Amo Jones-Wicked

We’re back with a new Amo Jones book. Amo’s books are all dark, and very twisty. Seriously twisty. I mean, think about the twistiest thing ever, and double it. Wicked is no different. This book is sometimes so twisty that it ends up going straight. This book does take place in the same world as Antichrist, which I reviewed here, and Sicko, which I did not.

Wicked is the story of Wicked (yes, that’s his name) and Ruby. She is a Mafia princess, he is a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who just killed his father after the man killed his mother. Wicked just wanted to make sure his beloved younger sister, Poppy, is safe.

Shortly after Wicked pulls the trigger on his father, an unknown man in a suit shows up with cops. He tells Wicked and Poppy to pack a bag and come with him. He ended up taking them to his house, where he introduces Ruby to Wicked and Poppy. Ruby and wicked are both 17, Poppy is 14. Papa leaves, after warning Wicked away from Ruby, which, how well do you think that’s going to work?

So, Papa takes Wicked away for a little while, so that he can get into La Famiglia. When Wicked comes back, Ruby notices that he is different. They had had an explosive interlude before he left, but he’s not the same guy now. And he’s put in charge of her security. Instead of a gala, Ruby ditches him and runs off to the family’s lake house for a party, where Poppy is too. But then, something happens, and Poppy disappears. Wicked shows up, and he takes Ruby with him to try to find Poppy.

I like Ruby. She has a lot going on. She might look and act like the perfect Mafia Princess, but she is a lot smarter than people give her credit for, I think. She’s also a bit more ruthless than other people think she is. She is strong and she owns herself and her power. She will also do whatever she needs to do to protect her family, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to get in her way.

Wicked. Hmmmm. Sometimes I hated him, sometimes I didn’t. He is a very interesting character, no matter how I feel about him. He is very cagy. He would be a great chess player, I think. He would probably know all the moves from all the games you might play with him at any point.

There was a lot happening in this book, and yeah, it was good and it did keep me interested, so that’s all good. Go check it out. Happy reading!

K Webster-Teacher of Nothing

K is back and she has brought us one of her delightfully filthy age gap, teacher/student stories. Teacher of Nothing introduces us to a new family, and I expect that we’ll be seeing more of this family in the future, but for right now, it’s all Callum and Willa.

Callum is a high school teacher. A big part of why he is a teacher is to spite his dad. Callum’s family basically owns the town that they live in, and all of his siblings have done what Daddy Dearest wanted with their lives. But there are a lot of reasons why Callum wants to spite his dad. The biggest one being that Dear Old Dad fucked Callum’s HS girlfriend, got her pregnant, and married her. In fact, Callum’s twin half-sibs are now students at his school. He seems to get along with them well enough. His nephew is also a student at the school, and the kids are all good friends.

Then there is Willa. She is a student in Callum’s stats class. She is really smart, but nearly invisible, except to her asshole step-brother who is a huge fucking creep, and I mean, huge. He bullies her at school, he bullies her at home. But Willa only has eyes for her teacher. And he only has eyes for her.

Callum can’t get Willa off his mind. He stares at her during class, he does what he can to make her life easier. The problem is that he doesn’t want to be like his dad, and screw an 18 year old like his dad did. But he is just drawn to Willa and nothing seems to distract him from her.

I get Callum being mad at his dad, but I kinda feel like it’s been nearly 20 years, maybe it’s time to just let it go. I mean, there are a lot of other reasons he’s angry with his dad, and I totally get those, but the whole fucking Callum’s girlfriend deal shouldn’t really be one of them. At least in my opinion.

I think Willa is doing the absolute best that she can. Until Callum came along, she really had no one on her side. Her step-father is a monster, her mother is a druggie, and her step-brother is weirdly fascinated with her. She’s been on her own for too long. Callum’s younger relatives take her under their wings, which helps her just as much as Callum being into her did. It was good for her to have people her age around her, and they helped in many ways.

Alta Hensley-Ace of Diamonds

So, Alta has brought us the third book in her Wonderland series with Ace of Diamonds. We get the big finale of Lyriope and Nick’s story, and it is a doozy.

As a warning, there are likely to be spoilers from the previous one because the books take place one right after the other. As always, I will try to keep them down, but there are times it will be really hard to do, so continue at your own risk.

So, Lyriope has just left Nick in the company of her father. He won the auction, and now he’s taking her home so that she can be a real Morelli, or at least that’s what she thinks. What he’s really doing is taking her to his house so that he can sell her off as a bride to another family. Lyriope really has big hopes for this. She really just wants for her father to accept her, and she thinks that this is what happening right now, which, yeah, what do you really think? When they get to his house, he basically locks her in a room, and then proceeds to ignore her, unless he wants a command performance.

Nick, meanwhile, is basically breaking down, at least in his very Nick way. He might not be sitting in his room crying, but he is plotting. One night he sneaks into Lyriope’s room and, oh yeah, torches Old Man Morelli’s garage full of beautiful and expensive collector cars. Then, he decides that he’s going to have a Wonderland, and it’s going to be an orgyriffic time, and he wants an opinion invite to all the Morellis, just to show that they haven’t beat him. And of course, Lyriope shows up. And show up she does!

Lyriope really went through a lot in this book. Her dad is a right prick, and frankly, that’s being nice to him. He really is just ugh. I think that Lyriope really needed this time with her “father” because she really needed to see what he was like and to get past her fantasy about being a happy family. I mean, he could’ve gotten to know her at any time in her life, or hell, even give her family some support. Which really should’ve given her an idea, I think.

Nick is Nick, he has plans upon plans upon plans. I think that there are times that Lyriope surprises him, which had to be shocking to him. He definitely helped her grow into the queen she is, and he was there for her.

This was a great story and I really enjoyed watching their journey.

Skye Warren-Two for the Show

Skye has given us the second book in Eva and Finn’s series with Two for the Show. This is part of the larger Morelli/Constantine series. There is also a connection to the book I reviewed last week by Skye and Amelia Wilde because Carter, the MMC in that book, is Eva’s brother. It’s a small world in this universe.

As a quick refresher, Eva is a Morelli, and she keeps her family running well. Her mother wants to worry her off, Eva doesn’t want it. Finn comes to a party where Eva is and is being badgered by her mom. Finn talks Eva into running away with him. Eventually, they end up faking an engagement to get people off her back. Finn isn’t worried because he’s never getting married due to the family curse.

OK, from here is stuff about this one. There will probably be some spoilers, but as usual, I will try to keep the spoilers down. I make no guarantees though, so if you are interested in this but you haven’t read the first one yet, then be careful. You have been warned.

So, Finn has just basically eviscerated Eva, and she feels like her heart has been ripped out of her chest. She’s holding it together, but not well. Plus, she found out some really interesting news right after Finn told her to sling her hooks. There’s just so much going on, and she isn’t sure how to deal with it, so she’s focusing on her sister’s wedding, which of course, Eva planned. It’s going well when all of a sudden, Finn walks in, and the world basically crashes down.

Finn is dealing with his own reactions to his actions. He keeps trying to tell himself that he did the right thing, and every time he sees his dad, he’s just more and more convinced that he did the right thing. No matter how horrible he feels about it. Then he walks into a wedding reception and everything changes.

I feel like Eva has so much on her shoulders. She takes on so much, and she really does hold all the Morelli offspring together, I think. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but other people in her family should step up too. Although Leo is always there for her, threatening to kill any men who upset her. I like that she really isn’t a damsel in distress. While having Finn rush in to rescue her from her mother isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t a necessary thing. She really can hold her own. At least in public, most of the time. I also like that she calls Finn on his bullshit. Which is good, because he needs someone to do that.

I mostly like Finn. I think that he is a good man. He really does have the weight of the world on his shoulders, and while his little brother does try to help, Finn is hiding the secret so hard that it is just impossible to do much else. I do feel sorry for him that he has to deal with this so much. I am angry at him about some things though. I think he’s just so fatalistic about what is coming that he sees it as a foregone conclusion and isn’t willing to fight it for himself. I think that he should get all the testing, evaluations, imaging, whatever he can have done. He’s superrich, and he can afford to have it all done.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Amelia Wilde & Skye Warren-Force of Nature

So, Force of Nature is the next part of the series after The Crash, which is a prequel novella. If you haven’t read The Crash, don’t worry, it’s included in this. And I have one very important thing to say about this book and that is that I hope that Skye and Amelia are working really hard on the next book and that it will be out soon, because damn.

So, Carter and June have crashed on the deserted island, and there is someone after them. Carter pulls June into the jungle before the bad guys come, because they are coming. But when he runs out to get supplies from the crashed plane, someone shows up, and Carter ends up doing what he does best.

Carter is developing feelings for June, even though he knows that he shouldn’t. She’s too sweet, innocent, and naive to be part of his world, and she’s not in the mission parameters, but there’s still something about her.

What Carter doesn’t tell June immediately is that they aren’t the only people on the island. They’ve been following trails, manmade trails. Carter doesn’t know what to think about that.

Theo’s mom left the world many years ago and brought her son to this deserted island so that he wasn’t ruined by the outside world. He’s supposed to wait for the cities of men to burn and then help repopulate the world with pure people.

Carter is interesting. I think that he thinks that he is more evil than he really is. I mean, he’s a Morelli, so there is some evilness there, but I think that he has a worse view of himself than is really there. He is very determined and a little obsessive, I think. And able to lie to himself convincingly.

I like June. For all that she looks all sweet and innocent, she really isn’t. She has a lot of guts and determination. She isn’t going to let Carter down, and she isn’t going to complain, even when her feet are cut open and bleeding. I have some mad respect for her.

I don’t have much of an opinion on Theo yet. I mean, yeah, we get to see him interact with Carter and June, but I feel like he’s still a bit of a blank slate.

Anyway, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Alta Hensley-Sick Crush

Sick Crush is another Alta book. It is an expansion of a short story that she wrote, called Mr. D. I haven’t read it, but odds are that I have an anthology with it somewhere. My TBR is just insanely huge, and getting bigger and bigger every day.

So, we have Corrine, who is 19. She has just moved away from LA to live in a small town and to finish high school there. Her mom is a famous movie star, and Corrine has no clue where she is at any point in time. But Corrine is used to that. She’s trying to manage going to school, but she is also dealing with a stalker. She knows that there is someone there, because she can see them in the shadows. When she’s late to school again, she gets called into the principal’s office, Mr. D. He tells her that she has detention.

That afternoon, after detention, Mr. D came out of the school and he found Corrine bent over her car, trying to figure out why it wasn’t working. Mr. D saw her, arranged to have her car towed, and took her home. When she got home, Corrine discovered that all the doors in her house were open, which they shouldn’t’ve been since she closed all the doors before she went to school. Then Mr. D came back and her her screaming, and took her to his house so that she would be safe.

This was a pretty short read, and it is packed full of story. I loved the story, and the premise of the story, and all the twists and turns. The one problem I had with the book was that the ending felt a little abrupt to me. It’s like when you see this gorgeous delicious cake and you ask for a piece of it. You are expecting a good sized piece, but instead you get a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy, minuscule sliver. It’s enough that you get a good taste of the cake, but you aren’t satisfied because you were hoping for more. That’s kinda how I feel about the end. I’m Ok with it, I just wanted a little more to it. But that’s my opinion, and your mileage may vary. Like I said, I really liked the story and what happened in it.

I know that this is a short blog post, but the story is short, and if I talk more about it, then I’m going to give stuff away, and you know how much I hate that.

Amelia Wilde & Skye Warren-The Crash

Amelia and Skye are bringing us back into the Morelli world. The Crash is about Professor Carter Morelli and photographer June Porter, who have to deal with a plane crash on a small deserted island. This is a really quick read because it is just the prologue to the rest of the story, which will be out in a couple of months ago. So, just be aware that it is short when you start reading it.

Carter works for Oxford, and he’s getting ready to fly his very own plane to an outpost out in Mauritania. He’s just waiting for a passenger, a photographer named June. He has an idea of what she is going to look like, but when June walks in, he is surprised. She isn’t anything that he expected. And, oh, she’s afraid of flying.

Like I said, this is a really short story, just enough to whet our appetite, so to speak. We get to learn a bit about our main characters, June and Carter. I really can’t wait to see more of them and to get more of this story, because I am quite interested in what is going to happen.

So, yeah, this is a short blog post, but it’s a short story. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Renee Rose & Vanessa Vale-Alpha Mountain: Rebel

So, Rebel is the second book in this series. It’s all about a group of former Navy SEALs who now have a private security firm based in a small town in Montana. Rafael, whose call name is Hayes, is one of the guys, and he is all about Megan, who is a deputy sheriff.

Megan has made it very clear to Hayes that all she wants is sex. She doesn’t want a relationship, for so many reasons. She was abandoned by her parents at different times, and she has decided that no one can be trusted, and she isn’t going to let anyone in. No matter how many orgasms they give her. After their first encounter, Megan goes on about her own life, and doesn’t give Hayes a lot of thought. Really she doesn’t.

Meanwhile, Raf is just trying to figure out how he’s going to get Megan to admit that she’s his, even though she’s not quite ready to admit it. Or even admit that anything might be happening other than a good time in bed. He’s been a bit bothered about not hearing from her until he pulls up on a traffic stop that Megan and her partner are doing. Being the dedicated former SEAL that he is, he decides that he will pull over a bit behind the traffic stop just in case something goes wrong and she needs him. When the stop is over, Megan comes to talk to Hayes, and he tells her that he’ll be at her house waiting for her, because the whole adrenaline from the traffic stop must be making her all wound up.

So, for the next few days, Megan and Raf hook up, and she kicks him out as soon as everything’s done. She doesn’t want a relationship. Raf is upset about it during the day, but at least he is with her for a little while, and it is still giving him the chance to convince her that they belong together.

But then, Megan’s past raises its ugly head, and what she and Hayes may or may not have had is very suddenly up in the air.

I like Megan. She has done a lot for herself. She really did turn herself into someone that she was proud of, and I am really impressed with her. She is very competent and terrifyingly good at everything that she chooses to do. I love her whole let’s just keep it sex attitude, and how it seems to put Hayes on the back foot. It’s a real reversal in the genre.

Raf sometimes bothers me. He knows that she’s really good at what she does, but then he pulls up on her traffic stop and he has to stay there and wait to see if something happens so he can ride to the rescue. To me, that felt like he was undermining herand doubting that she could do her job. It just irked me a bit.

Overall though, I really did enjoy the story. Megan and Raf are both stubborn and determined, and I really respect them both for that.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Alta Hensley-Queen of Hearts

We’re back with the second book in Alta’s Wonderland series, Queen of Hearts. There is one more book to come in the series, so if you are one of the people who like to read a whole series when it is all finished, you are just about able to do that. There are likely to be spoilers in this one for King of Spades, so if you haven’t read that one yet, be wary of reading my review. I try to keep them down, but it does happen.

So, when we last saw Lyriope and Nick, there was fire and chaos. Lyriope took advantage of the chaos, and now she’s in Italy. Which of course Nick doesn’t like at all. He’s going to go out and find her, no matter what. Even if his own people are telling him that he’s distracted by her.

Off Nick goes to Italy, grabs Lyriope, and spirits her away to a small town that he owns. He’s going to keep her there, and they will just stay hidden away under the radar. And he’ll show her around to his favorite places.

I think that Lyriope is really starting to come into her own in this one. She isn’t just reacting to what is happening all the time. She is actually doing something about it. It may not always be the right thing, but it is something. And I think that is a good thing for her. Everyone has pushed her around, so her making some of her own decisions about her life is going to be a good thing, IMO.

Nick. Hmmm. Well. I didn’t like Nick all the time in the last book, but it’s better now. Mostly. I think that Lyriope is good for him, and she is changing him for the better. I think that he is learning some things too, and I think that he needs to see Lyriope making her own choices.

I can’t wait to read the next one. It’s going to be explosive, I think.

Skye Warren-One for the Money

Skye is dipping back into the Morelli/Constantine world with One for the Money. The main characters in this one are Finn Hughes and Eva Morelli. It’s at least a duet, so be aware of that when you go in. Hopefully Two of the Show will be out soon enough, because I am just dying to find out what is going to happen with Finn and Eva.

So, Eva Morelli is the one that keeps her family on track. She takes care of all her siblings, helps them navigate all the bumps and cracks that come with being part of the Morelli family. She manages her parents, and keeps everything going. In other words, her entire family depends on her, and if she collapses, the family will collapse. Which is entirely unfair to Eva. She is 33 and doesn’t really have a life, other than taking care of her family. At a gala for orchids that she organized, Eva’s mother tries to introduce her to an older gentleman who is looking for a new wife. Eva is very much not interested. But, for Eva’s mother, the best thing that a woman can do is to be married because it will give her safety and stability, and at their level of wealth, marriages are more like a contract and less like a love thing. This older guy would be perfect. All Eva would have to do is pop out a couple of kids, look pretty on his arm, and be the perfect society wife. That is very much not what Eva wants.

In walks Finn Hughes. The Morellis and the Hughes all know each other and they all are at that rarified level of society that being richer than sin leaves you at. He hears Eva’s mom, and comes to rescue Eva, saying that they had plans. Then he bet Eva 25ยข that he could show her a good time and they could have fun. Which they did, by going to an illegal poker game. Eventually, Finn suggests that he and Eva fake date, which would keep her mom off her back for a little while.

Finn is ridiculously charming, and a lot of fun to be around. He acts like a party boy who has no worries, but that’s all a very charming facade. He’s actually dealing with a family curse, so he’s taking care of his father, running the family company behind the scenes, and hoping that his younger brother doesn’t get kicked out of school again. And he’s doing all this not planning on ever having a family or children or falling in love, even though he has Eva on the brain.

I am really not all that charmed by Eva’s parents. They have done a real job on her. She really is made to be responsible for everyone and has to manage all those personalities and take care of everyone, but no one really takes care of her. In fact, I don’t necessarily care about most of her family. I know I’ve read them in other books and liked them fine then, but not so much here. I think that Eva is both really strong and really fragile, if that makes sense. She’s really strong because she’s had to be, and she has built a scaffolding around herself that will hold her up, but at the core, she hurts a lot and it is easy to hurt her. She can and will hide it though, and keep that whole perfect society woman mask on her face. Eva has a really loving heart though, and she just wants to love and be loved.

Finn. Now there’s a whole other thing with him. He is burning all the candles at both ends and the middle. He’s determined to grab onto life as much as possible and to wring all the fun out of it. I can understand why, since he is counting down the days until the curse hits him. But, I also think that he is being kind of prematurely fatalistic. I’m thinking that there may be something to do. I wonder how much research anyone has done into anything, because I feel like nothing has really happened there. I guess I will have to wait. I do like him though. He really just wants to have a normalish life.

OK, that’s it for this one. Go check it out. Happy reading!

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