Review: Sinner’s Game (Saints and Sinners #4) by J Kenner

TitleSinner’s Game
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 2/15/22
Length:  300 pages
Series: Saints and Sinners #4


What’s more dangerous-a killer attraction that breaks all the rules, or the true killer who’s closing in?

Security consultant Ronan Thorne might be sex on a stick, but that doesn’t mean I should want him. After all, I’m Brandy Bradshaw, the Girl With the Worst Luck With Men. As for that one kiss we shared? That was nothing but a drunken mistake between friends. I know perfectly well that Ronan’s not a relationship guy. He’s got dark edges and dangerous secrets and so many scars.

But when I find my landlord dead in my living room, shot with a single bullet to the head, Ronan’s the man I cling to. I feel safe in his arms, and he has the skills to figure out what’s happening.

Except what he learns is that a case of mistaken identity has made me the next target.

Now we’re on the run together, but I’m not prepared for the heat that flares between us, or the tantalizing things he does to my body when we give in to temptation. He soothes my fear by showing me a different type of danger, sensuous and wild. It’s miraculous and wonderful, but terrifying, too. Because as soon as we catch the killer, I’m afraid Ronan will leave. And when he does, I know my heart will shatter.

My Thoughts

It’s been a minute since i’ve been in the mix with this series but it was a good jump back in since I haven’t been reading as much (i’m sure you guys are bummed by that). this week though I dug back into my library and found a story that I had ordered but not read so back into the world of Ronan and Brandy.

We’re coming off the wedding of Ellie and Devlin and we remember why their story was so complicated. Now it’s time to see if the chemistry that’s been building between Brandy and Ronan is something real or if they put up too many walls to make it happen.

We know that Brandy’s past was a bit of a struggle, she doesn’t trust men since they’ve always hurt her and she’s far too scarred. What we also know about Ronan is that he’s got this past as well that was rooted in love but then ended up with a death, not only of his first love but of his unborn baby as well.

So here we are, back in CA when things are starting to get messy in personal lives and complicated in professional.

Ronan has been on a manhunt for the man who actually murdered his love all those years ago, even if it was at the order of his father. He now has intel on where the man is and needs to take some time to go after him.

Then there’s brandy – she’s seeing success with her line of bags and she’s getting the good rewards that she’s been hoping for. Until of course she cross paths unexpectedly with the man who owns her house, and the reaction is scary and unexpected.

Low and behold, a chance encounter on the street ends up in a dead body in her house and a search to find out who the killer is, who the target was and what that means for everyone. The story we go on is a twisted on.

The murderer has Brandy’s face. The victim is her landlord. The connection is unknown.

They go into hiding – Ronan promises to protect her but at what cost? They recognize that there’s an attraction – that much is obvious since the air between them sizzles, but yet they aren’t able to act on it since they are both so protective of their feelings. Brandy can’t be casual and Ronan thinks that he’s too damaged to do more than that.

We watch them dance around each other, and we watch them go on the run, thinking they are safe but realizing that there’s nothing that can save them from what’s coming. It’s dynamic and it’s engaging and what we see at the end of this story in the form of a resolution is both a bit expected and a bit surprising. I’m a bit sad that we only get one book for their story but at least we got that much! so….now I have to find something else to read but you all should enjoy!

Review: Heart of Stone (Stone #1) by Dakota Willink

TitleHeart of Stone
Author: Dakota Willink
Publisher/Year:  Dakota Willink 12/27/15
Length:  442 pages
Series: Stone #1


ound by need. Entwined in secrets…


I had dreams and aspirations, none of which included a man by my side. Been there, done that.

Then I forgot my cellphone, and all of my carefully laid plans went to hell.

He wasn’t supposed to be there when I fell.

I wasn’t supposed to get lost in a sea of sapphire blue when he helped me up.

And he wasn’t supposed to be Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate tycoon.

I saw the dark promises in his eyes when he looked at me.

But the shadows of my past haunted me, making me afraid to explore the possibilities I could never before have imagined.


I was used to getting what I wanted.

I understood the value of finesse and patience to achieve the desired result.

But a chance run-in with Krystina Cole quickly turned my world upside down.

She was strong, determined, devastatingly beautiful-and stubborn as hell.

Her quick wit and firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what I wanted in a woman.

But I still wanted to claim her.

Tame her.

Make her mine.

And I always get what I want.

My Thoughts

I kept getting this book and series as a suggestion of things to read so of course I had to dive right in. The subject matter is always one that interests me – I love to see someone’s eyes opened to the world of non-vanilla activities, and watch how someone comes out of their shell to realize that there truly is more to it than kink and pain.

What we get in this story is a girl who’s come out of a relationship where she felt controlled, he cheated and she now has trouble trusting men. She will never put herself back in that position. Add to that, she’s living in a city where she’s trying to find her footing and she’s having a tough time at it. Her dream is to work at an Advertising agency, and yet right now she’s working in a grocery store since that’s what she was able to get. It’s not until the owner of the store looks to sell because he needs the money that Krystina’s life changes

Enter Alexander Stone. A mogul and a man who’s direct and precise about what he wants in every facet of his life. He’s got many companies and he’s trying to create a name for himself outside of the empire that his father built. He needs control, requires it, but when he sees Krystina for the first time, he realizes that the notion of control with her goes to a different level.

What we have in this story is typical of others in the genre. There’s a man who’s a firm and strong dominant – needs to be like that in everything he does, but he finds that he has this softer side towards Krystina. He is not the relationship type, but he’s going that route with her. He’s never been one to really be patient with a sub who didn’t know the lifestyle and yet he’s willing to take his time and introduce her to things in the right way so that she can make her own opinions.

This story is a slow build – you get to see a lot of hedging on what they are each willing to compromise to be ‘happy’. Happy is relative in this sense since I think that they are both masochists in their own way and don’t want to allow themselves to be happy. It’s a roller coaster of sorts in terms of building trust, understanding perspective and realizing what they are willing to do or give up to make someone else comfortable.

I wanted to like this book – I had such high hopes, but what I will say is that while intentional in nature, the characters make me a bit nuts. it took me far longer to read this first installment than it should have and it’s giving me much hesitation to find the next one. I want to love it, I love the idea of a girl who’s learning a new world and a guy who realizes that he can compromise, but…..this one is not necessarily the right one for me. we’ll see. I rarely let a book beat me! Enjoy!

Review: Hard Code (Hard Stuff #1) by Misha Bell

TitleHard Code
Author: Misha Bell
Publisher/Year:  Mozalka Publications 1/12/21
Length:  200 pages
Series: Hard Stuff #1


My new assignment at work: test out toys. Yup, that kind.

Well, technically, it’s to test the app that controls the toys remotely.

One problem? The showgirl who’s supposed to test the hardware (as in, the actual toys) joins a nunnery.

Another problem? This project is important to my Russian boss, the broody, mouthwateringly sexy Vlad, a.k.a. The Impaler.

There’s only one solution: test both the software and the hardware myself… with his help.

My Thoughts

The compilation book that i’m finding all these recent reads is definitely not the normal style of book that i’d read – right genre, but maybe a bit too generic for my liking. doesn’t mean that others won’t like it. it was an easy read and something to read on the train and subway through my commute yesterday and this morning.

So, what we have here is a little story about Fanny (yup, Fanny – last name Pack) who’s a coder by profession and who likes things in the quirky sort of way. She’s trying to move ahead in the company that she’s at by trying to work her way into the development team – and to do that she’s created an app that’s she’s submitted for review. While she’s waiting on anything to come of that, she’s got an assignment to work on a new project – testing sex toys for her boss.

Enter Vlad. the owner and founder of Binary Birch, the company that this story centers around. He’s a bit elusive to some – not much information to be found about him online, no social media presence and really most of the people in the company have never seen him so they don’t know what he looks like. Just that there are rumors and nicknames given to him. Makes for an awkward introduction between our two main characters – when he over hears what she has to say about him and doesn’t realize who he is.

Anyway -back on track here – we watch as this story progresses – how Fanny is put into a situation that’s quite out of the norm for her (big surprise in this genre) and she’s forced to be the tester rather than have the person she was going to pay to be the tester. What makes an even better dynamic is that there are both male and female toys, so that means that we have to watch her try to recruit a guy to participate as well.

Low and behold, through circumstances, Vlad becomes that person. And the story unfolds from there. We watch how they bond over shared interests (oddly enough computers, college, guinea pigs…..) and then we see the attraction build between them while they work through the testing, especially since this is an incredibly important project for Vlad – we learn that the toy company belongs to his sister and that’s why it’s even more important that all goes well in the needed amount of time.

What happens in this story is some really good foreplay at least – we watch the interactions between them with the toys turn into something that’s quite real in reality – assuming that they let themselves go down that path. There’s usually a dynamic of boss / employee that we have to watch out for but shockingly that’s not a thing here. Instead its just cattiness from others who are there and rumors that are started to make work uncomfortable.

Family plays a role, friends play a role and we see how things can all be resolved in a nice fast way in this installment of what I gather is a series. We’ll get to learn more about Vlad’s brother and sister if I read the other books properly. I don’t know that i’ll dive into them yet, I need something a bit deeper to read for a while, but i’m sure i’ll come back to it at some point. enjoy!

Review: Fluffy (Do-Over #1) by Julia Kent

Title: Fluffy
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year:  Proasaic Press 6/22/22
Length:  284 pages


It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.

I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.

Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.

See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.

Until it was too late.

The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day. The perfect job!

Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.

They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.

The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is – it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.

Oh, man…

And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.

By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.

My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?

Having all my dreams come true.

My Thoughts

If I remember correctly back to the other stories that i’ve read from our author Julia Kent, I would have to say that the tone and speed that this one reads is similar to the others. It’s good to see an author with consistency. What we have here is a sweet story about a girl who’s now post college, but floundering – she’s not sure what to make with her life, especially when there were such high expectations of her after graduating at the top of her class. It’s always the ones that have such his hopes that end up in the unknown.

We start off this story watching our leading lady Mallory not meet her life’s expectations. She’s the girl who was valedictorian, the one that got into an Ivy League school and turned it down to follow her own path, and then she does nothing with herself. She’s living back in her home down, living in the past, and essentially is the same girl that she was all those years ago. She’s so naive that when she’s in urgent need of a job, she finds herself in a situation that most people with common sense would be able to avoid.

Mallory answers an ad to be a fluffer – and well, we all know what that means, or at least most of us do. She thinks that she’s going to decorate a house, when in reality she’s going to work on a porn set. When that goes wrong, very very wrong, she thinks that things can’t get worse, until they do.

Enter her high school crush – the guy that was #2 to her, and he was incredibly popular. He’s made something of himself and he’s building his own business. Her life hangs in his hands, and that means that we get to see how this plays out – with hopefully a lot of humor and some tears.

Will is the jock turned into nice guy in this story – something that we see a lot in the genre. A guy who was smart, and capable, and perhaps did things to keep his friends happy. What always bothers me about this type of character though is that they had the ability to change things when they were younger, to be nicer people, and yet they’re not. And because they’re nice now, the girl always forgives.

Anyway – the journey in this story is watching how Mallory finds her footing in life and in romance at the hands Will. Once Will bails Mallory out of her uncomfortable situation, he hires her for a project at his real estate company. This gives her an opportunity to spend time with the guy that she’s still ironically crushing on 10 years later, while also potentially making money so that she doesn’t have to crawl back to her parents. If she’s able to stage a house for Will and sell it quickly, she can get a decent commission and feel like she’s accomplished something.

That opens the door for an interesting dynamic between the two of them – we watch how they play around the idea of feelings for one another, and what’s real in today’s world v. what was built up in their minds.

Add to that the sub story of dating apps and lives continuing, and then wrap it up in a sweet high school level romance that comes along, and you think things are all smooth sailing. Until of course the high school reunion, and the mean girls. We see their dynamic shift that night and that of their close circle of friends…all hinting at interesting things to come.

So, what do I make of this story? it’s a cute one – it gave me something to read on a flight, but really nothing to write home about. On to the next….

Review: My Hot Boss by Betty Schreffler

Title: My Hot Boss
Author: Betty Shreffler
Publisher/Year:  Betty Shreffler 7/12/17
Length:  262 pages


After a heart-wrenching breakup, Grayson Cole was just what I needed.
A stranger in a bar whose gorgeous eyes and sexy-as-sin lips helped me forget the sting of a lost relationship.
Add in his charm, intelligence, and our shared love of books. How could I resist?
We danced and kissed our way through an incredible night of passion.
One I’d never forget. One I didn’t want to end.
The chemistry between us was too hot to put out, so we made plans.
A phone number and hope were what I left Grayson with.
Afterward, the worst thing possible happened.
My phone broke and all connection to Mr. Dreamy was lost.
One month later, shock leaves me breathless when I’m introduced to my new boss.
A grin beneath his naughty gaze reveals how pleased Grayson is to see me.
I have to smother my excitement.
I couldn’t possibly start a workplace romance.
Especially when I need him to approve the promotion for my dream job.
He’s off limits, and so are his sensuous lips.
A professional relationship is what we agree on, but can either of us stick to the rules?

My Thoughts

What a lovely little story we have here – nothing earth shattering, but it was perfect for my flight to Canada last night! Just as the summary teases, we have an interesting story of a dynamic that we’ve come to appreciate in this genre. Woman who’s successful in her role professionally finds herself in a situationship with her boss – of course starting this before he was her boss.

Grayson is our typical male lead – his father is incredibly successful, has one of the biggest companies in the area, and that means that he comes from a world of privilege. He’s trying to make a name for himself doing his own thing and apparently he’s doing a good job since he’s now in charge of the branch office that Emma works in.

They meet in a bar, have an instant attraction and then she throws up all over him. Fast forward a month ahead like the summary says and we see how things are different now . their attraction continues, yet Emma is afraid to start something with him because of their work relationship as well as still being broken hearted over her breakup.

Grayson isn’t a man to sit back and not pursue what he wants so it’s a game of cat and mouse. They have an office flirtation, and then there’s a bit of jealousy. What’s interesting here is that anyone who has a real job knows that the way they carry themselves in the office isn’t something that would work in today’s world, but I guess thats the element of ‘suspension of disbelief’ that we always put into reading books.

They have their share of rollercoasters – rumors around the office, concern that they are too different socially, jealousy, inability to get over an ex. All culminating in a hidden (withheld) job offer and a plane crash. So….we all can imagine where this story goes -so now it’s up to you to read it and see if you were right. Enjoy!

Review: Most Eligible Bachelor (Billionaires of Manhattan #1) by Annika Martin

TitleMost Eligible Bachelor
Author: Annika Martin
Publisher/Year:  Cinnamon Crane 9/16/21
Length:  300 pages
Series: Billionaires of Manhattan #1


OMG – the cute little dog I adopted turns out to be a billionaire Maltese! That’s right, my tiny dog just inherited giant corporation! …and the jerky CEO? Not amused.

I’m Vicky, the dog whisperer. (Not really, but that’s what my elderly neighbor says whenever I walk her dog, Smuckers.)When she dies, she surprises everybody by leaving a corporation worth billions to Smuckers…and she leaves Smuckers to me.

Suddenly I go from running my Etsy store to sitting in an elegant Wall Street boardroom with Smuckers in my lap. And my neighbor’s son, Henry Locke, aka New York’s most eligible bachelor, glaring across the table at me.

Rumor has it Henry’s a business genius who’s as talented in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom.

Sure, he’s gorgeous. Sex-in-a-seven-thousand dollar suit. But…He’s arrogant and infuriating.

He refuses to listen to me when I insist I didn’t con his mother.

He thinks he can bully me, buy me off, control me, even seduce me.

Henry may have the women of Manhattan eating out of the palm of his hand, but I’m so over entitled rich guys who think they own the world.

No way will his wicked smile be charming ME out of my panties.

His wicked…devastating…impossible-to-resist smile.

Oh well, who needs panties anyway?

My Thoughts

I have to say that it’s probably a good thing this was one of the stories that’s in ‘Deep Pockets’ the boxed set because i’m not sure that I would have crossed paths with this book on my own. It’s a sweet story – has all the trappings to be something great, but perhaps not for me. I don’t know. At some point I’m sure i’ll get into the second book in the series to see what’s what with Henry’s friend.

Anyway – in this story, we meet our leading lady Vicky (Vonda, Veronica….any V name will do) and she’s in an interesting position. We learn early on that she’s somewhat on the run from something that was so bad that she’s had to change her identity, protect her sister and become something that’s entirely new. We get hints throughout the story of what it was, but don’t get the full story until we’re about 75% done.

Vicky finds herself in an interesting position just as the summary says – she’s become the guardian of a rich woman’s dog after the woman passes and of course everyone is down to believe that she’s a scammer, that she knew the woman was wealthy and wanted to steal her money. Surprisingly that’s not the case even though all the money would do her good.

That’s where Henry comes into the mix. The son that stopped talking to his mother for many reasons, few that he believes are his own fault. His mother was eccentric and that means that there’s really no reasoning with her about anything. They didn’t talk for years leading up to her death and that adds to why things are so interesting when he learns that it’s the dog that inherits everything, and Vicky is the one to ‘interpret’ the dogs wishes.

The story we go through here is one of dishonesty and lies across the board. Henry doesn’t trust Vicky and Vicky is hiding everything from Henry. They form this Hate Hate/Love relationship between them, he hates her, she hates him, and then they have this weird dynamic that shifts things entirely.

Of course, just when things seem like they could be going well. the other shoe drops. Henry’s cousin Brett decides that he’s on this quest to dig up all the dirt and brings back the one person from Vicky’s past that could do real harm to them and that’s exactly what happens. Vicky loses trust in Henry, Henry doesn’t know how to properly fight for anything and they split.

Vicky and her sister are on the run again, new identities, new life and no one knows how their story will end. There’s no trail to follow and Henry’s charmed life seems bleak without her. So…..we have to see where their fairytale goes – what that means for their future and what it means for Locke Worldwide and the livelihood of Vicky and her sister.

I’m sure there are a lot of readers who love this book, and some that would truly enjoy it. It’s not my speed necessarily so while a sweet story, one that I likely would not have picked up on it’s own. But…i’d love to hear what you guys think. So read, and report back. Enjoy!

Review: City of Sin by Ivy Smoak

TitleCity of Sin
Author: Ivy Smoak
Publisher/Year:  CreateSpace Publishing 2/15/16
Length:  422 pages


The only reason I agreed to go on a blind date were the two Knicks tickets I was promised for my time.

What I didn’t expect was for her to pass on me.
Me, the playboy who never sees the same woman twice.
This has to be a joke.

Now I have no choice but to prove her wrong.
In one week she’ll be begging for me to stay.
Then I’ll say goodbye to her long legs and smart mouth without a second thought.

But when the time comes, will I truly be able to walk away?

My Thoughts

I don’t think that i’ve had the delight of reading anything from this author previously, so it was a nice introduction. What I will say though is that there was enough in this one book that could have branched into a series, and I wonder why that didn’t happen. Anyhow – what we get is a story of a girl who is out of her element in NYC and trying to get back on her feet after life throws a few curve balls her way, and a guy who’s had the world handed to him on a platter, and yet he’s not satisfied.

This story starts with our leading lady Bee in college – she’s just about done with her senior year and is on top of the world. She’s been with her college sweetheart for years now and things are looking up. They have plans to move to New York if he lands an internship and when the good news comes, along comes a proposal. Their future is looking bright.

Of course we all know how this is going to play out and fast forward about a year or so and they are no longer together. The city tends to change people if you want it to, and that’s exactly what happened for Bee’s fiance Patrick. He ultimately falls in love with the underbelly of the city and cheats on Bee, breaking her heart. Where we pick up this story is watching her put her life back together, trying to just survive now that she’s single and alone.

She’s got some great friends who are looking out for her, and we watch how they have the best intentions of getting her mind off Patrick and instead onto a handsome successful guy who can show her a good time.

What happens next – no one expected.

Enter Mason – the son of a very successful father who owns a finance company and is worth billions. Men like this we know are often playboys – they don’t put down roots and they often don’t care about the trail of destruction that they leave behind. When he’s convinced to go out with Bee, he does it for a price, but what he gets out of it he didn’t expect.

The story from here is an interesting roller coaster of sexual tension, power struggle and a fight to understand how it’s possible for a person to change your outlook and approach to life. These two are so opposite yet they compliment each other so well.

There are hiccups along the way – of course it was Mason who took Patrick around and introduced him to parts of the city that changes the dynamic between Bee and him forever so there’s a grudge. There’s a fear that they will never be enough for each other based on a difference in status and that’s also a struggle. Then to add to that, Mason is trying to start his own agency, and Bee is trying to make a name for herself professionally which hasn’t panned out, so there are tensions everywhere. Will it be too much, probably, will they find outlets for some of that, of course….

A campaign goes wrong, people are fired, people are cut off and relationships are left in turmoil. So…..given this is a one book series, you’ll get all the resolutions you need, but perhaps not in the way you expected. Read and find out. Enjoy!

Review: Coercion (Controlling Interest #3) by Amelia Wilde

Author: Amelia Wilde
Publisher/Year:  Dangerous Press 1/24/23
Length:  336 pages
Series: Controlling Interest #3


There’s a fight to the death… and a fight for his heart.

My Thoughts

Alas, a story with barely any summary published! Anyhow – what we get here is the culmination of all things related to Bristol and Will and it’s good! It’s been a roller coaster for this couple – they’ve finally come to terms as to what they mean to each other and how they need to be together some how but then it comes down to safety and finding balance.

We know that Will’s uncertain about his choice to join Hughes and that’s nagging in the back of his mind. When we see the corporation almost implode with the news of Daniel’s dementia, we know that there’s an out and it’s just a matter of time until we see what Will does with that information.

Then there’s Bristol – she’s trying to keep her siblings in a safe and secure home and it’s not easy given that their father is still mixed up with the wrong people. Every time she thinks that she’s able to protect them, to give them stability, something awful happens.

It’s no longer safe in their apartment, and it’s no longer safe in Will’s apartment. (who would have ever thought that). They end up at Emerson’s house and they see what the security of life out there could be and Will decides to make a move.

Bristol and her siblings find themselves in a dream. They now have a family and a home and everything that they never knew they needed and certainly never wanted for. Will is bringing their lives to whole different level and that’s a huge change for everyone. It’s all fantasy until their father contacts them and things go sideways.

There’s a kidnapping, there’s a hostage situation, and then there’s someone from the past who’s popped up and is on the run again. We also see someone get shot, and someone go into hiding. So there’s really no comfort in knowing when the next shoe is going to drop.

Will’s mom comes back and continues to try to make contact and we have to watch how that train wreck continues on, especially now that we know that Sinclair knew that their mom didn’t die but he was covering for her.

So you can imagine that there’s a lot going on in this finale, and the ending that we get is almost worth the build up for the entire story. The nice thing though is that we get the preview in the epilogue of Sin’s story – although I have to wait now about 2 weeks for it to come out. I’m excited to see where all this goes and how the stories of the Morellis, the Constantines and the LeBlancs continue to intertwine. Enjoy!

Review: Extortion (Controlling Interest #2) by Amelia Wilde

Author: Amelia Wilde
Publisher/Year:  Dangerous Press 10/22/22
Length:  227 pages
Series: Controlling Interest #2


Will Leblanc takes risks in his private equity firm and in the underground boxing ring, but nowhere else. Definitely not in love. Which is why he had to walk away.

Except Bristol Anderson needs his help. More than that, he wants to protect her.

But no one can protect her from him. He has a dark side. A violent side. She’s an unbearable temptation. He’s barely holding back.

What happens when the monster inside him gets loose?

My Thoughts

We left the first installment of this series with Will pushing Bristol away because he couldn’t handle his feelings towards her and their dynamic and at the same time, we saw Bristol decide that she had no choice but to do what was best for her siblings. So this second installment watches how life goes on and not in the best way for either.

Will’s company is now merged with Hughes and what he agreed to and how they’re executing off it, they aren’t the same thing. Will regrets the choice to allow the acquisition and now wants to figure out how to get out.

Bristol now has found a new temp agency since Will had done something on the backend at the one that she was at before that made her inhirable essentially. What that results in is working for bosses that was her to do ‘favors’ for them rather than work. It’s not until she gets a last minute new placement that her life turns.

She’s assigned to Greg – a man who works for Hughes and that we met in the first book. There’s flirtatious intention of course, but more so, I wonder if Greg wants to mess with Will. We’ll have to see how that plays out.

What happens though is that the space that Will tried to force between himself and Bristol is minimized and they are in close proximity, giving us the chance to see how they combust often. They can’t stay away from each other and there’s really no point.

Then there’s the side story of what’s going on at home with Bristol’s family. Her father is still missing – she’s trying to raise her brother and sister and she’s trying to survive. Her brother shows up and asks all sorts of questions as to how she got the apartment in shape, how deep she’s getting into things with Will.

Things continue to take a turn. Bristol comes down incredibly sick and Mia and Ben go to will for help. He comes in as the prince on a horse and takes care of her because he realizes that he’s more invested than he knew. Then when they go back to her apartment, they notice that the house is being watched and that means that it’s not safe. So, we find ourselves back at Will’s place – playing happy family and that’s a new scenario for everyone.

We watch how things evolve, how there’s a growing relationship between Will and his brothers, Bristol and Will’s family – and that means that everyones even further intertwined. Just when we think that things are looking up, two things happen…

  1. Will’s mom comes back – and we don’t know how and why since she’s supposed to be dead
  2. Mia and Ben are taken and we don’t know where they are, who has them and why they were taken.

So we’re left on another cliff and that means that I have to dive into this story NOW to figure it out. Enjoy!

Review: Blackmail (Controlling Interest #1) by Amelia Wilde

Title: Blackmail
Author: Amelia Wilde
Publisher/Year:  Skye Warren 2/7/23
Length:  152 pages
Series: controlling Interest #1


Bristol Anderson will do anything to protect her younger siblings. Even if it means embezzling from the company where she’s a temp. No one will find out. And the wealthy owner of the venture capitalist firm will never notice.

Except Will LeBlanc doesn’t miss a thing.

He could call the police, but he has more interesting plans for her. In the copy room. On the conference table. Under his desk.

The coldhearted capitalist will make her pay back every last cent.

My Thoughts

We have a first book in this series that is Hughes adjacent as well as Morelli adjacent, so i’m a fan. We have a woman who knows her worth, but who’s living under circumstances that are not idea. Then we have a man who is powerful, but troubled, and a brother of Emerson, a man that we’ve met before and who has his own darkness.

This story takes us on the journey first starting with Will and then joining up with Bristol.

Will has built a successful firm, he’s made the right investments and is now looking to be acquired by Hughes. This means that he’ll get a lot of money but may lose control. There’s also some sort of power struggle dynamic with him and Finn and that means that we have to watch out in the future.

Will is precise and uncompromising – and that’s where Bristol comes in. She’s coming in as a temp secretary as he’s fired his all within weeks of starting. She comes in with confidence, ability and does what no one else can. Intrigues him. He not only appreciates her skill and what she interprets from him, but he’s also drawn to her in ways that compromise his beliefs. He wants her even though he knows he can’t have her. He’s a monster.

We watch how these two swirl around each other at first – knowing that there’s an attraction but neither acting on it. It’s not until Bristol is put into a position where she steals money from him to pay off her father’s debt, and that Will discovers it that the tables turn. He chooses to use his power and authority to work her debt off and what happens is unexpected.

They catch feelings that they’re not willing to admit. They’re protective of one another even though they know that there’s no good that either can contribute to the others’ life. What happens at the end of this installment is expected.

The merger goes through

Bristol’s temp job is over

and they are uncertain as to where they stand.

so…i’m off to find the next book in this series and see what mess they can continue to make in their lives – while also somehow being steamy and naughty. Enjoy!