Engrossed in Soraya Naomi

So if anyone still follows this blog, I apologize for being MIA. It has been a looong summer of multiple weddings. My day job had me studying for a certification examination that required my full attention. I still managed to get in some reading in between to reduce the stress. Well, maybe I added to it because I have been on a serious mafia crime boss kick! I  discovered three new authors to love!

Starting with the first author, I am on book 3 of Soraya Naomi‘s  Chicago Syndicate series and it is fantastic! The first two books “For Fallon” and “For Luca” are about… wait for it… Fallon and Luca! I feel guilty putting Luca on the BBB list because he is a BAD guy, but I find him totally captivating and I love Fallon. I find the series beautifully written. The chemistry between Luca and Fallon is heart felt, but not in the beginning – when it wasn’t supposed to be. This was definitely among my favorite mafia romances. It pulled me in immediately. It’s been awhile since I found a book that made me want to stay up late to read. Fallon and I share the same hobby of reading romance and tuning the world out.  I love the use of Italian phrases and I plan to have lasagna for dinner tomorrow to stay in the mood.

“For Luca” was an excellent conclusion to the Luca and Fallon story! I giggled, I cried and I was anxious for them. I also love the emphasis on nothing is as it seems.

“Life isn’t black and white, life isn’t even grey; it’s actually an entirely different, unidentifiable shade when you open your eyes and see past the standards that society sets.”

Take note that this does contain some rather explicit sexual and violent scenes; if you are able to look past that and appreciate the story, I highly recommend it.

This weekend I have moved on to the third book, “For Adriano”. Adriano is Luca’s best friend and Capo. I found him a strong supporting character in first two books and I look forward to reading about him and Camilla (a.k.a. Camila).

Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn is Amazing!

I’m speechless. I think I need nine hours to digest everything that happened in Nine Minutes! Please avoid reading any spoilers because this book needs to be appreciated for the great story that it is. Readers really need to experience the ride for themselves, no pun intended. It is even difficult to write a review without giving away the best parts of the story, so just trust me to put this on your TBR list if you appreciate dark romance and can tolerate violence.

Biker stories do not catch my interest, and huge age differences can creep me out. I was hesitant to pick up this book until I read another very honest review that had me change my mind. Trust me, the age difference is one of the least shocking factors.

Jason William Talbot a.k.a. Grizz had been watching Guinevere Love Lemon a.k.a. Gin/Ginny/Gwinny/Kit since she was six years old. At age 15 he makes his move to abduct her. Grizz leads the pack and does some pretty atrocious things during the story, but outside of abducting Kit, he actually does love her and treats her good. My assumption going in, after reading summaries, was that nine minutes were all that was needed for her abduction. What this number actually means is truly shocking!

This is a well written story. It’s totally captivating. I was able to read it in half a day. While it is part of a series, this first in the series does not leave the reader hanging exactly. I do have solo many questions. What is the secret with Delia? tile some aspects to the story can be guessed at, hang on for the ending because it is AMAZING! 5 Hearts

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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 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 – Raw by Belle Aurora

There is so much to say about Raw! I am going to start with the two drawbacks for me:  a cleaner editing job and a graphic of Twitch would have been appreciated! I had a difficult time visualizing him in my head! The number and patterns of tattoos were a mystery, and unfortunately at the conclusion I still do not understand the “13” on his cheek, so if anyone has insight please share.

That being said, this book was GREAT! Twitch was an amazing character. He didn’t pretend to be anyone that he wasn’t. Lexi loved him for who he was to her and didn’t try to change him to the rest of the world. I also appreciated that he didn’t pretend to be better than he was. We knew exactly who and what he was and still found a reason to care about him. Lexi’s monologue says it all:

“I don’t want a knight in shining armor.
I want a knight in scuffed armor.
I want his helmet to have dents. I want my knight to be real, and dark, and savage. I want my knight to be a survivor.”

The relationship between Lexi and Twitch with solid. It was an interesting concept to have her feel safe around her stalker. This story was original. It made me cry and it gave me chuckles. I do have a tendency to love crime related romances, and I absolutely LOVE the ending! It was a surprise that I did not expect it and it gave me chills. Like most others I would enjoy seeing the story continue in a sequel, because I really do enjoy sequels. However, I just don’t know if you could tell the story any better than what it already is!

As for other extras, I love the skeleton logo. It added to the mystery. I appreciate the story being told by both Lexi and Twitch. I enjoyed both of their quirky friends. And I share their mutual attraction to chocolate. I hated finishing the story and already plan to read it again. Just wish I had the recipe for “cocoa à la Lexi” to enjoy with it!

5 Stars

Book Review – Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Just, wow! For me, a great story is made by its ability to pull me in, affect my emotions, challenge my thinking, and stay with me several days after making it difficult to move on. Me Before You did all that! This is more a story about love rather than a love story, but there is a definite connection between the characters. The author did a tremendous job writing from both the perspective of caretaker and physically challenged, as well as differentiating between the classes. I can sympathize with every emotion expressed by Will, and I would love to meet him and have a conversation. Lou was a beautiful character. This is a tremendous story that I recommend everyone to read. I struggled with the topic of euthanasia. It does make me happy that I choose life.

5 Stars