Tag: NAL Trade

Review: Redemption Road by Katie Ashley

Posted November 24, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Redemption Road by Katie AshleyReviewer: Rowena
Redemption Road by Katie Ashley
Series: Vicious Cycle #2
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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one-half-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Vicious Cycle plunges readers into a world of danger and desire in her newest in the Vicious Cycle motorcycle club romance series.

Looking for a walk on the wild side, Annabel Percy, the daughter of a powerful politician, gives in to an attraction to a sexy biker she meets one night.

But she finds herself living a nightmare when she’s kidnapped and transported into a hell on earth she never could have imagined.
Born and bred into the Hells Raiders MC, Nathaniel “Reverend” Malloy lives and dies for his brothers. But when he becomes the unexpected savior of a rival club’s captive, Rev makes it his personal mission to nurse Annabel back to health—and to shelter her from the nightmares that torment her.

Once Annabel heals, she’s stunned to realize she is falling for the seductive man who saved her. Faced with their impossible attraction, can she accept the life he leads, or will Rev walk away from the only life he’s ever known for the woman he was never supposed to love?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

This is Book 2 in the Vicious Cycle series by Katie Ashley and it follows Deacon Malloy’s (hero from Book 1) brother Nathaniel “Rev” Malloy as he makes that trek toward true love. Rev’s story starts at the end of Vicious Cycle. At Deacon and Alex’s wedding, Rev gets a phone call from their brother Breakneck (what a name), the MC doctor who informs him that he needs help. Breakneck’s daughter is a freshman in college at Texas A&M, she’s been kidnapped and Breakneck needs Rev’s help in getting her back because the guys that took her? They’re bad news and in the sex trafficking business. A business his daughter might be sold into if he doesn’t get her back soon.

Rev leaves the reception with his younger brother Bishop and they set off to try and get Sarah back. With the help of the local chapter of the Hell Raiders MC, they storm the compound to save Sarah and end up saving another red-headed captive named Annabel Percy. Rev ends up nursing Annabel back to health and she ends up becoming a bigger part of his life than he anticipated.

With each passing day, Annabel gets better and healthier and she gets even closer to Rev. She can’t imagine her life without him and he’s starting to wonder if she’s falling in love with him or is suffering from some kind of hero worship because he saved her from being the sex slave.

The story itself had the potential to be really good but I don’t know, I just didn’t connect with anything or anyone.

Rev’s head was in the right place but holy cow did he get on my nerves. Same with Annabel. I don’t know what it is about the heroines in this series but I could not for the life of me connect with either of them. I thought Annabel would come out strong and in some ways she did but the jealousy, the attitudes toward MC life, the wanting to change their men and the MC rules to suit their lives didn’t really sit well with me.

I wish that wanting the MC to go straight was handled better. The way that it came about didn’t sit right with me. It was a stipulation of Alex’s to Deacon. If they were going to work as a couple, he had to make sure that the MC went straight. I get that she couldn’t accept the lifestyle that being associated with the MC would bring but why was she so important to the MC? Deacon wasn’t the President of the club. He wasn’t even the VP of the MC. And another thing, why was it so easy for them to go straight? Everything was handled so conveniently.

Even with all of that stuff bothering me, the book was slow. It was like chapter and chapter of Annabel living with Rev and that’s it…and then Rev calls her parents and she goes home, pissed off. And that’s it. I felt like I was waiting for something big to happen and it took too long for it to happen because when everything finally does go down, it felt like it was too late. I was already checking out of the story.

It was good to see Bishop, Willow and Mama Beth again. I was sad for Kim but it was good to see her too but I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t care for Deacon and Alex even in this book. OMG, they got on my nerves. Deacon is just a flat out dickhead and Alex, ehh she still annoyed me.

Willow was just as much as delight in this story as she was in Book 1. I really enjoyed seeing how resilient she’s been. You can see her coming into her own as part of the MC family and I really like seeing her happy. She’s come a long way from the girl hiding under her bed in Book 1. She’s stronger now and that’s a good thing. I love her relationship with Rev and Bishop. She’s just a cute little thing. Mama Beth was great too. I just love her to pieces. I think she’s a good Mom who is just accepting and loving and everything that a Mom should be. She supports her kids no matter what they do and when she finds out what happened to Rev all those years ago, my heart hurt for her. She’s not perfect but she’s damn near close.

I read the first chapter of Bishops book that was provided at the end of Redemption Road and I wasn’t a fan of what I read but then I went over to Goodreads and read the blurb and it doesn’t seem that bad but I’m still on the fence on whether to read it or not. I just don’t know.

In the end, I wanted to like these books but I just couldn’t. Ugh.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

This book is available from NAL Trade. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

one-half-stars


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Review: Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley

Posted October 1, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Vicious Cycle by Katie AshleyVicious Cycle by Katie Ashley
Series: Vicious Cycle #1
Also in this series: Redemption Road
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

New York Times bestselling author Katie Ashley revs up the danger and sexual tension in her brand-new Vicious Cycle romance series.

Deacon Malloy’s life is dedicated to the Hells Raiders motorcycle club. Tough, hard, and fast with his fists, he serves the group as sergeant at arms. But his devil-may-care approach to life is thrown for a loop when the five-year-old daughter he never knew existed lands on the club steps.

Alexandra Evans is devoted to all her students—but there’s always been something about Willow Malloy that tugs at her heart. There’s an aura of sadness about her, a girl in need of all the love Alexandra can give. When Willow stops coming to school, Alexandra’s search leads to a clubhouse full of bikers…and a father hell-bent on keeping his daughter always within sight.

The moment Deacon sees Alexandra, he has to have her in his bed—and he’s never met a woman yet who couldn’t be persuaded. No matter how attracted she is to Deacon, Alexandra refuses to be just another conquest. But it’s Deacon himself who could be seduced—into a brighter future for himself, his daughter, and the woman he’s falling for against all odds.

I’m a huge fan of Sons of Anarchy and so I knew that I was going to get into the MC romances, especially when Holly sold me on other MC romances. I was looking forward to reading this series because the covers were hot and the blurbs sounded good.

Sigh.

This review is going to be hard for me to write because while there were things that I enjoyed, for the most part, I didn’t like it.

So this book follows David “Deacon” Malloy as he falls in love with his daughter’s teacher, Alexandra Evans. Deacon is a hard core biker who lives his life hard. He works hard and he plays even harder. Alex grew up with her Aunt and Uncle after her parents were killed in an accident. She’s got nothing in common with Deacon or anyone on the MC compound but she’s worried about Willow, a student in her class that is showing tremendous potential. Willow hasn’t been in a school for almost a week and it’s time to go and meet Willow’s father and have a talk about what’s going on with Willow.

When the book first starts Deacon didn’t know he had a five year old daughter. He meets her and his world is thrown off course. He’s got a lot going on but his family won’t let him not take responsibility for the little girl and you see him come to love the heck out of that little girl. Being the Sergeant at Arms for the Hell’s Raiders Motorcycle Club, he’s seem some pretty bad things. Hell, he’s done some pretty bad things so he’s got no experience with little girls. He doesn’t know how to be tender but when Willow’s nosy teacher starts coming around, she changes him a little bit at a time.

Based on what I’ve already said about the book, you would think that I enjoyed the book but holy cow…both Deacon and Alex got on my hot damn nerves throughout the entire book. They kept making decisions and doing things that pissed me off. Putting themselves in danger, saying and doing stupid things to each other that after a while, I stopped caring about them.

I did like Willow though. I liked Mama Beth. I liked Case and Kim. I liked seeing everyone come together when Deacon and Alex needed them. I am mighty curious about Rev and Bishop. Mostly Bishop. I liked his flirty attitude toward…well, everyone. He seems like a fun guy to get to know.

The romance between Deacon and Alex and then Deacon and Alex themselves found every nerve in my body and stomped over all of them. I stayed frustrated with the both of them throughout the whole thing. I thought that Alex’s plan at the end was stupid. I thought the games she played to “teach” Deacon a lesson were stupid and don’t even get me started with Deacon. I got that he was a bad ass. I didn’t need the first meeting scene with Alex to prove it. The things he thought and the things he did made me want to punch him. He just wasn’t very likable to me and while I hated him less in the end, I still didn’t necessarily like him.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

This book is available from NAL Trade. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: When We Met by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee

Posted January 7, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: When We Met by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina LeeWhen We Met by A. L. JacksonMolly McAdamsTiffany KingChristina Lee
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Genres: New Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.

BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson
Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.

SAVING ME by Molly McAdams
On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?

FOULING OUT by Tiffany King
Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.

BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee
In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some "hands-on" experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…

Tracy’s review of When We Met by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee

 

When I first picked up When We Met I thought that these were four unrelated stories by different authors so I was more than pleasantly surprised when I realized that the stories were about the four roommates. Once I read the first story I wanted to know about the other girls in the house and I loved that I didn’t have to wait for their stories!

Behind Her Eyes was a great story with Darryn helping Misha overcome her betrayal by the guy she had been dating the previous year. Darryn has his own secret having to do with his knowledge of that betrayal. While Misha felt deceived once she finds the secret out I never felt that Darryn was a bad guy. Misha was primed and just waiting for someone to screw with her again so she may have overreacted just a touch (imho). I would have liked to have gotten to know Darryn a bit more in this story but I still really liked it.

Saving Me starts off with a bang. Poor Indy has been screwed over by her family and then walks in on her boyfriend with another girl. Not only that but there’s an even bigger betrayal by the jerk and it left my mouth hanging open. Indy is a strong character to put up with all of it. She unfortunately heads down an alcohol and men fueled road to self destruction. Fortunately she has Kier there to save her each Saturday night. I really liked this story as it had two people with pretty heavy pasts coming together. The author didn’t try to make light of either of their situations and I appreciated that as Kiers, especially, was not a pretty one. I loved that they could find happiness together after all they’d been through.

Fouling Out had childhood friends reuniting and falling in love. Dalton and Courtney had been friends when they were kids but Dalton’s basketball dreams and his father (mostly the father) had them pulling away from each other. Courtney is bitter about the loss of Dalton’s friendship but realizes that Dalton is a good guy. I liked the pair together but felt what was supposed to be the conflict between them wasn’t really a conflict at all. It’s there and then quickly resolved…and then story ended abruptly. I think I would have liked to have seen a little more from the couple after their “troubles” had been dealt with, but it was cute story nonetheless.

Beneath Your Layers gave us two people from different sides of the tracks, so to speak. Blake believes that Chloe is snooty due to how she dresses but she’s not. Blake’s aunt has him helping Chloe fix up a store for her fashion internship.   The time spent together putting the store together has them getting to know each other and realizing there’s more to each of them than the thought. It was a sweet romance and I really enjoyed it.

The book as a whole was pretty darned enjoyable. Once I picked it up I didn’t put it down until I was done with all of it. The romances were sometimes very emotional, and a bit surprising, but sweet and tender. It was a good combination of both stories and authors as they flowed together quite nicely.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

This title is available from NAL Trade. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Fall from India Place by Samantha Young

Posted June 23, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Fall from India Place

Rowena’s review of Fall from India Place (On Dublin Street #4) by Samantha Young.

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again….

This is the fourth book in the On Dublin Street books and it features Hannah and Marco.  I’ve been looking forward to reading this book because I’ve always liked Hannah and I’ve always been curious about Marco.  They were introduced in On Dublin Street (Book 1) but they were both still in I think, the Scottish equivalent of high school here in the states.  I’ve always loved Hannah because I felt a connection with her, being a book nerd and all.  She was quiet and she was sensitive and I really liked getting to know her.

Hannah has only loved one person in her entire life.  Marco D’Alessandro.  She’s loved him since they were young kids in school when he saved her from boys roughing her up.  After that incident, Marco looked out for Hannah.  He walked her home when she missed the bus and they got to know each other.  Or at least, they got to know as much as they were both willing to share.  There was a lot that Marco wasn’t willing to share with Hannah and a lot of that had to do with his family.

Hannah knew enough to know that she had some big time feelings for Marco.  And the year before uni would start for Hannah, she runs into an already graduated from Hannah’s school, Marco.  Her crush wasn’t returned and although she was bummed about it, she wasn’t really surprised.  Marco was popular and all the girls wanted him while Hannah was a nerd.  A quiet nerd.  When she runs into Marco at the party, he has to untangle her from another unwanted suitor and Hannah is surprised to find Marco furious with her for coming to the party.  It was the night that Hannah will never forget.  It was the night she gave herself to Marco and afterward, he ran away.

It’s been about four years since Hannah has last seen Marco and she’s not the same person she was when he knew her.  She’s older and she’s a lot more reserved than the young girl he remembered and when they run into each other at a wedding, Hannah is floored.  She assumed that Marco had returned to his native Chicago but she was oh so wrong.

He’s been back and hadn’t ever tried contacting her.  Seeing him again brings memories flooding through Hannah’s head and for the first time in forever (I totally sang Frozen in my head), Hannah is thrown for a loop.  She’s always been the level headed sibling in her family but seeing him has rocked her world and not in a good way.

Marco, on the other hand is shocked and thrilled to see Hannah again.  She’s the girl that got away and the only girl that has ever come close to owning Marco’s heart.  He was a fool to let her go and he knows it and this one look has more than convinced him that he wants a second chance with her.  A chance to apologize for the asshole-ish way he left her the night he took her virginity and try to make amends for hurting her.  He knows that he has a lot of work cut out for him but he’s not afraid of it. He’ll be persistent and he’ll win her over.  Because he never got over her.

Seeing these two come together again, seeing their story unfold was heartbreaking and beautiful and I was completely engrossed in the story from beginning to end.  There were times when I was disappointed in Hannah for the head games that she played but I really love that she came to her senses and made up with Marco.  Even though she played head games with Marco for a bit, there was a time when she knew that she was being irrational about the way she was feeling and I really liked that she owned up to that fact and didn’t act all brand new.

Their story wasn’t an easy one but it was worth the read and I’m glad that I read it.  I can’t wait for more from this series and I’m hoping against hope that Cole will be getting his own book because I LOVED seeing him all grown up.  He’s grown up into such a handsome and strong person and I really, really want to read his story.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from NAL.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: The Training by Tara Sue Me

Posted March 5, 2014 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

The Training Judith’s review of The Training (The Submissive Trilogy #3) by Tara Sue Me

Now, in the enticing conclusion to Tara Sue Me’s Submissive Trilogy, the submissive and her dominant explore just how long they can make the pleasure last…

It started with a hidden desire.

Millionaire CEO Nathaniel West has always played by his own strict set of rules, ones he expects everyone to follow—especially the women he’s dominated in his bedroom. But his newest lover is breaking down all his boundaries and rewriting his rule book.

Abby King never imagined that she would capture the heart of Nathaniel West, one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors—and its most desirable dominant. What began as a weekend arrangement of pleasure has become a passionate romance with a man who knows every inch of her body and her soul – yet remains an enigmatic lover. Though he is tender and caring, his painful past remains a wall between them.

Abby knows the only way to truly earn his trust is to submit to him fully and let go of all of her lingering inhibitions. Because to lead Nathaniel on a path to greater intimacy, she must first let him deeper into her world than anyone has ever gone before.

This third book in a BDSM trilogy about Nathaniel West and his sub Abby King takes up right where the second book ends.  I suppose a reader could begin with the third part of the story, but I don’t think that will allow the reader to grasp the full significance of much of the action in this third novel.

All the way through the relationship between this Dom and his sub, there has been that sense of fear and insecurity that has plagued Nathaniel.  He has been well trained but now he has encountered a woman he has desired long before she ever knew he was alive, a secret he has been reluctant to share with Abby and one that has become a metaphor for Nathaniel’s unwillingness to open himself up fully to a woman he wants in his life more than he has ever wanted anything.  Even as his insecurity and subsequent behavior drove Abby away, now Nathaniel must learn himself in a new way even as he is re-learning how to relate to a woman who has come far more fully into an understanding of herself.

I think this book has, by far, explored the way in which the lifestyle of BDSM is for many a critical tool for self-discovery.  It is a fertile field for those who would abuse the power exchange and there is no denying that there are those who have deep and dark needs that are extreme.  But even there can be found Doms who are caring and careful even as they explore “edge play” and its more extreme forms of erotic pain.  For Abby, being with Nathaniel is the fulfillment of a dream, a goal she has long held close to her heart.  But throughout their time together, Abby has learned what it means to be a sub who holds, in the final analysis, the true power in the relationships and at a critical time–during a time explore in Book Two–she was not afraid to use that power to stop Nathaniel in his tracks.  They are now back together, but the playing field, so to speak, has changed and while Nathaniel is still very much the Dom, Abby’s understanding of who she is as a person and as a powerful woman and as a sub has changed dramatically.  Thus, Nathaniel’s response to her has changed as well.

This will probably not be a favorite among readers who are not interested in the BDSM lifestyle as lived in a 24/7 format.  But as has become known by many of us, BDSM is never the same;  every relationship is as different as the people involved in that relationship.  The boundaries are different, the hard limits are different, the needs and personalities are different.   This story has been well written and while I am not qualified to judge the validity or the authenticity of the BDSM content, it seems to me that it squares with the writings of a number of authors who have been judged to be “right on” and who write knowledgeably about the lifestyle.  I do know that this book has been written with a good sense of literary flow, keeping the story moving forward, keeping the characters balanced between their external actions and conversations with their internal monologue.  There is great emotion here and I think a careful reader will perceive that both these individuals are taking tentative steps in restoring their relationship, regaining trust with one another, re-establishing the limits and boundaries which will guide their interaction.

This has not always been an easy trilogy to read.  The writer has been adept at crafting her characters so that readers feel that they are not only observing the progress of the story but are privy to the inner thinking and feeling of these two people.  Some of the group activities in this book will probably bother some readers.  But, after all, this is a book that seeks to “tell it like it is” and involves couples who are loving toward one another but who are not afraid to share their love with others.

I found this book to be quite compelling and recommend it for those who are open to the various facets of the BDSM lifestyle.  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

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

This book is available from NAL Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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