Review & Giveaway: Darkest Before Dawn (The KGI Series) by Maya Banks

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Darkest Before Dawn (The KGI Series) by Maya Banks

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Genre: Romantic Suspense

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The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

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***POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW****STOP READING IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS***

Note: We usually do not post spoilers with our reviews but this book was an exception. We are fans of the series and  felt certain details were needed to explain why we felt the way did about the book.

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I was so excited to read the new KGI installment and thought of it like a decadent dessert. When I began to read it I thought that maybe the character descriptions were a bit lengthy but I looked over that since it was a KGI novel. I liked Honor at first because she was strong, intelligent and resourceful but still a nice person. With Hancock I figured he would straighten up fairly soon since he had the alpha male traits that I love so much. He also had Mojo, Conrad and the rest of his team to help him.

I began to quickly lose my respect for Hancock when they left the desert. All because he did not even contemplate different choices and scenarios, he was just going to give Honor up knowing the horrors she would be put through. Then Honor lost my respect and empathy about 1/3 of the way through the book when she turned all meek sacrificial goat because she loved him. Then when she apologized to him for not being able to handle an attempted rape by a bad guy? That’s when I no longer even liked her. The ONLY reason I kept reading is because it was a KGI Novel. What on earth happened to the woman in the beginning of the story?

I began to dislike Hancock in earnest when they finally made love. She was a virgin and asked him to make love to her so she would know what it was supposed to be like before she was gang raped. (I could only shake my head at that) It was the night before he would be turning her over to the sadistic rapist and terrorist group for her rape, torture and murder and what does he do? He goes all Dom on her, pleased to see her natural sub tendencies. UH, WHAT? Instead of enjoying the scene like I normally would, in this storyline all I could think of was “ Your hair pulling and forceful actions are really preparing her for the torture tomorrow. Way to break her in buddy…” The only reason I kept reading after that is I needed the HEA to redeem the KGI Series that I love so much…but even that was lacking. It was like some ‘cry me a river’ fest that I just wasn’t feeling.

I know others will love this book and that is the joy of reading, we all have our likes and dislikes. I cannot wait for the next KGI installment so I can move on from this one.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review. 

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image Kindle: http://amzn.to/1H6iNii
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✦THE KGI SERIES BY MAYA BANKS ~ READING ORDER✦
✦ Book 1, The Darkest Hour ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/15OVcxI | Kindle http://amzn.to/1dZVOZx | B&N http://bit.ly/1coxIWo | Kobo http://bit.ly/1cZVhmr
✦ Book 2, No Place to Run (December 7, 2010) ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1d4qkyw | Kindle http://amzn.to/15Uj8Pj | B&N http://bit.ly/18bTiOs | Kobo http://bit.ly/1coyz9w
✦ Book 3, Hidden Away ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1dZWheu | Kindle http://amzn.to/17UPIDO | B&N http://bit.ly/193VtlT | Kobo http://bit.ly/1f0myYp
✦ Book 4, Whispers in the Dark ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1dZWvlP | Kindle http://amzn.to/18SL5cn | B&N http://bit.ly/1coy1Aw | Kobo http://bit.ly/1bjXKFC
✦ Book 5, Echoes at Dawn ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1aovaWm| Kindle http://amzn.to/17WVWkp | B&N http://bit.ly/193V5UB | Kobo http://bit.ly/1bjyx1q
✦ Book 5.5, Softly at Sunrise (Novella) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1aovoww| B&N http://bit.ly/1coy9zS | Kobo http://bit.ly/18G62Oa
✦ Book 6, Shades of Gray ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1fX3sAJ | Kindle http://amzn.to/15UkVnv | B&N http://bit.ly/1d24bAj | Kobo http://bit.ly/18G6sEe
✦ Book 7, Forged in Steele (June 25, 2013) ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1aovEMj| Kindle http://amzn.to/15hXOrx | B&N http://bit.ly/1gaQKCY | Kobo http://bit.ly/193VUwt
Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-jh
✦ Book 8, After the Storm ➢ Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/15OQxMl | Kindle http://amzn.to/17i63lF | B&N http://bit.ly/1kg5q1g | Kobo http://bit.ly/1cZUban
Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-Sf
✦Book 9, When Day Breaks ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1NE1x5D | Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1esgKeq | B&N http://bit.ly/1prBuTC | Kobo http://bit.ly/1jHCeQK
Review 4.5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-1nX
✦Book 10, Darkest Before Dawn (October 27, 2015) ➢ Kindle http://amzn.to/1H6iNii | Amazon PBK http://amzn.to/1HDUkV6

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►Enter Rafflecopter (Paperback Copy) Ends 10/27 ➢ http://gvwy.io/lr7215

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imageMaya Banks is the #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today and bestselling author of the Surrender Trilogy. Her other chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and Scottish historical romance. She lives in the South with her husband, three children and a variety of pets.

Visit her online at http://www.mayabanks.com, http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMayaBanks, and twitter.com/maya_banks.

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A Hard Ink Special Announcement from Laura Kaye!

PrintFrom the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Hard Ink Series, comes a special announcement sure to excite readers everywhere! Don’t miss what Laura Kaye has to say…

A Hard Ink Special Announcement from Laura Kaye!

As I celebrate the release last week of Hard to Let Go, the finale in my Hard Ink romantic suspense series, I’m super excited to share some more news about Hard Ink! I’m going to do another book in this series. And not just any book. I’m going to write a wedding novella for one of the couples in the series!! And I’m so flippin’ excited!!!

This is how this idea came about: I happened to see another author celebrating the release of a follow-up wedding book, and I’ve never written any follow-up stories about any of my characters—once they’ve gotten their happily ever afters in their original story, I just moved right on to the next couple. But that author’s book got me thinking about who I would even do a follow-up story on. Who is it that would get married? My initial thoughts went right to the Hard Ink series, of course, because I’ve been immersed in this world for the past two years and absolutely adore these characters. Seriously – I know many of us have joked about the title of the last book being apropos, and trust me when I say I’m feeling that, too. I want more Hard Ink myself.

And then I had to ask – which couple? My gut instinct was to say Nick and Becca. They started the series, have been together the longest, and the personal issues they each have and struggles they each face are less than some of the other characters. BUT…

But then my brain started to think about all the other couples. And as I thought through all of them, I could make a case why any of the Hard Ink couples might be the first to get married.

And that’s where YOU come in.

I can’t decide which couple to write.

I could make the argument for Nick and Becca for all the reasons above. I could make the argument that Shane would be eager to take care of Sara in every way he can. I could make the argument that Easy and Jenna’s bond would be so tight because of the hell Easy’s come through and him having saved Jenna’s life. Marz has never wanted anything more than a family, so I could see him being eager to make Emilie his forever. Jeremy and Charlie had the bond of best friends before becoming lovers, and I could see the two of them wanting to prove the depth of their love by committing to forever. And Kat so knocked Beckett on his ass that I could see him wanting to hold her tight and, well, never let go – and finally have a family that valued him.

So, yeah, I can’t decide!

Which means you guys get to.

For real.

I’m letting you pick.

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Have you read and met all the Hard Ink couples yet? If not, now’s the time!

Because between now and July 31, you get to vote on which couple gets the bonus wedding novella.

Eeep! Can you believe it? I’m nervous! And excited! And eeep!

Whoever wins, the book will be called Hard Ever After and will release January 19, 2016. How freaking awesome is that title, by the way? I’ve been giggling over it for months! *winks*

Down below, I’ve got some wedding invitations for you to share around to encourage other readers to vote for the couple you want. So grab your favorite couple’s invitations and help spread the word! You can also grab one of the smaller avatar images for your Facebook and Twitter avatars. Have fun with it and vote, vote, vote!

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And I figure we should have ways for you to win prizes, too, right? After all, weddings do have gifts! So see below for two big ways to win!

Now, please spread the word and vote! I cannot wait to see who I’m going to be writing about!

Thanks for reading,

Laura Kaye

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HARD INK COUPLE HERE!

Vote by clicking on the link above and then grab the Avatar below for the couple you chose. Change your profile pictures on social media to show who you voted for!

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✦Book 1: Hard As It GetsKindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Review 4 Stars

✦Book 2: Hard As You CanKindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | Kobo | Review 4.5 Stars 

✦Novella: Hard To Hold On ToKindle | B&N | iTunes | Review 4.5 Stars

✦Book 3: Hard To Come ByKindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | Kobo | Review 5 Stars

✦NOVELLA: Hard To Be GoodKindle | B&N | Kobo | Review 4.5 Stars

✦Book 4: Hard to Let GoKindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Review 5 Stars

Pre-order HARD AS STEEL (Raven Riders Crossover): Amazon Only to Start

Pre-order HARD EVER AFTER: Kindle | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Add Hard Ever After to your Goodreads

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TWITTER HASHTAG CONTEST, 7/9 – 7/12

Tweet about the novella, the voting, and your favorite couple for a chance to win your choice of any one signed paperback from the Hard Ink series and lots of Hard Ink swag including stuffed animals! Open to international. One winner will be picked from tweets that use each of the following six hashtags:

#VoteNickandBecca

#VoteShaneandSara

#VoteEasyandJenna

#VoteMarzandEmilie

#VoteJeremyandCharlie

#VoteBeckettandKat

Check your spelling when you tweet because I will be picking winners only from those that use one of the six above hashtags! I will announce winners from the Twitter Hashtag Contest on Monday, July 13. Feel free to keep using the hashtag after the contest closes to connect with other readers who want your favorite couple to win, too!

And don’t miss this second fantastic giveaway from Laura Kaye!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author PhotoABOUT Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

Review: Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian by E L James 

Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian

by E L James

Publication Date: June 18, 2015

  Kindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

  See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian’s own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

   I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from this book nor am I sure what I got. I enjoyed the chapter she had added to the original series and think she should have stopped there. I really didn’t learn anything new as we already knew why he had his issues and why/how he evolved. I can’t even describe it as re-reading the original book as he was watered down in this one. Instead of being an intimidating force of nature he was written like the movie version of Christian. I did however find that I had entered their world and wanted to keep reading. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t good.

  

imageI’m a former TV executive, wife and mother-of-two based in the leafy suburbs of West London. Since January 2012 my life has taken an extraordinary turn with the runaway success of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. From an early age I had always dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with – and my dreams have come true, thanks to you guys. Now that life seems to have settled down a little, I want to crack on and write my next novel – another adult, provocative romance. I do hope you will enjoy that too.

Thank you for all your support. It has meant the world to me. If any one were to ask me for my thoughts about this whole experience, I would say: life is not a dress rehearsal – seize the day and follow your dreams. I wish you the best of luck.

EL November 2012

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

BLOG TOUR, Review & Giveaway: BETRAYED by Rebecca York

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BETRAYED by Rebecca York
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rated: 3 Stars

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There is a spy in S&D systems who is leaking top-secret information that could lead to extreme disaster. It’s up to Shane Gallagher to uncover the mole and set things right.

Systems analyst Elena Reyes had no intention of stealing company secrets until her brother’s life was threatened by the cruelest of mobsters. When Elena finally confesses her deeds to Shane, he’s ready to do everything he can to keep her out of danger. But will Shane’s help be enough to protect them, or will his good intentions leave them all for dead?

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This was a fast paced story involving the Mob and corporate espionage. I couldn’t truly relate to Elena. I understand how she acted was part of the story but I struggled with it nonetheless. I also wished there was more camaraderie between the men at Rockfort Security but they worked well together and had each other’s backs when it counted. All in all a fun story with just enough heat to counteract the danger.

*Review copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Elena had never thought about seducIng a man. She wasn’t even sure of her moves. But she knew that Shane wanted her, even if he wasn’t prepared to admit it. She also knew he felt protective of her, which was probably part of the conflict he must be feeling.

Before he could come up with another objection, she cupped the back of his head with her hands and brought his face down as she raised her own head toward him.

She hadn’t been sure what would happen. Or perhaps she’d been afraid that he’d wrench himself away from her. But the danger must have affected his emotions as well as her own. When their lips met, it was as though someone had tossed a match into a pile of gasoline- soaked kindling. Invisible flames rose as heat flared between them.

She heard him growl her name and felt him gather her closer as he kissed her with purpose, running his hands up and down her back.

The heat coming off him made her dizzy. She should be afraid, but she kept kissing him, letting him feel all the passion that she’d held inside herself for so long.

Opening her lips, she invited him to explore her mouth, then did the same with him, absorbing his taste and the way the mouth-to-mouth contact sent shock waves to every part of her body.

“You know that you’re playing with fire?” he asked.

“I know what I want.”

“Then take off your clothes.”

Again, a dose of reality. Was she ready to get undressed in front of him? Or was she going to back away—the way he hoped she would.

She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of scaring her off. Not because she was trying to score any points, but because what she wanted hadn’t changed, even if he was trying to make her take a step back.

She did step back, but only a few feet. She kept her gaze on him as she reached for the hem of the T-shirt and pulled it over her head, then let it drop on the floor so that she stood before him naked to the waist…

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Kindle $6.15 http://georiot.co/2ZNp
Amazon PBK $6.82 http://georiot.co/2uDE
B&N (PBK $6.79/ Nook $7.49) http://bit.ly/1maQk31
iTunes – http://bit.ly/1nGZOjH

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca York’s writing has been compared to that of Dick Francis, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Maggie Shayne. Her award-winning books have been translated into twenty-two languages and optioned for film. A recipient of the RWA Centennial Award, she lives in Maryland near Washington, DC, which is often the setting of her romantic suspense novels.

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Social Networking Links:
Website: http://rebeccayork.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8110.Rebecca_York
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-York/122426234846
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaYork43

Review: Between the Sheets by Genie Davis & Linda Marr

Between the Sheets by Genie Davis & Linda Marr
Publication Date: February 24, 2014
Reviewed by: Reading In Pajamas/ Donna
Rated: 3 Stars

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BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Erotic romance writer Jenna Brooks lives an ordinary life in a quiet Oregon town, putting her sensual heart into her fiction rather than her everyday life. Deeply involved in her latest story about glamorous lovers on the run, she laughs off a carnival gypsy’s prediction that she’ll find everything she desires “between the sheets”—apparently those her DeskJet is printing. Because suddenly, Jenna finds herself drawn into her own stories, literally. When the seductive, mysterious Riley Stone rescues her from an attempted hit and run, she’s plunged into a reckless, wild relationship unlike anything she’s ever experienced—except on paper.

Meanwhile, Riley is feeling pretty upended himself. A consultant with the FBI, he’s on a mission to derail a drug kingpin whose wealth and extensive real estate is managed by Jenna’s neighbor. He’d planned to ingratiate himself with Jenna just enough to gain access to her neighbor’s apartment so he can keep a close eye on the neighbor’s comings and goings. Instead, he finds himself not only drawn to Jenna, but falling for her, hard. On the heels of this realization comes the discovery that her new neighbor didn’t move in next door by chance: Jenna’s father is the last hold­out against a drug­ money fueled billion dollar development scheme, and her neighbor plans to take and hold Jenna hostage until the necessary papers are signed.

As Riley struggles to keep Jenna safe, the romance they’ve woven could force them to pay the ultimate price: admitting they’ve fallen in love—for real.

REVIEW:

This was a fun mystery with enough action to keep you wondering how things would resolve. There was also a nice warm romance between Jenna and Riley. Although I enjoyed the storyline, some of the scenes didn’t seem to flow into the next and was a bit choppy. Also at times it made me think that Jenna and Riley each had their own author when a scene wasn’t about “them” but rather just one with only snippets of the other’s reaction but never really being pulled into the scene. It was a nice quick read where I just had to know how it ended.

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

BUY LINKS ➢ Kindle $0.99 http://georiot.co/25X7 | B&N $0.99 http://bit.ly/1hHJlNb | Kobo $0.99 http://bit.ly/1h1N8Co

Review: Blue By You by Rachel Gibson

Blue By You by Rachel Gibson
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Reviewed by: Reading In Pajamas/ Dawn
Rated: 3 Stars

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Rachel Gibson, the New York Times bestselling author of Crazy On You and Rescue Me, once again shows that there’s nothing quite like a man in uniform!

They say you never forget your first time, but there’s nothing Blue Butler and Kasper Pennington would rather forget than their brief but fiery teenage love affair. Yeah, it was hot while it lasted, but then he went off to join the Marines, leaving Blue in New Orleans. She’s tried to block him from her mind for good, but nothing can really erase the feeling she had when she was with him.

And now he’s got the nerve to return—leaner, meaner, and strong enough to pull her into his arms and kiss her senseless. Blue’s a successful businesswoman now, with no time to figure out what went wrong all those years ago. But Kasper knows she’s the one woman for him … and now he’s got to prove it to her all over again.

REVIEW:

Not one of my favorite Rachel Gibson books. As a novella the book was fast paced and the plot lacked depth. I think Rachel Gibson could have made this a full length book and added more characters and more of a story line. Blue and Kasper were young lovers that reunited after many years apart. The sex was good….but the book was very predictable. I’m rating this 3 stars, only because you could feel the passion and because the book was fast paced enough to be read in one sitting.

*Review copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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Buy links:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes