Damaged Goods (New York #2) by Lainey Reese

Book Description:

Published: August 21, 2012

Format: Audio/Audible

Dominance. Submission. Murder. And that’s just before lunch.

New York, Book 2

Homicide detective Brice Marshall’s current case has him stymied and frustrated. A serial killer is slaughtering young women. After a long, fruitless day poring over the most gruesome evidence he’s ever seen, he needs a break.

Stepping into his cousin’s BDSM club is a reminder that there is another part of himself. A part that has been left empty in a life ruled by work. The fact is, he’s a Dom in search of a sub. When he bumps into Terryn, a slender redhead who’s new to the scene, her wide-eyed eagerness even in the face of her nerves attracts him like gravity.

Terryn is the sub of his dreams, with the power to ease his soul. Without warning the murder case reaches ugly tentacles into the most private part of his world—the woman he wants to claim as his own. The woman whose stubborn search for the delicate balance between sub life and independence could put her directly in the path of the killer.

Warning: This book contains BDSM play, M/F/M ménage, graphic language and a drool-worthy Dom on the hunt for a sub and a killer.

Review –

Sooooo much better that Book One!

I loved this second book in the New York series. Damaged Goods is about Brice, the gorgeous Homicide Detective who we met in Book One, A Table for Three. This was another erotic indulgence set in the BDSM scene but we had some serious suspense in this one with a serial killer on the loose. I actually thought the suspense plot was fantastic and was really well written. It actually kept me guessing and it was woven into the romance really well and drawn out perfectly.

Brice is having a hard time on the murder case of a young vibrant girl and it’s all getting to him. Enter Cade’s BDSM club which Brice visits after an extremely stressful day at work. He wants to let go and find a willing submissive.  Brice knows he has hit the jack pot when he spots Terryn; an inexperienced redhead who immediately brings out all of Brice’s dominant instincts.

Brice comes across as protective, commanding and devoted; overall a gorgeous alpha male character without the arrogance! I loved him, he was a true hero!

Terryn was so adorable and genuine.  A truly likeable heroine who showed courage and allure yet was shy and honest. She had no fear of trying to get what she wanted despite the huge change of life style.

Together Brice and Terryn made perfect sense!

This is Brice and Terryn’s story however; Trev, Cade and Riley are back and we get to catch up with them a few years after we left them in Book One. We also have the hot and sexy secondary characters of Gage and Kent.

Looking forward to listening to Book Three!

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The Edge of Dominance (The Dom of Her Life #4) by Shayla Black,Jenna Jacob, and Isabella LaPearl

Book Description:

Published: September 13, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Now that Macen “Hammer” Hammerman shares the bond he’s long craved with Raine Kendall and his best friend, Liam O’Neill, he should be looking forward to a bright future. But recent trauma has exhumed the demons Hammer thought long buried. He must confront them while Raine fights to forget her past and Liam struggles to keep their new family intact.

When a shadowy figure emerges, determined to right old wrongs, he sets in motion a plot that threatens to tear the trio apart forever. With emotions running high and forces mounting against them, can they battle their foes and bury their ghosts so they can live happily ever after?

Review –

I love BDSM stories and this series is a great one.

This book is just a guilty pleasure crazy ride.  The story goes in directions that really cannot be anticipated from the prior books and I loved it!

The trio is really challenged in this book as external forces threaten their happiness.  Finally, we learn about Macen’s past and it is his past which threatens them.  I thought this was the most emotional that we have seen Macen and I truly felt that with his emotional breakthrough in this book, the trio is on the best footing ever.

This book has a bit of a suspense/crime mystery involved as Macen is in danger of spending most of his life in jail.  The question for the friendly characters is who is out to get him.  This threat to Macen and the accompanying loss of control forces Macen to examine his life and make deep emotional changes.  I loved his struggle in this book (he’s been my favorite in the series).  I also loved how he has to lean on Liam and Raine (whereas previously he has been the steady one for them).

I loved the new characters that we got to meet.  Liam’s parents come to visit and their arrival changes the dynamic of this book.  There are some surprising twists that some readers might have to adjust their thinking for.  I especially loved Liam’s dad.  There is one scene toward the end that might be the biggest hoot in the series!

This book really shows the three developing a true equal relationship.  Throughout the four books in this series, these characters and their relationship has changed and grown.  The relationship between three people is deeply complex and I have really enjoyed the journey these characters have taken.

Of course there is a lot of hot sex, but it is really the emotional connection between these characters that is the most important.

The series is nicely wrapped up and there is a sweet epilogue.

The Bold and the Dominant (The Dom of Her Life #3)by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2015

Format: Audio/Audible

After spending weeks trying to reach Raine Kendall, Dominants Liam O’Neill and Macen Hammerman have finally broken past the walls to their submissive’s wounded heart. Before they can enjoy their newfound closeness, Liam’s past comes back to haunt him when his ex-wife drops in—with a secret that could tear his world apart. Forced to leave Raine in Hammer’s care, Liam is stuck on the outside, stewing in frustration and insecurity…and wondering if Raine no longer needs him or if Hammer alone completes her.

Always the pillar of strength, Hammer tries to help Liam while sheltering their woman. But Raine soon discovers the truth that threatens the trio’s chance of a happily-ever-after. Determined to hold them together, the two men cook up a scheme to uncover the ex’s secret. When an old nemesis returns and targets Raine, can Liam and Hammer come together to slay the danger and save the woman they both love?

Review –

Book Three of The Doms of Her Life series brings more strife between the three lovers along with a couple of bitter pills from their past jumping in to try to stifle their future happiness.  Exciting and sexy hot!

Macen “Hammer” Hammerman and his best friend Liam O’Neill have finally managed to break down the walls their shared sub Raine Kendall has had up around her heart when their happiness is put to the test!  Liam’s ex-wife shows up causing a ruckus and he has to leave Raine in Hammer’s hands while he goes to deal with her.  During his absence, he lets his insecurities get the best of him and wonders if Raine even needs him anymore now that she has Hammer, and how he could ever mean as much to her as the man who she has pined after for years does.  Will his demons get the best of him and tear down their happily-ever-after before it even gets started? When a past nemesis puts Raine in grave danger, will Liam and Macen be able to protect her? A final big cliffhanger sets us up for the conclusion of the series.

A Table for Three (New York #1) by Lainey Reese

Book Description:

Published: April 20, 2010

Format: Audio/Audible

Riley Ramirez knew that moving to New York would change her life. She just didn’t expect it to start on her very first night in town. Her attraction to nightclub owner Kincade Marshall is instant, mind-blowing—and mutual. When she finds he is a Dom who requires her complete surrender, even when it comes to submitting to his best friend, Trevor Wellington, she finds herself willing and eager to embrace the sexual adventure.

From their earliest days, Cade and Trevor have shared everything, including women. Yet it only takes one night with Riley to know she is their forever lady. Convincing her that this is more than a temporary fling, though, will take every tool in their sensual arsenal.

As Cade and Trevor set their sights on Riley, however, they’re unaware—until it’s almost too late—that someone is targeting their fragile relationship. Someone who’s taking deadly aim at Riley. Suddenly their struggle to keep their forever woman is a fight to keep her alive…

WARNING: This book contains m/f/m ménage, bdsm play, lots of steamy p.d.a, and a fine dining experience that will leave you salivating for more.

Review –

This book is pretty much sex, from cover to cover and not a lot of story line other than two dominants looking for the perfect sub.

The characters were on the weak and shallow side. Riley was a goody-two shoes who wanted to do volunteer work but get paid for it.

The men, Cade and Trevor, are handsome, wealthy and kind. No flaws, OF ANY KIND.  It would have been nice to see a scar or a commitment issue or even a fear of HEIGHTS. I think the problem I had with them was that they were fantasy men – the kind we women put into our daydreams and think we want but when it comes to real life, realize we don’t really want all that fawning and attention. We just want good sex and to have the garbage taken out.

On the whole, okay but that’s about it. I’m going to try the next book in the series only because Bryce, a cousin of the of the PERFECT men in the first story has a REAL job. He’s a detective , which may give him a more complex personality. I can only hope.

 

 

Repeat by Kylie Scott

Book Description:

Published:

Format: Audio/Audible

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance – available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she’s forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did – which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can’t seem to let her go again.

Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

Review –

The book begins with Clementine walking in to a tattoo studio to ask about the tattoo on her shoulder, and she is confronted by what is essentially an angry mob who are not happy to see her – led by a gorgeous tattoo artist who turns out to be her ex-boyfriend, Ed. Clem left him shattered only months earlier, and though she has no recollection of him or their time together, she shares her situation with him seeing him as an obviously good source of information on her life

But when Clementine left Ed shattered, we’re talking an explosive break up that saw her not only lose him, but also their group of friends. We initially don’t know why or how, but we know that he was devastated and he still carries a lot of pain and anger towards her. But as he begrudgingly answers her questions, things begin to change. His protectiveness comes out, they have a genuinely good time together, and even though she is changed, they begin to fall for each other all over again.

This is such a fantastic set-up for a story, and what makes it even more interesting is that not only has Clementine been left with retrograde amnesia, with no memories, but her injury has left her changed. Whereas before she was into florals and soft colours, and a little bit withdrawn, now she is edgier, and a lot more matter-of-fact, not seeing the point in lying or game playing, she just says it like it is, and she has a lack of filter which leads to her just blurting out whatever is in her mind. It’s both highly entertaining and refreshing as we (and those around her) get to see the real Clementine, and everything that she is experiencing.

I love that the story starts after Clementine’s injury, so we get to know her just as she’s getting to know herself, understanding who she is now and figuring herself out. It’s a fantastic journey that we get to go on with her, and it really enhances the feels. And she handles it brilliantly! As part of her new ‘take no crap’ attitude, she just gets up and gets on with it, doing what feels right and natural and not worrying about the expectations of others, making her a fantastic character to read.

And as Clem comes to understand herself, she also learns who she used to be, showing us just how changed she is, and the two parts of Clementine appear almost as two different characters as she reflects back on her life ‘before’. It’s really well done.

Of course, a big part of her journey is Ed. Getting to know him, and how they were before, letting him get to know who she is now, and I loved seeing their dynamic shift as they grew close once again. Their love story is sweet, fun, and seriously hot, and absolutely gorgeous.

But what tore them apart in the first place? And can all of the broken fences ever be mended? And it appears that her attack may not have been a one-off, as continued incidents continue to put her in danger, adding another new edge to Clem’s recovery.

It’s a great read that I couldn’t put down, and I finished this audiobook in a day. The story set up is intriguing, and though the story is predictable, it didn’t diminish my enjoyment and I loved watching Clementine rediscover herself and fall in love with an absolutely incredible hero – I defy any reader not to fall in mad love with this man! 

This was my first reading/listening to anything by Kylie Scott but it won’t be the last.

Five stars !!!!!!

The Young and the Submissive(The Dom of Her Life #2) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl

Book Description:

Published: October 29, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

Raine Kendall has everything a woman could want…almost. Sexy, tender Dom Liam O’Neill is her knight in shining armor, but Raine is constantly pinching herself. Is he too good to be true or is this growing connection one that could last a lifetime? She’s constantly torn by her abiding feelings for her commanding boss, Macen “Hammer” Hammerman, especially in the wake the mind-blowing night he cast aside the barriers between them and ravaged every inch of her body.

Hammer, Liam’s former best friend, can’t stop coveting Raine. But Liam is determined to hold and guide the woman he loves and see if she can be the submissive of his dreams. However, he’s finding that her trust is hard won and he needs a bloody crowbar to pry open her scarred soul. So he risks everything to win her once and for all. But once he’s put his daring plan in motion, will it cost Liam his heart if he loses Raine to Hammer for good?

Review –

WARNING:  This book has a menage m/m/f and explicit sex and BDSM.

I read the first book in The Doms of Her Life series in 2016. See https://kathysbookbag.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/one-dom-to-love-the-doms-of-her-life-1-by-shayla-blackjenna-jacob-isabella-lapearl/

I never got around to read the others so I looked on Audible and they are included in the Romance Package, which I have so I thought I’d try the next book in line.

This book continues the story of Raine, Macen and Liam.  As the prior book ended, the two men were engaged in a competition to win the woman they both love.  In this book, Liam realizes that he is not making progress with Raine’s submission.  As he learns more about her past, he recognizes that he alone will not be able to heal Raine.  When he and Macen put aside their differences to help Raine, Liam can’t help but fear that he might help Raine, but lose her.

These characters are beginning to reveal themselves to one another.  Secrets and pain are shared and thus the beginnings of what might be a strong stable relationship is being developed.

Raine does get on my nerves at times, she seems so whiney  but maybe it is just the narrator. I am definitely Team Liam but I’m afraid his gentleness could be his undoing.

I love this series!

Stinger by Mia Sheridan

Book Description:

Published: September 23, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

Grace Hamilton was the girl with a plan. She knew exactly where her life was going and prided herself on always achieving her goals. It was who she was, and how she lived her life. She never stepped outside the lines, and never considered what she might desire and whom she was actually trying so hard to please. Until him . . .

Carson Stinger was a man who didn’t play by any rules except his own. Working in the adult entertainment industry, he didn’t care what others thought, and took each day as it came, no direction, no plan. He knew what women wanted from him and believed it was all he had to offer. Until her . . .

When circumstances forced them to spend several hours together, they walked away changed. But for two people who never should have meshed, overcoming the reality of their vastly different lives wasn’t possible. At least not yet . . .

THIS IS A STANDALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY SCORPIO. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Review –

This was my first reading by this author and she  weaves a wonderful story of two polar-opposite people, who are in the wrong place at the wrong time or, maybe, the right place at the right time. It all depends on how you look at it. Porn Star meets Law Student. Definitely not something I would normally be drawn to, but how about ex-porn star turned Navy SEAL meets law student, turned D.A., now there’s a story!

The story itself spans years, but we keep tabs on both players and what is going on in their lives. I absolutely love the romantic scenes and the shift from sex to love. Carson and Grace are a perfect couple, even if it takes a five years to figure it out. The bond that they created years before shifted how they saw themselves and the choices that they made. All because of one weekend. LOVED IT!

 

Unmasked, Volume Two (Unmasked #2) by Cassia Leo

Book Description:

Published: June 25, 2014

Format: Audio/OverDrive

I left my former life – and my mask – behind.

Running from a past where I was born unloved. A past where I was betrayed by love.

Running from an organization with limitless power and stealth. Running for my life.

I never expected to find love on the run. Not in a tiny seaside town on an island in the middle of nowhere.

Not without my mask.

But it seems as if my sad story is being rewritten with someone else’s pen. But whose pen is it?

This question haunts me day and night. And I get my answer on a perfectly decadent evening. When I come home to find my bedroom perfumed with the scent of death.

He’s here.

Review –

Like the first book this one is all over the place and a little difficult to follow but hang in there, answers start to come when the book changes to Diamon’s point of view and  Alex’s world starts to turn upside down!

Alex is now going by the alias Alyssa, hiding out in the Canary Islands, trying to figure out her past. Diamon led her to believe she is the kidnapped daughter of the Princess of Monaco – so ridiculous, but could Diamon be telling the truth and she killed him anyway? Who exactly were her parents then? Now she has time to think and  isn’t one hundred percent sure she killed Diamon.

She is incredibly suspicious of everyone, especially Nicholas, the beautiful Spanish man who befriends Alex. I think since Alex was locked in her basement as a girl, then trapped in her apartment as a young woman, her senses are heightened. She can smell Diamon in her house and on her clothes and it turns her on completely! God knows Nicholas doesn’t do anything for her. Alex’s world will never be the same – her body is changing, she is out in the open without her thick mask of makeup, & her feelings about Diamon are torn – she called him “my protector & my enemy.”

I didn’t like this installment nearly as much as I did the first and wasn’t sure if I’d finish the series, but WTH, I might as well.

 

 

Unmasked, Volume One (Unmasked #1) by Cassia Leo

Book Description:

Published: June 10, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

I was born into this world unwanted.

I spent the first hours of my life unloved.

I spent the first eighteen years of my life with the parents who tried to shelter me from the harsh reality of my existence.

But you can’t un-write a sad story if the ending is literally written all over your face.

So I moved out and now I hide. I have a night job that pays the bills. Every night, I put on my mask and walk to work.

Then one night, I hear and see something that will change my purpose in life… forever: a murder that will bring him to me.

He says he wants to protect me. And, through a series of events I can’t fully make sense of, I find myself believing him.

But our nightly visits are always cloaked in darkness. I don’t know his face and he will never know mine.

I was born into this world unwanted. I will leave this world unmasked.

Review –

WTH !!!

This has to be the strangest book that I have listened/read in a very long time, I mean my mouth was agape at the end. I couldn’t believe it!  Still can’t.

This series has three parts or volumes and this first installment explores Alex’s past, the notion of beauty, the necessity of hiding, the consequences of secrets and betrayals. You can easily devour this first volume in one sitting  Enlivened by the author’s expert writing, you’ll be lured in by this sinister tale and fascinated by this 19-year-old girl whose actions are so unexpected that it keeps you guessing at what will surprise you next. Certainly the end was shocking in more ways than one!

A chilling mystery where desire, deception, secrets and betrayal mix in a deadly combination that leaves you wanting more.

Five stars.

Complicated by Kristen Ashley

Book Description:

Published: May 2, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

When small-town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.

Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids and himself is his only priority.

Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them – a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.

Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.

But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.

In other words, things are definitely Complicated.

Review –

Complicated was a luscious standalone gem from an author that is new to me and I’ve heard can be  hit or miss. This one was definitely a HIT full of later life dreams come true.  The book is full of all sorts of interesting plot threads that radiate out from the two main characters.  They were likeable and lovable and they both had lives that marked them so their character depths were well-deep and many faceted.

On the surface, it could be reduced down to two divorcees- one recent and one a few years old finding a connection, but not expecting the connection or what follows when small town friends and family are also involved.  That was pretty good, but what took this one deeper for me was that the author took the time to tease out what killed the old relationships and what built this new one that was stronger and richer for the pair of them.  There are exes, conflicted children, interfering parents, and all sorts of small town stuff including their separate friends and places of employment.  The mystery is interesting and Hixon is the sheriff so he must deal with that, but it was interesting in the sense, too, of how it hit the community and the family of the victim.

This author seems to know how to make ordinary people with flaws and their simple, but flawed lives fascinating and story-worthy.   Hixon and Greta were a surprising pair in some ways.  But after a few false starts, they really make sense- the devilishly handsome family man county sheriff with the hair-stylist lounge singer once trailer trash woman with an adult brother with disabilities and a crazy-wacko mother.

Characters didn’t get lost in their heads or unnecessarily drama this up.  There are sections of character development and reflection as well as action which was a great balance.  These characters were mature (well, the ones who were meant to be portrayed as mature) and acted like it.  And while this was long,(over 18 hours on audio) it did not drag.  There is a lot going on and it all was natural to the story and equally engaging.

This is an Audible exclusive release and I was thrilled to encounter a new pair of fantastic narrators in Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon.  Sections were told by Hixon with Lance taking the lead and then sections by Erin.  Both were a great match for their particular character counter-parts and did a great job with the large cast of characters ranging from kids to older folk.  There are many emotions to portray and changes in mood that were transitioned well.  Humor, sadness, and firework-worthy passion was superb.

I really enjoyed this book and I call it “soft smut” because although there is plenty of HOT sex and STEAMY sexual chemistry, it isn’t all up in your face and along with the sex is a very believable storyline with engaging characters.

This was my first listen to a book by Kristen Ashley and I’ll be adding more of her books to my TBR list.

Five stars!