Category Archives: Read by Lulu

Kian (Undercover Billionaire #1)

By Melody Anne

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Melody Anne’s sizzling novel of ex-lovers locked again in a game of hearts.

There was a time when surgeon Kian Forbes would have surrendered every cent of his vast family fortune if it could make Roxie Gilbert happy. That was before she skipped town, broke his heart, and sent him spinning through a string of forgettable one-night stands. He never even knew he’d fathered a child—with Roxie’s sister, no less. But in the wake of tragedy, little Lily needs a home. And Kian wants his daughter. But Roxie’s not giving in or giving up without a fight.

Fearful of her intense feelings for Kian, Roxie ran. Now that her sister’s death has brought her home, she intends to take custody of her niece and avoid Kian—easier said than done on both counts. With their wealth and power, the Forbes men are accustomed to winning. And as she and Kian are forced to spend time together for Lily’s sake, saying no to everything he wants proves impossible…even though it means risking both their hearts all over again. 

Review

Kian and Roxie had great chemistry in this second chance romance.  I had no issues with the child being from a one night stand with Roxie’s sister.  The note from her sister to me was enough to move on and Roxie had her own issues wanting to escape the small town.  We are all young and make mistakes in life – forgiveness if part of life.

This story had all the usual wonderful elements of a Melody Anne romance novel.  Plenty of angst, tension, attraction, and drama but also adding in the beautiful character of Lily.

From the first few chapters, I was enjoying this story. Whilst it kept me entertained I thought the pace slowed in the middle.  The ending felt slightly rushed for me and it is a very simple and sweet at times romance.

Lily was a beautiful character who provided the endearing moments that melted Roxie’s resolve to stay away from Kian.

My favourite moment was when Kian finally enabled Roxie to realise she loved him and it was okay to put faith in someone.

Kian is finished at a happy moment along with the fact there are still three more sons in this family to find love, with the help of their matchmaking father.

Kian

My Rating:  

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Prisoner (Captives & Criminals #1)

By Skye Warren & Annika Martin

Synopsis

He seethes with raw power the first time I see him—pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage—you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath. Prisoner

Review

Upon finishing Hostage (Book 2 of Criminals & Captives) I immediately went and downloaded Prisoner.  Grayson and Abigail intrigued me from Hostage so I was dying to know their story.

I admit I did not like Stone at all in Prisoner until the very end when he redeemed himself.  The moment Stone realizes Grayson’s need for Abigail I was so relieved. Stone was a brilliant character in Hostage though so he is forgiven.

Grayson and Abigail both have such devastating stories and you can easily see how they connect with each other.  Abigail is a strong and resilient character however Grayson breaks her down at times to allow herself to heal and feel included.

Abigail gives Grayson love and light in his life and my how he deserves it.  The scenes around the guys again have made me want more stories on all these boys.

Emotional and sexual connections between Grayson and Abigail are balanced and well timed within the flow of the story.

The ending of Prisoner will have your immediately picking up Hostage to learn more back stories and also to go forward for their redemption and rescue.

At times both Grayson and Abigail brought tears to my eyes, my how this story has affected my heart.

Prisoner (Criminals & Captives #1)

My Rating:  

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Visit Author:  Skye Warren and Annika Martin


Up In Smoke

By T M Frazier

Synopsis

I’m a man without a conscience.
I deal in murder and mayhem.
I’m the best at what I do.
Frankie Helburn is supposed to be an easy job.
A means to flush her father out of hiding.
Simple.
Except there isn’t anything simple about Frankie or the secrets she’s keeping.
She’s cocaine with legs. I’m addicted before I’ve even had a taste.
I might have her, but I can’t keep her.
But if her father doesn’t show his face, Frankie will be mine.
To KILL.

Review

Smoke and Frankie had me within the first few pages, I read this book in a day, could not put it down! The two characters emotional and physical connection will have you so invested in this story.

Frankie’s loneliness, vulnerability along with her sheer determination made my heart ache and pulse beat a million times a minute. Following Frankie’s journey with Smoke made me hate him yet also love him in the same chapter. The author wove such inner turmoil in these two characters you could not help but want them to find love with each other.

Running in the background is Smoke’s revenge centering around Frankie’s dad and what an intricate web of lies we are following. Whilst reading, I did not pick any of the twists and turns which is so typical of the King Series book I have read to date. It was great to see Bear, King, and Preppy again and see their friendship and humor is as strong as ever.

I am going to have to read Rage’s story with Nolan as she was a standout for me. Upon checking I see that Nine has the next story and I am looking forward to that too.

Up in Smoke is dark, it has moments of sheer terror and despair but then we are given beautiful moments that deliver hope for Smoke and Frankie. The two lonely and isolated characters were perfection on the page and the ending just mended my heart.

Up in Smoke

My Rating:  

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Obsession Mine (Tormentor Mine #2)

By Anna Zaires

Synopsis

I stole her in the night. Caged her because I can’t live without her. She’s my love, my addiction, my obsession.

I will do anything to keep Sara mine.

Review

Whilst I did not enjoy this as much as book 1, it is still a great emotional rollercoaster read.

We take off exactly where book 1 finishes with the slight cliffhanger.  The ending of this part finishes at a point that I think was necessary.  I am very much looking forward to the final installment of this series.  It is interesting that Julian Esguerra and Kent will be featured in the final story.

I really appreciate that we are given both POV from Peter and Sara again as it does help understand their inner turmoil.

I did find this story slowed at some points with all the second guessing but it does jump in considerable time whilst they are in hiding.  This to me helped build their somewhat strange relationship and Sara’s friendship with Peter’s team.

I really would have loved to had a few chapters on the FBI and what is happening back in Sara’s hometown.  How close are they to finding Peter and his team.  Speaking of the team, this installment we definitely learn more about their history.

Finally, I really hope that the final installment that Sara becomes more certain of her feelings and starts voicing them to Peter, he has been so patient and I want them to be together.

 

Obsession Mine (Tormentor Mine #2)

My Rating:  

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Echo (Archer’s Creek #1)

By Gemma Weir

Synopsis

Echo

I’m a Doomsday Sinner. A biker to my very soul. Women have always been the same – interchangeable. Until her. She loves my control and craves my touch. Now she’s mine. I’ve claimed her in every way possible and I won’t let anything, least of all her, tear us apart.

Olivia

I was on the holiday of a lifetime, until I ended up stranded in Archer’s Creek. Then I met a badass, Harley riding biker boy who laughed at me. He’s a bloody pain in the arse. Bossy and controlling, he’s the unexpectedly perfect guy at the worst moment – because even the strongest love can falter when a crazed psycho decides I need to die. 

Review

Firstly, the cover of Echo immediately drew me in and is perfect for him, I can imagine this biker from the first few chapters.

Echo is dominating to a point of at times I found him a bit too hard with Olivia.  I wanted to understand him more and at times it became too much with all the sex scenes.  This was prevalent in the first half of this story.  Moving onto the second half we get more under the skin of Echo and how he copes when Olivia is in danger and hurt.

Olivia, I connected to immediately and enjoyed her humour and stubbornness.  Her family was weird and slightly unnecessary.  I do not understand how they did not see her after the traumatic event?  This point in the book when Olivia is in danger is full of surprises and suspense and helped to keep me turning the pages.

The sexual scenes between Echo and Olivia were enjoyable however I wanted more verbal interaction.  The MC club plays a secondary role in this story, we meet members however the main focus is Olivia and Echo’s relationship.

I found the continual reference to use of condoms annoying at times, I found myself saying yes I know there will be no surprise pregnancy!

The ending was simple and lovely however I would have loved to know Echo’s thoughts on the new chapter in their relationship.

Quote:  So I fall and let fate catch me; after all, that fickle bitch obviously has plans for us.

Echo (Archer’s Creek #1)

My Rating:  

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The Elder

By Celia Aaron

Synopsis

A shocking murder.
A suspicious son.
A dedicated detective.
In Azalea, Mississippi, the only thing hotter than the summer days are the men of the King family. When the patriarch Randall King is found dead, Detective Arabella Matthews will race the clock to stop the killer from striking again. Benton, the eldest of the King siblings, has to decide if he wants to cooperate with the feisty detective or conduct his own investigation. The more he finds out about his father—and the closer he gets to Arabella—the more he wants to keep her safe. But the killer has different plans . . .

–> This is a full-length mystery with a slow-burn romance. xx

Review

Firstly, the cover of The Elder I really love.

The Elder is a slow and steady build-up to a fast-paced conclusion. This whole story takes place over a few days. With this in mind, the first 70% of this story is all about the mystery of who killed The Elder “King” and other members of the town.

I struggled with the pace of the chemistry between Arabella and Benton. There were moments that I hoped we would see a turn but Arabella was so closed off.

Porter, Benton’s brother was actually one of my favourite characters in this whole story. He provided humour and helped connect the two main characters. HIs whole team was great including a stand out being “Santa”.

Interesting that I did not pick all the main players in this mystery until the last few chapters.

When Benton and Arabella finally unite it was wonderful and so I am left disappointed in a way as they are a great couple.

The Elder is definitely more of a mystery/suspense with only a light sprinkle of romance.

The Elder

My Rating:  

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A Shameless Little Con (Shameless #1)

By Meli Raine

Synopsis

I didn’t do it.

I never betrayed my friend.

Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history.

I’ve been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.

But shame? Shame sells.

And everyone assumes you’re tainted.

Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.

I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad — and he does.

On paper.

Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool.

Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked.

Or hidden.

And that goes both ways.

He assumes I’m trying to fool him.

And he might be right.

But not for the reasons he thinks.

A Shameless Little Con is the first book in the Shameless trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

Review

A Shameless Little Con picks up months after The Harmless Series ends.

Having read and loved The Harmless series, I still had lingering questions and thoughts floating from that completion.  I was not ready to leave Lindsay and Drew so am very happy they play pivotal roles in Jane’s personal story.

Jane was one character that left me with many questions hanging over her and also personally Monica Bosworth the Senators Wife and Lindsay’s mother.  Monica is as vicious as ever in this first installment of this trilogy.

So many secrets and such mystery surround Jane and her mother and their connection to the political arena.  Upon the first few chapters, I was on Jane’s side wanting to support her.  This story spans just a few days as so much is happening with threats against Jane and also other members of the Bosworth group.

A Shameless Little Con finishes at a particular moment that will totally change the course of Jane’s story going forward.  Silas’s personal story with Kelly is heartbreaking and I hope my wishes come true for a future with Jane as there is a slow burn of attraction building.

Senator Bosworth does not make much of an impact in this installment as he is busy running for President.  I remain with many unanswered questions about Senator Nolan Corning and those three boys.  I have suspicions about his motives now considering the ending of this installment.

It is such a riveting read with drama, secrets, and emotions.  I felt such exhaustion for Jane to be continually alert to threats from inside and outside of the Bosworth arena.

This book briefly at the start rehashes major parts of the Harmless Trilogy.  To really get into the political backstory and drama I highly recommend reading The Harmless Trilogy first.

A Shameless Little Con (Shameless #1)

My Rating:  

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Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)

By Skye Warren & Annika Martin

Synopsis

I NEVER KNEW WHEN HE’D COME TO ME. ONLY THAT HE WOULD.

I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.

He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.

The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.

So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.

Until it’s too late to turn back.

HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately! 

Review

Hostage had me hooked from the first few chapters and I read this in a day, simply could not put it down.  Upon finishing I have already purchased Prisoner which explains Grayson and Abby who we meet towards the end of this story.

One favourite component of this story is the relationship of the men living at The Bradford Hotel.  What a harrowing way to grow up and their bond and sense of family was one of my favourite parts.

The first half is a slow build to the secrets and realizations of the background story.  As the story builds in relation to the retribution, the characters develop and you get a sense there are more connections.

The interactions between Stone and Brooke take place over a few years.  Given their age difference, it is interesting to following the development.  Consequently, In the end, it is built honestly and in a believable manner.

Brooke & Stone’s sexual moments are built slowly in line with the innocence and done respectfully but provide great heat and anticipation.

Many characters at the beginning will evolve and have you second-guessing your instincts and perceptions, it will make you think.  Detective Rivera and Brooke’s dad were two surprising standouts that forced me to change my beliefs.

Hostage left me satisfied with the outcome for Brooke, Stone and their extended family.

Finally, if you enjoyed The Endgame series by this author you will enjoy Hostage like I did.

Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)

My Rating:  

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Visit Author:  Skye Warren & Annika Martin

Tormentor Mine (Tormentor Mine #1)

By Anna Zaires

Synopsis

A new dark romance from New York Times bestseller Anna Zaires

He came to me in the night, a cruel, darkly handsome stranger from the most dangerous corners of Russia. He tormented me and destroyed me, ripping apart my world in his quest for vengeance.

Now he’s back, but he’s no longer after my secrets.

The man who stars in my nightmares wants me. 

Review

Beginning perfectly, the first chapter explains Peter’s history and what is driving him for his revenge.   Tormentor Mine is dark romance at its best being suspenseful yet also with heart and soul.  Both main characters have endured loss, Peters in a brutal way and Sara being lied and manipulated where she questions what was real in her life.

We fast forward to meet Sara who is living a solitary existence without her husband.  I immediately connected with Sara with her loneliness and isolation of her life.  The first night  Peter and Sara cross paths it is brutal and horrifying.

Sara has anxiety after the attack and she believes she is being watched was built up perfectly, the flow of this story was spot on and I could not put it down.  I enjoyed how we did get to see Sara’s nurturing personality through her job as a Doctor and this also explains her need to protect all those around her.  Sara is selfless and protective and I understand her actions.

When Peter moves into Sara’s life and suffocates yet also gives her affection and company.  This was expertly weaved and made the reader accept this was okay. At no time did I question Sara’s actions, she was literally on the edge of losing her mind and Peter appears.   Did he know this and was this part of this manipulation, I think so.

I admit I really want these two to make a baby, I want Peter to have a family again.  The other characters being Peter’s team of killers I cannot wait to meet more of.  Thinking Book 2 is going to enable us to understand all the dynamics of Peter and his group of men.

Tormentor Mine does conclude with a cliffhanger of sorts, it does, however, tie the first part of their story together neatly in a bow.  This is a trilogy and upon finishing book 1, I purchased book 2 and have pre-ordered book 3.  I do hope we are not waiting too long as these two characters have definitely grown on me.

Tormentor Mine (Tormentor Mine #1)

My Rating:  

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Kian

By Tijan

Synopsis

Dark. Mysterious. Gorgeous.
Loved by all the girls.
Respected by all the guys.
…that was Kian Maston.

As the heir to a billion dollar empire, his future was promising until the day he saved my life. Everything changed for both of us, and there was one more word that could be used to describe him—dangerous.

The nation fell in love with him while falling in hate with me. He was sent to prison, and as far as they were concerned, it was my fault. I was forced to go into hiding until today.

Kian’s being released from prison, and he should go back to being the golden boy he always was supposed to be. I should remain in hiding, living my life as normal as could be.

That’s what we should do…

Review

Kian, I really loved reading, it was full of suspense, drama and emotional entanglements that kept me guessing until the end.  I really wanted a happy ever after for Jordan who was a very easy character to fall in love with and want the best for.

We get POV of the two main characters which did help me as the reader to understand their inner feelings.  I believe this story is more about Jordan and not so much Kian who provides more of the mystery.

Jake and Wanker kept me wondering who was going to create drama and they definitely surprised me by the end.  Erica was a favourite character for me being Jordan’s new best friend in college.

Sad and alone, Jordan’s personal story is not easy and at times I felt exhausted like she was constantly being on the edge. You want her to have the happiness she deserves and security.  I loved the build-up to knowing and understanding her background story, it was well done.  A stunning moment was when Jordan takes back control of her public perception.

A story like Kian has left me personally wanting more, the characters were very intriguing and I felt they still had more to share.

Quote:  “I wanted to be imprinted on her, so no one would touch her again”

Kian

My Rating:  

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