Review: No Longer Lost (Secrets of Stone #9) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue

TitleNo Longer Lost
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 5/7/19
Length:  235 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #9


Lovesick has never been in my vocabulary, but now that Maclain Stone has entered my world, I’m practically dying of heartache. And there’s nobody to blame but myself. But his brushoff has made me never want to see his sexy, smug face again.
When a stalker forces me from my home and lands me on Mac’s front door—and into the warmth of his bed—I can’t avoid the truth any longer. I’m in love with him. I need him. I’m lost without him…
What the hell was I thinking, falling in love with a stubborn spitfire like Taylor Mathews? For the first time in my life, a woman is driving me insane with need. If I can win her back, I vow to never let her out of my sight again.
Though it takes the threat of a maniac to drive her into my arms, I’m not letting opportunity pass me by, and everyone needs to learn this woman is mine—especially the woman herself. Without each other, we’re nothing. But together…
We’re no longer lost.

My Thoughts

So, i’m not sure yet if this is the last book to the series or not. We didn’t get an epilogue and we didn’t get any grand closure so i wonder…hmmmm. must go to research.

Anyway, what we have here is the continuation of Mac and Taylor’s story. They have been through their ups and downs. Taylor feels like she’s not worthy of what it is that Mac has to offer her and she pushes him away. Every move he makes is wrong to her because it’s at the wrong time, for the wrong reason or just something that she’s not open to. Every baby step that they make, even in trying to make things right between them proves to be a challenge.

That in itself should be enough to keep this story going, but of course we have so much more. We have John, a man who volunteers at the blood bank that Taylor knows – and he’s an interesting character. When we meet him, he seems like an eager puppy, trying to get into Taylor’s good graces. What we see though underneath is that it’s pushy, and not welcome at all. It causes jealousy for one thing with Mac, but that’s not even the real thing. He uses information that he has from Taylor’s files and goes rogue and that’s where we see this story take a dark dark turn.

Mac gets sucked into the mess because he confronts John and that results in a suspension from work. It’s really not looking good for anyone in this ninth installment. We spend the bulk of the story seeing how this couple deals with crazy and then tries to find their footing together on a slippery slope that doesn’t give much. Mac’s mom continues to be the ‘lovely’ woman that she is and makes their relationship that much more complicated and we see how easy it is to buy Taylor’s mom off to get information. Makes you really lose faith in family.

All in all, the idea of this story is exciting but the delivery is a bit lack luster. there’s not nearly as much depth to this story as we’re used to but i guess that with the anxiety from their troubles, we have enough to keep the story moving.

So, i guess all i can say is that if this is the final installment, then it’s been a fun ride with these characters. We’ve definitely gotten to see quite a bit of excitement with all of our relationships and I’m sad to be done with them. on the off chance that there’s more – i can’t wait! 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


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 Broken Bond (Secrets of Stone #7) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue

Title: No Broken Bond
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 6/5/18
Length:  226 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #7



It’s incredible what Fletcher Ford and Drake Newland have done to my world—and my soul—since igniting my desires, answering my dreams and filling every inch of my heart. I am rocked. Changed. Freed. A woman in love…


But the adjustment hasn’t been easy, and not just for my orthodox family. Falling for one dazzling, commanding billionaire is complicated enough. But two? Wading through dysfunctions, judgments, and emotional baggage from all sides, we’re searching for the perfect balance of our love. And we nearly find it, when disaster slams again—threatening to permanently cripple us this time.


With our bond in shreds and our spirits in tatters, can we find the glue to keep our bond intact and our love whole? Are we broken…or just bent? Do we have the courage to find out?

My Thoughts

Honestly, i had thought that we were almost finished and resolved with this relationship between Drake, Fletcher and Talia because of the nonsense that they had gone through with Talia’s family and Drake’s running scared. But i guess i was wrong since now it was Flech’s turn to be nuts.

We get to see what his family is like after spending some much needed down time with Drake’s perfect and perfectly accepting brood. The change is like night and day though because there’s nothing that Fletchers family will do to accept them. There are things that are allowed in ‘society’ and being in a non-traditional relationship isn’t one of them.

We are faced with Fletchers worst fears at an anniversary party that his parents are throwing for themselves when they are gawked at, on the receiving end of stink eye and Fletcher gets an ‘undressing’ by his sister. when his anger gets the best of him and he shares some information about her boyfriend, well things go from bad to worse.

After that night, he has a moment of clarity (for himself not for anyone else) that makes him pull a Drake and go emo and decide that he shouldn’t be part of the relationship. Things go south in the bedroom with the three of them and words are exchanged between the men and the night can’t be saved.

This is where life changes. Because of those emotions, we know that the story will take a turn, and when that turn takes us to a trauma center because Fletcher is left in a car accident that has him hanging on by not even ONE thread, we are forced to question whether this relationship can stick. even if he survives.

What our authors are able to do well in this book but also with Killian’s venture into the darkness is that they really go all in with characters who are depressed, miserable and have lost the will to live. It’s depressing for sure but what it also does is show us the strength and power of the other side of the relationship, to really show us when people are devoted to each other.

There are more questions than answers in this book in regards to what really will be their future and what it looks like either healthy or not. Fletcher has severe brain injuries that affect his physical life, his emotional life, his weird unspoken bond with Talia, and his brotherhood with Drake. We even see the depth and heat of their relationship struggle and fall apart and that’s something that was always so powerful and unique. To get through this installment and see how it plays out is a feat of emotion and a test of how much you can stop yourself from crying.

The sweet bit is that we get to see the introduction to Taylor’s story as she’s the last one that we need to know more about. She’s clearly hiding behind something from her past which makes her the firecracker that we love, but it’s still to be uncovered. At the same time, we get to see another facet to Killian in the form of his broken relationship with his cousin Mac – a neurosurgeon that’s called in to help Fletch. there’s a dark backstory there which we never get insight into, but the men hate each other with a passion. It manifests into an intense intro to chemistry with Taylor and i can’t wait to see what that’s all about. Enjoy!

Review: No Perfect Princess (Secrets of Stone #3) by Angel Payne & Victoria Blue

Title: No Perfect Princess
Author:  Angel Payne & Victoria Blue
Publisher/Year:  Waterhouse Press 4/17/18
Length:  187 Pages
Series:  Secrets of Stone #3


Which came first? The princess or the slipper? And does it really matter?

My name is Margaux Asher. Yes, that Margaux Asher. The attitude icon. The bitch in the hottest heels. The princess of the PR game. At least until Mommie Dearest revealed that my real father is one of the world’s richest men—a secret she’d been hiding from me my whole life. What other secrets were there? Michael Pearson, my six-foot-three golden god, wants to help me reveal them all. But what if he finds out I’m no perfect princess?

Someday, my princess will come…

I’m Michael Pearson, son of an apple farmer. Now I’m working for one of the country’s most prestigious PR firms—and the sap who’s fallen for the boss’s daughter.

The rest of the world may vilify Margaux, but I know she’s just looking to be loved. The problem is, every time I volunteer for the job, she pushes me away. I want to give her that magic kiss. Set her free to finally see the truth. I don’t need her to be perfect. I just need her to be mine.

My Thoughts

Ok – I’m not going to lie – this was a tough book to get through. Like really tough. I understand the need for this branch of the story since Claire and Killian seem to be in a good place, but at times this was really painful.

What we have here is the introduction to a more human side of Margaux – the girl who’s live has been turned upside down after learning that her mom isn’t her mom, that she’s a Stone and realizing that everything she knew was a lie. She’s trying to figure out who she is now that she’s not living that life anymore, and at the same time, hiding from what can be amazing if she let her walls down.

At the same time, we get to learn more about Michael – Claire’s best friend from Asher and Associates. There were moments in the first few books that i wondered why he never made a play for Claire – they seemed so close and yet they never crossed that line. In this installment, we get to see why. He’s had strong feelings for someone else this whole time and has only barely acted upon it in fear of not being enough.

This is where the fairy tale / night mare of Margaux and Michael begins. She seems to think that he’s too sensitive and vanilla for her and yet she doesn’t know his dark past, one that makes him exactly the kind of man she wants. It’s only through a series of events that we get to see that what they think they need is what they have.

There are so many weird turns that this story takes that i get lost. Michael has to go home to take care of some family stuff yet we don’t quite figure out the crux of the history behind it all. We know that he and his uncle have a dicey relationship that’s quite contentious, but i couldn’t figure out why. We also know that Michael’s mother has a restraining order against someone but i haven’t figured that one out either. (maybe i missed it when i struggled with this story).

Then, there’s Trey Stone. A man who just won’t go down without a fight. In this week’s episode of ‘what will he do next’ – we learn that Blackmail is on the menu and he’s after Margaux for that one. Demanding $5 Million Dollars in a matter of days or he’ll go public with her sealed secrets from years past. Margaux of course doesn’t want that to happen, and also wonders how he learned about these secrets in the first place, but as a result, starts the domino effect of ‘the end of Michael and Margaux’

From this point on, i spend much of the book confused, skimming forward quickly to get past some of the ‘on the surface’ romance scenes to find something deeper to hold on to and then wondering if i missed something in between. There are admissions of feelings, pushing people away, secrets and lies that are forced, and unhappiness all around.

Thrown in the middle of all this is a scene or two that have to do with Killian and Claire’s future, but it feels like it’s an island in the midst of the story.

Suffice it to say, I’m not in love with this book. I think there is potential, but it was just missed. The redeeming factor was that there was an interesting/yet semi expected twist of a relationship here that i’m still intrigued to find out about, that perhaps book four will get us there. That and the glimpse of a mystery woman that we KNOW will be a focus for the next book as well. So….yes, i’m going to keep going with this series since i don’t let books beat me…but i may take a quick break to read the latest release of another series first. Enjoy (hopefully)

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


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!