Enslaved by the Ocean by Bella Jewel

So very soon Where Darkness Lies by Bella Jewel is going to be published and I thought to prepare myself fully for it’s brilliance I’d re-read and review the first book in the Criminals of the Ocean series – Enslaved by the Ocean. Here’s the blurb…

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Enslaved by the Ocean

Indigo has a troubled past and there’s no denying it. Tired of being scared, she sets sail aboard a private yacht, hopeful that the open waters of the Atlantic will give her and best friend Eric a much-needed respite.

As if trouble followed her, the yacht catches fire. Stranded in the ocean, cold, hungry, desperate, and alone, Eric and Indi struggle to survive.

Just when they think things couldn’t get much worse, they are captured, held hostage by a band of modern-day pirates. Now they’re in even more trouble than they could have ever imagined.

What Indigo couldn’t have predicted is how broodingly handsome Hendrix, their captain, is. The moment Indi lays eyes on him, she feels sparks fly and a carnal attraction she’s never felt before. Hendrix is pure alpha male: hotter than hot, determined, powerful, and hard to crack.

Hendrix has plans for Indi, dark plans that will put her life at risk. If only Indi could connect with him, it might be more than just lust on the line…it might save her life.

Enslaved by the Ocean is a steamy romance and the first in the Criminals of the Ocean series.

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Having never read a pirate book before I went into reading this with a completely open mind. I was expecting to read some back-in-day swashbuckling adventures but as it says in the blurb this is a tale full of modern-day pirates and not the kind you find in Pirates of the Caribbean. They’re the kind that use mobile phones and computer tracking systems…though oh course they still use guns and swords, and even wear head bandanas! Not forgetting the tattoos, crude language and the panty-dropping winking *sigh*.

The story begins with our heroine Indigo (awesome name!) running off to her new life in England away from her past. Her best friend Eric, a very black-and-white guy agrees to accompany her to London on business before heading back home. Of course getting a plane there would be far too easy so instead Indigo hires a yacht to sail them over deciding the adventure and the ocean air will be good for her. A couple of days into the trip tragedy strikes and their yacht catches on fire, killing the captain and leaving Indi and Eric alone on the life boat. Starved, sun burnt and on the verge of insanity they’re both relieved when they catch sight of a ship in the distance….until they spot the black flag decorated with a skull and crossbones flying from the mast.

Once aboard they meet the elusive Captain Hendrix, a man fierce enough to strike terror into any passing sailor. Expecting someone older with an eye patch and a beard Indi is shocked when she meets the piercing eyes of the young and devastatingly handsome Hendrix. Thrown into the cells they’re left to pass the rest of the journey only with the same four walls and each other for company….along with Hendrix’s last words – Indi is to be sold to settle a debt and Eric to be used as leverage for her good behaviour.

Left with the terrifying future of being forced into slavery Indi comes up with a plan – if she can make Hendrix feel something for her, to show some kind of emotion, then surely he wouldn’t be able to sell her. But what Indi wasn’t expecting was to feel something back…how can you have feelings for your captor, a man willing to sell you to another man as payment?

Maybe it has something to do with the awesome-waterfall-on-a-beautiful-tropical-island-sex? Just saying, can’t hurt can it?… 😉

This book was so much better than I was expecting, obviously anything from Bella Jewel is going to be brilliant but this story was a lot deeper and more complex than the quick pirate romp I thought at first. Both Indigo and Hendrix were brilliant characters, Indi’s sass and no bullshit attitude made for great reading and trying to solve Hendrix’s complex character was definitely one of my favourite past times! A tough exterior paired with a troubled past which still haunts him, Hendrix was one tough nut to crack but his way with words and alpha male attitude towards Indi is enough to make any pair of panties drop.

I thought the secondary characters were great too, Jess is a real sweetheart and provides another outlet to showcase Hendrix’s sweeter side and the other pirates like GG and Drake made reading the scenes containing the rum a lot more fun too! However, Eric’s character did annoy me, he came across as a bit of a coward and an all around annoying wet blanket – he seemed to care more about himself than Indi when she was the one being sold! But then if all the males were as yummy and alpha as Hendrix then how could you choose between them?!

Full of passion, heartache, and swashbuckling adventures Enslaved by the Ocean will leave you high and dry and begging for more. If you love cocky alpha pirates, bad pirate jokes and panty melting scenes of seduction then this is the book for you!

Read Enslaved by the Ocean for yourself:

Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)

Read more reviews on Goodreads or check out Bella’s Facebook

Let me know what you think in the comments below and stay tuned for my review of Book 2 Where Darkness Lies this December!

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It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

So I’ve reached the last book to review in my Tillie Cole series! (At least until Sweet Fall is released at the end of August anyway!!) And this book is a little different to those I’ve reviewed before….There’s still heart break, despair and a hottie to get your blood pumping…. but this time around? There’s a Biker MC and a religious cult thrown in the mix too…

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It Ain't Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

Sinning never felt so good…
A fortuitous encounter.
A meeting that should never have happened.

Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…

Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.

Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.

River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.

Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.

Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…

Dark Contemporary Romance/New Adult Novel.

Contains sexual situations, violence, sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up*

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When I first read the blurb for this book I was both intrigued and wary – having read some MC books before, I was wondering how Tillie Cole was going to pull it off as her previous books are nothing like this! But I should never have doubted Tillie’s writing ability because once again it’s utterly flawless and completely compelling.

In the opening scenes we meet a young boy named River who accompanies his MC President Dad to bury a body. Wandering away from the car he comes across a high metal fence around a large compound of some kind, and sitting at the edge is a young girl who must be either his age or younger. Seeing she’s crying he tries to talk to her but River suffers with an awful stutter and apart from his dad and best friend Ky he has to use sign language to talk to everyone else. But somehow he manages to talk to this girl making her his number three. This girl, though she barely speaks a word, enthrals River with her long dark hair and wolf eyes – she’s also his first kiss. His dad calls him away before he finds out her name and for years since he tries to find the compound again and the girl with the wolf eyes but he never does and the rest of the club believe he dreamt it all.

Salome (or Mae as her sisters call her) has lived in the commune her whole life – one of the four Cursed women whose beauty is believed to cause others to sin, she’s spent most of her life in solitude, locked away and treated abysmally for supposedly being created by the devil himself. Along with her two blood sisters and her best friend Lilah she’s suffered sexual and physical abuse since a young age but unlike her sisters Salome was chosen to become Prophet David’s (the leader of the commune) seventh wife on her 23rd birthday but after a horrendous event Mae manages to escape the commune but badly injured and finds herself outside the Hades Hangmen MC.

River, now known as Styx, has recently become the club President and finds Mae outside covered in blood and on the verge of death. Seeing her eyes he realises this may be the wolf eyed girl he discovered all those years ago and doesn’t hesitate to take her in. The rest of the story describes Mae’s new life in the world outside the fence, a world she was only taught is full of evil but now she realises she truly knows nothing about. She struggles with outside customs, the MC and her growing relationship with Styx – but can she ever really escape the commune’s clutches? And what about her sisters she left behind?

This story is full of grit and also tackles so many issues that I previously didn’t know anything about. Mae’s religious cult is something else – and the ‘Lord’s Sharing’ as they call the sexual abuse Mae suffers is horrifying, especially as the stories shared are based on true ones Tillie was told during her University studies. Again with Styx’s speech impediment, I really loved watching his journey as he slowly tries to find his voice for Mae. Much like all of Tillie Cole’s characters you can’t help but love those found in this book. Mae’s sweet naivety and determination to find herself a better life mixed with Styx’s strength and adoration of Mae makes for a great read.

Along with the fab characters, Tillie always adds a great twist into the story and boy is there an absolutely brilliant one in It Ain’t Me, Babe!! I loved her take on a biker MC book and the depth that the cult added to the story – it was completely compelling. It’s dark, gritty and hot as hell – with some hunky bikers to boot! Yet another Tillie Cole bestseller to add to your collection!

To read It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole for yourself check out…

Amazon.co.uk (UK) or Amazon.com (USA)

To find out more about author Tillie Cole check out her website or Facebook page

What did you make of It Ain’t Me, Babe? Let me know in the comments below!

Bring on Book 2!

Sweet Rome by Tillie Cole (#2 Sweet Home Series)

As a follow up to my review of Sweet Home I thought I’d do a quick review of Sweet Rome the next book in the series, telling the original story from Rome’s point of view.

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Sweet Rome by Tillie Cole

You met Romeo Prince in the Amazon & USA Today bestselling novel, Sweet Home. Now hear the story from his lips: unbarred, uncensored, and raw to the bone.

It makes me laugh when I hear folks think Molly and I rushed into things too fast, spouting that we couldn’t possibly have felt what we did for each other in such a short space of time. I say, how the hell would they know? We made it, didn’t we? She became my whole life, didn’t she? And as for my folks not being real, being true? Tell that to me aged ten, eleven, twelve—damn, all my bastard life—when I was never enough, when I was beaten until I bled for being too good at football and not being everything they’d dreamed: the perfectly dutiful son. Tell that to thousands of kids around the world getting wailed on by asshole parents for whatever stupid reason; tell them evil don’t exist in their eyes.

Fuck Romeo and Juliet. This is the story of me and my girl, from my lips. No mushy sentiment, no cheese, just the plain, hard truth, and, because I’m feeling generous, I’m going to let you in on more of our story too.

Sweet Rome is a New Adult Companion Novel to Sweet Home—contains adult content, sexual situations, and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up.

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In Sweet Rome we revisit the original story found in the first book but this time around we get to read it from Rome’s point of view. As I’ve already described the main story in my previous review I thought I’d spend some time talking about what’s new and my opinions on it all. As you already know I’ve never been too keen on reading alternative POV books but I have to say that Sweet Rome managed to pull it off and keep me interested.

Molly and Rome’s story is one filled with such emotion and depth that reading it from Rome’s POV only added to the story and your emotions whilst reading it. Yes there are the inevitable repeated scenes and conversations you read in the first book but this time round you get to read Rome’s thoughts on each and feel the run of emotions he feels. The addition of these to the scenes keep them fresh and keep you engaged. There are also some bonus conversations thrown in which were an added bonus!

The first time I read this story I was, quite frankly, an emotional wreck, but after reading it again from Rome’s POV with his depth of emotion and pain it was utterly heart breaking. I fell in love with Rome in the first book but I still managed to fall harder after reading this one! You feel his pain, despair and heart ache – but at the same time you also feel his joy and happiness when he finally finds his happy ending.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again Rome’s parents are just so horrendous – the way they treat Rome is completely devastating and when Molly miscarries their baby because of Rome’s mum….those scenes are hard to read without watery eyes, especially as you now get Rome’s take on it all. This book is just packed with so many emotions, with the addition of Rome’s feelings it’s heart breaking. At the end of the book there are some extra scenes from Molly and Rome’s future which I really loved! I’ve always been a sucker for finding out where a character’s future is going and I was so happy we got to read Rome’s happily ever after with his Molly Juliet.

Sweet Home left me an emotional wreck yet still salivating for more, but Sweet Rome? A whirlwind of emotion, packed full of heart ache, steamy scenes and a leading man who will ruin you for all book boyfriends – it’s a deep, swoon worthy, full on sobbing and laugh out loud tale which will leave you reeling for weeks after reading it. And Romeo Prince? If you don’t fall madly in love with this romantic hunk of muscle there is clearly something wrong with you!!

Read Sweet Rome by Tillie Cole for yourself at…

Amazon.co.uk (UK) or Amazon.com (USA)

Or visit Tillie Cole’s Goodreads or website for more about her new books

Don’t forget Tillie is releasing Sweet Fall, the third book in the series, at the end of August! Stay tuned to hear all the latest news about the release….

Remy (#3 The REAL Series) by Katy Evans

So I’m sad to say that this is the last book in the REAL series so far – at least its the end of Brooke and Remy’s story – and it’s their whole story, from REAL to MINE, all from Remy’s perspective…of course there are a couple of extra scenes and some new ones from 4 months after we left them at the end of MINE, but we get to hear the whole story again with a whole new perspective and come to understand the events that unfold more through another character’s eyes. Here’s the blurb…

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REMY by Katy Evans

New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans expands upon the intense love story begun in Real–this time from Remington “Riptide” Tate’s point of view in an engrossing novella length.

Underground fighter Remington Tate is a mystery, even to himself. His mind is dark and light, complex and enlightening. At times his actions and moods are carefully measured, and at others, they spin out of control.

Through it all, there’s been one constant: wanting, needing, loving, and protecting Brooke Dumas. This is his story; from the first moment he laid eyes on her and knew, without a doubt, she would be the realest thing he’s ever had to fight for.

 

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I’d firstly like to thank Katy Evans for writing Brooke and Remy’s story from Remy’s POV! Usually I’m quite wary about reading the same story from a different character’s perspective as it can sometimes be quite samey and not as exciting as you know what to expect. But as Remy is such a complex character, mainly due to his bipolar, and with the addition of new scenes we either knew occurred but only heard about or completely new ones we haven’t read about before, REMY was still a fast-paced and enthralling read much like its precursors, REAL and MINE.

The majority of the book focuses on the events from the first book, describing what Remy felt like when he first saw Brooke and what he was thinking as she slowly broke down all his walls and let her in. After every chapter or so, there’s a chapter set in the present, which is 4 months after Brooke and Remy had baby Racer and got married. It’s set on the day Remy gets to marry Brooke properly with the church, flowers and white dress – everything Brooke has ever wanted and what Remy wants her to have with him. In these chapters Remy is getting ready to go the church, reminiscing about how they met and how they got to this point- the chapters from the past are his flashbacks as he remembers where it all began. I really liked how the book was interspersed with these chapters from the present – I felt they kept the book moving and your interest still captured. Though I still would have probably enjoyed a book entirely set in the past all from Remy’s POV, with the addition of the new present day chapters it added something different to the story so as you read it again it came across as a fresh new read with parts you still didn’t know about and were desperate to hear. Personally I just wanted to read more about their baby boy, Racer – he’s so cute!! I love how he only has one dimple and not two like Remy, because as Brooke puts it, he’s only half Remy’s.

Clamping my jaw, I pat Racer’s head and he grins at me. He has one dimple, not two. Brooke says it’s because he’s only half mine. I contest he’s all mine, and so is she.

I found it great to hear the story told by Remy, both when he was black and blue. Not knowing all that much about Bipolar, I found hearing about how he felt, what he thought, when he was black a really interesting read. Hearing about how even though he knew Brooke needed him and he needed to get up and train or fight, but sometimes he was stuck in such a depressed state he couldn’t bring himself to move from the bed, to do anything, how there was no escape from his dark thoughts, made you connect more with Remy’s character – seeing his vulnerabilities and how his mind worked added a new level to each scene you read about. I read once that to write a good book you should “flaw your heroes” which I think Katy Evans has done very successfully – Remy is a strong fighter most of the time but he battles daily with his mind, his own dark thoughts. I know not everyone likes to read about a flawed hero/male lead and prefers the perfect all-American guy but, what I can say, I’m a sucker for the vulnerable but strong ones!

In the previous books you don’t fully grasp Remy’s insecurities and his reasoning when it came to taking things slowly with Brooke. In REMY, you can feel his pain, confusion, hurt – his emotions are palpable and your heart breaks along with him as you read his story. Even now, when I re-read the first two books I see them in a new light because of Remy’s POV in this book and you can’t help but fall in love with Remy even more…if that’s even possible!

If I’m honest I could probably write pages on how amazing these books are, especially REMY, but really the books speak for themselves. Katy Evans is such an amazing author, I can’t wait for the next book in the series ROGUE which is Mel’s story, something that’s hinted about in REMY as she turns up to the wedding with her new mystery man…But until then I shall just have to get my Remy-Fix by re-reading all three books over again!

If you’re looking for a new series for your Summer Reading list I completely and utterly recommend The REAL Series – it’s heart felt, enthralling, passionate and so much more than you average love story. And if you’ve read the first 2 books but not REMY yet, you must read it! Katy Evans described Remy’s bipolar so well in the previous books but its not until REMY that you really appreciate everything he goes through and I guarantee that afterwards, Remington Tate will be one of your favourite book boyfriends, he’s certainly mine.

To read REMY by Katy Evans for yourself head over to:

Amazon.co.uk (UK) or Amazon.com (USA)

And to read more reviews and about Katy Evans check out her Goodreads page

Katy’s new book ROGUE book #4 in The REAL Series hits the shelves July 29th – to read more about it check out Katy’s website.

There will be hundreds of days in my life that I won’t remember.

But this is one day that I will never forget.

Today I marry my wife. Brooke “Little Firecracker” Dumas.

I promised her a church wedding. And a church wedding is what she’ll get.

MINE (#2 The REAL Series) by Katy Evans

After reviewing the first amazing book in the REAL series I thought it only fair to review the second book too – plus it means I can gush some more about how awesome it is! I still get a book hangover from it even after re-reading it so many times!

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MINE by Katy Evans

I will do anything to make her MINE.” –Remington Tate

In the international bestseller REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington “Riptide” Tate as vital as the air he breathes . . . and now he can’t live without her.

Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman’s dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when they need each other the most, Brooke is torn away from the ringside. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing left is to fight for the love of the man she calls MINE.

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In this the second book in the series we find Brooke once again travelling with Underground fighter Remington ‘Riptide’ Tate as he starts the next fighting season in a bid to take back the title.

At the end of the last book Brooke had run back home after Remy allowed Benny the Black Scorpion to beat him to a bloody pulp to win the title, which landed Remy in hospital. Brooke, not knowing the truth, left him because she thought he allowed Scorpion to hurt him on purpose, that he was suicidal because of her, so thinking he would be better off without her and not wanting to watch him kill himself, she left him a letter telling him she loved him but couldn’t watch him do this and left him in his hospital bed. A month later Remy came back to her with her sister Nora who had been in Scorpion’s clutches. As it turns out Remy had given up the championship title in order to free Nora and get her back to Brooke.  Remy gives Brooke 3 days to come back to him – to take her job back for the next season – which of course she does. And this is where we find ourselves at the beginning of book 2 – two months on from the day Brooke came back into Remy’s life.

Now we’re on book 2 of the series I can finally talk about Remy’s bipolar! In MINE Brooke finally understands Remy in terms of his moods and actions – him being black or blue. It really explores more aspects of his bipolar and how it affects their daily lives – how Brooke thinks and acts slightly differently to adapt to his ways. I really loved this storyline, it really adds another dimension to the series – it’s not just another alpha male love story. This book also explores Brooke’s feelings after she left Remy and Remy’s insecurities about her leaving him again, that he’s not good enough for her.

There’s not a lot about the second book I can talk about without revealing lots of spoilers but the story revolves around them and their life as a couple in the new season and the difficulties they face. With Scorpion watching their every move and trying to provoke Remy by threatening Brooke, their lives were already quite stressful. But then something happens with Brooke which means she has to return home once again for another 2 months before she can travel with Remy again. After promising herself and Remy that she would never leave him again, this forced separation hits them both hard.

It also revisits the storyline with Remy’s parents and we learn more about what his life was like with them and the devastating consequences they caused him back then as a child and now as an adult – his parents are just so horrible, still can’t get over how horrendous they were! There are a couple of really quite emotional and intense scenes which focus on how bad Remy’s bipolar can get and what Remy is willing to do for Brooke. This is another reason why I love the bipolar storyline – it creates these really touching and gripping scenes which pull you in and you can’t put down.

I want him more than any one of these screaming women wants him.

I want every fragmented part of him. I want his body. His mind. His heart. His beautiful soul.

He says he’s mine, but I know that there’s a part of Remington Tate nobody will ever have.

I am his, but he is untamable and unconquerable.

The only one who can defeat Remington Tate is himself.

Much like the previous book there are some rather steamy scenes – it’s passionate, intense, obsessive and gripping. So definitely a book for the adults! Katy Evans manages to maintain this level of emotion and intensity throughout the book, caused by their problems and Remy’s bipolar, yet she keeps it light-hearted with some truly hilarious moments. I loved the complexity of their story and the characters – the brotherly relationship between Pete, Riley and Remy, Mel’s (sort-of) relationship with Riley, how Brooke and Remy use music to express their feelings (some of those scenes just make you melt!) and also the reason why Brooke had to go home for 2 months, I really liked how this affected their relationship. I also can’t not gush about how adorable and amazing Remy is once again – he’s this amazingly strong fighter on the outside, fighting to protect those he loves but inside he’s constantly fighting himself, to stay blue, to stop doubting himself and Brooke’s love for him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s just so HOT either! Yum.

If you read the first book and loved it as much as I did, then you definitely need to read MINE – it’s soul-shaking, emotional, steamy and grips you until the very end. There are twists and turns, highs and lows – their love will be tested to the limit. You get to know Remy more as a character, understand him and his feelings. Brooke faces new challenges and you get to watch her come to terms with her new life with Remy and his condition. This book is absolutely brilliant, I loved every minute of it – I cried, laughed and got so involved with their story I had a major book hangover afterwards! Definitely one for your summer reading list!

To read MINE by Katy Evans yourself check out:

Amazon.co.uk (UK) or Amazon.com (USA)

Or take a look at some of the other reviews on Goodreads.

To find out more about Katy Evans’ and her books take a look at her website.