Tailor Made (Tailor Made #1) by Josephine Myles

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Title: Tailor Made (Tailor Made #1)

Author: Josephine Myles

Publisher: Smashwords

Release Date: Feb. 10, 2014

Stars: 4 out of 5

Flames: 4 out of 5

 

This book was so much fun, I couldn’t put it down. Felix is the typical carefree art student  who has an infatuation with his art tutor, Saul. Ugh, Saul, even the name gives me the creeps. In an attempt to impress the guy, Felix has decided to abandon the art that he loves and delve into the world of conceptual art. And… poo?

“Let me get this straight; you want me to spend hours making you a suit that you’re then going to ruin by rolling around in pretend poo, and you’re offering me what exactly in return?”

Enter Andrew, the hardworking fashion student focusing on his studies while holding out for Mr. Right. He’s focused, charming, absofreakinglutely gorgeous, and exactly the opposite of who Felix expected to find when he went in search of the young student. Did I mention that he was a fashion student?

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I instantly fell in love with Andrew as a character. He always had something uplifting to say to Felix and he never once judged him for his campus reputation. He was a bit naive and a lot inexperienced, but I don’t think he could’ve been more eager.

“Anything in particular you want?” Felix asked as they turned the corner onto Walcot Street. He took his last swig of Fanta, waiting for Andrew’s reply. “Umm, I don’t really know. Whatever’s going to be easiest, I suppose. Doggy style?” Orange fizz exploded out of Felix’s nose, making him cough and his eyes water. “I meant to eat!”

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Together, Felix and Andrew were an unexpected match, but they were an unexpected match that worked. Andrew made Felix laugh and smile and forget all about Saul and his pretentious art projects and Felix pulled Andrew into a world where he never had a chance.

Felix might be Mr. Wrong in so many ways, but he’d jostled his way into Andrew’s heart and sent that imaginary Mr. Right packing.

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I finished this book within a few hours of opening it on my kindle. Down to the very last page I was smiling. This was a fantastic read and I can’t wait to start the next book.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

A Strong Hand by Catt Ford

 

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This was the kind of book that you read, and it’s really good, but then you find yourself asking what was his name again? when you’re done.

The premise of the book was solid. The writing was good.

Nick had never been able to please Damian before and hearing approval in his employer’s voice was… heady.

The relationship was dynamic and accurate… The scenes were hot.

“You need to learn to ask for what you want,” Damian scolded gently. “How will anyone know how to please you if you don’t make your needs known?”

And yet Nick and Damian were completely forgettable. Finishing this one left me wanting… something more.

Wildflowers by Suki Fleet

 

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This is my first Suki Fleet book, and after reading all of the raving reviews on some of her other works, I knew I had to give it a shot.

When I first started reading this one, I fell in love. Fleet’s writing so so poetic and I could’ve pulled a million and a half quotes to prove it, but I was rather caught up in finishing the story and figuring out what was going to happen to Sam (who, of course, I’d already let into my heart).

Lay me down where the wildflowers grow and my heart will find its home.

Xavi wasn’t my favorite character. Not because of anything in particular, but I found myself struggling to connect with him.

And I hate that I wrote him a letter. He had my heart, and I wrote him a letter to say good-bye.

He made a lot of wrong decisions, which I think is why this book reads similar to a coming of age story (some of my favorite books to read). I had a huge problem with the fact that he up and left his job and his apartment and all of his belongings for this boy that he walked away from so many years ago. I don’t know, his character just irked me…

I read 3/4 of this one in one sitting and after taking a short break I found myself struggling to finish it. I was about to give up and DNF it but for some reason I kept it on my “currently reading” list and several weeks later I finally sat down and read the last few pages. It was somewhat of a relief to finish reading it (nobody likes to DNF a book anyway).

I’ll keep an eye out for other Suki Fleet books. I might give another one a shot, but this book just wasn’t for me.

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Dawn to Dusk by Alina Popescu

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This book completely  blew me away. I read it all in one sitting, and when I finished it all I could do was sit in silence and think about Edi and the choices he’d made to get where he was. He reminded me so much of myself and my own first love that reading this book was as probably as close as I could get to reliving that time in my life.

I began the book smiling, reading about this young boy who wanted nothing more than to impress the older kid and enjoy every minute of summer before going back to school. Edi was sweet, simple, and a little bit stubborn.

If I had to hide who I liked, I damn well wouldn’t conform to their short hair demands.

As the years passed and Edi grew I found myself no longer smiling. Edi was still the same old Edi, but he was older, and his awareness of his feelings, both for Robert and the place he grew up, definitely pulled in a heavier tone.

The library had made the past summers better. Whenever I missed him most, I’d go there and look for books I knew he’d read.

This book was a true coming of age tale, and I loved every bittersweet page. Popescu perfectly captured what it means to grow up and watch the magic fade away right before your eyes.

Tiny and almost dried out of existence, with the shrinking walls and dying grass, this was still the cradle of all my boyish adventures. I felt it slip through my fingers. I’d enjoy myself, but I’d never again be awed by this place. I’d outgrown it.

Edi’s relationship with Robert was, well, disappointing. Not in the sense that it made me dislike the book, but in the sense that it planted that seed of angst and guilt? in my chest that lingered there for hours, even after finishing the novel. My story was so very similar to Edi’s and yet here I was, passing judgement on this character for being so passive and accepting when he should be angry.

Didn’t everybody say first loves are supposed to be all great and unforgettable? Why the f*ck did they leave out the part about hurting so bad, you’d want to tear your soul out?

Despite the frustration I felt, Edi is the type of MC that I couldn’t help but love. His concern for his own wellbeing was completely sidelined by his love for Robert, something I’m all too familiar with. My connection to Edi as a character is very personal, but I don’t think it’s necessary to that extent to enjoy this book.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for book 2!!!

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

 

 

Showing Him the Ropes by Christa Tomlinson

 

307410266a010534aaa6ea970c016766ec2d14970b-800wiShowing Him the Ropes was sexy, sweaty, and freaking hilarious! Initially, this book was on my “maybe” list, but oh am I so happy I decided to read it!

Chance “The Chancellor” Gerhardt has been in the pro wrestling game a long time. His veteran status has earned him a lot of respect both in and out of the ring, but his tenure with Frontier Pro Wrestling certainly doesn’t help him pull any strings when his boss attempts to use his knowledge of the field to his benefit. Devin Jacobs is young talent in the wrestling world, and while he may not exactly be new to the game, he’s new to FPW and pro-wrestling. Against his better interests, Chance gets roped into babysitting the (undeniably attractive) rookie and “showing him the ropes” so to speak, until he’s ready for his television debut.

“I know I can trust you to keep him straight.”

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Chapter one and Christa’s already throwing down! This book was a complete joyride. I can’t say enough how much I loved it. The Chancellor was sultry and sexy with a dash of a**hole that made him easy to love and also be frustrated with throughout the entire book.

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And ahhh, Devin, the red-headed, cheeky little brat. I have a special place in my heart for characters like Devin. He was the complete opposite of Chance: Loud – In both presence and sound. He was stubborn and stood up to Chance when anyone else would have backed down. With a dork streak a mile wide

Devin stood there stunned before a slow smile spread across his face. “Senpai noticed me,” he whispered.

and absolutely no fear or shame over who he was, Devin was a strong character, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about.

It was so easy to fall in love with these MC’s (even without the fantastic plot), but I cannot count the number of times on my fingers that I wanted to smack some sense into the “all knowing” Chancellor. He pushed and pushed and pushed Devin away to the point that I actually thought the kid was going to take the hint and give up on him. Too bad Devin’s a snarky little thing that doesn’t take s**t from anybody.

Other than airbrushing it on my tights, I don’t know how else I can make it obvious I’m into you.

The push and pull between these characters practically turned the pages for me! Their banter was beyond entertaining and when Chance finally stopped fighting him…

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“Don’t look at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like…” he trailed off, obviously not sure what to say. Devin decided to help him out. “Like I want to lick the sweat off your chest before I let you f**k me?”

This one was a little bit of a slow build (or at least it felt that way) but it was completely worth the wait. Christa completely met and surpassed all of my expectations going into this book and I won’t hesitate to pick up the second in the series when it’s released.

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Reviewed by Jordan at Alpha Book Club.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.

Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2) by Santino Hassell

Disclaimer: This review contains entirely too many photos and gifs because Raymond is sexy and I’m a sucker. Sue me.

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I didn’t think Santino would be able to follow up Stuphin Boulevard (Five Boroughs #1) with a book strong enough to rival the original, but I guess he really likes to prove me wrong, because holy hell Sunset Park was… dare I say it? Better than Sutphin Boulevard?

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And ungh, can we all say Thank You Santino! for bringing Juan Forgia back for the visuals?

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I honestly thought that this man was a great fit to be Michael, but now I’m not so sure…

And then there were the tattoos… the word fearless on the inside of his bicep, a memorial tattoo for his mother[.]

– Sunset Park

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He is soooooo Raymond. And I can’t bring myself to be upset even in the slightest. There’s a slight difference in hair styling and attitude between Forgia on the cover of Sutphin Boulevard vs. Sunset Park… enough to make it believable that he might be two different people. Brothers, perhaps?

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I see what you did there, Santino. But enough rambling about this sexy book cover, it’s time to talk about why Santino Hassell is my favorite author. So lets get down and dirty with Raymond and David, shall we?

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To make this review all-inclusive, I have to start from the beginning, so lets throwback to Stuphin Boulevard where we initially met Raymond and David…

Raymond’s driving was a summation of him as a human being: reckless and much too fast.

– Sutphin Boulevard

I feel like this quote couldn’t be more true. Reading Sutphin Boulevard, I had no love for Raymond. None at all. I could actually almost say I hated the little punk, and I wasn’t so sure that I was going to like him in Sunset Park… but I read it anyway because I had to figure out what was up with David.

“Wow, son. You’re mad retarded.”

David whipped his head around and pinned my brother with a lethal glare. “Don’t say that word.”

“Sorry.” Raymond kept staring at me. “You’re mad special ed.”

David scoffed, and I burst out laughing.

– Sutphin Boulevard

It seems to be a pretty popular opinion that people don’t like David. A lot of reviews are saying that they couldn’t connect with him and that they thought he was the equivalent of a clingy M/F “heroine”… but I have to disagree. I actually really liked David as a character, because how could Raymond fall in love with anyone else?

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“I tried to make rice the other day, and it was a disaster.” David tilted his head. “Just follow the directions on the box.” The look of disgust that Raymond aimed at David dragged an unexpected laugh out of me. David looked between us in confusion, and Raymond shook his head. “White people.”

– Sutphin Boulevard

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He brought Raymond a sense of structure and normality in a world where everything was falling apart and he couldn’t get a grip. He got so caught up in others’ expectations of him and was so afraid to fail that he completely gave up trying. He’d become a deadbeat son who had no real relationship with his family, a stoner who couldn’t hold a job, and a lonely asshole who caught a break when his ex-girlfriend/friend with benefits decided it was time to fool around again. And David tried so hard to make his life perfect and find the type of love that he deserved that his tunnel vision actually ended up ruining his relationship with Caleb (which was kind-of a disaster to begin with).

David gave Raymond affection and support even when he didn’t know he needed it.

Wake up or I’ll do the lamprey thing all day. I don’t have anything else to do.

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I mean… could they be more perfect for each other?

“His affection wasn’t just something I tolerated. I fucking craved it. It was strange how I could be so hungry for something I’d never known I needed.”

They completely consumed each other in a love that was passionate and intense.

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“There were only so many ways I could explain that he’d infiltrated every nerve, pore, and vessel of my being before it started sounding like I was comparing my unrequited feelings to an infectious disease.

But maybe that’s what it was.”

But of course clueless Raymond didn’t see it. His relationship with David, while he knew that it was important to him, was also “just an experiment.” Raymond had grown so accustomed to people leaving that he was afraid to let David in. He was just a really (extremely) attractive means to an end.

“Go to hell. I’m not playing this game with you.”
“Who’s playing? I’m just giving you what you want even if you won’t say it. That’s why you like me, right?” He ground harder. “‘Cause I’ll touch you when I want, without asking, and I’ll do it right. But he treats you like you’ll break. Doesn’t like to get messy.”
I flinched. “Don’t use things I told you against me.”
“So admit it,” Raymond said, pushing my pants down. “You like me because I’m not scared to get nasty.”

 

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It took Raymond nearly the entire book to finally realize that David wasn’t just a source of experimentation. Their sex was more than just sex and the quite moments and laughs that he had with David meant a hell of a lot more than he’d initially let on.

I didn’t just want him – I needed him. He wasn’t just one of a few options. He was a fucking necessity.

Raymond and David were perfect for each other in every way, and I will not be convinced otherwise. This book was a sexy, fun read and getting to see not only their relationship but also Raymond evolve as a person was perhaps one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had in a while.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Santino writes characters that are real, from every minute detail to the bigger picture. While this may have only been a book, the connection that Santino makes possible with his characters definitely has the potential to impact your life. This was a beautiful book, and I expected nothing less from one of my favorite authors.

 

Second Alpha (River Wolf Pack #2) by Rebecca James

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I had seriously high hopes for this book because at the end of First Omega (River Wolf Pack #1) I couldn’t think about anything but my anticipation for a book about David and Jax. I was not disappointed.

David was like that bratty, grumpy character that you couldn’t help but love because you knew deep down that he was actually a little fluff ball of love and comfort. Of course he hated Jax at first, being human and all, but it’s no surprise that any two men in this series that get close together are gonna hook up sooner or later… usually sooner though.

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Jax is the character that you’ve heard a lot about and already had an impression of before the book started but weren’t really sure about. He was also a lot more patient and understanding (but definitely not soft) than I expected him to be. I wasn’t too sure how these two were going to get on as a couple, and honestly I expected a lot more turbulence than there was (but I guess I can’t really complain – this is kinda a shifter insta-love series).

But I was not disappointed! With the ending of Book One I knew I wanted more David and Jax and with Book Two I got more David and Jax.

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And shit, did Jax have a dominance streak in there. Poor little David didn’t know what hit him (or how bad he really wanted it – until he already had it, anyway).

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The conflict in this book wasn’t as pronounced as it was in the first, so it felt like more of a side story than part of the same plot, but these two have definitely become my favorite couple of the series! (Now we just need to figure out what’s going down with Brooks because that boy deserves some love).

I know it wasn’t, but this book seemed a lot shorter than the first (maybe just because I liked this one a lot?). To anyone who enjoyed First Omega, I’d recommend this book without hesitation. I think it was definitely a more engaging read than the first and the characters were without a doubt more complex and developed. Definitely looking forward to reading the third book in the series!!!

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Visit (Fast Connection Bonus Scene) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

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Holy. Freaking. Crap.

At this point I think I’d be willing to read Santino Hassel’s garbage because literally everything that man puts his hands on turns to gold. And lets not forget about Megan because this series wouldn’t be as great as it is without her. I’m really looking forward to reading some of her independent works.

“I grinned, went through a quick mental catalog of stupid Costigan shit to say to lighten up tension, and said, “Thanks for inviting us. I’ve been practicing my Super Smash Bros skills for, like, two weeks in preparation for this. You’re going down, baby.”

Luke and Garrett stared at each other like they had melded minds and were both wondering how I existed in the world, but Kai gave me his gamer face and fist pumped.

“You’re on. I will fuck you up as Princess Peach.”

In any case, I LOVED Costigan’s attitude in this one (not that it was really any different from the usual). I’d love to read more of his interactions with Kai because hello, can anyone say cute af? Yes? Yes. I don’t think that’s really up for debate. Their (implied potential?) friendship is something I could read about for dayyyss.

All I know is that I need more Luke in my life and it just so seems that any book in this series is a guaranteed good read. 1000x recommended.

Heads up: the link to download this short story can be found at the end of Fast Connection! Happy reading!

Reaction Shot by Parker Avril

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WARNING: NSFW IMAGES BELOW!!!

This book literally started out like typical budget porn. And at first I was a little skeptical, like okkaaayyyyy, I guess I can forgive a cheezy plot… these characters better be worth it.

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…and then you meet the precious gems.

To be completely honest… I didn’t like the MC’s too much at first. Especially Lyndon. I had a really hard time warming up to him as a character, but I think that’s also part of what I liked about this one.

Lyndon seemed like some full of BS rich boy and Shale seemed shallow and almost too quick to accept his “feelings,” which, at the time, I wasn’t too entirely convinced were genuine. It took me a while to consider what to say when writing this review, because I was very conflicted by what I felt vs. what the book was at face value.

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Lyndon rubbed me the wrong way right from the get-go. But I think that was intentional. By 35% I had Lyndon pegged for some self-righteous, stuck up asshole who only cared about three things in life: himself, himself, and oh… himself.

And I didn’t think Shale was much better, honestly. I felt like Shale was damaged, and not a strong MC at all. He seemed so far gone in his own trauma (which was not mentioned at all, up to this point) that he was completely willing to throw himself at Lyndon’s feet. But he didn’t just want to fall to his feet, he wanted Lyndon to make him fall to his feet. He’d grown so used to being pushed around (even from his submissive ex. lover?) that he almost needed it to feel like it was okay for him to submit himself. He was a complete and total brat.

“Call me Sir.” he said. “Right now I don’t like your fucking tone. I don’t like it at all.”

“Sorry about my fucking tone, Sir.”

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And Lyndon took complete advantage of Shale’s brattiness by tying him up and incapacitating him at every oportunity. He didn’t just want Shale to know how completely helpless he was, he needed it. And I absolutely despise that type of character.
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But I hit part 4, and I was kind of glad I didn’t throw in the towel on this one… because it got interesting really fast.

I saw Shale in a completely new light. Yes, he needed Lyndon to force him to submit. But why? I couldn’t believe that he was a brat just for the sake of it. But then I realized that he’d been expected to maintain a certain level of dominance for his entire life, and especially with his ex “lover.” Shale had never known submission in the intimate way that he wanted to, and despite it being the one thing he desperately wanted, he was afraid of letting go.

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But Lyndon’s smug attitude made it easier for Shale to not take him seriously, and that helped him relax. And I don’t think Lyndon was any different. Sure, he’d clearly dominated other men, but never anyone he wanted to keep. He was afraid of the PR mess that would come out of a relationship with a man like Shale. A man who was known to have dominated other men before.

And in the midst of dealing with the blackmail fiasco (which you’d think would discourage anything of the sexy variety), Shale and Lyndon bonded, and shit started heating up.

“Here’s the deal. I’m going to start counting. I’m going to keep counting until you’re completely undressed. Every count is a whack from the riding crop, so I suggest you work fast.” “Wait,” I said. “One. Two.” “Wait.” I pulled off the shirt over my head, which one pretty fast since it was already unbuttoned. “Three. Four. Five.” “Stop, stop, stop.” I unzipped my fly at the same time I hopped backwards to sit down hard on the nearest couch. “Six. Seven.” He counted like a metronome. Calm. Neutral. Tick-tock, tick-tock. “Fuck.” Slim-fit jeans come off at their own speed. I kept wiggling. At least I had my briefs hooked in my thumbs, so they came down along with the denim. “Ten. Eleven. Twelve.” “Fuck me. You cheated. You skipped some. Fuck!” “Fourteen. Fifteen.” “Stop, stop. Fuck me, I’m done. I’m naked.” He looked me up and down, and evil glint in his black-rimmed sapphire eyes. “Seventeen.” “Oh, for fuck’s sake.” I unclasped the gold chain from around my neck and put it carefully in a glass tumbler on the bar. “Nineteen strokes,” Lyndon said. “I feel sorry for you, but maybe next time you’ll move faster.”

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And UGH It just got hotter from there….

Shale let it go and submit without (too much) trouble for the first time since the book started. And ooohhhhh, was it glorious. And right when I had hope for this book. Right when it was getting better and I actually had a little faith in Lyndon and Shale…

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F*ING SHALE had to go and pull a move like THAT. I mean, wtf, Shale. I wanted to reach through the book at slap him. Like, have you learned nothing? I’ll admit, the switch scene was kinda hot, but also really gruesome. It knocked Lyndon down a peg, and finally, we readers, got to see who he was behind the confidence front, but I wasn’t entirely convinced it wasn’t just to save himself.

“I can’t do this right now. I can’t cross that line. I’m too angry with you to dominate you.”

And then, at almost the VERY end of the book, Lyndon completely changed my mind about exactly what type of person he is. You have no idea how desperate I was for him to redeem himself, and he finally did. I was actually kind of proud of him.

I thought this was a pretty fun book, and a little spin on the typical knock, knock, “Hey there stranger” plot line. My only real complaint was that it seemed a little drafty. I think this book would have benefited from another professional editor taking a read through it, because some pieces of the plot were very obscure, and I didn’t fully understand Shale’s background with his “ex” until the book was almost over, and it’s still somewhat fuzzy.

And I didn’t feel so much that the plot was rushed so much as the writing of the plot. Everything that was there was supposed to be there, and I think cramming anything else into the plot would’ve made it seem like too much, but when I was done I almost felt like this was shortened version of the original story (that might be too long to read). Regardless of any shortcomings, this was still a very entertaining read. From start to finish, I didn’t put it down, and the erotica was hot, oh holy mother of sexy, yessss. Avril can write some snarky bastards, that’s for sure. This one was worth it just from Lyndon’s mouth alone.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

Third Mate (River Wolf Pack #3) by Rebecca James

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I read through this book in one afternoon, I just couldn’t help it. All of the suspense building from book 1 and book 2 and now I finally get to figure out what happens!!! But lets be completely honest, half of the reason I wanted to read this one so bad is to find out a) is Jax gonna suck it up and find a way to be with David, and b) what the hell is going to happen to Brooks.

I guess this one answered both of those questions. And I have to say… I’m a little bittersweet about it. I think it was very self sacrificing for Jax to pull Brooks into his relationship with David to soften the blow of him leaving. And David’s not stupid, so of course he knew that he’d be leaving. I really liked Brooks as a character, but I don’t feel like I got to see enough of him. That time that he spent with David in the cell (book 2) was as up close and personal as I got to Brooks, and it was so brief that I didn’t have a whole lot of time to really get to know him as a character. So I know that the only reason I liked Brooks so much was because of how much David liked Brooks and the way that Jax and David tried to look out for him. That being said, Jax brought up the concept of polygamy on his own, and he told David that he’d changed his mind about how he felt about it… which wasn’t true at all. At the time that Jax said that he wanted Brooks to mate with him and David, Jax was still completely opposed to the idea. But he did it for David… and while that’s a pretty misconstrued way to show someone that you love them, I have to say that I love that about Jax.

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The way Rebecca James writes these characters includes all of their imperfections… and Jax definitely has imperfections. But none of that matters because he loves David so completely that he would give up everything, including his own happiness, to make sure that David gets what he wants. His resistance to taking the bite is also admirable. It shows that he has a backbone… he’s not an omega. He never will be. And David loves that about Jax.

I mean… when Jax topped…

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And the way David loved it… ugghhhhhh.

I really don’t know how this book could have been better. It was by far the best one in the series. I’m sure we all have agreed to hate a certain Alpha a**hole with four mates, no? I was simultaneously shocked and proud with the way that one turned out.

I loved the way that this book switched between the perspectives of everyone in the pack, rather than just focusing on two wolves. In that sense, I got a feel for who a character was and how other people perceived him, which for Leo, was completely different.

The way that Sam talked about Leo vs. reading from Leo’s perspective was a complete trip. I could’ve sworn that they were two completely different guys, both named Leo. But this is part of what I’m talking about when I’m saying that Rebecca writes from the heart of her characters rather than looking at the story as an author. The Leo that Sam talked about was exactly the way that Sam saw him, and knowing that what Leo thinks vs. what he actually does is different gives him a much more dynamic personality. These are the types of characters that really pull you into their world. I loved this book.

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My hope for the next book (and I’m hoping there’s a next book…) is that we figure out WHAT IS UP WITH THAT HOWL FOSTER KEEPS HEARING and I need a reunion between River, Josiah, and the girls like pronto.