Archives

Mountain Man by Sherilee Gray

Posted in Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Erotica/ New Adult/ Reviews 7th November 2017
Mountain Man by Sherilee GrayMountain Man by Sherilee Gray
Series: The Smith Brothers #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on November 7th 2017
Pages: 99
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Hank Smith saved my life, carrying me through a blizzard to his mountain cabin. He doesn’t like strangers, and he doesn’t like leaving his sanctuary. Now I’m trapped here with him until the snow melts. 

I see him looking at me. He tries to hide behind a gruff exterior, but I see the longing and the heat burning in his eyes. I know he wants me, and I can’t resist him. I want to feel those big, rough hands all over my body.

But once he’s unleashed his raw, barely tried desire on me, will I be able to leave my mountain man behind, or will he make me his?

I really enjoyed Sherilee Gray’s ‘Breaking Him’ and this foray into erotica continues with ‘Mountain Man’ with a solitary, gruff and somewhat emotionally vulnerable hero who saves a woman and then doesn’t quite know what to do with the both of them.

It’s a straight up-and-out sort of read and very easy to go through within a hour or so, not to mention the scorching hot times between the sheets that made the short anticipation worth it. Hank Smith definitely made the book for me; I wished that Birdie – whose odd name really reminded me of an old woman’s – had a bit more courage for go after what (and who) she wanted instead of taking off in a way she’d known all her life. I felt more for the former than the latter, but was still gratified with the happy end that I thought Hank really deserved.

three-stars

Broken Rebel by Sherilee Gray

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Erotica/ Netgalley/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 16th September 2017
Broken Rebel by Sherilee GrayBroken Rebel by Sherilee Gray
Series: Lawless Kings #2
Published by Swerve on October 10th 2017
Pages: 244
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
one-star

They used to be best friends...but now, all they do is fight each other at every turn. She's loved him since he saved her from her evil stepmother all those years ago. He's sworn to never love her for fear of tainting her innocence with his criminal past.

What do you do when the one person you love is the one person you can’t have?

I’ll say from the start that I love Sherilee Gray’s writing, which is probably even harder to admit that the Lawless Kings series has been a sore disappointment so far. Gray’s prose is always easy to get through and her stories are decently plotted, so it was a huge surprise (or shock even) when I ended up with the problem of trying to get behind the protagonists and failing miserably.

‘Broken Rebel’ is in essence for me, a version of a toxic relationship—of enabling and needing—that presents a different definition of love that I find myself struggling to subscribe to. It’s something that the protagonists do acknowledge as well, which forms the basis for the screwed up relationship that they’ve always had. Having known each other all their lives and coming from broken pasts, Neco has always assumed the role as protector when she needed him. The years pass and Ruby appears to yearn for that status-quo, doing everything she can to get his attention back on her, which he rebuffs by doing every cruel and vile thing possible (including screwing a woman so that Ruby could see it) in the attempts to wean her off him.

I found it immensely difficult to even get on Neco’s side as he gives the (rather hypocritical and unbelievable) rationale that he is not good for her—having done unsavoury things—and is protecting her even from himself and his shady criminal past. With the idea that she’s forbidden goods, Neco’s repetitive justification of keeping her at a distance, saying hurtful things and screwing women while pretending it’s Ruby just didn’t sit with me at all. I got unhappier with page after page of the injustice he’d done to her, then suddenly turning up to ‘claim’ her as her man after she gets hurt badly and he wasn’t there to respond because he was preparing to get a blowjob in a strip club.

There were parts where I felt sorry for Ruby for enduring all that she had to endure just to get Neco’s attention, though her desperation for him made me cringe at times. Taking him back so easily after her short, albeit failed attempt to be the strong independent woman free of him meant she got him after all this time (with him reciprocating), though his obnoxious, protective and controlling behaviour even after this finally made me give up on the story.

Truth is, I’m conflicted about rating this book the way I have, all the more so because I know Gray has written books that I love. But the long and short of it is, ‘Broken Rebel’ doesn’t quite feel like a romance to me. Instead the ingredients for a ‘darker’ type of erotica are there, like the scorching sex, the alpha posturing, the overprotective ‘claiming’, but with Neco/Ruby having been caught in the game of hurtful push-pull for ages, the chest-heaving, angsty emotions that bled off the page merely convinced me that both these broken rebels might have really been better off without each other.

one-star

Shattered King by Sherilee Gray

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Erotica/ Mystery/Crime/ Netgalley/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 22nd June 2017
Shattered King by Sherilee GrayShattered King by Sherilee Gray
Series: Lawless Kings #1
Published by Swerve on June 27th 2017
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
two-stars

He’s out to get revenge for a crime he didn’t commit…

Hunter King just got out of prison. Incarcerated for three years though an innocent man, his rage against the people who put him there knows no bounds. First up on his list for vengeance: the woman who betrayed him years ago. The woman he loved fiercely, the one bright light in his otherwise hard, ruthless life. She has information he needs. And he’s going to kidnap her, hold her hostage, in order to get it. But one look into Lulu’s eyes unleashes the true beast within. Hunter’s never hated anyone this deeply, or wanted any woman this badly.

Lulu had no choice: Either help send Hunter to prison, or see him destroyed. She couldn’t do that to the man she loved. Couldn’t do it to the father of her child. But Hunter was locked away before he had a chance to learn about his son—and a hard layer of despair has formed around his heart that she’s desperate to crack. And if Hunter is to give himself and Lulu a second chance at love, he needs to find a way past his darkest demons.

A new series always excites me, though there’s always some trepidation because many of them don’t quite hit their stride until a few books in, especially when the starting one is full of establishing plotlines, histories and characters. ‘Shattered King’s’ blurb drew me in immediately: betrayal, secrets and lies all tangled up in a hard, brutal second chance romance after Hunter King’s life takes a turn for the worse when Lulu—the only woman he’s ever loved—sent him to prison.

My first impression of ‘Shattered King’ is the overall grittiness and the barely-leashed edge of violence that Sherilee Gray excels at here, in which hard sex plays a major role. Her characters stay just at the boundary of the wrong side of the law, crossing these lines sometimes with no qualms and are the anti-heroes who would keep you safe at any cost just as they keep your panties constantly wet. But there’s also a load of high drama and a considerable number of triggers here that might go down on the wrong side of some readers’ sensibilities.

It was hard however, to see anything beyond the overflowing lust that supposed proves compatibility, because it seemed to trump even their volatile personalities and apparently, solve most problems. The copious amount of sex replaced actual communication, because by god, it was what both Hunter and Lulu needed to do but didn’t, as body parts suddenly spoke louder than words and that proved frustrating. But this is suspense as much as it’s erotica, so I was in a way, expecting more than just sex to eclipse everything else.

I think ‘Shattered King’ would have worked better for me if the story’s protagonists weren’t always on the verge of going off the deep end at the slightest push of a button. Hunter’s sudden switch from pissed-off alpha male to possessive alpha male was too abrupt, just as I couldn’t entirely trust Lulu not to stop running, which seemed to be her only modus operandi throughout the entire story, either from her hellish stepfather or for the sake of her son. Held at ransom for so long, I’d expected a gutsier female lead despite the amount of abuse she’d faced but her tendency to not want to face things couldn’t make me warm up to her enough, especially when she couldn’t seem to take active steps to sort out the mess she’d made of her own life as well as Hunter’s. The long and short of it is that Lulu does run in the end and predictably ends up in the hands of her worst enemy like the damsel constantly in distress, even as Hunter bails her out at the last minute.

‘Shattered King’ is not a bad start to the series, but it’s probably better suited for those who like the MC-type of stories and a HEA that comes amidst bloodshed and shady activities. But just because I couldn’t really feel Hunter/Lulu’s connection doesn’t mean that anyone else can’t, and I’m simply going to continue reading because there are stories that I know Gray can write that I’ll love. It’s just not this one.

two-stars

Breaking Him by Sherilee Gray

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Erotica/ Netgalley/ New Adult/ Reviews 23rd August 2016
Breaking Him by Sherilee GrayBreaking Him by Sherilee Gray
on September 5th 2016
Pages: 128
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Folks in town call him a monster—say he’s dangerous. But I know him simply as Elijah Hays, the quiet, gentle giant who works with the horses on my ranch. I can feel him watching me, that steady intense gaze making me crave things I don’t quite understand, burn in a way that frightens me. He’s always kept his distance…until that night.
I remember him coming to my rescue, me following him into the barn, giving him his first taste of a woman, and his inexperienced yet barely reined touch turning me to ash.
Now all I can think about is exposing the dark desire I see deep inside him—having him turn those dark desires on me. That low, gritty voice rasping orders in my ear. Those huge, rough hands holding me down when a storm blows in.
I want his surrender. His control. I want to break him…and have him break me…

‘Breaking Him’ is excellent example of erotica: lushly sensual and deeply evocative, with writing so seductive that it encloses you in a bubble where only the lead characters exist as they dance around, then feast the hell out of each other. The setting is incongruous, the background almost bland – small, gossipy town that’s close-minded and isolated – and the storyline simple, so as to put the spotlight on the heaving breaths of the couple in question.

Seen through only Abigail’s POV, we learn so much about Eli and unlike many single POV stories, this one holds nothing back and remarkably steers of clichéd-ridden moments that are often associated with fictional ‘first times’. Eli is a rare breed (pun fully intended, seeing as he’s the horse whisperer with a sultry, dark side that gets all wheels turning), an intriguing alpha who’s also a virgin, which should have raised some scepticism in me but didn’t, thanks to Gray’s fantastic portrayal of a formerly abused boy who’s had to grow up in the shadow of vicious gossip. I liked the dark undercurrent that Gray talks about and how it appears when his and Abigail’s relationship started to change, all the while keeping the wonderful, untested but changing dynamics between them. Until it all ignites spectacularly, of course, helped along by the tinder that’s their blistering foreplay, served with a bit of kink on the side.

It’s a wonderful surprise every time a book surpasses my expectations and never more so for ‘Breaking Him’ because erotica should ultimately offer something beyond blistering, explicit sex scenes. This book does and does so with such style that I can’t help but want more.

five-stars

Wrecked by Sherilee Gray

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews 23rd December 2015
Wrecked by Sherilee GrayWrecked by Sherilee Gray
Series: Axle Alley Vipers #3
Published by Entangled: Indulgence on February 8th 2016
Pages: 265
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

He's driving her crazy...
Piper West is finally on her own, and it's time to get crazy. Except that her overprotective big bro has enlisted his ex-cop best friend to keep an eye on his baby sister. With every move monitored and reported back, Piper's life has gone from "going crazy" to "being driven crazy." But a searing-hot kiss with her sexy and scarred watchdog is just the game-changer she needs...
Cole Black owes Piper's brother big-time, but there's nothing easy about his new assignment. Piper is all feisty sexiness and curves meant to tempt a man beyond reason, and Cole can't stop himself. Now he's caught up in a hunger like nothing he's ever known, and he can't get enough...
Even if Piper's the one girl he's not allowed to have.

Piper West’s road to independence hasn’t been more smoothly paved, now that her sister and best friend have moved out and into their new lives with their other halves. Except for the tiny thorn in her arse called Cole Black, the guy she’s always wanted and will always want.

But being the (most) deluded male that the men of Sherilee Gray’s very excellent Axle Alley series tend to be, Cole’s struggle with survival guilt somehow extends to everything else in his life, especially Piper and proves to be the only major obstacle that neither can really overcome. The cramp in Piper’s style – and the final straw – comes from her overbearing big brother, who insists that Cole watches over her, a move that inadvertently turns both Cole and Piper both into drooling, straining idiots whose clothes you know will eventually get shredded when the tension finally boils over.

It’s hard not to like sassy, spunky Piper, whose hilarious ways of pushing her brother’s best friend over the edge made me laugh and cheer for her, even if this is a well-worn trope that has been employed till kingdom come. That never-say-die, indefatigable hope that she’s full of (and not appearing too needy while at it) won me over immediately and while Cole’s tortured ways do yank some emotional chains, I must say again, that the girls, in Sherilee Grey’s universe, come out top.

four-stars

Revved by Sherilee Gray

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Erotica/ Netgalley/ New Adult/ Reviews 13th October 2015
Revved by Sherilee GrayRevved (Axle Alley Vipers #2) by Sherilee Gray
Series: Axle Alley Vipers #2
Published by Entangled: Indulgence on October 5th 2015
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

He'll rev her up and drive her to the edge...
Rusty West swore she was done with men. Instead, she channeled her passion into West Restoration, the car shop she runs with her best friend and sister. But Rusty's aloof composure fades when the owner of the competition comes striding into her shop, over six feet of sexy, rough-edged confidence...hot enough to send Rusty's motor into overdrive.
Reid Parker worked his ass off to get what he wants - and what he wants is West Restoration and its crew. He never expected to find a shop of all-female mechanics...or the stunning redhead who ignites a lust that threatens his cool. But Reid plays carefully. He never, ever gets involved with a woman beyond one night.
And no matter how hot the sparks, Rusty will never compromise her business for a man...

Once again, the Vipers of Axle Alley have me cheering for them. After reading Deacon’s and Alex’s story not long ago, I knew that the Axle Alley women had tales that I needed to get into…and soon. In what’s essentially a rivals-to-lovers story, Rusty West is forced to confront her own demons about relationships when Reid Parker strolls into her compound with the intention of buying her business out. It isn’t long before their personal issues come into play…and threaten to wipe out their fledgling relationship.

Written with lots of panache, Sherilee Gray channels Tessa Bailey and this is never more apparent in ‘Revved’, where the dirty-talking heroes – men who are obsessively possessive and barely keep themselves from falling off the chauvinistic edge – reign supreme, fall in love, screw up and grovel big time. But really, I’d say that ‘Revved’ is Rusty journey to her Happy Ever After and the strength and irrepressible attitudes of all the women here almost make the men inconsequential, even if the guy in question is Reid Parker, the tattooed and rough-around-the edges rival of West Restoration and the king of one-nighters. Rusty and Reid give each other the runaround a little too much though – the steamy scenes didn’t always seem completely necessary – and with a rather abrupt ending that was rather unsatisfying, I could only cheer myself up with the fact that there’s still Piper’s unfinished business with Cole to come.

four-stars
Back to top

Pin It on Pinterest