Seven Nights to Surrender

Seven Nights to Surrender by Jeanette Grey

seven nights to surrender

Overview by Amazon:

By day, he’ll show her a side of Paris not found in any guidebook. By night, he’ll introduce her to a passion beyond her wildest dreams. In this sensuous story of indulgence and desire, Jeanette Grey delivers one of the most romantic reads of the year and proves why she is fast becoming a must-read star.

SEVEN NIGHTS TO SURRENDER

Kate arrives in Paris hoping to find inspiration. Instead she finds Rylan. In a swirl of stolen kisses and hot, tangled sheets, Kate is quickly swept away by the sexy stranger, longing to surrender to his expert touch. With Rylan, nothing is forbidden-except the truth.

An American ex-pat worth millions, Rylan never flaunts his fortune. Rather, he guards his identity from everyone, especially women. No strings, no commitments, no complications. But the second his lips taste Kate’s soft, sweet skin, everything changes. For the first time, Rylan has found someone to share his every want and need. Yet he knows that secrets stand between them. To keep her, he’ll need to confess the truth before it’s too late . . . even if doing so could mean losing Kate forever.

This book had me hooked from the first chapter.  I was completely sucked in by the writing and the characters.  I am having a hard time qualifying what exactly grabbed me, but that elusive quality was there!

This is the first book I have read by Jeanette Grey, but I definitely plan on following this series.  The characters are really well developed and I found myself entranced by the setting and scenery.  It’s not hard to make Paris romantic and beautiful, but Jeanette Grey has made it enchanting.

This story sizzles with the chemistry between the two characters.  Both Kate and Rylan have gone to Paris to ‘find themselves’.  Kate has to make the biggest decision of her life and Rylan is running from making one.  Their pasts are explored and through inner dialogue and conversation we learn about their ambitions and motivations.

Rylan plays a game to keep himself busy.  He hits on young tourists and gives them a whirlwind adventure in the city of lights.  He finds Kate and suddenly the game changes.  Kate is skittish and shy.  His plans of bending her over the sofa and having his way with her is not happening.  Rylan has to adapt and change in order to spend time with Kate.  She makes him work for her attentions and I loved that!

Most women would be over the moon if a man like Rylan swept them off their feet in Paris for a fling.  Kate is not most girls.  She is in Paris to concentrate on her art.  She turns down Rylan’s offer of spending time together occasionally in order to focus on herself.  I found myself comparing what I would do to Kate’s actions.  I honestly can say that I would not be that altruistic.  But in this case, the chase and the reluctance entrances Rylan.

Things go well until Kate discovers the truth behind Rylan’s identity.  He comes from a wealthy upper class family in New York City.  There is scandal in his family and he craves the anonymity that Paris provides him.  Kate is repelled by his omissions.  This was the only part of the book I struggled with.  While I did think Rylan was being ridiculous by hiding, I could understand his need to shed his former identity.  Kate did not see it that way and it causes the big rift.

What was outstanding in this book was the intimacy between the two.  You would think that in a book featuring seven nights that these two are going at it like rabbits.  But they don’t.  Kate is scared and skittish from physical intimacy.  Rylan takes things really slow with her, but deliciously so.  I found the love scenes to be outstanding in their pace and content.  All women should wish for a lover so dedicated and devoted like Rylan was to Kate.  I honestly couldn’t understand how she even got out of bed – nothing in Paris would tempt me away from Rylan if I was Kate.  The love scenes were some of the hottest and emotional I have read in a long time.

This was a great story.  While I struggled to understand Kate at times, I found that refreshing.  I am excited for the next book in the series and really want to know if Rylan and Kate can get over their misunderstanding.

Conqueror’s Kiss

Conqueror’s Kiss by Hannah Howell

conquerors kiss

Overview by Amazon:

There is little hope for sanctuary in the midst of the tumultuous Scottish border wars, yet one woman may find safe refuge . . . in the arms of her sworn enemy . . . 

Jennet Graeme has witnessed terrible tragedy during the many years of strife between the Scots and the English. As Scottish invaders plunder her convent sanctuary, she defiantly resists the blond warrior who claims her as his prize. But his brute strength is overpowering and Jennet is forced to ride with him through the lawless lands, tending to the wounded, protected and desired by a man she wants to hate . . . but cannot . . . 

Sir Hacon Gillard is moved by Jennet’s compassion and mercy. As a loyal knight, he’s pledged fealty to his king’s command, even as he loses his heart to this remarkable woman. Merciless in combat . . . yet there burns within him a spark for something far beyond the heat of battle . . .

This book is a reprint, originally published in 2006.  I am always amazed at how many books Hannah Howell has published.  It seems like there is always a new book being published or on the horizon.  What is even more amazing is the quality of these books.  The books that I have read have all been consistently four and five star books.

What is great about this book is how Hannah Howell weaves history and fiction.  This book is incredibly well researched, using historical events to guide the story.  Since I am a HUGE fan of Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard series, the time of Robert the Bruce is well known to me and very interesting.  What is different about this book than the Highland Guard series is the stark reality laid bare on the pages.  The heroine Jannet has lived and breathed war her whole life.  We see the bloody horrors of war in this book and it is not romantic or kind.  While I don’t think I would consistently read books that feature this much downtrodden details, it was an important element of the plot.

Jannet is captured by Hacon and kept as his plunder.  Obviously a relationship of sorts develops, but the major struggle for the two was the war and Hacon’s role as a Knight.  Jannet accompanies Hacon on a plundering march through Northern England.  A bare bones army camp is not the most romantic of settings.  Jannet is very set in her ways and very opinionated.  Her experiences in life have not been kind and she can’t trust her feelings for Hacon.

This push and pull between the two goes on for a long time.  This is played out between sieges and battles.  Every time they seem to have a moment together, war and fighting pull them apart.  While you know as a reader that they will end up with their happily ever after, it is the events that lead up to it that keep you engaged.

Hacon has a deadly enemy within the Scottish ranks.  This enemy was extremely well written and I found this part of the plot very engaging.  I wanted Hacon to be able to face his enemy and battle for his honour.  I found this part just as exciting as the romance between Hacon and Jannet.

The secondary characters are very strong in the book and play large roles.  After binge watching on Outlander, it wasn’t surprising that a small caravan of men would be travelling together considering the cost of war.  The adventure the group has creates a close intimacy and allows the characters to shine.

Another good book by Hannah Howell!  How does she do it?

Reds, Gingers and Strawberries

the accolade

Red is a beautiful colour.  It is the colour of fire and energy.  It also represents passion and anger.  It is the colour of the life force flowing through our veins.  In Eastern cultures, red is the colour for brides and presents as it represents good fortune.  It is one of the colours in nature that speaks to us on a primal level.  So is it any surprise that hair the colour of autumn leaves brings notice and attention?

Having red hair is the rarest natural hair colour in the human race.  Scotland and Ireland have the largest concentrations of red hair at 13% of the population.  Known for a fiery temper, it is no surprise that romance authors love to have a heroine that sports glowing red hair.  nicole kidman

In the past, red hair was both an omen and a blessing.  Those unfortunate redheads in the past could have been accused of being a witch.  Or even worse, a temptation with fire in her veins.  Whatever they thought in historical times, being a redhead definitely drew attention.

We now know, thanks to science, that it is a gene mutation called MC1R that creates beautiful red hair.  There have been many famous redheads that have earned their place in history – Boudicca, Queen queen elizabethElizabeth I, King Henry VIII and Ron Weasley.   Red hair is highly sought after.  It is the number one colour of hair dye (that surprised me as I thought blonde would be) and redheads represent at least one third of the people in commercials on tv.

amy adamsThere has been a resurgence of characters featuring red hair in romance novels. It seemed to me that in September almost every book I read had a character with red hair.  Most were female characters, as they tend to be more represented than men.

Marion Roach wrote a book called The Roots Of Desire in which she discusses current and historical opinions of red haired people. In her studies, she finds that many people generally view redheaded males to be inferior in a lot of ways to men with other hair colours.

“The historic reaction to the red-haired man was a kind of loathing,” she writes, attributing this to Shylock often being portrayed as a ginger in Shakespeare’s Merchant Of Venice. She also reports a 1986 study in which subjects generally described ginger men as “unattractive, less successful, and rather effeminate.”

sam heughan

I think men like Damian Lewis, Sam Heughan, Michael Fassbender and more have definitely countered that argument.  Prince Harry is the fantasy of many marriageable young women around the world.  While there is definitely a disparity between the balance of men with ginger hair compared to women in romance novels, I am starting to read more books featuring them.  One I finished recently was the Gilded Chain by Lauren Smith.  She definitely made red hair the thing of fantasy!  I personally don’t find ginger hair my ‘go-to’ look, but someone like Sam Heughan has completely changed my mind.  I think the Outlander star has done wonders for the imagination of the romance authors out there.  More and more books now feature a strong and brawn ginger.  Sam has helped to make the red haired man hot once again.

damian lewis harry fassbender ron

Women tend to have it easier.  From Disney Princesses to Hollywood actresses, being red is a big plus.  Red haired women to me, are lush and beautiful.  Each strand of natural red hair is actually thicker than blonde or brunette hair and it shows.  Actresses like Jessica Chastain and Julianne Moore make being a red head the most beautiful thing in the world.

red hair amy adams emma stone merida jessica

Why do authors like to use red headed females so much?  I am not sure, but I would hazard a guess it is because a red head stands out.  She is like a beacon of light in a crowd.  There has to be something special about her because she is unique.  It is a trend that is definitely on the upswing right now.  More and more books feature a beautiful red head as the star.  Some books that feature a fiery temptress are:

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Gilded Chain by Lauren Smith

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch

A Tale of Two Lovers by Maya Rodale

My Scandalous Viscount by Gaelen Foley

I am really enjoying the resurgence of the ginger hero.  I read romance for the fantasy and beauty.  A beautiful red head makes it a story worth reading.

Top Ten Tuesday – Spooky Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  Each week features a different theme that can be applied to whatever genre of books you like to read.  This week’s theme is in deference to Halloween!  I’ve tried to come up with a list of books that are spooky and thrilling!

Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith

stormcliffe

This is an amazing gothic adventure!  I have never read a gothic adventure before, but I knew they were really popular in the Regency era with the ladies.  What I love so much about this book is that while it takes place in modern day, there is a sub story from the past.  Really well written and fun!

Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles

cinderella and the ghost

This book was promoted as a time travel book, but to me it was more of a gothic love story.  Great characters, an intriguing plot and a ghost who longs for his soulmate.  A great book to curl up with on Halloween!

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

mysteries of udolpho

I have never read this gothic adventure, but this is the classic that typifies the gothic novel.  Lauren Smith used this book as research for her own gothic novel.  I have read many a historical romance that mentions this book as a popular novel for ladies to be reading.

Dark Lover Series by JR Ward

dark lover

Vampires are always good for a spooky thrill.  Since Twilight made vampires pretty mainstream and benign, we have JR Ward to make them scary and racy!  This series has beastly men who fight, fornicate and swear…not for the faint of heart!

Dark Prince by Christine Feenhan

dark prince

I haven’t read this book, but many swear that it is a horror romance!  One of my favourite reviewers, Lover of Romance, gave it a great review on Goodreads and a five star rating.  Since I trust her judgement, I’m adding it to the list!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith and Jane Austen

pride and prejudice and zombies

The cover of this book alone should give an indication that this is not your typical Austen book.  This has become another adaptation of her work that has taken the literary world by storm.  The trailer for the movie was just released and while I haven’t read the book – I will be seeing it for sure!

Psy Changeling Series by Nalini Singh

psy changeling

On the top of my wish list if days had extra hours is to read this series.  Everytime I go to do it, I remember by list with over twenty books that are doing jazz hands in my mind, reminding me I have to get to them first.  I have heard amazing things about this series and the books I have read by Nalini Singh have been fantastic!

Mad for Love by Lynne Connolly

mad for love

This series is about the Gods taking over London.  It’s full of wrathful Gods and Titans and the mortals who love them and get in the way.  I’ve read a few in the series and found the mix of historical London with ancient Gods to be an intoxicating mix and quite spooky at time!

Unexpected Eden by Rhenna Morgan

unexpected eden

This is a great paranormal romance novel!  Eryx was a fantastic character and I loved the plot!  Just because it is a paranormal romance isn’t enough to add it to this list – the book was great!  The world that Rhenna Morgan creates is fantastical and so interesting!  Big action, big bedroom scenes and a whole new world to explore as the reader!

Mermen by Mimi Jean Pamlioff

mermen

Mermen…do I need to say more?  They are huge, beautiful and deadly men who seem to really like human women.  Like Rhenna Morgan, Mimi Jean Pamfiloff has made an amazing new world where the rules of earth don’t apply.  Sexy mermen fighting for their world and the women they love.  Scary and sexy at the same time!

The Dangerous Duke of Dinnisfree

The Dangerous Duke of Dinnisfree (A Whisper of Scandal book) by Julie Johnstone

duke of dinnisfree

Overview by Amazon:

Justin Holleman, the Duke of Dinnisfree, is used to being wanted—in bed, for missions, and even dead. He’s protected his country more times than he can remember, gaining enemies along the way, but he failed to defend himself from the past that hardened his heart. Instead, he became an expert at shutting people out. Yet now, in order to save the king, Justin needs to let go of his old ways and let someone closer to him than ever before. He approaches the mission with his classic cold calculation, but his fiery new ally upends his ordered world and entices him at every turn. Suddenly he’s in danger of compromising his assignment and losing his heart, two things he swore never to do. 

Desperate to protect her parents from poverty, among other things, Miss Arabella Carthright unwittingly becomes a pawn in a dangerous political battle when she agrees to aid an enigmatic stranger. Having learned long ago to count only on herself, she’s surprised when time and again the duke actually aids her. But when his true assignment becomes clear, Arabella realizes the man she’s come to care for poses the greatest threat to those she loves. 

As Justin and Arabella face their feelings and their web of deception falls away, they must decide how high a price they are willing to pay for love and loyalty. 

Justin AKA James Bond is a spy for Prinny.  He is like a male Olivia Pope – he puts out the fires of the overindulged Prince.  His latest mission brings him in contact with the lovely Arabella.  To say that she has a difficult life is an understatement.  Arabella’s life is very typical of the average Londoner.  She has finally reached low enough to have to self her body when fate intervenes.

What was great about the book was how the class divide was explored.  Arabella was from the working poor of London and Justin is a Duke.  Their world’s should never have crossed in this time and age.  But Justin isn’t like other Duke’s and his work for the crown has him spending more time in the underbellies of London streets than the gilded halls of Buckingham Palace as a courtier.

The mystery of the letters and the Queen was great!  I found the plot very well paced and I knew that I was hooked when I was frantically trying to figure out what was going to happen.  Justin’s role in the political arena was just as interesting and I found it engaging how he was able to work at the highest levels of Parliament and the mean streets with the same efficacy.

The evolution of Justin and Arabella was quite extensive throughout the story.  Justin’s journey was one of an emotional nature.  Always a kind man, he became Arabella’s protector and knight.  It made me fall more in love with him as he took on Arabella’s problems as his own and solved them.  Arabella was a pawn in Justin’s and others game in this book, but she came out the winner in the end.  I really adored how she trusted Justin and believed in him enough to let him help her.  Arabella’s flight drove home how scary it would have been to live in that time period with no social security or safety nets.

A great book filled with adventure, love and enjoyable characters.  I found the story of the dangerous Duke to be a wonderful journey that made me believe in the kindness of humanity.

The Gilded Chain

The Gilded Chain (Surrender Series) by Lauren Smith

the gilded chain

Overview by Amazon:

For years, Callie Taylor has been obsessed with two things: a man she can never have and escaping to Paris where she can follow her artistic passions. But everything changes when Callie meets Wes Thorne, a wealthy, mysterious art collector and famous dominant. Despite all the nights she’s spent dreaming of another man, it is Wes’s predatory gaze that suddenly consumes her every thought and sets her body on fire. One touch from him promises unforgettable passion, but Callie knows that passion often comes with a price…

From the moment he sets eyes on Callie, Wes is intrigued by her artistic talent and her delightful innocence of all things erotic. A stolen kiss leaves him aching and desperate to claim her in a way he’s never wanted any woman. But first he must convince her to surrender her control. And what better place to seduce an artistic soul like Callie’s than Paris?

This is another outstanding book by Lauren Smith.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the Gilded Cuff and Gilded Cage in the Surrender Series, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to find my anticipation was met with excellent writing, a fresh plot and wickedly good characters.

What makes this book so great is the characters.  Wes is perfectly written.  When Callie tells him that he makes her nervous, I was feeling it too!  Wes is an intimidating and strong man, the kind that makes you sit up and take notice.  I loved the confidence he exuded.  I was trying to fathom how challenging it was to create a character like this and it just increased my admiration for Lauren Smith.

Callie is very young in this book.  I was worried that with Wes’ predatory style, it may be a little creepy, but not the case.  Callie is a talented artist who needs a mentor to show her the opportunities the world has to offer.  We met Callie in the last book when Fenn was discovered.  She is nursing a broken heart when Wes swoops in with his offer to travel to Paris…and his bed.  They have some misunderstandings but it was hard to remember at times that Callie was only twenty and this was her first relationship, so of course she had to stand her ground with the much older and wiser Wes.

The art world is highlighted as much as the BDSM that Wes frequents.  I really enjoyed the sub plot with art theft as the mystery and adventure element.  It was another well developed element of the plot that was a great mystery and thrilling.

I think this may be my favourite book so far in the series, but the final character in the quartet is Royce.  I love that name and I can’t wait for his book to come out.  I am so intrigued by the teaser that Lauren provides as the end of the book!  This is a great series by a fabulous author!

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Wishes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week features a different theme that can be applied to whatever genre of books you like to read. This week’s theme is awesome!  If there was a book genie, what would I wish for!?

I have so many book wishes and it has been beyond fun to get to explore this!

1.  More Sam Jellicoe

This is really high on my wish list!  Suzanne Enoch created this amazing character and wrote quite a few books featuring this awesome character and just when things were heating up….no more books!  I desparately need more Sam and Rick!  Please!

2.  Lillian and Marcus

One of my very favourite books is by Lisa Kleypas.  I adored It Happened One Autumn and the characters of Lillian and Marcus have a special place in my heart.  I would love to have another book featuring the two.  I know that they have settled into martial bliss, but knowing the character of Lillian, there are a thousand adventures still to write about.

3.  Judith McNaught

It has been over ten years since she published a book.  There was one in the works that was never released.  It would be so wonderful if that final book could be published!  She is just so talented and I would use a genie wish to get one more book from her!

4.  Crossfire

I have been invested in the Crossfire series since it started and it has been painful.  While I like the books, I have found the wait inbetween books to be almost cruel.  When the books first came out it was intended to be a trilogy.  The backlash on Amazon was extreme when it was revealed that it was a five parter.  Since then it has been over a year between publications.  The final book has yet to get a publication date!  While I like Sylvia Day’s work, I find it hard to believe that an author keeps fans waiting so long.

5.  Netgalley

I get the majority of the books I read as ARC (Advanced Reader Copies) from the website Netgalley.  While I get approved for most of the books I request, I still get turned down.  My wish for a book genie would be to get on a pre-approved list!  Then I could just click and read whatever catches my fancy!  Ultimate goal!

6.  Blog Goal

Since I started my blog, I have some die hard readers who comment, read and like on a regular basis.  I love and appreciate the support.  I also have some authors who constantly support me and send new authors my way.  My book genie wish for the blog is that it will continue to grow and new readers will find my reviews and they will be helpful pairing people with great books!

7.  Midnight Sun

What?  You are likely saying.  Back when Twilight was big, the author Stephanie Meyer wrote the original book from Edward’s perspective.  Someone leaked the first few chapters on the internet and the author abandoned the project.  While this is not a new concept (EL James did it with Grey), I actually found the few chapters of Midnight Sun to be so interesting and actually better from Edward’s point of view than Bella’s.  While I don’t read YA Fiction very often, it would be a book I would make an exception for!

8.  Sports

Another book genie wish I have is to read more sports contemporary romance.  I love baseball, football, hockey and more.  Most of the contemporary sports books I have read are great!  I want to add more to my reading list this fall!

9.  New series

I really like Georgia Cates, Raine Miller, and Meredith Wild.  They have all finished series in the past year.  I want the book Genie to grant me a wish of having them write more amazing series for me to fall in love with.

10.  Movies

Romance genre is one of the most popular and profitable forms of literature out there.  I wish that there would be more movies and tv shows based on some of the truly great books!  All the money spent on stupid comedies and bad slasher pics could be spent on bringing some truly great books to life!

Reclaim Me

Reclaim Me (A Chasing Fire Novel, Book #3) by Ann Marie Walker and Amy K Rogers

reclaim me

Overview by Amazon:

There’s almost nothing Alessandra Sinclair wouldn’t do for Hudson Chase. He was her first love, and she’s determined that he’ll be her last. But when the terrible truth Hudson has been hiding comes to light, Allie finds herself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a man from her past who’s determined to use what he knows to ruin Hudson. Now, the only way to save the man she loves may be to lose him forever…
 
Hudson has always known that the secrets he keeps could be his downfall, but he never expected them to put Allie’s life in danger as well. It’s time for him to come clean–before everything he’s ever wanted is destroyed…

You have to love a book that styles the lead male character after David Gandy.  I loved that the authors thanked his assistant at the end of the book.  It had me wondering if he has read the series and what similarities he has with the amazing Hudson in real life.

This book is the conclusion to the amazing story that features Allie and Hudson.  We meet the two of them in the book Remind Me.  Allie has just realized her life is a sham and she takes back the power she has lost.  Part of this is reconnecting with her long lost love Hudson.  They rekindle their love affair while battling it out in the boardroom.  Happiness is not an easy road for Hudson and Allie.  They have to deal with the past as well as the enemies that want to tear them apart in Release Me.

In this final book, the action picks up right where it left off in Release Me.  Allie is sucked back in to her former fiancée’s life.  She has to do whatever she can to protect Hudson.  This means that she makes difficult choices to live with as the reader.

What I love about these characters is how much they love each other.  They are so ridiculously attracted to each other that it literally sets the pages on fire.  The connection between the two is so strong that it palpitates.  It is really challenging to create this sort of chemistry in a book, which makes it even more astonishing that this book is written by two writers.

The sex between the two is the kind of passion you wish you could experience at least once in your life if you are really, really lucky.  Not only are they sexy, hot and young, they fit together so perfectly in and out of the bedroom.  Imagining David Gandy as Hudson makes the sexy scenes even hotter.  Hudson is an incredible lover and Allie is so very lucky that she has him.

I don’t want to give away the plot, but there was some surprising situations that I never saw coming.  I loved how the story unfolded.  I really hate it when the heroine keeps information to herself and doesn’t confide in her man.  Thankfully I didn’t want to shake Allie and she worked together with Hudson to solve their problems.  There is one scene in the book that was just so unbelievably romantic and beautiful that I was close to tears – but in a good way!

I am sad that this series is over as I loved the characters and the plot.  I found the writing to be superb and extremely well developed plot.  There is the perfect balance between intense moments and sweet intimacy.  I really hope that the authors continue to work together and conceive another really great story like this series has been!

Musings on book reviews….

I recently read an excellent post by Jamie from the Broke and the Bookish about perceptions.  Like all her posts, this one was great because she was musing about how people perceive her because she gives so many positive reviews.

I always do my best thinking while driving and for some reason this really stuck with me.  So while I was stuck in traffic (a daily reality in Toronto), I was thinking about my blog and the policy I have.  I have shared this in the About Me section, but I only post reviews of books I like and would recommend.  So, it may seem like I promote anything and everything, but that isn’t the case.

I read a lot of books.  Almost one book a day, on top of being a full time employee, a mom and keeping up a home.  Don’t pull out the violins for me – I am super happy with everything and getting to read and review books I like is just icing on the cake.  However, since I read so much, I am able to put out reviews almost every day of the week.  It may seem like I like all the books I read, but on average I would say that about two out of ten books are stinkers.  Probably another two are borderline three to four star books.  I ONLY post reviews of books that are four to five star books.

So those books that didn’t resonate with me or I just didn’t enjoy are not posted on the blog.  However, I DO post those reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.  I try to be tactful and remember that just because I didn’t enjoy a book, it doesn’t mean that others won’t.  Therefore I will never write a scathing review.  I always try to write what was good and identify what was uneven or just didn’t work.  Authors like feedback when it is constructive and I aim to provide that feedback.  This is a career for authors and I won’t be a part of tearing them down and making destructive comments that will impact their livelihood.

So, if you have landed on this blog, please know that I try to share what I liked about the book, why I think you will like it and what is special.  Of course, I have my favourite authors that I like to gush about, but if they didn’t hit a homerun with their latest book, know that I won’t be covering it.

Happy Reading!

Double Down

Double Down (Cassidy Jones) by Victoria Pratt

double down

Overview by Amazon:

She’s catching bad guys–one lap dance at a time…

Small-town-girl turned big-city-cop Cassidy Jones, is a fast-driving, sharp-shooting, man-loving ball buster with a loud laugh and boundary issues. She’s also really great at her job-a fact that is completely irrelevant to the good ol’ boys at the station.

When a local mobster ends up dead, Cassidy is on the case. Unfortunately, if she wants to catch the killer, she’s going to have to do it in a G-string and five-inch heels. Oh, and there’s the little problem that she’s fallen hard for the mobster’s brother, who might also be a murder suspect.

Cassidy has to save her man and her reputation or risk losing it all.

Cassidy Jones is the friend you wish you had.  She is not a perfect woman and I loved that about her.  She is probably one of the most real characters I have read a in a while.  Cassidy likes her drink, men and pizza.  In some respects, she reminded me of the comedienne Amy Schumer – smart, sassy and says what most of us are thinking.

Cassidy gets put undercover at a strip joint to find out who killed a mafia kingpin.  I really enjoyed how the author developed the story.  She created such a vivid picture of the town Cassidy lives in, the Indian Reservation, the strip club and her home.  When Cassidy visits the swimming hole, I could imagine the water’s edge just like I could almost feel the sun when she sunbathed in her backyard.  I felt like I was along for every adventure that Cassidy had.

The plot revolves around Cassidy’s investigation at the Double Down Strip Club.  I loved that she picked the name Brandi.  I adored that she invented an identity of a Canadian.  And I really loved that she introduces the favoured Canadian beverage Caesars, featuring Clamato juice.  I had to pour myself one while I feasted on the book.

Cassidy’s investigation was part humorous, sad and titillating.  She meets the dead Mafia boss’ brother Lorenzo while undercover and it’s instant attraction.  I liked the fact that Cassidy didn’t deny it to herself, nor berate herself for the hot animal lust that she feels.  The murder investigation was really interesting and had some great twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

The romance with Lorenzo was just icing on the cake.  There isn’t a lot of action between the two, but the flirting and dates were electrifying!  I really can’t wait to read the next one in the series because I liked the characters very much.  The plot was really well developed and the details made the story excellent.  I really recommend this book and series!