asking for it/begging for it, by lilah pace

asking begging for itingredients:
Drama and suspense.

servings:
This series deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

 

rating:

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preparation:
This was a bit of a dark read. Not as dark as some other books I’ve read, but still, dark. As if the disclaimer didn’t already give that away…

Vivienne is looking to have certain fantasies fulfilled and her boyfriend isn’t exactly on board. So when at party her recent ex lets it fly why he wasn’t the man for Viv, there were several people within earshot who take notice. Enter Jonah.

Jonah comes from a very entitled background and gives new meaning to sexy and brooding. A professor at the college where Viv is taking graduate classes, their worlds collide through a mutual friend, which only makes their newfound ‘arrangement’ all the more awkward.

While the premise of the ‘arrangement’ seems, on the surface, like a theme that’s already been done to death, trust me when I say, “This time it’s different.” The explosive secrets in both Viv and Jonah’s pasts are enough to tear apart their relationship and make each one second guess what they’re doing and for very good reasons.

Asking For It and Begging For It are titles that represent both what you are thinking, but then again, not quite…

difficulty level:
Hard. This was not hard to read because of the writing, but because of the topic. There was abuse and the role-playing that was done is not for the faint of heart. An interesting story with difficult topics handled fairly well.

the player, by kresley cole

The-Player-Smaller1ingredients:
Drama and suspense.

servings:
If you’re a fan of Cole’s Game Maker series, this is the final installment.

rating:

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preparation:
I was sucked into this series with the first book, The Professional. That book was released in 3 parts and I was on pins and needles waiting for each installment. The Master came along and my expectations were very high, but weren’t quite met. And now we have The Player

This book follows a family of con artists. And not being familiar with the con industry, I was considerably lost with all of the jargon that was being used. What’s worse, I didn’t really care what the words meant. The only problem, you needed to know the lingo in order to follow what was happening–especially at the end.

Victoria Valentine is a grifter and Dmitri Sevastyan is a self-made billionaire and computer genius. Victoria’s family is made up of grifters and they owe a lot of money to someone who has given them little time to pay up. When Dmitri appears on the scene, he seems ripe for the picking. Seducing a ‘mark’ like Dmitri is normally left to Karin, Victoria’s sister. However, after all but dismissing Karin at a party, Dmitri becomes obsessed and focused solely on Victoria, good news, right?

The majority of the story is spent with Victoria agonizing over taking Dmitri for a ride and the reader wondering what mysterious secret Dmitri himself is hiding. The problem is, there isn’t enough character development for Victoria or her family for you to really like her or to become attached. And Dmitri, while like-able, is more creepy than anything else due to his immediate obsession with a woman he just met.

By the end of the book there’s a big revelation by both the hero and the heroine. Which has to culminate with a long explanation because jargon aside, it’s just so confusing as to what is going on with the 2 of them. The Professional was such a strong start to this series that of course there were high hopes for the other books. While The Master was tolerable, The Player is just an utter disappointment.

difficulty level:
Medium. Being a fan of Cole’s and the series it was incredibly upsetting that the final installment in the series was such a let down. Coupled with the hero and heroine both being annoying, it made for a challenging read at times.

 

seal’s honor, by elle james

seal's honoringredients:
Drama, humor, and action.

servings:
If you like a predictable military story with a fair amount of s*x, get your hands on this one.

rating:

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preparation:
Tuck is a the leader of a top-notch Navy SEAL team and Delaney, aka Razor, is one of the very few female Army pilots flying at all, let alone extraction missions. They both agree that being involved with each other is something that can’t be discovered by either of their teams/military brethren and neither is interested in a long-term relationship. After all, with the types of missions they’re involved in, no one is promised tomorrow.

But not all of Tuck’s teammates have that same philosophy. Cory, aka Reaper, not only disagrees with Tuck’s don’t get too close way of thinking, but he too sees what is so special about Delaney and isn’t afraid to show it. And Reaper being Tuck’s best friend, doesn’t help the already tenuous situation.

With marriage proposals, crew losses, and injuries this is an action-packed novel; and a brief one too. The story is very predictable and the characters could use a bit more depth, especially Tuck. Because the book is so short, it doesn’t give you a chance to really get to know and like them so you’re not very vested in what happens to them.

I had the pleasure of meeting the author of Seal’s Honor at a book convention and she was so awesome in person that I downloaded the book as we were standing in line for a session. As such, it pains me that I couldn’t write a more stellar review for the book. It’s the first in a series and I can only hope that the others get better as the stories progress. However, I myself will cease and desist with this book.

difficulty level:
Medium. There was an annoyance factor with this book, primarily due to the hero’s behavior, which made it difficult to read at times.

moonlight on nightingale way, by samantha young

moonlight on nightengale wayingredients:
Drama and humor

servings:
If you like a heart-warming story with some lightly veiled humor, plus angst–this one is for you.

rating

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preparation:
Unbeknownst to me, this is actually the 6th book in the On Dublin Street series. I was quite confused at the end of the book when a lot of the characters were being ‘wrapped up’ and I didn’t know why. I am a big fan of Samantha Young’s Hero, so it’s no surprise that I was equally enamored with this book. However, I must suggest reading the first 5 books in the series (something I plan to do). I think you’ll get even more enjoyment from this book if you go in order. But on to the here and now.

Logan was recently released from prison and has moved into the flat next to Grace Farquhar (which is how she introduces herself, first and last name, always). As evidenced by this, Grace is the epitome of British refinement. This, of course, is in direct conflict with Logan’s behavior, which is primarily focused on becoming intimately re-acquainted with the female population of London. However, since they’re neighbors and can’t help but run into one another, often, they have to find some sort of middle ground. Which comes in the form of girl named Maia…

Maia’s presence immediately changes Logan’s behavior and impacts the relationship between him and Grace. What were once tolerable interactions from neighbors becomes a united front for the love and welfare of an adolescent. Which blossoms into a romance that surprisingly, Grace fights against, just as hard a Logan fights for.

difficulty level:
Easy. What an enjoyable book. While clearly characters from the other 5 books are weaved into the storyline, you have enough back story to understand who they are. And while at times you want to choke Grace, it’s short-lived and you simply can’t help but like her at the end of the day. Moonlight on Nightingale Way is a flat-out good story.

 

bounty, by kristen ashley

bountyFirst and foremost—I met her!!! I met Kristen Ashley at the 2016 RT Convention in Las Vegas!!! She is one of my most favorite authors, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve read about 30 of her books. I was so tongue-tied that I was only able to marginally fan-girl over her. Squee!!! (This meeting in no way influences my review of her latest book.)

what went right…
Bounty is a clear evolution of Ashley’s writing. For as big a fan as I am, I have been less than happy with her last few books. Her plug and play alpha heroes with their Neanderthal speech patterns have left me wanting to throw my iPad at the wall. Not this time! Not only does Deke, the hero, speak in complete sentences, he stays true to who he is throughout the book. You don’t see him transform into some shell of the character he once was in the beginning of the book.

Similarly, Justice does the same. She’s a well-known musician and new in town. She’s looking to establish some roots at the same time Deke is meant to wander to open road. Together, their voyage and discovery of each other and their deepest desires proves for a really great read. While he’s transforming her fixer upper into a home and she’s finding her way out of the spotlight, their meeting from 7 years prior is seemingly forgotten, by some…

There was such engaging dialogue and character development that you almost forgot to expect a classic Ashley twist. But it was there and it didn’t disappoint. Initially, I thought it wasn’t needed, but in retrospect it would’ve been a rather anticlimactic book had there not been one.

the verdict…
This is the penultimate book in the Colorado Mountain series so sadly, we can only expect 1 more. Why?!?!? You see many characters of old–Tate (love me some Tate), Wood, Nina and Max–who started it all…

Yes, there are a few incoherent rambling diatribes, but not like the ones we’ve been subjected to in the past. You can clearly see Ashley has either listened to her readers, gotten a better editor, grown as a writer and fixed her own mistakes, or all of the above. Whatever the reasons, Bounty is a fun, heartfelt read and I’m looking forward to more from Ashley. (Did I mention I met her?!?!?)

rating:

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