Review: Buttons & Grace (Buttons #6) by Penelope Sky

Title: Buttons & Grace
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 12/19/17
Length:  190 pages
Series:  Buttons #6


I started a blood war.

I’ve made a terrifying enemy.

Over a single woman.

It was a stupid decision, but I don’t have any regrets.

Because Bellissima is finally mine.

My Thoughts

The summary doesn’t do this story justice, but it at least sets the tone for what we’re going to get. We know that the relationship between Adelina and Cane is one that’s destined to fail, and it’s more painful to live through than the roller coaster that was Crow and Pearl’s story. the notion of Cane finally having Adelina in a secure place is a nice notion, but one that doesn’t have much sound foundation.

We spend a lot of this story wanting to see a happy ending, but that’s impossible. Tristan isn’t dead, and being able to get Adelina back from him was a set up. one that was planned and was more like a test than anything else. What comes of it is Crow being kidnapped and tortured, with the only solution being giving up Pearl as a trade. We all know that she’s not an option, which means that we have to prepare ourselves to say goodbye. Nothing for Cane is panning out in this book – he loses the girl he loves because she doesn’t love him back, and he’s losing his brother because there’s no way to make a trade like that.

Crow’s only job in life is to protect Pearl, and so he sends her away with Lars which was maybe the smartest move ever. An added twist factors into things now too – being that of a new Barsetti on the way, and we know that things will get even more crazy. The connection that Pearl and Crow have makes this story rooted so deeply in all things that fairy tales are made of, and we want to see that play out in a good way, but have a bleak view of the future.

The mission to get Crow back is a suicide mission once they realize that Tristan has been setting them up time after time, and it’s getting BAD. The solve, thankfully from the sane thoughts of Adelina and Pearl are to trade their arms business for the help of the Skull Kings and, which means that Cane again loses something important, but maybe gets his brother back.

From this point on, we see a depressed and dejected Cane, a man who’s heart is broken, who’s soul is broken, who has no professional purpose in life. He gets angry, resents Adelina for her feelings, and agrees to let her go back home. It’s not what his heart tells him to do, but he has to do it for her. Even with Crow and Pearl reassuring him that things will work out, it’s an impossible thought to him.

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from all of the stories by our author, it’s that no two relationships and plot lines are the same. What panned out in one way for one duo will not be the case for another, so while there is so much weight against how things netted out for Crow and Pearl, we know that it can’t work out that easily for Cane and Adelina. Everything that we’ve seem between them have been on a different level, so their ending to their story has to be different as well.

We still get moments of sweet romance and tenderness which is unique, all while still seeing the same rage and anger that’s the Italian trait. Both carry this story through and certainly kept me beyond engaged that i was able to finish it in just one day. I can’t wait to see how things continue since there has to be more of the Barsetti story somewhere. Enjoy!

Review: Buttons & Blame (Buttons #5) by Penelope Sky

Title: Buttons & Blame
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 11/11/17
Length:  185 pages
Series:  Buttons #5


I’m supposed to return her to Tristan to finish the deal.

But now I’m dreading the day when I have to drop her off.

Can I really do it?

I’m not supposed to care about this woman. I’m not supposed to care about anyone, actually.

But I care about Bellissimo.

My Thoughts

This story was one of the more predictable ones, but i think that it continues on the same path of hope, innocence and romance. The tone that was started in book 4 and was such a welcome change from all others from our amazing author.

The relationship between Cane and Adelina is a tough one because they all know that their time is limited and that there’s truly nothing that can be done to change their circumstances. Instead, all they can do is try to live in the moment and have something good to hold onto.

Unique to this story is that we have 2 paths of POVs happening. Whereas in the past it was really just the lives of the two main characters that we’ve enjoyed, in this story we get the added layer of Pearl and Crow, since their lives are so intertwined and it adds another layer of depth into the mix. I really enjoyed it and it’s nice to see how things evolved between this family to make this story into what it is.

Adelina has a different strength than that of Pearl, and it adds to the sweetness of this story. She won’t take risks for herself because she wants to save her friend, but she also knows that the outcome may not be what she hopes. She sees the good in Cane and is rewarded for it, being given the chance to say goodbye to her parents under the cover of darkness and being able to let that peace come to them. Once everyone’s resigned to what has to be done, life just goes on.

With the added layers of 2 story lines amongst the couples, we see the dynamic shift with Pearl and Crow as well. There are so many moving parts that of course Pearl does something that angers Crow so badly that there are days of rage and anger to contest with. We know where that will end up, any couple that’s as connected as they are will see that anger manifest into passion, but it’s intense to see it play out.

Our good friend Bones continues to be referenced in this story, and now the Skull Kings are brought into play. (mind you i’ve read these series out of order, so the leader of the Kings isn’t who i came to adore in the other series). Anyway, they’re making a play for Bone’s power and potentially the Barsetti power as well, and that can’t ever end well.

we are left at a point in this story where attempts at freedom are made, safety is compromised, and the notion of ‘until we have a body – someone’s not dead’ is our lifeblood. No one knows yet who will be at risk, but it happens, and we’re left in the dark at the end, wondering who’s taken, who’s killed, what allies may come along and if it’ll be unexpected. I’m diving into the next book now since i’m on pins and needles! Enjoy!

Review: Buttons & Shame (Buttons #4) by Penelope Sky

Title: Buttons & Shame
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 7/17/17
Length:  192 pages
Series:  Buttons #4


Tristan is one of my biggest clients. He always pays on time, and he always keeps his word.

But this time, he’s short on cash.

He needs the shipment now, so he offers me collateral.

He loans me his slave.


Now that Pearl and I are so close, I can’t condone this type of exchange. It’s wrong.


But she wants me. I can tell.

And I definitely want her.

My Thoughts

You knew that there would have to be an interesting continuation to this story knowing how evolved Cane has become since Pearl came into their lives. He’s a much more ‘humane’ person for lack of a better word, and while he’s driven by power, money and sex, he’s opened his eyes to a new perspective on things.

What the summary doesn’t do justice with is the nature of how Cane crossed paths with Adelina in the first place. He saw her at the airport going to France, even before he met her at Tristan’s house, and there was an attraction, yet he knew something was wrong. It was fate of course that puts them together again, and when he tries to do the right thing by staying away, especially knowing what Pearl went through, his hands are tied and he’s forced to step in any way that he can.

Adelina was unfortunately in the wrong place at the wrong time with her friend and was quickly picked up and trafficked while on a trip with her friend. Her life is basically over, and she would sacrifice herself, but Tristan holds the fact that her friend is still in his possession and Adelina would do anything for her.

Cane makes a trade for Tristan’s slave, and gives Adelina a chance to have a slightly better life as a slave for him for 31 days. We all know that Cane is the kind of guy who will do what he can now to protect her, and keep her from going back to Tristan, yet there’s really no hope since he needs his money from Tristan, Adelina won’t run away because of her friend, and Crow can’t even help.

We know from the first three books that Pearl, Crow’s wife is on a mission to find a way to protect and free all women from human trafficking and this is just up her alley – to find a way to free Adelina. She can’t seem to get the response that she’s hoping for from Crow and Cane, so she takes matters into her own hands which causes problems of epic proportions. She goes to Tristan to make a deal, and he’s on the same level as Bones, so you can only imagine the rage that Crow will feel when he learns of all this. That’s where we are left off, rage, the fact that a slave still isn’t free, and a lot of hopelessness.

There’s something more innocent about this story – sweet, romantic and tender. While the other stories that i’ve read from Pene Sky have all had intense hot passion and heat, this one has more of a simmer and a slow burn. We know that Cane has carnal needs, and that he’s used to getting what he wants, however he has compassion for Adelina and won’t push her to do what she doesn’t want. Instead, he takes on the quest of making her want what he wants. It’s really a nice spin on things since it’s so very different from all the other books so far.

I”m curious to see how this plays out since everyone’s angry, afraid, uncertain, but you know that there has to be something to come out of it for someone. Biggest question is who will gain from this….i’m going to read on to find out. Enjoy!

Review: Buttons & Pain (Buttons #3) by Penelope Sky

Title: Button’s & Pain
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 5/16/17
Length:  192 pages
Series:  Buttons #3


When I saw my escape, I took it. Now I’m in New York City and trying to get my life back on track. Despite the tracker in my ankle, Crow hasn’t come for me. He hasn’t even called me. I told him the depth of my feelings but he cruelly rejected them. 

Maybe he’s forgotten about me.

One day, I walk into my apartment and spot the pile of buttons on the counter. I never left them there, and there’s only one explanation for their presence.

Maybe Crow hasn’t forgotten me after all.

My Thoughts

This story has continued to take so many different twists and turns that it’s really anyone’s guess on how it will end. We left off with Pearl being kidnapped from Crow’s house, a feat that seemed impossible, and the assumption was that it was bones. Well, it wasn’t, it was a bounty hunter who thankfully looked enough like Pearl for her to steal her ID and fly back to America. As Pearl makes her mad dash to the flight, she thinks about how to get in touch with Crow, but doesn’t have a chance since time isn’t on her side. She needs to get away, get back to a life that really was nothing much anyway, and figure out how survive now that her heart is broken, she’s alone and she has nothing

Upon her return to New York, we see the feisty strong vengeful version of Pearl come out – she quickly learns that she has no friends to turn to, so she bangs down the door at her old apartment and shocks the heck out of Jacob. Who’s moved on and that girl is currently at the apartment. Pearl holds NOTHING back, takes over the apartment for the night, demands that Jacob pay her the $100k that he sold her for and blows up his spot with the girl in revealing that she was trafficked. She also holds the notion over his head that she can/will turn him in at any point in time.

Being able to do this gives Pearl a sense of normalcy, and her life takes a quick right turn. When she goes to the police to remove herself from the missing persons list, she learns that it was her ex Jason who set the search across the pond in Italy. That’s a surprise and a truly welcome thing to know that someone cares about her enough to set up a search. They start to rekindle their friendship and relationship, but something is always missing. Pearl compares him to Crow and that’s not a surprise at all. The challenge too though is that Jason sees her as damaged and can’t give Pearl what she wants and that causes a spiral. It’s perfect timing for Crow to pull his head out of his rear and make a move – all thanks to Cane and Lars.

The Theme for the majority of the story from here on out is trust, regaining trust, compromise and being honest with yourself. Pearl already put her heart out there and her intentions out there and got denied by Crow. Crow on the other hand isn’t honest enough with himself to admit that the real reason that he won’t admit his feelings is because he’s scared that he can’t save the world and save himself.

He wants what he wants, takes what he wants, Pearl is at a loss to be able to control herself around him due to her feelings and it’s a circular monstrosity. What Pearl has done throughout all this is focused on her situation with Crow that she’s lulled herself into a false sense of security not putting much thought into Bones, and thinking that if she’s been ok thus far, that he’s not on her trail. Boy is she wrong

It’s like groundhogs day all over again and Crow can’t even stop what’s happening this time. He won’t admit to loving Pearl, but he won’t let her go and can’t live without her. We see the depth of his character really develop here and propel the story forward. What’s really nice here too is that Penelope Sky, our amazing author sets up the dynamic and support around Cane even more so in this book, making him human and making him a man that you want to like all to set him up for book 4 i’d imagine.

We continue on this roller coaster with Bones getting his hands on Pearl once again and the future is entirely uncertain. We know that he won’t just keep her but he’ll torture her and torture Crow at the same time. He’s out for so much more than blood and it’s unknown if the Barsetti brothers are strong enough to survive or get past.

Romance and passion aren’t enough. Chemistry and emotion aren’t enough. The intense heat that we see when Crow and Pearl come together, it’s sexy and naughty and incredibly engaging, but again, is it enough? there’s no way to know unless you read. Enjoy!

Review: Buttons & Hate (Buttons #2) by Penelope Sky

Title: Buttons & Hate
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 2/7/17
Length:  187 pages
Series:  Buttons #2


I’m working off my buttons.

But I’m also giving them away.

The more I fall for Crow, the more I want him to do the things that I want. Dinners, dates, and evenings at the beach.

Everything comes at a price, and quickly the hoard of buttons I worked hard to earn are depleted. 

Will this go back and forth forever? Or will someone run out of their buttons first?

My Thoughts

This intense story continues down the same path that we saw throughout the first book. Pearl is now in a place where she knows what betrayal truly is, and her faith and trust in anyone is now gone. Once Crow revealed that Jacob was the reason that she was sold into slavery, she lost all will to try to get back to America because she knew that there was no one there waiting for her.

What that means is that we have a girl with a broken spirit, who doesn’t want to be where she is, yet who has no where else to go. This story line takes a turn for Crow though because it forces him to let his wall down a bit and perhaps to thaw. The challenge though is that every time he becomes a bit more human, we see that it costs him a bit of his soul and he’s not willing to let that happen. He closes up faster than he opened and Pearl is left to deal with that.

There’s still the jar of buttons that is the focal point of all that they do – Pearl does what she can to earn more and more, even willing to participate in things that she had no interest in before because of the price tag, and at the same time, Crow isn’t happy that her jar is almost full, and pushes to get her to pay for information that she wants from him.

Part of the motivation of the jar is the ability to really build on the intense chemistry that these two have. Kudos to our author Pene Sky for being able to give us such hot imagery that you know that what they have is really and it makes you a bit jealous. There’s a balanced mix of romance when forced, and BDSM esque stuff since they do love a power struggle.

What happens as a result is that we see a real relationship start to form. Even though Pearl has made it clear that she trusts no one and has no desire to love again, and we know that Crow isn’t capable of love, we see the compromises that they make to one another and it grows into a deeper connection. Pearl forces Crows hand towards being romantic and they see that there’s far more in common than is different. Is there a chance for happiness?

Well, no, because Cane isn’t having any of this, and he breaks into Crows house and beats Pearl to a second of her life. That is the pivotal moment in this story for all that happens in the back half. Pearl now lives in fear, Crown spends his breaths hating Cane, and Cane is trying to get revenge for Vanessa and feels vindicated a bit. At the same time though, everyone knows that Bones is still gunning to get Pearl back, and well, she’s not safe anywhere.

This takes the last few chapters for us on a roller coaster of even bigger proportions. The relationship that Pearl and Crow developed changes its dynamic past repair, the same goes for Crow and Cane. There’s no hope or good feeling between anyone to be frank, and it’s a shame to see how it all came to be. It’s the perfect moment though for Bones to make his move though no? We’re left with a break in, a kidnapping and even darker emotions than ever. The decision has to be made whether it’s even possible to continue to fight, when we know that fighting gets us no where. I guess that’s what we’ll find out in book 3. so enjoy!

Review: Buttons & Lace (Buttons #1) by Penelope Sky

Title: Buttons & Lace
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Createspace Publishing 11/11/16
Length:  368 pages
Series:  Buttons #1


I owe him a debt.

A big one.

The payment can’t be settled with money or favors.

He only wants one thing.


Every action gets a reward. A button. Once I fill his jar with three hundred and sixty-five buttons, he’ll let me go. 

He’ll let me walk away.

But I have to earn every single one.

By submitting to the darkest, cruelest, and most beautiful man I’ve ever known.

My Thoughts

I love this world that Penelope Sky has created for us in all the series. They are intertwined in the sense that we are constantly learning about the same characters and how they live in the same world, but the stories are so unique that you wonder how they can be this dynamic.

This story brings some of our darkest fears to life as we learn about how horrible things can be when you’re taken against your will. Pearl’s life changed in the blink of an eye and she’ll never be able to go back to what she once knew.

Our leading lady Pearl is a woman who was forced to fight for herself from day one – because she was a foster child and once adopted even, was sent back because the family couldn’t afford to keep her alive. All of this made Pearl the type of woman who would fight her way to the top because she truly believed she could get there, and made her realize that she deserved to be loved and cared for, perhaps more than she was currently. Her boyfriend Jacob was getting moodier by the day, clearly living a life that she wasn’t aware of, and when a dark and mysterious and scary man comes knocking on their door one day looking for Jacob and the money that was owed, we knew that the storm was brewing and was coming fast.

One day life seemed to take a turn for the better, Jacob comes home, telling Pearl that he got a new job, and that life was good and that they should celebrate with a trip to the Bahamas. Pearl was all in until Jacob’s behavior started getting weird again, and then when it couldn’t get odder, a bag is thrown over her head and she’s kidnapped. Life. Was. Over

Fast forward to the life of trafficking and slavery that Pearl has now been initiated into. She knows that she’s going to be terrorized and needs to find a plan. She’s put up for auction and bought for 3x the rate of anyone else because she’s got a lot of fight in her still. The problem though is that she’s been bought by Bones. A man that we’ve heard about many many times before in Penelope’s world, and a man who is disgusting, dangerous and has no morals. He’s the man who ruthlessly kidnapped the sister of the Barsetti brothers and tortured her to the brink of death, just to return her to them so damaged that when she’s freed, he kills her anyway. In front of their eyes.

Now a revenge plan is hatched, the Barsetti brothers want to take away something so important to Bones that he can’t live, torture and kill that person, and sadly, that person is Pearl.

One evil for another. one monster for another. That’s what Pearl has to suffer through in her new life. Being raped, abused, tortured, ordered around. With no hope of freedom or escape. It’s not until she becomes the slave to Crow (a man that i’ve met in another series) that we see that there may be hope on the horizon.

Pearl’s fight that she honed and focused from an early age is the only reason that she’s able to survive, and her ability to fight for compromise is what makes Crow respect and care for her. Want to protect her at all lengths. We see the dynamic between them change into something that’s still vague and a bit fluid, but something that’s not built off a foundation of fear anymore. Crow wants something from Pearl in exchange for her freedom, but the question becomes will she ever be free since the game was always to take her and kill her.

Throughout all this though, we have the trademarks of Penelope Sky. Intense dominating chemistry that’s based on raw emotion and passion sure, but also based on a power struggle since neither realizes who truly holds the power. The scenes that we experience are hot, fast and hard, and they keep the reader so engaged that you find yourself turning pages faster and faster. This adds to the complexity of the story and the depth of the character dynamic as well.

where we find ourselves at the end is a point of question, distrust and loss of faith. Pearl’s world is flipped once again and she finds herself on her own once more – not trusting her judgement at all anymore. We’re left wondering what lies ahead for her future, and does she even have one. Will Bones come looking for her as we know he’s already offered ridiculous amounts of money to get her back. Will Crow be able to protect her from Cane (his brother) and the rest of the world and what will he have to give up to do that. I can’t wait to jump right into Buttons & Hate. Enjoy!