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An Aria in Venice, A Musical Interlude Novel , KaSonndra Leigh .
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews.
This book is connected to the Musical Interlude series, but can be read as a standalone. It focuses mainly on Adriana and Luca, who we met in the first MI book, along with other characters .
I’d loved the first book about Erin and Alek, this time we meet and see more of Luca, one of Erin’s bosses at the Black Butterfly design com, and Adriana, who is Alek’s sister. She’s been in love with Nicolai for years it seems, he was brought up with them though, and sees her still as his little sister. So when Luca shows an interest and fed up fo getting rejected once again by Nicolai, she decides to use Luca to make him jealous. That suits Luca, he’s really just toying with her and though she plays the part on their family dinner he knows what’s behind it, but he wants someone to come with him on a family trip to Venice for almost a week and Adriana will do perfectly. If along the way he manages to seduce her – well, that’s just extra bonus. He’s well known along with his brothers as a playboy, and the family are typical Italian, loving and emotive and yet always quarreling and full of jealousises.
It’s a facinating read, the first half was slow for me though, full of beautiful descriptions and almost poetic revelations about the people, the places and the events. I need to focus on the characters and the story so though this was beautifully written it didn’t really capture my imagination in the way it deserved. Thats a personal thing though, and I know others will fully appreciate how this part was scene setting. Then they go on the Venice trip – things heat up, there are secrets slowly coming out of the woodwork, revelations that shock and despair, heart rending some of the things brought in to the open. Nicolai certainly is jealous, furiously so, he wants Adriana fiercely, but thinks he’s not good enough. He and Alek are both known killers, have done what’s needed in the past and would do it again. The whole family have strong ties not only to the Russian Mafia but to a rival mob too…..and thats slowly heating up over all the novels. Some future drama certainly to come from that angle. Nicolai doesn’t think Luca is good enough either, and when he finds out that they’ve become closer he’s furious, looking to grub up any dark secrets he can find, and of course he and Alek have the connections to do just that. Poor Adriana, she needs love, deserves love but will she get it between her brothers, her overbearing,ambitious mother and Luca’s warring family.
I really enjoyed this once the focus was on the characters rather than theplaces.It’sgreat read, I felt for poor Nicolai but then he just wasn’t helping himself, he seemed to want Adriana to be put on a shelf, kept away from men and just admired from a safe distance…and she’s a hot blooded Amercian/Russian lady who wanted, needed and deserved more. There were some shocksto come for all of them over what was revealed and some hard looks at behaviours and what they could and couldn’t accept..
Stars: Four – loved it and though its a stand alone it mentions events and characters that are going to be part of the main series and I think reading this will enhance enjoyment of that.
ARC supplied via author.
Master of the House, Justine Elyot
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I’ve never read any of Justine’s novels ( so many books, so little time…) but knew she wrote erotica, and I do love that genre so thought this would be a good choice. I was right, its a great read, well written, sexy and with a good back-story. That’s essential to me, I don’t want just sex sex sex but a solid plot behind it.
So Lucy, after a relationship breakup she’s back in her home town, living with her hippy mum and mum’s boyfriend animal. Says it all…She’s struggling, working for the local newspaper, covering town council meetings and fête openings is hard after being a respected political journalist in Hungary. Still, its work and she can find her way back if she sticks it out and waits for the right opening. Then she learns that a) something strange is going on periodically at the local Hall, and b) her nemesis Joss, is now Lord of said Hall after the death of his father and is back in residence.
I loved Lucy and her hippy mum. Joss too – we first see him as a real jerk, a nasty bully, then once he and Lucy are together again we start to learn more about him and a different side is revealed. Lucy has worked hard to get where she is, her mum is lovely but a bit dippy and seems to spend a lot of time smoking weed….and it sounds as if she has always been like that even when Lucy was a child. A kind of role reversal with Lucy being the responsible one and mum being the child. I enjoyed the way the story bounced from present to past and then back again. Sometimes that doesn’t work for me, when its for long sections of a novel, I get so engrossed then have to reset my mind to a different time but here its fairly brief, a chapter or so in the past then back to the main story of the present, and what Joss and Lucy are doing. There are some very hot and sensual interludes, fun D/s stuff and its fits well within the story. I thought I’d worked out what was going to happen, it seemed to be taking a predictable route towards the end and then… it went totally in a different direction and totally surprised me 🙂 I love that, when a story diverges and catches me out. Makes it so much more interesting. Its a reasonable length to let the story be told properly at around 200 pages. Good stories need at least that to really get me engrossed.
Stars: Four. A fun read, hot and sexy, spicy and erotic. I’ll certainly look out for more of Justine’s writing.
Arc supplied via Netgalley
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Against the Cage. Worth the Fight Series. Sidney Halston
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I’ve read a few MMA romances now and enjoyed them, but Sidney is an author new to me so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
What we get in this novel is a simple, fun romance, a little drama, and lots of sensual moments. Chrissy, she seemed very protective of her little brother even though he’s grown now, and she hasn’t actually seen him in years. Email and phone seems to have been their contact, and the latest one means she needs to go back to where they were brought up and he still lives, in their old house, with her teenage crush and his best friend Jack still living next door. I love the way she and Jack meet, he’s a local cop and stops her for traffic violation, she roots round for the docs needed and thrusts them out the window to him without looking up. Its not his hand that gets them though, but a much lower part of his body….luckily once he recognises her he’s so pleased to see her he lets her off, after a bit of chafing.
Jack’s amazed at the grown up Chrissy, blown away by her, and her teen crush on him quickly comes racing back. He’s even hotter now that he was then, and add to that he’s a genuinely nice guy and they quickly get into some hot clinches. Jack and her brother though ( and Slade, her brother, is a real jerk IMO) are really into MMA, a hobby for Jack, but a career for Slade. Violence and fighting brings up really bad memories from Chrissy’s past, so though she really likes Jack she needs to sort out what this part of his life means to her, and if she can get past it. Throw in some close calls with Slade doing illegal fights to make lots of money, ( he does have a good reason but Chrissy is worried about him and his health), Jack not telling her the whole truth about things and there’s some sad, bitter-sweet parts coming out.
I did enjoy the book, it was good but not great for me. I didn’t feel the highs and lows were really strong enough, but that’s me, I like lots of very strong emotions and dramatics. For those that want a simple, easy to read, spicy romance this will be perfect.
Stars: Three, its a good, one off read for me but not a re read.
ARC supplied by Netgalley