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.

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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the beast, by j. r. ward

the beastI admit I was not overly excited about yet another book about Rhage. He’s not my favorite character, but I guess Ward can’t always write about Wrath and Zsadist. But wait, why not…Ok, I digress. Anyway, boy was I in for a treat! The Beast far exceeded anything I was expecting.

Rhage and Mary have been going through a difficult period in their marriage—relatable and one of the things I love about Ward’s books. Even though they’re paranormal, her characters have challenges and struggles that we humans face every day and can identify with. But still, the plots carry you away and allow you an escape.

what went right…
While immortal, Mary is infertile, and like any couple who have had the ‘should we have kids’ conversation, it can be a tough one. You have a pretty clear indication early on where things are headed, but it doesn’t matter. Ward handles the entire storyline with real emotions and care.

We also see quite a bit of Assail, who has become another favorite of mine. Yes, as always, there are quite a few story arcs going on simultaneously, but again, she Ward toned this down to manageable and engaging plotlines. Assail’s interactions with Vishous are filled with humor and provide a source of comic entertainment throughout the book.

There’s some fighting with the Lessers but that is not the primary focus. This is less about the ongoing war and more about the intricate relationships that have been formed between different characters, including Layla and Xcor. Now THERE is a story. And what she discovers… And what happens to him…

the verdict…
Really, I can’t say enough good things about this book. Ward has done it, yet again! She’s been on a roll since The King and I can only hope it continues. The Beast is a must read for any Black Dagger Brotherhood fan.

rating:

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last kiss, by jessica clare and jen frederick

last kissSo many series, so little time! My TBR (to be read) pile never dwindles! Last year I discovered the RT Booklovers Convention and what a windfall it proved to be in so many ways! New friends, great sessions, fantabulous authors, and books galore! It’s no wonder I will be back again this year in Vegas. One of the books that made its way into my over-weight suitcase last year, was Last Kiss, by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick and it was worth every penny.

This is the 3rd book in the Hitman series and I will undoubtedly be going back to read the first 2 books and then the 4th. But, back to the book at hand…

Vasily is part of the Petrovich Bratva, (i.e. a family in the Russian Mafia), which has become unstable in the face of its leader, Sergei’s, recent assassination. Vasily is more than happy to lead the family, though power currently resides with Elena, Sergei’s sister and Vasily’s mortal enemy. Vasily has come to the table to gather the necessary support to end Elena’s reign, but before the other family members will support such a transfer of power, Vasily has to complete a near-impossible task, taking him out of Russia and off to Europe…

The errand leads Vasily’s path to cross with Naomi, who is more unique than most romantic heroines. While arguably a genius and able to withstand whatever is thrown at her, Naomi is unlike most leading ladies. But Naomi’s quirkiness and the unconditional love she and Vasily come to share for one another just goes to show that we all deserve love and acceptance. Their love just means sex clubs in Italy and people being assassinated.

There’s humor. Action. Suspense and intrigue. Are you sensing you should read this book?

Personally, I’ve been fascinated with the mob my whole life–which I’ve mentioned before. (Hmmm…should I say such a thing in the public domain? Oh well…) And while my intrigue, historically, has been with the Italian mafia the Russian mob is organized crime none the less, so why split hairs? It’s also equally as fascinating. This is the 2nd Bratva series that I have thoroughly enjoyed, the first being Kresely Cole’s Game Maker series–looking forward to the next release in that one as well!

Clare and Frederick have pulled off quite the sex, action-packed novel. Rooting for the bad guys never felt so good!

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