Dollars (Dollar #2) by Pepper Winters

Book Description:

Published: November 18, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

“I should never have asked for a night with you. This would never have happened if I’d had more willpower.”

A thief met a possession and did what he did best. Now, he has to live with the consequences. Including the girl he claimed.

Pimlico was stolen and sold all before her twenty-first birthday. Two years with a master who almost killed her is over. She has a new master now. A master who demands everything, expects everything, and requires ultimate access to her mind.

Elder broke countless rules when he took the girl who wasn’t his. She confuses and bewitches him, but his fascination won’t save her from his desires.

He wants to know her. She wants to forget. Together…they’re doomed.

Pimlico: Once upon a time, I was a mute captive who wished for death.
Now, I’m stowed away on a yacht.
Saved and taken, the thief who stole me demands my voice, my past, my everything.
I won’t give in.
But Elder refuses to take no for an answer.
He pushes and cajoles, slowly discovering who I am. Until I find out he plays the cello to escape his demons, all while his music conjures mine.
He’s rich, I’m bankrupt.
I’m mute by choice, he’s curious by nature.
So many reasons why we can never work.
But that doesn’t stop our connection, our passion.
Until one night, he ruins everything.

Review –

I loved the little tidbits of Elder’s past that were revealed in this installment of the series, Dollar. He remains in large part a mystery, but slowly pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. I look forward to knowing what brought him to where he is at today. He’s not all bad, but not good either, and the struggle between both is a constant internal war within him.

As for Pim, her strength through adversity is compelling. I can’t wait for the connection between her and Elder to be explored more fully. The way he has of reading her is so intriguing. But even as she escapes one prison, she is still a victim of her conditioning. Will she ever be able to act and be viewed as a normal young woman? only time will tell. Just when I think she may be giving in a little something happens to draw her back into herself.

Prepare yourself for another jaw-dropping ending. I want nothing more than for Pim to be whole again, and for these two to find their HEA together. Unfortunately, they both will have to face down their past before that can happen. I look forward to the next three books, and seeing where this roller coaster ride ends up.

Be warned that there are many triggers in this book.

 

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Charlatans by Robin Cook

Book Description:

Published: August 22, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Noah Rothauser is the new super chief resident at Boston Memorial Hospital. Housing state-of-the-art medical facilities, it’s always been Noah’s dream to work for such an esteemed institution. But the pressures of the role become all too clear when a seemingly routine operation results in the tragic death of an otherwise healthy man. With potential malpractice suspected it falls to the newly appointed surgical doctor to investigate what happened.

Questioning those involved uncovers bitter feuds within the hospital’s surgical staff when Dr. William Mason, the egotistical, world-class surgeon who performed the operation, is quick to blame staff anaeshtetist Dr. Ava London for the disastrous outcome. However Dr. London, along with the nursing staff, point the finger at the surgeon.

When two more anaesthesia-related deaths occur, Noah is forced to look closer at the impressively competent, charming, yet mysterious Dr. London, and he quickly realizes there’s far more to her than meets the eye. With his own job and integrity coming into jeopardy, Noah must decide which doctor is at fault and who he can believe – before any more lives are lost . . .”

Review –

Every time I read a medical thriller by Robin Cook I tell myself not to EVER walk into a hospital again, much less have any type of medical procedure done.

Dr. Noah Rothauser, the lead of this suspenseful medical thriller from bestselling author, Robin Cook , is thrilled to become the chief resident at Boston Memorial, one of the country’s preeminent teaching hospitals. The one cloud on the horizon is the recent death, during surgery, of popular employee Bruce Vincent, who was in charge of the hospital’s parking division. Boston Memorial’s prima donna surgeon, William Mason, performed the surgery on Vincent at the same time as he was conducting other operations, a practice known as concurrent surgeries. To shield himself from attack, Mason insists that Noah focus the hospital’s review of what led to Vincent’s death on the anesthesiologist. Despite Mason’s threat that disregarding his wishes will affect Noah’s career, the younger doctor pursues the truth, even as two shadowy hit men build a body count in a subplot whose relevance emerges in tantalizing increments. While most readers will be a step ahead of the sometimes naive Noah, everyone will be rooting for this sympathetic character.

What Noah finds out threatened his career and ethics BUT… well, you’ll have to read the book for yourself.  The ending will blow your mind!!!!!!!

Fantastic read.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Book Description:

Published: October 20, 2015

Format: Hardback

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Review –

I started the audio version of this book, but quickly gave up because it seemed to drag. I had a hard cover given to me a year ago so I began reading and I read it in one day. Now on to the review –

What do you do when your planet is attacked and everyone you know and love is being killed for your planets illegal refinery? What do you do when the only person you have left in the universe is your ex that is on a whole other ship and the only way to stay in contact is by illegal ship to ship communication? What do you do when the ones who are suppose to keep you safe are the ones who lie to you and cause thousands of deaths? What are you suppose to do when the ship that saves you tries to kill you?

You can A) devise a plan to hack into the system and see what is really going on, B) admit to your ex that you still love them and need them, C) respond to your so called commanders with sassy remarks that could get you court martialed , or D) do you freak stuff up.

The answer to these questions is E) all of the above.

This book is so crazily written that I stepped in not knowing what to expect. But as I jumped upon the ship to a world of endless action, I fell in love with it. I have never read such a book formatted as this one. (see photos below)

The humor utilized by the characters is probably one of my favorite things about this whole fantastic mess. It underlines how different people deal with stressful and intimidating situations. Characters like Ezra Mason use humor as a defense mechanism to deal with such situations.

In the end, we learn that Kady is the Illuminae group and she has prepared these files for the director of BeiTech, who just happens to be Ezra’s psycho mother. She demands to know where Ezra is but Kady keeps that secret. Kady will continue to let the universe know what BeiTech has done.

Usually I’m not a big fan of this type of Sci-fi Book (YA Sci-fi) but I must admit once into this book I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so, that I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breathe With Me (Brie’s Submission #12) by Red Phoenix

Book  Description:

Published: December 5, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When life gets too rough, breathe with me…

Tono Nosaka, the Kinbaku rope master, has known heartache and loss—never defeat. He is determined to claim his soulmate.
Miss Autumn is courageous and talented, but she hides a personal secret that binds her heart. Just when the walls start to come down, Tono has a dream about Brie so shocking he would make any sacrifice to ensure it never comes true.

Love that strong has extraordinary power.

Review –

Another great installment of the Brie’s Submission series and  centered around Tono (Master) Ten Nosaka, the Dominant that had it not been for the verbal misgivings of his father, Brie would have chosen to be HER Dominant. As it happened, because of that she chose Master Thane Davis, whom in her heart of hearts, she always wanted, but never thought she could have.

Tono takes over Brie’s care after Master Brad Anderson has broken his leg and his quiet nature and peaceful calm has a positive effect on Brie and she begins working again on her second documentary.

The crazy half-sister, Lily, makes another appearance in his book but still escapes capture.

Tono had begun a semi-relationship with Autumn Day in Denver before he left and he concentrates on getting her to accept him wholly, mentally and physically. He discovers that besides her scars and prosthetic, she is also a virgin and realizes he has to be extremely patent with her.

Everything works out in the end and he is able to go back to Autumn in Denver as Rystar Durov, the Russian and blood brother to Sir, comes to care for Brie.

Excellent installment of this series.

 

A Cowboy’s Heart (Brie’s Submission #11) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: November 7, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A cowboy can’t resist a damsel in distress

Brad Anderson, the bullwhip master, has guarded his heart ever since a certain redhead broke it. After attending the wedding of his best friend, Master Anderson decides to find his own happy ending. However, it seems Fate has different plans when he finds himself protecting a damsel in distress.

Will this cowboy at heart ever let down his guard long enough to allow true love to flow in? Find out what happens when love and loyalty meet Fate head on.

* A portion of the story Includes the short “Stud Poker” part of the retired anthology, One Night in Vegas. It is important part of Master Anderson’s journey.

Review –

I loved this installment of Brie’s Submission series because it dealt with a supporting character, Master Brad Anderson.

He was the genius behind the Dominant/Submission Training Center in Denver, but has been given the job of HeadMaster at the same school in LA.

He is single, has country roots, likes red cats, wears a cowboy hat, and is a Dominant looking for his soul mate. He stopped over in Las Vegas on his way to LA and meets Shea, a masseuse and they have a steamy one night that neither will soon forget.

Once in LA he is charged with protecting Brie as she stands vigil at Sir’s bedside after the plane crash. Sir’s crazy half-sister, Lily, is threatening to tell the world that she is pregnant by Sir unless he gives her half of his estate, so Master Anderson has his hands full.

Toward the end of the book he is in a truck crash and is laid up with a broken leg and has to recruit Tono to take over as Brie’s protector and Shea moves to LA and wants to try or a relationship with Brad, if he will NOT have sex with his students, as is part of his job description as HeadMaster. Believe it or not, he agrees and says he will change the list of mandatory obligations of a HeadMaster.

 

Brie’s Submission (Books 1-3) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

Take a peek into the sensual world of BDSM

Brie Bennett’s life is about to change.

An invitation to the exclusive Submissive Training Center is one she can’t turn down.

As Brie learns the art of submission under the skilled hands of a team of Dominants, her boundaries are tested and her heart is put on the line.

But as Graduation Day approaches, she can only be collared by one.

Which Dom will win her heart and … her submission?

*This boxed set includes Teach Me, Love Me and Catch Mefrom the Brie’s Submission Series.

Review –

This set of three books in the Brie’s Submission series was free, but I knew shortly into the first book that I would definitely  be buying the others.

I only know what I know from reading about the BDSM life style but it fascinates me and I find that books involving D/s storylines are my favorite kind of erotic/contemporary romances.

That’s why I love this series. These three books take Brie through her 6 week training at a famous school for submissives. Six weeks doesn’t sound very long for all the instruction involved BUT the class hours were long and the practice sessions demanding. Without knowing any better the depiction seems very believable.

Brie is a young woman who feels like she’s missing something from her life but can’t pinpoint what exactly until a man comes in the tobacco shop and leaves a card to a Submissive Training Center for her. Her curiosity piqued, she enrolls in the course, unwilling to fail since she feels it to be her calling, needing to learn things she never expected to not know. With each new week, Brie and the other subs are put through various scenes to push their limits and dedication, to see who will graduate at the top of their class.

Brie goes through so many trials, even faces her deepest fears and prejudice, in ways she never saw coming. So many themes are discussed throughout this box set- menage, lesbianism, anal, DP, submission, and much more, putting into words some of the many aspects of what a D/s relationship is. I did wonder if these types of schools exist since they sound intriguing, and yet as much as Brie grew with all the teachings, I can only imagine the heartbreak at having to choose between her suitors to be the one to collar her.

There is jus t so much in thees books the it would be impossible to relate it all, just know that at graduation Brie chooses to be collared and the Master she picks turn her down – AT FIRST.

I’ve already started reading books four through six of this series and can’t wait to find out what happens between Brie and her Master.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes?

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

Review –

FIVE STARS !!!!!!

Just finished listening to this book and my heart is pounding so hard I feel like it’s going to come through my chest.

The author’s story is told from two perspectives, neither of which we are sure is reliable. There’s Adele, the beautiful, fragile wife of psychiatrist David. She loves her husband – “I will never fall out of love with him. I won’t give that up. I can’t” – and hopes their fresh start in London will mend both the cracks in their marriage and a past about which we get only hints. Then there’s Louise, a single mother who only discovers that the man she meets and kisses in a bar, David, is going to be her new boss when he’s given a tour of her workplace, along with his wife.

Louise is easier to warm to: friendly, kind, hideously embarrassed by her actions but still drawn to David. But she has her own secrets – what are the origins of the night terrors that send her wandering through her home? And why is she getting to know both David and Adele without explaining what she’s doing to both parties? “I don’t want it to stop. That’s the honest, unpleasant truth. I want to have my cake and eat it.” She’s not as straightforward as she seems.

Adele, meanwhile, is more intriguing with every chapter, as her past is slowly revealed, and glimpses of the truth at the heart of her marriage are given (at one point, David is described, brilliantly, as “a walking Agatha fucking Christie plot”). “The past is as ephemeral as the future – it’s all perspective and smoke and mirrors. You can’t pin it down, can you?… The truth is different to different people,” muses Adele.

“Questions, questions, questions,” ponders Louise. “It seems that ever since David and Adele came into my life I’ve been filled with questions. They’re like weeds in water. Every time I think I can swim away another one tangles around my legs to drag me back down.”

When the first of the author’s  twists is revealed, it is fantastically creepy, if not entirely unexpected. The second twist turns the creepy factor up to eleven and is a total wrong.. #WTFthatending indeed – the sort that makes you go back to the beginning to check if it all pans out. And it does.

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

You HAVE to put this book on your TBR list.

 

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Review –

Last year I received this Post-It Note holder in a subscription box(I forget which one) but hadn’t read Caraval yet, so really didn’t appreciate it’s meaning until later.

 

The world of Caraval is one part amusement park, one part Venice, and one part game show, painted in all the colors of a gothic circus. Girls in gowns rustle their way down dark hallways, searching for clues that will win them a wish — but some girls have more need of wishes than others.

Scarlett has led a life made small by abuse. She and her sister Tella dwell in constant fear of their cruel and violent father. Tella beats against the bars of their golden cage, but Scarlett keeps the peace as best she can, desperate to protect them both. She has given up on her childhood dream of attending Caraval, a magical performance that blends theatre with an adventure game, resigning herself to an arranged marriage that will offer her — and Tella — a true escape from their father.

When an invitation arrives from Legend himself, the mastermind creator of Caraval, beckoning the sisters to a mysterious island and offering them a place in the game, Tella forces Scarlett to abandon her plans of calculated safety in favor of an adventure. But it soon becomes clear that Legend has other ideas. He steals Tella away and makes her the prize of Caraval, leaving Scarlett no choice but to win the game.

Scarlett knows that everything she experiences in Caraval is a part of the performance, but the line between fantasy and reality starts to blur, especially when it comes to Julian, a sailor boy who has joined the game. Like everyone she encounters in Caraval, he isn’t what he seems — and she can’t resist his help or his company. As the nights of the game progress, she sinks deeper and deeper into a story that grows ever darker, and gets further and further from the safe future that was almost within her grasp.

Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. Dresses can be purchased for secrets or days of life; clocks can become doors; bridges move: this is an inventive and original circus, laced with an edge of horror. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets. For you see, Caraval is the world of the game, which feels like a journey into a dark branch of Disneyland, where the animatronics have feelings and don’t like you very much, and the expensive cupcakes may have poison in them.

Loved this book and am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series, Legendary, which comes out in May of this year, because what appears to be a happy ending isn’t at all what it seems.

 

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: October 3, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Review –

I just finished listening to Without Merit by Colleen Hoover and had tears of joy in my eyes. I had also laughed out loud  at parts of the book and normally I abhor comedy or humor of any kind in books, movies, etc., but every member of the Voss family (the main focus of the book) are so dysfunctional that the humor somehow fit.

Merit Voss lives in a converted church with her father, stepmother, and siblings, and although her parents have been divorced for years, her mother still lives in the basement, struggling with social anxiety.(We initially think she is recovering from cancer) No one in her family is religious, so her brother Utah updates the church marquee every day with fun facts instead of Bible verses. Merit is less accomplished than her identical twin sister, Honor, so she likes to buy used trophies to celebrate her failures. But Honor seems to have a fetish for terminally ill boys, so it’s a surprise to Merit when Sagan, who is perfectly healthy, kisses Merit after mistaking her for her sister—and then reveals that he’s living in their house.

Soon they have another houseguest, Luck, whose connection to the family makes Merit even more convinced she’s living in a madhouse.(He is the half-brother of her step-mother) So why is everyone so angry at her? Merit has a love/hate relationship with her sister. She’s conflicted by her feelings for Sagan, who leaves intriguing sketches  around the house for her to decipher. She’s simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by Luck, who annoys her with his questions but is also her confidant. She can’t sit through dinner without starting a fight; she’s been skipping school for days; and when she decides to give her whole family the silent treatment, Sagan is the only one who notices. In fact, he and Luck are the only people in the house who recognize Merit’s quirks for what they really are—cries for help.(They believe she is suffering from depression) And when Merit takes drastic measures to be heard, the fallout is both worse and much better than she feared. The author  does an excellent job of revealing the subtle differences between healthy teenage rebellion and clinical depression, and Merit’s aha moment is worthy of every trophy in her collection.

Merit is quirky, complex, and frustrating but  will win hearts and challenge assumptions about family dysfunction and mental illness in a life-affirming story that redefines what’s normal.

Five stars!

Side Note – Sagan is swoon worthy and has been added to my list of Book Boyfriends.

 

Crash & Burn (Tessa Leoni #3) by Lisa Gardner

Book Description:

Published: February 3, 2015

Format: Audio

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t.

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.

Review –

Nothing is what it seems in this expertly written standalone from Thriller Award–winner Lisa Gardner.

Nicky Frank appears to be a victim of her own making. She had been drinking while driving. She ran her car off the road where it nose-dived into a steep ravine. She managed to free herself from the car, clawed her way up a ravine, and flagged down a driver by yelling for help and pleading with someone to look for and find her five year old daughter, Vero. When the police came, an intensive search was conducted. Even a search dog was brought in, but no signs of the child were found.

In the meantime, Nicky had been taken to the hospital where her blood was tested for alcohol, she was treated for assorted cuts, scrapes and a concussion. When Thomas, her husband of twenty-two years arrived, he told the officers that this was the third severe accident Nicky had had in the past six months. She had fallen twice, once down a flight of stairs. Because of the three accidents, her brain was injured and Nicky was having false memories and fantasies. He assured them that they did not have a child. There was no Vero. But how does one seemingly otherwise healthy woman wind up with three critical accidents in such a short time span? Was the car accident truly an accident? Or maybe it was Nicky trying to end her life. But could it have been attempted murder? If so, could Thomas have had a part in it? Nicky has problems answering many of the questions asked of her. But when she is coherent enough to answer, her recollections appear to be more truthful than imagination or fantasy. This causes the police to dig deeper and deeper into this twisted mystery,

Series lead Tessa Leoni has a relatively minor part to play here, with her love interest, Sergeant Wyatt Foster, playing a more prominent role in the investigation. Even D. D. Warren makes a (brief) appearance. Despite a fast start, it’s a little slow going for a while before picking up speed and then not letting go. A solid thriller from this author, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on edge.

Who is Nicky and Thomas Frank? Why did they move around so much? Are her accidents really accidents?  Who is Vero? What will Nicky’s re-emerging memory tell her?

Excellent read with a very twisted revelation into the past of Nicky Frank and her husband Thomas.  Loved it!

Five stars.