My Review of the Blackcreek Series by Riley Hart

The Blackcreek Series by Riley Hart is very heartwarming. It consists of a series of standalone stories, each one about a different gay couple. What I appreciate is that the different couples make an appearance in each book so that we continue to get a glimpse of what is happening in their lives.

18773407Collide, which is the first book, is my favorite. Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided mid-air when they dove for the same football as pre-teens.  Life circumstances separate them for several years when Noah and his family move away with no notice. Some years later, Noah returns, and he and Cooper literally collide into each other in a humorous fashion. Only Noah admits to being gay and returning to Blackcreek after a broken relationship. Cooper, who has only had heterosexual relations, learns that he is undeniably attracted to Noah. I enjoyed their developing relationship and found it so sweet. 4 Hearts

18776706Stay is the second book in the series. Wes Jensen just lost the sister and gained custody of his niece. He is fully committed to his responsibility and has no capacity for developing a relationship with his one-night stand from Collide, Braden Roth. Braden wedges himself into their lives by becoming a regular babysitter. Braden is loyal, funny, and a constant. I enjoyed the story. Unfortunately I found the story a little too nice and uneventful. I kept waiting for some major event that never happened. 3 Hearts

I was disappointed with the lack of editing in both books. It was incredibly distracting from the story. Also, the use of “he” made it extremely difficult to which male was talking and whose point of view was being expressed. Right now, I don’t know if I feel motivated to continue the series. Maybe someday.

Jacked (Tina Reber)
Jacked (Tina Reber)

A new story from Tina Reber – finally! It feels like we have been waiting forever. I am a huge fan of her Love Series, and Ryan Christensen is one of my favorite all-time book boyfriends – right up there with Christian Grey, Kellen Kyle and Gideon Cross. This is why it pains me to say that Jacked just didn’t do it for me.

Adam, a member of the auto theft task force, meets ER doctor Erin on a false arrest. Both come from personal tragedies and form an immediate bond. I really liked the storyline potential, and I thought there was good chemistry between the characters. It’s obvious that Tina Reber did the necessary police force and Shibari research to write in detail. I loved the hospital room scene towards the end!

Unfortunately, the beginning moved much too slow for me. The characters had some rather graphic thoughts about each other, yet didn’t kiss until about 29% into the story. The second half finally had all of the action and depth that I was looking for from the beginning. It seemed odd to me that Erin put her new relationship and job before dealing with a family crisis. I also don’t know if the art of Shibari added to the story or if it was thrown in as part of FSOG fashion. Lastly, I am getting a little bored with alpha males coming across like cavemen and speaking with incomplete sentences.

Jacked is part of a series about each of the Trent brothers. It can definitely be read as a standalone. I did like the lead into Jason Trent’s story Amped and plan to keep it on my TBR list, despite rating Jacked 3.5 Hearts.

Finished reading On My Knees by Meredith Wild

As I anxiously await the 4th installment of the Hacker series to be released on Dec 9, I was curious to fill my time with more writing by Meredith Wild. On My Knees is the first of the Bridge series. Each can be read as a standalone, as each is a tale of one of the Bridge siblings.

The 20263223story is told from his and her alternating views, which I love and admire as a writing ability. Cameron Bridge and Maya Jacobs fell in love during college. After Maya turns down Cameron’s marriage proposal, there is a period of years separation before Maya and Cam wind up living and working in the same city. The couple work towards building a new friendship while facing their personal demons, hoping to find the relationship that they once had.

The writing of Meredith Wild is beautiful. She weaves an interesting story, and I was pulled in. As much as I loved Cam, this is definitely not the Hacker series which has more storyline and stronger characters. It is entertaining, and a length that is good to the story. At times I was more concerned about Maya’s drinking problem than I was about her rekindling her relationship. She seemed to have a real problem that was too easily cured with a good man. Her naivety was a little unbelievable for me as far as her working relationships and the situation she finds herself in.

All in all, this was enjoyable and served as a nice romantic getaway over the Thanksgiving weekend. 3 Hearts

Review of the Wild Side series by R.K. Lilley

I’m looking forward to using this holiday weekend to catch up on reviews for some of my recent reads. I have completed the Wild Side series by R.K. Lilley. If you follow my blog, you will know that R.K. Lilley is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of her books. While this series was entertaining, I am sad to admit that it was not among my favorite reads.

Alas214593832226600922266042dair Masters is in his 40s and has had a sort of midlife crisis when he discovers his wife cheating on him. After a period of celibacy, he meets 20 something-year-old Iris. We know nothing about her true identity: age, name, place of residence, employment status, etc. There is much mystery surrounding her person and she disappears for lapses of time, driving Alasdair crazy.

Despite the difference in their ages, the relationship between Alistair and Iris is actually quite touching and not disturbing While I do appreciate some heated scenes, this was almost too much repetition for me – similar to the first Fifty Shades. By the end of the series, you can sort of tune that part out or skip it, and you end up with a good story. However, unlike Fifty Shades, I think these three books could have been more effectively told as one novel. I rate this series 3 Hearts.

Book Review – Trust in Me by Skye Warren

13446362I loved Prisoner and was anxious to read something else written by Skye Warren. I also happen to be a huge fan of dark erotica. Be forewarned that Trust in Me is not for the faint of heart. This is a dark read that continues to get darker as the story continues. There is violence, nonconsensual sexual relations, and human trafficking. If this disturbs you, look for something else from my list.

Mia comes from a sordid background that is unspeakable. I find it sad that she accepts her fate. She has one goal for redeeming herself yet accepts death will probably be the reward for her efforts. “This whole game was dirty, and so was I.”

This is a well written story and is engrossing. I was able to read it in one sitting. Whatever you think of it, you will not be able to put it down so do not start it if you cannot finish.

What disturbs me is that Mia meets Tyler, the hero, at 12 years old. Tyler is older than Mia and is of age for having sex, yet he forms this attachment to Mia enough to search for her 10 years later. This part I struggled the most with. Tyler is definitely not Grayson. In fact, I felt like we barely scratched the surface of getting to know him. I got upset with him in some scenes for putting Mia in dangerous situations. He just wasn’t the Grayson or Caleb that I was looking for.

In the end, I did like the writing. The story had me captivated, and it had a sufficient level of angst to keep me engrossed. I give it…

3 Stars

Book Review – Among the Echoes by Aly Martinez

Friends that know me well know that I’m a HUGE fan of romantic suspense. The description of this story appealed so much to me and I wanted to rate it higher, really. The writing was good. The story was intriguing. Unfortunately, it fell short for me on a few fronts.

This story is about Erica Hill,  a witness to a murder that is taken under the witness protection program. She catches the eye of Slate Andrews,   a professional boxer, who forms a romantic attachment to her. Be warned that the first two chapters are rather disturbing similar in effect to Lovely Bones. Do not go into the story expecting Beautiful Disaster or  Real, as you will not find any exciting, in-the-ring, scenes within this book. There are some tender moments, but I do not feel the expected connection between the heroine and hero. While the hero is typically classified as an alpha male, he ultimately seems to give into her every wish. For me, the ending was rushed and not to my satisfaction.

3 Stars

Link to Goodreads –> Among the Echoes

Book Review – Remy by Katy Evans

I am a huge fan of the REAL series, which consists of Real and Mine. If you have not read it yet, I give fair warning of possible spoilers. The first two books of the series were told from the perspective of Brooke Dumas. As the name implies, in book three we receive the story from Remington Tate’s point of view.

Remy is a MMA Fighter who struggles with bipolar disorder. He and Brooke form this instant sexual attraction during one of his fights. Remy promptly researches Brooke and hires her as part of his personal training team. I adore the dependent relationship between Brooke and Remington. There is such a true, heartfelt connection between them. And while bipolar disorder can be trying on all parties involved, I find it precious how much Brooke benefits from the alpha character nature of Remy and his undying devotion to her.

I usually approach series finales told from the opposite perspective with apprehension. I held off reading this book for a long time. I really wanted to be able to give it at least four stars. It was told with as much intensity and heat as the first two stories. I still love Remy as one of my favorite book boyfriends. I also saw Brooke in a new and refreshing light from the first two books, and in a positive way.

The book fell short for me on the length of text dedicated to the beginning of their relationship. Obviously, telling the story from the perspective of someone that is manic would be truly difficult, especially for the periods when there is blackout. However, I was looking forward to this story to hear Remy’s firsthand account of his feelings when his parents show up at the farmhouse. I also wanted to hear his apprehensions with becoming a father and fearing the possibility that a child could inherit his disorder. Both of these elements were missing and I felt that the story was rushed at the end.

While I do enjoy a good and steamy story, and the first two books are some of the best material, by the end of this book I was almost as uncomfortable with the intimate scenes as the first 50 Shades of Grey, and skipping them. I was getting a little grossed out by the frequency of Brooke and Remy literally licking and scenting each other like dogs. This was still an entertaining read, and I look forward to continuing the series with other characters, but I have to give this book…

3 Stars