Sheer Submission (Sheer Submission Part One) by Hannah Ford

Book Description:

Published: January, 2018

Format: E-Book

Stay away from her.

The words burned against my brain, searing hot. Then another thought, more dangerous than the first.

Tie her wrists, brand her, teach her.

She was wearing a dress that was a size too small, and I knew immediately she didn’t have a boyfriend waiting for her at home, because no man would have let her out of the house in that.

The dress was red. Short. A sweetheart neckline that was supposed to make her look innocent, but did nothing except push her full curves up and over the material. Her hair was dirty blond and long, tousled around her shoulders.

She was sipping a glass of champagne and looking around nervously, her wide eyes flicking from person to person at the party, as if she were afraid she was going to get caught.

What have you done, bad girl? Something you should be punished for?

My palm burned as I imagined taking her over my knee, that short little dress pushed up, the place between her legs pulsing.

The feeling of desire I had looking at her was like an electric shock to my soul.

My instincts said to leave her alone, that this would end in nothing but tragedy. My instincts had always served me well in the past.

But this time, I decided to ignore them.

An innocent girl.

A ruthless man.

An inevitable, sordid devastation…

Review –

Though the storyline has been overly used, especially when dealing with “Billionaire Dominants in Business”, Hannah Ford was able to draw me in because of the secrets being held by Landon Sheer. He is so much more than he is portraying and little by little I’m sure all of them will become known to the readers.

Landon spots Aven at one of his office party business functions and knows she doesn’t belong there. Aven and her friend have crashed the party so she can ask Landon Sheer to help find her sister, Violet, who has disappeared. Aven believes Violet is with Landon’s brother but doesn’t know how to locate him.

Landon tells her he will help IF she will give into him, sexually, and she agrees UNTIL she sees the dark blue scarf with the “V” initial on it behind Landon’s bed. At that point she gathers up her clothes and leaves the hotel and walks home.

This was the end of the first book (if you can call 45 pages a book) so I purchased the second in the series, Sheer Torment, which I will comment on later.

Be warned that there are a LOT of typos and misspelled words but for 45 pages I overlooked it although it was bothersome.

You know how I am with covers and this one looks GOOD until you learn that Landon Sheer is a clean-shaven man. Just saying!

 

 

 

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Glass House (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #13) by Louise Penny

Book Description:

Published: August 29, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.

From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.

But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.

Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montreal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.

In Glass Houses, her latest utterly gripping book, number-one New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience. A court that supersedes all others.

Review –

I love this series,The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series, because of the  group of close knit quirky characters and the quaint village of Three Pines where they reside. Within the characters there is a baker, a painter, a book seller, a B&B owner, a bistro owner,  an old, no holds barred poet and Armand Gamache, now chief of the Sûreté du Québec.

There is a murder in the village caused in part by the emergence of a Black Robed Figure (the conscience) stalking someone in the hamlet.  But did the dark thing come for a villager or for one of their guests? The appearance of the black thing coincides with the visit of four out-of-town guests. They are friends from the Université de Montréal who meet for a yearly reunion at the B&B in Three Pines, usually in August but this year it happens to be November first.

All of this is being related by CI Gamache, on the  witness stand in a horribly hot Summer, explaining how over the course of a few days the masked man grew into a fixture on the village green and morphed slowly into an omen.

Conscience is an overarching theme in Penny’s latest Gamache novel, seeping into the courtroom narrative as Gamache grapples with an enemy much larger than the dark thing, a war on drugs and two separate drug cartels, he took on as the new Chief Superintendent. His victory depends on the outcome, and the path, of this murder trial.

While certain installments in Penny’s bestselling series take Gamache and his team to the far reaches of Québec, others build their tension not with a chase but instead in the act of keeping still—this is one such book. The tension has never been greater, and Gamache has sat for months waiting, and waiting, to act, with Conscience watching close by.

Fantastic story and on the edge of the  seat suspense  and a lot of tears when I feared that a favorite character might have met their end in  gun battle that occurred in the bistro. Thankfully, at the end of the book the character in still in critical condition in the hospital with brain damage but I have every faith in the author, Louise Penney, that she will bring this character back to us in the next installment of this series, which comes out in August of this year.

Playing With Fire by Lucia Jordan

Book Description:

Published: December 19, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

This is the first book of the Playing With Fire Series a hot and fiery story with a delicious mix of romance, deep passion by Lucia Jordan!


Being a firefighter was the only thing Lucinda Gonzales ever wanted to be. While most girls were playing dolls or dress up, she was playing with her brothers in the back yard, pretending to save people from burning buildings. Firefighting is in her blood, passed down from generation to generation. So when she gets the chance to finally get into the academy to become a firefighter, she doesn’t hesitate. After her older brother is killed in a burning building, she becomes more determined than ever. She’ll be just as successful as her two brothers ahead of her, her father, and her grandfather. Just because she’s a girl doesn’t change a thing. However, there’s one person standing in her way of becoming the greatest. Chief Maddox Lancaster. The dangerously sexy, arrogant as hell fire chief seems to be throwing one obstacle after another at her, but she won’t let him stop her. It doesn’t matter if the smoldering looks he slides her way are hotter than a five alarm fire. Maddox Lancaster is more dangerous than any burning building—can Lucy take it?

Review –

This book was very very predictable but fun to read because the sexual tension between Maddox and Lucy was so HOT! That being said I didn’t become invested in the characters enough to buy the other books in the series. Am I glad I read it? Hell yes, I would have had to be dead not to.

Side note: I HATE the cover.

 

 

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Book Description:

Published: September 27, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Review –

I truly find it hard to relate everything I feel about this book. The conclusion to this epic duology delivered in EVERY way possible. Crooked Kingdom enthralled and delighted, even while some of the content reduced me to tears. Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan will forever be marked as one of my most beloved fictional crew.

 Crooked Kingdom is filled with character bonding, as well as interaction and development within the numerous friendships within the main group.

Even while the crew work seamlessly together, they remain distinct and unique individuals, driven forward by their own goals and personal backstory. The amount of character development in this book is phenomenal. By halfway through the book, I was fully invested in every single story – even for characters we previously did not see much of like Wylan.

Besides the characters bonding more as a unit and also as romantics pairs there is an arresting storyline, filled with cunning tricks and plot twists. Leigh Bardugo absolutely shines during her fight scenes, with the action becoming almost cinematic. The constantly turning wheels of Kaz Brekker’s mind is also equally formidable. We all love a story about an underdog, and watching Kaz scheme his way numerous setbacks had me on the edge of my seat, but the payoff is always so immensely satisfying.

Not all couples end up together-there is a death of a major player- I won’t say who but it was worthy of several Kleenex and I still can’t believe he’s gone.

I wish the author had Kaz pronounce his real feelings for Inej, instead he just holds her hand, without gloves. This may not sound like much to those who have not read Six of Crows, but it’s a major deal for Kaz Brekker!

The catch phrase of this series is NO MOUNERS, NO FUNERALS and we learn more about it in this book. This is what the author has to say about the quote:

“No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.”

Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

Fantastic book, fantastic series!!!

 

 

 

Slow Burn (Driven #5) by K. Bromberg

Book Description:

Published: February 24, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

One Night. That’s all it was supposed to be.

Reeling from the sudden loss of her sister, Haddie Montgomery has sworn off relationships. All she wanted from Beckett Daniels was a sexy distraction to help her escape her pain for just a little while….There weren’t supposed to be any strings attached—so why can’t she shake the memory of that unforgettable night from her thoughts? Or the taste of his kiss from her lips?

No matter how hard Haddie tries to forget about him, Becks relentlessly tries to prove that she should start living for today. But she is determined to avoid romantic commitment, and she can always use her ex-boyfriend’s reappearance to help snuff out the slow burn within her that Becks has sparked….

Or will fate force her to realize that this kind of connection doesn’t come along very often and a chance at love is worth the risk?

Review –

Slow Burn can be read as a stand-alone; you do not have had to read the Driven Trilogy to understand it or enjoy it. (Although, I must admit, it’ll be even that more special if you do!)

The start of this book is super sexy with Hattie and Becks giving into their explosive chemistry on the night of Rylee and Colton’s wedding. Hattie makes sure Becks realizes that this is a one-time encounter and that they need to keep things simple after the night. (No Strings) What was a little bit irritating was that she then proceeded to tell and think the same thing for the next 5-6 chapters and pretty much through the first half of the book. It was kind of like, okay we get it you want things to stay simple, let’s not repeat it anymore; really and truly lets just not and please stop pushing Beck’s away.

Hattie is dealing with a lot and this might be some of her reason for not letting Becks in. She recently lost her sister from Breast Cancer and is feeling the loss from Rylee not being in her life full time now that she is married and living somewhere else; so pushing Becks away seems like the easiest thing for her to do, to protect herself from any further heartbreak. You can guess where this is going, and you would be right. It’s predictable but it is sooo good and you will be blown away.

Thankfully Becks isn’t willing to go away that easily; especially when he realizes that Haddie has the voodoo pussy, just like Rylee had the same thing to Colton.

Loved the book but gave it a three out of five stars because of all the unnecessary repetition.  Remember to have plenty of tissues handy when you get to the last third of the book.

 

 

 

 

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman

Book Description:

Published: November 22, 2016

Format: Soft Cover

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Review –

In this five-star read  two teens train to be society-sanctioned killers in an otherwise immortal world.

On post-mortal Earth, humans live long without fear of disease, aging, or accidents.If for some reason they are killed they can be revived in a few days. There is a  governing AI (called the Thunderhead since it evolved from the cloud), and is independent of the Scythedom so scythes rely on ten commandments, quotas, and their own moral codes to glean the population.

After challenging Hon. Scythe Faraday, 16-year-olds Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova reluctantly become his apprentices. Subjected to killcraft training, exposed to numerous executions, and discouraged from becoming allies or lovers, the two find themselves engaged in a fatal competition but equally determined to fight corruption and cruelty.

The action, violent at times, unfolds slowly, anchored in complex world building and propelled by political happenings behind the scenes . Scythes’ journal entries, which are mandatory, accompany Rowan’s and Citra’s dual points of view, revealing both personal struggles and problems within the society.  The futuristic post–2042 MidMerican world is both dystopia and utopia, free of fear, unexpected death, and blatant racism—multiracial main characters discuss their diverse ethnic percentages rather than purity—but also lacking creativity, emotion, and purpose. Elegant and melancholic, brooding but steeped with gallows humor, Shusterman’s dark tale thrusts realistic, likable teens into a surreal situation and raises deep philosophic questions.

A thoughtful and thrilling story of life, death, and meaning. 

Recommended for young adults 14 and up.

Five stars for story and cover!

 

The Night Season (Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell #4) by Chelsea Cain

Book Description:

Published: March 1, 2011

Format: Audio/OverDrive

He captured the Beauty Killer, one of the most deranged serial killers in the country. Now, Portland police detective Archie Sheridan faces a different kind of killer – a brutal rain season that has flooded the Willamette River, claiming several lives. As water levels rise, so does the fear. Because some of the victims didn’t drown;they were murdered.

The first body contains a rare poison. Three others prove to be murders as well. And with each gruesome discovery the medical examiner uncovers, Archie begins to realize he has not escaped his nightmares, even with his deadliest enemy behind bars. The flood has washed up old skeletons from the past. And a ruthless new serial killer rules the night…

Review –

Archie is finally free, at least physically, of his former lover and crazed torturer, Gretchen Lowell, The Beauty Killer,who’s behind bars, Portland Detective Archie Sheridan vies with a slightly more mundane serial killer in Cain’s latest installment in the series.

This time the villain is a  largely unseen male menace. Accompanied by a nine-year-old boy who was stolen from his parents 18 months ago, this serial killer carries around small, blue-ringed octopuses in baggies,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-ringed_octopus

subjects his victims to their poisonous bites and tosses the corpses in the river.

The killings begin after the discovery of a skeleton points back to the Vanport flood of 1948, which wiped out an entire public-housing project and claimed the lives of many residents who were tardily warned by authorities of the impending disaster. Sixty-two years later, with the overflowing Willamette River about to wreak havoc on Portland, two people close to the still-shaky Sheridan are touched by the octopus killer’s evil: Henry Sobol, a fellow cop, and Susan Ward, a hungry crime columnist with wild hair. 

The story is deftly handled, the suspense is plentiful and the author’s description of the gloomy atmosphere and Portland setting is superb. Gretchen fans will be pleased when she shows up at the end and with a glance tells us we haven’t seen the last of her.

Excellent read!!!

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.

Twist (Dive Bar #2) by Kylie Scott

Book Description:

Published: April 11, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they’re emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets… apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

Review –

Kylie Scott breathed new life into a plot centered around meeting online and mistaken identity and it had everything to do with Alex and Joe’s respective personalities. Joe is a classic good guy and he was very swoon-worthy. A guy other than Joe likely would not have tried so hard to make things up to Alex after she discovered he was the Eric she’d been emailing all along. While they slowly settle into friendship, it is clear they have a lot to learn from each other.

Whereas Joe says yes to everyone in his life, setting up more than a couple codependent relationships, Alex says no to everyone, functioning more like a hermit. We’re at our healthiest when we’re somewhere between those two extremes. Joe proposes Alex gets out of her comfort zone by saying yes to things and he’ll learn to set boundaries by saying no.

I love the humor the author combines with sexual chemistry/tension and for me it makes the story much more believable and enjoyable.

There are ups and down in their relationship and one twist that I didn’t see coming (I love when that happens) and Alex is hurt badly but it all works out in the end.  Can’t wait for the third installment of the Dive Bar series, Chaser, which comes out in April.

Five stars.