Death of a Macho Man (Hamish MacBeth #12) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description:

Published: 2009

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Randy Duggan is the macho man of the title of this work of fiction. He claims to be a professional wrestler and he becomes known in the small village of Lochdubh for his tall stories. When Randy is found murdered, Constable Hamish Macbeth hopes that the killer is not one of the villagers. However, there is enough local resentment against Randy, that someone in quiet, peaceful Lochdubh may have been driven to slaying this macho man.

 

Review –

This is the twelfth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, the constable for the sleepy village of Lochdubh in northern Scotland. In this book, village life takes center stage and the village characters beguile the reader, giving the book that cozy feel. Moreover, readers will enjoy the dynamics between Hamish and is ex-fiancée, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, as they try to achieve a détente and resolve their relationship. The book is laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, keeping the mood of the book light and highly enjoyable.

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The Night Stalker (DCI Erika Foster #2) by Robert Bryndza

Book Description:

Published: June 2, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

Review –

This is only the second book in the DCI Erika Foster series and I’m totally hooked.

I just love DCI Erika Foster…she’s abrasive, yet extremely loyal, willing to go as far as necessary to solve a case. Her and her team will do whatever it takes to get the bad guys and that is clearly evident in this book. Erika is certainly a force to be reckoned with.  She may not always see eye-to-eye with her bosses and her co-workers – those that are equal to her – but those that work for her know her dedication to the job and are usually willing to go to bat for her.

The one thing that does make my blood boil in this book (and in the first one as well) is that the upper ranks of the police department are made to look totally incompetent and just plain stupid. It’s like without Erika no crime would get solved. And once she does bring in the killer, she is not even given a pat on the back and her promotion is given to someone less talented. You would think after a while that they would come to expect the unexpected from her. I guess I’ll have to wait for other books in the series to see if they wise up.

I found myself completely invested in this story right from the beginning because it’s another fast-paced, shocking thriller and even though this one takes place in the sweltering heat of the summer, it’s still has that chilling factor to it that all good mysteries do. 

Excellent read/listen.

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Mr. O by Lauren Blakely

Book Description:

Published: May 2, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Just call me Mister O. Because YOUR pleasure is my super power.

Making a woman feel ‘oh-god-that’s-good’ is the name of the game, and if a man can’t get the job done, he should get the hell out of the bedroom. I’m talking toe-curling, mind-blowing, sheet-grabbing ecstasy. Like I provide every time.

I suppose that makes me a superhero of pleasure, and my mission is to always deliver.

But then I’m thrown for a loop when a certain woman asks me to teach her everything about how to win a man. The only problem? She’s my best friend’s sister, but she’s far too tempting to resist–especially when I learn that sweet, sexy Harper, has a dirty mind too and wants to put it to good use. What could possibly go wrong as I give the woman I’ve secretly wanted some no-strings-attached lessons in seduction?

No one will know, even if we send a few dirty sexts. Okay, a few hundred. Or if the zipper on her dress gets stuck. Not on that! Or if she gives me those f*&k-me-eyes on the train in front of her whole family.

The trouble is the more nights I spend with her in bed, the more days I want to spend with her out of bed. And for the first time ever, I’m not only thinking about how to make a woman cry out in pleasure –I’m thinking about how to keep her in my arms for a long time to come.

Looks like the real Adventures of Mister Orgasm have only just begun….

**MISTER O is a standalone romantic comedy and it follows supporting characters first introduced in BIG ROCK** (Which I have not read)

Review –

“They say men have sex on the brain 99.99 percent of the time. You’re not going to catch me trying to dispute that…In my case, though-and I suppose, in my defense-sex is part of my job.”

Well, heck, Lauren Blakely, when your main man opens with this statement, where can things go but up?

The author  has artfully delivered another wonderful friends-to-lovers story, complete with characters that I wish I could actually spend time with, sizzling chemistry and a feisty cat named Fido.

Nick Hammer (yes, that’s his real name, thank you very much), cartoonist extraordinaire, and master of giving women orgasms beyond description,  has fallen for the sister of his best friend and he knows that’s taboo.

But, when red-headed Harper, a magician by trade, asks him for help in the dating department he can’t say “No” and as time goes by and he developed more than sexual cravings for her, he knows he’s done for.

Fantastic book, sexual tension with humor thrown in. Perfect!!!!

I have not read or listened to BIG ROCK, but I’m thinking I’ll have to add it to my SBTBR list. (Smutty Books To Be Read)

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Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Book Description:

Published: September 29, 2015

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Review –

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You need to know that Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows is related to her Grisha trilogy, but you can read this first book of the related series without reading the trilogy first.(I did NOT read the Grisha trilogy) The content is consistently mature and a better fit for more mature teen readers and adults.  Characters are complex, flawed, and sometimes responsible for despicable acts, such as plucking out a man’s eye in one gruesome scene. More bloodshed includes arena fighting in prison where a man is mauled to death and wolves are killed, a gang shooting where a boy is left for dead, a knife wound that nearly kills a main character, and more. Backstories of the main characters can be jarring, such as a recalled childhood scene of a character being buried in corpses on a barge, imprisonment and near-starvation, and characters being beaten and forced to work in brothels. No details are given about life in the brothels, but there’s some kissing and nakedness in other scenes.Readers will learn the backstories of these characters as the novel progresses, each bringing up themes of survival and overcoming loss. Though greed and revenge seem to motivate characters on the surface, there’s also an underlying desire for connection.

I’ve read reviews that raved about this book but for me it was a three and a half to four star book. It was entertaining and the narrators, and there were several, did a great job. I will read the next in the series, Crooked Kingdom, but only because I hate not finishing a series, not because I can’t wait.

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The Black Room: Door Three (Black Room #3)by Jasinda Wilder and Jade London

Book Description:

Published: November 18, 2016

Warning: reader discretion is highly advised. This novel contains vivid depictions, fantasies, and relationships. Mature readers only, please.

Who is he? And who will he be after you’ve stepped over the threshold of the third door?

Will he dominate you? Share you? Love you?

To find out, you know what you have to do:

Step forward…

Turn the knob…

Step through into THE BLACK ROOM.

Review –

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Door three picks up right where door two left off. The mountain man, Conrad Killian, has purchased Hannah for sexual companionship and the journey to his cabin will take four days by horseback, in the snow and through a mountain pass.

On their journey they meet Charlie, a drifter, who shares their fire one night. He tries to buy Hannah from Conrad but of course Conrad refuses and Charlie threatens him, saying he’s made a big mistake.

Once at the cabin, which is small and very utilitarian, with only one bed,  Hannah tells him she’s not ready for sex  and he tells her she will be and tells her to get undressed down to a thin wool slip. He doesn’t insist on sex that night because they are both tired from all the traveling. He tells her to give their situation a month and if she’s not happy he will take her  to Denver and set her up. She agrees.

Conrad tells her he lost his wife in an Indian battle and has been a recluse ever since.

Days go by and Hannah finds herself very sexually attracted to the handsome mountain man and one thing leads to another and they have very hot sex, A LOT!  It goes on like that until one day Charlie shows up at the cabin and kidnaps Hannah. They get several miles away and Conrad tracks them down and kills Charlie and on their way back to the cabin they are surrounded by an Indian party. The indians want Hannah and the horses by Conrad talks them into taking only his horse and coming to the cabin for some others. Hannah and Conrad have hot  sex on the porch after the Indian go and afterwards he tells her she has to go. He opens the door and she walks through leaving him behind.

Everything is quiet and she’s back in the BLACK ROOM on the white cot with the small black table to her left and on it the thick white candle. Now there are only five doors, three black, one silver and one green.

Hannah wants Conrad back, any version of him, and so she gets up and goes to door four and turns an ornate brass doorknob  and steps over a threshold .  Can anyone say CLIFFHANGER?

Door three has been my favorite so far because of the time period it takes place  and the handsome mountain man who was a kind, attentive, and very skilled lover.

Five stars *****

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The Black Room: Door Two (Black Room #2) by Jasinda Wilder and Jade London

Book Description :

Published: November 18, 2016

Warning: reader discretion is highly advised. This story contains vivid depictions, fantasies, and relationships. Mature readers only, please.

The second door stands in front of you.

Who—and what—awaits on the other side?

Every passion, every fantasy, and every desire will be met…if you turn the knob.

But do you dare?

Step forward…

Turn the handle…

Step through into THE BLACK ROOM.

Review –

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So once she leaves the “fighter” she’s back in the BLACK ROOM on the cot with the black side table with the candle on top. Almost immediately  she goes to door two and opens it and walks right into a beautiful high-rise apartment. She hears voices and smells bacon and finds a very handsome man cooking breakfast. There is another couple there also.

It seems she and the man fixing breakfast had a bad argument the night before and of course she has no idea what about but with certain cues from him she thinks he wanted to have a three-way and she didn’t. So, she suggests that’s what they do and soon the other man is there and they have a three-way. After some time and some very explicit sex, they stop but then the woman is there and so the female, who is going from door to door, invites the woman to join in and so another three-way is started. One it’s over she knows it’s time to go and ends up back in the BLACK ROOM and soon goes to door number three and ends up on a stage with 19 other women. Several men are in the room purchasing the women and a good-looking man with a beard buys her and off they go on horseback. 

Since I’ve never fantasized about a MMF or a FFM door two didn’t do a whole lot for me. I gave it four out of five stars.

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The Black Room: Door One (Black Room#1) by Jasinda Wilder and Jade London

Book Description:

Published: November 18, 2016

Warning: reader discretion is highly advised. This story contains vivid depictions, fantasies, and relationships. Mature readers only, please.

Once you enter, anything goes. No fantasy—however dark and dirty and depraved it may be—is forbidden. You have no past, no inhibitions, no morals…and no memory.

All you have to cling to is the memory of a scorching touch, a searing kiss, the wet slide of skin on skin, and the heat of breath across your flesh.

Step forward…

Turn the knob…

Step through into THE BLACK ROOM.

Review –

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Here is what the author, herself, had to say about this series:

Dear WILDer Readers,

I need to tell you a little story about this series. This is like nothing I’ve published before. It might even be like nothing you’ve ever read before. In fact, it’s so different that I’ve gone back and forth about even publishing it at all for about a year. At one point I did even publish a part and then took it down; yes, it has the potential to be that controversial. Encouraged by my amazing WILD WITH WILDER Facebook reader group, I’ve gained the courage to hit “publish.”

It all started with a conversation with a friend about sexual fantasies, I’m going to call her Jade…Jade London. In talking with her, this story popped into my head inspired by a few of her fantasies and experiences. So just for fun, I started writing THE BLACK ROOM. Now, these stories are told in the voice I had in my head of my friend Jade, so you will notice it might be different from my other work and she is also credited as an author, since she was the inspiration for it. Yes, this series is very explicit, enough so that I would call it more like erotica/suspense with an erotic romance theme. If you have been offended by scenes in Madame X, Alpha, or Stripped I will tell you it’s probably best to skip this series all together. The sex scenes in these books are beyond even my hottest level.

You’ve been warned.

The layout and pricing of this series is also a bit unusual. I really wanted the reader to have to “enter” each door, I wanted you to have to take that step to enter the next room. So, artistically, I knew that having them stand alone as 8 separate doors was important. I also wanted to keep the pricing in line with my other books, and the only way that really made sense for me to do that was to make doors 1, 3, 5 and 7 free. Yes, I realize there are people that might take advantage of that and just skip the other doors. But, if you really want to have a unique and powerful reading experience I suggest reading all of them in order. I am publishing all 8 novellas at once because each one does create a bit of a cliffy, and I didn’t want to leave you hanging.

This series is over 800 pages in my usual print format at nearly 200,000 words, so we made the print edition larger, like my BIG GIRLS omnibus, so we could get it all in if you wanted the full collection in print. I’ll be sure to link that below. Shout out to Okay Creations and Champagne Formatting for a beautiful job on the print edition. It’s a piece of art.

I really do hope that you will take this journey with me into THE BLACK ROOM. It’s a story of a woman’s experiences in fantasies that I felt needed to be told. It’s erotic, emotional, and raw.

In Door One we, the readers, don’t know how the woman became to be in the BLACK ROOM, but neither does she. She can’t remember anything: her name, what she does, how she got there or if she really exists.

In the BLACK ROOM there is a cot and a small side table with a candle that provides the only light. Around the large expanse of the room are eight doors and when she walks through number one (and she feel compelled to do so) she sees a large muscled fighter with a broken nose and scars all over his body.  He binds her with ropes and suspends her from the ceiling and eventually, after a lot of bondage foreplay, they have very rough sex and then he tells her  to  leave because she shouldn’t be there. She doesn’t want to go but knows she has to.

When she arrives back in the BLACK ROOM there are only seven doors, door one has disappeared .(How’s that for eerie?)

Five stars *****

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Dark Alley: Club (Dark Alley #2) by D.S. Wrights

Book Description:

Published: December 28, 2015

Discovering a new form of independence and self-confidence Alice not only decides to explore her newly granted membership to the Dark Alley Club, but also her own secret desires.
Bound to secrecy by the club rules Alice gains not only a new perspective on her life, but also her best friend’s situation.
Plus, there are still so many things to find out: Who’s King of Diamonds? Will she meet Poseidon again? And who has asked her to meet him in the Club house? One of the two, or someone else entirely?

Review –

This is the second book in the Dark Alley  series and deals with Alice/ Belladonna’s next adventures at the Dark Alley. The main focus is the change between the very normal Alice and her new persona, Belladonna. When she puts on her mask and enters ‘Dark Alley’  she becomes a very different person, a very darker person.

This trip into The Dark Alley was more adventurous than the last one, so, if you like some soft BDSM with intriguing sex scenes then this is for you.

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Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die #3) by Danielle Paige

Book Description:

Published: March 15, 2016

Once upon a time, there was a girl from Kansas named Dorothy.

You might know her as the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone. She ended up in Oz, where she became friends with the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. But the temptation of magic was too much for her. She let it change her. Her friends became twisted versions of their former selves.

The magical land of Oz is now a dark and menacing place.

My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because I got swept away on one too. I also landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling:

Assassin.

The only way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz—and Kansas—is to kill her. And I’m the only one who can do it.

But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened and Kansas and Oz are both in danger. And if I don’t find a way to close it?

Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again.

Review –

Amy Gumm had one mission after she got whisked from her trailer-park home in Kansas to Oz. To kill Dorothy Gale, who has stolen Oz’s magic and is turning the place dead and dark.
Amy failed.
And now she and the four Witches of Oz are stuck. In Kansas.
You see, things are brewing – bad bad things. Oz and Kansas are linked together with magic – and Dorothy wants to blow both of them off the map.
Can Amy help the Wicked Witches (including the boy she loves, Nox, who has lied to her and can never be hers) to stop Dorothy from destroying both places? Preferably without letting Oz’s magic turn her as twisted as Dorothy – without letting herself become the monster she’s so afraid to be…?

I really do love the other characters in this book – but I loved seeing some familiar old faces from Kansas, loved the Wicked Witches and Lulu the monkey queen…
And then there are our Big Bads. Dorothy is just the most fascinating character and I loved that we go to understand her more in this book. Every scene she’s in is brilliant – she’s such a perfect villain; sickly sweet on the surface and rotten to the core, but with the kind of background that makes you almost empathise with her. 

If you haven’t read this series, I just can’t recommend it enough. It is the ultimate escape with the most fantastic world building and one of the coolest classical twists ever written. Which, for a fairy-tale-twist lover like myself, is sayin’ something. Yellow Brick War kept me hooked from the word go and has left me absolutely desperate for more.

Can’t wait for Book Four !

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Strangers on a Train (Nancy Drew Diaries #2) by Carolyn Keene

Book Description:

Published: February 5, 2013

The new Nancy Drew series from Simon & Schuster, Nancy Drew Diaries, debuted February 2013 with volumes 1 and 2 and then two more to follow the rest of the year and around 3 more each year thereafter. This series harkens back to the Nancy Drew books of the past where Nancy and her friends will rely more on their wits and their brains (much like classic Nancy Drew) to solve mysteries instead of relying so much on technology like they did in the Girl Detective series. There is also an illustrator for the series, Emily McGuire. There are also going to be hardcover versions with dust jackets in addition to the regular paperback versions. And the stories will be a bit longer as well. This series targets the 8 to 12 age group.

Nancy and her friends take their detective skills on an Alaskan adventure in this second book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to a classic series.Nancy’s Alaskan adventure continues as she, Bess, and George disembark the mystery-plagued Arctic Star cruise ship and explore the grand sites of the forty-ninth state: Skagway; the Yukon territory, and Denali National Park. It’s spectacular scenery, but things start to go wrong almost immediately, leading Nancy to believe that whoever was behind the unsolved mayhem aboard the ship has followed them onto dry land. The girl detectives had better watch their steps—they’re on uncharted and unknown territory!

Review –

OMG, isn’t anything sacred?  

They (and I really don’t know who is to blame) updated the Nancy Drew stories to fit in with modern-day language and technology and seemed to have removed Nancy’s brain at the same time.  Countless times in this book she says “Huh?” in answer to a question. In the original series Nancy was smart and articulate and a real role model for young girls and now she’s incapable of forming sentences when asked a simple question.  

The story was a continuation from the first in the series, The Arctic Star, (which  I did not read) and it was slow, boring and the dialogue trite. I had the audio version and couldn’t wait until it was over.  I gave it two stars and that was a stretch!

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