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: The Ruin (Convenience #3) by Stella Gray

Title: The Ruin
A
uthor:  Stella Gray
Publisher/Year:  Stella Gray 9/15/20
Length:  203 Pages
Series:  Convenience #3

Overview

My life is in ruins. Failed marriage, failed career—I’m a failure.
 
My husband may have had a hand in it, but I can’t help missing him.
 
We made an agreement. I signed the contract, and so did he. Without our arrangement, everything falls apart. 
 
So we’ll keep losing ourselves in each other’s bodies.
 
We’ll keep pretending everything is fine.
 
But maybe I’m getting sick of pretend.
 
Maybe I want to find something real.
 
And just maybe, Luka does too.

My Thoughts

We were on such a roller coaster in book 2 that I think we could use a bit of a reprieve in book 3, the final installment. If that’s what you were expecting as a reader, then you don’t know Stella Gray that well, and of course we were on another turbulent ride.

The end of the last book had our hopes up soo high thinking that Brooklyn will finally get her break on a huge national / international campaign, especially since Luka seemed to be her cheerleader, but we were left freefalling off a cliff when Monica Shore’s name was called and shocker, she had a new look that was exactly that of Brooklyn.

Tensions are high since Brooklyn now feels betrayed, by her husband and by the woman who seems to want to get into Luka’s pants. It’s sad to think that everything they overcame in book 2 was now falling to the wayside. Brooklyn runs to LA to be with Mateo who’s the only person who’s able to help her pick herself up off the floor. They craft a plan dubbed Operation Sexify which is now a means to make Brooklyn less wholesome since that’s the persona that Luka and Stefan needed her to take on.

The bulk of this book is tense, they are at odds with one another, yet there’s still clear love and chemistry between them. They can’t stay away from each other but they both have such hatred about the situation that they can’t be around one another. It takes Luka being called up to testify in his father’s trial to get Brooklyn to come back to his side, and when we think that there’s hope, walls of stone and ice are up once again and it seems as though there’s really no point in even making an effort.

What we do get as a constant is that every time they do seem to like each other more than they hate each other, we get some of the kinkiest steamiest scenes ever. And those carry the story through.

True to form with this story – just when it seems like they’re on the final uptick, controversy hits – the first time it was on their honeymoon when the leak of Brooklyn’s offer from Elite came to light. This time it was Monica herself leaking the details of what was offered to Brooklyn, implying that she took the deal and lied to the family. Luckily, Luka already knew the details, but that didn’t help things when Brooklyn goes to see Luka to make sure things are ok and overhears him talking to someone supporting Monica yet again instead of his wife.

We get gender reveal for Stefan’s baby, and the growing up of Mr Kibbles. We have romance and sadness, hints of opportunity for love for Em, and yet, there’s still so much vagueness for Luka and Brooklyn. This story definitely gives them the send off that we wanted and I think that there was no way to truly expect all that was thrown their way. I read that Emzee now gets her own series coming out of this one but the release date looks like Feb 2021 so I have to be VERY patient. Oh well – Enjoy!

Review: The Open Door (The Found Duet #2.5) by Laurelin Paige

Title: The Open Door
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Evil Eye Concepts 8/15/19
Length:  128 Pages
Series: The Found Duet #2.5

Overview

I knew JC was trouble the minute I laid eyes on him.

Breaking every rule in my club. I never forget how he made me feel that night. With all the women in that room, all those bodies on display, but his eyes were only on me.

Of course I married him. Now years have passed. Kids have been born. We’re still in love as always, and the sex is still fantastic…

And yet, it’s also not. Like many who’ve been married for a while, I long for the high intensity of those days of the past.

I’ve heard rumors for years about the Open Door. An ultra-exclusive voyeur’s paradise. A place to participate in-or watch-any kind of display you can imagine.

My husband’s eyes would still be on me. And maybe other eyes too. If that’s what we want.

So when an invitation to come play arrives, how could we turn it down?

My Thoughts

We’ve read so much about experiences at The Open Door through Trish’s story, through Celia’s story and now we get it in Gwen’s. The perspective this time is completely different since her reasons for going are unique to what we’ve seen from couples before.

We’re put back into the world of JC and Gwen, they have two kids now and they are settled in their relationship. They’re happy yet exhausted and there are times that Gwen wonders if she’s enough for JC who still looks as sexy as the day she met him. She feels like her body’s gone to shit from having kids and she’s not going to be able to keep the interest of her husband. That’s definitely not the impression that we get from JC but you know how women get in their heads sometimes.

When JC’s given a membership from an investor, they go back and forth on whether its the right thing for them and what their boundaries would be. They discuss whether it’s even for them, even though it seems like JC is really intrigued. Gwen’s heard about it from the folks she hangs with but she’s never known that it was real so this is a chance to really see that in person. She’s afraid of what it will do to her relationship but at the same time she’s hopeful for some nudging in the right direction.

The path that we take in this novella is one that spans quite a bit of time. They go to a party and experience it from a far. They aren’t sure what to make of it, but they know that they’re intrigued – and there’s a positive effect on their romance at home for a bit coming out of it. That begins to wane when life takes over and they try again. Each time they go, their boundaries are pushed further out until they are crossed.

So we’re left to wonder if this was a good idea or if The Open Door means the end of their relationship, and of the bond that they once shared. The only way to know who gets involved and how….is to read. Enjoy!

Review: Find Me (The Found Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Find Me
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 8/13/19
Length:  272 Pages
Series: The Found Duet #2

Overview

I came to The Sky Launch to begin fresh, away from the horrors of my past. The circumstances that brought me here were not the best, but I’ve become good friends with Alayna and Hudson Pierce, and my family has healed in ways I never thought they could. With them around me, I’ve never felt more at home.

But starting anew means letting go.

And there are some things I don’t want to leave behind – like JC, the man who taught me how to let loose. The man I wasn’t supposed to love. The man I don’t want to lose.

My life is safe now. The threats from before have become less menacing, and I’m faced with a choice: either move on completely or keep holding to the hope that JC loves me enough to come and find me.

My Thoughts

There were so many ups and downs from that first book that we have to know that the same will come in the second. Even though Gwen thinks that her life is in the right / safer path, that’s the furthest from the truth, and we have to sit by and watch it all play out.

Through Norma’s work relationship with Hudson, Gwen gets a dream job at The Sky Launch beside Alaynna and what comes from that is an amazing friendship that’s even more like a family. While she’s trying to live her life knowing that JC may never come back, she’s also hoping that in some way he will find her even though everything about her including her appearance has changed. She moves on slightly with Chandler, Hudson’s younger brother and while he helps with one itch, he doesn’t fill the hole in her heart.

What happens next – is what changes her world forever. They see JC on TV talking about the court case that he’s the star witness for and that means that Gwen’s world implodes – he’s in New York and hasn’t made contact. The minute she decides to go down to the courthouse to watch the trial is the moment that changes her trajectory. He sees her and he goes after her and they realize that they are more in love now than ever before.

JC has an uphill battle – remember the last time we saw him was in Vegas right after he married someone else on the night he had wanted to marry Gwen. She walked away from him and JC let her. So with a lot of explaining, and a video that explains a lot, JC finds his way back into her life.

The romance story blossoms from there – we know that they are both the other’s only necessary thing in life – JC wants to marry Gwen still but she’s guarded and makes him work for it. They don’t know yet what their future holds but they know that they want to be with each other. Until……Gwen finds that she’s pregnant….which is interesting. Not only is she un sure that she even wants kids, but the timing of the conception means that it could be either JC or Chandler.

Add to that stress, the win that JC thought he had from the court case is overruled when the murderer gets out on a technicality, forcing JC to go into hiding again.

A baby with unknown paternity, going back into hiding with no sense of what that means for anyone, a murder attempt, and oh yea, Gwen’s father is a heroin addict who still wants money from her. So you can imagine what comes from this ‘final’ installment to their story and I can’t wait to see how it plays out – you should read as well! Enjoy!

Review: Free Me (The Found Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Free Me
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 8/13/19
Length:  270 Pages
Series: The Found Duet #1

Overview

I wasn’t supposed to be working the night I met JC.

Before him, I’d been content with the daily grind, managing one of NYC’s top nightclubs. So what if my life didn’t have a happily ever after? I didn’t believe in that anyway.

Then JC showed up.

Sexy, rich and smooth-talking, JC is nothing more than a distraction. I’m not interested in a night-in-shining latex so it’s easy to push the playboy away. Or it is until my life spins unexpectedly out-of-control. Then he’s there for me, offering a new method of survival, one based on following primal urges and desires that requires me to abandon my constant need for control.

His no-strings-attached lessons obliterate my carefully built walls. And as I discover freedom, I start to feel things for him that I shouldn’t. Things that make me fear for my newly vulnerable heart. Because JC has secrets of his own, and his secrets don’t want to set him free.

My Thoughts

I love how i’ve read so many stories around the world of Pierce an Edward and Celia and Alayna – now to find the story about Gwen. There’s so much that we learn about her that really surprises me and makes me wonder why I didn’t realize things before.

The story of Gwen is a hard one to swallow. She’s had a rough life with her father abusing her and her siblings, even more so once their mother passed away and as a result, she’s become hard and tough. Reserved and guarded. They ultimately put their dad in jail for what he’s done and life changes.Her older sister took over as guardian until she was old enough and as a result, she’s had this reliable example to take from. That older sibling is non other than Norma – the CFO at Hudson Pierce’s company. The salary that he pays her gives them more than enough money so that Norma can support them in a luxury high rise apartment and even send money to their younger brother Ben who lives in LA.

The journey here is watching Gwen go through the motions at a job that she actually loves as a manager at one of the most successful clubs in NYC. It’s only when she picks up a shift for someone else that she finds herself at a point of tension where her nature as a rule follower crosses paths with the sexiest man who is NOT a rule follower. that man….JC.

The chemistry that we watch rolling off them is intense and it’s a battle of wills to see when they actually take the steps towards one another. The arrangement that they come to is something that’s a bit unorthodox, but it works for them. JC wants to help Gwen relax, get out of her comfort zone and loosen up, and at the same time he gets to spend time with a woman that he’s so attracted and drawn to that it’s a win win.

We watch them make this no attachment situation work with their unique schedules and we see what always happens – the notion of no emotions and no relationship always backfires. It’s when there are too many secrets to keep hidden, that things start to crumble. They developed feelings for each other and that means that issues from their past will bubble up. All that JC is hiding (and it seems like a lot) will come to the surface and Gwen’s past comes to her present in the form of her father.

We are left at a point in the story where they are bonded and committed to each other but there are intense an unsafe factors at play that will keep them apart. Gwen chooses herself and walks away, takes steps to change her life, knowing that it means that JC won’t be able to find out. so, what that means for us is that we get to watch what happens with his life, watch to see if he sorts things out and then watch his attempts to track her down. I can’t wait to dive in right now to see how it ends up. Enjoy!

Review: Dirty Filthy Fix (Fixed #5.5) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Dirty Filthy Fix
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 11/21/17
Length:  124 Pages
Series: Fixed #5.5

Overview

I like sex. Kinky sex. The kinkier the better. Every day, it’s all I think about as I serve coffee and hand out business agendas to men who have no idea I’m not the prim, proper girl they think I am. With a day job as the secretary to one of New York’s most powerful men, Hudson Pierce, I have to keep my double life quiet. As long as I do, it’s not a problem. Enter: Nathan Sinclair. Tall, dark and handsome doesn’t come close to describing how hot he is. And that’s with his clothes on. But after a dirty, filthy rendezvous, I accept that if we ever see each other again, he’ll walk right by my desk on his way to see my boss without recognizing me. Only, that’s not what happens. Not the first time I see him after the party. Or the next time. Or the time after that. And as much as I try to stop it, my two worlds are crashing into each other, putting my job and my reputation at risk. And all I can think about is Nathan Sinclair. All I can think about is getting just one more dirty, filthy fix.

My Thoughts

Here I was thinking that this novella took place after the others in order of being written when I should have realized that it took place way earlier given that this couple was already a couple in everyone else’s story.

Nate and Trish. We met them through Hudson’s story – Trish is Hudson Pierce’s assistant and a woman who’s not just beautiful but smart as well. We never really knew what her story was but in this novella – we get to see a side of her that we should have realized yet never ventured to think about.

Nate on the other hand is a guy that teased us enough with his less traditional ways that i’m not surprised at all by what we learned. He’s the guy who’s first to make comments that are a bit off color and ironically he seems like the more grounded of the pair in this story.

They meet at a part called Open Door – which is a gathering that we saw with Edward and Celia – one that is more BDSM in nature – people who have their kinks and who don’t get judged. they are established and safe and often their identifies are kept secret. Trish managed to get into the group through a friend who had the credentials to be a member and when she sees a tall green eyed sexy man, her life is changed. The rules she put up were to protect her but he quickly tore them down.

She quickly learns that the green eyed god is Nathan Sinclair – a co-owner of Reach and a business associate of Hudson. That’s how their paths cross and that’s how they will stay forever intertwined.

We have a quick and REALLY DIRTY story with these two, watching them tease each other, give the other what they need and then we watch Trish push him away because she’s so non-traditional that she’s not willing to have a true relationship and be tied down. She clearly doesn’t know Nate well enough to know that perhaps he’s on the same page as well, and we get to watch that play out.

Where we saw dark and dirty with Donovan and Sabrina, and we saw risque with Weston and Elizabeth, and we got sweet with Audrey and Dylan, we have Kink to the highest potential here with Nate and Trish. Now there’s just Cade to figure out and from what i saw on Laurelin Paige’s site, we have to wait until this year at some point to see how that plays out. Enjoy!

Review: Sweet Fate (Dirty Sweet Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Sweet Fate
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 3/7/19
Length:  266 Pages
Series:  Dirty Sweet Duet #2

Overview

Dylan Locke knows that pining over the young ingenue Audrey Lind is pointless. He can’t offer her what she wants. He definitely can’t give her what she needs. Thank goodness she’s half a world away, and he doesn’t have to deal with his attraction head on.

But fate has other plans for him, and when Audrey once again lands in his path, it’s only too easy to fall back into their easy rhythm. And then their easy banter. And of course, each other’s arms.

He tells himself nothing has changed. She still wants forever, and he still thinks tomorrow is long enough. But watching her search isn’t as easy as he thought it would be, and now Dylan must figure out if he’s really the love Scrooge he professes to be or if he’s been Fate’s willing victim all along.

My Thoughts

We pick this story back up at the unplanned wedding of Donovan and Sabrina, where Dylan has decided to make an appearance and Audrey of course is helping execute all the arrangements. After this pairs time together back around Thanksgiving, she is all that Dylan can think about even once he’s resumed his life back in London. It’s hard to get Audrey out of his head even though he knows that he’s not the right guy for her based on her romantic notions. Audrey on the other hand has managed to go on with her life, somehow working to finish her degree and is now on the path to get her first real job.

What’s nice here is that the chemistry picks up right where they left off all those months earlier, but they both have a level of restraint (or denial) sine they don’t act on their attraction. The handle all the duties that come with being friends with the couple getting married and then they go their separate ways. What Dylan hates though is that apparently to Donovan, he’s transparent and we know that Donovan is a pupeteer and has the ability to make whatever he wants happen – and apparently that means putting this couple together.

So we fast forward to London where Audrey has apparently unexpectedly gotten her first job working at the national gallery. She doesn’t remember applying for the position but it puts her in Dylan’s path and that sets them on a journey that’s not what they planned for but one that’s interesting for us readers to watch.

There’s clearly an attraction between them, and like I mentioned from the last book, the skill that our author has in writing this couple’s dynamic so differently than the previous two gives us something to dig deeper into. They circle each other – they play games both with each other and with themselves since they won’t admit what’s really going on. Audrey still has her romantic notions and the idea of moving to London and finding The One is definitely in the forefront of everything. She’s quite smitten still with Dylan but knows what he’s willing to put out there, so she settles for a complex friendship and kind of works him like she did back in New York in the hopes that it’ll make progress. (mind you this isn’t admitted overtly, but it’s Audrey’s MO I think so i assumed).

There’s Dylan on the other hand who’s clearly interested in all that Audrey has to offer and while he doesn’t go after her, he also doesn’t date anyone at all. he’s always available for Audrey when ever she calls or texts and we watch him get sucked in further and further.

The dynamic that started us off in book one of teacher and student carries through here with a new twist of mature advisor to an innocent. it’s great to see how our author wraps it all together throughout this story line.

When they realize that the lines that they don’t want to cross are stupid, they cross them and we know there’s no going back. The issue though is that neither wants the future that the other see and that means that it’s really just a short lived physical connection that they’r going to play out. It’s not until one set of cards are on the table and tragedy hits that things are forced to change.taking one back to america, leaving the other behind in the UK. What happens from there is heartbreak, fear and a twist to the story that’s expected yet not. Definitely the closure that they needed.

What I can’t wait for though is the story that’s set up around Cade. I do’nt know if the next one in this journey is Cade or Nate, but we know enough about Nate from the Slay series to guess where it’ll go. Cade on the other hand is a complete mystery and one that i’m really excited to dig into . so i’m off to find the next book. Enjoy!

Review: Sweet Liar (Dirty Sweet Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Sweet Liar
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 1/17/19
Length:  156 Pages
Series:  Dirty Sweet Duet #1

Overview

British ad exec Dylan Locke isn’t looking for love. He isn’t looking for fate. He’s definitely not looking for Audrey Lind. She’s pretty, far too young, and overly romantic–in short, exhausting.

But when the girl, young enough to be his daughter, literally lands in his lap and asks for his expertise, he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t interested. In her body, in her innocence, in her philosophy.

In the kind of kismet that starts with kisses.

But Audrey isn’t looking for love either–she’s looking for lessons, and she’s certain Dylan knows everything she needs to learn.

If he agrees to play the teacher can he keep his heart?

Of course he can.

Then again, he might be lying.

My Thoughts

We met Dylan back when we were in Donovan’s bit of the story – learning that there was more that connected him to Reach than just the business – he’s the step father of Amanda, Donovan’s first love, and the girl that died as a result of Donovan’s obsession.  Dylan is a man with his own romantic entanglements as well, so there’s really more to his story than that, and from the tease that we got in that mini-series, we know that we’re up for something Dark and Great.

Audrey- our leading lady here is Sabrina’s younger sister and a girl who’s a force to be reckoned with. While all the prior female leads were experienced and powerful in business, Audrey has this innocence about her – she’s twenty three, in college and a romantic at heart. All the things that should have Dylan running from her, but all the same things that pull her to him as well.

In this first book in their duet, we get to see the beginnings of whatever it is that they are doing. We know that the dynamic here is one of intense chemistry, but where it differs from the other series is that they don’t act on it in the same vein. Bri and Donovan had a past history, Weston and Lizzie were in an arrangement, but here, there’s just the notion that the attraction they feel is wrong on many levels and there are many forces that make it impossible.

Audrey is a smart girl who goes after what she wants – using her wiles to get the attention and education of what she needs sexually since she’s yet to have that in her life. Dylan is a man of many years of experience and he’s just the person to teach her without attachment…..or perhaps there IS attachment?

It’s nice to watch the attempts that Audrey tries to get Dylan’s attention and to get past his walls. The man that he appears to be isn’t the man he is, but one that he’s forced himself to become because of his life experiences. What we can only hope through reading their story is that the innocence that Audrey brings gives Dylan a new perspective and hope. I think though that it’s not an easy fight, and when we leave these two, it’s with a lot of sexual tension, the notion that New York and London really are worlds apart and 19 years, and many lives lived will be too much to overcome. I can’t wait to see what’s next knowing that they didn’t leave with the same heartbreak that we had as cliff hangers in the previous series, but there’s still a draw and a need to see this one come to closure. Enjoy!

Review: Dirty Sexy Games (Dirty Games Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Dirty Sexy Games
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 10/29/18
Length:  232 Pages
Series:  Dirty Games Duet #2

Overview

I didn’t have a plan for him.


He was the means to an end, a workaround to the cruel terms of my father’s will that would allow me to inherit his company.


I hadn’t planned to fall for him.


I hadn’t planned to enjoy every minute of our wedding, hadn’t planned to gasp his name so many times that night, hadn’t planned for the sexy games on our honeymoon.


He didn’t plan for his secrets to come out.

And neither of us planned for heartbreak.

My Thoughts

Back to the world of Weston and Elizabeth – the couple to get married in name only yet they fell in love along the way. It wasn’t until the actual wedding once the vows were made that they both realized that they felt the same thing. What became the issue though is what happened right before the ceremony that blew up Weston’s world, and as a result, blew the chances that he and Elizabeth could have their happily ever after.

Enter Callie and two year old Sebastian. We all knew that there was someone who was trying to get in touch with Weston from the beginning of his spin off but we didn’t know who and for what. That person is Callie – a girl that Weston spent an amazing week with about 2 and a half years ago and as a result, there’s Sebastian. The son that looks exactly like Weston, but a child that he had no clue about until the moments before he was due to walk down the aisle and that turned us down into a tailspin.

Weston’s a good guy – we learned that a while back and we watch him try wrangle how he feels about it and the trajectory that his life will go. He wants to be a father since he doesn’t have a good relationship with his, but the challenge is that he needs to be in town to be a father and Elizabeth’s company is in Paris which means that there’s really no compromise. Throughout their honeymoon, we watch them try to find their footing, and we see the romance and chemistry between them. It’s not until Weston finally is outed about his news since he was too scared to tell her that their world crumbles.

They both realize the sacrifices that will come from this child, and Elizabeth also knows that she can’t force Weston to walk away from his son, so she does what the original plan was and gets an annulment and runs to France. Nothing better in a story than broken hearts and an ocean between them – right?

What makes this story even more complex is the relationship with Callie and what that means for the couple. Weston doesn’t know what she wants from them, and for some reason, after meeting Callie, Elizabeth is put at ease. Mind you – i saw that one coming from a mile away, but I think that it makes for a bit of cushion on where this story should go. The other complexity is in the form of Clearance Sheridan, the brother of Theo who was the boy who almost raped Sabrina in college, but who also turns out to be Elizabeth’s ex. I still can’t figure him out or his motives here since he has assumptions and ideas about the truth behind Weston and Elizabeth’s relationship, and he continues to insert himself at times that are a bit questionable. When Elizabeth runs from Weston, Clearance is the man that she chooses instead, an i’m not going to lie when I say that I feel like there’s too much alignment here to the reappearance of Theo in the timing from Donovan and Sabrina’s story. But that’s perhaps not for this story.

Anyhow, we get what we have come to love and expect from our amazing author – a story with so much heat brought at the right moments to keep this story propelling forward. There’s such an undeniable connection between this couple that keeps us hooked, yet there’s a different dynamic than the D/s bit that we saw in the other series. I really enjoy seeing how each of our main men are different, yet they have something that brings this grouping of stories together. I believe Dylan is our next series so i’m off to see what his story is and what his future looks like. Enjoy!

Review: Dirty Sexy Players (Dirty Games Duet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Dirty Sexy Player
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 7/2/18
Length:  226 Pages
Series:  Dirty Games Duet #1

Overview

Weston King knows how to play. But wild nights and owning an extensive collection of women’s panties don’t carry the thrill they once did, so when his business partner Donovan suggests an outrageous plan to allow them to take over their competition, Wes takes him up on the offer. The crazy idea? Marry the competitor.

Elizabeth Dyson, the bride-to-be in question, is on board with the plan. She wants access to her trust fund and can only get it once she marries. Each has something the other wants – all they have to do is pretend to like each other well enough to tie the knot.

Only trouble is, playing fiancé to Elizabeth isn’t quite that simple. Wes finds her sexy and brilliant…and soon wishes their engagement wasn’t fake at all. Not that he’d ever tell her that.

But a lover boy like Wes can only stand an empty bed for so long…and even the best of players has to put down his cards eventually.

My Thoughts

We saw this story play out in bits and pieces throughout the other series when we were on the edge of our seat watching Sabrina and Donovan dance around each other, so it’s nice to see the true story of how this faux marriage played itself out. We knew that it started as a shame, and we know that it potentially ended as a real wedding, but what we didn’t know was all the ‘stuff’ in the middle, and the drama that would ensue at the wedding.

The story itself was simple enough to follow – Weston was put in as the role of fiance and groom to Elizabeth – heiress to Dyson Media which is a business that Reach had interest in. Elizabeth could’t get control on the company now that her father had died until she was married (a clause that her father wrote into his will) so marrying someone was a necessary evil. Donovan proposed a solve to this in the form of a husband to be, yet didn’t quite spell out who that would be initially.

We watch Weston and Elizabeth meet, and while we knew that there was a lot of tension between them, and not always the sexual kind from the other series, we really got under the hood here and saw that there was something deeper here….yet neither would succumb to those feelings since they both thought the other was just in it for the end game.

We watch event after event where Weston and Lizzie have to play a role – how they have to keep up appearances so that Elizabeth’s family could truly believe that they were a real couple. While they act the best roles of their lives, they also begin to fall for each other and that’s the sweet stuff that we really need to keep this story going. We know that there’s something in each of their pasts that make them into the characters that we live with now, yet we never quite get deep enough under the surface to find out what the catalyst was. Instead, we watch the chemistry and magnetism between them grow and as it pulls them closer and closer together, the story passes faster and faster.

Our author makes sure to weave in enough angst to keep things interesting. Sabrina is brought up from time to time as a means to keep us on our toes as well as to put Elizabeth in her place. Darrell, Elizabeth’s cousin who’s playing CEO interjects himself fro time to time since he’s clearly got a fear that he’ll lose the one thing of power that he has with the company. There’s the hint that somethings nagging at Weston from his past that we don’t know about and well….it comes to a head at the wedding when a bomb is dropped on him. He copes with that when another one explodes in front of him as well and that’s where we are left at the end of this first book. 3 life changing things have happened in a matter of pages, and there are such major implications to the trajectory of this story that i’m happy i’m reading it now v. when it first came out since I don’t know that i’d want to wait very long to jump back into this one. Enjoy!

Review: Dirty Filthy Rich Love (Dirty Duet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Dirty Filthy Rich Love
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 9/11/17
Length:  238 Pages
Series:  Dirty Duet #2

Overview
I’ve discovered Donovan Kincaid’s secret.

It’s dirty and filthy and rich – as dirty and filthy and rich as he is – and it haunts me as much as he ever did.

Even after knowing what I know now, I still want to talk to him, to touch him. But there’s an ocean between us, and I’m not sure it can be crossed with something as easy as a phone call or a plane ride.

Yet I’m willing to try.

He doesn’t know this yet, but this time I’m the one with the power. And maybe – just maybe – if the air were cleared and all our secrets bared, there could still be a chance for us.

And this dirty, filthy thing between us might end up being love after all

My Thoughts

It’s so hard sometimes to watch the trajectory that some relationships go and where we were dropped at the end of book 1 was really one of the most painful yet obvious places that we could be. Donovan and Sabrina knew that what they had was something more than they were willing to admit, even to themselves, and even when the writing was on the walls in black and white, what happens is we see Donovan hop a flight to France with no clear determination on when he’ll be back.

There’s so much to say about this couple and what they’re willing to reveal to each other throughout this second book. We see that Donovan has a need to save and protect Sabrina, but actually that’s not it at all, and the true revelation doesn’t come until the very end of this story. It’s interesting to see their dynamic, to see how much they are willing to give up of themselves to be together and to see that it’s truly not a compromise that needs to be said out loud anyway.

Donovan is troubled in so many ways and he’s spent much of his adult life trying to make up for sins that affect Sabrina, even when she wasn’t in his life. As part of his opening up of Pandora’s box, we see all of that exposed and laid out clear on the table since that’s what Sabrina needs in order to make things work. There are so many revelations that make her want to give up and walk away, and we see the impossibility here given that she loves her job, she loves what she’s capable of and Donovan frankly had such an effect on where her life was going to begin with that he doesn’t deserve to be the cause of her changing paths.

Her past continues to haunt her, what happened that night with her almost rape by Theo, that’s something that’s made her have the needs that she has, and at the same time puts this never fleeting fear inside her as well. At Weston and Elizabeth’s wedding even, she sees Theos brother, thinks that it’s Theo and has a panic attack.

The other underlying bit to this story is the control that Donovan needs to have in everything. He controls their relationship, he controls when and where they see each other, and that’s something that’s tough at times for Bri to take on, but at other times, something that she welcomes. It makes for some really interesting and unique steamy scenes throughout this installment which are sooo hot and heavy that well….you know where they often lead…even a reader.

Even while we watch their relationship evolve, deteriorate, reform and combust, we also get to see the dynamics of some of the other folks that we’ve been introduced to in the past. Audrey, Bri’s sister gets her time to shine here not just as a sister and only family member to protect Bri, but also as an introduction to what could be a spin off story of her own since there’s a budding romance that may be a bit taboo coming up.

Add to that, we get a hint at Cade- the partner who is in the Tokyo office and we see that there’s something interesting going on with his life and the search for a love that’s potentially gotten away. i’m excited to see how that one evolves. If that’s not enough, we don’t delve deep enough into Weston and Elizabeth, or Dylan for that matter either, and there have been teases of Nate and Trish throughout all versions of Laurelin Paige’s series that i’m intrigued to pick up the next few books and read on. I hope you guys are as hooked as I am. Enjoy!