Review: More Than Crave You

Review: More Than Crave YouMore Than Crave You (More Than Words Book 4) by Shayla Black
Series: More Than Words #4
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on September 18, 2018
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: My favorite of the series because of the geeky, socially awkward, hero who is the voice of the book and the woman who opens up his world.

THE STORY: Evan Cook is a successful tech entrepreneur and owner of his own company, but he is not as good at personal relationships. After his wife and unborn child die in an accident, Evan eventually realizes that he needs a wife to help him and wants to remarry, but has no desire to love again. Instead, he asks his assistant, Nia Wright, to help him find the right woman. But one night forces Evan to see that Nia is a woman who calls to every part of him. Now Evan wants to marry Nia, but Nia wants a man to love and who will love her.

OPINION: I’ve enjoyed this series, but this book is my favorite. The hero is awkward socially — especially romantically — and has that cute geeky feel. I especially liked that this social ineptitude is combined with a successful career. Evan is frustrating at times, clueless at others, and cute and endearing. He’s a man who has only been with one woman (his wife) and is threatened by Nia’s experience. I especially enjoyed that part of the story as Evan has to confront his feelings and then overcome them.

Since the story is told primarily from Evan’s point of view, Nia is a more mysterious character, but she is also more emotionally open and well-adjusted than Evan and so she is upfront about her feelings and emotions so readers get a good sense of her character and motives. She is comfortable with herself and knows what she wants. Part of that comfort is with her sexuality and that drives Evan crazy (he has a hard time at first coming to terms with a woman who understands and appreciates her own identity as a sexual being).

I enjoyed the storyline in this book which is focused on the couple with some intriguing events on the side. But this story is really about Evan having to confront himself, his past and his emotional core. This is combined with some hot, hot scenes between Evan and Nia.

One other issue with the book is that it is an interracial romance (Evan is white and Nia is African-American). This isn’t a central part of the story and I was a bit disappointed by that because I think the story could have been deeper by discussing the complexity of interracial relationships. I love interracial romances and this one was good in many ways, but I think it could have gone deeper into the issues the two will face.

I really did enjoy this book. Evan is clueless in a cute way. Nia is strong and assertive and doesn’t defer to Evan even though he is her boss as the book begins. This book serves as a nice counterpoint to the 1980s boss and secretary books. Evan is a control freak, and Nia is definitely not a woman who is going to allow herself to be bullied by a man. There is an equality and balance between these characters that makes their interactions stimulating — especially as Evan explores his own sexual needs.

A good addition to the series and I look forward to reading more.

WORTH MENTIONING: There is a cameo from THEIR VIRGIN HOSTAGE.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN CRAVE YOU is the fourth book in the More Than Words series. The romance here is self-contained and can be read as a standalone. There are recurring characters, however, and the familial relationship between them makes the books better when read in order.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the author in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-half-stars

Review: Devoted to Pleasure

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Devoted to PleasureDevoted to Pleasure by Shayla Black
Series: Devoted Lovers #1
Published by Berkley Books on July 3, 2018
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: I loved this bodyguard and star book. Hot and sexy, I loved how these can be combined with a sweetness between the main characters.

THE STORY: Bodyguard Cutter Bryant has agreed to protect his dearest friend by committing to a marriage of convenience between them. But before things are finalized, Cutter is off to Los Angeles to serve as a bodyguard for Shealyn West, one of the hottest new television stars. Cutter is thrown off balance by Shealyn from the moment they meet. Shealyn is being threatened by a blackmailer. Wary of revealing her secrets to Cutter, Shealyn is strongly attracted to the man she has hired to protect her. Deciding that there can be nothing long term between them, the two struggle against their feelings and their attraction while trying to find out who is threatening Shealyn.

OPINION: For some reason, I really like a good bodyguard/star story. It might be watching The Bodyguard or perhaps reading Silhouettes with similar stories in the 1980s. For whatever reason, I really was inclined to like this book from the start — and thankfully, this book exceeded my expectations.

I could have done without the “like a sister” best friend who Cutter has to protect, but that is one of the dramas keeping the couple apart so I think it works as a plot device. What worked much better for me was the blackmailer story. I liked just about everything about it. It was suspenseful, the resolution was dramatic and good. Just good stuff.

I also really, really liked these characters. Both Cutter and Shealyn are wary but oh so willing to fall for one another. Shaelyn is a great combination of strong and independent and sweetness. At times she seems naive, but she is also savvy and determined.

Cutter is a genuinely good guy which is what causes him so many problems. He wants to solve the problems of his friend and doesn’t know how to deal with having to take his own happiness.

I liked the relationship between Cutter and Shaelyn. They manage to pack a lot into what turns out to be only a few days. Of course, the danger and drama forces them into confessions that might have taken other longer, but I felt the connection between these two from the moment they met.

This is a good start to a new series. I haven’t read the stories of some of the characters who appear here, but I didn’t feel that I missed anything (although now I’m tempted to go back and read their stories).

WORTH MENTIONING: There are a whole bunch of characters introduced who I hope get their own stories in this series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DEVOTED TO PLEASURE is the first book in the Devoted Lovers series. (There is a prequel DEVOTED TO WICKED that is a crossover with the Wicked Lovers series.)  Prior books are not necessary. I haven’t read any other than DEVOTED TO WICKED and I didn’t feel I missed anything.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-half-stars

Review: The Choice

Review: The ChoiceThe Choice (Doms of Her Life: Heavenly Rising 1) by Isabella LaPearl, Jenna Jacob, Shayla Black
Published by Dream Words, LLC on March 27th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Goodreads
five-stars

“It’s going to get messy, emotional, and complicated. I hope you’re ready for that.”

FINAL DECISION: Hot, hot, hot. Just the beginning of the story between Beck, Seth and Heavenly, but definitely a great start. (Readers should be aware that this book ends on the cliffhanger, and there will be more books about this threesome).

THE STORY: Heavenly Young has a complicated life. She is a new nursing student, she is caring for her ill father and she is taking any job she can to make ends meet. Things become even more complicated when she catches the eyes of two dominate alpha men — both of whom want her but cannot stand one another. Dr. Ken Beckman is a surgeon who also happens to be a sadist. Having a relationship with an innocent and sweet woman is against all his rules, but Beck can’t stop himself from obsessing over Heavenly. Seth Cooper, private eye, takes one look at the sweet Heavenly and wants her in bed. But Seth finds himself drawn in by the woman he begins to know. Torn between two men who want her to make a choice between them, Heavenly cannot bring herself to choose.

OPINION: I really enjoyed this one. After reading the first trio romance by these authors, I knew to expect the cliffhanger and thus I wasn’t disappointed by the ending and the loose ends. And I think I love this couple more than Raine, Liam and Macen (DOMS OF HER LIFE) because the two men here are so funny in their competition with one another. This book feels lighter and more amusing and while there is clearly drama to come, I’m hoping that some of the humor remains.

Heavenly was slightly annoying to me as this book began. Too naive, too willing to lie to hide things that aren’t particularly worth hiding, but as the book continues I begin to see the woman who will be emerging as the series continues. (I also have to admit that her naivete made for some amusing situations). I think at some point, she is going to pull her two men by the ears (or another unmentionable part) and force them to her will.

Beck and Sean are similar men in many ways. They both clearly have some darkness in their pasts that are going to arise as the series continues, but here I found the guys funny and sweetly baffled by Heavenly. These guys are also intensely competitive and nowhere set up for the idea of a long term menage relationship. In many ways, this first book is about “the choice” that these men have to make.

I appreciated that this book allows the relationships to build in a slow fashion. Everyone is introduced and we really get the chance to see what Heavenly sees in each of these guys and also see these men begin to build a friendship with one another.

The book is hot, but I didn’t find the sex to be the focus here. It really was about relationship. The highlight was the heat and the humor. Even the cliffhanger was a gentle one so I can look forward to the next book instead of cursing the ending.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a mmf menage with the focus on the woman in the story. The two men are not involved with one another.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE CHOICE is the first book in the Doms of Her Life: Heavenly Rising series. This series is, however, connected with the Doms of Her Life series and partially takes place concurrent with that series. You can read this one without having read that series, but there are overlapping characters. And this menage is even introduced in that series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via the author in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

five-stars

Review: More Than Love You

Review: More Than Love YouMore Than Love You (More Than Words, #3) by Shayla Black
Series: More Than Words #3
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on February 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“I had no idea when I purchased my dream home that it would come with the woman straight out of my fantasies.”

FINAL DECISION: My favorite of the series. This one is hot, hot, hot. And perhaps because the character with the secrets and pain (Harlow) isn’t the narrator this time, I can understand why the character who is treated badly sometimes (Noah) stays in the relationship. Noah’s dedication and caring for Harlow is a highlight.

THE STORY: Noah Weston is transitioning from famous quarterback to retired player and arrives in Hawaii trying to decide whether or not to take a job as a commentator.. Harlow Reed is looking for fantastic sex after ending her engagement in a public manner. The two agree to a three month arrangement…but things get complicated.

OPINION: I quite enjoyed this book because although Harlow is often distant and difficult to understand, it feels like the reversal of the typical romance where the heroine is trying to understand the distant and hurt hero.

Harlow, like her brothers, is hiding a tremendous amount of pain and hurt from her childhood (her parents are terrible people). She is, however, a funny and sexy and strong woman who who has overcome much but doesn’t recognize that she deserves more than she is allowing herself.

I really liked Noah who quickly recognizes that Harlow is special to him but has to find a way to keep her from running from him. Harlow clearly fears intimacy and will take any opportunity to flee.

This book is sexy (very sexy) and yet has a sweet undertone to the relationship between Harlow and Noah. There is darkness here, but it isn’t overwhelming in the tone of the book.

WORTH MENTIONING: Book told in first person (primarily from the hero’s point of view).

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN LOVE YOU is the third book in the More Than Words series. While this book can be read as a standalone since the couple is separate from the other books, there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via the author in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: More Than Need You

Review: More Than Need YouMore Than Need You (More Than Words Book 2) by Shayla Black
Series: More Than Words #2
Published by Shelley Bradley, LLC on June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 477
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: A second chance at love with an messed up jerk of a hero who has to reveal everything about himself to reclaim the woman that he loves and hurt.

THE STORY: Griffin Reed has just learned that he has a son. Three years ago, he made a mistake in thinking that his brother had betrayed him and that Griffin’s girlfriend was complicit. He tossed her away. Now he wants a second chance but Britta Stone has moved on and just gotten engaged to a reliable man. Griffin has only a few short weeks to convince Britta that he is a changed man who loves her and wants her and their son to be a family.

OPINION: I overall enjoyed this book and I really like the trope of the jerk hero who has to chance everything to win back the woman he loves. I just felt, however, that the book went on too long without much changing in Britta and Griffin’s relationship. In the first half of the book, I got tired of pages and pages of him desperately wanting her and her not responding. I think I would have liked the book better if I got Britta’s point of view as well (We do get a glimpse at the end).

Once the two move in together, however, and they really started to develop their relationship, the book got much better for me. I liked that Griffin has to accept responsibility for his behavior. By the end of the book, I was totally on their side.

As the two begin to communicate, the book gets much better because Britta’s feeling are more transparent. I also really liked how Griffin is determined to make grand gestures for Britta to show his love.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book’s timeline overlaps slightly with the first book in the series MORE THAN WANT YOU.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN NEED YOU is the second book in the More Than Words series. These books are connected by overlapping characters but can be read as standalones.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Misadventures of a Backup Bride

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Misadventures of a Backup BrideMisadventures of a Backup Bride (Misadventures, #4) by Shayla Black
Series: Misadventures #4
Published by Waterhouse Press on October 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: This story had an interesting premise and I enjoyed the intrigue of the characters competing against the “villain” dad. A reader who can accept insta-love stories can enjoy this one.

THE STORY: Carson Frost inherits a company from his biological father that is in financial trouble. In seeking a loan, he turns in desperation to the company’s rival. The rival agrees to a loan on the condition that Carson marry his daughter.  Two weeks before the wedding, Carson recognizes that this is going to be a disaster and tries to get out of the wedding by making up another woman who he is love with. The father calls his bluff and demands that Carson produce the woman. Carson can only think of one possible woman to call — Ella Hope, and actress who he met six months ago when she dated one of his friends. Ella agrees to take the job, but the passion explodes between the two when they meet again in person. When the father meets Ella, he agrees that Carson doesn’t have to marry his daughter — but only if Carson and Ella marry in two weeks.

OPINION: This short novel sets up an interesting conflict. What happens when the woman hired to pretend to be the love of a man’s life becomes the love of his life? I enjoyed this story and the characters. This is my favorite of the series because the characters are well drawn even in the short space allowed for them in this story. Plus, there is a tremendous amount of conflict. It’s also really interesting that there are no terrible “evil” characters in the end. Plus, the story is really sexy. What I didn’t expect was the turn towards a more traditional and emotional romance story towards the end. I thought the twist on the events of a romance story worked really well here.

WORTH MENTIONING: Much of the relationship development between Carson and Ella takes place around of during sexual escapades because of the nature of the book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MISADVENTURES OF A BACKUP BRIDE is the fourth book in the Misadventures series. The books in the series are all standalone stories without any connections or overlapping characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: Smoke and Sin

Review: Smoke and SinSmoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen Book 4) by Lexi Blake, Shayla Black
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #4
Published by Black Oak Books on September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 452
Goodreads
five-stars

DO NOT SPOIL THIS BOOK FOR YOURSELF. Avoid spoilers and this book will not disappoint.

“Dealing with any of the Perfect Gentlemen was always an intricate game of chess. Thankfully, she’d had a lifetime to become a master.”

FINAL DECISION: Hot, angst filled, dramatic and full of surprises. This second chance at love story kept me up until 3am and then all I wanted to do was re-read it.

THE STORY: Years ago Roman Calder and Gus Spencer had a hot affair. Things blew up because the passion and intensity of the relationship was something that scared Roman. Yet the two cannot completely avoid one another because Gus is the sister of one of Roman’s best friends. And perhaps they don’t actually want to avoid one another as Gus took a job at the White House where Roman is chief of staff. As the Perfect Gentlemen’s investigation takes them to London, their proximity heats up the lingering passion between them. The question is whether they have a better chance the second time around.

OPINION: This is a difficult book for me to review. Not because I didn’t love it, I certainly did. Not because I’m confused, I’m not. The problem is that almost anything gives away too much in this series now. This book was so good that I started reading it immediately upon it downloading to my Kindle and then just kept reading, without stopping, until I finished at 3am. When I got up in the morning (after only 3 hours sleep), I just kept thinking “I need to re-read _________”. And that is why I give this book 5 stars. The romance, the story, everything worked for me in this book. For me, the only part I hated is that the next book of the series won’t be out until October 2018.

On the plot, readers of the series will be familiar with the Perfect Gentlemen’s quest. Beginning with the death of the sixth of their group, Maddox, in the first book of the series, the conspiracy has expanded to include the deaths of a number of people and a connection to the Russian mafia. As book 3 ended, a number of the PG were on their way to London to investigate another suspicious death. That is the setup for this book which begins just as the prior book ended.

As I warn at the beginning of this review, this is a book that is meant to be experienced as the story unfolds. I encourage you to not read spoilers because this book is packed with secrets and reveals.

I won’t give anything away, but I assure you that the investigation continues, there is more danger and suspense and the plot continues to unfold. AND I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED how the story line continues to be interwoven and reexplained and unraveled. I generally find the plot in romance books to merely be vehicles for the romance, but here the plot is so exciting and well done that I continue to puzzle over the details between books. That continues to be true here as I keep wondering about the details and what they mean. That’s all I’m giving away on the plot. You’ll have to read the rest yourself.

Even as the plot was thrilling, what I really love about these books are the relationships: between the PG, between the heroes and heroines, and the developing friendships between the women. In the prior books, Roman and Gus were the most difficult characters for me. There was something unclear about who they were. That explodes here as the story between these character covers a lot of ground.

Gus is a strong, vibrant woman. She is brash and unapologetic, openly a sexual being, intelligent. She’s put the PGs in their place for years. What I didn’t expect was how I would fall in love with Gus because of all those qualities that I knew but also the softer side of her character that is revealed here. Both Roman and Gus present themselves as impervious and yet there are depths to them that are shown here and which I would never have expected.

Roman was also a surprise for me because he is more unsure of himself than I expected. This book tackles head on the idea that he was threatened by Gus in ways that romance books rarely address. I thought their story was thoughtful and difficult. Lots of angst and pain between these two (but totally different vibe than between Dax and Holland in book 3). By the end of this book, Roman has had to ask himself some fundamental questions about himself and I liked the journey so much.

This book is hot and exciting, but I really felt the pain and desire for connection between these characters. And perhaps that is why I felt the most satisfied with the conclusion of their story — because they had to travel so far and overcome so much to be together and yet they managed to make that journey.

WORTH MENTIONING: Readers of the series won’t be surprised that much of the overarching story isn’t resolved here. In fact, the story goes in a whole new direction.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SMOKE AND SIN is the fourth book in the Perfect Gentlemen series. This series is meant to be read in order and the book really doesn’t stand alone because it depends upon information in the prior books (although the romance is self-contained).

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Review: More Than Want You

Review: More Than Want YouMore Than Want You (More Than Words, #1) by Shayla Black
Series: More Than Words #1
on April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-stars

“I can’t be with someone who wants revenge more than they want me.”

FINAL DECISION:  If you allow yourself to get over Maxon being a major jerk, this book is a wonderful journey for his character.  He learns what is really important in his life. His relationship with Keeley is rough and imperfect and finally wonderful.

THE STORY:  Maxon Reed is a man on a mission — to get a deal from his estranged brother.  Maxon is willing to do just about anything — including finding a woman to distract his brother.  When Maxon meets Keeley Kent and there is an instant attraction between them and he knows that she is perfect for his plan.  After convincing the reluctant Keeley to give his plan a change, Maxon spends weeks tutoring Keeley in exactly how to appeal to his brother.  The problem is that every moment they spend together brings Maxon closer to realizing that Keeley is perfect for him.  But will Maxon give up his plan of revenge in order to get the girl himself?

OPINION:  I don’t mind heroes who are jerks in the beginning of a romance book as long as they don’t end up that way.  Maxon is a world class jerk (though his brother has him beat). Intensely competitive with his estranged brother, Maxon clearly has no morals about using people (despite his belief that he does).  His competition with his brother is primary — before friends, before love, before anything and everything.  The good news is that this book just throws Maxon’s world into disarray.  It never goes where he plans. And he ends the book a better person who is capable of love.

Keeley is almost the opposite of Maxon.  Altruistic, emotional, willing to help and do anything for those she cares about.  I like how she operates as Maxon’s guide and conscience in many ways.  While we get a bit from her point of view, the book is really about Maxon’s journey (because he is the one who really needs the help).  Keeley is more of a free spirit than the career driven Maxon, but she is also happier.

The relationship between Maxon and Keeley is complicated by Maxon’s own inability to understand what he wants and needs and how to get there.  I enjoyed seeing Maxon breaking down.  He has a nasty background which doesn’t excuse his behavior but makes it more understandable.  The focus in this book is really on Maxon getting himself right and how his relationship with Keeley is the catalyst for that.

I enjoyed this book more as I got into it (Maxon was hard to like at first).  By the end of the book, however, I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book also introduces the romance that is the subject of the second book in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MORE THAN WANT YOU is the first book in the More Than Words series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: The Edge of Dominance

Review: The Edge of DominanceThe Edge of Dominance (The Doms of Her Life, #4) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: The Doms of Her Life #4
Published by Amazon Digital Services on September 13th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 445
Goodreads

FINAL DECISION:  A worthy conclusion to the complicated romance between Raine, Macon and Liam, this book left me with a happy feeling for the three and a burning desire to hear more about their friends.

THE STORY:  In this final chapter of the romance between Raine, Macon and Liam, the three are dealing with the revelation of Raine’s pregnancy and also with Macon’s unresolved feelings after Raine’s abduction in book 3.  This book which has some humor with the arrival of Liam’s parents, mostly deals with a serious threat to the happiness of the three that comes from Macon’s past.

OPINION: This book is just a guilty pleasure crazy ride.  The story goes in directions that really cannot be anticipated from the prior books and I loved it!

The trio is really challenged in this book as external forces threaten their happiness.  Finally, we learn about Macen’s past and it is his past which threatens them.  I thought this was the most emotional that we have seen Macen and I truly felt that with his emotional breakthrough in this book, the trio is on the best footing ever.

This book has a bit of a suspense/crime mystery involved as Macen is in danger of spending most of his life in jail.  The question for the friendly characters is who is out to get him.  This threat to Macen and the accompanying loss of control forces Macen to examine his life and make deep emotional changes.  I loved his struggle in this book (he’s been my favorite in the series).  I also loved how he has to lean on Liam and Raine (whereas previously he has been the steady one for them).

I loved the new characters that we got to meet.  Liam’s parents come to visit and their arrival changes the dynamic of this book.  There are some surprising twists that some readers might have to adjust their thinking for.  I especially loved Liam’s dad.  There is one scene toward the end that might be the biggest hoot in the series!

This book really shows the three developing a true equal relationship.  Throughout the four books in this series, these characters and their relationship has changed and grown.  The relationship between three people is deeply complex and I have really enjoyed the journey these characters have taken.

Of course there is a lot of hot sex, but it is really the emotional connection between these characters that has sustained me through these books.

The series is nicely wrapped up and there is a sweet epilogue.

WORTH MENTIONING: Oh, we need so many sequels for all the friends of the trio!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE EDGE OF DOMINANCE is the fourth and final book in the Doms of Her Life series.  This is a serial about the romance between three characters.  The series should be read in order because it assumes knowledge about the prior books and the books build on one another.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

Review: The Bold and the Dominant

Review: The Bold and the DominantThe Bold and the Dominant (The Doms of Her Life, #3) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: The Doms of Her Life #3
on February 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 366
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This book continues the saga of the trio trying to work out how their relationship will work.  There are a lot of external threat to their happiness in this one which was good, but not as emotional as book 2.

THE STORY:  After the events of book 2, things should be perfect between the trio.  Macen and Liam have agreed to share Raine in a menage relationship.  But just when things are going well, Liam’s ex-wife returns and is intent on causing trouble for Liam and his new relationship.  Danger in the form of Raine’s father also threatens the trio as they continue to try and work through all the pitfalls of developing a stable and loving relationship between them.

OPINION:  This book is about Liam and Raine’s ghosts.  Liam is still struggling with his jealousy in the relationship and with his ex-wife.  The best part of this series is that everyone is not immediately hunky-dory with the threesome.  To this point, Liam has struggled the most.  He clearly has issues with believing that he is not enough for Raine.  Much of this appears to stem from his ex-wife’s infidelity.  This book through its drama (and there is a lot of plot dramatics here), allows Liam to exorcise his demons and fully commit to the relationship.

Raine also must have a final confrontation with the demons of her past.  I liked how this was resolved and I especially liked that Raine, rather than either of the two men, is the active participant in resolving her past.

In this book, Macen is the rock.  (Can I confess that he is my favorite?)  He is the steady one throughout the book which allows the other two to return to the relationship through his determination and strength.

This is a complex story.  These characters are engaged in long journey to resolve their past and build a future together.

The ending of this book hints that Macen’s challenges are just beginning and I look forward to the conclusion of the trio’s story in the next book.

I like the secondary characters as well and hope that there are stories in the future featuring the sadist Beck and fellow dom Seth.  This book also has most external action than the other two books in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book ends on a wow cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE BOLD AND THE DOMINANT is the third book in the Doms of Her Life series.  This is a serial that tells the story of the relationship between Raine, Macen and Liam.  This series should be read in order because the story builds on the prior books in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars