Loving Kalvin by Siobhan Davis

5/5 Forgiveness Stars

The author gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is my favorite Kennedy book of the series. I am quite shocked that it is considering how things were left between Kal and Lana in the Kyler books. I don’t want to get all spoilery so I will just say this: What Lana did to Kal in a prior book was an absolute deal breaker for me. If I were Kal, I might be able to forgive her to give myself some peace, but I would never want anything to do with her again.

There is no OTT drama in this one, and I enjoyed it more because of it. Kal sees all the pain he caused Lana and is willing to fight for her love. Lana beats herself up enough so that I don’t feel the need to do so. I still don’t like what she did, but I found myself cheering for this couple in spite of it. Then, in this book, she did another beyond horrible thing to him. Again, no spoilers. With these two betrayals, if I were Kal, I’d be looking into MGTOW.

At least Lana has to take some heat for her poor decisions. I’m glad the author wrote that in. It would have been harder to overlook and believe if she hadn’t. Kal’s reaction was totally believable too. Instead of storming in, he took a day to calm down and think things through. It didn’t stop him from telling her the truth though.
Sorry is far too easy a word for her to say. Sorry cannot even begin to compensate for how she’s treated me this time.

If he had folded, and told her all was forgiven, I probably would have thrown my Kindle across the room. Instead, this:
“I came to UF to fight for a second chance. To prove I could be the man you deserved, but things have changed. Now you need to prove you’re the woman I know you to be, because the Lana I knew didn’t lie, and she sure as hell didn’t allow herself to be manipulated into doing things she wasn’t comfortable with… But you’re not her, and I can’t believe in you, can’t trust you, not when I know what you’re capable of. And without that, there is no us.”

At this point I was fist pumping the air. Kal absolutely needed to step away and focus on himself and his responsibilities. He couldn’t worry about Lana’s feelings. She sure as hell didn’t worry about his. If the book had ended here, I would have been fine.

But it didn’t. No spoilers, but I did like the ending.

Barbarian’s Tease

4/5 Pink Hair stars

I love this cover. It’s one of my favorites. But Brooke–not so much. I didn’t like how she called Taushen names and got mad at him for a really stupid reason, IMO. Taushen is na├»ve and unsure. Brooke is the one with the power in the situation. I wished she’d been more empathetic at the start. As the story progressed, I started to like Brooke more. I still think she should not have played hard to get, then want to switch it around. Poor Taushen! She should know Barbarian’s don’t hit it and quit it.

With that ending, I’m kind of wondering if Ruby meant something different by Barbarian’s Tease.

Worth Any Cost by Brenna Aubrey

4/5 It’s about time stars.

I had to read this last book in the Mia/Adam saga to see them finally make the long-awaited trek down the aisle. This installment has some really good points. For example, there is far less of the stupid miscommunications that plague them in prior books. Having said that, Adam should have told Mia about the BOD ultimatum much sooner. For this book, I give the couple a B for communication.

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the others. Perhaps it’s because there wasn’t as much conflict, or because there was way too much sex. (Did I really say that?) Yes, I did. I even meant it. By the time Adam arrived for the wedding I was skimming. Still glad I took the time to read it.

Now for that intro to the next book…I don’t know if I can read it. I already have no sympathy for Kat.

Barbarian’s Rescue by Ruby Dixon

4/5 3D chess stars.

Not my favorite IPB, but I did really enjoy it. Summer isn’t as annoying as I thought she’d be, and Warrek is wonderful. I wasn’t as fond of the plot in this one. Although I did enjoy motormouth with no filter Summer. Some of the things that flew out of her mouth are pretty funny.

The best part of the book is the epilogue. After that tease, I can’t wait to read Buh-brukh’s story.

It ain’t me, Babe by Tillie Cole

4 stars

Interesting plot of a young woman who after years of physical and mental torture escapes the only home she knows in a religious cult. She does not fall into society, but rather into another strange family — a motorcycle gang. These rough guys and gals become her protectors and friends. One becomes the love of her life.

Interesting read if you’re looking for that bad-boy who underneath the rough exterior is really good.

Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis

4.5/5 Jerry Springer stars!

OTT- The drama is strong with this one!

Just when you think things couldn’t get more insane, they do. No one in this book has a filter and everyone needs a cold shower to combat the raging hormones. The adults are no better than their teenage kids. With the exceptions of Jill and Rose (who have very minor parts) Faye is the only girl described as have any virtue.

The rest of the girls, including complete strangers, only want to rip their underwear off at the sight of the Kennedy boys.
I’d call out the author on slut-shaming, but I can’t because it’s more like slut bragging.

I mean when Whitney says this, you can hardly feel sorry for her: I give great head or so I’ve been told.

TMI- As no one has a filter or a maturity level above fifteen, you can just imagine how they let it fly. Brad, dude, you didn’t need to confess your undying love for Faye in explicit detail. Everyone knows, dude. You just don’t learn from past mistakes, do you? Can’t blame Kyler for not trusting you. Faye, I know you feel bad, but you need to stay away from Brad. Your presence just makes things worse. Take a step back and stop making it about you.
Brad isn’t the only one with TMI. All the girls and women other than Faye can’t keep their mouths shut about all the ways they would like to further debauch the Kennedy brothers. Kyler comes across as a real elitist prick when he shoots down the waitresses and some of the other girls. He even calls them horrible names. Yet, they still want to do the dirty with him. Seriously??? It’s called self-respect. If he spoke to me that way I’d have to introduce him to my middle finger.

PDA- Kyler and Faye are the perfect couple and they love to demonstrate it in front of others. Note to Faye and Kyler, if different people at different times are commenting on your handsy behavior, then you probably should get a room.

WTH- This could probably go under the OTT heading but it works well here too. Some of the drama was just unbelievable. There was no need for Adam’s children to meet Faye at the Kennedy house. A more neutral location would have worked better. As expected everything went to hell pretty quickly. There are other instances of a more private, less dramatic option being available, but the characters choosing the most OTT scenario they could dream up. Even if it defies all logic. I’m of two minds on this. It annoyed me enough to take off a half-star, but at the same time, it makes the story that much more page-turning. I’ll leave it for you to decide.

HEA-After Faye and Kyler take out the trash, they can finally concentrate on being a normal couple. I will be waiting to see what happens next with Kal.

Man taking out garbage

Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara Joy

4 Trillion out of 5 Trillion stars.

Lilyn of Sci fi and Scary recommended this book to me, and I’m glad she did. First of all, as you can probably guess from the cover, this book was written in the nineties. Even if you read another edition it doesn’t take long to realize that Lorgin is not a hero of the third wave feminism variety. He is refreshingly masculine, although he does get bossy pants at times. I didn’t mind. I was too busy enjoying it. I couldn’t help but compare this to Ruby Dixon’s IPB series as I was reading. While I do like the Blue Barbarians more, Lorgin grew on me quite a bit. He started off as a pushy, ignorant alien, messing up Deanna’s life. By the end I realized what a perfect match they were for each other. Great story and cool world-building. At some point I would like to read more about his Familiar brother, Rejar.

Prison Planet Barbarian by Ruby Dixon

5/5 Keffing stars!

This was different. A bit darker and edgier than the IPB and I absolutely loved it! Jutari, a contemporary of Mardok, is a modern day Messakah, unlike the Sakhui
of the Ice Planet. But never fear, with or without a khui, he will claim his woman as his mate. And woe to any alien who tries to get a piece of his action!

If another touches you, you tell me and he’ll be murdered within the hour. You belong to Jutari and Jutari alone.

I loved the ending. I was wondering if Ruby was going to have them end up on Not-Hoth. The way things were handled worked for me. I say this about all of them, but I really loved this one!

The List by Alice Ward

4/5 this guy doesn’t know what hit him stars.
Buddy read with my excellent friend Brandy.

I won’t go on about they synopsis. You can read it and see what it’s about. Instead, I’ll focus on why I found it a unique read in a genre that is usually the same stuff re-hashed over and over in maybe six or seven different ways.

Yes, Xavier is a billionaire player. Same old same old, right? Not exactly. This guy has NEVER had a serious relationship. He blames his upbringing. His father was an alcoholic who beat his mom on a regular basis. To say this guy has baggage is the understatement of the year. But he’s good-looking and self-made wealthy. He’s never been shot down before. Until he meets Riley.

Riley is a bit insecure. She knows herself and her own faults very well. She has been hurt before and doesn’t want a repeat. That’s why she distances herself from Xavier. Her achille’s heel is that she gets attached too easily. But when the persistent billionaire tracks her down, she doesn’t turn him down twice.

Xavier gave me whiplash with his on again off again. One moment he can’t see her anymore. The next he wants to go out again. He can’t commit, but he can’t stay away from her either. Poor Riley doesn’t know what to think. The thing is, she’s not going to grovel for crumbs of his attention. And when another man asks her out, she doesn’t stay home and pine for him.

This drives him insane. My favorite part of the whole book is when he finally admits to Riley’s friend that he loves her. He actually touches his lips, he’s so shocked the words came out of his mouth.

I had a small pet peeve at the end that took it from a 4.5 to a 4.0. It was a bit unrealistic to me. Why did he bring Riley along to tell the guys they had to destroy the list? And why did Riley have to put in her two cents? The reader knows her and knows she’s not overbearing. His friends don’t. Even if they agreed to destroy the list, there’s no way they aren’t thinking she’s a pushy bitch and Xavier can’t stand up to her. Xavier may have to listen to Riley, but Julian and Davis are under no obligation.

This story is more about the journey than any stunning revelations. It is fun to see Xavier’s character growth and Riley come out of her shell.