Tag Archives: Stand Alone

The Escape

By Alice Ward

Synopsis

She needed to escape. I needed to be saved.

Like an angel, Madalyn Durand swoops into my life, rescuing my little girl while I fight for my son. And how is she thanked for her bravery? By having every damn thing she owns taken from her.

Even in her most desperate hour, she’s perfect. Majestic. Me? I’m nothing like her. I’ve failed. At my marriage, at being a dad. I made the Hottest Billionaire Bachelors list, but I can’t protect my kids.

Then I get a second chance.

When my children need me the most, I become a full-time dad, and Madalyn, like some miracle, is by my side. What I didn’t count on was how she would feel in my arms. Under me. Next to me. Maybe forever.

But someone else wants her forever too. Someone she tried to escape, but who won’t set her free.

Can I save her from this evil? Can I save my kids? Myself?

Review

The Escape was an incredibly easy and fast read, it has all the romantic moments but also has a wonderful family storyline.

Xander and his two children were my favourite parts of this story.  There were touches of humour but also some moments of sadness with a sensitive subject.  Xander definitely stepped up and became the father these two children needed.

Madalyn was an incredibly easy character to fall in love with.  From those first few chapters, I wanted her to find freedom from her family.  She had such humility and determination and was so caring for Xander’s children.

Xander’s Ex-Wife and Madalyn’s Prince she was being forced to marry created suspense and much drama throughout the story.  Towards the end, you knew confrontation was coming and it was perfectly placed within the storyline.

The romantic and sensual moments between Xander and Madalyn had great balance and it was lovely to see their relationship develop.

The ending of The Escape was very enjoyable and neatly tied up their romantic story.

The Escape

My Rating:  

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Trusting Liam (Taking Chances #2)

By Molly McAdams

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Taking Chances, From Ashes, and Stealing Harper, comes the new unforgettable adult romance Molly McAdams’ fans have been waiting for—the sizzling story of a young woman who must place her trust in the one man who can break through her defenses.

A night they will always remember…a connection neither can deny…a secret that could destroy it all…

When Kennedy Ryan moves to California, she never expects to come face-to-face with Liam Taylor—the intriguing man who has haunted her thoughts for a year. A man who led her to breaking every one of her rules for a single night of passion that ended up meaning more than it was ever supposed to. Accustomed to disastrous experiences with men, Kennedy shields herself before he can break down more of the carefully built control she’s clung to for the last four years. But every time she sees Liam, she feels her resolve weakening.

Liam Taylor has been asked to help socialize his boss’s nieces. But what he thinks sounds more like a babysitting job ends up leading him to the only girl who ever slipped away before morning—a girl he thought he’d never find again. And now that she’s within reach, Liam’s determined to never let her go.

But when a secret from her past tests their relationship, will they be able to cling to the trust Liam has worked so hard to build?

Review

Trusting Liam is a slow burn romance and unfortunately towards the end wore me down and lost my interest.

I had not read Taking Chances the first book in this series and honestly, you do not have to.

Kennedy became annoying by the end with her indecision and Kira just faded to the background for me.  Blown out of proportion were Kennedy’s issues and I became confused by her.

The danger to the girls just faded to the background and became a non-issue.  I was expecting her dad and uncle to play more of a part in this story.

Liam was a great character as were his family.  The family actually provided me with enough interest to finish this story.  The relationship Liam had with all the adults in his life was heartwarming and showed his great character. Liam, in the end, made me accept Kennedy in his life.

The epilogue for Trusting Liam was a wonderful surprise.  Upon finishing it had me wanting to know more about this twelve months.

Trusting Liam (TakingChances #2)

My Rating:  

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Playing His Way (The Players Club #4)

By Erika Wilde

Synopsis

HE’S READY TO PLAY . . . ARE YOU?

As the new owner of The Players Club, Brent “Mac” MacMillan is all about dirty sex, wicked sin and carnal pleasure . . . served up his way. After being burned in the past, he’s always been careful to choose experienced females who enjoy submitting to his dark desires, and are willing to play by his demanding rules without expecting any emotional attachments in return.

Hiring beautiful interior designer Stephanie Randall to create fantasy bedrooms within his club is his first mistake. She’s curious, flirtatious, and makes his blood run hotter than it ever has before. Innocent when it comes to all the debauchery his sinful world has to offer, she wants to take a walk on the wild side . . . with him.

His second mistake? Saying yes. And his third? Falling for the one woman he knows he can never have.

Review

Playing His Way is a well-paced story between two strong and sexual characters.  Both Mac and Stephanie were easy to connect with and you immediately enjoyed their playful banter with each other.

The sexual tension was built well and considering I had not read any of the other books could easily follow the supporting characters and was not overwhelmed.

Mac and Stephanie had such great chemistry with each other.  The changes in both of their feelings over the period of their friendship changing to more kept me riveted.  Their physical moments were erotic and highly enjoyable.  The way Stephanie allowed him to care for her in that environment and cease control was interesting to follow.

A surprise for me was Stephanie’s steadfast desire to be that career woman and she makes no apologies about it.

Playing His Way is a quick and easy read that I really enjoyed.

Playing His Way (The Players Club #4)

My Rating:  

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Triplets Make Five

By Nicole Elliot

Synopsis

Delilah hates me. But I’m going to marry her anyway. Delilah is different. Quiet. Reserved. Smart.
But she doesn’t want anything to do with me.
So, of course, I have to have her.
She’s got the sultry librarian look, full lips, all those curves, I can’t get enough.
I’ll convince her to be mine. Just one night. And I never fail.
But I’m her new boss. And if anyone at the office found out about our one night stand, we would both be ruined.
So we’ll keep it to one night of passion.
Then we’ll go our separate ways.
That was the plan anyway.
But now I can’t let her go.
Because she’s carrying my babies.
All three of them.
And I won’t let her do this alone. 

Review

Deliah is one of those wallflowers that you immediately connect to and want her to find her true love and place in life.  As a reader, I felt every emotion as the author took us on her journey to happy ever after.  Her anxiety and the way she protected herself yet still shone in her professional life spoke to me on a personal level.

Triplets Make Five is such an easy and light read and will make you smile and believe in true love and happily ever after.  This has all the elements of romance that enable you to believe in magic and beautiful moments, that men see beyond the facade and to the true person.

The flow of the story is perfect and kept me engaged and the supporting characters provided more light-hearted moments and helped cement this couple.  Deliah’s parents were strange and I actually thought they had ulterior motives but then they just disappeared which made me happy.

Preston was a great character, he was alpha but also respectful of Deliah and slowly pulled her walls down.  I appreciated that he acknowledged her integrity and how smart she was on a professional level and respected that.  I would have loved to have had a chapter on work finding out about their relationship and all those employees that just overlooked Deliah and the wonderful person she was.

A wonderful surprise was the extra stories with this book, there are eight other romance stories to enjoy.

Triplets Make Five

My Rating:  

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Up In Smoke

By T M Frazier

Synopsis

I’m a man without a conscience.
I deal in murder and mayhem.
I’m the best at what I do.
Frankie Helburn is supposed to be an easy job.
A means to flush her father out of hiding.
Simple.
Except there isn’t anything simple about Frankie or the secrets she’s keeping.
She’s cocaine with legs. I’m addicted before I’ve even had a taste.
I might have her, but I can’t keep her.
But if her father doesn’t show his face, Frankie will be mine.
To KILL.

Review

Smoke and Frankie had me within the first few pages, I read this book in a day, could not put it down! The two characters emotional and physical connection will have you so invested in this story.

Frankie’s loneliness, vulnerability along with her sheer determination made my heart ache and pulse beat a million times a minute. Following Frankie’s journey with Smoke made me hate him yet also love him in the same chapter. The author wove such inner turmoil in these two characters you could not help but want them to find love with each other.

Running in the background is Smoke’s revenge centering around Frankie’s dad and what an intricate web of lies we are following. Whilst reading, I did not pick any of the twists and turns which is so typical of the King Series book I have read to date. It was great to see Bear, King, and Preppy again and see their friendship and humor is as strong as ever.

I am going to have to read Rage’s story with Nolan as she was a standout for me. Upon checking I see that Nine has the next story and I am looking forward to that too.

Up in Smoke is dark, it has moments of sheer terror and despair but then we are given beautiful moments that deliver hope for Smoke and Frankie. The two lonely and isolated characters were perfection on the page and the ending just mended my heart.

Up in Smoke

My Rating:  

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Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)

By Skye Warren & Annika Martin

Synopsis

I NEVER KNEW WHEN HE’D COME TO ME. ONLY THAT HE WOULD.

I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.

He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.

The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.

So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.

Until it’s too late to turn back.

HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately! 

Review

Hostage had me hooked from the first few chapters and I read this in a day, simply could not put it down.  Upon finishing I have already purchased Prisoner which explains Grayson and Abby who we meet towards the end of this story.

One favourite component of this story is the relationship of the men living at The Bradford Hotel.  What a harrowing way to grow up and their bond and sense of family was one of my favourite parts.

The first half is a slow build to the secrets and realizations of the background story.  As the story builds in relation to the retribution, the characters develop and you get a sense there are more connections.

The interactions between Stone and Brooke take place over a few years.  Given their age difference, it is interesting to following the development.  Consequently, In the end, it is built honestly and in a believable manner.

Brooke & Stone’s sexual moments are built slowly in line with the innocence and done respectfully but provide great heat and anticipation.

Many characters at the beginning will evolve and have you second-guessing your instincts and perceptions, it will make you think.  Detective Rivera and Brooke’s dad were two surprising standouts that forced me to change my beliefs.

Hostage left me satisfied with the outcome for Brooke, Stone and their extended family.

Finally, if you enjoyed The Endgame series by this author you will enjoy Hostage like I did.

Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)

My Rating:  

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Kian

By Tijan

Synopsis

Dark. Mysterious. Gorgeous.
Loved by all the girls.
Respected by all the guys.
…that was Kian Maston.

As the heir to a billion dollar empire, his future was promising until the day he saved my life. Everything changed for both of us, and there was one more word that could be used to describe him—dangerous.

The nation fell in love with him while falling in hate with me. He was sent to prison, and as far as they were concerned, it was my fault. I was forced to go into hiding until today.

Kian’s being released from prison, and he should go back to being the golden boy he always was supposed to be. I should remain in hiding, living my life as normal as could be.

That’s what we should do…

Review

Kian, I really loved reading, it was full of suspense, drama and emotional entanglements that kept me guessing until the end.  I really wanted a happy ever after for Jordan who was a very easy character to fall in love with and want the best for.

We get POV of the two main characters which did help me as the reader to understand their inner feelings.  I believe this story is more about Jordan and not so much Kian who provides more of the mystery.

Jake and Wanker kept me wondering who was going to create drama and they definitely surprised me by the end.  Erica was a favourite character for me being Jordan’s new best friend in college.

Sad and alone, Jordan’s personal story is not easy and at times I felt exhausted like she was constantly being on the edge. You want her to have the happiness she deserves and security.  I loved the build-up to knowing and understanding her background story, it was well done.  A stunning moment was when Jordan takes back control of her public perception.

A story like Kian has left me personally wanting more, the characters were very intriguing and I felt they still had more to share.

Quote:  “I wanted to be imprinted on her, so no one would touch her again”

Kian

My Rating:  

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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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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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