Tales of the Odalisque – Josie Litton

tales of the odalisque

Tales of the Odalisque
193 pages

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Natalia hasn’t heard from her half-sister, Naomi, in over six months. After searching for her through every outlet she can think of, she decides her only option is to go to the last place Naomi mentioned wanting to get a job at: the Odalisque. But not just anyone gets access to the Odalisque, so Natalia does what’s necessary by joining the Abbey of the Virgins, a school where virgins are educated on how to satisfy a man before auctioning off their virginity. She doesn’t care about any of that though, what she needs is info only Lucius Belmont, the owner, has and she luckily has the skills to get it.

The story is a unique fusion of Victorian England and modern day making it really stand out. Litton’s beautiful prose seems effortless, although it sometimes drifts into excessively long, detailed descriptions that just barely crosses the line into unnecessary.

Lucius is *sigh* perfect. Even at his worst, he’s dreamy and giving. Natalia is stubborn to a fault, but it’s understandable. I just wish I got to see more of her after she finally lets her walls down, but the story sadly ends soon after. Their attraction is ‘don’t stare at the sun too long or you’ll go blind’ intense. It’s overwhelming, but in the best way. The sex isn’t what I would call dark and there’s not much of it, however there is an awful lot of thinking and learning about sex, but actual scenes between the H/h are few.

The conclusion is what kept me from giving the story 5 stars. *Mild Spoiler* Natalia finally tells Lucius about her illicit past and what she’s been searching for. He leaves, comes back sometime later and tells her ‘this is this, and that is that’ so no need to keep looking, problem solved. Oh, btw let’s spend forever together. The end.

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It was simply too fast and felt incomplete. Despite that, the book is still definitely worth the read.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Dark Hunter – A.J. Adams

dark hunter

Dark Hunter
330 pages

2.5 ⭐⭐

Dark Hunter is the fourth book in the Zeta Cartel Series, but can be read as a standalone.

Once Rip Marston’s family was tragically murdered, he took it amongst himself to get revenge. Working as a stealth killer for over a decade for various criminal enterprises, he is the best of the best that doesn’t exist. After saving Arturo Vasquez’s life, he’s offered everything he’s been looking for: a home, protection, and plenty of opportunities to let his inner-monster out. His hopes for stability are challenged when he comes across a barely alive woman in his garden. Is she just going to slow him down and make his façade impossible to maintain, or could he actually use her to his advantage?

This is one of my more favorite stories by A.J. Adams, but the execution was too flawed for me to really like it. The format and organization was often sloppy, making it hard to follow the timeline. There were obvious inconsistencies that should’ve been an easy pickup for a proofreader: IE An alias Rip uses goes from Benton to Benson in a matter of three pages. There’s a ton of inner monologue that just repeats and repeats that dragged the plot. But my biggest issue was the constant use of British expressions and terminology by American characters. For example: Use of the word ‘torch’ rather than ‘flashlight’ by Morgan, a Texan. An author shouldn’t write a character from a different culture if you can’t get it accurate.

Aside from some creatively descriptive murders, this book isn’t very dark. Rip constantly hems and haws about his horrible treatment of Morgan, but other than some threats, he doesn’t actually mistreat her. The author had a cartel boss and a hitman repeatedly saying ‘ohmigod’. I’m supposed to fear these characters, yet a lot of their dialogue just seemed like high school girls playing a role.

The book is pretty light on the romance. The connection between Rip and Morgan came out of nowhere. There was little buildup and actually, very few intimate scenes with them together that didn’t go to black. I just didn’t get enough of them alone together without the influence of having to play a role for the cartel for me to absorb their genuine feelings for each other.

If only an editor (or a better one) had a hand in the story, it would’ve been much more impressive. Instead, I felt like I wasted half of the book just figuring out what I was reading.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

For My Master – Linnea May

for my master

For My Master
204 pages

2 ⭐⭐

Undergrad Cynthia is having a rough time. She probably won’t get the scholarship for grad school she applied for, she’s getting pressure from her parents and counselor to get a job, and she finds nothing but hot men that turn out to be duds in bed. The morning after a less than stellar evening with a random hookup, Cynthia begrudgingly goes to an interview for a job she doesn’t even want at Jones & Jones. It’s obvious to Nathan Jones that Cynthia isn’t interested in the job, but she is interested in the naughty pictures of women in bondage behind his desk. Have they both finally found what they’ve been looking for?

There’s not much plot to the story. They both want a D/s relationship, but Nathan’s constantly reminding her that they can’t be more than that. Hell, he won’t even let her spend the night. What kind of dom beats his sub to exhaustion to just toss her out in the middle of the night? The hero is just an immature jackass that keeps taking his own issues out on poor Cynthia. I will give Cynthia credit for not taking his BS lying down (at least every time), though. If she were a total doormat I wouldn’t’ve finished the book. The story is pretty stagnant and I never felt the connection between them.

The writing seemed like it was telling me how great a lover Nathan is when I would’ve been more convinced if I was simply shown. And the author’s way of showing it was by having Nathan constantly referring to his previous conquests. Examples:
“Cynthia isn’t the first girl I’ve brought here…”
“My problem has never been to get women into bed, but rather get them out.”
“Usually when I bring a girl a girl here, I’m eager to move her to the bedroom as soon as possible.”

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Yes, he’s had several lovers and the sexual experience of a professional athlete, I get it. If only more of the story was spent on Nathan and Cynthia’s interactions instead of being regaled with past references, I would’ve believed it.

There are countless books out there with the whole ‘man is afraid of love, woman breaks his rules by making him feel feelings, man tosses woman, woman forgives man the moment he wants her back’ storyline. If that’s the story you want then go ahead and read For My Master, but there are plenty others that are more worth your time.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

*FREEBIE ALERT* Only You – A.T. Brennan

**FREE from October 27-29, 2017**

Only You

Only You (Robson Brothers, #3)
by A.T. Brennan

Moving out of the apartment I shared with my brother could have been a disaster. After making the decision only weeks before the start of school, I’m forced to sign a lease to sublet a place with a roommate I’ve never met. Adam doesn’t seem like a serial killer, and he is the star pitcher of the school baseball team, so I guess I’m safe. Except for the fact that my body can’t seem to understand that he’s straight and not interested in someone like me.

Getting cheated on by the girl I was supposed to be moving in with sucked, but having to find a new place only weeks before the start of school added a layer of awful I didn’t want to deal with. Thankfully the guy I end up rooming with seems cool, but there’s something about Logan that makes me question everything I’ve ever thought about myself. I’ve always been attracted to women, so why can’t I get my handsome roommate out of my head?

* * * *


A.T. Brennan, a native of Ottawa, Canada, enjoys picking up and moving every few years. A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces and current entrepreneur and author, she enjoys spending her days working on her many projects and her nights writing and not getting enough sleep. She currently lives on Canada’s East Coast with her family, enjoys collecting books and exploring the different aspects of romance in her works. She’s made the leap from m/f romance to m/m, and also publishes erotica under the name Mandie Mills.

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* * * *

Want More Robson Brothers?

Book 1: Taking Chances

Book 2: Letting Go 

Find the Series on Goodreads

Matchmaker – Lauren Landish


347 pages

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Full-time nanny slash part-time student, Emily, is looking for a little drama in her life. When she sees an opportunity to try out for some television show she jumps at it. She’s surprised when she’s chosen, but is overwhelmed when she discovers it’s for a reality dating show similar to the Bachelorette called the Matchmaker. Male model, Hayden, isn’t getting many gigs thanks to his ‘professional behavior’. Without his permission, his agent gets him an audition for The Matchmaker. He begrudgingly goes, but once he gets a look at the woman he’ll be competing for, he’s all in.

The plot is steady but frustrating. I’ve never watched The Bachelorette or anything similar and this book shows exactly why. It exposes the fakeness of such shows and it kinda enraged me. As I’m sure is somewhat accurate to real-life, the producers manipulate the contestants and Emily to get the results they want.

Hayden and Emily were wonderful together. Emily’s sweet as pie but a little too naïve for me at times. Hayden was pretty much perfect and *wooh* he talked just the right amount of dirty. Some of the secondary characters were a bit stereotypical, especially Brad, but he was easily the funniest character so I can’t complain too much.

Even if you’re not a fan of reality shows like the one depicted in the book, you may very well still enjoy the book. I took a chance and was glad I did.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Billionaire’s Ex-Wife – Leslie North

the billionaire

The Billionaire’s Ex-Wife
Full-length novel

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sam has been summoned by his older brother/CEO of their shared company to get their younger brother, Eddie, on board with some changes they want him to make. To Sam’s surprise, his ex-wife, Trinity, has been tasked with keeping the peace between Sam and Eddie. Since divorcing a year ago, they’ve barely seen each other so having to now work together tests Trinity’s resolve to stay divorced and encourages Sam to win her back.

This is a down to earth second chance romance. It focuses almost entirely on their relationship post-divorce with only some references to when they were married. The maturity of Sam and Trinity was a nice change of pace from typical second chance romances. Trinity was independent and smart. Sam exuded OCD-like behavior and was very regimented, but still likable. He was slow on the uptake, though. I was given the impression he didn’t know why Tri divorced him in the first place which made me wonder if he could see beyond his own nose. His evolution wasn’t as enlightening as I’d hoped, but he did improve on his ways before the end.

I imagine there will be further books in this series, but I still wanted some sort of epilogue or a more concrete ending. It was HFN, but just barely.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Sacred *Cover Reveal* by SL Scott

SACRED CR Banner.jpg

TITLE: Sacred
AUTHOR: S.L. Scott
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2017
GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/SacredGR 

The battle was SAVAGE. The king got his queen, but where is my SAVIOR?

When I thought there was no hope, that suffering this lonely life was my destiny, I saw her. The bubblegum pink skirt caught my attention, but her doe eyes captured my heart. That’s the way the world works, right? Beat you down and then give you a glimmer of something else, something that might be real.

With her, I don’t have to hide the demons that haunt me, or to relive my darkest days alone.

With me, she’s free to be whoever she wants to be. She’s amazing.

Together, we’re two people clinging to a ray of sunshine that only the other can see.

I let my guard down. I got too comfortable. I thought the war had been won when, in reality, it had just begun. When old debts accrue, past demons return to collect their dues.

To find the SOLACE these young lovers crave, will they have to sacrifice the one thing they hold most SACRED?

From New York Times bestselling author, S.L. SCOTT, comes a new, emotionally driven, romantic suspense standalone.

SACRED Ebook Cover Front 1.jpg

COVER: Mr. Scott
Okay Creations
Photo: Scott Hoover

Sacred Teaser

Sacred Teaser 2



Website: http://www.slscottauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slscottpage
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h6G0eI
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Slscottauthor


Bad Reputation – Callie Blake

**Release Date October 23, 2017**

bad reputation

Bad Reputation
Full-length novel

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Connor Schaeffer is a successful screenwriter and notorious playboy. His last project was so successful that he’s expected to write a sequel; only the movie was never intended for a sequel and is guaranteed to be a bust. Famous Hollywood producer Russell Cohan approaches him with an offer: mentor his mess of an actress daughter, Kensie, so she gets better roles and stop embarrassing him and he will get Connor out of his contract to make a sequel. Connor’s stuck on the fence about accepting until he has an interesting first encounter with Kensie’s cousin/assistant, Peyton. Hoping to see more of her, he accepts Russell’s proposal.

The characters are well-fleshed out. Peyton is strong and opinionated but incredibly selfless and caring. Connor comes off as a manwhore, and he sort of is, but his transformation is significant and genuine after getting to know Peyton. Plus, he’s pretty dreamy and chivalrous a lot of the time. Their relationship is slow but intense, the attraction upping each time they see each other until they finally- FINALLY- give in.

The plot is humorous and steady. There were a couple of inconsistencies in the book (IE Peyton’s eye color), but my biggest peeve was the third-person omniscient POV. The segues from one character’s internal monologue to the next wasn’t well distinguished, so I had to go back and re-read some bits to make sure I understood it correctly. It was a little annoying, but didn’t stop me from enjoying the story.

If you want to escape for a few hours with a funny but steamy RomCom, this is a prime choice.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Slap and Swallow – Angela Blake


**Release Date October 21, 2017**

slap and swallow

Slap & Swallow
74 pages

2 ⭐⭐

Here’s my abridged version of Slap and Swallow:

Selena has just escaped an abusive relationship. She goes to a topless bar in a new town because, well, I guess a topless bar is better for a single woman than a regular bar? Selena meets Dick just moments after arriving and he offers her a job as his secretary. He’s quick to feel her up, going as far as grabbing her boobs as he assists getting her drunk self to her hotel. Selena loves it because it makes her feel that she matters. Don’t you just love getting groped by a complete stranger within 24 hours of running away from your POS boyfriend of years? Oh how lucky is she!?

The next afternoon, Dick and Victor show Selena a charming home video of them sleeping with a previous girlfriend/coworker. And it turns her on so much that she sleeps with Dick and his business partner minutes after signing her employee contract. Victor calls her b*&ch in the process, making Selena (remember, she’s just got out of a seriously abusive/rapey relationship) feel giddy with importance. [The story is inconsistent with the timeline. She met them after lunch to sign her contract, sleeps with them, meets the entire company’s personnel, becomes a model turned marketing guru/fashion designer during a meeting, works some more, goes back to the hotel and works for a few hours before Dick texts that he’ll be picking her up at 6pm. She must work like the frickin’ Flash to get all that done in five hours.] Selena agrees to move in with Dick and Victor the same day. Selena becomes so good at her job despite her abundant lack of experience that she’s soon an executive of her own department. Throw in a marriage proposal and few more raunchy sex scenes and bada bing, there’s your story.

I understand the author’s intention is to escape reality for a  bit, but the story is borderline offensive. I’m supposed to see Selena as a woman rising from the flames of a horrendous relationship, but instead she comes off as nymphomaniac with little regard for own well-being. She doesn’t like being beaten around by men? Well, she’s awfully fast to settle down with two complete strangers she knows nothing about beyond her sexual attraction to them and that they gave her a job. Too bad they couldn’t give her a brain as well.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Auctioned to Him 1-3 – Charlotte Byrd

Auctioned to Him 1-3

Auctioned to Him 1-3
3 short novellas

2 ⭐⭐

Ellie is stuck in a job she hates and still dependent on her stepfather financially. While attending a yacht party, a surprise auction is introduced where the women have the choice to auction themselves off. Inspired by the money she expects to receive she enters and goes for a whopping $250,000. Her mystery buyer turns out to be Aiden Black, rich and successful owner of Owl, Amazon’s main competitor.

I found myself skimming a lot. The writing is repetitive and sloppy. There’s an awful lot of explanation about Aiden’s business that felt unnecessary and slowed the plot down.

Ellie is really hard to like. Her internal monologue is loaded with “How dare he”s and “who do they think they are” type of reflections that gives her a holier than thou air that’s hard to get past. Even when it’s warranted, it’s so constant that her character surpasses the label of ‘strong woman’ and becomes ‘is there anything this woman likes kinda woman’. Aiden is weaker than I’d like, but he’s also really unreliable as a character. One chapter he’s musing to himself that there are millions of hotter women in the city he could get with so why waste his time on Ellie. Shortly after he’s telling her she’s the most beautiful woman in the world and oh how he wishes she would believe him. It was as genuine as Donald Trump’s tan: I just wasn’t buying it.

Here’s my biggest problem with the story. In book 2, the opening scene is of Aiden knowingly going on a date with another woman, Kristina, he regularly sleeps with after meeting and sleeping with the heroine and telling her he wanted to see her again. He and Kristina go back to his place with the full intention of having sex. And he is EAGER (as in solid as a rock, if you get my drift) to make it happen. Just because he gets a moment of consciousness after initiating sex with another woman and he feels guilty for almost sleeping around on Ellie doesn’t make it cool. He went to the friggen opera, which he openly loathes, just to make this other woman happy so he could sleep with her. Yes, this crap happens in real life, but this is a romance purposely billed as having no cheating and it’s misleading. Romance authors don’t write hideously ugly heroes because they’re undesirable. Well, so are (almost) cheaters.
No, there’s no technical cheating, but it’s awfully close.

The book falls under too many clichés to stand out amongst thousands of other books that do the same thing, only better.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.