Alessandra Torre – Till Death

Till Death by Alessandra Torre

Series: The Dumont Diaries #3
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

He watches me. Watches as my husband makes me submit, makes me do things that, even in their depravity, bring me pleasure. He knows what I like, and how I like it. But while Nathan dominates my body, Drew is interested more in my soul.

I can only bend so far before I break. Drew is my crack, my weak point around which everything else splinters. Even as more secrets are unveiled and all of the signs point to danger, I roll farther into this world. Into this high-brow life, into both of their beds.

But to what end? At this point, I don’t know what’s in more danger: my heart or my life. For these men, these two men who I am pushed and pulled between? They seem to be much more interested in my death than they ever were my life.

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Alessandra Torre – To Hold

To Hold by Alessandra Torre

Series: The Dumont Diaries #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

When Nathan Dumont, heir to Dumont Shipping, steps onto the scene with a new wife, the media sits up and takes notice. But nothing can be found on the new Mrs.Dumont. No family history, private school chums, or expensively hidden skeletons in couture closets. It is as if she has materialized out of thin air, and wearing Chanel.

Life in a fairytale sucks. Even if it does come complete with eight inches of wontleavemealone steel. But when that glorious package is attached to a man that won’t give me a second glance, much less a piece of his heart, what good is a wedding ring and boatloads of cash?

To make matters worse, I am slowly stumbling along and finding red flags. Flags that make me think there is more to this fairytale than meets the eye. In fact, I’m not so sure it’s a fairytale at all. It looks to be much, much worse.

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Alessandra Torre – To Have

To Have by Alessandra Torre

Series: The Dumont Diaries #1
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I step on the dark stage, the cheap plastic of my platforms cutting into the top of my toes, every step bringing a pinch of pain. I keep my eyes down, following the flecks of silver on the unforgiving stage, waiting, exhaling a breath in controlled anticipation, my abs tightening. Then, the lights come on and I have almost three minutes to forget.

Welcome to my life, a drained bank account and six nights a week spinning around a greasy strip club pole. When salvation comes in the form of six feet of drop-dead-gorgeous, complete with a limo and a thick wad of cash, my stilettos run happily out the door to freedom. They say that money doesn’t buy happiness. But it does buy escape. Happiness is an overrated fairytale.

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Alessandra Torre – The Dumont Diaries

The Dumont Diaries by Alessandra Torre

Series: The Dumont Diaries
(The Complete Mini-Series)
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A full-length book from the miniseries readers RAVED about!

Lust is a dangerous thing. It can make you believe things that are not real. It can seduce your mind and lead it blindfolded to the cliff that will be its demise.

What would you do if you could leave your life? Wake up one day and be someone else?

I signed the contract. I left Candace Tapers and her slutty, strip club life behind, abandoned every part of that life with one hesitant swipe of my pen.

The agreement was clear:
1. Sex
2. Photo ops
3. No romance

“I need a wife. I am not signing up for romance, or affection, or a full time job. I will not love you. I will have no use for you other than sex and photo ops.”

Sex with Nathan was easy. More than easy. Panty-melting, can-never-get-enough HOT. I had begun to think that I could live this new life, showered in luxuries, orgasms, and diamonds.

Then I started tripping over secrets.

Disclaimer: The Dumont Diaries contains a strong alpha male, super hot explicit sex, and twists and turns that might cause unnatural heart palpitations. This book does not contain BDSM elements.

*The Dumont Diaries was originally released, and is still available as a four-part miniseries. This book combines the four pieces of the miniseries into one, full-length novel.

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Torre’s writing style is perfection, her characters intriguing, her plot lines twisted, and her sex scenes delicious. I was completely captivated…
(contains mild spoilers if you haven’t read book one of the Dumont Diaries – To Have
and you have no excuse not to. It’s free)

It feels really fucking good to not be able to predict the path of the book I’m reading… I’m just along for the wild ride… Every time I pick up one of Alessandra Torre’s books, I’m simply at her mercy. I had to force myself to set this book down so I could savor it. Even though every last molecule in my body was yelling “What the fuck happens next?!?”

NATHAN BANE DUMONT

I can’t figure out this man. Or rather, I can’t figure out how I feel about this man. He is cold to the point of being an asshole. A demander instead of an asker – expecting me to perform as instructed. But that is what I am – a hired orgasm-deliverer.

CANDACE “CANDY” TAPERS
aka Jennifer Ann Dumont

I can’t figure out this man. Or rather, I can’t figure out how I feel about this man. He is cold to the point of being an asshole. A demander instead of an asker – expecting me to perform as instructed. But that is what I am – a hired orgasm-deliverer.

Candy is a stripper, struggling to make ends meet and holding together the pieces of her pathetic life, when salvation suddenly strolls into her strip club. When the gorgeous man asks for Candy specifically *cue ominous music* she quickly realizes that Nathan Dumont is not only bad for her, he may be lethal…

Nathan is mysterious, cold, and calculating… but blazing hot in bed. As it turns out, bed is the only place Nathan has any real use for Candy. She is a wife by contract, she gets a new name, new image, and all the trappings of the wealthy life she could only dream about while dancing for strangers at the club. She has only two purposes in this new life: playing the loving wife in front of the paparazzi and sexually servicing her new husband…

The question is WHY?
Why the fake marriage?
Why the new identity?
Why is there so much secrecy?
And why did Nathan choose Candy?

I love the suspense in this book, it moves so quickly, one could easily read it in one sitting (while panting and barely avoiding a nervous breakdown)… How could you not love a book that can affect you like that?

What else do I love? When an author appreciates their fans:
How sweet was she to include a deleted scene on her website: Dumont Secret For readers who want to know just a little bit more…

That’s right, I fell in love with Alessandra Torre during Sex Love Repeat… But after the The Dumont Diaries, I’m cheering goddamn fangirl.

UPDATE: 04/25/2014

And speaking of Fangirling… Look what came in the mail yesterday: An autographed copy of this wonderful book!


Thank you to Alessandra Torre, C.D. Reiss, Wendy, & SueBee for thinking of me during your epic Ladies Luncheon!

Shay Savage – Otherwise Occupied

Otherwise Occupied by Shay Savage

Series: Evan Arden Trilogy #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Evan Arden is a hit man for a Chicago mob boss. He lives his life day to day with the company of his dog, Odin. He has to work hard to get back into his boss’s good graces, but the target proves to be difficult. As demons of his past begin to haunt him, he seeks the comfort of sleep from an unlikely candidate, but will confiding in her be his undoing?​

​He’s struggling to forget his past, and keep himself Otherwise Occupied.

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Elixa Everett – Whatever He Needs Her To Be

Whatever He Needs Her To BeWhatever He Needs Her To Be by Elixa Everett

Source: Review By Request
ARC provided by Publisher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Working as a high-priced escort shapeshifter Selene has learned to turn off her emotions and treat every client as just that – a client. But when Anthony, a CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation, finds himself in a bind and requests her services for a night she finds herself falling head over heels. He’s handsome, charismatic and she feels a connection with him she’s never experienced before.

Fearing he would never seriously consider her as anything more then paid company, Selene does the one thing that shapeshifters do best; she becomes whatever he needs her to be…

I read this book as part of the Shifter Romance Boxed Set. A promising storyline completely ruined by the writing. Disappointing. I really wanted to like this book because the premise was fresh and intriguing, but I wound up completely unsatisfied.


I would absolutely love to hear when an editor gets their capable hands in this book… Because in all honesty, I would love to re-read this story when I’m not distracted by all of the glaring errors. It has so much potential!

This was a really awesome premise, a Shifter who can change her appearance at will and take any physical human form is running an escort service. Clients believe there are countless girls working for the service, when in fact, its just one woman who can shape herself into the very image of their fantasies. Selene goes on a “date” with Anthony, and realizes that she wants to have a real relationship with him (cue Pretty Woman reference) but he’ll never agree to truly dating an escort.

So she completely changes her appearance, meets him again, and tries to start all over.


Well, that’s sounds like a great little story doesn’t it? So what’s the big problem?

Simply stated: this book was poorly written. There were several misspellings, grammatical mistakes, and multiple (distracting) issues with continuity. In addition, the sentence structure was short and choppy. While I always give allowances for a few mistakes here and there, the sheer number of mistakes in this book greatly effected my enjoyment.

***I received an ARC of the Shifter Romance Boxed Set in exchange for an honest review***

Shifter Romance Boxed Set

Shifter Romance Boxed SetShifter Romance Boxed Set by Multiple Authors

Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Publisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lions and tigers and bears…oh, yeah! This collection of shifter romances is guaranteed to heat up your cool autumn evenings with ten stories (350,000 total words!) of curve-loving werebears, sassy werecats and, of course, everyone’s favorite: alpha werewolves. Pick up this boxed set today and get in touch with your animal side tonight — just 99¢ for a limited time! (Regular Price $9.99!)

Stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Aubrey Rose, Eliza Gayle, Adriana Hunter, Terry Towers (writing as Elixa Everett), Tawny Taylor , Aphrodite Hunt (writing as Dawn Steele) and Marina Maddix ,as well as #1 Paranormal author Celia Kyle, Top 20 Shifter Romance author Cynthia Brint, and Top 100 Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestselling and award winning author Selena Kitt. 

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For a 99¢ I say go for it… One or two of the books were really enjoyable. However, this collection is clearly quantity over quality. I wouldn’t have finished a few of the books if I weren’t reviewing an ARC of the collection. There were Shifter Bears, Cougars, People, Lions, Rabbits, and Housecats… So there is certainly a lot of variety to choose from.

I started to get the feeling that this was a grab bag of “firsts” as in, the first book in a series and the collection was compiled under the assumption that readers will fall in love with one or more books and continue the series. Unfortunately, I didn’t fall in love with any of them. The collection ranged from Good, to Mediocre, to Downright Awful.

The Good:
He Ain’t Lion (Laugh out loud funny)
Whatever He Needs Her To Be (Original premise)
Wanted By The Alphas (Complex and full of weirdness)
Lucas (Sexy and fast-paced)

The Mediocre:
Laid Bear (Forgettable but not terrible)
BEARed to You(I liked the shifter origin story)
Blind Wolf (main characters were twits)
Until the Flood (Angsty NewAdult / Young Adult)
Cat Lover (Pretty sure that was Furry Erotica…)
Better Mate Than Never(Amusing but formulaic)

The Downright Awful:
Desires of the Wolfman (Just… Skip this one…)

When I review anthologies, I like to write up individual reviews for each of the books and then base my rating on the overall impression of the collection. Especially considering this set features eleven individual authors with distinct styles and writing quality. You can find links to the full reviews for each book below the blurbs I’ve written.


Marina MaddixLaid Bear

Curvy Bethany can’t believe her luck when her devastatingly hot neighbor Max falls for her. But his secret threatens her future…and her life.

It was a quick read, your standard M/F Paranormal shape-shifter romance, but with BEARS. It was nice, but ultimately it was nothing special…
You can find my full review here

 
Tawny TaylorBEARed to You

Curvy city girl Abby is thrilled when a hot, naked man shows up on her cabin’s front doorstep and stokes a blaze or two, in the fireplace and in her body…until he turns into a bear…and the two of them are forced to run for their lives through the untamed Alaskan wilderness.
More BEARS! I really liked the fresh explanation of how Tarik Evert became a WereBear. There were several steamy sex scenes and some lovely pillow talk, but other than that it was kind of a bust…
You can find my full review here


Celia Kyle – He Ain’t Lion

Life sucks… And then you get turned into a werelion… And then have lotsa awesome sex…
This was an unapologetic hilarious read. It was sexy and silly and never took itself seriously. There was rude language, WereLions, tons of sex, and one seriously sassy plus-sized woman.
You can find my full review here


Elixa Everett – Whatever He Needs Her To Be

What would you do to win over the man of your dreams? For shapeshifter Selena, it’s simply a matter of being whatever he needs her to be.
A promising storyline completely ruined by the writing. Disappointing. I really wanted to like this book because the premise was fresh and intriguing, but I wound up completely unsatisfied.
You can find my full review here


Dawn SteeleWanted By The Alphas

New girl in a new town, Shannon, meets two extremely gorgeous and extremely different men who are vying for her attention — but who happen to be a witch and an alpha werewolf at war with each other.
I thought this book was a vast improvement on the previous books in the set, in both plot and prose. We had Witches, Were-Panthers, Drug Cartels, Were-Wolves, Love Triangles, Fights to the Death, a brief trip to the after life for one of the characters, and one of the most baffling endings I’ve ever read.
You can find my full review here


Aubrey RoseBlind Wolf

A blind werewolf leading a pack of stragglers finally finds his one true mate — then realizes she’s human…
This was a sweet little BBW romance between a shy librarian and a blind WereWolf. It was cute, even if it was a little angsty at times. A merry band of misfits.
You can find my full review here

 


Cynthia Brint Until the Flood

Fiona believes the love of her life died years ago, so how will she handle his return…and the fact that he’s no longer human?
This was a rather huge departure form other books in the set because it was heavy in the YA/NA genre while others had been firmly Erotica. The story was cute enough, young love and all that…
You can find my full review here


Julianne ReyerDesires of the Wolfman

A newlywed couple faces their deepest fantasies and fears as they’re thrust from their little rural community into a world of werewolf turmoil and mystery.
I really didn’t like this book. It was actually severall little novellas crammed together, but I was ready to carve my eyeballs out with a spoon by the time it was over.
You can find my full review here

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Selena Kitt – Cat Lover

Sebastian and Katie are having relationship issues when her ex shows up to complicate things, but that’s the least of their worries, because Katie is finally changing–into something not quite human.
Told from the boyfriend’s perspective, this was a twisted tale of watching his girlfriend slowly become possessed by the Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast.
You can find my full review here


Adriana HunterBetter Mate Than Never

Caleb Stone has wanted Paige for as long as he can remember but there’s a reason he’s always kept his distance. Wolves, more specifically, Lycan’s, can’t mate with humans. Worse, he can sense her incredibly intense hunger for him but he knows that he can never give her what she wants, or needs.But when Paige is kidnapped by a powerful enemy Caleb has no choice but to go after her even if it means revealing his true identity…even if means risking it all.
I enjoyed this short story. It was a sweet little “I want you but I can’t have you” story between an Alpha-Male Werewolf and a curvaceous redheaded lawyer.
You can find my full review here


Eliza Gayle – Lucas

An uneasy alliance, a mating call that won’t be denied, rituals that must be honored, and unrelenting enemies who will stop at nothing to get what they want. In the end, there’s really only one choice… for Lucas.
The final book in this boxed set really surprised me when I was becoming fatigued by the Shifter Genre. It had a lot of action, some suspense, and some great dirty talk. Overall, Lucas was a decent “forbidden mates” style of Shifter Romance.
You can find my full review here

***I received an ARC of this collection in exchange for an honest review***

Ella James – Selling Scarlett

Selling Scarlett by Ella James

Series: Love Inc. #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy provided by the Publisher
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Elizabeth DeVille doesn’t belong at a party like this – one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter’s den of vices, she’s a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn’t have, and she’s come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth – code-named Scarlett – to the lush Nevada brothel where she’ll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that’s not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil’s mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

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