Pre-Review: Tailspin, by Jaimie Roberts (Expected Release Date: 06/20/17)

TAILSPINTAILSPIN by Jaimie Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has wrecked me! I can’t even begin to make sense of all my emotions right now. I’m angry, devastated, completely gutted and heartbroken. I’m so damn conflicted! This story…argh! It really hit me in the “feels”.

Full review to come once I’m able to get a grip. Seriously! I devoured this book and I’m a total mess right now.

**I received an ARC from the author.**

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Review: Convicted (Consequences, #3), by Aleatha Romig

Convicted (Consequences, #3)Convicted by Aleatha Romig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The third book in the ‘Consequences’ series, ‘Convicted’ definitely takes the story of Tony and Claire in a new direction. Like earlier books in this series, I could not tear myself away. Even as I struggled to adjust to the new direction that this story was headed, I was completely enthralled.

This book sees Tony’s behavior transforming, as he tries to make amends for his past transgressions. Initially, I had a difficult time with the “new and improved” Tony. After all, he is one of the most controlling and manipulative characters I’ve ever encountered. For a while, I wondered if he had received a personality transplant. The changes that began in ‘Truth’, with regards to his attempts to respect Claire’s autonomy, finally take in ‘Convicted’.

All of the lies and deceptions finally come to light in ‘Convicted’. Some things were already known, some were suspected, while others were a complete surprise. Finally, all of the pieces come together and all of the players are revealed.

Tony is held accountable for his actions, at last. The tables are turned on him and he gets a taste of his own medicine. I had mixed feelings about this, but I think it was necessary in the end.

The danger is at an all-time high for Claire and her family. It seems that every time her and Tony start to make progress, something happens to wreck their happily ever after. This is especially true in ‘Convicted’. (Don’t worry though. It all works out in the end.)

The toll of the stress is especially tough on Claire. She is certainly changed in this book, almost unrecognizable for much of this book. It was very tragic in that regard.

Similar to ‘Truth’, the supporting characters in ‘Convicted’ play a major role. Some take on a nurturing, protective role. Others have their duplicitous natures exposed. Each plays a critical role in the story.

I am being intentionally vague because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. This book brings everything full-circle. I cannot get enough of Tony and Claire. Every time that I thought I knew where this story would lead, Aleatha Romig would surprise me. This series continues to blow my mind away.

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Review: Killing The Sun: Part 3, by Mara White and K. Larsen

Killing The Sun: Part 3Killing The Sun: Part 3 by Mara White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this third, and final, installment of the ‘Killing The Sun’ series, the tension between Danny and Aimee is at an all-time high. Aimee is finally ready to stand up to Danny, even as she still yearns for his love on some level. With Aimee slipping away, Danny is at his most brutal.

For the first time while reading this series, I really feared what Danny might do to Aimee. He was always violent and controlling, but I never got the sense that he wanted to truly harm Aimee before. Now, there is no telling what he might do to her. He might even want her dead.

As Danny is brought to justice for his criminal activities, Aimee’s secrets also come to light. In fact, she proved to be more duplicitous than Danny, in my opinion. It was like there was this whole other person that I was blind to before. Part of me felt betrayed by her, while another part felt proud that she had it in her.

I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that this series took me by surprise. It was a whirlwind of steamy sex and betrayals. And that ending! I am dying to know what happens next. I would kill for an epilogue or another book. I imagine a dark romance with Danny and Aimee living out the HEA together…but I always root for the anti-hero. Damn these two twisted geniuses!

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Review: Killing The Sun: Part 2, by Mara White and K. Larsen

Killing The Sun: Part 2Killing The Sun: Part 2 by Mara White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After finishing ‘Killing The Sun: Part 1’, I jumped right into Part 2. Even as I was outraged by Danny’s behavior, I have to admit that I couldn’t get enough. I’m that sicko that is always rooting for the “bad guy”.

Danny is probably irredeemable, but I don’t care. I am equal parts appalled and intrigued. Deep down, I think he really does love Aimee in his own, twisted way. She probably needs to get far, far away from Danny…but I hope that she doesn’t.

This second installment delves deeper into the relationship between Danny and Aimee. If you were ever unclear on just how “bad” Danny is, you won’t be by the end of this serial. He is a selfish man, consumed with lust and power. Aimee becomes the object of his obsessions and darkest fantasies. She too discovers her darkest desires, but at a cost to her self-worth.

As old patterns begin to reemerge, Aimee again decides to get some space from Danny. She is spending more time with her neighbor, and friend, Wade. She is also reunited with the handsome stranger from the elevator, Leif.

Yet, regardless of Aimee’s plans, Danny has no intention of letting her go. He may give her a little time to humor her, but he is always watching. He is not a man that lets go easily and Aimee is reminded of his presence the minute she begins to think about moving on with somebody else.

This second serial ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. Be ready. You’re going to want to dive right into the third installment ASAP. I am completely hooked on this messed-up, twisted story!

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Review: Killing The Sun: Part 1, by Mara White and K. Larsen

Killing The Sun: Part 1Killing The Sun: Part 1 by Mara White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘Killing the Sun’ is a collaborative work by Mara White and K. Larsen. Before now, I’d never read anything by Ms. White, although I have enjoyed many of Ms. Larsen’s works. I will definitely be looking for more of Ms. White’s work in the future.

In ‘Killing the Sun: Part 1’ we meet Aimee Olsen, a young twenty-something that has returned to New York City from San Francisco, deciding to return to her boyfriend of over six years, Danny. Why did she ever leave? Well, here’s the kicker — He’s married! Yes, Aimee’s pampering boyfriend of SIX YEARS was married the entire time that they were together. Poor Aimee was absolutely clueless. Yet, despite her righteous fury, she has decided that she can’t be without him and she’s moving back to Danny.

Jumping back and forth between past and present, the history of Aimee and Danny comes to light. Aimee was a young lady that was trying to run as far from her small-town upbringing as possible. She had recently arrived in New York City when she met Daniel Montclair, aka Danilo Bartolini. She was young, beautiful and uneducated. She came across as incredibly naive, but hopeful.

Danny embodies all of the characteristics that Aimee does not. He is dark and dangerous. Danny grew up in the city and climbed his way to the top, fighting for everything he has. He is no stranger to violence or criminal activity. When he meets Aimee, he cannot deny the pull to her wholesome goodness. She is his “Sunshine” and after one night together, he has no intention of letting her go.

Little by little, Danny and Aimee’s past is unveiled. Initially, I was rolling my eyes at Aimee’s stupidity. The saying, “Fool me once…” was running through my mind. However, I came to see how Aimee got sucked into Danny’s orbit. I also grew to believe that Danny’s love for Aimee was genuine, despite the fact that he was married to another woman.

While I can’t say that I agree with Aimee’s choices, I did come to understand her motivations. It was easy to see how she was taken by Danny and his protective persona. Even as Danny’s behavior grew increasingly controlling and violent, leaving me wanting to shake Aimee and tell her to “get out”, I could not pull myself away. I was absolutely hooked on their story.

The story is told in three serials, each of which had me glued to my Kindle. While many readers struggle with serials and novellas, preferring to read only full-length books, I love a great serial now and again. Sometimes, a quick read between larger, full-length novels, is just what I need.

That being said, my biggest complaint about the ‘Killing the Sun’ series is that I think that it would have read better as one full-length book vs. three serials. There was no logical “break” in the story or big climactic event that served as a dividing point between each serial. It is almost like the author(s) just decided to end each serial when they hit a certain page number or date, without any regard for what was going on in the story. This was especially noticeable at the “end” of Part 1. I was just reading along and then I flip a page and out of nowhere it says that I’ve got to buy book 2 to continue. It was abrupt and left me scratching my head.

Of course, the story was so good that I immediately went out and bought the second part. So, while I may not have cared for the serial format, I did enjoy this story quite a bit. I wouldn’t let it deter you from reading this story, just be forewarned that you may want to consider buying the compilation of all three at once vs. each serial individually.

This story also has many “dark” elements, as well as cheating. If those are touchy subjects for you, then I’d steer clear of this one. Danny and Aimee’s relationship becomes increasingly controlling and abusive as he feels her slipping away from him.

For me, this was a fantastic dark read. I loved every minute of their story. I jumped right into Part 2 as soon as I finished this one. If you’re a fan of darker stories, then this one is a great choice!

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Review: POSSESSION, by Jaimie Roberts

POSSESSIONPOSSESSION by Jaimie Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***I was provided a complimentary ARC of this book, by the author, in exchange for honest feedback.***

Wow! Jaimie Roberts never ceases to blow me away with the completely f*cked-up stories that come out of her twisted mind. If you’ve followed my reviews for long, you know that dark, disturbing stories are my favorite kind. I just love a story that pushes my boundaries and makes me tremble with equal parts fear and anticipation. This is exactly that kind of story.

Now, if you’re not a fan of truly dark content then this book will have absolutely no appeal for you. Ms. Roberts is not an author that is afraid to write truly dark stories. This is not a quasi-dark story that toes the line. Nope! She steps right over the line and boldly keeps on going. So read the disclaimer and take it seriously. There is violence, rape, abuse, etc., and not in that fluffy “almost dark” way that fills the pages of many romance books. (No judgment. Just be forewarned.)

So, if knowing that, you choose to read this book then buckle up. Ms. Roberts holds nothing back. This book is graphic. It’s disturbing. It’s offensive. It will make you squirm in your seat and make you cringe. I loved every damn minute!

‘POSSESSION’ centers on Evelyn, who is a very young girl when she first meets the much older Drake Salvatore. She is certainly not a priority for her despicable parents, who frequently entertain shady characters of all sorts in their home. In fact, this is how Evelyn first comes to meet Drake.

While her parents are inattentive and downright negligent on their best days, Drake is anything but. After meeting Evelyn, he goes out of his way to spend time with her. He takes her for ice cream, buys her presents and becomes a father-figure of sorts. She comes to rely heavily upon him for companionship and protection. Only, his feelings toward Evelyn are a far cry from fatherly.

When Evelyn’s parents try to sell her to another, Drake comes to the “rescue”. At the age of 14, Evelyn is sold to Drake. However, she is to remain at home with her parents until she is 18 and Drake claims her.

To say the least, this whole scenario was very creepy. On the one hand, Drake assumes this protective, caring persona. He spoils Evelyn and seems to adore her.

On the other hand, there is nothing reassuring about a man that purchases a 14 year-old girl. He may be holding off until she is of legal age, but it is evident that his intentions are not innocent. This was made very clear in the opening pages of the book, before going back in time to tell their story from the start.

It was very hard to reconcile the two “Drakes” that were presented. We have the sweet guy that is almost swoon-worthy. This Drake is in stark contrast to the abusive, “rapey” monster that wants only to break Evelyn. My head was spinning.

From start to finish, I could not pull myself away from this book. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cover my eyes or dive right in. Days later, I’m still conflicted and trying to make sense of how I feel about this story, which really says something.

That being said, I do have a couple of criticisms. (Shocking, I know.) First, there were quite a few editing oversights. However, since I was provided an ARC, it is highly likely that many of those errors were corrected in the final version. So, that might be a non-issue.

The only other gripe that I have is that Evelyn’s reactions to some of Drake’s actions were not especially believable. I would have expected, and craved, much more emotion. Where was the anger, betrayal and pain? The things that he did were horrendous and she seemed to take it with a grain of salt. I know that her life was pretty bad, but still. I think I was more upset by his actions than Evelyn was.

Overall, this was still a fantastic dark read. I applaud Ms. Roberts for not being afraid to really embrace the dark aspects of this story. Doing so always causes a lot of controversy and upset. In my opinion, pushing readers limits is what makes a truly wonderful story. I love it when a story makes me uncomfortable and gets my heart racing. ‘POSSESSION’ certainly does that.

No rainbows and unicorns here. Expect to have your mind blown! This isn’t a story for everyone, but fans of dark romance/erotica won’t want to miss it!

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Review: Pennies (Dollar, #1), by Pepper Winters

Pennies (Dollar, #1)Pennies by Pepper Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mind-Blowing!

Whew! Pepper Winters never fails to blow my mind! I know when I pick up one of her stories that I’m in for a mindf*@k and that is exactly what I got with ‘Pennies’.

This story was so disturbing that I needed to take a little time to decompress after finishing it, before writing this review. I just needed time to come to terms with what I had just read and process my emotions. To me, that’s a sign that I’ve just finished a phenomenal book. You know it’s great when it stays with you and occupies your thoughts long after you’ve finished it.

This story is told in multiple POVs, but is centered on the experiences of Tasmin, aka Pimlico. At eighteen, Tasmin has led a privileged and sheltered life. When she is taken from one of her mother’s formal functions, her existence as she knows it comes to an end. Tasmin becomes Pimlico, a sex slave.

Purchased by Alrik, a sadistic and cruel man who refers to himself as “Master A”, Pimlico lives in constant terror. She suffers unspeakable acts at the hands of Master A and his friends. He takes pride in his visciousness.

When Elder Prest sets eyes on Pimlico, he is equally intrigued and enraged. He finds himself having to fight back his urges to take her for himself, while also wanting to kill Alrik for his abuse of the slave girl. He’s no stranger to deviant acts, a notorious criminal himself, but something about Pimlico calls to him.

Pimlico, despite the horrors she’s endured, does not break. She is defiant to the end, even as she submits in calculated measures to survive. She does what she has to do to survive, but she will never give Master A what he wants most…her voice.

This was a hard story to read in so many ways. Not only was Pimlico’s account of life as a slave harrowing, but there was never any sense of hope. When Elder enters the story, it is clear that he is no knight in shining armor. In fact, he may prove to be as bad, if not worse, than Master A. Pimlico is faced with a choice between the lesser of two evils, with no happy ending in sight for her.

Ms. Winters has, yet again, managed to create a story that held my attention from start to finish. I cannot wait to see where she plans to take readers with this series. No doubt, it will be one dark and depraved journey and I plan to be front and center! I am dying to see what becomes of Pimlico and Elder, even as I dread finding out what’s in store for poor Pim.

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Review: Sparrow, by L. J. Shen

SparrowSparrow by L.J. Shen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a nice, Irish Mafia love story. Every once in awhile, I like to read a mob love-story and this one fit the bill. It wasn’t the best I’ve read, but it was still good and worthwhile read.

Sparrow is pretty much abducted by Troy Brennan, an Irish mob boss. Her father works for him and she isn’t really in a position to resist Troy’s demands. When he tells her that they are to be wed, she soon finds herself a reluctant participant in her own wedding.

Now, you might imagine that Troy was some sort of predator, taking advantage of a much younger girl for his sexual kicks. However, for most of the book Troy made it clear that he didn’t really like Sparrow all that much. Sure, there were some heated moments between the two, but Troy’s commentary on Sparrow is mostly negative. It is clear that he doesn’t find her particularly attractive.

In fact, for most of the book, Troy is a major A-hole. He forced Sparrow to marry him, but it is clear that he isn’t interested in having a wife. In time, his motivations for marrying her are revealed and then, everything makes much more sense.

Despite her situation, I found Sparrow to be a strong and admirable character. She gave as good as she got, not letting Troy steam-roll over every interaction they had. She knew that she wasn’t coming from a position of power when going against Troy, so she picked her battles carefully.

Throughout the book, there is building suspense around the nature of Troy’s big secret. The anticipation was huge. Unfortunately, the big secret wasn’t all that “big” in my opinion. It was a “That’s it?”, type of moment for me.

Even though the big reveal was a bit underwhelming for me, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There was plenty of suspense and mystery, aside from Troy’s big secret, to keep things interesting. Troy wasn’t the only one with an agenda.

I also appreciated the slow-building romance between Troy and Sparrow. There was no insta-love here, despite the mutual lust. I enjoyed watching their relationship evolve over time. When they finally connected, it was all that much more believable.

This was my first book by this author, but won’t be my last. I enjoyed the writing and the original storyline. Overall, it was a good read.

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Review: Sweet Jayne, by K. Webster

Sweet JayneSweet Jayne by K. Webster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So twisted…And so damn good! I loved this dark, suspenseful story. This was my first book by K. Webster, but definitely won’t be my last. I could not put this book down!

Although the story is told from multiple POVs, the story centers on the heroine, Nadia Jayne. When we first meet her she is a seventeen year-old girl. She is new to the United States and trying to figure out the awkward relationship she has with her new stepfather.

On her first day of school, she meets another girl, Kasey, at the bus stop. Kasey is a bit of a rebel, smoking and dressing goth. The two become fast friends, bonding over their mutual disdain for their stepfathers.

However, the two never make it to school that day. A dark SUV pulls up and a man wearing a ski mask grabs Kasey. After a vicious kick to the head, Nadia is left barely conscious on the side of the road.

Years later, Kasey still hasn’t been found and Nadia returns to town for the first time in over three years. An unusual incident prompts her to announce her engagement to Logan, the Chief of Police. Meanwhile, she’s managed to catch the attention of Kasper, a police Lieutenant who happens to be Kasey’s older brother.

In no time, her stepfather has figured out that she’s back in town. He’s determined to bring Nadia back home. It is clear that he doesn’t like the idea of Nadia and Logan being together at all. It is also evident that Donovan and Nadia do not have a typical stepfather – stepdaughter relationship.

It also becomes glaringly obvious that Logan is an incredibly abusive fiancé. As Kasper begins to take note of Nadia’s precarious situation, Logan seems to get increasingly violent. Kasper is torn between wanting to rescue this abused beauty and his desire to see her suffer for allowing his sister to disappear without a trace all those years ago.

I won’t say much more because I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that this story kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. If you like dark, suspense-filled stories, with flawed characters, this is a fantastic choice. This story was deliciously disturbing. I loved it!

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Review: Dark Notes, by Pam Godwin

Dark NotesDark Notes by Pam Godwin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At seventeen years old, Ivory Westbrook has experienced enough tragedy for a thousand lifetimes. Since her father died years ago, she has lived a life of despair and pain. With a mother and brother that have lost themselves to their drug addictions, she’s had to bear the brunt of the household responsibilities, selling the only thing she has to keep the bills paid.v

When Emeric Marceaux is hired as a teacher at Ivory’s prestigious high school, she knows that her future is up in the air. She had worked with the previous instructor for years and was promised her endorsement for a spot at the most coveted performing arts college in the nation. Without the wealth of the other students, it is essential that Ivory secure the scholarship in order to achieve her dreams of a performing career. She knows that everything she has worked so tirelessly for is in peril.

At first glance, Emeric Marceaux knows that his attraction to his busty young student is asking for trouble. She isn’t like the other rich kids at the school and his dominating and protective instincts are calling to him. With every moment that he spends with her, he finds himself venturing further into forbidden territory.

Despite the fact that they both know that any type of sexual relationship between them could be disastrous, they repeatedly succumb to temptation. Tentative at first, they soon embark on a sordid journey of sexual exploration and self discovery. Emeric wants to protect Ivory from everyone but himself it seems.

From start to finish, this book held my rapt attention. Ms. Godwin weaves a taboo, erotic tale that is utterly breathtaking. This book elicits such powerful, raw emotions that at times I hated it as much as I loved it.

It is an extremely well-written, dark story. Brace yourself for some tough topics, like child abuse (emotional, physical and sexual), rape, dubious consent and a forbidden student/teacher relationship. Ms. Godwin is not afraid to address these topics and does not skirt around these issues, which I appreciated, but others may find difficult to deal with.

This is a standalone book that will not leave you hanging. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I was left feeling quite contented. If you love a book that makes you question your morality and face tough topics, this is for you. If you are looking for a love story that will move you, this is it. I absolutely loved this story and I wholeheartedly recommend it!

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