Tag Archives: Violent Scene

Tender Echoes: A Dark Prequel to Digital Velocity

By Reily Garrett

Synopsis

Theft of spirit is no one’s birthright.

A quirk of her X chromosome furnished Alexis with an edge few others enjoyed. After fate plunged Lexi into orphan status and an intolerable foster home forced her to the streets, a group of prostitutes sheltered her from their vicious pimp. Seeing something special within, they nurtured and shielded her from their harsh reality until she could forge her own path in life.
Destiny frequently takes us back to our roots. Lexi’s return journey begins when a serial killer attacks someone who’d offered her refuge in her previous life. Relying on courage and wit, she must stay a step ahead and secure evidence to free her family from a psychopathic murderer.

Review

Family comes in all shapes and forms. In Tender Echoes, family comes in the shape of prostitutes who take care of each other and girl who finds herself on the streets.  Family also comes in the form of the kindness of others who help her get the support that she needs so that she can reach her potential.  But help goes both ways and when the pimp who is boss over her family decides to punish one of them Lexi decides to make sure he doesn’t get away with it.

Lexi is a bright girl that has been given a hard road in life but she is loyal to those who have supported her.   She is brave and even if she fears what might happen to her, she will do everything in her power to make sure justice comes to the pimp.

Ethan is the detective that Lexi is giving information to.  He seems like a good person who wants to have justice come down on the pimp as well.  Lexi has a lot of trust issues that is preventing her from telling Ethan who she is and that she is the one who is giving him all the information.

Tender Echoes is a prequel to this series.  I like the fact the Lexi is smart and uses her skills to help those who need help around her.  Ethan is also an interesting character and I hope we are going to learn more about him in the future. There was no romance in this part of the story but a lot of action that set this series up for some interesting adventures in the future.

Tender Echoes

My Rating:  

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Below the Surface (Witness #5)

By Heather D’Agostino

Synopsis

Things aren’t always as they seem…

I’ve lived by that motto for most of my life. I’ve hid who I am, who I used to be, and what I’ve done from anyone who dares to get close to me. At nineteen I lost my parents. I thought nothing in the world could be more painful. I was wrong.

When I met Leo, my world seemed brighter. I felt hope for the first time in months. He promised me a life of luxury, but things aren’t always as they seem. Leo had a dark side, one that he hid from me. He pulled me under and held me captive, making death seem like the only way out.

It took me two years to escape. I ran never looking back until now. My life is finally coming together. I have people I trust, a job, and a safe place to call home, but things aren’t always as they seem.

One night, one phone call, one moment causes it to all crash down. Leo has my sister, and he wants to trade her for me. The one person I can trust is the only one who could also tear me apart… Detective Jeff Horn. He’s got secrets just like me, and seems to understand me better than I do myself.

How do I tell him my darkest secrets? How do I go back to a place that nearly broke me? How do I let him see Below the Surface?sert Synopsis Here

Review

Below the Surface was an amazing read, the leading character for me was Lena and she simply grabbed my heart from the first few pages.  As a reader I thoroughly enjoyed watching her journey from a survivor living Below the Surface of life from a horrific situation to finally breaking through and taking the amazing step of trusting another human being with her life and heart.

To watch Jeff and Lena make their way through so many obstacles, some very scary especially when she had to return to save her sister to them finally connecting on an intimate level was just beautiful story telling.

When Jeff and Lena are finally intimate I took a deep breath, it was just perfect in my eyes, the build up and emotional connection was just so worth the wait and did not disappoint.  I was with them every step of the way and Jeff’s handling of her was just so endearing but also forceful at the right moments for her recovery.

Below the Surface leads you through the story of her traumatic past however I appreciated we were not given too much detail as your own imagination can take you there to that dark place.  As soon as we were going dark the author turns and gives you light to make your way out of this part of the story, it is still sad but done really well in my opinion.

The supporting characters are very funny and help create a family of sorts and I have not read any of the other stories in the witness series, in my opinion you do not have to as this is definitely a standalone.

I could have read so many more chapters on Lena and Jeff and their love story – they were an amazing couple that had so much chemistry, passion and companionship – he was her warrior and brought her back from the darkness that she thought she would live with forever.

Below the Surface (Witness #5)

My Rating: 

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Claiming Grace (Ace Security # 1)

By Susan Stoker

Synopsis

For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.

Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.

Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.

Review

CLAIMING GRACE is the first book in the Ace Security series and is also the first book I’ve read from Susan Stoker.  It is a second-chance romance between Logan and Grace, who had feelings for each other in high school, but never acted on them before Logan left for the Army.  Thanks to the actions of others, they both believed the other had led them on and therefore haven’t seen or spoken to each other in ten years.

Ace Security is owned and run by triplet brothers Logan, Blake and Nathan, who created the security firm after their father was killed by their abusive mother, and their primary goal is to provide help and security for abused men.  At the time of writing this review, I read this story over a week ago and I don’t remember much about Logan at all, other than I thought his idea of creating a security company for abused men was brilliant.

Grace stood out more than Logan, but in her case that’s not a good thing.  She’s a nice woman and I was rooting for her to get her HEA with Logan, but I couldn’t relate to her.  I couldn’t understand why she didn’t just tell people what had been going on and then get in her car and go far, far away from her parents.  She’s been mentally and emotionally abused her entire life and yet, at the age of thirty, is still clinging to the hope that some day soon her parents will love her and let her go to live her own life.  As much as I hate to say this, sometimes she was a little too stupid to live.  She would acknowledge that she needed to be careful around her parents, but would then meet them alone in private places.

I have to say that as much as I hated them, her parents are the most memorable characters in this story.  They are so horrible, despicable and cruel that they deserve to be skinned alive for not only how they treated Grace, but how they treated everyone in the community.

CLAIMING GRACE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA that I will say was a little cheesy and unrealistic.  The ending also leads us into the second book which will be about Blake and Alexis.

Claiming Grace (Ace Security # 1)

My Rating:  

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Ace Security Series

Riot (Scarred Souls #4)

By Tillie Cole

Synopsis

Stolen by the Arziani Georgian crime mob as a child, 152 was raised and conditioned to be a Mona—the most subservient of the Arziani Blood Pit slaves.

Gorgeous and kind, she has been and under the imprisoning influence of the Type B drug and under the command of the Blood Pit Master’s sister, Mistress Arziani, for most of her life, until the Master calls her back home to Georgia.

He wants her under his total control, and Master always gets what he wants.

But when 152 is gifted to the Blood Pit’s fearsome champion death match fighter as a prize, 152 suddenly finds out that the men who appear most brutal, may just own the kindest hearts. And love may be found, even when living in hell.

Freedom, family, love, 152 will have to fight for what she wants and ultimately make an impossible choice.

Review

Riot is one dark, intense and highly emotional read and at times I had to place this book down and regroup as some scenes are truly horrific and soul destroying.  In saying that the way the characters determination for finding their way from darkness to freedom made me devour this book.

I have not read the other books in the series but could easily follow the past and current storylines.  The author paced this book well and jumped time at parts to keep the story flowing and make sure the reader is not stuck in the darkness at highly emotional scenes for too long so I was thankful for that.

152 and 901 both broke my heart at times and I had such sadness for them and the last quarter of the book well hang on as it is a truly spine tingling read full of action and suspense.  I LOVED the ending as you are given hope, love and family and you definitely need it after the journey you go on.

I would love to read a story on Maya and Maxim as Maya was one of the lights of this book as she gave me hope for 152.

I am not a blood and guts type of girl but even I wanted to jump into the blood pit and slice Master’s head off and another part of this anatomy!  Master has to be one of the cruelest characters I have had to endure and he made my skin tingle with fear for the crazy and twisted man he was and I could never pick his next course of action throughout the book.

Quote: “You are the Arziani Pit Bull You are feared. But to me, you are safety”

Riot (Scarred Souls #4)

My Rating: 

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Worth The Wait (St. James # 1)

By Jamie Beck

Synopsis

Thirteen years ago, Vivi LeBrun was sketching a rooster and eating Oreos when she first met—and fell for—her friend’s brother, David St. James. Since then, her love for David has only intensified thanks to years of friendship with his family, who rescued her from a lonely, tumultuous childhood. As she travels to Block Island to vacation with the St. James siblings, Vivi daydreams about reuniting with David, hoping he’ll finally see her as his soul mate.

After his mother’s death, David distanced himself from his siblings, determined to hide a devastating family secret. Now, he’s brought a new girlfriend along to his homecoming—one who’s pushing for a serious commitment. The last thing he needs on his growing list of problems is his budding attraction to Vivi.

With tensions running high, David’s behavior triggers a series of events that might cost him the love he’s always taken for granted and Vivi the only real family she’s ever known.

Review

WORTH THE WAIT is the first book I’ve read from Jamie Beck, and I found it to be an enjoyable read.

I quite liked Vivi, who is fun, friendly and just a really nice person.  She lost her mother and brother when she was just a child and her father became a drunk to escape.  But despite all that, she remains positive and upbeat.  She has been in love with David since she was thirteen and even at that young age, she never hid her feelings from him.  That takes courage and I admired her for it.  But after waiting in vain for half of her life, she decides it’s time to move on from David and, as is her way, she’s not afraid to tell him exactly what she thinks and feels.

“Vivi, your friendship means everything to me.  I don’t want to lose it.”
“Of course you don’t.  Who would willingly let go of someone who gives everything and asks for nothing in return?”

David is a nice guy, but he’s also a little selfish and I spent a large portion of the story not liking him very much.  He’s dealing with his own personal demons which have caused him to recently push away not only his family, but also Vivi.  He’s always been aware of Vivi’s feelings for him but in all honesty, he never led her on…at least up until now.  His character is a cliché though, in that he didn’t realise exactly how he wanted Vivi until her affection wasn’t available to him anymore.

She’d always been an all-or-nothing girl.  He should have guessed she would treat him likewise.  For years she’d given him her all, and now she had nothing left.

WORTH THE WAIT is told in dual POVs and comes with a very nice HEA.  The story is told in present time but also includes the occasional flashback to events that took place over the past thirteen years.  I found this to be an easy and enjoyable read, and I would read the next book in the series.

Worth The Wait (St. James # 1)

My Rating:  

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St. James Series

Beastly (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 3)

By Michelle Irwin

Synopsis

Not all things are exactly as they appear.

Beau Miller thought his happily ever after had returned in the form of the girl with the seafoam eyes. He never expected a second heartbreak at her hand. 

When her father, Declan Reede, turns up with murder in his eyes, Beau discovers that the break-up might not have been what it seemed. He must solve the mystery if he’s to find his girl.  

How can he and Declan rescue their princess when she’s been taken by someone with beastly intentions? And will they make it in time?

Review

After the scary cliffhanger in PHOBIC, I knew I was going to be in for a rough ride in BEASTLY, but I had my fingers crossed hoping that it wouldn’t be as bad as I feared.  Sadly, it was.  But WOW…what a read!  My heart was pounding for four and a half hours straight as I read this non-stop from beginning to end, and this is definitely a book that you’ll be thinking about days later.

“No one cares that Phoebe’s missin’.  It’s like my heart’s been torn from my chest, and no one else realises the world stopped spinnin’ the moment she disappeared.”

I love Beau and he’s totally a keeper, but I will say that I wanted to strangle him for being so dumb.  Obviously we all know who has taken Phoebe, but he had his suspicions and never voiced them.  WTF???  I realise the story would have been super short if he had, but GRRRRRRR!  I felt bad for him when everyone suspected that he had something to do with Phoebe’s disappearance, because he wouldn’t hurt a fly.  I liked the bond he ended up having with Declan and I really look forward to seeing those two build on their relationship.  I think Declan knows that there is no better man for his little girl than Beau.  Although, I was getting an iffy feeling in the scenes involving Beau and Angel, and if Michelle is reading this, I hope she doesn’t go down “that” road.  I mean, I don’t want to tell an author what to do, but please don’t do “that”.

BEASTLY is told only in Beau’s POV and ends in a really sad cliffhanger, so have some tissues handy.  It cannot be read as a stand-alone, so you do need to read the first two books in the series before starting this one.  It’s usually nice to see Declan again, but it wasn’t this time and my heart broke for him when he realised who had his little girl and what had been done to her.  When it comes to Phoebe, we’ve only scratched the surface of what she suffered, and I think we’ll learn more about it all in PHYSIS, which comes out in April this year and will be told in her POV.

Please Note: This story contains scenes/topics that may be triggers for some people.

Beastly (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 3)

My Rating:  

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Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story Series

The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her

By Alice K. Wayne

Synopsis

Tomás Ramírez was the youngest son of his organized crime family, and the only smear they carried on their perfect lineage. He was brazen, defiant, and shamelessly sexual, with a sadistic streak that left me lying awake at night wondering what he would do to me, or my body, next. He was the type of man that made me hate him while I clung to him.
Oh… and did I mention he’s blackmailing me?
Mikayla Jones was a sweet, quirky girl, with a dirty past, trying to make her way alone in the world. She was doing just fine in her warm bed of lies, until I came along and burned it all to hell, making her face the truth and confront her demons.

“Why?” you might ask… because I’m in love with the silly little girl, and I won’t stop until she’s mine.

This book contains content that may not be suitable for readers sensitive to hard to read subjects

Review

What I first love about The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her is the cover, I think it is beautiful and so different and fits perfectly with the story inside.  The beginning of this story details how they met and why he wants To Catch Her, this is the first story that I have read about camming.

The connection between Tomas and Mikayla is brilliant and their friendship and romantic journey was excellent and I love how he called her Jones and their banter both humorous and erotic was spot on.  The relationship between Tomas and his two brothers was interesting and also the family dynamic with their parents was refreshing.  HIs mother I immediately liked and her strategic playing in the lives of her three sons was a great side story.

Now the only thing that annoyed me was the multiple storylines, at times I admit I became confused, thought I had missed something, went back and made sure I was on the right track.  The mafia and gang storylines were aplenty and you have to keep your wits about you, all three brothers have a story, this is just not Tomas and Mikayla’s story.  We deal with Russians, gangsters and then their workers who have true allegiance to the Ramirez family.

I know other reviews are talking about the cliffhanger for Mikayla and I did not see that coming but it was the other two cliffhangers in the story with Savannah & Mateo (who is she talking to?) and then also Elijah & Santiago at the warehouse.  So much is happening in this story and there are so many unanswered questions that I simply want the next book – like now!  So after finishing The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her I go hunting on Goodreads, Amazon and on Facebook, no mention of when the next book is coming out, I am now a bit annoyed as the way it ends is brutal, how much more can be thrown at Mikayla, I was hoping for some happiness for her with Tomas.

The Lords of Miami: To Catch Her

My Rating:  

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Cole

By Tijan

Cole

Synopsis

I shouldn’t have remembered him.
He was just a guy who walked through a restaurant. I didn’t know his name. We never made eye contact. There was no connection between us at all.
But I could feel him.
The tingle down my spine. The command in his presence. The snap of tension in the air around him. That was the first time I saw him, and I was captivated.
The second time was different.
He was in the mysterious back elevator of my apartment building. Our eyes met for a fleeting second before the doors closed, and I was staggered. My breath was robbed. My senses on high alert. My body hummed.
That was just the beginning.
He was the leader of the mafia. I was about to fall in love with him, and his name…
Cole Mauricio.

Review

Cole & Addison when combined well to put it simply their chemistry and passion was just perfection and when he says those three words you will have tears and tingles.

I devoured Cole and the hidden stories that evolved as his journey progressed. The Mafia connections and the ongoing relationship to Carter Reed was expertly entwined with this story.

Honestly to fully appreciate Cole you need to read Carter Reed 1 and 2 as both Carter and Emma return to Cole’s life and he is a god that man when he graces the pages, freakin Carter Reed – orgasmic pleasures upon these pages!

Two of my favourite characters apart from the leading lovebirds was Sia and Jake, Sia provided some amazing moments of humour and really complemented Addison and pushed her outside her comfort zone.  Jake was that perfect guy you want for your best friend that includes you in their inner circle and has your back and wow Dawn was an interesting surprise just when I was thinking where was she certainly came back with a Bang!

The whole story flowed really well for me and it was paced to perfection and also the timelines and explanation of Cole & Carter was done enough in case the reader has not read Carter Read.

I did not pick the hidden Mafia connections and the drama and action towards the ending was brilliant and then to see that Carter Reed 3 is coming – OMG happy dance right here and I would so love to see Carter and Cole making their own families with these two strong women who have taken these Mafia men into their hearts.

Quote: Once you go Carter, you always become smarter

Cole

My Rating:  

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Between Heaven and Hell

By Erin Trejo

I

Synopsis

Cordae “Demon” Vitale.
People feared me. They respected me.
I was the Boss of the Vitale family at twenty-two.
One of the youngest in history.
I ran my business exceptionally.
My emotions were never part of this life.
Ava made me realize that there was more to life than what I had.
She pushed me to limits I didn’t think I could go to.
At the end of the day, I was forced between heaven and hell.
Much like the rest of my life, I was teetering on that fine line in between.

Losing something that means a lot to you, can change a person.
It changed me.
I will travel to the ends of the earth to get back that one thing that meant the most to me.
I will destroy everyone in my path to make that happen.

Review

Heaven and Hell, Cord and Ava are light and dark. I really enjoyed the Mafia story however I did find part 1 of this jumped quickly and I did not overly feel their connection, physically yes but not emotionally. Sections of this story were not fully explained, Ava’s parents, Daniel being warned off, why did he do that and then not monitor her if he was interested and then to just happen upon her at the clinic. He then says he knows all about her?

I easily followed Ava and her emotional connection to Amelia but with Cord I did not and then with the ending of part 1, his actions did not make sense because I had not believed he even barely interacted with Amelia for him to feel his loss and heartbreak, I can understand the anger but that was because he was the boss and he was taken by surprise.

Now onto Park 2 – this is where the story just blew it out of the park, I thought the pacing action of the underlying Mafia story was perfect and then it was like a light was switched on and I could understand and feel Cord through the writing, I just wish this had happened in Park 1, although Amelia’s part was sad it did not overly upset me as she was really barely in the story line apart from a few odd paragraphs. It would have been better to see more regular interactions between those two characters to see a build-up of affection and acceptance with each other to then understand the devastation. I know I keep harping on about Amelia but I do believe she was a pivotal  character to Cord’s make up as a man and his emotional wellbeing and it was the start of him unravelling his cold demeanour and perhaps dreaming of having a family and being worthy of love.

I was surprised and excited with the new character in part 2 in Italy, however again would have loved to have seen a more detailed conversation between Cord and Ava on those lost years – I wanted to know more!

The sex scenes between Cord and Ava were very enjoyable. Ava was just a lovely character, I also would have liked to have known more about her family in part 1 as it was just fast forwarded over her and also perhaps a couple of chapters on her relationship with Gambino would have tied things together. I would have liked to have seen Daniel and Cord early on having that conversation where Cord told him to never see Ava again instead of just hearing it second hand from Cord in a conversation with one of his men. Was Daniel with Ava because her father was the Mayor? Was there a gentleman’s agreement to date his daughter? Her mother too, never saw her then she was another storyline?

I am wondering whether this would have flowed better with perhaps Ava having some POV chapters at critical moments in their relationship – particularly in Italy, with Amelia, her own family and also Daniel.

An enjoyable Mafia story, I really did love these two main characters and Cord definitely had moments of pure darkness then Ava would show him the light and give him hope.

Favourite Quote:  “It means my beautiful girl.” Ava smiles and the rest of the world ceases  to exist. In this moment, she is the girl that brought light into my soul.

Between Heaven and Hell

My Rating: 

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A Harmless Little Plan (Harmless # 3)

By Meli Raine

Synopsis

Turns out there was a second video from that awful night four years ago. Mine wasn’t the only tape.

Too bad mine wasn’t the worst.

Drew can’t protect me no matter how hard he tries, but the roles are flipped now. I have to help him, but I’m not wired that way. Not anymore. That one night changed me more than anyone knows.

More than anyone could predict.

Three men think they’re above the law. They’re right.

But I’m willing to go beneath the law to make sure they never harm anyone else. Their threats don’t scare me. 

When you have nothing left to lose because someone took it all away, you create the most dangerous creature imaginable.

Me.

Game over.

Review

After loving and quickly devouring the first two books in the Harmless trilogy, I’m sad to say that I found A HARMLESS LITTLE PLAN to be a little disappointing.  Why?  Because despite the happy-for-now ending, I felt there was no real closure in this story.  There are a lot of loose threads and unanswered questions, and I am not a fan of either of those things.

After finding out in the first book that Lindsay’s three friends lied to the police and media about her rape, we never heard about them again or found out why they turned against her.  What did they get out of it?  We never found out why Drew’s friends turned against him either.  Yes, they got money and fame, but what they did to Lindsay and Drew was so hateful and violent that there had to be more to it than just getting paid.  We do find out that people within the NSA, CIA and FBI all have their fingers in this scandalous pie, but we never heard about them being arrested.  Then I have to wonder, if the man pulling the strings was so well connected, why did he feel so threatened and why did he need to have Lindsay raped in the first place?  But then I guess if there’s no rape, there’s no story.  It was also mentioned that this same man may have been involved in the killing of Drew’s parents, and that someone high up (we don’t know where) targeted Drew because they think he’s a threat.  Both of these claims were never investigated and we didn’t find out if these claims were true.  These are just a handful of questions I was left with at the end of this book.  Will they be answered in another book or series, or will we be left hanging?

The first 50% of the book is where all the excitement lies.  After that, the book slows down a lot as we watch Lindsay and Drew heal from their ordeal.  I liked both Drew and Lindsay and was very glad to see them get their revenge and happy ending.  I was hoping to find just one redeeming quality in Lindsay’s mother, but by the end of this book I hated her as much as I did in the beginning of the series.  Throughout the series, I’ve alternated between liking and hating her father, and in the end I found him gutless.  He does love his daughter, but I think he loves his career more and will put it before her.

A HARMLESS LITTLE PLAN is told in dual POVs and is the final book in the Harmless trilogy, which cannot be read as stand-alones.  There is no epilogue, but it comes with a HFN ending.  Honestly, if all the loose threads had been taken care of, if nothing was left unresolved, this would have been a 5❤️ read for sure.

Please Note:  This book contains scenes that may be triggers for some people.

A Harmless Little Plan (Harmless #3)

My Rating:  

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Harmless Series