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

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

Overview

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

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

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie?s perky enough for both of them.

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

But there?s only one woman he wants.

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

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

But beautiful Ellie Hammond?s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules:

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Avenged (Ruined #2) by Amy Tintera

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

Overview

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Tour: Embers of Fire by Ally Shields

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Description


A chilling prophecy. A child in danger.


Following

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

only five.

Then

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

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

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

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

<br />

Abandoning plans for a quiet life, Ari and Andreas hunt

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

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

Excerpt

A crisp breeze caught

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

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

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

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

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

processed the crime scene.

With a hot Styrofoam

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

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

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

she swept the scene with a sharp glance.

Nothing she hadn’t

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

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

She ducked under a high

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

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

Lt. Ryan Foster, her

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

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

me?”

A smile touched her

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

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

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

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

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

predominant species in town—had run amok

.

“I’m not sure….” Ryan

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

I have a weird feeling about this one.”

Ari nearly choked on

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

with spidey senses in this partnership.”

“Cop instincts,” he

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

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

“OK. Show me. What have

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

sight of the victim.

“Judge for yourself if

something doesn’t feel off.”

Vivid red blood stood

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

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

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

gaping wound. It had soaked her neckline.

Ari’s nostrils flared,

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

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

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

Bio

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

Author Links

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ARC Review: Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures #1) by Meredith Wild, Chelle Bliss

Title: Misadventures of a City Girl
Author: Meredith Wild, Chelle Bliss
Publisher/Year: Waterhouse Press 9/12/17
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  Misadventures #1

Overview

Fresh off a divorce from a Hollywood hotshot, Madison Atwood needs an escape. With the paparazzi fresh on her heels and her love life splashed on every tabloid, she runs away to a swanky retreat in Northern California. Avalon Springs is the mountainside haven she needs to find herself again.

Luke Dawson lives off the grid, preferring solitude to society. When he finds a beautiful woman soaking in the hot springs on his property, he can’t stop himself from watching her. She captures his attention, but she’s just a city girl—a beautiful distraction disturbing the peace he’s settled here to find.

When Madison discovers Luke’s secluded cabin, he can’t turn her away again. They make no promises. Madison needs to feel wanted again, and Luke misses the touch of a woman. But when mother nature has other plans, they’re forced to spend more than a night of passion together. Can Luke say goodbye to the only woman who’s made him feel anything in years, and can Madison leave behind the man who brought her back to life?

My Thoughts

First off – thanks to the folks at Netgalley and Waterhouse Press for getting me an advance copy of this to read and review.  It’s a sweet story about a woman who’s going through a huge change in her life and needs grounding, and a man who’s been through more than enough in his life and just needs to find center.

Madison needs to escape TMZ and all the celebrity news surrounding her husbands affair – a woman that he’s now engaged to we learn, and she decides to go off the grid – to a place where she can be alone, get some zen and discover how to be happy again.  What she finds at Avalon though is the opposite of that.  She’s quickly irritated and annoyed by all the people that are around and how they always want her to participate in group activities and this leads her to go hiking alone.  She’s finally gotten a few moments to enjoy the quiet when she sees Luke in the distance, watching all her personal and private moves – and of course we know the story will take off from there.

Luke on the other hand is the epitome of the sexy mountain man – a guy who is rough around the edges but who has the body and looks to pull it off.  He’s an ex Navy SEAL and he’s just trying to get his life back after the horrors that he lived with while on duty.  He finds that he can’t hardly be around people anymore because of the PTSD so of course his natural reactions to seeing Madison make him question everything.

When a snowstorm hits and Madison hurts herself and is then trapped with Luke, we see how things get steamy fast.  Madison needs to find herself again, and find that she’s still sexy and wanted by a man, and Luke needs to have that connection with someone as well.  Their journey together is a really sweet one.  We see that they open up to one another in ways that weren’t expected and they have a level of comfort that really provides a strong foundation to the physical connection that they clearly have.

When Madison’s ex shows up and Madison leaves to go back to LA, we’re left wondering what’s going to happen to these two.  They have something that could be wonderful, but we know that Maddy can’t leave LA and Luke won’t survive there.  The way that this is written makes us so anxious and curious about where they will net out since there’s really only so much compromise that either can do.

So on that note, i can’t wait to read book 2, and i believe that NetGalley has gifted me with that already, so onto the next!  Enjoy!