Review: Purple Magic by Lisa Renee Jones

TitlePurple Magic
Author:  Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 4/15/14
Length:  105 Pages

Overview

After her friend Carrie vanishes into the hedonistic world of Manhattan’s forbidden clubs, Jolene Morrison is willing to do anything to find her. And it may come to that when she seeks the help of the vampire Drago. Jolene may be half vampire—and free from their manipulations—but the instant flourishing desire the mere presence of Drago stirs within her is undeniable.

And Drago can smell it. He can practically taste her emotions, her lust. He knows their attraction is real, and he must have her. But Drago also knows what could happen to Jolene if she were to enter one of those clubs. The thought of another vampire having her drives him wild. Now Drago must do anything to protect her—or risk losing the woman who just might be his mate.

My Thoughts

So i’m going to start off by saying that i was going through LRJ’s library to see what books I haven’t read and that’s how i came across this one. It’s definitely not my usual. While i loved Twilight and a few others that are in that realm, Vampire related stories aren’t usually my jam. However, i read it because of this amazing author and given it’s novella length, I don’t mind.

What we have here is the romance story of our innocent (but maybe not so innocent) main leading lady Jolene – a girl who is half vampire and who really has no family aside from her best friend who’s gone missing. She’s only been given bits and pieces about her past, things that we learn aren’t the complete truth (shocker) and when her friend goes missing after spending time with other Vampires (i don’t know that we ever got to the bottom of what amount human or not Carrie is tbh), Jolene takes it upon herself to rescue her since no one else will.

When she’s directed to a man named Drago, her life changes forever. She knows what the powerful “Slayer’ vampires are like – her father is one, so as soon as she meets Drago, she knows that she’s in for a tough time. That’s only the beginning of it since we quickly see that Drago has some extreme and deep draw to her, deeper than he has ever felt before and he’s not entirely sure why since he knows that she’s not a full vampire and the connection he’s feeling, the mating bond is typically only amongst full vampires.

The story that we get from here out is one where we see them struggle with the connection that they have, both in reality and that they have to fake in the hopes of rescuing Carrie. Drago has been working to shut down the operation of another vampire Alex who happens to be the one who’s got Carrie. Drago has to play a role, make it seem like Jolene is his captive so they can save Carrie, and where that takes them is an intense journey.

In true Lisa Renee Jones fashion, we see some really hot scenes, hotter than i’ve actually read on other stories so i’m impressed. I feel like her earlier stories actually got us hotter and more bothered than some of the installments lately. Not a bad thing, just something that i’ve noticed. Regardless, we see Jolene and Drago take on the world in a sense in the hopes to bring her friend hope and we don’t know if they will be successful.

At the same time, secrets about Jolene’s past are revealed and they completely blow up her world and everything that she thought she knew about who she was and what her parents are. It explains much and yet leaves so much more in question.

Because this is a stand alone and a novella length, we know that the plot can only be so complicated and so deep, but i have to say that it was a fast read and still quite enjoyable. I can’t say that i’ll stay in the vampire romance section, but i don’t mind the sojourn. Enjoy!

Review: Wife (Betrothed #1) by Penelope Sky

TitleWife
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 9/23/19
Length:  187 Pages
Series:  Betrothed #1

Overview

I was twenty-one when the gypsy read my future:

As punishment for your crimes, you will only love one woman…but she’ll never love you back.

I didn’t believe a word of it.

Until I met Sofia Romano almost ten years later.

I fell hard for this woman. Would die for this woman.

But she left me.

Now years have passed and Sofia needs a husband. Her father is gone and her mother is trying to marry her off to a man that can protect their family, protect their company. 

She’s looking for someone powerful.

Check.

Someone rich.

Check.

Someone handsome.

Double check.

Now it’s my chance to have the only woman I’ve ever loved…and I’ll make sure she feels the same way.

I have a lifetime to make that happen.

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of Penelope Sky which by now i’m sure that you guys have all realized so I’m happy that there’s a new series for me to sink my teeth into. In this new series Betrothed, we’re taken back to Tuscany, the setting for just about everything in her world, to see how the underworld mixes with the ‘proper world’ and how once secrets are reveled, life is changed.

This story takes place in a few different time periods. We open the story with our leading man Hades and his friend Damian on a trip to Morocco to celebrate Hades 21st birthday, and there his life is changed forever, but he doesn’t really know what that will feel like just yet.

Then we push forward a bit to where we meet Sofia, when she’s just eighteen and thinks that she’s mature but still has so much more to learn. She meets Hades at an event at her father’s hotel and is so attracted to him that she wants to pursue him, yet he makes her realize that she’s still got so much more to learn before that’s realistic.

Then we fast forward a few more years to see how Sofia has grown up now, out of university and trying to get a chance to run her family business now that her father has passed, she’s gotten an education, and wants to learn everything from her stepfather. Her mother seems to think that it’s a silly concept, to be left to whomever she marries, and there’s a lot there behind her words that we don’t know yet but will find out. Strong women are fully capable to run a business, but once we learn more about how the financing of the hotel has been done and who does business there, well it’s quickly becoming clear why there’s a need for a strong powerful man.

This is where Hades comes into play, but not in the right context. Sofia and Hades cross paths again and well, now that she’s experienced life, they some how manage to combust together, allowing the intense chemistry that’s been building for years come to a head and explode. What they have together is hot and intense and the exact connection that they both say they need. Neither is looking for a relationship with strings so what they have is great. until it isn’t.

Hades feelings come on strong and he’s quickly falling faster for Sofia than she is him. This i actually a huge trait that we have in most of Ms Skhy’s books if i’m honest. The man is the one to admit his feelings first and then he finds that it’s an uphill battle from there on to make things work as they should.

He pushes her too hard and she pushes him away. He gives her one chance to redeem herself and it seems to work, again until it doesn’t. When Sofia is almost raped and hurt, Hades comes to save her and we all think that a corner has been turned, but no – Sofia’s walls are still up. Hades doesn’t read it the same way and makes a proclamation that changes the course of this story for good.

There’s now hated. They’re at am impasse. There’s no hope for redemption. And there’s jealousy.

We’re taken taken two years into the future again when Sofia’s stepfather passes away unexpectedly, Sofia’s mom is alone and deems herself too old to find them the right protection for the family and puts the weight of the world on Sofia. Sofia is forced into a situation that she never wanted, feared and abhorred. The question becomes who will save them and who’s going to be on the other side of the coin to hurt them and take them down? We know that the mafia in Italy is something intense (thank you for all the other series that we’ve read to learn the true depth and breadth of what it is that they handle and do to those who don’t comply).

Will the hate between Hades and Sofia be the family’s ruin? Will the premonition that Hades got when he turned 21 turn out to be true and what will that mean for the progression of things. How much can Sofia take before she breaks and who’s going to be the one to break her? So many questions and so few answers. I need book 2 to be out already so i can see how this plays out. Enjoy!

Review: Ruined With You (Stark Security #3) by J Kenner

TitleRuined with You
Author:  J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 9/19/19
Length:  221 Pages
Series:  Stark Security #3

Overview

When her high maintenance boss is assaulted, manager Xena Morgan contacts the only person who can help—the sexy, arrogant, incredibly capable Stark Security agent Liam Foster. The former vigilante takes every case personally, and he’s determined to find answers—particularly since he thought he’d cleared this threat already.

Xena had been thrilled when Liam completed his assignment, because he affected her in ways she didn’t want to contemplate, awakening yearnings that threatened her deepest secrets.

But now she needs him, and her body won’t let her forget it.

As their attraction heats to a feverish degree, the web of lies, danger, and passion they find themselves in tangles further. Liam will stop at nothing to protect his client, even if it means sacrificing everything he holds dear…. and exposing the secrets that may destroy him—and Xena—forever.

My Thoughts

I love anything that has to deal with the Stark world and this third installment in the SSA series doesn’t fall short in any way. We knew that Liam had a past of sorts and that he was dark and mysterious and now its’ his turn to find happiness, or at least figure out how to move past his misery. We know that he was part of Deliverence, and that he and Dallas & Jane were really close all growing up because he was essentially part of their family. So it’s only late in the game that we see his time come.

In the last book we were briefly introduced to this story line – he was on assignment trying to figure out whether a threat was valid or not against an up and coming pop star named Ellie Love. He thought he had cleared it, after finding out that her PR team was trying to generate more buzz, only to find that something else was going on entirely. Just after he leaves her on tour, she gets attacked. She had taken precautions and even had a disguise but she was attacked anyway. The question that comes is whether it was random or not. Liam thinks not.

In this story we also meet Xena – Ellie’s personal assistant and we learn that she’s not only good at what she does but she’s got a past that’s made her tough as nails. It also makes her jumpy when she learned that the disguise Ellie used made her look like Xena, meaning this is definitely not random.

Liam picks up on a few things that she’s giving off and decides to go down that path. The other nuance to this bit too though is that there’s chemistry between them, but they both have walls up and their guard on high alert so they aren’t willing to give into temptation. Liam knows that his job will get those close to him killed (his last relationship and love is dead because of this) and Xena is running from something and is just afraid to really let anyone in and trust.

The journey here is slightly different than the other stories but still dynamic all the same. We need to know what makes both Liam and Xena tick in order to get to the bottom of what’s going on and we need to hope that they find the answers that they need before it’s too late. The entire stark team is involved in this mission now, pulling in resources from everywhere.

Xena is forced to run, Liam goes after her. They end up being ambushed, and followed even with the best measures possible put to shake a tail. They use the resources from the SSA to throw their attackers off their scent and still they find themselves as the wrong end of a gun. The question that begs to be answered is ‘who’s feeding the opposition information’ since there’s no way that anyone would know what the next move is without an inside mole. (mind you i figured that one out early as i’m sure everyone else did, but we don’t know why)\

On top of all that angst and tension, there’s romance and chemistry. What this couple wouldn’t give into in the past comes to a head here and they both see that there’s no way to stay apart. Even though they are close physically, there’s such emotional baggage that it’s a wonder if they can ever make it. Even with the intervention of family and friends, it seems like it’s a lost cause. Understandably so.

Anyhow – i think that we get the deep intense story that we need for Liam and a great continuation for the Stark Security team. I can’t wait to see what comes next since we don’t really know the guy who’s set to be the next main, but it sounds like it’s going to be juicy. Enjoy!

Review: No White Knight (Secrets of Stone #8) by Angel Payne and Victoria Blue

Title: No White Knight
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 10/16/18
Length:  235 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #8

Overview

The quest…

I’m Maclain Stone, and Taylor Mathews is my obsession, my reason to be a better human. Is that even possible? For her, I’ll try. Years of living in the fast lane—literally and figuratively—are catching up with me, as I fight to shift gears and win the right to commit to this incredible woman who has tumbled into my life.

The fight…

I’m ready for change, but is she? So far, she’s rejected every offer I’ve made and shut every door in my face. If she can’t admit her feelings to herself, how can she commit to me?

The fall…

She’s so close to showing me everything she is. I can feel her need in the fire of her touch, taste it in the connection of our kisses, and glimpse her surrender in the intensity of our passion. Yet I want more. But I can’t be her white knight until she admits she needs saving.

My Thoughts

I think that we’ve finally gotten to the last main supporting character (if that’s a thing) with Taylor’s story. We have known her to be the firecracker of the girls group, the one who’s strong and feisty because she’s hiding from something. We met her match in the last installment in Dr Stone, Mac – when he was saving Fletcher’s life. Seeing how these two dance around reality in this eighth book to the series is intense on so many different levels.

What i’ll start with here is that Taylor is fifty shades of messed up and she’s lucky enough to have found a man who’s strong, powerful, stable and who wants to be there for her, yet that’s something that she’s not willing to allow. She keeps him and all other people at arms length because it’s safe, but she doesn’t need safe.

There’s a new level of intimacy in this installment that we haven’t seen before and it makes this couple’s dynamic so unique to the others. Where we know that Margaux and Michel liked to have a dominant aspect to things, we really see that come to a head here with Mac because that’s his jam. It’s light BDSM but it’s still there and shockingly, it’s exactly the flavor that Taylor needs.

The carnival ride that we’re on here is like the Gravatron – the one that spins around and around pulling you to the outside as a means to control you but as soon as it stops, you have no idea which way is up. That’s what we have here. Every time Mac starts to break through Taylor’s walls, they get thrown around and go right back up making any forward progress almost impossible. When he tells her exactly how he feels about her, she runs, brushes it off and minimizes things as her defense mechanism. He realizes that he’s not enough until she determines that she’s enough for herself and after a series of unfortunate events, that’s where they come to rest.

I”m left wondering what will have to happen to make this relationship work. Taylor is terrified of relationships because of how she was raised, yet that’s not an excuse anymore as she’s established herself as strong and powerful. Mac on the other hand though can only fight so hard for something that’s impossible and we see what that means. the last page – we see something come to life that means the story’s trajectory will change and we don’t yet know what it means for this pair. So….that means i MUST find the next book which i think may be the last in the series. Enjoy!

Review: No Simple Sacrifice (Secret of Stone #6) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue

Title: No simple Sacrifice
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 7/10/18
Length:  336 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #6

Overview

If I could turn back time…

My name is Talia Perizkova, and time has been on my side…until I told it to kiss my ass during a business trip to Vegas and experienced a night for the record books with my bosses—yes, my bosses. But what happened in Sin City refuses to stay there, and time has joined forces with his pal, karma, to exact payback—from the depths of my heart.

Fletcher Ford. Drake Newland. They’re two of the business world’s sexiest, most sought-after bachelors—and I’ve fallen for them both. Their passion is everything I crave, their protection is everything I need, and their love is everything my orthodox family will never let me accept.

The solution, according to them, is simple. One man steps down so two of us are happy.

I could find a way…

But sacrifices are rarely simple, and one plus one doesn’t always equal happily ever after. The three of us have to decide—take a chance on this rare love we’ve discovered…or give in to fear and lose each other forever?

My Thoughts

I had almost thought that we had the happily ever after with this threesome when shocker! We do not have a happy ending. This sixth book is yet another roller coaster and a runaway train all at the same time. Fletcher and Drake have their work cut out for them with Talia for sure.

Where we left off in the last book, we saw these three come to terms with the true nature of how they felt about each other, and agree that there is something special there. So many obstacles still stand in their way and that’s what this book is about.

It’s almost like we’re watching a cat and mouse game although the mouse has sort of been caught. She’s learned evasive techniques though and this puts the men in a position that they’ve never been in before, where they have to outsmart her and tread sooo lightly otherwise it’ll all go to crap.

These two powerful impressive men are also among the most patient men out there as well. They know what they want, they take the steps to get it and make it happen. The distance between San Diego and Chicago isn’t enough to make them stress and they make a temp home base in SD for work and to spend more time with her. She has a tough time though seeing the future with them because chicago is so far away and she doesn’t believe that she’s special enough or the only one.

That’s only one facet of this story though – the fact that she doesn’t think that she’s enough. We can’t forget that she’s from a really traditional family and the idea of being with both these men will bring shame to her family and that’s not going to be an easy hurdle to get over.

Apparently there’s more to the story that anyone knows – because just when it seems like things are going to be ok with the trio, Drake bows out. He sends a letter by courier to Fletcher and Talia saying that he has to choose to step away because there is too much at stake and he needs to give Fletcher and Talia a chance to be something amazing. That’s not what anyone wants and as a result, everyone goes their separate ways. Bad choices are made, hearts and spirits are broken, and King Killian needs to come back in with some wisdom in the hopes of fixing things.

The challenge here is that there’s so much adversity with this situation, that no wise words will fix it. Family tradition and heritage is huge. not blood family is even more. Being honest with yourself is almost impossible. So where we are left throughout the back third of this story is wondering what has to break and be given up since there’s no chance that everything can stay intact.

Add to that anxiety though all the heat and romance that is shared between these three when it’s GOOD. I mean, we’re talking some great chemistry that we haven’t truly seen in other installments. So, i’ll leave you with that thought and then head over to book SEVEN! Enjoy!

Review: No Lucky Number (Secret of Stone #5) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue

Title: No Lucky Number
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 7/10/18
Length:  184 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #5

Overview

Business trip or trip of a lifetime?

Talia Perizkova has been working toward this moment her entire career. Now she finds herself sandwiched between two of the most eligible bachelors in the country and can barely focus on the task at hand.And that’s fine by Drake Newland and Fletcher Ford.

They’re all business around the office, but when they get Talia to themselves off the clock, things really heat up. Now if they can just convince her a three-way relationship could fit into her world…

Will Talia take a chance on her newly discovered feelings? Or is their weekend of passion destined to end them before they’ve even begun?

My Thoughts

This new spin off taking us on a journey with Talia re-energizes the series for me. I really liked how we left off with Michael and Margaux, but this is a completely fresh perspective, story and level of depth and intensity. Definitely a good refresh.

We knew very little about Talia’s backstory so far. We know that there was a moment in time that she was living in Killian’s apartment in Chicago but no understanding as to why. We got a sense that there was a boyfriend that wasn’t the best to her but that’s really it. So here we get a great intro to that bit.

The nice way that our authors wrote this one is that we get a glimpse into the past by about a year – seeing how things happened to get us to current day. Talia’s from a very traditional family that has expectations about how she is to live, whom she shall live it with and etc etc. So, when that doesn’t work out the way that people want, since she’s not willing to accept being abused, she’s forced to flee. Thank goodness for the Stones right?

Killian’s two buddies that we met in books past, Drake and Fletcher make an appearance in a big way here. They are not just his best friends but they play an important role in his business. This is where the path crosses for Talia as they are all working closely on the cosmetics brand launch.

Drake and Fletcher don’t just have a strong friendship, they are almost the same person. They share the same interests and most of the time the same woman. So, imagine the drama that can and will ensue when they set their sites on Talia.

The journey that they take is one that’s heated, intense, spicy, and full of so much unknown that you have no choice but to read and read quickly. Talia knows that she’s attracted to them but she’s so guarded and shy that there’s a wonder if these men will ever succeed in their goal. The guys are quite possibly two of the most attractive yet sensitive men on the planet and while they have raunchy reputations, they never push too far for anything.

There’s a scene at the beginning of the book that i’m still trying to sort out as whether it was real or a dream, and i think that it’s a dream – but a very hot and intense one. Very foreshadowing to what could be if allowed.

The way they interact is seamless and steamy, but there are so many reasons why it can’t happen. Talia’s family would never be ok with her choices, and there is the concern of the implication to Talia’s professional reputation. She doesn’t want anyone to think that she got to where she is because of their relationship and she doesn’t want to be judged by her friends. The challenge of course is that there’s a chemistry that can’t be denied.

So while progress is made in this fifth installment, i’m not sure that we’ve made enough. Their story is only just beginning now and i can’t wait to see where it goes. Enjoy!

Review: No Magic Moment (Secret of Stone #4) by Angel Payne and Victoria Blue

Title: No Magic Moment
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 4/17/18
Length:  165 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #4

Overview

Abracadabra…

My name is Margaux Asher—and I’m in love.

Crazy, right? Me, the girl who grew up in the lap of luxury and the shadow of cynicism, is now head-over-heels for an apple farmer’s son. He rocks my world and steals my breath, and he loves me for me. Trouble is…he wants all of me. How can I commit that to him if I don’t know who ‘me’ is? There are pieces missing—and not just mine. Unless Michael opens up and shares all of himself, our great beginning won’t ever become a lasting magic tale.

Don’t look at the man behind the curtain…

My name is Michael Pearson—and I’m in love.

Margaux is the fire of my dreams, the fulfillment of my fantasies, and the woman who’s asked the impossible. When your past has been hell, how is it possible to return to it? But fighting this isn’t an option. I have to battle my ghosts or lose her forever. Can I do it? Is love enough to change a person’s soul, or will our magic become a forgotten moment for us both?

My Thoughts

So if you guys all remember, i was a bit stuck on book 3 of this series – it just wasn’t doing me any favors and was a bit hard to get through. Well, book 4 picked things up a bit, and it only took me one day to read it!

What we have here is the continuation of Margaux and Michael’s story, now that they have admitted to themselves and everyone else that there IS a story and that it’s of the LOVE sort. They both have a closet full of skeletons that neither want uncovered, but we all know in the wonderful world of reading, that all secrets come out one way or another.

When we last left off in Book 3, there were glimpses into Margaux’s past. We knew that she had a troubled time post her breakup with baller Doug, and that’s the dirty laundry that Trey was leaking as blackmail. I’m sure that will come back up somehow here…just wait. Then there was the mysterious woman that Margaux kept seeing throughout her life and again at the very end of book 3 that made us wonder. We knew who she was (at least i did) but wondered why she was showing up and how.

Then there’s Michael’s story. We don’t really know all the history – we just know that he’s doing what he can to protect his mom from an abusive person (Uncle Declan at your service) but we don’t know the full history, the beginning of it all and then how that ties into present day.

It’s at an event where hell breaks loose because Declan shows up to cause trouble, and trouble he brings. For himself in the form of some men who he owes money to, and for Michael because well, a fight ensued and he gets arrested.

All of the carefully stacked cards for this couple seem to be blowing over because now we don’t know if Margaux believes everything that Michael says, if she trusts him, and actually she hates that he won’t open up to her with the truth on everything. We are back on the roller coaster with them because there is more pushing and pulling than ever. Michael breaks up with Margaux to protect her and there’s only so much effort that she can put into trying to save something that can’t be saved.

He feels like he needs to get control back when they receive a package on Margaux’s doorstep of a canvas bag….with a beaten and close to death Diana (Michael’s mom) inside. He couldn’t keep her safe so why does he think he can keep the love of his life safe.

The darkness that Michael goes into in this story isn’t quite as bad as what Killian went to and that is actually a bit of the plot line here. Thanks to Kil, we’re able to see light but at a moment when it’s too late.

What i noticed in this installment that’s different to the others is the chemistry and heat that we get with this couple when they’re ‘on’ v what we saw elsewhere. The passion and raw sexuality is more intense with these two than with Claire and Kil and we get to see the skill of our authors come through full throttle at times. It’s what keeps the story moving nicely and what makes the dark and miserable moments that much more tolerable.

The way this story resolves itself is interesting yet not unpredictable. I think there’s more to the story that could have been…but it’s ok. Separately though, we get a nice teaser into what’s coming in book 4 – especially since we had a weird hint at it in book 2 when Talia moved into the Chicago apartment for a while with no more information. So…we get Talia’s story next and it sounds like there may be a bit of menage involved. On that note – enjoy!

Review: No More Masquerade (Secrets of Stone #2) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue

Title: No More Masquerade
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 3/6/18
Length:  200 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #2

Overview

Behind every good man…is the love of an even better woman.

Those were just pretty words before I met Claire Montgomery. Before my fairy queen burst into my life, I wasn’t able to recognize the bastard in my morning mirror. But her love has given me the strength to face the imposter—even embrace him. With Claire by my side, I’m the king I always wanted to be, the Killian Stone I always dreamed of becoming.

Which means, for once, I want the mask guarding my secret to stay right where it is.

If you want the grown-up fairy tale…learn to love the dark side.

Profound sentiment. I wish I could get on board with it, but the prince in pinstripes has other ideas. Life has been a dream since Killian burst into the ball offering the perfect fit—his heart and mine. But the treasures he bestows have become his armor, hiding the man I yearn to know. I refuse to open his little velvet box until he opens himself, letting me see every last dark hallway of his soul.

My Thoughts

I was really excited to dive right back into this series since the ending of book one gave us enough to be happy and have the ‘feels’ but on the same note, gave us just enough to know that the dam was about to break and everyone would have to deal with the fall out.

There’s SO much that happens in this second book that it’s really hard to keep up with things. Everyone’s identity that you thought you knew isn’t the case – every secret possible will be dug up and relationships are tested beyond belief.

We start off this story with Killian and Claire really making an effort to be together – splitting time between Chicago and San Diego because of their respective jobs. It’s been months of back and forth and it’s taking a toll. We know that things will have to change, it’s just a question now of what the impetus will be for that.

Enter Killian’s money and romance and an extended vacation in Europe for Claire’s birthday. Seems like the perfect trip for a number of reasons. Quality time, a chance for Claire to get the answers that she needs from Kil and a chance for them to take their relationship to the next level. Things don’t go as planned when there’s stress between them because of Killian’s internal fears and then the worst happens – a fire at Keystone manner, leaving two men dying, and the story changed forever.

Killian’s real father is the first to pass and all the secrets that he was fighting to hide from Claire come out. Then Josiah Stone passes, and in his last moments, he reveals that Margaux isn’t who she says/thinks she is. This makes for world war 3 and well, more families and relationships torn apart.

The story goes way way downhill from there because everything Killian worked for is gone, Trey goes to the media with all their family secrets, Claire is pushed away and there’s no happiness to be found anywhere.

I’ll admit that while these bits of the story were exciting, there were many many bits that dragged for me and i had to trudge through in order to get to the point where i hoped things would turn around. It takes a lot of misery, some well placed pep talks and a homeless man to make things turn a corner, but where we end this second installment is a place that really isn’t close to where we began. Business is failing, relationships are still unstable and no one really knows who they can consider family and loyal. I honestly can’t wait to see where book three takes us, i just hope that it doesn’t have the same lull this one did which almost forced me to pause reading. Enjoy!

Review: No Prince Charming (Secrets of Stone #1) by Angel Payne, Victoria Blue

Title: No Prince Charming
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 3/6/18
Length:  232 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #1

Overview

Once upon a time, a girl attended a big party at the palace, met a prince, and they fell in love…

My name is Claire Montgomery, and I’m no princess. I’m a fighter. I’ve worked hard to earn my place with one of the largest public relations companies in the country, and I’m on the verge of one of the most important victories of my career. We’ve been called to Stone Global Corporation to clean up the family’s filthiest laundry, and I’m on my game. I’m ready. But am I ready for Killian Stone?

They say it’s never too late to live happily ever after…

I’m Killian Stone. They call me the Enigma of the Magnificent Mile. Elite tycoons want into my bank account, and their wives and daughters want into my pants. They’ll do anything for a piece of the enigma—until a crack in our castle is too large to ignore. I’m thrilled. This scandalous fissure distracts everyone’s attention from the bigger secret I’m hiding. But when Claire Montgomery walks through my door, I’m captivated. For the first time in my life, I long to shed the enigma. To share…my secret.

My Thoughts

Well, i came across this first book of the Stone series because i needed something to read post the ending of all those other series that i’ve been posting about. The cover art worked for me, and the story line seemed ok, so why not right?

What we have here is an introduction to a story that makes you want you to believe in fairy tales, but puts you in real life where there’s no reason to be that naive and allows you to see the grittier side of life and just be honest. (or not in this case)

Our leading lady Claire has had a very rough go at life for the past few years – having her heart broken and at the same time, finding herself mixed up in a situation that compromises a lot for her future. At the same time, she’s put in uncomfortable situations with people from school, with one girl in particular having it out for her, and surprise surprise, that girl becomes linked to her in ways that you wouldn’t wish upon anyone. So here we are in present day with Claire, who works at a PR firm, that owned by her soon to be step mother and her soon to be step sister (who is this horrid girl from college). She got the job on her own merit, and is damn good, but of course there are taboos about things like this now.

Anyhow, they are the best PR firm in the country (of course) and find themselves flying half way across the country to fix a mess from the Stone family, a family that has billions and some family members who are apt towards scandal. They need to fix a mess that the eldest Trey has caused, and Killian, the youngest is the one who’s trying to play fix-it man.

That’s where we come to Killian, a man who has so many secrets that we don’t know how they stay hidden, yet we know that it’s probably because he’s so gorgeous that no one really bothers to dig deeper. Claires step sister has her eyes set on him, but from the moment they step foot in the office, there’s this spark between Killian and Claire that can’t be controlled.

We spend the bulk of this story along two story lines. The first is figuring out how to get Trey and the Stones out of their mess, which is no easy task since there are vendettas against the family. They have to be creative, fast working and have faith in god that someone else will cause a bigger scandal to get them out of the eye for a second. The other story line is romance, and heat and chemistry.

There’s no way to fight it and our authors go to great lengths to show that there’s a huge push pull here as well. Claire wants him, but knows that it’s impossible because her step shrew has too much dirt against her. She is also afraid to open her heart again and that makes her beyond gun shy. Killian is a man who’s accustomed to getting what he wants and doesn’t like the idea of no.

The scenes between them are spicy, and hot, and make you really wish that you had a great phone sex partner. (yup, we go there in this book). They make it real, although compared to other series i’ve read, it’s a bit clumsy. Still hot though and honestly, i think that it’s got a lot of ‘realness’ to it.

We are left at a point in the story where they are found out, and claws are out. Claire’s father and Andrea, the owner of the PR firm are getting married, and it seems like everyone else’s path is in a happy and successful direction except Claires. So many questions on what we can expect and what we can hope for. We know that this isn’t fairytale and fantasy, but i think that there’s still the romantic in me that wants the grand gesture. So….onto book 2 to see what happens. Enjoy!

Review: The Lone Wolf (Wolf #3) by Penelope Sky

Title: The Lone Wolf
Author:  Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Penelope Sky 8/20/19
Length:  200 Pages
Series:  Wolf #3

Overview

My gravest mistake was falling in love with my husband.

It crept up on me so slowly that I didn’t even notice it was happening until it arrived. I assumed he felt the same way every time he kissed me…every time he touched me.

Until he proved me wrong.

Kamikaze is dead so I don’t need him for protection anymore. Divorce is all I want now. I’ll find a man that will love me the way I deserve, that won’t bring home two strange women just to hurt me. 

I don’t need him. 

Now it’s time to start over.

My Thoughts

This story left us in a very bad sad and dark place at the end of book 2 and i don’t know that anyone wanted to watch the demise of the relationship that was but wasn’t meant to be. Where we left off – Arwen performed as she always does at these parties but this time it was a new song that put all her feelings of love and emotion out there to the world for Maverick to hear. He wasn’t prepared for that and I think that he’s still too afraid to admit that he has those deep feelings for her, so he screws it all up. He brings home two women, beds them and acts as though he’s allowed to do this. In true Arwen form, she drafts divorce papers and leaves him.

So the beginning of this third and final installment is watching Maverick come to terms with what he did, knowing that he’s pushed Arwen so far past her breaking point that he’s lost the one thing that mattered most to him. Arwen on the other hand has so much anger towards him, that she uses that to fuel herself forward. She gets a second job so that she can support herself living on her own, she finds men to keep her company at night, and even starts seeing a man regularly even though her heart isn’t open to someone else and she thinks non stop about Maverick.

He grovels, he repents, he apologizes ,but the damage is too drastic for Arwen to let him in. The shock here is that it’s Caspian, Mavericks father who gets in the middle of things. He goes to the bar that she’s working at, with armed men. Threatens everyone in the bar so that he can have a conversation with her – to make her see that without Maverick, she’s still not safe. not from others and definitely not from him. Caspian as you’ll remember still has a vendetta against Arwen for taking away his full revenge. He provides color to what she’s living and as a result, gets her to go back to Maverick.

The build from here is a slow one – where we know that there’s no trust but there’s a LOT of romance and emotion and we know that at least with that foundation, there’s hope. So Maverick is in it for the long haul, doing what ever he can without pushing too hard too fast to get Arwen to see him as the man she loves. We spend the rest of the story watching that relationship try to repair itself, but i’ll be honest, what Arwen holds onto makes it nearly impossible to make any progress.

The other story line that we have is the one of repairing the father/son relationship. As we will recall, Caspian became a deranged man when his wife was murdered and he’s never come back from that. Arwen sees that there’s something there worth saving and tries to meddle over and over again to get the family back together. She’s persistent and she’s stubborn and it’s a quality that starts to make progress. I think that watching this unfold is something that makes the story even more compelling.

Add all those crazy story lines to a relationship that’s got so much heat and passion and you know that you’re going to have this amazing finale to the trilogy. The questions that we’ve wanted to have answered are resolved, and we see a glimpse into what could be. There’s no easy and direct path, but that’s what makes this such a great book to read. Ms Sky, our amazing author has done it again and now i’m sad to have to find something else to read. Enjoy!