Tag Archives: Stand Alone

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:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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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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Hey, Whiskey

By Kaylee Ryan

Synopsis

I’m over this year, and I’m over relationships. I’ve learned that the only person you can count on in life is yourself. Moving forward, I’m living for me. Working toward standing on my own two feet, that’s my goal. Funny how meeting him changed my path.

It’s been years since I’ve been back in this small town of West Virginia for more than a day or two. Spending time here brings back a lot of fond memories. When I stopped by an old friend’s bar, I was expecting to grab a drink and catch up. What I didn’t expect was her.

We share an undeniable attraction, but we continue to fight it.

Until one night in Vegas changes everything.

Review

I have now read a few books from Kaylee Ryan and Hey, Whiskey is classic to her style of writing.  This author has a way of taking two people who have very different backgrounds and helps them to find a common ground.  The two main characters in this story (Saylor and Rhett) were really special.

I love the fact that Saylor is such a strong character.  She could have crumbled when her ex-boyfriend turned out to be such a jerk.  And when her best friend decided to be more of a mean girl than friend. But she didn’t.  Saylor seems to really want to find out what makes her happy.

Who wouldn’t want Rhett in their lives.  He was brought up by a great family that taught him to respect everyone around him.  I love the fact that family and friends mean a lot to him.

The secondary characters in this story were so much fun.  Rhett’s Grandpa was perfect.  Molly and Jack were exactly the type of friends Saylor needed in her life.

I really loved these characters.  Kaylee Ryan got the balance perfect between the emotional parts and playful banter.   There was great chemistry between all the characters. This was a nice heartwarming story and I can’t wait for what Kaylee has in store for us next.

Hey, Whiskey

My Rating:  

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Fake Wife

By Stacey Lynn

Synopsis

This marriage is strictly business . . . until the temptation gets way too real.

Corbin: I loved my grandma, but I don’t need her money. All I care about is keeping the house—the only place that’s ever felt like home. That, and screwing over my dad, who wants to turn the property into a mall. There’s only one catch: To receive my inheritance, I have to get married within six months. Me, the guy who’s never dated a girl for more than six minutes. Now I need to find a woman I can trust. So when I’m rear-ended by a Prius, I figure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to meet gorgeous, down-to-earth Teagan Monroe.

Teagan: First I lose my job. Then I come home and find out—in the most graphic way possible . . . yeah, that way—that my boyfriend is a cheating jerk. And then I speed off and nearly kill Portland’s sexiest bachelor. Corbin Lane should be pissed. Instead, he offers me more money than I’ve ever seen in my life to marry him and live together in a mansion for two years. No sex. No feelings. Just cash—enough to make all my dreams come true. Then we go and break all our rules . . . and I realize I’m falling in love with my fake fiancé.

Review

I really liked FAKE WIFE; the story and its characters drew me in from the very first chapter and did not let me go.

I liked Teagan, who really had it pretty rough in the beginning of this book.  She loses her job, catches her boyfriend cheating, and then crashes her car into the city’s sexiest millionaire bachelor…all in the span of a few hours.  How can you not like a woman who can remain polite, classy and—mostly—put together after going through all of that?  The only time I was disappointed in her was when she believed someone, who she knew was untrustworthy, over Corbin and everything he’d told her.  But, I did like that after she calmed down and thought about it, she realized she was probably very wrong and apologized quickly.

I liked Corbin for the most part, but he was a little wishy-washy about what he wanted.  He offered Teagan money to be his wife for two years.  No sex.  No emotions.  Just business.  Then he starts to fall for her but won’t tell her, and then gets upset because he thinks she’s only in it for the money.  Gah!  He was also very rude to her when he was trying to hide his attraction to her, and I felt that kind of behavior was unnecessary.  But, when he wasn’t acting like a prick, he was very down-to-earth and very likable.

FAKE WIFE is told in dual POVs and comes with a lovely HEA for Corbin and Teagan.  It’s currently listed as a stand-alone, but two of Corbin’s friends might have a little something going on, and I imagine they could have their own story at some point.  I would classify FAKE WIFE as an insta-love, because the entire story (not including the epilogue) takes place over just shy of two weeks.

Fake Wife

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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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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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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