Tag Archives: Sensitive Scene/Issue

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye # 2)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A basketball game changed both their lives.

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.



Review

My review for HELLO FOREVER is going to be short and sweet, because I’m in the middle of moving and I just don’t have the time to write my usual lengthy review.

I loved this story and I loved it’s two main characters, Cax and Axel.  They are both so kind and sweet, and they really were perfect for each other.  I also loved Axel’s co-worker, Boz, who was hilarious.  He wasn’t really in the story much, but when he was, he was definitely memorable.

One thing I thought was interesting is that, from memory, there are only two female characters in this story: Axel’s mother; and Cax’s best friend, Amy.  Every other character was male.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it was certainly something that really stood out to me.

HELLO FOREVER is told in dual POVs and, while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The previous couple, Josh and Caleb, make an appearance, and it was good to see them again.  Will there be more books in this series?  I’m not sure, but I really hope so.

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye # 2)

My Rating:  

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Hello Goodbye Series

The Game (The Game Series # 1-7)

By LP Lovell & Stevie J. Cole

Synopsis

What would you do for one million dollars? Or rather, what wouldn’t you do? Would you play a game?

One contract. Two Guys. Three players. Four Strikes. Five rules. Six zeros. Seven days.

No safe words. No questions. Complete submission. Are you game?

Review

Judging by the synopsis, I thought THE GAME would be one hell of a kinky read; one with a little bit of a dark edge.  In the end, what I got with THE GAME was nothing like I was expecting⎯or hoping⎯for.  It was kinky, no doubt about that, but it wasn’t just a little bit dark; it was very dark and, in my opinion, sick and twisted.  I found the entire “game” to be bizarre and I just couldn’t make much sense of it.

THE GAME was originally released as a series of seven novellas, but it’s now been combined and released as a single book.  Even though it’s now a full story, it still has that novella feel to it because of its fast pace.  My Advance Reader Copy was in desperate need of a proofreader, as I lost count of all the spelling mistakes and missing words.  I can only hope that these mistakes have been fixed in the final published version.

THE GAME is told mostly in Ella’s POV, with the final chapter for each day being told in Tobias’ POV.  I will say this for THE GAME though: the M/F/M and M/M/F sex scenes between Ella, Tobias and Preston were so very, very hot.  That being said, the amount of anal sex without lube or preparation was, for lack of better words, butt-clenching and wince-inducing.  In the end, I would have just rated this story 1❤️, but I added another ❤️ because those sex scenes were fabulous and truly panty-melting.

The Game (The Game Series # 1-7)

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)

My Rating:  

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Series Page Link: Click Here

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

My Rating:  

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Phantom (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 5)

By Michelle Irwin

Synopsis

When she came home she had nothing left, but now she wants it all.

After fighting her way back from tragedy, Phoebe Reede is ready to claim the life she deserves. With Beau at her side, she thinks it might be possible. Only, the things she wants are out of her reach. 

Can Phoebe find joy in what she has, or will she destroy her own happiness chasing a phantom?

Review

Phoebe and Beau’s story is one that has captivated me since the very first page; it’s been a real page turner and has kept me on the edge of my seat.  While I give PHANTOM 5❤️, I have to say that this was my least favourite book in the series.  Phoebe had to fight several more battles, and I think I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m like, “She’s been through enough already.  Leave her alone and let her have some happiness.”  Because if anyone deserves peace and joy in her life, it’s Phoebe.

Phoebe has come a long way, but she still has a ways to go.  A dream that once meant everything to her now means nothing, and without it, she’s not sure what to do with her life anymore.  Because of that, I felt she made some huge life-changing decisions for the wrong reasons.  These decisions were giant red flags for me; flags that Beau and her parents couldn’t⎯or didn’t want to⎯see.

Beau is still an absolute sweetheart, but in regards to one situation, maybe he was too much of a sweetheart.  His willingness to sacrifice his happiness for Phoebe is admirable, but also a little dangerous.  While I respect he wants to make her happy, he has to think about his own happiness⎯and sanity⎯as well.  Honestly, I think both Phoebe and Beau would benefit greatly from going back into therapy.

In regards to other characters, I wasn’t a fan of the whole Angel situation, and that’s all I’ll say about that.  Veronica was an interesting addition to the story, but sadly one that was not explored enough.  Will we get more of her in the next story?  Only time will tell.  Finally, Declan.  Well Declan is still awesome.

“What happened to my protective Daddy who was certain no one would ever be good enough for his little girl?”
“He met a guy that proved him wrong time and time again.”

PHANTOM is told only in Phoebe’s POV and, as with the previous story, it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger.  In fact, it actually comes with a nice HFN ending.  That being said, this is not the end for Phoebe and Beau, whose story will conclude in BEACON, which comes out in August.

Phantom (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 5)

My Rating:  

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Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story Series

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

My Rating:  

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Stealing Amy (Disciples #2)

By Izzy Sweet & Sean Moriarty

Synopsis

They grabbed the wrong girl.

They thought I was his wife, not the woman he’s obsessed with.

Ivan Romanov is one of the Russian mafia’s biggest financial backers.

And he’s been destroying my life piece by piece just to get me in his bed.

I never wanted to be in this situation.

Stalked.
Cornered.
Desperate.

I was doomed. About to be forced by a powerful man who was willing to take what I didn’t want to give.

Then he came, a demon in the dark. A dark voice that told me to be a good girl if I want to live…

Review

Making no apologies here I simply loved Stealing Amy, yes it is totally left of centre but I could not put this down as Amy is a sensual woman and Andrew is just all alpha man  This is fast paced, has great humour and continues on with the mystery story that surrounds the Disciples series.

Now to be honest I did not overly enjoy book 1, Keeping Lily, it was too fast paced for me but all reviews I read for book 2 said to read book 1 – I did and I am glad because you need to meet Lucifer before you get to Andrew.  Lucifer is an interesting character and it is great to see him progress further in this next instalment.

Amy and Andrew’s connection both physical and emotional just clicked all the way and then add Amy’s beautifully adaptable daughter Abigail and it just cements itself as a great romance read.  I read this in a day, it gives you everything, passionate sex scenes and then mystery and suspense.

We also return to see Lucifer and Lily who surprisingly felt more together as a couple and I actually enjoyed them in this book and also seeing more of their family.

Jonathan and his interactions with Abigail, looking after her and Amy, he was a favourite character for me in Stealing Amy.  I would also love a story on Simon as I think he will have a strong web of protection around his heart and it will take a special girl for him to lose control.

Quote:  She’s not going to be simply a wife to me or the woman who warms my bed No, she ‘s my possession. My fucking obsession.

Stealing Amy (Disciples #2)

My Rating:  

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Visit Author:  Izzy Sweet and Sean Moriarty


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


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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Cat Of A Different Color (Halle Pumas # 3)

By Dana Marie Bell

Synopsis

Dr. Adrian Giordano is quite happy with the way his life is going. His two best friends are happily mated, and he’s still sanely single. He has friends, a thriving business, and the occasional Saturday night date. Then Sheridan Montgomery comes to town. His inner Puma responds to the husky-voiced snow princess in a way that tells him his life is about to be turned upside down.

Sheri can’t believe her luck could be this bad. Instinct tells her Adrian is her mate, but the last thing she wants to do is drag him into her messy life. She’s on the run from a big bad wolf—an ex who won’t take no for an answer. Worse, if he catches her, he’s got the teeth (and the Pack!) to take what he wants. 

She doesn’t stand a chance alone, but with her friends—and the persistent Adrian—by her side, she might just survive. 

If her ex doesn’t eat the yummy Dr. Giordano for lunch, that is…

Review

CAT OF A DIFFERENT COLOR is the third book in the Halle Pumas series, and as with the previous two books, it was a light, fun and quick read.  We’ve met Adrian very briefly before (he is Max’s business partner), but we haven’t met Sheri until now.  She was turned by Max in college to protect her from a stalker ex-boyfriend, who happens to be a wolf shifter.  His harassment has become so serious that she has finally requested to become a member of the pride for extra protection.

CAT OF A DIFFERENT COLOR is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Adrian and Sheri.  While each novella could technically be read as a stand-alone, I think it’s best to read the series in order, to fully understand how the pride works.  The usual amount of humour⎯and animalistic sex⎯is present in this story as well, but thanks to the stalker ex, there is a darker scene that could be a trigger for some readers.

Cat Of A Different Color (Halle Pumas # 3)

My Rating:  

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Halle Pumas Series