Passion Rising – Original Sin #4 by J.A. Huss, Johnathan McClain

REVIEW

What an amazing journey this has been and I’m so pleased that I shared the ride with Maddie and Tyler.  Because that is what we do, as readers we immerse ourselves into the worlds of the character and the lives they live.  If a book is written well then we can get completely lost in another time and space…an alternative reality, and that is exactly what I got through the course of these four books.

I felt the emotions, although slow to begin with, as Tyler and Maddie grew closer only to be torn apart, either through their own actions or by some evil drug lord! The pain and heartbreak of losing friends and loved ones, the joy and happiness of finding that one person who makes your life complete.

Often I forget that I am on a journey through life, that this is the one and only shot I get at being here with those I love.  It does not mean that I can’t escape every so often into the realms of the fictional, more that the time I spend here, doing whatever I am doing, is what leads to the life I choose for myself.  That is essential what Tyler and Maddie discover. Each choice they make leads to the next and decisions will lead in different directions.  I loved the use of the “choose-your-own-adventure books” they are a great metaphor for life, except maybe where if you choose the wrong path you don’t get to start back at the beginning, you have to keep moving forward towards the end of the book.

Going to miss Maddie and Tyler but that is the great thing about books…they can be reread!

The EOBS is great.  Johnathan has a really wonderful outlook on life and I could hear Tyler in some of the things he says.  Julie is a fantastic author in her own right and I have read many of her books (The Mister Series are a particular favourite of mine).  I eagerly await to see what the next creation is that this duo will bring us.

Synopsis

Old demons are back.

Maddie’s dealing with the fallout of her choices. Safety and happiness are relative, elusive things she’s desperate to have. But they will forever remain out of reach until the demons of her past are laid to rest.

Tyler’s mistakes resurface to haunt him and he’s just beginning to understand that money can’t fix a broken relationship. He must open his heart and search for answers he’d rather not find.

She wants peace in a world made of chaos.

He wants to rid himself of a lifetime of guilt.

They’re soul mates, but that’s no guarantee.

They’ll need to rely on each other to find their happily ever after.

Because the fight never ends—it just gets easier with someone at your side.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38605802-passion-rising?ac=1&from_search=true)

 

 

Angels Fall – Original Sin #2 by J.A. Huss, Johnathan McClain

Sometimes angels fall. 

Maddie doesn’t really owe drug lord, Carlos Castillo, money. So she hadn’t taken his threats seriously. Until now. He wants it, whether she owes it or not. And if she doesn’t have it in six weeks he’s gonna take her as payment instead. 

Tyler would save the world if he could. That’s a fight that lasts forever. And if there’s one thing he’s good at, it’s fighting. So if Maddie thinks she’s gonna deal with an insane drug lord on her own, she’s crazier than he is. 

She’s got a debt she can’t pay. He’s got more money than he needs.
She’s not gonna fall for his charm. He’s gonna make sure that happens. 

They’re destined to be together. Even if Maddie doesn’t know it yet.
Sometimes your soul mate isn’t who you’d choose, it’s who you need.

Good thing you don’t get to choose.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38521449-angels-fall)

REVIEW

I fucking love Tyler! His bizarre sense of humour, his quirky outlook on life, and the fact that he loves Maddie and really does try his hardest to respect her wishes even if she doesn’t see it that way.

The funny one-liners and sarcastic retorts that Tyler just can’t keep to himself.  The Angel/Devil arguments that Maddie has with herself. The inner monologues that send both of them into fazed out moments where the world ceases around them.  All of these are brought about by the genius writing team of Huss and McClain, and that’s just the tip of the story iceberg.

This book had me all over the place, emotionally speaking.  Maddie is still in debt to Carlos and has Logan breathing down her neck.  Tyler, with the help of some friends – old and new, finally becomes what Maddie needs.  There are a few happy surprises along the way and the pair are finally finding some clarity in their lives.  You know when you get to that stage in a book when everything is going right and you think…”ok, story can end now, all is good”…but no, the writer/s just keep on going. There is that defining moment for me in this book, and guess what?  Yep, the writers just kept on going!

No spoilers but if you get as involved with the characters as much as I do, not just the main ones but all the side characters that make the stories come to life, then I would suggest that you have some tissues at the ready.

The third instalment of the Original Sin Series, Flesh into Fire, will be released on 17th April 2018.

At the time of writing this review I know that Johnathan McClain is not well so I would like to send my best wishes to him and hope he Gets Well very soon.

EOBS – Personal note to Julie – I was at the book signing in London and have the photo to prove it!  And I can confirm that your readers do all love you and support you 100%.  I just hope that being in the UK I get to see The Company when it is aired.

Sin with Me – Original Sin #1 by J.A. Huss, Johnathan McClain

Two broken people in a city fueled by sin.

Maddie isn’t looking to be saved. She knows the only person you can count on is yourself. Her moral compass might not point true North these days—but at least she’s still standing.

The Military taught Tyler about loyalty. Being there for your brothers is the only thing that matters—but when it mattered most, he wasn’t.

She’s got a ticket straight to Hell. He’s already been there and back. 

She needs to win. He just needs to stop fighting.

Some sins scar your soul so deeply, you’ll never be the same.
But this Devil in disguise might just be the angel he needs to forgive himself.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37030228-sin-with-me)

REVIEW

Oh Wow! A fantastic beginning to this new series.  Julie Huss has for a long time now been one of my favourite authors and I can honestly say she has done good with pairing up with Johnathan McClain.

The way that Tyler is written had me in hysterics despite the somewhat desperate need behind his actions. The constant talking to himself inside his head is genius because, lets face it, most of us go off on internal monologues and completely lose track of where we are and what we are doing.  Reading about what was going on inside Tyler’s mind is also a little scary!

Maddie had to grow on me. It took me a while to understand why she was putting herself through what she was when realistically there was no need.  But as the story progressed her reasons became clear and I was really starting to feel her despair and outrage with life and the injustice of it all.  The loneliness and hopelessness.

I loved the duel POV.  All too often romance novels are only written from the female perspective.  Men have feelings and emotions too and I love when a writer captures the thoughts and reasons  behind the actions of the lead male character.

For anyone who has read Julie’s previous work there is a little homage to a certain character we all know and love,.   To anyone who hasn’t….what’s the matter with you?!

Angels Fall will continue the story of Maddie and Tyler in the Original Sin series.

Bleeding Hearts: The Complete Duet – Bleeding Hearts #1-2 by A. Zavarelli

How far would you go to save someone you love? Would you give up your body? Your mind? Your heart?

I did and it cost me everything.

He says he owns me. And it’s true.

I’ve signed over complete control of my body and life for six months to a man I don’t know. Five years he’s been planning this. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. But my blackmailer serves it up white hot. He’s addicted to my innocence, and I’m addicted to him.

He likes to hurt me. I love to let him. He brings me to life. He sets me free. He makes my heart feel things it shouldn’t.

But he also scares me. He holds the fate of my brother’s life in his hands. A life behind bars for crimes I know he didn’t commit. My blackmailer can’t give up his revenge on my family, and I can’t be with him if he doesn’t. But I’m nothing more than a butterfly caught in his net. Do I really have a choice?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36689298-bleeding-hearts)

REVIEW

Brighton is pretty much doomed from birth.  Although she is innocent there is definitely a dark side to her and it takes Ryland to bring that dark side out.

Revenge can be a very dangerous path to take but I can understand Ryland’s need for it.  I think I would probably be after Brayden if  he had done that to me as well.  He is not a nice person!

I liked the connection between Ryland and Brighton even if they did get off to a rough  -pen intended – start , although I felt that with the way the book was written it came to a rather quick end.  I’m not saying it should have been dragged out unnecessarily but for everything they had been through I felt that it needed more from the point of Ryland going missing (easy for me to say, I don’t write books).

An exciting and steamy read, lots of ups and downs in a turbulent ride of emotions for both Brighton and Ryland.

 

The Dark Duet 1 – 3 by C. J. Roberts

Captive in the Dark 

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him. (Goodreads)

 

Seduced in the Dark

Seduced in the Dark

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.

The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.

Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance?

Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice? (Goodreads)

 

Epilogue

Epilogue

I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging. In fact, you probably know too many things and know them far too well. Who am I? Well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves. She loves me. It’s quite sick, isn’t it? Of course, there’s more to our story than can be surmised in a few short sentences, but I’m at a loss for justifying my behavior back then. I assume if you’re reading this, I don’t need to make those justifications. You’ve already made your own. You’re reading this because you want to know about the rest of the story. You want to know what happened that warm summer night in September of 2010, the night I met Livvie at The Paseo. It was the night my life changed all over again. It didn’t happen exactly as Livvie said. She’s been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more…complicated.  (Goodreads)

 

REVIEW

I have decided to write a review to encompass all 3 books in this series as you really need to read them all to get the full effect.  Having just finished reading them back to back I am currently trying to get my emotions under control.  If you expect a hero to emerge from this series you will sadly disappointed but, saying that, Caleb does his best to change his ways….not a easy task. I will admit that the first 2 books had my heart thumping and caused a lack of sleep due to not being able to put them down.  Book 3 is a fantastic conclusion written from Caleb’s POV.

Livvie is a strong women who despite the pain and torment that is inflicted on her does everything she can to survive.  She will not accept her fate, or the fate Caleb believes is his, or her doubts as to her feeling for him.  Stockholm Syndrome is considered by both the main characters at several times throughout the story.

Caleb is not nice. In fact he is down right awful to Livvie. Although he claims to do these things for her own good, to make her stronger, I think, certainly in the early stages, he is just sadistic and perverted.  At several stages throughout the first and second books I could quite happily have slapped him myself.  I will admit that normally I have a soft spot for the lead alpha male but Caleb just wound me up and put me on edge, I wanted to go in a rescue Livvie myself.  It wasn’t until the third book that I actually softened towards him.

This is an enthralling and very dark series (as the title suggests) and contains scenes of manipulation, cheating, bondage, punishments, rape, kidnapping. If you are adverse to any of these then this is not a series for you. If, however, you don’t mind some elements of these then I would recommend this series but be warned Caleb is not your usual alpha male hero type.

The Billionaire Shifter’s True Alpha – Billionaire Shifters Club #5) by Diana Seere

Sophia Stanton enjoys the finer things in life, especially men and has no plans of giving up her pleasures any time soon.  That is until she her the BEAT.

Zach Hayden should not be the man he is today. Well, essentially he is no longer a man. Following an accident at work, Zach now has the abilities to Shift, but following months of rehabilitation the Stanton family are not convinced of his adaption to their world.

In the care of Sophia, Zach is taken to their ranch in Montana where the two work on the conventions of his shifting and their sexual attraction. Not knowing who to trust, Zach flees and soon becomes the target for a rogue shifter. Can Sophia save Zach before it is too late or is it Zach who needs to save Sophia?

REVIEW

Once again a brilliant continuation to the Stanton family saga.  Sophia is the head-strong, female version of her twin Derry (prior to him meeting Jess) and can hold her own with any man. Zach, however, is not any man.  Considering himself a misfit, a freak of nature, he refuses to believe that the connection between himself and Sophia is what it is. Fate is a fickle thing and even harder for a scientist to come to terms with.

The characters are fantastic and work so well together to give an entertaining, thrilling and sometime amusing tale. It is great to see all the Stanton’s back together.  Lilah and Gavin are having twins, Edward and Molly are happily engaged, Derry and Jess have their own surprises, and Asher is blatantly in love with Sam but refuses to acknowledge it…can’t wait for his story!

Zach is a pivotal character in the ongoing battle between the Stanton’s and Tomas Nagy as they fight for the good of the Shifter world and I look forward to seeing how this plot will progress in the next story.

Right – Wrong #2 by Jana Aston

Everly Jensen believes that there is one perfect, right man out there for her and his name is Finn Camden, her brother’s best friend.

Since the age of six, Everly has planned her life around Finn, going to extreme lengths to gain his attention. During one of her many ploys, Everly comes face to face with the most annoying, intrusive and captivating man she has ever met.

Will Everly get her man? and which man will it be?

REVIEW

Loved this book as much as the first.

Everly is a brilliant character.  She works with Sophie at Grind Me and appears frequently throughout “Wrong”.  She is completely obsessed with her brother’s best friend, Finn Camden and will literally do anything to get his attention but everything she does seems to push him further away.

Sawyer Camden has heard all about Everly and her exploits from his younger brother, and when he finally meets her his interest is piqued.  Knowing that Finn is completely wrong for her, Sawyer sets out to prove that maybe she should be setting her sights on the right brother.

I found this story to be more comical than the first and no less addictive.  As it progresses it gains in seriousness and I’ll be honest, you could be laughing one minute and close to tears the next.   It is very well written with the character developments and connections working really well. Sophie and Luke both make appearances along with some new characters, namely Chloe (Trust) and Sandra (Fling).

I would highly recommend this series if you like hot me, hot sex, and a good storyline.