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: Secrets of Daddy’s Best Friend (Daddy’s Billionaire Best Friend #3) by Lacy Ryder

Title: Secrets of Daddy’s Best Friend
Author:  Lacy Ryder
Publisher/Year:  Smutpire Press 4/9/20
Length:  23 Pages
Series: Daddy’s Billionaire Best Friend #3

Overview

Mark has a secret, and it’s threatening to ruin everything…
My body pulses every time I see him. Thoughts of the dirty, secret things we’ve been up to rush through my mind and consume me.

I’m in a constant state of arousal, always waiting for his next command. He’s more than forbidden, which just makes me want him more.

But Mark has a past, and with it comes a secret that has me questioning everything we’ve been up to… can we get through this or will this tear us apart?

My Thoughts

The summary is a bit misleading as we don’t ever know what the secret is until the very end and it doesn’t seem like it has any implication. Not anything material at least since the story plays out exactly how we expect.

So we left this couple after they had an exciting night in the underground BDSM club under Marquee – Katie was taken to heights that she could have never imagined and Mark seem to be quite smitten with her.

What I wonder though is what the interest is there – is it purely because she’s so young, is there something more – deeper? I really don’t know and we don’t quite get to that point. On her way out of the club though, he does share a secret with her that apparently shocks her and makes her think, but at the same time, we have no idea what it is and we don’t really see the implication until the end.

We’re in this third chapter now at Katie’s father’s birthday party. we watch how there’s chemistry between Mark and Katie and somehow no one picks up on it. the innuendos, the touches, and still everyone’s oblivious. even her mom. Mark throws caution to the wind, although we know that he’s all for the risk and convinces Katie to meet him in her father’s office. What we get there is an incredibly hot scene, one that makes us wonder how no one knows what’s going on, but that’s not for this conversation.

We continue to watch these two find moments to steal away together, and all while the party is going on. She wonders if there could be something more and how to go about it without getting caught. It’s only at the end of this novella that we find out what the secret was and the concern/question that it raises in Katie as to why they’re doing what they’re doing and if it’s ‘ok’. I won’t reveal the secret – you need to read this for yourself to find out, but perhaps thats the most compelling bit of this story – aside from the hot and steamy BDSM moments. Enjoy!

Review: Obsessed with Daddy’s Best Friend (Daddy’s Billionaire Best Friend #2) by Lacy Ryder

Title: Obsessed with Daddy’s Best Friend
Author:  Lacy Ryder
Publisher/Year:  Smutpire Press 4/9/20
Length:  23 Pages
Series: Daddy’s Billionaire Best Friend #2

Overview

Mark has me on the edge, in more ways than one…
I’ve never felt this way before. Not about anyone before Mark. Everything we do is so forbidden, yet so satisfying.

If anyone ever found out that my dad’s best friend took me to a place called The Dungeon…

If anyone ever found out that he’s tied me up and had his way with me more than once…

If anyone ever caught us in the act at work… well, let’s just say I’d never be able to look them in the eyes ever again and my life would be over. But, I just can’t help myself around him. The naughty things he makes me to do are well worth the risk and I’ll gladly satisfy him over and over again.

My Thoughts

Well, my hopes were dashed in thinking that this would be more than another chapter – but oh well. What we have here is the continuation of a slim level BDSM type story – with Katie continuing her experience with Mark. We saw their play time go from one night into something more. He invites her to Marquee for a night that she assumes will be entertaining clients, but instead finds that he’s rented the entire place for them – to play and to learn more about the chemistry between them.

Katie’s taken to levels that she could never imagine, not surprising given her young age, but still, Mark has a dark side and that’s the delicious kind. There’s an underground to Marquee that no one knows about – it’s a secret BDSM club and Mark’s a member. He takes her there for their private night and shows her parts of his world that he knows she’ll love but knows that she’s never experienced.

There’s a hint of angst and more to come as we see what secrets they’ll have to keep. They both know that there will be issues if Katie’s father realizes what they do with each other, and we know the bubble will burst in the coming weekend when it’s her. father’s birthday and they’ll be in the same party together. So, if nothing else, there’s a bit of excitement coming in the third chapter – so I guess that means that I have to go pick it up. Enjoy!

Review: Taken by Daddy’s Best Friend (Daddy’s Best Friend #1) by Lacy Ryder

Title: Taken by Daddy’s Best Friend
Author:  Lacy Ryder
Publisher/Year:  Smutpire Press 4/9/20
Length:  22 Pages
Series: Daddy’s Best Friend #1

Overview

I’ve fantasized about him for as long as I can remember…

Mark Logan. Household name and CEO of a company named after himself. Of the lesser known facts, he’s also my father’s best friend since like… forever. Luckily for me, that was enough to get me in as his secretary, on one condition. No special treatment will be given and I have to perform if I want to keep the job.

Easy, right? Not even close.

The first thing I do is walk in on him dominating his current secretary all over his desk. Then, instead of backing away slowly and forgetting the whole thing I find myself eagerly watching; wishing that it was me sprawled out over his desk.

Now, I can barely look him in the eyes and in Mark’s own words, he wants me to “take over all of her responsibilities.” But, what exactly does he mean by that?

There’s only one way to find out…

My Thoughts

I feel like that summary was longer than the book -and it was almost the case. I didn’t realize that it at the time that I purchased it but what we have here I guess is an interesting chapter of sorts – watching a teenage Katie get a job working for her father’s best friend. A man that’s always been of interest to her because of how he carries himself, but he’s always been off limits.

At the same time, we learn that Mark has always been intrigued by Katie – always found her to be something special and now that he’s got the chance to taste that – to sample it, he goes for it.

So what we get in this novella of sorts is the first day of Katie going to work, walking in on Mark and his secretary doing all sorts of hot and steamy things on his desk, and of course she’s afraid that she’ll be caught but can’t seem to turn away. She doesn’t realize that Mark knows that she’s there, and then we get the pleasure of watching how things play out from her after that.

So…i’m not sure what book two will hold for us, but hopefully it’s longer than 22 pages and we can get something hotter! Enjoy!

Review: The Palace (Chateau #4) by Penelope Sky

TitleThe Palace
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 5/25/21
Length:  250 Pages
Series: Chateau #4

Overview

A line was drawn in the sand.

I made my choice.

I picked her over him.

But I begin to regret that choice, and when Raven wants to destroy the camp, I know I’ll regret it even more.

My Thoughts

It’s great that we get to see the full story play out from both sides – watching Raven’s story evolve first with Magnus and then now seeing Melanie and Fender. The crux of the story is still the same, however this version has a different approach and connection.

We know that in the first installment of Melanie’s story, we watched Fender first lay eyes on her and fall in love with her in a way that no one expected of him. He was patient and refused to take anything from her that she wasn’t willing to give and that’s something that he’s never allowed of anyone. We watched how his long standing butler Gilbert took issue with Melanie being in his life and then realized that it was a losing battle to have problem with.

So all in all, we felt that this was a story on the right path. The challenge of course is that even though Melanie developed deep feelings for Fender and that all he wanted in return was to give her the world, there was still the looming issue of Raven – her sister. Who wanted nothing more than to take down everything that Fender and Magnus had built, just on principle. She refused to believe that there was more to either man in the sense of what they could or couldn’t do and even at the back story of it all, and that really played out to the worst extent when Raven forced Melanie to choose. Her for Fender. And she chose Raven.

We start off this second bit of the story with Melanie and Raven living in Paris, ‘free’ from the camp and all that it was, trying to rebuild their lives. Melanie is heartbroken of course because Fender was the perfect man for her but she couldn’t choose him over family. She tries to move on with her life in the sense of getting a job and finding purpose, however she knows that she’ll never find a man to take his place. Raven goes through the process of getting back to her life – dating and getting back into things, but she still wants revenge and we know how that goes.

They sneak back to the camp, burn it down and in return, they get a new level of hatred for both of them. While Magnus helped free Raven before, she’s his most hated person now. Fender takes this as a personal slight and that results in Raven being captured and Melanie being shunned.

From that point on, we watch Melanie realize that her life is empty without Fender and she tries all that she can to get back into his life. To try to gain his trust and his love back. It’s a tough battle since he’s not one to let those walls down again, and we watch her try her best to make that happen. At the same time we also watch Melanie do what she can to get Raven’s freedom but that’s a losing battle.

The sub plot here that we remember from the previous installments is that Fender wants to make his empire bigger and more powerful. He wants to bring in a partner Napoleon who we know Magnus has doubts on and we know how this will end. I was expecting to see more of an interaction there to better understand why Fender was so adamant about having Napoleon as his partner, but sadly that doesn’t come. Instead we just watch the demise of everything that they’ve built, and watch the massacre that takes everyone at the camp, and causes dire damage to Magnus and Fender’s health.

The culmination of this series in this last installment gives us the flip side of the story – the romance of it, the side of a woman who wants to be valued for more than her beauty and cherished above all. It’s an uphill battle but one that is meant to be since she’s truly strong and a force to be reckoned with. She believe in change and she pushed that belief on someone else and as a result, we saw the story turn a corner.

The epilogue was quite interesting though – taking us to the camp – and the hands of an unknown person. There’s a fear now in my mind of what’s to come next and the short blurb at the end of the story introducing ‘The Cult’ makes me scared for what will find its way to that area. It was bad before with the drug trade and I have shivers thinking about what’s next. Now I just have to wait a few months for that story to come out. So…on that note – Enjoy and let’s be patient for the next story to begin.

Review: Fate on Fire (Stars #3) by E.L. Todd

TitleFate on Fire
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  E.L. Todd 7/17/20
Length:  200 Pages
Series: Stars #3

Overview

I’m alone on Earth and Neil is gone.

He may never come back.

I know I have to move on, to be strong, to carry on…especially since I’m not the only person I have to take care of.

Kyle gives me an option I can’t refuse.

So I take it.

My Thoughts

The unthinkable happens at the end of book two and we’re left picking up the pieces. We know that Neil’s #1 priority is space and working for NASA. This mission that he has been working towards for his whole career- going to Mars has finally happened and we watch him leave Earth, likely for 3 years if he ever comes back. We watch him fall in love with Charlotte before he leaves but never share that information since he knows that it’ll hurt her, but in return, he misses out on something amazing.

Charlotte on the other hand was damaged before this relationship and likely will be forever hurt. She’s fallen in love with Neil and makes her feelings known, knowing that he’s not able to give her what she wants in life – marriage and a family. Her first marriage ended because she was told she couldn’t have kids, so that wasn’t an issue with her future with Neil, until she learns the day before he leaves that she’s pregnant.

So we pick up book 3 watching Charlotte come to terms with being a single mom, living her life without Neil, and watching Kyle make his move. We know that all he’s ever wanted was to be with her, and it’s no surprise that he takes this opportunity to be the father that her child needs and to swoop in. It’s painful as a reader to watch this all happen because we know that Char is still very much in love with Neil, even though she knows that he won’t be back or back any time soon. So she chooses to settle. She goes for the man that she knows she loves, because he gives her the safety and support that she needs, but he’s not able to fulfill everything for her.

The story jumps bits into the future so we see Char give birth to Kingston, and then we see him grow into a 1 year old. We watch how she convinces everyone that the baby isn’t Neil’s but Kyles, and that makes our hearts hurt even more. It’s sad to think that while she feels like this is the right thing to do, it’s wrong on so many levels.

She feels vindicated though when there’s an explosion on Neil’s shuttle and comms are lost. NASA declares them dead since there haven’t been any communications in weeks, and that is what Charlotte needs to be able to move on fully with her life. She knows that Neil isn’t coming back and from there we watch this story become one of rebirth. Charlotte finds her new happiness in a life that works – it;s stable and secure and she gets the friendship and loyalty that she needs.

Until…..of course – you knew it, some how Neil manages to get the crew back to Earth and her world is in a tail spin AGAIN. She’s engaged to Kyle and yet Neil is back in the picture. She doesn’t want to break her word to Kyle, yet there’s a pull that she’s trying to fight from Neil. He doesn’t even know that he has a kid and all that adds to the complication.

You can only imagine the roller coaster of this story. How there are happy moments and heartbreak, there are lies and truths revealed left and right and there’s really no clear vision on how this will end. Will Kingston know his true father and will Neil want to be in the picture for that. What will Charlotte allow now that her live has moved into something new and different.

This is the closure that we needed but perhaps didn’t want when we saw the trajectory that they were on in the first two books. It makes you wonder if love is enough and if there’s something bigger out there that trumps love. On that note, now I have to find something else to read so…..Enjoy!

Review: Love on Fire (Stars #2) by E.L. Todd

Title: Love on Fire
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  E.L. Todd 8/6/19
Length:  200 Pages
Series: Stars #2

Overview

Neil Crimson is back from his mission. We promised we would just be friends, to keep our hands to ourselves and have a platonic relationship.

But I haven’t been with anyone since he’s been gone…and I miss him so much. When he walks in the door, he’s just as strong and handsome as I remember. He’s a little thinner than before, but still regal and powerful. When I look at Neil Crimson, I don’t see a friend…I see the best I’ve ever had.

But it could never happen again.

Until one night when he shows up on my doorstep…and says I’m the best he’s ever had too.

My Thoughts

This is certainly a story of star crossed lovers. they’re so meant to be but they are in vastly different places in their lives with different wants for the future. If Charlotte wasn’t so understanding of what Neil truly needed in his life and if Neil wasn’t so focused on what else is out there in space, I think that we could have a wonderful love story.

We pick back up right after Neil’s come home from his mission to the moon. It’s been three months and while we expect things to change, we hope they stay the same. Unfortunately there’s been a lot of change.

Charlotte’s moved out of Neil’s house and has bought her own house – she’s laid the groundwork for her own positive future. She’s living her best life and seems to be in a good place with things. She worries and cares about Neil but also wants to stay true to their deal.

Vic and Stacy promised to start a family, and that’s what happens – she’s pregnant and we watch how that news affects and changes Charlotte since we know that her marriage fell apart because she wasn’t able to have kids. (at least that’s what we were told)

So Neil comes back, and we learn that he’s still focused on Charlotte. That makes us happy but at the same time we know that there’s complications that will come of it. Stacy and Vic really don’t want them to be together since it’s clear that their futures hold different things, and we even see Charlotte and Neil fight the feelings that they have for one another. It becomes too hard to do and they agree that they’re going to try again. To be more than just friends since that’s what is natural.

We’re all hoping for the happy ending, but we know that there is a secret mission that Neil’s got on the docket and we know that it’ll only mean heartbreak for Charlotte.

There’s another story line here where we watch Cameron (Char’s ex) come back to her after his pregnant girlfriend loses their baby. He realizes what he had and he wants her back. The question arises will she take him back.

then there’s Kyle – we know that he’s in love with her and we watch that cause problems. He makes his move and she pushes him away and then we see him try again. Complications!

Where we net in this story is a baby is born, a baby is on the way, someone leaves and lots of people are heartbroken. There’s a big question mark on where this story will go and I wonder if anyone will be happy, if people will survive and what the outcome of this wrong way love story will go. I just got book 3 so i’m diving right in. Enjoy!

Review: Stars on Fire (Stars #1) by E.L. Todd

Title: Stars on Fire
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  E.L. Todd 7/26/19
Length:  190 Pages
Series: Stars #1

Overview

I was happily married until the doctor gave me terrible news. My husband must have never really loved me because he left me shortly afterward. It’s been six months and I’m in a better place…but do you ever truly get over something like that?

Then I meet Neil Crimson.

The guy isn’t just handsome, smart, and charming. There’s something special about him.

He’s an astronaut.

He just returned from a three-month voyage at the moon and now he’s working at the NASA Space Center in Houston. He’s my best friend’s brother-in-law so I see him all the time. Every time we bump into each other, I like him a little more. 

After my divorce, I’m looking for something easy, something fun.

Neil Crimson seems easy and fun. 

I’m about to have a fling with an astronaut. How many people can say that?

My Thoughts

It’s nice that when i’ve been reading various series by E.L. Todd, that i’ll get the finale of a trilogy and then a bonus first book to a new series. That’s what happened here when I finished the Fighter. Something that i’ve noticed of a lot of these series, we have insanely intelligent (genius) hot sexy male leads taking over the pages, and just as impressive smart strong beautiful women partnering with them to keep a story going. this is no exception.

We meet out leading lady at the onset of this story – we watch Charlotte adapting to her life in the new normal. She’s recently divorced and trying to pick up the pieces of that failed marriage – and we only get hints for the first half of the story as to what caused the breakup. It seemed like she and her ex were well suited, they were madly in love with each other until they weren’t.

She’s got a great job to fall back on, amazing friends, and a new perspective on what her life should be now. it’s through her best friend Stacy and her husband Vic that we see a shine come back to Charlotte’s eyes. They are the kind of friends that you want to have because they’re there for it all. When Charlotte was down from the breakup, they picked her up. Vic didn’t have to – he’s Stacy’s husband, but he treats her like a little sister and that’s something special.

Things change when we’re watching a rocket landing and learn that it’s Vic’s brother Neil, who’s the astronaut piloting the mission and he’s finally back after 3 months away. There’s anxiety over having a successful landing, and once that happens, everyone’s happy for this hot sexy American Hero to be back on Earth.

From here, we watch a new friendship blossom. Neil is back on Earth, he’s in high demand because he’s smart, he’s one of the best, and he’s incredibly attractive. Women drop at his feet for his attention, everyone wants a piece of him because he’s the man of the hour, and all he wants is to make his family proud….even though he knows that they don’t like what he does for a living. (mind you we learn that his father was an astronaut that was killed in a rocket explosion at launch). He’s not looking for marriage or kids since he knows that he’ll be in space more than on Earth and his priority is always that. This makes for the perfect friendship because Charlotte doesn’t believe in marriage and it seems like kids aren’t her jam at this point in life. (for reasons that we learn later).

They are clearly attracted to each other but they don’t act on it. instead they develop a friendship, banter and enjoy what is new and different in their lives for the first time ever. It makes Vic uncomfortable that his brother is bonding with Charlotte in a way that wasn’t expected but, at the same time he likes to see two friends happy.

Of course as these stories go, whatever starts as purely platonic never ends well and we see something unique and interesting grow out of that. There’s a chemistry that they share and there’s a comfort that’s unexpected. Neither expects the heat and electricity that they feel together, and that leads to some of the hottest on brand scenes from our amazing author! Neil is protective of her in everything that causes her pain and of course doesn’t want to be the cause of making her upset. Because of that, Charlotte actually tries to put boundaries on their relationship because friendship is far more important to the both of them.

Age old tale of what you want v. what you get – so of course things get complicated (in a good way maybe?) and we’re left at the edge of our seats as a result of another unexpected trip to the moon. I’ve got the next book on deck to jump right in and I can’t wait to see where we are taking off to next! Enjoy!

Review: Savage Ending (Savage Series #4) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Savage Ending
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 5/25/21
Length:  300 Pages
Series: Savage #4

Overview

A man, a former assassin, who is now in love, a man on his honeymoon, who vows to leave the killing behind him.

That is, until someone sets their eyes on revenge and goes after his woman. Now someone is going to find out just what a Savage he really is.

My Thoughts

We all watched Savage find his way back to Candace and get her to fall back in love with him – although we know that she never fell out of love with him. Their story was rough – watching their families be a huge cause of pain between them, knowing there were secrets and unknown alliances (good or bad). We have been waiting for their happy ending, but we also know that there’s no way for their wedding to go off without a hitch.

We join this couple as they are on their way to the church that Candace wants to get married and the same church that Savage thinks he’s not suited for. There’s so much in his past that he firmly believes he will burn in hell for, that it’s amazing that Candace is the right woman to help him find the bright side.

We watch as they make their final wedding preps and how the Walkers continue to watch over them and even welcome Candace into the family even more. They are a week out when things go pear shaped.

You’ll remember Max from previous installments. Savage’s buddy from his black ops missions, and a guy that we’re still not sold on because it seems like he’s on the wrong side of things even when he swears otherwise to Savage. There’s one more thing that he’s asking of Savage – claiming that he’s owed one more debt, so of course Savage has to pick up and take care of things. He’s being asked to retrieve a hard drive and deliver it to an unknown person, and then to bring money to Max at his cabin in CO. When the Wlakers catch wind of this, they don’t let him go alone, which turns out to be a good thing.

They’re days away from the wedding and they’re ambushed. We are in the throes of a gun battle where we know that there will be casualties. We can only hope that these guys get out unscathed, but things area always dicey when Savage is involved. They manage to get the drive, get it to where it’s supposed to be and then go on the hunt for Max. Who turns up missing.

This puts everyone on red alert, increasing security and potentially putting the happiness of the wedding at risk. The story isn’t over here- we know that there’s going to be someone coming for them, we know that Savage was set up, and the balance of this story takes us through what that looks like for the soon to be happy couple.

It’s no surprise to see how this nets out, and to hear why and how it’s come to pass. We also know that Savage does his best to distance himself from Walker security often, and he trusts no one, so when there are new Walker guys introduced, he’s even less trustworthy. You really have to wonder who’s been planted where and what that means for the guys we love so much.

The nice thing about this story is that we continue to see Adam in his amazing light – but not yet getting his own trilogy. I hope our amazing author gives him his due. There are also several new guys that seem a bit on edge and dark that I’m dying to see how those stories play out. There’s no shortage of excitement, peppered with trust, loyalty and hot hot steam and passion. All that means is that now I have to be patient to see what’s next. Enjoy!

Review: My Cruel Salvation (Fallen Saint #3) by J Kenner

Title: My Cruel Salvation
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/18/21
Length:  358 Pages
Series: Fallen Saint #3

Overview

He’ll keep her safe, no matter the price.

Investigative reporter Ellie Holmes has uncovered billionaire Devlin Saint’s dark and dangerous secrets, and he has both stripped away her protective armor and tamed the wildness within her. Bound by a shared past and the hope of a blissful future, they grow even closer, each exposing more of themselves as their love deepens. 

But now that Devlin’s true identity has been publicly revealed, old enemies appear, intent on destroying Devlin. And while he vows to enlist all of his resources to protect her, Ellie soon realizes that the only way to save them both is to take the last, final step to fully join Devlin in the dark. 

My Thoughts

Just when we didn’t think that their story could get any more complicated – the rest of the secrets come out. It was only a matter of time but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. On a night that should have been something amazing not just for Devlin but for DSF as well, turns into a monster of a night where his identify is leaked, outed and what he’s worked his adult life for is on the end of being ruined.

We know Devlin and Ellie are not the type to shy away from confrontation – they are going to take their opponent on head first, and while that’s happening, we just have to worry about who’s going to get caught up in the crosshairs. There are inklings of who leaked the information, especially now that Anna’s dead, and there’ a plan in place to take that person down once they have enough concrete evidence.

It’s a race to the finish here – with several of our favorites meeting a less than stellar fate. There were so many sub plots that were on the move to being something great, and those lines of story are cut short.

Brandy and Christopher were on the road to happiness – we know Brandy’s path and were so happy to see what she was able to overcome with Christopher, however the challenge that we see her face is the notion that Christopher was not who he seemed. He is the brother of Joseph Blackstone and while they weren’t on great terms, there’s manipulation going on behind the scenes and we don’t yet know if he’s trustworthy. He goes missing at a prime time and there’s evidence shared that doesn’t paint him in the best light, and that means that we really don’t know if he’s good or bad. What we do see though is Brandy is stronger than she appeared to begin with, and this is just a bump in the road for her – an opportunity for her to find her footing and come out on top.

Then there’s Lamar and Tracy. Lamar is the consumate cop – the man who’s always trying to stay on the right side of the law, even when it doesn’t seem like it’s directed to him. He’s struggled with what Devlin does within his organization, but after a variety of things transpire in this third installment, he walks the fine line with our friends. Tracy is a character that we’ve enjoying watching grow in her role at DSF and her relationship with Lamar really starts to take a new phase. It’s cut short when circumstances of revenge come into play and this is another jumping off point for bigger and better things to happen for the crew.

We fall back into Ellie and Devlin’s story over and over again, and what this third book does is that it takes us on a journey both in the past and then back to the present. There are moments and memories that come through in sub chapters so that we’re able to see what caused things to happen, what put things in motion in Devlin’s past to make him into what he is, and to give us hints at who was potentially behind all that’s going on.

There are a few snippets here and there that make it clear to me as the reader who we need to watch out for, but the journey that our amazing author J Kenner takes us on is a bit round about and doesn’t give us the direct route. It’s adds to the tension and it makes us question some other characters that come up from time to time, but that’s what gives us the resolution and closure that we need.

We know that we want a happy ending and we know that it’s possible if certain dominos fall into place but there’s really no direct answer on how that will happen, and who will be left standing. We have the notion of long lasting true love – good v. bad, family – and all that pays itself off as we see this part of the journey come to an end. I”m really happy with the way that this story plays out even if it doesn’t mean a happy ending for everyone. We’re left with more questions than answers for several people, but that’s what makes a good book good right? you don’t want everything buttoned up nicely, We see a glimpse of hope of a new romance coming along, and I think that’s what we get in the next spinoff – Sinners Game, so i’m going to track down when that one’s available and hopefully dive right back in. Enjoy!

Review: The Fighter (Doctor #4) by E.L. Todd

TitleThe Fighter
Author:  E.L. Todd
Publisher/Year:  Independent 5/14/19
Length:  199 Pages
Series: Doctor #4

Overview

Finn did the unthinkable.

He left.

Just as my parents abandoned me, he left to live a better life.

It took so long to pick up the pieces, but I’ve sworn to never fall in love again.

And to never take Finn back…no matter how much he begs.

My Thoughts

This fourth installment breaks my heart. We knew that the love story of Finn and Pepper wasn’t meant to be, and that’s what we see as a culmination in this series. Finn, the nomad, was offered the job of a lifetime, going to run the Doctors without Borders program in Africa, meaning that he’d be away for a year, and then when that time was up, he’d get a job at the Mayo Clinic, the opportunity that would give him the career gig that he’s always wanted. He thought that Pepper would follow him anywhere – she proved the she supported his profession when he went to Florida to help the red cross for a month and was surprised when she wouldn’t bend here.

A month is one thing

A year is another

Uganda and Minnesota are not Seattle, and that means that Pepper will never be happy.

So they go their separate ways. The engagement is off. The relationship is off, and now they have to figure out what life looks like separately.

Pepper has decided that romance and love are not her future. She’s been in love and abandoned by everyone, Colton, Finn and even her birth mother so now she’s a player. All she wants to do is have meaningless relationships that never go longer than one night. Her friend are worried about her but they know that they can’t reason with her right now. Things change slightly one night when it’s really late and she’s alone in a bar, and a handsome, powerful, strong sexy man approaches her. The description that we get of him reminds us of Finn, but we know that this guy is the opposite of Finn. What starts as a one night stand turns into something else. She doesn’t realize who this guy is – Brutus…until her friends identify him based on his description. He’s a Billionaire and a man who can give Pepper what she needs. Mind you, she’s damaged and doesn’t want a relationship and she learns that he is as well, so they are in a good casual relationship together.

Brutus shows Pepper the world, takes her to Fiji, and makes her happier than she’s been in a while. There’s no talk of the future, but they know that the ‘now’ is what is in important.

Across the world, we watch how Finn is doing the job that he signed up for, but he’s miserable. He knows that he’s helping people that would never have the care he provides, but he’s empty. he knows that he made the wrong choice and he’s even attempted to talk to Colton about it, but no one in the states wants anything to do with him. He has a meaningless relationship with one of the doctors there because he doesn’t want to be alone, but he’s definitely not enjoying anything that the program should give him. Colton tells him that Pepper’s moved on, yet that’s not enough to get him to give up, and that’s where we know this story will go downhill.

Finn comes back to the states and wants to get Pepper back. Pepper is happy in her new situation with Brutus. He’s transformed her business so that she’s now making 3x as much money – and she’s got employees working for her so that she’s able to take time for herself. She’s working out with Stella now and she’s in the best shape of her life. Finn coming back will ruin all that.

The story from here is a roller coaster. Finn won’t give up his quest to win her back, but Brutus is a formidable opponent. A stupid one as well when he makes decisions that could push Pepper back to Finn if only she knew. That’s now how Finn is going to play things, so we watch Pepper and Brutus evolve their casual relationship into something deeper.

There’s a payout, a beating and a lot of lies and deception that bring this story to a close for those three and I think that the ending justifies the process.

The other story line that I really enjoyed here is the evolution of Colton and Tom. Colton deserves his own happiness too and now that he’s really comfortable with who he is and the relationship that he’s in now, it’s nice to see that there’s really something tangible there. It’s been over a year and they are still happy together and that means that their future is open to so many opportunities. We want to see him in his forever relationship, so it’s nice that this story shows us that side of things along with the complex and difficult story of Pepper.

I’m sad to see how this fourth installment ends, but it was even more traumatic to see how it began. The closure that we get warranted the journey that we went on and now it’s time to move on to something else. Great thing about the eBooks that i’ve been getting – the first book of this series was in the last book of the prior series that i read – and the same goes here. I’ve already got my next series to jump into – so off I go. Enjoy!