Review: ★His To Take★ by Shayla Black

His to Take (Wicked Lovers #9)

Author: Shayla Black
Genre: Erotic, Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Release Date: March 3, 2015
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HisToTakeCoverRacing against time, NSA Agent Joaquin Muñoz is searching for a little girl who vanished twenty years ago with a dangerous secret. Since Bailey Benson fits the profile, Joaquin abducts the beauty and whisks her to the safety of Club Dominion—before anyone can silence her for good.

At first, Bailey is terrified, but when her captor demands information about her past, she’s stunned. Are her horrific visions actually distant memories that imperil all she holds dear? Confined with Joaquin in a place that echoes with moans and breathes passion, he proves himself a fierce protector, as well as a sensual Master who’s slowly crawling deeper in her head…and heart. But giving in to him might be the most delicious danger of all.

Because Bailey soon learns that her past isn’t the only mystery. Joaquin has a secret of his own—a burning vengeance in his soul. The exposed truth leaves her vulnerable and wondering how much about the man she loves is a lie, how much more is at risk than her heart. And if she can trust him to protect her long enough to learn the truth.

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Review
2 Stars

As much as I’ve been looking forward to this book, I barely made myself finish it. I think this may have been my least favorite book in the series. After DNFing the previous book in the series, I had really high hopes for this one, so maybe I just set them too high?

The setup is interesting; NSA Agent Joaquin Muñoz agent trying to save the long, lost daughter of a murdered Russian scientist that may just hold the secrets to the life altering genetic discovery he made right before his death. After a recent string of murders point toward the killers seeking her out as well as his best friend’s murder after investigating these deaths, Joaquin decides to basically stalk and then kidnap the woman he believes to be the one the killers are after. Just one problem, she doesn’t believe him about her past. She doesn’t have any memories, but she does have some vivid dreams of a girl that just may be her. So what’s a guy to do? Take her to the safest place he can imagine, Club Dominion of course.

Unfortunately, this is also exactly where the book began to take a downhill turn. For those that may not remember Joaquin, he’s Kata’s brother from Surrender to Me. After losing his father at a young age he’s never been the same. It’s caused him to completely detach himself from feeling anything, including his family. I have to say I found a hard time connecting to something this extreme. The man has basically avoided anything to do with his family for years, even though all of them make more than numerous attempts to reach out to him.

The chemistry between Joaquin and Bailey was lackluster at best. Bailey is not a submissive but has the makings of one, and Joaquin is not a trained Dom, but has the urges of one. Enter Club Dominion and some kinky fuckery and BAM there’s spankings and feelings are involved.

Their connection seemed to be the stuff of BDSM stockholm syndrome. I just couldn’t connect to it for the life of me. They go from strangers to screwing in just a matter of days. The entire book basically circles around the suspense plot, which while somewhat interesting, never really grabbed me either.

Will I read the next book in the series? Probably. Though I don’t think I’ll be rushing to read it as soon as it releases.

THE WICKED LOVERS SERIES

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Blog Tour, #Giveaway & @alleskelle’s Review: ★Hearts of Fire★ by @LHCosway

Hearts of Fire (Hearts #2)
Author: L.H. Cosway
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 9, 2015

The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker. My house burned down when I was just a boy, robbing me of both my parents.

Now I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know me, and if I have it my way he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.

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Excerpt

Jack didn’t even announce that he was starting when he stood at least ten feet away from me, flipped a knife in his hand, caught it, then lunged with his whole body and flung the knife right at my head. I squeezed my eyes shut, and a hollow thud sounded at my ear where the knife had, thankfully, hit the board. Sounds of nervous excitement and clapping came from the audience as Jack continued his assault on me. He moved his body with the kind of skill that only comes from obsessive practice.

Adrenaline drowned me, my chest rising and falling rapidly.

A small squeak of fright escaped me when he threw a knife at my hip and it barely missed. In fact, I could feel the hard edge of the steel pressing against me. I was surprised it hadn’t cut into the fabric of my coat. Jack prowled around the stage, gaze on me, calculating his next throw. Everywhere his eyes looked, I felt positively laid bare. Molested by disinterest.

I might as well have been a sack of potatoes for all the care he showed as to whether or not he might cut me. Deciding I couldn’t take any more, I kept my eyes closed until it was over and all six knives had been thrown.

Thud.

Thud.

Thud.

When I finally opened my eyes, Jack was standing before me, unbuckling the belt that held me in place. I didn’t move even after I’d been released, still trying to come to terms with the terror I’d just endured. All of a sudden, Jack McCabe was more scary than sexy.

“That was a close one,” he said as he pulled out the knife that had landed just below my ear. I glanced to the side to see a tiny lock of my hair fall to the stage floor. Oh, my God.

“You cut off my hair,” I gasped.

“Only a small bit. Don’t worry — I didn’t leave a bald patch.” He chuckled darkly.

I didn’t know what to say, but I was momentarily appalled at how cavalierly he was taking all this.

“I could sue you,” I said, and then instantly grimaced. I sounded like my mother. It was only hair, after all.

He leaned in, and I thought I saw him bare his teeth for a second. “Go ahead, pumpkin.”

Alleskelle’s Review

 

5 Stars

I can’t recall a time when I’ve been more giddy with anticipation than waiting for Hearts of Fire to come out.
What I can’t recall even more is a time where I felt as giddy as the day L.H. Cosway proposed me to read her new novel back in January.
To be honest, I went with the normal reaction whenever you’re given your favorite special treat. Gluttony. Yes, I devoured Hearts of Fire in one night.
I couldn’t stop reading about Lille’s discoveries, and see through her eyes the magic happening at Circus Spektakulär. Better yet, I couldn’t stop festering on L.H. Cosway magical world.

This story is a contemporary romance. But it really felt like I stepped in a fantasy realm from page one. This author does this to me, chances are you’ll feel the same. She always comes up with singular settings, unique driven characters and a storyline that invites creativity. You can’t stop your mind from wandering on its own.

It’s no wonder I wanted to recreate what it felt like to read that story. Maybe I went a bit overboard with the visuals… A tad.
Not so long ago I was assisting a Circus show and all I had in mind was Jack and Lille. I expected Jack to make his entrance on the “manège” and mesmerize me with his flames and his dexterity with knives.

A few days prior to writing this review, I discovered the playlist L.H. Cosway created to go along with her book. She did that before with Killer Queen, and it really enhanced the experience when reading the story. The sounds and music chosen by the author are really going great with every chapter, so much so that I decided to finally try to write review, and maybe pull some quotes out of the book. Little did I know I would end up re-reading the whole book, forgetting all about what pushed me to open the book again. Oh yes, the quotes! Well, I had to go pick them a little later…

The story…
Hearts of Fire is set not long after the story that unraveled in Six of Hearts. In Six of Hearts, we get to met Jay Fields, mysterious, cocky and charming illusionist with a dark past. We learned he lost his brother early on in a tragic fire accident…
Hearts of Fire, as you would understand is the story of Jack McCabe, the long lost brother we thought dead in Six of Hearts…
It is told in the first person point of view, by Lille, young and earnest to extend her life experience heroine.
(Hearts of Fire is a stand alone novel, however, I would recommend to read Six of Hearts as well, it adds a little to know about Jay and Matilda, and well, just so you know, Six of Hearts was a very entertaining and sexy read!)

I loved Lille, yes she was naïve but spontaneous, eager to see more than the future her mother already chose for her. Lille is an artist. As an artist, the worst she can suffer from is seclusion of her talent, her creativity.
One night Lille, acts on an impulse, following that wild streak she has deep down inside of her and decides to follow the magic beholden by Circus Spektakulär.

I felt like I was walking through a dream. Who makes an offer to some random girl to join their circus? It was crazy and I was happily drowning in the madness.

She has this list of new and exciting things she vows to accomplish on her journey, and her embarkation on Circus Spektakulär surely will provide for new experiences and surprises.
I didn’t like her from the start, maybe due to her young age, but I quickly warmed up to her, her empathy and open mind made it up for her lack of experience in life.

And there is Jack McCabe, of course. His character is definitely the one I preferred in the book. Fierce, strong, lonesome and mysterious character, I was surprised to discover his sweet side and vulnerabilities.

The romance really follows a slow pace, with both Jack and Lille a little wary of each other in spite of their mutual attraction and interest. Sexual tension was at its fullest, naturally crafted, nothing seems forced or fake between those two.

When I shut them though, all I could see was Jack’s whiskey eyes from earlier, staring at my mouth and giving me grandiose notions that he might actually have wanted to kiss me.

I also love witnessing the quiet development of their friendship toward something more… Jack being a guy, has a one track mind, and I loved the playful banter between them.

“I like your hair.”
 “Thanks.”
 His voice got low and quiet when he leaned in and spoke into my ear, “I like your pussy, too.”
 “Jack,” I gasped.
 “It likes me back.”
 “You’re crazy.”

To see Jack’s character through Lille’s eyes was a wonder. He was just magnificent. She was obviously mesmerized and I loved how she was really trying to stay away from him, but like a moth to a flame couldn’t fight enough the attraction.

Jack is a mountain of a man, he first strikes as an intimidating guy, but really is the sweetest and protective person. He had it rough growing up, more than rough, the things we learnt about him just broke my heart. But he incontestably made it through and as a result, is very cautious to open himself to anyone.

He moved closer, eating up my space…and just stared at me.
And man, could he stare. I felt like he was telling me a silent story and it was captivating.

Lille is going to pass through his walls eventually, and when those two give in… The so very much built sexual tension… Oh my stars…

Jack had a really filthy mouth, he could be so blunt asking and saying what he wanted… What I liked is that it never felt forced or “fake”.

“I wonder if we hadn’t been interrupted yesterday, would I have been able to make you come like that?”
I swallowed deeply and glanced at him. His eyes held a thousand dark, carnal promises and I felt completely lost, had no idea how to respond. He made a noise that sounded a lot like a growl then as he came and knelt before me, his hands cupping my knees and spreading my thighs apart so that he could get between them. Next he began running his hands up and down my thighs; they were so much warmer than the afternoon sun and I was suddenly melting. “Do you come sweetly, Lille? Do you shake? Do you moan and beg for release?”

And our fire eater has a kink… I was scared at first it would turn into something creepy, but quite honestly it became a real turn on…
The sex scenes, be prepared, are scalding hot, there was not warning for them, but L.H. Cosway delivered here her hottest scenes so far… There was something so raw yet so tender in their lovemaking… The perfect combination!

Story continues, with some mystery relative to strange accidents happening within the circus members, Jack and Jay will eventually be reunited, not without pain, but the reunion between them was so touching…

If you read Six of Hearts already, you’ll love even more the reconciliation between the McCabe/Fields brothers, and will appreciate to see more of Jay and Matilda in Hearts of Fire!

To conclude, this was a really an unexpected enchanting and captivating journey with the Circus Spektakulär, I loved every secondary characters, Marina, Winnie and Antonio, Lola, Violet, and King. Oh L.H. Cosway did good with him. You can’t stop but be curious about what happened to him in the past. I can’t wait to read his story!

What we have here is a wonderful second chance in life tale, a slow enemies to lovers romance, a hint of mystery, all wrapped up in a whimsical atmosphere only L.H. Cosway knows how to create.
I simply loved it!

Wonder Woman, mesmerized, over.

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❤️ I LOVED IT!!!! This is staying on my 2015 favorites shelf! ❤️

DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SERIES

Six of Hearts
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About the Author

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

 

Giveaway
The author is giving away (open internatonally):

 

1st prize: Hearts of Fire tote bag
Signed copy of Six of Hearts
Signed copy of Hearts of Fire
Hearts of Fire pocket mirror
2nd prize: Signed copy of Hearts of Fire
Hearts of Fire pocket mirror

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Review: ★With Every Heartbeat★ by Linda Kage

With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4)
Author: Linda Kage
Genre: New Adult Romance
Length: 408 pages
Release Date: March 2, 2015

I used to think everything was black and white, truth or lie, easy or hard, that if I could just escape my strict, overbearing, abusive father, my life would be perfect. But since I’ve found a reason to risk his wrath and leave, to help a friend in need, I’ve come to realize everything I thought I knew is wrong.Friends have their own agenda, honesty comes with a dosage of lie, easy doesn’t even exist, keeping secrets sucks, and love…love is the most painful thing of all.Maybe if Quinn Hamilton hadn’t asked me to skip classes for the day and help him pick out an engagement ring for my best friend, I wouldn’t have fallen for him so completely on that sunny Tuesday afternoon and I wouldn’t feel so conflicted. But I did, and I can’t take it back, no matter how hard I try. So I have to deal with the fact that even I’m not as good, or honest, or caring as I’d always thought I was, and no matter what I do next, someone’s going to get hurt. Probably me.

-Zoey Blakeland

*Don’t worry! The hero and heroine are not cheaters.*

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Review
3 stars

We came together, and it was the biggest biology lesson of my life.


Have you ever read a book where you absolutely adored the hero, found the heroine incredibly endearing, loved the story, and yet…you hated a side character so much that it completely overshadowed most of the enjoyment you got from the book? That is exactly what happened to me here. I’ve been impatiently waiting for shy Quinn to get his book especially after his heroic actions in Be My Hero. I’ve adored him for 2 books straight as a side character and couldn’t wait for him to get his HEA and just hoped that the heroine would be deserving of everything that he is. Was Zoey that? Oh absolutely!

Usually sheltered, super shy, and introverted heroines are not my thing. But in the case of Zoey, you couldn’t help but not like her. Scratch that, I absolutely loved her character. This is a young girl that didn’t have an easy life. She had a domineering, extremely abusive and controlling father that she was finally able to escape when she started college. While she may have been shy and naive, she was so sweet and the way she cared for others around her endeared you to her so completely. You also couldn’t help but draw the parallels between her and Quinn and think how perfect they would be together. Unfortunately here my friends, is where the book took a very rapid decline for me; Cora.

To say that I hated her would be a gross understatement. I have never in my life wanted a side character to be killed off more than this vapid and sociopathic person. She drove me up the wall crazy. And just as I’d think she couldn’t be any worse, she’d go and do or say something that would leave me ripping my hair out and screaming at the ceiling.

I was curious to see how Linda Kage would make the relationship between Zoey and Quinn play out considering that Quinn is dating Cora for a large part of the book. Luckily, I was very satisfied with how this was handled. Well…aside from one particular part where Quinn decided that (Highlight to view spoiler)[it would be a good idea to ask Zoey to go ring shopping considering the feelings that he knows are brewing between them](end spoiler) . But I suppose he played ignorant or was just too naive to know better? I’m not sure.

My heart went out for Quinn in this book and everything that he’s been through. I never questioned what he would see in someone like Cora because given his inexperience and age you can see how he would get attached and turn a blind eye to all her faults. And oh dear gawd were there faults! SO MANY FAULTS!!!

But I digress.

My one big saving grace and comedic relief in all of this was Ten. Thank goodness for Ten and everything that he is. If I loved him in all the previous books, I absolutely fell head over heels for him in this one. There was one shower scene in particular that had me in tears from laughing so hard. Sigh. I just loved him so much.

But unfortunately, I found the parts with Cora to just last too long. Sadly, that also made the book feel dragged out for me and caused me to get frustrated even more. But really Cora,

There was also just a little too much drama packed into the end for me too. Between Cora, and then a continuation of Noel’s drama, and Zoey’s revelation I found myself finding it way too much. While I can’t say it was OTT, I think that the extremity of Cora would have been more than enough.
The love story was wonderful, and I loved the additional bits of Coraline and Ten’s story. I cannot freaking wait to read their book. Sadly, when something begins to bother me as much as Cora did, I tend to zero in on that and it will take away from everything else. However, if you’re a reader that can overlook something like that, perhaps you wouldn’t feel quite as extreme as I did.

I still adore Linda Kage’s writing, and I love this series, so I’m really looking forward to reading Ten’s book next and getting a little bit more of Quinn and Zoey hopefully.


With every beat of my heart, I am yours, Zoey Alaina Blakeland.


Don’t miss the rest of the FORBIDDEN MEN

Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1)
To Professor, with Love (Forbidden Men #2)

Review: ★This Heart Of Mine★ by @Brenda_Novak

This Heart of Mine (Whiskey Creek #8)
Author: Brenda Novak
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: March 31, 2015

First love. Second chance?
As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next!
Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob’s father isn’t exactly welcoming.
Riley doesn’t trust Phoenix, doesn’t want her in Jacob’s life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he’s about to find both—if they can forgive the mistakes in their past…

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Review

5 stars

She’d wanted him so badly seventeen years ago. And now that he wanted her, regardless of what anyone said, she wouldn’t come near him.

This book. This wonderfully written, poignant, emotional and beautiful book. This Heart Of Mine reminded me exactly what made me fall in love with contemporary romance in the first place. I cannot believe that I am just not discovering this fantastic author and 8 books into a series no less. And I’m sure some of my OCD friends are twitching right now over the fact that I started with book 8 in a series. But breathe easy, concerned friends, because this book was easily read as a standalone and I am not planning on going back and reading the 7 books that came before it.

Phoenix Fuller grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. A daughter to an overweight hoarder, she’s never had an easy life, so when handsome and popular Riley Stinson becomes her boyfriend, she thought her life was finally starting to look up…until he broke up with her. Being young and having no support, she didn’t know how to deal with her heartbreak. Her extreme behavior after the breakup led her to be incarcerated for a crime she was innocent of simply because she was the most likely suspect.

Now after spending the past 17 years in prison, Phoenix is back to the small town of Whiskey Creek with a new outlook on life. She wants to help take care of her mother and she wants to get to know her son, a son she had with the boy that stole her heart all those years ago and then ripped it to shreds.

Don’t let your pride stand between you and the things you need, Phoenix.”
“Pride? All I have left is my self-respect. You want to take that away, too?”

I think that Phoenix was probably one of the best heroines I have read in quite a long while. You would think that going through what she’s gone through, she’d be angry at the world, cynical and bitter. But she was none of those things. She had this charmingly unassuming quality to her that made her both vulnerable and yet strong. She’s broken in a way that she no longer believes herself worthy of love or kindness of others. She’s accepted that about herself and she doesn’t blame anyone or holds any animosity towards the people that have done her wrong. She simply takes it for what it is and tries to live her life and provide for her son even if his father isn’t exactly welcoming and she has to live on her last cents just so she can go to bed at night knowing that she gave something to him.

Riley is still trying to set his feelings in order now that Phoenix is back. He loved her when he was 18, but he was too immature to truly recognize it for what it was and not give into the pressure of his family about being too good for the town’s trailer trash. The unanswered questions still burn between Riley and Phoenix, as well as the lack of closure for their failed relationship makes for some angst. The author did such an incredible job writing these two characters that you can’t help but feel every emotion they feel. Riley is definitely a man that feels guilt and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He knows that he’s one of the many that has wronged Phoenix, but as much as he wants to right it he also knows he may never get her forgiveness. This was just so incredibly palpable the story practically vibrated with it. I can’t even begin to describe in words all the feels that this book brought out in me.

It’s not fair, I know. I don’t understand why everything went the way it did. But since you came home it feels…it feels as if you’re what I’ve been waiting for.

Phoenix was by all accounts a heroine that I probably would have hated in any other book. Her insecurities and her experiences truly made for a broken woman, and yet…she wasn’t. There was always just something so endearing about her that you can’t help but have your heart break for her and everything that she’s been through.

I fell in love with Riley and Phoenix, and even more so with their son Jake. This was not the typical teenager that you’d expect to read about. He was wise beyond his years, so down to earth and kind. I just adored him and how he was always this part that kind of filled in the holes between Riley and Phoenix and made them whole. I loved all the secondary characters as well.

While this book wasn’t very steamy, I never even found myself missing it. I loved the story so much that I think anything more than what it had would have been too much. The budding relationship between Riley and Phoenix was realistic. Brenda Novak did a great job building it around everything that they’ve been through and giving both their experiences justice without taking anything away.

I’m happy to do all the fighting, for both of us. But I have to have YOU on my side. I have to know I’m fighting for something I can actually win.”

My only minor complaint is how a few things wrapped up. I guess I wanted apologies and repercussions. But at the same time, it was realistic and played true to the story and the characters. So as much as I would have loved to have something…more, I understood why it was the way it was. I also would have loved an extended epilogue, but again, the ending was satisfying enough that I didn’t focus on that too much.

The mere fact that I was so thoroughly engrossed in the story I couldn’t bear to put it down for even a second. If that’s not a 5 star read, I don’t know what is. If you’re a fan of chick lit, second chance romance, and amazingly written characters with a poignant story, this book is an absolute must read. I can’t recommend it enough.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review: ★Game Play★ by Lynda Aicher

Game Play (Power Play #1)
Author: Lynda Aicher
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Length: 248 Pages
Release Date: February 16, 2015

 One night, one time, nothing more.That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.

One night, one time, nothing more.

Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.

When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?

There was nothing like battling a strong opponent. Nothing she’d found at least. And nothing had tested her like Dylan Rylie since she’d left the game- off the ice or on.

This was my first book by Lynda Aicher, and I can definitely tell you that it won’t be my last. I really clicked with her style of story telling and of course the fact that I’m a huge hockey fan didn’t hurt either. It’s clear from Lynda’s writing that she’s either a fan of the sport herself or she’s definitely done her share of research, so even if you’re not a fan of the sport, you will have no problems understanding it after you read this book.

What first intrigued me about this synopsis was the fact that Samantha, the heroine, is a hockey player herself and a damn good one. Unfortunately the female professional team just isn’t as lucrative or promising as the male one. So no matter how much love Samantha has for the sport and her career in it, she knows that she has no future with it. Forced to give up on her dream, especially after as much success as she’s had in it has certainly left her with her share of bitterness.

So when she sees Dylan Rylie, a Glacier’s defenseman, practicing on the same rink as her one night, she issues a challenge and proceeds to wipe the floor with him, much to the shock of everyone around them…including Dylan. There is a good amount of pent up sexual tension surrounding them, and when a drink at the bar after turns into one fiery encounter on a desk, sparks definitely fly. But while they decide on this being one night only, especially since Samantha plans on leaving in 6 months, Dylan isn’t as convinced to let it go at that. Convincing his coach to hire Sam as his trainer after she more than proved her skills on the ice, Dylan and Samantha’s relationship turns into one giant complication.

So why only 3 stars? Two reasons really. The biggest one being Samantha. She drove me a little crazy with her constant back and forth and bitter mentality. Her treatment of Dylan was almost callous at times and Dylan was an absolute sweetheart, which made it all the worse. I couldn’t connect to her “hangups”. Her belief that her father always wanted a boy and her constantly trying to live up to it just didn’t really seem solid enough reasoning. Especially since there wasn’t enough backstory on that end to really support her thoughts, or at least not to the extent that it was made to be. I understood her drive to succeed and be independent in her own right, but it also didn’t excuse her lack of support (or at least I found it to be) towards Dylan. At times I found myself thinking that Dylan was just too good for her.

The second reason was Dylan. Now here’s the thing, he was a total sweetheart and that would probably really work for many reasons. I like my heroes to be total alphas, and he just didn’t give off that vibe to me. Maybe a gamma at best? I found Samantha to be the more intense and in control of the two as far as their interactions went. I suppose I just wanted a little more ‘presence’ from Dylan, if that even makes sense. Sure he was sexy and funny, but he just lacked a certain intensity that I’ve come to like in my heroes. I didn’t really connect with his party boy “image” either. Yes, we’re given reasons for this particular facade, but it just never made sense to me. Could be I missed something? For whatever reason, those two things combined did wane my enjoyment of this book quite a bit. While the story is original, sexy, and entertaining, I often found the characters to me lacking for me. I will happily read the next installment in the series and definitely look forward to getting to know more of the Glaciers players.

Release Blitz, Excerpt, Review & #Giveaway: ★Becoming Rain★ by @kathleenatucker

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I am dying to share this Release Blitz with you all to celebrate K.A. Tucker’s BECOMING RAIN! BECOMING RAIN is a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel, and the second novel in K.A. Tucker’s Burying Water Series, published by Atria books, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster. I hope you’re ready for this!

Becoming Rain

BECOMING RAIN US BUY LINKS:

Amazon | B&N | B-a-M | IndieBound | Apple | Blio | Google

 UK BUY LINKS/BECOMING RAIN:

Amazon | B&N | Apple | Google | Waterstones | Foyles

About The Book

Luke Boone doesn’t know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he’s finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set-one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it’s not exactly legal, Luke’s never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game-at only twenty-six years old, she’s one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she’s just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast’s most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she’ll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle’s footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she’ll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she’ll even want to.

Becoming Rain - Teaser 1
Excerpt

“Let us know if you have any more problems.” Luke flashes that wide, charming smile that stalls my feet just a little.

Still no mention of connecting again. In fact, I’d say Luke has gone out of his way to skirt the subject. He’s just not interested. That’s all there is to it. Or maybe he’s waiting for me to bring it up again. But if he’s not, then bringing it up will make me look desperate. I’m guessing he doesn’t like desperate women.

Luke Boone has me in a tailspin. No target has ever had me second-guessing myself this much, this early. It’s just the pressure of the case, I remind myself. “I’m sure I will.” I take long, slow steps, ensuring my movements are sleek and appealing, the opposite of my frantic thoughts, as I desperately search for another hook, since nothing I’m casting has caught so far.

“So, when did you say you’re cooking dinner for me?”

I fight the urge to groan with relief but I can’t keep the smile from exploding across my face. “Whenever you call me.” I turn to regard him, to see his smug face—like he knew I was waiting for it all along, like he was toying with me—and nod to the sheet on his desk. “You have my number.”

“I do.” His eyes twinkle. “I’ll call you soon.”

Thank fucking God.

I wait until I’m in my car and around the corner before turning off my wire and squealing like a fourteen-year-old who just got asked out to the movies. I dial Warner to debrief, my heart still racing. It’s standard protocol to call in after every meeting with my target. Up until now, I’ve had nothing but failure to report. And, while this may not seem like much . . .

I think I’m finally in.

Review
4 stars


Such a precious sun it is, the one that shines after a cold, harsh rain.

I’ve been a huge fan of this author since she first released her Ten Tiny Breaths series. Her first book in the Burying Water series was definitely quite a bit different from that and I absolutely devoured it. Burying Water was emotional, suspenseful, and with a wonderful love story at the core of it. Burying Water is also where we were first introduced to Luke Boon, Jesse’s somewhat wayward best friend. Luke was always a bit of a question mark as far as some morals go. While you knew he has a heart beneath all that bluster, he was also in the thick of things with trying to finally truly get inside his uncle Rust’s business, knowing that not everything he does is legal. But Luke also liked the money that went along with the questionable life style, so what’s shaking hands with some criminals. He’s grown up around this life, starting with his grandfather.

But while he’s trying to gain trust and grow within his uncle’s organization, he’s being watched. The beautiful blue-eyed brunette in the building across from him is no admirer, however. She’s a tough as nails undercover officer, Clara Bertelli, determined to bring an end to Rust Miller’s illegal business and everyone that’s tied in with it, including his connection with the Russian mob. Her looks allow her for an easy in; attract Luke’s attention since research clearly shows she’s his ‘type’, and then try to get the information out of him though their relationship. While Rain may not be her real name, it’s certainly fitting…


It’s not so much that I love rain. I just have a healthy respect for what it does. People hate it, but the world needs rain.”

Luke is not at all what he appears to be, and it’s not long before Rain begins to discover the amazing man that he is and feelings begin to enter the picture. The relationship is definitely a slow burn, considering the forbidden element of it. As Rain begins to see the true man beneath, her focus begins to shift and she lines begin to get crossed. Can she still bring his uncle and his organization down, even at the cost of Luke?


Guilt and happiness go to war inside of me as I fall.
I wonder which one will win.

The developing relationship between Luke and Rain was probably my favorite part of the story, even if it wasn’t quite the main focus of it.

I found the real focus of this story to be more on the plot more so than the romance. Don’t get me wrong, the romance, while slow building, was certainly still there. But I didn’t find that the story centered around it. There is that element of suspense and the additional key players of Elmira, the Russians, and Warner.

While I was questioning Luke in the previous book, I completely fell for him in this one. There was so much depth to his character, and the author did a fantastic job in truly bringing that out.


She’s everything I’m used to and yet she’s completely new.

I also really loved Rain’s character. She was a tough girl without coming off too harsh. It’s refreshing to read about a female officer, and an undercover one at that. She was driven and good at her job, and though she was focused on her goal, her feelings for Luke began to shift her focus.


I give in. He’s not ready to divulge everything to me. This is just the beginning.
The beginning of a true “us” in his eyes.
And the beginning of the end for Luke Boon

Her internal struggle with her decisions while seeing Luke fall more and more for her was almost bittersweet to read, because you just know that it will not end well.


…I’ve broken one of the most basic rules of undercover work: don’t get emotionally attached to your targets.

This was another engrossing installment for the series and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I do wish that we got perhaps an epilogue at the end of it, but at the same time the ending was extremely fitting. I loved how their ending fit in with how they first met. I did find myself wishing for just a little more romance, but at the same time I really enjoyed the suspense and the story, so it never really took away from my enjoyment of the overall book.

There are quite a few loose ends that I’m thinking will be addressed in the next book and I’m really hoping to get a book for 2 particular characters since they really grabbed my attention in this one (view spoiler)[Warner and Elmira (hide spoiler)]. I also really loved being able to catch up with Jesse and Alex and get a few more peaks at their HEA continuation.

And don’t forget BURYING WATER, the first book in this thrilling series…

Burying WaterThe top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

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Becoming Rain - Teaser 2
About the Author

Author Photo
Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

 

 

Becoming Rain - Available Now

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Release Blitz & Review: ★Hell’s Kitchen★ by @_callie_hart & @LiliStGermain1

 
Hell’s Kitchen (Hell’s Kitchen #1)
Author: Hart Saint Germain
Release Date: March 3, 2015

*From International Bestselling authors Callie Hart and Lili St. Germain comes a tale of two families co-existing in a melting pot of violence, murder and drugs in the seedy underbelly of New York City*Hell’s Kitchen
Theo and Sal Barbieri are brothers, tasked by their Mafioso father Roberto with a very clear purpose: kidnap Kaitlin McLaughlin. The beautiful daughter of Roberto’s Irish enemy. It’s high time Kaitlin was punished for her father’s sins—not to mention, her own.

And Operation: Kidnap Kaitlin is a roaring success… until it isn’t. When Kaitlin escapes into the busy streets of New York City, it’s a race against the clock to find her before Sal and Theo become the hunted.

Zeth Mayfair has traded his life as a hitman for a quieter existence, but it isn’t long before the past catches up with him in the form of Roberto Barbieri. Will he succumb to the lure of power that Roberto is offering? Or will he retaliate by killing every last Barbieri in New York to get them off his back?

Jason Ross is running. Woken in the night by a tip that the Gypsy Brothers are coming for him, he packs a bag and gets his girlfriend the hell out of dodge. Arriving in New York City in the midst of a heatwave is one thing, but being tailed by an entire drug cartel is another.

Worlds collide in Hell’s Kitchen as secrets come to light and sins are punished. Because we might be different in the light of day, but in the darkness, we’re all connected somehow.

Hell’s Kitchen is a serial comprising three volumes: Hell’s Kitchen, Tribeca and Bleecker Street. Volume One releases on March 3rd with a limited-time sale price of 99 cents

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Excerpt
 “When he lunges for me, I’m ready. I deflect the hand he was going to grab me with, slapping it downward, and then I grab onto his wrist, pulling him off balance. He seesaws forward but then rips his wrist out of my hand. I don’t expect him to turn his slight fumble to his own advantage, but he does. Dropping to the floor, he rolls and kicks out, landing a solid strike to my leg. I have less than a second to brace myself before I’m hitting the concrete.
Then he’s on top of me. “Oh, this is fun, sweetheart. But I don’t really have time to be playing games with you right now.”
He’s reaching for my arms, about to pin me to the ground, but I jab, landing a solid hit with my extended fingertips right in the base of his throat, in his windpipe. He chokes, his body falling sideways, and then I’m on top of him. Through watering eyes and a clearly sore throat, the guy grins up at me, shaking his head.
“Well, if you wanna fuck me, I guess I could make some time.” Thrusting upward, he tries to unseat me, but I know this is what’s coming and I’m ready again. I compensate, leaning forward, pressing my gun into the guy’s neck.
“Who are you?”
His body goes still, his hands lifting so they’re palm up in front of him. “You know who I am, sweetheart. I’m the enemy.”
“My boss has quite a few enemy camps. Which one do you belong to?”
“The biggest one,” the guy says, smiling. “The Italian one.”
“So you work for Barbieri?”

“I am a Barbieri.” Lightning fast, he snaps his hand out and clamps it around my throat. The move catches me off guard, has me panicking for the first time. My gun is gone, then, knocked to the ground, skittering away across the blacktop. The guy’s hand tightens around the column of my neck, threatening to squeeze even harder. “What’s wrong?” he asks. “Feeling a little lightheaded?”

Review
4.5 stars

We’re kidnapping a teenager. We should be wearing balaclavas and overalls, not fucking Armani suits.”

What happens when the genius minds of Lili Saint Germain and Callie Hart combine? This entertaining as fuck book. These ladies are on my auto buy list with their individual work, but as a team? They’re an absolute powerhouse. I have loved both Blood & Roses and the Gypsy Brothers series. But when these two worlds collide? It’s sure to be one epic fucking ride.

Before I get to my review, allow me to address a few key points if you’re planning on reading this book…
1. If you have not read the Gypsy Brothers series, this book does have several plot spoilers from it that may be lost on you.

2. If you have not read the Blood & Roses series, this book does have several plot spoilers that may also be lost on you.

3. If you haven’t read BOTH of those series, there are quite a few crossovers and plot intricacies that may also be lost on you.
Essentially, what I’m trying to tell you here is that you would enjoy this series a hell of a lot more if you read those 2 series first. While you wouldn’t necessarily be lost, you just wouldn’t have quite as much appreciation for the characters or their connecting stories if you haven’t read them yet.

Hell’s Kitchen has quite a few POVs packed into a little over 100 pages. Where usually I’d find that to be way too much and convoluted, the fact that the authors not only made it work here but it actually added to the story is certainly no small feat. EVERY single POV added something into the story and allowed to tie into the next one. It was so intricately woven together that I never once found myself confused or annoyed but simply enjoying the ride. So who are the key players in Hell’s Kitchen? Let’s do a roll call…

The Barbiery brothers The sons to the current Italian mafioso of New York, Roberto. Roberto is a cold hearted and ruthless kingpin that spares no one in his gain for power and vengeance, not even his sons. When his Irish enemy does him wrong, what best way to get revenge than to kidnap his daughter, Kaitlin, and to charge his two sons with it.

Kaitlin McLaughlin has a very short POV that gives the reader just enough insight into her vapidness and better understanding of her character. This is definitely no 17 year old girl you’ll find yourself sympathizing with. She’s one spoiled and vicious little bitch.

Gracie; Kaitlin’s bodyguard and all around bad bitch. Now you know I love me a snarky and kick-ass heroine, and Gracie was that and so much more. She was taken into the McLaughlin fold at an early age and feels a bond with Kaitlin’s father even though babysitting his spoiled little princess is not what she wants to be wasting her time on. The last thing she expects is to be caught in a chase with the sons of their Italian enemy.

Scarlett Winchester (Oh and I see what you did with her last name there, you clever girls. I love that!) Is a down on her luck actress that is currently attempting to put together the tatters of her previous life. Lost in a constant haze of drugs and alcohol if only to drown out the demons of the past and a mistake from 9 months ago that cost her everything.

In short, the woman is one hot mess. But while she may be broken, she still has a mouth on her and she can use snark as her weapon of choice, which definitely made for some awesome banter.

Zeth motherfucking Mayfair. Does the man even need an introduction. Zeth is trying to move on with his life together with Sloane. While he will never exactly live on the straight and narrow, he certainly has no desires to answer to anyone else now that he is no longer under the thumb of Charlie, his past ’employer’. Too bad that Roberto wants to take over Charlie’s old territory, and he’s very aware of Zeth’s reputation and has no issues trying to get him back into the fold…and when a proposition doesn’t do, a threat will suffice.

Jason Ross. Dealing with the fallout of what happened with his father and the MC, Jason and Juliette are on the run from the Columbian Cartel. Their current hiding place? Non other that New York. And you just KNOW that when all these worlds combine, it’s going to be one hell of a ride. There’s also the mention of Elliot, though he never has a POV here…at least not yet.

So there you have it, the seven key players of Hell’s Kitchen, though I would say that the Barbiery brothers, Scarlett and Gracie are the main focus. I absolutely loved how the authors managed to tie together all of these POVs into one intricately woven story. If you’re looking for the grit of GB, you won’t find that here, but it doesn’t really advertise to be that. What it is, is an entertaining, humorous, action-packed and thrilling ride that combines the worlds of B&R and GB along with some new players to give you another addicting series. I read this in one sitting, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second. I’m already practically salivating for the next installment and can’t wait to see what happens next with all these characters.

About the Author

Callie Hart

 Callie has experienced many changes throughout her life, and gone through many ups and downs that have all worked towards shaping and molding her into the person she is today: fun loving, active, social, and hard working. The only thing that has remained a constant throughout her life is writing. Creating characters who will tear your conscience in two is a favorite pastime of Callie’s. There are few real saints and sinners in her books; more often, the denizens of her stories are all very human. Broken, flawed, and always with the potential for redemption.

Despite the subject matter being markedly hot and heavy in comparison to the stories she wrote in elementary school, there will always be an element of fairytale to her work.

Lili Saint Germain

 Lili writes dark romance, suspense and paranormal stories. Her serial novel, Seven Sons, was released in early 2014, with the following books in the series to be released in quick succession. Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Review: ★Take★ by @nashodarose

Review-Take
Book Title: Take
Series: Scars of the Wraiths #4
Author: Nashoda Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance with Erotic Elements
Release Date: February 25, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-281BHFxnwxHL

MAX

Feelings are a luxury I can’t afford. Hidden behind a shield of quiet placidity, I keep my secret safe from those who’d use it against me. Until him—the tatted up, self-centered Scar assassin hired to protect me.

He takes pleasure in tormenting me, chipping away at my defenses as if I’m a toy to be played with. I hate that he continuously reminds me that I’m nothing more than a job. I hate that my body responds to his touch. I hate him.

JASPER

I’m not a good guy and I don’t pretend to be. Condemn me if you want, I don’t give a fuck. You’re nothing to me. No one is … except her—Max. She’s my target. And I was hired to do a hell of a lot more than protect her … I was hired to kill her.

It should’ve been simple, but it was complicated as hell.

*erotic paranormal romance. Standalone full-length novel. Come meet the Scars.

Scars: Immortal warriors with capabilities derived from the senses: Trackers, Sounders, Healers, Tasters, Visionaries, and the rare Reflectors. They each have what is known as an Ink, a tattoo that can be called life.

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Review
5 stars

…we were all a product of our past; it was just how we lived with what we experienced that shaped us into who we became.

Having read Nashoda’s entire back list, it’s safe to say that she has this incredible ability to completely suck you into her stories in just one short chapter. And then she’ll keep you glued to the pages, at the edge of your seat, with a quick paced plot that’s as sexy as it is entertaining. When I found out that she’ll be releasing a new PNR book, I jumped at the chance to read it, because let’s be honest, I’ll read anything she writes. But I also love PNR; it was the genre that first got me into reading, so I hold a special place in my heart for it. In her other books, Nashoda has given us her dark and gritty effortlessly, and now she can safely scratch PNR off her list, because she has a new fan in me.
The final pieces of me burned into ash then scattered into the sky- disintegrating. Disappearing.
I stared up at the bright stars and they twinkled as if they were laughing at me.
I closed my eyes. Then coldness descended and sank into my heart.

You really don’t get eased into the story at all. Nope. You get thrown right into the deep end. And good luck putting it down after that.
Jasper Kyelin is an asshole. He’s also a ruthless assassin Scar known for his ability to kill first and ask questions later. His past makes sure he drowns out any feeling that may tie him down, and his present is filled with meaningless women and violence.
Max is hiding; hiding from an evil that turned her life upside down when she was just 10 years old and forever left a scar on her body and soul. She’s also hiding behind a shield of placidity. But she’s not quite the shy little mouse that she comes across as being. Beneath her indestructible shield is a woman that has a fierce heart and backbone to boot. Neither one of them know what hit them when Jasper is hired to protect Max from an evil force that’s after her…

I was good at reading people, knowing what they’d do before they did it. Jasper was a broken puzzle piece, one second sexy and flirty, the next dark and scary…

One of the biggest things that will differentiate a great PNR series from a mediocre one is world building. And Scars of Wraith introduces the reader to an incredibly unique word with a rich and vivid world building. At first I felt like I was jumping into a book that read like it should have had a predecessor. I was wondering if perhaps I missed a novella or something that had first introduced us to the Scars. I later learned that this was originally a series that is no longer published and has since been re-written. However, I can tell you that by the end of the book every loose end and question is explained.
Now there’s one thing Nashoda knows how to do, and that’s give us a super sexy asshole. Because let me tell you, Jasper was that in spades. I couldn’t get enough of him. He was mercurial, cocky, and you didn’t know whether he’d insult you one moment or come onto you the next. Gawd. It was delicious.

Looked like I’d have to work a little to sink between her legs. Because that was what this was. A lusty obsession with a girl I shouldn’t take, but I was good at doing the wrong thing. Had done the wrong thing my entire life, now I just accepted it and didn’t make excuses for who I was.

The sexual tension between Jasper and Max was so hot it was almost unbearable. The author really makes it stretch and burn. So that when the two of them come together? It was an explosion of nuclear proportions.

I’m not nice, Max.”
She raised her chin a bit. “I know.”
I looked away for a second and said quietly, “Don’t hate me in the morning.”
I loved the constant banter between Jasper and Max. Max, although with demons of her own, still managed to give as good as she got. She really made Jasper work for it at times. Their relationship was definitely no smooth sailing with the hidden secrets they both had. But it certainly made for one action packed read.
I loved that both of the MC were strong characters but with an endearing vulnerability to them. It just made me fall for them all the more.
The world of the Scars is definitely unlike anything I’ve read before, and I’m so hooked. I loved it from start to finish. It made me laugh, it made me swoon, it made me pant, and it made my heart pound. It was everything I love about a great PNR series and I sincerely hope we’ll get more books in it soon. Especially for Xamien and Guise.
You’re the stars that burn away the darkness, Max. That’s what it feels like when I’m with you. Like I’m all lit up inside with brilliant specks of light. And when I touch you, it’s like I’ve grabbed one out of the sky and I’m holding it in my hand. Flawless. Bright. And fuckin’ beautiful.

If you’re a fan of sexy PNR, then you definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. And if you’ve loved Nashoda’s previous books, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. I can’t recommend it enough. It was a perfect combination of rich world building, sexy romance, and action.

Review: ★You Only Love Twice★ by Lexi Blake

You Only Love Twice
Author: Lexi Blake
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Length: 360 Pages

A woman on a mission

Phoebe Graham is a specialist in deep cover espionage, infiltrating the enemy, observing their practices, and when necessary eliminating the threat. Her latest assignment is McKay-Taggart Security Services, staffed with former military and intelligence operatives. They routinely perform clandestine operations all over the world but it isn’t until Jesse Murdoch joins the team that her radar starts spinning. Unfortunately so does her head. He’s gorgeous and sweet and her instincts tell her to trust him but she’s been burned before, so he’ll stay where he belongs—squarely in her sights.

A man on the run

Since the moment his Army unit was captured by jihadists, Jesse’s life has been a nightmare. Forced to watch as those monsters tortured and killed his friends and the woman he loved, something inside him snapped. When he’s finally rescued, everyone has the same question—why did he alone survive? Clouded in accusations and haunted by the faces of those he failed, Jesse struggles in civilian life until McKay-Taggart takes him in. Spending time with Phoebe, the shy and beautiful accountant, makes him feel human for the first time in forever. If someone so innocent and sweet could accept him, maybe he could truly be redeemed.

A love they never expected

When Phoebe receives the order to eliminate Jesse, she must choose between the job she’s dedicated her life to and the man who’s stolen her heart. Choosing Jesse would mean abandoning everything she believes in, and it might mean sharing his fate because a shadowy killer is dedicated to finishing the job started in Iraq.

He’d fought and fought to live and now he was going to stand here and let her do her worst.
He didn’t want to live in a world where she betrayed him. He simply didn’t.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since the very first book. Now eight books in and it’s still going strong. I think this may have been my favorite of the Masters and Mercenaries. I’ve been curious about Jesse’s story since we first meet him earlier in the series. He’s always been such a broken and tortured soul, that you couldn’t help but crave a HEA for him. This is a man that’s truly known suffering and needed a HEA that was truly worthy of the type of person he is, and boy did Lexi Blake deliver on that. She really gave it justice with this book.

You played me. You played me hard and well. You had me panting after you and then you pointed a bullet straight at my fucking heart. Do you see the irony, Phoebe? I was falling for you and you were there to kill me.

Phoebe has always been the super shy, clumsy and unassuming accountant for Taggart McKay. But looks can be deceiving and it her case, deadly. Having lost the love of her life in a mission gone terribly wrong, Phoebe is determined to bring those responsible for his death to justice…even if it means going deep undercover.

Jesse has been half in love with the quiet and shy Phoebe, but when he finds out who she really is, his world gets flipped. He wants her heart, but her heart belongs to a dead man.

This is probably the most emotional book in the series, or at least it was for me. Having tidbits of Jesse’s problems in the earlier books, you know that his problems run deep. He lives a waking nightmare with the PTSD and the memories of a voice that tortured and almost broke him. He finally thought he found his redemption when he met Phoebe, but he knows that he can never have her.

Every second of every day I want you to remember this…
Remember every second that you could have had a man who worshipped you with his body and soul.”

I really don’t want to give too much away, because this is simply a book you need to experience for yourself without any major details. But I will say that I absolutely loved it. There is nothing better than a kick ass heroine for me, and Phoebe was definitely that. But she also had a broken side to her that balanced out the tough operative persona. She can handle herself in the field, but her soul was broken with the death of her husband that she adored. I appreciated that Lexi Blake never diminished her love for her husband and yet made the reader truly see what her connection to Jesse was and make it real. It didn’t feel like settling, which I was afraid of. The connection between them was tangible…and not to mention super sexy

You won’t be quiet when I fuck you. You’ll give them a show. You’ll let them know just how good it feels to be fucked by me and I will make sure you scream. Don’t even think you can hold out on me. I won’t let it happen. I’ll fuck you so long and so hard, you’ll give me everything I want.

My other concern was how Jesse would come off as a Dom. He’s such a tortured soul that I was afraid he may come off as almost too broken, but that never happened. When he finally got his shit together, the man was truly a top. But he always maintained this vulnerable edge to him which was so incredibly endearing that you couldn’t help but completely fall for him.

I really wouldn’t recommend reading this book as a standalone as there is a story ARC that continues throughout the series. While you wouldn’t necessarily feel lost, you would appreciate this story and all secondary characters and the MCs that much more if you read it in order. Of course it wouldn’t be a Masters and Mercenaries book without Ian and his banter…

This is really the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Well, besides the whole wife-coming-back-from-the-dead and having a baby and shit, but other than that, getting to punch Ten at random is really the best.”

You also finally get a true peak into the enigma that is Tennessee Smith, and you just KNOW that his book is bound to be a fantastic one.

I don’t think there was anything about this book that I didn’t love. It was action-packed, emotional, filled with heart-pounding suspense and oh so sexy. I adored Phoebe and Jesse together. Their story will equal parts break your heart and absolutely melt it.

I think what I’ve figured out is that we don’t have a limited amount of love. It doesn’t get all used up and then there’s nothing left. We choose. We choose who we love and how we love, and how we love, and there is nothing between two consenting adults that brings them connection and pleasure and joy that’s wrong. This is ours, Phoebe.

Of course I also loved all the secondary characters (including some new faces). Did I already mention Ian and Charlie?

Charlie, that’s not a foot. It’s a horn. We’re having a demon. I know it.”
She rolled her pretty eyes and sighed. “They’re your girls so they’re probably slightly demonic.”

I can’t wait to get my hands on Ten’s book next and hopefully Ian’s brothers will be getting theirs soon after. If you like sexy espionage and BDSM all in one action packed book, this series is a definite must read!

Don’t Miss The Rest of The Series!

The Dom Who Loved Me (Masters & Mercenaries #1)
The Men With The Golden Cuffs (Masters and Mercenaries #2)
A View to a Thrill (Masters and Mercenaries #7)

Review: ★A View To Thrill★ by Lexi Blake

A View To Thrill
Author: Lexi Blake
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Length: 410 Pages

A Spy without a CountrySimon Weston grew up royal in a place where aristocracy still mattered. Serving Queen and country meant everything to him, until MI6 marked him as damaged goods and he left his home in disgrace. Ian Taggart showed him a better way to serve his fellow man and introduced him to Sanctum, a place to pursue his passion for Dominance and submission. Topping beautiful subs was a lovely distraction until he met Chelsea, and becoming her Master turned into Simon’s most important mission.

A Woman without Hope

Chelsea Dennis grew up a pawn to the Russian mob. Her father’s violent lessons taught her that monsters lurked inside every man and they should never be trusted. Hiding in the shadows, she became something that even the monsters would fear—an information broker who exposed their dirty secrets and toppled their empires. Everything changed when Simon Weston crossed her path. Valiant and faithful, he was everything she needed—and a risk she couldn’t afford to take.

A Force too Strong to Resist

When dark forces from her past threaten her newfound family at Sanctum, Chelsea must turn to Simon, the one man she can trust with her darkest secrets. Their only chance to survive lies in a mystery even Chelsea has been unable to solve. As they race to uncover the truth and stay one step ahead of the assassins on their heels, they will discover a love too powerful to deny. But to stop a killer, Simon just might have to sacrifice himself…

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Review

3.5 stars

From the moment he’d seen her all those months ago, he’d been utterly fascinated. She was a mystery to him. Closed off, with more barricades around her than he could count, she still pulled him in the minute she walked inside a room.

When I think of romantic suspense with some kinky hot BDSM thrown in and some scorching romance and sex, the only series that comes to mind is Masters and Mercenaries. No one does that sexy little combination better than Lexi Blake. While each book can probably be read as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it as each book builds off of each other. The characters of this book (like all the rest) are first introduced in the previous 2 and their story continues until their own book. It just wouldn’t be the same to jump straight into this book without first reading the last 6. Besides, each book has been great, so why miss out? Now on to Simon and Chelsea.

Chelsea is many things; she’s Charlotte’s younger sister, Ian’s (or as she calls him The Satan) sister in law, the daughter of the head of the biggest mob syndicate in Moscow, and The Broker. She’s one of the best hackers in the world and she’s definitely made quite the name for herself since her and her sister escaped their father’s brutal and sadistic hold. Now she uses her powers for good…mostly. Weary of men in general due to her history, she’s not looking for any entanglements. Especially not with a certain British Dom and past MI6 agent in a 3 piece suit that now works for Ian’s firm.

But when Chelsea’s life is on the line, no matter how hard she’s avoided Simon in the past, he’s the only one she can turn to for help. But he’s not going to be easy on her. He has a requirement of his own, one he’s been waiting for the right opportunity to take.

What?”
“That’s my requirement for protecting you. I don’t want money. You’ll sign a contract making me your Master or I can call your brother-in-law back. How is the broccoli beef? I’ve never tried it before. Would you like some wine?”

Simon’s combination of protective and demanding definitely worked for me. He was very sweet and understanding with what Chelsea needed. He’s been halfway in love with her since he first met her and now he just needs to convince her that they’ll be good together.


…I’m not going to take your virginity because you’re curious. I’ll take it when you can’t think about anything but me. I’ll take it when you cry out my name and tell me there’s no other man you’ll ever love the way you love me. Then and only then will I take what belongs to me.

This book wasn’t as heavy on the BDSM or the sex either to be honest. The suspense and the emotional relationship development between the H/h took center stage. The romance was still in the center of the story, of course, but it wasn’t quite as steamy as the previous books in the series. But don’t get me wrong, while it may not have been as frequent, when it did happen it was definitely HOT.

Oh, my god.”
“No. You say my name when I’m fucking you, love. Say it. Say ‘fuck me hard, Simon.”

In usual Lexi Blake fashion there were lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end, plenty of action, and lots more Ian and the rest of the team.

Unfortunately there was just something about the romance between Simon and Chelsea I never fully connected with. I can’t even put my finger on what it was exactly, but it was probably my least favorite in the series. There was almost too much of a focus on their emotional issues and triggers than there was on the actual romance, at times even during the sex scenes.

I would still recommend this book for fans of the series. And if you’ve been curious about Jesse’s story, you’re definitely in for a treat here. That last chapter? Oh my GAWD. I don’t think I’ve been that excited to read a book since Ian’s story. This book really introduces Jesse and all his fucked up glory and I can’t wait to get my hands on his book in February.

Don’t Miss The Rest of The Series!

The Dom Who Loved Me (Masters & Mercenaries #1)
The Men With The Golden Cuffs (Masters and Mercenaries #2)
A View to a Thrill (Masters and Mercenaries #7)
Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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