Tag: Shayla Black

Review: More Than Need You by Shayla Black

Posted June 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More Than Need You by Shayla BlackReviewer: Casee
More Than Need You by Shayla Black
Narrator: Christian Fox
Series: More Than Words #2
Also in this series: More Than Want You
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 42 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: two-stars

I’m Griffin Reed—cutthroat entrepreneur and competitive bastard. Trust is a four-letter word and everyone is disposable…except Britta Stone. Three years ago, she was my everything before I stupidly threw her away. I thought I’d paid for my sin in misery—until I learned we have a son. Finding out she’s engaged to a bore who’s rushing her to the altar pisses me off even more. I intend to win her back and raise our boy. I’ll have to get ruthless, of course. Luckily, that’s one of my most singular talents.

Sixty days. That’s what I’m asking the gritty, independent single mother to give me—twenty-four/seven. Under my roof. And if I have my way, in my bed. Britta says she wants nothing to do with me. But her body language and passionate kisses make her a liar. Now all I have to do is coax her into surrendering to the old magic between us. Once I have her right where I want her, I’ll do whatever it takes to prove I more than need her.

This is the second book in Shayla’s More Than Words series. It was a vast improvement over More Than Want You. Even with that, I didn’t love it. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because it was still in the world of Maxon Reed, the dbag from the first book. I can’t really put my finger on it.

Griffin Reed is a dbag himself. He jumped to conclusions when he found out his brother Maxon closed a big deal without him. Griffin the Asshole erroneously believed that Maxon and Britta (his lover) stabbed him in the back. Not bothering to get an explanation, he dropped both of them like a hot potato and didn’t look back. Not even when he (supposedly) found out that Britta was pregnant. Maxon and Britta both believe that Griffin knew about his son. They don’t know that the letter Britta sent to Griffin was intercepted by a conniving bitch that was trying to get into Griffin’s pants. I had a big problem with this. I mean, who the eff does this? Keeps a man away from his child? It’s just weird.

Fast forward 3? 4? years. Maxon and Griffin are both going after the same client. Maxon has a good idea for once in his life and decides to ask Griffin if he wants to team up again. Griffin agrees, still not knowing about his son. Maxon spills the beans, not knowing there are beans to be spilled. Griffin high-tails to Britta’s only to find Britta engaged and actually suggesting that he relinquish his parental rights to a son that he just found out that he had. Something he has no intention of every doing.

When things don’t seem to be moving forward with Britta, Griffiin takes a drastic step. Britta and Jaime move in with him. If Britta still doesn’t want him, Griffin will sign away his rights to Jaime so Britta can marry the man that she’s engaged to. A calculated risk, but worth it to Griffin because he’s so sure that she’ll change her mind. So certain she’ll remember the magic that was between them.

While this book didn’t leave me fuming mad, it just sort of left me cold. A little sad because it wasn’t Griffin’s fault that he didn’t know about Jaime. But shaking my head because the whole not knowing about Jaime was his fault considering that he walked out is such a spectacularly childish way.

At this point, I have to intention of continuing with this series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

More Than Words

three-stars


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Review: More Than Want You by Shayla Black

Posted June 5, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More Than Want You by Shayla BlackReviewer: Casee
More Than Want You by Shayla Black
Narrator: Christian Fox
Series: More Than Words #1
Also in this series: More Than Need You
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 284
Length: 7 hours and 49 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

I’m Maxon Reed—real estate mogul, shark, asshole. If a deal isn’t high profile and big money, I pass. Now that I’ve found the property of a lifetime, I’m jumping. But one tenacious bastard stands between me and success—my brother. I’ll need one hell of a devious ploy to distract cynical Griff. Then fate drops a luscious redhead in my lap who’s just his type.

Sassy college senior Keeley Kent accepts my challenge to learn how to become Griff’s perfect girlfriend. But somewhere between the makeover and the witty conversation, I’m having trouble resisting her. The quirky dreamer is everything I usually don’t tolerate. But she’s beyond charming. I more than want her; I’m desperate to own her. I’m not even sure how drastic I’m willing to get to make her mine—but I’m about to find out.

This book is the first in the More Than Words series. The books are companions, not serials, meaning that backstory, secondary characters, and other elements will be easier to relate to if you read the installments in order, but the main romance of each book is a stand-alone.


This book contains lines that may make you laugh, events that may make you cry, and scenes that will probably have you squirming in your seat. Don’t worry about cliffhangers or cheating. HEA guaranteed! (Does not contain elements of BDSM or romantic suspense.)

This book was terrible. Terrible with a capital T. The hero was the biggest douchiest, arrogant asshole and I wanted to suffocate him with a pillow after I strangled him which would have happened after the dismembering. To be honest, I don’t know why I didn’t give up on this book. I kept thinking that it couldn’t get any worse, but it did.

Maxon Reed is a real estate mogul in the great state of Hawaii. He used to be in business with his brother Griffin, but shit went down and Griffin did the old cut-and-run. Maxon knew that Griffin thought he betrayed him, but Maxon knew differently. While he regrets losing his brother, he will do anything to best him when it comes to being the big real estate kahuna on Maui. Except for his estranged brother it sounds like a pretty great life, huh?

Enter Keely Kent. Keely is rocking the karaoke one night at a bar that Maxon and his two employees are at. Out of fucking nowhere (and I mean nowhere) Maxon decides that Keely is exactly the type of woman that Maxon needs to distract Griffin from getting the big client that they are both getting ready to pitch to. What the actual fuck. Who actually thinks like that? Seriously. Who looks at a stranger and thinks “I’m going to introduce myself to this stranger, tell her I’m going to whore her out to my brother, all in an effort to distract my brother so I can come out on top”.

That’s bad enough, right? Wrong. Of course Maxon finds himself attracted to Keely immediately. View Spoiler » He was a fucking douche bag of the highest order and he didn’t deserve to be anybody’s hero. Asshat.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

More Than Words

one-star


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Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted May 7, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 474
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The thrilling conclusion of the twisting, page-turning Perfect Gentlemen series!

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

This is the conclusion to The Perfect Gentlemen series. And holy hell, View Spoiler » Honestly, this isn’t really a spoiler because even I figured it out. If I knew it, anyone reading this book knew it two books before. No joke.

Zack Hayes has been groomed from birth to be the President of the United States. One of my favorite passages of this series was from the prologue of Scandal Never Sleeps, which is book one of the series. The Perfect Gentlemen had been called to the counselor’s office at their boarding school. Zack threatened him when it because clear that the man was out to get the five of them. He was still a teenager at the time.

“You don’t have that kind of power,” Ogilvie blustered.

“You think I don’t? My father was the ambassador to Russia for years. He’s been close friends with the last three presidents, including the current commander-in-chief. My father wants one thing and one thing only from me. Everyone who’s met him knows that he gets what he wants. My future is mapped out. If I do the right things—get the grades, remain class president, go to the appropriate college—then I accomplish everything I should. If you derail me from this path, I’ll get my ass kicked in ways that would make your head spin. But it will end even worse for you. I recently got my SATs back. I had a perfect score. I’m getting into Yale, and Skull and Bones will be waiting for me senior year because they know what my father’s friends have already figured out: I will be the president of the United States one day. Now, you can be my friend or my enemy. You decide.”

Yep, Zack was badass from the beginning.

Moving on, Zack did become president, but how it happened was beyond sad. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great one. Through the last four books a conspiracy has been unraveling that makes it apparent to Zack that he might have to step down. Although it was his father that wanted him to be President of the United States, it is Zack that has made the office and policies his own. Zack will not allow himself to be blackmailed or let the integrity of the office be brought into question.

Elizabeth Matthews is the Press Secretary. She is a ball buster where and when she needs to be. She’s also a good friend to Zack. They know where they stand with each other. They’re in love, but unable to do anything about it. Elizabeth is not on the inside of Zack’s circle. Although it hurts, she knows that he doesn’t completely trust her. She thought she could live with that until she couldn’t.

Zack thinks Elizabeth is a Russian spy, which is understandable. What’s not understandable is how Zack doesn’t see who the real spy is. Come on, Zack. You’re supposed to be the smartest person in the country, if not the world and you can’t figure it out? When there is an assassination attempt on Zack, it is obvious Elizabeth is the spy they all thought her to be (seriously?). Or is it?

Roman Calder drove me bonkers in this book. I know it was his responsibility to protect Zack, but I wanted to brain him. He just went completely overboard.

Still, I was so happy with this book because I loved Zack throughout this entire series and I really loved Elizabeth. She was perfect for Zack because she knew exactly what sort of pressure he was under so she didn’t except things from him that she knew he couldn’t give. She knew that being the President of the United States came before all things.

This was a perfect conclusion to this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted April 7, 2019 by Casee in Features | 7 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. 🙂

I read the first four books in this series last year, one right after the other. Holy hell, these books are hot as hell. I loved each and every book (there were exceptions). I love both the heroes and the heroines (most of them). Overall, I wish I hadn’t read this series so I could read it again for the first time. Zack Hayes was first introduced in Scandal Never Sleeps. Even as a teenager, Zack knew he would be President one day. He’s been fascinating from day one and I can’t wait to read this book.

Sunday Spotlight: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeAt the Pleasure of the President (The Perfect Gentlemen, #5) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4), At the Pleasure of the President
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 450
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The thrilling conclusion of the twisting, page-turning Perfect Gentlemen series!

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Liz’s hands shook as she turned the lock, shutting herself alone in the library with Zack. This was likely the single stupidest thing she’d ever done, but after years of pining for and being in love with him, she couldn’t walk away without knowing how a night with him would feel.

She should be in her bed right now, trying to find sleep. But she’d seen the light on and known he’d be here. Like a freaking moth to a flame, she’d found herself leaving the safety of her bedroom and walking right into the predator’s den.

Trembling, she turned now and looked at the only man she’d ever truly loved. He needed her tonight. She saw it in his stare, in the way he clenched his fists at his sides. How much character and willpower had it taken him to allow her this choice? She admired him even more for finding the strength, especially since she’d long suspected that under his façade of intellectualism and perfect manners, he hid a beast.

Tonight, she would find out if she’d been right.

Liz had no illusions. He was capable of breaking her heart into a million pieces, and she’d try not to let him. But even if she only got one night with this man, she would take it because she would rather live with foolish regret than stubborn ignorance.

“Elizabeth.”

His voice hummed in the quiet room, caressing between her ears, vibrating through her body. She flushed with arousal.

This was it. This was happening.

She’d wanted him the moment they’d met, but he’d been forbidden. Now, he stood in front of her with his broad shoulders and his dark hair. Not a president, but a man. Her man—at least for the night.

Liz tried to steady her breathing as she crossed the room to him. Finally, she had permission to touch him the way she’d always wanted. Of course she’d heard him say tonight would be his way all the way, that it wouldn’t be tender, but she wanted one sweet moment she could cling to later before her man turned beast.

She stopped in front of him and reached up, brushing her fingers against the silver threaded at his temples—the only sign that he was aging. Naturally, it made him even more attractive.

He caught her hand, clasping it in his big one. “Be sure.”

That was Zack, always putting others first, even when his whole world was falling apart. Even when he needed so desperately for himself.

Tonight, she was here for him in every way. Liz hoped with all her heart he understood that.

She would cling to him through the bittersweet hours until dawn, memorizing every touch. Tomorrow they would go back to their corners, and the turmoil would start again. It would be worse because she would know exactly how good it felt to be in his arms. But their passion could only be temporary because he was right, any chance they’d had at a future had died the day Joy had. After her murder and three long years, how could they ever hope for more?

“I’m sure,” she murmured. “I want everything you have to give me tonight.”

He released her hand to grip her waist. Immediately, he dragged her against his body. His free hand found her hair and sank in, tugging her head back. “I’ve waited forever for this.”

His thick whisper sent a tremor through her. “Me, too.”

Silently, Liz mourned the loss of their idyllic vow in Memphis that when they finally kissed for the first time, it would only be when they’d never have to stop. But she couldn’t worry about the future when she and Zack only had right now.

He angled her face under his and her heart began to careen. He bent, crushed her lips under his, and groaned into their kiss. She could feel the moment he let go of his iron will.

“It’s not going to last nearly as long as I want it to,” he muttered against her mouth. “At least not this first time…”

The Perfect Gentlemen

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: April 2019

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 Lexi Blake

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn't until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

Her first novel, Their Virgin Captive: Masters of Ménage, Book 1, was a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Shayla Black. There are five more books available in the series: Their Virgin's Secret, Their Virgin Concubine, Their Virgin Princess, Their Virgin Hostage, and Their Virgin Secretary. The next book in the series, Their Virgin Mistress, is releasing this April.

In addition to the Masters of Ménage series, she is the author of the Masters and Mercenaries series. There are eight full-length novels and four novellas available now, with more coming in 2015.

In 2013, Lexi also began releasing her urban fantasy series, Thieves. The first five are available now, with Ripper, a spin-off to the series, coming in 2015.

About Shayla Black

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past ten years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.


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Review: Smoke and Sin by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted December 4, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Smoke and Sin by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4) by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #4
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), At the Pleasure of the President
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 460
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

More than a decade ago, Roman Calder had a scorching affair with the sister of one of his best friends. Augustine Spencer drove him so crazy he thought of nothing but her. The only thing they did more often than heat the sheets was fight. Unprepared for the intensity of their relationship, Roman broke things off and concentrated on things that made sense to him: his career and putting his best friend, Zack Hayes, in the White House.

Gus Spencer is known to Washington insiders as the president’s secret weapon. Gorgeous and brilliant, Gus runs the press pool with the determination of a shark. No one dares to cross her, not when she’s known for having a spine of steel…but long ago one man melted her down. Despite the fact that she’ll never forgive Roman for breaking her heart, now that they work together she can’t get him off her mind.

When a dangerous investigation leads both Roman and Gus to London, the heat between them becomes unbearable. As they begin to unravel an international conspiracy, they find themselves falling all over again. But when a killer threatens their world, can they fight to stay together or will the sins of their past keep them forever apart?

This book picks up immediately where Big Easy Temptation left off (except for the Prologue). What do we know about Roman Calder and Augustine Spencer? We know that Roman is Zack Hayes Chief of Staff and best friend. He’s known in the media as the Hitman. He’s scary. When he wants things done, they get done. Gus is Dax’s sister. She likes sleeping with men and she doesn’t care if people thinks she’s a whore. She’s refreshing. I really like her. Or I did like her until I read this book.

Roman and Gus have a history and it’s not a good one. You’ll get an idea right away of what they have to overcome. It’s not just not pretty. It’s ugly. There was a day thirteen years ago that Roman should have been at Gus’ side. He wasn’t. Instead it was Maddox Crawford that was there. He was also there every year since. Mad was one of Gus’ best friends. She knows that Mad was murdered. She will do anything she has to do to prove it, even if it means point the finger at her boss. Did I mention she runs the press pool at the White House? So Zack is her boss.

The reason Roman broke it off with Gus all those years ago was because he didn’t want a relationship like his parents had while he was growing up. All his parents did was fight (spectacularly) and then make up. He saw the pattern repeating itself with Gus and wasn’t going to let that happen. He was determined to be different. To fall in love and marry someone, well, boring. He did fall in love with someone else. Zack’s wife. She may have just been his wife for political reasons, but she was still his best friend’s wife. When she was murdered two days before the election, Roman was devastated. Still, no one was more devastated than Zack.

Having Gus be so close to him, but not be with him is hell for Roman. Their situation changes when they’re in England. He knows Gus and he can tell she’s up to something. She knows a few bits and pieces of what is going on with Zack, but she doesn’t know the whole picture. And he’s not going to let her find out. He doesn’t want her in danger. He’ll do whatever he has to do to protect her. Even from herself.

Roman is the same man he’s always been. He’s someone that underestimates her. She doesn’t need him to accomplish her goals. Except then she does because he makes a public claim on her and unless she’s going to call him a liar in public, she has to go along with his plan. Though they’re now partners, they’re still not partners because Roman won’t tell her the entire truth. Which is no less than Gus expected. Even if she is disappointed she’s not surprised.

I didn’t like Roman at all. He just didn’t respect Gus. Not as a woman, not as a partner. Oh, he made all the right noises, but he didn’t. It was annoying as all hell. I didn’t like Gus either. She didn’t trust Roman at all. The fact that she had no reason to was beside the point. The only relationship I did like in this entire book was between Liz and Gus. Liz is Zack’s Press Secretary and the woman he’s secretly loved for years. Except now Zack has pushed her away because he knows the Russians are after him.

So this book was just meh. The best part happened at the end when Zack thinks he has a handle on who Liz is. Ha. Laughable, really.

At the Pleasure of the President (Zack’s book, obviously) was supposed to be out this fall. I emailed Lexi and a couple things came up. She said that she and Shayla hope to have it out next spring. Yay!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

three-half-stars


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