Category Archives: Read by Lulu

Captive Beauty

By Natasha Knight

Synopsis

Cilla

The Beast had Belle.
Killian Black has me.

How I got here doesn’t matter, even though he says it does. Says it was my choice. He doesn’t get it, though. It wasn’t ever a choice for me.

And now, he’s changing the rules.

The agreement was one month. For thirty days, I’d be his. He’s no longer satisfied with my body alone, though. He wants my soul, too. Wants every part of me. And even though I can pretend I’m safe when I lie beneath him, this man does something to me. Something wicked.

A thing that will break me.

Killian

People suck at consequences.

Cilla made the choice. She offered the deal. I just took her up on it. So what if I changed the rules half-way in? I’m not apologizing for it.

See, Cilla and me, we’re the same. She’s dark. As dark as me. Something happened to her. Something bad. It damaged her.

But it’s not a hero she seeks. It’s an avenging angel. A dark knight. That, I can do. I’ll slay her dragons, but it’ll cost her, because in return, I want everything. And I’ll take it.

She’s mine.

Author’s note: Captive Beauty is a standalone romance. Think Beauty and the Beast, but twisted and dark in the best, dirtiest ways.

Review

Loved this Dark and erotic romance with a highly emotional and thought-provoking sub-story.

Cilla and her brother’s story Is heartbreaking and when you think you know their secret, be prepared. I had a thought about them and was praying I was wrong, I was not, it brought tears to my eyes.

Kill’s history is no better with his own family and this will make you forgive him for his highly built emotional barriers. His ability to see past Cillas walls and his relentless need to slay her dragons made him my hero.

Kill and Cilla in their own way heal each other and it is beautiful and painful. Their love and passion are not enough to break their barriers. I was simply riveted by this story, the pace is perfect as is the suspenseful secrets.

The sexual scenes are frantic, sensual and loving, no two scenes are the same.

It was interesting to follow the change in the relationship dynamics between Cilla, Kill, and Jones. The characters grew and developed over the story which was impressive considering their mental, physical and emotional traumas.

The epilogue is heartwarming and has left me totally satisfied.

Captive Beauty

My Rating:  

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Siren in the City (Texas Siren Series #2)

By Lexi Blake

Synopsis

Re-released in a second edition with new scenes.

Jack and Sam married Abby. It was supposed to be for forever, but lately Abby wonders where her alpha male has gone. Jack has retreated and life has become decidedly vanilla. It isn’t the true marriage she and Sam wanted. Sam and Abby know the time has come to fight for what they need.
A call from his mentor forces Jack to revisit the club where he discovered his sexuality. Jack’s half-brother is in the city and interested in a little blackmail. Can Jack handle two defiant subs and a brother in need of some tough love?
Sometimes all it takes to find the way home is a little love and a lot of mischief.

Come back to the beginning and revisit some of your favorite old characters or find new ones to love. Siren in the City has been revised and new scenes added. And if you look closely, you’ll find not only the beginnings of the Sophie Oak world, but also the seeds of how McKay-Taggart began….

Review

First of all, I love the new covers of this re-released series, they are very attractive and fresh.

Siren in the City continues on from Small Town Siren and the relationship between Jack, Sam, and Abby that has hit a rocky patch.  Jack is definitely a different man to the one we left in book one.

I loved how Sam and Abby playfully get Jack to return to the dominant man they want back.  Sexual scenes in this book definitely felt more demanding and sensual with Jack returning as a Dom.   As Jack wheeled in a case for Sam it was so hilarious and it made me laugh out loud.

Julian is a wonderful character and to see Jack returning to the inner world of Domination helped to understand his fears for his relationship.

Siren in the City flows fast and introduces new characters that are going to help continue this series with decadent menage stories.

Concluding with a lovely surprise, Siren in the City was very satisfying.  I am sure we will see more of these three in the next Texas Sirens installment which just happens to be Julian’s story.

Siren in the City (Texas Siren Series #2)

My Rating:  

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Ryan’s Bed

By Tijan

Synopsis

I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t.
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
I relaxed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.

Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.

Review

The cover of Ryan’s Bed is simply beautiful and visually expresses the fragility that is Mackenzie.

Admittedly, I couldn’t put this story down, it was gripping and at particular moments had great depth and maturity.   Drama surrounding the girls at her new school was not needed in my opinion for this highly sensitive story.

Mackenzie was an interesting character, so closed off with grief and her inner banter with her sister helped to cement their connection.  Their moments left many questions as I continued through the story. Over the 12 month period, the author built the relationship between Ryan and Mackenzie realistically.

Her mother and father’s part in this story confused me at times and made me very angry.  The way they just left their teenage daughter to fend for herself made me sad and confused. Two favourite moments for me in the book are Mackenzie standing up to her parents and showing them she is alive and relevant.  Her brother was a wonderful character and the love between sister and brother mended my heart and gave hope.

Most of all, upon turning the last page, I was shocked but also disappointed because this alarming fact could have made this story so much more.

Left to wonder should I read this again to see if I pick up any clues.   The counselor and her sessions are making me question her words.  There are moments between Mackenzie and her parents which start to make sense upon the conclusion.

I have too many questions at the end to feel 5 stars satisfied

Quote:  I was coming together even as I was falling apart

Ryan’s Bed

My Rating:  

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Midnight Blue

By L J Shen

 

Synopsis

From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new, standalone, contemporary romance.

It should have been easy.
I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.
Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”
Guess what? I didn’t listen.
I signed the contract.
World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.
My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.
Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.
Then he took my heart.
Then he took my all. 

Review

Indie from the first few chapters in MIdnight Blue melted my heart, made me feel helpless but also determined.  She was strong and stubborn yet so fragile at moments that made me tear up particularly for her family situation.

Alex was a typical musician and his music family provided many complications in this story and drama.

Alex and Indie’s physical and emotional connection to each other was poetry on the pages.

Midnight Bue is told in dual point of view thereby assisting in connecting to both characters and their personal demons.  Personally, the length of the story was wonderful and allowed us to fully engage with the characters and the build-up to the dramatic secrets being revealed.

I definitely enjoyed the second half of Midnight Blue more than the first but they both were important to the overall build up and sexual frustration to this story.  The way the author takes us to different cities around the world was enjoyable.

Moving to the Paris chapter, I was expecting drama with the reunion but to experience, the devastation and betrayal in that chapter simply left me shattered.

Indie will stay with me for a long time, her individuality and the way the music family became her protectors was beautiful and gave me hope.

Finally, the Epilogue was brilliant and left me totally satisfied with all the characters and their final moments of where Midnight Blue concludes.

Quote:  “You look at me with dynamite in your eyes, waiting for me to light up the match and finally set you on fire”

Midnight Blue

My Rating:  

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Thrive

By Alyn Martinez

 

Synopsis

Technically, you aren’t supposed to fall in love with your best friend’s girl.

But if we’re talking technicalities, he wasn’t supposed to be cheating on her every other weekend, either.

The day I met Mira York, I knew she was off-limits. But after months of stealing side-glances while he ruined the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, I realized there wasn’t a rule in the world I wouldn’t break to make her mine.

She chose him anyway.

I wasn’t sure how I’d ever move on, but bitterness turned into fuel for my fire.

Without Mira, I thrived.

Until seventeen years later, when she showed back up, begging for protection from the very same man she’d left me for all those years earlier.

Now, it was my turn to choose.

And she wasn’t going to like my answer.

THRIVE takes place seventeen years AFTER a love triangle.

Review

Thrive is a love story with moments that make you catch your breath, hope for happiness and hold on for dear life.  From the first few chapters you flow from present to past, we learn about Kurt, Lark, and Mira.  At times I became frustrated as I truly just wanted to return to the present.  I was impatient for my happy ever after.  Upon reading their young love you know as a reader that this reunion was going to be epic and it was.  I am so happy at the end of this story, I could not hold back my smile.  The last few chapters are brilliant in the way the author ties up the loose ends.

From the first few chapters, I felt such despair but kindness for Mira.  Unfortunately, she just made bad decisions when young and when simple communication would have enabled her to thrive in a good life.   There is so much manipulation and secrets from her life that I simply failed to comprehend and provided such surprises right up to the last few chapters.

Inner thoughts help with the connection between the two main characters Mira and Lark.  At no time did I second guess their actions and the story flowed perfectly.

Mira was such a contradiction for me as a character, in the beginning, she was weak.  As each inner bruise was healed with hope, support & love she became so strong.  Lark was very abrupt and cold however as the first crack in armor occurred he was gone.  It was enjoyable to read the banter from his workmates at the Guardian Protection Agency.

Surprising me was a fantastic backstory of Mira and Kurt, the secrets and suspense provided great moments. Lark’s alpha protectiveness that makes him so hot delivered in the bedroom and anywhere else.  A favourite character for me was Matteo, he provided some great humour, darkness but adoration for Mira.  His whole story I loved and at this point, I could not put this book down.

Thrive had so many favourite chapters that I cannot pick a standout, so many played important moments in this long lost love story.

My second book by this author and it will not be my last.  I have not read the first book in this series and you do not have to in order to enjoy this installment.

Quote:  “Safe. Secure. Comfortable. Three Things I only every felt with him.”

Thrive

My Rating:  

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Ace (Moonshine Taskforce #4)

By Laramie Briscoe

Synopsis

Ace is saving lives and mending hearts…….

Anthony “Ace” Bailey

I’m not a rules kinda guy

Department Policy? Kinda sucks, but I do what I have to for the job that I love.
Playing it safe? Not my thing.
Married? No big deal when I know she’s unhappy and scared.

I’m one of those guys – a sniper in the military, a little bit of an adrenaline junkie, and a member of the Moonshine Task Force. I’ve lived through some shit.

My gut has never failed me. It’s my sixth sense. Warning me of a gunshot coming my way, of a traffic stop being potentially deadly, or the tingling in the back of my neck when I go to sleep telling me I’ll be woken up by a call in the middle of the night. My gut has always kept me honest.

Like the day I walked into The Café and saw the new waitress. There was a ring on her left hand, but I didn’t care. One look in her eyes told me everything I needed to know. Her marriage wasn’t one made of love and respect. It was one made of fear and doubt.

It’s why I ignored that ring, why I arrested her husband, and the reason I’m willing to take my time. Patience is a virtue, and with this woman, I have it in spades.

Violet Miller

Meeting Anthony Bailey changed my life. He did things that no one else has ever done for me.

Feeling safe? Never happened before.
Feeling wanted? It’s been years.
Being independent? I’m learning.

It’s foreign, not having someone question my every move, being able to eat what I want for dinner, and sitting out on my front porch talking to Anthony every night while we share a couple beers.

I try to tell myself he’s just being nice; that he’s doing his job and working within the community. The problem? The night he takes the kiss we both want, everything changes, and I can no longer deny what I feel. But it doesn’t stop me from trying – and I learn quickly that Ace knows me better than anyone else ever has – including myself.

All I can do is hang on, as he takes me on the scariest journey of my life. The one that bends us until we almost break, and ends with a happily ever after I never thought I would get.

ACE includes the wedding of a beloved couple, an appearance by Reaper, and the continuation of EVERYONE falling in love with Caleb! 

Review

Ace is broken up into parts and as a result, each one takes us through the build-up of Ace and Violet making a new life together.  Slow and steady is how I would describe their love story.  The character’s constant mutual intensity is offset with humorous and family moments with the Moonshine Taskforce team.

The author lightly explained Violet’s relationship with her husband which I appreciated.  It gives you enough to understand how she became involved with her husband and the eventual realization that she was in an uncontrollable situation.

Helping to build a solid and realistic timeframe for Violets recovery, Ace does jump ahead in time.  Consequently, we, therefore, get to enjoy each step of their relationship and those special moments that will make you smile.

Mystery surrounds Violet and I highly anticipated her story yet I admit I cannot recall too much of Ace in the other books.  My favourite couple of this series is Havoc & Leighton so I was delighted we continue with them too.   She is one character from the first moment of introduction that has held my heart.

The next installment being Menace’s story I am highly anticipating.  There is a hint of a possible suitor for him and I hope I am correct in my hunch.

Quote:  “Like Finding my True North”

Ace (Moonshine Taskforce #4)

My Rating:  

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Small Town Siren (Texas Siren Series #1)

By Lexi Blake

Synopsis

Re-released in a second edition with a prologue and three new chapters.

Two cowboys looking for love…

Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood met in foster care. Over the years, they’ve become best friends and partners. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. There’s only one thing missing: a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore arrives in their small town, Willow Fork, TX.

A woman trying to find her place in the world…

Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys.

One small town that’s ready to explode…

They’re a dream come true—Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away. 

Review

First of all, I Love the newly revised cover and I had not read the previous version of this story released under Sophie Oak.    Upon finishing I have many questions and I do hope Siren in the City (book 2) will intensify Sam, Jack and Abby’s love story.

The connection between Sam and Abby I felt to my bones, he was caring and had humour and their interactions were lovely.

At times I found Jack hard to connect with, he was definitely an alpha male and has many underlying issues.  Hoping that in book 2 we uncover more of Jack and how his relationship with Sam and Abby is going to develop.

Jack, Sam & Abby’s sex scenes were well written and pushed all the right buttons.  When they all joined as one in the bedroom this was a favourite moment because this was very emotional and worth the build up.  Whilst Sam immediately connected to Abby’s distress, unfortunately, Jack did not which I did struggle with being he was the Dom in this group relationship.

Abby’s history with the town and the way people treated her broke my heart at times.  She was such a strong woman to bring up her daughter all by herself.  We do get to meet her daughter at the end of the story.

I will have to admit I was left slightly disappointed with the 6-week jump at the end of this story.

Small Town Siren (Texas Sirens Series #1)

My Rating:  

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Until November (Until #1)

By Aurora Rose Reynolds

Synopsis

November is looking forward to getting to know her father and the safety of a small town. After leaving the big apple and her bad memories for Tennessee, November starts working for her dad at his strip club doing the books. The one time she’s allowed there during club hours she runs into Asher Mayson. He’s perfect until he opens his mouth and makes assumptions. November wants nothing to do with Asher but too bad for November fate has other plans. Asher Mayson has never had a problem getting a woman that is until November. Now all he can think about is making November his and keeping her safe.

THIS IS NOT A CLIFF HANGER.
Newly Edited and Updated Version
*Recommended for mature audiences 17+ due to strong language and sexual content.*

Review

Until November is a wonderfully romantic story that I could not put down.  It had all the elements for me of an easy romantic read, family, friends and great passion.

November is a beautiful character and to follow her making a new life with her dad gives you all the good feelings.  She is such a generous and lovely character and I immediately connected with her.   She is not overly dramatic, she is honest and stands up for herself.

Asher is all alpha goodness and the way he makes November believe she is beautiful gives you all the good feelings.  Asher and his brother’s relationship provide great humorous moments.  The brothers are so protective of November and it is great to follow their friendships develop.  Another two great characters were Asher’s mum and dad who give November more family that she missed out on.  I was surprised that November’s dad did drop out of the story but then we were centered around November and Asher.

The way Asher accepts Beast into his life and moves November into his house makes you love this big tough guy.

There is a suspense story in the background for November that will keep you guessing.

I cannot wait to read all he brothers romance stories.  The Until series is going to provide some great Alpha romance.

Until November (Until #1)

My Rating:  

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Rocco (Ruin & Revenge #3)

By Sarah Castille

Synopsis

Mafia enforcer, Rocco De Lucchi is the best in the business.

Cold, hard and utterly ruthless, Rocco is the most dangerous of men. Feelings are a luxury he cannot afford—until a chance encounter brings him face to face with the only woman who found her way into his heart and touched his soul.

Grace Mantini has spent her whole life running from the mob. Daughter of the boss’s right hand man, she is both a prize and a target. When Rocco walks back into her life, she wants nothing to do with the man who betrayed her and broke her heart. But only Rocco can protect her from the dangerous forces that seek to destroy her family. Can they escape the hands of fate closing around them? Or will love be the kiss of death for them both?

Review

Rocco is a great mystery Mob Romance with lots of action, twists, and surprises. I did not pick the links in the story and I was definitely surprised with the end.  I have not read the other two books in this series.

Grace and Rocco had great chemistry and a beautiful and tragic history. Grace had strong characteristics and was independent, she was easy to love. The personal story around Rocco did make me sad and also incredibly angry for him.

Throughout the story when Grace and Rocco area intimate,  it does have a balanced mix of sensual and frantic lovemaking.

The mob characters at times overtook the romance story, however, we do get a happy ending. I am incredibly intrigued to know about Rocco’s true family, it is left hanging.

Throughout the story, at times you are taken back to when Grace and Rocco first meet which helps connect the whole mob storyline.

Rocco (Ruin & Revenge #3)

My Rating:  

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Every Dog Has His Day (Bluff Point #3)

By Jenn McKinlay

Synopsis

A stray kitten and a rambunctious poodle bring together a small-town bachelor and a single mother in the latest romance set in Bluff Point, Maine.

Bluff Point brewery owner Zachary Caine wants nothing to do with commitment. His wild bachelor lifestyle suits him perfectly—until a foster kitten named Chaos makes him a reluctant hero. Now he’s BFFs with the kitten’s two little girls and finds himself falling for their gorgeous mother, who couldn’t think less of him.

Divorced mother Jessie Connelly wants nothing to do with men like Zach. He’s sexy and charismatic and bad news, just like her ex. But her girls adore him, and he’s doing a good job filling in for their deadbeat dad. Then a snowstorm brings out the best in both neighbors, who, it turns out, have more in common than their mutual attraction…

So when Jessie’s past threatens her and her girls, Zach is determined to do whatever it takes to protect them—and live happily ever after with this family he has made his own.

Review

Loved this beautifully written and told romance story of new love for two lonely people.   This has a wonderful romantic feel but also gives you gooey and sensual moments.  The flow is perfect and I simply could not put this book down – LOVED IT!

Maddie and Gracie stole the show in this story, in my opinion, their connection with Zach and humour throughout the story was fantastic.  The way the author puts them all together in a snowstorm for two days allows you to believe the connection building at such a fast pace.  It was interesting that the author gave each daughter her own characteristics and it allowed you to love them in their own way.  The way Zach was with the girls was simply one of my favourite parts of this book.  Wait until you see the Ukelele scene at the school concert – sweet and lovely!

This is my first book in this series and it is a standalone as you meet other characters but this centers around Zach, Jessie, and her girls.  Her marriage is over and she is beaten down and has no self-belief.  It was beautiful to watch Zach break down her inhibitions and make her believe in herself.

Jessie is an amazing mother, the way she cares for her girls gave me all the great feels.  Every Dog Has His Day is a romance that is just beautiful.  We even get a suspenseful moment at the end which cements Zach into the family along with the animals.

Every Dog Has His Day

My Rating:  

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