Review: An Indecent Proposal by Julia Ross

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Sara is 25 and has recently moved to Basel to work on a doctorate in cytogenetics in a laboratory. Having recently broken up with her boyfriend, she is feeling depressed, shaken and lost. Then she meets Leo and Oscar at the laboratory, and to her surprise feels strongly attracted to both of them.  Blue-eyed, fair-haired Leo is gentle and sensitive. Oscar, his best friend, is the opposite: dark-haired and brown-eyed, and direct to the point of brusqueness. They make her a proposition – that she spend four days with them in Barcelona, going along with anything they suggest. The only condition is that no relationships are to be formed. But what happens in Spain perturbs her so much that she finds it impossible keep to their agreement…

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 1/5 stars

My Review:

I really hate ending the year on a low note where my beloved books are concerned, but Julia Ross’s An Indecent Proposal has left me without much of a choice. 

Make no mistake, the cover, title, and synopsis for An Indecent Proposal has everything I love in a book.  The promise of a love triangle or, even better, a threesome, two totally different personalities in the men, and a young, beautiful woman caught in the middle of a lot of sexy awesomeness.  I only wish the plot and characters had delivered on such promise . . . .

From the very beginning, Sara is incredibly off-putting.  When Sara comes to work at the lab where she meets Leo and Oscar, she is a bit of a mess.  Her ex didn’t just leave her, he cheated on her with her friend and twisted the knife deeper when he told Sara she is, essentially, a most unresponsive and cold lover.  Just what every girl wants to hear after finding her long-term boyfriend shagging her friend.  For Sara to become so quickly attached to both Leo and Oscar is just madness as she is still reeling from her recent breakup.  To make matters far worse, Sara is, even at 25 years old still incredibly immature and indecisive. 

Sara is new to the lab, but Leo and Oscar are long-time employees which means everyone knows their business.  There is always gossip about the two hotties and what the gossip says is that Leo had his heart viciously broken by a married woman (also an employee of the lab) which has left him in no state to pursue a long-term relationship, and Oscar is a man-whore who is always up front with the women he sleeps with.  Like Leo, Oscar wants nothing to do with a long-term relationship and he is clear about that from the very beginning.  In fact, both men are clear about their intentions when they offer Sara their proposal.  One weekend of strings-free, commitment-free, sex at the end of which, everyone walks away with no regrets.  Yeah, that’s going to work out . . . .

At every turn, Sara makes terrible decisions and behaves more like a child than a grown woman.  She cries at the drop of a hat, she runs away when things get a little too messy, and she can’t keep her promises.  Several times throughout the read, someone has to remind Sara to stop behaving so poorly, stop acting like a child, and to walk away from a situation if you can’t abide by the rules.  Oscar (and myself!) have no patience for Sara’s crap, Leo wants to coddle her, and her best-friend is the only sensible one in the entire group.  Sara’s best-friend clearly knows her well and advises Sara to really consider the men’s offer before committing to anything.  Unfortunately, Sara once again makes a bad decision and while the sex is pretty outstanding, the emotional side is a hot effing mess that blows up in everyone’s faces.  To make matters far, far worse, it all comes crashing down several years later at Sara’s best-friend’s wedding. 

The Bottom Line:  I wanted to like this read and so, I stuck with it to the bitter and ridiculous end.  An Indecent Proposal has such promise in the title and the synopsis, but that it where the promise comes to a crashing halt as the story and the characters certainly don’t deliver.  Sara is selfish and immature, Oscar is a brutally honest dick, and Leo is love-struck fool.  Not a one of the characters has any business being involved in a relationship yet here they are, forging their way toward an ill-fated threesome.  I found myself disgusted with each character’s attitude and behavior and the plot to be feeble, at best.  As if this weren’t enough, there’s the ending which left me absolutely stunned, and not in the good way.  The way this whole story plays out in the end is the height of silly and I found myself wanting to throw my ipad.  I think we’re now all clear on how I really feel about this book.

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Review: Necessary Evil (Book #1: Sentinels of Babylon) by Jamie K. Schmidt

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Lucy Simmons comes from a rough family, but she’s a damn good public defender. Even though she hates to see criminals walk due to sloppy police work, the law’s there to make sure everyone gets a fair trial, and Lucy certainly doesn’t believe in the kind of justice meted out by the leather-clad ex-cop they call “Evil.” He’s stubborn, cynical, and out of control—but he plays her body like no man ever has. For once, both Lucy’s boss and her brother agree: The biker is trouble.  Evan Villiers took a sacred vow to let no killer, rapist, or pedophile go unpunished. When scumbags fall through the system, his motorcycle club cleans up the garbage. Although the Sons of Babylon and their methods may not be to Lucy’s liking, the beautiful lawyer has become Evan’s light in the dark. But his next hit is Lucy’s own brother—a murderer who got off on a technicality. Now, with his loyalties split, Evan must turn his back on his brothers . . . or lose the woman who has claimed his reckless heart.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

Lucy Simmons has dedicated her life to helping those without hope.  She’s a public defender intent on seeing justice done even if it means pissing people off.  Unfortunately, pissing people off for a living also means you’re a target which is precisely what she is the night some jacka$$ decides to mug her as she’s making her way to her car late one night.

Evan “Evil” Villiers is a retired cop turned bar owner who has no tolerance for crime.  In fact, Evan retired from the force once he realized how little headway he was making, working within the confines of the law.  With the help of three like-minded friends, Evan has been slowly making a difference in the world, one criminal at a time.  Thankfully, Evan and his crew, the Sentinels of Babylon were “on duty” the night of Lucy’s mugging.  Evan would have helped any woman in the same situation, but helping Lucy is a fine coincidence Evan fully appreciates.  For two years, there has been an attraction between Lucy and Evan but neither has ever seriously acted on the attraction.

With Evan no longer working for the police force, dating him wouldn’t be a conflict of interest for Lucy.  But, as Lucy quickly discovers, Evan now lives an even more dangerous life than he did as a cop.  Though he and his friends aren’t a gang, per se, they do share a common goal of eradicating evil outside the parameters of the law.  Evan and his friends are constantly on guard, often called to eliminate a target (there’s a process!), and generally investigating criminals of all sorts.  Lucy knows life with Evan won’t be easy, but Evan makes her feel safe, loved, sexy, and claimed.  For a time, things between Evan and Lucy are smokin’ hot, but it all changes when the bodies begin to pile up.  Both Lucy and Evan must make some tremendous decisions that may end their budding relationship. 

The Bottom Line:  Right up until the very end, I was prepared to award this read a 4-star or higher review.  This is a bit different sub-genre for me as I don’t normally throw down with MC club reads.  I was pleasantly surprised, right up to the very end.  I like Evan’s roughness, his course manner, his raw sexuality, and his dirty mouth.  He has principles, and a moral compass that is always in line with his personal beliefs.  He may be acting outside the law, but Evan truly believes he is bettering the world by eliminating one criminal at a time.  Lucy is certainly a woman capable of taking on Evan and his crew.  She’s mouthy, intelligent, and never afraid to stand up for what she believes in even if it means jeopardizing her personal safety.  A perfect partner for the rough-around-edges bar owner!  Though I like how everything ultimately played out for Lucy and Evan, I feel like the story was tied up way too quickly.  Throughout, the pacing was quick, but not too fast with the plot unfolding in a pleasing manner, and then WHAM! the whole thing wraps up in what feels like too few pages.  It’s almost as if the author had a page limit she wasn’t allowed to violate, so she tied up the entire story in the quickest way possible.  This really did negatively impact the overall read and left me a bit perturbed.  With that being said, I am willing to give this series a second chance and hope the kinks will be worked out in round two.

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About the author and where to find her:

jamie-k-schmidtUSA Today Bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt is a hybrid author who has over thirty short stories published in small press and ezines, and a variety of novellas and books online. Her Club Inferno series from Random House has been in Amazon’s top 100 ebooks sold and Barnes and Noble’s top 10. She has a dragon paranormal romance series at Entangled Publishing. Book one of the Emerging Queens series is The Queen’s Wings.  Jamie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in Secondary Education English, which is a fancy way of saying she went to college to teach high school English. When that didn’t pan out, she worked as a call center manager, a Tupperware consultant, a paralegal, and finally a technical writer for a major conglomerate company. She is an active member in the Romance Writers of America (RWA). When not writing, Jamie relaxes with a mug of hot tea and knits or makes beaded jewelry.

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Review: Off Base (Book #1: Out of Uniform Series) by Annabeth Albert

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After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.  Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.  Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

Zack Nelson has always been sure of his job, but that’s where his certainty comes to a crashing halt.  He’s been through training and earned his spot on a SEAL team, now all he must do is keep his team from finding out he’s gay. 

Some things are easier said than done.  Zack spends nearly every day on base worried his secret is going to come out.  Is he paying too much attention to one of his teammates, does his gaze linger a bit too long, do any of the words coming out of his mouth out him?  The military may have revoked DADT, but that doesn’t mean every service member is on board.  In fact, there’s one asshole in particular on Zack’s team who strongly suspects Zack’s leanings and isn’t above threatening and/or blackmailing Zack.  At home is the only place Zack truly feels comfortable, but home has its own complications. 

Pike Reynolds has been openly gay for a very long time, and after an awful early experience, he swore he would never again become involved with a man who isn’t as open about his sexuality as Pike is.  Again, some things are easier said than done.  With few options left to him and time running out, Pike agrees to share a small fixer-upper with Zack.  In exchange for rent, Pike will help Zack overhaul the house and get it ready to sell.  Pike’s good with his hands, knows a great deal about house flipping, and is hopelessly attracted to his closeted roommate.  As the days and weeks pass by, Pike and Zack become not just friends, but intimates.  Pike knows of Zack’s fears, his job issues, and his prejudicial family, but that doesn’t stop him from getting physical.  The attraction between the two is strong, and Pike is certain he keep his feelings in check . . . . for about a hot minute 🙂

While Zack and Pike are at home their relationship is sexy and sweet, but Pike wants more and Zack isn’t ready to tell the whole world about his personal life.  Finding himself where he swore he would never again be, Pike tries to rationalize the situation so he doesn’t have to give up the man he has come to love.  Pike doesn’t push and Zack keeps making promises, but it’s going to take a medical/life-threatening emergency for both men to finally come to terms with their situation.  When the hard decisions have to be made, both Pike and Zack find themselves with some personal demons to tackle before they can come back to one another in a healthier and happier way.

The Bottom Line:  I’m not going to get all crazy and say I was blown away by Annabeth Albert’s Off Base, but I am willing to commit to having liked the read.  It really is a very typical romance with one atypical aspect, it’s about two men.  If you think of the very typical issues found in many romance novels – work difficulties, mixed feelings, a bit of drama, a scary-bring-it-all-into-focus moment, and some naughty bits – you have Off Base.  I liked both Pike and Zack well enough, their story was just interesting enough to keep me reading, and their naughty moments were fine (notice I didn’t say smoking hot!), but I also didn’t find anything new or terribly exciting in this read.  It is the first in a series and those are always hard books so I have hope that the later additions will be a bit more intense and/or sexier.  The groundwork has been laid so it’s time for the next novel to up the ante, so to speak.

Pre-Order now for the January 9, 2017 release:

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About the author and where to find her:

annabeth-albertFrequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

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Spotlight: Beauty and the Wiener (Book #2: A Rescue Dog Romance) by Casey Griffin

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 Addison Turner has scripted a perfect future for herself, complete with a fairytale ending. She will become the name in doggie fashion design and live happily ever after with the husband of her dreams—and her dachshund, Princess, by her side. Just when her plan is on track and she’s gaining recognition at the local dog show, Addison is hit with some Oscar-worthy drama. A group of prize-winning show dogs are stolen from under her nose, and she’s stuck asking for help from Felix Vaughn, an infuriatingly hot bartender who is the exact opposite of Prince Charming.  When more dogs go missing—and Felix becomes a suspect—the two team up to clear their names. Although Felix and Addison fight like cats and dogs, there’s an undeniable spark between them. And as the trail to the missing dogs heats up, so does their red-hot chemistry. Can Addison be persuaded to throw away her script to find an ending that just might be better than she ever expected?

Pre-Order for the February 7, 2017 release:

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About the author and where to find her:

Casey GriffinCasey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

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Review: Pull Me Close (Book #1: Panic Series) by Sidney Halston

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 Pull Me Close (Book #1: Panic Series) by Sidney Halston.  ebook, 240 pages, published October 25, 2016 by Loveswept.  ISBN: 0399593896

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Katherine: I thought I could enjoy a night out like a normal person. I thought I could handle the flashing lights, the pulsing music, the crowded dance floor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After having an anxiety attack and passing out during my sister’s engagement party at Panic, I wake up in the arms of the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Nick Moreno’s no gentleman. But he might just be the man I need to help me take control of my life.  Nick: When I hear there’s some random girl passed out in the back room of my family’s South Beach nightclub, I’m pissed. My dad’s already behind bars and we can’t afford any more bad press. But after giving her a lift—literally—back to her apartment, I stop seeing Katherine Wilson as some random girl. She’s gorgeous, vulnerable, and braver than she knows. And when we kiss, all I want to do is pull her close and promise that she’ll always be safe in my arms.

Source: Author and Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

I don’t even know what to do with this one . . . .

Sidney Halston knows exactly how to stab a reader in the heart, twist the blade, and then leave you lying there wondering what the hell just happened.  Pull Me Close is no exception to this rule. 

Nick and his twin brother, Matt have been through hell and back.  Their father is a criminal who is now serving time, they are under constant surveillance by all the alphabet government agencies, and there’s very little time for anything outside of the shared club, Panic.  Panic is finally back on the right side of the law and Nick intends for the club to stay there.  One thing that will get he, his brother, and Panic in trouble is a woman overdosing on site.  Which is precisely how Nick finds himself in the position he is in, carrying a passed out woman home rather than taking her to the hospital.  Nick is certain the woman has damn-near overdosed and if there is one thing he has no patience for, it’s a drug user. 

Technically, Katherine does take drugs, but it isn’t what Nick thinks.  When she finally comes to, and in the days that follow, Katherine finds she needs Nick to understand her situation.  She needs him to know she isn’t an addict but there are very real issues in play that require medication from time to time.  In fact, it takes Katherine taking medication and an incredible amount of courage to be able to leave her home in order to explain herself to Nick.  Though it takes a few attempts and more than a bit of awkwardness, Katherine is finally able to convince Nick she isn’t an addict. 

Once Nick fully understands Katherine’s situation, he is able to settle in and really get to know Katherine.  What Nick finds is an intelligent, funny and sexy woman who has a tragic past that has led to her current situation.  Furthermore, he find a woman who wants to overcome her situation and is willing to do the hard work.  Nick finds himself, for the first time in a very long time, actually caring about a woman beyond having sex with her.  In fact, Nick finds himself doing research and asking questions that will allow him to help Katherine in her endeavors.  With work, time, effort, caring, comfort, and concern progress is made and Katherine and Nick are both happier than either has been in a very long time.  Unfortunately, the universe needs balance and Katherine and Nick’s happiness is eventually overshadowed by tragedy and an intense sadness that will leave you reeling.

The Bottom Line:  This book gutted me!!  Katharine is such a contradiction in the best way possible and Nick is the strong, sexy, demanding man who helps right her world.  Their relationship reads as so very authentic.  It isn’t all roses and rainbows, but a relationship that has really beautiful moments tempered by arguments and disagreements that are then balanced by more truly beautiful moments.  It’s a vicious cycle that had me, from page to page, on edge wondering when the next round of awful was going to rip through Nick and Katherine.  Generally, I didn’t have to wait to long for those moments and I welcomed them knowing those moments would be balanced by something so very good.  As always, Halston’s book is woven together rather than simply written, her characters are solid, real people with real issues, and the dialogue is on point and more than able to carry every aspect of the story.  Another strongly and enthusiastically recommended read!!

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 About the author and where to find her:

sidneySidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”–Mark Twain. Or even simpler, “Just Do It”—Nike.  And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative romantic side and wrote Seeing Red.That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing.  Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second.  When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Review: Archangel’s Heart (Book #9: Guild Hunter Series) by Nalini Singh

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One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.  Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…  Nothing will ever be the same again.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 2/5 stars

My Review:

**SPOILERY AND RANTY**

Let me begin by saying, even I’m surprised at my rating for this book.  Historically, I have not just loved this series, but been wrapped up, slutty obsessed with this series.  Tragically, that all went out the window with this read . . . .

I generally don’t get up in arms about the price of books because I love books and am willing to pay for the books I want to read.  With the advent of ebooks, books have gotten far less expensive except for those that come from the big publishing houses.  There are a few authors and series with big publishing houses I am willing to pay the higher prices for every time, and Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series is one of those.  I have never been upset by the price because I have always gotten a quality read.  This time, however I got nothing of the sort and that left me quite angry.

What Archangel’s Heart amounts to is, at best, a novella length read of new information spread across 350+ pages.  I have never had to force myself to read the books in this series and I found myself having to do so with this read.  It took me a week to get through this book when I generally must force myself to put the book down and sleep.  There is just so much repetition in this book where Elena and Raphael are concerned and I was expecting something so very different.  Oh sure, the threat to the power couple is new to this book, but it mostly revolves around each reminding the other of how much they love one another and how each would be lost if the other were hurt or died.  At some point, that just gets old and I want to see real evolution in the characters and the overall series plot, not just repetition of an old theme.  Furthermore, the whole Elena’s past resurfacing is played out and repetitive as well.  Again, there is some new information that comes out in this read, but not so much that it couldn’t have been covered in a between the major books novella.

So, was there anything about this book I did like?  Yes!  There are some plusses to this read, but not enough or in great enough quantity to balance out the repetition.  As with so many readers, I was expecting this read to be either Aodhan and/or Illium’s story.  Like Illium, Aodhan has long been dangled before readers, and while his role was the largest it has ever been in this book, it is beyond time for his full and complete story to be told!  Aodhan is stronger than he has been in 200 years, and it’s high time he gets to spread his wings and make a real impression on the immortal world.  Another plus in this read is the gathering of the Cadre.  It’s not often this group gathers in one spot and it is impressive when they’re all in one place.  The dynamics between the members, the alliances, the nuances, the playfulness (yes, there’s some of that!), and, of course, the violence is fascinating.  With two ancients now awake, the balance of power is shifting and, it is with great hope that more ancients rise and more books will be added to the Guild Hunter roster.

The Bottom Line:  More than anything, I expected to love this book as I have all the others in the series.  From a technical perspective, I have no complaints for, as always, Singh’s writing and editing are damn-near flawless.  It is wholly and completely with the book’s content that I have issues.  I won’t bore you with repetition and rehashing, but I will leave you with this. . . . I’m not done with this series as it has a very good track record, but one more book like Archangel’s Heart and I’ll have to seriously revaluate my relationship with the series.

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About the author and where to find her:

naliniNEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars (and one gorgeous ex-rugby player). If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.  Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don’t forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.

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Review: The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

 

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When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.  In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

This is the second Tiffany Reisz book I have read and I’m getting a little tired of her breaking my brain with the awful and awesome . . . . seriously!!  Little. Tired.  Of course, that tired bit could have something to do with the fact I was up until 3 a.m. reading, took a 3 and half hour nap and then finished the read a couple of hours later. . . . . Yeah, it’s that kind of good.

From the moment Paris, the seductive and sultry woman not the city, walks into Cooper McQueen’s life, he knows his night is on the upswing.  When the morning comes, Cooper McQueen knows his life is never going to be the same.  There are some stories a man just can’t unknow and Paris certainly knows how to tell a story. 

From the very moment Paris begins her long and winding tale, Cooper is taken in.  Paris begins her tale with generations back with a white slave owner raping and impregnating one of his slave girls.  As the tale goes, the man’s wife ripped the red ribbon from the young girl’s hair as she and her unborn baby were sold.  From this tragedy was born the Red Thread bourbon company and a family cursed because of their evil beginnings and continuous wrong doings.  For generations to come, Red Thread bourbon led the industry in quality and taste and the Maddox family become among the most respected and wealthy in Kentucky society.  While most believe the family to be the honest and upstanding citizens they appear to be, there is a dark truth behind the façade.

It isn’t for several generations that the dark truth of the Maddox family comes to light and topples what has become a state institution.  What shocks Cooper perhaps more than any other part of the story is that the toppling comes at the hands of a teenage girl, Tamara Maddox.  For the second half of the night, Paris tells Cooper all there is to know about young Tamara Maddox including her sordid history with her mother, her love affair with a ranch hand, the suicide of her father, and the truth behind her grandfather’s death.  As the story unfolds and unfolds, and further unfolds Cooper is astounded at the horror perpetrated by a single family.  He is shocked by the treachery, the betrayal, and the truly horrifying events that have marked the Maddox family.  By the end of the night Cooper is left wanting more, more of Paris and more of the fascinating tale she has spent most of the night weaving.  Alas, Cooper finds he may have to be satisfied only with what he has already been given, a tale of trials and tragedies shot through with only brief moments of happiness.

The Bottom Line:  Yet again, Tiffany Reisz has made me her bitch!  Page after page of awful, wretched, and truly terrible behavior didn’t stop me from flying through this read.  In fact, the only reason I stopped reading at 3 a.m. was because I had to, I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.  This isn’t just a tale but a saga, a long and tragic tale of a family built on blood, slavery, lies, and sexual misconduct.  As unlikely as it seems, there is a hero and heroine in this story and from a very early stage of the read, it was easy to root for them and totally condone each and every act each commits.  While I don’t normally condone criminal activity, some acts are completely justified and I found myself hoping for a bit more eye for an eye.  On the technical side, Resiz has put together a tightly woven and beautifully written read that has few if any flaws.  This is a dark read that doesn’t have many moments of bright and/or happy but don’t let that stop you from diving into this terribly tremendous read.

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