*I read this book for my own enjoyment.
This is the beginning of Kate on the force and in the home she lives in during the novels. We are introduced to Kate's world and what revolves in it to drive her on her path in life - her past, her little brother, and the city she hopes to help make a difference in.
This novella is before the series starts in the novels. It's Kate fresh out of the academy and doing her rounds with experienced cops before becoming a beat cop herself. Kate is gun-ho about doing what she can to stop the dirty potions that people buy on the streets, and ultimately kills them. Potions are like a drug and Kate wants to stop them, she knows all to well what the end result can be.
Kate's last round of shadowing veteran cops is on the river boat. It's boring, but Kate knows many potion dealers use the river for their transporting. Kate finally gets the aged cop she's with to act, getting her wish to move on someone she believes is dealing and mixing.
Kate gets some great advice from veteran officers here. I felt these were truly heartfelt from the experienced cops and worth noting. I think these are things that will stick with Kate as she works on in the years to come.
This novella is set in the same style as Jaye's first book. We get to meet Kate and those around her, and how her life is at this moment in time along with what her hopes are. Then we dig a little deeper into her work and get to the case.
This was a nice novella to get a glimpse at the world Kate lives in and her motivations. If you are looking for a quick sample, give it a try.
‘Before You Break’ is the first book in a new series by K. C. Wells and Parker Williams entitled ‘Secrets’. ‘Secrets’ is in fact a spin off series from the authors’ very popular ‘Collars & Cuffs’ series. While it really isn’t necessary to read that series in order to enjoy this first book and I’m proof of that as I haven’t read the original series yet.
I have to admit I can see where parts of this book would have been more enjoyable had I read the original series…like the scene where a group of the characters from ‘Collars & Cuffs’ visit ‘Secrets’ on it’s opening night…not really required to know the background on all of these characters since, with the exception of Eli and Jarod, none of them factor into the main plotline between Ellis and Wayne, the MCs in ‘Before You Break’.
I admit it’s just a quirky little thing of mine that I love it when characters from books that I’ve read previously show up in the book I’m reading at the moment, it makes me all happy and bouncy…so, had I read ‘Collars &Cuffs’ I would have had my happy bouncy moment. However, it still made me smile and want to read Collars & Cuffs as soon as possible…so not a fail.
‘Before You Break’ is a steamy friends to lovers story and starts off around the same time that Eli and Jarod arrive in London to begin the next step in their lives together as the owners of London’s newest BDSM club, Secrets. I really liked this couple and look forward to reading the book that covers their story, but enough about them. I want to talk about Ellis and Wayne.
Ellis and Wayne are members of London’s Specialist Firearms unit and best mates they have been for the past 6 years. Their friendship was immediate from their first meeting when they were partnered together. But what Ellis doesn’t realize is that Wayne’s also in love with him and Wayne’s a DOM. Ellis knows that Wayne’s gay and while Ellis is supposedly straight…sexuality isn’t what defines their relationship.
I felt a little skeptical as to how this was going to be even slightly believable and was pleasantly surprised when I realized that in general this story was working for me.
One of the main things that made this all come together for me was the fact that while Wayne may have been gay and a DOM and in love with Ellis, I also felt that Wayne’s heart was in the right place. Sure, he wanted it all with Ellis but his first priority for me felt like it was Ellis’s well being. He wanted to help him get himself back on track because as Ellis’s best friend he could see how out of control Ellis was spinning and while he didn’t feel that a D/s relationship was or should be a replacement for any kind of therapy he also knew that his friend was resistant to the idea of therapy so it felt like his hope was that he could help get Ellis grounded and put some discipline and structure back into his life. It felt like Ellis’s well being was what came first for Wayne.
I liked the changes and growth that came between these two men as Ellis learned to trust Wayne in ways that he had never really considered before and I loved seeing Wayne step up not only as he introduced Ellis tot what it meant to truly be in a D/s relationship but as Wayne’s protective instincts took over and he helped Ellis navigate the minefield that was his family.
Ellis’s family…as families go was more than a little messed up and it was the strength of Wayne’s love, trust and faith in Ellis that helped him to make the changes necessary to preserve his well being both mentally and physically.
‘Before You Break’ was a solid start for this series and I look forward to seeing what happens next for all of these men, Jarod and Eli, Ellis and Wayne as well as any new characters that are introduced and taking a jump back and getting myself caught up with ‘Collars and Cuffs’ where it all began. If you’ve read, Collars and Cuffs’ I think you’ll enjoy this next part of the journey and, if like me you haven’t, you can jump in here and go forward without reading the first series but if it’s as good as this why miss out? I know I’m not going to.
An ARC of ‘Before You Break’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
only with a different narrator.
'Trust Me' is the second book in K. C. Wells 'Lightening Tales' and while it was probably more of a 3.75 stars which I would have rounded up to 4. I enjoyed the story part of things.
Connor and Ric were best friends and as they got older they drifted apart. Years later they're brought back at a friends wedding and while somethings have changed their mutual attraction to each other has not.
Once again at 2 hrs 26 min or 89 pages, 'Trust Me' is a short but sweet and well told story of second chances as Connor and Ric find their way back together amidst the turmoil of a broken engagement...Connor's, broken promises and abandoned vows...Ric's. Throughout the story we are treated to glimpses of Alex and Connor.
While 'Trust Me' is a short story it's also complete. We are left with two friends who have found their way back to each other as lovers and have their feet firmly planted on the road leading to an HEA. 'Trust Me' was again a new to me narrator named Robbie D who surprisingly produced voices very much like the ones in the first book so my inner 12 year old came out to have another gigglefest over what should have been hot and sexy love scenes but instead became overly excited 12 year old and drama queens.
So for me this one was also a 4 star story with 2 star audio and just like the first book there are more reviews on audible.com and you should read them and listen to the audio sample as well before deciding whether this one is for you or not.
'Teach Me' is the first book in K. C. Wells 'Lightening Tales' and at 2 hours & 26 minutes on audio and 73 pages for the e-book it's a fairly quick listen/read no matter how you do it.
I hesitated on this one because I'm really, really not a fan of romance stories where there's a power imbalance before things even start and in this case it's a teacher/student dynamic but there were a couple of things that saved this one for me. The first one being that there was nothing between this couple during the time that they were in fact teacher and student and the age gap was definitely within my 10 - 15 year comfort zone. Nick may have been Alex's first crush but as a young man and a student he was never bold enough to act on his feeling.
I loved that the relationship between these two started off slow. Nick comes across Alex as he's leaving town after coming out to his parents, who were less than accepting of his news leaving Alex with the realization that if he's ever going to truly be himself it wouldn't happen living in his parents house. Nick offers Alex a place to stay where he'll be safe and able to get his feet under him.
For Nick it's a chance to have someone around...someone who becomes not only company that he enjoys but a friend. It's during this time that both men begin to realize that their feelings go beyond the boundaries of friendship. I loved how supportive and helpful Nick tried to be but never felt that he was trying to be controlling and Alex while appreciative of Nick's help was never made to feel obligated and we got to see him as Nick's equal in the friendship and comfort that he brought to Nick as he worked through emotional issues from his past.
'Teach Me' was a solid 4 star story for me...unfortunately what fell short was the audio portion. Rob Drex was the narrator on this one and he's a new to me narrator and unfortunately one that just didn't work for me. For the most part the voices just didn't feel right to me and sometimes characters went from sounding like an overly excited 12 year old to an over the top drama queen all in the course of a few sentences. But I have to admit what really did me in was the sex scenes it's been a while since I listened to an audio book where the sex scenes which I'm fairly certain should have been 'hot 'n steamy' had my inner 12 year old coming out for a good giggle fest.
Narrators are such a personal issue in my viewpoint and I know from checking out reviews on audible.com that some listeners really enjoyed this one. So while this audio book didn't work for me on the audio level. The story was really good and I very much enjoyed it, 4 stars for the story and 2 for the audio and we'll call it day with an overall rating of 3.