Book Review: Highland Temptation

The Highland Knights have become such an entertaining series. I love the suspense and the mystery of the stories and the romance and heat are definitely high. This one was no exception, and bonus: a damsel in distress novel is one of my fave tropes.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A Highlander with his own demons helps protect a young woman who’s been abused by her father and now fears for her life. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Needing Protection
Lady Emilia is familiar with the Highland Knights because they had been hired to protect her father. Unknown to them, however, her father was abusive, so she’s managed to make herself seem meek and unassuming. When she uncovers a secret of her father’s and realizes that he might kill her for her knowledge, she seeks refuge with the Knights.

Dark Demons
Colin has some issues, namely PTSD from his fights at Waterloo. The people he killed in battle haunt him, and he can’t be alone or in the dark without having severe anxiety. However, his need to protect Emilia overpowers that, and he makes a case to take her away from London and hide her in Scotland where her father can’t find her. When his commander notes that traveling alone with the woman will compromise her, the Scot promises he won’t touch her.



Getting Compromised
Emilia and Colin are drawn to each other right away, having felt a bit of a spark when the Knights were protecting her father. So it’s no wonder that in close proximity and with danger looming and threatening to hunt them down, there’s going to be some major groping and out-of-control desires.

Fighting the Darkness
Colin’s PTSD played a major role in the story. His issues are pretty harsh, and yet Emilia doesn’t shy away from him. Instead, she reaches out and promises to help defeat his demons. Her development is good, though she seemed much stronger than one would expect from someone who’d been abused as much as she had. Still, I liked that she became so much stronger around Colin.

The Romance Factor
Though this story has the damsel in distress, the hero was in a bit of distress as well, and I loved Emilia being his strength. Colin and Emilia were a great couple, and I liked the amount of foreplay between them before they actually got to the loving. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The Highland Knights are all pretty naughty, and Colin was no exception. Sexy times were frequent and hot. 5/5


Final Thoughts
An enjoyable read, though much like the other series I’m reading, I’m starting to blend storylines in my head. Even with that though, I was able to remember some key elements and really get into this one.

Book Review: Her Survivor by Vonnie Davis

PTSD has become prevalent in a lot of the romance novels I’ve read, and it’s usually well done. This book spends quite a bit of time talking about it, which I appreciated because I think it’s a good way to highlight and teach readers more about it. It’s not a side’s almost the main theme of the story.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A man who lost his leg serving as a SEAL goes to a small town to deal with his PTSD where he meets a pretty woman dealing with secrets and trauma of her own. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Dealing With the Scars
Dustin lost his leg and gained a good deal of facial scarring from his last tour of duty, but the physical issues are nothing compared to the PTSD he’s had since getting back. When his SEAL buddy, ZQ, invites him to his quiet ranch for some rest and relaxation, he takes him up on the offer, only to find that the man has offered his architectural services to the local bookstore owner.  This pisses Dustin off at first, especially when he finds himself attracted to the woman, knowing there’s no way a woman is going to want him with all of his issues.
Hiding Out
Kelcee loves the little bookstore she inherited and her small town, but there’s also an underlying fear that she’s going to be found by someone in her past who she knows wants her dead. Still, she’s feisty and doesn’t take crap from people, and so when her first interaction with Dustin involves a heavy dose of rudeness on his part, she lets him know it. But when Dustin calls to apologize and they start to get to know each other, he becomes the one person she feels safe with.


Love and Trauma
Their new relationship is a little rocky. Dustin has a lot of hang ups, but he also gets violent when he has nightmares, and it terrifies him to know he could hurt Kelcee. He’s also afraid to go out in public and it takes him awhile to realize that Kelcee doesn’t care about any of that. She just wants to be with him and help him through his PTSD as much as she can. He pushes her away, but when her life becomes endangered, he realizes how much he needs her in his life.


An Issue with Multiple Faces
The PTSD was shown in different forms to highlight how different people deal with it. Several of the side characters have it, including characters I believe we’re going to see in future stories. Dustin and Kelcee both have it, and it’s definitely a contrast to see how each one handles it.


Winning Dialogue
I enjoyed this story even though there were a few things that annoyed me. On the positive side, I really liked the small town feel of the story and most of the banter between Kelcee and Dustin. She was compassionate and caring towards him, but when he got out of line, she didn’t hesitate to tell him where to go. I also enjoyed the side characters, but they seemed to add a lot of sub-plots to the story, and at times I felt they took away from the romance between Dustin and Kelcee, which was the part I really wanted.


Curves For the Win
I liked that Kelcee was a plus-sized heroine, and some of her feelings about that and how people treated her were handled realistically and thoughtfully. Some people were mean, others didn’t care. Kelcee handled it well, as she’d learn to accept herself and wasn’t self conscious when things go intimate. I did get a little tired of people, including her, referring to her “teacup ass.” While endearing at first, and though I understand it was kind of one of those cute running gag things, it felt a bit overused.


The Romance Factor
Dustin lets Kelcee in and hopes to be able to have a real relationship with her. The fact that he tried to hide his PTSD was kind of sweet (if maybe not the right thing to do). When he pulls away because he’s afraid he’ll hurt her in one of his violent moments, the pain and conflict between the two gave me such feels. 5/5

The Steam Factor
Though not super spicy, there are a few sensual moments between the sheets. 3/5

Final Thoughts
One thing that stood out to me was that I got a feel for the characters mostly through their action and dialogue, and though I usually like to get the inner thoughts and emotions to a higher degree, the way this book was written really worked for me. Even with minor annoyances, there were some great quirks (the older woman who reads BDSM novels was awesome) and I enjoyed the story overall. I’m looking forward to see how the other characters are handled in future novels.

Book Review: His to Protect by Stacey Lynn

The first book in the series lead almost directly into this one, and I’d read the synopsis and was really looking forward to this damsel-in-distress plotline.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
An abused woman is kept safe by a man who’s attracted to her but is wary of relationships after his wife walked out on him. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

On the Run
Trina is a woman who comes from money, so one wouldn’t think she’d be digging around in the trash to try to find food for her dog. But that’s how Declan finds her one night. He gives her a meal and offers to let her stay with him, seeing that she’s skittish and has no money but not knowing her full story. Declan feels protective, but after his ex-wife bailed on him, he’s determined not to get mixed up with any woman.

To the Border
Trina’s plan is to get to Canada, but her plans are derailed when someone breaks into her hotel room and steals her money and passport. Canada was her sanctuary since her abusive husband has political ties and power that she can’t fight if she stays in the U.S. The last thing she wants to do is drag Declan into her mess. He’s kind, and though she allows him to help her out, she knows that eventually she’ll have to leave if she doesn’t want him to face her husband’s wrath as well.

Even Strong Women Can Have a Protector
Modern day damsel-in-distress is one of favorites, and this story does it so well. Trina has been badly abused and in the hospital so many times that she finally had enough, but she knows her husband will be looking for her. While skittish and scared and full of misplaced heroism (thinking she has to leave to save Declan), she’s also strong. She left knowing how difficult it would be and did it anyway because staying would have been worse.


The Strong Silent Type
Declan is quiet and broody, but he’s also kind and wants to make sure Trina is taken care of. Though neither want to fall in love, being in close quarters, both at his home and his restaurant where he hires her on temporarily, you know it’s bound to happen.

Cameos and Girlfriends
We also get to see Blue and Tyson (from the first book). Tyson helps Declan look into Trina’s husband a little more in depth (CIA connections for the win) and Blue brings Trina into her circle of friends, an aspect of the first book and this book that I really enjoyed (supportive girlfriends for another win).


The Romance Factor
Declan’s protectiveness made me swoon a lttle bit, as did the two of them trying their best to not fall into bed/love right away. There’s also the whole thing about Declan being hurt that his ex left and feeling like he’s never going to be good enough for anyone, and yet it’s a high society woman who shows him that he’s worthy of being loved for who he is. 5/5

The Steam Factor
While not overly explicit, the sex scenes are sensual and hot and add to the romance and tenderness of the story. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I enjoyed this book even more than I did the first one and liked the hints we’re given about the third one in the series, which I now have to get my hands on. Good characters, great romance, and one of my favorite tropes made for a really good reading experience.

Book Review: Stacked Up by Sidney Halston

I feel like these books just keep getting better as the series goes on, and even when I have issues with them, I still have a really hard time tearing myself away.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
An MMA fighter falls for a single mother who’s hiding from her ultra-religious stepfather, despite the fact that the doesn’t want kids. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Going Out On Her Own
Penny ran away from her stepfather a year ago after he’d put her in a home for pregnant women when someone who worked for him convinced her to sleep with him. As a television evangelist, her stepfather cares more about his image than her, and she no longer wants anything to do with that life. So she heads to Tarpon Springs with her baby to start a new life, difficult as it may be. She has to hold two jobs and can still barely make ends meet. Luckily, she has people willing to help her out, but it doesn’t keep her from feeling lonely and helpless.

The Anti-Kid Hero
Travis has had a thing for Penny ever since she showed up in town. Though he doesn’t admit it to anyone, he’s kept an eye out for her since she started working at the local bar he patronizes. Even though she opens up to him one night and cries on his shoulder, he still doesn’t know much about her. So when he finds out she has a daughter (after they’ve slept together), he’s shocked and hurt that she never shared that detail.

Franco wut

Of course, part of the reason she didn’t share is because Travis spends an inordinate amount of time talking about how doesn’t like kids and doesn’t want any. It’s kind of understandable why she’s hesitant, and I’m usually the one who champions being up front at the beginning about these things.

Maybe Not All Kids
When the father of her child shows back up, a tool being used by her stepfather to get her back, Travis helps Penny and Belle regardless of the fact that he’s said he doesn’t want a kid in his life. It’s not long before he falls in love with both of them and does everything he can to make sure Penny’s family problems go away (short of murder). I thought I’d be annoyed by the way I knew the plot was going to unfold. I mean, duh, we know he’s going to eventually accept them both, right? But honestly? I loved how it was written and how despite his protests, Travis actually seemed to love Belle before he did Penny. I mean, there was affection there, but the connection he formed with the little girl was really sweet.

The Romance Factor
I loved the way Travis takes care of Penny, and though I got annoyed with his constant back and forth on wanting to take care of her and wanting to be mad at her for not telling him about Belle, I could also understand his feelings on the matter. The romance was particularly strong in the protectiveness he showed her and the care she showed him, taking care of him and supporting him in a way no one had before (also, Travis had mom issues, which figured into his reluctance to get into a real relationship). 4/5


The Steam Factor
The sexy times are not super frequent but they’re super hot when they happen. 5/5

Final Thoughts
I really enjoyed Travis and Penny’s story and it was nice seeing the couples from the other books in the series, especially Enzo and JL from the last book who have twins of their own in this one. The MMA fighting isn’t prevalent though, so if you’re looking for a lot of fighting, it’s there, but not frequent. Still a great read with flawed but likable characters.

Book Review: After We Fall by Marquita Valentine

I had to go back and remind myself what happened in the previous book in this series to get familiar with the world and characters again. This book starts where the previous one left off (sort of) and has the same sweetness the other one did. I still haven’t read the first book in the series though. I really need to get on that.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A woman out of an abusive marriage is excited about starting a new life but nervous about being so close to the cop who saved her. A full synopsis can be found on this book’s Goodreads page.

We Meet Again
When Hunter last saw Evangeline, she was badly beaten and bruised. He was the one to save her, making sure she’d get medical treatment to survive what her husband had done to her. Since then, he hasn’t been able to forget about her. Even though he’s helped many abuse victims as a police officer, Evangeline got to him the most. So when he sees that she’s moving in to his apartment complex…to the apartment across from his, as a matter of fact…he reaches out to her.

Changes for the Worse
Evangeline pretends not to recognize Hunter when she first sees him, even though she very much does. She’s happy she finally got a divorce from her ex, but she’s still haunted by all the things he did and said to her, and she’s embarrassed that she let it go on for so long. Even though she’s attracted to Hunter, she has trust issues and is a bit skittish. She’s afraid to jump into a relationship because her ex had been amazing and sweet when they’d first gotten together, and she hadn’t seen or expected the change in him until it was too late. Now she can’t trust that it won’t happen with someone else. For her, it’s easier to stay alone.


Taking Life
Evangeline’s abuse was difficult to read about, and abuse survivors may want to take this as a trigger warning for the book. She flashes back to many of the ways he hurt her, not just physically (though there are some physical details), but also mentally, telling her she’s not worth anything and making sure she no longer has any friends or is in close contact with her family (part of which she isn’t because of her shame). There are a few times when she mourns the person she was before she met her husband.

Common Ties
Hunter and his mother were both abuse victims of their father, so Hunter feels especially protective of abuse victims. I felt that a lot of his attraction to Evangeline had to do with him wanting to protect her and help her come back from her trauma. It helped that his abuse was one of the things that allowed her to connect with him and eventually trust him.

Enemies & Friends
There is a bit of a damsel in distress plot, as Evangeline’s ex-husband starts calling to to harass her and things escalate. But it’s also another avenue in which she’s able to empower herself to take a stand against him. There’s also Saylor, the woman in the apartment that Evangeline ends up becoming friends with (a big deal for her since she hasn’t had friends in a long time) who’s a Star Wars nerd and completely adorable. The tone of the book was slightly dark and very serious, but Saylor helped lighten the mood. I really hope she gets her own story.


The Romance Factor
I love when a sweet hero takes such good care of a woman, and Hunter really does. The development of their relationship felt slow at first, building up to when Evangeline finally trusts him. It felt like there was a slow buildup and then a really fast slide into her jumping him, but I suppose in the context of a romance story, it has to happen at some point. 4/5

The Steam Factor
Evangeline wants to get her groove back, and she does. It takes her a bit to warm up to Hunter, but when she does, things get spicy. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I really like the way Marquita Valentine writes. It’s not overly flowy, but it’s emotional and gives me a good sense of how the characters are feeling. I get alot of passion and sadness, but I also get hope and I love the way the characters work together. This book was stronger on the sadness, but it still held my attention and made me swoon over Hunter a couple times.

Book Review: His Deception by Patricia Rosemoor

Maybe it’s because I watched The Bodyguard at an impressionable age, but I love this trope. I just don’t get enough of these types of stories, so I was excited to read this one. I especially liked the twist of her not knowing he’s guarding her body.

His Deception

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A man is hired to bodyguard a millionaire’s daughter without her knowing about it, which makes things even more complicated when he falls for her. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

I Guess He Meant Well
Katelyn grew up in a weird situation, her mother having left her father when she was young, but her father doing what he could to make her a part of his other family, despite the poor treatment she received from his wife and her half siblings. As an adult, she still loves her father, but she wants to make it on her own and has made it a point to distance herself from his name. By opening a cafe in a small town in Wisconsin, she thinks she’s found her dream.

When a school shooting happens and her father receives threatening emails as the manufacturer of the assault weapon used, he begs Katelyn to get a bodyguard. She doesn’t think she’s in danger, believing that only a few people know she’s his daughter, so she refuses. But her father is a control freak, so he hires one anyway. Enter Thorne Hudson.


More Than a Job
Thorne pretends to be just another traveler passing through the area and Katelyn feels drawn to him instantly. He’s attractive and mysterious and he offers to bartend for her when her normal guy disappears. Thorne starts to have feelings for Katelyn, and his feelings war with his duty and his sense of guilt. But he also realizes she needs to protecting, and eventually it becomes less about doing the job her father hired him for and more about him knowing he would die for her if need be.

A Little Too Stubborn
Katelyn knows something’s up, but though she doesn’t trust her father, she never believes that Thorne is anything other than who he seems to be. Which makes it that more exciting when she does find out. At one point though, she starts to understand that she probably is in danger, yet it takes her awhile to come around and actually be thankful for Thorne’s protection.


Love and Mystery
I liked the mystery and the danger of this story and thought it blended well with the romance. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I dig a story where the culprit could be any of a group of suspects. There’s also some other issues going on, like Katelyn’s trust issues and the return of her ex after several months. Thorne also has issues that stem from his childhood.

The Romance Factor
If The Bodyguard made me enjoy this type of love story, I think it was probably Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves that made me love the hero who would die for the woman he loves. When Katelyn gets emo over the fact that she didn’t know he was guarding her, he still holds on to hope that she’ll come around and his feelings only get stronger. 4/5

The Steam Factor
To be completely honest, I though things were going to be a lot hotter than they were. The sexy times started out really promising, but they usually didn’t last long. It felt like there was a lack of foreplay before Thorne slid into home base (if you know what I’m saying). I’m thinking it was less of a series of quickies and more of a lack of detail, which is cool. I mean, they both seemed to enjoy it, even if we didn’t see everything. 3/5

Final Thoughts
Despite the lack of foreplay, I really liked this book. I thought the emotion between Thorne and Katelyn was solid and I liked the tension of waiting to see who was targeting Katelyn. This seems to be a standalone novel, which makes me a little sad because I liked the setting and thought some of the other characters were interesting. I would definitely read more by this author.

Book Review: Ruthless by Gillian Archer

I always read the synopsis of a book before I request it, but by the time I open the book, I’ve forgotten what it’s about. I wasn’t expecting this to be a motorcycle club novel (I had billionaires in my head for some reason). But this book didn’t leave me much time to be disappointed, because it started out strong and kept me hooked the entire time.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A biker gets involved with a woman and has to protect her when she unwittingly becomes the target of another biker. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Worst Date Ever
Right from the start, I really liked this couple, and I credit that with the damsel-in-distress meet-cute. Jessica is trying to end a really bad blind date when the date starts mauling her. Zag, a member of the True Brothers Motorcycle Club, steps in to pull the handsy guy away. Though he doesn’t plan to stick around, Jessica convinces him to let her buy him a drink as a thank you, and they end up in bed together. Though Jessica is interested from the start, it seems like just another one-night stand for Zag, so she doesn’t try to pursue anything.

My Bike is My Anti-Drug
Zag comes off as the cool guy who just goes with the flow and doesn’t really see the need to get involved. But then after their one night together, he can’t forget about Jessica and ends up contacting her to meet up again. Because cool guy or not, she obviously rocked his world.


Zag and True Brothers club in general are fairly straightlaced as far as MCs go. All of the components of the MC are there, but the edgier and darker elements aren’t highlighted. What is highlighted is the fact that Zag will not, nor will he allow the club to, have any involvement with drugs. His youth was pretty jacked up because of a junkie mother, and he refuses to touch the stuff. When Jessica sees a drug deal go down between one of the True Brothers and a rival gang, she misinterprets what’s going on and tries to break it off with Zag, as drugs are a deal breaker. Instead, Zag ends up making her his old lady in order to protect her from the drug dealing brother who wants to silence her before she can testify against him.

Normal, but Not Boring
Zag is a very tame alpha male an a nice guy. Of course he comes across as a little volatile and hard ass when Jessica’s safety is compromised, but that just added to his appeal. As for Jessica, she might be the most normal heroine I’ve ever read. Her problems are pretty standard: an overbearing mother who wants her to get married and have babies; a friend who is in major disapproval of her choice in men; a job that she finds mediocre but brings in a paycheck. She actually has a cool dad (rare), and she’s pretty standard all around. You’d think she’d be boring, but she’s not. Instead, she’s relateable and likeable.

The Romance Factor
Zag is sweet and Jessica’s struggle with dating a bad boy was endearing rather than whiny and annoying. And when Jessica’s life is put in danger, the emotions from Zag were intense and passionate. 4/5


The Steam Factor
The sexy times are hot, especially when Zag takes control. It never really gets into sub/dom territory, but there’s definitely a subtle aspect of that kind of play. 4/5

Final Thoughts
Jessica’s two friends have fairly important roles in the book. One I liked, one I didn’t, but I read that the next two books are about them, so I’m excited to see what happens (even with the friend who’s kind of a bitch). I enjoyed this book a lot. The writing was solid, the characters felt real, and the drama worked with the story without overshadowing the plot just to highlight how bad ass a biker and his club can be.

Book Review: Jagger by Chelsea Camaron and MJ Fields

I was looking forward to that same rock and roll vibe I got from the previous book in the Caldwell Brothers series, Morrison (I haven’t read Hendrix yet, but it’s on my Kindle….so someday). It was there, though not as strong, as was the same dark, damsel in distress theme.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
An MMA fighter wants to save a young girl from the harsh abuse of her father. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Not Really a “Meet Cute”
Like Morrison, Jagger rides that line between hard edge and completely heroic. When he first meets Tatiana, she’s being beat by her father. Jagger beats the man, only to be arrested. Determined to be her savior, Jagger keeps an eye on Tatiana and sneaks her gifts (including food because she’s not fed enough), staying hidden because of the restraining order the father took against him.

Too Young to Know Better
Tatiana’s abuse is brutal, but she stays because her father has insinuated that she’s not a real U.S. citizen, and she’s terrified that without his protection, she’ll be sent back to Russia. When she realizes that Jagger has been leaving the gifts for her, she finds hope that things will get better, and when she finally gets the courage to leave her home, he’s the first one she goes to.


Off to a Rough Start
From the start, their relationship has challenges. First, Tatiana is only 17, so Jagger makes sure he keeps his distance until she becomes legal (only three days from the day she runs away, which I guess is convenient). Then, when Tatiana finds that he makes his living by beating people up, she freaks out, scared that she’s attracted to a violent man. When she first runs away, there’s some confusion as to whether Jagger is even single, and that confusion is made worse by a fighter named Cobra, Jagger’s nemesis, who “befriends” Tatiana and proceeds to fill her head with lies about Jagger.

Weird Characters
The whole thing with Cobra is a little weird. The guy is an abuser himself, but he doesn’t hurt Tatiana. Instead, he has this weird, creepy need to both protect her and use her to piss off Jagger. Tatiana’s feelings towards him are conflicted as well. She spends most of the book calling him a friend, and he’s portrayed as this bad guy character who you’re supposed to sympathize with even though he admits to having beat his girlfriend. So that was unsettling.

Family & Rock ‘n’ Roll
There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the book. I liked the dialogue and writing, and I enjoy the Caldwell brothers as a family. I also like the Caldwell wives from the first books, Hailey and Olivia, who welcome Tatiana into the family and reach out to take care of her. As for side characters, which I tend to be a fan of, there were a lot of feels with some of the emotions came from those relationships. Also, a character named Kid was introduced, and I feel like he needs at least a novella.

Dramatic Instalove
What didn’t quite ring true for me was the instalove between Jagger and Tatiana and the intensity of their feelings after having “known” each other for just a short time. I can see a justification in that maybe he was her savior and so it would be natural that her feelings would be super strong towards him? I think I wanted more buildup and development of their relationship though.

Fast Recovery Time
Tatiana’s personality later in the book also didn’t seem to match with her being an abuse victim. At first she’s scared and timid, and that was understandable. But she seemed to recover fast, and once she was living with Jagger, there seemed to be a lack of any of the psychological side effects that this abuse would have. It was mentioned she had scars, but her mental recovery time seemed quick. Also, I had a hard time with the characterization of her father. He was an abusive drunk who seemed to hate her, but he’s also stashed away a half a million dollars to give to her? It was just odd, and some of these details, though small, sometimes took me out of what was otherwise an enjoyable read.


The Romance Factor
Even though the intensity of the feelings between Tatiana and Jagger seemed to happen a little fast, I enjoyed most of their moments and found them sweet. Most were pleasantly dramatic, though there were a few points where things got a little too melodramatic. 3/5

The Steam Factor
Once Tatiana gets legal, Jagger is all up on that. Their sexy times are raw and dirty, but they don’t get into any weird territory. I feel like Tatiana’s virginal and sheltered innocence could have been played up a bit more, but Jagger’s edginess made up for it. 4/5

Final Thoughts
Even though there were little things that bugged me, when I got to the end of the book, I still came away with a satisfied feeling. The word flow of these books is so good and melodic, and I feel that even the drama, when looked at in the context of the whole story, fits in with the general tone the story sets.

Book Review: Possession by Violetta Rand

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Persuasion, but I had some issues with the way it ended. I was a little unsure about this one, but I was hooked from the beginning, finding that I related to Tina and enjoyed the romance between her and Vincent to a much higher degree.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A defense attorney tries to seduce a biker, despite his intentions of not getting involved with another woman after a previously failed marriage. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Unlikely Wedding Planners
The story picks up after Lang and Lily from the first book have gotten married and are on their honeymoon. Tina and Vincent haven’t seen each other in a few months, their last interaction being a hot makeout session after the wedding which they’d worked together to help plan. Though we saw a glimpse of their relationship before, there’s apparently a time frame where they spend a lot of time together, during which their attraction just grows stronger.

Destiny Via Creepy Guys
Tina is a confident career woman who does everything she can to get Vincent in bed, but he’s not having it. She decides to let it go, until a client starts creeping on her and she goes to the bike club’s clubhouse to be somewhere safe. This rekindles the spark between them, pushing Tina to try to jump Vincent while he continues to resist her. The woman is nothing if not persistent, and I got a kick out of all her innuendos when she was trying to goad him into bed.


Once Bitten
Vincent has baggage, and he doesn’t think he wants another relationship. He has an ex-wife, two boys he doesn’t see very often, and club responsibilities, and he’s made it a point to keep his life ordered. Tina introduces a bit of wildness into his life that he doesn’t want to take her up on, and a huge part of that is he already has feelings for her. He knows that if he steps over that line into a physical relationship, he’s only one more step away from falling in love with her.

Vincent cracked me up as the ordered biker who was pretty rough and tough when it come to his job as club treasurer and president fill-in, yet he had this side of him that knew he’d fall in love with Tina way too easily. He wasn’t super scary, but he didn’t shy away from beating someone who deserved it either, and I really enjoyed the scenes where he handled club business like a boss.

Even Smart Women Have Dumb Moments
I liked Tina too, but she made me mad. I liked that she was independent and driven to get what she wanted, which in the context of the story was a promotion at her job and Vincent. But when she started being stalked by the creeper and his threats and actions became more serious, it drove me nuts that she wouldn’t do more about it, putting her chance at a higher career position before her own personal safety. She even knew she was doing it too, knew that she wasn’t doing what she’d tell any other woman to do (go to the police, stay safe, etc). Though I think that’s realistic in many women, I still wanted to rage at her.


I liked that the stalking plot gave the story a bit of suspense, and even though Strong Tina was great, I enjoyed the dash of damsel-in-distress trope that emerged.

We Don’t Need a (Full) Resolution
One of the things I didn’t like about the first one was that things seem to resolve way to easily and completely. I didn’t have that problem with this one. While things for Tina still worked out well, it doesn’t come out of left field and feel forced. There’s also still a bit of conflict that hasn’t been resolved regarding Vincent’s family, and it felt more realistic to have things hanging than to have a full HEA for the characters.

The Romance Factor
Though not overly mushy, the romance between Vincent and Tina was solid. Vincent doesn’t pull too much alpha male with her, and when he does, it’s apparent that he just wants to keep her safe. There was a feel of reality and subtlety to the way their relationships developed that I found appealing. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The heat is high in this one. Between the foreplay that starts out between then and them and sexy times they have when they finally give in to each other, the story is a good blend of sweet and spicy. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I continue with my trend of liking the second in the series better than the first in the series, which is why unless I really hate the first, I know to give the second one a try regardless. This is a case where I’m really glad I did. I enjoyed the characters and even though the Sons of Odin is tamer than a lot of other motorcycle clubs I’ve read, it still has a nice rough edge.

Book Review: This One Moment by Stina Lindenblatt

I seem to have fallen into a kick of reading romance novels that have a dark aspect and/or mystery to them. I’m not complaining, but one of these days I’m going to need to find something super lighthearted to balance this all out.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A music star goes home when he finds out his best friend from high school is in a coma despite the fact that the town holds bad memories for him. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Embracing Those Repressed Memories
Nolan is shocked when one of his friends calls to tell him that his best friend and the girl he was in love with for years is in a coma, having been attacked in a shady section of their hometown. Even though Nolan hasn’t been home in five years and hasn’t talked to Hailey (the one in the coma) in all that time, he goes back to see her, even though he knows that doing so could trigger memories of the night his father killed his mom and sister.

One Way to Masochist
Hailey never confessed her own feelings to Nolan, but she was hurt when he left without keeping in touch. Yet she seems to accept his reasons and tries to enjoy the fact that he is back and she gets to spend at least a little time with him. She “knows” he doesn’t return her feelings and that he’ll be going back to L.A. soon, so she tries to guard herself against feeling that hurt all over again.


Everyone’s Taking Crazy Pills
Part of their time together includes trying to solve the mystery of who attacked her and put her into a coma. She can’t remember anything from the attack or the few days leading up to it. Other weird things happen, and I kind of liked that you never know which things relate to her attack and which things just sort of happen.  Fair warning: between Nolan’s past and Hailey’s attack, this story contains some dark themes. It kind of feels like a small town story, but for a small town, a lot of crazy stuff happens (the town is probably actually a city and I just read it wrong).

The Fame Life
Another wrench is thrown into their reunion when the media gets ahold of their relationship and Nolan’s fans start threatening Hailey for stealing him from his fake media girlfriend. The paparazzi also get their hands on the info regarding Nolan’s past, and things kind of get nutty from there. Stupid media.



I enjoyed the trope of best friends who love each other but are too afraid to tell each other the truth. It’s one of those angsty things that could be solved with a little communication, but I can relate to the fear of telling a friend you have feelings for them and potentially ruining the relationship, which is the situation that Nolan and Hailey find themselves in.

Stage Names Are Real
I understood most of what was going on with Nolan’s rock star status, but it seemed weird that when his real name came out that it turned into a thing. A lot of celebs have a real name they don’t use and it tends not to be a huge deal. While I can buy it was kind of an issue where his bandmates were concerned, it seems weird that it wasn’t just presented to the general public that he’d chosen a different stage name.

The Romance Factor
The romance is strong for me because I love this type of story (best friends to lovers). I thought the parts where they were together were epically sweet and it was sad when Nolan left to go back to L.A. I had one of those reader moments when I was like “Dude, are you really going to be that stupid?” The question wasn’t so much as to why he was going back to L.A. (he had a career he enjoyed and all that), but why he didn’t ask Hailey to go with him. 4/5

The Steam Factor
Steamy, but not frequent. The sexy times were titillating, though they still had the melancholy feel of the rest of the story. 4/5

Final Thoughts
This was not a happy cheery story by any means, but I still enjoyed it. Good writing and the emotions from the characters came through strong, which is always a win for me.