Review: Riot (Scarred Souls, #4), by Tillie Cole

Riot (Scarred Souls, #4)Riot by Tillie Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***I was provided an ARC of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley.com, in exchange for honest feedback.***

I love this series! Each one of the books in this series has grabbed my attention and left me craving more. I just cannot get enough of these tortured fighters and the women that tame them. It may sound ridiculous – and logically, it kind of is – but it just works so damn well.

There is something about the over-the-top, Alpha-male heroes in this series that appeals to me on a very primal level. In fact, much of the dialogue would be laughable in any other book, but Tillie Cole pulls it off flawlessly. The heroes are similar to those from Kresley Cole’s ‘Immortals After Dark’ series, in their overwhelming need to answer to their baser needs. Phrases like “my female” and other possessive, rudimentary speech patterns fill the pages, but it manages to be incredibly H-O-T.

In this fourth, and final (?), book, we meet “901”. He’s the Blood Pit’s undefeated champion fighter and he’s proved to be a challenge to Master Arziani, the head of the Arziani Georgian crime mob. It is clear that 901 fears nothing, including Master Arziani. This presents a tremendous problem for the crime boss, who needs to reign in his champion.

When Master Arziani shows off his new favorite pleasure slave, “152”, he finally finds the leverage he’s been searching for. Despite his attempts to hide his interest, 901 is taken aback by 152’s beauty. He’s never wanted for anything as much as he wants her.

The two are thrown together, as Master Arziani uses 152 as a tool to break 901. No matter how hard 901 fights his attraction, he ultimately must cede control in this regard. Master Arziani has finally found a way to control 901.

Meanwhile, Valentin is determined to rescue his sister, 152, from the life of slavery that he was able to escape. Along with Luka and Zaal, he plots to bring down Master Arziani once and for all. Their plans are daring and they know that they will either succeed or die trying.

From start to finish, this book kept me on the edge of my seat. The plight of 152 and 901 was desperate and heartbreaking at times. Arziani was sadistic and seriously unhinged, so I never knew what to expect from him.

Unlike earlier books in the series, which followed a predictable pattern of the hero’s escape/rescue from slavery and gradual acclimation to “normal” life on the outside, aided by the heroine, this book saves the rescue for last. In contrast to earlier books, this book is primarily set during the time of captivity. 901 and 152 are both slaves when they meet and fall in love. Only later, are they rescued.

This book was fantastic. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it and could not put it down. Old and new characters come together and everything comes full-circle. We finally get the HEA that these characters deserve. I can only hope that there will be a spin-off series in the future. I loved it!

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Review: Chained (Caged, #2), by D. H. Sidebottom

Chained (Caged #2)Chained by D.H. Sidebottom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had been anxiously awaiting this book since the moment I finished ‘Caged’ and this book did not disappoint! Let me just say “thank you” to the author for not keeping me waiting for too long. I’m not sure I would have kept my sanity if I’d had to wait much longer.

‘Chained’ picks up right where ‘Caged’ left off. Immediately, the reader is plunged back into the screwed up pasts of Anderson and Kloe. Forcing Kloe to confront the memories that haunt her, Anderson is still out for revenge and plans to use Kloe as the means to exact that revenge on his father.

I went back and forth over whether this was a 4-star or 5-star read for me. Maybe I’m being petty, but I’m just still too pissed with Anderson over his treatment of Kloe to give it a full 5-stars. I really expect for my heroes to have to do some serious groveling when they screw up and that didn’t happen here. Kloe continued to be a doormat where Anderson was concerned.

Just like ‘Caged’, this book will take your blow your mind and play with your emotions. There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming…and a few that I did. I don’t want to spoil anything. This is one that you need to experience firsthand. Prepare to be shocked and left with an uneasy, disturbed feeling. If you’re a fan of dark, erotic stories, this series is a must read!

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Review: Maybe This Time (Maybe, #1), by Chantal Fernando

Maybe This Time (Maybe, #1)Maybe This Time by Chantal Fernando
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long time. The Audible version was on sale recently, so I thought, “why not?”. It’s been a few days now and I’m still trying to decide how I feel about this one. I loved parts of this story and hated others. I’m left feeling torn over how to rate this one. Finally, I settled on 3 stars.

The story begins with a 19 year-old Summer, our heroine, moving in with her 18 year-old brother, Xander, after picking him up from jail. Her mother had recently died, leaving Summer to reach out to her estranged father and her half-brother for help. It was apparent that there were some strained family relations. Summer hadn’t been previously allowed to have a relationship with Xander, as he was the product of their father’s extramarital affair and Summer’s mother forbade it.

To say the least, there were some very interesting dynamics in the beginning. As they got to know each other, I kept having to remind myself that Xander was actually the younger sibling. He was fiercely protective of Summer and made sure that all of his friends knew that she was “off limits”. Any man that messed with her would have to contend with Xander and their father, the leader of their MC.

Of course, the fact that she was forbidden fruit only served to make her more desirable. In no time, Summer has set her sights on Reid Knox. Honestly, I didn’t get it for most of the book.

Reid Knox is the resident bad-boy. He was moody, inconsiderate and just a royal a**hole. Now that I think of it, that was his appeal. He was all over the place. One minute he was warning Summer off. The next minute, he’d be snuggling up with her. He was an Alpha-male, domineering, jerk…but that’s why I loved him.

There was plenty of angst and drama in this story, holding my attention from start to finish. I loved Xander’s twin brother, Ryan, who becomes Summer’s best friend. He was the type of fun-loving sidekick that every story needs. There is also a crazy ex-girlfriend that keeps things interesting…because what story would be complete without a crazy ex to stir up trouble?

So, why only 3-stars? One word — GROVELING. If you follow my reviews, you know that I demand groveling. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to have a hero that screws up royally, breaking the heroine’s heart, only to be forgiven with very little effort on his part to make up for his actions. It really irks me. If I have to suffer through the heartache, I demand that he suffer as well. Otherwise, all of the pain that the heroine supposedly felt seems insincere and invalid.

That is exactly what happened in this book. It was no big surprise that Reid would screw up…big time. However, Summer became some insecure, weak-willed heroine that let him off with little more than a half-assed apology. No! Just, no! Thus, the 3-star rating. Otherwise, it would’ve been a 4-star read for me.

Overall, it was a good story. I am still a little peeved at how easily Summer forgave Reid, but I’ll get over it eventually. I am looking forward to reading the stories of some of the other characters that were introduced. I will be starting the next book immediately.

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Review: Caged, by D. H. Sidebottom

Caged (Caged, #1)Caged by D.H. Sidebottom
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whew! It’s been a few days since I finished this book and I still cannot get it out of my mind. This book was hands-down one of the best books I’ve read this year! I read it to pass some time between the new releases I was waiting for. Honestly, I didn’t expect much. Man, was I ever wrong! This book blew me away!

I’m not going to provide a summary this time around, because I don’t want to give anything away. The blurb provides a quick glimpse of the very basic components of the story. However, don’t let the blurb fool you, this book is about so much more than a brutal MMA fighting ring. In fact, the MMA aspects of the story are not a major component at all.

This book is dark, twisted, and everything that I love in a story. Nothing is what it seems. I thought I had everything figured out, but I didn’t know anything.

If you like a story that will take you on a suspenseful, disturbing journey, this one is a fantastic choice. This book elicited such raw emotion that my head was spinning. I cringed. I cried. I fell in love with the characters and I hated them.

This is one of those books that will hang with you. It does end with a huge twist, but the next book is due out in July, so the wait isn’t supposed to be too long. Without a doubt, I will one-click that baby the minute it’s available!

I don’t want to give anything away. Just read this book!

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