SC Ellen-Irrevocably Shattered

Irrevocably Shattered is the first book by SC Ellen I’ve read, but I will be finding more of her work and reading it. It was a great story and one that kept me engrossed from beginning to end.

We start years ago with Carson’s origin story, which is incredibly sad, tragic, and hard to read. Then we periodically skip forward and get glimpses at Carson’s life. It’s not an easy life. He’s in a boarding school and his parents are both dead, so there’s a lot of other kids who are picking on him because of that. But, Carson isn’t going to necessarily going to stand by that, and he beats the everloving shit out of some people. He also gets to make a good friend, named Elliot, who gets into all kinds of trouble with him. Then his guardian, Vinny, flies into NYC from MI to make sure that he’s not in trouble. Vinny has offered to have Carson come to Michigan to live with him, but he’s turned him down for reasons. Eventually, Carson finds out that Vinny is the head of the Casa Nostra, and becomes his second in command.

Alayna is Vinny’s daughter, his principessa, his tresoro. She helps out some with the family business, but only on the barest periphery. Most of the time, she works in the mental health field, hangs with her bestie Tessa, and pesters her brother, Jace, who, BTW is madly in love with Tessa. She is happy being out of her parents’ house, and living a mostly independent life. It’s not perfect, but it’s hers. Right up until the Russians decide that they are going to cause problems. When that happens, her dad wants to make sure that she is safe, and calls in his best man, Carson. Vinny tells Carson that he needs to protect Alayna 24/7, and oh, keep his dick in his pants, or else.

I think that Alayna is a really interesting mix and worldly and naive. I mean, she’s aware of what her family is and does, at least in broad strokes, but she also is isolated from a lot of it at the same time. She’s also been kept at a distance from the world, so she’s also been isolated there. I think that it’s the difference between being aware that these things are happening and actually seeing them happening directly in front of her face, if that makes sense.

Carson is very much two disparate parts. There’s the part that is his darkness, his monster, but then there is the loyal part, the one with the good heart, and the compassion that he hides really down deep. I mean, living as part of the mafia the way that he does, he has to hide that part down. I think that he even hides it from himself, which can’t be nearly as easy as it sounds. Even when he is violent, he’s violent for a reason. The goal is always to protect la familiga and keep everyone safe and strong. That’s what makes him so loyal and strong. That’s why I like him so much.

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I wanna talk about Vinny for a minute. He’s a really volatile character, and it’s not always possible to know what will set him off. I think that he knew some of what happened would be happening, and I wonder if he did certain things to make it happen.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Jenika Snow-Wicked Bedmate

Jenika’s Wicked Bedmate is the last of my Cocky Hero books. I’m going to go on record and say that this isn’t my favorite out of the books. I felt like it was a slow burn and then the end was abrupt. I enjoyed it, but I probably won’t reread it. That won’t stop me from reading other Jenika Snow books, which I have and enjoyed them, so there’s that. Not every book is a huge hit with everyone. It happens.

So, we have Linda. She has just gone through pretty much the worst week ever. She got fired by her asshole boss for something that was completely beyond her control and something that she could have never done anything about. Then, she tries to get new jobs, and gets into the interviews, and as soon as people find out that she was fired, they aren’t interested. Frankly, she only worked there for like 2 months, I don’t get why she put that job on her resume at all, but that’s just me. Then, she goes out on a blind date that her best friend strong armed her into, and gets rip-roaring drunk and wakes up at her date’s house.

And even worse? When she walks into her next interview, one that she thinks that she’s perfect for, it’s her blind date, Jason. Well, fuck.

Jason is determined to get Linda, even though she isn’t so sure. He’s her boss and she really is kinda like, dude, boss. I get her reasoning behind that, because she’s getting paid super good, and if there is a problem, then she’s going to be kinda screwed and not in the fun way.

I like Linda. I think that she really was determined to do what she thought was best, which was to keep her head down and get her job done, even if her boss does give her the screaming thigh sweats.

Overall, it’s not a bad book, and they make a good couple.

No spoilers today, so go check it out!

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Nikki Ash-Clutch Player

Clutch Player is the third of the Cocky Heroes Club ARCs I got. This one is a second chance romance that left me a little bit teary.

We start with teenage Harper and Landon. Harper was a junior in high school dating senior Richie, who played baseball and basketball. Landon was one of Richie’s teammates and friends. When Harper dumps Richie’s loser ass, she and Landon eventually end up as a couple. He’s a senior too, and an ace pitcher. They expect that he’s going to be drafted by the MLB at the end of his senior year, so Landon and Harper make a plan that they will at least be together until that point, and then they will figure out what will happen. They know that they love each other and they are each other’s best friends, so they don’t want to do anything to mess that up.

Landon gets drafted, but he ends up in a different state, which worked for a while, but then Harper ends their relationship. Then, on an accidental night, Harper ends up pregnant by Richie, and their parents kinda push them to marry. Landon comes and finds out that she’s pregnant, and 12 years pass.

Twelve years later, Harper is divorced and has a baseball crazy son and a daughter. Landon has retired from baseball, and is helping out his brother at a baseball camp. Do you see where this is going?

Harper has done really well with her kids and her life. She doesn’t run down Richie, although I’m pretty sure that he deserved it. It can’t be easy to co-parent with a person who never acted like a parent and is never really going to act like a parent. But she does everything she can to make sure that her kids are happy and healthy and they are having fun. She keeps them scheduled, but I don’t think she really overschedules them, and she lets them have down time, kid time. Anyway, I think that she is a really strong character who has done a lot of good for herself, including going to college so that she could get the job that she always wanted. She has spent a lot of time on herself, in a good way. I would really like to know Harper, I think. She’d be a really good friend.

Landon is a good man. He froze himself emotionally a long time ago, and I can understand all the reasons why he did that. He was content with his life, living his dream, but I don’t think that he was ever actually truly happy, at least not until he ran into Harper again. I think that he’s really good with her. He doesn’t push her into anything, and he listens to her when it comes to her kids. I really respect that.

Richie has to be mentioned in here, even though he’s not a part of Harper and Landon’s relationship, but he is a major character in the story and in Harper’s life. He’s a complete and utter fucknut, who does, at one point, do something majorly questionable. I’m sorry that Harper was stuck with him for any period of time.

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I hated Melissa from the very beginning that we saw her. She was a pretty stone cold bitch, and not in a good way.

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

TM Smith-Fame and Fortune

I’ve read some of TM Smith’s book before, so I was really looking forward to Fame and Fortune. It is a MMM book, with an established couple adding a third into their relationship.

Our story starts with Andrew and Victor. They have been together for 10 years at this point, and pretty much fell in love at first sight. These days they manage a porn company called All Cocks, which features all the cocks ever. It’s a very profitable company and they shoot and sell a lot of porn. They have a fantastic relationship, they are very happy, and they love each other very, very much.

Then we have Matthew. He’s just barely over 18, and has been living on the streets for the past 2 years. He has some serious hurts in his background, but he’s a sweet and lovely young man. One day, he goes to pick up some hot dogs from his favorite hot dog stand and he finds a flyer for All Cocks, and he decides to go and get a job with them.

Andrew and Victor not only hire him, they also bring him into their home. They purposely bought a huge house so that they would have room for some of their models to stay if necessary, and it’s definitely necessary for Matthew. He needs to have somewhere safe, and they have the space.

This is actually a reasonably slow burn, and it works really well for this story. Andrew and Victor are older and already established and in a long term relationship, while Matthew is a young man and wasn’t in a stable place when he first met them. And he had a lot of issues that were eating him up. He had to do some maturing and growing before anything happened. I really like that Andrew and Victor didn’t just jump in and give Matthew a good dicking. They supported him and helped him get through stuff and grow as a person before anything else happened. And then they gave him a good dicking.

The book covers several years, so we get a good luck at the lives of our three guys and some of the stuff that they go through, not just the good, but also the bad. I really liked that.

OK, no spoilers today. Go check it out! Happy reading!

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Raisa Greywood-Sexy Scoundrel

Raisa’s Sexy Scoundrel is the second of the Cocky Hero Club books that I’ve got, and today seems like a pretty good day to blog it.

So, here’s our story. We start with Carlina acting as a pastry chef at her ex-boyfriend’s restaurant. The ex who only made it through school with Carli’s help. Now, he’s acting like he’s a kitchen god, except he’s not, and when she tries to rescue their diners from his massive screwup, he starts to fling things at her and fires her, which gets her out of a contract. As she leaves, she walks through the dining room and tells everyone that the fish might be OK. Then she goes home.

Meanwhile Giorgio was at the seating that night, with the woman he was seeing at the time. He got some of the cupcakes that were being served and took them home to his younger brother, Antonio, who said that they were sooooo good he would even eat broccoli, so Gio goes in search of the Carli to make her his chef.

Back at the farm, no really, back at the farm, Carli, who has a huge heart, has been talked into bringing home some animals, namely a camel, a Shire foal, and oh yeah, a lion named Leonard. He used to be on TV as a mystery solving lion. They join her bison, and assorted other animals that he friend has talked her into. Then, Gio and his brother Antonio show up at her house and pretty much all hell breaks loose.

Before I get into anything else, I have to say how much I really love Antonio and really appreciate how well Raisa did with him. He’s got Down Syndrome, and he is very high functioning. The thing that I like about him is that without him, there really is no story. Pretty much every major plot point in the story spins out from Antonio. He’s also really brave, loving, and incredibly fierce. I love how he grows and changes during the story and how successful he is. He has an absolutely huge heart and loves just about everyone, even when they are being yucky. Well, except for that bitch Aunt Proserpina, and I don’t blame him for hating her. I hate her too.

Carli is a collector, she collects people and animals. As you get pulled into her circuit, she just draws you in and you become family. She has such a huge heart. Well, except for Gio. It takes her a long time to let him in. I mean, she agreed to be Antonio’s caregiver, as long as she didn’t have to see Gio. She really wanted to have very little to do with him for a long time. But, pretty much everyone else in the story becomes part of her family and drawn into her circle. I really admire that, and I think that it’s a great trait. She’s also incredibly fierce. One of my favorite lines of her comes when she threatens to strangle a big tough guy with an IV tube if he doesn’t get his boss on the phone immediately. Big tough guy was just a little scared of Carli. She is very definitely a Raisa heroine.

Gio isn’t a bad guy. He has very definite layers. There is the whole layer of jerk playboy that he puts on so that no one bothers him, and then there’s the layer of the actual Gio who loves his brother and who wants to be happy. He’s an idiot at times, but that happens to the best of people, really. He’s generally a good guy though.

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One of the things I really like about Carli is how she is with Sara. Sara got dragged into the situation without her consent, and she is not in good shape, and Carli just accepted her as a friend and loved her.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

A. F. Zoelle-Bet on Love

A. F. Zoelle is a new author to me, but I think that won’t last very long. I enjoyed Bet on Me, and I’m looking forward to the next books in the series, because I’m pretty sure that they are going to be good. There were a couple of places that I thought that this one was a tiny bit problematical, but it wasn’t anything serious, and it may have been problematical from only my viewpoint. Like I said, it wasn’t enough to cancel out my enjoyment of the books, so there’s that.

So, Rhys is in Las Vegas to marry his witch of a girlfriend, Olivia. He’s not happy, and he’s sitting on his bed with his best friend and best man, Lucien AKA Luci, talking about it. That’s when he has the best bad idea ever. What would happen if he got married to someone BEFORE he had to marry Olivia? Just walk into a wedding chapel, find an Elvis impersonator, and get married? Obviously he was just little tipsy. And Luci was just tipsy enough to go along with it.

The next morning, Rhys wakes up with a naked body next to him. The problem? It’s not who he expects it to be. It’s not Olivia, it’s definitely Luci. The two of them finally figure out that they are well and truly legally married. And oh, Luci is wearing Olivia’s wedding ring.

So, I read a lot of MM, and I’ve read a lot about a gay man being in love with his straight best friend, and his straight best friend finally figuring out he’s not so straight, AKA gay for you or GFY. This one is almost like that, but not quite. In fact, as I was reading it, I realized that I couldn’t really come up with a trope for it.

Here’s the thing, these guys have been best friends since pretty much birth. There was some experimenting when they were teenagers, but they managed to shove it down inside themselves (that’s what he said) for whatever reason. And in the years since, they’ve both thought that they were straight and have been with women. So, here’s the question, are they gay, bi, pan? That’s not anything that AF goes into in this one, and you know what? I like that. They aren’t trying to figure out what the label is, they are trying to figure out what the relationship is and what they are to each other. I think it works quite well.

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OMG, the scene at breakfast with Olivia and her family and the scene in the honeymoon suite had me laughing my ass off.

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

 

Eva Charles-Bound

So last year, Eva Charles write the Devil’s Duet, which are the first 2 books in the Devil’s Due series. I noted at the time that there were parts of that story which touched perilously close on American politics, which was a nice added layer to the story. Anyway, in that book, we met Smith, the hero’s best friend and security guy. And interestingly enough, Smith is his first name. Bound is his story. You don’t have to have read the first 2 books to get this one, but it will help because you will get more of a flavor of what is going on.

So, Kate is an investigative reporter. She got in on a story about JD Wilder (hero from the last book), but she’s back in Charleston looking up info on a new story. She keeps sniffing around Wilder’s brother, but that’s because she’s pretty sure that he’s a link to the story that she really wants. He wants her to back off, so he sics Smith on her. Only, things don’t necessarily work out that way. After all, she’s a journalist, and she knows there’s a story there. Plus, she owes it to her mother to win a Pulitzer Prize. So, she’s going to stay on her story, no matter what Smith says or does.

Then we have Smith, who is controlling, cautious, possibly paranoid, very security-minded, and a former Special Forces kinda guy. He knows that he has to get Kate to leave the Wilders alone, so he thinks that he’s going to chase her off. He decides that he’s going to fuck around with her, and does exactly that. What he didn’t count on was wanting to fuck her. He thinks he’s managed to chase her off, right until he runs into her again, and discovers that she quit her job at the paper, sublet an apartment, and moved to Charleston.

On the other side, we have Father Jesse. Kate is Catholic and has always connected well with priests, so when Father Jesse comes into the library where she’s working and meets her, she decides that she’ll go to his church for Mass, and they develop a true connection. Maybe.

I like Kate a lot. I think that she has a lot of inner strength. I also think that her family are a bunch of fuckholes. The way that they treat her in her past and in the present is just horrid. The only person who actually treated her well was Liam, who is now gone. But I still think that she’s really strong and determined. She does everything that she can to get the story that she wants.

I actually like Smith a lot. I liked what we learned of him in the last book. He is an honorable man, even if he has had to do dishonorable things in his life. He is incredibly protective over everyone that he knows. There is really only 1 time in the book where I downright want to strangle the man, and frankly, he would’ve deserved it if I had. He acted like a complete asshole at the time.

Father Jesse is an interesting character, and that’s as far as I’m going to go with him.

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I felt really sorry for Petey. I don’t know that I ever really trusted some of the people in the book.

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

 

L. K. Shaw-Striking Distance

Hello everyone. I’m sorta back. Things are still up in the air with illness in my family, but I’m here. Frankly, I’d much rather be here than anywhere else. So, here I am with a new book, L. K. Shaw’s Striking Distance. It’s the second book in a series, and I haven’t read the first book, but that’s OK, I had no problem figuring out what was going on. Each book is a standalone, but you will be able to pick up what happened in the previous books with no problem. Shaw did a great job at giving us just enough background without overwhelming us.

So, here’s our story. Estelle is a school teacher, teaching 6 year olds. Her best friend Ines is in hiding with her boyfriend because they were undercover LEOs who had infiltrated a cartel. Ines stayed in contact with Estelle while she was undercover, but isn’t much in contact now. But, one day, as she’s trying to leave work, Estelle is attacked by a man who is trying to abduct her. Luckily, she knows some defense techniques and manages to get away from him. She runs back int the school and calls the police. Which is a good thing.

The not so good thing is that one of the responding officers is Victor, Ines’ brother. Estelle has been in and out of their house for her entire life, so she knows Victor. The problem is that there is some bubbling tension going on there. Victor has developed a thing for Estelle, well developed one a long time ago. Victor gives Estelle an option. She can either go to her own house and have some extra patrols come by, stay at a safe house so that a cop can stay with her all the time, or she can just stay at his house, in Ines’ old bedroom. His dad and one of his brothers also live these, and they are all cops, so really, totally safe.

Overall, I liked the book. I think that the story was generally good. However, I thought that there was a spot in the middle of the book where it felt like the book was pulling toward a close, but there was still more to come. I don’t think that is a problem, really, it just felt a little weird, and threw my reading rhythm off a little bit. I think that if that particular point were pushed a little bit further back, I would’ve had a more satisfying emotional connection through the full end of the book.

I like Estelle, generally. I think that she has a really good heart, but she’s been dealing with so much shit, she ended up turtling because it was the only way that she could manage to live.

Victor is a great mix of brash and vulnerable. I don’t think it’s something that can be written easily, but somehow Shaw really pulled it off here. So, kudos for that.

I will probably go on to read the next book, because the end chapter of this one gives us a little preview, soo I’m eager to see what happens.

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I have to say that I thought that the person who was creepy was creepy from the beginning.

OK, that’s all I have to say on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Raisa Greywood-Bastard’s New Baby

So, Raisa has walked away from dark and intense for a minute and gave us some short and sassy. Not sweet though. There is some angst and drama, but it’s pretty lowkey, making Bastard’s New Baby a truly enjoyable read.

So, Jackson McKenna is running his family’s business, but he’s being forced into having to get married. The thing is, he really doesn’t want to get married. He’s pretty sure that he won’t ever be able to find the kind of woman he wants to have. You see, he’s a Dom, and he wants to have a woman who is smart and beautiful, but also is kinky AF. As he’s thinking about this, after a night of debauchery, he gets a message from his mom, which he reads while he’s driving, and he nearly runs down a woman.

Meanwhile, we have Siobahn O’Malley (pronounced shhh-vaughn). She lost her sister and brother-in-law in an accident not too long ago, and she’s now been appointed guardian to her baby nephew, Andy. Oh, and his $2mil trust fund. The problem is that she has to keep fighting for custody against Dan’s parents, because they want the trust fund, and not so much the baby. In the tiny town they are in, the inlaws have some pull, and they are managing to keep up at it. Part of the problem is that Siobahn isn’t married, and the evil cow inlaw smears her around the town, to make her look unfit. Today, Siobahn has an important job interview at McKenna, so she dresses to the nines, and gets a ride to town for her interview. As she is crossing the road, she almost gets run down by some idiot who ran a red. Sound familiar?

Jackson really truly earned his name as a bastard, because he totally was. I mean, damn. First, he almost ran Siobahn over, then he accused her of being homeless, and then he tried to apologize, while trying to blackmail her into marrying him. I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually like him for a minute. He had some serious condescension going on. I would’ve smacked the total everloving shit out of him, because he totally deserved it.

I adore Siobahn from the very first time we met her. She’s strong, fierce, protective, and very canny. She’s very smart and she doesn’t let anything slip by her. Jackson tries to put stuff over on her, and she catches him on it. He’s like, oh, I need you for this reason. She’s like newp, try again. I love that she calls him out on stuff. He needs it, because he really is a cocky bastard. He thinks that he is God’s gift to everything, and well, someone needs to tell him that he isn’t.

And Mandy, I loved watching Siobahn knock that bitch back. Mandy really did try to punch out of her weight class.

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Jackson, oh Jackson. You are kinda stupid sometimes.

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

Dani Rene-Among Ash and Ember

Dani Rene has come out with a new release, and oh my. Among Ash and Ember wrung me out and made me all emotional.

Katerina is 18, almost 19. She lost her parents a couple of years ago when their florist shop caught on fire. She had to spend the last couple of years in foster care, and it wasn’t good. Then she turned 18 and discovered that she owed a lot of money because of her parents. She isn’t qualified to do a lot, but luckily she has fallen in with a safe friend who has helped her become an escort. Is it the best job ever? Nope. Does it let her pay her bills and pay off the loans her father took out? Yup. Just don’t call her Katerina when she’s on the job, there she is Flame.

Ash and Ember are twin brothers. They have a proposition for Katerina. They are going to pay for her to go to college. They will let her live with them, in her own wing, and help her out in any way possible. The brothers have their own reasons for doing what they are doing. They are keeping secrets together and keeping secrets from each other. They can afford to do this because Ash is now running their father’s company, which is neither fun or easy, but he does it reasonably well.

There are a lot of secrets going on in here. Ash and Ember have secrets of their own that they are keeping from Kat and from each other. They have a big joint secret that they are keeping from Kat. Kat has some of her own secrets too, but I don’t think that they have as much of an impact on the story as the ones the guys are keeping.

I completely understand why Ash and Ember are doing what they are doing. I don’t agree with the way that they went about things, but I can understand why they felt that they had to do things the way that they did. I guess I just stand with Kat more than I do with them. I don’t like being lied to, and I really don’t like people having secrets from me. I will pick and prod until I get the secret out of them, whether or not it would hurt me. I think that’s probably how Kat feels about it too.

I love the names of Flame, Ember, and Ash. They just fit together so very well. It’s a natural progression to me, and I can see how it fits each of the characters and their roles, at least in my opinion.

This book really did give me all the feelz and I would love to see more of these guys.

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I don’t think I have anything to put here.

Well, go check it out. Happy reading!