Review: Ruin (Slay Quartet #2) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Ruin
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 10/29/19
Length:  299 Pages
Series:  Slay Quartet #2

Overview

With her heart literally in his hands, Celia will have to try and bargain with a devil.

Edward Fasbender is my captor.

Trapped on this island he owns everything on–including, it seems, me.

He told me he would break me, but I thought he meant in the bedroom. It turns out Edward is playing a completely different game.

And he won’t stop until he’s ruined me.

My Thoughts

This is quite the diabolical story that we’ve got here – everyone is playing a game, most of it as a form of revenge against someone or something, and it’s really anyone’s guess on how it will net out.

We left the first installment with a marriage, chemistry and pure hate. Celia’s plan to take Edward down was figured out since she didn’t realize how much he dug into her and her actions, and what that means is that she’s really at his complete and utter mercy. As though she wasn’t already…..

Edward on the other hand has even more motivation to take Celia and her family down outside of the games that were being played, yet it takes the bulk of this story to learn exactly what that motivation is. What we do see though is that his plan is going off track since his impression of Celia prior to keeping her hostage and trying to break her was way off base. He thought that she was spoiled and surface when in fact there are layers and layers to her that no one had expected.

Throughout this second book we watch torture at it’s finest. Celia is captive on the island, a place where all the people owe Edward everything, and his word is bible. She’s not able to convince anyone that he’s keeping her against her will, he even goes so far as to weave a story as to why she’s there and the staff is quick to support his word. As a result, we spend the first quarter/third of the story watching Celia try to escape any way that she can. It’s a valiant effort for sure, but one that we all know will end up with no success. Instead, we watch her break a bit, bend to what he wants of her and when she does that, she gets rewarded with ‘things’ and the opportunity to design parts of the house etc. Little scraps to make her hate him just a bit less.

The other bit of this is that no matter how much they hate each other, they have such a connection, such heat and chemistry that there’s really no chance in fighting it. He tries, and fails. She tries….but then again doesn’t really. So when we see those scenes, i’ll tell you that they are some of the hottest that i’ve read lately.

We learn that Edward’s kink is psychological pain of sorts – he wants to break her down not through physical submission, although that’s massively attractive to him, but instead to get inside her head and her soul and find out who she is and why. What pain in her past made her into what she is today. In doing this, we see their relationship change and we see unexpected revelations come out.

Where we are left at the end of this second book is a completely different place than we were at the end of the first book, and it’s a moment in time that give us hope, but at the same time, there are so many other factors that will make that hope fall aside quickly. I can’t wait to see how this relationship and story plays out since revenge is still quite important and death is a possibility. Off to find book 3 now – Enjoy!

Review: Rivalry (Slay Quartet #1) by Laurelin Paige

Title: Rivalry
Author:  Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year:  Paige Press 6/4/19
Length:  296 Pages
Series:  Slay Quartet #1

Overview

Edward Fasbender is a devil.

He’s my father’s business rival, a powerful, vicious man who takes what he wants and bows to no one. I only took the meeting because I was curious. I thought he was going to offer me a job.

But that’s not what he’s after at all. His proposal is much more intriguing, and I see an opportunity. An opportunity to turn the tables and bring down the devil.

I’ve gotten in trouble playing these games before. I know when the risk is too great, when the stakes are too high. I know how to be cold and strong-willed and destructive. I know how to withstand dominant men with arrogant charm and rugged features.

Yet I can’t resist taking on Edward.

And I can’t resist the pull he has on me.

Soon I’m not so sure which side of the battle I’m standing on–if I’m the warrior meant to slay,

Or the one who will be slain.

My Thoughts

This is an interesting start to the series – giving us enough to keep us hanging on word for word, page by page, with the last line of the book giving us much to think about.

We meet our leading lady Celia who’s the daughter of a very successful media company owner. Her father has control over the entire US market and she’s been living in his shadow to an extent, and trying to forge her way forward. Her mother has these lofty goals for her – for the type of life she’s supposed to have now that she’s an ‘adult’ and yet that’s not the path that’s laid out in front of her. The expectation was that she would marry Hudson, an ex i suppose, but life didn’t work that way. So we see the fall out from that without really knowing what happened, and it’s damaged everyone. What did come from that though is The Game.

The Game is a manipulation that Celia was taught by Hudson in how to get what she wants from people, in how to ruin people and in doing so, she’s walled herself off from even herself. She’s got no emotions any longer and she’s got a black soul. Perhaps that’s why Edward is so intriguing, since he’s clearly playing his own game and he gets under her skin.

Edward on the other hand is our dominating British lead – a man who’s equally as successful as Celia’s father in every market BUT the US and cannot seem to break into the market. That’s where his play comes to life, marrying Celia in order to get what he wants from her father.

The path that this first installment takes is one where we watch what’s unfolding in front of each main character. They have their boundaries, and yet they are not boundaries at all. Edward requires complete submission and control, someone who will look nice on his arm but will never argue or contradict him. Celia on the other hand is the complete opposite of that, except for when Edward gets a tone in his voice and she has no choice but to follow. In agreeing to his terms, she lays the ground work for her next Game. She’s intent on ruining him and how that will play out, we don’t know yet. What we do know though is that she thought she was under cover when she was trying to gain intel on Edward, but the last line of the book makes us think that her cover was blown. So…..we know that the intent is for this marriage to last as short as possible and that everything that Edward wants will be his. What ii wonder though is whether he knew what he was getting into with her and whether he’s prepared to play defense since she’s far smarter than he’s given her credit for. Off to book 2 now – enjoy!

Review: Hudson (Fixed #4) by Laurelin Paige

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Title: Hudson
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year: Paige Press 6/28/14
Length: 340 Pages
Series: Fixed Series #4

Overview

A full-length companion novel to the NY Times Bestselling Fixed Trilogy.

“I can easily divide my life into two parts-before her and after.”

Hudson Pierce has led a life few others could even imagine. With money and power at his fingertips, he’s wanted for almost nothing. He’s never experienced love, however, and he’s seen few examples of it in his dysfunctional family. The ridiculous notion of romance has always intrigued him. He’s studied it, controlled it, manipulated it, and has yet to understand it.

Until he meets Alayna Withers.

Now, the games he’s played in his quest for comprehension can finally come to an end. Or are they just beginning?

Told from his point of view, Hudson fills the holes in his love story with Alayna Withers. His past and relationship with his long-time friend Celia is further revealed and light is shed on his actions during his courtship with Alayna.

My Thoughts

So as we all know, there’s an increasing trend about having a companion installment to series all from the lead male’s POV and i think that there’s something great that could have been done here since Hudson is SO complicated.  The thing here is that the approach was so very different than in the main series, and that’s what kept throwing me a bit.

what we have is not just his POV, but we have the alternating ‘Before’ and ‘After’ chapters – meaning that we get to see how he was BEFORE he met Alayna and what the ‘game’ was then, how he shaped his experiments so to speak, and then the ‘After’ of what it meant to his relationship with Alayna, especially with Celia continuing to want to play the game and do harm to Alayna.

I thoguht i was going to LOVE this next book since i really enjoyed the other series, but i have to say that it took me significantly longer to read just this one than it did the other 3.  That being said, i think that it’s nice to see that Hudson is human, and that there was a lot that he struggled with in himself and what it meant to those around him.  Makes him human which we only got a bit of in the big series.

What fell flat here is that i don;t know that i cared so much about the others in the game – and i don’t know that the context of some of the interactions with Alayna needed to bet set up as they were.  I think that it’s great to get his perspective on those same scenes, the parties and events that were ‘choreagraphed’ – but i don’t kno wthat they were all additive to make for a better story.

The great thing is that there’s an epilogue here that we didn’t get before, and that’s the continuation of the story that i liked.  i think that we needed to see that things weren’t going to be ‘sunshine and daisies’ for them, and that there was still a lot of damage to work through but that there was more to the story.  It skips ahead enough in the future to see how that impacted things for them

So i hope that you guys give it a chance and i’d be totally open to hearing that you have a different opinion than me.  Where the others were pretty great – this one was just ‘eh’.  Sorry!

Review: Forever with You (Fixed #3) by Laurelin Paige

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Title: Forever With You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year: Laurelin Paige 1/6/14
Length: 249 Pages
Series: Fixed Series #3

Overview

Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.

But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets-secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.

Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach.

My Thoughts

I love where this final installment in the main trilogy bit took us.  I think that there’s so much tension in this book, the uinderlying or quite obvious (to be honest) theme here is trust and whether knowing that you love someone and that they love you – if it’s enough.  Given what we know of Alayna’s trust issues and what we know of Hudson and his games, it’s not surprising at all that there’s a constant push / pull dynamic with these 2 and their trust issues.

We go on a roller coaster in this 3rd installment.  We see the happiest times with these two.  We see that Hudson sees the best in Alayna and wants to see her succeed – not just because they are lovers, but because he sees her as being incredibly smart and capable. Along with this we get some great passion and the chemistry between these 2 is something that you can’t stop or reign in.  it’s just out there in your face and it’s hot.  Then there’s the downard bit of the roller coaster where things are just messy.  we know that Alayna doesn’t trust any of the interactions that he has with any of the women in his life, employee or otherwise.  That makes things dicey and then to add insult to injury, we have Celia who just won’t go away, and who we learn is quite evil.  She turns into what Alayna used to be and that’s never a good thing.  Celia makes it a point to go after Alayna, stalks her and makes her go insane.

So, where does that leave us?  Well i think that it’s safe to say that with ever 2 steps forward that are taken, there are two+ steps back that happen.  We learn that there are so many more secrets being hidden than you could ever imagine and i think that’s what causes these folks to go to the breaking point.  The question that always comes up is what will this mean for Alayna given her past and what will it mean for the happy couple.  It’s not until the end that we get to see what really caused all this, and that honestly while as ‘earth shattering’ as it was, was kind of expected and i think that we needed to have that other shoe drop just to make the ending into what it is.

All that being said, i read through this one very quickly since there was so much action and passion and i think that it really set us up for a great finale to their story, and what i see after the epilogue is that we now get to see what’s behind Gwen (the new manager at Sky Launch) and that’s bound to be a great story.  So, on to the next  Happy Friday everyone!

Review: Found in You (Fixed #2) by Laurelin Paige

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Title: Found In You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year: Laurelin Paige 9/28/13
Length: 245 Pages
Series: Fixed Series #2

Overview

Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.

With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best-Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far-revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.

This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…

My Thoughts

Gotta love how things got set up in the first book and then we see them really begin to come to a head in this middle installment.  I feel like what i had expected from Celia begins to come true, she’s just very un-trustworthy and i feel like she’s got her own motivation.  Do we find out what it is?  I don’t know that we do, but she plays games just as well as Hudson used to, at the downfall of Alayna.

Now…Alayna and Hudson, things seem to be going well for them, they are continuing to develop these deep feelings for each other even if Hudson won’t admit it.  It’s nice to see that he at least shows if he doesn’t tell.  And he continues to make this book a very steamy read.

As for Alayna, poor girl is so uncertain about everything that she’s willing to talk and listen to anyone, especially a several few that are going to really do her harm.  There’s Celia we know who has an agenda, Stacy (the girl who works for Hudson’s sister Mira) whom i also think has an agenda, and Brian, her brother who wants her to just clean up her act and won’t believe that she’s changed.  Mira is there to be supportive, Alayna even finds herself back at therapy weekly yet it’s not enough it seems.

When things from her past crop up causing even more secrets, and blackmail, well you know that it’s going to end up causing quite a fight, and my guess is that you’ll see a bit of push pull and running away.  When there’s a company at stake, trust is completely broken and secrets revealed, well you can only hope that the passion and connection that these 2 have is enough and i don’t know that it is right now.  So, on that note, i have to take a cold shower cause some of these scenes were HOT HOT HOT and thankfully i have book 3 that i can enjoy, especially since i’m on another cross country flight tomorrow AM.

Review: Fixed on You (Fixed Series #1) by Laurelin Paige

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Title: Fixed On You
Author: Laurelin Paige
Publisher/Year: Laura Barnes 6/24/13
Length: 256 Pages
Series: Fixed Series #1

Overview

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out–move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan. But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous–the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

My Thoughts

Well, i needed something new to read and i’ve been all over the place in what ive been gravitating towards lately.  Lucky for me, i had a 6 hour plane ride today w/ NO WIFI connection to tackle a new series.  This first installment of the Fixed series really sets things up for us to wonder who’s going to be the one to break the other’s heart.

We know that Alayna has a very damaged past, somewhat started by her parents death and her need to be love, and the other bit fueled by an addictive personality that means she gets VERY attached VERY quickly.  We slowly learn that Hudson, while sexy and powerful in business has his own issues with relationships and is just as damaged as Laynie but in a different sense.  He plays with women – sucks them in and spits them out.  This is where Alayna comes along though, she’s an ideal solution to the problem of not getting attached to Celia (Husdon’s supposed GF) and yet she can still be the girl that he comes home to for passion and sex.

Of course things are never that easy, and Alayna is put into a position where while her professional life is getting better, her brother is giving her grief, threatening her and all that, she has MAJOR trust issues with Hudson, his mother hates her, Celia has her own agenda, and someone from her past pops up and almost threatens to blackmail her.

So the question that we’re left with is whether or not Alayna will be strong enough to stay or even stronger to walk away.  What will that mean for everyone and what is Celia really gunning for?  There’s so much revealed by her that makes me wonder if some of the mystery around her pregnancy years ago wasn’t from Jack (Hudson’s dad) but that’s just my theory at the moment.

Anyhow – what we have here is a couple that clearly has intense chemistry and passion and Ms Paige writes it in such a way that you can’t help but to get aroused.  It’s hot and it’s steamy and it makes me want my very own Hudson.  Being a NY’er though, i’m not sure that i follow the geography of the story but if that’s the biggest issue that i have, then so be it.

Lucky for me, i’ve started book 2 since my flight was long and i’ll see what comes of the continuation of this story.  It’s definitely going to be interesting!