Pretend You’re Safe Review

33223951 (1)Pretend You’re Safe is the first book in Alexandra Ivy’s The Agency Series but reads like a stand alone book. I really enjoyed this romantic suspense and thought the balance between romance and suspense was just about perfect.

This book centers around Jaci who was receiving tokens when she was a teen of a gold locket with some hair and blood on them. However, since there were no corresponding bodies the very young deputy didn’t take her seriously and passed it off as pranks. Jaci left to go to college and the gifts stopped. Now she’s back and living on the property she inherited from her deceased grandparents. Rylan the young deputy also left town and made a fortune developing software used by the FBI. He’s back to visit his dad when a flood aids in the discover of a body and the skull of another.

It isn’t long before Jaci receives her first “new” locket but this time both the sheriff (not the same on as when she was young) and Rylan are taking her seriously. The author introduces a lot of suspects and keeps you guessing throughout the book. Although I did figure out who the killer was I was never 100% sure I was right until the end. The romance between Jaci and Rylan is more of a rekindled interest from when they were young although Rylan never acted on it. It’s sweet and believable.

I really liked both characters and found them well developed. Jaci is tough but never TSTL and is willing to put aside her pride when it comes to staying safe. Rylan is struggling with his guilt over not believing Jaci and is very protective of her. The book also introduces us to some secondary characters including Jaci’s estranged family and the sheriff, Mike who I really liked.

There was plenty of suspense, action and intrigue and of course a satisfying romance. I’m not sure where The Agency part falls into the book but I enjoyed it and would definitely read another in this series.

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Mr. Big Review

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I was looking forward to this book and thought it would be a sexy, and fun read about an arrogant CEO. I liked the synopsis of the book provided and the cover is really hot (although the MC is blond and the cover really ends up not having anything to do with the book at all). Unfortunately, this book just didn’t end up being what I expected and although I wanted to like it I struggled to get through parts of it.

The biggest issue I had was that I never really liked either of the main characters. Oliver had his moments and just when I was starting to like him he would do something really stupid and treat the Holland like crap. I was expecting an arrogant and brash hero but although he could be arrogant at times mostly he just came across as whiny and screwed up. Holland also bothered me. She couldn’t decide what she wanted and went back and forth. It seemed all she cared about was what other people would think and I just couldn’t understand why she felt she hadn’t earned her promotion.
I also really didn’t feel the chemistry between these two characters. Probably because they spent a lot of time wrapped up in their own heads focused on their own whining about their issues.

The pacing was a bit slow and just when I was getting invested Oliver was a complete jerk and a coward. The way he treated Holland was completely unacceptable and it went on for quite a long time. I think if he would have realized he made a mistake and then had to work his way back into Holland’s life I would have liked it. The fact that he basically says I’m sorry I screwed up and she says okay and all is forgiven really bothered me. I didn’t like the way Holland gave in right away and I didn’t like that Oliver got to basically just forget about his terrible treatment of Holland and never had to face any consequences for his actions. In fact, he never had to face any consequences for any of his actions – not being a jerk to all his friends, not refusing to take responsibility for his company, not for treating Holland so poorly. I would have liked to see some character growth from Oliver because he had to face up to his poor behavior but that just didn’t happen.

So while, this book will probably work for a lot of people it just didn’t for me.

Bring the Heat Review

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I really love this series. It is full of bizarre, crazy, one of kind characters. I’m usually laughing out loud several times during the book. If you haven’t read the Dragon Kin series I don’t recommend starting with this book as the plot is a continuing one.

The characters in this book are truly unique and I really enjoy the world that she has built. Although I really think she needs a who’s who and how they are connected at the front of her book as I found myself trying to remember exactly who everyone was and how they connected since there are so many characters from previous books that play a pivotal roll in this one.

Some of the characters have definitely stuck with me more than others and I love that they continue to play an important part in the story. In fact, I wish the author would stop introducing so many new characters and write a few more books giving Annwyl, Izzy, Keita and Dagmar a more prominent roll as well as Annwyl’s twins.

Dragon Heat was Aidan and Branwen’s story however there was so much more to this book and part of the continuing plot was wrapped up in a wonderful way. Aidan and Branwen started as very good friends although it was apparent that Aidan had some more romantic feelings for Branwen. So the romance was more of a slow burn and was actually pretty sweet compared to the previous relationships in this series. The war really takes off in this book and we get a resolution with Chramnesind’s priests and zealots. There is a lot of violence and some humor along the way (although not as much as usual in this book). There is so much happening to so many players that I can’t say the book really focused on Aidan and Branwen but I really enjoyed it. The interactions between all the different characters, the sense of family they have, and all the action made this a whirlwind read for me. It also brought a new villain/plot out that I’m sure we will be reading more about in the next book and I for one can’t wait.

Teaser Tuesday

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For this week’s Teaser Tuesday edition, I chose Bring the Heat, which is the 9th book in G.A. Aiken‘s Dragon Kin series.  This series is full of odd, crazy, violent and humorous dragons.  There is always a ton of action, lots of humor and a solid romance.  I adore this series and I know I’m going to be laughing out loud somewhere along the way.

 

 

 

Brannie didn’t have the luxury of running around, killing randomly, and only listening to the queen.  As an officer and a dragoness, she had to think about all sorts of things before and after her troops got neck-deep in battle.  She didn’t respect the Mi-runach, but she had come to grudgingly respect Aidan the Divine.  And, over the years and in their own way, they’d become somewhat close.

Which was why she knew something was really wrong by the sudden look on Aidan’s face, his eyes widening in panic.  His mouth opened like he wanted to say something.  And all of that meant only one thing – Aidan’s idiot brethren were up to something again.  Something that would only make her angry.  Before Brannie could figure out what, she heard a distinctive noise.  A noise she had better not be hearing.

Mouth open, Brannie spun around and glared up a the dragon oaf eating her horse! Human body shaking, teeth gritting, Brannie felt her rarely unleashed rage explode.

“What have you done?” she bellowed.

Caswyn the Buther, in his enormous dragon form, gazed down at her as he kept chewing.  The front half of her beautiful, loyal horse hanging from his snout.

“Wha?” he mumbled around his meal.

But before she could ember her weapon into the idiot’s neck and end him for such an affront, Adian jumped between them.  Protecting his idiot friend and getting in her way!

“Perhaps we should think about this?” Aidan gently suggested, as was his way.  The only Mi-runach she knew who tried to use reason rather than brute force.

“No,” she snapped.  “Move.”

“You’re not thinking this through.”

“Get out of my way before I kill you both.”

“He didn’t mean it!”

“I don’t care! I will have his head!”

“He was dying anyway Caswyn mumbled around the hooves.

“It’s just a bloody horse,” Uther noted, his blood-covered human form coming at her from the opposite side.

“Could you both do me a favor?” Aidan asked his friends.  “And stop talking?”

When neither responded, Aidan faced Brannie, and opened his mouth to speak…but the sound of crunching that came from Caswyn as he slowly began to chew on her precious horse’s hooves made him stop, his head dropping forward in silent defeat.

M/M Monday – Suspicious Behavior Review

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Suspicious Behavior is book #2 in the Bad Behavior series and I HIGHLY recommend reading the first book before jumping into this one. This book is 80% police procedural and 20% romance so for those who love a great suspense/mystery with a bit of romance this is perfect. I admit I usually like a more even split but it worked in this book and maybe because I know there will be another book with the two MCs I wasn’t disappointed in the small amount of romance in this book. Although there were only a few romantic scenes it was obvious throughout the book that these two men were in a solid and loving relationship.

This book takes off almost right after the end of the first book and both men are being thrown into another case but this time it’s a serial killer. They don’t have much too work with and they certainly don’t have much support from fellow cops or leadership. I think that was the one thing that really bothered me was the portrayal of almost all the other cops. I can see that Darren and Andreas might not be the most liked and that they may even get a cold shoulder but some of the lengths the other cops went to was just a bit much for me. I understand cops are human but with an exception or two I like my cops to be good guys.

I really enjoyed the suspense in this book and the twists and turns that the case took. I also felt so bad for Darren and all the family issues that he is going through right now. I loved that Andreas was there to support him even if he didn’t always know the right way to do that. I enjoyed the secondary characters especially Andreas’ daughter and Paula.

I’m really looking forward to how the family stuff with Andreas plays out and of course Darren and his brother (although I think that is going to break my heart even more).

M/M Monday Controlled Burn Review

34834900.jpgA fabulous debut book that has me looking forward to more from Erin McLellan!

This book centers around Joel who is a young college student who has never moved past the loss of his high school boyfriend who was killed while reading a sext from him. He wallows in his guilt and has built an emotional wall to keep everyone out. When he meets Paulie who is a funny and sweet guy who is very open with his affection and his sexuality. I loved that two started off as friends and it took awhile before they jumped into bed. It made the first sex scene between them extremely hot and emotional and the payoff was wonderful. Joel takes a long time to start to open up to Paulie and unfortunately makes some big mistakes along the way during a time when Paulie is already in a bad state with family issues. There was a lot of angst towards the end of this book but I also thought it had one of the best groveling scenes EVER!

“I want you, in every way. I want to hear your laughter and see your smiling face every morning. I want to hold your hand when life sucks. I want to be your boyfriend, and i want to be your friend. But… I will be whatever you need, whatever it is you want. If you don’t want me at all anymore, that’s okay. I understand. But please say that I don’t have to face another day with you hating me.”

I also absolutely adored Joel’s roommate Travis. He is such an amazing friend and I really want him to get his own book! Joel and Paulie have a HFN ending so hopefully we will see more of them in a book about Travis.

I really liked this book. It had an emotional impact, really hot sex with lots of dirty talk and two boys who grew into men. I believe we will see a lot of really great books from this new author!

 

Ride Me Right Review

35283207Ride Me Right was so much better than the two previous stories Burned by Lust & Burned by Blackmail that were in the book Burning to Ride. In this book neither character is part of the Hellfire MC but they do interact with the club quite a bit.

I liked both Jake and Lucy although I would have liked a bit more character development. I really liked the stunt aspect of Jake’s life and found it interesting. Lucy took me a bit longer to like as her I hate the world vibe took a bit to get past. Once I did though, I found her to be likable and enjoyed reading about her. I liked her take charge attitude and the fact that she was trying to be taken seriously in a male oriented career and I loved that she was an amazing mechanic.

There are quite a few misunderstandings and miscommunication for such a short book and I felt like it ended with a HFN.

Irresistible You Review

294390014.5 Stars! I find I either love sports romances or really don’t like them at all. Thankfully, I loved this one! This series had interesting and well developed characters, chemistry and hot love scenes, a hockey plot that was well integrated into the book and on top of that a plot I could sink my teeth into!

Irresistible You is the first book in the Chicago Rebel series (I didn’t read the prequel) that introduces the Chase sisters. Three sisters with different mothers but the same father who owned a hockey team. His oldest daughter, Harper has worked for her father but when he dies he gives the hockey team to all three sisters and gives them one year to take the failing team to the playoffs or the team is to be sold. Harper who has never been close to either sister is devastated but convinced she can make this happen.

Harper fires the general manager and assumes the role but it’s hard to get respect as a female owner/manager in hockey let alone with two sisters as co-owners. Harper’s first move is to bring in a veteran hockey player to turn her team around. This is where Remy “Jinx” DuPre comes in. He has always wanted to win the cup and this is his last chance as he plans to retire but his unwanted and unexpected trade throws all his plans out the window. Unfortunately, the Chicago team is nowhere close to the playoffs and he doesn’t want anything to do with Haper and her team.

Harper and Remy’s initial meeting is anything but cordial and this begins a relationship of snide comments, arguments and a ton of sexual chemistry. I really enjoyed watching this relationship develop into a friendship and then into more.

I really, really loved Remy! He was the perfect book boyfriend and did I mention Cajun? He’s charming, and sweet but also a bit arrogant. Harper was the perfect match for him and she had so much depth. The more I learned about her the more I liked her and her take no prisoners attitude.
This book also introduces a lot of interesting secondary characters including both of Harper’s sisters. While we get a HFN for Remy and Harper the overall plot isn’t completed and I’m looking forward to how it all plays out in the next two books which will feature Harper’s sisters.

A great start to a new series that’s full of everything a sports romance could want – a hot, alpha hockey star, a snarky, touch heroine, an engaging plot, interesting secondary characters and just the right amount of steam!

M/M Monday – Dirty Deeds Review

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3.5 Charms – rounded up to 4.  Dirty Deeds is the first book in the Dirty series and a spinoff from the Tough Love series but can easily be read as a stand alone book. This book centers around Alec who is a billionaire who runs a company that does something with food (honestly I’m not exactly sure what but in the big scheme of things that didn’t matter all that much). He is the ex-boyfriend of one of the characters from the Tough Love series. Seth who is also a character from that book is in this one but he is kind of a jerk and we never really find out if he has decent motives or not. I really didn’t like that he wasn’t such a jerk in this book since I had liked him in the previous book.

So in this book, Gaige who is a computer genius is being blackmailed by Seth into working/spying on Alec and helping him discover some anomalies with a top secret vault that stores seeds in case of an emergency/doomsday scenario (the leak is supposedly from Alec’s company). The part I really didn’t understand was why Seth was blackmailing Gaige and wouldn’t give either Gaige or Alec much information and why he wanted Gaige to spy on Alec in addition to working with him. In fact, he brings the two men together by having Gaige break into Alec’s business. Obviously, this means that there is a lot of distrust between Gaige and Alec. Because of the distrust Alec decides he needs to keep Gaige next to him at all times and basically makes him live with him when they aren’t at work. (I found this very contrived and wish the scenario was a bit more believable).

So if I put aside the reason these two men are forced together I really enjoyed it. There is an immediate attraction between the two men and it isn’t long before they are acting on it. The sex between the two was hot and I liked them together. I found Gaige a really interesting character and I liked that although he was kind of a geek he was also really sexy and saved Alec’s life more than once. The second half of this book was intense and fast paced and honestly I didn’t see the villain coming.

So while there were some plot issues I really liked the characters, the writing, the sex scenes, and the action-packed second half of the book.

Crossing the Line Review

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Crossing The Line is the second book in the Cross Creek series but can be read as a stand alone book. This book center’s around Eli who has been labeled as the brother who doesn’t work as hard on the farm and a bit of a goof-off. He’s also known as cocky and charming. The reader finds out quickly that while Eli loves his family and the farm he doesn’t love farming and doesn’t feel like he fits at the farm. His true passion is writing but he has been keeping this a secret from his family. When he makes an ill-conceived bet with a rival about which farm can make more money his family decides that he can help by being the point of contact for Scarlett, a famous photographer who is gong to be at the farm for a month doing a series of articles for her friend’s magazine.

Although, I enjoyed the characters and the writing I had two big problems with this book. I just never really understood why Eli felt the need to keep his love for writing a secret from his family. The explanation given just never rang true to me and it bothered me throughout the book. I also found it strange that such a close knit family never bothered to look a little below the surface of Eli’s constant deflection and easy going attitude.

The second issue I had was with the portrayal of Scarlett when she is first introduced. She is an internationally famous photographer who has traveled all over the world and photographed different things including war zones. Yet she shows up on a farm in heels and thinks flip-flops are fine for walking across the farm all day. Then she seems surprised when Eli tells her she needs to cover her skin so she won’t be burnt and the first day she wears a shirt that shows her lower back. She also complains about being at the farm by 5:30 am because it’s so early to have to be up. I just didn’t think that rang true with someone who did what she did for a living and it really threw me a bit and therefore it took me longer to accept her as a professional.

I expected Eli, to deflect and charm Scarlett to stay away from his secrets but he actually came across as aloof and distanced which also threw me off a bit. I admit I didn’t necessarily see these characters together but as the story went on I could see how there backgrounds and feelings of not having or fitting into a home brought them together. As they let each other in to their secrets and found some common ground I enjoyed the bond they created together.

I could of actually done without the end of the book drama as it seemed to be a bit of a cliched let’s throw some conflict in to cause problems for the MCs. Eli’s behavior was again a bit strange and I didn’t believe his reasons. It also led to a rushed reunion and left me with the feeling of a HFN rather than an HEA.

So while I enjoyed the first book more I did enjoy this book as well and I love the way the writer describes farm life and the relationship between the brothers and their father. I’ve been drawn to Owen’s character since the first book so I’m really looking forward to reading his book.