Friday, July 31, 2015

Truly Madly Montana by Fiona Lowe


Truly Madly Montana (Medicine River, #2)Truly Madly Montana by Fiona Lowe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I feel as though I should start my review by explaining that Truly Madly Montana was not on my review list. While the book sounded interesting, the bulk of my to-read list is scheduled 3 months out and I rarely have a chance to add such a lengthy book at the last minute. But as the person who sets up the blog posts, I found myself intrigued by the excerpts for the book and really wanted to see if it was as good as they made it sound. So I queued the review copy up on my Kindle, turned on the text-to-speech function, and crossed my fingers that Truly Madly Montana was the kind of book that lent itself to being read out loud while I worked on setting up other posts. For the most part it was, and when it wasn’t it was because I found my attention being pulled away from working and into the story – great for the author, not so great for the blog posts. ;)

What I really liked about Truly Madly Montana was that Ms. Lowe gave us two love stories in one book. The primary romance is between Will and Millie. As Millie is the first character we meet in the book (and the one whose excerpts snagged my attention most), I connected with her most. I don’t have diabetes so I cannot even imagine what it’s like to live Millie’s life and yet despite being “chained” to her continuous glucose monitor – aka Dex – she maintains a rather upbeat and cheerful outlook on life. This is why I loved how she approached being Josh’s best man and understood her frustration at the wedding reception when the usurper – Dr. Will Bartlett – showed up and assumed he was still the best man because he made it to the wedding. Adding insult to injury is when Will (the guy she was crushing on last summer) assumed she was gay; while that conversation and the interactions that later stemmed from it were not funny from Millie’s point of view, I found them quite laugh worthy. As Will embarks on being friends with Millie because he’s finally found a woman who has similar interests and isn’t trying to hit on him, she is torn between enjoying her time with him and frustrated because she has been relegated to being “just one of the guys” yet again. But sparks fly when Will learns that he was wrong about her sexuality and the scene that follows is emotional, funny, and hot. The best part is that we’re almost halfway through the book before Will and Millie embark on a romantic and sexual relationship, which allowed their friendship to build first. I enjoyed watching their relationship bloom and develop over the summer, which is what made the conversation that preceded Millie’s return to school so heartbreaking. As hard as it was to watch unfold, I was glad to see that Millie didn’t pull any punches with Will and called him out on his cowardice.

Because of how real the characters felt, I found the romance between Millie and Will to be a bit overwhelming at times. This is where the secondary romance comes in handy as it not only helped to keep Millie and Will’s romance from being “too much” for me to read, it also offered quite a bit of comedic relief and a totally different type of emotional depth. To be frank, when Tara first appears in the book I had no idea why the author had gone off on a tangent as there was nothing in the blurb that pointed to the secondary love story. But Ethan’s arrival on scene and his good natured self-deprecation and friendly personality were the perfect complement for the aloof and far too serious Tara. I loved watching their friendship develop and then progress to more just as much as I did Millie and Will’s. Ms. Lowe did a wonderful job of working Tara and Ethan into the story without pulling the focus away from Millie and Will.

I really enjoyed Truly Madly Montana and will be adding the first book in the series, Montana Actually, to my to-be-read list. Not only did I enjoy the author’s style of writing, I also learned something new. Via conversations and Millie’s actions over the course of the book, the author shows just how all-encompassing managing her diabetes is and just how little control she can have over it despite doing everything right and this left me in complete awe of Millie and every person who has to live with diabetes. This was a great read and I absolutely loved the reality check Ms. Lowe gave Will’s character at the end and how it led to the perfect resolution for Will and Millie. I look forward to reading more from the Medicine River series.

I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.
Check out the Truly Madly Montana by Fiona Lowe Blog Tour post on Wicked Reads.


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Dare You To by Rhian Cahill


Dare You To (Hearts Are Wild, #2)Dare You To by Rhian Cahill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


As much as I enjoyed No More Talking, I enjoyed Dare You To even more. It was a fun and HOT way to pass a couple of hours as Shaye sets out to spend 30 days trying to work Coop out of her system. Much like book one, there is a built-in history between Shaye and Coop. That Shaye has been hung-up on Coop for years helps make the way their relationship progresses from friends to lovers to more believable. While it becomes clear that Coop had no idea how Shaye pined for him over the years, it helps move the story along when his inner musings revealed that his thoughts about her had changed from being friends to her staring in his fantasies quite frequently as of late. Unfortunately for Coop – even if he doesn’t know it at them time – the only reason Shaye is willing to up her game and engage him sexually is that she’s been offered the job she’s always wanted, just not where she wanted and she’ll be moving soon.

I found it quite amusing that after eight years of unrequited love, Shaye thought she could spend 30 days in bed with Coop without falling in love and risking heartbreak. Even though I expected that Shaye and Coop would wind up together by the end of the book, it wasn’t a given of just how that would turn out as far as the “where” went. As Shaye’s plan was to spend her last month in Sydney working Coop out of her system, there was a LOT of sex in the novella. And it was gooooood sex! I really liked that when Coop learned that Shaye was moving and even though he felt like he’d been played he didn’t really get angry, he just set out to prove to her that staying in Sydney with him and their family of friends would mean more to her than her supposed “dream job.” I also enjoyed the banter between the two outside of the bedroom. Ms. Cahill does a good job of showing the changes within their relationship so that the inevitable ending felt right, especially the final reveal. Dare You To has been added to my reread list and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. If you enjoy reads that are quick and steamy then give this one a try … I Dare You To.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Dare You To (Hearts Are Wild, #2) by Rhian Cahill blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Yield to Me by Sarah Castille


Yield to Me (Club Excelsior, #1)Yield to Me by Sarah Castille

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’ll admit that I’m a bit sexist when it comes to MMA fighter romances and prefer to read books featuring male fighters rather than female fighters. But as Ms. Castille’s writing has yet to disappoint me, I was more than willing to give this a go. As with every book by Ms. Castille that I have read, I found myself quickly sucked into Marcy and Jax’s story in Yield to Me.

When the two first meet, Marcy is practicing for an upcoming fight and Jax confronts her with a harsh truth – one she has refused to admit to herself – and then uses a demonstration to prove his claim. Needless to say, this did not endear him to her at all…regardless of how her body responded to him. As a psychologist and a former fighter, Jax had a perspective that put him a unique position to be able to help Marcy. But when he realized that her fighting issue correlated to a sexual issue that called to his dominant nature, his ability to keep professional and personal separate failed him. While Jax is just as attracted to Marcy, I’m not sure what was responsible for most of the sparks in the book – Marcy’s temper or their attraction. Both provided a LOT of entertainment in Yield to Me because not only was the sex seriously hot, Marcy had NOOOOO problem putting the men in her life in their place. She might be a woman in a male-dominated world, but she is no pushover. I might not have agreed with all of her decisions, but I cheered for her when she refused to cave to Reid’s ultimatums and when she called Jax out on his issues. Even more so when she took the information thrown at her by the various coaches and proved to them all that she knew herself better than they did.

Within the confines of fiction, I enjoyed watching the relationship that develops between Jax and Marcy as both were damaged souls who were able to heal the other. That said, professionally speaking I had an issue with Jax getting involved with Marcy; as a psychologist, it is unethical for Jax to become romantically involved with a client and Reid being the person paying does not negate that fact that Jax was treating Marcy, thus making her the client. Did this reduce my rating? Not at all; it’s a personal sticking point that didn’t prevent me from enjoying the book, but was something I couldn’t not mention. I really enjoyed the interactions between Marcy and those people who were important in her life – Reid, Val, and Two Step – and I hope to encounter them all again in future books in the Club Excelsior series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Yield to Me (Club Excelsior #1) by Sarah Castille blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Revenge by Dana Delamar


Revenge (Blood and Honor, #1)Revenge by Dana Delamar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Holy moly! I thought Malavita was good, but Ms. Delamar blew it out of the water with Revenge. Honestly when I first read the blurb I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I loved the relationship that developed between Enrico and Toni and could not understand why he was being paired with another woman. I didn’t see how the author could pull it off, especially as I was looking forward to seeing how Enrico and Toni’s relationship continued to develop. And yet she did with a jump forward in time that worked flawlessly.

Revenge takes place many years after Malavita and the story is written in such a way that despite her absence from the book I felt the love between Enrico and Toni that continued to strengthen over the course of their marriage – between his grief and the promise he made her, there was no doubt in my mind as to the depth of their love for one another. Because of this, it made Enrico’s interest in Kate acceptable and left me cheering him on despite the lies and obstacles that stood between them. At the same time, I was torn between rooting for Kate to be swept away by Enrico and understanding her refusal of her heart when she knew he was keeping secrets from her. Without giving too much away, when circumstances put Kate under Enrico’s protection he is afforded the opportunity to get to know her better and vice versa. Quickly the spark of attraction between the two is fanned into a blazing fire and while both worry that the other will break their heart, neither can resist being together. And it was hot.

But the relationship between Kate and Enrico was not the only heat the novel delivered as Carlo used the incident between his nephew and Kate as an excuse to declare war on Enrico. As Revenge is a romantic suspense novel about mafia families, there is no shortage of deaths – some were heartbreaking and some were well deserved. Despite this, I was still surprised by the level of deception that occurred in the book, but found the revelations in the Epilogue to be the most jaw dropping of them all. Revenge was an excellent addition to the Blood and Honor series and I look forward to reading Retribution to find out where the story goes from here.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Revenge (Blood and Honor #1) by Dana Delamar blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Texas Fall by R.J. Scott


Texas Fall (Texas Book 6)Texas Fall by R.J. Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Texas Fall is one of my top picks for the Texas series. After the suspense and action surrounding Liam in the previous installment, I wasn’t sure how Ms. Scott was going to top it. Yet she did with a storyline that would feel contrived for many characters, yet is completely within the realm of possibility for Riley considering his wealth and profession. Additionally we got to see Liam stand up for himself and find the family and home he has been looking for. These plotlines combine to make for another installment in the series that has been added to my reread list.

One would think that with their family full-to-bursting with the birth of the twins and Max’s adoption that life would finally settle down for Jack and Riley. But these are not idle men and they do an impressive job of balancing family with their respective work ventures. Because of the attack on Liam and the subsequent trial against his former boss, Jack slows down the plans for the equine therapy program and a couple of other ranch projects so that he and Robbie can be in court to support Liam. I loved how Ms. Scott gave the reader the opportunity to watch Liam see justice served, treating us to certain parts of the proceedings without dragging out that part of the story. And while being separated from Riley for a couple of weeks while he tended to Liam’s business was stressful for Jack, it paled in comparison to what he experienced when Riley’s trip to Mexico went terribly awry. I was not surprised that the incident took place because the author set the scenario up so well, but I was surprised at just how far she took it and how realistic it felt. I was terrified for both Riley and Jack because even though Texas Fall is a romance and I knew I was going to get my happily-ever-after for the couple, the emotional toll that the guys were under was extreme as they each faced the possibility that Riley might be killed.

Even if I didn’t like what he actually endured, I really liked the richness that Riley’s post-incident behavior added to the story. His PTSD was not only realistic and appropriate to his situation, it also gave him a chance to connect with Sean in a way that he otherwise wouldn’t have. Because of Riley’s subsequent withdrawal, Jack had to find a way to remind Riley that he was safe with Jack. This gave them an opportunity to reconnect on a basic relationship level that strengthened their bond even further. Getting to keep tabs on Robbie & Eli and Marcus & Liam’s relationships are a bonus as the author continues to weave their storylines into the books, keeping fans informed without taking away from the ultimate focus of the books – Riley and Jack. I do hope that Ms. Scott has plans for another installment in the Texas series because I would love to know what life has in store for the Campbell-Hayes clan and the newest additions to the Double D Ranch – Vaughn and Darren.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Texas Fall (Texas #6) by R.J. Scott blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers!


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

The God Code: Nephilim Prophecy by Adrienne Wilder


The God Code: Nephilim ProphecyThe God Code: Nephilim Prophecy by Adrienne Wilder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I am a dork. There, I said it. I tell friends regularly that I don’t read books that contain a religious theme and that’s not actually true. I prefer not to sign up for them to review because I’ve been burned by authors who turn the religious theme into an opportunity to preach to the reader. THIS is what I don’t like and why I tend not to opt in on reviews for religious-themed books – because once I agree to review a book, I try my hardest to finish it and I prefer the option to discontinue a book if it gets to preachy. Don’t get me wrong because I am not anti-religion. What I am is someone who prefers not to be preached at when reading fiction. All that said, when The God Code: Nephilim Prophecy came up for review, I had no choice but to take it because Ms. Wilder has done right by me in every book of hers I have read. And I am tickled pink to report that she has continued to deliver with this book.

Unlike her other books that I’ve read, Nephilim Prophecy has two love stories – Jake and Neko’s and Ariel and Indigo’s. Jake and Neko work for Eami – Jake is one of Eami’s whores and Neko is the virgin who dances but is off limits to all. While Jake and Neko cannot indulge in physical intimacy beyond kissing, this does not prevent them from falling in love with one another. When Eami tells Neko he can have whatever or whomever he wants on his 21st birthday, Neko chooses Jake and sets into motion the fulfilling of a prophecy that may bring an end to humanity. Ariel and Indigo are servants of God – or they would be had Ariel not been cast out for saving Indigo’s life during an act of free will. The angel (fallen) and the warrior (disillusioned). Both love stories are heartbreaking to witness as the young (Jake and Neko) and the old (Ariel and Indigo) learn that love does not conquer all and that evil will use it against them.

I found the main characters fascinating. Despite questioning God’s existence and his lack of faith and trust in the church, Indigo remains true to his calling as a Palet and continues to fight and destroy demons – even if he goes against the church’s edict to do so from time to time. Why? Because he believes in his calling to protect the innocent. It is because of this that he breaks more rules than normal when he rescues Neko from Eami’s club, subsequently stumbling upon a demonic plot that will violate all of the Covenants between Serenity and Chaos. His quest to save Neko and thwart the plot brings Ariel back into his life and their history is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking – but the sex is otherworldly. As this is a fight between good and evil, there are deaths on both sides – some you’ll be happy to see happen and others you won’t. The God Code: Nephilim Prophecy is an action-packed read that had me constantly wondering what could happen next and I loved every page of it. It is the first book in the series and the battle is just beginning, so while the author provides us a bit of foreshadowing of what is to come, I don’t consider the ending to be a cliffhanger per se. I do hope that Ms. Wilder is able to release the next book in the series later this year as planned because she has hooked me on this series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Nephilim Prophecy (The God Code #1) by Adrienne Wilder blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ropin' Hearts by Em Petrova


Ropin' Hearts (The Boot Knockers Ranch)Ropin' Hearts by Em Petrova

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I do so enjoy a visit to the Boot Knockers Ranch, so I couldn’t fault Bree one bit for sneaking onto the ranch…repeatedly. Nope! Not one teeny tiny bit…well maybe not that tiny. ;) And while I had no doubt that Ms. Petrova would give the feisty little filly her happy ending, it’s how that ride off into the sunset pans out that makes this series truly enjoyable for me because you never know what the final relationship will look like. And I’m happy to report that Ropin’ Hearts was every bit as enjoyable as books one and two in the series and I cannot wait to go back and read book three to find out how that relationship came to be.

Bree is literally the girl next door and is determined to bed herself a Boot Knocker because she needs a real man who can deliver and not the boys she’s been with in the past. Fortunately for Bree, most of the cowboys don’t know who she is, so she’s able to sneak onto the ranch undetected and meet up with a cowboy willing to give her a ride. Unfortunately for Bree, she and said cowboy cross paths with one of the few hands that knows who she is, Ty, and he wastes no time whisking her back to the fence and sending her on her way after a good tongue lashing – just not the kind she was hoping for. And while Bree is a persistent gal, she also seems to set off Ty’s proximity alarm each time she sneaks onto the ranch. That poor girl had no luck getting past Ty and I loved the conversation that took place between Ty and Stowe as a result of her continued disobedience. Not only was it enlightening for Ty, it also served to open the floodgates so to speak and led to some serious fireworks the next time Ty caught Bree trespassing. Boy howdy, does that cowboy know his way around a woman’s body or what!?!? But falling in love with a Boot Knocker isn’t easy, especially when neither party is looking to settle down. And when Ty finally realizes that his heart is all in whether he wants it to be or not, he shows Bree that a Boot Knocker never leaves a job undone.

Ms. Petrova does not disappoint with the sexy fun times as we are treated to some seriously hot MM, MF, and MMF sex scenes, as well as a reminder of how well Stowe can wield a whip. Bree and Ty weren’t the only ones in need of a cold shower in this book. But no matter how fun the hijinks were, how entertaining the banter was, and how hot the sex was, it is watching the relationship develop between Bree and Ty that makes this book so dang good. I needed a good no-strings-attached sex to lovers-and-more romance, and Ropin’ Hearts gave me that and so much more. I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series – hopefully Stowe’s – and am excited that I have an unread Boot Knockers romance to add to my reading list in the meantime.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Ropin’ Hearts (Boot Knockers Ranch #4) by Em Petrova blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Friday, July 24, 2015

Confess by Colleen Hoover


ConfessConfess by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved Confess. Even though Ms. Hoover managed to rip my heart out and make me cry with both the Prologue and the Epilogue (as well as a few scenes in between), I loved this book. Confess is meant to remind us that while the vast majority of people don’t find their other half until they’re adults (if even then), there are a special few who do find love as a teenager. Auburn and Adam were among that minority, but because of a terminal illness Auburn had to say goodbye to Adam at 15 (and I’m tearing up as I remember that scene). But Confess also shows us that some of us are so deserving of love that we get a second chance at finding true happiness, even if it’s not with our first love.

And this is where we enter Auburn’s life, five years later after she has moved to Texas to be closer to Adam’s family. After a discouraging meeting, Auburn finds herself in front of a building she walks by every day, finally seeing it for the first time. CONFESS is many things. It’s an art gallery. It’s a public confessional of sorts. It’s where Auburn finds a quick job to make some extra money. Most importantly, it’s where Auburn meets Owen. Auburn does not know Owen, but Owen knows of Auburn and you don’t find out the full ramifications of how he knows her until the end of the book. But how Owen knows Auburn does not prepare him for the full impact of getting to know Auburn and how she will affect his life.

Because I don’t want to give too much away and ruin the story for potential readers, I will say that theirs is one of the saddest love stories I have read in a long time. Even though this is a New Adult book, the angst is not at all what I expected. In the short amount of time they spend together, Auburn and Owen just click – it’s as if they’ve known one another forever. And while they want to explore a relationship, there are factors outside of their control that make it almost impossible for this to occur – particularly Adam’s family and Owen’s family. I wish I could say that I was surprised by what Adam’s brother did, but I wasn’t. With each time that Owen and Auburn were served a helping of “life’s not fair” I worried that Ms. Hoover wasn’t going to be able to pull off a happy ending for the couple. I have to say that I absolutely loved that Auburn found her inner strength and that it was she who made things right for her and Owen. And even though I found myself bawling yet again at the end of the book, I am so glad that Ms. Hoover brought the story full circle. Confess is a definite reread for me – tears and all.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Confess by Colleen Hoover blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Sophisticated for the Night by C.J. Fallowfield


Sophisticated for the NightSophisticated for the Night by C.J. Fallowfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Seriously Ms. Fallowfield! What are you doing to me? I adore Logan Steele and Sophisticated for the Night has taken me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions I never expected to experience with this series. Hope for? Yes. Actually get from a series of erotic novellas about a high class gigolo? Nope, I really didn’t expect it. And yet, you took me on a journey of highs and lows, broke my heart and put it back together only to rinse and repeat that action, and turned me on quite thoroughly as Logan found that as much as he excelled at sex, he was even better at it when he cared for the person he was with.

While you can read Sophisticated for the Night as a standalone, I strongly recommend that you read Virgin for the Night before it to fully appreciate the story. I have been waiting for Summer’s return since finishing Virgin for the Night and was so excited when I learned that Logan was breaking his own rules and hijacking her movie premiere plans to reconnect with her. I loved that as charming and suave as Logan is, that he still made mistakes with Summer. The difficulty he had in “turning off” his escort persona and being himself spoke to how nervous he was around her and how much her approval of the real Logan meant to him. Even though the book is presented from both Logan and Summer’s points of view, I was still nervous for Logan as he waited to see just how Summer would react to his unexpected reappearance. While parts of the date went perfectly, other parts did not. I enjoyed the security and confidence that Logan’s presence gave Summer. The passion and sexual attraction between the two is off the charts, which resulted in some stellar sex scenes. And the ending, oh my goodness Ms. Fallowfield how could you end it that way?!?!?! I was both devastated and hopeful, but more than anything relieved that there are three more installments in the For the Night series so I know there’s still more Logan to come – pun intended – in Biker for the Night. I cannot wait!

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Sophisticated for the Night (For the Night #5) by C.J. Fallowfield blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hard Ride #3: A Novel in Three Parts by Opal Carew


Hard Ride #3: A Novel in Three Parts (Ready to Ride)Hard Ride #3: A Novel in Three Parts by Opal Carew

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


***WARNING – IF YOU HAVE NOT READ HARD RIDE PART ONE OR PART TWO YET, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW AS SPOILERS FROM THOSE INSTALLMENTS ARE INCLUDED IN THIS REVIEW.***

Hard Ride Part Three picks up exactly where Part Two ended, with Liv receiving the news that her sister has taken a turn for the worse. At a time when her world feels as though it is falling apart, Liv comes to understand and fully appreciate the difference between a man trying to control her as opposed to Shock taking control of the situation in order to take care of her and protect her. Not surprisingly, Shock makes arrangements to get Liv to the hospital as soon as possible (this is where his wealth comes in handy) and remains by her side during the entire ordeal with her sister. Much like Liv, Shock comes to a realization while on the trip – specifically, why Liv needed the money. Even though Shock is her rock and takes care of not only her and her sister, their return to the cabin leads to a harsher dose of reality than she was prepared for when Liv once again encounters Amy. We do finally learn in this installment why Amy keeps butting in, but not before she nearly destroys Liv and Shock’s relationship with a truth – a partial and misrepresented truth, but a truth nonetheless. Because Shock is not our typical biker, he has no problem talking to Liv and badgering her until he finds out why she insists on keeping herself distanced from him. But Shock is a man, so inevitably it does take him a while to realize what questions need to be asked. As such, Ms. Carew does deliver up some relationship angst as these two must find out if they have a future together past the contract.

As this is the final installment of Hard Ride, Ms. Carew upped the sexual action… A LOT! And it was good. The reader is not only treated to some increasingly hot sex scenes between Liv and Shock, but we also get to observe a little ménage action between Raven, Tempest, and the other guys. But she did not stop there. Oh no! Ms. Carew includes a hot as heck gangbang between Liv and the other bikers (minus Steele). Based on the manner in which the gangbang occurred, I have to believe that Shock made the guys aware of Liv’s rape because they each handled her gently when their turn began and were respectful of her body and her feelings. I have read two of the previous books in the series and it’s not like these bikers are brutes, but they seemed to be more aware of their time with Liv than I suspect they would have been had it not been for her assault in college – if that makes sense. In true Ready to Ride fashion, Ms. Carew saved the best sex for last with a mouthwatering ménage between Liv, Shock, and Steele. What a way to break a girl in! I always enjoy Ms. Carew’s books and consider them a guilty pleasure that tends to be heavier on the sex than the story. That said, I do believe that Hard Ride tipped the scales the other way and this is one installment that I suspect I will reread many times. Well done Ms. Carew, you never cease to surprise me.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Hard Ride #3: A Novel in Three Parts (Ready to Ride) by Opal Carew blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ménage for the Night by C.J. Fallowfield


Ménage for the NightMénage for the Night by C.J. Fallowfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Oh how I have missed spending time with my favorite gigolo. Logan Steele is back in Ménage for the Night and this time he’s brought backup. After the hot mess of a client he was with in Filthy for the Night, it was really nice to see him spend time with someone who is actually deserving of his attention and appreciates the extra touches that Logan provides. In this installment Logan’s long-time client Ava has requested a ménage with Logan and another male, but without double penetration. To help fulfill her fantasy, he contracts with a younger gigolo he knows and trusts – Trey – and they proceed to spend the night making Ava’s fantasy come true; spectacularly so as Ava gets so caught up in the evening’s festivities that she takes the ménage farther than she ever expected. And I loved every page of it.

While you can read Ménage for the Night as a standalone, I really recommend you read the series in order from the beginning. Why? Because as hot and erotic as the sex scenes are, what really makes this series is watching Logan grow from book to book and how his priorities have changed since his encounter in book two. Trey serves two purposes in this book. The first is the sexual third in the ménage and what he lacks in finesse he clearly makes up for in enthusiasm. That Trey was so into Ava helped her see that she was a desirable woman and deserving of the attention her husband wasn’t giving her. Trey’s second purpose is that he’s been pseudo-mentoring under Logan whenever Logan needed his help to fulfil a client’s fantasy. Because he listens and implements the lessons that Logan gives him, Logan trusts Trey to provide for some of the clients he is looking to cut from his client list. So Trey provides the opportunity for Logan to begin scaling back on his services – which will be a necessity should his next date go well. Thankfully, I have Sophisticated for the Night queued up on my Kindle and am ready to go!!!

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Ménage for the Night (For the Night #4) by C.J. Fallowfield blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Secret by Kindle Alexander


SecretSecret by Kindle Alexander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really enjoyed this book. I saw some pre-release controversy from people refusing to read Secret because Ms. Alexander refused to say whether or not the book contained cheating and while this is not a hard limit for me, I was interested in how it would play out in the book. While I will neither confirm nor deny the existence of cheating, I will say that if it’s a deal breaker for you and you really want to know before you buy the book, then download the sample because the author addresses that issue within the first chapter of the book and I for one loved how she did it and how it set up the remainder of the book.

I loved both Dylan and Tristan’s characters. It was pretty clear from the outset that although both men owned and operated very successful companies, they had each built their companies from the ground up and had not allowed their wealth to get the better of them – unlike Tristan’s COO Landry appeared to have. I was particularly enamored with Dylan. It was clear from his conversations with his staff and in what he was looking for in the buyout of his company, that above all else, he’s a man of loyalty. This becomes even more obvious when the author reveals exactly how dedicated he is to his family and the relationship he has with his wife. It is Dylan’s loyalty that makes his response to Tristan that much more difficult for him. Where Tristan won me over is that rather than fighting his feelings for Dylan and clinging to his bachelorhood, he recognized that the time he spent with Dylan was different than with his previous partners and that his feelings for the man were worth exploring. What really impressed me was that once he committed to trying to build a relationship with Dylan, Tristan was willing to wait and was unbelievably patient and understanding of Dylan’s situation. I’m not suggesting that he shouldn’t have been, but rather that I appreciate that the author chose to have Tristan respond as an adult rather than act like an insecure 18 year-old – she kept Tristan’s character authentic to his age and accomplishments in life.

One of the aspects of Ms. Alexander’s writing I enjoy is that while she can write some seriously steamy sex scenes, her primary focus is on the relationship development between the main characters. No doubt about it, the sex between Dylan and Tristan is hot, even more so when the two men begin to admit their feelings to themselves and they shift from having sex to making love. I loved how Tristan took his time with Dylan – listening to him, paying attention to his responses, and guiding him to insure that they both enjoyed their time together. He never attempted to make Dylan feel inadequate because of his inexperience. I will admit that although I wasn’t surprised that their secret was discovered, I was shocked with the way it occurred and how Dylan’s daughter found out. That said, I absolutely loved how their family rallied together during that evening of revelations and came out stronger for it. Thankfully Secret didn’t leave me bawling like a baby like Always did, but it has been added to my re-read list all the same and I look forward to reading it again soon.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Secret Tour Stop blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Thrill-Kinky by Teresa Noelle Roberts


Thrill-Kinky (Chronicles of the Malcolm)Thrill-Kinky by Teresa Noelle Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


As a fan of sci-fi romance and erotica, I can easily see myself getting addicted to this series. Thrill-Kinky introduces us to the crew of the Malcolm, a small independent freighter. Leading the motley crew is their queerbent captain Mik and his partner Gan; a handicap ex-soldier Buck who keeps a steady level of alcohol in his system at all times; a klepto-kitty by the name of Xia; and the focus of this installment, Rita, the ship’s mechanic and backup pilot. But we learn over the course of the book that the crew of the Malcolm is more than just a collection of colleagues, they’re family…and when you mess with one, you get them all.

Our first contact with Rita is as she is mentally grumbling about drawing the short straw and getting stuck with garbage detail – literally – as she has been tasked with transporting valuable recyclables from their pickup site to the ship. While she is in the midst of bemoaning getting left out of the planet’s annual “celebration of the gods’ gift of love and desire” she makes a discovery that is far better than any sight she suspected she was missing at the festival … a gorgeous naked Banjali male, bound, gagged, and injured in the recycle bin. By the way, Banjali have wings and their males have an extremely intriguing anatomical feature that I couldn’t decide whether to laugh about or be jealous of Rita for getting to experience. But Rita’s discovery soon puts her and the crew in danger once the people responsible for dumping Drax in the bin learned that she had found him. What ensues is an action-packed thrill ride as Drax, Rita, and the crew of the Malcolm attempt to thwart a plot to start an intergalactic conflict between Drax’s home planet of Banjali and San’bal, the planet they’re currently visiting.

Thrill-Kinky is a great combination of intense action, humor, camaraderie, and really hot sex. Because they’re both adrenaline junkies (not the term used) and find themselves in a life or death situation almost immediately, Rita and Drax connect rather quickly. Even though they pretty much fall in love in less than 48 hours (even if they don’t admit it at the time), it worked for me in this book. So much happens in that short period of time that it doesn’t feel rushed. The added bonus is that despite being human, Rita turns out to be just as Thrill-Kinky as Drax and this makes for some seriously hot sex scenes, especially the final one in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the crew of the Malcolm and accompanying them on this adventure, so I am so very glad that this is just the first book in the Chronicles of Malcolm series. I am already looking forward to the next one.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Thrill-Kinky (Chronicles of the Malcolm) by Teresa Noelle Roberts blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Arrested by Love by Kathryn R. Blake


Arrested by LoveArrested by Love by Kathryn R. Blake

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Having read A Dom’s Dilemma yesterday, I was excited when I reread the synopsis for Arrested by Love and realized that it was the same Kyle and I was going to get to read his story. The opening scene was priceless and had me hooked on Tiffany’s character almost immediately. That girl was trouble with a capital ‘T’ but the kind that left me laughing at her antics rather than worried about how things could go badly. Although after that first spanking as an adult, you would think Tiffany would have learned to tread more carefully around Kyle, but then how would that have made for an entertaining read?

I enjoyed watching Tiffany make her plays for Kyle’s attention but not nearly as much as when years’ worth of sexual tension finally overrode his control. I really liked that Ms. Blake showed bits and pieces of Kyle’s courting of Tiffany and made it clear that it occurred over several months despite them having known one another since childhood. What I did not enjoy was finding out the collateral damage of Kelly’s scene with Jim at the police station – but that was because of how it affected Tiffany, and Kyle as well. Even though I understood Kyle’s willingness to abide by Tiffany’s father’s wishes, I will admit that I was surprised it took Kyle so long to stop abiding by them especially as they had been working toward what seemed to be a Domestic Discipline relationship. But what broke my heart even as it made me happy was the uncertainty and insecurity Tiffany had to deal with once she and Kyle got back together. Not only did the author provide the couple with a nice resolution, but she also gave Tiffany a new friend from a rather surprising source.

My main complaint and where the story lost my attention was the large portion of the book that overlapped with A Dom’s Dilemma. To be fair, Arrested by Love was released first which means that the scenes are actually from this book and were repeated in A Dom’s Dilemma, but being as I read the books out of order (according to publication dates), I found myself bored through a decent portion of the book as the occasional commentary from Kyle regarding Jim and Kelly’s relationship meant I had to reread multiple scenes so that I could gain more insight into Kyle. Truth be told, as bored as I was with the replay of those scenes, they actually impacted my rating very little. In the end, while I enjoyed Arrested by Love more than A Dom’s Dilemma, I still consider it to be a good and solid 3-star read for me. I do look forward to reading more of Ms. Blake’s writing in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the #Spank of the Day: Arrested by Love blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Friday, July 17, 2015

Black Iris by Leah Raeder


Black IrisBlack Iris by Leah Raeder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Things you should know before you read Black Iris. This book is raw and it is intense. It is not a love story, it is a story of revenge and love just happens to find its way in. What happens to Laney and what it drives her to do is ugly and yet the story is beautiful in its honesty. Laney tells you from the outset that she is broken and not a nice person and on this point, she does not lie. Black Iris deals with bullying, sexuality, mental illness, and addiction and it does it in a harsh yet truthful way. If you are okay with reading ugly truths, then proceed. I think you will quickly find yourself immersed in a dark and thought provoking story. But if you're looking for a hearts and flowers romance or a story of redemption, stop now because Black Iris is not it.

Black Iris is told from Laney’s point of view and we have three timelines playing out – the present, the past in which Laney’s relationship with Blythe and Armin begins, and the slightly more distant past of Laney’s time in high school when she endured the events that set her revenge plot in motion. Much like a braid, the initial weaving of the tale is a little haphazard as I got accustomed to Laney’s narration and the author’s writing style. But as I continued reading and became immersed in Laney’s world, the shift from one timeline to another was smooth and flowed seamlessly, getting tighter and tighter with each passing page. It is true that Laney is not a nice person, but as I learned about her past I found myself caught up in her plan for revenge and couldn’t hate her for it. While it’s true that two wrongs do not make a right, this is a work of fiction and within it Laney does what many of us have only daydreamed of doing – giving Karma a helping hand. Was what she did right? No, not by societal standards. She is a vigilante whose vulnerability calls to others to help her. And she has no problem using those close to her to exact her revenge. The thing is, Laney isn’t self-righteous in her revenge – she knows it’s wrong, but she does it anyway.

Ms. Raeder unfolds the story in such a way that you are nearly toward the end of the book before you realize the full ramifications of what was done to Laney and what she set out to do. This is the beauty of the three timelines. It does not make the book an easy read – so be sure you can read without distractions and disruptions – but it is definitely worth the read. I know I was shocked at the final reveal because I NEVER suspected it…or them, as there was more than one reveal. I feel I should point out that I typically do not read F/F books because they’re just not my preference. I won’t shun a book that contains F/F interactions, but I don’t tend to sign up for them either. But the blurb for Black Iris was so intriguing that I couldn’t pass it up and I’m glad I didn’t. I don’t feel qualified to comment on whether or not those scenes were sexy, but I will say they were intense and full of emotion yet not gratuitous – they were timed right within the storyline and added to it. The same can be said for the M/F sex scenes – some of which were hot and some were not, but the nots weren’t supposed to be hot. Black Iris was an intense journey of revenge and I loved it. I for one am glad that Ms. Raeder did not feel the need to make Laney a redeemable character and left her flawed as it made for one heck of a read.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Black Iris by Leah Raeder blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Anything for a Cowboy by Jenna Bayley-Burke


Anything for a Cowboy (NotMy1stRodeo.com)Anything for a Cowboy by Jenna Bayley-Burke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Anything for a Cowboy was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. At almost 30 years-old, Jacy has been so focused on school and her career that she is still a virgin. To be fair, her four brothers have had a hand in that as well by running off and warning away nearly every eligible single man in a three-county radius. So what’s a socially awkward woman to do in order to turn in her v-card without her brothers interfering…again? Like any young busy career woman, Jacy joins an online dating site in an effort to meet guys. The catch – which I loved – is that NotMy1stRodeo.com is an online dating site for people who are divorced or widowed. Clearly Jacy is neither of these, but she’s not going to let a little white lie stop her from meeting a man who she’s willing to spend a few hours with and get that itch scratched once and for all. And Ray Mitchell seems to be just the cowboy to do that, until Jacy spends some time with him, gets to know him, and realizes that she might want more than just one night with him.

I have to say that I loved the novelty of the NotMy1stRodeo.com dating site. As we learned about Jacy during the conversation with her best friend at the beginning of the book, I understood why she was using that particular site and why she was willing to “fib” about certain personal details. Considering her initial reason behind joining the site, I felt her reasons were justified. Unfortunately, Ray’s past made lying a deal breaker for him. While I understood why he didn’t like liars once the information about his ex-wife came to light, I felt that he was too unbending in his reaction when he discovered Jacy’s duplicity. Yet it was realistic in its extreme and forced Jacy to prove to Ray how much he had come to mean to her. I found their “flirting” endearing and enjoyed how they complemented one another so well. What Jacy saw as her flaws and social ineptitude, Ray saw as honest reactions and just the kind of down-to-earth woman he wasn’t looking for, but was happy to find. I suspect this is why he was so infuriated by her lies. I LOVED the final line of Anything for a Cowboy and hope that Ms. Bayley-Burke plans to write more about the Weston crew.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Anything For a Cowboy (Weston Ridge) by Jenna Bayley-Burke blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hard Ride #2: A Novel in Three Parts by Opal Carew


Hard Ride #2: A Novel in Three Parts (Ready to Ride)Hard Ride #2: A Novel in Three Parts by Opal Carew

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


***WARNING – IF YOU HAVE NOT READ HARD RIDE PART ONE YET, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW AS SPOILERS FROM IT ARE INCLUDED IN THIS REVIEW.***

Hard Ride Part Two picks up exactly where Part One ended, with Shock telling Liv that he was terminating their contract and sending her home. Now our girl Liv may be slightly broken (I’ll get to why in a minute), but she has no problem standing up to Shock and refusing to leave. While it wasn’t surprising for Liv to jump to the conclusion that Shock didn’t want her because he found out that she had only had sex once in her life, what was surprising to me was how he worded his why. It wasn’t because of her inexperience. And while it was due to her being raped (that was Part One’s big shocker), it wasn’t because he considered her broken. Shock didn’t want to be the second man in her life to force her to have sex. While it is true that he took advantage of her need for a loan, Liv had come to realize that their contract gave her an excuse and the courage to do what she hadn’t done since her rape – enter into a sexual relationship with a man, but specifically with a man she trusted.

And boy did they ever! Ms. Carew never fails to treat her fans to seriously erotic sex scenes. I thought what Shock did for Liv’s true first sexual encounter was unbelievably sweet, which made it that much hotter. Who knew a biker could be so romantic? Because Liv is just discovering her sexual side, Ms. Carew uses the rest of the group to ramp up the heat in this installment and to introduce Liv to the delights of voyeurism when she happens upon the adult pool party and watches both Raven and Tempest enjoy double penetration with the other bikers. That definitely got her motor running! While Liv yearns to be that open sexually, she discovers in this installment that even though she has made a lot of progress with Shock, she’s not ready to be that adventurous…yet. I found Liv’s uncertainty about their relationship realistic and was just as shocked as she was after the conversation with Amy. That was a big ‘WTF?!?’ moment. I wish I could start Part Three next because I want to know where that story-thread leads as well as the outcome of yet another cliffhanger (but I knew one was coming). This was another great installment in the Hard Ride novel and the Ready to Ride series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Hard Ride #2: A Novel in Three Parts (Ready to Ride) by Opal Carew blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Misfits by Garrett Leigh


MisfitsMisfits by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Misfits was an absolutely beautiful story and I loved every page of it. What you should know first and foremost about Misfits is that while it is a ménage it is a ménage romance. By that I mean that the focus of the book is on the relationships that develop between Tom, Jake, and Cass. If you’re looking for a novel that is more sex than story, then Misfits is probably not the book for you. However, if you’re looking for a book that focuses on the characters, their lives, their hardships, their successes, their relationships, and their love, then Misfits may be right up your alley.

Tom and Cass have been partners for years. Because they have built a highly successful company together and both work at different parts of it, they do not see each other as often as either would like. During the course of the book, Tom’s dissatisfaction with their time apart is very obvious as he has no problem making his complaints known, but the reader has to pay closer attention to Cass to detect that he is equally as unhappy with spending too many of their nights apart because it is Cass’s inner demons that hold him back from accepting what Tom so freely wants to give him. At first glance it would seem that their open relationship would be due to their frequent geographical separations, but it seems as though they have maintained such a relationship from the very beginning. Likely because of their honesty about their one-nighters, that they don’t get attached, and the fact that they are always one another’s first priority, it works for them. Until Tom meets Jake.

When the author first revealed Jake’s condition, I was hesitant about his character because I feared that we were going to see the clichéd and popularized version of Tourette’s syndrome. While Jake did engage in some verbal obscenity outbursts, he had far more physical tics that he exhibited throughout the book. When I read the Author’s Note at the end of Misfits I understood why Jake’s character felt so authentic and I applaud Ms. Leigh for her efforts to create the best Jake she could. I don’t know how other readers will respond to Jake, but I completely adored him and appreciated how his Tourette’s gave me the opportunity to fall in love with Cass even more (you’ll understand that if you read the book).

I like that Ms. Leigh gives each of the characters his own voice in the story. Rather than shifting points of view within the chapters or from chapter to chapter, the story is broken up into parts and is told from a different character’s perspective. There is no overlapping of the story, but rather the beginning of the book is told from Tom’s perspective and several chapters later Jake takes over and we see the goings on from his point of view – by doing this, the author allows us glimpses into each of the characters’ head while keeping the story moving forward. While we spend the shortest amount of time seeing the relationship from Cass’s perspective, it makes his turn at the helm no less powerful than Tom or Jake’s. And each character’s section is crucial to the book because it is their story. We get to see Tom fall in love with Jake. We get to see Jake fall in love with Cass. We get to see the love between Tom and Cass grow even stronger within the ménage relationship. And because Ms. Leigh does such a good job of infusing realism in the book, I hit the lows right alongside the characters when life – or should I say death – reared its ugly head (and no, none of the three main characters die). Fortunately I was able to experience their highs just as fully when their efforts and hard work paid off. And no doubt about it, I felt the heat too when the guys found their way to each other, regardless of which combinations they occurred in. Ménage romances are among the top of my list of preferred reading genres – whether it be MMF, MFM, or MMM – and Misfits has been added to the list of those I plan to reread because I cannot wait to fall in love with Tom, Jake, and Cass all over again.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Misfits by Garrett Leigh blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers!


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Monday, July 13, 2015

In The Absence Of Light by Adrienne Wilder


In The Absence Of LightIn The Absence Of Light by Adrienne Wilder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Having read several of Ms. Wilder’s books, I jumped at the chance to read In the Absence of Light because I enjoy her writing, the blurb was intriguing, and I wanted to see how Grant and Morgan’s story would play out. How Morgan would convince (or force) Grant to see past his autism and give the man inside a chance. While Ms. Wilder did not disappoint, she gave me far more than the contemporary M/M romance I expected. Between the realism of Morgan’s character, the relationship that develops, the mind-blowing sex scenes, and the unexpected romantic suspense elements that the author included, I was glued to my Kindle from the first page until the last. I am so relieved that this book fell on the weekend of my reading schedule, because I’m not sure how well I would have endured having to stop reading it just to go to work.

The opening scene does an excellent job of not only introducing Grant and Morgan, but also demonstrating Grant’s misconceptions about autism and how even though Morgan does display some of the symptoms of autism, he is a self-aware adult who knows his own mind, body, and sexuality (that was an amusing conversation). As the story progresses and Grant finds himself in Morgan’s company more often, he begins to realize that his assumptions about Morgan were wrong, but he still feels guilty for being attracted to a man with a disability. Thankfully Morgan takes charge of the situation once Grant stops running from him. I loved watching the relationship that developed between Morgan and Grant, even when Grant messed up so spectacularly because even though the scene was heartbreaking, Morgan’s response was to tell Grant he needed time, not an ending to them. As for the sex scenes, the way that Grant described Morgan as being poetry in motion appealed to my inner voyeur and left me bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t actually watch them together. And one particular scene really got me going – although I’ve seen still shots of that act on Tumblr (I told you I was a voyeur), I have never read one in a book. I do not have words adequate enough to express just how hot that scene was and how much I enjoyed it.

What really impressed me about In the Absence of Light was how well the author wove the romantic suspense elements into it. Despite the references to the FBI in the blurb, I really wasn’t expecting to see Grant’s past come into play, at least nowhere near the level it did. When those moments did occur, it made it easier to understand why Grant didn’t feel worthy of Morgan, yet made me that much happier that he chose to be selfish (his words) and continue their relationship. I was devastated when Morgan was targeted and even more surprised when Grant found out who was behind it. The trip from A to B is INTENSE and I was freaking ecstatic with the way things played out. I especially liked the last “show” for the cows at the end of the book. And that ending! I found nothing to indicate that In the Absence of Light is the beginning of a new series, but that ending demands a book of its own. Please, please, please, Ms. Wilder, please be writing a sequel and not just because of the man we know, but because of the man we don’t.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the In The Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bane of My Existence by Thianna D.


Bane of My Existence (The Shift)Bane of My Existence by Thianna D.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Bane of My Existence proved to be far more interesting and mildly more confusing than I anticipated. Let me explain my “confusing” statement first. When I began reading the book late last night, I vaguely recalled that in addition to being a BDSM romance it was also supposed to be a paranormal romance. As I enjoy both separately and combined, this was not a concern for me until I got farther and farther into the book and there were no paranormal elements. I should explain that once a book is on my review schedule – whether it’s a review copy, a book I’ve bought, or I book I’ve won (as is the case with this book) – I rarely reread the synopsis before I begin it. So the farther along I got into Bane of My Existence I convinced myself that I must have confused the book with another in regard to the paranormal aspect. This wasn’t a big deal because the author does such a good job with the focus on the BDSM romance that I was enjoying it for that alone – that is, until I got 93% into the book and the paranormal element was revealed. When this occurred my knee jerk reaction was why now? What purpose did that serve to the story because it seemed to be an unnecessary addition to the storyline? As this is the first book in a trilogy, I can only assume that the subsequent books in the The Shift series continue with Antonia and Master Bane’s story and that it will become more important to the series thread. I do worry that BDSM readers who miss that the book is included in the paranormal romance genre will wonder why the author veered off course and will abandon the series. In the same vein, readers looking for a paranormal romance will likely wonder why it took so long for it to be revealed as such, assuming they make it that far into the book. I for one plan to continue with the series and can only hope others do as well.

As for what made Bane of My Existence so interesting to me – the author does an excellent job of creating three intriguing primary characters in Antonia, Bane, and Kayle. While the focus of the story is on the relationships (<= that’s pluralized on purpose) between Antonia and Bane, Kayle’s status as Antonia’s surrogate brother adds an unexpected element to the relationship dynamics within the book. Because of the fact that Kayle is gay and is like a brother to Antonia, I found it quite funny that Master Bane felt his possessive hackles raise when she asked for an exception to being allowed to be alone with Kayle. Even better was that the situation provided Antonia an opportunity to assert herself in the relationship and learn that submissive did not equal doormat. While Kayle is the one responsible for introducing Antonia to the BDSM lifestyle and placing her in Master Bane’s care when it becomes obvious that’s what they both want, Kayle has no problem pulling the big brother card out on Bane when needed (which I loved).

Without spoiling too much, the primary relationship that develops between Bane and Antonia seemed closer to that of a Master/slave relationship than simply Dom/sub. Granted the number of and seemingly all-encompassing nature of the rules that Bane gives Antonia may be largely due to her being new to the lifestyle and in training, but it did not feel that way to me. Again this was not an issue for me nor will it be for most BDSM romance readers, but because of it I would not recommend the book to someone new to the genre. I found the secondary relationship between the two to be a fascinating concept considering Bane’s age, yet understood it completely once the big reveal occurred towards the end of the book and no I won’t spoil what it is either. As Thianna D. is an author I have read several times, I was not the least bit surprised by the scintillating nature of the sex scenes except to say that they’re possibly some of the hottest ones of hers I’ve read to date. Whew!!! While Bane of My Existence is the first book in the series and it left several questions unanswered, it did not end on a cliffhanger but rather laid the foundation for its sequel which I hope will be out soon as I am looking forward to reading it. I NEED to know what is to become of Antonia and Bane’s relationship once his family learns of it.

I reviewed my personal copy of this book, which I won in a giveaway/contest.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the #Spank of the Day: Bane of My Existence blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ginger Up by Rayanna Jamison


Ginger Up (Corbin's Bend Season Three, #5)Ginger Up by Rayanna Jamison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Ginger Up was another great addition to season three of Corbin’s Bend. Not having read A Perfect Partnership from last season, this was my first encounter with Ginger, Beau, and the Ginger Paddle. I do not know whether or not I would have gotten a pre-pregnancy look at Ginger in the previous book, but it mattered not as Ms. Jamison provided a very clear picture of how Ginger was before Hazel’s birth both through Ginger’s self-defeatist thoughts and Beau’s worries over the drastic change in his wife.

Ms. Jamison tackles a very important issue in Ginger Up – postpartum depression – and I think she does it in a way that is sensitive, informative, and very insightful. After the difficult birth of their daughter, Ginger has experienced a 180 in her personality. Gone is the control freak and in her place is a woman whose sole concern is insuring that her daughter is breathing. Due to medical complications that presented prior to Hazel’s birth, Beau and Ginger have suspended their Domestic Discipline relationship because it was unsafe to continue spanking and alternate methods of discipline proved ineffective. As Ginger’s behavior spirals out of control, Beau is at a loss of what to do to help her. When he finally takes matters into his own hands – literally – and reinstitutes spanking, Ginger shows a marked improvement, especially with the accompanying daily chore list. But when Ginger has a panic attack at work and Beau learns that it is not the first one and that it’s a symptom of a much larger issue, he again suspends spanking because he worries that he has done her more harm than good.

Although often strained, the connection between Beau and Ginger was obvious. This is what made Beau’s inability to “see” that Ginger needed a good spanking so frustrating for me. I give him full credit though in not wanting to do anything to exacerbate her postpartum depression, but was it out of the realm of his thinking to call Traci and talk to her himself for guidance? Ginger may have been the one suffering from postpartum depression, but she wasn’t the only one who could have called on Traci for help. And I have to say that I absolutely LOVED Traci’s bedside manner. Thankfully Beau was smart enough to go to his mentor for guidance, who referred him to Ange and Jim because of their personal experience with postpartum depression within a Domestic Discipline relationship. While it is not surprising that Beau and Ginger made it over this hurdle and came out stronger for it, it was not an easy journey. The final spanking scene marked the renewal of their Domestic Discipline relationship and was intense and seriously hot. Speaking of hot, I appreciated the author’s attention to detail regarding the ginger root juice. When Beau announced his intentions and removed the ginger root, my first thought was “Dude, that’s gonna burn!” because there had been no mention of any clean up. And sure enough, it did indeed burn, but it helped to lighten the mood of the situation and demonstrated the strength of Beau and Ginger’s relationship. I really enjoyed Ginger Up and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the #Spank of the Day: Ginger Up blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.


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