Review: Forty 2 Days (The Billionaire Banker #2) by Georgia Le Carre

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Title: Forty 2 Days
Author:  Georgia Le Carre
Publisher/Year:  Georgia Le Carre 2/3/14
Length:  264 Pages
Series: The Billionaire Banker #2

Overview

Beyond the seductive power of immense wealth lies… Dark Secrets
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Devastatingly handsome billionaire, Blake Law Barrington was Lana Blooms first and only love. From the moment they touched his power was overwhelming. Their arrangement quickly developed into a passionate romance that captivated her heart and took her on an incredible sexual journey she never wanted to end.
The future together looked bright until Lana made a terrible mistake. So, she did the only thing she could… she ran.

Away from her incredible life, away from the man of her dreams, but she should have known a man such as Blake Law Barrington was impossible to escape. Now, he’s back in her life and determined that she should taste the bitterness of his pain.

Shocked at how rough the sex has become and humiliated that she is actually participating so willingly in her punishment, she despairs if she will ever feel the warmth of his touch-the solidity of his trust again? And even if she can win his trust, loyalties are yet to be decided, and secrets to be revealed-secrets that will test them both to their limits.

Will Lana be able to tear down the walls that surround Blake’s heart, and break him free of the brutal power of immense wealth?

Can Blake hold on to Lana’s heart when she discovers the enormity of the dark secrets that inhabit the Barrington family?

Lana has always believed that love conquers all. She is about to test that belief…

My Thoughts

Well, we all know how these stories play out right?  I mean, it’s to be expected that there’s going to be a rift between a couple, typically caused by someone else, and we saw that happen at the end of book 1, with Victoria stepping in to try to protect what she thinks is hers.  Of course, we know that things will have to come full circle.

Book 2 takes us about a year in the future, when Lana has left the country as told, and returned, in the hopes of rebuilding her life with her son now who is just a few months old – holding onto what ever she can, since that’s not much.  We meet up with Lana as she’s applying for a loan in the hopes of getting help to start her business with Billie – to make children’s clothes.  Of course, anything to do with banking means that we’ll cross paths with Blake again.  and that’s what happens.  He has been monitoring her and finds that she has an appointment at the bank and goes there personally to sort out what when wrong.

From there, we learn that he’s not willing to let her go, although he’s turned quite cold and callous over the past year – under the impression that she left him after getting the money that she wanted – and that she was after nothing else from him….but his money – hoping to trash his feelings at the same time.  Because of this, he’s decided that he wants to hold her to the remainder of her contract – the remaining 42 days – and this is both a blessing and a pain to Lana…given that she’s still madly in love with Blake, yet has her own secrets to protect.

she’s afraid that as stated in the contract, if Blake finds out that Sorab, her son is actually his, that they will take him from her.  so she creates this elaborate scheme that it’s Billie’s son yet that she watches him 4 days a week – so that she can keep him at the apartment at least half of the time.

What we have in this 2nd installment is a complex story of 2 people who clearly love one another, and want to be together, yet Blake needs to sort himself out.  He takes his pain and anger out on Lana, in the sense that he’s mean to her, and that he wants to punish her, yet he never physically hurts her.  this gives Lana hope since she sees under his facade.  She’s even willing to admit to him that she loves him, in the hopes that it’ll soften things.

This is where things take their expected turn, and get juicy.  Just when you begin to see the tides turning, Victoria’s mom pops up with a warning, and this makes Lana even more fearful since her secrets aren’t so secret anymore.  She’s been warned to trust no one, and yet she’s not sure what she can do about it.

The final few chapters of this story are really exciting.  Not only do we continue to have the amazing passion and romance that we have come to know and love from Blake, but we have a story that’s so dark,and twisted and complex that you really are invested heavily.  This is why i was up reading until the wee hours of the morning since i needed to see what was going to happen.

Let’s just say that the cliff that we were left on at the end was one with a steep drop – you don’t know who’s going to free fall, who;s going to survive and at what cost.  I really don;t want to have to wait until May for the next installment, but i suppose at least i know that it’ll be worth it since Ms. Le Carre has a writing style that really keeps you tied to the characters and the plot.  I hope you guys enjoy it!

Review: The Billionaire Banker (The Billionaire Banker #1) by Georgia Le Carre

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Title: The Billionaire Banker
Author:  Georgia Le Carre
Publisher/Year:  Georgia Le Carre 10/23/13
Length:  276 Pages
Series: The Billionaire Banker #1

Overview

Beyond the seductive power of immense wealth lies… Dark Secrets

When Lana Bloom learns the devastating news that her mother is dying, she is faced with a terrible dilemma. The one thing that can save her is the one thing she does not have.

For young and Innocent Lana, The unthinkable is her only choice.

When she walks through the door of that exclusive restaurant she has no idea of the seismic shift her life is about to take, for the highest bidder will not be the rich man she has accompanied.

Fate drops her at the feet of the deeply mysterious and dazzlingly gorgeous American banker, Blake Law Barrington. Throbbing with raw masculinity and arrogance, this is a man who owns all that he pursues.

And now he wants her.

Lana cannot deny she is both intrigued and intoxicated by the world Blake inhabits and the smouldering passion he stirs in her body, but she is also fearful for this man is addictive and right now she is very vulnerable. She knows she should focus only on the arrangement, but how can she?

When he has opened a door that cannot be closed…

My Thoughts

I’m a sucker for a story about a successful man who comes to the rescue of a damsel in distress, and finds himself in a situation that he didn’t expect and that has implications for the future.

This story starts off with Blake having dinner before a party one night when he sees a woman enter the restaurant that takes all of his attention.  She’s stunning but clearly looks out of place and this woman is Lana Bloom.  She’s at dinner with Ruper Lothian who isn’t the classiest of men, kind of perverse based on what folks say, and Blake comes to her rescue.  Mind you, Lana knows what she’s getting into when she goes out with Rupert, because she needs a large amount of money and she’s hoping that he’ll give it to her in exchange for her sexual favors.  Blake offers double the amount of money, without knowing how much and well, things spin out from there.

What we have here is a nice story of a naive girl of 19, and a well established man of 29 – he teaches her what it is to be wanted, cared for and to be quite sexual, yet he’s learning from her as well.  what’s nice in this story is that we seen an even trade off of ‘banter’ – she calls him out on his high brow life of society, and he’s willing to debate the ‘low life’ qualities of those who are poor.  It’s really nice though to see that he does have emotions given that he learns that she works hard based on her up bringing from her mother, and then learns that she’s ‘sold’ herself to care for her mother who has stage four cancer.

The journey that we take is a really nice one.  We have a man who clearly likes to control the woman that he’s with,.but it’s erotic without being BDSM in nature.  We also see that he’s fighting what he’s known, even though he’s clear about what his intentions are with her and that he’s promised to someone else.  He does however take what he wants of her and her body – and what we get is some pretty great scening and great imagination from our author.  It’s well written and not seedy – always adding to the high wealth and society ambiance that’s being cultivated.  Lana is given her freedom as long as she’s on call and available when he wants her-  so her life is only upturned in the sense that she has a posh apartment, nice clothes and doesn’t have to work for a few months.

All good things come to an end though right?  You have to expect that the women that he’s supposed to marry is going to find out about Lana and all hell will break loose.  We also know that at some point something in the contract that Blake made Lana sign will come to bite her in the butt – so it’s just a matter of time until we see that.

I can’t wait to see where things go, given that we had quite the cliff hanger of somoene ending up in the hospital, and someone fleeing the country – and someone showing their evil and vindictive side.  With all this anxiety, at least we know that there’s heated chemistry among some, and I can only hope that the heat and passion will continue into book 2.

 

Review: Seduced by Fire (Partners in Play #1) by Tara Sue Me

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Title: Seduced by Fire
Author:  Tara Sue Me
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group USA  3/4/14
Length: 320 Pages
Series: Partners in Play #1

Overview

Julie Masterson craves a taste of danger.

Despite being familiar with the different games people play in the bedroom, she’s never given into her curiosity about putting her body in someone else’s power—until a chance meeting with Daniel Covington, the seductive Senior VP of Weston Bank, draws her into a titillating new world of sexual experience, one that she never knew she desperately needed.

Daniel is highly respected within his community, but he hasn’t had an exclusive relationship for over two years. Yet Julie’s eager innocence is driving him to the brink of ecstasy, making him rethink his feelings about commitment.

As their sizzling connection heats up, Daniel is ready to take Julie fully under his command. But when the dangerous side of their play rears its ugly head, Julie will have to decide if she trusts him enough to surrender completely—or if she should escape before she gets burned…

My Thoughts

I’ve determined that i’m still a huge fan of Tara Sue Me based on how this story line developed and evolved.  Her knack for writing erotica, and specifically BDSM, well, it makes you really feel like you’re in each of the scenes, as an active participant.

We meet Julie and Sasha in the flower shop that they own, on a day that Daniel Covington (Master Covington) walks into their shop.  Sasha seems to know him, and once she noticed that Julie has an attraction to him, tries to put the kibosh on it.  The question in Julie’s mind is how does Sasha know him, and what’s the fear there.

We should also say here that Julie’s aware that Sasha is a sub and that she enjoys a bit of kink while that’s not something that Julie’s pursued yet in life.  It’s this though that makes Julie wonder if perhaps this is how Sasha knows him.

Through a series of events, Julie ends up on a date with Daniel at a charity event,where they solidify the fact that they have a strong mutual attraction and heated chemistry.  Of course they end up in her hotel room and while it’s ‘vanilla’ – it’s still really hot.  We then get a taste of what Daniel has to offer.

Of course this book then takes a really smooth and positive path – a journey of Julie’s self discovery of her submissive side, while allowing Daniel to really control the situation in a way that his dom side loves.

It’s only when some unfortunate things happen to Sasha at the hands of her dom that things really go south.  We see Julie pulling away from Daniel, and we see that he doesn’t know how to react to things.  This is where you really find yourself invested in their story – since you know that Julie has to do what she wants for her friend, yet you have to wonder how long she’s going to torture herself and Daniel.

The other interesting side story is of Dena, another sub that often helps Daniel in demos and clearly has an attraction for him.  We have to wonder what her motives are and if she’s going to make trouble for Julie – that’s something that I wondered about.  I’m always fearful of people messing up what i hope will be a long and strong relationship.

The really nice thing about this story is that we’re constantly reminded of the heat and passion that these 2 clearly share.  Our author has a strong grasp on how to write a scene that draws you in and keeps you there.  It’s hot and steamy, and oh so perfect for the genre.  Enjoy!

Review: Isaura (Aberrant #3) by Ruth Silver

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Title: Isaura
Author:  Ruth Silver
Publisher/Year:  Patchwork Press  11/21/13
Length: 242 Pages
Series: Aberrant #3

Overview

With Joshua’s recent disappearance, Olivia has little choice but to head into the dangerous Gravelands as the new government wrestles with fixing the damage to society. Joining forces with her estranged father and a girl from Haven, they go on a search-and-rescue mission to find Joshua and bring him back alive. If traveling through outlaw territory isn’t frightening enough, Olivia learns she has exposed her secret and is hunted by her allies.

My Thoughts

Oh how i wanted this final installment to be better than book 2, and in line with book 1, but that did not happen at all.  What we have here is a conclusion to the trilogy that left me so confused about things, that it took me longer than i expected to get through it.

So, at the end of Moirai, we know that Josh was taken by Gov. Craynor, and of course Olivia was going to do what she could to find him.  Of course she does, but in doing so, she’s put herself in danger, and Isaura – the woman that we met in Torv in the last book, she’s come back and decided to mess with Olivia a bit, and that’s where the story goes down a bad path.

Isaura has her own powers, she’s been injected with Mindonsiphan, but she also has other powers that we’re never told about.  we just know that she can do things that no one else can.  She tricks Olivia at one point, takes her to another time in the past, and then wreaks havoc around Torv and elsewhere.

This story really is about how Olivia tries to evade Isaura, figure out how to kill her, save women who are under an experiment that Isaura is performing, while trying to be happy.  While one of the nice things about this story was the love between Josh and Olivia, we’re not focused on that so much anymore, until later in the finale, and it kind of loses me.

We’re reuinted with characters that play a key role, but we’re constantly being hinted at that they can’t be trusted, yet we never find out if they can be or not.  There are also comments towards the end that hint at things, but they are really just left there hanging.  It’s no spoiler for me to say this, but there’s a comment at one point asking Josh about his father, yet at that point Josh hadn’t seen his father – and then we hear nothing more of it.

So…we get the ending that everyone expects – we see what happens for Olivia, Adelaide, Henry, Josh, Isaura, Gavin and everyone else.  I’m just baffled about things since i feel like there was so much that was talked about 1 time and never again.  I also don’t get the progression of things, and how somethings are left to be assumed and never put into writing.

All in all, i’d say average if not below average for the finale, and i don’t often say that.  For the sake of enjoying the first book, i hope that i’m the only one who doesn’t like how this series closed – and i’d love it if someone else has read it and can tell me that there are things that maybe i missed or read too much into which put me on a sad path.  oh well!  not every book can be amazing right?

Review: Moirai (Aberrant #2) by Ruth Silver

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Title: Moirai
Author:  Ruth Silver
Publisher/Year:  Patchwork Press  9/20/13
Length: 246 Pages
Series: Aberrant #2

Overview

Olivia has been on the run from the government of Cabal since the marriage ceremony. Finally settling in and finding herself a place to call home in Shadow, Olivia and Joshua prepare for the uprising that they and the rebel alliance have been planning for months.

With new abilities and special talents from Mindonsiphan, Olivia learns she can do more than most ordinary eighteen year olds. Learning both to hide and perfect her skills will be one of the biggest challenges she’ll be forced to face.

A constant rollercoaster of emotion and adventure await Olivia and Joshua as they embark on a journey to the rebel city of Torv, and what was once home, Genesis.

My Thoughts

I’m confused.  Not with the story -but how we’re getting there.  It’s just not making sense to me, and i think that there’s too much going on.  We were off to such a strong start with the story of Olivia finding out that she’s ‘different’ and building her relationship with her best friend Josh who she was matched with.  From that point though, things start to get all jumbled.

In this 2nd installment of the series, we’re seeing the development of the plot to over throw the governments by the rebel alliance.  The ‘super powered’ folks of Shadow have to do their part to get the other towns to be on their side, and set out to do that.  At the same time, there’s a plan to get Olivia into Genesis so that she can help the rebels bomb the governors mansion during the Governor’s Ball.  Of course things are never that easy.

We learn that there are outlaws who have found Shadow, and have killed one man, and they now have to find that killer.  There are deaths among characters that we have come to know and appreciate as a result of their belief that what the rebels want is right.  We also get introduced to a bunch of new characters and learn about what’s going on in their towns, supporting why Olivia’s mission has to be successful.

I find that bridge books in trilogies tend to lose me at first – like it’s just that – a bridge from the strong beginning to a strong end.  When that happens though, you don’t know if you want to even read the finale.  The reason that I think that i’m going to continue to invest myself is for the following:

1) we see that it’s possible for Olivia and Josh to have their happiness, but of course it’s not that easy, which we see in the very last page of the book

2) we are really seeing Olivia grow up and come into her own.  Partly through Adelaide – the little girl that she saved from a bombed town, and partly because when the townspeople want a leader, she openly admits that it’s not her.  she’s a figurehead – not a leader

3) i’m just really curious about some of the folks that we’ve met and i don’t trust them.

What i’m hoping that happens in the third book is that we get back to what make Aberrant good.  Simple easy to follow story lines with great background to ensure that you know what’s going on and why things are as they are.  We lost that here, and i think that it was one of the features that i enjoyed about Ms. Silver’s writing.

Review: Aberrant (Aberrant #1) by Ruth Silver

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Title: Aberrant
Author:  Ruth Silver
Publisher/Year:  Patchwork Press  4/28/13
Length: 250 Pages
Series: Aberrant #1

Overview

In the future dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government’s match in marriage and “The Day of the Chosen”, a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn’t existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she’s arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from “The Day of the Chosen.” The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.

With Joshua’s help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.

My Thoughts

I’ve had this book in my library for a bit and finally got around to reading it – and i’m pleased that i did.  I love how creative and imaginative authors can get with dystopia, and i feel like lately i’ve been on a trend of reading those that talk about the inability to reproduce in the future because of plagues.  that was the case in Partials, and now it’s the case in Aberrant.  But…this is a nice new take on things, so i didn’t mind.

In this first installment of the series, we’re in a similar situation as we saw in the Matched Trilogy – upon coming of age, you’re told who you’d be matched with for marriage and life moving forward-  the choice is taken away from you.  We meet Olivia and Joshua – who are best friends and fortunately the same age.  Leading into their marriage ceremony – they aren’t sure that they’ll be pleased with who’s chosen for them, and while Olivia would be happy with Joshua, he seems to be thinking of others, which is saddening to her.  Of course though, what we tend to see in series like this – they are luckily paired together, and can have a future with someone that they at least like.

From the moment that they are matched, things seem to be great – but that doesn’t even last a day.  On their first night in their new home, Olivia is arrested and thrown into jail for a reason that she doesn’t even know.  Hours later, her mother is also arrested and thrown into the cell next to her, and this is when Olivia learns an interesting truth about her.  In finding out that she was the result of a natural pregnancy, never heard of, it means that she’s also capable of having a child naturally and that means that EVERYONE wants to get their hands on her.  she’s an anomoly.

good news though is that Josh comes to rescue her, with the help of his mother who just happens to be part of the rebel alliance – and leads them to their escape to a rebel town.  When they get there though, they learn that they can’t be together since the town’s society thinks that if they choose to be together, then they are upholding what the government back home wants, and that can’t ever happen.  They are ripped apart from one another, threatened, and Olivia is told that she must choose someone else within 3 years and have a child with them.  That of course makes no one happy – although it seems like Joshua is moving on one night when Olive goes to him and he has another girl in his room.

Since things are never as they seem, their whole world gets thrown upside down again, and they are forced to flee for their lives during an attack, and that is where their journey gets even more interesting and complex.

What’s nice about this story is that while expected – i think that the plot line is interesting.  Everyone wants to use Olive since she’s an urban legend of sorts, and of course given that she’s just 18, she doesn’t want to do what others necessarily tell her.  Josh continues to try to protect her, and the story will continue on that path i can imagine.

What i think is nice though is that we get a bit of the back story on what happened to make society what it is – since Josh and Olive are told that they are required to learn the society history in order to stay in Haven.  In their studies, they get a different POV on things than what they were taught back home – talking about the Red Plague that killed everyone off, how global community fought back against in and what the repercussions were.  I also like that we see that Olive and Josh are strong characters from the beginning – not weak and naive.  they show us that they have come into their own even before they are fully faced with the struggles that they’ll have to deal with and that’s a nice thing in this genre.  I’m used to the girl being so weak, and that’s not the case here.

I guess the question becomes – who can they trust – how will they survive, where will they survive, and what’s going to be their closure?  Will Olive and Josh be together?  do they even want to be together like that?

What confuses me though is this one thing.  Everyone outside of Genesis – their home city knows of this myth/urban legend of Olivia’s existence – that her mother was able to conceive naturally.  How come no one at home knew about it except the doctor – and therefore no one knew about it until her arrest?  it’s just interesting to me how one town could be so blind to something, or closed off.  but i guess you only see what you want.

Anyway, i’m off to read Moirai – book 2 and see how their journey continues.

Divergent: Book v. Movie

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I’ve read the book now 4 times and I have seen the movie twice, so i think that it’s fair for me to do a little comparison and see what you guys think too.  I have to start off by saying that in the realm of books being made into movies, this is one of the better ones – especially in the genre.  I really enjoyed it – so the misses and flaws that i saw, fortunately they weren’t game changing.

Here we go…

1) How come we don’t get to know more about the Dauntless initiates?  specifically Uriah?  we only see him in 1 scene, the zip lining scene, which was actually taken out of context in the movie?  I feel like Uriah and his brother Zeke play such a role in the future books that it wasn’t set up well in the movie

2) Edward wasn’t as featured in the movie – and we totally forgo the eye stabbing scene.  why is that?  remember that in the coming books, the boy with the eyepatch is a recognizable person among the factionless

3)  Will’s sister Cara isn’t in the movie at all, and that’s odd to me given that we spend some time with her in the next installments too.  I just wonder how they are going to introduce her in the next films, although i’m sure there’s a way

4) When Tris and Four kill the simulation, they never take any hard drive from the computer – they just wipe the program.  I think that’s going to be interesting how things play out since we know that the hard drive itself is something that people want in the coming book.

in the movie there were also a few liberties being taken, meaning that Four doesn’t point out that he noticed the Erudite bringing in supplies to Dauntless – no one realizes it until it’s almost too late – and it’s Tris in the book that connects the dots.

I also didn’t think that Erudite would be so futuristic in the movie.  given what we know of the city from the book, how Chicago was destroyed, i figured anything that was renovated would be nicer, but not futuristic.  Any everyone had tablets – while in the book it was all about pages of paper being printed (remember when Tris tried to get her closure by throwing the articles into the Chasm).

Anyhow, like i said, i thought that the movie was really well done and all those things above that i feel weren’t consistent, they weren’t game changing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts

Review: Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3) by R.K. Lilley

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Title: Lovely Trigger
Author:  R.K. Lilley
Publisher/Year:  R.K. Lilley  3/12/14
Length: 356 Pages
Series: Tristan & Danika Trilogy #3

Overview

THE IMPACT
Tristan hit rock bottom, and no one felt the impact harder than Danika. She was forced to see, in the most brutal of ways, that love does not conquer all. Bruised, bloody, and broken she had to walk away.
THE AFTERMATH
Picking up the pieces of your life after a tragedy is a daunting prospect, and that’s considering you still own all of the pieces. But what if you don’t? What if someone else owns those pieces, and those pieces are a part of your soul?
You dig deep and work with what you’ve got.
That’s what Danika told herself and believed, every single day, for years.
Tristan and Danika’s love had failed every test that life had thrown at them. She couldn’t forget that, not for one second. And if those tests had been overly harsh, well, she wasn’t one to wallow in self-pity. The failure was the thing she had to focus on. The failure was the lesson. She had no intention of working so hard to make it out of hell without learning that lesson well.
THE REUNION
Over six years after the night that changed everything, Danika finds herself forced to spend the weekend constantly in Tristan’s company, as they attend the wedding of two of their dearest friends. It’s been long enough that she feels they can be friendly again without it destroying her peace of mind, but just a small amount of time in his presence has her remembering something she had forced herself to forget: There’d been a reason she’d gone through hell with this man, for this man, some true good to precede the bad.
She shocks herself by quickly giving in to a hunger that she never imagined could still consume her.
Even the best intentioned denial has a breaking point.
THE HARSH REALITY
After everything that’s happened, the rise and the fall, the pain and the aftermath, can these two navigate the waters of acute regret, survive the trials of coming face to face with all that they have lost, and find the strength to try again?

My Thoughts

After being so invested in this couple’s roller coaster of a relationship, I was really happy to see where things could go with them.  You knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how they were going to get closure, and if it was going to happen…and what that ending would look like.

From the teaser that we got from Lana’s story, we knew that being together at the wedding was going to stir things up again, and we knew that Tristan needed to make another attempt after getting out of rehab which is what he tries.

If you’ll remember from the 2nd installment in the series, we had just come off of Danika’s accident – at the hands of Dean, who had tried to rape her while driving her home, after Tristan was too high to have a conversation with Danika.  She had gone to his house to let him know that she was pregnant again in the hopes that they could reconcile, and things went drastically wrong.  Fast forward to where they are again in this third and final installment, when they are trying to put their lives back together, but being still broken and in pieces from the aftermath of their relationship.

The POV that this story took was a nice one.  We’re taken on a slower fast forward of sorts, when we get to see how their lives changed and went on over a period of 6 years until we’re finally placed in their present day.  Danika has tried to go about her life – repairing things, trying to be normal when her life is anything but.  James Cavendish (who we know from his own story) – the owner of the Cavendish Casino and empire has given her an opportunity to run his Gallery in Vegas, and then LA and then even across the world.  This is something that gives Danika purpose when she’s without it since she can no longer dance because of her knee.

This also puts her in indirect contact with Tristan once again as he now has his magic show in the casino in Vegas.  This is something that he’s revelling in given that he’s not in the same mindset as he was as a rocker – while he’s still with the band and they are recording an album, there’s no more touring as that’s too much of a trigger for his addictions.

So this story takes us on the journey of Tristan trying to get Danika back since she’s his everything (such a romantic notion) and Danika’s fear that there’s nothing left of her now, let along when things crash and burn again as she expects them too.  She’s tried to have relationships through the 6 years apart and even during the present, and Tristan some how comes between everyone.  Either subconsciously or even by warning some of the guys off.

The really nice thing about this story is that we get to pick back up on the romantic that Tristan is – we saw a bit of that in previous books – seeing that he tries to be the nice guy by cooking for Danika and always looking to do things for her that she loves.  She’s skeptical and fights it, but he’s persistent in a nice way.  We also get to see the intense heat and passion and chemistry between these 2, and i’m glad that it’s something that we don’t lose even though they are not together for this book.  Their dynamic is really amazing in the sense that they know that they have this attraction that can not compare to anything else, yet the way that the interact otherwise is great.  Their level of comfort with one another is really engaging to watch – the humor and fun that they have with each other really keeps you wanting to read more.

The question about where this story will go is one that’s expected, yet I’m always interested to see how R.K. Lilley will take us there.  You have hopes and expectations of how things will end, which i fully anticipated, but the journey wasn’t diluted at all even with this.

The epilogue was a nice approach as well – not just giving us a final chapter, but segmenting it so that you’re taken on yet another journey.  Honestly, i couldn’t have been more pleased with the way that this series played out and how the finale gave closure to some less than savory experiences.

I saw that there’s going to be a 4th installment in Bianca and James’ story when i finished this book, so that makes me even happier given that i love the dynamic of this group of friends, and i can’t wait to see what comes next.  I hope you guys enjoy this finale though to Tristan and Danika’s specific tale.

 

ARC Review: Layers Off (Layers Trilogy #3) by Lacey Silks

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Title: Layers Off
Author:  Lacey Silks
Publisher/Year:  MyLit Publishing 3/31/14
Length: 195 Pages
Series: Layers Trilogy #3

Overview

she’s gone through hell and back.

He’s kept a secret that could send her there again.
And they’re trying to find their way to each other.
 

Rescued by the man she loves, Kendra Knight struggles to recover from a month-long captivity. Memories of her imprisonment as a sex slave haunt her as she battles withdrawal from drug addiction and fights to put a dreadful past behind her. With the help of her new friends, Allie and Laura, Kendra begins to question who she is, and Julian Cross’s true intentions for her future.

Julian Cross, owner of a top investigations firm, has kept a secret from the woman he loves since the day he met Kendra. He watched her grow from a teen to a woman and fall in love with his brother Tristan, only to be broken into pieces in the end. Now, he vows to stand by her until she’s well, so he can tell her the dismal truth about her past.

Will the truth finally set Kendra free or send her back to the pit of drug-infused hell?

My Thoughts

I found this series while i was visiting my in-laws over Christmas, and i’m THRILLED that i did.  The journey that we’ve taken with the Cross’s is one that’s really exciting, sexy, and very unexpected.  With the path that the first 2 installments took us on making it pretty clear who we were getting involved with in this final installment, how we learned Kendra’s story was definitely not what i expected and i’m really pleased with that.

Going into this story, i wasn’t sure how Ms. Silks was going to approach Kendra given what we know of her from Allie and Sam, and what we’ve seen so far.  The perspective that we get here though was really a nice way to look at things.  We are taken back in time to really tell her story of how she’s come to know Julian and Tristan, and then we get fast forwarded into the present to understand how she’s coping with being in captivity and trying to get to know herself and her relationship with Julian.

I have to admit, where the story took us, learning about what Kendra’s life was like pre-Cross brothers, and what it’s become now as a result of some stuff that she can’t remember – it’s a roller coaster.  The nice bit about it is that Julian is a constant – in the phrase that he has tattooed to his chest and that he utters to Kendra over and over again ‘I’ve got you’ – this book got me!  We get to see that their past is one that was shared – that they had chemistry even before they were in a place to act on it, and that’s manifested itself out nicely into the perfect situation now that they are both in a place to appreciate it.

What was expected is the heat and passion that comes out at full force once they allow themselves to be together like that.  Once Julian is convinced that Kendra can handle being close, a cold shower is about all that i can think about.  He’s romantic and kind, yet very passionate which makes for some amazing heat and scening.

The twist that this story takes though is great – i really didn’t expect the last 1/3 of the book at all, and it takes a bit to get me there.  i’m usually one of the first to figure out the path of a story.  ok  i can’t say that i was completely clued out – i knew part of what was going to come up, i’ve watched soap operas all my life to get that – but i think that the added bonus of a deeper story – well that was a welcome bonus and made the last 60 pages or so a really big page turner.

All in all, a great finale to a really great series – all the leading ladies had their stories woven together seamlessly, and that was a pleasure to find since i was worried – i have to say – at how things were going to be pieced together.  Enjoy!!

Review: Ruins (Partials #3) by Dan Wells

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Title: Ruins
Author:  Dan Wells
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 3/11/14
Length: 464 Pages
Series: Partials #3

Overview

Our time is almost up.

As the clock ticks closer and closer to the final Partial expiration date, humans and Partials stand on the brink of war. Caught in the middle, thousands of miles apart, are Samm and Kira: Samm, who is trapped on the far side of the continent beyond the vast toxic wasteland of the American Midwest; and Kira, now in the hands of Dr. Morgan, who is hell-bent on saving what’s left of the Partials, even if she has to destroy Kira to do it.

The only hope lies in the hands of the scattered people of both races who seek a way to prevent the rapidly escalating conflict. But in their midst appears a mysterious figure, neither human nor Partial, with solemn warnings of a new apocalypse—one that none of them may be able to avert.

The final installment in the Partials Sequence is a thrill ride of epic proportions, as the last remnants of life on our planet fight to determine its final fate.

My Thoughts

I feel like the plot lines of this final installment became more divergent (sorry for the wording here) – but that’s honestly a GREAT thing . When we left off in book 2, we were on 1 true journey, and maybe a 2nd sub story, but book 3 really makes things even more complicated and faster paced.

We learned that Kira and Samm made it to ParaGen in Denver and found that there was a civilization alive of humans that were able to successfully reproduce.  We also learned that it was due to the capture of 10 Partials who were harvested on an on-going basis for their blood/phermones which is the only cure to RM and a way to keep humans alive.

The question is, what is the cure to the Expiration date which is plaguing the Partials and killing them off?  If that wasn’t a strong enough plot line to stand on it’s own and to keep readers interested (i know that i would have been intrigued given all the medical and tech speak so far), there’s so much more going on.  There’s a division of people in East Meadow and even along the NY/CT border.  Partials are fighting Partials, Humans are not sure what to do, and during this, there are even bands of humans and Partials that are working together.

What i loved about this final installment is that we had learned a lot about The Trust in the first installments, but not about all of them.  in this book, we really learn a lot more about most – and there are interesting twists the whole way through.  when you think that you have discovered who one may be, you’re not necessarily right, and you’ll never understand their motivation or what side they were on since the Trust didn’t trust each other.

We go on the journey with Nandita and the girls who we learn are also not really human, and i still don’t know if we can trust Nandita and understand which side she’s on.  We continue on the journey of trying to figure out who Kira’s father was – and while we uncover that he was the leader of the Trust, we don’t know what his end goal was – and we’re not sure that we’ll ever know since no one knows where he is.  what we do find are Paritals that have even more gene mods than others had ever seen before, making them even more efficient killers and particularly dangerous – making things even more complicated for Kira and her gang.  At the same time, we continue to see human leaders go rogue and not in a good way.

All throughout this story, the big questions continue to be around whether the nuke will be detonated and what that will mean for the east coast.  We also wonder who’s going to survive – if the only baby that will live is Arwen or if Khan will live too and even if we’ll ever understand what’s going on with him.  What’s causing his disease since it’s not RM exactly.

it’s jam packed full of excitement, death unfortunately, but bonds form where they were never expected.  I really enjoyed this finale – and i think that it brought so many things to closure that we really needed to see.  While you lose hope during the book, and not all of it is restored since there’s a dark and ugly twist in everything, you get the closure that is to be expected and the wrap up of a story of survival and friendship.

What i really wanted to find out is how the love triangle/quadrangle would play out and i was a bit nervous for a long time while reading this.  Not only do we not know if Samm and Kira will ever be united again, we see the feelings come back up for Marcus and Kira when they cross paths eventually and that just makes things all that much more interesting.  Heron and Calix don’t leave Samm wanting for attention though – that’s for sure – and that makes the dynamic even more compelling to read.  Marcus’ comic relief throughout is also a great way to take things down the notch when necessary given the serious tone of most of the book.

All in all, very pleased with how the story progressed, and the path that it took us.  If only we could really see how things turned out after the last page – but,…..i guess that’s all to be in our imagination.  Now hopefully we don’t have to worry about things like all this happening in the next 50 years or so – which is when the story takes place  – but i guess we’ll never know.