Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tucker's Claim Book Review


He is everything her body craves...
and everything her faith denies

Tucker McCade has known violence his whole life: orphaned in a massacre, abused as a "half-breed" child, trained as a ruthless Texas Ranger, he's learned the hard way that might makes right.

So even he is shocked when he falls for Sallie Mae Reynolds, a Quaker nurse. Unable to resist Tucker's charm, character and chiseled body, she throws herself into their torrid affair, indulging every one of her wildest sexual fantasies. Tucker's occupation, however, is the one thing about him she can't embrace. A staunch pacifist, Sallie Mae can't understand how his strong, caressing hand can clench in fury or pull a trigger to take a life. In this lawless land, Tucker knows you have to fight to survive. But when Sallie Mae becomes pregnant, he's willing to do whatever it takes to have his family — including hanging up his guns.

Every night they spend together exploring new heights of ecstasy binds them ever closer, slowly erasing their differences…until the day Tucker's past comes calling, precipitating an explosive showdown between her faith, his promise and the need for revenge.

My Review:

I love the Hell's Eight series and men...the ultimate "bad" guys protecting what's theirs and loving their women to the moon and back!  Tucker is a half-breed, accepted by neither side of his heritage, and he falls in love with a white widow who serves as the town's nurse/doctor.  It's a love that will never be accepted...they both know it.  But fate has plans for Tucker & Sally (Moonbeam) and the road is not a smooth one.  What was supposed to be one night of pleasure quickly turns into a blazing love neither of them can walk away from.  This is their story...their battle to find love and acceptance, moving forward, living with the results of their actions.  

I am in love with Tucker.  He is all man - a devil with a gun, protecting what's his...but he is also sweet, romantic and would rival any modern day alpha male or Dom in bed!  This man has serious skills!  As a Texas Ranger, he rides with his "family" - the Hell's Eight, sworn to protect the innocent.  It means more to Tucker as he was abused and has lived in violence most of his life.  He lives by his gun and will die that way.  Unfortunately, that is the biggest obstacle between him and Sally.

Sally is a strong heroine...accepting the hand fate dealt her with the death of her husband, finding the strength to survive alone in a man's world, and finally, finding the strength to face her demons and allow herself to love Tucker.  But the one thing she can't accept is his violence...Sally is a Quaker and can't come to terms with that side of Tucker.  Fate will test her beliefs and their taboo relationship.  Will they pass the test?  Is love enough?  Can they live in each other's world?  This was a great read and one of my favorites in the series thus far!  Loved it!

Rating:  4 Pretty ♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

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Dark Duet Series Book Review

My Review:

5 stars are not enough for these books...I was seriously hypnotized by this author and drawn into the lives of these characters.  It is a dark, sometimes hard series to read.  If you don't like having your emotions pushed to the limit, skip it.  If you can't read dark, seductive reads, forget this one.  You are on a heart-wrenching, gut checking ride all the way.  The books are filled with pain, anguish, despair, horrific events...but through it all I felt hope - a spark of hope that kept me turning pages as fast as I could.  As the spark was fanned with each passing chapter, I just knew the ride would be worth it.

We are introduced to an empty shell of a man known as Caleb in Captive In The Dark.  I both hated and loved him or felt compassion for him in spite of the terrible deeds he perpetrated again Livvie.  The author does an outstanding job of making you feel empathy for this character in spite of all his flaws.  By the second book, Seduced In The Dark, I kept hoping and praying that he would let go of the past and do the right thing.  I'm not going to rehash the story for can read the synopsis below my review.  I will say that Caleb is a dead man...he is hollow inside, dead to all emotions except for the deep, burned into his soul desire for revenge.

Livvie is an unhappy girl who is kidnapped...but was what she left behind actually worse that what she's found in captivity?  In Captive, Livvie is coming to terms with the horrific situation she wakes up in.  She is beginning to learn her captor, what he demands from her, and also learning how to survive.  She is stripped bare - both physically & mentally - totally dependent on Caleb and begins to realize there is more to him than he wants her to see.  She experiences touching moments with him when he lets his guard down which gives her hope, right along with me.

 I will say that in Seductive, I fell in love with Caleb in spite of his cruelty.  I felt his pain and grieved just as much for him as I did Livvie.  As for Livvie...How can you fall in love with a monster?  A man so damaged that he no longer believes he has a heart or soul?  A man who is both your worse nightmare and yet your protector at the same time?  A man whose touch both repels you and draws you like a magnet?  Livvie is telling the story of what happened to her in this book.  It is compelling, intense, and definitely not your fairytale romance...but it is a love story.  The writer took me from hating this monster called Caleb to understanding and loving him.  I experienced his darkness and like Livvie, survived it to find myself pulling for him to make it.  It is one of the most emotional reads I've read in a long time.  

Epilogue gives us MORE than the ending.  Please do not be lulled into not reading this book after the ending of Seduced.  Tony's POV is worth more than I can say plus, it gives us more of an in-depth I could live with.  I wiped tears for Tony while reading his POV of some of the scenes...I already sympathized with him but this final book sealed the deal for me.  It gave me confirmation of the man who was still alive deep down, hidden away in his empty heart.  And, I must say, I laughed as Tony learns how to be an ordinary man, how to give and receive love in a normal, healthy relationship.  This series is a must read!  I can't say how much I loved it!  It has ruined me for "normal" romance reads...I now demand something more!

Rating:  5 Gorgeous ♥♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!  It really deserves so many more!!

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Synopsis: Captured In The Dark 

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.

Synopsis: Seduced In The Dark

The exciting, titillating, and action-filled conclusion to Captive in the Dark.

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.  The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.  Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance?  Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

It seemed to Caleb, the nature of human beings revolved around one empirical truth: we want what we cannot have. For Eve, it was the fruit of the forbidden tree. For Caleb, it was Livvie.

Synopsis: Epilogue

I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging. In fact, you probably know too many things and know them far too well.

Who am I?

Well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves.She loves me.  It’s quite sick, isn’t it?  Of course, there’s more to our story than can be surmised in a few short sentences, but I’m at a loss for justifying my behavior back then. I assume if you’re reading this, I don’t need to make those justifications. You’ve already made your own.
You’re reading this because you want to know about the rest of the story. You want to know what happened that warm summer night in September of 2010, the night I met Livvie at The Paseo. It was the night my life changed all over again.

It didn’t happen exactly as Livvie said. She’s been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more…complicated.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Before Jamaica Lane Book Review


One simple lesson in seduction between two friends can turn into so much more…

Despite her outgoing demeanor, Olivia is painfully insecure around the opposite sex—usually, she can’t get up the nerve to approach guys she’s interested in. But moving to Edinburgh has given her a new start, and, after she develops a crush on a sexy postgrad, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants.

Nate Sawyer is a gorgeous player who never commits, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting and to help her become more sexually confident.

The friendly education in seduction soon grows into an intense and hot romance. But then Nate’s past and commitment issues rear their ugly heads, and Olivia is left broken-hearted. When Nate realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he will have to work harder than he ever has before to entice his best friend into falling back in love with him—or he may lose her forever…

My Review:

Before Jamaica Lane is sweet, hot, funny, erotic…a beautiful love story about friends, Nate and Olivia, and what happens when they take it a step past friendship.  It started out innocently enough, just friends laughing, talking, sharing secrets.  Somewhere along the way, they cross the line and can never go back.  Unfortunately, Nate can’t give Liv what she needs.  His heart belongs to a ghost, his first love…a girl he loved so deeply that he had the first letter of her name tattooed across his heart after she died at age 18.  After that, Nate became a love ‘em and leave ‘em guy, never making promises that he couldn’t keep…never giving his heart willingly to anyone.

Liv is a funny, friendly girl…unless she’s around a man she's attracted to, then she clams up.  She wants a man who will love her like she’s the only one, the love of his life.  One night, while drinking, Oliva gets up the nerve to ask Nate to help her - to teach her how to make a man want her.  He jumps at the chance to build Olivia’s confidence by teaching her to kiss, seduce, and love a man.  They cross the line of no return.  What happens is a bit predictable but very sexy, hot and romantic until Liv realizes that she can never be the love of Nate’s life…he’s already had & lost that.  He'll never return her feelings.  Can Liv settle for anything less?

I love a good friends to lovers story, and this is a great one...a fun, sexy romance.  What a great addition to the series.  A must read for fans of romance!

Rating:  4 beautiful ♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Consequences Series Book Review

Consequences Series:  This is a series that blew me away...hands down, one of the most intriguing, mind-boggling, surprising series that I've ever read - and that's saying a great deal!  I have decided to review these books as a series instead of one by one as one book is only a piece of the must read the entire series to fully absorb the many shocks, surprises, twists, and turns that this train wreck of a ride will take you on.

The series consists of:  Consequences, Truth, Convicted, and just released - Behind His Eyes, Consequences.  Behind His Eyes, Truth and Behind His Eyes, Convicted are due out in March and May respectively.   Below, you will find the synopsis for each book and then my review of the series.  

Consequences Synopsis:
Anthony Rawlings had a plan—to teach Claire Nichols to behave.  Claire Nichols had a plan—to survive!

In an unfamiliar bedroom within a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols wakes to memories of a brutal abduction. All of her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met—Anthony Rawlings. Unbeknownst to Claire, Anthony has had her in his sights for a long time. Every action has consequences—and his actions resulted in their chance meeting.

Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive as she comes to terms with her new reality—every aspect of her livelihood is now dependent upon the tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed tycoon. Anthony may appear to the world as a prosperous, benevolent, kind businessman, but in reality Claire learns he is also a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as your told, public failure is not an option, and don’t divulge private information. Failure to follow these rules and more, are met with serious consequences.  In an effort to earn her freedom, Claire learns her lessons well and before long, she unknowingly captivates her captor. Anthony/ Tony reluctantly becomes enthralled with Claire’s beauty, resilience and determination. Their interaction instigates strong emotions, including—fear, anger, love, and lust—as their journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion.

From the opening criminal abduction, through the twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Aleatha Romig utilizes vivid detail, allowing this novel to unfold like a movie.  Can you put the pieces of the puzzle together? Claire Nichols abduction wasn’t a random act—did she learn her lessons well enough? Will these unlikely lovers remain true--or will she learn the truth before it’s too late?

Truth Synopsis:
Claire Nichols endured the CONSEQUENCES of Anthony Rawlings’ vendetta.  When she first arrived to his home, her goal was survival. Through strength and compartmentalization Claire captivated her captor. Her resilience in the face of his rule threatened Anthony’s well developed plan. He thought he taught her to behave-but domination became desire and Claire taught Tony to love.  Their passion and adoration in a world of opulence appeared perfect, yet the reality was a roller coaster of emotion. Claire’s world teetered on the edge of sanity as Antony monitored her every move. When given the opportunity to flee, Claire drove away—a fateful decision which began a well laid plan.

Unbeknownst to either of them, there were others who saw past the perfect facade of Anthony Rawlings. There were others who saw the TRUTH. Conspiracy and unfulfilled promises result in an early prison release for Claire. Not just a release—a pardon. According to the law, her crime never happened!  Will it be that easy? Faced with freedom from her past—can Claire seize it? Can she build a new life, mend her broken spirit, become the woman she once was, and seek her own revenge? Or is it all a game? And does the game master have different plans? How does Sophia Burke fit into the puzzle that is Tony and Claire? Will her presence affect the future of this well esteemed man? Can he dominate twice? Is that his goal?

TRUTH continues the tumultuous saga of CONSEQUENCES,introduces new players, and uncovers more intrigue. Aleatha Romig skillfully weaves past transgressions through current deception to create a fervent world of obsessed desire. In this reality can an all-consuming relationship survive?   When buried sins are discovered they threaten not only Tony and Claire’s future—but their very lives! Will the TRUTH be revealed in time?

Convicted Synopsis:
There were still lessons to learn and consequences for the truth!
When Claire Nichols met Anthony Rawlings, she didn’t know they had a past, or that he had plans for her future. Over time, the role of teacher changed—games became reality—and domination turned to desire. Despite an insurmountable history, Claire and Tony found their way back to one another.  Just when they seemed to have it all—love, respect, and the promise of a family—the game master exposed the truth. Claire’s world once again spun out of control. Unwilling to allow her child to suffer the consequences of an old vendetta, Claire fled...

At one time, Claire was held captive in an opulent mansion—then her incarceration was a cell inside a state penitentiary. Was her new prison—a tropical island—truly less lonely? Perhaps that was the game master’s plan, all along?  Who will save Claire from her oldest nightmare and her newest reality? Will it be Tony? Can he forgive her for leaving him—again? Harry? Will he utilize previously unknown connections to save the woman who infiltrates his thoughts? Maybe Phil? Will his devotion in keeping Claire and her child safe be rewarded?   As the cards are played—sins of the past, innocent victims, and truths are revealed. With compartmentalization no longer an option, is the reality too much? Could there be an even worse isolation?   With the game master dealing from a stacked deck, can this new high-stakes game possibly be won?

When it’s all over and their cards are on the table—SOME will discover their bets were too high—they have nothing left to lose—ALL will learn the crucial lesson—the most important rule—there are CONSEQUENCES for the TRUTH! 

My Review:
This series is a puzzle if I've ever seen one...a card game, a roll of the dice, a chess match, a game of's all about consequences - every action is followed by a consequence, either good or bad.  There are people being held accountable for the perceived sins of their parents, grandparents, or ancestors of one type or event from the past that someone believes that the children of the children and so on should pay for.  This is an intriguing story that does cover some dark subjects including kidnapping, rape, and physical abuse.  I will say, however; that the author did not write these scenes in graphic detail but rather eluded to the horrific events.  At first, I was actually a bit put off by the lack of detail in the abuse and sex scenes.  Having said that, Consequences is one of the best series I've ever read.  It is shocking, surprising, compelling, intense and more dangerous to maneuver than a mountain road at night.  Emotions run the gamut in these books from dark despair, fear, frustration, hate and hopelessness to compliance, acceptance, desire, love, and hope - at times, an overwhelming influx of emotions overcame me as I read this story.

In Consequences, we are introduced to Anthony (Tony) and Claire as he captivates, seduces, and kidnaps her, locking her away in his mansion while destroying all evidence of her old life.  Why?  For how long?  What does he want?  All questions you wonder about as you read this first book.  There's a Game Master at work here - who is it?  What are they really after?  Consequences sets the stage for this game to play out between these players.  I was shocked at Tony's actions in this book but could not stop reading it.  I admit to wondering where it was going and why I should continue reading it and then, I got to the last few chapters of the book and was slapped in the face with what occurred!  My exact thoughts was WTH?!!  I didn't see that coming.  Let me tell you that from this point on, through all the rest of the books, I felt exactly like that.  It is one shocker, surprise, twist and turn after another...such a puzzle.  I burned through these books to get to the truth...dying to get some kind of HEA for Claire and yes, even Tony. 

Truth picks up the story and the game changes.  Claire rises to the occasion and plays the cards she's been dealt, realizing that it's all a game.  In order to survive, she must beat the master at their own game.  Is she up for the challenge?  Tony is surprised by Claire's tenaciousness, her strength, her will to survive in spite of her dire circumstances and thus, the game changes to one of seduction, desire, and dare I say - learning to trust?  Falling in love?  Now who is the master?  Truth  was a complex, complicated puzzle of actions & effects...but we must remember, there are consequences for actions always.  And the Game Master sets what they believe to be the final piece in place in the final pages of Truth...setting the stage for the ultimate victory...leading us into Convicted.

Convicted opens in the future, 2016, and will shock you in the first few pages.  I read them and again, thought WTH??  I read on and screamed NO a few times as my heart broke over the story I was reading.  Again, so many twists and turns as the author uses flashbacks and memories to bring the reader up to date with the story and bring us to the here and now with Claire and Tony.  I cannot stress enough how many shocking surprises there are in this book.  It seems the Game Master has won - game over.  But is it?  By this point, I think you will have figured out who the Game Master is but there's still one horrific event to face and come to terms with.  I wasn't sure of the ending until the last few pages.  Believe me, it's worth the read.

Behind His Eyes, Consequences just came out this week.  Yes, I had to read it and get Tony's POV on some of the most important scenes in Consequences.  I'm so glad I did.  Some of it, I knew or guessed but it was worth the read to see that shocking ending to book 1 through his eyes.  It was such a mind f*ck when it happened, and I didn't understand WHY!?!  Seeing it through Tony's eyes cleared that picture up for me and yes, even made me sympathize a little bit with him at that point in the story.

All I can say after this emotional train wreck is Read It if you're a lover of mystery, suspense, psychological thrillers and yes, even love stories.  This is the story of Tony and Claire - how they came to be, the journey they traveled, the game they played, and all the sordid consequences they suffered through along the way.  A Master Piece!  A must read!

My Rating: 5 Gorgeous ♥♥♥♥♥'s...And that's the truth!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Reviews Coming Up!

My apologies for having been missing in action lately with posting book reviews.   My list of reasons include being busy with friends & family during the holidays, writing more on my own book and also getting swept up by some addictive series that held me hostage and wouldn't let me go until I read the entire series!  I have been blindsided by some very intense, compelling reads in the last few weeks and look forward to reviewing them for you soon.  A couple of the series were so intriguing that I do not feel I can review just one of the books but will try to review the series as a whole.  Hang with me...I'll be back with the first one soon!