #2) by Stylo FantomeReparation (The Kane Trilogy, #3) by Stylo FantomeCompletion (The Kane Trilogy, #3.5) by Stylo Fantome Reception (The Kane Series Book 5) by Stylo Fantome

 

 

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Title: Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2) 

Author: CJ Roberts

Genre: Dark Erotica/Suspense

Type: Book 2 of a Series

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5 Stars!! 

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In Seduced in the Dark, the story continues without interruption and with an interesting shift in how the timeline is presented. As Livvie Ruiz tells her story in the present tense, she is distraught over the precarious circumstances separating her from Caleb. Not be able to get a firm grasp on the current situation is tense, especially when the alternating perspective shifts back to the past. This unsettling tone enhances the level of danger and fear at what is to come.

“He’d done this to me. He’d made me afraid. He’d made me need him. And if he thought he was suddenly going to abandon me and clear what was left of his shriveled conscience, he was sadly mistaken.”

Caleb is left with limited choices, as he has the option to proceed with the plan of revenge or take a different course of action that also has serious repercussions. Feeling a tremendous sense of loyalty to the person that gave Caleb a second chance is overwhelming, yet for the first time, Caleb is beginning to feel other emotions he’s trying to process. Knowing the level of manipulation Caleb employs to influence Livvie’s behavior is enough to make him second guess the authenticity of what she feels, however, it doesn’t change his feelings. 

“I’ve been going like this a long time – manipulating people to get my way. That’s why you think you love me. Because I’ve broken you down and built you back up to believe it.”

In the short time Livvie was in Caleb’s possession, her goal had always been to survive and escape. With the way she and Caleb met, it seemed to strengthen Livvie’s hope at times but it also put her at a disadvantage. As they continue on this path, true feelings become clear and while trying to battle his demons, Caleb punishes himself yet stakes his claim in a way that is foretelling.

“Does it feel good, Pet?” he asked in a voice dripping with arrogance. I didn’t care. I nodded fervently and looked for his mouth. He let his lips dance just above mine, all the while keeping his rhythm against my clit. “I want to hear you say it. Tell me if feels good. Tell me how much you want me to make that little pussy of yours come.”

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With betrayal, action and kinkery, Caleb’s hand is forced and his reaction sets in motion a series of events that cannot be reversed. Trying to keep his promise to Livvie has always been paramount, and in doing so, the inevitable must occur in order to move forward. 

“Be smart. Fight the battles you can win and accept the ones you can’t. That’s how you survive.”

To say I devoured this book would be an understatement. The multiple levels of dimension in the character development and plot kept me riveted. Livvie’s determination and vulnerability made her such an intriguing character. The dichotomy between naïve Livvie and captive Livvie was a constant reminder of Caleb’s duality of kindness and violence. That ever-present contrast creates incredible chemistry between these two characters. I admired Livvie’s tenacity while with Caleb and when apart. 

In addition, the focus on Caleb and his past is absolutely fascinating. As the darkest parts of the human condition are revealed, the need for revenge is compounded. Caleb’s decisions weren’t always the right ones but he adhered to a code for a reason. Ultimately, the progression for these characters involved pain, redemption and strength and I loved the ending. 

This series delves into dark subject matter in a complex way that shows how people can process the worst of situations but still have the ability to heal and love. I highly recommend this duet! 

The Dark Duet Series:
Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1) by C.J. RobertsSeduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2) by C.J. RobertsEpilogue (The Dark Duet, #3) by C.J. RobertsDetermined to Obey (The Dark Duet, #3.5) by C.J. Roberts

 

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Title: The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise #2)

Author: Aly Martinez

Genre: Romance Suspense

Type: Duet/Book 2 of 2

 

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4 Stars! 

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In The Brightest Sunset the timeline continues without interruption as the circumstances between Charlotte and Porter become further complicated due to new information about Charlotte’s missing son. Instead of moving forward as planned, Charlotte must come to terms with the past and how it intersects with her recent choices. For Porter, he cannot believe how much worse the situation has become but he is committed to his family and letting the facts reveal the truth.

 

I don’t want to be a part of his life. I want to be there every fucking day.”

From the outset, the tension is high and the conflict is a constant reminder of how these characters have been pulled apart for years, yet coming together for the one common factor of love for a little boy is still tearing everyone apart. Being pushed in a certain direction, Charlotte tries to find her voice and slowly overcomes her guilt as she takes a stand for herself and for the love of her son. While Porter is the target of the majority’s derision, he remains determined to fight and will do anything in his power to protect what is his.

 

“Everything’s going to change, Charlotte. And I swear to you, no matter what happens, we’re going to do that together, okay?”

In starting this conclusion, I was expecting a good amount of angst, conflict, discovery and growth between the characters. While those elements did exist and there were certainly moments when I wanted to strangle two characters, I still wanted a little more from Charlotte and Brady. Though these two never had a true foundation, for years Brady blamed Charlotte for what happened, and while I understand his emotion, it was time for Brady to confront the present and really embrace the second chance he was given. Therefore, I was hoping Brady would have redeemed himself in a more meaningful way.

In focusing the progress between Charlotte and Porter, it seemed to me that Porter was really the impetus for communication and forging ahead to the next level. Without such a strong character as Porter, Charlotte’s growth would have been quite different. With his love, respect and decency, Porter proved to be an anchor in this plot and it was abundantly clear that he would place his children above his needs at any given moment, but with the possibility of having it all, he wasn’t about to surrender.

The relationship between Porter and Travis was a truly heartwarming. Additionally, Travis and Hannah proved to be have such an adorable sibling dynamic that it really showed the importance of their connection to the adult characters in this plot. 

Overall, while I did want a bit more from certain characters and felt parts were a little too perfect toward the end, the author’s writing kept me engaged and I was completely invested in the storyline. 

For those who are looking for a romance with an emotional side and also some suspense, I recommend The Brightest Sunset!

The Darkest Sunrise Series:
The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise, #1) by Aly MartinezThe Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise, #2) by Aly Martinez

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CC’s Review ~ The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise, #1) by Aly Martinez

 

Title: The Darkest Sunrise

Author: Aly Martinez

Genre: Romance Suspense

Type: Book 1 of 2

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4 Stars!!

 

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Charlotte Mills is a revered pulmonologist but her personal life is a black hole due to circumstances outside her control. For the past ten years, Charlotte has operated on autopilot choosing to remain numb as a means to cope. Wondering if it’s time to finally take a baby step forward, she meets man that seems to like her quirks and ignites an emotion that she hasn’t felt in a long time.

“Mine. It was my fault. Always and forever.”

Porter Reese is a restaurateur and widower dedicated to raising his two children. Though taking tremendous joy from this role, Porter isn’t a stranger to heartache each and every day but he strives to persevere for his family. While attempting to volunteer at a charity event, Porter finds himself burning burgers until he talks to a woman that shares in a deep pain.

“Holy shit. There it was, blazing in her eyes. The emptiness. My emptiness.”

Tired of the emptiness, Porter is ready to move on or at least have some company in the dark. As Porter and Charlotte try to navigate within each other’s pain, they establish rules that create a protective barrier around them in order to bring some light into their lives. With Porter’s commitment to his children and Charlotte’s limitations, each moment they share is precious and based on trust between two damaged individuals.

“I felt every single consonant and vowel of her plea deep inside my soul. She didn’t need to beg. Not now. Not ever. If she wanted anything, I was going to give it to her.”

Willingly and selflessly, Porter shows all of his heart and deepest pain to Charlotte in an effort to propel their relationship to the next level. Finally reaching a place where they are ready to be open, certain circumstances surface that cause many questions that further complicate the lives of two people that have already endured so much.

“But, when your entire world was pitch-black, even the tiniest flicker looked like a lighthouse.”

Told in dual POV, the shifting character perspectives allows for multilayered introspection into their pain, fears and need to feel the intimacy of love again. Charlotte’s experience is heart breaking, as the constant guilt and question of “what if” pervades her senses. The need to insulate herself is devastating but completely understandable. Porter definitely has his own painful experience where he lost himself in addition to feeling betrayed. Porter is an absolute dream in his ability to communicate in quiet yet impactful ways that speak volumes.

From the first page, deep sentiment is present, but in addition to loss, there is an enormous amount of sacrifice, hope, healing and love. As the plot moves at a steady pace, it allows for time to pause and reflect in the bond these characters share. While there are moments where the gravity of the situation is immense, I couldn’t help but root for Porter and Charlotte as a couple and as a family.

For those who are looking for a romance with an emotional side and also some suspense, I highly recommend The Darkest Sunrise!

The Darkest Sunrise Series:
The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise, #1) by Aly MartinezThe Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise, #2) by Aly Martinez

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CC’s Review ~ Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

 

Title: Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet #1)

Author: CJ Roberts

Genre: Dark Erotica/Thriller

Type: Dual POV

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5 Stars!!

 

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At 18 years old, Olivia “Livvie” Ruiz is a student trying to balance her mother’s irrational demands with her own interests until one day a handsome stranger appears in her life. However, not all is what it seems and Livvie’s world instantly changes. Finding herself captive, Livvie tries to assess her captor’s motivations in an effort to survive but she is trying to play a game where the rules are unknown and she seems to be the pawn. 

“She was neither willing, nor coerced, nor sent to him. She was pure conquest.”

Caleb is an intense man with a singular focus. It’s been twelve years in the making and it’s time to show his loyalty in order to obtain his goal. The level of his manipulation shows the honed skill of a predator and he will use any tactic necessary to get his captive to submit and break. 

“I promise you, if you do what I say, you will always come out better than you think.”

The circumstances in which Livvie and Caleb meet adds an unusual twist to their dynamic. For Livvie, it seems to breed some sort of misguided familiarity, and for Caleb, it presents a new set of challenges. From the beginning, Livvie tries to read every signal from Caleb and she is fairly sure about his inconsistencies but she doesn’t allow it to change her focus. Ultimately, when the truth is revealed, it brings their relationship to a pronounced feeling of tension and betrayal.
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“Each day I was more vulnerable than the last. Each day he stripped away more of my sense of self. And now he’d taken the last of it, the last of me.”

What occurs is multi-layered, darkly manipulative and peers into how these two characters are left to rely on base survival methods. Of course, they employ the opposite set of skills, but as they react to each other, it leads to complicated emotions. While there is hope for one type of plot shift, simultaneously, it also makes you cringe for wanting it another way. However, there is no denying the chemistry Livvie and Caleb share as their banter is amusing, tense and sexually charged. When Livvie pushes back in certain ways, it leads to incredibly erotic moments. 

“I came several more times while he fucked me, each time, it reduced me more and more into someone I recognized less and less. Finally, he squeezed and pulled at my ass. “You feel so good. I love your tight little ass.”

Interestingly, this narrative is effectively written in dual POV with the use of first and third person in alternating chapters. Such technique underscores the experience felt by each character and allows for tension to build. Additionally, it adds tremendous dimension to Livvie and Caleb. Experiencing Livvie’s fears come true elicits deep empathy and rooting for her is elemental. Conversely, Caleb’s methods are monstrous causing varying reactions, and at times when a degree of kindness is shown, it eerily begets the question of whether Caleb is truly capable of being selfless. For me, both characters are incredibly intriguing individually but together they are like dynamite.

Captive in the Dark has been on my TBR for a long time but the subject matter caused me to postpone reading based on my own doubts. However, I am now thinking why in the world did I wait!? From the first page, I was captivated and practically read in one sitting. CJ Roberts successfully creates a world where the reader feels fully immersed in the heart thumping darkness of the plot and the twisty plight of her characters. I’m definitely hooked!

For those who like to dwell in the darkness where characters challenge the morality of the human condition, I highly recommend Captive in the Dark.

 

Dark Duet Series:
Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1) by C.J. RobertsSeduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2) by C.J. RobertsEpilogue (The Dark Duet, #3) by C.J. RobertsDetermined to Obey (The Dark Duet, #3.5) by C.J. Roberts

 

 

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 CC’s ARC Review ~ DEVIL by Ker Dukey

Title: DEVIL

Author: Ker Dukey

Genre: Dark Suspense

POV: First person

Type: Standalone

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Purchase Links

 Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA  Amazon AU

 

 

4.5 Stars! 

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Evi Devil suffered abuse and a life-altering experience when she was a only 9 years old. Since then, Evi adapted as best as she could despite her memories but as she turns 21, an event triggers her need to get answers and finally reconcile what she’s felt for all these years. Returning to the place of origin, Evi’s quest painfully begins.

“I don’t feel like a complete person. I’m particles of a whole but the whole is fragmented and floating like dust particles caught in the stream of light, visible only when it shines through a crack in the window.”

As Evi becomes reacquainted with Max, a friend from the past, she feels a deep connection with him but her mind won’t budge as to the closeness they share. Sensing Evi is in a precarious situation, Max is sensitive to her emotions and tries to help her in every way he knows how.

“He was a good thing in my life before; I can feel it deep in my soul.”

In addition to their friendship, Evi is incredibly attracted to Max which she doesn’t try to hide from him. While Max doesn’t want to push Evi in the wrong direction, he isn’t afraid to give Evi exactly what she wants. With Max’s honed to perfection body and need to envelop Evi, their sexual chemistry is palpable and leads to unadulterated hot scenes.

“His palms move down to my ass cheeks, squeezing and guiding me up and over him, skin slapping skin and the wet juices slurping as he plunges so deep inside me he may never be able to leave.”

Told from Evi’s perspective, Devil sets an insidious tone from the first page. Getting inside Evi’s mind is a perilous investment due to the feeling of uncertainty and there isn’t any other option but to empathize with her memories and emotions. Creating a character like Evi is complex because while she has vulnerabilities and self-doubt, she is also a survivor in need of a re-boot. With the addition of Max, his measured and easy personality compliments Evi by giving her the space and comfort she so desperately needs. 

With the character highs and lows, I felt every moment whether it was despair, lust, anger or affection. In trying to decipher clues, the suspenseful plot arrangement and steady pace intensifies the need for answers within a richly layered narrative. Evi’s plight isn’t easy yet I was with her the entire way. Additionally, Max’s tenderness is absolutely endearing and panty melting.

In Devil, Ker Dukey successfully brings the reader into the unsteady mind of a character that is struggling to find normalcy. It’s a story that is atmospherically tragic yet offers hope and a chance to find contentment in a uniquely moving way. For those who enjoy twisty suspense, Devil offers a powerful dose of sentiment and thrill. I highly recommend! 

 

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CC’s Review ~ The Mermaid Murders (The Art of Murder #1) by Josh Lanyon

 

Title: The Mermaid Murders (The Art of Murder #1)
Author: Josh Lanyon
Genre:  M/M Romance/Mystery
Rating: 4 Stars!

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Special Agent Jason West is assigned to the Art Crime Team where he’s earned success but recently suffered a drawback during a bust. Since being cleared for duty, West is assigned to a high profile missing persons/copycat killing case based on his availability and the regional’s need to have another agent’s casework discredited. But Jason isn’t about to be a pawn and while having his own challenges to contend with.

“But should one case, one mistake, define a man’s career- especially an agent with Kennedy’s impressive record?”

Special Agent Sam Kennedy is a seasoned and revered criminal profiler in the Behavioral Analysis Unit but he’s known to be aloof. Years ago, Kennedy solved a high profile case involving a series of murders in a small town. But now a woman is reported missing and the M.O. looks disturbingly similar to the convicted Huntsman. As the original agent in charge, Kennedy returns to assist local law enforcement but is also assigned a partner to his dismay.

“You’re curious, imaginative, and have a flair for the dramatic. You like to talk, you’re a born smartass, and you get bored following a script.” 
“The hell, objected Jason.”

As Kennedy and West begin their investigation, it is clear that Kennedy would prefer to work alone but he takes it in stride to soon discover that West’s art history knowledge and experience offers a complimentary dynamic to the team. After interviewing residents and pouring over old case notes, clues start to reveal possible suspects.

“There we go,” said Jason with bitter triumph. “That’s the part of our case you didn’t feel like sharing earlier.”

While West is open about his sexual orientation, Kennedy remains an enigma until one night Kennedy makes his preferences known. Being opposites, there is already palpable tension but after they find a working balance, it opens the door to sexual chemistry and Kennedy shares just how appealing he finds West.

“Kennedy’s thrusts picked up speed again; his hips lunged smacking Jason’s butt, and Jason moved to accommodate. Kennedy’s fingers traced his lips, and Jason tasted himself. It was shocking and erotic, more so when Kennedy whispered, “Suck.”

With West digging further and following a hunch, his inquiries raise a red flag to local law enforcement and draws upon past conflicts but he isn’t about to back down. Though Kennedy supports his partner’s zest, he also wants him to be careful considering what’s at stake. As they close in, it’s becomes apparent who the killer is.

For some time, I’ve been curious about Josh Lanyon’s books and was intrigued to see this series offers a combination of murder mystery and art history. Told in third person POV, the narrative mostly feels like a detective story with special detail given to their surroundings that sets the scene in the mind’s eye. The romance is present but in my opinion felt a bit secondary to the plot but by no means was insignificant. For me, I would have liked a little more buildup between Kennedy and West, but I like how these two interacted and it fit their characters perfectly.

As for the mystery, I had my suspicions from the beginning but the way the clues revealed some twists, it kept my attention until the end. Additionally, the conflict of West being connected to the small town added more interest. I am looking forward to continuing this series to see what transpires between Kennedy and West.

For those who enjoy a murder mystery with a side of M/M romance, I recommend The Mermaid Murders.

 

The Art of Murder series: (best read in order)
The Mermaid Murders (The Art of Murder, #1) by Josh LanyonThe Monet Murders (The Art of Murder, #2) by Josh LanyonThe Magician Murders (The Art of Murder, #3) by Josh Lanyon

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Pretty New Dolls by Ker Dukey & K Webster

 

Title: Pretty New Doll (Pretty Little Dolls #3)
Author: Ker Dukey & K Webster
Genre:  Dark Erotica/Suspense
Rating: 5 Stars!!!

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Three years have passed since Benny was left to die and since then his craving for a precious dolly has not waned. Learning to live within new perimeters has brought changes to Benny’s life, including the addition of an ally that helps to feed his appetite but all the offerings don’t lessen his obsession to reclaim his pretty little doll. Watching from a distance, his insides boil at what he sees but it all changes when he encounters the one image he’s been seeking for so long.

“Run, run, run, Doll, right into my waiting arms.”

Now that Benny’s attention is focused on his prized pretty new doll, he will not be deterred and takes the necessary steps to prepare for the inevitable. As he makes contact with his doll, he cannot believe the priceless gift that is about to be willingly bestowed and the reality of his dream propels him to execute his plan.

“I want to grab her by her tiny jaw and jerk her to my mouth. I want to inhale her, suck he, lick her, and fuck her.”

With Benny getting closer and closer and knowing what’s at stake, Benny will not be at anyone’s mercy. Make no mistake, Benny’s reincarnation hasn’t lessened his intensity, darkness or ability to manipulate to any degree necessary. Once it all begins to escalate, moving forward is the only option and Benny is thoroughly ready to assert his dominance.

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“You’re not losing anything,” I growl, urging another finger into her tight body. “I’m taking it from you. It belongs to me.”

Adhering to the ominous tone of this series, Pretty New Dollmaintains the suspense and chilling undertone of the depravity that permeates these characters. Staying true to Benny’s essence, his inner turmoil is compounded by past events but to also see him also as a seducer is downright panty melting. The level of character dimension is incredible, as I felt each emotion whether it was Benny’s hatred, anger, loneliness or vulnerability.

Supporting the plot are recurring characters such as Dillon and Jade that add to the tension as they provide an anchor of morality and reality to Benny’s demented fantasy world. However, there are times when it seems the dark side may be in control with the addition of Tanner and associates. With the introduction of these characters, a new dynamic emerges that reveals more about Benny that is complex and addicting. Without a doubt, I am dying to see what transpires and whether there will be a need for a shiny red bow tie.

To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatement because I loved it! For those who enjoy dark and twisty suspense, I highly recommend Pretty New Doll! 

Pretty Little Dolls series:
Pretty Stolen Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls, #1) by Ker DukeyPretty Lost Dolls (Pretty Little Dolls, #2) by Ker DukeyPretty New Doll (Pretty Little Dolls, #3) by Ker Dukey

 

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CC’s Review ~ His Master by Bink Cummings

 

Title: His Master
Author: Bink Cummings
Genre: M/M Romance
Rating: 3.5 Stars!

 

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Corey Kellan is a respected judge and married man with teen kids but lives a closeted life. In trying to balance his true self, he is a Master at the House of Red where male submissives are at their beckon call. After years of being at conflict with his hidden side, Kellan starts to develop feelings for a much younger submissive and it forces him to make important decisions.

“He’s my addiction. And with that … my apparent destruction.”

At 28 years old, Michael is a kind and timid submissive who suffered a lonely and abusive past. Settled in his chosen role at House of Red, Michael feels at home in his surroundings but always looks forward to his time with Master Kellan. Always adhering to the commune’s rules, Michael is shocked when Master Kellan breaks the rules by pushing him to discuss how they feel about each other.

“Never in my life have I felt this exposed – vulnerable. Never have I cared what anyone truly thought of me. Of what I could offer them, aside from a wet hole.”

Knowing the risks, Kellan isn’t about to retract his feelings but when the realization hits about their plans, Michael faces substantial consequences that compounds Kellan’s protectiveness and need to provide a home for Michael. As they begin their new life together, each have their own inner conflicts to overcome. For Michael, he’s been conditioned by manipulation and subjugation for most of his life so learning healthy boundaries is a challenge. With Kellan, he’s always hidden his sexuality but the love he feels for Michael gives him the courage to be more open while he still needs to taper his possessive feelings.

“Stick a fork in me; I’m a goner. Owned. Possessed. Head over fucking heels.” Jesus. This is some new shit.”

With Kellan and Michael trying to find their own way, the constant in their relationship is the master/submissive dynamic, as both need to maintain their roles in order to remain true. Kellan feels privileged to receive Michael’s gift of submission and he needs Kellan’s dominance which leads to some kinky moments that steam the pages.

“Gathering a generous dollop of frosting, I smear it over his hole, down his taint, and across the underside of his low hanging balls. I lick my lips. It’s time for dessert.”

For some time, I’ve been wanting to try this author and I’m glad I did but it left me wanting much more. His Master offers a chance to delve into some difficult themes considering Kellan’s circumstances of being secretly gay and married. In waiting for conflict, it turned out to be mild despite what was anticipated. As for Michael, his character also had tremendous opportunity to show his transition from a foster home kid to commune submissive to being in a family of his own. While these two had some ups and downs, the pulse of the plot remained steady without many spikes. That said, I would still consider reading other books by the author, as her writing style is engaging and endearing.

His Master offers an unconventional M/M romance that is about acceptance and taking a chance on love. With light elements of BDSM, this book would appeal to those with an open mind who like a romance without much drama but with some spicy components.

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Exploited by A. Meredith Walters

 

Title: Exploited (Zero Day #1)
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Rating: 4 Stars!

Expected Publication: July 25, 2017

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Fueled by her need to avenge her family and to protect others, Hannah Whelan is an IT specialist by day and a hacktivist by night. With her revered cyber reputation as Freedom Overdrive, Hannah must ensure her identity remains anonymous, so when another hacker warns her about the FBI cracking her case, she decides to do her own reconnaissance.

“The angel on my shoulder was officially silenced. I hated the preachy bitch anyway.”

Mason Kohler is an esteemed FBI agent in the computer crimes unit who recently relocated to a new office. After unintentionally creating some discord among his peers, he’s assigned the impossible case file of Freedom Overdrive. In addition to his career being on the line, Mason has his own recent loss he’s trying to reconcile, so focusing on work offers some reprieve until he meets an awkward but kind stranger.

“Sometimes it just takes a little patience to get to the heart of a person.”

For Hannah, playing the alluring type is a bit out of her wheelhouse but being with Mason is much easier than she ever imagined. Guarding any clues about her alter ego, Hannah continues to play a certain role in order to gain access to Mason’s files but she soon realizes that being herself has never been easier. As for Mason, Hannah turns out to have the right combination of shyness and coyness while he discovers they have much more in common than he could have expected.

“She gave me jus enough to draw me in. And at this point I’d have gladly jumped off a cliff to find what she was hiding at the bottom.”

Knowing what is at stake emotionally, Hannah’s sense of self-preservation is great but her heart is starting to ache knowing how she feels about Mason. Despite Mason’s innate sense and FBI training to question everything, he doesn’t second guess Hannah until he can no longer ignore facts that are presented to him. Once Hannah’s motives become clear, Mason knows what he must do.

“This wasn’t all an act, was it, Hannah?”

For some time, I’ve been wanting to try this author’s work and Exploited seemed like it would be a happy medium with its focus on romance suspense. Told in dual POV, getting the voice of Mason and Hannah adds dimension and also tension because Hannah’s plan is known from the beginning and I didn’t want to see Mason get hurt. While Mason should have questioned things a little sooner, I can understand why he chose otherwise.

Likewise, I empathized with Hannah’s conflict until she starts to make some rookie mistakes. As for the buildup and theories about Toxic Wrath’s identity, I have a couple of theories and hope the obvious one is a distraction and there’s actually a twisty reveal in the conclusion.

I would recommend Exploited to those who enjoy romantic suspense with characters that have vulnerabilities and conflicts that need to be resolved.

 

Zero Day series:
Exploited (Zero Day, #1) by A. Meredith WaltersAftermath (Zero Day #2) by A. Meredith Walters

 

*A copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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ARC/CC’s Review ~ Two is a Lie (Tangled Lies #2) by Pam Godwin

 

Title: Two is a Lie (Tangled Lies #2)
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars!

 

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Two is a Lie opens without interruption in the timeline to a scenario that is thoroughly complex and full of emotion. With Cole’s return after four years have passed, Danni tries to reconcile the truth to accept how Cole is alive and to understand how Trace is connected to them both. For Danni, getting answers isn’t easy and finding a solution is even harder as both men are determined to fight for their chance, which leaves Danni in the position of making choice between Cole and Trace.

“They both love me. We’re not broken. We’re just … stuck.”

Finding such a choice impossible, Danni decides to start over in hopes of establishing a connection with one more than the other. Cole is unrestrained, passionate and at times a hot head, while Trace is the master of self-restraint, dominance and is intoxicating. Basically, these men are opposites in personality and looks which leaves Danni in a quandary because she loves each for what they offer. At first, this arrangement seems to work but then as emotions escalate, what ensues is angst ridden to the ninth degree.

“I’m terrified one day that I’m going to watch you walk away with the one who stole my dance.”

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Once lines are crossed, the level of betrayal is evident and Danni must accept how these actions affect her future. As Danni reacts to the strong determination imposed, it’s clear how things must proceed during this time. However, no one foresees what happens next as there are elements of suspense weaved into this plot that further add to the tension of the unknown.

“But I saw the guilt in your eyes the moment you looked at me.”

As told from Danni’s POV, her perspective underscores just how difficult it is for her to make choice but it’s also evident just how much Trace and Cole are enduring during this process. The layers of feelings and character dimension is immense and there is always the looming finality of which one is going to win Danni’s heart. Of course, no one is perfect but when certain things happen, it feels like a double-edged sword offering pain and pleasure that left me aching for one and hurting for the other.

Typically, I avoid love triangles like the plague because of the angst and wavering feelings that occur during the process, but when I saw Pam Godwin would be crafting this series, I was committed and I am enjoying it all! That being said, there are definitely times when I wanted to exert physical influence over one of the characters and yelled at my Kindle! (lol!)

Two is a Lie offers a very different tone from the first book, One is a Promise, in that the tension level is rising to match the uncertainty surrounding this fragile predicament. For those who thrive on angst and a shitload of feels, I highly recommend Two is a Lie!

Tangled Lies series:
One is a Promise (Tangled Lies, #1) by Pam GodwinTwo is a Lie (Tangled Lies, #2) by Pam GodwinThree is a War (Tangled Lies, #3) by Pam Godwin

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CC’s Review  ~ The Red by Tiffany Reisz

5 STARS!!

 

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Mona Lisa St. James is the proprietress of the Red Gallery. Having inherited the love of art and the gallery from her late mother, Mona is desperately trying to keep the business financially afloat. Overwhelmed and having exhausted her options, Mona decides to close the gallery until a gentleman propositions Mona with an opportunity of a lifetime.

“With Malcolm she felt pleasure and lust, but also pain and fear, love and hate. It was the most potent of alchemies.”

Mysteriously appearing at the Red, Malcolm is a tall, dark and handsome Englishman who knows exactly what he wants. Sympathetic to Mona’s financial situation, Malcolm offers Mona the chance to keep her gallery afloat in exchange for agreeing to submit to him for one full year.

“If I must sell my soul to the devil to do it, I will find a way back into Mona’s bed.”

What ensues is a series of meetings where Malcolm orchestrates fantasies inspired by various works of art. In exchange for Mona’s submission to anything Malcolm desires, she receives pleasure, pain and more than she could have imagined. As each of their assignations offers different themes that weave art, beauty and wonder into erotic tableaus, the connection between Mona and Malcolm deepens. With Mona’s attraction to Malcolm, she begins to feel and see what he wants her to experience and it is sensual, arousing, stimulating and hot. Malcolm is unabashedly open about his limitless sexual appetite and desires.

“Obscene, being used like this, but she accepted it, relished it, loved it. She loved it. Shamelessly, blissfully, and utterly loved it.”

description

Over a year passes with Mona and Malcolm being true to their promises but when their fantasies alter reality, Mona must reassess the value and ultimate closure of her arrangement with Malcolm. Up until that point, Mona doesn’t want it to end, but with Malcolm, Mona knows that Malcolm’s reach knows no bounds.

“Do anything you must, but keep me forever.”

To say this book is erotic and steamy is an understatement, as Tiffany Reisz admirably translates the timeless beauty of art and weaves these compositions into real feelings and sensations. The Red is true erotica at its best with explicitly delicious scenes but also offering an intelligent and cohesive plot with intriguing characters. Mona’s confident sexuality, loyalty to a vision and willingness to take a risk made her a standout character. With Malcolm, the allure and mystery surrounding him was contagious and who can resist a gentleman on the outside but a beast in every other way.

As always, Tiffany’s writing is flawless as she transports the reader into wonderfully erotic and passionate fantasies. For those who wish to escape to a kinky world without limits, I highly recommend The Red!

 

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CC’s ARC Review ~ Exploited by A. Meredith Walters

 

Title: Exploited (Zero Day #1)
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Rating: 4 Stars!

Expected Publication: July 25, 2017

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description

 

Fueled by her need to avenge her family and to protect others, Hannah Whelan is an IT specialist by day and a hacktivist by night. With her revered cyber reputation as Freedom Overdrive, Hannah must ensure her identity remains anonymous, so when another hacker warns her about the FBI cracking her case, she decides to do her own reconnaissance.

“The angel on my shoulder was officially silenced. I hated the preachy bitch anyway.”


Mason Kohler is an esteemed FBI agent in the computer crimes unit who recently relocated to a new office. After unintentionally creating some discord among his peers, he’s assigned the impossible case file of Freedom Overdrive. In addition to his career being on the line, Mason has his own recent loss he’s trying to reconcile, so focusing on work offers some reprieve until he meets an awkward but kind stranger.

“Sometimes it just takes a little patience to get to the heart of a person.”


For Hannah, playing the alluring type is a bit out of her wheelhouse but being with Mason is much easier than she ever imagined. Guarding any clues about her alter ego, Hannah continues to play a certain role in order to gain access to Mason’s files but she soon realizes that being herself has never been easier. As for Mason, Hannah turns out to have the right combination of shyness and coyness while he discovers they have much more in common than he could have expected.

“She gave me jus enough to draw me in. And at this point I’d have gladly jumped off a cliff to find what she was hiding at the bottom.”


Knowing what is at stake emotionally, Hannah’s sense of self-preservation is great but her heart is starting to ache knowing how she feels about Mason. Despite Mason’s innate sense and FBI training to question everything, he doesn’t second guess Hannah until he can no longer ignore facts that are presented to him. Once Hannah’s motives become clear, Mason knows what he must do.

“This wasn’t all an act, was it, Hannah?”


For some time, I’ve been wanting to try this author’s work and Exploited seemed like it would be a happy medium with its focus on romance suspense. Told in dual POV, getting the voice of Mason and Hannah adds dimension and also tension because Hannah’s plan is known from the beginning and I didn’t want to see Mason get hurt. While Mason should have questioned things a little sooner, I can understand why he chose otherwise.

Likewise, I empathized with Hannah’s conflict until she starts to make some rookie mistakes. As for the buildup and theories about Toxic Wrath’s identity, I have a couple of theories and hope the obvious one is a distraction and there’s actually a twisty reveal in the conclusion.

I would recommend Exploited to those who enjoy romantic suspense with characters that have vulnerabilities and conflicts that need to be resolved.

 

Zero Day series:
Exploited (Zero Day, #1) by A. Meredith Walters Aftermath (Zero Day #2) by A. Meredith Walters

 

*A copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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ARC/CC’s Review ~ Two is a Lie (Tangled Lies #2) by Pam Godwin

 

Title: Two is a Lie (Tangled Lies #2)
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars!

 

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description

 

Two is a Lie opens without interruption in the timeline to a scenario that is thoroughly complex and full of emotion. With Cole’s return after four years have passed, Danni tries to reconcile the truth to accept how Cole is alive and to understand how Trace is connected to them both. For Danni, getting answers isn’t easy and finding a solution is even harder as both men are determined to fight for their chance, which leaves Danni in the position of making choice between Cole and Trace.

“They both love me. We’re not broken. We’re just … stuck.”


Finding such a choice impossible, Danni decides to start over in hopes of establishing a connection with one more than the other. Cole is unrestrained, passionate and at times a hot head, while Trace is the master of self-restraint, dominance and is intoxicating. Basically, these men are opposites in personality and looks which leaves Danni in a quandary because she loves each for what they offer. At first, this arrangement seems to work but then as emotions escalate, what ensues is angst ridden to the ninth degree.

“I’m terrified one day that I’m going to watch you walk away with the one who stole my dance.”


description

 

Once lines are crossed, the level of betrayal is evident and Danni must accept how these actions affect her future. As Danni reacts to the strong determination imposed, it’s clear how things must proceed during this time. However, no one foresees what happens next as there are elements of suspense weaved into this plot that further add to the tension of the unknown.

“But I saw the guilt in your eyes the moment you looked at me.”


As told from Danni’s POV, her perspective underscores just how difficult it is for her to make choice but it’s also evident just how much Trace and Cole are enduring during this process. The layers of feelings and character dimension is immense and there is always the looming finality of which one is going to win Danni’s heart. Of course, no one is perfect but when certain things happen, it feels like a double-edged sword offering pain and pleasure that left me aching for one and hurting for the other.

Typically, I avoid love triangles like the plague because of the angst and wavering feelings that occur during the process, but when I saw Pam Godwin would be crafting this series, I was committed and I am enjoying it all! That being said, there are definitely times when I wanted to exert physical influence over one of the characters and yelled at my Kindle! (lol!)

Two is a Lie offers a very different tone from the first book, One is a Promise, in that the tension level is rising to match the uncertainty surrounding this fragile predicament. For those who thrive on angst and a shitload of feels, I highly recommend Two is a Lie!

Tangled Lies series:
One is a Promise (Tangled Lies, #1) by Pam Godwin Two is a Lie (Tangled Lies, #2) by Pam Godwin Three is a War (Tangled Lies, #3) by Pam Godwin

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CC’s Review  ~ The Red by Tiffany Reisz

5 STARS!!

 

description

Mona Lisa St. James is the proprietress of the Red Gallery. Having inherited the love of art and the gallery from her late mother, Mona is desperately trying to keep the business financially afloat. Overwhelmed and having exhausted her options, Mona decides to close the gallery until a gentleman propositions Mona with an opportunity of a lifetime.

“With Malcolm she felt pleasure and lust, but also pain and fear, love and hate. It was the most potent of alchemies.”


Mysteriously appearing at the Red, Malcolm is a tall, dark and handsome Englishman who knows exactly what he wants. Sympathetic to Mona’s financial situation, Malcolm offers Mona the chance to keep her gallery afloat in exchange for agreeing to submit to him for one full year.

“If I must sell my soul to the devil to do it, I will find a way back into Mona’s bed.”


What ensues is a series of meetings where Malcolm orchestrates fantasies inspired by various works of art. In exchange for Mona’s submission to anything Malcolm desires, she receives pleasure, pain and more than she could have imagined. As each of their assignations offers different themes that weave art, beauty and wonder into erotic tableaus, the connection between Mona and Malcolm deepens. With Mona’s attraction to Malcolm, she begins to feel and see what he wants her to experience and it is sensual, arousing, stimulating and hot. Malcolm is unabashedly open about his limitless sexual appetite and desires.

“Obscene, being used like this, but she accepted it, relished it, loved it. She loved it. Shamelessly, blissfully, and utterly loved it.”


description

Over a year passes with Mona and Malcolm being true to their promises but when their fantasies alter reality, Mona must reassess the value and ultimate closure of her arrangement with Malcolm. Up until that point, Mona doesn’t want it to end, but with Malcolm, Mona knows that Malcolm’s reach knows no bounds.

“Do anything you must, but keep me forever.”


To say this book is erotic and steamy is an understatement, as Tiffany Reisz admirably translates the timeless beauty of art and weaves these compositions into real feelings and sensations. The Red is true erotica at its best with explicitly delicious scenes but also offering an intelligent and cohesive plot with intriguing characters. Mona’s confident sexuality, loyalty to a vision and willingness to take a risk made her a standout character. With Malcolm, the allure and mystery surrounding him was contagious and who can resist a gentleman on the outside but a beast in every other way.

As always, Tiffany’s writing is flawless as she transports the reader into wonderfully erotic and passionate fantasies. For those who wish to escape to a kinky world without limits, I highly recommend The Red!

 

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Title: Crosshairs (Predator and Prey, #2)

Author: Kate Stewart

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Releases on June 30, 2017

Purchase on Amazon

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Rating: 4.5 Stars! 

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In Crosshairs, the timeline continues without interruption as Taylor Ellison’s world has been turned on its axis. Taylor is a strong heroine who has risen in the ranks of the corporate world but her personal life has always been kept under lock and key. Until now, Taylor accepted her reality with emotionless sex and a strict work schedule but as her attraction to Daniello Di Giovanni continues to grow, her past is intersecting with the present and causing danger to her those she loves.

 

“That’s my addiction: beautiful men without souls.”

 


Adding to the uncertainty is the mystery about Daniello and his efforts to keep detached from Taylor. Their lives have intersected in ways that prevent a neat separation, especially when the stakes are raised making certain intentions quite transparent. Not known to cower from a challenge, Taylor is determined to put an end to all threats no matter the consequence to herself.

 

“He would tear my castle apart and ruin my kingdom if I’d let him. Because I loved him. Someone had to love the fucking villain.”


In the midst of this game of predator and prey, Taylor and Daniello continue to share an undeniable chemistry with each having met their match. Confident in her sexual prowess, she wants all of Daniello and isn’t afraid to push him until he gives all of himself.

 

“He stood a picture of pure temptation, while he kept my hair fisted, and slowly unzipped his pants. His bulging length sprang free and my mouth watered.”


In this final conclusion, Taylor comes full circle by accepting a balance to her life that she’s been fighting for so long. The inclusion of past memories with her mother, sister, Laz and Ray solidify a connection to Taylor’s character and shows her growth and reflection. Additionally, these scenes offer multiple layers of emotion to the plot and underscore the significance of Taylor’s decisions. Plus, getting to know more about the aloof and dominant, Ray Tyco, was a treat even though it was heartbreaking.

In addition to the erotica that sizzles the pages, the author’s ability to write compelling suspense is ever present while continuing to weave plot dynamics layer by layer. For me, this duet was really about Taylor’s evolution, as she is such vibrant character with real flaws that humanize her. Of course, the conflict surrounding Daniello prods Taylor in a certain direction that enhances her journey.

Crosshairs offers a story about circumstances and choices with a healthy dose of reality and eroticism that together make for a captivating and entertaining read. Having been a longtime fan of Kate Stewart and waiting for this series conclusion, it was well worth the wait.

Predator and Prey series:
Camouflage (Predator and Prey, #1) by Kate Stewart Crosshairs (Predator and Prey, #2) by Kate Stewart

 

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Title:  Pet (A Dark Menage Romance)

 

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Title:  Wicked Things (Chaos & Ruin #3)

Author: Callie Hart

Genre: Dark Romance

Rating: 4 Stars!

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Without interruption in the Chaos & Ruin series timeline, Zeth Mayfair is ready to protect what is his against the Barbieri family and others who seek power, but the dynamic of how to stake his claim has changed due to a recent development. Coming to terms with this new phase in his life only intensifies Zeth’s actions which makes his anger and need for retribution palpable. Zeth has always been forceful character, but he even manages to exceed his own boundaries of self-control.

 

“I’ve courted the darker side of my own soul for years now, gone toe to toe with it, played a dangerous game of control with it as and when I’ve need to, giving it more of myself than I should in times of anger. I have never, never, not once succumbed to it entirely. Until now.”

 

In addition to Zeth and Sloane’s storyline line, Mason Reeves faces the hardest time in his life due to the death of his sister. With feelings of guilt, extreme sorrow and hopelessness, Mason is shattered and tries to take his punishment by drinking and fighting.

 

“My feelings make no sense whatsoever. None. And yet, I feel fucking robbed. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my sister.”


In this book, the plot pace moves and pivots quickly with characters reappearing from previous series all vying for what they believe is rightfully theirs to claim. With these twists, Zeth can’t act alone and the ever-charming Michael is also prepared for a blood bath to ensue. As certain volatile and unlikely alliances are forged, Zeth is unstoppable in his quest to avenge one particular character who was severely overdue for a beat down.

 

“So here I am. The man you’ve been chasing down all this time, live and in motherfucking Technicolor. Now you’re gonna deal with the consequences.”


Admittedly, there were times when the motives of these reappearing characters felt a tad awkward, especially given the extreme and grotesque actions of one malignant character. While it pushed Zeth to a certain place, there was never any doubt as to his darkness yet seeing him explode was satisfying but also deeply heartbreaking.

 

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In addition to the weighty atmosphere of loss and anger, the contrasting and ever present emotion was redemption. While I’m still a bit uneasy with the new plot point between Zeth and Sloane, it does highlight Zeth’s strengths and capacity to love which led to some hot times “Mayfair style” and truly tender moments.

 

Told from multiple POVs and with some past/present timeline shifts, Wicked Things offers adrenaline spiked action with a twisty plot and amplified character intensity. Of course, more of Zeth always a good thing!!

Chaos & Ruin series:
Violent Things (Chaos & Ruin, #1) by Callie Hart Savage Things (Chaos & Ruin #2) by Callie Hart Wicked Things (Chaos & Ruin Book 3) by Callie Hart

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Title: Dirty Daddies
Author: Jade West
Genre: Erotica, Menage
Rating: 4 Stars!

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Carrie Wells is a troubled and reckless teenager that has reached the end of her line with foster homes due to her behavior and the fact she is turning 18. With her stubbornness, Carrie is used to pushing people away in an attempt to protect herself from what she truly seeks. But now that she no longer has options, Carrie is determined to find a way to make a life even though she’s practically turned away everyone who cares.

 

“Maybe he would have really helped me, if I’d have told him the truth. If I’d have told him who really hurts me. But it’s too late for all that now.”


Michael Warren is a compassionate man in his forties who is a dedicated social worker and takes all his cases seriously. Having been assigned the file of Carrie Wells for the past five months, has proven to be a challenging task but he is invested her well-being as much as his position and morality will allow.

 

“Carrie gives him nothing because she’s a snotty bitch who’s punishing him for sticking to his morals. I see it even if he can’t.”


Jack has been Michael’s best friend since they were kids and his straight forward approach to life is a balanced compliment to their friendship. Seeing Michael struggle with his job and with Carrie, he offers some much needed interference that helps bring everyone to an agreeable place.

 

“Difficult. Little. Bitch. It’s about time this little cow learned some manners. And I’m about to fucking teach her.”


What ensues between Carrie, Michael and Jack is challenging, endearing and quite hot. With each character having their own struggles, this adds dimension to each character and to how the plot progresses. For Carrie, she has her truths to acknowledge but really doesn’t feel safe enough to do so until Mike and Jack provide the opportunity she’s never had. With Michael, he’s been unlucky in love but is a stand-up guy that truly believes in helping those who need extra from society. His empathy and need to act as a protector is admirable and adds to his sex appeal. Then there’s jack, who is dominant and not afraid to seek what he wants despite what society’s norms may be.

 

“I want to watch him fuck her. I want to watch him fill her up right after me. I want to be the one in her mouth as her pretty little cunt struggles to take him.”


As Michael and Jack can no longer deny their mutual attraction to Carrie, she is equally interested in both men in every way. Interestingly, Mike and Jack are not gay or bisexual but the union they feel with Carrie makes them view how they can share her in uniquely hot ways. As Mike feels conflicted about certain aspects of this threesome, Jack is his wing-man and assures him that what their bodies do is all for pleasure and to surrender to noble ideals. Mike’s pauses felt realistic and added to the chemistry between these characters because when it was on, it was combustible!

 

With Jade West’s books, the plots are usually heavily character driven with filthy hot sex and Dirty Daddies is another golden example of the author’s narrative ability to craft a compelling story with characters that illicit different emotions from the reader. Told in multiple POVs, strengthens what each character brings and adds a tremendous amount of empathy as well.

 

For me, I especially loved the dynamic between Michael and Jack because without having such a tender and respectful foundation, they couldn’t have had a polyamorous relationship with Carrie. As for the “Daddy kink” aspect, while it is an element of the plot, it has a lighter role than other traditionally themed Daddy kink books, but make no mistake, Daddy Michael and Daddy Jack are hot as hell!

 

For those who are looking for some dirty, kinky fun with characters that will warm your heart (in addition to your lady bits), I highly recommend Dirty Daddies!

 

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ARC/CC’s Review ~ One is a Promise (Tangled Lies #1) by Pam Godwin

 

Title: One is a Promise (Tangled Lies #1)
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.25 Stars!

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Danni Angelo is a free spirited dancer who found the love of her life in Cole Hartman until everything changed. Three years later and still feeling lonely, Danni finally tries to date and put the past behind her. By attempting to move forward, Danni meets a man that simultaneously ignites her libido and infuriates her sensibility.

“This is dialogue without words. Absorption without expression. Foreplay without so much as a twitch of a finger. I feel him in places that haven’t been touched by a man in years.”


Trace Savoy is a wealthy businessman whose mere presence exerts influence and dominance. Upon watching Danni dance, he becomes infatuated and insists that she work for him. While Trace is clear about his professional intent, he is reticent about pursuing Danni on a personal level as she appears to be emotionally taken.

“You, my tiny dancer, are an erotic dream dipped in the sweetest honey. A man only needs to look at you to become fiercely protective of your smile.”


What ensues between Trace and Danni is turbulent with a sexually charged push and pull creating combustible tension. With Danni’s outgoing nature and non-existent filter, she is daring and tells Trace exactly what she would like to happen. While Trace is obviously attracted to Danni on many levels, he is looking for certain obstacles to be overcome.

“I need to know if you are mine or his.”


With such different personalities at play, it isn’t easy for Danni and Trace but when they succumb to their feelings, it further pushes them in a certain direction. For Danni, it signifies her commitment to “empty her cup” and for Trace it confirms what he has felt from the beginning. However, neither anticipated they would be facing a certain situation.

“Love isn’t a choice, you know… You can’t control it. It just … happens, and you better hold on for dear life, because you never know when you’ll lose it.”


Told from Danni’s POV, getting into her head is fairly easy but not always understanding her decisions is part of her quirky charm. Feeling her pain for Cole adds depth to what they shared while together. Of course, Cole being a girl’s wet dream adds to his appeal. With Trace, he is sexy in his own right, and while he has his own vulnerabilities, the reasons for his behavior becomes apparent. Knowing this series is a love triangle, trying to switch alliances while Trace earns his place in Danni’s life adds some angst to the plot, especially intuiting what is to come.

As always, Pam Godwin’s writing is spot on and her ability to create realistic characters is present in this book. I certainly look forward to reading the second book in this series and for the roller coaster of angst and emotions that are bound to come.

Tangled Lies Series:
One is a Promise (Tangled Lies, #1) by Pam Godwin Two is a Lie (Tangled Lies, #2) by Pam Godwin Three is a War (Tangled Lies, #3) by Pam Godwin

*An ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

 

 

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Title: Feyness
Author: E.S. Carter
Genre: Dark Romance
POV: First Person
Rating: 4 ★★★★

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Faye Craven was raised in an environment where depravity lurked at every corner. With her father, Alec Craven, being the ruler of the Red Order, Faye learned at a young age what her role would be within the society. Knowing Faye’s future, her mother tried to save her but instead Faye was left with a different kind of gift.

“I see you. I see your sins. I see the very fabric of your soul.”


Cole Hunter has risen in the bloody ranks of the Red Order to being Alec Craven’s right hand man. Fueled by his own motivations of revenge, Cole’s goal is a simple one yet complicated to execute and he will use all his connections to succeed. However, there is one contingency he didn’t count on having in his corner.

“Her eyes are fixed on mine, and the feeling is unsettling; it’s as if she’s not just looking at me, she’s looking inside of me. Does she see the beast beneath the pretty veneer?”


As the inevitable day comes, Faye is slated to become Cole’s bride. With all her training and manipulation, she is ready to protect herself. Quickly, she learns more about her new husband and his ambitions, but for Cole, trusting a Craven can be deadly.

“I’m not a hearts and flowers man. If I ever offer her a heart, it will be warm and still beating after carving it …”


With swift action, the percolating plot starts to boil with Cole and Faye acting as a unit despite some resistance from Cole’s brothers, Luke and Grim. If their plan fails, it would mean their own demise. Each step counts and no one will be spared from their treasonous alliances. As Cole’s focus and vengeance is honed to predatory perfection, Faye also finds her inner strength and begins to trust what she’s always known.

“It’s not weak to admit your want, Faye. Strength comes from being honest with yourself about your needs.”


Fighting together and learning more about Alec Craven, helps to forge the feelings Cole has been resisting with Faye. Even though Faye recognizes Cole’s blackness, she is also able to make the distinction between evil and emptiness. It’s when Faye begins to see more than she ever has that seals her connection to Cole.

“Even though you fight it, I can smell that you want me, Faye. It pours from your skin and drives me fucking crazy.”


Cole is a dominant character with his broody ways but he also wants to feel emotions he buried long ago. For Faye, hiding her feelings was always her way to survive. With these two broken characters unified in similar tragedies, they come together to prove they can be more than just whirls of black and grey.

In this book, the action is non-stop and the underlying plot of revenge kept me interested. As for Faye’s innate ability, I was very intrigued by her gift and the meaning of what she could see. With Luke and Grim, they certainly added to the plot and I’m looking forward to reading more about how their stories continue.

For those who seek a story about damaged characters, revenge, action and avarice, I recommend Feyness.

Red Order series:
Feyness (Red Order, #1) by E.S. Carter Parasight (Red Order, #2) by E.S. Carter

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Title: Surrender
Author: Kitty Thomas
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance/BDSM
POV: Third Person
Rating: 3 ★★★

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Julie was raised in a sheltered household where her sole dream was to have a white picket fence, a provider husband and 2.5 kids. But with the reality, Julie wasn’t able to make her own choices, so she fled her family and found a bartending job in an edgy part of town. Upon meeting a regular customer, Julie wants him to ask her out but appearances aren’t always what they seem to be.

“But the back of him was nothing compared to the front of him and those startling green eyes that seemed as though they could read all your secrets.”


Gabe Griffin is a sexy and predatory man who’s been watching Julie for many months but knowing his tastes are nowhere close to vanilla, he’s been hesitant to enter her life. Despite trying to protect her innocence, Gabe needs to know more about Julie’s submissive side and just how kinky she is willing to be.

“He could have talked to her, eased the tension, but he liked her tension. If this was the most of that delicious energy he could get from her, he’d take it where and how he could get it.”


As Gabe confirms his instincts with Julie, they part and during this time, Julie’s life irrevocably changes. By chance, Julie and Gabe reunite and this transaction pushes Julie to see the other sides of kink, submission and surrender. Gabe is determined to make Julie his slave yet she fights him until she realizes what is really at stake.

“But what I really want is someone who will call me ‘master.’ And I want that someone to be you.”


While I liked the idea of these characters and the plot, it felt like much was undeveloped. With the theme and Gabe’s methods, there was a good opportunity to delve into Julie’s psyche as she began to process all her emotions based on her recent experience and how she transitioned to her final choice. While there were a couple of significant moments between Gabe and Julie, I just wanted more of everything.

In seeing this book is part three of a series, and even though the author noted how it was meant to be read as a standalone, I wonder if there was a previous build-up leading to more dimension and background of Gabe’s character since he seems to have been part of this world for some time. The secondary characters did add to the atmosphere and served to humanize both Gabe and Julie. One character in particular, is intriguingly psychotic and should get his own dark and depraved book. *Update – that character already has his own book – the second in the series.

This book would appeal to those who wish to test the shallow waters of kink.

Standalones within the same world:
Guilty Pleasures by Kitty Thomas Broken Dolls by Kitty Thomas Surrender by Kitty Thomas

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CC’s Review ~ Killing the Sun (Part Three) by K. Larsen & Mara White

4.5 Stars!

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In Part Three, the final conclusion comes to a twisty crescendo of lies, greed and corrupted love as it’s time for Aimee Olsen to decide whether she is going to be a giver or a taker. While it may seem obvious which of the two Danny Montclair may be, sometimes distinctions can be deceiving.

“It’s love that brings us together, but with that same love, we can also fall down, we can destroy one another.”


As the plot delves further into the past lives of Aimee and Danny, more truths surface but knowing these facts it doesn’t necessarily offer any solace but rather serves to explain motivations; however, devious they may be. With Aimee’s decision, she knows the consequences are grave and far-reaching, but the small town girl from Sulphur, Oklahoma is ready to stand on her own. With plot pivots and twists, the reveal of certain facts, change the dynamic of the relationships Aimee experiences over time.

“There are countless choices in life. Make the ones that give you the power and it will transform your life.”


In this final book, I enjoyed all the conflicting feelings the authors made me feel with these characters. While I wanted to root for one, sometimes it felt like choosing a side wasn’t an option. The similarities between the meager upbringings shared by Aimee and Danny fueled their drive and unified these two in a deep way for me. But drawing a distinction between Aimee and Danny isn’t an easy task, as their destructive qualities began to take hold.

“See, humble beginnings should never be underestimated. They put the bite in our step and the steel in our backbone.”


The core of the story is that Aimee and Danny choose their destiny and when delving into certain enterprises, they must then be prepared for the consequences. Danny’s possessiveness over Aimee doesn’t waver and perhaps she has met her match in Danny. I liked the tenacity of both these characters and I cherished their dark sides. As for the secondary characters, all had a place in the story that effectively propelled the plot.

Overall, this series takes the reader on a journey that will yield a range of emotions, as each character has traits that evoke empathy, anger, respect, love, desire and satisfaction. The intrigue and steady pace kept my interest and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. And I really loved the ending. I highly recommend!

Three Books in the series:
Killing the Sun Part 1 by K. Larsen Killing The Sun Part 2 by K. Larsen Killing The Sun Part 3 by K. Larsen

Title: Killing the Sun (Part Three)

Author: K. Larsen & Mara White

Genre: Dark Romance/Suspense

POV: Dual first person