Category Archives: Read by Lulu

Seeing Sam (Next August #3)

By Kelly Moore

Seeing Sam

Synopsis

Blind faith sent Sam’s world spiraling. He trusted the wrong person that almost cost August and Nashville their lives. His guilt sends him on a journey to figure out who he is and what type of man he wants to be.

A once innocent, sweet young man, now faces life alone by his own choice. He rebuilds himself to be a good, strong man. An old injury threatens the use of his legs, just as he meets a beautiful brunette that will change his world again. He falls in love for the very first time with sweet, innocent Emma Flinn.

Emma has had her own tragedies in life to deal with, but she hasn’t let anything stop her from being an independent, successful woman. She’s lived in the same town her entire life and has quit hoping for prince charming to come along. Until out of the blue, Sam comes crashing into her life. They fall in love fast and hard.

Everything seems perfect to Emma, but Sam has something that he’s been hiding from her. He’s faced with a decision to either help Emma, or lose something that will cost him dearly. Sam chooses love and it rips their lives apart, leaving Emma to start over again.

Emma learns of Sam’s secret and is willing to forgive him, but will Sam let her?

Review

Seeing Sam is my favorite of the Next August series and that is saying something as I LOVED Next August when August and Nash first get together.

Firstly, I love the cover of this book and I can see the significance to the storyline.  Seeing Sam flowed easily, the build up was perfect and it jumped time at the right moments.

Two moments in this story brought me to tears and had me full of apprehension, both times Sam is heading to New York City!

Sam is the one character in this whole series that has evolved into a magnificent human being.  To remember him as a young boy with August climbing those walls and meeting Nash and how in this story he has grown into a man.

Emma was a simply beautiful soul and then add in Tennyson and what an amazing way for Sam to find his peace.

There are a few moments of suspense and drama that complete this story.  Sam finally finds his own family and it was lovely to see Nash and August play their part.

Seeing Sam (Next August #3)

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Firefly (Redemption Book 2)

By Molly McAdams

Synopsis

Firefly is the new novel from New York Times bestselling author, Molly McAdams, a dark, twisting story of redemption and true love against the odds, perfect for fans of J. B. Salsbury, Jamie McGuire, Sophie Jackson and Lisa Renee Jones.

As the Princess of the Irish-American Mob, there’s no shortage of men ready to help guard and protect me. Kieran Hayes has been saving me for as long as I can remember. It’s in his blood, and one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Until my favourite trait became his biggest flaw, making me resent the man I love. 

What I wasn’t prepared for was Dare – the man who set my world on fire with just one touch. He saw straight through to my soul and silently demanded my heart from the beginning.

And I didn’t expect Dare to be Demitri Borello – the reason for so many deaths in my family. A man who will take my life the moment he finds out who I am.

Despite it all, I’ll love him until that moment comes.

Don’t miss Blackbird, another powerful romance of love in the darkness from Molly McAdams.

 

Review

Firefly kept me on the edge of my seat, the anticipation and fear that Lily would be revealed, the suspense and mystery of who were the bad and goods guys and the men in her life who loved and were really there for her.

I was torn, I would put the book down and walk away only to race back and read more as I was beside myself with anxiety and fear for Lily.  I wanted her to reconcile with Kieran, to have their dreams realised and then I wanted her to run away with Dare as the next chapter I hated Kiernan.
The lonliness and desperation of Lily just broke my heart and when you get to the 75% mark of this story you literally are in for some spine tingling moments that will just shatter you.  I was blind sided by the revelations at this point and then the ending was just brilliant with secrets revealed and the story was tied up perfectly – I am left totally satisfied.
Firefly was paced to perfection, it had darkness, moments of friendship but also tremendous terror and such heartfelt declarations of family, love and finding the lightness in the dark.

Quote:  “I’d give you the world if you asked for it, but not at the expense of your life.  Don’t ask me to stop saving you, because I don’t know how.”

Firefly (Redemption book 2)

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Marco’s Redemption

By Lynda Chance

Marco's Redemption

Synopsis

Marco Donati is rich, ruthless–and more often than not–indiscriminate. Interested only in satisfying his sexual needs casually and frequently, he has no intention of changing a thing about his life. Natalie Lambert is alone, broke, and new to the city when a chance encounter leaves her under the power and control of Marco Donati. As the story unfolds, tensions mount and trust is tested between two people who can’t manage to stay away from each other.

Review

Marco’s Redemption has all the ingredients of an easy quick romance read with an alpha man and naive and sweet young girl.  Marco was a dynamic character, headstrong and at times very overbearing but I still loved him.

This is a very fast flowing story however at times I did feel it jumped too far ahead.   The chemistry and connection between Marco and Natalie gave me some magical moments.  Marco was a dominant businessman and Natalie was a country girl at heart.   Loved the way she looked after Marco in his home as it allowed you to escape into the fairytale.

The building tension with Kennedy gave the story some darkness yet showed Marco’s strength.  There were some great emotional scenes as Marco’s need developed to find his redemption with Natalie.

Another great addition was Kennedy who provided some fantastic intense dominant scenes.  However, I did believe that Marco’s acquaintance fled too easily without any drama.

In conclusion, the ending in this standalone satisfied my desire to see Marco and Natalie with their happy ever after.

Marco’s Redemption

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Still Air (Portland ME #4)

By Freya Barker

Synopsis

Deprival haunted her…

Regret troubled her…

Silence left her detached…

A life in the service of others is both penance and a blessing. She soothes her personal hell by pulling victims from theirs, helping them on their path to survival; never finding her own.

When a crippling blow finally evaporates her last hope, the temptation to give up is strong. Still, she can’t find it in her to turn her back on those who need her: the innocent, whose rescue is her perpetual goal.

He was blind, but now he sees how his family has sifted through his fingers. The reality hits hard when his son becomes a stranger, slipping deeper into transgression. Concern has him call on the one person he fears will see his own failures all too clearly. A woman he’s kept his distance from for his own protection.

What appeared to be an incompatible pairing, turns out the unyielding bond needed to heal them all.

Review

Still Air out of all the books in the Portland ME series has really surprised me as it was so much more than just about Pam.  This book is about how you reap what you sow and both Pam and Dino were highly deserving of how all the past characters assisted these two.  I savoured the change of pace that Freya wove into the final book of this series.

Dino is one character that has been with each of the other three women in books 1 to 3 being Syd, Viv & Ruby who all had Dino’s help and this was fantastic to see him get his second chance.

Pam’s story was sad and so many things about her past made sense in how she dealt with the three girls from the first three books.  I also loved how they stepped up and helped Pam in her time of need, friends are the family you choose.

The Portland ME series is just one of those groups of books I will read again and again and each book had an important part to share with the reader about second chances, new beginnings, family and love.

Still Air (Portland ME #4)

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Sins of my Father (Black Brothers #1)

By Lisa Cardiff

Synopsis

An eye for an eye…

My name is Archer Black, and I have a confession.

For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around getting revenge against Senator Thomas Wharton.

It was supposed to be easy. Uncover his secrets. End his political career. Ruin his Presidential campaign. Use his stepdaughter, Langley Mayer, to do it. She’s also my step-sister, but she doesn’t know that. Nobody does.

But nothing is as easy as it seems. When my high-stakes plan for revenge takes a deadly turn, I’m the only person standing between Langley and the people who want her dead. Time is running out, and I need to decide what I need more: love or revenge.

Reviews

Sins of my Father is my fourth book by this author. She has again delivered a great mystery with lots of suspense and wonderful romantic passionate moments centered within a political backdrop.

First of all, Archer and Langley had great chemistry and it was interesting to see the consequences how Archer’s perception of Langley from the beginning of the book changes over time.

Sins of my Father told in dual POV which definitely assisted in my ability to understand the motives behind both Archer & Langley’s interactions with each other.

I connected immediately to Archer however with Langley I would have loved to have seen more interaction with her mother as it most likely would have assisted me to understand her opinions and actions clearly.

Sins of my Father had great moments of political surprise.

Sins of my Father (Black Brothers #1)

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Untouched (Midwest Alphas #1)

By Tabatha Kiss

Synopsis

They told me to stay away from him.
But he couldn’t stay away from me. 

CLAIRE

I’m exiled.
My parents sent me far away from home to be scared straight by ex-cop step-uncle.
That’s when I met my step-cousin, Tobias.

Stay away from him, they told me. He’s a good guy.
If that’s true, then why does he come home covered in bruises?

I followed him one night.
I’m not sure what I was expecting to find but seeing him beat another man senseless in a boxing ring surrounded by adoring fans wasn’t it.

An illegal MMA tournament called The Midwest Alphas. 
Home to some of the most brutal fighters in the country and Tobias is the local favorite to win the whole thing.
But there’s something he wants more than underground fame and glory…
And he’s looking right at me.

TOBIAS

I’m screwed.
Living a double life was difficult enough already.
The last thing I needed was a curious girl like Claire following me around.

Stay away from her, they told me. She’s a troubled girl.
If that’s true, then she and I have more in common than they think.

I joined The Midwest Alphas for more than underground fame and glory.
There’s more at stake here but I can’t focus on winning with Claire’s eyes on me the whole time. She’s a distraction. One that I can’t afford to indulge in.

I want her but I shouldn’t.
I’m supposed to help protect her from men like me but I can hardly control myself around her.
She’s young. Too young.
I can’t touch her. Yet.

Untouched: The ALPHA Edition features nearly 10,000 new words. More blood, more sweat, and more forbidden love, all from Tobias’ perspective. Get into the mind of the Alpha for the first time and learn more about the dark and dangerous underground world of The Midwest Alphas! Book 1 of 3, so you can expect a mild plot cliffhanger.

Review

Untouched was a really enjoyable read and it is told from both main characters point of view which enables you to really connect to them and I also really loved Tobias’s dad Charlie.  Charlie brought Claire back from her troubled ways and enabled her to feel safe and cared for.

Whilst reading Untouched you are given great moments of MMA action with the other bad boy alpha fighters and then some suspenseful moments with heartache involving her step-brother Rick.

Both the physical and emotional scenes between Tobias and Claire are really well written, with great build up and were perfect –I loved them together.  I did also appreciate the author respecting Tobias and him waiting for Claire to recover and turn 18 – Tobias gave her respect when she had been given very little by her family.

Tobias and Charlie create an environment for Claire to recover and want to be a better person along with Amy who was humorous and enlightened you to the world of ALPHA fighting.

Personally for me there is no real cliffhanger at the end of this book 1 of the trilogy and if you are happy where this was left you could walk away.

Untouched (Midwest Alphas #1)

My Rating:  

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Through Fire (Portland ME #3)

By Freya Barker

Synopsis

Violence corroded her…

Obedience defiled her…

Fear kept her chained…

Freedom is hard to embrace when she’s never learned to trust. Yet in the span of a second, she grabs a single opportunity and runs toward it. Straight into the sanctuary of a pub at the end of a wharf.

She doesn’t understand the concept of friendship. She’s never felt the connection of a relationship. She’s as innocent as the driven snow and yet tainted with corruption. Still, she finds herself surrounded by people who accept her, without even knowing the first thing about her. But one of them is determined to dig deeper.

He treasures his friends, yet he’s steered clear of committed relationships. He likes his life comfortably predictable and entirely controlled. Until it isn’t. For months he’s avoided interacting with The Skipper’s newest addition. Perhaps realizing that once he looked deeply into those liquid brown eyes, he wouldn’t be able to turn away.

When his present and her past puts them both on the brink of change, they are forged through fire as one.

Review

Through Fire has been the hardest of this series so far for me to read.  I now have to try and attempt to explain how I feel about Ruby & Tim.  There was always something about Tim that made me want a story on him as he was so closed off and at times aloof in the first two books of this series.  Tim definitely acted as a Batchelor and was very set in his ways and of course it was going to take an exceptional woman for him to break down that barrier as even Viv could not do that.  Now Ruby or as Tim calls her “Boop” – which I adored by the way – is another strong woman but also has her soul and heart that needs filling with the love and security of a strong man and Tim for me did that perfectly.  Their journey is not easy and there are some detours so be prepared as Ruby needs to fight her way through so many barriers to trust Tim.

When Ruby asks Tim to teach her to “make love” well I had to put my book down and take a moment to realise how much has been taken from this woman.

Ruby’s story is really hard to stomach and my heart hurt for this woman who has had half of her life stolen from her at the hands of barbaric men.  Without giving too much away there were two scenes that stand out for me and cement the fact these two characters have a hard road ahead.  When Ruby falls to her knees in the kitchen at Tim’s and then also when she first locks herself in the bathroom, these were pivotal moments and I still think of them now.

Through Fire is not all dark and gloomy though, the author introduces Tim’s family, his parents provide such great moments of humour with strong bonds of the love of a great family, they gave not only Ruby hope but myself too for a HEA.  When Nina came into the story I could not turn those pages fast enough as I needed to know if my dream would come true and it did and it brought tears to my eyes and I was pretty happy for Tim’s brother with the doctor.

The ending is just perfect, it gives you a glimpse into the future and it makes all the darkness worthwhile and we of course get to see more of all the gang from the Skipper and it gives us a glimpse into the life that is Dino – his story is next!

Through Fire (Portland ME #3)

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Playing Irish

By Brooke Harris

Synopsis

Evangeline Andrews is quiet and unassuming, or at least she hopes that’s how people see her. Fleeing her life in New Jersey to hide in Dublin the last thing she needs are her secrets following her across the Atlantic. And what’s the best way to keep a secret? Keep your mouth shut.

Life is one big game for online-gaming genius Julian Harte, and he plays to win every time. Becoming a self-made millionaire before his 30th birthday, Julian’s office is his playground, and he sets the rules. Julian hasn’t lost a round yet and he’s used to getting everything he wants. He wants Evangeline. But she doesn’t want to play.

Meet the Irish Alpha with a rule-book as thick as his accent.

Review

Playing Irish is a story full of game playing both in the workplace and bedroom for Evangeline who is quite a lonely character.  I immediately connected with her and wanted to know more about her and I loved the  boat chapter and office ball where so much was explained finally.

Playing Irish for me started slow and then heads into a fast paced finish where so many secrets are revealed.  There are so many sex scenes and I admit at some points I was like less sex please and more communication between these characters as I wanted the emotional as well as the physical.

Personally I did not like Julian at all, I became quite frustrated with his hot and cold actions and really felt for Evangeline and actually wanted her to go with Nathan as he was at least being a friend if not a Stage 5 stalker friend.  I think in the end I got really sick of the games and just wanted some open and honest communication between the two main characters and her work environment was just weird in so many ways, especially the masked ball and how the girls were all excited and the top floor antics with Mr Doe?

Probably half way through this book I began connecting the dots in this Irish game and started realising who was playing what games with Evangeline and her isolated heart.

Playing Irish ends with the realisation there will be another instalment to Evangeline’s story and I would not call it a cliffhanger as I was left with some sort of closure.  The next book I think will actually be the one I really want to read now as I hope we get some clarity for Angeline and less Irish game playing as Angeline needs to close the chapter on her past to move forward and play the Irish way if that is what her heart wants.

Playing Irish

My Rating:  

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Twist of Fate

By Anna Reilly

Synopsis

Alyson Fisher can’t stop living in the past. She is certain a vital part of her died when her husband, Joe, was killed in a tragic car accident two years ago. She can’t find the will to move on and is becoming increasingly reclusive. Her family and friends have been suffocating her with their good intentions and matchmaking ploys. A few months ago she made the bold decision to move across the country, far away from them and all reminders of her past with Joe. She is desperate for a fresh start but when she finds herself injured and alone in the middle of a deadly storm, she realizes that it might be too late.

John Smith can’t remember his past; even his present is muddled at times. He has a sense that he is running from something so he keeps moving from town to town, rarely settling down for longer than a few months. People make him nervous so he avoids human contact as much as possible. He has no identity, no home, no past, and often it seems, no future. He definitely has no hope.

A chance encounter between Alyson and John changes the course of both their lives. As they forge a tentative friendship, they can’t help but wonder if his past will reveal some horrible secret to threaten the tenuous progress they’ve made.

Review

Twist of Fate kept me fully engaged and I could not put this down as the two main characters had such incredible stories to tell of events outside their control impacting their current way of life.  As Alyson and John meet, engage with each other, share moments but then forge their own paths to repairing their lives was simply thought provoking.

It is a highly emotional read, it is more than just romance and when the characters share emotional and physical interactions in caring for each other during the storm it starts to open other possibilities and more importantly John taking those first steps of finding out who he is.

John’s story was my favourite part of this whole book and it is such a surprise and then the flow on effects, well I was beside myself. When Alyson realised she truly wanted to live was a magical moment for me after simply existing since her husbands death. The author detailed her grief that gripped my heart and I just wanted her to have some happiness. There is a great cast of supporting characters from the small town who help John and I loved Nellie for Alyson.

Twist of Fate is a wonderful debut novel, I love the cover and the ending gives you closure for these characters.

Twist of Fate

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Absolution

By Missy Johnson

Synopsis

Declan James was the perfect guy.
He was sweet. Charming. Caring. Until he wasn’t.

Fourteen years ago, his actions tore apart my family. He ruined my sister’s life and nothing was ever the same again. But now, a decade later, he’s back.

When he walks into my office, asking for my help, I’m shocked, but nothing prepares me for what I’m about to learn. I see how far he’s gone to redeem himself and I know that he’s changed. I also know that, as a priest, he’s more off limits than ever.

If I help him, my family will never forgive me.
If I fall in love with him, I will never forgive myself.

Review

Absolution is a standalone novel that left me with sadness for families lost but also reflective in that it takes a strong person to forgive another.  It also takes a stronger person to release themselves of guilt or the need to be punished which Declan was doing in joining the faith, you knew he was doing it as a way of repenting his sins.

I admit I struggled at times with this story, it is slightly depressing as it deals with real life trauma but half way through and I was hooked and could not put this down and then the ending was fantastic.  I am a Catholic by faith and I did struggle with one scene at the confessional.  What happened in this scene I really felt could have been in another location however upon reflection I understand the relevance as the how the story was progressing but as a Catholic it just felt not right to me – again my personal opinion.  This particular part in the story makes sense and it was probably my first inner thoughts that his choice for his Absolution may be on unsteady ground with the introduction of Anna and Hannah to his life.
Anna was a beautiful character as was Declan’s sister and I would have enjoyed more interaction with them within the story. I kept waiting for Hannah to physically collapse as she was literally on the edge of sanity through out this book – how she functioned I do not know and then throw in her carrying her mother and sister, I was exhausted for her. One part for Hannah’s story that did not make sense was the continual references to her boss and perhaps being in trouble with her workload?  I cannot recall that the Boss ever made an appearance?
Anyway, overall I enjoyed this book, it is a quick read and definately different to what I have read lately.

Absolution

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