Review: The Castle (Endgame #3) by Skye Warren

TitleThe Castle
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Amber Shah 4/4/17
Length:  230 pages
Series: The Endgame #3′

Overview

FINAL BOOK IN THE TRILOGY!

Safe in the ivory tower…

Gabriel Miller swears he’ll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.

Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?

There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.

No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.

My Thoughts

I’ll be honest, it took me a few days to get into the final installment of this series, and i’m not entirely sure why that’s the case. Probably because of life since this story is still very exciting. We know that Jonathan Scott is out there, yet to be discovered and we know that he’s got a vendetta not only against Avery, but the world in general. Gabriel is doing his very best to keep her safe and that means keeping her locked up in the house and when she plays with fire to negotiate time away, we see what the compromise is.

This third and final installment takes us on a path of watching this relationship grow from one that started on false pretenses into one that became something serious and solid, into one that opened up their eyes to how much they were willing to give up for the other in order to survive.

There’s a lot of discussion around who has the power, and of course it ties back to Chess. Avery even chooses to write her paper on the historical role of women and how It ties to the game of chess to show the evolution of who help the power and what the notion of checkmate really means. The idea of the Castle itself, that’s something that holds an important meaning in solving the whereabouts of Jonathan Scott and how they can get to him.

We see Damon Scott as an entirely different person in this story. We know that his relationship with his father isn’t one that is great, so to see another side of him comes out when a woman’s safety is compromised is a sweet evolution. There’s also an interesting twist related to Damon that we get to see as this story evolves and it makes so much sense once it plays out.

There’s death, destruction, lies and anxiety, all on top of passion, heat, sensuality, personal growth and discovery. I’m sad to see this series end, but we know that the story Avery and Gabriel have coming ahead of them has a single minded direction and the closure in the story gives hope. Next up is a spinoff of sorts and I cant wait to dive in. Enjoy!

Review: The Knight (Endgame #2) by Skye Warren

TitleThe Knight
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year:  Skye Warren 1/31/17
Length:  250 pages
Series: The Endgame #2

Overview

The power of pleasure…

Gabriel Miller took everything from me. My family. My innocence. My home. The only thing I have left is the determination to get back what’s mine.

He thinks he’s beaten me. He thinks he’s won. What he doesn’t realize is that every pawn has the chance to become a queen.

And the game has only just begun.

My Thoughts

So many lies in such a short amount of time. When the relationship between Avery and Gabriel started based on less than ‘legal’ means, we knew that things were going to get dicey, but of course as we saw what Gabriel was truly capable of, we really started to despise him.

The naiveté that Avery has is something powerful and throughout this second book, both she and her mother are likened to Helen of Troy – the historical woman who’s beauty brought down countries and empires. It seems as though Helen, Avery’s mother is that woman, she had a power over so many men (and women) that she likely saw her death as a result of that, and the power that Avery has in her youth and allure is just as strong.

We left off the first book with Gabriel throwing Avery away essentially and when Avery is out on the street, she learns that her father has a heart attack, yet another set back as well as learning that her house is now no longer hers and it’s up for auction. The path that this second installment is one of watching how this all plays out, knowing that holding company that has the deed to her house is one that’s owned by Gabriel.

There’s so much uncertainty driving the motivations, and throughout this story we realize that perhaps Gabriel isn’t as evil as we wanted to believe. He’s protective of Avery, even though it seems as though their relationship is doomed. He continues to provide the care for her father even though things are going awry.

Avery learns more and more about her mother’s past and as a result, there are questions that people keep telling her not to search for that she doesn’t listen to. She finds a diary from her mother in the attic and learns some of the sordid past that was just ahead of her parent’s wedding. She searches out her mother’s best friend who reveals unexpected secrets that I think we all should have expected.

Throughout this story as well, we watch Avery stand on her own two feet. She moves into a seedy motel since that’ what she’s able to afford, and we watch her survive. There’s a protector for her in the form of a homeless man named Will who makes an impact on her life in the motel. Harper, the friend from college who’s stuck around continues to provide support and we see what that means for Avery especially when she needs a friend the most.

All this helps her deal with the emotions and feelings that she continues to have for Gabriel. She has this connection with him that’s deeper than her sole physical and sexual experience, and she has a sense that it’s the same for him. How he behaves and what he says makes her wonder if there’s more than meets the eye.

Where this story nets us out is a fire, a lost house, and a future that’s unknown. We have a name, and an identity but this person has gone into hiding and we don’t know when they will strike next, and we have to be prepared. What we do know is that the relationship of ALL our characters and how they are intertwined has changed and we can only hope for the best in how it plays out. On that note, i’m off to find book 3 and see where they go! Enjoy!

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.

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!