Taking it All

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Taking it All (Surrender Trilogy, #3)Taking it All by Maya Banks
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I had a really hard time with this one. This was not a situation where ‘love conquers all’ comes into play. I don’t see any woman forgiving her husband for the situation Tate put Chessy in. She could have come to serious harm all because he stepped out for a second to try to reel in a client after promising to put her first. There are just some things in life that are unforgiveable; no factor that would shed a different light on the situation. I’m sorry to say part of it was Chessy’s fault for putting so much trust and faith into Tate after such an extended period of being last on his priority list.

The writing overall was on par. I just can’t get past the storyline and the fact that two to three weeks later everything was all good and they are going to live happily ever after. Taking it All was a very disappointing installment/finale for the series. If you have read the previous two book, you won’t really lose anything by not reading this one.

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The Closer You Come

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The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers, #1)The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jase, West, and Beck decided to ‘start over’ in Strawberry Valley, OK population 7,416. They figured it was far enough away from the city to get away from the demons of their past but yet close enough for a night out on the town when the occasion called for one. While all three are still dealing with the emotional distress of one terrible night, Jase also has to deal with the physical scars since he actually served time in prison for it.

Brook Lynn Dillon is barely surviving in a questionable state of contentment. She is on the hunt for her sister yet again when she meets Jase for the first time. The chemistry between her and Jase is palpable and wouldn’t luck have it, she finds her sister in his bed making him off limits. In spite of that initial awkward faux pas, they find that they cannot ignore the attraction between them.

Gena Showalter is a romantic genius. Once again she has created an entire community that is unbelievably real with strong characters readers will love. This has the makings of a great romance series and we she how the love lives of West and Beck will unfold.

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Playing Dirty

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Playing Dirty (Bad Boys Undercover, #1)Playing Dirty by HelenKay Dimon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Black Ops, deadly toxins, and explosions; sounds like a great action thriller but when you throw in the fragile tendrils of new love yet to be acknowledged, you have the makings of a solid, romantic suspense.

Part of Ford’s assignment on this operation for Alliance is to keep tabs on Shay, the cousin of the man who created the toxin that will decimate humanity if it’s not found before being sold to the highest bidder in a black market auction. He doesn’t even try to fight the attraction between him and Shay. She is still overcoming a huge betrayal from a previous relationship and was only looking for a good time with no strings attached. Both got more than they bargained for when Shay is suddenly pulled in the mayhem in the search for the toxin and they both have to acknowledge the very real, very deep feelings they have for each other.

HelenKay Dimon has written a great first installment for a new series, Bad Boys Undercover. You will love the good guys and be itching to take out the bad guys yourself. The plot moves at a reasonable pace. There is also great character development which allows readers to emotionally invest in them. Playing Dirty is a great non-sappy romantic suspense.

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Mine to Take

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Mine to Take (Nine Circles, #1)Mine to Take by Jackie Ashenden
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the first book in a brand new series from Jackie Ashenden. Based solely on the book description and genre, there were high hopes for this book. It tries to be a contemporary romance, suspense, sexy, billionaire with tortured past, and happily ever after all rolled into one, unfortunately it is not overwhelmingly successful at any of them. The basic premise of the book is great but the pace of the plot ruins the book. The pace is not fast enough to engage readers in the story and what should have been an average paced mile quickly becomes an interminable marathon.

Alex is consumed with getting justice for what was done to his mother and Honor is merely collateral damage in that quest. It is very easy to rally behind both characters but the author only provides us with the ghosts of characters which is not enough substance to become emotionally involved in the outcome. Hopefully, we will see more character development as the series continues. It’s hard to say how the series will progress and fully encompass more of the characters.

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The Two Gentlemen of Altona

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The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool Book 1)The Two Gentlemen of Altona by Lisa Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Henry and Mac are like oil and water; Henry is a skilled con man and Mac is an upstanding FBI agent. Mac has to protect Henry to help make his case but most of the time he wants to shot Henry himself because he has been nothing but an irritant since their lives intersected. Another part of Mac is having a really hard time fighting the undeniable attraction to Henry. Mac doesn’t want to trust Henry for obvious reasons but someone in his office is working with the bad guys and until he figures out who it is, he has to work with Henry to keep
them both alive.

Lisa Henry and JA Rock have created two very likeable, believable, funny characters. Mac is on a diet and constantly craving carbs and sugar which makes him less than pleasant most of the time. Henry takes great joy in needling Mac just to get a reaction from him. This is a great short story that contains mobsters, con artists, hit men, murder, grand theft auto, and a bit of lust that could grow into more. This has the potential to be a great series that is different from the norm.

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Night’s Blaze

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Night's Blaze (Dark Kings, #5)Night’s Blaze by Donna Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rhys has had a noticeable presence in all of the previous installments of the Dark Kings series. We finally get his story in Night’s Blaze. At the end of book four, Rhys sustained an injury that could only have been inflicted by another Dragon King. Since Ulrik is supposedly the only unaccounted for King, those at Dreagan have yet another reason to rid the world of him.

Ever since Lily came to work at Dreagan, Rhys has been trying to keep his distance but when he gets word that Lily is in danger, his first thought is go run to her side. Lily is trying to find the person she was before she turned her back on her family and suffered at the hands of Dennis, the man she loved for three years. They didn’t know it but fate set Lily and Rhys on a collision course to help advance the plot of the man set to destroy the Kings.

Donna Grant has delivered the best installment of the series. This book is jammed packed with deceit, twists, turns, and one wallop of a surprise. Be prepared to meet new kings, see Rhi continue to struggle against the rising darkness, and an unforeseen reveal in the plot against the kings.

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Wild (The Ivy Chronicles, #3)Wild by Sophie Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Georgia’s wasn’t living her life; her life was living her. She was the smart one, the reliable one. In reality, she was desperate for more, to find some joy in something, anything. The problem was that she feared no one would like the person she really was. After her boyfriend of four years unceremoniously dumped her, Georgia hadn’t exactly given up on love she just wasn’t looking for it. She definitely wasn’t looking for Logan Mulvaney or the crazy way he made her act and feel. He brought out the person she truly was underneath the person everyone expected her to be. While she wanted to revel in that, fear caused her to stumble and make mistakes at every turn.

“That’s where you’re wrong. You are. You just haven’t figured that out yet.”

Sophie Jordan has outdone herself with this installation of the Ivy Chronicles. Logan and Georgia have the typical young adult baggage but they are so much more. They both seem so real that at times you could forget you’re reading a book and feel more like you are secretly snooping into someone’s life. For a quick read that will pull at your heartstrings, look no further. You also get to catch up with Pepper, Reese, Emerson, and Shaw from the previous series installments.

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