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romantic suspense

Book Recommendations

Kiss Me With Lies by S.M. Soto

Kiss Me With Lies Book ReviewGripping, suspenseful page turner with one helluva cliffhanger, Kiss Me With Lies will leave you punching the pre-order button for the sequel, Bury Me With Lies. S.M. Soto leaves readers on the edge in this duet.

Yes, it’s a suspense. But there is a love story in here. A sexy, scintillating, pussy clenching love story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Bad boy billionaire Sebastian, or Baz for those he likes, comes across as cold and manipulative, but we get to see his POV and there’re a good guy in there. A good guy who’s also a master in the bedroom. And he falls for Mackenzie, a girl from his past he doesn’t recognize.

After her sister’s murder, her life falls apart to some degree. Nine years later, she’s determine to bring her sister’s killer to justice. As she searches for the truth, she falls for Baz (and who the F wouldn’t?). But, we don’t know everything about Baz and it’s conceivable he helped to murder her sister.

Spoiler Alert

At the end of Kiss Me With Lies, it’s not looking so good for Mackenzie and Baz, but I have confidence he’s going to read that stack of papers she left him and he’s going to see that she’s not the gold digger his friends painted her out to be. And, I don’t believe for a minute he killed her sister. But, it won’t shock me if it turns out he helped his spoiled rich friends get away with the murder.

I’ll admit that at times I had a strong urge to scream at Mackenzie. I mean, first, has the chick EVER watched Cold Case files? And, her sister’s murder is a cold case. Only a total dumbass would save evidence linking themselves to a murder.

So, when she’s hunting around their offices – offices that didn’t even exist when they were all in highschool and the murder occurred – I was like, do yourself a favor and at least do some research on how cold cases are solved. Because it’s not by going through someone’s desk ten years after the murder.

But then, hey, she actually finds the clues she needs in someone’s office. So, yes, some suspension of disbelief is required to complete this book.

All that said, murderers aren’t always the most intelligent. They very often do make stupid mistakes that land them in prison. And, these rich spoiled kids believe themselves to be untouchable. So, why would they bother to go burn those bloody clothes linking them to a murder? Better to leave them buried because who would ever find the post it note with the coordinates leading them to said evidence? I mean, after all, it’s in a safe of an office that didn’t exist at the time of the murder.

All of that aside, towards the end, I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. And somehow I KNOW there is more to Baz. He’s going to come through and have a mind boggling backstory. My prediction is Mackenzie and Baz are going to end up working together to bring down the monsters. And it’s going to be a hot, sexy, dangerous road to justice. And I for one can’t wait to read the sequel. My only complaint is that it’s not available RIGHT NOW to read.

The Upshot

Book Review




Book Recommendations Series

The Deception by Nikki Sloane

The Deception Book Review

The Deception delivers a gut-wrenching, page-turning final installation in the Filthy Rich Americans series by Nikki Sloane finishes out a twisted, complicated chess game between one powerful man, his son and daughter-in-law.

Rarely has an antagonist filled me with disgust and hate to the degree Macalister did in the first two books in this series.  Minotaur? Zeus?  Monster?  I went with monster.  Sick, twisted, depraved monster.

In The Deception, he plays the role of a falling God. Visions of infallibility and self-grandeur become his downfall. And, in the end, we see flashes of the man before he became a God. The man who loved the mother of his children. The man who was human before death sliced his heart.

In the first two books, 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.

In this final book, my frustration with her almost forced me to put the book down I at times. Frustration rose not only from going against Macalister with no good reason to believe she could beat him, but in her insistence on keeping her husband in the dark.  It’s not until the bitter end that we see how well she has played the game.

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.

And, I have to say, I like that in the end, the relationship is still strained. We don’t flip a page and all is forgiven. Because, really, he’s done horrible things for most of Royce’s life.  I think if at the end he and his Dad were BFF’s, I’d have to throw the book (er, Kindle) at the wall.

The Best

The best thing about the The Deception, for me, is this is the book where we really see Royce and Marist not only fall in love, but prove their love.  The Deception continues the fight against the all powerful ruthless heartless Gods. But, the love story takes center stage.

Nikki Sloane delivers in this series as master storyteller.  Yes, it’s twisted and demented.  But I love the modernized twist on the stories of old, the original religions and fables.

The Upshot

Book Review

Book Recommendations

Accidental Rebel by Nicole Snow

Accidental Rebel Book ReviewAccidental Rebel packs intrigue and action into a heart-warming love story. This is my first book from Nicole Snow and I will be reading more.

When Miller Rush and Gwendolyn meet, the attraction is instantaneous. Only, he’s on the run for his life. She doesn’t know his whole story, but she knows somethings not on the up and up. She falls for his two kids first and decides he must not be all bad. Her mother pushes the two together with a sly yet less than subtle hand.

The whole situation provides a great set-up and there are definitely on-the-edge of-your-seat moments and places you won’t be willing to put your book down. On the whole, it never gets too dark, too gory or too scary. I’d classify it as a light romantic suspense, although I notice because of Miller’s military background, and the inclusion of other military characters in the story, it’s categorized as a military romance.

Miller describes Gwen’s Mom as being “around fifty.” Now, I’m pushing fifty (not there yet, thank you) and I have to say, if my daughter came to me with two pre-loaded TEN year old grandchildren, there’d be a part of me that was like “Now wait a minute. I am not old enough to be the grandma of a TEN year old.” And May, her Mom, kind of sounds like my kind of woman.

In my mind, I like to think of May as being in her early to mid sixties. Just my personal preference. Maybe that’s because my daughter is TEN. But, to Snow’s credit, she never says May’s age. And it’s also possible she is the age I want her to be, and she just looks so damn good Miller underestimated her age. We’ll go with that.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

The Upshot

Book Review



Book Recommendations Series

If You Dare by Shantel Tessier

If You DareDark, tangled, mesmerizing romantic suspense. A modern day twist on Bret Easton Ellis’s “Less Than Zero”, “If You Dare” gives new meaning to the phrase ‘the ties that bind’.

The whole tale reminds us that the evils of a big city can also run rampant in a small town, especially when rich high school kids with uninvolved parents are let loose in Rovers and Beemers. “If You Dare”, the third and final book in the Dare series from Shantel Tessier, unmasks the secrets of this dark and sordid romantic suspense.

The Dare Series

“I Dare You,” the first book in the Dare series, introduces the Great White Sharks, a wealthy version of a dangerous powerful gang.  All are swim team members. All are wealthy. All are lethal.  The herd of eight dwindles to five.

The dark romance between Austin and Cole fills the first two books in the Dare series.   Dark mysteries unfold as the high school kids unleash their own brand of revenge on the evils in their town.

In “If You Dare,” the high school kids are now in college, in a new Texas town they don’t own.  And someone from their past has decided to change the rules of the game.

At the core of this book, another dark, twisted romance unfolds. However,suspense leads the herd in this tale of sharks.

Through a bountiful number of flashbacks we remember the sordid details of the past. The lies are so rampant, the flashbacks help.   I suspect the abundance of flashbacks means someone could read “If You Dare” and understand the depth of the story and be completely mesmerized and drawn in without reading the first two books.  However, I wouldn’t recommend it.

In order to fully understand the depravity of Cole and Austin’s relationship, I would strongly recommend reading “I Dare You” first.  “I Promise”, the second book, told from Cole’s POV, offers tantalizing insight into Cole’s tenebrious mind.   If you’re not up for the deep dive, you can skip it.  However, “I Dare You” is a must read prior to reading “If You Dare.”


Book Review




Book Recommendations Fave Authors

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

Wallflower by Krista Gold

Wallflower Book Recommendation and Review

A gardener.  Named Emilio.   Need we say more?

A long time ago, when I read Harlequin novels, I recall reading about gardeners.  It’s been a while.  Yard crews come to my house.   None of the guys cutting the grass in my yard come close to deserving a name like “Emilio.”  So, let’s just say, I like this premise.

Tessa lost her Mom, a successful erotic romance writer in a freak accident.  Her Mom kept journals.  Detailed journals.  Journals that are the backbone of her mother’s literary success.  Emilio enters the picture and she starts to live life again (ahm, who wouldn’t?!).

When she resumes living, she starts exploring her mother’s journals.  And she starts to realize there might be more to her mother’s death than an accident.  Some pages are missing.

With her first book, Krista Gold weaves an erotic romance with mystery.   First and foremost, it’s a love story.  A love story with hot sex.   And twists and turns.   I’ll be looking for more of Gold’s books in the future.   She’s an indie author with a lot of promise.


Book Recommendations Series

Forge Trilogy by Meghan March

Page turning, can’t put it down kind of trilogy!  I read all three books in one day.

As a professional poker player, India knows how to play her opponents.  She’s a strong, memorable woman you’ll root for right from the start.   Jericho’s your typical hot, built, brilliant billionaire Jason Mamoa look-alike gunning for revenge.

Almost non-stop action for all three books.  International, risky, high stake poker games, combined with Russians, loads of security guards, and lots of plot twists to keep the pages turning.

Deal with the Devil introduces the two and you get to watch them fall for each other.   Ends with a cliffhanger that will have you immediately buying Luck of the Devil.  It’s worth noting that the magic doesn’t happen until late in this book.   But that’s okay because the next two books pack some heat and while it’s a trilogy, it’s really kind of like one book.

Luck kicks off with good Jericho history, then picks up from the cliff.  At one point, Creighton, a billionaire from a prior series, schools Jericho on relationships.  He figures it out. Then, boom: massive cliff.  Heart of the Devil starts with more background.  You get the picture.  If you want the story, you read all three books.  These are not standalones.  There is a free chapter at the end of Book 3, Heart of the Devil, if you sign up for Meghan March’s newsletter.  This is the first I’ve read from Meghan March, but I happily signed up to learn about her new releases.

If you like romantic suspense, you’ll love this trilogy.


Book Recommendations

Jersey Six by Jewel E. Ann

Jersey Six Book ReviewLOVE this book!  Another great mind-bending story from Jewel E. Ann.  It’s so much more than romantic suspense.   And, that cover!  Lick worthy.

Jersey Six, a foster care survivor, meets a rock star who gives her a job and shelter.   She seeks revenge.   It’s a love story. Definitely suspense.  Lots of twists.   Strong, memorable characters.  I can’t imagine forgetting Jersey Six and Ian Cooper.

The story is so much more than just a romance.  To me, it’s a story about the endurance and strength of the human spirit.   About the healing power of love.   A reminder that we can’t judge others because we never really know what they’ve been through.  A reminder to be kind to the next homeless person you meet.

Guardian ad Litem

I work with kids in foster care, and I’m also a kickboxer, so this one really hit home for me.  If you read this and are left wanting to look out for kids in foster care, but not sure how to, you may want to consider Guardian ad Litem.   You can find your states chapter here.  These volunteers are assigned a child in foster care.  They serve as a double-check in a way.  Someone in addition to the overworked, underpaid social services worker to check in and make sure these kids are indeed okay.   That they aren’t in a Fisher situation.  That if they go to court, they aren’t alone.  If a court case involves them and they are too young to attend, someone’s in that courtroom with their interest at heart.  One more set of eyes.  Because no child should ever feel unloved.


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.



Book Recommendations Series

Limit by Molly McAdams

The third book in the Rebel series, which is a spin-off of her Redemption series, Limit brings back all the old characters for a page turning conclusion.

This time, it’s Conor’s time to fall.  It’s a good love story, but this is really romantic suspense.   Both series are mafia stories, but not your mother’s mafia.   This is modern day, iPhone carrying, tech savvy law breakers where the hackers are as important as the highly trained assassins.

These guys have broken away from the mob and started a nonprofit that helps women in abused homes.   Scary tattooed guys, rough pasts, big hearts.  The women rock as iron strong powerhouses.

The series should really be read in book order.  You’d probably figure it all out skipping around.  You could also probably figure out Game of Thrones if you started on the last season, but no one recommends that!

Book order:   Redemption Series – Blackbird, Firefly, Nightshade    Rebel Series – Lyric, Lock, Limit