Review: Owned (The Billionaire Banker, Book 1) by Georgia Le Carre

ownedReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Millionaire Banker Blake Law Barrington sets his eyes on the incredibly gorgeous Lana Bloom and cannot help what he thinks about her. He wants to have her, bed her and own her as she is young and innocent, unlike him. He is a man who knows what he wants, and how to ensnare those who don’t understand the type of man he is, but Lana has her own agenda, as her mother runs the risk of dying from her illness, she decides in that despair to offer herself to a rich man so she can pay for her mother’s expensive treatment. Blake however sees her as an attractive proposition and wants her, thwarting the other man who also had desires on her.

Review: The concept is a really sound one; it shows Lana’s desperation to help save her mother even though it means her being owned by a man who sees most women as sex objects. Though it isn’t the sort of story a feminist would read as it makes out every woman has a price on their bodies if misfortune heads their way at some point in their lives, Lana handles the situation as best she can, even going so far as being ready to leave him once she gets what she wants. Lana does start out with only her mother’s welfare in mind, but sooner than later she develops an affection for the rich man who has brought her into the very strange world of power and riches – wealth for him comes as part of his life whether she likes it or not, but there is something she doesn’t know about Blake she might not ever want to find out.

Lana grows inevitably to like him beyond all the glitz and glamour, wealth and position, but as she has only money in mind, she wishes she could actually form a real relationship with him outside of that. This for her is nothing more than a pipe-dream, though as she also doesn’t want to get involved with a man who has secrets.

Good Bits:

  • Written in first person POV.
  • This is full of throbbing passion and sensuality.
  • They do say that opposites attract, and this is pretty much what this novel is about.

Summary: As it makes some women look like money-grabbers, this novel isn’t for everyone. I liked how the story started and what it hoped to achieve. It’s a sizzler that is full of passion and has a lot to say of what some women think love really is. I found myself looking forward to book 2.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Owned (Billionaire Banker Series Book 1)

Audio Review: Once More, My Darling Rogue (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 2) by Lorraine Heath

once more my darling rogueHero: Drake Darling isn’t his real name, but it’s the one he uses. Drake’s father was an awful abusive man who murdered his mother. Drake watched him hang. He was taken in by a nice well-to-do family and raised as one of their own, even though he wasn’t. He can charm any woman, but Lady Ophelia Lyttleton. She knows what he is and makes sure he knows it too.

Heroine: Phe (Ophelia) loses her memory in an accident she can’t recall. She doesn’t even really know who she is, but the man, Drake, who says he’s her employer makes her feel safe. She likes that feeling even if the rest of what he says seems false. How can she be a servant? She doesn’t even know how to do the basic things a servant does!

Review: This book started off very strong for me and kept it’s pace right up to the last portion of the book. Then the story kind of nosedived and hit concrete instead of landing in the pool. I didn’t like that the author made the heroine a victim of incestuous rape in order to make her likable. Not to diminish the horror of it, but the whole thing reeked like a cop-out. I liked the heroine perfectly fine when she was an uppity chit with airs and so much pride she became a snobby ill-bred person around the hero. She could have been a product of her upbringing like Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. She even had lovely Emma undertones as her personality was revealed in little pieces here and there as her memory loss allowed her to flourish away from what society demanded of her. It’s really too bad because for me it took the book from a five star rating and plummeted it. For somebody else it might work.

Narrator: At first I didn’t really like Helen Lloyd as she narrated the heroine’s part. Her voice didn’t quite jive, but as the story progressed I learned to like her. James Adams had a very nice voice and I liked listening to him a lot. It’s always fun to listen to men narrate romances.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: Once More, My Darling Rogue (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James, Book 2), Once More, My Darling Rogue (Audio Book)

Review: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters, Book 1) by Maureen Child

black sheep's inheritanceHeroine: Colleen Falkner receives an unexpected legacy from her client J.D. Lassiter in his will. Three million dollars is more than enough to help her achieve her dreams and fulfill her mother’s too. Colleen wants to be a nurse practitioner for the remote mountain area in Wyoming around Cheyenne. The money will more than enable her to get her license, buy a cabin, and set up a practice. When Sage, J.D.’s son, appears to have an interest in her, she is flattered and excited. She feels like she knows him from all of the stories she’s heard.

Hero: Sage Lassiter wasn’t close with his adoptive father. In fact, the two were loggerheads most of the time they got together after an incident in college. So he’s not surprised when J.D. pulls something crazy in his will. What he is surprised about is that the person who was screwed-over wasn’t himself, but was his sister. The one person who might know about why J.D. did what he did would’ve been his private nurse. And, the woman, just got a three million dollar legacy, so clearly, she’s up to no good.

Review: I’m not sure who the black sheep is supposed to be in this story. I felt the inheritance most in question was the heroine’s (and the hero’s sister’s), but it was the hero who had conflict with his family. The story is adorable and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Colleen and Sage go to look at houses and she nearly falls into the ravine… which leads to fun sexy times. I also loved how Sage pulled out all the stops to win her over again after making an ass of himself.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: The Black Sheep’s Inheritance (Dynasties: The Lassiters)

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Review: Real (Real, Book 1) by Katy Evans

real katy evansReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This book is told in the first person – Brooke is the one telling us her story until we get to the Epilogue. Then it’s Remy who talks to us. But it leaves me wondering if book two — Mine — will start with Remy telling the story.

If you love to listen to music as you read, you will be happy to know that there is a playlist at the beginning of this book. It starts off with Brooke Dumas and her best friend at an underground fighting match. Melanie goes to look – as she puts it – at the “eye candy”. Brooke’s not impressed until she gets a look at Remington Tate. From this point on, Kate grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the last word.

If you’ve never seen a boxing, or MMA, match you may want to watch one on TV so you know something about Remy’s profession. I’m going to date myself here – I used to watch Mohammed Ali. I loved his banter, his poems, and his interactions with Howard Cosell.

It’s hot right from the beginning. One example is when Brooke and Remy have near sex. I had the chance to read the paperback version and I’m surprised the pages didn’t catch on fire – it was that hot (and is very graphic). You get so involved in what’s going on that you don’t realize how many pages you’ve actually read. It’s also one of those books that you will not want to put down.

Katy has picked a very good title for this book. She deals with the real subject of the disorder known as bipolar. The only thing I want to say on that subject is that don’t take it as how “real” people should deal with the disorder – please make sure to seek professional help. Our author also shows her readers that when love is there, friends and loved ones can support and love them for whom they are.

My favorite scene has to be where Melanie and Brooke are having a discussion about a certain someone. You can almost hear their conversation. Melanie will crack you up – you just won’t be able to help yourself. So you know which scene to look for (and no cheating) – one word, gum. This is a must read series that you can get either in paperback or e-book.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Real

Review: Revealing Us (Inside Out Trilogy, Book 3) by Lisa Renee Jones

revealing usReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This book is told in the first person.

This third book starts off with us getting a glimpse at some more of Rebecca Mason’s lost journals. This is a set of books that must be read in order. If you want to fall in love with Lisa’s characters, you must be patient and read her books as they were meant to be read – they should not be read as stand-alones. There is a preferred reading list, http://www.lisareneejones.com/reading-order/, to follow and then you can sit back, relax, grab your favorite drink, and enjoy these very sexy reads.

This story is a little different from the other two in this trilogy because they go international. As you read this book, you will realize that there is no way that this story could be contained in just one book. Chris and Sara’s story needed to be told over time. They were sharing their lives with us – like getting to know new friends.
Sara’s insecurities also follow her into this book – is it because of her age? Or is it her lack of life’s experiences? One thing I love is that Lisa makes Sara more human by showing her foibles. One of those foibles is in how she learns a foreign language – she isn’t shown as a woman who instantly knows how to speak another language. Not all of us find it easy to learn something other than English. Plus, if you pay close attention, you will get a mini French lesson.

Our author also has me wondering that if I didn’t have to take care of an elderly parent, would I take off with a handsome guy to a country where I didn’t know anyone or the language? Would you? Besides the language barrier, Sara also seems to be a little uncertain of what she wants to believe. The mystery also seems to escalate in this last book and then Lisa has you thinking how it connects to the title.

As you get closer to the end of this book, Lisa builds the suspense and it gets more intense the closer you get to the end. The ending will be a complete surprise for you – you won’t see it coming. But it also makes you wonder if this is where her next book is going to pick up.

I didn’t check into a playlist for this book because I’m not too sure of the international stars coming out of France. You may want to decide to listen to something classical or maybe even one of your favorites. I think something quiet that stays in the background would be good. I also went to Lisa’s web site to see if I could find out anything coming up that revolves around this series but alas there’s nothing posted on her web site, http://www.lisareneejones.com. If you love a good erotic series, you can’t go wrong in reading what Lisa has to offer.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Revealing Us (Inside Out Trilogy)

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Review: The Master Undone by Lisa Renee Jones

master undoneReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This book is told in the first person. Because this book actually comes at the end of the “Rebecca’s Lost Journal’s” series and starts Lisa’s new series, I would read the two series in order. You will be less confused and understand the characters better if you start from the beginning.

Mr. Mark Compton is on a plane going to be with his mother. He also contemplates another female named Rebecca. Once at the airport, Crystal Smith has come to pick him up. This is the first time I get to see what Mark actually feels. I haven’t read the whole series yet (as I’m starting with the Inside Out Trilogy) so I may not actually know what he feels. We get our sex fix with this one. And it’s short enough to get it done in just a few hours. You will not want to read this one quickly – read slow and enjoy the ride.

Once you finish reading this short story, you will realize that you have no choice but to read both series. Lisa knows just how to hook, and reel in, her readers. She leaves you wanting more. The one disappointment I had was that the ending came too quickly and left me with lots of questions. Then make sure that you read the first two books of the “Inside Out Trilogy” because book three, titled “Revealing Us”, will be coming out in September. I’m so looking forward to it!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Master Undone: An Inside Out Novella

Review: If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy, Book 1) by Lisa Renee Jones

if i were youReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This book is told in the first person.

This book starts with a temptation that Sara McMillan could not resist. And one temptation that is her friend Ella’s obsession is a current reality show and it makes me wonder what I’ve been missing. One character, Rebecca has written her thoughts in a journal and it is one sexy read. Do you keep a journal? And if you do, are you strictly vanilla about it or do you get sexy in writing down your thoughts? But be warned, you’ll need a fan handy when reading this book.

This is a book that quickly sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the end. It’s a great read to have if you’re taking a staycation. Part of the setting takes place at an art gallery. I know you wouldn’t be able to sit in a gallery to read this but what if you went to an art museum. That way you could read a little and then get up and look at some great art. Then when you find a good spot, you could sit down and read a little more.

This also made me think of one of our local museums, The Clark (http://www.clarkart.edu). It’s a great place to go see some great art exhibits and they have a place where you can go outside and have a picnic.

One of our characters, in this book, Chris Merit has a tattoo that Sara finds very hot – made me wish that this book came with illustrations. I’ll have to check out the web and see if I can find anything or I might even find something on one of my summer guilty pleasures – “Tattoo Master”.

I liked how the book ended (kinda-sorta) because it was left open-ended getting ready for the second book. Bad news is that there is no excerpt to give you a hint as to what to expect. Mum’s the word as to what happens to the “players” in this first book. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.

Warning: There is a lot of sex that goes from beginning to end. Prepare for steamy goodness!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy)

Review: Treacherous Temptations by Victoria Vane

Treacherous Temptations by Victoria VaneReview by Lynn Reynolds

The prologue starts on December 31, 1720. It has a shocking beginning and then it jumps over a year ahead. The setting is Venice and our character describes it as if it were female. I always find it interesting how a town is described as being female. It also makes me wonder why they are never described as being male.

Hadley, the current Lord Blanchard, seems to be a man who only has one thing on his mind. And his “stepmother”, Lady Barbara Blanchard, doesn’t appear to be much better. The story then jumps ahead to the year 1727.

Mary Elizabeth Edwardes is a product of the times – there are only two things that she’s good for, but I admire that she tries to stick up for herself. She has what I consider to be an elegant name, but she prefers to go by her nickname.

It’s interesting to see how sometimes money can influence everything you do – no matter if someone gets hurt in the process. But it doesn’t matter what the time period, it still happens today. It seemed to rule everything back then and we still rely on it heavily today.

Victoria does a great job of creating Hadley. He’s one of those characters that you love to hate but hope he finds redemption and love in the end. He fits the definition of a Rake to a “T”. Does Mary have what it takes to change him or is she just too timid? You will have to get a copy of this book in order to find that out. Victoria gives the reader their sex scene but it is not rushed. Descriptions are graphic so that you can enjoy the moment the same time they do. As you read, you think things are going to work out but then Victoria adds some new twists and turns which just add to the suspense.

Some people don’t read all the way to the very end. With this book please make sure that you do. Victoria has included some “Titillating Tidbits”. It is very insightful. The end came too quickly for me. You will not be disappointed to read this latest book of Victoria’s and it will leave you wanting to read more.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Treacherous Temptations