Skye Warren-Strict Confidence

Strict Confidence is the 2nd book in Skye’s Rochester trilogy. This is a modern day retelling of Jane Eyre, with suspense, twists, and a whole lot more sex. Plus a cute Kitten. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classic novels, so I was really excited to get into this series. And at the end of book two, I’m still really excited.

Warning, there will likely be spoilers from the first book in this review. The first book was a cliffhanger, so we’re picking up right where we were left. If you haven’t read the first one, and you want to avoid spoilers, this is the time to jump.

So, the house has burned down, Jane and Paige is in the hospital, and Beau is grumpy. Well, grumpier. He’s upset about the fire. He’s upset that Jane was hurt. He’s upset that Paige is hurt. Basically he’s just upset. It doesn’t help that the cop in charge of investigating the fire was a bully to Beau when he was a kid. And, oh, he’s also Paige’s uncle, and he fought Beau for custody of Paige. I mean, obviously he lost, but Joe isn’t a nice guy.

Joe sneaks in and tries to interview Jane, and he says some horrible things. He only stops when Beau walks in and chases him out. Turns out that he had tried to sneak in to question Paige too, but Beau’s friend Mateo was there protecting her. Beau decides that they are all leaving the hospital and takes them to the inn that he has rented. Beau is going to do everything he can to keep them safe.

I think that Beau is really hurting. I mean, he’s been hurt by pretty much everyone close to him in his whole life. His brother bullied him and competed with him, and even stole the woman he was in love with. The woman that Beau loved left him without saying anything. Now, he’s hurting, he’s positive that he’s poison, and he does what he can to protect himself by being this gruff, grumpy asshole. He tells Jane that his love is dangerous, and I can see where he thinks that’s true. I don’t necessarily think that, but I can understand why he does.

I think that Jane is really smart, incredibly compassionate, and very wise. She’s done wonders with Paige, who really needs someone who can take care of her and help her break through her trauma. I think that Jane can do that because of her experiences and just from her innate compassion. I really like Jane. I do wish that she protected her heart a little more, but I think part of that is just because she’s young.

I really can’t wait to see what happens next, because the end of this one? Oh yeah.

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

Skye Warren-Private Property

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classic books, so when I heard that Skye had series that was going to retell the story with her spin on it, I was all like sign me right the fuck up, please and thank you. And so, I got Private Property. And I was happy. Right until I hit the fucking end, and Skye was mean to me. I did, and this is the honest truth, curse her when I was done reading, because I don’t know how I’m going to last until book 2 comes out in a couple of months.

We have Jane, who has just flown from Texas to Maine so she can be the nanny to a young girl named Paige. Paige’s parents have just died, and she’s now living with her uncle Beau. She needs a nanny, and Jane needs a job. She’s just out of the foster system and she wants to go to college. The only way she can do that is to earn the money, so the nanny job it is. She signed a year long contract, and she won’t get the majority of her money until her contract is over.

She arrives in the middle of a huge storm and her employer is out in the storm because he rescued a kitten. He shoves the kitten into her hands and tells her to keep it alive and to consider it her job interview. It’s the next morning when she meets her young charge, and it’s not all that great. Paige and Beau butt heads like mad, and Paige is still hurting like hell. But Jane has some tricks that she can use to make a connection to Paige.

I really like Jane. She’s determined AF. She knows what the odds are against her as a former foster child and she’s going to do everything that she can to beat those odds. That means that she HAS to go to college. She HAS to have that degree so that she can get a good job. She worked really hard in high school to get good grades so that she could be accepted to college, so now all she has to do is to get the money. Jane is also really caring. You can see that with how good she is with Paige. It’s obvious that Paige is more than just a job to Jane, she’s someone really important. I like that Jane isn’t afraid to stand up to Beau, which I think that Beau needs more of.

Beau has secrets. Lots and lots and lots of secrets, and I can’t wait to find out more about all of them. We do get to see in his head some, but he’s fairly shut off, even in his own head, which is both interesting and compelling. It makes me really want to find out everything about him.

This isn’t an exact word for word retelling of Jane Eyre, but it does follow the story well enough for anyone who is familiar with it to see it. Skye has put in enough changes in it, other than modernising it, that you don’t know precisely what is going to happen, if that makes any sense. It does to me, anyway.

I can’t wait for the next book to come out. It’s too long from now.

Skye Warren-Mating Theory

Mating Theory is part of Skye’s Trust Fund books, which are part of the larger Tanglewood set of books. I don’t know that I would necessarily call the Tanglewood books a series so much. I just think of them as a world, I guess. Whatever, however. It works for Skye and it works for me, so it’s all good.

So, this is Sutton’s book. We first met him in Survival of the Richest, with Christopher and Harper. He was in love with both of them, and when they found their own love and chose each other, it broke him, and the friendship he had with Christopher. And yet, when Christopher asked him to be his best man at the wedding, Sutton said yes. Then he proceeded to get seriously drunk for a long time. In the days before the wedding, Hugo comes to drag Sutton out of his alcoholic miasma and reminds him that the wedding is coming, and that the bachelor party is coming.

At the bachelor party, Sutton is there talking to Christopher, and when the wedding is brought up, Sutton tells everyone that he has been seeing someone, only he really hasn’t. There is one person that he has on his mind, that he met weeks ago. Her name was Ashleigh, but he really doesn’t know where to find her because their first meeting took place under less than optimal circumstances.

Ashleigh, unknown to Sutton, happens to be standing outside the Den, where the party is happening. She’s trying to get a customer so that she can get some money. She turns one guy down, but then Sutton’s there, and there is much less turning down going on.

I really like Sutton. He is a good man. He might not think that he is, but he has such a good heart. He’s willing to let people basically slice him apart all the time, just so that they will be happy. Then he meets Ashleigh, and he feels bad about things about her too, even if he really shouldn’t. At least, in general. I think that Sutton generally just wants her to be happy, even if he isn’t.

Ashleigh also has a huge heart. She might protect it a little better than Sutton does, but I make no guarantees on that one, because she has her protective lines too. I don’t think that she sacrifices herself as much as Sutton does, but there is some there.

I’m really hoping we get Ky and Mr. Monopoly’s story.

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I really don’t like Christopher or Harper in this one. They don’t really come off well.

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

Skye Warren-Sonata

Sonata is the 3rd book in Skye’s North Security series. It’s also the conclusion of Samantha and Liam’s story. I’ve been looking forward to this book, because I’ve been wanting to know what happened with Samantha and Liam.

Before I get started, I’m going to warn you that there will be spoilers for Overture and Concerto. Sorry. But the way that the books are written, there’s no other way to do it. So, make sure that you are aware of that, and you know that I will try very hard to keep everything as vague as possible.

After the events of the last book, Samantha and Liam are in hiding in the south of France. That sounds like it could be so much fun, but it really isn’t. They are basically at each other’s throat. Liam is still healing from his wound, and because he’s an asshole sometimes, he isn’t taking as much care of himself as he should be. Samantha has locked up her beloved Strad so that she doesn’t give them away with her skill, and hasn’t picked up any kind of instrument, let alone a violin, in months. And they are no closer to figuring out everything that’s going on. So, that leaves Liam with making a choice he doesn’t really want to make. He is going to have to start the tour back up in Paris, and put Samantha on the stage as bait.

I’ve liked watching Samantha grow up and change during the entire series. She has had her eyes opened quite a bit during this. But, I think she’s also retained a part of her that sees life as magical and special, I mean, not that she’s had a whole lot of that in her life, but there’s just some part of her that sees life that way, at least a little bit. She’s also learned her strength, which isn’t anything that she knew from the start of the series. There is one scene in the book where I think she just comes across as an absolute goddess who knows her strength and is so regal, and then a few pages later, she knows her power in a different way.

Liam, I think, gets in his head a lot. He’s letting things that happened decades ago hold him frozen in place. Each time he tries to break free from those things, he lets them get back into his head and hold him back. It’s not fair to himself and it’s definitely not fair to Samantha. OTOH, he always wants to make sure that she’s protected and safe, even when he’s being an asshat. That part is never going to change.

I really want to get a story on Frans and Isa, because I’m pretty sure that it will be something fascinating.

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All the mom stuff was truly unexpected.

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

Skye Warren-Concerto

Concerto is the second book in Liam and Samantha’s story. I don’t think that I would call this is a cliffhanger, but it isn’t really an HEA either. Maybe a cliffhanger-lite HFN. Either way, I think that the story of the book is brought to a finish, but not the overall story that is Liam and Samantha.

So, we’re in Tanglewood, because of course we are, can’t be a Skye Warren book otherwise, getting ready for Samantha’s big tour. Liam has ordered his brother to go with her for security, while he tracks down who is behind a threat to Samantha. He’s also beating the shit out of himself because he has a major guilt complex for so many, many reasons. But, this time, it’s because he and Samantha have had sex and he loves her and has loved her for forever. Since he’s found out that the threat is in the same town as her, he has to be there.

Samantha is trying to get into the swing of things being out and mostly on her own-ish for the first time ever. She’s really still that same little girl as she’s always been when she starts out. Right now, the thing that she’s most excited about is that she gets to perform in the Grande, owned by Candy and Ivan, and she gets to see her best friend, Beatrix and Hugo, and their precious little girl. Samantha is getting to know more people, like Harry March, who is the big name singer on the tour, as well as all her other tourmates. I like Harry March, but not all the time. Samantha is torn over Liam, since she’s loved him since she was 12, and after she turned 18, it changed into something so much more powerful. It’s ripping her apart trying to figure out what she wants and what he wants.

I loved the push and pull between Liam and Samantha. There is so much tension and passion there. It’s so strong and so compelling. I honestly didn’t know who to cheer for or what outcome I wanted to have happen. It’s a really Skye Warren kind of thing, if you ask me. It’s a lot of fun to read, in my opinion. I like being kept a little off balance like that. I also like the visceral feelings that the books evoke in me. That tension and tug-of-war really pulled at me and made me even more invested in Samantha and Liam and their story.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the story. Hopefully Skye won’t leave us hanging for too long.

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My heart jumped into my throat when Harry missed. And I got so mad at the exec taking it out on Samantha, since it was totally not her fault at all.

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

Skye Warren-Overture

Dammit, Skye Warren! You did it again. Overture is a helluva book with that classic Skye touch, and I seriously when I was done reading the book, because, well, reasons. The whole book really sent me on a loop and I was just so happy that I could read it.

So, Samantha is a 17 year old violin prodigy. She’s talented and makes music like she breathes. She’s almost 18 and will be going on a long tour then. When she was 12, her father died and Liam North became her legal guardian. And until recently, that wasn’t a huge problem, but now she wants Liam like a woman wants a man.

Liam is a mercenary and the head of North Security. He had reasons to take Samantha in, and during those 6 years, he did everything that he could to keep her safe. But now, things have changed, and he has to keep her safe from himself.

Skye is a genius when it comes to putting together stories like this. She really packs in the emotions and makes you feel every little bit of everything that her characters are feeling. She leaves you strung out from her books, and I’ll just bet that she laughs about it too. Authors are mean like that, you know.

But seriously, this was a helluva journey. I was mad and glad and sad, often all at the same time, which go explain that. I get where both Liam and Samantha are coming from. I think sometimes they are talking at cross purposes because they are both trying to say things to each other but it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. I think that they need to listen to each other more and definitely listen to what they are each saying.

As with many of Skye’s books, there is a Tanglewood connection, and I love getting to see all our old friends from Tanglewood.

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ARGHHHHH! That ending! I am going to die between now and the next one. I don’t know if I am going to be able to handle it.

I do love how Samantha shut down all the brothers. It was pretty epic, and Liam definitely didn’t expect it to happen.

I really, really can’t wait to see what happens next.

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

Skye Warren-Evolution of Man

So, Skye Warren has this town called Tanglewood where a great many of her stories take place. And Tanglewood is one fucked up town. There is all kinds of crime, intrigue, and total craziness. And it’s into the total craziness that Skye has taken us with Evolution of Man. This book is the second of a duology, with the first being Survival of the Richest. If you haven’t read Survival, then you should immediately put down this review and read it. You won’t have any clue as to what is going on in Evolution. There are going to be spoilers to Survival in this post. There’s just no way around it.

So, Evolution starts up 6 months after Survival ended. Christopher and Sutton have both walked away from Harper, and she now has control of her trust fund. Her protest against the destruction of the library kind of worked, in that it stopped the library from being completely destroyed, but it’s in terrible shape right now. Harper has bought a home in Tanglewood for her and her mother to live in while her mother is dying, and she has spent $2 billion on buying the library. Harper negotiated with Christopher who raised the price insanely high.

Now Harper is trying to get the library restored, but Christopher has talked to all the construction companies in the area and no one will go for it. So she turns to Sutton, who tells her that he’ll take a look at it for her, but he only wants to be her business partner, nothing else. No sex, no relationship, no nothing.

Harper is also having to deal with her mother’s life coming to an end. Since her mother refused any treatment, she’s been getting weaker and weaker. She has signed up with a hospice service, but Harper is trying to avoid the Death Plan or any discussions of her death. Harper works very hard at staying positive for her mother, but it isn’t always possible.

There is a whole lot going on in this story. It’s very emotion laden, I mean, how can it not be? Just the fact that Harper is losing her beloved mother is more than enough to sink a lot of emotion in it. But then you have the whole Christopher/Sutton/Harper triangle. That’s even more of a load of intensity, and it’s that intensity that Skye does so well. I thought that Evolution was a good finish to the duology and it managed to carry the emotion from Survival over really nicely. It was also nice to peek in on old friends like Aubrey and Gabriel, Bea and Hugo, Damon, and Blue. It’s really nice how Skye weaves old friends in through the new stories. It doesn’t feel like it’s a forced kind of thing, just woven in nicely.

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I’m happy that Harper ended up with Christopher and not Sutton, but I’m not entirely sure I wouldn’t have been almost as happy if we had ended up with an MMF menage. We came close to having an MMF sex scene, and it was really hot.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. I think I’m going to have to go reread all of the Tanglewood books this weekend. Happy reading!

Skye Warren-Survival of the Fittest

This is the first book in the newest duet from Skye Warren. If you are used to her writing, you know what that means. If you aren’t familiar with her writing, you know that it means that you are going to have your heart ripped out of your chest, stomped on, mashed into bits, and then handed back to you so that you can wait for the next one to come out.

Survival of the Fittest brings us the story of Harper and the two men who have her in their sights, Sutton and Christopher. Like other Skye books, it takes place in Tanglewood, so we get to see old friends, like Bea and Hugo, and Penny and Damon.

When Harper was 15, she flew to Boston to spend spring break with her extremely rich father and his newest wife on his yacht. She isn’t planning on getting close to this wife, because she knows that all his wives are temporary. There’ll probably be a new one next year, so why bother really paying any attention to her. This wife brings a tag-along. She has a son, who is a little holder than Harper, and already in college. In the middle of the night, Harper sneaks out and goes to sit on the railing of the yacht. Christopher follows her and asks her if she has a death wish. She tells him that she’s been sitting there for years without any problem. Of course, we all know what that means. Yup, she falls into the ocean. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to fall into the ocean around Boston in springtime. That fucker is cold. Luckily, Christopher is there, he jumps in after her, and drags her over to the swim steps on the yacht so that she can haul herself up and out of the water.

Over the years, even after their parents divorce, Harper and Christopher write letters back and forth. She even invites him to a huge art show she’s doing, all about Medusa. Then things change. Christopher is left in charge of Harper’s money until she turns 25, and there are strict proscriptions as to what the money can be used for. The money cannot be used to take care of her mother in any way, shape, or form. It can only go for Harper’s education and her immediate living expenses. This leads to years of Harper and Christopher’s cold war, until she has to go to Tanglewood to confront him. When she does, she meets Sutton, who is Christopher’s business partner. He starts hitting on her, and she’s definitely interested. But then, she’s got feelings for Christopher too, even though she’s pretty sure that she hates him.

OK,  I don’t trust Sutton as far as  I can throw him. He definitely has some kind of agenda going on. He’s just going to keep fucking with Harper and with Christopher. It’s going to be a huge fucking mess, until Skye manages to pull it all back together and makes it work out the way that it should be. I know how I want it to work out. But, at this exact point in time, I’m not sure if that’s going to be the way that it actually works out. Christopher is a good man. He’s an honorable man. I think that he does what he always thinks is the right thing in any situation, at least the right thing for everyone but him. I like Christopher, but that kind of thing makes me mad. It’s perfectly OK to be selfish sometimes and do the things that you think are right for you and fuck what may be right for someone else over what may be right for you. All I know is that I can’t wait for The Evolution of Man to get here. And pro-tip? It’s already on pre-order. And I can neither confirm nor deny that I 1-clicked that fucker.

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Damn, that ending. Fuuuuuuck. I went back to reread the last chapter just so that I was sure that I didn’t miss anything because damn. I knew that it was going to be a cliff because this isn’t my first go-round with Skye and how she likes to rip people’s hearts out. But still, it nearly killed me.

I love how fierce Harper is. But, I think that Sutton will wear that fierce right off of her. He’s not a good person, I don’t think.

Christopher is just being too fucking nice for his own good. He knows that Sutton wants Harper. And he knows Sutton, so he’s going to know what Sutton’s motivations are. I’m pretty sure that there is more than just Harper is pretty and sexy. He knows that Christopher is into Harper, so he’s trying to hurt Christopher or play some kind of game. I hope Christopher smashes him down good.

All I know is that Harper and Christopher had better end up together. I refuse to envision any other outcome.

Go check this out. You can also get the prologue for free, called Trust Fund. Happy reading!

Skye Warren-Escort

Another Skye Warren book on my blog. Is anyone surprised by this? Well, you really shouldn’t be, if you are. Skye is prolific, and I will read the fuck out of any of her books that I can. So, when the chance to read Escort came across my metaphorical desk, I jumped. Just call me Pavlov’s blogger. Show me a book, and I drool and beg. Isn’t that the way that works? Anyway, Skye Warren’s book.

Anyone who reads Skye Warren has probably read her Endgame series or her Stripped series (Pretty When You Cry is one of my fave of her books). I love both of those series and they are connected by the fact that they are all in the same fictional town, Tanglewood. There are several other books that take place in that world, and most of them are standalones. When they are connected, it’s generally just secondary characters popping in and out of stories. For example, Damon and Penny from the Masterpiece duet show up in this book as secondary characters. Their roles could be played any person at all, but I like that it’s Damon and Penny. It just helps bring Escort alive and anchor it in the world it’s in. Each Tanglewood book just makes the town realer. I wouldn’t mind visiting Tanglewood, there are a few businesses that I wouldn’t mind checking out, but I really wouldn’t want to live there. But visiting? Totally OK. All of this leads into today’s book.

Hugo was born in Tangiers. His mother worked long hours as a hotel maid until she died when he was a teenager. He ran the streets until he was picked up at 15 by an older woman. He thought that they were desperately in love. She took his virginity and took him to America and Tanglewood. Hugo has his reasons for being there. Melissande had her reasons, mostly that she wanted to pimp him out. No quicker way to break someone’s love, right? As an adult, with lots of experience, Hugo has turned into Tanglewood’s most wanted escort. He loves women of all kinds and loves to pleasure women. Women have picked up on that and called him back time and time again. That’s made him rich enough that he doesn’t have to work, so he only does it once a week, on Saturday nights. Limiting supply that way makes demand even higher. Meanwhile, he spends his weekdays being the man of leisure, cooking, being artistic, reading, all that good stuff.

Beatrix lives in the penthouse of L’Etoile. She’s spent the past decade there and never leaves the hotel. Everything she needs is right there, or almost everything. Right now, what she needs is a man. She’s got something that she really wants to get rid of, her virginity. She’s tried to go down to the bar to find the right guy, but it hasn’t worked. So, she has decided that she’s going to go to the professional and hires Hugo. She’s disconcerted when Hugo shows up and tells her that he’s going to give her pleasure. She’s not sure that she wants pleasure, she just wants to be relieved of her burden. That’s not the way that Hugo works though. He wants to make sure Bea enjoys everything they do.

It’s that time. I love the fact that the escort in question is a male escort who is going to be the target of our story instead of a female escort. Great way to flip that right on its head. Then we have a pretty strict some POV, and that’s Hugo’s POV. We have no clue what’s going on in Bea’s head most of the time because we’re living in Hugo’s. That’s also a big switch when it comes to romance novels. That’s awesome too. It’s pretty rare, mostly because the primary readers of romance novels want to be to identify with the heroines in the book, so getting their POV is generally pretty important. But, this way worked so well. Hugo had the deeper story this time around, so it really needed to be his POV.

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Did you know that l’etoile is French for star? I knew that high school French class would come in handy sometime. Of course, since I’m coming up on 28 years since I graduated high school, I remember about 5 whole words of it.

Hugo’s hate-on almost ruined what he and Bea had. I’m glad that he was able to change himself around. Of course, I would have that fucking hate on too. I would want to do what Hugo wanted to.

Bea’s piano playing is beautiful. The whole idea of being able to establish an online prescence she did without leaving the house is awesome. The Internet has made those of us with social anxiety, agoraphobia, or other things that make it easier to do things and interact with the world.  I don’t make friends well in person, but I have good friends online that I’ve had for nearly 20 years, so that works real well for me.

OK, that’s all I have to say about Escort and Skye Warren. I seriously, seriously recommend investing in this one. I know that I say that about a lot of books, but this should really be one of those core books you have, especially if you like Skye.

Skye Warren & Annika Martin-Hostage

Skye Warren and Annika Martin have come together to write another wonderful, dark, twisted, and hot read. Hostage is the second book in the Criminal & Captives series, but it can be read as a standalone book. While it does intersect in places with the first book, you don’t need to have read it to enjoy Hostage and know what’s going on.

Brooke is the quintessential poor little rich girl, or at least that’s what it looks like. In reality, her parents are being swans, floating around looking serene on top of the pond while their feet are paddling furiously under the water to keep them afloat and moving along. They are in trouble financially, but in their circle, if you admit it, you are a pariah. No one will do business with you, no one will invite you to all the right parties, so on and so forth. That means that her sweet 16 party is not about her at all. It’s all about keeping up appearances and public relations. Her parents have invited hundreds of people, most of whom she has never met. Her parents have drilled poor Brooke in everyone’s names, businesses, etc. Our poor heroine doesn’t even get to enjoy her birthday. When she goes out to get some air, it gets even worse.

Standing outside where she can just be Brooke for a little while, she hears the sounds of someone getting the shit beaten out of them. She decides that she’s going to go investigate it and see what’s going on. What she finds is a young man a few years older than her beating up another man. She tries to make him stop, but instead, she gets shoved into a van, along with the beaten man, and dragged to a burnt out hulk of a house.

Stone had no intention of anyone seeing him beat the guy, least of all a beautiful 16-year-old girl. However, once she’s seen him, he has to do something, and that’s to shove her in the van so that he can take care of her later. But first, he has a job to finish. He drags the man out of the van at the house and takes care of business, after telling Brooke to stay still. He plans to take her to the river to dispose of her, but something about her changes his mind. He can’t do it. Instead, he makes up a story for her to tell the cops that has nothing to do with him.

Over the next few years, Stone randomly shows up out of nowhere, climbs into her car and tells Brooke to drive. She never knows when it’s going to happen, or where they are going to go. However, that doesn’t stop her from doing it.

This book has some seriously dark aspects in it. It also has a lot of hope and love. Woven into all that dark is a truly epic love story, which is no less than I would expect from these two ladies. There are hints of betrayal which is hard on everyone, but the results are worth it. Reading the two books back to back is going to be something epic, and definitely the way that I’m going to have to read them, every time. Because let’s face it, they are totally awesome books.

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I like that there is more closure to certain aspects of the past, but I hoped that the person involved with that would’ve been either less involved in it or done something about it prior, but at least they did something about it, so better late than never, I guess.

I think Brooke is really good for Stone. He really was like his name. Without having her around, I think that he would’ve probably turned into a real rock or broken completely apart. She brings the lightness and love that he needed to have, so it works out really well. He also gives her the strong love and affection that she needs to have, so they pair together really well.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. We have a lot coming up today and tomorrow, stay braced for everything. Meanwhile, happy reading!