The Bad Boy CEO by Sugar Jamison

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Bad Boy CEO by Sugar JamisonThe Bad Boy CEO by Sugar Jamison
Series: Destiny #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on November 3, 2015
Pages: 182 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
four-half-stars

Colt King has spent his whole life trying to prove he's not the trash his hometown of Destiny, Nevada, thought he and his brothers were. As soon as he was old enough he left town, vowing to make a name for himself and never looking back at the place that looked down on him. But that plan goes out the window when his ailing elderly aunt asks him to come home.
He begrudgingly returns to help the woman who raised him. But he's no longer the poor kid from the bad part of town. He's the ruler of a custom car empire and a financial genius. He arrives expecting a boring stay, but when he walks into his childhood home to find a woman in nothing but her underwear pointing a shotgun at his face, he knows his trip home will be a memorable one. With his aunt sick and forcing him to help her restore her fledgling hair salon, he has more than enough on his plate. Colt has no idea that her sexy tenant, Zanna, is going to be the cause of his many sleepless nights.
Zanna Jacobs came to the ghost town of Destiny to stay out of trouble and stay the hell away from men. She's got a serious thing for bad boys that's she trying to kick, and when she lays her eyes on the brutishly handsome Colt, she knows he's got bad news written all over him. He's not the typical thug she goes for: He's too clean cut, too good looking, and too cold--and when he comes to take over her salon, she's not going to take it. Zanna decides to show him exactly who the boss is. Colt is used to people following his orders, and when Zanna challenges his every word he finds her infuriating and incredibly sexy. He can't keep his hands off her...and knows that once he returns to Las Vegas, all bets are off...

Between a hot CEO who doesn’t mind getting his hands bloody and dirty to a shotgun wielding mad woman slash hairstylist, The Bad Boy CEO, became a quick favorite of mine.

I truly didn’t know what to expect from The Bad Boy CEO, but from the description I knew there would some head butting going on which is always a good sign to a good battle of the sexes story, and I have to admit that I wasn’t disappointed.

As soon as we were introduced to Colt King and his douchebagish ways I was unsure if I was going to like The Bad Boy CEO. I’m not a huge fan of this type of hero, but never one to judge a book off one character I kept reading. So, so, so, so, so, so, so, glad that I kept reading. Not only did it improve character-wise, but the story gripped me in it’s clutches and left me feeling completely satisfied.

The back and forth banter between Colt and Zanna had me grinning like a loon, lol. I don’t have a list listing my favorite book couples handy or anything, but if I did I would be adding Colt King and Zanna Jacobs. The only way I can describe their personalities is to say that Zanna is straight up crazy, wild, and free, and Colt is the iceman with a soft and compassionate core that he only allows through when he’s caring for those he loves.

I truly can’t wait to see what happens in the stories of Duke and Levi, if the ladies they have feelings for are any indication their stories might be just as wild and crazy.

About Sugar Jamison

Sugar Jamison is a southern belle trapped in a New Yorker’s body. With a love of big hair and high heeled shoes, she spends her day at her very normal day job and night dreaming up sweet but sassy romances.

Dragos Goes to Washington by Thea Harrison

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dragos Goes to Washington by Thea HarrisonDragos Goes to Washington by Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #8.5
Published by Self Published on October 12, 2015
Pages: 129 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
five-stars

Dragos Cuelebre, Lord of the Wyr, needs to throw a party without maiming anyone. That isn’t exactly as easy as it might sound.
After the destructive events of the last eighteen months, the Elder Races are heading to Washington D.C. to foster peace with humankind. Not known for his diplomacy skills, Dragos must rely on his mate Pia to help navigate a battlefield of words and polite smiles rather than claws. With Dragos’s mating instinct riding close to the surface, his temper is more volatile than ever and the threat of violence hovers in the air.
Then the human spouse of a prominent politician winds up murdered and Dragos and Pia must race against time to hunt down those behind it before they are held responsible for the crime.

Is it weird that I didn’t feel that Dragos Goes to Washington was a novella but instead a full/complete novel? There were no cliffhangers that left me reeling and unsatisfied, nor were there intentional adding of characters that I would have to wait to learn more about. This book had everything I look for when I pick up a book that’s of the paranormal romance genre. The heroine and hero equally got page time, there wasn’t any confusion pertaining to this world that the author created, and the drama wasn’t overly dramatic.

The beginning started off by showing how great and supportive Pia and Dragos were of their son, Liam, with him wanting to do things that will soon become impossible for him with his advance growth rate. Seeing the different roles of their relationship endeared Pia and Dragos more to me because it’s a complete change and growth in how they were in Dragon Bound, and where I imagined them heading. They’ve been together for such a short time it was a delight to see how much they’ve grown together.

The drama that ensued from their trip to the White House in Washington D.C. and the problems Pia was facing had me glued to my reading device in anticipation of what was to happen next. No way could I have imagined the drama did unfold and was then resolved the way that it did. No way.

I’m glad that it appears that every installment of this novella series will each be a complete story. After the sneak peeks we got into the two stories coming I am pumped into how they will unfold.

About Thea Harrison

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Thea Harrison resides in Colorado.  She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen, and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.  She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child.

Thea writes in a variety of genres, including the award-winning paranormal Elder Races series and the Game of Shadows novels, and is currently at work on various new projects in sci-fi fantasy, paranormal and contemporary romance.

She adores animals and currently resides with two small dogs that have very large personalities.

Hot Shade by Tamara Lush

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hot Shade by Tamara LushHot Shade by Tamara Lush
Published by Boroughs Publishing Group on September 30, 2015
Pages: 272 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
four-half-stars

Romance is the last thing on reporter Skylar Shaw's mind, and all she wants is to work hard and move on from her small-town newspaper job in Florida. A recent college graduate, Skylar's all alone in the world. Her family is dead, she's miles from where she grew up and she's struggling in her career. And she's sworn off men since breaking up with her abusive ex-boyfriend. But, when she meets a rich and mysterious Italian while covering a story, her carefully constructed plans for the future are blown to bits. Luca Rossi is gorgeous, funny and brilliant, and she's determined to uncover his secrets.
After a lonely year on the run from the Mafia, Luca will do anything to possess this vulnerable American beauty. Luca's got a dark past, though, and he's reluctant to share it with anyone -- much less a gorgeous woman who asks lots of questions.
Soon erotic nights will bleed into dangerous days, and nowhere will be safe from the heat.

While romantic suspense featuring journalist and/or politics or politicians aren’t my thing, Hot Shade did a great job of pulling me in and making it extremely hard for me to put it down. But, I have to admit, when I would put it down thoughts of what twists and turns the story could take next, or if the next chapter/section would be when Skylar finally puts Luca out of his misery would all float through my head.

On a side note, close to the middle of the book I was starting to feel bad for Luca, he probably had the bluest balls out of all romantic literary history!

Even though the drama wasn’t the biggest on whatever scale that measures that sort of thing, it was still pretty big to the characters in this story. With all that went down in the quiet town of Palmira, Florida, everything seemed so massive that it was like watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie, the storyline wasn’t predictable and it kind of left you wondering, “What the heck is going to happen next?!” (Yes, I know about and have watched some Alfred Hitchcock movies, I may be young but I been exposed to the classics).

Skylar’s character surprised me in a lot of ways. Since I’m not a huge fan of pushy, somewhat innocent heroines, Skylar really made it hard for me to dislike her. Even in her immature moments she would learn from them, apologize, and seek to do better, and that sort of growth is always endearing. What ended up shocking me the most about her character though, was her slightly dominatrix-like behaviors that she tapped into during the “intimate” (blue-ball inducing) moments she would have with Luca in-between her news reporting. Also, in those moments it was great to see Skylar grab onto the power she didn’t know she had (thanks to her ex-butthole) and blossom into someone who lived for herself and not for anyone else’s opinions or expectations.

As soon as Luca mentioned that while he was on the run he had a beard, I immediately wanted to contact the author, throw a tantrum and demand that she rewrite Luca’s description from the beginning to the end of the book with him sporting a beard. My goodness this man was hawt!

In the ways he cared and approached Skylar showed an innocence to his character that I think helped balance out the mystery of his past and the chaotic thoughts and behaviors Skylar went through in trying to figure out who she was, out from under her mother’s shadow. With him not wanting to label Skylar and his relationship as a “relationship,” he would have some really immature moments that would sometimes frustrate me. But, before that emotion of frustration would begin to settle he would do something or say something that would make me feel all gooey inside (i.e. speaking in Italian) and all would be forgiven.

With a solid storyline, solid characters, and great thriller scenes that turned a good size book into a short read, I found myself dragging my feet in finishing this. I was so reluctant to see the “About the Author” page I would literally only read about two, maybe more, chapters a day. I thew a bunch of books in while I was reading Hot Shade just so I wouldn’t finish quickly, but then I got to the 84% mark (I believe) and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see how everything was going to play out.

Just FYI, there’s a chick in this book that almost had me questioning my sanity. She almost had me applauding her cause until the next Skylar and Luca scene and I would remembered the purpose of her role. But, shoot she was dedicated! Heck, that type of dedication deserves a hand clap…no?

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. Based off the ending it doesn’t appear that there’ll be a sequel, but you never know.

About Tamara Lush

Tamara Lush is an award-winning journalist with The Associated Press. She also writes fiction. Her debut novel, Hot Shade, was released in September 2015 by Boroughs Publishing Group.

When Tamara isn’t writing or reading, she’s doing yoga, cooking for her Italian husband or chasing her dogs on a beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Tamara is represented by Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates.

Inflame Me by Ryan Michele

Inflame Me by Ryan MicheleInflame Me by Ryan Michele
Series: Ravage MC #4
Published by Self Published on October 5, 2015
Pages: 258 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
two-stars

Tanner O’Ryan is in desperate need of help.
When her mother suddenly suggests they drive to Sumner, Georgia to get assistance from her father, Cameron Wagner, she is more than floored. In her twenty-three years, she’s never known who her father is, and now she has to put her trust in the man. Not only does she have to trust him, but an entire club full of men and women who live a life she didn’t know anything about.
She quickly realizes she needs more help than she originally thought.

I am kind of stumped as to the purpose behind the writing of Inflame Me. If it was to reveal the mystery we were left with at the end of Consume Me, that was accomplished in the first few chapters. If it was about Tanner and Rhys, I truly believe that their relationship, in it’s entirety, could’ve been done in a novella or as a backstory to another book.

Being a huge (like major) fan of the Ravage MC series, I was sorely disappointed with Inflame Me. The beginning had me all giddy with excitement because it was the makings of the type of book that is guaranteed to knock my socks off. But it was like once Rhys came into the picture and Tanner cottoned on to all that was him she faded into the wallpaper. She became an inanimate object, she had no life to her except for those moments when she became angry, or when she would tap into the emotion that enabled her to take care of her situation in Tennessee. It seemed throughout this book that her main purpose and function was to take care of her mom, protect her mom, and move or do anything Rhys told her to. The latter disappointed me most because after reading about Ma, Harlow, Casey, and Blaze she was weak in comparison and didn’t stand out or own her book as they did. Harlow shined brighter in this book than Tanner did and the book content wasn’t even about her! I will admit her character started to shine a little towards the end but then the book ended.

Speaking of the ending, I would like it to be known that there wasn’t an ending, the book just stopped. When I looked down at the bottom of the book on my kindle I found that it stopped at 84%! I kept my hopes up at around the 70% mark because I knew I had some book left, no dice because the book ended!!! The story was just starting to get at a place where I was liking Tanner a little bit, and wanted to see how the party they were throwing, after Tanner’s mom and dad reconciled, would play out and then everything stopped.

I truly hope Inflame Me isn’t the start of the quality I’m to expect for the rest of this series. The Ravage MC series is one of my all-time favorite and I hope it remains that way in the future.

About Ryan Michele

Ryan Michele has a huge obsession with reading, which only came to life after her best friend said she had to read Twilight. After reading that series, her entire world changed in the blink of an eye. Not only was she sucked into new worlds and all of the wonderful words authors put down on paper, she felt the urge to begin to write down the characters that played inside of her head. In doing so, Safe was born. Then Wanting YouRavage MeSeduce Me, Consume Me, Inflame Me, Satisfy Me, Rattle Me and the Raber Wolf Pack.

When she’s not reading or writing, she spends time taking care of her two children and her husband, enjoying the outdoors and laying in the sun.

The Face of Deception by Iris Johansen

The Face of Deception by Iris JohansenThe Face of Deception by Iris Johansen
Series: Eve Duncan #1
Published by Bantam on June 1, 1999
Pages: 326 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
five-stars

An unidentified skull...
A trail of terrifying secrets...
And a woman whose talented hands could reveal the shocking truth...
As a forensic sculptor, Eve Duncan helps identify the dead from their skulls. Her own daughter murdered and her body never found, the job is Eve's way of coming to terms with her personal nightmare. But more terror lies ahead when she accepts work from billionaire John Logan.
Beneath her gifted hands a face emerges from the skull he has given her to reconstruct—a face no one was ever meant to see. Now Eve is trapped in a frightening web of murder and deceit. Powerful enemies are determined to cover up the truth, and they will make certain that truth goes to the grave...even if Eve gets buried with it.

The Face of Deception will be my second exposure or debut into where mystery and suspense being the primary genre. My first being Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp from the Charlie Fox Thriller series.

The prologue blew me away! I could feel the agony that Eve Duncan was going through, especially when it was revealed the ‘why’ of her actions. Those four pages were what really made me curious about what the rest of the book would offer. Oh! Did I mention this is my first Iris Johansen novel? Great way to start off!

Eve Duncan is so tough, she takes no crap from anyone and she knows her own mind! On top of that she is single-handedly dominating her occupation as a forensic sculptor. Girl Power!!!

I understand that Joe Quinn and Eve Duncan have been through a lot together, but she relies on him too much, almost as if he wasn’t married and he was her husband, but he is married to someone else which makes their relationship even more puzzling.

” “And this couldn’t wait until morning?”

“Probably. But I wanted you to know. I feel…disconnected.” “

John Logan, on the other hand is unattached and therefore could be someone she can rely on, at least for the duration of the time that she’s working on this mystery, but I highly doubt that will happen (he’s very untrustworthy). His right-hand man, Gil Price, is more likable, he grabbed my attention as soon as Eve Duncan described him, I am a sucker for red-haired, blue-eyed men.

Margaret became my second favorite character out of this book!

” “Good, then I’ll get on the phone and order some stuff. It should be – Oh, my God, you’re a giant.” ”

” “What?” ”

” Margaret was glowering at her. “How the hell tall are you?” ”

” “Five nine.” ”

” “A giant. You’ll make me feel like a midget. I hate tall, skinny women. They do something to my psyche and I become overaggressive.” ”

” “You’re not that small.” ”

” “You’re patronizing me.” She grimaced. “And I’m being defensive. Oh, well, I’ll have to fight it. I’ll just keep telling myself that I’m much smarter than you.” “

This book has to be the greatest mind juggler I’ve ever read. When you think Eve and the team is trying to solve one mystery three more pop up and take its place, or add to its complexity. Then when you feel as if you’re on the same road with the characters to solve the mystery you find out it was all a lie and then you’re presented the real mystery.

My first, or maybe second, frustration from this book is the about-face of Eve Duncan’s character, why does the heroine, the main focus of the story, start off strong and well put together, but ends up the dumbest, most arrogant character in the book? This is a huge disappointment to me.

I spoke too soon!!!!

Here I was thinking the story was going downhill, but Eve fooled me! I’m ranting and raving about her horrible character change and it was all a ploy to get the bad guys. I feel like I’ve been had :(.

Overall, a great book from beginning to end. This book took me on a ride that left the land marks and destination unknown and I loved every minute of it. Great first impression. Can’t wait to read The Killing Game next. Oh, and did I mention that Mr. Joe Quinn is absolutely yummy, I really can’t wait to read more about him 🙂

“Logan let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding. He had confronted many dangerous men in his time, but Quinn was definitely in a class by himself. It astonished him that Eve hadn’t picked up on it.”

That ending though?! Not a cliff-hanger per se, but dang close.

About Iris Johansen

IRIS JOHANSEN is The New York Times bestselling author of Your Next Breath, The Perfect Witness, Live to See Tomorrow, Silencing Eve, Hunting Eve, Taking Eve, Sleep No More, What Doesn’t Kill You, Bonnie, Quinn, Eve,Chasing The Night, Eight Days to Live, Blood Game, Deadlock, Dark Summer, Pandora’s Daughter, Quicksand,Killer Dreams, On The Run, Countdown, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, and more. And with her son Roy Johansen, she has coauthored The Naked Eye, Sight Unseen, Close Your Eyes, Shadow Zone, Storm Cycle, and Silent Thunder.

Johansen began writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great success. She had seventeen consecutive New York Times bestsellers as of November 2006.

Johansen lives near Atlanta, Georgia and is married. Her son, Roy Johansen, is an Edgar Award-winning screenwriter and novelist. Her daughter, Tamara, serves as her research assistant.