The waiting is over… or is it? Finished reading Captivated by You!

So in case you were curious, I chickened out of taking a full day off work. BUT, around noon I did develop a “stomach ache”  that required a comfy chair, a cup of tea, a blanket, and my copy of Sylvia Days’s Captivated by You. And it hurts! There is so much waiting between the continuing saga of Eva and Gideon. Then the moment finally arrives, we get all caught up in the drama, only to have it end too soon again!

This is on51zFdfbe1KL._SL160_e of my top top top most favorite stories/series and my favorite book couple. I highly recommend the series, which must be read in order. I love the characters. The writing is sophisticated and eloquent. The relationship between Eva and Gideon captives me. I love the story with them as a married couple and it is told well. I don’t even care that the series is turning out longer than originally planned, because I love it that much.

I do have to be fair in my assessment though. While I truly enjoyed this leg of the story, I cannot give it 5 stars and this hurts me. There was love and heat, but there was so much missing. This felt like sort of a filler. We are no closer to the resolution of the Cary/Trey/Tatiana/baby drama. Cary is cutting again and that got like three sentences. I expected more reaction to that from Eva even if this isn’t a story about Eva and Cary. I expected a bigger blowout between Gideon and his mom. I anticipated Gideon’s father being connected to the Russian mafia. I expected a pregnancy drama. There was none of this! Even the ending felt like a stolen scene from my favorite movie, As Good As It Gets! it feels like the last book has much ground to cover for wrapping up the story and leaving fans happy and loyal. Still, I give this installment 4 Hearts. 

I will be eagerly checking Sylvia Day‘s site for an update on the series conclusion.

Anxiously Counting Down to Captivated by You!

Greetings! To those who have started following my blog, thank you for your interest! I know that I have recently been slower with updating my reading progress. There has been a lot going on in my personal life: the unfortunate funeral for an eight-year-old child which is impossible to understand, followed by witnessing the Christening of twins exactly one week later; nothing puts life in perspective quite like recognizing the end of one life and celebrating the start of another. I also learned  that I didn’t get that promotion I really wanted from my regular day job.  This has been a little too much reality of late. So what better way to escape? Reading the books that we love!

As most others, I am counting down the hours to get my next fix of Gideon and Sylvia Day’s Captivated By You (Crossfire, Book 4). This is absolutely among many favorite story lines! It rocks in every way: characters, story, angst, romance and a great heroine. If you are a fan of billionaire alpha males, this series is a must-read. Be forewarned that this originally was supposed to be three books and there are now going to be five.

I am actually tempted to take a mental health day from that said job that didn’t give me the promotion so that I can join Eva  in drowning myself with Gideon, vodka and truffles! Over the past few days, I have finished reading Entwined with You for maybe the fifth time getting myself reacquainted with the story because it has been way too long!  But they say good things come to those who wait! SQUEE! ( I guess I will keep waiting for that promotion!)51zFdfbe1KL._SL160_

Book Review – Mr. Beautiful (Up in the Air #4) by R.K. Lilley

18631103R.K. Lilley is one of my favorite authors and I had the pleasure of meeting her (and I think her husband?) at a writers’ event this year. She was the most personable and gracious author that I met that day and was generous with her time.

I adore the “Up in the Air” series and I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Mr. Beautiful!  I was looking forward to hearing his side of events and it was worth the wait. What a fabulous cover! I love the camaraderie between James and Tristan. I love the passion and love between James and Bianca. This conclusion has me loving him more.

And then there is Stephan. I wish I had such a loyal and true person in my life. The relationship between Stephan and Bianca is endearing and goes straight to my heart. I could read an entire story just about them, and I appreciate that we got to see more of their past in this story. This was an unexpected surprise for me. I also find Stephan and Javier a believable and touching m/m pairing, written eloquently.

This is part of a series, which should be read in order. Otherwise, you will not have the proper context for the characters and storyline. This is sort of a collection of random thoughts from different characters at different points of the series.

5 Stars

Book Review – Prisoner (Criminals & Captives #1) by Annika Martin and Skye Warren

23303963Wow! This was a dark read, which I tend to get drawn into looking for proof of light in the darkness. This was a great read for me and one of my new favorites. Prisoner, which was recently released, has probably one of my favorite heroines in Abigail Winslow and a notorious hottie in Grayson that you can’t help but love. (Do we ever learn his last name? I tried doing a search and came up nada…)

And he’s terrible!  He comes from a deep, dark and troubled past. He holds revenge in his heart. He is guilty of forcing dubious consent and tranquilizing. Yet he does this out of his twisted idea of loving and protecting Abby; in his mind, his forced captivity of Abby will protect and bind the two of them in together in the same tight-knit fashion he shares with the men that he was abducted with. His personal brand of passiveness is evident in his statement, “F#%k it. I don’t need to be a better man. I don’t need to be more. I’m in charge here.”

Abby is a self-conscious bookworm that I can relate to. We see her break out of her shell as Grayson forces her out of it. His affection for her is seen as a threat to Grayson’s gang and she holds her own. I love the unexpected moments when her intelligence shines through and wins her respect.

This story contains violence, graphic sex and dubious consent. That being  said, this did not feel like one of the darkest dark reads that I have experienced. It does have a sort of dubious HEA that left me satisfied. I give this…

5 Stars

Book Review – Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor

Squee!  This is definitely one for my Favorites shelf. It has everything a good story requires. I laughed, I cried. I was happy and sad. I couldn’t stop reading until it was over.  The story has stayed with me, and I miss the characters!

This was a truly heartwarming story. Andy and Matt both come from difficult pasts. They meet while on vacation. From the synopsis, I expected the whole story to take place on vacation and I was very happy for this story to continue beyond, when everyone returns to reality. The relationship between Matt and Abby is strongly felt. The scenes with the children are so well written I can only imagine how difficult it is to write dialogue for the little ones.

The erotic scenes are well written and steamy. However, the romance of this story is so much MORE. Matt falls so hard for Abby, the children and the whole package.

She stood and their eyes met again, this time with her fingers still clasped tightly in his. Something moved inside him, slightly painful, like parts rearranging into a better fit.

I am totally in love with Matt McKinney! While his character is described as handsome, he is so much more than external. He is humble. He is a loyal soldier, a friend and family member. He knows no fear, including becoming attached to Abby’s four young ones, and he makes an amazing step-in dad.

If you are a fan of romances, this is one not to miss. It is part of the series The McKinney Brothers but can be read as a standalone.

5 Stars

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Book Review – The Tied Man – Tabitha McGowan

OMG, where to begin? This is an intense and absorbing read, so my recommendation is not to begin reading it if you have somewhere you need to be soon.

Lilith Bresson is an accomplished artist that basically gets forced by her father to accept a commission. The buyer is the madame of an exclusive resort. This is where we meet Finn Strachan, her “companion”. Every captive at the resort has a different role to play and each has a different threat hanging over them keeping them there. This is a very dark and disturbing story, on the same scale as The Dark Duet trilogy by C. J. Roberts. There are graphic sexual scenes and violence, as well as drugs. If you find this type of story upsetting, please do not put this on your reading list as it can keep you up at night. In fact, I actually stayed up all night engrossed in the story.

Having said that, I have the ability to look past the ugly of the story and see the good of the characters. I find Finn endearing. What he goes through is indescribable and inhumane. As he says, “But at the end of the day, everything I do costs me. The only question is how much.” Whichever words or actions he chooses, he is guaranteed to be punished; it’s just a tossup to what degree and type of punishment that he receives. Somehow, he continues to find love and light through simple pleasures and through Lilith. His pride and affection prevail. He so wants to be seen beyond what he is forced to do. “I want to keep hold of just one or two poxy secrets in the car crash otherwise known as my life in the vain hope that once or twice a year I can pretend to have some bloody dignity.”

I love the main heroine, Lilith. She matures and comes into her own during the story. We see her emotional maturity and her determination. She accepts the situation that Finn finds himself in without passing judgment or excuses. Instead, she works towards a solution. She works toward bringing Finn any small amount of happiness she can, sacrificing herself.

Do not go into this looking for a heavy and erotic read. There are mostly disturbing scenes in the story than there are romantic, and yet I appreciate the relationship between them and could feel the connection.

This was an incredibly well-written story. It is a great use of the language. I look very forward to the sequel.

5 Stars

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Book Review – The Story of Us (Carnage #1) – Lesley Jones

After my nice reprieve with the Cranberry Inn series, I returned to my more intense and darker reads. I honestly have no idea why I waited so long to read Carnage #1! We all love the Thoughtless series and have been looking for that rockstar boyfriend to compete with Kellen. This one had such rave reviews that I think I was holding off for this holiday weekend to lock myself away and lose myself in a great read.

You have to experience this book yourself! Stay away from spoilers! You will laugh and you will cry.  You will be angry. This is all what pulls us in and makes a great story. I was hooked from the first words and literally could not put the book down. There is a continuation, but this can be read as a standalone. The writing is fantastic. I love the dialect used by the characters and the dynamics between family and friends. I was almost jealous and wanted to hang out with the lot of them (except for all the passing of drugs among family and friends)!

I plan to read the second book. However, I am still too emotional right now to continue on just yet.

Link to Goodreads –> The Story of Us (Carnage #1)

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