The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’m an avid reader, who started writing little notes about the books I read and kept them organized on a spreadsheet to help me remember the stories. Several years ago I started to share this spreadsheet with a yahoo group for Lora Leigh. I was surprised so many folks enjoyed my commentary and encouraged me to continue month after month. Then I found Goodreads, and imported all my reviews and notes there. My profile at Goodreads is https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4169697-tinamarie

I hope you will enjoy my reviews and follow my blog, I suspect from time to time I may post on topics I feel strongly about, but this is mostly all about the stories.

Five star rating system for books.

  • 5 – Loved it, would highly recommend
  • 4 – I liked it, a good read
  • 3 – Okay read
  • 2 – Didn’t care for the story, may have significant editing problems or story issues
  • 1 – Did not like at all

Five star rating system for heat level

  • 5 – Heat level is high, extremely detailed, adults only
  • 4 – Sensual, steamy, some things are left to the imagination
  • 3 – There’s intimacy but the details are glossed over, minimal details
  • 2 – Very little details, there may be intimacy but it’s either not discussed or glossed over
  • 1 – No sexual encounters, or nothing more than light affection

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Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward, narrated by Jim Frangione

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Black Dagger Brotherhood

Hero – Zsadist

Heroine – Bella

Trigger Warning!

Listened to audio narrated well by Jim Frangione.

Zsadist is a former blood slave, given no choice but to be used and abused for blood and sex by his mistress, has left him messed up. His story is horrifying and may be hard for sensitive readers. His abuse was so severe that he refers to his cock as ‘it’ and he refers to himself as filthy, it’s heartbreaking.

Bella met Zsadist in the previous book and their meeting did not go well, but after she’s kidnapped by Lessors, Zsadist becomes obsessed with taking care of her home and finding her. After Zsadist saves her and brings her back, all his protective instincts start firing, but he still can’t stand to be touched, then toss in his twin brother Pfury is also attracted to Bella. Feeling unworthy of Bella, he repeatedly throws her at his twin and tries to push her away, until he can’t anymore.

I love that we get to see the ongoing storylines of other characters in the book but I was very disappointed that the Brothers were so quick to think the worst of Zsadist. I also hated how cruel he was with Bella trying to push her away, but I got so invested in Zsadist that I felt deeply for him and kept wanting to cheer him on to overcome all that was done to him. This isn’t an easy read and you’ll be mad at that characters as much as love them.

Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews

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Story 5 of 5 stars

Heat 3 of 5 stars

Series – Innkeeper Chronicles

Hero – Arland Rotburtar Gabrian of Krahr

Heroine’ ‘Maud’ (Matilda Rose) Demille (different variations of her name in the book

Originally read from website, now reading the published full version. I LOVE this story and this series!

Maud is the daughter of an Innkeeper and has special abilities, she’s a vampire warrior in a human body and fiercely protective of her daughter. She was cast off by her husband’s family, when they were exiled to a wasted planet and she had to avenge her husband’s murder while keeping her daughter safe.

After getting a message out to her sister for help, Arland helps her sister rescue Maud and her daughter, which starts a friendship and a partnership, which restarts Maud’s abused heart.

Arland has asked Maud to marry him and she’s told him she’ll think about it. He’s invited her and her daughter to his planet and works to convince her to marry him, while others plot against her.

Arland’s House is hosting a wedding that turns out to be deadly and problematic. Loved the side characters and learning more about the Iee’s and Tachi and the vampires. Little Helen, likes to steal the lime light but in the end I could not get enough of Maud and Arland.

I loved the online story, but the published version was even better! Highly recommend, I read it straight through, my only complaint is I want MORE! We’re given so many tantalizing tidbits of things to come, I can’t wait for the next story.

Master of Fire by Angela Knight

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Mageverse

Hero – Logan MacRoy

Heroine – Giada Shepherd

Logan is Arthur’s son, a Latent. He’s been putting off accepting the gift that would change him into a Magi and to join the battle to protect earth. He’s afraid he won’t be able to master the change.

Giada is a fairly new turned Majae sent to protect Logan. Someone is killing Latent’s and she’s sent to protect Logan without letting him know who and what she is, which is becoming problematic. With Morgana giving her a magicked necklace, she falls into bed with him and when he discover’s the truth it get’s a bit ugly.

An assassin is hired to kill Logan, making it look like an accident but he’s foiled time and again by Giada and her partner, a demi-god, called Smoke.

This is an erotic, paranormal love story, that was just an okay read for me. I found myself more interested in Smoke and his story line than the main characters

Mountain Wolf’s Nanny by Serena Meadows

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 4 of 5 stars

Series – Daddy Wolves of the Wild

Hero – Nick Morga.n

Heroine – Maggie Wainwright

Nick’s daughter was taken from him after his wife died in a car accident. He finally has her back but her grandparents did their best to poison her against him. He hires Maggie to be a companion for his daughter while he works on a new job site, hoping between them both he can reconnect with his daughter.

Maggie is forced to spy on Nick in order to save her father’s restaurant, but she quickly realizes he can’t be the monster she was told. There’s angsty pre-teen behavior, and of course the fall out when Maggie’s true reason for being there is revealed.

This is a nice romance with a side of shifter. There’s a lot not explained about the shifter side of the story and that’s okay as the story was really all about Nick, Maggie and his daughter. Honestly their story didn’t really need the shifter component, it stood fine on it’s own. There’s also some dangling loose ends revolving around events in the book, the why’s and consequences that will leave you wondering.

I received an ARC copy and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Bishop by Riley Ashby

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Endgame

Hero – Bryce Archer

Heroine – Josie Tabor

Josie was kidnapped and forced to become a sex slave, after she was freed she attempted suicide on the courthouse steps in front of her tormenter. She survives but must face a lot of physical and emotional therapy to recover.

Archer was a former FBI agent let go betraying his country, he was hired to protect Josie from both her captors and herself. She has a long rode to recovery, but his quiet authoritative ways anchors her. Archer knows it’s wrong to be so attracted to his charge but her natural submissive nature calls to that side of him. His attempts at keeping her at a distance, confuse and hurt her. While he thinks she’s using him as a substitute for her former captor, she just wants to feel in control of her own body and choices. He spends a good chunk of the story in denial not only about Josie but his former job and doing the push me, pull you thing with Josie.

These two have a rocky road, which isn’t helped by her running off when she knows there’s someone out their sending her creepy, mysterious notes. That part of the story didn’t really fit for me, but I did love seeing all the other characters from the previous books and their chemistry was amazing once the tossed out the mental garbage.

I received an ARC copy and am voluntarily leaving a review. That said I expect any editing issues will be resolved before publishing.

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward, narrated by Jim Frangione

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Story 4 of 5 stars

Heat 5 of 5 stars

Series – Black Dagger Brotherhood

Hero – Rhage

Heroine – Mary Luce

Listened to audio narrated well by Jim Frangione. Love this narrator!

Rhage has hollywood looks, but cursed to turn into a prehistoric beast for the next 100 years, when he looses control and is dangerous to everyone. The only way he’s been able to control his beast is either sex or fighting, giving him manwhore reputation.

Mary is a former therapist, with a heart of gold, who lost her mother to cancer and now her own cancer is back.

When she meets Rhage he’s recovering from shifting to his beast but she calms his spirit and he’s all over her. Even though her mind gets wiped Rhage returns to her, arranging a date even though he’s been ordered to leave her alone.

Mary can’t believe Rhage is in to her and is full of self-depreciating thoughts. Believing Rhage is playing with her she lashes out at him, hurting his feelings but he can’t stay away. They keep falling into this cycle twisting words and actions in a negative way that leads to eitiher withdrawal or running away. It’s frustrating and disheartening at times but when they quiet the garbage in their heads and talk to each other they have some magical moments.

In addition to their story we get early moments of Bella and Zsadist’s relationship and we get to meet John, a pre-trans orphan who doesn’t know that he’s not human. We also get an inside peek of the Lessers, Mr. O.

This story will pull at your emotions, especially as we watch Mary’s health deteriorate and she pushes Rhage away not wanting him to see her dying, like she had to do with her mother. My emotions were all over the board with not only their story but John’s, Zsadist’s and Bella’s. It was also hard to accept that he slept with another ‘to take the edge off’ while Mary was waiting for him in his room. This isn’t an easy love story, both characters are flawed and behave badly but you find yourself still hoping they can over come all their obstacles.

Moving Abroad: The Important, but Hidden by Dianna Firican

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Guide 5 of 5 stars

Series – Smoovster Master Guide

This second in moving abroad, gives guidance on areas you might not initially consider when moving to another country. This easy to use guide gives links, checklists and suggestions to consider when it comes to a country’s culture, language, food, climate, activities and services.

I received an ARC copy and am voluntarily leaving a review. That said I expect any editing issues will be resolved before publishing.