Eva Charles-Decadent

Before we move on to the book part of today’s blog, I do just want to gush a little over the fact that I got my car today. The nice transport man from Carvana stopped his car transporter at the top of my tiny country road, and then drove it down to my house. And then right past my house. But, he came back, and I remember how to drive a stick shift, even after 18 years.

But, enough of that, let’s talk books. Decadent is the fourth and probably last of the Devil’s Due books by Eva Charles. They are dark romances, heavy on the thriller/suspense, and loads of kink. They do deal with a lot of politics, especially the firsts 2 books, but that’s the world they are set in, so there’s that. There is less politics in this one and what is there is more foreign than domestic. It could be read as a standalone, since the Gray and Delilah’s story is complete in and of itself, well mostly, but there are spoilers for the first 3 books. Also, if you read the first books, you will have a better grasp on who everyone is and how they all fit together.

Delilah is a former CIA operative. She was trained to act undercover, but then her cover got blown in a big way, in front of a Congressional hearing kind of big. So, now she works for Smith, as part of his security firm. She used to work undercover at Wildflower, which is Gray’s club/sex club, but that got blown too. But she and Gray have been dancing around each other for a while now. But nothing has really co me of it. Until, that is, the day that Gray catches her doing something she probably shouldn’ta ought’a done, and extorts her to join a mission that he has. She’s the perfect person for it, so Gray wants her to do it. And, well, he just wants her in general.

Gray lives with a lot of regrets and a lot of guilt. He also has a whole lot of secrets. One of those secrets is that he works for the FBI in a super sekrit department, doing super sekrit things. For that department, he has a mission that is going to be dangerous, and he needs a beautiful woman who can be his arm candy but who can also hold her own. So, he of course thinks of Delilah. He does what he has to so that he can get her on his team, even though there were other ways that he could’ve gone about it, but eventually, she agrees to help him on his mission.

Gray is really confusing to me throughout the first parts of the book. He comes off as an asshole, with bits of compassion and caring coming through. Or, maybe it’s the other way around. I’m not even sure that Gray could tell on his own. Like I said, confusing. I think that he’s a good man, even when he has done some bad things, and he really has done some not good things. But, he does them from a place of honor and a place where he’s a good man who has to do things that he might not like. If that makes sense. It does to me. He really had to hide his emotions, and I think that he has hidden them from himself at times. It takes him some time to figure that out, I think.

I really like Delilah. I think that she has come really far from where she started out. But, I think that some of that has dug into her brain and doesn’t want to let go. Let’s just say that her mother has a lot to answer for. And so does her dead husband. But Delilah works really hard to stand on her own two feet. She’s strong, a fighter, talented, and smart. And she’s an asset to any team that she’s on, which is a part of why Gray wants her on his team. I think, mostly, that’s a convenient excuse for Gray, really. I think that he came up with this justification to get to her in a way that seemed to give him some emotional distance from the fact that he really just wants her as a woman. If she is part of his team, then they don’t have a real relationship, and he’s safe from her. Like I said, convenient excuse.

That prince. Ugh. He’s just scummy.

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!

 

Eva Charles-Delivered

So, Eva Charles is back with Delivered, the second book in The Devil’s Duet. Because of the nature of a duet, there are likely to be spoilers in this one for the first book, Depraved. I will try to avoid them, but it isn’t always possible. You have been warned.

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So, we open up to the Gatehouse on fire. Gabrielle was there, in her rooms at the top of the hotel. Her security woke her up since the alarms didn’t go off. She and her security calmly and methodically warned the guests as they worked their way down. Gabrielle was just about to go out, when she saw Georgina’s car there. Georgie was her best friend and assistant, and she shouldn’t have been there. She was hugely pregnant, and Gabby had already been at her hours and told her to stay home that night. She has to go try to rescue her friend, but she gets rescued.

JD has just returned to town after his father’s inauguration just to find out that there are warehouses on fire, and, oh yeah, so is the Gatehouse. He rushes over there to see what’s going on, and starts searching for Gabrielle, and finds her being loaded into an ambulance. He pushes his way into the ambulance and goes with her to the hospital to stay with her, saying he’s her fiance.¬†When Gabby comes to, she is really confused, and she keeps asking for Georgie, who sadly, didn’t make it out.

The first part of this story really tore me apart. I grieved with Gabrielle for losing her home, her livelihood, her dream, her best friend, and her best friend’s baby, on which she had pinned so many dreams all in one fell swoop. I mean, losing any one of those things would be hard, losing any two would be so difficult, but then losing everything would just destroy anyone. Then you add in other things, like secrets, guilt, depression, stress, and everything else that Gabrielle has to deal with, and seriously, the whole first half of the book is just so sad.

JD deals with everything the way that he usually does. He tries to control everything and make everything happen the way he wants. The problem is, you can’t really do that. JD has issues. This book shows more of his backstory, and you get to understand why he is the way that he is. He has to be in control. He has to try to control everything in his environs. That can be part of his personality that would’ve shown up anyway, but it can also be a way to deal with all of the everything that he has had to deal with. It’s hard to know if it’s a nature or nurture kind of thing, because it’s just impossible to see that. I’m leaning toward it being a mix of both things.

We learn so much in this book that puts things that happened in the first book in better context. I kind of look back at certain events and go ahhhhhhh. One thing that I was wrong about was that I thought that maybe Georgie was kind of stalking Gabby because she was so jealous of her, and she would’ve been able to do some of the things that had happened, but nope. I’m wrong. It happens.

We need to talk about the elephant in the room for a little bit. Maybe it’s just that I’m me, but I totally see Trump in the JD’s dad as President. Of course, the fictional one is worse than the real one, so far as we know, but I was like yup, that feels familiar.

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Going through Georgie’s journals was just terrible. I was ready to kill the dude, because damn, what a scum sucking pig. My heart hurt.

And then, what happened to Zach? That may have been the thing that I thought was totally the worst, but that’s because of my personal history. My youngest brother had spina bifida and he used a wheelchair. He spent a lot of time in hospitals, and a lot of time in PT, and just the thought of poor Zach made me cry.

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

 

Eva Charles-Depraved

You know, when I read a duet, I know what I’m getting into. Duets are always cliffhangers. That’s just the nature of the beast. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to yell godmotherfuckingdamnit when I get to the end of the book. And trust me, that was the nicest of the things I said when I finished reading Depraved by Eva Charles.

I have to say that this duet has been a huge tease from the beginning. When I signed up for it, I didn’t know what I was signing up for. All we bloggers got was something that said, oh hey, if you like dark romance, you’re going to like this. We didn’t even know who the author was until the cover reveal. See what I mean about a tease? But it was a tease that was so worth it.

JD and Gabrielle were childhood sweethearts until she walked in on him fucking someone else and he told her to leave. The next thing she knew, she was sent off to a boarding school far away from their Charlestown, SC home. She had to leave her parents, her friends, and of course, that traitorous JD, who she had shared all her important firsts with.

Fifteen years later, he shows up in her office, on the night that his father is elected president, and makes a deal with her. Her mother is sick, her father borrowed money from JD in order to pay for the treatments, so JD is going to get the money back out of Gabrielle. That includes getting her to pay back her father’s debts with her sweet self.

Of course, it’s not as easy as all that. There are all kinds of plots within plots within conundrums going on. I don’t think that JD lets his thumb know what his fingers are doing, let alone let his right hand know what the left is doing. I know that he has reasons for doing everything, but we don’t even know all his reasons. I don’t know that he knows all his reasons. I also don’t know how much is paranoia and how much is a real reason, but personally, I’m not entirely sure there’s a lot of paranoia.

JD and Gabrielle together are magically delicious. And very explosive. They tend to rub each other the wrong way while they are still rubbing each other the right way. It’s a very interesting skill to have, I think.

I really like the book and I really enjoyed the characters. All except for DW, but I don’t think any of us are supposed to like him, so that’s good.

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When Smith says that everything that’s happening seems petty and like revenge, I can only think about one person doing it. I don’t know if I want to be right or not.

And the end. Fuck. I can’t wait for the next one.

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