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 – 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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Book Review – A Whole New Crowd by Tijan

There are some awesome romantic suspense reads out there.  This is my second read by Tijan, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. Her stories probably fall more into the New Adult genre. Be warned, these young characters come from  rather violent backgrounds. There is strong use of language and sexual scenes. In this particular story, I want to ask where are all the parents? They seem to be conveniently absent. This is the largest group of unsupervised teenagers that are sexually active and definite partiers. Makes me wonder how do they have time to make school a priority??

That being said, this is a brilliant story! While I am classifying it as romantic suspense, for me the romance aspect was a minor sideline story. This was action-packed! It was interesting. It made me happy and it made me cry. Taryn is one of my favorite heroines; she is strong, caring and intelligent. Giving this one…

5 Stars!!

Link to Goodreads –> A Whole New Crowd

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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