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!

Hailey Turner-The Prince’s Poison Vow

Decades ago, when I was a kid, I discovered the fantasy genre. I was all about the sword and sorcery stuff for a long time. Then I discovered the epic saga fantasy stuff. Thanks Rankin and Bass for the animated Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies. I still sing Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way and Frodo of the Nine Fingers. I read LOTR and the Hobbit, and even the Simarillion. I may not always read as much high fantasy or sword and sorcery types now, but I’ve never lost my love of them. Why, you may ask me, am I bringing this up? Because Hailey Turner has brought a high steampunk, sword and sorcery, queer fantasy saga to the world. And oh my fuck. The Prince’s Poison Vow is the first book of the Infernal War series, and I can’t wait for the next one. Hailey has said that she set a pre-order for April 2023, but she hopes to move it up, and I really hope she does.

Now, when I say that this is a queer fantasy, I very much mean it. Of the 4 main couples, 2 are MM, one is FF, and the other is MF. One of the main characters is canon as bi, at the very least. No one ever says queer, gay, bi, or any of that. The various sexualities are just normal in the world. The only time the gender of the person you are with matters is if you need an heir, which does happen in two of the couples. The story is broken up into sections. The first section takes place 15-20 years prior to the rest of the book.

The world is called Maricol and it is infected with revenants. There are spores that get into people and turn them into revenants. Then there are the wardens who are able to withstand the poison lands and the spores. They guard the borders in between the cleansed lands and the poisoned lands. Maricol is broken up into different kingdoms, some ruled by kings and queens, others by emperors and empresses, and others still by a ruling body. Each country is watched over by one of the Star Gods, who are literally the gods of Maricol, and they are pretty active in the world.

OK, now that there is all this background, lets actually talk a little about the story.

We start out in chaos in Amari, which is the capital of Ashion. We meet a young Blaine who is holding a tiny baby, and trying to stay hidden while his father fights off people who are trying to kill them. The reason that the city is in flames is that assassins have been sent out after all the members of the ruling family’s bloodline, and I do mean every single member, no matter how distant. The newborn that Blaine is carrying is the unnamed last born daughter of the queen of Ashion. Blaine and his father get her to an airship where the two children are able to escape.

Then we have Alasandair, who is the middle child of the royal house. He is secreted away in a sub, and taken to be a tithe to be trained as a warden. While he is being transported, his memories and magic, called starfire, are hidden away. Alasandair dies under the river, and Soren is born.

Eimarille is the heir to the throne of Ashionen, and is 10 at the time of the Inferno. She is taken to the kingdom of Daijal, which is the kingdom with is probably behind the coup of Ashionen. She is going to be raised by the King of Daijal, and will eventually marry his son so that the two countries are combined under Daijalan rule.

Then we fast forward and get to the more current times of the story. Soren, who is now a Warden, meets and saves an Imperial Prince, Vanya. Eimarille is in a very happy relationship with her lady-in-waiting and pet assassin, Terilyn. Blaine is happily married to Honovi, who is the jarl of Clan Storm of E’ridia, a country that specializes in airships. And Caris, the baby, is still a teen, living in hiding where she was placed, and doesn’t know who she is. She’s fascinated with engineering, and is very good at it.

So, yes, you’ll see that I’m skipping everything after the beginning. That’s because it’s literally impossible to summarize. It’s all wrapped in together, full of intrigue, mystery, magic, love, duty, honor, espionage, and ruthlessness. When I say that it’s an epic saga, I’m not just yanking your tail.

The first section is several chapters, and each capter was a different POV, which did scare me, because I thought that it was going to turn into a Game of Thrones thing, but when you get into the more current times, the POV changes become fewer. Primarily, we have Blaine, Honovi, Soren, Vanya, Eimarille, Caris, and eventually Nathaniel. We do get a couple here and there from other important, but secondary, characters. And it helps that the later sections of the book tend to follow one part of the story.

This book is so worth reading, even if you don’t normally read queer books. There aren’t very many sex scenes, but there are a lot of emotion scenes in the book which will really drag you into the story. I mean it. Go get this book and read it if you have ever liked any kind of fantasy.

OK, that’s all for today. You’re probably thinking that’s way more than enough for today. Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Beast Charming

We’re back to the Interstellar Brides world. This book is about one of the Atlan warlords who live on the Colony. Some of them have been roped into a reality show of sorts to help the Atlans find their mates. Yeah, they all have kind of a fairy tale theme to it. I bet you can’t guess which one Beast Charming is. That’s right it’s Pinocchio! No, seriously, it’s Cinderella inspired.

We start with Tane, an Atlan whose beast is close to a Mating Fever and being lost forever. It’s his turn to find a Bride, and he’s doing it on Chet Bosworth’s reality show. For his turn, they are having a huge Bride Ball. It currently boasts 300 eligible and beautiful young women hoping that they are his mate. Side note, there are a buttload of other Atlans and Prillions standing guard at the ball, hoping that they meet their mates. Meanwhile, he’s stuck in a ridiculous outfit, looking just like Prince Charming, if Prince Charming was a huge alien who had a beast inside of him. Tane is standing at the end of the stairs, meeting each and every young woman who is walking down the stairs, trying to be his bride. Too bad he already knows she isn’t.

Then we have Elena. She is standing outside the ball in a gorgeous dress that doesn’t quite fit her. She hasn’t been invited, but she has to get in anyway. That’s because she’s responsible for Abby, an 18 year old social influencer whose billionaire father hates aliens. Abby, while being a lovely person, just wants to get her father’s attention, and ending up on TV at the Bride Ball will certainly do it.

All is going well and Elena and her partner in crime have managed to get into the ball. Elena has ended up in the receiving line in front of Tane, and Tane recognizes her as his mate. He takes her out for a dance, then he takes her into a side room, and well, takes her.

Sadly, Tane doesn’t know Elena’s real name because she came in on a stolen invite. So, when Abby gets found and our three lovely ladies have to run away, Tane doesn’t know where to find her. His only clue is a locket that a paparazzo stole off Elena’s wrist when she hit him.

I liked Elena. She is very protective over anyone she considers hers. She will go to war, almost quite literally. She will definitely do things that she wouldn’t have thought that she would. You see that by her going to rescue Abby. You also see it in what she does about Tane later in the book. Even better, she does it without warning Tane.

I love Atlans. I think they are my favorite of Grace’s guys. That pretty much automatically means that I like Tane. I think that he’s a good guy, and it’s obvious how loyal he is and how loving he is.

OK, that’s all for today. Go check this one out, as well as all of the other IBP books. Happy reading!

Amo Jones-Antichrist

OK, if you’ve read the blog for a bit, you know that I like dark and mindfucks. So when I say that this book fucked my mind over but good, trust me. And, boy howdy, is my brain still all in a tizzy over Antichrist. I often joke that I curse the name of the author when I get to the end of a book that just left me wow, but I really did say “WTF, Amo Jones, just fucking fuck you” when I read the last words in this book. My husband just looked at me with his eyebrows raised, since it seemed to come out of nowhere. But yeah.

This book does jump around in time a bit. It starts out 2 years in the future, then jumps back a few years in the past, then we get to the present time. We get flashbacks to the past throughout.

I’m going to start in the past. We start out with Meraki. She is hanging out with the guy she’s kind of dating, Luca, and her best friends, Niko, Cece, who is dating Niko, Ari, Niko’s twin brother, Jer, and Mira. They are all tight, but Meraki and Niko have a special connection. They can’t seem to stay away from each other, even as they are tied to other people. But something terrible happens, and Niko leaves.

Meraki ends up in an open relationship with Luca. We get the idea that it isn’t a perfect relationship, but she says she loves him and he says that he loves her. Meraki has no idea where Niko is. Jer moved away years ago. Ari is gone. She still has her good friends Cece and Mira. She also has her dream dance academy, and she uses it to help underprivileged kids to dance and to go somewhere with their life. Everything seems to be going OK, until all of a sudden it stops. She hears the roar of a motorcycle, and it’s Niko.

Niko, AKA Antichrist, has patched into the Seven Knights MC. He’s been in a different chapter for the last several years, but things have happened that means he has to come, and it’s an open secret that he is going to be the pres of the home chapter. He sees Meraki, and he’s as drawn to her as ever.

There is a lot that happens in this book. And there is a lot that is dark, and some that is very dark. There are some very not nice people in this, and Meraki and Niko both find themselves wrapped up in all kinds of things.

I like Meraki, overall. I think that she is very strong. She has had to be. She is also devious and secretive. I don’t think that she’s a good person or a bad person. She is just a person who is filled with flaws and foibles. It is hard to like or dislike her all the time, especially as the story unfolds and we learn more about her, her past, and her future.

You remember how I said Meraki is devious and secretive? Well, she looks like a neophyte when it comes to Niko. He holds all the secrets in the world and he will weaponize them, if necessary. He is tough to like, but I think that he likes it that way, and purposely makes himself unlikable. He is really interesting though. There is a lot going on in his head most of the time, and you can just see his brain working all the time.

Like I said. I cursed Amo’s name at the end, and if you read it, you will likely curse her too. The book is still in my head, and that ending was just… I still can’t completely define it.

OK, that’s all for this one. If you like dark and twisty, definitely go check this one out. Happy reading!

Alta Hensley-King of Spades

So, once upon a time, there was an author who came up with a shared world around the Morellis and the Constantines. And all the stories are based around interpretations of fairy tales. We’ve seen K Webster’s Cinderella story on the blog, and now we have Alta’s Alice in Wonderland themed tale, King of Spades. I will warn you that this is the first book in a trilogy, so plan accordingly.

Lyriope is the bastard daughter of Bryant Morelli, who is the head of the Morelli crime family. He fucked her mom, and Lyriope and her brother were the results of that affair. She has spent her life hidden away like a dirty little secret, and not claiming her Morelli blood at all. She hasn’t contacted the family at all and wouldn’t be in contact with them at all if it weren’t for her cousin finding her. She didn’t contact them even when it would’ve helped her out, like when she needed money to bail her mom and stepdad out of trouble, again. Instead, she went to a Russian mob family and borrowed from them. She doesn’t have the money to pay them back, and that is bad, very bad.

Now, she’s at a party surrounded by the rich and corrupt. Her cousin snuck her into a Morelli party, and Lyriope is busy hiding when Nick walks in and their eyes meet. Nick isn’t the only one to walk in who could change Lyriope’s life. A Russian mobster is there, and she’s pretty sure that she isn’t going to survive the night.

Lyriope ducks into a room to not be found, and it turns out that Nick is there. Nick is powerful himself. He is an information broker and he has a popup VIP club called Wonderland. That’s where he gets all his information and he brokers agreements there. They are invite only, and very, very, very exclusive. Nick is also hot as fuck, and he intrigues Lyriope. They talk for a minute, and he tells her that he knows that she’s supposed to die tonight and why. He also tells her that he made a deal, and she’ll be safe for tonight, because he wants to fuck her before she dies.

That is an absolutely ballsy introduction, right? But it really fits Lyriope and Nick. He knows what he wants, and he’s going to do everything he can to get it. She will fight him when she can and fake it until she can make it. Lyriope may not be as strong physically as Nick, or as powerful, but she can damned well do everything she can to appear as strong as he is. Or at least as strong as possible. And she really is strong. She has spent her life having to be the one in charge and having to be strong. Her mother is a complete waste of genetic material, I don’t know that her father actually knows she’s alive, but he wouldn’t acknowledge her if he does, and her step-father is a conman who keeps expecting Lyriope to bail him and her mother out, and then dumps her like a hot turd when he does. And I do mean dumps her. After Lyriope borrows from the Russian mob to pay off his debts, he and her mother decide to just leave her high and dry and run off to somewhere warm and safe. She’s homeless and looking over her shoulder so that she doesn’t buy the farm.

I really was involved in this book so much. And it’s hot as fuck, especially when Nick and Lyriope sign the contract. Whee doggies, that was smokin.

Like I said, this is the start of a trilogy, so I cussed Alta when I got to the end. At least the next one is coming soon.

That’s all for this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

K Webster-Death Wish

Honestly, I do not know why I ever even doubt K. Every time I think that she can’t redeem a character or make me like someone, she pulls it out, and I end up liking them. Or, at least, liking them most of the time. I won’t say that I constantly adore Sparrow, Scout, and Sully, but I do like them and understand them a lot more. Death Wish was a good story, and one that I thought worked really well with the first book and Ash’s story. So, let’s talk about this one. There are likely to be spoilers for the first one, mostly because this one picks up where the last one left off, but I will try to keep them down.

So, Landry has managed to run away from her evil father with her younger sister, Della. She thought that she was getting help from a friend and was going to end up with Ford, which whom she had been creating some kind of relationship. The problem is, when she shows up at Ford’s house, she finds out that he isn’t really who he says he is. He is actually a set of triplets named Sully, Sparrow, and Scout. And they have been acting like her friend on the order of their uncle, who has ulterior motives.

Landry ends up locked in a bedroom with one of the triplets, separated from her sister, and being told that she is now all theirs, and she shouldn’t cause a fuss, because that will upset her sister. Eventually, there is a meeting in between the triplets and Landry, and they try to figure out what to do. Landry is terrified that her father will find her and Della, and what will happen when he does. So, she plots and plans about how to get away from Sparrow, Scout, and Sully. Meanwhile, they are all fixated on her, and they want to make sure that she is theirs.

The guys may all look alike and sound alike, but each of them has a very specific personality. And each personality fits a part of Landry and gives her something that she needs. I don’t think that one person with all those personality traits would’ve worked for her. I think that’s because one person couldn’t have those traits as developed as each of the triplets have them, if that makes sense. All I know is that they are good for her. And they take good care of Della too, even if she is a brat at times. And I think that Della likes to be a brat.

Landry really comes into her own in this one. She really doesn’t take a lot of stuff laying down. It took her a minute to figure things out, but as she did, she started changing herself and becoming more who she was than she had been before. I really like her. I think that she is really smart and very brave. I think that there are times that she is a little too good for the world, because of how loving her heart is. I think that’s a weird thing to say, considering everything that she has gone through in her past, but there is still that bright shine of goodness about her.

I really, really, really hate Landry’s dad. I mean, totally despise him.

OK, that’s all for this one. I still love any and everything K Webster writes. Go check this one out. Happy reading!

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