Review: More Than Desire You

Review: More Than Desire YouMore Than Desire You (Reed Family Reckoning, #8) by Shayla Black
Series: Reed Family Reckoning #8
on November 1, 2022
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 322

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed this book, but my interest in this series is beginning to wane a bit. I’m hoping that we will move on soon to a new group of people. I didn’t feel that the story between these two was as deep as others in the series.

THE STORY: Xavian Costa has decided to get revenge on his best friend who slept with the woman Xavian planned to marry and then made a movie that painted Xavian as the villain. The form of Xavian’s revenge is his ex-best friend’s sister, Corinne, who has come to Xavian for help manipulating her brother to get her inheritance. Xavian proposes that the two of them fake an engagement — but Xavian also plans on using Corinne for his own pleasure. When Xavian just begins realizing that something between the two of them might be real, his plans completely unravel.

OPINION: This book is really hot, but I wanted a bit more of the relationship development. Corinne wasn’t as interesting a character to match Xavian. I would have liked him to have a real contrast. There was something about the relationship that never seemed to be grounded in the couple. I would have liked to have more conflict between them. At the same time, the book fits well in the series. Xavian wasn’t as much of a jerk as I had expected because he falls pretty fast for Corinne…perhaps that is what feels a little off. Xavian is so quickly falling for Corinne that the stakes of the story never feel that high.

WORTH MENTIONING: The epilogue of this book introduces readers to one of the new main characters in the next book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN DESIRE YOU is the eighth book in the More Than Words/Reed Family Reckoning Series. The romance here is self-contained and can be read as a standalone, although there are relationships between the characters (apart from the main characters) that have developed over the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.


Review: More Than Hate You

Review: More Than Hate YouMore Than Hate You (Reed Family Reckoning, #7) by Shayla Black
Series: Reed Family Reckoning #7
on November 9, 2021
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 302

FINAL DECISION: I liked the interactions between the characters, but the plot just didn’t work for me. Too much insta-love, and I needed more of this story to give it a higher rating.

THE STORY: Sebastian Shaw takes business very seriously and is determined to take care of a deal for his boss — even if it requires him impersonating a friend to find out what is going on with the O’Neill business. When he discovers a business in turmoil, he also finds Sloan, the youngest daughter, who is earnest and trying to keep things together. As Sebastian begins to fall for Sloan, things become complicated.

OPINION: There were parts of this book that I really loved. When Sloan and Bas are on the page together, their chemistry crackles with intensity. I even really liked that she is furious at him and twists him into knots at every turn. What I didn’t like was how the plot was integrated into the story. The couple spends way too much time apart. The crisis moment is too abrupt, and the resolution is even more “magic fix.” I wanted to like this one because the characters were great and had such great potential, but the plot was too jerky, and the happy ending was not earned in any way.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book contains deception and lying, which really turned me off for the first part of this book, but then the book takes a turn.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN HATE YOU is the seventh book in the Reed Family Reckoning/More Than Words series. This book can be read as a standalone, although characters from the series appear here.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.


Review: More Than Possess You

Review: More Than Possess YouMore Than Possess You: A More Than Words Novella by Shayla Black
Series: Reed Family Reckoning #6.75
Published by Dark Nights on September 28, 2021
Genres: Contemporary

FINAL DECISION: This was a thoroughly enjoyable novella. It was quick and dirty, but I liked the characters, and the situation of falling for one’s best friend is a great trope.

THE STORY: Hayes Elliott has been best friends with Echo Hope since second grade. Now graduating from college, she has decided to lose her v-card. Since she doesn’t have someone in mind, she turns to their mutual friend.  Hayes is having none of it. He’s not going to let her get hurt and tells her that he will do the job himself. On a trip to Maui, Hayes begins to realize that Echo is a beautiful woman. Although he doesn’t intend to follow through on having sex with Echo, Hayes finds that he is having trouble resisting the woman, who is also his best friend.

OPINION: I enjoyed this novella. The story is short, but I got a real sense of these characters and their relationship. The setup worked really well, and the long-time relationship between these two was evident thus, I really believed that they could turn into a quick love story — because they always loved one another. The novella did as advertised. It is in the world of the series but isn’t involved in all the complex relationships; thus, it operates as its own story. There is a twist towards the end that I particularly enjoyed because it fits so well with the characters.

This was a really good friends-to-lovers story because it nails the most important moment in that trope to me — the “my friend is desirable to me” recognition.

My only complaint was that I didn’t need the epilogue and, in this case, might have liked the story better without it.

WORTH MENTIONING: Xavian Costa, the hero of MORE THAN DESIRE YOU (Book #8), is the buddy who offers to “take care” of Eden’s virginity “problem”.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN POSSESS YOU is book 6.75 in the Reed Family Reckoning/More Than Words series. This book is a standalone as the main couple is not related to the family, but the family members make a significant appearance in this novella.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.


Review: More Than Dare You

Review: More Than Dare YouMore Than Dare You (Reed Family Reckoning, #6) by Shayla Black
Series: Reed Family Reckoning #6
on July 28, 2020
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 306

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed the book, although the couple seems to be perfect for one another so quickly that I didn’t feel the tension in the book. On the plus side, the characters are really good people, mostly act in reasonable ways towards one another, and the book is hot.

THE STORY: Trace Weston has migrated from a fancy-free bachelor to a single dad. He’s been living a quiet life since getting custody of his son when his sister-in-law asks him to show her best friend, who is just out of a long-term relationship, what sex with someone who knows what he is going is like. Masey Garrett isn’t his usual type, but she immediately captures Trace’s attention, and he quickly wants more than a one-night stand.

OPINION: This was an interesting story because there really wasn’t much conflict or even a storyline. The book is intensely focused on the romance between Trace and Masey, and that’s about it. I kept expecting some plot turn, but there isn’t a typical story plot to follow. Yes, there are a couple of twists in the romance, but no real external conflict. Because of that, I didn’t really like the situation, which ended up resolving the story. I thought that this couple deserved a more positive push to their happy ending. It was a bit of a letdown.

Both Trace and Masey are really nice people (unlike some of the others in this series). There are no intense secrets or lies between the couple. So I enjoyed that aspect of the story. There was something really pleasant about reading about two people having a sweet romance between them. And there is a cute kid as well!

WORTH MENTIONING: Fans of the series will be pleased to get an update about several of the couples — including a wedding.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN DARE YOU is the sixth book in the Reed Family Reckoning/More Than Words series. This book is less connected to the series than other books, so it is not necessary to read the other books in the series to enjoy this one.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.