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The Obsession by Nikki Sloane

The Obsession Book ReviewThe Obsession Book Review

This gut-wrenching, page-turning sequel to the demented Filthy Rich Americans series by Nikki Sloane gripped me and had me twisting in anguish.

Rarely has an antagonist filled me with disgust and hate to the degree Macalister does.  Minotaur? Zeus?  Monster?  I go with monster.  Sick, twisted, depraved monster.

Marist plays the chess game on par with a naive, young guileless chess player joining the rank of seasoned experts.  Bountiful mistakes and missteps befall her, but through her struggles, she holds onto herself to some degree.  She recognizes the importance of not completely losing her soul.   Maybe she’s the young Medusa who hasn’t yet come into all of her powers?

The father son dynamic between Royce and Macalister roils the stomach.  The psychotic, unhealthy relationship borders disgusting.   But, I kept turning the pages because I had to see what happened.   Like a twisted reality TV show, I knew it was all kinds of wrong, but I couldn’t just turn it off.

About halfway through the book, I found myself thinking, “This is not a romance!”.  I mean, really, just what the fuck?   I read romance for joy and happiness, maybe to watch a character grow, but this??   Then I finally saw a more human side to Royce and I thought to myself, maybe.  Maybe there is a romance story here.  Maybe this is the ultimate fight against the all powerful ruthless heartless Gods.

And I guess we won’t know the answer to that – because The Obsession ends with a massive fucking cliffhanger.   I’d be lying if I said I’m okay with that.  I find massive cliffhangers to be painful – like physically PAINFUL.   If I realize in advance that it’s a trilogy with a series of cliffhangers, I wait until all three are released so I can, well, read all three.   That whole not knowing thing really doesn’t work for me.   THAT said (whine), I’ll be ordering the pre-order for The Deception because the DAY it comes out I’ll be reading it.

Nikki Sloane delivers in this series.  Yes, it’s twisted and demented.  But Sloane is a master storyteller and I can’t wait to see how this story ends.

The Upshot

 

Book Recommendations Fave Authors Series

Wrong by Jana Aston

Wrong series Book ReviewWrong Series Book Review and Recommendation

Jana Aston hit it out of the ballpark with this one, her first book by the way.  Who does that?  Her first book!   I love this whole series, but Wrong.  I’ve read it several times – and that’s just got to be Wrong.

Luke and Sophie have a 16 year age difference.   He’s a gynecologist.  He’s gorgeous.  When they meet, she’s an undergrad serving him coffee.  At the Grind Me coffee shop no less.   The chemistry ricochets.  Then, when she goes to the student health clinic, he’s her gyno.

It may sound cliche or silly or whatever.  But I can promise you if you read this, you’ll LOVE it.  It’s funny.  It’s sexy.  Like really sexy sex scenes.  And the characters are well-developed.   When I read Plan B and Luke makes an appearance, I squealed.  And I read Wrong months ago.   I even love her epilogue – because it’s just so true to the character and the book and it makes me happy.

Right Book ReviewRight, the second book in the Wrong series, shares the story of Sophie’s barista friend Everly.  Everly, by the way, keeps you laughing in Wrong.  She’s borderline hysterical.  Not like as in insane, but as in laugh out loud funny.

Everly has crushed on Finn, her older brother’s friend, since she was six years old.   She’s been bound and determined he’s her one.  So determined than when he becomes a professor at Penn, that’s the only college she applies to.   She hounds him so diligently it’s pretty clear the only reason he doesn’t call the cops is she’s a family friend.

Then she meets Finn’s older brother, Sawyer.   And, for the record, I find Sawyer to be so much more than Finn.   I can’t say more without giving away some plot twists in this book, but holy smokes.   Sawyer’s hot.  I’d choose Luke over Sawyer as my book boyfriend, but only because of Luke’s fingers.

This book is another one that’s worthy of reading twice.  Funny and yummy and makes you happy.

Fling Book ReviewFling, a short novella, shares the story of Gabe, Sawyer’s business partner, and Sandra.   Sandra is Sawyer’s assistant who befriends Everly.   Sandra is much more like Sophie, but the three ladies become close friends.

Fling includes many nods to Sixteen Candles, with men leaning on car doors ala Jake Ryan.  So right there, it’s got a lot going for it.

It’s a funny, quick and satisfying read.   The only downside is it’s so short.  You’ll wish you had more to read of their story.

 

 

 

Trust Book ReviewTrust, the last book in the Wrong series, features Boyd, Sophie’s long lost brother from the first book, Wrong.   Chloe is Everly’s roommate.

In earlier books, there are references to Chloe’s thing for law enforcement and crime shows.  And, Boyd’s an FBI agent.  So, Everly’s not the only one to have a feeling Boyd and Chloe should meet.

The thing is, Chloe has serious anxiety issues.  The kind that at times pull your heart strings.  Here’s where you fall in love with Boyd.  He sees her for the amazing woman she is, overlooking horrid jokes that would make most normal folks stop the conversation and go the opposite direction.    Boyd plays along, developing a relationship with Chloe without her even realizing what he’s doing.

Boyd sees the beauty within Chloe.  In a way he rescues her and it’s swoon worthy.  You still get all the Jana Aston laughs, but there’s a more serious topic at hand too.

 

The Upshot

 

 

Book Recommendations Fave Authors Series

A Stone In the Sea Review

Unforgettable, rock star steamy suspense.  A Stone in the Sea by AL Jackson kicks off the Bleeding Stars Series about a rock band named Sunder.   A Stone in the Sea and Drowning to Breathe, the first two books in the series, released in 2015.  At this point, it’s an oldie, but Sebastian and Shea stayed with me and I just love the whole damn series.

Large parts of the series takes place in Tybee Island, Georgia and some in Los Angeles, California.  The roots of the story belong to Nashville, Tennessee.

Single Mom Shea rocks smoldering chemistry with Sebastian “Baz”.   They fall in love slowly and as they do, the story evolves into a bit of a page turning mystery and suspense.   It’s a dual POV duet, which I personally love.

A Stone in the Sea ends with a big cliffhanger, so plan to continue reading Drowning to Breathe.   The second book continues their story.   More surprises, more page turning suspense and the characters both evolve and grow.   You get to watch these two battle past demons, fall into each other, and transition into more mature, adult versions of themselves post rock star fame.

The remaining four books then cover the stories of each of the bandmates.  So, like any good series, you still get to run into Sebastian and Shea.   By the end of the series, all sorts of secrets and trials from the past are revealed and worked through.  Any of these later four books could be read as standalones, but the stories do build on each other, so I’d recommend reading in order.

Bleeding Stars Series Order

A Stone in the Sea Book ReviewA Stone in the Sea Book ReviewWhere Lightning Strikes Bleeding Stars SeriesWait Bleeding Stars SeriesStay Bleeding Stars SeriesStand Bleeding Stars Series

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Book Recommendations Fave Authors

The Dirty Ones by JA Huss

The Dirty Ones Book ReviewThis book led me to JA Huss.  It’s about a romance writer and her friends.

First off, JA Huss is a fucking rock star in the romance category.   I thought about doing a Fave Author page, but she’s written so prolifically and so much of it is so damn good, I’ll have to do several posts. Her books are worth it.

So, The Dirty Ones.  Unique plot.  Twisted.  At the end, you may have to sit back and think through it all and say “What the fuck happened?”.   But, you’ll figure it out.

It’s a romance.  But nothing at all typical or ordinary.  It’s a mystery.  Friends from college get drawn back together again.  Crazy shit happened in college and someone wrote about it and it hit the NY Times Bestseller list!   And they have to figure out which one did it.   And then there’s a lot of other shit to figure out.   Can I just add the word – ORGY!   The books way more than just sex, but true to JA Huss style – this sex is HOT.

 

In To Her

In To Her Book ReviewHoly smokes!  The cover pulled me in.  Then, that first chapter.  DAMN!

Love In To Her.  Yes, it’s MMF.  And it’s hot as FUCK.   Flip page corners to re-read again kind of hot.

It’s also deep.  There’s a lot going on in this story.  I love these characters.   The plot twists grab you.  It’s dark, but not as dark as some of her books.

On bad days, I still think of this ending.   Because it’s just kind of perfect.  Perfect for these characters and this book.

She’s a strong woman and they walk into her bar on a very bad day.   And I can’t really say more without spoiling shit, and you don’t want a spoiler.  So just read it.

 

Three Two One

Three Two One Book ReviewHere’s a fave quote from Three Two One‘s Blue:  These guys… they are pulling me towards them somehow. JD and his charm. Ark and his distance. And despite the fact that they take advantage of girls for a living, they feel very… vulnerable. It feels precarious. Like the whole thing might come crashing down at any moment. Like they are held together by some invisible thread. 

It’s a bit of a dark, twisty ride, but you get pulled in as the story unravels.  Surprises hit you along the way.   The story has the potential to make you think, maybe re-think stereotypes.  Realize everyone has backstory.

The sex.  Man oh man.   So hot.

Two self-made wealthy men with a small-time porn business find and rescue a young woman. Everything is not exactly as it seems.

The plot, the writing, the characters, it all works.  Highly recommend this book.

 

THE UPSHOT

Fave Authors

Jewel E. Ann

This author, Jewel Ann, inspires. I discovered her in 2018 and within a few weeks read all of her books. She writes a variety of different kinds of romance stories, but she doesn’t have a single weak book. The tagline on her book website: “Mindbending Romance”. She delivers.

In terms of the amount of sex, I’d say she’s a solid three. Solid, memorable, flip the corner to re-read sex scenes, but nothing over the top, no multiples, no books where it’s basically just sex.  She does give solid plot.

 

STANDALONE BOOKS

Undeniably You

The hero in this book, Lautner, is pretty much unforgettable. I’ve re-read this book because it’s THAT good. It is the kind of book you just have to let entertain you and not think too deeply while reading, but it’s still one of my faves.   Sydney + Lautner 4VR

 

 

 

 

 

 

Idle Bloom

Vivian and Oliver’s love story brought tears to my eyes.  Maybe it’s not so much the love story that does this, as Oliver’s backstory.   It’s well told and emotional.   

Sensitive topics:  Postpartum depression, death 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarlet Stone

Scarlet Stone and Theodore Reed start off with a rocky, makes you laugh kind of friendship.   To me, Scarlet’s journey takes centerplace in this story.  On the believability scale, this one’s probably pretty low, but it’s a heartwarming entertaining journey.  As long as no one reads this book and decides to follow Scarlet’s path over medical advice, it’ll all be okay.   

Sensitive topics:  cancer; illness

Oh, and let’s give a nod to the book cover on this one.  The graphics catch your eye, but the heroine on the cover?  She’s all Scarlet Stone.

 

 

 

When Life Happened

One of my favorites.   One day I’d like to hang out with Parker because she’s just one cool chick.  She’s not perfect but she’s smart and maybe being a perfectionist in high school bit her in the ass and made her stumble for a while, but I’m thinking she’d be one of those friends you could always count on and one you’d want to be around even if there was no alcohol around.   

In most books of the romance genre, there isn’t really any evil character.  And, her twin sister isn’t E-V-I-L per se, but I sure as hell would like to bitch slap her.   I can’t say more without giving shit away.

The plot in this book – well, it’s solid.   And the love story, well,  it’s a read it more than once kind of book.

 

 

 

A Place Without You

Bodhi and Henna are possibly my favorite memory.  And when you read this book, you’ll get that reference.   I wish I could be Henna and I’d love life if I could just be Bodhi’s friend.   Coachella was kind of off my radar, but this book placed it solidly on my “yeah I want to do that one day” list.   

Sensitive topics covered include addiction and suicide.

May I add just one more note – how awesome is that cover art?  I don’t think she could have found a more perfect model to be Bodhi.  Yum, yum, yum.

 

 

 

Naked Love

This is her most recently published book, and while it’s not a part of a series, it is kind of because the characters from Undeniably You return – which means, yes, you get to see Lautner and Sydney again!

Avery (Sydney’s sister) hasn’t always made the best decisions.  In Undeniably You she’s young so you kind of just shrug and know the day will come she’ll probably shift directions.  Well, that day comes in Naked Love.   Her journey is full of laugh out loud moments, pages where you want to shake her, maybe sometimes comfort her, and it ends with a heart warming love story.

 

 

 

SERIES

Jewel writes great series. I’m listing these separately because these are truly series. When you finish the first book, you won’t feel like you’ve finished the book until you’ve finished the series. In some series, by some authors, you can read one book, maybe not in order, and it’s all fine. You may not read another one in the series for another year and it’s all good. That is not the case here.

Just go in knowing that each series is basically one book.

 

Holding you and Releasing me – her first “series”. The characters are complicated.  It’s a heavy story.  Sensitive topics include addiction but also loss.   As a mother, this story made me cry.   There’s a solid HEA, but there’s a lot to wade through to get there.  Still, as with all of Jewel Ann’s books – this book: (and it’s one book – you’d never read one and not the second) strongly recommended.




Jack and Jill Series: End of Day, Middle of Knight, Dawn of Forever: Romantic suspense. Up until 4am reading this series: could NOT put it down. Lost a tennis match the next day. Totally worth it. These books are THAT good. These fall so solidly in suspense that I recommended this series for my husband.  His comment:  “I don’t normally like female authors, but I like this one.” 

One and Look the Part are kind of part of this series. Characters from Jack and Jill are seen again in these books, but these last two are just good old fashioned romance books. Great stories, characters that resonate and stay with you.  I read both of these books twice, just because I loved them that much.  These last two aren’t suspense, there’s no blood or gore. Just heart-warming romance.

 

Transcend Duet: Transcend, Epoch: I can’t say enough good things about these two books, which are really one book. The romance stories in these two books are epoch. The exploration of reincarnation touched my soul. This is one of those books that when I finished, I started sending notes out to my friends who don’t read erotic romance and telling them they MUST read this book.

Oh, and as for book cover art…..LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.