Review: Climax (Her British Stepbrother #3) by Lauren Smith


Title: Climax
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 5/3/16
Length:   132 pages
Series:  Her British Stepbrother #3


A love so forbidden. A passion so undeniable . . .

It’s time for Kat to face the truth. She can’t resist sexy playboy Tristan–he’s too deliciously seductive, and much too good at making her melt, body and soul. With photographic proof plastered all over London, the whole world now knows she’s fallen for this British bad boy.

There’s just one problem. Their parents got married and now Tristan is her stepbrother. They shouldn’t be together, but Tristan always gets what he wants, and he wants her more than anything. Behind closed doors, this only makes every moment they spend together hotter, every kiss deeper, as the passion between them blazes higher . . .

My Thoughts

This story continues to take us on a journey of a romance that’s more romeo and juliet than you’d ever imagine.  The news has picked up the story of the image of the 2 of them together that they did with a photographer for a contest, and while they figure they can find a way to explain things, it means that their cover is blown.  While that’s not really a huge issue in most cases, we see that the reaction of one parent over another, and over another makes things even more interesting.

Where we go on this third book, we see a romance that’s coming out into the open, a a wedding take place faster than anyone expected and a lot of threats and forceful words being utttered to get people to do what is expected of them.

We know that Kat is a selfless person, and we see that time and time again here – she has no choice again but to let Tristan go, and that’s something that breaks her soul.  not just her heart but her soul.  Tristan feels the same way and it’s nice to see that carter and Celia even will do what’s needed to try to help.

Tristan’s father Edward plays a huge role in things, Clayton – Kat’s dad plays a role that i never saw coming and surprisingly, Lizzy, Tristan’s mother plays a role that i was hoping for.

And it wouldn’t be a ‘romance’ if there wasn’t a car crash and someone’s teetering on the brink of death.  What will life be when and if that person makes it and who’s going to make the concessions?

If nothing else, in this story, we get angst sure – but we get heat and passion.  While we know that Kat was a virgin, we see that Tristan knows how to teach someone quickly and completely and when they come together, man, it’s HOT.  steamy steamy hot.

I feel like the epilogue is a nice tease, and i can’t wait to see if we get another book out of this since i feel like while we got some closure, we didn’t get it all.  So…fingers crossed – have a great night all!

Review: Seduction (Her British Stepbrother #2) by Lauren Smith


Title: Seduction
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 3.8/16
Length:   134 pages
Series:  Her British Stepbrother #2


Tristan is a man who knows what he wants. And he wants Kat in his bed. All he has to do is convince her they belong together . . .

Kat knows the connection she and Tristan share is special. Her British bad boy is too much of everything: too hot, too arrogant, too irresistible to stay away from. He’s her addiction and one night with him isn’t enough.

That’s what hurts the most. They can’t date, can’t be a normal couple, not when their parents are getting married. Because now that she knows he’s going to be her stepbrother, no one can ever find out what they’ve done . . .

My Thoughts

The Saga continues – and of course we know that it’s going to get oh so much more complicated.  Kat was trying to stay away from Tristan to begin with given that he had a reputation and she was such an innocent, and well, now that there’s the added issue of their parents getting married, she’s running for the hills.

There is so much chemistry though between them that it’s a struggle to stay away from each other and they need to find the balance on how to do that.  We see that as the main bits of this story – knowing that they want each other, but they can’t let their parents know since it’s taboo.

In addition to all that, we see that they have to also hide from the papps, and when they almost get discovered, it makes things more complicated – that’s a surprise that they don’t necessarily care for and one that comes up again at the very end of this 2nd book.  it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Tristan of course has another obstacle in the form of his father who’s called him back home early and who’s trying to exert his power and force on Tristan in a way that’s not ideal.  Being of British Peerage, there’s the expectation that as an Earl, he’s going to marry someone of equal stature, and in this case, his father has plans for Tristan to marry someone that while he’s friends with, he doesn’t want to be with (especially since Kat’s in the picture).  so that’s another branch of the story that i can’t wait to see play out.

So on that note, i’m looking forward to seeing what book 3 brings us and who gets hurt and how.  Enjoy!

Review: Forbidden (Her British Stepbrother #1) by Lauren Smith


Title: Forbidden
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 1/12/16
Length:   168 pages
Series:  Her British Stepbrother #1


He’s her first. He’s her everything. He’s her . . . stepbrother.

Kat has always been a good girl. She studies hard and never stays out too late. But when sitting in a pub on her birthday, she realizes she’s a nineteen-year-old virgin who’s never really lived. And she wants tonight to be the night that changes.

Then she sees him walk in. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and straight out of her deepest fantasies. His voice makes her knees feel weak, and when he smiles, she imagines him doing wicked things to her in bed. From the look in his eyes, she knows he’s imagining it too. So when he asks if he can walk her home, she hears herself whisper yes . . .

My Thoughts

ahhh yes, yet another naive innocent virgin to be seduced by the naughty guy with lots of experience right?  Well, while the premise isn’t anything new persay – i think that what we have here will get to be interesting if you take the series name into account.

We meet Kat when she’s out on the town in Cambridge with one of her close friends – and this is something new given that she always moves so much because of her father’s work, and she’s finally at a place in life where she can put roots down since she’s now in school in Cambridge.  If that weren’t enough to change her life from the mundane bits that it’s always been, on this same night she sees a man enter the pub who owns the room the moment he steps in, and others in the pub whisper about him and his conquests which of course makes things more interesting.

that of course is the introduction that we have of Tristan – who’s soon to be the Earl of something or other, and of course, in true fashion, he’s a man that women gravitate towards, and he doesn’t matter much what he leaves behind him as long as he’s enjoyed himself for the time being.

All that changes when these 2 meet – they find that there’s a chemistry between them that’s quite powerful, and i think that it’s only a matter of time to see how her innocence makes Tristan want to change,  and then to see what lengths he goes to in order to prove it.

Given that there’s not a ton of ‘substance’ to this first book, we don’t get a lot of romance and heat, but we know that there’s chemistry of course.  It’s not until the end when the game is changed for them, that we see that there’s going to be much more to the story.

While it’s sweet – there were bits of the writing style that i’m not necessarily feeling – and that’s interesting because I’ve read other stories by this author and i don’t recall having that same impression.  Personally, it seems more in the editing than the writing, so i’m not going to keep it from letting me read the next installment in the series.  I wonder how this is going to play out knowing again that this series is ‘the British Stepbrother’ – so it’s onto the next to see what that means for this budding couple.

Review: The Gilded Chain (Surrender #3) by Lauren Smith


Title:  The Gilded Chain
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher/Year:  Hachette Book Group 11/3/15
Length:  352 pages
Series:  Surrender #3


Explore a hidden world of erotic fantasies, where the greatest pleasures are stolen and the fiercest passions are untamed. . . For years, Callie Taylor has been obsessed with two things: a man she can never have and escaping to Paris where she can follow her artistic passions. But everything changes when Callie meets Wes Thorne, a wealthy, mysterious art collector and famous dominant. Despite all the nights she’s spent dreaming of another man, it is Wes’s predatory gaze that suddenly consumes her every thought and sets her body on fire. One touch from him promises unforgettable passion, but Callie knows that passion often comes with a price… From the moment he sets eyes on Callie, Wes is intrigued by her artistic talent and her delightful innocence of all things erotic. A stolen kiss leaves him aching and desperate to claim her in a way he’s never wanted any woman. But first he must convince her to surrender her control. And what better place to seduce an artistic soul like Callie’s than Paris?

My Thoughts

I think that we all had really high hopes for where this next installment was going to take us since we knew that Callie was going to have a HUGE broken heart and Wes was kind of inclined to partake of all that she had to offer (whether she knew it or not)

This 3rd book in the series takes us from Long Island where Wes is working to help investigate an art theft for a painting that’s not only valuable but also one that he helped the family procure the piece so it’s personal that they stole it from their home.  The journey then goes to Colorado where Wes goes to both oversee what’s been done to the ranch but to also see Callie.  Then we’re taken to Paris as a result of both a business trip that Wes has and a bet that he has with Callie to take her to bed.

The path that this story goes on from here on is the expected yet unexpected journey of Callie learning to get past her first broken heart, and understand what she is as a sexual woman, grow as an artist, and then discover what Wes has to offer.  THEN, it’s a matter of Wes deciding that loving her or lusting after her is worth it since it’s something so different for him.

We are go from here is one of trying to get to the bottom of the theft, and determine who’s behind it.  we’re led on a wild goose chase of sorts, the thief is someone we know but not truly known (mind you i thought it was someone else) and then, there’s an almost death.  SO….all that, it’s a great story that gives us this couple’s journey and wondering whether it’ll actually work given their VAST differences in life.

On that note – the teaser for the next story is GREAT and i can’t wait to see where all of our beloved characters net out.

Review: The Gilded Cage (Surrender #2) by Lauren Smith


Title:  The Gilded Cage
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher/Year:  Hachette Book Group 6/9/15
Length:  368 pages
Series:  Surrender #2


Passion that takes no prisoners, and love that tests the limits of ecstasy . . . Fenn Lockwood comes alive in the shadows. Though he might have physically survived the kidnapping that stole his childhood, the trauma and pain he lived through have marked him forever. Now the only place where Fenn can be himself is within the walls of his private BDSM world-a place of erotic obsession, where desire isn’t just captured . . . it’s bound. Hayden Thorne knows that behind Fenn’s hardened exterior is a man worth fighting for. Yet to save him from the past that still haunts him, Hayden will have to abandon every inhibition she’s ever had and venture into Fenn’s intoxicatingly sensual world. Each tantalizing second she spends in Fenn’s searing embrace is more delicious than the last and soon Hayden begins to think that she may never want to leave such torturous bliss . .

My Thoughts

I really like this series – where we were left after the Gilded Cuff was a place of tension and turmoil, and i think where we’ve continued is an even better place.  Emery and Sophie are in a great place and now it’s up to Hayden to save Fenn if she can and convince him of his true identity before someone kills him.

We’re reunited with this series when Hayden’s at the Rodeo that Fenn’s competing at, in the hopes of winning $50k to save The ranch that he’s been living at since his adopted family has been suffering from financial stress since the father had a heart attack.  Unfortunately though, Fenn’s been getting these weird senses or visions of sorts and one hits him at the wrong time and he’s knocked from the bull he’s riding before he’s able to even quality.  Its at that moment when a woman in a silky red dress tries to distract the charging bull from him and well, it works.  He’s saved, she’s saved and well, their paths have yet to truly cross yet.

From them on, we see that Hayden (the girl in the red dress) and Fenn are intertwined, their journey taking them hopefully back to Fenn’s past but hopefully to what seems like a steamy future.  It takes a bit of convincing, a few fights between Fenn and Wes (Hayden’s brother) but Fenn begins to believe what they are saying.

The question though is whether they can outsmart the assassin, and get back to Emery and take him down?  then at the same time, figure out who hired them to begin with 25 years ago and what was the motivation.  To be honest, it took me a short bit to sort it out but it was an obvious reason for it all.

Throughout this story, we get a lot of death and destruction – a lot of people getting hurt in the cross fire and a few people getting emotionally wounded.  You have to wonder who’s death is final and who’s going to make it through.  Broken hearts and all.

True to what we saw in the first installment, the scening is hot.  The passion that these 2 have is really nice to witness – they can’t stay away from one another and while Fenn may not be a true Dom in the sense of a BDSM club (at least i don’t think he is), he’s able to keep Hayden from ‘topping from the bottom’, and that’s something that few have been able to do.

The best bits though are what we get in the epilogue.  I think that where we see Wes going, and the emotional reactions from those involved makes you really interested to see what’s going to happen in book 3.  Can’t wait for it.  On that note – HAPPY NYE all and i’ll see you in 2016 for real this time!

Review: The Gilded Cuff (Surrender #1) by Lauren Smith


Title: The Gilded Cuff
Author:  Lauren Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 2/10/15
Length:  352 Pages
Series: Surrender #1


Every passion has its price . . .
Journalist Sophie Ryder has been following Emery Lockwood’s story since she was a little girl. There has always been something in his haunted eyes that she couldn’t resist and now, when she’s certain he holds the key to solving a string of kidnappings, she’ll do anything to speak to him. Even if it means venturing deep into the seductive world of the Gilded Cuff, a luxurious BDSM club on Long Island’s Gold Coast and Emery’s personal playground.
From the moment Sophie enters his shadowy, sensual domain, Emery Lockwood knows this tantalizing new little sub was meant to belong to him. However, Sophie wants more from Emery than just pleasure . . . she wants his past. And that is something he isn’t willing to give-no matter who is asking. But every moment he spends with Sophie, Emery feels his control slipping and he knows it’s only a matter of time before he surrenders to her heart, body, and soul

My Thoughts

Thank you Netgalley for giving me the advance copy – apologies for taking FOREVER to get to reading it.  It was definitely worth the wait though – and i’ll tell you why.  Not only do we get what i’ve come to be used to the D/s tale of a billionaire man who’s taunted by his ghosts and therefore living in the BDSM lifestyle, but a reporter/journalist – who’s trying to get her story and therefore is on the hunt for said billionaire.  That’s what we have here with Emery and Sophie.  As we learn quickly – Emery was kidnapped at a young age with his twin and he’s made it out but his brother didn’t.  He’s been haunted by this his entire life.  Sophie has her own ghosts – her best friend was kidnapped right in front of her never to be seen from again.  So they share that similarity and where it goes, well that’s where this story takes us.

While i knew what we were going to get, i was curious how we were going to get there.  Knowing that Sophie doesn’t know anything about the lifestyle, we’d get a great education if the author does BDSM justice, and she does…although it’s very light on the pleasure/pain bits.  We see some spanking and a bit of cuffs/restraints, but besides that – we don’t really go too deep.  That’s ok though since the sceneing between these 2- as limited as it is, IT’S HOT!. Sophie isn’t really ready to submit and it’s not like Emery really needs her to.

Sophie’s motivation of course is her hunch that Emery’s kidnapper has other motivations.  that it was an inside job that wasn’t done to completion and that he’s still in danger.  Even though Emery has security watching him, Sohpie’s ability to find what’s been missed through being a GREAT journalist makes her think that she’s going to see what others missed and solve it.  What she doesn’t know though is that she’s putting herself right in the line of fire, and we know that it means that someone or someones will not make it out alive.

Throughout this story we’re given snippets of the headlines from when Emery was taken with his brother Fenn, and Emery begins to tell us about what happened.  I have my own thoughts that i know who’s behind it, and i wonder if we’ll get to find that out before the first installment of this series comes to completion.  I feel like there’s a lot of denial and greedy motivations going on, and it’s not for the ransom money that was never asked for.

Will Sophie discover who’s behind it all while still guarding her heart and emotions?  Will Emery be able to open up enough and relive the pain to give Sophie the information that she needs to solve the case and will Cody and Hans, Emery’s security be able to protect him if and when the time comes?  Well, suffice it to say, just when things seem like they are getting worse, they still get even further past that point.  another kidnapping followed by another one, followed by the identification of someone that hasn’t been seen for 25 years.  So all in all a great first intro to a series and i can’t wait to see where the next book takes us.  Enjoy!