Book Review – Vanquish (Deliver #2) by Pam Godwin

20932811OMG! I waited for this sequel for what felt like forever, and it was worth the wait! Pam Godwin is an excellent writer; I couldn’t wait to see how she could possibly write a book about Van Quiso. We met Van in “Deliver” where he was an absolutely hateful monster.

Who would have thought we could come to appreciate a character that traffics slave captives? Let alone one that has a fetish for creating ugly life-sized dolls. Only Pam would have the talent to turn him into a likable and understandable character, with a fetish that we could learn to appreciate and he could turn into an honest career!

Naturally, this would require a very unique female counterpart. Van decides to find a new captive for himself as opposed to a buyer. Amber Rosenfeld suffers from agoraphobia and OCD. How convenient that she doesn’t want to leave the house!  By far this is not a humorless story, but I laughed out loud several times at how Amber’s quirks upset Van’s careful planning, which resulted in his actually helping her instead of trapping her. After a time of separation, Amber says:

Her lips slid into a foxy grin. “I made little Van voodoo dolls and stabbed them with toothpicks.”

This can be read as a standalone novel. However, I strongly recommend reading “Deliver” first to truly understand the dark and terrifying beginnings of Van. There are also characters in this book that are in Deliver that complete the story. I really love how this wraps everything up so nicely for all characters, with no loose ends.

I do have to forewarn that this is not a book for the lighthearted. It is dark and contains references to non-consensual relations. In order to appreciate the greatness of the story, it is important to be able to look past the uncomfortable. I give Vanquish

4 Stars

Book Review – The Beast Series by Ella James

The Beast is a dark four-part erotica series. Each is a novella, which makes for a very quick read. In fact, I finished the first three books in two days while still maintaining my full-time job and my regular sleep schedule. Be warned that the series could use improved editing and each book ends in a cliffhanger. The storyline is not always smooth. This might frustrate some readers, but I found this series packed a lot of punch and was very entertaining.

In Part 1 a starstruck Annabelle meets Cal/Ricardo/Beast at a party. She is basically stalking him with the intent of losing her virginity. I felt her connection to him in this book, but his was maybe intentionally not too felt. A subsequent surprising event has Annabelle and Beast forming a deeper connection.

In Part 2 there is a time lapse. We feel a stronger connection between the two, especially on the part of Cal/Ricardo/Beast when we receive a glimpse into his true feelings. The angst level builds up. After an emotional scene, we are left again with another anxiety producing cliffhanger – but oh so excellent!

In Part 3 Annabelle’s commitment to Beast is unwavering. She is a strong heroine and on a mission. The sexual scene takes place in a rather unusual location under sort of… amazingly strange circumstances. Nevertheless, the scene is HOT and again the ending had me screaming “WHAT?!” out loud.

Part 4 is rumored to be out sometime soon. I’m looking so forward to finishing this series rated…

4 Stars

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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

Book Review – The Driven Trilogy by K. Bromberg

I recently finished rereading the The Driven Trilogy for the second time around, and I loved it just as much as the first time! There are so many aspects of the story that I appreciate. Rylee Thomas is probably one of my favorite contemporary heroines. She has an admirable career, she survived a trauma and came back fighting and no anger, and she wasn’t willing to lose her sense of self for a man.

And then there’s Colton Donavan! Who knew race car drivers could make such a hot subject?! I love the whole approach to his character, the telling of his story, and how he overcame his demons. The way that he needs “Ryles” and his attachment to her boys went straight to my heart. While being such an alpha-male, we still come to see his sensitive side and his determined nature for not giving in to the dark side of his personality.

Other things that I loved included the side stories about the boys and the House. They were not forgotten over the course of the series. It was a well told story and left no parts unresolved at the end. I also tend to enjoy novels that are told from both his and her perspectives.

Reading Order:
Driven
Fueled
Crashed

5 Stars