Review: Rocco

Wednesday 13 December 2017 No comments
Rocco Rocco by Sarah Castille
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another Ruin & Revenge book and another Mafia Enforcer to tame!

It’s Rocco’s turn to entertain us and boy does he do that. Rocco is dark, brooding, extremely dangerous, and at the same time, sweet, caring and protective. As a De Lucchi, he is an enforcer who is famed for showing no remorse and no weakness but as the man in love with Grace Mantini, he finds himself at odds with his role in life and especially his cold and callous upbringing.

Having been thrust together whilst Grace was still a child and falling in love as she became of age, Rocco and Grace share an unlikely love and bond. With Rocco’s, for all intents and purposes “father” onto them, Grace finds herself running from the man she loves. Disfigured as a result of her feelings towards Rocco, Grace now hides herself away in Vegas and is determined to live a life as far away from her family ties as possible. Little does she know, however, is that when she attends a funeral with her family, more than one ghost will be resurrected as a result.

Rocco has never forgotten Grace, nor has he forgiven her for running from him, although he understands the reasons why. Despite their time apart though, their feelings have never waned and soon Rocco and Grace once again feel the sparks that fused them together all those years earlier. Whilst the road ahead still looks impossibly daunting for the duo, they find themselves back in each other’s arms but with danger, as ever, closing in, especially for Grace. With hits and threats abound, Rocco is determined to keep Grace safe but her father has something to say about that and soon Grace’s future looks to be heading away from Rocco once again.

I really enjoyed most of this story but the middle part was excruciatingly slow. So much so that I skim read large parts of the story. I was even tempted not to finish the story a time or two but I am so glad that I persevered as the conclusion of this book was enthralling. Back was the captivating writing and storytelling that I’d come to expect from the author. I have no idea why the story fell so flat for me in the middle (although I was full of flu when reading the book, so it may be more about me than the storyline) but overall the story ended up being memorable for all the right reasons.

As expected, the ending left me wanting more from the Ruin & Revenge series so, if like me, you find yourself wondering where the plot and storyline has gone, keep with it, your prayers will be answered as you read on!

This ebook was kindly provided by the author, publisher and Netgalley prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Block Party

Monday 11 December 2017 No comments
Block Party Block Party by Stylo Fantome
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such an outstanding series and one every romance reader should experience 💕💕💕

I’m so relieved that this isn’t the last book in this truly fascinating series. I have loved each and every book so far and Block Party was as much of a hit as its predecessors. As I’ve said before, many times, Stylo Fantome is an amazing writer. Her stories are captivating and the storylines flow effortlessly. The characters she creates are endearing and memorable.

Block Party picks up the story after Katya’s epic fall from grace (in my eyes) in The Neighborhood. Now with Wulf, Katya has left Liam at a loose end. Solely in charge of his sex club, he and his right-hand woman, Tori, are all he has in his life, apart from Brie, Wulf’s rather persistent sister and Liam’s biggest hookup mistake to date. With Brie not understanding the word no, Liam finds his life in turmoil, well apart from his business dealings but that is only thanks to Tori and Ayumi, Wulf’s assistant and Liam’s part-time accountant. Ayumi is all business and really does live up to her Ice Queen name. With little to no sense of humour, much to Liam’s chagrin, Ayumi is sexy but cold and aloof but, as they say, opposites do attract and when Ayumi ends up in Liam’s apartment having escorted a paralytic Tori there after a night out which also included Katya, Liam finds an altogether different side to Ayumi on his hands.

What Liam and Ayumi have is explosive but with Ayumi’s fears of rejection and lifetime belief that she’s not good enough for anyone or likely to ruin anything she comes close to having for herself, thanks to her mother’s cruel taunts, anything more that one night stand with this beautiful but closed off woman is practically impossible. That is until Wulf gives Ayumi a task which sees her needing to escape her day job for a short while before commencing it. With Liam about to set off on a road trip, Ayumi finds herself asking to tag along and that’s when we get to see the real Liam and Ayumi.

Both characters are enigmas in their own right but it’s only with time do Ayumi’s many layers reveal themselves as we get to find out why she has become so broken. As you would expect, any sort of a romance between Liam and Ayumi is going to be one step forward and two steps back and whilst their deliberate relationship was endearing it was also equally frustrating but with all great stories, you are teased with hope and the possibility of a HEA and eventually Liam starts to win the battle for Ayumi’s affections or does he?

As this story progresses, readers are also teased with a possible romantic development which nicely leads into the next story and the end of the book even treats, or taunts, you with an insight into the start of Tori and Landon’s story. I can't wait!

I simply can’t recommend this series enough, or any books by this author come to that. They all captivating and leave you wanting more. I always savour every word on every page - there’s no speed reading with these books, so sit back, get comfortable and enjoy the ride.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Van

Sunday 10 December 2017 No comments
Van Van by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve got handcuffs. Wanna play?
I really do enjoy reading this series and I’m so glad it is going to continue with Reed’s story.

Despite being a series following a team of ice hockey players, each book is unique and refreshing. I have read stories about characters that I’ve loved, and some that have challenged my opinions about certain behaviour, including bullying.

We were introduced to Van during Lucas, as Lucas’ quiet, brooding and grumpy housemate. As a result, Van runs in parallel with Lucas for some of the story as we finally find out just what went on behind closed (bed)room doors between Van and Lucas’ sister, Simone.
It’s not the first time I’ve been called rude. I’ve also been described as closed off. Introverted. Asshole. Weird.
I wasn’t prepared for such a determined and dominant character for a 22-year-old but Simone really is a force to be reckoned with, in and out of bed. With her eyes firmly set on Van, she does everything in her power to win him over, even if their connection is based purely on sex. Whilst Simone’s antics came across as funny on occasion, she also smacked of desperation at other times. Van was determined to keep Simone at arm's length for numerous reasons, the main reason becomes clear as the story progresses, but despite her being his teammates’ sister, he struggles to keep away from her after a while.
I’m rotten, mischievous, and completely flirty… in a nice way, of course. I could no more leave a man like Van alone than I could ignore aspirin the morning of a hangover.
After finally winning over Van’s “affections” (that’s affections used in the loosest possible term), Simone and Van have copious amounts of extremely physical sex. And whilst, their connection is explosive, the story became mostly about their coming togethers rather than anything else until we find out the real reason that Van is closed off. At this point, we find a softer side to both characters, which I really appreciated, but despite a tender and heartfelt moment when Van opens up to Simone, the scene ends with them once again banging the hell out of each other!
He’s a total bad boy, and I want him. I foolishly, petulantly want him. He’s the type a good girl goes after so she can tame him, except I’m not such a good girl.
For me, the lighthearted side of Simone was lost when she sold herself short with her sexual exploits. Van, also didn’t come across as a dominant character that you could fall for but instead, he was cruel and disinterested and remiss in ignoring his feelings towards Simone until everything comes to a head.

Whilst I enjoyed this story, I didn’t love it, which disappointed me as I was really looking forward to revealing the man behind the secretive persona. Sadly, the story becomes more erotica than romance, ie more sex and than substance, for some of the book which pulled my interest away from the storyline at times.

That said, this is a book which will be a hit with other readers and I guess that’s the beauty of this series, it really does have something for everyone.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author, publisher and Netgalley prior to release date in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Lucas

Lucas Lucas by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another book and another gorgeous Cold Fury player!

Book 8 and I am still loving this series which takes readers on a fascinating journey into the world of sporting alphas. We’ve had characters which are dominant, characters which frustrate, and this time we just have a sweet, generous, kindhearted and generally loveable character in Lucas.

A player, in both senses of the word, Luc is happily enjoying singledom until he comes across Museum curator, Stephanie Frazier. When he realises that Stephanie is more than his match where hot dates are concerned, he jumps, literally, at the chance of one night with her but it’s one night that will change his life forever.

Stephanie has as easy-going and fun-loving personality but with a major insecurity complex. Having lived a wealthy but unloved childhood, she finds it hard to make friends and even harder to commit to someone and love…. love is an impossibility, or so she thinks.

Clearly enamoured with Lucas, and vice versa, the duo start a less than conventional relationship. Whilst clearly enjoying each other’s company, in between the sheets so to speak, it’s difficult to foresee them having anything more than a physical connection with each other, at first.

Another delightful Fournier man, Lucas adds his own blend of special to this story and despite his kindness towards Stephanie, and her “little” problem, she is impossibly frustrating and continuously rejects what he has to offer. Whilst full of drama, readers are also treated to an unusual love affair and it’s definitely one to savour.

This was an easily enjoyable story, despite the drama. Luc was definitely the highlight in this instalment!

This ebook was kindly provided by the author, publisher and Netgalley prior to release date in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Dirty Secret

Dirty Secret Dirty Secret by Chelle Bliss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book's predecessor so I couldn’t wait to dive in to read about Reagan’s half-sister, Kennedy Barnes, and her “black ops” lifestyle.

There is something so rewarding when reading about empowered women and Kennedy's role in this book as an undercover Agent targeting arms dealers is really enjoyable. Kennedy is sexy, strong, determined and stunningly beautiful, all of which make her an extremely deadly weapon in the field, especially where men are concerned. One such unsuspecting man is Nix, a black hat hacker and someone already on Kennedy’s radar. Guilty of hacking finances and stealing millions, Nix is a prized target and when he becomes attracted to Kennedy, it’s up to her to bring him to his knees. The only problem, she manages to bring him to his knees... with love.

Kennedy knows that it’s up to her as to how far she takes her duties, but she is swayed by Nix’s good looks and easy-going personality and it’s not long before their explosive, if albeit, undercover, love affair starts. Both know they are keeping secrets from each other. Nix pleads with Kennedy to let him into her life but she knows that she can never reveal her Greenlight role to him. All Nix knows is that he needs to protect her and when things turn nasty at the Loft, a secret club used by the criminal underworld, Nix knows that he has no option but to step in.

Nix’s business is impenetrable, that it until his ward leads him down a path he can’t return from but Kennedy is there to try to smooth the waters but will Nix ever be able to forgive her when her secrets are revealed?

I did enjoy this story but I felt that I was crying out for more mystery and intrigue at times. The story, although fascinating was a relatively easy-going read and despite the inevitable love-hurdle faced by Kennedy and Nix, their story was over before it got going. Whilst I love these authors, I felt that this book was a little bit rushed at times and lacking depth and plot. That said, it’s an easily enjoyable book to read and I loved the connection between Kennedy and Nix. Kennedy’s strength of character in relation to her role as an Agent seemed a little weak on occasion but overall her character was loveable but Nix, well, he could have sold the story to me all on his own!

This ebook was kindly provided by the author prior to release date in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Worship Me

Worship Me Worship Me by Chelle Bliss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Izzy and James dominate the Men of Inked series once again!

I could just read books about this pairing and never get bored. Izzy has style and sass in abundance and James, well, James is more than enough to rock any girl’s world. Together they are highly entertaining, quirky and fun loving and most of all sexy.

From the first line of the book…

"Izzy, please. Be reasonable."

… it was clear that Izzy and James’ relationship hadn’t dimmed in the least and their spark is as hot as ever. Now a decade on in their relationship, and with children underfoot, you’d think that Izzy and James may have toned down their antics, but you’d be wrong. Yes, they face the same problems as every parent in trying to find a suitable time to get their kink on, but when James has to head to the BDSM club where he was trained in order to track down an ALFA PI target, there is only one woman that he would ever want at his side and with this trip comes the opportunity to play!

I need the submissive who’ll kneel at my feet and do as I say without a fight.”
I cackled loudly because fight was my middle name. “Seriously? You want me to be that girl?”

Resorting to bribery and a little bit of sexual teasing, James finally persuades Izzy to return home with him to see his parents but little does she know that she’s part of a larger plan. Izzy is stubborn though and if anyone is going to accompany James to a BDSM club then it’s going to be her, even if she has to bite her teeth throughout the whole experience. Izzy is only prepared to give control to James on rare occasions and playing the part of a true sub tests her patience beyond its limits.

He had the commanding spirit and the best qualities of the dirtiest master, with just the perfect amount of iron fist and soft love. There was no one else I’d ever let control me but him.

This story also swings back to Inked and the goings on there in between the ALFA PI investigation and there is unrest between Izzy’s sisters-in-law as there is shortly to be a cuckoo in the next. Needing to employ more staff, Izzy is keen not to further increase the testosterone levels in Inked and decides to hire a woman but will her sisters-in-law accept her decision to allow a young, pretty woman to work alongside their gorgeous men?

Overall, this instalment had more of a grown-up feel to it. Now in and around their 40s, the cast are starting to realise that they are no longer kids and it’s extremely funny to witness their reactions to being called old. One thing that never gets old though is this series. Each and every character has taken us on a journey to be cherished and will never be forgotten.

The most poignant part of the story though is the author’s note at the end. After laughing at Izzy and James’ exploits, you will then be brought to tears as you appreciate just what Chelle Bliss has gone through to write this book. This really does give a new meaning to blood, sweat and tears. Hugs all round for Chelle x

This ebook was kindly provided by the author prior to release date in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Misadventures of a City Girl

Misadventures of a City Girl Misadventures of a City Girl by Meredith Wild
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I jumped at the chance to read this book as soon as I saw that Chelle Bliss was involved. Having not read any other books in the series, or anything by Meredith Wild, I was intrigued to see how these two writers would combine their writing styles.

The concept of writing the Misadventures with various authors has clearly been well received by a wide range of readers. A series of sexy, stand-alone storylines by some of our favourite authors… what’s not to love?

Firstly, let me tell you this book was very quick to read and ended at 93%. It was more of a novella that a full-length story. It started with a bang, literally, as the key protagonists meet in the most unrealistic way imaginable. From the point they meet, it is clear that Luke and Madison have a spark of attraction and despite not knowing anything about each other, they, for the want of a better phrase, start banging the hell out of each other.

This is clearly more erotica than erotic romance but the romance did materialise, eventually, you just have to wait patiently for it. What I didn’t get though was that the “L” word was bandied around quicker than Luke could drop his pants, which was fast, and that just made the story all the more bizarre. I know it’s fiction and that anything can, and does, happen in an author’s mind, but readers need some character connection, development of feelings and generally some substance before everyone gets naked, again and again.

By the end of the book, I was warming to the characters and instead of wanting the book to finish, I was ready for Luke and Madison’s story to start. Luke’s past was complex and interesting but was barely touched upon which was a shame. Madison’s life was clearly the polar opposite to Luke’s and yet, despite some hesitation, Luke seemed to get over his PTSD in the blink of an eye.

This was a gently rewarding read which could have delved more into the psyche of the characters in order to provide readers with more depth to the storyline. That said, it was a quick and enjoyable read.

This ebook was kindly provided by the authors prior to release date in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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