Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ARC Review: Ashwin (Gideon's Riders #1) by Kit Rocha

Ashwin (Gideon’s Riders, #1)If you know me you know that I am a huge Kit Rocha fan. Honestly it’s not a secret. Like at all.
When news broke that the Beyond series was ending, I was so happy to learn that we would be hearing more stories about the sectors, and specifically moving to Sector One with Gideon’s Riders. 

We have met Ashwin before; he is a Makhai soldier, genetically altered elite of the elite in Eden’s ranks. Makhai are raised from birth to be super soldiers. Every soldier needs a good nurse, and that’s where Ashwin met Kora. His conditioning isn’t designed to accommodate romantic feelings, and at the fall of Eden, when Ashwin’s infatuation with Kora scares her and puts her in danger, he decides to go back to the Base and be re-conditioned. Before he leaves, he makes his old friend Cruz promise to hide Kora from him.

At the beginning of Ashwin, we find out that Kora has been hanging with the royal family in Sector One, The Rios family, and in fact has been adopted as a sister by Gideon himself. She is adjusting to the religion of Sector One, as well as adjusting to life as a royal. Image her surprise when the man she thought was dead, Ashwin, shows up with some of Gideon’s riders! The Base wants Ashwin in the Riders; Gideon is clever enough to know that, but is betting that Ashwin’s feelings for Kora could keep him loyal to the Riders.


The relationship between Kora and Ashwin is so sweet, yet so damn sexy. They both have this innocence about them, but they produce so much heat together. No spoilers here, but I will say that Ashwin is a giver, and I was pleasantly surprised! The road to an HEA is not easy for a man who thinks that feelings are a result of his faculties destabilizing and a woman who has abandonment issues, but you will be cheering them on. Kora is a woman that is driven to heal and help, and of course a man like Ashwin is drawn to her like a moth to a flame.  I fell in love with these two and with Sector One as a whole! The beautiful landscape, the ceremonies, the camaraderie of the Riders, and the love the Rios family has for their people has drawn me in. I can’t wait for the next book. I know, I’m greedy! 

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review: Nothing But Trouble by Lindsey Pogue

Nothing But Trouble (A Saratoga Falls Love Story, #2)The second book in the Saratoga Springs series brings the right amount of drama, romance, and angst to keep you flipping the pages. I think I actually liked it more than the first novel, which I happened to enjoy quite a bit. I relate to Mac and Colton a lot, so that explains the connection.

Mac has been taking care of the men in her family since her mother walked out on them when she was a tween. When she meets Colton, a new hire at her family garage, she thinks she knows all about him from one glance, but she couldn't be more wrong. Also, they have a very embarrassing meet-cute that was entertaining for me, at least! The funny thing is, when Colton meets Mac, he thinks he has her figured out as well, and despite his opinion of her, he is attracted to her in a major way.

As these two navigate their attraction and preconceived notions, they find out that life, work, and love is a lot more complicated than they expected. They have more in common than they think, as their lives start to entwine and push their boundaries. No spoilers here, but Saratoga Falls is a small town with a lot of secrets and I'm actually really excited to read book 3!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Review: Perv and Filth by Dakota Gray

I'm reviewing these two books together since I binge read them pretty close to each other. 5 star reads, both of them, just to get that out of the way. I'm surprised I feel that way about Filth, but when we get there I will explain why.

Perv (Filth, #1)In Perv we meet Nate. Nate is a kinky, dirty guy with southern charm and good looks and a serious devotion to the most intimate part of a woman. The problem? He meets a mysterious woman at a bar who rings alllllll of his bells. Then she cuts him down and walks away without a second glance, in the name of revenge.

Nate can't get her out of his head, and pursues her like a mad man. Over the course of the book we learn that Robyn is the name of the beautiful, mysterious woman, and her best friend fell in love with Nate despite his honesty in telling every woman he is with that he isn't the settling down kind of guy.

Their courtship, as it were, is angry, kinky, pervy, but heartfelt and actually very sweet. In a landscape of formulaic romances, a subversive read like Perv stands out in the best way. Kudos to Dakota Gray for such a well written sexy but sweet series. I'm a new fan! Nate and Robyn both have more layers and depth than one would think at first glance, which brings me to Filth.

Filth (Filth, #2)As a rule, I am not a fan of "tell it from the other person's POV" stories. Typically it's rehashed information, and my investment in the characters demands new insight, new angst, and new scenes of interest. While Perv is Nate's story, Filth is Robyn's. I one-clicked it without reading the synopsis, and I'm glad I did. Nate's world is vastly different than Robyn's, and their story was big enough that they deserved separate treatments.

Robyn's conflict in falling for Nate and breaking the "girl code" among other spoilery things I won't mention here are so well addressed and written beautifully.

The best part is that we are getting more books from Dakota Gray in the Filth series! Nate's friends get the HEA treatment, and my review for Hardcore is coming soon. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Review: Whatever it Takes by Lindsey Pogue

Whatever It Takes (A Saratoga Falls Love Story, #1)This review is criminally late, but I promise that is not a reflection of the captivating story told in Whatever it Takes.

Sam has been living life by going through the motions; between dealing with a tragic accident that takes her father's life,  learning to live with her new stepmother and dealing with the haunted memories of her complicated romantic life, Sam has literally gone numb over the past several years. There is only one way she can allow herself to feel, and that way is damaging to her body and her mind. Luckily she has her father's farm and her two best friends, Nick and Mac, to keep her grounded.

Until...

Reilly comes back to town. Firmly entrenched in those messy romantic memories, at one time Reilly was the love of Sam's life, but his life had it's own complications, and in order to get away, he went to the military. Feeling abandoned, Sam moved on but several years later, he has come back and his presence has thrown Sam for a huge loop.

This second chance new adult romance is as always beautifully written by Lindsey Pogue, messy and complicated in the way real life is, and enthralling, the way true love is. Sam isn't perfect, and is perfect because of that; in fact sometimes she frustrated me to no end and I realized it was because I liked her and wanted her to make different choices. That in itself is very telling of how much I was pulled in to the story, and how realistic the storytelling is here. What a great read, especially if you are a fan of the new adult genre!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Final Beyond: Beyond Surrender

In Beyond Surrender, the princess of the O’Kanes has finally met her HEA, and really, would anyone do except the leader of another Sector?

Nessa has been making bootleg O’Kane liquor for Dallas O’Kane since she was practically a tween. She is the “little sister” of every inked O’Kane, and that makes finding a proper mate tough. In fact, Nessa has resigned herself to the reality that maybe finding a happily ever after wasn’t necessarily in the cards for her. Then came Ryder, the leader of Sector 5.

With war at their doorsteps, the Sectors have banded together to take on the crooked politicians running Eden, which means that the man with a plan, Ryder, has been spending a lot of time with Dallas and the O’Kanes in Sector 4. As it happens, Ryder also wants to spend a lot of time with Nessa.

Nessa and Ryder have a lot more in common than it appears on the surface; they are both considered heirs of their sectors, Ryder as the protege of Mac Fleming in Sector 5 and Nessa as the little sister brought up under the wing of the so-called King and Queen of Sector 4, Dallas and Lex. They are also polar opposites in the hottest way; Ryder is literally tall, dark, and handsome and Nessa embodies a colorful sprite with her multi-hued hair and short stature. Their chemistry is smoking hot, and you will cheer for them the whole way through. How many times did I wish a Ryder would waltz into my life while reading this book. Whew!
I have been a card-carrying  super fan of Kit Rocha’s Beyond series ever since the first book, Beyond Shame, came out. I had my O’Kane flask on hand while reading! I have always loved the dystopian backdrop, multicultural characters, rich world-building, and the underlying theme of empowerment and autonomy over your own wants, desires, and loves. It’s hard to believe that after 9 books (and many novellas) this great series is coming to an end. Beyond Surrender is a beautifully written and emotional end to the Beyond series. I console myself with the knowledge that life in the Sectors will continue through the new series, Gideon’s Riders. Sector 1 promises to be as compelling as Sector 4 and I can’t wait; I know for a fact it’s worth it.


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