Seize by Gina Watson

A good and sexy sequel, but I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing.

What’s it About?

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Mia was in trouble. She was alone and she was scared. She prayed for a miracle, and then she met Augustine. A marine, turned sheriff, named after a saint. Augustine Roy liked his job as Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish. He liked the town and the town’s women, some said too much, but he’d never heard any of them complain. He wasn’t interested in monogamy, a fact most single women in town had come to understand. He loved his family and friends and when his best friend, Clay, needed his help, he jumped at the chance to use his skills as a former Marine Corps field extraction expert.

While Augie thrived when life ran calm and controlled, his current situation was anything but. Mia had entered his life and dumped it on its head. To top it off, she was so not his type. He preferred large breasted Southern blondes with experience in the sack. Mia was slim, Canadian, and to his utter disbelief, a twenty five year old virgin. But then he’d gone and married her . . .and then she’d passed out. When Mia woke, she had a new name, and a new ring. She just hoped like hell she’d not missed the wedding consummation.

First Impressions

Overall this was a pretty enjoyable read, but I think the main characters were missing the special connection that the lovers from the first novel had. There just wasn’t as much chemistry as I would have liked. Rather than having a spark, it felt more like a flicker. This is also one of those romance novels where technically our couple doesn’t have intercourse for a long time, but good God they do pretty much everything else you could possibly think of in the bedroom! Mia’s a virgin, and Augie’s convinced he’s not good enough for her, so they don’t fully consummate until pretty late in the game. Again though, doesn’t mean it’s not a sexy read!

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A Dick, but Not the Good Kind

Augie might be a Sheriff trying to save Mia’s life, but I gotta say the dude was also kind of a dick at times! The two of them have several arguments throughout the span of the novel, and he could just be downright mean. He even insults her intelligence. Sure, she may have done something stupid, but give the girl a break for crying out loud. She’s running for her life! I have a feeling I’d make a few mistakes here and there too. Augie’s also a rather moody fella. He’ll be flirtatious as hell one minute, and try to instigate some intimacy with Mia, but then ultimately deny her sex the next. Not sure I could have the patience for this guy in real life.

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Series: St. Martin Family Saga: Emergency Responders, book 2. I must say, I enjoyed book 1 a whole lot more.

Should you read it? These two characters have a complicated relationship to be sure. There’s teasing, flirtations, and quite a few verbal sparring matches. The ending was kind of bizarre in my opinion, as the drama with Mia’s sister’s ex is kind of resolved, yet at the same time it felt kind of unfinished to me.

Smut Level: Augie is a member of a sex club. He engages in some dirty talk with Mia, but for the most part it was pretty vanilla. Fast forward to the end of this novel and he wants her to wear a collar. Um…ok. We go from vanilla to rocky road with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and freakin’ sriracha pretty damn fast if you ask me!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $10.99 Paperback. Whiskey-Cove Publishing. 238 Pages.

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Worth the Chance by Vi Keeland

Ok, here we go! Here’s all the illegal activity and suspense that was missing from book one!

What’s it About?

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Meet Liv Michaels
It may have been seven years, but I’d know him anywhere. Sure, he’s grown, filled out in all the right places, but his captivating blue eyes and cocky grin are exactly the way I remember. Even though I’d much rather forget. Liv Michaels is almost there. She’s smart, determined and weeks away from landing the job she’s dreamed about for years. Time healed old wounds, even her broken heart from the devastation of being crushed by her first love.

Meet Vince Stone
Women love a fighter, especially a good one. Lucky for me, I’m damn good. But there’s one woman that isn’t interested. Not again, anyway. Vince ‘The Invincible’ Stone is every woman’s fantasy…strong, sexy, confident and completely in control. Growing up surrounded by chaos, he’s learned never to get too attached. Love will drag you down. He adores women, treats them well, puts their own needs before his own…for the night anyway. With the biggest fight of his life coming up, his focus should be on training.

When fate brings Vince & Liv back together again, there’s no denying the chemistry is still there. But can Vince erase the old scars their past left behind? Or will Liv hurt him instead?

First Impressions

I don’t know what it is about fighter romance novels, but some kind of underlying illegal activity resulting in at least one death threat is basically a requirement. The first book in this series didn’t have any of that, which almost felt like a shocking episode of the Twilight Zone, but book two has all the drugs, blackmail and illegal gambling that you could ever want. I’ll admit that at times things did go a tad overboard as far as suspenseful plot lines. After a while you sort of had to ask yourself what else could possibly go wrong, but it certainly keeps you on your toes.

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Continuation and Distinction

What I really enjoyed about this novel was that although we still have the same fighting theme which was present in book one, for the most part the two novels are completely distinct. From the blossoming romance between our lead characters to the plot lines, it was nice that it didn’t feel as though the story was on repeat.

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Whereas in book one our couple meets through a chance encounter at work, in this instance our lead characters actually have a history. They were high school classmates, and their connection as adults seemed even strong because of their shared history. They had an undeniable chemistry back then, which has only gotten stronger since. In a way, they are making up for lost time, and boy do they  make up for it!

A Story Line Too Far

The story presented in this novel was also night and day compared to book one. In that novel, we saw the male lead struggling with getting back into the fighting ring after a fluke accident years before resulted in the death of his opponent. In this novel, Liv faces a bitter rivalry at work over a coveted position at the newspaper, and she’s tasked with uncovering Vince’s true father who just so happens to be a Senator.

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Vince has problems of his own as he prepares for his first championship fight, while his drugged out mom is being held responsible for $200,000 to some threatening dealers. Not gonna lie, there was about one story line too many going on here, and both were pretty far-fetched. I personally think it would have been better to choose just one and run with it.

Series: MMA Fighter, book 2.

Should you read it? An entertaining read which really stood apart from book one in many ways. A suspenseful read as well, although kind of unbelievable at times. Another fierce fighter with a hidden soft-side.

Smut Level: He’s a fighter with plenty of stamina to go all night long.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 301 Pages.

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Rush too Far by Abbi Glines

I travel a LOT for work, and I meet a multitude of different people all over the world. However, I must say that in all of my travels I have never encountered a man or woman named “Rush”. Am I alone in this?! Is it more common than I think? This book is set in the South, so maybe it’s a Southern thing?

What’s it About?

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Fallen Too Far was Blaire’s story. Now it’s time for Rush to share his side. Everyone in Rosemary Beach thinks they know how Rush Finlay and Blaire Wynn fell in love. But Rush is back to tell his side of the story…Rush has earned every bit of his bad-boy reputation. The three-story beach house, luxury car, and line of girls begging for time between his sheets are the envy of every guy in Rosemary Beach, and Rush handles it all with the laid-back cool of a rock star’s son. All he needs are his best friend, Grant, and his sister, Nan.

Until Blaire Wynn drives into town in her beat-up pickup truck with a pistol under her seat. The Alabama farm girl instantly captures Rush’s attention once he discovers that the angelic beauty is his new stepsister, but he vows to keep his distance. Even if she needs his help. Even if he craves her. Because Rush knows why Blaire is all alone in the world, forced to ask for help from the father who abandoned her three years ago. And he knows if he gets too close it will destroy Nan, who has a secret connection to Blaire. He has every reason in the world to stay away from her. Find out why he doesn’t.

First Impressions

As you all know by this point, I’m not a huge fan of a novel which comes later on in a series that simply retells an earlier novel from the man’s point of view. It’s usually extremely repetitive, and we don’t necessarily learn a whole lot of new information. I’m sure you’re wondering why the hell I keep bothering with them. I can’t help it! I have an obsessive need to read every single novel in a series, assuming I like the series of course. Otherwise my Goodreads list will mock me by having every other novel labeled as “read”, and the one male POV book with nothing! Ohhh, the mockery!! Man…I’m a total weirdo.

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Not Too Bad

So even though these male point of view stories aren’t usually my favorite, I actually didn’t mind this one so much. I think the primary reason was because it’s been years since I read the first three novels in this series, so the details of the story weren’t as fresh in my mind. If anything, it was kind of nice to get an abbreviated version of events from a slightly different perspective. I will say though, as the story progressed I did start remembering how the plot comes together. Therefore, if you were to tackle this closely behind the others I could see it being quite repetitive.

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Too Many Secrets

As for seeing things play out from Rush’s point of view, it was interesting to see how much he truly cared for Blaire, and how protective/possessive he was of her. One thing I really didn’t care for though was that he was keeping this huge secret from her which linked their pasts together. Rush feels that as long as he can make Blaire fall in love with him, she’ll simply have to forgive him for his past transgressions. It just seemed kind of deceptive to me, like he was trying to trap her into loving him.

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Series: Rosemary Beach, Book 4.

Should you read it? It ends the same way as book one, meaning on an incredible low note. Not a must read, but overall a good one. If you choose to skip it you really don’t miss out on anything for future books in the series.

Smut Level: Oh Rush, what a dirty little mouth you have.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $7.99 Kindle Price. Atria Books. 256 Pages.

 

A Taming Season by Claire Gem

This stunning romance takes place at a calming lakeside summer town in upstate New York. Bright sunshine, cool breezes off the lake, and a gorgeous man with a sexy, deep baritone. Sounds like my kind of place.

What’s it About?

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Manhattan domestic violence counselor Zoe Anderson is going on the most important vacation of her life. Before she can move on, help other women, Zoe needs to heal herself. Her Cinderella life shattered three years ago one fateful night, leaving her a young widow, scarred inside and out. In an attempt to reclaim her life, bury her demons, and save her job, Zoe sets out for picturesque Lake George to claim the treasured family cottage she recently inherited. The place where she found happiness—before. Reboot, restore to an earlier time. What she finds is a rundown shack.

The neighboring resort mogul, Jason Rolland, whisks in to her rescue, insisting Zoe stay at his upscale Lakeview Lodge. The wealthy, handsome, star of his own radio show, Jason’s Lair, he’s a terminal bachelor. But Jason figures he might use the gifts God gave him to convince the sexy redheaded stranger to give up the crumbling eye-sore next door. A challenge he’s definitely up for. He’s been trying to buy the cabin—and demolish it—for years: the last reminder of his own tragic, childhood memories.

Zoe can’t deny her attraction to the tall, dark-haired Jason with his pool-water blue eyes. Definitely fling material—if she can just get past those flashbacks from the night everything changed. And the knowledge that when it comes to happy-ever-after, you usually don’t get a second chance. Hardly possible with the Tiger of Jason’s Lair. What Jason doesn’t figure on is Zoe’s charms melting his emotional armor. But with his reputation, can he ever win her heart? Can a tiger really change his stripes? Or will their pasts come back to bite them both?

First Impressions

Good God I can’t tell you how many times this novel reminded me that I am in desperate need of my own solo, lakeside, mountainous vacation. I also wouldn’t mind some accompaniment from the gorgeous Jason either! Despite the serene backdrop, this novel isn’t exactly a calming read with no drama. Zoe is looking for a place where she can unwind and perhaps remember a time before her life was turned upside-down. But when she arrives in Lake George to discover the cottage she inherited is in a shambles, and the sexy real-estate mogul next door wants to demolish the eye-sore, her relaxing getaway just got a lot more complicated. Throw in some steamy sex with said real-estate mogul, and well, you’ve got yourself a complicated little romance.

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An Admirable Lead

The first thing that draws you into this novel is Zoe. She might appear broken, what with a jagged scar running down her face, not to mention her frequent panic attacks. That being said, you can’t deny her strength. She’s not willing to give up, and will try any crazy scheme to try and get her life back on track, even if it means engaging in a summer fling with no feelings involved. Something completely out of character for her, but she won’t shy away from a challenge.

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Personally I maybe would have liked if Zoe really got into fixing up her family cottage. It could have been an intense form of therapy! Her lazy days of sunbathing and romance novel reading were probably more realistic in what she needed (not to mention something I would have done myself!), but it did kind of drag the story at times. Especially as Jason did business in Albany four days of the week. In a way, they had a summer fling reserved for weekends.

A Fling, or Something More?

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The second thing which totally mesmerized me in this novel was the development of Zoe and Jason’s relationship, as the two had such differing views on what this fling meant. For Zoe, that’s all she wants. A fling. Something purely physical. Upon meeting Jason it’s the first time since her husband’s death that her lady bits have started to pay attention, but she’s not ready for anything serious. She needs to focus on healing herself first. Jason seems like the perfect ladies man playboy to fulfill her needs.

On the surface, Jason is just that, the ladies man always up for a good time. However, he’s starting to tire of that lifestyle. He starts to wonder if perhaps he wants something more. When Zoe comes along, she is the first woman who’s ever made him consider possibly pursuing a serious relationship. He decides to give it his all. But what will happen when Zoe thinks Jason’s attentions are all part of his game, or when their conflicting opinions of what this really means comes to the forefront?

Look to the Seasons

Something else I found rather interesting about this novel was the apparent symbolism of the seasons, and how they correspond to Zoe and Jason’s relationship. As summer progresses, their relationship definitely starts to heat up, but as summer comes to a close we all just know the story is building for something to go wrong.

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Don’t even get me started on fall and winter. Cheese and monkeys it’s downright depressing as our leads break off communication due to a typical romance novel misunderstanding, and Zoe returns to New York. It’s a dark and dreary part of the story, and you can’t help but wonder if perhaps the New Year can bring our lovebirds back together, or if their summer fling will remain a distant memory.

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

Series: Love at Lake George, book 1. I’d be interested to see what might come next. A tale involving Jason’s sister would intrigue me.

Should you read it? I was loving the summer fling moments. The winter depression kind of got me down, especially as those close to Jason never relayed to Zoe how completely lost he was without her. Or even stressed the fact that his interactions with her were different than those with his former flames. Definitely an intriguing tale though about taking a chance on love.

Smut Level: Sexy lingerie, romantic tumbles in the shadows of the lawn, and one very eager playboy.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Erato Publishing. 340 Pages

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Talking Dirty with the Boss by Jackie Ashenden

Oh the irony that Mr. OCD hunky man Luke, who always needs to make sure that everything is in order, would have an expired condom in his wallet. Tsk tsk.

What’s it About?

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Marisa Clair wants to get her artist dreams back on track after a life detour. That means no partying, no shopping…and definitely no men to distract her. Should be easy, but there’s something about her hot and exceedingly uptight boss and she can’t seem to stop herself from ruffling Mr. Tall, Dark and Irritating.

Financial consultant Luke McNamara lives his life strictly by schedule – his OCD simply won’t allow him to do anything else. And the very last thing he needs is a sassy blonde putting lipstick on his collar and messing with his routine. She annoys the hell out of him so why can’t he stop thinking about the color of her panties…and how free he feels when he’s with her?

Marisa and Luke’s plans to steer clear of one another are shot to hell after a hot office encounter. Now the two of them will have to learn to get along as they face a much more permanent reminder of their lack of self-control – a pregnancy.

First Impressions

What we have here is basically Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, but with a six pack smokin’ hot body. The sexual chemistry between Marisa and Luke has been building for the last two novels, and it finally reaches its peak in this final book. Actually, they both do! In an office storage supply closet! And oh my, well hello unexpected pregnancy.

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Going, Going, Going…Ugh

I would say that for about 90% of this book it was shaping up to be my favorite in the entire series. The underlying story of Luke’s OCD was amazingly well-written to a point where we as the audience can feel his anxiety building. However, the whole story leads up to one final big reveal that unfortunately kind of ruined everything that this book could have been for me.

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Luke has managed to keep the true intensity of his OCD under wraps from Marisa, but when he finally reveals how severe it is he pretty much tells her to leave him behind, even though their relationship has been building throughout the book. And what does she do? She leaves! Come on girl, fight for him just a little bit. I was really hoping that Marisa would stand by him, but instead Luke is the one who has to come back for her. Definitely a let down that when it came time for Marisa to show her true colors she ran from him.

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Series: Talking Dirty, book 3. Pretty sure this is the last one!

Should you read it? Overall, I did enjoy this one, even though the end was pretty frustrating. Also, Marisa’s pregnancy is sort of brushed aside to the point where we kind of forget that she’s even with child. I wish we could have focused a bit more attention on the fact she was pregnant. Maybe they could have gone to some doctor’s appointments together?

Smut Level: These two are unable to fight their attraction. Luke breaks all his self-imposed rules for her, and they even have sex on the bonnet/hood of his car. Definitely leaves more than a few fingerprints!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Indulgence. 195 Pages.

Talking Dirty with the Player by Jackie Ashenden

Dammit! I need to remember that if I like a book in a series, I shouldn’t immediately read the next one. I’m always disappointed.

What’s it About?

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Up-and-coming photographer Judith Ashton is pretty sure she has everything in her life under control. That is, until a blast from the past comes back to taunt her, in the shape of Caleb Steele, her older brother’s best friend…and the man who broke her heart eight years ago. Their chemistry is combustible, but she’s been fooled once by this player, and she’s not going there again. To pro rugby player Caleb, Judith has always been his Kryptonite. But his former playboy lifestyle is the last thing she wants to be involved in. In the midst of her brother’s threats to back off, and the deal of his career sending him far away from her, he knows he’s playing with fire. And this is one game he’s going to lose.

First Impressions

Compared to book one in the series this novel seemed to be missing something, and I think it was that sense of silliness. Sure, Judith and Caleb have a flirtatious banter going on back and forth, but there always seemed to be an underlying sense of hostility due to how their relationship ended years beforehand. I felt the couple in the first book had more of a light-hearted chemistry that you couldn’t help but love. This couple just sort of made you feel nervous for their possible future.

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Abandonment Issues

Judith and Caleb seemed to have more arguments back and forth rather than flirtatious quips, and I’m not gonna lie at times I had trouble following their line of reasoning. Both characters fear being abandoned by the ones they love, especially seeing as Caleb left Judith behind years ago. Even though he left, Caleb swears they can make their relationship work now, but she doesn’t fully trust him. Understandable all things considered. But then when things get a tad too intimate between them Caleb is the one to pull away. Dude! You totally implied you were ready for a relationship. Make up your mind man.

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Series: Talking Dirty, book 2. I am interested to read the next book, but I’ll probably read something else in between, just as a safety precaution.

Should you read it? Not as enjoyable as book one, but it did have it’s moments. My favorite aspect was the idea of the calendar that Judith is photographing of men in the business world. She is able to capture the individual personalities of those she’s filming, making it something more than just a sexy calendar featuring half-naked men. I’ll take one! Or 5.

Smut Level: The first time they do it is on a velvet chaise lounge. I feel like this would be George Costanza’s dream sex locale on Seinfeld.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Indulgence. 193 Pages.

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Owned by the Dom: Parts 1 & 2 by Sam Crescent

The only way I would ever refer to my man as “Master” would be if he called me “Empress”. I might let him get away with “Czarina”, but he better be one pretty good cook on top of everything else.

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James Castleden has had enough of the press surrounding him and his club. Ravage is his place to let loose. He is possessive and dominant. When the younger sister of the woman he used to date walks into his club, James is not ready for the instant attraction he feels toward her.

Prudence Star fell in love with James seven years ago. She is no shy virgin and knows what he is. James does not scare her. She’s read the reports about his association with club Possession and she craves what only he can give. When their flirting deepens, James cannot stop the craving inside him to own, to claim, and to take Prudence as his woman.

But Possession and Ravage are under serious threat. Dominic and Eugene were just the beginning. There is nowhere to hide and no way to keep his woman safe. The Owners have no idea who they’re really dealing with.

First Impressions

I’m sorry to say that I have officially decided to stop reading this series. I initially went in with the impression that part 2 was the last book of The Owners story line, but shockingly enough there is definitely a set up for a continuation of the series. Unfortunately, I’ve lost interest. If I had to describe these two novels in just one word it would have to be…meh. Nothing special, just like the rest of the series as a whole. But what can I say? They’re short, quick reads, and I thought I had finally reached the culmination of everything!

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Owned by the Dom: Part 1

Most of the drama in this novel felt pretty unnecessary to me. I mean, for two people who admit they’re totally into each other, they take forever to have sex. James claims Prudence is too young for him considering the age difference between them, but he won’t let others have her. Therefore, he ensures she is fired from her current job working in his club so that nobody else can lay eyes on her. His BDSM lifestyle is something he seems hesitant to introduce Prue to, yet she openly admits to him that she’s into the idea, and also has an intense desire to be possessed. So…what exactly is the hold-up here people?

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As for the rest of the drama in this novel, some of the characters from the previous novels are aware of a human trafficking scheme going on which is linked to all their BDSM clubs. However, they choose to hide the true identity of who is behind this scheme to the rest of the characters because…I honestly don’t know. At this point, you just know that sh*t is about to go down, and it’s pretty frustrating that those who know the truth didn’t think to warn everyone else about this threat.

Owned by the Dom: Part 2

This book was sort of the nail in the coffin for me, as it had both expected results, yet an unexpected path. Part 1 ended with Prue being kidnapped by the same forces which were threatening the clubs in town. SPOILER ALERT: they get her back! Surprisingly, James and his posse rescue her fairly early on in the book, and the rest of the story primarily deals with Prue pulling away from him in the aftermath.

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It’s rather understandable that after surviving a kidnapping, and the possibility of being sold into human trafficking that Prue would experience difficulties adjusting to normal life again, not to mention being intimate with James. The most ridiculous part of the novel for me though was when Prue saw a therapist to help her with her PTSD. This therapist totally does a breach of confidentiality by telling James EVERYthing she talked about in her session with Prue. Her excuse was that Prue didn’t really need therapy, so it was ok to share all the details of their sessions with James. Like…what?!

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Series: The Owners, books 3 & 4

Should you read it? Meh. By no means terrible, but not worth rushing out to read either in my humble opinion.

Smut Level: This guy is possessive and into BDSM, what do you think? At the end of Part 2 James whisks Prue away to Italy and goes all caveman with her. They proceed to have so much sex I don’t know how they have any bodily fluids left.

Get it on Amazon: Part 1, click here. Part 2, click here. $4.99 each. Evernight Publishing. 180 Pages. 235 Pages.