Darkness by Kate Sherwood

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.

Darkness: by Kate Sherwood
Series: Common Law #3
Release Date: March 6th, 2017
Pages: 189 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

A murdered prostitute. An obvious suspect. Clear evidence. For once, Jericho Crewe has a straightforward crime to investigate, and Wade Granger isn’t involved.

It all seems so simple, but Jericho’s instincts won’t let him rest. As he investigates, he finds troubling suggestions that the murder is a part of something larger and more sinister. But working within the boundaries of the law may keep him from finding the truth. If Jericho doesn’t break the rules, an innocent man may rot in jail while a killer remains free to strike again.

Inevitably, it all comes back to Wade. Because who else knows as much about breaking rules? And who else knows Jericho the way Wade does—not wisely, but far, far too well?

 

four-stars

GRRRRRRR…… My frustration is so out of here with this series. I might have blue balls reading this series. You know what I hate more then no sex in my books, I hate FADE TO BLACK SEX. I’m not one to need the sex, the romance might suffice enough for me, but the motherf***** UST has been off the rails so far. Goodness, I made a promise to myself if it isn’t any on page sex in the next book then Sherwood and I are done. I can’t keep up with the frustration levels that she gives me.

Book three picks up right along with the events from the previous two books with the same shady characters, crimes, Alphabet agencies around, and Wade Granger. I can’t wait to dive into the last book, because I hope my thoughts about him are proved true. Jericho acted really green during certain scenes in this book. My frustration with him almost costing the case was small compared to my reaction to the fade to black action. I knew Will was innocent, there was no freaking way he did it.

Jericho has finally pieced information together surrounding his father’s death. He has come to the realization about his career and his feelings for Wade. Wade who bothers me with his smarmy face and kindness at times!! Ugh, I totally wanted to strangle both of them. I liked the case alot, it was interesting enough, but I do feel like it wasn’t answered in the how. I know who the killer was, but I wanted it laid out, and it kinda ended abruptly on that front.

Despite my rage and feelings, it was still a good story, and I enjoyed seeing these together. Hopefully by next book I’ve read enough smut to last me over while reading this. Another good installment of the Common Law Series. A definite recommend.

About Kate Sherwood

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Single Malt by Leyla Rayne

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.

Single Malt: by Layla Reyne
Series: Agent Irish & Whiskey #1
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Pages: 194 • Format: eARC
Published By: Carina Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonKobo

The heart’s a resilient beast

Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he’s not—Jamie is off-limits.

Jamie’s lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco’s top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie’s skills invaluable.

Jamie’s talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security biocontainment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They’ll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own.

three-stars

 

11 days to finish this book.

Yep, I just needed that to be known.

This had major potential for me. I love feds-spooks-spies stories. I like age-gap stories. Two guys with different backgrounds get together to a case that’s interesting enough. I’m still not sure on how much of it can be real for actual FED’s, I mean driving a new benz, stating in the rich digs, and the amount of facetious was a bit much. I did like book characters and some of the side characters.

I like when the case is involved with the story line as well. What I don’t like is the case taking up most of the atmosphere. The case overpowered the potential relationship between these two. I mean, I wasn’t sold on them from the beginning. It seemed forced. I don’t think Aidan should have been pushed so much into Jameson because he is still grieving, and its not fair to the other person if you aren’t going to give them your all. On Jameson’s part, I didn’t really think it was an attraction. They never seemed to meet before being partners so I guess throwing them together created some semblance of him being attracted to Aidan. Can I just say the nickname thing was cute for the first few times, it just got on my nerves by the end of the book. Hopefully book two will tone it down. It was a ton of information about each guy separately, the case, and little things here and there that distracted the shit out of me. I don’t even know who is who’s brother/sister/cousin at this point. It was too much. Add the writing really not working for me, but I was able to push through. I will say I liked it enough to give book 2 a try.

Once I got over the various actions involved in the plot it was pretty good. It of course was connected to Aidan’s husband and brothers’ death. A little far fetch but this author is able to keep me interested the rest of the story. It ends on a cliffhanger, but the possibilities of book 2 are greater for me by the end of the book. I think this was an okay book for the author’s first published book.

About Layla Reyne

2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist, Layla Reyne, was raised in North Carolina but now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Embers by Kate Sherwood

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.

Embers: by Kate Sherwood
Series: Common Law, #2
Release Date: Febuary 6th, 2017
Pages: 197 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
RiptideBarnes & Noble

Small town—big problems. Jericho Crewe is back in Mosely, Montana, trying to deal with police corruption, interfering feds, his newly discovered family members, and, of course, Wade Granger.

He doesn’t really need a biker war on top of it all, but as the bodies start to pile up, it becomes pretty clear that’s what he’s got. Not only that, but Wade’s involved somehow, and as soon as Wade is a part of something, things that seemed clear become cloudy.

With the feds breathing down his neck, Jericho has to find his way through Wade’s maze of half truths and manipulations. It would all be so much easier if Jericho could think straight in the other man’s presence. So much easier if their passionate past could be forgotten, and if he could be sure he’s strong enough to resist the temptation of a passionate present.

four-stars

 

Romantic Suspense gives me a damn headache. I know the “suspense, mystery” aspect of the story takes precedent but the romance is harder to find then common sense in this series. I’m being very patience but if this is the formula to romantic suspense then it’s no wonder why I don’t read it.

Now to the story at hand!! Something’s ain’t right. In my heart of hearts I believe Wade is something bigger that what we know. He just seems so fishy to me. I’m not necessarily saying he’s bad, but I believe that he’s going to be on the good side at the end of the day. I’m crossing my fingers on it.

Jericho buddy, what are you getting yourself into? This book picks up a few months after one. Jericho has came home to help the sheriff find corruption. That’s what he thinks, but he always seems to end up at the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s into 4 threads in this book, and wondering what he is doing. On top of dealing with the feds, Kayla, Wade, the other countless possibilities, he’s dealing with Nikki and her shenanigans. I don’t like her at all. She’s nothing but a user, and I understand why he won’t walk away. Those kids, they a little cray cray, but they are his siblings.

Wade has found his way into the middle of this situation yet again. This time he did everything for the benefit of himself. He’s a business man, and kinda reptile like as well. Whatever love Wade & Jericho had, I’m not sure if I trust it enough for the outcome to turn out well.

Hockley may have turned a corner with me, but I don’t put much stock in it just yet. Good thing I have book 3 and 4 from Netgalley to read in the new few weeks. I think this was a good continuation to the series, and I look forward to more!

About Kate Sherwood

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Long Shadows by Kate Sherwood

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.

Long Shadows: by Kate Sherwood
Series:Common Law, #1
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Pages: 184 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Links:
Riptide

LA cop Jericho Crewe got the hell out of Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as messed up as when he left. He planned a quick visit to deal with his injured father, but of course things are never that simple. Family complications, police complications, social complications—and, as always, Wade Granger complications.

Jericho and Wade had been so close, once upon a time. First friends, then more than friends—and then, after Jericho’s escape, nothing. Wade’s magnetism hasn’t been lessened by a decade and a half apart; even when Jericho learns that Wade is the prime suspect in the death of Jericho’s father, the old connection still sparks.

When Jericho’s newly discovered half siblings are kidnapped, he needs to trust someone to help him find them. Wade’s a terrible choice, but Jericho’s never been known for his good judgment. Anyway, he’d rather make a bad decision with Wade than a good one with anybody else.

three-half-stars

I’ve read a few books by this author, and always felt like her and I don’t get along. I can never mesh well together when I read her books. When I saw the cover for this book on Netgalley, I immediately wanted to click it. I did click it, and was super happy. I had to tell myself it doesn’t matter how I feel about her past books, but only this one. I’m not a fan of the romantic suspense genre. It just doesn’t work for me. I prefer mystery/thriller and the romance doesn’t even have to play a part. I should not have been worried, because I liked this story. There is no romance in this first book, I’m sure book two will probably see something but Jericho and Wade have a lot of soul searching to do by then.

Jericho left Mosely 15 years ago and never looked back. I liked Jericho as a character. He had his little flaws, but he wanted to prove to people and himself that leaving Mosely was the best thing he could do for himself. He’s successful in his own way, but one can never forget their first love. Enter Wade Granger. All around criminal and bad guy. Yet, by the end of the story I’m not so sure about Wade’s character. He seems to good hearted to be a full blown criminal and bad enough to want to hurt Jericho for leaving him behind. I’m still trying to figure them out.

I did enjoy the pacing of the story. I really liked the mystery element to the story. I’m not so sure about everyone’s motives at this point, but it was only book 1 and I’m sure by book 4 everything will be much clearer. I’m proud that I allowed myself to give Kate Sherwood another try. This goes to show you that every book doesn’t have to work for you, but you never know what might be good for someone else. If you like suspenseful stories, and a good love connection/background between two characters then this is your book. Definitely recommend this book.

About Kate Sherwood

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Spider Game (GhostWalkers, #12) by Christine Feehan

Series:
three-half-stars
Spider Game Book Cover Spider Game
GhostWalkers #12
Christine Feehan
Romantic Suspense
Jove
January 26th 2016
audibook; e-book
446

The Cajun dive in the middle of the godforsaken swamps wasn’t exactly Trap Dawkins’ idea of fun. But the GhostWalker wasn’t there for a good time. He was looking for her. Cayenne. It’s where she found her victims. Poor suckers. Then again, who wouldn’t want to leave a place like this with a woman like her?

It’s not Cayenne’s fault. Locked up, experimented on and never knowing kindness, she was bred this way—with a heart of pure venom. Trap understands her. He survived his own dark past and he shares her desire for getting even. But now Trap’s greatest danger is Cayenne herself. Because what’s inside her is hard to control—especially when it’s aroused by a lover as reckless as Trap.

TOO MUCH SEX. Seriously, I love this series. I love the matching of wits between the various Ghostwalker teams versus the dastardly Dr. Whitney and we didn’t get enough of that. Also, the subplot of Trap and his uncles wasn’t developed as well. But the whole alpha male thing was emphasized ad nauseum.
Cayenne was rescued from her cage in the last book [book:Viper Game|22043566] and we learned that her dna was spliced with a Black widow DNA. So from last book, we went from snake DNA to now spider DNA. Yikes!


Let me say this: According to National Geographics, black widows are solitary except when mating. So Trap expecting Cayenne, who lived in a cage all her life, to make good decisions in more social settings is ridiculous.
Also, Trap constantly dominating Cayenne seemed weird considering I was expecting her to either eat him or inject him with venom after they were intimate. He seemed like another jailer and an overbearing partner. He did seem to love her but he has a very rough way of showing it due to his own jacked up family situation. He wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked for her.

But I love the whole family dynamic with Wyatt & Co. etc. It added humor, history as well as a sense of collective strength. Dr. Whitney and these extra animal experiments are becoming more and more twisted. I love this series and hope the author gets back to the heart of this series, stopping Dr. Whitney.

Bad Judgment by Sidney Bell

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.

Bad Judgment: by Sidney Bell
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Pages: 322 • Format:eARC
Published By:Carina Pres
Purchase Links:
Carina PressAmazon

Embry Ford was a quiet, ordinary guy—until tragedy ripped his life apart. Now he’s living under the radar, desperate to hide his identity and determined to learn the truth behind what happened. Even if that means working for—and bedding—a man he loathes.

As a bodyguard to a shadowy arms dealer, Brogan Smith knows distractions can kill as easily as a bullet. But when he sets his eyes on his client’s sexy assistant, he can’t get him out of his mind. Even more unnerving: the closer he gets to Embry, the more Brogan starts to suspect he might be protecting the wrong man.

Embry was sure nothing but vengeance would satisfy him—until Brogan offers him something far more tempting. Now Embry must choose: punish the people who nearly destroyed him or fight for a future with the man who has become his entire world.
four-stars


These were my initial thoughts up until 38%

I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head regarding this story. For a new author, and for her first book this was really well written. The ANGST!!! Jeez lady, tone it down a notch! I am not one for angst to this degree, but I do love mystery/thrillers. I’m not use to romantic suspense, and I might look into a few because I enjoyed this.

Brogan, Brogan, Brogan. He’s that one friend who is amazingly sweet, and super freaking dense when it comes to his own love life. He’s the guy that will literally move mountains for the guy he’s in love with. It was so many times, I just wanted him to say eff this and I’m out. Gosh, it shouldn’t be this hard to love someone. I am with Mario. I wanted Brogan to find some good dude who’s stable, and not cray cray, and nice. But the heart wants what the little head does. LOL. Brogan is definitely a good guy. I loved his charisma, and just his need to protect. I really enjoyed him as a character. But good Lord, the man is dumb. There ain’t enough Ghirardelli brownies in the world for me to be chasing around somebody as ornery as Embry. Brogan is maybe fated in life to be the smart ass in the relationship. He knows how to push buttons, and for sure knows how to get what he wants. I was super surprised when my emotions started getting the best of me while reading this.

Embry reminds me alot like Moriarty from the BBC version of Sherlock. I mean, you never know what you are going to get with him. He’s basically a grumpy bear. I won’t go into the plot, but it was good. Embry is that guy who is afraid to love, and be loved. He had a hard time grasping the little nuisances that Brogan tried to give him. Embry did grown on me, and I guess I had no choice because Brogan liked him.

I did find myself stalled out in the middle of the story. It took me a few days to pick it back up. It was a lot of filler information in my opinion. Once you get passed 50% the book picks up. From their we get to see the events that lead up to the story. We get Embry’s pov which I found delightful. This was a really good suspense book, and boy did these boys bring the heat with the story. I love that their love was super passionate and explosive. I do feel like I wanted more of the epilogue, because the book was so long I would have preferred to have just a little more of them together. I’m uncertain on their future. To me it ends at a HFN. I guess I’m okay with that. I am looking forward to the next book by this author, I was super intrigued by the beginning chapters of her unknown book. I do recommend this book.

About Sidney Bell

Sidney Bell lives in the drizzly Pacific Northwest with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. Eventually more realistic grown-ups convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, which is how we ended up here.

When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.

Edge of Danger (Deadly Ops #4) by Katie Reus

Edge of Danger (Deadly Ops #4) by Katie ReusSeries: Deadly Ops #4
on 2015-11-03
Pages: 352
AmazonB&NNarrator: Sophie Eastlake
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
When an assassin tries to kill undercover DEA agent Tucker Pankov the same week his boss is taken out, Tucker has good reason to be paranoid. And when other members of his elite team are not only targeted, but stripped of top-secret security clearance, Tucker has one shot at discovering who wants them dead—and why. So he kidnaps the only woman he thinks can save them.  

Brilliant NSA analyst Karen Stafford doesn’t like being forced into anything, especially by someone she doesn’t trust. Yet after a hijacked US-owned drone starts attacking government installations resulting in mass casualties, Karen has to take Tucker’s side.  Now, two unlikely allies must unite to prevent an escalating and unthinkable terrorist conspiracy. But as Tucker and Karen grow intimate, they realize the conspiracy runs deep, and their enemies are closer than anyone realized. *New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden
four-stars


Book 4 of the Deadly Ops series had the best character development in the series. This series has really impressed me with the high level storytelling, likeable characters, hot sex scenes and a suspenseful mystery.

Tucker Pankov and his team are being framed but they have no idea who is after them and why. So they decide they need the help of Wesley Burkhart, the director of the NSA, but he won’t give them the time of the day. In order to get his attention, Tucker and his team kidnap Karen Stafford, Burkhart’s right hand employee. Thus now, they have two separate Governmental agencies hunting them.

Tucker Pankov and Karen Stafford’s story was a fast paced story and it was just as enjoyable as the last book. This was an on-the-run romance that surprisingly didn’t feel like Stockholm syndrome. Instead the reader can’t help but really pull for Tucker to find out who is being the cover-up, get Karen to completely trust and still get Burkhart’s cooperation. The main characters are both strong and resilient in their own right. Even though their pull was almost immediate, the attraction to each other was believable.

Again, Sophie Eastlake kept me entertained with her narration. She is a great fit for this series because each story has felt unique as I listened to them. I am really surprised at how much I am liking this series.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook received in exchange for an honest review.

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.

Mr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon

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.

mr&mr smithMr. and Mr. Smith by HelenKay Dimon 
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Pages: 210 • Format: eARC
Published By: LoveSwept
Purchase Links:
LoveSweptAmazon Kobo • B&N • iBooks

Secrets and seduction make for an explosive combination in HelenKay Dimon’s edgy, thrilling new series, which kicks off with a novel about two men who can handle any threat—except the one posed by desire.
 
Fisher Braun knows how to keep a secret. As a covert paramilitary operative, his job—and his life—depends on it. He’s at the top of his game, ready for action and always in control. No enemy has ever brought him to his knees, but one lover has: Zachary Allen, the man currently sharing his bed. The perfect package of brains and brawn, Zach is someone worth coming home to, and Fisher hates keeping him in the dark about what he does. But the lies keep Zach safe. Until the day Fisher loses everything. . . .
 
Zachary Allen is no innocent civilian. Although he plays the tech geek, in reality he’s deep undercover for the CIA. In a horrible twist of fate, the criminal enterprise he’s infiltrated has set its sights on the man whose touch drives him wild. Zach would do anything for Fisher—except blow his own cover. Now, in order to save him, Zach must betray him first. And he needs Fisher to trust him with all his heart if they want to make it out alive.

two-half-stars

I think if we are going to use the famous moniker after the amazing movie then it should kinda lead up to be equally good. Goodness too much internal talk, not enough dialogue and for spies what’s up with all the whining. Good Lord, I wanted to smack Fisher & Nate. They got on my nerves continuously. I don’t believe what Zach did was far fetched at all. We’re all spies and lying is a the most important job requirement.

This was a first book for me by this author, and it had good potential. I didn’t like the opening sequence because it seemed right dab in the middle of the story line. They could have started with the meeting between the two and then I would have felt better. I’m not a hundred percent certain on all the aspects to their spy game, but I was a little iffy because Fisher kept getting on my nerves because Zach betrayed him. Yeah we know, but the entire book shouldn’t have been a whine fest. This was most of the book., and while the plot was a little exciting, I couldn’t get over Fisher’s act in the entire book. I think if that was cut down, and the plot was more suspenseful then it would have been a good book. Hell next time make Zach and Nathan an item, Nate whined a decimeter less then Fisher.

About HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon spent the last twelve years in the most unromantic career ever – divorce lawyer. After dedicating all that time and effort to helping people terminate relationships she is thrilled to write romance novels full time. Her books have earned praise, appeared on besteller lists and won numerous awards. Her first single title, YOUR MOUTH DRIVES ME CRAZY, was featured in Cosmo as a “Red-Hot Read” for August ’07 and spotlighted at E! Online. Her novella, “It’s Hotter At Christmas” from the KISSING SANTA CLAUS anthology, was featured in Cosmo as a “Red-Hot Read” for November ’09.

Kingpin (An Italian Mafia Romance #1) by W.S. Greer @EJBookPromos

Kingpin (An Italian Mafia Romance #1) by W.S. Greer @EJBookPromosSeries: Italian Mafia Romance #1
on April 30th 2016
Pages: 254
AmazonB&N
Alannah Sullivan met Dominic Collazo when she was only in the fifth grade. She knew him when the other kids called him names and made fun of his over-sized facial features. She knew him when he was a shy introvert with a quick temper. She knew him when he was first introduced to the mob lifestyle by his father, a made man in the St. Louis mafia. Alannah knew Dominic before anybody could see his potential, and she fell in love with him when she was just a teenager... just in time for her family to pack up and move away from the city and the boy she loved.

But, Alannah is back now, and after ten long years, Dominic Collazo is all grown up. No longer the quiet loner, Dominic is larger than life, and every woman’s fantasy. He’s a rich casino owner with the looks of a Greek god, and an alpha male persona to die for. He’s also a captain in the notorious Giordano crime family.

When the two of them meet again in the lobby of Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel, Alannah has no idea that her second chance with Dominic will also be her biggest curse. As drama immediately ensues and bullets start to fly, Alannah has to ask herself if Dominic is worth all the trouble that comes with him.

Would you risk everything to be with the love of your life, even if he’s the mafia’s newest KINGPIN?
four-stars

I liked this book even though it lacked the usual angst that I love in these kinds of Mafioso romance.
Dominic Giovanni Collazo was shunned by his classmates and they tormented him by calling him “ugly Dominic”. When Alannah Sullivan arrived at his school, Dominic felt protective of her especially since the same kids were making fun of her as the new girl. It’s a new school half way into her fifth grade year, but Alannah was no stranger to starting over. After all, she has moved around a bit due to her father’s station in the military.
Dominic and Alannah struck up a friendship and were able to be safe place for each other. I love the time the author spend laying a foundation for young love. At the same time, we got to see the events that shaped Dominic’s life, which allowed us to understand his need for respect and dominance.

Alannah’s father gets transferred again, and the high school students get separated.
It’s been ten years since Dominic and Alannah last saw each other and now the 25 year olds are reunited. They have to learn each other again but the pace of the story moves much faster and it is also darker. It went from high school bullying to outright mob violence. Alannah has grown up with a certain value system as her father was an Air Force officer and Dominic’s new role in the Mob doesn’t quite fit into those beliefs and ethics. So it is a hard adjustment for them as they clearly love each other. The problem is now figuring out whether what they feel for each other is strong enough to withstand Dominic’s lifestyle.

I though the author did a really good job telling this story using a dual POV style. The writing was more suspenseful and less anguish in the second half. But there was definitely passion and emotion but the actual mob part of the story was as central as the romance. The balance of both made this story even more powerful and genuine. I felt like I understood where both characters were coming from. I liked Alannah because she wasn’t weak and pathetic. She just had so much love for the boy and man who had been her everything from age 10. Dominic was also likable because his youth shaped his need for respect and strength. His father was such an instrumental part of his life that it’s clear to see how he arrived to this point in his life. This was a solid beginning to really interesting story. I look forward to seeing where the author takes us on phase two of Alannah and Dominic’s journey.

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review*

Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts #7) by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @TantorAudio @AllysonRyan13

Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts #7) by Elle Kennedy @ElleKennedy @TantorAudio @AllysonRyan13Series: Killer Instincts #7
on February 2, 2016
Pages: 405
AmazonB&NNarrator: Allyson Ryan
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.

When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.

Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child...
four-half-stars

This was my second favorite installment after Midnight Action because Derek Pratt was such an enigma. He was the coldest mercenary that works for Jim Morgan. I had been waiting for D’s book for a long time. I will admit that I wanted Jim Morgan to share Noelle with D, but that may be too much for some people, LOL! I was really pleased that this story focused more on the search for Sully more than the relationship between D and Sofia. The author Elle Kennedy did an excellent job keeping the story suspenseful, action packed and thrilling. I have also upgraded the narrator Allyson Ryan to one of my favorite narrators because her arsenal of character voices is amazing. As a narrator, she manages to kept each voice distinct yet engaging. I never felt confused as to who was talking or what was going on. Her inflections, intonation and clarity added an extra layer to an incredibly written book.

In this addition to the series, D and the rest of the team was left worrying about Sullivan (Sully) after he just vanished into thin air. D suspected that Sully’s absence was linked to his past, but he had nothing to go on at all. He went to visit a clinic in Mexico in hopes of finding Sully and there D has a one-night stand with the Dr. Sofia Amaro.
Imagine 8 weeks later, when Sofia shows up pregnant and D retreated into his inner shell. D’s childhood experiences were a doozy so it was clear why he was apprehensive about this new baby. I knew underneath that tough exterior, was a loyal man capable of caring and loving others. I also knew that even though D closed himself off to others, this baby could be an opportunity for healing.

I have to admit that I have issues with Sofia. Why does a woman with her kind of past pursue the most seemingly unattainable guy in Morgan’s crew? How does a doctor get pregnant from one time with a man who used protection? Why does she run head first into a rescue operation when she is no operative? Wouldn’t the safety of her unborn child necessitate more prudence? She was undeveloped like Bailey in the last book. But Sofia’s childhood was sad as well, so I felt bad for her. I did like her but I had grown used to competent and prudent heroines, and I felt like Sofia was swimming out of her depth.
Even so, Sofia and D work as they are both so alone and isolated. I am sure D will get Sofia trained and capable of defending herself. I wouldn’t even be surprised if in a few books she becomes one of Noelle’s operatives. She already treats their wounded mercenaries so she is part of the outer circle.
Now, I will impatiently wait for Sully and Liam’s book. It’s time. I have waited long enough and I want it as soon as possible.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!