Review: The Billionaire’s Intern (Billionaire Fairytales #3) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: The Billionaire’s Intern
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year:  St Martin’s Press 8/1/17
Length:   200 Pages
Series:  Billionaire Fairytales #3

Overview

An intensely sexy Billionaire Fairy Tales standalone novel by Jackie Ashenden that is billionaire romance meets Sleeping Beauty with a happily ever after.

Lorenzo De Santis: Ruthless. Driven. Ambitious.

Lorenzo De Santis is the boss. He’s an uncompromising hardass, he doesn’t suffer fools, and he doesn’t have time to deal with witless young interns. But when an old friend asks for a favor, Lorenzo can’t refuse. Even if it means taking on the man’s daughter as a project.

Kira Constantin: Rich. Party girl…Spy.

Kira Constantin feels like she has been half-alive since that one night of partying ended in tragedy. So when her father demands that she go undercover at De Santis Corp as a spy, there’s no way she can refuse. She must redeem herself, even if that means dealing with a boss like of Lorenzo De Santis.

Except neither of them counts on the forbidden heat that flares between them. As Kira and Lorenzo draw closer, spying on him becomes harder and harder. And then Kira discovers that the real villain might be closer to her than she thinks…

My Thoughts

I’m a fan of this author and i think that the stories that we’ve gotten from this series have been rooted nicely in fairytales that we know but given a modern twist in a world where there’s a lot of deceit and conniving amongst a family as well as a family rivalry.

In this third book we get to see the story of the eldest brother Lorenzo – and how he’s trying to make DS Corp clean and free from fraud etc.  He’s noticed that his father is moving money around and he can’t seem to find the trail.  He needs help in figuring that out, and that help comes to him in an unlikely form.

Ivan is the closest person to Lorenzo’s father, and he’s kind of a father figure to Lorenzo since he’s grown up around him.  When Ivan comes to him with a directive from his father saying that Ivan’s daughter Kira needs to be part of his staff in the form of a direct intern, we know that things are going to get dicey.  Lorenzo wants nothing to do with Kira since he remembers how she was when she was younger – selfish, undirected and a nuisance.  That’s nothing that he needs in his office, although after a bit of convincing, he realizes that she’s perhaps the bets person to get the information that he needs.

Interestingly enough, Kira’s also been manipulated by her father to find information on Lorenzo since Lorenzo’s father thinks that he’s onto him and what he’s doing with the company and that is a problem.  Fortunately Lorenzo realizes that she’s likely a spy and decides to see if he can use her against her father and his father to prove them being wrong.

What’s nice about this story is that we get to see a large shift from how they feel about each other and the situation in general – and that’s something that’s both rooted again the in the fairytale but also something that’s necessary in the story line to keep it going.  I think that there’s a lot of personal growth for both Lorenzo and Kira as a result.  the truama that Kira went through all those years ago where she was angry with her parents, ended up getting into a car accident that killed her friends and hasn’t truly recovered from it.  That’s something that haunts her every day – yet the structure and control that Lorenzo puts into her life is something that helps her cope.  Add to that her ADHD, and we know that she needs an alpha male to control her.

So the story that we have as a result is one that’s really sweet – with a predictable ending of sorts – yet a slight twist that could be game changing if they let it.  All in all, a nice third installment – getting to the bottom of the De Santis brothers – and i can’t wait to see if there’s more and how our author would do that.  Enjoy!

Review: Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J Maas

Title: Tower of Dawn
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year:  Bloomsbury USA 9/5/17
Length:   586 Pages
Series:  Throne of Glass #6

Overview

In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica–the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both–and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

My Thoughts

OMG – if you thought were the story went from the end of Book 5, when mysterious folks re-emerged, wars were fought, Aelin was taken prisoner again by Maeve was enough, well you’re wrong.  There’s still so much more to this story, and we’re now getting to see what it’s like outside of the direct battle that we’ve been in.

So we remember that Chaol’s spine was broken when Dorian’s father tried to kill him, and he and Nesryn are headed to the Torre in the hopes of finding a healer who is powerful enough to fix more of what’s wrong that Rowan wasn’t able to fix already.  The great thing here is that we know of a girl from one of the novellas that we met as Aelin was on her way to the Red Desert who had an ability to heal who she helped get to the Torre.  So it’s this girl – Yrene who we also find front and center.

This story is a really great extension off the main story since it’s happening parallel path  – but in a part of the world that’s untouched by what’s going on in the North, and is comprised of possibly the strongest kingdom or empire in the world.  So Chaol and Nesryn are there in the hopes of healing him so he can walk again, as well as getting them to side with Aelin and Dorian in the hopes that they can build an army that can take on Morath.

What’s so amazing about this story is that we are introduced to another royal family that really shows us another way of living during this time that we have.  There’s a family that seems to be untouched by the evil in the world (or are they) and while they don’t have to deal with that directly, they have their own family struggles in the sense of who will take over as heir when their father passes.

We see some new relationships build here and they really do help keep the story moving.  Chaol and Nesryn come to the Khagan together – sort of in a relationship, but there’s a really odd chemistry between them since she knows that she was never the first choice.  Then there’s Yrene and Chaol.  She hates all that he is because it was the kind of Adarlan who killed her parents, and so she therefore hates him.  it’s quite the fight that she puts up both against healing him, and against her feelings for him.  which we see grow in an odd sort of way.

Then there are the royals – kashin who has feelings for Yrene that aren’t reciprocated.  Hasar who’s close friends with Yrene and has a power/manipulation thing going.  Arghun, the eldest brother who’s tough.  Duva who is married and pregnant.  Tumulun whom we learned died (or was murdered) just before arriving in the empire.  and Sartaq.  He’s the one to watch because we see that he’s possibly the most open to listening to what they have ot say about the need for an army and how it will help them in the future.  Then there’s the way that he interacts with Nesryn – especially since her family hails from their kingdom.

When secrets come out to what’s going on truly with the Valg, and how they perhaps originated in the world – where they came and what’s being hidden from them – we start to learn things that we should have seen throughout the series but maybe just didn’t have enough of the story to know.  I know that for myself-  it’s all obvious now, and i think that we are going to go to a really dynamic place in book 7 – once that makes it certain that there’s no way that all of our favorites will survive – but that we hope for strength and love to prevail.

So all in all – i’m thrilled beyond belief again with this story and how it continues to be written by our author – i still don’t know how she does it but i’m thrilled that she does.  It looks like book 7 will pick up with where Aelin is locked up by Maeve and we can only hope that Rowan or someone will come to her rescue before it’s too late.  we have to wait now until 2018 though…..such a long long wait.  Enjoy!

Review: Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: Forbidden
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 8/8/17
Length:   368 Pages

Overview

What do you do when you can’t control your feelings for someone? When you know you shouldn’t go there? Not even in your head.

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she’s already in too deep. And Jack isn’t only dangerous. He is forbidden.

My Thoughts

When you read the intro and see that our darling author tells us that we’re going to get a story that she’s gotten a lot of push back and grief about – that the story content is something that’s quite controversial – well i think that anyone with half a brain knows that they have to read this one.

So unlike many of the others that we’ve read – this one isn’t as cut and dry.  We know that typically there are several reasons why our couples can’t be together – usually of their own doing – meaning that they feel like there’s a reason not to be together.  In this case though, there’s no reason in the hearts of these two leading characters for why they can’t be together – but there are factual reasons why they can’t – yet it’s something that slips their minds all the time.

Annie is our leading lady and she’s finally establishing herself in all aspects of her life.  she’s moved into a new place that’s truly her own and it’s not just a home, it’s the studio that her really successful architecture business is run out of and she’s got a great group of friends who really helps pick her up and keep her happy.  It’s when she’s out with her friends that her life turns upside down.

Jack – the man at the bar who makes her feel a lot of things that she shouldn’t.  Who comes on so strong and so hard that she should run, and she does, but then some how she finds herself running right back to him.  What started as a one night stand, turns into something that’s so dangerous and so hot that we are waiting as we turn every page to see them combust.

He’s married – and he’s also the contractor of a job that she’s spearheading, and she meets his wife, and she’s unstable.  Yet, they don’t care and they carry on with their affair – because they believe that they are soulmates and that they truly own and possess each other.  The question that we have throughout this entire book is how long can they keep it a secret from their friends and how long until Jack’s wife discovers it as well?

When Annie is attacked with a knife, and someone ends up in the hospital broken in ways that are far too scary to imagine, we wonder if there’s ever a way for there to be happiness.

I think that it’s a nice change to be honest, to see a story that makes you question the entire premise of their relationship, and try not to judge it since it’s sad to say that things like this just do happen in life sometimes.  You can’t choose who you love and you can fight what you feel in your heart for so long sometimes, but there are times when even that isn’t enough to keep you apart.  That’s exactly what our author was trying to say in her intro i think, and i think that she delivered a story that is true to the core of what the intentions were.    I hope you give it a read.  Enjoy!

Review: Bad Deeds (Dirty Money #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Bad Deeds
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  St Martin’s Press 8/8/17
Length:   228 Pages
Series:  Dirty Money #3

Overview

Would you bleed for the one you love?

To save his family empire from the grip of the drug cartel, Shane is pushed to the edge of darkness, forced to make choices he might never make. His father is dying. His brother is desperate to rule the empire and this means war and all gloves are off. His brother only thought he knew what dirty meant. Shane is about to give it new meaning. There is another war brewing though, and that one, is inside him, his battle between right and wrong, light and dark, and in the heat of the night, it is Emily he turns to for escape. Driving her to new limits, pushing her to accept a part of him that even he cannot.

In every one of Shane’s seductive demands, Emily can taste and feel, his torment, his struggle to save his family and not lose himself. But he is losing himself, and that is a problem just as dangerous as her secret, that still lurk in the shadows, a threat to the Brandon Family waiting to erupt. No matter where she and Shane have traveled, or will travel in the future, she can’t just sit back and watch him become everything he hates, everything he never wanted to become, everything she tried to save him from when she tried to run. It could be their undoing, the end. His end.

This is war, blood will spill, and someone in the heart of the Brandon family will not survive….

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Damage Control, the smoldering, scorching next novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.
The only thing more dangerous than a dark secret is a damaged heart…

Shane Brandon has been pushed to the brink, torn between his corrupt family and his explosive, all-consuming desire for Emily Stevens, who he now knows is not who, and what, she seems. Has he trusted the wrong person? Will she, not his brother Derek, be the ultimate destruction of his family Empire.
Emily tries to run from Shane, but he will stop her, confront her, force her to reveal all – one hot touch and kiss, at a time, under every intimate detail of who this woman is, and what she wants, is exposed. But as he tears away the dangers of the unknowns with the woman in his bed, and in his heart, The Martina Cartel, has set their sites on his company, his family, and the one piece of leverage they believe he won’t gamble with: Emily.

My Thoughts

This series is getting intense and while we’re making progress in the story – there’s something intense and insane around each corner that throws us back a few steps.  We’re still in the middle of the Brandon Family life of chaos – Brandon Sr is still fighting for his life and Derek and Shane are fighting for control of the company.  Every time Shane things that he’s able to make a step toward the positive and clean up the operation of the company, something comes up that makes it impossible.

Add in all the women, their mother – who’s having an affair with Sr’s best friend, Emily who we know some of her past but not quite enough to get how things truly are, and Theresa – the daughter of a cartel king  and who’s finding herself intertwined in a love situation with Derek.

Throughout this third book we start to think that things will work out – Shane begins to out maneuver Adrian – the son of the cartel leader – and hopefully figure out how to get his company clean and keep everyone alive.  The challenge becomes the fact that a man in the organization with Adrian has gone rogue – always goes rogue and leaves us on a cliffhanger where people are either dying or dead at the end of this third book.

In true fashion of Ms Jones, we get to see some really intriguing and sexy relationships form.  What Emily and Shane have is something of a fantasy – they are so well suited for each other that it’s no surprise that she’s able to keep him in check when all he wants to do is protect her.  Their chemistry is off the charts and the way that their scenes are written make you feel all the sparks and passion between them.

What’s nice about this story though is that we see a few of the characters come into their own – really figure out how to be the best version of themself, regardless of what that means for everyone else.  There are tough decisions being made, and new businesses being formed that you have to wonder who’s going to be left standing at the end of book 4 to enjoy it.

I’m hopeful that there will be happy endings for everyone, but this isn’t a fantasy world they live in, so i know that we’ll have to suffer and say goodbye to some of them.  I can’t say for sure what i’m expecting since we never get exactly what i’m thinking from Lisa Renee Jones, but that’s a great quality to keep me on my toes.  Now i’m just bummed that i have to wait for the 4th book to come out.  On that note – have a nice weekend everyone!

Review: The Flirtation (The Submissive #10) by Tara Sue Me

Title: The Flirtation
Author: Tara Sue Me
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group Publishing 8/8/17
Length:   196 Pages
Series:  The Submissive #10

Overview

Lynne has not wanted for anything since she began working as Nathaniel and Abby’s nanny—until the night they invite her to a group BDSM meeting. The abrupt breakup she had with her last Dom made her turn her back on the lifestyle, but now she’s ready to dive back in. When she starts chatting on online BDSM message boards, she’s shocked to discover Simon, her former Dom, is a frequent poster—and even more shocked at herself when she creates a secret identity and strikes up a conversation.

After messaging with a mysterious submissive online, Simon forms an immediate connection.  Lynne and Simon’s D/s relationship grows in intensity, but can their relationship survive after the truth is exposed, and Lynne’s identity is laid bare?

My Thoughts

I do love this series – and i really have to say that i’m impressed how our author Tara Sue Me is able to continue to come up with such dynamic stories with all of the characters – giving us things to think about that we never really put in the series before.  We knew of these characters before, and i think that it’s great to see them have their own story now.

So we have Lynne-  the girl who has become part of the West’s family – she’s their nanny – and this job found her at the perfect time since she was trying to figure herself out after a break up and between thoughts of the future.  It’s now when she’s got the chance to take summer classes to become a teacher that her past life and present blend together.

Enter Simon – another of the Dom’s in their circle – and the guy who broke Lynne’s heart.  He’s a sadist – and that’s not for everyone , and because of that, he’s often found himself wanting so much more and never getting it.  When he learns that Lynne is back in town, he starts to feel what he hasn’t in a while.

That’s when things get dicey.  Nathaniel has warned Simon to stay away from Lynne, and Lynne has this sense that she needs to prove to simon that she is a sub and can be what he wants.  When they both venture back to the same online chat group that brought them together in the past – the same chemistry is there – even if Simon doesn’t know that it’s Lynne he’s talking to.

I think that this is an interesting take on the story that we usually get from Tara Sue Me.  I feel like there’s always the underlying sense of trust that keeps the stories complex and exciting, but it’s always trust that was broken for other reasons.  not of their own doing.  In this case – Simon lied to Lynne about why he needed to break up with her, and she’s deceiving him into thinking that she’s someone else, so we all know that it’s going to implode and it’s just a matter of when.

Add to that a sub that now has it out for Simon since he’s not into her like she hopes-  and this same crazy girl is friends with Lynne – well we see that trust is certainly not the only thing keeping them apart.

Aside from that – we get everything that we hope for in this series.  Some incredible scenes between these two when they have a chance to get together.  We get to see the control that Simon has and the way that Lynne’s about to find herself and truly let go.  All that also leads to some incredibly steamy scenes- and the need for a cold shower.

So all in all, a great addition to this series and i can’t wait to see what’s next since we know the female lead and have seen how her story has been woven into the mix over the years.  Enjoy!

Review: Royally Endowed (Royally #3) by Emma Chase

Title: Royally Endowed
Author: Emma Chase
Publisher/Year: Ever After Romance 8/14/17
Length:   350 Pages
Series:  Royally #3

Overview

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times?but Ellie Hammond?s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie?s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she?s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard?but she doesn?t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job?a relative of the royal family he?d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she?s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister?s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis?a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.

***

Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He?s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and?other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there?s only one woman he wants.

For years he?s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond?s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules:

Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

My Thoughts

I love this series – and after reading all about Princes Nicholas and Henry and how their stories came to a happy ending, i think that it’s about time that we got to see what comes of Ellie, Olivia’s sister.  She’s young, innocent and still manages to succeed when weights are on her shoulder, so when she finally gets the chance to live her life – it’s nice to see how it all happen.

Logan on the other hand – we adore him.  He’s the bodyguard that we met in Nicholas’ story and he’s got not just this protective side to him, he’s broody and sexy and that’s exactly what Ellie needs.  If they ever get to the point where they will let it happen.

What’s different about this story is that we get to see how it jumps through time.  We aren’t ‘in the moment’ with this third installment which is nice – we instead get to see how Logan and Ellie’s friendship of sorts grows over the year as a result of the circumstances of being thrown together over and over again while Logan is still on Nicholas’ detail and they are back in NYC.

It’s entertaining really for the first 2/3 of the book.  We get to see how Ellie has grown up, made her own choices, and teased Logan when she could.  He’s also had his share of appreciating her over the years as well – but from afar since he’s not willing to compromise his job.

It takes years, but when it happens – well things are hot and steamy and explosive.  They are mature enough to know that they can’t keep things a secret, but never quite find the moment to come clean and of course when they are found out, it makes things that much more complicated.  We also see that feelings are too much for them at times, and of course that breaks them up.  When someone almost dies and then someone is threatened by a stalker – well we see what true emotions really mean.

There is also an underlying story of a crazed stalker who’s after Olivia and threatens her when he can.  He’s clearly inside the palace and no one knows who he is and when he’s going to strike – but we know that it’s going to happen.  I think that it adds to the tension since she’s pregnant with twins – the first royal babies and well – everyone’s on edge.

So you can imagine how fast moving this book is.  Romance, fear of a stalker, fear of being found out and then really coming clean with what you want as a person and maybe as a couple.

If this truly is the last book in the series – then at least we got the closure that we all needed – getting to see how thing are tied up for each of the story lines, but there was a teaser in the epilogue of Tommy (another of Ellie’s security detail) and a girl that he’s into – so maybe there’s more.  i can hope!  I hope that you guys enjoy this one!

Review: Avenged (Ruined #2) by Amy Tintera

Title: Avenged
Author: Amy Tintera
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 5/2/17
Length:   416 Pages
Series:  Ruined #2

Overview

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

My Thoughts

I was so happy to jump right into Avenged after reading Ruined, and now i’m bummed because Allied doesn’t come out for a bit.  NO FAIR!  there’s so much greatness going on in this story that there’s really too much time for me to have to wait.

Where we left off in the first book was that Em was able to locate her sister Olivia and free her and then all hell broke loose.  We don’t know who’s going to survive at this point, how Ruina will survive v. Olso and Lera and even against Vallos – and well the alliances that we thought were in places are showing frays at the edges.

I don’t know about anyone else who read the first book, but i loved the development of the relationship, friendship and potential romance between Em and Cas.  there’s something great that could be there but now that they are on opposing sides, it’s real a big question of what will happen.  There are others who are introduced in this second book that makes us wonder if they are fated to be together.

Consider Violet, she’s the daughter of the southern governor and upon her father’s death, she’s put into that role.  We also know that she was an original choice for Cas’s wife, so there’s tension there.  She’s clearly got an affection for Cas after their journey is rough and we see there is something coming from Cas as well.

Then there’s August, the youngest son of the King of Olso who seems to have intentions towards Em.  He’s proposed marriage and it’s something that she’s considering.

While all those are interesting and good things, there’s the fact that Olivia is a force that cannot be reckoned with.  Her Ruined power is so strong and potent that no one stands a chance against her.  She’s got so much hatred towards the world and has no regret of killing people that you know that no good can come of it.

This second book, the bridge so to speak is a great one filled with anxiety, war and romance.  I think that it’s always hard to find the linking points between the first and last stories since you want to keep momentum going.  Our author Ms Tintera does a really nice job of keeping us interested because there are so many characters that are now pulled into the forefront that you see so much more depth than before.  We’re left wondering who truly are allies and who are in it for the immediate gains instead of long term.

I’m on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen to Em and Cas, what will happen to Aren, Violet, Iria, and even Olivia.  IT seems like it’s almost impossible to stop this train of commotion that’s going on but i hope that we get to see some happy endings.  Enjoy!

ARC Review: The Wicked Billionaire (Tate Brothers #2) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: The Wicked Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 10/03/17
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Tate Brothers #2

Overview

This high-concept series brings together the glamour of Park Avenue and hot Navy SEALs in dark, smoldering contemporary romances.

The Tate Brothers were once orphans and they have been raised to do one thing only: protect what is theirs.

As a trained sniper and Navy SEAL, Lucas Tate found the courage to distance himself from the wealthy, wicked patriarch who adopted him. Instead, he’s devoted his life to the elite band of brothers from his unit. So when the widow of one of his former comrades finds herself in apparent danger, Lucas makes it his job to protect her against all enemies. . .and not let her out of his sights.

Grace Riley feels overwhelmed by Lucas’s presence, but the cold-eyed marksman will do anything to keep her safe. Soon the special attention he pays her becomes a wild romantic distraction—one that troubles Grace, since Lucas was so close to her deceased husband. Still, how can she resist Lucas’s intense, ice-blue stare? All she knows is that a life without strong, passionate Lucas is one not worth living. Can Lucas can find a way to honor his former brother-in-arms by saving Grace. . .and loving her, too?

My Thoughts

First off, thank you to the folks at St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for getting me this ARC – it’s a great series and i’m so glad to see what was next for the Tate brothers.  We had the exciting introduction into their family a while back with the eldest brother and now it seems like it’s time to get into Lucas’s story – especially since there were hints throughout book 1 that he had something else going on.  that something else was protecting Grace.

So, Grace – where do we start – she’s a girl that Lucas knew of because she was married to one of his close friends in the SEALs – and after his death there’s so much that’s come up, with Lucas only learning about that after his own father has passed away and revealed a secret.  So Lucas finds himself trying to protect Grace from several folks that are after money that her husband owed people after getting involved with De Santis in an arms deal gone wrong.

Lucas on the other hand, he’s a guy who is so stoic, a man who won’t allow himself to feel anything because he thinks that he needs to deny himself of all pleasure and happiness….and he feels that its also the only way to stay in control of his life.  Grace makes that quite difficult because she’s not that sort at all, she’s an artist and by nature she’s the kind of woman who is driven by emotion and passion.  So seeing these two come together is quite interesting.

When Grace’s life is put in danger, and Lucas has to hole them up in a secret apartment that he owns, we see them grow closer together, but it takes a while for them ever to admit that they have an attraction because they both can’t really figure it out.  When they do finally get together, it’s hot and steamy and so appropriate for what the story needs.  Ms Ashenden has a knack for finding the best moments to introduce the heat and chemistry and make it build.

There’s so much going on in this story that you stay sucked in.  Grace as an artist is trying to finish her series of paintings for her first ever  show and she’s having a mental block on the final piece.  Lucas ultimately because the muse for it and when the show debuts, it’s something quite impressive.  Then there’s the bits of someone is still after Grace and when someone sneaks past their defenses and she’s at risk, we see true feelings come out.

I think that we get what we were expecting here, but with the way that the story’s written, we don’t know what the full ending will be and may not even know it with the finale of the last brother’s story.  I feel like De Santis will be a thorn in their side forever, even from what we got in the series from that side of things.  (recall that we got several books of the de santis heirs). So, who knows where things will go, and what family secrets will be uncovered next, but i know that i can’t wait to find out.  Enjoy!

ARC Review: Misadventures of a Good Wife (Misadventures #2) by Meredith Wild, Helen hardt

Title: Misadventures of a Good Wife
Author: Meredith Wild, Helen Hardt
Publisher/Year: Waterhouse Press 10/03/17
Length:   207 Pages
Series:  Misadventures #2

Overview

Kate and Price Lewis had the perfect marriage–love, fulfilling careers, and a great apartment in the city. But when Price’s work takes him overseas and his plane goes down, their happily-ever-after goes down with it.

A year later, Kate is still trying to cope. She’s tied to her grief as tightly as she was bound to Price. When her sister-in-law coaxes her into an extended girls’ trip–three weeks on a remote island in the South Pacific–Kate agrees. At a villa as secluded as the island, they’re the only people in sight, until Kate sees a ghost walking toward them on the beach. Price is alive.

Their reunion is anything but picture perfect. Kate has been loyal to the husband she thought was dead, but she needs answers. What she gets instead is a cryptic proposal–go back home in three weeks, or disappear with Price…forever.

Emotions run high, passions burn bright, and Kate faces an impossible choice. Can Price win back his wife? Or will his secrets tear them apart?

My Thoughts

First – again a big thank you to the folks at NetGalley for getting me the ARC of this story.  It’s another interesting installment into what’s not a series – but a collection of stories that are actually not at all related.

What we have – as the summary says is a story of couple who had it all, the perfect life together and then it was ripped apart.  Price is killed in a plane crash and Kate doesn’t really know how to get her life back together.  She works sometimes but really lives her life in a fog.  It’s on this island that things change.

Price isn’t dead.  I mean, we should have known that was going to be the case – but oh well.  Anyhow – Price has been living a year in hiding because he had uncovered some information about a company that was doing some shady business, and that company didn’t want him to let their information go public.

Throughout this story we have a few things going on.  One is the reconnecting of this couple – they have so much love and passion for each other that they want to fight against everything to make it work – even when it doesn’t seem realistic that they will end up happy.  Then there’s the idea that there’s so much more going on that Price isn’t telling Kate since he doesn’t quite ever give her the answers that she wants – letting us learn the hard way that life is never going to be safe.

Then there are several characters that are mentioned throughout the story that seem like they are nothing to talk about – but you know that authors often don’t write in characters unless there’s a twist or something significant.  Which is exactly what happens here.

The folks we love are forced to go on the run – Kate & Price, Otis, and even Michelle, and we don’t know who’s going to be discovered first and who will remain safe.  There’s so much anxiety when there are kidnappings and threats on lives – and honestly all you want is for the couple to have their happily ever after – and you just don’t know if it’s possible.  So on that note – you should def try to check this out and i think that i may even have the 3 book in this collection, so i’ll head off to read that one next.  Happy Sunday all!

Blog Tour: Embers of Fire by Ally Shields

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Description


A chilling prophecy. A child in danger.


Following

the defeat of the vampire elders, Guardian fire witch Arianna Calin and vampire

prince Andreas De Luca are considering moving to his estates in Italy to raise

their daughter in its idyllic setting. As if being descended from two powerful

witch bloodlines wasn’t challenging enough, Rayne was born with a mysterious

star tattoo on her shoulder. Her parents suspect she is the Chosen, the focus

of the Star of Esielen prophecy. But that’s something to worry about in the

distant future. Isn’t it? After all, their child may be precocious, but she is

only five.

Then

the murders begin. The stench of demonic activity hangs over Olde Town, and a

symbol carved in blood indicates Rayne may be the next victim. Suspicion points

in several directions: a rival vampire prince, a mysterious stranger, and a

werehyena leader attempting to break the bank at Andreas’s new casino.

<br />

Abandoning plans for a quiet life, Ari and Andreas hunt

for the killers. While Rayne may someday have to face her destiny alone, it’s

up to them to make sure she’s ready…and to keep her alive.

Excerpt

A crisp breeze caught

the last of the early morning fog and swirled it over the gravestones. The Olde

Town cemetery slowly emerged from the mist, its silent memorial to the dead

marred by an unusual amount of activity. A uniformed Riverdale cop completed a

final loop of bright yellow tape around several stone vaults and two small

crabapple trees. CS techs snapped photos and set out evidence markers as they

processed the crime scene.

With a hot Styrofoam

coffee cup in each hand, Arianna Calin bumped her jeans-clad hip against the

iron entrance gate, knocking it open, and slipped inside, her footsteps

crunching the brittle September leaves. When an eerie chill nudged her senses,

she swept the scene with a sharp glance.

Nothing she hadn’t

expected. Not yet. Nothing bad enough to trigger her witch alarms. But then, it

was a graveyard. The remnants of so many dead souls could mask a great deal.

She ducked under a high

section of the bright tape and focused on the blond man in jeans and a dark

gray sweatshirt crouched beside a still form. “ME’s not here yet?” she asked.

Lt. Ryan Foster, her

partner from the all-human Riverdale Police Department, looked up and stood,

his blue eyes lighting on the cups in her hands. “On his way. One of those for

me?”

A smile touched her

lips, and she handed him one, withholding further comment until he’d taken his

first jolt of caffeine. “Dispatch said it was a stabbing. Human female victim.

Is the suspect one of mine?” As a supernatural cop and guardian for Riverdale’s

Olde Town district, Ari wouldn’t be notified of an RDPD case unless the

Otherworld was involved. Usually that meant vampires or werewolves—the

predominant species in town—had run amok

.

“I’m not sure….” Ryan

rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Sorry to drag you out so early on a hunch, but

I have a weird feeling about this one.”

Ari nearly choked on

her coffee. “Oh, no you don’t. That’s my line. There’s only room for one of us

with spidey senses in this partnership.”

“Cop instincts,” he

corrected. His early-morning face was grumpy, displaying his constant annoyance

with things he didn’t understand. “It works for us mere mortals.”

“OK. Show me. What have

you got?” She stepped around him, the humor slipping from her lips at first

sight of the victim.

“Judge for yourself if

something doesn’t feel off.”

Vivid red blood stood

in stark contrast to the middle-aged woman’s light lemon sweater. Not a typical

stabbing…her throat had been slashed, leaving a spray pattern of arterial blood

on the fading grass around her and a glistening trail down the sides of a

gaping wound. It had soaked her neckline.

Ari’s nostrils flared,

taking in the sharp, metallic scent and seeking something more, whatever had

triggered Ryan’s reaction. All kidding aside, working with him for eight years

meant she trusted his gut feelings almost as much as her magic.

Bio

Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest along the Mississippi River, still considers herself “a river rat,” and currently resides near Des Moines. After a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time fiction writing in 2009. Her first urban fantasy, Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch #1) was published in 2012, and she currently has thirteen published novels. She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings into her books. Ms. Shields enjoys chatting with readers through her website/social media and can frequently be found on Twitter.

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