Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Owning Violet by Monica Murphy

Title: Owning Violet
 
Author: Monica Murphy
 
Publisher: Bantam

Published Date: December 2, 2014 

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback

Author Website: http://monicamurphyauthor.com/series/fowler-sisters/






 

Synopsis: 


I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.


My Thoughts:


Owning Violet, by Monica Murphy, is the first book in The Fowler Sisters Series. Owning Violet is told from the viewpoint of its two main characters: Violet and Ryder. Violet is the quiet and responsible middle sister from the successful Fowler family, while Ryder is a man who grew up on the streets but has worked hard to turn his life around- somewhat. Years before, Violet's Grandmother founded the successful company Fleur Cosmetics. It has since been passed down to Violet's father and Violet's hopes are that one day it will be her's to run.  

Fleur Cosmetics is a huge company where Ryder is a valuable employee rising quickly through the ranks. Violet has a prominent position in the company. At work she is a strong and successful leader with great ideas and a wonderful work ethic. However, in her personal life she is anything but. Violet has dated Zachary for a few years and readers quickly learn that he walks all over her. Zachary is Ryder's competitor and his main goal is to climb the company ladder so that one day he will be running the company. Zachary also happens to be a serial cheater, but Violet turns a blind eye because she believes that Zachary is worth the heartache.


Owning Violet begins with Violet hoping for a marriage proposal. However, on the night when she is expecting Zachary to finally commit to her he tells her that he has accepted a temporary position overseas and is leaving soon. Violet is crushed but holds her emotions in check until she runs into Ryder and her life is forever changed.


Violet has always steered clear of the alluring and somewhat dangerous Ryder, however he has been aware of her. When he learns that Zachary has been offered the overseas position he is furious. However, with the help of his ex-lover Pilar, he hatches a plan to take everything from the smug and arrogant Zachary, which includes Violet. Ryder never could have guessed that from his scheme there was the possibility of falling in love with Violet. However, the more time Ryder spends seducing Violet, the harder he truly falls for her. How will Violet react when she realizes Ryder has betrayed and used her? 

Monica Murphy's Owning Violet is a sexy page turner of a read. I found the characters to be very likeable. I really enjoyed Violet. She was three dimensional and as her layers were peeled away she became very real to me. I am impatiently waiting for Stealing Rose, the second book in the series which is about the youngest sister Rose, to come out. If it is anything like Owning Violet then readers will be in for a treat! If you are looking for a book to get you through the cold winter nights then the first book in The Fowler Sisters series is most definitely for you!

Monica Murphy
         
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Owning Violet, for the purpose of review.*



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Taking It All by Maya Banks

Title: Taking It All
 
Author: Maya Banks
 

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Published Date: August 5, 2014 

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback

Author Website: http://mayabanks.com/




Synopsis: 

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects…

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all.

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband—a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love.

My Thoughts:


Taking It All is the third and final book in Maya Banks' Breathless Trilogy. Tate and Chessy were featured as characters in the first two books, but we didn't get too much information about them other than the fact that Chessy was feeling isolated in her marriage. In the first two books we learned through Chessy's frequent lunch dates with Joss and Kylie that Tate was busy building his business and as a result Chessy felt neglected. 

In the beginning of Taking It All, things come to a head when Tate misses his anniversary dinner with Chessy in order to snag a new client. This is Chessy's breaking point and she realizes that she has had enough and proceeds to confront Tate about their relationship. Tate is flabbergasted, he had no idea that his marriage was in jeopardy or that Chessy felt as she did. While he pledges to make Chessy a priority, things happen that will truly rock their marriage to its core. Will they be able to survive the storm, and if so can Chessy forgive and forget? 

I loved how Banks brought the stories of Joss and Kylie closure in Taking It All. Joss and Dash are very happily married and expecting their first child. Kylie and Jensen are moving forward in their relationship and growing stronger and more in love every day. I also loved to see how fiercely protective of each other the three friends were. 

While Chessy was struggling with her failing relationship with Tate, Joss and Kylie were there 100% for her. They offered moral, emotional, and physical support as well as shoulders to cry on and beds to sleep in. I found it really hard not to be frustrated with Tate. How could he be so clueless of Chessy's feelings for the last two years when her friends could instantly see she was miserable? He was in his own selfish world and has no idea that his relationship with his wife had gone sour. Then, when he does realize it and makes an effort to regain her trust he makes the ultimate mistake. I felt he deserved all he had coming to him and more. To me, Chessy was too easy on him. 

Taking It All by Maya Banks was a great read. The Surrender Trilogy ended on a happy note and left a smile on my face. If you are searching for a new series to read, I definitely recommend Banks' Surrender Trilogy!

Maya Banks
         
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Taking It All, for the purpose of review.*

Monday, November 10, 2014

Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks


Title: Keep Me Safe
 
Author: Maya Banks
 
Publisher: Avon

Published Date: October 7, 2014 

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback

Author Website: http://mayabanks.com/








Synopsis: 

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks.

When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will do risk everything to protect her—including his heart. . . .

My Thoughts:


Keep Me Safe is Maya Banks' newest novel in her new series, Slow Burn. I've read a great deal of Banks' books but I have to say that Keep Me Safe stands out to me as one of her most unique works.  Keep Me Safe centers around Ramie, a young psychic who helps solve crimes by locating missing girls. However, her gift/curse takes a huge toll on her emotionally and physically.  In order to find the missing girls, Ramie must put herself inside of their mind and experience all of the pain and suffering they are.
 

Ramie is going through the motions of her lonely life until she crushes the plans of a serial killer. When he realizes how fun it would be to toy with and then destroy Ramie he sets his sights on her. Ramie tries disappearing off of the grid, but running and hiding does no good as the killer has psychic abilities of his own. In a surprising twist, the killer manages to play an extremely demented cat and mouse game with Ramie. He has the patience to make her feel safe while tracking her for a year and waiting for the perfect moment.  His end goal is her gruesome death.


After a close call with the killer, Ramie manages to escape but has run out of places to run and people to turn to. She has no friends, money, or belongings. She literally has no other options but to turn herself over to the killer. However, Ramie realizes that there is someone she can contact- Caleb Devereaux, a powerful man whom owes her a favor after she located his kidnapped sister. Afraid that the killer is going to win, Ramie enlists Caleb to help her. 


Caleb does everything in his power to keep Ramie safe and catch the dangerous criminal mastermind. Throughout their dangerous and twisted journey, Ramie and Caleb did not count on falling in love. The killer is thrilled when he realizes that another person's happiness is in play.  He is only too happy to bring about the destruction of the lovers. 


Keep Me Safe, by Maya Banks, is an extremely fast paced novel with

many surprising twists and turns. It has an abundance of romance, intrigue, and suspense.  If you are looking for a spine tingling new read then Banks' Keep Me Safe is the book for you! I am impatiently waiting for the next book in the Slow Burn series, In His Keeping, which will come out in January 2015.







Maya Banks
                     
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Keep Me Safe for the purpose of review.*



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed by L. Marie Adeline

Title: S.E.C.R.E.T Revealed
 
Author: L. Marie Adeline

 
Publisher: Broadway Books

Published Date: May 6, 2014 

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback

Author Website: http://www.secretnovels.com/





Synopsis: 

The only thing that Cassie Robichaud has ever really wanted is Will Foret, the love of her life. But when Will discovers that Cassie is part of S.E.C.R.E.T., an underground group devoted to helping women experience their deepest sexual fantasies, Will breaks it off. Heartbroken, Cassie dries her tears and focuses on her work with helping the latest S.E.C.R.E.T. recruit, Solange Faraday. Cassie also reignites her relationship with sexy bad-boy Jesse, even though she knows he can never love her as deeply as Will did.
 
Meanwhile, beautiful, brilliant Solange, a local news anchor and divorced mom, has a great career but a wilting love life. She rekindles long-lost passions, going deeper and hotter than any other S.E.C.R.E.T. candidates before her. Can Solange find what her heart most desires? And when Will realizes he's made a tragic mistake, will Cassie be able to forgive him?

My Thoughts:


S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed is the final book in L. Marie Adeline’s S.E.C.R.E.T. Trilogy. 
These novels take place in New Orleans and centers around a secret club that 
helps sexually stunted women find themselves. In S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed, Cassie 
finds herself brokenhearted once her boyfriend, Will, finds out about her 
involvement in the society. Will quickly breaks up with Cassie and wants their 
relationship to be purely professional. However, this makes Cassie very 
uncomfortable since she is a waitress at his restaurant.  To make things even
tenser, Will had just recently named his new restaurant after her and he expects 
Cassie to help run it. 
 
Since her personal life is in shambles, Cassie decides to rejoin S.E.C.R.E.T. and 
help the ladies with their newest recruit, Solange. Cassie throws herself into the 
new restaurant and embraces her S.E.C.R.E.T.  role.  Sadly, she still feels like there 
is a hole in her heart where Will once was. Will Cassie ever find her happily ever 
after?
 
On the outside Solange is an award winning news reporter in New Orleans. 
However, her love life is nonexistent ever since she got divorced several years 
earlier. Her life literally revolves around her son and her sky rocketing career. 
Sex and/or relationships are the last thing on her mind. However, when 
S.E.C.R.E.T. takes an interest in Solange and offers her the chance to reinvigorate 
her personal life, she finds herself curious and for the first time realizes that she 
wants more out of her personal life.  She decides to accept and jumps head first 
into S.E.C.R.E.T. 
 
Solange finds herself on an exciting and somewhat dangerous journey of 
self-discovery with S.E.C.R.E.T.  At the end of her journey and after completing 
many of her steps, S.E.C.R.E.T. helps Solange uncover something about herself 
that shocks her. S.E.C.R.E.T helps her believe that maybe you CAN have it all. 
 
S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed, by L. Marie Adeline, is very well written with well developed,
realistic characters. I think my favorite character in the entire S.E.C.R.E.T. Trilogy 
was Jesse. His bad boy appearance combined with his heart of gold did me in.   
Surprisingly, I never warned up to the character of Will.  I don’t know why, but he
rubbed me the wrong way in the first book, S.E.C.R.E.T.  I think I held that against 
Will throughout S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared and S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed. When he dismissed 
Cassie in the second novel it was the nail in his coffin. Jesse, on the other hand, 
really felt like the underdog to me and I was constantly rooting for his happiness. 
To me, Cassie was not fair to him; in fact she seemed to string him along quite a 
bit. I was happy to see how Jesse’s 'ever after' unfolded at the end of Adeline’s  
S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed.  
 
S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed, by L. Marie Adeline, is a fun and 
steamy read. I definitely recommend reading the first two novels (S.E.C.R.E.T. and
S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared) first so that you know where Cassie is coming from and what 
hardships she has been through. I definitely think this is another great summer
read!



L. Marie Adeline
                                                  
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, S.E.C.R.E.T Revealed for the purpose of review.*



Monday, June 9, 2014

Giving In by Maya Banks

Title: Giving In
 
Author: Maya Banks
 

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Published Date: May 6, 2014 

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback


Author Website: http://mayabanks.com/



Synopsis: 

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit fully to him will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

My Thoughts:


Giving In, by Maya Banks, is the second book in her Surrender Trilogy. I have been waiting to read this book since the characters of Jensen and Kylie were introduced in Banks’ first book, Letting Go. After reading Letting Go I knew that Giving In would be special and memorable.

Kylie is a tough as nails girl on the outside that takes no gruff, but soft and full of love on the inside. Because of her abusive childhood, Kylie is mentally and emotionally scarred and has erected walls around her heart. She never wants to appear weak to anyone. Kylie in no way, shape, or form wants ANY man around her. The two concessions she has ever made were for her two bosses- her deceased brother Carson and their close friend Dash. When Jensen is hired by Dash to be his partner and take over Carson's job, Kylie is livid. She automatically hates Jensen and wants nothing to do with him. His overbearing attitude scares her and as a defense she puts up an almost impenetrable icy wall.  
 
Jensen has battled his own personal demons and understands Kylie more than she realizes. He sees through her facade and knows there is a loving woman who needs protecting under all of her prickly armor. The more he gets to know Kylie and the harder she pushes him away, the more Jensen wants to be the man to break through to her. Will Kylie run when she realizes what Jensen is after, or give love a chance to blossom? 
 
I really enjoyed Maya Banks' Giving In. There were many heartbreaking scenes that left me tearing up. Because of Kylie's past, she never saw herself in a relationship. In fact, it was the last thing she wanted. Her life consisted of getting to the office early, working, seeing her best friends occasionally, and then going home to have a nightmare ridden night of sleep. When she gets a taste of what it might be like to have someone protect and cherish her, Kylie doesn't know what to think. Is it too good to be true? 
 
If you are looking for a romantic and heart tugging read, Maya Banks' Giving In is for you. I found it to be a fairly quick read because I couldn't put it down!  You would not need to read the first book in the Surrender Trilogy in order to enjoy Giving In. If you are looking for a good pool or beach read, grab Giving In and go!

Maya Banks
                                                   
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, Giving In, for the purpose of review.*



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Never Never Sisters by L. Alison Heller

Title: The Never Never Sisters
 
Author: L. Alison Heller

Publisher: NAL Trade


Published Date: June 3, 2014

Buy on Amazon: Kindle
Paperback

Author Website: http://lalisonheller.com/









Synopsis: 

Marriage counselor Paige Reinhardt is counting down the days to summer, eager to reconnect with her workaholic husband at their cozy rental cottage in the Hamptons. But soon a mysterious crisis at Dave’s work ruins their getaway plans. Paige is still figuring out how to handle the unexplained chill in her marriage when her troubled sister suddenly returns after a two-decade silence. Now, instead of enjoying the lazy summer days along the ocean, Paige is navigating the rocky waters of a forgotten bond with her sister in the sweltering city heat.

As she attempts to dig deeper into Dave’s work troubles and some long-held family secrets, Paige is shocked to discover how little she knows about the people closest to her. This summer, the self-proclaimed relationship expert will grapple with her biggest challenge yet: Is it worth risking your most precious relationships in order to find yourself?
 
My Thoughts:

The Never Never Sisters, by L. Alison Heller, is a contemporary story revolving around Paige and her family. Paige defines herself as a successful marriage counselor, wife, and daughter. As the story begins, all in Paige's life is well. Summer is beginning and she and her husband Dave have rented a beach house for the season that they hope to use on weekends. However, all of her well thought out plans are quickly halted when two major snags appear out of nowhere to wreak havoc in her otherwise orderly life.  

Paige begins to worry when she comes home early after work and walks in on Dave who has been suspended from his job at a major law firm. His story does not add up to Paige.  He says he has no idea why he was put on leave and his superiors are sorting it out. Once everything is dealt with he should be able to resume his normal work schedule. Paige wants to believe him, but past trust issues begin creeping into her thought process. Dave is also acting very secretive about his job and Paige starts to worry that he may be involved in something not totally legal. She has to decide if she is going to trust Dave and take his word that all is well or take the initiative to really find out what is happening behind the scenes.

As if the drama at home wasn't enough, Paige learns from her parents that her addict sister has made contact with them after 20 years and wants to visit. Paige doesn't remember much about Sloane, other than her doing drugs and abusing alcohol as a teen. At 16 Sloane was sent to a rehab facility across the country and never returned home. As an adult, the majority of the time Paige forgets that she even has a sister. However, Sloane's reappearance throws Paige's already tipsy life completely upside down.

I loved watching Paige and Sloane's relationship unfold in The Never Never Sisters. The two siblings had a long and bumpy road ahead of them toward reconciliation, but watching them stumble and then rebound was very rewarding. Heller did a wonderful job in creating two relatable sisters with a realistic relationship.  Sloane had a tough outer protective shell that she wore around her parents, but when she was with Paige and her fiancĂ©e she morphed into a different person. Sloane was no longer sullen and moody, but became excitable and creative.

The Never Never Sisters dealt heavily with addiction and the effect it had on both the addict and the family. Paige and Sloane’s mother, Vanessa, had many feeling of guilt. She believed that Sloane was an addict because of her genes. Vanessa’s father was an alcoholic and for a time Vanessa also dealt with addiction. She never wanted her girls to know about her sordid family life and their history of addiction. However, sweeping everything under the rug did not work out how she wanted. Vanessa believes that Sloane will never fully trust her but her hope is that her two girls will be able to build a beneficial and lasting relationship.

L. Alison Heller’s The Never Never Sisters is a thought provoking story that puts addiction and marital issues on the front burner, as well as healing and resolution. This is a wonderfully well written, realistic story that has likable characters and a good bit of suspense.  I highly recommend The Never Never Sisters as it will keep you guessing until the very end!


L. Alison Heller
                                                      
*I have been provided a complimentary copy of the book, The Never Never Sisters, for the purpose of review.*