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Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Review: The Men With The Golden Cuffs by Lexi Blake

Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #2
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Dlz Entertainment
Release Date: May 26th 2012
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A woman in danger…

Serena Blake is a bestselling author of erotic fiction. She knows how to write a happy ending but hasn’t managed to find one of her own. Divorced and alone, she has no one to turn to when a stalker begins to threaten her life. The cops don’t believe her. Her ex-husband thinks she’s making the whole story up. She has no one left to turn to except a pair of hired bodyguards. They promise to guard her body, but no one can protect her heart.

Two men in search of love…

Adam Miles and Jacob Dean are halves of a whole. They’ve spent their entire adult lives searching for the one woman who can handle them both. Adam is the playful, indulgent lover, while Jacob is the possessive, loving Dom. When Serena comes into their lives, Adam is certain that she’s the one. But Jacob’s past comes back to haunt them all. He is suspicious of Serena’s story, and his concerns are driving a wedge between him and Adam. But when the stalker strikes, they will have to come together or lose each other forever…

*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion or my rating of the book in any way.

The Men With The Golden Cuffs picks up right where the previous book in the series left off. I love that, because it reminds me of a TV show, with each book being a new "season" in the series. It also kind of helps tie the books together really well, as well as keep you on your toes, because that means you know that at the end of the book, you'll get a tiny hint of what's to come in the next book.

I loved Serena. She's really strong, and she found it in herself to follow a dream she had, despite her asshole of a husband. I would love it if the disdain she encounters for being an erotic romance author was pure fiction, but I fear it's really real. So it was really interesting, as a reader, to read about what some authors might go through. Because most people focus on the prejudice and mean comments that romance readers receive, but not on what authors have to face. So I really loved that aspect of her story, even though it made me really angry for her too. So I think she's really strong for following her dream, but also for keeping her head high and not letting jealous, petty people get her down, or make her feel inferior.

Adam and Jake are awesome. They complete each other in such a great way, like only really good friends can. Adam is the fun, easy-going one, while Jake is the more serious one. At the same time, Adam is the wait-and-see kind of guy, while Jake sometimes lets his emotions influence his judgement, especially when he's angry or he feels betrayed. I love Adam's fashion sense.  And I love his humor, his sarcasm. I would, honestly, fall for the two of them as well, because they each bring the best out in the other one. Jake kind of helps Adam reign in his impulses, while Adam helps Jake be more playful and more daring. They're also really loyal, but where Adam is a guy full of hope, no matter what happens to him, Jake seems a bit jaded, which made me sad.

As with the previous book in the series, the pacing is really good. I enjoyed the villain in this book. I kind of saw it coming, not every single detail about this particular villain, but about half of it. What I most enjoyed about it is the twisted, perverse nature that this villain had. It takes dedication for doing what poor Serena had to go through, and I really liked reading about it. It all felt very real, the escalating nature of this person's evilness.

I also liked finding out who's next in the series to get his story told, especially after certain scenes from this book. Like I said in my review for the first book in the series, I'm hooked on this series, and each book that I read makes me love the series more and more.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Book Review: The Dom Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake

Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #1
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment LLC
Release Date: September 25th 2011
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A routine mission…

Sean Taggart is hunting a deadly terrorist, and his only lead is the lovely Grace Hawthorne. She's the executive assistant for an employment agency Sean suspects is a front for illegal activities. To get the truth, he is going to have to get very close to Grace, a task he is all too eager to undertake when he discovers her deliciously submissive nature.

…turns into a dangerous seduction.

Soon, Grace Hawthorne is living a double life. By day, she is the widowed mother of two college-aged sons. By night, she submits to Sean's every dark desire. She's living out her wildest fantasies of pleasure—intimate acts of trust she's only read about. As passion engulfs her, a murderer strikes, and Grace learns that Sean has a deeply hidden agenda. Will Sean choose his mission and break her heart or be the Master of her dreams?

*Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion or my rating of the book in any way

I've had the Masters & Mercenaries series on my TBR for about 3 years or so. I was curious about it, and then a few months ago I got to read a novella in this world, that appeared in a 1001 Dark Nights bundle, and I've been even more determined to read this series ever since.

The first thing that comes to mind about this book is that it's not just about BDSM. I loved that there's a thriller side to the story, a more complex story line than just simple erotic romance. I also love that the focus was on how to capture the bad guy more than on who the bad guy was. There is a question whether Grace is involved or not, but other than that we know who the target is. Or so I thought, because at the end my certainty was basically destroyed.

Grace was a heroine that at times I loved, and at times frustrated me. I loved her because she seemed like a strong woman, one that is trying to live her life after the loss of her husband. But she frustrated me because I wanted her to get mad at Sean. I kept waiting for that moment when she'd yell, kick, curse, fight, anything that showed her anger. I wanted her to punch him. He kind of deserved it, so I fear that I felt more outraged than she did.

At the same time, the entire situation has a different meaning if seen from Sean's POV. He was doing a job, a job that he had to do, so I can't really fault him for following orders. It's probably one of the things that hooked me on this series, the fact that it shows the struggle of the men and women who, at one point or another, decide to join the Army or to become police officers and go undercover, in whatever country, and who receive certain orders that maybe is in a really gray area of what the rest of the people see as "moral". So I struggled with accepting the D/s aspect of their relationship just because of that very reason, because he was being dishonest, but at the same time he was the most honest version of himself as he could, without betraying his mission. The one thing that I didn't like was that he had this moment in the beginning of their relationship when he expected Grace to know what a submissive should and shouldn't do, just based on the books she read, even though she had no prior experience with this culture before. I felt like he exaggerated a little there, because just because you read about something, that doesn't make you an expert on that subject or on the rules of the game, so to speak. But other than that, I liked Sean.

The ending was pretty great, actually. I like that it leaves the door open for future mischief and struggles, and it's not a case of "the big bad of the book" only. Sure, there might be books where that is the case, as we'll see in the future, but with a few of the books there's a link that goes beyond some characters that pop in to remind the reader that they're in the picture too and that they had their stories told in the previous books.

I'm super happy I got to read this book and I'm definitely going to keep reading this series.

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Review: Lure Of Obsession by Lisa Kessler

Author: Lisa Kessler
Series: The Muse Chronicles #1
Audience: +18
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 1st 2016
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The Prophecy - “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.”

Melanie Jacoby teaches English at Crystal City High School. She’s also the reborn Muse of Tragic Poetry, but she isn’t prepared for the tragedy of finding her roommate dead at the bottom of the stairs.

Nate Malone is the detective assigned to the case, but as the evidence points to an accidental fall, the visions begin. He sees a killer in a gold Kronos mask.

Mel is the next target.

The Order of the Titans are eager to bring about the return of the Golden Age of Man, and they’re prepared to kill the Muses to complete their mission. But Nate’s desire to protect Mel is almost as strong as his hunger for her.

And tragedy isn’t part of his plan.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Netgalley and Lisa Kessler in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or my opinion of the book in any way.

My search for new voices in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre has made me stumble upon Lisa Kessler's book, Lure Of Obsession. I was very excited about the book, because it seemed like it had a fresh feel about it, and I am very happy that I wasn't wrong.

This new series focuses on Muses. As someone who loves urban fantasy, this is such a great change, because I don't think the Muses have been used in fiction all that much. I'm also really happy to see how the idea of the Muses is used in this book. I'm also really curious to see if the other creatures in the Ancient Greek mythology will also play some tiny part in the future books.

Mel is a really great heroine. I loved seeing how her human side battled with her Muse, how that influenced her life in general. I also liked how she tries to not let her Muse take over her thoughts sometimes, how she's trying to not be overcome by doubts and by seeing everything through a negative lens. I also loved seeing her in her teaching role. She's an amazing teacher and I loved how she managed to find ways to support her students, but also to help them find ways to heal themselves or express themselves through art, through poetry.

Nate was a pretty intense hero. He's a dedicated guy, and I liked how, although he was kind of freaked out by his visions, he did his job. He's also a sweetheart with Maggie, a little girl that broke my heart. I loved seeing his softer side, and I hope we get to see more of Maggie.

I enjoyed the thriller/mystery aspect of the book. The pacing of the book was good, and it was interesting to see how the tension of some of the chapters was broken apart by scenes from the villain's POV, but that also kind of made me sit on the edge of my seat, wanting to see what will happen with Mel and Nate, and the rest of the gang.

I loved this book and I'm curious to see what happens next, to learn more about the bad guys, about the history of the Muses in general.

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