The Ruins by Scott B. Smith

Book Description:

Published: August 1, 2007

Format: Audio

Craving an adventure to wake them from their lethargic Mexican holiday before they return home, four friends set off in search of one of their own who has travelled to the interior to investigate an archaeological dig in the Mayan ruins.
After a long journey into the jungle, the group come across a partly camouflaged trail and a captivating hillside covered with red flowers. Lured by these, the group move closer until they happen across a gun-toting Mayan horseman who orders them away. In the midst of the confrontation, one of the group steps inadvertently backwards into the flowering vine. And at that moment their world changes for ever…

Review –

This is the second time I have listened to this book but since I knew the story it didn’t shock me as much. It is creepy, suspenseful, and terrifying. You know the minute the vines have been crossed the outcome will be very bad and very bad doesn’t begin to describe the end of the story.

Our neighbor has a chain link fence and we have a wooden one and some sort of VINE is growing through his fence and through the slats of ours and every time I rip them down they grow right back. That bought this book to mind so I decided to listen to it again.

If you haven’t read or listen to this you might want to give it a try.  There is a movie but I didn’t even bother to watch it when it came out in 2008 (it so doe not stick to the book)

Five stars.

 

 

 

 

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Dirty Little Secret (Forbidden Desires #1) by Kendall Ryan

Book Description:

Published: September 14, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

She’s much too innocent for me, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting the sweet, young librarian. I’m dominating and possessive, and my control streak runs a mile wide.

The way she looks at me—like I’m one of the heroes in the books she loves, like I’m broken, and she wants to be the one to piece me back together—it only complicates things further. I’m nobody’s hero.

But there’s no denying my tragic past reads like one of her favorite literary classics. It’s raw. Visceral. Captivating. And together, we’re a perfect mess.

How can I resist when the sexual sparks zapping between us set me on fire? The need to control, and claim her force my walls to come tumbling down, but when she learns about my dirty little secret, will my world come crashing down with it?

Review –

I just noticed that I hadn’t published a review on the second (really the first) book in the Forbidden Desires series so let’s blame it on today’s VERTIGO.  It’s crazy today!!!!!

Anyway, I’m glad this book was a freebie because the first half was Dirty Little Tease, which I had already read but goes on to show Gavin trying to seduce Emma Bell, sexy librarian to be his, while his brother Cooper is doing the same thing. Quinn, the oldest brother tells her that she HAS to pick one and let the other down easy. Naturally she chooses Gavin, the bad boy dominant and poor Cooper is never the same. Emma also finds out that Gavin’s first real girlfriend had died under mysterious circumstances in his apartment with ligature marks around her neck and wrists. She keeps her distance from him for a while and gives in and listens to his side of the story and there is a minor HEA.

All in all a good read.

 

Dirty Little Promise (Forbidden Desires #2) by Kendall Ryan

Book Description:

Published: October 9, 2017

Format: E-Book

The secret I’d discovered about sexy billionaire Gavin Kingsley was so big, so haunting wasn’t something I could overcome. I had a decision to make—hear him out and see where things went, or turn to his brother Cooper, who I was fairly certain was in love with me. But something dark inside of Gavin called to something dark inside of me. And I wasn’t willing to just walk away—not yet anyway.

This is the conclusion to Emma Bell’s epic love affair with the alpha and enigmatic Kingsley brothers. Secrets will be exposed, sides will be chosen, and nothing will ever be the same.

Review –

This book concludes the story of Gavin and Emma even though the series will continue and I was less impressed by this installment than the other two because there wasn’t as much sexual angst. There was conflict and dangerous turmoil but in the end you knew there would be a great big HEA. 

I will take a break and read some other genre before coming back to finish the series but I want to find out what the author has in store for Cooper and Quinn Kingsley.

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

Book Description:

Published: March 22, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

Review –

I will not tell you what happens in this book because there are so many twists and turns and it keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end and then you are left with your mouth agape.

No One Knows will have inevitable comparisons to Gone Girl, but this is a more realistic storyline. It will have readers guessing who can be believed and what are their ulterior motives.  Ellison messes with the character’s head as well as the readers with her many directional path changes.

I will say that I thought that Opryland in Nashville as  the scene of Josh’s disappearance was genius. It is huge and so very easy to get lost in. The author has said that it is a metaphor for this story because anyone who visits there can get turned around and see different things at different times.

I loved this book all the way through and got whiplash from all the twists and turns but loved every minute of it!

YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!

Five stars.

 

 

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Book Description:

Published: October 14, 2014

Format:

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College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Review –

This book is like a tree with many branches – the story is the tree and the sub-story lines are the branches and it makes for a wonderful thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years—none more dangerous than championing a dying  old man convicted of a horrific crime.

What starts out as a college English assignment leads  Joe and his stand-offish neighbor, Lila and his autistic  brother, Jeremy discover that a man in prison for thirty years and recently put in a nursing home because he’s dying of cancer is not guilty of the crime which locked him away. They run into many obstacles but will not be deterred and eventually get the proof they need. Add in a drunk mother, losing his college fund and getting badly beaten by the killer and you have a very thought provoking novel.  I loved it.

I really think you need to add it to your “to be read” list.

 

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Prick Tease (Tangled Desires #1) by Misti Murphy

Book Description:

Published: October 21, 2015

Claire Hadley shouldn’t even be on my radar.

There are a million damn reasons why I shouldn’t touch her.

Her brothers are my best friends. We grew up together, under the same roof.

I’m supposed to think of her like a little sister.

I won’t break my loyalty for a f*ck.

Razer Bennington forgot me when he joined the marines.

One kiss. Seven years. I can’t get the taste of him out of my mouth.

I’m meant to be the good girl. A virgin. A role model.

I’m supposed to live up to their expectations.

Screw that…

I’m going to get what I want.

I should be careful what I wish for.

***
Claire Hadley was about to check the perfect fiancé off her checklist.
Until she found him underneath a hooker.
Running home to her brother, she doesn’t expect to be rescued by Razer Bennington.
Seven years ago he left her behind.
But she hasn’t forgotten their last night together. Or the kiss they shared.
Tired of living up to the expectations of others, she throws caution to the wind.
This time she’ll get what she wants.
Even if getting what she wants could destroy him.

Review –

Razer grow up with Claire and her three brothers and has always been treated like a member of the family. Until Claire grow up into a beautiful strong sexy woman.

Will they be able to fight the attraction they have for one other and keep their hands and wicked thoughts to themselves?  Not a chance and that’s what made this such an enjoyable read. The harder they try the more the sexual tension builds and I swear smoke was coming off the pages.

It’s a short standalone book and the first in the Tangled Desires series and  is a hot read with steamy explicit sex scenes.

Adult

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Blond young athlete with strong muscles is posing

Asher’s Mark (Resolution Series #1) by Amy Durham

Book Description:

Published: August 24, 2014

Grace Ballard has been in love with Asher Howell for a long time. When she was sixteen, he became her hero, and she fell head over heels for the boy with a ring through his eyebrow, a big heart, and an unending sense of justice. But two years ago he left for college without a backward glance, leaving Grace to wonder if she’d imagined everything.

With no reason to wait for Asher to return, Grace moved on, and Asher’s brother, Adam, stepped in to help her pick up the pieces. But Asher never left her thoughts… or her heart.

Now, two years later, tragedy brings Asher home and back into Grace’s life. The boy who left her behind is now very much a man – a licensed tattoo artist, much to his parents’ dismay, and still carrying a major torch for Grace. But two years apart has changed them both, and the things that happened during their separation may create a divide that can’t be crossed.

Asher and his brother both left their mark on Grace’s heart. Will Asher’s be able to stand the test of time?

Review –

Such a wonderful story about young love, break-up,  tattoos,tragedy, guilt and true love.  It warmed my heart and the ending brought tears to my eyes.  I love it when a book does that.

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It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer#2) by Jenny Han

Book Description:

Published: April 27, 2010

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started–at Cousins Beach.

Review –

We found out, in the beginning of the second book of the Summer Trilogy, that when Conrad came to pick up Belly in December, they drove to Cousins Beach and stayed in the summer-house overnight, but all they did was kiss (a lot)  and drink hot chocolate. The relationship seemed to slowly  fall apart after that  and then after he took her to the prom in May he broke up with her. Now it is July and Jeremiah calls to say Conrad is missing and he wants Belly to help, so of course she’s going to go and help find Conrad. She packed her bags and tells her best friend Taylor to lie to her mother if she called because she is going to be her alibi. Jeremiah picks her up and then they drive to Brown University and talk to Conrad’s roommate, which is no help so they find another friend to ask  and they find out that he mentioned the beach so they know that he’s going to Cousins Beach so that’s where they go.

Once they get there  Conrad is mad that they came and told them to go right back but of course they don’t. They fight and  argue and Conrad says he still is not coming back. The next morning Belly finds out that Conrad’s father is planning to sell the summer-house and that’s why Conrad is here, not to disappear but to save the house. Conrad’s father says that he definitely is going to sell the house and there’s a lot of yelling and arguing but finally he leaves and they decide that they need to have a party because it’s the last night  in the house on the beach, so they get liquor and beer and pizza and Belly gets drunk and at 4 o’clock in the morning calls her mother and tells her the situation and her mother gets in the car and heads for Cousins Beach.

Once Belly’s mother gets there she tries talking some sense into the boys’ father, but to no avail-BUT finally he concedes and says he will not sell it because he now understands that the boys want to keep it as a way to staying close to their dead mother.

Conrad is still acting indifferent to Belly and her feelings for him. It’s true deep inside he knows he loves her but won’t admit it. Belly is hurt and Jeremiah confesses him feelings for Belly and they kiss and Belly is a bit taken aback at how the kiss makes her feel. It’s not said, but it’s implied that form a relationship because at the end of the book two years have passed and Belly is questioning if she has chosen the right boy.

Can’t wait to read the next book.

Five stars *****

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Silent Love (The Love Series #1) by Casey Clipper

Book Description:

Published: June 27, 2014

Former Navy SEAL Sean Millen has been perfectly fine with his bachelorhood until recently, when he realizes he’s unhappy with his single status. Unfortunately, his playboy reputation doesn’t offer him the type of woman that could fulfill his days and nights as well as settle into the specific life he envisions.

Four years ago, Beth Connors’ world was entirely altered. Beth spends her days trying to remain invisible in order to avoid unwanted attention. Each night she sheds grief-filled tears over the former life she once led but will never be able to regain.

When Beth literally runs into him. Doctor Sean Millen. A force of nature. A rock. A reputable heartbreaker, who takes an immediate interest in her, there’s no place for her to hide. But Beth’s natural instinct to push Sean away to save herself and him from the difficult task of adjusting their lives to her shortcomings is always front and center. Yet, Beth secretly longs for love. Is she strong enough to tear down the walls of her self-imposed prison?

Sean finds himself falling for a woman who is determined to reject his every advance and deny their surprisingly deep connection. Can Sean push past Beth’s concrete walls that she refuses to destroy? Or will Beth’s shocking revelation of her past prevent them from finding the love they both deserve? Or will a tragic accident pull Sean and Beth apart permanently?

*This is not a cliffhanger.
**Not suitable for under 18 years old. Contains sexual scenes.

Review –

This is the first book in The Love Series.  I loved it. 

This is what the author has to say about the book:

“I absolutely love Sean and Beth in Silent Love. There is something special about this couple. First, Sean is the ultimate alpha male. He’s protective, ruthless in his love for Beth, loyal to his brother and Beth, and unflappable in almost any circumstance-except when it comes to his heroine- as well as encouraging and supportive of her. I also love the age difference of this couple. Sean is edging closer to forty, has a career that isn’t the typical billionaire but can easily provide for his love interest. Beth is in her late twenties with a steady career that she excels. Their age difference is brought up as part of a potential issue in their relationship but they work through that issue. (Well, I should say Sean scoffs at her concern.) I love these characters inner strength. Especially Beth’s, after the accident she’d been through, she doesn’t realize how much strength she truly possesses, which is one of the reasons Sean is completely enthralled with her. Their story is a true romance plagued with drama that makes you want to root for them as a couple and individually.”

If you are a fan of contemporary erotic romances -you need  to try this series.

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Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry

Book Description:

Published: July 31, 2012

So wrong for each other …and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Review –

I rated this book 5 stars *****

I love the description of “bad boy” Noah Hutchins  – “pot smoking,girl-using loner in a black leather jacket”.  Is it just me or or does that just melt your insides?

Noah has lost his parents in a horrible house fire over two years ago and he and his two brothers were put into foster care but not together. Ever since punching out his  first foster-father(no matter how justified) he’s been labeled as a threat  and a hot head and hasn’t had much visitation with his younger brothers. They are in a good home, go to good schools and have everything they could want or need plus the foster parents want to adopt them. Noah wants to apply for custody after graduating from high school but realizes it will ne an up hill battle  because he can’t care for them like the foster parents can.

Echo doesn’t remember what happened two years ago but she woke up in the hospital almost dead and covered in deep red bloody cuts. These cuts left horrible scars, which she covers with long sleeves and gloves at all times. She is seeing the school clinical psychologist to try to remember and cope with the memories of that night. She needs a job to fix up her dead brothers car so Mrs. Collins suggested tutoring a fellow student.  Little did she know that it would be Noah, usually made fun of her like everyone else in school.

It takes time but Noah and Echo develop a friendship and much later a relationship and the road to either is not smooth.

The last fourth of the book was very emotional  and I cried like a baby and had to put down the book and go get some Kleenex. (I really love books that make me cry) I won’t say how it ends but I was hoping for a better outcome but I had to remember they were just 18 and out of high school.

There is a book that follows their journey and I plan to find it, hopefully for free, as soon as I can.

I’ve added Noah Hutchins to My Fictional Boyfriend List.

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