Gas or Ass (The ‘Cuda Confessions #1) by Eden Connor

Book Description:

Published: April 17, 2015

Not every relationship is about love.

The odometer on my sex life was stuck at zero the day my mother dragged home a husband I’d never met. Dale brought his two grown sons to help pack and move us into their house. Both were hard-bodied and handsome, but Caine didn’t speak to me. Colt, on the other hand, said crude stuff like, “Wanna ride with me? Then I’m gonna need gas or ass,” but I couldn’t take my eyes off his rippling muscles and challenging blue eyes.

Some are about speed, sex, and defiance.

When Colt offered me a ride to school, I thought the ‘gas or ass’ thing was a joke, but he wasn’t kidding. Though he barely touched me, he shattered the innocence I couldn’t wait to shed. Even then, I sensed I’d never be the same. He and Caine soon upped the stakes, putting me behind the wheel of cars that could reach insane speeds. They kept challenging me to find my inner wild child, pairing illegal drag races with high-octane sex games, games like ‘winner gets head’.

And some are about trying to break you.

It wasn’t long before I was hooked, but I always planned to walk away. Then everything spun out of control and walking wasn’t an option.
I had to run.

Review –

This was offered to me as a free digital book and I almost passed it by because of the title. It just sounded vulgar.

vul·gar
ˈvəlɡər/
adjective
lacking sophistication or good taste; unrefined.
“the vulgar trappings of wealth”
synonyms: tasteless, crass, tawdry, ostentatious, flamboyant, overdone, showy, gaudy, garish, brassy, kitsch, kitschy, tinselly, loud; More
antonyms: tasteful, restrained, genteel, decorous

making explicit and offensive reference to sex or bodily functions; coarse and rude.
“a vulgar joke”
synonyms: rude, indecent, indelicate, offensive, distasteful, coarse, crude, ribald, risqué, naughty, suggestive, racy, earthy, off-color, bawdy, obscene, profane, lewd, salacious, smutty, dirty, filthy, pornographic, X-rated

And then I thought , “who  am I kidding -I read vulgar books all the time”, so I downloaded it and almost completed it in one sitting.

 It really is one of the nastiest books that I have read in a very long time.

Shelby’s mom marries Dale out of the blue without telling her and they are moved into his house with his two sons, Colt and Caine. These boys are half brothers, same father, different mothers and the mothers did;t want them. Dale and his two sons are BIG into NASCAR and quarter-mile drag racing soon Shelby is right along with them. The loser of the race has to give up sexual favors  and she later finds out that Colt, whom she has a huge crush on, has been pimping her out behind her back.She feels like a whore and knows that if her Mom found out she wouldn’t believe that her step-brothers would do that. The thing is Shelby enjoys all the sex and feels conflicted about it so she  can’t wait to leave for college. One of the brothers hides her acceptance letter to a university and things take a drastic turn and Shelby hitchhikes out-of-town and goes to the university hoping to plead with the Dean to let her stay. She is accepted and doesn’t go home for almost four years.

It’s a great story and in the next book, which I’m reading now, you find out something about the brothers and all the lies they have told to Shelby.

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The Last Good Girl (Anna Curtis #5) by Allison Leotta

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2016

Emily, a freshman at a Michigan university, has gone missing. She was last seen leaving a bar near Sigma Pi, the prestigious and secretive fraternity known on campus as “the rape factory.” The main suspect is Dylan Brooks, the son of one of the most powerful politicians in the state. But so far the only clues are pieced-together surveillance footage of Emma leaving the bar that night…and Dylan running down the street after her.

Anna Curtis is on the case when she discovers the video diary Emma kept over her first few months at college, exposing the history she had with Dylan—and accusing him of rape before she disappeared.

Emily’s disappearance gets media attention and support from Title IX activists across the country, but Anna’s investigation hits a wall. Now Anna is looking for something, anything she can use to find Emily alive. But without a body or any physical evidence, she’s under threat from people who tell her to think hard before she ruins the name of an “innocent young man.” Inspired by real-life stories, The Last Good Girl shines a light on campus rape and the powerful emotional dynamics that affect the families of the men and women on both sides.

Review –

Although the subject matter is very important and definitely “ripped from the headlines”, I found the story tedious to read.  This is the first in the Anna Curtis series that I’ve read and it’s number five and maybe that’s the problem. I wasn’t invested in the characters and really couldn’t feel any chemistry between any of them. So, for me it was just okay.

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Arouse (Spiral of Bliss #1) by Nina Lane

Book Description:

Published: December 24, 2012

One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me,” he said.

And he did.

Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv’s inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure.

But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other as dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface.

Review –

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This is a contemporary/erotic romance with  sexy characters and hot, steamy love scenes but also dark hidden secrets which come to light and could cause the end to a very happy marriage if Dean and Olivia can’t make peace with the situation. The moral to this story is DO NOT KEEP SECRETS. They always come back to bite you in the ass.

I loved the chemistry between Dean and Olivia and their blazing passion and the heated anger when his secret is made known. I’ve read the other books in the series but this one is my favorite. 

Adult

Five stars *****Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

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Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure (Aunt Dimity Mystery #21) by Nancy Atherton

Book Description:

Published: May 24, 2016

While exploring the attic in her cottage near the small English village of Finch, Lori Shepherd makes an extraordinary discovery: a gold and silver bracelet inlaid with gleaming garnets, which she quickly learns belonged to Aunt Dimity. When Lori brings news of the garnet bracelet to Aunt Dimity, it awakens poignant memories of a doomed romance in Aunt Dimity’s past. Regretfully, Aunt Dimity asks Lori to do what she could not bring herself to do—return the bracelet to her unsuccessful suitor or to his rightful heir.

In the meantime, a new family has moved to Finch. The villagers are thrilled because their new neighbors are avid metal detectorists. Metal detectors soon become all the rage in Finch and the villagers unearth a lot of rubbish (some of it quite embarrassing) before one of them stumbles upon a real treasure—an ancient hoard of priceless gold and silver artifacts.

The artifacts look strangely familiar to Lori. She begins to suspect that the villager isn’t the only person who’s stumbled upon the hoard. Did Aunt Dimity’s suitor get there first? If he took the garnet bracelet from the hoard, what else might he have taken? Was Aunt Dimity’s long-lost love a common thief? If so, who is his rightful heir? As Lori searches for answers, she discovers an unexpected link between the buried treasure in the village and the treasure buried in Aunt Dimity’s heart.

Review –

If you love cozy mysteries, you should really read the Aunt Dimity Mystery Series, and in order. Sometimes it doesn’t make a difference in which order a series is read but this one follows the characters from the beginning with the discovery of an unexpected inheritance by a woman Lori didn’t even know, to how Lori met the man she would marry and their  life in the quaint village of Finch in England. There is a natural progression in the lives of all the characters involved  and the reading is easy and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

I love this book just as much as the others and look forward to the next one.

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Crow (Boston Underworld #1) by A. Zavarelli

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2016

He’s a killer. A mobster.

The last man on earth I’d ever want to be with. I won’t lose my head just because he’s hot, Irish, and has a wicked accent to boot.

He’s one of the only leads in my best friend’s disappearance, and I don’t trust him.
So I’ve got a few rules in mind when it comes to dealing with Lachlan Crow.

1. Keep a clear head and don’t get distracted.
2. Do what’s necessary and never forget why you’re there.
3. Never, and I mean never, fall for him.

Fourth and final rule?

Throw out the book altogether. Because the rules don’t apply when it comes to the Irish mafia.

It was only supposed to be temporary, but now Lachlan thinks he owns me. He says he’s not letting me go.

And I believe him.

***

Lachlan.

I don’t know who she is. I don’t know why she’s here.

But if it’s my attention she wants, she has it.

The Russians want her dead, and now it’s up to me to look out for her. This girl is trouble. A distraction I can’t afford.

So why have I already decided she’s mine?

I’ve claimed her and there’s no going back now.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Okay, first of all, is there a sexier Irish name than Lachlan? I don’t think so.

Lachlan is a mobster, a killer, a strong dominant male and a pretty good boxer to boot. Oh, yes, and sexy as hell!

Mack is a girl from Southie, a great boxer and is out to find her missing friend. She never stood a chance.

They both know that their relationship is fool-hardy and impossible but that doesn’t stop them. In between all the hot steamy sex scenes there is a real plot that keeps you turning pages, but the bad guys get what’s coming to them and Mack and Lachlan get their HEA!

Great read and it’s a standalone.

Five stars *****

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Three, Two, One by J.A. Huss

Book Description:

Published: January 7, 2015

ONE GIRL

Battered, barefoot, and huddled under a bookstore awning in the pouring rain, Blue only knows one thing. After fifteen months of captivity, finally… she is free.

TWO FRIENDS

Self-made millionaires JD and Ark are not out to save anyone when they stumble upon a wet and shivering girl one early Sunday morning. But when you sell sex for a living and salvation rings your bell… you answer the call.

THREE SOULMATES

After years of searching, love lifts the veil of darkness, and three people—with three very big secrets—find themselves bound together in a relationship that defies the odds.

Or does it?

Love. Lust. Sex.

This trinity might be perfection… but not everything should come in 3’s.

WARNING: This is a STANDALONE non-traditional M/F/M ROMANCE with a non-traditional ending. 

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Darkly warped  doesn’t even begin to describe the relationships, the storyline, the characters and the plot in this brilliant piece of writing. It is very dark, even uncomfortable at times, unbelievably  hot other times, and with a relationship that is unconventional. 

The story is not what is appears to be when you start reading but you don’t find this out until almost the end. It deals with the online porn industry and is definitely for mature readers. It is suspenseful, dramatic, tragically sad (in parts) and sexy as hell, in a semi-gross way. 

If you start this book-see it through to the end. You won’t be sorry.

Five stars *****

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Phantom (Harry Hole #9) by Jo Nesbo

Book Description:

Published: October 2, 2012

Following from Jo Nesbø’s electrifying international best-sellers The Snowman and The Leopard, now comes Phantom, which plunges the brilliant, deeply troubled, now former police officer Harry Hole into a full-tilt investigation on which his own tenuous future will come to depend.

When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong—fleeing the traumas of life as a cop—he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn’t help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets of Oslo (and the careers of some of the city’s highest officials), and into the maze of his own past, where he will find the wrenching truth that finally matters to Oleg, and to himself.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

Loved this book, just wish I had read the  series in order.  Here are the highlights:

  • Harry Hole has returned to his life of self-imposed exile in Hong Kong, but is brought back to Norway as the book begins as he is told that Oleg, the son of his on-off girlfriend, Rakel Fauke, has been arrested for the murder of his flatmate, Gusto. Since Harry has become a father figure to Oleg, he comes to Norway to determine the truth about the murder.
  • An airline pilot is arrested for transporting heroin into Norway, but – thanks to a burner within the Oslo Police Force, he is released and – although suspended from his job – is tasked by the heroin smuggling gang to work for them.
  • Harry meets an elderly priest at the hotel where he stays who, throughout the novel, gives Harry seemingly random information that ultimately aids him in solving the murder of Gusto. He also discovers that the drug-scene in Oslo no longer revolves around heroin, but around a morphine-based drug called Violin, which gives a bigger drug “high” and is much more addictive, but lacks some of the fatal consequences involved with the injection of heroin.
  • Harry manages to sneak into Oleg’s cell, pretending to be his lawyer, a man called Hans Christian, who is dating Oleg’s mother. After hearing Oleg’s side of the story he is convinced that the police have the wrong suspect and that Oleg has been arrested to keep the people who run the Violin trade going from being arrested. This theory is confirmed when Oleg is attacked in his cell moments after Harry has left.
  • Throughout the novel, the back-story, told from the point of view of a dying Gusto, explains how Oleg, Gusto and Gusto’s foster-sister, Irene, got involved in the Violin trade and how Irene has been kidnapped by the man who developed Violin to use as a sex slave. There are also passages written from the point of view of a mother rat, who is barred from reaching her hungry children by humans fighting and shooting each other and a falling body blocking her way; the significance of the rat’s experience in the main story told from the human point of view only becomes evident in the end.
  • Harry manages to find where Irene is being kept and free her, and then heads to a house where he has found out that the mysterious man behind the smuggling and dealing ring (a man no-one confirms having met) lives. He kills two bodyguards, but is trapped in the cellar of the house, which fills with water. However using an empty whisky bottle as an air pocket, Harry is able to escape drowning – the alcoholism which had often complicated Harry’s life in this case helping to save them.
  • An object in the drug lord’s house gives Harry a hint about the drug lord’s identity, and he realizes that he unknowingly met him already. He confronts the man in a life-and-death struggle which also involved a paradoxical grudging respect and mutual attraction. The encounter also enables Harry to discover who had killed Gusto, and how he was related to the drug lord. Harry then confronts Gusto’s killer. But before he can be taken in, he fires his gun at Harry apparently fatally.
  • Careful reading of the final part of the novel shows that the mother rat who appears elsewhere in the novel could sense ‘the barely perceptible vibrations’ of Harry’s heart. There are major loose ends – though the drug lord is dead, a corrupt and criminal officer is about to take command of the Oslo Police with the connivance of a corrupt city official – so Harry may survive to deal with them.

I will not tell you who killed the drug addict  at the beginning of the book but let’s just say it broke my heart and because I have already read/listened to the next book (and maybe the last book) in the series, I know that Harry is NOT dead   Hallelujah!!!!!!!

Five stars *****

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Private Paris (Private #10) by James Patterson and Mark T. Sullivan

Book Description:

Published: April 21, 2016

Paris is burning–and only Private’s Jack Morgan can put out the fire.
When Jack Morgan stops by Private’s Paris office, he envisions a quick hello during an otherwise relaxing trip filled with fine food and sightseeing. But Jack is quickly pressed into duty after a call from his client Sherman Wilkerson, asking Jack to track down his young granddaughter who is on the run from a brutal drug dealer.

Before Jack can locate her, several members of France’s cultural elite are found dead–murdered in stunning, symbolic fashion. The only link between the crimes is a mysterious graffiti tag. As religious and ethnic tensions simmer in the City of Lights, only Jack and his Private team can connect the dots before the smoldering powder keg explodes.

Review –

 Another new foreign office, another series of local challenges to go along with an assortment of story lines.

 It is a fast paced thriller complete with tension, mayhem,murder and terrorism and will keep you turning pages or listening for many hours at a time.  I believe this is one of James Patterson’s better books in the series but if I had been reading instead of listening I would have stumbled over most of the French names of people, places and things. Thank heavens for the audio book.!

The next in the series is Private Rio which come out later this month.

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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Philipp Sendker

Book Description:

Published: January 21, 2012

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.

Review –

After more than 25-30 years of marriage, a man leaves his family and goes back to Burma to re-unite with his first love. Four years later, his wife finds a love letter he wrote long ago to his Burmese woman and gives it go her daughter and says she can do what she wants but that she, the wife, doesn’t want to know what she finds out.

The daughter travels to Burma and comes upon a man who tells her a long story which is about the life of her father and the woman her loved. As it turns out, her father is dead and so is the woman he loved but the man she has been talking to over a week or more is her brother.

It is a story that makes the reader feel sorry for the man one minute  and hate him the next. The book will pull at your heart-strings and makes a very good Summer read.

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The Leopard (Harry Hole #8) by Jo Nesbo

Book Description:

Published: 2009

In the depths of winter, a killer stalks the city streets. His victims are two young women, both found with twenty-four inexplicable puncture wounds, both drowned in their own blood. The crime scenes offer no clues, the media is reaching fever pitch, and the police are running out of options. There is only one man who can help them, and he doesn’t want to be found. Deeply traumatized by The Snowman investigation, which threatened the lives of those he holds most dear, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong’s opium dens. But with his father seriously ill in hospital, Harry reluctantly agrees to return to Oslo. He has no intention of working on the case, but his instinct takes over when a third victim is found brutally murdered in a city park.

The victims appear completely unconnected to one another, but it’s not long before Harry makes a discovery: the women all spent the night in an isolated mountain hostel. And someone is picking off the guests one by one. A heart-stopping thriller from the bestselling author of the The Snowman, The Leopard is an international phenomenon that will grip you until the final page.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

The first thing that I noticed about this book was the length, it is longer that most of the other Harry Hole books I have read, and secondly, there is much more violence.

Here is the book in a nut shell:

  • Following the traumatic events of the previous novel, The Snowman, former police inspector Harry Hole has exiled himself in Hong Kong and frequents the Opium Dens.
  • Kaja Solness, a new Norwegian Crime Squad officer, tracks down Hole and asks for his help in investigating a series of possible serial murders in Oslo.
  • Solness convinces Hole to return when she tells him that his father, Olav, is seriously ill and will not live much longer.
  • Harry returns to the Crime Squad unit to find it engaged in a power struggle with Kripos—Norway’s national crime investigation unit that investigates organized and serious crime. Its power-hungry head, Mikael Bellman, seeks to have all Norwegian murder investigations placed under his agency’s jurisdiction. From the very moment of landing in Norway, Hole finds himself the target of Bellman’s hostility—though the head of Kripos is not averse to obtaining the results of Hole’s investigation and taking credit for them.
  • Hole and Solness discover that all three victims had stayed at the same ski lodge some time previously, all on the same night. Harry deduces that the murders are part of the killer’s attempts to cover up his trail. Suspicion initially falls on a man known to have been at the ski lodge at the time, but he is eliminated from the enquiry when it is discovered that he has been murdered by the killer.
  • Following a discussion with The Snowman, from his previous case, Harry believes that the murderer is someone whom he knows and who has become close to him. This person is arrested but, unfortunately, Harry’s instincts are proven wrong. It is then discovered that the real killer has fled to the Congo, where Harry and Solness pursue the killer. There Harry—and separately Solness—are kidnapped by associates of the killer. Harry manages to escape and, following clues given by one of the killer’s associates, finally confronts and kills the murderer at the lip of a live volcano.
  • Later, at the funeral of his father, Harry spots his former lover, Rakel, and her son, Oleg, who have fled from Norway following the events of The Snowman murders. At this short meeting, Harry manages to confirm that they are happy away from Norway. It becomes apparent that Rakel is the one great love of Harry’s life—that no other woman can truly replace her, and that Kaja’s deep love for Harry and her aspiration to build a life together with him are doomed to failure and to heartbreak.
  • Harry returns to see The Snowman, who is gravely ill and who feels some remorse for his crimes. It is tacitly suggested that Harry helps The Snowman to commit suicide out of remorse for having failed to follow his father’s request for him to perform euthanasia.
  • By the end of the novel, Harry has accumulated many new traumatic memories and haunting “ghosts”—having been very near death several time. He mutilated his own face to get free of the killer’s fiendish trap. He shot an African mercenary who turned out to be a young boy. He twice saved Kaja’s life by ruthlessly sacrificing somebody else’s: during an avalanche, while resuscitating Kaja, he allows another police officer to suffocate to death and, at the final showdown in Africa, while shooting down the murderer, Harry inadvertently kills another woman who was held hostage. Though not facing any charges for these deaths, Harry is well aware of what he has done and is determined to return to Hong Kong for good.

I feel so bad for Harry because he just could not catch a break in this book and now he goes back down the rabbit hole in Hong Kong. (makes me want to cry)

Five stars *****

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