Carian Cole-No Tomorrow

Fuck. Just fuck. This book hit really close to home in a lot of ways for me. I spent a lot of time in the full-on ugly cry mode. I am kind of raw from it still. Before I get started, No Tomorrow does have triggers for mental health issues as well as drug abuse issues. But, it’s amazing af, just amazing as absolute fuck. Probably one of my Top Ten for this year. Definitely one of the best books dealing with mental illness I’ve read. The other one in that category is a K. Webster book. So let’s get into the book.

The book spans 14 years. We don’t see all 14 years, we do get bits and pieces of it here and there, but enough to get a real look at the life that Piper and Blue/Evan live and lead.

When Piper is 21, she’s working as a receptionist. Every day for lunch, she goes out to a nearby park and sits and reads while enjoying her lunch. One day, a beautiful musician moves into the park and plays across from her bench, along with his dog who raises his paw whenever anyone puts money in the cup. She enjoys listening to the music for a few days, before she buys the musician and his dog lunch one day. She finds out that his name is Evan but everyone calls him Blue and his dog is named Acorn. They eventually become good friends. When he’s not there one day, she goes down to the bridge that she knows that he sleeps under and finds out that he’s not feeling well and has a migraine. She ends up going home and getting stuff to take care of him and bringing it to him. And they have sex. It was her first time. And that’s the start of this odyssey that these two go on.

Blue is homeless, which doesn’t bother him as much as it bothers Piper at times. He has chosen this life because he likes to just walk around and move from place to place to place. Right now, he’s in this small New Hampshire town, but no one knows where he’ll be next. He doesn’t make any plans, he doesn’t necessarily know what day it is. He’s pretty happy that way. However, Piper is much more traditional, and she wants everything with Blue because they have fallen in love. Her friend Ditra wants her to leave Blue alone because he’s some homeless drifter musician, but Piper keeps telling her that Blue isn’t like that.

Piper and Blue get to have a few good months, but then one day, Blue disappears. He left Piper behind. He left Acorn behind. He left Piper with another little surprise.

At the very heart of No Tomorrow is love. It’s what it takes to love someone even when it’s hard, in fact, especially when it’s hard. It’s about what makes up a family. It’s about learning to take care of yourself when the person you love is hurting themselves and destroying themselves and is just a person that you can’t be around. And how hard it is to stay in love with a person when you aren’t anywhere near that person and when no one in your life supports your love. Piper and Blue really do walk through hell a lot of the time. It’s not easy on either of them. Most of the book is told from Piper’s POV, but we do have a few chapters of Blue’s POV which I found to be really helpful. I’m not going to lie to you. You are going to fucking cry. I mean, full on ugly, have a box of tissue next to you cry. I’ve gotten teary at books before, but this one left me with an emotional hangover.

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I kind of guessed many of Evan’s issues before the diagnoses popped up in the book, but that’s because I’ve loved a man for 25 years who has had hallucinations, hospitalizations, and suicide attempts. So some of the stuff that Blue did were really familiar to me, both through that experience as well as my own bipolar experience. Being the person who can’t trust their brain isn’t easy. Neither is loving the person who can’t trust their brain. That’s what makes this one so incredibly personal to me. And to make my story even closer to Blue and Piper’s, my husband and I spent 9 years apart for reasons.

This was truly amazing, and I recommend everyone read it. I’d say happy reading, but it isn’t always. Good reading instead.

Alta Hensley & Maggie Ryan-Kings and Sinners

Oh, Alta and Maggie, how I love thee. Kings and Sinners is a box set of 3 of their books, Maddox, Stryder, and Anson. I think that Maddox might’ve been the first Maggie Ryan book that I read, and it was close to the first book of Alta’s I read. I got it through a freebie, a newsletter or Instafreebie back in the day, but it’s been a while, so don’t quote me on that.

The books can all be read as standalones, but they are all related. Maddox, Stryder, and Anson are brothers, who work with their father Drake Steele. They help out people in the underground and help protect innocents. Their ranch is a working ranch, but it’s also a safe house of sorts. The house is built with the back right up to a mountain, which allows them to have control rooms and a *ahem* playroom down in safe areas. They all live together in the house with their housekeeper Jennie, who is basically their surrogate mother, as well as a hippie vegetarian who keeps her boys healthy and happy, and keeps them away from meat.

Jennie is a pretty awesome character. She dances with bees and the bees seem to like it. She has this kind of all-mother vibe around her. She just makes everyone happy and if they are scared, she helps them feel better. I really like her.

Now, remember how I said that Maddox, Anson, and Stryder are all brothers? Well, they aren’t brothers by blood. Drake is Maddox’s father, but there was an incident in which the rest of their family was murdered. Anson and Stryder both came to be parts of the family in different ways, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t any less Drake’s child than Maddox is. They are definitely family and they all love each other fiercely.

Maddox.

It’s obviously Maddox’s story, but it’s also the story of Adira. The book starts out with a horse auction in Dubai that Adira’s father is putting on. Maddox and Drake are there to bid on horses, but that’s not the only reason that they are there. They owe Hadi, Adira’s grandfather, a life debt and he has asked them to come and save his family because they are threatened. Sadly, the only member of his family they are able to save is Adira, and only because they manage to pull her out of the Persian Gulf after a yacht with her entire family on it blows up. They manage to smuggle her out of Dubai and into Texas, where she and Maddox start to come together while they are figuring out who wanted all of her family dead.

Adira is strong, feisty, and really smart. Her family was celebrating her graduation with her doctorate. However, she’s also been fairly sheltered because she hasn’t been able to go anywhere without security. She knew that her father and grandfather were into the darker side of the law, but she didn’t know exactly what, and she really didn’t want to know. Maddox is definitely protective and kind of Domly. He’s really good for Adira, I think, because she needed someone steady and protective as she was trying to deal with what happened to her family. And if he paddled her ass, tied her down, and made her come, she wasn’t going to argue with that.

Stryder

This one starts out in very cold Moscow. Using information that they got while looking for the culprits behind what happened to Adira’s family, Stryder and Anson are there to track down a Russian who is involved in human trafficking. They get two tickets to an auction where the evil man is selling off women. When Stryder sees Zoya on the dais about to be sold, he knows that he has to be the one to have her. He needs to save this poor young Russian woman who had spent her whole life on the farm before she came to Moscow and ended up abducted so that she could be sold. After Stryder buys her, and before they can leave, he has to whip her. Luckily, he’s a genius with a whip and he and Anson whisper to her to scream and make it look like it hurts while Stryder whips her gently, but makes it look like he’s doing it hard. The Steele boys smuggle her out of Russia and into Texas, where she settles into life in the Steele household.

I thought that Zoya was pretty awesome. I mean, she’s able to use her art skills in order to help out all the other women who Poplov had kidnapped and sold off. It couldn’t have been easy for her to remember everything that she had been through, but she was bound and determined to do it. Zoya sees things that happened to her and the people who were involved in what happened in one particular way, which is only normal, I would too. But Stryder has a different perspective, and it makes it hard for Zoya sometimes. But, the Steele family are all there and all willing to help the two of them out.

Anson

Anson, working from Zoya’s art and his computer research is in Argentina, searching out Natalia, who was Zoya’s friend, and who has been sold to Juan Montez at the same auction where Zoya was sold. He’s pretty much nose-to-nose with a fer de lance snake when the book opens, so there’s that. But he’s there to get Natalia, and he’s not going to let that snake stop him. Meanwhile, Natalia is dealing with her own snake, only it’s not nearly as lively as the one Anson sees. Montez may have bought her for a sex slave, but he can’t get it up. That doesn’t stop him from doing other things to her. But, she has a plan. Montez destroyed her entire family, and she’s going to take him down. She spent a lot of years training in nasty ways so that she could kill him and at the auction, she did what she could to get his attention to get him to buy her. Eventually, Anson and Natalia manage to help each other and they escape out into the jungles of Argentina. Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Natalia doesn’t want to be rescued because she wants to kill Montez and Anson doesn’t want to not rescue her.

All three of the women in these books are strong, but I kind of think that Natalia is the strongest. Yes, Adira lost all her family too, and Zoya was also sold off as a sex slave, but Natalia had a plan. She had revenge on her mind and everything she did for years was for her revenge. Plus, she had to actually go through months and months of brutalization that Zoya was saved and Maddox was right there for Adira. Natalia went through all that without the hope of someone being there to help her out and get her safe, anyone other than herself, and that, to me, makes her really strong. I felt sorriest for Anson for having to deal with her stubborness, but that same stubborn comes in handy, later in the book.

I really enjoyed reading this series and each of the books. I think that Anson is my favorite of the brothers. I can’t tell you why that’s true, but it is. It’s nice to have the whole series in one handy place, making it easy for me to read. Go check them out! Happy reading! No spoilers today, but have a pretty picture of a horse.

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Jane Henry-Jacked Up

Jane has decided to put her stamp on the Hard n’ Dirty books, which I still think should be called the Hot n’ Dirty books, but no one consulted me. That’s OK. I’ll still read them. 🙂 It takes a lot to get me to not read a book. Jane put her personal stamp on Jacked Up and turned it into a Daddy book too. She is sooooo good at Daddy books and I’m always excited to read one of her books. So let’s get all hot and dirty, shall we?

Here’s how our story goes. Tanya is the heir to an automotive empire. Her dad deals in classic cars, and has a large collection of them. Including a 1967 Corvette Convertible L88. Which is an incredibly sexy car. I mean, yummmmmy sexy. It would look really sexy wrapped around me, but that’s neither here nor there. The problem is that Tanya’s now ex-boyfriend thought so too. Not only did he think so, he decided that he would take it for a ride and ended up crashing it. And like the annoying little twat that he was, he didn’t bother to get it taken care of. No, he left that all up to Tanya. She’s called all around to various car repair shops and found out that the only place to go is Jacked Up. And let’s just talk about that being the name of an auto repair shop. Love it!

Levi is the owner of Jacked Up and is pretty much a competitor of her dad’s. But he’s the only person in her area who can work on the Corvette, and not only that, he’s one of the best people she could possibly get to work on it, period. Tanya walks into his business, all dolled up showing lots of cleavage and legs, in a nice tight dress and fuck me daddy heels, and asks to speak to the owner. He says OK, and leaves the room. A few minutes later, he walks back into the room and tells her that he’s the owner. Whoops. She tells him her name is Felicia, and from that moment, I kept waiting for him to tell her “Bye, Felicia.” But, she tells him that her name is Felicia and she has a car that needs fixed. She shows him the damage and he tells her what it will take for him to fix it. She has to work for him for 2 weeks. You see, he figured out that Felicia isn’t her name, and when she told him who she was, he told her he didn’t want her daddy’s money.

I really liked Levi, and not only that, I liked him for the whole book. There are a lot of times when I like the Domly types, but there are parts where they annoy the living fuck out of me. This isn’t one of those times. He didn’t seem like he was running over Tanya the way that sometimes happens in these books. He still had to be in charge, but he was almost more mellow about it, if that makes sense. I like Tanya too. Although I wish she had kicked Leo’s ass because it needed to happen. I think that she was fierce. She was also unafraid of who she was and had her own power. I think that is pretty damn awesome. I would love to get another story about this one, even if it’s just a short story catching us up with them.

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See, super sexy car, right? Told you so. Don’t you wish you could drive that?

I never liked Spade from the very beginning, and Grease was another one who gave yucky vibes, so I’m glad that I wasn’t wrong about them. Too bad that Levi didn’t pound the shit out of the two of them because they so deserved it.

Is it wrong that I want a pinup calendar of Tanya on Levi’s Jag?

That’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out, as well as all the other Hard n’ Dirty books. Happy reading!

K. Webster-The Glue

You know how I am when it comes to K. Webster. If it has her name on it, I will read it. I love all the worlds she creates. One of my favorites to visits and revisit is Taboo Town. And that’s where The Glue takes place.

As a reminder, these little taboo treats aren’t necessarily in any kind of order, and you can read them in any order you want to, but in this case, you are definitely going to want to read Lawn Boys before you read this one. The back of the book shows which order they were written in. And all of the characters are wound through the entire series, so you see Aiden in LB and Mr. Blakely. It’s a tiny town, and everyone knows everyone else and has their nose in everyone else’s business. My first peek into this world was Preach, which is now called Easton. And he shows up in this one too.

So here’s our story today. Aiden is 18 and in college. He’s also just about to start his job at a local coffee shop. One day, he’s drifting off through macroeconomics, texting his twin brother Anthony (from Lawn Boys), and his professor, Vaughn, notices and yells at him and wants to meet him later. Aiden is hot for teacher, because teach is hot. Then Aiden has to rush to work at his new job, where he meets Vale, and has lots of conversation heavy on innuendo. She is on a call asking someone who he’s planning on staying late with, it’s a woman isn’t it? She and Aiden do their stuff, including talking about making the business more successful, and he realizes he’s running late to his appointment with Vaughn. When he gets to Vaughn’s office, he’s on the phone talking to someone about it not being a woman he’s meeting with.

Are you catching the trend here? Yup, if you guessed it, you probably guessed it right. Aiden is attracted to both of them, they are both attracted to him. It’s a trio made in K. Webster heaven.

This is the first of the Taboo Town books to deal with a poly relationship, and it’s an MMF relationship as well. I love MMF, you don’t just see enough of it in various stories, so when it shows up and shows up done well, I’m always happy. K did it well, and I really wanted to do a happy dance, because, well, two hot guys sharing themselves with a hot chick? What’s not to happy dance about? Altogether, it’s a great story. I’m so happy for Aiden to get a story where he gets to be the star and gets to be happy. I’m thinking it’s getting close to being Dane’s turn though. He’s in everyone’s story.

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Hmmm, not too many spoilers for down here, really. I do love all the epilogues and seeing Vale, Vaughn, and Aiden all happy. They all deserve to be happy, and to be happy with their family, even if it is 2 sets of twins. Can you imagine? Two sets of twins that close in age? Yikes.

OK, go check it out, as well as all the other taboo treat stories. You’ll love them. Happy reading!

Sahalie Blue-Love Under the Western Star

Before I say anything at all about Love Under the Western Star, I need to just say how freaking awesome the name Sahalie is. Don’t you think it’s pretty damn awesome? I know I’ve reviewed a book by this author before on here, but I don’t remember if it was under this name or a different one. It was a great book though, all about a female rodeo rider through the years. You got to see history through her eyes and see how things progressed. I really liked it.

This one, though, is all futuristic mixed with Wild West and is definitely scifi. It is based on a real story that took place out in Arizona, back in the day. It was called The Pleasant Valley War, and it made Romeo and Juliet look like a sweet fluffy story. Nearly all the male line of both the Tewksburys and the Grahams were killed during the conflict, and it delayed Arizona’s statehood. Interesting reading about it, and it made me appreciate Love a little more knowing some of the real background behind it. So how does a western range war fit into a scifi book? Well, just wait and I’ll tell you.

This book takes place well into the future. People left Earth on ships and landed on something like a dozen different planets. However, it’s been long enough that many of the people on those planets don’t have the history of Earth anymore, and the majority of those planets are lost. There are some planets, like Eden, who are really advanced scientifically and technologically, and then you get the ones that aren’t. Love takes place on a planet that isn’t all that advanced. They are stuck, technologically speaking, right around the late 1800s. They have steam engines and other similar things, but that’s as far as they get.

We start out with Hope Tewksbury and Joseph Graham. She’s supposed to be off to teacher college, but she couldn’t do it, so she got back on the train to go back to the town of Payson. She sat next to a nice military man who was headed to Payson as well. It isn’t until he’s driving her home that she finds out that he’s a Graham, which earns her her first spanking. Joseph does end up taking her back to the train so she will go to school. He kisses her and she never forgets him.

Meanwhile, on Eden, Dr. Amy Toller is talking about her latest project. They are going to go to Chi-4 and see if they can find relating to Earth. Her goal is to find out where Earth is which can help them figure out where all the other planets are. So they are going to get on their spaceship and do some covert research.

Two years after the first scene, Amy and her people are infiltrating Payson, Hope is coming home from school as a teacher, and the feud between the Grahams and Tewksburys is getting worse. Cue Romeo and Juliet, only call Joseph and Hope.

Sahalie did a hell of a job mixing up the scifi and Wild West stuff in here, plus adding in some spanking and romance. Really, we have 3 main characters who we get to see a lot of and find out what they are doing, as well as some side characters we see more of. I think that it could’ve been really easy to drop a thread when you are trying to weave together two distinct genres, include some history, keep track of various main characters, and make sure that everything comes out well. However, Sahalie made it look effortless and gives us a really tight story. The one thing I wish we had, though, was more of Osimov, the android captain.

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I have to wonder how much Joseph’s dad knew about the ship and all the info, since he had stuff hiding all over the place about the ship. I wouldn’t trust the man further than I could spit, and since I can’t spit all that well, that’s not very far.

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

Loki Renard-Bought

Loki Renard writes like the wind. I think that she maybe has a time machine and manages to put more hours in a day than the rest of the world has. I don’t know what it is, but she manages to put out a lot of books. And she’s just released a new one in Bought. Wouldn’t you all just freak out if I said that this was a light and fluffy one and not one of Loki’s dark stories? I don’t think that she knows how to write light and fluffy, so fear not, this is lovely and dark, and very much in much in Loki’s wheelhouse.

Casey is a brilliant programmer. That is both her greatest achievement and her greatest downfall. So when she tracks down some odd code that turns out to scrape users’ data, she decides that she needs to go to Vyper, the company who makes it, so that she can talk to Ethan, who is the CEO. Is she going to blackmail him? No. Is she going to ask him for a lot of money? No. Does she want him to hire her? No. What she wants to do is to ask him to stop. He tries to hire her, but she’s not interested. She has principles. Casey walks out of his office, gets in the elevator, gets in her car, and then is promptly pulled out of it by the police. She’s not put under arrest, she’s just locked in a room, waiting for Ethan to come. And he does, but not before he belts her with two cops holding her down. That’s OK, he makes sure she comes too.

Ethan decides that he’s going to take her home with him and keep her there. That way she can’t tell the world what’s going on and she will be safe. Meanwhile, he now has a new fucktoy, if he can just keep her under control.

I really like Casey, she is very smart. That’s also a serious problem for her. Being smart means that she thinks she figures things out and she thinks that she has things over on other people. Oh, not in a mean way, but still. She’s also a programmer, which means she tends to think in patterns and logical kinds of ways. Someone who is sneaky and who doesn’t think that way can almost always get around someone who thinks very logically. I mean, the people may both get to the same place, but where one person goes A->B->C, another person goes 2->5->B->A->K->C. They both end up in the same place, but the ono-logically thinking person is able to get around the other person because they’ve seen around the corners. But I probably digress. Ethan is a prick a good deal of the time, but he’s a prick that Casey enjoys, at least, at certain times.

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Not to be all super-paranoid, because it’s not really paranoia if they are really doing this, but if there aren’t companies doing this, I’ll kiss this venemous snake. It’s kind of creepy to think of, even when it’s happening in fiction, but when you consider that it’s very likely happening in real life, then it gets even worse, doesn’t it?

Go, read, enjoy! Happy reading!

Addison Cain-The Golden Line

So, a while back, Addison Cain wrote a short story called Consumed. It was in an anthology (don’t go look for it, it’s not for sale on Amazon anymore). When Addison got the rights to the story back, she turned it into The Golden Line. It’s a dark Omegaverse story. It is not related to the Alpha’s Claim books or the Wren’s Song books. It’s a brand new Omegaverse ‘verse. I believe it’s called the Knotted series. Addison promised it to us in August, and she dropped it as a surprise and barely made it in August. But, it was worth every second of the wait and every single tease that Addison put out. And damn me, if she didn’t tease the fuck out of everyone. She bragged about how Simin flirted with Morgaine, but didn’t tell us how. She just gloated about how good it was. A lot. She’s a sadist. But that’s OK, I’m pretty damn sure that I’m a masochist, at least when it comes to Addison Cain and her books.

Morgaine is a simple young woman who lives in a village with her mother. Her mother is a seamstress and Morgaine helps with dyeing the cloth and doing things like beautiful needlework, as well as the gardening and suchlike. But every now and again, the Alphas come to raid the village. They take the best of everything, and occasionally take people too. Morgaine always has a warning that they are coming. She starts to hurt and ends up nearly paralyzed. On the day that the Alphas come to her village, she barely makes it into hiding in time. When she comes back out, after heating the Alphas leave, it turns out that not all of them have left. Esin is there, and he’s threatening her mother. In order to keep her mother safe, Morgaine goes with him. That’s when she finds out she’s an Omega, and exactly what Esin and his comrades think that an Omega is. Even the ones that have an Omega mate treat the Omegas poorly. When the Commander doesn’t like the way that Morgaine is behaving he orders her caned. The next day, Simin comes.

Simin is a barbarian, at least that’s what those “civilized” Alphas would like to believe, but the first time he sees Morgaine, he knows that she is his. His Omega, his love, and his soulmate. Of course, it takes him some time to calm down after he sees what’s been done to her. Esin and all those Alphas tell her how Simin is going to rape her and kill her and all sorts of terrible things. So when Morgaine is handed off to him, she’s terrified. It doesn’t help that she and Simin don’t share a common language. All she knows is what Esin and the others have trained and forced her into. But Simin isn’t like them.

For a very, very long time, since back when I first read the Alpha’s Claim books which were my very first Omegaverse books, Shepherd has been my favorite Alpha. He’s one of my top 3 book boyfriends. Shepherd has now got some serious competition. Simin is pretty fucking awesome. He’s different to Shepherd, but the ‘verse is different too, and their ranking and background is different. Addison puts it as a dark read, and it is that, but it’s not completely dark all the way through. I’m going to guess that it won’t stay that way though. I’ve read too many Addison Cain books *cough*all of them*cough* to know that she’s going to move into something light and squishy. She writes dark and sticky instead. Dark and very, very sticky, with lots and lots of fluids. I like Morgaine. She’s got guts. Simin is a very interesting character and I like him a lot. And he really does flirt with Morgaine in an interesting way.

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I love how the title turned from Consumed to The Golden Line and even more, why it turned from Consumed to The Golden Line, or at least why I think it did. The short was a lot more about what Esin et al did to Morgaine, which really was consuming her, while Simin was much more about that golden line and what it represented, not necessarily to him, but to Morgaine. It showed his priority and how Omegas are valued in his culture.

I love this book, just as I love everything that Addison writes, but this one gets to me in a different way than the other Omegaverse books do. In a totally good way. Go check it out and tell me what you think. Happy reading!