Hardpressed by Meredith Wild

“I don’t know what it was about him pinning me up against hard surfaces, but I fucking loved it”. Amen sister!

What’s it About? hardpressed

Despite Blake Landon’s controlling ways, the young and wealthy hacker finally won the trust of the woman he loves. Internet entrepreneur Erica Hathaway broke down the walls that kept her from opening her heart and her business to Blake. Ready to start this new chapter in her life, Erica is determined not to let anything come between them, even if that means giving Blake back some of the control he craves in and out of the bedroom. But when demons from her past threaten their future, Erica makes a decision that could change their lives forever.

First Impressions

If I had to describe this book in three words or less it would be “frustrating as fuuuuuuuuuck”. Apologies, pardon my language, but what can I say? I’m frustrated!!! This is one of those novels where it seems like all of the drama, unhappiness and mayhem could have just disappeared in a poof if Erica had managed to open her mouth and share what was going on with Blake. Now I know, having the drama end all within the span of a chapter doesn’t make for a very exciting read. But in my mind, that means it doesn’t make for a very decent plot when you can resolve it all so quick and easy if the lead character acted in any way like a normal person would. Maybe add another dimension to it so that I don’t constantly want to pull my hair out and scream out loud, “JUST TELL HIM WHAT’S GOING ON!!!!” The fact I listened to this as an audio book primarily on my walks to and from work meant that I was constantly on the verge of looking like a psycho. Nobody wants that people!


Feel the Pressure

One of the minor frustrating aspects of this novel revolved around Blake and Erica’s sexual relationship. It’s basically a continuation of what was presented in book one, with them running in circles like a greyhound chasing a mechanized bunny at the race-track. He’s used to non-vanilla type sex, where domination is the name of the game, and he’s the master of his bedroom. However, Blake is hesitant to fully dominate her since she was raped years before. He’s worried he’ll take things too far and they won’t be able to come back from it. Surprisingly, we see that Erica is actually the one pressuring Blake to take their sexual adventures to the next level. He desires total submission and she wants to give him that.


The problem here is that both are so set on taking things to the extreme. She’s urging him to go all out in the bedroom, and he’s concerned going all out will trigger a panic attack for her. Whatever happened to baby steps people?! Like, you don’t have to go straight from missionary position in unique locations to being blindfolded, handcuffed, and spanked at the same time all in one go. Maybe have a slow and seductive introduction to the d/s lifestyle so that Blake doesn’t have to worry about taking things too far, and Erica can get used to a new side of sex she hasn’t seen before. Slow and steady wins the race folks! You need to learn how to tie the knot before stringing up your lover to the bedpost.


Squashed Potential

The first quarter or so of this book was pretty dull, as it just dealt with Erica setting up her new business, and navigating her sexual relationship with Blake. And then we get a dramatic plot twist that I must admit I did NOT see coming. There was sooooo much potential here for the book to go in an entirely new direction with some depth and suspense thrown in. Unfortunately, this opportunity was pretty much squandered, as Erica draws together almost every stereotype of being a frustrating lead character. Now, I don’t want to give away this plot twist since it was undoubtedly the most interesting part of the novel. However, I will say that with this twist a character demands Erica break up with Blake, or else there is the implication that physical harm will come to him. So what does she do? She keeps her mouth shut about this external threat to Blake, instead choosing to end things between them.


If Blake were just your average Joe Schmoe I miiiiight get why she didn’t want to draw him into her drama. Here’s the problem though. Blake is like, a gazillionaire. If Erica had just said, yo this person is threatening us as a couple, any thoughts? He probably could have hired a swarm of bodyguards, private investigators, and a swat team to resolve the matter. But instead Erica has to go and play the martyr, falling on her sword to give up her happiness with Blake to live in misery. Eventually he does find a way to weasel his way back into her panties, and it took a loooooong time for us to finally get there. And when we do? Blake has not only one option to resolve all her drama, but two! Just goes to show that working together as a couple, and opening up to your partner with the truth can make it so much easier to confront a threat than having to do it all on your own.


Series: Hacker, book 2. This is a pretty meh series so far.

Should you read it? Really the only positive I can give with this one is the early plot twist, but unfortunately it just drags on and on before eventually going nowhere. Erica frustrated me to no end, especially considering how many times she pushed Blake away even though he was begging her to let him in and help. Makes it hard to sympathize with her woes when she’s being so stubborn.

Smut Level: They’re still in the introductory phase of the BDSM lifestyle. Blake enjoys his dirty talk, but you can tell he’s still hesitant to let his hand loose completely.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $6.99 Kindle Price. Hachette Book Group. 312 Pages.


Enchant: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Demelza Carlton

A tale as old as time. With a few updates here and there of course!!

What’s it About? 33627778

Once upon a time…The wicked King Thorn forced the enchantress Zuleika to cast a terrible curse. She fled his court to travel the world, helping those who need her magic most. Until a search for her merchant father’s lost ships leads her to an enchanted island, where Prince Vardan, the island’s ruler, is afflicted by the most powerful curse Zuleika has ever encountered. She’s not sure she can reverse the spell, but she’s determined to try. After all, a prince who fights pirates can’t be all bad…no matter how beastly his appearance. Together, can the enchanting beauty and the beastly prince break the spell?

First Impressions

My initial first impression for this novel? Gorgeous cover, and yaaaaay short chapters! After about 1/4 of the way in though? Cover is still gorgeous, but shit, more short chapters. I discovered I’m unbelievably picky when it comes to chapter length. Sometimes short chapters are the perfect break for when I’m waiting for my coffee to brew, or pasta to boil. Not to mention a great way to kill time during commercial breaks. The fact that before tackling this book I had just come off a novel where the chapters were crazy long, well I was just in Heaven. However, it really didn’t take long for the frustration to start seeping in. In all seriousness, I would say the average length of time it took to finish reading a chapter in this book was just under 2 minutes. While this was an excellent way to introduce our characters and provide a brief back-story to our enchanted curse, it became a clear problem in later chapters where key scenes were rushed. This made the book itself feel almost stunted since you had so many short chapters at work which could flip-flop so easily between story lines, as well as switch point of views between our Beast and Beauty.


An Enchanting Beauty

Personally I just love adaptations of classic fairy tales. It’s so fun to see which elements the author will keep the same, and how they’ll bring their own unique twist to the story. For this version, perhaps the biggest change involves our beauty. Her actual name is Zuleika; a far cry from Belle, and she’s not just the peasant daughter of a poor inventor. Oh no. She’s the enchantress who sets the curse upon our beastly prince. Gotta say, I totally loved this twist! From the classic tale the enchantress feature was always a bit of a mystery, and her motivations were kind of muddled. But in this we see how Zuleika is threatened by an evil king to put a curse on an object intended for his sworn enemy. Enter mirror.


To save her life and that of her family, Zuleika puts a curse on the mirror not knowing it will eventually end up in the hands of our prince. Upon using it for the first time he transforms into the Beast, while the servants and citizens of his kingdom become invisible. A unique change to a dancing clock and candlestick! When Zuleika magically appears in Prince Vardan’s kingdom after an accident he finds her indescribably beautiful, and because she refuses to reveal her true identity he resorts to calling her Lady Belle. And of course, it wouldn’t be Beauty and Beast without a ball featuring our beautiful enchantress in a gorgeous gown of yellow silk.


A Kind-Hearted Beast

Although I really enjoyed some of the variations to our classic tale, there were some I wasn’t a huge fan of, or at least had trouble understanding. When Zuleika first curses the mirror, she says that whoever uses it will transform into whatever they truly are on the inside. Therefore, when our prince first uses it he becomes this hairy beast with tusks. Not exactly the picture of a guy you’d wanna introduce to the folks. But here’s the strange part. When Zuleika arrives in the prince’s kingdom and speaks with his subjects, they all say how he’s always been a kind-hearted and just ruler. Soooo shouldn’t he have like, turned into a puppy or something?


In all the descriptions of his character, he was never revealed to be cruel, vain, or beast-like in any way. So why the beast form?! In my opinion, it was the one main flaw to the story. The other thing I found hard to believe was it took soooooo long before Zuleika realized she was the enchantress who cast the spell over the prince and his city. It just seemed strange that she wouldn’t have even been able to sense her own power within the magic blanketing the city. Hell, at one point she does sense it, but just brushes it aside. Come on now, you have all that magic, listen to it once in a while!


Series: Romance a Medieval Fairytale, book 1. Zuleika seems like the key that will unlock all the other novels in this series. During her travels throughout the novel we overhear her encounters with magical slippers, and even a trouble-making witch she banished to a lamp in a hidden cave. Sounds a tad familiar, no?

Should you read it? A fun and fantastical retelling of a beauty who falls for a beast. Spotting all the classic elements within the new changes was like a fun scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, I think the short chapter format of the novel impeded the depth of the writing, and made the story seem stunted. Overall an interesting start to the series, but there’s some definite room for improvement going forward.

Smut Level: Only at the very end of the novel do we get one beautiful love scene. It didn’t hurt that some witches had previously cast a spell on the prince’s…saber…to always please his woman in the bedroom.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE! Lost Plot Press. 248 Pages.

The Home Court Advantage by N.M. Silber

Nothing quite spices up a courtroom like sex between opposing counsels in the jury holding room!

What’s it About? 

home court

Gabrielle and Braden have fallen in love and face a bright future together if they can just survive all of the crazy people they encounter, like anonymous napkin droppers, UFO enthusiasts, crooked businessmen, nude drunk drivers, and a woman who tries to break into jail. When the gavel falls will the verdict be happily ever after? Come join the fun as the sexiest couple in the Philadelphia Criminal Court System shares more witty banter and red hot lovin’ with a dash of mystery thrown in. The story that began with The Law of Attraction concludes with lots of love and laughter in The Home Court Advantage.

First Impressions

I remember not only being pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the first book in this series, but also my surprise that it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. After all, we’re mainly dealing with a romantic comedy here, what could we possibly have to continue story-wise in a whole other full-length novel? Turns out…not much of anything. I gotta say, all in all while this second book did provide me with a fair number of chuckles, it was pretty much entirely unnecessary. The resolution to the story line from book one could have easily been answered in just one more chapter at the end of the first book. Instead what we have are just a series of over-the-top shenanigans and sensually detailed sex scenes that prolong us from finding out what sadly isn’t even a very exciting conclusion to the question of who was sending our heroine cryptic messages.


A Not-So-Unique Sequel

I’ll admit I do still love the characters presented in this novel, and I’m beyond excited to see some of the other characters highlighted with their own stories in books going forward. As for this novel, it’s basically just a continuation of what we saw in book one. The end of the previous novel ended with us questioning who could have possibly sent Gabrielle these messages considering her top three suspects were all cleared, and this book opens pretty much right after the end of that first book.


Unfortunately that main mystery story is pushed to the background almost immediately to instead focus on our lead couple going through their usual courtroom antics and sexual dalliances. Some of these courtroom scenes were fun, short chapters to intersperse the other things going on in the book, but there was one unbelievably long chapter with various cases one after the other that just seemed out of place. In need of some editing for sure.


As for the sexual dalliances, holy shit definitely turned up the dial in this one! Not gonna lie, some were borderline porn, especially considering in one scene the characters kept saying it would be a great thing to write Playboy about. The scene in question had the lead characters wandering into the jury sequester room to “let off some steam”, and another case with judge and lawyers started up as they tried to…finish. While comedic, it was a bit much, almost like trying too hard to be funny and sexy.


From Notes to Stalking

Then we get to the drama of the story that comes back form book one. In the first Gabrielle was receiving notes from an anonymous someone who was warning her to stay away from Braden. Things are slightly ratcheted up in this one as she starts to see and sense someone following her. Thankfully she chooses to share these sightings with Braden, and the two remain relatively calm about the whole thing for the entirety of the novel. Their cool-headedness actually made it kind of a boring read. They just never seemed too worried about it.


In the previous book Gabrielle employed the help of her friends to try and figure out who was writing these secret messages to her. In this sequel she asks for their help yet again, but just like with the sex scenes things are heightened up to the Nth degree in this book to the point where they are just over the top sitcom level shenanigans. Again, trying too hard, and ultimately unnecessary. Let’s just say a UFO enthusiast group gets involved.


Series: Lawyers in Love, book 2. Although I wasn’t a fan of this second book I’m definitely continuing with the series. The next novels focus on the friends of our lead couple finding their own true loves, and I’m beyond excited.

Should you read it? As a whole, this book wasn’t needed. There were funny parts and sexy parts, but plot-wise it should have all been resolved at the end of book one. I did enjoy the development of the friends group we’ve got going, and we were able to see the introduction of how some of these friends will pair off into something more going forward.

Smut Level: Daaaaaaamn. These two are freakin’ saucy, and they certainly up their dirty talk level. Made me blush a time or ten, and that isn’t always easy to do.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Mendelssohn Levy Publishing. 232 Pages.




Come Undone by Jessica Hawkins

For those of you who, like me, aren’t a huge fan of romance novels where our lead character is contemplating adultery, this might not be the book for you. The fact this lead eventually chooses to indulge in that temptation? Uggggggh.

What’s it About? 

come undone

Olivia Germaine has already found love. Devoted wife, loyal friend, determined career woman–she’s created the life she always envisioned. But when Olivia locks eyes with a handsome stranger across a crowded room, he peers a little too closely and sees emotions she thought she’d buried long ago. David Dylan, alleged playboy and eternal bachelor, challenges Olivia to confront the life she’s built and to make decisions that could either lead to happiness…or regret. Will Olivia be able to draw the line between lust and love? And can David respect that line?

First Impressions

For the first half or so of this book I just thought, good God this is mind-numbingly dull. It mainly focuses on Olivia agonizing over her attraction to David, and having a multitude of minor arguments with her husband. It wasn’t until about halfway through that something kind of exciting happens regarding a gang case her husband was involved with, but unfortunately it never really comes full circle and is left totally unfinished. I think the goal here in drawing out Olivia’s contemplation of pursuing a physical relationship with David was for us to almost sympathize with the fact that she didn’t rush into this affair lightly. However, if anything that made me dislike this character even more, as it showed that she not only knew exactly what she was doing by the time sex came into the picture with David, but in all that time she never really tried to have a conversation with her husband about it. Seek out counseling. Nothing. Sure, none of us are perfect, but I found it exceedingly difficult to respect Olivia as an adult.

nobody's perfect.gif

Gimme an “A” for Adultery!

We have a married woman here people! Now look, I get it, sometimes you’re already in a relationship when somebody else catches your eye. It happens. But! There were some serious issues here with how the entire situation was handled. Firstly, Olivia attempts to place a large portion of the blame on David without taking any responsibility for her own actions. We all know the saying, it takes two to tango. For example, at one point she judgingly berates David’s pursuit of her by saying that, “he’s a willing participant in destroying a marriage”. Dude, so are you!


You didn’t exactly try to stay away. Hell, when he asks her to dinner she naively tells herself that the only reason she accepts his invitation is to tell him to stop flirting with her; stop pursuing her because she’s a married woman and she doesn’t want anything to do with him. Or…you know…you could just not go out to dinner with him? Such a simple idea, I know. Let’s put it this way, Olivia knew exactly what she was doing in continuing her communication with David. She can’t really be surprised he continued his flirting with her, when she had no problem reciprocating his flirtatious behavior.

Couple flirting

Far From a Saint

Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that David is some innocent little bunny. Although his words may have said he didn’t go after another man’s woman, his actions certainly said differently. David had no problem pursuing her in the beginning, in spite of her numerous protests. What really pissed me off when it came to David though is that right when Olivia started to come around, and seemed to entertain the idea of something physical happening between them, that’s when David chose to withdraw and give her the cold shoulder. This of course results in Olivia obsessing over the situation even more, wondering why he pushed her away and didn’t want anything to do with her anymore. There was just so much back and forth with them playing this game I couldn’t handle it.

back and forth

His most egregious mistake though came at the very very end when Olivia and David FINALLY have sex. Not that I was rooting for them or anything, but after a while it was just like, jeez get on with it already. So Olivia and David find themselves alone in his apartment, with David pushing her up against a wall. He proceeds to capture both her wrists behind her back in his hand, and an intense make out session begins. But then reality sinks in and Olivia tells him to stop and that she wants to leave. Instead he grips her harder and says if she wants to get away she should get away. She pulls and thrashes before finally succumbing to lust and indulges in releasing all this built up sexual tension. Sorry folks, no means no, don’t try to convince a married woman (or any woman for that matter) she actually wants it. Just…no.


The Third Side of the Triangle

And this brings us to the one missing piece of our adulterous discussion here: Olivia’s husband, Bill. At the beginning of the novel they seem quite happily married, but once David enters the picture and the sexual pheromones start flying, Bill suddenly starts to have his annoying moments. Let’s face it, the author has to show a dark side to Bill in order for us to even entertain the idea of Olivia having an affair with another man. But here’s my problem with the execution of it. Most of these arguments that Olivia and Bill start to have surrounding their marriage seemingly come out of left field.


Not that we know much about Bill’s character to begin with, especially considering he’s pretty absent from the last half of the novel, but I still couldn’t help but feel that his sudden pissy attitude and pressuring of Olivia about various aspects of their lives together seemed pretty out of character for him. Why did he so suddenly go from being a supportive and understanding spouse at the start to a dick who refuses to listen to his wife by the end of it? Does he suspect Olivia might be considering some naked alone time with another man? It so, it needed to be incorporated more into the story.


So we can sort of see how the author attempts to use Bill’s suddenly less than stellar presence as a reason to drive Olivia into considering an affair. Again though, here’s the problem with the execution of this. When one of Olivia’s friends discovers her attraction to David she asks if she and Bill are really that unhappy, Olivia responds: “I’m happy with Bill. It has nothing to do with him”. Well then, what the hell is going on here?!?!?!?! If she is happy in her relationship with Bill, then her attraction to David must therefore be purely sexual. Once she and David eventually have sex she even comments how David is the only man who has ever succeeded in giving her an orgasm. So she’s either lying to herself about her happiness with her husband, or she chose to give up that happiness for a decent roll in the sack. Either way, how exactly am I supposed to like this character?


Series: The Cityscape, book 1. I can’t see myself continuing with this one.

Should you read it? I found it really hard to connect with any of the characters in this novel on a personal level, which in turn makes it almost impossible to ever enjoy the book as a whole. I think there were some interesting emotional components of Olivia’s character, but for some reason the author chose to keep these details a secret from us as the audience, instead having a big reveal towards the end of the novel. I think this was meant to be an “ohhhhh, that’s what that was about” moment, but I just thought, “yeah, that’s what I figured. Still would’ve been nice to know about 15 chapters ago”. It also seemed that the main draw for Olivia to David was physical, in which case this affair is nothing to celebrate.

Smut Level: There really isn’t anything spectacular until David and Olivia come together at the 90% point of the novel. At which point, good God they go all out. And in. And out. You get the idea.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Kinshaw Press. 366 Pages.



The Look of Love by Bella Andre

This book explores the idea of love at first sight with two strangers unexpectedly thrown together one cold and rainy night.

What’s it About? 


Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is–until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love–and protect–her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her–and every sinfully sweet caress–as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

First Impressions

How soon is too soon to fall in love? Is there a rule book which dictates how long a couple must wait before not only deciding they love each other, but that they want to spend the rest of their lives together? In this book, we see a couple who seemingly fall hard for each other with just one look. The look of loooooove. Now, do I believe in love at first sight? I’ll never say never, but it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around. Especially considering the couple in this book declare their feelings of love for each other within just four days of knowing each other. Honestly, I think the only thing I’ve ever knowingly loved that quickly was a food item, which probably involved chocolate in some way. However, I must say, even though I may not personally wholeheartedly believe in the concept of love at first sight, this book does a damn fine job of presenting it in a shockingly reasonable way.


What’s Important in Life? 

Whenever I read a whirlwind romance like this I always find myself asking the same questions. How could you decide to spend the rest of your life with a man not knowing what side of the bed he sleeps on? If he prefers Coke or Pepsi? If he can put up with you re-watching Friends or Gilmore Girls for the 15th time and have the ability to reserve judgement?! You know…the important things in life. However, what this novel does so well is it manages to show our lead characters what is truly important to the other, and that is what makes them fall in love so quickly. Yes, there is an obvious physical attraction, but it really goes beyond that.


He comes upon her stranded on the side of the road with a bruise on the side of her face. In four days time he’s willing to protect her, yet also admit that she’s more than capable of taking care of herself with her own personal strength and determination of spirit. They both have creative passions, and are supportive of the other doing whatever is needed to make those passions grow, helping whenever possible along the way. His dedication to his large family is especially noteworthy, not to mention the fact he captures the real her behind his camera lens. Again, for such a short timeframe, you can see how they got to know who the other person truly was without superfluous details getting in the way. It’s the basic foundation of their relationship, and everything else is just the whipped cream on top.


The Benefit of a Player

There was one aspect of their relationship that brought them together which I did find kind of funny. Not necessarily bad, but just something I thought was worth mentioning. Chase is a man of no commitment and one-night stands. He’s had countless women come in and out of his bed, but when he sets his sights on Chloe he knows almost immediately that there’s something different about her. This is one of the things that makes him pursue her so relentlessly without giving up.


And on the flip side, it is because Chase has never had a long term relationship that Chloe knows she can believe him when he says things are different with her, and when he says he loves her it’s definitely true since he’s never uttered those words before. It’s almost like he’s being…rewarded(?) for being a womanizer! I couldn’t help but wonder if his romantic past had been different, if he’d had let’s say just two serious long term monogamous relationships in his adult life, would she have taken his declarations of love less seriously? Would she have even stuck around for four whole days to see if what they had was real? Again, just an interesting little side note.

Series: San Francisco Sullivans, book 1. For sure continuing with this seris. There’s a whole ton of Sullivan siblings in this family, and I can’t wait to meet them all!

Should you read it? A sexy, quick read with an interesting take on love at first sight. Does this book 100% convince me it’s possible? Nah, not really. I still couldn’t help but feel they got together waaaay to fast. I mean, come on, four days??? But that being said it did do a pretty damn good job of demonstrating the plausibility of love in a single look. The side story involving Chloe’s ex-husband was definitely intriguing, though I also felt it was pushed aside too long until the dramatic climactic ending. Would have liked a bit more incorporation on that front.

Smut Level: This book is all about exploring sexual fantasies, and all that Chloe has been missing out in since ending her relationship with her abusive ex-husband. We have a wet and wild bathtub moment, as well as a nighttime balcony sexcapade that’ll have you opening a window to cool off.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 384 Pages.



Cage by Harper Sloan

It seems like 9 out of 10 romance novels begin with a meet-cute that involves our male lead being first enamored with our leading lady’s eyes, or perhaps her lips. It draws him in like a tractor beam. But then there are still those select few that default to the tits, or the ass. In this book? It’s the tits.

What’s it About? 


Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister’s shield against the world… until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance around…until it was stripped from him. Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control?

Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else’s help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength? The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another member of the Corps family.

All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.

First Impressions

There are actually two things that initially draw Cage to Melissa. The first we’ve already covered: her tits. Romantic, I know. The fact that Cage first met her by taking the child of our couple from book 1 to the doctors office, and she was the attending seemed like a missed opportunity for a more…sweet first impression. How about she was really good with kids? The second enamoring feature is the fact that Melissa continuously turns down Cage’s repeated advances/requests to come back to his place for some naked R&R. Dinner and a movie are so last season. I can’t say I’m a huge fan when the impetus for a couple coming together is the fact that one is seen as a challenge. I don’t know, maybe because it makes it seem like a game of cat and mouse, and you have to wonder what will happen when he finally catches her? Will the allure wear off?


Linked in Tragedy

As it turns out, our couple here has another connection that Cage discovers once he finally has Melissa in his bed. They’ve both tragically lost a sister before their time. And they both lost them to the same man. This last detail is something which Cage keeps to himself, as he thinks it is something which will distance this new burgeoning relationship with Melissa. We all know what that means! She’ll eventually discover it on her own, and it’ll cause alllllll the problems. Which it does.


Personally I felt this linked sister tragedy was something that was never fully explored. We know that both sisters were abused at the hands of the same man, Simon, and both ended up dead. However, we never really get the full picture, especially when it comes to Melissa’s sister. It’s quite an important part of the story, as her sister’s death results in her and her mother being left to care for her nephew.

The Crazy Ex

As with any romance novel, it simply wouldn’t be complete without a crazy ex girlfriend who made more of her relationship with the male lead than was real. In this case, the trope of the psycho ex is taken to the ultimate extreme. I will say at one point I did feel kind of bad for this ex-girlfriend as it’s revealed she might actually have some kind of mental condition, and she’s been neglecting her medication. However, feelings of sympathy don’t last too long, as we are once again presented with a feature that I constantly bring up on this here blog of mine. Attention to all romance novel leading ladies: do NOT go to the bathroom alone in a restaurant and/or bar. You’re just asking to undoubtedly run into said crazy ex.


Cage’s ex doesn’t just taunt Melissa though, she actually reveals the sister link which Cage kept hidden. And just like we knew it would, it causes Melissa to flee in despair. Shockingly though, this time apart actually provides Melissa and Cage with the opportunity to, well, act like adults. She feels betrayed at his keeping it a secret, but rather than face him with all her anger and pent up emotions, she takes some time to calm down before confronting him. Cage on the other hand is desperate to explain the truth and his reasoning for keeping it a secret, but at the good advice of Axel from book one, he gives her some time to mull things over. And then they come back together and all is well!


Series: Corps Security, book 2. It was pretty nice to see the couple from book one reappear in this sequel.

Should you read it? I will say this series isn’t my absolute favorite. It’s full of pretty standard romance novel tropes, and at times it’s easy to see where the story is going. I will say though, the ending takes an odd turn with the introduction of a new character, and we don’t really get a clear resolution to some of the drama. Lastly, this book was literally never-ending! We have an epilogue, bonus chapter, deleted scene, and finally a bonus scene. Seriously, after the third extension I exclaimed, “Just end it already!!”

Smut Level: Melissa can only push Cage away for so long before she’s naked in his bed.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 240 Pages.


Always Mine by Ruth Cardello

Passion for art. Passion for business. Passion for each other. When push comes to shove, which one will prove the strongest?

What’s it About? 26064429

When it comes to getting what he wants, Asher Barrington is a hammer who is known for crushing his opponents. From the moment Emily walks into his office and challenges him, winning takes on a whole new meaning. The only thing standing between Emily Harris and her goal to open a museum for the blind is an arrogant, sexy as hell billionaire, who thinks sleeping with her will not complicate the situation. He won’t change. She won’t back down. But together they sizzle.

First Impressions

Meh. Blarg. Blerg. Blaginfeffer. This book was just ok. There were definitely some very interesting aspects which kept me engaged as a reader, but overall there were just too many different storylines and dramatic plot points at play which never really came full circle for me. Not to mention a romantic couple that was constantly engaged in a dynamic power struggle, with a lacking ability to communicate or even act like adults at times. Sounds like a fun one to jump right on into doesn’t it?? Follow me!


Emotion vs. Physical Connection

Alright, first off, their emotional relationship seemed completely unbelievable, and even one-sided to me. Their physical relationship is certainly ready and raring to go, but also borders on physical manipulation at times. I seriously lost track of the number of times Emily told Asher no, but then he just kisses her into agreeing to sleep with him. It seems like their entire physical connection is based on them being pissed at each other, and then working off their frustration in the bedroom. While this can work in some situations, the fact it was the driving force behind their coupling just left a bad taste in my mouth. As for the emotional side of things, this was all over the freaking place, and is so catty wompus it’s tricky to verbalize in a coherent way.


When it comes to Emily, I honestly felt she was more passionate about her art than Asher. But there’s actually a very good reason for that. Asher basically treats her like shit! He’s closed off to her about his life, constantly keeps her in the dark, and apparently uses sex as a way to distract her. When he f*cks something up in their relationship, he can never use his words to say how he messed up. Instead he turns to making a big gesture, which I think is supposed to show how deeply he cares for Emily that he’s willing to go all out to remedy the situation. However, instead I couldn’t help but feel that he was just throwing money at her in the hopes of wooing her to his side. I mean, hell, I’d swoon over a private plane ride to Paris with a sex God. But then you have to ask yourself what you’re left with when the Paris vacation is over and you fly back home.


The Sex God

And this leads me to the underlying reason I didn’t really care for this book. When you stripped away all of Asher’s money, power, and sexual prowess, what do you have remaining? He’s kind of a dick. Sure, he loves Emily, but she has some clear-cut lovable qualities. She cares about her family, she’s passionate about her mother’s art and sharing it with the world. She herself is a loving person. As for why Emily falls in love with Asher? Other than him being talented with his penis I’m kind of at a loss.


He does show a brief interest in her art, and while he does have a final big gesture which shows he’s been paying attention to how important her art is to her, I couldn’t help but feel Asher merely saw it as a way to get Emily back into his life and his bed. When they’re in Paris he basically abandons her to go solve a work problem. Not only does he leave with zero explanation, but he remains radio silent for about two weeks. No calls, no texts, no carrier pigeons. And then he’s shocked upon returning to Paris and discovering that she’s returned to the States without him. Seriously, what did you expect ya ass?


A Plethora of Plots

Another big deterrent of this novel was that there were way too many plot points introduced, and they didn’t really mesh well. There’s an interesting start for sure, as Asher’s company is buying up all the land around Emily’s home and museum site for some kind of fancy facility that needs to be in rural New Hampshire for some reason. Then you have their love/hate/anger relationship and sexual explorations. But then there’s this weird side-plot involving Asher’s business exploits in some kind of war-torn country with guerrillas, and for me it was the most unnecessary aspect of the book. Back in the States Emily is working closely with Asher’s mother on an art auction to spread the word about Emily’s new museum. But! As if that wasn’t enough Emily’s museum burns down and we have to deal with the drama of who was responsible, and Asher trying to win her back after being absent for so long. By that point it was just kind of like, alright what else can we plop on here?! Sometimes less is more!!


Series: The Barrington Billionaires, book 1. Meh.

Should you read it? I wanted more from this book, but also less at the same time. I know, sounds disfunctional. First, I wanted more reasons to like Asher as a person, not to mention love him as a romantic lead. Second, there needed to be at least one less story point, as it was just an overwhelming amount to the point where some couldn’t be fully fleshed out to come full circle. Overdone for sure. And to throw another wrench into the mix, while Emily was a passionate character she could be over-the-top at times, and almost too idealistic. Tone it down girl. All in all, it was hard to fall in love with the characters.

Smut Level: Hot damn! The physical connection between these two was one of the only things they had going for ’em. Naughty, dirty, and angry. But…almost too angry.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE Kindle. RCardello LLC. 220 Pages.