Review: Rise of a Dynasty (SINS #3) by Emma Slate

Title: Rise of a Dynasty
Author:  Emma Slate
Publisher/Year:  Tabula Rosa Publishing 3/3/21
Length:  280 Pages
Series: Sins #3

Overview

I can’t believe we’re alive.

After what we’ve just been through, I love him more than anything.

But when I discover Flynn has been keeping a secret, it exposes the cracks in our marriage.

I thought our bond was unbreakable.

To survive what’s coming, we’ll have to face the sins of our past together.

I’ll do anything for Flynn…

Even if it means making a deal with the devil.

My Thoughts

The first two installments were really allowing us to find our footing with this story, with our characters, and in this third book, we have utter chaos and insanity. There’s really no moment for relaxation or reprieve…instead there are attacks constantly and at every angle, with the hopes of ripping relationships and families apart. Will whomever is behind it succeed? I think they just might.

We start off this story with Flynn and Barrett on their long awaited honeymoon. They’re taking time away to spend it alone, without kids in the hope to find what their relationship was based on – the romance and attraction and companionship between them. They’re able to succeed until they’re not.

Throughout this story we watch deaths amass, alliances form amongst differing mafia organizations, and the hunt for who’s truly behind it all. We watch as Flynn and Barrett and everyone celebrate the opening of the Rex in Vegas, just to have it thrown in their face when a scandal tears their family apart.

Someone’s out to pin Flynn for cheating on Barrett, and when we learn that woman is pregnant, we know that not only can it not be Flynn, we realize that it was Duncan…or was it? Duncan and Ash are in a good place at the onset of this story, but that dalliance throws them into a tailspin and we see that their relationship is doomed.

Add to that, Sasha is now dating a woman named Quinn who has ties somewhat to Flynn’s family, and yet, there’s so much distrust between them. She’s worried that Barrett will go after Sasha since it’s clear that Sasha is still in love with her, and we watch that relationship struggle to find it’s footing.

Several of our favorites are kidnapped and several characters end up dead. Like I noted before, we find ourselves aligned with the most powerful drug kings in Argentina, we are in debt to the White Company all of a sudden and we find out that the person behind the mass of killings isn’t someone we suspected and the person who’s after Flynn is someone that we should have expected.

There’s the constant question of trust and loyalty, the worry that there will always be someone to watch out for over their shoulder and the notion that there’s never going to be a moment of calm in their lives. is that what they want and is that something they can survive? The only way to find out is to read through this story, through the epilogue and see if the next book takes us to a place that makes things any more clear. Enjoy!

Blog Tour: Mix Tape by Brittany Cherry

Author Brittainy Cherry Writes Her Own Mixtape

Hi, Everyone! I’m Brittainy Cherry, author of The Mixtape, a contemporary romance novel. I am so excited to share Oliver and Emery’s story with you all. These two characters are both struggling through life in their own ways, and it is through music and love that they find their way back to themselves and each other. 

The Mixtape could’ve never come together without my own mixtape of sorts to help guide the way to this novel. Music not only plays a huge role in the story, but also in my personal life, so of course I had to whip up my own mixtape as I wrote this story. For example, my playlist began with “Godspeed” by the extremely talented James Blake that set the mood of the story. His tones and lyrics wrapped me up into a warm hug and I allowed the song to move me as I crafted Oliver’s character. 

Then, we moved into “Soldiers” by Rachel Platten which is a powerful song about taking moments to breathe in order to move forward for another day, like soldiers in the night. It’s a song that showcases the strength of our heroine, Emery, who is a single mother, trying her best to create a better life for her young daughter. 

I had the best time tying in songs like “Slow Dance” by AJ Mitchell (feat. Ava Max) to show the slow burn between Emery and Oliver falling together, followed by their first kiss being written to the song, “Can I Kiss You?” by Dahl. 

The whole story was wrapped up with a classic, “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” by the Spinners, which sums up what I hope you experience reading this novel: a mixtape of emotions which lead to you falling in love with the love story of Emery and Oliver. I hope this novel heals you the same way music soothes my soul. 

The Mixtape Excerpt

Sometimes the world didn’t make sense. No parent should’ve ever had to bury their own child. I couldn’t even imagine that kind of pain that raced through her heartbeats on a daily basis. If I could offer up only one set of prayers for the remainder of my life, it would be for the parents who had to say goodbye too early on to their own. 

Those hearts would always beat a little slower in my mind. 

“I’m so sorry, Michelle.” 

“Thank you, sweetheart.” She reached out and patted my hand, and I knew it was because she needed a hand to hold. So, I wrapped both of mine around hers. “The mourning doesn’t get easier. It just get quieter. Some days, I still cannot get out of bed, but I’m blessed. Because Richard stays in bed with me and my quietness. Then, when it’s time for me to get up, he pulls me to my feet, and we dance. A piece of advice—find yourself a man who would dance with you even when your heart is broken.” Her eyes flashed with tears and she held my hands tighter. “You want to know a secret?” 

“Yes.” 

“I thought I was going to lose Oliver, too. He kept everyone so far away. So, when I flew out here, I prepared myself for the worst. I thought he’d be in a drunken slumber or, worse…so much worse. Last time I came a few weeks ago, he wasn’t doing too well. But this time? This time I came back and he’s smiling.” 

“That’s so good.” 

She smiled brightly up at me as tears freely danced down her cheekbones. “So thank you.” 

“I didn’t do anything,” I swore. 

“You’re the only difference in his life since I came back. Plus, there’s the way he looks at you when you’re not looking. Now, sweetheart, I don’t know what you did, but I’m almost positive that you helped bring my son back to life after he was holding death’s hand. Call it my mother’s intuition. So, thank you for helping him. Even if it’s just by being his friend.” 

Now I was tearing up, and I pulled her into a tight hug. “You’re an amazing mother,” I whispered, and she began to cry harder. 

“You have no clue how hard it is to believe that each day.” 

I think all mothers thought that. The ones who doubted her mothering skills, were sometimes the ones who were trying their best day in and day out. I didn’t expect the conversation with Michelle to go the direction that it had, but I was glad it had taken that path, because it was clear we both had some healing corners of our heart that had to be touched that evening. 

“Oh, don’t tell me you two are wine drunk and emotion,” Richard cut in, walking in our direction. “We were just picking out a song for two seconds and we turn around to find you both moping.” 

“Oh hush, Richard. Can’t us girls have a moment every now and again?” Michelle remarked, standing to her feet. 

“Yes, but for now, we dance to The Spinners, my lady.” Richard reached out for his wife and took her into his arms as they began swaying to the song, Could It Be I’m Falling In Love. Richard serenaded Michelle as she smiled and melted into him like a perfectly fit puzzle piece. 

Oliver came to stand beside me as we both watched his parents fall more and more in love with one another. 

“This was their wedding song,” Oliver mentioned. “Dad recorded it, and they danced to it for their first dance.” 

“Oh my gosh, how sweet is that,” I swooned. True romance. 

“They dance to it every single night. On the good days and bad days. Especially on the bad days.” 

“They’re what I want my love to look like,” I confessed. Oliver gave me a tight smile but didn’t say anything. I shifted around for a minute before looking toward him once more. “Do you want to dance with me?”

***

About the Book

Title: The Mixtape

Author: Brittainy Cherry

Release Date: July 1, 2021

Publisher: Montlake

Summary

Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them—no support system—any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.

Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.

He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?

About the Author

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and a minor in creative writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing—poorly, of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in. Cherry lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her family. When she’s not running a million errands and crafting stories, she’s probably playing with her adorable pets.

Social Media Outlets

Website http://www.bcherrybooks.com/ 

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/BrittainyCherryAuthor 

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/brittainycherry 

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/bcherryauthor 

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Review: Birth of a Queen (Sins #2) by Emma Slate

Title: Birth of a Queen
Author:  Emma Slate
Publisher/Year:  Tabula Rosa Publishing 3/3/21
Length:  348 Pages
Series: Sins #2

Overview

I charmed the playboy.

I married the billionaire.

I became a criminal.

Flynn Campbell is mine.

I’m his wife, and the mother of his first born son.

We’re in love.

Our world is perfect…

And then a traitor threatens everything I hold sacred.

There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to protect my family.

There isn’t any place on earth they can hide from me now.

Run, traitor.

I’m coming for you.

My Thoughts

In this second installment we get to see Barrett really take to Scottish life. She studied the history and loved all that was Scotland before she met Flynn, so now that she’s married, with a baby and living there, everything that she could want has come to her.

Until someone takes it all away.

We remember from the first book that Flynn was part of the SINS, an organization that’s trying to free Scotland, and the FBI among other agencies want to disband them. That put a target on their back before, but this time it’s worse.

We’re in Scotland, on the eve of Ash and Duncan’s wedding (YES they got together) and the unimaginable happens. someone gets into the party and kills Malcolm (the leader of the SINS and Duncan’s father (Flynn’s adoptive father)) and gravely wounds Duncan. Wedding is off, and the balance of the story is hunting down who’s behind it.

If that weren’t enough, while Flynn and Barrett are on a fact finding mission in London, someone betrays them and kidnaps their son Hawk in the middle of it all. That’s below the belt and we watch what that transforms Barrett into. She was a woman who knew nothing of this world before, but she’s murdered plenty already in the first book so it’s anyone’s guess what she’ll do now to get her son back.

This is a mystery of sorts, trying to determine who’s behind all the betrayals, whos trying to overthrow the power of the SINS and then figure out the motives. We learn that there are several government agencies involved around the world and that makes things even messier.

Barrett is Kidnapped

Flynn is ambushed and gravely wounded

there’s a new set of babies on the way

a new future for the SINS

Just a huge question around what the future of the SINS looks like and who will be at the helm. Enjoy!

Review: Sins of a King (Sins #1) by Emma Slate

Title: Sins of a King
Author:  Emma Slate
Publisher/Year:  Tabula Rosa Publishing 3/2/21
Length:  348 Pages
Series: Sins #1

Overview

I can’t breathe without him.

Playboy. Billionaire. Criminal.

I should hate him for what he’s done to me, but I’m powerless to resist him.

His touch engulfs me.

His demands conquer me.

But Flynn Campbell isn’t who I thought he was.

Suddenly, I’m thrust into a world of seduction and sin.

Ensnared by danger and power, foreign desires burn within me.

It’s time to embrace the darkness…

And become a queen.

My Thoughts

I’m always a fan of a free intro book to a series, and didn’t really know what I was about to get myself into here. We don’t know much about what’s looming on the horizon when we meet our main character Barrett. She’s going to meet her brother who doesn’t seem like much of a good brother and we quickly learn why. He became her guardian when her parents passed away and as a result, he’s resented her. Now he needs something from her and this is what changes everything that she knew, and everything that she wanted.

Flynn Campbell is the man who changes everything for her. He owns several businesses, one of which is how he’s come to know Barrett and her brother, and as a means of paying off her brother’s debt to Flynn, Barrett now has to work off what he owes to Flynn. You would likely imagine something quite nefarious however Flynn needs to find out who’s bringing drugs into one of his clubs, so she’s working on the up and up.

As we all can imagine, we watch the chemistry that they had from the very first moment grow into something that they try to stop and can’t. There’s heat and something deeper there, however Barrett wants to solve his problems before going down that path. Unfortunately, this story seems deep into the mob underbelly and we watch how anything you want will be taken away.

Barrett figures out who’s behind the drugs, but in the same breath, she’s also kidnapped from Flynn. There are attempts on people’s lives, plans devised in the hopes of escape, murder….and to top it all off, an FBI inquest.

so, we’re left at the end of this first book with a power struggle, an attempt to right some wrongs and make the future into something different, something perhaps a bit more legit, however that’s got to be impossible, and we don’t know where that will leave us.

Relationships are developing, solidified and forged. There are a few that we hope for and a few that we are uncertain about. One that brings us heartbreak because it’s so pure. So, on that note, i’m off to find out more about Barrett becoming a queen – Enjoy!

Review: Mafia King (DiLustro Arrangement #2) by CD Reiss

Title: Mafia King
Author:  CD Reiss
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 6/15/21
Length:  250 Pages
Series: DiLustro Arrangement #2

Overview

Santino is my king. My lover. My husband.

He’s the head of the Cavallo crime family and the moment he choked my vows from me, my life was bound to his.

I’m done fighting my fate, until I hear two rumors, and I’m shaken to the core.

One rumor about the past—that I wasn’t the first bride Santino took.

Another about the future—a new bride is about to be taken.

Changing the old ways is like dousing the flames of hell with tears.

But I married the devil himself, and when I vowed to obey, I lied.

My Thoughts

We were left at the end of the first book with unsettling information being shared and as a result, all the emotions that Violetta was feeling were now unbalanced. She wants to love this man, her king, but she also doesn’t trust anything that he says since it turns out that he was engaged to her sister first and the ring she has was her sisters. So she’s not truly the chosen sister. or is she?

This second installment takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions, actions and passion. Violetta wants to hate him with everything that she is, yet she finds that her body and her heart won’t allow it. She fights him, but she then realizes that she can’t win that fight so she finally succumbs (after about 50% of the book).

There are several plot lines to follow in this one. The first is understand the story and the details behind Santino’s relationship with Rosetta and what that stemmed from and became. Once Violetta realized that there really wasn’t the same level of intimacy, the same connection, the same reason to be together and that sets that bit of the story right.

There’s also the plot that reveals who Violetta’s father really was – what his role was back ‘on the other side’ and what that means for her safety now. Santino has claim to many things, but his relationship with Violetta isn’t necessarily by the books, which leaves a few loose ends that will come to haunt us as the book goes on.

Then we have Gia, Santino’s cousin who’s being sold into another marriage, much like Violetta believed she was. Gia’s happy about the deal, but Violetta is so against the notion of these debt brides that she continues to fight Santino to change how things are, to make things different and that causes all sorts of ‘wars’ to happen in their territory.

Where we’re left at the end of this story is a gun fight, a scheme that goes awry and the unknowns of who’s going to live, who’s going to have the secrets saved or revealed and what that means for the future. There’s a treasure at stake here that Santino and Violetta are trying to claim as it’s her birth right and someone from Santi’s past is trying to take hold.

I”m bummed that we have to wait for October to get this final installment to see what happens since we’re really thrown by the last few scenes in this book. It’s insane, intense and full of lies. We’ve learned that people aren’t trustworthy and the one person who pulls the trigger is the LAST person that we ever thought would do it. I’ll have to be patient, but i’ll also tell you guys to enjoy this one!

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

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

Overview

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

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

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

Easy, right? Not even close.

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

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

There’s only one way to find out…

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

A line was drawn in the sand.

I made my choice.

I picked her over him.

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overview

I’m alone on Earth and Neil is gone.

He may never come back.

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

Kyle gives me an option I can’t refuse.

So I take it.

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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