Review: Tell Me To Lie (Tell Me #6) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleTell Me To Lie
Author:  Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 2/11/20
Length:  166 Pages
Series: Tell Me #6

Overview

There was a time when my debt was the only link we had. 
There was a time when I couldn’t tell him how much I loved him and he couldn’t tell me. There was a time when I thought I could never have enough money. 
Now, everything is different. 

Nicholas Crawford is a stranger who is becoming more strange with every moment. 
I used to think I could make a life with him, but now I’m not so sure. 
We have been through too much. 
But then he takes a step closer. 
Then he whispers something into my ear. 
Then presses his lips to my mouth. 
Suddenly, everything that was wrong starts to feel so right…

My Thoughts

How painful was it to see how book five ended – right? there were so many moments that things could turn out differently in that story and the POOF – the rug is ripped from under us and Nicholas has been nabbed. We don’t know if Olive was working with the FBI and brought them to him or if it was an accident (part of me things that Solly the cat was a plant by the FBI and that’s how they found him) but regardless, we end up with Nicholas behind bars, and quite a case against him.

Nicholas knows what he is innocent of and what crimes he’s committed and he knows that in this instance, he shouldn’t be behind bars. There’s too much against him and his case is so high profile that literally nothing will change his trajectory. We watch him suffer and get beat up, we watch him get transferred and we watch no one listen to him.

Olive wants to hold onto hope that she can get to the bottom of all of this. She believes that Nicholas didn’t kill anyone and she sets out on a fact finding mission to see who knows what about his ex girlfriend and his best friend. She’s naive to think that she’s taking the right precautions and frankly if this weren’t a book, she’d likely end up dead.

What she does find though uncovers a lot more than she bargained for. She finds people from Nicholas’s past that really know the truth but they have their own lives at stake and won’t stick their neck out on this one. When she does find a person in the DA’s office who helps, that’s a saving grace, yet there’s a challenge to get their findings known. What they did was illegal and no one wants to see Nicholas off the hook.

We find out who the real killer was for each of the murders, and we want justice to be served.

The other story line here is that of Sydney and James. The man that Syd’s mother adores and the man who broke Sydney’s heart. He cheated on her, and yet if she walks away from him, her mother will cut her off. We also learn that……she’s pregnant. So even though she hates what James did to her, she can’t walk away because she wants her family to be intact. Throughout this story we watch how that plays out and we want James to change and realize that she’s a great girl – but will he? who knows.

Then there’s Owen – no one likes him and because of his attack on Olive, he’s back in jail. where he should rot forever. She tries to put him out of her mind and life but of course she’s forced to cross paths with him again, and nothing goes as she hopes. Maybe she’ll be able to stay away from him for the rest of time since he’s in CA in jail.

A roller coaster of angst is in this last installment of the story again, and we wonder which end is up most of the time. There are relationships that are rekindled (Olive and her mom) and relationships that die (Olive and Owen). Relationships in Limbo (Olive and Nicholas and Syndey and James) and relationships that haven’t even begun yet. (Syd and her baby). I”m happy with how this story ends, we get closure even if it’s not in the way that we expected based on how the story progressed. At least it’s wrapped up and there’s no more questions to be asked. On that note – I have to find another series – so enjoy!

Review: Tell Me To Fight (Tell Me #5) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleTell Me To Fight
Author:  Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 1/07/20
Length:  166 Pages
Series: Tell Me #5

Overview

I’m a man who takes what he wants. 
What do I want? Her. 
Olive Kernes owned me a debt and she thought that she had paid it back. 
But now I want more. 
I want more than just her time. 
I want more than just her body.
Her new life has torn us apart. 
Now, it’s up to me to make things right. 
I will make the pieces of our love fit back together if it’s the last thing I do. 
But can I do it in time? 

My Thoughts

Where it took me more than a week to read book 4, I managed to read this entire fifth installment in just one day. I think that’s because this part of the story takes us on a journey where so much happens and times are even more uncertain.

Where we left off in book four – Nicholas finds himself walking away from Olive – there are too many lies between them and too many obstacles (largely Owen) that really makes it impossible for them to be together. Nicholas leaves Olive with the stolen Monet painting and money so that they can finance their new identities and he takes the stolen jewelry to do the same.

So in this story, we find ourselves stating in Belize where Nicholas has landed. He had been there before, and knew that it was an island that he could disappear to where there was little chance of being discovered. He’s been there for a while now, just existing until one day his world crumbles – on the news is Art – the FBI agent that he did the last job for – bringing Nicholas to the top of the Most Wanted list. He needs to figure out his next move – how to get away under the radar now that his face is on the news online and TV constantly, and he plans to go to Thailand – a country where they won’t have much American News running all the time. He goes through Mexico and then. quickly learns that his accounts have been frozen, which means that someone found the person that made all his new identities and every account that was set up with a different name has also been compromised. As a result, Nicholas has to reach out to a contact in Vegas who gets him a job smuggling meth across the boarder to Cali and that gives him a bit of money to get around and plan next moves.

Then there’s the other side of the story with Olive and Owen. From the end of book four, we know that Olive’s birth mom was heading to California so that’s where they end up as well. Olive wants to meet her but doesn’t know how to make that connect. Instead, they settle into Palm Springs and try to make a life. They’ve got new identities as well since Owen is out on Parole and clearly not checking in. Being in CA gives Olive a new perspective in life. She’s on a fitness kick, she’s changed her diet and she’s got an appreciation for the world now that she never had before. On the flip side, Owen has gone down hill. He’s sullen, depressed, he drinks all the time and contributes nothing to their ‘family’. Instead, we learn that he’s still harboring these feelings towards Olive which aren’t reciprocated. It’s becoming an issue that will play out interestingly late in the book.

Throughout this fifth book, it’s fight or flight for everyone and uncertain futures. Olive wants to meet her mom and isn’t sure how that goes. When it seems to be an enlightening encounter, we hope for the best but really don’t know what that’s going to look like.

We know that Olive still has feelings for Nicholas and knowing that he’s so wanted makes her worry about him and miss him more. At the same time we know that Nicholas has never given up on how he feels about Olive and what that looks like in the future is really bleak given that they will likely never cross paths again. Or will they?

The last few chapters of this book are really riveting, we find ourselves at a point where freedom is just out of reach and yet at the same time, there are moments of happiness that eek through the clouds. There’s a real cliff hanger at the end here, we know that we have to fight but we don’t know how much fight is left. There’s an attack, a shooting, and an ambush – and now we don’t know where everyone is going to end up. I can’t wait to dive into book six. there was a moment during four when I was thinking about pausing but i’ve been sucked back in! Enjoy!

Review: Tell Me To Run (Tell Me #4) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleTell Me To Run
Author:  Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 11/02/19
Length:  145 Pages
Series: Tell Me #4

Overview

If you love a thrilling romance filled with suspense, lust, turmoil, secrets, and explosive drama, you can’t miss this ride.

My Thoughts

Such a useful summary being shared – but that’s ok. So we’re deep into this story – in a place that’s full of turmoil. Olive knows that Owen isn’t her real brother and also knows that he’s in love with her. Nicholas knows this as well and he even tries to do a solid by tracking down Olive’s birth mom .

This fourth installment takes us on a less romantic path – one where we know there’s intense animosity all around. Olive feels a need to be there for Owen and Owen hates Nicholas because of things from their past. That doesn’t help matters given that Nicholas’s task from the FBI is to get close to Owen and befriend him. He doesn’t care much for owen but is willing to do it because of his job and because he loves Olive.

Parallel to that, we have the same story of trying to protect Owen from being killed since he’s landed himself in the hospital on death’s door and once he’s out things are still uncertain. People are still after him for snitching while he was in prison, which is what got him out on parole early, and that means that they’re always looking over their shoulder to see who’s coming after them next.

If that weren’t enough, the romance that was is really the romance that isn’t. Olive and Nicholas had something that was so precarious to begin with and now it’s even more fragile. They continue to lie to each other and trust is a huge issue. I don’t know if there’s enough good stuff out there in the cosmos to help these two.

The story line that pulls us through a majority of this book is the one where Nicholas finds himself at a cross roads. He’s being given the chance to get out of the clutches of the FBI by helping his connect there get out of a debt. Art is the guy that’s got a file on him, and Art has also entangled himself into a gambling debt. If Nicholas is able to help him clear that debt by stealing a painting, then he can be free and clear. What Nicholas doesn’t know is that Art knows all about Olive’s past in art theft and that’s kind of why this task is so perfect. He’s got someone lined up who’s experienced and capable, and sadly that leads to another rift.

Side to this story is the one of Olive’s roommate and her romance with James, Nicholas’s best friend. Syndey is in love with James and they’re planning their future together. Everything seems amazing until of course Syd’s mom wants to mean this guy – and what throws them for a loop is that her mom really likes James. Sydney doesn’t know what to do with this turn of events since she’s always at the opposite end of her mother’s favor.

Where we end this story is with everyone going in different directions. Words are said, lies are unveiled and that means that there’s no hope for any happy ending. Nicholas walks away and leaves a bit of Olive’s past for her to uncover and we can only imagine what she’ll do with that information now that she’s on her own. We’re left to wonder how safe Owen will be since he chooses a path that doesn’t protect him, how happy Olive will be because she felt torn between two men, and how happy Nicholas will be since he’s had to choose himself. We also have to wonder if the only happy couple will remain happy. So now i’m off to find out in the next book. Enjoy!

Review: Tell Me To Stay (Tell Me #3) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleTell Me To Stay
Author:  Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 10/01/19
Length:  166 Pages
Series: Tell Me #3

Overview

I am not a liar or a thief or a criminal. At least, not anymore. But here I am doing the things that I promised myself I would never do again.

Nicholas Crawford made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He is dangerous and damaged but so am I. Our relationship is an addiction that we have to feed.

Now, things are about to get even more complicated.

Allegiances will be tested. Lies will be told. Truths will be revealed.

We have both made promises that we can’t keep. The secrets we have uncovered only scratch the surface, and I’m afraid to find out what lies below.

All is not what it seems but I have to figure out the truth before it’s too late.

My Thoughts

Where this series edged on Romance, now it’s more of a crime story – of sorts. There’s the element and undertone of sex, between Olive and Nicholas, but at the same time there are sexy times that you can’t even begin to imagine (who am I kidding of COURSE you have imagined them) coming on up!

In this third installment we have more questions than answers yet again. We watch the Relationship with Nicholas and Olive take a new turn, they get to that next level, yet there’s still always the notion of ‘the deal is off’ or ‘we’re done’ or ‘I don’t trust you’ lurking. At the same time, the relationship between Olive and Owen changes – we know that he’s been in jail for ten years, is up for parole and needs Olive’s help to testify on his behalf to get out. There are interesting circumstances that make this parole hearing happen and even more interesting circumstances that occur after the fact as well.

Olive’s given information from so many different directions about the people in her life. The prosecutor spills the tea about what Owen was into his whole life that Olive never knew. Nicholas shares a bit of information when Olive digs and on the flip side, Owen continues to share his opinion on Nicholas and his past. So you know that there’s no right side of the coin for her!

We know that cons and scams must continue to happen because we’ve learned that Nicholas is living beyond his means and cannot pay Olive the million dollars without doing the jobs. There’s also another guiding force behind the cons too – we know that Nicholas has been forced to work with the FBI because they have a file on him, so that means he’s never going to be free. Olive doesn’t know this yet.

Throughout this third story, we spend much of it wondering when the other shoe is going to drop and what’s going to happen. We know that Nicholas has to befriend Owen to do his job but that’s NEVER going to happen. We also know that Olive continues to want the best for everyone and wants Owen to be ok with her life choices and move on with his freedom, yet we quickly learn that there’s no freedom even for him.

There’s an interesting fun fact that Olive learns about herself in the end and it’s all because of something that Owen says to her, and that means that book four will be even more insane. I mean, there’s another level entirely being introduced to things and I wonder what that means.

There’s one more thing to mention – remember how Olive’s best friend and roommate Syndey met a guy James in HI and decided to stay there? Well, parting words of this book – ‘she’s back’. We don’t know why and we don’t know what it means for the story – so you know that it means I have to get book four and read on. Enjoy!

Review: Tell Me To Go (Tell Me #2) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleTell Me To Go
Author:  Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 09/03/19
Length:  166 Pages
Series: Tell Me #2

Overview

His offer: 365 days and nights = $1 million
My addendum: I’m not doing that
His promise: Before the year is up, you’ll beg for it

My days of lying and stealing are over, but then Nicholas Crawford makes me an offer I can’t refuse. Spend a year pretending to be his significant other in exchange for $1 million dollars. 

I tried to put that part of my life, and those hard-won skills, behind me. But I need the money. He needs a partner.

I told him that I’d never sleep with him. He promised me that I would end up begging for it. Now, I want him more than ever.

Especially when I run my fingers over his chiseled body and he teases me with his tongue.

Especially when he puts his hands on the small of my back and kisses me.

I want him so much I am going to scream. I want him so much…I might even beg.

My Thoughts

In this second installment we get to the crux of what this story is about and we learn far more than we bargained for. At first I thought that Nicholas just wanted Olive for a plaything since that’s typically what these stories turn out to be in the genre, but instead, there’s so much more. Nicholas is involved in some sort of scam situation, where he steals things back from people who lost them and replaces the stolen goods with replicas. Interesting right? So he needs Olive’s help to run these cons.

It’s one con that turns our wrong because of a few hiccups. They’re aiming for a mark at a party when Sydney, Olive’s roommate and James, Nicholas’s friend and the man Syd is dating show up there as well. So they have to call the con off and change direction. Challenge here is that Olive has no idea what the true con is and gets upset, and then takes it upon herself to carry out the part that she knew without Nicholas’ help. She’s successful, but someone involved ends up dead. (we learn about this later)

Interestingly enough though, there’s a subplot here that we slowly start to learn in the latter part of this story. We know that Olive has an older brother Owen who’s in jail. They’ve grown closer while he’s been away and we see that the bond is something that’s fragile now. He calls her and tells her that he’s up for parole and needs her to come and testify for him, so she gets into a fight with Nicholas to go and help him out. During that same call, she accidentally reveals too much information to Owen about Nicholas and it turns out they know each other well – they ran in the same criminal circles and there’s animosity there. Olive’s being warned off, and yet she’s not sure who to believe.

Fast forward to the time post the parole hearing when Olive and Nicholas are back at her apartment and an assassin comes after her. We learn that there’s far more to this story than we ever could have imagined and now i’m curious to see where it nets out. Owen knows more than he says, Olive now knows more about Owen’s past that he never revealed, and Nicholas is still not being open with Olive about who he is and what he does.

Add to that sexual chemistry that’s off the chart, and yet not consummated, which means that we have a fire that’s about to explode and I can’t wait to see if it happens in book three. Enjoy!

Review: Tell Me To Stop (Tell Me #1) by Charlotte Byrd

TitleTell Me To Stop
Author:  Charlotte Byrd
Publisher/Year:  Byrd Books 08/06/19
Length:  165 Pages
Series: Tell Me #1

Overview

I owe him a debt. The kind money can’t repay.

He wants something else: me, for one year.

But I don’t even know who he is…

365 days and nights doing everything he wants…except that.

“I’m not going to sleep with you,” I say categorically.

He laughs.

“I’m going to make you a promise,” his eyes challenge mine. “Before our time is up, you’ll beg me for it.”

My Thoughts

This is a light and sweet novella that is a launching pad I think to a bigger series. We find ourselves in Boston, with two friends that are in interesting circumstances. They’ve got very different backgrounds which puts them in different financial positions, yet they are great friends. Olive is our main character, and she’s trying to make a new life for herself. she grew up in less than ideal circumstances, a father that’s gone, a brother that’s passed and another that’s in jail. Her mother has chronic pain and has bad addiction habits that keeps her on the wrong side of things. We also see that the mother daughter relationship here is not one with anything good to save.

Olive’s taken student loans to get the education that she craves so that she’s able to move herself far from where she’s from, and will have to pay those for the rest of her life basically. It all changes when one day she receives a check for the exact amount of money that she owes and her life’s trajectory will change. She doesn’t know who the money is from and what strings are attached but what she does know is that she has to take a chance and make a leap.

She deposits the money, accepts an invitation to go to Hawaii to meet the person who’s funded her, and from then on, the story takes a few interesting twists.

What we learn of NC really makes us wonder what’s going on in the world. We learn his story and his motivation to help her out and yet we aren’t sure exactly what he has in mind for her long term. He wants Olive to be with him for a year, but at what capacity and for what reason we’re still unsure.

Olive doesn’t trust and so she goes home only to be tricked by her mother. Her mom owes a lot of money to a bookie and pulls a scam to scare Olive into settling her debt. It’s a shame that her mother doesn’t see the amazing woman that she has in a child, but it’s also not surprising. The decisions that Olive makes as a result make us as readers smile, and maybe shock us a bit because in her shoes, I don’t know that we would do the same.

What I do know is that we find Olive putting herself first for once, and what that means is that the games are about to begin. I don’t know what games, and I don’t know how exciting they will be, but I can imagine that they will be hot, and full of chemistry and passion. So on to book two I go !

Review: Tell Me (One Night with Sole Regret #6) by Olivia Cunning

9780547959108_p0_v3_s260x420

Title:  Tell Me
Author:  Olivia Cunning
Publisher/Year:  Vulpine Press 9/16/13
Length:  200 Pages
Series: One Night With Sole Regret #6

Overview

He had planned a perfect weekend for her…
Gabriel “Force” Banner has been unable to get a certain sexy accountant out of his head. Sole Regret’s inventive drummer has created big plans to keep sweet Melanie entertained all weekend long. Unfortunately, Melanie arrives for their rendezvous with a bit of baggage that just might ruin their fun.

She didn’t mean to make things difficult…
Melanie wouldn’t blame Gabe if he left her at the airport with her bit of baggage, but he’s determined to make their limited time together work. When they leave behind the bustle of New Orleans and the rock ‘n’ roll scene to visit his serene oasis outside of Austin, Texas, their romantic weekend seems to be back on track. But life has a way of butting in at the worst possible times.

Can they learn how to support each other in the face of adversity or will reality destroy their budding relationship before it even takes flight?

My Thoughts

well, we know that all of the bandmates have managed to come off the market in the matter of a night so it’s no wonder that Gabe is feeling like he needs to see Melanie even more.  it’s only been a week but he wants her with him NOW.  When he manages to convince her to hop on a plane a bit earlier than planned, things seemed like they couldn’t get any better…and of course Nikki is there to ruffle feathers once again and get in the middle.

What we get in this 6th installment, and the first that actually reunites us with the couples that just formed, is a creatively inventive man who continues to find ways to steam up his encounters while also trying to bury his secrets.  Is Melanie the one that can bring out the darkness in him and will she even get the opportunity?  Are these guys doomed from the start because of outside forces?  that’s what we get while interspersed with some of the most unique sex toys known to man.

i think adam and madison are up next so i can’t wait to see where things go with them.