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review 2018-08-26 00:00
Hostage
Hostage - Annika Martin,Skye Warren Hostage - Annika Martin,Skye Warren Hostage was so good that I took a break for a week at about three quarters in so it would last longer, because I didn’t want it to end too soon.

Although we knew about Stone’s history from Prisoner, getting his point of view was equally if not still more devastating as we saw how he, being the eldest, took upon himself the responsibility of taking take care of the others, both in the past and in the present, and doing the dirty work himself so others wouldn’t have to.

And then there is Brooke, seemingly a spoilt rich girl who has everything, but who lets us see behind that façade from the get-go and gives a reader a lot of food for thought regarding how much of the ‘happiness’ and ‘wealth’ some people have could be just putting up appearances and following the invisible rules of the elite .

Brooke, somewhat naïve and innocent to an extent, with her highly-regulated life, and the hardened, disillusioned Stone, stripped of any notions of ‘propriety’ couldn’t be more different. And yet, they complement each other and fit together perfectly.

As Brooke puts it herself, she is a good influence on him and he is a bad (but in a good way) influence on her – while she shows him he doesn’t have to be a monster and can still have a life beyond vengeance, he teaches her how to stand up for herself and be her own person, and they both help each other see a way to live a life not predetermined by their past or other people and stay true to themselves even as they change each other.

Hostage takes place over several years, encompassing the time before and after Prisoner and brings the story to a wrap. Hence, although I would love to see other guys’ stories, I would also be fine with the series ending here, as the ending is very satisfactory and actually even more so than I had expected going in.

Other qualities I praised in Prisoner – great writing, vivid side characters, real stakes, truly dark elements, and organic development of the romance among others – are also present in Hostage.

All in all, Hostage was what very few sequels are – even better than the first book, and I cannot recommend this duet enough to the lovers of dark romance.

This review was cross-posted from my blog, Beyond Strange New Words.
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review 2018-08-05 00:00
Prisoner
Prisoner - Annika Martin,Skye Warren Now that it has been a few days since I finished it, let me see if I can possibly put into words the absolutely gutting feelings this book provoked in all the best ways, because this was finally a dark romance that met all my expectations and more.

For starters, the plot with its twists and turns was well-thought through and made sense as did both main and other characters’ choices – there was a good reason behind every decision and outcome.

It was actually dark, as in the criminals really were criminals, and there was kidnapping, murder, and very dubious consent involved, among other things.

And yet, the solid development of the romance angle made me root for Abby and Grayson so hard from the very start, because their connection was virtually tangible on all levels, from physical to intellectual and spiritual, and they (as well as other characters) felt alive, fleshed out in all their badness, goodness, and everything in between, with their backstories getting slowly revealed in exquisite pieces in just the right spots over the course of the story.

I loved Abby, who is smart and brave, but also very aware of her anxieties and limits. And my heart broke for Grayson and his ‘crew’ even when they were darn terrifying. And speaking of his crew, they are such a rich ensemble of supporting characters that aren’t just stock chess figures but come to life on the page even with their limited time and roles – and I am so looking forward to reading more about them (as I see there is at least one more book already out, and hopefully more to come.)

And, as the cherry on top of it all, the book is not just well, but beautifully written.

The ending is not your traditional hearts-and-flowers HEA, but is still very much a happily-ever-after in a way that fits these two characters (even if not one we would want to imagine for ourselves.)

So, both gutting and heart-warming, this is an exceptional, clever story which I would highly recommend for those not of faint heart who want a look at the dark side of romance.
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text 2018-02-26 04:34
Prisoner by Annika Martin, Skye Warren. Second on my worst read
Prisoner - Annika Martin,Skye Warren

This is a dark, murky story. Every time I thiought there was light, the story dropped back into the murk. Abuse, psychological torture and there was no light at the end. Yuk.  

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text 2018-02-05 12:59
✮ ✮ ✮ FREEBIE ✮ ✮ ✮ Prisoner by Skye Warren and Annika
Prisoner - Skye Warren, Annika Martin

 

✮ ✮ ✮ FREEBIE ✮ ✮ ✮

Prisoner by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin is FREE for a limited time only! 
 

Read Prisoner for FREE! Limited Time Only
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2Ek4zir
iBooks: https://apple.co/2DKttH6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DG0Tq1
Nook: http://bit.ly/2DHIV6K
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2rP7SLM

He seethes with raw power the first time I see him--pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He's dangerous. He's wild. He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it's getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can't stop thinking about him in his cell.

But that's the thing about an animal in a cage--you never know when he'll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can't call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can't think.

And you might crave him more than your next breath.


Hostage, book 2 in this series of standalone, is now available! 
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2EfModE
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2GptOjW
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2DVRmPi
iBooks: https://apple.co/2CwTHiV
Nook: http://bit.ly/2nkdhWA
Kobo: http://geni.us/rIlXis
Google Play:  http://bit.ly/2Frpn6P

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review 2017-10-23 21:13
Short Sizzler
Beauty Touched the Beast - Skye Warren Beauty Touched the Beast - Skye Warren

Beauty Touched The Beast by Skye Warren is a very quick read, a great choice for those with limited time for reading.  Ms. Warren has delivered a well-written book.  Erin and Blake's story is about the connection between an older wounded warrior and a young college student.  There is a bit of drama and plenty of sizzling hot sex.  Beauty Touched The Beast is book 1 of the Beauty Series and while it's not a cliff-hanger...it almost is.  I enjoyed this quick read and would happily read more from Skye Warren in the future.  

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