Reviews

REVIEW: Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones

The intrigue continues in book two of Lisa Renee Jones’ crime thriller Dirty Money series, Damage Control.

I enjoyed this more than the first in the series, although I have to admit I left it far too long to read this, and forgot too much of what had been built up in book one. However, I felt like I was able to catch up to the plot pretty quickly, which is a testament to Jones’ writing.

Not only does this book continue the family chess game and pile on the suspense, but it also deals with the two protagonists, Shane and Emily, learning to fit with one another in the midst of the family drama—which is increased significantly, on both sides.

My only real dislike of this novel was that Jones’ writing style is in the protagonists’ heads a little too much. Their narrations become somewhat repetitive, and in some cases I almost felt like skimming them, but am glad I refrained from doing so. There’s a lot to take in here, but a little more action and less thinking in circles might be desirable.

Looking forward to book three.

~Evelyn (4/5)

Release Blitz

Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones

damagecontrolDamage Control by Lisa Renee Jones
Series: Dirty Money #2
Genre: contemporary romance
5334a-addtogoodreads

Wall Street meets the Sons of Anarchy in Damage Control, the smoldering, scorching next novel in the explosively sexy Dirty Money series.

The only thing more dangerous than a dark secret is a damaged heart…

Shane Brandon has been pushed to the brink, torn between his corrupt family and his explosive, all-consuming desire for Emily Stevens, who he now knows is not who, and what, she seems. Has he trusted the wrong person? Will she, not his brother Derek, be the ultimate destruction of his family Empire?

Emily tries to run from Shane, but he will stop her, confront her, force her to reveal all — one hot touch and kiss at a time, under every intimate detail of who this woman is, and what she wants, is exposed. But as he tears away the dangers of the unknowns with the woman in his bed, and in his heart, The Martina Cartel has set their sights on his company, his family, and the one piece of leverage they believe he won’t gamble with: Emily.

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Sneak peek

“You make me remember I need to be good and right in my choices.”

“Do you ever question doing what is good and right?”

“There have been times when I felt like my hand was forced.”

“When you were a lawyer?”

“No,” I say. “I manipulated the law, as does every attorney, but I never broke it. I’m talking about when I’m with my family.”

“Did you go where they lead?”

“Not so far.”

“That sounds like you might.”

“I don’t want to be them.”

“You aren’t them. You don’t have to be them.”

“I know that,” I say. “But you just keep telling me so I don’t forget.” Her legs hit the bed frame and she grips my arms.

I lean into a kiss and she pulls back, her hand pressing on my chest. “Wait. Now it’s my turn to say talk to me. Are you okay?”

“Death happened. The one thing I can’t control. It’s not the night to push me to stop protecting you. Not tonight. Can you do that?”

“Yes. We can.”

“We,” I repeat, “and that word sounds as good on my tongue as I know you’re going to taste. I’m going to make love to you properly. The way I plan to many times in our future.” I reach down and untie her robe, letting it fall open; my fingers sliding underneath just far enough to tease her nipples. They pucker beneath my touch, and her lashes flutter, settling on her cheeks. “But when it’s over, I’m going to fuck you hard and fast again.”

I tug gently on her nipples and she bites her lips. “Look at me,” I order gently.

She opens her eyes, and there is desire in their depths, but there are shadows there too,. I do not think she intends for me to see doubt or uncertainty that wasn’t there before. That I do not like or wish to know ever again. I want it gone. Now. Tomorrow. Forever. I reach up and rip the silk tie from her robe, wrapping it around my hand, before I reach up and caress the robe off her shoulder, letting it tumble to the ground.

“Give me your hands,” I order, but it’s really a question: Does she still trust me?

She studies me for several beats, her eyes narrowing ever so slightly, and I do not know what she sees in mine, but she offers me her hands. I wrap the silk around her wrists then lean in close to her, my cheek against her cheek, my body touching her nowhere else. “Now you’re at my mercy.”

“Yes,” she agrees. “I am.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“Warm.”

My lips curve with the answer that is every bit the combination of sweet sexy honesty I’ve come to expect from her. “I’m going to make you warmer.”

“Promise?”

I go still with that question, which on the surface is innocent, but I wonder if it truly is or if it’s about those shadows in her eyes. “I promise,” I say. “And you know, I never—”

“Make a promise you don’t keep.”

“Exactly,” I say, and her reference to my previous words tells me that I am not the only one on a mission of trust, and I intend to deserve hers.

I bring my hands to just above her shoulders, letting them lightly touch her before beginning a slow caress downward. She makes a soft little sound that has my cock thickening and my blood running hot, but I won’t rush this. My lips follow, tracing a line down one of her arms, then the other. I lean and caress my lips over hers, a feather light touch that teases me, if not her.

I take her hands in mine, pressing them behind her head. “Hold them there, for me, so I can see all of you. Understand?”

“You intend to tease me incessantly,” she says, without so much as a hint of hesitation. “Yes. I understand.”

I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her naked body against me, my free hand on hers above her head, our mouths a breath apart. “I intend to lick every part of you, and then do it again, so yes. If that’s the definition of incessant teasing, then yes. I am going to tease you incessantly.” I close my mouth down on hers, my tongue licking into her mouth, a deep, hungry tasting I force myself to end far too quickly. “That was the beginning. Should I could continue?”

“Yes. Please.”

“Please,” I say. “I like that.”

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Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Seth – Jo Raven

26790086Title: Seth
Author: Jo Raven
Series: Damage Control #3 (standalone)
Genre: romance 
Rating: ****

Once again, Jo Raven seamlessly intwines several characters from prior instalments and different series of her novels; she has crafted a strong family dynamic and world which is more enjoyable to delve into every time I read the next one.

Jo Raven has a way of writing that focuses on the individual characters’ personal past problems, whilst working towards a mutual happy ending; the lack of focus on petty drama between the two is unbelievably refreshing and gives the stories and characters much more depth. Topped off with some steamy scenes, this is yet another of her romances that is absolutely delightful to indulge in. This series, three books in, is definitely a favourite of mine and has made me desperate to read on and also read her other works in the same world.

Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Jesse – Jo Raven

25916372Title: Jesse
Author: Jo Raven
Series: Damage Control #2 (standalone in a series)
Genre: romance
Rating: ****

Jesse is probably one of the stronger romance books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Completely character-driven, it is absolutely wonderful to experience the way the two leads effect each other, but also to have the focus on their individual lives and backstories. It’s also wonderful to have the mentions of other central characters in Jo Raven’s previous works, all seamlessly interwoven.

Although the previous instalment, Micah, suffered due to its short length and little room for development, Jo Raven fortunately wrote this one to be at a much slower pace, allowing for optimum character and relationship development, which was even improved through the limited number of sex scenes (particularly relevant for Jesse’s character).

Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Micah – Jo Raven

24819883Title: Micah
Author: Jo Raven
Series: Damage Control #1 (standalone in a series)
Genre: romance
Page count: 173
Rating: ***

The first instalment of Jo Raven’s Damage Control series. Other characters mentioned are explored in the Inked Brotherhood series (which should be read first if you are new to Jo Raven).

This was a highly enjoyable read, peppered with interlinked characters and stories, with some wonderful character development throughout. The strength of the characters and their personal backstories and issues, and their intense chemistry made me desperate to reach that happy ending, which really didn’t disappoint. Some steamy sex scenes completed the mix!

My main issue is that due to the short length of the book, the development seemed somewhat rushed, a sort of whirlwind in some places. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend this series to romance lovers who also enjoy a deeper focus on the characters’ individual lives.