Review: Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano

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Title: Fever
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster 2/12/13
Length:   328 Pages
Series:  The Chemical Garden #2

Overview

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but they’re still in danger. Outside, they find a world even more disquieting than the one they ran away from. Determined to get to Manhattan and find Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan, the two press forward, amid threats of being captured again…or worse.

The road they are on is long and perilous—and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and men die at age twenty-five, time is precious. In this sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price—now that she has more to lose than ever.

My Thoughts

This 2nd installment takes us on a really tough route with Rhine and Gabriel now that they’ve managed to get out of the mansion and have ‘escaped’.  There’s so much uncertainty out there in the world especially for Gabriel who has almost no memory of outside the house.  We’re hoping that Rhine’s quest for freedom and her goal of finding her brother back home in Manhattan will prove to be something good.

So when we left them, they had escaped and found a boat to sail up the coast.  They end up getting as far as about South Carolina from what i’ve gathered, and when they make landfall, they are hoping for the best.  Sadly, they are nabbed quickly upon getting on land and this is where their first bit of trouble comes.

From what we knew of Jennas life before she was a bride, she worked by selling her body, and it’s one of those camps that we see Rhine and Gabriel taken to.  Rhine of course is deemed to be quite special because of her eyes and that’s probably her only saving grace because instead of being thrown to the wolves to be tasted and sampled, the Madame has loftier goals for her in having people ‘watch but don’t touch’.  So, we see that little reprive and hope that it means that they’ll be able to get to a place that’s safe but of course that doesn’t happen.

Gabriel is beaten and wounded and then hooked on a drug that literally renders him useless and that means that things will have to get even worse.  Vaugh (Linden’s dad) shows up and has found Rhine some how spurring them to go on the run again.  This time though, it’s not just the 2 of them, they have Maddie, the daughter of one of the women at the camp, and Maddie is malformed, she doesn’t talk but we see that she’s incredibly intuitive and helps them as they try to escape and make their way up to new york.

Things continue to go wrong for this group as they make their way up north, they find Rhine’s house but it’s burned out, Gabriel is still suffering from withdrawl, Rhine is molested by someone on the route north, and the moment they find part of what they’re looking for, Rhine starts to get so sick that she fears that the virus is taking her years early, and deems Vaughn some how responsible.

The moment you think Vaughn, he pops up, and well, we end up back at the mansion at the end of this installment.  It’s a complete roller coaster, still with little insight as to what’s causing the virus and early death of their generation, and we can only hope that we get that resolution when we get through the final installment.  Cecily comes back into the mix as does Linden and we see that there’s so much eye opening that has to happen and so much faith that has to be placed in places you’ never expect that it leaves us wondering if there’s going to be a happy ending for anyone.

We’re on a journey of really trying to figure out what’s right and who’s behind it.  There’s a relationship growing between Rhine and Gabriel, but given where they are in life and time, you don’t even know if it’ll be worth it.  We also learn more about Linden and his feelings and i think that we’ll see him become someone quite key in the mix since he’s really been lied to his whole life.  So all that tied together leaves us set up for a really great finale i think.  Son v. Father, and Society v. Medicine.  who will win?

Review: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

no-brainer

Title: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster 12/6/11
Length:   384 Pages
Series:  The Chemical Garden #1

Overview

What if you knew exactly when you’d die? The first book of The Chemical Garden Trilogy.

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years—leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.

Together with one of Linden’s servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

My Thoughts

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of this story since the cover art makes it look all victorian but the premise if obviously dystopian.  We learn very little of what put them into the position that they are in with girls females dying at 20 and males dying at 25, aside from the thought that there was something to do with the prior generation all being the result of artificial insemination.  They are living in a time where all of the diseases that we know in 2016 are gone, and this first generation are healthy, but their children are not.

Girls are sought out by Gatherers who are on the hunt to find brides for the wealthy and that’s where we meet Rhine – after she’s been caught and has been taken from her twin brother to Florida where she becomes the wife of Linden.

The undertone of this story is one of hope, of the quest for freedom and of building bonds where they are least expected.  Rhine has 2 other wives that were purchased at the same time she was and while they are there all for the same reason, their take on what their experiences are become quite different.  We see Rhine forge friendships with one of the wives but not the other since she can’t be trusted as we learn throughout the story.

In addition to that, we are in the story before Linden’s current wife dies and we see Rhine create a friendship there with her – so that she can become the ‘first wife’ in the hopes to gain more freedom.  In doing this, she inadvertently finds commonalities with Linden, but are they enough to keep her from trying to escape?

The other bit to this as the summary noted is that Rhine gets help from Gabriel – one of the attendants at the mansion.  Gabriel doesn’t remember anything other than the house and because of that, he doesn’t see things necessarily like Rhine does, but what he does see is that there’s something special about her that calls her to him, and not only does it get them into trouble, but it becomes the lead out of this book.

The biggest question is though what’s out there to make life better for them and is there an antidote to the virus that kills everyone of their generation.  Are we going to see Linden’s father continue to be the horror that he is or will he show some type of human side that makes us question it even more.  Will Linden finally realize that maybe his father has orchestrated everything in his life so that he opens his eyes to see that he’s stronger and more independent than his father lets on.  And i guess the biggest question of all is whether Rhine will get her freedom and at what cost?  I know that it’s not going to be easy especially since there are 2 more installments still in this series to prove out that it’s going to get chaotic, but i can’t wait to see how it all turns out.  Enjoy!

Spotlight: Scorched Souls by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef

Scorched Souls in the Spotlight

Welcome to The Scorched Souls Tour! Welcome to another exciting Spotlight Tour with Novel Publicity. Today, I’m sharing the spotlight for Scorched Souls, the final story in the Chosen Trilogy by Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win some great prizes including an Amazon Gift Card, a Paperback of Scorched Souls and a dream catcher!

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Here is an Exclusive Excerpt

I lean back in my chair; he’s dumped a bucket of ice water on my head, and the chill settles into my bones. “So the Chosen were set up to fail. You’ve planted a bomb on the planet to explode when the Deltites take over.”
He nods, a smug self-congratulatory grin on his face. “A Heart Stone to be precise. It was the only logical action to take.”
Bile burns my throat. “But billions of humans live on the planet…. They will all die. They have souls.”
Still, my father’s logic is undeniable.

“Another complication has developed.” Two different human faces materialize above us and hover in front of the image of Earth. “The woman’s name is Summer Stone. She’s what humans call Native American, and is the mother to the Alpha among the Chosen. The man is not from her tribe. He’s what they call Irish.”
“So?” Why does he care?
“The calculations behind the Chosen were extremely advanced and fragile.” A third face
joins that of the others. “The Alpha’s name is Juliet Wildfire Stone. She was supposed to be born from a union between two members of the same Native American tribe. That genetic combination was the only way humans could produce a Chosen strong enough to be an Alpha and draw power from the other three. The secret order had specific rules regarding this, yet they failed to heed them. Fools! I can’t predict what the outcome will be of this particular pairing.”
I study the faces and notice that Juliet has inherited much of her physical appearance from her mother: the long straight black hair, the caramel colored eyes, brown skin and high cheekbones—all but her sharp nose, which resembles her father’s.
Her eyes seem to sparkle, but I shake my head. These are only holographic images. I can’t read too much into them or let my imagination cloud my reason. “I don’t understand the problem. Either she is powerful enough to be the Alpha, or she isn’t. Since you want them to fail, why do you care?”

My father bores his gaze into me, and an icy blade carves into my chest and twists. “There is a third possibility.”
My body turns weak. I’m lucky I’m already sitting. It’s unthinkable, but it’s the only thing that might frighten my father. “You’re afraid she’s an… abomination.”
“I can’t rule it out. Even if she is, she won’t be strong enough defeat an Elite, but we can’t take any chances. I want you to go to Earth. Make sure the Chosen fail and never find out about our plans. They can’t tell the Deltites about the Heart Stone I’ve planted on the planet. If they retrieve that crystal, all would be lost, and they could use its power against us.”
“Me.” I point to my chest. “Why me? Why not send someone else, someone who has already proven—”
“I trust no one else with this! You will succeed and return to Alpha, and when you return you will take the final test. This way we have an excuse for your… reluctance to finish the final exam.”

Two small discs fly into his hand, and he hands one to me. “This one is programmed with my brainwaves. You will use it when you have succeeded. I will keep the second here, so I can contact you… if need be.”
I sense the implied threat in his words and bow my head. “Yes, father. As you command.”
If pure evil exists in this universe, it’s sitting next to me, and I am this monster’s son. What does that make me?
I glance at the hologram of Earth above me. It’s a beautiful planet.
He’s sentenced billions of humans to die, but can I carry out the punishment?

About the Book

Fate and destiny clash in the explosive, heart-pounding conclusion to the award-winning Chosen series.
~~~~~
Survival is not enough.
Alliances will be formed.
Loyalties tested.
A choice made.
My name is Juliet Wildfire Stone and I’m not just a Chosen, I’m the Alpha… and the fate of Earth rests in my hands.
When I finally met the Prime Elector, he wasn’t anything like I expected. He was supposed to be our mortal enemy, a monster I needed to destroy to fulfill my destiny, yet he was nothing like that—he’s young, brilliant, and looks like an angel.
Caught in the middle of a conflict between two ancient foes, which threatens to rip Earth apart, I must do what is right at all costs. To choose my fate, and Earth’s future, I will need to navigate a new path, form unlikely alliances, and solve ancient mysteries forgotten for centuries.
Yet I cannot do it alone. Will the other Chosen follow me? Do I have the strength to make the right choice, or will the people of Earth be enslaved for all time?
 

 

 

amazon.com

About the Authors

Jeff Altabef is an award-winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres.
Jeff is very happy and proud that his co-author for the Chosen Series is his teenaged daughter, Erynn Altabef. Wind Catcher, the first in the Chosen Series, has won the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for Coming of Age Novels, the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best YA Fiction and a Mom’s Choice Award.
As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those who like telling stories.

Connect with Jeff on his website,
Facebook, Twitter, <a href=" http://www.jeffaltabef.com/newsletter/.

Erynn Altabef is an avid reader, dancer, and community activist. Some of her favorite authors are Veronica Roth, Joelle Charbonneau, and her dad! (That would be Jeff Altabef.) She just started her freshman year at Connecticut College is proud to be a camel!!!

Connect with Erynn on Facebook.

Review: Kept (The Enforcers #3) by Maya Banks

no-brainer

Title: Kept
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 10/25/16
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  The Enforcers #3

Overview

He can’t change who he is.

A horrific childhood has made Silas the man he is today: dangerous, distrustful and demanding. He’s lived in self-imposed solitude, convinced that no woman could ever accept his need for absolute control—in business and pleasure. That is, until a young violinist walks into one of his buildings and into his life.

She can’t change what she wants.

Hayley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: for her to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working multiple jobs, she can’t afford the tiniest of apartments. Seeing her hopeless and near tears, Silas vows to help and protect her, no matter the cost to himself. But when Hayley meets his every demand with unwavering acceptance and love, he is overwhelmed by her goodness and gentle spirit. He knows that the dark stain on his soul can never be erased—and rather than risk destroying the most beautiful person he’s ever experienced, he’ll have to do the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. Let her go. But he’s totally unprepared for the lengths to which Hayley will go to fight for his love and for a future brighter than the sun…

My Thoughts

I loved the first two books in this series when we got to know all about Evangeline and Drake and what made them work as a couple.  There were so many highs and lows, all of then including the bigger group of enforcers or the brothers – and i think that’s what makes this third book so great.

From the first two, we met Silas, who is Drake’s #2 in the circle, and we saw how Evangeline was able to get under his skin a bit and show him that he is worthy of attention, affection and love – even if it’s not romantic love.  Mind you it’s not something that Silas will even admit to himself since he considers himself to be a monster both for what he does for Drake now and what he did when he was a child.  (mind you we have no idea what that was for most of the story).

He deserves to find happiness and love and i’m so happy to see it come in the form of Hayley.  She’s our typical female lead, barely getting by in the world, no family and no real friends – working a million jobs just to pay bills and really that’s what her life is.  She’s trying to fulfill her father’s dying wish that she follow her dreams to become a re known violinist and that’s what brought her to NYC and into Silas’s life.

His immediate need to protect her and care for her – even after only seeing her on a security camera in his building shows you that there’s so much more that he has to offer that he doesn’t even admit to himself.  When he finds himself physically protecting her and then having to care for her, feelings develop even faster and they find themselves in an interesting predicament where he’s got his control and rules and his ‘dark dark life’ and she’s ‘innocent’ and deemed fragile.

The journey that we take with these two is typical of what we’ve seen in the first installment of this series.  There’s a macho guy who’s got so much pride that he’s not willing necessarily to trust and put faith into a woman, and then there’s a woman who finds herself in the cross hairs of a mob war so to speak and therefore a target and something that these burly men need to get rid of.

The questions that you ponder throughout this book though are a few.  How long is it going to take for Silas to open up to Hayley about who he is and will he be open enough to let her react and have an opinion. Do they even have a chance?  Why is everyone so afraid to mention Evangeline to Hayley  – even Silas which is to his own detriment.  Who’s the next target from the mob feud and as a result, who’s going to likely get shot/killed etc?  I feel like there’s so much that could happen in this book, and because of Ms Bank’s skill, we’re able to see it all unfold at a good pace and get to a resolution that actually makes sense.  Not to mention that there’s so much chemistry leaping off the pages – if there’s one thing that i know i’m going to get when i read a book by Maya Banks it’s the need for a cold shower since we see that Silas is quite skilled and while Hayley is not, it’s so hot, and sexy, and intense that you can’t help but to get pulled in.

Honestly, i really really like this series and i hope that we get more since i feel like Maddox definitely needs something as do Thane, Jax, Zander, Hartley and maybe now Andre.  Enjoy!

Review: Mastered by her Captor (Mastered by #5) by Opal Carew

no-brainer

Title: Mastered by her Captor
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year: Opal Carew 6/21/16
Length:   82 Pages
Series:  Mastered by #5

Overview

Kalie Terron
The man who kidnapped me has haunted my dreams for weeks. Hot sexy dreams of his full lips moving on me. Over my naked body. Touching me in soft, intimate places.

As my captor, he wore jeans and a casual shirt. I hadn’t known that the man who brought my sexual fantasy to life is a powerful, wealthy businessman.

Now I’ve tracked him down, determined to convince him to give us a chance.

I’ve seen his eyes with a dominating edge. I’ve seen them filled with passion. And even filled with an intense need that rivaled my own. But now those eyes are cold and detached, as if what the two of us shared was nothing to him.

But I won’t give up.

Erik King
Kalie wants a relationship. Flowers and candlelight. Soft words spoken in front of a fire. But I’m not a romantic kind of guy. I like my sex rough and hard. And I like my women soft and submissive.

Just because she enjoyed a fantasy about being abducted and forced to have sex with two men, she thinks she can handle what I want. She doesn’t get that what I enjoy is in a whole different league.

She seems intimidated by my status, which is good. I intend to take every opportunity to keep her off balance. For her own good, as well as mine.

Her unyielding determination tells me it will be difficult to convince her to back off. Thus, my only alternative is to use intimidation to scare her away.

So I will give her the chance she’s been begging for, confident that in the end, she’ll be begging to get away from me.

My Thoughts

As i was reading this 5th book in the series, i thought to myself that perhaps its the least favorite of mine for the little fact that there doesn’t seem to be that much for us to base the story in aside from knowing that there was some shared experience that they had together that make Kalie fall in love with Erik and him not with her.  It’s only after i read it that i now realize that there’s a prequel to the story that makes it seem like maybe i’ll get what i was looking for.

So back to this story – we meet up with these 2 after they have already had this shared experience, Kalie had this fantasy of being help captive and Erik and another man were the ones to fulfill that for her.  Through that experience, she somehow realized that deep down, aside from getting her sexual needs and desires handled, she had her emotions tied up in it and for a woman like her, that’s a tough thing.

What we have here is a quick novella of what’s happening now – after all that happened, where we see that Kalie’s trying to pursue something more, Erik completely understands her intent and isn’t interested since he’s nursing a broken heart of his own.  He’s willing to compromise if she’s able to fulfill a fantasy of his for a short time, and of course she’s eager to do so.

We spend a nice bit of time with them at a tropical location of sorts where there are others who are very much interested and deep into the lifestyle and of playing out captivity fantasies.  While this is completely outside of Kalie’s comfort zone, she trusts Erik completely and will do whatever he wants.  Since Erik’s battling his internal issues and demons over this, we know that he’s going to go back and forth between enjoying Kalie and putting himself in the captor role – so that means that we’ll get a real diversity in terms of the types of scenes and interactions that they have.

Where we net out of course is that Kalie falls deeper, Erik wants none of that, and they go home with kalie nursing a broken heart.  It was inevitable honestly, to see how that was going to end since he was clear on how he felt, but i think that how she deals with it and then how he deals with it from then, we get a resolution to it all.

All that being said, now i’m going to have to track down the other story that i gather tells me about how Kalie and Erik came together in the first place and maybe it’ll give me more context since i think that the ending of this story happened far too quickly.  enjoy!

Review: Mastered by the CEO (Mastered by #4) by Opal Carew

no-brainer

Title: Mastered by the CEO
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year: Opal Carew 4/5/16
Length:   62 Pages
Series:  Mastered by #4

Overview

Rachel Clark

How did I wind up in King’s bed as his sex slave? Being totally dominated by him?

It all started when King bought the company I work for. The last time I was out of work–after handing King my resignation–it took two years before I found another position and I’m desperate to avoid that situation again. So now I’ll do whatever I can to keep my job.

But, in fact, even with me submitting to his every whim, there’s no guarantee.

King says I’m difficult and never do what I’m told–which is true–so is this simply penance for past sins? Or if I prove I’ll follow his commands without question, will he keep me on?

I don’t know. And frankly, I don’t care. When I’m in his arms, all I care about is staying there.

Forever.

But that’s not an option.

James “King” Taylor

When I bought Bernier Electronics, I didn’t know Rachel was one of the junior executives. With our history, there’s no way I can keep her on. I need executives who will do as I say, not constantly question my every move.

I’d like to say it’s a difficult decision, but it’s not. Our past has proven she won’t fit in my management team.

But it’s never simple. When she worked for me five years ago, we had a clandestine affair. She insisted on keeping it strictly sexual, but I wanted so much more. When she left, I was devastated. Clearly, it meant more to me than it did to her.

The truth is I still want her in my bed. But I won’t hire her just for the sex.

She insists she can change, that she’ll do exactly as she’s told, but I know that’ll never work. Still, offering her the chance to prove herself–by becoming my submissive for an entire weekend–will prove to her it’ll never work. I never dominated her when we were together before, and the mere thought has me rock-hard.

I just hope I can handle losing her again after I experience the sweetness of her submission.

My Thoughts

So i was trying to figure out how this installment tied to the one prior and i’m not sure that it does unless it’s through Rachel’s assistant’s wife Sandy who was mentioned in the last one.  Regardless, what we have here is nice and steamy and quick to read as well.

As the summary says, Rachel is a junior exec at a company that was just bought and as all mergers go, lots of people get laid off.  She’s having one heck of a bad day when this news comes across and not only does she miss the announcement of this all happening, but she is then forced to go meet with the exec offsite.  Low and behold, it’s King – her old boss with whom she has a past with.

personally, i love seeing that distance doesn’t end things with people and that even when you know that what you’ve done in the past is a bad idea, you can’t help it when there’s insane chemistry.  King and Rachel see that they still have it from the start, even though they try to fight it just a little bit.  Because of Rachel’s bad morning of having a car accident, then resulting in a concussion, shes under Kings thumb again and sparks are flying everywhere.

We only truly spend a little bit of time with these guys,clearly seeing that they are beyond compatible in the bedroom but that they butt heads professionally since they are both incredibly smart and good at what they do, but what King isn’t willing to do is compromise his pride and ability as a boss to let Rachel continue on in any capacity for him in the company since that’s something that’s important to him.  Enter the offer of a lifetime – spend a weekend with him as a 24/7 sex slave and maybe that will turn into something for her in a job.

So where we go from there is also characteristic Carew where you can’t help but to picture all that they are doing, feel the heat between them as they are pleasing each other, and then wonder whether there’s any happy ending since it’s obvious that King will never let her come back to the company.  Where they go from there since he lives in Seattle and she’s in San Diego, along with the fact that work needs separate them is anyone’s guess but if you read the story, you’ll see how those paths merge or not.  Enjoy!

Review: Mastered by my Guardian (Mastered by #3) by Opal Carew

no-brainer

Title: Mastered by my Guardian
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year: Opal Carew 9/22/15
Length:   67 Pages
Series:  Mastered by #3

Overview

Chelsea spent the past ten years rebelling against Zane’s control. When her parents died, he became her guardian, controlling her trust fund and the company they shared. But hating the control he exerted on her did nothing to stop her from wanting him.

When she refuses to obey his summons for a weekend meeting, he cuts off her money, leaving her in a strange city with no way to pay her hotel bill. Forced to accept his help and join him at his country house, she soon discovers his intention is not strictly business. When she experiences his potent masculine domination she finds the reality of being with Zane far exceeds her fantasies… leaving her wanting more.

But can she surrender to this forbidden love and be mastered by her guardian?

My Thoughts

Oh how i do so love these quick reads when my day is kind of slow.  So in this 3rd installment we meet a new set of characters – unrelated but so interesting none the less.  We have Chelsea who is the owner of her own business but who has found herself somewhat controlled by her ‘guardian’ Zane.  Their fathers were business partners and when both of their parents passed away when Chelsea was 16, Zane (who’s 10 years older) was appointed her guardian and controls her trust and all things tied to that.  So once a year she’s forced to deal with him and the time has come this year to do it again.

The story that we are on here is one that’s of course expected but much hotter than that of the last installment.  I guess that’s what a bit of kink and BDSM will give you.  So Chelsea finds herself in Zane’s grips because he’s frozen her accounts so that she has no choice but to see him, and this all takes her from getting on a plane home to the house that he owns which she used to live in.

As expected, being forced into a house together will make things hotter and the fact that there’s clearly an attraction from each of them means that it’s just a matter of time and circumstances that we’ll see how it comes about.  Thankfully we don’t have to wait long, since we find that Chelsea sleep walks herself into his bed and from there, we see things progress quite quickly.

They spend a few days all wrapped up in one another and are forced into a lot of deep conversations where Zane wants to move things forward and Chelsea has to decide if that’s what she wants since she doesn’t want to be controlled.  Throughout this though we see some really hot play, a dungeon of sorts and well, you know waht comes with all that Sir and Master talk.  It’s really exactly what i needed i think.

The shoe here is about to drop though right? Cause we know that Chelsea has a business partner who seems to have other motivations both personally and professionally and then there’s the fact that Zane lives in New York and she lives in San Diego – so who knows what will work.  She ends up going home just to find her comp;any being ripped up from under her, with Bill and Zane becoming the henchmen, and we’re left with an ending that is not at all what we expected to happen.

Regardless of all that, it’s typical Opal Carew where you really can’t help but to keep reading since the chemistry and passion leaps off the pages and the fact that this was a novella makes it that much better since i didn’t have to read through too much other filler stuff to get to the heart of the story.  On that note – enjoy!

Review: Mastered by the Boss (Mastered by #2) by Opal Carew

no-brainer

Title: Mastered by the Boss
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year: Opal Carew 9/25/15
Length:   59 Pages
Series:  Mastered by #2

Overview

Cinderella meets FiftyShades. An erotic tale of love and lust in the office.

Kali goes to a masquerade party dressed as a sexy sub. She shouldn’t let her friend talk her into it, but behind the anonymity of the mask, Kali’s inhibitions fade away.

Ryan Blair has wanted Kali from the first moment she started working for him six months ago. So when he sees a stunning stranger in a mask and sub costume who could easily pass for Kali, he decides to play out the fantasy of mastering his sexy little secretary. Maybe that will alleviate his constant yearning for her.

When her wealthy, masterful boss takes Kali to the heights of ecstasy, not even knowing it’s her, things start to spin out of control. When Ryan figures out that she was his Cinderella sub, their days in the office become a roller coaster of passionate, mind-blowing sexual pleasure. But Kali quickly realizes that all there will ever be between them is sex and she needs so much more than that.

Should she walk away now before the pain of losing him becomes too much?

My Thoughts

I’ve clearly forgotten about this series and it’s a shame cause i think that one thing that Ms Carew does well is give us these short stories that pack a punch of anxiety, naughtiness and heat all with a bit of romance at the end if it calls for it.

In this 2nd book in the series we meet Kali who is really good friends with Serena from the first book and the secretary for Mr Blair – a man who she finds to be unbelievably sexy.  Kali and Serena are going to a costume party dressed to cause trouble and upon arriving, Kali finds that it’s not just a random costume party, but one where all the executives of their company are in attendance which makes it that much dicier.  especially since Ryan Blair in there and well, she’s definitely got an attraction to him.

This quick novella takes us on a whirlwind of a few days with these 2 – where starting from the party their chemistry explodes, of course though Kali is wearing a mask so Ryan doesn’t know that it’s her although he fantasizes that it is her because of course it works out that he’s also got a crush on her.  From then on, you know that their work relationship will be complicated as Kali knows what she did but Ryan didn’t.

If that weren’t enough, once the truth is revealed, they do take things up a notch and create a work sex thing – where you know someone’s either going to get into trouble or someone’s going to get their heart broken.  So it’s really a question of which will happen and who’s going to get the axe dropped.

The nice thing with these shorter installments is that you have a quick build and then a quick resolution.  While i think that the ending was a bit abrupt and likely far fetched in reality, i’m willing to go with it cause it’s what you would always want to see happen.  So on that note, i guess i’m off to track down #3 since apparently i’ve missed the boat on this series for a bit.

Review: Behind Closed Doors (Behind Closed Doors #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

no-brainer

Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year: Pocket Star 10/17/16
Length:   208 Pages
Series:  Behind Closed Doors #1

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones comes a brand new gripping and provocative novel that ties into her bestselling Careless Whispers and Inside Out series. You can enjoy this as a standalone, but fans of Careless Whispers and Inside Out will get an exciting glimpse of who Ella really is and some of the secrets she’s been hiding from everyone she knows.

Desperate to pay for law school, Skye tries her hand at auction hunting with her friend Ella, only to find a poker chip and a note leading to an offsite locker. The next thing she knows, Jason “Red Bull” Wise—a famous, millionaire poker player—is at her door, accusing her of blackmail. Innocent, she swears he’s wrong. He rolls the dice and believes her, impulsively inviting her along to Las Vegas. And remarkably, cautious Skye takes a risk, finding herself seduced by this dangerously alluring man, on his private jet, and finally living life to the fullest. But there is more than passion waiting for Skye and Jason in Vegas when blackmail takes a deadly turn.

My Thoughts

I don’t know about any of you guys who have already read the Inside Out series and the beginning of Ella’s story in Careless whispers but i think that this intro to another side of things, we get to see a completely different side of the story.  While this story isn’t truly about Ella, you get to see a tease of something that i’m sure no one really knew about and that’s got my interesting piqued.

So in this first installment to the series, we meet Skye who’s befriended Elle at a yoga class only recently, and has some how been sucked into the world of storage wars.  We knew from the main series that it was Ella’s thing especially since that’s how the journals were found to create the whole premise for the series, but now it’s interesting to see how it all began.

It’s this night that Ella finds the journals and Skye gets convinced to buy a unit that has nothing of true value except the beginning of a lot of questions and blackmail. Skye finds a key to a locker and in that locker is a poker chip worth a lot of money and that was tied to a potential theft and cheating scandal from the professional poker tournament.  Of course this leads to a sexy man, and that’s where this story goes – with that sexy man better know as Jason the poker player.

The journey that we go on is one of seeing how badly Skye needs control but how much she’s also drawn to Jason and all that he is.  There’s also her udnerlying lawyer bits that make her want to solve the mystery but of course it’s never that easy.  With Jason, he’s dealing with the fact that he’s being blackmailed, his family is in danger and he can’t seem tofind the woman that’s behind it all.

Throughout this story, we get to see the telltale signs of what Ms Jones does well, the story is really riveting so that you can’t help but want to see how the story progresses but there so much heat and steamy passion that if the story weren’t good enough, you have even more reason to stay invested.  There’s sex, there’s the potential for love, there’s trust and friendship and there’s tons of anxiety and fear.  We spend much of the story wondering who is behind the blackmail since it seems to extend past Stephanie – but it’s really a wonder as to who it’ll truly be.  (mind you, i figured out who was behind it a while back and i’m sure many of you will as well).

I can’t wait to see how Ella’s story and this series progress since there was a chapter here that shows us truly who Ella is. That she’s got connections in something dark and likely illegal.  How that gets her to Europe where we know that she disappears to is beyond me, but we know from a conversation with Skye that she’s on her way, so we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.  personally i can’t wait.  Enjoy!

Review: Garnet’s Story (The Lone City #1.25) by Amy Ewing

no-brainer

Title: Garnet’s Story
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 9/13/16
Length:   100 Pages
Series:  The Lone City #1.25

Overview

In The Jewel and The White Rose, we follow Violet in her servitude under the Duchess of the Lake. Now we’ll hear the Duchess’s son, Garnet’s, story in this digital novella—a companion story to the New York Times bestselling Lone City trilogy.

Garnet, the son of the Duchess of the Lake, has always been a spoiled playboy. But now, for the first time, Garnet is beginning to realize the horrors that his family, and the ruling community, have perpetrated. And he just may be ready to do something about it.

My Thoughts

I’ve always wondered about Garnet as i read through the series and i think that there was definitely a lot more to him than we knew.  Especially coming out of book 1, the Jewel, he’s really given a persona to live up to and it’s not until the last few lines that we see that there’s something bigger going on here.  In this novella that we get about him, we see truly what that ‘more’ is and what caused it to all come to happen.

So we know that Garnet is the Duchess’s son, the one that purchased Violet, and we know that his reputation precedes him quite a bit.  He’s known more for his partying and antics than for being someone that will be the future Duke of the Lake and i think all along i wondered if it was an act or cover, and in this novella we get to see exactly what it is.

We come into this story right before the auction i believe, and we see that Garnet is up to his partying ways which of course get him into trouble.  BIG trouble.  If it weren’t for Lucien, then things would have turned out so much differently for him in this series so it’s lucky Violet’s in the picture and Lucien is in the picture.

What we see in Garnet’s story from that point on are a lot of scenes that we had already gotten from Violet’s side – where Garnet came into a dinner late and drunk, where he bumped into Violet at a party, and the whole process of the search for a suitable wife for him.  We didn’t really get much of that side of the story before which humanizes Garnet in ways that i think were needed, but we get to see that there’s so much working behind it all that there’s something bigger going on.

The other nice piece of this story is that we get to see what the relationship is between Anabelle and Garnet.  personally, i was quite curious at that one because there were scenes where we would see them interact without any context and at least we get that and a bit more in this novella.  To be honest, i think that there’s still more potentially that we aren’t told about, but i think that we get enough to validate a lot of what i was questioning and then get to see how that plays out as the story progresses.

supposedly there are a few more novellas that i need to track down, so that’s my quest- but in the meantime, have a great day!