Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J Maas

9781619630642_p0_v12_s192x300

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 9/2/14
Length:   448 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #2

Overview

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion-yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

My Thoughts

The story continues now that we know that Caleana has been named the king’s champion and that’s where we pick up the story.  Of course it’s made even more complicated since we know that there were feelings between Caleana and Dorian but she put an end to that because of what she is expected to do, and that opens the door for Choal.  Mind you i know that there are a lot of ‘Team Choal’ folks out there, i’m not one of them.

The biggest thing about this second book is that we are seeing Caleana come to terms with what she’s been told to do by the king, and of course she’s going to do it in her way.  We also see that Queen Elena keeps coming back to her with her task and it’s really hard to see what it is exactly that she’s being asked to do.

On top of that, we still see that there’s dark magic at play like we did in the first book and don’t now where it’s coming from.  That’s the biggest bit of the story that we have to see manifest throughout.  Nehemia continues to be a really good source of information, but there’s so much distrust for her throughout the story that you don’t know exactly what she’s involved with and what side she’s on.  Caleana spends a lot of the time on both sides of that friendship, trusting and not trusting her.

Then there’s the threat of a rebellion of sorts – there are rumors that the true heir to Terresan isn’t dead like presumed, and that if there’s any hope in overthrowing the King in Adarlan, it’s this mystery heir since she supposedly has the military backing that would e needed and a magical heritage that would lay down a path of something so much bigger than anyone else.

Throughout this second book we see the stage laid out – wondering who’s going to survive and who’s relationships are going to hold strong.  Caleana continues to be plagued by Elena and the magic in the castle and when she finally realizes the meaning to some of the clues, that there are 3 keys that can open a portal to another realm, and that the king has at least one, we know that her mission is clear that she needs to get the power back.

Where we are left at the end of this story is a very exciting place.  We learn that Dorian has magic in him but we have no idea where it came from and what he’s capable of.  We also learn more and more about Caleana’s past and how it makes her so much more than she appears.  We also see that there’s really no way to trust anyone since there’s so much magic floating around.  I’m excited to see what’s next since one of our favorite characters has been killed, a favorite is being sent to another world, and one has made the decision to leave Adarlan in the hopes of saving everyone.  So….onto the next.  Have a great day!

Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J Maas

no-brainer

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year: Bloomsbury USA 5/7/13
Length:   393 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #1

Overview

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

My Thoughts

I found this author when i stumbled on her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses, and i was drawn in so quickly that it’s not a surprise at all that this older series is just as amazing.  What we have here is similar in the sense that there’s a world with magic or a magical history, but the depth and breadth of the story is different and unique.

Like the summary tells us, our leading lady Caleana is the most well known assassin in the land and has been put into a slave camp after being captured (someone turned on her apparently).  She’s taken from the camp by the Crown Prince to be his Champion to fight against those 23 others to be the kings assassin essentially.

The story from there is one that’s really complex.  We see the humanity in the story, of how Calaena was made into an assassin although we never really get the full back story.  We see that she has some level of moral when she chose her jobs in the past and that’s what kept her head straight.  IT’s something that she’s fearful of when and if she becomes the king’s champion because she will have no say in what she’s told to do.

If that weren’t stressful enough, she’s got a few folks in the story that make things more interesting.  there’s the Crown Prince that she begins to see as a decent person and over time there’s definitely something more that builds between them.  there’s a romantic spark that they act on yet don’t, and it’s interesting to see how that changes once the story gets hot – especially since their roles are so disparate.  then there’s Choal – the Captain of the Royal Guard.  He becomes a friend of sorts to Calaena, although you can clearly tell that there’s something more between them, at least from his side.  I think that it makes for an interesting love triangle that you kind of feel can never come to life.

Then there’s the princess from Eyllwe – she’s definitely not at all what she seems – although it’s good that Calaena is the one that learns all this.  We see that Calaena can speak the Princess’s language and that forms a quick bond, but when we see that the princess can actually speak the ‘common language’ – well it means that there’s something going on that we don’t know about.

Aside from those that are living – we see that there’s something more – something magical going on under the tone of the story.  The big thing here is that we learned that all magic was banished or killed long long ago and it’s outlawed and all that.  However, there are strange murders going on at the palace, and there are wyrdmarks, these hyroglyphics of a sort that are showing up marking the deaths – showing us that there’s magic at play.  Calaena is lead to an underground passage that ends at the tombs of the first king and queen of the land and the queen – Elena – she appears from another parallel plane with a protective amulet and words of direction for what needs to happen etc.

You have to wonder how much magic is at play here, who’s involved and what it means.  We know that for the most part it’s evil magic being used, and we don’t know who it is.  There are moments when we think that it’s no one we know, then others where we think that it’s the princess, and then you have to wonder why Kaltain (another supporting lady) gets headaches, why the king is gone so much and returns sans his entire guard and why Calaena is able to see things that others can’t.

What we get is a really exciting story on so many levels.  One about a competition, one about friendships, another about romance and a last about history and magic.  I think that it sets up the rest of the series so well that i can’t wait to see what happens.  I was really sad to see some of the decisions made at the end, but i have a feeling that we’re going to see it all come out for the best over the rest of the installments.  Have a great day all!

Review: Kings Cage (The Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard

no-brainer

Title: King’s Cage
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins Publishing 2/7/17
Length:   430 Pages
Series:  Red Queen #3

Overview
In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the lightning girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continues organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

My Thoughts

i LOVE LOVE LOVE this series.  I don’t know about anyone else, but there’s something so powerful in this book that it is a tough call between Red Rising and this one!  What we have here is the continuation of a story that you really have no idea where it’s going to end.  We’ve been on the journey of Mare having to fake being a silver because of an ability that she just happened to have, and then being the betrothed to Maven, the 2nd son of the king.  Then that all goes to crap when the first son has his mind controlled and he kills the king, and then flees for his safety.  We then saw Mare do the same essentially, with the help of the Scarlet Guard.

Then, the story took us through book 2 where they were discovering the newbloods – essentially what Mare is – one with red blood but stronger powers than silvers.  We learned that Shade (Mare’s brother was alive), we saw Mare sort of fall in love with the first son Cal, and we see that Maven has taken on the role of king and has a bone to pick because he actually has these emotional feelings for Mare.

When Maven gets too close during the 2nd book, and Shade is killed, Mare trades herself for the safety of everyone and that’s where we begin this third installment.  She’s Maven’s captive, and she’s having her powers stripped from her by Arvens, ones who have power to silence other’s powers.  We see that Maven has some strange pull to Mare even though he’s not betrothed to Evangeline (ironically the girl who was linked with Cal before), and we see that it’s because he’s got some tie to her, he can’t kill her.

The gist of this third book is that we see a huge bunch of plot twists.  There are questions on whether Mare will ever get free, and what role Maven will play.  We also see the other side of things with the Scarlet Guard and their hope for more equality and a way to overthrow Maven’s reign.

There’s so much going on here.  We see Farley pregnant, we see Mare make a decision about love (one which i wasn’t necessarily buying earlier in the series) and we see not only a lot of death but a lot of mistrust. A new kingdom is formed with the help of someone totally unexpected, and we see that there’s still so much that’s unsettled that there’s really no way to know if Maven will win.

Maven has been married to the daughter of the kind of the Lakelands in the hopes that he can gain their army and power, while also ending part of what’s caused the war – the division of Reds and Silvers.  He doesn’t know what he’s getting into and that’s to the benefit of everyone else i think.

I thought this was a trilogy so i was expecting resolution but thankfully the story continues since there’s SO much that’s left unsaid.  Where’s Maven, what’s next for Mare, what about Cal?  is Monfort really the holy grail of safety and peace and living together?  What’s Evangeline’s next move and what’s the motive with Anabel.  So you can see why it was so great – Ms Aveyard gave us so much to enjoy reading but so much more to question and wonder about.  I’m bummed i have to wait ages for book 4, but at least the story goes on!!!

Review: The Dom who Loved Me (Masters and Mercenaries #1) by Lexi Blake

9781937608019_p0_v1_s192x300

Title: The Dom who Loved Me
Author: Lexi Blake
Publisher/Year: DLZ Enterainment 9/7/11
Length:   372 Pages
Series:  Masters and Mercenaries #1

Overview

A routine mission … turns into a dangerous seduction.

Sean Taggart is hunting a deadly terrorist, and his only lead is the lovely Grace Hawthorne. She’s the executive assistant for an employment agency Sean suspects is a front for illegal activities. To get the truth, he is going to have to get very close to Grace, a task he is all too eager to undertake when he discovers her deliciously submissive nature.

Soon, Grace Hawthorne is living a double life. By day, she is the widowed mother of two college-aged sons. By night, she submits to Sean’s every dark desire. She’s living out her wildest fantasies of pleasure-intimate acts of trust she’s only read about. As passion engulfs her, a murderer strikes, and Grace learns that Sean has a deeply hidden agenda. Will Sean choose his mission and break her heart or be the Master of her dreams?

My Thoughts

Im usually a huge fan of Lexi Blake and all that i’ve read by her, and in this instance, i’m on the fence a bit and i’m not entirely certain why.  What we have here is a sweet story of the expected Alpha Male, and the innocent woman who kind of finds herself in a situation where she needs to be rescued.  Of course said dom man is the one to do it right?

This story starts off where Sean Taggart finds himself on an assignment to hopefully find an ecoterrorist who’s been up to no good for  while and off the radar because of some fairly impressive means of plastic surgery and the like.  While he’s learning about the job, he sees a photo of a woman who may be an ‘in’ to this guy, and of course all that maleness comes to the forefront when he’s attracted to her.

The story from there is watching Sean trying to get his job done while also allowing himself to be incredibly attracted to Grace and teach her the ways of his life.  We know that Sean and his brother and their friends are part of the BDSM lifestyle and Sean seems to think that Grace has been part of it too, although he learns that it’s really just from reading a lot.

Anyhow, we have 2 story lines here – one of the attraction between the two and seeing how that plays out since Grace is fairly sure of herself and she’s a bit older than him so she knows what she’s going to bring to the situation.  Then there’s the story of trying to find Patrick who’s the guy that’s gone rouge.  There are hints throughout the story on who he is and i think that it’s just a matter of time until he slips up and they’re able to get him.

The challenge in this story is twofold.  one is that Grace is somehow put in the middle of things and when things go pearshaped, she’s the one that gets the focus of the blame.  It o course has the chance to tear her and Sean up and i think that it’s a nice journey that we see them go through since they do end up split apart.  Then there’s the story of how Grace and Sean really work together.  She knows that it can’t be forever since he’s not from Dallas but she’s willing to do right now until things go wrong.

All in all, it’s a sweet story.  It’s nicely written and there are some intensely steamy scenes – yet i don’t know what about it makes me hedge a bit.  I know that there’s more to the series though which i’m going to stick with for a bit just to see how it goes.  Anyhow, have a great day and enjoy the Super Bowl if that’s your thing!

ARC Review: The Billionaire Beast (Billionaire Fairytales #2) by Jackie Ashenden

no-brainer

Title: The Billionaire Beaste
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 3/7/17
Length:   198 Pages
Series:  Billionaire Fairytales #2

Overview

Nero de Santis: Damaged. Bastard. Beast.

Nero hasn’t left his house in ten years. He demands the world come to him, and the world is only too happy to bend to the strong-willed billionaire.

Ruthless, cold, and selfish, Nero wants for nothing and takes care of no one but himself. His last handful of assistants have left his house in tears, but the prim redhead applying for the job looks up to the task. Nero has spent his life shut within the walls he built, with no care to have more than a window to the outside world. But the fiery passion he senses beneath his reserved assistant’s exterior makes him want to break down the barriers he lives behind, and unleash the beast within.

Phoebe Taylor: Uptight. Misunderstood. Engaged.

Phoebe needs the obscene amount of money that comes with being Nero’s personal assistant for one thing, and one thing only—to pay for the mounting hospital costs that her fiancee’s two-year coma continues to incur. She’s heard rumors that the de Santis beast is a force that cannot be tamed—but even she isn’t prepared to handle the smoldering intensity simmering beneath his hard shell of feral dominance.

Nero is hiding something, something he is fighting with every step he takes. Yet he can’t help but stake his claim on this woman who has shaken up his life, and Phoebe can’t believe this animal of a man is the one person to ever look into her eyes and see her soul. Nero wants to keep her. He wants to devour her. And Phoebe just might let him.

My Thoughts

First off i should thank the folks at Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for sending me this advance copy since i’m really a fan both of this author and a lot of what comes from the publisher.  Anyhow, you’ll remember that we began our journey with this family – the de Santis when we met Laurent in the first book – when he saved a girl Cinderella style from being homeless and bringing her into a life of stability, wealth and love.  This 2nd book gives us more of the Beauty and the Beast aspect as the title suggests.

So we have Nero, the son that no one knew about for a while – or did they?  He had a very interesting life up until he was about 15, and that’s shaped the man that we know now.  He lived in a 5×6 room for 10 years, his mother hid him from his violent stepfather (or did she), and because of that, he’s got this insane fear of being outside and in the public.  He’s therefore closed himself off in 2-3 rooms in his HUGE house in new york city, and it’s turned him into a demanding person/employer and that’s where Phoebe comes in.

Phoebe is a Brit who’s moved to new york with her fiance, a man who we learn is in a coma as a result of a car accident 2 years prior.  Caring for him has become her life as she’s devoted all her time and money to ensuring that he’s got the best care in the hopes that perhaps he’ll wake up.  this is what leads her to Nero and that’s where our story goes.

Throughout this story we see two really broken people come together in a way that’s expected but sweet.  Aside from what Phoebe’s going through now, her past isn’t that great either as we learn about her sister and parents, so it’s not surprising that she and Nero find that they’ve got something complex together.

Nero’s demanding ways shows us that he’s going to have some type of controlling passion that will be unleashed, and Phoebe’s insane calm and innocence means that we’re going to see Nero’s alpha dominance bring out a side of her that’s so sexual that she never expected it.

What we get is Phoebe learning more and more about herself and how to pleasure not only Nero but herself too.  Nero as a result starts to come out of his shell a bit and not just open up to things that he’s terrified of, but to her too.  It’s sweet and hot all at the same time.

It’s when secrets of his past are finally uncovered and Phoebe’s forced to face a change in the situation with her fiance that we finally get resolution here and all in all it’s nicely sorted out.  It’s such a sweet and intense story all that the same time and i can’t wait to see what’s next in this series.  Have a great day all!

Review: Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

no-brainer

Title: Carve the Mark
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 1/17/17
Length:   390 Pages
Series:  Carve the Mark #1

Overview

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

My Thoughts

For those of you who really liked the Divergent series, and more for the writing than the story, than you’ll love this next new series by Ms Roth.  what we have here is another Dystopia, but a story that takes us to another Galaxy to a time when things are completely different than what we’re envisioning.

As the summary tells us, we’re following the story of two main characters, Cyra and Akos who find their lives to be intertwined because of what the current has given them in terms of powers/abilities as well as where their futures seem to lead them.  See they all live in an era where there are oracles who are able to see things of the future and they are able to know who is ‘fated’ meaning who’s got a future being laid out before them.  These are usually kept secret, however when they are revealed, one family has to go into hiding and another is split up.  With those that are split taken into the the Shotet empire because of what their futures hold.

Akos is our leading guy – a boy who has an ability to take away currentgifts, and that’s especially helpful as the sister of the Shotet ruler has this power that causes pain to others however it also causes herself intense amounts of pain.

Cyra has her own issues – knowing that she’s caused the death of her mother and that all she wants is to be something other than what she is and where she is.  Being around Akos gives her the chance to be a bit more normal and of course in a book with teens, you know that it’s going to lead to some level of romance.

The story here is one of a leader trying to get ultimate power because he doesn’t like the fate that he’s been given.  Ryz – Cyra’s brother is trying to be the eternal power, trying to get his nation recognized among the Assembly which is the governing body of all planets in their galaxy however the means that he uses to go about it are quite brutal and not appreciated.

It’s a journey of cyra and Akos trying to do what’s right for them, and trying to find a way to live their lives as they want.  Akos has the motivation of trying to save his brother who was kidnapped by Ryz, however Ryz has used his currentgift to affect his brother’s mind meaning that even if he gets his brother back, who knows what we will have.

Cyra is also just trying to be herself.  She learns more about the renegades and Exiles that are feared and hated by the Shotet and we see that she’s converting what she’s been taught into action for the future.

When it’s discovered that the land that Akos is from has discovered a Chancellor who turns out to be someone that we’ve met before, we know that the story is going to get far more complex.  That same chancellor has their heart broken and destroyed, potentially at the hand of another character that we love, that we see that there’s no option than to feel her wrath as she takes her position as a leader and takes them all to the Assembly.

We’re left wondering what’s going to happen next since Cyra learns of a secret about who she is which is somewhat unexpected, and then there’s the question of who Akos truly is since he’s not what he seems.  There’s also the question about who will live and who will die, and what’s ahead for them once they reach the Assembly.

All in all, a very interesting and quite different story from Ms Roth – not at all what i was expecting from what i’ve read of hers before.  If you’re a fan of Red Rising, i think that you’ll enjoy this one.  On that note – enjoy and have a good night!

Cover Reveal: Destroying the Soul by L. Grubb & Abigail Davies

•**•.New Cover Reveal •**•.

#CoverReveal
#Destroyed #LGrubb #AbigailDavies #Dark #Romance
Title: Destroying the Soul
Series: Destroyed Series #2
Authors: L. Grubb & Abigail Davies
Cover Designer: Clarissa Wild
Goodreads:
Synopsis:
I’m a man with a troubled past. Growing up with a drug addict for a
mother and trying to be both mom and dad for my little brother was hard, but I
was determined for him to make something of himself, to help get him in the
best college out there and get him away from the hellhole we call home; even if
it took everything in me.

The plan was to make my business legit and make
some real money so I could make sure he had everything he needed. 

I was on a one track mission, bounding ahead with
tunnel vision.

That was until her. 
Until I saw her sweet face behind the counter of
the coffee shop and suddenly, I had another focus.

She had an aura of sadness about her that drew me
in. Her softly spoken words made me wish I could listen to her all day long. I
made it my mission to make her smile whenever I got the chance to see her. The
invisible thread that connected us started getting smaller and smaller as time
went on, bringing us closer than I’d ever been to anyone before.

At least, I thought we were close. I had no idea
that she was suffering at the hands of a monster. A monster who did everything
he could to keep me from her. He ripped me away from her when she needed me the
most and I was powerless to fight against the law, even if I didn’t break it.

My life was turned upside down and the worst of it
was leaving her without getting to tell her how I really felt. I never once
forgot about our connection and when I finally got out of prison and went to
check on my Ivy League brother, I never expected to see her there. 

I knew it would be hard to explain why I just up
and left without a word, but I never thought it would be near impossible to
even talk to her, to explain that I didn’t even have a choice in leaving. 

Then he turns up, the monster that haunts her memories.
I won’t let him keep me away from her again and I certainly won’t let him hurt
her.

I’ll do anything to protect her. Torture, maim,
kill. And I’ll do it all without a second thought or conscience.

Other Books in the Series:
Destroying the
Game
About the Authors:
L. Grubb:

Lucii is your typical British
girl, hates the sun and hibernates when summer arrives! She lives at home with
her 3 year old daughter, where they spend the day watching Frozen and playing
playdoh.
She started off as a regular
person, job, home life, health issues and a love of reading. After reading the
Fifty shade phenomenon, she went onto social media to seek other authors
writing the same or similar genres. She entered a world she didn’t know existed
and went on to open a successful blog.
Inspiring dreams took a back
burner while she learned the book community and met a bunch of amazing authors
and readers alike.
A year later she decided to
start writing, hoping against hope that her friends and fellow readers will
like what she brings to the table.
Author Links:
Amazon Author
Page: http://amzn.to/2gAedVb
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bWnlAH
Abigail Davies:

New Adult and Contemporary romance author Abigail Davies grew up with a
passion for words, story telling and anything pink. Dreaming up characters and
talking to them out loud is a daily occurrence for Abigail. She finds it
fascinating how a whole world can be built with words alone, and how everyone
reads a story differently. Now following her dreams of writing, Abigail has set
out on the crazy journey of being an author. When she’s not writing, she’s a
mother to two daughters, who she encourages to use their imagination, as she believes
that it’s a magical thing. Abigail loves to get lost in a good book and is
rarely far away from her kindle.
Author Links:
Amazon Author
Page: http://amzn.to/2fnO5rv

Review: Tied to his Betrayal (Dirty Little Secrets #2) by Stacey Kennedy

no-brainer

Title: Tied to his Betrayal
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Publisher/Year: Random House 11/15/16
Length:   248 Pages
Series:  Dirty Little Secrets #2

Overview

In a dazzling novel of passion and power from the bestselling author of Bound Beneath His Pain and the Club Sin series, a commanding man gives up his most prized possession to win back the one that got away.

Darius Bennett can’t live without supreme control. A self-made billionaire, he’s rich enough to get anything—and any woman—he wants, yet he’s still haunted by a broken relationship. Five years ago, Darius let Taylor Erikson go because he knew he could never give her what she truly wanted: his heart. But the moment Taylor walks back into his life, bruised and beaten, Darius blames himself. To make good on his betrayal, he vows to help her heal—in and out of the sheets.

Once upon a time, Darius was Taylor’s world. Now his fierce embrace is exactly what she needs to get back on her feet. But Taylor pays a heavy price for her sizzling nights with Darius. As the emotional ties become stronger than ever and the paparazzi hunt her down for their next juicy story, Taylor must face some hard truths. They can’t go back. And to move forward, the key to loving Darius isn’t about keeping his secrets—it’s about exposing them.

My Thoughts

I love this series almost as much as i love the original, and i think that where this one is going is a really great direction.  So you’ll have to remember from the first installment of this spinoff that Taylor is Allie’s best friend who lives in San Diego and who had a bit of a romance with her half brother about 5 years ago.  Well, the last scene in the first book was of Taylor showing up on the doorstep of Allie’s condo beaten up by her ex boyfriend.  So that’s where we pick up the story now.

Taylor has left her boyfriend who beat her up in a drunken rage and is now with Allie trying to put her life back together.  If that weren’t enough, ironically when she shows up on Allie’s doorstep, it’s the same nigh that Darius is there – her ex whom she still hasn’t gotten over.  Knowing that he’s a Dominant and that she’s been hurt, he’s going to go all caveman on the situation.

That’s where this story goes.  Darius not only still loves Taylor but feels that he not only has to protect her from everything around her but from him as well since he seems to think that he’s not worthy of anything emotional or good.  Taylor disagrees but there’s only so much that she’s able to do to convince him otherwise.  What she does eventually do is allow him to help her with a job since being tied to him through papparrazzi pics has now made things complicated and she’s able to get her feet back on sturdy ground.

There are a few supporting story lines in this 2nd book which makes it great.  there’s the issue of Taylor and Darius in the ‘will they won’t they’ type situation since we know that there’s insane chemistry between them.  It’s a fight that we watch for the entire book.

Then there’s the issue of her ex shawn who’s come to San Francisco to likely find her and we don’t know what he’s going to do.

Then there’s a problem with the tabloids.  Usually they print lies about Darius, Micah and all the others, but recently they’ve been actually publishing true facts about the guys and there’s really no way that they would have known that information unless someone’s feeding it to them.  So that’s another bit of the story that we’re trying to figure out.  who’s the mole and what’s the motivation.

There’s a lot that we don’t get resolved in this 2nd book and a lot that’s setting up for the next installment that we learn is about Ryder based on the last scene in this one.  We see him running in with information that he’s going to be the target of the next story that’s tied to one of the people that he’s doing security on.  And of course the nature of the story is quite damaging.

The one thing that i’m a bit intrigued by and a bit surprised by is that the original series by Ms Kennedy was very much so about the BDSM world and how involved those Masters were and while these leading men are part of the DC and own clubs, they actually aren’t really that into the lifestyle.  It’s just a facet of who they are.  It’s interesting to me because i actually assumed that they would be even more engrossed into it all and they’re not.  Although that’s the case, there’s absolutely not shortage of hot scenes in either book so far – and you can practically feel the heat and passion coming from the couples.

so i can’t wait to see what happens next, and sadly i’m all caught up on the series now so i have to wait until April.  So now….i’m on to find something else to read.  Have a great day all!

Review: Bound Beneath His Pain (Dirty Little Secrets #1) by Stacey Kennedy

no-brainer

Title: Bound Beneath His Pain
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Publisher/Year: Random House 7/5/16
Length:   275 Pages
Series:  Dirty Little Secrets #1

Overview

Real estate mogul Micah Holt exerts absolute control over all aspects of his life. He keeps his dark side hidden away from the press, who will chase down any hint of scandal. He’s always in command of his world, careful to expose his closely guarded secrets only to those he knows he can trust. Then Allie Bennett shakes his legendary discipline. She’s beautiful, pure, untainted. But is Micah willing to sacrifice her innocence for his own selfish obsessions?

When that sexy smile makes her body burn, Allie tries with all her might to ignore it. For one thing, Micah’s her new boss. For another, he’s as complicated as he is devastatingly handsome. Still, Allie can only fight so much before she gives in to his dangerous games. She knows he’s got dark secrets. But when she discovers the true depth of his pain, Allie must decide how far she’s willing to go to light the way for love.

My Thoughts

I loved Club Sin which is the origination of this series and i think that it’s great that we get to learn a bit more about those Doms up in San Francisco that Dimitri is so close with and went to for help with his club. So when we got this first installment of the spinoff where we’re able to meet Micah the leader of the DC (Dominants Council), and find out how he ticks.

His story interweaves with Allie’s story – a successful Real Estate agent who’s made her success by being a great listener and finding a home for her clients, not just a house.  It’s partly due to the type of woman that she is and partly to do with her past, as her parents were killed in a plane accident when she was 15 and she was raised by her half brother.  The way that the story gets interesting is that her half brother is a great guy – 10 years older and took her in when no one else would even though he didn’t have a relationship with her mom since his father wouldn’t allow it.  So the life that her brother had and the life she had were quite different since he’s from money and has everything, and Allie really doesn’t want anything to do with that once she’s able to make her own choices.

That’s where we find ourselves now – Micah’s company has bought the one that Allie works for and she’s being absorbed into Holt where she’s making more money and has the opportunity to sell some amazing properties.  She still continues to live meagerly though, since she’s learned the lesson in life that money changes people and how they look at you.  Micah however is a man with endless means, and when they discover an attraction between them, it’s his lifestyle that continues to put a wall up between them.

Their connection is instant as it usually is in these types of stories, and it’s fun to watch how they play around each other, waiting for Allie to crack under Micah’s pursuit and then hope to see how amazing they can be together.

The journey that we go on in this story is one where Allie is trying to find herself, Micah’s trying to get past demons that continue to haunt him, and they both realize that they NEED each other but that there’s a cost to it all.  Micah has a very dark past which brought him to need BDSM and Allie sees deep inside him where he’s trying to keep everything secret.

The interesting twist that we get is that Micah and Allie’s half brother Darius are quite close and Darius ironically is part of the DC.  So there’s a bit more of a complication there when figuring out how to handle all that.

What i really enjoyed about this story though is that it feels similar to club sin but completely it’s own thing.  The chapters are written in alternating POV so that we get to see Allie’s side and then Micah’s and that’s something that we didn’t have in the other series.  We also see that while Sex is quite important to them, BDSM doesn’t play a huge role in this story.  there are moments of spanking or flogging and a bit of bondage, but no playing in a club or dungeon which completely surprised me.  all in all though, a great intro to this new series and i can’t wait to see what happens next since the last few lines of this one really set us up for heartbreak.

Review: Mine (Club Sin #7) by Stacey Kennedy

no-brainer

Title: Mine
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Publisher/Year: Random House 10/27/15
Length:   180 Pages
Series:  Club Sin #7

Overview

Dmitri Pratt is living out his dream. Not only does he own the ultimate playground, he’s found a special connection with his deliciously sexy sub, Presley Flynn, the woman who complements him in ways that go far beyond the bedroom. But when an anonymous blackmailer threatens to expose the elite, high-profile members of Club Sin in a notorious tabloid, Dmitri’s perfect world spirals out of control.

Before she met Dmitri, Presley never imagined she would find a Master who could deliver on all her hottest fantasies. Dmitri’s love and his sensual artistry surprise her every day, until he suddenly turns distant and cold. For the first time, Presley wonders where Dmitri’s heart truly lies: with her, or with Club Sin. As the life they’ve built together begins to crumble, Presley can only trust that Dmitri has what it takes—to defend what’s his, and win back the woman he cannot live without.

My Thoughts

Ahh how things come full circle in this finale of the series.  I’m kind of sad to see everything come to an end since i’ve been reading the stories of the club masters and their subs for so long, but i guess all good things come to an end.  What’s interesting here though is that i thought we’d get the story about Miles since he’s the last dom that didn’t get his story told, however that’s not what we get here.

Things seem to be looking all nice and rosy for everyone in the story, but of course that means that something horrible is about to happen.  There have been marriages, babies, pregnancies and the like, all things that Presley wants with Dimitri but things that she hasn’t gotten.  She’s feeling like something is missing and that perhaps she’s not going to get it.  So when catastrophe strikes, and someone has pictures of the club that now has the threat of being published in a tabloid that things spiral from bad to worse.

The journey in this final installment is that of Dimitri trying to make everything right by protecting the club and then figuring out how to make things right with Presley since she’s reached her breaking point.  He has taken on all of the responsibility of things and wants to protect all of the members, but it’s coming at the cost of his relationship.  The biggest question is of who’s behind it all and i’m sure all the readers like me knew exactly who to point the finger at immediately although it takes these guys a bit longer.

It’s a tough situation to be in, trying to keep things a secret from the public and keep the members happy while your life crumbles around you, and Dimitri has shown us that he’s not as perfect as we thought.  He reacts differently than the guy that we’ve known and his friends are surprised as well as Presley.  Its sad to watch how their relationship implodes because she’s not getting what she needs and it’s even more sad that it was coming for a while since she’s felt like he’s not quite understood what she’s wanted for the past 2 years.

The nice thing about how we resolve it all is that our author takes us on a journey of not only putting closure on things but setting the stage for a spin off – showing us that there’s a future for these folks that really makes us have hope for another exciting series.  The other nice thing is that while i was under the impression that Miles perhaps wasn’t going to get his happy ending, we see how that’s resolved in this final 7th installment as well.  It shows me that i need to have patience and faith in the author to really see that things can work out for the best.

So, on that note, i’m sad that this series is done with but i believe that there’s another series for me to pick up all around the DCs that we met thanks to Dimitri.  Enjoy!