Renee Rose-Joker’s Wild

It’s time for another Tacone book from Renee Rose with Joker’s Wild. Is it weird that I went with the 80’s game show that’s making a comeback with Snoop Dogg? Sadly, those things aren’t as sexy as Junior Tacone and Renee’s book, so I guess I’ll have to readjust my thinking again.

Santo Tacone Junior is currently the head of the Tacone family while his dad is in prison. He’s been raised to take that position and be very responsible. His 4 younger brothers think that he’s a total dick. He was taught to take that birth order thing seriously, so he does what he has to do. And he hates every second of it. When he and his brothers, Gio and Paolo, go out to have a meeting with some Russians, it turns out that they have been set as a trap. Gio gets shot and Junior gets a little crazy and kills all the Russians. They can’t take Gio to the hospital because they might get pinned to the dead Russians. So, Junior does the only thing he can do. He takes Gio to his house and gets the best nurse he could think of, Desiree.

Desiree is currently a trauma nurse at Cook County, but in the past she has worked as home health care. When Junior’s Ma needed home care, she was the one who took care of her. Junior was taken with her, but he also knows that she’s a good nurse. So, he sends out his men to go get her. He tells them to not hurt her. Of course, when they grab her, handcuff her, and pull a bag over her head, they never hurt her. Scaring the fuck out of her isn’t hurting her. Dumbass men. Of course, being a damn good nurse, Desiree walks in, looks at the situation, and takes over, and gets things going. There’s a lot of tension there between Desiree and Junior, because she’s fantasized about him for all that time. And oh fuck, are her fantasies hot.

I spent a lot of the first books thinking that Junior was a massive dickhole. Of course, he didn’t really help there, as you may remember. But, reading his book and getting a look in his head makes me actually like him, surprisingly enough. He bears a heavy weight. As the oldest kid, I can totally get that, and I don’t even have the heavy weight of a parent’s expectation on me like Junior does. I love how fierce Desiree is and how fiercely she defends him when he needs it, even from himself. It’s pretty awesome how she does that, and it’s amazing to Junior that someone actually pays attention to him and sees him. I don’t think anyone has ever seen him before, except for maybe his mother. I love how he’s romantic towards Desiree, but not in ways that you and I might think is romantic, but it works for them.

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OK, beating the shit out of Desiree’s ex and then coming and waiting for her outside of work every night so that she got into her car safely, that’s totally an example of Junior being romantic towards her. Not your typical romance, right?

I can’t wait for Alessia’s story. It ought to be interesting.

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

Jane Henry-The Bratva’s Baby

When it comes to the dark in dark romance, there’s a continuum. What’s dark for you isn’t necessarily what’s dark for me, and what I think is medium dark may be enough to curl your hair. And along that continuum, you can stick various authors, who all have their own ranges. Why am I bringing this up? Because Jane Henry wrote a dark romance that I enjoyed called The Bratva’s Baby. Is it the darkest thing I’ve ever read? Nope. Is it dark for Jane Henry? Yup. See what I mean about continuums and ranges? Jane isn’t a dark writer, and that’s perfectly OK. I like her forays into dark romance, and for me, that’s all that matters. I don’t generally get all picky about breaking down classifications, I’m more picky about finding authors I like and books I want to read, and Jane’s an author I like and I want to read her books, so it’s all good here.

OK, now that I have all that out of the way, let’s talk story, shall we? Yes, pretty please. So, Kazimir is a high ranking member of the mafiya, the Russian Mob. In fact, he’s isn’t just a high ranking member, he’s in the very, very tippy top of the high rankers. So, when he goes out into the field for a mission, you know that there has to be a good reason for it. In this case, it’s Sadie, a small town librarian, who is said to be worth millions and millions and millions.

Sadie is very happy living in her small life, she’s a small town librarian who is happy with being alone with her books. Men make her nervous. And then one day, HE walks into her library. Kazimir wants to have information about some biographies, and he gets her to walk him back to where they are. Then he manages to take her to dinner and next thing she knows, she’s on an airplane to Russia.

I spent the first parts of the book not sure whether or not I would actually like Kazimir. Sometimes I seemed to really like him, sometimes I thought that he was a complete asshole. And to be fair, he really was a fucking asshole sometimes. I also think that he is a little naive about certain things, which is a weird thing to say about a member of the Russian mob, but he just seems to have a blindspot. I understand why he has a blindspot, I would too, in his case, but still, blindspot. Huge fucking one. I like Sadie. I think that she has spark and spirit. I also think that she might occasionally fight a little too hard for her own good, but that’s her choice and her right and I won’t take it away from her. I don’t know that I wouldn’t be the exact way in her case. I mean, she’s been abducted from her home, has been taken to a country where she doesn’t speak the language, and then she has to do things that she doesn’t want to do.

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I like Nikita and how she seems to be more loyal to Sadie than she is to Kazimir or Dimitri. Of course, I wouldn’t have any loyalty to Dimitri, but he’s a nasty fucker.

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

K. Webster & Ker Dukey-Vas

Ker and KWeb have decided to help me out with the ABC challenge I’m doing on Goodreads this year by making sure I had a book that started with V by giving me Vas. Well, I guess they gave it to everyone, but I’m totally going to pretend that they were thinking only of me when they hit publish. Don’t harsh my mellow, OK?

Vas is the 3rd book in the V Games series, and features, oddly enough, Vas. The featured men in each of the books is from one of the First Families of the Russian mafiya. This one focuses on the scion of the Volkov family. Well, he’s sort of a member of the Volkovs. His old man is Volkov senior, but his mother was a maid in the household and Vas didn’t know who his father was until he was much older. He did spend time around Diana (Ven) and Irina (Vlad), his two half-sisters, growing up, and now that they are all adults, they are all close, especially Diana and Vas, because of the way he helped her.

Old man Volkov has pretty much claimed Vas, since he wants to have a male heir. Even though he raised Diana and Irina to be strong, powerful women and told them that they would be able to make their own choices in life, he fucked them over, and went with Vas instead.

Vas was an underground fighter, and now he has a serious reputation in the underground circles. No one wants to take him on. He now helps to train fighters for the V Games from different families. He also goes to visit his sisters regularly, especially Irina. Why does he visit Irina a lot? Well, that’s because Darya is there. Darya is a slave that Vasiliev the elder has. There’s just something about her that draws Vas to her. And it’s not even that she spends pretty much all her time naked. He’s obsessed with her, and he wants to get her out of there somehow. However, all of his plans to get her out and make her safe become suddenly irrelevant when it turns out that she’s Vlad’s sister.

Darya was raised in a religious orphanage and then spent time in a convent before the devil man came and took her away and gave her to Vasiliev, who she calls Molokh, a demon. When it comes out that she’s Vlad’s sister (probably), he swears that he will keep her safe from his terrible, monstrous father. When Vas tells Vas that he wants access to Darya, Vlad says sure, but he will have to train a fighter for him, Alyona Voskoboynikov, a young woman who is a member of the lesser of the First Families.

So, Vas, Darya, and Alyona all go off to Moscow so that Vas can train Alyona in a safe(ish) place, and so that Darya will be safe from Molokh. And thus we go into the story.

I have to admit that I didn’t like Vas when we first met him in Vlad. I thought that he was kinda creepy, but by Ven, he had really grown on me, and by his own book, I was so excited to see it come out. I was really excited to see what Ker and K would do with him. I was also looking forward to see what would come out of the actions of the last book and what would happen to Vika. I have to say, I’m perfectly happy with the resolution of both things. I don’t like Vika, I never really have, she’s scheming, grasping, narcissistic, and thinks she’s really smarter than she actually is. She wants to think that she’s Machiavelli, when in fact she’s more like Machia, no velli, at least I think so. I like Darya. I like her a whole lot. And I’ll forever be loyal to Diana, who is Queen, but I think that Darya may actually be the strongest of all the women in this series. She goes through hell, yanked from a safe(ish) place in the convent to being a sex slave who is abused, and yet, she never loses herself. If you ask me, that makes her pretty damn strong. I think that she and Vas are going to be a serious power couple in their world, plus with the connections they have to Vlad and Ven, I think the next generation of First Families is going to rule the world.

I don’t think this one is quite as dark as the other books are, Vas and Darya’s love story is a little sweeter. However, not quite as dark and a little sweeter doesn’t mean light and super sweet.

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I have to say, I didn’t quite expect what happened to Vika, but I do think that it will work well. Vas is a pretty good guy for being who he is.

I can’t wait to see what happens with our Moscow brothers. I think that they are going to be interesting, and I think that I’m pretty happy that they never laid a hand on Darya, because that would’ve been more than a little bit weird. I do like the guys though. I think they are pretty fantastic, and I’m glad that we are going to still see them.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, and make sure that you read the other two books in the series, otherwise you won’t get this one. Happy reading!

A Zavarelli-Conor

For some reason, I feel ridiculously close to these books. Maybe it’s because Boston is only about 3.5 hours south of me, depending on how fast you drive, or it could be that I eat at Dunkies every chance I get, strawberry coolatta and bacon, egg, and cheese on croissant is my regular order, but sometimes I get a nice flavored latte, with tons of whipped cream, because everything is better with whipped cream. Maybe it’s because I’m of Irish descent, or I could just be ridiculously attached to bad boy anti-heroes who aren’t afraid to do what they need to in order to keep their families safe. Just like Conor.

One fateful night at Slainte, Crow points out a tiny little waif to Conor, tells him that she was Muerto’s girlfriend and was there the day that they did what needed to be done, so she knows things she shouldn’t oughta know, and now it’s his job to take care of her and do what needs to be done. Crow tells Conor it’s going to be easy to watch over her, since he just hired her as a dancer. She’s been asking him to hire her for several days, and he finally said yes. All Conor sees is a tiny little thing who is super skinny, who he figures is on drugs and is some kind of addict.

Sure, Ivy was Muerto’s girl, but there was so much more than that. Now the Locos are after her and she’s hiding from them. She’s trying to save up money so that she can get away. She has a plan, and she’s going to do everything she can to make that plan happen, and dancing at Slainte (pronounced slawn-che and meaning cheers in Irish Gaelic) is an easy way to do it. Plus, since the club is owned by the Irish mob, she figures she’ll at least be safe at work. Maybe they’ll help to keep the Locos off her back until she can escape Boston and be somewhere safe.

While following her, Conor finds out that she’s sleeping rough and that she’s hungry, not a junkie. He also finds out that she has a big secret, which is what changes his mind and makes him want to protect her instead of end her. The way that he does that is to marry her, because if she’s married to a member of the mob, no one will mess with her. Conor tells Ivy that’s what’s going to happen, and they visit the justice of the peace and get married, just like that.

I like Conor. He’s honorable and stands up to his own particular code, which is the code of the Irish syndicate that he’s part of. He’s done everything he can to help prove himself to Crow and the guys. I also kind of dislike Conor because he’s a little bit of an idiot when it comes to Ivy. If he would’ve talked to her more, he would’ve known more of what’s going on, instead, he had to be a mule-headed man and think that he knew what she was thinking and feeling. Gah, it makes me so angry when the big, bad, tough guys make decisions on their assumptions like that. Then again, you have to have some conflict to further the story, and hey, makeup sex is totally a thing, right? Ivy is a strong woman, used to doing everything on her own, and I like that about her, that she’s willing to stand up for what she needs to. I’m also frustrated by her because she needs to let someone help her out, and it takes a while for her to realize that she needs to let someone else be strong for her, and that Conor is more than willing to do that.

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I wonder how much of this Crow planned. He seemed to know that things would happen in certain ways if he put Conor and Ivy together. Is he that sneaky? Yeah, probably. I mean, he never outright says what Conor should do to take care of Ivy, Conor just kind of reads in between the lines and assumes he knows what Crow wants. But, all Crow said was take care of it. The way that Conor handled it was definitely taking care of it.

And Slick? Ugh, what a jerk. Too bad Conor didn’t do more than just break his arm, because really, he needed more.

Well, that’s all I have to say about this one today. You will do yourself a real favor if you read all these stories, especially if you like the bad boy anti-hero type. Happy reading!

Renee Rose-Ace of Diamonds

Renee Rose is taking us back to Vegas and the Tacone Family with Ace of Diamonds. It’s a great addition to her Vegas Underground series.

So, this is the 3rd one in the series. While it’s a series, it’s not a serial, so you can read it without having read the other two. The couples from the others do show up in this one, but they are pretty secondary.

Pepper Heart is a popular singer. She started out as that alt-goth-rock chick back when she was 16. Now, 7 years later, her manager and her record label turned her into a pop princess and she hates it. That’s not the only thing that her manager has done. He managed to really fuck up her last album release and got her almost a million dollars in debt to the Tacone Family. So she now has to appear at the Bellissimo in Vegas in order to pay off the debt. Because heaven forbid that Hugh, the scuzzball, comes up with the money or, you know, even take the blame for his actions. Generally, this wouldn’t be a huge problem, but you see, Pepper’s voice is pretty much completely gone. She’s been touring a whole lot lately and she’s been sick, sick enough that she actually collapsed after leaving the stage and since then, her voice has just been getting worse and worse. Now, it’s so bad, she can barely talk at all, so she has to lip sync her performances.

Tony is Nico Tacone’s best friend, bodyguard, and general right hand. His job now is to deal with Pepper and collecting her debt. He wasn’t expecting anything like the real Pepper to show up. He expected some entitled, privileged twit, what he got was a lovely young woman who was so real, and had horribly painfilled eyes. But it’s when he realizes that she had to lip synch her concert that he hits the roof. And smacks her ass.

I loved Pepper. She really was sweet. She really wanted to make sure that her fans were happy, and she was more than happy to engage them so that they would have a fun time. Even when she couldn’t speak, she would do all kinds of things in order to make her fans happy. The nice thing is, she got to make her happy at the same time, which was nice. I also felt sorry for her, because it really did feel that there wasn’t anyone there to help her out. I have always liked Tony. He is an honorable man. He’s also a good man, within his particular standards of good. Are those the standards of the world in general? Nope. Do they work for him? Very much yup. He’s protective, he’s caring, he’s willing to do what needs to be done to make sure that the people he loves are safe.

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Oh, I love her trip to the punk concert with Tony, that sounded like a lot of fun, and it would totally be something that I would love to watch.

I never liked Hugh, not from the very beginning. He was such a yuck. I don’t particularly care for Pepper’s parents either, they seemed so much more concerned about what she could do for them, rather than what they could do for her.

I think, hands down, one of my favorite scenes in the whole book is when she’s out to lunch with her band and Hugh shows up. It was funny af.

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

Renee Rose-Jack of Spades

Renee Rose has once again returned us to her version of the mafia in Vegas with Jack of Spades. It’s the second one in the series, and you can read it as a standalone, even though it has carryover from the first book. You’re getting the same family with both the hero and heroine as from the first book. Stefano is Nico’s younger brother and Corey is Sondra’s cousin, and they are as close as sisters.

So, Corey is a croupier at the Tacone family casino. She has a degree in psychology, but she likes working the floor at the casino instead. She gets to look around at all the people and figure out what’s going on with them. She comes up with her theory of the different kinds of gamblers. She’s really observant, which is what helps her figure out that there is something weird with the guy who’s playing roulette at her table. He’s trying to cheat. So she does what she’s supposed to and calls over security.

It turns out the would-be cheater is Stefano Tacone. He’s helping Nico run the casino so that he will be able to spend more time with Sondra. Stefano is looking for someone to deal at private games, and Corey fits the bill. Not only is she smart and observant, she’s also charming, and has a magnetic personality. The fact that she’s smoking hot doesn’t hurt either.

One the first night that she’s to deal at a private game, Stefano has her come early and asks her to walk the floor and asks her what she sees. Then it’s time to deal for the game. And that’s when all the bad things start to happen.

I like Corey. I think that she’s pretty awesome. She knows that she doesn’t want to be like everyone else. She’s perfectly happy working on the floor of a casino. But, she’s very walled off. I don’t blame her, considering what her past is like. I would be pretty closed off too. I really like how strong and independent that she is. I really do like how she challenges Stefano. I like him too, most of the time. Yeah, he’s all alpha dude, but he’s not overly heavy-handed like you sometimes see. That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t, you know, tie her to his bed after carrying her over his shoulder to his suite, but he’s pretty good at figuring out Corey, and taking good care of her.

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I really hated Corey’s dad. He was scum of the earth. Wait, that might be insulting to the scum. Maybe he was the bacteria that feeds off whale poop. Yeah, that’s it, I think.

I think that is about all I have to say today. I really enjoyed this, so go check it out! Happy reading!

Anthology-Daddy’s Demands Pt. 1

So yeah, I’ve been putting this one off, but not because I didn’t like the book, because I did and I do, but more because life is stupid and adulting is hard. The fact that adulting is hard sometimes made this the perfect set of stories for right now, because it’s 25 stories about Daddies who want to make sure that their little girls are taken care of and aren’t going to have to adult too hard. Of course, some of the Daddies are a little darker than others, or a little more strict, but considering who wrote some of these stories, are you surprised? I’m really not.

There are a lot of great things about an anthology like Daddy’s Demands. One of them is that no matter what kind of mood I’m in, there’s a story there for it. Which is nice, because I never know what kind of mood I’m going to be in from day to day. Plus, with the fact that there are 25 stories, they are pretty short, so if you have a minute to read a story and you don’t want to get dragged into something, you can find a quick story. So, if you are like me and you hate going to bed with an unfinished book, an anthology is a godsend. There’s also the fact that when you get an anthology, you get the chance to read authors that you aren’t familiar with, which is even nicer. Even with as much as I read, and as many of those authors I have read, there were still a couple of authors I wasn’t familiar with.

Of course, then you have the downside to large anthologies like this, at least for bloggers and reviewers like me. There are TWENTY-FIVE┬ástories in here. Do you know what trying to review 25 stories is like? I would get bored writing a blog post that summarized 25 stories. You would get bored reading it. My goal is to not bore my readers. I like you guys, I want to keep you around. I liked all the stories because all the authors are talented, but you know that there are always going to be some that you like more than others. That’s just the way that it is. So, what you’re going to get is a 2 part post, today and tomorrow. That way I can talk about my favorites and not burn you out or burn me out, and Daddy will be happy. ­čÖé

Renee Rose-Mafia Daddy

Renee’s story ties in with some of her other stories. You get Yuri from The Russian and the tie in from King of Diamonds. Jenna, the heroine of this one was supposed to marry Nico Tacone from KoD, and when her father’s right hand man comes to take her home, Yuri steps in to try to stop him. So, we now have definite proof that they are all part of the same universe. This is a sweet story. I know, I know, you don’t think that Renee can write sweet, but she did. I really enjoyed it, including the connections to her other stories.

Loki Renard-Daddy’s Little Captive

You know how I said some of the Daddies were a little darker and stricter than others? Yeah, Loki’s Dominic is one of them. He comes into the little restaurant where Marina works as a server on a regular basis, and when he comes in late one night and everyone else leaves, Marina just can’t. Lots of kinkery fuckery going on, including one of Loki’s trademarks, a cage. This one is under the bed though.

Jane Henry-Professor Daddy

This one ties in with Jane’s NYC Doms and Verge. Giada is a student who is getting ready to take a creative writing course from a prof that she thinks is going to be stodgy. Only Geoffry Slade is anything but stodgy. So she decides to poke the bear. I’ve been talking off and on with other Daddy authors about brats, and I’m pretty sure that Giada totally counts as a brat. I really liked her and how she thinks it’s fun to poke the bear, knowing what she’s going to get.

OK, there’ll be more tomorrow, but it’s late, and my life is still stupid, so I’m going to go to bed.

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