About iscm13

I'm a mom of 3 living in NYC who loves to read. When i'm not at work, or shuttling my kids around the city (since i'm sure you can imagine that it's hard to entertain little ones in a small apartment), i'm immersing myself in all things pop-culture, watching movies, or listening to music. One day I hope that i can get inspired enough with an original idea so that i can join the ranks of some of my favorite story tellers to bring to life a great tale - but so far, i'm more than happy to dive head first into a good story or 2.

Review: Mirror’s Edge (Imposters #3) by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Mirror’s Edge
Author:  Scott Westerfeld
Publisher/Year:  Scholastic 4/6/21
Length:  352 Pages
Series: Imposters #3

Overview

The danger rises and the deception grows in the heart-stopping third book in the New York Times bestselling Impostors series!

Frey’s return to the city of her birth isn’t going to be an easy one. She and her love Col must surge on new faces and bodies in order to infiltrate Shreve by dropping from the sky and landing undetected.

Frey’s sister Rafi — no longer a twin in features, but still a twin by birth — is the wild card. Are the sisters on the same side . . . or are they playing to their own agendas? If their father is deposed from Shreve, who will take control? And what other forces may be waiting in the wings?

My Thoughts

Here we are, back in the insanely engrossing world of the Uglies, where the past never truly led us in the right direction, and the semi truths of today aren’t what they seem. Everything that Frey thought she knew about Rafi and her father isn’t the truth, and that makes every move they make from here on out a question mark. The mission that this story takes us on is multi-pronged. There’s the need to rescue Boss X from the clutches of Schreve, and we don’t know what they will be up against. Frey goes under the knife with Col and several others to camo themselves from the nano dust in the city- creating new identifies for themselves in order ot sneak in, save X, destroy Shreve and hopefully free the city. The republic of Diego is in on this as well partially because that’s where the surg is happening and partially because the end game is for Diego to put Frey in control of Shreve and make the world a better place. The question though is are all the tests and prodding for the benefit of Frey, Shreve, Rafi or something else entirely.

The journey takes us under the radar into Shreve, under ground, where crims reveal secrets to Frey about her home city that she had no idea about. She’s introduced to cliques who may be able to set diversions so they can sneak into the high security prison where X is held, but since these are unknowns to the crew and rebels, we don’t know what’s the benefit and real truth here. Everyone has their own motivation and again we’re in a place where we don’t know who we can trust.

There’s eerie construction happening and we quickly uncover that there are radioactive deposits that Frey and Rafi’s father is looking to dig up in order to create a nuclear weapon. There’s intelligence that tells us that he’s stockpiled it in his tower meaning that they can’t blow him up with out destroying the city. So we’re at an impasse of sorts.

Relationships are put to the test, identities are uncovered and mysteries still hold strong where we don’t know what’s real, what’s illusion and what’s on the allied side.

Many lives are lost, and may twists takes us down a path where we realize that if you can’t fight for yourself, you can’t trust someone else to do it. We watch Rafi take Frey’s persona, her courage and her mannerisms and use them for her own benefit, yet again reminding us that she’s not to be trusted and that she’s only motivated by her own sense of power. We don’t know what that means for the rest of this story, since she’s done something yet again at the end of this installment that raises flags and questions that are impossible to answer.

We learned early on in this series of a death of a family member that was unknown at the time, and that’s been used against Frey and Rafi throughout the first three installments. We have a death of a favorite that was caused at the hands of someone that we were wrong to trust, changing the trajectory for our mains going into book four. We also find ourselves back in Paz at the end of this story, meeting with at least one if not two unexpected characters in the hopes that we can change the future for the better.

In my review for book two, I was left with some many philosophical questions – but in this book, it’s not so much a deep seeking question that I have but rather will we ever live in a time where over-baring power isn’t the only motivation? Where you always have to put someone else down in order to gain power, authority, money, all that comes with being in charge? We’ve seen that there’s a need and hunger for some people to lead, but there are also some who do it with a balance of respect. Sadly, that’s not the case in this story for some of the twisted paths we go down. There’s too much being sacrificed, and I wonder what that means should this story really transpire in the future. I can’t wait until book four now, and I hate how our author does this to me. Leaves me hanging on a cliff, and I have to wait far far too long for the next installment. oh well. Enjoy!

Review: Bound To Him (The Billionaire’s Beck and Call #2) by Delilah Fawkes

Title:Bound To Him
Author:  Delilah Fawkes
Publisher/Year:  Delilah Fawkes 7/13/13
Length:  206 Pages
Series: Billionaire’s Beck and Call #2

Overview

Sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil…

Isabeau is happier than ever, loving and living with Chase Drake, her husband and dominant master. But when her younger sister, Lucy, shows up at her doorstep, she knows trouble is on the horizon.

Their brother Alex is in deep again with a bad crowd, but this time, Lucy doesn’t have the money to bail him out. Alex’s life is on the line if he doesn’t pay soon, but since he’s in jail, it’s up to the sisters to come to his rescue.

When Chase Drake’s old friend and fellow dom, Maxwell Pierce, comes to visit, he is instantly enchanted by the beautiful, fiery Lucy Willcox. When he overhears her confessing to Isabeau that she needs money in a hurry, he offers her a job on the spot, as his personal assistant.

He’d come to Chase for a recommendation, because his personal assistants have duties that are… quite unusual. If Lucy takes the job, she’ll be at his beck and call, 24/7, bound to him, and all that the job requires. But with her brother’s life in jeopardy, threatened by a dangerous mobster, she’s desperate enough to sign his contract, no matter what the small print says.

What Lucy doesn’t expect is that she’ll enjoy it… and that saving her brother may mean putting everything on the line, including her heart. 

My Thoughts

Well, we got an interesting start to this series. watching Isa and Chase begin an unconventional relationship both in the office and out. When their relationship ends in the first book at a proposal, it’s lovely to see that they may get their happily ever after. Little does Isa know, her past and family are going to come around and rise up in her life in an unexpected way, and the journey that we watch unfold is a bit similar to book 1, yet with a far darker twist.

It’s on the night of a small dinner get together when a friend of Chase’s comes over – Max – an equally handsome and sexy powerful man, yet one who’s unattached at the moment as he shares similar interests that Chase does. When the door bell rings and the expectation is that it’s Max a tad early for dinner, we’re surprised to see Lucy, Isa’s younger sister coming in hysterics. The reason we learn is that their brother has gotten himself into trouble that even Lucy can’t fix. Ever since Isa moved out to take care of their grandmother, Lucy has been trying to keep their brother out of trouble, or clean up his messes when he gets into trouble often, but this time he’s gone too far.

We watch how Lucy is in a fragile moment, Isa comes in and tries to ease her misery. We watch how Chase wants to protect his new family, and how there’s an instant connection between Lucy and Max. She doesn’t know what he has to offer, but they both feel a spark when they first look at each other. Lucy’s looking for a job to help pay off their brother’s debts, and instead of just Chase jumping to find a solve, Max offers a reprieve, however unconventional it may be.

The path this story takes us down is quite expected from this point forward. We have an innocent who knows nothing of bondage and doms, but she knows sexual attraction and is willing to do what she needs in order to save her brother. The consequences of this agreement, Lucy agreeing to be Max’s assistant means that he’s going to show her the world, tangibly, physically, emotionally. And that’s what she needs even if she doesn’t realize it yet.

When it seems like things are going well and that Lucy will be able to dig them out of the hole that Alex has gotten them into, tragedy strikes and Alex is beaten to an inch of his life in prison. All because the man that he conned felt that he was due more money and retribution faster than anyone could provide it.

Lucy jumps to work on a solution, and Max is by her side the entire time. They confront the powerful man and his gang that have traumatized Alex, and confront him with a payoff or a trade to get Alex’s safety. Of course, Isa and Chase are not far behind and they devise a plan of their own, without cluing in Lucy and that means we’re about to experience fireworks in a bad way.

Drag races, Gang beatings, cons, death on the horizon, and perhaps some FBI like objects all come to a head when we get to the peak of where this story goes. There’s no lack of excitement here, but there’s also a point when we realize that passions are higher as well than had previously been expected. How this story ends isn’t uncommon or surprising, but elements of the story make for a quick and exciting read. I’m really intrigued where a book three can go, given that this one seemed to tie up a bunch of loose ends, even from book one. So, that means that I have to jump into the next one and see where we go. Maybe there’s someone that we’ve yet to meet that needs to experience a bit of sexy control. Enjoy!

Review: The Billionaire’s Beck and Call (The Billionaire’s Beck and Call #1) by Delilah Fawkes

Title: The Billionaire’s Beck and Call
Author:  Delilah Fawkes
Publisher/Year:  Delilah Fawkes 1/4/13
Length:  198 Pages
Series: Billionaire’s Beck and Call #1

Overview

Isabeau Willcox is just the temp at the front desk, so when the mysterious, sexy and notoriously ill-tempered CEO, Chase Drake asks her to be his executive assistant, she’s sure there’s been some sort of mistake. However, Mr. Drake wants her, and Mr. Drake always gets what he wants. 

When she enters his employ, she agrees to be at his beck and call, to be his, but what exactly does that entail? When he punishes her for breaking his rules by bending her over his desk, she realizes she may be in for more than she bargained for. 

Isabeau is introduced into Chase Drake’s world, learning about his darker side, including his secret sex dungeon and deliciously naughty toys that spark her imagination and make her knees weak. He shackles her and makes her his slave, bringing her to heights she never imagined. But when he asks to make their arrangement more permanent, she remembers how quickly he’s dismissed previous assistants, and wonders if she can give him the trust he craves. 

A bad boy business partner, a dangerous secret, and Isabeau’s conflicted heart threaten to end it all before it’s even begun. Suspenseful action and a romance that will leave your heart, and other places, aching for more weave throughout this story of two different lovers from two very different worlds. 

My Thoughts

What we have here is what i’d consider an intro level D/s story – which scratches the surface of what we need to itch, without really getting too deep. We start off this story with Isa, our leading lady, as she’s temping at the office of a very demanding billionaire named Chase. He’s got an reputation, but she’s willing to see past those rumors in the hopes that there’s something more.

It’s on that first day working that there’s a spark between them, she brings out his Dom side which makes him very uncomfortable because he sees her as more than other women, as something more precious and he’s afraid to tarnish that. Isa though feels compelled to push him, to get a reaction out of him because Chase is able to wake something up in her that she’s never felt before and she needs that more than ever these days.

We spend the bulk of this story watching Mr Drake bring out the darker side of Isa, take her to levels of pleasure that she’s never known or experienced before, all while showering her with the luxuries that he’s used to because he wants her in his world. While doing that, she’s introduced to his family and a few others in his circle, one of whom is Lex Smith, his business partner. The way that he is around her gives off a vibe that makes her uncomfortable and we get to see how that plays out when Lex does things that are capable of ruining the business. He tries to get Isa to choose him over Chase, and he tries to steer her in the wrong direction, but we get entertained in watching how that plays out.

There’s a chase, embezzlement, heartbreak and a ‘red room of pain’ in this first installment that draws us in quickly to bring this first book to a close. We’re taken on a path that you wouldn’t expect, and it’s a fairly fast journey from what we usually see in D/s stories, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not as enjoyable anyway. For those that like a lighter dom story – enjoy this one!

Review: When He’s Wild (Walker Security: Adrian’s Trilogy #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: When He’s Wild
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Lisa Renee Jones 3/21/21
Length:  248 Pages
Series: Walker Security: Adrian’s Trilogy #3

Overview

The third and final book in a Walker Security trilogy featuring Adrian Mack…He was dirty, then he was bad, now he’s just plain wild. Like all the men of Walker Security, when he fell for his woman, he fell hard. Some might call his love for Priscilla a weakness, but you might as well call her a weapon.You hurt her, vengeance is coming and his name is Adrian.

My Thoughts

I was waiting long and hard for this final installment in Adrian’s story, knowing that there was so much uncertainty going on in both his life and Pri’s life. To quickly run back through the series, Pri’s the ADA who’s prosecuting Nick Waters, the king of the Devils, a motorcycle gang that killed, trafficked, raped etc etc. He’s in jail now, and Adrian is the star witness as he was undercover in the gag as part of an FBI sting. Pri’s slowly learning that more and more people that are close to her are ‘in bed’ with Waters, and that means that no one’s safe, and everyone has something to lose.

Adrian and Pri got closer than they should have, forming not just a physical relationship as a means to cope with what they’re going through, but there’s a deep emotional connection that’s blossoming as well. The challenge is that Adrian feels that his secrets will drive her away, and he uses that as a means to push her as far from him as possible. Lucky for us, she’s a bit stubborn and knows what his game is, and we watch how this plays out.

We start this third installment with Pri meeting her parents with the hopes of getting them under Walker protection and fleeing the country for their safety. Walker’s crew is outside the restaurant keeping tabs on her, while a few are inside as well to be close. When it’s Logan, Pris’ ex that shows up instead, we know that this isn’t going to end well. Logan threatens her again if she doesn’t drop the case, and then tries to rape her, when Pri uses the good advice that Adrian gave and shoots Logan in the foot.

From there, we’re on the run again, heading to New York now, the home of Walker. It’s a roller coaster knowing that theres a premium hit on both of them, and that means that no one is safe. We don’t know when someone’s going to come after them, and we can only hope that they have enough time to see the trial come to fruition. Of course, that never happens, and Waters is freed from jail…and that means that all bets are off.

We know that Pri wants to have the right thing happen, with Waters going to jail for good, but we also know that route means that they’ll never be safe since Waters has long reaching arms. Adrian wants him dead and that’s the road that we’re afraid to go down. On the other hand, Deleon, Water’s right hand man is still on the loose after he some how escaped from book 1’s shooting and he’ll continue to come after Adrian and Pri.

The roller coaster continues here, with Adrian doing his best to push Pri from his home, and it’s funny to watch Savage come into play in this story with his words of wisdom. We saw how Savage’s own life and relationship was overly complicated so we can only hope that his voice of reason is enough to get Adrian’s head on straight before it’s too late and more people die. It’s exciting, there are faked deaths and fights to the death, and how this ends up, and at who’s own hand is anyone’s guess. I hope you guys check this series out and enjoy!

Review: Insatiable by Opal Carew

TitleInsatiable
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year:  St Martins Press 2/14/12
Length:  288 Pages

Overview

A tantalizing new erotic romance from author Opal Carew that dares to ask:

How far would you go for a taste of ecstasy?

Crystal never dreamed her engagement would end this way. With her fiancé breaking her heart the day of the wedding…and his best man stepping in to mend it. Now she’s about to embark on her dream honeymoon with the sinfully sexy best man. But when the groom shows up determined to win her back, she ends up in a highly unusual situation…on a honeymoon for three. Caught between two gorgeous guys—each determined win her hand by showing her the most pleasure—Crystal has an impossible decision to make. Who will she end up with once the honeymoon is over? And how can she follow her heart when it belongs to two men at once?

My Thoughts

I’m usually a fan of Opal Carew so it was nice to discover a book from years and years ago that I hadn’t read. While the summary teases a bit of what we’re to expect, There’s so much more to this story than meets the eye.

Yes, we’re introduced to Crystal on the day of her wedding, she’s getting ready for the big ceremony and all the fanfare that lies ahead. Her fiance’s best friend Evan comes by to calm her nerves a bit and to share a little bit of what he’s been feeling for years. This is something that the summary doesn’t share. Evan’s been in love with Crystal for a long time and while he knows that she’s going to marry his best friend, he owes it to himself and to her to share how he feels in case that has an impact on her decision to go through with the wedding. So of course, it’s that moment, when Evan admits his feelings to Crystal and they ’embrace’ – that’s when Brent sees them and decides that he can’t go through with the wedding. Crystal is left at the altar, and Evan swoops in to help get her away from it all.

This leads to an afternoon of passion that neither expected, and as a result, to a honeymoon trip filled with all sorts of heat and chemistry. They realize that maybe there is something to explore and that’s where our story takes us – on that journey, watching as they learn about each other more and more, see how they are beyond physically connected and able to give the other what they need. until brent shows up.

You’d imagine that this would be a tough situation right? Crystal now has to choose between her fiance and someone that she may have stronger feelings for, and instead of forcing a choice right then and there, we watch the beginnings of a threesome develop, as they vie for her attention, and realize that sharing a woman plays right into a fantasy that these guys have had for ages.

We see this get naughtier and naughtier as the pages go on. There’s an introduction of a sexy neighbor that’s down the lane from them who brings out things in Crystal that she never knew were there. It inspires passions amongst everyone that this book ups the ante with steam.

Add to that a complete new couple making this a group thing rather than just a threesome, and then there’s the notion that there’s interest from Brent to Evan, something that he never realized or explored, but we watch how these men also explore what’s possible with each other.

So, in my opinion, this story is less about the relationship and more about the group sex and kink that they get into, but what’s my opinion here right? We do know that there’s a choice to be made at the end of all this, if it’s Brent or Evan and Evan knows that it’s going to be Brent, even if he did leave Crystal at the altar. He just knows that he’s not willing to go out without a fight, and that’s where we’re finding the ending of this story. A choice to be made, an interesting turn of events, and some very very sexy times had by all. Enjoy!

Review: A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J Maas

Title: A Court of Silver Flames
Author:  Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year:  Bloomsbury USA 2/16/21
Length:  768 Pages
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Overview

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other. 

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

My Thoughts

I’ll have to be a bit honest at first here and say that I had to wrack my brain to get caught up to where we left off since it’s been quite some time since we’ve last been in this world. The War with King Hybern left a jarring memory in my brain, and remembering what happened to Elain and Nesta at the end of it all made me wonder what the future could hold. Elain, the beautiful perfect and delicate sister was taken against her wishes, put into the couldron and Made into something immortal. Nesta followed after her and took everything that she could from the Coulderon as a way to get her revenge out. What happened after though, you’ll all remember is that Nesta couldn’t deal with her pain, with her guilt and with her hatred of herself and that took her down an awful spiral.

We’re now a year or so past the war and Nesta is no better off. She’s a shell of a person, empty and all she does is spend Feyre’s money on booze and men. She’s rude to everyone who makes an effort to be around her that they are forced to give an ultimatum. either fall in line and train with Cassian, get some structure and figure out how to harness her power, or go back to the human lands where she won’t be accepted. It’s really no choice, so she finds herself training with Cassian in the morning and working in the library for the rest of the day.

It’s interesting to see how long it takes to break Nesta down in this story – frankly, I don’t know that we ever really see her break down her walls, but we see her find some purpose in her life. Figure out what’s a bigger goal and to go there. She makes friends with a priestess in the library named Gwyn who starts to play a big role as well as another Illaryian named Emerie. The notion that she’s able to make ‘friends’ makes everyone have hope that she’s going to come around, but even that is a wish that may never come true.

The undertone throughout this 4th installment is that there’s still unrest in the world. While The King of Hybern is dead, the human queens are not united as they should be ever since one went into the Cauldron and lost her beauty to become eternally old. She’s hungry for the power to get her beauty back and that means that we’re about to see the world turned upside down.

Throughout this book, we learn about things older than anyone, Amren even has a hard time remembering the full history. We’re taught about the Dread Trove, a collection of items that were so dark and evil that they have wards to hide and protect them, they have the ability to raise the dead and make people do their bidding. In the wrong hands, that means that the world that they know will be completely destroyed. The queen who’s looking for her youth wants the Trove as she’s made a deal with one of the oldest evil immortals who has his own motivation as well to get released from his prison.

So, we watch the journey as the one human Queen gets a hold of the Crown which is able to control the minds of anyone who’s within reach. That leave a Mask which is able to raise the dead and a Harp which is able to open wards and pass through time. Nesta’s ability to scry which helped them find the Couldron in the last installment means that she’s ripe for the asking to find the Dread Trove. She’s of course not willing to help anyone, especially seeing how the past turned out when she tried to help and her loved ones died or changed form. She objects strongly, and that means that Elain offers herself to do it. That’s what finally gets Nesta to agree to go on the hunt. She trains to become a warrior, to strengthen her mind body and soul, and at the same time, with her friends, they bring back the Valkryies – a female warrior unit that was stronger than many men back thousands of years ago and died off in a war that was a set up.

In addition to that storyline, we have another where Feyre and Rhys are expecting their first child, just as the Bone Carver told them from his visions. The Challenge here is that she fell pregnant when she was in Illaryian form during the war when she was able to shift her shape (thank all the High Lords who gave her powers when she was about to die in book #1). It’s a blessing and everyone’s beyond happy that she’s pregnant and then they learn that because of the form that she was in, the baby is due to have wings. An exciting time for the Illaryian’s but Feyre is now in her Fae form and her body won’t survive a birth of a child with wings. They keep this from her of course, and we watch the journey throughout the story to see if they’re able to keep Feyre alive.

I’ll admit that the first few chapters were a bit draggy for me – it took me a few minutes to get back into it even though I LOVE this series. The characters all have their deep and interesting stories that lead us on so many crazy adventures that we don’t know necessarily what we’re going to get. Some are older than others, some have other forms that were taken from them in the last war. And some really don’t know what to do with the life that they have now.

Elain has found herself mated to someone that she’s got adverse feelings towards, and we see hints of something perhaps between her and Az. Azriel is one of the main characters that we’d do anything to see happy and when it seemed as though there was something more between them at Winter Solstice. Maybe that will come in the next book since we know that there’s a continuing story here.

We have the battles of good and evil in this forth book. We have the notion that everything is NOT what it seems and you never know who you can trust even if you make allies. We also see that there’s redemption for even the worst offenders. We see that there’s transition in life and when you’ve had some of your greatest horrors take away your very breath, there are people out there who care enough to lift you up, support you and never leave you behind. And there’s love. That’s likely the most important of all and perhaps the one thing that we see carry us through this vicious forth installment.

Now I don’t know about any other reader, but I know for myself that i’d love more than anything to get book five sooner rather than later. It’s been years since we had the last one and I think i’ll scream and wither away if we have to wait that long again. On that note – ENJOY!

Review: The Lie (The Charade #1) by Stella Gray

Title: The Lie
Author:  Stella Gray
Publisher/Year:  Stella Gray 2/23/21
Length:  390 Pages
Series: The Charade #1

Overview

The world knows Ford Malone as the heir to a real estate fortune. 

But to me he’ll always be my best friend.
The guy who saved me from my bullies back in school.
The man I’ve secretly loved for years.

When he needs me to be his plus one at a family event, I agree without hesitation.

Imagine my surprise when he announces our engagement.

As usual, I’ll play along.

Nothing has to change except the way we behave—the way we touch—in public.

But his private touches change everything.

Soon the crush I’ve hidden for so long is threatening to swallow me whole.

If I tell him how I feel, it could ruin our friendship forever.

But if I don’t, the lie will ruin me instead.

My Thoughts

I’ve enjoyed every other series of the Zoric family and I think that we all were waiting to see how Emzee’s story would play out. We know her as the youngest – the little sister to Stefan and Luka, and we watched how the elder siblings entered into marriages based on contracts and not on love, only to have them turn into more than they ever could have imagined. Each story being more complicated than the last, but we see now that they are all happy, and expecting children of their own.

So fast forward now to Emzee. She’s always been a bit different than her siblings – really a bit goth, a bit of a loner. She’s marched to her own tune, and now that she’s trying to find her footing in the world that her father left in shambles, she’s managed to build a great charity, grow her friendships with her sister in laws, and try to stand on her own two feet. She’s even managed to keep her best friend from High School in her life – and that friend is Ford Malone. The boy who helped keep the bullies away from her when rumors spread as a teen, and now they have this type of friendship that outlasts relationships and trauma of life.

We find ourselves in an interesting situation, where Emzee is at a family event for Ford, his mother’s birthday party and while she’s maneuvering her way around the event raising money for her charity, she quickly finds herself in the crosshairs when Ford’s mother continues to hound him about getting married to his new ex-Claudia and Ford pulls her into the mix. In the form of his ‘girlfriend’.

Yup – so that’s the path this story takes – watching yet another fake relationship come to the forefront. Ford needs his mom off his case and he knows that Em will do anything for him. She’s never said no, and it’s because she’s had a crush on him from day one and he knows it. Emzee always thought she was good about hiding it but nope!

The journey from there out is one where we watch this lie take all sorts of forms. Ford needs Emzee to do all the girlfriend type things, and she needs to do her best not to lose her heart in the process. It becomes harder and harder when there are so many conflicting moments between them. Ford brings Emzee to all these events to play the dutiful girlfriend and then he muddies the water with moments of romance and sensuality. Emzee thinks that at times there’s more and then he does something or says something to remind her that she’s nothing more than a pawn.

The challenge with a lie is that something will either push the lie into becoming true, or something will happen to make everyone get hurt. We watch how both happen simultaneously. There are moments when we believe that both are leaning to each other – that emotions are becoming real, that connections are real, and then the rug is pulled out from under them when secrets come out. The hiccup in all this is that now the relationship has turned into an engagement, and yet another contract marriage is born – where they are going to stay together for a year in order to get Ford’s family off his back,……but what we have come to realize is that the other shoe is going to drop with even more secrets.

Those secrets being another underlying plot line that is a result of what the Zoric’s father did with the family business. You’ll remember in the previous series, we watched how the family learned that their father was involved in trafficking the models and now that the agency has gone clean, apparently there are people who are not thrilled with the lost revenue. Namely the Russian Mafia. They’re after the family for money and the Zoric’s don’t really have that kind of cash laying around.

When Ford’s family somehow learns about the mafia being after Emzee’s family, a deal is put on the table which turns the entire trajectory of our story on it’s head. All the hope that we had for the future is now dashed, and what that means is that there are too many players involved for any type of positive outcome. Now sadly we have to wait 2 more months for book 2 to come out and we’ve literally been left on a ledge that needs pulling back from and I have to wait it out. So….on that note…i’ll find something else to ease my anxiety for the meantime and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Emzee, her family and for Ford. enjoy!

Review: On the Way to the Wedding (The Bridgertons #8) by Julia Quinn

Title: On the Way to the Wedding
Author:  Julia Quinn
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 4/25/17
Length:  300 Pages
Series: The Bridgertons #8

Overview

A funny thing happened …

Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except …

She wasn’t the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except …

Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar …

My Thoughts

We knew that the series was going to come to an end because there were no more Bridgertons to write about, but i’m sad nonetheless. What we have is a great finale though to the series, and a nice way to tie up the journey that we’ve gone on with the Bridgertons.

Just like the summary notes- we are kicking off this book in an exciting fashion . We are watching Gregory, the youngest boy in the family sprint to the chapel in the hopes of stopping a wedding. We don’t know the background just yet as to who this girl is and what brought him to stop the wedding, but we know that it has to be good – right?

We go back about two months when there’s a party at Anthony and Kate’s country home where Gregory is invited and stops in. What we know of him so far from the other stories is that he’s a bit more outgoing and cynical than his older siblings and he often gives Hyacinth a run for her money because he tries to protect her and he knows that he can get away with more hassle than most. We also watch as he acknowledges that romance and true love are a thing seeing as how all his siblings made love matches ahead of him, so he’s hoping to find his love and knows that he’ll feel this earth moving moment as soon as he sees her.

Which is exactly what happens at this party.

Two guests that are also invited are Lucinda (Lucy) and Hermoine, two friends who are having a pre-season debut here at the country party – as their guardians/parents believe that they need to get a bit polished in smaller events before they make a true debut among the ton.

When Gregory walks in and lays sight on Hermoine and Lucy, he thinks that he’s felt the earth move – that his life has been changed forever. He sees Hermoine across the room and she’s the kind of lady who hast he attention of just about any and every man out there – yet she doesn’t return the attentions at all. She’s in love with a man from back home but of course every man out there thinks that he can change her. Gregory included.

One of the ways that he goes about it is through a friendship with Lucy who’s able to give him ‘good insight’ on how he can try to win Hermoine over by doing the opposite of what every other man has done. Of course we readers know that there’s more to the story than meets the eye and perhaps Lucy doesn’t know what’s best.

Anyhow, we watch how Gregory does his best to win over the woman that he thinks is his true love, all while we watch Lucy gain interest in Gregory, while knowing that she’s been promised to marry another man. Her uncle who’s taken over as her guardian has engaged her to a man who’s destined for power. Everyone tells her that he’ll treat her well, but she herself wants to have a love match too.

We can only anticipate what will happen right? WRONG.

There are so many twists thrown into this one. We watch how Hermoine starts to feel something more for Gregory and we think that he may succeed in what he has set out to do – meaning that she’s the one that he stops the wedding of – as she’s likely gone back to her love from back home. Mind you – he’s not the only one who’s managed to gain her attentions. When Lucy’s brother comes to retrieve her as her uncle wants to have the wedding sooner than later, we see a quick and scandalous interaction between her brother and Hermoine which changes the trajectory of this story completely.

What happens from there is that we see an interesting connection grow between Gregory and Lucy before she’s rushed home. We see fast wedding arrangements made for Hermoine, and again that leads us to a stopping of a wedding back in London.

There are interesting circumstances that brought that wedding about, and blackmail that we love to get to the bottom of. We have professions of love and still the idea that happiness will never come because that’s just not meant to be in this story. We also learn personal secrets about a few characters in this story that make us really enjoy the comedic relief that can sometimes be brought.

It’s an exciting culmination to everything that’s gone on thus far in the series. We watch as the power of family continues to be important and the sway that the Bridgertons have in society truly means something even when they don’t hold the highest title in England.

What’s even better is the 2nd Epilogue although I was almost certain that we would see a slightly different ending and I was almost hopeful for things to end up not as they did, just because I think that the story maybe deserved a new resolution. Regardless, it was a nice way to end the series and now i’m sad to be done with it. On that note – off to find something new to read. Enjoy!

Review: It’s In His Kiss (The Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn

Title: It’s In His Kiss
Author:  Julia Quinn
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 3/28/17
Length:  298 Pages
Series: The Bridgertons #7

Overview

Meet Our Hero . . .

Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth’s sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past . . . and the key to his future. The problem is—it’s written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.

Meet Our Heroine . . .

All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She’s fiendishly smart, devilishly in small doses. But there’s something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won’t quite let go . . .

Meet Poor Mr. Mozart . . .

Or don’t. But rest assured, he’s spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual—and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other . . . and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.

My Thoughts

I’m still surprised every time I read another installment to this series as it must be such a challenge to write about continuations of the same family story but with new eyes, new personalities and new trials. It seems as though our lovely author Ms Quinn has saved the most dynamic and troublesome for last and that’s what we get with Hyacinths story.

The way that this one is laid out is a bit of tellings us where we are in time and what we may have missed in a blurb at the onset of every chapter. What’s nice about that is that we’ve managed to set the stage and we know from whom’s perspective we’re about to read.

We don’t know much about Mr St Clair – which is the point. What we do know is that he’s got a reputation much like that of Anthony, Benedict or even Simon, but what also comes with that is a dark and troubled family backstory. That’s always the case with the ‘to be spouse’ of a Bridgerton so I was excited to see how that one evolved.

Gareth was the younger son of the Lord St Clair and clearly not the favorite child. It’s safe to say even that his father hated him, had it out for him, tortured him and even disowned him once he hit an age where he would be able to manage on his own. He also told Gareth’s older brother to cut him off, but the brotherly bond is more important than anything. At the same time he was thrown out of the house, Gareth also learns that he’s the result of an affair that his mother has and that his ‘father’ doesn’t even know who his real father is.

At the same time we get to engage in the world of Hyacinth. She’s the youngest of all the Bridgertons and if you’l recall, she was born after her father passed away. She’s always been a bit more independent or strong willed than the others, even more so than Eloise, but at the same time, she does want to find a husband, just that it has to be someone who can match her. She’s been out in society for three seasons and has had a handful of proposals, just none that she wants to take up on the offer.

We watch as their worlds collide from time to time through a relationship that Hyacinth has with his Grandmother Lady Danbury, and how Gareth also dotes on her very much. As a result, they are around each other more and more and come to realize that perhaps they have an attraction even if they irritate one another. If that’s not enough, they have a puzzle that they need the other to solve which continues to pull them together.

Gareth is given the diary of his grandmother from Italy which he needs someone to translate. That’s where Hyacinth’s role comes into play as she’s able to read a bit of Italian and she goes on her quest. What she discovers is so much more than anyone expected. She reads how his grandmother hated to be matched with the man that she married, and how she truly wanted to be anywhere else. She also shares that she received a gift of jewels from her grandmother which she chose to hide because she didn’t want her husband to get his hands on them.

That’s where the bulk of our story takes place – watching as they try to translate and decipher clues that will take them to where the jewels were hidden, in Gareth’s father’s house…and what that means for their reputations and relationship when they are forced to spend so much time together.

They try to be proper and they continue to antagonize one another so much that it’s inevitable that something will happen that may take decisions out of their hands. I enjoyed this one and I enjoyed the discovery of the jewels, even if it wasn’t what we had all hoped for. Were they what was expected? did it meet the thrill of the hunt?

All that’s left now is Gregory’s story and I can’t wait to dive into that one and see how this series resolves. Enjoy!

Review: When He Was Wicked (The Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn

Title: When He Was Wicked
Author:  Julia Quinn
Publisher/Year:  Harper Collins 2/28/17
Length:  330 Pages
Series: The Bridgertons #6

Overview

FRANCESCA’S STORY

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then . . . Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love . . . until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets . . .

My Thoughts

One of the greatest things about how our amazing author writes this series is that each Bridgerton has a different personality, a different story and therefore gives us the reader a really good reason to continue on reading. We’ve had a tease of Francesca’s story throughout the series thus far and now it’s time to see how it all played out. While we don’t get the background on how she met and married her John, at least we understand what passed to make her life into what it is now.

Throughout some of the prior books, we learned that Francesca married a Scottish Earl and as a result, spent much of her year in Scotland. She returned to London for the season as was expected, but she spent the first two years of married bliss with her husband. She felt as though she had hit the jackpot with him as they shared intense passion and love, and all the while, she also gained a best friend in his cousin Michael – a man who was as close as one could expect. Michael of course had the same reputation of her brothers, and perhaps why she got on so well with him.

Then that all changed when one day while in London, he complained about a headache, went to bed and never woke up again. There was no rhyme or reason behind it, just that she now found herself mourning the love of her life. What she wasn’t aware of though is that the entire time that she had the company of Michael, her husband’s cousin, someone that was her true confidante -well…he was madly in love with her and had this jealousy that John found her first.

Once John passed, Michael found that he couldn’t be around Francesca any longer and he heads to India for several years. Over those same years, Francesca tries to figure out who she is now that she’s a widow and alone. We’re then fast forwarded into the future when she’s decided that she truly does want a baby and that means that she has to find a new husband. She’s resigned that she will never have what she shared with John, but she’s hoping for companionship at least. Parallel to that, Michael who is now the Earl of Kilmartin realizes that he’s due to get married in order to maintain stature and the line for his family, so we watch how these two play the game of trying to find someone suitable when we know that perhaps they don’t realize that their mate is right there. (at least Francesca doesn’t – even if her brother Colin does).

It’s a nice dance that we watch between them – they have this love hate relationship where they can’t quite go back to the ease of what they had in the past, but they also realize that they have both grown so much over the years that perhaps what they want is the same but in a different vantage point.

What I really enjoyed about this story are a few things. One, it’s happening the same time that Colin and Eloise are going through their own experiences so we know how those play out by now but we also know what prompts action by Francesca as a result. Two, because Francesca was married before, she’s not deemed an innocent by society so the way that men behave towards her or around her is different and perhaps a bit less gentlemanly. Three – we see the passion amped up quite a bit in this story since there’s something to be said about a lady who has experience. She has that and she takes control in instances and it’s really enjoyable to watch how it catches certain suitors off guard.

I have to say that the more time I spend with the Bridgertons the more that I truly love them and wish that I were in this fantasy 1820s world. There’s so much that a woman of the right stature could gain from society but then again there is the same level of cutting that would make it a catty and horrible place for the wrong type of person as well. I fall in love though with each character a bit more and can’t wait to see what’s next for the youngest two Bridgertons. I wish that we could also get a true story for Violet – the matriarch but I don’t think that’s in the cards based on what’s out yet. So on that note, i’m going to search out book Seven. Enjoy!