Category Archives: Read by Lulu

All I Am (This Man #3.5)

By Jodi Ellen Malpas

Synopsis

A new novella featuring Drew from the #1 New York Times bestselling This Man trilogy!

Jodi:
I’ve been revisiting a few old friends. You remember Drew? The dark, mysterious pal of Jesse’s? The cool guy, who kept himself to himself? Yes, him! It’s time for Drew to shine in a brand-spanking-new THIS MAN Novella coming June 18th! I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had going back to my roots, and I just know you’re gonna LOVE Mr Davies. I hope a little something while you’re waiting for THE FORBIDDEN (Aug 8th) will put a smile on your face as wide as mine ☺

I thought I had control. I was so, so wrong . . .

I don’t need a relationship.
I have Hux, a decadent club where I quench whatever raw desire I choose. I take pleasure and I give it—no strings attached. So when Raya Rivers comes in asking for someone cold, emotionless, and filthy . . . well, no man ever takes his wicked pleasure quite the way I do.
Only Raya is different. Vulnerable. And carrying some deep sorrow that gets past all my carefully constructed walls and inexplicably makes me care. Now craving controls me. Ice has given way to red-hot need.
But Raya has no idea about my other life—my real life. That I’m a daddy to an adorable little girl.
My two worlds are about to collide with the force of a supernova. And once Raya knows the truth, will she be able to accept all I am?

Review

All I Am, that moment for Drew when he is not looking for something and he finds it in the form of Raya and she too believes if you don’t have anyone, you can’t lose anymore.  Drew’s story is fast flowing and I could have read so much  more on this couple but in some ways it was perfect  as I for one wanted as little of Coral as possible!

How gorgeous is his pigdge? I really loved how the author included Georgia in so much of this story and it was perfect as she was the centre of Drew’s world – it was well thought out and clearly defined the kind of man he now was.

It was wonderful to return to the threesome of Jesse, Sam and Drew and how they still support each other through their 40’s was great to see.  How they supported each other and the humour in realising Drew had finally met his match provided some magic This Man moments.

I certainly did a happy dance seeing Jesse, Ava and the kids, it was like returning home and capturing another glimpse into their lives post the Manor.

Can I say I loved Raya as a character, she was beautiful and obviously just what Drew needed, the age difference for me and her background story provided warmth in allowing Drew to thaw his cold heart with trusting women.

My favourite part was the three men and little lady scene in the car – it had me laughing at a time where my heart was beating out of my chest wondering whether Drew would get his happy ever after.

Drew was one character from the This Man Series who always intrigued me and I am so happy we got to see his life after the Manor.

Quote:  If happiness was a chain, it would be platinum with solid hearts between every link and entwined around my swelling heart.

All I Am (This Man #3.5)

My Rating:  

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Keeping Lily (Disciples #1)

By Izzy Sweet & Sean Moriarty

Synopsis

My husband traded me away to save his own life…
And now I belong to the devil.
One night and everything in my life changed. Two words and my world turned dark.
“Take her”.
Owing the most ruthless crime lord in Garden City five million dollars, my husband chose to trade me and my children away to save himself.
I was on the cusp of freedom, so close to divorcing that scumbag I was married to.
Now I’m enslaved to a man who is obsessed with me. A man so wicked and beautiful, they call him Lucifer.
So alluring, he makes the angels weep with envy. He’s so powerful, I can’t stop myself from bending to his will.
He’s determined to master me, and he won’t rest until I give him all.
He wants my light, and he wants my dark.
He wants my body, and he wants my heart.
But most of all, he wants the one thing I can’t give him. The one thing I can’t bear to part with…
Insert 

Review

Keeping Lily delivered some great romance moments but at times I did struggle with some of the connection between Lucifer and Lily as it felt really rushed but the sex scenes were enjoyable.  Lily has a strong need to feel protected based on her background story so you can overlook her rapid need for Luifer and his magic touch but other times not so much.

Lily’s children are an interesting side story and Lucifer’s interaction with them did soften my perception of him and it made me forgive him for his other brute actions.

My main complaint with this story is that towards the last few chapters I actually stopped and I did a kindle search as I was reading this at 10pm at night and all of a sudden a major story line was thrown in and I was like – Back the freakin truck up – did I miss a chapter?   When did that happen? How did they not talk about this? Was it mentioned and I missed it when Lily was out shopping? Then BOOM we are at the Epilogue a few months later – I kind of thought I missed a moment in the relationship!! I actually searched twice as it has done my head in and I feel like I missed a major moment in their emotional and physical relationship which could have helped me connect to them in a more romantic way.

There is also a fair bit of violence and lots of names thrown around with different gangs mentioned which must lead into the next book.

The Disciples series I believe has that something, it is dark and a little bit dirty.  I have already bought a copy of Stealing Amy (Disciples #2) which I am looking forward to reading.

Quote:  Even through the blur of my tears, he’s beautiful A beautiful monster. But he’s my monster. And despite everything … I love him

Keeping Lily (Disciples #1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links Amazon

Visit Author:  Izzy Sweet & Sean Moriarty


Home Tears

By Tijan

Synopsis

Dani’s survived a lot of sh*t storms.
Her mother died. Her two sisters loathed her. One aunt hated her. The other was strangely distant, but the worst storm—being dumped by her childhood best friend/high school boyfriend/first love for her younger sister.
There went the one person who was hers and with that, the main reason she stuck around. So, she left for ten years. But now she’s back, and nothing’s the same.
With help from Jonah Bannon, a reformed—kind of—bad boy she remembers from high school, Dani uncovers family secrets that have spanned generations. And along with those, she’s about to face the biggest sh*t storm of her life.
Only this time, she may not survive.

**Full-length standalone**

Review

Home Tears was my kind of story, love a girl returning to her home town to face her demons, lick her wounds, repair her heart and have a second chance at love.  It does have a different feel from other Tijan stories but is was great to read a standalone with plenty of emotion, drama, angst but also have the character heal and her issues be resolved.

Jonah for me was perfect for Dani at this stage of her life, he was an anchor she needed to hold onto for stability and to stop the flow against her.  Dani was losing control and it was interesting to see her return to the start of her troubles and face what she walked away from.

The family dynamic, secrets and hidden moments I devoured and there were some wonderful characters such as Mae.  The history of this family amongst the women whether they were sisters, mothers, daughters and grandmothers was a great tale woven with hurt and love.  It had me guessing who these men were that these women fell in love with and made multiple mistakes with and it was just riveting to see each generation make the same mistakes.  Would this young generation follow in their footsteps?  It was definitely interesting to follow the two sisters left being Dani and Julia.

I love how in a small town people know what you are doing before you are even thinking about it, the humour amongst these old school friends and the change in power kept me entertained.

Jake, Boone and Jonah, what more can I say about these alpha men, they definatly kept Dani on her toes.  I actually admit I was immediately a team Boone fan but then Jonah slipped under the radar and I was hoping he would be Dani HEA.

I loved especially the last few chapters, Erica’s final words and the Epilogue was perfect.

Home Tears is a wonderful story of a girl leaving home and returning a woman and finally finding her peace, strength and in the end creating family connections.

Quote:  I’m a walker That’s what I do. I walk away.

Home Tears

My Rating:  

Buy Links Amazon

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Cruel Water (Portland ME #2)

By Freya Barker

Synopsis

Innocence marked her…

Violation crippled her…

Love left her raw…

The life she carefully rebuilt is challenged when she is confronted with the sins from her past. The carefully applied protection is at once ripped away, leaving her exposed and vulnerable.

Her single night of indulgence with the silver-eyed stranger is only the beginning. He sees right to the heart of her and she is unable to ward off emotions that have been deeply buried. With the sting of betrayal still fresh in her soul, she’s surprised to find herself opening up to the honest integrity of the sharp-eyed, rough-looking biker.

When he lost everyone who mattered, he was left without roots and learned to be content simply living in the moment. Completely unprepared for the feisty blonde bartender with old pain marring her clear-blue eyes, he questions his own rules of detachment, as she unwittingly finds a way under his skin.

Appearances deceive and when the masks fall away, revealing deep, dark secrets, there is nothing left but to hang onto each other and survive the storm

Review

Could Cruel Water being #2 of the Portland ME Series be just as good as From Dust #1?

Yes most definitely it was and I can only believe that the next two books will just cement this series as one you would read again and again.  Firstly before you pick this up you MUST read From Dust, not linked but there is a timeline and you will not want to ruin surprises in the storyline.  So I am very happy that characters in From Dust definitely make a return in this next instalment and they develop more, particularly Tim and Dino.

The whole Portland ME Series is one amazing emotional roller coaster with each book obviously touching on some hard real life issues but told in an open and realistic way, it is not sugar coated, it can be dark and dirty but it is about repairing yourself.

Viv’s story is told with such dignity, it is real, she is still a passionate and headstrong woman but she is as fragile as glass and it was incredible to see how she could just shatter to pieces, my heart broke for her.

Now onto her brothers reactions which were varied and I think probably reflected a true and very honest response.  The way her brothers processed their own feelings about how they let their only sister down was a really integral part of this story.  The author did not soften the edges, it was raw and in your face, it made me sad, angry and I felt the loneliness and despair of Viv so much I could barely breathe at some moments, my chest hurt with sadness.

The moulding of Viv as a young child is so true, it does happen and Freya is spot on with the “conditioning” and “getting clean” part of this storyline – gave me goosebumps.

I could continue to rave about this story but I am scared to reveal too much – it is simply amazing – another wonderful journey of finding your true love and having them accept you.

You will have an incredibly hard journey with Viv but the rewards at the end are truly worth the rocky waves you will travel.

Quote:  That dirt is not yours, it never was And if they made you dirty – I will make you clean

Cruel Water (Portland ME #2)

My Rating:  

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A Nun Goes to Jail (Nun-Fiction Series #2)

By Piper Davenport

Synopsis

18+ for language and sexual situations…

Alexa Romanov hails from Russian Mob royalty, but she’s keeping a secret…one that could get her killed. When she’s forced to hide in a Catholic Abbey, she finds herself face-to-face with the man who broke her heart years ago…good thing time has healed that wound and she’s over him.

Reese Alden has fought his way out of a deadly and notorious Motorcycle Club, but he’s done it at great sacrifice. He lost the only woman he ever loved and now she might die because he let her go.

He must move heaven and earth, not to mention circumvent the Russian mob and a deadly MC, in order to keep her safe. But his goal isn’t just to save her life. It’s also to win her back.

Review

Full disclosure here I have read NINE of Piper Davenport’s books and her Dogs of Fire is one of my favourite MC series and A Nun Walks into a Bar (Nun-Fiction Book #1) was one of my favourite reads for 2016.   So when I was offered book 2, I was like “SCORE” for Lulu as all my reviews for this author are either four or five stars as I love her characters and how she tells her stories.

So I have to be honest and admit that A Nun Goes to Jail just did not connect with me, the story left me feeling a bit un-fulfilled – it felt rushed and pushed aside for too many sex scenes.  Perhaps it is me because I really loved the characters and the humour and we also get to see more of Sadie and Ryder who I love so I am really trying to figure out where I went wrong? 

I enjoyed the characters and loved seeing  my favourites from the Dogs of Fire however I did feel that the overall Russian/Mob/MC suspense got really lost and I for one really enjoy a good dose of that in my romance.  Loved mentioning the “Roses for Anna” concert in the story as the “Broken Road” series is going to rock “pun intended”!!

Towards the middle all I seemed to be reading about was Alexa and Reese having sex and this is where the base story got lost.  I did find myself thinking stop having sex I want to know what is happening with the trial, where are the Russians and the ending felt rushed and what about the other girls at the convent and also her friend and brother?  I wanted Reese to be more alpha male protective with her instead of wanting to have sex if that makes sense, there were pockets of moments I went yes now I can see the emotional connection, when he sneaks in and holds her after her breakdown, these were moments of romance that I savoured.

Finally I did like how the author fast forwarded three years to see how their lives had changed.

Quote:  “I think you’re holding’ it together with duct tape and dental floss… MacGyver Style”

A Nun Goes to Jail (Nun-Fiction Series #2)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon 

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From Dust (Portland ME Book 1)

By Freya Barker

Synopsis

Pain punished her.

The bottle numbed her.

Guilt kept her trapped.

In the dark alley of a pub, the words “Please don’t” take hold of her heart and break the silence she seeks. Thinking herself beyond redemption, she tentatively grabs on to the slim thread of hope that unfolds inside of her.

Holding her secrets close, she can’t resist the comforting draw coming from The Skipper. The unconditional friendships it offers, the protective roof it provides, and the spark that its owner ignites in her—melting the frost off her heart, and slowly stripping away her resistance.

His life flows from one crisis to the next. Under the pressure of competition crowding him out of his family’s pub and the need to protect his children from the ruins of a bad marriage, he barely breathes. That is until a mane of strawberry-blonde hair and a set of big, pale blue eyes, shake him up.

He never expected the shadow of a woman he finds on the floor of his washroom to bring him the air―the balance and the light he’s been missing.

**Due to some content of a sexually explicit nature, this book is recommended for a mature audience only.**

Review

From Dust, I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing and very emotional read.  You are taken into a place of utter desperation, loneliness and heartache but then you are given amazing moments of love, family and putting darkness into perspective.  The growth and change in Syd from the first chapter to the last chapter was full of inspiration and just pure joy.  When she reconnects with her old life in a particularly emotional section, it was done in such a highly respectful way by the author.

From Dust is just a beautifully written story of a woman finding her second chance at love, family and friendship. Syd is strong however at the start you may not think so but again the author has me immediately connecting with her on a level that a woman does, you want to see her find her light again.

Now onto the main man being Gunna, well if you have read “Sweet Dreams” by Kristen Ashley and love Tate then you are in for a real treat.  As soon as I read the first few chapters with Gunna well all I could think about was how can I be so lucky to find another story with a god dam hot headed bar owner who is a most amazing man when he falls in love, both in bed and out and is a fierce protector of the people he loves.

Viv and Dino were great supporting characters for Syd and then Gunna’s children, well they just brought tears to my eyes and provided moments of light relief from the main story line.

As I drew to the end of Syd’s journey I simply did not want to leave this amazing woman and the new family she had created.  When you get to that last chapter and Gunna gives Syd the recognition of her past as she begins to move forward well as I write this I have tears forming again.

From Dust is my second book by this author and upon finishing I immediately went and purchased Cruel Water (Portland ME Book 2) which is Viv’s story and I cannot wait to lose myself again.

All books in this series are available.

Quote:  Locking yourself away will only turn you to dust. This I know for a fact because I came from dust

From Dust (Portland ME Book 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Craving (Steel Brothers Saga #1)

By Helen Hardt

Synopsis

After being left at the altar, Jade Roberts seeks solace at her best friend’s ranch on the Colorado western slope. Her humiliation still ripe, she doesn’t expect to be attracted to her friend’s reticent brother, but when the gorgeous cowboy kisses her, all bets are off.

Talon Steel is broken. Having never fully healed from a horrific childhood trauma, he simply exists, taking from women what is offered and giving nothing in return…until Jade Roberts catapults into his life. She is beautiful, sweet, and giving, and his desire for her becomes a craving he fears he’ll never be able to satisfy.

Passion sizzles between the two lovers…but long-buried secrets haunt them both and may eventually tear them apart.

Review

Craving has left me unsatisfied and frustrated as once I realised there was a cliffhanger and that I really felt we got very little answers to so many secrets that I went and checked out Book 2 and Book 3 reviews before I was going to oneclick and continue with the Steel Brothers.  I was unsure how long we were going to be dragging this whole traumatic event out to get answers and retribution.

Well to answer your question I am not continuing with this series and yes I am disappointed as I think the family story is going to be explosive and really exciting but I couldn’t connect to these two main characters.  They had moments for me where I felt they were getting somewhere and then boom we were back to meaningless sex scenes and there were so many of them, towards the end of I was like, here we go again and I even started skimming!!

One positive thing for me is that the scenes about Talon and his trauma are really intense and well written for the fact they deal with abuse.  I also really loved their sister Marj and I would love to know more of her story as she is an interesting addition to the family dynamic.

Now under further investigation I see that Talon’s story is over the first three books then apparently not all of the mystery is concluded and it continues onto the fourth book so yeah I am getting off this gravy train now.  I think this should have been fully concluded in a trilogy and the we could have had standalone on the two brothers and sister who I must say I really liked in this story.

As at my review the Steel Saga is sitting at 8 books and it seems that each brother will have three books for their story so you need to take that into consideration and it is not finished yet.

Craving (Steel Brothers Saga #1)

My Rating:  

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One Taste of Angel: A Dark Virgin Romance (Iron Norseman MC)

By Violetta Rand

Synopsis

Their love was the stuff of Shakespeare – two star-crossed lovers from rival MC’s, divided by their families’ bloody history, but fate has given Eagle and Serafina a second chance. Can the biker and the stripper find their redemption in Violetta Rand’s sexy standalone romance, One Taste of Angel?

Eagle  
I’ve bled for my club. Taken four bullets. Buried eight brothers in six years. Screwed a hundred women. And only loved one. The one I lost. But there’s something about Serafina that reminds me of just exactly what was taken from me. Not just because I can’t resist a damsel in distress.

Serafina
To Eagle, I’m dead. Murdered and cremated, my ashes interred at the local cemetery. Part of a past I left long ago to save his life. Seeing him now, touching him again makes me weak, even if he doesn’t recognize the woman I’ve become. Since my escape from Holly Beach five years ago, I’ve lived by my own rules. And no matter how much I love Eagle, he’s not going to break those rules.

Review

Eagle and Angel, two lovers reunited and what an explosive story which I totally devoured.

It really is a MC Romeo and Juliet with the tales of two families entwined in a dark, dangerous but in the end romantic tale of new beginnings and second chances at love.

Whilst reading this story you are basically taken on a roller coaster ride waiting for all the secrets to be revealed and how the both MC clubs are going to react to the revelations – the author does not disappoint at all.

The family dynamics of Angel are brutal and barbaric and had me fearing the worst for her.  Eagle’s club family were great characters with heart and soul and supported this story and gave it hope and light when it became intense.

My favourite chapters were when he realised who Seraphina really was and how they both reacted and the emotional turmoil I felt for Angel upon those pages was heartbreaking.  I also loved the scenes around the cabin – loved those parts.

I loved the epilogue, it gives you closure and also the fact we are given thoughts from both characters so you can really connect to them and this suspense element at the end was perfect for a MC romance.

One Taste of Angel: A Dark Virgin Romance (Iron Norseman MC)

My Rating:  

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Broken Road (Limelight #1)

By Piper & Jack Davenport

Synopsis

Life on the road is hard, love on the road is even harder…

Lucy Haddon is rock royalty. She’s the daughter of one of the biggest rock stars on the planet and is now in charge of her father’s empire, including planning the most anticipated reunion in rock history. She’s no stranger to the dangers of touring life, but has always managed to stay out of trouble by following her own set of rules. Her biggest rule…no dating musicians…even when it comes to her teenage fantasy.

Bad boy drummer “Bam” Nelson’s band has just been offered the opportunity of a lifetime… the last thing he should be thinking about is women. The meteoric rise of his band and the crash landing of his last relationship has left him burned out and closed off, but when a red-headed rock princess walks into his life, he realizes she could be the one to finally heal the wounds of his past.

He just has to convince her to break her own rule. 

Review

Broken Road is a surprising read for me as I do not normally enjoy Rock Star Romance however it had a great ensemble of leading and supporting characters and also had humour which was brilliant.  I have also loved Piper’s MC Romance so I was interested to see her take on this new world!

Firstly love Lucy and as any onion ring lover knows – onion rings solve all of life’s dramas and make everything good again – so Lucy is my kind of girl!

Considering Broken Road is written by two authors it flowed really well and kept its consistency and we are given quite a bit of background history on both bands.  With the series continuing to other characters it all formed a good base for when we pick up the next instalment “On The Road”.

Now Piper has a great knack of entwining characters from her other series and I have read the Dogs of Fire so I could follow random characters that appear in this story especially when the drama started to affect Bam and Lucy’s road to love.

Lucy’s parents were one of my most favourite components of this story!  They were funny and really explained Lucy’s overall outlook on love, life and no bullshit.  Sullivan Wallace her bodyguard was a constant companion for Lucy and I was enamoured with the way he cared for his girl. Bam was a typical artist and it was great to know the background of Roses for Anna and also Lucy’s dad’s band and their passionate love scenes were perfect.

My only complaint was I felt the story with Bam in the middle returning to his home was a little rushed and kind of thrown in to me and I was actually expecting a bit more drama/danger to Lucy/Bam?

I must admit I cannot wait to read “The Way Back” which  is Hadley & Jack’s story, I have a feeling it is going to be epic as Jack’s background story immediately pulled at my heart strings.

Favourite Quote:  “Hmm, onion rings. The meeting went that badly?”

Broken Road (Limelight #1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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The Bad Guy

By Celia Loren

Synopsis

My name is Sebastian Lindstrom, and I’m the villain of this story.

I’ve decided to lay myself bare. To tell the truth for once in my hollow life, no matter how dark it gets. And I can assure you, it will get so dark that you’ll find yourself feeling around the blackened corners of my mind, seeking a door handle that isn’t there.

Don’t mistake this for a confession. I neither seek forgiveness nor would I accept it. My sins are my own. They keep me company. Instead, this is the true tale of how I found her, how I stole her, and how I lost her.

She was a damsel, one who already had her white knight. But every fairy tale has a villain, someone waiting in the wings to rip it all down. A scoundrel who will set the world on fire if that means he gets what he wants. That’s me.

I’m the bad guy.

Author’s Note: This is a dark romance with an HEA and no cheating. 

Review

The Bad Guy is my fifth book by this author and it is my absolute favourite.

The Bad Guy is one of those stories that my god makes me think I need therapy because from the first few chapters I was right there in Sebastian’s corner wanting Camilla for him.  Every step of his “out of the box” way to get her to be with him – well I am sorry I forgave him and was hoping like hell Camilla would fall in love with him.

The author gives Camilla purpose, she is smart, has a passion and i really savoured her individual moments with her plants so thanks to the author for making her more than just a mans obsession.  Sebastian also showed an appreciation for Camilla’s passion and he fed and nurtured her as she did her plants – I loved this part of the story.

Sebastian pulls some questionable manoeuvres to obtain Camilla for some one of one time and well done for making parts of her life available to the fact she can disappear for a week and no one really notices.  The background story of her friends and job actually makes this quite believable and did not have me questioning the what if’s.  I was totally in the moment with these two characters and thoroughly enjoyed them making new boundaries in the agreement.

Now onto the supporting characters, loved his dad and his various talks with Camilla and his total love of his son.  I was glad my gut instincts were right about Link however the ending was a big surprise for me and I never would have guessed so there are some great twists and turns.

My favourite chapters were from 40 to 44, I was shaking and scared and had tears in my eyes, my heart hurt and I felt like I just wanted to hug Camilla – she was so strong and fearless.

The Epilogue made me so happy.

The Bad Guy

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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