Category Archives: Read by Lulu

Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5)

By Maya Banks

Synopsis

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…
 

They live by night.

Grace Peterson is desperate, in hiding, and on the run after escaping a shadowy group determined to exploit her extraordinary ability to heal others. Her only lifeline—an unerring telepathic ability she shares with her sister—has been severed, leaving her alone and vulnerable. And time is fast running out…

Enlisted to bring Grace home is Rio, relentless member of the KGI. He’s unprepared for his reaction to this wounded, damaged woman, and he’s fiercely determined to protect her from those who nearly destroyed her. In Rio, she finds a safe haven, and for the first time…hope. But the mission is far from over. The danger Grace has eluded is fast closing in. And now it’s pitching two lovers toward an unfamiliar horizon, with no place left to hide.

Review

Echoes at Dawn is another favourite book of mine in this series as the connection between Rio and Grace can be felt almost immediately.  These two characters are both strong, Rio in body and Grace in mind although when they meet Grace is at her lowest and Rio is her warrior.

The rescue mission in the Colorado mountains and also at the end of this book are two reasons why I love this story.  It is so action packed and really well written and I can imagine all these scenes so clearly in my mind and then we get to Rio’s compound in the jungle and again it was like I was there upon the pages with these two.

Elizabeth was an interesting addition and the ending was so romantic and tied up very nicely.

Grace and Shea’s connection and their history is further revealed along with Resnick’s part and we can now move on from their story after starting in book 4 and finishing here.

Rio’s team were also great characters and the way they connected and protected Grace was perfect and Hancock well he has so many questions surrounding him and provided surprise towards the end.

Interesting also that the Kelly’s are not overly in this story, only in the last part of this story, they are more a back drop as this really is centred with Grace and Rio and I loved that.

Echoes at Dawn (KGI #5)

My Rating: 

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Perfect Imperfections

By J & L Wells

Synopsis

At the age of 27, Natasha is just a few months away from marrying her long-term boyfriend, Josh. Suddenly, he is called out of the country to take over the running of his father’s business. While he’s away, Natasha arranges a surprise wedding present for him – a portrait of herself.

The handsome artist who agrees to paint the portrait is Gabriel Owens, a gifted painter who is partially sighted. He is sarcastic and brash, and Natasha finds herself always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

It turns out that Josh isn’t the perfect fiancé that Natasha believed him to be and she is left reeling, her life in free fall. Does Gabriel have the tenacity and inner strength to pick up the pieces when he himself has so many insecurities and his own life is far from perfect?

Perfect Imperfections is the first book in the Moments series. It’s an emotional story, which can be read as a standalone novel. You won’t find a cliffhanger here, but instead a heartfelt ending that definitely won’t disappoint.

Review

My thoughts are torn on this book, the first half I found slow and dragged for me and yet the second half I loved and thank god for Gabriel as he saved this story for me.

During the first half I did not feel a connection with Tash, her sister was annoying and then her relationship with her fiancé Josh for me was very immature and lacked depth when they had been together for 10 years.  Her thoughts on marriage I did not understand until later on after her moment with her mother so for her to one minute say she felt smothered then be all sulking and missing Josh when he was away on business, I kind of found her annoying.

The story picked up for me when Gabriel enters but I think his time should have been fleshed out more and have less of Tash and her family dramatics which got annoying. Some chapters just did not flow well for me and the speed of the story was not constant it had real dips where I felt I was getting no where in the story having to deal with her sisters drama, her mothers drinking and her dad’s gardening and then we are all of a sudden going too fast and I wanted more detail of Gabriel, Josh and Michelle.  This was Tash’s story and yet all these other characters were to me highjacking the story.

Did not feel an emotional connection to Tash until Josh’s work party where his double cross was revealed and then when she meets Josh that day in her parents house and her secret is revealed. Now onto the time line for that, I was really upset it jumped so far ahead and then her whole story was lightly mentioned in her memory of what happened while she was on the cruise – again I wanted a bit more detail.

Now one section I found riveting was Michelle’s disclosure to Tash at the wedding and then the realisation by Tash of how Josh really acted during her relationship, again I felt this was really pivotal and she does not have a confrontation with Josh?

The Christmas chapter after the wedding was beautiful and very emotional and the recollection with her Nan and her moment of opening her eyes was truly beautiful and well written.  Her family bringing Christmas to her with Gabriel was lovely.

Honestly I think some chapters from Gabriel POV would have helped at significant moments in this story, when she is sitting for wedding portrait, when dad visits him and he races to find her in park, the Christmas after the wedding, I mean it was all Tash and her family drama and it wore me down in the end.  

I loved the ending and it does tie everything up for this stage of their lives. 

Perfect Imperfections

My Rating: 

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Below the Surface (Witness #5)

By Heather D’Agostino

Synopsis

Things aren’t always as they seem…

I’ve lived by that motto for most of my life. I’ve hid who I am, who I used to be, and what I’ve done from anyone who dares to get close to me. At nineteen I lost my parents. I thought nothing in the world could be more painful. I was wrong.

When I met Leo, my world seemed brighter. I felt hope for the first time in months. He promised me a life of luxury, but things aren’t always as they seem. Leo had a dark side, one that he hid from me. He pulled me under and held me captive, making death seem like the only way out.

It took me two years to escape. I ran never looking back until now. My life is finally coming together. I have people I trust, a job, and a safe place to call home, but things aren’t always as they seem.

One night, one phone call, one moment causes it to all crash down. Leo has my sister, and he wants to trade her for me. The one person I can trust is the only one who could also tear me apart… Detective Jeff Horn. He’s got secrets just like me, and seems to understand me better than I do myself.

How do I tell him my darkest secrets? How do I go back to a place that nearly broke me? How do I let him see Below the Surface?sert Synopsis Here

Review

Below the Surface was an amazing read, the leading character for me was Lena and she simply grabbed my heart from the first few pages.  As a reader I thoroughly enjoyed watching her journey from a survivor living Below the Surface of life from a horrific situation to finally breaking through and taking the amazing step of trusting another human being with her life and heart.

To watch Jeff and Lena make their way through so many obstacles, some very scary especially when she had to return to save her sister to them finally connecting on an intimate level was just beautiful story telling.

When Jeff and Lena are finally intimate I took a deep breath, it was just perfect in my eyes, the build up and emotional connection was just so worth the wait and did not disappoint.  I was with them every step of the way and Jeff’s handling of her was just so endearing but also forceful at the right moments for her recovery.

Below the Surface leads you through the story of her traumatic past however I appreciated we were not given too much detail as your own imagination can take you there to that dark place.  As soon as we were going dark the author turns and gives you light to make your way out of this part of the story, it is still sad but done really well in my opinion.

The supporting characters are very funny and help create a family of sorts and I have not read any of the other stories in the witness series, in my opinion you do not have to as this is definitely a standalone.

I could have read so many more chapters on Lena and Jeff and their love story – they were an amazing couple that had so much chemistry, passion and companionship – he was her warrior and brought her back from the darkness that she thought she would live with forever.

Below the Surface (Witness #5)

My Rating: 

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Bounty (Colorado #7)

By Kristen Ashley

Synopsis

Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty.

Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more.

And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.

Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.

Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.

When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.

But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.

When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.

Review

Bounty, #7 of the Colorado Mountain is another great addition to this series. Now in all honesty it is not my favourite however I have always wanted to read a story on Deke.  Deke is a character that has stayed with me especially as he has played a role at significant moments in other books in this series. He was with Lauren in Sweet Dreams #2, hence he and Tate have that connection and I must say Tate delivered one of my most favourite parts of this whole series.  Tate stood back in his alpha male way and monitored Justice to make sure she was going to fit his friend and then how he cares for Justice at her most critical and highly emotional part in this whole story just brought tears to my eyes – I fell in love with Tate all over again. Deke also made a connection with me in Lady Luck with Lexie and also Breathe with Faye – I mean this man is an enigma – he is a traveller and in this book he found his Gypsy.

Another favourite moment was when Deke races to the police station and realises his emotional connection and need to protect Justice. Their love grew deeper and I kept returning to that poignant moment as for Deke it truly was his realisation of his need for this woman and he then became her warrior. I thought the part when Justice explained her old truck to Deke was beautiful and made you understand Justice’s inner thoughts on her life.

Now Joss rocked as her mother and another favourite character was Mr T – he was brilliant especially the way he cared about Justice. Can I say Krystal and Bubba as parents – OMG what an amazing little story in Bounty for them and I loved the name.

So my only complaint is that I really felt that all the characters from books 1 to 6 kind of got thrown into this story just for the hell of it – however perhaps the author was trying to show how they all have their own Bounty?  I really do not think it was needed and at times I was like – ok the whole gang is here – say hello and all go home as I want to get back to Deke and Justice. I would have been fine with her making the friendship connection with everyone at Bubba’s as that made sense, she sang and drank there and also Sunny and Shambles as they were the first to realise who she was when she moved to the town and I can understand Chance being a major player considering the dramatic situations that occur to Justice at her home. So many return characters and it just wore me down however I am very interested that at the end of the book it tells us that Woods and Maggie are coming as I felt really sorry for Woods when he lost out on Lauren to Tate – although I am team Lauren and Tate all the way !!

The ending was just perfection, it really did confirm to me they are kindred spirits both wanting and needing the road – I could have read more on Deke and Justice and would have loved to see a little Gypsy baby.

Bounty (Colorado #7)

My Rating: 

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No Place to Run (KGI #2)

By Maya Banks

No Place to Run

Synopsis

Sam Kelly was her first love. 

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercoverand then she vanished. She’s spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam’s child. Now she’s resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he’s the one in danger.

Now he’s her last chance. 

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

Review

No Place to Run is my favourite of the entire KGI series to date and I have read 10 of the 11 KGI stories and I have to admit I have read this book probably now about 3 times.

I first started this series with book #3 being Garrett’s story and then went back to read The Darkest Hour KGI #1 before jumping back up to #4 and although it did not bother me it is probably better to read this in order especially as it develops and some stories are slightly linked later on especially with Shea and Grace the two sisters (their stories are #4 and #5).

Sam and Sophie have great chemistry and the continuous action and suspense in this story keeps it flowing at a great pace.

Marlene Kelly their mother was wonderful and I adored her immediate nurturing of Sophie who had an awful upbringing under her fathers regime.

I loved the way the three brothers Donovan, Sam and Garrett find Sophie and then look after her along the way as it gives you a great feeling of brotherhood and the Kelly family.

The ending chapters give you lots of action with the wonderful HEA and declarations of love between the two main characters. You will then want to look forward to Book #3 Hidden Away, Garrett’s story where Sophie gives birth as it will provide you with wonderful moments.

No Place to Run (KGI #2)

My Rating: 

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Riot (Scarred Souls #4)

By Tillie Cole

Synopsis

Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona—the most subservient of the Arziani Blood Pit slaves.

Gorgeous and kind, she has been and under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug and under the command of the Blood Pit Master’s sister, Mistress Arziani, for most of her life, until the Master calls her back home to Georgia.

He wants her under his total control, and Master always gets what he wants.

But when 152 is gifted to the Blood Pit’s fearsome champion death match fighter as a prize, 152 suddenly finds out that the men who appear most brutal, may just own the kindest hearts. And love may be found, even when living in hell.

Freedom, family, love, 152 will have to fight for what she wants and ultimately make an impossible choice.

Review

Riot is one dark, intense and highly emotional read and at times I had to place this book down and regroup as some scenes are truly horrific and soul destroying.  In saying that the way the characters determination for finding their way from darkness to freedom made me devour this book.

I have not read the other books in the series but could easily follow the past and current storylines.  The author paced this book well and jumped time at parts to keep the story flowing and make sure the reader is not stuck in the darkness at highly emotional scenes for too long so I was thankful for that.

152 and 901 both broke my heart at times and I had such sadness for them and the last quarter of the book well hang on as it is a truly spine tingling read full of action and suspense.  I LOVED the ending as you are given hope, love and family and you definitely need it after the journey you go on.

I would love to read a story on Maya and Maxim as Maya was one of the lights of this book as she gave me hope for 152.

I am not a blood and guts type of girl but even I wanted to jump into the blood pit and slice Master’s head off and another part of this anatomy!  Master has to be one of the cruelest characters I have had to endure and he made my skin tingle with fear for the crazy and twisted man he was and I could never pick his next course of action throughout the book.

Quote: “You are the Arziani Pit Bull You are feared. But to me, you are safety”

Riot (Scarred Souls #4)

My Rating: 

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Brighter Than the Sun (KGI #11)

By Maya Banks

Synopsis

Searing action and passion ignite the latest KGI novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Darkest Before Dawn.

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering.
Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

As the last unattached member of the Kelly clan, Joe is more than ready to risk life and limb on any mission he’s assigned to, but when it comes to love, he’ll keep his distance. He’s content to watch his brothers become thoroughly domesticated.

Zoe’s had nothing but heartbreak in her life, and she’s determined to start over with a completely new identity, thanks to her college friend, Rusty Kelly. But it’s the gorgeous smile and tender words of Joe Kelly that begin to weaken her resolve to never risk her heart again. And Joe will have to put everything on the line to save Zoe, when secrets of her past resurface—and threaten to tear them apart…

Review

Brighter than the Sun has returned me to the KGI series I adore and ultimately into the fold that is the Kelly family. Maya made me cry for the last 1/4 of this book and when the letter was read I sobbed – just breathtaking and beautiful – Marlene and her love for Rusty I cannot wait for this story to play out.  Now back to Joe and Zoe’s story of love which is going to be another one I will cherish as I knew in my heart his would be as special.  Like his twin Nathan’s was, their connection as brothers and then to include Nathan’s wife also completing the connection with Zoe as the awesome foursome – I was so happy for them all.

Joe’s story gave us a slow build up of romance through multiple dates and then also Rusty playing her part as the match making friend. The friendship moments between Rusty and Zoe I really enjoyed as Rusty to me always felt lonely so I am so happy she has a friend like Zoe.  The second half picks up a quick pace for the mystery & suspense part and I look forward to seeing these two charcters in the upcoming KGI books to see the little pitter patter of feet as these Kelly families breed like rabbits. When Joe and Zoe finally had their night of passion well Maya definately gave us lots of hot and steamy moments.

One of my favourite couples in this story was Steele and Maren and how they cared for Zoe after her ordeal, it makes me want to go back and read their love story again as he is like hard nut on the outside but all soft and gooey on the inside.  Maren has been one of my favourite ladies in KGI and also Sophie – her story is my favourites of the series.

Now onto the big surprise that is Rusty’s part in this whole story and from about the last quarter of this story I had endless watery eyes and upon the time I had to read her letter I sobbed for what she is losing, I am so angry right now for Rusty, like poke in the eye angry, I want her to come back to the fold with some hot shot boyfriend to rub salt in the wounds of these men, I want not only Sean to be slapped in the face but some of her so called brothers to freakin stand up for her – no judgements. I am so sad for Rusty, she has such issues with trust and being accepted and these brothers of hers jump down her throat and I find them some times very condescending to her. The shining light in her life are Frank and Marlene and heaven help these boys when Marlene finally makes them stand up and be accountable for her girl taking the course of action she did at the end of this book – I am so sad right now.

Only one part I found a bit tiresome was the big War Room scene, so many names thrown about I admit I became a bit confused and spent time thinking ok they are with that team, who are they again and trying to recall all of the players in each group.

Overall I loved this story and cannot believe how emotional I was for Rusty and I know her story will be that last book of this series and I can honestly say I will probably cry through most of her book!

Brighter Than the Sun

My Rating: 

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Daddy’s Girl

By Isabella Starling & Demi Donovan

Synopsis

Every brat needs a Daddy.

Daddy’s tastes are naughty and rough,
finding the right girl has been tough.

Daddy’s had them all you see,
but his little girl is the one he can’t set free.

Now Daddy has a lovely pet,
a naughty toy that’s scared of every threat.

But brats are always hard to train,
and Daddy’s girl has earned the cane.

Time to break out the whips and chains,
get some blood pulsing through baby’s veins.

Think twice before you disobey,
pretty girls in tears make Daddy’s day…

Review

Daddy’s Girl has me torn in two, how can I devour a book that is just a little bit wrong and dirty? Well I read it in a day, could not put it down, knew It would be hard but you once you pick this up you will like me keep turning those pages wanting to know how it ends – I simply loved the ending.

Lily’s mother was one character that I truly wanted to hurt very badly and then Law, well words fail me on that man, he is demented and dangerous but wow when he is that erotic and dominating man within the dark walls of Lily’s life well – speechless.

The mystery of Lily’s family and then the other players in this underworld is astonishing and when you realise where she is being held – well I was shocked – I had to take a moment as I was horrified and just so angry.

Lily’s strength her way to adapt to her situation and her issues obviously with her own father – her back story was interesting and helped me understand her actions and emotions to her situation.

Daddy’s Girl

My Rating: 

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This August

By Kelly Moore

Synopsis

August Rylan had a reputation for being a brilliant businessman with no emotional attachments. He avoided having any personal ties except for his best friend Sam. His father’s past pushed him into building his life around secrets and lies.
His world came crashing down when he met Nashville, a sweet-talking southern girl who stole his heart. For the first time in his life, he wanted to give his heart to someone. He gave up his world for her after all his secrets were exposed.
Now, he’s a changed man. He’s given up his suits for cowboy boots for the woman that stole his heart. He wants to give her the world and all she wants is HIM. He’s fiercely in love with Nashville and their passion for each other is sizzling hot. He had finally found balance in his life.
August thought he was done paying for his father’s sins until a new threat emerges. The stakes have never been higher. He stands to lose everything he’s worked to build. The new threat will shatter their world, hell bent on revenge.
Will they figure out who it is before it’s too late? There is no escape, someone’s life will be changed forever.

Review

Firstly I love the cover of This August (Book 2) of the series (Next August) – this is not a standalone you definitely need to read Next August – they are a package deal and you will not be disappointed.

I Loved Next August where we first meet August and Nash with Sam & Anna their friends, they had many hurdles to overcome.  With This August well it is their love story continued but with one last mystery from his dad to overcome.

We get POV from both characters which I love especially with so much happening.

I did find the first half was very fast paced, there were large moments of time jumped and it is more my problem as a reader as I really wanted to know every detail of their lives. The second half of the book just explodes, loved the honeymoon and when the mystery bad guy is revealed and August has to rescue Nash well I was glued to the pages. Nash’s mum and dad are a large part of this story along with Sam of course. Now Sam is one character I adore and to see him stepping up was a pleasure to see.

August is still the domineering lover and there is plenty of enjoyable romantic and passionate scenes for the reader to enjoy. It was also wonderful to have Anna back in their lives even after they are married.

I cannot wait for Sam’s story, I think it will be one highly emotional story considering what he has gone through in his short life, it is going to be a special woman to break down his barriers.

This August (Next August)

My Rating: 

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The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her

By Alice K. Wayne

Synopsis

Tomás Ramírez was the youngest son of his organized crime family, and the only smear they carried on their perfect lineage. He was brazen, defiant, and shamelessly sexual, with a sadistic streak that left me lying awake at night wondering what he would do to me, or my body, next. He was the type of man that made me hate him while I clung to him.
Oh… and did I mention he’s blackmailing me?
Mikayla Jones was a sweet, quirky girl, with a dirty past, trying to make her way alone in the world. She was doing just fine in her warm bed of lies, until I came along and burned it all to hell, making her face the truth and confront her demons.

“Why?” you might ask… because I’m in love with the silly little girl, and I won’t stop until she’s mine.

This book contains content that may not be suitable for readers sensitive to hard to read subjects

Review

What I first love about The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her is the cover, I think it is beautiful and so different and fits perfectly with the story inside.  The beginning of this story details how they met and why he wants To Catch Her, this is the first story that I have read about camming.

The connection between Tomas and Mikayla is brilliant and their friendship and romantic journey was excellent and I love how he called her Jones and their banter both humorous and erotic was spot on.  The relationship between Tomas and his two brothers was interesting and also the family dynamic with their parents was refreshing.  HIs mother I immediately liked and her strategic playing in the lives of her three sons was a great side story.

Now the only thing that annoyed me was the multiple storylines, at times I admit I became confused, thought I had missed something, went back and made sure I was on the right track.  The mafia and gang storylines were aplenty and you have to keep your wits about you, all three brothers have a story, this is just not Tomas and Mikayla’s story.  We deal with Russians, gangsters and then their workers who have true allegiance to the Ramirez family.

I know other reviews are talking about the cliffhanger for Mikayla and I did not see that coming but it was the other two cliffhangers in the story with Savannah & Mateo (who is she talking to?) and then also Elijah & Santiago at the warehouse.  So much is happening in this story and there are so many unanswered questions that I simply want the next book – like now!  So after finishing The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her I go hunting on Goodreads, Amazon and on Facebook, no mention of when the next book is coming out, I am now a bit annoyed as the way it ends is brutal, how much more can be thrown at Mikayla, I was hoping for some happiness for her with Tomas.

The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her

My Rating:  

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