Ravage: A Scarred Souls Novel
Gritty, raw, visceral, and addictive!!! There is nothing like reading a Tillie Cole book, and in her newest release, Ravage, Tillie once again delivers a story that will hold you hostage. With her powerful and brilliant writing and storytelling, Ms. Cole encourages her readers to get lost in the world of Valentin and Zoya, who are complex, broken, raw, and yet endearing. I will have to say that this installment is hands down the best book of the series because Tillie had me hooked with all the raw emotions expressed. So if you are looking for a story that can start off heartbreaking then can slowly blossom into something beautiful and profound, then Ravage is the book for you.
St. Martin's Griffin
Because of Miss Bridgerton
Billie Bridgerton has always expected she would marry one of the Rokesby brothers that she practically grew up with. However, the one brother she never thought she would end up with is George, the eldest Rokesby. Billie is a tomboy, headstrong and impulsive where as George is ever the dutiful heir to the earldom. When fate throws them together neither expect the sparks that begin to fly between them and they realize they just may be more compatible than either ever imagined.
For all the Bridgerton family fans who worried the series was over once all the siblings stories were told, prepare to rejoice! Because of Miss Bridgerton is a prequel telling the story of Edmund Bridgerton’s older sister. All the things readers’ love about the previous Bridgerton books is present in this one. Billie is a heroine readers will relate to in that she has flaws, can be impulsive but all her actions come from a place of love and she will make you laugh. George at first comes across as stuffy but soon reveals his own dry wit that will win readers hearts. Though the ending of the story was rushed fans will not be disappointed.
Best of My Love (Fool’s Gold)
Aidan Mitchell has a problem. He’s always believed in having fun, no strings and everyone leaves happy when he entertained many a willing tourist until his foolproof plan fails. Shelby has a dark past that has left her with a fear of and inability to trust men in a romantic manner. The two come to an agreement to help each other. They will spend time together, as JUST friends, with no romantic or sexual involvement. Shelby will overcome her fears, Aidan learns to view women as more than one night stands and both come out a better person.
Despite being the 20th book in the Fool’s Gold series the story is still fun and engaging to read and readers will fall in love with Shelby’s spunk and Aidan’s heart of gold. They will be taken along for a ride as the two swap girl and guy outings and learn to understand the other sex better all the while with the building sexual tension. There are a few refreshing takes on guy vs girl bonding and support through the relationship ups and downs. In the end readers will sigh a happy sigh and eagerly await the next Fool’s Gold story.
My Girlfriend is a Con Artist
There is a suggested template of novel or novella writing that the writer should effectively summarize the entire plot to come on the first page and, if he is really on his game, do it in the first paragraph. If that idea is new to you and sounds shocking or somehow wrong, doing just that won Julian Barnes the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense of an Ending. Or, there was Erich Segal’s monster best-seller Love Story in 1970 that began with, ‘What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?’ However, it takes a certain kind of gutsy authorship to lay it all out to the reader with the title. Flint Osborne’s girlfriend is a con artist. Read on!
And of course one does read on, because just as one always knew that Columbo was going to catch the murderer who had planned the near-perfect crime, the fun is in the getting there and not the arrival at the destination. Here in the pages of My Girlfriend is a Con Artist there is quite a lot of fun to be had, if this novella is taken in that light-hearted way.
Although Crane does not write in the style of Mickey Spillane or Raymond Chandler – all those short, clipped sentences – his private detective Flint is very much a descendant of Mike Hammer or Sam Spade. Flint’s clients are an eccentric lot, and eccentrically named too; it’s been awhile since we’ve run across names like Gullie Bowl or Ms. Jai Gantic, yet that is just a nod to the reader to please just play along and don’t be overly concerned about repeat concussion syndrome when our man Flint gets bonked unconscious. When he awakens, he awakes to a bonking of another sort, so all in a day’s work then.
The plot centers on Flint’s solving two cases. His wealthy father has asked him to look into the business affairs of a former Prada model and current dress designer named Melanie Sparks. Melanie has asked Daddy Osborne to put $500,000 into her garment company in return for a 10% share of the business. I don’t think she would fare very well on Shark Tank, as Flint soon finds out. Meanwhile, his former girlfriend Madison is the subject of a murder investigation, the victim being Flint’s successor as her boyfriend. Complications arise.
There are laughs to be had in My Girlfriend is a Con Artist, and the plots will keep the pages turning as well. Crane has produced a fine, light-hearted read.
Sanctum Illusions: Shadow Havens Book 4
The fourth installation of the Shadow Havens series is chock full of surprises and plot twists. It contains several storylines that will all lead up to a powder keg of events in the next book. While the main focus of the book is on Kya and Meniari and their growing relationship, we also get to see a lot of Circe and Sebastien, Tamuel and Amya, Rachel and Fortune, Xavier and Ilea, and finally Sebastien’s first mate Sabine. The subplots of all these supporting characters give the story a wonderful depth and dimension. It also helps propel the story forward by building an almost obscene level of anticipation for what will come next.
Kya and Meniari have found happiness with each other that they never dreamed possible. That dream is shattered when one of Meniari’s exes shows up determined to win him back. With the help of Xavier and Fortune, Ilea is trying to clean up Sebastien’s clubs. Tamuel comes to the Grey’s to end his life, but once he meets Amaya, he struggles with returning to the angelic realm or staying with the one woman who has touched his heart. Circe’s strange request for Sebastien’s body at the end of Sanctum Retribution is brought to light. Her obsession with him and plot to avenge his death brings trouble to Saint Rushton that neither Haven could anticipate. All of this converges into an almost unbearable level of tension while the danger to everyone involved reaches a fever pitch. The alliance between the Havens forged by the Greys and Ilea is highlighted as they join forces to help protect each other from Circe and her demented plan for revenge.
While book four does start out a little slow, once the pace picks up it, it moves at a blistering pace that will leave readers flipping the pages late into the night, because they will not be able to put it down until it ends. This one does end on more of a cliffhanger than the previous books, but that will only make you want to run out and pick up book five immediately. Sanctum Illusions is an awesome addition to the series!
Hello, My Love!
Elise is a third year law student who is eager to start her career, and Greg is a rich playboy who is about to be married. They make an odd but compelling couple in this story of love, loss, revenge, and triumph. The beginning flips back and forth between the past and present. The scenes from the past tell how the two met at Elise’s parents’ house and how they slowly grew to love each other. The present explores a fateful night in their relationship. After that night, the narrative progresses chronologically, switching back and forth between the two main characters. Unfortunately, Greg’s impending marriage causes trouble for the pair, and the couple must go through a lot of trials before they can finally be happy. It’s a tale as old as time, but some of these particular trials are pretty unusual and make for an entertaining read.
There are a couple issues I have with this book. Firstly, Greg is a thirty-something with lots of experience under his belt, and Elise is a twenty-three-year-old almost-virgin. This pairing is outdated. The age and experience difference lends the relationship the unevenness that you would expect (and that was once normal), meaning that Elise is a rather passive character. Greg does all the initiating in the relationship, and at times, it feels like he’s just pushing her along. This makes their first sex scene especially uncomfortable. Secondly, the timeline is confusing. While I know what happened, I can’t say for certain when anything happened, and the entire middle part is very vague. This doesn’t cause any huge issues while reading, but it does make it difficult to piece things together.
Still, this is an enjoyable love story. While I may not agree with all of the characters’ decisions or motives, they are all distinctly human (meaning sometimes incredibly stupid but always understandable). At their cores, Elise and Greg are good people, and it is impossible not to root for them and their happiness.