Genre: Dystopian

Review: Wraith by Renee Rocco

Posted February 1, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wraith by Renee RoccoReviewer: Casee
Wraith by Renee Rocco
Series: Masters of Mayhem #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 22, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Dystopian, Contemporary Romance
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

It's a new world order—where the villains have become the heroes.

ERIC ‘WRAITH’ SHAWOnce upon a time… Yeah, no. Let’s stop right here. My life isn’t a fairytale. I'm not Prince Charming. And I haven't forgotten the day Jamie Ellis left town in handcuffs. But that feels like lifetimes ago. My high school crush is all grown up and she’s married to the man holding me prisoner. Drugged and tortured, I've become a monster who’ll stop at nothing to rip David Crane’s world apart.

JAMIE ELLISWhen I left Mayhem at sixteen, my heart stayed behind with the beautiful delinquent I’ve loved since kindergarten. But I'm a product of a life gone wrong, and I married David hoping for a better future. Now that I know the depth of my husband's depravity, I’ll risk everything to ruin his carefully crafted empire, because if Wraith and I want our happily ever after, we’re going to have to fight for it...

Wraith is a complete standalone in the Masters of Mayhem series.

When Eric Shaw was young, he loved Jamie Ellis. Jamie was younger than him, but he was still drawn to her. When Eric realizes how badly Jamie’s dad is abusing her, he makes plans to leave Mayhem as soon as Jamie turns eighteen. The day he decides he’s taking Jamie and leaving, she is arrested for murdering her father. She was acquitted, but she never returned to Mayhem. Eric looked for her for years without luck. Now Eric is Wraith, an enforcer for the Unholy. Wraith is a remarkable MMA fighter which catches the attention of David Crane. David kidnaps fighters off the streets, holds them captive and makes them fight each other for their very lives. They’re prisoners that can’t escape. Wraith knows that his friends are looking for him, he just has to hold on. He gets the shock of his life when he finds out Jamie Ellis is now Jamie Crane. The wife of the very man that he has sworn to kill.

Jamie Ellis has never forgotten the boy she loved since she was a child. She was sixteen when you was acquitted for her father’s murder. She didn’t think Wraith would remember or care if she went back to Mayhem, so she didn’t. After traveling around, Jamie found herself homeless and starving. David Crane rescued her from certain death, though Jamie had no idea at the time that David was a monster of the worst order. She has planned her escape, but when she finds out David is holding an Unholy prisoner, she knows that she can’t leave him. She doesn’t know who it is, but she does know that she won’t leave someone from Mayhem in David’s prison.

When Jamie and Wraith reunite, it’s as if no time has passed. Wraith is furious when he learns that Jamie married David Crane, but he soon comes to realize that she married him out of desperation. It doesn’t matter to Wraith one way or another; he’s going to kill David and make Jamie a widow. Though the two escape Gomorrah, they both know that it doesn’t end with that. The only way it will end is when David is dead. Something both Jamie and Wraith agree on.

I was hooked when I read this book. I’m a sucker for dystopian romances and this was exactly that. The captivity and the torture was so intense that I could feel Wraith’s pain radiating off the pages. I was pulled in immediately and read this book in a few days. If you like dystopian contemporaries, this book is definitely for you. The next book in the series comes out in July and I, for one, cannot wait.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Masters of Mayhem

four-stars


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Review: Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Posted September 30, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Deal with the Devil by Kit RochaReviewer: Holly
Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha
Series: Mercenary Librarians #1
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: July 28, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Deal with the Devil is Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha.

Nina is an information broker with a mission--she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he's fighting to survive.

They're on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process...

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

This is the first book in a near-future science fiction series with elements of romance.

When Kit Rocha first announced they were writing a Mercenary Librarians series, I was beyond excited. Mercenary.Librarians. COME TO MAMA. Deal with the Devil is the first book in the series, and it definitely left me wanting more.

Garrett Knox is captain of the Silver Devils, an elite squad of super soldiers. He joined up to change the world and do some good, but he quickly realized TechCorps, the agency in charge of their genetic modifications (and basically the world), just wanted elite assassins. They finally have enough and he and his team have gone AWOL, but without regular maintenance, their genetic modifications will deteriorate and slowly kill them all – a kill switch embedded by TechCorps to keep them in line. The problem? The scientist they need to fix their implants has been kidnapped, and the only way she’ll be returned is if Knox delivers Nina, an information broker, in exchange.

Nina is skeptical of Knox’s offer to lead her to the fabled hidden Library of Congress, but she it’s an opportunity she can’t pass up. She and her sisters-of-the-heart a strong and capable, so they agree, but keep their guard up. She’s surprised at the chemistry they have, but she knows falling into bed with someone she doesn’t trust is a bad idea. The more time the two teams spend together, the harder it is to keep a wall between them.

I absolutely loved the sheer amount of Girl Power in this novel. Nina, Dani and Maya were wonderfully written. They were kickass, but also relatable. Knox and his Silver Devils were also very well done. I like that they paid attention to the strengths the ladies brought and didn’t try to take over or make decisions for them. There was a good amount of mutual respect on both sides that really brought this novel together.

Parts were a bit predictable View Spoiler », and there were times the story moved rather slow, but I easily fell into this book and can’t wait for the next.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Mercenary Librarians

four-stars


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Review: Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted March 18, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Knight Awakening by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Casee
Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Scorpius Syndrome #6
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Storm Gathering, Winter Igniting
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

“Sexy, tough, and deftly sprinkled with dark humor.” -- New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
The Line Between Obsession and Love has Disappeared
The world has changed. Any rules that might’ve been in place before the Scorpius bacterium ripped through civilization and decreased its population are no longer in place. Obsession and survival are the new reality. So, Marcus Knight, after a hellish time in captivity that stole most of his memory and all of his soul, has one focus, and that’s keeping Dr. Penelope Kim safe in the aftermath. She’d risked her life to save him once, and she’s all that matters. For months, he’s kept his distance, protecting her from afar, because he knows that one touch—one sigh—one kiss—from her will never be enough.
Passion is a Dangerous and Deadly Temptation
Penny Kim is one of the few doctors still living, and she alone holds the key to ensuring the human race continues. Several of her friends are pregnant, and the clock is ticking down on their survival. Her days are filled with experiments and hope, while her nights are consumed with visions and dreams of the hard-bodied and powerful soldier who’s made her safety his one and only mission. She should be wary of him; she should be terrified of him. Yet all she feels is an unreal craving for his touch that gets stronger every day. Life is short, and she’s unwilling to wait, unaware of the danger already hunting them both. Some risks are worth it, even in this new and dangerous world.
“Thrilling, post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!” --New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

RZ brings us back to the world of Scorpius. Scorpius has been a global killer with only a small majority of the population surviving having the virus. It was actually a little eerie reading this book considering our current circumstances (i.e. COVID-19). Creepy.

This series is set in a post-apocalypse Los Angeles. Jax Mercury is the leader of Vanguard-Merc, a ragtag group of 600 survivors of the life as they knew it. While trying to live their lives they have to deal with a crazy President, a street gang, rationing food, and a lack of water. Which is only the tip of the iceberg.

Penelope Kim was fresh out of medical school when the virus hit. Forget an internship or a residency. She was thrown from the frying pan into the fire. She took it like a champ, wanting to help as many people as she could. When she first lays eyes on Marcus Knight, she has no idea who he is. She only knows that he’s being held captive against his will and experimented on. Penelope vows to help Marcus escape before she leaves the bunker. She has no idea the shit that is about to go down.

So when Vanguard-Merc shows up at the bunker where Marcus is being held, Penelope panics. In the midst of the chaos, Penelope is infected. She survives (obviously), but Marcus still blames himself. See, Marcus had the virus and one of the side effects of surviving it is that you may become a little obsessive. Obsessed with Penny’s safety. He won’t let anything or anyone get between himself and Penny. Not even his brother. Yes, his brother is none other than Jax Mercury, the leader of Vanguard-Merc. Only problem is that Marcus doesn’t remember anything. He barely remembers his time at the bunker and his torture. Penny is in the forefront of his mind; her safety is all that matters to him.

Penelope is aware that she has her very own guard dog. But she doesn’t want a guard dog. She wants to be a partner with Marcus. Any feelings of waiting for things to happen flew out the window with Scorpius. Penelope isn’t waiting for Marcus to come to her. She goes to him. Marcus wants to take what Penny is offering badly, but he is terrified of hurting her. His obsession about protecting her hasn’t gone away. When they start their relationship it actually becomes worse.

Last night when I finished this book, I gave it a strong 4.5/5. This morning, after thinking about the book, I can’t give it that high of a grade. Based on the ending, it seems as if that is the last book of the series. I always admire an author that can bring a series to a close. Anyway, the ending was so rushed that I really felt let down. After the buildup of what was going on with the President, it was just wrapped up too neatly. That’s my only complaint about the book. I really loved it other than that.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Scorpius Syndrome

three-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Knight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted February 16, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Knight Awakening is the sixth book in Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series. I am a big lover of dystopian/post-apocalypse stories. This series has never disappointed me. I love each and every character. I’m really looking forward to reading this book. Marcus and Penny are sure to be remarkable characters. I highly recommend this series to you dystopian readers. It’s amazing. We have an amazing excerpt for you!

Sunday Spotlight: Knight Awakening by Rebecca ZanettiKnight Awakening by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Scorpius Syndrome #6
Also in this series: Mercury Striking, Shadow Falling, Justice Ascending, Storm Gathering, Winter Igniting, Knight Awakening
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

“Sexy, tough, and deftly sprinkled with dark humor.” -- New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
The Line Between Obsession and Love has Disappeared
The world has changed. Any rules that might’ve been in place before the Scorpius bacterium ripped through civilization and decreased its population are no longer in place. Obsession and survival are the new reality. So, Marcus Knight, after a hellish time in captivity that stole most of his memory and all of his soul, has one focus, and that’s keeping Dr. Penelope Kim safe in the aftermath. She’d risked her life to save him once, and she’s all that matters. For months, he’s kept his distance, protecting her from afar, because he knows that one touch—one sigh—one kiss—from her will never be enough.
Passion is a Dangerous and Deadly Temptation
Penny Kim is one of the few doctors still living, and she alone holds the key to ensuring the human race continues. Several of her friends are pregnant, and the clock is ticking down on their survival. Her days are filled with experiments and hope, while her nights are consumed with visions and dreams of the hard-bodied and powerful soldier who’s made her safety his one and only mission. She should be wary of him; she should be terrified of him. Yet all she feels is an unreal craving for his touch that gets stronger every day. Life is short, and she’s unwilling to wait, unaware of the danger already hunting them both. Some risks are worth it, even in this new and dangerous world.
“Thrilling, post-apocalyptic romance at its dark, sizzling best!” --New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian

Excerpt

Penelope rushed into the infirmary with the room tilting wildly around her.

“How bad?” she asked Jax, who’d fetched her from a nice sleep on her sofa, where she’d crashed after several hours with her friends. The bottle of bourbon was now, sadly, empty.

“Not too bad,” Jax said, brushing glass off his shoulder.

She turned into the second examination room, stopping at seeing Marcus sitting on the taller table, his legs extending to the door and his shirt already off. He was okay. Well, bleeding from the upper arm, but looking directly at her and breathing evenly. Okay. Her knees stopped shaking. He was alive. She pushed hair away from her face. “Bullet wound?”

“Just a cut.” Jax patted her arm and turned away. “See you two tomorrow.”

“Wait,” Penelope said. “I’m intoxicated.” In fact, her feet were numb. “I can’t stitch him up.”

Jax turned and looked at her, his eyes bloodshot and a purple bump above his right eye. “You’re the best we’ve got right now. I can barely see.”

Marcus wiped blood off his arm with his other hand. “I only need a couple of stitches. I can do it.”

Jax nodded. “You two figure it out. I want to see Lynne.” He took a step and then paused. “Let’s meet in the morning and come up with a plan, Slam.”

“Okay,” Marcus said, and Jax took off at a fast clip.

Penny pressed a hand to her throat as her heart continued to pound.

Marcus looked around the room. “Could you get me a needle?”

A needle? He’d been in a gunfight, and he was acting like everything was normal? “Are you sure you weren’t shot?” She stumbled for the drawer to take out supplies.
“Yep. Just glass from when the bus flipped over from the bomb.”

Her head jerked, and she whirled around. Heat climbed down her throat so fast, her lungs burned. “There was a bomb?” Her voice rose.

He turned away from examining his arm. “Yeah. What’s the matter?”

Oh, wrong question. Way wrong question, and the bourbon flowing through her veins prevented her from finding any sort of filter for her words. “I can’t believe you just asked me that,” she muttered, setting the needle, thread, and bandages next to him on the table. “From the first second we arrived here, it has been you and me. All the time. But it’s one way, isn’t it?” Even though anger now focused her, she was gentle with wiping more blood from his wound. “You need about ten stitches, and my hands aren’t steady.” Not even close.

“That’s okay. You’re still better than I am with one hand. What do you mean, one way?” He twisted his arm so she could get a better angle.

This broke every rule she’d ever been taught in medical school, but the pandemic had pretty much broken the world, so what the hell. She took a deep breath and expertly threaded the already clean needle, wiping blood again. She forced her eyes open and then stitched him back up, rather surprised the stitches were even. It was a sad state of the world that she could stitch up a wound while mildly drunk. She’d been stitching up way too many wounds. She pressed a bandage into place and stepped back. “Yes. One way.”

He sat there, bare to the waist, his chest an intriguing mix of raw muscle and healed scars. The fact that he’d survived such torture only made those ripped muscles even more intriguing.

“I’m not following.”

That just figured. It really figured. She put her hands on her hips. “You don’t tell me anything.”

“I tell you everything.”

Maybe she hadn’t asked enough. “What is wrong with you? You were just blown up in a bus, and you’re sitting there like you’ve had a day at the beach.”

He frowned and rubbed dried blood off his hand. “A beach? I’m sunburned?”

Oh, for hell’s sake. “Do you have to be so damn literal all the time?” And alluring? Marcus Knight without a shirt on should be illegal.

“Yes.”

The simple response nearly made her head spin around and blow steam. “Marcus? You must be frightened sometimes. It’s okay to share that.” It should scare her how badly she wanted in. How much she wanted him to really share with her.

His face cleared. “Oh. That. I don’t feel anything, Penny.” At her silence, he shrugged. “Sorry. I’d love to tell you that I do feel a lot of things, but I just don’t. Not anymore.”

Oh. That was certainly a defense mechanism against what they’d done to him in the labs, as well as a result of surviving Scorpius. The bourbon swirled around in her blood, and her head fuzzed, but her body flashed wide awake along with her instincts. She stepped toward him, standing between his legs. “Yes, you do.”

He frowned, the sight more bewildered than upset. “No. I don’t.”

She placed both hands on the sides of his rugged face, and his shadow of whiskers scratched her palms. “Do you feel this?”

“Yes.” His voice deepened and his expression smoothed out.

Caressing down one side of his face, she traced his sharp jawline. “Do you feel this?”

“Yes.” His eyes darkened, going to the green instead of the brown. He held perfectly still, tension around him, his muscles tightened as if ready to spring.

She blinked. This was a mistake, and it wasn’t fair to him. He was still sitting on her examination table after she’d stitched him up. Her hands started to drop.

“No.” He snatched her wrist. “Don’t stop. Finish what you started.”

Her gaze lowered to his firm mouth. “I can’t.”

“Because you don’t want to?” His hold was light but his tone a low growl.

“Because I’m your doctor.” She took a deep breath and filled her lungs, trying to clear her mind.

He released her wrist, and she started to back up, shocked when he slid his hand through her hair to cup her nape. “I’m not your doctor.”

What was happening? His hand was warm and so strong, flexing against her skin. She swallowed. The energy ticked between them, enhanced by the silence throughout Vanguard headquarters at the midnight hour. Her gaze flew up to his eyes, and he was studying her like nobody ever had. Completely and with a focus that uncoiled live wires in her abdomen.

The next moment was inevitable.

He drew her near, and his mouth touched hers. Gentle and seeking.

Heat flowed through her faster than the bourbon had, and she leaned closer, putting her hands on his chest and sighing softly.

Then he ignited. He grabbed her hip, yanked her hard into him, and kissed her so hard he bent her back. Intense and deep, he took over, taking everything. She closed her eyes, overcome, her nails curling into his bare skin as he plundered. All of her.

Scorpius Syndrome

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: February 2020

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.


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Review: Live For You by Michele Mills

Posted November 22, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Live For You by Michele MillsReviewer: Casee
Live For You by Michele Mills
Series: Catastrophe #3
Also in this series: Die For You, Kill For You
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 7, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic
Pages: 156
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The world ended and nothing was the same, and in this new order he’d changed his name to Raider—because he took what he wanted.

Women were scarce in post-apocalyptic California and if you found one you wanted, you had to immediately claim what was yours. So when a desperate beauty with striking green eyes and legs that went on for miles stepped into the dangerous all-male compound, he wasn’t above tying her up for her own safety in his isolated mountain cabin, until she realized the truth of their bond. And him getting his seed in her and swelling her up with his kid? Perfect.

She’d see he was doing this all for her.

Eventually.

Author’s Note: This is book #3 in the series, but can be read as a standalone. This story includes dark themes—only read if you enjoy obsessed stalker heroes.

This book though. It was so disappointing after Die For You and Kill For You. This book was so bad I don’t even know where to start. I was actually pretty surprised to see the reviews on GoodReads.

Owen Pearce is now Raider. Joining a motorcycle gang to help the women that become prisoner, he is shocked when Kati walks into the compound. He’s instantly attracted to her and decides that he’s going to take her for himself, whether she wants to be taken or not. Problem #1.

Raider would repopulate the world with Kati if it was possible. When they first have sex, her consent is questionable at best. It’s the whole “No means yes” argument that has been discussed over and over. Problem #2

Raider has a big dick. As big as Kati’s arm. Honestly, the time that Kati thought about the size of Raider’s junk was ridiculous. Over the top. It pulled me out of the story every time because I kept imagining it and laughing. Problem #3.

Raider has Kati chained but unchains her for sex. Other than that he doesn’t let her leave the small cabin. Problem #4.

I just didn’t dig this book at all. I didn’t really care for Raider and I didn’t like Kati at all. Their story didn’t resonate with me at all.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Catastrophe

two-stars


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