#Review | #BookReview | POISON by Jade West @jadewestauthor (March 16th 2020) #IndieAuthor

Blurb;

He was the man who destroyed me. The monster who left me in pieces over a decade ago.
I swore I’d never speak to him again, that I’d never set eyes on him again as long as I lived.
But I was wrong.
When life gets too much and you need to escape, the poison that might kill you becomes oh so tempting.

I craved his perverted ways, his smirk, his laughter as he pushed my body way past its limits.
I needed a release from the crazy. Just once.
Just one night. That’s what I told myself.
No strings, no illusions, no promises. Nothing but the lasting thrill of his flesh on mine.
The lasting hit of his poisonous touch.
But when poison runs through your veins, the way he runs through mine, it’s toxic and eats you alive.

This much passion always comes at a price…

Review;

Okie doke – where do I even start? I’ve been in a BIG reading slump for a while now and what better way to break that slump then with a new Jade West release?! Even more so knowing what a personal and emotional book this is for Jade.

POISON tells the story of Anna and Lucas as a one off text message after ten years sees the pair reunite and embark on a HOT and steamy series of encounters. We learn throughout the book that life has changed dramatically for the pair in the last decade and the events that led to them separating in the first place.

POISON is a credit to the powerhouse of a woman who, in light of a turbulent couple of years, is still able to bring to life a pair of humans who have the most incredible chemistry and are FILTHY as hell!

Another stellar read from Jade and one that I’ll be talking about for a while!

-S.

You can buy POISON from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

#Review | #ReleaseDay | HUNTED (INTERSTELLAR BRIDES PROGRAM #17) by Grace Goodwin @LuvGraceGoodwin (September 12th 2019 @LWoodsPR )

Thank you very much to L Woods PR and Grace Goodwin for providing a copy of the book to [K]

The review below is 100% honest and all of her own views.

Blurb:

Trapped. Tortured. Only she can save him from the Hive.

Vice Admiral Niobe has resisted the temptation of the Interstellar Brides Program for years, certain there is no male in the universe willing to sacrifice his vision of a perfect life to be with her. Shocked to be matched to her father’s home world of Everis, she transports, expecting to find an eager mate waiting for her. Instead, she arrives within a secret Hive integration center to find him resisting a merciless enemy.

Elite Hunter Quinn might have been captured by the Hive, but he’ll sacrifice anything to save the mate he never expected… never imagined would appear like an angel in the middle of hell. A warrior in her own right, Niobe’s too stubborn to leave him behind. And even if they escape the Hive, their personal scars run deep. Battle and bloodshed are easy. But healing a wounded warrior’s heart? That may prove impossible.  

Review:

Wow what a scorcher of a book!

Vice Admiral Niobe does not want a mate, believing that no male would fit into her lifestyle. Despite this she allows herself to be tested for the Interstellar Brides Program after being persuaded by her friends, not expecting to be matched. Elite Hunter Quinn has been captured by the Hive and is giving up hope of escape, let alone finding his mate despite being tested.  When Niobe appears in Quinn’s life neither of them are prepared for the changes this will bring to their lives. 

Right from the start this story was intense!  I loved that both of the main characters were strong personalities with their own minds adding to the frisson between them. You can feel the chemistry between them whilst reading.

I love there is a chance to find out who you would be paired to in the Interstellar Bride Program following this link: http://gracegoodwin.com/get-tested/

Whilst this was my first read of Grace Goodwin, but will definitely not be the last. I need to read more of this series, so I can meet all the hot, sassy characters properly 😍😍

[K]

You can buy Hunted from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | THE C WORD (Just A Word #1) by Kerry Heavens (September 17th 2015, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

THE C WORD (Just A Word #1) by Kerry Heavens
17th September 2015, Indie Published

“You must keep it inside.
You must never let it out.
It must never gain control.
Let it be who you are and you will lose everything.
Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, Sir.”

Control
It’s a way of life for Max McQueen. 
It doesn’t come easy, but he thought he had it mastered.
Until now
Now nothing works
It’s slipping away
He must find a way to get it back 
Or he risks losing everything.
It’s just a word.
But it’s the thing he needs most of all.
It’s what holds him together.
Or is it what holds him back?

As part of the P Turners reading challenge we all have a list of books that have been on our shelves, unread, for too long. So we’re taking part in a Beat The Backlist and The C Word by Kerry Heavens was my first port of call.

I’ve been a huge fan of Kerry Heavens since I picked up a copy of Spencer last year and after meeting this incredible author a couple of times, I was eager to read this short novel. The C Word isn’t anything I was expecting, intrigued by the idea of complete control and the enigmatic lead character, our hero, who strives for a iron hold on his control, I devoured this novel.

Kerry Heavens knows how to write, to create beautiful men who test the limits of what is a hero. Here is an author who knows what kind of characters her readers want, to the point where we don’t even know we want them. The book is a short read, a delightful insight into this mysterious world.

I was left completely intrigued by the characters in this novel, eager to read more of their story, to delve deeper into this world set apart from ours. I am hoping that in the future Kerry Heavens gives us more of this story, more of these characters.

A very enjoyable read, keeping us intrigued and very happy.

You can pick up your copy of THE C WORD (Just A Word #1) at the following outlets (but remember to shop your local indie booksellers too!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*M*

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | DIRTY DADDIES by Jade West @jadewestauthor (May 16th 2017, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

DIRTY DADDIES by Jade West
16th May 2017, Indie Published

Some bad girls need a firm hand to keep them in line. 
I’m bad enough to need two. 

Two older men who can teach me a lesson when I misbehave. 
Two hot bodies to keep me warm in bed at night. 
Two best friends who can learn to share a filthy-mouthed little brat like me. 

After all… dirty girls need very dirty daddies. 

*** 

Carrie Wells is nothing but trouble. 

She’s wild and difficult. Not worth anyone’s time. 

Carrie Wells is a beautiful little brat. She’s also a vulnerable young adult on my case list. 

She’s half my age and totally off limits. I’m breaking every rule in the book by giving her somewhere to stay when she’s out on the streets with nowhere to go. And I’m breaking every rule of friendship by holing her up in my best friend Jack’s house while he’s away on business. 

I thought life was difficult enough when I fell for the girl, but it gets a whole lot harder when Jack comes home early and finds a beautiful stranger causing chaos in his house. 

And a whole lot harder still when he falls for her too. 

He’s the one guy on this planet I’d share my last supper with. I’d share it gladly. 

I’m just not so sure how I feel about sharing Carrie Wells.

After reading BAIT by Jade West, I knew going into another novel by this author that I would be best going in with an open mind and a poker face.

And what a poker face I needed when reading DIRTY DADDIES on the commute to and from work. Here is a book that plays on your heart strings, with Carrie Wells the young lady looking for love. She’s had a troubled past and needs a firm hand in a partner. What she gets is not what you would ever expect her to find or need, but what brings out the woman in her.

This is a novel that pulls you in, that takes hold of your attention and doesn’t let you go until the very end. You’re hooked, infatuated by the young Carrie Wells and her two older men, Jack and Michael. Two men who are utterly smitten and downright begging to be her guys.

These aren’t your average forty something men who you see on the commute to work, they’re a rare specimen of man who know exactly what they want and who have Carrie’s best interest at heart. With the bodies of much younger men. West has certainly given the older gents!

You can pick up your copy of DIRTY DADDIES at the following outlets (but remember to shop your local indie booksellers too!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*M*

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | SUGAR DADDIES by Jade West @jadewestauthor (July 12th 2016, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

SUGAR DADDIES by Jade West
Published; 12th July 2016, Indie Published

A sugar daddy website doesn’t seem a sound basis for an A1 life plan, but I’m a small town girl with big dreams, and there’s this one advert, this one crazy advert I can’t stop thinking about…

Two hot guys seeking their Little Miss Right. 
Someone who can entertain them, amuse them, fit in with their corporate schedule. 
And sex. They want sex. 
Lots of sex.
Bonus, right? One major dose of epic win. 

Of course, guys like Carl and Rick have their conditions. One being that they come together, or not at all. 
Hell, I can live with that.

And there are no skeletons in their designer closet, none that I can find. 
Just two hot sugar daddies, with particular tastes, nothing to worry about.

Until Carl and Rick spill the big one, the one that sends the girls running. A whole string of them before me, running to the hills without so much as a backward glance. 

Maybe I should run, too. Thanks but no thanks, see you around, guys, nice knowing you. 
But I’m already in way too deep for that. 

Warning – as with every other Jade West book, reader discretion is highly advised. This novel contains vivid depictions of MMF / MM relationships, and Jade’s characters, as always, have very filthy mouths. Mature readers only, please.

What can I say about this novel, except that I was not disappointed!! After reading BAIT by Jade West I knew from the get go that this would be a very steamy affair and my gosh was it!?

Here we have the story of Katie, Rick and Carl, three people all looking for one thing, passion. Katie is young, beautiful and has a dream. Rick and Carl are the two handsome men who have a particular fantasy, one only Katie can bring to life.

Their story is one of the unexpected, of a loving couple wanting to share themselves with our heroine, of a young woman who seeks two men that can provide for her emotionally.

Carl is the strong, dominant and silent type. Straight talking, fully suited and booted. He knows exactly what he wants and will strive to achieve it. And what he wants is Katie.

Rick is the kooky, laid back and fun loving guy. He’s utterly in love with Carl, their relationship so adhering to the reader but Katie has a pull all of her own.

The three of them together are unstoppable, delectable and down right sinful. There is a dynamic between them that is utterly captivating, their beauty not just skin deep. With big hearts, open minds and delicious bodies, you cannot help but fall in love with all three characters. Eager to witness the fruits of their affair, but also to be a part of their story.

Jade West sure knows how to write her kink, to the point where even this avid reader blushed a little whilst reading on the commute to work. But to say I enjoyed this novel is an understatement, I couldn’t stop reading. Personally I never wanted the story to end. I dare any reader to not be devoured by this story, by these characters just as much as they devour each other.

Definitely a book I’ll revisit in the future, one for both the Kindle and to be bought in paperback. I need a copy of this beauty on my bookshelves.

You can buy SUGAR DADDIES from the following booksellers (and many more!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

*M*


#RisqueReads | #BookReview | BUY MY SOUL (Sixty Days #2) by Jade West @jadewestauthor ‏(December 8th 2018, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

BUY MY SOUL (Sixty Days #2) by Jade West
Published; December 8th 2018, Indie Published

My sixty days begin here.

The beautiful monster holds my body and soul in his brutal fingers.
I’m his to use. His to dominate. His to command like a puppet on a stage for dirty eyes across the dark web.

I shouldn’t want this.

Shouldn’t want him.

Shouldn’t want to take every dark instruction from his lips and give him my everything.

But I do.

It should be about the money. About saving my sister from certain doom and bailing us both out of financial misery. 

It should be about forging a new life, a new world for the pair of us once my sixty days are served.

But it’s not.

Not anymore.

It’s about him.

“Warning. Part two ramps up a little from book one. As always, this is from Jade West’s imagination, complete with layer upon layer of inherent dirtiness. You have been warned.”

A little?! Book two is nastier, filthier, sexier, grubbier and I loved every minute of it. This book pushed my reading and taste boundaries to the point of being see through, and it made me question everything, but I loved this book! 

Jade’s work is not for the faint hearted. She really does push the romance genre as far as she can and explores situations that most people have never even thought about (I’ll never look at pasta the same way!!), but does it with such style you can enjoy it for what it is…a work of fiction.

Again told through dual POV, you really start to dig a little more deeper into the mindset of both Paige and Brandon, giving them more depth than we had in the previous instalment. We start to see a completely different side to Paige. She has now accepted her fate for the next sixty days and is able to submit fully to Brandon, while we then start to see cracks appear in Brandon’s behaviour with Paige. A behaviour that is quickly noticed by others which paves a dangerous path for them both.

Once again I was left with a cliffhanger ending, which although you could see coming, it still excited me to read the words and left me with that feeling of wanting to fight someone for the next book!! Jade truly is a master of words and I cannot wait to read the conclusion to Brandon & Paige’s story. If January 2019 could hurry itself along – that would be grand!

You can buy BUY MY SOUL (Sixty Days #2) from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (AU)

-S.

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | SELL MY SOUL (Sixty Days #1) by Jade West @jadewestauthor ‏(July 23rd 2018, Indie Published #IndieAuthor)

SELL MY SOUL (Sixty Days #1) by Jade West
Published; July 23rd 2018, Indie Published

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Sixty days of total submission.
No safe words. No limits. No holds barred.
Sixty days of your body being used and abused and pushed to extremes.

Then you were free to go, no further dues, thanks and goodbye.
And your bank balance looked seriously healthy for the experience.

I should never have been tempted. Not for a second.
I should never have even thought about putting myself up for sale for sixty days, not after hearing the brutal tales of what happens to you.
But I had to.
My sister desperately needed the money. Needed Me. Needed more than I could ever give her.

I’d just never have guessed in a million years that soon enough I’d be needing him.
The beautiful stranger.
The dangerous monster.
The guy who’d be responsible for my pleasure and pain and everything between for sixty days straight.
And the man who’d want my very soul along with my body.

No holds barred doesn’t even come close to his requirements.
But I’m willing to give him everything.

First full-length novel in a trilogy.

‘As always, this is a Jade West novel. You have been warned.’

This disclaimer at the very beginning of this book should say it all really! For those not familiar with Jade, she takes romance fiction to the next level. And by that I mean a few levels below the surface where it’s dark and grim! Her novels are not for the faint hearted and if you like your romance fiction with rainbows, unicorns and chocolates…this is NOT the book for you!

BAIT was my first venture into Jade’s brain and I started to worry after a while. It is one of the darkest romance books I have ever read, and I LOVED every minute of it. I still refer to it now as ‘hardcore kiss chase’ to keep it safe for work…or those of a nervous disposition 😉

SELL MY SOUL is the latest book from Jade and the first of a new trilogy; Sixty Days. As the blurb already suggests, sixty days of total submission and in return, your bank balance will be greatly rewarded.

Paige is a young woman. Attends college, has a small group of friends, one previous boyfriend and a sister who struggles with an abusive partner and takes drugs to self medicate. When the whispers of a previous ‘Sixty Day’ participant reach Paige’s ears, she is keen to take part as a way to help her sister out of a large drug debt.

Brandon is like most of Jade’s male characters, a complete arse, arrogant, assertive, aggressive and utterly handsome. He is sadistic, manipulative and has a way with women that get them eating out the palm of his hand. It’s frustrating to read how Paige was so easy to submit to Brandon, but then I wonder what I would do put in her situation? How far would you go?

Told through dual POV, you really start to get into the mindset of both characters, but with a cliffhanger ending, I was left desperate for more! To the point where I was ready (and still ready!) to fight someone for the next instalment!

 
You can buy SELL MY SOUL (Sixty Days #1) from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

-S.

#RisqueReads | #BookReview | BAIT by Jade West @jadewestauthor (August 14th 2017, Indie Published #IndiePublisher) #KindleUnlimited

BAIT by Jade West
Published; August 14th 2017, Indie Published

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A stranger online. Dark hair and even darker eyes that knew my dirty desires before I did.

A fantasy that should never be spoken. But he pulled the confession from me.

And now he’s coming for me.

Rough. Dirty. Dangerous.

It’s supposed to be one night to get me off and make me forget.

He’ll make me his and I’ll pretend I don’t want him to.

I’ll run and he’ll chase.

Because I asked him for this.

I begged him for this.

Tonight, in the darkness, he’s the hunter.

And I’m the bait.

I was introduced to the author Jade West at RARE 18 in London, my fellow P Turner *S* had nothing but good things to say about the novel BAIT, so I was eager to read.

And my what a story!! This is definitely not for the feint hearted, a story that at first seem a to be completely twisted, the fantasy taboo and yet erotic none the less. Jade West is a fabulous storyteller, a very smart writer who clearly knows her characters well. Abigail is our female heroine, a woman who has suffered a tremendous loss, fighting her way for survival in a rather dismal existence until she meets Leo. Leo has suffered his own loss, fights his own demons but together they bring a fantasy to life that I’ve never read before.

The chemistry between them is out of this world, a couple that push each other to the point of pain and we fall deeply for them. Leo is magnificent, a tattooed and pierced god of a man who comes across as undeniably human. His dark desires find their perfect match in Abigail, a woman who is strong, fiercely independent, who knows what her fantasies are and isn’t afraid to have them realised.

Whilst at first I was dubious about this story, unsure if the eroticism would translate for me as a reader, I can honestly say I loved this novel. I loved the characters, the steam filled scenes and the journey that they go on together. I could not stop reading. It is safe to say I finished the book in just over a week, a trip abroad delayed the finishing earlier but I was eager to read on upon my return.

Jade West… THANK YOU! Thank you for writing these characters so well, for bringing them to life in a way no one else could have envisioned and for being such a lovely person. I most definitely will be picking up more of this ladies work. If her other characters are as delicious as these two, we’re in for a treat.

 
You can buy BAIT from the following booksellers (and many more! Support local booksellers where you can!);

Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

*M*

#LettersFromTheHeart | #BookReview | #Knight’sMistress by C.C.Gibbs @ccgibbs (December 6th 2012, Quercus Books @QuercusBooks)

“Katherine Hart is thrilled to be recruited by Knight Enterprises, the most prestigious venture-capital company in the world. That is, until she makes the acquaintance of the company’s infamous CEO, Dominic Knight.

At thirty-two, Dominic is a self-made billionaire with a fearsome ambition and a temper to match. He is also impossibly attractive and dangerously charming when he wants to be.

To Kate, Dominic seems like the perfect predator, and she resolves to be cautious despite the obvious chemistry between them, telling herself she can always leave if Dominic grows too demanding. What she doesn’t know is that the decision isn’t hers to make…

Dominic Knight has found a new plaything, and Mr. Knight always gets what he wants.”

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CC Gibbs introduces us to the affluent CEO that is Dominic Knight with all the wonder and intrigue that our lead female character Katherine Hart experiences when she first meets the man himself. Here is a young, independent woman who knows what she wants and works hard to get her foot in the door in a world that is dominated by Dominic Knight.

Gibbs creates these characters well, with a great eye for detail we enjoy the pleasurable surroundings that Katherine finds herself in. Not only does she get spoilt in the ways of Dominic’s sensuality but in his affluence as well. We’re thrown into a world so rich that it leaves us with an after taste of decadence.

Sure, the character of Dominic is your typical CEO playboy with a history of break hearts but for me it is Katherine’s character that intrigues me the most. She is sucked into the wonderful make believe world Dominic creates and struggles to keep her head above water every step of the way. Throughout we see her fighting to hold onto reality, to stop herself from falling in love with a man who is intense and dominating.

Ultimately it is the strength and struggle for this character that draws you and whilst you can’t help falling, a little bit in awe of Dominic, in the end it is Katerine that is the power house.

Overall this was a very enjoyable read and I know that the next novel of Katherine and Dominic’s exploration will be added to the ever increasing bookshelf in the not too distant future.

You can buy KNIGHT’S MISTRESS from the following booksellers;

Amazon (UK) | Amazon | Book Depository | Waterstones

*M*

#Top10Tuesday – My Favourite Romance Novels

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#Top10Tuesday is a weekly book tag hosted by the fab team over at The Broke and The Bookish

The rules are simple – following a given prompt (or choose your own) you choose 10 items that fit within that prompt.

This week, following an in depth conversation with the other P.Turners – I decided to post MY Top Romance books. Now, we all know that I’m predominantly a crime fiction reader. Back in 2011, I was talking to a psychologist who suggested that my moods could sometimes be affected by reading too much “dark” material and that maybe I should branch out and try and read something “lighter”.

After the appointment, I took myself to my local ASDA and saw they had just re-stocked the book shelf with all of the new releases and I picked up a book that sounded exactly what I needed;

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

That’s right – the book I picked up was the newly released FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. I don’t normally conform the whole hipster idea of “I saw/read/made/heard this thing WAY before it become popular” but in this case, I actually did. At this stage, NO ONE had heard of this book. I sat, I read, fell in love and that started to get annoyed at myself as to why I hadn’t explored other genres before.

The recommendation from the psychologist work – I soon noticed that reading something more fluffy and light lifted my moods and it helped me to discover a WHOLE new world.

You only need to look at AESTAS BOOK BLOG to see there are HUNDREDS of sub-genres of romance fiction. The below selection of books are ones I have read, some re-read and loved. They may not be to everyone’s taste – but reading is never clear cut. I will forever champion people who want to sit and read, no matter what genre.
In no particular order;

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1. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY by E.L James
First Published 2011 (Random House, AUS)

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires

This series is now infamous across the world. For the most part, you say ‘FIFTY SHADES’ and before you even have chance to finish the sentence, you are confronted with a barrage of “it’s sh*t, the writings terrible, he’s a woman beater, etc, etc”. Don’t get me wrong, the writing is pretty average, you can certainly tell that James isn’t a seasoned novelist (her career is in TV!) but the story is there.

Too many people have a negative reaction to this book, many of which haven’t read the whole series. Sometimes I wonder if people protest too much and actually enjoyed the books – but are embarrassed to say so? At the end of it all, this is FICTION. Make believe.

I didn’t see this many people getting upset when THE CROW GIRL came out? Or AMERICAN PSYCHO? I applaud E.L. James. Without this book – the books that follow this TOP 10 would have languished on shelves forever….*M* from this blog would not have embraced the genre and I may be a different kind of reader altogether!

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2. GABRIEL’S INFERNO by Sylvain Reynard
First Published 1st April, 2011 (Omnific Publishing)

Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption.

When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

Like many readers, after FIFTY SHADES – I was then looking for the next romance novel to really get into. After reading about how FIFTY SHADES started out as Twilight Fan Fiction, there was also a link to other works that also started life as Fan Fiction and this is where I discovered GABRIEL’S INFERNO.

Firstly, Sylvain Reynard is a pen-name. At this stage, we have NO idea of the true identity of this author, which I like. There is a mysterious nature about the author, which is then translated into the book as we meet Gabriel Emerson. What I loved about this book (and series) is how much more romantic the story is….SPOILER…..they don’t even KISS until half way through! This is the book I recommend to people after FIFTY SHADES if they are looking for something with more romance in.

Why they haven’t optioned this for a TV series yet is beyond me?!

When people ask me for a book that is EVEN filthier than FIFTY SHADES…..I recommend this;

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3. BARED TO YOU by Sylvia Day
First Published 3rd April, 2012 (Berkley)

“Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness.

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily
Gideon “knew.”

He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each others most private wounds and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart.”

Once again, I was on the hunt for a book following my FIFTY SHADES/GABRIEL EMERSON binge, but decided to go the other way and look for something raunchier. Delving into the Erotica section – I discovered BARED TO YOU by Sylvia Day. The storyline doesn’t read too dissimilar to FIFTY SHADES, however the characters are certainly more relatable as human beings who have problems in their lives like you or I.

This series will certainly make you blush!

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4. MAYBE SOMEDAY by Colleen Hoover
Published; March 18th, 2014 (Atria Books)

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts.

The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

*L* has always been a fan of contemporary romance, especially the works of Colleen Hoover. I had seen the name floating around and after plenty of nagging, I picked up MAYBE SOMEDAY.

DAMN! Hoover can write….and write good! Like nearly EVERYONE who has read this book, you fall completely in love with Ridge. How can you not?! Hoover has essentially the perfect man, which is refreshing after reading so much about troubled men who behave terribly towards women and blame it on their past.

MAYBE SOMEDAY started my love affair with Hoover and we are going pretty steady now 🙂

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5. BEAUTIFUL DISASTER by Jamie McGuire
Published; August 14th, 201 (Atria Books)

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Once I finished with Colleen Hoover – I did what most readers do, I scour Good reads/blogs to see what I should be reading next and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER was recommended. This is the first in the Maddox Brothers series, with the first book focusing on Travis and his relationship with Abby.

It is at this point where I started to feel like a bit of a book slut as I was starting to collect Book Boyfriends 🙂 This book is funny, romantic, sweet, dramatic and everything I wanted and more!

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6. PHOEBE JEEBIES AND THE MAN WHO ANNOYED EVERYBODY by RYAN BRACHA
Published; December 11th, 2016 (Abracadabra Books)

Phoebe’s just a girl who likes a guy.

He’s different. His mind doesn’t seem to work like everybody else’s. She’s not sure yet, but he could be a keeper. What’s really interesting about him, though, is his job.

His job isn’t work. Not really. It’s more an extremely lucrative hobby, with an added dash of fun and amusement. He annoys people intentionally. There’s not just him, either. There are hundreds of them, and they work on a commission basis.

The man who pushes the trolley into the back of your legs at the supermarket without apologising. The chances are, he’s one.

The bartender that serves everybody but you. The man who peed on the public toilet seat just before you get there, bursting to do a dump. The self published writers who flood the market with unfiltered crap. All of them get paid to do it.

But how do you get into the professional annoyance game? Who runs it? Who’s paying and why? Phoebe wants to know, and she’s not leaving his side until she knows everything.

I was fortunate to receive an early release copy of this book via *K* from our blog is rather good friends with the author; Ryan Bracha.

I have to admit that I was a little dubious at first – but I went in with no expectations…..and it paid off! This book is excellent! It’s a short and sweet story of a man (name is not mentioned in the book) who meet Phoebe. He falls for her hard.

The story follows our man explaining to Phoebe what he does for a living  – he annoys people. Literally. That is what he does. He works for a man where money is no object and his assignment is simple – annoy people. The bigger the annoyance and reaction, the bigger the payout.

A truly smart and funny romance novel 🙂

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7. ME BEFORE YOU by JoJo Moyes

Published; January 2nd, 2012 (Penguin UK)

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

I needed tissues. Lots of tissues! I think I am definitely getting softer in my old age as I cried pretty much for the most of this book.

ME BEFORE YOU is beautifully written and Moyes has taken the greatest care with a subject that is sensitive for many families around the world. The dynamics between Louisa and Will was a joy to read – all whilst knowing that this book was going to meet a tragic end.

I haven’t read the sequel AFTER YOU as yet as I don’t think I am emotionally ready!

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8. IT ENDS WITH US by Colleen Hoover
Pubished; August 2nd, 2016 (Atria Books)

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

Holy smokes Batman! This was one hard read – but also beautiful and ugly. The blurb is correct when it states it contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter. It is a romance novel which shows another side of a relationship – not the sex and the romance, but the real ugly side of where one of the couple loses control which has catastrophic consequences.

One of the best books that I read in 2016. The Author’s Note at the end of this book gives us a look into Hoover’s personal life and what inspired her to write IT ENDS WITH US. This only goes to help reinforce why Hoover is an important writer that we should all be paying attention to.

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9. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (Caster Chronicles #1) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Published; December 1st, 2009 (Little, Brown and Company)

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Not being a huge fan of YA (I do read YA…but not that much!) I was a little apprehensive about starting BEAUTIFUL CREATURES as part of me wondered whether this was going to be a TWILIGHT rip off?

Thankfully I was so terribly wrong! This is a love story between a young Caster; Lena as she approaches her 16th birthday and Ethan; the token human who has no abilities. The two meet and soon start an intense relationship that between Garcia & Stohl has been beautifully written. There is the added drama with Lena’s family and their disapproval of Ethan.

One of the few fantasy/paranormal YA I really enjoyed.

Let’s not talk about the film adaptation…..

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10. UGLY LOVE by Collen Hoover
Published; August 5th, 2014 (Atria Books)

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Hoover has done it once again! There must be a reason why she has featured three times on this list?! Say what you like, but Hoover knows how to write contemporary romance!

Miles Archer is a bad boy. But, as this is a Hoover novel – our bad boy has a reason for being this way and is actually a pretty instense and messed up man. The arrangement between Tate and Miles is pretty common these days – just not many people talk about it, so it’s refreshing to read this kind of romance.

This is what brings me back for more with Hoover’s work. She doesn’t recycle the same plot with different names, each book is completely different – but still has that dollop of magic stirred in.
Thank you so much for reading! Do you agree or disagree with any of the books in my Top 10? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time…..

-S.