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Exquisite Trouble (Iron Horse MC Book 1)
Exquisite Trouble (Iron Horse MC Book 1)

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OMG - I can't wait for the next one!!, July 15, 2014
I can’t really tell you what it is about this type of storytelling, but the new trend of bikers has been very welcomed by me. The way they talk, the way they treat their women, the way they….well you get the point. But my past experience of biker books did not prepare me for Ms. Mayburn’s new series, Iron Horse MC.

My past experience has been full of love/hate, lust/disgust and intrigue/horror. It’s just what they bring out in me each and every time and I love every bit of it. What Ann’s book did to me was more on the emotional level. She had my heart pounding and my skin tingling. This was a completely different biker novel.

Miguel “Smoke” Santos actually felt very real to me. Previously, I would love how extremely jerkish the bikers were, but with huge loyal hearts. There were countless times I would yell at the heroines to slap the crap out of the hero. Smoke, at time, just broke my heart. You could see his jagged edges, but the way he loved Swan, wow it was touching. I will admit he brought out moments of violence against him. I didn’t want to slap Smoke, but wanted to junk punch him. It was only a few times, but hello – he’s a larger than life, dominate man!!

With a name like Sue Wanda Anderson aka Swan, you expect some delicate flower. Not even close. I loved that she was so flawed. Thinking back, I can’t recall ever reading about a woman with her types of problems and obstacles. She had such a hard life and I can’t even imagine growing up the way she did. How Ms. Mayburn thought up her past is beyond me. I loved the change from the normal. I also enjoyed that the book is set in my back yard, the beautiful Texas Hill Country and Austin.

I feel Exquisite Trouble focuses mainly on their relationship and not the biker way of life. While it touches them and the action plot is based on biker business, these factors do not overshadow the romance. I will say that my prior biker books did have larger “lifestyle” influences. This story was a nice change from the others. I also enjoyed Smoke’s pacing of bringing Swan into his D/s sexual preference. He didn’t push his desires on her, but when he did let go…WOWZA. He is one very delicious Dom.

I do have to mention a warning. The ending is abrupt, but not really a cliffhanger. I literally finished the book and I was like, but…but…but. I flipped back and forth and almost shed a tear. I also have no idea the direction Ms. Mayburn is heading. Does book two continue Smoke and Swan’s story? Man, I hope so. Please make it so Ann.

Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2015 6:08 AM PST

Everywhere and Nowhere
Everywhere and Nowhere

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy cow what a great fantasy/romance. I didn't see this story coming and it was GREAT!, July 13, 2014
Ms. Royce has just reignited my passion for fantasy!

I honestly don’t know how to start this review. Normally I expand on the characters and the plot, but I just don’t know what to say. Hadley and Hadrian are two characters that have so many different levels; a short description about them wouldn’t do them justice.

I will also say that the book blurb doesn’t do it justice either. I really didn’t know what to expect and I would say for most of the first third of the book I was unsure where Everywhere and Nowhere was headed. I want to clarify that it was NOT a bad thing. I was absolutely engaged in the story the whole time. It felt like a mystery, romance, fantasy and even maybe a bit paranormally too. I was biting my nails wondering what was going to happen next. When things started coming together, all I can say is WOW didn’t see that coming!

Everywhere and Nowhere is not a light read that will fulfill your standard romantic novel needs. The story is complex and engaging and you will need to commit time to its amazing unfolding. It was such a fantastic escape and just what I needed. Romance stories can sometimes get mundane and I can honestly say that Everywhere and Nowhere stirred things up and got my juices going in more ways than one. This was a whole body experience for me.

I admit that I love my romance no matter the genre and I have shied away from fantasy, because romance is usually not a huge component of the storylines. Ms. Royce totally blew my misconception of that out of the water. If there are more stories like this out there, sign me up. What a breath of fresh air!

One more note before I conclude this review. This is a rerelease of a prior story (First Dimension). After I read the book, I researched when the next book was coming out and discovered Everywhere and Nowhere is actually a new title. I looked over one of the lesser star reviews and I will say most, if not all, of the complaints of the story were corrected in this new version. YAY!! It just keeps getting better and better.

So don’t wait, pick this book up. I can’t recommend Everywhere and Nowhere high enough if you enjoy your fantasy with a bit of mystery and romance mixed in.

Iron Rods: 1 (Strip Club)
Iron Rods: 1 (Strip Club)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ammmmmazing start for first in what is to be a great series!, July 12, 2014
Iron Rods is one book I have been anticipating greatly. The question is did it live up to my dreams and expectations?

Bennett is one confused man. He’s a son of a stripper and heir to his mother’s family fortune. He’s a man stuck between two worlds. Ridiculed as a child, he has turned into everything he hates – a snob. He is a rich man who is truly delusional to the reality of his life. It takes a strong tall Texas woman to make him see what he has become, but is it too late for him to change.

Tatum has finally received her final blow. She will never be a professional dancer. Well then, I guess a night out to get totally plowed is in order. Two watered down drinks later her window of opportunity has reopened. She is now the proud manager of a strip club. Tatum has a new dream to throw all her ambition and determination into; too bad the owner’s son is a jerk with a chip on his shoulder. Well she is just the woman to knock it off.

They both want something different out of the project and don’t see eye to eye. Things are going to get very interesting at Iron Rods. Two strong willed people with their own agendas and fiery passions that won’t be ignored. Things are going to get very hot in Austin and this local can’t wait.

I will admit that I didn’t read the blurb or excerpts or anything. I wanted to be totally surprised with Iron Rods because it’s been a little part of my life for so long. I wanted to dive in and immerge myself in it. Well I’m sad to report, I’m bummed. *insert sad face*. I really, really, really wanted strippers.

What I loved though was that Ms. Zinn has set up a series that is going to be kick ass fun. She will be building this series from the ground up. She is going to take a run down, crappy dive of a place and turn into a thriving establishment, filled with class, sass and gorgeous as-ahem-men. Wait. I’m bummed again…there in no such place in Austin, even to visit to get my stripper fix. *insert mad face*.

Dang it Ms. Zinn. This story is really too close to home and rings so darn true. I actually think I could drive downtown and go to Iron Rods. I think I’m having a love/hate moment here. I am left loving the idea of such a wonderful establishment existing and while I know it’s a fictional place, I’m left wanting to get all dressed up and go there with my cash in hand, wanting to have a rip roaring time. See my hate. She has written something so well that I can smell the restaurants, hear the music playing and almost taste the rain in the air. That alone is brilliant, yet utterly frustrating.

Iron Rods is a very fulfilling read (even if it didn’t have strippers). An exciting series starter with toe curling sex, brilliant real life connections, and characters that I can see becoming some great friends with. Ms. Zinn has a hit on her hands. I can foresee this series taking way off and I’m talking more than sexy men’s clothing. Great job Brenna! Now gimme more and let there be strippers next time. *smile*. Pretty please.

Pink Pucks and Power Plays (To Love a Wildcat Book 1)
Pink Pucks and Power Plays (To Love a Wildcat Book 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fast and very entertaining read!, July 10, 2014
First off I’m going to say I’m a bit odd. I love reading about sports, but this girl doesn’t watch them. Well that is not totally true. When a town I’m living in has a winning team and there are playoffs, I’ll watch to support them and surprisingly I enjoy myself. Now give me a book about sexy football players, burly MMA fighters, and wonderfully aggressive hockey players; I’m all over that with bells on.

So of course I had to pick up V.L. Locey’s novel, Pink Pucks & Power Plays. I did find the name a bit peculiar, but after reading it, it absolutely fits 100%. I do have to say though I’m a bit disappointed no pink pucks were hurt in the making of this book. Come on!!! I really wanted a pink puck to drop.

Viviana gets herself in a major pickle. You see it coming from miles, but all you could do is stare and watch the train wreck. First, she is a reporter and her hot new assignment, Alain, hates reporters with a burning passion and rightfully so. Then when sparks fly, but she doesn’t put any breaks on when she knows it will only end in disaster. I will give her kudos though for her recovery. Short of being a hot mess, she handled it with class, with her head held high – well mostly high.

Pink Pucks & Power Plays was a wonderful read. I like my books with a bit of spice, humor, drama and romance. Ms. Locey delivered hands down. While, yes you knew what was going to happen, it was so much fun seeing how deep Viviana would get herself before everything tumbling down around her. This is a great escape, but be warned only cute adorable hockey is involved. I do have to say it didn’t stop me from rooting for those little bumble bees.

Thank you for the laughs, nervous anticipation, and lovely romance. It’s always nice to enter a world where the women aren’t always perfect, the friends are brutally honest, and the kids are cheek pinching adorable. The hero was a bit too amazing but hey who wouldn’t want an amazing man who is beyond words gorgeous, can cook and is great in bed. Oh and he can forgive when he has been wronged. You can’t help but love them. Smooches Alain. Wish there were more men out there like you.

Enslaved By the Others (H&W Investigations Book 6)
Enslaved By the Others (H&W Investigations Book 6)
Offered by Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Shia's hardest battles yet. Amazing!!, July 8, 2014
Holy comeback!! Jess has brought the magic back to the series and I’m totally thrilled that there wasn’t cliff hanger! That right there made me give it an extra heart/star. So six hearts/stars!!

I started the series with a binge read, two books ago. I didn’t realize that the book I picked was part of a series and with my OCD tendencies; I couldn’t very well start the review book without catching up. Good thing I did too. You cannot pick up any of the H&W Investigation books in the series and expect to know what is going on. Please. I implore you, read it from start to finish. Trust me it’s worth it. As an extra bonus, you will not end your read on a cliffhanger, unlike some of the prior books. Ms. Haines sucks you in and then leaves you hanging in a couple of books. It was so agonizing. I missed the first one, but not the next. I will also say that her universe is very worth it and even though it was painful to experience the cliffhangers, I wouldn’t trade in her books for anything.

Enslaved By the Others starts off right where Forsaken ends. I love that about Ms. Haines. She doesn’t mess around. She jumps right in.

Shia is in trouble (again) and truthfully, it looked very bleak. A past enemy is back for a bit of payback and she is right in the middle of it. He is a very sadistic vampire that will do anything to get what he wants. Her time with Max is sometimes very painful to read. Ms. Haines draws you in in such a way that you can envision Shia’s surroundings and feel her pain. Very well done. It amazes me that Shia is has held onto so much of her humanity. This woman has been to hell and back again and with this story, I think she may have actually been scorched a bit. She is constantly battling, but never gives up. She is a very persistent heroine. Love her!

We revisited past enemies, experience new horrors, find and lose friends, and I fell further in love with the series. Divine! My only real complaint is that I still don’t know what/who one of the characters is. Since the issue is far from resolved I can only guess that we will find out.

That opens up another point. She actually ended the story in such a way, I questioned that Enslaved By the Others was the final book. Yes, there were still unanswered questions, but if it had to end, it wasn’t a bad ending. I’m very happy to report, after some hardcore looking, that the series is scheduled for a few more installments. Can I get a Heck Yeah!!

The Stranger I Married
The Stranger I Married
Offered by Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Ummmm wow. Great plot, fun characters and quality reading!, July 8, 2014
Two people who marry for the same reason. In historical England that is a rare gift. Four years later it seems that everything has changed. Now it appears each want something different. Is it time to end a marriage that maybe never really had a chance to begin with?

Usually at this point I tell a bit about the characters, to explain a bit more about them. Most of the time, a short blurb doesn’t capture their true qualities. I really don’t need to here. The blurb does a fabulous job – their sensual appetites, wicked wits, provocative reputations, and their absolute refusal to ruin their marriage of convenience by falling in love. That sums them both up to a tee. Gerard wants his mother off his back about him getting married and Isabel wants the protection that marriage grants her with her lovers. Both will get their wish with their unconventional marriage.

Four years later and everything is the same, yet different. Gerard receives a huge shock early in their marriage and suddenly leaves. With no word from her husband during his absence, Isabel carries on with her life, the life they both agreed upon. Once he returns, he is the one that has changed and now wants to reevaluate their marriage agreement. Isabel will not go willingly. She enjoys her life the way it is. Gerard will have his hands full convincing her to agree to this new arrangement.

Sylvia Day really knows how to tell a tale. I was invested in this love story from the very beginning. The Stranger I Married was beautifully written with amazing heart and passion. You could feel his pain and her determination. Even with such strong willed people they didn’t stand a chance. They were both too well suited to be nothing short of a wonderful couple. This novel had it all, grandeur, blazing hot sex, richly detailed characters and a storyline that was unique. I also loved, loved, loved the extra bonus of Trenton. Isabel couldn’t ask for a better brother.

Fabulous historical read with just the right about of scorching sex and a plot that was simply amazing. I couldn’t put it down and if you like/love this genre, I highly doubt you will be disappointed and I would recommend it over and over again.

The 13th Guest (The Wiccan Haus Book 12)
The 13th Guest (The Wiccan Haus Book 12)

3.0 out of 5 stars What a great series. Ms. Royce's addition fits right in., June 30, 2014
I really liked the idea of The 13th Guest; a stowaway on a ship and the captain who falls for her. Yes, it’s been done over and over, but Ms. Royce adds a little twist; island getaway and a little magical fate to help them along the way to love.

This is a very cute short story of two damaged people who never planned to come to the island to heal. Each were content with their lives. Satisfied in the cards that were dealt them, but Myron has other plans. The islands resident card reader has dealt them a pair and now with the help from the crew on the island, they will heal each other and mend their broken lives.

Their attraction was instant, but in my opinion they needed more time for healing. We are talking deep dark problems that a little slap and tickle really can’t fix. Short stories are hard enough to write, but not to give a potentially gripping story enough time to come together is just criminal. I wish there would have been a deeper connection with the characters. They had a larger story to tell and I think it could have been spectacular.

The 13th Guest is still a very nice short read. It fits nicely in with the Wiccan Haus family and I am left wondering if more of Dr. Everett’s patients will make an appearance on the island. I also hope Damek rediscovers his gift. It would be a shame to have such a strong talent go to waste.

The authors of the Wiccan Haus series have a way to make me want to know more about their characters and Ms. Royce hit this mark. So while The 13th Guest may not be perfect, it is still a sweet escape and filled with love and healing.

Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love Book 3)
Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love Book 3)
Offered by Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad the story was finally told., June 28, 2014
If you have been with the Duchess of Love series from the beginning you know about Ash, the unhappily married Marquis. We get tidbits that something terrible happened early on in his marriage, but we never quite know. He shuts down, doesn’t want to talk about it and his wife’s name is rarely mentioned. Now we get to find out what really happened.

I’m very happy to finally know the whole truth and to revisit the whole Valentine clan, but this one didn’t stack up to the rest. You have two people, who had feelings for each other, but they can’t manage to make it work and they both suffer terribly.

This is one colossal mess of a marriage. While one of the excuses is that they married young. They were not that young for the time period; she was twenty and he was twenty-two. There was no real excuse for this marriage to have lasted eight years with neither trying to work things out or to finish it. When you find out how much each had suffered in those years, it is beyond unacceptable. Ash’s lack of trying or will to end it bothers me. If it had only been a few years I think I could have accepted it better, but in my eyes he’s a scared wimp. Here we have the future Duke of Greycliffe and he can’t confront his wife about something he seen with his own eyes? Then you pile on years of rumors and gossip, yeah I don’t buy it. I enjoyed that the story was finally told, but the reasoning and excuses didn’t do it for me.

Ms. MacKenzie’s writing was wonderful and she was able to convey the pain, anguish, love and devotion into their tale, but I wish it was more realistic. We already have a marquis marrying a groom’s daughter and then you add in the misunderstanding that would make any man in his position run for the hills. I still devoured the story because I’m totally in lust with the series, but this one didn’t stand up to the other two and a half novels.

I really adore the Valentine family and I’m going to miss them. Farewell Duchess of Love; you have been a joy to read about. Great job on a lovely series Ms. MacKenzie. No matter how I felt about this final chapter, I still loved the journey.

Bind Me Close: 3 (Knights in Black Leather)
Bind Me Close: 3 (Knights in Black Leather)
Price: $5.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Texas men at their best!, June 20, 2014

Knights in Black Leather just delivered its first true knight…Wade.

He is such a prince and encompasses the fabled knight in shining armor perfectly.

• He rescued a damsel in distress with his iron horse
• He rode her to safety after she is injured – on a real horse
• He fulfills her wildest dreams
• He even has his own group of noble horsemen

There is so much to say about Bind Me Close. I have to remain mum because the best parts were the surprises. In the thousands of books I have read I have never read about a hero like Wade. He was one of the most deliciously domineering, manly strong and an amazingly loving man I have read about in a long time, maybe ever. He was selfless in his love and he totally humbled me. His devotion was beautiful and he made me melt for him in every way. Yes, he blew my mind. Willow is one lucky woman.

What I enjoyed about Willow is that she was strong enough to love herself and to go for what she wanted. Her conviction was strong and she held true to her feelings, but was woman enough to admit when she was wrong. The moment she opened her heart to Wade was sweet. Yes, she had help to see the truth, but when she did, it was wonderful.

I’m not sure what it was that made me adore this book so much. In fact, this whole series has been a blast. I am really excited with what may be coming my way. In the first two books, the town of Bravado played a tantalizing third character, but it blossomed in this book. The potential upcoming stories are so exciting and I can’t wait for what Ms. DeLand has in store for me.

Tie Me Down: 2 (Knights in Black Leather)
Tie Me Down: 2 (Knights in Black Leather)
Price: $3.15

3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story that captured my heart but I wanted more., June 20, 2014
3.5 Stars

Book Two in the Knights in Black Leather series was not what I expected.

I have read my fair share of books that have had rope play in them, but never in my experience has so much detail and subject related words been used. It goes to show the amount of research Ms. DeLand must have done. The only thing I wish is that there was actually more rope play. The story really didn’t support an extensive amount of it, it seems like such a waste of some really good information.

I liked Tie Me Down, but I didn’t love it. Case was such an interesting man, that I wanted to know more about him and how he became a shibari master. Sam had a past I wanted to help her through, but it wasn’t brought fully to the surface. These two characters were so amazing, but we were only able to scratch the surface. I loved how Case made up his mind quickly about Sam and then fought hard for her. Sam has had such a hard time and he was so patient with her, it was beautiful. Case’s time and tenderness won Sam’s heart. He proved over and over that he was the man for her.

For a short novel, Tie Me Down had a good plot, great character interactions and solid romance. Ms. DeLand did a fantastic job portraying their passion, love and devotion. So the question is why don’t I love it?

Rarely do I go into a novella thinking I’m going to get a full blown, richly detailed epic novel. Tie Me Down could have been that story. Case seemed to have an amazing past that was filled with family, military service, shibari training and then political life. Sam’s past was the complete opposite; filled with loneliness, struggle, pain, fear and then strength and perseverance. We could have enjoyed Case helping Sam heal through his rope work and we could have been with Sam while she healed from her past traumatic experience.

I can’t recall two characters that I wanted 500 plus pages from. Ms. DeLand envisioned an exceptionally beautiful story but was likely limited by word count. The unfolding of their lives and their future would have been a work of art; an amazingly classic love story.

To tie things up (I really had to go there), Tie Me Down was still a very good story. While it could have supported a longer storyline, the story was complete and very touching. I fell completely in love with Case and Sam and even more enchanted with the town of Bravado and its community. I can only hope there is more of this Texas town in my future.

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