Sunniva Dee-Regretfully Yours

Sunniva Dee is another new author for me, not just for the blog. And, before we get to anything, can I just say how awesome I think the name Sunniva is? Very, very awesome. Anyhow, back to the book, Regretfully Yours.

Silvina is out at a club with her bio partner, John, and watching the bane of her existence, Gioele, on the dance floor. When John touches her after buying her a drink, Gioele rushes over and beats John down, and then takes Silvina home. Silvina and Gioele have a lot of history together. They’ve always been really tight, with an incredibly tight bond. As teenagers, that bond went from very close to romantically close. That wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, except for one small, little, tiny fact. They are cousins. The family caught them when they were 16 and 17 and did everything they can to scare them into not being in love anymore. The problem is that it didn’t work out as well as they might’ve liked. While Silvina and Gioele worked hard to maintain some kind of distance, they still have that incredibly tight bond. When she moved to San Francisco to go to college, Gioele followed her.

Silvina tries to separate out her life from Gioele as much as possible, wanting to date and find other men to date. Gioele tries to listen to her, but he knows that she’s the only one for him. She’s his Ina mia. He wants no one other than her, no matter what.

And oh, there’s one more tiny little thing that can affect Silvina and Gioele. They aren’t just cousins, they are also the prince and princess of a huge mob family. Generally, that’s not a huge problem, but Gioele’s father is the head of the family, and he isn’t necessarily as sane as one could hope. That means he occasionally takes turns up the cold war between his family and another family and makes it a hot war. Just like he’s about to do any.second.now.

There’s also the fact that Gioele decides he’s going to do porn, but his brother won’t let him do it at his studio, so he goes to the competitor and films an audition reel. That shit never, ever, ever turns around and bites someone in the ass.

OK, this book was different to what I expected. I expected something darker than this. It had its dark points, and some really shitty things happen in it, but overall, it’s not that dark. I do love how much Gioele takes care of Silvina, and I love his name for her, Ina mia, my Ina. It’s such a sweet, intimate name to call the person who owns your heart. The book, for all the dark parts to it, is overall sweet, and is really good. I enjoyed every word of it, and my heart was light at the end of it.

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I didn’t see the bad guy being who he was, but damn if he didn’t just go way into I’m a crazy land. The parental unit of the bad guy wasn’t far off either. I mean, they were a pair of co-dependent nutbags.

That’s all I have to say on this one. Hit up the Zon on go check it out. Happy reading!

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Skye Warren-Escort

Another Skye Warren book on my blog. Is anyone surprised by this? Well, you really shouldn’t be, if you are. Skye is prolific, and I will read the fuck out of any of her books that I can. So, when the chance to read Escort came across my metaphorical desk, I jumped. Just call me Pavlov’s blogger. Show me a book, and I drool and beg. Isn’t that the way that works? Anyway, Skye Warren’s book.

Anyone who reads Skye Warren has probably read her Endgame series or her Stripped series (Pretty When You Cry is one of my fave of her books). I love both of those series and they are connected by the fact that they are all in the same fictional town, Tanglewood. There are several other books that take place in that world, and most of them are standalones. When they are connected, it’s generally just secondary characters popping in and out of stories. For example, Damon and Penny from the Masterpiece duet show up in this book as secondary characters. Their roles could be played any person at all, but I like that it’s Damon and Penny. It just helps bring Escort alive and anchor it in the world it’s in. Each Tanglewood book just makes the town realer. I wouldn’t mind visiting Tanglewood, there are a few businesses that I wouldn’t mind checking out, but I really wouldn’t want to live there. But visiting? Totally OK. All of this leads into today’s book.

Hugo was born in Tangiers. His mother worked long hours as a hotel maid until she died when he was a teenager. He ran the streets until he was picked up at 15 by an older woman. He thought that they were desperately in love. She took his virginity and took him to America and Tanglewood. Hugo has his reasons for being there. Melissande had her reasons, mostly that she wanted to pimp him out. No quicker way to break someone’s love, right? As an adult, with lots of experience, Hugo has turned into Tanglewood’s most wanted escort. He loves women of all kinds and loves to pleasure women. Women have picked up on that and called him back time and time again. That’s made him rich enough that he doesn’t have to work, so he only does it once a week, on Saturday nights. Limiting supply that way makes demand even higher. Meanwhile, he spends his weekdays being the man of leisure, cooking, being artistic, reading, all that good stuff.

Beatrix lives in the penthouse of L’Etoile. She’s spent the past decade there and never leaves the hotel. Everything she needs is right there, or almost everything. Right now, what she needs is a man. She’s got something that she really wants to get rid of, her virginity. She’s tried to go down to the bar to find the right guy, but it hasn’t worked. So, she has decided that she’s going to go to the professional and hires Hugo. She’s disconcerted when Hugo shows up and tells her that he’s going to give her pleasure. She’s not sure that she wants pleasure, she just wants to be relieved of her burden. That’s not the way that Hugo works though. He wants to make sure Bea enjoys everything they do.

It’s that time. I love the fact that the escort in question is a male escort who is going to be the target of our story instead of a female escort. Great way to flip that right on its head. Then we have a pretty strict some POV, and that’s Hugo’s POV. We have no clue what’s going on in Bea’s head most of the time because we’re living in Hugo’s. That’s also a big switch when it comes to romance novels. That’s awesome too. It’s pretty rare, mostly because the primary readers of romance novels want to be to identify with the heroines in the book, so getting their POV is generally pretty important. But, this way worked so well. Hugo had the deeper story this time around, so it really needed to be his POV.

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Did you know that l’etoile is French for star? I knew that high school French class would come in handy sometime. Of course, since I’m coming up on 28 years since I graduated high school, I remember about 5 whole words of it.

Hugo’s hate-on almost ruined what he and Bea had. I’m glad that he was able to change himself around. Of course, I would have that fucking hate on too. I would want to do what Hugo wanted to.

Bea’s piano playing is beautiful. The whole idea of being able to establish an online prescence she did without leaving the house is awesome. The Internet has made those of us with social anxiety, agoraphobia, or other things that make it easier to do things and interact with the world.  I don’t make friends well in person, but I have good friends online that I’ve had for nearly 20 years, so that works real well for me.

OK, that’s all I have to say about Escort and Skye Warren. I seriously, seriously recommend investing in this one. I know that I say that about a lot of books, but this should really be one of those core books you have, especially if you like Skye.

Lia Peele-Definition of Stripped

Lia Peele is another new-ish author, so I’m really happy that I can share her books and get her name out in front of all you lovely people so that you can go check them out. The main book is Definition of Stripped, which has a prequel called Definition of Flawed.

In DoF, we get to meet Scarlett and Dev and learn a little bit of history about them. We get a better look at the things that drive each of the characters in DoS. In DoF, Scarlett is a young woman, just finishing with university and starting to be a little more independent. She meets a man named Paul and starts to have a relationship with him. He tells her that he’s only a few years older than she is. Turns out that he’s even older than that, and he has a teenage son named Dev, who’s only 4 years younger than Scarlett is. There’s a lot more in there, and last I knew it was free on Amazon so you can go grab it and read it to get you ready for Stripped.

In DoS, it’s been 6 years since Flawed. Scarlett has started her own very, very successful business that works with marketing, branding, and all that kind of stuff. Her business is constantly growing and she’s just been nominated for a big award. Her best friend Sian drags her to her cousin’s hen’s night. They go to a Taboo, a huge strip club so they can scope out all the hot, hot, hot male strippers. The book takes place in England, and apparently, the guys can go allllll the way down, and they do. Oh my, do they. Anyway, Adrian, who is the big star of the troupe, and yes, BIG is used in more than one way, comes out to the audience and starts dancing with Scarlett. After the show, she gets a text saying to come outside. When she does, she finds out that Adrian is actually Dev.

Dev has grown up goooood. He’s hot, built, hung, and uses that to his advantage. He does freelance graphic art during the day and strips at night. During his free time, he goes out and sleeps with any and everyone who catches his eye. The only problem that Dev has with sex is when he’s not having any. He likes boys, girls, other, in pairs, trios, and more. He just likes sex. He’s had a thing for Scarlett ever since he saw her the first time. He asks her for a meet, just so that they can catch up.

OK, it’s that time. Overall, I liked the two stories. I am looking forward to the next one so that we can pick up some of the threads that weren’t really touched on in Stripped. I do feel like there may have been a couple of places with some flow issues, but that may also just be me. Lia is still a new author and has plenty of time to figure that stuff out. It didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book or storyline at all. Sometimes I totally hated Dev and wanted to punch him in the nads. Sometimes I really liked him. Sometimes I wanted to strangle Scarlett. Sometimes I really liked her. So, you know, very realistic feelings about the characters.  Note, Lia is English. The book takes place in England. The language is very much British English from the spelling to the slang. I don’t think that you should have a hard time with any of the slang or anything because none of it is completely weird slang. It’s just something to note before you start reading.

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OK, I’m dying to find out who the stalker is. I’m 100% that  Dev’s stalker is the one who is sending strange things to Scarlett at work. I really think that it’s her receptionist, but that may just be me and my personal conspiracy theory sense acting up. I do want to know, though. It’s going to continue to pick at my brain until we find out who it is.

I’m not surprised that Dev has all kinds of weird, mixed up feelings when it comes to Scarlett. I would have that same kind of group of weird feelings too, in his position.

OK, that’s it for today. Hit up the mighty Zon, and check it out. Happy reading!

Dani Rene-Madd Ink

This is going to be a quick little review because Madd Ink by Dani Rene is a quick little read. The publishers for it specialize in quick and dirty reads for when you just want something hot and sexy to read. And Madd Ink fits perfectly in that.

Ryn learned her lesson years ago. Don’t trust men. It’s better for her if she just stays on her own with her 5-year-old daughter Roxie. And that definitely means that she needs to stay away from Slade Maddox, cop and man whore.

Slade loves women. He knows he loves women. He doesn’t think that he will ever settle down to just one woman because there are just so many women and so little time. When he goes to his best friend’s tattoo parlor to get a tattoo touched up, he sees Ryn and is fascinated by her.

OK, this is where we’re going to part. There isn’t a whole lot of story here, but you know that going in. It’s a lovely piece of fluffy candy for your mind. I am perfectly fine with that, and the story met that need 100%.

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The story does move quick, but it has to. I really don’t have too much to say down here because anything I say about it is going to be a spoiler. So, I liked it. It was good. I’ll keep it in a reread list, especially for days when I need something quick and easy to read.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Happy reading!

Hannah Davenport-The Secrets We Keep

Hannah Davenport has been up here before with her scifi romance. I enjoy reading her fated mates Azzarian series. This one isn’t a scifi romance but is more in the contemporary/thriller/suspense romance category. But that’s just fine. I like those categories too, so that was all good. So, let’s talk about The Secrets We Keep.

Ariel is a young woman in hiding. Three years ago she ran away from her step-father. He had kept her locked away and hidden in the house after her mother disappeared. She was pretty sure that he had killed her mother. He was abusive and terrible to her, and she knew that if she didn’t get away from him soon, that she would have a much harder time getting away from him. Before she escaped, she went to his hidey-hole and stole all the drug money that he was supposed to hand over. She knew that she would need it to get away and to hide. Three years on, she’s hiding in NYC and still waiting for her life to get started. Her life consists of working, coming home, and chatting online to Altruist.

Luca owns a hugely popular nightclub. When Ariel’s friends and co-workers bring her into his club for her birthday, he’s immediately drawn to her. He almost feels like there is an electric current between the two of them. He has to know more about her. What he finds out is that she isn’t who she says she is.

OK, it’s time for you to choose your path. We know some of Ariel’s secrets right up front because we are told them. We don’t know if there are more secrets hiding or if we know everything about her. Luca knows that there is something about her, but he isn’t totally sure what. The story is divided up into 3 POVs. I understand why Hannah did it that way, and I’m good with that. It was really necessary to get the fullness of the story. I like Ariel and I like Luca. I don’t like the other person. I felt like they thought that they were entitled to something with Ariel that they didn’t earn or deserve and that they kept trying to make decisions for her that weren’t theirs to make. I enjoyed the book overall, especially when that particular character wasn’t on screen.

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Once you’ve read the book, you are going to know who the third POV is. I just didn’t like him at all. I mean, yeah, it was good that he was already in NYC when Ariel was taken, but he just didn’t really deserve her in any way. He never saw who she was and he was a lying liar who lied. And when he wasn’t outright lying, he was lying by omission. He knew that Ariel was worried about Luca and figured that Luca had moved on, but he also knew that Luca was calling his partner every week to find out what he could about Ariel. See why I don’t like him? He’s all nasty and slimy.

I’m quite happy that the book ended the way that it did. The ending was quite satisfying to me and made me perfectly happy. Ariel deserves to get out and live her life and to try to find some happiness.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go check it out, and go check out the rest of Hannah’s catalog. She writes some lovely romances with a good story wound around and through.

Jane Henry-Deliverance

I love reading Jane Henry’s books. And this one, Deliverance, is the first book in a new series, so yay for that! Similar to the Boston Doms series that Jane wrote with Maisy Archer, this the New York Doms series. Jane is writing this one solo though. Still great to read.

Diana is a single mother of a son who is autistic. She’s been single for a long time, with a few breaks for relationships that just don’t work. In fact, a failed relationship is what brings Diana to us. She and her friend Beatrice are out trying to drown Diana’s sorrows in a lot of tequila. When she sees a silver Maserati, she wants to key it because she’s sure it’s her ex’s. Except, whoops. It’s not. Turns out it belongs to a huge hunk of Dom named Tobias.

Tobias is a part owner of a BDSM club called Verge. One night when he walks outside of his club, he sees two drunk women, one of whom is keying his very, very expensive car. When he confronts Diana about it, he notices that she’s pretty much drunk as a skunk. He takes her back in to Verge, into his office. She is pretty apologetic about it and is starting to feel pretty bad about what she was meaning to do. She swears to Tobias that she will pay him back, she’ll just give him her insurance info and be on her way. When he tells her that her insurance isn’t going to cover her vandalism. Diana keeps checking her phone and tells Tobias that she has to leave. If her son wakes up and she’s not home, he’ll be very upset and could meltdown.

Except, there’s a problem. Tobias gets a bright red flashing light on his desk and a phone call from a cop friend of his. There’s been a horrific attack on a woman and it’s associated with his club. So Verge is on lockdown and Tobias has to go out to the rest of the club to deal with it, which means that Diana is going out with him. That’s when she manages to earn her first spanking.

Alright, you know what time it is. I really enjoyed this book, as I have everything else of Jane’s that I’ve read. Lots of great spanking and great sex. She also has a great story going on around it. There are a lot of stories going on within the book and a lot of relationships being built. That is something that could really get out of hand and overwhelm the other elements of the story, so it works out really well. I really loved the positive representation of an autistic kid in a story. There are a lot of stereotypes about people who are autistic, so seeing a positive and realistic example out there is important. It’s also important to get the realistic example of single moms who are dealing with kids with special needs. This is a great story, all around, and I am looking forward to the next one and to see if who I think the next couple is going to be is actually the next couple.

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FTR, I’m pretty sure Zach and Beatrice are the next couple to show up. Of course, watch Jane pull someone else out of her house altogether, just to prove me wrong. LOL.

I would love to see Tobias adopt Chad, but I’m not sure that his dad would ever let go, even if he doesn’t really have much to do with Chad. I know his kind. He’s just a prick and always going to be a prick and Chad will never be enough for him because he just doesn’t want to understand who his own son is. Dickhead.

Anyhow, that’s all for today. I’m going to go plan my weekend reading now. Happy reading!

Maddie Taylor-Carly’s Crush

You’ll remember that I had a Maddie Taylor book on here just last week. Lovely scifi menage. This one is a nice Valentine’s Day short. Quick, hot, and sweet. The perfect V-Day treat for your brain. I really enjoyed reading Carly’s Crush.

So, Carly works in an upscale mall at a lingerie boutique. You know, the kind of place where two pieces of lace and 6 inches of silk cost $350. Carly loves to work with all the pretties, design the windows, and help out with the books. She works at the store part-time while she is getting her MBA. She can’t really afford the delicate pieces of silk and lace frillies that she works with, even with the discount, but she at least gets to see them.

Carly also has a huge crush on Trent. Trent runs the security firm which acts as mall security. He is the big bad badass Special Forces vet who is uber hot. She has memorized his schedule and manages to be standing out by the entrance when he walks by and she arranges to work the nights he’s there. Everyone she works with knows about her crush, and so do some of the security guards. The only person who doesn’t have a clue is Trent. He’s noticed her but he thinks that she’s too young and innocent for him.

This story is very sweet. It does have a little bit of the whole comedy of errors going on in it. That just adds to the charm and to the love story between Trent and Carly. This really is the perfect Valentine’s Day story, even for people like me, who hate Valentine’s Day.

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I did laugh out loud at Carly’s seduction scene. It was so totally something that I might do. Especially trying to find the “perfect” sexy position. I just loved that. Made Carly feel so real.

I loved the whole epilogue. Very nice. Perfect ending to the whole story and a great way to top it off.