Jane Henry-Cormac

Cormac is the second of Jane’s Irish mafia books. It follows the second of the McCarthy brothers, Cormac, and Aileen.

So, here’s the story. The Martins killed Cormac’s father, who was the Clan Chief for the McCarthy family. That put the two families at war with each other, but Keenan, as the new chief, was able to negotiate a cease-fire, partly because the Martins offered a virgin daughter of their clan to the McCarthy clan for a bride. And since Keenan was already married, it was either going to be Cormac, the second son, or Nolan, the youngest son. Cormac knew that he had to do his duty to his family, and as the second in command, he would have to step into Keenan’s spot if anything were to happen, and you can’t be the chief for the clan without being married, so, he’ll do it.

Meanwhile, we have Aileen, who hates her family. She is the youngest of 6 daughters, all of whom have been sold off to be married to other people, none of whom are happy in their marriage. Her parents are nasty creatures, and her brother is a vile rapist, and I’m not lying on that one. The whole Martin clan is manky. So, she overhears her parents arguing, and tries to find out what’s going on. It turns out that she’s to be married on Saturday, and that night is Wednesday. She doesn’t want to be there anymore, and she definitely doesn’t want to marry someone from her clan’s enemy and someone who she doesn’t know at all. So, she does the only thing she can think of to do, she runs.

And no one tells the McCarthys until they show up on the day for the wedding. War nearly starts until Aileen’s brother says that he found her, but she needs to be punished before the wedding. Cormac steps in because both Blaine and Martin look a little too excited to punish her, and he says if anyone is going to do it, it’s going to be him because she’s his bride.

I like Aileen’s fire. I felt really sorry for her, because you can tell how her family traumatized her. She really didn’t have a lot of experience with the world outside her immediate family and the Martin Clan, so when she’s dealing with anyone else, she’s seeing them through those lenses, which makes it hard for Cormac to get to her a bit, because she’s way, way behind walls. I really liked her later in the book while she’s trying to figure out all kinds of things, because I think that she was slightly freer then, and not quite as guarded.

I had some issues with Cormac. I liked him most of the time, but there were a couple of times when I wanted to smack him into next week because he was being either very stupid or a raging asshole. Or, you know, both. I think that some issues could’ve been handled better if Cormac had looked more at Aileen’s side of the issue before he did or said anything. But, overall, I think that he was a pretty good man.

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You know, I don’t think I have anything I can safely put down here. So, go check out the book! Happy reading!

Jane Henry-Keenan

Keenan is the first book in a new series from Jane Henry. We’re in Ireland, and dealing with the clans. In this setting, the clans are basically the organized group families. In Keenan’s family, he’s the heir to the throne, so to speak. So, here’s our story.

Keenan is having a meeting with his father and their inner circle, including his father’s brother, the Father. At the meeting, the Father tells Keenan that he would find the answers he needs about a particular problem at the lighthouse. Now, the priest is a little obtuse, but he has to be, because he might be nudging the lines of confidentiality from the confessional. So, Keenan takes one of his men with him, and they go off to the lighthouse.

Caitlyn lives in the lighthouse. She’s never been anywhere but the lighthouse, in her entire life. Her father, who has been dead for the last month or so, always told her that there were people who would kill her if they knew about her, so she has always stayed in the lighthouse and stayed hidden. Which, she would be doing now, if only she could. But her father is now dead, and she’s eaten all the food in the house. In fact, it’s now been several days since she ate the last bit of food in the house. She’s searched all over the house, and there’s no money, no food, nothing. So, she decides that she needs to do something about it. First she decides that she’ll go to the shed to see if there is anything in here, and if there isn’t, then she’ll have to leave altogether, but she’s worried because she doesn’t even have shoes, and she doesn’t even know anyone there. But before that happens, some guys rush into the shed. She hits one and racks the other, and tries to get away. Too bad it doesn’t happen that way.

So, Caitlyn is really smart and she’s really insightful. I think that she sees things about people that no one else has seen about them. I think that’s because she spent her entire life alone, except for her father, so no one told her that she couldn’t see that, if you know what I mean. She’s very direct, and is willing to tell people exactly what she thinks and ask them questions that she really wants to know the answer to. I like the way that she talks. It feels a lot like Jane Austen or something, because of the way that she phrases things. It gives the book a very distinctive flavor.

I mostly like Kennan. He’s a good man who has to do bad things sometimes, but there’s a good man there. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t act like a jerk, and he doesn’t do things that hurt Cait, even if he doesn’t mean to. I think that he just isn’t used to dealing with someone who has a wold view like Cait does, and a lack of understanding of the world. But, I think that she’s really good for him.

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You know, I kept putting things in here, but then I’d change my mind, so nothing here.

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

Jane Henry-Savage Love

Today we’re looking at the second book in Jane’s Savage Island duet, Savage Love. Since it is the second part of a duet, there are likely to be some spoilers. I try really hard to keep them down, but I can’t guarantee that there isn’t going to be something there.

So, Cy and Harper have found themselves completely alone on the island. But now they have more knowledge than they had before, and they are aware that there really is something going on and they have to do something. Right now, they are focusing on finding some cameras that they have been told are around the island so that the people behind the fuckery that’s going on can watch them. They’ve searched and searched all over the island, and they’ve been trying to find the last ones.

And while we are reading it may seem like the story is only a few days, their search of the island, inch by inch, actually takes weeks. It’s hard for us to get an idea of how much time goes past, since Cy and Harper don’t really have a clue as to how much time is going on. They do eventually figure out where the cameras are, and then all the things happen.

This book really does carry over the mindfuck from the first one. Now, I thought that the first one was a serious mindfuck, because, well, it was. This one isn’t as much of a mindfuck, because we’ve started to see behind the curtains, but it’s still there. And there are more layers to it than we first knew about, and the mindfuck isn’t going to end quickly or quietly.

I think that Harper has really grown from being on the island. She’s gotten more confident and stronger. She’s been through some things and she’s shown herself that she can handle the things. I think that Cy’s love has given her a grounding that she really needed, and helped to center her. It wasn’t anything she really had before. And she was a strong and independent person before the island, but that strength and independence is now tempered by know that she has someone who can back her up, support her, and give her the things that she needs. I think that Cy and Harper are really complementary, and their different viewpoints give them things that they need, and fill holes that each of them have.

OK, no spoilers today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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Jane Henry-Savage Dom

Savage Dom is the first book in Jane’s new Savage Island duet. Now, duets tend to have cliffhangers between 1&2, but Jane decided to be nice to us, and didn’t leave us hanging too badly, by giving us an HFN. Plus the next one comes out in just a couple of weeks, so for those of you who don’t like any kind of cliffie, then you only need to wait for a few more days.

So, here’s our story. We open to a couple of creepy guys who are making creepy plans, and they mention a journalist named Harper. Harper writes about a lot of feminist and women’s rights issues. She is her younger brother’s guardian, but apart from him, she’s pretty alone in the world. When she gets given a free cruise, she double checks to make sure it’s not a scam, and a friend convinces her to go. After all, she won it, she should definitely take a break. And so she does, and she is smothered in attention. Each and every one of her whims, wishes, and desires are answered. Then one day, they are out and about, on a trip to a beautiful tropical island, and she’s out and taking pictures, and then runs into a very not nice person.

Cy was a Navy SEAL. He and his men, or what’s left of them, have been stuck on a deserted island for no one really knows how long. There were once 6, and now there’s Cy, and he thinks that there may be 2 others still alive. He doesn’t remember a whole lot. His mind is all fuzzy. He gets bits and pieces, but not all that much. All 3 of the surviving men on the island have gone feral to one degree or another and it’s very much every man for himself. There isn’t a lot of food, so when they find do find anything to eat, they hoard it and guard it so that no one else can get it. One day, one of the other men came up to him and they saw that there was a cruise ship off the island, a landing boat, and people on the island. By the time they get down there, everything and everyone is gone, except for one woman who is screaming her head off. She’s met the other guy on the island. The one who is way far gone. Super far gone. And is all kinds of rapey. And of course, Cy runs to save her.

I’m walking a really fine line here with this book, because I’m afraid that I’m going to spoil it if I talk a lot about the book, because I think it would be really easy to do. What I will say is that the story is very intense, and all kinds of things happened, and some of them were a little odd, and some weren’t.

I like Cy. I think, at his heart, that he is as good a guy as he can be. He might not be able to remember a lot about himself at this point, because well, he’s been left on a tropical island in a feral state for a while, but there is at his center, that good place. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he’s not still an asshole, because you can have a good center and still be an asshole. I have to wonder what Cy was like before he got stuck on the island.

Harper is a very strong woman before she gets to the island, and I think that there are aspects of what happens there that are actually kinda good for her. I mean, I’m sure that she would rather get those things in a different way, but still, they are there. I think that Cy is good for her and that she is good for Cy.

The story is going to continue most interesting. Envy me as I already have the ARC for the next one, and I’ll be reading it on Monday. I can’t wait to find out what happens. There isn’t anything below the picture today, because, well, there just isn’t.

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

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2019 Round Up-Top 10 Redemption Books Pt. 1

So, redemption books. Redemption, according to Miriam Webster, means the action of being saved from a sin, evil, or error. And that’s sorta how I see it when it comes to redemption books. For me, a redemption book means that the main character was a really bad guy, hurt the other main character, did something evil, but over the course of the book or books, in some cases, they redeemed themselves. They end up fixing their fuckup, making amends, changing, whatever. I mean, these are the books where the hero dumps the heroine in the most evil way possible, demolishes her life, thinks about killing her, burns her house down, steals her dog, and is just a rotten motherfucker. But, over the timeline of the book, he realizes that he done fucked up, he’s miserable about it, and he’s gonna make it better, somehow. Doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be a good guy or anything, because yeah, that’s not necessarily it works.

Of course, not all redemption books are that drastic. Look at the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray starts as an ass, but over the period of the movie, he starts to realize that he’s an ass, and works to make himself better, at least when it comes to Andie MacDowell. So, there are going to be some books where the redemption is more like that.

Just in case you were wondering how I came up with the books on my various lists, some of them I remember from when I read them. But I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve read over 800 books this year. Sometimes titles slip my mind, so I look at my yearly challenge on GR and look at all the books I’ve read this year, and go oh yeah! Gives me just the nudge I need.

***Disclosure: I may earn a commission from Amazon from any purchases made from links in this post.***

Nicolina Martin-Absolution

So, I told you yesterday when I was talking about the book Redemption that you should expect to see Absolution. This is the second book in the duet, and the 6th book in the Russo series. It is the continuing story of Kerry and Christian, and in this one, we get to see Christian come back and redeem himself when it comes to what he did to Kerry. I mean, he tried to kill her in Redemption, and it did all kinds of terrible things to her mental health. And then when he accidentally finds her, after she has run far, far, far away from him, he’s really furious with her, and she’s scared AF. But, he manages to redeem himself and turn back into the Christian I loved when I first met him in Ruin. Actually, I think he’s even better than he was then. He’s more rounded and more human. Of course, I think it’s also a little bit of a redemption for Kerry too. She went through hell, and was able to come out through the other side of it and end up stronger.

Alice Winters-A Villain For Christmas

A Villain For Christmas is in a shared theme series of books. They all have a snowglobe in them somehow, they are all MM, and they are all about Christmas in some way. Because it’s an Alice Winters book, there is a lot of humor, snark, and ridiculousness in there. The reason that I’m counting this as a redemption book is because the titular hero, Landon, AKA Leviathan, is a supervillain, who was raised by a family of “super”villains, and who has the hugest crush on the biggest superhero of the city, August, AKA Chrono. Landon is never evil, really, but there is a redemption arc for him to go on. It’s a really fun book, and I really want Alice to write more in this world.

India R Adams-Ivy’s Poison

Yup, this is India’s 2nd time on my round up lists. I liked Ivy’s Poison so much that I bought a signed copy of it. It’s part of the Cavalieri Della Morte shared world. It’s kind of an Arthurian retelling, if Arthur had a Round Table of assassins instead of knights. This is the story of Bors and Ivy. Bors had to go assisinate the pres of an MC, who just happens to be Ivy’s dad, but instead he gets taken prisoner and tortured by Ivy. I consider this a redemption story for both of them because they are both in a bad place at the beginning of the book and they each go through their own journey to get to a better place and redeem themselves, as well as the journey they go through together. I will warn you that there are some difficult moments in this one, especially in chapter 1, so you may want to be careful when you read it. It is a fantastic book, and it’s the first one of India’s books I read.

Jane Henry-King’s Ransom

King’s Ransom is the latest book in Jane’s Bratva Ruthless Doms books. It’s also a Daddy book, and that’s a good place for Jane. This is the story of Stefan and Taara. Stefan is a character that we’ve run across in the series before, and I really liked him. He’s a head honcho, and makes a lot of things happen. Taara is his housekeeper and has wanted him for years. Here’s what makes it a redemption story for Stefan, IMO. Things happen, and Taara gets herself into a place where she is basically Stefan’s captive, and it just turns really bad. My heart broke for her, and I hated Stefan for a minute, but things worked out and he got his head out of his ass.

Laura Thalassa-War

I debated whether or not to put War on this list. After all, he’s less a person than a personification, but decided that it was a redemption story of sorts. It’s the same with Pestilence, which is the first book in the Four Horsemen series. I can’t wait for the next ones. These books are so good. So, the way that the story works is that years ago the 4 rode out to Earth, and then they disappeared. The Pestilence showed up and killed many, many, many people, and he disappeared. Now War has shown up in the Middle East, doing what he does best. Miriam lived in Jerusalem, and caught War’s eye, and he took her for his wife. The reason that I put this in the redemption list is that while all this is going on, War changes from who he was, a personification of the divine, to something that is both less and more than that. I think that it works well that way.

OK, come back tomorrow for part 2. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve, or had, depending on where and when you read this. I’ll probably be asleep by 10, because I have to be up at 4 tomorrow. Happy New Year, and may this coming year and decade lead to better things.

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Jane Henry-King’s Ransom

Jane’s newest release combines two things that she’s very good at writing. King’s Ransom is a Daddy story and it’s also the newest book in her Ruthless Doms books involving the Russian & American Bratva.

This book is Stefan’s story. He’s the pakhan in Atlanta, Nicolai’s father. He also officiated at Caroline and Tomas’ wedding. He’s the elder generation, and we’ve seen him in just about everyone’s book. So, it’s about time that we get to focus on him.

So, we have Stefan, who is getting ready to have his second grandchild from Nicolai and Marissa. One day, while Marissa and another Bratva woman were out shopping, some traitors tried to hurt them. What the traitors weren’t expecting is that Nicolai was acting as security for his beloved wife, because he was training in new security. So, he grabbed the guy, called his dad, and brought him home to take care of him. Which, of course, means that he got hauled into a shed and bad things happened to him.

Then, we have Taara. She works as Stefan’s housekeeper. Her mother did the job before her, but now her mom’s hospitalized because of dementia. Taara is happy with her job, because she’s madly in love with Stefan, and she wants to make him happy and comfortable and taking care of him does that, and makes her happy. She sits on the stairs and watches him, and then goes into his bedroom to make sure that his bed is nice and ready for him. I mean, girl has it bad for him. One day, she gets up early to go into the garden to take pictures of the flowers, like she always does, when she hears someone coming. She hides so no one sees her, but then she follows the guys and peeks into the window. That means that she ends up seeing something she shouldna oughta seen.

She gets caught by one of the Bratva guys, who hauls her in front of Stefan and Nicolai and gets accused of being a spy. All her pictures are destroyed and her phone, because she had some accidental pix of Stefan and Nicolai as they were taking the traitor to the shed to be dealt with. So, instead of killing her as some suggested, Stefan ends up caning her, in front of lots of people. Then he decides that he has to test her.

You see, Taara has one huge advantage here. She’s an Afghani refugee. Her mother fled to Russia, and from Russia to the US. And the Bratva’s enemies, the Thieves, have a thriving human trafficking trade. Currently, they are selling Afghani women, and are using that to try to take down the Bratva in the US. Stefan is going to go in and shut it down, and Taara is going to be perfect to use as his slave. It will prove her loyalty.

So, I have to admit that I really kind of hated Stefan at times, which saddened me, because I’ve always kinda liked Stefan. OK, maybe hate isn’t the right word for it. I was definitely grumpy with him though. Mostly because he had his head up his ass. When his head popped out of his ass, every time his head popped out of his ass, he was much better.

Taara is a sweet woman. She’s also got some real strength to her. I thought that she was a little naive though, at times. I think that some of the things that happened would’ve been different if she was a little more practical, but then again, we wouldn’t have had such a good book.

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I think that Stefan should’ve told Taara about her mom earlier than he did. It was kinda shitty on his part to wait, I think. I mean, I understand his thinking, but…

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

Jane Henry-Beyond Measure

I’m doubling up today because there are just so many wonderful releases that have happened in the past couple of weeks. So our second feature today is Jane Henry’s latest addition to her Bratva world, Beyond Measure. Like the last book, this one takes place in the US. In fact, we met Tomas in the last book. He is the pakhan of the Boston Bratva, and is a good friend of Nicolai’s. This is his and Caroline’s story.

So, Tomas is busy doing all kinds of Bratva-y things, which was causing him stress. One of those things is dealing with a prick in San Diego named Aren, who owes him money but doesn’t want to pay. When Nicolai tells Tomas that what he really needs is a wife, and it just so happens that Aren has a beautiful little sister, the guys come up with a plan. That plan gets Tomas on the phone so that he can set up with Aren to marry his sister, Caroline. Aren is just all too glad to make that happen. So, off to Atlanta goes Tomas.

Meanwhile, in San Diego, Caroline is just trying her damnedest to stay away from her brother and his best friend. There is never anything good for her when the two of them show up. This time, when they show up, Aren tells her that she’s leaving immediately to go get married. She’s dragged onto an airplane, without being able to pack or to say goodbye to anyone, and shipped off to Atlanta, where she will meet her groom and get married. That day. Yeah. She gets taken to Nicolai and Marissa’s apartment, and she is married by Stefan, all before she even learns her groom’s name.

Tomas is a good man, as pakhan go, but I think that he is kinda confused sometimes. I understand him wanting and needing respect due to his position. I mean, he is a big deal, and he does deserve that respect within his group. And I’m not even going to argue about Caroline giving him that respect, because she should. But I think he’s kinda confused in his head about how he should feel and how he should act, which leaves Caroline all kinds of confused and unsettled. Remember, her entire world has just changed in so many ways, and she’s already very unsettled and unsure.

Caroline has gone through so much. She’s so much braver than I would be. I don’t know that I would be able to stand up for myself like she does. She’s stubborn AF too, and frankly, I tend to respect anyone with that kind of stubborn. Unless, of course, it’s my son when I need him to do something, but that’s a whole other story. That stubborn has served her well over the years, so I don’t blame her for sticking to it. I also think that she has a more realistic view of what the Bratva is than some of the other wives do, just because of the way that she’s had to see it.

I really like Ilya, and I hope that we see more of him over the next books. I think that he really matured over the time of this book.

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Ugh, I knew I didn’t like Andros.

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