Review: Inked Nights

InInked Nightsked Nights: 1001 Dark Nights series – Carrie Ann Ryan

reviewed by Annetta Sweetko

Derek Hawkins and Olivia Madison have spent four years meeting once a month, known only to each other by their first initial. No other information is allowed. Everything seems just fine until D doesn’t want to be D anymore, he wants to be Derek and he wants to share his growing feelings for O. Olivia’s past just won’t let her go, won’t let her fall for Derek, won’t let her tell him the truth.

Wow! If you have read any of author Carrie Ann Ryan’s Montgomery books then you have met Derek who works as a tattoo artist for Austin Montgomery. I was hoping for his book and this one is perfect for him. Olivia is a woman who had a traumatic event in her life and seemed to be only living a half life, holding herself back. So the once a month anonymous affair was perfect. Derek felt otherwise and for awhile I worried that his heart would get broken, but I should have known Ms. Ryan would make it all work out.

Interesting set up, wonderful dialogue, steamy that will have you fanning yourself, yet there is a sweetness that will have you sighing. Another great offering from this author.

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Review: One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

One for athe Rogue

Series: Studies in Scandal #4        June 26, 2018

Rating 4*

Geologist Gemma Hastings has no interest in pursuing Lord Cameron Lisle, an esteemed fossil hunter who has a way of raising her hackles.   Handsome as can be, even related by marriage and Gemma couldn’t name the reason he somehow made her tingle. When a shocking attack puts Gemma in very real danger, she may have to accept Lisle’s offer of protection, even if that means entering into a dangerous flirtation. 

Cam was amused by Gemma’s dedication to her work although realizes how much he’s underestimated her—a woman whose beauty is matched only by her intelligence!  Cam is now desperate to prove his respect and his regard for Gemma, but a bitter rival, desperate to steal Gemma’s scientific findings, is still at-large. Can Cam help uncover the culprit and keep her safe—forever, in his loving arms?

***  This has been a delightful series and with ONE FOR THE ROGUE it completes the four heiresses series who all seemed to have gotten into a bit of scandal in each book.   This one featured the last heiress, Gemma who excelled in geology and locating new fossils was left a letter from their benefactor only it was never finished giving her the clues to find a most remarkable and rare fossil.

Gemma was extremely independent and stubborn and the romance between her and Cam was extremely lively as well as sensual.   Bottom line – I loved and thoroughly enjoyed the book from cover to cover!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Dreams of Falling

Karen White is an enormous talent and as such I tend to form an opinion before I even start a book by her.  I know it will be good – just not to what degree.  

Nine years ago Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.  Larkin’s relationship with her mother Ivy has never been easy but soon Ivy is discovered in the burned-out wreckage of her family’s ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. 

No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets which were kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.

*** Well as to the degree of how good the story was – It was awesome!  Heartbreakingly, lovingly, soul-searching fabulous!   The three friends were inseparable, all with dreams of the future and how wonderful life was, but unfortunately life was not always wonderful, wars interrupted dreams and casualties interrupted and changed lives.   But hadn’t they all promised “friends forever”?  Were the tests to come things they could overcome?  

Over the 50 years, who would survive the deaths, the births, the challenges and keep the friendships strong.  Read on and find out!   You’ll be amazed!

Marilyn Rondeau

Review: Only Seduction Will Do by Jenna Jaxon

OnlySeduction Will do

Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Lyrical Press

ASIN:  B075HY5WPW

Series:   House of Pleasure #4 Rating: 4*

At a ball a comment sent crushed and heartbroken, Alethea Forsythe running.  She was followed into the stable where a smooth talking peer came to offer comfort – before the slime-ball  seduced and forced himself on her. Unfortunately, the results of that act would be appearing in nine months.  With her reputation soon be in tatters Alethea will be forced to wed a stranger—unless she takes matters into her own hands.

When Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, received a summons from the House of Pleasure on a matter of importance, he was more than shocked by the unusual request  he was asked to consider.  Jack has long been aware of Alethea’s infatuation with him, marriage at twenty-three to an expectant bride was certainly not in his plans. However, despite her appearance which reminded him of his sister, the desperation in Alethea’s eyes overrides his misgivings.

It was Alethea’s heart’s desire to be married to Jack and she couldn’t be more anxious to have him take her to the wedded bed!  EXCEPT he was too chivalrous and explained that they should begin to learn about each other before consumption.  Lord Almighty ! Alethea couldn’t believe it that Jack could be so amicable in public but maintained his own quarters.   Alethea began a campaign to do all she could to seduce her husband – the love of her life!

Throughout the story the author takes you on a journey of frustrations and some hilarious scenario’s where both parties were trying their hardest to achieve the inevitable!   Great scenarios, wonderful pacing and fun dialogs!   Both had secrets and both needed to divulge and get on with it!  Pretty good story and loved the characterizations.  

Marilyn Rondeau

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillerman

Jar of Hearts

June 12, 2018                   RATING 4-1/2*

One would have to give this a wow just by reading a brief description of what the story entailed.  It is the story of three best friends – one who was murdered; one who went to prison; and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years. 

Angela Wong was beautiful, popular, and accomplished then disappeared without a trace.  No one ever suspected that Georgina Shaw, her best friend had been involved in any way.   It’s fourteen years later and Georgina is a fast rising star at a pharmaceutical company where she will soon be marrying the CEO’s son!  Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was part of their threesome of inseparable best friends!

However, Angela’s remains have finally turned up and it looks to be the handiwork of Calvin James, a known rapist and serial killer and a young man that Georgina dated back at the time of Angela’s disappearance.

*** And here it is – WOW! This was one very suspenseful and exciting story.  Twists and turns and all the things I like in a suspense story.  The pace was quick and the story really engrossing as to what seemed an open and shut case and having a really quirky ending I wasn’t expecting.  

Georgina – love her or hate her, I’m not really quite sure where I stand at the moment, other than on the fence one week after finishing the story. Guess you’ll have to decide that one for yourself.

Marilyn Rondeau

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin

All we ever wanted

June 26, 2018                           Rating:  4-1/2*

After marrying into the “Nashville elite” Nina browning was living the good life after her husband made a fortune selling his tech business.  High society and a busy social life, a son she adored doing well in his private school who has just been accepted into Princeton, and life never looked so good… – So good, in fact, that when a photo showed up with a racist comment on it Nina was devastated when she learned that her precious child was identified as the person who took it!  

On the other hand, Tom Volpe is a struggling single dad doing his best to be a good dad and positive influence on his headstrong intelligent daughter who had won a scholarship to the ultra private and very expensive private school of Windsor Academy.   For Lyla it was a miracle that some of the wealthiest students had befriended her and she might have taken it over the line to be accepted.  

***. I guess this really was a story of values and how some folks let the change in their financial position change them from what they were into someone they no longer recognized as themselves, or to be perfectly blunt – a wake up call to discover they really didn’t like the person they’d become.  In the case of Nina, she saw that the values she wanted to teach her son were not what he was practicing.   Rather she took a good look at her life and didn’t like what was happening to her husband and what he in turn was beginning to teach their son.  

It was also a story of a rebellious young girl who was caught up short in first love and discovered that the rules her dad imposed on her life were definitely not laid out to hurt her but were set down in order to protect her.   

Bottom line:   This was a short but inspired story of coming of age, and reflections of a life that needed some adjustments made to get a person back on track to what was right for them!   Very, very good. 

Marilyn Rondeau

Whiskey Reveals

 

By Carrie Ann Ryan        Reviewed by Annetta Sweetko

WHISKEY REVEALS will not let you put it down!!

I love this quaint homey little town and the family is amazing. The romance between Fox and Melody might have started out as a once and done but that isn’t what fate wants to offer them. She came to town to settle down, become a dance teacher and try to live with the past that haunts her. A past that cost her a dance career as a ballerina. But it was the friends she went to Juilliard School of Performing Arts with that in one drunken night lost that haunts her the most. Then a stalker, who knows her past won’t let her move on, but seems determined to make her pay, comes out of the woodwork and Melody has only one person to turn to. Fox – the one man who will do whatever he must to protect her.

I enjoyed following along as this couple, who managed to do things a little backwards, begin to learn about each other and fall in love. The sexual tension between these two is, of course, off the charts as author Carrie Ann Ryan loves to give her readers. But I found the sweetness of them getting to know each other and learn to trust what really drew me into the storyline.

If you want sweet and steamy romance, with hints of danger, family and friends in the feel of a small town then get your hands on WHISKEY REVEAL right away!

Review: Only Seduction Will Do by Jenna Jaxon

Only Seduction Will Do

Expected publication: June 5th 2018 by Lyrical Press

ASIN:  B075HY5WPW

Series:   House of Pleasure #4                          Rating: 4*

Crushed and heartbroken, Alethea Forsythe was followed into the stable where a smooth talking peer came to offer comfort – before the slime-ball  seduced and forced himself on her. Unfortunately, the results of that act would be appearing in nine months.  With her reputation  soon be in tatters Alethea will be forced to wed a stranger—unless she takes matters into her own hands.

When Jack Fitzwilliam, the Earl of Manning, received a summons from the House of Pleasure on a matter of importance, he was more than shocked by the unusual request  he was asked to consider.  Jack has long been aware of Alethea’s infatuation with him, marriage at twenty-three to an expectant bride was certainly not in his plans. However, despite her appearance which reminded him of his sister, the desperation in Alethea’s eyes overrides his misgivings.

It was Alethea’s heart’s desire to be married to Jack and she couldn’t be more anxious to have him take her to the wedded bed!  EXCEPT he was too chivalrous and explained that they should begin to learn about each other before consumption.  Lord Almighty ! Alethea couldn’t believe it that Jack could be so amicable in public but maintained his own quarters.   Alethea began a campaign to do all she could to seduce her husband – the love of her life!

Throughout the story the author takes you on a journey of frustrations and some hilarious scenario’s where both parties were trying their hardest to achieve the inevitable!   Great scenarios, wonderful pacing and fun dialogs!   Both had secrets and both needed to divulge and get on with it!  Pretty good story and loved the characterizations.  

Marilyn Rondeau