Broken (LOST #1) by Cynthia Eden-a review

BROKEN (LOST #1) by Cynthia Eden-a review

Broken

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 31, 2015

The first novel in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s sizzling LOST series introduces the Last Option Search Team, an elite unit that must protect the only surviving victim of a serial killer.

Ex-SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer is accustomed to the unusual in his job. But when knockout Eve Gray steps into his office, he’s rattled. For the mysterious woman is a dead ringer for the heiress thought to be the latest prey of the serial killer who goes by the name Lady Killer.

When Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital, her past was a blank slate. Then she recognized her own face in the newspaper and vowed to learn the truth. Determined to confront the nightmares hidden in her mind, she never expects to find a partner in Gabe.

As Gabe and Eve work together, their explosive attraction becomes irresistible. Gabe knows that his desire for Eve is growing too strong, bordering on a dangerous obsession, but nothing pulls him away from her. And when another Eve lookalike disappears, Gabe vows to protect Eve at all costs. While Eve may have forgotten the killer in her past, it’s clear he hasn’t forgotten her.

•••••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: BROKEN is the first installment in Cynthia Eden’s adult, contemporary LOST romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women of LOST (Last Option Search Team). This is former Navy SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer, and artist/painter Eve Gray’s storyline.

Told from several third person perspectives the storyline follows Eve Gray as she endeavors to uncover her past, her memories, and truth about what happened years before. A tortured and concussed Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital with no memory and no idea what had happened; her only clue is a newspaper photo where a missing heiress who looks identical to Eve is said to be a victim of a serial murderer dubbed the Lady Killer. When the authorities refuse to believe her story, Eve seeks out the one person she hopes will help-Gabe Spencer-a virtual stranger but a man she knows will ‘find’ the truth. As Gabe begins to piece together what little information Eve can supply, our couple find themselves on Dauphin Island, Alabama where everyone knows Eve as Jessica Montgomery. What ensues is the unraveling of a suspense filled mystery, where a serial killer has targeted women who look exactly like the woman in question. As Eve’s memory returns, the killer strikes again leaving a path of clues in his wake. I guessed the identity of the killer almost immediately upon introduction although some readers may interpret differently the information and clues.

The relationship between Eve and Gabe is one of immediate attraction but Gabe refuses to become involved with his client-even a beautiful and broken client such as Eve Gray. When Gabe suspects that the killer is close, his only recourse is to keep Eve closer; so close that our couple with eventually act upon their mutual attraction and sexual desires. The $ex scenes are intimate, realistic and moving. There are no erotic, graphic depictions but there is some definite fire and heat.

The spirited secondary and supporting characters include the members and agents of LOST: ex FBI agent Dean Bannon, forensic specialist Victoria Palmer, psychiatrist and profiler Sarah Jacobs, and former detective Wade Monroe. We are introduced to the inhabitants of Dauphin Island including Jessica’s ex boyfriend police chief Trey Wallace, and her brother Pierce Montgomery. Many of the locals have a colorful history; Trey and Pierce are all too willing to reveal Jessica’s sordid past. Cynthia takes us into the mind of a killer: his thoughts, his desires, his need for revenge all the while he plans and searches for his next intended victim.

BROKEN is a story of suspense; a murder mystery where a series of missing and murdered women resemble the one who got away. Cynthia Eden writes with passion and imagination. Her characters are real; their emotions tangible; and their histories heartbreaking. BROKEN is a fantastic start to a new series.

Copy supplied by Edelweiss.

Reviewed by Sandy

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The Millionaire’s Forever by Sonya Weiss – Review and Interview with the Author

The Millionaire’s Forever by Sonya Weiss – Review and Interview with the Author

 

The Millionaire's ForeverAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM

Description:
There are two sides to every Gemini guy…and one of them is red-hot.

Olivia Carter has a handsome, millionaire boyfriend. She’s madly in love with him. The hitch? He doesn’t actually exist. She told the lie to save Forever, her wedding design shop. And it worked—almost too well. As the media attention increases, so do the demands for Olivia to produce her “boyfriend.” With both her reputation and career in jeopardy, Olivia is desperate enough to do almost anything…

Which is exactly what millionaire Mason Parker wants. Thanks to Olivia and her father, Mason went through hell during his teen years, and now it’s time for a little payback—starting with the announcement that he’s her one and only. Now the sexy Olivia has no choice but to do what Mason wants. But none of his plans for vengeance included falling in love with the woman he planned to ruin…

 

Review:

The Millionaire’s Forever by Sonya Weiss is the third installment in the Men of the Zodiac series.  As with the other two books, its cover is another eye-catching “wowzer.” That’s almost enough to keep me coming back for more. Each book in this series is a complete standalone with no relation to the others.

Since I’m not one who favors the retelling of a story by the reviewer, I will refrain from giving many storyline details. The synopsis for this book is sufficiently generous and intriguing enough that readers will get the gist and be hooked. I truly believe that a book is best enjoyed when a reader is allowed to experience all its surprises, twists and turns on their own.

My thoughts were running towards a light and fluffy read when I first approached this book. However, a very pleasant surprise awaited me. Although the story follows often used plots, this one took on a more serious tone with complicated issues to address. Add in a nicely balanced mix of sexy and smart, sassy quick-witted humor, along with captivating characters, and I quickly became emotionally invested not only in these characters, but found myself immersed in a story that was much more than I expected.

Nothing ever comes without a price and, like the old adage says, “you’ve gotta take the good with the bad.” So when Mr. “Bad,” who’s looking for revenge, walks through her door gorgeously dressed in a suit and tie, it could be a disaster in the making, or a fairytale dream come true, for the girl who told the little white lie!

Cash Mason Parker was her high school heartthrob; Olivia Carter was his forbidden fruit. He was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks with a reputation for being a troublemaker. Her father was the Chief of Police, who made it known in no uncertain terms that his “perfect” daughter was completely off limits to a guy like Mason Parker. No matter, there was still an ever-present attraction between them. And then one fateful night stole any chance they may have had for even a friendship between them – much less a serious relationship.

In the intervening years, both Olivia and Mason have faced adversity head-on to overcome major difficulties in their lives. Each has worked hard to become successful. These are two very proud, strong and determined characters. They are very likable both as individuals and as a couple, and I had no trouble cheering them on. Even years later, secrets and tangles from their past are yet to be unraveled. They are both struggling with loyalties to family and friends pulling each of them in different directions. But there still remains an intense connection between them that sparks an uncontrollable passion.   And those feelings might be the stronger force that wins in the end.

That magical formula for all those “feels” that romance lovers insist upon for a successful romance — heat, humor, and heart — was certainly present and packed with pure pleasure and indulgence. A well-crafted revenge trope, where one of our characters is determined to get revenge for being wronged in the past by the other, gave this story added intensity for a more notable read – and it just happens to be one of my favorites. Running alongside was also a forced “relationship of convenience” between Olivia and Mason that hoisted the level of tension, antagonism, friction, and passion another notch.

Readers will find some delightfully fun scenes between our main characters. One of my favorites is a baking escapade between Olivia and Mason when they set about to whip up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies. It takes baking to a whole ‘nother level as they join forces. The sassy and snarky banter leads to some rather sexy and sweet drool-worthy sizzle and burn, along with a burst of laughter.

Honestly, I wanted to love this book. At times I even felt it would be a 5-star read. It hooked me from page one setting my hopes high that I had struck gold, but as I read further the shine dimmed a shade. After starting with a slow strong build, the story slipped into a fast-paced rush to the finish line leaving some dangling ends behind. Suddenly, I’m looking at one of those situations where it could have/should have/would have been – if only.

The hero’s favored endearment for his lady love, “Sweet Olivia,” played repetitively and the cloyingly sweet overdose finally took its toll. Without a doubt, I love tender and loving nicknames but too much of a good thing ruins the overall effect and just becomes rote.

Another issue and probably the biggest where I’m concerned, is that the first time Mason and Olivia fall into bed together there’s no condom readily available. But that didn’t stop the fireworks from going off. Ignoring the fact that they haven’t seen or spoken to each other in years, they proceed with just verbal claims to one another that each is clean as a whistle and she, of course, gives a nod to the use of birth control pills. Sorry – this type of risky behavior just doesn’t play well with me.

There were several other places where I had a hard time stretching my imagination far enough to sink my teeth into falling hook, line and sinker for everything as the author presents it. There were some plot holes that dropped the story out of sync with reality. Mason’s strong need for revenge against Olivia’s father lost steam altogether and fell away without a clear resolution. A little more depth in the main characters’ earlier history screamed for more page time in my opinion. Some of the secondary cast, namely Olivia’s best friend Beth, as well as Mason’s three buddies, who shared in his quest for justice, deserved a little more fleshing-out to add some depth to that part of the story. I might have nudged myself once or twice as a reminder that this is, after all, fiction. Still yet, I found a lot to like.

For the most part, The Millionaire’s Forever is a well-edited and entertaining read that leads to a fairly predictable outcome. Readers will be happy to find that they are treated to a nicely wrapped happily-ever-after seven years down the road in an Epilogue that brings this standalone delightfully to an end.

Reviewed by Anne

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Interview

TRC: Hi Sonya and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulation on the release of THE MILLIONAIRE’S FOREVER.

Sonya WeissSonya: Thank you for having me, Sandy. It’s a pleasure to be here, and thank you!

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Sonya: I am constantly writing. I write to entertain myself and I always have a story circulating in my imagination. I can draw and always wanted to take art classes to help develop that, but never did. Maybe one day.

TRC: Many authors develop their love of writing at an early age. What or who was the catalyst that started you on the road to publication?

Sonya: I did develop a love of writing at an early age, but I kept it to myself. I wrote novels, short stories, fan fiction. I wrote constantly, even making up book blurbs for books I hadn’t even written yet, LOL. Then, I joined a group of writers online. This group had an e-zine. Someone suggested I submit a children’s short story I’d written to the e-zine. I did, never thinking it would sell, but to my surprise, it did. Then I won a Harlequin writing contest so I would say it was actually those two events.

TRC: If you had a choice, which career, other than writing, would you like to attempt?

Sonya: I’d either be a veterinarian or a doctor. Or an artist.

TRC: Your bio states that you are a ‘ghost writer’. Will you please explain to us what a ghost writer does and why?

Sonya: A ghost writer is a writer who writes something and doesn’t get the byline for that work. It can be any type of writing work. The why is because it can be fun, interesting, and most of it pays well. There are a lot of people who want to write but don’t think they have the time or the experience, so they’d rather pay someone else to do it.

The Millionaire's ForeverTRC: THE MILLIONAIRE’S FOREVER is your March 31, 2015 release. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Sonya: Mason Parker is a millionaire determined to get vengeance for what he suffered through as a teenager. Falling in love with the woman he believes is partly responsible for his suffering wasn’t part of his plan.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading roles in THE MILLIONAIRE’S FOREVER, which models or actors would match your ideal image?

Sonya: For Mason, it would be Chris Hemsworth with dark hair. For Olivia, it would be Reese Witherspoon.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story?

Sonya: I did a lot of research on juvenile detention facilities as well as research into speech affected by a stroke. I didn’t really have a lot of difficulties. Just things I had to keep checking to make sure they could actually happen.

TRC: Are the storyline characters based in reality or a culmination of fact and fiction?

Sonya: All the characters are a product of my imagination.

TRC: Cole and Jake are Mason’s best friends. What plans do you have for their continuing storylines? Will we read more about Mason and Olivia?

Sonya: I do plan a continuing storyline, even if it’s just for me and never sells. I already know Jake’s story. I don’t know yet if I’ll have more about Mason and Olivia.

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Sonya: I try to keep everything grounded in something that could actually happen.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Sonya: It depends on the character. Some characters will let me shape them while other characters will act in ways and speak in ways that I would never do. They’ll make decisions that are part of who they are and when I try to force these characters into a certain direction, they just won’t go.

Those are my favorite characters to write.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?

Sonya: Yes. It doesn’t influences the story direction or the characters, but rather helps the characters internal thoughts and feelings to be expressed easier. One of my favorite quotes about music is “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” ~Victor Hugo.

I have a playlist for The Millionaire’s Forever HERE

Song 1 is Mason’s, the second one is Olivia’s. Number 7 is when Mason realizes what he’s feeling and goes after Olivia.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Sonya: I think the writer has to go deep into the character and show the emotions and the imperfections just like people have. I think that experiencing emotions with a character go hand in hand with having felt those same emotions. We all know love, hate, fear, excitement, and so forth.

I don’t know about other writers, but I know where I’ve failed in that endeavor are the times I pull back because the emotion can sometimes be difficult to feel. For example, in the story, Olivia references her late mother and the the mother-daughter things they would never get to do together. I wept as soon as I reread what I’d written because my mother passed away. The realization hit me that the mother-daughter experiences were forever over for me.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Sonya: I hate writer’s block. For me, it’s usually linked to a story problem. Once I work through the problem, then I can move on. Or, I put it aside and go work on another story. What also helps when I feel blocked is brainstorming with other writers.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Sonya: I’m a big fan of movies, but don’t really like animated movies that well.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Sonya: I usually have more than one project going on. Right now, I’m working on a contemporary romance for The Stealing the Heart series. I’m also working on another young adult novel.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Sonya: If there’s anyone interested in writing either nonfiction or fiction and has some questions, they can feel free to contact me.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Sweet and sour chicken

Favorite Dessert: cheesecake

Favorite TV Show: One Tree Hill

Last Movie You Saw: If I Stay

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush: Chris Pine and Matthew Fox

Last Vacation Destination: the beach!

Do you have any pets? Always. I’m in the process of getting another dog.

Last book you read: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Pet Peeve: Mean people.

TRC: Thank you Sonya for taking the times to answer our questions. Congratulations on the new release and best of luck with your future storylines and release.

Sonya: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure!

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Holding Strong (Ultimate #2) by Lori Foster-a review

HOLDING STRONG (Ultimate #2) by Lori Foster-a review

Holding Strong

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About the book: Release Date March 31, 2015

An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster’s irresistible new novel
Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn’t share. That’s why he’s been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry’s about to need more than she knows…
Denver’s combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she’s been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can’t hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who’ll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she’ll trust him enough to let him…

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: HOLDING STRONG is the second full length installment in Lori Foster’s contemporary adult Ultimate romance series focusing on a group of MMA fighters and the women they love. This is heavy weight fighter Denver Lewis and Cherry Peyton’s storyline. Although HOLDING STRONG is the third storyline in the series it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous storylines is revealed where necessary.

Told from third person point of view, the focus of the storyline follows the push and pull of attraction and want between Denver Lewis and Cherry Peyton. Cherry is a new fan of the MMA, but more so a fan of Denver Lewis. Their attraction to one another does not go unnoticed by the other members of the fight club, but Denver continues to resist the allure of the woman who calls to his heart. When one too many men pay attention to Cherry’s innocent flirts, Denver knows that it is time to claim Cherry as his own.

Cherry has a dark and painful past; a past that demands something from Cherry that she is unable to give. Threats and dangerous situations will find Cherry under the protection of not only Denver but the other MMA fighters as well. The camararderie and friendships are tight; each member of the club supports, protects and has one another’s best interests at heart.

Denver’s past finds our hero estranged from his family. When his step mother places him in a precarious situation, Denver finds himself on the outside, without his father’s support and faith. Our hero is an alpha male; over protective when it comes to the woman he loves but in this, he is also aware, that her past has made threats and promises to make good.

The relationship between our couple is one of immediate attraction; a lust filled need between two people who have yet to give into the demands of their mutual desires. Denver and Cherry have been dancing around one another for quite a while, and Cherry demands to know if Denver has any interest or if it is better that she just walk away. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive but not overly erotic.

The secondary and supporting characters are very active throughout the story. The previous storylines couples are present including Gage and Harper/ Cannon and Yvette as well as the MMA fighters Stack and Armie whose own storylines are beginning to emerge. As Cannon and Yvette prepare for their upcoming nuptials, Denver and Cherry consider a more permanent relationship. Offers of something bigger and better will see one of the fighters pondering a move out of town and state.

HOLDING STRONG has a little bit of everything: sex, romance, intrigue, suspense and a quick dash of mystery. The writing style is simple; there are no difficult or complicated plot scenarios or twists. The characters are flawed but likeable; everyone needs a happily ever after.

READING ORDER

.5 Hard Knocks
1. No Limits
2. Holding Strong

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Love After All by Jaci Burton – Review & Giveaway

Love After All by Jaci Burton -Review & Giveaway

 

Love After All Banner

Love After All
Hope series – Book #4
by Jaci Burton
Release Date: March 31, 2015

Love After All

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository / BAM

Description:
High school math teacher Chelsea Gardner has the perfect plan. She’s tired of dating all the wrong men, and after years of frustration, she’s developed a foolproof list of requirements for finding “The One.”

Bar owner Sebastian “Bash” Palmer finds Chelsea beautiful, smart and fun, but he thinks her list is ridiculous and unnecessary. Intent on proving Chelsea is looking for love in all the wrong ways, he offers to help her find the “perfect” man.

Chelsea knows Bash isn’t the right guy for her—he barely meets one of her criteria—but there’s something about the charismatic man that has her yearning for things that are most definitely not list approved.

Because sometimes, a relationship that looks totally wrong on paper can turn out incredibly right…

 

Review:

Love After All by Jaci Burton is the 4th book in her wonderful Hope series. Chelsea Gardner is our heroine in this story, as it begins with her writing her list for finding the perfect man. Chelsea has not has success in meeting Mr. Right, and now she has set high standards for what she expects him to be. As she sits by the local bar, waiting for her friends. Bash Palmer, the owner of the bar, spies her writing something. Teasing her, he tries to find out what she is doing. But Chelsea doesn’t bite and hides the list. Of course, Bash being known as a womanizer and workaholic would automatically not meet Chelsea’s standards on her list. He is a friend within her group of friends, but the wrong man to date.

Bash does find and read the list, and decides to play along and help Chelsea find someone who would be meet her requirements. Chelsea’s friends, who are either married or engaged laugh at her list, not to mention they think Bash is great, and would be great for her.

What follows is a fun charming story of Chelsea dating different men, who meet what she is looking for, but there was no chemistry. While she continues to search, Bash and her become even better friends, with benefits. Bash is fun loving, handsome, sexy, and has no interest in any kind of permanent relationship, having had a bad experience in marriage. In a short time they start a sizzling relationship that is not meant to be anything more than fun and sexual. They had so much chemistry together, as it was off the wall. But both refused to look further then the fling they thought it was.

Their friends were the ones who saw what was happening between them, though they were stubborn and blind to their feelings. Chelsea at first was a little annoying with that list, but it was nice to watch her slowly fall hard for Bash, as no one she met was able to give her the feelings she had with Bash.

Bash knew early on how he also was falling in love with Chelsea, but his fears of anything more scares him. They both have a blast with each other, not to mention the flaming sex. When Chelsea acknowledges her feelings, it will be Bash who will panic and hurt her.

Will Bash and Chelsea overcome their issues? Will their friends help them see the light? You will have to read this fun story to find the answers. Love After All continues the trend of fun, hot sexy romances, friendships in Hope. I love the comradery between towns friends and family. You can’t go wrong reading anything by Jaci Burton.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

giveaway

Jaci & her Publisher are graciously offering a paper copy of Love After All to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Please LIKE us on TSU for an additional entry.

7. Follow Jaci Burton  on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open to US only

9. Giveaway runs from March 30 – April 3, 2015

 

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Cursed by Ice (Immortal Brothers 2) by Jacquelyn Frank-a review

CURSED BY ICE (Immortal Brothers 2) by Jacquelyn Frank-a review

Cursed by Ice

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 31, 2015

As punishment for plotting with his brothers to steal immortality, Garreth is suffering a freezing torment until the end of time. Again and again, his fierce fighter’s physique is frozen into a chiseled ice sculpture, his heart hardening like a diamond in his chest—only to thaw and resume the chilling torture. Until, like his older brother Dethan, he is offered a reprieve from a goddess—in exchange for his allegiance in a celestial civil war.

Garreth lives to fight and fights to live. But while laying siege to an embattled city, he finds another reason to go on—a beautiful warrior woman named Sarielle, who commands a mythic beast through a mysterious and powerful bond. Terrified of her strength, the city rulers have kept her captive, and now she refuses to submit to a new master. As Garreth seeks to unleash her passion and melt the icy resistance of her heart, will he become her ultimate salvation—or lead them both to greater destruction?

••••••••••••

REVIEW: CURSED BY ICE is the second installment in Jacquelyn Frank’s adult Immortal Brothers fantasy series focusing on four brothers cursed, by the gods and goddesses, in their search for immortality. This is Garreth and Sarielle’s storyline. Although CURSED BY ICE is the second in the series, it can be read as a stand alone but I suggest reading the series in order as background information and world building continues to develop throughout each successive storyline.

Two hundred years earlier, four brothers went in search of the waters of Immortality and upon the discovery drank from the forbidden streams. The gods and goddesses were angered and cursed each brother to suffer eternal damnation and pain. Garreth’s punishment was to suffer the endless cycle of freezing and defrosting, and the accompanying pain that follows. When Garreth’s brother Dethan ( CURSED BY FIRE book 1 ) found love and was forgiven, Garrett was released from bondage to take over the command of the army of the gods. Although free during the daylight hours, Garreth would return to the same suffering each sundown only to be granted the same freedom several hours later.

Weysa, the goddess of conflict, continues to demand obedience from Dethan and Garreth, and as such the brothers are commanded to continue their battle against an enemy of the gods. Conquering the city of Kith, the brothers discover a town dependent upon slavery and a woman who controls a dangerous beast. Enter Sarielle, a young woman who is soul-bonded to a wyvern and the woman who will melt Garreth’s frozen heart.

The slow building storyline is similar in context to Jacquelyn’s CURSED BY FIRE. Weysa, the goddess of conflict, has commanded Garreth to enter into battle and secure the outlying cities, towns and villages in her name. As it pertains to Garreth’s never ending curse, it was not as large of a plot point as was Dethan’s fiery burn in CURSED BY FIRE. Garreth’s nightly pain and suffering was almost an afterthought in the storyline. Sarielle, a former slave, will become Garreth’s captive; her soul-bond with the wyvern reveals an intimate connection at a physical and visceral level. Garreth is ever the protector; his attraction and need for Sarielle continues to build throughout the story. He is a cursed man, who has fallen in love, but knows that he will not claim Sarielle when he is tied to the gods for all time. The $ex scenes are intimate and revealing.

The secondary characters include Davine, a young house maiden who will both befriend and betray Garreth and Sarielle. Dethan, Garreth’s eldest brother, returns as Garreth’s companion in battle but also becomes Garreth’s greatest threat to his relationship with Sarielle. I had a difficult time liking Dethan in his own storyline CURSED BY FIRE because of his attitude and cold demeanor, and with Garreth’s tale my animosity towards Dethan increases with his ill-conceived notions about Sarielle and his brother. Dethan is a threat to his brother’s happiness and is determined to destroy Garreth’s relationship with Sarielle, hurting his own brother in the process.

Jacquelyn Frank’s mythological world building continues as the all powerful and all knowing gods and goddesses battle for the rights to control the humans, and in doing so, punish those responsible for defying the gods. As Garreth honors his debt to the goddess of conflict, yet another brother, will be freed from perpetual bondage only to return each evening to suffer the same fate as his brothers’ before. CURSED BY ICE introduces a series of mythological creatures including mages, wyverns, were-dragons and the Fae.

CURSED BY ICE is an interesting and detailed storyline of fantasy and myth, the supernatural, and a happily ever after-for now. As each brother is granted a temporary freedom to serve and protect, he will come face to face with his future in yet another battle to prove allegiance to the gods.

Copy supplied by Edelweiss.

Reviewed by Sandy

Series Spotlight

Cursed by Fire Feb 15CURSED BY FIRE
Immortal Brothers 1
by Jacquelyn Frank
Genre: fantasy, adult, paranormal, romance
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Amazon.com / Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: February 24, 2015

For centuries, Dethan has been trapped in a fiery inferno for defying the gods and snatching the power of immortality. Condemned to have his battle-hardened body licked by flames only to regenerate and be consumed all over again, Dethan has lost all hope—until the Goddess of Conflict appears. She will release him from torment—if he’ll use his power and strength as a warrior to raise an army and defeat a fierce enemy faction of gods.

Free to live as a man once again, Dethan meets Selinda—heir to the throne of Hexis—and his thoughts quickly turn from the conquest of cities to the conquest of this headstrong beauty. Betrothed to a cruel, calculating powermonger, Selinda needs a champion, and so Dethan enters into another bargain: If she will share her bed—and her body—with him, Dethan will save her city from destructive forces within and without. As the lovers ignite a searing passion, Dethan will risk all—even the wrath of the Goddess of Conflict—for a chance to make Selinda his forever.

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Echoes (Harp Security #1) by Laura K. Curtis-Review and Interview with the Author

ECHOES (Harp Security) by Laura K. Curtis-Review and Interview with the Author

Echoes

Amazon.com / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 17, 2015

Who is she?

A single photo of herself as an infant on a beach, taken before the date on her birth certificate, throws everything Calliope Pearson knows about herself into question. Hoping to find answers, she takes advantage of her job as a travel writer to make a reservation at the Caribbean island resort in the picture.

Resort security chief Mac Brody distrusts Callie on sight. After all, she looks exactly like his deceitful missing wife, Nikki, who owns half the resort. But when Nikki’s found dead, Mac’s facing murder charges, and he’s sure that Callie must hold the key to proving his innocence.

The deeper Callie and Mac dive into the mystery of her past, the more bodies surface. And they’ll have to learn to trust each other, or become victims of a dark danger neither could’ve imagined…

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: ECHOES is the first installment in Laura K. Curtis’s new, contemporary, adult Harp Security romantic suspense series. This is resort security chief and former police officer Mac Brody, and journalist/travel writer Calliope ‘Callie’ Pearson’s storyline.

Told from several third person perspectives, the storyline follows travel writer Callie Pearson to the Paradis Hotel in St. Martin, French West Indies, as she sets out to uncover the truth behind a picture she discovered following the death of her father. The image of Callie and her parents, taken in front of the Paradis Hotel, is dated prior to Callie’s birth and she has no memory of ever having vacationed on or visited the Caribbean Islands. What ensues is a case of false accusations, betrayal, heartbreak and murder.

Mac Brody’s wife, Nikki Lewis, is missing. A former soldier and police officer with the Atlanta Police Department, Mac is the current head of security at Paradis Hotel, and his wife (co owner of Paradis Hotel) has been missing for nine days. When Callie Pearson, a woman with a strikingly close resemblance to his wife, shows up at the same hotel where Mac is employed, suspicion begins to cloud everyone’s mind. A series of break-ins, thefts and attempts on Callie’s life will find Mac protecting the woman he knows nothing about. Enter Nikki’s brother John Lewis, local law enforcement, a family tree that continues to grow, and rumored connections to drugs and murder, and the storyline takes on a new direction.

The relationship between Callie and Mac begins acrimoniously. Mac does not trust Callie; her timing in regards to Nikki’s disappearance is suspect; and the numerous attacks directed at Callie all point to questionable probabilities. When Callie’s friends back home are targeted, Mac knows that Callie is as much a victim as everyone else. When the threats against Callie increase, Mac becomes Callie’s guardian and protector, leaving our couple together both day and night. The romance scenes are intimate and seductive; there is no erotic sexual imagery.

The secondary and supporting characters include a number of island employees as well as Nikki’s brother John. We are also introduced to Mac’s former army buddy Nash Harper, owner and head of Harp Security, as well as several members of the Harp Security family. There is some definite history between Mac and Nash, one that does not go unnoticed by Callie.

The world building follows a path of clues that lead to a series of connected murders and a psychotic killer. The Harp Security personnel are slowly revealed as well as Nash’s connections, available fire power, and the vehicles needed to transport his charges-all over the world. From exotic island locations to New York, and yachts on the sea, our couple will travel in style while the world around them slowly implodes. Mac will be offered a position within the firm-a position that places Mac closer to the woman with whom he has fallen in love.

ECHOES is a captivating and wonderful storyline of family secrets and dangerous pasts; a suspense-filled tale of one man’s obsession with perfection, and another man’s history of lies and deceit. There are moments of betrayal and pain; heartbreak and loss; revelations and a final resolve. Laura K Curtis will pull you into a family mystery where the sins of the father will be revealed one missing person and dead body-at a time.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview red:black

Laura K CurtisTRC: Hi Laura and welcome to The Reading Café

Follow: Website/Goodreads/Twitter/Blog

A little bit about Laura K Curtis: Laura K. Curtis does everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty.

Laura has taught middle school social studies, high school literature, and college-level rhetoric, all with relative success. She’s also a full-on Mac geek who spent years as a consultant and running an academic computing lab. The only thing she completely failed at in the field of education was attempting to teach obedience to her pack of Irish Terriers. Currently, she lives in Westchester, NY, with her husband and two insane Irish Terriers who have taught her how easily love can coincide with the desire to kill.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

Laura: Oh, so many people and things! Probably first and foremost the work of Mary Stewart. There was no romance section in the bookstore in the town where I grew up, so I didn’t realize there were books that focused on relationships. I found Stewart’s Gothics in the literature section after reading her Arthurian books, and I was hooked!

TRC: If you had a choice, which career, other than writing, would you like to attempt?

Laura: I’ve had a lot of careers over the years. I particularly enjoyed making and selling glass beads. I like things that make people happy.

EchoesTRC: ECHOES is the first installment in your new HARP SECURITY romantic suspense series. Would you please tell us something about the premise of the story line? The series?

Laura: In Echoes, you meet Callie Pearson. After her father’s death, she finds a picture of herself taken at an exotic resort as a baby. That wouldn’t be a big deal except that the date on the picture is *before* the date on her birth certificate and because her father, who documented everything in journals and pictures, never mentioned a trip to the island where the picture is taken. So she goes to the island of St. Martin in the French West Indies to investigate. When she gets there, she meets Mac Brody, whose wife, Nikki, is missing. Nikki bears and alarming resemblance to Callie so they team up to find out what the two mysteries they’re investigating may have to do with each other.

When Callie and Mac get in too much trouble for two people to handle, Mac gets in contact with a man he knows who runs a large paramilitary organization: Harp Security Enterprise. Mac doesn’t trust Nash Harper, but Harper has the resources they need.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Laura: Right now? Four. This one, Mind Games which comes out in November, then a story about one of the operatives, then a story about Nash Harper. And possibly a book about Travis, who you meet in this book as well.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters, which actors or models would best represent your ideal image?

Laura: That’s a tough one. I guess I imagine Mac as a Viggo Mortensen type in his dark-haired roles, like Lord of the Rings. Callie is an average girl looks-wise. Maybe Brittany Murphy?

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, military, background) did you encounter writing this particular story?

Laura: Oh, so many.

Luckily, research is my favorite thing, so finding out about everything was a lot of fun. I did change the geography of the island slightly to make it work for the story I wanted to tell, so there’s a disclaimer in the back.

TRC: Are the storyline characters based in reality or a culmination of fact and fiction?

Laura: A combination of fact and fiction. Mostly fiction

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Laura: Oh, that’s the fun part! This book definitely veers toward the unbelievable, but I hope it’s moving too fast for readers to care.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

Laura: I do, and I must admit that I wish this one reflected the contents a little better. But it hints at the contents, and that has to be enough. You don’t get a whole lot of input with a traditional publisher.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Laura: I create the characters, then set them loose to direct the plot.

TRC: Cliff hangers. Yes? No? Depends on the storyline?

Laura: No. Not a fan.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Laura: I think there are a number of ways to do this. The most obvious is to write in the first person. But a lot of it has to do with creating situations that will evoke the character’s emotions so that that we as readers can feel them. If the characters are too shallow, or we don’t relate to them, or we can’t see exactly what they feel, we won’t feel it either.

TRC: Is there a question that you would like to be asked in an interview, but nobody has asked? If so, ask away!

Laura: I can’t think of one!

TRC: What five things would you like to accomplish in the next ten years?

Laura: Settle the conflict in the Middle East? No? OK. Then make enough off my writing to pay my bills.

Toying With His AffectionsTRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Laura: I am pretty open, so most people know a great deal about me. Ask me anything!

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Laura: The next Harp Security book, Mind Games, that comes out in November. And also a contemporary romance, Gaming the System, which comes out this summer. (It’s a follow-up to Toying With His Affections.)

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Laura: I’d love to ask readers something–¦what they look for when they are considering whether to pick up a book buy an author unknown to them?

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food –cheese

Favorite Dessert- chocolate mousse

Favorite TV Show -Justified

Last Movie You Saw- Kingsman

Dark or Milk Chocolate –DARK!

Secret Celebrity Crush- Chris Evans

Last Vacation Destination -St. Martin

Do you have any pets? –2 Irish Terriers

Last book you read –Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Pet Peeve –I’m a grammar snob. Misuse of language is my pet peeve

Thank you Laura for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on your success and the release of ECHOES. We wish you all the best.

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The Millionaire’s Unexpected Proposal by Jane Peden-a review

THE MILLIONAIRE’S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL (Miami Lawyers Novel) by Jane Peden

The Millionaire's Unexpected proposal

Amazon.com / B&N /

ABOUT THE BOOK; Release Date March 31, 2015

His marriage of inconvenience…

Camilla Winthrop is about to do something she’s never done in her life—she’s about to ask a man to marry her. Not just any man. She hasn’t seen Sam Flanagan in almost five years, after he coldly walked away from a passionate and intense two-week affair. Now Camilla is widowed and desperate…and marrying Sam is the only way she can protect their son. The son he never knew about.

A hugely successful attorney in Miami, Sam certainly never expected to see the stunning Camilla come through his door again. Nor can he ignore the desire heating his blood. But after she tells him her situation, Sam is furious. He’ll marry her, but under his terms. And he’ll take everything, including Camilla in his bed…unless she can find a way to thaw the millionaire’s icy heart once more.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: THE MILLIONAIRE’S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL by Jane Peden is the first installment in the adult, contemporary Miami Lawyers erotic romance series. This is millionaire attorney Sam Flanagan and Camilla Winthrop’s storyline. After a two week passionate affair with a stranger in Las Vegas, Sam walks away without ever looking back. Fast forward five years and the woman he barely remembers walks back into his life with a proposal and their four year old son.

Told from third person perspective, the storyline follows Camilla’s conviction to protect her son by marrying the man she knows nothing about. When her ex in-laws force her hand after the death of her husband, Camilla must face the man who fathered her son-a man who believes Camilla is a gold digger; a whore who is determined to take everything he has. What ensues is Sam’s scheme to destroy Camilla by taking the one thing that means the most in the world-their son.

The relationship between Camilla and Sam is acrimonious. When Sam agrees to marry Camilla, against his law partner’s advice, he sets into motion a series of investigations that prove to Sam that what he believes about Camilla is true. He is determined to take back the son he knew nothing about and in the process, crush Camilla for the betrayal and heartbreak. In this, Sam is a difficult character to like. He is manipulative, cold and his heart is hardened to Camilla and the difficulties of her past. At times I felt there was nothing redeeming about a man who cannot see below the surface; who only hears what he wants to believe; who is resolved to annihilate his son’s mother. Meanwhile, he wants all of the benefits of married life. When the truth is finally revealed, Sam realizes that he has made the biggest mistake of his life.

The secondary characters include Sam’s law partners; Camilla’s half sister Olivia; her ex mother in law; and through a series of flashbacks and memories we get up close and personal with Camilla’s ex Danny.

THE MILLIONAIRE’S UNEXPECTED PROPOSAL is an interesting read. Jane Peden spins a tale of betrayal, heartbreak and rejection wherein the storyline hero is unlikeable with very few redeeming qualities. My hatred or hostility of Sam Flanagan continued to build as the storyline evolved. His one saving grace-Sam truly did love his son. The storyline ends on a happily ever after; the author did an amazing job fueling the animosity between this reader and her storyline hero.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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The Sin Trilogy by Georgia Cates-Series Review

The Sin Trilogy by Georgia Cates-Series Review

The Sin Trilogy

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A NECESSARY SIN
The Sin Trilogy #1
by Georgia Cates
Release Date: December 29, 2014
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic, romantic suspense

Amazon.com / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

A Necessary SinBleu MacAllister is consumed. A horrific childhood incident has caused every decision in her life to revolve around bringing a monster to justice. With years spent studying The Fellowship, an organized crime brotherhood of liars, thieves, and killers, Bleu will rely on her skills as a special agent to cut Thane Breckenridge off at the knees. But walking hand in hand with retribution means risking collateral damage, in the form of Breckenridge’s son Sinclair—until Sin becomes so much more than Bleu bargained for. She’s always known this undertaking would place her life in danger—she never imagined her heart would be as well.

••••••••••••

REVIEW: A NECESSARY SIN is the first installment in Georgia Cates’s adult, contemporary The Sin Trilogy erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on twenty five year old, former FBI Special Agent Bleu MacAllister, and heir to the Scottish Fellowship Crime syndicate twenty six year old Sinclair Breckenridge.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Bleu and Sin) the focus of the storyline is two fold: the building relationship between Bleu and Sinclair; and Bleu’s revenge for the murder of her mother. Eighteen years earlier, Bleu’s mother was murdered and a seven year old Bleu was left for dead-asphyxiated by a well dressed man with a Scottish brogue. Fast forward to present day and Bleu’s need to avenge her mother’s death has become all encompassing. In order to get near the man she hopes to kill, Bleu will have to seduce the son and make him believe that she is the woman of his dreams. Falling in love with the enemy was never in the plans. Bleu is ‘obsessed with finding her attacker’ and she will have to infiltrate the world of organized crime.

The relationship between Bleu and Sin is one of immediate attraction but Bleu is in Scotland to complete a job-kill Thane Breckenridge-the man she believes murdered her mother. Sinclair Breckinridge is a sexy, powerful, intelligent and dangerous man-the heir to the Fellowship Crime Syndicate and a man Bleu has been led to believe has no problems killing on demand. His attraction and need for Bleu finds Sinclair claiming Bleu as his own but in order to protect the woman with whom he has fallen in love, Sinclair must risk his own life at the hands of the people he calls family and friends. Both Sin and Bleu face both internal and personal conflicts. The sex scenes are erotic and sensual. There is plenty of sexual tension between our leading couple.

The secondary and supporting characters are an interesting mix of people with questionable pasts including Sinclair’s friends and fellow members of the Brotherhood (Leith, Jamie); former lovers; and Sinclair’s family (his father Thane, Uncle Abram , and mother Isobel) whose connection to Bleu’s mother’s death may not be everything Bleu has been led to believe. Bleu’s adopted father Harry MacAllister is a former FBI agent who has trained Bleu from an early age to protect and kill whenever necessary.

The world building takes the reader behind the scenes of a dark and dangerous crime syndicate where proving your worth means risking your life at the hands of those in charge. Trust must be earned through pain and blood; fidelity must be sworn with your life; no one is safe when betrayal is discovered. Outsiders are definitely not welcome.

There is some graphic violence and imagery but mostly implied behind the scenes. There is plenty of tension as the reader waits for Bleu’s true identity to be discovered. The plot takes an interesting twist when hints and clues are dropped about who may have been responsible for Bleu’s mother’s death. The storyline ends on a cliff hanger so be forewarned-you will want to read what happens next.

A NECESSARY SIN is an enjoyable and fascinating read; an interesting take on the mob; revenge; and betrayal but there is an important detail left out of the equation. It is never revealed (or at least I am unable to find the information) how Bleu knew the identity of the man who murdered her mother and left Bleu for dead. Also, it was too easy for Bleu to get ‘inside the mob’. For a secretive organization, too many people were willing to reveal too much information to a stranger they knew nothing about.

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THE NEXT SIN
The Sin Trilogy #2
by Georgia Cates
Release Date: February 9, 2015

Amazon.com / B&N / KOBO / The Book Depository

The Next SinABOUT THE BOOK: An epic tale of revenge and love in a new romantic trilogy from the New York Times best-selling author of The Beauty Series.

Bleu MacAllister is in hiding less than three months when Sinclair Breckenridge discovers her whereabouts. Her former lover, the future leader of a criminal organization known as The Fellowship, resists the tug of his heart heartstrings in her direction. Instead, he opts to watch over his beloved from afar. And she has no idea. But Sin’s sacrifice is short-lived. His bonny lass is a hunted traitor. He fears Abram’s assassins are closing in, leaving him with one solution for saving Bleu–make her his wife. Marriage seems an easy fix for their dilemma but wedded bliss is brief when the couple finds trouble lying in wait beyond the realm of the brotherhood. Will the original revenge seeker find herself the object of collateral damage?

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: THE NEXT SIN is the second installment in Georgia Cates contemporary, adult The Sin Trilogy erotic, romantic suspense series focusing on former FBI Special Agent Bleu MacAllister, and heir to the Fellowship Crime family Sinclair Breckenridge. Their continuing story commences approximately three months following the events of book one. Because this is a trilogy, the books should be read in order for cohesion, history and understanding.

NOTE: If you have not read the first book in the series, there may be some spoilers in my review.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Sin and Bleu) the storyline follows Sinclair’s need to protect the woman that he loves. After his uncle Abram uncovers the truth about Bleu’s identity, Sinclair’s only option is to send Bleu back to the United States lest she becomes the next victim of the Fellowship’s revenge. For close to three months Sin follows Bleu in order to protect her from his avenging uncle who will not stop until Bleu is dead. Sin’s only recourse is to marry Bleu and present her back to the Fellowship as his wife. Wives and family are off limits within the Brotherhood but they are not off limits to enemy crime families.

A major portion of THE NEXT SIN continues to focus on Bleu and Sin’s relationship from their very quick reconciliation to a newly married and their attempts to start a family. Georgia Cates takes the reader through Bleu and Sin’s struggles to conceive; and Bleu’s hunt for the person who destroyed her family and murdered her mother. As Bleu begins to strike suspects off her list, one very familiar name continues to top her very personal investigation. The sex scenes are frequent, intimate and intense. Sin is a man possessed by the woman that he loves but discovers that the Fellowship is beginning to take up more of his time than his new wife wants.

The secondary characters continue to play an active role throughout the storyline including Sin’s uncle Abram who has targeted Bleu for her initial betrayal and lies to the Fellowship and Sin. Uncle Abram knows more than he is letting on. Sin’s mother Isobel becomes very maternal; his father Thane welcomes his new daughter in law into the family but all is not right with the Brotherhood-Bleu may be protected but that isn’t stopping the attempts to threaten her into submission.

The violence, is once again, limited to behind the scenes where the aftermath plays a role in the Fellowship’s retaliation and revenge. Towards the end of this installment, the drama begins to unfold as we watch Bleu and Sin’s world begin to fall apart. Their newly wedded bliss is short lived and constantly threatened from outside and from within.

There are some issues of character perspective and points of view throughout the storyline. The alternating first person points of view were offset with third person POV, sometimes within the same paragraph or sentence. It was a little disconcerting with the shift between perspectives especially when it was not intentional or part of the set up. The POV issue affected the smooth flow of the storyline. I purchased my copy of THE NEXT SIN; I did not receive an ARC therefore the issues within the novel were not corrected prior to release.

THE NEXT SIN is a storyline that focuses on revenge, betrayal, family and love. There is passion, romance, seduction and breathtaking intimacy. We are witness destruction and death among the Brotherhood, as well as retaliation for a killing that was never meant to be.

Georgia Cates pulls the reader into a suspense filled storyline where we are constantly waiting for the ‘proverbial shoe to fall’. No one is safe; everyone is suspect; and the newest member of the Breckenridge family has become a pawn in a war between crime families, and a battle for control of the Fellowship.

_________________

ONE LAST SIN
The Sin Trilogy 3
by Georgia Cates
Release Date: March 23, 2015

Amazon.com / B&N / KOBO /

One Last SinABOUT THE BOOK: Bleu MacAllister’s fate lies in the hands of the enemy. Complicated circumstances have rendered her helpless to escape their clutches so she must await rescue by her less than lily-white knight. All is right again when she’s back in the arms of the man she loves until long buried secrets are unearthed. With them, Bleu finally discovers her mother’s killer along with far more than she could possibly imagine. Can she find happiness with a husband who will go to any length to keep her safe, even if it means denying her of the one thing she believes she wants most in this world?

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: ONE LAST SIN is the third and final installment in Georgia Cates’s adult, contemporary The Sin Trilogy erotic romance series focusing on former FBI Special Agent Bleu MacAllister (now Bleu Breckenridge), and heir to the Scottish Fellowship Crime syndicate Sinclair Breckenridge. As Bleu continues her search for the person responsible for her mother’s murder, Sinclair takes official control of the crime family he was born to lead. Once again, because this is a trilogy, the books should be read in order. The first two installments end on a cliff hanger.

NOTE: If you have not read the previous installments, there may be some spoilers in my review.

Told from alternating first person points of view (Bleu and Sin) the focus of the storyline follows Sinclair Breckenridge as he searches for his missing wife. As two warring Scottish mob families fight for control, a pregnant Bleu Breckenridge becomes a pawn; imprisoned by The Order while her husband struggles to free himself from jail. Upon Bleu’s rescue, Sin will assert his power and leadership, letting The Order know who is in control. Unbeknownst to Bleu, her younger sister arrives for a long term visit-the sister who is completely oblivious to Bleu’s original plan and her connections to the Scottish mob. As Blue and Sin tread lightly around Bleu’s sister, the ‘family’ makes preparations for an upcoming war.

The relationship between Bleu and Sin continues to be loving and protective. The Order has decried revenge for the death of their heir, and has set their sights on destroying the Scottish Fellowship Crime syndicate by targeting Bleu and Sin. Sin’s uncle Abram continues his plans to destroy Bleu and places his nephew in a position from which there is no return. Someone will die; and a family will mourn.

All of the supporting characters return from the previous installments wherein a number of secondary storylines play out to resolution while one in particular has yet to be resolved. Sin’s former best friend Leith destroys any hope for a happily ever after with the woman that he loves breaking Lorna’s heart and spirit in the process- I suspect a spin off series is on the horizon. There is also a slight cross over connection between Georgia Cates’s BEAUTY series with a reference to the fictional country band Southern Ophelia.

There is one issue I would like to address from ONE LAST SIN and the Sin Trilogy as a whole. A majority of the storyline action and focus from Sinclair’s POV including mob business, revenge, betrayal, violence and retribution takes place ‘behind the scenes’. The reader is excluded and never privy to many details – and in this I felt left out; forgotten; and overlooked. I had a similar issue with the author’s BEAUTY series wherein some of the troubles surfacing for Jack McLaughlin never completely came to the reader’s attention. I understand the romantic focus is on the leading couple, but much of what transpired in the background directly affected the storyline premise and it is the small details that add color and excitement. Most of the violence and graphic imagery is implied and left to the reader’s imagination.

ONE LAST SIN is an entertaining and engaging story; The Sin Trilogy will captivate and delight with its’ charismatic leading hero and the woman that he loves. There are moments of betrayal and revenge; heartbreak and pain; drama and passion wherein family is not always about blood but about the people who love you at the end of the day.

Reviewed by Sandy

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