Rock Chick Renegade by Kristen Ashley

Rock Chick Renegade by Kristen AshleyRock Chick Renegade by Kristen Ashley
Series: Rock Chick #4
on April 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
three-half-stars

Jules has got a score to settle against the drug dealers of Denver. Vance has made it his mission that Jules won’t get dead while dishing out vigilante justice. Jules doesn’t have time for romance, she’s too busy saving the world and she enlists Zip (the gunstore owner), Heavy (an ex-PI) and Frank (a mysterious recluse) to help.
The Rock Chicks of Fortnum’s Bookstore get involved to provide romantic advice and guidance, none of which Jules accepts at first. The Hot Bunch of Nightingale Investigations adopt Jules as one of their own. Even though Jules tries to hang on to her inner Head Crackin’ Mamma Jamma, the Rock Chicks; Hot Bunch; Jules’s long-suffering Uncle Nick; Jules’s friend the rotund, African-American, Jackie-O wannabe, May; and especially Vance will stop at nothing to wear her down.
But Jules makes some bad guys pretty angry and one is dedicated to taking her out. Vance and the Hot Bunch have to pull out all the stops to keep her alive. At the same time, Jules and Vance learn the true meaning of home but once they find this precious entity they’ve been searching for all their lives, will Jules’s enemies tear it away?

Color me shocked! I did not expect to love this story as much as I did. With all but one scene – one moment – Rock Chick Renegade was an absolute pleasure to read!

The ending scene in Rock Chick Redemption left much to be desired, but also feared. In my mind when I would think of the woman who would be the woman to give Vance a run for his money I could have never came up with Jules “The Law” Lawler. What shocked me even more was how she pulled both Luke, Mac, and Ike out of their shells so that we can see a little more of their personalities.

Except for this one moment, this one scene, Rock Chick Renegade was awesome, as I said before. This one thing was so huge that it knocked a whole star of this book’s rating…whoa.

This one thing happens in a lot of Kristen Ashley’s books, and in some of the books it’s justifiable, but it’s in books like Rock Chick Rescue, Rock Chick Redemption, and Rock Chick Renegade, where this is more a nuisance than something that the story naturally progresses to. What I’m talking about is when the heroine has been dealt enough bad crap in her life and then gets a dose of good – usually it’s in the form of men like Hank, Eddie, Vance, and Luke – they then decide it’s time to pack up and leave. When these crazy chicks get this crap in their minds I seriously hold out hope that they’ll see reason and stop telling their men that they’re breaking up with them, but then once it’s been said in every chapter after the very first time until the man shuts the mess down, I’m like “seriously just go already!” It gets so bad that I’m ready to jump in the pages and help them pack and maybe buy them a plane ticket.

Whew! Glad I got that off my mind.

So yeah, once I found out why Jules was doing what she was doing I was all for it. Her little posse of badasses were freaking hilarious but I would’ve liked to have known more about them since they were also pulled into the Rock Chick fold; mainly talking about May, Zip, Heavy, and Frank.

Other than Jules breaking up with Vane and him taking her up on it (later to be found out that it was all a misunderstanding), and she becomes miserable – naturally since she didn’t really want to be separated from him – I wouldn’t change a thing about this story. This book went everywhere with me, bathroom, kitchen, and front room, everywhere. Can’t wait to read Luke’s story, I just hope Ava isn’t stuck up because the way she walked into Nightingale HQ (not really the name) I kind of sensed she had her head stuck up her but.

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Lev by Belle Aurora

Lev by Belle AuroraLev by Belle Aurora
on October 10, 2015
Source: Purchased
five-stars

From the moment Lev Leokov spots the young woman hiding behind her hair in the middle of the gentleman's club, he can't take his eyes off of her.
For the very first time in his life, he is affected. Having been told his entire life that he can't process or understand emotion, he considers it a big deal.
When Mina Harris gets caught red-handed with a wallet that isn't hers, she falls apart. She's tired, lonely and hasn't eaten in days.
Lev offers her an ultimatum... A nice warm bed, a hot meal and a job, or the cops.
Mina takes her chances with Lev.
After all, a person with nothing has nothing left to lose.

Lev, being my first book by Belle Aurora has me hooked for all things by this author! I want to thank all the honest reviews that helped with my decision to purchase and read this book.

In all my years of reading I have never read a story like Lev. The unique storyline, characters, and conflicts grabbed me at the very first page and didn’t release me until the very end.

Lev and Mina and Lidiya were the trifecta of perfection. Every time a conflict would arise I kept expecting Lev and Mina’s relationship to take a hit, since that seems to be the norm now in contemporary romances. It was when, after every hit that Lev and Mina stayed by each other and survived together, that took this story went to a whole other level of greatness.

The amazing qualities of this story weren’t “in your face” obvious. Everything had a natural progression that left me longing for more and more from these characters. That longing got so bad that when I knew I was at the end I would have almost bet money that when turning to the next page I was going to see a sneak peek of one of the supporting character’s new book, maybe Corinna and Alessio since the other two potential couples irritated me. But, no dice.

I am so glad that I took a chance on a new-to-me author and was so greatly rewarded with this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime story.

Definitely a favorite of mine, and while I know that Raw is in no way like Lev (according to the synopsis and some reviews) I am secure that this author’s writing style will be consistent in pleasing my reading appetite (it’s a ferocious beast when it wants to be).

About Belle Aurora

Belle Aurora is twenty six years old and was born in the land down under. At an early age she fell in love with reading. Boredom one summer had her scouring the bookshelves at home. She stumbled across Sandra Brown’s Breath of Scandal and fell in love with romance. Having been brought up in a loud and boisterous family of Croatian descent, she developed a natural love for dramatics and humor. Only some years ago had she discovered a new love. Humorous romance novels.

Kristen Ashley and R.L. Mathewson had opened a brand new world where she could lose herself yet feel safe and at home in their stories. Belle has been known to become a screeching banshee while anxiously awaiting their newest titles. Belle never thought she would write. It had never interested her until recently. Friend-Zoned began to form and in February this year Belle typed the words Chapter One. And she fell in love. With words. With writing. With a creative imagination she never knew she harbored.

Friend-Zoned is the first in the Friend-Zoned series. Keep an eye out for this cheeky author.

Merry Blissmas by Jamie Begley

Merry Blissmas by Jamie BegleyMerry Blissmas by Jamie Begley
Series: Biker Bitches #3
Published by Young Ink Press on December 9, 2015
Source: Purchased
five-stars

Naughty
What can I say? I’m not a nice person. When I walk by, people call me a slut, and I’m okay with that. I believe in calling a spade a spade. I am a slut.
With the holidays approaching, I miss belonging to The Last Riders. Drake’s keeping me warm, but he wants more than I can give. He wants me to trust him, to believe he can protect me. Doesn’t he know Santa put me on the Naughty List long ago?
Nice
What can I say? I’m a nice guy and have always done the responsible thing.
Bliss is everything I shouldn’t want, but it’s hard to resist a woman who stopped believing in miracles. She wants to be back with The Last Riders, whom she considers her true family. Doesn’t she know it’s Christmas, and miracles do happen?

Merry Blissmas, without having opened the pages yet, was a challenge for me. The main character, Bliss, was a very disliked character for all the Last Riders books and Sex Piston’s book, and for me to feel the way I felt about her it was causing some problems as to my likability of the direction of all the stories (interconnected or not) and the characters. I even had thoughts of if I should just pass on Merry Blissmas. In my eyes, there was nothing, other than dealing with a case of the Body Snatchers, that Bliss could do to redeem herself after all the dirt and disrespect she perpetrated throughout the books before Merry Blissmas.

Before, Bliss’ character was just like Raci, Evie, and Jewel, a member of the Last Riders willing to anything for them, outsiders be damned. It wasn’t until Shade, and she started coming out from the shadow of the other women – especially when Samantha was no longer a problem, that she started to bring out the murderous tendencies in me.

Even though she was a club member, the men still didn’t tell the women everything unless it directly affected them and Bliss was okay with that until it had something to with Shade and Lily. When she said what she said to Lily in Shade, I was hoping that would’ve been the moment that Lily was going to put her in her place and it was when she didn’t that I started looking at Lily differently. I thought that was the moment when the level of tolerance the other club members have been holding towards her antics was going to snap and Bliss was going to be gone. I was so ready for them to cut her loose so that Killyama and Sex Piston could’ve had free reign to met out justice.

Fast forward to another book and you’ll be introduced to the very moments where I wiped my hands of this chick while at the same time feeling bad for how miserable she was. Lucky’s Choice was the last straw with Bliss. My last nerve with her snapped and was cauterized never to be revived again.

So you can see where the reservations I had about Merry Blissmas.

I couldn’t put this down no matter how baffled I was that I found myself loving it. I appreciated the author’s flawless ability to keep Bliss as she was. What I mean is, Jamie Begley didn’t try to make her out to be some misunderstood woman to justify her misdeeds with the Last Riders, and she made Bliss look at herself in the mirror by placing her around people she couldn’t manipulate by sex or her usual bitchiness. Ginny didn’t want to have sex with her nor did she care to let Bliss run over her, and Drake, being the crazy-sexy man he was, let her know up front that he was not the one to play games with. There were no excuses given, but just like when Evie’s back story was given, an understanding was reached into the facts that contributed to how these character came to be. I felt no sympathy for Bliss because she made every jacked up bed and she was going to have to lie in each and everyone of them, alone, until she geared up the courage to make them up herself. Thank goodness she had the love of a strong man and a family who couldn’t cut her completely loose to help her along.

Merry Blissmas, was a truly great read. There’s nothing I would change about it, although I now know that, at this time nor any time soon in the future, will I be able to do a re-read of the Last Riders series and some of the others interconnected stories. I want to remember Bliss from this book and move forward.

Go in with an open heart and mind and the truth that anything can happened in the fiction world, you just need to trust the author.

About Jamie Begley

“I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.

Taking after my mother, I’ve always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.

For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.

Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.

All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

Distraction by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Distraction by Aurora Rose ReynoldsDistraction by Aurora Rose Reynolds
on February 2, 2016
Source: Purchased
two-half-stars

Sven is a man who takes pride in his ability to separate himself from his emotions. He's a man who knows who he is and where he’s going in life, a man who needs no one, because needing someone, anyone, is a weakness.
His past taught him love isn’t enough.
Maggie wants the happily ever after, but has never picked the right men, or stuck around long enough, to build a forever. It’s always been easier to get out early, before emotions make things messy.
When Maggie wakes up naked in Sven’s bed, with no memory of the night before, these two must be honest about their feelings and face their fears, so they can build a future together.
Will love be enough for them to get their happy ending together, or will a threat from outside strike them down before they ever have a chance?

There’s a lot I have to say about Distraction so I’m going to start from the beginning and work my way to the end.

***

The anticipation of reading Maggie and Sven’s story started when I read Obligation. I thought that after how explosive Assumption and Obligation was, that Distraction would top them both and become an easy favorite.

It sucks that I was wrong.

The strength of Maggie’s character was very endearing. No weak minded woman was going to be able to capture the attention, and later the heart, of Sven who was a notorious ladies man. The way she stepped on the scene and was able to give Sven a run for his money gave me such high hopes that this story was going to blow me away. It wasn’t until certain situations would happened and Sven and Maggie’s reaction to them would either leave me puzzled and/or frustrated, that the promise of this story started to dwindle.

After it was revealed that Maggie was in a relationship, before she became Sven’s assistant, I expected her to act a certain way towards the temptation that was Sven. Yes, Sven was attractive but in having a man you do not willingly start taking off layers of clothing in front of another man, nor do you sit in another man’s lap no matter the circumstances. Once Maggie realized that she started having feelings for Sven it would’ve made more sense for her to break up with her boyfriend who lived hundreds of miles away, but no, she breaks up with Wyatt because she’s just now finally realizing that a relationship with a man who lives hundreds-of-freaking-miles-away won’t work.

“Wyatt is out of the question since I broke up with him yesterday after realizing it was pointless to be in a relationship with someone who lives hundreds of miles away.”

Things with Maggie’s character started to deteriorate from there.

When her sister’s problems started to become her problems does she start to think that maybe she needs to find people who are better equipped to handle the type of dangers she was facing thanks to her sister? Nope, that thought never even crosses her mind. But it’s when said sisters calls her up for a meeting where she’s looking worse than when Maggie saw her last and asks for $14,000 does Maggie; a) give her the money when she has no guarantee she won’t use it for drugs especially when her drug using friend shows up at the bank to pick her up, or b) does she say no, puts her sister in her car and either takes her to the hospital or drive her to their parent’s house because she’s are no longer able to take care of this situation by herself? Well, in Maggie’s case she choses “a,” and when Sven tries to prevent her from the possible heart ache that this very situation will reap upon her – although he messes that up by saying something dumb which then makes her a “victim” because he hurt her feelings – she further become $14,000 poorer and then decides to choose option “b” and calls in the parental reinforcements.

Oh! In the mix of all this, Sven and Maggie finally stop beating around the bush and consummate their relationship. While I would normally be happy about this piece of news the actual consummating came out of left-freaking-field. One moment, or page, we’re seeing Sven and Maggie’s perspective of when Kai and Kenton came to pay them a visit from a scene from Obligation and the next moment, or page, their in bed together and neither Maggie or I knows how that happened. Also, the “L” word was being tossed around a lot which then too confused me since the furthest these two came to showing any affection was during the skydiving event.

I’ve talked a lot about Maggie, and while her character turned out to be a let down, I think it was Sven who was the biggest disappointment.

In Obligation I always wondered what made him so special or dangerous, that two badasses like Kenton and Kai would need to go to him for assistance. It’s sad to say that while reading Distraction, other than the torture scene, I never found out. Throughout this book, and especially when surrounded by Justin, Kai, and Kenton, Sven seemed like a little boy playing in big boy games. Other than that one scene anytime he would do something boss-like I couldn’t buy it. Maggie, to me – most of the time – had bigger balls than he did.

It’s a miracle that everything worked out for Maggie and Sven, and a miracle that the story was enjoyable enough that I wanted to finish it instead of closing the book at the 45% mark like my frustration intolerance wanted me to. Any book by this author is worth the chance taken on reading it, it just sucks for me that Distraction didn’t aspire to my hopes.

About Aurora Rose Reynolds

WALL STREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY Best selling author Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat whose husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in Tennessee with her Husband. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her book’s love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. Aurora was also featured in an online interview with the Cosmopolitan magazine. Aurora’s best selling novels are also featured in UK Glamour magazine. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston

Pack Challenge by Shelly LaurenstonPack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston
on October 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
five-stars

What's an Alpha Male to do when he meets the Alpha Female of his dreams? Step one, hide all sharp objects. All Zach Sheridan ever wanted was to become Alpha Male of his Pack and be left alone. What he definitely didn't need in his life was some needy female demanding his attention. What he never saw coming was the vicious, scarred female who not only demanded his attention but knew exactly how to get it. Sara Morrighan knew this was the best she could expect from her life. Good friends. A nice place to live. And a safe job. But when Zach rode into her small Texas town with his motorcycle club, Sara knew she wanted more. She knew she wanted him. But after one sexy encounter with her dream biker, everything is starting to change. Her body. Her strength. That new thing she's doing with the snarling. Even her best friends are starting to wonder what's going on with her. But this is only the beginning. Sara's about to find out her life was meant for so much more. And Zach's about to find true love with the one woman who makes him absolutely insane.

This is probably the gazillionth time I’ve read Pack Challenge, but with absolute honest I can say that I love it just as much, maybe more, than when I read it first.

When I open the pages of a book I give it until the 10% mark to pull me in, it doesn’t have to ‘wow’ me, just engage me. But, it was at 2% when I immediately knew that Pack Challenge would remain one of the few books that I’ll always come back for a re-read.

“Sara pulled away from Angelina and leaned back into Zach. She smiled again, her eyes on his lips. “This is my pretty man. Isn’t he great? I think I love him.”

Miki rolled her eyes and lowered the bat. “You have got to be kidding me.”

Angelina moved towards her friend. “Okay, honey, that’s the half-bottle of tequila talking. Now it’s time to let the ‘pretty-man’ go.”

“No!” She snapped, causing her friend to stop in her tracks. Zach watched, startled at Sara’s level of aggression.

I thought after reading the Sherrilyn Kenyon’s and J.R. Ward’s that I knew paranormal, but then Shelly Laurenston comes along and bundles everything that I love in a really good, close to perfect, story in every book of this series, Mangus Pack, as well as her Pride, Dragon Kin, and Call of Crow series.

With humor, borderline raunchy love-making, and a take-no-crap hero and heroine, Pack Challenge was a fast favorite. The rest of this series is much of the same, but each book takes it to the next level.

About Shelly Laurenston

Originally from Long Island, New York, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelly Laurenston has resigned herself to West Coast living which involves healthy food, mostly sunny days, and lots of guys not wearing shirts when they really should be. Shelly Laurenston is also The New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author G.A. Aiken, creator of the Dragon Kin series. For more info on G.A.’s dangerously and arrogantly sexy dragons, check out her website at www.gaaiken.com.