Fractured by Sydney Landon

After the dramatic end of book one, you can’t help but be drawn into this next novel in the Lucian and Lia series.

What’s it About?

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Desire brought them together; tragedy may tear them apart…Lucian and Lia attempt to deal with the aftermath of the violent attack on her by her stepfather. As events unfold in their lives, Lia finds that she can no longer be patient with the man that she loves, because his secrets are tearing them apart. Lucian cannot deny the fact that he’s fallen in love with the brave and beautiful woman who has lived a life of horror. He wants nothing more than to protect her, but soon realizes that he may be the person who will hurt her the most. To be together, they’ll have to fight demons from their pasts that threaten to tear them apart.

First Impressions

This was a rather depressing read, but considering the subject matter you can’t be too surprised. This book opens with the immediate aftermath of Lia’s attack by her step-father. It was brutal, and although we never really witnessed anything during the attack itself, we are subject to the gruesome details as told by Lia after the fact in the hospital. It’s a heartbreaking retelling and quite difficult to stomach. What we see in the following days are Lucian’s attempts to cope with almost losing the love of his life, even if he can’t admit it out loud, all while going cold turkey on his cocaine addiction. We also see Lia’s attempts to cope with life as a survivor, and the difficulty of feeling “lucky” to just be alive.

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Surviving

This was an emotional read to be sure, as we experience how helpless Lucian feels as he just has to stand by and watch as Lia struggles to survive in her hospital bed. When Lia finally awakens we also see how her life will never be the same again. They find strength in each other, but Lucian’s continual secrets about his own past threatens to break the connection the two have.

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Setting Up

It did seem as though a large portion of this novel is setting up for some ultimate climactic reveal about everything that happened in Lucian’s past. Seeing as this was also a rather prominent feature in book one, I couldn’t help but feel that this second novel was rather repetitive and slightly boring.

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There are some interesting developments going on between other characters in the novel, which is obviously a set up for some future books. After a while it’s kind of like, quit with the build-up and just get there already! I will say though, the ending of this book was fantabulous, as Lucian’s secrets finally push Lia over the edge. Can’t wait to see how it’ll all come together in the next book!

Series: Lucian and Lia, book 2.

Should you read it? I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as book one, but I’m hoping that everything will come together in the next book for an exciting finish.

Smut Level: Lia might have a broken nose and a cast on her arm, but that just means she and Lucian have to get a tad more creative when doing the nasty.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price, or whole series for $4.99. CreateSpace Independent Publishing. 358 Pages.

Damaged by Gina Watson

This is your typical girl meets man-whore with commitment issues story line. However, there’s the added unique element in the fact that our heroine is dying. Depressing premise? Yes. Amazing story? Hell yes!

What’s it about?

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Bailey’s short life may be rendered even shorter if fortune doesn’t turn her wheel. Unfortunately, most of what she needs is out of her control. The one thing she can control is the quantity and quality of her sex life. She dreams of connecting with a dominant male, one who knows how to take what he wants, one who can deliver the kind of illicit sex that will make her feel desired and dirty and totally satisfied.

In spite of the fact that he goes home with a different girl almost every night, Parker is all too happy to give Bailey what she wants. But after he gets a taste of Bailey obsession takes hold. He wants her, and while he’s never been in an exclusive relationship, Bailey has him pondering monogamy. Problem is, Bailey’s not interested. In fact, she goes to great lengths to prevent the development of deep feelings between them. Parker senses a raging tide boiling beneath Bailey’s surface and he intends to find out what she’s hiding. When Bailey’s camouflage is removed, Parker is compelled to make the ultimate sacrifice.

First Impressions

OMG I freakin’ loved this one. Bailey is sort of fulfilling her final bucket list due to her illness. One item she wants to check off is having rough sex with a man who knows what the hell he’s doing, but who also doesn’t treat her like a fragile doll. I mean, who doesn’t have that item on their bucket list? Boy oh boy, does Parker deliver on all accounts! The sexual tension simmering between these two makes it impossible to limit their escapades to just one night. Seriously, love everything we’ve got going on in this sexy, yet emotional read.

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Can’t Say Goodbye

I have read many a book where our lead couple tries to limit their emotional connection, and just keep it all about the bumping of their nether regions. This usually has to do with the fact that one of our characters is afraid of love, or is convinced they’re not worthy of finding happiness. Well, in this particular romance read, Bailey has an added reason of trying to avoid the development of her feelings with Parker, and that’s because she doesn’t want to leave him all alone when she eventually passes on. Ugh, I’ve got all the feels going on right now!

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As for Parker, he’s always been a wham, bam, thank you ma’am kind of a guy. Establishing a long-term and loving relationship with a woman has never been on his own personal bucket list. Enter Bailey, and he thinks he’s finally found the one woman worth changing his lifestyle for. When he finally discovers the truth about her illness, and that the only woman he’s ever truly loved is dying, it’s simply heartbreaking. Parker will do anything to spend just one more moment with her; Bailey has resigned herself to dying; my eyes aren’t getting watery. I’m not reaching for a tissue. I’m just…there’s something in my eye…oh for the love of God I’m balling here ok! There I said it! You try and read this without getting emotional.

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Series: David Family Saga: Bayou Rogues, book 1. I’ll definitely be continuing with this series.

Should you read it? You’ll probably want to keep the tissues handy, just in case. I did feel there was some unnecessary drama brought in towards the end with Bailey’s sister’s ex-husband. You can tell it was intended to set up the next book, but it was kind of like, we already have a dying woman here! No other outside drama needed! Great read though that’s all about taking chances, and living life to the fullest.

Smut Level: Parker is a naughty little boy who likes to give his woman a spanking.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Whiskey Cove Publishing. 172 Pages.

 

 

Burn by Maya Banks

A good conclusion to a sexy series.

What’s it About?

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Ash, Jace, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Ash, it’s the woman who changes everything he’s ever known about dominance and desire…When it comes to sex, Ash McIntyre has always explored his wilder side — extreme and uncompromising. He demands control. And he prefers women who want it like that. Even the women he’s shared with his best friend, Jace.

But Jace is involved with a woman he has no intention of sharing. And now even Gabe has settled into a relationship with a woman who gives him everything he needs, leaving Ash feeling restless and unfulfilled. Then Ash meets Josie, who seems immune to his charms and his wealth. Intrigued, he begins a relentless pursuit, determined she won’t be the one who got away. He never imagined the one woman to tell him no would be the only woman who’d ever drive him to the edge of desire.

First Impressions

The characters in this series definitely encounter a lot of drama, yet I’m kind of shocked how things can come together rather conveniently for them all at the same time. Perfect example with this novel: Ash is going for a lovely little stroll in the park, and comes to the conclusion that he’d like to have a serious relationship with a woman. He looks up, and BAM! Spots a pretty lady and decides she’ll be the one to have a future with. Who knew it could be that easy?

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An Illusion of Independence

Josie is by far the most independent, not to mention free-spirited, of all the women presented in this series. She’s an artist who has actually come to make a living by selling her paintings. Or so she thinks. Turns out her independent lifestyle is just an illusion, as  Ash has secretly been the one buying up all of her artwork.

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I really liked Josie’s initial response to discovering that Ash was her anonymous benefactor. I feel like in other romance novels the heroine might fawn over the idea of her lover looking out for her, but Josie…well she gets justifiably pissed. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to Ash, and declare that while he can be a dom in the bedroom, he can’t play God with her life. Josie decides she doesn’t want to be dependent on him financially to take care of her. You go girl! Buuuuuuut…unfortunately she caves to his whims in about a day.

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The drama with Josie’s paintings does take up a large portion of the book, and silly me I thought it was going to be the main dramatic feature. I should know by now with this series that something else always happens which you’re not expecting! There’s a big twist that happens at the end with a plot element all the way back from the first book that I had totally forgotten about. I will say though the author does a good job of explaining it fully for those of us with a terrible memory.

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Series: Breathless Trilogy, book 3. A good conclusion, thought not my favorite of the series.

Should you read it? Not the best book of the series, but still an interesting read. I wish we had learned more about how Josie got into the dom/sub world. Doesn’t seem like something you just decide to explore one day on a whim!

Smut Level: They take a while to finally come about, but definitely some hot scenes. However, in my opinion no book is quite as kinky as the first.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $11.99 Kindle Price. Berkley Publishing. 365 Pages.

“Consumed by You” by Lauren Blakely

A dirty talking fireman with six-pack abs and a puppy. Heaven help my ovaries.

What’s it About?

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She’s playing with fire…Dog trainer Cara Bailey wants to find “the one,” but fantasizing about her sexy-as-hell client, firefighter Travis Jansen, is getting in the way. Her only option? Get the confirmed bachelor out of her system-in every position possible-so she can settle down with Mr. Right. Starting right now.

Travis doesn’t do relationships, so no matter how badly he wants the pretty little brunette, he keeps his distance. Until Cara goes and changes the game. She’ll fulfill all of his fantasies if he agrees to walk away when it’s over. But when the wildfire between them blazes out of control, it will consume everything-and everyone-in its path…

First Impressions

There are a large number of romance novels out there where our main characters agree to just have a short fling, and screw each other out of their systems. Nothing exactly new here. However, I must say this is the first book I’ve come across with an addendum to that verbal contract wherein they also agree to never have sex in an actual bed. Because…well that would just be too intimate. Imagine if one of them were to fall asleep afterwards and they’d actually have to like, spoon? Oh, the humanity!!

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Thinking Outside the Box

Like with all other romance flings of this nature, their attempt at a short fling doesn’t exactly go as planned, but my God they certainly do get creative with their sex locales. I’ll certainly have to take note of a few of these for my “Saturday Sexcapades” posts. They get their grind on in the back of a club, the hood of a car, the kitchen counter (a classic), the back porch (exhibitionists are we?), and they certainly give her washing machine’s spin cycle a run for it’s money. If you and your significant other are looking to spice things up a bit, you could probably get some tips and tricks from this read!

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Cheesy Sweetness

This book sort of reminded me of a good ole fashioned rom-com (albeit with a hell of a lot more sex involved), in that it has a delectably sweet, yet cheesy ending. Especially when it comes to their final declarations of love in the closing scene. Let’s just say the whole book leads up to a final Fireman’s Bachelor Charity Auction where Cara has trained Travis’ dog, Henry, to do a fancy trick, and Travis definitely uses the cute little pup to swoon Cara. Cheesy for sure, but it’s also making me want to look up where the closest Fireman’s Auction is to my current location.

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Series: Fighting Fire, book 3. Can be read as a stand-alone.

Should you read it? Definitely a sweet read, but sexy as hell. Travis is a fireman and poker player, so he’s trained himself to survey every scenario, and avoid risks. Putting his heart on the line for Cara is a risk he doesn’t want to make, but he’s just too smitten with the lady to say no. And…did I mention a freakin’ dog is involved?!

Smut Level: Cara actually has to train the dog Henry not to bark when Travis spanks her during sex. Probably comes in between lessons for “sit” and “play dead”.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 252 Pages.

 

Fire & Brimstone by R.L. Mathewson

I have heard many a different insult thrown around in the heat of an argument. And in a variety of languages for that matter. However, I must say this novel may have presented the harshest of insults I’ve ever seen: Bieber lover. Burrrrrrn.

What’s it About? 

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What happens when a Bradford with questionable OCD, a tempter and a reputation for making his employees cry falls for the woman that refuses to accept the fact that he’s fired her and was terrifyingly more of a Bradford than he was? Well, we can’t share that here, because it would be seriously inappropriate, but we’re sure that you can see where this is leading…To the altar or a stint in the slammer, either one is possible when it comes to the Neighbor from Hell Series.

Author’s Note: This book along with the rest of the series is intended to make you smile, let you relax and forget the drama and stress that plagues our lives even if its just for a little while. This is a drama free book. My goal is to put a smile on your face and I hope this book does that.

First Impressions

This is another fun continuation of the Neighbor from Hell series. If you’re looking for a cute read that will put a smile on your face, yet also sexy enough to put a blush on your cheeks, I simply can’t recommend it enough. Each book presents a hilarious love-hate relationship between neighbors, and this book was no exception. Rebecca and Lucifer have been working together at his restaurant for years, but he’s also been trying to fire her for that same amount of time. Rebecca’s response is to usually just grin and go on with her day. It was simply a matter of time before he snapped and…took her in the front seat of his car.

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Gluttony is the Name of the Game

When it comes to this series, you can be guaranteed that the characters will do most everything to excess. I mean, cheese…and…rice! I don’t know if it’s physically possible to ingest as much food as these people do in one sitting, and still look as amazingly hot as they do with six-pack abs, but it seems like something worth looking into. I feel like in most of these novels the dietary excesses are limited to the Bradford clan only, but in this book it appears to be an expanding phenomenon to other characters. From Rebecca’s roommate, Melanie, who can apparently eat Hostess baked goods one after the other, to even Rebecca herself. Let’s just say I never thought I’d come across someone who drinks more Coca-Cola than my sister (that’s saying something). Rebecca also has no problem eating from a 5 lb bag of Hershey’s kisses like it’s popcorn.

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Knee-Slapping Fun

Something else that I sort of felt was done to excess in this novel was the comedy. It seemed a bit too forced and over the top at certain points. This is a sarcastic bunch of characters here. We’ve been introduced to so many different Bradfords over the years through this series, and while it was fun to see them all make an appearance in this book, all their shenanigans and personalities were somewhat over-the-top when all in one novel. Still a delightfully fun and light-hearted read when you’re looking to take a break from all the drama in your life.

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Series: Neighbor From Hell, book 8. You couldn’t keep me away from this series if you tried! And why would you?! I will say, it seems like every synopsis mentions how one character risks jail time because they hate the other so much, and might do something drastic. Not asking for physical harm or anything, but I’d kind of love to see someone actually spend like, a night in jail over their antics.

Should you read it? Fun to see some of the same recognizable themes in this series, from hungry lead characters to the fact that “Bradfords don’t propose”, they kidnap to marry their significant other. We still have unique characters though. In this case an OCD male lead, and a sassy female who finds horror movies relaxing. I do wish they could have connected on a more serious and emotional level rather than constant sarcastic shenanigans. Overall though, a fun read with some great dirty talk!

Smut Level: Probably the only romance I’ve read with a snarky argument and verbal sparring match between a couple as they 69 each other. There’s a first for everything!!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Rerum Industries, Inc. 336 Pages.

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Fever by Maya Banks

I compared the first book in this series to a combination of 50 Shades and a Hallmark Christmas movie. With this second novel, it has elements of Cinderella, but instead of a fairy godmother we have a sexual dominant, and the glass slippers are replaced by f*ck me heels and a threesome. Ok then.

What’s it About?

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Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise…Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.

When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control. Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.

First Impressions

I must admit, this book was actually pretty good! Our main female character, Bethany, is homeless, and Jace sort of rushes in as her alpha knight in shining armor. And this is after spending just one night together! Bethany makes herself scarce the next day, and Jace’s desperation to locate her was kind of endearing. Almost like Prince Charming’s eagerness to find Cinderella after just one dance. I do wish we had learned a bit more about Bethany’s background, and how she came to end up on the streets with no family in the first place, but what can you do?

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The Tantalizing Threesome

Shockingly, I found the most compelling aspect of this novel was that Jace and Bethany’s first sexual escapade together was during a threesome with Jace’s best friend, Ash. Jace and Ash have always shared their women, yet after that first night with Bethany, Jace decides to break off all future possible threesome escapades with Ash. Now, normally I’m not a fan of threesomes in romance novels. Too many limbs flopping around. However, Jace and Ash have such a strong connection that they are pretty much like brothers, and it was such an emotional scene when Jace has to tell his best friend and pseudo-brother that Beth is off limits from here on out. Poor Ash needs a hug.

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Series: Breathless, book 2. Maybe lonely Ash will find someone to spend time with in book 3?

Should you read it? Definitely an interesting read. I will say though after a while it felt like Bethany and Jace were having the same argument on repeat about how she doesn’t feel worthy of him, Jace trying to convince her to trust him, yada yada.

Smut Level: Bethany is happy to give up control in the bedroom since she’s been fighting so hard to survive on the streets for years. It’s almost a way for her to reach internal peace. But when that expands out of the bedroom I question what kind of life she’s really living, as Jace is the one making all the decisions for her.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $12.99 Kindle Price. Berkley Publishing. 418 Pages.

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Luke’s Redemption by Anni Fife

A romance that blossoms over some beignets. Might not seem like the most sensual of baked goods, but when they’re from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, I must say I get it.

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What’s it About? 

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Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.

Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he’s in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It’s a promise he can’t keep. When Katya’s past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.

First Impressions

One of the more prominent features of this novel is definitely the timeline of Luke and Katya’s relationship, which I will say felt a bit disjointed to me. Technically, their relationship spans six years, but they’ve only spent a total of 5 days together in all that time. When they first meet, Luke assumes an undercover identity in order to obtain a flash drive which Katya stole from her mob boss father. Sparks fly, they do a little dance (both on the dance floor and in the bedroom), their condom breaks, and the next morning Luke says he has to leave, but that they should meet up one year later in NYC.

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One year later and Katya travels to NY to meet Luke, but he’s so far undercover that he can’t meet with her, or explain his absence. Fast-forward another five years, and Katya returns to NY with her daughter in tow. She gets caught up in some mob drama and Luke is the only one who can protect her. This is also when he discovers for the first time that, surprise! He’s a daddy!!

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Timeline Dilemmas

I will say I wasn’t a huge fan of the year long gaps in between their meetings, not to mention the fact that these happen so early on in the book. It makes it harder to really develop a close first impression of the characters when there’s so much jumping around. In addition, you can’t help but wonder what happened to both characters during such a long interlude apart.

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When they do reconnect in person after six years, they are quick to pick up where they left off, which was kind of surprising to me. After all, their first meeting was under false pretenses, as Luke lied about his true identity, and their second planned meeting never came together. Although Katya does express her reservations about this to Luke when they reconnect, I couldn’t help but feel she forgave him a bit too quickly considering they only spent one night together. Perhaps their emotional connection went deeper than you’d think because he was her first lover?

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I will say I liked that after this six year period apart they really do open up to each other about their pasts, and are able to connect over conversations of actual substance. That being said, this is also the point in the novel where I wish they had spanned things out over a longer period of time so their re-connection didn’t seem so rushed. I mean, this span of the book takes place in just 4 days! That’s not even an entire business week.

Fathers and Daughters

Although this book is primarily about Luke and Katya’s relationship, there was actually another relationship type that received a lot of attention, and I personally found it to be much more compelling! That would be the father/daughter relationship. We have Katya, who has to try and reconcile the fact that her father is a criminal mob boss on the one hand, yet on the other he’s also been looking out for her all the years he’s been in prison. It was such a complex relationship, and I must say it was probably my favorite feature of the book.

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Another father/daughter relationship at play was between Luke and his daughter with Katya, Lily. Luke didn’t know she existed for the first 5 years of her life, yet when he first realizes that he’s a father he immediately jumps in as her protector. There wasn’t an ounce of hesitation, even though it must have come as quite a bit of a shock. Luke and Lily have a scene together which was so endearing you can’t help but love it. If anything, I wish Lily could have been featured more prominently. It seemed like in most scenes where she was present she was quickly handed off to somebody else for safe-keeping.

The Edge of Your Seat

There are three primary scenes of suspense in this novel, and I gotta say each one keeps you on the edge of your seat. They were written very well, and you feel like you’re actually there with the characters. The first is when Katya returns to New York with her daughter, and kidnappers infiltrate the hotel where she’s staying. Luke swoops in, and the search for their daughter throughout the hotel as shots ring out was simply nail-biting. The second scene involves Katya actually being kidnapped, and you can’t help but wonder if she’ll successfully escape to see Luke and her daughter again.

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The final scene of suspense was probably the most gripping, but unfortunately it was also the most unnecessary. It only came about in the last 10% of the book, and seemed like something of an afterthought. Although intense, it really didn’t relate at all to the rest of the story line. I think it could have been worked into the plot earlier on in the book so that it meshed with the rest of what was happening, but as it stands it felt too random, and sort of threw off the flow of the book right at the end.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: King Security, book 1. The supplemental characters were great, and I absolutely loved the one who will be featured as the lead in the next book.

Should you read it? I did enjoy the suspenseful elements of the book, as well as the multiple complexities of the father/daughter relationships. I will say I found the timeline of the novel to be rather distracting, and various elements of Luke and Katya’s relationship to be unrealistic. Mainly how they’ve only spent a total of 5 days together in 6 years, and how Katya forgave him so quickly after so much time apart.

Smut Level: How to get intimate when you have a young one at home? Call a babysitter, and check-in to a motel. Bow chica wow wow!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 311 Pages.