- File Size: 1604 KB
- Print Length: 1424 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated (July 25, 2017)
- Publication Date: July 25, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073WDH3LT
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Ten Kindle Edition
"Fool Me Once" by Catherine Bybee
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Top customer reviews
I have read a few of Ms. Bailey’s works and enjoyed them thoroughly. Rough Rhythm has a darker edge that some may not be comfortable with so please read the advisory at the end of the blurb.
James Brandon has some very dark desires and they only seem to come out for a woman 12 years his junior which scares the life out of him. He gave into those desires for one night 4 years ago and although he has regretted it every moment since then, he can’t make himself walk away entirely and took on a role that would allow him to be involved in her life enough to ensure she wouldn’t be hurt in any other way.
Lita has never had any regrets about that night, but nothing she says or does can convince James that he lit up her world in a way she never expected. And she does increasingly outrageous things to try to crack the reserved shell which only cements his convictions that she is too young and reckless for him. His childhood gave him a front row seat to violence and his dark thoughts of control and domination make him want to run far away… too bad Lita has no intention of letting that happen.
The dam on four years of tightly leashed emotions finally breaks and WHOA! Lita has to scramble to try to keep James from sliding back into a pit of self-loathing but in the end he has to find a way to come to terms with his past, his instincts and his view of them, and decide if he can view Lita as a woman who shares his desires rather than a child who needs to be protected.
Rough Rhythm was well written and kept me engaged from page 1 to the very end. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Bailey has in store for us next!
Oh, the tangled web they weave! Amy and Flynn are business rivals, so when her name comes up on the roster for new subs in training at Sanctum, Flynn doesn’t believe it is a coincidence for one second- especially when she signed up under her married name and she ultimately is paired with him. Their families have been embroiled in a corporate war for years, so regardless of the fact that she ousted her father to take over her company or that Flynn wants no part of his father’s former business practices, it is far easier to believe that nefarious intentions are at the root of their “timely” meeting
Amy is exhausted from doing battle on multiple fronts every day. Her father is suing her, her family hates her, and Glendale is constantly trying to steal her business. Her ex-husband is her best friend, but seeing that Frankie is gay, she REALLY needs Sanctum in her life right now. When she is paired with the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Flynn who is also a bit of a tech and sci-fi geek, she feels a kinship with him and hopes that something is finally going her way. Not wanting to discuss the office when she finally makes an escape, she brushes off all attempts to talk about her job and focuses the conversation elsewhere whenever the topic comes up.
Flynn knows her identity from the start but quickly realizes the likelihood of her playing him for information about the company is very slim. Does he come clean? No way, that would be too smart! So the deception and lies by omission continue and he digs himself a hole so big that I am surprised he didn’t see the Earth’s core at the bottom. You know that saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Yeah, who else thinks he is going to find out exactly what that feels like?
Fortunately for Flynn, he should have a Masters degree in groveling and he comes up with an epic apology to try to set things right that me “aww”ing right along with her friends and family. Devoted was a lot of fun, drama and heat packed into a novella that is a welcome addition to the Masters and Mercenaries series in my opinion. If you have not read anything in the series yet, this is a great place to start where you can jump in with no real prior knowledge of other couples or events and not feel completely lost.
Vex is having a really bad day when the story opens! She is in the Underworld searching for someone to buy the souls that she is carrying when a new, very strong soul attaches itself to her and puts her in danger of being possessed. All of her normal buyers refuse to do business since it has suddenly become dangerous to their existence to trade in souls, so she has no choice but to go to Azagoth- more widely to known to most as the Grim Reaper.
Zhubaal, or Z, is a fallen angel and Azagoth’s right hand man. He has been searching for the reincarnation of the angel he loved for over a century, but he is starting to worry that he will never find her until Vex struts into his world and feels a familiarity that has been absent from his life since Laura died. Now he is hit with conflicting emotions as he realizes he has lost her again before he even found her – or has he? Z is blindsided by the eventual realization that Laura is not one of the souls that Vex is carrying but is actually Vex herself, and he has no idea how to reconcile the woman standing before him with the angel who was her polar opposite. Needless to say Z makes some very serious missteps with Vex but eventually grovels and redeems himself.
Z was a quick fun read with a little bit of bumbling male and healthy shot of steam once he pulls his head out of a dark bodily cavity to realize that the spirited independent creature before him may not be the woman of his memories but she is actually everything he never knew he wanted. This novella was a great introduction to Ms. Ione’s Demonica series and I am off to go 1-click Azagoth’s story now because I need to know more!
FALLING UNDER YOU:
Norma and Boyd are familiar faces from the Fixed Trilogy and the Found Duet but their story has never been more than hinted at previously. Falling Under You gives us that story of their forbidden romance over the course of several years.
It all begins with Norma fleeing to the rooftop in humiliation after making a pass at her boss Hudson and being summarily rejected. She was certain he was the one man who could handle her success and they got along very well, so his brush off was a bit unexpected. Her assistant Boyd follows her outside to check on her, and he shows her a side of his personality she has never seen in him before with an authoritative demeanor that makes her take a second look. He has watched her longing for the wrong man for far too long and he gives her an unexpected proposition: trust him to give her exactly what she needs and show her how right he can be for her if given the chance. She shocks herself by saying yes then has her world rocked in ways she never expected.
That experience makes her re-evaluate a few things in her life but also causes her to get stuck in a loop of overthinking everything. There are so many reasons she should not give in to her desire to take him up on his open invitation to explore a deeper relationship with a true power exchange between them, but despite the long list of cons and against her better judgment, her heart finally talks her into it.
Don’t think everything is all sunshine and roses from there though! There is a long slow burn build up as Norma struggles to truly embrace what Boyd is asking of her, and he tries to find the patience to wait for her to work through it in her head and either accept it fully or walk away. Through it all, I was just as frustrated as both of them, but they grow closer and they are ready to combust when the time arrives that they are both finally on the same page.
Falling Under You was a nice trip back to the world of the Fixed Trilogy and I enjoy Norma and Boyd overall. I think I am going to need a re-read to get a Hudson fix now!
CRAVING HIS COMMAND:
This story is set in the Doms of Genesis world, and it felt like I needed to have read some of the other books in that series to fully understand the dynamics and history that were shared in Mercy and Kellan’s story.
Mercy has been brave enough to bring charges against a so-called Dom who turned abusive and violated the tenets of a D/s relationship, but the courts are not enlightened enough to understand the difference either. A run-in with the man who thinks he is now invincible for winning the court case results in a real threat to her life, and she accidentally finds herself in Judge Kellan Graham’s chambers while trying to escape. She never expected the judge to be known to her by a different name though: Sir Justice of Genesis.
Kellan has been drawn to Mercy like a moth to a flame from the very first time she set foot through the club’s door, but his complicated past has kept him from acting on the attraction. He wears his sorrow like a mantle and will not allow himself to enjoy the company of a woman except for the most basic of needs. He has struggled to resist Mercy because he knows she is a real danger to his heart, but she is about to launch a full on assault to his senses that he may not be able to resist.
Aside from the fact that I felt like I was missing a bit of history here, Mercy felt a lot like a spoiled child stomping her foot when she doesn’t get her way all too often in this story. Kellan was a wonderful character though whose struggle and sorrows were palpable and that I could not help feeling for as the intricacies of the source of his dilemma were revealed.
This story is another one that takes you for that walk on the wild and darker side that I mentioned earlier, and at times I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
There is a 10 year age difference between Greer and Ash, and when they first meet she is only 16 years old. The connection and attraction that burns between them is undeniable despite being unable to act on it, and one hour spent together at a party becomes an hour that neither forgets over the coming years. Greer’s letters to him while he was deployed in a war zone were a mix of youthful hope and much more mature albeit blatantly darker thoughts on sexuality but when she receives no responses, she eventually gives up.
Fast forward 5 years to when they meet again, and another hour in each other’s presence turns into another unforgettable moment but one that leads to the introduction of Ash’s best friend Embry into her life. One night with Embry rocks her world again, but when he too fails to respond to her after that night, she decides having her heart broken twice is enough. She tries to take a safer approach to life in all things and effectively closes herself off.
And jump ahead 5 more years! Now both Embry and Ash find their way back into her life, and let the angsty roller coaster ride begin! Secrets, lies and intrigue are the name of the game in the political minefield that is Washington DC, and that holds true in both the public and private lives of all 3 characters. Ash is only too happy to indulge Greer’s darkest fantasies, but he and Embry are in love with the same woman- and she just might love them both- and they just might be in love with each other too. Yikes Mr. President and Mr. Vice President! The potential for scandal is huge if the public finds out what goes on behind closed doors, but all 3 are still wallowing in confusion about their complicated dynamics.
American Queen is not a standalone, and the ending sets up the opening for book 2 American Prince which is available now. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t really know how I felt about this story at times. The angst level is high, the sex was definitely hot but at times I felt myself cringe at some of the scenes that played out. Ash and Greer’s shared kink is not one that I have ever understood- to each his own and all that, but there were a few moments of “oh hell no” when I was reading that caused me to skim ahead a bit. So if you are up for some angst, some dirty hot moments and a bit of a cliffie at the end of the story, jump right in and clear some time to dive into book 2 of the trilogy.
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