The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen

Book Description:

Published: September 30, 2014

Format: Audio

She had the perfect life.
She had the perfect cover.
She was the perfect witness.
Until they found her.

When Teresa Casali was young she discovered she had a strange gift: the ability to read people’s memories. But the gift seemed more like a curse as her mob boss father used her to gain the upper hand in his world of corruption and violence. Exposed by her own family to the darkest impulses of mankind, Teresa is alone and unprotected. She realizes that if she is to survive, she has to run.

Out of nowhere, or so she believes, a man by the name of Andre Mandak appears. He kills her pursuers—but that’s not nearly enough for Teresa to trust him. It is his promise to get her into Witness Protection, along with his mind-blowing ability to help her control her gift before it consumes her, that convinces Teresa Casali to become Allie Girard. Living a normal life with a new family, she shuts the door to the past …although Mandak is clear: when the time is right, he too will benefit from her powers.

For years Allie flourishes …until the day her cover is blown and the truth comes tumbling out. Once again she is on the run, with her own life and those of her loved ones at stake. But this time she will not be a pawn. This time she will use her finely honed gift to end the threat that began with her family’s betrayal. From perfect target to perfect witness, Allie Girard is ready to take on the past even if it kills her.

Review –

The author creates an intriguing world that revolves around a psychic underground and is peppered with some really diabolical bad guys. Readers may feel engaged by the story, though a few plot points seem slightly contrived, and the sexual tension between Mandak and Allie begins when she’s sixteen, which makes sense contextually but feels slightly unwholesome.

Parts of the book seemed repetitious  and that got on my nerves. Also, I never became invested in the characters and I was glad when the book came to an end. Just not my cup of tea.

 

Mercy by Debra Anastasia

Book Description:

Published: August 20, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.

My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.

My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.

Review –

If you were to go off the synopsis, you’d be thinking this was a particularly sinister, dark read – for us, it wasn’t. Yes, there were dark elements, especially in the last 20% of the book, however the story was essentially one of never ending love, acceptance, destiny, redemption and courage; interspersed with guffaw type humour, loads of emotion and some really sweet romance, all delivered with this authors fabulous ability for gripping and entertaining storytelling.

Mercy is the story of Fenix Churchkey and Rebecca Dixie Stiles. Two children who had a very brief interaction, yet it’s one that would stay with them and have a particularly lasting effect on the young Fenix (Nix). Becca and Nix were a destiny, a love story in the making – written in the stars if you like.

Becca stood up to Nix’s brute of a father when they were kids and that made her a target. Flash ahead fifteen years later and Nix is watching out for (really, stalking) Becca to make sure she’s safe. He never lets her see him. Nix always made a pact to never let Becca see him, to always protect her, thinking up ingenious ways to be a part of her life, to watch over her without actually being a part of it. Well, that was all about to change when Nix, at the coercion of his best friend Animal, seizes an opportunity for Becca to get to know the man beneath the menacing appearance, to know the man inside

The author didn’t rush the romance between Nix and Becca, instead treating us to a slow build, allowing us to get to know the characters before the feverishness of their feelings took hold, summoning our emotions through Nix’s past and his healing process. I loved this man(whole body skeleton tattoo and all)! Nix begs the question, what is normal and he shows us how we need to dig beneath the surface to find the jewel. Their love story was intense, exhilarating, sweet, honest and beautiful, if not a little chaotic and crazy.

The secondary characters were fabulous – in particular the relationship between Nix and his best mate Animal. This huge big brute of a man who spoke so sweetly and sometimes had the hilarious demeanour of a little old lady won us over. Animal soon became a crucial part of the story and holy cow  I cannot wait for his story and to learn who his love interest is, though I have some idea!

There is finally a HEA, but I’m not telling anything else other than to say that Becca may have gotten a tattoo, too.(Hmmm, let me see, I wonder what she choose?)

Great read.

Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

Book Description:

Published: January 19, 2014

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

Review –

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This is a contemporary sexual,erotic, motorcycle club  romance with humor thrown in, and I usually don’t care for that combination but this book is a treasure. 

You have Iris, a twenty-four year old virgin who is as good as good gets. Her father, a motorcycle club member from way back left her and her mom and brother when she was fourteen. She had cancer at the time  and her Mom later died of cancer. She’s moved to Austin and is living with her stepbrother and he has gotten her a job with Dex at Pins and Needles, a tattoo shop. Dex, on the other hand, is crude, rude, violent,short-tempered and told to keep his hands off Iris.

The sexual chemistry between Iris, whom Dex calls “ritz”, and Dex is HOT and although Iris calls him all sorts of names in her head, she can’t stop thinking about him. Some of the names she calls him ar “dick”, “dickhead”, “your highness” and Charlie (because his first name is Charles).

She hates him from the start and he just can’t be bothered, but as time goes by and events happen to put Iris in severe jeopardy, Dex finds himself wanting her for his own and will do anything to protect her.

There is a happy ending after a lot of lies and misunderstandings and being threatened by a Croatian mob and the epilogue is wonderful. The author really tied up everything perfectly.

I had the audio version  and the narrator, Callie Dalton, did a fantastic job portraying the dry sense of humor of Iris which made the book a gem to listen to. If you like motorcycle club and romance – you need to give this one a try.

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Hawk’s Property (Insurgents MC #1) by Chiah Wilder

Book Description:

Published: October 26, 2015

From the first time Hawk saw her, he knew he wanted to do dirty things to her in his bed.

Hawk, the muscled, tatted, badass Vice President of the Insurgents Motorcycle Club, sees women as bed warmers, nothing more. He never stays with the same woman, and although there are plenty of women who want to be his old lady, he wants none of that.

He doesn’t date.
He doesn’t let chicks ride on the back of his bike.
He doesn’t fall in love.

And that suits him just fine until he meets her whose eyes light a fire in him. Problem is she’s not so easy to get into his bed. Hawk wants her. And when Hawk wants something he takes it.

Cara Minelli doesn’t want to go to the biker bar, but her friend talks her into it. Swearing off men since she caught her fiancé cheating on her right before her wedding, she has buried herself in her career not wanting a man in her life. Until she sees him. He is sexy, rough, crude, and oh so very wrong for her. So why can’t she stop thinking of all the nasty things he’ll do to her if she relents and lets him in her bed?

Then a vicious killer who has been strangling women in the area focuses on Cara. Police think bikers are involved. Can Cara set aside her trust issues and let Hawk into her life?

Hawk sees it as his job to protect what is his…and Cara is very much his even if she doesn’t know it yet. Cara keeps her heart guarded, but when danger comes calling, their lives collide. Hawk will stop at nothing to keep Cara safe and make her “Property of Hawk”.

The Insurgents MC series are standalone romance novels. Hawk’s Property is Book One in the series. This book contains violence, strong language, and steamy sexual scenes. HEA. No cliffhangers. The book is intended for readers over the age of 18.

Review –

I’ve become a big fan of erotic romances involving motorcycle clubs and this is one of the best I’ve read. It is a bit predictable at times but that can be overlooked  because of the steamy sexual tension between Hawk and Cara. They come from difference worlds and she is a lawyer but love conquers all and in the end they have their HEA.

Great read.  Adult with explicit sex

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We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

Book Description:

Published: March 24, 2015

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.

Review –

In the simplest terms ,We All Looked Up is a story about Andy (a stoner punk who’s in the charmingly named band Perineum), Eliza (the artist with a reputation for being sexually  easy), Anita (the perfect good girl with straight A’s headed to Princeton), and Peter (an athlete having an existential crisis), who are brought together by an asteroid, named Ardor.  The world is thrown into chaos when scientists decide that the asteroid is 66.6% likely to collide with Earth. Everyone has 7 or 8 weeks to just wait for this to (potentially) happen.

I found the majority of the book bland and slow and the chemistry between the main characters was lack-luster. What saved the book for me was the last few chapters when things really ramped up.

You can imagine how  society would break down and violence would become a normal occurence if the end of the word is supposedly a few weeks away. Along with this you have drug dealers and “crazy people” losing it and that doesn’t bode well for one of the four teenagers. To find out with one, you’ll have to read the book.

I was VERY disappointed with the ending-and I won’t say what happened but suffice it to say that I like things spelled out for me.

Good book that makes you think.  What would you do if you had 6-7 weeks left to live?

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I love this cover!

Mercy: A Dark Erotica by Lucian Bane

Book Description:

Published: March 28, 2015

As a sadomasochist, Sade just wants to get and give pain in manageable and somewhat legal doses.

All Mercy wants is to walk in her father’s footsteps–a man who sacrificed everything to save her from a life of abuse and suffering.

When Mercy finds an envelope on her doorstep leading her to Sade, the result is a collision of pain and mercy.

For Sade, Mercy’s kindness is dessert for his sadism, and her strength has his masochism hot and begging. Exploiting both for his own pleasure is his plan until he realizes that Mercy’s got her own game. And playing it requires something he’s never had.

Review –

 If you are a fan of DARK erotica, then this is the book for you. 

Sade is the sadomasochist tattoo artist who has a world of dark, dangerous, self-loathing issues.

Mercy has been saved by her “father” and trained to take care of herself because for years as a child she was kept in the sex trade.Her father has  recently died and she sees herself continuing his work by helping  troubled people with emotional baggage.. She still has her own hang-ups regarding sex and wants to also help herself . Sade and Mercy’s path collides when she finds an orange envelope with his name in it, so she assumes he was going to be her fathers next mission, so she decided to help him instead.

This story is dark, gritty, violent, suspenseful,and the ending will leave you with your mouth wide open in disbelief.

It will keep you on the edge of your seat for a roller coaster ride of emotions and out of breath at the end.

I can’t wait to read the next installment.  I have a feeling things are only going to get worse for Sade and Mercy.

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After the Cure by Deirdra Gould

Book Description:

Published: August 24, 2013

Eight years ago the December Plague swept through the human population of earth. The Infected were driven mad by the disease, becoming violent and cannibalistic, killing even those closest to them without hesitation. Six years ago, the tiny surviving community of Immune humans found a cure, and the Infected began to wake up and realize what they’d done. Over time, society has begun to rebuild itself. It’s now ready to judge those responsible for the Plague. Nella Rider, the court psychologist and Frank Courtlen a defense attorney are trying to establish the truth. But more depends on it than they know. Can they find the answers they need before the fragile remains of humanity vanish for good?

Review –

This is zombie fiction at it’s best!

The plot is captivating and it’s scary to think that there are people out in our world TODAY crazy enough to pull off something like this. It also shows the lengths the human spirit will go to survive.  The characters are well-defined and Frank and Nella have such  good chemistry that you can’t help but route for them. Though this book is a good “stand  alone” it is the first of three in a series and I will definitely be reading those in the future.

If you like post-apocalyptic stories or the zombie genre, this book is for you!

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Dark Soul Volumes 1 and 2 by Aleksandr Voinov

Book Description of Dark Soul Vol. 1

October 27, 2011
Stefano Marino is a made man, a happily married west coast mafia boss who travels east to await the death of a family patriarch. All the old hands have gathered—of course sharks will circle when there’s blood in the water—but it’s a new hand that draws Stefano’s eye.Silvio “the Barracuda” Spadaro is protetto and heir to retired consigliere Gianbattista Falchi, and a made man in his own right. Among his underworld family, being gay is a capital crime, but the hypersexual—and pansexual—young killer has never much cared for rules. The only orders he follows are Battista’s, whether on the killing field or on his knees, eagerly submissive at Battista’s feet.

But Silvio has needs Battista can’t fill, and he’s cast his black-eyed gaze on Stefano. A fake break-in, an even faker attack, and Silvio is exactly where he wants to be: strung up at Stefano’s mercy, driving the older Mafioso toward urges he’s spent his whole life repressing. Stefano resists, but when the Russian mob invades his territory and forces him to seek aid, Gianbattista’s price brings Stefano face to face once more with Silvio—and his darkest desires.

Book Description of Dark Soul Vol. 2

November 19, 2011
The second volume in the Dark Soul series features the stories “Dark Whisper” and “Dark Night.”In “Dark Whisper,” Gianbattista may have broken Silvio’s heart and sent him off to the States, but he’s still just a phone call away. When Silvio returns from a sex shop with a bag full of goodies, Gianbattista can’t resist topping his boy one more time, even if they are 4,000 miles apart.

In “Dark Night,” the Russian problem comes back to haunt Stefano, and when a dark encounter leaves him bloody and broken, Silvio knows just the right way to ease his pain.

(Publisher’s note: this title contains explicit violence.)

Review –
I don’t remember how I came across Volume One of Dark Soul by Aleksandr Voinov but  even though it’s not my usual reading fare I gave it a try.  The end left a question in my mind so I purchased Volume Two but that’s it for me. I was very uncomfortable with the subject matter, let’s say, so I won’t be finishing the series.
This is erotica and there is graphic sex.
 
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Overwhelmed By You (Tear Asunder #2) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description

May 25, 2014

Love is ugly and secrets will destroy you.

KAT

I don’t beg.
I don’t cry.
And I don’t give second chances.

Ream, the lead guitarist of the rock band Tear Asunder, deserves a gold medal for best dick move ever when he ran the moment he discovered my secret after two days of hot sex. Then he brings some chick to my coming home party from the hospital—after being shot.
I hate him.

Until …

Ream’s six foot two frame unfolds out of the car after being gone on tour for eight months. I stared. And in my defense, any girl would stare. It would almost be rude not to because Ream was the type of guy who stood out. Not because he was loud and obnoxious. No, it was because he was the complete opposite. Subtle and dangerously quiet. If he spoke, you’d better hope he liked you because otherwise you’d be falling at his feet begging for mercy. Except me … I don’t beg—ever.
But when our eyes locked, it was Ream’s steady confidence that had my nerves shooting off like jet sprinklers.

Then…

Ream told me he didn’t need a second chance because he was still working on his first.

REAM

Sex is ugly. It’s using someone for your own narcissistic pleasure. I did it, but hated it—until her. She was unexpected. Then I had to wreck our beginning with my screwed up past. I don’t deserve her, but I’m selfish and I’m taking her anyway. This is who I am and it’s too late to change me.

Review –

This is the next installment in the Tear Asunder Series and the plot of very good and had well-defined characters with good interaction. Again, there is explicit sex and violence and coarse language. If any of this offends you-DO NOT read this series.
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Torn From You (Tear Asunder #1) by Nashoda Rose

Book Description:

Published: December 7, 2013

Love is like an avalanche. It hits hard, fast and without mercy.

At least it did for me when Sculpt, the lead singer of the rock band Tear Asunder knocked me off my feet. Literally, because he’s also a fighter, illegally of course, and he taught me how to fight. He also taught me how to love and I fell hard for him. I mean the guy could do sweet, when he wasn’t doing bossy, and I like sweet.

Then it all shattered.

Kidnapped.
Starved.
Beaten.
I was alone and fighting to survive.
When I heard Sculpt’s voice, I thought he was there to save me.

I was wrong.

Review –

This is the follow up to With You and the sex and torture is very explicit. The story line is good and the characters have great chemistry but DO NOT read it if this type of book offends you.

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