From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.
To the Green-eyed Lovebird:
We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.
You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.
We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.
Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…
I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.
After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
My heart is FULL after reading Before We Were Strangers. It’s quite possible the best book I’ve read all year!
Award winning, photographer, recently divorced, 36 year old Matt is living a monotonous life. One day, by chance he sees his past. And that sight becomes a missed connection. You feel his heart come alive. You feel his heart beat the moment he sees Grace. You are transported to this moment. Time stops. And you FEEL it. Matt tries an unconventional way to reach out to Grace. He left his heart with Grace, and now he’s ready to get it back.
Matt and Grace met in college as they live in the same building. There is an instant connection. While friends, you feel their underlying desire for each other. Once they admit those feelings, sparks fly. Their souls awaken. And you are there for every moment. The author allows you to live within the pages of the story. You breathe the author’s words. The banter is addicting. You will not be able to put this one down. Matt and Grace love with everything. With their entire being. It’s passionate, intense. Their love shatters. You as a reader are told a beautiful, unforgettable love story about two soul mates that time nor circumstance can even touch. Time did not dim the spark between them. If anything it made it more likely to ignite the moment they meet again. This story made my heart BEAT. I am vague in the plot and how its developed as this story needs be experienced. There are no words that can do this story justice. None.
“You can’t create the the first time you promise to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion, and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice.”
Love bears all things. Endures all things. Love? Love is everything. And the love between Matt and Grace? It will overwhelm you. Challenge everything you ever believed in about love and all it encompasses. All it is capable of. Their love is magic. Their love saves, it heals. Their love wins. I can easily say there is not one story I can compare this one too. It is in a league of its own. The story is captivating. Compelling. The character development is brilliant. And the execution of the story was well developed. What causes Matt and Grace to be apart is heartbreaking. But their reunion will have you crying sadness and joy. Their souls are forever tethered and their story attests to this.
Before We Were Strangers gave me LIFE. Every moment of this heartfelt, poignant story, moved me. I laughed. I cried. I lived. This story remains in my heart WEEKS later. This is SO much more than a second chance romance. So much DEEPER. If you could put every beautiful love story in one, the words would echo the words of this one. One should be so lucky to ever experience the kind of love that exists between Matt and Grace. Every obstacle and challenge life threw in their way, they overcame. If there was a recipe to write a deep, moving, emotional, beautiful love story this would be it. Even if I could give this story a million stars, even that would never be enough.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
As I sit here in front of my laptop, I'm having trouble putting words together to express how I really feel about this book. This is a problem I always have when I find that one book that it's so well-written, so beautiful that I cannot put a string of words together to describe all these emotions that I felt while I was reading this book. This book was like no other book I have read before. This book made me feel like I haven't in a while. This book was everything that I love in a book smashed into one.
Matt and Grace met in college. They quickly became fast friends, best friends. Their love for one another began slowly, but also all at once if that makes any sense. But this one was those stories where love just wasn't enough and THAT is what made it so realistic to me. These were characters were their hopes, their dreams pulled them in different directions and I was unsure if they would come together ever. But that day, the day that Matt sees Grace in the subway, is the start of them having that second chance.
What I loved the most (which, to tell you the truth, I usually hate) is the fact that I was not only reading their present story, but I also got to see how Matt and Grace's story began. I fell in love as they fell in love, my heart broke as their heart broke in this character-driven tale. With tears in my eyes, I enjoyed the highs and the lows of this love story.
Once I finished reading it, I just did not want Matt and Grace's story to end. Their journey was a beautiful one and these are characters that I know will forever be in my heart. Renee Carlino, you have found yourself a new fan!
He inhales sharply. The look in his eyes says we’re crossing into the danger zone again. It’s the only place I want to be with him. Because when we’re there, nothing between us feels dangerous. Everything feels right.
“I turn eighteen in a few more weeks,” I say, like my birthday is an open invitation for us to slam back into each other.
He nods. “I know.”
A breeze blow by and rustles his hair. A lock falls out of place. Instinct takes over. I raise my hand to reach for his hair.
But he’s faster. He grasps my wrist, and the second he does, the moment expands. It stretches and unfolds into the thing I will replay tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I stare at his hand clasped around my wrist, flashing back to all the times he held my hand, touched my wrist, and ran his fingers along my arm. I shiver as the memories collide, the past slamming into the present.
I look up from our hands to his eyes. Blazing, full of heat. Full of all that restraint from him that I know so well.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I have only read one other Lauren Blakely book and have countless of others in my TBR. Unfortunately, I hadn't had the opportunity to read any of them until 21 Stolen Kisses came along. I mean if you know me you know that I absolutely LOVE forbidden romance stories and the synopsis of this promised just that. Of course, once I finished reading it, it was not exactly what I had in mind.
Kennedy and Noah are perfect for each other. They instantly connect over their shared love for Broadway (and off-Broadway) musicals, and they have found that they can let go and be themselves when they're with one another. So what's the problem? Noah happens to be a bit older than she is for one. How old? She is seventeen; just eight years younger than he is. But the biggest obstacle in the way of the the love between these two? The fact that Noah is not only Kennedy's mom's agent, but her mom also considers him one of her closest friends.
But this book is not just about the romance between these two. The romance aspect of it actually felt like a secondary storyline at times.
Kennedy has been weighed down by the lies of someone close to her for years. She figures that the to make right the wrongs that she feels she had a hand in is to write these love letters to those that have been hurt because of the lies.
K's character growth throughout the book and the way she dealt with what was thrown her way was why I fell in love with this book. Of course, the snippets of Kennedy's love letter to Noah thrown in between chapters was also one of my favorite things. The one thing that stopped me from giving this book five stars was the fact that I wanted to get to know Noah a bit more since the book did focus mainly on Kennedy and what she was dealing with. Also, even though I started reading this book because of the forbidden aspect, their relationship didn't really feel forbidden to me (maybe because they were so perfect for each other? Hmm Maybe?).
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It had been a while since I started reading a book that I just could not put down til the wee hours of the morning. Lauren Blakely wrote one truly beautiful book and I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
“Maybe we wanted to be found out. I think I do. I do want to be found. Because I don’t want the way I feel for you to be a secret.”
I’m a huge fan of Lauren Blakely and if she writes it, I will read it. 21 Stolen Kisses may be teased as a forbidden romance but don’t be fooled, it is so much more.
Kennedy’s view of love has been warped by her parents’ marriage. Kennedy struggles with her mother’s actions and the impact it has had on her own life. So much so, the guilt is weighing her down. In the midst of it all, she meets Noah, someone who should be off limits but he becomes her talisman, someone she can rely on and put her trust in.
21 Stolen Kisses was all about Kennedy’s journey. As an emerging adult, Kennedy takes charge of her life and begins to make amends for the wrongdoing her mother did. It is only when Kennedy begins to absolve her sins does she discover the type of person she wants to be.
This is my favourite book by Lauren Blakely in terms of writing. It was romance at its best and Lauren’s words made me fall in love with love. I loved the flashback kisses and the way in which the classic love letters were weaved throughout the storyline. The romance, although it could have been frowned upon, was never sordid and I loved that it was actually Kennedy in charge of the relationship the whole time. Noah gave her the space she needed and Kennedy was the one to decide their fate.
My only wish was that I got to know Noah better. Understandably, Kennedy was the main focus and the beginning of their relationship was only touched upon but for me to fall completely head over heels for Noah, I wanted to get inside his head and discover why he fell for Kennedy knowing she was only seventeen when he was twenty-five. Their relationship blossomed from friendship and I understood the progression but ultimately I wanted to understand his actions to completely root for him.
21 Stolen Kisses is a new adult, coming of age romance, it is very different from Lauren’s erotic series, but it proves how effortlessly Lauren can switch between the two and write both styles flawlessly.
This is definitely worth a read.
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list and eleven on the USA Today Bestseller list.
Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers!
Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller.
This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).
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New Release - Reasonable Doubt: Volume 3 (Reasonable Doubt #3) by Whitney G. ~ Adriana and Ava's Reviews
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Reasonable Doubt has been one of my favorite serials so far. It was great from beginning to end. Lots of sexiness, sweetness, sadness and happiness. Just thinking about this series is making want to pick up the first installment and read it all over again!
In this volume we get a lot more emotion from Andrew. His vulnerable side comes out and the events from his past will leave you brokenhearted for him. No worries, his dirty mouth is as dirty as ever!! I loved Aubrey in this one. She was finally strong enough to say enough is enough. She went to pursue what she loved even if that meant with or without Andrew. And after what Andrew did to her in volume two, I was happy to see she didn't give in that easily. She made him for it. The banter between these two will have you cracking up.
I will miss looking forward to the next installment of Aubrey and Andrew's story. I'm hoping Whitney releases a bonus scene or something because I miss these two already!
Overall, I LOVED this series. If you are looking for a funny and sexy read that includes a main character with a dirty mouth, do not hesitate and buy this serial asap!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
After waiting for what felt like forever, it was finally time for the last instalment of sexy Andrew Hamilton. I’m so sad this serial has come to an end but it just means I get to reread it to death and I will!
At the end of the last episode, Aubrey was asking Andrew too many questions about his past, getting too close for comfort and causing Andrew to abruptly end their ‘quasi-relationship’. Aubrey decided enough was enough and she took things one-step further by removing herself from Andrew’s life and the same state by travelling to New York to focus on her ballet.
At first Andrew was being stubborn (nothing new there) and he was determined to prove he didn’t need or miss Aubrey but as she cut all contact including emails and phone calls Andrew cracked and admitted to himself that she had in fact got under his skin.
The best part of this series has been the banter between Andrew and Aubrey, I loved their back and forth conversations, whether it was foreplay or verbal attacks it always had me laughing.
“Having a subpar dick isn’t the end of the world. – Alyssa
You are quite correct in your closing statement though: Having a subpar dick really isn’t the end of the world. Having an un-fucked pussy is. –Thoreau”
I liked Aubrey’s character in this instalment, even though she loved Andrew she had to put herself first and he had made it clear he didn’t want anything permanent. So after standing up to her parents, she quit law school and auditioned for the New York City Ballet Company. The growth in her character was great to see. She didn’t lose who she really was and it made the ending all the sweeter.
Just when I thought I couldn’t love Andrew any more, he then shows his vulnerable side and I was a goner. I couldn’t handle Andrew lost, hurting and remorseful. The entire truth about his past was revealed and my heart ached for him. His ex-wife was a Grade A bitch and she well and truly screwed Andrew over. His Achilles heel was Emma and when he would recall his time with her, the tears were streaming down my face. I already loved this man and his sexy mouth, but upon discovering a chink in his armour, it sent me gaga over him.
It was great to see a change in Andrew and he was the one doing the chasing this time. His efforts to win back Aubrey were downright romantic and sweet but at the same time, Whitney stayed true to his character, he didn’t suddenly turn into a gooey Casanova. He was sincere in his own unique Andrew way.
“Stop talking, Aubrey.” He rolled me on top of him. “Go to sleep.”
“I was just saying thank you. I can’t say thank you?”
“No.” He pressed his lips against mine and kissed me until I couldn’t breathe, saying, “Don’t make me fuck you to sleep.”
I am so glad I discovered Whitney G; this is my favourite serial to date. Her writing pulls you in and I couldn’t put the book down until I finished. In this final instalment, there were several time jumps and a lot of time apart and this did slow down the pace of the story for me but with that being said, I loved the writing and Andrew and Aubrey got the ending they deserved.
Speaking of endings, I can’t help but want more of an epilogue, what we got was great, but I’m an Andrew junkie and kinda don’t want to let him go, so I can’t help but be greedy and want more. Perhaps his life for the next thirty years? I’m sure Andrew would make one sexy silver fox! ;-)
Reasonable Doubt is fun, sexy and entertaining. If you haven’t met Andrew Hamilton then you are doing yourself a disservice!
Series Reading Order . . .
My cock has an appetite.
A huge and very particular appetite: Blonde, curvy, and preferably not a fucking liar... (Although, that's a story for another day.)
As a high profile lawyer, I don't have time to waste on relationships, so I fulfill my needs by anonymously chatting and sleeping with women I meet online.
My rules are simple: One dinner. One night. No repeats.
This is only casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing less.
At least it was , until "Alyssa"...
She was supposed to be a 27 year old lawyer, a book hoarder, and completely unattractive. She was supposed to be someone I shared law advice with late at night, someone I could trust with details of my weekly escapades.
But then she came into my firm for an interview—a college-intern interview, and everything fucking changed...
Buy links and Ava's Review HERE
She lied to me...
She betrayed the one rule that I'm most adamant about: Honesty.
Complete and utter fucking honesty.
I really wish she was someone else—someone who didn't have the ability to make me feel, someone I could easily discard like the hundreds of women before her.
I'm drawn to her like I've never been drawn to a woman before--
completely captivated by the very sight of her. But unfortunately, with my past slowly re-surfacing for all of the world to see, I'll have to find a way to let her go.
She can never be mine.
Buy links and Ava's Review HERE
A self diagnosed candy addict, travel junkie, and hypochondriac, Whitney Gracia Williams LOVES to write about characters that make you laugh, cry, and want to (in the case of Selena Ross) reach through your Kindle and slap them. She is the "imaginary bestselling" author of the Jilted Bride Series, Mid Life Love, Wasted Love, and Captain of My Soul. When she's not locked inside her room, feverishly typing away on her laptop, she can be found here: http://www.whitneygracia.com She also loves getting emails from her readers, so if you want to tell her how much you loved (or hated) her stories, email her at email@example.com
Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads
Author: Pam Godwin
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: 25th August, 2014
Warning: Graphic sex and violence. Age 18+ only
It is recommended to read after Deliver, but it can be read as a stand-alone.
Her life is like a prison cell.
A self-made, to-hell-with-the-free-world existence that locks from the inside.
Stop judging. Her agoraphobia doesn’t define her. It simply keeps her safe.
He belongs in a prison cell.
The 6x8, make-me-your-bitch variety that locks from the outside.
But he’s free. To hunt. To take. To break.
And he just found a sexy new toy.
Capturing her is the easy part. Her fucked-up mind, however, makes him question everything he does next.
But he’s a determined bastard. If all goes his way, this will hurt like hell.
Vanquish is the second book in the Deliver series by Pam Godwin and like the first, it's still playing on my mind days later. I have been waiting to read Vanquish, as I so wanted to know more about the man who for the most part whilst reading Deliver I wanted to do more than just punch him for all the things he had done to Liv and others. I really didn’t like him, but I have to say by the end, although he was messed up there was something about him, my anger toward his had decreased, and I wanted to know more about him, and his story.
I must admit I didn’t reread the synopsis when I started this one, as I wanted to go into it blind. I trusted that Pam was going to captivate from the start with Van Quiso’ story and I have to say she really did I just love this one.
"You don't really know someone until you see them in the dark"
Van OMG!! What can I say about him, I was expecting him to be dark, crazy, dangerous, and a cold-hearted fuck, and for the most part he was he definitely has some issues. As his story unfolds and I learnt more about him, his childhood and his past, I did start to feel for him. He is broken and so messed up. At times, he came across heartless and cruel, but then he would surprise me, and do something that showed a gentle, funny and compassionate side. I didn’t want to like him, but I did.
‘He could whip her against a tree, fuck her beneath the moon, tie her down on the porch and mar her flesh with the cuts of his teeth. It didn’t matter, because wherever he took her, no matter how brutal or dark the destination, there would always be warmth. Because he would be with her.’
Amber Rosenfeld is just as broken and messed up as Van, but in a very different way. My heart went out to her as it was difficult and emotional to read at times how agoraphobia and other her issue are controlling her life making her a prisoner in her own home. She really tries hard not to let her circumstances define her, and she is doing everything in her power to adapt to it and survive it. I just loved her.
He was her mirror in a way. They both carried a million cracks beneath the skin. Even under the stark light of the fluorescents, it was hard to see which of them was more broken.”
I am not going to say much more as like me, I think you should go into more or less blind, and experience it for yourself. I will say that when Van meets Amber old habits die-hard, and when Amber meets Van all her boundaries are tested.
“He was a cold-hearted fuck with an appetite for blood, come, and tears. And he had the perfect girl to feed it”
“He was a kidnapper, a rapist, and she ached to be repulsed by him, just to prove she was sane, but she couldn’t. And she wasn't. His scarred beauty radiated seduction and danger, a deadly combination.
Van and Amber are two broken, damaged people, and their relationship is dark, and twisted, and emotional. There was also humor within it, and the sex was seriously hot at times. I loved watching Van and Amber's relationship develop, and I could understand what they were drawn to each other why their need for each other was so intense.
“Love hate are closely related expression of the same intensity both require passion, and neither follows logic”
“He wasn’t alone in these feelings. She needed him as much as he needed her, physically and as much as emotionally”
Overall, I loved Vanquish. The twist and turns had me eager to swipe the pages so that I could see how Van and Amber's story was going to unfold. I loved the epilogue it was a good way to end Van and Amber’s journey. I love Pam writing, she has a way of pulling you into the story. I felt it was well-written especially the parts when Pam is describing Amber fears about going outside I could just feel her pain and her panic.
I know it says it can be read as a standalone, but I really think that if you haven’t read Deliver then you should read it first not only because it's an amazing read, that is slightly darker and twisted, but to get the foundation of Van. If you like dark, gritty, and twisted romance stories, then Vanquish is just what you need. Go one click today. I’m looking for to seeing what Pam has for us next.
I'm going to start this review by pointing out that if you plan on reading book one in this series, Deliver, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT read Vanquish or this review first! If you want to read Vanquish first, Deliver will be spoiled for you and it's best if you go in blind! You have been warned...
When I heard that one the least likable characters I have ever encountered was getting his own book you would think my reaction was one big 'hell to the no,' but I was intrigued. One word that came to mind when thinking about Van was crazy. So I kept thinking to myself, how is Pam going to make me fall for him? And believe it or not, I DID!
Van is one of those complex characters that you just love to hate and hate to love. And Van wouldn't be Van without being..well..Van. So when Van is introduced to us, he's doing something that had me just shaking my head. He's not only spying on Liv (Yes, we do cross paths with Liv once again. YAY!), but he's doing something...shall I say..out of the norm? From then on I just knew that Van was as crazy and appalling as seen in Deliver. I was wrong. There is a reason for his madness and when his past is completely revealed, I really felt (and fell!) for him.
Amber is a character like no other. She suffers from anxiety, OCD, agoraphobia, self-esteem issues, anorexia....you name it, she has it. From the very beginning of this book I just wanted to grab her and comfort her. Slowly, the reasons behind all these issues come to light and I just wanted to kick a person or two for her. This book having dual point of views, I got to feel the struggles that Amber faced daily. I loved that she felt so real and relatable. And what I loved the most about her was that as the story progressed, she got stronger and stronger. She fought to break through her anxiety, her agoraphobia, her OCD, etc. Not that these things just went away, of course, because that would just not be realistic at all.
The relationship between Amber and Van started by chance. I won't go into details about that, but know that I wanted to hate Van for his actions at first. But he really grew on me. He helps Amber with her problems, he doesn't go about it very well, but it's the thought that counts right? And at first he wants to use her for his own purpose, but he grows to feel things for her that he had never felt before. I loved seeing him grow and evolve throughout this book.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. Van and Amber are characters like no others and they will definitely stay with me for a very long time.
With the next breath, he launched, hands on her jaw, fingers spread around the back of her head.
His elbows dropped, shoulders raised, and he yanked her to him, lifting her on tiptoes, guiding her mouth, taking it. His grip twisted through her hair as he drew in her upper lip and shoved her against the fridge, following her with the weight of his body.
The kiss went fucking wild, their lips mashing in a frantic battle. His tongue plunged her mouth, attacking, thrusting in and out, possessing her movements, owning her. Breath for breath, lick after lick, he ate at her mouth, tasting, devouring.
He dropped his hands to her breasts, squeezing ruthlessly as he rolled his cock against her cunt.
His tongue tingled, his skin burned, and his head swam. God, she was a drug, and he was so fucking high.
She gripped his biceps, bit at his lips, and threw her arms over his shoulders, her fingers scratching the fuck out his back. He shuddered, loving it, but he was in control.
Reaching back, he grabbed her wrists and slammed them above her head. Their bodies ground together, his forearms pressing hers to the fridge, their tongues dancing and clashing. Chest-to-chest, hips fused together, he flexed his ass, dry humping her like a horny teenager.
Jesus, fuck, he didn't care. He wanted her.
He leaned back to study her face and found strong smoldering eyes, sharp breaths, and swollen wet lips. Whatever she saw in his expression made her mouth chase his and her fingers curl around his hands. They kissed endlessly, fueling the fire and pushing his control long past the point of discomfort before pulling back and starting all over again.
When he broke the kiss with a hand on her jaw, they panted as one, mouths open and so close their bottom lips brushed. She peered at him through lowered lashes, and he stared back in awe. What trembled between them wasn't an if? Or even a how hard? Those were foregone. The question they shared was simple.
Book One In The Series....Deliver (Deliver #1)
His name was Joshua Carter. Now it's whatever she wants it to be.
She is a Deliverer.
She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price.
As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold.
Delivering is all she knows.
The one thing she can't deliver is a captive from slavery.
And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her...from herself.
Stand Alone (no cliff-hanger). The sequel is coming Summer 2014.
Content warning: Graphic sex, violence, and psychological abuse. Age 18+ only.
Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
Read Derna & Adriana reviews HERE:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.
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The dramatic conclusion to the Experiment in Terror Series.
Perry Palomino and Dex Foray.
On their own, they’re uniquely brilliant. Together, they’re an unstoppable team.
Because after everything the duo has encountered, they haven’t come across an evil quite like this. An evil that has been years in the making, an evil that will stop at nothing until they, and everyone they care for, are destroyed.
Dex and Perry’s love has survived a multitude of sins.
But can it survive the end?
The end of one of my favorite series has come. No more Experiment in Terror books. No more Dex & Perry. A friend of mine raved about how good this series was, but it wasn't until about a month before Ashes to Ashes released that I started reading it. I was completely hooked! I took me about a month to read books #1-8. I was in LOVE! In love with the creepiness, with Dex & Perry (whom quickly became one of my all-time fave couples), but most of all I fell in love with Karina Halle's amazing writing. So to say I was (im)patiently waiting for Dust to Dust would be an understatement.
Dust to Dust starts right where Ashes to Ashes left off. I won't give much detail since it's best if you go in blind whether you have began reading this series or not. Let's just say that crazy shit happens which ends up with the gang traveling from one corner of the US to the other (my dear New York to be precise). They go there kind of blind, but Perry will do anything to get the person she loves back.
There was no such thing as strange occurrences – everything had a purpose. Everything was very real and very dangerous. There was no way any of this was going to be easy.
This book had me feeling like I was in a roller coaster (loops and upside-down turns included). It was packed with action, fast-paced, and had many OMG moments from the very beginning to the very end. Some of those OMG moments even had me sobbing on my pillow *sniff sniff*
“I love you absolutely, resolutely. There is no question, no doubt. This love just is. It exists and because it exists, I exist.”
I have never read a series like it. The way Karina intertwines the horror aspect of the series with the romance between Dex & Perry is amazing. Karina made me come out of my comfort zone and embrace this super, freaking scary series. Was Dust to Dust as scary? Oh, yes! I read most of it with the lights on because every time I read a scene, I could've sworn there was something like it in my room.
I tried to savor every line in this book and read it really, really slow but that didn't happen. I could not put this book down. Not only was it scary, but it was also super romantic and emotional. I often found myself swooning at the things that would come out of Dex's mouth because, come one, is freaking Dex! Even the funny, crude things he would say made me swoon. He goes to hell and back in this book and all the shit he went through and seeing him as vulnerable as he was in this book made me fall in love with him even more.
“You’re such a dick, Dex.”
“I don’t mind being called a dick. Why not highlight my best feature, right?”
And then there's Perry. If Dex is one of my favorite heroes, Perry is one of my favorite heroines. She has grown so much from the insecure woman she was in Darkhouse to this book. She is funny, smart, has one big heart, and is one of the bravest characters I have ever metShe would do anything, and does it, to protect those she loves. Thinking back to the Perry back then is like thinking about a whole different person. I just love her and it is so easy to relate to her. So this to amazing characters together are just amazing.
I was a little scared at first. When you love a series this much, you want the author to do it justice and end it with a bang. Karina did that and more. The series as a whole has been one crazy, scary ride filled with tears, laughter, a few (ok. MANY) F-bombs, a lot of love and sexiness (because, HELLO it's Dex & Perry!).
With my heart aching and tears in my eyes, I say goodbye to this amazing series (for now. I'll be re-reading it sooner rather than later :D ). Goodbye to one of my favorite couples. Goodbye to two of my favorite characters. Goodbye to of my favorite series. I cannot wait to see where else Karina Halle will take us next!
"I love you! Always have, always will. Always."
Experiment in Terror Series
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her husband and rescue pup.
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A savagely wicked new adult sci-fi series blasts off with Fall, the first novella in The Cold Mark Saga...
Only one thousand Humans survived The Travel from the shattered Earth. Some Humans say it was their penance for crushing such beauty. Eighteen-year-old Braita merely thought it was pathetic - pathetic that her people had been that blind.
Now, the Humans live in the solar system, Kline, where three planets are habitable. Joyal, the smallest planet, is embraced by the Humans - their family to love as they had never loved Earth. Though a planet covered mainly in water is dangerous real estate to dwell upon.
Their worry turns into devastating reality when Braita’s blessed village is struck by a tsunami. Population numbers must be kept to a minimum. Drastic measures must be taken. Braita’s life is twisted in brutality when she is chosen as one of the three hundred Humans to be removed from Joyal…and sent to the Mian, the aliens to fear, on the planet Triaz.
Thrown head first into a barbaric world she knows nothing of, Braita must adapt to a dark life as a slave of the Mian society. Her existence depends on it…and possibly, the fall of her heart.
Fall was a little different from everything I have read before. This sci-fi novella was packed with action, humor, and a strong female lead.
After a tsunami that hits Braita's world, she is one of the chosen ones to go live in another planet. The Mian's are not the friendliest and these aliens want to use humans as their slaves. But Braita's actions when she arrives changes everything that was planned for her.
I really enjoyed this first installment in The Cold Mark Saga. Before this one I had read plenty of serials, but those were contemporary romances so this one was definitely different from the others.
For it being around 66 pages it did not feel short at all, which definitely surprised me. We are thrown along with Braita into this new world that is totally different from Earth and Joyal. It took me few pages to get the names of people right since they are so many new characters introduced almost at the same time at a fast pace.
The ending definitely left me with my jaw on the floor. I was not expecting the twist at the end at all. I wish Braita would've reacted a little different, but I can't wait to see what happens in the next installment! I know Scarlett Dawn is going to blow me away.
#1 Bestseller in Witches and Wizards Romance and award-winner, Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which include King Hall and King Cave. She lives in the Midwest, adores her music loud, and her fries covered in melted cheese.
Release Blitz - Torrent (Condemned #1) by Gemma James @CJMicheals80~ Triple Review, Top Ten Facts and Giveaway
Author: Gemma James
Series: Condemned #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publication Date: July 22nd 2014
She sent an innocent man to prison. Now, eight years later, he's returning the favor...
I’ve been obsessed with Rafe Mason since I was thirteen. The twisted part of this story is that I still want him, even now.
Now that he's holding me captive on an island.
Rafe has his reasons for doing what he's doing, and if I'm honest, I can't blame him. I’m the girl who sent him to prison for a heinous crime he didn't commit.
But now he's free and the tables have turned...now he's the one driven by obsession.
TORRENT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content, including sexual scenes and violence that may offend some. Intended for mature audiences. Part one of the CONDEMNED series. This is not a stand-alone read.
I am a huge fan of dark romance, so the synopsis for this book was what definitely pulled me in. I thought long and hard about what rating to give this book. For the first time, in probably ever, I finished a book feeling kind of dirty (lol!). When I turned that last page I had no idea what the hell did I just read and was I supposed to have liked it (all in a good way!!). Torrent is definitely twisted and dark, but most of all, completely messed up!
Teen Alex had a secret crush on her step-brother's best friend. Due to some crazy shit that went down, Alex points the finger at Rafe for a heinous crime he didn't commit. Fast forward eight years, Rafe is out for revenge. He has lost a big chunk of his life thanks to the lies Alex told. He wants her to pay and knows just how to do it.
Page after page, I kept telling myself how I shouldn't be liking where the story was heading. It felt wrong and every one of Rafe's actions left me with a bitter taste on my mouth (not literally, of course). This guy does the craziest things to Alex, all in the name of revenge. But in a weirdly, I-should-really-hate-you-but-I-don't kind of way I liked Rafe. I understood that his life was forever altered because of one girl's accusations.
Rafe doesn't know what Alex has been through and her motives for accusing him, so you can tell his hatred for her runs deep. I, of course, felt really bad for Alex because even though she did send him to prison eight years ago, the things she has been though because of someone she should trust are just awful! And on top of that having to deal with Rafe? Crazy! But I was also mad at her throughout the book. She could've put a stop to Rafe's plans of revenge if she would've just opened her mouth and told him why she did what she did.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was twisted, dark, and completely wrong. I applaud the author for invoking so many emotions from me while I read this book. I am definitely looking forward the next book and cannot wait to read it!!!
Well, she was right, it was good!! Really good, and like her I also felt that I shouldn’t have liked it as much as I did, and that due to the nature of the story it was wrong to like it as much as I did. I loved the storyline, it was, dark, twisted edgy, violent and raw, I loved the plot, character development, the hot sexy scenes!! I won’t say anything more about it as I don’t want to give anything away as I feel you really need to read it to understand.
Rafe Mason OMG!!!! What can I say about this sexy man? The more I read, the more I like him, I knew I should because of what he was doing to Alex, he was out for revenge, but I could help it, he has a way of getting under your skin. Oh! And once I discovered his UFC background, I was sold!!
I didn’t know how I felt about Alex. I felt sorry for her at times as one was to suffer like she did, and she has had a shitty life, but at the same time I was also angry at what she had done. However, by the end, I did feel for her. I love the relationship between Rafe and Alex, disturbing as it was, it was also hot sexy and emotional as their feeling for each other ran deep.
I really enjoyed this one; it just goes to show I have a thing for dark, twisted erotic romance. Once I started, I couldn’t stop reading because I had to know what was going to happen. After the cliffhanger ending, I was left with a wow!! And a emotional roller coaster of feelings. I can’t wait for the next one in the series Rampant!! I want that book NOW!!
This was the first book I had read by Gemma Jones, I felt that it was well written, and you feel the emotions, and the struggles of the characters. I will without doubt be reading more of her work, as she definitely knows how to dark romance with disturbing themes, that come with violent and explicit content, and hot sexual scenes. And if like me that is your thing, then I highly recommend that you one- click it today or at the very least add it to your TBR list. It’s a must read.
A question to Gemma… Will Jax be getting a story?? As I feel he seems slightly well more the slightly fucked- up and has one to tell.
I wanted a fight I wanted her fingernail digging into me. I wanted her kicking and screaming and begging for mercy. I wanted her tears and her fucking pain”
“Now I’m black on the inside. I just don’t give a fuck anymore”
“I could deny it all I wanted, but our chemistry didn’t lie. There was something irresistible about her”
“He might have love me if things had turned out differently. If I hadn’t wrecked him”
“Too much of me still hated her…but too much of me still wanted her. How more messes up could I get
“I hated and loved him all at once, and my body was on the same page”
“I’m going to make you beg for it, gonna make you cry until you can’s breath for wanting me”
“What we shared was pure obsession, nothing more and nothing less, and it was sweetest madness in hell"
After reading the synopsis, I had to read this book. The theme of revenge intrigued me and with it being on the shorter side, I had to dive in.
Alex has suffered at the hands of her stepbrother Zach, for most of her life. After being forced to testify against her teenage crush, Rafe, Alex has reason to be fearful of his revenge after he’s released from prison. Rafe is out for blood after losing eight years of his life because of Alex, his plan is to make her pay like he did, but once he has Alex secluded on his island, the lines definitely begin to blur.
Before I go on, I must say Torrent is crazy! My mind tells me that every page is wrong, I shouldn’t be liking these characters and I certainly shouldn’t be accepting the situation, yet I find myself making excuses for Rafe and Alex and of course, I’m always looking for the HEA route. I don’t know who is more messed up, this book or me?!
Rafe’s treatment of Alex is abhorrent, yes he is fueled by revenge, but she didn’t deserve to be degraded the way she was. Mentally, Alex is already screwed up after years under Zach’s control, so Rafe’s treatment seems like a walk in the park in comparison. One minute I would hate Rafe and then the next, I would be feeling sorry for him. This book spun my head and made me question my morals!
For lovers of dark romance, Torrent will be right up your alley, it’s sinfully good. For me, I was looking for a deeper connection to the writing. I felt avenues were explored but then just dropped. A few key points were highlighted and I felt they would have had a greater impact had they been explored fully.
This was a really quick read, it ends with a twist and it does leave me wanting to read the second book. I really have no idea what will happen but of course, I’m rooting for Rafe and Alex even though I know I shouldn’t and I feel dirty for doing so, but that’s what happens in the crazy world of Torrent. Regardless of writing or characters, I’m not going to forget this book in a hurry.
Top Ten Facts about Torrent. . .
2. I really have Skye Warren to thank for how Torrent turned out. Last year around Christmas time, she called for submissions for a short story anthology about criminals. Well, I had an idea…and that idea was too good to confine to a short story. I decided to combine my earlier efforts with the premise of a girl sending a man to prison for a crime he didn't commit, and him coming back for what he felt he deserved.
3. Once I had the island in mind (small, privately own, with a single cabin on it), I turned to Google to find out if I could find any real islands of a similar nature to use as a reference. There just happens to be one about three hours from where I live, situated on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. It even has a cabin on it. I've driven there twice and have seen it from the highway. I call it "my island." The setting in the novel, though based on real places, is purely fictional, with the exception of the Columbia River and Portland, Oregon.
4. I rewrote the beginning about three, maybe four times.
5. Zach and Alex were originally full-blooded siblings. I gave into censoring myself out of fear of being banned from retailers, even though I had no intention at first of writing sexual scenes between the two. Once I changed their relation to step-siblings, the brief taboo scene in the beginning formed, and in my opinion, strengthened the setup of the novel. It also opened wicked avenues for book two. ;-)
6. I didn't immediately know why Alex sent Rafe to prison. She was a stubborn character who kept me in the dark for a while!
7. Torrent is the first book in which I wrote from the hero's POV. It was interesting getting inside Rafe's head.
8. One of the twists about Rafe's past (something he learns after he's out of prison) basically wrote itself into the story part way through. Same with Jax, Rafe's buddy. These characters and subplots just popped in of their own accord!
9. If you're looking for an easy read with hearts, flowers, and mainstream topics—this isn't the book for you. This story will make you squirm, possibly make you sick at times, and push you into the darkest corners of your mind. But I'm a romantic at heart and believe in happy endings. Getting there is hell though.
10. I do not feel guilty about the cliffhanger ending. Have you watched any TV season finales lately? AHHHHHHHH! I understand the frustration, and I'm evil enough to rub my hands together in glee. Don't lynch me. I'm working on the second book. :D
Rampant (Condemned #2)
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She lives with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.
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Author: Nyrae Dawn
Series: Games #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Category: New Adult
Release Date: June 24, 2014
After his father is put in prison for murder leaving his mother suicidal, Maddox Cross has always put his sister, Laney, first. Now living in Brenton, Virginia, Maddox has no idea what to do with his life, especially since Laney no longer needs him. One thing he does know is for the first time since losing football, he's found something else that's just for him--tattooing. When he meets a feisty young woman in the club where he works security, he has no idea that she has the ability to change his life forever.
Bee Malone has just moved to Brenton to open up her first tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Despite her young success, nothing is ever as it seems. After being kidnapped at a young age, Bee has difficulty being the daughter her parents lost and letting go of the "parents" she was raised with. When she meets Maddox, she's immediately attracted to him and what starts out as a one night stand leaves Bee wanting to connect with him in more ways than one.
Once Maddox finds out about Masquerade, he wants nothing more than to join Bee. But letting him in means trying to figure out who she is and she's not ready for that. And yet, as the two get closer, they find themselves leaning on each other more than they are comfortable with. Will their stubborn nature tear them apart? Or push them closer together?
I loved the first two books in the series. So when I saw the opportunity to read and review Masquerade, I took it.
This time around it's Bee's and Maddox's story. I met Maddox briefly in book 2, Facade, so I knew a little about him before starting Masquerade, and I couldn't wait to read his story. He's been guilt for what his father did and it's been eating him inside, but doesn't want anyone to know. His dream is to become a tattoo artist. So he goes to Masquerade, hoping to become an apprentice there. And that's when he meets Bee. She's tough, isn't afraid to speak her mind, and is a heck of tattoo artist; I really liked her. After being led down in the past by the people she loved the most, it's hard for her to love and trust.
I loved seeing the chemistry with Bee and Maddox. They were definitely perfect for each other. I also loved how they opened up and let each other in. Maddox is super over-protective of his sister,so it was great seeing him realize that he can't protect her from everything.
I loved seeing the couples from the first two books: Adrian and Laney, Cheyenne and Colt.
Overall, I loved this book and I loved Nyrae's writing. I definitely recommend this book, and series, to everyone. You'll laugh, cry, swoon., and relate to the characters.
“Life is fucked up, it hurts, and it’s not always pretty, but damned if it can’t be beautiful too.”
I am a huge fan of Nyrae Dawn, in fact I probably start all my reviews of Nyrae’s books saying this but with each story I read, I fall more in love with Nyrae’s writing and Masquerade is no exception. I really wanted to read Maddox’s story. I wasn’t even half way through Façade when I decided I needed to be in Maddox’s head. He carried a lot of guilt for his messed up family life. The chain of events that resulted in a devastating consequence was all on Maddox’s shoulders. He didn’t share this burden or the way he felt with anyone. His only close family member Laney was desperate to be let in but Maddox believed he was protecting his sister by shutting her out. “I became good at keeping my mouth shut for my own fucking good and now I don’t know how to open it again.”
Maddox met his match in Bee. I loved her, Bee was feisty, she was strong and confident on the outside and said things as she seen them. If she didn’t like something or wanted something, there was no shying away Bee would take it. “I would put money on him riding a bike. He’s gorgeous and trouble, and from the scowl on his face, he’s probably angry at the world just like I’m confused by it. Too bad he’s an asshole.”
I really liked Bee’s back-story, it was so unique and in turn made her a really interesting character. Her situation and the theme throughout the book had me questioning the meaning of love, the people we love, why we love them and the cases where we are pre-programmed to love certain people. I was surprised I got more out of this story than what I was expecting and really that is due to the talent of the author.
Bee and Maddox were perfect for each other, they were so closed off from the world and they were both equally scared of letting someone in and actually having the responsibility of caring and loving someone. They both knew the pain of losing love and couldn’t risk it again. It was the tiny things that had me smiling, like wanting to just be in each other’s company or spending silly time drawing pictures of each other having a laugh. I was swept up in their growing romance and loved watching them slowly trust each other. Bee and Maddox would often say, ‘I don’t do this’ and the other would answer ‘I don’t either’ and I would be smug thinking ‘yeah you do, it’s happening!’
Maddox had demons to face himself and he also had to learn that he couldn’t shield Laney from everything. She was going to feel pain regardless, instead of making decisions for her he could only be there for her. It took meeting Bee for Maddox to realise that.
It was good to see the return of Chey, Colt, Laney and Adrian. They were a really loved up group and I was happy to see that. Every scene Adrian was in, he managed to steal the show. I didn’t cry until 82% when two strong men had a heart to heart and then I was a goner. “For the first time since I found out what Dad did, a tear slips out of my eye. Christ, we have all lost so fucking much. Parents, kids, dreams-way more than our fair share. We’ve hurt people we’ve loved and we’ve hurt ourselves and we’ve been lost. Through it all, we’re still fucking standing.”
I loved the incorporation of the tattoos in the story. Bee was a tattoo artist and it was something Maddox aspired to be. I loved the way in which it was used as an intimate act between Bee and Maddox with Bee letting her guard down and trusting Maddox enough to ink her skin. The whole set up was just so good! I also loved that it was Bee giving Maddox a nickname this time around. We have Tiny Dancer, Little Ghost and now Scratch, it was perfect for them and just another way to highlight the couple's dynamic.
What I love about Nyrae’s stories are the characters we have no choice but to fall in love with, I connected with each character in the Games Series and I was rooting for them every step of the way. I also love that we get emotionally powerful storylines with just the right amount of sexy times thrown in. It’s not added for the sake of it, every time deepens the connection between the two characters. I’m so glad Bee and Maddox’s story was told, it has been a while since I’ve read a great book I just didn’t want to put down. It is bitter sweet to say goodbye to these characters, I don’t know if there are any more planned for this series but I would be first in the queue to read them if there are!
If you can’t tell already, I strongly recommend Masquerade and the rest of the Games series. You need these powerful, emotional stories in your life!
“She makes me itch under my skin. It’s not annoying but it’s always there, and I don’t know what it means. It’s like I feel her, even when we’re not touching.”
“I want to give him something. Want him close to me in a way I’ve never wanted anyone close to me before. If I could, I’d cure that ache inside him.”
“It’s more personal being naked around Maddox than it’s ever been with anyone else. Like he sees more of me than I show.”
“The kiss is wild and passionate, and a mixture of so many emotions just like love is. It’s raw, all of us open for hurt when we chose to let love in. But open for beauty too.”
“You coming to the party?” I ask her.
“I’m here to see you.”
She doesn’t give me a chance to reply as she pushes her way around me and inside. What I would give to kick her out of this room just because I can, but since I don’t really know if she’s giving me shit or if she came for the party, I hold back. It’s not like Trevor to let someone in here for no reason.
Right on her heels, I follow her until she rounds the corner and pulls to a stop once she can see inside. Not having enough time to go around her, my body lines right up against hers, Bee’s nice little ass tucked right against me. On reflex I reach out, my hand grabbing her slender waist to make sure she doesn’t stumble forward. Damn it if that doesn’t bring up all sorts of thoughts about how it felt to strip her naked and touch her everywhere.
“You have your hands on me.” There’s a sexy huskiness in her voice that tells me she’s turned on too. It should make me rip my hand away from her as fast as I can, but I’m so pissed at her about Masquerade that I can’t stop myself from being a dick.
“If I remember correctly, you liked the feel of my hands on you. You were very enthusiastic about how much you liked it.”
Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.
When she's not with her family, you can be pretty sure you'll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.
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Title: Final Call
Author: Emma Hart
Series: Call #2
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 16, 20124
In the highly anticipated sequel to LATE CALL, Dayton and Aaron learn once more than not everything is as straightforward as it seems, and if they have any chance of getting their long-awaited happily-ever-after, they'll have to work for it...
We crashed and burned like a falling plane. Hard and fast with an inevitable explosion. Another few weeks together changed my life the way the first did. At twenty-four, I became naïve again. I became a dreamer again. A believer. And walking away hurts just as much as it did seven years ago.
But over doesn't have to mean over-at least in Aaron Stone's mind. His pursuit is relentless, his determination unwavering. He'll go to any lengths to keep me and prove that I belong to him. Unfortunately, love isn't easy, and whether or not I forgive him is irrelevant to his past catching up with us. Once again, our relationship is haunted by a secret, one that could destroy everything, and the secret is born from the need to protect the other...
But the tables have turned, because the secret is mine.
Final Call is the second and final book in the Call series and is the conclusion to Aaron and Dayton's story. It's is not a standalone and Late Call must be read first.
Final Call starts off around the time Late Call ended. Dayton is dealing with what she found out about Aaron in Late Call. She wants nothing to do with Aaron and it's just about to get back on the horse career-wise. But that's when Aaron appears back in her life. He wants to get her back at all costs.
I did enjoy the conclusion to Day and Aaron's story. I do think the "big" secret Dayton was hiding would not have had as big of an impact as it did if she would've just confided in Aaron.
I liked the secondary characters like Tyler, Aaron's cousin, and his twin sister, Tessa. They added a bit of humor to the story.
Dayton and Aaron's character did change a bit from the first book to this one. Dayton learns to give up some control and a softer, more vulnerable side of Aaron was showcased.
I did enjoy book one more than I did this one. The "big" secret was not as big as I thought it was going to be and I felt like a lot of the things that occurred throughout the story could've been solved if things were just discussed.
If you are looking for a quick, sexy read about a call girl, this series is for you!
“Call girls don’t fall in love . . . until they do.”
The conclusion to Dayton and Aaron’s story is finally here, Aaron kept a very big secret from Dayton at the end of the first book and their story begins amidst the fall out. Dayton is left feeling betrayed and quite rightly so but it isn’t long until Aaron makes his presence known and it’s clear that he won’t take no for an answer.
Dayton initially tries to stay strong but with their history, it’s inevitable for her to give in and give Aaron his last chance. Dayton is such a headstrong girl but it takes more strength to realise when it’s time to admit defeat.
“I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t miss him at all. But I do. I miss him the way I love him. Entirely.”
From the synopsis, I was expecting more from the storyline; I thought Dayton’s secret would be something we didn’t know about her already, therefore the main storyline didn’t have as much as an impact as what I was expecting, what it did do however, was showcase Aaron’s qualities. His softer, romantic side was revealed and he proved time and time again that there was nothing he wouldn’t do for Dayton. I liked the switch in their characters, Dayton had to learn to ease up on some of her control and put her future in Aaron’s hands for a change.
“Aaron pulls back and wipes them from my face. “Every time I kiss you, I taste the rest of my life. I won’t stop fighting for you until you taste yours, too.”
This instalment didn’t hold my interest as much as the first, I flew through the beginning of Dayton and Aaron’s story in Late Call, it was fun, edgy and entertaining. With Final Call, my attention did wane as I was looking for the action to pick up so I stopped and then re-started the story a few times, but I had invested the time and wanted to see how their story would end. With that being said, I have no doubt fans of the series will love the conclusion of Dayton and Aaron’s journey.
If you are fans of sexy romance about a call girl and a requirement-obsessed millionaire then you need to check out the call series.
Read our reviews for book one, Late Call
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.
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Title: Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels Trilogy #1)
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 15, 2014
For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.
When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.
Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.
As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.
That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.
Unless she ruins him first.
***WARNING*** This book deals with drug cartels and as such it contains a lot of sex and violence and some violent sex. It can get pretty ugly, pretty dark and pretty crazy. There is drug use, abuse, a bit of torture and dubious consent. The hero is not a hero and the villains...well, they're even worse. If this sort of thing bothers you, PLEASE DO NOT READ IT. This ain't no cupcake farting unicorn kind of book. If you are even a bit squeamish about violence, brutality and rape, this is your warning to stay away from a book that you certainly will not like (and why read books that you know you won't like?)***
***While this is a spin-off of The Artists Trilogy, prior knowledge of the books is not needed. DIRTY ANGELS is the first in a trilogy, however each book can standalone and follows or introduces different characters***
Let me be honest, I hated Javier in The Artist Trilogy. When I found out Karina was writing Javier's story I thought to myself how the hell was I going to read a book about a character that I hated so much. But if you know me, you know I'm a HUGE Karina Halle fan (maybe even a tad obsessed...) so of course I was going to read it anyways because I knew she was going to change my mind about Javier; I may have been a little scared about that. Let me tell you, she absolutely did! I fell fast, deeply, and irrevocably in love with Javier.
The thing is, he's still the Javier that I saw in TAT, ruthless, twisted, mean, sexy, and with a dirty mouth. Oh, his dirty, dirty mouth. As I was reading Dirty Angels, I kept asking myself Cam who? Why hadn't I seen Javier before. The man is almost perfect (in a cartel boss type of way, of coourse)!!! I will stop gushing about how much I loved Javier and how amizingly twisted he is because I could go on and on and ON about how much I loved him, but you have to see for yourselves. If you were like me and hated him in TAT, don't write this book off just yet, READ IT! Trust me, you will fall for him no matter how hard you will try not to.
The female main character of this book was one that I absolutely loved and admired. Luisa's family is very poor. Do the circumstances her family faces, she is forced to keep a job with a boss that she detests. So you can't blame the girl to say yes when the opportunity to marry a drug lord falls into her lap, not like she had a choice anyways. So this beauty queen marries one of the most disgusting characters that I had the pleasure (or is it displeasure?) of reading. The things Luisa faces at the hands of her new husband are repulsive and horrifying. He breaks her, but not completely. She is still strong, feisty, and doesn't back down from anyone (even Javier!). I seriously loved her.
The chemistry between Luisa and Javier is electrifying and a little twisted, but in a beautiful way if that makes any sense. They're perfect for each other. Luisa is the queen a king needs alongside him to rule his drug empire. Their relationship is not perfect and definitely not filled with chocolates and flowers. The circumstances in which they meet are not ideal and you would think Luisa would never fall for the fierce Javier.
I applaud Karina Halle for writing such an interesting, beautiful, and unique story full of hotness, and twists and turns. Not only do I absolutely love her writing, but I loved where she took the story. Javier is who he is, take him or leave him, he's not going to change his ways and I love that. Ok, so maybe he did soften up a little but it was mostly (like 99.9%) towards Luisa.
Thank you Karina for once again writing such an amazing story that will be hard to forget. And like always, I cannot wait to read what's next.....
The last time I read about Javier was in the The Artists Trilogy and I thought I loved him then. I was wrong, SO wrong. I love him more than I thought I would, he fits into this story so remarkably well, and he is everything that his character needs him to be if that makes any sense at all… This is such a sexy, dirty, filthy story filled with intrigue, danger, lust and some really hot dark stuff that normally would make me cringe, but instead I found myself captivated by the odd beauty behind it. I love every part of this book, and could not put it down!
This story grabbed me from the very beginning, Luisa is in a very precarious and dangerous situation and wants more than anything to be able to feel love and have a shot at a normal life and her loyalty to her parents and her desire to take care of them is the most important thing in her life. She is truly an unselfish person and makes her choices based on need rather than want. I was drawn to her character the whole time and truly pulled for her to evolve throughout the story, it was the most tragic and beautiful thing to see unfold throughout the pages and I was addicted.
When Luisa and Javier’s worlds come together it is such an unorthodox relationship and experience. Javier needs certain things from Luisa in order to keep his job and life afloat, and even though Luisa is still living under the scrutiny of her kept life she needs certain things from Javier. These two have some of the most unique and sexy chemistry that I’ve ever read. The way that Javier is so ruthless and evil at times doesn’t take away from the fact that he is hot as hell. His mouth is dirty and filthy and I just loved the way he spoke, not only Luisa but everyone. He held command in his voice and it was so deviously sexy you wouldn’t know rather to run to him or run to the hills.
This story has some crazy twist and turns that I didn’t see coming, and to be honest writing a non-spoiler review is normally easy for me! But not today, there is so much wickedly good stuff that goes on in this book and I’m just dying to vomit my words all over this page, but I won’t. I will say this; Javier did some things both good and bad that just blew my mind! He is hands down one of my favorite book people. So awesome.
Karina’s writing is stellar, and witty and smart and left me glued to each page, and her character development and growth are beyond wonderful. There are some side characters that I love as well. Not because they are some great lovely people, but because I actually found myself changing my mind about them which doesn’t happen very often. In the end this was an AMAZING read that I would recommend to everyone just based on the fact that it was so beautifully different. I know I keep saying how sexy it is, and I hate to repeat myself but HOLY CRAP it’s seriously one of the sexiest books out there, and that’s not just from the sex! Words are sexy, hands are sexy, items are sexy! I’m not sure how one turns violence, crime, guns, drugs, and some despicable characters into a hot sexy, deviant, and romantic thriller all at one time but Karina did it WELL, and by the time I reached the last page, I actually said WOW out loud to myself. I won’t forget this one for a while.
“I was reacting to the fact that I would never win. No matter what I did. I was reacting to the unfairness of it all, of my very existence.”
“Filthy,” he corrected me. He smacked my ass lightly, causing me to jump. “Oh, that’s just fucking beautiful.”
He did it again and again, not enough to hurt but enough to sting. Each time, he licked the place where his handprint would have been. Then, with one hand he gently pried my ass cheeks open. I couldn’t help but cringe.
“You need to relax,” he whispered. “This won’t hurt. And I’m sure you took a bath this morning, didn’t you?” I murmured yes in response. “Then you’re clean and you have nothing to worry about. As for me, I’d take you anyway I can. It’s all exquisite to me.”
He was right. He was filthy.
“Relax, Luisa,” he said again. “Relax.”
And so I tried.
The first contact from his tongue made me shudder. The sensation was so entirely new to me, but what wasn’t at this point. Yet his mouth, lips, tongue, were all warm and wet and gentle and I found my body immediately relaxing into the steady motion. I pushed aside all thoughts about how impure this was. Purity had done nothing for me, anyway. It was better to be dirty. It was better to take what you could. It was better to embrace your lustful, needful, animalistic side because that was the side that lived.
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.
Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.
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