Fair Game by Monica Murphy

Oh come on now people, let’s make good choices!

What’s it About?

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Bad enough Jade Frost’s boyfriend drags her to a boring poker game. Even worse that he actually threw her into the betting pot during an intense round…and lost. Talk about the perfect excuse for Jade to make him her ex-boyfriend.

Now she supposedly belongs to the ultra rich, extremely gorgeous Shep Prescott. He could have anything he wants yet he seems to be in hot pursuit of her. No matter how rude, how snarky, how impossible she acts, it doesn’t stop him. More like her horrible behavior seems to make him want her more.

When she finds herself starting to fall for him, Jade’s confused. There’s more to Shep than the carefree rich charmer he portrays. No way could he want a serious relationship with her…or could he?

First Impressions

Mkay, so full disclosure moment here: I have never done cocaine in my entire life. Now, I know the ole saying, “don’t knock it til you try it”, although I have a feeling whoever came up with that saying didn’t necessarily mean it in reference to trying cocaine. What can I say?! I just never understood the appeal. Personally, I’d rather spend my money on going to the movies and buttered popcorn. I also have the irrational fear that if I did try it I’d immediately sneeze it out in a cloud of white powder. Kind of ruins my street cred.

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In this book, our female lead claims that she’s never been swayed by peer pressure, yet in the next scene she’s accepting a mirror of coke from some dweebs she just met at a college party. She then proceeds to blame her close call of snorting cocaine on the fact that our main male lead, Shep (who wasn’t present at all during this exchange), gets her all confused. Sooo…yeah, not my favorite character.

Some Imperfect Lead Characters

I can’t help it, I thought Jade was a pretty annoying character, and Shep wasn’t exactly a peach himself. He wins her from her boyfriend in a card game, which I’ll admit, was the main intriguing factor that moved me to pick up this book in the first place. The fact that the next day Jade is somehow the one apologizing to Shep kind of made me lose respect for her. I know violence is never the answer to life’s problems, but Jade slapped Shep after he won her. Honestly, can’t say I would’ve done anything different if a guy treated me like a commodity to be bartered. And yet, Shep manages to make her feel guilty for the way she treated him, without any acknowledgement of how he treated her like an object. Dude, not cool! On either of their parts!

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An Imperfect Plot

So the characters obviously weren’t my favorite aspect of the novel, but there was actually a much bigger reason as to why I didn’t enjoy this particular read. It had to do with the plot. Mainly, there wasn’t much of one. At all. What we have here is a classic tale of boy meets girl, she pushes him away despite her obvious attraction to him, they find some alternative ways to pleasure each other when she’s on her period, he runs, she teases, and eventually they have sex. Boom, there, you’re done. The only real struggle of the novel came when Shep introduced Jade to his parents, and his mom proceeds to call her a gold digger. No resolution to that little issue. Their relationship seems to be purely physical, as they never really manage to have a meaningful conversation.

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Series: The Rules, book 1. I miiiiiiiight read the next one.

Should you read it? Although well written overall, I felt it was a pretty boring read. The whole novel sort of leads up to…well…nothing. Basically just them having sex, and her baking him cookies. Sad to say I don’t see them as a forever couple.

Smut Level: Jade goes from never having an orgasm during sex to having 3-4 a night. Lucky girl.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 474 Pages.

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.

 

Call Me Cat by Alex Lux

I swear, more often than not it seems like the quick romance reads that I assume will be mainly sexy but lacking in substance that end up surprising me the most. Just goes to show, you can’t always judge a book by its synopsis!

What’s it About?

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“Make me forget about everything except you.” Catelyn Travis is a good girl who gets good grades in law school, doesn’t date and never gets into trouble. But when a run of bad luck threatens to destroy everything she’s worked for, she’s forced to become Cat, phone sex goddess who fulfills the fantasies of her clients night after night. When she meets Ashton Davenport the Third, bad boy biker billionaire, she knows to stay away. But when he calls her alter ego, Cat, she has no choice but to fall for the sexy stranger. Now her life is spiraling out of control as she struggles to keep her two identities separate, but there’s one person who knows her secret. And he’ll stop at nothing to destroy her, just like he destroyed her parents. Threatened at every turn, her life crumbling around her, Catelyn must decide who she can trust, because the wrong choice could end her life. Contains mature content, recommended for adult readers. Trigger warnings: Sexual assault and animal abuse.

First Impressions

So, we have a young college girl down on her luck financially who needs to make some cash, and fast. Sounds like the set-up to an average porno, doesn’t it? After reading the synopsis and downloading this book for free off BookBub, I figured it would be a nice, mindless read to enjoy in between my romance author review requests. However, before you know it you’re quickly enthralled by a cold case murder mystery, a sadistic stalker, and a blossoming romance shrouded in secrets. Well smack my ass and call me Judy! Actually, please don’t do that.

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What to Do?

Something that I really enjoyed about this novel, other than the unexpected suspenseful plot, was our main character Catelyn, or Cat, as she is known to her naughty callers. This isn’t the first novel I’ve come across where a female character has turned to phone sex in order to pay the bills. However, I think I can honestly say this is the first one where I felt like she legitimately had no other options. Hear me out!

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Catelyn has already maxed out on her student loans during her undergrad at Harvard, and she is unable to take out any more for Harvard Law School due to the fact that she has no living relative who could possibly co-sign a private loan for her. She’s sought in vain for additional fellowship opportunities (which are already being reduced), her professor is already paying her out-of-pocket for her TA duties, and campus jobs are few and far between. Short of dropping out of school, this seemed like a viable option.

Time to Study

The other thing I loved about Catelyn was that she was a student, through and through. She’s never had sex before, or a long-term boyfriend, so she doesn’t exactly have the necessary dirty talking skills to be a phone sex operator. Does that stop her? Hell no! Catelyn hits the library and checks out as many romance novels and sex guides that she can get her hands on. After taking avid notes, she has multiple script options ready to go. She stumbles a bit at first, and it was actually kind of funny to see her try and find her rhythm, but by God ya gotta love the girl’s tenacity.

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Can’t Put it Down

Best piece of advice I can give you when it comes to this book? Be sure to read it on a lazy day at the beach when you have about three uninterrupted hours to spare. That’s about how long you’ll need to finish it. I made the mistake of starting it pretty late in the evening, thinking I’d just read a few chapters before bed. Next thing I know it’s 1:00am and I have work the next day. I had to stop reading 82% of the way through, or else risk showing up to work looking like a zombie. Not only does the book itself end on a cliffhanger, but so does every…single…chapter! I kept telling myself, “Just one more!” Yeah, that didn’t happen.

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Keeping Secrets

Catelyn finds herself in a difficult situation with our main male lead character, Ash, as she starts to fall for him in real life, yet he also happens to be one of her late night callers. She’s hesitant to reveal her true identity to Ash as his local phone sex operator, fearing that he might prefer her sexy alter ego, Cat, to her true self. She wants to think she’s nothing like Cat, but in reality Cat is just the hidden, sexy, carefree side to Catelyn’s own personality. Cat may seem the confident phone sex operator while Catelyn is the serious academic, but they are truly one and the same. Pretty deep for a short romance read!

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Series: Call Me Cat Trilogy, book 1. I got this first book for free, but I immediately went and bought the rest of the trilogy.

Should you read it? I always say the sign of a good mystery novel is when you suspect just about every character in the novel of being the killer. That definitely happens here! I think we still have a lot to learn about Ash, especially when he discovers that Catelyn is actually Cat. Can’t wait to find out more in the next book!

Smut Level: Some of Cat’s clients are raunchier than others. Dirty talk guaranteed. The calls with Ash were surprisingly romantic as he creates sex scenes for them all over the world.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE. Daring Books Publishing. 200 Pages.

 

Saturday Sexcapades: Roof

Sorry I haven’t written a Saturday Sexcapade in quite some time, but what can I say, I’ve been busy!

Most of you know that for the majority of the sexcapades I describe here, I go into rather particular detail about how a location outside of the bedroom might seem ideal in romance novel land, but when you look at the logistics you can’t help but see the obvious downsides. However, when it comes to making whoopie on the roof, you might be surprised to discover I am almost in full 100% support of this locale! Let me explain.

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I have lived in quite a few buildings throughout my short life which have had fabulous roof access. In many different countries as a matter of fact. And let me tell you the roof is by far the most underutilized amenity in most any apartment building! I once lived in a building that had a rooftop pool, and I can’t tell you how many times I was the only person up there making use of that thing. Why that is? No freakin’ clue. How does it benefit our romantic lovers who suddenly feel the urge to get down while up on the roof? Simple. You are practically guaranteed a decent amount of privacy.

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And now for another added benefit: the view. Our lovers not only get to look out on a sweeping view of a city or countryside, but then when they finally get down to business, well…at least one of them gets to look up at a nice starry sky. Sure, one will undoubtedly get the short end of the stick by having to look down at a bunch of roof tiles/bricks, but maybe they can roll over a couple of times to share.

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The final obvious positive to this sexy locale is the fact that there’s usually a siding and/or ledge to the roof which provides the necessary amount of privacy from other people who might be star gazing on their own roof. Let’s face it, once our couple goes horizontal, they probably can’t be spotted by any peeping-tom neighbors. Unless of course the building next to them is significantly taller in height. But even then it’s probably too dark for anyone to see anything!

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And now for the one and only obvious downside, and it’s quite the doozy. You better bring some kind of yoga mat or air mattress with you, otherwise you’ll probably be quite sore for the next week or two. After all, every apartment building roof I’ve been to has some rather hard concrete flooring, and that just doesn’t seem like the ideal material to roll around on. Could definitely do some damage to the knees. Also, if you live in a really big city, such as New York, you might want to be quick about it, lest the cockroaches get curious as to why you’re invading their territory. Talk about a mood killer.

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So maybe there’s a downside here or there, but overall, I’ve got to give an enthusiastic thumbs up to this sexcapade locale!

 

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Well, I feel like I now know more about the wedding business, and everything that goes into planning a wedding than I ever wanted or needed to know.

What’s it About?

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Wedding photographer Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac’s type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending.

First Impressions

Mkay, so full disclosure here: I have no desire to ever have a big wedding. Not saying I have anything against those who do, far from it! I just know it would stress me out waaaay too much (aka I’m lazy as hell), and personally I’d rather save the money and go on like, a series of amazing honeymoons for the next 5 years, and probably spend the same amount of money. Therefore, the fact I chose to read a novel about a woman who has a wedding planning business with her three friends might seem like a strange pick. But this is Nora Roberts we’re talking about here! The legend of all legends! Unfortunately, I’m sorry to say I was rather disappointed with this read.

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OMG, WTF?!

Firstly, way too much attention was placed on such minute details of the weddings these business savvy women were planning. From the drama between the BM and MoH, to the annoyingly picky MoB, not to mention the FFIL, FG, FoB, FoG, GM, SOs and MILs, I’m sorry to say I don’t give a flying bouquet of baby’s breath the hell is going on behind the scenes. It was like an acronym nightmare I couldn’t escape from!!

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On top of this plethora of letters being thrown at you, you have to sit and read about the flowers, decorations, cake design, run-throughs, rehearsals and brunches. Add in the fact that Mac is the photographer, and you’ve got the joys of lighting, feet placement, tipping chin up, down, turning slightly to the left, arm around her…zzzzzzzz.

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Fear of Commitment…Sure

The other feature of this novel I wasn’t a huge fan of was Mac! Her parents divorced when she was young, and have since remarried multiple times. It’s kind of easy to see why Mac herself would be hesitant of commitment, or not necessarily believe in happily ever afters. But then you have Carter. The sweetest, most caring and lovable man ever, who has had a crush on Mac since high school, and he just happens to be well-endowed. And he knows to use it (hint hint wink wink). But! He’s a teacher. A high school teacher at a prestigious local academy, and she actually uses that as a reason to not only initially avoid going out with him, but also push him away later! Like he was somehow less worthy because of what he did for a living. What the hell Mac?! Totally honorable profession!!

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Series: Bride Quartet, book 1. I’ll give one more a try, but if it’s still more of the same wedding planning details I don’t know how long I’ll last.

Should you read it? No joke, if you added everything up I think you’d have more pages devoted to wedding details than discussing Mac and Carter’s relationship. Personally, I found it boring. If you wanna plan weddings, or find that sort of thing intriguing, you’ll probably find it quite helpful.

Smut Level: Nothing too overly graphic. A scene here or there, but nothing to blush over.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $7.99 Kindle Price. Jove Publishing. 353 Pages.

Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

Prepare yourselves ladies and gents, we’ve got a saucy Irish brogue happening in this one. Try not to pass out from the infatuation!

What’s it About?

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Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

First Impressions

I gotta say, if the first time I had learned to drive a stick shift car was whilst sitting on the lap of a hunky Irishman with six-pack abs and strong thighs, I…well…probably would have crashed the damn car! However, I still would’ve had a better time, and tried a few more times to get it right. In this novel, Willa gets a similar driving lesson from Shane, and although she doesn’t crash the car, Shane does proceed to hump her like a jackrabbit on the hood of his car. Sounds like a pretty stellar driving lesson to me!!

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Happy Coincidence

When I first started reading this book, it didn’t take me long before I started to feel like the main character, Willa, seemed a bit familiar, not to mention a few of her references to past experiences and family. Lo and behold, although this novel is marketed as a stand-alone, it’s technically a spin-off of the Line of Duty series. Willa is actually the sister of the main character from the first book of that series, Ginger.

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That being said, I think you can definitely survive without having read that first book, but I was just beyond delighted when I made the connection just about one chapter into it. Especially considering I read it three years ago! There’s a slight chance I may have squealed aloud in excitement when I figured it out. Ok, so I definitely squealed.

Rebound or Love for Life?

At the start of this novel it sort of seemed like Willa had found in Shane a rebound to help her move on from her ex while traveling in Ireland on a photography trip. A sexy fling they can both indulge in to forget about their worries. But this couple has a connection which goes beyond the physical. The see each other. The real “them” that they sometimes try to keep hidden from others. Willa’s photography plays a crucial role in capturing the hidden aspects of their personalities which eventually make them fall for each other. Willa is used to being the one behind the camera, but what will she discover when Shane’s the one taking the picture?

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Series: Technically, no. But in reality yeah. Definitely recommend the Line of Duty series too!

Should you read it? This is a good one! The main dramatic component of the novel is the looming end date to their fling once Willa returns to the US. It’s also a read full of funny and sexy moments as well as a host of lovable characters. And, hello, Irish brogue!

Smut Level: Shane loves to act on his attraction for Willa whether it be in the storage room of his bar, on top of his car, or on top of a cliff. And again…Irish…BROGUE!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Embrace. 262 Pages.

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Bait N’ Witch by Abigail Owen

Another great addition to the Legendary Consultants series by Abigail Owen!

What’s it About?

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In love with the witch hunter father of her charges…Rowan McAuliffe has been hiding most of her life. Secretly trained in her powers by an unusual source, she’d been taught not to trust anyone. Especially other witches. However, after she was forced to perform a hateful act against her will, she now hides from the Mage High Council who seek answers, and possibly her life.

Greyson Masters is the Council’s best enforcer–a witch hunter who lays down the law. Despite the danger of his job, Greyson is also raising his triplet daughters. Alone. Budding new witches who display an alarming combined power no one understands. Too bad he hasn’t got a clue how to deal with them.

Little does Greyson realize that the new nanny sent to him by Legendary Consultants is the very witch he is hunting. When the truth is revealed, can these two opposing forces find a way to listen to their hearts? Or will Greyson have to follow orders and kill Rowan–the one woman who has made his soul come alive?

First Impressions

When this novel first started, I couldn’t help but feel like it was the Sound of Music meets Harry Potter. And honestly, you can’t really go wrong with that combination! I mean, you’ve got the delightful nanny who comes to help look after the sometimes rambunctious children. There might not be seven of them, but when you’re dealing with three teenage triplet witches, it’s a pretty close comparison.

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Then you have the strict father who is all about following the rules, yet still has an obvious love for his children, and a growing desire for the nanny who is having such a positive impact on all of their lives. There might not be any singing or Nazis in this book, but you’ve got  witches, werewolves, a Mage High Council, and plenty of sexual tension that is just bursting at the seams! And I’m talking about the seams of Grey’s pants of course.

Nymphs, Werewolves and Witches, Oh My!

What I love about this series is that although there is a continuing story line throughout each of the three novels, we are offered a different perspective of the events which have transpired based on the characters who are being featured as the leads in any given book. An added bonus is the fact that each novel deals with a new kind of paranormal couple.

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In the first book you had a nymph and a demi-god, in book two you had a pair of alpha werewolves, and in this one you have some very talented witches with an unbreakable bond between them. You still see a reference to the characters and events from the previous novels, yet by constantly switching up the “species”, as it were, it’s basically a guarantee to never get bored!

Living with a Witch Hunter

A large portion of this novel deals with Rowan trying to hide her true identity from Grey, as he is actually a witch hunter who has been tasked with hunting her down. This complication definitely adds to the building sexual tension between them, as every time they get too close Rowan has to pull away, or risk discovery.

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The one thing I would have liked more information on was the evil werewolf forces chasing after Rowan. This feature was brought in rather quickly towards the end of the novel, and I felt like we really didn’t get to understand who this werewolf was, or why she was dead set on getting revenge against Rowan. Yes, technically the motive was mentioned, but I think a few more scenes involving this enemy would have added to a deeper understanding of the story.

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

Series: Legendary Consultants, book 3. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

Should you read it? Another great read in this paranormal romance series. I think the enemy werewolf could have been introduced a bit earlier on in the story, but once again we have some amazing characters that you can’t help but root for to overcome the forces of evil and find a happily ever after.

Smut Level: Witch sex is the best. Nothing like casting a little protection spell between lovers to ensure a condom isn’t necessary. Freakin’ brilliant.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 193 Pages.

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