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review 2018-03-20 19:41
Dirty Little Secret (Forbidden Desires Book 1) - Kendall Ryan

Dirty Little Secret by Kendall Ryan is an entertaining contemporary romance.  Ms. Ryan has delivered a book that is well-written.  It is in first person, alternating point of view format, not my favorite.  Gavin is part owner of an escort service.  Emma is a librarian that has been fascinated with Gavin since she first saw him at a coffee shop.  Their story is a twisted, emotional rollercoaster.  There is plenty of drama, angst and sex.  My least favorite part of this story is, yes, the dreaded cliff-hanger.  I hate cliff-hangers and would have never read this if I had known ahead of time.  Dirty Little Secret is book 1 of the Forbidden Desires Series.  This is not a complete book and does end in a cliff-hanger.  I'm glad I got this free through bookfunnel, I'd have been even more upset if I had actually paid for it.

I won't be reading any of the other books in the series.


I voluntarily read a complimentary copy of this book that I received from Bookfunnel.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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review 2018-03-19 16:32
Gap into Vision / Stephen R. Donaldson
The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge - Stephen R. Donaldson

Beautiful, brilliant, and dangerous, Morn Hyland is an ex-police officer for the United Mining Companies--and the target of two ruthless, powerful men.  One is the charismatic ore-pirate Nick Succorso, who sees Morn as booty wrested from his vicious rival, Angus Thermopyle.  thermopyle once made the mistake of underestimating Morn and now he's about to pay the ultimate price.  Both men think they can possess her, but Morn is no one's trophy--and no one's pawn.

Meanwhile, withing the borders of Forbidden Space, wait the Amnioin, an alien race capable of horrific atrocities.  The Amnion want something unspeakable from humanity--and they will go to unthinkable lengths to get it.


Although this is the first series by Donaldson that I can stand to read, I still can’t say that I love it. I’m not sure that I even like it. There really isn’t one character that I can actually identify with—there are one or two that I’m interested in and want to know what happens to them, but I can’t say that I like them. Mind you, that’s not necessary for a novel but it does make it easier reading.

The aliens in this universe seem to take a cue from Octavia Butler’s Oankali in her Xenogenesis series. Donaldson’s Amnioin also seem to be rather echinoderm-like and are interested in acquiring humans for genetic purposes. Selling someone to the Amnioin is seen as the ultimate evil in human trafficking. But when there’s money to be made, you know that some human is going to try to make deals with them—and it’s rather like trying to make deals with the Fae. You need to watch your wording and make sure you know all of the ramifications before you sign on the dotted line.

If you’ve got any issues with rape scenes, you won’t have made it past the first book. That said, don’t expect that to stop in this book. Morn actually has to go to sick-bay at one point, to get repaired after particularly rough treatment by Nick Succorso. Donaldson doesn’t go into graphic detail, thankfully, but there are more than enough hints to be horrifying.

The cynicism evident in the book is a bit depressing too—everyone seems to be on the take somehow, even the police force that Morn used to belong to. She followed her parents into that occupation and had taken pride in their upstanding reputation—this is yet another thing that gets taken away from her, along with her personal agency.

Book 275 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project.

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text 2018-03-15 15:20
TBR Thursday
Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World - Noah Strycker
Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Trilogy) - Kiersten White
Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks - Annie Spence
The Shoe on the Roof - Will Ferguson
The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge - Stephen R. Donaldson
My Brief History - Stephen Hawking

Actually, this is just a fraction of my library book pile, but they are the ones that I'm going to concentrate on for the next week or so.


Three of them have holds on them, so they can't be renewed--Birding Without Borders, Dear Fahrenheit 451, and The Shoe on the Roof.  The subject matter of the three couldn't be more different, so it should be an interesting week.


Now I Rise is the second book in The Conqueror's Saga.  The first book, And I Darken, is the book for April in my real-life book club.  I read that one last year, so I'm going to forge ahead into the second book before our meet up on April 6.


It seems appropriate to read Stephen Hawking's autobiography, My Brief History, to celebrate the great man's life. 


And Gap Into Vision : Forbidden Knowledge is the next up in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.  I'm glad to have finally found a series by Stephen R. Donaldson that I actually kind of like.

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review 2018-03-10 21:54
Review: Hate to Want You
Hate to Want You: Forbidden Hearts - Alisha Rai

Sex positive and a great heroine, the first half was hard to put down. The second half was really more a matter of personal taste than anything wrong. I'm just not into this kind of hero, and there were no dragons or robots to distract me from that.


Good, but my favorite part was the preview for the next book in the series.

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review 2018-03-10 20:19
Hurts to Love You by Alisha Rai
Hurts to Love You: Forbidden Hearts - Alisha Rai

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The youngest in a power family, Eve has felt more comfortable hidden away in her shell. However, when a chance to make a move on a long standing crush arises, she begins to realize that being herself and letting others see her is the only way to get what she truly wants.
Growing up the housekeeper's kid kept Gabe slightly on the outside looking in. Getting close to people has always been difficult but when he gets some alone time with Eve, the girl he's tried to stay away from because of her age, he begins to realize that she's a woman now and getting close to someone can be the best thing in the world.

Imperfections were what made a piece unique. Impossible to replicate. 

Book three and the last in the Forbidden Hearts series, gives us Eve and Gabe's story. Eve is Nicholas' (Hate to Want You) younger sister and has made appearances as the bullied by her father, overprotected by her brother, standing up for her brother, and crushing on Gabe, shy girl. Here we get the full depth and breadth of her character. The author does an amazing job showing the growth Eve goes through as the story progresses. She goes from hiding her wants and desires to allowing herself to express them and making no apologies for them. Eve's personal growth kind of dominated the story for me as her character was so well thought out and written.

She was Eve. A Chandler. And he had far too many problems to get tangled up in a Chandler. 

Gabe has also made appearances in the last two books, as Livvy's (Hate to Want You) boss and Jackson's (Wrong to Need You) too talkative want to be friend. He's been the genial, nice, and open guy who is big in stature with a heart of gold. Here we learn about a deeply held secret and the hidden pain this has caused him. I had a harder time connecting with Gabe as the story seemed to not have quite enough room for his character to breathe on the pages. The secret takes a while to get revealed and as a consequence, his closed off persona and constant pushing and running away from Eve was lacking context and his commitment issues began to get tiresome. 

“Can I have you?” he murmured. 

The basis and continuing thread of this series has been the family drama between the Chandlers and the Oka-Kanes, this book is no exception. It stole some time away from Eve and Gabe; this crosses the line into feeling more like an encompassing series wrap-up than Eve and Gabe's story more than once. From the glimpses we got from them in the series I was, personally, hoping for more of a spotlight on them. They have great chemistry but I would have liked more intimate scenes between them (a strong suite of this author) and just general more bonding interaction. Eve also does more of the heavy lifting as Gabe had a tendency to push her away; the lusting but "oh no, I can't!" rinse and repeat wore a bit thin. However, the glimpses we did get of Gabe's nice and sunny in the streets and hair pulling, dirty talking in the sheets will give you the thrills. 

The hurt, pain, anger, and love this series has been full of and the amazing characters have made Alisha Rai a must read author here on out for me. She incorporates tough issues (depression, family dynamics), provides authentic joining and melding of people from all walks of life, writes brilliant women characters, and does it with such a beautiful ease, with added hot and sexy intimate scenes. Shy Eve and sweet Gabe get their happy ending, along with more Chandler and Oka-Kane revelations, heartache, and closure. Emotional ups and downs with hot sexy loving, read this series. 

Here was love. Deep, unconditional love. And she deserved it. 

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