Review: Spin (Songs of Corruption #1) by CD Reiss

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Title: Spin
Author:  CD Reiss
Publisher/Year:  Christine Demaio  3/11/14
Length:  197 Pages
Series: Songs of Corruption #1

Overview

Mafia capo, Antonio Spinelli blew through my orderly life like a cyclone.

Gorgeous and passionate, with a breathtaking brutality, he put me under his spell the moment he touched me, drawing me into his underworld of risk, violence and betrayal.

And I found, just as this sophisticated savage didn’t trust me, I didn’t trust myself. Something happened to me. Some alchemy from the heat between us.

I discovered I was a savage, too.

My Thoughts

After reading the Songs of Submission series by CD Reiss, i’ve realized that i like where these stories take us, not only because of the heat and passion that we get from this author, but because the character relationships themselves are really nicely evolved.

In this story, we focus on Theresa who is Jonathan’s sister.  What’s nice about this story is that it’s happening while Songs of Submission happens, so it’s not like one comes before the other, they are really parallel stories.  we get a glimpse into snippets of the other series, but it’s not at all necessary to have read the other to get what’s going on here.

Anyhow, we meet Theresa who is wealthy because of her family, but successful on her own.  She’s an accountant for a top talent agency in Hollywood, who also has a knack for the minute details.  She’s also recently come out of a relationship with Daniel who’s running for LA mayor, and this breakup is because he cheated on her.  There’s still a lot of love there though, and that’s an undercurrent of this story.

Where Theresa meets Spin, the title character is outside a bar one night when Maggie, Theresa’s sister gets drunk and somewhat attacked.  Spin and his friend Paulie come to their rescue and from that night on, Theresa’s life is changed for ever.  maybe for the good , and maybe not.  See, Spin has ties to something that’s not quite illegal but not really legal either.  Meaning, he’s involved in mafia type activities and leads one of the families in a sense.

We are taken on the journey with Theresa and Spin, and Daniel for that matter, trying to see what can be salvaged and what can evolve, all the while allowing Theresa to come into her own and realize that she’s much stronger and dark than even she knew.

Through a series of events, Theresa puts her ‘big girl pants’ on, to defend herself to Daniel, to defend herself to Spin, to come to the aid of her best friend and roommate Katerina and to admit that she’s been holding back from men and relationships in the past and knows what she wants now.  She asks for it and demands it of Spin.

The question of where this story takes us isn’t a new one – it’s obvious really – will Theresa allow herself to go into something new and unknown, or will she continue to be drawn back to the safety that Daniel offers?  He does a great job of pulling her back in over and over again and makes he question things.  The other question is whether Spin can offer her what she needs, and if he’ll even allow himself to do it.  We see the battle between them and that makes for a lot of steam, heat and passion when they come together.

CD Reiss doesn’t disappoint in the sense that we get really heated scening, great passion and chemistry that cannot be contained.  It’s volatile and that’s exactly what you need in a first installment to a series.  It sounds like the intention of this series is to be a trilogy, so i’ll keep my eyes open for the next installments.  I hope that you guys give it a try – it’s a great segue from Songs of Submission.  Enjoy!

*note – clicking on the cover will now take you to BN.com to buy!

Review: Sing (Songs of Submission #7) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Sing
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year: Flip City Media Inc. 11/12/13
Length:  172 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #7

Overview

The stunning conclusion to the USA Today Bestselling series.

Take my hand, my love
On sinews of air we tread
Aught but distance our guide
With no tempo to our gait
No endpoint drawn
Neither plot nor plan
By the thorns of a compass rose
We bound toward the horizon

My Thoughts

Exactly what i needed in the finale of this series.  I have to say, the shortcomings and downfalls that i felt in the 1st have were remedied, and if you needed fear, anxiety, love, passion and romance, yet with the uncertainty in knowing that nothing good could ever come from what’s going on – you get that here.

At the end of Resist, we see Jonathan drop to the ground and we don’t know what’s happening.  Interesting that once you learn why he’s in the hospital, you come back to wonder if the pains in his arm from falling down the hill in the last book was from the fall or a heart attack  – right?

So, the focal point of this final installment is the life and death scenario of Jonathan, hanging in the balance since no one knows what’s going to happen. While all this is going on, Monica has to live her life, and well, it’s not going as perfectly as expected.  She’s worried that she’s screwing up her chances with Carnival since she has to postpone a session, she and Darren aren’t close anymore really – they don’t have much time for one another, she learns that her house is being auctioned, so she’s forced to reconnect with her mom which can’t be good – and all at the same time, she knows that most of Jonathan’s family hates her and that’s never helpful.

As Jonathan’s status continues to go downhill, we find an unexpected friendship from Brad, Dr Thorenson who lives next door to Monica and happens to have access to information about Jonathan’s health that she can’t get elsewhere.  I”m sure that i’m not alone in thinking that while he continues to just act like a good friend that there isn’t more to it.  let’s not go there for now though.

Jessica seems to be in and out a bit of this finale, but somewhat more under the radar since she knows that she can’t hold as much against Jonathan as she tried previously.  with the release of the recording that Monica was able to get from the phone she took from Jessica, there’s less ammo there to support any abuse against her.  so…the question is what’s her next angle to ensure that the money from the trust isn’t pulled from her.

There are so many times throughout this story that Jonathan really is on death’s door, that i’m not surprised how it ends.  i think that it needed to happen as it did.  what i loved though, is that since we know that he’s so gravely ill, and can’t be the domineering physical lover, we get a lot of verbiage and nuance that’s really just through talking and imagination that you still think that you’re right there in it with them.  This is a really great POV that the author put on the story so that we’re not left with just an editorial, and not so much erotica.

In any event, there is of course an epilogue of sorts that wraps things up for us, and in a way that makes you think that there is a happier outcome from stuff- but i have to say that i’m pleased that we didn’t get to the conclusion from a linear path, and that’s great.  I look forward to the spin offs from this series, since there are so many characters to build off of.  (i mean….7 sisters ….really???)

Review: Resist (Songs of Submission #6) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Resist
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year: Flip City Media Inc. 8/5/13
Length:  200 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #6

Overview

The story of Jonathan Drazen and Monica Faulkner continues.
Monica steps up to the plate…..I looked down at him, with his tourmaline eyes and copper hair, and believed him despite my better judgment.

I forgave him despite my misgivings. I loved him just because I did.

My heart wasn’t sensible or guarded enough, not by a sight. I was a walking raw nerve ending of emotion, as if the years I’d spent away from men and sex had made me more emotional, more vulnerable, more foolish.

I ran my fingers through his hair, feeling like the victim of a crime of consent.

My Thoughts

WOW – i loved where this next installment took us.  Lots was inevitable, but i’m glad that we got to see more of the grit.

The roller coaster of a journey between Monica and Jonathan continues, where they continue to go back and forth on who’s walking away from whom and for what reason.  Monica continues to have this desire to pursue her career yet not at the sacrifice of what Jonathan’s going through, yet he won’t allow for much wiggle room in letting her take care of things how she needs and wants to.  That’s his demanding side coming up but well – to be expected.  They know that they have this heat and passion that draws them to one another, and it’s nice to see that they realize that they can’t just use sex as a crutch (as juice as CD Reiss makes it seem in these heated scenes)….so where to go from there right?

What’s nice in this 6th installment is that we start to learn more about the Drazens and even about the folks that surround them.  Margie continues to play a role and i can’t wait to see where it takes us.  Then there’s Jessica who we’re not sure yet why we can’t trust her, and what rabbit she’s going to pull out of a hat, but Monica’s willing to figure it out – at Jonathan’s fear and anxiety.

This is one author that knows how to write novellas though – we get yet another impressive cliff hanger at the end of this piece – we’re at the Collector’s Board Gala that Jonathan really wanted to avoid because it’s ‘Jessica’s circle’ and his mother and father usually attend, but due to circumstances that are partly his doing, Monica is asked to attend (on the arm of Eddie – her rep from carnival) so that she can boost her career.  What we don’t know is what’s going to go down at the event – with the folks that we know will be there, and what’s going on in the life outside, it’s going to be a mess – and we get that.  Jessica was trying to unleash on Jonathan in the end of the last book and he’s tucked his chin and put out some stuff that she probably didn’t want out there, which leads to stress.

We meet someone that we’ve only heard about up until this point, we learn about the fate of another, and then for a third, their life is in limbo, which is exactly what we like to have in these types of stories.  edge of the seat stuff coming i’m sure!

Review: Burn (Songs of Submission #5) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Burn
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year: Flip City Media Inc. 6/23/13
Length:  298 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #5

Overview

——————–Here’s how it’s going to be, goddess.

Until you surrender yourself to me fully, I will not touch you.

Until the world can know you belong to me, I will not kiss you.

I’m going to be inches away, at your side. I’m going to whisper in your ear and put my breath on your neck, but the heat of my skin will not feel the shudder of yours until you commit yourself to me completely.

My Thoughts

we are finally getting somewhere, and i think that’s due to the fact that we’re now past the midway point in the installment series.  I love where this story is going, and i think that CD Reiss has done a GREAT job in laying it out for us in a way that keeps us guessing.

What we get in this 5th installment is quite a variety of emotions and wondering who’s trustworthy.  What we also get too though is a bunch of randomness that i’m not sure really means much to the story.  or will it?

We travel to Vancouver for the opening of the exhibit that Monica and Darren agreed to help Kevin with, and of course, things become much more complicated there.  while we know that Monica and Jonathan are ‘on a break’, we know that he doesn’t trust Kevin at all yet, even with the information that he’s learned from Santon on who planted the cameras….but that’s all with just cause.  Given the fact that Monica’s ‘attacked’……by one Kevin Wainright.

Anyway, we travel to Vancouver where a lot happens, and a lot doesn’t.  There’s still a wall up between Monica and Jonathan and they are doing their best to both keep it intact and rip it apart.  The question really becomes, is it worth the fight?  isn’t it better to just give in one way or another?

I really liked where this story ends up though – while i kind of figured that we’d get to a point where someone had their life threatened again or was arrested, i wasn’t sure about the circumstances, and the way this has played out so far has kept my interest.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about a story of who to trust and who not to.  We’re starting to get to the bottom of what this relationship could mean to Monica in the bedroom (and all over any surface she encounters).  while i’m happy to say that the word that i HATE (a.k.a. snatch) hasn’t made an appearance lately in the series (thank heavens), we’re also not really getting a strong dom  – which is something that i’ve come to really want and appreciate in this genre.  i know that Jonathan is supposed to be quite the top, but he seems very playful in it and tentative, and i know that it’s because of what he’s explained to us – he realized only with Jessica that he was into this, and really didn’t get a chance to live it out to the fullest.  I don’t know – i’m just used to a much more authoritative dom.  regardless – at least the scening that we do get is nice, and we get to see what he can do to a woman, and what Monica lets him do to her.

Review: Control (Songs of Submission #4) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Control
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year: Flip City Media Inc. 5/8/13
Length:  160 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #4

Overview

It is about Jonathan and Monica, living in Los Angeles and trying to make a life together.

My Thoughts

yes, the overview was quite basic don’t you think?  anyway, we are in the 4th installment and what i understand to be about the mid-way point in the series.  i think that we’re definitely getting to understand that there’s so much more under the surface of both Jonathan and Kevin that we’re not quite sure when it’s going to come out and explode.

Monica continues to wonder what’s the real situation with Jonathan and what he’s not sharing with her, and when she wants to learn more, she continues to use sex to get him to open up.  he finds himself falling more and more for her and doing things that he’s never done (at least not recently)….ie. dating….and that’s tough for him to come to terms with.  the good news though is that Jonathan has finally decided to cut off Jessica – his ex wife, but has a feeling that she won’t go down quietly.

Kevin on the other hand is going rogue as far as Jonathan is concerned.  because of what he’s seen of the artist’s prep work, he now fears for Monica’s safety, and that’s going to come to a head in this installment.

Jonathan takes control of Monica’s life again – doing things for her really w/o her permission, and then trying to control her in bed, which she’s really beginning to allow.  for herself to submit.  What we get here again, is quite a bit of steam and that’s really nice.

One aspect though that i’ve been trying to stop minding, but what has been bothering me for the first 3 books but eased up a bit in #4 is some of the verbiage or wording used to reference their parts.  I have a hatred for certain words and there is 1 that Monica uses OVER and OVER again that makes me want to drop the book.  it’s eased up a bit here in #4 thankfully, but still, thinks like that really detract from a book.

Anyway, we’re left at quite the cliff at the end of this installment, Monica’s made a decision to walk away from one of the men that’s really close to her in her life and we’re not sure what that will mean to her safety and well being.  we’ll just have to wait and see.

Review: Submit (Songs of Submission #3) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Submit
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year: Flip City Media Inc. 5/8/13
Length:  197 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #3

Overview

“You’re mine. The minute I told you to spread your legs and you did it, you were mine. When I told you to beg for it and you did, you were mine. When you put your hands behind your back without being told, I owned you. You never had to say a word. You are a natural submissive.”

No. God, no.

My name is Monica, and no matter what Jonathan says, I am not submissive.

My Thoughts

This third installment really was a turning point across so many different things.  what we are dealing with is uncertainty in relationships, specifically between Monica and Jonathan and even Monica and Gabby.  We also have to deal with a death that is potentially a game changer, and really makes some of our favorite characters wonder about what their role in things are.

In this 3rd installment, Kevin gets in Monica’s head a bit.  Because of the uncertainty that Monica has in Jonathan, based on what his ex has said to her, she gives Kevin a chance to talk about things and that’s not healthy at all for her.  what that does though is that it gives him an opening to be back in her life, and i can’t say that i’m not expecting something bad to come of it down the road.

The relationship with Jonathan and Monica though is quite rocky.  He admits to his needs and explains them to Monica in a way that she’s not ok with and walks away from.  It’s tough since you know that deep down she’s aligned with him, but she won’t admit it in her head.

so, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with everyone.  Will Monica Submit as the title implies?  Will monica submit to the demands of a potential record label and what it will mean to her friendship with Gabby? and Will Monica submit to the whims of Kevin.  all good questionsi think – most of which will be answered in this installment and those that aren’t will hopefully be resolved in book 4.

Review: Tease (Songs of Submission #2) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Tease
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year: Flip City Media Inc. 5/8/13
Length:  197 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #2

Overview

When Jonathan was gone I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and the first thing he did when he got back was demand more of me. I’m willing to give him my body and my time, but I find myself giving up pieces of my heart.

My career is on track, and even though I can’t write a thing, I can sing. So I’ll go to the art opening with him, because his ex wife will be there. I feel this need to protect him from hurt, though in bed, his domination brings me to my knees.

This man is going to break me into a million little pieces.

My Thoughts

It has actually been a little while since i read the first book in this series, but it was pretty quick to pick up where we had left off.  Monica, the budding musician was back to her life trying to get her ‘record deal’ with her best friend Gabby, and at the same time enjoying her time with Jonathan.  He is of course a billionaire, businessman, and quite authoritative in and out of the bedroom.

In this 2nd installment, we rejoin the couple when Jonathan is returning to town from a trip to Korea to secure another property for his hotel chain, and Monica continues to perform at Frontage, a restaurant/lounge type environment in the hopes of getting her record deal.  Monica knows that Jonathan is still quite closed off to relationships of any sort becuase of his past with his first wife and his ex, but she’s willing to try to play it cool with him.

This next story takes us on the journey of Monica finding her way along with him w/o losing too much of herself, while also having to deal with the annoyances that her past with Kevin, her ex bring up.  Kevin of course chooses an inopportune time to come back into her life, and of course decides to make a spectacle of things – in the form of an art installment that is in a show that both Monica and Jonathan attend together.

While things seem to be going well for the couple, Jonathan notices that monica continues to ask questions about Jonathan’s past relationships, while she says that she’s fine with things being casual.  this stirs up an interesting discussion between the 2.  We also run into Jonathan’s ex again, and she makes comments throughout that make us wonder to what extent Jonathan is over her (since we know he’s not) and what kind of hold she has on him.  Monica is really thrown off base on a few things because of her, and this is the edge that we’re left on at the very end of this 2nd book.  I guess it means that i’ll have to roll right into #3 tonight to see what happens.

Enjoy!

Review: Beg (Songs of Submission #1) by CD Reiss

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Title:  Beg
Author: CD Reiss
Publisher/Year:  Flip City Media Inc 5/5/13
Length:  53 pages
Series: Songs of Submission #1

Overview

My name is Monica. I’m a singer born and raised in Los Angeles.
I’ve stopped dating. When I cut a record, or win a Grammy, maybe then I’ll be with someone, but every man in my past has done everything he could to make me submit myself to him, and it’s gotten in the way of my career. I won’t do it again.

But there’s Jonathan. He owns the high-rise hotel where I work, and he is gorgeous and charming. I refuse to fall in love with him, even though when he asks me to submit to him, I want nothing more

My Thoughts

I was looking for something new to read and while i had opened and started reading a Dystopian 3rd installment, i realized that last night i needed something less serious and that’s where i stumbled onto the first novella installment of the Songs of Submission series on Netgalley.  I have to say that there’s a lot of value in novellas – while they are short and you don’t really get into the depth of a relationship, they give you just enough – a few chapters of character and plot development to hook you and that’s what i needed.

In this story we meet the female lead Monica who is a singer who’s trying to make it, while at the same time she’s also trying to make it in the sense of surviving financially which in her world is as a cocktail waitress.  She works as a high end bar at a hotel and her world changes when she finally meets the owner Jonathan one night – which isn’t the best circumstances for her given that she gets trapped in his gaze and manages to spill all her drinks on the men at the table and gets fired.  Jonathan then summons her to his office where her manager kindly warns her that not only will he offer her a severance, but he usually likes to have sex with those that he lets go too.  well Monica is a bit stronger than that and isn’t up for that kind of a deal, but when she gets to the office, she finds that she’s drawn to him.  but she won’t cross that line.

so this first installment takes us on the beginnings of what develops between them – we see that there’s a connection there, but of course since they are from different worlds and Monica is closed off a bit to men, it’s not going to be easy.  we also learn that Jonathan was married once before and that his ex actually ripped out his heart when she left and cheated on him, so i’m sure that will come up in the next installments.

We also meet in the path of this story Moncia’s bandmates – one who is her ex, and one who is the sister of said ex who is also unstable – i.e. depressed, on meds and has attempted suicide before.  Everyone feels the need to babysit Gabby because of her past and i’m sure that it’s going to play a  big role in this story as well – since you know the adage, once unstable always unstable right?

i can’t wait to find book 2 and see where this goes because it just started to get juicy at the very end…..gotta love when a phone rings and you don’t like the name that comes up on the caller ID…right?