Review: The Pawn (Endgame #1) by Skye Warren

TitleThe Pawn
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Skye Warren 10/28/16
Length:  312 pages
Series: The Endgame #1

Overview

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

My Thoughts

I have to feel just a bit impressed that there’s a book from years ago that I haven’t read (or at least I don’t think i’ve read it before) by an author that i’m a fan of. So that’s what we get with the first installment of the Endgame series. You have the beginnings with Avery, a girl who’s grown up with the means to maintain a specific lifestyle but it seems like there are things taking place behind the scenes that has the chance to jeopardize it all.

We start our story with her at her graduation party, where she’s wearing the right things, and talking to the right people until she goes to find her father, and walks in on a conversation that makes her rethink all that she knew. She goes to run and almost falls down the stairs to be saved by a man that exudes power, and has this appeal that makes her stop and think. Little do we know the role that he will play in her life in the future.

Fast forward a few years when the world has come crashing down on Avery. Her father’s poor business choices have resulted in them losing all their money, and then her father getting beaten to an inch of his life, leaving Avery to take care of everything and herself. Her dreams are dashed and she needs to figure out how to keep her father alive.

Enter Gabriel and the men from the Den. She knows that while unsavory, they can give loans for the right payment terms and she goes in knowing that she has nothing to offer, and learns that perhaps herself is the best thing for her. The agreement ist hat she’ll be auctioned off to the highest bidder for a month and then she’ll get the money that she needs to survive. Gabriel is the #2 in The Den and to watch how he orbits around Avery, how he’s drawn to her and to protect her, well we all know how this will end.

What happens from here is a story that really takes us on quite a few twists and turns. We can only assume that the objections that they have overtly will slowly change into a chemistry and relationship that neither expected. There’s revenge on the part of one, and naiveté on the side of another, and all together, that means that we’ll see combustion, heat, passion and most likely hatred.

Secrets come to light and bonds of trust are broken. What ever path we thought this story was going to go down is dashed when there’s a trade made at the end and that leave us wondering if there’s more revenge than even Gabriel and Avery we’re aware of. So on that note, i’m off to get book 2 and get back into their world. Can’t wait to see who outsmarts whom, and what it means for the other.

ARC Review: Lucifer’s Sin (Walker Security: Lucifer’s Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

TitleLucifer’s Sin
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 3/22/22
Length:  200 pages
Series: Walker Security: Lucifer’s Trilogy #1

Overview

About the series: Tall, dark, and deadly, these men run Walker Security. Each is unique in his methods and skills, but all share key similarities. They are passionate about those they love, relentless when fighting for a cause they believe in, and all believe that no case is too hard, no danger too dark. Dedication is what they deliver, results are their reward.

Meet Lucifer, one of those men…

A man with demons that run deep and dark…

The only woman who can bring him to his knees…

As one of the newest members of Walker Security, Lucifer lives up to his name. He’s a man with demons that run deep and dark. A man with secrets. A man betrayed by a woman, and that betrayal has shaped every part of his life moving forward.

He lives on the edge with fast cars, faster women, and some might say a death wish. That is until he crossed paths with Walker Security and one of their own pulled him from the bowels of his self-created hell.

But his own personal devil is about to show herself again. That woman from his past is back, and nothing is as it seems.

My Thoughts

I must start off by thanking our amazing author Lisa Renee Jones and I think our friends at Netgalley for getting me this pre-read copy. Mind you, i’ve already pre-purchased it as well, so while I was able to get the first installment at gratis, i’ve still happily contributed to the revenue stream and the books success!

Anyhow, what we have here is nothing short of an INTENSE next installment to the Walker Security family. We have spent quite a bit of time with so many of the characters over the years, and what we get for Lucifer doesn’t pale at all in comparison to the others.

What we learn is that Lucifer has this past where he was in the military like most of the others, and he came out of it and tried to make something of his life so that he could cope with the demons that he gathered over the years. In doing that, his path crosses with our leading lady Ana – an FBI agent and a woman who was trained to be on guard from a young age at the hands of her stepfather. A man that has many enemies but the power to keep them at bay. He’s trained Ana to protect herself, to be on guard and to be able to take down any opponent, and its’ when she puts Lucifer to his knees that we see the world’s axis pivot.

One night is all that it took – she was reacting to a crime that was happening and Lucifer was in the same place at the same time. She doesn’t take chances, and forces him to the ground, and it’s not until he learns who she is. the stepdaughter of the man he works for that we know things will get interesting.

Sparks fly and we know that there is a happy ending coming for this couple, until the world falls apart.. cause that’s usually how things go.

Fast forward a few years and we’re back together with these two. Lucifer gets a call from a guy named Jake who he worked with – and Jake tells him that there’s a hitlist, that he’s running for his life and then the line goes dead. someone picks up the phone and tells Lucifer that if Lucifer doesn’t want Ana to be next, he better figure out how to protect her. So back into the past we go.

Lucifer needs to keep Ana safe and yet she wants nothing to do with him since we learn that he killer her brother. there’s more to the story of course but that’s what we know. So the heat and passion that these two shared before is something that we know we’ll have to deal with, especially with the hate layered on.

There’s so much back and forth with these two – the tension is insane, and yet we know that they both want to get past it, and just don’t know how. While that’s the under-current, we know that ti’s imperative that we find out who’s behind the hitlist, and what they want. There’s clearly someone that’s close to them that wants something from them but we don’t really know that whole story.

So where we net out is a place where we know Ana and Lucifer have been lied to, and we know that there’s an adventure ahead to uncover the secrets of the past. We hope that it will lead to more hot and sexy times between them and it’s inevitable because well…Lucifer is Lucifer and he’s HOT. I don’t know how i’ll be able to wait for the next installment to come out but somehow i’ll work on my patience. On that note, if you haven’t pre-ordered the book yet, do so, and it’s out on MARCH 22, 2022 so get your copy and let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Review: Dark Reign (The Collector Trilogy #1) by Amelia Wilde

TitleDark Reign
Author: Amelia Wilde
Publisher/Year:  Dangerous Press 11/9/21
Length:  328 pages
Series: The Collector Trilogy #1

Overview

Wealthy. Reclusive. Dangerous. Emerson LeBlanc doesn’t enter society much. He only ventures out in pursuit of new art for his collection. It starts with a haunting painting. Then he meets the artist…

Innocent Daphne Morelli is more exquisite than anything he’s ever seen. He becomes obsessed with her. It doesn’t matter that she’s a living, breathing person with her own hopes and dreams.

​​​​​​​She’ll be the perfect addition to his collection.

My Thoughts

The summary here led me to believe that it was going to be slightly different than the story turned out to be, and frankly it took me a long time to get through it. I don’t know if it’s me, or the story – so I guess we’ll see if i pick up the next one.

Just like the synopsis says, we start our story with Emerson, he’s The Collector. and he’s known for being able to make or break an artists’ career. He finds himself in Motif, a gallery that he doesn’t usually go to and discovers art by DM, someone that he didn’t know before, but becomes obsessed with.

what we learn of DM, Daphne is that she comes from a family that is ‘connected’. They have been in a business that isn’t necessarily on the up and up, and they have a family rivalry with the Constantines, another family that’s in a similar position. What we know is that because of a tenuous relationship between the families, Daphne is beyond protected by her brother and his bodyguards. She wants to live her own life, and while he allows it, he also buys out a building across from where she lives and works so that Daphne can be protected.

What he doens’t know, is that he can’t protect her from everything.

Emerson is obsessed and we don’t get the true backstory on why he gets like this. We know that he’s a recluse and we know that he’s got a very bad relationship with his own family and the outside world, but we dont know the causes. What we do know is that he’ll venture out to find Daphne, to endear himself to her, and then hope to make her his.

What happens throughout this story is a bit of a wild ride. We see horrible things happen to Daphne’s family and we watch how that impacts the choices that Daphne makes. She is intrigued and that puts herself at risk, but the attraction that she has to Emerson makes her throw caution to the wind.

We’re left at the end of something that sounds like the demise of the freedom that Daphne has known. Will it be at the hands of Leo her brother, or at Emerson the Collector? we don’t know yet, but i’m sure more will come to light in the next book. Enjoy!

Review: When I Say Yes (The Necklace #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

TitleWhen I Say Yes
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 1/25/22
Length:  200 pages
Series: The Necklace Trilogy #3

Overview

I believe that there is one person in this world that can both break us and make us whole. One person who can love us more than life can hurt us. With this comes deep, intense passion, and a burning connection. But in turn, that person can destroy us, cut us, make us bleed in ways no other ever could. They have power over us. 

For me, that one person is Dash Black.

He walked into my life in a rush of sunshine, in the darkness of heartache and uncertainty. We were broken apart, and whole together. He healed me. I believed I did the same for him. Until the past became the present, and every moment of suffering in his life consumed him. Instead of seeking refuge in me, he pushed me away. As the famous quote from an unknown author says, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it never was.”

I’ve set Dash Black free. Now, I wait.

My Thoughts

What an insane ride we get to go on with this series – and this final installment doesn’t disappoint. This couple that has so much in common and so much against them continues to struggle with what their reality is. We watch them fight for each other and fight against each other and where we were left off in the end of book 2, they were fighting against each other.

If you’ll remember from that last installment, we were in New York with our characters, they were there for a book signing for Dash and we knew that NY was a place that triggers a lot and has a lot of Allie’s demons. Her demons come to a head with them in the form of Brandon, her ex who’s now the agent of Dash’s father, and forces them into a signing together, which of course causes strife.

We watch how Dash tries to take control, to be the bigger person, but Brandon is still so spiteful of everything that happened that he’s not willing to let things go. He provokes Dash and that results in Dash pushing Allie away and he goes to self destruct.

So we pick up this next installment at that point. We know that Dash is going to fight in an underground club since that’s his MO and Allie needs to find him before it’s too late. She calls Tyler, knowing that it’ll anger Dash but she has no other idea where to go. When Tyler isn’t able to find Dash, she goes to Mark, and as we’ve seen in the In and Out series, Mark will never cease to surprise and amaze us, and the role that he takes in this book is one that we really learn to enjoy.

Mark finds Dash and helps devise a plan to get him out of the fight club. It works, but Allie thinks that they are over regardless. What happens though is that Dash realizes that Allie is his means to saving himself, not fighting and we watch their relationship take a new and powerful direction.

The balance of this story follows a few different paths. There’s the question of where Allison is and why she left, and no one knows the answer. The more that Allie learns and the more that she digs, the more concerned that she gets. Tyler finally comes to admit all that she meant to him, and he continues to try to contact her to no avail.

Then there’s the concern over what Brandon is going to do next to hurt Allie. and what that will mean for Dash. He’s vindictive and that means that they all need to be on high alert. Brandon doesn’t let us down – he attempts to go after Allie and we’re ready for him!

Throughout this story we watch and the rollercoaster goes for this couple. They want to be together but they worry that there are too many secrets to let them have their happily every after. Allie’s digging into Allisons whereabouts puts her in the crosshairs of quite a few people that she likely shouldn’t be in contact with. We met Brad Waters in an earlier book and he gives us a bad feeling. We meet Benjamin (Benji) in this installment and his vibe is similar. and then there’s Jack, Tyler’s father. All men that are powerful and fit the description that Allison had in her journal of the man that she went to after Tyler broke her heart. Not sure who is our prime suspect but they all give us the feels that they could be it.

What happens to bring things to a close is a series of events that were placed in a path in perfect order. Allie learns just enough, enlists the help of Neil the FBI source that is helping Dash, and gets a few additional pieces of information that give her what she needs to get her answers. What happens though is something that we should have expected but didn’t think about in completion and ends our story on a serious note. There’s a shooting, there’s a surprise appearance of someone that we’ve known well, and there’s a creation of sorts of something new that makes sense but was also unexpected.

So on that note, I REALLY enjoyed this finale because we do get closure on what we were hoping for. We continue to watch Allie handle the necklace with care and we watch how her future is uncertain and then gets some more clarity. She’s forced to make decisions that impact not just herself but others, and the choices that she makes seem to be the right ones in my opinion. Enjoy!

Review: Best Kept Secret (Rochester Trilogy #3) by Skye Warren

TitleBest Kept Secret
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Amber Shah 11/16/21
Length:  250 pages
Series: Rochester Trilogy #3

Overview

The secrets haunting Beau Rochester come alive.

He doesn’t deserve happiness, but he holds it in his hands. A woman he loves. A child. The past threatens to rip them away. He risks losing them forever.

Jane Mendoza is determined to protect the people she loves from every threat–the mysterious arsonist, the corrupt police force. The darkest danger comes from a place she never expects.

She risks more than her newfound family. She risks her life.

My Thoughts

Well, what our amazing author Skye Warren continues to do is leave us on quite the dicey cliff when we end an installment to this story, and if you recall, Jane was sent back to Houston for her own safety, breaking her heart and that of Beau and Paige, but what does she find? Emily Rochester sitting in her bedroom. We know this can’t go well since she’s supposed to be dead. And what makes it worse, she pulls a gun on Jane too.

So you can only imagine the roller coaster that we are about to get on. What’s the story behind her still being alive? what does that mean for Jane? Is there jealousy because Jane and Beau were together? So many questions that we can only hope will be answered throughout this story!

As you can imagine, Emily does a great job telling Jane her ‘story’ and we have to either choose to believe her or not, but Jane is a trusting woman and goes that route of trust. Where that takes her though is on a private jet with Emily BACK to Maine in the hopes of getting Beau to listen to what happened in the past, and figure out how to keep everyone safe so that Emily can come out of hiding.

What do we learn? We learn that Emily watched Rhys get murdered and she knows who the killer is. Shocker – he’s one of the characters that we’ve spent time with in book 2 and one that has a bone to pick with just about everyone in the story. Joe Cuasey. Yup – the detective and the brother to Emily. We don’t easily get the details on what happened and what was the root of the evil here, but we do spend the bulk of the story trying to figure out a way to safety while also bringing him down.

The other story line here is that of the romance that may or may not be destined for greatness. As you’ll remember, Jane promised Paige that she wouldn’t leave her and of course when Jane’s sent away, that breaks the little girls heart. She’s not ready to listen to anything that Beau has to say, and that means that we have a child who is forced to mourn yet another death of sorts in her life. Then there’s the notion that Beau sent Jane away for a reason, because he felt that it wasn’t safe for her to be around since she’s the target of someone’s hate. When Jane comes back though, she’s a new woman. one who’s clear on her value and self worth and she’s not going to let Beau call all the shots and have the power.

The dynamic switch here is really enjoyable to watch and the impact that it has on their chemistry makes things combust even hotter than they did before. Jane shows him that she’s not fragile and breakable and that she’s capable of so much more than anyone gave her credit for.

Which of course comes in handy when their plans to bring Joe down blow up in their face. Things get insane. There’s an attempt at an arrest, guns flying everywhere, and Emily’s cover is blown. What happens next is the bit of the story that you’ll have to read, but when people see face to face that Emily is alive, things go nuts. When people learn what Joe truly is, things go nuts. So, crazy things happening all around.

We get the closure that we need from this story, while also setting up so many questions on relationships that were teased in this story and characters that we want to know more about. Mateo for example, he’s a Hollywood star and he’s also a home town boy. He can have anyone that he wants, but it apparently seemed like he wants Emily. There’s a history there that we don’t quite know about and after book 3 of this trilogy ends, we learn that Ms Warren is writing a story about them as well for us to dive into. I can’t wait. Enjoy!

Review: Strict Confidence (Rochester Trilogy #2) by Skye Warren

TitleStrict Confidence
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Amber Shah 6/15/21
Length:  292 pages
Series: Rochester Trilogy #2

Overview

Forbidden. Commanding. Mysterious. Beau Rochester has an entire house full of secrets. And those secrets are putting Jane Mendoza in danger.

She fell in love with the one man she can’t have. She should leave Maine to protect her heart, but the thread refuses to be severed. The brooding Mr. Rochester and his grieving niece are more than her job. They’re her new family.

She races against time to find answers and protect the people she loves. The cliffside grows dark with the misdeeds of the past. Her heart and her sanity fight a battle, but they are both at risk.

Will Mr. Rochester learn to trust Jane? And will that trust destroy her?

My Thoughts

How dramatic is that summary? I mean, it does the story justice, but wow right? This second installment in the series takes us on a dark and crazy journey. IF you remember, we ended the first book with a house fire, with Beau trapped under a beam in the house because he went back in to find Kitten, and of course Jane goes back in for him. They’re both trapped now, he tells her that he loves her and then the world goes dark.

We pick back up in the hospital, and everyone is alive. Maybe not in one piece but alive. Paige was admitted likely for smoke inhalation but she seems to be doing ok. Beau somehow isn’t admitted – he’s at Paige’s bedside and when he’s not there he’s by Jane. Jane finally comes awake and she’s bruised and beaten up a bit. Thank goodness no one died – but the question that we have to answer is how was the fire started?

That’s the question of the book.

Beau finds some place for them to move to, and the coldness that she feels from Beau makes her wonder if she’s welcome in that new temp home. He blames himself for her almost dying and she still feels this connection to him that she doesn’t understand, and even more she doesn’t understand why she’s being pushed away. Until she’s not being pushed.

Their chemistry and bond is something that keeps them together even when it’s not smart. She loves him even though she knows that it’s wrong, knows that he thinks he dangerous for her, and yet they can’t help it. Beau wants to protect her and by pushing her away, he thinks that is how to do it. What happens though is that his dark side comes out and he hurts her more than pushing her away could. Words sometimes cut deeper.

We watch how the trauma affects Paige all over again. The house was the one thing that she had of her parents and now it’s gone. Her Monopoly game is gone and that was her fathers. She’s got nothing and that hurts more than the injuries that she could have sustained. We watch how Jane some how manages to get her back out of her shell and to start to be happy again, until something else happens to rip them all apart.

While the fire is being investigated, we see the appearance of a detective that has history with Beau (and not a good one) as well as a connection to Emily, Paige’s mom and Beau’s ex. He holds Beau to blame for Emily’s death and that’s something that he’s not willing to let go of. He uses Jane and the relationship there as a means to take him down, and it has an impact on our main characters life that he was expecting, but one that will have a far worse outcome.

On top of that, there’s this ghost of a woman that both Jane and Paige keep seeing. No one knows if she’s real, until you have no choice but to think that she’s real. As a reader, even before we are given the truth, we know what the ghost is, but the question is, why is she haunting them now? All the secrets seem to be out, so we don’t know the motivation there.

Where we are left at the end of this installment is no less dramatic than the first book. The characters are split up, things seem to be dying. Not from a fire, but from necessity. There are too many safety issues and obstacles in their way for people to truly be happy, so the only solution is to go their separate ways. What we find when that happens is the shock of a life time and we don’t know what that means for the safety and security of our beloved characters in the short and long run. It’s dicey, dynamic and hot, and I cannot wait to see how this all wraps up. Off to the next book – Enjoy!

Review: Private Property (Rochester Trilogy #1) by Skye Warren

TitlePrivate Property
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Amber Shah 3/9/21
Length:  282 pages
Series: Rochester Trilogy #1

Overview

When I signed up for the nanny agency, I didn’t expect a remote mansion on a windswept isle. Or a brooding billionaire who resents his new role. His brother’s death means he’s now in charge of a moody seven year old girl. She’s lashing out at the world, but I can handle her. I have to. I need the money to finish my college degree. As long as I can avoid the boss who alternately mocks me and coaxes me to reveal my darkest secrets.

My Thoughts

What we get in this summary doesn’t even scratch the surface of the story that we have embarked on. It’s one that is as moody and broody as the Maine island that they live on, and because of that emotion, we get something that’s intense.

True to form, we have Jane Mendoza, our leading lady in this story – a nineteen year old from Texas who has lived a tough tough life in the foster system, and now wants something better for her future. She’s bounced from house to house, and she’s trying to make her way to college, and to do so she needs money. So she gets a job as a live in nanny and boy is she clueless to what her life will be.

Enter Beau Rochester – a man who made his fortune forming a shipping company that earned him billions. While Jane doesn’t know who he is, he clues us into his past – how he was a playboy and a very bad guy. someone who played too hard after working hard and that is something that we watch him deal with even in this story.

As the summary stated, we’re in Maine after Beau’s brother and SIL pass away in an accident and he’s left to watch over Paige – their daughter. She’s young and dealing with the trauma in a way that he doesn’t know how to cope and so he’s hired Jane to help.

The journey that we go on here is one that’s quite complex but really intense and enjoyable. We watch how the trauma of the past turns into something that sustains life now, with hope for the future (at least for some). We watch how trust is something that has to be earned, but when that’s done, there’s such great success and prize from it. We watch how Jane grows into the woman that she should have been if she didn’t deal with all the loss from her past, and how Beau is someone who could potentially give her security even though he’s not the person to be in her future. There’s discovery of sexuality and what makes you feel wanted and safe, all while realizing that what is good for someone in the now is a response to things that happened in the past.

There’s are some entertaining side scenes that happen in this one. We watch how Beau’s world is introduced to Jane and the impact of that. He’s got friends who are actors, models, all wealthy and from another world. We see how the wide eyes of a nineteen year hold from Texas deals with that, and how jealousy and temptation all play into those scenes. We learn about the ghosts from the past and how they haunt several people’s dreams, and wonder if those ghosts aren’t quite dead yet.

Just when we feel things start to settle, and a rhythm comes into their routine, there’s a fire and all is lost. not just possessions but likely lives too. we have to wonder what this means for our characters and for the progress of our story. I fear for the life and future of our mains, and i’m sure that’s the Intention so that the reader has to quickly jump into the next one. I’ve just picked up book 2 and off I go! Enjoy!

Review: Because I Can (Necklace Trilogy #2) by Lisa Renee Jones

TitleBecause I Can
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year:  Julie Patra Publishing 12/14/21
Length:  200 Pages
Series: Necklace Trilogy #2

Overview

To the world, Dash Black is famous, wealthy, wildly good-looking, and intriguing. To say that he came into my life and shook my world is an understatement. He looked into my eyes and I swear our souls connected, but then, I saw what no one else was ever allowed to see. I saw a complicated man with secrets, a man who hides behind a persona that tells only part of his story. And ultimately, I felt his pain and he felt mine. He told me I belonged with him. I believed I did. But in the book of life, the pages don’t turn with a simple flip of a sheet of paper. In life, sometimes the page won’t turn. Sometimes we discover that what is right is more terrifying than what is wrong.

I love Dash Black, but he terrifies me.
I believe he feels the same about me.
And I’m not sure where that leaves us or what comes next.

My Thoughts

We left book one in a very scary moment for our leading lady Allie. She’s hiding in the wine cellar of the house that she’s staying in (which Tyler her ‘boss’ owns) and someone has disarmed the alarm and is in her house. The lights have gone out and she hears steps above her. To make matters worse, she’s not able to call 911 and she’s had a fight with Dash because of his self destructive behavior so she’s basically on her own. Until she’s not.

Thankfully Dash comes to her rescue and she can leave the house unscathed. What we don’t know is who the intruder was or what they wanted, but as a result of this scary moment, Dash and Allie are on more sturdy ground and they go back to his apartment together.

This second installment is about obsession. That’s really the only way that I can level set here. Allie is obsessed with finding Allison, the girl that’s gone missing that has put her in this new world in Nashville. Dash is obsessed with Allie and while it seems like a great thing at times (their chemistry is off the charts) we know that they both have such troubled pasts that there’s no way that it can work out. Then there’s Tyler who’s obsessed with bringing Dash down, and as this story goes, we learn of others who have similar motivations.

While all this insanity is going on, we watch a few great things happen. We see Allie thrive in her role pulling together a winning auction, however it means that she has to come to terms with what that means for her future at RipTide. We watch the relationship between Dash’s sister and Allie grow, and we see how Allie’s mother grows to appreciate Dash as well.

On the flip side we see what Allie’s past can do to haunt these two, with her ex fiance scheming a way into her life in a bad way. All the progress that’s been made throughout this story with obsessing over what happened to Allison, what that means for Allie and what the future holds if and when they find her is nullified at the very end through a series of unfortunate events.

There’s heat and passion throughout this story that keeps us intrigued and there are mysteries that we only get hints to and not full clear insights to carry us to to the finale. If you’ve read In and Out by LRJ, then you know that there’s not always a happy ending with the missing person, and I fear that’s what we’re going to find in this series as well. I”m positive that one of the men that we’ve met is the one that made her feel like she had to disappear, and I am pretty sure that i’ve guessed it. What I wonder though is the motivation given that there seem to be so many men that care about her.

Thankfully we only have to wait until next month to see how this all resolves, but I will say that the sexual tension here was enough to keep a reader engaged, but I wonder if it’s enough to keep the couple together. Dash and Allie know what they’re capable of, but don’t trust each other enough to see it play out. Hopefully identifying who sent the necklace and why he needs to be forgiven will not only lead us to Allison, but to a happy ending as well. Enjoy!

Review: Dark Intentions (Dark Intentions #1) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleDark Intentions
Author: Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 5/27/21
Length:  200 Pages
Series: Dark Intentions #1

Overview

One debt. One secret. One night.
I have a secret and I’ll do everything in my power to keep it that way.
I’ve been watching her for a long time.
I’ve been following her.
She’s lost a brother. I lost a best friend, but no one could ever know. 
She’s in pain, and so am I.
She deserves so much better than me. I am rotten to the core and if I take this any further, I will pull her into my darkness.
But I can’t stay away. I can’t stop.
What happens when she starts to uncover my lies? What happens if love isn’t enough?

From USA Today Bestselling author Charlotte Byrd comes an intense forbidden mafia romance about debts, lies and secrets and the extent to which people go for love.

I’m not supposed to know his name and he’s not supposed to know mine. But we break that rule. That’s not the only one.

He gives me chills and makes my body ache. He makes my pain go away. He’s just a distraction, but I can’t get enough of him.

What I don’t know yet is that he will help save my mother’s life.
What I don’t know yet is that I’ll owe him a debt.
What I don’t know yet is that he is a man of many secrets. Secrets dark enough to break us both.

My Thoughts

I’m a big fan these days of our author Charlotte Byrd so I was pleased to find this series when I was looking for something new to read. I’m in a bit of a stop gap right now waiting for a few ‘next books’ in series to come out.

This is one of those stories that you already know how it’s going to go, and you’re just along for the ride. Jacqueline is at an interesting point in her life and i’m not entirely sure how she got there. She’s graduated from a really good college, but I don’t think that she’s ever truly worked a job. Her twin brother has recently died and that set her life into a tailspin. Her mother has also been really sick with Cancer and has the opportunity to get into an experimental treatment, but that comes with it’s own risks.

Through all this turmoil, Jacqueline is working to find herself. She uses men to feel something but doesn’t necessarily get what she needs from them. Its’ through her friend Allison (roommate from college) that she learns about Redemption. A series of private clubs that caters to people with unique tastes, unconventional tastes sexually – and it seems like it could be right for her. While she’s not necessarily comfortable there, she meets a man who makes it all worthwhile.

Enter Dante – a man who comes from a distinctly different background, with more means than imaginable, but he is searching for much of the same that Jacqueline is. They meet one night at Redemption and have a night to remember. Then they go their separate ways, and we watch the story unforld.

What we don’t know (or rather what Jacqueline doesn’t know) is that Dante has some sort of connection to her, or at least perhaps her brother – and we don’t know what that line of connection is. What we do know is that he’s been watching her, watching out for her, and while he didn’t know that she would be at Redeption, it’s not a bad thing.

The story from here is a whirlwind. Jacqueline’s mother’s treatment costs a lot more money than she can ever come up with and Dante has that money. Secretly he pays for that treatment and there’s a new lease on life. At the same time, both of these two characters can’t get one another out of their head but since they shared no real information, Jacqueline doesn’t know how to find Dante, until they cross paths again.

When they do, it’s just as intense and deep, and we watch something interesting unfold. He’s there for her while her mother gets her treatment and when things take a turn for the worse. He’s not just a shoulder to cry on, but he’s something more – they both feel it. the challenge of course is that there’s a secret that she doesn’t know – that Dante is linked to her and we all know what will happen when she finds out. And that’s where we are left at the end of the book.

Thankfully I have a few train rides this week that I can try to read on, and see what happens in book 2. I anticipate anger, frustration, lies, and then the hot steamy spark that they shared in the first book. There has to be more to the story than what we’ve seen so i’m off to find out. Enjoy!

Review: The Catacombs (Cult #2) by Penelope Sky

TitleThe Catacombs
Author: Penelope Sky
Publisher/Year:  Hartwick Publishing 11/16/21
Length:  200 Pages
Series: Cult #2

Overview

This man is the only thing that keeps me safe.

The only thing that makes life worth living.

But I know he’s coming…

I know he’s out there.

And until Benton kills him, he’ll never really be gone.

My Thoughts

There are so many directions that this series could go in my mind, and so many extensions that we could see, yet I don’t know if any of that is in the works. Our amazing author Ms Penelope Sky needs to do us readers a solid and GIVE US MORE

We left off the first installment of this series with Constance and Benton being in an ok place. Where he really felt that she was an imposition before, we see real feelings grow between them. They are both still naught to admit what they are, and they don’t want to complicate things, but we can see what’s there. Benton appreciates all that Constance did to save Claire from the camp, but his loyalty ends there since he’s not sure why she needs to hang around. Until he opens his eyes one day and realizes that there’s something more that she does for him.

Constance on the other hand uses Benton for the safety that he provides. When he’s around, she feels safe, like Forneus can’t get her and when he’s gone, she’s afraid for her life. We know that Forneus isn’t giving up on getting her back, we know that he’s stalking her, but at least she has some comfort and security while benton is there.

The plot of this story gets a bit twisty in places. We have that main story line where we know that Constance is living on bought time, but we don’t know what can be done about that. She’s moved into this role of mother type figure to Claire, one that everyone truly loves, and she’s found her place in Benton’s bed which is nice for both of them as well. There’s the daily fear that Forneus will take her, and we see his attempts time after time. Some have wider implications to innocent people, and some attempts take the innocent on purpose.

Then there’s the story line between Benton and Bartholemew. We learn what started their friendship and we understand why there’s so much disappointment once Benton left. Benton does his job by being Bartholemew’s right hand to expand their business and territory, but we continue to see how that’s going to go awry. He’s got the same ambitions that Fender had in the first series, and we know how that has the potential to end. I mean….that’s how the camp was lost to Bartholemew no?

Fender makes an appearance in this story – but in a context that’s not his norm. That’s a nice tease, although nothing more really comes from it.

We have passion and heat. We have fear and security. We have revenge and lies. and we realize that what caused all the dominoes to fall in the first place was something done at the hand of someone that we should have trusted. There’s almost nothing that is salvageable at the end, but as a reader that has hope, we want something to come out of the ashes. We get closure as it’s needed, and I suppose that will have to do.

Personally, i’m itching for either a story on Bartholemew now or one about Benton’s brother Bleu since he played a big role, but I don’t know if that’s in the future for us. The Chateau series teased us with the Cult in the epilogue but no such tease was done in this one. So….on that note, enjoy!