Aug 31, 2013

ARC Review: Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters

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My rating: 2 stars

***Copy of the book provided by author in exchange for honest review***

Book summary:

"Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?"

 I am sorry, but I just don't like it...

      I have to admit that I wasn't sure about writing review for this book. I always feel bad when I don't have lot of good things to say about ARC I requested. But then again it is honesty that is appreciated, right? This will be short.

     Tears of Tess first got my attention because of pretty cover. After reading book description, I was sold. Dark, hot, erotic - check. Taboo, twisted, Stockholmish - check. Yes, my inner perv was having a blast. Then my co-blogger Tanja over at Ja Ĩitam, a ti? told me that I probably could get advanced copy of this book. I was over the moon. Few days later and there it was in my inbox. That's where everything went downhill. Why? Well, that would be a little longer list.

1. I love taboo themes. Stockholm syndrome is on the top of my perv-list. (I know - don't judge me.) You would think that Tears of Tess would be perfect for me. Wrong. I didn't find it believable at all.

2. Badly labeled. I understand that new adult is big hit now, but this book is not new adult. At least not by my standards. Tears of Tess is taboo erotica no matter how old main heroin is. I know authors like to use all kind of tricks to get attention, but please, don't label your books as something they are not.

3. Storyline. It started really interesting, but than it all... I don't know. Something happened and I just started to notice all cracks in the plot. It has interesting premise, but it's too much like faerie tales about princesses who have to save kingdom by marring monster-king who is actually good, but he just forgot all about it because of some curse.

4. Tess and Q. So many times I just wanted to slap both of them or to finally stop reading.

     One thing that I liked - steamy scenes were interesting.

     Maybe it is just me. Maybe I read it at the wrong moment. Maybe you will love this book. Or I have finally outgrown this type of literature. I don't know. If you are intrigued by dark erotica, you should read Tears of Tess. If you read Dark Duet series by S.J. Roberts and you think that Q is new Caleb, lover your expectations.

Until next time,

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Aug 27, 2013

Dark Soul: The Complete Collection (Dark Soul, #1-5) by Aleksandr Voinov


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Author's Page:

Adult Fiction/ MM Dark Erotica

Summary on Goodreads:

Love lights even the darkest soul.

A killer's moral compass rarely points true, and among made men, being gay is a capital crime. But Silvio Spadaro, deadly prodigy and heir to a Family fortune, is determined to find his own way--at the feet of the man he loves or by the barrel of a gun--no matter the dangers or costs.

Stefano Marino lives a comfortable--some might even say enviable--life. As a mob boss at the top of the food chain, he has it all: money, respect, a beautiful wife he loves as much now as the day they wed. But he also has a turf war on his hands, and far too soft a heart for this dark business.

When Silvio is sent to help Stefano with his turf war, sparks fly. Stefano loves his wife, but he wants Silvio. It's a desire he hardly knows how to process, but Silvio, ever the patient predator, maneuvers Stefano closer and closer to his bed each day. Stefano resists; giving in to these dark desires means giving up on his marriage, and exposure would surely mean death. Yet there's no denying Silvio's magnetic pull, or the long-repressed urges inside himself. Yielding is inevitable, but he may yet find a way to hold on to everything--and everyone--he loves.



I've been planning for a long time to read smth by Aleksandr Voinov  for two reasons:
1. He's  an MM author and as you know I'm a new MM fan, plus his books are mostly dark reads- hurray!
2. According to my GR friends he excels at it.

At first I was undecided which of his books should I start with, but after reading the blurb and seeing the beautiful covers for his Dark Soul series there was simply no other choice for me. The Dark Soul Series is a collection of 5 short stories, each of them no more than 60-80 pages long and they should be be read in the corresponded reading order:

1.  Dark Soul Vol. 1 (Dark Soul, #1)
2. Dark Soul Vol. 2 (Dark Soul, #2)
3. Dark Soul Vol. 3 (Dark Soul, #3)
4. Dark Soul Vol. 4 (Dark Soul, #4)
5. Dark Soul Vol. 5 (Dark Soul, #5)

What can I say about these stories except- they blew my mind !!! And I can definitely confirm the second reason I read this- Aleksandr Voinov is one of those writers  that make you wish  you could write as good as them. I can honestly say that I have never read a story like this, more-soever there were some really heavy issues in these stories, and even though I'm a big fan of dark  & edgy reads, if I knew for one of those "issues" (it was in Dark Vol. 3) in particular I think I would  probably never have read this, but I'm glad that I didn't. All I can say is that Aleksandr Voinov is one of those powerful writers whose writing style is so good that it can make you read anything.

Wrong On So Many Levels.

Welcome To The Infamous World Of Italian Mafia And Their Deadly Bosses!
Warning: Before you step in-  leave all your moral issues aside & be prepared to question your own sanity.
"In that pale face lurked the blackest, darkest eyes Stefano had ever seen,
and lips like they'd been cut with a knife blades, perfect, sharp, and deadly."

The main character of these stories & the epitome of the phrase Anima Nera= Dark Soul Silvio Spadaro a.k.a Barracuda is one of the most intriguing & complex characters I've read about.
He is without a doubt the main reason I got irrevocably captivated by this story from the very beginning. 
Dark, calculated, sensual, mysterious & fucked-up beyond redemption, with too many skeletons in his closet, most of which will left you speechless or shocked.
An enigma you desperately want to solve, but deep down you know you never will.

"He didn't speak with a lisp or wave his hands 
around in a limp-wristed kind of way.
But something about him exuded sex like a cat in heat.
Knowing, tempting eyes that sucked all the light
from the room. Centers of gravity."

No more like a siren or succubus, as deadly
as he was tempting.

His character was fascinating beyond words. It's like, no matter  what he did, you just couldn't stop liking him, and he did some pretty bad stuff. There's just something compelling about him and everyone wants a piece. When it comes to sex- he's insatiable with both women and men falling in front of his feet and the only place he lets loose control is in the bedroom. What he wants is what he gets, and this time he set his eyes on Stefano Marino, one of the dangerous mob bosses and he won't stop until he gets him.
Just like everyone else Stefano is powerless to resist him, but the problem is- he is married and being homosexual in a world of mafia isn't welcomed at all, so by giving into his new-found desire could cost him everything he has.
The sex scenes in this book were...*takes a deep breath* of the hottest I've read about and definitely one of the dirtiest- this is after all dark erotica we're talking about, so expect the unexpected. 

He grabbed Silvio by the neck, and although even that hurt
and Silvio could have easily freed himself,
Silvio complied and bent frown, close enough that he felt the heat from Stefano's
breath through his pajamas. "How long have you wanted this?"
"Ever since that night I saw you."

Silvio's  lips parted. "Yeah, I'm into that, too,"
he whispered.
"Control. All kinds of control." And there was a plea in his eyes.
Control me.

Will Silvio be Stefano's doom?
Is someone as cold and dark as Silvio capable of love?
Buy this collection and find out!
My favorite character beside Silvio was Donata, Stefano's wife- one of those fearless women with attitude.  I was afraid of the ending, all kind of scenarios running through my head, but it was perfect, I loved it. My only objection is that it was short and it left me wanting for more. All in all, I highly recommend it to all fans of dark reads, especially of  fans of MM romance & dark erotica- what are you waiting for? This is it.

"Tell me to leave."
The barracuda's closing in for the kill.
"I wouldn't mean it." Stefano opened the shower door further...


Aug 26, 2013

Mercy By Annabel Joseph

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Adult Fiction/ Erotica/ BDSM

Summary on Goodreads:

Lucy Merritt has always defined herself by her body, whether dancing in a small avant-garde company or posing for art. But she has always felt as if something is wrong with her, as if something is missing. She has never been in love.

Suddenly, in the darkness of the theater wings, a strangely affecting man enters her life. Matthew Norris, rich, handsome patron of the dance company, has decided that he wants Lucy for his own. He makes her an offer that both frightens and compels her, and they soon begin an affair characterized by only two requirements: beauty and truth. 

But how truthful are Matthew and Lucy? How much of Matthew's strenuous brand of love can Lucy endure? And how long can their rigid Dom/sub relationship stay frozen in time, never growing, never moving forward?



Glass & Red will probably "disown me" after I post this review, because they rated it pretty high-  4/5 stars, but it just didn't work for me. I read it years ago and it still gives me chills when I remember it- the kind of chills you get when watching a scary movie. At that time I read Fifty Shades Trilogy which was my first book with BDMS theme and I wanted to learn more, so I picked this book up. Here's what I thought:

I thought this book would be something similar to the Fifty Shades Series and I liked the cover, so I decided to try it, but it was NOTHING like it. This book was just too raw, brutal, vulgar and primitive, in short- a "bit" too much for me-I guess not my cup of tea .I didn't like the female protagonist, because I can't stand weak and whiny characters and this girl was too naive, immature and weak- she kept on crying and crying and feeling sorry for herself, but did nothing about it, and I utterly hated the male protagonist- he was just too brutal and vulgar, made me want to scream at him and even hit him, make him "my submissive", and not in a good way -.-...just to show him his place.
I was shocked by the way he behaved to her- I mean he called her 'his whore' or his 'anal-loving whore' all the time and sorry, but in my dictionary that's not hot. He even hit her so hard that it left her bruised and what's worse of it all- he made her sleep with others and humiliated her on every possible way he could and the girl fell for him in spite of everything- WTF !!! If that's not abuse, then I don't know what is. They both would need some serious mental treatment IMO. And when he finally admitted that he was falling for her too- it felt so fake and to tell you the truth- hilarious.

His behavior made me sick and furious at the same time. I skipped through most of the book, because everything was so raw and out of my league. There were just so many wtf-moments. I don't know, maybe I'm too old-fashioned when it comes to this subject, but I just couldn't relate to it, because the emotions felt too fake. This book is more for fans of dark erotica who don't mind abuse, degradation & humiliation in their relationships, which are usually deal-breakers for me.


Aug 24, 2013

ARC review: Beyond Pain (Beyond #3) by Kit Rocha

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A woman with no future…

Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.

A man without a past…

Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.

In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her love.



"You don't want to won my body. You want me to give it to you, every damn time."
"Every time."
"Because it belongs to me. It's mine."
"Yours. Give it to me."

If I ever wanted to scream in awesomeness after finishing a book, now is the time.
The third book in the amazing Beyond series by the writer duo Kit Rocha is the best one so far! I never imagined that they would get any better after Beyond Control. The alpha pair, Dallas and Lex, were the stuff of the legends in this otherwise original dystopian erotic series.

I love many things about these books, but the fact that every book, every couple is so different from one another is what won me over. A lot of series focus just on a few issues, but Beyond deals with all things from sensual discovery with Noelle and Jasper, the intensity and the battle of wills with Dallas and Lex to Bren and Six and learning to trust and giving yourself as a whole person to your partner.

We met the main characters in the previous books - Bren, the ex-Eden trained killer with a penchant for pain, and Six, the abused and rescued woman from the destroyed Sector Three. I admit that they didn't struck me as an interesting pair before. I wanted the fire and wild clash of Dallas and Lex, but these two turned out to be a couple that fascinated me with their connection and growth throughout the story.

"She was safe. Every second he denied himself to focus on her branded that truth more deeply into her flesh."

"She'd marked his skin. Only fair, since he'd marked her world."

"This must be what it felt like to want someone."

We all know that Six was abused by Wilson Trent and that she got her revenge, but the one thing more important to her still wasn't there - her pride. Before, I thought Six is a weak and fragile little thing, like most abused woman, but I was surprised to see her will and desire to show the world that she's strong and not someone to pity. She just needed someone to put her trust in, to be her anchor, to help her but let her independently try to grow into someone she wants to be.

And Bren was the right man. He kind of claimed her as soon as he met her. Bren is the protector type, the possessive guardian. He was very careful with Six, very slow in showing her the different way of life in the O'Kane gang. They might be brutal, but they take care of their own. He allowed her to build the trust toward him. I loved that about him. Even when Six took the steps to get closer to him, he was still patient and understanding. The best thing with him is that he didn't limit her, even if he had to fight his possessiveness her let her fight her own battles. And what a bad-ass Six turned out to be!

"She'd kicked ass in the cage. She'd beaten down her past, reclaimed her pride, proven to all the people who'd seen her shamed that she wasn't a victim anymore.
If she wanted to have sex in a warehouse while a filthy threesome played out in front of her, she fucking well would."

When Bren and Six get together, there is this quiet intensity around them. It's enchanting and passionate. Bren, as a strongly possessive guy, didn't share, and so didn't Six, but that didn't stop them from playing the sensual games of voyeurism, D&S, hard, rough sex and flogging too with some extra help.
And there was always a kind of understanding connection between them. I have no words to express the complete beauty of it!

"This had to be the way the O'Kane women felt when they were on their knees, smug and drunk on the power of watching big tough men pretend they were issuing orders instead of begging."

"He wanted it again, the feeling that she would gladly put her body in his hands because she knew it's be all right. This time, it wasn't about sex. It was about her faith in him, her confidence that he wouldn't let anything bad happen to her."

Besides the sexual parts, there were some moments of sweet communication that made me smile...

"You're my favorite of all the people who've ever kidnapped me."
It was sweet, in a sad, twisted sort of way – which pretty much described both of them perfectly. "You're absolutely my favorite person I've ever kidnapped."

They also worked together on the Sector Three which now Dallas controls. Six's knowledge of the sector and the important people and information comes in handy here. I like the fact that the author invests time and pages in world-building and the work of politics of the sectors. And they also put in POVs from several other characters that get us prepared for future books by slowly showing us who they are. We also get some Lex and Dallas time which is awesome!

Dallas: „Why do you think being a better man matters so damn much? The sex, that's good, but it's not the prize. Trust is the prize, and the fight's not about winning it or keeping it. It's about deserving it, and that's a fight a man's got to have with himself. Every fucking day.

But I warn you, there is some angst here! The delicious kind. Bren is not perfect - the past is always haunting us and mistakes are made. But that just makes the ending that much more perfect and exciting.

All in all, Beyond Pain is officially one of my favorite reads of the year! I hope the authors continue to amaze us with their talent for writing complex characters and creating the interesting world of the O'Kanes.

"Fucking. It doesn't start when you get naked, not the way I do it."

Until next time,

Aug 21, 2013

This Much Is True (Truth In Lies, #1) by Katherine Owen

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Author's Page:

Contemporary Romance/ New Adult

Summary on Goodreads:

Fate brings them together
Fame & Lies keep them apart
One truth remains…
She’s become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story…

At 17, Tally Landon just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party—a college party—where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about her heartbreaking loss of her twin that follows her everywhere she goes. She meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford’s famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense—when she lies about her age and who she really is—intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.

His only focus is baseball, but he can’t forget the girl he saved on Valentine’s Day…

At 22, Lincoln Presley’s star is on the rise—about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball’s upcoming draft—his cousin’s party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine’s Day that he saved from that horrific car accident and can’t quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What’s the harm in getting to know this girl? What’s the worst that can happen?

They share this incredible connection, but fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways...

And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they’ve come to trust the most; one truth remains.

This much is true.



***Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review***

"Nobody wants to be the dead twin's sister."

How many opportunities did we miss out, dreams did we crush, desires we extinguished, because life, our pride or fear of failing got in the way?
How many "easier roads" in the labyrinth of life did we walk, because of the fear of unknown and the fear of ending up hurt? How many "ifs / would-have-beens/ could-have-beens"  and loss can a single person handle???

This book is a true masochist read. It literally cut me open with every next page and
that's a lot of emotional torture for a book which is around 450 pages long, but like every masochist reader I loved it.

Dark, deeply emotional & touching.

I think that this is one of those stories that you'll either love or hate, because it's full of unexpected twists, painful secrets and lies meant to hurt and shock, some of which not everyone will be comfortable with. For me, of course, that was also what makes it so good and compelling.

The main characters of this book are a 17 year old ballet dancer Tally Landon and a 23 year baseball player Lincoln Presley, both soon-to-be famous in their careers, but the story is told from various povs. Tally and Linc have a lot of things in common- they both are perfectionists in what they do, very familiar with death and loss, very ambitious and career-driven with no room for anything in their lives besides ballet and baseball, especially no room for love, but then, one day, they meet and suddenly everything they worked for and believed in is put on the line.

Ballet is all about the mastery of repetition
 and a continual quest for perfection.
Somehow, that works for me, even now.
I can take in the air again
as I dance. I can breathe again.

Ballet is my life.
Ballet is what I know.
Ballet is all I have left.

Striving to perfectionism is both, one of their biggest strengths and biggest flaws, because as we all know- the world is far from perfect and trying to be perfect in an imperfect world is unrealistic and simply impossible.
And no matter how far that characteristic has brought them in life, the price for it was too high. Both of them are very complex, unpredictable and flawed characters, who the minute you think you get them in a way, surprise or shock you all over, especially Tally.

Here's the truth: 
I am the female version of a heartbreaker,
The one that everyone says is too dedicated
to ballet,
too self-involved to ever care about 
anyone else besides herself.
I'm The Rebel.
The Bad Twin.
I'm Tally- The Loner, the party of one.
The love and leave'em prototype.
Heartless. That is me.
I have no time for romance, flowers or relationships.
I like one-night stands with plenty of sex 
and no promises of a future.
I like the lies I tell.
I'm comfortable in telling them...most of the time.
This is me.

She made a lot of choices in life which left me, as a woman, shocked or appalled, things that are totally out of my character, but then again trying to look at things from her perspective- I got her in a way. When you are young, you do a lot of stupid things which you later regret, especially if you go through some pretty bad situations Tally has.

I had a love & hate relationship with Linc too. He frustrated me on a whole different level, because of his insecurities and indecisiveness. Just like the two of them- their love was passionate, imperfect and complicated. There were so many secrets and lies between them, so much pain that from time to time I asked myself how could anything good come from it.

The ending is coming.
I can feel it.
I don't know if I can take it this time.
But then again,
I say that every time and yet,
every time I take it.
And, I come back to her again for more.
I will take whatever time I can get with her.
I will do that for a lifetime.
I will.
I know that much about myself.
She's my water.
I can never get enough of her, and it appears that
I will die trying to love her... 

These two drove me crazy through the whole book- one minute I was torn between feeling sorry for them, because of all the fucked-up things life threw their way and already in the next one I hated their guts for some of the things they did or not did, but I must say that sympathy won in the end. 

The lies have just built upon one another.
One follows the other like connected dots on a road map;
but this path leads me to him, 
and I can't stop now. 

I stay with the lie.
I revel in the lie.
She's mine for now, at least.
And, I'm most definitely hers.

The story made me think about life, especially about: how far are people willing to go and risk in order to get what they want? There were some surreal things, things that make me think- yeah, like that could ever happen, some unnecessary drama and also I'm not a fan of insta-love relationship, but if the author and the story is good and has a decent writing style- then, basically, you can make me read anything, even the things that are way out of my comfort zone, and Katherine Owen is definitely one of those authors.

This book is a New Adult novel and it deals with lot of heavy issues, but if you're looking for a sexy and more erotic read- this is not it. There are some sex scenes, but they are very rare and not explicit.
The focus is on the story itself. I would highly recommend this book to every fan of masochist reads out there, especially fans of authors like Tarryn Fisher and Megan Hart- I think you will understand this complex & beautifully flawed story and love it! This was my first book by this author, but it definitely won't be the last.

"What are you so afraid of?"
"Falling. Failing. Losing.
Those are the big three.
They are practically interchangeable
and apply to every aspect of my life."
He pulls me tighter into his arms. 
"Me, too," he says, breathing the words into my hair.
"Stay with me for awhile. Please.
You make me feel unafraid."

About The Author:

Dark. Edgy. Contemporary. Romantic.

Were we describing me? Or my fiction? Sorry. I drink too, not enough water. I swear too much for God and my mother, and I slip these into my fiction. Sorry. I'm impatient, a perfectionist, a wordsmith, a dreamer, which ends up being good and bad. I'm a workaholic; ask my fam-dam-ily.

I've written four novels in as many years: Seeing Julia, Not To Us, When I See You and my latest release This Much Is True.

If you love angsty, unpredictable love stories, I'm yours. ♥


Aug 18, 2013

Launch promo & ARC review: Unlocked (The Alpha Group #3) by Maya Cross

Unlocked (The Alpha Group #3) by Maya Cross

Release date: August 18th


The breathtaking conclusion to the USA Today best selling Alpha Group Series.

Who is Sebastian Lock?

The heart can lead you to dangerous places. Abandoned by the man she loves, with nothing more than sweet words and riddles for an explanation, Sophia Pearce felt like her life was crumbling before her eyes. And then they came for her. Now, things will never be the same.

Confronted with the truth about Sebastian’s identity, she’s thrust into a high stakes world beyond anything she could have imagined. A world that threatens much more than just her feelings. Sebastian’s enemies will stop at nothing to get what they want, and they want her.

Their passion for one another consumes them, but as the danger mounts, and loyalties are tested, Sophia must answer one simple question. What is she willing to risk for love?

-This book is approximately 54,000 words long, or about 200 printed pages. It contains erotic content and a dominant man who always gets what he wants in the bedroom. It is intended for readers aged 18 and over.

Huge Launch Giveaway (Kindle Fire HD 7” OR equivalent value in Amazon/B&N/iTunes vouchers, three $20 Amazon/B&N/iTunes vouchers) 
Open Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt (Note: Text may change a little before publication)

I hadn’t expected Sophia to sleep at all, not after what she’d been through. Trauma like that can ruin a person. But somehow she’d drifted off. I had no idea where she found the strength to be that tough. She never ceased to amaze me.

For a while I lay there trying to get some rest myself, but the events of the last two days had thrown my whole world into chaos. It was all happening again. The fact that I’d averted the worst didn’t make the situation any better. I was an asshole. I should never have let it get to this point, but I was weak, and it had nearly cost the woman I love her life. How the hell could I sleep knowing that?
To make matters worse, even now I was still incapable of staying away. She was as secure here as anywhere, but the moment she’d left my sight I began to feel agitated. I still hadn’t managed to shed the mindless terror that had seized me when I first heard she’d been taken. The urge to go to her, to simply hold her and never let go, had been almost overpowering.

I’d tried to distract myself. There was certainly no shortage of work to be done — most of my colleagues were holed up together in the board room, planning things until well into the night — but I was useless there. My mind only wanted to focus on one thing, and soon I found myself propped up against the wall outside her room, nursing several fingers of scotch in a heavy crystal tumbler. I didn’t know why, but just being close to her helped. I made myself vow not to enter. It had taken an immense level of control to cut her off the first time, and every moment in her presence stretched my willpower just a little more. I would keep her safe and solve all this, and then when it was all over, I’d let her go again. It was the only way.

But the moment I heard her sobbing through the door, all sense of self-control fled. Before I knew it, I was on my feet, and then in her bed. I expected her to fight, after all, I had to be the last person she wanted to see, but she didn’t. Instead she just burrowed into me without a word. I hated how perfect that felt, the way her body fit like a missing puzzle piece against mine. I still didn’t understand how such simple contact could make me so damn content, but it did.

And now she slept. I couldn’t help but run my eyes over her again. Truth be told, I’d barely been able to stop staring since the moment I entered the room. She looked so fucking beautiful lying there, her face utterly peaceful, her curves perfectly accentuated by the thin cotton sheet. She’d taken the T-shirt I left her, but not the pants, and now in the throws of sleep she’d managed to knock part of the cover free, exposing one delicate hip. It was a tiny thing, the barest hint of pale skin and black cloth, but the sight took my breath away nonetheless. I felt impossibly low ogling her after everything I’d put her through, but I was powerless to do anything else. Her body was like a drug, a burning rush through my system that was impossible to ignore. I knew how that hip would feel if only I’d reach out and touch it. I had every inch of her body charted in my head; so perfectly soft, so perfectly feminine.

Fuck. I had to pull myself together.

Ripping my gaze free, I eased my arm out from under her. I’d done what I came to do. She was resting. There was no reason for me to stay.

She stirred briefly, and I came within a hair’s breadth of pulling her back against me once more, but after a few moments she settled. Taking one last look, I moved quietly out into the corridor and resumed my watch. I’d be there if she needed me, but anything beyond that was too hard. There was no happy ending here, and letting myself think otherwise would only destroy me more.

Link to all Alpha Group books:






I was with Maya Cross and her journey with The Alpha Group series from day one and in that time, I fell in love with these books one by one. The first one - Locked - the one where we meet Sophia and Sebastian and where they meet each other and start something that will change their lives. The second one - Lockout - when they both realize things have changed and they want to be much more, but there are many secrets and trust is a fragile thing, but not impossible to earn.

And now - in Unlocked - we continue where we were left off. Sophia is in danger and Sebastian is afraid that he is the one that put her in that situation. Through the first two books the author kept us wondering about Sebastian's life and what exactly is so important to hide. This is when we finally find out the truth.

Unlocked is a combination of suspense that is much more present here then in other books; and romance and passion that is still blazing between these two, that is still too strong to ignore even when uncertainty separates them.

I really enjoyed the suspense. It had many bad guys, mystery, plenty of action and edge-of-the-seat situations, even though at times, the excitement is reduced when things are solved too quickly. It had both positive and negative sides. The negative is that I got a small feeling of disappointment, but the positive is that it balanced the more important developments so it didn't bother me that much. It actually contributed to one thing I especially admire with Maya Cross and other authors: the organization and setup of the story.

Creativity is the most important thing in writing. After that I value the writing style and story organization the most - the skill to combine all the elements you want to put in the story so that it all makes sense and is able to drive a positive response in readers. The whole Alpha Group series is a calculated evolution of a relationship that made an interesting story.

Not to mention that sometimes I really wished all that I was reading was a movie to watch and see it all live in a brilliant spectacular light. But I'm definitely not complaining.

Sophia had been a constant remarkable aspect of the series - a strong, independent, hard-working woman that discovered another side of herself when she met Sebastian. I liked her willingness to explore the more kinky side of sex. And I loved(!) what they did here in Unlocked; there isn't much play with senses in BDSM books, or I'm just reading the wrong ones. Sophia's best attribute is her determination. I like what it's still even-present.Without it, a relationship with Sebastian would've been over before it even started.

Because this final book brought out the concerned and protective side of Sebastian. The events of the past caused him to try to distance himself from Sophia, to keep her out of the danger, and that's all sweet and all from him, but not what they both need. I love that the female characters was the one to push for once. But hell yeah, even Sebastian couldn't keep out his need and that sexy dominance (mmm..;)

An amazing end to a series that has become really dear to me! Full of suspense and romance with Sophia and Sebastian gradually forming a relationship that is sure to last. Maya Cross has done an outstanding job with her first series and I'm sure she will continue to use her talent to bring us more exciting stories to follow.

PS: I'm still lusting after these beautiful covers!

Author bio

Maya Cross is a writer who enjoys making people blush. Growing up with a mother who worked in a book store, she read a lot from a very young age, and soon enough picked up a pen of her own. She’s tried her hands at a whole variety of genres including horror, science fiction, and fantasy, but funnily enough, it was the sexy stuff that stuck. She has now started this pen name as an outlet for her spicier thoughts (they were starting to overflow). She likes her heroes strong but mysterious, her encounters sizzling, and her characters true to life.

She believes in writing familiar narratives told with a twist, so most of her stories will feel comfortable, but hopefully a little unique. Whatever genre she's writing, finding a fascinating concept is the first, and most important step.

The Alpha Group is her first attempt at erotic romance.

When she's not writing, she's playing tennis, trawling her home town of Sydney for new inspiration, and drinking too much coffee.
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