Archive | March 2015

Fever, Club Inferno, Jamie K. Schmidt

Fever, Club Inferno, Jamie K. Schmidt
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews.

Genre: Erotica, Romance,

I’m really enjoying the Club Inferno series, its a great mix of hot, spicy sex with realistic storylines. I like the way the stories include characters we’ve already met, it gives a feeling of catching up with old friends, seeing how their relationships are growing. Chase has been floating round in the back ground of the other books, and this time he’s centre stage with Colleen.

Its tough being a Domme and wanting a sub. Vanilla sex won’t cut it for Colleen, she had a fabulous relationship with her late husband, but sometimes now life is isolating, and good sex always helps ward off pangs of loneliness. Trouble is though, she was content as a sub to her husband but she’s a Domme now, and doesn’t want to share a sub, she wants a one on one sexual relationship. Dante, one of the clubs Dom’s is keen for more with her, but he doesn’t do monogamy, and he’s not putting things the right way for Colleen to want to sub for him either. Then Chase comes in from the background, wanting to rekindle their failed relationship. It turns out that they’d both jumped to conclusions, and talking could have saved them the heartbreak ten years ago – can they make it work now though? Have they learned anything from it? And most important – can Chase cope with Colleen’s sexuality and needs?

Poor Chase, he thinks he’s all that and more, and what man doesn’t have the idea he can cope with anything a lady throws at him sexually. He’s a virgin in the BDSM world though, and it soon shows when Colleen sets a scene for him and he misunderstands, and once again they don’t talk but just part on bad terms. He’s so hot headed, and yet underneath he really wants Colleen – enough to try to be what she needs if only he can work it out, and she can remember that he’s not a natural sub, and will talk back, argue, before he understands exactly what this life is about.

Its a fun read, and at times I wanted to shout at Chase – its so clear he still loves Colleen and will do anything, but if there’s a wrong path to tread he seems to find it…Then there’s Colleen, she’s still underneath bearing a bit of a grudge it seems to me, and though she’s trying to make allowances with Chase she seems to be pushing him too quickly. Of course Dante is throwing his hand in, doing what he can to keep them at loggerheads, hoping to persuade Colleen he’s what she needs, not Chase. Its great too, seeing how others we’ve met are doing, how their relationships are working out.
Stars: Five, its a fun sexy read, and follows on perfectly from earlier parts, though can be read as a standalone as its a complete story.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and author

His Client Ava March

His Client Ava March
Genre: GLBT
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well, this is a shortish book, and concentrates on a brief timespan. Nathaniel always visits Jasper at the brothel, has done for the last five years, no-one else and they’ve spent a lot of time talking about his unrequited love for his best friend. Nathaniel is now heartbroken, he’s been living in hope that somehow, sometime his love would be returned, but now Peter is getting married. He’s never treated Nathaniel as anything but a friend but a man can dream….and of course over the span of those last five years Jasper has fallen in love with Nathaniel. He’s only working there til he saved enough to live independently, and could have left two years ago, but like Nathaniel he’s been living in hope too. While he’s consoling and advising Nathaniel Jasper realises the same applies to him. He’s telling Nathaniel to move forward, stop harking for something that can’t happen, and he realises that even if Nathaniel did return his feelings their stations in life are so different that they could never be together. At least Peter could have been accepted as Nathaniel’s friend in London, they belong to the same clubs etc. and have long gone out to functions together, but there’s no way Jasper would ever be accepted.
Oh I so felt for Jasper, I could kick Nathaniel, mooning after someone who’s never given the slightest indication he wants him, and yet he can’t see what a gem he’d have in Jasper. He really doesn’t treat him as a person, doesn’t even look beyond the whore part of him, just uses him as a sounding board, and to sooth his own aches. He never questions if Jasper is happy and TBH although he’s what Jasper wants I’m not sure he’s good enough! Still, I do love a HEA and its what Jasper is looking for too.   .

Stars: Four . Its a fun read, short ands sweet. No great drama just a gentle HEA romance
ARC provided by publishers.

Shaken, Not Stirred, Sawyer Bennett

Shaken, Not Stirred, Sawyer Bennett
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I love Sawyer Bennet’s work – have read several and only one was a Fail for me. Actually I don’t even mind that, because it shows me an author who’s open minded and willing to try something different, and not just churn out more of the same. When a book is a great success it must be tempting to play safe and stay within the same framework, and of course series do just that and I love them, but I enjoy authors who will also try something different, something new, and that keeps their writing fresh. This one is part of the Last Call series ( the last one I think) and it’s been a fun read.
I’ve read and enjoyed a couple from this series, its a kind of loose connection where the same group of characters feature in each book, with the main focus on one couple. Gavin and Savannah are still my favourite read from this series but this book, with Casey and Tenn was a good read. It’s a novel with very real feeling characters, and having met so many in earlier books I understand them more than if this was my first read. Casey – she seemed shallow on the surface, only dating rich men, keeping it light and refusing to get properly involved with anyone. She has her reasons though, and once we learned her history I understood her motives. Didn’t agree with them – she was tarring a whole group with the same brush but…then she meets Tenn and he’s just what she never dates, an unemployed mechanic. There’s a steaming chemistry between them though, and Tenn is persistent and manages to wear her down. There are secrets on both sides though, and of course they have a way of coming out at the worst time. I enjoyed this novel – its a fun series, but I didn’t feel for me there was enough of the “down” drama, the bit where you think “can they get through this?” I like that to be really sad, to be extended and that’s why I loved Sugar on the Edge so much. I never quite felt there was any real danger of them not getting together here, and I missed that.
Stars: Four, fun read but I needed more “sad” drama.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

The Bargain, Vargas Cartel 1, Lisa Cardiff

The Bargain, Vargas Cartel 1, Lisa Cardiff
Genre:  Mystery and Thrillers, Romance.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I’ve found some real gems in this type of read, the captive/capturer one. Karina Halle’s Dirty Angels immediately springs to mind – possibly because of Javier Bernal…oh come on – who’s kidding, of course it’s because of Javier  so I wondered how this one would work out. Its a tough task though, making a violent kidnapper and a drugs/crime background into a love story.
So did it work for me? Well…yes, and no. There were things that went well, and I really got into the story, but then sometimes I just couldn’t see either of the two main characters acting as they did. Whereas in DA it took some time for the relationship to go from hate to love, here its a bit too quick. Its clear Ryker is seriously attractive and Hattie’s really upset after Evan’s betrayal, so the first scene when she’s a bit drunk works well for me, and of course sets the kidnap up. Then she’s a captive, and in real danger if she doesn’t play along. The capture, her reactions and the escape attempts felt very real but…..and this is where it falls down for me, the time span is so short, and she’s still in the mix of hating Ryker and yet wanting him. I just can’t see why he would risk so much. I didn’t feel “the love” between them, certainly the lust on first meeting, but now she knows that was a set up why is she still so ready to let him do whatever he wants – and why does he want to, when he can get sex anywhere, any time? I needed to feel a bit more of a connection between them than just a searing, physical attraction – something that would explain why they both risked so much. In such a short time, just a couple of weeks I just can’t see that happening. If it was a couple of months I could understand more, even 4-6 weeks, there would be time to get to know each other, esp given their scenario where Hattie’s trapped and dependent on Ryker for everything. Here though Ryker gets pulled from the day to day stuff with her after another problem, when his dad decides enough is enough, so he has virtually no contact with her then.
I liked the way the characters were set out, with Hattie being a genuinely nice person, one who’s solid and loyal, and who was devastated by her boyfriend’s infidelity. She’s clearly bright too, and with parents who’re ambitious for her, and I just couldn’t see her throwing all her plans away for someone who she’d known just a couple of days, who’d tricked her, kidnapped her and lead her into real danger into the drugs underworld. Ryker, he’d had a tough upbringing, and yet clawed his way out  into a role where he’s a kind of mercenary, a man for hire for what presumably are some dirty jobs. Now his drug lord father needs him for something, and as its a blood tie, he steps in as ever and helps. That brings Hattie into his eye line and he’s attracted. OK so far but….it’s hard to see why he’d take things further. At times he’s kind to her – well, relatively – given the circumstances, and then he’s promptly an ass, a real jerk, and that gives me the feeling he’s confused, and again with a longer build up that would all work well for me.
Oddly I’ve just reviewed another story, different scene but one where the action again covers a couple of weeks, and the mental turnaround of the main characters is so massive that I felt it too needed more time…maybe its just me, that I need a bit more believability before I can be convinced. Ah well….The end – a couple of real surprises there, that I hadn’t seen coming and  that set up the next book nicely and despite my reservations I do want to read more.
Stars: Three and a half. It’s a mixed bag here but enough to make me want to read more.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

The Space Between, Kate Canterbary

The Space Between, Kate Canterbary
Genre:  Romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Book two in the series and I was so pleased to see it. It reminds me a bit of the Kat and Stone Bastion book series No Weddings. Not in the content, but in the style its written, much of it first person, pathos and humour, a story that makes the reader see both sides, and a supportive, though at times bickering, family who run a business together utilising each persons strengths. Where NW gave us fabulous descriptive parties that I could envisage, and delicious inventive cakes, this family’s story gives us incredible buildings, insights into sustainable mechanics, and just what can be done to old and new buildings.  Sustainable future is something I’m passionate about too –  and of course we’ve a story that mixes humour with tears, passion, romance and smouldering sex, with deep, dark drops that made me really sad.
I loved the first book, though I floundered a bit on working out the back story and how everyone related. I’m still a little in the dark, but as the story grows more becomes clear. The stories centre around the Walsh siblings, and what a terrific group they are. Four brothers, two sisters, ( I’m desperate to know what brought on the breach between Erin and Shannon – 5 years is a long time to hold a grudge) and all apart from Erin work together in their own firm. They each have specialised talents and different characters, very, very different. Patrick as the oldest is known for being abrupt to the point of rudeness, but passionate about his work and a born leader. They’ve all got nicknames and his is Optimus. ( My boys were Transformers fans as kids, so I recognise the irony of it. I love Matt’s wife-to-be, Lauren’s name – Miss Honey, she’s a schoolteacher/owner and they’ve taken the name from Roald Dahl’s book Matilda)
Finally the firm is taking on its first intern, and Andy appears. From the first sight of her Patrick is struck – and he hates losing control. He doesn’t want to take her even though she’s undoubtedly perfect for the job, tries to say “no” at the interview but Andy’s having none of it. He’s her hero, his dissertation has been her inspiration and bedtime reading for years,  this is the job she’s aimed for since her teens, and she’s getting it. As he interrupts her and starts to say No, she stops him and tells him she hasn’t finished speaking….. Needless to say she gets the position, and its Patrick she’ll be working with.
The first few weeks are a nightmare for him, he can’t concentrate, her nearness affects his thoughts, his speech and his actions. He’s so abrupt in the office about her the others think he hates her but nothing could be further from the truth. When they’re out on site he manages to wrangle her lunching with him, and thinks up every excuse he can for them to spend more time together. Somehow this self contained, ever composed, always in control man is soon in the throes of a passionate affair with Andy. She’s afraid for her reputation, doesn’t want people gossiping, saying she only get the job because she’s sleeping with him.  Patrick is just mentally displaced and can’t work out what’s happened, just knows he can’t get enough of her. I love the way they are together, and it’s like they are just so perfect. Still, the secret romance gradually gets to be more widely known in the family, but just as it seems as if they are finally going to go public, tell everyone they’re in love all goes wrong. Terribly wrong, and the old prejudices on both sides that have made them both hold parts of themselves back so far, snake out and they say things they regret.
Poor Patrick, and poor Andy. He regrets what happened and what he said, she can see where she’s maybe jumped to conclusions and yet she can’t go back, or maybe that’s won’t. She’s afraid that everything she’s spent years working for will be lost…and won’t respond to his apologies. Its a really sad time – and I love those, and for me its extended perfectly, to the point where I wondered whether this would continue to another book…( it doesn’t, no cliff hangers) I just couldn’t see how they’d come back, how Andy could put things behind her.
Along with the Patrick and Andy story, there’s the overall smaller plots regarding the family,  changes within the firm, the aftermath of the death and reading of their fathers Will, Matt and Lauren’s wedding, and the mystery surrounding Erin. Its a family full of secrets, a family so hurt by their fathers actions. He loved them dearly, they were a wonderful, close and  happy family for years, until when Patrick was eleven their mother died in really tragic and bloody circumstances, dying in front of her young children. Their dad seemed to blame them, has been a drunken and angry father since, and his rages against each of them were vitriolic, so cruel and destructive, picking at what he knew were weak spots and creating as much hurt as he could. Really its a wonder they survived so well, and it’s made them a very tight knit family. The earlier part where in book one I said it felt like I didn’t know the backstory is gradually coming out, and I feel I know so much more about the family this way. Its so massive the background that this show way of letting me see the past is best, had it been just “told” then I think I’d not have got the full impact of the horror that was their childhood after their mothers death. I hate being told a plot anyway, I find I just switch off, and don’t remember essential info, so this way has proved great for me, even though I had initial misgivings.
I certainly want to read more from the family but who next? Erin? with whatever’s between her and Shannon, or Shannon with her full on aggressive man-eater kind of outlook that’s probably covering a vulnerable and hurt inside. Or Sam, the gentle soul on the surface, but with deep emotional issues simmering beneath, the man who their father mocked and called gay even though he’s always out with the ladies…or Riley the baby? He’s Andy’s age and yet there seems years between them. He seems like one of life’s innocents as far as malice goes, always joking, friendly, outgoing but he gets teased for his ability to mess up his clothes ( the coffee!) and often seems to get the bum jobs dumped on him. I wonder what’s going on behind that make everyone smile image he shows.
Stars:  Five, a wonderful gripping sexy  continuation of the Walsh family.

ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers

Cruel Summer, K.R. Conway

Cruel Summer, K.R. Conway
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: YA and teens, Sci-fi/Fantasy.

I really enjoyed the first two Undertow books, they’re examples of well written YA that appeals to older readers too. This one follows that format of a book that’s not dumbed down, doesn’t have thin, flimsy plots, but is packed with realistic characters and a story that unfolds to reveal many facets.
Kian  – it was clear in the other books that there was some history between him and Ana, but we never quite knew the full story. Here we get to see it all, get a deeper insight into Kian’s thoughts and reasoning. He seems like a cold blooded killer – and to be honest that’s a fairly accurate description of his early years, but even though he needs to kill to survive he’s found a way around that which appeases his conscience. He’s not quite the man his surface image portrays, as Ana soon finds out. Of course she doesn’t know he’s more than just a rich, handsome and alluring tourist, but then she and best friend MJ have some secrets of their own…
I really enjoyed this interlude into Kian’s life and how he meets Ana. The story is told in alternating parts between her and Kian, and that gives us a view directly into their thoughts. Its a fun read, with some dramatics, secrets that get brought out into the open and a devastating ending. Thankfully it comes after the other books, so I know all works out in the end even though its really a prequel. If you enjoyed the first two books you’ll love this, and if the series is new to you then it would be fun to start with this one – though if you like your HEA make sure you’ve got the next two ready so you can read straight on!
Stars: Five, it’s a fun, easy read that deepens our understanding of Kian.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

Getting It Right, A.M. Arthur

Getting It Right, A.M. Arthur
Genre:  GLBT
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
This seems to be a spin off from an existing series which I hadn’t read, but that didn’t make anything difficult to understand, and it was an easy to follow stand alone romance.
Cop Nathan has always believed he’s heterosexual, but lately has to admit to himself he really has a crush on his long time best friend James. James is gay and out, and after a close friend dies he’s grief stricken, and has too much to drink one night. He calls on Nathan in despair, when his drunken state allowed him to do something he regrets, and which brings back trauma from his past. He’s in a commiserating, comforting hug with Nathan, and kisses him – and Nathan kisses him back….Then of course Nate has recriminations. James was so drunk he remembers nothing of their make out. After thinking it over, and being conflicted Nate decides he has to admit to his feelings to James. James has been in love with him secretly for years – you’d think he’s be delighted but for some reason he brushes Nathan off and poor Nate is humiliated.
James, all his dreams had come true and yet he couldn’t let himself believe it – he regrets not being honest with Nathan, but doesn’t get to tell him as something happens that stops him
Its a story of love and lust, but also of how things from our past affect us. Nathan has a problem coping after the event that affected him so badly. Its left him feeling so uncertain; where previously he was an outgoing, confident man, now he’s having nightmares, and jumping at shadows. Its a long recovery period, when he and James are separated and that hurt James badly. He thinks how the last thing he said to Nate was a lie and he’s so full of regret. He’s got a traumatic past too from when he couldn’t help a family member, and its left both him and his mum with problems. He’s a psychiatrist, and its partly why he went into the profession, to help people so they don’t end up like his sister, but listening to others terrible problems takes a hard toll on him, and means he drinks more and more and though he won’t admit he has a problem.
Though the events and problems seem unconnected at first they join up and bring both James and Nate into real danger. I had no idea who was behind the murders, and that took me by surprise. The murders also bring in a bit of extra drama and surprise that adds to the novel and makes it more than just a sweet romance. I like the way all the characters seemed very real and their reaction fitted what was happening. No just brushing off great traumas as nothing as too often happens in fiction. Characters come out of hospital after a life threatening attack and then go clubbing full of joy – unreal. I like my fiction to be grounded in reality.
Stars: Four . Its good read, with very real feeling events and characters.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Tiger Lily 1  Amélie S. Duncan
Released February 10th, 2015

What started as an assignment became more than Lily could have ever hoped for…

Lily Salomé has encountered more challenges than the average twenty-four year old. After a horrendous crash killed her parents, an abusive relationship was all she needed to calcify her broken heart to stone. So when Lily’s boss comes to her with a challenge most girls would balk at, she knows there isn’t much left in this world to be afraid of.

The target: Jonas Crane, a brooding business mogul who hasn’t smiled once since his divorce. Dark, dangerous and mouthwatering, Crane has written a book about life in the fast lane and with the recent publicity, Lily’s boss wants the rights. Problem is, Crane won’t return a phone call, let alone agree to a meeting. But if a pretty publishing assistant happens to run into him at the Waldorf, with a business card and a smile…what could go wrong?

A lot, it seems. Lily thinks she’s going to the Waldorf to meet a rich jerk, or worse, a playboy, but the truth is way more challenging. Jonas Crane is smart, engaging…and devastatingly out of her league.

My Review

Tiger Lily (Tiger Lily 1)  Amélie S. Duncan
Genre:  Erotic romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I loved Amélie’s Debut book Little wolf, and was pleased to review this one. I really enjoyed it once again, the same perfect blend of sex and story with neither dominating the other.
Lily has had such a lot happen in such a short while, and the most recent being her fiancé dumping her after she moved across country to be with him. He’s a jerk, as we see later in the book, an abusive jerk at that. Lily is strong though – at least she tries hard to be knowing that’s what her parents would want. The Salome name was everything to her dad, and he seems to have had a motto including it for every eventuality! She’s finally found a job she loves after she finished her degree, and her boss asks her to do something to help the business one evening. She respects Gregor greatly and he’s been good to her, so she thinks that maybe this will help her get a promotion, and it will certainly help the business if she can pull it off. Its simply meeting with Jonas to push their firm for his book. Of course they wouldn’t normally be in the running for something like this, so the meeting isn’t quite as business kosher as it seems, more that Gregor just happens to know where Jonas will be that night, and wants Lily to talk to him – have a sort of off the cuff “accidental” meeting.
Poor Lily is a klutz… I know how she feels only too well, and while she’s mulling the best way to approach Jonas to make it look natural she drops her bag, which skims over the floor to land at Jonas feet! From then on they talk and ….before long they are in a most strange relationship. well strange for Lily, not for Jonas.
Jonas is divorced, but gets on well with his ex and sees his teenage son frequently. He’s as the description says, Dark, Dangerous and Delicious, and the tension between him and Lily is palpable. He’s not interested in another long term or permanent relationship though – his divorce has left him feeling that simply sexual companions is the most he can do. Poor Lily thinks she can do that – but she’s much too gentle of heart. They are at opposite ends of the sexual spectrum, she’s naive and gentle, looking for love, he’s been there done that and just wants a friend to accompany him and stop him feeling lonely, and to be available for some hot and steamy sex whenever he wants. When she agrees to his request they have some incredible sexual encounters, and are soon in an intense and erotic sort of liaison. It is good to have once again the sex scenes well written and varied, they feel erotic and sensual and not just “more dull sex” as we get too often. That’s one of the things I enjoyed in “”Little Wolf.
As always just when things look good the cracks appear, secrets from the past creep out, Lily starts to get emotionally involved, her outside life and the one with Jonas overlap, and his need to control everything causes tensions and lies. Suddenly everything has hit at once, Jonas and Gregor’s shared past, Lily’s past with her fiancé and reminders of her parents death, and it seems like it’s all over.  I like all the people here, they feel very real, and the ex being kind for a change was refreshing. Lily needs a friend, and she could be just that the way things are going.
Stars: Five, cracking read, and I can’t wait for part two. I’m not sure if this is in two or three parts but hopefully it won’t be long til the next. .
ARC provided by author.

Edit: I’ve asked Amelie, and this is in three parts with part two hopefully out by end of March.

Link to Follow Tour:
Goodreads Link:
Author Info

Amélie S. Duncan writes contemporary, erotic romances with a dark edge. Her inspiration comes from many sources including her life experiences and travels. She lives on the West Coast of the United States with her husband.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Grand Prize: $10.00 Amazon eGift Card & Digital Copy of TIGER LILY and Two Runners Up will receive a Digital copy of TIGER LILY)
I managed to not stare in awe at the murals, and walk confidently inside the softly lit lounge of Sir Harry’s.
The sleek mahogany bar with porcelain snack bowls dotted along the top took up a prominent portion of the room, and thereby was the first thing I noticed upon entry. Searching for a place to stand or sit, I zeroed in on one of the empty Japanned leather bar stools, and briskly made my way to secure the seat before someone else. With luck, I captured the vacant seat and swiveled around. Eyeing the eclectic mix of patrons, I stared over the high-fashioned starlets, middle-aged tailored gentlemen, and nouveau-riche designer clad tourists and wondered where I fit in.
Not sure, but I patted my back on arriving with ten minutes to spare before Jonas Crane was due to arrive. Jonas! It finally dawned on me I didn’t have a plan for approaching him. Knitting my brows, I tilted my head down and tried to focus on making an impromptu plan. What would be a good opener? Hello, yes. Jonas? Can I call you Jonas? I’m Lily Salomé from Arch Limited, and I’m your publishing house stalker, nice to meet you.
Fidgeting and inward gazing didn’t mix. At least not when holding my satin handbag with sweaty palms. Unfortunately, this realization came too late and my bag took flight, sliding across the floor.
Shit. I had barely made it inside the bar and hadn’t even ordered my first drink or eaten a pistachio nut without embarrassing myself. Straightening my shoulders and ignoring the burning of my cheeks, I lifted my chin and eased over in the direction of my bag, doing my best to pretend I was bored and didn’t care, or that I had maybe even purposely tossed it around. Spotting the bag, my insides winced at the polished leather shoes it had bounced against. I hastened my steps, but paused as a pair of large tanned hands with a golden ring on the left ring finger picked it up.
Gazing up further, I met the most luminous eyes I had ever seen. They were a rare combination of blue and turquoise like a tropical sea. He had black wavy hair that hung a little longer on the top and sides. Some lines around his eyes, but boasted of an otherwise flawless face. With a smooth angular jawline, straight nose, and well-defined cheekbones most women would die for, he was divine. Not to mention, full sensual lips were flashing a perfect set of teeth.
My hand trembled a little as I took my handbag from him, and recognition finally set in. He was not only gorgeous, but he was the man I had come here for, Jonas Crane. Serendipitous or cliché, it didn’t matter. My “accidental on purpose” encounter with him had taken place.

Protecting Fate, Katee Robert

Protecting Fate, Katee Robert
Genre:  Romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I’ve enjoyed a couple of Katee’s novels, so was looking forward to this but though it was OK it didn’t really resonate with me. Sara has been exiled and is under the projection of her twin brothers’ best friend Z. She’s cross, doesn’t see why she’s been shunted aside, and feels she could look after herself. Still – its off to the country for a few days with Z.
I liked what I knew of both of them, but the interactions just didn’t feel real to me, and I was irritated by the choppy on, off, on and off again of things between them. Sara taunted him when she knew she was being unfair, and taking out on him her frustration over being grounded. For a top man, and one supposed to be so in control, Z soon lost it when faced with Sara’s tempting. That just didn’t feel right to me, it was too quick, really took place within the first 24 hours or so and I need a bit more lead in. Likewise when things went wrong it was all very sudden and then That happened….and it was all one big muddle for me with backgrounds I understood but working out in ways that didn’t add up for me. We didn’t really get much background to the characters, the events or their histories, and I felt that maybe  as this is number 6 in a series they were all connected books, rather than stand alones as I had thought, though the only names I recognise come in one book description? I’d don’t know – but if that’s it then it would explain why I felt a bit disconnected from everything.
Its a quick hot read, and if you’re less picky than me probably a five star but for me its just an OK read, not one I loved and not one I’d re read. That’s how it goes, everyone wants something different and thought I loved other reads of Katee’s this one just didn’t work so well.
Stars: Three, fun read but not quite there for me.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Dark Wine, Beth Tashery Shannon
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
A step away from my usual HEA romances. Lured in by the Vampire tag – I do love those – it turned out to be very different to what I expected, and yet a deliciously satisfying read.
I felt for Catherine, given up ( temporarily at least ) her career and dreams to help husband Terry follow his. They have an “open” marriage, a concept I know people have, but which I just can’t see as working well….don’t see how you keep emotions like jealousy out, that’s just a personal view of course. Neither have had another partner for years, but when she sees Geoffrey there’s something that sparks between them and she’s tempted. Terry seems to be always busy at work, their plans to do so much, visit the ruins and the Pyramids have fallen to nothing, he simply doesn’t have time. If they hadn’t a open marriage I’d see her giving in to her attraction to Geoffrey in a different light, but its happened before for them both so…. This time though she keeps it to herself. Why? Maybe she just doesn’t want to share it – I get the feeling she’s a bit disappointed in, resentful of Terry for giving up all their plans so easily, even though she understands the stresses he’s under. Maybe its the warnings from different sources about Geoffrey, nothing tangible, but a kind of air of mystery, of being involved in illegal or immoral dealings – no-one can really come up with any proof, but it seems few people actually like him. Catherine gets drawn in though, he tries to turn her away, but the pull between them is too much.
When we learn more about him its a really sad issue, and although he’s needed to do what he’s done I couldn’t help feeling really sorry for him. He didn’t choose it, has no way out, faces a dire future, and though he loves Catherine he knows what will happen if she stays.
Its a real pull at the emotions story, no HEA, one that really saddened me for both of them. There’s a lot of questions posed, a lot of moral and ethical dilemmas…I loved the setting too, I felt right there with them, hearing the muezzins calling people to prayer, the bustle and vivacity of the markets, the quiet solitude of the pyramids. Perfect setting for the air of mystery that pervades the whole book. Of course I love my HEA, but for Catherine and Geoffrey it simply isn’t possible.
Stars: Stars: Five, a great read, incredibly sad and moving.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers

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