Review: Spare by Prince Harry

TitleSpare
Author: Prince Harry
Publisher/Year:  Random House Publishing 1/10/23
Length:  416 pages

Overview

Little boy, beloved son, brother, husband and father, prince, soldier, and advocate for social causes, Prince Harry Duke of Sussex has lived a life staged in the public eye, and who he really is has been the subject of second guesses, speculation, and projection. But no more. Spare is the up-close, behind the scenes, intimate, and forthright memoir of a man reclaiming his own story – its joys, sorrows, aspirations, conflicts, writ small and large. Pick it up for an unsparing glimpse into an extraordinary life!

My Thoughts

I’ll preface this by saying I USED to be a fan of Prince Harry, but I am no longer. So…if you like him, then perhaps stop reading now. Now…for those of you who decided to stick it out, I have to say something about this book. I have never and will never let a book beat me. Meaning no matter how bad a book is, i’ll finish it. It took me THREE WEEKS to finish this book, and there’s no reason that it should have. it’s 400 pages and that’s really nothing special in my eyes. what the issue was in my mind is that there was no story. It was poorly written and it’s incredibly whiny. For a man who was born into a life with no real struggles, it sure sounds like he wasn’t content, isn’t content with any opportunity that he has been provided and wants the world to pity him.

The book starts on the day of his mothers death. Not the night, but the day – where he makes you feel like he’s been living the best life ever – he says it was his happiest day. and then BOOM. That’s the day that his life went to shit. I don’t believe that’s the case – yes it was traumatic, but he was actually given all the means to cope and survive and chose to whine and blame instead.

From there we get glimpses into other aspects of his life. relationships, his time in school and his time in the army. More about the same stories that we heard about in the Netflix series telling us about how he met Meg and how their relationship evolved. Ironically there were inconsistencies AGAIN from what they shared in initial interviews and then in the series and now in the book. That’s probably one of my biggest issues with them too. But this is a review of the book and not the person.

Anyhow, what you have to suffer through here are recounting of all the wonderful things that he was provided. Houses, opportunities to travel the world and do charity work. Opportunities to provide safety in areas that were under attack and opportunities to provide light to people who were suffering. Yet, what we get in this slow reading, poorly written work is detail that makes him seem far less intelligent than we all wanted to believe he was, and stories that you begged to skip ahead because the level of detail just wasn’t worth the page it was written on.

So, if you feel the need to contribute to their family fortune, get this book, but only if you also want something to bang your head against rather than a wall. It’s not worth it…but that’s just me. Enjoy (or not!)

Review: Gold Mind (Diamond #2) by Skye Warren

TitleGold Mine
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Book Beautiful 9/15/20
Length:  314 pages
Series: Diamond #2

Overview

Holly Frank is in trouble. The deadly kind.

She and her sister must evade the authorities and the criminals who want them dead. Including Elijah North. The man who took her heart in Paris, her body in a prison cell, and her trust without remorse.

He’s determined to keep her safe. Even if that means losing her forever.

Adam Bisset has his own dark agenda.

She’s caught between the two men, torn apart with every sensual push and pull. Each touch is a lie, each whispered tenderness a trap-but she can’t resist them.

Their lies are tearing her apart. Her enemies are catching up with her. And when she’s taken captive again, she finds out secrets to unravel it all.

My Thoughts

This is one of those series that you really can’t put down because you know that it’s a roller coaster, a train wreck, and yet it’s still so hot and romantic and exciting. When we left Elijah and Holly at the end of book one, we knew that Elijah was going to deal with some of the people who were hunting them, and Holly was trapped in the house, and she knew it.

London some how managed to get the code to get Holly out of the house and on the run they go. We are then finding ourselves about a year in the future, at least I think it’s a year and there’s so much that has happened. The girls have managed to evade being found. We know that Adam is looking for them. Elijah is looking for them, and who knows who else is…especially since we know that London got herself into trouble with loan sharks etc because of a drug habit.

We find ourselves in Italy, at a party where Holly is trying to trade the value of the diamonds that they still have for the amount of money that London owes one specific man, and that’s when things blow up in their face.

Adam appears, and surprisingly he protects them. Mind you, we learn that he has a thing for London, and through the course of this book, we learn more about him to see that who he is is further intertwined in things. Then, when Adam is trying to get the girls to safety, Elijah shows up, and well…that’s going to cause strife.

So we go on a journey to a ‘safe house’ trying to understand if they are safe, what Elijah wants, and how this is going to end. The irony is that Holly and Elijah never had a chance to be apart from the first moment they met. They are marked on one another, imprinted sort of, and where ever they try to go, they find themselves drawn to each other. That’s a theme in this story, when there’s another kidnapping, a threat or few….shoot outs and questions about who’s going to survive.

We get to spend more time with the North brothers in this story – understanding what they don’t know about each other, what they can do to make each other better and what they can do to protect one another. That also means that perhaps I need to dig up the series about Josh since he’s definitely intriguing.

Anyway, we find relationships growing, then some are torn apart. We learn secrets and we see that secrets are being kept. there’s a main character on the verge of death when we end this second book and that means of course I have to dive into the next to see what happens. Enjoy!

Review: Diamond in the Rough (Diamond #1) by Skye Warren

TitleDiamond in the Rough
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Book Beautiful 6/7/20
Length:  314 pages
Series: Diamond #1

Overview

I’m stepping off a nine hour flight when it happens.

A white van. A dark hood. Every woman’s worst nightmare.

Now I’m trapped in an abandoned church. The man who took me says I won’t be hurt. The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie. I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls. I’ll need every single one of them to survive.

My Thoughts

It took me a moment to realize why I was familiar with the North name, and that’s because I read a later part of an adjacent series featuring Liam – you’ll remember him from a few reviews back. Anyway, in this story, we get the beginning of what you can expect to be a roller coaster with Elijah, and Holland (Holly) as their lives become intertwined years before they even know what’s going to happen.

We start off this book with Holly on a trip with her family, one that is protective for reasons that we don’t quite know, but for reasons that i’m sure will come in handy down the line. Holly is 16 and she’s acknowledged that she’s so different from the rest of her family. not interested in the same things and likely a bit deeper in thought. Her older sister London is the one to get attention, be adventurous and this trip to Paris gives Holly a view into what that life is.

She’s approached by a security guard at the Louvre who is not much older than her, but incredibly sexy. For some reason, this boy, E, he pays attention to Holly and not to London and that’s something that she struggles to wrap her head around. What happens next is that she goes against her families expectations, she sneaks out of the museum to spend time with him, and then sneaks out at night to do the same again. What she learns though after the fact is that she was used partially as a pawn. E wasn’t a security guard only, he was working with thieves who were stealing diamonds from the museum and used Holly to get them off property.

Fast forward 8 years and London has gone missing. Holly returns to Paris in the hopes of finding her since that’s the last known destination she was at, and what happens from there is insanity. Holly meets a man on the airplane who seems like someone out of a romance novel. He isn’t what he seems and we quickly realize that he’s using her as a pawn as sorts as well. He kidnaps her from the airport and she’s thrown into a cell with none other than Elijah.

There’s no end to what we question in this story – how she got pulled into this, what E has to do with it and what do they mean to each other. The man who kidnapped Holly, his name is Adam and he works with Interpol, but there’s a darker side to him. there’s something that we can’t put our finger on and what he makes E and Holly do brings out his true colors. The challenge of course is that it also forces up the emotions and feelings and chemistry that these two shared 8 years ago.

Holly needs Elijah’s help and protection to find her sister, especially once they break out of their prison, but what she learns about what Elijah is doing….how he’s made her his prisoner at the same time, well there’s no way that it’ll end well.

What we get at the very end though is a surprise. Elijah has broken Holly entirely. She wants to escape but has no way out of the house, and then when she least expects it, someone peers through the window, has the code to get out…..and we get more questions than answers. So, now i’m off to the second book since I can’t wait to see how this resolves. Enjoy!

Review: Bastard Boss (Tyler & Bella Duet #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

TitleBastard Boss
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Digital 11/17/22
Length:  200 pages
Series: Tyler & Bella Duet #1

Overview

A sexy, dirty talking alpha. The beautiful, sweet, and fiery Bella. Her boss. A contract that forces him to marry. An arrangement that will change them forever. Meet Tyler Hawk…

Tyler Hawk is a man with secrets and a dark past. A man who has known tragedy and betrayal. He wants for little, but what he wants is more power, a legacy that is his own, and not his father’s. There are obstacles in his way, one of which is the scandal his father left behind and a will with certain demands.

Behind the scenes he is a man on edge, and only one woman sees the truth hidden beneath his strong will and dominant rule. Bella is somehow demanding and submissive, fiery and yet sweet. She can give him everything he wants, she just doesn’t know it, not yet, but she will. If she’ll just say yes and sign on the dotted line.

My Thoughts

We met Tyler when we were deep into Dash’s story – understanding the dynamic between Tyler and Dash, we saw it was explosive and then seeing the way that Bella worked her way into that story as Dash’s sister and a boss lady in her own right.

Tyler has found himself in a position where he has to take over the reins of the business officially, his father died and he’s left to pick up the pieces. His father wasn’t a good man, and got himself and Tyler into things that they ought not to have been, and those past doings have an affect on the future. We’ll see how that plays out in his story that’s just getting started.

Then there’s Bella – she’s making her own path in the firm, not only representing her brother Dash, but others who are branching out in the entertainment world. She’s young, established, successful and sexy, and it’s a ticking time bomb to see if and when she and Tyler combust.

That’s the journey that we go on with this duo in this first installment of their story. There’s a spark between them, and they find themselves gravitating towards one another, sharing space and trying their best not to cross a line. Of course the inevitable happens and there are implications both personally and professionally.

There’s a friendship that they don’t want to damage

There’s a professional perception that needs to be maintained

But there’s so much more to the story that they can’t stay away.

The reason that we see things get more complicated is as a direct result of a deal Bella is closing for Dash that is starting to go south. She needs to fly out to meet with studio heads to get things back on track and she needs Tyler for muscle. Being in close proximity to him isn’t the best idea, but I think it’s safe to say that we all expect it to happen and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Add to that, Tyler’s father had stipulations in his will both for maintaining the vitality of the firm as well as giving Tyler his inheritance. He wants Tyler to make life choices that he may not agree with in the hopes to right the reputation of the agency, and that’s a challenge for him to deal with. Tyler is being forced to get married – to make it visible and public and get society and the business world back on their side. Tyler doesn’t want to get married and only really cares to be around one person, but that’s a person that’s too complicated to propose this to….Bella

We end this first story on fire basically. The chemistry between these two exploded in the naughtiest way, and then Tyler proposes a solution to give the firm security while also offering Bella what he thinks is something she’s always wanted. She doesn’t see it that way and off the cliff we go. So now…we wait. Enjoy!

Review: Hiding Places (Rochester Trilogy #4) by Skye Warren

TitleHiding Places
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Skye Warren 11/15/22
Length:  225 pages
Series: Rochester Trilogy #4

Overview

Emily Rochester rebuilds her life after being on the run. Her husband is gone. Her daughter is safe. The nightmare is behind her… except someone is watching.

Mateo Garza is everything she doesn’t want. Wealthy. Famous. Gorgeous.

He’s also the only man she trusts.

My Thoughts

When we thought we were finished with this series, along comes a fourth book, a spin off taking us on a journey after all the dust had settled, even when it hadn’t. We knew that Emily was back in Cape Eben, she’s been reunited safely with her daughter and she’s trying to rebuild her life. She’s got a house, and she’s writing the story of her life, all while her brother awaits trial for the murder of her husband.

On the other side of the story, we watch how Beau and Jane’s relationship evolves. He feels like she needs to live the life that a college age person should. attending whatever school she wants, living on campus, going to classes, making friends. But he also wants her around all the time. Jane on the other hand never expected to be able to go to college and wants to spend her time with Beau so it’s a struggle of a dynamic with them.

We watch as she tries to find her footing in the new world, trying to make choices that work for her and for Beau, while also trying to navigate the insanity of the murder trial since she was thrown into it when Joe went after her in one of the previous books.

It’s a roller coaster. We watch as the relationship we knew of grows. We watch as a new one unfolds between Emily and Mateo – a man that grew up with them, that was never on her radar in that sense, but a man that is a successful Hollywood actor, a man who’s goal in life is to protect and a man who’s wanted Emily since high school. Watching the level of trust and security there grow is one of the best parts of this story and then seeing how the entire dynamic shifts as a result is even better.

When lies are spun by Joe and the law, when people’s lives are put in danger and security is hired. When protection isn’t enough and someone is kidnapped – we start to see who’s on the right side of things, both in relationships and the law.

All in all not a long story by any means, but an intense and sweet way to wrap up things that have gone on. I now have to find another world to dive into, so i’m off! Enjoy!

Review: Luke’s Revenge (Walker Security: Lucifer’s Trilogy #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Luke’s Revenge
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Digital 9/23/22
Length:  218 pages
Series: Walker Security: Lucifer’s Trilogy #3

Overview

In the mind-blowing and stunning finale, all will be revealed as Lucifer’s forever with the woman he loves hangs in the balance.

My Thoughts

Well it’s fair to say that the description of this book really leaves something to be desired. What we do know though is that from the second book, we were left off knowing that people who were thought to be dead are alive, and that we don’t quite know who’s on which side of good vs. evil. What we do know is that we want to hope for the best here for Luke and Ana. We know that they want to be together but they have so many scars, so much scar tissue from the past that they aren’t sure what’s going to be the outcome.

What keeps this third and final installment moving is the quest to uncover the package that is being sought, and to determine who’s behind the request – who do they need to close this deal for to ensure their safety. There are thought and hypotheses but we don’t quite know for sure who it is and even the motivation.

Relationships are used against each other, family is thrown in Ana’s face as a means to an end, and we start to see just how tough she is and how she copes with things. What’s impressive in this story is that just like all the other Walker women, she’s secure, established, no nonsese, but she can be broken just like anyone else. That’s where Luke and Savage come into play – giving her a foundation and a touchstone to keep her cool.

They go on a wild goose chase. They’re given information that they want to believe yet are skeptical at every turn in the hopes of getting to the end of things. We watch as they get excited and then get let down, and then get hunted. All in the name of answering questions.

Add to all that stress the fact that they are trying to figure out what their relationship is, and taking whatever moments they can together to get back to the place that they were happiest. We want to hope that they can put the noise from the outside world, the demons from the past aside and solve problems.

What happens at the end of this story and series is the ending and culmination that we are all hoping for. We get to see who’s behind it all, we learn who’s on what side and we’re able to draw a line in the sand. All things that are necessary for closure and all the ending that this story needs. Is everyone happy and alive? Nope – but that’s not what we need here. We need anxiety, happiness, sexual tension and closure. So on that note, we get another saga in the Walker crew coming soon and i’m going to check that out. Enjoy!

Review: Follow Me Darkly (Follow Me #1) by Helen Hardt

Title: Follow Me Darkly
Author: Helen Hardt
Publisher/Year:  Entangled 3/29/20
Length:  315 pages
Series: Follow Me #1

Overview

She’s a take-charge woman. But he’s a master of control.

Skye Manning knows what she wants. Her job as assistant and photographer for a major social media influencer isn’t perfect, but it’s a rung on the ladder to bigger and better things. She’s confident she’ll one day take feature photos for National Geographic.

Self-made billionaire Braden Black didn’t get where he is by taking no for an answer. When a chance encounter with the refreshingly innocent and beautiful Skye piques his interest in more ways than one, he’s determined to make her submit.

Dating a billionaire soon has Skye in the middle of a Cinderella story…until the clock strikes midnight and Braden reveals his dark side. Heat sizzles between them, and Skye finds herself falling hard.

But Braden Black is no Prince Charming, and his dark desires are far from his only secret.

My Thoughts

I don’t quite know how I found this story but i’m glad that I did. I love a good introduction to a series where our leading lady has absolutely no idea what she’s getting herself into because of her status, her background, her current life situation and her innocence when it comes to a romantic interest. In this story – Skye suffers from all of that, and it’s lovely to watch Braden change her world.

We meet Skye when she’s the social content developer for a society girl. This gives her access to all sorts of sponsorships, an opportunity to expand her love of photography which is what she studied in school and hoped to make into some type of profession.

It’s when she’s filtering comments for her boss, and then the root of negative comments turns out to be society playboy Braden that her life changes. He swoops in, propositions her for things that she’s never expected or knew existed and pushes her to lengths that were unfathomable.

He has a dark side, a delicious one and that means that she’s going to either have to become open minded, learn to put the whispers to the back of her mind or walk away. She has faith that she knows everything, however it seems like there may be some darkness that’s not resolved and potentially dangerous lurking under the water. He wants to give her a lot that she’s never experienced, and she wants to lie her life for herself. So, let’s just hope that the conflict that arose at the end of book one some how resolves in book 2. so, onto the next! Enjoy!

Review: Two for the Show (One for the Money #2) by Skye Warren

Title: Two for the Show
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Dangerous Press 9/13/22
Length:  200 pages
Series: One for the Money #2

Overview

Pregnant. Alone. And heartbroken. The only thing Eva Morelli knows for sure is that she wants this baby. She learned how to depend only on herself a long time ago.

The father, however? He made his position on marriage and children very clear.

Finn Hughes has fought his fate for years, but it’s finally catching up to him. Duty took away his choices. How can he hope for forever? He already knows how this ends.

There’s only one thing worse than having a family.

Losing them.

My Thoughts

This is one of those stories that you know how it’ll play out, you’ll defeat all the odds, but you’re still so curious to see how it happens. We met this couple when they created a fake relationship to help both of them out. Eva needed a man on her own terms to keep her family at bay since they all wanted her to be protected and cared for, and her mother wanted her to marry well. Finn on the other hand is a playboy that needed a woman to keep everyone else away and to protect his family secret.

They found something wonderful in each other since they both didn’t want anything serious, but some how opened their hearts just enough to let the other in. And of course that got them into trouble. We ended the first book with a breakup and a surprise pregnancy, as we often do in these stories.

So we start this second installment with Eva trying to sort out what that means for her, she knows that she wants the baby and knows that when Finn learns about it, he won’t since he believes there’s no out from the ‘family curse’ so that’s a conundrum. We watch how this plays out whilst also watching her brother go through the traumatic birth of a child and then secrets come out.

There’s a roller coaster in this story – one of emotions and reality. We watch Finn come to terms with what his life is going to be with or without Eva and he realizes that he can’t be without her. He goes about it in the wrong way of course which pushes her even further away. His misguided attempts are part of what makes this story so charming.

Throughout this story, it’s not just their relationship that’s up and down. We see the Hughes industries people begin to question what’s really going on with Finn’s father, and what’s being hidden or covered up. We knew this moment would come so not only are we dealing with personal strife, we have professional struggle as well.

There are secrets to be kept, there are secrets that come out and there is the unknown of the overall impact on the future of just about everything. What we don’t really have in this story is the same deep and insane passion that we’ve had in the previous book, but I think that’s because of the emotional craziness that we’ve gone through instead. That means that i’m sure we’ll return to it with gusto in book three, but in the meantime, knowing there’s the passion and heat will have to get us through. So on that note, enjoy!

Review: Falling for the Beast (A Modern Fairy Tale Duet #2) by Skye Warren

Title: Falling for the Beast
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Dangerous Press 4/30/19
Length:  200 pages
Series: A Modern Fairy Tale Duet #2

Overview

He can never turn back into a prince…

A troubling revelation puts Blake’s newfound career in jeopardy–and even worse, puts Erin’s impending graduation at risk. He can’t risk her future no matter how much he wants her.

She will never have a happily ever after…

A dark legacy threatens everything they’ve worked to build. When old debt comes between them, both Blake and Erin must fight to protect each other–and their love.

Since their forbidden beginning, Erin and Blake’s relationship has been marked by deep sensuality and intense emotion. The couple is tested at every turn. They’re running out of time. Blake and Erin will have to trust each other to forge their own sexy ending.

My Thoughts

It’s been a roller coaster of sorts as we watched this relationship take shape, evolve and then run into challenges towards the end of the first installment. We knew that they weren’t destined to be together for one reason or another, but the attraction that they have for each other, the desire that they share potentially could allow them to overcome it all.

It’s graduation time for Erin, and we want to see her get all that she’s earned and deserves. The degree, the man, the life, but that doesn’t seem like it’s a given. No matter how hard she tries to prove herself in school, there are people who want to cut her down. And there’s the stigma of the impact Blake has on her, on the people around her and the decision makers for her.

There is also a lot for Blake to overcome in this story – he’s got his own demons, his own past to overcome and the experiences that brought him back to this world that impact who he is and how he reacts.

What confuses me a bit in this story is the history that we start to learn and the connection that we learn about between Erin and Blake that precedes them. The notion that Erin’s mother has history with Blake’s father is confusing and random and explains a lot when we learn of the predisposed opinions, but then there’s the added layer of what no one else knew, and what others involved int he situation knew which implied things were not as they seemed even at the time.

Regardless, what we have is complex, romantic, hot and gives you hope that things can change in the future if you allow yourself to block out the noise of others, and when you choose to listen to the noise, how you can make your own story and path. This may not have been my favorite ‘series’ from our author, but i’ll give her a pass since she’s written many of my favorites. Enjoy!

Review: Beauty and the Professor (A Modern Fairy Tale Duet #1) by Skye Warren

Title: Beauty and the Professor
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Dangerous Press 4/23/19
Length:  200 pages
Series: A Modern Fairy Tale Duet #1

Overview

Once upon a time there was a beautiful college student…

Erin cleans Mr. Morris’s house twice a week to pay her tuition. The reclusive ex-soldier intimidates her, but she can’t help but feel sympathy for him. Then she walks in on him touching himself, and she has much darker, much more sensual feelings.

And a beastly professor with scars he can’t hide…

Blake Morris knows he’s scarred both inside and out. He’s reclusive and surly. Nowhere near good enough for the smart and beautiful young woman who cleans his house.

He receives an offer to return to his alma mater as an associate professor. This is his chance to reenter the world–and to be worthy of the woman he dreams about. He never expected to see her sitting in his classroom on the first day of the semester.

My Thoughts

The summary gives a certain level of romanticism to this story, and while it’s accurate, there are elements that are a little misleading. We do meet Erin while she’s working as a maid, cleaning Blake’s house. We know that she’s attracted to him even though he feels that he’s scarred and hideous and damaged. It’s all due to being in the army, being tortured and yet that still doesn’t seem to be enough for him. What we learn is that he was engaged prior to the accident and the woman that he was with (ironically another professor at the university), she dumped him QUICKLY when he came back and that;s part of what makes the pain worse.

Erin on the other hand has her own struggles. She’s working to pay tuition, being the first in her family to go to college, and we also learn that her mother forged much of the same path. working as a maid – a profession that’s respectable when you need to feed your family, but what she learned quickly is that there’s a disparity when you’re working for a wealthy family who feels like you have to do all they say since they pay your bills. A lesson that Erin’s mom is afraid she’s going to learn from Blake.

This story takes a turn when we see the feelings that Blake has for Erin when she least expects it. She walks in on him pleasuring himself, and out comes her name. We then get to watch how she takes matters into her own hands, makes him realize that what he feels isn’t one sided and a lovely romance blooms from there.

There’s a bit of risk here knowing that he’s a professor now and she’s a student, although not in his class. they manage to keep things under wraps until a new semester starts and Erin finds herself in the last class she needs to take to graduate and it’s Blake who’s the teacher. They play it cool, but what we learn is that it’s not cool enough. The professor that was engaged to Blake before his accident is stil lat the school and we get to see what happens when she realizes that he’s still perfect and yet he’s moved on. She discovers the truth and that’s where our story nets out. There are threats on him, there are threats to Erin and we don’t know what the outcome will be. Romance is off the table and hearts are broken. Off the cliff we go, until we get into the next installment. Enjoy!