Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shattered Bonds (Wicked Play #7) by Lynda Aicher



Reviewed by Tabatha


 Shattered Bonds is the seventh and final book of the Wicked Play series by Lynda Aicher, and I want to start my review by telling you that this series has been one of my favorites that I’ve read so far. It really is so much more to me than just another BDSM series, and I love how it focuses on the developing relationship between the characters and the emotional ties that lie between them. The BDSM aspects are in the background as something that just enhances the intimate connection between the characters, and this is done exactly the way I think it should be. Not only are each one of these books deliciously sexy, but they are also so very passionate as well. These are romantic stories that will leave you with a warm feeling in your heart all while leaving you hot and bothered as well. *winks* So with that said, let’s get on to the review, shall we?

I have to say that Aicher outdid herself with Shattered Bonds, and it will forever remain my favorite in this series. My gut was clenching and I had tears in my eyes by 6% of the way through (that was still in the first chapter guys), and honestly it was an emotional roller coaster that I just couldn’t put down. Seriously, I can’t stress enough my opinion that Aicher is such an amazingly talented writer, and I really appreciate how she is able to keep the focus on the budding relationship of her characters all while allowing the BDSM elements to enhance that connection between them. With some of the books I’ve seen coming out lately; Aicher is definitely the exception in the very best possible way. I think that her characters in Shattered Bonds, Noah and Vivian, were both amazing examples of her exceptional talent.

Noah has endured something I don’t think any of us could ever imagine, and Vivian is the healing balm to those deep seeded wounds that he harbors. Liv’s compassion and giving is unsurpassed by anyone in this series, and I definitely can see how she was able to break through the steel shell encasing Noah’s heart since Beth’s death. Although Liv gives herself freely to all those around her with no expectations of anything in return, Noah was able to also be there for her as well to bridge that important gap of give and take that all relationships need to have to survive.

Shattered Bonds was an emotional, sweet romance and a wonderful conclusion to a series I adore so much. I must admit that it is a bittersweet end though too, because I am also sad to let them all go. On the other hand, I am absolutely looking forward to what Aicher has in store for us in the future, because I just know that it will be something equally as special as the Wicked Play series has been.

*I was given a review copy from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*

If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Lynda, please head over to her website.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ultimate Sins (The Callahans #4) by Lora Leigh



Reviewed by Tabatha


Ultimate Sins is the fourth book in the Callahan’s series from Lora Leigh and first of all, I must stress the importance of reading these books in order because otherwise you are going to be completely lost. Leigh specializes in convoluted plots with plenty of sexual tension and angst, so I will tell you that this series is quite complex in its framework from start to finish. With that caution in mind, let’s move onto the subject at hand, shall we?

Ultimate Sins had some unexpected surprises revealed as Leigh brings the story of the Callahans full circle. Now although I did think that some aspects were entirely predictable, some weren’t so the story was still fun to read. There were plenty of heated moments between Crowe and Amelia, but I was sad to see Crowe display some very unheroic like behavior. I get that Amelia liked his dirty talk, but sometimes I thought that he was just beyond crass at the most inappropriate of times. Because these two have kept their relationship secret for so long, they tended to use sex instead of communication more often than not. It was also Crowe’s modus operandi when faced with a disagreeable Amelia. *insert eye roll* Moving on from that though, these two did have an intensity that was pretty explosive, so I really enjoyed that. Now what did manage to surprise me in the book was just how deep Amelia’s secrets ran, but I dare not spoil it or anyone by going any further. Just know that she has some deep secrets that no one was able to figure out until she felt like showing her hand.

Unfortunately, I do have to admit that the thing that bothered me the most about this book were its inconsistencies. I honestly found far too many to list. I understand that since this was an unedited copy that errors are to be expected, but it went beyond just your average errors and was in the content itself. I just hope the release copy is cleaner, and that those issues get fixed because it pulled me out of the story every single time I came across one. In the end, we had a great build up to the conclusion of this series. So much in fact, that I ended up feeling cheated that things with Wayne didn’t come to head until I was 94% of the way into the book. I honestly think that more time should have been spent on that considering his evil deeds have spanned the course of this four book series. It was just kind of anti-climatic for me personally.

Overall though, I still think that Ultimate Sins was an entertaining read, and I’m definitely glad to finally put this storyline of the Slasher and the Callahans to rest. I think that Crowe and Amelia belong together, and I was happy to see that it all worked out for them in the end. I was thrilled to also note that we may even have a possible lead in with a follow up story for Rory Malone and Resnova’s daughter. I do so hope that Leigh does continue with that, because I’ve always thought that Rory should have his own story since finishing the Elite Ops books. I'm definitely crossing my fingers for that one. :)

*I received a review copy from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*

 If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Lora, please head over to her website.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Jewel (Malloy Family #11) by Beth Williamson



Reviewed by Tabatha


This was my first read of Beth Williamson, and it certainly will not be the last. I was captivated from page one with The Jewel, and I think that Williamson is a very talented writer. I felt like I was taken back to the past with the focus on the details and historical facts that Williamson was able to creatively weave into a romantic story full of hardship and determination. The story is led with a great cast of characters with Isabelle, Charlie, and Mason. I actually read this in one sitting, because I just couldn’t put it down. This is the type of romance that I just love to read!

The story opens with Isabelle and Charlotte Chastain dealing with the loss of their parents along the Oregon Trail. When they decide to turn back and seek out the sisters that they have parted ways with along the way, they come across a battered man and save his life. Mason, having been left for dead, is grateful for the Chastain sister’s generosity in saving him, but he also develops intense feelings for the ever stoic Isabelle. Together these two fight the immense odds that are set against them in their journey to reunite her with her other sisters.

As I said before, this is the best type of romance to read. It was full of suspense, mystery, and above all...sweet romance. I admired Isabelle so much for her strength, Charlie for her foul mouth, and Mason because he was discovering a side of himself that he never knew existed. They each were wonderful and strong characters that I could read about over and over again. I’m eager to read more from Williamson, so I will definitely be going back to the previous books in this series. I will say that I wasn’t really lost with this being number eleven in the series despite my having not read any of them previously. It definitely stood on its own, but I want to know about the other sisters now too. So overall, this was a delightful read and I definitely suggest it.

*I received a review copy from the author in exchange for my honest review*

 If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Beth, please head over to her website.


No Limits (Ultimate #1) by Lori Foster



Reviewed by Tabatha


I love that Foster is bringing back her world of Alpha male MMA fighters with hearts of gold that are undoubtedly sexy as sin!  We met Cannon and Yvette in her Love Undercover series, and needless to say I was very excited for them to have their own book.  I just saw something special between them that I really couldn’t wait to be explored.  Now although I think this was a decent read, the secondary characters stole the show for me, and I’m really interested in where Foster takes the series from here.

I do kind of wish that my expectations weren’t so high for this one, because I must confess that I was a bit disappointed.  Although I thought that Cannon was a great character and exactly the type of stand-up sexy guy that he had demonstrated in the previous series, Yvette fell short of my expectations in a big way.   Foster took a different approach with the couple’s intimacy than she had in previous books, and I did admire Cannon’s restraint given Yvette’s hang-ups because of her past.  I think what bothered me most about Yvette was that she wasn’t nearly as open with Cannon as she should have been, which was rather irritating, and her issues just didn’t seem genuine for me either.

Overall, it wasn’t the couple that I had the biggest issue with however; it was the weak plot of the book as a whole, which was surprising for me given that I always love Foster’s powerful stories. I don’t know if she was rushed to get this one out, but it just didn’t hold the same magic that I’ve seen from her in the past. The last 20% of the book held all the action with not only the two main characters, but the suspense elements were all packed in there too.  It had a lot of buildup to that point, and then it was all so rushed that it didn’t feel like things were brought to resolution for me in a satisfactory way.  Too much was not expressed between Cannon and Yvette with their relationship, so yeah it just seemed rather rushed.

So although this was a decent read, it wasn’t my favorite from Foster. I will not, however, be giving up on this series though. Far from it actually, because what I really loved the most about this book was its secondary characters.  I liked the connection that Cannon had with all the guys, especially Armie, and I feel like Foster is going to create another fantastic series just like her previous MMA series that I adored.  Seriously, I cannot wait for Armie to have his own book, and I know that the rest of the guys are going to be a lot of fun too. And let’s not forget the female side of the secondary cast, because I think that Cannon’s sister, her roommate, and Yvette’s best friend are all also going to prove to be great as well.

*I received a review copy from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review*

 If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Lori, please head over to her website.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Return to Glory (Home to Glory #1) by Sara Arden



Reviewed by Kim


It's hard to put into words how feel after reading this book. Sara Arden has crafted an amazing masterpiece that will rip you to shreds and the put you back together piece by little tiny piece. There are so many things that stand out in this book that it's going to be hard to identify them. Let me start with the realism. This book, while not shoving your face in it, delivers a realistic view of what some of our returning soldiers endure on a daily basis. This is not the fairy tale of the returning hero even if the town wants it to be that way. Jack comes back damaged, emotionally, mentally and of course physically. We walk through a small part of the nightmare that he has to live with each day. We get a glimpse of what our soldiers come home with and how some of them deal with it. I loved that a session at the VA was included in this story and I hope we get to see more as the series progresses. It's so important to be reminded that just because they come home doesn't mean they leave the desert behind, some bring back more than they bargained for. I think it's also important that we get to see what the people around him see so we get a full circle view of Jack. He's good at hiding from most. The depiction of him not being able to taste....that's brilliant....that's truth and it was delivered to us in beautiful, heart-wrenching prose. If you are not affected by this then you just aren't human.

Now to the's all there, every kind of love you can think of and experience is contained between the covers of this amazing tome. We are also assured that no matter the wounds love can maybe not "fix" it but it can give you the strength and courage to at least want to move forward. also shows that accepting that love through all the pain isn't always the easiest thing to do but true love for each other can and does win, if we give it a chance.

Of course, the book would be nothing without Betsy. Sweet, wonderful, damaged Betsy. She suffers from what many of us do. We all believe that the fairy tale will make everything alright, will fix everything but she learns that the tapes that run on repeat in our heads can't be silenced by anyone else, that we have to silence them. She shows what I've always felt, it's so easy to be strong for someone else, it's easy to ignore our own pain and try to make everyone else's pain better, that way we don't have to look at ourselves. She was successful at that with all the people in her life but then we see her growth, her move to wanting to help herself.

There are so many ups and downs, 2 boxes of Kleenex worth for me but they were so worth it. I feel better and stronger for having met these characters and I can't wait to see what's next in Glory. 

 If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Sara, please head over to her website.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hers To Claim (Verdantia #4) by Patricia A. Knight



Reviewed by Kim


I can't say strongly enough how incredible this book and this series is. If you are a fan of sci-fi, paranormal hotness, then this is the right place for you! I have thoroughly enjoyed this entire series. The world of Verdantia is different but similar enough that it doesn't take too much imagination to put yourself there. In this installment of the series we learn of another area of Verdantia called Nyth Uchel. To me, it felt like we were getting a feel for the beginning of the world of Verdantia, like Her early days. 

We get to see a character from another book in the series, Adonia, the healer. She was great in the previous book but now she shines! We also get to meet DeHelios. I totally got a "Grizzly Adams" feel from him. What a great character! There were so many sides to Hel and we got to see them all. It amazed me that Patricia Knight was able to explore all of the different sides of him without losing the essence of the story, and without getting lost or sidetracked from the story. Many times when you read a book with a character as complex as Hel, you get taken on so many twists and turns that you forget where you began in this character exploration but not here. Even though Hel was such a dominant character (and not just in bed), we didn't lose our love for Nia. I can't say how much I enjoyed the purity and love that Nia had for all things.

I do have one recommendation, even though it's not necessary to enjoy the book, I do recommend that you read the series in order. You will gain a better understanding of the relationships between the characters, especially Ramsey (so glad we got more Ram!) and Steffania. I think understanding their relationship will enhance the enjoyment of reading of Hel and Nia's burgeoning love. Consider this just a suggestion though as you will still enjoy this book without having gone through those.

*I received a review copy from the author in exchange for my honest review*

 If you'd like to check out more about this series or other books by Patricia, please head over to her website.

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