Eva Charles-Depraved

You know, when I read a duet, I know what I’m getting into. Duets are always cliffhangers. That’s just the nature of the beast. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to yell godmotherfuckingdamnit when I get to the end of the book. And trust me, that was the nicest of the things I said when I finished reading Depraved by Eva Charles.

I have to say that this duet has been a huge tease from the beginning. When I signed up for it, I didn’t know what I was signing up for. All we bloggers got was something that said, oh hey, if you like dark romance, you’re going to like this. We didn’t even know who the author was until the cover reveal. See what I mean about a tease? But it was a tease that was so worth it.

JD and Gabrielle were childhood sweethearts until she walked in on him fucking someone else and he told her to leave. The next thing she knew, she was sent off to a boarding school far away from their Charlestown, SC home. She had to leave her parents, her friends, and of course, that traitorous JD, who she had shared all her important firsts with.

Fifteen years later, he shows up in her office, on the night that his father is elected president, and makes a deal with her. Her mother is sick, her father borrowed money from JD in order to pay for the treatments, so JD is going to get the money back out of Gabrielle. That includes getting her to pay back her father’s debts with her sweet self.

Of course, it’s not as easy as all that. There are all kinds of plots within plots within conundrums going on. I don’t think that JD lets his thumb know what his fingers are doing, let alone let his right hand know what the left is doing. I know that he has reasons for doing everything, but we don’t even know all his reasons. I don’t know that he knows all his reasons. I also don’t know how much is paranoia and how much is a real reason, but personally, I’m not entirely sure there’s a lot of paranoia.

JD and Gabrielle together are magically delicious. And very explosive. They tend to rub each other the wrong way while they are still rubbing each other the right way. It’s a very interesting skill to have, I think.

I really like the book and I really enjoyed the characters. All except for DW, but I don’t think any of us are supposed to like him, so that’s good.

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When Smith says that everything that’s happening seems petty and like revenge, I can only think about one person doing it. I don’t know if I want to be right or not.

And the end. Fuck. I can’t wait for the next one.

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

K. Webster & Nicole Blanchard-The Forgotten Commander

K Webster has written just about everything else, so it’s time for her to try some science fiction. And when she goes scifi, she definitely goes all the way. For The Forgotten Commander, she got together with Nicole Blanchard and wrote something that was just amazing. Seriously, when I finished this, I went on FB and was like OMFG soo fucking good!

Here’s the basics. Breccan is the commander of the last 10 morts on the entire planet. Disease has wiped everyone out, and now, it’s just him and his 9 males. When they are dead, their entire civilization is gone. The last female mort died some time ago, her child with her, and now, it’s just them. They live in a self-contained dome, which they keep super clean so that they don’t get any disease and they are protected from the wild and dangerous things that live on their planet. It also keeps them away from the sun, because the UV rays are dangerous to them. However, Breccan doesn’t pay much attention to that, he likes to take his life in his hand and sit and back himself in the sunlight. Of course, when there’s pretty much no hope in your life, what else are you going to do?

But all of a sudden, things change. Two of his morts had been out in space doing some recon, and Theron and Sayer have found something. They found a ship, and on that ship, they found females in stasis tubes. The ship was just going past their planet, so they sneaked on and stole away with 5 of the stasis tubes and brought them home.

Even better than finding 5 women, it turns out that the women are compatible with the morts, so they have a chance to build their society. So, as the commander, Breccan makes the decision that they will inseminate the women while they are in stasis so that they can give birth that way. After all, there are 10 males and only 5 females, someone is going to get left out.

Well, there’s one small problem with that. And her name is Aria. She sort of wakes up during the procedure, but definitely wakes up later, and it isn’t good. It isn’t good at all.

This isn’t an easy book. There are a lot of problems, which of course there are going to be. I mean, seriously, Aria wakes up who knows where and she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t remember anything, and then, there are these aliens who are all talking at her and trying to figure out what’s happening. She runs away, but then Breccan gets her, and, and, and. Of course, there’s a lot of problems. I don’t blame Aria for any of her feelings because she has every right to feel all of those feelings and even more.

It’s not easy on Breccan either. He never expected to have a female around, because there aren’t any more, and she doesn’t act like his mother did with his father, so he’s kind of at a loss. So, everything is difficult. Every time that Breccan thinks he has a grasp on everything, it changes.

I think a lot of the problems are that they are two very disparate cultures trying to come together. There are always a lot of little things that you do or know that you don’t necessarily think about because they just are. But when you get together with someone from another culture who doesn’t do those things, it can cause problems. And when you are talking about people from Earth, there is at least some kind of common starting place. But when you have two people from very different worlds, literally? Yeah, the only starting place they have is that they are both alive. So, of course, there are going to be problems because of that.

Of all the other morts, I think Hadrian is my favorite. He’s just so damn chipper. He’s like a little puppy, how can anyone not like him?

I am very much looking forward to the next books in this series. They are going to be so good!

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OMG, the date was the most perfect thing ever. Everyone getting together so that they can help Breccan and make Aria happy? That was just so sweet and perfect.

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

Skye Warren-Overture

Dammit, Skye Warren! You did it again. Overture is a helluva book with that classic Skye touch, and I seriously when I was done reading the book, because, well, reasons. The whole book really sent me on a loop and I was just so happy that I could read it.

So, Samantha is a 17 year old violin prodigy. She’s talented and makes music like she breathes. She’s almost 18 and will be going on a long tour then. When she was 12, her father died and Liam North became her legal guardian. And until recently, that wasn’t a huge problem, but now she wants Liam like a woman wants a man.

Liam is a mercenary and the head of North Security. He had reasons to take Samantha in, and during those 6 years, he did everything that he could to keep her safe. But now, things have changed, and he has to keep her safe from himself.

Skye is a genius when it comes to putting together stories like this. She really packs in the emotions and makes you feel every little bit of everything that her characters are feeling. She leaves you strung out from her books, and I’ll just bet that she laughs about it too. Authors are mean like that, you know.

But seriously, this was a helluva journey. I was mad and glad and sad, often all at the same time, which go explain that. I get where both Liam and Samantha are coming from. I think sometimes they are talking at cross purposes because they are both trying to say things to each other but it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. I think that they need to listen to each other more and definitely listen to what they are each saying.

As with many of Skye’s books, there is a Tanglewood connection, and I love getting to see all our old friends from Tanglewood.

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ARGHHHHH! That ending! I am going to die between now and the next one. I don’t know if I am going to be able to handle it.

I do love how Samantha shut down all the brothers. It was pretty epic, and Liam definitely didn’t expect it to happen.

I really, really can’t wait to see what happens next.

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

Natasha Knight-Twisted

Oh my fucking god, I’ve been waiting for Twisted from the very second I finished reading Torn. The world that Natasha created for these books is just wonderful, and dark, and engrossing. I didn’t want to leave it at the end of the last book, and I didn’t want to leave it at the end of this book. I’m pretty sure that Natasha is done now, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more of this world.

So, Amelia is one of the Willow quadruplets. She was there when Sebastian Scafoni and his brothers came to choose this generation’s Willow Girl. She wasn’t chosen, her sister Helena was. But that doesn’t mean that night didn’t affect Amy badly. It did, and she can’t get away from it now. She ran away from the rest of her family, and is now hiding away in another town, and getting ready to do things she really doesn’t want to do.

Gregory was there at the Reaping, and he was supposed to get his turn with the Willow Girl, but Sebastian refused. Gregory did what he could to push Sebastian and the results weren’t what could be considered good. Now, there is a huge gulf between Sebastian and Gregory, and Gregory is pretty much broken AF.

Oh man, the chemistry between Gregory and Amelia from the very beginning is just explosive. She wants to be there, she doesn’t want to be there. She kicks him in the balls, then she feels bad about it. Gregory, OTOH, knows what he wants, and he’s obsessed with this Willow Girl. And he’s damn well going to do everything he can to get it.

I first thought that Amy was weak. I really did. Then as I started reading, I thought more about it. While I don’t think that she’s as strong as Helena was, I do think that she’s pretty strong. I think that what made me think that she was weak was because her entire life has just fallen apart, so of course, she’s going to be off-balance. But, it’s obvious that she does have a lot of strength, and she’s more than willing to fight.

I did wonder about Gregory’s reasons to do what he was doing. I don’t think even he knew what was going on and why he was doing what he was doing. Really, I think there were about 50 different levels and 100 different motivations behind every move that Gregory made. It was really interesting to watch and to watch Gregory try to figure things out for himself.

I think this is probably the last book in this world, but I really hope that Natasha goes back and checks in on it once or twice.

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Just one example of how strong Amelia actually is is what she does to her hair. Not the first time, the second time. That took some ovaries the size of basketballs. See, what I mean about strong?

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

Jessie Cooke-Rise of the Phoenix

Rise of the Phoenix is the first book of Jessie Cooke’s new series, the Phoenix Skulls, which is a spinoff of the Westside Skulls, which is a spinoff of the Southside Skulls. The Phoenix chapter starts with Jace, Beck, and Finn, and then more members start to file in. Jace and Beck, of course, were the focus of the last book, and the primary couple in this one, but there are more couples that show up as well.

So, the Skulls have bought some land that used to belong to the Navajo, many, many years before, but had gone through several hands before the Skulls got it. They are going to build a clubhouse for the entire club to hang out and a garage for Jace’s motorcycle design/building business. There is currently a house where Beck and Jace live and a small garage where Jace and the guys are trying to keep up with the demand for motorcycles. Down the road, we have Rock and Ajei, a Navajo couple who used to belong to an MC, and their adult son, Tommy.

There are problems happening. There’s been a dead and mutilated bunny that showed up on the property and left with a sign that said Go Away. But, that’s not the only thing. There’s also someone who painted headless bodies on the side of the house, again saying Go Away. There’s some worry that it’s Tommy doing this, because he’s been very vocal about the Skulls being on that property because that’s traditionally Navajo land and it belongs to them, even though it really hasn’t for decades and decades.

There are obviously a lot of other things that happen in the story, none of which I’m really going to talk about, because they are really interesting and the whole story was great. I love Beck and Jace, and yeah, there’s a reason I tend to put her first, because I really like Beck. She’s a total badass motherfucker, and pretty much everyone associated with her agrees with that, and agrees that fucking with Beck is not the smartest thing ever. There’s a line in the book that is from Jace’s POV where it says that he knows that she wouldn’t kill the guy, but that if she found him, he would wish he were dead. I love that line. And the BAMF factor is part of why Jace loves her the way that he does. I think between the two of them, the Phoenix Skulls are going to be in good hands. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the series goes next.

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I’m really interested in seeing if Tommy joins the club. I think it would be really fascinating if he did. I don’t think Rock and Ajei ever will, but I do think that they are going to be like the grandparents of the club maybe. They’ll be there to help the guys out when necessary, but not get in the way. That’s my opinion, at least. We’ll see, I guess.

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

Alta Hensley-Bared

Alta dropped a surprise release on us this week. It’s called Bared, and I think it’s old school Alta Hensley. Stories like this are why I first fell in love with Alta’s work. Bit of trivia for you, Alta was the first author I ARCed for, and it was on her book Captive Vow, so y’all can thank Alta for this blog.

So, Tessa is a young woman who needs a job. She’s just about to get evicted, has been working at shitty jobs, but she saw this ad for a personal assistant for an author that involved going and spending 6 months in a cabin in the mountains while he writes his book. Tessa figures why not try for it. The worst he can do is say no, right?

Price is a best-selling author and he’s just about to write a new book. He needs to have a writer’s cave to write, and for him, it’s a cabin in the Sierra Nevadas. He also needs an assistant to cook, clean, and beta read for him. He’s been doing all kinds of interviews, but he finally meets Tessa and decides that there is just something about her and so he hires her. And off they go to the mountains, for 6 long months.

I kind of felt sorry for Tessa at the beginning of the book, mostly because I’ve been Tessa, or close enough to. I know how hard it is to be that poor and to be that desperate to find a job and to have a new life. But I also admire her a lot. She wasn’t sure that she would be hired, she knew that she didn’t have the experience for the job, but she went for it anyway. She wanted something new, and she just went for it. That takes a lot of courage and gumption, and I have to give her major props on that.

Price is, overall, a likable guy, but he is kind of a jerk a few times, but since he warned Tessa that he could be an asshole, I’m not sure if I could really consider him a jerk, especially since I’ve been in a hyperfocused place too, not necessarily writing a novel, but still in that place that everything is pinpointed to that narrow focus, and it’s really easy to just not realize that other people exist when you are in that place. So, does that make Price an asshole because he’s an asshole or does it make him an asshole because of circumstances and he’s just doing assholish things but it isn’t part of his core personality?

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Having just gone through some lovely snow, or you know, like 2 feet of snow in the past week, and some fucking cold temperatures, I gasped when Tessa ran out of the cabin, because I know what can happen to you in that kind of weather.

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

Cassidy Storm-Game Night

This is a double first for me today. This is the first book I’ve read of Cassidy Storm’s, and it’s the first FF to show up on the blog, so that’s very cool, yes? So, let’s see what happens on Game Nightshall we?

The basic plot is that Mia and Alyssa work together. Alyssa has a huge crush on Mia, and manages to make every single excuse she can to get near Mia, so when Mia invites her over for Game Night, Alyssa jumps at the chance. I mean, wouldn’t you if your crush said hey, come over to my house? Even at my age, I would totally fucking jump on that.

When Alyssa gets to Mia’s house, it turns out that she isn’t the only one over to play games that night. There is Dallas, Casey, and Willow. Dallas and Mia are dressed in a costume. Casey says she always dresses like this. And Willow is dressed like she’s super sweet. Poor Alyssa, she didn’t know that she was supposed to dress up.

The games that they play are super fun. There are all kinds of variations of poker and some never have I ever and maybe just a smidgeon of truth or dare. Of course, I’m pretty sure there are a whole lot of games being played that we don’t know about, but it works on so many, many levels.

I like most of the characters. I really don’t like Casey. She’s a snotty bitch. I loved it whenever Alyssa clapped back at her and whenever Mia told her off. It was perfect. I really wish that she had been knocked down a little more. I love the chemistry that Mia and Alyssa have. It’s kind of sweet and shy and just cute.

I would love to see another Game Night to see what would happen next, or maybe the day after Game Night.

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Oh, I really love the tease that is the ending of this. It’s perfect for the story.

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