Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue #1) by Katie Ruggle

Series:
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue #1) by Katie Ruggle
Series: Search and Rescue #1
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Format: Audiobook (9 hrs 53 mins)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Purchase Links: Amazon USBarnes & NobleGoodreads

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive…even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou-and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

two-half-stars

This series and the characters had a lot of potential but it was never realized in this book. I also found the narrator less than memorable.

Louise “Lou” Sparks moved across the country to assert her independence and build a life helping others. She found work with the Field County Ice Rescue Team where Callum Cook was her supervisor. When Lou found a dead body in the water, along with the tires on her car slashed, she turned to Callum for help.

This book had a steady pace of action and suspense. The author did a job of developing Lou and Callum, but I never connected with Lou and Callum. Lou was kind of amusing but Callum was too gruff for me. They were opposites and it worked for them. The romance just wasn’t developed that well and there wasn’t enough creativity to differentiate this book from other books in this genre.

For those who like more adventure and less romance, this book would be entertaining. Their relationship make sense on a cerebral level, there wasn’t enough emotional intensity to make it engaging. I like more romantic development of the characters so I didn’t really feel the connection between Lou and Callum.

While I didn’t enjoy this book, I will try book two before I decide whether this series is a keeper. There is an interesting premise and I want to give it a chance.

Ezi

Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland

Narrator: John Lane, Tatiana Sokolov
Source: Tantor Audio

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Over the Fence by Melanie Moreland
Release Date: August 4th 2015
Format: Audiobook (9 hrs and 48 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: Tantor Audio
Purchase Links: Amazon USBarnes & Noble

Two neighbors-strangers-with one thing in common: they share a fence. But is that the only thing they share? Nathan Fraser lives a solitary life, never letting anyone get too close. It’s safer that way. Kourtney Whyte hides from the world and behind her work, too afraid to really live her life to the fullest. Rejection is what she knows best. But one night, the sound of her soft voice and the tantalizing aroma of her evening meal prove too enticing for Nathan to ignore. So begins their unconventional relationship-talking, learning, texting, and gradually opening up to one another, all over the fence. That is, until the day Nathan braves the high fence to protect Kourtney from her past, and changes everything forever. Can they move forward together, without the buffer of the fence? Or will their pasts prove to be too much of a barrier? Contains mature themes.

four-stars

Nathan Fraser smelled home cooking across his fence and complimented his neighbor’s culinary skills, which led her to leave a plate for him on the fence. For weeks, Nathan and his neighbor Kourtney Whyte culivated an “over the fence” relationship where they conversed, shared meals and got to know each other without seeing the other’s face.

It felt like an online relationship to me except they lived next door and heard each other’s voice. It amazes me that people can live next door and have no clue what the other looked like. It was generally entertaining though.

The second half of the story when Nat and his chef girl finally met was wrought with body image issues. It also dragged with Nat keeping a huge secret that the author kept alluding to until the last 90% of the book.

In actuality, those feelings about our body is real and I can’t fault Kourtney for having them as society says women should look as thin as possible. I spent most of the book trying to guess Kourtney’s dress size. (Like that even mattered, right?) I liked Kourntey and felt bad for her as well Nate, so I was happy they met each other and fill that void.

My only complaint was that some parts dragged. Especially everyone’s effusive praise of Kourtney. She was nice but I would have liked her to have a couple of bad traits. The author just created a too good to be true character and that’s not necessary to get the message of self acceptance, love and forgiveness across.

Still, this was one of the most meaning stories I’ve listened to all year. It spoke to me.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio

Ezi

Audiobook Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Narrator: Georgia Maguire

Title: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Release Date: February 11th, 2016
Format: Georgia Maguire (8 hrs and 23 mins)
Genre: Suspense, Thrillers, Mystery
Published By: St. Martin’s Press
Purchase Links: GoodreadsAmazon US

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

three-half-stars

I usually avoid these books but this was one was intriguing. It was a Goodreads choice award book so I wanted to see what the fuss was. I just want to say that “I like George Clooney but hate Jack!”

Jack Apple was a lawyer who specialized in divorce cases with battered spouses. He has never lost a case and has made a name as a champion for abused spouses. In his home life, he has been known to expect perfection from himself as well as his wife. When I heard the word “perfect” over and over in the beginning dinner party, I knew this perfect marriage was a sham. It was a matter of figuring out Jack’s motives. I liked Grace, Millie and the caretaker. They were genuinely good people unlike Millie’s self centered parents.

I have to say that I don’t believe “friends” and “coworkers” can be that oblivious. Especially highly educated people like attorneys who make their living ferreting out facades. So Esther’s appearance gave me life. Esther saw and heard the “unspoken” truths. She read between the lines and I knew the jig was soon to be up for Jack.

The writing flowed well and the plot kept my attention the entire time. The narrator’s voice captures the tones so well that it did give me chills. The voice for Grace conveyed helplessness and Jack’s felt creepy. I wouldn’t mind seeing this book adapted for a movie. I just wonder if the house was in Jack’s name, the cars, money etc. what was found in his personal effects, computers, room after he was dealt with? People like him leave journals souvenirs of their conquests. That what I wanted to see in the epilogue.

Ezi

Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley

Close Enough to Touch by Colleen OakleyNarrator: Candace Thaxton, Jonathan Todd Ross, Kirby Heyborne
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Format:  e-ARC (366 pages)
Published By: Gallery Books
Purchase Links: Amazon US Barnes & Noble •  Books-a-million iBooks Indiebound

One time a boy kissed me and I almost died…

And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare and debilitating medical condition: she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become a recluse, living the past nine years in the confines of the small town New Jersey house her unaffectionate mother left to her when she ran off with a Long Island businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage who is no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off-course, and how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee, with a unique condition…

An evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, Close Enough to Touch is perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.

three-half-stars

This book had a really interesting premise but it took me two-thirds of the book before I truly got invested in the characters. It was written well but there just wasn’t a connection with the main characters for most of the book. The beginning was like 2-3 stars and the second half was 4-stars.

As a three year old toddler, Jubilee Jenkins developed a rare skin allergy that made touching other humans deadly. Her mother went to specialist after specialist before abandoning her to marry some rich guy in another city. After a kiss in high school almost killed her, Jubilee grudgingly acknowledged that her life was meant to be different from others and without skin to skin contact.

When her mother died and her step father withdrew financial support, Jubilee was forced to find a job to pay for her own bills. She got hired at the library which placed her around people. Once Jubilee saved a little boy Aja from drowning, Jubilee was introduced to Eric Keegan, Aja’s father who slowly opened Jubilee’s heart to a future of happier possibilities.

I like that Eric Keegan wasn’t this hero that made everything better. He had his own messed up situation and was trying to figure out his own life. Eric’s drama made everyone including Jubilee made her face some things from her past as well as make some decisions about her future.

I like how the author used the library and reading as vehicle of communication to allow the characters to understand each other. I felt the most for the young boy Aja. He was clearly in pain and I just wanted to hold him so tight. It was after Aja and his X-men comments that I truly plugged into this story.

Colleen Oakley didn’t write a clean, smooth, cheesy story. It was a slow burner where the individual journey overshadowed the romance, which was okay with me. The writing in the first half dragged but the second half was more touching (pun intended). Overall, it was a good read.

*Special Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley for the e-arc given in exchange for an honest review.

Ezi

Audiobook Review: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward
Release Date: February 11, 2017
Format: Audiobook (7hrs, 19 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published By: Penelope Ward Books, Inc.
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleiBooksBarnes & NobleKobo

Single Dad. Second Chances.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right?

So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen.

At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women.

Everyone wanted a piece of the hot, single father of the sweet little boy.

I became a woman I didn’t recognize, someone riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more.

They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend, Lorelai, so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case.

I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with someone else just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.

And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

Author’s note – Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel

four-stars

I liked the relationship between Francesca and Mack. It was well developed and both characters were well developed. I thought the author was very smart and strategic to set up the flashbacks to lay the foundation of the attraction between Frankie and Mack otherwise I would have not understood the disrespect/disregard to their current partners. I’m not sure it excused it but I understood it. The exes Victor and Tori had my sympathy and I liked them both.

Tori:  Mack didn’t tell her about Frankie for 2 years. That is a really long time to be in a relationship with someone who was in love with someone else. Even if she knew he didn’t love her, you hold out hope that he could love you especially when he continues to visit you on the weekends and pretend to be in a relationship with you. Knowing there was someone else back in Boston would have given Tori a clearer picture of what she was up against.

Victor: I also feel bad for Victor because Frankie should have honored Thor two years by breaking it off with him officially instead of putting him in an awful position of having to be the bigger person. He still treated her with respect and concern when she found out about her dad. He offered to call her mom etc. Maybe Tori and Vic can date each other 🙂

I would have liked the author to spend more time on Jonah’s diagnosis. I had to read that on my own (how dare she make me work, LMAO). It was glossed over and it’s serious. That boy was in trouble and I’m not sure it should be taken such a backseat to the romance.

Why wasn’t George the best friend/roommate around? I would have loved to experience these two from his perspective. He was after all, the initial nexxus between these two. He was sorely missed.

Overall, it was angsty enough and the characters enjoyable yet really flawed. The writing made this story realistic and I was feeling this one! There was genuine love and passion between Frankie and Mack. It took them some maneuvering but there was something electric about them that just drew my emotions. I am pleased with the way it ended.

Ezi

About Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is first and foremost a proud autism mom. She is also the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, Sins of Sevin, Cocky Bastard (co-written with Vi Keeland), Jake Undone, My Skylar, Jake Understood and Gemini. She is currently working on her 8th novel.

Saved by Darkness (Darkness #6) by Katie Reus

Series:
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Saved by Darkness by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #6
Release Date:
Format: Audiobook (6 hrs and 29 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Dragons
Published by: KR Press LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

He thought he lost her decades ago.

Half-demon, half-dragon shifter Ian McCabe is hellbent on getting back the only woman he’s ever loved. When Fiona O’Riley kicked him out of her life decades ago, he thought she was gone for good. Now that she’s back, nothing will stop him from claiming her. But she wants nothing to do with him—or his family.

She’ll do anything to save him.

Fiona knows that Ian is the only male for her. The only way to keep him alive is to stay away from him. But when tragedy strikes and they discover a wicked agenda for the mass murder of humans, they must work together to take down the enemies that threaten everyone. But there’s so much more on the line. As their undeniable desire intensifies, they’re faced with an unbearable choice. If Fiona and Ian succumb to their temptation, mating could be the last thing they ever do.

four-half-stars

 I love this series, I love the writing, the plot and I love the narrator Jeffrey Kafer. His voice is just perfect for this series.
In this book six, we follow Ian McCabe, whom was first introduced in Hunted by Darkness
as one of Bo and Rory’s siblings (Book 4&5 heroes). Ian has always been ashamed of his heritage as half demon and half dragon. The demon side has been the cause of scorn but most painful loss was his mate Fiona O’Riley who married another to save him over fifty years ago.
A chance meeting revealed that she did not in fact marry another but lives within the Stavros’ wolf territory. Now he has to convince her that they finally belong together.
I love second chance romance tropes. They often allow the author to properly develop character’s past. The reader has a chance to get to know the main characters and properly empathize with their plight. Ian and Fiona didn’t disappoint. They were young lovers fighting against family obligation and expectation.
As with the prior books, Saved by Darkness was full of action and romance. In addition, there were humorous banter between Ian and his brothers. In fact, the reader met yet another half demon brother. I love how the author continues to link each story together by maintaining contact with the previous couples. The stories are not overly long and my attention is continually engaged.
I am a big fan of Jeffrey Kafer and the superb job he has done narrating this series. He has never caused me to be confused. He gives life to each character and I am able to follow very easily. I really recommend listening to this series in order so you can appreciate the journey each story undertook to get to this point. I love this series and I can’t wait until the next story.
If you love action packed, super sexy with really captivating characters, this is the series for you.

Ezi

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Audiobook Review: Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Narrator: Joe Arden, Maxine Mitchell
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: Tantor Audio

I received this audiobook for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Title: Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Release Date: March 21st, 2017 (first published February 18th, 2015)
Format: Audiobook (8 hrs and 54 mins)
Genre: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Cult romance
Published By: Everafter Romance
Purchase Links: Tantor Audio Amazon US Barnes & Noble iBooks  Kobo

I enjoyed this story but it was a slow burner as the author set a foundation of this relationship between an abrasive guy and take no nonsense gal. The narrators Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell definitely gave life to the chemistry between the main characters. Their voices blended well together and added to sexiness of the story.

Graham J. Morgan who accidentally left his cellphone on a train and the woman Soraya who returned it to him. When she brought it to him she decided he was a stuck up jerk and she let him know. Of course he was intrigued and began pursuing her.  I liked their journey as the other really took time to develop their back story. It was well written and interesting. It’s a book with flawed characters that were annoying and likable at the same time.
I did find Graham to be a jerk to all others except for a few people. There is no reason to have 42 secretaries in a under 4 years. Losing your mom is not an acceptable excuse to make treat others. But the way he treats his grandma and the women he loves was definitely loyal, Patrice the and endearing. So the jury is out on how I feel about him. I liked Soraya and her nonconformist ways. She was a good counterbalance to Graham’s life drama.

This story seemed like it would just be about sex but it author gave it more complexity by adding family drama coupled with broken friendships. While it explained some of Graham’s behavior, it didn’t excuse his piss poor treatment of people. Still, the story was an unexpected delight and the writing was entertaining. It flowed and kept my attention from beginning to the end. The only thing I missed was grandma’s introduction to the young. That would have been a powerful moment in their story. Maybe a 2nd epilogue will give us that part of the story.

I recommend this story for those who enjoy a sexy edgier romance with mature characters. I will definitely be checking out other stories by this duo.

About Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is first and foremost a proud autism mom. She is also the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, Sins of Sevin, Cocky Bastard (co-written with Vi Keeland), Jake Undone, My Skylar, Jake Understood and Gemini. She is currently working on her 8th novel.

About Vi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Hunted by Darkness (Darkness #4) by Katie Reus

Series:
Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)

Title: Hunted by Darkness by Katie Reus
Series: Darkness #4
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 50 mins)
Genre: PNR, UF, Dragons
Published by: KR Press LLC
Purchase Links: Amazon US AudibleBarnes & Noble

From two different worlds…

Now that she’s escaped her oppressive family, Nyx is enjoying her new life and friends—even if most of her friends don’t know who or what she is. As a rare demigod, she’s just learning how powerful she truly is, but family drama turns her world upside down, throwing the one man she cares about into danger.

He wasn’t supposed to fall for her…

Nyx is nothing like the females half-demon Bo Broussard has been with. Sweet and innocent, she’s not even remotely his type. But the moment she walks into his bar, he knows he’s not letting her go. Unfortunately someone from her past thinks they can force her into an arranged marriage.

He’s not letting her go…

Someone is targeting one of them, and Bo doesn’t know why. When they’re thrown into a hell realm together, he and Nyx will need to band together if they want to survive the perils of that world. No matter who was behind the attack, his choice is clear. Defend Nyx at all cost and make her his forever.

 

four-stars

In this installment, Nyx works at Bo’s bar, while hiding from her family for reasons unbeknownst to her employer. Nyx is simply tired of being a pawn in her family’s pursuit of power and so she wears glamour and works as a waitress while nursing an attraction to her boss.

Bo, half demon, half human bar owner, also nurses an attraction to Nyx but they both fight it for different reasons. When Nyx’s family finally try to bring her home, Bo steps in to protect her which leads them to give in to their passion.

Bo and Nyx’s story was a bit angsty, which I loved but it was truly entertaining. There was great chemistry, and a passionate love story. I was surprised to learn the full extent of Nyx’s heritage. I was happy to know that Bo had half siblings. I love that the author keeps the prior couples integral to the story and everyone is connected is some way. It is action-packed, sexy and full of all kinds of supernaturals. There were unexpected twists and turns, but the end was satisfying. This series is the best dragon shifter series I’ve listened to and one of the best PNR series out there. I look forward to the next book.

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Power Game (GhostWalker #13) by Christine Feehan

Series:
Narrator: Jim Frangione

Title: Power Game by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalker #13
Release Date: January 24th 2017 by
Format: Audiobook (12 hrs and 27 mins) Kindle: 464 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Military
Published by: Berkeley Romance
Purchase Links: Amazon US  Barnes & Noble

When members of a United Nations joint security force are taken hostage by radical terrorists in Indonesia, Captain Ezekiel Fortunes is called to lead the rescue team. Part of a classified government experiment, Zeke is a supersoldier with enhanced abilities. He can see better and run faster than the enemy, disappear when necessary and hunt along any terrain. There are those in the world willing to do anything for power like that…

A formidable spy genetically engineered to hide in plain sight, Bellisia rarely meets a man who doesn’t want to control her or kill her. But Zeke is different. His gaze, his touch—they awaken feelings inside her that she never thought possible. He’s the kind of man she could settle down with—if she can keep him alive…

four-half-stars

This is one of the best books in this series. I have really enjoyed this particular Ghostwalker team because they are really a southern family with Grace Fontenot “Nonny” holding this crew together as the grandmother to all.

This story is Ezekiel “Zeke” Fortunes’ story where he is led to his paired partner Bellisia Adams. If you remember, the insane Doctor Peter Whitney paired his Ghostwalker soldiers with the orphan women intending to create super soldier babies. Bellisia escaped Whitney’s compound and ran to team PJ to warn them of Violet Smythe’s plan against them, and there she found what she didn’t even know she always longed for…family.

This author continues to be so creative and interesting. So Bellisia has Octopus DNA, excellent in water and Ezekiel has the sight of an eagle and sense of smell of a polar bear, which made him an excellent hunter. With the pair by the Doctor Whitney, Zeke and Bellisia were immediately drawn to each other physically. But what the doctor never considered was emotional and mental connections between the pairs.

The author laid a great foundation by developing the characters even entwining the secondary characters very thoroughly. The plot followed the chain of events set by the prior books and continued the narrative of Whitney’s devious plan to produce more super soldiers. There was consistent action, hot romance and touching family moments such as the cooking scene with Nonny that made this story charming. If you have enjoyed the prior installments, you will love this one as one of the strongest in the franchise.

Ezi

Audio Series Review: The Royals by Erin Watt

Series:
Narrator: Angela Goethals, Zachary Webber
  • The Royals Series by Erin Watts

Title: Paper Princess (Book 1); Broken Prince (Book 2); Twisted Palace (Book 3) by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Format: Audiobook (about 9 hours each)
Published By: Everafter Romance; Audible
Purchase Links:
• •

four-half-stars

What a page turner. These books were so engaging, full of angst so be prepared to read the entire series without coming up for air. I must say that Erin Watt impressed me with their versatility as authors. This book featured a solid character building, plot development and completely absorbing story. What I liked best about this series written by Erin Watt (the duo Elle Kennedy and Jen Frederick) was the fact that this new adult romance was uncomfortable, disconcerting but yet incredibly addicting. The characters were developed in such a way that you both liked and disliked them but you were secretly hoping for them to be redeemed. It was a wild ride.


In Book 1 can best be described as a sort of rags to riches, but with a touch of Pretty woman, Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast. the reader is introduced to Ella’s past and shown how she came to be a fighter and street smart. The heroine Ella Harper has been through a lot but when it seems like she can’t be in a worse situation, an angel named Callum Royal appears. Ella is rescued from her life of poverty and transported to castle where Royals reign supreme.
Then Ella is rescued by her father’s best friend Callum Royal where she comes to live with his family, including five sons. Book 1 illustrates the transition of the Royal brothers hating Ella and treat her abominably to Ella eventually gaining their acceptance and esteem as a sister. Ella’s transition from public school into a highly prestigious prep school called Park Prep was full of teenage drama. In fact, that school was mean girls meets the old Eastside High from the movie Lean on Me starring Morgan Freeman. Their school theme song should have been “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns-n-Roses. I’m not sure what would be harder, Park Prep or prison. Both institutions had bullies, hardened criminals and administrators that look the other way. It was a good thing Ella had experience from her days working at the strip club or she would have been destroyed by those rich kids. I could see the “good guys” lurking behind every mean word and action aimed at extinguishing Ella’s esteem, well from the Royals, not so much the school kids. Eventually, Ella and Reed Royal make a love connection, which puts them in a precarious position.
By the end of the book, Battle lines and alliances were revealed between the major players, Callum, Reed, Ella, Easton versus Brooke (Callum’s ex), Dinah (Ella’s stepmother), the Delacorte family from Park Prep school. It was intense to say the least. This book ends in a wicked cliffhanger so make sure to have book two ready to go.


Book 2 presented a change in narration, where the story was primarily told from Reed’s perspective as opposed to the first book where Ella was the primary story teller. It gives Reed the opportunity to introduce himself to the readers and attempt to explain his behavior.
The bulk of the story focused on the rebuilding of the broken trust between Ella Harper and Reed Royal as well as the unveiling of more family secrets. Ella’s father Steve who had been presumed dead returned so that shifts the battle lines a bit.
I didn’t feel like the authors really fleshed out Brooke and Dinah’s relationship as well as motivations at all. Plus, I can’t help but wonder if the real love relationship is between Callum and Steve. Again, this book ends in a cliffhanger as a major character is murdered.


In the third and final book in this angst-filled trilogy, I expected many of my long-standing questions to be address. I was somewhat disappointed because now I felt strung along for a long time.
In this book 3, The Royals are the town pariah right now, with the murder charge still shining a negative light on the Royals and more specifically Reed. I never doubted that Reed and Ella would figure out how to keep their relationship afloat. I knew the Royals would end up on top but I wanted to know who was getting the best of them and why. I also like the ceasefire with Jordan, but I would have liked to know that Jordan was turning over a new leaf in general. Most importantly, I wanted to know how the murderer got away for so long and who aided the murderer. I was right about the murderer but correct on the why and how. I was still confused as the nature of everyone’s relationships. These unanswered questions have left me dangling on but I still enjoyed this screwed up Royal Family.

With all that said, I need these questions answered.
Did Brooke not share with Dinah what she learned, or did Dinah know it before?
Did Steve erase the videos because Reed wasn’t the only one there?
Did Dinah know what really happened to her bestfriend?
What really happened with Steve?
How was Callum so oblivious about Steve?
What was the real deal with Gideon and Dinah? How could an intelligent guy like Gideon not seek easily available legal advice regarding Dinah?
How could Callum know about Reed & Brooke and not Gideon & Dinah, especially with all the cameras in the house?
So is Easton an addict and what’s the family going to do about it?
And Steve…I don’t understand Steve’s motivations at all.

Ezi