Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1) by L J Shen

Book Description:

Published: December 27, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.

Review –

I always love a good “love/hate” relationship in my books and this one has it in spades !!!

Barron Spencer, more commonly known as Vicious, is a great anti-hero.  HE IS NOT A NICE MAN.  He’s not a good guy in disguise, he’s never redeemed, and he’s never apologetic for the cruel things he does, the cruelest of which is to Emilia, the heroine.

The story starts in the past.  Emilia is the daughter of ‘the help’ who looks after the home Vicious lives in.  She overhears a conversation he is having with someone and from that moment on he is determined to get rid of her.  He’s afraid she heard something he didn’t want her to know.  There is another issue, though, and that is that Vicious is attracted to her.  They are in the same grade at high school.  But when she starts dating one of his good friends, that’s it, he blackmails her into leaving her home, her family, and everything she loves.

The story picks up years later when Vicious runs into her at a bar she’s waitressing at and he decides he’s going to meddle in her life again and then sets about it.  He makes her an offer she can’t refuse, working for him, and he proceeds to run her life.  The reason Vicious has pulled her back into his web is to use her in a revenge plot.  The only reason Emilia allows it is that she has always had feelings for Vicious and sees a side to him that he hides from the rest of the world.  Since the story is told in first person in alternate POV, we get to see the same glimpses Emilia does.

I found this book a very compelling read, though not the easiest  at times. Although Vicious has no real redeeming qualities, Emilia sees him for exactly who and what he is.  She doesn’t connect the dots until later, but goes into the relationship with both eyes wide open and prepared for heartbreak.  I like her as a heroine, I really do.  She’s been through fire because of Vicious and has come out very much stronger because of it.  I give huge kudos to the author for writing such a controversial yet gripping male protagonist.

 

 

 

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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 Three (Unmasked #3) by Cassia Leo

Book Description:

Published: August 15, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

My entire life has been unmasked.

Everything I thought to be true has been called into question.

Whom do I trust? What do I believe?

With two men promising to keep me safe and one promising to give me my life back, which path do I choose?

Masked or unmasked?

Review –

Volume Three opens with Daimon showing Alex that he is alive, that he still loves her, and he knows that she is carrying their baby. Daimon tries to tell her the more of her past and the truth about her parents and the prince and princess. Daimon tells her that Nick is a bounty hunter but Alex does not believe him until things start to fall into place.

Nick and Alex are on a boat racing to get to the plane to take her to meet her parents. But Nick slips up and calls her Alex. Can someone please tell me if that was a flaw on the writers part because I remember Nick telling Alex that he knows her name is not Alyssa and is Alex and that her parents are the prince and princess. So my question is even though he continued to call her Alyssa how was that a slip REALLY. I think Alex confirmed the information when she agreed to meet her “parents”.

That was just one thing that bothered me in this installment. The rest are too numerous to mention, surficce it to say, I’m glad I’m done with this series.

 

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!

 

Unbeloved (Undeniable #4) by Madeline Sheehan

Book Description:

Published: June 23, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

Dorothy Kelley is a born romantic, searching for her prince. Instead she finds herself pregnant at fifteen, and in a loveless marriage by the tender age of eighteen.

Then hope comes riding into her life on a motorcycle and within weeks, Jason “Jase” Brady, a member of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club, sweeps Dorothy off her feet.

But nothing is ever simple for Dorothy. Jase is married with children. And as Dorothy patiently waits for Jase to give her the happily-ever-after she’s been dreaming about, James “Hawk” Young, a member of the Hell’s Horsemen with secrets of his own, sees an opening into Dorothy’s life and takes it.

Carrying on two secret affairs is no easy feat. As Dorothy tries to dig herself out of the mess she’s created, covering one mistake with another, tragedy strikes, nearly costing Dorothy her life and that of her unborn son.

What follows is a long and painful journey of self-discovery and forgiveness, as Dorothy comes to realize that home was exactly where she’d left it, and the love she’d forever craved had always been within her reach.

This is the story of Dorothy, Jase, and Hawk.

We are all born pure; it is our journey that burdens us and leads us astray. Our mistakes that beat us down and cover us in guilt and shame, burying us a little more with each passing hardship. It is up to us to dig ourselves out, to come to terms with our faults, to embrace not only our imperfections but those of the ones we love, and to once again find the path we strayed from.

Warning: This is not a conventional or predictable love story. It involves one woman and two men bound by a love so destructive it spans two decades, pitting brother against brother, and shattering the lives of those touched by it.

Review –

This book is such an emotional ride about so many broken individuals that it left me feeling a bit sad about the hardships they faced, the things they missed, the bumps they hit.  No, some things may not seem fair.  Love isn’t easy for them.  But true love stayed true ’til the end.  Through the good and the bad.  Dorothy’s story is not the same as the others in the series.  And I was perfectly ok with that.

As much as I cared for Dorothy before, I truly came to understand her and feel for her in this book.  Her life, her emotions, her wants and needs.  What a life she’s had!  Then there’s Jace who might’ve broken my heart too.  And lastly there’s Hawk.  Who stole my heart!

Another job very well done for Madeline Sheehan who manages to suck me into her world with every installment in new ways.  And what about the CLIFFHANGER ending!!!!!!!!    OMG! No spoilers, but I can’t find the next book FREE so I’ll have to wait awhile, but no matter how long it takes I will not forget any of the characters that I have met in this series.

 

Unattainable (Undeniable #3) by Madeline Sheehan

Book Description:

Published: September 20, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

Warning: This is not a virtuous and tender love story. It’s chaotic, ruthless, and tragic. This story takes love and kills its innocence, steals away the pure moments, and crushes the hearts of the broken. A story born in childhood, tying one girl to one boy, leads to a destructive path—that hurts more than it doesn’t, that shatters more than it heals—testing the love that binds the two through a lifetime.

Tegen Matthews is the daughter of Dorothy Kelley, a club whore in the Hell’s Horsemen. A plain little girl, Tegen falls into the gritty world of the motorcycle club. When she meets a sweet, caring boy, she embraces the warmth and affection he shows her. Cage West is the son of the president of the Hell’s Horsemen. Tall and blond with deep brown eyes, as he grows up Cage realizes the power of his dimpled smile and smooth drawl. With one chance encounter, Tegen becomes forever tied to Cage. Following is a wayward journey that is filled with regrets, mistakes, and heartache, pulling at the threads that hold them together. Cage and Tegen fight hard but love harder, and in the end, what matters is where the journey takes one girl and one boy, who have been twined with one another since the beginning.

This is Tegen and Cage’s story.

Love doesn’t erase a broken heart, and it sure doesn’t change people. But no matter how old, how flimsy, how frayed the rope of love is, it keeps you tethered to the people you love.

Review –

This series is not an easy one and it’s not for everyone. There’s rape, death, killing but there’s also love and laughter.  The Hell’s Horsemen are not good guys only to the eyes of the ones they know and love. We get the past, present and a glimpse into the future. How will the future go? Who knows and I’m not guessing cause I’d be wrong. Again.

A little insight to the characters…

Cage. We all know him as Deuce’s son and a man whore. You think you know him but you don’t. Changes are coming for him whether he’s ready or not.
Tegan. She’s a fire-breathing dragon who has huge balls. She lives in the past when the future is right in front of her.
Dirty. BE PREPARED. His story is NOT pretty. We get into his past and it’s brutal and ugly. He is the way he is because of it. You have to have an open mind with him. The way he thinks will gut you. His actions will slay you. His future…
Ellie. A beautiful flower that will show her beauty to the one who needs it most.
Deuce. G*d damn the man.

All the characters in the alphabet  are in the story. I’m not here to tell you when and where they pop up. You will be surprised and shocked. You will feel elation and sorrow. You will just FEEL. This is what an author should do. Make a reader step out of their comfort zone, put you in another persons shoe and make you think would you do anything different.

This is the best one yet. I found no fault in nothing and no one. The storyline was not what I expected. The characters are not what I thought them to be.The author takes us into a darker side of the Hell’s Horsemen but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. You will shed happy and sad tears so have tissues in handy. Keep an open mind with everything and everyone and you won’t be disappointed.

 

Undeniable (Undeniable #1) by Madeline Sheehan

Book Description:

Published: December 20, 2012

Format: Audio/Audible

Warning: This is not a typical, sappy love story. This is an all-consuming, soul-crushing, tear-your-heart-into-pieces story. It’s intense, gritty and raw, dark and disturbing, and it doesn’t happen overnight. This is an epic love story that knows no boundaries and has no time limits. It grows and develops-with hurt, sacrifice, and heartache-over the span of a lifetime. Eva Fox is the princess of the Silver Demons Motorcycle Club. Growing up with bikers in the club lifestyle is all that she knows. When she’s a young girl, Eva meets the reason for her existence. Deuce West is the sexy, biker bad-ass of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club. Like Eva, he was born and raised in the club-but that’s where the similarities end. Their first meeting is innocent, but as Eva matures into a woman, their chance reunions evolve into a fit of lust and love. Fate continues to bring them together time and time again, but their twisted journey is filled with pain, betrayal, and bloodshed that could tear them apart. Eva sees in Deuce what he cannot see in himself-a man worthy of love-and Eva spends her lifetime proving to him that her undeniable love is the one thing he can’t live without. This is Eva and Deuce’s story. It wasn’t easy. Nothing worth doing ever is. And love is worth everything.

Review –

First new series of the year and I love this first installment.

This book is so wrong that it just seems right. Older man, younger woman, (like an eighteen year age difference) meet when she’s five and he’s twenty-three at a prison, where they are both visiting their fathers.  Eva’s father is the president of an MC and Deuce is about to inherit that role of a rival MC when his father dies. Right from the get go, Eva is in love with Deuce and she has caught his eye. They meet sporadically over the years until Eva is sixteen, and Deuce, thirty-four, and they become intimate(not full on intercourse)and he eventually takes her virginity at eighteen – I mentioned the wrongness right?

The book is set in the badass world of Motorcycle Clubs and it’s raw, rough, edgy to say the very least as the story absolutely hurtles along like a runaway train out of control. It practically pulsates with an energy, a life force of its own. Deuce behaves like a jerk to Eva for nearly all the book but true love is undeniable and, despite everything that goes down and boy does it go down, their feelings for one another completely outweigh time and everything that happens.

If you are offended by the word f*ck, DO NOT read or listen to this book because it’s used her and over and over again. If you love hot, steamy sexual chemistry and love that endures time, DO read this book.

I loved it and can’t wait to read more in this series.

 

 

Bossman by Vi Keeland

Book Description:

Published: July 16, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

The first time I met Chase Parker, I didn’t exactly make a good impression.

I was hiding in the bathroom hallway of a restaurant, leaving a message for my best friend to save me from my awful date.

He overheard and told me I was a bitch, then proceeded to offer me some dating advice.

So I told him to mind his own damn business—his own tall, gorgeous, full-of-himself damn business—and went back to my miserable date.

When he walked by my table, he smirked, and I watched his arrogant, sexy ass walk back to his date.

I couldn’t help but sneak hidden glances at the condescending jerk on the other side of the room. Of course, he caught me on more than one occasion, and winked.

When the gorgeous stranger and his equally hot date suddenly appeared at our table, I thought he was going to rat me out.

But instead, he pretended we knew each other and joined us—telling elaborate, embarrassing stories about our fake childhood.

My date suddenly went from boring to bizarrely exciting.

When it was over and we parted ways, I thought about him more than I would ever admit, even though I knew I’d never see him again.

I mean, what were the chances I’d run into him again in a city with eight million people?
Then again…

What were the chances a month later he’d wind up being my new sexy boss?

Review –

Oh, how good it was to finally read a spot-on hilarious new adult novel? emotional, and I just needed a break. This on was particularly lightweight and just right.

I loved Chase and Reese together and their sexual chemistry was off the charts.  Both characters are interesting and well-written.  There was also a great deeper emotional level when it came to both Chase and Reese’s pasts and it added a wonderful layer to both characters.  I loved watching their relationship grow from something innocent and fun into more meaningful and serious.  Of course, there are a few bumps along the way but it just made me love their story even more and I was so happy the way things ended for these two!

The whole plot wasn’t entirely something new, but I still loved it. Vi Keeland’s writing made it effortless to get into, which made this book even easier to read/listen.

If you’re looking for a book guaranteed to pull you in and keep you glued to each sexy and fun page, this is a book for you! Thank you, Ms. Keelend, for an other amazing read!