Review: Wicked to Love (Wicked Lovers #5.5) by Shayla Black

Title: Wicked to Love
Author: Shayla Black
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 10/28/11
Length:   71 Pages
Series:  Wicked Lovers #5.5

Overview

Just when Brandon Ross gave up on the woman he’d always wanted, he found the one he needed–right under his nose.
A politician’s son, Brandon reined in his desire to serve his community for years after a former friend blackmailed him for desiring the man’s wife. Years later, he’s still haunted by Kayla, holding every woman to her standard. And Brandon’s secretary, Emberlin Evans, knows she can’t measure up.

Emberlin would do anything to make her boss notice her. But when one phone call from Kayla sends Brandon running after her, she knows it’s time to stop waiting for him to see her and move on. Funny how her resignation gets Brandon’s attention in a way short skirts didn’t.

When Brandon confronts Emberlin, he realizes that he’s been blind to his feelings for her–and that the way she always calls him Sir and says “please” has his thoughts turning wicked…

My Thoughts

I’m so confused on what i just read.  It wasn’t even substantial enough for me to get to the point, literally like 2 chapters worth maybe?  We have Brandon who is friends with Jack Cole, a guy that we know and love from other books, and his secretary Em.  We have a really short and fluffy story between these two.

Em has resigned from working for him because she think that he’s still pining for Kayla – an ex flame of sorts, and her own feelings are clouding everything.  Too bad Brandon has other thoughts in mind and it takes her walking away from him to realize it.

So from there we get a really quick 24 hours of where they make that decision to be more than just coworkers and it’s as steamy as expected.  Again though, so confused about what i read since there was no substance at all.  oh well.  Enjoy!

Review: Mine to Hold (Wicked Lovers #6) by Shayla Black

Title: Mine to Hold
Author: Shayla Black
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 9/3/13
Length:   297 Pages
Series:  Wicked Lovers #6

Overview

A friend’s duty.

Tyler Murphy was an LAPD detective, single and happy—until a near-fatal tragedy crippled his friend, fellow detective Eric Catalano. While Tyler supported Eric, he also became a shoulder for Eric’s wife, Delaney, to lean on. But with one naughty suggestion from Eric, a drunken night with Delaney spilled into erotic abandon. Before it was over, Tyler saw his best friend’s wife as a woman and yearned for more. When Eric struggled to deal with the aftermath, Delaney begged Tyler to leave. Crushed, he fled to Louisiana, hoping to escape his longing for the one woman he could never have again…and unaware of what he’d left behind.

A lover’s desire.

After two years of living with regret, Tyler finds Delaney on his doorstep, her husband having abandoned her long ago. She’s protecting a shocking secret and desperately needs refuge from a stalker determined to see her dead. As they fight to stay alive and catch the killer, they struggle to resolve the guilt of their past pleasures. But they can’t deny that what was once a spark is now a flame burning out of control. To possess Delaney—body and soul—Tyler must heal her pain and thwart the evil that’s a mere breath behind her…

My Thoughts

it’s nice to get Tyler’s story here – he’s been a constant in the series so far, ever since we got introduced to him in Alyssa and Luc’s story and well, it’s about time that we see what really makes him tic.  We know that he was brought into the series because he was hired by Alyssa’a brother to find her and we also know that he’s a serial womanizer – a guy who really hasn’t had much of a reason to plant a solid foundation anywhere.  at least romantically.

So this story is where we see what his past was like, and what it means for his future.  We know that he was a cop from LA and that he left that job to become a detective and then went out on his own.  Thankfully before that though, we know that he at one point in time had a best friend and partner who was married to an amazing woman.  And that’s where the stories cross.

Delaney was the wife of Tyler’s partner, and after prodding from her now ex husband, they ended up becoming much closer than friends.  Of course you know that it’s going to end poorly and that’s exactly what happened – 2 years ago.  Tyler ends up in Louisiana and Del is still in LA trying to rebuild her life now that she’s singer and a mom.  yup a mom.

Our 6th installment to the series opens up when Del has come to Tyler for help since she’s being hunted by a drug lord and an ADA who’s got a god complex.  She needs Tyler to protect her (their) son so that she can write her story and hopefully wrap things up.

If only life were that simple right?  Well we learn that Tyler has always had incredibly intense feelings for Del and they haven’t reduced at all over the years.  Seeing her again is the only thing that potentially keeps him from chasing other women and seeing his son, a boy that he never knew about, well that just about turns his life upside down.  This is where Ms Shayla Black does  an amazing job of giving us a completely different perspective of Tyler than we ever had before.

The story from here is one of a roller coaster – trying to figure out how to get the story finished, keep everyone safe and figure out what they are to each other now.  We see the help of just about every character that we’ve met come into play in this story and it’s a really sweet way to continue the saga.  They truly are a family who want Tyler to be happy and now Del and Seth too.

Let’s just say that while there is closure on some pieces of the story, there are still so many open ended bits.  We know that all relationships can;t be fixed and that’s actually ok.  We see a lot of death, injury and hints at what’ to come next for some of the characters which means that this series is long lived even after a 6th book! The passion and heat between our two mains is intense per usual and that’s exactly what we need to keep things going.  Where we had BDSM and kink in the last book, we have romance and emotion in this one.  A nice way to mix things up.

All in all, a great continuation and i can’t wait to see what’s next.  We saw an awful lot of Xander again on this book like we did in #5 so i can’t wait to get to the crux of what makes him tick and hopefully his brother as well since we know there’s a murder mystery there too.  So, i hope everyone takes a read – and enjoy!

Review: Belong to Me (Wicked Lovers #5) by Shayla Black

Title: Belong To Me
Author: Shayla Black
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 8/6/13
Length:   368 Pages
Series:  Wicked Lovers #5

Overview

An FBI analyst goes undercover and gets in over her head in this Wicked Lovers novel from New York Timesbestselling author Shayla Black.

When Tara Jacobs’s fellow agent and best friend goes missing while investigating a sex ring, the FBI analyst goes undercover as a submissive in a Dallas BDSM club called Dominion. But no man can top a woman with Tara’s moxie convincingly enough—until an edgy, dangerous Dom takes control of the scene and sets her heart racing with a single, commanding glance. Too bad he’s also the man to whom she will never submit…

Navy SEAL Logan Edgington knows Tara will never forgive him for what he did in the past, but he has no doubt that he possesses the knowledge to guide her through an unfamiliar world of pleasure and pain. He alone can protect her on a dangerous mission that reveals both wicked depravities and terrible secrets. And no matter how much Tara insists their fling will end after this mission, he’s determined that she will be his once more—and this time, he’ll never let her go.

My Thoughts

In book 4 we heard a lot from Hunter about his concerns for his brother Logan, and how Logan was in such a dark place because of a broken heart all those years ago.  Add to that, he was the one to find his mother’s murdered body and well you know that he’s damaged goods.  So it’s about time that we got to see what was going on in his head.

In this 5th installment of the series – we see what Logan’s life has become – he’s on leave from his work with the SEALs and he’s getting out his energy at Dominion, a local BDSM club.  What’s interesting about him is that he will only control a scene and never finish it – and that’s where his buddy (sort of) Xander comes into play – he’s the one that will make sure the subs are fully taken care of.

It’s one day when in walks a duo of FBI agents who need training to go undercover that things get interesting.  From behind, the female who is training to be a sub reminds him of Cherry – the girl who he is broken from, and when he walks around and sees that it is her, his world comes crashing down again.  not just because of all the feelings that he has for her and has always had (i mean look at all his tattoos about her) but because she still has intense hatred towards him.

So this story that we have is a journey of how they find a way to work with each other, to be around each other when there’s clearly so much more between them, all while Cherry (or Tara) works to help solve the case that has gotten her best friend and fell agent kidnapped and sold into sex slavery.

Where they go as a couple is a tough game of cat and mouse.  There’s an attraction there that they can’t fight and it’s hot to see – knowing that Tara is walking away from her fiance because Logan is able to bring feelings to her heart that Brad never could.  There’s also the trust issue – that she has zero trust in him because of what he put her through in high school.  So it’s a hard story to read.

Add on top of that the quest to find out who’s behind the sex slave trade ring and when you learn who it is, you will both be surprised and completely expecting the outcome.  Personally i had part of the answer earlier on about unresolved cold cases and the fact that it all ties together, well it’s a nice bow put on it all.  I will say that there’s a character that i’m still on the fence about – really not sure what his motivation is and all, but i’m sure that we’ll get to see that in another story.

Anyhow, you get all the expected bits that Ms Black, our great author is known for.  Some of the hottest BDSM scenes ever, amazing connection between our characters and a story that is both loving and angst ridden.  So hopefully it’s something that will get you through this freezing cold weather since it’ll surely make you hot.  Enjoy!

Review: Surrender to Me (Wicked Lovers #4) by Shayla Black

Title: Surrender To Me
Author: Shayla Black
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 7/2/13
Length:   297 Pages
Series:  Wicked Lovers #4

Overview

A secret fantasy turns into an uncontrollable obsession in this Wicked Lovers novel from New York Timesbestselling author Shayla Black.

Hunter had everything until a bullet put his career as a Navy SEAL on hold. Restless and in need of distraction, he accepts an intriguing proposition: share an acquaintance’s girlfriend and fulfill her fantasy of a ménage. It should have been just one night of sexual adventure among three consenting adults. But Kata is like no other girl Hunter has ever met. By turns audacious and sexy, then vulnerable and aloof, she’s a heartbreaker he is determined to master. But he needs more than one night. And he wants to do it alone.

Kata never expected to leave her comfortable relationship and explore something so dangerously forbidden with a stranger. Though she tries to resist, the guilty pleasure overwhelms her and she surrenders herself, inch by inch, to the hard-core warrior who wants her for himself. Consumed by blazing desire, they’re soon threatened by the shadows of the past. To keep Kata safe, Hunter makes her a bold proposition of his own. Saying yes will destroy her heart, but saying no could cost Kata her life.

My Thoughts

I don’t know why i assumed we would get Tyler’s story next but nope – it’s Hunter.  And in this 4th installment to the series, we get to see the serious brother come to life.  This is a story of a girl who’s too independent for her own good but has a birthday fantasy handed to her, courtesy of a casual bedmate and his buddy Hunter.  What happens in vegas usually stays in vegas except when it doesn’t – and that’s what happens here.

Kata and Hunter find themselves married after an interesting of drinking (kata), pursuing (hunter) and play (both).  What happens from there, they end up  married, she runs home and he runs to follow her.  Hunter is the kind of guy that we all want in life i think.  someone who’s able to dominate and control, but someone who also has the warmest heart.  it’s unexpected in a sense because we have seen how he was with Kimber in the other books, but i think that it’s expected in the sense that there’s no way that he can be sooo hard.

Kata has a tough situation now that the story is built around.  as a probation officer, she’s got her fair share of tough stuff going on, always on edge because of what she’s had to do to thugs and the like.  well, on her first day home, she finds herself at the wrong end of an assassin, and no one knows who’s behind it.  that’s where our story really starts to take shape.

Hunter gets to do what he does best – protect, and hopefully in the same breath he’s able to show Kata that they are meant to be together and that it’s not just a whim.  the roller coaster from there of course is a rocky one since Kata has a family background of a mother who’s been controlled and dominated all her adult life and that’s not something that she wants for herself.  Too bad Hunter isn’t her step father, and Kata is of the mindset not to be open to the fact that the men are different.  It takes her mother being put in the hospital, endless attempts at her life and the fact that they still don’t know who is behind trying to kill her, and these 2 find themselves pushed together even though she fights it.

There always comes a point where great chemistry isn’t enough, and although they have amazing passion and heat, Kata is so stubborn that she’s willing to walk away.  Ms Black our amazing author has a knack for pulling us back in through the way that she writes some of these scenes – makes them so steamy that you can’t help but to read faster, but to me, it tends to also lack a bit of something that makes it deeper than just the physical.  We have Hunter trying to push Kata to admitting something more psychological but it’s not an easy fight.

We end up seeing everyone set up, a huge gunfight that a few don’t make it out of – some characters that we have known of for the better part of the story don’t survive and it’s a heartbreaking end to the installment.  I think that we all hope for a happy ending and then a lead in to the next book, so angst is always welcome.

So, my guess is that it’s Logan’s turn next since Hunter’s brother came up quite a bit here – we even got teasers of what has made him so closed off these past 5 years, so i can’t wait to see what’s up next.  Happy Friday everyone!

Review: Delicious (Wicked Lovers #3) by Shayla Black

Title: Delicious
Author: Shayla Black
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 6/4/13
Length:   282 Pages
Series:  Wicked Lovers #3

Overview

He can’t control his desire.

Luc Traverson’s entire future is planned out—but there is one very sexy obstacle in his path: Alyssa Devereaux. She’s a former exotic dancer turned strip club owner and restaurateur. Recently, Alyssa and Luc shared one night of wild abandon that left Luc terrified by his loss of self-control—and Alyssa desperate for more.

And that’s just the way she wants it.

Fulfilling a promise, Luc is the guest chef for Alyssa’s restaurant debut. The sight of her makes Luc wild, so how can he survive a week without letting loose and ravaging her—especially when she’s begging for it? Luc’s desire for her explodes when he realizes he isn’t the only man desperate to have her. But one of the others is deadly. And that’s not the end of Alyssa’s secrets…which are as dark and mysterious and enticing as her fantasies.

My Thoughts

You had to love Luc from book 2 of the series so it’s nice that we get to see his story unfold in book 3.  here we see his path cross again with Alyssa, the owner of Sexy Sirens, the girl that Deke had ‘feelings’ for at one point but the girl that Luc has always felt more for.  Where their story takes them is one that’s really quite complex

Luc is doing a return favor for Alyssa in the form of being the opening week chef of her new restaurant that she’s started in the hopes of doing something more with her life.  Of course that comes with stress since there’s clearly a HUGE attraction between them and Luc is afraid to act on it, but Alyssa is very adamant about making it a reality.  at least for a week.

So when things get deep for them, when they realize that they can’t fight each other anymore and that there’s something there, we see a great story begin for their relationship.  What’s added to the mix here though are a few more things that are based in a lack of trust.  There’s Tyler, the bouncer of the club and a guy that Luc is confident is having some type of relationship with Alyssa.  He is convinced that there’s more than just a friendship even though Alyssa denies it.  Luc knows what he sees in how Tyler acts towards her and it makes him incredibly jealous and aggressive.

Add to that someone who keeps breaking into her house, her car, her office, leaving threatening messages and notes and she’s terrified and no one knows which of the many guys around could be the culprit.  They are all on the defensive and it seems that they are constantly behind the eight ball since Alyssa keeps suffering.

Throw in a baby that Luc can’t father and doesn’t know who the father truly is, a marriage that’s destined to fail since they are both to each other about, and a crazy person from the past.  All in all we get to see quite a complex story come up.

The nice thing about this story is that we see people tear themselves down to the core in order to really become the strong people that they need to.  we also get to see other characters from previous installments get a larger role which tees up the next books in the series i;m sure.  i can’t wait to see what’s next for Hunter since i feel like there really is a heart in there.  and then there’s Tyler – the guy who deserves a happy ending even if he doesn’t believe it.  Enjoy!

Review: Decadent (Wicked Lovers #2) by Shayla Black

Title: Decadent
Author: Shayla Black
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 5/7/13
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Wicked Lovers #2

Overview

She may not be what she seems…

How can a virgin seeking happily-ever-after with a hot pop star who has a penchant for threesomes win her fantasy man? Kimber Edgington desperately needs a plan to convince Jesse McCall, who’s been her secret crush since they spent a summer together as teenagers, that they are meant for each other. But all the tabloid stories about his sexual escapades make her feel oh so inadequate.

But she’s exactly what men want.

Determined to prove she’s woman enough for Jesse, Kimber turns to bodyguard Deke Trenton for sexual education. Bold and brash, Deke warns Kimber that playing with him is playing with fire. But he can’t bear to imagine the innocent beauty in someone else’s arms. So Deke and his super-sexy cousin, Luc, take Kimber under their wings and dangerously close to the edge of ecstasy. Though she’s saved herself for Jesse, Kimber soon learns he’s not the man adept at stoking her aching, endless need. That’s Deke, and he can’t resist when Kimber begs for more—and more…

My Thoughts

I’ve been looking for something new and light to read and i guess that’s what i got here when i stumbled upon a series that i had started a while back and never continued.  don’t know why to be honest but oh well.  So we’ve reentered the world of Wicked Lovers and this 2nd installment into the series takes us on a journey of Kimber – a girl who wants to be what her crush/love wants, and yet she’s all that encompasses innocence.

This is where she goes to Deke, a man who worked for her father when she was younger – a guy that she knows has interesting taste in women, and perhaps can help teach him everything that he knows so that she can perform for Jesse, and make him lover her even more.  What she doesn’t expect is that there were mutual crushing feelings back when she was younger, and more so a major physical attraction that created problems for everyone.

The story that we have here is a journey of a virgin (of course) who wants to know how to please a man who’s into menage.  And of course Deke being the derelict that we’re supposed to have in a story like this, he’s happy to oblige in teaching her yet really really against it at the same time.  He actually wants to scare her away because of his history in the past and because he has feelings for her that he’s not quite resolved with, but of course that doesn’t work.

There’s also the added benefit of Luc, Deke’s cousin and the one that he lives with.  Luc is also into menage and the one that’s able to really help ground Deke into reality when they’re with a partner.  Luc though is everything that Kimber could want – sensitive caring and gentle.  While Deke is rough and sharp edges.

You can imagine that Kimbers quest to be taught all about sex is going to complicate things when it comes to Jesse since you can’t expect her to come out of this unscathed – without feelings for the other guys.  That’s precisely what happens even though she fights it.  That makes the story more complex since we learn that Jesse has different motives in mind for Kimber and we get a second story line there.

Top that off with yet another story line – someone is out for revenge of Kimger’s father – a man who her father had put in jail for whatever horrible crime, and not just is he going after her father, but she’s become a target.  So all in all we have 3 complex story lines where people end up in the hospital, dire situations are to be had, relationships are build and broken, and where we hope the story will net out is one that may not be possible.

I’m curious where the other installments of this series pick up, so i may have to go on and read book 3 to see which character it covers off on.  So on that note, have a great friday everyone!

Review: The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Title: The Glass Spare
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins 10/24/17
Length:   416 Pages
Series:  The Glass Spare #1

Overview

The first in a new fantasy duology, The Glass Spare is a gorgeously told tale of love, loss, and deadly power from Lauren DeStefano, the bestselling author of the Chemical Garden series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Renee Ahdieh.

Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, though, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with Wil’s power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

My Thoughts

I’ve been on the hunt yet again for something new to read and here we’ve hit directly upon that.  The Glass Spare is the introduction to a new series where we are in a world where kingdoms want more power and control and there are loyalties at stake, and families that are being torn apart.  And what would a book be without curses and ‘gifts’ and the like – right?

We meet our leading character Wil – a princess in Northern Arrod, the ‘most powerful’ kingdom in the area, and she like 2 of her brothers are considered to be spares.  that means the one that’s not due to be the heir is the spare – the extra.  Because of that, Wil is able to have more freedom from the rule of her father, and add to that, she’s got no resemblance to any one in her family, she’s able to move about as she likes and be a spy or unnoticed.

The interesting thing here is that Wil was born with a unique mark over her heart – thought to be a curse but no one really knows what that will mean in the future.  What we see throughout this first book though is how that curse manifests itself and how that affects all those around her – and it doesn’t have the best outcome for everyone involved.  Wil’s close relationship with her brothers bring her both more knowledge about what it is that she’s become as well as more pain because of the implications of what she can do.

Outside of Norhtern Arrod there is a whole world with technology, strife, struggles etc.  and that’s where our story really starts to take shape.  After a catastrophe hits Wil, she’s banished from her home, from her family and she ends up on the run to learn more and find a marveler who may be able to cure her.  That’s where her path crosses with Loom and Zay – 2 wanderers who have stories that are much more than what they seem at first.

Loom turns out to be the banished son of the king of Southern Isles and that’s a kingdom that Wil’s father wants badly.  So this means that Wil has an opportunity to be a spy, learn more and hopefully solidify a relationship.  What ends up happening instead is that Wil starts to develop a truly strong relationship with Loom and Zay, begin to see that there’s so much more to the situation than ever thought before, and find a way to make her curse and a curse put on another main character even worse.

That’s where we are left off at the end of this book – there’s a month to gather information to break a curse or someone dies.  Wil is left to make a choice that will hurt the heart both figuratively and in reality of everyone, and i think that it’s an interesting place to go.  Can’t wait to see what happens in book 2 since we know that the kingdom of Northern Arrod is a mess with all that’s fallen on the royal family.  I hope you guys pick it up!  enjoy!

ARC Review: The Big, Bad Billionaire (Billionaire Fairytales #4) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: The Big, Bad Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year:  St Martins Press 11/21/17
Length:   200 Pages
Series:  Billionaire Fairytales #4

Overview

Overview

The Big, Bad Billionaire: A Billionaire Romance by Jackie Ashenden

An intensely sexy Billionaire Fairy Tales standalone novel by Jackie Ashenden that is billionaire romance meets Little Red Riding Hood with a happily ever after.

Wicked. Ruthless. Obsessed.

Sent away from his family as a boy because he couldn’t be controlled, Rafe DeSantis’s new guardian turned him into a monster. One who wants only two things out of life: To get revenge on the father who destroyed his life. And to possess the woman who was kept from him. Ella Hart has been his obsession for years, and now that he’s her guardian he’s finally in position to black mail her into his bed. And once he has her there? He’s going to eat her up.

Innocent. Alone. Hunted.

Ella has been living with her grandmother since the death of her parents when she was a child. She’s learned to pour her grief and pain into dance, and it’s become her escape. Her passion. Now she’s set her sights on a prestigious dance school in Paris. But there’s one problem. Ella was so young when her parents died, her money was left in the hands of the DeSantis family…and it’s now controlled by Rafe. A man she’s always found compelling and terrifying at the same time. Rafe offers her an ultimatum: Give herself to him, body and soul, and she’ll get the money she needs.

Ella isn’t in a position to refuse, though she tries to resist the sexy billionaire. It feels good, until her heart becomes involved. Does the big bad billionaire want to capture her heart? Or does he only want to own her body?

My Thoughts

First i have to thank the folks at Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the ARC – i’m a huge fan of Jackie Ashenden and they’ve gifted me with the pre-read.

We’ve gotten stories from all the other brothers so it’s about time that we get to see what the story was for Rafe.  In the last book we watched him take down his father’s role as CEO and now it’s come to fruition.  He seems to have everything that he could ever want – with the exception of one thing.  one person.  Ella.

Ella – our leading lady is a bit of a girl – twenty years old and really just trying to live her life as best as she can.  Dancing is the only thing that she has to look towards – her mother was a ballerina and she’s only ever wanted to follow in her footsteps.  Which would take her to a summer intensive program in paris.  That of course is where Ella sees her path crossing with Rafe.

As Ella’s newly appointed guardian, Rafe has control over the money that Ella needs to go to Paris and of course he’s able to manipulate the situation so that it works to his benefit.  He makes it so that Ella is at his control, and in order to get what she wants, she has to give him a bit of what he wants.  her.  So this is a story of seeing that power struggle unfold while also watching what was once a sweet relationship when she was a baby turn into something that’s heated and intense.

There’s also the underlying story of how damaged both of them are.  Rafe has an uncontrollable temper and that was something that was a fear for her family when she was a baby and something that he struggles to control and contain now.  Ella on the other hand has her own anxiety issues stemming from the loss of her parents.  She’s afraid to experience life at all in the fear of losing everyone and everything that’s important to her .

It’s a tough journey that they go on, and one that’s written in the exacting style of Ms Ashenden as we’ve become accustomed to over the last few books in this series.  there’s heat and passion that jumps off the pages, interspersed with intense anger and fear.  all the right components to making a story a good one.  So…on that note, i think that we’ve wrapped things up with all the brothers and i hope that you’ve enjoyed the series and get a chance to get this next installment when it’s out in November.

Review: One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake

Title: One Dark Throne
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollings 9/19/17
Length:   464 Pages
Series:  Three Dark Crowns #2

Overview

The battle for the crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

My Thoughts

This is an interesting series – there are so many ways that the story could go and i think that the path that this one has taken is one that’s dynamic and exciting.  Where we left off in book 1 we knew that there were battles to be fought, resulting in the death of 2 of the queens.  Only one could survive.  Well, this second installment gives us the journey that they go on now that they are actively pursuing the end goal.  At the direction of those around them.

Katherine, Arsinoe and Mirabella are all such different girls – which is expected yet unexpected knowing that they are triplets.  We start to learn more about what goes on in their lives and the alliances that they are making with the suitors and others who are around them, all in the hopes of gaining affection if they are to survive.  There’s so much cunning and back stabbing (figuratively and literally) in this book between them that it’s a wonder that any are left standing at all.

The nice thing that our author does is that she makes the secondary characters incredibly important to the story.  Each sister has a band of friends and family surrounding her that really make the story progress – showing us how each girl goes from innocent to someone who knows who they are internally and wants to make sure the world knows it as well.

There’s also the fact that we learn that some of the gifts that we thought were the ones assigned at birth really aren’t the true ones – and i feel like that makes it that much more compelling.  Mira is the same, but seeing how weak or missing both Katherine and Arsinoe’s gifts were, it’s no surprise that there’s a bit more to the story – yet we don’t truly find out the full back story or what gifts should have manifested in both.

Katherine is a mystery now to this day – she was thrown into the Breccia and she comes back as the undead queen – and yet we’re still not sure what that means.  Arsinoe resorts to low magic to make anything happen around her and that has it’s consequences.

We are left at the end of this story with deaths, a divide among those who remain alive, and a divide from the island hopefully back to the mainland.  There’s really no sense what this all means for the future – and i think that’s the allure.  We’re left on such a cliff here that i can’t even speculate what’s going to happen.  We know that happy endings are impossible in this world and i think that we’re just hoping for something that makes the island less of a war zone.  So on that note, i see there’s a prequel coming out and then the third installment at some point so i’ll have to be patient.  Enjoy!

ARC Review: The Billionaires: The Stepbrothers (Lover’s Triangle #3) by Calista Fox

Title: The Billionaires:  The Stepbrothers
Author: Calista Fox
Publisher/Year:  St Martin’s Press 12/26/17
Length:   304 Pages
Series:  Lover’s Triangle #3

Overview

This pair of stepbrothers have their sights set on just one woman…

Scarlet Drake is an insurance fraud investigator hot on the heels of the thief who stole a multimillion-dollar art collection from tycoon Michael Vandenberg’s Hamptons estate. Unfortunately, the sexy Wolf of Wall Street is also her prime suspect—along with his equally mouthwatering stepbrother, Montana rancher Sam Reed. Scarlet quickly finds herself tangled up in the two devilishly handsome men, and ensnared in a web of family lies.

Michael is used to getting what he wants—and he wants Scarlet in his bed. Sam had no intention of getting emotionally or romantically involved with a woman again, but he can’t deny the sizzling chemistry with Scarlet. And when the three of them cave to one sinfully delicious night of sheer decadence, their sexy ménage becomes a fiery affair of the heart. But they don’t stand a chance at a happily ever after unless all of the absolute truths are finally revealed…

My Thoughts

First of all, thank you to the folks at both Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the ARC – i’m clearly a fan of this series and am so happy to have it a few months ahead of time.

For those of you who have read the previous 2 installments in the series, you kind of get a sense of where this one is going.  We know the struggles that Jewel had with business and then her two lovers – but that seemed to work out.  Then there’s Bayli and her struggle with living her own life and then enter her two sexy men who righted everything as it needed to be.

So where does Scarlet’s story go.  We know that she’s a fraud investigator and a good one – hot on the trail of trying to solve the mystery of a stolen collection of art.  That takes her to one man in particular – Michael – who seems to have it all but potentially has a lot to hide.

This story goes in fast and furious when these two finally meet face to face – he’s a hard man to track down, and all thoughts of Scarlet’s go out the window when she sees him in person.  He’s a force to be reckoned with – powerful, controlling and incredibly sexy.  That almost derails her but she still manage to dig a bit deeper.  While one part of her mind wants to put him off the suspect list, the other part isn’t so sure.  What happens though is that their chemistry is so intense that even after 2 years of avoiding men, she falls into bed with him and their connection seems to be something so much more. so let’s pause that for a second.

Enter Sam, Michael’s step brother and a new suspect on the list.  Scarlet goes out to Montana to track him down and find out what he knows about the stolen art, and well, whatever we thought she had with Michael – it’s the same with Sam.  And she quickly learns that maybe there’s something more in line with what her friend have with their men when she learns that these two guys have an alibi that includes the same woman/women.

So our story goes from there.  We see how the heat and sparks aren’t unique to just one set of the couple and they are able to consider something more complicated.  The other bit is that these sparks lead them all down a path of finding more secrets about the family than anyone ever knew.

I have to say that i knew fairly early on who was in control of the art theft, however the complexities that came along with it, the back story etc – that was all completely left field and random.  I think that it’s to the congratulation of our author that she’s able to weave those bits it, just to keep things more exciting.

What we learn in this story is that people aren’t always what they seem and there’s often so much more under the surface that you shouldn’t discount it off the bat.  I feel like there was a lot of healing done for a lot of folks while along the way there’s a LOT of really hot and passionate sex.  All in all a great culmination to the series that i’ve enjoyed over the past months.  I hope you guys give it a read when it’s available.  Enjoy!