Sutton, Australia | Member Since 2009
I have a major author crush on Christine d'Abo. I fell in love with this trilogy with ease, and I attribute that to d'Abo's ability to show, not tell what her characters are feeling, and she didn't unnecessarily drag out the drama or conflict portions of each couple. I also loved that she took the time to focus on the family dynamics of the Longs and showed us upfront who they were at their core. To me, they never felt like fictional characters. Despite the individual stories being short, the events never felt rushed. D'Abo was also wickedly creative with some of the erotic scenes. I laughed, I burned and I melted. This is one of those those books I'll be revisiting often for the emotional and sexual high and the awwws. If you're looking for a scorching hot, kinky read, with a dash of heart and humor, then this is the series for you. I am absolutely going to start collecting more of Ms d'Abo's books.
My only issue is the books are recorded out of order. Below is the order they should be in, however, the recording starts Shot in the dark
Book #1 - Double Shot
Sadie Long has had a crush on Paul Williams for the past decade. They've been friends for just as long, but she won't do anything to risk that friendship. When Paul requests her catering services for Mavericks (the sex club where he works), things change with one question: What's your fantasy, Sadie?" Dare she tell him?
There was one line from Sadie's very naughty thoughts that made me spit out my drink and laugh out loud. Something about brains. - Book contains M/F and M/F/M
Book #2 - A Shot in the Dark
Paige Long, sister and self-appointed mother hen to her two younger siblings feels a spark for the first time in years when gorgeous firefighter Carter West strolls into her coffee shop one evening. His attempts to flirt with her don't go so well when she realizes he's a Dom. Her last relationship ended because of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend and Master. Getting involved with the lifestyle once again and with Carter could end in the past repeating itself, or it might give her everything she's wanted but denied herself. But first she will have to face her past and summon the courage to let Carter in.
Book #3 - Pulled Long
For nearly a year, Ian Long and Blue Eyes aka Jeff Carson (a recurring customer/character since book 1) have been flirting furiously. Then Ian found out that Jeff was in the middle of a divorce with his soon to be ex-wife. Ian can't and won't allow himself to be used as an experimental rebound. But one night Ian's resolve leaves him, and he allows himself to get lost in his fantasy. When they take things public at a company function and get caught, Ian's immense guilt from his past threatens to overshadow his future.
Ian and Jeff were so good together, it's difficult to describe. I also liked getting the big picture about the Long's parents and what had happened to them. With Ian's story, Long Shots came full circle. - Book contains M/M, voyeurism, exhibitionism
I've read a few BDSM books, but never one that explained it to the degree that this one does. What intrigued me was that the sub was an alpha male, and you don't read about that often. While it did get pretty intense at times, namely on the weekend trip they take, which kind of caught me off guard and I needed to adjust to, it mostly is just really captivating and powerful. Mac doesn't know how to completely let go and allow himself to be vulnerable, even though deep down that is all he really wants. Violet wants nothing more than to form a complete and all-encompassing bond with the right person, where all the walls are down and there is nothing but complete trust and love. Sometimes it feels like she pushed him too far even though she was never violent with him, ahem, the weekend trip, but she clearly gives him the option time and again to say 'no', which is actually the battle she is waging with him, to accept that it is okay to say no, and in the end he is really thankful to her for tearing down his walls. I guess I just feel embarressed for him, even though he doesn't exhibit any signs of regret or embarressment himself. His biggest challenge is to accept that there are boundaries and that does not make you weak; it actually makes you strong to be able to voice them and to trust that your partner will still love you and see your strength. Really Violet fought so hard for this because she saw the danger in never expressing a need to stop; that you can be pushed too far and she feared for him that he wouldn't ever use a safe word. I guess in that light I can understand why she goes to the extremes that she does, knowing that she isn't hurting him, but only helping him, and that he is so incredibly stubborn that he never would have given in to his true desires otherwise. The firt half of the book focuses on the relationship between Violet and Mac, and the second half is more about the criminal case Mac is investigating. The ending- I kind of thought it was who it was, but I wasn't certain. It is definitely one of those books that you think you have figured out, but there are just so many options for the villain. There is great commentary on the lifestyle itself as well, and how the world, as a whole, views and misconceives it. Overall, a great and passionate foray into the BDSM world without feeling like events and scenes happen for the thrill and shock value, though at times I'll admit I was a bit shocked. It's intense, but if you keep an open mind, not think about if you would do it, but why the characters do and what it means in their lives, then I think you will find it is worth a listen.
Maxine Mitchell did a geat job with the delivery of the story.
I decided to buy this book because of Caroline's recommendation and I was so impressed with the book. I could easily relate to being 18 years of age with emotions running rampant. Where you want a love that seems impossible, and that you want a fairy tale romance, and you realize there is fairy tales and then there is reality. This one gives you a nice little mix of both.
I love that this book dangles on the reality edge with things not always appearing as they seem. With Nicholas being married and having a child, you know you wouuld think that would send a young girl, especially an enlightened thinker such as Ms. Brown running towards the hills. You would also think that being such an opinionated female, that she would be just fine with a husband like the man who was courting her, Anthony, one that she could talk to about her opinions and have him not say much of anything. BUT! in the end, you realize that her being safe and accepting Anthony would not have been good at all.
Carolyn masquerading as a man is not only hilarious but also a break in the same old love story... and plus it puts more of the time era into perspective. Plus it gives reader a chance to take a break into the mind of a woman who realizes that she is a woman but just wants to be equals.
Her verbal sparring with Prince Nicolas is wonderful. It shows that she is yes, in fact 19 and young, while he being a man of the world, shows it, but yet does not overpower her. Ms. Brown can fully hold her own.
I really enjoy the way Brenda Joyce takes you inside of the mind of both characters. Sometimes, with a lot of novels, and especially romance novels, most of the writing seems so one sided, just from one point of view. And that does not serve for a love story at all. She gives insight from all of the characters, included the estranged ex-wife and Nicolas' brother Alexi. (I love the use of nicknames in this book, it made it so much more personal, like you could get to know the characters one on one).
I also appreciate that the Prince Nicholas character is not so dramatically brooding, he does smile and likes nicknames. The fact that he does smile and has a funny bone is a good thing and a good break in humor in such an emotional read.
Marian Hussey was wonderful in her delivery of the story.
Against the Ropes is a GREAT BOOK - An underground MMA fighter that goes by the name of 'Torment' finds himself distracted by Makayla. The blurb goes like this: Makayla never thought she'd set foot in an elite mixed martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it's these guys. Then again, at her first sight of the club's owner, she's the one feeling breathless.
The Sexy Time scenes were awesome! Torment and Makayla have great chemistry. I'm not sure they're such a great match though with Torment's love of fighting and Makayla aversion to violence and blood. The fight scenes were pretty great and, believe it or not, not too gruesome! LOL! The secondary characters were a lot of fun. I had several laugh out loud moments when Makayla was interacting with some of the guys from the gym. So other than Makayla's tendency toward monumental stupidity and immaturity, I enjoyed all of the characters. As I said earlier, this is a blending of two genres and I found it to be absolutely original. I went in thinking I was going to get a hot and steamy MMA story and then it started morphing into a BDSM billionaire tale. For me, it was having the best of both worlds because I felt like both sides of the story were well done.The secondary characters in this story were great...Doctor Drake, cracked me up with his whole seeming over the top on his quest to get Makayla. Amanda is Makayla's best friend, who screws up with Jake by getting caught playing naughty sexual games with Doctor Drake, but I do hope Jake and Amanda get a story, I think there is still a lot that can happen between these two. Sergio, who is the loan officer who is harassing Makayla really makes me angry at the beginning of the book, but come to sympathize with him at the end.
Lucy Rivers was outstanding with the delivery of the story.
Mary Ingles is an inspiration of the possibilities of endurance of the human spirit. Victim of a brutal Shawnee attack in the summer of 1755 she is force marched from Virginia to Shawnee, Ohio while nine months pregnant giving birth on the trail. She is sold into slavery and taked to the area near Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky. Together with an old Dutch woman she escapes and begins a 1,000 mile trek home through unknown and hostile wilderness. In 43 harrowing days she goes from 125 pounds to under 80 pounds as she faces the elements, starvation, wild animals, hostile Indians, implacable nature, and a companion that turns cannibal. The reader shares the agony of the journey with Mary as she must go the final miles on her hands and knees. The most amazing thing about the story is it is true. Like his other historical novels Thom has done his research and he makes the history come alive for his reader.
David Drummond was inspirational with the delivery of the story.
Looking for proof that Michael Connelly is the best mystery novelist today? The Narrows is evidence enough. On a very simple level, this is a mystery novel about a serial killer, "The Poet," and at least 14 murders attributed to him in this current wave of mayhem. It's also about a complex ex-LAPD homicide detective, Harry Bosch, and a frustrated FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit reject agent, Rachel Walling. The characters are complex, conflicted, believable, and stretched beyond what is expected but not beyond the potential of each soul. Even the two major locations, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, are drawn with such intensity and multi-faceted power that they almost become characters in themselves. The plot is intricate, surprising, and challenging -- but ultimately so finely composed and exquisitely executed that even the final shock in the last few pages, while completely unsuspected, still resonates with complete authenticity and credibility. And underneath everthing beats the heart of Michael Connelly's mission: to describe the deadly dance between good and evil, a dance that comes within a hair's breadth of consuming both, but ends with hope. The book opens with the powerful intensity of the threat of evil: "I knew that my life's mission would always take me to the places where evil waits, to the places where the truth that I might find would be an ugly and horrible thing. And still I went without pause. And still I went, not being ready for the moment when evil would come from its waiting place. When it would grab at me like an animal and take me down into the black water." And it ends with the dawn of hope: "I looked out at the city and thought it was beautiful. The rain had cleaned the sky out and I could see all the way to the San Gabriels and the snow-covered peaks beyond. The air seemed to be as clean and pure as the air breathed by the Gabrielenos and the padres so many years before. I saw what they had seen in the place. It was the kind of day you felt you could build a future on." And in between is the best fiction anywhere.
Lieutenant Tyler "Bud" Morrison is scoping out a seedy club when he sets eyes on Claire. She looks like a princess and she's completely out of her element in the wild dance-club. When she's abandoned by her friend and accosted by leering male revellers, he swoops in and plays the gallant knight to her fair damsel and takes her home. Expecting to give her a handshake and a nice-knowing-ya on her doorstep, he's stunned to hear her invite him inside......for coffee.
Claire Parks is free of the leukaemia that has ravaged her body for nearly a decade. She's finally able to shake off her father's suffocating but well meaning strictures and is going to live a little. In case she hasn't told you, she's fine. The handsome stranger named Bud comes to her rescue and as he drives her home, she works up the courage to ask him inside......for coffee.
They don't have any coffee, but they do spend the weekend together in naked splendour, where they engage in some seriously kinky iambic pentameter sex. After the course of the 48 hours, their idyllic weekend is busted when Claire's father comes to see her and when he sees Bud, instead of being upset and appalled, he's frankly grateful and relieved. Her father reveals to Bud how he has been terrified of leaving his girl alone in the big, bad world and he hopes he can leave her in his capable hands. His fears transfer to Bud and suddenly he's treating Claire with kid gloves. Claire is fine and refuses to live in another suffocating parent/child relationship, especially now that she's a healthy adult. Just when she's got Bud back where she wants him, the danger surrounding her friend, Suzanne, spills over into her life. The brutal torture/murder of a friend spurs Bud into protective mode and without thinking of her feelings, stashes her away, determined to protect her from a desperate man who is out to protect his secrets.
This was a great book. There was hardly any time wasted on stupid ditherings between the hero and the heroine and they right away acknowledged that they loved each other. Whether or not they can live together is a different story however and I thought it was cute. Now that Claire has experienced hard, screaming sex, she wants more of it. (sheesh, who wouldn't) Unfortunately once Bud realizes that she used to be sick as a child, he treats her like porcelain and she's not liking it. When she comes to his office dressed for seduction, Bud's half hearted protestations wane in the face of her aggressive advances and it's really funny. I really liked Claire and her ability to embrace life and I thought Bud's attempts to be a gentleman was a hoot. We get some glimpses into John and Suzanne's HEA and I liked how they are still evolving as a couple.
This was a very amusing, sexy and exciting sequel to Midnight Man. Well, it's not exactly a sequel. Apparently, the events in Midnight Run are coinciding with the events in Midnight Man and Midnight Run also sets up the story for Midnight Angel, so the three stories definitely need to be read in order or you are going to get confused. There isn't as much outside drama in this book as was in the first book, it mostly runs on self inflicted angst. There was a lot more humour in this one though as opposed to John and Suzanne's story but Bud is no less a man than John was. In fact, he's much more forceful in bed than John was. He's a little more commanding and dominant, too. Delicious. I can't wait to read Midnight Angel. Enjoy!
This is a terrifying thriller, written by Henning Mankell, a Swedish mystery writer. The book is the first featuring Linda Wallander, his main character's daughter, as a police officer, and I hope he plans on writing more. The author asks at the beginning, what if one man had survived the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978, and proceeds to follow that man. The plot is exciting and escalates fast into frightening, with ritual murder and sacrifice, disappearances of Linda's two best friends. Underneath, and effectively communicated, is the theme that religion can be a force for either good or evil, and it is a most powerful tool for manipulating people. This is evident all the time in the news, when countries go to war or terrorists commit mass murder, it's always "God is on our side," and who can argue with that? Religious fervor in the wrong hands can result in the worst atrocities. The book finishes on Linda's first official day of work, Sept. 11, 2001. I highly recommend this book, it's one of the best I've read this year.
Kurt Wallander, the intuitive inspector, first came upon the scene as a 42-year-old detective with many years of experience in the first novel in the series. After four more novels, Henning Mankell realized that what was missing was Wallander's background. So he started to write several short stories to fill in the blanks. Three more novels in the series appeared before the five short stories in this volume were completed.
In the first short story, we find Wallander in Malmo as a uniformed patrolman who bumbles his way into the investigation into the murder of his next door neighbor, the beginning of his career as a homicide detective. It is during this period that he meets and weds Mona. The next story takes the couple to Ystad and the birth of Linda, their daughter. It is, of course, where he spends the rest of his career. The stories trace the development of Wallander's instincts as well as his divorce, relationship with his father and growing daughter.
All the characteristics of the novels in the series are present in these short stories. It is essential history and embellishes Wallander's personality. Also, the common thread in all the novels, the deterioration of society, runs through the stories. This book is Mankell in top form. For Mankell/Wallander fans, a must read, and highly recommended
I am a fan of Kurt Wallender and appreciate Mankell's methodical and thorough narrative. This is not a fast read, but a great read. I like knowing the case from Wallender's perspective and find his character flawed yet endearing. Firewall is about coincidences and conclusions wrapped up in computer terrorism. I am as unknowledgeable as Wallender when it comes to technology, but was able to keep up with him and the elements of the mystery as it unfolded. Mankell doesn't force all of the pieces together and keeps suspense building. I was introduced to Kurt Wallender on PBS Masterpiece Mystery, and enjoy the episodes, but they don't come close to Mankell's own mastery.
Kurt Wallander solves his last case before descending into dementia. As a Mankell/Wallander fan, I regret writing these words but find this ending somehow appropriate for the dogged detective whose case investigations never faltered despite personal life baggage and the infirmities of aging. The Troubled Man gives us Wallander working on a case of Swedish spys (who knew!)tied to submarines, Russia and the the good old USA while he grows to adore a grandaughter. This story deals the detective some blows with the death of a loved one and his ex-wife's mental health and sobriety problems. Despite his malaise and life's foilbles, the beleaguered policeman ultimately outwits the criminals and he and daughtter Linda come to a more mellowed relationship. The finely etched and eccentric character of Detective Kurt will be missed but perhaps Linda, who is impatient to return to police work, will carry on the Wallander name.
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