Cut & Run: Ball & Chain

Ball & Chain

Ball & Chain

Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed–even the man he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbot join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

I just want to start this review, or possibly rant, with the following: this is entirely my opinion. And if you haven’t read Ball & Chain yet, you should steer clear. There will be spoilers.

Right, so we basically start off six months or so after the heart wrenching end of Touch & Geaux. Zane and Kelly are waiting for their boys to get home. We have an emotional reunion between Ty and Zane, and the rest of the Sidewinder guys. It’s great. Everyone skips home and everything is dandy. Life goes on, until one day Deuce phones Ty asking him to be the best man at Deuce’s wedding, which is going to be held in Scotland. Also, would Ty mind bringing one of his Recon buddies to double up as security, too? This person can even bring a date. Enter Nick and Kelly. They head on over to Scotland, and there things start to go pear shaped as they inevitably tend to when the boys embark on the dreaded V-word.

I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail, but that’s the gist of it. When I finished this book, I was confused. I didn’t really know how to feel about it. But the more I think about it, the more let down I feel. This book, for me, was indisputably the weakest book in the series. I don’t know what the effing hell happened. I really need to vent here, so I’m just going to go ahead and spill my guts. First thing that pissed me off? The reunion sex, or rather the glaring lack thereof. I know that sounds terribly superficial, but I felt cheated. Ty and Zane haven’t seen each other for months, and there’s no reunion sex??? And then, when we did get some sexy time, it was intruded upon by Nick and Kelly shouting through the walls. I’ll talk about those two in a minute. Secondly, when the shit started to fly, it did so in such a way that I just found myself shaking my head. I know that in most of the Cut & Run books, the guys run into situations that are a little out there. And that’s totally fine. But this time went a step too far. It was just so far-fetched. And chaotic. People were running around all over the place, but it didn’t really feel like anything was really happening. Now, on to Nick and Kelly. I just want it to be known that I like Nick and Kelly. I’m really looking forward to more of their story. In their books. Honest to God, it felt like I was reading a Sidewinder novel. I mean, this is Ty and Zane’s second last book. I needed them to have more page time than they did. As someone I was talking to on Twitter pointed out, it felt like they were supporting characters in their own bloody book. The huge issues that caused so much friggin’ angst in the last book were barely touched on. I mean, Ty asked Zane to marry him, for Pete’s sake. Surely before you take that much anticipated leap, you should talk some stuff out? And get to know each other again? You haven’t seen one another for nearly half a year! Related to those NOLA issues, and I swear to God I’ll stop after this, was Nick’s beef with Ty. I didn’t get it. It felt… a little forced. I understand why Nick was upset, but there didn’t seem to be any build up to it. One minute Nick was chilled, and the next Nick was all pissy.

I’m sorry that this turned into a rant. But I just needed to get it out there. This isn’t to say that there weren’t any good points because there were. I just probably won’t remember them in the long run…

Holy Wow Wednesday: Long Time Gone

I believe that I mentioned in my review of Long Time Gone, book 2 in the Hell or High Water series by SE Jakes, that this book was scorching. And I wasn’t lying. Even though I last read this book in October, those sex scenes made a lasting impression. Let me just give you a snippet. And you’re in for a treat because this is reunion sex.

“Prophet?”

Tommy? “Tom?” Prophet couldn’t see much, but he knew that drawl. Recognized the feel of the man’s hands as they touched Prophet’s cheeks, traced them with fingertips… Tom reading him like Braille. As the rain washed over them, the smell of grass and earth and floral spice filled the air. His skin tingled from the electrical currents carried on the storm, and his entire body was in a state of heightened awareness that was almost painful.

He wanted to ask what the hell Tom was doing here, why he’d risked everything–including his job at EE–to come here. Wanted to ask if Tom had somehow known he’d be here. But he didn’t.

And he also didn’t know how he even heard the man over the dull roar of the wind, but he did, heard Tom whisper, “Yes,” against his cheek in answer to his unasked questions and fuck, that could mean so many damn things.

Too many to give a shit about parsing, and in the wet, hot darkness, Prophet’s mouth found Tommy’s instead.

They both groaned into that first kiss. Four months and more of longing released in a frantic rush that started out fast and rolled into something more, faster than the gathering storm and threatening to do far more damage.

And Prophet didn’t give a damn, wasn’t able to stop himself from rutting against Tom, the friction of the fabric between them and Tommy’s hardness sending shockwaves through his system.

And he was finally alive again. Holding onto his lifeline in the flesh, knowing that it had almost been too late. If he hadn’t read those emails… Another day, another hour and he would’ve been buried so far underground he would never have seen daylight again. 

He brushed that thought away for what was real right now–Tom’s hands in his hair, keeping him close. Tom’s thighs spread for him, heavy boots landing on his ass and locking around his lower back so the heels dug in, spurring him to rut harder. Tom, holding him in place from that submissive position. And Prophet was fucking Tom’s mouth with his tongue, the way he wanted to fuck Tom. The way he wanted Tommy to fuck him. Tom was matching him kiss for kiss as they alternated between wet and messy, ferocious to lingering, lip-biting to tongue-sucking.

Everything else fell away but Tom. The wet, stinging downpour, the wind, the mud… the danger, were all merely physical barriers to overcome. The easy shit.

The fact that Tom was in his arms again meant they’d already dug into the hard shit.

He pulled back from the kissing to bite Tom’s neck. Tom hissed, bucked his pelvis up, and a low shudder ran through Prophet. And then he made the mistake of opening his eyes and realized he couldn’t see. The electricity had cut out, and it was too damned dark.

He could still feel Tom under him, but that wasn’t enough. He started to count to thirty, because that’s when the generator would kick on. Panic shook him harder than lust, panic leftover from earlier. Then Tom’s hand slid into his pants, along his bare ass, trailing a finger between his cheeks and pressed against the tightened muscles of his hole.

“Mine,” Tom growled against his ear and Prophet whimpered–fucking whimpered–as Tom kept his finger in place, more pressure than an attempt to gain entrance. He had to know Prophet was too goddamned tense for that, but that started to bleed away when Tom said, “Mine,” again.

“Yeah. Yours,” he agreed, blinked against the rain, seeing shadows as his eyes adjusted, and just let himself feel Tom’s hands anchoring him.

It didn’t matter what happened in the morning, in an hour… even in ten minutes. It mattered that Tom was going to make him come in his pants, especially when Tom’s finger pushed inside him and the lights flickered back on.

“Proph,” Tom moaned as Prophet dug in and writhed with zero control. Tommy gripped his shoulder tightly, pulling Prophet into him. Prophet buried his face against Tommy’s neck and knew what Tommy’s face would look like–almost angry that Prophet had gotten to him so easily.

God, he wanted to see that.

Long Time Gone: 680 of 3704

 And lucky for us dirty little pervs, there’s even more after this. But you’ll have to buy the book here to see what happens next. Have an awesome week, everybody!

 

Book of the Month: February

I’ve only just started this series, but I can already tell it’s going to be a favourite. Everything about J.D Robb’s In Death series so far has just blown me away. While I gave both Naked in Death and Glory in Death 5 star reviews, February’s book of the month is going to be Naked in Death. I was so completely absorbed in the happenings of this book, I found it virtually impossible to put down. I know that if you give it a try, you’ll feel the same.

So here is an excerpt. Eve’s had a really rough day and she’s in a dingy bar, hoping to drown her sorrows.

“This doesn’t seem quite your den of iniquity, Lieutenant.”

Eve opened her eyes and stared up at Roarke. “Every time I turn around.”

He sat across from her. The table was small enough that their knees bumped. His way of adjusting was to slide his thighs against hers. “You called me, remember, and you’d left this address when you logged out,”

“I wanted an appointment, not a drinking buddy.”

He glanced at the drink on the table, leaned over to take a sniff. “You’re not going to get one with that poison.”

“This joint doesn’t run to fine wine and aged scotch.”

 He laid a hand over hers for the simple purpose of watching her scowl and jerk away.”Why don’t we go somewhere that does?”

“I’m in a pisser of a mood, Roarke. Give me an appointment, at your convenience, then take off.”

“An appointment for what?” The singer caught his attention. He cocked a brow, watching her eyes roll and gesture. “Unless she’s having some sort of seizure, I believe the vocalist is signaling you.”

Resigned, Eve glanced over, shook her head. “She’s a friend of mine.” She shook her head emphatically when Mavis grinned and turned both thumbs up. “She thinks I got lucky.”

“You did.” Roarke picked the drink up and set it on an adjoining table where greedy hands fought over it. “I just saved your life.”

“Goddamn it–“

“If you want to get drunk, Eve, at least do it with something that will leave you with most of your stomach lining. He scanned the menu, winced. “Which means nothing that can be purchased here.” He took her hand as he rose. “”Come on.”

“I’m fine right here.”

All patience, he bent down and until his face was close to hers. “What you are is hoping to get drunk enough so that you can take a few punches at someone without worrying about the consequences. With me, you don’t have to get drunk, you don’t have to worry. You can take all the punches you want.”

“Why?”

“Because you have something sad in your eyes. And it gets to me.” While she was dealing with the surprise of that statement, he hauled her to her feet and toward the door.

“I’m going home,” she decided. 

“No, you’re not.”

“Listen, pal–“

That was as far as she got before her back was shoved against the wall and his mouth crushed hard on hers. She didn’t fight. The wind had been knocked out of her by the suddenness, and the rage under it, and the shock of need that slammed into her like a fist.

“It was quick, seconds only, before her mouth was free. “Stop it,” she demanded, and hated that her voice was only a shaky whisper.

“Whatever you think,” he began, struggling for his own composure, “there are times you need someone. Right now, it’s me.” Impatience shimmering around him, he pulled her outside. “Where’s your car?”

Naked in Death: pg 169-171

Hell or High Water: Long Time Gone

Long Time Gone

Long Time Gone

Soldier of fortune, Prophet Andrews always worked alone–until Tom Boudreaux became his partner. But when Tom walked away three months ago, ostensibly to keep Prophet safe, Prophet learnt the true meaning of being alone. Everyone knows that Prophet, a Navy SEAL turned CIA spook turned mercenary, can look after himself. Which means he must’ve driven his lover away.

Even with half a world between them, Prophet can’t get the man out of his head. Maybe that’s why he’s in New Orleans in the middle of a hurricane, protecting Tom’s aunt. But the only looter around is Tom, bursting back into Prophet’s life. It turns out that Prophet has been stuck in Tom’s head–and heart–too.

Their explosive reunion gets even hotter when Tom is arrested for murder. As they fight to clear his name, they delve deep into his past, finding enemies among everyone they meet. Staying alive in such a dangerous world is enough, but they soon discover that fighting to stay together is the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. 

I read this book ages ago, pretty much when it first came out, and for some reason I’m only talking about it now. I’m telling you this because I might be a little fuzzy on the details, so I apologise in advance.

When we last saw our boys, Tommy had pulled that whole I’m-staying-away-from-you-for-your-own-good thing. And it is only because I adore Tommy that I didn’t want to punch him in the mouth.Unfortunately for Tommy, though, Prophet didn’t really share my sentiments and he went off the radar. No one has any idea where he is, or what he’s doing. And Tommy’s a little worried. Every night he sends Prophet an email. And every morning he wakes up, hoping for a response. Except… Prophet never replies. Undeterred, Tommy keeps on. And one day, Tommy mentions in one of his innumerable messages, Tommy mentions his concerns for his aunt living in New Orleans, a city once again on the verge of another hurricane.

Prophet has been having a bit of a rough time. He didn’t expect getting kicked to the curb to hurt so much. He didn’t expect it to be so difficult to move on. He’s on the brink of going so deep undercover that no one will find him. And then something makes him check his email. And then he starts to read. And against his better judgement, he then heads down to New Orleans. And this is where our two boys reunite.

This book made me happy. It was serious, but not so angsty that I wanted to jump in my pool and then forget how to swim. Tommy and Prophet had their issues–honesty being a big one–but they managed to work through a lot of it. And let me tell you one thing: I do not mind them fighting if SE Jakes keeps writing those steamy make up scenes. My God, those things are hotBut beyond the make up sex and the reunion sex and the angry sex was the fact that we got to know Tommy and Prophet a little better. Prophet opened up a little more to Tommy. He spent a lot less time hiding his feelings from both himself and his partner. Tommy was the star of this book, for me. We learnt more about his past and why he’s not so keen on his family. Lets just say, the guy has some daddy issues, and who can blame him? I loved how Prophet stood up for him. It was really sweet and it made me happy and wish for tender sex. What? I can’t help it, Jakes writes some insane love scenes. One other thing I want to mention is Cillian. God, that guy worked on my nerves. Not because he’s a bad character or whatever, but because he wouldn’t stop flirting with Prophet. It’s the crazy fangirl in me, but I get oddly territorial on behalf of fictional characters when other people hit on them. I kinda wanna be like this:

I really think I love this series. It has it’s emotionally traumatising moments, but they don’t last too long. And, happily, Long Time Gone didn’t end with a huge honking cliffhanger. Thank God for small mercies. The last one almost did me in.

Holy Wow Wednesday: Ink – It’s My New Obscession

I know that tattoos can be something of a controversial issue. Some people love them, while others apparently loathe them. I can see their point, to an extent. I have seen some seriously dodgy tattoos, and the words why would you do that to yourself? have run through my mind a time or two. But when a tattoo’s done right? There is honestly nothing sexier.

tumblr_n030evJDtk1qhlt4ko1_500

tumblr_n17fot3i5g1rywz5po1_500

tumblr_n06rn1KqM31smb63lo1_500

tumblr_n00twaiWJx1qidqojo1_500

tumblr_n0ophgZF1d1ruyjmfo1_500

tumblr_n0oi5v3zKn1sumnuco1_500

tumblr_n0hw67bK081qidqojo1_500

tumblr_mzy45fYaB31qlgz8po4_500

The delicious Alex Minsky

tumblr_mzewmpp51T1seotwlo1_500

I left the best for last with this guy. The nipple rings make my knees weak...

I saved the best for last with this guy. The nipple rings make my knees weak…

And these lovely gentlemen are why, for the most part, I absolutely adore tattoos. I just want to lick them.

Fighting Destiny: Born to Darkness

Born to Darkness

Born to Darkness

Dishonorably discharged, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is down to his last ten bucks when he finally finds work as a test subject at the Obermeyer Institute, a little-known and believed-to-be-fringe scientific research facility. When he enters the OI compound, he is plunged into a strange world where seemingly mild-mannered scientists–including women half his size–can kick his highly skilled ass.

Shane soon discovers that there are certain individuals who possess the unique ability to access untapped regions of the brain with extraordinary results–including telekinesis, super strength, and reversal of the aging process. Known as “Greater-Thans”, this rare breed is recruited by OI, where they are rigorously trained using ancient techniques to cultivate their powers and wield them responsibly.

But in depths of America’s second Great Depression, where the divide between the haves and have-nots has grown even wider, those who are rich–and reckless–enough have a quick, seductive alternative: Destiny, a highly addictive designer drug that can make anyone a Greater-Than, with the power of eternal youth. The sinister cartel known as The Organization has begun mass-producing Destiny, and the demand is growing. But few realize the drug’s true danger, and fewer still know the dirty secret of Destiny’s crucial ingredient.

Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie knows the ugly truth. And as one of the Obermeyer Institute’s crack team of operatives, she’s determined to end the scourge of Destiny. But her kick-ass attitude gets knocked for a loop when she discovers one of the new test subjects is the same smoldering stranger who rocked her world in a one-night stand. And although Shane quickly discovers he isn’t a Greater-Than like Mac, as an ex-Seal, he’s got talents of his own. But Mac’s got powerful reasons to keep her distance from Shane–and reasons to want him close. She’s used to risking her life, but now she faces risking her heart in the ultimate war on drugs.

Have you ever read a book where you just weren’t sure what to think about it once you were done? That’s how I felt with this one. There were bits that I liked and bits that… I really didn’t. And, dammit, I wanted to like this book!

Born to Darkness is the first book by Suzanne Brockmann that I’ve read. I was quite keen on the premise of the book, but I felt that it fell a little short. Let me start with the book’s format. Born to Darkness didn’t focus on one main couple, but on three. This was good because the “main” couple bugged the hell out of me. More on that later. Next is the whole universe that Brockmann had set up. This is an America of the future (don’t know how far into the future because I don’t believe that the year was ever mentioned), and it is a very, very bleak future indeed. Money is tight, people in general are so apathetic it’s scary, and rich yahoos take drugs that make both superhuman and crazy. There are also people with incredible powers, who come by their superhuman-ness naturally. Some of these people work for the Obermeyer Institute in an effort to not only train those who’ve just discovered their powers, but to get Destiny off the street. The Obermeyer Institute is a safe place for those born with extra super special powers, a place where tests are carried out and a place where Greater-Thans, without somewhere to live, can stay. Sounds good, right?

But there were bits that just felt a bit iffy for me. The bad guys were sort of… obvious bad guys. Because all bad guys are hideously disfigured, because how else will you know how to avoid them? And the three main couples, who I’ll talk about more in just a sec, seemed to just fall in love in the space of less than a week. Upon reflection, all the couples bugged me in some way and let me tell you why. Mac and Shane were Born of Darkness’s main focus. Mac has issues, and fair enough. She’s got this huge wall around her and she very rarely lets anyone too close. And because of her unusual… talents, she doesn’t believe that anyone will want her of their own free will. Shane and Mac had a thing, which Mac believes was as a result of her talent. Shane, after having the situation explained to him, doesn’t much care. He wants Mac. He believes that there’s a connection, despite the fact that Mac treats him like a yo-yo with her “go away, no come back!” routine. Very irritating. The next couple is Elliot and Stephen. I honestly felt that they declared the “I-love-yous” far too quickly. And I thought that Brockmann could have gone deeper with their relationship. Their issues and stuff seemed to be glossed over. The last couple were Dr Joseph Back and Anna Taylor. Theirs was the relationship I was most invested in and, by the end of the book, it was left up in the air.

There was also a little short story at the end of the book, Shane’s Last Stand. I’ll be honest, it didn’t do anything for me. It basically covered the how and why of Shane’s dishonourable discharge. It’s only about five chapters long, so it’s a really short read.

So, in all, this is not a book that’s going to make it onto my top ten list. Born of Darkness definitely had it’s good bits, but I just felt that something was missing. I’ll probably read the next book in the series (if one ever comes out; it’s a 2012 release and I haven’t seen any mention of a sequel) if only to see what the hell’s going to happen with Anna and Bach.

Midnight Breeds: Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight

Shades of Midnight

In a frozen wilderness steeped in darkness, the lines between good and evil, lover and enemy, are never black or white but drawn in Shades of Midnight…

Something inhuman is stalking the frigid Alaskan wilds, leaving unspeakable carnage in its wake. For bush pilot Alexandra Maguire, the killings stir memories of a horrific event she witnessed as a child and evoke in her the inexplicable sense of otherness she has long felt but never fully understood… until a darkly seductive stranger with secrets of his own enters her world.

Sent from Boston on a mission to investigate the savage attacks and stop the slaughter, vampire warrior Kade has his own reasons for returning to the frigid, forbidding place of his birth. Haunted by a secret shame, Kade soon realizes the stunning truth of the threat he faces–a threat that will jeopardize the fragile bond he has formed with the courageous, determined young woman who arouses his deepest passions and most primal hungers. But in bringing Alex into his world of blood and darkness, Kade must confront both his personal demons and the even greater evil that could destroy all he holds dear…

I had a bit of a bumpy start with this series, but I’m really glad I pushed on with this it. Things are really picking up now, and I’m finding myself increasingly intrigued with the way in which the overall story is developing.

Our hero is Kade. We’ve seen him here and there in the past books, but he hasn’t really played a very big role. But then he gets his chance to shine when he’s asked to travel to Alaska to investigate a spate of vicious murders that reek of the handiwork of Breed males suffering from Bloodlust. Kade’s happy to step up, even though he’s reluctant to return home. He left Alaska under less than ideal circumstances, and he’s pretty sure that the welcome he’s set to receive is going to make the chilly Alaskan weather look downright balmy. But Kade sucks it up and, upon meeting Alexandra Maguire, he soon finds that he’s really glad he did. Alexandra has had a difficult life. Witnessing the brutal deaths of her mother and younger brother, Alex has gone out of her way to bury those memories along with anything about herself that might label her as “strange”. But things start to fall apart when, on a routine delivery to the more remote regions of her tiny town, she discovers the broken bodies of about a dozen people. Everyone is set on blaming the horrific find on a pack of rogue wolves, but Alex is sure that it’s something far more sinister. Only, no one will believe her–no one except the mysterious stranger, Kade.

I really enjoyed this book. Kade and Alex were cute together, but they weren’t my favourite element of this book. As is becoming my habit, I found myself more interested in the overall development of the world that Adrian’s created. The two things that I found myself most drawn in by were the situation with the Ancient, and what Jenna’s deal was. Those two are both characters I felt some sympathy for. The Ancient is vicious, no doubt about it. But he’s also been stuck on this alien planet, in completely unfamiliar surroundings, being abused by the evil Dragos. And Jenna lost her entire family in one fell swoop. She’s basically got nothing left. And I really want her to have some kind of happily-ever-after. Which, luckily enough, is what I think is going to happen in the next book.

This series is really starting to grow on me, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen next. Bring on the next installment of the Midnight Breeds!    

Holy Wow Wednesday: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy

I have recently realised that I have a little bit of a thing for cowboys. Well, “cowboys” since I pretty much classify any guy wearing a tight pair of jeans and goofy hat as a cowboy. My ignorance aside, some of the good ol’ boys are smoking…

tumblr_n06awwGz9F1rdi0g3o1_500

tumblr_n0xyapawD71ruyjmfo1_500

tumblr_n0f5x26a671t0gosoo1_500

tumblr_myval2aLGc1re8f5xo1_500

tumblr_myex81ygHF1s1di4zo1_500

tumblr_my59t6XUkr1rgzvh7o1_500

tumblr_mxltmm29vR1rrt383o1_500

These boys are enough to make me want to pack up my stuff and find me my own cowboy. Have an awesome week everybody!

In Death: Glory in Death

Glory in Death

Glory in Death

The dead were her business. She lived with them, she worked with them, studied them. She dreamed of them. Murder no longer shocked, but it continued to repel.

The first victim is found lying on a sidewalk in the rain. The second is found murdered in her own apartment building. Both have had their throats slashed.

New York City homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas has no problem finding connections between the two crimes. Both women were beautiful and successful; their glamorous lives and loves the talk of the city. And their intimate relations with powerful men provide Eve with a long list of suspects–including her own lover, Roarke.

As a woman, Eve is compelled to trust the man who shares her bed. But as a cop, it’s her job to follow every lead, to explore every secret passion, no matter how dark. Or how dangerous.

There are some authors who just have that something. You know, that thing, that quality, to their writing that makes it almost impossible to put their books down. J.D Robb has that thing. With every chapter that I finished, I became more and more glad that I’d started this series. It really is something else.

Eve Dallas’s life hasn’t changed all that much since the end of Naked in Death. She still investigates murders, she still works too hard, she still has nightmares. The only aspect in her life that’s undergone any sort of shift is her love life. As in, now she actually has one and she’s not entirely sure how to handle it. Thankfully, but also unfortunately, Eve has plenty to distract herself from her growing attachment to Roarke. A high profile lawyer has been found murdered in a really dodgy part of town. Said lawyer had a close relationship with Eve’s boss, who’s given Eve strict instructions to find whoever did this at whatever cost. So no pressure. But then the body of another high profile lady is found, murdered in the exact same way, and Eve finds herself in the midst of a shit storm. Not only does she have to deal with one truly obnoxious journalist, she also has to face the fact that both victims were linked to Roarke. So, once again, Eve has to turn her eye onto Roarke in her professional capacity. This obviously doesn’t go down too well with Roarke, leaving Eve to deal with issues in both her personal and professional life.

This book was really incredible. I wasn’t only captivated by the who-dunnit element of the story, but also how the characters are starting to evolve. We see Eve gradually becoming more open and vulnerable with Roarke. She spends a lot of time fighting her feelings, and we see how justifiably frustrated Roarke gets. I didn’t really blame him for getting huffy. He really puts himself out there, and still Eve holds back. I think my favourite part of this book was actually getting to know Roarke better. In the first book, he came off as this hot, aloof millionaire who’s suddenly taken an interest in Eve. With this book, we saw Roarke as a person, not the badboy rich guy. He was actually–dare I say it–sweet. Not a word I would have associated with Roarke, but there you go.

Now, I just need to share this with you. This little snippet, after Roarke swoops in to rescue her, is exactly why I love Eve as much as I do. She’s awesome sauce…

“It’s his blood,” Roarke said calmly, “not mine.”
“His blood.” She nearly wobbled again, forced her knees to lock. “You’re not hurt?”
“Nothinh major.” Concerned, he angled her head back to examine the shallow slice along her collarbone, the rapidly swelling eye. “You need a medic, Lieutenant.”
“In a minute. Let me ask you something.”
“Ask away.” Having nothing else, he tore part of his ripped sleeve to dab at the blood on her shoulder.
“Do I come charging into one of your board rooms when your having trouble with a business deal?”
His eyes flicked to hers. Some of the fierceness died out of them into what was almost a smile. “No, Eve, you don’t. I don’t know what got into me.” 

I really recommend giving this series a try. Robb’s descriptions and the way she seems to weave these mysteries so effortlessly is awe inspiring. And the characters are just so interesting. I know that I’m dying to find out more about both Eve and Roarke. They’re both very enigmatic characters, despite being our leads.

Psy-Changeling: Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire

Branded by Fire

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons;  the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together–before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it will leave them both branded by fire…

 I have fallen in love with this series. I’d really, really, really enjoyed it before, but this book totally clinched it for me: Nalini Singh is a paranormal romance writing goddess. I adored everything about this book. Singh manages to write these hot romances while keeping up with her absolutely riveting world building. Honestly, I’m fangirling right now.

Branded by Fire is Mercy and Riley’s story. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these two since they’ve both been peripheral characters in the past books. But Singh did not disappoint. Branded by Fire is another one of those “opposites attract” scenarios. We start off with Riley and Mercy not particularly liking each other very much. They respect each other on a professional level, each acknowledging that the other is a badass, but not having much time for one another beyond that. Until one day… bang! Pun intended. In a moment of sexually frustrated weakness, Mercy takes Riley on after he propositions her. And, man, talk about fireworks. Riley, of course, is happy to go there again, but Mercy is horrified that she went there with a wolf with no discernible personality. Mercy is of the opinion that Riley makes the chilly Psy seem bubbly, and Riley sort of sees Mercy as a bit of a lose cannon. Mercy thinks that Riley thinks too much, while Riley thinks that Mercy doesn’t think enough. Mercy is a free spirit, and Riley is always in control. Clearly, they’re as different as two people can be in terms of temperament, never mind the fact that one’s a leopard and the other is a wolf.

I enjoyed the romance and how they gradually softened towards one another. Riley hasn’t been the same since Brenna (our heroine from Caressed by Ice) was kidnapped and tortured by a deranged Psy. He’s hardened himself, and everyone in his pack has noticed. But when he starts spending time with Mercy, he lightens up a little. Mercy’s been having some problems that her pack’s picked up on too. As a dominant female, she’s been worried about her prospects of finding a male who can handle her. Thing is, she needs someone even more dominant than her in order for her leopard to accept him. Thankfully, Riley seems to fit the bill.

I’m not going to go into too much detail with the romance because, although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my favourite part of the book. No, my favourite bits were the more peripheral stuff. I was far more focused on  issues like, what’s happening with the Psy Council? And who exactly is the Ghost? And what is Kaleb Krychek’s story? And why are there so many books on my to-be-read pile between me and Sienna and Hawke’s book?!?! Just to go off on a quick tangent here, but I cannot–CANNOT— wait to read that book! It’s going to be EPIC!!! Ahem… anyhow. I actually find that Singh’s attention to detail is my favourite part of her books. I mean, most romance novels follow the same general patterns and she’s no exception to that. But what she does do, better than almost any author I can think of, is focus on the little things. Her world building is just phenomenal. With each installment of this series, things just get more and more intricate.

In short, I can’t get enough of this series. The attention to detail in the world building is breathtaking, the romances are hot and sweet, and everything is just so well-written that I think this series is going to go down as one of my favourites. Nalini Singh can honestly do no wrong in my eyes, and I am dying to see what’s going to happen next.

 

Holy Wow Wednesday: David Gandy

I must admit, for a long time I didn’t really understand David Gandy’s appeal. Sure, he’s good looking and all, but I didn’t really find him attractive. Kind of like Cristiano Ronaldo; pretty, but not really my cup of tea. And then, one day out of the blue, I saw a picture of this guy and my first thought was, “Holy crap, this guy is HOT!” So, in honour of my epiphany, I present to you the truly delicious David Gandy.

david gandy 1

 

david gandy 2

david gandy 3

david gandy 4

david gandy 5

I learnt an important lesson this week: I need to get my eyes checked regularly. And also to frequenlty feel if I have a pulse, since the only way a person can possibly not appreciate Mr Gandy is if they’re both blind and dead.

 

Immortals After Dark: Dark Desires After Dusk

Dark Desires After Dusk

Dark Desires After Dusk

 

A Ruthless Demon Mercenary.
A Lovely Young Halfling.
In the Dark, There is No Escaping Desire.

A seductive beauty he can never have, yet can’t resist…

Cade of the rage demons will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.

A tormented warrior she should fear, but can’t deny…

Raised as a human, Holly Ashwin never knew some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon’s wicked touch. 

Surrender to dark desires…

Yet just when he earns Holly’s trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs–and claim his heart?

It’s official: Kresley Cole is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my absolute favourite authors. In fact, I think she’s in the top five. Every time I start another of her books, I think to myself that it can’t possibly be any better than the last. And then… I’m proven wrong. Each and every single time.

Dark Desires After Dusk is Cadeon Woede’s story. Cade is a rage demon. And not just any rage demon; he is actually the brother of the king of the rage demons… and also the reason why his brother, Rydstrom, lost said kingdom to an evil sorcerer. It happened centuries ago, but no one’s been willing to let him live it down. Now, at long last, Cade has the opportunity to make things right. All he needs to do is deliver the Vessel, a Lore female destined to give birth to either a force of ultimate evil or ultimate good, to a slightly deranged sorcerer, and he’ll be well on his way to mending fences between him and his brother. Cade should be chuffed as hell to finally accomplish what he’d started to believe was impossible. Except the Vessel is none other than Holly, a woman he believed to be forbidden to him due to the fact that she was human. Now it turns out that Holly is not, in fact, human but Cade can’t have her anyway because he’s promised his brother to put the needs of their kingdom above his own. Poor demon…

Holly Ashwin was raised as a human. A woman with an unquestionably brilliant mind, Holly suffers from some… social anxieties. Sporting a bad case of OCD and a reluctance to get intimate with her supportive boyfriend, Holly lives a very ordered life. At least, until she finds out that not only is she part Valkyrie, but she’s also the Vessel. Gone is her predictable and structured life; she’s now got almost every faction of the Lore coming after her and finds herself having no choice but to trust a foul-mouthed, rough-and-tumble demon. A demon who, as time passes, she finds herself increasingly attracted to.

God, I loved this book. Every single little thing. The characters, the plot, the dialogue–everything– was just epic. Cade was just this lovable, brash moron who I just wanted to hug… and do other things to. He’s had a thing for Holly for months but, believing her to be human, has resigned himself to the fact that he can never have her. And then things just get worse for him when he realises that her being human would be the least of his problems. He tries so hard to sort of work his way onto her good side, but half the time that just backfires on him. He was this mixture of cocky and uncertain with Holly, and it just made him so sexy. And Holly was an utter badass, too. I think she may be my favourite leading lady in this series so far, and that’s saying something. Cole’s heroines never wait around for their men to come save them. He’s not there when the shit hits the fan? She takes care of it herself, because she’s got shit to do. Holly adapted really well to her change in circumstances, and didn’t let Cade just talk his way into her bed. She told him when she thought he was being full of crap (which was fairly often) and held her ground when confronted with the freakiness of the Lore. The only thing I wish is that we’d seen more of Rydstrom. I think it would have been interesting to see more of him and Cade interacting. But since he was kidnapped by an evil sorceress for reasons unknown, we’ll just have to wait for his book to see a resolution to his and Cade’s issues.

In all, this book was everything you could possibly want from a paranormal romance: Take-no-prisoners heroines get paired up with sexy bad boy heroes to take on some nasty thing bent on destruction. And nobody does it like Kresley Cole.

You can buy Dark Desires After Dusk at Sony‘s ebook store.

In Death: Naked In Death

Naked In Death

Naked In Death

She woke in the dark. For a moment she simply lay there, shuddering, imprisoned, while the dream faded. After ten years on the force, Eve still had dreams.

Named by the social worker who rescued her as a child, Eve Dallas is now a New York City cop who lives for the job. 

While recovering from her latest case, Eve is sent to investigate the brutal execution of Sharon DeGlass. A high-class escort and senator’s granddaughter, Sharon has been shot three times with an illegal gun and left naked and posed on her own bed.

All the evidence points Eve towards Irish billionaire Roarke. With an instant sexual attraction between them, Eve and Roarke must work together to find a sadistic killer–but can Eve really trust a man whose past is as damaged as her own?

I had heard of J.D Robb, or Nora Roberts, for a long time and for some reason, I never tried any of her stuff. Let me let you in on a little secret: that was dumb. I was dumb. Because this book was brilliant. Robb is an incredible writer. Her descriptions are so vivid, her characters are so complex and layered, and I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. This book was, in a word, phenomenal.

Our story is set in the year 2058, and a lot has changed. Prostitution is now legal, guns are–for the most part–illegal, and genetic testing is done to ensure that the worst of humanity’s violent tendencies are weeded out. Despite many of the advancements that have been made, murder is still a fact of life. This is where out leading lady, Eve Dallas, comes in. She’s a cop, and she’s been called in to investigate the murder of a prostitute. This particular case has made headlines, not only because of the way in which the victim was killed but also because of the woman’s social status. Her grandfather is a high-ranking member of a conservative political party calling for a return to a more “moral” way of life, where prostitutes are arrested and the American public has the right to bear arms. Also of note is the fact that this woman wasn’t strangled or stabbed; she was shot. So there is a lot of public interest in this case and a great deal of pressure on Eve to catch the person responsible. And the pressure continues to mount when more prostitutes are found dead, all killed in the exact same way. As Eve investigates, she finds a lot of evidence pointing in the direction of Roarke, the gorgeous, mysterious billionaire. Eve pursues the investigation wherever it takes her, but things are made a little complicated by the sexual tension between her and Roarke.

I need a minute to talk about Eve. She was such a complete and utter badass. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a heroine this much. She didn’t put up with anybody’s shit. Her utter focus on finding the truth, on catching the bad guy, was awesome. She was tough, but she never came across as hard. Eve has suffered through some major trauma in her life, but she’s overcome it to become on of the best cops in New York. She’s just the kind of heroine that you have to root for. Given her damage, you just want her to be happy. This leads me nicely to Roarke. He is Mr Megabucks, the guy who has everything and wants for nothing. Well, there is one thing he wants: Eve. For the first time since he made his first million, it looks like Roarke is actually going to have to really work at getting what he wants because Eve is wary of him from the get-go. Not only because he’s a suspect but because he threatens her on a level that no one else ever has.

This is normally the kind of book I would avoid since I don’t really like being kept in any real kind of suspense. But I loved everything about this book. I honestly had no clue who the murderer was, even until the end. I know there are a crap load of books in this series and, while some may find that intimidating, I find that I can’t wait to delve even deeper into it.

You can buy Naked in Death over at Sony‘s ebook store.

Holy Wow Wednesday: Random Hotties

I’ve been slacking off in the Holy Wow Wednesday department for the last few weeks. I’m sorry. First, I was on holiday and my internet connection was sketchy at best. And then I came home and I just haven’t seen anything that’s revved my engine . Everything was just kind of… meh. But, thanks to much toiling on Tumblr, I’ve found something pretty for us to ogle. His name is Kevin ten Hoeve. He’s a model, and he is hot as fuck. Don’t believe me? Have a look for yourself.

6449be2cf779d71ebc1f07429a932198

 

d8a7d5f7165238760fd1b79c8de7f722

modello4

Man, this guy is so hot it hurts. I hope this tides you guys over until next week, when I’ll hopefully have something more to follow up with. Have an awesome week guys!

The Fallen Angels: Possession

Possession

Possession

When Cait Douglass resolves to get over her broken heart, throw off her inhibitions, and really start living, she’s unprepared for the two sensual men who cross her path. Torn between them, she doesn’t know which to choose–or what kind of dire consequences could follow.

Jim Heron, fallen angel and reluctant savior, is ahead in the war, but he puts everything at risk when he seeks to make a deal with the devil–literally. As yet another soul is unwittingly caught in the battle between him and the demon Devina, his fixation on an innocent trapped in Hell threatens to sidetrack him from his sacred duty…

Can good still prevail if true love makes a savior weak? And will a woman’s future be the key, or the curse, for all humanity? Only time, and hearts, will tell.

I have loved J.R Ward for a long time. I remember reading Dark Lover and being like, this woman a goddess and I worship her. And for the most part, this has remained the case. But while this book was pretty good, I was still expecting more. I may well be alone in feeling this way, but I thought it was a situation where the story line was filled with both absolutely nothing and a whole lot. Stuff happened but it didn’t feel like it moved the story forward in any real way.

Our romance centres around three people. The first is Cait Douglass. She went through a major heartbreak a few years ago and, as a result, hasn’t really been living. But after a major shock in the form of an unexpected death, Cait has decided that life is too short to be sitting around on her ass, and she’s made a major effort to throw herself back out there. Then we have G.B, whose last name I can’t for the life of me remember and can’t find in the damn book. He’s sexy, sensitive, charming, and crazy talented. He’s everything you’d want in a guy, what with his ridiculous good looks and willingness to talk about his feelings. Duke Philips is the exact opposite of G.B. He’s a rough and tough bouncer, a man of few words. In fact, the only things G.B. and Duke have in common is that they are both fine as hell and they both have their respective eyes on Cait.

In addition to the  love triangle, we have my favourite angels and crazy bitch demon. I know I’ve said it before but I love Devina. She’s a complete psycho, but she’s funny. Ward has taken a character who should be completely repugnant and made her… almost relatable. She’s pining after a guy who has zero interest in her (but she’s managed to convince herself that they’re in love), she sees a psychiatrist, she has difficulties letting go, and she hates her yoga instructor. Our angels have been cut down to two, with only Adrian and Jim left to save the world now that Eddie’s gone. Well, more like one and a half. Those of you who’ve been following this series will know that Jim’s focus on this war has been split pretty much from the beginning due to the horrific murder of Sissy Barten. Jim has been so fixated on the death of this young woman, and on her torture down in hell, that he’s done something that has put the outcome of the entire war in jeopardy: He’s willing to trade one of his wins in the war for Sissy’s release from hell. To say that “the shit hits the fan” would be a huge understatement.

This was probably my least favourite installment in the Fallen Angels series. I can’t tell you why, but I just felt that there was something missing. There just wasn’t the same level of excitement and suspense that there usually is. That being said, I still enjoyed this book. Ward just has this ability to make me cackle with her writing style and she gave us some pretty steamy sex scenes. Plus, the end of Possession will have us waiting with baited breath to see what’s going to happen next.