Review: Holding on Tighter by Shayla Black

Reviewed by Jaimie

When Shayla Black announced that her Wicked Lovers series would be ending after Holding On Tighter I was crushed. This is one of my favorite series of all time and I have loved every single book.  Considering this installment is the 12th full length story, and there have been 6 novellas, that is saying a lot!  It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite couple or story from them all, but without a doubt Jolie is my favorite heroine from the series. Independent, successful and self-sufficient, aspects of her personality reminded me of myself and there was nothing I would change about her. [Read more…]

Review: Falling in Deeper by Shayla Black

falling in deeperReviewed by Jaimie

Shayla Black’s Wicked Lovers series is one of my all-time favorites, but I have to admit, I wasn’t super excited to read Sweet Pea’s story.  The bits we saw of her in Wicked For You, which was Axel and Mystery’s story, made me think she was going to be one of those needy, whiny heroines that I hate.  Thankfully I was very wrong, and Falling in Deeper, the 11th book in the series, wound up near the top of my favorites overall. [Read more…]

Review: Wicked For You by Shayla Black

wicked for youReviewed by Jaimie

Every time I read one of these books, I’m reminded of why this is one of my all-time favorite series. I’ve met Shayla Black in person at Lora Leigh’s Raw and she was one of the sweetest people, so that’s just an added bonus for me! Wicked For You is the 10th book in the Wicked Lovers series and although most series start to fizzle out around this time, this one just keeps getting better! Wicked For You is our chance to get to know Dominion’s long-time employee Axel and his heroine Mystery. The story has everything you’ve come to expect from this series – crazy hot sex, alpha men and a fast-paced plot. [Read more…]

Review: His To Take by Shayla Black

his to takeReviewed by Jaimie

His to Take is the ninth book in the Wicked Lovers series by Shayla Black and can I just say this series just keeps getting better!  Admittedly when I read the blurb, I missed the connection between the hero and Kata (who was featured in book 4 of the series) and Carlotta her mother (who had her story in book 6.5 of the series), but when I figured it out, I was really looking forward to seeing another member of that family.  Joaquin Munõz is determined to avenge the murder of his only friend and partner and will stop at nothing to make that happen.  Believing Bailey Benson may hold the answers he is looking for, and knowing she is in danger, Joaquin kidnaps her to keep her safe. [Read more…]

Jaimie’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014Reading wise I was pretty lucky in 2014 in that a lot of books I was anxiously waiting for came out, I found some great new authors, and my usual favorites continued to deliver.  Some of those books were better than others so here are my favorites of 2014!

do or dieDo Or Die by Suzanne Brockmann – This book was the first in a new series by Ms. Brockmann and I loved it.  The series is a spin-off from her popular Troubleshooters series so we got to see some old faces and meet new ones.  The story was fast-paced and I loved both the hero and heroine.  Definitely a series I’m going to follow. [Read more…]

Review: Theirs to Cherish by Shayla Black

theirs to cherishReviewed by Jaimie

Theirs to Cherish is the eighth full length book in the Wicked Lovers series by the amazing Shayla Black.  If you haven’t been reading this series and are a fan of BDSM books, I highly recommend you get started right away because no one writes BDSM quite like Ms. Black.  She started long before the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon and gets even better with every book.  It has been a long wait for Callie and Thorpe’s story and I was really excited to dig in! [Read more…]

Review: Wicked and Dangerous

wicked and dangerousReviewed by Jaimie

Wicked and Dangerous combines novellas from Shayla Black’s Wicked series, and Rhyannon Byrd’s Dangerous Tides series, giving the reader two steamy, well written experiences in one book!  I’m a huge Shayla Black fan and have read every single one of the Wicked books so I was really looking forward to Wicked All Night.  I have read some of Byrd’s books but did not read the first story in the Dangerous Tides series and thankfully Make Me Yours was written in a way that I didn’t feel like I was behind or missing any information.

Wicked All Night is Decker McConnell and Rachel Linden’s story.   [Read more…]

Review: Hot in Handcuffs

Reviewed by Allison

Arresting Desire
Shayla Black

When FBI Agent Jon Bocelli went undercover in the mafia, he met and never forgot the beautiful Lucia DiStefano. When his brother ends up in jail and won’t talk to get out or save his life, Jon decides he has to come calling to his old “family” contacts to make sure his brother gets out alive. After spotting Lucia across the club, he decides that since she’s waited this long to save herself, he would be the one to finally deflower her. Aggressively. After much “protesting.” There was a mystery surrounding her father and somehow it all tied back to Jon’s case when he was undercover but to be honest, it wasn’t all that interesting. Definitely hot, but pretty underwhelming otherwise.

Grade: C
On Fire
Sylvia Day

Deputy Marshal Jared Cameron blows into Fire Inspector Darcy Michaels’ small town in order to aid an investigation of a series of arson attacks destroying their community. The chemistry between these two is explosive & immediate. It starts as just an itch to scratch, but quickly (and I do mean quickly) moves to much more. Even though I’m not usually a fan of the “we’re meant to be” after 24 hours in bed, for some reason it totally worked with these two. You could just feel it, you were swept up in the passion and knew that there was no one else who could answer the others needs like they could for each other.

“Good.”
The rush of relief he felt almost made him dizzy.
“So we make it work.”
“It’s going to be work. A lot of it. We’re too volatile. Too…greedy.”
“Like a thirst you can’t quite quench,” he agreed softly.
“The flip side being that every time you take a drink, it’s the best fucking thing you’ve ever tasted. If that’s not worth working for, what is?”

Right?! (*sigh*) The on-the-job chemistry worked really well, too, as Jared and Darcy worked together to figure out who was behind the fire and another mystery that pops up. I had an inkling who the culprit was but she definitely surprised me! I definitely enjoyed this short story and look forward to reading more by Ms. Day!

Rating: B+

The Unwilling
Shiloh Walker

Mica Greer is a cop trying to solve a strange series of brutal murders of women when her ex-FBI ex-boyfriend, Colby Mathis, gets called in to consult on the case. He is “psychic” and probably their last chance at finding the bastard before he hits again. As they work together to find whom they’re coming to believe is a fellow cop, the passion they once shared is reignited in their search for the truth.

The psychic twist to this one didn’t really float my boat. I love paranormal stories but this one didn’t seem to add to the story much.

Ms. Walker is an incredibly talented writer, but this story was too graphic and creepy for me to find it the least bit sexy. If you like to get in the killer’s head, be steeped in the mystery, and get creeped out, then this story is for you. It most assuredly wasn’t for me.

Grade: C (This is based on the fact that it wasn’t my cup of tea, because it really was well written and constructed.)

Click to purchase: Amazon
Hot in Handcuffs
by Shayla Black, Shiloh Walker, Sylvia Day
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Berkley

Review: Embrace Me at Dawn

Reviewed by Jen
 

It’s been ages since I’ve read one of Shayla Black’s Doomsday Brethren books, but it all came rushing back as soon as I settled into the story.  This book has been a long time coming.  It was several books back that the evil Mathias kidnapped Anka from the home she shared with Lucan. He tortured her, raped her, and forced her to break her mate bond with the man she loved.  When she finally escaped him, she had no memory of Lucan or their life together. She ran to her childhood sweetheart Shock for comfort and protection.

Breaking the mate bond drove Lucan insane. Though Anka eventually remembered him and cast a spell to help him heal, he still is not himself.  He misses Anka but believes she has chosen Shock over him.  And in a way, she has, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

As this book begins, Anka is on a quest for vengeance.  She wants to join the Doomsday Brethren to fight Mathias and repay him for all the things he took from her. The only way that the leader, Bram, will let her in, is if she agrees to train with Lucan.  That, of course, makes it even harder to fight her old feelings.

So if he loves her and she loves him… why fight it?  The short answer is that she thinks she is unworthy of him.  Not just for what happened when she was with Mathias, but also because the trauma brought out some submissive needs from her in the bedroom. Shock has no problem meeting her dark desires, but she fears Lucan will never understand.

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of BDSM, but I felt like (with the notable exception of one scene with a whip toward the end) Lucan approached the issue with care and respect for Anka. So it didn’t bother me the way the genre so often does.  What did bother me was Anka.  Yes, she has been through a horrible ordeal. And it is not her fault that Mathias forced her to break her bond or that she forgot Lucan as a result.  Yet I still felt like she jerked Shock and Lucan around in epic proportions.  She made an unbearable situation even worse with her selfish behavior.  This started long before her kidnapping. Poor Shock has been pulled around on a string for a century.  True, he’s no gentle flower, but what Anka has done to him is not ok. Her ridiculous hang-ups about social status made me want to shake the stupid out of her.  And as the story went on, she just made it worse and worse.

I actually did like the book in spite of Anka.  Both Lucan and Shock are great characters.  They held up the absurd triangle.  In the meantime, there is great movement on the ongoing Mathias and Morganna storyline –with a very big ending.

Reading this reminded me why I like these books. Now I’m pining away for my boy Shock to find a HEA.  And to let me in on some of his secrets. Like now.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Embrace Me at Dawn
by Shayla Black
Release Date: May 29, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: Shayla Black

She’s a New York Times best-seller and she knows how to spice things up! Please help us welcome Shayla Black to the blog today!

Jen: I really enjoy the Doomsday Brethren series! It seems like forever since we’ve heard from these guys. Can you give us a little hint about what we can expect in Embrace Me at Dawn?
Shayla: More of everything! More adventure, more heat, more eye-popping moments. As I’ve been writing this book, I’ve said, “OMG, did that REALLY just happen?” more than once. I’m super excited about how this book has been shaping up.
Jen: I know Anka is supposed to be with Lucan, but will poor Shock ever find his own happiness? (Clearly, I am convinced he is one of the good guys.)
Shayla: Shock definitely has a story to tell…eventually.
Jen: When we get to Bram’s book, will we get the backstory we missed on him and his mysterious mate?
Shayla: Yes! In fact, you’ll get a little bit about her in EMBRACE ME AT DAWN. There’s a lot there that the reader—and Bram himself—doesn’t know.
Jen: Can you tell us a little about Project Alpha?
Shayla: Not too much, as I haven’t started writing yet. But they will be very sexy romantic suspenses about a very different breed of soldier facing a whole lot of danger to both the world and their hearts.
Jen: You write so many different kinds of romance books, with varying degrees of heat and sexual adventure. Do you have a favorite kind of book to write? Stand-alones, series, spicy, romantic?
Shayla: No, I really just write what’s capturing my imagination. Contractually, I have to write books in a certain order, but I made the decision to write each of these books because they grabbed me and made me smile or cry or clap or squirm in my chair. I can’t write something I’m not excited about.
Jen: At what point in your career did you finally feel like you’d “made it” as an author?
Shayla: I wouldn’t say that I really feel that I’ve “made it” even now. My job is to sit in front of my computer every day and type out the stories in my head. I truly enjoy the interaction on my Facebook fan page and the role play pages for both the Doomsday Brethren and Wicked Lovers series. Hitting the New York Times was a definite thrill. But I’m always aware that my job isn’t really about what I’ve written in the past, but what I’m going to write now and tomorrow. I simply think in terms of maintaining good work habits and hopefully more readers finding me so that my career can grow.
Jen: I’m sure you get a lot of feedback from your fans. What effect does fan response have on you personally and as a writer?
Shayla: Some emails from fans have touched me deeply. I’ve been told that I’ve saved relationships and helped people through personally difficult times. People have written to tell me that they’ve discovered things about themselves by reading my books or that they’ve found a deeper connect with their partner by reading my books together with them. I’ve had hate mail, love mail, and prison mail. People have told me what I’ve done right and wrong, in their estimation. In all cases, I figure that if I made the reader feel something, I did my job. I used to let negativity bother me, but the truth really is, not every book or every author is for every person. Every author has themes and characters that resonate for them. Some readers will understand them and others won’t. Frankly, there’s a book and an author for every reader out there. It may or may not be me. I accept that. The best thing I can do for the readers who do like what I write is to continue to be me and minimize the distractions. Trying to cater to readers for whom I’m just not their cup of tea is a waste of everyone’s time..
Jen: What is the draw for you to attend fan events and reader conventions?
Shayla: I love opportunities to connect with readers. Many writers are introverts, but I’m a people person, and I take many chances every year to meet readers and just have fun. Attending conferences like this are a great way to meet new people you’ll instantly have something in common with: love of books!
Jen: What are looking forward to most about AAD in NOLA this summer?
Shayla: The people, the parties, and the fun! It will be my first time to AAD, and I’m planning to make the most of it.
Jen: Thank you so very much for visiting the blog! I can’t wait to meet in New Orleans!
Shayla: Thanks for much for having me here. I’m looking forward to meeting in New Orleans, too.

To learn more about Shayla Black you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter.