Bully (Fall Away #1) by Penelope Douglas

Book Description:

Published: October 18, 2014

Format: Audio/Audible

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he’ll barely even speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It’s time to fight back.

I’m not going to let him bully me anymore.

Review –

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of “enemy to lover” themed books and this one is up there on my list of favorites.

Tate and Jared grew up living next door to each other. They were as thick as thieves all throughout childhood, but the sweet, generous and loveable boy Tate once called her best friend disappeared overnight, leaving in his stead a guy who made it his daily job to intimidate her, to make her feel insignificant and unwanted, and to isolate her from her peers. No explanation was ever offered, leaving her confused and hurt, and even after countless rumours, pranks, cruel jokes that made the last two years of her life hell, she never stopped missing her best friend. By not understanding his behaviour, she never stopped searching for that kid she once loved in his eyes somewhere, reluctantly hanging on to a memory of him that no longer existed, regardless of all the tears and pain he had willingly caused her.

After a year of studying abroad, she returns to her hometown for the last year of high school, with a new attitude in tow, telling herself that she would not let Jared’s actions affect her again, but her bully is as determined as ever to toy with her. And to make her feel every bit of hatred he feels for her. Until Tate finally fights back

Two years of torment have shaped Tate into the kind of person she most probably would have never become had she not endured such emotional suffering for so long. Her patience has worn thin, she has developed a short fuse when it comes to people putting her down or mistreating her, and when it comes to Jared, she has simply had enough. And so the tables are turned and she goes out of her way to make him feel as insignificant as he has made her feel for so long. And knowing exactly which buttons to press to make him hurt the most ends up turning her into a cruel adversary.

But when Tate finally gets to Jared, his walls start crumbling down and what is left behind them is an angry little boy who is so blinded by his own pain that he hurts the one who represents his greatest weakness in life, the only person he has ever loved, allowing him to fool himself into believing that her pain would take away the pain that is ravaging him from the inside out. And what Tate discovers ends up putting a whole different light on the last three years of her young life.

This book might have started as a very vivid example of the kind of issues many teens unfortunately go through nowadays, our hearts breaking for our heroine and all she has had to endure, but it ultimately turns into a heart-warming romance that was always at the core of these characters’ connection. They could hurt each other so deeply because they knew each other so well, and every action had a reason, a source, a trigger, even though it was difficult for me, as a reader, to swallow some of those reasons at times and find in them a valid justification for such cruel and continued emotional and verbal abuse. As much as I understood the hero, there were times I wished I understood him even more, and for his triggers to have been explained in a more thorough way.

This is a story about the kind of scars we are left with after years of maltreatment, the kind of emotional baggage we carry well after things are said and done, affecting our relationships, our ability to trust those around us, and ourselves. It’s a book that moved me, angered me, made me do the occasional fist pump here and there, and it owned me cover to cover. With a refreshing and captivating writing style, the author pulled me into a world I never wanted to escape, becoming hopelessly invested in these characters, in their stories, and after turning that last page, only too eager to jump immediately onto the next book in the series, which i’m listening to now.

“I love you more than myself, more than my own family, for Christ’s sake. I don’t want to take another step in this world without you next to me.” Jared

Five stars!!!

 

Innocence Defied (New York #3) by Lainey Reese

Book Description:

Published: July 16, 2013

Format: Audio/Audible

Gage Hollister is a Southern Dom looking for a full time sub/slave. When his family’s business brings him to New York City for an indefinite stay, he decides that now is the time to find her. Night after night he prowls the local BDSM club in search of a woman whose need to be dominated equals his thirst for true submission. As the search drags on he begins to wonder if his perfect match even exists. When he is asked to play chaperone for a family friend embarking on her first trip as an adult; he welcomes the chance for distraction from his thus far fruitless endeavor.

Zoe Marshall is the youngest sister to Gage’s best friend and she has been in love with Gage for as long as she can remember. She has saved herself for him and him alone. Now, after careful planning and a bit of luck she finally has her opportunity to show Gage that she’s all grown up and ready to be his. Although he believes himself too old and jaded for an innocent like her, Zoe will not relent until she belongs to him in every way.

Soon Gage’s resistance crumbles and Zoe’s dreams become reality but their budding love is tested when her brother discovers them. As those bonds of friendship strain under betrayal and broken trust, Zoe is confronted with having to choose between the man she loves and the brother she worships. Will having the love of her man cost her the love of her family? If so, is her heart strong enough to survive that loss? Is their love?

WARNING
This book contains graphic language, BDSM elements, M/F/M ménage, a Southern Dom who’s a gentleman; and the woman who brings out the scoundrel in him.

Review –

We met Gage Hollister in the last book in this series and he made quite an impression but we soon find out there is a whole lot more to Gage but all it takes is one little woman to turn him upside down and inside out. I really felt for him because Zoe Marshall, Gage’s best friend, Brice’s little sister has decided he’s the one for her and despite their 13 year age different she aims to make him see her as a woman. Gage finds himself in one hell of a mess when he finds Zoe irresistible and despite her innocence and lack of experience they fall head first into a BDSM relationship.

I felt Gage did a very good job of trying to dissuade Zoe from getting involved with him, and while I didn’t care for the little game she played to grab his attention I reminded myself how young she is and how little life experience she has. Did I think their relationship was ideal? No, the age and experience level differences were huge but I do believe Zoe knew her mind and once Gage was on board it was easy to see that they were meant to be. I like that Gage slowly introduced Zoe into the lifestyle and how careful he was with her from the start. I was not surprised by the reaction of Brice, Cade and Trevor and to be honest I was truly surprised Gage didn’t wind up in the hospital BUT, and this is huge, I love how Gage reminded Brice that he trusted him with his wife but he wasn’t good enough for his sister.

One of my favorite things about this book is getting to see Cade, Trevor, and Riley from the first book and Brice and Terryn from book two. I loved watching them all interact with one another and even when they were at odds, you could still see the love, admiration, and friendship between them all. I especially loved Terryn’s insight and her level head regarding Zoe and Gage’s relationship.

Another great book in the New York series.

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. 

 

 

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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Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1) by Ginger Scott

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2015

Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the best music programs in the world.

Instead, a nightmare took over.

It didn’t happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly—a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.

Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good things…things to admire.

Things…to love. Things that made her want to be reckless.

And those things…they were the scariest of all.

Review –

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When I started reading this book I thought it was a Young Adult novel, but the more I got into it, I changed my mind. I thought it would fit into the New Adult category, but by the ending I’m sure that it is somewhere in-between.

The plot of this story isn’t new: Girl from the city moves to a small town and right next door to the town’s BAD BOY and at first there is only indifference/hatred between them. But of course we all know that eventually the good girl will fall in love with the bad boy and will do things she knows she shouldn’t. What makes this NOT  young adult book is all the talk of drugs, alcohol and sex throughout the book, but don’t get me wrong, I LOVED IT, but I’m not a YA or a NA, so I can read anything I like. But, I wouldn’t want my teenage daughter (13-17) reading this because it makes sex, drugs and alcohol seem perfectly okay and it’s like no big deal .

The author writes a very steamy and descriptive  first time,Kensi was a virgin, sex scene between Owen and Kensi that is also beautiful. I was listening to it on Audible and it was in Chapter 21.

We learn that Owen has a train trunk full of baggage and why he is the dare-devil that he is. You can’t help but feel sorry for him and more than once I found myself yelling at the book, “Oh, good God, give the boy a break.” Kensi is also troubled but it’s because she learns the move was brought on by her father’s affair with her best friend and a weak mother figure,(most of the time).

As in all good YA or NA books there is a HEA and there isn’t another couple in the fiction world that deserved it more than Owen and Kensi.

Five stars *****

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Filthy Beautiful Lies (Filthy Beautiful Lies #1) by Kendall Ryan

Book Description:

Published: March 2016

**Warning: this book contains an addictively filthy alpha male who will dampen your panties and own your days and nights. Proceed at your own risk.** 

Meet Colton Drake..

I have no idea why she auctioned off her virginity for a cool mill. Regardless, I’m now the proud new owner of a perfectly intact hymen. A lot of good that will do me. I have certain tastes, certain sexual proclivities. My cock is a bit more discriminatory than most. And training a virgin takes finesse and patience – both of which I lack.

Sophie Evans has been backed into a corner. With her sister’s life hanging in the balance, the only choice is to claw her way out, even if that means selling her virginity to the highest bidder at an exclusive erotic club. When Colton Drake takes her home, she quickly learns nothing is as it seems with this beautifully troubled man. Being with him poses challenges she never expected, and pushes her to want things she never anticipated.

A sinfully seductive erotic romance where everything has a price and the cost of love is the highest of all from New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, Kendall Ryan.

Review –

“Sophie Evans is auctioning off her most prized possession to help her sister Becca receive her treatments for Cancer. She is kind, innocent but totally lives for her sister not for herself.

Colton Drake is hot, dominant and mysterious. He doesn’t want an inexperienced woman but can’t help being drawn to Sophie; wanting to teach her and make her his. He doesn’t push her as he wants her to want him, to want her trust. Above all, he wants her companionship. As a reader experiencing his thoughts, you can see that he is a good guy underneath but is afraid of giving too much of himself to anyone.

As these two characters live together, there are bound to be changes in feelings. I enjoyed that this wasn’t instalove or that there wasn’t any rush to having sex. This was a slow build up to something that could potentially be more, the way that Sophie became less scared of any kind of physical with Colton and the conversely the way that Colton reacted to Sophie as a woman and something more than what she was bought for – to be a sex slave.

Without a doubt, Kendall Ryan knows how to write foreplay and really anything physically sexy between a man and a woman and Filthy Beautiful Lies was no exception. Hot, hot, HOT!!!

As secrets are revealed towards the end and I am left feeling crazy to know more about Colton’s past, I am left wanting for more. I can’t wait to see how their situation plays out in Filthy Beautiful Love scheduled for release in September.

My only small complaint was that I wish it was longer – I think that this story could have been resolved in one book.  I don’t mind cliffhangers or continuations if there is enough story for a second book or because the first book is lengthy but I am more of a fan of longer complete reads in all honesty. Overall this was an enjoyable read and I look forward to book 2.”

This review is from Shh, Mom’s Reading blog and I agree with  every word!

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Curves and Spurs: Seducing Rebecca by Emme Salt

Book Description:

Published: February 18, 2015
Fort Charles has a reputation for sin. All her life Rebecca’s heard the rumors that the cowboys there made a custom of sharing one woman between two men…and now she’s about to find out the truth.

Abandoned by her fundamentalist Mormon father for refusing to marry her sister’s husband, Rebecca has no choice but to work as a cook for ranch owner Carl Lawson and his fiery right-hand man Jamie Briggs.

Beautiful, voluptuous Rebecca is intent on preserving her virtue but can’t seem to resist the pull of the rough, masculine duo…or the wicked traditions of Fort Charles.

Review –

This was so short it should be against the law and I didn’t like the plot and couldn’t wait to get to the end.  Though there are three more in the series, I will not be reading them.

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Nobody’s Hero (Rescue Me Saga #2) by Kallypso Masters

Product Description:

Published: December 13, 2012

NOBODY’S HERO is the continuing romantic journey of Adam and Karla, which began in MASTERS AT ARMS & NOBODY’S ANGEL. Retired Marine Master Sergeant Adam Montague has battled through four combat zones, but now finds himself retreating from Karla Paxton, who has declared war on his heart. With a significant age difference, he feels he should be her guardian and protector, not her lover. But Karla’s knack for turning up in his bed at inopportune times is killing his resolve to do the right thing. Karla isn’t the young girl he rescued nine years earlier—something his body reminds him of every chance it gets. Their age difference is only part of the problem. Fifty-year-old Adam has been a collector of lost and vulnerable souls most of his life, but a secret he has run from for more than three decades has kept him emotionally unable to admit love for anyone. Will Karla be able to break through the defenses around his heart and help him put the ghosts from his past to rest? In her all-out war to get Adam to surrender his heart, will the strong-willed Goth singer offer herself as his submissive and, if so, at what cost to herself?

ABOUT THE RESCUE ME SAGA: The books in the ongoing Rescue Me Saga are not stand-alone stories and should be read in order. Characters will recur in later books to deal with further issues in their lives as the saga continues and each book builds upon all previous ones. Sometimes main characters even need another book to help resolve major issues affecting their relationships. BONUS MATERIAL in this version: Kallypso Masters has added the PLAYLIST of music that inspired her as she wrote about the first three couples mentioned in this combined volume, as well as a GLOSSARY OF TERMS and a CAST OF CHARACTERS in these books in the saga. CONTENT WARNING: These books are intended for mature adult readers who are not offended by profanity and graphic (but never gratuitous!) sex scenes. Due to the emotional way in which the author presents the subject matter in the characters’ lives (past and present), the books might cause triggers while reading. Please click the preview to read the Author’s Notes at the beginnings of each book before reading.

Review –

This installment of the Rescue Me Saga deals with Adam, a retired Marine  Master Sargeant and Kayla, a goth singer twenty-five his junior and their relationship which started when she was just sixteen years old. They both bring baggage into the relationship and it’s rewarding to see the outcome of their hard work to become a couple.

Another great read for ADULTS.

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