Raisa Greywood-Bastard’s New Baby

So, Raisa has walked away from dark and intense for a minute and gave us some short and sassy. Not sweet though. There is some angst and drama, but it’s pretty lowkey, making Bastard’s New Baby a truly enjoyable read.

So, Jackson McKenna is running his family’s business, but he’s being forced into having to get married. The thing is, he really doesn’t want to get married. He’s pretty sure that he won’t ever be able to find the kind of woman he wants to have. You see, he’s a Dom, and he wants to have a woman who is smart and beautiful, but also is kinky AF. As he’s thinking about this, after a night of debauchery, he gets a message from his mom, which he reads while he’s driving, and he nearly runs down a woman.

Meanwhile, we have Siobahn O’Malley (pronounced shhh-vaughn). She lost her sister and brother-in-law in an accident not too long ago, and she’s now been appointed guardian to her baby nephew, Andy. Oh, and his $2mil trust fund. The problem is that she has to keep fighting for custody against Dan’s parents, because they want the trust fund, and not so much the baby. In the tiny town they are in, the inlaws have some pull, and they are managing to keep up at it. Part of the problem is that Siobahn isn’t married, and the evil cow inlaw smears her around the town, to make her look unfit. Today, Siobahn has an important job interview at McKenna, so she dresses to the nines, and gets a ride to town for her interview. As she is crossing the road, she almost gets run down by some idiot who ran a red. Sound familiar?

Jackson really truly earned his name as a bastard, because he totally was. I mean, damn. First, he almost ran Siobahn over, then he accused her of being homeless, and then he tried to apologize, while trying to blackmail her into marrying him. I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually like him for a minute. He had some serious condescension going on. I would’ve smacked the total everloving shit out of him, because he totally deserved it.

I adore Siobahn from the very first time we met her. She’s strong, fierce, protective, and very canny. She’s very smart and she doesn’t let anything slip by her. Jackson tries to put stuff over on her, and she catches him on it. He’s like, oh, I need you for this reason. She’s like newp, try again. I love that she calls him out on stuff. He needs it, because he really is a cocky bastard. He thinks that he is God’s gift to everything, and well, someone needs to tell him that he isn’t.

And Mandy, I loved watching Siobahn knock that bitch back. Mandy really did try to punch out of her weight class.

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Jackson, oh Jackson. You are kinda stupid sometimes.

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

Dani Rene-Among Ash and Ember

Dani Rene has come out with a new release, and oh my. Among Ash and Ember wrung me out and made me all emotional.

Katerina is 18, almost 19. She lost her parents a couple of years ago when their florist shop caught on fire. She had to spend the last couple of years in foster care, and it wasn’t good. Then she turned 18 and discovered that she owed a lot of money because of her parents. She isn’t qualified to do a lot, but luckily she has fallen in with a safe friend who has helped her become an escort. Is it the best job ever? Nope. Does it let her pay her bills and pay off the loans her father took out? Yup. Just don’t call her Katerina when she’s on the job, there she is Flame.

Ash and Ember are twin brothers. They have a proposition for Katerina. They are going to pay for her to go to college. They will let her live with them, in her own wing, and help her out in any way possible. The brothers have their own reasons for doing what they are doing. They are keeping secrets together and keeping secrets from each other. They can afford to do this because Ash is now running their father’s company, which is neither fun or easy, but he does it reasonably well.

There are a lot of secrets going on in here. Ash and Ember have secrets of their own that they are keeping from Kat and from each other. They have a big joint secret that they are keeping from Kat. Kat has some of her own secrets too, but I don’t think that they have as much of an impact on the story as the ones the guys are keeping.

I completely understand why Ash and Ember are doing what they are doing. I don’t agree with the way that they went about things, but I can understand why they felt that they had to do things the way that they did. I guess I just stand with Kat more than I do with them. I don’t like being lied to, and I really don’t like people having secrets from me. I will pick and prod until I get the secret out of them, whether or not it would hurt me. I think that’s probably how Kat feels about it too.

I love the names of Flame, Ember, and Ash. They just fit together so very well. It’s a natural progression to me, and I can see how it fits each of the characters and their roles, at least in my opinion.

This book really did give me all the feelz and I would love to see more of these guys.

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I don’t think I have anything to put here.

Well, go check it out. Happy reading!

Measha Stone-Valor

Valor is the 11th book in the Cavalieri Della Morte shared world, and I think that this is the last one on my blog calendar, at least I’m pretty sure it is. Measha has brought us a couple that just would not leave my head. Dustan and Cherise both insisted that there was more to the story, and wouldn’t listen to me when I told them that I had read the book and that was all there was. Dustan is a pushy, dominant asshole. Hopefully, they’ll leave me alone when I’m done with this.

Dustan is one of the CDM, and Arthur has sent him out on a new job. This job is to get rid of a guy named Antonio Merde. He’s apparently skimming off the top from his family. I had to laugh at his name, because merde is shit in French, so every time his name came up, I read it as shit. My inner 12 year old was amused. Anyway, Dustan is going to kill this guy. He’s been sitting in a bar waiting for Merde to come and do his business. He keeps to a routine, which lets Dustan know when and where he can off him. The only thing he didn’t plan on was the hot woman who walked up and sat down next to him.

Cherise, who tells Dustan her name is Cherry, is trying to break out of her shell. She has dressed herself up, given herself a fun nickname, and gone to a bar she wouldn’t normally go. And then she saw Dustan. Since she was nervous as all get out, she needed someone to shelter behind, and Dustan worked. When he walked out the back of the bar, she decided to follow. Much to her chagrin.

Dustan was both more hardcore and lighter than some of the other heroes in this world. Which, don’t ask me how that works, but that’s what I think, and it sorta works for him. He doesn’t seem as much on the dark side, if you know what I mean. Yeah, he’s an assassin, but he doesn’t seem as gritty and… Ugh, I can’t come up with the right word to describe it. I know what I mean, but I can’t make it come out of my head to the screen. That’s totally frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not your happy, fluffy, dancing assassin a la Sam Rockwell in Mr. Right. If he gets the order, he’s going to kill you. If you do him wrong, he’s going to kill you. And he’ll do it without hesitation.

Cherise was a mix too. She’s both bold and retiring, which is a really interesting juxtaposition. When she gets scared, she gets assertive, snarky, and mouthy. It’s a lot easier to be all of those things than it is to be scared. When she’s not so scared, she’s more in her head and ready to hide away. I can really relate, because snarky and mouthy is my fall back when I’m upset, scared, tired, angry, well, you get the idea. Of course, it works better for me, because Dustan isn’t telling me that bad things come to bad girls and waiting with a belt for my ass. I did like her a lot, mostly because I did relate to her so much.

One thing I did find really interesting is that Arthur barely makes any appearance in the book, and none of the other Cavalieri are in there at all.

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Bobby. Yeah.

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

Skye Warren-Evolution of Man

So, Skye Warren has this town called Tanglewood where a great many of her stories take place. And Tanglewood is one fucked up town. There is all kinds of crime, intrigue, and total craziness. And it’s into the total craziness that Skye has taken us with Evolution of Man. This book is the second of a duology, with the first being Survival of the Richest. If you haven’t read Survival, then you should immediately put down this review and read it. You won’t have any clue as to what is going on in Evolution. There are going to be spoilers to Survival in this post. There’s just no way around it.

So, Evolution starts up 6 months after Survival ended. Christopher and Sutton have both walked away from Harper, and she now has control of her trust fund. Her protest against the destruction of the library kind of worked, in that it stopped the library from being completely destroyed, but it’s in terrible shape right now. Harper has bought a home in Tanglewood for her and her mother to live in while her mother is dying, and she has spent $2 billion on buying the library. Harper negotiated with Christopher who raised the price insanely high.

Now Harper is trying to get the library restored, but Christopher has talked to all the construction companies in the area and no one will go for it. So she turns to Sutton, who tells her that he’ll take a look at it for her, but he only wants to be her business partner, nothing else. No sex, no relationship, no nothing.

Harper is also having to deal with her mother’s life coming to an end. Since her mother refused any treatment, she’s been getting weaker and weaker. She has signed up with a hospice service, but Harper is trying to avoid the Death Plan or any discussions of her death. Harper works very hard at staying positive for her mother, but it isn’t always possible.

There is a whole lot going on in this story. It’s very emotion laden, I mean, how can it not be? Just the fact that Harper is losing her beloved mother is more than enough to sink a lot of emotion in it. But then you have the whole Christopher/Sutton/Harper triangle. That’s even more of a load of intensity, and it’s that intensity that Skye does so well. I thought that Evolution was a good finish to the duology and it managed to carry the emotion from Survival over really nicely. It was also nice to peek in on old friends like Aubrey and Gabriel, Bea and Hugo, Damon, and Blue. It’s really nice how Skye weaves old friends in through the new stories. It doesn’t feel like it’s a forced kind of thing, just woven in nicely.

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I’m happy that Harper ended up with Christopher and not Sutton, but I’m not entirely sure I wouldn’t have been almost as happy if we had ended up with an MMF menage. We came close to having an MMF sex scene, and it was really hot.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I think I’m going to have to go reread all of the Tanglewood books this weekend. Happy reading!

Soraya Naomi-The Man in Black

I may not like a lot of country-western music, but I like Johnny Cash. So what does Johnny Cash have to do with Soraya Naomi’s new mafia book? Well, Johnny was known as The Man in Black, and the whole time I was reading this, I imagined Michael looking like a devilishly handsome younger Johnny Cash.

This one is part of a series, but it is a standalone. I think that the series is more of an interconnected series about a lot of friends who are getting their relationships and then showing up as side characters in other books more than it is as a serial kind of series that builds on each book and if you miss one, you’re kind of SOL. I haven’t read the other books, so don’t quote me on that, but I had no problem with wondering what had gone on before and there didn’t seem to be a lot of overall story that I had to work up to understanding.

So, let’s talk about Michael and Brielle.  Brielle moved to Chicago when she was 18 in order to go to school, and because she needed a change from New York after her parents died. Now she’s the new pastry chef at the hot new upscale restaurant, Palermo. She’s thrilled about that because it’s her first job out of culinary school and she got a great starting wage and her desserts are already making a big splash. One night, after everyone else has left and she’s just about to leave, she hears a strange noise. When she turns around and looks, she finds a gun, just sitting on a counter that she knows was empty just a minute ago. When someone walks into the kitchen, she raises the gun and points it at him, at which point Michael asks her to not point his own gun at him.

Michael was the former boss of the Syndicate in New York, but after his finace was gunned down, he moved back to Chicago to work with his friends. Now he’s a high up in the Syndicate and is working as security director for the restaurant. He tells Brielle that’s why he carries a gun. Now, she’s tweaked his radar, because of the bracelet she wears. it’s related to his past, and he needs to know what she knows or if it’s just some weird coincidence and cosmic joke that she’s working at the Palermo. He’s going to have to get closer to her in order to find out.

OK, and this is why I wanted to smack Michael for a lot of the book. He really pushed and pulled at Brielle. One minute he’s kissing her, the next he’s literally pushing her away and telling her that nothing can happen between them. He gives her a ride home and fixes her door, but wants to have nothing to do with her. It’s confusing as hell, especially since when he’s pulling her towards him, he’s doing things that men interested in a relationship would do. Of course, he’s doing it all for his own motives, but he’s so far into his grief that he can’t really see what it looks like from the other side. Brielle just ends up reacting like any reasonable person would. When he flirts with her, she flirts back. When he pays attention to her, she basks in it. When he pushes her away, she gets mad and hurt, and then he pulls her back in. How the fuck is anyone supposed to feel when that is going on? Michael makes a point of emphasizing that he’s 12 years older than Brielle, but there’s a lot of the time I think that she’s the more mature one.

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See, young Johnny Cash was pretty hot.

OK, I overall enjoyed the book, but one thing that I wasn’t a big fan off is the fact that it appears to have only been 4 months from when Michael’s fiance died to the start of the book. That’s not my problem. My problem is that people kept acting like he should be totally over everything and that he’s closing himself off because he’s still grieving. Grief takes a while, and if it has only been 4 months, then he still has a lot of things to work through. If, on the other hand, it has been 4 years, I could see that he was stuck. But that’s just me, and I may have the time period off. It wasn’t enough for me to not read the book or to dislike it, but it was just one of those things that caught my attention.

If Michael had just asked Brielle about her bracelet at the beginning, things would’ve been much easier on everyone, especially Brielle. I do think he really kind of drug her through hell with the way that he was acting. She really forgave him a whole hell of a lot faster than I would’ve. Then again, I’ve been known to hold a grudge.

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

Measha Stone-Suspicion

So, the Black Light books are one of those series where several different authors get together and write stories in the same world. In this case, the books all have to have something to do with Black Light BDSM club. Until now, they’ve all been focused in the DC club, but with the LA club opening up (Livia Grant’s Complicated Love) and some of our former couples living out there, I expect that we will see some stories that are based out there.

On top of having related standalone books, there are also two anthologies, the Valentine Roulette books. Those books are novellas that all take place within the same three hours on the same night. Subs and Doms spin  the roulette wheel. Doms spin to see what sub they’ll be matched with, and subs spin to see what activities they’ll be doing. We’ve seen some stories come out of the couples from the Valentine’s Roulette books, but generally we’ve gotten to see them a little bit before their book starts. With Sophie and Scott, we don’t. However, in the last Roulette book, there is a moment when a sub faints and a Dom rushes to her aid. That’s Sophie and Scott. And that’s where Measha and her Suspicion come in.

Scott and Sophia are cops and partners. She transferred out of her old district and is working in a new one, so their partnership is still pretty new, even though it is pretty successful to this point. On Valentine’s night, she walks into Black Light. She’s been a member for a while but hasn’t ever been. She signed up for the Roulette event though. She’s a complete newbie, but she thinks this may be a good way to get some experience. Then, the unthinkable happens. She sees Scott. All of a sudden, the streams have crossed and her private life and work life are starting to collide, and she just can’t be having with that. Between that and the fact that she hasn’t eaten all day because she was afraid of an upset stomach, she has a crash and faints. Luckily, Scott is Johnny-on-the-spot and is able to help her and takes her home and puts her to bed.

Scott realizes one thing during this. Sophia is a sub, and he wants her. However, Sophia isn’t quite as sure. She’s very nervous about everything, from the fact that she’s never played at all, to the fact that they are partners and if everything goes pear-shaped, things would turn really ugly.

I really loved this one. I  mean, I like most books that I read, otherwise I wouldn’t read them, but this one really got to me and wormed its way into my heart. There’s something about Sophie that I can really relate to. I feel like she could be me. It let me really get into the story and feel very affected by everything that happened. I think the Sophia and Scott work well together, especially when they both pull their heads out of their asses. One thing I really like that Measha did was that she showed Doms aren’t perfect and they make dumbass mistakes just like the rest of the world. I know I’ve said it before, but Doms often get a pass just because they are the Doms and make the rules. But I’ve seen Doms making mistakes and having to deal with it in several books lately, and I’m loving it. Yes, the Domly ones have to be the ones in control and in charge and confident, but as Dani says in the book, an apologetic Dom is a sexy Dom. If I had a Dom, I would want one who let me know they weren’t perfect and when they screwed up, they apologized and did what was necessary to make it right. So yay for Measha!

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OMG, I wanted to fucking strangle Scott. He didn’t give Sophia a chance to explain, he just assumed he knew what was going on, and when she tried, he just shut it down and shut her out. I can’t even imagine how she felt about that because she had serious trust issues and for him to do that to her? I’m glad Gray smacked him around and even happier that Sophie blocked him for a while. Let him feel like shit. Of course, that doesn’t mean that she didn’t feel like shit too, but he’s the one who earned it.

That doesn’t absolve Sophie of things, though. She should’ve told him what was going on before it got to the point it did.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this. You should totally go check out all the Black Light books. They are all totally worth it. It will be easier to find them if you look for Black Light or Black Collar Press. There are a lot of authors in the series. Happy reading!

Livia Grant-Complicated Love

I think that Livia Grant’s Infamous Love was my first Mmf menage. It was definitely a good one to start with, and I’m glad that I did. But, I’ve been waiting for the next part of the story to come out ever since. We’d get to see Jaxson, Chase, and Emma a little bit in the Black Light stories, and it was a nice way to check in with them, but we never got to really see their story. So Livia finally decided to take pity on us and give us their story with Complicated Love.

So, Jaxson, Emma, and Chase have decided that they are going to open Runway and Black Light West in Los Angeles, since the originals are doing so well. That means that they are currently living in a small rental house near the site where they are going to have the club while they are waiting for all the reno work to get done. As if that’s not enough of a problem, there is the fact that Jax wants to have the clubs open on an insanely tight schedule. That puts a lot of stress on everyone, mostly because that’s just a lot of work anyway. As an added bonus, Emma is very unhappy and seems to be feeling ill, but she isn’t talking to either Chase or Jaxson about it.

Then there’s Lola, who I hated from the very first moment we saw her. She’s Jaxson’s assistant, and she acts like she owns him. She just walks into their house whenever, disrespects Chase and Emma, and is an all-around nasty person. I mean, I think the first time we saw her, she walked into the house, literally took the coffee cup out of Emma’s hand, filled it, and started drinking from it, all the while ignoring Chase and Emma and pushing Jaxon around. I could tell that she was into Jaxson, or at least I thought she was. Of course, he doesn’t see it, and he’s already stressed enough.

Chase gets hit on by a reporter who was his old babysitter, but he shut her down beautifully. I just laughed at that. And Emma was happy that he did it too.

Of course nothing goes smoothly because do you really want to read a book where everything goes smoothly and there are never any problems? Emma’s keeping secrets, Jaxson is stressed trying to get everything done, Chase is running around like a crazy person, and the whole relationship is just stressed. It can be hard enough to keep 2 people together and in a healthy relationship, but with three, that must be really difficult.

One of the things that I really loved about this book is the fact that it showed the day-to-day work that a relationship needs. Yay! You get your HEA! But that HEA still needs work, and we see that in this book. We also see how a healthy D/s relationship should work. Well, mostly healthy, there are some bumps, but again, no one and no relationship are perfect. I love these 3 and have from the very second that I read their first book.

 

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OK, the first thing that I need to say is I WAS RIGHT! Anyone in Livia’s group will know what I mean. Yay for me!

I really, really, really hated Lola. I mean I really hated her, but I didn’t think that she would go to the lengths that she did. That was just cruel and evil on her part. Good thing that Jaxson usually hires exceptional people.

I loved it when Emma smacked the interior decorator down. He was so out of line in so many ways, but Emma was a goddess. Go Emma!

I was so surprised that Jaxson went so far that Emma had to safeword, but the awesome thing is that we get to see that being honored and that’s just awesome.

OK, you have to go read this for yourself. It’s a wonderful book and I love them so much. Happy reading!