Her Russian Knight (Brie’s Submission #13) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: March 25, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Warning: There will be tears…but Rytsar demands no less.

Rytsar Durov is a sadist–and he’s upset. Bones may be broken. The Russian Dom is a force unto himself, and he intends to take care of the threat once and for all.

No one touches radost moya. NO ONE!

Nothing fazes this sexy Russian Dom, but how will he cope when he finds out the tragedy that’s befallen his comrade–the only man he calls Brother?

Review –
 
Another amazing installment of the Brie’s Submission series centering around the Dominant of Rystar Durov, a sadist, and “blood brother” to Sir Thane Davis.
 
In this  book we learn more background of Rystar and his deep love for his first love, Tatiana, and the reason behind the murder of his beloved mother. He’s an all or nothing kind of guy and never does things half way, and shows this in his love and care for Brie while Sir is still in a coma. Her welfare comes first, no matter that a hit man is after him for killing the “maggot” back in the club in Russia. He truly loves Brie and has confessed this to Thane and he is surprised that the knowledge did not change things between them. But Thane completely understands, after all, it’s Brie.
 
Rystar deals with the “crazy half-sister from Hell”, Lily, and she confesses that her intent had been to kill Brie’s child and then sell Brie into slavery. When he has to leave town he entrust her charge to Todd Wallace and he will notify the police and let the law take over. But he has waited too long and is confronted by his enemies in Sir’s room at the hospital, no less, and is beaten and dragged away. BUT, before the hit squad enter the room Rystar slips a note into Brie’s hand and tells them her and Thane to shut their eyes, because that way they won’t be able to identify to bad guys.
As he is dragged away and thrown in a van, there is a slight smile on his face the he recalls what the note says – “Tell Sunshine(his name for Brie’s baby girl(he know it’s going to be a girl) to save a dance for me”.
OMG – tears were falling down my face at this point.  I can’t wait to get into the next book.
Love, love this series.
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Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1) by Rachel Caine

Book Description:

Published: July 1, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

Review –

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine is a chilling thriller about what happens to the family of a serial killer and their struggles as the rest of the world continue to judge them as responsible for the killer’s atrocities.

The novel,by Rachel Caine, explores the consequences of the age-old question: how could she not know? Gina Royal is the wife of a serial killer. He killed women in his “workshop,” which was a refinished garage that Gina supposedly never went into. Even though she went to trial and was found not guilty, the jury of the world at large doesn’t believe her. 

Now, after years on the run, Gina—now Gwen—is tired of running. Her kids are tired of running. She hopes that this new house on the shores of Stillhouse Lake will be the perfect new forever home. And all signs point that way: there are police officers nearby, Gwen has learned how to use firearms, and there’s an alarm system and a panic room. It may just be time to settle down. 

Then, they find the woman in the lake. She had  been brutally mutilated and dumped in the lake. The modus operandi is all too familiar to Gwen. Her ex-husband used to do the same thing. Gwen—who has moved from place to place, never letting her children or herself settle into any kind of steady routine—now has to make a choice: run again or stay and hold her ground. 

Every day, Gwen hits the computer and checks the “sicko” boards—people who have followed her husband’s case and her own trial, people who think she is as guilty as he is, people who think she and her children should be punished. 

By the time we, as readers, meet the sickos on the boards, we’ve already spent a lot of time with Gwen and the kids, Lanny and Connor. While the kids are remaining flexible, the strain of constant moves and the inability to put down any roots is showing. There’s trouble at school. There’s trouble at home. The kids are completely caught in the middle of this fiasco—the children could easily be categorized as two more victims of their cruel father. 

But the sicko boards don’t care. Knowing what we know as readers, it’s very hard to read what these strangers want to do to them.  

Despite all its darkness Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake is a great summer read. The central topic is fascinating—haven’t we all wondered about serial killers who were married? Haven’t we all wondered about the spouse, what they knew, and whether they should be considered an additional victim? There’s a hint of romance, of all things. There are definitely scary, tense moments. The author  delves into all this and keeps the pace driving forward, perfect for the beach … maybe a little harrowing for the lake.

Loved this book.

Side Note:

IF the name Rachel Caine sounds familiar, it’s because she is also the author of several young adult books, One series being The Morganville Vampires series and I have read and loved all of those book.

The Morganville Vampires series

  1. Glass Houses (October 2006)
  2. The Dead Girls’ Dance (April 2007)
  3. Midnight Alley (October 2007)
  4. Feast of Fools (June 2008)
  5. Lord of Misrule (January 2009)
  6. Carpe Corpus (June 2009) 
  7. Fade Out (November 2009)
  8. Kiss of Death (April 27, 2010)
  9. Ghost Town (October 26, 2010)
  10. Bite Club (May 3, 2011)
  11. Last Breath (November 1, 2011)
  12. Black Dawn (May 1, 2012)
  13. Bitter Blood (November 6, 2012, Fall of Night (May 7, 2013)
  14. Daylighters (November 5, 2013)

Breathe With Me (Brie’s Submission #12) by Red Phoenix

Book  Description:

Published: December 5, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When life gets too rough, breathe with me…

Tono Nosaka, the Kinbaku rope master, has known heartache and loss—never defeat. He is determined to claim his soulmate.
Miss Autumn is courageous and talented, but she hides a personal secret that binds her heart. Just when the walls start to come down, Tono has a dream about Brie so shocking he would make any sacrifice to ensure it never comes true.

Love that strong has extraordinary power.

Review –

Another great installment of the Brie’s Submission series and  centered around Tono (Master) Ten Nosaka, the Dominant that had it not been for the verbal misgivings of his father, Brie would have chosen to be HER Dominant. As it happened, because of that she chose Master Thane Davis, whom in her heart of hearts, she always wanted, but never thought she could have.

Tono takes over Brie’s care after Master Brad Anderson has broken his leg and his quiet nature and peaceful calm has a positive effect on Brie and she begins working again on her second documentary.

The crazy half-sister, Lily, makes another appearance in his book but still escapes capture.

Tono had begun a semi-relationship with Autumn Day in Denver before he left and he concentrates on getting her to accept him wholly, mentally and physically. He discovers that besides her scars and prosthetic, she is also a virgin and realizes he has to be extremely patent with her.

Everything works out in the end and he is able to go back to Autumn in Denver as Rystar Durov, the Russian and blood brother to Sir, comes to care for Brie.

Excellent installment of this series.

 

A Cowboy’s Heart (Brie’s Submission #11) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: November 7, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

A cowboy can’t resist a damsel in distress

Brad Anderson, the bullwhip master, has guarded his heart ever since a certain redhead broke it. After attending the wedding of his best friend, Master Anderson decides to find his own happy ending. However, it seems Fate has different plans when he finds himself protecting a damsel in distress.

Will this cowboy at heart ever let down his guard long enough to allow true love to flow in? Find out what happens when love and loyalty meet Fate head on.

* A portion of the story Includes the short “Stud Poker” part of the retired anthology, One Night in Vegas. It is important part of Master Anderson’s journey.

Review –

I loved this installment of Brie’s Submission series because it dealt with a supporting character, Master Brad Anderson.

He was the genius behind the Dominant/Submission Training Center in Denver, but has been given the job of HeadMaster at the same school in LA.

He is single, has country roots, likes red cats, wears a cowboy hat, and is a Dominant looking for his soul mate. He stopped over in Las Vegas on his way to LA and meets Shea, a masseuse and they have a steamy one night that neither will soon forget.

Once in LA he is charged with protecting Brie as she stands vigil at Sir’s bedside after the plane crash. Sir’s crazy half-sister, Lily, is threatening to tell the world that she is pregnant by Sir unless he gives her half of his estate, so Master Anderson has his hands full.

Toward the end of the book he is in a truck crash and is laid up with a broken leg and has to recruit Tono to take over as Brie’s protector and Shea moves to LA and wants to try or a relationship with Brad, if he will NOT have sex with his students, as is part of his job description as HeadMaster. Believe it or not, he agrees and says he will change the list of mandatory obligations of a HeadMaster.

 

Claim Me (Brie’s Submission #9) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: September 12, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Fairy tales come true…

Brie Bennett’s Master is about to make all of her dreams come true. The wedding is almost here but darkness lies ahead—a plot so horrendous it will rock their foundation to the core.

Yet love as fierce and passionate as theirs cannot be denied. Join our favorite submissive as she discovers the romance that awaits when an Italian Dom plans the wedding of the century for his cherished bride.

Review –

I also read numbers seven and eight of this series and enjoyed them, but this one has been my least favorite of the series so far.

There was just too much “lovey dovey” and everything coming up roses because of the fairy-tale-like wedding and honeymoon, until the  end and then we were back to fictional reality. 

The next book, Enchant Me, is about the honeymoon and getting Brie pregnant (which does happen) and ends with  a great cliffhanger. 

The next two books deal with Master Brad Anderson and Tono and we learn some of their background  and their quests to find their soulmates.

I’m just about to finish up  A Cowboy’s Heart, which deals with Sir Brad Anderson and will report on it shortly.

 

 

 

Persons Unknown (DS Manon #2) by Susie Steiner

Book Description:

Published: July 4, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Manon has settled back into life in Cambridgeshire with her adopted son, Fly. She’s perfectly happy working on cold cases until a man is stabbed to death just yards from the police station, and both the victim and the prime suspect turn out to be much closer to home than she would like. How well does Manon know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder?

Review – 

When we last saw Manon, she had adopted Fly, an orphan closely related to her last case, Missing, Presumed, and they were moving in with Manon’s sister, Ellie, and her toddler, Solomon, in London.

A year or two has passed, and the unlikely family unit has moved back to the familiar world of Cambridgeshire, where Manon is stuck working cold cases—and she’s five months pregnant, having decided to give up the wait for “Mr. Right” and take matters into her own hands.

She’s concerned about Fly, now one of the only black kids in the neighborhood, and the fact that he’s 12 going on 20. When a wealthy London banker is found stabbed in nearby Hinchingbrooke Park, Davy and Harriet, Manon’s friends and co-workers, quickly discover that he’s Ellie’s ex-boyfriend—and Solomon’s father. But before they can fully investigate this connection, their Chief Superintendent shuts them down and strongly suggests, instead, that they arrest Fly, who’s been caught on camera walking through the park at the time of the murder.

As in her previous novel, the author does not shy away from exploring the racist aspects of the justice system; this only works because she has crafted such complex and believable characters. There is no doubt that Manon is barely making it from day-to-day, but her heart is always in the right place, and for all her awkwardness, she once again proves to be a great cop—and a fierce mother.

A second adventure that strikes all the right notes—layered mystery, incisive cultural context, and a delightful protagonist who deserves a place alongside other beloved literary detectives.

I truly love this series and can’t wait for the third installment, and hopefully it will be out soon. Hint, hint… write faster, Susie Steiner!

 

Beartown ( Bjornstad #1) by Fredrik Backman

Book Description:

Published: April 25, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

Review –

This novel concerns a Swedish youth league hockey team and its  place in a declining town. “Hockey is just a silly little game,” he writes. “We burn and bleed and cry, fully aware that the most the sport can give us, in the very best scenario, is incomprehensibly meager and worthless: just a few isolated moments of transcendence. …But what the hell else is life made of?”

Beartown quickly turns dark as the author exposes the one-track hearts and minds of some of Beartown’s residents. The isolated community in the novel is in Sweden, but “Beartown” is a universal story of homophobia, sexism and politics that could take place anywhere.

“Small towns need a head start if they’re going to have any chance in the world,” Backman writes, and, as readers soon learn, covering up a heinous crime is not up for debate if the town is going to make economic and social advances. It’s why Backman’s descriptions of screeching hockey parents who yell at coaches and other parents during games — we’ve all seen them — seem almost comical set against the ugly group mentality that takes over after a teen is raped and the Beartown Ice Hockey Club’s star player is accused of the crime.

Current fiction may have no more courageous young female character than Maya, who faces hate and threats after she comes forward about the rape. Backman writes a gritty, heart-stopping account of the sexual assault after which the novel then pivots into even more ominous territory as the town turns on her and her family.

Beartown is not just about a sexual assault; it’s also about Beartown families closing ranks and perpetuating falsehoods to protect themselves and the hockey team. It’s also about the all-encompassing culture of youth sports — the physical, mental and emotional commitment demanded of the players (not necessarily a bad thing) and the way that team sponsors, coaches and fans treat players like products rather than human beings.

So, although the book initially seems to be about the sport of hockey in a very small Swedish town, it is about sooo much more than that.

Five stars and I highly recommend it.

 

Brie’s Submission (Books 1-3) by Red Phoenix

Book Description:

Published: January 31, 2017

Format: Free Digital Book

Take a peek into the sensual world of BDSM

Brie Bennett’s life is about to change.

An invitation to the exclusive Submissive Training Center is one she can’t turn down.

As Brie learns the art of submission under the skilled hands of a team of Dominants, her boundaries are tested and her heart is put on the line.

But as Graduation Day approaches, she can only be collared by one.

Which Dom will win her heart and … her submission?

*This boxed set includes Teach Me, Love Me and Catch Mefrom the Brie’s Submission Series.

Review –

This set of three books in the Brie’s Submission series was free, but I knew shortly into the first book that I would definitely  be buying the others.

I only know what I know from reading about the BDSM life style but it fascinates me and I find that books involving D/s storylines are my favorite kind of erotic/contemporary romances.

That’s why I love this series. These three books take Brie through her 6 week training at a famous school for submissives. Six weeks doesn’t sound very long for all the instruction involved BUT the class hours were long and the practice sessions demanding. Without knowing any better the depiction seems very believable.

Brie is a young woman who feels like she’s missing something from her life but can’t pinpoint what exactly until a man comes in the tobacco shop and leaves a card to a Submissive Training Center for her. Her curiosity piqued, she enrolls in the course, unwilling to fail since she feels it to be her calling, needing to learn things she never expected to not know. With each new week, Brie and the other subs are put through various scenes to push their limits and dedication, to see who will graduate at the top of their class.

Brie goes through so many trials, even faces her deepest fears and prejudice, in ways she never saw coming. So many themes are discussed throughout this box set- menage, lesbianism, anal, DP, submission, and much more, putting into words some of the many aspects of what a D/s relationship is. I did wonder if these types of schools exist since they sound intriguing, and yet as much as Brie grew with all the teachings, I can only imagine the heartbreak at having to choose between her suitors to be the one to collar her.

There is jus t so much in thees books the it would be impossible to relate it all, just know that at graduation Brie chooses to be collared and the Master she picks turn her down – AT FIRST.

I’ve already started reading books four through six of this series and can’t wait to find out what happens between Brie and her Master.

The Roses of May (The Collector #2) by Dot Hutchison

Book Description:

Published: May 23, 2017

Format: Audio

Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.

Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line?

Review –

This is the second in The Collector series and HAS to be read first. 

There are a few characters from the first book, The Butterfly Garden, but also has a whole new serial killer and new female lead.

The book opens and dives right into the story. Taking place a few months where the first novel left off but in an unconventional way.  The Butterflies are awaiting the trial of the Gardener and a few of the girls, unable to handle the trauma of the garden, have completed suicide.   The police officers from the original case are dealing with this and also find themselves being pulled back into a different investigation involving a serial killer who murders girls and adorns them with flowers.  When a sister (Priya) of one of the victims’ finds herself a target, the investigators must use their knowledge of the past and what they learned from the garden to find the perpetrator before he collects another victim.

The Butterfly Garden was the narrative style and told of the creepy events that took place in the garden; I found that this one read more like a police procedural. Instead of being character driven, this one focused more on the police investigation and the officer’s relationships to the victims.

It’s a quick and engaging read. I wanted to know what happened, and I was immediately invested in Priya, who’s both strong and vulnerable, in a way that’s reminiscent of Inara (whom I loved in The Butterfly Garden), but not so similar that it feels like Hutchinson is rehashing the same character again.

Although I loved The Roses of May for what it was, it was completely not what I was expecting. I will definitely read the final book in the series,The Summer Children, due out later this year, but I’m holding back on my expectations.

The Pawn (Endgame #1) by Skye Warren

Book Description:

Published: December 6, 2016

Format:Free Digital Book

“Sinfully sexy and darkly beautiful, The Pawn will play games with your heart and leave you craving more!” – Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.

Review –

Avery’s world is falling apart. Her father is very bad off after getting severely beaten over bad business dealings with a man named Gabriel. Gabriel  sells and buys things – things like guns and drugs. Avery goes to the “King of the Underworld” Damon Scott for hopes of a loan, but when she discovers Damon reports to Gabriel, she knows she is big trouble.

When Gabriel learns eighteen year old Avery is a virgin, he tells her that her virginity is the most valuable thing she owns and if it is sold, she would make enough money to help her father and keep his house. But she would be owned for a month. He will sell her body to the highest bidder at auction. After thinking on it, Avery feels as if she has no choice.

Of course, the night of the auction, Gabriel actually bids and wins Avery – and now she is his for one month in exchange for a million dollars.

Gabriel never forces Avery to have sex – you actually learn he has had a thing for her for quite some time and kind of arranged this entire thing so he could have a chance with her. While Avery is bought by him, she enjoys the pleasure he gives her. He saves her virginity for as long as he can – but does act out in other ways with her. Around the third or fourth day (at least that’s what it seemed like to me) he does take her virginity and none too gently. It seemed it was being cruel on purpose. Afterwards, he left her in the bedroom, alone, bloody and shaken. When she goes to him asking if he was coming back to his room, he tells her NO. He’d gotten what he’d paid for and now he wanted her GONE.

The housekeeper calls a car to take her home and once she there she finds out her father has had a heart attack after learning that the family home has been taken in criminal forfeiture by Gabriel’s company. Avery is livid. She sold her virginity so this wouldn’t happen but Gabriel made it happen anyway. END

Talk about cliffhanger!

I wanted to shake Gabriel by the shoulders for being such a bastard. He was so dark and you get the feeling he likes it just fine that way.

I’m looking for a free copy of the next book, The Knight, because I don’t feel like paying $4.99 for it and the others in there series, but who know, I might cave.