Daddy Bear (Montana Daddies #1)

bearAfter years of being lied to and used, Ellie just wants a new life. On her own terms.
There’s just one small problem. On her way to that new life, she crashes her car during a snow storm and is rescued by a huge hunk of a man. A man who goes by the name of Bear, has thighs as big as tree trunks, and an extreme case of bossiness.

If anyone ever needed a keeper, it was this girl. Bear knows he shouldn’t touch her, shouldn’t get involved, and yet the close quarters of a tiny cabin in a snow storm make him do things he normally wouldn’t.
Like offering her a temporary arrangement, with him as her Daddy Dom.

Contains a hot, alpha Daddy Dom and a woman who needs his special brand of love.

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Daddy Bear is a daddydom / (adult) little girl romance set in the Montana in the dead of winter. The majority of the book takes place with the hero and heroine trapped in a cabin in the forest, waiting out a blizzard and uncleared roads.

I think it is a great introduction to the subset of D/s that is a daddydom relationship. The concept of consent is regularly repeated between during the story and Bear is an absolute sweetheart. He is always super careful around Ellie.

Ellie is a virgin before she and Bear get together and I thought that the pain she was in during intercourse for the first time was pretty realistic, especially considering their size differences. I hate when it’s all sunshine and roses and completely unrealistic. Even though that is what some romance readers are clearly looking for, it ruins the story for me if too many details are unbelievable. A girl can only suspend belief so many times!

I would recommend this book 🙂

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Just This One Summer (The Montebellos #2)

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A sexy forbidden-lovers, billionaire romance.

On the coast of Italy, sheltering in a stranger’s home to wait out a storm, heartbroken Maddie Gray throws caution to the wind for the first time in her life and ends up in the powerful tycoon’s arms…and bed! The next morning, she discovers her knight in shining armour is the last man she should have got involved with: Nico Montebello. The best friend of the abusive ex Maddie’s spent months trying to elude.

He’s completely forbidden, but when Nico – who has no idea who Maddie really is – suggests a brief summer affair with no strings, no questions, and no future Maddie wonders if she can have her cake and eat it too. After everything she’s been through, she deserves a bit of fun, doesn’t she? So long as she doesn’t let her heart become involved…

But even casual flings have the power to heal and gradually Nico pieces Maddie back together until she’s whole once more. He’s rescued her – from the storm, from her grief and fears, but can he ever forgive her for keeping the truth of their connection from him?

—                         —                         —

Just This One Summer is a sweet, Italian summer romance between billionaire playboy Nico Montebello and British author Maddie Gray. Maddie has run away from her life in England in an attempt to escape her abusive partner. She and Nico meet one stormy day on the beach and the attraction between them is instantaneous.

The plot in Just This One Summer is very simple and I was able to see from the beginning where the story was heading. Regardless, the romance between these two was entertaining and a heart-warming quick read on a cold winter night.

I recommend this book to other readers who like their romance light-hearted.

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Regret Me Not (The Montebellos #1)

One sexy night with consequences…

It was one single night of passion with a mysterious stranger, but when Elodie Gardiner realises she’s pregnant, she naturally intends to tell her billionaire lover – only before she can do so, she discovers a very pressing reason to keep their baby a secret!

Three years later, ruthless tycoon Fiero Montebello receives a shocking call from a London hospital. The woman he slept with three years ago is in a serious condition in ICU – and the son he never knew he had is in the crèche!

Family is everything to Fiero and there’s no way he’s going to let his son be raised anywhere than under his roof – even if that means his one-time lover is a part of that. He can never forgive her for keeping their child a secret, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still want her. This seduction is a dangerous game laced with resentment and hurt…

—                         —                         —

Regret Me Not is the first of seven in the Montebellos series, and also the first book I have ever read from author Clare Connelly. It is a traditional romance story, not dark or erotic, and would likely appeal to a wide audience of romance fans.

Fiero is a billionaire businessman with a large family and serious trust issues. He also has a heart of gold, but it was difficult reading through the issues he and Elodie had to work through. First as parents, then as lovers, Fiero and Elodie struggled to forgive each other for the decisions they had made, and to put Jack’s best interests at heart, despite their pain. Reading from both points of view, it was impossible to say either parent was entirely right or wrong, which contributed to the real emotion behind the book.

Regret Me Not brought out my emotions and I was definitely crying at a few different points. Connelly did a great job of connecting the reading to her characters. I did find Fiero’s brothers to be thoroughly unlikeable though, and considering they are the stars of future books in this series, she is going to have a time writing redemption arcs for some of their opinions and advice!

I plan to read the next book in this series, Just This One Summer soon, and hopefully will be reviewing it shortly.

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Popsugar Reading Challenge 2020

Well, my reading challenges from 2019 didn’t get too far, but I am keen to try again in 2020. Hopefully tis year I will regain some of my passion for reading! I am going to try do do the Popsugar Reading Challenge, which you can read all about or download here.

 

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I think this is the only challenge that I am planning on doing this year, but I have traditionally worked on the Book Riot one as well, so who knows?!

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Twisted Hearts (Camorra Chronicles #5)

Savio Falcone has a few non-negotiable rules when it comes to girls.

They need to be hot as f*ck. Spread their legs without much prompting. And leave as soon as the fun is over. Preferably minus any bitching or tears.

With his easy-going bad boy attitude, a last name that rules over Las Vegas and a body to die for, girls have always been at Savio’s disposal.48499902._SY475_

Unfortunately, the hottest girl in Vegas comes with a price Savio isn’t willing to pay. For Savio to get Gemma he’d need to seal the deal and put a ring on her finger. Settling down is out of the question, no matter how hot a piece of ass waits at the altar.

Gemma Bazzoli has had a crush on Savio from the first moment she came face to face with his arrogant smile, but for him she was always his best friend’s annoying little sister—until her hard-earned curves catch even his attention.

But Savio likes it easy, and Gemma is anything but. When she’s promised to another man, Gemma resigns herself to the fact that the man she’s wanted all her life, doesn’t want her badly enough.

Savio has to decide how much work he’s willing to invest, because bending the rules in his usual style might not be enough to get the girl that haunts his wet dreams.

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*An honest review in exchange for an advanced reader copy.

Twisted Hearts is written as a standalone book within the Camorra series, so readers do not have to follow the series for it to make sense, although fans will obviously understand more of the backstory of Savio and the Camorra if they do. The narrative is linear, with the plot beginning several years before “present day”, when the H/h were young teens. A significant portion of the novel is spent developing Savio and Gemma as individuals, something unique to this book. Normally in this universe, the couple are virtually strangers on their wedding day.

Due to the backstory’s development Twisted Hearts is a slow burn romance. There is no sex or even kissing between the couple until the very end of the book. While some readers will love this aspect, I personally did not. It felt like I was reading less of a mafia romance / dark romance tale and more of a young adult novel.

As TH is written as a standalone, there are far fewer instances of secondary characters like the Falcones showing up. This was a disappointment for me.

The grammar and sentence structure were far improved in this book which made it more of a fluid read and I was able to more easily immerse myself in the world that Ms. Reilly created. I have long wondered if English is the author’s second language because she is an amazing writer, but the syntax is often disjointed, as if she grew up speaking or writing in another language. I am so glad that she is improving.

I enjoyed reading Twisted Hearts and will definitely be one-clicking all future books from this author.

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Lethal Balance (Sons of the Survivalist 2)

lethal balanceHis name means hunter.

Once the best assassin in black ops, Cazador is now the best at saving lives. His path has changed from seeking bloody vengeance to running a health clinic in Rescue, Alaska.

He will never again risk loving someone he can’t protect.
His mother and sister were murdered in front of him, his fiancée slaughtered in a war zone. Despite his popularity with women, he’s determined to remain unattached. His heart can bear no more loss. Unfortunately, the universe isn’t listening.

First, his brother hires JJ, a fiery-haired, tough cop who lives on the edge of danger and has the biggest heart of anyone he knows. And then, his disreputable past returns in the shape of an adorable, foul-mouthed nine-year-old daughter. Now he has two loved ones to protect. An impossible task, because…

Life is dangerous. Especially in Alaska.

—                          —                          —

Lethal Balance is the second book in the Sons of Survivalist series by the amazing author Cherise Sinclair. She been a one-click author for me since I read her first book many years ago, and I continue to love her work and look forward to each novel she writes.

This series is sent in the Alaksan wilderness, and features rugged, alpha, ex-military heroes. Caz is strong, sexy and dominant, even though no BDSM play takes place. His backstory has a huge impact on his ability to develop a relationship with police officer JJ, an Alaskan newcomer, and is something that he has to work through throughout the story.

JJ is amazing. I love how Ms. Sinclair balanced her personality; she can be a tough-as-nails cop and a sensual woman, and a caring surrogate mother to Regan.

One thing that I have noticed is that the main characters in this series seem to be too …. perfect? complete? one-dimensional? There is very clearly a us versus them mentality with the H/h and bad guys which doesn’t reflect the conflicted, impersonal people we all are and simplifies plot lines. In all, I think this world seems a little flat, with everything always tied up in a neat little bow, and the main characters never making mistakes.

Lethal Balance was a solid read and clearly sets up the following two (and presumably final) books in this series. While I can’t put my finger on what it is, this author does seem to be struggling to find her stride in a traditional romance book. I cannot put down her erotic / BDSM series, and yet both “Sons” books I had to push myself to finish reading. I will still read the following two because I like this author and want to finish it out, but they don’t draw me in.

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Most Anticipated Titles of 2020

Even though I have been in a bit of a book slump lately, I am still anticipating novels from my favourite authors in the coming year. Hopefully at that point I will not feel so burnt out, but even so, I am a sucker for a good series so I know that those titles will suck me in!

So, in no particular order, here are the books I am most excited for in the coming year!

1 – Vendetta Road by Christine Feehan: expected publication January 28, 2020.

(Torpedo Ink Series #3)

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Isaak “Ice” Koval is on a club mission when he sees a woman who stops him dead in his tracks. Soleil is a sweet, sexy, girl-next-door type. She’s an innocent who should be nowhere near the rough-and-ready world of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club. But Ice knows Soleil belongs with him mdash; and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

After a life of drifting from one thing to the next, Soleil Brodeur is determined to take control of her life. When her breakup with her manipulative fiancé turns ugly, Soleil searches out the stranger who offered her a lifeline and ends up in a Las Vegas biker bar where she meets a gorgeous, dangerous man straight out of her most secret fantasies.

High on adrenaline, she finds herself falling faster than she thought possible. But Soleil knows little about the territory she’s stumbled into, and even less about what it really means to be Ice’s woman…

2. Twisted Hearts by Cora Reilly: expected publication January 7, 2020.

(Camorra Chronicles #5)

Savio Falcone has a few non-negotiable rules when it comes to girls.
They need to be hot as f*ck. Spread their legs without much prompting. And leave as soon as the fun is over. Preferably minus any bitching or tears. With his easy-going bad boy attitude, a last name that rules over Las Vegas and a body to die for, girls have always been at Savio’s disposal.

Unfortunately, the hottest girl in Vegas comes with a price Savio isn’t willing to pay. For Savio to get Gemma he’d need to seal the deal and put a ring on her finger. Settling down is out of the question, no matter how hot a piece of ass waits at the altar.

Gemma Bazzoli has had a crush on Savio from the first moment she came face to face with his arrogant smile, but for him she was always his best friend’s annoying little sister—until her hard-earned curves catch even his attention.

But Savio likes it easy, and Gemma is anything but. When she’s promised to another man, Gemma resigns herself to the fact that the man she’s wanted all her life, doesn’t want her badly enough.

Savio has to decide how much work he’s willing to invest, because bending the rules in his usual style might not be enough to get the girl that haunts his wet dreams.

3. Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan: expected publication May 5, 2020.

(Shadow Riders #5)

Nicoletta Gomez was a terrified teenager when Taviano Ferraro and his brother saved her life. Ever since, she’s been trying to rise above what was done to her, molding herself into a survivor under the protective eyes of the Ferraro family. All the while, she’s been falling hopelessly in love with the man who knows her darkest secrets….

With one look, Taviano knew that Nicoletta was his, just as he felt their shadows connect. But no matter how much he wanted to claim her, he knew she needed time to become her own woman. But when Nicoletta once again finds herself in the sights of dangerous men, a split second decision has Taviano breaking all of the Ferraro family’s rules to keep her safe. And as far as he’s concerned, the reward is more than worth the risk.

4. Bound by the Past by Cora Reilly: expected publication spring 2020.

(Bound in Blood Mafia Chronicles #7)

A new novel featuring Dante and Valentina. More details to be announced closer to publication.

5. Titan’s Addiction by Anna Zaires: expected publication February 5, 2020.

(Wall Street Titan #2)

One determined billionaire. One wary cat lady. One queen-sized bed.

Let the games begin.

6. Leopard’s Rage by Christine Feehan: expected publication November 3, 2020.

(Leopard People #12)

7. Desolation Road by Christine Feehan: expected publication June 30, 2020.

(Torpedo Ink Series #4)

DesolationTorpedo Ink is Aleksei “Absinthe” Solokov’s whole life. They’re his brothers, his family—his everything. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting something that only belongs to him. That’s why the tough biker has spent the last six weeks at the library, reading every book he can get his hands on and watching the prim and proper librarian who makes his blood rush.

For the past six weeks, Scarlet Foley has been fantasizing about the handsome, tattooed man whose eyes follow her every move. She senses he’s dangerous. She wants him to get close enough to touch. She wishes she could let him know the real woman, not the one she pretends to be. But Scarlet has a plan to carry out, and she can’t afford any distractions.

Absinthe is well aware that Scarlet is hiding something. She’s a puzzle he intends to solve, piece by intoxicating piece.

8. Love Without Borders by Angela Braniff: expected publication April 28, 2020.

angieFrom the founder of This Gathered Nest YouTube channel, an uplifting story of Angela Braniff’s unusual path to becoming the mother to seven children through various methods of adoption and biological approaches, encouraging women and mothers to embrace the unique purpose that God has put in their lives.

Angela’s love for life and her family radiates through everything she does. The Braniff household includes their two biological daughters, Kennedy, 12, and Shelby 10; Rosie, 7, who was adopted from China with Down syndrome; Noah, 7, adopted from Congo; Jonah 5, adopted domestically; and finally, Ivy and Amelia, their one year old twins who were adopted as embryos, and implanted in Angela, who gave birth to them. In fact, after the book was finished, they joyfully welcomed a new baby into their home, Benjamin, through adoption, making them now a family of ten!

Love Without Borders shares Angela’s relatable, humorous, and honest view of motherhood. Angela chronicles her journey to discover God’s purpose for her life. For years she walked the safe, expected path, until one day she could feel God calling her to boldly step out and follow him into new places, which led her to raise a large, non-traditional family that looked different than she ever imagined.

It was a winding path to motherhood, complete with heartbreak from failed adoptions, challenging pregnancies, and secondary infertility, but through it all Angela found the unique adventure God had for her. She has shared her family’s stories on her popular YouTube channel, This Gathered Nest, and now invites us in to go deeper and listen to where God might be calling us to go and who we’ve been tasked with loving, no matter how unusual (or just plain crazy) it may sound! The beauty of God’s plan is he uses imperfect people to bring about perfectly beautiful stories.

9. Darker Than Love by Anna Zaires and Charmaine Pauls: expected publication January 28, 2020.

48559380._SY475_Once upon a cold, dark night, a Russian killer stole me from an alley.
I’m dangerous, but he is lethal.
I escaped once.
He won’t let me do it twice.

The revenge is his.
The betrayal is mine.
But so are the lies to protect the ones I love.

We’re cut from the same twisted cloth. Both merciless. Both damaged.
In his embrace, I find hell and heaven, his cruelly tender touch destroying and uplifting me at once.

They say a cat has nine lives, but an assassin has just one.
And Yan Ivanov now owns mine.

10. Lethal Game by Christine Feehan: expected publication March 3, 2020.

(Ghostwalkers #16)

lethalWhen Malichai Fortunes attacks a problem, he does it full force–a habit that earns the GhostWalker a painful injury and a forced vacation in San Diego, California. With nothing but physical therapy on the horizon, Malichai is starting to get restless…until a striking blue-eyed blonde makes all his senses come alive.

Amaryllis is kind and warm and sees beyond Malichai’s rough exterior, but he can tell there’s something she’s hiding. Her innate healing abilities indicate she might be a GhostWalker–albeit an untrained one. Malichai doesn’t think their crossing paths is anything more than coincidence, but he can sense that one wrong word could send Amaryllis running.

When strange events at his temporary retreat put Malichai on high alert, he knows he won’t be able to deal with the threat and keep his woman safe in his weakened state. But calling in his brothers means telling Amaryllis what he really is, and revealing that he knows the truth about her too.

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Dark Celebration (Dark #14)

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Dark Celebration is a special book within the Dark / Carpathian series. Rather than featuring one couple, it is a reunion story that features chapters on most of the characters we have been introduced to so far, as well as some hints as to the upcoming heroes/heroines. And it takes place at Christmas, so it is perfect for my December reviews 🙂

I have read this book multiple times, and each time I am astonished at how seamlessly Ms. Feehan writes. There was plenty of opportunity for this book to feel choppy with some many key characters, but it remains fluid and perfectly balanced. Nothing felt like it was forced in for the sake of including a specific individual.

Dark Celebration is one of the funnier books in the Carpathian series. There are cooking disasters, kids, and the “jolly red elf”. There is also danger, mystery, intrigue, adventure and lots of sex.

It was fun to get an update on couples who rarely show up as secondary characters in this series. I personally love to see when characters interact with each other in a world. I am not a fan of romance where the hero/heroine seem to exist in a bubble, devoid of other people.

If you are looking for romance, with a bit of comedy and action, this is the perfect Christmas story to pick up… something that is still themed, but doesn’t shove Christmas down your throat. And hey, if you are new to the series, you might be inspired to pick up book one, Dark Prince, and start there.

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Damage (Collateral Damage #2)

damageWe’re a match made in hell, Stefan and I.

He took me to exact his revenge. I went from being a pawn to my father to being a pawn to Stefan. The only difference is I have a ring the size of a boulder on my finger and a husband I don’t want.

And the hardest part is I thought he was different. I thought I was falling in love.

I guess my father was right. I’m not a very smart girl.

Stefan is a powerful man. He doesn’t play nice, not if you’re his enemy. But I’ve learned one thing about my husband.

He takes care of what’s his.
And I am his.

His enemies have become my enemies, but he’ll never let anyone hurt me. He’s fiercely protective. It’s the predator inside that scares me.

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Damage picks up immediately after the cliff-hanger ending of CollateralI thoroughly enjoyed this book as well and also read it in an evening, but I wasn’t as in love with it as I was the first in the series.

The tone of Damage is still dark, and the couple actually as sex in this book! Gasp!

There were times that I felt like Gabriela was too stupid to live. In her defence, she is very young – just 18 – and in completely surreal circumstances. So I tried to remember that and it felt me sink back into the story.

Overall I enjoyed it and was happy with where the author leaves off this couple, but I felt really poorly for a couple of secondary characters. I seriously hope that poor cousin Rafe one day gets to be the hero of his own story.

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Collateral (Collateral Damage #1)

collateral

Gabriela

Stefan Sabbioni showed up in my bedroom on my sixteenth birthday. Uninvited, he stood in the shadows smelling of whiskey and death and wrapped a broken, blood-crusted necklace around my neck.

I thought he’d strangle me with it.

That night, he left a message for my father. He said he’d be back to take something precious.

I never delivered that message, though. I wonder if things would be different if I had because now, two years later, he’s back. And he’s not hiding in any shadows.

He’s come to make good on his promise.
He’s back to take that something precious.
Me.

Stefan

Marchese is the manipulator of my family’s tragedy. I won’t just bring him to his knees. I’ll bury him for what he did.

Taking his daughter is only the beginning. I’ll do it knowing I’m starting a war. I’ll do it knowing my enemies will become his allies. They’ll stop at nothing to destroy me and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.

I’ve never shied away from war, though. I’m not one to play nice and I don’t share my toys. I’ll demolish you if you touch what’s mine.

And she is most definitely mine.

—                         —                         —

Collateral is the first book I have read from Natasha Knight. It was recommended to me online and the blurbs drew me in. I have found one of my new favourite series!

Collateral is a dark romance, mafia romance novel. Gabriela and Stefan start as enemies, and, well, I can’t quite say the are lovers by the end of this book, but hopefully they will be by the end of book number two.

Gabriela is being forced into marriage with Stefan as he seeks revenge for his brother and father’s deaths, at the hands of Gabriela’s father. Natasha Knight is one of the few authors who is writing in this trope and in possession of actual talent.

The majority of this story takes place in the south of Italy, and as I stare out my window at snow, I am more than a little jealous of Knight’s descriptions of warm weather, turquoise water and soft sandy beaches.

I finished reading this book in an evening and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, which thankfully, is already released! I definitely will be checking out more books from this author ASAP.

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