Kitty French – Genie (Review & Excerpt)

GenieGenie by Kitty French

Series: Stand-Alone
Source: Review by Request
ARC provided by the Author
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meet Genie Divine, the wise-cracking London show-girl on a hell-bent mission to save her beloved family theatre.

Now meet Abel Kingdom, the Australian gym mogul determined to buy it out from underneath her.

On paper they have nothing in common, and when they meet, they have even less.

The only thing they DO have is chemistry.
Undeniable, rip-my-clothes-off-and-do-me-now-against-the-wall chemistry.

Feathers. Lies. Glitter. Secrets. Lust.

He wants her theatre. She wants him dead.

The stage is set for an explosive summer…

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James Oliver French – Return to Me (Review, Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway)

Return to Me by James Oliver French

Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

What would you do if the man you loved vanished without a trace?

Kyle and Todd meet at a party in their freshman year at college. They fall in lust at first sight, then deep in love. In spite of Kyle’s melancholy past, their future together looks bright. Then Kyle disappears, leaving Todd heartbroken and alone, and their dreams in ruins. Fifteen years later, Todd is a successful but lonely psychiatrist. He still hasn’t come to terms with the loss of his first love. When a dangerous amnesiac arrives at the hospital, Todd is forced to confront the past, and is driven to find answers to the questions that have haunted him all these years.

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Kitty French – Knight & Day

Knight & Play (Knight, #1)Knight & Day by Kitty French
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Series: Knight #3
Source: Review by Request
ARC Provided by Author
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kara Brookes hates liars.

Dylan Day hasn’t told the truth from the moment his plane touched down in Ibiza.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

Lucien and Sophie are back, and have set up camp on the sun-drenched isle of Ibiza for the opening of the latest of Lucien’s strictly adult clubs.

They’re joined for the summer by Sophie’s best friend Kara, and Dylan Day, Lucien’s newly appointed club manager. The laid back, smokin’ hot surf guy from California seems almost too good to be true… but there’s no smoke without fire. It’s going to be a long hot summer of love, lust, lies and wedding bells. But who will get their happy ever after?

Romantic, emotional and intensely erotic, Knight & Day is the thrilling final installment of the USA Today bestselling Knight Series from Kitty French.

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I’m going to be brutally honest here… I feel that Book Three is kind of superfluous… This is my personal opinion, you’re welcome to disagree, and I’m not going to try to dissuade you from reading the book…

(BEWARE OF SPOILERS)

“You like things that are bad for you, English.”
“It’s my downfall. I like sugar. I like fast cars. I like sexy men.” She licked sugar residue from her fingers, and Dylan’s body reacted with interest.
“I let myself have the sugar. And the cars.”
“Two out of three ain’t bad.”

So what do we have with Book Three in the Knight Trilogy?

A new club, new setting, new couple, new love, new family…

Ibiza

The Love Tug

Dylan & Kara

Lucien & Sophie

What did I like about this book?

1. Kitty French’s ability to make me care about a character.
I LOVED Dylan Day & his mysterious backstory…

2. The sassy mouth of Kara.
She was silly and spunky, had a lot of quotable moments throughout the book.

3. The setting – The island of Ibiza.
Ibiza was as much a character in this story as Kara, Dylan, Sophie, & Lucien

4. Sweet stolen moments with Lucien & Sophie
I still adore Lucien, and it’s a joy to see his love for Sophie and their growing family blossom. I was particularly tickled about seeing Lucien propose to Sophie. And of course the beach wedding with the beautiful vows!

“Lying with you beneath the northern lights, or here beneath the Spanish sun… you’re my Viking and my sunshine.” The tears ran unchecked down her cheeks now. “You’re my hero’ Lucien Knight.”

5. This book features one of the most moving, heart-wrencing apologies/reconciliations I think I’ve ere read. Dylan Day trying to set Kara free was magnificent!

She made his heart ache.
He made her heart break.
“Go home Kara. Go home and be happy, because you deserve to be more than anyone else I know. Go home knowing that I truly fucking loved you. You didn’t get it wrong. I didn’t fool you, and the next man who loves you won’t automatically be lying to you. He’ll be the luckiest guy in the world. Don’t run away from love because of what I did. I lied about many things, but never once about how I felt about you.

Go home knowing I love your huge fucking heart, and your laugh, and the way you do everything full throttle even though there’s every chance you’ll break your neck. I’m not going to ask you to stay. Not because I don’t want you, or because I don’t love you, or because I don’t need you. I do. I love you, and I want you, and I need you so much it hurts to wake up in the morning without you.” His voice cracked. “Let that be my liar’s penance.”

What kept me from LOVING this book?

It had its moments, really and truly…

1. But it wasn’t as awesome as Knight & Stay, which ended with a perfect happily ever after… especially with that Epilogue!

2. The spacing was just awful to the the point of distraction. Kitty French gives us the benefit of all four main characters POVs with out any marker for change between characters. With the poor spacing and lack of delineation between POVs I found myself in the wrong character’s head on multiple occasions.

3. Maybe the book would have been better if the Epilogue had been left out of the second book… If the pregnancy and parenthood were a completely new element to the relationship between Sophie & Lucien. As much as I enjoyed the marriage proposal & beach wedding… Sophie & Lucien’s story was over before this book ever started.

This book isn’t a complete loss…
It just wasn’t what I wanted / was expecting for the end of a Trilogy.

***I was provided an ARC from the Author in exchange for an honest review***

Kitty French – Knight & Stay

Knight & Play (Knight, #1)Knight & Stay by Kitty French
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Series: Knight #2
Source: Personal Library
(Borrowed Copy)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sophie black has turned her back on both her cheating husband and her sexy, enigmatic boss Lucien Knight. When she hits rock bottom, she finds herself drawn back into Lucien’s glamorous no strings, high stakes world of intensely erotic encounters.

Bold and beautiful, Lucien is a walking, talking Viking sex god-the ultimate rebound guy. His is a seductive world of pleasure without limits or commitment, but can Sophie’s already bruised heart survive his strictly no ties rule?

When her husband returns with his tail between his legs, Sophie is faced with the toughest decision of her life. How does she choose between the man she vowed to love forever and the man who she hadn´t planned on loving at all?

Knight & Stay is a star-crossed romantic adventure that spans the globe from Paris to the glittering artic northern lights, a sexual odyssey of love and lust that changes the lives of everyone involved forever.

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Free from the relentless crushing guilt of Knight & Play, Book Two in the Knight Trilogy surpasses its predecessor and delivers a more beautiful and thorough exploration of Lucien & Sophie.

Even if Knight & Play fell short for you (which it did for a lot of us) I recommend reading Knight & Stay. They should be sold in a 2-Pack bundle, because you almost need all the back story in book two to enjoy and appreciate anything that happens in Book One… Not to mention the whole cliff-hanger thing…

I’m a bit disappointed that we never got to see the actual fallout/fight/conversation between Sophie and Dan before Dan left. I think it would have been a real eye-opener for the reader. I would like to have a better understanding of Sophie’s marriage as something other than “unsatisfying” which is an unsatisfying description. I wanted to see Dan grovel.

And speaking of Dan… When it became clear that he left his mistress because she was pregnant… I wanted to punch that Douche-Bag myself.

You know I have to say something about the ending…
After the Happily Ever After ending… and the saccharine sweet Epilogue, I fail to see how book three, Knight & Day, is going to have a place in the story of Lucien & Sophie… And now that I’ve read all three books, I can honestly say that book three is fairly superfluous. Not awful, just not necessary…

I’M GOING TO REVIEW THIS BOOK A BIT DIFFERENTLY THAN MY USUAL STYLE!

Kitty French writes with such wonderful humor and touching affection, that her books are endlessly quotable. Normally I would give my impressions and opinions of a book and include a list of my favorite moments at the end… Not this time.

First of all, I immediately read and finished book three as soon as I finished this book. I don’t want to mix up any references about what happens in each book.

Secondly, there were so damn many awesome moments, I wanted to update my status every other page!

I’M GOING TO PRESENT A SYNOPSIS ON THE BOOK WITH QUOTES, WHICH IS 100% SPOILER!

We start off the book with the confrontation of Lucien at the front door of Sophie’s house… Lucien punches Dan in the face a few times, which was totally awesome!

Sophie wants to start from scratch, dropping Lucien & her cheating husband for better or worse. Lucien wants to continue their “no strings attached” relationship, but Sophie knows she won’t be able to handle that emotionally.

“I don’t want to forget fucking you. I don’t want to forget how you feel in my hands, or how your face looks when you come.”

Her body responded to his nearness even when her head said no, and that situation had danger written all over it.

…being near to Lucien soothed her, which she knew was entirely ridiculous, given that he was the most lethal man she’d ever met.

The man was a walking, talking poster boy for his own sinfully sexy empire.

Lucien:

After much stereotypical heartbreak, and rallying in the hands of her Best Friend Kara, Sophie realizes that she has no choice but to go back to her job at Knight, INC… As Lucien’s Assistant…

But she lays down rules – No touching; No flirting!

Lucien reluctantly agrees, because he is that desperate to keep Sophie in his life… But it’s not going to be easy…

The plain fact was that this thing between them wasn’t just basic chemistry. It was lethal, combustible dynamite, and it was only going to be made ten times more difficult by denial.

Lucien was a whole lot of trouble because he made her want things she couldn’t possibly have. He made ordinary life feel pale and insipid, a watered-down version of the existence she’d tasted that had him in it.

The pair fly out to Paris on a business Trip, and the fun really begins!
Sophie decides that “What happens in Paris, stays in Paris” and she’s tired of resisting the urge to fall back into Lucien’s arms…

“I love your tits.”
“I thought you never use the L word.”
He raised his eyes to her amused ones.
“Fine. I love your tits right now…”

Lucien drew female eyes wherever he went. It wasn’t just his height, or his Viking beauty, or his broad shoulders. The man exuded lust from his very bones: he emitted sexual charisma on a frequency that no woman could be expected to ignore.

The business lunch with the egg scene was one of the most brilliant spots in the book. I was laughing out loud the entire time… Awesome!

Even in her unprecedented situation, Sophie felt fairly certain that ‘I was on the verge of orgasming while my boss lewdly sucked eggs’ wasn’t the appropriate response.

Of course, it doesn’t take long for emotions to cloud their supposedly strictly sexual relationship. Sophie is falling helplessly in love…
Lucien is furiously resisting his feelings…

His mouth said one thing, but his body said another. His words said I want you now, but every now and then his body said I’ll adore you always.

Theirs was a closeness that went way beyond physical proximity. She was under his skin. Moving closer to his heart. He just didn’t know it yet, because no one else had ever found the pathway in before

So, in an obnoxiously predictable move, Lucien decides to push Sophie away because he believes he is incapable of love and doesn’t want to break her heart… How many books need to do this? Did anyone not know how it was going to turn out?

Wow. When he turned off the spotlight of his charm and humor, being around him was suddenly a cold and very dark place.

He had no right to be so damn romantic when he denied that romance even exited outside of fairytales.

He meant what he said, and it frustrated the hell out of her. Being that emotionally screwed up must be exhausting. “Let me get this straight, Lucien. You’re walking away, and you’re pushing me away, because you want me too much? Because you have feelings you didn’t expect?
…Trust me, the last thing I planned on was loving you. But I do.
…You can walk away, and you can deny it, but I think you love me back.”

“Sophie, you love a stranger, some hero you’ve dreamed up to get over your husband. That man isn’t me. How can you be so trusting, so open, knowing full well how much you’re going to get hurt?”
“It’s not a choice, Lucien. It’s who I am, and it’s pretty god damn normal. That’s how people are. They love, and they get hurt. But sometimes, just sometimes, they don’t get hurt. They don’t cheat, or leave… they stay and they love you forever.” Her voice broke. “I want love you forever.”

Sophie and Lucien split up again.
Sophie wallows in her self-loathing and heartbreak again.
Lucien struggles to live without Sophie’s calming presence again.
Sophie puts on her big-girl panties and goes looking for Lucien again.

Little by little, she could feel herself rising. She’d hit bottom, it was time to kick her feet hard and push herself back up to the surface.

Sophie finds out that Lucien has fled to Norway to deal with the impending death of his estranged father… which she knew nothing about…

Lucien Knight was a man on the edge. On the edge of becoming an orphan, and on the edge of falling in love.

So love-sick, huge-hearted Sophie flys to Norway to surprise and support the emotionally wrecked Viking of her dreams…

“I don’t want to wake up and find you’re not really here,” he whispered, not yet opening his eyes.

“I’ve missed you so much, princess,” he whispered, filling his hands with her hair as he tipped her head back in search of her mouth.

In his darkest moments, Lucien discovers that he does love Sophie…
He resolves to keep her…

…she was Sophie Black, the girl who surprised him. He’d never met anyone quite like her before. On the first glance she was quiet and unassuming but scratch the surface and she was spectacular.

He wanted to keep her for himself. He’d tried to let her go, he really had, but he just didn’t have it in him to send her away this time. He wanted her here. Needed her, even. It made him all kinds of selfish, but having her close by made things feel right, even when all else in the world seemed wrong.

Sophie decides that her love for Lucien will heal him…

To him love was destructive and ugly; it had taken away the one person he needed more than anything else in the world at an age when he was far too young to understand.

She might not be able to fix the past, but she was willing to spend a lifetime showing him what love could be: beautiful not ugly, uplifting not destructive, and more precious than diamonds.

“you asked me in Paris how many women I’d loved. I said one. I should have said two.” He cupped her cheek, his thumb rubbing over her bottom lip. “As a child I loved my mother, and as a man I love you.”

It was sex, it was fucking, and it was making love. It was in glorious technicolor, full of promise and joy. The best of all worlds, with the best of all men.”

Happily Ever After, complete with blissful Epilogue…

Kitty French – Knight & Play

Knight & Play (Knight, #1)Knight & Play by Kitty French
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Series: Knight #1
Source: Personal Library
(Borrowed Copy)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s only one thing in life Lucien Knight really hates, and that’s husbands who cheat on their wives.

There’s only one problem in Sophie Black’s life. Her cheating husband…

From the moment Lucien & Sophie meet, the seal is set.

Romantic, emotional & intensely erotic, Knight and Play is the perfect read for lovers of international bestsellers Fifty Shades & Bared To You. Let yourself be swept away by Part One of the Knight series from Kitty French, a romance so hot it’ll burn your fingers…

CEO of Knight Inc. Lucien Knight is catch-your-breath gorgeous and damaged by his troubled past in Norway. All grown up and relocated to London, he’s built his empire of adult clubs from the ground up to become the gorgeous patron saint of the sex industry. No one knows the dark childhood secrets that have given Lucien a backbone of steel and a heart encased in ice. No one until Sophie Black, that is…

From the moment girl-next-door Sophie accepts the job as Lucien Knight’s PA, she understands how Alice must have felt when she tumbled down the rabbit hole. Lucien takes her safe, vanilla life away and plunges her head first into a huge dish of fantasy flavours. Rich, spicy chocolate covered with dark, oozingly lickable sauce? Check. Tutti-frutti with indecently red, glistening cherries on the top? Yes please.

Lucien strips away all of Sophie’s inhibitions, and when he instructs her to select three new toys, she soon realises he has more than a game of Monopoly on his mind…

He’s opened the door to a whole new pleasure packed world without limits, and Sophie is utterly intoxicated. But how far is she willing to go? And what happens when she has to step back into reality again?

Lucien & Sophie’s is a story of star crossed love and forbidden passion, a sexual odyssey that spans the globe and changes both of their lives forever. Let it change yours, too.

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Kitty French begins her Knight Series with a Bang!
Several hot, toy-enhanced, & kinky bangs.

He was hands down the most charismatic, fabulous man she’d ever met, the stuff of every woman’s daydreams, but life with him in it rather felt like having her foot jammed on the accelerator. He left her breathless and giddy, and he did things to her body that she didn’t even know could be done. She barely knew him, yet he seemed to know her inside out.

I’d say the official breakdown is:

10% you know exactly what’s about to happen
20% agonizing over the guilt of cheating/being cheated on
70% explicit, panty-melting sex

Warning: This is a rough cliff-hanger, so be prepared to immediately move on to book two.

LUCIEN KNIGHT:

He only had to touch her and it was as if he’d flicked the ‘seduce me now’ switch in her head.

Lucien Knight is everything I’ve come to expect in a scorching hot alpha-male billionaire who runs a successful corporation which specializes in sex.

SOPHIE BLACK:

The girl was eighty percent kitten and twenty percent lioness, and he considered it his mission to make her roar.

Sophie Black’s sexual and emotional journey was funny, angsty, and steamy. Admittedly, she is not may favorite person; hard to take the moral high-ground when you decide to cheat on your cheating husband…

There is a serious rift among reviewers of this book…
Some readers absolutely loved it. Others bashed the crap out of it. To the haters: allow me to address some of your main points with the following explanation…
YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO.
1. You knew it was mostly sex
2. You knew he was an Alpha-Male Billionaire Type
3. You knew there was cheating
…Those three complaints are the main soap-box for detractors of this book, but Kitty French clearly warned readers of this right in her synopsis of the book.

Question: Did you also read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies then complain in your review because you don’t like zombies?

Better Question: Did you read this book knowing that you probably wouldn’t be comfortable with what was going to happen, then gleefully hate on this?

My Confession Time…

I was contacted by the author (Kitty French) the day after the third book in this series, Knight & Day went live here in the States. Based on my reading habits she asked if I would like a review copy of her new book. I asked around, saw that the series was rated highly among my book friends and agreed. I borrowed copies of the first two books from Wendy (Wendy’s Thoughts)… It took me half a chapter to realize that I knew this book.

When it was originally published I saw it on the “best sellers” charts on iBooks, read the synopsis, and passed it over. Then promptly forgot about it. Why did I pass it over? Infidelity. The subject acts as a red-flag for a probable bias against the entire book because I don’t like the subject matter.

I am a professional reader of Erotica. I’ve read every kind of sex there is, from hard core to the softest vanilla and every sweaty, kinky moment in between. So when I say that a subject is “red-flag” I’m being quite literal… I have a list (albeit a short one) of Erotica I will not read for work because it is not the author’s fault that I don’t dig cheating stories. An author doesn’t deserve to have their book panned because the reader bit off more than they could chew. Kitty French states right in her synopsis that this is a book about cheating…

So I took myself out of the line of fire. If I can read vampires, aliens, zombies, and billionaires who can be healed with the power of love… I can sure as hell plant myself firmly in the land of
this is fiction
And get over my hang-ups.

I will continue the series.
I will probably remain reticent to read adultery romance in the future.
I appreciate this book for what it is.
Kitty French did a great job with this book. Credit where credit is due.