Review: Bar Bites: A Man of the Month Cookbook (Man of the Month) by J Kenner

Title: Bar Bites
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/15/18
Length:   120 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month

Overview

Before Austin’s hotspot, The Fix on Sixth, became known for its sexy and fun Man of the Month calendar contest, the fictional downtown bar had already developed a reputation for fabulous drinks and mouthwatering bar bites–exactly the kind of venue to take a date and strike up a romance. Now it’s your chance to see exactly what’s on the menu … and to get a peek at the private lives of the men and women who not only work at The Fix, but who’ve made it the place to be in Austin, Texas. Join Man of the Month creator, New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner, and USA Today bestselling Southern food expert Suzanne Johnson as they guide you through their favorite bar bite and drink recipes served at The Fix on Sixth. Learn how to make the delicious bar bites that Tyree’s bar has become famous for. Whip up your favorite cocktail with the same flare as Cameron or Eric. And don’t forget to spend some time learning a little bit more about the private lives of your favorite characters in all new snippets and short stories! Most of all, come share a drink, a bite, and a laugh with us! We’re so glad you’re here. So pull up a chair, raise a glass, and dig in with your favorite Man of the Month characters, and meet a few new ones, too! Cheers!

My Thoughts

While not as fulfilling as the main installments to the series, this was a sweet way to end things since there were a few loose ends to be tied up.  That and well, it’s always nice to know how to make the food and drinks that i’ve read about for months now .

In this interesting version of a book, we get 4 novellas, one about Reece/Jenna, one about Spencer/Brooke, one about Nolan/Shelby and one about Eric/Tiffany.  Each gives us a glimpse into their story that we didn’t have already (a continuation of sorts) except for Eric/Tiffany where we got an abbreviated version of their entire story.

There’s something interesting though to call out here.  Our author tends to lean on the side of steam and heat in her other series, but in this case, there was more ‘sweet romance’ and storytelling than raunch.  nice change up sure, but in this book, she turns on the heat for sure and we get a bit more of what she’s known for.  It’s a nice change to be frank since we get the sweetness of the romances, yet the passion of Ms Kenner.

I love that we got to see a bit further into the future for Reece and Jenna – the birth of their daughter which was a main point throughout the installments.  It’s a bit of a stressful path that they go on, but it’s sweet none the less.   we get to see the happy couple become a happy family

then there’s nolan / shelby.  the couple that seemed to be totally different from one another but so well suited – but does that mean that they get their happily ever after?  and at what cost?

Onto Brooke and Spencer, the couple that had it all, lost it all and found it again.  Now however is the spotlight coming in between them?  putting on too much pressure and taking all that was great and amazing between them and turning it against each other?  i feel like we all want their happy ending – for their first show to be the success that we saw it become, and for them to get the mansion renovated and perfect since it was the stage for where their initial relationship really flourished.  the cameras though, and the constant attention makes things hard that there’s a breaking point, and we can only hope that love keeps it from falling apart too far.

And lastly, the romance that we never got in a full size story – Eric and Tiffany.  the bartender and the friend.  It’s sweet to see the crush become something more, even if there’s the taboo piece that Tiffany used to date Eric’s brother.  It’s when said brother comes back into town that we see things get dicey.

So….all in all, an even nicer way to close out the series – even though i know that Walk the Line was a really good piece of closure.  Now i really have to find something else to read.  Sad!  but enjoy!!!

Review : Walk the Line (Man of the Month #12) by J Kenner

Title: Walk the Line
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 7/10/18
Length:   130 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #12

Overview

Elena is too young for me, not to mention she’s my boss’s daughter and my babysitter.
That’s beyond complicated. And I’m not even looking for a relationship–but I can’t deny the attraction that sizzles between us.
I need to ignore it. A single dad, all I want is to take care of my little girl, do my job, and enjoy my friends. Anything more is asking for complications I can’t afford. Asking to be hurt again.
Trouble is, I want her, too. And when our flirty sparks turn to flames, I give in to temptation. Our secret fling is scorching hot, better than I’d even imagined.
But secrets get out, and I could lose my job and my reputation.
And I’m starting to realize she’s the one thing I’m not willing to lose.

My Thoughts

I’m really bummed that this is the last installment to the series.  I feel like there could be so much more to continue the story line. 😦  The good thing though is that Ms Kenner saved Brent for last.  He was a big role in the first book so it’s nice that it came full circle to him in this finale.

The Brent we knew before was the best friend in a triangle of Reece and Jenna.  He’s a single father to Faith, an adorable 5 (now 6) year old who’s mother walked out the day she was born.  Brent’s had a lot of trouble trusting people to stick around and he’s beyond devoted to his daughter.

Then there’s Elena, Tyree’s daughter – a child that he only learned about a few books back.  She’s 23, finding her way in life while finishing Grad School.  She’s sure of who she is, but she also knows what she wants and who she wants.

Of course, there’s a mutual attraction that neither will act on.  Brent is afraid to commit to anyone and he’s afraid of Tyree getting mad, and Elena is afraid to be rejected and is also afraid of what her father will think.  It’s only when she becomes his babysitter and they find themselves together at all hours that things start to bubble up.

The journey that they go on is a fast one.  They finally admit that they can’t deny how they feel about one another but they have to be careful about how open they are since there are so many factors against them.  And of course when things start to settle in, there are various wrenches thrown in.  One being a job opportunity that Elena gets in California.

Add to that story line that we are at the end of the series – with the point being that they needed to raise enough money to keep The Fix from being foreclosed on.  Add to that the fact that someone’s been vandalizing the place, and now the historical committee has decided that they want to take over the property because of it’s significance in Austin, and all the hard work may have been for nothing .

So as i said, our journey comes to a close, and while we see endless couples have been formed, we also don’t know what the outcome will be – if their home will be taken away and if that happens, what that will mean for everyone.  So on that note, i suggest you read it to see what happens and how they manage in the outcome.  Enjoy!

Review: Light my Fire (Man of the Month #11) by J Kenner

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Title: Light my Fire
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 6/26/18
Length:   125 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #11

Overview

Overview

I don’t do relationships.
I’ve lived my life hiding my scars, revealing myself only the in the scripts I write and the characters I voice.
Few people know the real me. I’m too careful. Too afraid of getting burned all over again.
Enter Beverly Martin. A movie star. A woman so beautiful and caring she makes my heart ache. She says she wants me–and her touch almost makes me believe that a girl like her could love a man like me.
But being with her would mean letting the spotlight of fame shine on me, too. And I’m not sure I can do that–even if walking away means losing the woman I love.

My Thoughts

Well it’s about time that we got to Griffin’s story – he’s been a staple throughout the series, and while we only knew a bit about him, we finally get to see him come into his own.  Then there’s Beverly, the girl who’s on the brink of major stardom, doing the Fix a solid by emceeing their contest, and of course that means that we get to see something else go over the edge.

This 11th installment takes us to a point in the series where we’re just about at the end, we’ve seen most of the characters couple off, and there are fewer and fewer bits to the story that we don’t know.  The reality show that was at the beginning of it all has now launched, and we might get to see how it all pays off in the end.

But then there’s Griffin, bar regular and web series star.  His script has just been sold and is about to be made into a major movie in Hollywood, with Beverly starring in it.  It pays to have an actress as a co-writer and best friend.  Or is it more?

Beverly sees people for who they are, and if she’s able to get Griff to see what she sees, then maybe they have a chance at happiness.  The challenge of course is that as an actress, her life is in the spotlight and that’s something that he doesn’t want.  Their journey as a couple is one of secrecy and self doubt- and fear of what gets to be out of their own control.

The nice thing about this book is that our amazing author J Kenner brings us a link to the Stark series, Kelsey and Wyatt play a part in making Griff realize the error in his ways, and becomes a voice of reason.  It’s nice to have those characters woven in, especially since i think another stark novel is coming out.

There’s also the introduction of Jessie who’s got a similar story to Griff’s and who thankfully helps him realize what he needs to do to be happy.

Romantic in all the right ways, steamy enough in others to remind us who the author is. She has a knack for giving us the sweet bits that make you root for a couple at a deeper emotional level, and then the heat and chemistry that keeps a romance alive.

So all in all, we get a nice follow up and 11th book of the series – we see the Man of the Month contest come to almost a close and i think that while it’s bitter sweet, we get to see happy endings for almost everyone.  or do we?  that’s the million dollar question.  Anyhow – on to the wait for the next installment.  Enjoy!

Review: In Too Deep (Man of the Month #10) by J Kenner

Title: In Too Deep
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 6/9/18
Length:   132 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #10

Overview

Hannah Donovan is not my type.

Intellectual and career-focused, she’s a lawyer, and an intimidatingly beautiful one, at that. I’d rather pump iron than open a book, and the only reason I’d go to court would be for a traffic ticket.

She’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. So how can I turn down her plea that I pretend to be her fiancé for one weekend?

But I never expected our pretend kisses to feel so real … or for it to lead to a wild night in bed that will forever stand out as the highlight of my sex life.

Our performance convinces everyone, but it was never meant to be more than a fantasy. A short term gig before reality sets back in.

I can’t imagine ever being good enough for her, but I’m hooked. And now I’m determined to do whatever it takes to make this fake engagement real.

My Thoughts

I really do enjoy the story here even though the whole idea of why they have the contest and what it’s going to accomplish has fallen to the wayside.  What’s nice though is that our amazing author has managed to keep the story lines interwoven while also keeping the plot standalone so you don’t really feel like you’ve missed out should you have not read all the installments

In this 10th book (wow 10 right?) we have the story of Hannah and Mathew.  Hannah is a lead that we really didn’t get much of in the other stories.  she was peripheral at best with some of the stories tied to the others, but i think that it’s about time that she gets to come into her own.  She’s a successful lawyer who’s been stuck in jobs that were making her brain rot.  now that she’s got the potential to break out on her own with Easton, she’s found herself in a situation where she’s without the funding and when she knows how she can get her hands on it from her mom, it means stretching the truth a bit of her life.

Then there’s Matthew, a guy that we know as a friend of some of the other characters and the brother of Selma from the last story.  He like a lot of the others had a rough upbringing, but made something quite amazing of himself, starting a gym, opening several locations and even looking to franchise.

These two know each other and yet won’t admit that there’s a spark until they are forced to put on an act and the chemistry is something that can’t be stopped.  What Ms Kenner does well is give us female leads that are strong and successful but maybe a bit ignorant in all things tied to the heart.  They all seem to put up walls around romance and play more of the ‘guy’ role, and find that the male leads are the ones who are romantic and looking for ways to complete their lives.  This is the exact same instance, but the way that the plot flows is one that’s quite nice – we get to see how both of these characters grow and become something great together.

The questions that we are thinking about here though are to what lengths they have to go in order for Hannah to get her money, and will her parents ever accept her for who she is.  What’s matthews’ thought in all this.  He seems to be so willing to become something that he’s not, yet wants to stay true to himself.  Lastly, when we find that forces pull them apart because appearances are more important to some, well, what will it take to overlook that and maybe find happiness.

So all in all, a story that flows in the same way that the others have, but with enough originality to keep it interesting.  The tease as well for the next installment when we FINALLY get Griffin’s story is a great one and i can’t wait to see where it goes.  Enjoy!

Review: All Night Long (Man of the Month #9) by J Kenner

Title: All Night Long
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/30/18
Length:   128 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #9

Overview

I wear designer suits on my body by day and gorgeous women on my arm at night. Some might call me arrogant, with my chiseled jaw and my dark blue eyes. Add in my money and I can get any woman I want.

Now, I want her.

The night I spent with Selma has lived in my most erotic dreams. And ever since she swept back into my life, with her flashing eyes and delicious body, I want nothing more than to make sultry new memories.

But with an election coming up, and an office I want to fill, it isn’t the right time to get involved with a free-spirited girl with a wild streak. A girl who doesn’t abide by the rules. A girl who could get me noticed in all the wrong ways.

A girl who makes me crazy … in all the right ones.

Now I’m going to have to decide: Walk the straight and narrow? Or have the hottest, wildest affair of my life with the sexiest woman I’ve ever known?

Meet Mr. September –
He’s got the moves to make a woman blush.

My Thoughts

I really do enjoy this series.  While Ms Kenner tells us every time that these are standalone stories, you really do get a well planned series here – seeing how each of the stories fold into one another, and how as we meet each character, we know that there’s something bigger on the horizon for them.

We’ve met Easton in several installments before and it’s nice that we get to see more of him here.  While we know him as the lawyer that everyone defers to in the series, there’s got to be more to the man and what his aspirations are.  He’s a guy who comes from a past that’s not ideal, his family lost everything and he’s fought his way to be what he is.  He’s also a man that won’t settle until he has achieved everything that hopes for, being successful in his field isn’t enough, being elected to the judiciary sector is really his hope for his next step, or is it?  It takes a woman with a free spirit to make him question it all.

That woman is Selma – a woman who’s become successful with her own distillery, and yet, she’s running from the world, from herself.  We learn that her past is even more troubled than Easton’s.  She and her brother Matthew were abandoned when they were pre-teens, in a mall by their mother.  Being in the system is something that’s really made her a bit scared of losing all those who are close to her, and potentially has caused her to be even more wild and unsettled than normal.  When she’s got the chance to have her business bought out, she crosses paths with Easton again to help with the deal.  Again because they had a torrid one night stand 10 years ago, and clearly it’s something that neither of them have gotten out of their system.

What’s interesting with this series is that Ms Kenner, our esteemed author does something as a semi repeat if you think about it.  We have another couple that’s known each other in previous lives if you think about it.  They were a couple of sorts even if it was a night, 10 years ago and when they are pushed together now, we see that there could be steamy hot results, just like we saw for brooke.

Anyhow, we have a sweet story here – one of a girl who’s afraid to put down roots, but who sees something lasting with a guy.  And a guy who’s doing his best to keep up appearances to push his career forward, while knowing that maybe he needs to color outside the lines.  Their chemistry is hot, they can’t keep their hands off each other and that’s what keeps this installment going.  Will their relationship challenge everything that Easton has worked for, and when it does come to be in the forefront will there be too much to keep them together?  Are there other men and women at play with these two that makes things complicated?  well, it wouldn’t be a romance if we didn’t have people getting in the middle of things.

There’s one thing that’s bugging me a bit now that we have gotten to the 9th installment.  We’ve kind of lost the point of the whole story and contest/calendar to begin with.  There’s almost no mention of it at all anymore, and i think that it’s a miss.  We also have zero mention of the reality show that’s being filmed as well, something that was core to the story in the first place.  I can only hope that we get some of that back in the final book.  I mean, if we don’t get to see it come full circle, see that Tyree is maybe able to keep things afloat, then all we have are a bunch of engaging and interesting stories that are bound by a family of characters but no thread pulling through any more.

So, all i can say is that i enjoyed this story, but i’m missing a bit of the commonality.  We’ll see what book 10 brings.  Enjoy!

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J Maas

Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publisher/Year:  Bloomsbury 5/1/18
Length:   215 Pages
Series:  A Court of Thorns and Roses

Overview

Narrated by Feyre and Rhysand, this bridges the events in A Court of Wings and Ruin and the upcoming novels in the series.

New in the #1 New York Times bestselling Court of Thorns and Roses series, A Court of Frost and Starlight is a glimpse into the lives of Feyre and Rhys as they begin to recover from the war that changed their world.

Feyre, Rhysand, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated — scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

My Thoughts

i LOVE this series and i’m so glad that while it’s short, we get another installment to the series.  Where we left off with all these characters – the war had ended, and Elain and Nesta were ‘MADE’ and kingdoms are shattered and lives were lost.  It’s a troubled time, yet we know that this group of family/friends will do whatever they can to get back to normal life and make sure that they are with the ones that matter most.  the Winter Solstice is the perfect time for them to come together and enjoy each other’s company.

Of course, it’s easier said than done when Elain is still in her shell and wants nothing to do with Az who is her mate.  And Nesta wants nothing to do with anyone, including her mate Cassian.  So we get to see how that all starts to affect the larger group.  Rhys and Feyre have found that their love is stronger and runs deeper than ever and that’s the thread that carries the gist of the story.

So i consider this to be a novella – i guess it’s kind of noted as it’s a #.1 but it’s a bit longer than a traditional novella.  Each chapter is based on a different characters story at the time in things, and we get to see how the results of the war shape what their path is.  Amren now as a human, Mor trying to get past the fear that she has of looking weak, the men who are both macho and who want to make things right with their soulmates.

On top of that lighter part of the story, we have the undertone of what’s going on in the bigger picture of the world now after the war, and what i assume will be the main factor of the next installment.  There’s unrest among the people, there’s fear and hatred that so many died and there’s no longer a divide between the human and fae worlds, so we know that there’s bound to be issue and catastrophe there as well.  Tamlin is a shell of a man now and his land is the one that borders the human world, yet he won’t accept help from Rhys since there’s too much pain and hatred tied to Feyre.

Anyhow-  while this is a lighter more surface installment, it’s a good lead into what’s to come and i know that it’ll be great since the other installments were AMAZING.  The pre-read chapter in the end of the next book really shows us that Nesta is going to take a main role – her journey into the cauldron was something that even it did not expect, and she’s taken from it and will hopefully use those powers to help Rhys and Feyre and their allies v. against them.  we’ll have to wait and see i guess.  On that note – enjoy your day all!

Review: Shake it Up (Man of the Month #8) by J Kenenr

Title: Shake it Up
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 4/29/18
Length:   132 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #8

Overview

There are a million reasons why I need to stop thinking about Taylor D’Angelo naked.

She’s too young for me, for starters.

She’s too ambitious.

She’s my job.

Romance was the last thing on my mind when I agreed to look into her stalker as a favor.

Now, she’s all I can think about–and in every position I can imagine.

I’m not the only one obsessing.

The threats against her are intensifying along with our connection.

If I give in, if I let our bodies take over, it could draw her stalker out.

Our passion could save her.

Or it could destroy us both.

My Thoughts

This is yet another great installment to the greater series by our wonderful author.  Yes, while you don’t ‘have’ to read all of the stories to get the gist of things, it’s really helpful to have them all in your head since there are links in each.

In any event, we had just met Landon in the previous story, seeing the hot detective from afar, and now it’s his turn to get a story.  There’s also the bit of Taylor – a girl who’s been in the series from the beginning, really helping get things handled for the contest each time.

Of course each has a complicated backstory, but in this case it’s really about Taylor and her past which she makes it very hard for us and Landon to get information about.  She’s run from a past which isn’t the best (seems to be a trend in this series) and we never really get to know what made it what it was until perhaps it’s too late.  That’s where Landon comes into play since he’s a detective and has been asked to help sort out who is watching her, stalking her etc.

The journey of this installment is kind of basic, yet there’s more chemistry and heat here than in some of the others, so again i don’t know how J Kenner does it, but she manages to keep things fresh.  Here, Landon isn’t really searching for anything for himself.  he’s waiting to get a new partner in the PD, and he’s renovating his house, but his past is really just one of a wife who wasn’t able to accept what he does for a living and left.  That hasn’t really stunted him exactly, so it’s not the case here that we need to find out what truly damaged him and gave him ghosts.  Makes it a bit easier for us to have a more in depth story for Taylor.  We don’t know anything about her except for the fact that no one really knows her longer than her senior year in high school when she moved to Austin.  She doesn’t talk about her family, and she doesn’t talk about anything that shaped her, so you know it has to be major.

So when she becomes the target of a stalker, someone who’s leaving scary notes for her, throwing bricks at her car (if you recall, that’s the car accident that we had in the last installment that was aimed at Taylor but she wasn’t driving at the time).  The stalkers’ identity is one that’s up in the air for the reader since Taylor hopes that it’s one person, knowing that it’s likely to be someone else.  Someone who wants to kill her for reasons that we still don’t know.

The question becomes what will lure out this stalker and will he get caught before anyone gets hurt?  What will then happen between Landon and Taylor, a couple that clearly has chemistry and sparks.  will they act on it or stay professional?  will they need someone or something to push them together faster?  Only way to find out is to read on.  And then wait a week for book 9 to see what’s next for this group!  enjoy!

Review: The Complication (The Program #6) by Suzanne Young

Title: The Complication
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher/Year:  Simon Pulse 4/24/18
Length:   324 Pages
Series:  The Program #6

Overview

Every cure has a cost.

Tatum Masterson learned this after years of being monitored by The Program. She witnessed it when her boyfriend, Wes, came back changed, erased. And now, even the newest “cure” has a heavy cost—one she and Wes paid.

The Adjustment came into Tatum’s life just when she thought she needed it most, a promise for Wes to get back his forgotten memories. But when the procedure went wrong, a revelation shattered everything Tatum thought she knew.

Now, with no one left to trust, Tatum must find out what really happened last summer. And with the help of the boyfriend she lost, Tatum will have to dig into the past and future of The Program and its handlers.

And discover the true cost of a cure.

My Thoughts

I”ve been on the journey with this series for quite a long time and seeing how our author Ms Young is able to weave the stories of the different couples at the varying stages in the program, while also making sure to continue the thread throughout that keeps them all continuous, constant, and concurrent is impressive.  We’ve seen so much pain and heart ache, so much trickery and lying, and some of our favorite characters will forever be on the run so that they can have their happy endings.  So it’s time to see not only how things end up for Tatum and Wes now that a huge bomb has been dropped on Tatum’s reality, but we also get to see how things continue and potentially end for The Program, for Realm and for a few others.

I think that it’s hard sometimes to get a good YA series that isn’t only on the surface a lot of the time.  That goes a bit deeper for several relationships and story lines, as well as gives us the romance, the aspiration that you know is needed in the genre.  We get that here.

Tatum’s world was blown up when she learned at the end of The Adjustment that her life isn’t at all what she thought.  that she went through The Program.  She now has absolutely no idea what’s real, what’s been taken and what’s been implanted and who’s been lying to her, her entire life.  It’s a crazy roller coaster story that we get here coming to terms with everything.  When we fear that handlers are all around them, i have to admit that i guessed who a few were.   When we worry that some of the authority figures and family members are on the right or wrong side, more often than not, i’m wrong.

The constant though which we saw in the other installments is that while the program was able to erase memories, it’s often unsuccessful in erasing what the heart feels and believes, and we see over and over again that the romances, the loves between these couples really continues to come through.

Throughout this installment, we’re taken back to Dr Warren who is Tatum’s therapist and who we learn has her own motives.  We are back at the Adjustment office and what we see and learn there turns the world upside down.  We’re introduced to new ‘legitimate’ folks who really do play a key role as the story comes to a finale.  We see lives ruined and lives brought back together.  The biggest question of all, is the Program dead once and for all?  i know that we believed that it was before, but i don’t know that we’ll ever learn the truth there.

I’m kind of sad to think that perhaps this is the last installment because of the events that happened at the end, i’ve been really engaged with all characters here.  Realm while cocky really intrigued me.  Sloane/James, Tatum/Wes, Realm/Dallas, Nicole/deacon….there are so many story lines that we got to follow and enjoy that now without them it’ll be sad.  Oh well – that’s the life of a reader right?  on that note, i hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!

Review: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tehereh Mafi

Title: Restore Me
Author: Tehereh Mafi
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins Publishing 3/6/18
Length:   255 Pages
Series:  Shatter Me #4

Overview

The girl with the power to kill with a single touch now has the world in the palm of her hand.

Juliette and Warner’s story continues in the electrifying fourth installment of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Timesbestselling Shatter Me series.

Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander of North America, and now has Warner by her side. But when tragedy strikes, she must confront the darkness that dwells both around and inside her.

Who will she become in the face of adversity? Will she be able to control the power she wields, and use it for good?

My Thoughts

To be honest, i didn’t think that there would be a book 4, and i had a hard time remembering where we had left off in book 3, but i’m glad that i stuck it out for those first few chapters.  What we have here is an interesting continuation of the story that had a potential pause with Juliette taking over North America, and now we’ve restarted it all.

This next installment takes us to a point in time where Juliette is overwhelmed, still reliant on Kenji to be her best friend and source of guidance, and still madly in love with Warner.  the challenge there though is that Warner is in a tough head space in this book, and we see that life gets in the way of love – so you really don’t have a true sense of where these two are going to net out.  They can’t ever seem to catch a break now can they?

The journey in this book is one where the other supreme commanders are now ultra curious about who Juliette is and what she’s done and will do – so they send their children to the sector to uncover secrets.  We meet a few interesting people who we aren’t yet sure we’re able to trust, and along with them, a LOT of secrets are revealed.

We learn that Juliette isn’t at all what she seemed and what she thought she was, and sadly it was Warner who was guided to learn the truth (Castle is the bearer of information it seems) and as a result, he’s put in a position where telling Juliette what he knows means that he may lose her.

Her past is definitely not what we were led to believe, and how she got to the asylum and what her role is in life now are coming to the forefront of this story.  We are left with more questions than answers for sure, and the twist at the end makes us really wonder if anything that we knew from the first 3 books was real.

We meed Haider and Nazeera in this book – the children of the supreme commander of Asia, and they play an interesting role.  We’re never quite sure what to make of them, they aren’t really honest with their words or actions, but what comes out as they interact more and more with Juliette and Warner, it is a huge shock and potentially story changing.

When Juliette’s life is put in danger not once but twice in this story, we start to see who really is on what side, and question what we know even more.  The set up for book 5 really is nicely done, leaving us on a cliff that makes you really wonder what’s going to happen and what does that means for life as everyone knows it.

There’s one other aspect to this story that we only really saw in the later installments of the first few books.  The romance between Warner and Juliette started slow, and now is hot and intense for a YA book.  You can see how they are teenagers but they feel for each other in a much more mature sense, and the way that their love and passion comes through is genuine, and yet fairly appropriate for the nature of the book.

Anyhow – i can’t wait now for book 5, and i hope that you guys catch up on this series.

Review: Turn Me On (Man of the Month #7) by J Kenner

Title: Turn Me On
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 4/17/18
Length:   124 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #7

Overview

Sometimes one night just isn’t enough.
Though they see each other only once a month, Amanda’s sweet body and wicked ways have been driving Derek wild for over a year.
And now that he’s moving to Austin, Derek is determined to have Amanda in his bed permanently.
There’s only one problem: Amanda’s happy with their current arrangement. Can Derek convince her a lifetime of nights together will be so much sweeter?
Meet Mr. July … he’s determined to heat things up.

My Thoughts

I love this series – and what’s different in this next installment is that we get a flashback in time from the whole series as well as being brought up to speed to present day.  It’s great when we get to see how the characters knew each other before and how their stories really began a while back, leading up to what we see in the quest to save The Fix.

So here we get Amanda’s story.  She’s Nolan’s sister and we got to know a bit about her from that, as well as through Jenna – who is one of her good friends.  We’ve really never gotten a full picture of what makes her tick before, knowing what made her into the cynic that she is, but here we do.  Her challenge is that a man ruined her sense of self in relationships as well as in her profession since being with him made her lose opportunities in her company.  Now she’s sworn to keep men at arm’s length and to use her feminine wiles to make her career blossom.

Then there’s Derek, a guy who comes from a family that’s based in Dallas and owns a hotel conglomerate.  He comes from money but he doesn’t ride the coattails of that one.  He wants to expand the business and take risks, change the reputation that he’s been given, and make his father proud since that seems impossible.

Knowing that these two are driven by conflicting things, we know that their pairing will be a tough one.  However…..it turns out to be easier than they thought – neither wants something firm and since they aren’t geographically in the same place, it’s even better.  So what’s the catch right?

That’s where our story takes shape.  We get to go on the journey with them of what it means to be in a ‘thing’ with someone who’s not available emotionally but maybe wants more without saying it.  And it’s sweet to see how they push each other but keep each other at arms length still.  It’s when situations change that we see how things get torn apart – running scared and perhaps ruining what could be great.

Our amazing author does it again here – giving us a story about a couple that’s so perfect for each other but are too blind to see it for a while and then challenge each other to get to a good place.  their chemistry as always is off the charts, and makes you really root for them even when they don’t want it.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in book 8.  We know Taylor as the hostess for the man of the month contest, and we met Landon in this 7th installment, – so to see how things take shape with them will be great.  there was also the issue of the car ‘accident’ that came at the end of book 7 that makes you wonder what Taylor’s back story is and how that will affect things for everyone – that the cop/detective that Landon is, will surely help.  So, on that note, 2 weeks of waiting and then we’ll find out.  If you haven’t read this series – i really suggest you start!  Enjoy!