Waking up in a desolate cell, Gaia realizes that she has been kidnapped by a human trafficking organization, doomed to be sold to the highest bidder and unable to remember anything before her capture. An opportune rescue by Raoul, the Prince of Kayamato, saves Gaia from a gruesome future, and she is thrown into a world of luxury and privilege.
As she struggles to regain her memory, Gaia learns that her rescue was no accident and finds herself in even more danger, hunted by a powerful drug lord, targeted by a thrill seeking pirate, and betrayed by those she thought closest to her.
Fighting for sanity and survival, she works to unravel the truth behind her capture, each revelation more shocking than the last. The intricate web of deceptions spun around her family will shatter her world, leaving her unsure if she will ever trust again.
Through it all, she must survive to save a friend before it’s too late…
~ My Review ~
From start to finish, I felt like my heart kept racing at the action, the mystery surrounding Gaia's identity, who is out to get her, and who she can trust to keep her safe. From one moment to the next, I didn't know where Jennifer Rayes was going to take me. Even as Gaia was piecing together her past, I held everyone around her as a suspect. I also appreciate that Reyes shed light on human trafficking and its gruesome images. Rayes doesn't mince her words and tells you just how brutal and ugly this world is and I was pulled into that storyline almost as much as Gaia's. And can we talk about the ending?? Sheesh, what a crazy way to finish! I'm so happy to report that the second book is due out soon!! This story, the characters and most especially, Gaia took you on a heart stopping journey...all to uncover some pretty Intricate Deceptions.
***I received this book in exchange for an honest review. However, these thoughts and opinions are my own. I'm not required to write a positive review.***
About the Author
Jennifer Rayes is a freelance author who enjoys writing on the weekends and evenings. Born in Michigan, she spent the first several years of her life there before moving to Lebanon. After obtaining her Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Dayton, Ohio, she lived in Florida, Italy, Houston, France, Canada, and now resides in Abu Dhabi, with her Great Pyrenees, Koby.
Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.
Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.
For my review on Beard in Mind, click here.
She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense.
I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.”
I bent to whisper, “Shelly.”
“I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.”
I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern.
Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up.
She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?”
“I’m taking you to the bed.”
“Don’t do that.”
“I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting.
She squirmed. “Put me down.”
Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it.
I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past.
“Where are you?”
I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness.
“I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop.
Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week.
“Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.”
“I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists.
She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist.
“Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons.
Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder.
“Shelly.” I was running out of breath.
“I like this.”
I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up.
“Take this off.”
I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor.
We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet.
Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs.
If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first.
God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I?
“I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?”
“Lots of reasons.”
“Give me one.”
“I don’t want to you use you.”
“I wish you would.”
That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips.
“You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.”
She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen.
“You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.”
“What can I promise you?”
That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority.
She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down.
Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment.
Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper.
Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist.
“Beau, I promise—”
She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.
(Free in Kindle Unlimited)
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About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
Connect with Penny:
From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.
the princess saves herself in this one is the first book in the "women are some kind of magic" series.
Amazon but available at a bookstore near you!
~ My Review ~
I will admit, I had a hard time getting into this book. The beginning wasn't what I expected when I read all these rave reviews about power and how uplifting it is. It was when I "crossed over" from the princess and into damsel that I "got it." the princess is hard to relate for me as a 35 year old so far removed from the imaginings and hurt from my adolescence. But I remember the bitterness, pain and visceral image of love and heartache. I remember the scars that have never really healed. And from damsel on, I couldn't stop reading. I couldn't stop breathing this book in.
My older sister attempted suicide in 2008. She would have left behind 3 little girls had she succeeded. Her older daughter, my 16 year old niece has attempted to take her life three times over the course of five years.
part is never
if it was suicide
-the truth will free me. "
This part in Lovelace's story brought tears and I had to walk away from it. And there is something more than bitterness and pain here.
then the damsel becomes the queen.
She pens very uplifting and powerful verses that will make any one of us believe that we "never needed those wings" to escape our imposed towers. So I continued to read about dragons, mermaids, starfish, and how a the princess saves herself in this one.
About the Author
growing up a word-devourer & avid fairy tale lover, it was only natural that amanda lovelace began writing books of her own, & so she did. when she isn't reading or writing, she can be found waiting for pumpkin spice coffee to come back into season & binge-watching gilmore girls. (before you ask: team jess all the way). the lifelong poetess & storyteller currently lives in new jersey with her fiancé, their moody cat, & a combined book collection so large it will soon need its own home. she has her B.A. in english literature with a minor in sociology. the princess saves herself in this one is her debut poetry collection & the first book in the women are some kind of magic series. the second book in the series, the witch doesn't burn in this one, will be published in 2018.
her official website is amandalovelace.com.
you can also find her as ladybookmad on twitter, instagram, & tumblr. (she hasn’t quite figured out snapchat yet.)
Should I be
That my only idea
~ My Review ~
I've been obsessing about poetry, lately and I was super excited to find another Filipina poet! This wasn't uplifting like some of the others I've read. This was heartbreaking. The poet takes us on this high of romance and where fairy tales meet their ever after.....and soon enough, the sexiness and desire wears out and all that is left are tear stains and heartbreak. This was hauntingly beautiful and you can feel her pain but towards the end, you get the sense, like most end of romance hangover heartbreak that she starts to heal and begins again. I sincerely hope for the author's heart that "this is the last time [she'll] write about you."
About the Author:
Dawn Lanuza started writing stories when she was just a kid (they weren't good or even finished). She's a music elf by day and a meet cute writer by night. 'The Boyfriend Backtrack' is her first book. She currently lives with her family and an adopted dog. She sometimes blogs at www.dawnlanuza.com.
Book Club Pick for August:
Leila's 2018 Challenge
I use Goodread's rating scale
1 star – didn’t like it
2 stars – it was OK
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was so amazing, it's on my reread pile!