Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Caught In The Crosshair

 3 of 5 stars false 
Lauren James had ignored the recent spate of calls from her brother. After all, he was a big player linked to a major cartel, and he’d been dead to her for nearly a decade. Then she receives the one call she can’t ignore—her brother’s been kidnapped and will be killed if she doesn’t bring money. No matter how far gone her brother is, Lauren can’t turn her back on him completely. Deep down she’s always wanted to save him. Now, she’s forced into action because he’ll die otherwise.
Ex-Special Forces sniper Jaden Dean owns a private security firm and after losing his older brother to gang violence, needs to take down as many scum bags as he can—single-handedly if need be. And he was the best. Until he trusted the wrong woman on his last assignment and ended up nearly dead in the street.
On a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in, Lauren and Jaden will need to work together to survive and find her brother. The cartel seems to be one step ahead, and Jaden’s operatives are being killed one-by-one. He will have to use all his specialized training and risk everything, including his heart, to outwit the deadly group and keep Lauren safe. Their magnetic attraction isn't helping matters...because even a slight distraction might just get them both killed.


****The author provided a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review****
Lauren has been ignoring her brothers phone calls she knows he is involved with a drug cartel, but when she gets a call demanding a ransom or he will be killed she rushes to his aid. Jaden owns a security firm he lives with guilt every day, over his brother's death, trusting the wrong woman and the deaths of his men. The two of them have to work together to stay alive and find her brother. The beginning of this book pulled me in, the prologue and the phone call had my interest peaked, then a burst of action had me glued to my kindle wanting to see what was going to happen next. I liked how the author set the story up and the characters themselves. I loved all the action packed drama and how the author worked the romance into the storyline without making it the complete focus of the book while at the same time not making it inconsequential.  As much as I liked the book for all the reasons above I did not really like this authors writing style, I felt that the book was a bit verbose and at times I felt myself concentrating a little more on the actual words themselves than the storyline. If you enjoy this writing style then this is a book for you, even if you do not the storyline itself keeps you interested and gives you a good read. 

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Tears of Tess

 Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark, #1) 
4 of 5 stars false 
A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and nonconsensual sex. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.
“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”
Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.
For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.
But lusty paradise is shattered.
Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.
Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.
Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?


****I received a copy of this book courtesy of Black Firefly, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review****
"Monsters find each other in the dark..."
Tess Snow has always had these cravings. Dark cravings. She wants things she knows she should not, things that she's afraid to acknowledge. Things that her boyfriend Brax would never consider doing to her, but she cannot live with them bottled up for much longer. Ready to reveal her true self on a surprise trip Brax plans for them, she's afraid he'll turn against her like everyone else. Her parents have always been painfully honest that she was a mistake that ruined their lives, what if they saw the darkness lurking in her soul from the very beginning? Before she can spill too much she finds herself taken from the life she's built and thrown into a world of real life monsters and seedy underground dealings. Refusing to surrender, she's given to a man who will change her world forever.
Tears of Tess promised to be a dark contemporary romance and it delivered. It was a great introduction to a new series filled with the shadows of humanity, the dark corners people are scared to look into. As warned, there are triggers contained in the story, so it may be tough for some, but it is told in a beautiful way that is edgy and erotic and emotionally provocative. The tougher scenes, even though contain some of the same general acts, are charged with different emotions than the erotic ones and draw a clear and precise line in the sand allowing the reader to still be more comfortable with the rougher edge of the developing relationship between the two main characters.
Tess is a character that evokes a level of emotion right off the bat. Even if you don't share her issues, everybody has most likely felt a percentage of the self loathing or low self worth that she struggles with daily. It also seeps off the pages and into the readers subconscious, sucking you into a roller coaster along with her. Her growth is measurable and you watch her change from a scared girl to a woman that embraces every side of herself even if it is different from the herd mentality of society.
Q Mercer is a mystery that is unraveled through the pages. Secret end games-taboo desires, and beautiful ink symbolizing a shamed past- he is complex and dark. I loved getting to know him piece by piece through Tess's eyes. He was sexy, powerful, and a believable sadistic Dominant.
The writing was smooth and absorbing and easy to breeze through even considering it was on the longer end, and supporting characters played their part in bringing this world into the three-dimensional. I'm so glad Ms. Winters is continuing the series, and I'm excited to continue it with her. 
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