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Duncan (Vampires in America, #5)
D.B. Reynolds
Against the Dark - Carolyn Crane

I used to read Carolyn Crane fantasy books the Disillusionists series and had a hell of a time swooning over Packard. When I found out she had a new series, I just know I had to get my hands on them. 

Angel Ramirez is retired safe-cracker, the best in the business. Currently working her own interior design company, she got dragged back for a job with her best friends when their Aunt Aggie got kidnap. The last thing Angel expect is to be trace by one of Borgola's security guy, the one who flirted with her at the party and being blackmail to work for him. 

Cole is a brainiac undercover agent from the Associate. With his glasses and deadly stealth, he reminds me of Camden from TAT. Hah! He is looking for a breach into Borgola's secret safe to acquire intel and Angel is his way in. 

Cole proposed to have Angel act as his girlfriend in order for him to bring her into Borgola's mansion. They have to make up stories and compare notes and it was freaking hilarious the way they negotiate about it. She thought he is Borgola's business rival. A total nutjob. He thought she is a no good cat burglar who deserve to be sacrifice for his mission.

"I'm not your girlfriend."
"If you want to blend in somewhere, the first person you have to convince is yourself. You care about me. Right now, you'd be thinking, I want to make my hot, virile hunk of man meat comfortable and happy."

"I'm going to be a little different in there. More possessive."
"Do you open doors for me?"
"Yeah. A little bit caveman."
"And do you have an unnaturally high opinion of your sexual prowess?"
"Be serious, Angel.

Cole is totally badass even with his glasses on. He is torn between going through with his mission while trying to keep Angel safe or sacrifice her like a lamb. The way he blackmail and handle Angel sounds so crude and matter of fact. He keeps telling himself that she is just a means to an end. His Plan B involve throwing her under the bus, if it comes to that. His mission in saving lives is much more important than a life of a woman, a thieve at that. 

Angel is also not just a thieve as Cole presume her to be. She had enough regrets in her life and for once she wanted to do something good and take pride on. She suppose to hate Cole for the way he used her, she hated herself even more for being attracted to another self-destructive man. 

In the end they both make the ultimate sacrifice for each other. Cole had me swooning over his kickass-ness. Is just something about a man who can fight brutal that makes me feeling hot all over. This is a lighthearted action-packed romantic suspense full of bullets flying, fist pouncing, safe-cracking, lies and sacrifices. I'm at the edge of my seat most of the time wanting to see how both Cole and Angel are gonna to come out safe from all the chaos. I thought the epilogue is really clever of Carolyn for giving us a different type of HEA. Macmillan who happens to be Cole's colleague will have his story next. Can't wait for December.

Star Crossed - Kele Moon

I love this Book 2 of Battered Hearts, it is much more emotional engaging that its predecessor. I guess the groundwork on the character development from Book 1 did help to make this read much more engaging because before I even started with this book I feels like I already know Jules Conner and Romeo Wellings. Jules is Clay's best friend and Wyatt's twin sister, who is a lawyer, a part time cop and also a self-defense trainer. She is a hardass and seriously intimidating chick. Romeo is Clay's archrival during the UFC champion title fight where Romeo lost to Clay. He is presume to be cocky and flashy, a total opposite from Clay.

This can work as a standalone as well because some of things that happen in Book 1 was explained clearly. Despite losing the title to Clay, Romeo stepped in to rescue Clay's girlfriend, Melody at Las Vegas when she was nearly kidnap by her psychotic ex-husband. We were then brought to the aftermath of the shoot out incident with Romeo at the hospital treating his minor injuries and then meeting Jules for the first time. When he found out her name is Juliet, he feels like moth being drawn to the flame. Despite the anymosity between them, Jules was grateful for Romeo for saving Melody and she decided to buy him dinner.

Jules was surprised to find out that Romeo is not what he seems in the public eye. He is not cocky and flashy, he is surprisingly down to earth and she feels attracted to him and make her interest known. After the supposingly fantastic one night stand they share, it surprises me that they continue a long distance 'relationship' despite going separate ways after leaving Vegas. They initial texting and phone calls turns into sexting and phone sex. Oh my. Unknowingly, Jules had been subconsciously having something special with Romeo over the distance for almost three months. There is so much longing and yearning between these two. Things turn interesting when Romeo decided to train with Clay at Garnet Town and Jules had to finally face her real life crush in flesh. She needs to play it cool, of course. She can't admit that he turn her into this lovesick puppy.

"Three rounds in the cage with me and you'll be running back to New York with your tail between your legs. I'm a scary bitch."
"Bruises don't scare me. Hurt me, baby. I like it."

Honestly, I just can't wait for Wyatt and others to find out about Jules' affair with Romeo. They decided to keep their relationship as a dirty little secret because of Romeo's past and Wyatt's obvious dislike at him. They are not really sworn enemy as painted in the blurb, more like petty rivalry and dislike of each other.

We were also introduced to Romeo's brothers, Cassa'Nova' and Valen'Tino' that had a great part in the story. Loves their name, by the way. Kele Moon really did have a knack for making us fall in love with these secondary characters. Nova is the genius brother who is working for their Italian mob family, while Tino is the youngest brother who still doesn't know where he stand. Romeo had an ugly past dealing with the Moretti's family and he wants his brother away from the mess. I'm already half in love with Nova. I feels like he is the misunderstood soul that is doing his damnest to keep his family safe despite doing things he abhor. These thightnit and affectionate Italian brothers makes my heart ache for them. You know without doubt they will kill and die for each other. 

Things that happened towards the ending was pretty intense. Much more intense that I anticipated. Romeo's life was threaten by his tie-in to the mafia family and he had some drastic choices to make. I know the classic Romeo and Juliet's romance suppose to crash and burn, but I never thought we will face a similar life threatening tragedy that pull at all my heart strings. The climax has so much more emotional and intense scene not only between Romeo and Juliet, but also between Romeo's brothers. 

Jules' love and devotion to Romeo is simply amazing. I guess when a Conner fall in love, they fall hard. Nothing Romeo do will deter her away from him and she is adamant at keeping this man.

"You're the only chich I know who carries a .45 in her glove compartment and a shotgun in her trunk."
"You can never be too prepared."
"For what, World World War III?"

This is afterall a romance and we get our prerequisite HEA. I also can see a lot of potential for every secondary characters to get their story. The epilogue tease us on Wyatt and the apperance of his old flame. I'm anticipating whole load of angst and not quite sure whether I would have enjoy it. But so far, Kele Moon yet to dissapoint me. I'm hoping to catch up on Clay and Romeo too. 

Tino summed it up well for me. Love that boy.

"For a town without nightlife it seems like lotsa interesting shit happens around here. Never a dull moment in Garnet."

Hey There, Delilah - M.D. Saperstein, Andria Large

5 'sweetness and humorous' stars

This is another classic 'never judge a book by its cover' line. Seriously, the author need to get rid of that awful cover. I rather she just put a white backdrop with black title. Awful cover aside, this book is full of humorous laugh out loud moment that I nearly peed my pants and roll on the ground. I never had such a good laugh since reading the epic 'Tangled' by Emma Chase. Nick Santino inner monologue is nearly on par with Drew Evans. Maybe not really there yet, but definitely close.


Initially the book started of feeling like a 3 stars read because the writing was pretty mediocre and mostly fluff, but half way through I had such a great time laughing my ass out, I bumping it up to 4 stars. Past second half though, Nick turns into a totally adorable, sweet and swoony guy, I'm sold. 5 stars for Nick Santino!

Delilah Sampson is single and jobless after finding out her boyfriend banging her boss during lunch hour. She is a frumpy girl who doesn't dress up, easy-going, a dedicated employee and had a tough backbone. I absolutely love the way she dump her douche of a boyfriend within minutes flat.

Nick Santino is a lawyer who is looking for a new secretary. He wants to hire a secretary that is capable and smart and someone that he wouldn't end up banging. He reminds me so much of Daniel Meade from Ugly Betty. He ended up hiring Delilah for the specific reason that she doesn't look attractive at all. Surprisingly, Delilah turns out to be the best secretary he ever had. She is on time, organized, hardworking and etc.

All that, and I still don't want to fuck her - I have found my perfect work wife.


In the beginning, Nick was painted as an absolutely manwhore. But we didn't get to see that side of him. I thought he is the best hot boss that I ever dream of having. He is so nice and respectful to Delilah and really appreciate her. Before long, he is subconsciously attracted to her overall personality.

She's not supposed to look good. She's supposed to be frumpy and unattractive! That's why I hired her, so that she wouldn't tempt me.

Meanwhile, Delilah was thrilled to have such a fine ass of a boss for her to ogle everyday. Although she is having some wet dreams of him, she knew she can never land herself such a fine specimen. The best part with this dual POV is that we can see both Nick and Delilah is obviously attracted to each other and trying their damnest to be professional.

"Did you just sniff me?"
"I wouldn't exactly classify it as 'sniffing' you. I happened to take a breath when you leaned past me."

"There is no way I am eating a fucking salad when this pizza is in front of me smelling better than a hooker after a shower."

Nick pretty much drives the whole story and all his POV is freaking hilarious. He keep convincing himself that he is a bad guy and he absolutely will not care for another, yet his action said otherwise. I expected to see him do something douchey, but he completely baffle me with his awkwardness of trying to be a nice guy to Delilah.

Note to self: from now on, book your own hotel rooms for doing the nasty.

I'm thinking about getting a nice juicy steak, needing something manly to eat since I've been having all these sappy emotions lately.

The whole Club Masquerade debacle was pretty far-fetch, but I'm glad it didn't drag on too long. The rules of the club is: keep your mask on and no talking, even during fucking. So in order to get his mind off Delilah, Nico aka Nick scout the club and zero in on Lala aka Delilah. Lala reminded him so much of Delilah that he ended up screwing her for weeks on every Saturday. I don't buy the whole not knowing who you are screwing shit when you actually work with the other person on such close proximity. Thank God, they actually found out later and that confrontation scene was another laugh out loud moment.

"I thought you guys were doing some kind of secret role-playing shit."

I found out that Nick tends to say this whenever being confronted,

"I swear!"

Aww... Nick, defensive much? He is too damn adorable sometimes.

I find myself enjoying the book much more after they get over the Nico/Lala debacle. He is on full on grovel mode that I totally soaking it up. What is it about a guy being miserable that make me so happy? Delilah had him completed wrap within her fingers.

"Quit ogling my ass and get back to work."
"Ogle your ass? Me? Never."

And then Nick work on his charm and swoon me out of my panties with his flirtatious text messages and overall devotion to Delilah.

Nick: I had a great time. ;)
Delilah: Are you winking at me?
Nick: No, I had something in my emoticon eye :)~

And then the best part that had me rolling over.

Delilah: I'm sorry, who is this?
Nick: The man of your dreams.
Delilah: Christian? 
Nick: Guess again, doll.
Delilah: Gideon? Ethan? No, no... this must be Jess.
"I don't think you will be able to kick any of their asses, sweetheart."
"What? You don't think I can take them?"
"Because they live in my Kindle, dumbass."

This book is full of sexiness, humor, charm and a totally sweet and swoony hero *sigh*. Total worthy of a reread just get to kick of another laughing session. I will never be able to listen to Plain White T's song 'Hey there, Delilah' without thinking of Nick Santino. This is a standalone with a HEA.

"Hey there, Delilah" *swoon*

The Devil's Reprise - Karina Halle
Be careful what you wish for.
The second and final book for the Devils series totally lives up to my expectation and offer so much more. Karina Halle gives us the romance, the creep factor and a plot that is full of surprises. Nothing turns out as I expected, yet everything turns out perfectly towards a feel good ending.
From the ending of The Devil’s Metal, Dawn is back to Washington to finish up her college and take care of her family. While, Sage embarks on his music career as a solo artist. These two obviously miss each other but the distance of being apart led them moving on with their lives separately. Mind you, they are in the 70s and there isn’t cellphone or internet.
The old Sage that I knew from previous book is a bit of a recluse and keeps to himself, but he loves his music. The current Sage is a different man after his ordeal with the demon and the tragedy that happened upon his Hybrid’s band mates. He is total fucked up now with all the drugs, sex and booze and living a totally shitty rock star life. If not because I’m half in love with him from the previous book, I might attempt to DNF upon reading his manwhoring ways. He better redeem himself for me to enjoy the story.
He was a hot mess but, unlike me when I was a hot mess, he was still hot
Upon probing from Jacob, Sage’s manager cum best pal, Sage called up Dawn and invited her to his Europe tour as the music journalist that she is. We know Dawn is in love with him and she was over the moon to be able to see him again. But all the fantasizing and dreams didn’t prepare her for the reality upon seeing Sage for the first time after 10 months. He’s a mess; he doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings and worst of all he turns into a total stranger.
I felt like Paris was the closet and we were two awkward teens thrust into a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven.
This time we got a bit more up close and personal with Sage. Through his POV we learned what he is going through and we sympathize with him. He had a lot on his plate and he wanted to numb himself from the world.  I totally hates what he had done in the beginning, but he totally make me see past all the ugliness and focus on the now. I’m glad with Dawn’s presence and Jacob’s lecturing, he manages to straighten up himself and be there for Dawn.
I thought I will feel a whole load of angst, but actually I don’t feel angsty at all. Whenever they confront each other, I just grab my popcorn, sit back and enjoy the ride. Finally, a couple that actually communicates to clear the air. How refreshing is that. I love seeing Dawn give Sage the shit. I wish that she will hurl more than words at him, maybe a chair, a knife or something for being a total douche. Then seeing Sage being all miserable and feeling thrashed satisfy all my inner sadism. But you know what is the best part is? They didn't take half the book hating each other and that works out great because I rather they put the past behind and give us some smexy scene.
Now back to the paranormal element of the book. This time is Dawn who make a deal with the devil and she needs to pay up. Her brother magically cured of his Tourette’s Disease and her dad is sober for the first time in years. She still had one last wish that is left unfilled, but there is just no way is will happen. Together with the help from Jacob, Max (surprise, surprise) and Sage, they tried to protect Dawn and prevent the devil from taking her away.
The horror factor was totally creep-tastic. There was one scene where I nearly drop my Kindle and shriek ‘Holy fuck. Shit. Fuckity fuck. Holy Mother of God!’ along with a string of intelligible curses. What the fuck. Karina ready does know how to scare the shit out of me. *shudder*
This brinsg us to one of those epic conclusion that had my adrenaline pumping till the end. I’m still reeling from the shock from the things that unfold and I kid you not, there are so many surprises that keep me glue to my Kindle. What a brilliant ending to the Devils and for Dawn and Sage. I’m looking forward to Maximum story. This red potato deserves his own HEA. Ciao.
She was everything, and at that moment on stage, I had everything. A world at my feet and a woman with my heart.


You are my reprise, my encore, my finale.
Making Faces - Amy Harmon

If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?

This is an absolute sob-fest for me. Unlike some books that they only make me cry during the last chapter, this book manage to make me cry throughout the entire book. Don't get me wrong, is not sad or depressing. Is the good kind of crying that I wish I could do-over and reread it again for the first time. I'm moved and touch by this incredible story.

The blurb of this book make it sounds like a typical romance between a scarred hero and heroine who saved his tortured soul. Although I enjoyed the blossoming love story between Fern and Ambrose, this book is so much more than that. Told in a multiple POVs, Making Faces is a very emotional, touching, uplifting story about love, friendship and family.

"Maybe everyone represents a piece of the puzzle. We all fit together to create this experience we call life."

Fern Taylor is a pastor's daughter and also happen to be Bailey's cousin cum best friend. Her view of life is simple and normalcy. She enjoyed reading and writing romance novels, she had a teenage crush on Ambrose, she take care of Bailey and manage to see the silver lining in everything around her. After being persuaded by her friend Rita, Fern decided to help her friend to write love notes on her behalf to Ambrose. From then on, Fern and Ambrose develop a deep connection that didn't fade despite the passing of time. 

Blind or deaf?

Kite or balloon?

Smart or beautiful?

Bailey Sheen is one those character that make me want to be a better person. Diagnosed with muscular atrophy disease since young, every year that Bailey live on, he consider it a blessing. Despite his disability to walk or even lift up his arm, he is optimistic and living his life in stride. He wants to kiss a girl, wrestle, be a hero etc and he make them happen. He makes me feel ashamed of myself whenever I wallow in self-pity. 

Bailey makes me laugh, he makes me cry. I admire his courage and I hope I have a Bailey in my life to tell me I need to face the shit and make things happen.

"You just need to acknowledge it. Face the shit. Accept the truth in it. Own it, wallow in it, become one with the shit."

Ambrose Young is the golden boy of Hannah Lake. He is handsome, athletic and humble. He is the guy who got everything in his hand including a full scholarship to Penn State. But against all odds and shocked to the family, he decided to enlist to find a place to just be himself. Along with his best buddies, they went to Iraq but Ambrose is the only one who came back. Ever since returning a damaged man, Ambrose has been a recluse, hiding away from probing eyes, feeling guilty for the death of his friends and wish he had die along with them. 

"If God saved my life, why didn't he save their lives? Is my life so much more valuable? So I'm special... and they're not?"

Fern and Bailey seek Ambrose out and show him that he is still the boy they know, the one who help them buried a spider and wrestle like a mythological figure. Fern teach him how to love and see things beyond the beauty and Bailey teach him how to live again. 

"I've loved you since you quoted Hamlet like you understood him, since you said you loved Ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn't be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and and appreciation."

"There isn't heartache if there hasn't been joy. I wouldn't feel loss if there hadn't been love."

I was reading the final chapter while waiting in my car for an appointment. When I reach the end and cry my heart out, blotting my nose, I look out the windscreen at the people who are busy carrying with their lives, the first thing that came to my mind was 'what the hell am I doing here?' My chores right now seems so inconsequential. I'm having the worst kind of book hangover and feeling reluctant to start a new book because I still want to savor the lingering taste that still present in my mind. 

I wrote your name across my heart
So we could be together
So I could hold you close to me
And keep you there forever

Cloak and Dagger - Nenia Campbell

Wow! This is absolutely fan-freaking-tastic!

I had one hell of a wild ride and stayed up to 2am to finish it up. Cloak and Dagger is full of action-packed moments, a lovable anti-hero at his worst/best, a heroine that causes whole loads of mayhem and a villain that is so sick he makes Javier looks normal. 

Christina Parker is like any normal high school senior minding her own Spanish studies and dealing with an over demanding mum. Her mum is one wicked woman, yet I find her hilarious most of the time. Her normal life turned upside down when both her parents goes missing and she got captured by a masked man. 

My mother's religion was thinness; it was her false idol, her golden calf - and she was determined to convert me.

Michael Boutilier is an IMA agent assign to handle Parker's case. Their security had been hacked into by Parker and now he need to capture his daughter as hostage. Now you must be thinking, another Stockholm story again? Well, kind of. But it didn't make the book any less entertaining. 

"You always threaten me. You don't respect me. You're violent, and cruel, and sadistic, and -"
"No - "
"Too bad. Game over. Insert new fucking quarter."

From the blurb, my first impression of Michael Boutilier is that he is an assassin with a heart of gold. How wrong that turn out to be. From his POV, he sounds like a normal lad who might be working for a government agency. Turns out he is like one of those Anne Stuart's gamma hero that we should loathe, but we ended up loving him anyway. He is a killer for hire and he acted like one. Non of those hallmark bullshit and chick flick moments. I abhor some of the things he did to Christina, but that's what make their time together felt realistic. That's normal procedure for a captor, anyway. The author didn't romanticize the situation and she gives us the raw and gritty bits of being captured. 

His is full of sarcasm, which I later learn he use to hide his own emotion.

"God, for a moment I thought - "
"What? That I've started my own BDSM club and your invite got lost in the mail?"

Christina is suppose to be an easy job. Held her hostage to flush out the parents, but luck is not on Michael side and things just turn complicated for him. With a paranoid boss, a sadistic colleague who wants to take him out and a young hostage that looks at him as if he is a devil incarnated, Michael has his plate full of ugly worms. One wrong move, he will be dead. And so is Christina.

Where the hell had she gotten her education? A parochial school? Remembering the name of it - Sacred Heart, or something like that - I suspected that might not be too far from the truth. And here I thought Catholic schoolgirls were supposed to be kinky.

Considering the things that happens in the book, this sounds like something dark like 'The Dark Duet'? But is not. I find this quite a light-hearted read with both the hero and heroine full of sarcasm, is action-packed ala Hollywood style, whereby you know the protagonist is going to come out on top. 

"I'm sorry! Are you in a lot of pain?"
No I'm just lying here because I feel like it.

Overall, I find this is one hilarious read with a lot of action and suspense that kept me at the edge of my seat bed. Michael had a lot of one liner that makes me laugh or roll my eyes. Although he is kind of a villain in itself, I find him totally likeable from the start. Okay, there might be seriously something wrong with me. But even if you hated him in the beginning, I'm sure by the end he is going to win you over.

Things sorta died down in the end and they no longer in imminent danger. We are treated to a bittersweet ending that seems fitting, although it did make me shed some sad tears. I can't wait to read the next book, of course. I'm so glad I have all 3 books with me right now. I can't wait to read more on Michael and Christina shenanigans to bring down the bad guys. 

One of my favourite Michael's line.

"Stop that gasping. You're not in a porno, for fuck's sake."

Heart of Obsidian - Nalini Singh I did the unspeakable and skip 10 books in between and went ahead to read Heart of Obsidian. To my surprise, the things I learned from Book 1 and 2 have changed so much. There are now two Psy groups, Psy and Pure Psy. What the hell is that? Is mind boggling when I tried to understand all the political stuff that is happening.

And why is people trying to hide the hero's identity in their reviews? Is that a big spoiler? I learned about his name during Book 2 and he is one scary SOB. He had the capability to make you crazy, kill you without breaking a sweat and shatter the earth itself with his telekinetic ability.

However, we learned about his heartbreaking past with the heroine of the story that had me all choked up. I wanna cry a river for their stolen innocence, scream freaking injustice to the hypocritical world at large, and although the villain had been killed in a gruesome manner way back in Book 1, I wanna resurrect him back to life and do it all over again.

Most of the reviewer giving this 5 stars and hail this as the best in the PSy-Changeling series. Considering I only read 3 books, there isn't many comparison to make, but this felt like a 4 stars to me. I blame it on my inability to understand the story arc and the grand scheme of thing that is happening within the Psy and Changeling community. The romance is awesome, is heartbreaking and poignant, but 40% of the book is dealing with the story arc that make me feeling puzzle. I will try to do a reread after I find the time to go through all the books in between.
Visions of Heat - Nalini Singh I felt guilty for rating this 3 stars because it was actually a really good and solid paranormal cum scifi romance. But I can't help but keep comparing this to its predecessor Slave to Sensation that totally blew me away with its world building and all consuming love between Lucas and Sascha. Visions of Heat weaknesses lies on its similarity with Book 1. We have a similar possessive Changeling hero and an isolated Psy heroine that is not use to feeling emotion. You see the trend there? However, if I read this before discovering Book 1, I will likely rate it 4 stars.

Full review to come.
Slave to Sensation - Nalini Singh Fear.

I’m so gonna continue with this series and do a complete Psy-Changeling marathon. I remember having this in my Kindle years ago, but left it DNF after the first chapter because it there is so much lust-filled moment from the beginning. I thought the hero and heroine are going to jump each other bone once they were alone. Is one of my pet peeves to read about insta-love or what we call it insta-lust. Now that I tried to see past the awkward start of the story, I found out how wrong I'd been, I wanted to punch myself for not continue this book earlier.

This can be consider both a paranormal and dystopia at the same time. The story was set in the distant future of 2079, Psy is the advance community that felt no emotion. They are cold, distant and efficient. Imagine clones. The black sheep among them is Sascha Duncan, who unable to manifest any great Psy talent besides of the menial telekinetic capability. The fact that she felt some minute emotion at all is a great risk to her life. Damaged or Psy that doesn't conform to the norm will be sentences to Rehabilitation, a situation worse than death itself. Sascha is used hide her emotion behind the walls she erect around herself to keep herself safe from scrutiny.

Lucas Hunter is the alpha of Dark River’s pack. They are a group of tight-knit leopards that value family, love and loyalty. Is a direct opposite of Psy’s believes. Lucas met Sascha when both party decided to collaborate for a real estate project. Both sides have their own ulterior motives for the collaboration. Obviously, the real estate job is just a front. The pack is investigating on a serial killer case that is targeting the changeling’s women. They believe the killer is a Psy and the Psy Council is harboring the killer.

During Sascha’s time interacting with Lucas and his pack, she grows to understand the changeling way of life. She envies the changeling that can freely show their emotion and emulates imperfection. They love, they care and they will die protecting each other.

Lucas knew that Sascha is different from other Psy. He doesn’t understand why he felt drawn to her and wanted to get to know the woman behind the facade. While Sascha is trying to maintain her cold bitch exterior, Lucas is trying to crumble her defenses and worm his way into her heart.

To say that their relationship is doom from the start is an understatement. Their people hate each other and the fact that the Psy killer targeting the changeling women doesn't help the matter. The Pack want blood and justice and Lucas wants to keep her safe. Meanwhile, Sascha felt her faith torn. Should she help the Pack or the Council? She is a Psy, she needs to stand by her own people. There is no way she can escape her fate. No one able to leave the PsyNet and live to tell the tale.

“I wish I’d been born in another time, another place. Then maybe I could’ve escaped fate… maybe I could’ve been your darling.”

Lucas is exactly what an alpha should be. He is fiercely protective of his people. He rises to the top by sheer determination and admirable strength. We learned about his background, his relationship with his Pack members; how he became who he is today and why he is so determine to keep Sascha despite everything stood against their union. Most of the time he appear carefree and playful as a cat should be with Sascha, he is an overall people person, but when threats surrounds them he is an alpha to the core.

“You belong to me. End of story.”

The world building is simply brilliant. There is a mixture of paranormal element with the presence of changeling that is very similar to shapeshifter that we used to read. Then there is the presence of Psy, the community that embraces perfection and neutralizes imperfection among their people. The way the PsyNet portrays make me think of Matrix, where their minds travel within the intricate web of information.

Besides the all consuming and self sacrifice romance that we witness blossom between Sascha and Lucas, the mystery behind the death of the changeling women is also part of an engaging suspense that kept us guessing till the end. This is such a great start for of a new series. Now that I had an understanding of all the parties involves I can’t wait to read about every single one of them in depth. The character that fascinated me most is Hawke, the alpha of the SnowDancer. I can’t wait for his story.

Leaning forward, she brushed her lips against his, wishing for just another hour, another minute, another lifetime. “Thank you for teaching me how to live.”

Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love, #1.5)

Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love, #1.5) - Jessica Park * super spoiler from book 1*

Don't read this review or even the blurb if you have not read book 1. It contain a huge spoiler that will detract you from a full enjoyment of Flat Out Love. Okay, now I sound like Celeste.

This little novella was told from Matt's POV from Flat Out Love. The geeky brother of the Watkins. I heard some of the chapters were picked by the fans themselves. However, we do have a prologue of Matt with his extraordinaire brother, Finn. We can see how close they are in their relationship and how Finn's demise affected him and his family.

"It wouldn't hurt you to hook up with someone a little less like our mother."
"What an atrocius, puke-inducing thing to say."

We knew Celeste played a huge role in the book with her Flat Finn obsession. So how did it all started? Every time when Celeste had a breakdown or a blow up, my heart ache for Matt. For the responsibility he had to shoulder and some of the hurtful things that he had to endure. How do you feel if the sister you are caring for keep telling you she wants the other brother, not you?

"I'm your real brother! I'm real! I'm here!"

And then there is the mess he created due to the lies his family live in. He created a fictional Finn for Julie to fall in love with. We see how Matt keep getting himself deeper and deeper until the truth finally blow up at his face.

"This love triangle had reached new heights, and as much as Matt loved geometry, this was not the sort of of triangle he wanted anything to do with."

Anyway, what I wanted to point out is the highlight of the book and the main reason I read this. Is the epilogue with the sex scene, of course. I'm a total perv.

Willing Captive

Willing Captive - Belle Aurora I have read Bella Aurora's Friend-Zoned series and it was fun, hilarious, at certain time ridiculous, but overall heart-warming. So when I saw this cover by the same author, I'm kinda shocked. Don't you dare go Fifty Shades on me, Bella. I thought she is jumping the shark or something.

Well, Willing Captive is still exactly what a Bella Aurora book is about. It gives you humor, laughter, a romance and a heartfelt ending. But I daresay she had surpassed herself with this latest book. Although I love Ghost from Love Thy Neighbor, but I guess Nox have win me over. *dreamy sigh*

If this is not another ‘The Dark Duet’, so what is this all about? Lily Flynn is the daughter of a logistic tycoon and had led a sheltered life ever since she met an accident while she was a teenager. I can’t fathom the idea of her not leaving the house although she obviously a fully capable adult. Fortunately, despite her fragile upbringing, she is a tough cookie with an adventurous mind. I guess she read too much fiction, like I do.

“Well, that’s that. Goodbye cruel world. Be sure to fuck thyself on the way out, you mean-assed son of a whore.”

Lily fought tooth and nail with her captors and even plot an escape, but to no avail. While, Lily thought she was kidnap for ransom, she learned that all this while her parent had been keeping her in the dark. During the time she being held as a ‘willing captive’, Lily found the beauty of friendship among her so-called captors. You see, she had no friend whatsoever beside her sister, Tehran. Okay, this might sound totally Stockholm yet again, but she’s not actually being kidnap per se. Her relationship with Boo and Rock was amazing.

Then there is Nox, apparently the leader among the team and asshole extraordinaire, according to Lily. Actually I don’t find him despicable at all, but Lily developed a love hate relationship with him. She just keeps pushing his buttons and Nox reign in so hard that I thought he might gonna blow up. He tried to appear menacing, but overall he is a sweet guy when you see how he always ended up giving in to her demands.

This little woman is grating my nerves something fierce. With her smartass comments and talking back, I’m gonna go nuts locked up here with her.

“Don’t push me, little girl. You don’t wanna see my bad side.”
“This is your good side?”

I find myself always on Nox side in their antagonizing relationship because the poor guy is just doing his job and he is damn good at it despite having an uncooperative charged. Meanwhile, Lily can be a total pushover with her smartass mouth and demanding personality. I find myself merely trying to see past some of her flaws and enjoy the story as it is.

“I swear this guy must’ve been conceived through backdoor action. There’s no way being that much of an asshole is natural.”

The romance between Lily and Nox is a slow building one. They built a solid trust and friendship before they acknowledge what they felt for each other. I laughed when she practically swooned every time Nox called her ‘Princess’. His intention is to mock her, but she thought otherwise. She knows her man. Nox is a man of action and the depth of their relationship by passes any flowery words could give. His promise to her is to keep her safe.

Turning to me, his arm wrapped around my hips, and he pulled me back into his body.
Not a single word was spoken.
And that was okay.
We didn’t need ‘em.

I have to say the suspense part of the story involving the threat behind the Flynn family was not explained clearly. Half the time I don’t know what is happening and in the end I still have a few unanswered questions. Anyway, I’m gonna let it go and focus on the romance of the story because let me tell you, the last 20% of the book is simply amazing.

I was threw off guard by how the event unfold towards the end. There were some surprises and then there were heartache. But in the end, I cried happy tears for Lily and Nox. Remember me saying I was tolerating Lily, by the end of the story, she completely won me over by her dedication to Nox. The ending couldn’t be more perfect with these little imperfections, but that’s what make a fiction feels real to us. If you are looking for a romantic comedy, with a smartass heroine, a protective and selfless hero with a heartwarming romance, this is the book.

“Can’t help who you fall in love with, princess.”

Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy, #3)

Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy, #3) - Karina Halle The third and final book of The Artist Trilogy is intense, emotional and jam packed with action. There is so much happening at every turn and I can't find a good part to put it down to do some chores. We jumped back right after Ellie, Camden and Javier made their escape from Travis' party. The unlikely trio have to agree on a force allegiance to save Gus and Ellie's parent from Travis' clutch. Is all very Michael Bay-ish during the first quarter, maybe Karina should write for Hollywood. Those car chasing, explosive and running for your life scene had my heart pumping so hard.

Now that the three of them have to work together to accomplish a similar goal: hunt down Travis, though for a totally different reason. Ellie and Camden just want to save Gus, while Javier, he just want to rule the world. But can they really trust Javier?

"One more light than dark, one more dark than light. Both men had come for me. Both men had loved me. And both of them I had seriously underestimated.

Ellie is in a very awkward position of standing between Javier and Camden and did her best to prevent them from killing each other. The demented in me just love reading all of Camden and Javier scene, hoping they will went for each other throat. While struggling to stay alive at midst all the chaos, Ellie is also trying her damnest to prove her love to Camden. Well, if you recall what he had to witness by the balcony, is a surprise he haven't just up and flee.

Camden is getting more and more badass as the series goes. He looks so sweet and naive in Book 1 and now he had embrace the dark side. I had a lot of sympathy for him. The poor guy went to through hell to save his girl, only to find her betraying his love. I'm glad that he didn't act like a total doormat or turn whiny and tried to win her back. He just promise Ellie that he will keep her safe and bring her home. Camden is definitely oozing some serious masculinity as his character developed.

"Since the moment I saw your face, your beautiful young face on that hot dry day. You were water for my soul. You made me feel like I had another half, someone else who understood what it was like to be unwanted."

Oh, Javier. I never did like him in the previous two books. But in Bold Tricks, he do have his moments when I thought maybe he started to grow on me. Since when he is such a funny man? But right when I thought my opinion changed for him, he turned into a sick fuck again and I wanted to just kidney punch him. He is absolutely a devil incarnated. *shudder* However, there is no doubt he is the most interesting character in the series, sick fuck or not. And he is obsess with Ellie in a twisted way. I wish I could crack open his brain and see what's inside.

"Rule the world. Don't you remember? I'll be the king and you'll be my queen."

"You're a sick fuck."
"You're going to have to start coming up with more original insults. I believe you've already call me that before."

Ellie is still the heart and soul of the series. The ever flawed Ellie. She used to make bad decisions,weak willed, resentful and had some serious self-hatred issue. I'm glad she finally make peace with herself and see what is most important in her life. Ellie started take charge for once and fight for what she wants. I do feel that some of the vows exchange between Ellie and Camden sounds dramatic, but I guess is okay because they are in a life and dead situation. Their muddy filthy sex was scorching hot. I never thought Camden can be such a beast.

"He erased the death. He gave me life, if only for that moment, when we were joined as one, and I was a better version than the girl I was before."

After all the adrenaline rush and heart stopping moments, we have a well deserved HEA for Ellie. The epilogue was so sweet and a little cliche. But who cares. I honestly doesn't want this awesome series to end. I hope Karina Halle is going to make a spin-off. More Javier, anyone? Thanks Karina Halle for giving us this epic thriller with three amazingly characters to love. And Gus too.

I'm shocked when Jose got blew up. I thought it will be so poignant if they drove him across the horizon at the ending with his dented body and all.
Louder Than Love - Jessica Topper I kind of bump into this book after reading How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie Debartolo. That book is amazing by the way. There are some similarities between these two as both the heroes are rockers and the writing is rather soulful, but the overall tone of the book is much different. Louder Than Love is a sweet and tender love story between a widow and a recluse ex-rocker.

Katrina, a widow with a four year old daughter, Abbey had moved back to her hometown Lauder Lake since her husband, Pete passing. She often miss her husband presence despite three years he had already been gone. Fortunately, she had a bunch of old time friends to keep her company and act as her moral support. I love Marrissa and Rob, Leanne, Karen and Liz's bagels. They seems like bunch of characters out from an episode of Desperate Housewives. Each have a story of their own in regards to their domestic life.

"I guess I'm not a very spiritual person. I don't think things always 'happen for a reason', everything must be 'God's way', or 'He only gives you what you can handle'. I simply believe, and I am sorry to sound crude about it, that shit happens. Period."

Adrian Graves is a washed up rocker who had been living a recluse life on his own for the past fifteen years. When a suburb librarian happen to email him to invite him to play for a children's program, he think she's off her rocker. Little did he know that Kat's daughter is a big fan of his Maxwell MacGillikitty’s theme song, a little gig he did years ago.

So that's how they happen to meet for the first time, at the library when he showed up a little drunk. Their subsequent dinner date was hilarious, but I don't want to give away the funny bits. All I can say is although sometimes Kat still mourns for her husband and that kinda breaks my heart, but her relationship with Adrian is fun to read. Is a rare chance for me to actually read about mature couples.

Abbey is a such a bundle of joy to read. She is obsess with Maxwell MacGillikitty cartoon and subsequent strike up a close relationship with Adrian as well. Adrian has his own estrange daughter all grown up in London (oh, did I mention he is British?), so we can see that he is natural when comes to interacting with Abbey. I think his love for Abbey kinda seal the deal in Kat's heart. You just can't help but fall for a man that loves your daughter.

Adrian had been hiding from his ugly past and didn't dare face his demons. When Kat and Abbey came into his life, he finally found his motivation and want to be a better person. Slowly, he started to open up himself to Kat and told a mesmerizing tale of his past. Some might think he sounds whiny, well most rocker does when they talk about the fame, drug, sex and the subsequent downfall. But I find myself wanting to hear his story and know about the real Adrian Graves.

"And I have never loved like I love you. You've got to know this. My silly drunk girl."

The progression of their romance feels very realistic and not those with off the charts hotness overblown. They even work around on the logistic issue, with him being in Manhattan. It did have a little of 'Going the Distance' feel to it. It was not mentioned how long it took him to commute by train, but Kat did mentioned the drive was about an hour. I actually did a little Google on the distance between Lauder Lake and Manhattan. According to Googlemap, there isn't a Lauder Lake per se but a Lauderdale Lake instead, which is all the way in Florida. I'm confused. Anyway, Kat and Adrian spent most of their time commuting to and fro, which sounds totally exhausting to me, but they are so in love, so obviously they didn't find it taxing.

For most part of the book, is all about Kat wanting to discover about Adrian and to know about the man behind his rocker's image. But in the end, is Kat willing to finally put her husband's shadow behind and fully accept Adrian into her heart. Adrian seems so down to earth, tender, caring and overall so carefree, I had no idea that he was feeling overshadow by her late husband. When he finally confess his feeling in regards of Pete, it broke my heart. I kind of cried a little.

"I tried to make peace with the fact I was competing with a ghost. I tried to be there for you, but you refused to be pried open."

This is a heart warming romance about second chance at love about two people who had lost so much in their life, but finally found peace within each other. I often like to emphasize this, there is no angst or unnecessary drama. This is a standalone with a HEA. I would have kill for an epilogue, though.

"You were like a sun kink. Blinding and bright, hot. Threw me right off course, but it was right where I needed and wanted to be."
A Hint of Frost - Hailey Edwards 4.5 stars

I love this fantasy romance and the awesome world building. The last time I read the same genre that make me love it as much was Master of Crows by Grace Draven. I did find the name of the clans and some make-up noun intimidating and I have a hard time pronouncing (not that I read out loud) and keep track of the words. It would be handy if there is a glossary page for me. But all these is part of the charm of the book.

Our heroine Lourdes, is the eldest daughter of the Araneidae clan heads and with the sudden passing of both her parents, she found herself becoming the youngest maven ever appointed. She had her plate full dealing with finding out the culprit behind her parents death, bring peace among her clan and lastly sought alliance with the Mimetidae clan. Even if it means agreeing to a political marriage, this is what she needs to do.

Rhys is the youngest son of the Mimetidae clan heads and a warrior at heart. His clan had a reputation of being cannibal and fearsome mercenary, so Lourdes was expecting an ogre. But Rhys turn out to be such a humble and noble hero that I can't help but love him. He seems stoic and vague most of the time. I want to know what is going on in his head. What I do know is Rhys is determine to fulfill his promises and claim her in the end. I love their interaction during their alone time, there is much to discover and enjoy in their dialogues.

"Should I assume your vagueness means you'd rather not answer?"
"I'd rather not frighten you without cause."
"Because hearing you're concerned isn't frightening in its own right."

Initially Lourdes promise to wed Rhys if he help her to avenge her parents death, but when her sister goes missing, she decided that finding her sister is of utmost priority. Together with Rhys's brother, Vaughn, the trio set out to track down her sister and in the mean time they encounter some adventure along the way. There are spirit walkers, mysterious death among the animals and path crossing with the Theridiidae clan. If Rhys is the model of good guys, Vaughn is the direct opposite. He makes me wanted to hit him most of the time, but I find him to be such an interesting character too. Rhys and Vaughn had some siblings rivalry going on, but when shit hits the fan, we know both the brothers care for each other. I love their little weird dysfunctional relationship.

Told entirely from Lourdes' POV, Rhys seems to be such a enigmatic and mysterious character. I just can't wait to learn more about his background. Then the more I learn about him, the more I fell for him. Enough of reading about rakes out there, for once I enjoy reading about a man with honor and values. Well, I'm not giving away his past here. Just gonna say he melt my heart and make me swoon most of the time.

"I want more from you than your honor. I want to be more to you than your duty."

I admire both Lourdes and Rhys for their commitment to their vows and promises and the sacrifices they willing to make for their clans. They respected each other and willing to make things work for them. Although they were together due to a political allegiance, they grow to care and love one another. I like the fact that they take times to get to know each other well and truly fell in love before they seal the deal.

"Beneath the cool water, his mouth found its way to mine and his lips moved across them. I'm yours. I understood him as clear as if he'd spoken in my ear."

Due to this being Book 1, the world building and introduction to some of the setting might be a tad overwhelming, but truly this book is romance at its heart. Despite me not able to visualize what exactly did Brun and Mamoan looks like (I assume they looks like miniature dinosaurs), I fell in love with romance part of the story. Its subtle and undertone without flaunting lust and sexuality around, yet it is wholly satisfying. Is a nice break for me from romance that is full of drama and angst. I would have prefer there is a dramatic fighting scene towards the end and with that, it will definitely be a 5 stars for me.

"If we knew nothing else in our ever-changing world, we'd know love, when we made it, expressed the threads that bound our lives. Not so weak a thing as venom and not so brief a thing as desire."

Don't Make Me Beautiful

Don't Make Me Beautiful - Elle Casey 3.5 stars

"Scars are your body's way of healing, making that damaged part stronger that it ever was before the pain."

I have read plenty of Beauty and the Beast theme before with the usual scarred hero. This time we have the role reversal with a scarred heroine instead. Nicole had been the victim of a violent domestic abuse for years by her live-in boyfriend, John. She had been disfigured by years of physical abuse and held prison in the house. On one faithful day when a kid broke her window with a baseball, her life finally reach a turning point when she learned that she no longer wait for death.

Brian Jensen, the perfect man and overall nice goofy guy stumble upon Nicole's house when his six years old son, Liam did the unspeakable of breaking a neighbor's window. Due to his curiosity, he stumble upon Nicole laying face down on the hall and called in the authority. Soon he learned about Nicole's faith and decided to take care of her and keep her away from the monster boyfriend.

"I have faith, and my faith tells me if I'm patient enough and if I believe enough and want something bad enough, good things are going to happen."

The beginning of the book sounds gloom due to Nicole's situation. But after Brian is in the picture, I find the overall tone of the book pretty upbeat. Brian is the goofy guy that reminds me of a kid with sugar high. He loves making everyone around him happy. He is such a great father and the relationship he had with his ex-wife, Helen is fantastic. Helen is such a straight shooter and she is the one who can keep him at his toes. At some point I kind of hoping he will end up with his ex-wife. *snicker*

"I'm frustrated with your superhero complex and wishing my life was a lot less complicated."

I love the premise of the story and overall tone of the plot, including some drama and twist towards the end that keep things interesting. Brian is simply awesome and he proves that chauvinist isn't dead in this world. But I find his romantic interest towards Nicole happen a little too fast. I would have prefer they form a tighter friendship and allow her the time to heal first. Nicole on the other hand can't believes that a man as amazing as Brian is willing to help her selflessly.

"He can't possibly be for real. There's a catch here somewhere."

I understand Nicole is having a hard time dealing with her PTSD and trusting Brian. But her doubts about him gets repetitive after some time. Stop questioning the poor guy intention already. I would have prefer Liam gets more page time at the second half because he is such a funny kid.

This is a standalone with a HEA.

"You're funny, smart, wicked terrible at cards even though you refuse to admit it, and you have a nice ass. I add that all up and it equals cute to me."
"I think I will take that job you offered me earlier."
"Oh yeah? Why the change of heart now?"
"Because you obviously can't add. I can't imagine how much money you've lost over the years doing your own billing."

Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1)

Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1) - Ella James I love the unique plot of this story, is something I never even remotely read before. A woman who tries to sell her V-card for a noble cause. That sounds Victorian, which make me assume that this was initially a historical romance. The cover and the blurb sounds like the normal fluff, but there were some pretty serious issue dealt here. Kidnapping, abuse, human trafficking, friendship and love, of course.

The heroine, Elizabeth aka Libby is a virgin, a fact that will usually make me cringe, but she is not the usual kind who annoys me with her naivety or act all holier than thou. She is such a courageous, strong and selfless character. The length she would go to help her best friend, Cross, might make you question her sanity, but I simply wanted to salute her. Cross was fatally injured in an accident and now laying comatose, Libby needs money to get him into the best healthcare facilities. I bet this woman will even sell her soul to the devil if this is a paranormal book. Her reaction towards her situation feels so real and I snickered whenever she talked about her 'belly bats'.

Meanwhile, there is the enigmatic Hunter West, Libby's secret crush since she first met him six years ago. He is the West Bourbon heir, professional poker player and also the frequent patron of Love Inc, the high end brothel established by his best friend, Marchant. Although we have Hunter's POV, his background, secret and motivation are part of the mystery and towards the end I still find myself finding out new tidbits about him as a character.

Hunter find himself in a very sticky situation that might threaten his freedom and his family reputation. An escort of the Love Inc was missing and Hunter was turning out to be the prime suspect. Initially, I thought he seems like typical alpha male, but later I found out that's not the case. All I can say is 'Aww....poor Hunter'. From the beginning of the book, I had no idea Hunter was such a tortured hero, now I just wanted to wrap him up and assure him that everything is going to be alright.

The prologue and the first quarter of the book threw me off guard and I kept splitting my head trying to figure out what the hell is happening. Either the author is lousy in conveying the message or she intentionally keep me in the dark, I'm not sure, but I'm so wildly intrigue and got so caught up with the mysterious plot.

Hunter keep popping in and out of the picture throughout the book and left me panting every time he vanished. I just wanted to simply put a thumb on him and keep him on the page with Libby. Okay, that sounds weird. Although the amount of page time that Libby and Hunter were actually together was not as much as I would prefer, I found their romance really heart warming and sweet. They both care for each other deeply even before they were an item. They spent most of the book getting embroiled in the chaos that I anticipating some down time for them to just be together. I find Libby kind of like a knight in shining armor trying to save him from the evil. She is so stubborn and persistent when it comes to getting what she wants. She is simply marvelous.

We also had a great cast of secondary characters, the girls at Love Inc, Loveless and Juniper, Hunter's best friend, Marchant, Libby's best friend, Suri and Cross. I wonder will Cross end up with Suri in the next book. Last but the least the woman I hate the most, Priscilla Heat. Urg! I so wanted to punch her fake boobs and skin off her sprayed-on tan.

My minor problem is with the overall investigation on the missing escort. There was simply too many parties involves and some parts were not explained clearly during the process. I find myself feeling puzzled most of the time. Anyway, Hunter and Libby were simply too intriguing that I don't really give a damn on that issue. The HEA epilogue we got is really sweet and it wrapped up all the unanswered question nicely. Though I wish I got much more elaborate epilogue or maybe even another half length of a book dedicated for their time together. I'm looking forward to Cross book to get some glimpses into Hunter and Libby's life later.

"One time I fell in love with a woman in a Porsche".