Review: Hold on Tight (Man of the Month 2) by J Kenner

Title: Hold on Tight
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martinin & Olive 1/30/18
Length:   189 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #2

Overview

A hard body. A dangerous past.
Meet Mr. February.

Reality-TV star and reformed bad boy Spencer Dean doesn’t trust women. Not after his fiancée, Brooke, left him at the altar five years ago, breaking his heart and hardening his soul.

Now, Brooke is close to a deal for her own show that will launch with the remodel of a popular Austin bar. The problem? The network insists that Spencer step in as her partner.

He’s tried to forget her—but he can’t deny that he still wants her. More than that, he wants to punish her. And so he agrees, but only on terms that are provocative, demanding, and wildly sensual.

It’s the perfect set-up for extracting revenge. But he doesn’t expect to fall for Brooke all over again…

Revenge never looked so hot.

My Thoughts

The story continues – and we get exactly what we always expect from J Kenner – a plot filled with twists and turns, not only the ones that surround the couple that we focus on but on the obstacles of their past and all around them.  We know that Brooke is about to get the show of her dreams to help her push her business ahead, and all that stands in her way is Spencer – a guy who had a show on the same network before, but also the guy that she gave her heart to 5 years ago, only to break it in the hopes of keeping a secret.

So here we are – 5 years in the future, where these 2 are thrown together again all so that they can get what they want out of life.  Brooke’s business, and Spencer desperately wants to buy a house and fix it up, all on a show that he’s due to headline to finish up his contract with the network.  Their deals hinge on each other, and whether it goes off without too much trouble is what we get to read.

The interesting thing in this story is that there’s really no angst and anxiety once we get past Spencer being a total guy in the beginning, it’s smooth sailing for them, realizing that they still have feelings of love and not hate.  What becomes the issue though is Brooke’s father – the same person who ripped them apart all those years ago, and he’s trying to manipulate Brooke into playing into his hand.  What he doesn’t realize is that she’s grown up and she’s going to push back.

There are a few underlying secrets and secondary plots that follow this story too – a few that come out in complicated ways, but i think that all in all we get the story that we’re all hoping for .

To tie it back to the main purpose of the series though, we get to see how The Fix is getting renovated in the hopes of getting enough money to keep it running.  There’s the continued plot line of Jenna and Reese from the fist book and seeing how their story is going on a more mature path as expected.  We also see the introduction of Cam and Mina – the focus for book 3 i’d assume and how that takes shape will be entertaining i’m sure.

Add to all that the romance and steam and heat that we always get from J Kenner, and you have a series that is bound to keep you interested week after week – just waiting to see what comes next and what’s going to happen to the bar.  I can’t wait for book 3 in another week or so.  Enjoy!

Review: Down on Me (Man of the Month #1) by J Kenner

Title: Down on Me
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martinin & Olive 1/11/18
Length:   238 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #1

Overview

Tight muscles. Vibrant Ink.
Meet Mr. January. Winter’s never looked so hot …

Certified bachelor Reece Walker wants two things-to save the local bar he manages and to get Jenna Montgomery into his bed.

He has a few ideas for the bar. But Jenna . . . well, he’s going to have to rely on cold showers, because she’s been his best friend for years, and that’s a line he just can’t cross.

Until one wild kiss on a dark night changes everything. Now Reece is certain Jenna’s meant to be his.

And with long nights in bed, sensual caresses, and deep, lingering kisses, he sets out to thoroughly convince her that friends can be lovers, too.

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of J Kenner so i’m always open to a new series.  It’s interesting how this is positioned though.  I mean, in the summary, it says that it can be read as a stand alone, but knowing that there’s a story that is being set up here, something that would last long enough to encompass the entire year, it makes you wonder if there’s value to reading it all.  (which we all know that i will).

So in this first installment, we have a trio of friends, who were best friends for ages and now we start to see that feelings are getting involved.  I think that it’s safe to say that Ms Kenner isn’t going to give us a story that will make us hate one of the mains or another so that’s good news.

On top of that, we have the basis for the rest of the story – all centering around a bar called The Fix – a staple in their lives and a place that needs to be saved from a mortgage gone awry.  That’s where Brent, Reece and Jenna come into play – making it their goal for the near future to come up with enough money to make the payment and then keep the bar running.

So you can imagine a high stress story – all wrapped into a romance.  Jenna and Reece had chemistry at one point before she moved away from Austin and both had been in denial about it and well, when things happen, you see how there’s potential for so much more.  The challenge of course is that we know that Reece isn’t the kind of guy who wants commitment (he’ll happily be in a relationship but marriage isn’t an option) and while Jenna goes into it saying that’s ok, things change and we see heartache and heartbreak.

It’s a sweetly written story – lots of great chemistry and passion that we have come to expect and crave from the author but it’s still written in a way that we enjoy the romance and the potential that may come down the line.

On that note – i can’t wait for book 2 since the set up shows us that we’re going to get a lot of angst and likely a bit of pent up anger and frustration coming up for the new main characters.  Enjoy!

Review: The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns #0.2) by Kedare Blake

Title: The Young Queens
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 12/26/17
Length:   89 Pages
Series:  Three Dark Crowns #0.2

Overview

In this must-read prequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, the queens’ origin story is revealed. It’s a pre-crown lowdown of Fennbirn’s ruling class.

Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine weren’t always scheming to murder each other. They weren’t always surrounded by rival foster families, each swearing to have their best interests at heart. And they weren’t always afraid of being unexpectedly attacked—by one of their own sisters, no less—in a way that could cost them their last breath.

They used to be together. Just three sisters. Alone in a glen.

This is the story of the three queens—after they were born, before they were separated, during the time when they all lived together, loved each other, and protected each other. It’s also the story of the day they were torn apart, and the several years that follow.

From birth to eleven years old, this is a rare glimpse of the queens’ lives…before they were at stake.

My Thoughts

In this series we were first intoduced to the queens just as they were coming of age, each trying to live up to the legacy that is bestowed upon the triplet queens, so that one – the one that was the strongest could take power from the rest.  We knew that there were 2 that were not quite able, and yet we never really saw how they grew up and came to be.

In this prequel of sorts, we get to see how they were as young girls, before they were separated and taken to their own host cities to learn their skills (or not) and truly learn to hate (and forget) one another.

The way that this novella is written, we get glimpses into the lives of these girls when they were still at the cottage up until they turned 6.  we saw who was the protector, and who was the caring one.  We saw how hard it was for them to get taken from one another, and yet no one really cared since it’s what’s done.

From there, we get to see how their lives truly progressed over the years in each of their new homes, and it’s really interesting to see some of the side stories as they happened too.  We got to see how Mirabella was feared because of her power, and as a result, she was locked up for a bit.

Then there’s katherine, the poisoner who’s not quite a poisoner, and how she takes all the torture that she’s gone through because that’s what’s expected of her.  makes you less surprised when you see what’s become of her in the main series.  And don’t forget Arsinoe.  the naturalist who isn’t quite there yet, and we see how she tries to scape and the punishment that gets all of some of the more important supporting characters banished.

All in all, it sets up the backstory for the series in a way that really does help us understand the foundation for how things came to pass, and really makes us a bit less surprised about what has just transpired in the coming installments and what the future holds since there’s still so much left that’s unsettled.  i can’t wait for what’s next since there are bigger and better story lines coming since there are secrets that are coming to life.  on that note – enjoy!

Review: End Game (Dirty Money #4) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: End Game
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  St Martins Press 1/2/18
Length:   221 Pages
Series:  Dirty Money #4

Overview

How deep can you love?

Passion and danger collide in the explosive finale to Emily and Shane’s story.

After tragedy strikes, Shane hovers on the edge of being consumed by darkness. He will fight for the woman he loves. He will destroy his enemy. He will not back down. As shocking twists, dark secrets, and explosive betrayals within the Brandon family come to the light, Shane must fight harder than ever before.

Every thread weaves a dangerous web. Emily and Derek. Brandon Senior. Maggie and her affair. The leader of the dangerous cartel who’s wedged itself inside the Brandon Empire. It all comes to a head in the shattering conclusion to the Dirty Money series.

My Thoughts 

What we get here is a supposed conclusion to a series that is ended just how Ms Jones ends quite a few of hers.  Way too open ended for our liking and the opportunity to come back into the world of the main characters that we love so much at a later date in time.  All the while, setting up the story for a spinoff of sorts so that we know that we’re not done with all these folks just yet.

This has been a roller coaster of a series – we see Shane and Emily going from trust issues to love, from life to death and back again, and to major decisions needing to be made to not only make sure that professionally there’s something to come home to, but personally a home to go home to.

The dynamic between these two mains is classic Lisa Renee Jones.  We see two incredibly strong people who have their own baggage from their past to get over, and when they manage to work together for the greater good – only good will happen.  There’s a romance that some how manages to supersede it all and friendships that are developed on the side that prove to be something that’s important.

Add onto all of that some cartel folks that want them dead, and of course that means that some of those that we love die, a terminal illness still threatening to take the life of senior, a wife who wants more than what her husband is offering, and brothers who will never be on the same page no matter how hard they fight.  Like i said – roller coaster.

Interspersed along with all of that, we have a great romance, some really intense chemistry and a story that makes you really upset to see it over and done with.  We still have no idea who’s going to survive, who’s safe and who’s not.  Who’s really dead and what that means for business and life.  So on that note, i think that we get what we were hoping for in a jam packed finale, yet nothing that we wanted since it’s still way way too open.  I hope you guys share that sentiment, and check it out as well.  enjoy!

Review: Cuffed (Everyday Heroes #1) by K Bromberg

Title: Cuffed
Author: K Bromberg
Publisher/Year:  JKB Publishing 10/20/17
Length:   394 Pages
Series:  Everyday Heroes #1

Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new series about three brothers, the job that calls them, and the women who challenge them.

“I hate you. I never want to see you again.”

Grant Malone is not the reason I moved back to Sunnyville-at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet, those parting words I said to him back in third grade, ring in my ears every time a townsperson brings up one of the Malone boys. I thought time had healed my wounds. I was wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I finally saw him again.

Twenty years does a lot to turn a boy into a man. One who hits all my buttons-sexy, funny, attractive, and a police officer. But Grant is off limits because he knows too much about my past.

But I’m drawn to him. That damn uniform of his doesn’t hurt either. It’ll be my downfall. I know it.

What’s one night of sex going to hurt . . . right?

***

I’ve always loved Emmy Reeves.

That’s why I’m shocked to see her all these years later. The shy girl I once knew is all grown up.

Adventurous and full of life, she owns my heart now, just as much as she did back then. Convincing her of that is a whole different story.

I’ll give her the one night she asks for-like that’s a hardship-but when it comes to letting her walk away after, she has another thing coming. There’s no way in hell I’m letting her go this time without a fight.

My Thoughts

Ms Bromberg again does what she does best – introduce a new set of characters with their own interesting story to give us another introduction to an enjoyable series.  This time we’re not in a baseball theme, but instead we’re in a place called Sunnyville where there are three brothers and of course they’ve got their stories.  We start off by meeting Grant in this first installment.

Grant’s a cop and he’s a bit of a player – not one to really settle down, and often times referred to as Officer Sexy.  His father was a chief in the department back in his time, and Grant’s living up to all of that great accolade.  He’s decided to challenge himself and go for a promotion to become detective and that’s the next notch to put in his belt.

Then there’s his childhood best friend, a girl named Emerson, someone who he hasn’t seen in about 20 years, when a secret was revealed and she and her mother left to find a safer place to live.  Of course, we learned that it was Grant who told the secret because he knew that it was the right thing to do, however from that point, 8 year old Emerson hated him and wanted nothing to do with him.  Since leaving Sunnyville, she’s become a bit of a gypsy, a nomad of sorts.  She and her mom moved from place to place, never putting down roots, and it’s only now, 20 years later that she’s found herself back in that same hometown, trying to put down roots by working to purchase a skydiving school since that’s her passion.

The story that we get from here is one of clear chemistry between these two.  Remember that they were just 8 when they last saw each other, but 20 years shows us that there’s a bond there and now a chemical reaction to one another.  The bigger issue though besides that though is that there are major trust issues.  Emerson feels that Grant betrayed her trust all those years ago, and it’s almost impossible for him to climb back from that and make things right.

We go on a journey with these two, watching them fight their inner battles with trust and the struggles that come from the ghosts of their pasts, and at the same time, trying to fight what’s in front of their faces – and really enjoy what they can potentially have together.

The meddling of Emerson’s bestie Desi doesn’t hurt things and then there are Grant’s brothers, Grady and Grayson that also make things more entertaining.  All lead ins and hints into what we’ll likely see in the next installments in the series.

So all in all, a sweet romantic story of childhood best friends who are torn apart but come back together to find that there’s something amazing there.  OF course, when plans don’t go as they want, and one is forced to move away and the other sacrifices their profession and life for a cause, we know that the anxiety and angst will make it all worthwhile .  we hope.  Enjoy!