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Review: From Flame and Ash by Carrie Ann Ryan

From Flame and Ash

Carrie Ann Ryan

Elements of Five Series, Book 2

ebook
Expected publication: November 19th 2019

NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues Lyric’s epic journey in this spellbinding sequel to From Breath and Ruin.

Lyric lost her past, her friends, and even her connections to both worlds when she found out about the Maison realm and her calling. But now she must put that aside and travel back to the Maison realm to continue her training as the Spirit Priestess. Only her journey isn’t to Rhodes and those she fought alongside before. This time, Easton and the other Obscurité warriors will stand by her side as she tries to unlock her final three elements.

However, just as she starts to learn more about what she’s been prophesied to do, a Seer’s wish and the calling of the Lumière kingdom calls her forth, thrusting Lyric into another journey where she must trust those on both sides of the age-old war to survive…and keep those she loves safe.

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

Carrie Ann Ryan gives readers a compelling and suspenseful read with the second installment of the Elements of Five Series, From Flame and Ash.

Lyric has lost all she’s known while coming into the new person she’s become. This journey takes her Obscurite Kingdom and into an age old battle of light and dark. Lyric makes stunning leaps coming into her power and learning to find her place. Lyric truly opens her mind to the reader allowing them to see all the struggles she deals with. Lyric’s quest to unlock her elements is captivating and magical. Lyric proves her strength time and time again as her world gets tipped upside down on more than one occasion.

Carrie Ann Ryan has something truly special going on with From Flame and Ash. Lyric is an amazing character. She goes with the flow, even as the flow has her life in and out of danger. The amount of growth we’ve seen from her in just two books is part of what kept me flying through the pages. The world building Ms. Ryan has put into the Elements of Five Series is outstanding. From Flame and Ash get very high praise in my book. I should note that YA/NA is not my normal cup of tea when it comes to reading but Ms. Ryan caught me with Lyric’s adventurous saga.

 

Review: Twist of Fate by Jill Shavlis

 

Twist of Fate

Jill Shalvis

Heartbreaker Bay Series, Book 8.5

1001 Dark Nights

Kindle Edition, 120 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

 

 

When the one you want …

Daisy doesn’t believe love is ever-lasting, so it’s ironic as hell that she parlayed a business degree into a wedding planning business. More ironic still is her latest job bringing her back into contact with the man who’d taught her that love can’t last.

Is the one you can’t have…

To say Diego has been taught the hard way to bury emotions is an understatement. But when he’s called home to help the brother he hasn’t seen or spoken to in years, that’s one thing. It’s another entirely to also come face to face with the first woman he ever loved. First and only…

Can love conquer all?

Daisy’s learned to depend only on herself, and Diego is and always has been an island of one. And yet when they’re together, even when they’re bickering, still wary and haunted by memories of what was … it’s magic. The question is, how to find their way back to each other…? (less)

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

Diego Stone is a little less than happy about returning to San Francisco for his brother’s wedding. Issues from years passed, in family and love, have kept Diego away for more than a decade. Even with the rocky relationship with his brother, Diego agrees to be part of the wedding.

Daisy Evans is an amazing event planner. She struggled for many years to be able to live her dream and be what she wanted to be. After years of hard work she returns to San Francisco and begins to make a name for herself. Agreeing to help a friend with his wedding puts Daisy in a position where she will be face-to-face with her first love. A love she has yet to get over.

Twist of Fate is a sweet and romantic second chance at life. Daisy and Diego have chemistry to spare and their attraction has not wavered one bit through the years. Yet they both harbor feelings of hurt and loss with each other. When their love started they were both young and life was just beginning, yet life also happens. Years have not taken away from the love they shared, they just had to find away to be able to open themselves to each other. Through a series of wedding planning events Degio and Daisy rediscover what they had and more. They open the old wounds, gash it out and begin their healing and life together.

Twist of Fate is a wonderful introduction to Ms. Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series for those who have yet to read and nice treat for those who have. I very much enjoyed this visit to Heartbreaker Bay with Degio and Daisy.

 

 

Review: Rough Ride by Jayne Rylon

Rough Ride

Jayne Rylon

Powertools: Hot Rides Series, Book 5

Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Expected publication: November 12th 2019 by Happy Endings Publishing

 

 

Sevan has been keeping secrets. She’s not the errand boy everyone at the Wildfire outlaw motorcycle gang thinks she is. No, she’s been playing a dangerous game, hunting their president from inside their ranks in the name of revenge. And if anyone finds out, they won’t hesitate to kill her.

Levi Jansen has always been drawn to Sevan, even when he thought she was a scrawny male mechanic named Rivet. He can’t blame her for that since he’s been hiding plenty too. As an undercover agent, he’s relied on his tenuous partnership with ex-con, Ransom, to infiltrate Wildfire and build an ironclad case against them.

As the three of them swirl deeper into darkness, they’ll need to rely on each other to find their way out, and back home to Hot Rides. Otherwise they’re doomed to become exactly what they’ve been fighting so hard to defeat.

Allowing themselves to be distracted by desire would be the stupidest thing they could do. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to ignore the sizzling attraction between them, complicating everything.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

An undercover cop, an ex con and a woman disguising herself as a man have found themselves tangled in danger and on a dark mission with revenge in their sights. Each carrying a secret and damage to their souls. Rivet, Ransom and Levi return the MC, to take it down.

I can’t decide if Rivet is bravest, smartest woman or crazy with a death wish. The things one does for revenge. The woman is deep, intense and fears nothing. Ransom and Levi are equally as intense yet so very alpha. While Sharing similar characteristics these two men could not be more different from each other. Each of their scars cut deep but make them the man they are.

Rough Ride is an intense, white knuckled, oh so hot ride. Dark and dangerous with the intent on nothing but revenge. Yet three people somehow find their way to each other in a completely messed up situation. The wrong move could be it for all three. Rivet, Ransom and Levi found something beyond beautiful in a mess of darkness. They learn to lean on and trust one another. Ms. Rylon pulls out all the stops and kept me flying through the pages. Rough Ride’s dark edge and intensity, fast pace and good plot line, and passion beyond passion makes this installment of the Powertools Hot Ride my favorite.

 

ARC Review: Spun Out by Lorelei James

Spun Out

Lorelei James

Blacktop Cowboys Series, Book 10

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: November 5th 2019 by Berkley Books

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James returns for another wild ride in Wyoming with a new Blacktop Cowboys(R) novel.

Years in the Army equipped Bailey Masterson for many things: target shooting, rappelling off cliffs, dodging grenades. She’s lived through horrors that still give her nightmares. But nothing in Bailey’s life-or-death training prepared her for caring for the tiny terror that is five-year-old Olivia Hale. Or how to control her raging attraction to Olivia’s father, Streeter, the rugged, green-eyed cattle rancher who undermines her every move even when he stars in her dreams.

Streeter Hale has room for only two things in his life: his daughter and his job. He doesn’t date. He doesn’t get attached. Not anymore. So not only is Streeter stunned by Olivia’s improved behavior after just a few days with Bailey, he’s downright floored by his immediate attraction to the woman. But with secrets in her eyes and a body that doesn’t quit, Streeter begins to worry that Bailey Masterson might just be the one woman to heal his fractured family and broken heart.

One thing’s for sure–these two wrecked souls are spinning out of control as they desperately try not to fall in love…

 

 

 

5 Stars

 

Sexy, heartfelt and deep with that touch of humor that only Ms. James can deliver.

Bailey Masterson is one of those characters that I allowed myself to have preconceived ideas about who and what she was through previous books in the series. Holy crap was I wrong. Bailey has more layers than I could have guessed. She an incredibly strong woman yet carry many complexities that she’s really good at keeping on the down low. Returning to Muddy Gap to figure out the next step in her life while, Bailey hinds herself twisted in more ways than one with a bunch of out of control ranch kids and a green eyed cowboy that makes her heart skip a beat.

Four and a half years ago Streeter Hale’s life changed forever. Leaving for work like any other day and returning to find high school sweetheart wife committed suicide and his six month old baby girl screaming her head off. Questions, anger, sadness and grief leave a once stable man on shaky ground. Add in his wonderful brother and father that cut him out their family business. Streeter finds himself at the Split Rock Ranch, in the company of his younger brother and begins to build a new normal for his daughter and himself. In all accounts, Streeter should be broke beyond broken, but for his little girl he keeps on keeping on. When his hand full of a daughter makes a little commotion the Split Rock, Streeters blood starts to boil and not in the mad at sort.

Ms. James brings everything and more with Spun Out. Streeter and Bailey are both dealing with baggage on their shoulders but that does nothing to lessen the attraction and chemistry they are feeling. There’s nothing wrong with a summer fling, right? When the fling turns into something more, that’s where the story gets good. Bailey’s spunkiness and take charge attitude along with Streeter’s dirty mind yet almost innocent way to him, turns a lust filled fling into something more than either one was looking for. Spun Out is emotional, deep, heartfelt and sexy. Ms. James touches upon hard emotional and physical issues with class and elegance. Not leaving out any of the dirty details that make this not only entertaining, but an emotionally satisfying story as well. Giving the reader the smile or tear just where each was needed.

Being the tenth book in the Blacktop Cowboy Series, Spun Out is fresh, refreshing and right on point with what I want in my reading. Streeter and Bailey’s journey is a roller coaster ride of emotions. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, and everything in between. Spun Out totally get 5 stars from me.

 

Review: Beauty by Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak

Beauty

Lexi Blake

Sophie Oak

A Faery Story, Book 3

Paperback, 344 pages
Published October 29th 2019 by DLZ Entertainment

Re-released in a second edition. Re-edited but no substantial changes.

The princess in the tower

In one horrifying night, Bronwyn Finn lost her family, her kingdom, and the princes who had haunted her dreams for years. Left alone, years pass as she fights for survival and craves revenge against the uncle who took everything from her. But she’s never forgotten her Dark Ones. Now she hides along with her guardian, but the war rages ever closer.

Two dark princes

A tragedy marred Lach and Shim’s lives. The future kings of the Unseelie Fae are obsessed with finding their promised wife—Bronwyn. Lach and Shim have never stopped believing that Bronwyn is their mate. She is the bond that connects the halves of their shared soul.

A destiny that will change a kingdom

With the blessing of the renegade kings, Beck and Cian Finn, Lach and Shim begin a dangerous quest to find their bride before Torin and his hags take her life.

Across two planes, a war will rage. Lives will be lost. Love will be found. And the Seelie Fae will welcome their true kings home.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

Bronwyn is the girl in the tower. Someone everyone thought was long gone. She may be a princess in name but this woman is all warrior. Her world got turned upside down and inside out is every way that it could. Bronwyn finds strength through her dark ones. A strength that has been growing and bonding for years through dreams.

Shim and Lachlan are Symbiotic twin heirs to the Unseelie throne. They are very much like Beckett and Cian of the Seelie court. The twins share a soul and need their mare to balance them out. Problem is their should be mate has been gone for many years. Or has she….. The connection shared through dreams has Lach and Shim on a mission that won’t stop until they find their mate.

Save the best for last….. Beauty was hands down my favorite of the Faery Trilogy. I can’t even put together words together to begin to describe the amount of enjoyment I had while reading this book. I loved the dreaming aspect of the story and the connection that it brought to the trio. Beauty was a fantastic finish to this wonderfully sexy trio of reads.

 

Review: Breathless With Her by Carrie Ann Ryan

 Breathless With Her

Carrie Ann Ryan

Less Than Series, Book 1

Paperback

Published October 22nd 2019

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan comes a sexy new contemporary series.

Devin Carr likes his life. He likes his job, his family, the outlook for his future. Then he meets her. Erin. As soon as he sees her, drunk and wearing a sequined dress as her world crashes down around her and she fights to put on a brave face, he knows what he’s been missing. Her.

When Erin Taborn finds her high school sweetheart and husband banging the former head cheerleader of their graduating class at their high school reunion, she tells herself she’ll be fine. She just needs to figure out what fine means. There’s only one problem. Devin. She didn’t plan on him. And for someone who thinks they have all their plans in place, that’s a problem.

One she’ll have to find an answer to if this whole friends-with-benefits thing is going to work.

If not, she’ll fail just like with everything else.

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

Erin thought her life was pretty good. She was married to her high school sweetheart and had the business of her dreams. Until she walks in on her now ex husband with another woman. Talk about the world she knew falling a part in a blink of an eye. Picking up the pieces has left Erin unsettled and insecure but she tries to get on with her new life. When a friend helps Erin through this trying time she realizes that love is so much more than she could have ever known.

Devin is now my new favorite male lead character that Ms. Ryan has written. He’s laid-back and charming. Devon kind of has this go with the flow attitude that keeps him upbeat and light. He’s a dedicated and loyal sibling and friend. He’s the kind of person that sees be on the surface of other people and will go the extra mile for a person he cares for. This sexy postman is one of those good guys that every girl could go crazy for.

Carrie Ann Ryan starts off her new Less Than Series, Breathless With Her, a friends with benefits romance with an emotional bang. Erin and Devin complement each other so well. There may have been sparks of chemistry between the two when she sat down at the bar but the sheer amount of respect that Devin displays is swoon worthy in itself. They developed a friendship that did truly turn to something more. When they finally gave into the chemistry, no promises were given. But then again you can’t make your heart feel something or not for that matter. Erin and Devin both stumble over their own feet before they get it right but that stumbling is the story that melted my heart.

 

 

ARC Review: Reaper by Larissa Ione

Reaper

Larissa Ione

Demonica Underworld Series, Book 9

Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated

 

 

 

THE DEMONICA SERIES RETURNS…

He is the Keeper of Souls. Judge, jury, and executioner. He is death personified.

He is the Grim Reaper.

A fallen angel who commands the respect of both Heaven and Hell, Azagoth has presided over his own underworld realm for thousands of years. As the overlord of evil souls, he maintains balance crucial to the existence of life on Earth and beyond. But as all the realms gear up for the prophesied End of Days, the ties that bind him to Sheoul-gra have begun to chafe.

Now, with his beloved mate and unborn child the target of an ancient enemy, Azagoth will stop at nothing to save them, even if it means breaking blood oaths and shattering age-old alliances.

Even if it means destroying himself and setting the world on fire…

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Larissa Ione has readers on the edge of their seat, turning pages with bated breath just to see the outcome.  Reaper could easily be compared to a shot of adrenaline. Epic and emotional.

Azagoth and Lilith’s story continues with a fast and epic story that underworld didn’t even see coming. Reaper is not a book you can just pick up and completely enjoy the story. Reaper is a true treat for the readers of the Demonica series. Being the 20th book in the series we are reunited with many characters of both good and evil that we have gotten to know in this vast world. The focus couple of a story maybe Azagoth and Lilith but we hear many more voices telling this tale. Ms. Ione takes us on a breakneck tail of love, heartbreak, betrayal and devotion while balancing good and evil. Reaper’s  an epic story that produced many epic emotions from this particular reader. I truly think there’s nothing I can say that’s going to give this book to justice that I believe it deserves. Azagoth and Liliana‘s story is a work of art. I started reading the Demonica series 10 years ago and Ms. Ione has never disappointed me.

 

Review: Beast by Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak

Beast

Lexie Blake writing as Sophie Oak

A Faery Story, Book 2

Published October 15th 2019 by DLZ Entertainment, LLC

 

Re-released in a second edition. Re-edited but no substantial changes.

A playboy who needs to grow up

Fresh from his latest tabloid scandal, vampire playboy Dante Dellacourt has been given an ultimatum. Either he takes a consort and settles down, or his family will disown him. Unwilling to lose everything he has, he reluctantly agrees to find a wife. Marriage is just another kind of contract, after all. No one said anything about love being a part of the bargain.

An outcast who has only known hardship

Exiled by her pack, Kaja is a werewolf without a home. Her life was never easy in the frozen tundra she grew up in, but it was familiar. Waking up in a foreign landscape, surrounded by bright lights, loud noises, and far too many people has left her overwhelmed. Frightened and with no one to trust, she savagely fights to get free of this strange new world.

A passion strong enough to change them both

Called to defend the gnomes of the marketplace, Dante is almost blinded by the radiant light coming off the fierce werewolf. Kaja glows like no consort he has ever seen. Gorgeous and wild, she calls to him in ways he had not dreamed possible. For Kaja, she finds in Dante a man unlike any she has ever known. They could not be more different, but she finds him irresistible.

In order to claim his werewolf bride, Dante must first discover how to overcome their differences. Will he tame his ferocious beauty, or will she unleash his inner beast?

 

 

4.5 Stars

Dante has given himself the reputation of the ultimate player. Perceived by most to only have interest in fun, women and good times. Dante is one of those people that you can’t judge by what he wants you to see. He’s intelligent, loyal and cunning. As Dante’s layers begin to peel away we find a man filled with emotions, determinations and wants he wasn’t ready to admit.

Kaja is primal yet submissive. Rugged Pack life was all she knew, then to be thrown into a world of which nothing is known the beast within her takes survival to an instinctual level. She was an outcast of the pack and something different to the new place she finds herself in. Dante is her alpha. From the moment she finds herself in his presence she sees him as her first. She feels a connection, something that’s unknown to her. Kaja is unique all around. From her sheer nature to the way she tries to adapt for something he’s not quite sure what it is, but she wants it.

Beast was fantastic. Dante was so much more thanI expected. He has some pretty deep layers of emotions. He did what he thought was expected of him only want to find out, those expectations were nothing but a push for him to find what he truly wanted him his life. Kaja and Dante together is something truly unique. I love the way their connection and bond formed, developed and grew into something more than either one of them expected it could be. Two beasts find their balance to their beast with another beast. I truly love this fairy world that Lexi Blake has created. This is not the first time I have kicked myself not discovering these books earlier. I am very happy they have been released and I get to enjoy them now.

 

Bound by Lexi Blake writing as Sophie Oak

 

 

 

Bound

Lexi Blake/Sophie Oak

A Faery Story, Book 1

Paperback, 292 pages

Published October 8th 2019 by DLZ Entertainment (first published April 29th 2011)

Megan Starke has never been special to anyone. With an unrewarding job and a failed marriage, no one would confuse her life with a fairy tale. So when she is kidnapped and taken to a magical world to be the grand prize in a fierce and bloody tournament, she isn’t sure if she is in a dream or a nightmare. Beckett Finn was supposed to be Prince Charming. He and his brother, Cian, were to inherit the throne of the Seelie Fae and rule over a fantasy kingdom. But the thrust of a traitor’s blade stole that future. Now the brothers are fading, cursed by their royal blood unless they find a mate who can restore them. When Beck sees Meg, her body calls to him and he knows she is the key to their salvation. Bound by passion and fate, it’s time for Meg to find her happily ever after.

 

 

 4.5 Stars

Bound is just what I needed in my reading world. Adventurous and suspenseful, great characters and over the top heat and hotness pour off the pages. All set in a paranormal world.

Cian and Beckett are Symbiotic twins and kings without a throne. Two halves that equal the whole. They share a soul. They are each other’s balance. Even though they share a soul and look identical the brothers are very different. Beckett is the warrior. Stern and dominant. He has a rough and raw edge to him. Beneath that intense exterior Beckett is loyal, caring and the true alpha that he is. Cian is the intellectual half. Logical, affectionate and definitely more dramatic. Cian is all the things that Becketts not, and vice versa. With his intellectual side being so vast it’s very easy to get lost in his own head for extended periods of time. His own brain transporting him to another time and place in his life. Cian is sensual and tender. A romantic if you will. Neither brother is balanced. Symbiotic twins need a third to balance them fully. A triad. Cian and Beckett are fighting off the worst of them selves in order to win the thing they need most.

Megan’s boring and mediocre life took a drastic turn when she woke up within caged bed in a world she’d never seen. For someone who got plucked off of her plane of existence and shoved into a world where she knows nothing and no one and the people she encounters are the stuff of fairytales, she handles the situation a lot better than I would, that’s for sure. Meg takes this experience with a grain of salt and goes with the flow while making her own mark. She’s kind and caring, adventurous and a bit sassy. An ordinary woman who has what it takes to be a good queen.

Paranormal Romance is where I started my love of romance reading. Just a few weeks ago I was talking with my book loving gals, that I had been craving a really good paranormal read. Bound satisfy that craving and then some. This book completely consumed me. All sorts of mythical creatures with Lexi Blake’s personal twist on them. I should’ve known from the get go that I was not gonna put this book down. The characters are rich and unique. We get to see them at their lowest of lows, go through their personal growth and see how they connect together. All the while we are in this crazy world, with creatures of fairy tales and a plot that kept my fingers flipping pages on my Kindle.

 

Review: Closer by Kylie Scott

About CLOSER:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kylie Scott comes a new story in her Stage Dive series…

When a stalker gets too close to plus-size model Mae Cooper, it’s time to hire some muscle.

Enter former military man turned executive protection officer Ziggy Thayer. Having spent years guarding billionaires, royalty, and rock n roll greats, he’s seen it all. From lavish parties through to every kind of excess.

There’s no reason some Instagram stylista should throw him off his game. Even if she does have the most dangerous curves he’s ever seen…

**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. **

Excerpt:

I’d had bodyguards before. But only for events like fashion week or a big shoot. Just for a limited amount of time. My contract with Ziggy, however, was open ended, dependent on the heart in the box situation. Once he’d grilled me about what the police were doing (investigating my entire life), my routine (I don’t really have one. It’s consumed by work), and my calendar for the next few days (I’d freed up time to finish unpacking and then back to work on my lingerie line), he drove me to the gym. There was one I used a couple of times in the apartment building, but I generally do better with some active encouragement and guidance.

Guess Ziggy approved of my Land Rover because he gave it another one of those almost-smiles. I, however, continued to receive the full professional cold front face. This was definitely going to take some getting used to.

“Who’s your shadow?” asked Kwana, my awesome trainer.

I paused mid-lunge, my breath coming hard and fast. “My bodyguard, Ziggy. You like him?”

“He’s pretty. Don’t stop, keep moving.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“You don’t usually have one of them around. Have you been getting hassled or something?”

Kwana stood with her arms crossed, all lean muscles beneath brown skin. Since we were in an open area at the end of the main part of the gym, Ziggy waited over by the wall, just out of earshot. He stood with his arms loose at his side, his gaze constantly wandering a circuit from me—around the room, over to the exits, and back again. Always on alert.

“More a precaution than anything,” I said.

No matter how much I liked Kwana, no one outside my inner circle needed to know about the incident. The fewer people who found out about the gross cow heart and knife the better.

There’d been no further news from the police. Though it was never likely they’d track down a suspect and charge that person the next day.

Case closed, hooray!


Mae Cooper is as confident as she is beautiful. Mae is a model that is not the size of a toothpick. She’s naturally beautiful and has the eye and passion for fashion. She’s a bit of a walk calamity at times but has a great sense of humor to go along with it. With fame comes fans and sometimes those fans do things that make you have to look over your shoulder. Enter the need for a bodyguard. A bodyguard that has Mae’s body wanting to be guarded in more ways than one.

Ziggy Thayer ex military now turned bodyguard to the stars. High profile clients are nothing new to him. The hottie of a man is always about the job. Getting involved with clients is something he doesn’t do. Until a curvy model who is in her beauty outweighs her outer by far has him thinking about more than protecting his charge.

Kylie Scott gives the Stage Dive groupies another wonderful chapter to the story with Closer. Mae is an amazing character all around. Mae is herself and I love that about her. I loved the moment that Ziggy lost his control and realized that Mae was more than a job. That photo shoot!!!!!! Visiting with the Stage Dive family is always a treat. You can always count on Mal to put a smile on your face. Mae and Ziggy had chemistry from the moment they set eyes on each other. From the nervous rambling, the back-and-forth banter and also hot moments, these two were made for each other. Just the right about of suspense added in to make Closer a fine afternoon or late night read!