Tag: Loose ID

Guest Review: These Wounds Run Deep by Ember Leigh

Posted March 2, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: These Wounds Run Deep by Ember LeighReviewer: Tracy
These Wounds Run Deep by Ember Leigh
Published by Loose Id
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-stars

It’s been ten years since Zach Carter and his brothers hit it big and moved to L.A. Life in the fast lane was hard to explain to anyone who didn’t live it--so how could his best friend Ellie understand? Now that he’s returned to his hometown to deal with a crisis, the consequences have piled up around him. But what hasn’t changed is how bad he wants Ellie back in his arms.

A decade after high school graduation and Ellie has never been more content--until Zach Carter, her oldest friend, her first love, and the boy she lost her virginity to, walks back into her life after ten years without so much as a postcard. And one thing the tabloids couldn’t prepare her for was how much this man still makes her heart race.

Ellie is determined to prove to Zach that she’s moved on and doesn’t need him. Everyone important in her life has left her, including Zach, so why would this time be different? But there’s no way she can avoid him while he’s back in their hometown, fighting for her attention…and forgiveness. And her body won’t let her forget he’s in town, either.

Ellie and Zach were best friends from the age of 10.  The grew up together and their relationship grew into something deeper and they fell in love.  When Zach was 19 years old he and his brothers got a recording contract and moved to LA. Ellie was sad that Zach was leaving but was so happy for him.  Unfortunately the relationship and communication that Ellie thought she would have with Zach slowly started to dwindle and then stop altogether just months after he left.  It took a long time but Ellie got on with her life, started a business of her own and became an independent woman.

Zach and his brothers, Kyle and Carson, made it big but have come home to Portville, OH after 10 years because their parents are not will.  Zach wants nothing more than to be with Ellie and get back to what they once had but Ellie’s done with Zach and tells him straight out that she’s not interested in being his friend or anything else.  Zach isn’t one to give up, however, and he does everything in his power to be with the woman he never stopped loving.

The Wounds Run Deep was a good book.  I really liked Ellie and her independence, strength and perseverance when it came to her life.  She had been through really hard times with her mother and father and then after feeling betrayed by Zach she picked herself and moved on.  I didn’t blame her for not wanting to open her heart to him again as she really didn’t know him any longer and certainly didn’t know if he was going to stick around.

Zach was a good guy though he hadn’t always been.  When he left for LA he was immature and self-centered and let the fame go to his head.  He said that he’d never stopped loving Ellie but that didn’t stop him from getting married (and subsequently divorced) while he was gone.  If he’d loved her that much why would even contemplate marriage, much less do it?  IDK.  I saw that he’d become a better man and was pulling for him with Ellie.

The story had some really slow places in it and I honestly didn’t feel connected to the characters enough to get into the sex scenes, which was disappointing.  At some points I had to force myself not to skim. The end of the story felt too abrupt to me.  I needed a bit more than “ok, I’ve decided to be with you.” “Yay!” The end.  Alright, it wasn’t that bad but it kind of felt like it.

Overall a sweet story that I had some issues with.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Edge of the Enforcer by Cherise Sinclair

Posted June 22, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Edge of the EnforcerJudith’s review of Edge of the Enforcer (Doms of Dark Haven #4) by Cherise Sinclair

Fleeing false murder charges, Lindsey lands in San Francisco. There she builds a satisfying life until, in the notorious Dark Haven BDSM club, she encounters deVries. Moth, meet flame.

A security specialist and occasional mercenary, deVries needs an adorable submissive like a knife to the gut. Hell, she’s not even a masochist. But here she is, all big brown eyes and sweet body and sassy mouth. Loyal. Tough-minded. Honest.

Or maybe not, considering her ID is forged. If she thinks to lie to him, she’ll learn better. He’s the Enforcer of Dark Haven—his discipline is absolute, his punishments harsh, and his heart untouched…until now.

This is the fourth book in the popular Mountain Masters and Dark Haven series by an author that has not only captivated readers with her erotic and sensual fiction that embraces the BDSM lifestyle, but one that is herself a participant in the lifestyle.  Known best for her Shadowlands series, Ms Sinclair has nevertheless drawn readers into this series of stories revolving around dominants and submissives who live in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding environs.  At Dark Haven they are able to be honest about their preferences and deepest needs without the judgmentalism of those who do not understand the lifestyle or who insist on seeing it as sinful perversion.

Our heroine is a woman who is highly educated and who had the misfortune of falling into a set of circumstances where not only has she lost the man she loved but is now being sought as the primary suspect in his murder.  She knows that the police are bad cops, on the take, and who are seeking to pin his murder on her in order to save themselves.  So she has been on the run, working in low paying jobs, just trying to stay alive and away from those who would take her life from her.  Yet amid all the “lying” she has to do with her false ID and cover story about her past, she is totally honest about her own needs and her desire to be herself in at least one setting:  her membership at Dark Haven.  It is there she meets Zander deVries, a long-time participant in the lifestyle, a hardcore sadist and Dom, and a man who was carefully guarding a heart deeply wounded by the betrayal of a money-grubbing wife and a messy divorce.  Lindsey wasn’t his type at all, and when he perceives that she is being less than honest about some things, he wavers back and forth in his attraction to her.

This is a novel that is full of suspense, the dark excitement of the BDSM lifestyle, the kinds of loving that is intense and often misunderstood by those whose knowledge is limited or non-existent, and the hurts that emotional betrayal alone can cause.  It is about two people who really need each other but who are so fearful (for very different reasons, to be sure) that they almost lose each other.  These two often clash, often misunderstand each other, often read into their actions feelings and thoughts that simply aren’t there.  Zander has deep needs that Lindsey admits she can’t meet, but her jealousy gets in the way of helping her find solutions that will keep them together and satisfied with their prospects for the future.  It is a novel that is not easy to read and for those who have trouble with some or all of the aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, this book is not for you.  Yet as one who can’t picture herself as a participant at any point in my life, I still appreciate the dynamic between the characters, the insights that the author brings into her stories, and the hope she gives to people who have stuffed feelings and needs so deep that they don’t think there will ever be a venue for full expression of who they really are.

As always, Ms Sinclair brings considerable expertise and knowledge to the writing task itself, constructing her stories in a seamless fashion, bringing the reader along with teasers and bits and pieces of this and that without giving away the whole plot too soon.  All her books have that undercurrent of suspense and mystery that makes her stories intriguing and which snare the imagination of the reader in a web of persons and plot and story.  Her characters are achingly real, full of human angst and seeking that sense of wholeness we all live to find.  When all is said and done, this novel is filled with all the stuff that romance fiction fans will find captivating and which will provide a truly satisfying reading experience.  I have read all Ms Sinclair’s work and once again she has given her fans a story that will stand up to repeated readings.

I don’t hesitate to give this book a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

This title is available from Loose Id. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Toxic by Belinda McBride

Posted April 23, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Toxic Judith’s review of Toxic (Truckee Wolves #1) by Belinda McBride

There are three things that Dr. Briony Theale loves. Her job as a veterinarian, a good bar of rich, dark chocolate, and Rico, the ranger in charge of the Wildlife Rescue center. When a casual dinner with Rico turns surprisingly intimate, Briony realizes that she might just have a chance with him after all, if only she could lose a few pounds. It’s the ultimate sacrifice, but Briony goes cold turkey, and swears off chocolate forever.

Rico Montgomery fell hard for Briony the first time he set eyes on the curvy little doctor. Her rich brown hair and cocoa skin trigger cravings that he can barely control, and her fragrance is like the sweetest, richest chocolate he’s ever scented in his life. That’s a bad thing for Rico, because to a werewolf like him, chocolate is literally a toxin. After his pack warns him off the very human doctor, Rico finds himself even more drawn to Briony.

Rico can’t live with it, and Briony can’t live without it. And when a certain wandering wolf finds a bag of chocolate in the trash near Briony’s clinic, these two will find out just how toxic love can be.

After reading Doms of Dark Haven and Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Nights,  I was a confirmed fan of Belinda McBride.  The Truckee Wolves are a part of the stories in both those anthologies and she has put together a pack of misfits that need each other in desperate measure.  Their Alpha is working very hard to teach many of these individuals how to live in community with others, how to relate to a “family” and how to relax and accept the safety and sense of security that being in a pack gives them.  Yet there are still serious difficulties and one of them is the resistance to mating with humans.    This story falls somewhere between the stories in each of the above anthologies.

When we first had a dog as a pet when my kids were really little, one of the first things we were warned against is EVER giving chocolate to her.  It’s a rule we have abided by for many years and now, many dogs later, I am glad to say that none of our animals ever had to endure what the shifter wolf in this story endured.  It’s a fun novella that is built on the attraction between a cute and personable veterinarian and a werewolf who is working as a Wildlife Rescue officer/ranger  near Briony’s community.  They are both aware of an almost irresistable attraction to one another but the pack Alpha has gotten involved and warned Rico to avoid taking a human as a mate.  Yet he can’t resist her scent–she eats a lot of chocolate–and boy! does she smell good!  So good, in fact, that he finds the stash she has discarded in her effort to avoid putting on anymore weight, and before he can help himself, he has devoured the entire stash.  Needless to say, he gets really sick and ends up in one of Dr. Briony’s cages in his wolf form–she doesn’t know about those shifter types as yet.

It’s a fun story with lots of sexy and spicy running through it.  It’s also a continuation of the saga of the Truckee Pack for those who read the other stories in the aforementioned anthologies.    Ms McBride writes really good paranormal romance and she has taken a short story that was previous published and has re-worked and expanded it here.  This piece was released in the Spring, 2013, but it is a delightful piece of paranormal romance fiction and will be enjoyable to all those who either have encountered Ms McBride’s writing previously or who just simply delight in a paranormal romance well written.

I think the best part of this tale along with the other two stories is that this pack is really about those shifters who have been abused, abandoned, taken prisoner by those who think they have the right to “experiment” on these individuals.  It is heart-warming to read of the efforts by the Alpha and others to bring these individuals together, to deal with their wounds and their wounded spirits, to give them a chance at having family and friends again, to provide a safe haven for them as they heal and accept the love and care of others.  Even though Briony and Rico are not two of those damaged souls, they are affected by the fall-out and the choices they make for the future are impacted by the Alpha’s careful protection.  Ans as in all paranormal tales, bringing humans into the mix puts them all in jeopardy to being “outed” to the human population within which they exist quietly.

This is, quite simply, a really terrific read–not long or time-consuming, but one that will please the lovers of paranormal romance.  I give it a rating of 4 out 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from Loose ID LLC.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Silver/Steel by Belinda McBride

Posted February 28, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

 When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he’s the assassin’s ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn’t plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up.

Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis’s fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he’d been so very long ago. When morning comes, both men know their lives will be forever entwined.

From Dylan, Travis learns that he is a strong, valued member of the pack. The dreamwalker sees his own worth reflected back at him in the dark blue eyes of the wolf. Yet when Dylan has the chance to free himself from centuries of enslavement, can he betray the man he has come to love.

Travis Feris is a shapeshifter with a brilliant intellect and some incredible artistic talent whose self-esteem is in the toilet. He feels he truly has no place in his pack and also feels that he can contribute nothing to anything cuz he’s just not worthy. He soothes himself by getting adrenaline highs by heading to bars and causing trouble. One night when he’s out making mischief he gets himself into a boatload of trouble – more than he can handle. Some men who are pissed at him roofie his drink and then plan on taking advantage of him. Luckily for Travis Dylan is in the bar and ends up saving his ass – literally.

Dylan tries to take Travis home but Travis lives in Arcada and the town, which is a magical place, won’t let Dylan in. Dylan takes Travis to his motel room and manages to contact Travis’s family. Unfortunately they can’t come to get the man because of a snow storm. Dylan wants into Arcada and he thinks that Travis might be his way in. Dylan doesn’t plan on falling for the shifter and having his life change.

Dylan is Fae and under a geas. He has one more job to do for his Master. Is that the right word? More like Evil Overlord. Anyway, he was contracted to take or capture 1000 lives. He has one more life to either capture or kill and he’ll be free. The life he needs, however is in Arcada. Eventually he gets into the town but he is closely watched. While he’s there his feelings for Travis grow stronger and he has to decide how the rest of his life will go.

This is the second book in the Arcada series and I liked this one just as much as the first, I must say. I didn’t care for Travis at all in book 1 so when I started reading and realized that he was one of the main characters in this book I hesitated. I’m glad I kept reading because we were shown a side of him we didn’t get to see in the previous book. What we saw then and for the first part of this book was his posturing and assholedness that he showed the rest of the world but was not who he was. He really wasn’t sure who he was but after meeting Dylan he started to blossom – they both did.

Dylan seemed like a pretty unlikable character after the prologue but the man had hidden depths that he didn’t even know about.

The story was really great and so heart-wrenching I actually cried at one point as I was so caught up in the emotions that were flowing between the men. I would definitely recommend this story as well as book 1 and hope that we get another book set in Arcada very soon.

Ok, now let’s talk about the cover. I can’t say I care for it at all. I think the dark-haired man who is supposed to be Travis is the one that bothers me the most. Travis is muscular but not incredibly buff. He’s described as beautiful with fae-like features. The cover has the guy looking like Matthew Broderick in Lady Hawk and while very cute (I love that movie!) he was not beautiful, imho.

I went online and got a couple of pictures that I think represent Travis better…and while I was at it I got some that I thought represented Dylan a bit more. This is completely my opinion so…take it for what it’s worth.

Travis:

I imagine him without scruff but it does look good, doesn’t it? 🙂

Dylan: (Obviously Dylan would have much longer hair)

Anyway, just my two cents.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Belinda McBride


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Review: Blacque/Bleu by Belinda McBride

Posted February 27, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Lukas Blacque is a deeply closeted werewolf, and almost more than anything in life, he desires his neighbor, Oliver Bleu. Oliver is a vampire who is slowly dying from insomnia. More than anything, he needs Lukas Blacque and the rich blood that flows through his veins.

In Blacque’s world, vampires and werewolves make uneasy bedfellows, and a gay werewolf is an impossibility. In Bleu’s world, all living creatures are little more than vessels for food and sex. But in the mysterious and magical town of Arcada, the unexpected is always waiting right around the corner. Now Blacque and Bleu just need to survive long enough for Arcada’s magic to work for them.

Lukas Blacque and Oliver Bleu have been lusting after each other for years. They finally get together and it’s more than explosive. Blacque seems to calm something in Bleu that can’t be explained and Bleu is finally sleeping through the day, something he’s not done for quite a while. They find a sort of peace with each other that they’ve not felt before and after a weekend together – all that Blacque would give Bleu – they don’t want to be apart.

Blacque is the Alpha’s son and has committed to a couple of things he never thought he ever would – one is breeding which tears him up. How can he breed when he doesn’t even like women? The second is to be named heir – not that Blacque’s dad is unhealthy or going anywhere but it was something that needed to be announced and Blacque agreed. Blacque and Bleu go their separate ways but neither are willing to give up on their relationship entirely. When push comes to shove and Blacque finds out that Bleu could be in trouble he makes several announcements that shake up the pack and his life.

I’ve read Belinda McBride books before so I knew that I would get a great read when I picked this up. What I wasn’t expecting was the level of emotion that she brought out in me while reading about these two men being torn apart by duty. They had obviously connected quickly but that didn’t make their feelings any less powerful than had they known each other longer.

Between learning the pack hierarchy and Bleu’s thoughts on his maker the story was woven to really drag the reader in. I was honestly completely sucked in so was a bit disappointed when the final few scenes proved to be not quite as strong as the rest of the story. They were still pretty potent just not as much so as the previous chapters.

Overall it was really good and I enjoyed it immensely. So much so that I started the second book in this series immediately and that’s not something I do all that often. If you like paranormal m/m then I think you’ll really like this one.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Belinda McBride


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