Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Longer ago than I’m willing to admit, I was introduced to this series by the author and I’ve been hooked ever since. Centered around a young woman and her husband – a Chicago police officer – and his very Irish family – The Cassandra’s Cop series quickly became one of my favorites.
So, why part one? Well, because there are thirty-odd stories, novellas, transitions, and what have you in this fifteen hundred page collection. That said, I’m not quite bright enough to pull off one review for all of that. So, you’ll get the reviews in pieces as I read. Even for the things that aren’t quite meant to be reviewed because, I figure that, if it’s included, there’s a reason for it.
That said, on to the first two bits!
Prologue: I like prologues and epilogues, but I might be weird. I like that little introduction before the real story beings plus that little tying up of loose ends at the end. I love the way that we are introduced to the O’Keefe family here, by way of a brief talk with the eldest brother, Liam.
Happy Birthday: Another short, introductory piece. In this brief short piece, we get to know Liam a little more and help celebrate his 102nd birthday. I’m intrigued, however, by Will Ryder and what role he’ll play by the end.
Up next: To Protect and Serve ~ Cassandra’s Cop.
Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Monday, June 3, 2013
A young woman working at a New York City fashion magazine comes to work one day to find the man she had an amazing one night stand with years ago is now her boss.
And that’s not the only thing that goes to hell for Sophie that morning. Discovering the woman she’d been working under for the last two years has been ousted and the magazine bought out, Sophie is racing to adjust and figure out just what the heck is going on. Running into Neil only adds to the crazy.
Sophie is a riot, to say the least. No matter how bad things look, she can always manage to find a sarcastic remark or something to joke about to lighten the situation. This isn’t to say that she doesn’t have her down moments, because she does. Her bravado is just that – bravado. There are still things in her life that she’s unsure about and it shows. I love when a character is able to be vulnerable and strong, too.
Neil is… well, he’s Neil. He’s sexy and he’s powerful and he’s rich. But he’s more than that, too. He’s a father and a business owner and he’s Sophie’s new boss. The more you get to know Neil, the more you like him. Seeing him flounder with his daughter or laugh with his friend, Rudy, makes him more real and less perfect.
Have I ever told you that I’m a sucker for secondary characters? I have this awful habit of imprinting on the minor characters and falling in love with them more so than the main couple. While I will say that I absolutely adore Sophie and Neil, I equally adore Rudy, Holli and Deja. I fiercely hope that there will be more of all three in the next book because they really add a lot to the depth of the story and to Sophie and Neil. They are more than background noise, they’re a part of the bigger picture.
The Boss does have a sexy twist. Sophie and Neil agree to a Dom/sub relationship where Sophie is the submissive half. This is both entertaining and highly seductive as Sophie knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to make her opinion known, but the idea of submitting thrills her. It’s a learning process for both of them and in these moments we see more clearly who they are and who they might be. Having burned out on BDSM novels a few years ago, The Boss has breathed new life into the genre for me. Partly because it is so sensually written, but mostly due to the intensity of the personal relationship between Sophie and Neil. There’s real respect and friendship even between them.
Ms. Barnette has a wonderful, flowing style that makes reading her novels effortless. You’re picked up and carried off on the back of Sophie and launched right into her world. I once had an English teacher tell me that first person point of view was used only by immature writers to tell immature stories. I have to completely disagree with her because I honestly believe that the effectiveness of this novel lies in the fact that we see it all through Sophie’s point of view making every choice, decision, and action more important to the outcome.
The Boss is an emotional rollercoaster laced with laughter and jam-packed full of steamy, exciting sex, both involving BDSM and not. However, there is more to see than the sexual relationship between them. There’s intrigue and fun and surprises, too. The twist at the end will leave you stunned and begging for the next installment pronto! But more than that, it will leave you thinking, wondering about Neil and Sophie and just what on earth they are going to get up to next.
Disclaimer: I was provided with an advanced copy of The Boss by the author in exchange for a fair review.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Two cops walk into a bar. Mason, the bartender, waits for the punch line, because no way in hell are these ridiculously hot men real cops. They’re straight out of a cop-fetish fantasy. But he quickly learns that Jack and Gray are the real deal, and they want him in the worst way.
What starts as a night of hot, three-way sex becomes a lot more. The two cops fulfill Mason’s submissive fantasies, but they also meet a more basic need, comfort. They want to take care of Mason, to offer him unconditional friendship, but their concern for him unnerves Mason more than even the kinkiest sex.
To find happiness with his new partners, Mason must change his belief that love is as much a fantasy as a pair of gorgeous, handcuff-wielding cops landing in his bed.
Now, I will admit, I have no shame. Honestly. So, when I stumbled across this on Amazon, I was intrigued by an all male threesome. Who wouldn’t be, right? Needless to say, it was quite the eye-opener. *G*
There were two parts to this novella. The first is a string of robberies that are occurring in and around the area where Mason tends bar. This is the catalyst that introduces him to his two hot cops - Gray and Jack. Now, the whole mystery angle is a bit weak, you kind of have an idea from the beginning who is behind it all, but that doesn’t bother me much. I didn’t go into this thinking it was going to be a James Patterson or Kathy Reichs novel. I went into this for the love story. That said, it was a reasonable way to bring the pair of cops into the story as well as give them reasons to return and chat Mason up without looking like weirdoes or creeps.
The second part is the love story. Jack and Gray are already in a loving, committed relationship but just happen to be looking to make their duo into a trio. This is where Mason comes in. However, Mason is a bit damaged. He’s suffered at the hands of a threesome gone wrong in the past, so he has a hard time accepting that he can be a true third piece to their already happy puzzle. It takes a lot of convincing – and even a few arguments – before they manage to convince him that they want him and only him in their relationship.
The love interest portion of the story outshines the mystery aspect, but that’s how it was supposed to be, I’m sure. The mystery adds substance and circumstance and a little adventure as well. All in all, I found Fitting In to be a well-rounded, highly sexy novella about a unique bond of love. I’d highly recommend it to someone who enjoys cop stories, male/male romances, threesomes that are liable to set your e-reader on fire, and just a touch of cheesiness.
One of the great things about reading on a Kindle? You can highlight your favorite lines, passages, etc. Here are a couple of mine:
“Step back inside, sir. We got a call that there was someone at this address who needed to be taught a lesson.”
Mason wanted to fall to his knees, unzip Gray’s pants, and take Gray into his mouth right that second. Probably bad etiquette though. Dinner first, then blowjobs. Wasn’t that how a date worked?
Anyway… you see what I mean about the cheesiness factor? But it’s used sparingly and generally only in those moments when Mason is uneasy. It’s like his way of hiding his nerves and I loved what it added to the story.
Format: Amazon Kindle e-Book
Willing to lend: Yes. Comment for more information. I’m more than wiling to lend my Kindle books via Amazon if you ask.
And oddly enough, next up is a young adult novel… weird.
Monday, January 21, 2013
You can find the author here and this book on eHarlequin.com
A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands...even spend a week with a stranger. Daniel has been a recluse since his wife's death, and Eleanor's lover thinks spending time with her will be therapeutic--especially since Daniel is also a Dom.
Despite her defiant streak, Eleanor can't resist giving in to Daniel's erotic demands. But while she'll let him have her body, she's determined to keep a guard around her heart. Even if Daniel wants to make Eleanor his permanently....
Previously published as Seven Day Loan.
I have a love/hate relationship with D/s novels. All too often they focus on nothing but the physical relationship and that’s a shame because there is a wealth of intense and emotional exchanges going on beneath the surface. The Gift isn’t like that in any way at all. Sure, there’s lots of steamy sex between Eleanor and Daniel, but there’s so much more as well.
In less than sixty pages, the author introduces us to Eleanor, the submissive-on-loan, and Daniel, the dormant dominant. You are brought in and held captive by the dynamic between them. You are captured by them, intrigued by them, and want to know more about them. You are left feeling as if you’ve made a new friend or two.
There’s a slight twist at the end I hadn’t seen coming that knocked me for a bit of a loop – in a good way – one that makes me want to reach out and pick up the first novel in this series. Probably my favorite part of this novella however was that, despite being a submissive, Eleanor had a bit of a mouth on her. And Daniel lets her. I love that she was allowed to get a touch lippy with him and he enjoyed it. Gave their whole relationship a bit more spice.
Entertaining, steamy, and worlds apart from other similar stories I’ve read, I’d highly recommend The Gift.
From Harlequin’s website:
Follow Eleanor as she struggles with the illicit love of her owner, the wild complications of being a switch and her unbridled passion for writing erotica in Tiffany Reisz's highly acclaimed series, The Original Sinners. Look for The Siren, The Angel and The Prince, available now from Harlequin MIRA.
Crazy Lady’s Note: This was an eBook languishing on my computer. I purchased it myself for my own enjoyment.
The evil in East Salem is no longer content to hide in the shadows. The stakes—and the darkness—are rising.
Dani Harris thought there wasn’t much left that could surprise her after serving as a forensic psychiatrist in East Salem. And Tommy Gunderson has faced few challenges in his life that he couldn’t overcome by either physical strength or his celebrity status.
But as they race to uncover what’s really happening behind the high walls of St. Adrian’s Academy, it becomes clear that supernatural forces have been at work here for generations. And now their focus is on making sure Dani and Tommy don’t interfere.
When the unseen becomes seen, faith is the only weapon strong enough to fight in a battle involving not just murder and betrayal—but angels and demons.
Picking up where Waking Hours left off, Dani, the forensic psychiatrist, and Tommy, the retired football player, are right back at it. Something dark and dangerous is going on in East Salem and they’re pretty sure the root of it is at St. Adrian’s Academy. The darkness knows that they’re onto it and will do anything to stop them from putting it all together…
Finally! The second installment of the East Salem Trilogy has arrived! This story just gets more and more interesting as you delve deeper into it. Dani and Tommy are drawn farther into the darkness surrounding their quiet little town and put everything on the line to solve the mystery. I love the way the author works Dani’s faith into the story without overwhelming the reader. I also enjoy the way their faith plays a role in helping them decipher the things going on around them. The hardest part about having faith is keeping it when everything starts to slide downhill.
The author has a way with her characters, making them more than just likable. You really want to go hang out with these guys once the dust has settled. Her flowing and light writing style is deceptive, however. Just because her style makes for a fast read doesn’t mean you’re going to be short on excitement, plot or anything else. A very enjoyable read that I would recommend to any lover of mysteries and thrillers with a darker twist.
I absolutely cannot wait for the next installment!
Crazy Lady’s Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”