Dirty For Me (Motor City Royals, #1)

dirty-for-me
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Published: July 26, 2016
Pages: 288

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Ezekiel “Zee” Chase has a complicated past. Born into a family whose wealth grew from the seedy world of big-time crime, he ran away as a teenager and made a home for himself on the streets of Detroit. By day, the mechanic works at a local garage. But by night, he throws down with the best of them in Detroit’s gritty underground fighting scene. With all those muscles, he’s never had trouble with women–until he meets one who challenges him to the greatest fight of his life. . .

Tamara Eliot is a hardworking corporate high-flyer who appreciates the finer things in life, from her expensive perfume to her designer handbags. More than anything, though, she likes to be in control–and when Zee explodes into her life, she feels anything but. He’s the definition of a bad boy: brash, fiery, and of course, irresistibly hot. And there’s a darkness about him that keeps her coming back for more. As Zee takes Tamara deeper into a world she never knew existed, she just might prove to be the one opponent he won’t be able to dominate–at least not without some pleasurable convincing . . .

Review:
The book opens up with the introduction of Zee. The way the author describes him is both scary and sexy. He is a mix of power, confidence, and intimidation. His description is captivating and draws the reader in.

On the other hand, Tamara doesn’t seem as interesting or captivating. At least not at first. She is an intern at her families company and enjoys the finer things in life. Although she seems to have a great life, she is board and unhappy.

Once Tamara and Zee begin to interact, the attraction between them is intense. But Zee isn’t exactly Prince Charming. He is demanding, crude, and somehow still sexy! The sex scenes, as you can imagine, are intense and hot. But the scenes that followed and sometimes led up to these were stuffy. The characters were too much in their own heads and often said the same thing over and over again.

Even though the ending was cheesy, I did enjoy this book.  It’s a quick and entertaining read. Probably not a book I would rush out to buy or want to read again. But for a one time read, it wasn’t bad.

 

Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl, #2)

Sugar Rush
Author
: Sawyer Bennett
Published: August 16, 2016
Pages: 216

Stars: 1 out of 5

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Synopsis:
After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?

Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.

Review:
This book picks up right where Sugar Daddy left off. And I’m a bit surprised how quickly Beck puts everything together with Sela’s rape. I’m also surprised with how quickly Sela and Beck resolve everything from the last book. The further I dive into this book, the more disappointed I became. This book wasn’t as captivating as the first book. Although the plot was interesting, it wasn’t as exciting or suspenseful. And honestly, I wasn’t really into this book. It wasn’t long before I started skimming chapters and skipping over sections of the book. Unfortunately, this book just didn’t really hold my attention.

Beck turns from the controlled, dominating man we were first introduced to, to an impulsive and somewhat consumed man. I understand him wanting to help Sela, but the lengths he goes to in this book scream impractical. Let’s be honest, Beck really hasn’t know Sela for long. And beyond sex, they don’t know much about each other. Yet, he drops everything for her. He becomes just as consumed with getting revenge from TJ as Sela was in the first book.

Sela is more controlled and relaxed in this book. Although she has come to the understanding that murdering TJ would be unwise, she is confident in Becks dedication to let him take the lead on getting revenge. And the plan Beck comes up with is costly and not a guarantee.

As the book continues, I found myself becoming more detached and uninterested. I think the thing that really killed the book for me was how unrealistic everything was. I don’t know, maybe if I read this book at a different time then I would have enjoyed it more. But right now I think I need to put the book down and walk away. Maybe I’ll come back to it, maybe I won’t…

My review is not the norm for this book. When considering this book, please look at other reviews. Most people enjoyed the book. I guess I just couldn’t get into it.

 

 

Sugar Daddy (Sugar Bowl, #1)

Sugar Daddy
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: May 24, 2016
Pages: 220

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Sela Halstead lost her innocence in a way that no sixteen-year-old should ever have to endure. She’s spent years trying to forget that night even while wondering about the identities of the monsters who brutalized her—until a telltale tattoo flashes across Sela’s TV screen. The incriminating ink belongs to Jonathon Townsend, the millionaire founder of The Sugar Bowl, a website that matches rich older men with impressionable young women. Obsessed with revenge, Sela infiltrates Townsend’s world, only to come face-to-face with a tantalizing complication: Beckett North, his charismatic business partner.

The tech mastermind behind The Sugar Bowl, Beck always gets what he wants, in business and in bed. And yet, for a man who’s done every dirty thing imaginable, there’s something about the naïve, fresh-faced Sela that sparks his hottest fantasies. Because with her, it’s not just about sex. Beck opens up to her in ways he never has with other girls. So why does he get the feeling that she’s hiding something? In a world of pleasure and power, the shocking truth could turn them against each other—or bind them forever.

Review:
I think this book might be a trigger for some people. More so the prologue than the rest of the book. Just something to keep in mind before you begin reading this book.

But Wow, the prologue in this book is not what I expected. It isn’t gritty or over the top. But nonetheless it makes my stomach turn. Although the author doesn’t give extensive details of Sela’s rape, the details that are given is enough to make me sick, angry, and disgusted. I was surprised by the amount and strength of emotion you get from this one section. It screams of self-shaming, desperation, loathing, and so much pain.

Fast forward ten years and Sela remembers one of her rapists- Jonathan Townsend (JT). Which brings us to the introduction of the sugar bowl and Beck. Beck is part owner and programmer behind the sugar bowl. He is also a man who is more interested in having a one night stand than developing any kind of relationship. That is until he meets Sela. Beck is smart, confident, kind, and strong. There is something sweet yet sexy about the way he is both dominating and caring.

Sela is full of pain and only has one thing on her mind- revenge. And she is willing to do anything to achieve this. Even if that means getting close to JT’s partner Beck. But Beck isn’t what she was expecting and slowly he begins to penetrate Sela’s cold heart. Will Sela continue on her path of revenge, risking Becks love and affections? Or is Beck enough to satisfy the revenge Sela desperately wants?

I will admit, it didn’t take me long before I became enthralled with this book. The main theme behind this book is revenge through murder. Yet sex is also an important undertone. In this book, sex is used both for power, pleasure, and pain. The complexity is not what I expected.

As Beck and Sela’s relationship develops further, I’m torn with how I feel. Part of me wishes Sela would give up her need for revenge and just let Beck lover her. The other part considers her a lose canine and wonders when she will plunge into a depression. I actually considered putting the book down half way in because I knew the plot was ready to turn and I wasn’t sure if I would like the way things changed. But of course I couldn’t put the book down. And the ending, wow, talk about intense. The build up was almost stressful to read. I won’t give anything away but the ending was not how I thought it would end. I cannot wait for the second book.

The only thing I wish this book had was the backstory of Sela’s rape. She writes in her journal that she deserved this and I know this is a common feeling for rape victims. But the author doesn’t really go into much detail about what lead up to the rape.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I would say it is worth your time to pick up and read.

 

The Sight (Devil’s Isle, #2)

Thie Sight

Author: Chloe Neill
Published: August 16, 2016
Pages: 330

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

Review:
Walking into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A lot of time has pasted since I read the first book in this series. But the further I got into the story, the more I remembered. And I’ll be honest, the first handful of chapters were dull. But things pick up and before you know it, you can’t put the book down. So if you start reading this book and you contemplate putting it down, don’t. Push through because it’s well worth it.

The writing and the world Chloe Neil created, like always, is spectacular and really shines in this book. The details really allow you to imagine what is happening and the action scenes are spectacular. Between the details and action, I was completely captivated. And that doesn’t include the romance side of this book.

Liam is sexy as all get out. He has the looks, flippant tongue, and he’s a bounty hunter. It’s a safe bet to say he can handle most situations. Claire is a fiery red head who is strong, loyal, and loves deeply. But she is also a sensitive who developed magic as a result of being exposed to it. Supposedly she is supposed to turn into a wrath because the magic will start controlling her. But not everyone thinks that has to happen. Some believe you can control the magic and stay human. Unfortunately for her, Liam is on the fence about this. Which makes him off limits.

The sexual tension between them builds throughout the entire book until you guessed it, it collides into this intense moment. And of course things can only go down hill from there. The ending in this book is unbelievable. I honestly didn’t see it coming. As I was finishing the book, I was at the edge of my seat unable to believe what I was reading.

This book was about war and politics. It is about people who are mad, hurt, and blindly follow others. This book expresses so many emotions: pain, hope, hatred, love, and repulsion. It also shows a characters drive to do what is write, even if that means giving up what they cherish most.

This has probably been one of the hardest reviews I have written in a long time. I want to talk about so much, but doing so would spoil the book. So how about this, read the book because I promise you’ll love it. And then let’s connect because if you are anything like me, you’ll want to talk to someone after you’re done reading the book. This series is one to keep your eye on!

 

Outtakes From The Grave (Night Huntress, 7.5)

outtakes-from-the-graveAuthor: Jeaniene Frost
Published: December 22, 2015
Pages: 427

Stars: 4

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Synopsis:
Indulge your love of paranormal super couple Cat and Bones with this ultimate “director’s cut” collection of deleted scenes and alternate versions from the first four novels in the Night Huntress series, complete with author commentary on each selection. Includes: the original beginnings of Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the GraveAt Grave’s End, and Destined for an Early Grave: a chapter written in Bones’s point of view; alternate versions of sections of Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the Grave, and Destined for an Early Grave; the “white wedding” scene between Cat and Bones that never made it into the final books…and much more!

Review:
Like all of Jeaniene Frost’s books, the writing is spectacular. And of course, who hasn’t fallen in love with Bones and Cat. Reading part of their story  in this book made me want to re-read the Night Huntress Series. By the end of this book, the temptation to re-read the series was almost too much.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I found rating/reviewing this book to be terribly difficult.  This book has been on my to-read list for a while and when I finally had the opportunity to read it, I was excited. Yet sometimes I found myself in disagreement with what was written. With some of the chapters, I couldn’t just enjoy them. I kept thinking, “No, this isn’t how it’s supposed to go.” At times I was even thankful what Frost wrote was cut from the books. Especially the first chapter, I didn’t like who Cat was intended to originally be.

In many ways, it was kind of weird reading the chapters that were cut. On one hand, it was really fascinating to see where Frost was originally headed. And some of the chapters were amazing. Oh gosh, they were sensual, juicy, and some of them I just LOVED! I really miss the flirtatious banter in this series. But on the other hand, it was just odd because what was written didn’t always match who Bones and Cat became. Don’t get me wrong, again there were some really good scenes that were fun to read. I guess the easiest way to say it, each chapter was either hit or miss with me. I loved it or I didn’t.

For the most part, I enjoyed the chapters. I am glad Jeaniene never didn’t write a book from Bones perspective. One of the reasons I love this book is the mystery behind Bone’s character. Some of the chapters I would have loved to have incorporated back into the series, but I also understand why they were cut. Before each chapter is started, the author writes a note the reader providing context and the reasoning behind the scene getting cut. Without this, I would have been completely lost. This really was an enjoyable, sometime giddy worthy, book.

Overall, I am glad I read the book. And I will have to make time to re-read the series because I now I am reminded how much I love and miss it. I think if you enjoyed the series, this book would be a fun, light, and fast read. I don’t think it is a necessary read and I would read the original books before reading this one. I’m doubtful I would buy this book because it’s not something I would want read again. But it was entertaining and a fun read.

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

magic-bindsAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: September 20, 2016
Pages: 328

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Review:
I feel like I should let you know this review is a little bias. I absolutely love this series and this book does not disappoint. It has been a while since I’ve read book eight in this series and I always worry about being lost when too much time has pasted. If that is the same case for you, don’t worry because Ilona does a wonderful job providing you with any information you need.

If you have not started reading this series yet, then it’s a must! This series is perfect for those who love paranormal books with a light romantic twist. For those of you who have read this series, does anyone else find themselves going back and forth between hating Roland and desperately wishing he would change for Kate? I know, it doesn’t make any sense because he probably won’t. Roland is the type that kills without thought and is aggravating as all get out. Not to mention the kind of threat he turns into in this book. Maybe I’m a sap for happy endings and I want one for Kate. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen.

The plot flows effortlessly and getting lost into this book was too easy. Before I knew it, I had read this book in less than two days and didn’t take a single note. I was captivated by the plot, invested in the characters, and wondered what would happen next. By the end of the book, I felt like I should have a hangover from the binge reading I did. Instead I walked away wanting to read the book again to see if I missed anything and wondering if it is too early to pre-order book ten… In case you’re wondering, it’s to early.

This book makes huge gains. Without giving any spoilers away, one characters in particular has a significant transformation that I didn’t see coming. One of the developments with Kate was predictable but I think that was because Ilona made it that way on purpose.

Honestly, I am still digesting the book. But what I can tell you is this is one of those books/series you don’t ever want to end. Again, give the series a chance. You won’t regret it! If you want to know more about the series, I wrote a Throwback Thursday-Kate Daniels Series. Happy Reading!!

Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)

Once BurnedAuthor: Jeaniene Frost
Published: June 26, 2012
Pages: 346
Listening Length: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Synopsis:
She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Review:
As much running as I’m doing, I thought I might try to listen to something besides music. I’ve only tried books on tape once and hated it. The voice annoyed me more than anything else and I struggled to get into the book. But let me reassure you, that is not the case with this book!! I will admit by the end of the book I was a little annoyed with the voice that was given for Vlad, but overall I thought the person reading the story did a really nice job. In fact, more often than not I didn’t want to stop listening.

Something else to note is that I wasn’t able to take notes while listening to the book. Which in case you are wondering, that is not the norm for me. So bare with me because this review might be different from my others.

Leila is a strong character who is more comfortable blending in than getting attention. She has a unique ability, or maybe curse, that whenever she touches someone she can not only see their past and future but she also gives off an electric charge. As you can imagine, this makes having a love life impossible.

There were two things I didn’t really care for with Lelia’s character. The first was how fast she fell in love with Vlad. For me it was far too close to the love at first sight thing. If it wasn’t for the taunting banter her and Vlad had in the beginning, Lelia’s feelings for Vlad would have been far too much for me to handle. The other thing that somewhat irritated me had more to do with the person reading the book. I really didn’t care for how the reader pitched her voice in a way that made Leila often sound weak, timid, and scared. Because the impression I got from the story was Leila’s character is anything but. Yes, there are times in the book she is scared but those aren’t the strong emotions that leave a lasting impression on me. Like I said above, she is strong, but also determined, brave, and stands up for those weaker.

Vlad’s is arrogant, caring, and everything an alpha male should be. His confidence and strength is everything I remember from the Night Huntress Series but also so much more. I will admit there were times I had to stifle a laugh while out running with how over the top he was. Vlad was so sure he and Leila were a done deal that he not only set Lelia up with another guy but he practically dared her to sleep with someone else. And he did all of this just because she tried denying her feelings/attraction towards him. But then there are times in the book that made me kind of stop and remember exactly who Vlad is. He isn’t always charm and oozing sex appeal. In fact, Vlad almost seems at odds with himself in this book because one minute he is a perfect gentleman and the next he is a ruthless torturing killer.

 

My favorite thing in this book (oh how I wish it lasted longer) was the mental and verbal battles between Vlad and Lela. The sexual tension and banter between the two had me smiling to the point that I probably looked like an idiot. And the sex scenes were detailed but not overly graphic where you might feel embarrassed reading them. Jeanine Frost is amazing at creating a world that is both realistic and easily visualized. I love how she describes just enough for you to understand but not enough that you drown in the details. The way she writes makes everything flow effortlessly. If you haven’t picked up a book from her, you should because she is one gifted author.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Ultimately, I still prefer to read a book as apposed to listen because I felt like I could read this book faster. Also, listening to an audio book isn’t always the most convenient thing. But I am surprised with how much I enjoyed listening to this book and would be open to more books on tapes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ending of this book but there is no question about reading the second book in this series. I am glad I didn’t jump right into this series after finishing the Night Huntress Series. I think if I had, I would have been terribly disappointed. Because even though Leila is a strong character and her and Vlad have some amazing sexual tension, it doesn’t compare to Cat and Bones. My recommendation is if you just finished with Cat and Bones, wait a while before jumping into this series. If you haven’t, then by all means pick this book up because I am sure you will enjoy it!