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 Forbidden Billionaire (The Sinclairs #2) by JS Scott

Title: The Forbidden Billionaire
Author:  J.S. Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 7/28/15
Length:  240 Pages
Series: The Sinclairs #2

Overview

All of Jared Sinclair’s wealth still can’t ease the pain from his terrible childhood…or his guilt over a recent tragedy. Unable to forgive himself, the billionaire property investor buries his emotions, toughens his skin, and becomes a notorious womanizer, refusing to commit his heart to a woman when he’s convinced she wants only his wallet.

But ever since Jared arrived in Amesport, Maine, he’s been intrigued by Mara Ross, the petite and sexy shop owner who asks nothing of him. When Mara’s store is purchased without her knowledge, she stands on the brink of losing her home, her livelihood, and generations of family history. Then the irresistibly persuasive Jared proposes a business deal to Mara…and soon draws her into a steamy, sensual affair, convincing her that he’s anything but cold. However, when a revelation shakes Mara’s fragile trust to the core, Jared must finally confront the truth about his past.

My Thoughts

Jared’s story was teased in Dante and Sarah’s story – watching how they knew that something was up with Jared but not quite able to put their finger on it, and now we get to see what that was all about. IT’s not surprising to watch the jovial Jared have a tortured past, but what is surprising is how he’s gone about his life since the troubles started. This second installment takes us into the past just a bit watching him self destruct, and then back into the present where he’s finding a way to dig himself out of his misery.

Jared – one of the middle Sinclairs is a whiz at real estate – he’s an architect who has a love for older buildings, and there are some of those in Amesport. The challenge is that he’s tried to distance himself from his passion because of betrayal, and yet he’s drawn to it because of an amazing woman.

That woman is Mara – a women who’s lived her whole life in the same town, and who has a passion for life, but a need to maintain the legacy that is all she has left of her mother. That legacy is a doll making business in a falling down old house, and running a business that’s not making money. She’s living her life for those memories and not for her, and thankfully Jared steps in to change that.

True to the other books here, we watch the Sinclairs breathe life into these women, women who think that they aren’t worthy of the attention of the sexiest men alive, but who learn that there’s so much more to these men and to life to really stick with these ideals.

Jared helps Mara open her eyes to the notion that she’s got a great opportunity to make edibles (jams and the like) instead of dolls and that way she can not only make money but she can make herself happy. He funds her, she gets a chance at life and sadly, the story is never that uncomplicated.

Throughout their story we watch misunderstandings play out. We watch how Jared’s past haunts him again and again, and we watch the secrets of other Sinclairs come to light which has the potential to affect everyone. There’s a fire that destroys a house, a lied that destroys a potential love and the notion that there’s still so much distance between their worlds that hope inevitably is lost.

It’s only the injection of Evan, the eldest Sinclair that brings reason to the story and at the same time we see how desolate and miserable he is in the family. This is the teaser to give us his installment which i’m excited for, and at the same time pushes this story towards resolution. So, of course now i’m off to find the next book because I need to see Evan happy and i’m curious which Amesport lady will do it. Enjoy!

Review: The Billionaire’s Christmas (The Sinclairs #0.5) by JS Scott

Title: The Billionaire’s Christmas
Author:  J.S. Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 11/27/18
Length:  112 Pages
Series: The Sinclairs #0.5

Overview

Called an eccentric beast by the citizens of Amesport, Maine, handsome, sensual billionaire Grady Sinclair stays isolated in his mansion on a private peninsula. The arrangement suits Grady just fine—until an unassuming woman rings his doorbell, awaking his long dormant passion with her fearlessness. All he wants is to make the fiery blonde his forever. But will he have to become the monster everyone thinks he is to get his Christmas wish?

Emily Ashworth is desperate. The Youth Center has been robbed of all its money, and as the director, she has to find a way to give the town’s needy children the Christmas they deserve. With nowhere else to turn, she ventures to the mansion of a mysterious billionaire to ask for help. Warned to expect a beast, Emily is shocked to find Grady Sinclair a handsome and very sensual man. With steamy kisses under the mistletoe and seductive whispers while hanging the wreath, Emily finds there’s more to Grady than meets the eye. Is this misunderstood billionaire just a lonely soul who needs the gift of love for Christmas?

My Thoughts

While I know that i’ve read this one out of order of things, I felt the need to see what shaped the beginnings of Grady and Emily’s romance since they clearly laid the groundwork for Dante and all other Sinclairs to follow. What we have here is the prelude to it all, and a better understanding of how the family works from the inside.

We start this novella with a moment in the past when Grady was still awkward in life and not at all what his father wants him to be, actually quite an embarrassment to the family in his father’s eyes, and all this happens at the annual Christmas party. He’s shamed into going, and forced to be ridiculed, and thankfully his sister and brothers are there for his support. What they didn’t know going into the event was that it would be the last as their father had a heart attack and died that night.

Fast forward to ‘present days’ and we get to see what Grady has grown into. Without the disdain of his father, he’s thrived in business, making a name for himself in programming and tech. What he lacked when he was younger in social prowess is still a huge issue for him now, and that’s how he came by his moniker in Amesport. He’s a recluse and likes it that way, but he doesn’t realize that one snowy night, all that will change.

Emily on the other hand is the town angel – she’s overseeing the Youth center which is a savior for kids not only in their town but all around as well. When she’s conned by a man that she felt was interested in her, but who was only after the money that she was fundraising for the center, she finds that she has no choice but to go to the one person who’s local with pockets deep enough to save things for the year.

She slips and falls on her butt on his front steps, he falls for her at the same moment and their story is written from there. She quickly sees that he’s misunderstood and that he’s got a heart of gold, and at the same time, works to negotiate a means to get the money that she needs from him to make the center thrive. They agree that she will stay with him for a week and show him that Christmas isn’t dead, and in exchange, she gets a million dollars for her center and a friend for life.

I think they both knew that they were ‘done for’ when they locked eyes for the first time, and we get to watch the journey of both of them coming to terms of what’s not spoken but what is going to be their forever future. We watch the other Sinclairs come into play a bit at times, potentially messing up things for Grady and Emily for good at one point, but we know that they all come from a good place so it’s just a ‘sit back and watch this play out’ kind of story.

Similar to the heat and tone of just about all JS Scott books, we see their passion come undone with this socially awkward guy an incredible master in the bedroom. He shows her facets of her sexuality that she had no idea about, and at the same time he is able to fulfill every fantasy he’s had about her since the first moment.

Now that i’ve read this and the first official book about Dante, I guess it’s safe for me to read on about Jared – so i’m off to do that now. Enjoy!

Review: No Ordinary Billionaire (The Sinclairs #1) by JS Scott

Title: No Ordinary Billionaire
Author:  J.S. Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 3/31/15
Length:  230 Pages
Series: The Sinclairs #1

Overview

Dante Sinclair never cared about his family’s money. All the young billionaire ever wanted was to be a cop; and now that he’s a homicide detective in Los Angeles, he’s a damn good one. But when he is injured and loses his partner in the line of duty, he returns to his vacation home in Amesport, Maine, to recover.

Sarah Baxter, a brilliant young doctor still struggling with her stifled upbringing, has recently moved from Chicago to sleepy Amesport to escape her past, hoping to find peace. When Sarah is assigned to Dante’s case, there’s an instant heat between them. They couldn’t possibly be more different, yet their igniting passion is impossible to ignore. As new feelings awaken within Sarah, her haunted past returns, threatening her once again. But can Dante overcome his grief and discover the secrets Sarah is hiding in time to protect and rescue her?

My Thoughts

After reading the Accidental Billionaires, I felt that I had to do right by the series and read up on the East Coast Sinclairs – the ones that knew that they were billionaires, and had the unfortunate time of knowing their father. In this first book, we get to know Dante, one of the middle brothers, and one who chose a completely different life, away from money and business, and instead went into being a cop out in LA. We cross his path right after he’s been shot and his partner was killed, and he’s not only lost, but he doesn’t want to be found, or live.

Lucky for him he’s got 3 brothers who won’t take that as a path for him to go down, and they bring him to Maine where he’s able to recuperate at his brother’s place for a bit and then at his own house out there which he’s been to maybe 2 times before. This wouldn’t be a true romance or erotica story if we didn’t have a lovely leading lady who’s not looking for a man, but who finds the hottest man around, and learns that this is the man that can get her to bring her walls down.

Sarah’s background at the onset of this book is a mystery – we have no idea the ins and outs of her personality and her upbringing, but the more that she gets comfortable with Dante, the more that we learn about her. She’s the doctor that’s put in charge of his care while he’s in town, and at the same time, she’s also the person who’s able to get under his skin, not only because of a mutual physical attraction, but because she’s literally a genius and looks at things black and white with no gray. That forces Dante to think about what he’s doing and what he should be doing, and that jump starts his recovery.

The story from there is the standard romance of an alpha male who thinks that he wants ‘his woman’ for purely carnal reasons, but then quickly learns that she’s gotten to his heart when he didn’t even realize he had one. At the same time, we know that there has to be angst and mystery for the story to be complete, and that comes in the form of a break in at Sarah’s house where her entire house is destroyed and the words ‘Die Bitch’ are written on her wall.

The rest of the story shows us what that means to a growing relationship. The alpha male becomes even more protective and as a result, this couple becomes that – a couple. They realize that there’s more than a physical attraction and it’s nice to watch it blossom and grow. The fact that she’s quite innocent as well gets a reader all hot and bothered because our author does a fantastic job of really taking us through our paces watching them learn each other together. it’s HOT.

There’s a hostage situation, a death, someone ends up in the hospital again with an uncertain future and meddling friends and family who just want to help. Do they get the ending that they deserve or will Dante go back to LA? that much is inevitable so what does that mean? Anyhow, we’ve been teased with the book #2 here to know that younger brother Jared gets his own story, however there’s also a 0.5 book that i’ve realized about Grady – the brother that we’ve met time and time again in this book, so i’ll catch that one first I think and and then move onto Jared’s story. Enjoy!

Review: Endeared (The Accidental Billionaires #5) by JS Scott

Title: Endeared
Author:  J.S. Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 10/6/20
Length:  256 Pages
Series: The Accidental Billionaires #5

Overview

After finishing a hard-won medical residency, Owen Sinclair now lives his dream as a family physician. The windfall that brought him newfound wealth has also made handsome Dr. Sinclair the town’s most eligible bachelor. But Owen’s eyes are on Layla, his onetime best friend, his clinic’s dedicated nurse practitioner, and the one woman in Citrus Beach who has no interest in either his body or his billions.

In high school, Owen and Layla were always there for each other. Layla could confess almost anything to him. But wanting more than friendship was a confession too far, and Layla’s teenage longing was crushed in a heartbeat.

Two buried hurts are now in need of mending, and Owen has a proposition—if Layla is game. It’s a matter of trust as they discover so much more about the past, each other, and themselves. It’s not too late. Maybe they can make up for lost time. A love this true is worth the wait.

My Thoughts

After reading Andie’s story and seeing how wonderful Owen was, I think that it was more than necessary to see how his own life adjustment would play out. I forget all the time that it’s only been perhaps a year since they’ve all come into money, meaning that their struggle from the past years is all for naught given that they are now in a different situation. Owen had pushed himself so hard to get through school since he knew that his family had sacrificed everything to make sure he could get to school, and now he’s living the results of that labor. owning his own practice, back home with his family and being able to reconnect with friends from the past.

Layla on the other hand, she’s a tougher one. We know that she’s part of the threesome that they had in high school, and we know that there’s a rift between her and Owen for reasons unknown. AT least unknown to him and Andie, so it’s a matter of time until we get to the bottom of things.

Owen is persistent, and that’s something that I think is quite wonderful here since there’s really a need to push Layla to reveal more of herself than she’s comfortable. Throughout this story we see that she fights every step of the way, with a deep rooted hatred, and I think that she constantly uses that as a crutch when she’s in front of people so they don’t see to far into who she is. The only person that she seems to open up to is Dark, a guy that she’s connected with via Noah’s new dating app, and being behind a phone with no personal information shared, well that helps really allow her to be a bit more free.

What’s nice about this story that we see in some of the others is that JS Scott shows us that our main characters negotiate some type of arrangement to get to their end game. We saw that with Riley in the past and it comes to a head here when Owen uses his attraction for Layla and her guilt over the past to get her to date him.

Their story is a sweet one yet one that’s so troubled. They clearly enjoy one another but they won’t cross those boundaries for fear of what will come of it. Owen is beyond attracted to her and Layla him, but Layla thinks that if he were to know know what happened in her past, then he wouldn’t want her.

What we find is an interesting ally in another character that we’ve met in this series, and one that I hope to find a spin off book for since I think that person is really intriguing. The friendship, chemistry, trust, all those factors make this another great read from our author. So on that note, i’m going to do some investigating and see what else I can find to read. Enjoy!

Review: Enchanted (The Accidental Billionaires #4) by J.S. Scott

Title: Enchanted
Author:  J.S. Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 4/28/20
Length:  252 Pages
Series: The Accidental Billionaires #4

Overview

Opposites resist—and attract—under the Cancún sun in this emotional Accidental Billionaires novel by New York Times bestselling author J.S. Scott.

Years ago, Noah Sinclair promised his dying mother that he’d stay strong and work hard for his younger brothers and sisters. Even with the Sinclairs’ newfound wealth, Noah has never steered from that blue-collar drive. His siblings think it’s time—with the gift of a Cancún vacation. To Noah, being forced to relax isn’t bliss. It’s a chore. Especially under the watch of a beautiful family friend enlisted to make sure every laptop under the sun stays closed.

All Andie has to do is convince a handsome billionaire to take a deep breath? It should be a dream for the bohemian travel writer. If Noah—a workhorse so resistant to change—weren’t spoiling for a fight. But no matter how hard Noah pushes her away, Andie is pushing back. She promised she’d teach Noah to embrace every pleasure in life. It’s a promise she made to herself once, too.

What begins as a battle of wills becomes a chance for Noah and Andie to open their hearts and share their fears. Night after intimate night. It’s the last thing they expected from Cancún, and it’s what they need the most. Even if it isn’t supposed to be forever.

My Thoughts

I’m surprised that it’s taken me six months to get back into this series since I really enjoyed the first three books around Jade, Seth and Aiden. the way that this story was cultivated really makes for a lot of great installments to the series with plenty of new dynamic. This time, it’s Noah, the protector and patriarch of the family.

Just as the summary says, we remember the promise that Noah made to his mother as she was dying from Cancer. He was 18, and the only one who was legally old enough to keep the family together. He promised that he would do everything that he could to make sure they survived and thrived and that’s exactly what he did. Fast forward all these years, and an inheritance the size that no one can fathom, and well, he’s still living his life by his mother’s words.

His family is worried about him. All he does is work himself crazy and he has no other interests or friends because he won’t let himself come up for air. They so concerned that his twin sisters gift him a trip to Cancun to force him to enjoy himself, and Owen, his youngest brother enlists his best friend from forever to try to break him from his shell. Andie is a girl that the Sinclairs all know well from when they were kids, but we all know that people grow up.

Andie is the complete opposite of Noah on so many levels, and while that’s perfect for the story, it’s implied over and over that she’s had a troubled past that has made her into the woman that she is now. She’s grounded, yet boho, and she lives life for each day instead of planning for the future.

Their trip starts off on a rocky foot since Andie really wants to understand what makes Noah tick, and Noah is so driven by his work that he’s not open to really having conversation with her. Good thing she doesn’t back down, and she finds a way to negotiate a compromise to ensure that he doesn’t work the entire time.

Underneath all their differences though is a clear attraction that neither speaks of for days. We watch Andie realize that the crush that she had on Noah as a kid is so much more as an adult since he’s grown into someone amazing, and sexy. At the same time, Noah is trying to understand how this little girl that he knew back in the day who he thought was spoiled has turned into this incredibly sexy woman that he’s got these desires for that he feels he shouldn’t.

The journey throughout the story is one of growth and understanding. It takes Andie to push Noah out of his comfort zone every step of the way and to help him understand that he doesn’t HAVE to work since they are financially thriving in order to get him to work on understanding who he is as a person. It’s sad to see the wool get taken off Noah’s eyes and have him realize that he now has to figure out who he is and what he likes, but at the same time, it’s really rewarding. to watch Andie take him on the journey.

Sparks fly, and they realize that they share the same feelings for one another, but when Noah wants forever and Andie doesn’t do more than just today, they are at am impasse and they split. It takes the work of the entire Sinclair family to get Noah to understand what’s going on, and hopefully it’s not too late, since Andie’s gone back to Boston. It’s a push pull and a ‘I hope it’s not too late’ story that really makes for a nice read.

I’m excited to see what’s next since we still need to get into Owen’s story and that was teased nicely in the end of this book with a friendship that failed and he’s not quite sure why. I’m going to find out when I can get my hands on that one and in the meantime, enjoy!

Review: Man on Top (Man in Charge Duet #0.5) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Man on Top
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 9/29/20
Length:  80 Pages
Series: Man in Charge Duet #0.5

Overview

It was Teyana’s idea to crash the Sebastian’s party. Once in a lifetime, and all that.

Which was why I snuck in, even after she got sick and bailed, though it isn’t really fun without her. 

Until I end up on the rooftop with the most stupid-hot guy on the planet, and when he offers to take me home, I can’t imagine telling Teyana I turned him down. 

So I’ll be Cinderella for the party, and a very wicked girl in the bedroom. 

After that, I’ll disappear in the daylight, without even an exchange of names. I don’t belong in his world. One night is all we’ll get.

Unless, of course, fate has other plans…

My Thoughts

I needed something new to read and since we all know what a fan of Laurelin Paige I am, it made sense to pick up another series. Fortunately, this one had a novella come out as a prequel just recently so it’s easy to dive right in.

In this intro to the series, we meet who i’m going to guess is our leading lady, Tess. A girl who’s recently graduated from college and who’s a loyal friend to a fault. She’s part of a group of three girls who all met in college, yet once they left school, life hit hard, they realized that there’s maybe not so much in common. Tess is the glue it seems, Teyana is her closest friend but she was diagnosed with a disease that really puts her through her paces, and this diagnosis kind of put a crimp in the friendship they share with the third girl Kenda. Who turned out to be from New York’s elite and who doesn’t really like to focus or spend time on anything that’s not all about her. Where we find ourselves though is Tess works for Kendra and while Kendra’s ‘away on vacation’ yet again, Tess is able to really try to stand on her own.

Starting with an invitation to a party that Kendra received that Teyana convinced Tess she had to go to. This isn’t just any party, but one thrown by the most elite family in New York and what happens there is world altering.

Tess first walks in on a couple in the throes of it, and when she’s caught by the guy, she realizes that not only was she turned on by what she watched, but it’s the man too. Although he’s too cocky so she walks away. Into another guy who seems just as amazing yet they can’t mix business, which is what she proposes. She decides that while she knows that Kendra is against working with this particular family, she wants to make her best effort to grow,

What happens from here is a night of insane drinking and passion, without the exchange of names, in the hopes that it would help get Tess over her dry spell, but she quickly realizes that she’s mixed business with pleasure unintentionally and that’s where we are left at the end of this intro. So….i’m off to dive into book one since I have no choice but to see what happens. Enjoy!

Review: A Sinful Encore (Brilliance Trilogy #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: A Sinful Enxore
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 9/18/20
Length:  308 Pages
Series: Brilliance Trilogy #3

Overview

You only thought you knew how this was going to end, but their story is far from over. The explosive finale is bound to leave you breathless.

My Thoughts

This summary certainly doesn’t do the story justice, but let’s just say that we get to see so much turmoil and uncertainty in this last book that you are forced to truly ask yourself who is on wha side. We have been through the ringer with this couple, watching Kace and Aria grow stronger, even though it seems like their pasts are tearing them apart. There are so many pieces of a joined history that they didn’t realize that when it all comes out, there’s further validation that they are potentially right for each other. Assuming the world doesn’t keep them apart.

We spend much of this third installment under the watch of Walker and the security guys that we’ve come to love and adore. We see the return of Gio and learn that maybe there’s more to everything that’s going on and that he’s actually a part of rather than working to thwart efforts. He has been hunting the family secrets for far longer than Aria was aware and brought fear and terror to their door step. Was he setting Aria and Kace up or is he really trying to save everyhitng?

The hunt for the sacred formula to make the Stradivarius continues, with a few new violins showing up for sale. While Kace and Aria work to make contact with those instruments, there’s always the uncertainty that they are being set up and we see the help of Kayden and Ella from Italy come in at the right time to aide in their hunt.

What we learn in this story is that there are far more secrets that everyone has than what they even admit. There are relationships that aren’t what they seem either now or even in the past, and those raise more questions on whether you’re willing to continue to believe what you feel is real or if you want to begin to question everything. There are ghosts from the past that are raised in this story for both our leading characters, and there’s closure that comes with each as well. We see foes come up against them again and again, and we often see those foes end up dead or just away from the center of the story forever. It’s a good way to bring the series to a close, and yet there’s still so much that remains uncertain.

What I do know is that we get all the trademark LRJ in this series – and it’s something that I truly love more than other authors. There’s the right balance of angst and anxiety. There’s so much turmoil yet so much trust and passion that we are really kept moving in this story at a good clip. I loved being back in the Riptide world and I can’t wait to see where we go next. I saw that Adrian get’s his own Walker spin off soon so i’m excited for that to come out in a few weeks. Enjoy!

Review: A Wicked Song (Brilliance Trilogy #2) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: A Wicked Song
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 8/11/20
Length:  217 Pages
Series: Brilliance Trilogy #2

Overview

Kace August: famous, intense, dark, addictive. Aria Alard: a woman with secrets, passion, and a dangerous past. Passion. Secrets. Mystery. Aria fell hard for Kace. She trusted him. But did he deserve that trust? And where is Gio?A Wicked Song is the second book in the Brilliance Trilogy.

My Thoughts

The summary here doesn’t do the story justice but does that really matter? When we see the intensity that the first book had, we know that we’re in for another rollercoaster and seeing where we left off at the end of the first book, we know that it’s not just a cliff that we’re hanging off.

We know the bond between Kace and Aria is something of fantasies – it’s so intense on so many different levels that there had to be a reason. Well, as we learned at the end of book one, it’s partially because Kace knows who she is, but thankfully there’s more to the story that we learn in this second installment. There’s a past, a part of their histories that converged in one of the best ways possible, and Kace has the struggle to get Aria to listen, and to watch and to trust.

While that piece of the story is playing out, the bits where Aria is too scared to trust, where she doesn’t know what Kace is really after, and at the same time doesn’t know who’s after her, we also get to see some other amazing things develop. Friendships, professional opportunities, and even enemies take form. We see that Sara is still as amazing as her entire series showed us and watching her become a friend and ally throughout this book is something amazing. Same goes for Crystal – she sees deeper than most people and what she has to offer Aria is everything that she’s been missing in her life.

Walker Security takes a bigger role in this book, and we see one of the fan favorites in the form of SAVAGE come back. He’s honestly one of my favorite people ever given that he’s so scary yet has this sense of humor that makes you love him. I guess that’s why he got his happy ending after all. Along with Savage, we have Adrian and Blake and they are on the hunt not only to help find Gio but to figure out who’s after Aria since someone definitely is.

As i’ve send before, this is a rollercoaster of a middle book in the trilogy. We watch the strongest of relationships fall apart and we watch them fight to find a way to come back together. Voices and people from the past come up to put wedges in between them, Alexander being one of the biggest issues, but I think that what we’ve always seen in Lisa Renee Jones books is that our mains don’t give up. They flight for love, for chemistry, for hope.

Life decisions are made that are far from the path that they should have gone down and we are left on another cliffhanger that we all expected, yet we don’t yet know why connections were made and what they mean. Thankfully I think that i’ve got the third and final book and i’m off to read it since i’m impatient. Enjoy!

Review: A Reckless Note (Brilliance Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: A Reckless Note
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 6/23/20
Length:  280 Pages
Series: Brilliance Trilogy #1

Overview

It all started with a note, just a simple note hand written by a woman I didn’t know, never even met. But in that note is perhaps every answer to every question I’ve ever had in my life. And because of that note, I look for her, but find him. I’m drawn to his passion, his talent, a darkness in him that somehow becomes my light, my life. Kace August is rich, powerful, a rockstar of violins, a man who is all tattoos, leather, good looks and talent. He has a wickedly sweet ability to play the violin, seducing audiences worldwide. Now, he’s seducing me. I know he has secrets. I don’t care. Because you see, I have secrets, too.

I’m not Aria Alard, as he believes. I’m Aria Stradivari, daughter to Alessandro Stradivari, a musician born from the same blood as the man who created the famous Stradivarius violin. I am as rare as the mere 650 instruments my ancestors created. Instruments worth millions. 650 masterpieces, the brilliance unmatched. 650 reasons to kill. 650 reasons to hide. One reason not to: him.

My Thoughts

I love just about anything that Lisa Renee Jones writes and when we’re pulled back into the world of Riptide with a bit of Walker Security mixed in, there’s all sorts of warm fuzzies coming our way. As the summary teases, there’s a lot of mystery and history here tied all nicely together with some intense passion.

Aria is a woman who’s been forced into her life because of the mystery surrounding her father’s disappearance. Because of that, her mother took her and her brother Gio from Italy to New York and they’ve reinvented themselves with new names and everything. As the summary also tells us, it’s their family history that causes problems, this time in the form of her brother Gio who’s gone ‘missing’ – presumably hunting for his family’s dynasty in the form of the recipe of how to make the sacred and coveted violin.

As Sara did with the diaries at Riptide, Aria does with the Violin and she enters a world that’s outside her comfort zone in the hopes to find answers. She doesn’t find those answers, not yet at least, but what she does find is friendship, a world that’s risky and exciting and a man that she’s likely to fall in love with if she’s not careful.

Kace is that man. He’s the worlds most gifted bad boy violinist and he’s tight with the Riptide circle. He’s close with Chris from the Chris and Sara sagas and he’s friends with Mark – the owner of Riptide. He has a past that’s obviously made up of complicated things, and when he meets Aria, he knows that he’s not good for her, yet they are drawn to each other based on a shared passion for music, violins and chemistry.

We spend this first installment on a whirlwind with these two. Aria is infatuated with him as he is her and they have a combustable energy that crackles when they are in a room together. There’s so much between them that he starts to open up about his past and it prompts her to share more about who she really is even though it’s not safe.

Kace takes the liberty of bringing Aria into his world, showering her with luxuries that she’s been without for so long, and even offers to help her track down her brother, whom she’s certain is now in danger. It’s only until Kace trusts her a bit too much that we find a twist in the story, and that’s where we are left at the end.

All the fixings that we get in LRJ books are in this intro to the new series. There’s tension and angst, family mystery and pasts that are perhaps better kept in the past. But at the same time there’s so much passion and sexual tension that you’re really kept on the edge of your seat reading, afraid to put the book down. So, now i’ve found myself at the point where i’ve run through this book so quickly and now i’m onto book 2 without hesitation. Enjoy!

Review: My Fallen Saint (Fallen Saint #1) by J Kenner

Title: My Fallen Saint
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 9/15/20
Length:  230 Pages
Series: Fallen Saint #1

Overview

His touch is her sin.
Her love is his salvation.

Charismatic. Confident. Powerful. Controlling.

A brilliant investor with a Midas touch, Devlin Saint turned a modest inherited fortune into billions, and now operates one of the world’s foremost international philanthropic organizations. He’s a man determined to help the underprivileged, to fight injustice, and to make the world a better place. And that, at least is true.

It’s not, however, the full truth.

Because Devlin Saint is a man with a dangerous secret. One he’ll do whatever it takes to protect. And when investigative reporter Ellie Holmes turns her attention to an unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue and passion as Devlin draws her closer and closer. But as the intensity and sensuality of their relationship grows, so do Ellie’s suspicions. Until she is no longer certain if the heat between her and Devlin is real, or only a facade he constructed to hide his dark and twisted secrets.

My Thoughts

WOW. That’s how i’m going to start this one because well….wow. We’re brought into a completely new world from the great J Kenner. A world that doesn’t even remotely touch on any of the other stories that we’ve gotten and that makes this one even more amazing. It’s romantic, it’s heartbreaking, there’s more than a touch of drug lord, sex trafficking and all that other bad stuff to keep this story moving at a quick pace. Top that off with some intense heat and passion….and well….there’s something combustable happening.

We start this story off through the eyes of Ellie, the leading lady here – watching her life crumble piece by piece as everyone that she loves and cares about dies, gets killed, or leaves her. She’s found solace living with her uncle, and has this insane attraction to Alex, a boy who works for him and when there’s nothing else good for her, she turns to him and they become more than best friends. It’s everything that a high school romance is supposed to be except that he’s not in high school and there’s so much that no one knows.

Ellie’s best friend moves away, her uncle is killed and Alex uses her and leaves without a word that Ellie grows up even faster and realizes that she can only count on herself and trust herself. Fast forward about nine years, there’s new information that’s brought to Ellie’s attention that draws her back to the town she ran from and the ghosts that she never wanted to face again. There’s information on who her uncle’s killer is and as an ex cop and now investigative reporter, she goes after the story. Little does she know that she’s about to run headfirst into her past in ways that she never knew were possible.

Enter Devlin Saint. A man that has a clean past that no one can really dig too far into, yet he’s a man that does so much good that people just let it be. He started a foundation to help rescue and rehabilitate people who were trafficked and he’s also now on the receiving end of Ellie’s story. We watch as he cancels interviews with her, yet stalks her and makes her curious. Only when his identity is revealed does this story truly get exciting. There’s chemistry between them but we know that Devlin isn’t a man to give into anything that he doesn’t have a value or purpose for. Until he realizes that there’s no point in fighting what he feels for ellie.

The bulk of this story is watching the game that these two play – dancing around each other – using other excuses to be together instead of just truly admitting emotions and feelings. there’s a lot of danger and a lot of secrets – some of which are revealed in this book and many that are not, and what that does is cause even more pain and heartbreak. There are so many lies in this story that you have no choice but to wonder what’s real, and then when the world crumbles because of photos and information revealed by a handful of people who are lucky to be in the know….it’s a cliff that we’re now on and I really can’t wait patiently enough for book 2 to come out. I have so many thoughts on wha’s going to happen and who’s going to get caught in the crosshairs. I also wonder who’s going to out some of the more severe secrets- so ……i’ll find something to keep me occupied until I can get this next book. Enjoy!