Anna Edwards-Second Chances

This is a spin-off from Anna’s Control series. Like she says, you don’t have to have read all the Control books to read and enjoy Second Chances, but it helps. Which I can attest to since I haven’t read them all (don’t be mad at me, Anna)(I’ve read the first one and the rest are on my neverending TBR). Anyway, the main storyline of the Control books is over, and now we’re into a new storyline.

So, here we go. This is the story of Ryan and Elena. Ryan was from the Control series, and is related to James and Sophie from that series. Elena is Amy’s best friend and runs her ballet school, and Amy is James’ wife.

Ryan is learning how to be a Dom from James and Grayson, who is Sophie’s husband. He is dealing with shit, and Domming helps him control himself, and hey, he likes it. You know, as those D-types tend to do.

Elena is busy running the ballet school. She was going to be a prima ballerina until she fell and broke her leg badly. She can still dance, but her leg isn’t as strong as it used to be, so no more top ballerina. So, she teaches and choreographs instead, and she likes it.

One night, Amy invites Elena to go to the BDSM club that Grayson owns and all the couples go to. Then in walks Ryan. And boom. Elena and Ryan meet eyes across the crowded club, and it’s lust at first sight. Lots and lots and lots of lust with a capital LUST.

There is a lot that happens in this book. I mean, you are getting Ryan’s backstory as well as his POV on certain things that happened. I think that will give a lot of added dimension to the whole story. (Now I really need to read it all.) I like getting to know Ryan through this book. I think that he is a truly good guy in this book. He has to deal with a lot of difficult shit, and he could totally cave and he doesn’t.

Elena. Hmm… I don’t know about Elena. I do think I like her most of the time. There were a few times that I didn’t like her, but I don’t know how much of that is because of what was happening in the story at the time or because of her character. Elena has to handle some serious shit in this story too, and I think, overall, that she comes through it, not necessarily easily, but she does.

Thre is a note at the end of the book that there is going to be another series starting off. I don’t know if that means that this is the first book in a new series, or if this was a transition book between the Control series and the new series. I tend to think it is transitional, because I can really see it as a bridge between what happened before and what happens next. I’m not discounting Elena and Ryan’s story, because it’s an important one, but it really felt like a bridge book to me.

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The whole Victor storyline really affected me. I’m not sure what the feelings that it gave me are, but I have feelings about it. It packed a massive punch though.

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

Anthology-Something Wicked

By the pricking of my thumbs, Something Wicked this way comes. -Second witch Macbeth, Act 4 , scene 1

This anthology is made up of 14 stories by 14 authors, some new to me, some not. They are all a version of a fairy tale, but definitely not the ones that you know. They aren’t friendly. They aren’t happy. If there is whistling and singing going on in these stories, be sure that it’s not the good guy doing it. I will say that most of the stories have an ending that could be considered happy, for a given definition of happy, and for some particular people, but I’m not really sure that I would call them HEAs.

Usually, when I get an anthology that’s more than 8 or so stories, I only mention my faves, just because it can get long, and ain’t no one got time to read a super long review, let alone write one. However, I feel the urge to give you my reactions on all of them. I don’t think it will add too many words to do that.

Missy Ann-Forbidden Queen

New to me author. Wow. I honestly didn’t expect the direction the story went. I mean, I figured for a twist, but this was a whole Mobius strip of a twist.

B. Celeste-Within These Shadows

Another new to me author. This was… disturbing in really disturbing ways. Good ways, but yeah. I would love to find out more of this world. I love the protagonist and the way that their POV was done.

Elizabeth Cash-Bittersweet Beauty

This is a prequel or intro or something like that. There is going to be more to this story, which makes me happy, because I need more of Beck, Bishop, and Jax.

A. A. Davies-Dama de Diablo

New author to me. Appropriate title. ‘Nuff said.

Anna Edwards-The Toy

Damn you, Anna. Just damn you. I really think that I want to hate you, but I’m pretty sure that I can’t because it was too good! That end, though.

Emery Leeann-Bite Me: The Cursed Evil Queen

Another new to me author. With some of the stories, it was easy to tell what the story was. It wasn’t in this one. When I found out who the person was before they are the person that they are now? Blew me away.

K. S. Marshall-The Deadly Hunt

Lots of new to me authors in this one. I honestly thought that this was going to go another way. It’s still living in my head and I’m trying to figure out some of it in my head.

Claire Marta-The Wish

I wish that Claire would write faster. I’m not sure who I trust in this story, but I can’t wait to find out what’s going on.

C.L. Matthews-The Underneath

This might be the least dark story in the entire anthology. I loved it.

TL Mayhew-Wicked Lady T

I think that I may have read some of Mayhew’s other stuff, but the consequence of reading so many books is that I sometimes forget who and what I’ve read. This might be the second least dark story. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Michelle Pace-Nights on the Round Table

I love the Arthurian tales. I can tell you most of them backwards and forwards and I know all about the various knights. This is not the Arthurian tale that you expect.

Michelle Brown-Unfortunate Souls

I was lucky enough to be one of the people who got an ARC of Michelle’s first book, and I’ve enjoyed watching her grow. Her short stories are wicked AF, and this one is no different. Amazing spin on her tale.

Ally Vance-Hellfire

I had a Disney song running through my head the entire time I read this, which is kinda weird, considering the tone of the story, but what can I say? I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with the rest of the story.

Murphy Wallace-Prick

I love the whole Sleeping Beauty/Maleficient theme in general, and the take on the story in this one is fabulous.

I can normally pick which ones are my favorite, but I think that with each of these stories I found a new favorite. They are all twisted and dark and disturbing and wonderful and all the things that I happen to like when I’m reading. The anthology is really short for an anthology. Some of the stories are really short, and they are all pretty quick to read. That’s one of my favorite things about anthologies, the fact that many of the stories are pretty quick to read and that I can pick them up and put them down without losing the thread.

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Anna Edwards-Hidden Pain

Hidden Pain is the 5th book in Anna’s Glacial Blood PNR series. These books aren’t really standalones, but they aren’t really serials either. Each book follows a new couple/thruple, but they are all in a larger story arc, and if you haven’t read the ones before, you aren’t going to really know what is going on, trust me on this.

This one has MMF going on in it, and OMFG, it’s hot. And it’s not just for the yummy sex, and I totally agree with Lily, but it’s hot for the realizations that come about for the characters because of their relationship.

So, Kingsley, a human, is in Kansas as the big wolf pack, where his sister, Isobel is marrying the love of her life, Zain, who is a bear shifter. They are going to go back to the Glacial Blood pack, but since they are gearing up for war, this time and place is the best place for the wedding, and for the families with tiny babies to stay. Hunter is the alpha of the pack, and he has invited Kingsley to stay, and he is keeping Lily, a bear, prisoner for Kas, until he decides what to do with her.

But here’s the thing, Hunter and Kingsley are drawn to each other, and they are both drawn to Lily. So, they decide that she’s going to go into the set of rooms in between Kingsley’s and Hunter’s.

All three of our main characters are dealing with some kind of trauma or stress. Lily has had horrible things happen to her at the hands of humans, and then even worse at the hands of Nuka, that motherfucker. She’s angry and hurt, and I totally think that she deserves to be. I would be too. And of course, Kingsley had to deal with his asshole father who, well, asshole is a really good description of him. But that’s OK, he croaked it. And Hunter. He’s dealing with having to be an alpha and leading his pack into the future and planning on fighting a war, and oh yeah, trying to figure out who is going to be his heir after he’s gone. He thinks that he has to shut down everything he wants so that he can do what he needs to do.

I love watching the three of them heal themselves and heal each other. We’re at a very tense part of the overall story, and I feel like that healing is a really integral part of the upcoming fight. Healing makes you stronger, and they had to make sure that their broken edges were sanded off.

I think, of the three of them, Lily had the most healing and growth, really. I’m not discounting anything that Hunter and Kingsley have dealt with or are dealing with, because they have their own journeys to handle, but really, I think Lily has the longest journey. Once we have her backstory, we can understand exactly how long that journey is and everything she had to deal with.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out. Anna keeps me all dragged into the series.

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OMG, Lily’s backstory broke my heart. That poor woman, and then Nuka the fucka?

OK, that’s all for today. Go check out the entire series. Happy reading!

 

Anna Edwards-Redemption

Anna Edwards has very comfortably moved into my must read author category. I will read anything that she puts out right now, and her backlog is on my TBR list. Have I talked about what my TBR looks like? Yeah, it’s that bad. Anyway, Anna has written a story in the Cavalieri Della Morte series. I think that Redemption is book #10, if Amazon can be trusted. I haven’t read all 10 yet, but the ones I haven’t read are on my list. If only I didn’t have to sleep or make money. Darn real life getting all up in my way.

Anna has given us the story of Gawain and his lady love, Megan. Gawain is Arthur’s nephew. His mom is Arthur’s sister, and Arthur has acted as his father figure since his 16th birthday when his dad just went one step too far. Arthur sends Gawain out on righteous kills, especially on jobs where he is rescuing women who are being trafficked.

Megan is from Stockholm, and two years ago, she went missing. The reason that she went missing is that she was out celebrating her birthday and was abducted and sold. Now, she’s learned to be quiet and do everything her owner M wants her to do. And usually, what he wants is for her to hurt and suffer. And that is exactly what she has done for the past two years. She’s covered in burns, scars, and has unhealed broken bones. Her mind is sorta there and she trusts no one, including the men who come in to rescue her. She’s pretty sure that they are a test from M.

Redemption is defined as being saved or saving someone from sin and evil, and as the action of gaining back or repurchasing something or clearing a debt. And the title works really well in both definitions of the word and for multiple characters. Gaining that redemption is really important and I think that these characters wouldn’t have worked well in any other setting.

I really like Gawain. Even though he’s an assassin and should be this hardened killer kind of person, there’s something very tender about him. It’s not that he’s an innocent, in any way, shape, or form, but there’s just something very sweet about him. I can’t put my finger directly on it though. I really like how patient he is with Megan, and how he wants to make sure that she’s safe. He goes out of his way to do things that will make her happy and help her have some good memories.

I like how strong Megan really is. Even though her mind kinda got fucked up while she was being held by M, she’s still very strong. Of course, when you are in a crazy fucked up situation your brain is going to do what it can to help you, and that can include your brain deciding to give you an out and help to block out happier things that happened prior to the trauma. But even then, she managed to keep a core of herself there, even if it was buried treasure. I like how it wasn’t an insta-love situation, but that it took a little time, because it gave Megan and Gawain time to become friends before anything else happened.

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I loved the tea party. That was seriously above and beyond, and so freaking romantic.

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

Anna Edwards-A Father’s Insistence

A Father’s Insistence is the last book in the Dark Sovereignty series, and damn, did Anna save the best for last. I mean, it’s not like the other two were bad, because they weren’t and they packed a punch, but this one was the TKO. It left with me with all the feelings and all the things to say. But first, let’s talk about the story.

Joanna was one of the women who was presented to Nicolas, but he didn’t choose her, which left her to be sold. She was sold to a terrible man who spent a year breaking her down, raping her, training her, and doing all manner of terrible things. Finally, he tells her that he has a plan. He’s going to marry her to his son, she’s going to give him a son, and he will raise that son to take over the Oakfield Society.

Then there’s Theodore, whose sister Victoria was given to Nicolas and who he ultimately married and her best friend Tamara, who Theodore saw as a little sister, who went and married William, Nicolas’ little brother. His father has told him about the society, generally, and told Theo that Victoria and Tamara are brainwashed and that Nicolas and William are terrible men who are abusing the women. Which, you know, they totally aren’t, but the old Viscount isn’t happy with the way that Nicolas is taking the Society. Theo keeps trying to see his sister and Tamara to whisk them away to safety, even as they tell him that he’s wrong. Then, one night, Theo gets drugged and wakes up in a house where his father shows him a very thin, obviously abused woman, covered in bruises, and says her name is Joanna and that Theo needs to marry her to save her from Nicolas and William.

So, the man who bought Joanna and tortured her for a year is Theo’s dad. He’s fucking twisted, and considering what Nicolas’ dad was like and what the society got up to, that’s saying something. I personally think that he was more evil than the old Duke was. And again, that’s saying something. I mean, not only was he pretty much evil incarnate, I think that he was also more than a little crazy. His cheese done slipped his cracker. I’m sure there is some British-ism that describes the same thing, but I don’t know it. Anyway, cheese and cracker no longer meet. I don’t think they are even in the same postal code anymore.

Joanna is strong AF. I really like her a lot. She’s a survivor, even if she doesn’t think that she is. It’s there though. Just the fact that lasted a year under the crazy man’s rules and came out of it as sane as she did says a whole helluva lot about her. I also like that she questions everything that happens and that she says. She knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and even as she makes the decisions that she does, she knows what she should and shouldn’t do. I understand completely why she does everything that she does because I would totally do the same thing in her situation. I don’t think that anything she may or may not have done at this point can really be held against her by anyone because of what happened to her. Not that I’m excusing her, but you get what I mean.

I really spent a lot of the book pretty sure that Theo is a fucking idiot. And I will stand by that. I will argue with almost anyone about it. He listened to his father a little too much and didn’t use whatever brains he may have been given. When his sister and Tamara were telling him things, he chose to ignore them, and chose to believe what his father said, all evidence to the contrary. I think he must not have thought a whole lot of his sister and Tamara. I mean, I would think that Tamara, at the very least, would be strong enough to be able to get away, if she really wanted to. He really just didn’t give the ladies enough credit, which was stupid on his part, if you ask me. Joanna does help him, so he ought to thank heaven for her for so many reasons.

I cried and yelled at this book. There were some parts that made me so blasted mad, sometimes at Theo and definitely at his father. I love how strong all three of the ladies in this book are, and really admire them for all their strength and gumption.

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I loved the epilogue. That was just wonderful. I love the new society and who signed the charter for it.

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

Anna Edwards-Blaire’s World: Oliver

Blaire’s World is a shared world set of 7 books. They are all based in the world that Anita Gray created with her book Blaire, but they can all be read as a standalone. There may be some mild spoilers to Blaire or Blaire 2, but you don’t have to have read those books in order to read the Blaire’s World books. They don’t have to read in any particular order. However, I highly recommend reading the Blaire books, just because I think that they are great books. Six of the books are coming out on 2/26, but Demetrius will be coming out later in the year, for personal reasons.

Anna Edwards’ Oliver is the last of the Blaire’s World books released today.

Oliver is a character we’ve brushed up against before. He was loaned out to work with Maksim, which meant he knew Blaire. But now, he’s back with his own Pakhan, who almost makes Maksim look warm and fuzzy. Almost.

Oliver was born in England, but it turns out his dad was a member of the Russian Mafia who tried to run, and when Oliver was 8, they caught up to him, and Oliver then was taken into the Mafia and made to do terrible things. Twenty years later, he’s been made avtoritet, which leaves him second only to Victor, the Pakhan.

Amaya is the daughter of a man in a Mexican cartel. Her dad is trying to get in with Victor, so he’s giving her to him. Amaya thinks it’s just a loan, which has happened many times before, but nope, circumstances conspire to make it a permanent thing.

When Oliver and Amaya first meet each other’s eyes, sparks flew. Too bad that nothing could happen, because she now belongs to Victor, as does Oliver.

I love Anna Edwards, and I definitely love what she puts her characters through. She isn’t nice to them, not at all, but she also doesn’t completely destroy them. It makes the story really interesting, and it can make it hard for me to figure out what is going on. There are times I like nice, predictable books, ones that I can just figure out easy, but not all the time. Give me a good book with some twists and turns and make me not able to figure it out? Yeah, I’m a happy girl. And that’s what happened here. It isn’t the twistiest book I’ve ever read, and it isn’t the darkest of the Blaire’s World books, but the dark and the twists are there. And frankly, I think adding in more of either of those things would have ruined the careful balance that Anna worked here.

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OMG, the Jacob’s Ladder that Oliver has? I’ve heard good things about those, as long as the right kind of jewelry is used. I would think that they could tear a person up, otherwise.

I did find Victor to be a huge hypocrite when it came to dealing with the guy who raped his niece, especially since you know he probably had no problem getting his dick wet in a young girl like that.

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

Anna Edwards-Tainted Reasoning

Tainted Reasoning is the second book in Anna Edwards’ Dark Sovereignty series. This book is not a standalone. You have to have read the first book, Legacy of Succession, in order to know what’s going on in this one. (Check out my review here.) There will be things that spoil the first book in this review. It’s just the way of things when it comes to a trilogy. I will try to keep it down as much as possible, but it isn’t always possible, so be aware of that, and read accordingly.

The first book was the story of Nicholas and Victoria and how they are going to change their part of the world. In that book, we met Tamara, who is Victoria’s best friend. They are so close that they basically consider themselves like sisters. Victoria has lived vicariously through Tamara during all the years her father kept her sequestered. Now Tamara has graduated from Cambridge and is a brand new lawyer, and she’s bound and determined to go take care of her friend Victoria, who was given to Nicholas so that her father could have a better position in society. Poor him, it must be so hard to be rich and a Viscount. Poor, poor man.

We also met William is Nicholas’ younger brother, the spare in the heir and the spare situation. He’s spent his life being hidden away by the evil bastard that was his father. That’s because William is autistic, and the old Duke didn’t want to be “embarrassed” by his “weird” son. Yeah. Ask me what I think of that. Anyway, now that Nicholas is Duke, William has a lot of freedom, but he worries. He worries about being wired wrong or being just not right, and having all that darkness inside of him. (Which brings up the whole nature v. nurture thing.) (protip: being autistic doesn’t make anyone wrong or weird or anything. Don’t go there.)

Anyway, Tamara is on a crusade. She’s going to go rescue Victoria and get her away from the evil clutches of Nicholas. She knows some of what happened, and she knows that her very best friend has been in a seriously bad place. So, away to Oakfield Hall. When she meets Nicholas, she promptly applies her knee to his nuts because she hears Victoria screaming, and she comes out with a torn shirt while Nicholas is trying to fasten his trousers. At which point Victoria tells Tamara that it’s all good, and William explains that they are in the honeymoon phase and they are busy fucking like bunnies and that Nicholas often has his dick in Victoria’s pussy. And that is actually what he says, and there’s just something about that phrase that just made me laugh out loud. It was so fucking funny, especially as Nicholas is currently sitting on a chair with a bag of ice sitting on the said member.

William is pretty much massively turned on by Tamara doing that, and seriously, who wouldn’t be. It’s pretty awesome. He decides that he really likes Tamara. It’s a good thing that she’s going to be staying and helping the three of them with their task of taking down the society.

I love Tamara. From the very first, we see how strong she is, how loyal she is, and how far she is willing to go to protect those whom she loves. She is ferocious, and when it comes to being all lawyer-ish, she will take you down. But, she’s also incredibly loving. With all the people she loves or cares for, she takes care of them and does what she can to make sure that they feel good.

I also love William. There are a lot of reasons for it, but one of them is that there is a dearth of heroes (or anti-heroes) who are autistic, and yet, autism is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s really nice to see a man who is autistic falling in love, dealing with his world, and figuring out what he wants to do after being trapped. His autism may not look like the autism that someone you love has, but no one person has every single aspect of autism. Everyone is different. I love William’s bluntness. I can relate to anyone in the book who gets embarrassed by what he says when he says it. But, I still like it.

I can’t wait for the next book. The way that this one sets up the next book is going to be fantastic. I’m really excited for it.

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OMG, the chase scene. The hottest thing evah. I mean, damn. That was soooo everything.

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