My Raving Review of Raze by Tillie Cole

23262621I loved this book! It’s very violent and lacks serious editing. If you can get past these points and you are are a fan of mafia romances, this is great!

Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill Volkov, head of New York’s Russian Bratva. Her life is is a virtual prison. She mourns the loss of her first and only love, Luka, who was murdered. Left with no other option for the future, she is destined to marry her father’s designated successor, who we absolutely come to abhor!

What I love about this story is that we come to care for Kisa. She doesn’t like the life but she accepts it, and she is still a caring person. She knows what her father is, yet she loves him. Surprising for me was that she actually helps run certain aspects. She tries to escape the reality intermittently and find some form of salvation in volunteering at her Orthodox church.

This is where she meets a homeless man, named Raze, who is in New York seeking revenge against the man who had him imprisoned in the Russian Gulag and conditioned Raze to maim, to kill and to slaughter. I love the connection between Raze and Kisa.

“Because you belong to me, Kisa… and he pointed at my eye, then his left. “You’re a part of me, remember? God put a piece of you within me so when we were born, everyone would know we matched.”

Swoon worthy, right? Especially from a trained killer. And then there is this next comment from Raze:

“I’m closing my eyes so I can feel being inside you.” He placed his hand over his heart and rasped out, “I’ve seen too many bad things with these eyes. This, I will feel in my heart.”

This has all the great elements: Russian Mafia, a strong heroine, extreme angst, as happy of an ending as Kisa’s life permits. You will have to read it and see what happens to Kisa’s monster fiancé!

5 Hearts and one of my new favorites! 

Visiting Backstage with Trey Taylor!

The fourth installment of the Back-Up Series by A.M. Madden has finally arrived and was worth the wait! For fans of Rocker romances, this is a must-read series. I thoroughly enjoyed each book. This series has so much story to it and is up there for me with the Love series by Tina Reber.

22493119We were introduced to the mysterious bass player Trey Taylor in the first three books. Trey is such an enigma that we honestly cannot help but find ourselves attracted to him with the glimpses that we received along the way. Click the book cover to link to a great video! Between hiding behind his shades and his famous snarky comments, we just knew there was more to his story, and I thank A.M. Madden for writing Backstage just for him.

“It’s just pure fact that I’ll always have to hide my real emotions and feelings. Like Hunter will always be a f*tard and Scott will always be pale.”

I struggle how to categorize this book. There are elements of angst and suspense which I love in a story.  This is definitely not your typical rock romance where the biggest trials are the media and groupies. Backstage is rather a dark read and contains mature themes. Trey’s story is told so well! I tend to forget how young Trey is because of everything he experiences and the way he decides to things – alone. I felt every emotion that he had, and wanted to take him in and protect him. By the end of Part 1, I was feeling as lonely and in pain as he was! I am seriously fighting loneliness today with the end of this book and missing the DL band.

Backstage can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the series in order to get the full context and the draw of the story.

What I also appreciate is that the other members of DL appear in this book. It’s nice to see what’s going on with them and to see the solidarity between bandmates continue. I also appreciate seeing how it all began and where it all went to. I understand there will be a 4.5 novella released Dec.23. I look forward to warming up by the Christmas tree to continue this entertaining series! 5 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.

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.

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 – 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 – 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