Archive for the Category »4 Stars «

After the Crux (Crux Survivors, #1) by Dani Worth

After the Crux (Crux Survivors, #1)After the Crux by Dani Worth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first Dani Worth read and I will be going back for more of the Crux Survivors.

After the Crux is set seventeen years after a deadly virus swept through America leaving survivors to eek out an existence while being confronted by deadly raiders, lack of provisions and electricity.

This is a novella that I wish was a full length book. The world is intriguing and the brevity of this book left me with more questions than answers. The characters are well fleshed out and the relationships really resonated with me.

I make no secret that I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic romance. Sadly it’s kinda hard to find a good one. Lots of them involve zombies, of which I am not a fan, other worlds and/or steampunk type stuff.

I’m also a fan of menage when a few criteria are met – no blood relations in the same bed. Brothers as part of a menage give me the willies. Ick! Also there needs to be male/male action. Alone with each other and with the female of the group.

Dani Worth delivered and made me very happy! Thank you!

Ross rescued Jenna and Dorian when he was fourteen and they were nine. It appears they survived together before finding a perfect home in New Mexico which they slowly built up by adding other survivors. While the perfection of the home rang really false to me it wasn’t so much that I was pulled out of the story. The idea of creating a family of survivors that lived together, worked together and relied on each other is very appealing to me.

This story focuses on how Ross moves from protector to lover for Jenna and Dorian. Keeping his attraction to Jenna secret and confused over his attraction to Dorian, on every supply run Ross looks for a female survivor that he can grow to love and call his own. Yet Jenna and Dorian have noticed the longing, lonely looks Ross thinks he is hiding and are determined to bring him into their relationship.

Because of the shortness of the story I think Ross moves from protector to lover way to fast. Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the fall though. ūüôā Jenna and Dorian are focused and determined and I enjoyed that as well. The sex between the three was sweet and hot at the same time. In my opinion the relationship ended with a HFN rather than a HEA. For those interested it was a M/M/F relationship with some brief M/M interaction as well.

There were several secondary characters introduced that I wanted to know more about. There are relationships there that need to be explored. So I was kind of disappointed to see that the next installment in this series will be about two new characters with appearances from Ross, Jenna and Dorian. *sigh* Hopefully we’ll get glimpses into how everyone else is doing as well.

Again, I enjoyed this book overall. Wish it had been longer and am looking forward to the next Crux Survivors book. Hopefully it will be longer.

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Category: 4 Stars, I read too!, Scraps  Comments off

Skin Game by Cara McKenna

Skin GameSkin Game by Cara McKenna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is really more of a 4.5 stars for me. Wonderfully original and a very absorbing read. Not a romance, more of a psychological drama with some sex involved. No HEA though there are a few happy for now moments.

A group of 12 wildly different strangers agree to participate in a week-long psychological study in the wilds of Alaska with a prize of $500,000 for the sole winner. Teams change randomly for each objective, some of the objectives are done as singles. Alliances are built and broken. Bodily fluids are exchanged for reasons having very little to do with romance or warm feelings.

I’ve always been fascinated by scenarios that involve people needing to figure out how to do something challenging with few resources and strangers involved. This explains my unhealthy love of apocalypse movies and some reality type shows.

This book fulfilled my needs nicely and kept me caught up and guessing right through the very end. While I prefer my books to have a well defined happily every after I was quite content with the happy for now that was offered. Skillfully written and another win for Cara McKenna.

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Category: 4 Stars, Auto Buy, I read too!, Scraps  Comments off

Heavy Issues by Elle Aycart

Heavy IssuesHeavy Issues by Elle Aycart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book since I finished More Than Meets the Ink, the Bowen brothers are hot, hot shit! Elle Aycart did NOT disappoint!

This book is, indeed, about heavy issues. I had no clue that title was a double entendre but boy, did I get blown out of the water. In a completely good way.

Christy is from LA and she’s run to Alden to recover from a very messy break up with the help of her best friend. While there she gets a part time job helping to organize the library which happens to be under construction at the time. This is how she meets Cole Bowen, who won’t give her the time of day and is wayyyyy to sexy for her.

Cole lives in Alden, running what seems to be a construction/demolition business. He won’t give Christy the time of day because she is his fantasy come true and he knows she just had a bad break up. Cole does NOT do complications or commitment. Good, hard, hot sex is what he’s after. And holy shit does he do it well. *fans self*

Christy and Cole go into their ‘relationship’ with their eyes wide open – at least regarding what they both think they want. Hot, hot, HOT sex ensues. Lots of hot sex. Alpha males are so yummy and Cole is Alpha with a capital A. Extreme control in the bedroom. Protective and possessive outside of it. Both of them see the relationship moving out of the let’s have sex and pretend to date thing and into actually enjoying each other’s company outside of the bedroom.

Knowing Cole doesn’t want a real relationship Christy cuts him off. Not from her bed but from the rest of her life. For the life of him Cole can’t figure out what’s up with that and why he is reacting the way he is.

It’s within the confines of their relationship that we see the heavy issues addressed. And Ms. Aycart does a masterful job. I cried for both of them and the very real, valid hurts they had received. I totally understood why each of them acted and reacted the way they did. The mirror scene after the big bitch butt-head was horrible to Christy was heart-wrenching. Cole coming to his senses and going after his woman was wonderfully done.

It was nice to get a peek at James and Tate, nice to see some of the supporting cast from More Than Meets the Ink making visits as well. This really was a great book. Very steamy, lots of sex, tons of relationships and a wonderful HEA!

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Category: 4 Stars, I read too!, Scraps  Comments off

Mac n’ Cheese days and other random thoughts

Lots of people complain about cool, rainy days. ¬†Especially once we start to head toward the middle of May. ¬†In my area it’s a good thing to have them because we got barely any snow this winter and I’m worried we’ll have problems come summer due to the lack of melt. ¬†So I’ll take rainy days when they come our way. ¬†Even without fear of drought I love a good rainy day, the kind of day where you curl up with a book (or e-reader) and a cup of tea. ¬†The sort of day where you make cookies, casseroles or soups. ¬†In honor of today’s rain and my second full day of not having a job I made mac n’ cheese. ¬†11-year old cheddar from the Thousand Islands, some ‘green’ (or non aged) cheese which is like a mild cheddar with onion, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, butter and yummy panko breadcrumbs.

It just came out of the oven and tastes wonderful.  God, I missed cooking.

Yesterday I read The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts. I love me some La Nora. ¬†Yeah, the stories are predictable and it’s the same basic plot over and over but I love relationship novels and she writes a hell of a relationship. ¬†This was also a friends to lovers story which is wonderful to read as well. ¬†So I’m looking forward to the next one which is out in November. ¬†She cranks them out quickly but not quickly enough!!!!

What else? ¬†The girl child has driven the car to school both days this week. ¬†It still kind of freaks me out that she’s old enough to drive. ¬†Her prom was last weekend and I nearly lost it during the grand march. ¬†She looked so grown up and I can still remember when I took her home from the hospital. ¬†I’ve got a picture of her in my head when she was about a year old. ¬†She is in diapers and a t-shirt with my toothbrush – using it to brush her hair and looking at me with this sweet, innocent smile. ¬†She still looks at me with that sweet, innocent smile but while wearing shorts and a sweatshirt and while asking to take the car to the mall! ¬†Time flies.

Speaking of time flying – there are not too many mac n’ cheese days left before summer settles in so if you don’t mind…I’m going back to eating.

Category: 4 Stars, Cooking, I read too!, Scraps  Comments off

The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very clever book that had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. Written in the male 1st person POV The Bro-Magnet tells the story of 33-year old Johnny, a guy’s guy who has lousy luck with women.

There is a strong cast of supportive characters, all amazingly well developed for a story written in the 1st person. What I really liked is that every character is functional, there are no deep dark secrets, no baggage to deal with, and no deep mystery to solve. Straight up character driven The Bro-Magnet gives us a man trying desperately trying to impress a woman and a woman trying desperately trying to impress a man. It shows how far we will go when we are looking for love.

Not sure if there are going to be more books set in this particular world. While all the story lines were wrapped up I would actually like to read Sam’s story.

I’ll be looking for more from this author and I recommend this book for anyone who likes light hearted, sweet romances.

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307: TWDP – Nobody’s Hero by Kallypso Masters

Nobody’s Hero by Kallypso Masters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well done Kallypso Masters. Nobody’s Hero, Adam and Karla’s story, had me catching my breath and had my throat tightening with tears so many times I can’t even list them.

There were quite a few times I wanted to slap Adam upside the back of the head and I was pretty sure Karla was some sort of a saint. The brief exploration of total power exchange was interesting, the Shibari was the most erotic and best I’ve ever read and the sex was off the charts hot.

I’m a fan of the May-December Romance and this one was presented very well – acknowledging the differences in age while still focusing on what Adam and Karla had in common.

It was wonderful to see Marc and Angie from Nobody’s Angel again. Loved the way the consequences of Marc’s lie continued to ripple and I do hope to see more of that in future books. Cassie, Karla’s best friend and Adam’s future HEA (I hope), makes an appearance as well. It was nice to get to know her a bit better and doing so made me release just how much she and Luke will have to fight for their HEA.

Missed seeing Luke in this book – he had several mentions but no page time. Wonder what he has been up to!

Also had the set up for Damian and Savi’s relationship, which I believe will be the next book. That’s going to be another fight towards HEA.

Overall a wonderful book. This one had a few more editorial mistakes but nothing more than I’ve seen in other published (both self and traditional) works.

I’m really looking forward to the next installment in the series.

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