Mary Auclair-Touch of Ice

So, I was looking at the signup to review Mary Auclair’s Touch of Ice, and there was one thing that really drew me in. I mean, the blurb sounded great, but the fact that the heroine’s name is Endora was what tipped the balance toward reading this book. It’s a pretty serious book, but the name gave me a happy. So sue me, I watched a lot of Bewitched when I was growing up. We had like 3 channels, so we watched whatever was on. But that’s neither here nor there. Did I say that there are also dragons?

On this Earth, the world didn’t end in fire, it is ending in ice. It’s cold. And 200 years ago, it was invaded by aliens called the Delradon. Among other things, the Delradon stopped the world from being destroyed, and now they are ruling. The ruling class are the Draekon. They are matched with dragons at birth. When a Draekon is conceived, a dragon lays an egg. It takes 9 months for each of them to cook and they are linked at a soul level. They live for hundreds of years, since the dragons will share their vitality with the dragon lords. Now, with all that background, it’s time to get to the story.

In a part of the world that I’m pretty sure is French-speaking Canada, Endora lives with her gran-maman Henriette and her daughter Tallie. Tallie is very sick and the doctor says she has leukemia and she’s not got very much longer to live. He can’t do anything for her. The Delradon could at their hospital, but everyone knows that the hospital won’t help humans, and it’s a several day journey, in the cold, which is hard enough for anyone, but even harder when it’s a very ill little girl. So, in order to save her little girl, Endora is going to do something that she never thought she would. She pulls her compatibility report out so that she can go sign a mating contract with the Delradon she is genetically compatible with. She’ll get some money when she provides him with a child, but she figures that she can get some money ahead of time so that she can send some back to her grandmother so that Tallie can get better.

Lord Aldric Darragon is the High Lord of Katanie, his white dragon, Rhyll, is the strongest dragon of his generation. The stronger the dragon, the more territory the Draekon Lord can hold, and Aldric holds a lot of territory. Ten years ago, his match came through, but she refused to meet him. He went and spied on her, and he saw her with a human man and she seemed so much in love. He froze his heart so that he didn’t have to feel anything. Now she’s back and she’s ready to mate. He has her brought to his castle in a mountain, the Whispering Castle. He meets her in the throne room with Rhyll with him. Aldric wants to both impress and intimidate Endora. It kind of backfires though, when Rhyll lets Endora touch him. Normally a dragon would be dangerous to a human and would never let a human touch him. But not only did Rhyll let her touch him, he appeared to really like it. That was an incredibly rare thing to happen, and it means that Endora is his Draekarra, his Dragon Mate, the other half of his soul, basically.

There’s a lot of conflict going on in this one. You have Aldric vs. Aldric, Endora vs. Endora, Aldric vs. Endora, although that conflict isn’t as much that they are fighting each other, more than they are trying to figure out there path to each other and to the relationship that they want to have. Then there are the Knat-Kanassis. They are the definite bad guys. I really enjoyed this one, and not just because it’s full of dragons. You know how I’m a sucker for dragons. There are a lot of things going on in it, enough to keep your interest but not so much that you are overwhelmed with what is happening. The way that Mary Auclair works everything, and her dragons, is just pretty damn awesome. I’m really hoping for another story with Aldric and Endora, or at least another one in this world, if I can’t have them. I’m intrigued by it.

castle-cold-daylight-793075

I totally called the nasty-ass governess. And I knew that Wilmer was up to no good either, but at least he wasn’t as terrible as the governess.

The description of the child’s Mourning broke my heart. But it was so beautiful too. The way that the dragons were chanting and the scales of all the dragons being placed over the child and his dragon. Beautifully described. I could so see it in my mind’s eye. And the description of Endora’s dress sounds so beautiful. Sad to have something so beautiful for such a sad reason, but still.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. If you love that mix of scifi and fantasy, this is a good choice. Happy reading!

Sara Wylde-Truth or Dare

I don’t often read new adult books. Mostly because I have a 23-year-old son, and if I want drama and angst, I’ll just go talk to him. The drama llama often resides in my house. But, when I saw the series name, the ’80s child in me perked right up. The series title is Fast Times at Ridgemont Hall. Yeah, see why I had to read Sara Wylde’s Truth or Dare?

Our major players are Asher Warren & Huntingdon Dane III. He calls her Cinder Girl, she calls him The Bane of My Existence ™, so you can tell, they get along just like best buds, right? They’ve known each other for years, having both been children of rich parents and having gone through the same schools. And now that they are in college, they happen to share a dorm pod. That’s 4 bedrooms around a common room. And oh yeah, Asher’s father left her and her mom broke and ran off with his secretary, never to be seen in these parts again. She’s now on scholarship and drives a mop in the cafeteria to help with her expenses.

One day, Asher wrote a list of qualities she was seeking in a boyfriend. I think there are probably a lot of people who have written or at least come up with a list that they are looking for when it comes to a significant other. That’s not the problem. The problem is that Dane found it. Asher’s been expecting Dane to take the piss about it for days now, so when he walks up to her and tells her that he will help her to find a boyfriend if it will get her out of their pod now and again, she’s surprised and doesn’t quite trust him. But when she sees the name that Dane wrote down, she’s more than willing to try, and tells him that she will stay out of the rooms until graduation if he can help her get that guy.

Huntingdon Dane III has no emotions. At least, he doesn’t confess to any. His father has taught him that emotions are a weakness and that they should be excised because weakness is evil. The one thing that Dane wants the most is for his father to respect and be proud of him. Dane will do just about anything he can to turn himself into his father. So when Cinder Girl is part of his dorm pod, he knows that he has to do what he can to excise the weakness he feels around her. Getting her to leave the rooms often and to have a boyfriend will do that. So, he invites her to a party where he knows that the guy she wants to date is going to be at. It’s a weekend party at a cabin at a lake, and he knows that Barclay will want Asher because she’s with him.

The one thing that Hunt Dane does love to do is to stir the pot and play games. He’s going to play truth and dare and make things happen. His group takes truth and dare seriously. So, while it’s a game, it’s a very serious game.

I was surprised by how mature the young people in this book are. They are pretty wise, considering how young they are. And they behave better than some of the so-called adults in this. All the characters are enjoyable, and there are set-ups for the next books. All in all, I really enjoyed reading this one, and will likely read more of the series as it comes out.

beautiful-calm-clouds-206359

Dane is definitely a good game player. He outplayed his dad. He’ll definitely be a force to be reckoned with when he gets older, especially since he’ll have Asher there on his side, and she will cut a bitch. I definitely wouldn’t want to get on her bad side at all.

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

Alta Hensley-Filthy Fight

This is the second book in the Hot Hard & Dirty books. There are 5 or 6 more of them. Alta’s book focuses on a boxer, a boxing gym, and the Filthy Fight. About the title, it gets used several places in the book, and I really like that.

Juelp’s dad always told her that she was named after his favorite drink, the mint julep. It looked sweet and packed a punch. Julep has spent her life trying to live up packing a punch, and she does. Since her dad died, she and her brother Danny have been running the boxing gym that he started. Danny does the training, and she does pretty much everything else. So when Danny runs off their best chance at winning a heavyweight championship, again, it’s up to her to fix it. That’s what she does, along with keeping Danny from completely losing it. So she starts figuring out who to get to come fight for the gym. One thing she does is call her friend Lola, who is a sports writer, and who suggests that she go talk to Mateo, the boxer who was known as The Matador, but who has been out of boxing for a few years. Lola warns Julep that there was some kind of scandal there, so she will need to be careful.

Mateo loved to box. His father Cisco loved boxing and taught him to love it and how to box. But a few years ago, he did a stupid thing and caused his career to crash and burn. So when Julep rolls up to his house, looking all sweet, and asks him to come and try out at their gym for the heavyweight spot, he tells her no. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t really, really, really want to do it. Especially since he’s doing a shitty job with his welding company. His dad talks him into it, and away he goes to the open tryouts, where he dominates.

Danny is worried about taking a chance on him because he threw a fight. He doesn’t want Mateo to reflect badly on the gym, and if Mateo does it again, not only will it reflect poorly on them, it will be the end of the gym. But Julep convinces him to do it because she knows that he is their best choice. She’s positive that Mateo won’t do anything like that again and she’s sure that there was a really good reason that he did whatever it was he did. Mateo has never talked to anyone about it, and no one knows what he was thinking or his motives.

Danny is a total prick. I can say that without insulting pricks, I think. But seriously, everything is always Julep’s fault, even when it’s his fault, but when something goes well, it’s always because Danny planned it, or whatever. That kind of thing is really exhausting to have to deal with.

When I went into this book, I was all excited about a nice, filthy, forbidden boss/employee romance. And that’s there. But to me, this is about so much more than just that. You get a story about redemption, second chances at life, love, family, and picking yourself up after you fail. And that all wrapped around some hot sex and some fighting. I loved how Mateo’s story and his journey made me feel. There’s a lot of emotion there. And that’s what made this book so glorious, in my opinion.

black-wallpaper-black-and-white-boxer-3797

I personally think Nero and Danny had a little something going on in the background. I still don’t trust Danny at all. I know that kind of guy too well. Maybe Julep and Mateo can punch Danny around a little until he gets some sense in his head?

Oh man, Cisco’s whole storyline both makes me incredibly sad and incredibly happy. Sad that he was so sick, happy that he got to die the way he wanted to and where he wanted to. Not everyone gets that.

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

Aubrey Cara-Getting Dirty

So a bunch of my favorite authors have gotten together and decided that they are going to write a bunch of books around the common theme hard and dirty. Today is Aubrey’s entry. Monday we’ll have Alta Hensley’s. Without any further ado, let’s talk about Getting Dirty.

Madeline Elaine Fitzpatrick was born to be perfect. She has spent her entire life being perfect. She had to prove to her jackass of a father that she was successful and not just successful but better than him. She came from a very rich family, the kind where you go to private school from preschool until you graduate high school, then you go to an Ivy League school, date and marry the right people, and go on to raise your children in the same rarified air. From the time that she was born, that’s the world that Madeline lived in. (And does anyone else think of the children’s story Madeline when they see the heroine’s name?) Her father has told her all her life that she was better than other people and did everything he could to reinforce it. When her mother died in her teen years, her father got rid of the house in the city and moved her from her private school with all her friends, and then moved them into their lake house in a tiny little town. She went to the public school where she was stand-offish because of course she was. Even if she hadn’t grown up the way she did, moving in your last couple years of high school to a brand new school in a brand new town, and a small town at that, would be really difficult. But then she got out of town.

Now, she’s a very important, very successful businesswoman. And her father had just died. Even though she and her father were pretty estranged, it’s sent her off the rails. Off the rails enough that she destroyed her office and her bosses forced her to take a leave of absence, and then she ended up having a little bit of a nervous breakdown. And during all this, she has to go back to that little town and take care of her father’s estate. And wouldn’t you know it, her car has broken down, and she has to hike to the local garage, Wallace & Sons.

Jess Wallace went to school with Madeline. He always has a crush on her, and when she walks into his garage looking like something the cat drug in, he’s thrilled to see her, but upset that she looks so much in pain. He takes her and doctors her up, bandaging her hurt ankle and her blisters. And getting her all worked up in the process. They are getting very close and then Jess’s brother Jace walks in. When Jess takes Madeline to a rental place, he asks her out on a date to a dive bar.

Jace Wallace’s first thought when he saw her was Madeline fucking Fitzpatrick. They had a history, and none of it was good. He wanted nothing to do with her rich, snobby, prissy ass, especially after she made it perfectly clear that the son of a mechanic who was going to be a mechanic wasn’t good enough for her. What made it even worse was that they were supposed to go see a movie the night before she told him that, and she stood him up. They had been friendly because they were science lab partners, but after that day, that all went kablooey. So when he walks into his favorite bar and finds out that Jess has invited Madeline there for a date? He decides that he needs to interrupt it.

Now, Jess and Jace aren’t quite twins, but there is less than a year’s difference in their age, and they might just as well be. They’ve always been close and shared a lot of things, including women, but in the recent past, things have become tense with them, which is really hard, since they share a house and all. So Madeline being around runs the risk of causing even more friction between the brothers.

I liked Jess from the first time we saw him. Jace took me a while to warm up to. He has some mighty thick walls that need to be broken down, but he can be a serious asshole too. I feel sorry for Madeline, she put so much pressure on herself and we all know what happens when something under pressure doesn’t get the release it needs. It’s not pretty. I mostly liked her, but sometimes there were things that she said that I didn’t particularly care for, but they were more things that were ingrained in her as a child and then became habit. I don’t think that she really believed them as much as they were just what she had always been taught and she hadn’t really put any work into changing her thoughts. Deprogramming ourselves from things that we learned as a child can be really hard, especially if you are still in the same kind of environment.

gto

OK, remember when I said that Jace was an asshole at times? Yeah, the morning, when he takes Madeline to her car, is one of his asshole minutes, as is when they are in the garage together. Totally hot asshole, but still asshole. I mean, he knew that she and Jess and gone hot and heavy at it. Of course, Jess knew that Jace had a thing for her in high school. Jess liked her back in the day too.

Plus that freaking asshole cop. I hate sniggering little people like that who are titillated by other people but who want to look down at them. He really tried to make Maddy feel like a whore. I don’t know if he did it on purpose, but…

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, as well as the rest of this theme set as they come out. Happy reading!

Kristen Hope Mazzola-5-fer

Today is an interesting treat. We’ve got 5 Kristen Hope Mazzola books in one post. Four of the books are from the Unacceptables MC series and the 5th is a hockey book. They are all from Kindle Worlds and Kristen rereleased them today, with some extra stuff included, I believe. As I didn’t read them before, I can’t swear to it, but I’m pretty sure that I saw that. All 5 books are super quick reads. I don’t think any of them took me more than about 75 minutes or so to read, so you know that they are getting down into the relationship fairly quickly. But, they are all enjoyable reads, perfect for when you need something quick and relatively short to read.

Since the hockey story is all by itself, let’s start with Cherry Picked. This the story of Chase and Nikki. He’s come to NYC to play for his dream hockey team, she’s come to NYC to become a prima ballerina with the NY ballet. They are both pretty young, Nikki is just 19, so this is a new adult kind of romance too.

Nikki and Chase meet in a bookstore because she’s reading his favorite book. He pretty much immediately falls in love with her and her with him, and they spend the next 2 weeks together as much as possible, only separating when Chase has to practice.

The story is a sweet one and the sex scenes are pretty tame when it comes to description, so if you like sweet and just a little steamy, this is probably a good one for you.

The Unacceptables

The Unacceptables are a motorcycle club that has several chapters. Four, I think. There are 9 books in the series altogether, and I read 5, 6, 7, and 8. Each of the books is basically a standalone, with the couple’s story winding up in the book, but there is some kind of rough storyline. I haven’t read the first 4 books, but I didn’t feel like I didn’t know what was going on, and I got to know the characters pretty well, so it all worked out OK. I will mention that I think the books bounce back and forth chronologically a bit, probably because they were all in various Kindle Worlds. I would probably read these in this order, 5 & 8 then 6 & 7, and that’s how I have them listed here. That’s just my opinion, and you don’t have to follow it.

Unbearable

Bear is an Unacceptables Prez. He and his VP Jaxon are riding home following a terrible event. On the highway right before they get to their exit, they come across a motorcycle on the side of the road and a woman who was obviously on it. Bear does CPR while waiting for the first responders to show and then follows her to the hospital. There’s just something about her that he is drawn to.

Scarlett walked into her house after grocery shopping to find her husband balls deep in her best friend. She takes her friend’s clothes, lights them on fire, then throws them out the window. That’s pretty damn epic if you ask me. Then she pulls a gun on her husband and tells him that it’s over. She grabs some panties, tosses them in a bag, jumps on her bike, and heads to Atlanta. The next thing she knows, she wakes up in the hospital, with a tattooed guy in a cut standing there.

Unscarred

We’re back with Bear and Scarlett sometime after the end of the first book (but before its epilogue). Her now ex-husband and shown up and wants to cause some trouble. Bear and Scarlett escape out to some of the other chapters so that Scarlett can be safe while Bear takes care of business.

Undeniable

Ryan is Cass’s brother’s best friend. Along with his brother, the 4 of them are inseparable and have a good old time. Then Ryan’s older brother, who is in the service, dies. On the night of his viewing, they all go out to have a bonfire like they used to before Cam died. Ryan and Cass spend some quality time, then he tells her he’s joined the Marines.

Ten years later, she’s engaged to another man, Ryan’s an Unacceptable. But when the two of them see each other again, it’s almost like no time has passed at all.

Uncut

Ryan and Cass have been together for a while now, and while he no longer wears the patches, in his heart, he’s still an Unacceptable. So, when things come up, what’s he going to do?

I would consider the books MC-lite, except for Unscarred, which does get a little darker in places than the others are. The stories are spicy but more like banana pepper spicy and not ghost pepper spicy. They are all pretty good, and the characters have a good connection.

So, no spoilers today. Go check out these books, they are all in KU and the 9th book of the Unacceptables comes on later this month. Happy reading!

adult-boots-honda-969677

Maddie Taylor-Under His Command

We’re moving from outer space and alien militaries to Coronado in California and the SEALs with Maddie Taylor. Today, we’re going back to Club Decadance and we’re going to be Under His Command.

Cassie is a 30-year-old woman who still looks like she’s 18. She’s on Coronado so that she can start her new job. On the night before she starts her job, she’s out walking the beach. She grew up in California and loves the ocean. While Cassie is out walking the beach, she runs into some other young people who are playing beach volleyball. When they notice that she’s watching them, they invite her to play with them and hang out afterward and have a beer. After spending time with these folks, she decides to commune with the ocean by standing in it, but only up to her ankles. She just stands there and enjoys the feel of the ocean and the sand. But then, the ocean does what the ocean does. Since the tide is coming in, some large waves start coming in and knock her over. Then there was a hand helping her up and out of the water. If you are a petite person, it probably doesn’t take a lot of wave to knock you down. I’m not a petite person, and I’ve been knocked over by waves when I’m out at the beach.

Anyway, her rescuer starts to lecture her, especially when he realizes that she’s been drinking and that she smells of marijuana smoke. Not that she partook, but there were people smoking around her. Then, he threatens to spank her. Now, Cassie is a sub. She likes being spanked. Not necessarily by pushy men who drag her out of the ocean though. When she stands up to him, he apologizes and introduces himself as Flint and his lovely dog, Roscoe.

On the morning of her first day of her new job, on the Navy base at Coronado, guess who should show up? Of course it’s Flint, a Commander in the SEALs and head of training for the seals.

For his part, no matter how attracted he is to Cassie, and he really is, Flint knows that he has to stay away from her. She’s a kid, he’s pretty sure, just out of college, and too young for him, by far. Plus, she looks so innocent, and he wants to do a lot of dirty and not-innocent things to her. So, he develops a friendship with her where they go out to lunch and do things, but strictly as friends. What he doesn’t know is that he gives Cassie a case of screaming thigh sweats, and she’s working just as hard to not be attracted to him, because she’s sure that he thinks of her as just a little sister, for as many times as he calls her kid.

You could almost laugh at all the misunderstandings and false assumptions that go into this book, except it’s not all that nice to laugh when people are so upset, and they really get that way. Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a book without that kind of stuff, since that conflict is what makes a story. But, you know what I mean. I love how the relationship builds in between Flint and Cassie. The book takes place over a period of months, which means you really aren’t getting instalove, but a much more organic kind of love, when everyone just builds to it. I’m not blasting instalove, because it has a good place, and hell, I knew my husband about 3 months before we got married and I was 6 weeks pregnant, so I must have some kind of love for instalove. It’s nice to see instalove and it’s nice to see love that builds and blooms. They both have their place and time.

 

navy-seals (1)

Yup, that’s really what part of Navy SEALs training looks like. The Military channel ran a show that followed a class of SEALs as they started the training and all the way through. I’m pretty sure they don’t call parts of it hell for no reason. But, they are supposed to be the elite of the elite, so you have to weed them out so that you can find the elite. You only want the ones that can stand up to it.

OMG, Charles. How did that scumbag get into Decadence at all? I’m glad that Flint beat him up the second time around. What kind of Dom doesn’t listen to a sub that he’s never scened with before and who didn’t agree to go with him now when she tells him to leave her alone? And seriously, she owed him absolutely nothing at all, period.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check out this book, and all of Maddie’s other books. I promise you don’t be disappointed.

Grace Goodwin-Rogue Cyborg

Yay! More Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride universe. Rogue Cyborg is a combo of two of the off-shoots of that ‘verse, Rogue 5 and the Colony. I love the folks in the Colony. I think they are getting a bum rap from their various worlds. I guess I can understand why they have put their veterans who have be partially integrated by the Hive in a safe part of space so that the Hive can’t get to them again, but until recently, their families wouldn’t even get to see them. Thank goodness that’s changing, due to Prime Niall.

So, here’s our book today. Gwen is a human woman who was a Coalition fighter. Remember, Earth is the only planet that sends women out as fighters. As a feminist, I want to say yay! Women out of the front lines of the war because they are able to go out and fight too. But, the part of me that loves these big alpha aliens wants to say that they have the right idea keeping women off the front line and protected. It doesn’t keep me from reading and enjoying the books anyway. But back to Gwen. She was captured by the Hive and has extensive integration. She’s also the only single woman on the Colony, which is something that disturbs all the males of the Colony. So, some of the knuckleheads decide they know what they are going to do. They are going to have a big tournament and fight in the Pit to decide who is going to claim her and be her mate. When Gwen finds out, she’s pretty damn pissed. So she goes down to the Pit to have it out and get their heads on straight. The thing is, with her integrations, she’s faster and stronger than all the guys on the Colony, so she walks into the Pit and starts throwing around Prillons and Atlans. They refuse to fight back because she’s female, and the Governor shows up and tells the boys that this isn’t OK, but tells Gwen she has to pick a mate immediately. If she picks a mate, he’ll let her get back out and into the fight. So she chooses. She chooses the one male who turns her crank.

Makarios is a Hyperion and Forsian hybrid from Rogue 5. He’s a smuggler who was betrayed by a traitor which got him caught by the Coalition and locked in the brig. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it is that while he was trapped in the brig, the Hive captured the ship, and he got several implants. Now he’s free of the Hive, but he’s imprisoned on the Colony. He can’t get back out into space, which is where he wants to be, he just has to exist. Since the very first time he saw Gwen, Mak has wanted her. But he’s never going to take a mate. You see, there’s a very good chance he will kill her if he mates with her completely. You see, the Hyperion part of him wants and needs to bite his bite his mate. But the Forsian part of him produces a poison that will kill the female he mates with. Gwen knew that he didn’t want to have a mate, so she chose him. The Governor’s happy, her lady bits are happy, she gets to go out and fight, and Mak gets to escape out into space.

Lately, Grace has been writing a lot of female warriors into the series, and we’re seeing a lot of women who are continuing the fight with their mates right there next to them. I’m thinking that is pretty damn awesome. But Gwen is like warrior squared or maybe even cubed. She is definitely the strongest female we’ve seen thus far, physically, and I think probably the strongest mentally as well. She’s fierce, ferocious, and a fighter. She’s not about to let anyone just choose her fate for her or turn her into a protected woman. She can protect herself, TYVM. Mak is perfect for her. He is strong enough to stand with her and he respects her strength and spirit. I love the two of them together. I really want to see so much more of these two, and they are now up in the top 3 of my fave pairings in the series.

vesta-asteroid.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart

OK, Gwen is seriously kickass. I mean, she kills 9 Hive on her own. And not by shooting them, she rips off heads. Then she stands there, stark-ass naked and blue in the poison air. That’s just so damn impressive, even if the Hive added stuff to her, she had to have had some serious ovaries beforehand.

I’m glad that Rezzer got to handle some things. That makes me happy, especially since he’s one of my favorites.

OK, that’s all of this one. I seriously cannot recommend the entire series strongly enough. There’s sweet stories, hot stories, spanking stories, menage, and just about every other thing you can possibly want. Go check them out. The nice thing is you don’t really have to read them in too much of an order, at least the main books. I would definitely suggest reading them in order for the Colony books and the Rogue 5 books. And probably the Everian books. You know what? Ignore what I said and go read them all in order. Happy reading!