Double Down, Alessandra Torre
Genre: Erotica, romance
Having just finished book one I dived quickly into this. The last ended on a real cliffhanger, but everything changes when we start book two.
I wondered how Alessandra was going to work things out to give Dario and Bell a HEA, and just couldn’t see how they could avoid either the killer, Gwen’s father or the police. Its one of those stories where We know they didn’t do it but will that matter to the cops, will one of them get blamed for Gwen’s death? After all we know her father has half the local force in his pay.
Its a roller-coaster follow-up, where I wanted to scream at them for what looked a bit like complacency at one point. We know the danger is still there, and Dario is still heavy on the security but Bell is chafing at the restrictions. It brings a question up for Bell, can she live like this, Dario is always going to be vulnerable now people know how he feels about Bell, and she isn’t sure she can live with a constant shadow. Still, for them sex heals, sex talks, sex bridges all the gaps and there are plenty of Alessandra’s trademark erotic encounters.
I love the way they talk through their feelings of guilt. Its understandable, we all think “if only I…” when things go wrong but neither of them are to blame, its the person with the gun that’s wrong, not them, they aren’t accountable for another’s actions. Thankfully Dario has deep pockets as they need it in this book to avoid getting caught unfairly.
Fantastic read, had me wondering “how will/why don’t they/what about….?” and struggling for answers. I was surprised, and then surprised again and of course like most of Alessandra’s reads its not just a one plot book, but has a solid second strand that becomes joined to the first, and gave me lots to try to work out.
Fantastic ending but….I can’t help wondering about that one loose end 😉
Stars:Five, fantastic read, excitement, drama, hot and erotic encounters, great characters. Some breath stealing suspense, that left me floundering to work out just how it could all wrap up and give Dario and Bell a HEA. Thankfully they do get one.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and Publishers
Even Money, Alessandra Torre
Genre: Erotica, romance
Alessandra’s writing is perfect for me, solid plots and excitement, real feeling people I can like – or dislike, books need those too, plenty of drama, angst, steamy, erotic encounters and loads of emotions.
So I went into this one eagerly and wasn’t disappointed, its got all of that and more. What I hate in a book though is a cliffhanger and this is a real doozy….BUT thankfully book two is only a week or two away. I can live with that, its when it happens in a book and the next isn’t due for 12 or 18 months, or even longer….( of course I’m lucky enough to have got an ARC for that on my kindle, but I’m writing there as a standard reader, about how frustrating it can be when the next book is so far away)
Bell’s a cocktail waitress in a “neutral zone “ casino, one where the other casino owners come to play. Its owned by two men who have become really good friends of hers, the kind who will – as the saying goes – help you hide a body without asking questions.
I like Bell, just wants to get through school, enjoy life and live and do her best to be independent. She’s had a tough background, some awful events in it and yet is strong, determined to live a better life.
Dario – I wasn’t sure of him at first, he seemed arrogant and one of those snap his fingers and demand instant obedience types. As we get to know him though I liked him more, he’s like Bell in that he too comes from a non moneyed background, but he’s talented, worked hard and married well financially, and is now in a strong position. Despite all that his hands are still tied in a way, his wife’s father, what an awful man, totally immoral, money is God type, and Dario and Gwen are tied tightly to him. Independence is close but they’re not there yet.
Gwen, Dario’s wife, is mostly a background figure. They married for complex reasons, live separate lives in many ways though they live together, and have a close respect and friendship with each other. So when he tells Bell Gwen knows and is OK with him having other women, he is actually telling the truth, not spinning a well worn line.
Of course life isn’t smooth, even though her bosses warn her about Dario, even though she knows he takes and drops women when the next comes along, even though she promised herself she’d never get entangled with a man like him she’s drawn to him, some undeniable thread pulling them together. Dario can feel it too, this connection that keeps him coming back when he Never chases, Never pursues women. There are too many ready and willing for him to have to do that.
Of course true love never runs smooth, and despite all the signs and self imposed blocks they do get together, then the fireworks start, ending with that astonishing cliffhanger.
I was desperate to read book two, and have it on my kindle so I did just have to take a sneak at the start to see how that cliffhanger moved forward….but didn’t let myself read more until I’d written this.
Its hard for me to write a review if I’ve read both books, trying to recall what was in book two not book one so I was disciplined! I was almost tempted to get up in the early hours and write though.
Stars:Five, fantastic read, excitement, drama, hot and erotic encounters, great characters. This book is a perfect read for those who want a solid romance with some real adventure. No sweet and cute folk here, no fluffy feeling scenes, no “heart warming” sections, heart rending maybe 😉 I will be eagerly reading book two today!
ARC supplied by Netgalley and Publishers
Hidden Seams, Alessandra Torre
Genre: Romance, Erotica
I’ve read quiet a few AT stories now and love her writing style. She doesn’t dumb down novels, but has a rich linguistic style and plots that are at times quite complex. That makes for an absorbing story for me, and the type I love to get lost in, taken away to someone else’s life!
I wasn’t sure what it was Avery was doing for work at first. I get the idea of how she is providing work for the girls, helping them build a new life without getting sucked into the underbelly of crime that their position often brings, but the logistics of it, the money laundering etc I just didn’t understand…but that didn’t matter, it provided a plausible framework for what she was doing. I felt for her childhood, a difficult situation and one that’s left a lasting effect on her.
Then there’s Marco, lived a very open, very public, very deliberate lie for a decade, now everything is coming to him but Avery threatens that. He was a jerk to her, but then she’d caught him unexpectedly and I could see why he distrusted her. He wanted to protect Vince’s memory too, and Avery’s appearance could tarnish that indelibly so I did see why he was so awful to her.
The sensuality between them though was incredible, tangible right from the first meet. The encounters were perfect examples of Alessandra’s ability to write hot and erotic sex, without subjecting the reader to page after page after page of the same words and actions. So many “erotic” novels do that, constant bland and repetitive sex scenes held together by the thinnest of story-lines, but Alessandra’s stories are not like that. She has the perfect solid, intense stories, plots that hold hidden surprises, with carefully spaced sensual sex scenes. That works so much better for me, makes for a far more interesting read. I like reading well written sex, but for me the story always has to come first.
I didn’t foresee how this would all play out, just had the “whichever way it goes one of them loses” mentality, and couldn’t see how they could have a relationship. However it wraps up so perfectly in a way I simply hadn’t considered, ties in all the loose ends and makes everything going forward work so well.
The only failure for me in this story, which drops the half star is that I have a love for angst, for that point towards the end when the couple fall apart, when its all lost, and looks like the romance is off. There were a couple of shaky moments, but no real pressing issues to cause that and for me it makes the story just that little bit less.
Stars: Four and a half, excellent read, erotic sex without being overdone, and a solid story-line backing it.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Black Lies, Alessandra Torre
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I’ve loved some of Alessandra’s other novels so was excited to see this but…I was also really concerned over whether I’d like Layana. I need to be able to empathise with the main characters, and Brant sounded lovely but Layana? well…it looks as if she’s cheating and I’m really not a fan of that.
Still, in her usual way Alessandra makes me feel for the characters I doubt I’ll like. I loved Brant and Layana to begin, and then Lee entered the picture and I almost stopped reading. I just couldn’t understand how Layana could do this. It seemed so out of character, plus of course it was so clear that she loved Brant….but there’s more behind the obvious story, and once again my perceptions were challenged, my views turned upside down and I realised I was judging without full facts.
Its hard to say too much here without giving anything away, but its a book that took me totally by surprise, I certainly didn’t see what was going to be revealed. Its a terrific read, full of drama and emotion and of course some steamy, sensual, erotic love scenes.As Layana says we’ve no idea what her love entails, nor the things she’ll do to keep it. Of course I love a good bitch and Brant’s controlling aunt provided that. Like Layana I didn’t like her right from the beginning…and I love to get a character that makes me feel that way. I enjoy good characters, ones I can feel for, but someone “bad”, a real bitchy type adds another dimension to the story for me.
Its a very original premise, certainly I’ve not read one like this before, and as Alessandra says, she has taken some licence with facts. Sometimes fiction demands that, if proper facts were used then the story may become bland and uninspiring, but so long as authors say what they’ve done I’ve no problems with stretching the truth and reality.
Stars: Five – a wonderful book, and when I think I almost gave up on it – arggh, what I would have missed.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I love Nalini’s Guildhunter series, so when i saw this I wanted to see how she treats contemporary romance.
So, what did I think? well, Fox is a real star in all ways, both by profession as a top rock star, and by his treatment of Molly. He’s got his own demons from his past to deal with, abandoned by his mother at a young age then sent to boarding school so he was out of her way. Its left him with a distrust of “love” and until now he’s just been careful and wary in relationships. Molly though – soon as he sees her she sparks something in him. She too has her demons from her teens when her father, a strong Family Values Politician was caught out with a teen her age – just 15…and the resulting drama from the press put the final nail on her family life. She’s avoided anything resembling the spotlight ever since, tailoring her life and work to keep well away from anything resembling scandal. Fox though…she’s a real pull to him from the start, and when he proposes a one month fling while he’s staying locally and can keep away from the press she decides it’s time for some fun.
And do they have fun!! Oh yes, and soon the whole band are in love with Molly, she’s become a sort of mother figure to them. She’s so good natured she provides the link they need, away from all the false promises. She doesn’t want anything from Fox and that’s so different to all the usual crew wanting recommendations, discs passing on, names putting forward to producers etc or simply just enjoying expensive presents. Molly doesn’t want any of that – just Fox, just the man himself, his time and person, no extras..and it takes him time to accept it.
Its a real love story between two people with scarred pasts who are treading cautiously, and at times the anger from the past spills over and affects their relationship. I enjoyed this novel very much, great characters, real world building and I felt as if i was there with them. I would have liked a bit more of the “down” drama, the bits there were just acted as minor speed humps in road map of their relationship, when i want a huge roadblock – and then it’s so good when they are past it. As it was it was lots of happy with some down hiccups…I do want to see what happens with her sister though – and Charlie and the T-Rex!!
Stars: Four and a half, a fun, sexy read. That extra bit of drama would have made that a five from me.
ARC supplied via Netgalley
End of the Innocence (Innocence #3) Alessandra Torre
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
So, I started with Brad’s book in The Diary of Brad de Luca, before reading any of the other books and that was a mistake. I’d loved Alessandra’s Dumont Diaries though, so tried out the first of this trilogy and was hooked…and the Diary made much more sense. And yes, just like Julia I fell in love with the arrogant Alpha man that was Brad. So getting the final part of the story was welcome, and yet… I’m always sad to say goodbye at the end of a good book or series. Thankfully though I’m one of those people who can read and reread favourites, and this quartet will certainly join my keepers file for that.
Its the same excellent quality of writing we’ve come to expect from Alessandra, sex scenes that go beyond page after page of stripping off and a quick bang against the wall/door/floor as we so often get. Alessandra’s scenes last for pages, building up the intensity and drama, making the reader wonder what’s coming next, and adding in things that turn it from just sex into an exciting and sensual adventure. The story too devolved from the typical romantic trilogy, into one with an element of thriller about it that shows the machinations of Brad so well. I couldn’t believe how much he’d changed after he met Julia – nor it seems could his friends, family and work colleagues! From being a one and done type man, no expectations, no complications he’s become smitten with Julia, romance pours out from him now, he wants her in his life forever, and will do anything to keep her safe. With a family like his though with its strong Mafia type influence that’s difficult, even though he turned away from that side many years ago. Julia too has changed, gone is the slightly shy, innocent girl that joined the firm as an intern and she’s become a confident and sexy young woman, who’ll do anything for Brad as she loves him deeply. There’s a shadow from her past that creeps into this book though and that she needs to deal with.
Its a riveting, erotic read once again, full of surprises to keep reader on their toes. Its full of sensuality, hot, erotic sex, drama and tears, laughter and happiness, all the deep emotions I need in my reading. Its got an ending that’s just perfect in my view but if you want a little more from Brad and Julia, and a peep into their future, Alessandra has put a few more pages of an epilogue on her website which really finished things for me and made me happy 🙂
Stars: five., a great sensual, erotic read.
ARC supplied via Book Enthusiast Promotions
I felt Brad’s hand move, tugging on my chair and pulling me close to him. He captured my face in his hands, his eyes examining my features. “I love you so much,” he murmured, his eyes moving over and focusing on my lips before he tugged me to him, taking ownership of my mouth with a few soft swipes of his tongue. I opened my lips further, deepening the contact, my hands stealing into his hair. I broke the kiss, pushing my chair back and standing, moving closer to him and spreading his knees with my legs. He slid deeper in the chair, reclining back against the soft leather, gazing up at me with a latent dominance of the nothing-but-trouble variety. I grinned playfully down at him, and slid one strap, then the other, of my dress down, dragging the fabric until my bare breasts were exposed, lit softly by the blue-gray lights of the room.
He groaned softly, a guttural sound, and stared into my eyes, tightening his knees against my legs. “Come here.”
I shook my head and knelt, running my hands softly up his dress pants, past his muscular thighs, until I reached his belt. He watched me, his eyes darkening and he leaned forward suddenly, snagging my chin and pulling it up, his eyes grabbing me possessively before kissing me hard, a deep kiss that reclaimed his power before he released me, leaning back and watching me.
“Do you always have to be in control, Mr. De Luca?” I purred the words, unbuckling his belt with one motion, then rubbed my hand over the zipper line, feeling the outline of his cock underneath the fabric, the shape of him hardening under my fingers. He didn’t answer, his eyes locked on mine, dark orbs of sexuality. I suddenly needed to see him, needed to have his bare skin in my hand, to feel the throb of what was mine. I looked away from his eyes, focusing, and unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. Then, he was in my hand, an impossibly thick, hard shaft, the skin hot beneath my palm. I stroked it, the firm grip eliciting an intake of Brad’s breath.
“Put it in your mouth.” The order came through in a drugged tone, desire glowing at me from under heavy eyelids.
I shook my head, increasing the speed of my stroke as I watched him. He frowned slightly, lifting his hips a bit, bringing the nine inches of insanity closer to my face. I spoke, my tone a mixture of dominance and bite. “What is your plan with the girl?”
He sat up slightly, his eyes opening more, and watching me carefully. “What girl?”
“The stripper. The one you fucked last time you were here.”
“I thought that didn’t bother you.”
I hissed. “It didn’t bother me last time. Things are different now. Are you going to talk to her?”
“I feel like this is a test of some sort …” he mumbled. His breath hitched a bit as I squeezed his cock, loving the feel of complete stiffness in my hands. “What is you want, Julia?”
I ran my tongue lightly, teasingly, over the top of his head, taking it into my mouth for one brief moment before I pulled off, my hands never pausing in their movement, a quick pace that traveled his entire length with every stroke. “I want you to handle it,” I said firmly. “I want her to understand that you will never have sex with her again.”
“Never?” I released him, the sudden departure causing his eyes to open and a frown to settle over his features. “I’m joking. Don’t stop.”
I resumed my movement, my free hand gathering his heavy balls in my hand, squeezing him softly as I stroked his length with a firm hand.
“Come here,” he said, sitting up and pulling on my arms.
“No.” I fixed him with my sternest look, my hand increasing in speed.
“Julia, come here. I want to talk to you about this without being tongue-tied by your hands on my cock.” He pulled harder, his strong arms lifting me easily onto his lap, despite my best attempt at resistance.
Sitting on his lap created a new set of problems. Mainly him, standing at attention against my thighs. I sat sideways on his lap and spread my knees slightly, my hand stealing in between my legs to grab him.
Masked Innocence. Alessandra Torre
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
I love well written erotica, that which has a good supporting story. I’d read The Diary of Brad De Luca before part one, Blindfolded Innocence, and at the time as I’d got an ARC I’d not seen the current warnings to read this first. I really didn’t understand it but loved Alessandra’s writing style, so requested this and bought Blindfolded Innocence, its only 59p for 304 hot, sensual, well written and exciting pages and it makes Brad’s diary so much more understandable. So much so that I’ve edited my original review to reflect that.
Anyway, after finishing book one I got straight on to this – that the way I really enjoy these sorts of novels, when I can read them back to back. Sadly part three isn’t out yet – March 25th. After the ending of Blindfolded I thought I knew which way the story would go, I was right – and then again I was wrong… It started as I’d thought, then veered off in a direction that totally confused me. I really didn’t see that coming, and that was perfect. I love books to take an unexpected journey, it makes wondering what’s next a real pleasure. Brad really shone here. I’d thought his serial womanising/swinging needs would cause problems – Julia seemed like she was going top be OK with it, but I’m not sure that the reality would be as she expected. Then that detour started, and it became a trip into danger, with Julia’s life at stake! Along the way though there’s plenty of Brad’s typical hot, erotic sex don’t worry 😉 Some of his secrets from his past come out – that man seems to have many, and I doubt this’ll be the last, though I’m sure the largest one….and the ending, I understood where Julia was coming from with her uncertainties and it was just perfect, Spot on for me in how I’d expect both characters to react.
Great book, now I’m desperate for part three. THE END OF THE INNOCENCE will be out March 25th according to Alessandra’s blog, can’t come soon enough 🙂 and its a series that I know will be re reading so will join my keepers file! This book is priced at £5.59 on the pre order page and Goodreads says its 300 pages. That feels about right, its a decently long read, packed with action.
Stars: cracking read – full five.
ARC supplied by Netgalley
Gorgeous, sexy, and feral, the closer we came to the party, the more intense Brad’s eyes became. He was aroused, I realized. He had taken only one item from Carlos, a black executioner’s hood. I was both scared and excited to see what it would look like on.
We got in the car and I waited till the driver shut the door before I turned to him. “I-”
His mouth was on me before I got the second word out. He cupped my chin in his hand and took my mouth with his. He pulled hard on my neck and I leaned forward, his other hand grabbing to pull me on his lap. I straddled him, grinding against his crotch while we kissed. His hands gripped my ass and then traveled in between my legs, and he pulled away from my mouth with a sexy scowl when he felt my panties.
“What’s this?” he murmured, sliding a finger underneath my thong and dipping inside me, causing my eyes to close and my breath to hitch.
“I think they’re called panties,” I whispered, pushing against his hand, wanting more than his finger inside of me.
“You are already wet…” he breathed in wonder, sliding a second finger in with the first, stretching my pussy tight around his digits and moving them together in wonderful unison.
I groaned and ground against him, and he slowly withdrew his fingers, sliding his wet fingers over my clit and then away, and my eyes popped open, missing the pleasure. I pouted down at him.
“I want to keep you hot for the party,” he said gruffly. He looked up at me, smiling in the darkness. “You look so different.”
I tilted my head, grinning. “Good different?”
“I like the normal you better. This is good though, makes me feel like I’m with a strange woman.”
I bit my lip and looked at him deviously. “Strange woman can be bad.”
“I like bad,” he whispered, and I felt his fingers brush my sensitive skin, once again tugging at the lace of my thong.
The Diary of Brad De Luca. Blindfolded Innocence series 1.5 Alessandra Torre
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
I liked the synopsis for this, but couldn’t find any info anywhere so decided I’d go for it anyway. I made a mistake though…its one of the sort of books I don’t like. Love the subject. Love Alessandra’s writing style but…this wasn’t a book. It’s a short. A novella. It’s a companion piece to Blindfolded innocence, and its Brad’s thoughts on the start of his affair with intern Julia.
The attraction between them is instant, she knows what he’s like, his reputation for using women precedes him, he’s been warned by the other partners to keep away from the interns, but the two of them have a simmering, sensual attraction that they can’t seem to deny. Its a backwards and forwards motion, with them going to Vegas, but Brad backs off, then when they’re back he’s warning off potential boyfriends. To be honest I found the whole thing very confusing, and I guess if I’d read Blindfolded Innocence maybe I’d have understood more. As it was I felt I’d had my appetite whetted then nothing much was delivered 😦
I’m not a fan of novellas or books delivered via short instalments, and I’m not really sure of the purpose of this book. I don’t have length or pricing information so I can’t comment on that, except to say this was a very short read, around twenty minutes. Tp me it seemed to be to be purposeless and direction-less, I was just really confused, though I liked the premise, and would love to read the other book Blindfolded Innocence. Overall I’d say I didn’t like the length or the way its just a sort of motiveless snippet, but I did love the idea/plot of the book, and enjoyed the writing style. My stars therefore are on this book only, not the quality of the writing or the subject – simply the way its delivered.
Edit: I’ve since read parts one and two of this series and it makes so much more sense now. When I requested this as an ARC there wasn’t much info, and now I see the description includes recomendation to read part one first. Thats good, as then its a so much better read. I’ve now re read it and would rate it four stars. Love part one too, and am currently reviewing masked innocnce, part two in the sereis with part three due soon I hope 🙂