Crashed: Casper’s Ghost by Kerri Ann

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This hard-core romance is a fast and addictive read. For the most part, I couldn’t wait to find out what happens; it kept me on my toes. It has all the typical parts of a romance: a damaged alpha male, an independent heroine with a secret back story, some seriously hot sex scenes, and a devastating crisis that changes everything, but they are done in such a way that I couldn’t put it down. This is not like other romance stories.

Wyatt, nicknamed Casper, is the prince to Crown Industries and wants nothing more than to race anything with wheels and chase the constant high of kinky sex, but he’s more than just a playboy. He has deep-seated personal issues that make him intriguing and loveable. Being well-written, I was easily able to connect with him, unlike so many other male leads who are aloof or overly-cocky. Wyatt is fully involved when it comes to Circe, his family, and his racing. His tender side males him a guy you want to know.

Circe is a woman of mystery. Her past is barely alluded to, but you know it’s something deep and traumatic. She is just as easy to love as Wyatt. Instead of being a heroine who prostrates herself at his super-star feet, she makes him work for her attention, but also prepares herself to be just another notch in the bedpost without expecting anything more. Already believing that she’ll fade away from his attentions, she is surprised when he doesn’t want to let her go. She tells him that she is no one’s dirty moment and she proves to be right, as he is hooked and she returns the affection.

There are other side characters that make the story what it is. Without China, Wyatt’s sister, the story would have been flat, but China adds a perfect amount of sweet and innocent to the story. She’s young and still inexperienced in many ways, but she’s a vital part of Casper’s life and how he gets by. Wyatt’s mother, Marca, is a piece of work. She’s hard to relate to and most of the time I wondered why she even had children, as it seems that all she does is fight with them. Circe’s best friend, Carli, is a riot. She provides a good portion of the humor that is so abundant in the beginning and provides another stellar Carli moment later on that hints towards more of her in the future. I wish there had been more Carli in this book, but I get the feeling that she’s going to be sticking around.

The story is a fantastic tale of boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl falls in love, and tragedy helps bring them together. It is an emotional read, as the author portrays the extreme highs and lows of being bipolar. She does a wonderful job at giving the reader an accurate glimpse at how life altering this disease can be, especially when those individuals go without medication, as many bipolar people tend to do. This leads to a lot of family drama that most readers probably cannot relate to, but will be astounded and drawn in by. Being from a bipolar family, I was stunned by how well it was done and how honest the emotions were. Some scenes between Wyatt and Marca were hard to read, due to this fact. I felt sad and angry at the same time, because they were so intense, but that’s how bipolar people can be.

Loving everything by Kerri Ann, it was easy to fall for these characters, too. Even though the book is very fast, I found myself completely immersed in these people. It would have been nice to see a little more of the development of the relationship between Wyatt and Circe. They text for many weeks and they fall in love, but most of it is off scene and more alluded to then actually written. A good deal of the book they spend apart, but when they are together, they fit seamlessly. The sex was hot and is chock full of dirty details. So, prepare yourself for some highly erotic love scenes. They are graphic, but titillating and I did not skip them, like I do in many other books.

For the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – romance and definitely for mature readers.
  • Level of sexuality – very high. This book is far from overflowing with sex, but it is extremely detailed. Be ready for some steamy love scenes that might make you blush.
  • Is there graphic language? You betcha. You can’t have an adrenaline junkie hero without a good dose of swearing. Refreshingly, even Circe swore and she’s far from a damsel in distress.
  • Is it part of a series? Yes, it is book one. It leaves you with a huge cliffhanger and I’m already anxious to read what happens next. This is one series I’ll be keeping a close eye on.
  • Did I laugh? Many times. Both main characters are highly entertaining, but Circe is extremely fun to read. Her best friend gIves the book the much-needed levity it needs, since it has so much heavy emotion to go with it.
  • Level of character development – I found them to be consistent and enticing. There is obvious personal growth for Wyatt that is wonderful to read and Circe is a damaged woman, but she is an enormous strength that holds them together.

I loved this book. When it comes to reviewing romance, I’m hard to please. Too many stories are cookie-cutter, but Crashed is unique. From humorous start to jaw-dropping ending, I was sucked in. This book more than deserves its ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars. I highly recommend this quick and exciting read for all romance readers who are looking for new characters to fall in love with. I know I fell in love with them.

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From the Mist by Alexa Dare

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The Hidden Cove Trilogy is the story of three women vacationing together. Due to fog, they pull off to the side of the road. Their first mistake is getting out of the car and deciding to take even a few steps begins a life changing adventure. This is the first book and is about Megan.

She finds herself so close to the ocean that she can hear the surf. When she calls to her friends to follow her, since she sees a light in the darkness, there is no answer, so she turns to look for the car. Suddenly, she realizes that both the car and her friends have disappeared. Megan stumbles along the shore, noticing that she is no longer wearing her boots, but is barefoot and her pants are now replaced with a wet, black slip that slaps against her legs. Hearing a dog howling, she is terrified to discover that it is tracking someone and it just might be her. Hoping to escape what sounds like a truly enormous dog, she runs right into the solid mass of a large man. One Everett Quin takes one look at her skimpy clothing and proceeds to kiss her passionately. Thus starts the steamy, lusty tale of Megan and Everett.

Everett happens to have an enemy, Captain Donovan, and they hate each other with a fiery vengeance. Although Donovan is actually hunting his runaway wife, one glance at Megan and he is suddenly ready to drop her in favor of this other beauty. He is always armed with a sword that he loves to wave about at Everett, so it’s no surprise that they clash swords every time they meet. Fortunately, they are all distracted by Donovan’s ship going down in a blazing fire. Soon, the chase is on and Donovan captures them in a lighthouse. He kidnaps Megan and leaves Everett to die without food or water.

This book is a difficult one to review. There is not a lot of meat to it. There is the instant lust, the graphic sex, and the hope of falling in love. Yes, there is a great deal of dialogue between Donovan and Everett, but Donovan’s unchanging state of hatred gets old fast. I’m not a fan of graphic sex; sometimes it takes away from the story and allows authors to get a little lazy in their writing. I understand that publishers, and readers, expect several of these scenes, but what was once alluded to has now become graphic and commonplace. Although, I think the storyline has merit, it’s rather repetitive and the so-called commitment between Megan and Everett seems to be based on lust. The author went so far afield, that there was even a sex scene in front of the ship’s crew. Wow. When she mentions they are being watched, he calmly replies that the other men are just jealous. Well, that’s a clever excuse.

Now for the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – romance for adults. Possibly, older teens because they are going to read whatever they want anyway.
  • Level of sexuality – Well, I think that’s been rather well established.
  • Is there graphic language? Yes, although it could have been much worse.
  • Did I cry? Only over the fact that I thought the book couldn’t end fast enough. Sex, sex, sex, and more sex.
  • Did I laugh? No.
  • Level of character development – None.
  • Is this part of a series? Yes, this is one woman’s tale of the Hidden Cove Trilogy.

I believe the author put forth a lot of effort, but it fell flat for me, so I give it ⭐️⭐️ stars.

Red Waves by Shannon O’Connor

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I like books that have a lot of action, several characters to enrich the story, and some meaning that draws those people together, or perhaps, even apart. In this book, we just have Audrey and Chad. They met twelve years ago and she has always dreamed of a relationship with him. Chad, also, remembers how taken he was with her. Unfortunately, she has had a terrifying experience with her now ex-husband and shies away from involvement with men.

After all these years, they meet again and he pursues her, hoping for that special relationship everyone hopes for. I found Audrey a bit silly in that she wants Chad, but then decides she can’t be good enough for him. After her experience with her ex, I’m thinking that maybe she should be wondering if he’s good enough for her. But each time she pulls away emotionally, his aggressive pursuit overwhelms her and she seeks his closeness once again. This interaction is on a constant loop in the story.

The main characters are flat and one-sided. Their conversation centers around their sexual behavior, even when conversing with friends. I feel there is absolutely no intimacy between them in this kind of setting. Because she has been horrifically abused by her ex-husband, she has several hang-ups that she speaks of, just a little pinch here and a little pinch there. Every time she shied away from Chad, I thought, “Here we go again.” I wish she had just gotten it out, but she made him work for it. Throughout the entire story, we get unlovely surprises or hints that something ugly is about to be revealed. Sure enough, a few pages later, after a semi-climactic build-up, he is able to sweet talk it out of her. So, her tragic secrets aren’t secret for long. There were side characters, but for the most part they were fluffy filler. That left Chad and Audrey to carry the burden of the story by themselves. I found this too monotonous and unrealistic. No matter how in love people are, they still have to deal with the outside world.

The book appears to have been written solely for the sake of sex. Where can they do it? When can they do it? How many times can she orgasm screaming his name? Who knew zip-lining could be erotic? The popular writing style now is to write in the first-person. When an author adds sex into the mix, it’s just like someone whispering their naughty secrets right into the reader’s ear. In this case, there was nothing, and I mean nothing, left to the imagination. It was just like every other over-the-top sex I’ve ever read.

I consider reading an enjoyable way to have fun and gain interesting knowledge of places and people. Also, it can be an experience that opens my mind to different ways to approach hurdles that appear in real life and how to conquer them. Plus, the fun of reading about interesting characters is a big draw. Then there are the stories with unbelievable people and situations. They can be fairly entertaining unto themselves. This didn’t really fit any of the above.

Red Waves is a graphically sexual story that could have been interesting, but it amounted to nothing more than killing a few hours, while I didn’t have anything better to do. In reading this, I found that the author is hiding her light under a bushel. There is nothing wrong with the writing style, but I found fault with the subject matter and how it was presented.

For the rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – erotica/romance and definitely for a mature, screaming-orgasm seeking audience.
  • Level of sexuality – I believe I’ve made that quite clear.
  • Was there graphic language? Obviously. Lots of sex equals dirty language.
  • Did this story make me cry? Only with disappointment.
  • Is this part of a series? It is book one of the Waves Trilogy. It is not a stand-alone. In fact, it is a cliffhanger. Consider yourself warned.
  • Level of character development – as I said, it needs a lot of work.
  • How hard did I laugh? Well, I did laugh over the lack of embarrassment the two lovers showed on practically exposing everyone to their lusty ways.

I give this book a generous ⭐️⭐️ stars. I would like to think that she tried really hard and will produce more highly developed characters in the next books, which I will not be reading. But maybe they will strike your fancy.

Available here on Amazon