Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Harper Sloan-Cage (Corps Security #2)

Adult Romance-18+

**Warning** This book is intended for a mature reading**

Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister's shield against the world... until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance around... until it was stripped from him. 

Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control? Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else's help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength? The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another member of the Corps family. All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.

{5 stars}

Ok, first off, if you haven't read the Breakneck series by Crystal Spears you won't get the Braxxon Breaker part of this story (great series, a must read to). That being said, I think I am even more in love with the men of Corps Security. We learned a lot about Cage in the first book, but now we get to see him all the way down to his soul. Melissa is his equal in attitude and strength. They are a match made in Heaven, but have to stumble thru the actions of some really horrible people to find their HEA. If you are to ever believe in love at first sight, then that's what Cage and Meli have. Add in the level of "3 piece" jewelry and melt the sheets passion and you have yourself a great couple. Laughed, cried, can't wait to keep reading.

**If you love Kristen Ashley's Dream Man or Rock Chick series, you will love this one. Great dynamic between all the characters. Lots of humor, passion, and major HOT Alpha Men.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Joanna Wylde-Reaper's Legacy (Reapers MC #2)

Adult Romance-alpha biker 18+


Eight years ago, Sophie gave her heart—and her virginity—to Zach Barrett on a night that couldn’t have been less romantic or more embarrassing. Zach’s step-brother, a steely-muscled, tattooed biker named Ruger, caught them in the act, getting a peep show of Sophie he’s never forgotten.

She may have lost her dignity that fateful night, but Sophie also gained something precious—her son Noah. Unfortunately, Zach’s a deadbeat dad, leaving Ruger to be Noah’s only male role model. When he discovers Sophie and his nephew living in near poverty, Ruger takes matters into his own hands-with the help of the Reapers Motorcycle Club-to give them a better life.

Living with outlaw bikers wasn’t Sophie’s plan for her son, but Ruger isn’t giving her a choice. He’ll be there for Noah, whether she wants him or not. But Sophie does want him, has always wanted him. Now she’ll learn that taking a biker to bed can get a girl dirty in every way…

{5 stars}

Arc was provided by publisher (and author) via netgalley.
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Berkley

Wow, Ruger is yummy ! I didn't think there would be anyone hotter than Horse, but Ruger ties him in alpha hotness. But Ruger has another side, one that makes you just want to sigh and hug him. His  first encounter with Sophie was one he has never forgotten. And after the birth of Noah, he takes on the role of protector and pseudo-dad. But the life in an MC is not one he wants to give up to be "leashed" by anyone. But life has a way of making other plans. Sophie and Noah need him, life (and Zach) have taken their toll on her and she just can't seem to catch a break and get ahead. Ruger steps in time and time again until he has had enough and moves her home with him so he can watch over them. They both want each other, but neither one are willing to admit it outright, and Ruger is unwilling to commit totally to one woman. Oh how the mighty alpha fall, they never know what they have until it's almost yanked away from them for good. They fight each other time and time again, only to wind up back in each others paths. And wow, do they collide in enough passion to make you sweat...whew! Add in lots of chaos in the MC, and things are never quiet. We get lots of action leading up to Horse and Marie's wedding (what a party!) Life and death danger, and all the other "things" that accompany the men, and women, in an MC. Absolutely loved Ruger and Sophie, the series is one of my top 5 in my biker genre. A must read for anyone who has a Sons of Anarchy addiction like myself.

**secret** I was so into this story I took my kindle to work and read every moment I could. Looking forward to Em's story....who will she choose?

Harper Sloan-Axel (Corps Security #1)

Adult Romance-18+

Note from the author--This book is intended for a mature reading audience and isn't suitable for younger readers. 

Fate hasn’t always been friends with Isabelle West. In fact, fate has been a downright bitch. Isabelle has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn’t by your side. It can hand you dreams on silver platters, but it can snatch them right back and hand you nightmares. One thing Isabelle knew for sure fate was consistent with was taking away everything she ever loved. For the last two years Isabelle has been slowly clearing the clouds of her past. Happiness is finally on the horizon. She has a thriving business, great friends, and her life back. All she has to do is jump over the last hurdle…her ex-husband. When problems start causing her to fear her new life, and memories that are better left forgotten start rushing to the surface the last thing she needs is a ghost from her past to come knocking on her door. Axel never thought he would look into the eyes of Isabelle West again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to now. He’s carried his anger for so long he isn’t sure he can just turn it off, but when he is faced with protecting her and an unexpected desire to have her again, life gets a little more complicated. How will Axel and Isabelle deal when all their cards are put on the table and everything they thought was true blows up in their faces?

{4 stars}
If you love the Dream Man series by Kristen Ashley, you will love this one. Super HOT Alpha men galore. This book took off from the start, never slowing down, always keeping my attention. We flip back in forth in the timeline a little at the beginning so we can get up to speed on what happened to bring her to this point. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the moment Axel would appear in her life again. Didn't know exactly how that was going to go, and was surprised by how Axel reacted. And one would think that she is a bit of a crier, but if I had been thru what she went thru, I don't think I would have ever left the bed. Add in the passion between the two and the pages smoked! Kudos Ms. Sloan, you have me hooked!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

J. M. Stone-Under My Skin (Skin Deep #2)

Adult Romance-18+

One little piercing. That’s all Allie wanted when she dragged her best friend into Skin Deep. She never imagined that it would result in a busted lip and an engagement ring for Emma, or that it would come with a double side of six-foot plus, tattooed, sexy-as-sin, H.O.T. maleness for her! Now she’s torn because Brandon and Jackson have both let it be known that they want her. And both are used to getting what they want. But what about what Allie wants? 

Brandon is hot for Allie. So is Jackson. Neither of them are willing to step aside for the other and they’re tired of Allie running. So they hatch a plan… 

Add in wedding bells, a dog named Doug, and you’ve got a recipe for a good time. Or a disaster. 

*Recommended for readers 18+ due to HOT sexual encounters, adult situations, and language.

{4 stars}

I'm not sure I really appreciated that emotional rollercoaster Ms. Stone, laughing my ass of one minute to move into bawling my eyes out the next. What a ride!

At first, this story seemed to take a stroll down the hot and steamy bedroom path. Lots of action but not much plot going on. But first impressions can be deceiving. The storyline takes lots of twists and turns, some LMAO, others more emotional that will have you reaching for the Kleenex's. The "steam" between Allie, Jackson, and Brandon is dream worthy. You will need a cooling fan or more batteries, take your pick. I don't want to give any spoilers away, so i will just say if you love the first book as much as I did, you will definitely love this one. This series is really one to read!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jamie McGuire-Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1)

Adult Romance-18+ College


Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

{3 stars}

Well......I'm sure I am in the minority. But I am not in love with Travis Maddox. I did like him more than Abby, but for some reason nothing in this story "clicked" with me. I thought the Vegas trip was a waste of backstory, and there was too much "angst" going on rather than true passion. Together...not together....together...not together, then the fire? Really? Liked it ok, didn't love it. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

J. C. Emery-Thrash (Bayonet Scars #2)

Adult Romance-18+-biker

Loneliness suffocates the heart. Acceptance breaks down walls.

As a Lost Girl to the Forsaken Motorcycle Club, Nicole Whelan knows how to party. She’s not cut-out for relationships and her life is way too complicated for anything more than casual encounters. But one night when she falls into Duke’s bed at the clubhouse, he sees something in her that he can’t let go of—no matter how many times she tries to run.

Having been left to raise her teenage brother, Jeremy, she’s already got her hands full and isn’t looking for anymore complications. But Duke’s just watched his best friend fall for the only girl he couldn’t have, and then almost lose her so shortly after, shaking him to his core. Faced with his own loneliness, he’s more determined than ever to break down Nic’s walls and show her that he can be good for her; but he’s got a bad track record and she’s got a bad temper. Changing his ways isn’t easy when he’s not sure what he’s even changing for.

The violence and turmoil are at an all-time high, and Forsaken is in a vulnerable place when a twist of fate breathes new life into the club. It’s a much-needed beacon of hope for the embattled biker family, even if everyone’s not exactly on board. With Duke and Nic’s relationship already on shaky ground, and something even more important at stake, the Forsaken Motorcycle Club will fight like hell to keep their family together and whole.

Love is never more precious than when it’s new.

{4 stars}

First, let me start off by saying that this book backs up a little in the timeline, so don't think you are confused. We need to back up and explain Duke and Nic's past to know the why and where that they are going. 

Ok, Love, Love, Love Duke! Nic grew on me, didn't really like her at first, but after you hear a little about her story you come to understand her.  I am going to admit that I like Duke more than I like Trigger. This story had a little more emotional grip on me. I really felt we were pulled into the MC life and had some "real" life going on. And the passion between Duke and Nic was absolutely sweat worthy! Add in the drama with Alex and the mafia (laid out in the first book), we get a better overall understanding as to what is really going on. And I enjoyed every word of it. Can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Amy Harmon-Making Faces

Adult Contemporary Romance

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She'd been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have...until he wasn't beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl's love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior's love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

{4 stars}

This book makes me feel many things. Sad, thoughtful, happy, introspective, angry......

It's all about looking beyond the package that someone comes in. The old adage "You can't judge a book by it's cover" is so true. Fern is the plane jane, big glasses, and braces girl that no one really looks at but everyone thinks she's sweet. Ambrose is the high school wrestling star that everyone looks at but no one really know what goes on on the inside. Add in Bailey, Fern's cousin and best friend, who has MD and is stuck in a failing body in a wheelchair. Bailey has the most positive outlook of everyone in this book, but life has a way of changing everything. Fern blossoms into a beauty and Ambrose comes back from war without his outer beauty. Makes you really think about how you judge people. Appearances can be deceiving.

Loved it, it was a really beautiful story.

Monday, January 6, 2014

C.J. Roberts-Epilogue (The Dark Duet #3)

Adult Contemporary-18+

(The final version should have 15 Chapters + an epilogue)

I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging. In fact, you probably know too many things and know them far too well.

Who am I?

Well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves.

She loves me. It’s quite sick, isn’t it?

Of course, there’s more to our story than can be surmised in a few short sentences, but I’m at a loss for justifying my behavior back then. I assume if you’re reading this, I don’t need to make those justifications. You’ve already made your own.

You’re reading this because you want to know about the rest of the story. You want to know what happened that warm summer night in September of 2010, the night I met Livvie at The Paseo. It was the night my life changed all over again.

It didn’t happen exactly as Livvie said. She’s been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more…complicated.

{5 stars}

An epilogue book? Yes! And it worked, I finished all 3 books in one weekend.....1000 pages, Whew! And I loved every step of this journey. The beginning is hard to grasp, it harsh. It may seem a little too much for some vanilla readers. But once you fall in love with Olivia, you stop thinking about how she became captive and start becoming mesmerized by her will to survive. Her survival instinct captures Caleb's heart and shows him that there is more to life than his vengeance. This series is a powerful dance between the two and I have been thinking about them all day long....... 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

C. J. Roberts-Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet #2)

Adult (Romance?) Contemporary-18+

The exciting, titillating, and action-filled conclusion to Captive in the Dark.

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.

The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.

Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance? 

Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

It seemed to Caleb, the nature of human beings revolved around one empirical truth: we want what we cannot have. For Eve, it was the fruit of the forbidden tree. For Caleb, it was Livvie.

{5 stars} ****SPOILER ALERT**** (I tried to write the review without spoilers, but I just can't) do I begin to manage the thoughts going through my head. Romance? I'm not sure I would call it a romance in any traditional sense. What it is, is a very tragic love story.

500 pages. Usually a 500+ page book would have a hard time keeping my attention, but I was held captive by this story, I hardly moved, I couldn't put it down. The sexual component of this book isn't anything I haven't read in a BDSM story, so none of it was shocking. And it was integral to the story. We switch back and forth in the timeline while Livvie tells us her story. I was confused at first, not sure how we got from the end of book 1 to a hospital in Laredo, but as Livvie tells her story to an FBI agent and a social worker we begin to put the pieces together. Lies, so many lies have shaped Caleb's life. Everything he was ever told was a lie, and when the pieces start taking shape it is almost more than he can take. The only thing he knows is Livvie, he loves her, he just won't admit it to himself or her. How could she love a monster like him? His loyalty to Rafiq is what keeps him from taking Livvie and running. He feels obligated to finish the mission they have started, but completely unaware that Rafiq is the reason his life was destroyed to begin with. But then he hears to hard truth. Livvie refuses to give up on Caleb, she is determined to make him fall in love with her. She knows if he loves her he will never sell her. It just takes a lot of tears, jealousy, and pushing to get him to see it. Once on the run, nothing gets easier and Caleb must set Livvie free. I appreciated the way the story switches from present to past, it kept me on the "edge of my seat" so to speak. I couldn't wait to see how it all really was going to end. And I am very happy with the ending........

Saturday, January 4, 2014

C. J. Roberts-Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet #1)

Adult Contemporary-18+

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

{3 stars}

I am still struggling with my feelings about this book. It is very thought provoking, especially if you look past the physical situation. Olivia has been kidnapped, Caleb is her captor. But they are both prisoners in different ways. Olivia is a survivor, whether it be in the "free" world, or in her dark room, she has the deep will and instinct to survive. Her home life was only a "free" version of a prison. Captive to her mother's hatred, Olivia learned to behave and appear less threatening and almost invisible to the world around her. She was just waiting for her chance to escape and build her own life. Maybe that's what Caleb saw in her that day, a survivor, like himself. Caleb's life has been horrible, no child should ever have to live through what he did. But he did, his will to survive kept him alive and able to one day escape his captor. Olivia and Caleb are of a kindred spirit in that way. But Olivia sparks something in Caleb that turns all his plans inside out.

I would give the first half of this book 2 stars, it was hard to read, hard to understand this story at all. I didn't think I would finish it. And I almost gave up, but something in me about half way through wouldn't give up on Olivia. I needed to follow her journey, like a silent cheerleader hoping she would find her way again. Olivia has a strong will and will do whatever it takes to stay alive. Will Caleb let her go? His whole world starts to unravel with Olivia, he sees her more than just his captive. Maybe he sees a way out of his own life? Is vengeance worth his own escape? There are a lot more questions than answers after reading this first one, I feel some urge to finish their journey. I wound up with a 3 star rating because I like Olivia, her spirit of survival. I don't like the premise for how the story starts, but I am looking more at the journey of Olivia and Caleb, than the physical state of their own prisons. The reviews are all over the place with this series, that is why I delayed reading it, but i read it, and i will continue with their journey.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Heidi McLaughlin-Finding my Forever (The Beaumont Series, #3)

Adult Romance - contemporary

Everywhere I look, my friends are settling down - marriage, children, white picket fences; but not me. Marriage isn't in the cards for me. I’m a ladies man. 

A rock star. 

I was born and raised in the industry. 

I love everything about my life, especially the attention from the women that my status brings me. 
Women find me. I don’t chase. I know what they want and they know I’ll deliver. 

But after one look, one touch, one night... 
Now I’m the one doing the chasing. 

I need to find a way to show her that I’m serious, that I can change. 
I need to find a way to show her that I can love her fully, and only her. 
I need to find a way to show her that she’s my forever.

{4 stars}

I hate to admit it, but the first half of the book - 3 stars. I skimmed a good portion of it, I just couldn't click with Jimmy, not sure why. I think it just felt like just another "rock star" story for a while. But when the real "action" starts going, i didn't skim a word. It had my complete attention (and emotion). This trio is wonderful. And even though they are originally together because they are in a band together. They are family by choice, each one brings something different to the series. And each one's story has been an emotional ride i really did enjoy.