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totallyaddictedtoreading

TOTALLY ADDICTED TO READING

I am an avid reader who loves sharing the stories I have read with my fellow readers. I enjoy reading Mystery, Legal and Political thrillers, Horror and all types of romance.

  

 

Currently reading

Red Hot Obsessions
Sky Corgan, Olivia Rigal, Ember Casey, Blair Babylon, Molly McLain, V.J. Chambers, Lacey Silks, Daizie Draper, Clarissa Wild, J.C. Valentine
Progress: 80%
Trust - Kylie Scott

Trust


I am not an avid reader of the Young Adult genre, but this book kept calling my name. To be honest, it had nothing to do with the author as my experience with her was limited, having only read one book written by her. The synopsis was the driving force behind my decision to read Trust by Kylie Scott.

This story differs from anything I have read before. Its unique storyline sucked me in and if it were not for my busy work schedule, I would have finished it sooner than I did. It tells the story of two high school students who were brought together because of a tragic event which would forever change their lives. Trust is a coming of age story that embraces the themes of friendship, love, drug addiction and fat shaming.

The title aptly fits the story as this was what Edie was forced to do when she found herself in the middle of a hostage situation involving a crazed drug addict. Placing her trust in a complete stranger was the last thing on her mind when she went to purchase snacks in the middle of the night dressed in nothing but her PJs and flip-flops. Her fear at that moment was palpable. She had no idea if she would get out alive. However, in the midst of all the chaos, she discovered she was not alone. There was a guy, a teenager like herself, who went above and beyond to secure her safety. The two found themselves bound to each other through shared memories of a night they would both prefer to forget.

The highlight of the story for me was the unlikely friendship that developed between John and Edie. They never expected to see each other again after that fateful night. However, Edie’s decision to change schools led to their paths crossing once again. Theirs was a friendship borne out of tragedy, but it would provide them with the healing they both needed. Despite the challenges faced, their friendship developed to the point where lines became blurred and so not only do they have to deal with painful memories, they have to figure out if their feelings for each other were real.

I admired Edie for her strength of character. She refused to be labelled a victim. Her body was on the plump side and she faced constant shaming as a result, but she did not allow the hateful remarks define her. She accepted herself the way she was, and no intention of changing to please others. In spite of this, there were moments when her insecurities would rear its head, especially around John. Not only is she a fighter, she is caring and funny.

I loved how John was with Edie. His need to protect her extended beyond that fateful night. John has his share of struggles, however, he always finds time for Edie whenever she needed him. They were protective of each other and they had each other’s back at all times. I loved that John saw beyond her plumpness and accepted all of her.

The secondary characters played their part in making this story shine. They provided enough laughter to balance out the pain, fears and angst.

I did have a few issues with the story, but it did not take away from my enjoyment.

I thought the situation with John and his brother could have been handled better. The whole scenario was rushed and lacking in details.

The story was told primarily from Edie’s POV. It would have been great to be privy to John’s inner thoughts and feelings. My knowledge of his struggles and feelings were gained from Edie’s perspective. I believe that having the story from John’s POV would have made the story that more realistic, especially as it relates to their romance. Edie’s feelings for John were obvious based on her inner dialogue, but it was difficult discerning how John’s true feelings.

I expected more information in regards to Edie’s feelings after the traumatic incident. I understood why she had trouble sleeping, but the other aspects did not ring true for someone who stared death in the face.

Recommendation/Conclusion
In spite of the issues, Trust is an enjoyable read and fans of the YA genre and Kylie Scott will fall in love with this book.

Lure of Obsession - Lisa Kessler

Lure of Obsession (Muse Chronicles #1) This is my first time reading Lisa Kessler, and it made me eager to read more of her work. Lure of Obsession is the first book in the Muse Chronicles and I consider it a great start to the series.

What the story is about
Lure of Obsession tells the story of Melanie Jacoby and Detective Nate Malone. Melanie a high school English teacher is the reborn muse of tragic poetry. She sees the tragic side of things, but the one tragedy she was not prepared for was finding her roommate and fellow Muse dead. She knows her friend was murdered, but she is unable to convince the detectives in charge of the investigation, as the evidence points to an accidental death.

Detective Nate Morgan is convinced that the death was accidental, but then he had visions, which led him to believe the death of Melanie’s friend was no accident. Now, not only does he have to solve a murder, he has to protect Mel who is the killer’s next target.

The Story
The story began on a sad but intense note. From that moment, the story pulled me in and I had a hard time putting it down. The theme of inspiration was well presented throughout the story. The idea of the rebirth of nine muses and the role they played in inspiring humanity to be their better selves made for a riveting read. However, there are persons who would rather see this inspiration snuffed out, and the Muses had to die.

I enjoyed the mystery/suspense thread, which I thought was thoroughly fleshed out. It had me turning the pages as I was eager to see the direction the story would follow. One thing I appreciate about romantic thrillers/suspense is the events unfold not only through the eyes of the protagonists but also that of the antagonists. This story delivered just that, which made me privy to his plans.

The title aptly describes Nate’s fascination with Mel. From the moment, he met her he felt a connection, which he could not explain and he wanted to protect her. The romance moved at an acceptable pace, given the circumstances surrounding the guardian/muse. In spite of his attraction for Mel, he did not trust his feelings, which I found to be a reasonable reaction given the issues from his past.

I was pleased with the ending. The threat, however, is still imminent, which I am sure will be explored in the upcoming books.

The Characters
Mel being the muse of tragic poetry is used to seeing the tragic side of things. She is what one would consider an eternal pessimist. Meeting Nate proved to be a blessing as he encouraged her to view things in a positive light. I admired her strength and fortitude. She is willing to take a chance on having a relationship with Nate in spite of the risk of having her heart shattered.

Nate avoids relationships at all costs. He does not feel he is capable of love, however, the more time he spent with Mel he discovered that his past did not determine his ability to love. Mel saw beyond his physical and emotional scars. Never once did she view him as a victim. What she saw when she looked at him was a survivor. I found it amusing that he being her Guardian was responsible for protecting her, but instead, she wanted to be the one who did the protecting.protecting.

I enjoyed watching their interaction, which was funny, passionate and sweet. I loved that they learned to trust each other, which was a pivotal moment for Nate.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Lure of Obsession is a well-written story with likeable characters. It was a fantastic read from start to finish and I cannot wait to find out what is in store for the other muses.


Tamed by a Tiger (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 13) - Felicity E. Heaton

When I discovered this Story was about a snow leopard and a tigress shifter, I was curious to know how Ms. Heaton would spin this one. I had no doubt she could pull it off as she has proven repeatedly that she is a master at what she does.

I first met August in Craved by an Alpha, book 5 in the series. It was at that point I discovered the man he was, loyal and protective. He took up the position of alpha, something he never aspired to, so that his cousin could be with his mate. He never expected the pressures of being an alpha to be so overwhelming, but he was determined to prove his capabilities to his pride.

The perks he thought he would have in abundance now that he was an alpha, he no longer had a desire for, but that was until he met Maya, a beautiful tigress shifter, when he went to seek advice from his cousin at Underworld.

I got a brief introduction to Maya in the previous installment. When I discovered she would be the heroine in this story, I was not sure what to expect, because honestly she did not impress me then. However, getting to know her in this story, proved a treat.

She is loyal, kick ass and is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs. She is willing to sacrifice her happiness for the safety of her pride. Her strength and convictions were admirable. I felt her struggle between following her heart and tradition. Fear of the harm that would come to her pride if she reneged was the catalyst for her decision. However, she will discover what she thought was best for the pride would prove the worst thing for both her and them.

I enjoyed her initial encounter with August. That encounter, which was a battle of wills and dominance, would change both their lives. She was his match in every way, but her duty to her clan proved to be a stumbling block.

I was quite the eager beaver with this story. I could not wait to find out how their situations would work out. I will not tell you how it was solved, but what I will tell you is this, it worked out for all parties involved. I was happy with how it all played out.

The world Ms. Heaton created in this series is fascinating. Her characters are well developed and her writing style transported me to a world where I spent time meeting and interacting with all types of supernatural beings. I developed a bond with the characters and as a result, I found myself rooting for them.

I always look forward to her action scenes and she did not disappoint. The scenes were well written, easy to visualise, and it added to the entertainment value of the story. I knew Maya could fight, but it was at this point she proved herself to a warrior, worthy of being an alpha's mate.

Conclusion/Recommendation
Another great addition to the series. I am looking forward to reading next book in the series If you love the paranormal genre then you will enjoy this book. I highly recommend this series. Each book in the series can be read as a stand-alone


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Source: http://totallyaddictedtoreading.blogspot.com/2017/08/review-tamed-by-tiger-by-felicity-heaton.html
Until It Fades: A Novel - K.A. Tucker

Until It Fades
This is my first K. A Tucker novel and it will not be my last. I heard about her before, but never considered reading her work before, but when Until It Fades came on my radar, and I read the blurb I was intrigued.

What the story is about.
Until It Fades tells the story of Catherine Wright, a 24-year-old single mom to a spunky 5-year-old girl. She works as a waitress at truck stop in a small town. Her past was not pretty, and she wished for it to remain hidden. However, her selfless decision to rescue a stranger from a burning car, would lead to the events from her past becoming a fodder for the media.

The man she saved was none other than Brett Madden, famous hockey player and son of a movie star. So it was no surprise that the accident became the talk of every media house. Her attempts to keep her identity hidden proved futile, which became worse when Brett Madden turned upon her doorstep. What followed was an intense and immediate attraction, a friendship and a slow burn romance.



The Story

What I enjoyed about this story is glimpses I got into Catherine’s past, which allowed me to understand what happened to her and why she felt she had to keep it all hidden. This aspect of the story was detailed making it easy for me to relate to her struggles.

The story moved at a pace, which I believed was fitting for the events that were taking place. The shifts between the past and the present were flawless.

I enjoyed the romance, which I considered a slow burning one. Their instant, which I do not consider abnormal, given the circumstances. She saved his life so he will feel something for her, but is it love or just a sense of gratitude? I loved how the author explored this aspect of their relationship. I was glad to see they did not immediately act on their attraction for each other. They took getting to know each other to ensure that their feelings were genuine. In Brett’s case, he needed to ensure that his feelings were not borne out of sheer gratitude and for Catherine she needed assurance that her feelings did not stem from the fact that he was famous.

He grins sheepishly. “When I went home that night, I told my parents that I was madly in love with this brave and beautiful woman who saved my life.”
Oh my God. My heart’s beating in my throat.
“Of course they convinced me that I was completely overwhelmed and that I needed to get some rest.”
“I’m sure they were right,” I mumble.
“I thought so too, honestly.” He swallows hard. “But then you had to go and be not just brave and beautiful but also humble, and funny, and honest. And I couldn’t stop thinking about what it’d be like to be with you… So I need you to tell me what I need to do for you to give me that chance.” His jaw tenses as he locks eyes with me. “Please.”

The emotions were heartfelt and intense.

The story was not unique by far, but it was still an enjoyable one. It was not hard figuring how it would end, but what intrigued me was watching it all unfold.

The Characters

I thought the character development was well done. They were believable and relatable. There was some that had me scratching my head, and then those who placed a smile on my face.

I enjoyed Brett’s interaction with both Catherine and her daughter. He always includes her whenever he invited Catherine to go anywhere. He knew they were a package deal and he was willing to accept it all.

Catherine struggled with being in the spotlight. She prefers to be in the background, to which I can totally relate. She is different from the women that move in Brett’s circles. She is independent and not looking for handouts. When he looked at her, he saw her for who she was, a woman of strength, a caring mother and a woman who conquered her past.

Conclusion/Recommendation

My biggest issue with the story was my inability to connect with Brett the way I did with Catherine. It would have helped if I got the story through his eyes as well.

Until it Fades is a beautifully written story, which touches on thought provoking issues. It demonstrated how quickly persons are to judge another for their mistakes and how victims are harshly treated.

Overall, this was a wonderful, swoon worthy romance. I am not going to lie, there were moments I pictured myself in Catherine’s shoes minus the humiliating past of course. If you enjoy romances that have a Cinderella feel then you will enjoy this story.

Lost and Found Sisters - Jill Shalvis

I cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed this book. I first became aware of Jill Shalvis when I read the Heartbreaker Bay series. Since then I look forward to reading her books. Based on what I have read of her work so far, Lost and Found Sisters, which is the first book in the Wildstone series, took a different turn. The focus is not on romance, but on family, healing and forgiveness.

What the story is about.

Losing someone close is not a loss that one can easily move past. Quinn Weller would discover this devastating truth when she lost her sister in a car accident. Since that fateful day, her life has never been the same. She is empty on the inside and relationships have no meaning until the day she received some shocking news. News that would shake up her world and change her life in ways she never expected.

The Characters

I admired Quinn for her bravery. Walking away from the life she lived for thirty years to embrace the unknown took guts. She went looking for answers and she found more than she ever imagined. She found love and forged new friendships.

Change is never easy a fact that Quinn would come to realise. She struggled with the changes, but never once did she consider giving up. She is one of those characters that one cannot help but like. She is selfless, and she cares deeply for others. She also possesses a sarcastic sense of humour which when displayed placed a smile on my face.

Mick Hennessey returned to Wildstone, temporarily to help his mom get her house in order. He does not intend to stay, but then he meets Quinn who has him re-thinking his decision. He is caring and always willing to help.

They are attracted to each other but were afraid to explore the attraction as they were on different paths in life, which would lead to them being miles apart from each other. I liked that they moved past the fear and as a result discovered love. They were great for each other. He helped her sort out her feelings when things got complicated.

I found the town of Wildstone and its inhabitants interesting. They helped make the story shine with their humorous antics and banter.

The Story

Lost and Found Sisters is a heartfelt story filled with humour. It combines romance with life-affirming issues. At the start of each chapter are quotes that was both funny and true. The author provided a romance that is sweet and passionate but without the steam.
The inheritance was not what I expected, however; I enjoyed how this aspect of the story played out. I loved how Quinn came to terms with everything that is associated with her inheritance. She accepted both the good and the bad.

Conclusion /Recommendation

Lost and Found Sisters is a wonderful and poignant story of love, healing, self-discovery and embracing change. This is a great start to the series and I am eager to spend more time with the inhabitants of Wildstone.


Selenium Night: A Werewolf Shifter Romance (ShadowShifters Novel) - Kharma Kelley

Selenium Night (ShadowShifters Novel)Selenium Night by Kharma Kelley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Selenium Night is the first book in Kharma Kelley’s Shadow Shifters series. This is not my first time reading her work and based on my prior experience I went into this book with high expectations. She did not disappoint.

What the story is about.
In this new series, readers meet Adian Bloodlocke and Dr. Maddie Ardelle. Abandoned by his pack. Aidan, an Aristan shadowshifter grew up knowing nothing about his lineage. All that would change when the alpha of the Bloodlocke pack adopted him and raised as his own. Aidan’s new life taught him about family and unconditional love. In spite of this, there were members of the pack who despised him a situation which escalated when he became the pack’s alpha.

Then the unthinkable happened, his pack came under attack leaving death and mayhem in its wake. Now he is on a mission to hunt and capture the responsible party and ensure that pack justice is served. What he never counted on was that during his quest he would find love with the delectable Dr. Maddie Ardelle.

Dr. Maddie Ardelle moved to Brdgepoint Maine, to get the pieces of her life together. Her life lacked excitement. Therefore, the last thing she expected was to get caught in the middle of the ShadowShifter's feud. When the hot and sexy alpha came to her aid, she found herself caught in a world of passion, violence, and a lot of shifters.

The Story
Selenium Night is one of those books which holds you captive from the first page and you eagerly turn the pages because you have to know how the event will unfold.

I loved the world that the author introduced me to in this story. There are two species of ShadowShifters, Aristans created by Arista one of the moon sisters and the Thesians, created in retaliation by her twin sister Thesia. Since this time, both species have been sworn enemies.
ShadowShifters are human souls that were fused with the soul of a wolf. In their natural state they are humans, however they have the power to change in various forms of a wolf. They lived in plain sight of humans, but the humans had no idea they were living among supernatural beings. ShadowShifters are born not made.

The romance was refreshing and well done. It was slow burn, which is not typical for these kinds of stories. This is not shifter story where the hero recognises his mate immediately and lay his claim to her. The hero was drawn to the heroine but had a hard time reconciling his feelings as it was forbidden for his kind to mate with humans. They got to know each other and allowing their love to develop at a natural pace. She tugged at his heartstrings and he had this uncontrollable need to protect her, which proved detrimental to his mission.

Suspense, action and humour were sprinkled throughout the pages of the book, making it a true page-turner.

The Characters

The Characters were well fleshed out. I was invested in them and could not help but root for them. Aidan is strong, determined and protective. His life growing up was hard, but that was until his circumstances changed. However, the pain of the past haunted him. Maddie had experienced her share of hurt and as such was not looking for a relationship. I could relate to her uncertainties regarding her developing feelings for Aidan. She was a likable heroine and it was clear Aidan was so enamoured with her. She is funny, selfless and brave.
They complemented each other. I enjoyed their initial contact, which provided me with some laugh out loud moments.

The secondary characters played an intricate role in making the story a page turner. My least favourite was Kieran, Adian’s adoptive brother. He is a true personification of evil. It was his actions that led to disaster that struck the Bloodlocke pack and he is the one Aidan is hunting.

The one thing I had an issue with is the author’s failure to delve deeper into the forbidden aspects of Aidan and Maddie’s relationship. They go their HEA, but it would have been good to know the effects in the future in light of the fact that Maddie cannot be a shifter.

Conclusion/Recommendation
The story delivered a heart-warming, emotional, suspenseful and action packed read. I do believe this is a great start to the series and I am eager to see what next the author has to offer. Fans of paranormal romance with strong sexy characters will enjoy Selenium Night.


Break IN (An Ivy Nash Thriller, Book 4) (Redemption Thriller Series 10) - John W. Mefford

Wow! What a ride. I enjoyed every book I have read by John W. Mefford and could not wait to dive into Break IN. True to form; Mefford delivered a fast paced and suspenseful story that was filled with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end.

Ivy Nash has once again found herself embroiled in a criminal investigation, which involves kidnapping. She is in the process of trying to secure office space when she was hired by an elderly man to find is grandson who had been kidnapped. However, as soon as that one is found a next one was taken. Are both kidnappings related and if so why is this man’s family being targeted? Ivy’s determination to obtain the answers to these questions, would lead her on a road riddled with danger and have her reliving her worst nightmare.

The story started out a bit confusing. At first, I was not sure what was happening, but as I delved deeper into the story, the events became clearer. I enjoyed how the story unfolded. Just when I thought I figured out who was behind the kidnapping, Mefford, shakes things up and I find myself re-thinking my original theory. There was enough suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat, especially near to the end when things became more intense.

As usual, I had fun with the characters. New characters were introduced that were not easy to figure out if they were good or bad. Of course, the truth as to who they were and their motives were not revealed until near the end. Ivy was her usual self in this instalment. An advocate for unfortunate children. I admire her strength and tenacity. She has been through a lot, but she does not intend to slow down.

Conclusion/Recommendation

Break IN was an exciting addition to the Ivy Nash series. The story was well paced, intriguing and riveting. If you enjoy thrillers that keeps you guessing from beginning to end then you will enjoy this series.


Turned by a Tiger  - Felicity E. Heaton

I can’t believe we are at the 12th book in the Eternal Mates series. From the release of the first book in the series, I have been an avid follower. When I discovered that book, #12 would be released, I was eager to get my hands on a copy so when the opportunity arose for me to receive an ARC, I eagerly accepted. When I take up a book by written by Felicity Heaton, my only concern is her ability to match up or surpass the earlier books. She has never failed to meet my expectations, and this instalment was no different.

What the story is about

The story follows Talon a 300-year-old tiger shifter and second in command to the alpha of his pride. Captured by a group who hunted immortal beings, he escaped his captors and was on the run for his life. Faced with certain death, he had no choice but to seek sanctuary at Underworld, a nightclub for immortals owned by a jaguar shifter. However, the possibility exists that he is likely to kill him rather than offer him protection. Upon entering the club, he was confronted by the Jaguar shifter he needed to avoid. However, luck was on his side as a human female bartender stepped in and offered to protect him from the wrath of her boss.

Sherry is no stranger to danger as she is surrounded by immortals daily. From the moment the handsome tiger shifter entered Underworld, she knew he needed help. Drawn to the enigmatic shifter, she went out on a limb to protect him.

The Characters

The heroines featured in this series, regardless of their species are strong-willed, brave, kick-ass, have a sense of humour and loyal to their mates. Sherry was no different. She is not a woman who will sit back and let a man fight for her; she preferred to fight alongside him. I admired how she stood up to her boss and willingly entered enemy territory to help Talon.

Sherry’s actions made Talon view humans in a different light.Talon is your typical alpha male. He is confident, dominant, and protective. He feared that Sherry would not fit in his world; as a result, he was scared to get close to her. However, his desire for was stronger than his fear.

I enjoyed their interaction, which was both funny and passionate. The story started out with a bang, but then the pace slowed, however it regained its momentum. Even though the pace slowed in between, it did not make the story any less interesting. Once again, Ms Heaton pulled me into her fascinating world where faes, humans, demons and shifters Co-exist.

This instalment took a different angle that threw me off, but not in a bad way. There was insta-love, which is not a typical occurrence in this series. What I have come to expect from the series is an immediate recognition of one's mate, but a gradual development of their love for each other. In this instance, everything took place instantly.

The things that remained constant, however, were the fight/action scenes, the author’s impeccable writing style, a riveting storyline and well-developed characters. The story was funny and entertaining. Characters from the earlier books added to the fun and action.

Talon had a secret for which I waited with bated breath for its revelation. My feelings in regards to the big reveal were mixed. I was disappointed as I was expecting something with a high shock factor, but at the same time, I was intrigued as to the impact it would have on Sherry.

Conclusion/Recommendation

I was pleased with how this instalment ended. Turned by a Tiger was enjoyable from start to finish and I cannot wait to read the next book in this awesome series.If you enjoy paranormal romance packed with action and passion, then Turned by a Tiger and the rest of the Eternal Mates series are a must.

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Dirty Like Brody: A Dirty Rockstar Romance (Dirty, Book 2) - Jaine Diamond

Dirty Like Brody by Jaine Diamond is the second book full-length book in the Dirty series. Although it is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Dirty Like Me book one in the series gave me my first taste of Brody Mason and Jessa Mayes. I found them both intriguing, but Jessa was the one that made me eager to read the second book in the series.

What the story is about.

Brody Mason is the manager for Dirty, the hottest rock band on the planet. He and the members of the band have been friends since childhood. Brody could have any woman he wants, but only one held the keys to his heart. The same one who left him nursing a broken heart 6 ½ years ago.

Six and a half years ago, Jessa Mayas ran away from her life as a songwriter for Dirty to pursue a career in modelling. To the outside world, she appears to have it all, talent, a glamourous life and money. However, the secret that led to her running away is slowly consuming her life. Her brother’s upcoming nuptials has provided her with the opportunity to face her past, face her fears and restore her relationship with the band and the only man she has ever loved.

The Characters

Jessa has experienced loss from an early age, which had a significant impact on her life. Her inability to deal with the pain from the loss led to her making poor decisions. The worst of which led to her running away and leaving her family, friends and the love of her life behind. Brody’s love and that of her brother were not enough to keep her stable.
She internalised her feelings and pushes everyone away. Initially, she intrigued me, but as the story progressed her actions became frustrating and bordered on immature. I kept waiting for her to get over herself and come clean with everyone, most of all Brody.

Brody goes above on beyond for those he loves. Forced to grow up before time, due to an abusive childhood, he learned to be responsible and reliable, which made the perfect candidate to be the manager for Dirty. Meeting Jessa and her brother helped made his childhood bearable. The older they got, his feelings for Jessa moved beyond brotherly love, but he kept his feelings under wraps, patiently waiting for the day he could safely tell her how he feels.

He is carrying around a lot of pain and anger from Jessa’s betrayal and my heart broke for him watching him trying to come to terms with the hurt. He wants to hate her, but his love for her was stronger than ever. I understood his fears of having his heart trampled once again. Having your heart broken once is not pretty and to have done twice by the same person one may likely not recover.

The Story

Told in alternate first person POVs, I was given the opportunity of getting up close and personal with the main characters. The author’s use of memory flashbacks to provide her readers with information on Brody and Jessa’s past was flawlessly done. It was easy to follow and it helped me to understand what made them tick. The dialogue between the characters is realistic, it demonstrates their backgrounds and personalities, and I was pleased that the use of the F word was minimal when compared to the previous books.

The prologue was funny and sweet and it made me eager to discover how the remainder of the story would unfold. The pace was great for the first forty percent of the book, but then the story began to lag. The constant push and pull between Jessa and Brody were a recipe for a headache. There were many unresolved issues and the tension between them was palpable. Dealing with these issues sooner would have improved the pacing of the story.

I was eager to know why Jess left everything behind 6 ½ years ago. The build up to that was slow and when it was revealed, it was a let-down. I understood her reasons for leaving, but frankly, it did not warrant the drama, which I thought was a bit too much.

Conclusion
I loved that all issues were resolved and that the characters had their HEA. Dirty by Brody is a story of enduring love. It demonstrates the need for a strong support system when one has to deal with a painful loss. This had the potential to be a four star read, but my issues with the unnecessary drama, Jessa’s behaviour and the areas where the plot rambled needlessly prevented me from rating as such.

However, do not let this deter you from trying this book. Despite my issues, I am not averse to continuing the series.


Favourite Quote

“Time did not heal wounds. I was now thirty years old and I’d been aching for Jessa Mayes since we were kids. By the time I was twenty-one, she’d broken my heart. When I was twenty-four, she ripped it right the fuck out. And what did I do? I slapped a dirty bandage over that shit and left it to rot.”

Dirty Like Us - Jaine Diamond


I had my first experience with Jaine Diamond’s work when I read Dirty Like Me, book one in the Dirty series. This was when I met Maggie and Zane. I had many questions about their relationship. It was evident there was something going on between them, but the author did not elaborate. Therefore, when I discovered there was a prequel to the Dirty series which would provide me with the answers I sought, I jumped at the chance to claim a free copy of this novella.

What the story is about.

Maggie is the assistant manager for Dirty, the hottest rock band in the country. Zane is the lead singer. Maggie and Zane were attracted to each other, from the moment she started working with the group six years ago. Maggie, however, has rules, which she established for her life, one of which is not to sleep with her co-workers. A rule she has managed not to break in spite of her growing attraction to Zane.
Zane would do anything to protect Maggie, especially from her father’s constant degrading comments and his attempts to use her connections to the group to help re-establish his career. His desire to protect her led to him making a proposal that will forever change their lives.

The Characters

Maggie and Zane would be good together if only she believed he genuinely cared for her. I understood her doubts where that was concerned because he goes through women as often as he changes his clothing. However, what she did not know was, his love for her went deeper than the friendship they shared. She brought out the best in him.
Maggie is a strong, smart and funny heroine. She is fiercely protective of the members of the band whom she considers her family. She takes crap from no one. I loved how she did not allow her father’s terrible treatment to define her. It hurt, but she did not allow it to keep her down. Zane is a fun, caring and lovable character. He too had his own issues, but he rose above them, which is a daily struggle for him. I admired his strength in dealing with these issues, which given the temptations he faces each day would not have been easy.

The Story

I enjoyed the banter, which was funny and sexy. I laughed throughout most of the story. I should warn you though the dialogue was loaded with enough dirty talk to make one blush. There were a lot of swear words, which I found distracting. In spite of this, I thought the story was well written. Told from alternate first person POV the story gave insight into the emotional turmoil both characters faced.

Conclusion

This being a novella, I only got a brief look into the lives of Zane and Maggie, but now I have a full understanding of the reasons for the tension that exists between them.

Recommendation

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and I can’t wait to find out how things will end up for these two. If you are interested in getting a copy of this novella visit http://ebook.jainediamond.com/getdirty/



Fuel for Fire - Julie Ann Walker
Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker is the tenth book (10th) book in the Black Knights Inc series and my first book by the author. I was worried at first that this being the tenth (10th) book in the series I would be lost, but my worries were for nought. It can be read as a stand-alone.
 
What the story is about.
 
The story follows Dagan Zoelner, a former CIA agent and a covert operative for Black Knights Inc.  He is broody and with good reason. Dagan had experienced immeasurable loss in both his personal and professional life. However, through all these changes theone thing that remained constant was his feelings for the spunky CIA agent, Chelsea Sullivan.
 
Chelsea has been carrying a torch for Dagan for as long as she can remember. However, she never revealed her feelings for fear they were not reciprocated. Their current assignment has placed them in a situation where they are forced to confront their feelings for each other. However, Chelsea carries a secret from both their pasts, which if revealed destroy both their lives.
 
 My Perspective
 
The Story
The story was all I had hoped for and more. It was action packed, suspenseful, humorous and explosive. I was pulled into the story from the outset and had a hard time putting it down.  The fast-paced plot, slow burning romance, nail-biting moments, the sexy banter and the verbal sparring held me captive from start to finish. 
 
The story was told in alternate third person POVs, which I had no problem with, as I could connect with the characters and the story. This is one of those times that this POV worked for me as the story was written in a way that made me feel as if I were on the inside looking out. The author’s descriptive style of writing helped to enrich my experience with the story. 
 
I thought the suspense was well done. It was done in such a way it had me on the edge of my seat. I loved that it did not overshadow the romantic elements, which I find to be a major problem in most of the book I have read within this genre. It was perfectly balanced. 
 
The Main Characters
I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters. Their connection was heartfelt and explosive. Their banter was funny and filled with lots of sexual tension. I loved the pace at which their relationship developed. Their feelings for each other had been kept under wraps for a long time so this was definitely not a case of instant attraction.  Their constant bickering and antagonism towards each other were a cover for their true feelings, but their friends saw what they failed to see.
 
Dagan is haunted by the mistakes of his past and believes he is not good enough for Chelsea. I felt his pain of having to work so closely with the woman he loves, but not being able to act on his feelings. 
 
He is protective of Chelsea and wants to keep her safe, but she believes his actions are as a result of him not having confidence in her abilities as an agent. His protective nature grew a notch when their current assignment placed her in harm’s way. 
 
She is spunky and as no qualms about going toe to toe with him when she feels he is behaving like an ass. However, her acts of bravado covered up a deep-seated fear that a secret she has been keeping will one day blow up in her face.
 
Supporting Characters.
 
I enjoyed the dynamics of the supporting cast, which helped to make the story entertaining and riveting. They were well portrayed, making it easy for me to like them and eager to know more about them. I especially loved Christian and Emily who were member of the team. It is evident that there is chemistry between these two, which I am eager to see the author explore. I enjoyed the camaraderie shared between the members of the team, which was fun and entertaining.  The ease with which they had fun at each other’s expense demonstrated the strength of their friendship
 
 Conclusion
The ending as it relates to Chelsea and Dagan’s relationship was neatly wrapped up, and it left me with a smile on my face. However, as it relates to their assignment, which involved taking a notorious criminal syndicate. The leader of the syndicate who went by the moniker Spider has proven to be elusive and difficult to capture. He always seems to be one-step ahead. It is clear; they have been in pursuit of Spider prior to this instalment. 
 
Recommendation:
Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy Fuel for Fire and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I also plan to read the previous books in the series, as it appears I have been missing a lot

 

Bittersweet Darkness - Nina Croft
This is the third book in The Order series. Although it tells the story of a different couple, it would be advisable if you read the previous books before venturing into this instalment. In doing so, you will gain background information on the supporting cast featured in this instalment and learn about the inside operations of The Order of Shadow Accords.
 
I read the firsts two books awhile back. I received this book for review but never got around to reading it before now. I thought I would have problems getting into the story due the time I took to pick up this book. Fortunately, this was not the case.  As I delved into the story, I remembered events from the previous books, which made it easy for me to be immersed in the book.
 
My Perspective
 
The Story.
If you love fast-paced, suspenseful action packed and sexy paranormal stories, then you will love this book.  Based on my experience with the previous books in the series, I had high expectations for this instalment. I was not disappointed.  This is not your typical paranormal romance. Yes, you will encounter the usual supernatural beings you find in this genre, but it so much more than that. It is a story of betrayal, redemption, second chances, forgiveness, healing and love.
 
This story introduces readers to a world where some supernatural beings, who make up the Order of Shadow Accords, are trying to create a world where they can co-exist with humans. However, other beings are not so keen on the idea and are willing to use any method possible to prevent the Order from achieving its goal. The Order is the police for the supernatural world, who metes out punishment to those beings who bring attention to themselves.
 
The suspenseful thread involves a group of people trying to bring down The Order by targeting the Christian Roth, a billionaire vampire one of the head honchos of The Order. This aspect of the story was entertaining and captivating.  I liked that it did not overshadow the romance between Faith and Ash. In fact, both threads blended well to make for an exciting read.
 
The romance is not typical of what I generally see in this genre. This was not a case of the hero claiming the heroine as his from the moment he lays eyes on her. This was a case of instant attraction, which slowly grew into love.  It also had its share of obstacles from both parties and external sources.
 
The Main Characters.
 
If you are a fan of heroines who are tough, self-reliant, sassy and tenacious then you will love Faith.  She is human and does not believe there are supernatural beings walking the earth.  When approached by a mysterious group to help them in their quest to take down Christian Roth. She thought it ludicrous and not intended to accept their offer. However, due to circumstances beyond her control, she ended up working for this mysterious group.
 
 She has difficulty accepting the truth, even with the
evidence presented to her.  She saw things as being black and white. You are either good or evil, there is no in between.   This belief stemmed from an incident, which happened in her past to which she is yet to receive closure. However, she would soon come to realise that things were not as simple as she was led to believe.
 
When I met Ash in the previous book, I did not like him. I thought he was evil; after all, he is a demon. Well, in this instalment I discovered that there was more to him than I originally thought. He had a caring side which, he demonstrated by his actions towards his daughter, (who by the way hates him) and Faith. He had been on a quest for revenge, but his love for his daughter took precedence.  He knew what it meant to be in love, but he thought those feelings were dead and buried, until that moment when Faith brought it back to life.
 
I loved how protective he was of Faith, even when he believed she had betrayed him and the other members of The Order.  Watching him care her when she experienced here headaches was heart-warming and sweet. His reaction when he thought he was going to lose her was heart-breaking. I felt his pain throughout the ordeal. Who would believe the demon of lust had it in him to care about anyone but himself. 
 
Conclusion
I appreciated how things worked out in the end as it relates to Ash’s relationship with his daughter and Faith. I was glad to see Faith finally getting the closure she craved in regards to the incident from her past. The ending was appropriate and nicely done.  I do hope that the author will continue the series as there are characters who I would love to see them get their stories.
 
Recommendation
Fans of paranormal romance and strong sexy characters will enjoy Bittersweet Darkness.
Read, Write, Love at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 1) - Addison Cole


I never read the steamier version of this title. However, when I heard Melissa Foster’s alter ego would release the cleaner version I was intrigued and jumped at the chance to read a copy.


What the story is about.

Kurt Remington is a best-selling thriller author, who takes his writing seriously. This dedication led to him living a reclusive life. His family was eager to see him move beyond the world he created in his books and embrace what real life had to offer. Currently, that was not on his list of things to do, however, when Leanna Bray literally swam into his life, he would come to realise that there is someone more captivating than the characters in his fictional world.


Leanna Bray’s focus is on getting her jam-making business off the ground and bring organisation to her life. As such, a relationship is not on her list of priorities. However, when Kurt came to her rescue, she may need to reorganise her list if only she can maintain some order in her life.


My Perspective


The story

Read, Write, Love was classified as a clean read and this was true to some extent. The author alluded to intimate encounters between the main characters, but there were no graphic descriptions. In addition, the language was clean, which I found refreshing.

There is no mistaking that this is the work of Melissa Foster, which is evident by the writing style. The story was sweet and emotional. This book is evidence that the author can write not only steamy romances but also ones where the bedroom door is closed. The story was engaging and perfectly paced, with fun, sweet and emotional moments.


The Characters

One of the things I associate with the author is good character development. I have never had a problem connecting with any of her characters and this was no different.

Kurt is a man that thrives on order in every aspect of his life. He is a perfect gentleman. What I enjoyed most about him were his patience and kindness. He was not keen on being disturbed, when in his writing zone, but the fact he willingly came out of the zone to rescue Leann and her dog demonstrated his caring nature. Leann is a free spirit, who is disorganised in every aspect of their lives. She takes each day has it comes and does not follow a specific plan. Kurt and Leanna were as different as night is from the day, but in spite of the differences, they made a great couple. They complemented each other well.

Kurt learnt the importance of having a balanced life while Leann discovered the importance of being organised especially in her business life.


The romance.

Their summer romance was sweet, passionate and flirty. This was not a love at first sight scenario. Their connection was established from their initial meeting, but their romance developed throughout the summer. I enjoyed how they related to each other throughout the story.


Recommendation:

If you are looking for a clean, but passionate romance story, if you want a story that has depth and filled with emotion then look no further. Read, Write, Love at Seaside has it all.


Next to Me - Jodi Watters

I purchased this book a while back but never got around to reading it before now. I must admit that if it were not for Quirky Blind Date group, I would not have remembered that I own this book. I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book. Next to Me by Jodi Watters is the first book in the Love Happens series and it can be read as a stand-alone

 


What the story is about.
Ali Ross is on the run from her abusive ex-husband, but she knows she can only outrun her past for so long. To protect herself and secure her freedom, she believed her newest neighbour, Sam Gleeson, former army ranger, would make the perfect protector. To have him protect her, she plans to sleep with him and get him to care for her and he would be compelled to protect her. However, she will discover that best-laid plans often go awry.

Ali fascinated Sam Gleeson, former Army Ranger and co-owner of Scorpio Securities Inc., when he first laid eyes on her. Tired of short-term hook-ups he is looking to have a relationship that is built on substance and Ali may just be the perfect candidate.


My Perspective

The Story
Next to Me turned out better than I expected. I enjoyed every moment spent reading this title. I would not consider it to be unique, but I thought the story was well written. The story engaged me from the start and it got better with each page turn. Not only was it engaging it was suspenseful and perfectly paced. I enjoyed spending time with characters and sharing in their camaraderie. There were fun moments that had me laughing and by the time the story ended I was satisfied with how it all played out.

There was another story within the main story, but it had no bearing on Ali and Sam’s story. It was geared towards the work that Sam does as a security consultant. This too was nicely wrapped up and it in no way detracted from the main story.

The story reminded me that genuine love sees beyond faults and accepts a person unconditionally. It is told in dual third persons POV.

The Characters

Although I did not agree with Ali’s actions, I understood why she felt she had to hatch this diabolical plan. I felt there were other ways to achieve her goal, but I guess she felt this way was the best. I refused to judge her because desperation makes people do irrational things. I empathised with the struggles she faced when she discovered that what she felt for Sam was the real deal. However, I found her actions frustrating as she had every opportunity to come clean but she failed to take it. Her fears and her struggles came through the pages of the book.

Sam is such a sweetheart. He is the type of man most women desires. He is intelligent, caring and protective. He certainly did not deserve the deception that Ali dished out to him. He knew she was hiding something, but he was willing to wait for her to trust with what had her so scared. That made me admired him so much more. He could find out all he wanted to know about her by conducting a simple search, but he decided to wait for her to come clean.


The Romance
The connection between Ali and Sam was instantaneous, explosive, hot and passionate. This is one of those times when the insta- love connection works out well. They were in sync and it was evident that they cared for each other.

Recommendation
Overall, this was a satisfying read and one I would recommend to readers who enjoy romance filled with heat and suspense. I would definitely read more from this author.

Law and Disorder (The Finnegan Connection) - Heather Graham

It is a good thing that this is not my first experience with Heather Graham’s work because if it were after reading this book it would be my last. Based on my prior experience, I went into this book with high expectations, but instead, I ended up being sorely disappointed.

What the story is about.
Kody Cameron returned to Florida to finalise business and personal affairs before returning to New York where she makes a living as a live actress. However, she never expected to be taken hostage by masked men searching for decades old treasure hidden by the notorious criminal Anthony Green.
Nick Connolly is seeking to capture career criminal Nathan Appleby. To achieve this goal, he infiltrated the gang that held Kody hostage. He recognises her, from a brief meeting they had in the past, as the girl he wanted to get to know better. Now Nick faces the biggest challenge of his career, taking down the gang while trying to protect Kody, her employees and the mayor’s son.

My Perspective

The Story
Now after reading the above, you must be asking yourselves what problems could I have with such an exciting premise. Well, I know you would expect a fast-paced, edge of your seat read. Unfortunately, this was not my experience and to make matters worse the romance was below average. The story lacked fluidity making it difficult to follow. The suspense took a long time to build up and by the time it did it was over.

The Characters
Kody: Initially I was not sure what to make of her. I know if I had a gun held to my head, I would pray every chance I get, instead of mouthing off to the man behind the gun. I am not sure what to call her action be it bravery or sheer stupidity. Her actions lacked credibility. However, as the story progressed, I came to admire her strength and selflessness during the hostage crisis.

Nick: Throughout the story, he remained a mystery. I knew nothing about him beyond the current situation. He made a great villain given the circumstances. He was the voice of reason in a volatile situation which

The Villains: I was not impressed by the villains especially the supposed career criminal. Some members of the gang were evidently not cut out for a life of crime. It would seem that Appleby did not call the shots in this situation. I am not an expert on hostage negotiations, but I found it strange that he would allow Nick to negotiate on his behalf, giving him the upper hand. Appleby was a big joke, half the time it appeared he had no idea what he was about.

Character development was lacking, and I had difficulty connecting with the characters.

The Romance
Not only did I not connect with the main characters individually I also did not connect with them as a couple. Their romance lacked credibility and left me with a lot of questions. I have no clue how they found the time to fall in love. Most of their interaction took place during the hostage situation and there was no evidence of any spark during this time. They went on one date then the next thing I know they moved in together and looking forward to getting married.

Recommendation
The reviews for this title were mixed. Honestly, I am unable to understand the five-star reviews. I guess the reviews were geared towards the author instead of the book. Personally, I would not recommend this book. However, I am sure there are some readers who would enjoy this title, but it just was not my thing.


Thursday Afternoon - Beth Rinyu


Thursday Afternoon by Beth Rinyu is on my list of favourite reads for 2017. I went into this book not knowing what to expect as the synopsis gave little away. The author is new to me, but I felt confident about my decision to read this title
What the story is about.
Thursday Afternoon tells the story of Aubree Davis, Simon Grace and Hannah. Simon and Aubrey are from different worlds; the odds of their paths crossing seem highly unlikely. However, Simon’s need to move on from the pain of his past led him to seek Aubree’s services. From that moment, Thursday afternoon took on a new meaning for them both.
Hannah’s dream is to write an erotic romance novel, which is unconventional given her choice of career. She needed ideas to incorporate into her novel, which resulted in her meeting Aubree. Despite their differences, they established a friendship, which would change both their lives in ways they least expected.

My Perspective
The story.
I am not sure I can adequately explain the beauty of this story. Stories like these remind me why I enjoy reading. When I read the prologue, I knew at that moment that this would not be an ordinary story. It provided the perfect balance of romance, humour and intense emotions. Thursday Afternoon is a well-written story, with likeable characters that will keep you engaged to the end. This was more than a romance story. It is a beautiful story of acceptance, forgiveness, unconditional love, friendship and second chances. It showed that sometimes life deals out hard blows, which can either make you or break you, which depends on your inner strength.




Main Characters
Aubree
I admired her for strength and determination. She suffered loss, heartache and pain in the past and as a result closed off her heart to the possibility of love. She had no real friends and because of her career choice, her family had little to with her. I felt her turmoil throughout the story. I could not help but feel empathy for her situation. She knows that her choices were not favourable and therefore was willing to live with the consequences. There are persons who judged her for her choices, especially her family, so it was understandable that she would have a hard time accepting that two strangers appreciated her and saw beyond her profession. A profession which she chose because she thought it best after her dreams were shattered. I enjoyed getting to know the real Aubree. She acted tough, but beneath that façade lay vulnerable soul. She is protective of those she cares about, which was demonstrated in this story. It was a pleasure seeing her gaining a friend she never knew she needed and finding love, which she thought possible.


Hannah
Hannah is an amazing character. Never once did she judge Aubree for her choices. Instead, she helped her to realise that she was destined for better things. She encouraged her to be her best self. She is the perfect example of a true friend. I admired her for her courage, which she demonstrated by through her determination to go against convention to pursue her dreams of becoming a romance novelist.

Simon
There is usually a character one can’t help but fall in love with, Simon was such a character. He is handsome, honest and caring. He is a single father to an adorable four-year-old boy. He too had suffered his share of loss and pain. Searching for companionship without strings, he sought out Aubree for her services. Falling in love was not on his agenda. However, spending with her made him realise that he wanted more from her than just Thursday afternoons. If only he could convince her that she is worthy so much more.


Supporting Cast
I believe no story is worth its salt without a great supporting cast. They each played their role in making this story the gem that it is. My least favourite was Aubree’s boss, Margo. Not only is she a manipulator, she is greedy, selfish and downright evil. She acted as if she cared for her employees, but the only person she cared for was herself.

Romance
I enjoyed the romance. It was sweet, passionate and intense. I loved the pace at which it blossomed. At first, I was wary, as I was not sure how the author would pull it off given the circumstances under which they met. She did an excellent job. What started out as a business connection, became something so much more. It was evident that what Aubree and Simon felt for each other was genuine. They were great together and they brought out the best in each other.

Recommendation
If you love slow burn romance and you enjoy stories that will engage your emotions, then this book is for you.