OMG. What a fabulous cover for Sinful Vows by Kristine Mason.
I am a huge fan of Kristine Mason’s and I am so happy to be back in her world. I know there will be laughs, danger and death, not necessarily in that order, and I look forward to digging in. LOL
Kristine Mason can go from light and sweet to dark and deadly at the snap of a finger.
A secret to be kept. How far to go to keep it? He went all the way, and once started, his nightmares drove him.
Whitney was patiently waiting for the right man to come along, taking a ribbing from Andy. Her and Andy had an easy relationship, working side by side, sharing lively banter. She looks at him as an older brother.
Whitney is the first female detective in the narc unit of Cuyoga County Sheriff’s Department in Cleveland, Ohio. But, her biological clock is tick, tick, ticking away, so when she goes undercover in the burbs, with a fake husband and ‘white picket fence’, I know there is romance in the air. Enter CORE. And a hunka burning love is coming her way.
Let’s meet Sloan North, ‘a giant, hairy beast, covered in leather, denim and chains.’
She’s an ‘Amazonian Barbie’ and a bit too mouthy and bossy for him. Guess he’ll need to get over it, because between you and me, they will be hooking up for the long term.
Kristine Mason has a way with writing and descriptions, bringing her characters to life with a humorous hint and lively banter.
“How do you fit in this thing?” “Just fine.” They are talking about her Fiat 500 hatchback.
“You should too. If not, I’ll open the sunroof and you can put your head through there.”
It keeps on going and I can’t help but laugh out loud. Wonderful dialogue and I commend Kristine Mason’s ability to write it. It appears to be done so effortlessly.
I love when he pulled off his shirt at the department store, to try on the shirt Whitney had chosen for him in his new role as a suburban husband. WHOA, I can see it now. And the women shoppers reaction. “I’d keep him naked.” LOL
Hilarious writing of Whitney and Sloan’s dialogue and thoughts. Kept me in stitches.
Usually Kristine Mason’s stories are dark and dangerous and I have a feeling we’ll get to that, but I am liking all the fun dialogue and thoughts running through their heads.
I love when he forgot he was carrying her around their new fake home…and she let him.
The kids at the door were so sweet and funny.
I love Whitney leaving sticky notes for him everywhere, bossing him from afar. For being so organized, she sure is a slob.
Suburbia – we have the slut, the gossip, the dickhead…Sloan fights the whole shebang…suburbia, fake wife…but begins to nest, fixing this, planting that, buying this.
The Goldhirsch brothers…
I even feel bad for the serial killer. How is it possible for me to feel bad for someone that buries people alive? I hope that doesn’t say bad things about me. LOL I think it just says great things about Kristine Mason’s writing. She has several plots running simultaneously.
Whitney and Sloan act like a couple of teenagers trying to show the other they don’t like each other, afraid of being hurt or embarrassed. When they finally confront their interest, it is so cute, innocent, and childishly sweet.
Her best friend, Morgan…what a hoot. Sometimes the peripheral characters pop in and steal the show.
When Whitney’s parents come to their pretend home, I couldn’t help but laugh at her mother’s comments. Kristine does seem to sneak in an Ohio State fan in her novels. I catch it, because I am a Michigan Wolverine fan. Have no fear. We get along great.
I bounced back and forth on the rating, because I LOVE Kristine’s ability to take me into a deep, dark place with characters that scare the holy crap out of me and make me revel in the evil that men do. Sinful Vows does not quite take me there. Sure, we have some evil guys, doing evil things, but we are in suburbia, playing pretend house and enjoying all the humor that entails.
BUT, as you can see from my rambling review, I just want to keep sharing more and more and more, so…you bet ya…5 Stars it is.
I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Sinful Vows by Kristine Mason.
MY REVIEWS FOR KRISTINE MASON’S NOVELS
Gah! Cliffhanger! NOOOOOOO! And I have no idea how long I'll have to wait for the next one. Going by the time between previous installments, two years maybe? :( Unless she pulls a George R.R. Martin or Diana Gabaldon, then maybe ten years? :P Thankfully, I don't see her doing that.
This picks up a few months after the end of Winterwode. Gamelyn is still entrenched in the Templars, having to suppress himself again and letting alter-id Guy de Gisbourne take over the reins for him, with all the complications that comes with. Robyn's once again has no idea what's up with Gamelyn because Guy's not a man to share his plans, and Marion's just trying to hold her little family together. Of course, forces are in movement that are determined to see Robyn's little band of merry men ended one way or another, and whether foe or potential friend and ally, playing the game could end their way of life for good or ill.
There are things here that would normally drive me crazy, except that it's so perfectly in character that there really is no other way it could've gone down. There's no manipulation of characters of OOC moments to force plot points, like other authors would depend on. We've come to know these characters over three previous books, and while my hand itched to smack Gamelyn upside the head several times - and Will and occasionally Robyn - it was clear and understandable why everyone behaved the way they did.
This was as strongly written as ever, and it's also well edited despite this being DSP. My one complaint is that it felt a tad overlong. In particular, that whole cliffhanger ending, while certainly compelling, felt like it was resetting the board too much. There was already a threat there hanging in the shadows to give an ominous ending to the book while the characters still got to enjoy life for a little bit, so the last few chapters really could've been held off to kick off the next book with a bang, at least in my opinion.
I read this once before, a long while back, shortly after I read Special Delivery and Double Blind, because Mitch & Sam finally get their wedding in this novella.
There's some angst, because at the time when this story takes place, Iowa had marriage equality but lots of people in Sam's home town are still not on board with two men getting married and Mitch's heart breaks when he sees Sam get less and less enthusiastic about their wedding, and there's a lot of really kinky sex, which is ever so deliciously filthy, because Mitch still likes to watch, and Sam still likes the shame of being so very slutty for Mitch.
And there's Randy, possibly the best friend anyone could ever have, because despite his smooth and snarky exterior, Randy has a heart of gold and would do anything for his friends, and he needs Mitch and Sam more than they could ever know.
Or do they?
I adored this. It's full of Heidi's special kind of magic, because no matter how kinky the fucking gets, it is always, ALWAYS clear that the emotions between these men are strong enough to withstand anything and everything.
** I received a free copy of this book for review as part of the re-release for an honest and unbiased review. **
Katya has spent a long time struggling with her visions and ability to see things others cannot - but she has managed to carve out a normal life and put that behind her. It’s not perfect, her boyfriend is certainly far from it - but it is a life with normal problems.
In as much as anyone has normal problems in a world which seems ever more pressured, with growing earthquakes and horrors.
Until she meets Gregor, Kyrios, supernatural agent charged with making sure the dead cross over - and the monsters that haunt her and prey on humanity are dispatched. Those monsters are becoming ever bolder and more dangerous - and Katya with her unique ability and power may be the key to saving the world
We have an intriguing world setting here - one that takes the concept of demons and does something quite original with it. The Want, these beings driven to feed on human life energy and doing whatever they can to increase the number of vulnerable dead people to feast on. It all establishes a very frightening and overtly awful antagonist with enough variations to make for a varied enemy while not overloading the plot.
But the origin of the Want works well - without spoiling because it would be a shame, it adds a level of complexity and even tragedy beyond the atrocities they inflict. And this is further complicated by the Kyrios’s role: both as shepherds and warriors and how they actually come to be created.
I like that - I like how we’ve balanced a relatively simplistic thread of an antagonist but then included enough complexities to prevent a simple good & evil reading of the world. Which works well with Katya’s own growth because, as an outsider to this she does arrive with a narrow viewpoint which in turn makes it difficult to fully integrate her with the Kyrios
I also like that this, the first book, has been smart enough to include some more hooks to the world building - specifically nodding towards angels - while resisting the temptation to stuff all the things into the first book
Other than the romance, which I’ll get to, I generally like the plot - it moves well but does have a pacing issue in the middle. We’re told about the terribad awful things the Want are doing in the living world and how essential Katya’s help would be but she doesn’t seem to be spending a huge amount of time training or, well, doing anything about it.
I do like Katya’s working with the Kyrios - there are times when I thought we were going to see some signs of Keillie Independence and Spunky Agency. But Katya doesn’t run off on her own or decide to ignore the input of others. When she acts emotionally and angrily towards the Kyrios hierarchy it fits: it’s not necessarily how I’d act, but I can see her firmly drawing her lines. She isn’t a member, she isn’t a servant, she’ll be polite but expects the same back, it works really well
On top of this interesting story and world we then decide that our ancient immortal warrior will fall in love with our teenaged, high-school attending protagonist