ARC Review: The Wicked Billionaire (Tate Brothers #2) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: The Wicked Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 10/03/17
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Tate Brothers #2

Overview

This high-concept series brings together the glamour of Park Avenue and hot Navy SEALs in dark, smoldering contemporary romances.

The Tate Brothers were once orphans and they have been raised to do one thing only: protect what is theirs.

As a trained sniper and Navy SEAL, Lucas Tate found the courage to distance himself from the wealthy, wicked patriarch who adopted him. Instead, he’s devoted his life to the elite band of brothers from his unit. So when the widow of one of his former comrades finds herself in apparent danger, Lucas makes it his job to protect her against all enemies. . .and not let her out of his sights.

Grace Riley feels overwhelmed by Lucas’s presence, but the cold-eyed marksman will do anything to keep her safe. Soon the special attention he pays her becomes a wild romantic distraction—one that troubles Grace, since Lucas was so close to her deceased husband. Still, how can she resist Lucas’s intense, ice-blue stare? All she knows is that a life without strong, passionate Lucas is one not worth living. Can Lucas can find a way to honor his former brother-in-arms by saving Grace. . .and loving her, too?

My Thoughts

First off, thank you to the folks at St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for getting me this ARC – it’s a great series and i’m so glad to see what was next for the Tate brothers.  We had the exciting introduction into their family a while back with the eldest brother and now it seems like it’s time to get into Lucas’s story – especially since there were hints throughout book 1 that he had something else going on.  that something else was protecting Grace.

So, Grace – where do we start – she’s a girl that Lucas knew of because she was married to one of his close friends in the SEALs – and after his death there’s so much that’s come up, with Lucas only learning about that after his own father has passed away and revealed a secret.  So Lucas finds himself trying to protect Grace from several folks that are after money that her husband owed people after getting involved with De Santis in an arms deal gone wrong.

Lucas on the other hand, he’s a guy who is so stoic, a man who won’t allow himself to feel anything because he thinks that he needs to deny himself of all pleasure and happiness….and he feels that its also the only way to stay in control of his life.  Grace makes that quite difficult because she’s not that sort at all, she’s an artist and by nature she’s the kind of woman who is driven by emotion and passion.  So seeing these two come together is quite interesting.

When Grace’s life is put in danger, and Lucas has to hole them up in a secret apartment that he owns, we see them grow closer together, but it takes a while for them ever to admit that they have an attraction because they both can’t really figure it out.  When they do finally get together, it’s hot and steamy and so appropriate for what the story needs.  Ms Ashenden has a knack for finding the best moments to introduce the heat and chemistry and make it build.

There’s so much going on in this story that you stay sucked in.  Grace as an artist is trying to finish her series of paintings for her first ever  show and she’s having a mental block on the final piece.  Lucas ultimately because the muse for it and when the show debuts, it’s something quite impressive.  Then there’s the bits of someone is still after Grace and when someone sneaks past their defenses and she’s at risk, we see true feelings come out.

I think that we get what we were expecting here, but with the way that the story’s written, we don’t know what the full ending will be and may not even know it with the finale of the last brother’s story.  I feel like De Santis will be a thorn in their side forever, even from what we got in the series from that side of things.  (recall that we got several books of the de santis heirs). So, who knows where things will go, and what family secrets will be uncovered next, but i know that i can’t wait to find out.  Enjoy!

ARC Review: Misadventures of a City Girl (Misadventures #1) by Meredith Wild, Chelle Bliss

Title: Misadventures of a City Girl
Author: Meredith Wild, Chelle Bliss
Publisher/Year: Waterhouse Press 9/12/17
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  Misadventures #1

Overview

Fresh off a divorce from a Hollywood hotshot, Madison Atwood needs an escape. With the paparazzi fresh on her heels and her love life splashed on every tabloid, she runs away to a swanky retreat in Northern California. Avalon Springs is the mountainside haven she needs to find herself again.

Luke Dawson lives off the grid, preferring solitude to society. When he finds a beautiful woman soaking in the hot springs on his property, he can’t stop himself from watching her. She captures his attention, but she’s just a city girl—a beautiful distraction disturbing the peace he’s settled here to find.

When Madison discovers Luke’s secluded cabin, he can’t turn her away again. They make no promises. Madison needs to feel wanted again, and Luke misses the touch of a woman. But when mother nature has other plans, they’re forced to spend more than a night of passion together. Can Luke say goodbye to the only woman who’s made him feel anything in years, and can Madison leave behind the man who brought her back to life?

My Thoughts

First off – thanks to the folks at Netgalley and Waterhouse Press for getting me an advance copy of this to read and review.  It’s a sweet story about a woman who’s going through a huge change in her life and needs grounding, and a man who’s been through more than enough in his life and just needs to find center.

Madison needs to escape TMZ and all the celebrity news surrounding her husbands affair – a woman that he’s now engaged to we learn, and she decides to go off the grid – to a place where she can be alone, get some zen and discover how to be happy again.  What she finds at Avalon though is the opposite of that.  She’s quickly irritated and annoyed by all the people that are around and how they always want her to participate in group activities and this leads her to go hiking alone.  She’s finally gotten a few moments to enjoy the quiet when she sees Luke in the distance, watching all her personal and private moves – and of course we know the story will take off from there.

Luke on the other hand is the epitome of the sexy mountain man – a guy who is rough around the edges but who has the body and looks to pull it off.  He’s an ex Navy SEAL and he’s just trying to get his life back after the horrors that he lived with while on duty.  He finds that he can’t hardly be around people anymore because of the PTSD so of course his natural reactions to seeing Madison make him question everything.

When a snowstorm hits and Madison hurts herself and is then trapped with Luke, we see how things get steamy fast.  Madison needs to find herself again, and find that she’s still sexy and wanted by a man, and Luke needs to have that connection with someone as well.  Their journey together is a really sweet one.  We see that they open up to one another in ways that weren’t expected and they have a level of comfort that really provides a strong foundation to the physical connection that they clearly have.

When Madison’s ex shows up and Madison leaves to go back to LA, we’re left wondering what’s going to happen to these two.  They have something that could be wonderful, but we know that Maddy can’t leave LA and Luke won’t survive there.  The way that this is written makes us so anxious and curious about where they will net out since there’s really only so much compromise that either can do.

So on that note, i can’t wait to read book 2, and i believe that NetGalley has gifted me with that already, so onto the next!  Enjoy!

Review: Wicked Grind (Stark World #1) by J Kenner

Title: Wicked Grind
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: EverAfter Romance 7/11/17
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  Stark World #1

Overview

Sometimes it feels so damn good to be bad

Photographer Wyatt Royce’s career is on the verge of exploding. All he needs is one perfect model to be the centerpiece of his sexy, controversial show. Find her, and Wyatt is sure to have a winner.

Then Kelsey Draper walks in. Stunning. Vibrant. And far too fragile for a project like this. Wyatt should know—after all, he remembers only too well how their relationship ended all those years ago.

Desperate for cash and frustrated with her good girl persona, Kelsey sets her sights on Wyatt’s show. But only the show. Because she knows too well that Wyatt Royce is a danger to her heart.

But when Wyatt agrees to give her the job only if he has complete control—on camera and in his bed—Kelsey can’t help but wonder if she’s in too deep. Because how can a good girl like her ever be enough for a man like Wyatt?

My Thoughts

So it says that it’s a stand alone novel, but while this story is, it’s also tied to the greater series which is nice.  I mean, we’ve spent so much time over the course of the full series with Wyatt to know that he’s close to Nikki, and Damien, so it’s great to get his story as well.

Then there’s Kelsey, the girl who got away, but who also ran and she’s fighting her own demons.  She’s grown up now sure, but she’s still at the mercy of her family – the ideas that her father embedded in her head while she was growing up, and the reprocussions of something that happened 12 years prior that she’s trying to make right.

The way that our amazing author writes this story is a series of present day scenes with a bit of history from 12 years ago peppered in.  There’s something nice here about getting the back story in the way that we do, without getting all the details of the ‘right after’ since that’s something that i think we need to see the present day characters puzzle out.

This is such a sweet story – Wyatt deserves to have all the successes in the world, especially since he’s trying to create his own reputation, not live off that of his famous grandmother.  He’s about to step over that threshold, yet he needs his muse – and lucky for him, she pops into his studio, subbing in for her friend.

There’s nostalgia here, amazing romance and chemistry that overcomes everything, heat that’s leaping off the pages, and self doubt that makes you wonder if they are strong enough now to even be who they want.

I’m so glad that we get glimpses now into the lives of some of the supporting cast of the main series – they are so amazing and really help important roles when they were introduced before that it’s only fair that we get it in a full story now.  I can’t wait to see Lyle’s story since i believe that’s next.  Enjoy!

Review: All I Am (This Man #3.5) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: All i Am
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 6/18/17
Length:   155 Pages
Series:  This Man #3.5

Overview

I thought I had control. I was so, so wrong…

I don’t need a relationship. I have Hux, a decadent club where I quench whatever raw desire I choose. I take pleasure and I give it – no strings attached. So when Raya Rivers comes in asking for someone cold, emotionless, and filthy… well, no man ever takes his wicked pleasure quite the way I do.
Only Raya is different. Vulnerable. And carrying some deep sorrow that gets past all my carefully constructed walls and inexplicably makes me care. Now craving controls me. Ice has given way to red-hot need.
But Raya has no idea about my other life – my real life. That I’m daddy to an adorable little girl. My two worlds are about to collide with the force of a supernova. Once Raya knows the truth, will she be able to accept all I am?

My Thoughts

I love the bigger series so it’s nice to have a novella that gives us a bit more about Drew since he was only teased in the other stories.  So here we get to know a bit more about his life with his daughter, the one that came around because of a woman who was out to lock another man into being with her.

His life has time for her only, and work, and perhaps a few of his best friends, so it’s not until he’s been requested at his BDSM club to help out a new sub in a cold, no intimacy relationship.  It’s what we’ve come to expect from him actually.

That woman, the one that’s requested him, Raya – has an interesting story to tell, and one that we don’t really get to learn about until half way through.  Their one night is exactly what they both need, but they both soon realize that maybe there’s more of a connection than either wanted or hoped for and that complicates things.

The journey here is really about seeing Drew open up his world while trying to be the best father that he can, and Raya being incredibly private about what she does, wants and where she’s going in life.  When paths cross again, seeing Drew as the man to sell Raya’s house and watching her walk out of his life forever,well we quickly learn what’s really important.

So as expected in a novella, it’s a quick read and not a story that gets too deep but it gives us something to enjoy.  We also get the tell tale signs of Ms Malpas, our great author who is able to weave a nice story while also making sure to keep it just the right about of hot and steamy.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.  Enjoy!

Review: Bitch Slap by J Kenner

Title: Bitch Slap
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: Martini & Olives  5/31/17
Length:   158 Pages

Overview

The first time I met her I wanted to slap her.
The second time, I knew I had to have her.
As for the third time, a gentleman doesn’t tell.
So I guess it’s a good thing I’m no gentleman … right?

Let’s get this out of the way, right off the bat: I love women.

I love the way they look. The way they smell. The way they feel. Especially the way they feel. And I’ve pretty much made it my mission to give each and every woman who shares my bed the ride of her life.

Then I met her. Bitchy as hell and completely uninterested in me. And damned if I didn’t want her. Crave her. I told myself I only wanted to tame her. That it was all about the challenge.

I never expected to break through that ice queen exterior and find the softness underneath. Never expected how wild she’d be between the sheets or the way she’d cry my name with such sincere intensity when I totally rocked her world.

Most of all, I never expected to fall for her.

But I did.

And the question is, now that I know I want her, how the hell do I go about keeping her?

My Thoughts

So i’m a huge fan of all things tied to J Kenner since we have some of the best series by her so i was excited to get into this standalone.  It’s an interesting story – honestly, i think that it felt VERY VERY different from all that we’ve read by J Kenner, and i wondered at times if it was actually written by her.  It was only the tie back to Jamie and her boyfriend Hunter to help out with some security things, along with teasing back to Stark through needing help getting into a hotel that made them all blend together.

So what we have here is a story of a guy, Pierce, who’s had his heart broken in the past, was military as well, so we know that he’s got more walls than anyone.  He’s looking for ‘something’ but not sure what it is, and he knows that he only wants ‘one night’ with anyone so that he’s not able to grow bonds.

Then there’s Jez – the leading lady of this saga, the older sister of a hollywood starlet who’s on the bad end of a scandal, and the sister just wants to find a way to protect her sister and keep things from getting any worse.

Its through a wrong encounter that we see these two cross paths, thinking that each is someone else and it’s clearly all for the best as we see.

So, Pierce and Jez show us that they have interesting chemistry – both for the fact that they are strong willed and the fact that they’re looking for something without knowing that they are looking for it.  meaning they both clearly need a release as they’re high strung and they both need to find comfort in someone and trust in someone, so it’s nice that they are able to avoid admitting it here and just do it. for now.

With this book, it’s sweet-  and quite expected but i don’t know – there’s something about it that didn’t feel right with me.  We usually have good highs and lows when we get stories from Ms Kenner and that’s not really the case here.  there were maybe a few seconds of grief sure, but nothing that was uber climactic and i feel like it’s a miss on her part.  The ending though was nice since it wasn’t the expected ending for some of the characters – so that was played nicely.

so all in all, a decent novella, and i think that as a tied me over to something out from the bigger series about nikki and damien, i’ll take it.  enjoy!

Review: Behind the Curtain by Beth Kery

Title: Behind the Curtain
Author: Beth Kery
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 5/2/17
Length:   400 Pages

Overview

Cultures clash and passion ignites in the novel that will leave you begging for more—from the bestselling author of The Affair and Looking Inside.
 
There’s something about this woman…

On a break between overseas jobs, journalist Asher Gaites returns to his hometown of Chicago—and allows his friends to persuade him to check out a hot new singer. At a downtown jazz club, he’s soon transfixed by the lyrical voice and sensuous body of a woman who performs behind a thin, shimmering veil…

…That could bring a man to his knees.

The veil gives Moroccan-American Laila Barek the anonymity she needs since she has never been able to reconcile her family’s values with her passion for music. But one man is inexplicably drawn to her. And when Asher confronts her on a subway platform after a gig, he’s shocked to recognize the woman who walked away from him nine years ago…

Laila has never been able to forget the touch, the feel, the taste of Asher. And despite the doubt and fear that wind their way into their lives, they must trust the heat of their desire to burn down the walls the world has placed between them…

My Thoughts

So – where to start on this one.  I’m a huge fan of Beth Kery -i read anything i can get my hands on by her, and so i was really excited to see this new stand alone story.  What we have is a sweet romantic saga that spans about 8 years sort of, with the story starting in the present, jumping to the past for it to make sense and then taking us back to the present to see how things play out.

The premise and idea of the story are sound – and knowing the writing style that we get from Ms Kery, that should help keep it moving, but i found that there were points throughout this book that i just skimmed through and pushed ahead since it wasn’t moving for me.

The main characters are lovable for sure – we have Asher who’s the main man, coming back from a job oversees looking to meet with his family before he’s off on another job.  He’s got a bit of a tough background since his family is very wealthy, quite established in their business, and expect Asher to fall in line and work for them.  He’s got a band of best friends who help keep the tone light, and i kind of got the sense at the beginning that the friends Jimmy and Rudy could have their own installments, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the point of this book.  Asher’s been backed into corners by his family and what they expect of him, even to the point where his cousin Eric goes out of his way to be the perfect specimen and rides Asher to no end.

Then we have Laila – our sweet and innocent leading lady – who at the time these 2 met, she was 19 and just starting to find herself in life, all while trying to be exactly what her family wants.  When Asher opens her eyes to what she could truly feel and experience in the realm of love, well we know that it’s going to be bad.

So the essence of this story is that we living present day with our characters, watching Asher struggle with what he wants to do with his life while his family hates all of his choices, and it’s on a return trip home to Chicago where he finds that the past has come back to his present. He goes to a music show with his friends where there’s a new sultry singer performing and she’s kept her identity a secret through the use of a veil or curtain during her shows – but asher sees through it.

And to the past we go – watching their romance unfold and watching how it was doomed from the beginning but the romance and emotions are all there.

So this is where i’m lost a bit.  What i’m used to seeing from Ms Kery is a story that’s fast moving and really intense and this one was more ‘sweet’ i guess.  not what i was expecting.  The writing is all there, the characters are all nice and emotional, but it’s not the same level of intensity that i’m used to and i felt a bit let down.

Regardless, when we’re brought back to the present with our characters, things do heat up a bit since they are ‘older and more mature’ and i think that there’s a slight change or turn that happens to make the conclusion come to us fast and hard.  There are scenes that are sexy and hot, and helped us finish it off on a higher note.

So with all that, still a fan of Beth Kery clearly, but this book may not make it to the top of my fan list.  sorry!!

Review: Hold Me (Stark Trilogy #4.1) by J Kenner

Title: Hold Me
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: Evil Eye Conceps 5/23/17
Length:   120 Pages
Series:  Stark Trilogy #4.1

Overview

My life with Damien has never been fuller. Every day is a miracle, and every night I lose myself in the oasis of his arms.

But there are new challenges, too. Our families. Our careers. And new responsibilities that test us with unrelenting, unexpected trials.

I know we will survive—we have to. Because I cannot live without Damien by my side. But sometimes the darkness seems overwhelming, and I am terrified that the day will come when Damien cannot bring the light. And I will have to find the strength inside myself to find my way back into his arms.

My Thoughts

I’ll never get enough of Damien and Nikki, especially as we see their lives grown and change together so this novella is a great little snippet into how their lives have changed once again.  We left them after Nikki had a miscarriage while trying to grow her business in Dallas, and then how she and Damien struggled to understand what that meant for their relationship.  As things happened, they ended up not only adopting a little girl but finding themselves pregnant again and this time it stuck.

So we’re in the future, just as Nikki is about to go back to work and as all new moms struggle, we see that she has a tough time knowing that she’s going to miss those moments of her kids growing up, all those firsts, but also knowing that she wants to stand on her own and grow her company since that’s her passion.

The short novella we have here is a sweet one of seeing how a relationship changes, yet how those struggles are real, but can be managed through the never ending support of your partner.  Damien continues to amaze us in how patient and understanding he is, and how he’s supportive until the end.

It’s when problems arise in Nikki’s company that we see things change, and we can only wonder what those outcomes and decisions will be and how they will shape the lives of the Starks moving forward.

While it was perhaps a bit too short to truly give us the amazing bits that we have come to crave with this couple, it’s a nice little bit of reading to keep things moving with this story.  Enjoy!

Review: In Bed with the Billionaire (Nine Circles #5) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: In Bed with the Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 11/1/16
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  Nine Circles #5

Overview

In the final Nine Circles novel, there is a fine line between pleasure and pain, between sin and salvation. Jackie Ashenden shows what happens when a dangerously irresistible man and woman collide, in and out of the bedroom.

In Bed with the Billionaire

Known to the underworld only as Jericho, billionaire Theo Fitzgerald is one of the most powerful men in the world. But his plan is to tear down the criminal empire his father created from the inside out—unless someone else does it for him.

He suspects a bold, seductive woman named Temple Cross might be trying to take him out with it—but for the chance to burn in the heat she gives off, he’s not sure if he minds…

A hired hit woman, Temple has been waiting to get close to Jericho her whole life. The man who destroyed her family is worth looking in the eye before she kills him—but when she’s finally alone with Jericho, he’s nothing like the ruthless barbarian she imagined. Her reaction to his touch is explosively sexual—and their emotional connection is too powerful for her to ignore.

Is she his shot at redemption? Or will he have to risk losing her love to save her life?

My Thoughts

WOW – so, i think that we got exactly what we were hoping for as a conclusion and resolution to this fairly complicated story.  Not only was it filled with twists and turns, i think that we also got to see the true colors of people.

Before i get into the meat of this story – i have to say it again- i don’t know how Ms Ashenden does it, but what we have is another example of a series that’s made up of stories about couples that happen in a chronological order of sorts, but instead we have a series that’s made up of stories that are completely connected, and you have to really follow the series as it goes to truly understand what everything means to each other part.

So in this final installment, we get to see how it will all play out.  You know that throughout this one, we have seen couples come together in the hopes of taking down a kingpin only to learn that there’s someone bigger and badder who’s behind it all, and then when we find out that it’s Theo, Violet’s brother who’s supposedly dead, well that makes things all that more complicated.  He has his motivations but the question becomes whether we can trust him or not.  and the guess is not.

Then there’s Temple – the woman that we had met as Eva’s driver, hired by Zac to protect her and when we saw her betray Eva a few installments back, you had to wonder what that was all about.  We learn that she’s linked to them all in a deeper way – having her ties to Elijah in the hopes of taking down the ring as well as trying to find her sister who was taken by them and sold.

Of course you know that since she’s personally invested, there’s another revenge saga.  Add to that the fact that she’s an assassin, and you know that things are going to get spicy – FAST.   Temple takes on a job at the request of Zac to locate Jericho (or Theo) and take him down, kill him all so that this can be done with.  What no one expected was that there would be feelings there, that we would see the truth behind Temple and the truth behind Jericho and perhaps that there was so much more that was going to come out.

Throughout this story we see the fight of chemistry between Jericho and Temple.  She wants to get information from him in regards to where her sister is/was and then kill him, all while playing him and herself.  She won’t admit what she’s feeling towards Jericho and she won’t even it admit the reasons behind it, but with the prodding that he does, and his need for control, we start to see things unravel.

Then there’s Jericho.  He’s got his motivations, the fact that he knew all about what it was that his father did, and his intent all these years was to take down the ring and make sure that his father paid for everything.  Even if it means that his sister will never look at him again.  And we know that Violet is a tough one – so you never know.

The journey here isn’t as deep but very angst ridden since they both have so much pain and it’s all tied to the Nine Circles desired outcome.  What we don’t know is how it’s going to end, who’s going to remain alive and what that will mean for these friends and family.  I think that there’s a level of expectation of the happy ending and i think that it’s highly unreasonable to expect that to be the case now that things are being shaken up, so it’s the masterful writing that gives us closure in a way that makes sense and gives us hope.

Also, true to her form, Ms Ashenden gives us some incredibly steamy scenes.  Not the bondage that Zac loves, not the control of the others, but the power and rage that only Jericho can have and the fight that only Temple can bring.  It’s hot and sensual and really really intense.  To top it off, we get romance, and we get saving grace and that’s what we need at this point.

Now i’m bummed that i don’t have more with this series, but i think that it was exactly what i needed right now to read.  I hope you guys give it a try!

Review: Kidnapped by the Billionaire (Nine Circles #4) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: Kidnapped by the Billionaire
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 3/1/16
Length:   384 Pages
Series:  Nine Circles #4

Overview

When revenge and desire collide…

Seven years ago, billionaire-turned-bodyguard Elijah Hunt lost everything he had—his family, his future—and now he wants revenge. But when he decides to kidnap the daughter of the man who ruined his life, Elijah gets a lot more than he bargained for.

Violet Fitzgerald is nothing like her corrupt wealthy father. In fact, she’s so disarmingly independent—and irresistible—that she’s downright dangerous…

there is no place to hide.

Violet never thought she’d feel a connection to her captor. But there’s something beneath Elijah’s steel-bodied exterior that makes her want to know him more deeply…and surrender to his every demand.

However, once Elijah’s erotic fantasies become a reality—and he and Violet develop a powerful connection—he finds himself in a quandary: Is he still the one in control? Or has Violet imprisoned him—body and soul?

My Thoughts

Well, we knew that things were getting very very complicated and while Fitz has now been murdered, we know that there’s still the quest for revenge by the elusive Elijah, and that’s exactly what we get in this next installment.

We didn’t know much about violet before this story – just that she’s best friends with Honor and a free spirit of sorts since she’s trying to find where she fits in the world.  The twist that we learn though is that there’s really a method to what she’s been doing – and that she’s determined that her brother hadn’t commit suicide years before and that perhaps he’s truly alive.  So that’s her goal in life.

Then there’s Elijah – we know that he’s beyond angry because Eva killed Fitzgerald, and now he’s out to kill Jericho, the other man who’s at the helm of the Euro empire that Fitzgerald was trying to get in on, as well as the fact that Elijah thinks that Jericho is the man behind the death of his wife.  So lots of tension there.

When the plan becomes kidnapping Violet to use as bait to get to Jericho, we see things get dicey.  True to how Ms Ashenden has written all of the female leads so far, we see that they aren’t going to take things sitting down and they all put up a fight.  Violet does exactly that and it’s impressive to see how resourceful she becomes in the hopes of trying to get free.

The other expected bit since we tend to see it in quite a few of these stories is that the captor ends up being so much more than what they seem on the surface and we quickly see a spark of chemistry building between these 2 and that makes things all that more complicated.

It’s not until the Nine Circles figure out where Violet is being held and go after her that things start to get some sense of resolution.  They are all now after the same thing – trying to save Violet all while trying to get to Jericho, and just when we think that it’s all be taken care of, another twist comes up.  (one that i figured out but i usually do – quite early).

In any event, it leaves us in a place in the story where we are surprised and yet frustrated since there are limits to what can be done.  Thankfully there’s one more installment that will hopefully give us the closure that we need since i feel like there are still a few twists to come up that we’re not ready for.

Like i’ve said before though, i’m really impressed with how well these installments are woven together, even though they are about different couples essentially.  The plot is so complete throughout and the way that all of them are connected means that we’re going to see the same themes and lines pulled through.

The other piece that’s great is how we get to see each couple scene together and Violet and Elijah are so hot as well.  We have yet another inexperienced girl in the lead but there’s something about how she allows Elijah to control her and dominate her that’s incredibly hot.  I can’t wait to see how things get resolved – and happily i have the last one already!  Enjoy

Review: You are Mine (Nine Circles #3) by Jackie Ashenden

Title: You Are Mine
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 10/6/15
Length:   304 Pages
Series:  Nine Circles #3

Overview

He’s master of the game.
Zac Rutherford is one of the most powerful and sought-after men in New York’s private club scene. Masterful and demanding, he attracts beautiful women willing to surrender to his every whim, every desire, and every command. But Zac is in love with one woman, and one woman only. She is his true passion-and sole obsession. A glorious angel in the flesh…who refuses to be touched by any man.

She doesn’t play by the rules.
Eva King owes her life to Zac. Seven years ago, he rescued her from darkness. Still, in spite of her attraction to Zac, she refuses to allow any man to touch her body, let alone her heart. But when a dangerous enemy from Eva’s past reappears, Zac is the only one who can save her-if she’s willing to bare her soul, shed her inhibitions, and surrender control…to him.

My Thoughts

This is yet another great continuation of the story that i’ve become quite engrossed with.  where we had Gabriel/Honor’s story and Alex/Katya, we know that things have to get messy with Zac and Eva.  the duo of the group that has a very interesting relationship and one that we know has so much more potential than what’s been revealed so far.

So where we left off in the series is with Katya/Alex coming back from Monte Carlo with information leading us to believe that it’s not Conrad who was in charge of all that’s bad and evil in the mission, but someone else – yet we don’t know who it is.  We do know that there’s a mercenary named Elijah who’s close to whoever is the ring leader who’s warning them all off from their investigation, but we also know that all these alpha males aren’t scared so easily.

Meaning that it falls into the lap of Eva who’s one of the best hackers out there and Zac who’s got more connections than we can imagine because of his security company and some of the mercenary work that he’d done in a past life.

The journey here is one where we see Zac come to terms with what he’s been doing for the past 7 years – protecting Eva because of what she went through, even though he doesn’t know the full extent.  They met through the fact that she was trying to hack into his computer system and needed to be saved so he did that and they’ve been close ever since.  Because their club doesn’t probe into what makes each person into who they are, no one has a clear sense of what it was, but with the nature of some of the stuff that we’ve uncovered, sex trafficking and the like, we start to put the pieces together to know that perhaps that’s what Eva was going through before she was saved.  The other bit too is that Zac isn’t just alpha, he’s a dom, and while that’s typical with this type of character, we know that he’s in love with Eva and wants to push her to open up even though he knows she’s terrified of all that.

So complicated isn’t even going to cover it.  He gives her tough love throughout the story in the hopes of breaking her open so she can overcome her fears – not just for herself but to help everyone figure out who’s behind the casinos and the murders etc.  She’s the one that can link it all since we learn that it’s likely the same man who held her captive.  When we learn what that link is, and a few twists along the way, we know that there’s potential for their world to be blown up even more.

Where we get the great abilities of our author is not just in the complexity of the story and how well it’s been interwoven between each installment in the series, but the different nature of this romantic/sexual relationship that we see bloom between Zac and Eva.  Each one of our couples has had their own niche – their unique bit to make it special, and this is no exception.  The way that Zac controls and over powers Eva is intense, taking away her ability to do anything aside from just experience and it’s hot.  I know that if it were me, i’d absolutely be into letting someone like Zac do all that stuff.  You even have to feel a bit bad for Eva because regardless of her tough exterior, she really has no chance.

The twist that we have through everything though is Elijah – he’s a wild card since he is employed by the man that they want to take down, yet he seems to be on the side of the Nine Circles.  I really haven’t figured that one out yet and i feel like there’s so much more to that story that we don’t even know.  I have to get into the 4th book since i feel like it’s going to get even dicier knowing that it’s not a nine circles member being drawn in, but the best friend of Honor – who’s got ties to the whole story as well.  So on that note – enjoy and have a great weekend!