The Confessional K. Nilsson Publication date: February 20th 2019 Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Psychology student, Grace Fleming, is addicted to meaningless hook-ups in random places, impulsively following a script for self-destruction and bad behavior. She suffers from nightmares and a patchwork of flashbacks that leave her in a fugue state. Unsure what they mean, she goes to therapy, seeking answers. Is her mind conjuring them up or are they past encounters she’d blocked out?
Saint is a private investigator of dubious character. He will take almost any case, but his favorite includes entrapping married women into infidelity. Saint is hired to keep a watchful eye on Grace while keeping his identity a secret. The paradox tempts him; is Grace, a devil in disguise or an angel with a crooked halo? When he finds himself in a compromising position, Saint quits. He soon regrets resigning when he discovers a sinister threat to her safety, and it may be the reason for the nightmares.
Finn was working his shift, watching Grace from a side street near her house in Hollywood Hills. I went home to shower and eat something. Four hours later, he called.
“Grace’s going somewhere… she’s been dolling up for the last hour,” he said. “You can see that close?”
I was wondering what else he’d seen.
“If only you knew,” he chuckled. “The glass butterfly roof makes it easy viewing with the drone.”
“Do you want to follow her? If not, I can do it. I have no plans tonight,” I said.
“I need the money, boss. How about we do it together? I need to install the tracker app on her phone, and maybe you can distract her.”
I agreed. I’d wanted to meet this girl since taking the case. She hadn’t gone anywhere outside her usual radius ever since she returned home.
I was getting into the car when Finn sent me a text.
Finn: Grace is on the move, I need to follow her.
Me: Where is she?
Finn: She started up that little fireplug of hers and got on I-10 toward Santa Monica. I’m on her tail.
Me: I’m switching to the hands-free mode. I’m driving.
Finn: Oh, forgot about that. I am switching modes too.
Ten minutes later, I was right behind her.
Me: I’m on the highway. I think I see the Bug.
The VW Bug was like a toy, changing lanes seamlessly as if it were in a video game. If I got too close, Grace might see my car. It’s a little flashy for a private investigator, but it was perfect for driving in Southern California. I didn’t want to be spotted, but I wasn’t about to let her lose me. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to drive toward the beach at the same time as she, would it?
Grace pulled up in front of a nondescript little piano bar near the beach. The electric blue neon sign flashed its name, Place Pour Steaks. I got there just in time to see her hand keys to the valet and saunter in; her hips swaying from side to side.
Me? I was playing catch-up all the way. I screeched to a stop in front of the other parking attendant and tossed him the keys.
My 1962 Skylark convertible, though a little beat up, was my pride and joy.
“See this fifty-dollar bill? It’s yours when I leave if you park it over there.”
I pointed at a slot that said Reserved.
Once inside, I took two minutes to find Grace. She’d scrambled up to the bar as if the house was on fire. I looked around for the usual suspects—girls down for whatever and putting in the effort to get noticed. I wanted to meander over to Grace right away, but I couldn’t look as if I was stalking her.
She sat on the stool at the far end of the bar, her right leg elongated, the ball of the foot anchoring her in place, while she rested her left on the stool’s spindle, watching, scoping, and evaluating. It looked as though she had gone to the same school of surveillance as me.
Grace’s platinum blonde hair was in loose waves around her shoulders. She was wearing a style rich girls do well, casual, edgy, and expensive. An off-the-shoulder soft leather jacket, accented with zippers and buckles, was one breath away from slipping down her arms, even though it wrapped her upper body like a glove. A black lace strap appeared to be an afterthought. I wanted to lick her skin all along the edges of the lace and up into her collarbone.
Grace wore the RL signature crisp, white, linen shorts. She encased those long legs in a pair of black over-the-knee boots by MB, an Italian leather shoe designer. As an investigator, I notice these details. If I didn’t have a professional agenda regarding Grace Fleming, I’d know every inch of leg inside the boots. I leaned in close to her and tried to get the bartender’s attention, but instead, I hoped to get hers. First impressions were everything, but I didn’t know what kind of image I’d present, because my interest in the Fleming girl was strong. I shuttered my face into an expression I’d perfected, dispassionate eyes that veil what I’m thinking or feeling.
“Sir?” prompted the bartender.
“I’d like Scotch neat with a glass of water.”
“Would you like ice in your water, sir?”
“No,” I said, turning my palm down with a slight back-and-forth motion.
I stood close enough to Grace to inhale her scent, vanilla, and oranges, with a hint of clove mixed. It was a heady concoction. I wondered if her whole body tasted like sugary breakfast cereal. She turned toward me, and our eyes locked.
K. Nilsson’s love of reading began with the Bobbsey twins. When she ran across some Italian True Romance novellas stashed in the attic, the musty serials hooked her on adult fiction. Though black and white photos were dramatic enough to know what the stories were about, she taught herself to read in Italian and translated them to her friends.
She’s an unapologetic reviewer of books, restaurants, and vacation destinations. An amateur photographer, K. loves taking editorial photos and documenting her travels. Her personal philosophy, sleeping is a waste of time.
"Girls like you aren't exactly welcomed at a place like this, so keep your head down and look the other way."
Those were the exact words of my social worker when she dropped me in my newest hellhole, a place for "troubled teens".
I didn't listen, and now I'm on their radar.
They expect me to play along in their games of hierarchy, to fall in line in the social order they've deemed me fit.
Too bad for them, I don't follow rules. Too bad for me, they're determined to make sure I do.
Inconceivably attractive and treated like kings...these are the boys of Brayshaw High.And I'm the girl who got in their way.
Releasing January 17th, 2019Note: This is book one in a three book series
Boys of Brayshaw High is the first novel in a series by author Meagan Brandy. The story follows Rae, a seventeen-year-old girl living in a toxic environment with her drug addicted mother, and the mother’s continuous string of flings. Rae’s experiences and inner turmoil have made her hardened and distrusting, isolating her from her peers. Her instincts are to shy away from affection, to avoid connections to others, and to defend herself against verbal and physical assaults (from both her peers and her mother- and on occasion the many boyfriends and lovers her mother brings home). When Rae gets into a violent altercation with another student from her school, a social worker steps in and Rae is removed from her mother’s “care” and placed in a foster home with other troubled girls in another district- meaning she would need to attend a new school and adjust to this change of environment.
This adjustment, naturally, does not go well and Rae’s introduction to this new school, and the students that go there, begins with a heated, verbal sparring with the guys that practically run the school. These guys are Maddoc, Royce, and Captain…three attractive, wicked, athletic, and dangerous guys that instantly turn their attentions on Rae and her inability to conform to their rules. Rather than back down and let them treat her poorly, Rae continues to challenge the guys…which not only fuels their anger, but other things as well…
Maddoc in particular tries to navigate his feelings regarding Rae. No matter how nasty the cat and mouse game gets between them, Maddoc finds himself drawn to her. Their dialogue is heated and intense, and the chemistry between them is EXPLOSIVE! Maddoc is the broody one of the three guys, but he balances this out with the occasional wicked humor and smoldering intensity. The dialogue between Rae and Royce is also a lot of fun! (I may have a soft spot for this guy). And while the story itself has the subtle tone of a reverse harem (and one particularly hot scene that truly makes you wonder), there is clearly only one relationship emerging from the somewhat rocky beginning of the story- Maddoc and Rae.
I thought the plot unfolded nicely, though this was very much a character-driven novel. There was a lot of depth to Rae’s character- though I could see how many of her actions could be frustrating. Some of the decisions she made also made me want to shake her a bit- though if you really tried to understand her character and how she grew up, you’d be more accepting. It was evident from the opening scene of the novel that Rae was nothing like any other female heroine I’ve read about before (which I loved!). The ONLY minor complaint I had was that I wish Rae would have tried to develop a better friendship with at least one other female character. It felt very “Rae versus all the other females”. Perhaps this will change in the second novel?
Boys of Brayshaw High was angsty, intense, explosive, and insanely addictive! Thank goodness I started reading it on a weekend…otherwise I would have called in a sick day or two *wink*. As it is, I had difficulty coping with real life after finishing the novel…book-hangover for days. Ugh!
If you haven’t read Boys of Brayshaw High you are definitely missing out! Hands down, one of the BEST books I’ve read so far this year!
Um. Um. Um.Are you reading this?If you are, I need your help.I was at a party; I was running; I fell.And get this--this is the part you'll never believe--I fell down a rabbit hole.Like Alice in those old books.Except in those books, there wasn't blood everywhere.In those books, the characters weren't all male, attractive, and interested in me.Forget everything you know about the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the March Hare ...This isn't Wonderland; this is Underland.Violence, sex, drugs, and magic ... that's all there is in this place.There's me, Allison, and there are the men that want me, the enemies that hunt me, and the darkness that's quickly rolling in.And only I can stop it.So if you're reading this, will you help me?Please. I just want to escape this place and go ... home.ALLISON'S ADVENTURES IN UNDERLAND (Book 1 of 3 in the "Harem of Hearts" series) -- is a full-length reverse harem/new adult/dark romance novel, a gritty retelling of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Don't expect a children's tale; these characters are nothing like their more innocent counterparts. This book contains: drugs, cursing, violence, sex ... and love found in the darkest shadows.
Allison’s Adventures in Underland is the first novel in the Harem of Hearts trilogy by international bestselling author C. M. Stunich.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who stumbled upon a series that was so incredibly engaging and all-consuming, that it completely took over her life for an entire weekend. By the end of that weekend, coffee became a main form of sustenance for this woman (though she briefly considered taking up tea as a result of binge-reading these novels), she no longer looked at rabbits the same way, she paid even more attention to her cats (and also wondered what her cats’ thought of her- you’ll understand why once you read this series), and she casually explored the five acres of land around her home in hopes of finding her very own Rabbit-Hole to another dimension (hopefully Underland? Who wouldn’t want their very own nine big men with nine big…*cough* You get the point).
If you hadn’t already guessed- the young woman I am describing is me. Reading Allison’s Adventures in Underland was the equivalent of opening Pandora’s box. Except, in this scenario, I was sucked into the box where I happily remained until I finished the very last book in the series. Then, with great reluctance, I climbed out of said box and reflected on life and wondered how I was going to be able to cope without Allison and her remarkably addictive harem to keep me sane. Which, in turn, made me wonder if it was truly “sane” for me to rely on fictitious characters to stabilize my mind…wouldn’t that be insane? Perhaps I am insanely sane? Or sanely insane?
See what this series does to you???
I F***ING love it…
Allison’s Adventures in Underland is exactly why I LOVE to read. From start to finish this fantastical and steamy, dark reverse harem novel consumed me entirely! Allison was relatable, likable, and struggled with events from her recent past that shook the foundation of her family. After watching someone at a party be murdered in front of her eyes by a man with rabbit ears (you guessed it- the White Rabbit), she takes off after him and finds herself falling down a Rabbit-Hole into a completely different world- Underland. This world, unlike Wonderland which is popularly known, is inhabited by fantastical beasts with abilities to tear people limb-from-limb (Jubjub bird anyone?), shape-shifters, vampires, cursed angels, and kings with the ability to decapitate you merely by placing their hands on your skin (off with their heads! *snicker*). The characters introduced in this novel are intriguing, dynamic, and unique- perfectly reflective of the world they live in.
Reverse harems can get complicated- especially when the heroine has NINE different love interests all at once. Surprisingly, each of those nine are so diverse that it is easy to follow. Their personalities range from humorous, carefree, and witty to broody and wicked. Also, trying to pick and choose a favorite is, frankly, impossible. No wonder Allison struggles with this in the beginning (and thank goodness she works through her feelings regarding the subject and takes on the “why choose?” mentality). With nine talented and protective men around, you would think that Allison would always be in a position to be saved…wrong! In this story the heroine saves herself AND is well on her way to saving an entire kingdom (the guys just help out every once in a while *wink*).
Allison in Underland should come with a warning label: If you open this book, be prepared to have your whole life turned topsy-turvy! Oh…and bring a fan! Things are going to get hot…
Evangeline Thorne is privileged. Beautiful and popular, if not a little jaded. A chance encounter with a green-eyed stuntman sets off a chain of events that turns her perfect, little world upside down.Short on options and desperate for adventure, she joins the traveling carnival for the summer.Thrust into a world full of drama, deception, and secrecy, Evangeline tries to find herself and protect her heart in the process. Sebastian McAllister is cursed.He knows better than to think otherwise. He's content to live out the rest of his life traveling the country as one of the four Sons of Eastlake, seeking thrills the only way he knows how. The one thing he doesn't see coming is the spoiled blond with stars in her eyes. The only problem is, the more time he spends with her, the more hope starts to stir in his dormant heart.Too bad hope is a dangerous thing when you're a McAllister.
Rewrite the Stars is a standalone novel by author Charleigh Rose. The story follows Evangeline Thorne- a wealthy, popular girl with an adventurous streak, and Sebastian McAllister- a young, attractive stunt man who believes himself to be cursed. After an argument with her parents sends Evangeline fleeing from them for a little space, she finds herself at a traveling carnival featuring a stunt show performed by the infamous Sons of Eastlake. Curious, Evangeline sneaks into the carnival and attends the stunt show and is treated to a death-defying act by the Sons involving motorcycles and a closed in cage-like globe. When a shocking and unexpected event occurs that thrusts both characters together for a heart-pounding introduction, the story begins to unfold in a way that had me reading into the wee hours of the morning.
Evangeline’s life takes a darker turn after the night she spent in the presence of the Sons of Eastlake and it completely affects both her and her family. Evangeline’s father starts to suffer from addiction which causes his relationship to deteriorate with both his wife and daughter. Evangeline goes from being wealthy and happily ensconced with her family, to struggling financially and pretending her family isn’t falling apart around her. The friends she had also begin to show a completely different side of them- an unpleasant side. Eventually, nothing is keeping her in her hometown. When another chance encounter with Sebastian clarifies questions left lingering in the wake of their turbulent past encounter- Evangeline decides to leave home and travel with the carnival and Sons.
Sebastian, struggling with both his interest in Evangeline and the dark knowledge of a family curse that almost guarantees an early death, tries his best to build an emotional wall. However, his close proximity to Evangeline, their mutual attraction, and the many steamy encounters they stumble into slowly begins to tear down that wall. While Sebastian and Evangeline embark on a beautiful, dark, and passionate relationship, questionable and troubling events begin to plague the carnival and Evangeline. Sebastian, desperate to keep her safe from both his own fate and the mysterious menace, is thrust into a position of guardian- throwing them even closer together.
I thoroughly enjoyed having the traveling carnival as a prominent story location- it provided a nice bit of magic to the story and was a perfect complement to a mysterious “curse”. Sebastian was intriguing, wicked, dangerous, and a perfect blend of brooding and mischievous- Evangeline’s heart wasn’t the only one pounding when he stepped onto the pages. Evangeline was relatable and likable- she didn’t know where her own story was headed, nor where she would like to go. She just followed her instincts and heart, which I don’t see nearly enough of in stories. It’s nice having a heroine who doesn’t have her whole life figured out.
Rewrite the Stars is probably one of my favorite stories so far for 2019! It’s dark, romantic, sizzling, filled with moments that make your heart pound, and generously sprinkled with a bit of magic and intrigue!
I discovered my love of reading at an early age and spent a great deal of my time devouring novels from mysteries like Nancy Drew, whimsical fantasies like Harry Potter, and eventually the turbulent and passionate stories in the romance genre, I found myself engrossed in a completely different world than this one. I believe it is through my experiences and the books I read, that I have developed a keen interest in a myriad of things. For that reason, The Vagaries of Us represents multiple areas of interest
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