Light Shadows by S.L. Jennings

Book: Light Shadows

Series: The Dark Light Series #3

Author: S.L. Jennings

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: If Gabriella thought that life would become less complicated when she ascended to both her light and dark destiny, she was greatly mistaken. She’s twenty-one; in possession of some new and terrifying abilities; reunited with Dorian, love of her life and the man sworn to protect her come what may. She didn’t quite bargain for her ‘dead’ birth-father turning up on her doorstep and furious that Dorian, his former-best friend is now her significant other.

Elsewhere, she has to worry about the dark elements who seem hell-bent on hurting her friends and family in order to get to her. She’s about to face the biggest test of her life and whether the prophesy is fulfilled or not depends on whether she can find the strength to battle whatever comes her way. Those who stand with her will make her strong, but will they all be left standing at the final battle?

Why you should read this: I have waited and waited and waited some more for this book! I can honestly tell you that it was worth the wait! There is angst and high-drama a-plenty, but there’s also a very exciting story to be had too. Dorian is back in technicolor glory! There’s a fair bit of sexy times to keep you satisfied and the action flows well. The writing is so good – the author conveys the mood, the environment and the atmosphere perfectly. Niko, Dorian’s younger brother, figures prominently in the book too. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

What you might hate: Ok – I’m going to be honest. Gabs can be a whiny brat at times and she does wallow in it. She knows Dorian loves her yet, at the first sign of trouble she’s ready to think the worst of him. Faithless girl! Also, as the supposedly most dangerous and powerful being on earth, I was looking forward to her kicking ass a bit more than she did. Instead, she had the tendency to let others do the saving. That disappointed me a bit and would have mitigated her whinging!

Rating: 4.5/5 – I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the mythology and the roller-coaster ride of this book. It was a great series and one I’ll come back to again and again.

Light Shadows is out now.

Captivated: Letting Go/Seize the Night by Megan Hart and Tiffany Reisz

captivatedBook: Captivated

Authors: Megan Hart/Tiffany Reisz

Publisher: Cosmo Hot Reads

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Letting Go – Colleen goes to the same bar every week, staring at the tumbler of whiskey that she’ll never drink. Jesse the bartender is intrigued by her. She’s always polite and friendly enough, but beneath the surface there’s a sadness that he can’t fathom.

Having control is important to Colleen. Her ex-husband called her controlling, frigid and useless. She knows this isn’t true, but she’s also aware that her needs aren’t ‘normal.’ After getting snowed in at the bar and chatting to Jesse, she impulsively invites him back to hers. Their night turns into a weekend of discovery for the pair and Jesse is determined to show Colleen that it could be so much more…

Seize the Night: Remi O. Montgomery and Julien Brite are the offspring of Kentucky’s two major horse-rearing dynasties. Arden Farms and Capital Hills have been feuding for years and the two are forbidden from making contact with each other again. Despite not seeing each other since the night they were caught together, Remi can’t stop wondering about Julien. As the manager of her family’s stables, she notices some things aren’t adding up. Why do the two families have so much money all of a sudden? When the only person she can turn to to investigate is Julien and her assistant, Remi’s about to be reminded exactly why she couldn’t get over him.

Why you should read this:  If you’re a fan of these two power houses, I think you’ll enjoy these quick reads. Megan Hart is true to form with this tale of a heroine with issues and a caring hero. I loved this story as I have a thing about male-submissive stories that are realistic. Tiffany Reisz is always fun – with in-jokes from her Original Sinners series. She has been quite ambitious re-telling Romeo and Juliet and re-setting it in modern-day Kentucky. It’s quirky, fun and for me, her assistant Merrick stole the show.

What you might hate: A huge fan of both authors, I may have been a little guilty of setting my expectations a little too high. These are short reads so don’t have the depth of their usual novels – be aware of this. They’re fun, sexy and they do their job. No more, no less.

Rating: 3/5 I really enjoyed Letting Go as it was deeper than your average quick read. Seize the Night made me chuckle and it’s fine if you can suspend your disbelief and accept it for what it is.

Captivated is out now.

Night Fever by Jessica Hawkins

night feverBook: Night Fever

Series: Night Fever Serial  book #1

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Lola Winters leads a very simple life. It’s not perfect but she has Johnny Pace, her steady boyfriend who has been part of her life for the last eight years. Together, they are getting through life, working at Hey Joe, a bar that had its heyday in the 80s, but is now shabby and worn down. When the owner decides it’s finally time to sell up and move on, Lola and Johnny know they have to do something. Lola would do anything for Johnny and knows that if they’re ever going to live life (get married, live beyond pay check to pay check) instead of waiting for the situation to improve – they’ll actually have to make it happen.

Enter Beau Olivier. Wealthy, enigmatic and apparently smitten with Lola the minute he sets eyes on her, he decides to make the couple a deal. If she agrees to spend a night with him, submitting to his desires, then the bar is theirs. Lola is disgusted and so is Johnny. However, when reality dawns, the pair knows that this could be the only chance to getting the future they always wanted. It’s only a few hours after all. How bad could it be?

Lola believes she can put her disgust and her misgivings to one side for the payout. What’s one night of humiliation and submission compared to their dreams finally coming to fruition? Somewhere, deep down though, Lola fears it won’t be that simple and maybe she’ll learn some uncomfortable truths about who she truly is…

Why you should read this: Ok – I know what you’re thinking. You’re concerned that I’m advocating you read yet another story where the heroine sells herself in the style of Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal. True to a certain extent, however, Jessica Hawkins has written a story which incorporates some very uncomfortable themes but makes it a compelling read all the same. Yes, the feminist in me was hesitant about reading this story. Lola essentially agrees to hire her body to Beau in exchange for the answers to her problems, but it is more complex than that. Lola’s about to learn a lot about her relationship with Johnny, who she is and also whether she’ll ever be prepared to go after what she wants. For me, this is a story about self-discovery. It’s hot, it’ll mess with your head a bit and I don’t think you’ll always know who to root for.

What you might hate:  You could be sick to death of the rich-man-poor-girl trope – I know I am, as I’ve read so many mediocre stories which verge on the ridiculous. HOWEVER, this is not one of them. It’s thoughtful, smart and I cannot wait to read the rest of the story, as I truly have no idea how it’s going to end up.

Rating: I’m giving Night Fever 5/5 for the up and down of my emotions while reading it and the engaging writing style that drew me in immediately. More please!

Night Fever is out on November 4th.

Third Time Lucky by Pippa Croft

Third time lucky

Book: Third Time Lucky

Author: Pippa Croft

Series: Oxford Blue, #3

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Lauren is preparing for her final term at Oxford and has more to worry about than her studies. After things ended badly with Alexander, she didn’t expect to be drawn back into his life so quickly. Following a mission that went wrong, he teeters on the brink on life and death and Lauren is listed as the person to call in an emergency. Scared for his life and what she’ll do without him, Lauren is once again tested. Is her love for him enough to see them through?

As Alexander recovers slowly, Lauren is relieved, yet anxious not to lose her heart and control of her life to him. Establishing boundaries and focusing on her work are paramount to her, yet the pull of Alexander is too strong to resist for long.

Amidst the idyllic surroundings of Oxford, Lauren is once again faced with Valentina – the ex from hell and her machinating ways. Cousin Rupert is also keen to do Valentina’s bidding and ruin Lauren’s life. Will Lauren end up with her man, or will life back in Washington pull her back to the life waiting for her?

Why you should read this: If you read The First Time We Met and The Second Time I Saw You and liked them, you’ll definitely want to check out the third and (perhaps) final installment of the series. I really liked Lauren even more in this book. She’s focused and despite being young, she has learnt not to spend all her time with Alexander. He’s been selfish in the past and she’s gone along with it. It was good to see her backbone. Alexander continues to smolder and brood, but he’s also more of a person in this book. He’s hot and delish – everything you want in a hero, but he’s also imperfect and Lauren enjoys taking him down a peg or two. He needs it!

What you may hate: I’ve seen a couple of comments from readers not happy with the way it ended. I guess it’s not an ending for some readers if the characters haven’t been married off with a corny wedding ceremony with a whole troop of kids! I disagree with that. I liked the ending. It was full of hope and leaves the door open to another book, but what’s wrong with readers using their imaginations?

Rating: I was happy to see the bad guys get what was coming to them and the couple in a good position for their future HEA. I love not knowing what’s going to happen. I give this book 4/5.

Third Time Lucky is out in the UK now – print copies in the US will be out in November.

The Scientific Method by Kris Ripper

Book: The Scientific Method

Author: Kris Ripper

Series: The Scientific Method

Format: Kindle

Review by: Judith

Plot: Will Derrie only wants one thing out of sex: to be dominated. Too bad it never works out for him. He and his latest girlfriend have predictably boring and far too vanilla sex until Will can’t take it anymore. But what can he do? He fantasizes and dreams and ultimately hopes that one day someone will figure out that he’s not messed up in the head for wanting something with a bit more kink. Will’s brother finally forces Will into getting what he wants since he knows Will would never do it on his own. He sets Will up on a coffee date with Mistress Lucy, a Dom friend of a friend, and thinks that she can solve all Will’s problems. Or at the very least, beat them out of him. What Will’s brother doesn’t bank on is Lucy bringing along, Hugh Reynolds, a male Dom who intrigues Will far more than he thought possible. As Hugh helps him search inside himself, Will learns that being dominated isn’t so kinky after all…

What you’ll like: this is ultimately a journey of self-discovery that doesn’t start out as pure smut. We see Will transform from a weak, unsatisfied boy into a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. The sex is ho-ho-HOT! And in the end, it’s not about romance or love. It’s about the journey that brought Will into accepting who he is and who he could be through domination and submission. Awesome story-telling from Kris Ripper and an action driven plot. Well, if you use “action” as a euphemism for sexy smut.

What you might hate: some people hate m/m. Some people also hate BDSM. Some people even hate smut. This book has all three. It’s a book where not a whole lot happens and Onni called it a bit clinical at first. (Judith totally disagrees BTW).

Rating: 5/5 The first book was free and I devoured it…and promptly bought the other 7 in the series and really haven’t come up for air in the last week.  So so so deliciously good.

It Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley

it-happened-one-nightBook: It Happened One Night

Author: Phillipa Ashley

Format: Kindle

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Sophie McBride has loved Adam Templar for as long as she can remember. Friends since childhood, their relationship grew from her awkward admiration for him to their first heart-breaking, all-encompassing love. Despite their youthful vow to stay together, family tragedy succeeded in breaking the two up. Ten years later, Sophie has remained in the village, despite having wanted to move away to university. She has a budding business of her own and life continues peacefully. Until Adam returns…

Adam Templar has not returned to the village of Langmere since Sophie turned him away. Now a director, he is filming a biopic of a famous local poet in the village. He knows he’ll see Sophie sooner or later but nothing can prepare him for when they do come face-to-face again. Add an insecure girlfriend, a rakish co-star and a village full of gossips into the mix, life for Sophie and Adam is about to change forever.

Why you should read this: I loved this book from start to finish! It was so down to earth, so sweet and had real humour to it. There was also quite a moving back-story too, which will tug at your heart strings. I couldn’t wait to find out all of the family secrets – they are juicy! The action takes place amid the filming of a costume drama and the descriptions are so authentic and rich, I felt as though I was right there in with the action.

Sophie is a great heroine. She’s making the best of her situation and doesn’t dwell overly on the past. She isn’t bitter about the past, but she is torn between family loyalty and her feelings for Adam. Adam is a cool customer – we don’t know what happened between the pair straightaway and he keeps his feelings close to his chest throughout the book, until the end. For me, it was more what he didn’t say, that made me take notice.

What you might hate: The only thing I hated about this book was Adam’s evil girlfriend Victoria! Ok, so she isn’t evil but she’s a cow. A truly horrid character that provided drama, some great scenes between her and Sophie and I couldn’t wait for her to get her just desserts.

Rating: 4/5 for me. I will definitely be re-reading this book. Loved it hard. So nice to read something set not very far from me in the world. Thoroughly satisfying.

It Happened One Night is out now.