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review 2015-01-03 02:28
REVIEW - Saltwater Skin
Saltwater Skin: an erotic novella (Breaking in Waves Book 3) - Laila Blake

4.5 "Saltwater Love" Stars!

“It’s always the simple things that can squeeze your heart with such exquisite pain.”



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Saltwater Skin by Laila Blake is the third and final novella in her Breaking in Waves series, the end of Paul and Iris’ story – or perhaps the beginning. This is a series that explores dominance and submission between a forty-three year old reclusive American screenwriter living in a quaint small seaside town in England and a twenty-eight year old journalist who initially went to his home to conduct an interview of him. All three books in this series are not overly long and I would consider this a serial novella series; however, the series is a very well written one. Frankly, the writing is exquisite. This author has this innate ability to draw me in and Ms. Blake had me completely enthralled with her eloquent and lyrical writing style. I was swiftly entranced with the narrative and loved the rhythmic flow of this book. Nothing felt rushed. Nothing came out of left field. It was a simple continuation of the story between two individuals that captured my attention right from the start.

“We’re about to embark on something new, about to wreck what we had before in favor of the deeper, the longer, the more intimate connection. There is risk in that, and treasure. And also loss. Maybe.”



This story picks up where the previous one leaves us. Please note that the first two books do not end in cliff-hangers. They are simply a continuation of what is occurring between Iris and Paul, their love story. After being in a long-distance relationship for the better part of a year, the couple finally decides to take the next step and Iris moves the fishing village where Paul resides. What I absolutely adored about this installment is the fact that it is written in Paul’s POV. I loved seeing everything through his eyes, discovering his fears, needs and desires. His love for Iris simply transcends everything, as if he can’t believe he finally found his perfect mate. Paul worries about how he may be too old for Iris but when they are together all is right in his world. It seems that it simply took him a little longer than most to get to the place where he found the other half of his soul. Paul slowly must shed the last of his bachelor tendencies to make room for Iris in his home, his life. As for Iris, she is exactly where she wants to be. Paul is everything she desires and he fulfills her in ways she would never had discovered if it were not for him. The love this couple shares is truly beautiful. Can Paul and Iris merge their two lives together in the picturesque seaside world that initially brought them together?


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“That’s what she does: she lights me up. That’s what she’s been doing from the first.”

*****

“She is my air, my water, my bread. She makes me want to be better than I ever was, and then makes it easy to be just that. My marvel. My newfound world.”



I absolutely loved the setting where this book (as well as most of the series) took place, a small dilapidated fishing village off the coast of England. Ms. Blake does a stellar job transporting her reader into this picturesque and antiquated village where you settled in Paul’s home to have tea and walked along the rocky shores captivated by the driftwood and other inanimate stray objects along the beach. It definitely made for the perfect setting where Paul and Iris’ story could play out. While in the previous book we see Iris’ emotional journey play out, this time we see everything from Paul’s standpoint. We understand their intense connection through his eyes, watching him experience the plethora of emotions only Iris evokes in him. Everything builds and unfolds into an intense, complex and beautifully told love story with quite a bit of kink added into the mixing pot.

I have come to adore the writing style of this author. Ms. Blake writes in such a manner that each word, scene, nuance has a purpose. For me, nothing was wasted or superfluous. Each moment is carefully planned out as Paul takes Iris deeper and deeper into the world of submission, as we watch their relationship grow into something more and finally as we see them develop an everlasting connection. I once again loved Paul’s calm and collected demeanor and ease with his need for dominance at this point in his life and this was simply exhilaratingly sexy. I again had no problems imagining how freeing it was for someone like Iris to simply let go and trust herself, her body, to Paul. I understood their powerful connection. Paul wants to give Iris the world and she willingly places her absolute trust in the hands of the man she adores.

All in all, Saltwater Skin was a beautifully exquisite ending to this spectacular series. I am not a huge lover of novellas but this author has made me fall in love with Paul and Iris and their tale of passion and need. This is most definitely a series I will be re-reading.










******An advance reading copy of Saltwater Skin by Laila Blake was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2014-10-20 00:42
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
A Taste of Winter (Lakeside Book 2) - Laila Blake

I liked this installment slightly less than its predecessor because most of it revolved around Moira & Owain bumbling their way through the woods which wasn't very exciting or sexy. The final chapters were more interesting with fae intrigue, betrayal, and the promise of more to come in the final book. 3.5 stars ~ Full Review to Follow.

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text 2014-10-19 22:51
Reading progress update: I've read 80%.
A Taste of Winter (Lakeside Book 2) - Laila Blake
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review 2014-04-29 00:00
After Life Lessons (Book One) (Volume 1)
After Life Lessons (Book One) (Volume 1) - 'Laila Blake', 'L.C. Spoering' I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion.

Emily and Song her son or more accurately her boyfriend's son but she calls him her son and he calls her Emmy. Emily has been taking care of Song since he was two years old when his mother brought him to Emily and her boyfriend and just left him with them. Emily loves and cares for Song as if he is her own child. She always has and always will. She will protect him with her life. Sullivan was bitten by a zombie; he gave his life so that Emily and Song could live. Sullivan was a musician and was hardly ever at home. Emily and Song miss him so, so much.

Just when they have just about made it to the end of their own road they meet this man who was a medic in the Army, Aaron. Aaron has been going around the country trying to help out different people who have made new homes in different places or their own homes, safe places hopefully away from the zombies. Aaron goes from place to place gathering up supplies that he thinks these people needs and he takes the supplies to them. Aaron takes Emily and Song with him.

Emily and Song both fall in love with Aaron and want him to stay with them and not leave. Song is so tired of everybody leaving him so it upsets him when he thinks Aaron is going to leave them and of course he blames Emmy. The one person that has been a constant in his life and the one he loves the most. He is hurting and being so young he doesn't know how to handle it. He has lost his dad and everyone he has ever known except Emmy. Emily is only twenty-three years old herself and is very young to be raising a child one her own much less a child that is not even hers. Emily is a very strong and mature woman to be able to take care of such a young child. You can just tell by the way she talks to and deals with Song that she has a very big heart with a whole lot of love to go around. She is so young herself to have gone through what she has experienced and felt. She loved Sullivan very much for someone so young.

Now Emily and Song have both fallen in love with Aaron and neither one of them are sure if they are going to get to keep him in their lives. Is he going to be just like Sullivan? Is he going to be gone most of the time and then maybe come by to see them when he is in town just to bring them the supplies they need? Can Aaron lay down his past and all that haunts him to stay with Emily and Song to be a family? Can they both stop running away long enough to have the love and life they both and all three deserve?

Want to know the answers to all of these questions? Well then I recommend that you grab your copy now to find out what they all decide to do. You will not be disappointed as I was not. I loved reading Emily, Song and Aaron's stories and about their lives and would like to know more about them. Although I do wish that there would have been more zombies and they would have had more zombies to have fought. But all in all I would have to say that After Life Lessons was a great read.
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review 2014-04-09 16:59
REVIEW - After Life Lessons
After Life Lessons (Book One) - 'Laila Blake', 'L.C. Spoering'

You can find my full review at Sinfully Sexy .



4 "Zombie's Are Bad" Stars!

“Hulking shadows emerge out of the chaotic flurries of the blizzard. Something is dying, and so they come, like vultures.”


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After Life Lessons by Laila Blake and L.C. Spoering is book one in this new dystopian series. The world is now a different place ever since “the virus” appeared infecting humans and turning them into zombies. It’s a dog eat dog world now-a-days where only the strongest and most resilient survive. With zombies on the attack and ferociously hunting their prey the name of the game is staying out of their path and staying alive.


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“Years ago she had believed that fear could be overcome by repetition, but now she knew that wasn’t true.”


Emily, a young woman from Brighton, England, used to have a good life with a musician for a boyfriend and a young son. A life in New York where she could easily escape into her art and create. Now Emily lives a life on the run with her son, Song. A life where she feels isolated and alone. Every day brings on new struggles and challenges. Every day is also one that could be their last. Ever since Emily and Song lost Sullivan, Emily’s boyfriend and Song’s father, they have been on their own, escaping the zombie-infested city of New York and trying to survive against zombies and snow storms. They are both depleted, starved and on the verge of giving up. Time is running out for them. When Emily and Song stop at an abandoned gas station, they encounter and ex-Army medic who is willing to help them. A sliver of hope slowly begins to form in Emily as for the first time since chaos erupted surviving may just be in the cards.

“She looked to Aaron, as though she was too small and too sleepy a thing to be out in the real world, a butterfly in half metamorphosis, peeking out too early and trying her very hardest to pretend she could fly.”


Aaron is on a mission of his own, determined to help those in need. With an operating vehicle and a means to obtain supplies, Aaron lives his life on the move going from one to place to the next aiding those in need and helping out where he is able to. When he comes across Emily and Song at an abandoned gas station, there is no way that Aaron is willing to walk away from Emily’s pleas for help. Aaron is able to provide Emily and Song with medication, food and safety against the elements and the danger. As they begin to journey all together, it becomes abundantly clear that slowly more is at stake than survival.

“People run, Emily. People hide out. You think you’re broken. Everyone thinks they are, too.”


The story progresses seamlessly, following Aaron, Emily and Song as they travel along attempting to find a safe haven in this new post-apocalyptic world. As the trio travel along gathering further supplies, Emily and Aaron find themselves becoming closer and a mutual attraction slowly blossoms. Amidst the constant threat of danger and vigilance to survive, their normal day to day interactions allow for a reprieve from the trials and tribulations they face on a daily basis. Their hearts slowly begin to awaken as both Emily and Aaron realize that they need each other for so much more than simple survival. But, demons and ghosts from the past trickle in and Emily and Aaron must work through their inner turmoil and allow for healing to take place. Is the promise of a happy forever together enough for the pair to work through their personal struggles and grasp at the hope of a new love?

This is a character driven novel, very different than other zombie and dystopian books I have read in the past. I found that refreshing. I loved the fact that the main focus was often on the day to day experiences and we get to see how the characters go on this journey discovering things about themselves that they did not necessarily know. Emily, despite her damaged spirit, was strength personified. The fact that she survived as long as she did on her own with a young son to look after spoke to how truly tough she is. Aaron has his own issues to work through and it all comes to a head near the end of the book. With this being said, one of the things that I wished there was more of was a little more detail and explanations regarding the virus. Where did it come from? Is it present in the entire world? How much of the population is left? The world building was lacking a little bit for me. However, perhaps we will get more about this as the story continues in the next books.

All in all, After Life Lessons was a great dystopian novel. I am looking forward to seeing where this pair of authors takes matters. I am pretty sure Aaron and Emily are in for more surprises as they try to navigate a world where continuous threats are being hauled at them. Bring it, I say. ;)


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****An advanced reading copy of After Life Lessons by Laila Blake and L.C. Spoering was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.



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