Tag Archives: Virgin

Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye # 1)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home. 

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world. 

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves. 

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires. 

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels? 

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

Review

GOODBYE PARADISE is an amazing read with plenty of heartwarming scenes and beautiful characters.

Josh is an absolute sweetheart; one with a very kind and gentle soul.  Having been treated badly at the farm, he feels worthless and like nothing he does is ever good enough and, because of their religious upbringing, he also feels ashamed of his feelings towards Caleb.  But over time, and with reassurances from Caleb and their new friends, he slowly begins to let go of everything that was drilled into his head his whole life to find peace and happiness within himself.

“They think God doesn’t like it when you curse?  But god is just fine with throwing you out by the side of the road?  Do you hear how messed up that is?”

Caleb is the more confident, skilled and dominant of the two; he wasn’t bullied like Josh was because he held some rank at the farm.  He’s also a natural protector and spent most of his days at the farm shielding Josh.  I would go so far as to say he has a slight hero complex, because his need to protect sometimes went too far and he often felt responsible for things he had no control over.

“A real man does what needs doing.  He takes care of the people he loves.  You know this instinctively, even though every man in your own life treated you like shit.”

I not only loved Josh and Caleb, but almost everyone else in this story too.  Washington was their saviour when they needed one and seemed to become a father figure of sorts.  Maggie (a farm runaway from years before) was a lovely young woman who helped them adjust to life outside the farm.  Maggie’s husband, Daniel, was a cool guy who had no problem opening up his home to strangers in need.

GOODBYE PARADISE has loose ties to the True North series, but you don’t have to read those books to understand and enjoy this one.  GOODBYE PARADISE is told in dual POVs and comes with a lovely HEA for Josh and Caleb.  I truly hope we’ll be seeing more of them in the future, and I’d also like to see a book about Maggie’s sister, Miriam, because that young woman needs some happiness in her life after what she endured at the farm.

Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye # 1)

My Rating:  

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The Wingman

By Natasha Anders

Synopsis

She was supposed to be his one-night distraction. But their attraction is undeniable.

Introverted Daisy McGregor is used to being a wallflower, but what she lacks in style, she makes up for with an acerbic wit, a passion for life, and a deep devotion to her family. So she’ll suffer through her sister Dahlia’s bachelorette party and accept the cloud of pity for going stag to the wedding.

Out at the pub, sexy bad boy Mason Carlisle is a reluctant wingman tasked with entertaining Daisy while his brother flirts with her oldest sister, Daffodil. When the plan fails and Mason’s true intent is revealed, he feels intense guilt—and a sensual spark of desire for the unlikeliest of women.

Daisy decides to use this unfortunate encounter to her advantage: to make it up to her, Mason will be another kind of wingman, playing the role of her boyfriend and wedding date. Will their ruse unravel completely—or will Mason and Daisy’s undeniable attraction ignite a scorching love affair that knows no rules?

Review

THE WINGMAN is the second book I’ve read from Natasha Anders, the first one being THE UNWANTED WIFE which was amazing.  This story was less intense and angsty than that one, but still enjoyable.

I liked both Mason and Daisy, who are very nice people, but they also frustrated me a little with how sensitive and how easily offended they were.  They both also lack confidence, but Daisy more so than Mason.  All her life her sisters, Dahlia & Daffodil, have been called the pretty one and the cute one respectively, while Daisy has always been referred to as the other one, so I can understand her lack of confidence.

I couldn’t figure out why Mason didn’t think he was good enough for a relationship because he was a nice guy.  Unfortunately, this belief has him pulling Daisy in, only to push her away over and over, which got tiresome.  What I liked most about him was that right from the start, he was disgusted by the things people said about Daisy and defended her at every opportunity.  My favourite scene was when he defended her against those pigs on the golf course.

THE WINGMAN is told in dual POVs, with Daff getting some chapters in her POV as well.  At the time of writing this review, this book appears to be a stand-alone, but I get the feeling that Daisy’s two sisters will also get a story of their own.  There’s not much sex to be found in this story, with the first sex scene not coming (no pun intended) until almost the 80% mark.  Until that point, Mason and Daisy spent their time getting to know each other and slowly falling in love.  Would I read the next book in the series?  Yes, I would.

The Wingman

My Rating:  

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Daddy’s Girl

By Isabella Starling & Demi Donovan

Synopsis

Every brat needs a Daddy.

Daddy’s tastes are naughty and rough,
finding the right girl has been tough.

Daddy’s had them all you see,
but his little girl is the one he can’t set free.

Now Daddy has a lovely pet,
a naughty toy that’s scared of every threat.

But brats are always hard to train,
and Daddy’s girl has earned the cane.

Time to break out the whips and chains,
get some blood pulsing through baby’s veins.

Think twice before you disobey,
pretty girls in tears make Daddy’s day…

Review

Daddy’s Girl has me torn in two, how can I devour a book that is just a little bit wrong and dirty? Well I read it in a day, could not put it down, knew It would be hard but you once you pick this up you will like me keep turning those pages wanting to know how it ends – I simply loved the ending.

Lily’s mother was one character that I truly wanted to hurt very badly and then Law, well words fail me on that man, he is demented and dangerous but wow when he is that erotic and dominating man within the dark walls of Lily’s life well – speechless.

The mystery of Lily’s family and then the other players in this underworld is astonishing and when you realise where she is being held – well I was shocked – I had to take a moment as I was horrified and just so angry.

Lily’s strength her way to adapt to her situation and her issues obviously with her own father – her back story was interesting and helped me understand her actions and emotions to her situation.

Daddy’s Girl

My Rating: 

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Don’t Speak (A Modern Fairytale Book 5)

By Katy Regnery

Synopsis

In this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid, a fisherman’s daughter from an Outer Banks island untouched by time, meets the son of the North Carolina governor at a fancy party where she is working.

Laire, who wants more from life than her little island can offer, is swept away by wealthy, sophisticated Erik, who is, in turn, entranced by her naiveté and charm. The two spend a whirlwind summer together that ends on the knife-point of heartbreak and forces them to go their separate ways.

Years later, when fate finds them together once again, they will discover the terrifying depth of the secrets they kept from each other, and learn that shattered hearts can only be healed by a love that willfully refuses to die.

Review

Don’t Speak is a new adult romance in this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid. The relationship between Laire and the people around her is what pulled at my heart.  This novel is broken into two parts with an interlude.  The first part is the journey of self discovery and the second part is about a second chance at love.

Laire is a girl that is becoming a young woman.  She wants more for her life than her tiny island can provide.  Laire is caught between what is expected of her and her dreams of seeing what is beyond her home town.  Her family has outdated values and anything but settling down and starting her own family is out of the question.  I found myself hating Laire’s family more and more through the story.

Erik is a young man who has dreams of his own but his future has already been mapped out for him. Erik’s mother is determined for him to achieve the goals that she has set for him.  He is embarking on his own journey and did something he never thought he would do.  He fell for an island girl while on vacation with his family.

Don’t Speak is an emotional journey for a young woman who must choose between who she is and what her family believes in.  And for a young man whose own family provides obstacles on his way to happiness.  I found the interlude especially gut wrenching and effective to mark the passage of time.

I definitely could identify The Little Mermaid in this story between Laire and Erk.  And it made me see more complexity in The Little Mermaid.  This was am emotional journey for this two people whose families were not on board for their relationship.  And in the end they had to see past what was expected of them.  This was a very effective retelling of a classic story.

Don’t Speak

My Rating:  

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Fakers (Canaan Island #1)

By Meg Collett

Synopsis

Kyra Aberdeen is a YouTube sensation. Her bubbling personality and fresh beauty capture her audience each week, but they don’t know the truth-she’s just faking it. Beneath the surface of light-hearted smiles is a simmering darkness threatening to pull Kyra under.

When Kyra moves to Canaan Island and buys her deceased mother’s childhood home, she hopes to confront the lurking shadows haunting her every step. But when she meets her grumpy contractor, even her best-laid plans start to unravel.

Hale Cooper is as brutally honest as he is intriguing. He hates fakers, and isn’t afraid to call Kyra on her false personality. Yet, she is drawn to him, and the unexpected attraction to a man who challenges her to be her true self lands her in unchartered waters.

But if she lowers her guard and allows herself to be honest with Hale, will the darkness creep in too?

*This book is recommended for mature readers due to some sexual content and language. Cutting is represented in this book, and scenes may be considered triggering to some.*

Review

Fakers has one of the best group of characters I have read in a long time and I can honestly say this story is more than just Kyra and Hale, it has Stevie and Cade along with all the eccentric residents of Canaan Island.

Upon finishing Fakers I immediately downloaded book 2 Keepers which is Stevie’s story.

As I began highlighting favourite paragraphs because they touched my soul and gave me tingles it told me I am reading a beautiful love story and Faker’s did not disappoint.

The friendship between Stevie and Kyra was beautiful as was Kyra’s story of finding her home and a connection to her mother.  Kyra’s background story with her grandmother and mother is heartbreaking but also immensely gripping and it is not finished – what is in her mother’s diary? Will her grandmother give Kyra’s mother a beautiful gravesite with light and flowers?

One character who showed he is more than just alpha hotness is Hale, he stepped up at the end of this book and he is my hero.  The love, compassion and instinct in pushing Kyra to open up gives an amazing depth to this story.

I love the new covers of this series with the weatherboard houses.  Faker’s covers some deep and emotional issues, it is done with compassion however it has so many moments of humour and lightness that it does repair your heart.

I am in love with this story, it’s residents and it’s location, I cannot wait to start book 2!

Quote: “We just cope the best way we know how, but its not the best way, because it hurts us. So we have to learn a new way, a better way. Because we deserve the happiness we fake.”

Fakers (Canaan Island #1)

My Rating: 

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A Harmless Little Game (Harmless # 1)

By Meli Raine

Synopsis

Four years ago I lost my virginity on live, streaming television.
Too bad I wasn’t awake for it.
The video went viral. Of course it would. A Senator’s daughter on camera? Wouldn’t you click “share”? Besides, that’s what three of the four guys in the video did.
Share.

They shared me.

But that fourth guy? The nondescript one in the background in the upper left corner of the screen, just sitting on the couch? The only one who did nothing?
Not one single thing.
That was my boyfriend, Drew.
And that was the last time I saw him.

Until today, when my father—now on a path to the White House—hired him as head of security for my new team as I return home after four years of “recovering” in an undisclosed location that involved white lab coats, needles, pills and damage control.

You see, the other three guys never went to jail. Never had charges pressed.
Never faced consequences.
Until today.
Game on.

Review

WOW!  A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME is a book that grabbed me right from the very first page and did not let me go.  I know a book is good when I’m up until 1am reading.  Since this is the first book in the Harmless trilogy that focuses on Lindsay and her desire for revenge, I can’t say much, so this will be a fairly short review.

What Lindsay went through four years ago was horrific.  What’s worse is that the men involved got away with it.  If that doesn’t fire up your anger, I don’t know what will.  I really felt for her and I admired the strength and courage she displayed to stand up for herself.  I also liked Drew, who is a very quiet and controlled man.  I have a feeling that when his control slips, the fallout will be huge and it’s going to be a sight to behold.  I absolutely hated her parents, especially her mother.  Honestly, if it turns out that she had something to do with what happened to her daughter, I would not be surprised at all.  The scene where Lindsay stood up to her mother was awesome and I was so cheering her on.

This book left me with a lot of questions.  Questions that I’m sure will be answered in the following two books.  How did those men get away with it?  Who is protecting them?  Why did they do it?  Did someone put them up to it?  Who is her friend?  Who is her enemy?  Who is telling the truth?  I have so many more questions, but I can’t list them here without giving away some spoilers.

This first part of the trilogy takes place over two to three days and ends in a cliffhanger.  I did find it a little repetitive at times, and I also got annoyed when Drew kept telling Lindsay that she had no idea what she was in for.  I wanted to yell at him to just tell her already, but I guess that would have shortened the story quite a bit.  A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME is told only in Lindsay’s POV, with the next book in the trilogy being told in Drew’s POV, which I’m really looking forward to because I can’t wait to get inside his head.

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

A Harmless Little Game (Harmless # 1)

My Rating:  

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Harmless Series

The Pine Forest (The Iridescent Realm # 2)

By Michelle Dare

Synopsis

One touch, one spark, two lives forever changed.

Pine and Azure. The war between the two kingdoms lasted far too long. Peace was finally established, but the survivors would never forget who fought on the front lines. Oliver Sage had a reputation for being a ruthless knight. He’d seen enough death to last a lifetime and worked on putting the past behind him, although not all would let him forget.

Addison was the only daughter of King and Queen Azure. With three brothers, she knew she’d always be protected, but she also wanted to learn how to take care of herself. She was strong, had a good heart, and wanted to be treated as an equal. Magical abilities ran in her family, and she had one no one knew of.

Oliver had given his heart to one princess, until the night he dreamed of another. Addison was the last woman he should desire, especially given who she was. However, what if she wanted him as well? They’d hated each other their entire lives, but suddenly couldn’t resist the desire which built between them. There were also those who didn’t think they should be together. Forbidden romance could only stay hidden for so long in the dark depths of the Pine Forest.

Review

I’ve had a soft spot for Oliver since meeting him in THE AZURE KINGDOM.  It was so sad to see the woman he was promised, the woman he’d sworn to protect, the woman he was in love with, fall in love with someone else, and I really wanted him to get his own HEA.  THE PINE FOREST did not disappoint.

I really liked Oliver, who is the Pine Kingdom’s fiercest knight and the King’s most trusted friend.  He’s cool under pressure and strong in battle.  He’s kind, loyal, honest and has a good sense of humour.  I liked Addison and thought her magical abilities were interesting, but I felt those abilities were not displayed to their full potential.  I was also disappointed that, for a woman who trains with soldiers and was constantly saying she could protect herself, we never saw her showcase her fighting skills.  I was waiting for her to go all badass on someone, but that didn’t happen.

As bad as this will sound, not a great deal happens in this book.  Oliver and Addison meet, they touch and feel a spark, they communicate in their dreams, they fall in love, her life is threatened, they defeat the threat, the end.  But you know what?  I think that’s a good thing, because sometimes there can be so much going on in a story that the relationship takes a backseat.  Here though, their relationship was front and centre.  Despite the connection they feel to each other, they don’t rush things.  Instead, their relationship builds up slowly and they get to know each other over several weeks while they come to terms with the fact that only a few months earlier, they were at war.

THE PINE FOREST is told in dual POVs, with the epilogue being told in Elliott Azure’s (Addison’s brother) POV, who I assume will get the next book in the series.  He is very hateful of the Pine Kingdom despite his family’s desire to put the past behind them, and I hope to see him come around in his own book.

The Pine Forest (The Iridescent Realm # 2)

My Rating:  

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The Iridescent Realm Series

His Undeniable Secret

By Shayla Black

Synopsis

I’m Kayla.
I’m twenty one.
I’m afraid because ever since a sudden, terrible tragedy, I’m alone in the world—except for my brother’s best friend. But now Oliver intends to move back to London.
I’m in love with him. And I have to persuade him to stay…somehow.
Maybe if I tell him I’m a virgin and show him just how far I’m willing to go to keep him, he’ll give in.
Of course, I never expected that he’d be keeping a shocking secret of his own…

Review

His Undeniable Secret is about Kayla, a girl with a huge heart that belongs to Oliver.  Oliver is a man whose best friend died and is helping his sister grieve.  Oliver also has a secret which is causing him to make the decision to go back home to London.

This novella reminds me what I love about Shayla Black.  Her writing creates emotion and passion. I loved that Kayla only had eyes for Oliver and would do anything to keep him from moving back to London.  Oliver was the perfect match for her but he was conflicted because she was his best friend’s sister.  He was also willing to give her up to keep her from entering into his world.

His Undeniable Secret is a great stand alone novella.  It left me wanting to get to know these characters better.  The only thing I wish was that this book was slightly longer so that I could find out more about them.

His Undeniable Secret

My Rating:  

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Dirty Money (Roughneck Billionaires # 1)

By Jessica Clare

Synopsis

Boone Price and his brothers know oil; at least, the dirty, backbreaking side of working an oil rig. But when their scrubby, worthless hunting land turns out to be sitting on top of one of the biggest oil wells in North America, they go from the rig to the boardroom and end up billionaires practically overnight.

Now with enough money to do whatever he wants, Boone is developing a taste for fine things. And the finest thing he’s ever seen is Ivy Smithfield, local realtor. Boone’s determined to win her affection and show the world that he’s more than just a dirty fool with a bit of money. Ivy’s classy and beautiful – she’ll make the perfect trophy wife. The fact that she’s sexy and funny is just a bonus.

There’s one tiny problem – Ivy’s as dirt poor as Boone was. Her carefully crafted veneer of luxury? All an act to promote her business. What’s Boone going to do when he finds out the woman he’s falling for is, well, in his league?

Review

DIRTY MONEY is the beginning of a new series and is the first book I’ve read from Jessica Clare.

Boone was an interesting character and I wasn’t sure what to make of him for most of this book.  He’s obscenely wealthy, but because of how he looks, talks and behaves, people treat him like trash when he believes they should be treating him like royalty.  His ideas on how to force people to respect him were over-the-top and did nothing good for his reputation.  He wants a classy woman at his side but then says he’s willing to pay money if it’ll get said classy woman to sleep with him.  He’s very easily offended, sulks like a child and will hold a grudge until the end of time.  BUT…he loves his brothers and set them up for life, any piece of property he buys for revenge gets donated, and I can understand him being insulted by those who look down at him while at the same time want things from him.  But just when I was starting to like him, he let his stupid pride get in the way and ruined it.  In the end he put aside his pride and fixed things, but overall he didn’t win me over.

Ivy is a nice and very hard working woman.  Thanks to her bosses⎯who screw her over at every opportunity⎯she’s struggling to make ends meet while keeping her little sister in college.  She’s the classy woman Boone set his sights on and she’s so desperate for a decent paycheck she refuses to tell him about her real life out of fear she’ll lose him and his business if she does.  What both Boone and Ivy fail to realise is that money can’t buy class, and that even without money, Ivy had class in spades.  She had the opportunity to marry Boone for his money and she didn’t take it.  I respect her for that.

DIRTY MONEY is told in dual POVs, is the first book in the Roughneck Billionaires series, and is a quick and easy read that comes with a nice HEA.  Boone has four younger brothers⎯Clay, Knox, Seth and Gage⎯who I’m sure will get their own books.  The texts between Boone and Ivy were flirtatious and funny and were my favourite part of this story.  The conflict towards the end wasn’t original, and you could see it coming a mile away.  Overall, I liked the story, but I didn’t love it.  That being said, I would give the second book a try before deciding whether or not to continue with the series.

Dirty Money (Roughneck Billionaires # 1)

My Rating:  

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The Pawn (Endgame #1)

By Skye Warren

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Synopsis

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

Review

The Pawn is part of a series, you will be left with questions at the end of this story, I am so glad we only have to wait until January for The Knight – you have been warned.

I was deflated upon finishing as I was not ready to leave Gabriel and Avery.  The last word of the book – perfect and what an ending – so many questions.

Will Avery make her move and jump ahead in The Knight? I cannot wait to see her surprise move.

Gabriel is the devil and Avery is goodness and perhaps a bit naive especially when it comes to her father.  When Gabriel takes Avery in the physical sense it is raw and honest however upon reflection I have some inner thoughts on what could happen to Avery going forward – I hope I am right.

The whole auction scene had my stomach turning and her awful Uncle Landon made my skin crawl.

The Pawn flows perfectly, we are given moments of devastation and turmoil and I love the cover.  The Pawn is not a love story however I can feel the foundations building and for a Queen to make her move in more ways than one to capture the King.

The supporting characters of Justin and Harper gave another layer to Avery to help me understand her upbringing and her innocence.

I am left with many questions that I want answers to, is the Den playing another part to this story, why the photos?, who was the intruder, is Uncle Landon going to try and claim again, where is Justin and has Gabriel left Avery with a gift?

Quote:  I flinch because I know exactly what I am to him  It’s my role in this game: to fall when the time is right, to protect the king until I’ve run out of time. To sacrifice myself at the perfect turn.

The Pawn (Endgame #1)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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