Review: The Scotch King (Scotch #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Scotch King
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createsapce Publishing 8/15/17
Length:  167 ages
Series:  Scotch #1

Overview

Joseph Ingram made the mistake of stealing from me-four million dollars. He took my intelligence without paying for it. And thought he could get away with it.

Think again.

Now I’ll take something from him-something irreplaceable.

His sister.

Collateral.

But even when Joseph doubles the amount of money he owes me, I don’t give her up.

Nope. I have an image to maintain.

So I keep her.

And I’m not giving her up.

My Thoughts

I really do enjoy the worlds that our author Penelope Sky creates for us. They’re intertwined at times, but still quite unique and really dark, seedy and hot. What a great combination right?

In this story we have Crewe, our leading man, a powerful man – who runs a scotch empire sure, but who trades intelligence for a price. As all powerful semi illegal men are in these stories, if you cross him, then you pay with your life or that of someone close to you. Joseph should have known that trying to pay with counterfeit money wouldn’t go over well, and now London, his sister pays the price for it.

Crewe we learn throughout this story is a man with a dark dark past – it takes most of the story to get to the crux of it, but essentially, he feels that his revenge is worth being so hard. He’s got an army of men who protect him, and woman who is his partner, and that term is strictly business. Ariel. She’s tough on the outside and clearly harbors no love lost or even emotion towards Crewe for reasons that we don’t yet know. But we come to really dislike her because she hates London on site. (mind you, she really hates that London is american but there has to be more to it than that)

London is the slave here – the one taken captive and she’s got her whole life ahead of her. She’s studying at NYU to become a doctor and loves her work. She’s kidnapped from all that she knows, knowing that she’ll never get to go back. Never get to see her friends again, and hopefully though figure out how to escape to get to her brother.

We go on a roller coaster with these two throughout this first installment. We spend much of our time hoping that London’s strong will and personality will help her figure out how to get free from Crewe. We also spend much of the book hoping that Crewe has a bit of humanity left in him to make London as comfortable as possible.

There are moments when they admit attraction to one another, and moments when crewe does horrible things like try to sell her off to the most disgusting horrible man in the world. It’s a story full of whiplash and fear, but also one of attraction and chemistry.

We spend a lot of time wondering if London will ever be free, if her brother will manage to stay alive (because i forgot to mention that Crewe is really dispicable here with what he’s done), if Crewe is human and what the true back story is to get us to where we are. A point of hope and hopelessness. Attraction and hate. And where we are left off, we see that the future is as bleak as ever.

True to form in the other series that i’ve read by Ms Sky, the scenes when they happen are HOT. The chemistry is amazing, the way that everything’s told makes you feel like your’e right in the moment with themand you need the same release just as they do. I need more and i’m happy to say that i’m cruising right into book 2! enjoy!

Review: Entangled (The Accidental Billionaires #2) by J.S. Scott

Title: Entangled
Author:  JS Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 4/30/19
Length:  231 Pages
Series:  The Accidental Billionaires #2

Overview

There’s nothing richer than a second chance in the steamy second book of New York Times bestselling author J.S. Scott’s Accidental Billionaires series.

Aiden Sinclair was a commercial fisherman before he suddenly came into his billionaire inheritance—not that he’s complaining. Being a Sinclair does have its perks. But things were simpler before the money. He may have been dirt poor, but he loved his job and fully intended to always come back from the sea to his girlfriend, Skye Weston, so they could move toward something more permanent. Or at least that had been the plan…until he returned from a two-month fishing trip to discover she had moved away and was marrying somebody else. It tore his world apart.

Now Skye’s back in town after nearly a decade. She’s a single mother and just as beautiful as ever. However, for some odd reason, she appears to hate him, when it should be Aiden who wants nothing to do with the woman who dumped him. Unfortunately, more than nine years of separation have done nothing to put a damper on their white-hot chemistry. But even if those feelings are real, Skye has been keeping secrets. The truth of the past is about to come to light, and there is so much more at stake than just Aiden’s heart.

My Thoughts

This second installment to the series is just as sweet as the first one. We’re back in the world of the Sinclairs, this time really enjoying the story of Aiden and Skye. If you remember, we had met Skye in the first book, as she was Jade’s best friend growing up, and the same girl who had a fling with Aiden that apparently didn’t end well, and it still a point of contention with the family.

We were given a tease at the end of the first book of a girl who matched DNA to the Sinclairs, but Jade wasn’t able to find out who that was. That’s where this story is rooted. That girl is Maya, Skye’s daughter – and well….Aidens too.

We now know why there was such heat and hatred coming out of their relationship back years ago. Miscommunication – BIG TIME. Aiden thought Skye left because she wanted a man with money and resources, and she married someone who had all that just weeks later. Skye thought that Aiden wanted nothing to do with her once she revealed that she was pregnant. And well, neither of that was true. So nine years later, when they are forced together during Jade’s wedding festivities, everything comes to a head.

Their love story is one that can withstand the true test of time, or at least it seems like that’s the case here. Nine years later, there’s the same attraction, but there’s also the fear that they don’t know anything about each other now, and they both have trust issues. It takes Aiden quite some time to wrap his head around what happened, really not buying into the idea that she tried to tell him she was pregnant because he never got a note that she said she left, but his brother Seth did….and well, enter a rift in the family now. The brothers work through it but there’s still a bit of a wrinkle in things now.

Aiden welcomes Maya into his life quickly and seamlessly. He forces Maya and Skye to move in with him so that they can be a family and basically forces the idea of marriage on Skye as well. She’s not having it because of the horror that was her previous marriage (one that we learn lots of juicy details about), but Aiden isn’t one to be swayed. That piece of the story line is sweet and entertaining as we get to see how persistent he can be.

Skye hasn’t experienced anything in life, she’s been struggling to be the best mom possible and it’s been tough for her. She’s suffering from PTSD from her marriage and that has effects throughout her new relationship with Aiden. It’s something that looms over them, and hinders the ability for them to get close, but it’s sweet to see how they try to work through it.

Similar to the first book, we have some really amazing chemistry here, some really great romance and some hot passion. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other in the past and the same goes for the present. Things seem to be going in the right direction when test results come back from the paternity test that Aiden forced and he’s excluded from being the father.

Where we end is a big question of what’s going on – and what does this mean? Are they able to be a family even with this information or will the ending they had nine years ago be the same now? Is love enough? All great questions and all questions that you need to read the book to find out the answers.

Lastly, we get the final chapter here teasing the next story which will surround Seth. We knew from this 2nd book that he has been working to develop a piece of coastal land but that there’s a tree hugger as he puts it who’s trying to keep him from doing that since there’s an endangered bird nesting area there. In this final chapter, we see him thrown off his game when a woman approaches him to save him from other attention and it turns out that this woman who’s the thorn in his side is the same tree hugger. So…you can only imagine what this next story is going to bring us. I’m excited! Enjoy!

Review: Ensnared (The Accidental Billionaires #1) by J.S. Scott

Title: Ensnared
Author:  JS Scott
Publisher/Year:  Amazon Publishing 10/16/18
Length:  248 Pages
Series:  The Accidental Billionaires #1

Overview

Wildlife conservationist Jade Sinclair isn’t used to having money. But when she and her siblings learned they were part of the mega-rich Sinclair dynasty, they became billionaires overnight. Jade doesn’t even know how to act rich, especially when she’s dealing with an arrogant, privileged, unreasonably sexy snob like Eli Stone.

Unlike Jade, Eli grew up rich, and he just keeps getting richer. Eli is always looking for an adventure, and he’s found an inviting one in Jade—as resistant as she is irresistible. His less-than-honorable plan? Get her alone in the wilderness by buying out all the spots in her survival class.

Calling a truce, they strike a bargain: Jade will teach Eli basic survival skills, and he’ll teach her how to navigate the world of the wealthy elite. Jade has only one condition—she will not let herself be seduced by him. But some things are easier said than done…

My Thoughts

I was looking for a new series since i’m waiting for the next installments of a few and i happily stumbled across this one. Who doesn’t like a story that starts off with a family having family secrets resulting in the inheritance of billions?

In this first introduction to the series, we meet Jade, our leading lady, a girl who’s come into money and who only wants to do good in the world with conservation and genetics etc.. Jade has had her life led by her family, her three older brothers, her twin sister and her younger brother. All looking out for each other, all living in poverty until this money becomes theirs.

She’s devoted her life to studying and animals and wildlife, and now that she has money, she wants to buy a piece of land to protect it. To do so, she needs to convince Eli Stone, another billionaire, to sell it. This is where our story gets interesting.

It’s like a game of cat and mouse since we realize from the moment they meet, that Eli wants Jade for much much more than she’s willing to offer. She only wants the land. She’s naive, innocent and inexperienced, so while she’s attracted to him, she’s not willing to play his game. The great thing that our author does though is that we’re shown that they play the long game here – that it’s not instantaneous and that there’s value to this game of attraction.

As we get to know more about Eli, we realize that what he is on the surface to the public and the media isn’t who he truly is. He’s got a past filled with pain, and he values all that he has. He takes care of people and things in way that are unexpected and through this angle is how he’s able to break down Jade’s walls.

From there, we have this really sweet story of a budding friendship, stemming from Eli and Jade’s agreement to being friends. To Eli showing Jade how to cope with being a billionaire and how to live in this new world. At the same time though the continue to fight the chemistry that they have, and it’s thoroughly entertaining to see how this goes for them.

Jade agrees to 10 days with Eli and she’s shown the country in ways that she never was able to experience it before. She’s taught herself to loosen up and that’s a hard thing for her. Her brothers want her to be careful, her twin wants her to be reckless and Eli has a mix of both when it comes to how he feels about Jade. ESPECIALLY since he doesn’t do commitment but he can’t do without Jade.

What’s a nice twist here is that while the romance builds, a life changing accident happens which makes them pause and take stock of what is going on. Then another life threatening illness tears things apart and we’re left at a point where you have no hope for happiness and wealth for everyone.

Add in one last twist of a DNA test ping coming along, just when a happy ending seems like maybe it’s possible, and the story is flipped upside down again.

So what we have is a sweet romance, one that shows that you can’t judge someone without getting to know them. With that, we get intense romance, chemistry, magnetism. heat, passion – all the good stuff that makes you not want to put the book down and makes you upset when you’re done. So….i’m off to find book 2 which i think is out ….so enjoy!

Review: What the Boss Wants by Ava Sterling

Title: What the Boss Wants
Author:  Ava Sterling
Publisher/Year:  Red Lace Publishing 4/10/18
Length:   12 Pages

Overview

Would you share your husband with your boss?

Anna has never heard of a swingers club before. That is, until her friend at work shares a pamphlet with her. The club promises an experience she will never forget, and Anna has no doubt about that.

When Anna returns to the pamphlet, it’s nowhere to be found. Her boss, Emily, found it, but instead of being upset, she’s curious about it. Somehow in the process of explaining, Anna accidentally invites Emily and her husband over to her house.

But it’s clear from the start that this isn’t an innocent visit. Emily is intensely curious about swinging, and she sees this as an opportunity to satisfy her cravings.

Would you share your husband with your boss?

Anna has never heard of a swingers club before. That is, until her friend at work shares a pamphlet with her. The club promises an experience she will never forget, and Anna has no doubt about that.

When Anna returns to the pamphlet, it’s nowhere to be found. Her boss, Emily, found it, but instead of being upset, she’s curious about it. Somehow in the process of explaining, Anna accidentally invites Emily and her husband over to her house.

But it’s clear from the start that this isn’t an innocent visit. Emily is intensely curious about swinging, and she sees this as an opportunity to satisfy her cravings.

My Thoughts

Apparently the 5 year lull is a thing in a marriage, and that’s what we find in this novella from our amazing Ava Sterling. In this story, we have Anna who seems to think that she’s about to be romanced by her husband in prep for Valentine’s day, only to get the mundane and usual. She’s a bit let down and wonders where the spark went. When her friend at work brings up that they went through the same, and found a way to spice things up, well things take an exciting turn in her mind.

The fun doesn’t stop there though! Enter the boss – Dragon Lady Emily, who finds about the spicy plans, and well, work just got a whole lot more interesting. Anna isn’t the only one with the blah marriage, nor is her friend. Emily has the same issue, and well, now we’re in business.

Things move fairly quickly from there, Emily invites her husband and herself to Anna’s house and they surprise Anna’s husband Joe. Given that both couples are completely new to the sharing lifestyle, even though Emily seems to think that Anna knows all about it, we can only imagine how clumsy this can be. The boss that Anna’s spent time with thus far professionally takes a completely different persona now that they are out of work

WE get a hot steamy scene from here on out, seeing how the couples take charge with their new partner, and how that change the dynamic in the room. Ms Sterling gives us an exciting, intense scene where it’s not just a swap of husbands and wives, but that there’s a new shift in things which was unexpected…and hot.

The question that we have to ask though in our minds is how will this encounter change how the ladies are at work and will that have an impact on more than just the two of them? Do they think that this is something that’s real – the lifestyle or do they need to branch out to the club that sparked their interest to begin with? Will this new fun change the doldrums of their marriages and keep them happy? All great questions and ones that we will have to keep in our minds since we’re left at the jump – and this novella teases all the possibilities. Enjoy!

Review: The Skull Crusher (Skull #2) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Skull Crusher
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 5/7/19
Length:  187 Pages
Series:  Skull #2

Overview

Balto stole me from Lucian without raising a finger.

I thought I would finally be free, finally get my life back.

But Balto has other plans for me. Now I’m his prisoner. He’ll keep me and enjoy me as long as he wants.

Until Lucian gives him back the Skull Diamond.

I never want to return to Lucian again, not after being with a man like Balto. The only chance I have is to become more valuable than that diamond, to have Balto want me enough not to trade me back to Lucian.

But can I ever compete with a diamond worth billions?

My Thoughts

Oh how this story gets more and more complicated as we go. We were lulled into a false sense of security here thinking that Balto cared about Cassini, yet that wasn’t the case. She’s just a pawn in this game now that he knows who she’s married to, and as such, she’s a slave, a prisoner in an entirely different cage. One that seems like it could be better, if and only if Cassini is able to make herself the most valuable thing in the world.

The bulk of our story lies around this idea that Cassini is now in another hell, and she doesn’t know what to believe, she doesn’t know how safe she is and for how long, and she doesn’t know what to do with the fact that she trusted a man who seemed to care for her, seemed to want to protect her but really just wanted to use her.

The power and arrogance that Balto has is something that comes out on every page in this second installment. He’s confident that he can keep himself protected and safe, confident that he can remain the leader of the Skull Kings, confident that he can make Cassini do whatever he wants, because he’s so confident that she wants it. What he underestimates though is that Cassini is one of the strongest women out there and what he wants isn’t going to matter for long. He quickly finds that she has the control because she has what he wants. The sexuality and allure that no other woman has.

We spend much of this story wondering how Cassini will get her freedom back and remain happy. She needs to feel safe and wanted, and loved (liked even) and when she thought that she was getting that with Balto, she learned that she was wrong. What our author does here in the way that the story is written is that she keeps us on our toes. Whatever preconceived notions that we had of Balto and his organization, they are often flipped and changed around.

As is usually the case in this genre, in addition to a story that gives us so much torment, war, fighting and concern over trust, we also continue to get some of the deepest romance and engagement. We see that there’s so much more connection and desire between our mains and that’s partially because of raw animal connection but also partly due to the insanity that they live in.

When about 2/3 of the way through, Lucian reappears, learning that Balto and Cassini were having an affair before everything went down, war is declared. He’s on the hunt and he won’t compromise at all until he gets his wife back. Balto’s not about to let that happen, and we see the sheer terror that Cassini has at the prospect, but we know that there’s an inevitability here to see that a trade will happen soon. Because Cassini is a prisoner, once Balto gets what he’s after, she’s worth nothing to him. And that’s where we end this second book.

Balto agrees to a trade, and we know that Lucian is out for the maximum pain and punishment since he feels that not only was he betrayed by his wife, he’s been humiliated beyond recognition. Cassini overhears the planned trade, knows that there’s nothing left for her to do but resign herself to a painful death and then….end book.

Case and Dirk as quickly becoming favorites of mine in the story, as is Heath. What’s nice is that the brothers, the family in this series are not only supporting characters but characters that keep us grounded and emotionally bound. There’s a different bit at stake for them as they look at what Balto and Cassini are playing at, and to see how that dynamic is written into the story takes us to another level.

I’m left wondering what’s going to happen. Who’s going to die first and who will be responsible. What will have to be lost for anyone to find happiness and will a diamond, a skull diamond be at the center of it all forever. So, now i actually have to wait a bit since book 3 isn’t out until June, so i’ve got a lot of time to ponder. Enjoy!

Review: The Skull King (Skull #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Skull King
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 4/2/19
Length:   182 Pages
Series:  Skull #1

Overview

My husband is cruel, ruthless, and despicable.

I hate him with every fiber of my being.

The only reason I haven’t killed him or tried to run away is because of the promise I made. I sold myself to save someone I loved…and this is the price I have to pay.

I was sitting alone in a bar when the most handsome man walked inside. Striking blue eyes, cheekbones as sharp as glass, and a muscular body fit for a war. He was gorgeous. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. When he bought me a drink, I didn’t say no. I’d been unfulfilled for so long, and I wanted a real man for the night. My husband had his affairs so why couldn’t I?

I noticed the peculiar ring on his right hand, a diamond carved into a skull. If only I’d known what that meant, I would have known who this man was.

The Skull King.

A man more cruel and ruthless than my own husband.

My Thoughts

I love the world that our author Penelope Sky has introduced us to in all of the series that i’ve read so far. It’s a dark world of illegal ‘stuff’ in the heart of Italy, but those that we should fear the most are the ones that we truly want to love the most as well.

In this story – we get to learn more about a group that we heard a bit about in the Banker series. The Skull Kings have their leader, and that is Balto – our leading man. A guy who’s forced his way to the top of the food chain, has control of the entire country and all illegal activity that goes on, and what he wants he gets. He’s a man of his word, and when someone crosses that, he’s out for blood.

That’s where Cassini comes into play – because she gave up her freedom to save someone that she thought was worth saving and in return, he betrayed her, and she was stuck in a marriage to a man who was so intolerable, that her day to day life was too much for her to survive.

Similar to the chemistry that we saw in the Banker, the heat between Balto and Cassini when their paths cross for the first time, it’s explosive and it’s just a matter of time before we see how it plays out for them.

There’s so much tension throughout this story – we see how badly Cassini wants to find happiness in her life but that comes at a price, and without having to risk everything and everyone one, she knows that the future is bleak. Balto on the other hand is beyond confident, feeling that he’s untouchable that he’s willing to risk quiet a bit to get what he wants. Lucien, Cassini’s husband and the man that crossed Balto in the worst way is at the core to everyone’s unhappiness and has the ability to make things better. yet he’s selfish and won’t consider anything.

The way that this story plays out is that we see the push and pull of doing what’s right by reputation v. living the life that everyone wants. The theme of being true to your word is really the bottom line factor – and we see what happens to those who keep their word and those who don’t.

I feel like there’s a lot that we don’t get into in this story, and that makes me wonder if we’ll get more in the following installments or if there will be spin off series. Case and Dirk, Cassini’s brothers have their family business but they also have an underground business as well. I’m curious about their stories and what that means to Cassini’s future. We get teased but ntohing concrete.

We also meet Heath, Balto’s identical twin, and he starts to play a bigger role in this book but we don’t really scratch the surface much more on this one.

Where we are left off is at a point where we were just about to sigh and relax, but that’s not possible and freedom is impossible. One man takes what belongs to another when resolutions aren’t made and that means that we see hearts broken, relationships broken, and there’s a whole new smell of fear in the air.

Also, in true Penelope Sky form, it’s not just fear in the air but the smell of lust and sex. There’s a chemistry between our main characters that’s hot and they don’t even try to contain it. Cassini knows what she wants, and owns it with her strength. Balto is a man that doesn’t apologize ever, and when he sees that there’s an obstacle to get what he wants, he plows through.

I’m curious to see how this plays out because i really want to see how hard and mean Balto is but i want something better for Cassini. Lucien I can do without honestly, so i’m excited to read on to see how this plays out. Enjoy!

Review: The Tyrant (The Banker #3) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Tyrant
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 3/19/19
Length:   205 Pages
Series:  Banker #3

Overview

I’ve fallen in love with Cato, and I’m not afraid to say it.

He doesn’t need to say it back. I know how he feels.

Even if he doesn’t have the balls to admit it.

Our daughter will be here soon, and our lives will change forever.

Will Cato let go of the past? Let go of the promise he made to execute me?

Or should I have never come back?

My Thoughts

Oh what a crazy roller coaster we are still on with these two. They are in sooo deep with each other yet both so uncompromising with their beliefs and needs. We were left off on such a cliff last time around that it’s no surprise that this third and final installment has the same and more.

We know that their relationship is true, and real, even if Cato is afraid to admit it. Siena, being the strong woman that she is, she doesn’t need to hear the words since she experiences the protection and love every day. So throughout her pregnancy, when she’s not feeling the best, when she’s not feeling sexy, Cato is right there to make her feel loved.

They have crossed the bridge where things are just for optics – just so that Cato feels like he’s doing what he needs to do in order to keep his reputation intact. Bates still has an unbelievable amount of hatred and distrust in Siena, and it’s through this story that we continue to have hope that it can change.

The underlying themes here though are protection, trust, loyalty and love. We know the demise of Siena’s family and how that really puts fear and concern in every moment of her life, especially now as she’s got the baby to worry about. She was a target once and her baby will become even more of one after birth. The question that we constantly ask ourselves here though is who will come to her rescue when the time is needed, and….is she the one that needs rescuing.

Bates actually becomes a character that you want to root for. that you want to know more about because our author begins to write him in more, begins to give him much more of an active role, and not just in the business itself. Sets us up for his spinoff series which i’m sure is in the making!

Bates prompts Cato to take action that we truly thought we were past. He wants Siena to pay for what happened at the beginning of things and when Cato is convinced to go through with the need to kill her, even for optics, that’s when you have to wonder where the story took a wrong turn. Thankfully Cato has morals and love, but Bates at this point is still questionable, and when shots are fired, and Siena is shot in the head….well all bets are off.

That’s the other roller coaster that we have in this story. Bates is a wild card. With Siena, with Cato. I have to wonder honestly if he’s got some other motivation here and wants the entire business because he’s not just ambitious but he’s greedy. That’s something that i hold onto throughout much of this story.

Then there’s the unknown that we have here. Bates seems to think that Damien and Micah are plotting something since their businesses have gone dark, and Cato is so into his relationship and family that hes’ not seeing what’s right in front of his nose. When catastrophe hits, someone gets kidnapped, someone has a rogue idea for a rescue, and many people die, go to the brink of death….this is where we see the story start to take a new turn.

Even when we think that this may be the beginning of the closure that we need, there are still a good 60 pages or so to go, so we know that it can’t be it. What we learn is that there’s never closure, there’s never compromise and there’s never an opportunity to settle down and resolve things. Comfort and predictability are impossible in this lifestyle and we see that as the story comes to a close. Anything that you hoped for, wished for throughout the first two books becomes up in the air, and we’re left with an ending that’s not exactly playing out as you’d expect.

What this does, this flow of the story – it makes you so engrossed that you have to read on. I started this book yesterday and honestly, when i should have gone to sleep, i couldn’t put it down. I had to continue reading to see how it played out. To see how the intense chemistry that we came to love in books one and two play out in the finale. Where we had grit and raunch before, we have romance and compassion. But that’s not how this story was designed from inception so that’s not something that could lead to a happy ending right? Read it…you’ll appreciate it…and then tell me what you think. Enjoy!

Review: The Dictator (The Banker #2) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Dictator
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 2/19/19
Length:   196 Pages
Series:  Banker #2

Overview

The only reason I’m still alive is because of the baby growing inside me.

My baby saved my life.

Now I’m a prisoner inside Cato’s fortress. He’s pissed at me, livid every time he looks at me. He refuses to sleep with me because now I’m the enemy.

But I miss him…and he misses me.

I only slept with Cato to save my father, but now he means something to me. I care about him, and I know he cares about me. 

Can I earn his forgiveness? Can I earn his trust?

But even if I do, will he shoot me anyway?

My Thoughts

I have to say that i’m completely sucked into this series now – it’s intense still – even as we get into book 2 and while you think that there may be some resolutions, we’re left off on yet another cliff where we don’t know the direction the future will take.

As you’ll remember, at the end of the first book, Cato learns the truth about what Siena was there for – that she was playing him to get her father back. When she realizes that she can’t go through with turning him over to anyone, it’s still too late and she’s about to lose everything. Or will she?

Just like the summary says, thankfully, she thinks she’s pregnant. And when she’s forced to take a test, thankfully it comes back positive. The anger that Cato has is diminished slightly because while he’s hard and has this pact to never have a family, he actually wants this baby so that he can prove that he’s not his father. It’s a stay of life for Siena for the next nine months, and being the stubborn and strong woman that she is, she seems to think that it’s also an opportunity to make Cato realize that there’s still something real and that she made the decision at the last moment to save his life as well.

That’s the journey that we go on in this second installment. The roller coaster of Cato hating Siena but not really hating her. wanting to punish her because he feels that he needs to in order to maintain his hard reputation, as well as dealing with the fact that Bates hates her, knew she was trouble and wants Siena dead as well. The challenge of course is that we saw through the first book that both Siena and Cato affected each other in ways that no one ever imagined possible, and that it’s not just about sex with them, that there’s a deeper connection and one that’s almost impossible to walk away from.

There are moments of hope in this book, we see that Cato compromises in some places but not in others – not in the ones that matter. We see siena come to terms with her fate and make a decision to escape and we see her life for what it could be out of captivity. Landon plays a bigger role in this story – he’s turning into the family that Siena never had and that’s exactly what she needed. We also see Giovanni, Cato’s Butler take on a new and expanded role that humanizes Cato a bit more.

We also get to spend time with Cato’s mother. All because of Bates but honestly, we should just thank him even when his intentions weren’t pure. Cato’s mom adores Siena from the moment she learns that she’s going to be a grandmother, and Siena chooses to play her cards right with the mom and gets a new ally. There’s really no positive purpose for this aside from trying to make Cato see that she’s not pure evil.

The way that Ms Sky, our author writes this story is still intensely hot and passionate. There’s still all that same dirty grit to it which makes it a must read, and a book that you can’t put down (i mean, i read it in a night and while that’s not unheard of, these days it’s rare). The way that these characters interact both in and out of bed is hot. The supplemental characters build the story so much faster and with such depth that you know that there’s more to the story than what we’re getting right now too.

The themes of honor, trust, loyalty…they are still at the forefront with the huge question mark of whether there’s room for love and if there’s even a chance for it to happen for anyone here. The baby will be loved – Siena’s making sure of it, but will that be enough? i guess that’s what we’ll learn in the finale in book 3. Can’t wait to dive into it right now. Enjoy!

Review: The Banker (Banker #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Banker
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 1/22/19
Length:   184 Pages
Series:  Banker #1

Overview

They’ve taken my father. They’ll take me next unless I comply with their demands.

Taking down the most powerful man in Italy.

Cato Marino.

The man is accompanied by his security team everywhere he goes. His fortress in Tuscany is impenetrable. He’s the most paranoid man in the country.

And there’s no possibility I’ll be able to take him down alone.

If I want to save my father, I only have one option.

To get into Cato’s bed…and stay there. 

My Thoughts

I was looking for something to read and thankfully i saw this cover and description in my hunt because this first installment to the Banker Series was a great one. It’s so much grittier and dirtier than what i’ve been reading lately and that’s exactly what i needed.

What we have here is the introduction (at least for me) to the Italian underworld – where Siena, our main character find her quiet life that she managed to construct turned upside down. Her father has his own less than savory business, illegal in nature, with the intention to grow his territory. When that happens though, it means that he’s going to piss someone else off who’s likely just as powerful if not more, and that’s what happens. Siena had been lucky enough to break away from her father’s business, especially after her mother was killed, and she’s sucked back in when her father is kidnapped and her brother is on the run.

In order to save her father, she has to do the impossible and turn over another guy – the most powerful man in the underground. And a man that’s as powerful as he is sexy. Impossible task for sure.

As you can imagine, we get to see a story unfold that’s built on blatant distrust, but a hope for something more. Both Siena and Cato have their demons, and secrets, but they are able to see things about the other that no one else can. She sees what Cato needs – someone who’s not afraid of him. She also sees into his soul – that’s he bored and unsettled because he’s more human than anyone wants to believe. Cato in turn sees a woman who wants to maintain control, power, and who wants to be loved but who has family loyalty at the heart of everything and that causes problems.

The challenge that they face is that their relationship is completely built on lies, and those lies are going to come and bite them in the ass – someone’s going to end up dead since that’s what happens in this life, and we can only wonder if it’ll be Siena, Cato, Bates (his brother), Landon (her brother) or her father. or someone else.

Add to all that complexity some intense and dirty sex. Cato is a man who loves kink, but gives it up for Siena. Instead, we get some raunchy, nasty sex (and all of those words are being used in the most positive way – believe me). It’s so hot that you have to want to hope for the best even when you know that it’ll never be. So, we are left when someone’s being executed and everything that we wished for comes crashing down. I can’t wait to get into book 2, and i’ve just bought it so let’s get to it! Enjoy!

Review: Her Submission (Dirtier Duet) by Lisa Renee Jones

Title: Her Submission
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Lisa Renee Jones 4/23/19
Length:   196 Pages
Series:  Dirtier Duet #2

Overview

The second and final book in the Dirtier Duet by Lisa Renee Jones.

Abbie swore that she was done with rich, powerful men. They’ve hurt her. They’ve hurt her mother, who she will do anything to protect. She’s done playing the submissive. She’s ready to fight back.

The problem is that Gabe Maxwell is one of those rich, powerful men and he refuses to be ignored. He’s in her path and she can’t seem to steer clear of him. He wants her. She wants him. But it’s not that simple.

There is more to her story, more than Gabe knows, but then, there is more to Gabe’s story than Abbie knows, too.

My Thoughts

Thank goodness i didn’t have to wait long to get this second and final installment to Gabe’s story because i don’t know that i could have lasted! We were left on such a ledge at the end of the first installment that there was too much running through my head on where this story could go.

As we all know from every other story in the complimentary series, Ms Lisa Renee Jones gives us a run for our money. Families that have so much darkness and deceit and couples that only want to find a happy way to be together, love each other and create a future. When we left book 1, there was a strong chance that Gabe and Abbie’s happiness and love was something that was impossible, and with the death of Kenneth, her husband, well we were even more so confused and conflicted.

This is where the bulk of this story lies – trying to determine who was behind the murder and what was going to happen from there. We know that there are a lot of people who wanted Kenneth dead, but we also know that Abbie would be the focus. The bigger issues that arise though, and that were hinted at in the first book are that the Maxwell father was likely behind this all and was angling to hurt the family worse than they hurt him by forcing him out of the business. Add to that, Jean Claude had a lot at stake and well, billionaires all have enemies that i’m sure someone else was angered too.

Throughout this story we see Abbie’s attempt to dig deeper into what drives Gabe, and what’s underneath the persona that he puts out there, and he’s a tough one. We all know that KM is the thing that he wants buried, especially since he seems to think that Abbie will leave him and think him a monster if he learns the truth, but what they both need to do is trust each other more with their secrets to know that neither will break because what they feel for each other is real and unique.

Abbie goes out of her way to push Gabe away – she runs because she thinks she’s protecting him, but that’s not something that he’s going to allow since he’s so alpha. Gabe in turn does his fair share of trying to prove himself unworthy while at the same time pushing Abbie to share more than she’s comfortable.

We all know where this will all net out – really strong chemistry that leaps off the pages like they are flames. on fire – and that’s what these two have. The most intense chemistry to rival that of all the other stories. The question becomes though, is their connection to each other and to Dexter the dog enough to pull them through everything intact?

Who’s behind the murder? How far involved is Mr Maxwell and what will that mean for Reid and Gabe since we know that they have been pushed way too far? How involved will the walkers be in all this and will we turn a corner fast enough for hope? Can futures be imagined and in what sense?

There’s one more sweet thing that we get from this story. The love story and hope for Abbie’s mom. We see that while she’s dealing with the loss of her business and the hope that she can have of the shelter in the Hamptons, we also see the entry of Brandon, a billionaire (blech) that comes to save things when moments are bleak, and not only does he help give professional support, there’s romance in the air there as well. IF i know LRJ, I can only assume that we’ll get a story there too since no billionaire stone must go unturned. So on that note, i hope you guys have enjoyed this duet and if you haven’t, you should go get it already and then let me know what you think. Enjoy!