Review: Substitute Boyfriend by Jade C Jamison

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Substitute Boyfriend by Jade C. Jamison

Jade C Jamison is, admittedly, one of my favorite authors.   Her Bullet Rockstar Romance series is one of the best ones out there, not just because it spawned my favorite book boyfriend,  but because of the depths of emotion and the gritty realism I could relate to entirely too well.  Eventually I also read her Nicki Sosebee series, which is romantic suspense, and her standalones,  including Finger Bang, which Substitute Boyfriend is a spinoff of.  It is not necessary to read FB first, but it is a fun and cute read.

I am not entirely sure what I was expecting from Substitute Boyfriend, but I didn’t expect the deep revelations I am still digesting that came to me as I read this one.  I will get to that in a few, but first, I have to say that this was a fantastic quick read on so many levels.  Fun, quirky, SEXY, and actually, incredibly romantic to me.  At first glance, and probably never to some who dwell on fairytale romance, it might not seem that, but once again, Ms. Jamison has snuck up and sucker punched me with a story that hits home.

Beth/Lizzie/Eliza is an English professor at a community college by day, and, unbeknownst to all closest to her, an author of erotic romance by night.  Worried that her ability to write sexy scenes could become repetitive, with alcohol added courage, she has found Ridley,  her pretend boyfriend, to help her work out details – to “test drive” some of the ideas she comes up with for her fictional characters, just to make sure that they could realistically work.  This situation has worked for some time with her bad boy pretend boyfriend, but she begins to wonder if she would ever be able to toss the pretend part of the moniker, though she realizes Ridley has plenty of all too human (as opposed to fantastic book boyfriends) flaws, and very little in common outside of their unconventional relationship.  Though I will vehemently defend that guys and girls can be platonic friends, I will also say that I think it would be nearly impossible to set up a template like Beth has with Ridley and not wonder about more, no matter how different they are.

When Ridley tells her he has plans for a night when she calls last minute, she decides to go out to the bar she first met him in.  She wasn’t completely shocked to see him there with another woman, but it hurt, nonetheless.   This spurs our introduction to her best friend, Roman.  Roman is a pysch professor at the same community college she teaches at, and they have conversations that turn lunches into all afternoon affairs, they are concert buddies, they occasionally even work out together, and generally keep each other sane in their shared workplace insanity.  She has never thought of him as more than a friend, though she admits he is a good looking guy, probably to preserve the best friendship she has ever had.

She runs to Roman after the Ridley humiliation, and finally shares her alter ego with her friend, and the entire pretend boyfriend situation.  He suggests a substitute for the pretend boyfriend, and get your fan ready for a HOT ride to come.  Enjoy every moment of it!  The only possible complaint I could have about this one is that I want more!  This one will definitely be read again; there is simply too much I loved about it.

And sometime down the road we can have a long conversation about where women get the horribly misguided idea that their boyfriends shouldn’t be their friends….

Obviously for a mature audience only for explicit sexual content.

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If you need a little mood music to go along with this one, go with one of my all time favorite cover songs, Great White’s Substitute.

Review: The Promises We Keep by RCMartin

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The Promises We Keep

by RC Martin

I have been a fan of RC Martin’s since I found out about her novella, Encore Worthy, her first foray into rockstar romane, which my readers will know is where my passion lies.  I had read one or two of her Made for Love series, but decided it was well past time I start at the beginning and work through them all.  Ever feel like things happen for a reason?  Years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea, until I really started reflecting on my relationship with the man who has been my husband for the last 6.5 years.   After meeting him on my 21st birthday and reconnecting after a series of recurring dreams, fate became harder to resist, but I digress.  The point is that I have known about this book for over a year, but just now got around to reading it, and I am pretty positive that fate had a hand in that.

Though this book is about college students, and age group that I am further removed from than I would care to admit, that brings with it messages that are much more timeless. I guess I may be in the midst of a mid-life crisis (no matter how I try to tell myself that I am much too young for such a term to apply – the years truly do go faster and faster as life goes on.)  I have known for some time that something is missing, and I have even admitted that part of that is the way I have unwittingly wound up further from my spiritual center than I have ever been, even though things in my past would have realistically taken me there at least 2 other times in my younger years.   Somehow when I finally found some inner peace and belief in myself, even though I was facing physical hardships, I drifted without even  really realizing it.  This book is what I would consider a contemporary Christian romance.  While faith has a place in all of RC’s books that I have read, it is more of a central part of this book.  Those aspects truly screamed at me at this moment in my life.

I haven’t read any other reviews of this book, intentionally,  though that is out of the norm for me as I sit to write my review.  I am guessing any negative reviews say that it is hard to follow.  I really did not struggle with that, but because it serves to introduce many characters who will show up in later books in the series, and because the book mainly focuses on the relationships of twin sisters, I can understand.  Personally,  I quickly followed her transitions, and came to appreciate it as a whole.  The only part I struggled with,  at least early on, is the tendency of one twin to give everyone nicknames.  That becomes easier as the story goes on, but if you are reading it as a light, quick read it could be quite confusing.  I don’t feel this book is one that should be read in that manner, but I realize that each reader sees things differently, and I can admit that there are reasons that the romance genre is often looked down upon, as if it is not a true form of literature.  I will save that debate for another time, but I have to say that there is so much more than romantic fluff going on with this one.

Spirituality,  Christianity,  letting God into your life – letting Him guide, are wildly important themes throughout this book, and it delves deeply into how that relationship drives our 4 main characters, and at least one secondary.  Each has a different history, vastly different in the case of the male characters, but all are driven by their spiritual beliefs and relationships with God.  The girls, being twins, are a bit more similar, but since they are in very different places in their romantic relationships, their differences are highlighted in that way.

Being a generation beyond college age, I can’t say with any certainty how common their beliefs and attitudes are in this day and age, but I found them to be very refreshing.  I was raised with the attitude that religion is not to be a topic of conversation among friends, and not considering my church friends to truly be my close friends except for a few years in my 30’s,  it is foreign territory to me.  Again, very refreshing, but thoroughly foreign at the same time.

Beckham and Addison have been together for 5 years, and are deeply in love, but he finds himself in an extremely anxious state over the idea of marriage.  After a talk with his father, he decides the only way to overcome his trepidation is to take a temporary break from Addie.   This is a deeply spiritual journey for him, and though it breaks Audie’s heart, as she does not understand (and honestly, he doesn’t fully understand either) it becomes a spiritual journey for her as well.  Both try to sort their feelings in journals,  and it all just clicked for me even though I had trouble understanding Beck’s mindset as well.  It did prompt me to purchase and start a journal myself, for the first time in 20 years or so, but, in only two days, I am understanding completely the concept there.  Avery and Grayson have a completely opposite relationship.  Though both are crazy about each other, neither believes that the other is into them.  The “breakup” of Addy and his best friend somehow spurs Gray to finally make a move, and their being a couple pleases all of their friends almost as much as it does the happy couple themselves  Gray’s broken past causes some issues from time to time, especially leaving him feeling he is not good enough for Ave.  That is certainly relatable Forrester me, and I would guess to almost everyone.  Avery has her own issues, feeling she is too plain send inexperienced for the star quarterback.

 

In her pain, Addison finds herself in a yoga class taught by a very handsome man, who becomes a close dried after she breaks down in tears during the first several classes she attends.  He also happens to be the hot new bartender at the restaurant/bar she and her best friend, Sarah work at (the one Sarah has gone on and on about).  One of the things I found most charming about Roman was the way he unapologetically told her that I would be praying for her; whether it was her thing or not, it was his.  From reading other books in the series I know who both Sarah and Roman wind up with, but it was really fun . See these other sides of each of them.  I am most definitely looking forward to Romans book, as “His person” has a secondary part in this book as well, and I can’t wrap my head around the two of them together.  Roman’s sister, Daphne, is another character I look forward to getting to know batter.  (For the revord, I absolutely love Sarah’s book – which I am almost positive is book 3.)

Though I am not shy about admitting I am a Christian,  I usually avoid reading “Christian fiction”, especially of the romance genre.  I chose to read this book based on a enjoyment of RC Martin’s other books, not realizing what a large part faith would play in this one.  I will admit that the timing, for me, was perfect, but I will stand by the quality of the book, regardless of the Christian theme.

This book can probably be considered YA, in spite of a couple of scenes that would tip the scales toward NA.  The extremely well written sexy time scenes I adore in other works of Ms. Martin’s are all but absent in this one, as is foul language.  This book gets very high recommendations from me, even realizing that, for me, this is largely a case of “right book, right time” for me.  I KNOW, without a doubt, that this one will stick with me for a long time to come, and will quite likely be one of those very, very rare for me, books that I will almost certainly re-read.

☆☆☆☆☆

5 Spiritually Enlightening Stars

Teaser: The Sex Education of M.E. by LB Dunbar

Sorry that I haven’t been keeping up much on this blog as I am awaiting back surgery, but I am going to try to keep more content in here.  So here is a quick little teaser for y’all of a hot little number you are not going to want to miss!  Coming to you August 22, 2016….get your preorders in now!

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The Sex Education of M.E. by LB Dunbar is coming…
The tension releases August 22.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aDjzI5
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Cain: Paradise Found by LB Dunbarŕŕ

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Grab this hot MMA fighter today!

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Blurb:

“I hate that I love you,” she said. “You left me.”

“I lost you, there’s a difference. Now that I found you, I intend to keep you.”

Lost.

I’d tasted the sweetest fruit of temptation, and I wanted another bite. I had promised myself before, but once wasn’t enough. The savory flavor of her lingered long after I’d lost her. Contending with the pressure to return to the fight, in order to prove myself to my father and the world, I had to let her go.

Found.

It has been a year. Sofie Vincentia and I had played a dangerous game. For one night, we pretended, only to discover our farce was real. I’d lost her, but I hadn’t stopped searching, hoping for her return. I was used to getting what I wanted, so when she didn’t come to me, I had to go after her. This would be the greatest fight of my life.

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Start the series now!
Abel is now available!

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BUY NOW

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About the Author:

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I’d love to say I’ve written for 10,000 hours, and that makes me a pro. But I can’t say that. What I can say is I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I thought typing it in my computer would be the end of things, but it only led to another story and another. I love reading, so characters in my head isn’t something new. What is new is my creation of them. Hope you enjoy my favorites as much as I do. Happy reading!

Connect with LB!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lbdunbarauthor
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Web: http://www.lbdunbar.com

11057920_1042148559132014_7545520316668954402_oReview from LaDonna’s Book Nook

I fell in love with Ms. Dunbar’s style in her spectacularly written and highly engaging Legendary Rock Stars series.  That series is a modernization of the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table legends.  Such a brilliant concept and so well executed.  I can’t deny the author’s assertion that if King Arthur was a product of the 2000’s, he would most definitely be a rock star!  But I digress, this review is about the Cobra, Cain Callahan.  I guess my actual purpose of the introduction reflecting on the reasons Cain and his brother Abel kept getting pushed down my TBR.  My To Be Read list numbers close to the thousands these days – there are simply so many books that catch my interest and make me feel I just have to read them, and sincerely hope to read them all someday, regardless of any physical impossibility of getting to every last one.  and these numbers don’t include the books by the overflowing handful of authors I beta read for, the ones I have signed up to review for other blogs, and those I have agreed to for my own two blogs.  Yes, I am fully aware it is more than a bit of an addiction, but there are many personally fulfilling reasons for me to embrace all things books.  But back to Cain….

Though I absolutely adore LB’s writing style, I wasn’t quite as excited about reading a series about MMA fighters.  I actually used to watch MMA some, mostly with my dear friend I lost a number of years ago to a rare form of cancer.  That actually may have been part of my reluctance.  But after the first chapter or two of Paradise Tempted: The Beginning (which I highly recommend reading first) I was kicking myself for waiting so long.  It was everything one could hope for in a romance, and so much more.

Let’s focus on Cain, as that is the book we are celebrating here, but more than that, I would like to discuss a bit about the man, The Cobra, Cain Callahan himself.  Ms. Dunbar has outdone herself on this character.  There are more sides to the main character, this hero, than there are wrong ways to solve a Rubik’s Cube (I don’t really care how much that remark ages me.  It is an iconic puzzle of pure frustration.  Seems appropriate for our Cain.)  Seldom has a character shown so many different sides of himself, and evrn more seldom has a character drawn out more emotions in me, especially of the motherly kind.  I am a mother, I love being a mother (okay, I have two teenagers, we could make that the large majority of the time.)  But there are a couple of directions I can go from this statement that made those feelings quite surprising and alien to me.  First, I don’t particularly see myself as one of those women who has that motherly instinct on overdrive.  Beyond my two, it is rare.  Just not in my DNA to want to be a surrogate mother to all I come across.  But, if not more importantly, at least more topically, I feel we mothers who read romances do so to escape our real lives.  I don’t particularly want to feel my motherly instincts kick in while I am reading (unless, perhaps, there is a puppy involved.  Then all bets are off for obvious reasons.  Because…puppies.)  I didn’t mind it a bit in Cain’s case though.  Such a big tough guy who felt so broken on the inside – it was nearly impossible not to cheer for him, and convince him of his worth outside of the ring.  I am measuring my words very carefully as I don’t want to tread too closely to spoiler territory, but this man is just such a loveable, complex enigma.  I tend to like my men with a more lithe, runner’s body, but it certainly wasn’t a big stretch to see him as an attractive man.  I would have to say his internal struggles are where his true beauty lies though.  Don’t get me wrong, he could be a spoiled brat with the best of them, and at times he could be as clueles as any man ever to walk the earth in action that his heart was in the right place.  He was a very unique character to me in many ways, and most definitely one I will not forget soon.

And then there is Sofie.  She is also a one of a kind character that I had no trouble falling in love with.  Such a sweet girl, so devoted to the family she has left, and to her studies to eventually become a doctor.  She has a wonderfully romantic side that she keeps well hidden most of the time, and self doubts that also brought out those dreaded motherly instincts.  She could be quite a dichotomy at times as well, but overall I found myself quickly adoring her, and though I may not have always completely agreed with her actions, I could certainly understand them.

Her grandparents’ vineyard and getaway for the rich and famous was almost a character in and of itself, and I found myself longing for it to be a real place that I could add to that bucket list I will one day compose.  It was so well described, especially the area Sofie referred to as Eden.  I think we all could use a little r & r in this version of Eden.  And Sofie’s great grandfather….I simply could not get enough of him!  He was such a, well, character!  I am sure he has plenty of stories from his many years to tell, and I, for one, would fight my way to be at his knee as he shared them.

Cain’s family, on the other hand, with the exception of brother Abel, certainly will not leave you with any warm and fuzzy feelings.  The boys’ father is one of the most vile villians I have come across in the romance genre.  Completely despicable is the nicest thing I can say about that man, but it is still a tribute to Ms. Dunbar’s writing skills to have created a character that brings out such deep emotion in me, even if they are all negative.

I haven’t even mentioned the deliciously steamy scenes.  This is an area I feel Ms. Dunbar has always excelled at, so I will just say that these live up to the high standards she has set in her previous works.  A+ work without a doubt.

My very highest recommendations, obviously.

Attention Rockstar Romance Lovers!

Come rock out with us! Ten amazingly talented Rockstar Romance Authors have put together a fun, summer-welcoming sale just for you! So many sinfully sexy rockstar romance stories – some from …

Source: Attention Rockstar Romance Lovers!

 

Don’t miss this amazing sale if you need to rock your weeked!  Thanks so much to all of the participating authors!!

I have read most of these, and all of the ones that I have read get 5 stars from me for sure!  This is a great opportunity to rock your summer reads if there are any new-to-you authors!  this weekend only, so get that one click finger moving now!

Excerpt -LB Dunbar’s Cain

LB Dunbar has a new one, coming soon.  Check out this first excerpt and get that one click fonger working on that pre-order link!  Only $0.99 if you order now, and LB never disappoints!!

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Blurb:

“I hate that I love you,” she said. “You left me.”

“I lost you, there’s a difference. Now that I found you, I intend to keep you.”

Lost.

I’d tasted the sweetest fruit of temptation, and I wanted another bite. I had promised myself before, but once wasn’t enough. The savory flavor of her lingered long after I’d lost her. Contending with the pressure to return to the fight, in order to prove myself to my father and the world, I had to let her go.

Found.

It has been a year. Sofie Vincentia and I had played a dangerous game. For one night, we pretended, only to discover our farce was real. I’d lost her, but I hadn’t stopped searching, hoping for her return. I was used to getting what I wanted, so when she didn’t come to me, I had to go after her. This would be the greatest fight of my life.

THIS IS A STANDALONE.

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PRE-ORDER NOW

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Excerpt:

Post – Fight

Cain

The sound of her heels, retreating from me, echoed down the hallway in the opposite direction of the gathered crowd. I was still dressed for the fight. I’d rubbed a towel down my body, as I didn’t care to change or shower yet. I needed to get to her before she escaped me again. Following behind the click of her heels, I called her name a second time, commanding her to stop. She didn’t listen. For the slightest second, it sounded like the tapping on the tile increased. I sped up my pace, determined to catch her.

“Sofie,” I called out. The tension built. She was going to run. My hand reached out for her, as I drew closer. My stride lengthened. Her tight skirt curved over her hips, holding her snug ass, and trapping her steps. High heels prevented her from moving any faster, despite her determined hustle. This wasn’t how I remembered her dressing. She wore loose skirts and fitted t-shirts, except on the second night. An image of a black dress being removed from delicate shoulders flitted through my memory. My eyes fell to her ass again, recalling what was under that shapely skirt. I’d seen it, felt it, tasted it, and I wanted it again.

“Sofie,” I demanded. Her name was more than a plea; it was a command to stop. We were headed in a circle. The sound of the gathered crowd was echoing back toward us. She was trapped. If she kept going, she’d lead us directly into the paparazzi pit. Cameras would capture her and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to explain who she was to the public. Not yet. I needed a private reunion first.

Her pace slowed. My outstretched fingers captured her upper arm and tugged her to a halt. Her body was gently slammed against the cement block wall behind her, and my arms caged her in.

“Sofie.” My breath caught as I scanned her face. Bright blue eyes under a pinched brow looked briefly at me, then avoided my gaze. Her face was flushed. I remembered that pink skin. Another vision flashed in my memory of her questioning me over a wooden wine bar. She was interested in my anatomy at that moment. I wanted her to be interested in my anatomy again. A certain part of me definitely had her attention, if she wished for it. I wasn’t only hard; I was towering straight out for her. My dick knew what it wanted. It was drawn to the lyrical whispers of what I assumed would be wet folds beneath black panties.

Another vision flashed through my mind. This included stripping her of black lingerie: simple, satin, and molded to the shape of her. I’d never seen anything so tempting, until she was removed of it. White skin, pink nipples, and a dark mound pointing to a treasure were the most beautiful colors I’d ever seen, next to her eyes, which were glaring at me as I assessed her face.

“Cain,” she said sharply. Her head lifted, holding it high; she was pissed. There was no other way to describe her expression. She hated me. I couldn’t exactly blame her, but it wasn’t the reunion I anticipated. It wasn’t the reunion I expected. It wasn’t the reunion I was going to accept.

“My sweet temptation,” I hissed to her. My tongue licked my lips, eager to taste hers. She swallowed, and my eyes widened at the smooth roll of her skin against her throat. My hand slipped up to her shoulder and my pelvis fell forward, instinct drawing my dick to her. I flinched uncontrollably as it hit her lower abdomen. It craved some place lower on her body.

She didn’t push me away. In fact, her hands were splayed against the cool cement behind her. Her eyes shone bright beyond those tempting red glasses, and bright red lips matched, sucking in air at the invasion of my body against hers. I wanted those lips to suck somewhere else. She’d done it before. I knew how sweet she could be, but her eyes were harder now. Those lips wanted nothing to do with any part of my body.

My hand continued to travel up the tender skin of her throat, and she swallowed hard again, trembling beneath my touch. She wasn’t repulsed by me, but she was frightened. I didn’t want her to be afraid of me, but she needed to be concerned. If my father found her, there would be trouble like she’d never known before. Her sweetness did not understand the depths of evil associated with me.

“Don’t touch me,” she growled.

On second thought, perhaps she did.

My hand slipped into her chestnut locks and tugged gently, but enough to remind her that I was a strong man. I wouldn’t hurt her. In fact, I was certain I hadn’t hurt her in the past. I was the one that suffered.

“One night, you longed for my touch,” I whispered harshly, drawing my mouth closer to hers. “In fact, I remember someone sweetly asking for it.”

My hands slithered in opposite directions. One surveyed the hilly swells of side breast while the other travelled the valley of her abdomen until it rose over curvy hips. I gripped a fist full of material and tugged it upward, jostling her body with the rough hitch of her skirt.

“If I remember correctly, you wanted me,” I purred against her moist skin. Her fear produced a sheen of sweat that covered her face. My nose dragged along her jaw, then dipped down her neck. Holding herself still, her hands remained flat against the wall to her sides. My hips pinned her in place as the skirt rose.

My fingers graced the soft skin of her thigh. She flinched and I pressed firmly forward. There was no doubt of my excitement. Dressed only in my fighting shorts, my bare chest brushed close to her generous breasts, which had been covered with my hands and mouth in the past. I wanted to reenact those memories, but my fingers had other intentions. In a jagged drag of skin against skin, I gripped her thigh, climbing upward, heading for the fruit of my desire.

“Do you still want me?” I whispered into her neck. “Do you remember?” I groaned as a thick digit delved through the warm moisture of folded skin, ripe for what I intended. I wanted inside her. Damp with desire, I slipped aggressively into her. I demanded she remember as I added a second finger. Her breath hitched as she moaned and heavy lids closed.

“Look at me,” I commanded. My forehead almost rested on hers, but I held back enough to stare into her eyes. I wanted her to see me, remember me, remember what I’d done to her. How she felt under me, wrapped within her. I grunted as my dick flinched, my skin too tight. This temptress had to recall what she had done to me, as well. I was going to come undone being this close to her, and yet she was so far away.

Blue eyes pierced mine, but they still contained a softness within them. I didn’t want to believe my sweet temptation could rot. She was spoiled by me, but she wasn’t ruined. She was stronger than that.

“Do you remember?” My fingers increased their exploration. It was a renewed excavation. They rediscovered what they missed. Sliding in and out, she joined my pace. Her hips moved slowly, then increased, matching the beat inside her.

“That’s it, my sweet.” I pulled back to watch her lids droop, then fight to open wide. “Good girl,” I rasped, as I brushed back a stray hair but didn’t falter in my rhythm between her legs. Her hands released from the wall. Palms flattened against my shoulders then wrapped around them as best they could. She had delicate hands. Tender and gentle. They had teased as she had tugged me and stroked me the first time. I jolted and my hips pressed toward her, but my hand was the focus. Her fingers dug into bare skin covered in tattoos of the snake I was. Sharp, blunt nails soon pinched into me as her hips rolled and her luscious center rocked.

“I want you to remember,” I commanded. “Remember where I’ve been. Who I am.” My fingers took on a life of their own, and they worked hard, digging deeper into the tender cavern of warmth, wet and ready for me. My thumb flicked over the sensitive pearl outside of her. Her breath hitched. Nails gripped into hard skin. She didn’t have claws, not my girl, but she was latching onto me. That’s exactly what I wanted.

“Tell me you didn’t forget,” I whispered, my voice dropping as my pace continued. She didn’t answer me and I stopped. The blue rivers turned to ice as she glared at me. I was the devil. And I would break this reunion, if she didn’t play my game.

She shook her head, refusing to speak. I pulled out of her quickly, feeling the release of her juices as they slid down her leg. Her eyes narrowed only slightly. Then she said my name. It was hardly more than a squeak, a meek plea, an unanswered question. Her nails slowly released me. Fingers peeled upward from my skin. I was going to lose her.

Fingers slammed into her and her head gently fell back. She sucked in a harsh breath, as I demanded her recollection without words. I wanted her to relive the memory of what I had done to her. Only me.

I worked fast and her fingers lay back against my warm skin. Nails made tender impressions on my shoulder. She could mark me. I wouldn’t care. She’d already scarred my heart.

“Cain?” she questioned, but I knew the answer. She was ready to burst. Her tender fruit had been plucked and she craved what came next. That first bite. The sound of my name almost undid me, but it would take more than that for me to be satisfied. For her, the flick of my thumb unleashed her. Nails burrowed deep, her eyes shuddered closed, and her head tipped back. She clenched hard, squeezing my hand between her thighs. My dick practically danced, but I had been the king of denial. I would not have her yet. This was only a reminder.

As my attention slowed, and I spread fingers through folds so wet they wept, my forehead came to hers.

“Tell me you remember?” I pleaded. My heart fell to my stomach as I held my breath.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget.”

I pulled back in surprise, my eyes widened. My expression had to betray a strange sense of glee.

“I’ll never forget,” she whispered, averting her eyes as she looked down at her raised skirt and my retreating hand. She pushed the material downward hastily then shoved my wrist away from her.

“I’ll never forget…that you’re an asshole.” Propelled backward as she braced against my chest, I stumbled in surprise at her use of profanity. My girl didn’t swear, but the venom in her voice proved she’d changed. My sweet temptation was tainted by the poison of me. What I’d done to her. I let her escape as her words sliced through me. I was an asshole.

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Start the series now!
Abel is now available!

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BUY NOW

US: http://amzn.to/1swfeiC
iTunes: http://apple.co/1WIUKjT
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About the Author:

LB_pic

I’d love to say I’ve written for 10,000 hours, and that makes me a pro. But I can’t say that. What I can say is I had a story in my head that wouldn’t go away. I thought typing it in my computer would be the end of things, but it only led to another story and another. I love reading, so characters in my head isn’t something new. What is new is my creation of them. Hope you enjoy my favorites as much as I do. Happy reading!

Connect with LB!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lbdunbarauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lbdunbarwrites
Web: http://www.lbdunbar.com

Book Review: Killing Matt Cooper by John Cassian

Engrossing Explicit Novella

September 2, 2013

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Killing Matt Cooper – Amazon Buy Link

First thing I would warn, if the synopsis is not enough, this is a very sexually and violently explicit novella. Definitely for mature audiences only, and for audiences that are not upset by explicit subject matter.

This was a very quick read, but I could not put it down. I can’t honestly say I liked it due to the brutal and disturbing nature, but it was most certainly very engrossing.

I have read several reviews complaining about repetition, but I have to say that didn’t bother me in the slightest during the read. I don’t know how much of that is that it fit with the story and how much of that was just the train wreck quality of the story; you just cannot help but continue to read and watch the carnage unfold.

As with all my favorite thrillers, it left many unanswered questions to the imagination. I would love to know more about Kathleen, and how truly similar to our staring killer she is. There are so many ways this story could go from the unfinished ending we were left with. I know other reviewers have complained about this as well; to me that is one of the things that draws me to psychological thrillers – I honestly do not like them to wrap everything up in a neat little bow in the last couple of paragraphs or pages.

Overall, very well written, very engrossing and leaves much food for thought on many levels.

****** Entering spoiler territory: [ I did not know what to think when “Knight” started dropping names to “Kathleen” – it bothered me with the first one, after I read the back story of Matt Cooper I found myself flipping back to find out just what he had told her about him. I could see that it could still perhaps be salvaged on some level as professional, but there was no way this super sharp FBI profiler is not going to look into that name whether out of personal or professional curiosity. When he drops his LOVES name as well, it seems he is determined for her to figure him out. Another question remaining with me about Kathleen herself – is she also a serial killer hiding behind her profession? This is something I found myself really, really wanting to know. Onto a more negative, I found myself extremely disappointed to find that his LOVE was never really his love, especially after the explicit way that he handles his victims. I guess it makes a deranged kind of sense in the way that any serial killer can make any deranged kind of sense, but I did find it a bit of a letdown. Which may make it brilliant within itself. ]  End spoiler. ******

Final thoughts on this: I will definitely be looking for more from this author when looking for truly dark and twisted reads.

As this is noted as a dark, erotic thriller, it is for mature, 18+ audiences only.  Potential triggers for explicit violence and some sexual situations.

I recieved a gift copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Stalked – a Psychological thriller by Lorraine Taylor

******Bear with me, we are going quite a ways back with some of these reviews, and I hope my reviewing skills have come a long way in the years since!  🙂  ******

A Great Psychological Thriller from this First Time Author

July 10, 2013

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Stalked – Amazon Buy Link

Without giving spoilers, I have to say this one kept me completely intrigued and I read it in its entirety in two sittings (and it was very tempting to do it all in just one!) In the few moments that aren’t action packed, Danny’s backstory is very interesting to delve into. From the mundane events that start the roller coaster, one simple curiosity leads to an incredible backlash of murder, mystery and general mayhem in the life of a character you can’t help but feel great compassion for and want to know more about.

First person narratives are not always my favorite, but work wonderfully in this tale. Perfect for this genre, the story leaves you with so many unanswered questions – it will certainly stick with me for a while and I can guarantee at least one or two rereads as I want to reexamine some of the lesser characters and their relationships, but knowing some answers will never be there is a thrill for me as well. Too many stories in this category wrap everything up in a neat little arc in the last few pages, which tend to leave me disappointed overall. The best psychological thrillers (be they books or movies) are the ones that do leave you hanging and questioning.

The characters are all very well written, very vividly but not overdone. Just enough to feel you know them and have an emotional attachment to them, but not to the point you feel bored or that the details are needlessly repeated in hopes of making you like or loathe them. I also have to say that Samson is one of my favorite characters and the changes in his relationship with Danny are truly heartwarming. I debated between 4 and 5 stars on this one – it really is a great read and I hope to see more from this new author and I love her style. I will definitely be recommending it to friends who like this style of book.

 silver-stars-4

Apologies and Upcoming Schedule

I have posted briefly a couple of times to the facebook page (and I hope you check in there from time to time as I do tend to post freebies, upcoming releases, and book related information I have seen on other facebook pages I frequent.   In case you haven’t stopped by, the address is LaDonna’s Book Nook Facebook Page   .     That page covers all genres with the emphasis being on indie authors.  (And for those of you more interested in the rockstar romance genre I also have Backstage Books Backstage Books Blog Page with its facebook page at Backstage Books Facebook Page5

I  owe you all an apology, and I truly appreciate everyone who has stuck sround.  I still have big plans for this to be a fantastic site for book reviews, emphasizing indie authors, and before summer comes around I intend to get back in the swing of blog tours and release blitzes and such.  Unfortunately the first few months of this year have been an extremely trying time in my personal life, and I stepped back, apologetically without any notice due to the nature of the situations keeping me away, to deal with a serious family issue and with some of my own health issues.  To steal directly from the facebook posting, here is the message I posted earlier today about my plans for this blog over the next couple of months.

Hello everyone!  Hope April has not made a fool of you already!  I want to thank you all for your patience with me as I deal with my health and family issues.  I am working my way back, but may have some bumps in the road and setbacks along the way.

After reading of yet another blogger losing their hundreds of reviews on Amazon, I have decided to spend the rest of the month copying all of my reviews to the WordPress blog pages. Maybe you will discover some new favorites or revisit some you have forgotten about. (My plan is to go oldest to newest for more variety. If I find some were on Goodreads and not Amazon, I will add those as well. Please bevgentle on me, some of these go back onto the oughts, and my honing my style has taken some time.)

Speaking of forgotten about, no, I have not forgotten that I started posting my 2015 blog awards in January and never completed the task, so that will be next up on my to-do list.  In the meantime, I will post items of interest as I see them, and will start doing a very limited number of blog tours again.  Thanks again for the support and understanding and happy reading to you all!

I look forward to being back in touch on a regular basis and hope everyone is enjoing a happy and healthy 2016 with lots of great reads filling your year.

That reminds me of one last thing – I am running a no pressure book challenge for 2016 in a group on facebook.  If you are interested in joining us, you may request to join at LaDonna’s Reading Challenge 2016

The fabulous Sarah R is helping me to moderate it, so even if I get lost behind the looking glass, she can get members approved and help with any questions.  Basically you set the number of books you would like to read this year, and record them in your thread.  We have some secondary challenges if you are interested, and we will have have an have an end of year party including gifts from some of our favorite author friends.  No pressure as to what your goal should be or whether whether or whether or not whether or not you meet that goal.  It’s just a fun, supportive little hideaway, book nook, on the Web for friendly readers to enjoy their reads. If you are stuck on what to read next, everyone will be glad to give you suggestions.   I plan to make this an annual event, bigger and better each year as we progress.

“See” you soon!

Best of 2015: Paranormal

I am the first to admit that Paranormal is not my favorite genre to read in.  In fact, I have been pretty adamantly opposed to reading it for quite some time.   And then, and author comes along, and convinces me to take a chance on her books.   She sucked me in with a non-paranormal stand alone she had written that my book club covered as a Book of the Month.  I found her style rather intoxicating.  I will honestly tell you that it was a hard decision as to which series of hers would get the award.  I absolutely loved The Charlotte Grace series, and it is complete, but it was not published in 2016, so the award is going to go to her Empathy Delacroix series.  The first two books in the trilogy are available now, and the third should be out sometime in 2016.   I will also say the Empathy Delacroix Series are great books for those who think they don’t like paranormal, it is an easy way to ease into the genre without having to be too skeptical.

For those of you who still don’t know what author I am talking about, congratulations to PM Briede!

Paranormal

Synopsis for Book 1 of the Empathy Delacroix Series,

Death of a Chorus Girl

When Detective Richard Giordano walks onto the Broadway stage, he expects to find a young, dead chorus girl. Having the show’s choreographer so intricately tied to the victim, and now his case, is something else altogether. What quickly becomes even more troublesome is balancing his attraction with his gut instincts.

The choreographer, Empathy Delacroix, is no stranger to death. Emotional scenes from the past suck her in and force her to play critical roles in the events. They often culminate in her experiencing the victim’s demise. It’s a secret she can’t confide in the police, even if she knows how the chorus girl’s life really ended.

Time ticks by and New York’s vilest players come out of the shadows, not only threatening to detour the case but also Detective Giordano’s and Empathy’s entire lives. The bonds of death and love push them closer together and into the path of a killer, leaving both unsure of what their future holds.

Delacroix 1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VMUCXRK?ref_=cm_cr-mr-title

My Review of Death of a Chorus Girl

5 Stars

Whether You Like Romance or Thrillers, This Book is For You, April 8, 2015

Whether you want to call it a romance with a side of mystery or a thriller with a romantic side you have a 5 star story in both genres.

I will start my review with a notation that I am not a big fan of “paranormal” but PM Briede weaves the paranormal aspects into this so seamlessly that you will forget that there is anything extraordinary here besides the author’s ability to spin an edge of your seat, cannot put down tale with enough twists and turns to make you keep the dramamine handy.

The core of the story revolves around Broadway choreographer Empathy Delacroix and Detective Richard Giordano. The chemistry between the two jumps off the pages from the moment they meet no matter how much each of them try to deny it. The tagline on the cover, “How Do You Start a Romance with a Murder in the Way” is absolutely perfect. Rich is on the case of the death of a chorus girl in one of Em’s productions. Quickly ruled a homicide, and not being able to immediately remove Em from the suspect list is definitely not the easiest way for them to start a relationship. The secrets and baggage they each carry also interfere with the natural progression. The overlaps of their seemingly very different lives seems less coincidence and much more simple fate. Again, the chemistry between them is palpable, and amazingly well written through every obstacle they encounter.

The murder mystery is very intriguing, with no shortage of sleezy, unlikable suspects, but no easy solutions to the whodunit side of the story. I love a good thriller/mystery and this not only delivers, it exceeds any in recent memory of such a large pool of suspects I would like to be the guilty party simply because they are so brilliantly dislikeable. Dastardly, skeevy, despicable, diabolical and downright disgusting – she has done such an impressive job of presenting suspects you want to fry, without solid evidence to convict any of them.

For mature audiences for violence and sexual situations. Not overly explicit, but not anything I want my teenagers reading. However since they are not the target audience, this should not be an issue. This is the first in a series, and I am sure your first reaction when finishing this one will be much like mine….emailing the author about how long we have to wait for the next book in the series. If you hate being left with a cliffhanger, this may not be the book for you. However, in kind of a unique style, this author does not release the first book in the series until the entire series is complete, so she won’t leave you hanging too long. There are a few errors that another run through by the editor should easily fix, but I truly feel the strength of the story far outweighs any inconvenience those cause.

Very highly recommended. This is my second read of this author’s and I will definitely be catching up on the rest of her works while impatiently waiting for the next in this series.

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Synopsis for Don’t Drink the Nine

With a suspect from the “Chorus Girl” case in custody, Detective Richard Giordano and Empathy Delacroix are ready to pursue the bonds of love and friendship. Free from the restrictions of the case, their love affair becomes a full-blown relationship.

Life is relatively normal until another chorus girl turns up dead, and a new cocktail hits the Broadway scene, “Nine.” As the case progresses, it’s looking more and more like Em is somehow tied to an illegal underbelly of New York. Richard must swallow his pride, and his fears, and work with his argumentative brother, Bobby, to crack the case and protect Em.

While one killer is behind bars, the man pulling all the strings is still at large and still set on Em. Richard and Em both know what it will cost to catch a maniacal killer, but the price might be more than they are prepared to pay.

Delacroix 2

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0136ZFB6S?ref_=cm_cr-mr-title

My Review:

5 Stars

Five for Nine!, September 14, 2015

I have read all of PM Briede’s books, but I have to say that this series has to be my favorite so far. Ms. Briede is really growing as a writer and it is amazing to watch through each new book.

This is not a standalone, so be sure and read Death of a Chorus Girl first.

Nine starts where Chorus Girl ended, and it is fun to watch Em and Richard adjust to being a couple, and having his family aware of it. This leads to many of the funniest and most touching moments in the book.

The pacing of the action throughout is perfect…never a dull moment for sure (though these two deserve a few!) There are some excellent plot twists I never saw coming, which is always a thrill for me as a reader – especially when crafted as perfectly as Ms. Briede has accomplished in this one. They fit in with the story seamlessly and make perfect sense in the aftermath. I recently read another book where the huge, heartwrenching plot twist was later revealed to have been a dream – that didn’t work for Dallas with Bobby in the shower at the beginning of the next season, and it does not work in books. PM understands this and does and excellent job with each twist and turn.

The full cast of characters are easy to embrace. PM always does a great job of crafting her characters with plenty of realistic quirks and flaws, and keeps her characters true to themselves. You don’t have those moments of “Why in the world would he/she do that?!?!? – it is a true skill to keep so many characters so fully real that they are strongly who they need to be.

Readers of the Charlotte Grace series will be quite pleased with some scenes that draw us back into the madness in New Orleans as Empathy was revealed in the first book to be Charlotte’s best friend’s cousin. I love when authors can tie their books together this way, in a logical (not forced) manor. It is always fun to catch up with old friends in new settings.

For mature audiences only for explicit sexual situations (never gratuitous, but always nice and steamy!) and some violence that could lead to triggers in some situations. My highest recommendations after you have read Death of a Chorus Girl.

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Congratulations again to PM Briede and the Empathy Delacroix Series!  Be on the lookout for the Phantom of New York, the final book in the trilogy, coming soon to a bookseller near you!   (And I will be sure to post preorder links as soon as they are available!

Delacroix 3

One final note in regard to PM Briede and The Empathy Delacroix Series – I had the honor of doing an interview with her for this blog last summer, and sadly due to an ongoing series of personal dramas in 2015 (I don’t think any of our authors would put all the drama we had in my family last year in one book!) I have not yet posted it.   So, keep checking back here – as soon as the awards are all done, that will be one of the first posts!