Hot Connection, The Complete Set by Lucia Jordan

Book Description:

Published: July 18, 2017

Format: E-Book

Zoe Lang’s life isn’t working out quite as she hoped.

Estranged from her family and sick of her dreary existence, she spends her nights dreaming about her high school sweetheart, Edward. She knows that one day soon, he’ll come back to sweep her off her feet, and together they’ll build the life that he always promised her. She just has to be patient while he builds his career and saves his money until they can be together. Then one night, Zoe’s apartment building catches fire, and her life changes forever when she meets smolderingly handsome firefighter, Cole Mitchell. When Zoe saves his life, their futures become inexorably entangled.

Review –

The first “book” in this short set was free and ended with such an abrupt cliffhanger that I HAD to buy the complete series.

Poor Zoe, if it wasn’t for her bad luck she would have no luck at all.

She wakes up in her small apartment on the third floor and smells smoke. She grabs her purse and her photo album with all the momentous of Edward, her “boyfriend” since High School.

She notices that a neighbor and her two children are not accounted for and tells a fireman who rushes back into the building. Then,three  fireman come out of the building with the missing occupants but the other fireman is missing.Zoe runs into the fiery building and finds him caught under a metal pipe. She grabs the hot pipe and he is able ti get free and then the roof collapses.

She wakes up in the hospital with both hands bandaged and a fireman sitting in the chair next to her bed. She saved his life and now he wants to be there for her.

He sees the album with Edward’s pictures and letters but still asks her to come to his home after she’s released so he can take care of her. She really doesn’t have any other place to go so she gives in even though she thinks it’s a dangerous thing to do given how attracted she is to the fireman.

Days go by and the sexual tension between them gets too strong and Zoe gives in to her feelings but then regrets it and moved out and into her brother’s home, even though there is tension between them.

Fast forward and we find out that Edward is a cheat and a “gold digger”(Zoe will inherit a nice amount eventually) and her brother’s wife turns out to be Edward’s sister and they’ve been working together.

Needless to say, Cole and Zoe get back together and there is a HEA.

Good story all around and made for a very steamy and pleasant read.

RANT: I HATE this cover because it is very misleading and totally off the mark for this series. Total book cover rant coming soon!

 

 

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The Back Road ( DCI Tom Douglas #2) by Rachel Abbott

Book Description:

Published: March 18, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

One girl is fighting for her life. One village is struggling to hold tight to its secrets.

When a young girl is knocked over and left for dead at the side of the road, the small community of Little Melham goes into shock. Why was Abbie out so late at night, and why wasn’t she missed?

For Ellie Saunders, the truth about that night could put her marriage and even the safety of her children in jeopardy. She has to protect her family, no matter what the consequences.

Former DCI Tom Douglas thought that Little Melham would offer a peaceful retreat from the daily trauma of his work for the Met. But as he is drawn into the web of deceit, his every instinct tells him that what happened to Abbie was more than a tragic accident.

Only one person knows the whole story – why Abbie was out that night, and who was driving the car. For that person, the accident spells disaster, and somebody has to pay.

Review –

This book is a sequel to Only the Innocent (which I have not read) finds former Chief Inspector Tom Douglas retired to what should be a quiet life of contemplation in Little Melham. As it turns out, the village proves to be a hive of infidelity and betrayal, of tragic histories and old shames.
One night on a back road, Abbie Campbell, a 14-year-old girl fleeing dark revelations of her own, is struck by a car and left for dead. Tom, a supporting character in this sometimes overwrought tale of modern life, suspects there’s more to the accident than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Tom’s neighbor, Ellie Saunders, discovers that a moment of weakness has left her vulnerable to blackmail. She’s being stalked, and feels threatened even when she’s in her own home. The identity of her stalker is carefully withheld, which makes his constant, watchful presence seem all the more menacing. Abbott builds the tension carefully and cleverly, and releases it at just the right time.
This is  a thoroughly modern novel, in that much of the characters’ cruelty and plotting rely on modern inventions such as mobile phones and the internet. Threatening and misleading texts are sent with remarkable regularity, while other characters are trapped and deceived by online stalkers. 

The mystery of the hit and run is kept secret almost to the end of the novel, and then it come as a complete surprise. There are many complexities in the myriad relationships between the residents of the community that will draw the reader into the story.

There are plenty of twists and turns and red herrings here, enough to keep you guessing right to the end.
I really enjoyed this book and would like to read more in the series but haven’t found any that are free or on audio but I will keep looking.

Crave (Billionaire Bachelors #1) by Monica Murphy

Book Description:

Published: August 6, 2013

Format: Audio

Billionaire Archer Bancroft always gets what he wants—and he’s wanted Ivy Emerson, his best friend’s sister, for far too long. Being forbidden and untouchable only makes her more tempting. When a million-dollar bet with his friends throws down a challenge—last bachelor standing takes all—Archer knows he can win. That is, until one enchanted evening with Ivy takes his heart for a ride.

Ivy knows Archer is nothing but bad news: Infuriating, arrogant…and completely intoxicating. But despite her best efforts, she can’t seem to keep away. When a stolen kiss leads to a night of heated passion, Ivy realizes she’s in trouble and in head over heels.

But in the light of day, everything seems clearer and Archer’s not so sure a one-night stand is all he wants. Concocting a plan to keep Ivy by his side, Archer might just be willing to lose this bet…and win the jackpot instead.

Review –

This is a book that I would place in a category I call SOFT SMUT. I call it that because the sex scenes are minimal and it’s really all about the characters  and their chemistry with one another.

I knew that going in and it was a very pleasant read even though I knew, without a doubt, that it wold end with a HEA. There’s a good bit of self-deprecating humor mixed in with the passion, plus a sarcastic undertone.

I think you’ll enjoy this contemporary romance if you like powerful, sexy businessmen and smart, sassy women who know exactly what they want.

 

The Night Bird (Frost Easton #1) by Brian Freeman

Book Description:

Published: February 1, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.

As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.

As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

Review –

Just finished this book and loved it. This is a “first read” of this author and I WILL be reading more.

It’s a murder mystery involving a serial killer targeting patients of a psychiatrist who helps people overcome bad memories by totally erasing them. So, would you let someone mess with your head to get rid of a horribly bad memory? I don’t have any memories that horrible so I say “No”, but I can see where it might be a good thing for those with debilitating memories. 

Frankie Stein (hokey name, but in this storyline it works) is the psychiatrist and several of her patients are being reprogrammed to kill themselves or others by someone who hates her because she let a guilty man go free. 

She is married but the marriage is slowly falling apart and she has a hateful sister. I felt bad for her and hope that she may reappear in future books with a brighter story.

The character of Frost Easton is a new favorite of mine because of his human-ness. He’s kind, caring and has a brother who is a chef but owns a food truck and a sister who was murdered. He rescued a cat when it’s owner died and hence inherited the house of said cat. He can live there for as long as the cat is alive. He’s a police homicide detective, who in the book, works mostly alone, rarely calling for back-up unless it’s a dire situation. This to me was the most unrealistic part of the book, because in real life that just doesn’t happen.

The story is fast-moving, action packed and filled with surprises.  It was a great read and I look forward to the next installment of the Frost Easton series.

 

Faceless Enemies (Kurt Wallander #1) by Henning Mankell

Book Description:

Published: January 14, 2003

Format: Audio/OverDrive

It was a senselessly violent crime: on a cold night in a remote Swedish farmhouse an elderly farmer is bludgeoned to death, and his wife is left to die with a noose around her neck. And as if this didn’t present enough problems for the Ystad police Inspector Kurt Wallander, the dying woman’s last word is “foreign”, leaving the police the one tangible clue they have–and in the process, the match that could inflame Sweden’s already smoldering anti-immigrant sentiments.

Unlike the situation with his ex-wife, his estranged daughter, or the beautiful but married young prosecuter who has piqued his interest, in this case, Wallander finds a problem he can handle. He quickly becomes obsessed with solving the crime before the already tense situation explodes, but soon comes to realize that it will require all his reserves of energy and dedication to solve.

Review –

I LOVE foreign crime fiction/drama and I never would have discovered this author if I hadn’t found a series on Netflix called Wallander.

The first disc I received had one show which was ninety minutes long and I WAS NOT impressed. The storyline was convoluted and the acting not very good. The episode was called Sidetracked and in the credits said it was based on a book by Henning Mankell. I jumped on my Overdrive site and searched for this author and his works. I found this book, which is the first in the series. 

This book was very good and just goes to show how a movie or television series can ruin a good book. I loved this version of the main character, he was quirky, dressed slovenly, drank  and needs to lose weight. He is a very good policeman and  once he’s on a case, he’s like a dog with a bone, and will not give up until it is solved.

I will not watch any more of the Netflix series but I will definitely read or listen to more books in the series.

So, Thank You, Netflix for turning me on to another Swedish crime fiction writer.

 

Delightful by Lucia Jordan

Book Description:

Published: July 11, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

Sara Parker is a woman who values her independence. She runs her horse stable on nothing but guts—and her reputation as a woman who stands on her own two feet. Until Adam Steele appeared in her life looking and smelling like sex on a stick. Sara can’t say no to a quick roll in the hay. Still, is the best sex of her life worth giving up everything she’s worked so hard to achieve?

Review –

This is the first short book in the Delightful series and it was free,  but that still didn’t keep it from boring me to sleep. ‘Nuff said!

Vexed (Iron Bulls #4) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: April 4, 2016

Format: E-Book

Falling in love will only leave you vexed.

Recent high school graduate, Athena Vale might seem bubbly and uncomplicated, but she has big plans and even bigger dreams, she’s only ever shared with her best friend, Karina. Athena’s strict upbringing has left her curious about taking a walk on the wild side—just once. And she knows exactly who she wants to go wild with.

President of the Iron Bulls MC, Reed “Romeo” Crownover has no shortage of women willing to entertain him. But these days, there’s only one girl on his mind —Athena. When she shows up at his clubhouse on the night of her eighteenth birthday, he decides it’s time to work her out of his system.

But one night turns into two, two turns into three, and soon the no-strings fun turns into something more passionate than either of them expected. An intense romance neither of them have ever experienced or knew they wanted.

She’s half his age.

He doesn’t fit in her world.

She’s leaving for Los Angeles to start a new life in a few days.

Their connection was vexed from the start.

Vexed is the fourth novella in the Iron Bulls MC series. Although Romeo and Athena make brief appearances in the first three books, Vexed can be read as a stand-alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Review –

I am loving the Iron Bulls MC books with their hot ass bikers, dirty mouths and off the charts sexy scenes and Vexed did not disappoint!

This is Athena and Romeo’s story and if you like a bit of taboo in your story with the whole older guy / younger girl theme then you’ll love this book! Romeo just happens to be the President of the Iron Bulls MC and is a total bad ass and Athena is a spitfire who just graduated high school and together you get a crazy love story that runs hot and heavy.

In the previous books in this series come  to the conclusion that Romeo is a rude disgusting pig well let’s just say that the author definitely throws you for a loop on that one . ROMEO IS STILL THE BADASS, SEXY AS SIN GUY WE MET IN THE PREVIOUS STORIES….BUT UNDERNEATH HE IS SO MUCH MORE….THERE BEHIND THE SEXY BODY LIES A HEART. HE TRIES TO KEEP IT HIDDEN, UNTIL HE FINALLY GETS HIS HANDS ON ATHENA!!! PURE INNOCENT YOUNGER THAN HIM ATHENA.

Athena! I loved her! She’s so smart, sassy, sweet, and clueless! I love how she’s determined to reach her goals and won’t let a man stand in her way. When she realizes she’s not prepared for the career she wants, she takes a step back and regroups.
The way the two of them come together with mutual love and respect, was beautiful! I liked that when both characters made a mistake, they owned up to it and tried to fix it. Very refreshing!

I also liked that this story was so much different than the previous stories (Karina and Dante’s). I often find that series books have a theme when it comes to their couples and often become predictable but with Athena and Romeo’s story (other than the age thing), I found their relationship totally different and fresh and was nothing like that of Dante and Karina’s. 

Great read.

Entwined (Iron Bulls MC #3) by Phoenyx Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: February 2, 2016

Format: E-Book

In Entwined, the third book in the Iron Bulls MC series, shocking secrets and desires are revealed. Can Dante and Karina’s passionate bond survive or will they be torn apart?

Review –

Not much of a blurb on this one and it’s a bit misleading.

Karina and Dante’s relationship keeps getting stronger and he’s trying to get her half sister’s info from Tucker, Karina’s father. He says the half sister doesn’t know anything about Karina and that’s she’s “wild child” and could be a bad influence of her. Dante doesn’t seem too concerned which alerts me to BIG TROUBLE ahead.

Dante wants to push Karina’s boundaries so enlisted Luck to introduce her to bondage. She likes it but they don’t get far because she enters subspace so fast that she couldn’t vocalize her safe word if she needed to.

Tucker missed Karin’s high school graduation and it affects her more than she thought. Also, Athena turns eighteen that day so Romeo is chomping at the bit to get his hands on her.

No cliffhanger this time. Just an anticipated meeting with Kadence, the half-sister. But Dante remembers Tucker’s warning about her wildness and her mother’s involvement with a rival MC and decides that when the meeting happens it will be on his turf so he can keep Karina safe.

Great read.

The Devil’s Claim (Devil’s Kiss #2) by Gemma James

Book Description:

Published: July 1, 2016

Format: Free Digital Book

It’s been a year since Kayla Sutton walked away from Gage Channing. Now he’s back, and so is Ian Kaplan, Kayla’s one-time lover from her college days. Gage’s jealousy is his worst enemy, and when he thinks Kayla has chosen Ian, he sets in motion a drastic plan to claim what’s his. Only Kayla never expects him to infiltrate her heart so effortlessly, and she never dreamed there would come a day when he wouldn’t want her.

Gage believes she’s committed the ultimate sin, but will she use his mistake to finally escape the cage of his obsession? Or will she do whatever it takes to make him see he can entrust his heart to her…just as she’s already lost the core of her being to him?

NOTE TO READERS: THE DEVIL’S CLAIM is a dark romance with a BDSM edge that does NOT conform to safe, sane, and consensual practices. Includes explicit content and subject matter that may offend some readers. Intended for VERY  mature audiences.

Review –

This was offered as a free digital book, so I have not read the first one, but I think I could fill in the blanks enough to see the whole story.

There were some moments when I wanted to kick the shit out of Gage, but then he would “act normal” and I’d like him again. He was so frustrating. Evidently he’s made some changes since the first book, The Devil’s Kiss, according to Kayla. He made changes but HE did not change. He knows what he wants and will not take NO for an answer. He will just do it. Taking away Kayla’s choices once again. Kayla wants that though, I feel. She wants someone who will make the choices for her. Her mind says no, but her wetness tells a very different story. Gage is over controlling, overbearing, over-sexed,over-abusive,  over all everything, but Kayla wants him anyway.

There is a HEA but I don’t intend to read the next book, The Devil’s Wife, to see what happens to the couple because I’m afraid their future isn’t going to be all smooth sailing.

This book is very dark but I hear the first one is much darker so READER, BEWARE.


 

Boar Island (Anna Pigeon #19) by Nevada Barr

Book Description:

Published: May 17, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service Ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyber-bullying and stalking is a new one. The target is Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of her friend Heath Jarrod. Elizabeth is driven to despair by the disgusting rumors spreading online and bullying texts. Until, one day, Heath finds her daughter Elizabeth in the midst of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. And then she calls in the cavalry—her aunt Gwen and her friend Anna Pigeon.

While they try to deal with the fragile state of affairs—and find the person behind the harassment—the three adults decide the best thing to do is to remove Elizabeth from the situation. Since Anna is about to start her new post as Acting Chief Ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine, the three will join her and stay at a house on the cliff of a small island near the park, Boar Island.

But the move east doesn’t solve the problem. The stalker has followed them east. And Heath (a paraplegic) and Elizabeth aren’t alone on the otherwise deserted island. At the same time, Anna has barely arrived at Acadia before a brutal murder is committed by a killer uncomfortably close to her.

BOAR ISLAND is a brilliant intertwining of past and present, of victims and killers, in a compelling novel that only Nevada Barr could write.

Review –

Boar Island is not one of my favorite books in the Anna Pigeon series, and here’s why. There are two storylines going on at the same time but to say they were related would be a stretch. The murder of a lobsterman and the cyberbullying of a teenaged girl, is interesting, but I felt more depth was needed. Also,how does the national park plays a role? This book could have been set anywhere because  there is nothing here that ties it to Acadia directly, and with a series that has in the past made the park an important element of the story, this is a serious flaw.

I did like the fact that Anna Pigeon played a background cast member rather than the series lead, because in real  life you can only be the center of attention so may times before you start to get on people’s nerves.  She does manage to get serious danger twice which added a much-needed dose of drama to an otherwise bland book.

I hope the next book is more suspenseful.