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Series Review: First and Last by Laurelin Paige

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

First and Last Series

booksynopsis

Synopsis for First Touch (from Goodreads):
When Emily Wayborn goes home to visit her mom while on hiatus from her hit TV show, she receives a voicemail from her former best friend, Amber. Though the two were once notorious party girls, they haven’t spoken in years. Although the message might sound benign to anyone else, Amber uses a safe word that Emily recognizes, a word they always used to get out of sticky situations during their wild days. And what’s more chilling than the voicemail: it turns out that Amber has gone missing.

Determined to track down her friend, Emily follows a chain of clues that lead her to the enigmatic billionaire Reeve Sallis, a hotelier known for his shady dealings and play boy reputation. Now, in order to find Amber, Emily must seduce Reeve to learn his secrets and discover the whereabouts of her friend. But as she finds herself more entangled with him, she finds she’s drawn to Reeve for more than just his connection to Amber, despite her growing fear that he may be the enemy. When she’s forced to choose where her loyalty lies, how will she decide between saving Amber and saving her heart?

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Series: First and Last
Author: Laurelin Paige
# of Books: 2 (First Touch, Last Kiss)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Dark, Suspense, Mystery
Heat Rating: hot (Kink: major; BDSM: Mild)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: December 29, 2015 – June 14, 2016
Source & Format: NetGalley–eARC

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**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I was asked by St. Martin’s Press to read the new Laurelin Paige novel, I thought it was a joke, pinched myself and responded immediately to say YES! Paige’s Fixed Trilogy is one of my all time favourite Adult Contemporary Romance trilogies (and it is also one of my blog’s top viewed review posts) and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for an addicting contemporary read. So when I read that her newest series took on a darker contemporary edge, I was so there!

What I Liked:

–The Mystery–

I don’t read a lot of romance suspense novels because I find they don’t have a great balance between the plot and the romance (one is favoured more than the other) and they are terribly predictable. NOT THIS ONE!

I loved its unpredictability! It kept me on the edge of my seat and trying in vain to figure out what was going to happen next. There were so many little twists and things at play that it pushed me to keep reading.

–The Romance–

I’m not the biggest BDSM/Kinky romance fan and I liked that it wasn’t really present in the Fixed Trilogy. Here, it is definitely present and initially this worried me. However, I think it really works well for this story. It doesn’t feel out of place or simply added for shock factor. Nor does it take away from the main plot either or focus on some innocent virgin stepping in to the “dark side” of things. It adds a depth to the characters and the plot; so even if it isn’t my favourite plot device ever, I can appreciate what it does for this story.

What I Didn’t Like:

–That I didn’t Immediately Love Emily–

That’s a bit of a lie. I actually really liked Emily in the first two chapters but I admit that she lost me a bit in the middle when more of her character’s past was revealed. I felt like I had interpreted her to be one way and all of that was shattered when I got further into her story. Maybe I was just a little judgmental when certain things about her past were revealed but I think a majority of it was simply that I didn’t know the full story.

When the suspense-aspect of the plot goes on a mini hiatus in the middle of the novel (the only time I really felt it lag), I liked that it helped you understand more about Emily’s character. Her relationship with Amber in the past is revealed a tiny bit at a time and you learn other things about her past. And I’m happy to say that by the end of First Touch, I really like Emily as a character and could appreciate the choices she makes.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Gah! The way that one ended!!! I didn’t see that coming and I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds in Last Kiss!

updates

–June 8, 2016– Book #2: Last Kiss

I was really excited to pick this one up! Given the ending of First Touch, I was dying to know what happens next!

I found this novel moved fast, in an addicting, I-need-to-know-what’s-next kind of way. Seeing everything unfold was a well worth it and kept me motivated to read. I would have finished this book in one sitting if life wasn’t in the way!

I felt like everything was on point with this novel. The character development was stronger, the relationships with characters as well as the plot in general were at their peak. Combined, they all kept me on my toes trying to figure out what really happened to Amber and company.

What held me back from a 5/5 was the romance in this one. While I loved the sexual tension, the BDSM style of Reeve and Emily’s relationship really had me concerned. Definitely seemed more unhealthy to me than previously but eventually it was expanded upon in a way that satisfied me. However, I do think some people will not enjoy their relationship despite the great dramatic plot.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to wrap up this duology and I can’t wait for the next Laurelin Paige novel!

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My Rating: 4/5

First Touch 4/5 | Last Kiss 4/5

overall

While I wasn’t blown away with First Touch, I definitely feel like this story is building to a conclusion that will blow my mind! It’s a dark, dangerous and sexy ride that fans of J Kenner and Maya Banks will love without the heavy duty BDSM scenes or elements.

Read if You Like: romantic suspense, undercover lovers, dark romances
Avoid if You: dislike kinky romance situations, drug use

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Series Review: Without a Trace by Ally Bishop

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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Buy Inside the Lines  |  Buy Crossing the Line  |  Buy Tracing the Line  |  Buy Outside the Lines

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Inside the Lines (from Goodreads):
What happens in love might destroy you…

Or remake you altogether.

I make a living offering men and women their ultimate fantasies…as submissives of the mysterious Mistress Hathaway.

I’ve never surrendered to anyone. That’s not the way it works. Or rather, not the way I operate.

But when the gorgeous Fin MacKenzie shows up in my life, he throws everything out of balance.

Now I’m not sure who I am anymore, and I’m questioning everything.

What woman can turn away from a gorgeous Scotsman, especially when he sets her body on fire and her heart ablaze?

I have to stop it…us. I can’t keep going like this. It will ruin everything I’ve worked so hard to build.

Who am I if I surrender to him? Worse yet, who am I if I don’t?

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Best Adult Contemporary 2015
Series: Without a Trace
Author: Ally Bishop
# of Books: 4 (Inside the Lines, Crossing the Line, Tracing the Line, Outside the Lines)
Book Order: Connected

Reading Order: In terms of chronological events, the books should be read as Crossing the Line, Inside the Lines, Tracing the Line then Outside the Lines

Complete?: Yes, possible spin-off series in works
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Erotica
Heat Rating: hot (Kink: mild, BDSM: mild [Inside the LinesTracing the Line, Outside the Lines])
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: March 2015 – November 2015
Source & Format: Upgrade Your Story–eARC  | Thank you!

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thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was contacted to review the latest in the series, Tracing the Line when I realized I had Crossing the Line already on my Kobo. Taking that as a good sign that I would be interested in potentially reviewing this series, I decided to fulfill the request.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a straight Adult Contemporary Romance, but these books had everything I like in their synopsis: plenty of heat and unconventional situations that promised some interesting drama. They aren’t very long (~200 eBook pages), so these books were the perfect end-of-midterm-time books to dive into after two stressful weeks.

Book order:

I was told by the agent that contacted me to read Crossing the Line first and then read Inside the Lines and Tracing the Line afterwards. This is because the events of Inside the Lines actually take place after Crossing the Line despite Inside the Lines being published first.

Of course, you don’t have to read these books in any order as they work as standalones in their own right. I think you just get more out of the experience if you read them in chronological event order.

The Plot:

These books all have the same basic premise: female heroine discovers more about herself through a brand new relationship. I was worried that that meant she was going to lose herself to her new relationship (you know, become one of those Bella-Swan-I-Can’t-Live-Without-Him sufferers) but those fears were for naught.

These books have a great tone of female independence but recognizing what it means to be an equal partner in a relationship. Something that I strive to look for in my romance novels. They are also very sex positive which is also great and I like the message the books promote.

There are also some interesting plot twists along the way. I never felt like I was reading a regurgitation of the previous book because each of the leads has her own “issues” to work out and the situations they find themselves in are different. These books were just as much fun as they were about dealing with serious issues.

The Characters:

Like I said before, I found all the heroines had unique personalities that helped make the book their own. It was great watching them develop and become independent.

As for the “heroes”, I really liked them too. They were great catalysts for change but didn’t totally consume the heroine in any way or smoother her character development. All and all, they were are fantastic, equal partners for the girls and I really appreciated that.

The Romance:

I was really hesitant to start Crossing the Line simply because the synopsis hints at a very fast, pretty much love-at-first-sight type of situation–basically my least favourite romantic trope ever. However, once I started reading, it didn’t really feel like that to me (much to my relief). Sure, the romance happens fast but I definitely saw the connection these two had. It made sense to me that they would be drawn together and so it didn’t really bother me that they were falling fast. It also helped that Ella recognized the situation and acted accordingly. Overall, I really found their story to be very addicting to read and that really surprised me given my preconceived expectations going into it.

And the rest of the books where the same way. They all have a strong initial connection but that connection really develops as the story does so it was easy for me to see why all these couples would work out in the long run.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I really hope there are a few more books in this series. There are two characters in particular that I would love to see have their own stories (or perhaps, story?). (I was told by the agent that contacted me that there is a new book called Outside the Lines that will be published in the near future!)

updates

–December 23, 2015– Book 4: Outside the Lines

This book just hit all the right notes for me. I thought there was a fantastic balance between character growth and the romance. There was plenty of steam to keep me satisfied but there was also the right amount of character stories. I loved watching Blue’s journey to find herself. Her story is heartbreaking but so well done and realistic. I thought her story was told beautifully and it definitely the strongest of the series (at least I think so). I also like how it links back to the previous novels. It felt like the best way to wrap up the story of the Trace sisters (though I hope we get those spin-offs soon!).

The romance was also strong and I loved how well they worked for each other. and I thought her romantic match was just perfect for her. It complimented Blue’s story in the best way possible.

Series Rating: 4/5

Inside the Lines 4/5 | Crossing the Line 4/5 | Tracing the Line 4/5  |  Outside the Lines 4.5/5

overall

One of the most balanced Adult Contemporary reads I’ve read in a long time. These books aren’t dripping in BDSM or alpha males; rather they focus on the heroine’s development and the start of a great romantic partnership–they just happen to be loaded with lots of sexy scenes. Highly recommended for those who want a quick and satisfying adult contemporary romance read.

Read if You Like: Adult Contemporary Romances, sex positive novels
Avoid if You: dislike adult contemporary romances, erotica

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DNF Series Review: Fifth Avenue by Yates & Crews & Hewitt

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Avenge Me (from Goodreads):
Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York’s elite would never believe it – especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father – risking his family name and those he loves – without any proof?
Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen’s reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?

breakdown

Series: Fifth Avenue Trilogy
Author: Maisey Yates (Take Me & Avenge Me); Caitlin Crew (Scandalize Me) & Katie Hewitt (Expose Me)
# of Books: 3 (Avenge Me, Scandalize Me, Expose Me)

There is a FREE prequel novella, Take Me–see notes below

Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot, BDSM: mild
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: May – July 2014
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

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NOTE: I did not read Scandalize Me or Expose Me. Find out why below..

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I saw Take Me as a freebie for Kindle so I decided to  download it: who am I to refuse a guy in a suit? But what actually sold me on reading this series is the little blurb for the series on Goodreads:

Ten years ago one devastating night changed everything for Austin, Hunter and Alex. Now they must each play their part in the revenge against the one man who ruined it all.

I LOVE revenge stories. I love all the secrecy, forbidden feelings and drama. They make for fun reads and this on in particular looked like it would live up to those expectations.

Plus, my library had the book set so why not?

The Plot:

Sigh… Avenge Me was a huge disappointment. Never did I think I would be upset that a book had too much romance BUT I underestimated a Harlequin Romance.

It’s unfortunate that the focus was on Austin and Katy’s relationship and not on the task at hand: bringing down Austin’s dad. Sure, that plotline was there but it was buried under numerous mild BDSM sex scenes. I was hoping for a book more along the lines of Heated by J. Kenner, which balanced the sexy times with the mystery of the plot, but Avenge Me definitely wasn’t in that league. I guess I should have known when the publisher is “Harlequin” but it’s been so long since I’ve read one that I guess I forgot.

The Characters:

Katy and Austin were nothing new to me. I also didn’t really like them separately or together. Austin was too controlling and Katy–who showed independence and drive at the start–gave in wayyyy to easily. Sure, I can cut Katy some slack considering she has had to raise herself and her younger brother from a young age so the appeal that someone else would “take care of her” makes sense for her character. I just didn’t like how fast everything happens.

The Romance:

I can get over the fact that Katy gives up her virginity to a guy she’s talked to for 5 minutes. While I don’t really respect that, I understand that, hey, the “romance” has to start somewhere (it’s fiction). What I didn’t understand was how she knew she liked to be “dominated” in the bedroom when her previous sexual encounters were pretty much zilch. I dunno, maybe I’m just used to the skeptical heroine being introduced to the BDSM world by an experienced older male and liking it after she’s experienced it.

It was just a little too insta-connection for me with the two of them. I also got real tired of the sex scenes real quick.

Notes on the novella:

Because I had the boxset and Take Me was listed first, that’s what I read first. I would read it first because it shows you the event that inspires the “revenge” in the actual novels. It’s a shame it isn’t a full novel because I really love the story of these two leads but for a novella, I thought it was well done.

My Rating: 2/5

overall

I expected too much from what are essentially extended novellas. I love the premise but hate the execution. If you love lots of sexy times and little plot, this is a great series for you!

Read if You Like: harlequin romances, lots of sexy times
Avoid if You: don’t like insta-connections, want more plot

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  • Heated by J. Kenner (Most Wanted Trilogy #1)

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Series Review: Most Wanted by J. Kenner

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: Most Wanted Trilogy
Author: J. Kenner
# of Books: 3 (Wanted, Heated, Ignited)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: Mild) (Kink: mild)
Point of View: First Person, Single

Thoughts:

While I didn’t love how the Stark Trilogy ended, I still really loved the world and writing J. Kenner created–so I wasn’t giving up hope yet on her works. Hopefully the plan for this series to keep each couple contained within their own individual book would eliminate the problem of over-extended characters and storylines that wrecked the Stark Trilogy. Believe it or not: not every erotica romance about a billionaire and his girl needs to be a solo trilogy 😉

First up in this line up is Evan and Angie. Evan is briefly (and I mean very briefly) introduced to us in the Stark novella, Take Me. It wasn’t enough to peak my interest but I admit I was interested in how things where going to unfold about two chapters into Wanted once I started reading it. Evan and Angie have a cool spin on how they know each other: he’s quite a bit older than her (maybe 5 or 6 years) and is very close to her favourite uncle so she is completely off-limits. I’ve read about the heroine being in love with her older brother’s BFF but never this particular case. Needless to say, the sexual tension is there and it isn’t this “I just saw you now I need to have you” tension either. You can tell that they have a connection that isn’t just conjugated from thin air in the span of a minute.

However, I didn’t appreciate being reminded of this connection and her “want” of him constantly (it would be a fun game to count how many times “want” is used throughout the book because it is a lot!). Even worse was that it was reiterated using different words within a few sentences of each other. I found the first half of the book was a lot of regurgitation on Angie’s unrequited feelings towards him so nothing really happened. It’s a shame because I think the side plot that happens more in the last third would have been a lot more fun to play with earlier in the story.

Heated focused more on the plot right from the get-go. I loved how it started with the mystery and how Sloane described everything. It made things seem more suspenseful and gave the book a different feel from the previous novel. Unlike Wanted, these two characters don’t know each other so the relationship is one of those insta-connection ones; though it wasn’t too over the top. The middle of the novel diverts away from the mystery plot-line and focuses more on their relationship so I liked seeing them connect on that level. I definitely enjoyed it more than Wanted.

I’ve been waiting to read Ignited since Wanted when we got introduced to the two leads. Unfortunately though, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. The BDSM element is much stronger in this novel as it deals with a dominate-submission relationship: which I don’t like reading. I also wanted to see their relationship expanded a bit–they both sort of jumped into bed with each other and I wanted more sexual tension between them leading up to that moment. I just didn’t like the execution of this novel which means I gave it a lower individual rating (3/5 stars).

One thing I really love about Kenner’s work is that it isn’t totally sex-based and it isn’t overly descriptive or flowery in language. There actually is a story and not every other page is a sex scene. As for the BDSM, it is really quite tame. If you want a series that has more extreme BDSM and lots of sex, read Maya Banks’ Breathless Trilogy instead of this one.

Conclusion:

I didn’t love this series but I enjoyed reading it. It’s lighter on the BDSM stuff which I appreciate but I wish it had more plot to it. I guess I just missed the drama that I expect from contemporary romance novels; and while this book had it (and I loved the criminal, darker edge to it), it just wasn’t enough to satisfy me. So if you want a book with more sex scenes and a dash of plot on the side, this is probably a good one for you to read!

Rating: 3.5/5
Would I Recommend this Series to a Friend: No

Similar Reads: Rush by Maya Banks (Breathless Trilogy #1) and Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard Series #1)

Synopsis for Wanted (from Goodreads):
He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same.

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Series Review: Crossfire by Sylvia Day

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Series: Author: Sylvia Day
# of Books: 5 (Bared to You, Reflected in you, Entwined with You, Captivated by You, One With You)
Complete?: No, One with You, has a publishing date TBA
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Drama, Dark
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: mild)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I won’t lie: I will admit that I read Bared to You because it was linked to Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as some people didn’t like Fifty Shades, I actually enjoyed the romantic suspense and drama that it brought–I just could have done without all the sex. But what interested me about Bared to You was that it stars two dark characters that have tragedy filled pasts that the reader gets to uncover.

As expected, there are some parallels between the two series in terms of the events the two leads find themselves in (read: jealous exes, insecurities and tormented pasts) but they do differ once you get past the first novel in the Crossfire series. Overall I would say the BDSM element is stronger in Fifty Shades than Crossfire which for me is an added bonus because I’m not the biggest BDSM fan.

The relationship dynamic between Gideon and Eva is also easier for me to see. I could see why they both were attracted to each other and love each other more so than Anastasia and Christian (in Fifty Shades I think it’s clearer why Christian needs Ana in his life more so than why Ana needs Christian in hers).

What I liked about the Crossfire series that Fifty Shades develops more in the second and third books is the suspense. It’s present right from get-go in Bared to You and continues into the next books. Also, Reflected in You takes a turn I never expected and gives this series a much darker feel than Fifty Shades.

When I grabbed Entwined with You I thought two things: one) was that we were going to learn more about Gideon as a whole (possibly his point of view) and two) it was end of the series. Turns out we didn’t get either of those hypotheses. Before this book was published, the series got extended for two more books. As a result I really felt like this book was filler more so than anything. I think the series totally could have concluded within three books and people would have been satisfied and happy. From my point of view, there was no need to extend it two more books; a fourth book would have been a bit of a stretch but a fifth is a huge stretch. I also found that Eva was grating on my nerves throughout this book which really disappointment me because I had really liked her character in the previous two books. She just became so whinny and seemed to me like she was suffering from Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome when her character had been so much more independent in the last two books.

Conclusion:

Bared to You and Reflected in You were great books. Entwined with You was a disappointment but I’m not ready to give up on this series quite yet. I think if you want to read a series about two flawed romantic leads, the Stark Trilogy is the better choice than this one as of this moment in the sense that it’s story does get dragged out (well is does in the novellas but the actual novels don’t really do that). Captivated by You shows some promise and I really want to know how this series ends–so I am not going to condemn this series as of now.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1) and Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner

Synopsis for Bared to You (from Goodreads):
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Series Review: Stark Trilogy by J. Kenner

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Release Me (from Goodreads):
He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist.

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past—and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him—and us—forever.

Release Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

breakdown

Series: Stark Trilogy, Stark
Author: J. Kenner
# of Books: 4 (Release Me, Claim Me, Complete Me, Anchor Me)

There are also novellas that takes place after the final book. Full list here.

Complete?: No, Anchor Me will be published April 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Heat Rating: Steamy (BDSM: mild)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: January 2013 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I will admit I enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey–not for the kinky sex but for the plot. Yes, there was a plot to the series but that is beside the point. So I can say I was excited to read this series because it is recommended for fans of Fifty Shades and it promised to have more of a plot.

The Plot:

I really liked this series (at this point I had only read the first two books). If you compare Fifty Shades of Grey and the first book, Release Me, they both have similar plot progression and delivery; however there are some differences that make this series its own.

Where this differs really differs from Fifty Shades is in book 2, Claim Me. There are major plot developments that separate this book completely from Fifty Shades and does so in a way that has me counting down the days to the final book.

The Characters:

For one the characters are their own. Nikki is a more driven and academically intelligent than Anastasia. Nikki also has her own issues to work out emotionally and mentally. She is a very heavy character but is very likable at the same time. Damien is also complex emotionally and mentally, much like Christian, but not so BSDM driven (though he does have control issues and likes his toys & ties and this becomes stronger as the books progress). While he is always sexually charged, you can see that he does care for Nikki–whereas it wasn’t always obvious with Christian.

The Romance:

These two are cute together and it was obvious to me why they would fall for each other. They do become a little too consumed with each other but that is also the nature of what people expect in this Erotica genre.

updates

–January 21, 2014– Book #3: Complete Me

I FINALLY got around to reading the final book, Complete Me, and I have to say that it was a major disappointment 🙁

I think my main problem is that it is has been so long since I read Claim Me and I let myself build up this last book, Complete Me, so much. But I also feel let down by the characters. Damien seemed much more into BDSM that I previously remembered and Nikki (who used to be one of my favourite heroines in contemporary romance) really got on my nerves in this book. I was also expecting one aspect of the plot to be longer but it wasn’t. BUT I did like where the rest of the book went and I am happy with the way things ended (though I am glad there is a follow-up novella)!

I see that there is a spin-off series in the works with Jamie (Stark International Series) and the novella, Take Me, introduces us to Ms. Jenner’s next trilogy series, Most Wanted, with the first book called Wanted.

–January 20, 2014– Book #3.5: Take Me

The first few chapters of this novella are basically an extended sex epilogue of the trilogy but eventually we get a plot. While I enjoyed this extended epilogue and it made me excited to read the other series, I still feel like I’m lacking some closure with these two. Hopefully we see more of them in the spinoff series but I think fans will enjoy this novella. Also, don’t expect a huge introduction to Evan. He’s there for like two seconds and gone. If I didn’t know that the next series was a about him, I wouldn’t have given him a second thought.

–February 8, 2014– Book #3.6: Have Me

As with the previous novella, Have Me is just an excuse to read about Nikki and Damien have sex with each other. Plus, they are in that honeymoon phase where every line is about how much they love each other–which gets nauseating. I won’t lie, I really skimmed most of this novella because the first 50 pages are just smut and when the plot comes I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I won’t be picking up the 3rd novella anytime soon. I would have preferred a separate novel to combine all of this together instead of 3 separate novellas though I appreciate the fact that in theory these novellas provide the closure I was missing from the conclusion of the series.

Why I Won’t be Reading Anchor Me:

I’m kind of over these characters. I hate dragged out stories–they just seem like ploys for money and fanservice. I just don’t see the point of another full length novel.

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

In the end, I did enjoy this series. It has a solid blend of sexy and plot that fans of E.L. James and Sylvia Day will gobble up right away. It’s not as BDSM focused as Fifty Shades but has characters and situations similar to Bared to You.

Read if You Like: Contemporary Erotica, flawed leads
Avoid if You: dislike erotica, dislike long series
similarreads
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1)
Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Crossfire Series #1)

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