Posted in Book Reviews

Playing for Keeps by Avery Cockburn

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 326
Series: Glasgow Lads #1
Genre: Sports romance, MM
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:

Rule one: No Drama!

Fergus Taylor is damaged goods. Reeling from a brutal breakup, he’s determined to captain his LGBT soccer team out of scandal and into a winning season. For that, he needs strict rules and careful plans. He does NOT need a brash, muscle-bound lad messing with his head and setting his body afire.

John Burns has a rule of his own: Don’t get attached. Boyfriends are for guys with nothing to hide. Nobody-not his university mates, not the men he beds-knows his family’s shame. Now his double life is starting to unravel, thanks to a certain Highlander whose storm-riddled eyes turn John inside out, who wears a kilt like he was born in it.

Fergus is the first man John wants to share his secret with-but he’s the last man who could handle it. John knows the truth would shatter Fergus’s still-fragile heart. But how can he live a lie when he’s falling in love?

Review:

Fergus is now captain of his soccer team. (I’m American and it’s called soccer here.) John is trying to get help of a charity match. These two meet and the chemistry is instant. They hit it off right away but there is just one problem. John is hiding something.

Super cute story. Loved it. And I may or may not have a wee Scots voice talking in my head now because I had to read Scot talk for a couple days. Not mad though.

I will definitely be reading more from this author especially the other series she has that involves one of my newly favorite sports, curling.

The relationship growth between Fergus and John felt real. Unlike the last two books I read these characters were easily connectable. Nothing felt rushed or just thrown in there.

I don’t know much about Scotland’s history with Catholics and Protestants but I like how the author incorporated it into the story. I need to look up more on the Orange Walks. I’ve never heard of them until I read this book.

I would highly recommend if you are into the MM romance. Cute adorable story.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Beyond Ransom by A.T. Douglas

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 214
Series: Ransom #1
Genre: Dark, Romance
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis:

My body is broken.

My life is shattered.

Everything I’ve ever known is gone from me, yet I’ve discovered something beautiful.

I didn’t expect to be taken. I never dreamed that love would find me while my life was slowly stripped away. With him something new and alive stirs within me, and I am completely changed.

Though battered and broken-down I’m not along. The most unlikely man protects me and gives me strength.

I will survive this for him. I will find a way to save us both.

While they hold me, he holds my heart, and I’m not willing to pay the price to get it back.

Warning: Beyond Ransom is a New Adult Romantic Suspense novel intended for mature audiences 18+. It contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content.

Review:

I do not like the heroine at all. She is not realistic. I can’t connect with her. Oh yeah she’s a dumb bitch.

Fair warning rant/spoiler review about to commence. It won’t be pretty.

Please note that the countdown is all of the dumb decisions the heroine makes.

1.So to start the heroine’s dad is a detective. He tells her to stay inside and not to go out. What does she do? Sneak out.

2.She calls up a cab to take her to the bookstore for textbooks. What pulls up next to her is a town car with tinted windows. Instead of running away she goes near the car. She gets kidnapped.

3. She figures out who has her and sees that she is surrounded by many men. The leader is Mark. He beats her a bit and has one of his guys  cut her cheek. The guy who cut her cheek is named Leo. Leo cleans up Morgan in her cell. Morgan starts to feel safe around Leo.

4.She kisses Leo.

5. A week after her being kidnapped, she is laying her in little cell thinking about the kiss she had with Leo. She then starts touching herself. Mark hears her and comes inside and fingers her till she comes. While he does that Morgan thinks about Leo.

6. A few hours later Leo checks on Morgan. Morgan asks Leo to replace the memory of Mark finger raping her. So she let’s let finger her and then eat her out.

7. The day after she is in a room and Mark comes in and she smiles a little smug at him. He asks her why and she says something snarky to him. He threatens her and what does she do? Tell him he won’t touch her.

Everything I just listed happens in the first 30% of the book. I won’t give ya the full list because then I would have to pretty much write the whole book down.

This book while the plot line is devisable it would have been better to see it drag out between the three books. I know I am in the minority but after being in the dark genre for almost two years this was just eh. It would be a good starter book for someone who isn’t into the dark genre but would like to be. But for me it doesn’t have the factors I love and I want the heroine to die. So not going to continue on with this series even though it ends with a cliffhanger.

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages:264
Stand alone
Genre: Stepbrother, NA, Musician
Rating: 3.5 stars
BR with Felicia on Goodreads

Synopsis:

He’s a British rock star.
And my stepbrother.

What can go wrong?

He called himself Spider. I just knew him as the sinfully gorgeous guy with eyes of fire that fate sat next to me on the airplane. I didn’t know who he really was… rock star… my stepbrother.

He kissed me because he thought we’d never see each other again. We would.

Everyone warned me about him.
They said he was ruthless and cold and screwed up.
They said he’d leave me with a hole in my heart.

Maybe I should have listened.
Maybe I should have built up a fortress to keep him out.
But I crumbled instead.

Some have said there’s an unbreakable thread that connects those who are destined to meet. If that’s true, then the moment he sat next to me, we were bound together forever.

He just had to figure it out before it’s too late…

Review:

So after a few dark books this was a pleasant turn. Super adorable. It’s a quick read that I was able to get in before I read a dark trilogy.

The book is a dual POV and has two parts. There is a moment when the heroine does something stupid but I can forgive her because of her next course of action. Am I still mad that it happened? Yes.

Again it was cute. Now back to the world of dark for the next few days.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Return to Grace Street by Ella Dominguez

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 356
Series: Chapter 8 #2 Final Installment
Genre: Dark, Romance
Rating: 3.5 stars
BR with Felicia and Alaina on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Abandon, denial, surrender…

Victor tried to stay away- he couldn’t. He tried to start a new chapter, only to waste time. He did his best to keep his demons at bay, but it proved to be an impossible task. Now, Mr Black is back to take what’s his and face-off with the one player who beat him at his own game. Only this time he aims to win, even if his methods mean risking everything- including his job, reputation and what little of his sanity remains.

Having moved past the emotional heartbreak and physical torture that Mr. Black put her through, Elsa’s life is back on track. With a new love in her life and her future secure, she’s horrified and angry when he reappears, threatening his wrath if she doesn’t play his twisted game again. But despite being haunted by his dark, untold secrets, she’s a different woman now- stronger than before and far more resilient. And more importantly, determined to make her own rules.

This time around, both players are on equal ground. They will play with such passion and ferocity that their very existence is threatened, because in their eyes, there can be only one winner and there is no conceding when your mental and physical freedom is at stake.

Warning:: this is not a fairy tale love story. This is about facing the darkness within. The man written within the pages of this book is obsessive, possessive and broken, and he gets off on mind fucking his lovers. He’s an anti-hero with an abusive past who often times pushes too hard in his quest to win his own sick game. The fainthearted, closed-minded and squeamish need not read any further. Contains erotic elements, total power exchange, and descriptions that may elicit discomfort or trigger past memories of abuse.

Review:

Our continuation begins now.

Well… I really don’t know what to say. It’s over.

I can say at first I thought this was going to be as mind blowing as the first book, but for me it wasn’t. I was glad to find out more on Victor but Elsa annoyed me even more in this book.

I don’t have has strong of feelings towards this book than I did the first one. The game just didn’t seem as extreme as the first one.

Mr. Black didn’t take up a big roll in this and that’s probably why I’m not all impressed. I don’t know really what my feelings are for this.

Posted in Book Reviews

Curiouser and Curiouser by Melanie Karsak

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages:230
Series: Steampunk Fairy Tales
Genre: Fairy Tale Retellings, Steampunk
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him.

Alice thought she’d turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hears. No more hanging around the Mushroom with the tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London’s criminal underbelly. But she’d been bonkers to dream.

Hatter’s reckless behavior leads Alice back to the one person she never wanted to see again, Caterpillar. Pulled into Caterpillar’s mad schemes, Alice must steal a very big diamond from a very royal lady. The heist is no problem for this Badnersnatch. But protection her heart from the man she once loved? Impossible.

Sometimes love is mad.

Review:

I never read anything that has to do with Steampunk. I know what steampunk is but I’ve never fully looked into the subject matter. I saw this and since I haven’t read many Alice in Wonderland retellings

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Down the rabbit hole I go!

 

 

 

This was an different approach to the fairy tale. It’s not your typical Disney movie.

Alice aka Bandersnatch use to work for the Jabberwokey after he got her and her sister out of a London factory. As soon as she could she got her and her sister out of that life and hasn’t looked back since.

That is till the Rabbit steals a pocket watch from her employer. Alice chases the Rabbit all the way to the Mushroom where Caterpillar waits with a proposition.

Unlike the fairy tale and most retellings we don’t go through to Wonderland. We are in Steampunk London. I like how the author did that. Very different. Very original.

While I liked the story I wasn’t fully in love with it. I didn’t connect with the characters. Alice at times was a little rash. I did love Bess and Henry aka the hatter.

Now since this book I have looked up many steampunk objects on Pinterest just so I knew what they looked like. I will read the other fairytales but right now I have a few arcs and a few library books that need to be read.

Posted in Book Reviews

Grace Street by Ella Dominguez

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 327
Series: Chapter 8 #1
Genre: Dark, Romance,
Rating: 4 stars
BR with Felicia and Alaina on Goodreads

Synopsis:

Obsession, possession, resilience, insanity…

Seeking solitude and reprieve from her past failed relationships, Elsa begins her life anew in Richmond, hoping to find the change that she so desperately needs. Things are looking up for her- a new job, new friends, a fresh start.

But Victor has different plans for her. From the moment he heard Elsa’s voice, she became next on his to-do list- his Chapter 8. A well-known and respected criminal profiler, his mind is as dark as the criminals he hunts down. It takes one to know one, after all. Under the guise of making his subjects stronger, he intends to break Elsa down using everything in his arsenal- including pleasure, pain, humiliation, and things unspeakable.

Lonely, still on the mend from a bad break-up and longing for attention- Elsa consents to an odd proposition. Initially unaware of Victor’s plans, she quickly realizes that the causal encounter she agreed to is, in fact, a cruel psychological game with no ending in sight. She may be one in a long line of test subjects for Victor; however, she can’t be broken so easily. What he puts her through only fuels the fire burning within her-a flame that begins to blaze out of control as she becomes obsessed with everything about Victor and peeling back his cruel layers in search of the real man hiding beneath his heartless facade.

In Victor’s world, there is no such thing as happily ever after, and Chapter 8 proves to be an infuriating challenger when she flips the tables on his selfish and twisted game, a game they both may end up losing their hearts and minds over.

Warning: This is neither a conventional romance nor a traditional love story. There are no hearts and flowers on the pages of this book. The heroine doesn’t always make wise choices and though I’ve tried to make her strong, she’s often times weak in the face of the fierce hero. The hero is not a knight in shining armor. He’s broken and frequently cruel, and what every woman in the real world should avoid. What’s contained within this book is fiction- dark, depraved and decadent make-believe. Contains erotic elements, uncomfortable situations, and descriptions that may trigger past memories of abuse. Intended for readers 18+.

Review:

I can not totally comprehend what I had just read. Never have I ever had a time where I didn’t know what to rate a book. Throughout the story Victor/Mr Black has mind screwed me along with his chapters. I will not lie when I say that he is the sole reason on me continuing reading this book and picking up the second. Had the whole story been in Elsa POV I would have DNFed. Not because she had weak moments, no. Because she was boring.

I haven’t been like this since I read Absolution by LP Lovell and Stevie Cole. But even then that book did not mess with my mind. This though… this thoroughly messed with my mind. I couldn’t have cared less about Elsa. I wanted to know everything that there is about Victor. I, like Elsa, was obsessed with figuring out what was going on with Victor. What kind of person he is?

The darkness about Victor drew me in and I didn’t want to stop till I found out why he was the way he was and what happened with Chapter 1 that made him like this.

Yes, I’m a sick depraved fuck, but those are traits that I’ve learned to embrace.

Victor never sugar coated what he was. He knew it and he accepted it.

I’m very back and forth with him. Do I like it or do I start to question my own sanity for which I have been to afraid to really look into and accept?

Damn you Mr. Black for making me torment myself over your actions! Damn you Victor for being so damn confusing with your feelings. You both have given me an anxiety that I have never gotten from a book before.

To be continued…

 

Posted in Book Reviews

You by Caroline Kepnes

My edition: Library book
Pages:424
Series: You #1
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 5 gazillion stars

Synopsis:

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight- the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way-even if it means murder.

Review:

Not going to lie I did think that Joe was going to do worse than what actually happened. Granted this isn’t for everyone. There are dark moments in the book, but I feel as if it wasn’t as dark as I saw several people make it out to be.

Or maybe I’m just heartless. More than likely it is me being heartless. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve read gorier stories of obsession.

Now Joe is the perfect stalker. I simply adored him while at the same time not wanting this to happen to me. The book is told through Joe’s P.O.V. and if you are anything like me you will also think that Beck isn’t good enough for our dear hero, well antihero. I’m not putting Joe on my boyfriend list, but I can see why so many people fell in love with him. Even when he is doing bad.

To be truthfully honest I rooted for some of the bad stuff to happen. *Cough, Cough* Peach *Cough,Cough*

The author told a wonderful story. She truly creates some of the most horrendous characters that I have read about but I didn’t want to put the book down. Why? Because of Joe. I needed to see how he played out. His character was just so amazingly written.

It was like watching a friend who is in a toxic relationship loose all the life they once had before this person walked into their life. You want to help but you can’t because they don’t want help.

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Let’s get this cleared up first, though Joe is a stalker and Beck is his object of obsession, I don’t see Beck as a victim. I couldn’t help but think after I seen it in another review but she reminds me much of Daisy at times from The Great Gatsby. Not all the time though. Daisy had a little, okay a lot more class than Beck.

The author spins such a tale with Joe and Beck that you feel more sympathy for Joe than for Beck. You wish that he could do better such as Karen Minty but instead he let’s his desire for Beck rule him.

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This wasn’t the normal dark stalker I have grown to know. This was different from the men who fall in love with a woman or even a woman falling in love with a man and go full psycho. Fatal Attraction anyone? Joe doesn’t beat around the bush with Beck. He knows she has flaws such as tweeting to much than actually writing stories. He catches her in multiple lies but still forgives her. There are no rainbow unicorn googles with Joe. He sees Beck for who she is and still is completely obsessed with her.

Don’t get me wrong Joe has many flaws. I mean hello he is stalking a woman who happened to just walk into his bookstore. But I can’t help but feel sorry for Joe because Beck is such a horrible person. But both of them are terrible material when it comes to relationship quality.

I can’t wait to get Hidden Bodies next. Hope my library gets it in soon.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Midnight Hunter by Brianna Hale

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Stand alone
Genre: Dark Romance, Historic Fiction
Rating: 4.5 star rating
BR with Felicia on Goodreads

Synopsis:

He’s hunting me, and there’s nowhere to run.

East Berlin, 1963. I thought I understood the consequences of trying to flee to the West. Death. Imprisonment without trial. Instead I’m being hunted by the most dangerous man in the city, secret police officer Reinhardt Volker.

Now I’m his prize, no longer a traitorous factory girl but his elegant and pampered secretary. He wants to possess me, body, soul- and heart. I’ll do anything to get away from him, but first that means getting closer.

I want to feel only hatred for my captor but beneath his uniform I discover a man with a past as scarred as Berlin’s. 

And if I don’t escape him soon it will be too late.

Review:

Evony is an East German. She wants to escape from her life on the eastern side of the wall. But she has one problem. She has caught the eye of der Mittenachtsjager (midnight hunter).

Volker ran after her as she tried to escape. But he caught her and he’s never going to let go.

This story is a new favorite of mine. We are taken back to East Germany under the rule of the USSR. The infamous Berlin Wall has been erected. I love stories such as this. In Germany and around or after WWII. This has taken place twenty years after but still piques my interest.

I came across this when a friend was reading it. I added it to my kindle. After seeing her review and her liking it I knew I needed to give it a good old college try. Boy was I not disappointed.

I know few German words so for the author to throw those in and use the German language every now and then made this little language nut jump for joy. German is one of the languages I am slowly learning right now and this book added in new words for me. YAY!

Anywho back to the story, I loved the hero and heroine together. She didn’t submit right away like some books have women do. Volker is 6’5″ of perfect alpha male. He is add to my list. The chemistry between these two is amazing. And that ending was wrapped up really nice. I didn’t want this to end but at the same time I was wanting to see what the end was going to be like. But one thing I would liked was the love connection developed a little better. It at many times felt a bit insta.

I am going to give Hale’s other books a try. I noticed they are the DDlg type. I’m very skeptical. The only time I tried that did not end well and I DNF the book. Let’s hope Hale has a better way of writing the story.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Perfect Nightmare by John Saul

My edition: Library book
Pages:384
Stand alone
Genre: Thriller
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:

If you open your house to strangers, who knows, who might come in. And what they might be after. Or whom. Now, ponder the unthinkable and surrender to your darkest dread, as sinister storyteller extraordinaire John Saul weaves a heart-stopping tale of lurking terror and twisted intent.

Every parent’s nightmare becomes reality for Kara Marshall when her daughter, Lindsay, vanishes from her bedroom during the night. The police suspect that the girl is just another moody teenage runaway, angry over leaving behind her school and friends because her family is moving. But Lindsay’s recent eerie claim-that someone invaded her room when the house was opened to prospective buyers- drives Kara to fear the worst: a nameless faceless stalker has walked the halls of her home in search of more than a place to live.

Patrick Shields recognizes Kara’s pain- and carries plenty of his own since he lost his wife and two children in a devastating house fire. But more than grief draws Patrick and Kara together. He, too, senses the hand of a malevolent stranger in this tragedy. And as more people go missing from houses up for sale, Patrick’s suspicion, like Kara’s, blooms into horrified certainty.

Review:

The first time I read this I was about sixteen. I had lived a somewhat sheltered life when it came to books. My mother was strict and I couldn’t read books like this one. Well while I was on a vacation in California to see my dad’s side of the family my aunt let me read a Patricia Cornwell’s book. It started my appetite for thrillers and mysteries. When I got back home and went back to school I saw this in my local library along with another one of his books. I picked the two up and hid it from my mother.

The first book I had read by Saul didn’t scare me. I liked it. For those who want to know it was The Devil’s Labyrinth. I really liked it. Then I got to this book. For some reason this book scared me. Maybe because I tend to have always had the paranoia that someone can break into the house. I still do but today I’m not as scared because I have learned to defend myself and take all necessary precautions.  Can’t live in fear.

Anywho, at that time I didn’t know what I do now. So I was scared out of my wits after reading this book. The only person who knew about it was my brother. He didn’t tell because then I wouldn’t help him sneak out at night. What? We were each other’s partner in crime. I made him check under my bed, even though the only person or animal that could fit underneath it was my cat, and my closet. I was a wimp when I was younger.

Since I am older now and not so scared of everything that goes bump in the night. I was at the library browsing when I saw this. I decided to see if it was still as scary as it was when I was still a teen.

Turns out no it isn’t as scary as I remember. I feel my brain may have exaggerated many parts being scary. Granted this could be something that happens today. It’s not a ghost story, or a cult story. This is about a man who goes into open houses, hides and waits for the perfect time to steal the girl. Literally a parent’s worst nightmare.

I had forgotten the ending so I couldn’t remember what happened which was fine by me. I actually don’t remember a lot of what had happened in the book so it was like reading it for the first time but knowing certain parts.

I ended up liking the story this go around. Will I reread it again? No. But it is no longer a one star in this former scaredy cat’s book.

Posted in Book Reviews

Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 429
Series: The Phoenix Pack #1
Genre: Shifter, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Buddy Read with Felicia

Synopsis:

If your inner wolf and your body react rather enthusiastically to a psychotic Alpha male who’s own wolf has a tendency to turn feral, it can’t be a good thing, can it? Entering into a bargain with him wouldn’t be good either. Unfortunately, Taryn Warner, a latent wolf shifter, doesn’t have many options open to her right now. Okay, she has no options. Basically it comes down to whether she’ll do what it takes to escape the arranged mating with the sick SOB that her father set up. As the answer in this case yes, it looks as though she’ll have to agree to Trey Coleman’s deal… she’ll have to mate with him instead.

Having always disliked shifter politics, Trey Coleman hadn’t bothered trying to form alliances with other packs. Now that his uncle- a wolf with many alliances- means to take Trey’s territory and his pack, he has no option but to form some alliances of his own very quickly or he’ll be easily outnumbered in the upcoming battle. He figures that the easiest way to do that would be to mate with a female whose Alpha is powerful and influential. There’s only on problem with that-he would then be stuck with her, and the last thing Trey wants is a mate. When he hears of Taryn’s situation, he offers her a deal-if she falsely claims he’s her true mate and allows him to claim her, he’ll save her from her arranged mating and then let her leave after the battle with his uncle is over.

Sounds like a pretty straight forward deal… but soon Taryn and Trey realize they got more than they bargained for. Their mating instincts to protect and possess are weighing on them, They crave each other’s touch and company, and their inner wolves don’t like it whenever they’re apart. Add in the’ll have to deal with this for an entire three months until the day of the battle finally arrives, and they’ve got themselves a recipe for disaster-or maybe for something quite the opposite.

Warning: This novel contains an extremely sarcastic Alpha female, a broody possessive Alpha male, bitter in-laws, voyeuristic enforcers, a whole lot of dirty talk, and steamy bedroom battles for dominance.
Reader Advisory: This book also contains a graphic menage scene- not for the faint-hearted.

Review:

Wow!!

This book had me laughing a lot. The heroine and the hero are both my favorite couple of the year. They fit each other perfectly.

I love Trey. There was a little bit in the book that he was a major asshat but he came around and redeemed himself in my eyes.

Taryn, this girl is funny as hell. She don’t take no shit from nobody including Trey.

There was not one thing I found wrong with the book. I loved it through and through. The two MCs fit perfect. They had amazing chemistry together. I love Taryn and Greta (Trey’s grandmother) bickering. They had some pretty good insults at each other. Trey’s dominance in the bedroom had me drooling. I loved how he was.

I’m sort of scared to read the next books because I am scared they won’t live up to this one. I mean the sequels have to be as good or better than the first book but I’m treading lightly.