Category Archives: reviews
Review: Grind by Jayne Rylon
Powertools: The Original Crew Returns, Book 3
E-Book, 130 pages
Happy Endings Publishing October 20, 2020
The original Powertools crew are back in a brand new series!
The crew has overcome enormous odds to live and love together, but can it survive being divided?
Devon, Neil, and James know where they’re needed most is in Middletown, working on Mike and Joe’s new construction team. Because in addition to their careers, the Powertools’ intimate bond is in jeopardy.
It will be up to them to find a way to strengthen it again even if it means grinding away at the past, leaving two of their members in the dust, in order to prepare for a bright future.
This is a standalone book set in the Powertools universe. All your favorite Hot Rods and Hot Rides characters will be making appearances as well. So come make new book boyfriends or hang out with old ones!
Life has taken on some major changes for the Crew and in this newest installment has Kayla and Dave in the hot seat with Grind.
Change is happening all around the crew and as they are trying to adapt they seem to be getting hit harder. A horrible fire has claimed Kayla’s beloved Bare Natural Resort as its own, learning herself and Dave without a home. Kayla is not herself while dealing with the loss of her home and dream, the sting of Crew members away in Middletown has hit her hard. Kayla is the definition of calm and this series of events is on the verge of breaking this peaceful woman. Is their bond stretched too thin? Can the crew help heal some of these wounds? Is it time for a change? Is the Grind of it all too much.
Kayla and Dave are my favorites of the crew. Kayla is so centered and usually so at peace with herself. It was very hard to see her struggling the way she did. It just goes to prove that even the strongest, what seem like most centered people can even lose it. Dave is always so supportive and caring. His willingness is always swoon worthy. Kayla rides a frantic emotional ride within the pages of Grind. With the help of her devoted husband and an unwavering bond of her people, the entire crew takes another step into the next chapter of their lives.
Review: Dirty and Dangerous by Shayla Black
Dirty and Dangerous
Trading pleasure for information is no way to catch a criminal…or is it?
With fifty grand at stake and a star-witness missing, bounty hunter R. A. Thorn and Detective Cameron Martinez reluctantly team up to and put their bodies on the line to make gorgeous informant Brenna Sheridan a deal: everything she knows in exchange for everything she desires.
Their heated interrogation explodes into an unexpected experience none can forget or forego. Commitment-shy Thorn is sure their “deal” is nothing but pure, sizzling lust. Cam knows it’s more. But Brenna is keeping dangerous secrets, one a mafia boss is intent on learning—before silencing her forever. While on the run, her past spills out. And when shocking desires are revealed, there’s no turning back…
Can the guys come together to protect and serve the woman they want to claim for good before the threat ends her?
*(Formerly titled Dangerous Boys and Their Toy. Contents of this book are unchanged.)
This book is intense on so many levels. From page one the action is in your face and bam, it keeps coming at you. A complex situation that gives a fast-moving plot and multi-layered characters with intense personalities.
Thorn is raw, aggressive and very alpha. Being a bounty hunter is very fitting for him. Thorn is the love them and leaves them, type of guy. Cameron is as observant as he is a charmer. He had a way with people that makes them melt into his hands. He has finesse and patients and knows the meaning of being sensitive and how to use sensitivity. Cam’s way with words is a gift. Brenna is a woman trying to get answers to questions she’s been asking for a lifetime. One man connects these three people and is the first link in a fast chain of events that changes each of them down to the soul.
Dirty and Dangerous is a quick-moving, action-filled, intensely intimate and hot as sin itself. Shayla Black once again draws readers in with raw emotions, a great story and some wicked romance that just may leave readers panting. Thorn, Cam, and Brenna together found a way to help, save, free and understand and love. I loved the open-mindedness and the natural progression in which the relationship developed. It may have been quick but it gave me goosebumps and chills while reading. Dirty and Dangerous is a male, male, female ménage that is beyond hot.
Review: Slow Ride by Jayne Rylon
Powertools: Hot Rides Series, Book 2
Happy Ending Publishing
Published: May 14, 2019
When tragedy struck, the loss of Jordan and Wren’s shared lover ripped them apart.
Guilt and shame made it impossible for Agent Jordan Mikalski to look the love of his life in the eye. If he couldn’t face her, he sure as hell couldn’t live with her or make love to her or even be the man to comfort her in the depths of her grief.
Wren Asbery’s mourning threw her into a deep depression she wasn’t sure she’d ever climb out of, made worse by Jordan’s abandonment in the time of her greatest need. For that she’ll never forgive that bastard.
After years of slow healing they realize they’re both attracted to the same man, which means they have some things to figure out fast. Will Kason Cox be doomed to lust after two people who can’t stand each other or will he be able to become the glue that sticks them back together?
This is a standalone book in the Hot Rides series and includes an HEA with no cheating. The series is part of the greater universe where both the Powertools and Hot Rods books are also set, so you can visit with many of your previous favorite characters and see what they’re up to now!
Emotional and Hot. Ms. Rylon gets deep.
Slow Ride is a roller coaster ride of emotional. Learning to love in unconventional ways and finding happiness to have it stripped away in the blink of an eye. Wren and Jordan both suffered the same loss. Losing a loved one, a lover, had rocked the foundation of their world. The pain remained to great and Jordan and he chose to walk away. Jordan is strong and dominant, yet doesn’t believe he had the softness needed to nurture Wren the way he believes she should be.
Fives years later paths cross, with all the old feeling and desires still burning strong. A new player to the game has changed the board so to speak. Kason just maybe an angel set from a past lover or just happened to walk in to the right place at the right time. There’s something about him that makes Jordan and Wren wake from the fog of their past and start looking towards the future again.
Ms. Rylon completely surprised me with the unexpected emotional depth of Slow Ride. Ladies you might want to pull out the tissues as well as grab the fan. Slow Ride is deep on an emotional and sexual level. Mason, Wren and Jordan story wraps around the reader like a blanket. You can’t help but to get emotionally involved and invested with them. There is a touch of darkness to the story but one that gets to see the light at the end. If you have read Ms. Rylon’s book Middle Man, which is my favorite of her works, you will complete fall for Slow Ride.
ARC Review: Ashes to Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan
Ashes To Ink
Carrie Ann Ryan
1001 Dark Nights
Montgomery Ink Colorado Springs, Book 2.5
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan comes a new story in her Montgomery Ink series…
Back in Denver, Abby lost everything she ever loved, except for her daughter, the one memory she has left of the man she loved and lost. Now, she’s moved next to the Montgomerys in Colorado Springs, leaving her past behind to start her new life.
One step at a time.
Ryan is the newest tattoo artist at Montgomery Ink Too and knows the others are curious about his secrets. But he’s not ready to tell them. Not yet. That is…until he meets Abby.
Abby and Ryan thought they had their own paths, ones that had nothing to do with one another. Then…they took a chance.
On each other.
One night at a time.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
A sweet and quick read packed with emotion and a bit of drama.
Abby lost the love of her life as their family was beginning. Her heart was breaking and mending all at the same time. The Montgomery’s help give Abby the push she needed to pick up and start living again. True living not just for her daughter. Abby opens Teas’d in Colorado Springs and her personality and passion begin to blossom. Abby is so sweet and caring. While she may appear a bit mousy at the surface, girl has got some spunk behind her. Abby is that loyal friend you know you can count on.
Ryan is one of those men whose looks don’t define their personality. Tattooed and bearded, a bit burly and built by a god. Yet Ryan is attentive, gentle and giving. The man even likes peppermint tea and is talented in more than his art. Lol. Ryan is the best of men but sadly he waits knowingly the black cloud of his life is bound to show and spoil the good in his life.
I very much enjoyed Abby and Ryan’s story. Both Ryan and Abby are trying to overcome and move on. Different sides of the same coin. Hurt and loss can be eased with time, patients and being surrounded by people who are genuine and true. Abby and Ryan find more than passion and chemistry through their attraction. They each other a piece of mind that didn’t have or understand. Their fiery passion created something worth wanting, worth taking the time for. A quick read that gives all the feels!!
ARC Review: Tripped Out by Lorelei James
Blacktop Cowboys Series
1001 Dark Nights
Where there’s smoke…
Stirling Gradsky abandoned the corporate rat race for a more laidback lifestyle. So it’s ironic she’s stuck working with a hard-bodied, know-it-all scientist who treats her like a stoner instead of a stone cold business woman capable of running a large scale cannabis operation. Dr. Hot and Tattooed with the big…brain needs to stop sampling their product; he’s under the half-baked idea that he’s the boss.
Dr. Liam Argent’s doctorate isn’t in chemistry, but from the moment he meets his sexy new coworker, there’s enough heat between them to short out all the lights in the grow house. First item on his agenda? Clearing up the sassy, blunt blonde’s hazy notion that she’s in charge.
Sparks fly as their attraction blazes. But can they weed out their differences without getting burned?
Funny with a good helping of sexual tension.
Lorelei James has me cracking up laughing with Sterling and Liam in Tripped Out. Sterling’s way of fighting fire with fire is something to behold. She’s strong and tenacious, I really like that about her. Liam is the don’t judge a book by its cover kind of man. He’s confident and professional by day and a dirty talking man by night. Liam has an amazing about of depth to him. Many layers that him to be the wonderful man that his is. Two very strong willed and stubborn people butting head in a way that creates this slow burning sexual tension and attraction. Talk about banter. Liam and Sterling have it down. I love they way their chemistry built, fueled their passion and ignited something much larger.
Tripped Out is hands down one of the funniest books I have reads this year. I so enjoy Ms. James writing style. She knows how to rope the readers in. Tripped Out was a quick, one sit ready that kept me entertained from beginning to end.
A copy of this title was provided for an honest review.
Review and Giveaway: Rock Steady by Dawn Ryder
Rock Steady by Dawn Ryder
Series: Rock Band, Book 2
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Erotic Romance
About the Book
Second in Dawn Ryder’s sizzling new Rock Band series.
HE KEPT IT CASUAL
Superstar guitarist Ramsey’s reputation as a bad-boy rocker is exceeded only by his dedication to his music. He’s worked hard for the success of his hit metal band Toxsin, and he intends to enjoy it—completely. When a jilted groupie gets back at him for a one-night stand with an intimate—and completely inappropriate—tattoo, he needs it fixed, and fast. Sparks fly between Ramsey and his new tattoo artist, and Ramsey finds himself hoping for more than new ink.
UNTIL SHE MADE HIM WANT MORE
When a high-profile tattoo job lands Jewel an invite on Toxsin’s latest tour, she can’t say no. It’ll be great exposure, after all. What she’s really worried about is ruining the gig by hooking up with the first guy to completely rock her world. She knows she should resist—Ramsey’s not the kind to stick around for a morning after. But the way he makes her feel—as an artist and a woman—could be worth any risk.
Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1SPQDhB
Books A Million: http://bit.ly/21kdxkf
About the Author
Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over eight years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.
Connect with Dawn
Letter from Dawn
That word brings a ripple of anticipation to everyone who has been longing for warm weather, sandals, beaches, carnivals, and so much more. Rock Steady is the perfect summer time read. It’s hot, it’s edgy, it’s got bad boys—hey, what would summer nights be without a little misbehavior? And the one thing I really wanted Rock Steady to have was a lack of people shooting at people.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to write a hard suspense plot but sometimes, you want to read a good, hot, romance without all the life and death struggle. All the edge, all the heat, but with a focus on the personal issues that come with having to make a relationship work beyond the physical attraction.
Rock Steady will take you back onto the road with Toxsin. Now for anyone who thinks Rock Stars have it all easy, take a look at Rock Steady and you’ll get a little taste of the dedication it takes to be a mega super star. Personally, I have a deep respect for those who can apply their talent to the concert stage. It’s a hard job, one that requires team work to accomplish a show that is mind blowing for the ticket holders. A fabulous voice isn’t the only requirement.
For those who picked up Rock Me Two Times, you going to get the chance to see Ramsey, god that he is, meet his match. It was a blast to write this book and I’m eager to present it to all of you.
Excerpt from ROCK STEADY
“Pissed off your girlfriend?” she asked pointedly.
“She wasn’t really a girlfriend.”
Jewel clicked her tongue and looked back at the cheery blossoms. “By the look of that, she disagreed with you on the topic. She must have taken you to Spike Collar.”
Taz was typing into his cell phone as she spoke. “Makes sense. You surfaced right around where that tattoo parlor is on the map.”
“Just don’t go back there,” Jewel warned as she went behind the counter and pulled a blank sheet of paper in front of her.
“Why not?” the blond asked. “I’ve got half a mind to have my lawyer pay them a visit.”
Jewel didn’t look up from what she was drawing. “Won’t do you any good. They never touch a client without a release of liability signed and sealed, with video footage to back it up. Whoever was gunning for you did her homework. The gals at Spike Collar don’t like guys, and they really don’t like any males who try to charm them.” Jewel cast a look at Ramsey. “You are exactly the sort they hate. Bet they popped a bottle of champagne the second you cleared the doorway with that little gem.”
Taz made a low sound under his breath.
But Ramsey was watching her. She felt his attention tightening, focusing on the motion of her pen as she inked a design on the paper. He’d sent a shiver down her spine before, but now he was warming her insides, melting her core slowly with the absolute devotion he was giving her. She looked up, locking gazes with him.
Her insides churned.
And her toes curled.
She’d never felt so connected to another soul. It was his doing, and she realized that his arrogance was something he’d earned.
That fact slapped her across the face and sent her into a full meltdown. He was the sort who could captivate.
Which was a damned dangerous place to go.
It wasn’t like she had any personal experience with it. Still, she felt like she was on pins and needles. The sheer level of sensitivity the guy was able to elicit from her was off the scale. It was fascinating to say the least.
As well as a really bad place to go when he looked like he could afford to hire her.
She looked back at her work, forcing herself to focus on the art and get a grip on herself before he knocked her flat. Sweat popped out on her forehead, but her hands responded perfectly. Art was like a living force inside her. A place she could take refuge in as well as being a gift she might share. She let it consume her, the drawing coming to life beneath the strokes of her pen. It was a little like giving birth: first she had to let it grow and form before it was ready to breathe.
“That is smokin’ hot,” Taz said as he leaned on the counter to peer at her work.
“You’re good,” the blond said in a tone full of awe.
Ramsey reserved judgment until she’d shaded in the last few areas on her sketch. When she lifted her pen, he swept it up and studied the drawing. It was a metal dragon crawling down his abdomen toward his cock. Its front claws would be where the cherry blossoms were, and its tail would wrap around his lean hip and onto his lower back. It wasn’t a reptilian dragon. It was a steel one, a merging of metal and mythical creature.
His eyes narrowed as he studied it, seeing more than just the black lines. He was seeing the attitude she’d tried to capture and portray. His expression gave her a hint of the man inside him. She got the impression he spent a lot of time covering up that man with his didn’t-give-a-rat’s-ass attitude.
But she saw it.
His attention shifted to her, their gazes locking over the edge of the paper. For a moment, she caught a flicker of understanding in his eyes. Just a moment of awareness, a few seconds when he admitted to himself that she saw him.
Really saw him.
It didn’t last long. In fact, she found herself questioning if it had really been there, when his gaze hardened and sealed her out of that place he was determined to keep private.
“You recognize me,” he said.
It wasn’t a question, but she felt inclined to answer anyway. “It isn’t hard to peg you for a metal-head when you’re wearing nothing but leather and have a stud bar through your nipple.”
“I’m a metal god,” he said.
“Right,” she countered, feeling a rise of heat in her cheeks. “I’m good at what I do.”
“You are,” the blond interrupted. He was studying her portfolio. “So why are you working the graveyard shift?”
“I wanted to work at the best shop in town. That left me to choose between Spike Collar and here,” Jewel said without hesitation.
“But you’re not a lesbian,” Ramsey finished for her. “Bet that was a bit of a problem with getting hired over at Spike Collar.”
“Definite ripple in the pond,” she confirmed. “Not on my side, mind you. They just don’t like straight girls. Shame really, they know how to do tats.”
“So do you.” Ramsey was thumbing through the pictures of her work. He had that businessman expression.
“Who are you?” she gave in and asked. All three men looked up at her. “I mean, since it sounded like you were trying to impress me.”
“Impressing you will involve more than my name,” her client said.
His lips curved, and his expression became sensual. He flattened his hand on the counter between them and leaned toward her. In one flat second, it felt like her breath caught in her lungs. She was hyperaware of him, fighting not to take a step back. There was a flicker of approval in his dark eyes as she managed to stand her ground.
“Count on that fact.” Her voice had turned raspy, but his arrogance was rubbing her pride raw. “I do tats. Only tat’s for pay. So if you’ve got a problem understanding boundaries, the door is behind you. There’s another place up a couple of blocks that opens in a few hours.”
Taz reached over and shoved Ramsey. “I told you not to piss her off.” He shook his smart phone in the air between them. “She’s the best in the nearest three cities—checked her out.” He turned to look at her. “Your references rock. Why are you working in this dump?”
“Because my boss might be a prick, but he’s also got twenty-five years’ experience, and references to top mine. I want to learn from the best, and there are a few things you can’t learn from anyone but a master.”
Taz nodded. “True, even if some masters are egomaniacs.”
“You didn’t answer me.” Jewel aimed her inquiry at Ramsey. “Who are you?”
“Ramsey, Taz, and I’m Syon,” the blond answered. “We’re members of a band called Toxsin.”
She bit back the snide, Yeah, right, that tried to escape her lips.
But they were all standing there looking pretty confident. She reached over and tapped “Toxsin” into the laptop on the countertop. Their website was the first thing to come up. She clicked on the link.
“What the fuck are you doing roaming the streets?” She looked between the screen and the three guys standing in front of her. It was weird, to say the least, to have the pictures from the screen living and breathing in her shop. “Don’t you have people to deal with stuff like this?”
Ramsey eyed her from where he was lying on the counter. “I’m a hands-on sort.” He covered her hand with his, stroking the back of it.
Jewel ended up taking that step back. Victory flashed through his eyes as she sent him a sharp look.
Taz punched him in the shoulder again.
“How’s that ‘hands-on’ thing working for you tonight?” Jewel said. It was a barbed comment, a challenge. Hell, it felt like she’d smacked him across the jaw with a white glove and dropped it at his feet.
The way his eyes narrowed confirmed he felt the same way. For one split second, she half feared he might just flip the counter out of the way or jump over it.
“Let’s focus on the problem,” Syon said. “We need this fixed—discreetly, quickly.”
“No joke.” Jewel happily changed thought tracks. She pulled one of the shop disclosure agreements up onto the counter. The tightly packed lines of legal mumbo jumbo didn’t give her the same sense of comfort they normally did. Ramsey grabbed it and yanked the top off a pen before boldly scrawling his signature across the bottom line.
Taz was flipping the lock on the front door.
“Good idea,” Jewel agreed. She didn’t care for the fact that she had to take a breath before getting her feet to move.
Ramsey flopped down on her worktable, popping his pants open. They were custom, all right, the right side of them shaped perfectly to contain his cock.
The guy had an impressive package.
She ended up stopping halfway around the counter, earning a smirk from him.
“Don’t let my fame make you nervous,” Ramsey teased her.
“Typically, I worry about my clients taking their displeasure out on my hide.” She made it to her stool and sat down. Her workstation was normally the place she felt most comfortable.
Today, she felt like the padded stool was full of spikes.
“So what’s your problem with me?” Ramsey asked.
She wasn’t going to answer that.
Not a chance.
She turned half away from him and sterilized her hands.
“Cat got your tongue?” he asked.
Jewel turned back toward him and swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat.
What a man animal.
She really needed to get a grip and enjoy the moment. She was pretty sure she was never going to get the chance to work on so fine a specimen again.
“I’m thinking you wouldn’t think twice about filing a lawsuit against me, signature on a release form or not,” she said.
His expression turned serious , his eyes narrowing, his lips thinning. “I don’t get my kicks out of using my money to pin my mistakes on other people. I own my fuckups.”
It wasn’t what she’d expected him to say.
But she liked it.
A whole lot.
Integrity was something most people sold out on. Especially when it came to admitting they’d made dumb mistakes.
“I’m beginning to see why the gals at Spike didn’t refuse to do your girlfriend’s dirty work.”
Ramsey leaned his head back. “She wasn’t my girlfriend.”
“I’m guessing that was the problem.”
He’d closed his eyes but opened them and looked at her. “Guess it was. But I didn’t lie to her.”
He really did own his screw-ups. It was there in the flat acceptance on his face. He looked past her to his bandmates. “I’m good. You guys can shove off.”
“Not a chance.” Syon settled himself on the other worktable. “Those little pink flowers will take us all down.”
“Yeah.” Taz sat down behind the counter and claimed her laptop. “Besides, I don’t trust you to be polite. Jewel is a lady.”
Ramsey made a low sound under his breath. “I bet she gets naughty with the right company.”
Jewel didn’t look up from where she was cleaning the skin on his abdomen. She was no stranger to personal jabs, especially off-color ones.
What surprised her was the way her pulse leapt.
She needed to get a grip.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” Taz said. “She’s an artist, like Kate.”
“Yeah,” Ramsey agreed. “Sorry, I’m still a little buzzed. Talking out of my ass.”
Jewel warmed under the single word of praise. She got the impression Ramsey didn’t hand out undeserving compliments. She ended up looking into his eyes because he was watching her.
“Kate made my pants.” He gestured at his buddies. “She makes all our leather gear.”
“She’s good.” Jewel picked up her sketch and began to position it. “I see my share of leather around here. The good, the bad, and mostly the ugly.”
“She’s the best,” Syon added without opening his eyes. “Even has good taste in men.”
Ramsey snorted. Syon offered him a single-finger salute.
“Aren’t you guys cute,” Jewel muttered.
“There’s nothing cute about the part of me you’re looking at.”
She should ignore him.
Should, but she wasn’t going to. Jewel looked up and caught Ramsey grinning at her. “Did you want this done sometime before Christmas?”
“You wouldn’t let me go on stage wearing flowers…would you, Jewel?” He tried out his puppy eyes on her.
“The idea is growing on me.”
He made a soft humming sound beneath his breath. “I like a girl who plays rough.”
“I bet you do.”
Which was just enough of a reality slap to get her focused. He was an animal, the prowling kind.
And she was already living on the edge enough.
She got the drawing in position and transferred it onto his skin.
Normally the word helped her tune out everything but the art.
Yeah, well there wasn’t much of anything that was normal about Ramsey.
Ramsey is the definition of a rock star bad boy. Raw, egotistical and all Alpha. The man is confident in every sense of the word. Ramsay lives up the rockstar life to the fullest until he gets his ass handed to him, potentially scarring his and the band’s image by a vindictive woman. When taking corrective measures Ramsey gets blindsided by an amazing artist who twists him in every way possible. His talent and cockiness make you want melt and smack him one in the same.
Jewel is a spitfire of a woman struggling to make her name as a tattoo artist. An intelligent woman with a background in marketing that is too stuffy to allow her artistic side to breath. Jewel gets the score of a lifetime when the lead guitarist of highly famous band rolls in the tattoo shop during one of her many midnight shifts. She counters his sarcasm with sass, leaving a deep impression with more than just her ink. That impression leads to what could be the biggest opportunity of her life or the hardest fall she will ever take.
Dawn Ryder entices, titillates and seduces readers with artistry, passion and raw emotion with Rock Steady.
Ramsey and Jewel are fun, feisty and have chemistry off the charts. They challenged each other, hit all the right buttons to infuriate and captivate all at the same time. They are overwhelming and wrong hit all the right buttons to infuriate and captive the all at the same time.
Jewel and Ramsey are overwhelming and combustible. The chemistry intense and the passions on fire.
Ms. Ryder’s attention to detail not only shows her talent as a writer but as an artist as well. Intricate details paint an in depth picture and project the feelings within the music and the art.
Combined the personality, charisma, and charm of the characters, a fast-moving plot and feeling like you’ve been sucked into the rockstar life, Ms. Ryder gives her readers the Rockstar fantasy with Rock Steady.
Rock Steady is the second book of the Rock Band series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. However I recommend reading Rock Me Two Times to enjoy this series to it’s fullest.
A Book Obsessed Chicks Review Team selection.
A complimentary copy was provided by netgalley for an honest review.
ARC Review: Dare to Take by Carly Phillips
Dare to Take by Carly Phillips
Date of Publication: May 3, 2016
She was off limits,
But he couldn’t resist.
There are just some guys you don’t touch–even someone as innocent and inexperienced as Ella Shaw knows that. But when her brother’s best friend is up for grabs and willing, she can’t resist. After all, she’s wanted him for years…
On leave from the army, Tyler Dare WAS just looking for a little fun, but his best friend’s sister is off limits. Yet unable to deny how sexy and alluring she is, he finds it all too easy to succumb to a night of passion and heat that ends the next morning in the worst way possible.
Now years later, Ella is stranded on a tropical island with a hurricane bearing down, and only Tyler can save her. It’s his chance to make amends for the past and show the woman he’s never forgotten that he’s coming after her . . . in more ways than one.
About Carly Phillips
Find Carly Phillips Online
The sun shone overhead, the temperature neared ninety, and the humidity was hair-curlingly high on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, making it hard to believe a hurricane was coming soon. Ella Shaw glanced up at the blue sky, knowing it wouldn’t remain pristine for long.
The calm before the storm.
She pulled her hair into a high ponytail and headed out of her hotel, determined to hit the local gift shop she’d caught sight of on her way to the photo shoot yesterday. She’d seen long, draping, blue-beaded necklaces from the storefront window, but she hadn’t had time to stop. Her boss was a stickler for getting the right shot in the exact light, and they’d worked well past dark. By the time they’d wrapped for the day, the store had been closed.
As an assistant for Angie Crighton, a fashion designer based in Miami, Ella was responsible for the little details involved in a photo shoot. And though Angie, the photographer, and models had left the island this morning, Ella had stayed to make sure the shooting site was clean, the hotel pleased enough to allow them back another time. And if she were honest with herself, she liked the downtime after the craziness of a photo shoot, the rushing around of the crew, the bossiness of some of the models and, of course, of Angie herself.
Ella appreciated the fact that she had time to souvenir shop for her best friend, Avery Dare. How ironic was it that the two girls from very different worlds had met at all? But they had. And it was Avery who’d introduced Ella to the finer things in life, leading her to seek out a job with an haute-couture designer. Whereas Avery came from a wealthy family, Ella had been raised firmly middle class, but the two girls had bonded instantly. They’d even shared an apartment until recently, when her best friend had moved in with her rock star boyfriend, Grey Kingston.
Yep, two different worlds, even now, Ella thought wryly. But their friendship was solid. Which reminded her, she needed to let Avery know she might not make it back to the States tomorrow as planned.
When Ella had heard about the storm changing course, she’d tried to book an earlier flight out, without success. She shivered at the possibility of being stranded here alone during a hurricane and knew Avery would like the news even less. Her best friend suffered from severe anxiety, and Ella didn’t like to make her worry.
She’d just buy Avery an extra gift to make up for it, she thought, walking into the shop. She immediately headed to the turquoise-blue beads she’d seen through the window. The shopkeeper claimed they were Larimar beads. Even if they were fake, the beads, popular in the Caribbean, were said to have healing powers. Ella purchased two dozen, a mix of bracelets and necklaces, so she could share with the children at the cancer treatment center where she and Avery volunteered.
Avery had been nine, Ella ten years old when they’d met at a Miami hospital, both donating bone marrow, both there at the behest of a parent. Neither of them really understanding what was happening. All Ella had known was that she was doing a favor for her father, helping the stepmother Ella didn’t like all that much to begin with. Even at a young age, Ella had been a good judge of character, a better one than her father, obviously, because shortly after Janice had gotten well, she’d left Ella’s dad. And both her father and Ella’s life had gone downhill from there. Ella shook off the thoughts of her past before she could go deeper and darker, and focused on the pretty jewelry.
She spent some time choosing a thick turquoise bracelet for Avery and a similar one for herself before paying for everything and waiting for the shopkeeper to wrap things up.
Bag in hand, she started back to the hotel, cutting through side streets and looking into the windows of the stores, soaking up the culture along the cobblestone streets before heading back to Miami tomorrow. At least, she still hoped she’d be home. Knowing she couldn’t change the outcome, she pushed her worrisome thoughts aside. She’d deal with the situation as it came.
Sweat dampened her neck from the humidity of the island, and she contemplated taking a cab back to the hotel. She reached into her straw bag and pulled out her cell phone to make the call, when, without warning, she felt a hard jerk on her purse.
“What the—?” She spun around, but whomever wanted her purse was quicker.
She barely caught a glimpse of a tall guy with dark hair as he yanked harder, nearly pulling her shoulder out of its socket before slamming her against the nearby building with his other hand.
Her head hit the concrete wall, and spots immediately appeared behind her eyes from the impact. As she struggled not to pass out, the man grabbed her purse, along with her cell phone that had fallen to the ground.
She opened her mouth to scream, but nothing came out. Her legs collapsed beneath her, and she fell to the ground, her head smacking the sidewalk before everything went black.
Carly Phillips concludes the Dare to Love series with Dare to Take, a second chance story with the raw emotion and intense passion that the series is known and loved for.
Tyler and Ella are both complex and likable characters. Both suffer from deeds of their fathers that have left them both with issues that plague them to the present day. Tyler and Ella also share a history of only their knowledge. Their chemistry and mixed up emotions towards one another created a foundation to something neither one saw coming. Grab your tissues, the emotions hit hard.
Emotional, passionate and real. Carly Phillips gives readers a story to get lost in, feel with and raise your body temperature. Tyler and Ella confront the past while learning that sometimes it ok to lean on someone else. Learning to love when your heart has been broken too many times. Visiting with the Dare family is always a treat. See the siblings living their lives and their happiness that was so earned was bitter sweet. I love the HEA, I don’t like endings. As they say all good things must come to an end, Ms. Phillips does it with passion and beauty.
Review: Bennett by Seraphina Donavan
Bourbon & Blood #1
Mia Darcy plays by the rules, and her Daddy, Samuel, for better or worse has made them all. She takes care of her ailing mother, she manages PR for the family’s distillery, Fire Creek. And every day she quietly resents the fact that he stepped in and kept her from being with the one man she loved… a man who still lives there in their small town of Fontaine, Kentucky and who haunts her every minute of the day, waking or asleep.
Bennett Hayes has loved Mia his whole life, and for one brief moment, when they were young and full of hope, it seemed like even the long history of bad blood between their families wasn’t enough to keep them apart. But he’d been wrong. Mia never showed the night they were supposed to run away together and when he confronted her about it, she broke his heart.
But fate and circumstance throw them together again and the fire that raged between them at eighteen is even hotter now. The burn is inevitable. But there are forces at play, people on the periphery of their lives whose agenda goes far beyond just keeping them apart… they want Mia dead and will stop at nothing to make that happen.
Mia does what is expected of her. She plays by the rules her father has set , takes care of her mother and helps save the family business from going under. A good woman who is caught in the rut of her father’s lies.
Bennett is what I like to call the southern bad boy. He’s sexy as sin and exceptionally good with his hands. He’s loyal to the core with those he considers family and friends. Bennett’s heart as also stayed loyal to one woman. A woman he can’t have, shouldn’t want, and never seems to be far from his mind.
Family drama, forbidden romance and a good dose of Southern charm.
Feuding families, old money, long time scandals and second chance love. Personalities really stand out giving not only the primary but the secondary characters flair and spunk. Mia and Bennett’s tension, loyalty and passion pull the reader into this suspenseful and emotional story. Sound writing with a good bit of humor, twisty plot and fun characters, Ms. Donavan hits it all in the first book of the Bourbon and Blood Series, Bennett. I am very much looking forward to reading more from Ms. Donavan.
A copy of this title was provided for an honest review.
ARC Review: Protecting the Future by Susan Stoker
Protecting the Future
SEAL of Protection Series, Book 8
An unforgiving desert, perilous mountain terrain, a rising body count and insurgents on the hunt…all of this and more stands between the SEALs completing their mission and returning home to their women, left to bravely deal with fears of their own stateside.
Sometimes a mission is more than one team can handle. With a little help from newfound friends, the SEALS won’t stop until they’ve won the day. Failure is not an option.
** Protecting the Future is the 8th and final book in the Seal of Protection Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
Susan Stoker overwhelms readers in the best way with the conclusion to her Seal Of Protection Series, Protecting the Future.
This was a book you didn’t just read, you felt it. Passion, joy, worry, friendship, faith and hope grip your heart as you hold your breath with the turn of the page. As the Seal Team heads out for their lasted mission Ms. Stoker reminds readers of why all the men fight for what they do and women who stand beside them.
An overwhelming good book. Drama, passion and danger keep the story moving. While love, anticipation and family give the reader all things we love in a romance. Ms. Stoker’s intricately written words take the reader into the story. Making it more of an experience than a read.
A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
ARC Review: Playing with Pleasure by Erika Wilde
The Players Club, Book 3
Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Paige Moore has a fulfilling business designing couture corsets for her high profile clientele, but her love life is sorely lacking. Being burned in the worst way possible by Sawyer Burrows has left her guarded and wary when it comes to men and their motives. When her best friend presents her with an invitation to The Players Club, she embraces the chance to enjoy a hot night with a stranger, and finally put her past heartbreak, and Sawyer, behind her.
Sawyer knows he devastated Paige with his careless actions a year and a half ago, and he’s lived every day since with those regrets. Now, seeing Paige at The Players Club, he knows this is his chance to make amends and prove that there is still something between them worth pursuing. If sensual pleasure is what Paige is looking for, then he intends to be the man to spend the night seducing every part of her.
Paige’s surrender is Sawyer’s ultimate goal, but once her desires are sated, will she give them the second chance they deserve?
History makes the passion more intense!
Erika Wilde blew me away with this one. Paige and Sawyer’s chemistry and passion are natural, powerful and explosive. The want, need, intensity and history of the couple makes the story all the more sexy! Fighting pain and feelings that never faded, while lust burns the pages. Ms. Wilde gave the readers a hot flippin’ book! Impressing this reader with not just the pleasurable side of BDSM, revealing a bit of psychological side as well. Seeing into both Paige and Sawyer’s heads was a an added bonus to this read!