RAMBLINGS

BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Black by Aria Cole

Title:Black
Author :Aria Cole
Series:N/A
Release date:8 May 2016
Rating : 3 Stars
Blurb :

A beast, alone with the horrors of his past, the scar on his face a constant reminder of the man he’s become.A beauty, on the run with her life in a tailspin, finds herself on his doorstep seeking protection.Deeply misunderstood and dedicated to his life of brooding solitude, Maxwell Black is hesitant to let Elle McKellan into his home where his hideous secrets hide. But he’s unable to resist the allure of this desperate stranger. Soon the magnetism between them is undeniable, the temptation unbearable. Elle, reluctant to risk losing her heart to this dark and broken man, struggles against the sexual tension, only to surrender to the combustable heat between them. When Elle’s life catches up to her and threatens to tear them apart, Maxwell will protect the precious love he’s found by any brutal means necessary. Black is a sexy, modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and is intended for mature audiences.

Review :

I understand if you think I am spoiled – when I read a comparison in a blurb calling itself a “modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale” that raises certain expectations in me.

While it is an instant “Must Read” in my eyes (that I devoured in one session) it is also has to follow very specific “laws”. And while “Black” by Aria Cole itself basically only suffers from its Insta-love and is otherwise a nice romance.
I also struggled the most with the comparison to Beauty and the Beast.
For a book to live up to this comparison there has to be not only a slow growing romance (that is so NOT given in this book) but also an intense chemistry between the two leading characters.
Also there are certain characteristics the reader expects to find at specific points of the plot.
As I said this is a nice romance with interesting characters but the use of a Tag like Beauty and the Beast is a double edged sword – that on one side might be drawing readers of a certain kind – but on the other it is raising an expectation that this book cannot meet – which might result in less positve reviews.
I believe the prospects of this story would be better without this comparison. Maxwell and Belle are strong yet vulnerable characters – dominant yet insecure so, if the Tag had been erased and the plot had given them more time to fall in love this could have been a beautiful story.
But HEY – this is only my very personal opinion and it might be the next person feels totally different – and as it is not a bad book by all means – you should give it a try.
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RAMBLINGS

Release Package: The Favored Wife by Amy Pennza

 
 
Title: The Favored Wife
Author: Amy Pennza
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction
Release Date: July 22, 2019
Cover Design: Arijana Karcic, Cover It! Designs
 
 
Is it possible to escape polygamy? Find true love? Well-behaved women don’t ask these questions. Not in my world.
 
My name is Elizabeth Hyde. Actually, no. It’s Grant. In the real world, I’m Elizabeth Grant.
 
My husband’s name is Hyde, and he has three other wives. No one can know that. Obviously.
 
In the strict religious community I was born into, women have clearly defined roles. They’re homemakers and caregivers. They rear children. But I don’t have any children, which means I have something of a ticket to the outside. Big families need money, and it’s time for me to get a job.
 
And I’m loving this job. Being a medical assistant might not sound impressive to most people, but it’s a lot more exciting than making dinner for a family of twenty.
 
I have to admit, the job isn’t the only thing that excites me.
 
Lately, I’ve been getting close to Evan Adgate, the doctor who runs the medical center. He’s my opposite in every way: funny, smart, wealthy, educated. It’s no wonder the man turns heads. Heaven help me, he turns mine.
 
But Evan and I can never be together. We can never be anything. No matter how many talks or dinners we have, my secrets will always be a barrier between us. It’s better if we keep things professional.
 
Now I just have to keep telling myself that.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“Holy smokes. I devoured this book in no time. I have never read a book anything like this before. I was captivated from the beginning.” – Amber, Goodreads reviewer

 

“This book will blow you away! It is an emotional rollercoaster that will have you wondering how conditions like that could take place without someone putting an end to it!” – Merry, Goodreads reviewer

 

“I was looking for something a bit different from my normal romance reads. What a surprising gift this was.” – Within Paper Sheets

 

“Wow oh wow. This book will blow you away, this book will keep you reading until the end, there will be no break..” – I Don’t Get Sundays, Amazon reviewer

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leah caught up to me as I pulled open the door of the truck.
“Elizabeth, wait!”
I threw my purse inside and turned. “What is it?”
Her caramel-colored eyes were pained when she said, “Don’t pay any attention to Dinah, okay?”
I looked back at the house, imagining Dinah glowering at me from her kitchen window. She was probably mad about the breakfast dishes. Normally, that was one of my jobs.
Leah was waiting for a response, so I forced a shrug. “I’m used to it.”
She grabbed my hand and squeezed. “Don’t let those two get to you.” She lowered her voice. “I think she’s going through the change. It’s probably why she keeps bringing the baby thing up.”
I almost laughed out loud. The way Leah said the change made it sound like Dinah had developed bubonic plague. On impulse, I hugged her. “It’s okay, Leah. I promise it doesn’t bother me. Maybe it used to, but not anymore.”
She pulled back, doubt in her face. “Are you sure?”
“Totally sure.” I released her, then climbed in the truck—something that was way easier in pants. Through the windshield, I saw Jackson walking over from Patty’s house. “That’s my ride,” I told Leah.
“Okay. Well, good luck today.” She closed the door, then put her chin against the bottom of the open window. “Just remember, anything is possible with Heavenly Father on your side. Sarah was ninety when she conceived Isaac.”
I gave her a solemn nod. It was a nice Bible story, but something told me Thomas wasn’t willing to wait that long.
But Leah’s expression was so sincere, I forced a smile and said, “I’ll keep that in mind.”
She returned the smile, then backed away from the truck and started for her house, waving to Jackson as she went.
He climbed in the cab and slammed the door. “You ready?”
“Yes. What have you been doing?” I leaned away from him. He had huge sweat stains under his armpits, and his face was streaked with dirt.
He swiped an arm across his forehead, then stared down at his plaid shirt sleeve. “Dad had me pouring concrete at four this morning.” He drew himself up and said in a low, measured voice, “Nothing builds character like manning a pump hose, son.”
“I hate to break it to you, but that’s just his way of getting cheap labor.”
Jackson slanted me a skeptical look as he started the truck. “You mean free labor.”
I just shook my head. That definitely sounded like Thomas. He owned one of the most successful construction companies in Jefferson City, and the secret to his success was that he employed mostly family members. Dinah ran the office from home and handled everything from payroll to zoning permits. Leah helped with accounts receivable and general bookkeeping tasks. At some point, all the boys in the family had worked various jobs—for little or no pay.
“So how’d you talk him into letting you take this job, anyway?” Jackson asked as we drove down the long gravel driveway away from the houses.
“It was Dinah’s idea. She said times are tight, so it made sense for me to work.” What she really said was that it made sense for me to work since I didn’t have any children to care for, and that I should at least cover my room and board so I wasn’t a burden on the family.
Jackson didn’t need to know that, though. It was too embarrassing.
He turned the truck onto the main road leading out of town. We passed a few groups of boys walking along the sidewalk, probably on their way to work detail.
Jackson drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “It doesn’t add up,” he said suddenly.
I looked at him. “What doesn’t?”
“What Dinah said about times being tight. I’ve seen what Dad makes, and there is no way he’s hurting for money.”
“Well, he has to tithe. A lot of it goes to the faith.”
He shrugged. “I guess. Not that they’re doing anything productive with it,” he said, nodding to the old school building. At one time, the town had operated a small public school, but the state shut it down after some sort of audit claimed too many kids were being passed through grades despite missing months of school at a time. Families had gone back to homeschooling, and the building had fallen into disrepair.
We passed the town center with its small grocery store and town hall. Jackson slowed the truck to a crawl, glanced left and right, then rolled through a stop sign without stopping.
“Hey!” I exclaimed.
He glanced at me. “Do you want to be late on your first day? Besides, that’s Theron and Bragg.” He jutted his chin toward a white extended-cab truck idling near the intersection.
I squinted at the truck’s dark windows but could only make out two shadowy figures in the front seat. “Since when are they working security?”
He gave a humorless laugh. “Since they went crying to their mom about being given shitty jobs. Now they’re living the dream.”
I wanted to scold him for swearing, but I heard the pain and confusion under his bravado. It was an open secret in the family that Thomas favored Dinah’s children over all the others—a situation that had only grown worse since her oldest son, Thomas’s namesake, had been excommunicated and forced out of the community. The night he left was the only time I ever heard Dinah raise her voice to Thomas. She’d begged and pleaded with him to intercede on their son’s behalf, but he stalked from the house and slammed the door, leaving her sobbing on the kitchen floor.
Thinking to comfort her, I’d crept downstairs and placed my hand on her shoulder, only to jump back when she jerked away.
“I don’t need pity from you,” she spat.
“It’s not pity, Dinah. I just—”
“What? Come to gloat?” She glared at me with such malice, I stumbled back a step.
Then she stood and smoothed her skirt. She squared her shoulders, the broken, weeping woman of seconds before replaced by the cool, dominant head wife. “Go back upstairs,” she said. When I turned to go, she added, “And remember, he might want you in his bed, but I’ve borne his children.”
The white truck grew smaller in my side mirror as we drove out of town.
Jackson gripped the steering wheel with tight fingers. I didn’t blame him for being jealous. His half-brothers were driving around in air-conditioned comfort, enjoying power and prestige, while he toiled at construction sites and ferried his father’s wives around.
“Thanks, by the way,” I said.
He looked at me. “For what?”
“For driving me into the city.” I dug in my purse and pulled out my driver’s license. “Even though I’m official now.”
“No kidding?” He leaned over so he could see the picture. “You need that for work or something?” When I nodded, he said, “You gonna start driving yourself into the city now?”
I sighed and tossed the license back into my purse. “I doubt it. Thomas said it’s a waste of resources to leave a car in the city all day.”
“Yeah, I guess. So what will you be doing, taking care of cats or something?” He cast a pointed look at my scrub top.
“Very funny.” I reached over and gave him a playful punch on the arm. “It’s an urgent care center. Like a mini emergency room and doctor’s office all in one. They do drug screenings for employers, too, so I might help with administering those sorts of tests.”
“Sounds cool, Liz.”
I smiled. He was the only one who ever called me that. He’d been just ten when I married Thomas. Back then, my main job had been helping Patty, who homeschooled all the children. She’d been pregnant with her youngest at the time, so I took over her teaching role in that first year. Jackson had Patty’s dark eyes and hair, but he was nothing like her in temperament. He was a jokester and something of a troublemaker, but he was so kind and lovable it was hard to get mad at him.
We drove in companionable silence for a few minutes, then he asked, “Want some music?”
“Sure.”
He turned the radio on, filling the cab with Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
He nodded his head to the beat for a second, then glanced at me. “I can change it if you want.”
“It’s okay.”
He shrugged. “Well . . . if you like it.”
I hid a smile. “I don’t mind it.”
“Then I don’t, either.” He gave me a knowing look, a little grin tugging at his mouth.
I lost the battle with my smile and let out a laugh.

 

After a second, he joined in.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amy Pennza has been a lawyer, a soldier, and a copywriter. She’s worn combat boots and high heels in the same 24-hour period–and she definitely prefers flip flops. Actually, she prefers going barefoot while writing steamy romances about strong women and alpha men with hearts of gold. After years in Tornado Alley, she now makes her home in the Great Lakes region with her husband, kids, and more baskets than any one person should own. (You can never have enough.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Spinning Out (The Blackhawk Boys #1) by Lexi Ryan

Title:Spinning Out
Author :Lexi Ryan
Series:The Blackhawk Boys #1
Release date:May 3rd 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

Once, the only thing that mattered to me was football—training, playing, and earning my place on the best team at every level. I had it all, and I threw it away with a semester of drugs, alcohol, and pissing off anyone who tried to stop me. Now I’m suspended from the team, on house arrest, and forced to spend a semester at home to get my shit together. The cherry on my fuckup sundae? Sleeping in the room next to mine is my best friend’s girl, Mia Mendez—the only woman I’ve ever loved and a reminder of everything I regret.I’m not sure if having Mia so close will be heaven or hell. She’s off-limits—and not just because she’s working for my dad. Her heart belongs to someone else. But since the accident that killed her brother and changed everything, she walks around like a zombie, shutting out her friends and ignoring her dreams. We’re both broken, numb, and stuck in limbo.Until I break my own rules and touch her. Until she saves me from my nightmares by climbing into my bed. Until the only thing I want more than having Mia for myself is to protect her from the truth. I can’t rewrite the past, but I refuse to leave her heart in the hands of fate. For this girl, I’d climb into the sky and rearrange the stars.

SPINNING OUT is a sexy, emotional novel of 100,000 words.
It is first in the Blackhawk Boys, a series of standalone novels.
—THE BLACKHAWK BOYS. Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?
Book 1 – SPINNING OUT – Coming May 3rd (Arrow’s story)
Book 2 – RUSHING IN – Coming Summer 2016 (Christopher’s story)
Book 3 – GOING UNDER – Coming late 2016 (Sebastian’s story)
Review :

Spinning Out (The Blackhawk Boys #1) by Lexi Ryan was a good start into a new series. It was my first book by this author and I liked it.

The author makes drawing complicated relationship strings amongst the characters look easy and I can easily see some of the content of the next books.
But some of the characters are very deeply developed – others not so much – unfortunately just some of the more important ones were less developed than some of the secondary. So the balance felt a little of for me.
The basic plot twist is quite easy to guess when you think about it for a minute – drawing the conclusion though might take you a minute or so.
There are quite a lot of clichés hiding under the surface of the plot but they are worked nicely into the story. But some things you should better not wonder about – like the reasons for some of the stuff that is happening.
Just like with some movies – sometimes is better to not dig to deep into the story and simply take stuff at face value. And doing that – this book works out nicely.
It was easy to understand the dynamics of the group and feel with the leading characters.
And there were really some wise text passages in some of the chapters that deserve to be quoted – but would give away to much of the plot so I refrain from doing so.
I am looking forward to reading the next books of this series as I see some interesting plots in the future.
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : European Tour (Rocking The Pop Star, #1) by L.V. Lewis

Title :

European Tour

Author :

L.V. Lewis

Series :

Rocking The Pop Star, #1

Release date : May 16th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :
Broken. Guilt-ridden. Ready to start over.
Brody Kent walked away from the pinnacle of rock superstardom and never looked back. Financially, he never has to work again, but takes jobs as a personal assistant to keep his mind—and other things—busy. The women he works for always want something, and he’s more than willing to help. But when he’s sent to work for a pop princess, Brody will do anything to make her happy—even if it means admitting the ugly truth about his past.
Smothered. Talented. Ready to start her life.
Successful pop star, Skylar Samuelson is about to embark upon the turning point of her career—a summer tour in Europe. Her manager mother has promised to pull back and allow her full reign of the overseas tour. When Brody Kent becomes her new assistant, Skylar can’t deny the attraction. He’s perfect. Everything she’s ever wanted. But Brody’s hiding something and the truth may break her. If someone else doesn’t break her first…Lies. Betrayal. And the truth that could ruin them all.
Review :
If you are looking for a pleasant and easy “digestible” read ?
If you like Rock Stars ?
I just might have read the right novel for you then.
European Tour (Rocking The Pop Star, #1) by L.V. Lewis was my first novel by this author and I am pleasantly surprised. While there were no gut wrenching reveals or heart stopping moments in the story it was still an interesting plotline.
The authors writing is solid and the characters are well developed. For me it was a fast read that I truly enjoyed – especially after I had some very heavy books lately.
Also I enjoyed the fact that the author took her time to select a cover that truly reflects the persons that we find described in the book. As this gets more and more rare lately I feel that it deserves a special mention here.
Skylar was an interesting character – at first the reader might think she is too young. But it will be only a short time until the reader will be convinced that she is acting older than she appears. The kind of business she is in only leaves you two ways – grow up fast or loose.
And that is where we find Brody – years ago he was where Skylar is now – and he knows what can happen. He has no intention going anywhere near to where he was before… but – for Skylar ….
The hidden ugly truth’s are not really that hidden to the reader so the story flow was steady with no ups or downs in the characters emotions – at least none that I could feel. I was missing a little bit of angst – but that might also be because of all the high level heavy books I digested lately.
A really recommendable read for your summer holiday – ENJOY
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Play Your Heart Out (Sinful Serenade #4) by Crystal Kaswell

Title:Play Your Heart Out
Author :Crystal Kaswell
Series:Sinful Serenade #4
Release date:May 30th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :
Four Months Playing a Rock Star’s Girlfriend? Easy peasy.
Doing it without falling in love with him… Not as easy.
Jess James is starting a new life in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from everyone expects her to cover up their bad behavior with white lies. She’s devoted to two things: law school and honesty. Only she hasn’t got the money to pay her tuition. Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has a reputation to maintain. The rock star is known as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex-girlfriend tore his heart out by sleeping with his best friend. Screwing his way through Los Angeles is getting him the wrong kind of attention.
He needs to clean up his newly acquired bad boy image and Jess is just the woman for the job. Their arrangement is simple: she plays his girlfriend, he pays her tuition. It’s four months, no strings attached. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her groaning his name. Jess is used to keeping up appearances. She can play the tall, dark, handsome rock star’s girlfriend no problem. But can she really do it without falling in love with him?
Review :

There are books that can be read as standalone – those that should be read as standalone (yes even in a series those exist) and than there are books like “Play Your Heart Out” by Crystal Kaswell.

You will be perfectly able to read it as a standalone. I mean I did it – it was my first in that series. BUT … to be honest – I regret it
Why ?
easy answer – because I spoilered myself right in the middle of this amazing series and I know now already too much of what I missed out – because I did not read the first books. Sure – I can still read the first books (and I probably will given the time) but still there is nothing like the first impression – and this is now spoilered – unfortunately.
So – coming back to the book. Jess and Pete’s story is a great one. Clearly I have no idea how the first books went – except that I know their endings but Pete is a really interesting character.
The plotline expects Pete to be the opposite of what he is – or so it looks at the beginning when Jess first meets him.
But there is much more to that guy than the first impression she has of him and the more Jess finds out the more the story gets intriguing – because I can not remember ever reading a plot that turns into the same direction as this one.
In parts readers might have read similar things but nothing where those parts are combined like this. It was refreshing.
At times I had a little problem following Pete’s reasons for being hot and cold as they seemed random – but it could be explained by him being simply human, so it was ok.
I really liked this book and it went just short of the 5 stars because of my unbreakable rule that 5 stars will only be given if I get emotional – and as I did not cry or had a laughing fit – it just missed this 5th star by an inch …
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Recovery Road by Danielle Donaldson

Title :

Recovery Road

Author :

Danielle Donaldson

Series :

n/a

Release date : April 29th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :
Catalina Montgomery has survived an explosion. She is burned, battered and, suddenly, a widow. Now Catalina is left to wrestle with her grief and depression while raising her young daughter on her own. Only with the help of her friends, including her late husband’s best friend, can she walk back into the sun.
Evan Bowers has shamefully been in love with his best friend’s girl for his whole life. Now that Hudson is gone and Catalina is on her own, his feelings bubble to the surface once again. His haunting past and the shadow of his best friend’s death hangs heavy on his heart. Will he manage to help Catalina through her grief or will he let his own turmoil destroy them both?
Ghosts linger in the shadows but there’s always a chance for love to win in this angst-filled contemporary romance novel.
Review :

Recovery Road is a shorter novel by Danielle Donaldson that introduces us to a young family enjoying their lives just deeply enough to make the reader feel the loss when it happens. Reading the Blurb it was obvious that something was going to happen but the way it did felt surreal so it was kind of like one would imagine it to happen for real.

Trying to get her life back on track Catalina is facing all the obstacles you could imagine in her place. But she can rely on her friends who do not shy away from drastic measures to help her – cleverly also involving Hudson’s friend – who is feeling almost as bad as she does.
During the journey of this book the reader gets to notice that Evan was clearly more involved in Catalina’s life than she realized. And while working through her grief she also helps Evan to bring a focus into his life that was already full of obstacles before Hudson died.
The reader would think from its Blurb that the focus is on question if Catalina can work through her grief to open herself to Evan. But I believe the question is also if Evan is able to let Catalina in because he loved her for so long that now even with his best friend being gone it still feels wrong to him.
The stages of grief as described in the story felt real and the story was well developed – therefore I can recommend this book to everybody that considers the Blurb interesting.
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Toward the Sound of Chaos by Carmen Jenner

Title :

Toward the Sound of Chaos

Author :

Carmen Jenner

Series :

n/a

Release date : May 18th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

Jake Tucker is broken. At twenty-two, he went in to the Marine Corps a naïve, troubled youth. Nine years and four tours later, Jake finds himself back on US soil, though his mind remains firmly planted in the sands of Afghanistan with the men he left behind.Wounded, chewed up and spat out by war, Jake has only his dog, Nuke, PTSD, and survivor’s guilt to keep him company. He’s lived every day for nine years wondering when it will be his last, but there’s little comfort in the fact that he’s still standing when his platoon isn’t.Ellie Mason doesn’t have time for broken. She’s too busy trying to put food on the table. And keeping up with the demands of her autistic son, Spencer, is sometimes like fighting behind enemy lines. As if navigating the minefields of single parenthood isn’t enough, Ellie finds herself drawn to the quiet Marine who’s just as lonely as she is. But she’s loved damaged men before, and it left her wounded.Set against the picturesque backdrop of Fairhope, Alabama, Ellie and Jake find themselves running toward the sound of chaos.Love is war.Only the strong survive, and surrender is inevitable.

Review :

In “Towards the Sound of Chaos” the author paints a raw picture of the war that happens after the war. The public might finally acknowledge the existence of PTSD, but still when it is subject in a novel there is often an attempt to show only the lighter forms of it.

So far I feel this is my first time reading an attempt to make it more real in a romance novel. I trying to choose my words carefully when I say “attempt” because nobody can judge what is real unless he has been in that situation or learned about it first hand by a friend or relative.
Carmen Jenner describes Jake Tucker as the guy that causes woman’s heads to turn when passing but only as long as they do not know about his past and do not look at him to closely. Because no-one in their right mind would want anything from a guy who is damaged inside and out.
Well – Ellie does not care about anything like that – she loves to watch him and after they meet by accident she cannot be anything other than grateful to him. Especially when even her autistic son responds so well to him.
Jake is trying to overcome his survivor guilt, but his PTSD will not give him any rest and his demons are strong. Ellie is a fighter that is not giving up easy but she has had her share of bad relationships and there might come a point when love is not enough.
“Towards the sound of Chaos” is a story of war. Love being on one side and the demons inside of Jakes head on the other.
The fight is ugly and will leave the reader raw and with tears in their eyes.
I don’t dare – saying that only the strong survive – because those Demons might be the stronger ones – who knows.
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Stare Him Down (Stare Down #3) by Riley Murphy

Title:Stare Him Down
Author :Riley Murphy
Series:Stare Down #3
Release date:May 31st 2016
Rating : 5 Stars
Blurb :

When he agreed to walk away from the lifestyle for her, he never expected she’d subversively push him back into it. Until she did…

After tragedy stole the only man James Barrington looked up to, his perfect and orderly life hit a brick wall. One minute he was the right-hand man to the owner of the company, and in the next he was the boss fighting to stop a hostile takeover the only way he knew how. He needed to marry his late mentor’s over-protected daughter, Michaela Donavan, and stay married to her until the threat to the company was averted.
While they were together, James had no intention of disrespecting his in-name-only wife by remaining entrenched in the lifestyle. For the time being he was prepared to walk away from his Dom-like pursuits. He had to. Michaela was the opposite of everything he embodied. She was soft, where he was hard. Gentle, when he favored rough. She was refined and elegant. The epitome of a virtuous woman, and he wasn’t going to do anything to change that.
Circumstances may have forced them to enter into a marriage of convenience in order to keep her father’s legacy alive, but the moment that legacy was secured they’d both be free to go their separate ways.
Michaela knew this may be her only opportunity to finally get the one man she has always fantasized about. She’s spent years studying him. Idolizing him. Wanting him in a way she wanted no other. And now? Well, her father always told her to seize whatever good came out of the bad, and Michaela was ready to do just that.
Heartbroken over what happened, and faced with the task of saving the company, she sees James’ sensible offer as the perfect solution. A way to achieve two things she desired most at one time. James may consider this a marriage of necessity for the short term, but she’s determined to covertly change his mind on the matter.
Suddenly, his modern-day marriage of convenience is anything but convenient when this powerful Dom discovers his supposedly vanilla wife isn’t vanilla at all.
Review :

If you follow me on twitter you might have noticed my “battle” with Riley Murphy and Holly Blackstone last weekend. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of “Stare Him Down” and I could not stop teasing the Author while reading it.

#laughing Oh My God – that book was really fun.
I really take this as education because so far my ventures into the world of BDSM were always marked by serious (ly hot but still SERIOUS ) guys like Holly Blackstone’ “Stuart” or serious (ly damaged hot) guys like Jodi Ellen Malpas’ Jesse – just to name my favorites.
One thing that seems to be the overall opinion is that the guys always have to have something dark around them or a secret that forces them into the world of BDSM. They are tormented souls needing an outlet.
And then I met James… and I am seriously grinning now just thinking of the moment it became obvious to me why the book has the title “Stare Him Down”. I spit tea twice because I was laughing during reading – one time (Sorry I have to repeat that line) because of the phrase “cerebrally raping”.
I even told the author I will hold her personally responsible in case I choke on my tea during reading. My advice would be “be careful what you are drinking or eating during reading”
There were some really interesting turns in the story (OH YES this book really HAS an actual story around the subject of the relationship of the leading characters quite a surprise if you compare that to some other novels) and I really did not anticipate this plot when I started reading.
This is the third book of a series of standalone novels. I did not read the first two as I was assured by the author that it is not necessary to know them to understand the story. And it really is not – only – as a reader you feel thrown right in the middle of the story and I assume there might be some more explanations on the background if I had read the previous books – but I cannot be sure.
Anyway – as the story unfolds – the reader slowly starts to understand where the characters are coming from and mostly what their intentions are. Heck – I would even go so far to say that I unraveled one mystery quite early.
But in the end I felt like that was only to bait the reader because there will be something along the road that no one will anticipate. Something that really surprised me but on the other hand was already totally obvious and right in front of you – but you will only notice when you pass that moment of recognition and look back than to reflect.
Well I guess I am going to get that bouncing tail ready for Ms. Murphy for that cyber meeting with my favorite DOM’s #laughing
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Peep by Heather Stone

Title :

Peep

Author :

Heather Stone

Series :

n/a

Release date : June 2nd 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

A girl has to work to pay the bills, but my family would not approve of my methods. Burlesque is my release and paycheck. Nursing is my future and current frustration. Between dancing and playing mind games with my sexy neighbor my life is beginning to be fun again. He likes to watch me, and I like to put on a performance of a lifetime. When our lives collide, things get hot and heavy. We need to be careful for many reasons, but I can’t bring myself to care about any of them.This is a short happily ever after steamy novella, containing insta-love.

Review :

Peep by Heather Stone was surprising in more than one way.

Let’s first tackle the negative surprise. The Blurb I read did not mention that this was a short story AND basically featuring Insta-Love. Each one of those subjects alone is usually enough to make a Book “not work” for me.
Now – here is the second surprise … somehow – and I still find it hard to explain – this story did work out against all odds.
Maybe because there are not attempts on drawing a big background story – I am not sure – but that is my only guess. The story is right on the spot from page one no time is wasted in dwelling about character backgrounds.
The reader never needs to wonder where the focus of the plot is.
The author delivers the plotline hot and steamy without to much struggling around on creating well-developed characters (which should be another NO-GO for me but it really works out for this book).
It is interesting to see how this whole plot comes out of nowhere and develops to a complete story that seems to be working even if the reader at the end notices that he never really got to know the leading characters like he usually does.
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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Gone Wild by Dakota Madison

Title :

Gone Wild

Author :

Dakota Madison

Series :

n/a

Release date : May, 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

Go BACK TO BOOKMAN with Dakota Madison’s new #LoveinMidlife #ComingofMiddleAge romance series. Tenured English professor Bly Daniels believes the short walk from her campus office to the university library is too much exposure to the harsh elements of the outdoors. She would prefer to spend her days (and nights) comfortably seated indoors reading classic literature.When Bly is arrested for reading one of the great books while driving home, a judge sentences her to thirty days of community service with The Wild Way, a therapeutic wilderness program for troubled teens.There she meets Turner Wild, the owner and operate of the wilderness program. Turner is everything Bly despises: rugged, unrefined and outdoorsy. For Bly a trip to hell sounds more desirable than spending an entire month with Turner and his band of hooligans as they traverse the woods of rural northwest New Jersey communing with nature.Bly certainly never expects to form a bond with the troubled teens she’s been assigned to mentor and forge an unlikely relationship with their fearless leader, Turner Wild.Each full-length novel in Dakota Madison’s LOVE IN MIDLIFE romance series can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. Each story features one of the graduates of Bookman College attending their 25th reunion.

Review :

“Gone Wild” was not my first book by Dakota Madison. Longer time ago I already read “Community Service”, so I kind of knew that I would at least like the writing style of this author.

The Blurb sounded nice because I like bookish characters but what I wasn’t so sure about was how I would feel about the age of the characters. I can not remember reading many novels that featured people old enough to have 25th reunion at their college. Not sure why but it just IS like that.
But I was happy to see that the fact that the leading characters were older than I am used to did not interfere to much with the story- to be honest they could have been younger or older without it mattering to much.
Bly reminded me a lot of someone I know so I kind of understood her way of thinking and I like how her character was constructed. The banter between Turner and Bly is just hilarious at times.
So in total I can recommend this book because what you read in the Blurb is exactly what you get. And funny was also the fact that I could see the whole setting like a movie developing in front of me – so I am pretty sure you will have an enjoyable time while you are reading this.
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