The Playboy’s Dark Secret, Madeline Ash
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
An interesting romance this one. Its not a heart stopping race, but a slow burn, push and pull one. Dean and Rafi are attracted right from the start, but he’s given up on romance, and concentrating on the vineyard, and she’s decided no relationships, just quick, live for now, enjoyment as she’s her baby to care for.
They’re both escaping from troubled pasts, and I felt for them both. The title is a bit of a misnomer and Dean really isn’t in Playboy mode any more, but a hard-working and supportive brother to Rue. I loved the background story, the vineyard setting and the day to day grape harvesting. It gave a feeling of camaraderie. I’m glad too that looking after a baby wasn’t glossed over as so often happens, that we saw how tired Rafi was, how difficult her life had become.
Despite their convictions though it seems they just can’t keep apart, and one night leaves Rafi wanting more but failing to persuade Dean that his demons, whatever he’s hiding from, aren’t enough to stop them from being together. It becomes a stalemate with them both wanting more, but only Rafi willing to try. She’s got her demons too but she keeps quiet about them, and though they’ve been affecting her badly slowly she’s coming to terms with them. Dean though – he’s still running. When what he was hiding did come out I had a clue from some things that had happened, but can honestly say its the first time I’ve seen it in a story. Well done to Madeline, it’s something that actually happens too often, and yet still gets glossed over, made fun of. The reaction of the police sadly is something that seems all too real still, and so people like Dean keep it hidden. Cryptic I know 🙂 but I just want to say how good it was too see problems take a new angle, without giving it away. .
Stars: Four, enjoyable read but not one I’d re read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley
Unfiltered & Unhinged , Unfiltered Series Book 4, Payge Galvin and Jane Lukas
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Well, I’m not usually a fan of serial novels, but this series is just that bit different. It has an overall story but each edition could be almost a standalone novel, ( at least 1, 2 and 4 that I’ve read. I missed book 3 ) and they are long enough to give a complete story, rather than the 2 or 3 chapters these serials usually have. Also, I was concerned about continuity with there being several different authors, but the three I’ve read so far dovetail together perfectly, maybe as it’s author collaboration with Payge authoring each so far. So far all my concerns, except pricing, are turning out to be groundless 🙂 and the pricing will tell given time. Books one and two were just 74p with book three being £2.05. I don’t yet have price info for this one but its around 200 pages long so similar to earlier ones.
So what did I think of this one. Well I loved book two and this one kept up to that same standard. A complete story ( though I have Wrex reservations – somehow I don’t think he’ll go down that easily….) and it was great to “hear” from, and about, earlier characters. I like the way that links the books, and I want to know more of how they go on as time passes. Its red hot sex in this one, well written and fitted the scenes, not thrown in just to add spice. That gets boring…make the sex fit the story or leave it out. Great characters too, Cass, Dev and Wrex were each very strong personalities and made for excellent reading.
Cass was the one involved at the coffee shop. She’s racing for Wrex to pay off her twin brother Liam’s debts. Wrex won’t take money – he wants Cass, racing for him and to repeat their one night together. For Cass that was a mistake but Wrex seems unable to let go, and has an odd way of trying to persuade her – he’s too used to using force. He’s wrecked her bike, and hoping she’ll then need to use one of his for the next race, putting her further in debt. She takes the bike to Dev for repairs, and though he doesn’t want to get involved with Wrex, he’s really attracted to Cass and soon they’re in the throes of a torrid affair. Of course Wrex isn’t happy about that, and takes steps to deal with it…there’s sex, violence and angst galore in this part of the overall story, and as I said it was good too to catch up with earlier characters. While telling each persons story there’s still reference to the shooting, keeping that fresh as part of the novel too. Somehow I have the feeling that whoever the money and drugs belonged to is going to be on the heels of it – it’s a lot to let go and the people who have that kind of deal don’t care what measures they take to get their belongings back…..
A great read, I don’t know how the authors keep pulling such well written stories out in such a short space of time. One each month – that’s a tough target but if they keep up to this standard its going to make one hell of a series for rereading 🙂 and I love to do that when a series is complete – read all the way through without a break.
Stars: Four and a half. Sexy, spicy story.
ARC received via Netgalley .