Eva Charles-Bound

So last year, Eva Charles write the Devil’s Duet, which are the first 2 books in the Devil’s Due series. I noted at the time that there were parts of that story which touched perilously close on American politics, which was a nice added layer to the story. Anyway, in that book, we met Smith, the hero’s best friend and security guy. And interestingly enough, Smith is his first name. Bound is his story. You don’t have to have read the first 2 books to get this one, but it will help because you will get more of a flavor of what is going on.

So, Kate is an investigative reporter. She got in on a story about JD Wilder (hero from the last book), but she’s back in Charleston looking up info on a new story. She keeps sniffing around Wilder’s brother, but that’s because she’s pretty sure that he’s a link to the story that she really wants. He wants her to back off, so he sics Smith on her. Only, things don’t necessarily work out that way. After all, she’s a journalist, and she knows there’s a story there. Plus, she owes it to her mother to win a Pulitzer Prize. So, she’s going to stay on her story, no matter what Smith says or does.

Then we have Smith, who is controlling, cautious, possibly paranoid, very security-minded, and a former Special Forces kinda guy. He knows that he has to get Kate to leave the Wilders alone, so he thinks that he’s going to chase her off. He decides that he’s going to fuck around with her, and does exactly that. What he didn’t count on was wanting to fuck her. He thinks he’s managed to chase her off, right until he runs into her again, and discovers that she quit her job at the paper, sublet an apartment, and moved to Charleston.

On the other side, we have Father Jesse. Kate is Catholic and has always connected well with priests, so when Father Jesse comes into the library where she’s working and meets her, she decides that she’ll go to his church for Mass, and they develop a true connection. Maybe.

I like Kate a lot. I think that she has a lot of inner strength. I also think that her family are a bunch of fuckholes. The way that they treat her in her past and in the present is just horrid. The only person who actually treated her well was Liam, who is now gone. But I still think that she’s really strong and determined. She does everything that she can to get the story that she wants.

I actually like Smith a lot. I liked what we learned of him in the last book. He is an honorable man, even if he has had to do dishonorable things in his life. He is incredibly protective over everyone that he knows. There is really only 1 time in the book where I downright want to strangle the man, and frankly, he would’ve deserved it if I had. He acted like a complete asshole at the time.

Father Jesse is an interesting character, and that’s as far as I’m going to go with him.

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I felt really sorry for Petey. I don’t know that I ever really trusted some of the people in the book.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

L. K. Shaw-Striking Distance

Hello everyone. I’m sorta back. Things are still up in the air with illness in my family, but I’m here. Frankly, I’d much rather be here than anywhere else. So, here I am with a new book, L. K. Shaw’s Striking Distance. It’s the second book in a series, and I haven’t read the first book, but that’s OK, I had no problem figuring out what was going on. Each book is a standalone, but you will be able to pick up what happened in the previous books with no problem. Shaw did a great job at giving us just enough background without overwhelming us.

So, here’s our story. Estelle is a school teacher, teaching 6 year olds. Her best friend Ines is in hiding with her boyfriend because they were undercover LEOs who had infiltrated a cartel. Ines stayed in contact with Estelle while she was undercover, but isn’t much in contact now. But, one day, as she’s trying to leave work, Estelle is attacked by a man who is trying to abduct her. Luckily, she knows some defense techniques and manages to get away from him. She runs back int the school and calls the police. Which is a good thing.

The not so good thing is that one of the responding officers is Victor, Ines’ brother. Estelle has been in and out of their house for her entire life, so she knows Victor. The problem is that there is some bubbling tension going on there. Victor has developed a thing for Estelle, well developed one a long time ago. Victor gives Estelle an option. She can either go to her own house and have some extra patrols come by, stay at a safe house so that a cop can stay with her all the time, or she can just stay at his house, in Ines’ old bedroom. His dad and one of his brothers also live these, and they are all cops, so really, totally safe.

Overall, I liked the book. I think that the story was generally good. However, I thought that there was a spot in the middle of the book where it felt like the book was pulling toward a close, but there was still more to come. I don’t think that is a problem, really, it just felt a little weird, and threw my reading rhythm off a little bit. I think that if that particular point were pushed a little bit further back, I would’ve had a more satisfying emotional connection through the full end of the book.

I like Estelle, generally. I think that she has a really good heart, but she’s been dealing with so much shit, she ended up turtling because it was the only way that she could manage to live.

Victor is a great mix of brash and vulnerable. I don’t think it’s something that can be written easily, but somehow Shaw really pulled it off here. So, kudos for that.

I will probably go on to read the next book, because the end chapter of this one gives us a little preview, soo I’m eager to see what happens.

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I have to say that I thought that the person who was creepy was creepy from the beginning.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Raisa Greywood-Bastard’s New Baby

So, Raisa has walked away from dark and intense for a minute and gave us some short and sassy. Not sweet though. There is some angst and drama, but it’s pretty lowkey, making Bastard’s New Baby a truly enjoyable read.

So, Jackson McKenna is running his family’s business, but he’s being forced into having to get married. The thing is, he really doesn’t want to get married. He’s pretty sure that he won’t ever be able to find the kind of woman he wants to have. You see, he’s a Dom, and he wants to have a woman who is smart and beautiful, but also is kinky AF. As he’s thinking about this, after a night of debauchery, he gets a message from his mom, which he reads while he’s driving, and he nearly runs down a woman.

Meanwhile, we have Siobahn O’Malley (pronounced shhh-vaughn). She lost her sister and brother-in-law in an accident not too long ago, and she’s now been appointed guardian to her baby nephew, Andy. Oh, and his $2mil trust fund. The problem is that she has to keep fighting for custody against Dan’s parents, because they want the trust fund, and not so much the baby. In the tiny town they are in, the inlaws have some pull, and they are managing to keep up at it. Part of the problem is that Siobahn isn’t married, and the evil cow inlaw smears her around the town, to make her look unfit. Today, Siobahn has an important job interview at McKenna, so she dresses to the nines, and gets a ride to town for her interview. As she is crossing the road, she almost gets run down by some idiot who ran a red. Sound familiar?

Jackson really truly earned his name as a bastard, because he totally was. I mean, damn. First, he almost ran Siobahn over, then he accused her of being homeless, and then he tried to apologize, while trying to blackmail her into marrying him. I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually like him for a minute. He had some serious condescension going on. I would’ve smacked the total everloving shit out of him, because he totally deserved it.

I adore Siobahn from the very first time we met her. She’s strong, fierce, protective, and very canny. She’s very smart and she doesn’t let anything slip by her. Jackson tries to put stuff over on her, and she catches him on it. He’s like, oh, I need you for this reason. She’s like newp, try again. I love that she calls him out on stuff. He needs it, because he really is a cocky bastard. He thinks that he is God’s gift to everything, and well, someone needs to tell him that he isn’t.

And Mandy, I loved watching Siobahn knock that bitch back. Mandy really did try to punch out of her weight class.

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Jackson, oh Jackson. You are kinda stupid sometimes.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Lucy Lennox-King Me

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t featured Lucy Lennox on here before. I totally should’ve, I love her books. King Me is the 7th, I think, book in her Forever Wilde series. I first met the Wildes when I won a copy of Hudson’s Luck¬†from May Archer. Now I own most of the Forever Wilde books and all but one of them in audio. They are totally awesome. Full of all kinds of love and family and all that good stuff.

Here’s the basics of the series. In a little town called Hobie TX, there is a family called the Wildes. There’s Grandpa and Doc, Weston and Liam, respectively. They had four children. Their son Bill, had 10, yes 10, kids, 6 of whom are male. And at the beginning of this book, 4 of whom are all in happy relationships with the men of their dreams. If you want to read the most amazingly beautiful love story I have ever read, I recommend that you go read Wilde Love. It’s Grandpa and Doc’s story, and it made my Grinchy heart grow two sizes.

Anyway, out of those 10 kids that Bill and his wife had, we have King. He’s the middle child, and left Hobie to go to Paris and the Sorbonne. Since then, he rarely goes home. His siblings are all pretty sure that he’s some kind of super-spy, Texas’s version of 007. And that’s what I thought too. Then, I read this book. Instead of being a super-spy, King is one of the best art thieves in the world. While he was at the Sorbonne, he fell with a very bad man, who took advantage of the wonderful person that King was, and then started a relationship with him and trained him to be the thief that he turned out to be. Then, that asshole fucked King over, and left him at a job to take the fall.

That’s where we meet Dirk Falcon, who is not a ’70’s porn star, no matter what his name sounds like. He is an FBI agent who works with Interpol as part of their art theft squad. He gets to the place where King has been left tied up, and he sees King as a victim, because King was working really hard to make himself appear to be so.

Two years later, King is still breaking and entering and snatching art. But, he’s also leaving said stolen goods at the places he just broke into, along with detailed notes about how he did it and suggestions about how to beef up security. Falcon is now chasing him, because he knows that King is the thief, but he can’t pin anything on King.

This book turned into a huge heist story. I love heist stories. I mean, I watch all the Oceans movies over and over because I love how all the plans work. The Italian Job? Yes, please, and for more reasons than the fact that Jason Statham is in it, but that doesn’t hurt. The perfect heist story is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Let me tell you, this is definitely a thing of beauty and I will find joy in it forever. I love how the pieces come together to turn into this whole big thing, and how you don’t see all the little pieces and tricks until after the heist has been accomplished and they show you everything.

I really like the interplay with King and Falcon. I kind of think of them as a dual star solar system. They are attracted to each other because of the gravity each exerts, and that gravity keeps them together. They orbit each other and finish each other. OK, maybe my metaphor fell apart a little bit, but I think that you get the idea.

I think that King and Falcon are both good men, who each have their own moral codes. Of course, those codes don’t necessarily intersect all that much, but you know, it works. I think that they are really good for each other, and I hope they have a lovely long life together.

I do have to say that I was totally shocked when I found out that King wasn’t a super-spy but was an art thief. All I could think was what would Doc and Grandpa say? I mean, the Wildes are all so law abiding and all. It was a total, utter, and absolute shock. But, you know it really worked well. Knowing Doc and Grandpa though, I think they may know a little more than we think that they know. They are almost psychic. And I think that King should be really happy his favorite sister is a lawyer.

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Ugh. Falcon’s boss is literally the very, very worst. I mean, ugh. She can just go sit on a tack. A really big, really sharp, super pointy tack.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Dani Rene-Among Ash and Ember

Dani Rene has come out with a new release, and oh my. Among Ash and Ember wrung me out and made me all emotional.

Katerina is 18, almost 19. She lost her parents a couple of years ago when their florist shop caught on fire. She had to spend the last couple of years in foster care, and it wasn’t good. Then she turned 18 and discovered that she owed a lot of money because of her parents. She isn’t qualified to do a lot, but luckily she has fallen in with a safe friend who has helped her become an escort. Is it the best job ever? Nope. Does it let her pay her bills and pay off the loans her father took out? Yup. Just don’t call her Katerina when she’s on the job, there she is Flame.

Ash and Ember are twin brothers. They have a proposition for Katerina. They are going to pay for her to go to college. They will let her live with them, in her own wing, and help her out in any way possible. The brothers have their own reasons for doing what they are doing. They are keeping secrets together and keeping secrets from each other. They can afford to do this because Ash is now running their father’s company, which is neither fun or easy, but he does it reasonably well.

There are a lot of secrets going on in here. Ash and Ember have secrets of their own that they are keeping from Kat and from each other. They have a big joint secret that they are keeping from Kat. Kat has some of her own secrets too, but I don’t think that they have as much of an impact on the story as the ones the guys are keeping.

I completely understand why Ash and Ember are doing what they are doing. I don’t agree with the way that they went about things, but I can understand why they felt that they had to do things the way that they did. I guess I just stand with Kat more than I do with them. I don’t like being lied to, and I really don’t like people having secrets from me. I will pick and prod until I get the secret out of them, whether or not it would hurt me. I think that’s probably how Kat feels about it too.

I love the names of Flame, Ember, and Ash. They just fit together so very well. It’s a natural progression to me, and I can see how it fits each of the characters and their roles, at least in my opinion.

This book really did give me all the feelz and I would love to see more of these guys.

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I don’t think I have anything to put here.

Well, go check it out. Happy reading!

Measha Stone-Valor

Valor is the 11th book in the Cavalieri Della Morte shared world, and I think that this is the last one on my blog calendar, at least I’m pretty sure it is. Measha has brought us a couple that just would not leave my head. Dustan and Cherise both insisted that there was more to the story, and wouldn’t listen to me when I told them that I had read the book and that was all there was. Dustan is a pushy, dominant asshole. Hopefully, they’ll leave me alone when I’m done with this.

Dustan is one of the CDM, and Arthur has sent him out on a new job. This job is to get rid of a guy named Antonio Merde. He’s apparently skimming off the top from his family. I had to laugh at his name, because merde is shit in French, so every time his name came up, I read it as shit. My inner 12 year old was amused. Anyway, Dustan is going to kill this guy. He’s been sitting in a bar waiting for Merde to come and do his business. He keeps to a routine, which lets Dustan know when and where he can off him. The only thing he didn’t plan on was the hot woman who walked up and sat down next to him.

Cherise, who tells Dustan her name is Cherry, is trying to break out of her shell. She has dressed herself up, given herself a fun nickname, and gone to a bar she wouldn’t normally go. And then she saw Dustan. Since she was nervous as all get out, she needed someone to shelter behind, and Dustan worked. When he walked out the back of the bar, she decided to follow. Much to her chagrin.

Dustan was both more hardcore and lighter than some of the other heroes in this world. Which, don’t ask me how that works, but that’s what I think, and it sorta works for him. He doesn’t seem as much on the dark side, if you know what I mean. Yeah, he’s an assassin, but he doesn’t seem as gritty and… Ugh, I can’t come up with the right word to describe it. I know what I mean, but I can’t make it come out of my head to the screen. That’s totally frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not your happy, fluffy, dancing assassin a la Sam Rockwell in Mr. Right. If he gets the order, he’s going to kill you. If you do him wrong, he’s going to kill you. And he’ll do it without hesitation.

Cherise was a mix too. She’s both bold and retiring, which is a really interesting juxtaposition. When she gets scared, she gets assertive, snarky, and mouthy. It’s a lot easier to be all of those things than it is to be scared. When she’s not so scared, she’s more in her head and ready to hide away. I can really relate, because snarky and mouthy is my fall back when I’m upset, scared, tired, angry, well, you get the idea. Of course, it works better for me, because Dustan isn’t telling me that bad things come to bad girls and waiting with a belt for my ass. I did like her a lot, mostly because I did relate to her so much.

One thing I did find really interesting is that Arthur barely makes any appearance in the book, and none of the other Cavalieri are in there at all.

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Bobby. Yeah.

Ok, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Ally Vance-Delinquent

Ally Vance is the next Cavalieri Della Morte author I’m reviewing. Her contribution to the shared world series is Delinquent, the story of Seth Galahad and Leeann. As a reminder, each book is a standalone, but the series is all interconnected, so you will get some crossover with other main characters showing up in the book. Arthur is in all of the books, in one form or another, just because he’s the leader of the CDM, so I’m not counting him as a true crossover character.

Seth is the youngest of the CDM that we’ve met so far, he’s right around 20. He’s very impulsive and yet disciplined, if that makes sense. While he’s still an assassin, he’s often the one that Arthur sends out to collect debts. Either he gets the money or people get dead. Caryn owes Arthur money, so he sends Seth out after her. She calls Seth and tells him that she has the repayment for him. What she doesn’t necessarily tell him is that it’s a woman.

Leeann has a brother, Arron. Arron is a fuckhole. He has a gambling problem. He’s supposed to be going to meetings to handle his gambling, but apparently he doesn’t think he needs to do that. Instead, he decides what he really needs to do is to keep gambling. So he does, and when he doesn’t win, he bets the one thing that he shouldn’t, his little sister. He told her the night he came home after losing her, and locked her in her bedroom. That night, two thugs came and took her away, locking her in a basement, and being not all that nice to her for days on end. Then along comes Seth.

I have a 23 year old son who is often impulsive AF, and the brain hasn’t really matured until around 25, so I totally get Seth. I understand exactly who he is, and where he is coming from. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to give him a dope slap upside the back of his head. There is a time or two when he realllllly needs one. Overall, though, I do like him.

Leeann is a sweet and loving person, she even loves her brother even if he’s a fuckhole. I really do like her. Even though she’s sweet, that doesn’t mean that she’s not fierce, and she totally is. She keeps trying to get away from any and everyone, no matter what. She’s just going to keep fighting, which means she’s full of fire, and I like that fire. I think that she’ll be perfect for Seth and he’ll be good for her.

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There are some hints to certain things, if you are paying attention to them. They are very, very tiny hints, so you need to watch for them. And no, I’m not going to tell you what they are or what they’re too. I can be mean like that.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check it out! Happy reading!