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Sympathy for the Devil (Purgatory Series Book Two) (The Purgatory Series 2)
Sympathy for the Devil (Purgatory Series Book Two) (The Purgatory Series 2)
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Poor, poor Lucifer! Wait, what?, October 15, 2014
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Yes, this story nearly, almost, kinda had me feeling sorry for Lucifer!

We find out that Layla (Night), the only angel to have compassion, and love for him, walked out on him after finding out she was pregnant to save Heavenleigh - and it hurt him...and broke his heart! I felt bad for him. It seems Layla's leaving is what changed Lucifer's path and made hell...well...hell.

While Layla thought she was giving her daughter a chance at a "normal" life and a chance to choose for herself, book 1 showed us the anguish and turmoil Heavenleigh suffered growing up. Never fitting in, always feeling "different". Taking the "fall" for her, Yophiel explains what her existence truly means and vows to guide, and protect her.

Of course, Lucifer does find out he's a father and seeks out Heavenleigh. Angels were created, not born, and he didn't even know they had the power to create life. Their meeting goes well enough, until Layla shows up. Her anger and years of silence come between mother and daughter, just as Lucifer wanted. Even though her daughter is upset with her, Layla realizes the only way to guarantee Heavenleigh's safety is to make up with her husband, (yes, they were MARRIED! Hello, Queen of Hell!) offering herself in return for his word not to use their daughter to open the gates of hell. It is an uneasy alliance, with each closely guarding their hearts. Lucifer is evil incarnate, but how long can he hide the love he feels for his daughter, and still feels for her mother?

This story is amazing and continues to go deeper, showing you sides of Lucifer thought long destroyed. We even get to see a humorous, compassionate side to Death. Yes, Death!

Shyla Colt has spun an intricate web that had this church girl rooting for Satan! (Do not tell my mother!) It gives much food for thought as to Lucifer's true heart. He is vain and deceitful, but is that all?

I downloaded book 3, long before I finished this one. War is coming to hell, but what about heaven?

Regardless of what you do or don't believe, I know you will find this a satisfying continuation in the Purgatory series - actually, I think you'll read it in one sitting...just like me! Enjoy!


Making Scandal (The Essien Trilogy Book 2)
Making Scandal (The Essien Trilogy Book 2)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Essiens!, October 14, 2014
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The saga of the powerful Essien family continues with "Making Scandal". This is Mark's story.

Like brother Felix, Mark is intelligent, powerful, respected in the field of finance and handsome. While Felix has settled into domestic bliss with his wife, Ebony, Mark is still single...and bored. The bachelor life is losing its appeal to Mark. He doesn't do long term relationships, and is quite upfront about it with any woman he gets involved with, and he can have any woman he wants...until he met Faith Brown.

Faith is intelligent, independent, aggressive and at the top of her game in the finance field. Her last relationship left her cold, which is fine with her. It leaves her totally free to concentrate on her career without any distractions.

Mark Essien becomes a distraction Faith cannot ignore. After much back and forth, they began a clandestine affair...played by Faith's rules. They cannot go out together in public, they cannot tell anyone they're seeing each other, and they cannot, under any circumstances discuss business when they're together. Mark is not happy with these rules, but he agrees because he's truly drawn to Faith and wants to spend time with her.

Every one of those rules come back to haunt the two lovers and lay waste to their relationship. I understood WHY Faith felt the need to have rules, but felt she was too inflexible, and it actually made it hard to empathize with her...or even like her. I liked Mark. Not once did he seem insincere or have a hidden agenda. Even when "the deal" went down, I didn't blame him. Faith COULD have known about it...had it not been for her rules. Her end run to prevent the deal from going through was more than commendable - she is a very smart woman - but, I can't help but feel it could have been avoided too if she had allowed her relationship with Mark to be more open.

It was good to see family and friends from "Keeping Secrets". Also glad to see some sort of peace between Faith and her father, but would have liked more of a confrontation between the two. It just seems that in the end, he got what he wanted...sorta...and with money. *LOL*

Kris Petersen rears his evil head again, determined to outwit the Essiens. Mark masterfully dismisses him - loved it! Why has no one decked this fool yet? I feel as though he'll slither his was into another story. And Wumi - lawd...her! Talk about a maneater! She should have been put in her place LONG ago, and she had no right to be upset with Faith over Mark. Bye, Wumi!

Mark made this a satisfying story for me because while he's definitely an alpha male, he actually was a nice guy simply falling in love with a woman who didn't have a good excuse to NOT love him back! They both carried way too much baggage from their childhoods. It was said baggage that powered their beliefs about marriage and family, and led to their differing beliefs on how to handle possible parenthood. Mark "seemed" to be past the bad part of his growing up and had a good relationship with Chief Essien. Sadly, it wasn't the same for Faith. It was almost painful watching Faith's interaction with her father...or lack of. I couldn't believe his wife's health wasn't even enough motivation to leave the past in the past. But when Faith was at her lowest, Mark dropped everything and flew to her side. More than once. They make a good couple.

Not to be outdone, at times, Africa nearly steals the story. The author's detailed descriptions of places, attire, ceremonies, and even food plants the reader firmly on the continent. I have to visit Africa.

Looking forward to book 3 and Tony's story (and did I hear something about Kola getting a story?) - and already dreading the end of this story, even though I know the author has something else in store for us. I like the Essiens and think EVERYONE should have a book...even the parents! LOL! Enjoy!

Kudos to Kiru Taye!


Maybe Baby
Maybe Baby
Price: $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Woman's Awakening!, August 4, 2014
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This review is from: Maybe Baby (Kindle Edition)
Laney Halliwell tells Niklas Lundqvist, her boyfriend of five years, that she wants to have his child. He then hits her with the bombshell that he had a vasectomy before his divorce. Why didn't she already know this? He claims he told her, but she is positive he did not.

So sets the stage for "Maybe Baby" - Laney wanting something that Niklas won't...or cannot give her.

While a business professional, Laney's sad childhood - her father walking away while her mother battled breast cancer, then telling Laney she was no longer his responsibility after her mother died - has her always in search of a place to fit into...to belong to...and to be loved. This is the ONLY reason I can find for her to continue to stay with Niklas. All people are not marriage minded, but for FIVE years, she's helped him raise his two children from his first marriage. Or should I say she was part of the scenery. She speaks of their passion when they first met, the luxurious holidays and dinners, and never for lacking for anything; but I do not hear love or passion in Laney's voice. She sounds "comfortable". Returning to Sweden from their annual trip to the states, Laney tells Niklas she wants a baby, and he talks to her as though she a confused child. I was furious, but I was more pissed off at Laney for backing down...something she does quite a bit.

Subsequent "talks" end unsettled and with the "possibility" of looking into adoption when Laney returns from a business trip to Copenhagen. Niklas is unaware that after having lunch with her beloved cousin, Eddy, Laney has already made an appointment with a fertility clinic in Copenhagen...and this story just took it to the next level!

Laney feels guilty for not telling Niklas about the fertility clinic, but it does not stop her from keeping the appointment. After a lengthy interview with the client services specialist AKA Ida - she's talked into staying for the "mingle". Women/couples meet perspective sperm donors to see if they're compatible match for the child they want to have. Weird. Poor guilt-ridden Laney - she might as well turn Niklas' name into a chant. But, she still does not leave. I felt in her mind, she was building up Niklas and their relationship into something it obviously wasn't anymore. And it worked for the most part...until Mads Rasmussen walked in. *Fanning*

After polite small talk and the requisite Q & A, these two are drawn together like magnets. They end up leaving and going back to her hotel for a night of hot sex that neither wanted to end. WAIT A MINUTE!! Laney, isn't that what happened the night you met Niklas? Girlfriend, you have issues! Maybe she is just missing the "spark" she and Niklas used to have? Maybe she's still MADly in love with him?

Um, no. Mads is as taken with her as she is with him, and their parting is bittersweet. She RELUCTANTLY went back to Stockholm...and Niklas. And here is where I wanted to shake Laney until her eyes rattled. I'm sure she cared for Niklas, but I think she fell out of love with him when he SLEPT WITH HIS EX-WIFE!! She's been drifting ever since, putting up with his condescending nature, getting walked on by his rude children, and taking the smug smirks from Karolina, the ex. I agree with Eddy, Laney should have left Niklas as soon as he confessed. But, Laney herself said, after giving in on yet another argument - she would lose and be left with nothing. Uh, that includes self-respect, Laney! Her father walking away from her really did a number on her emotionally, but, that was the past. Time to put on the big girl panties.

Kim Golden really brings the drama and the angst. The admissions, denials, betrayals, and revelations just keep coming. And that dinner party is a hot mess! Mads grandmother, Alma, is adorable and oh, so wise! Cousin Eddy is cool, but carrying a large load of Samsonite of her own...maaaan! Niklas' daughter, Siri - a great argument for retroactive abortion! The ex, Karolina - UGH! Laney kept it classy, but once...just once, I wished she would have walked with old girl...the old school way. Niklas is not a bad guy, just self-centered, self-righteous and patronizing. But only with Laney. His son Jesper seems lost. Mads Rasmussen seems a bit lost too. However, meeting Laney seems to bring him to life.

A fantastic read all around. I read it in one sitting, finishing at 2 in the morning! I'm positive you'll enjoy it just as much!


Payback (Dueling Devils Book 2)
Payback (Dueling Devils Book 2)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More explosive than Book 1...literally!, August 1, 2014
The attack on Demon's home and family in book 1 is soundly answered in "Payback"! Some stories will tell you their protagonist is a "dark" character because he's in an MC, uses profanity and was abused as a child, but you truly get to see Demon's darkness and it is not pretty. Yet, as bad as it is, the reader at the very least can empathize with him. This is how he handles business and protects what's his. The Sidewinders and crazy Louis KNEW they were treading on dangerous ground, and they knew the price that would have to be paid if they were found out. Oh, well.

Ardy truly comes into her own in this story. While she may not always be sure of what's going through Demon's mind, she is sure of her love for him and his children. When Demon brings business partner and former bedmate, Gia, to their safe home because she needs protection from Louis, Ardy puts an end to Gia's disrespect and cattiness quick, fast and in a hurry. Go, girl!

The planning and organizing for the payback is intense and takes time. Demon is furious and focused, yet he must return to Ardy even if it's only for a few hours. She has captured his heart, and while he is conflicted about keeping her with him and in the MC lifestyle, she soothes his mind and heart and he knows he'll never be able to live without her. Demon has never loved a woman before, and the depth of his feelings for Ardy continues to amaze him. Allowing her and only her to call him by his given name speaks volumes as to where she ranks in his life.

Torn with guilt over the situation he put his daughter in, Paddy pays a visit. He refuses to believe Ardy and Demon are in a "real" relationship. I give him credit for being a concerned father, but I can't help but believe Demon when he said as the oldest, Ardy looked out for her family, helping them to realize their dreams while she was held back. Demon and Paddy have the "talk" and Paddy believes Demon does care for Ardy and agrees to "acknowledge" their relationship. (As if Demon even cared!)

Rocket and Harley are still adorable, and Lefty has plans to zero in on Gia. This could get interesting. We waved bye-bye to Louis, but...where is Natasha?

What kind of wedding does a MC throw? LOL!

The author stayed true to her characters. Everyone is allowed to "grow" without changing who they are. The story doesn't feel rushed or lacking. It's just a good dose of Dueling Devils, and a great read!


The Affair
The Affair
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They all are in need of counseling..., July 31, 2014
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This review is from: The Affair (Kindle Edition)
...and that's not saying I did not like this book. As usual, Tia Kelly delivered a first-rate package,and continues to raise the bar. Plot and character development were spot on. Wasn't difficult at all to connect with character emotions. My issue was...I couldn't work up enough compassion to care about any of them. But moral indignation? Oh yeah...full tank!

Dominique + Bryant = Adultery...period. Which is wrong. Even if you have no religious beliefs on the subject, there is still the matter of trust, commitment, loyalty, blah blah blah! Still not sure if Dominique "conveniently" overlooked his wedding ring, but HE didn't. All this sadness and melancholy in the middle of sex...puhlease! I wanted to smack 'em both! Didn't keep them from finishing; didn't keep him from coming back in the morning, didn't stop her from opening the door; didn't stop them from having sex...again.

She goes back to her life and he goes back to his wife - and life goes on. They share awkward moments at an industry event where Bryant has the wife in tow. I understand Dominique's frustration with her jerk of a boss, but why was she so agitated and flustered in Alise's presence? Could it be GUILT? Whatever, Dominique! Once again, they go their separate ways. Until someone misses a period, and we're not talking punctuation here!

I DO agree that a man should be told he's fathered a child - even if he knows he didn't use a condom and what the end result could be - but what was she supposed to do - sky write it for him? He ignored her, blocked her and acted as though she did not exist. Had it been me, he wouldn't have found out until the kid was old enough to drive to his house and introduce himself! Bless Carmen and her scheming little heart. Her stunt got his attention, but what a beast he was! And Dominique was disappointed. Um, what were you expecting, Dominique - flowers?

These two got nuttier as the story went on. Bad decisions, lack of communication, secrets, and SO many hurt feelings. Then, Bryant's brain gets sucked out of his head and he becomes a sap, actually saying things like, "In just a fraction of time, you got to know me and related to me in ways my wife never cared to try." Um...5 years of marriage versus a night of sex...if that's the case, he was doomed long before he met Dominique. I broke out the Pinto Grigio and the real party started.

I still had empathy for Alise - she had been betrayed and had done nothing wrong. Well, until she got all stalkerish and walked up on Dominique. I don't understand why some women need to torture themselves with the details. Get out while you can and don't look back. That punched her ticket for me.

By the time I finished the book, my mouth was hanging WIDE open and I was exhausted! That's what a Tia Kelly book will do to you - lure you in with the love factor - then toss in the drama and get you so deeply invested you feel YOUR own happiness is at stake! I'm stocking the wine cabinet "just in case" this story continues...one day.

Regardless of how you feel about infidelity, you will choose a side when reading "The Affair". Be warned...and get the book.


Hoodoo Money (The Stolen Nickel Series Book 1)
Hoodoo Money (The Stolen Nickel Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Hang on - what a ride!, July 31, 2014
Elements of the thriller, suspense, intrigue & romance can ALL be found in Sharon Cupp Pennington's "Hoodoo Money"! You'll find it hard to put down!

Horrific crimes from the past are linked to Braeden McKay - and she doesn't even know it. An author of children's books, Braeden is on a photo shoot in New Orleans with lifelong friend and model, Angeline St. Cyr, when troubles get up close and personal. On the whole, I didn't like either woman. To ME, both seemed stuck in permanent denial and didn't mind it at all. Past hurts from love and family had made them both obstinate, IMHO...and I do understand how that happens. Their characters were perfect for the story. But, if they were real people, we would not be friends! LOL!

On the other hand, NOLA Detective Sanderson Montgomery and former teacher, Charlie Cooper were quite likeable. Even with the nightmare from his past always on his mind, Charlie is making every effort to be open to something new. Unfortunately, this will lead him to more pain and heartbreak...and a mini meltdown.

Bodies start dropping from the beginning. Secrets come to light. Hearts are opened...and rejected. But it isn't until the danger gets up close and personal and stays there that the pieces...and the whole story start to come together. I know I was clueless...until Braeden saw the name on the poster - and then the light bulb popped on. However, I STILL wasn't prepared for the aftermath/outcome.

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review, but moments after completing it, I purchased book 2 - "Mangroves and Monsters" because I HAVE TO KNOW where this story is going. It's just that good!


The Color of Lies (Novelette): Installment 1 Pandora's Box
The Color of Lies (Novelette): Installment 1 Pandora's Box
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A Winner!, July 31, 2014
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Wow! Definitely not what I was expecting - it was better!

There have been books/movies on wives getting the goods and getting back at cheating husbands, but this stands heads above all of them. Great character and plot development. The story progresses at a smooth pace - nothing feels rushed or forced.

"Pandora's Box" is the brainchild of Brooklyn Kellogg. Devastated by the betrayal of the man she believed loved her, Brooklyn knew other women were equally as blind and complacent in similar situations. So she hung out her shingle! Women suspecting their men of cheating can hire the investigative services of "Pandora's Box". Brooklyn and her staff are very professional, discreet and always on point. I loved how Brooklyn took every precaution to keep the "drama" to a minimum.

Erik Warren is tall, dark and handsome...and he knows it. He's also successful and affluent. He's also cheating on his wife...with more than one woman. Laura Warren knows he's unfaithful, but has no proof, so she hires Pandora's Box. That Erik was one piece of work...maaaan! He felt NO guilt, NO shame, NO remorse. He jumped from bed to bed, and felt the women should be grateful! THEN, he'd go home and have sex with his wife! EW!

The investigation by Brooklyn's team was amazing. Photos, videos, audio...they had it all. I loved Oscar. A former cop now running his own private investigation firm, he'd also gone through drama, marrying a woman who only married him to make her ex jealous - AND she'd allowed Oscar to believe he was the father of her baby, so he was fully committed to the surveillance services he provided Pandora's Box. I had issues with Sarai, one of the women who worked for Brooklyn. Before meeting her in the story, Brooklyn gives her a pretty big buildup - young, beautiful, professional woman who knows how to handle the men and get them to say and do the right things...while being recorded. But, after catching Erik's eye on Facebook and arranging to meet him, she's just a bit too taken with him.

Laura's final meeting with Brooklyn - and the resulting confrontation are epic! Laura is glorious, and the cheaters are shame-faced, as well they should be. I would like to have had more humiliation and groveling from Erik...because he's a dog...and would have liked a bit more of Laura's after story. But, not having those does not take away from the plot in any way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and yes, I have already downloaded book 2 - "What Lies Beneath The Surface"!

Kudos to Perri Forrest!


Falling
Falling
Price: $3.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, Raw and Real!, June 19, 2014
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This review is from: Falling (Kindle Edition)
What if one day you came to the realization that everything you'd been taught, everything you'd been raised to believe in was a lie? This is the realization Robert "Bobby Jack" Johnson is coming to. A born and bred Aryan white supremacist, the soon to be released prison inmate is rethinking his beliefs, especially since his heart was never truly in it - and the people he's been taught to hate seem to the ones who deliver help when he needs it most. Now he just wants his release day to come so he can grab his girlfriend and the infant son he's never seen and get far away from his family.

Whitney isn't a racist, she's just defensive...to everyone. During a lifetime spent in the foster care system and on the streets, the young Black woman has known little kindness, and has learned she only has herself to depend on. She's not completely jaded though, and still has a heart big enough to help others, which is how she meets expectant mom, Jessi. It is while trying to help Jessi that she inadvertently finds an apartment and gets off the street. Whit knows little of Jessi's past, but is there for the birth of her son, Isaac, and becomes Jessi's instant support network...and rescuer. Jessi's lifestyle and descent into drug addiction leads her to prison and the loss of her son. After a bit of finagling, Whit gets custody of baby Isaac, and a whole new load of trouble.

Part of that trouble includes Bobby Jack getting released from prison. He comes looking for his son, but not before he and Whit cross paths a time or two...and the last time he's just in time!

Both concerned about Isaac's well-being, Whit and Bobby Jack begin a shaky friendship. The quiet but tough Black woman, and the pseudo-white supremacist whose body art glorifies the Aryan beliefs. The undeniable attraction between the two catches them both off guard, and simmers just below the surface. They both try to ignore it as Whit has to come up with a game plan for taking care of Isaac while wondering how long Jessi will be in prison. Bobby Jack has no intention of returning to prison and plans to break ties with his racist family after he finds out who hooked Jessi on drugs and deals with his overbearing father.

This is not a pretty story. This is not a fun story. Many would find the dialogue (and most of the storyline) offensive. But that's why I feel it works. The author lays it right out in the open, much the way you would find it in the streets. The reader has to navigate through the story much the same way Whit and Bobby Jack must navigate their way to each other. They get help along the way from Mrs. Mays, Whit's mercenary land lady...who has a heart of gold; and Edward and Maurice - two very masculine, yet gay drag queens.

You won't find the HEA (Happily Ever After) here. These two have an extremely long road to traverse with many obstacles along the way. But you do get the HFN (Happy For Now). Regardless of what Whit and Bobby Jack come up against, you know they will handle it together. And that's enough.


His Strength (Men of Valor Book 2)
His Strength (Men of Valor Book 2)
Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Electric!, June 15, 2014
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Loved this story!

There is attraction between the H/h from the beginning. Getting around societal rules and traditions is the issue. At least for Ikem. He already had to watch Nneka marry someone else two years earlier because of his "lowly" birth. He is determined not to lose her again. While attracted to Ikem, young widow, Nneka has other ideas in mind for the life she wants after her period of mourning ends.

The beauty of the story is watching it unfold, watching assumptions dispelled, watching anxieties fade, watching trust grow, and then love. Nneka comes to realize things about herself and Ikem she'd never even considered. She found her long held beliefs based on her tragic childhood and weak marriage were wrong. Once she let her guard down, the sparks really flew between the two.

I'm an Ikem fan! His lineage may be considered unsavory, but I think that just makes him unique! #TeamIkem

Every good story has to have a villain, and Nneka's brother-in-law, Edozie, more than fits the bill. We knew Nneka, Ikem and Obinna had a low opinion of Edozie, but it would have been interesting to know what his father thought of him, and also suspected him of being involved in Ofonna's death. (Jerk!)

The last scene is swoon-worthy! There are declarations, validation...and warm fuzzies!

Read it!


Keeping Secrets (The Essien Trilogy Book 1)
Keeping Secrets (The Essien Trilogy Book 1)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Secrets, Secrets, Secrets!, June 15, 2014
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Maaaaan! There were so many secrets floating around this story I lost count! Just when I thought "all had been revealed", someone shows up with MORE information! Whew!

On the night of his marriage to Ebony, Felix Essien is critically injured and lies in a coma for months. When he awakens, he has no memory of how he came to be hospitalized, and no memory of his wedding or his wife...or the conditions of their marriage. He can recall something about a marriage and his board giving him an ultimatum, but little else. Ebony is immediately on edge. Once she and his family members assure Felix that he is indeed married to Ebony, and his father intimates that Felix has "something to atone for", he seems bound and determined to get close to his wife. He can tell she's hiding something, but giving him too much information can hinder his recovery, so most choose to instead to let his memory return on its own gradually.

His memory does slowly return...with good and bad consequences. As they do, secrets are revealed, and good lord! Everyone has them! The reader is blindsided more than once...and there's nothing you can do about it! LOL!

My favorite part of the story is that even though Felix and Ebony are on shaky ground, even though there are secrets and unspoken words; even though there is hesitancy, they do not turn away from each other. Despite the pain and anger, there is still communication. And, when you have that, you have hope.

Kudos to Kiru Taye for including a glimpse of book 2 at the end of the story. While it opens up another door, the scene itself is very satisfying! (D@mn Dele!)

Anxiously awaiting "Making Scandal".


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