Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde #Review

Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde #Review

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Reaper’s Stand by Joanna Wylde #Review

Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde

five-stars
Reapers MC #4
Published by: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated on October 7, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Joanna Wylde:  You made me smile, cringe, and cry.  I snuck in reading pages at work at sat in my car in the garage to finish reading Reaper’s Stand. At this point in the series, I’m looking forward to continuing a long-term book-lationship with you and the rest of the characters in the Reaper’s MC.

Review:
Reese “Picnic” Hayes is the President of the Reapers Motorcycle Club (MC).  His beloved wife died of cancer several years ago, leaving him with two daughters who are now grown up.  He’s been getting his ‘physical needs’ met by whatever “club whore” catches his eye because he’ll never replace his Old Lady.  He’s got the new cleaning lady in his sights, though, and he can’t stop thinking about her.  Problem is, he needs to stop thinking about her and concentrate on club matters because the Cartel is trying to move in on the Reaper’s turf.

London Armstong is a strong, self-reliant woman who runs her own cleaning business.  She also raised her drug-addicted cousin’s 18yo daughter, Jessica.  When Jessica runs off to a Reapers MC party, London goes to see Picnic to try to get her out of the party.  This puts London in the position of owing Picnic a favor, and he’s going to take full advantage.

Life is not going to make things easy though, and when Jessica gets caught up in some real trouble, London panics and tries to handle it herself, with deadly consequences…

~~~~~

If you can’t tell from my PJV Quickie, I loved Reaper’s Stand, which is funny because I was not too excited about Picnic’s book.  I don’t know why his story didn’t really appeal to me, but I can emphatically admit I was wrong, his story was sensational!    Ms. Wylde intertwines several storylines in a believable way that kept me reading ahead to see what was going to happen next.  The language is raw and the sex is graphic, but when I’m reading about an outlaw MC that’s just the way I like it.

Picnic is not a pushover and there are some scenes that made me cringe, but if Ms. Wylde had written him any other way it wouldn’t have been Picnic.  London also made some decisions I disagreed with, but once I remembered she wasn’t used to relying on anyone else for help, they made a little more sense from her point of view.  Picnic and London are fabulous together, even more so because they really had to work for it.

I am happy to say that we get to revisit characters from previous books; there are changes, some major heartbreak, and hope. There are also several characters that I’m hoping will get their own stories – write faster, Ms. Wylde, write faster!!! (kiddingnotkidding)

Recommendations:
If you’re a fan of MC romance and you haven’t picked up this series yet: What are you waiting for? This is probably my favorite MC series out there, and it keeps getting better!

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Only by HelenKay Dimon #Review

Only by HelenKay Dimon #Review

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Only by HelenKay Dimon #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: I did not realize going in that this was the 2nd book in the series, so for most of the book I felt a bit lost about character histories and motivations. I think if I had read the 1st book, Mercy, I would have enjoyed it much more.

Review:
Sebastian “Bastian” Jameson is a high-powered attorney who’s recently suffered a very public divorce.  After their divorce, his ex-wife wrote a sex manual about having threesomes that has hounded Bastian’s personal and public life since it was published.  He’s surrounded himself with a loyal group of friends and associates who happen to have certain talents and backgrounds with government agencies.  When Kyra Royer proposes a sex-only relationship, Bastian is conflicted:  on one hand, her older brother is one of his closest friends, and the type of man who you want to stay on his good side; on the other hand, Kyra is sexy and smart and he’d be a fool to say no.

When a new client causes the government to take notice of Bastian and his associates, he realizes Kyra might be in danger and he’ll have to stop lying to himself and admit his feelings if he wants to keep her safe.

~~~~~

As I mentioned in the PJV Quickie, I didn’t realize this was the second book in the Holton Woods series; I thought it was a stand-alone title. Because of that, I spent a lot of time wondering what the heck was going on. There are a lot of bad feelings between several of the important characters and while I figured out there was some sort of spy thing going on, I don’t know enough specifics to know why the CIA wants to kill them.  Also, Kyra’s dad is some sort of criminal who forced her to work his cons and is back in her life and making her miserable, but I think I’m missing some of that backstory too.

Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some interesting stuff going on in Only.   Kyra is a great character who says what she wants and doesn’t let Bastian’s big personality overshadow hers.  They’re a good couple with great chemistry together.  I also loved the scenes between Kyra’s brother, Wade, and one of Bastian’s employees, Eli – they are HOT together, even when they’re denying their continued attraction to each other.  Super-hot.  the nightclub that Kyra works at (and Bastian is a member of) was interesting; I like the idea of a private gentleman’s club and what goes on with the high-profile members.

So, I think only because I didn’t read the first book I couldn’t really connect with the characters as well as I wanted to, and that’s my fault; unfortunately I requested this title for review not realizing there was so much background.  Imagine walking into the middle of a movie that your friend has been watching and having to ask questions about what’s happening onscreen and who’s who and how they’re related to each other – that’s basically what happened to me here.  I will be trying other titles by this author because I did enjoy her writing style; the story had a good flow and didn’t jump around awkwardly, and the characters were interesting (even though I was confused).

Recommendations:
Recommended for fans of May/December romance and political intrigue/government conspiracies.

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Riding Dirty #Review and a Q&A with Jill Sorenson

Riding Dirty #Review and a Q&A with Jill Sorenson

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Riding Dirty #Review and a Q&A with Jill Sorenson

Riding Dirty by Jill Shalvis

three-half-stars
Dirty Eleven #1
Published by: Harlequin, HQN on October 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Wow, this is my first Jill Sorenson read and Riding Dirty was nothing like I expected! I thought I’d get a a sex scene or two, some MC (motorcycle club) action, and an HEA. What I got was a really, really sexy read with an interesting story and an unbelievably hot ex-con for a hero.  I had a few slight issues with certain events in the story, but overall I was completely entertained and kept reading ahead to see how the author was going to make this couple work.

Review: 
Three years ago, Mia was the victim of a home-invasion by two motorcycle gang members. Her husband was killed and they attempted to kill Mia (and thought they succeeded). Now she’s got a new identity, and as a forensic psychologist she’s helping the cops solve a MC-related case by working with a prisoner-turned-informant.  Secretly, she also plans to use any means necessary to convince this person to hunt down her husband’s killers.

Cole has been targeted by a rival gang in prison, and has worked out a deal to get out early if he’ll go undercover to provide the cops with insider information in his MC.  He has to wear an ankle cuff and meet with the forensic psychologist twice a week. He’s definitely attracted to Mia, and thinks she’s attracted to him too.  He knows she’s totally out of his league, but he can’t help flirting a bit, and is surprised when she seems responsive.  Is she playing him for the cops, or does she genuinely care for him?

~~~~~~~

Going in to this book, I did not realize going in that Cole was an ex-con who was released from prison early to work on this case. I’m really not a fan of prison heroes, but I have to admit I warmed up to Cole and wanted things to work out for him and Mia.  They had great chemistry and together they are sexy as hell.  That being said, I had a few problems with Mia besides the fact that she’s a forensic psychologist entering into a sexual relationship with a felon: although she was able to express her needs sexually, she seemed to be a weaker character in general and I felt like she cried a lot. My main issue with the story though, was their actions after they left his buddy’s repair shop – If you’re running from the cops I’d think that you would want to continue moving, not stop for sexytime.

The thing is, even with the issues I mentioned above, I really enjoyed Riding Dirty.  I will definitely be going back and reading Ms. Sorenson’s backlist – Riding Dirty was very, very sexy (including a threesome) and I like her style of writing – the book has this dirty, gritty feel to it that you can’t shake. The bad guys are bad and I wasn’t really sure who the good guys were, which kept me on my toes.

Recommendations:
Riding Dirty is much more sexually explicit than I thought it would be, so if you like your stories ‘hot-n-dirty’ than you’ll like this. There are some MC elements, although the story is not set IN a motorcycle club, more like it is centered around MC life.  Fans of Victoria Dahl will want to give Jill Sorenson a try.

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I was curious about being a published author and Ms. Sorenson was kind enough to answer a few questions that might be of interest to PJV readers:  

PJV: Did you always want to write books? How long did it take you to find a publisher once you decided to do it?

I always liked reading and writing but I’d planned to teach. I have a credential for high school English. After I had my first daughter, I wanted a creative job I could do from home. I started writing one day and it just felt right. It took me about two years to find a publisher.

PJV:  How do you come up with ideas for your stories? Do you plot ahead or wait and see which character seems to be ‘asking’ for a story? (does that make sense?)

It makes perfect sense! I don’t plot a lot of character-specific details before I start. Their individual personalities develop as I delve deeper into the story. I’m a suspense writer so plotting twists and turns is a big deal for me. I use a synopsis and outline plot points. I find it helpful to know where I’m going.

My ideas come from a lot of different places. I daydream and people-watch. I’m inspired by settings, current events, movies and real life.

PJV:  What is a typical writing day like for you?

I get up pretty early, usually between 4 and 6am. I check emails and mess around on the internet more than I should. My main writing time is while my kids are at school, but I often continue for a few hours after they get home. I work a lot because I love what I do.

PJV:  What’s your favorite part about writing? (ie, coming up with the ideas, research, writing, publicity, release day?)

My favorite part of the process is writing a rough draft. Research and outlining is a close second. I love the beginning, when my project is shiny and new and full of promise. I’m awkward with promo but I think I’m getting better at it. Release day is just another day to me.

PJV:  Do you read other books in your genre or do you try not to? What are some of your favorite books?

I read romance like crazy. I don’t pick up much romantic suspense because it feels like my day job, rather than relaxing entertainment, but I loved Carolyn Crane’s Into the Shadows. It’s the best RS I’ve read in ages. I love Victoria Dahl’s contemporary romances also. I like reading erotic romance, lesbian romance and multicultural romance.

PJV:  What was the moment when you suddenly realized, “Yes, I did it; I’m a published author”? How did you celebrate?

It was so long ago I don’t remember! I got “the call” in 2007 (I think) from Harlequin editor Stacy Boyd. She made me an offer and I accepted. We’re still working together. My celebration was probably a happy dance around my house.

 Thank you so much, Ms. Shalvis, for stopping by and answering our questions!  Best of luck with Riding Dirty!

 Great questions! Thank you.

 

Author bio:
Jill Sorenson is the RITA-nominated author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels, including the Aftershock series by HQN. She lives in the San Diego area with her family. She’s a soccer mom who loves nature, coffee, reading, twitter and reality TV. Jogging keeps her sane. Riding Dirty is her first erotic suspense novel.

Easy links to find Jill:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Easy links to purchase Riding Dirty:
Harlequin
Amazon
B&N

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Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh #Review

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh #Review

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Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: I really, really thought I was going to love this one – a new adult story featuring rock star bad boys written by Nalini Singh – ooohhh, this is right up my alley. Unfortunately, this one didn’t really work for me… although, I am VERY intrigued by the other boys in the band.

Review:
Zachary Fox is lead singer for the popular rock band ‘Schoolboy Choir’ (they met at a choir audition while away at school). He is at a party thrown by his label when he sees Molly Webster across the room and knows he must have her in his bed and in his life. Without speaking a word to her, he gets in the elevator with her as she is leaving, propositions her, and goes home with her for what Molly thinks is a one-night stand.

Because of a painful public scandal in the past, Molly has no intention of living life in the spotlight, but she can’t resist the promise of an amazing night with Fox, and even though she’s a virgin she knows she’ll never get another chance like this to break out of her boring, quiet shell, just this once.

~~~~~

I had to start this book twice.  Even though I’m not usually bothered by ‘insta-love’, in this case I just didn’t find it believable, at all.  I also had a hard time with the virginal heroine going home with a rock star for a night of crazy sex.  It’s not as if they’d chatted at the party and hit it off, he literally got into the elevator and propositioned her because he couldn’t imagine not spending the rest of his life with her.  So, I put it down and read a few other books and then came back to it.

I’m glad I read Rock Addiction, but not for the reasons you’d think. I didn’t feel the relationship between Fox and Molly; to me, they had no depth, no character growth, and no attraction between the two. There was lots of sex but no real conflict and honestly I found them a little boring.  At about 62% in I realized that I was enjoying the story, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the first half of the book.  That being said, I really like the secondary characters, and for that reason I will definitely be hitting up the second book in this series (I have no information about it yet).  Fox’s bandmates, David, Abe, and Noah all have issues and back stories that I think are going to be good. Also, Molly’s BFF Charlie and her boss, affectionately nicknamed “T-Rex” have a pretty interesting not-yet-a-romance going on that I’d like to read more about too.

Recommendations: If you like your rock-n-roll romance steamy and sexy, and don’t mind ‘insta-love’ as a plot device, you will probably enjoy Rock Addiction.

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Lori Foster’s No Limits #Blogtour

Lori Foster’s No Limits #Blogtour

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Lori Foster’s No Limits #Blogtour

No Limits by Lori Foster

three-stars
Ultimate #1
Published by: Harlequin, HQN on September 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance, Romantic Suspense
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: While No Limits is full of fighter-hero goodness, there was actually not any time in the ring, which surprised me.  I didn’t really feel the attraction between the hero and heroine, but one of the secondary characters kept me entertained.

Review: Cannon Coulter is a professional fighter who’s been called back to his hometown of Warfield, Ohio, because of the death of a friend, Tipton Sweeney. The lawyer informs him he’s inherited half of Tipton’s home and pawn shop.  The other half goes to Tipton’s daughter, Yvette.

Yvette Sweeney has also come back to Warfield from California and plans to sell the properties and give Cannon his half.  He was involved in a widely-publicized rescue years ago when Yvette had been kidnapped.  She’d carried a hero worship for him for so long, but now she just wants to release Cannon of any obligation to her so he can get on with his life and she can go back to hers.

What Yvette doesn’t know is that Cannon hasn’t been able to shake her from his mind and is looking forward to re-kindling their acquaintance… and then some.

~~~~~~

Here’s the thing: I thought this was a new series, but it is apparently a spin-off of her Love Undercover series, specifically the last book, Dash of Peril. I read the Love Undercover series, all except Dash of Peril.  Which is probably why I kept thinking that I was missing something, and I actually double-checked to make sure this was the first book in the series.  Once things were moving along and some of the characters from the Love Undercover books made cameos, I realized it was a spin-off.

That being said, I did enjoy No Limits and read it in just a few sittings. As I said in my PJV quickie, I thought there would be some fighting, but the story takes place between fights, so no real ring time. There was some mystery about who was vandalizing the pawn shop and the house, which kept things moving along, but the relationship between Cannon and Yvette was kind of flat for me; I just didn’t feel the attraction between them; I don’t know if this would have been different if I had read Getting Rowdy first.

I did love Cannon’s best friend, Armie – a kinky, flirty playboy who is in love with Cannon’s sister, Rissy, and fighting it all the way.  I’m thinking they’re going to have a really good story between them. The other fighters from Cannon’s gym were fun guys and I enjoyed their teasing camraderie between them, so I do plan to continue with this series.

Recommendations: If you like Fighter-Heroes or Romantic Suspense, you may want to give No Limits a try. Fans of Michelle Mannon’s “Worth the Fight” series or Vi Kreeland’s “MMA Fighters” will probably enjoy Knock Out.

Young Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal RomanceYoung Adult Paranormal Romance

Ready for an excerpt from the book?

CANNON COULDN’T STOP looking at her. Damn, he’d remembered her as pretty, but she’d matured into killer good looks—and didn’t seem to know it. An angel’s face paired with that trim but curvy figure, and yeah, he was pretty sure every guy in the place had already started fantasizing.
Too bad, because none of them would touch her.
If he’d had any doubts about wanting her, they were put to rest in a big way. Instead of three years, it felt like a decade he’d been waiting on her. Yes, he wanted her. He would have her, too.
The only question was how soon.
A few weeks ago she’d lost her grandfather, and she probably needed time to acclimate to being home around the unpleasant memories. He’d love to segue right from hello to hell yeah, but he also enjoyed just looking at her and talking with her.
Sipping her Coke, Yvette stole a peek at him. Feathery lashes framed those big green eyes he remembered so well—eyes that used to watch him with innocent infatuation, but now seemed wary. She sat straight, proper. Spoke carefully. Avoided his direct gaze.
As Tipton had said, she was guarded.
She wore makeup, but not a lot. Even in a ponytail, her long dark hair made him think of it spilled loose on his pillows, or gliding over his chest.
Or his thighs.
And her clothes, while casual, covered such a sweet body it left him visually undressing her.
Repeatedly.
Knowing he had to get a grip, he asked, “Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “But please go ahead and eat if you want.”
“I’m good.” Arms folded on the top of the booth, he smiled. “I can’t get over how much you’ve changed.”
That pleased her, he could tell. “It’s been almost three and a half years.”
Long enough for her to put the past behind her? To put him behind her? No, he wouldn’t let her. “I’m so damn sorry about Tipton.”
“Thank you.” She set the drink aside, then nervously drew her finger through the damp ring the glass had left on the booth top. “I wanted to talk to you about that. About—”
“Hey, Saint.” Two guys sidled up to the table. “Can we get a pic?”
Cannon forced his gaze away from Yvette. “Sure.” He would never alienate a fan, but damn, the timing could be better. Yvette had been screwing up her courage to say something. Now he had to wonder what.
Stepping out of the booth, he bent a little to put himself more in line with the shorter guys, and with a double thumbs-up, smiled as a plump lady used her cell phone to snap a few photos.
That only seemed to unleash other fans, and before he knew it, he was posing with men and women alike. Some wanted to hug him, some wanted him in a fighter’s stance, a few just wanted him to mug for the camera. Before he could get a handle on things, he’d taken around twenty photos and signed more than a dozen autographs.
Yvette watched it all with a look of fascinated indulgence. When there seemed to be a lull, he reseated himself. “Sorry about that.”
“You’re popular, I understand.” Her long glossy ponytail spilled over her shoulder when she tipped her head to study him. “I watch the fights.”
That pleased him more than it should have. “Yeah? What do you think?”
“You’re pretty amazing.”
He held back his grin. “I do my best.”
That earned a short laugh. “Humble too.” Shaking her head, she teased, “No wonder they call you the Saint.”
He’d rarely heard her laugh before, and hearing it now did funny things to him. It was nice. Rich. Husky.
A turn-on…

 

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Shatter by Erin McCarthy #Review

Shatter by Erin McCarthy #Review

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Shatter by Erin McCarthy #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: I’ve consistently rated this series 4 stars, and Shatter is no different.  I love NA stories, and Erin McCarthy spins an entertaining tale – kind of dark but hopeful, with characters who don’t give up when life gets hard.  I’m sorry this is the last book in the series, as it was a series I really enjoyed.

Review: Kylie Warner has had a rough year – her boyfriend cheated on her and she moved out of her “dream apartment” with her best friends. Now she’s living alone in a small apartment, failing her chemistry class, and avoiding the ex-boyfriend.  Little does she know that her one night with the sexy chemistry tutor is going to change her life, not just her grades.

When Kylie e-mails Jonathon “Darwin” Kadisch out of the blue to meet, he’s expecting her to ask for more tutoring, not the news that he’s going to be a father.  He’s at a crossroads in his academic and professional life, but no matter what path he chooses he’s determined to be a good dad, unlike his own father.

Shatter mainly focuses on Kylie and Darwin, and Ms. McCarthy did a great job of making them human – mostly great kids (early to mid-20s) who have some flaws. I hate “perfect” heroes or heroines and neither Kylie nor Darwin is perfect and they both say and do things that hurt the other.  We know Kylie from the previous books, but Darwin is a new character – he’s a hot, tattooed nerd and I really liked him. His dad is pretty awful, but Darwin knows that and strives to be a better person because of it.

The characters from the previous books are here and it’s nice to see what’s going on with them.  Like the other books in this series, Shatter is a dark read for most of the book, there is one especially sad scene that is kind of graphic.  I am happy to say, however, that Shatter does end on a bright note and I was happy to see where things were headed with all 4 couples.

Recommendations: Recommended for fans of NA who like lots of angst in their stories, a pregnancy storyline, and creepy teachers.  Also fans of the series will enjoy this last book.  I think Shatter could be read as a stand-alone as there is a pretty good recap, but all the characters might be confusing for a new reader.

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