Step Beast by Selena Kitt

Step Beast by Selena Kitt

Step Beast Cover

3 out of 5 Stars

Mathilda “Tilly” Beeston’s privileged life has been lacking one thing: her mother’s love. She can do no right in her mother’s eyes, yet her stepbrother, nicknamed Beast, can do no wrong. But Beast has been gone for years, only returning now that Tilly’s mother is on her deathbed. And Tilly’s been harboring a secret, one that might tear what little relationship she has left with Beast to shreds.

Conrad “Beast” Beeston III wants to step out of his father’s shadow, but spending eight years in the military only hardens him further. He fights his love for Tilly with everything he has, and he does it for her own good. Beast is keeping secrets of his own from her. Now that he’s come home, Tilly won’t give up. She pushes with everything she has to gain Beast’s love, but she doesn’t realize she’s throwing herself in the middle of a dangerous situation.

Step Beast is a contemporary erotic romance with a military bad boy, a billionaire, a stepsibling relationship, and BDSM. It has a good mix of erotica and action, and the plot is intriguing. Beast is hiding his real job from everyone, and Tilly, wanting Beast’s attention, unknowingly puts herself and her best friend in harm’s way. Beast has to save them without compromising what he’s worked so hard to accomplish.

Beast was a fantastic character. He was full of secrets and his personality didn’t give much away. He was the strong, silent, sexy type, which made me as interested in him as Tilly was. I enjoyed the way we learned about what he was up to little by little.

Tilly, unfortunately, came off as a spoiled brat and a petulant child. I had trouble liking her and couldn’t see what Beast found in her. The story being told from her point of view made it tedious at times. Her characterization was consistent and her background made it easy to understand why she acted the way she did, but I still had trouble relating to her and rooting for her.

The way the erotica was mixed with action was masterful and kept me reading, but quite a few things drew me out of the story. The author’s writing style was not for me. There were too many thought verbs and too much “telling” instead of “showing.” Also, em dashes—interruptions in the sentence like this—were used way too often. At times I had to go back and reread the sentence without the interruption to make sense of it.

There were quite a few grammatical and editing errors. Sometimes the wrong word was used, like unconscious instead of subconscious. In some places there were too many commas, and in others commas were missing. Some information was rehashed multiple times, and the story would have been more concise without it. There was also contradictory information. When Tilly was captured, her phone was shattered and lost, but after she was rescued she pulled it out of her pants pocket and answered it. At one point, we were told Tilly and Frankie had a discussion while in captivity, but that would have been impossible because they’d been gagged during that time and were only able to get their gags off for a short time when they were plotting their escape.

I had trouble rating this book because I really did like the plot but had to weigh it against all the other issues. In the end, I went with three stars, as this was an okay read but not great. With proper editing help, it could have been much better.

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Happy reading!

Rach

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The Other Sister (Sister Book 1) by Leanne Davis

The Other Sister (Sister Book 1) by Leanne Davis

The Other Sister Cover

4.5 out of 5 Stars

*Warning: This story deals with rape, abuse, and cutting.*

General Travis Bains is like a god in the military. His good daughter, Lindsey, is following in his footsteps, but his other daughter, Jessie, embarrasses him at every turn. When Jessie is kidnapped, the general sends Captain Will Hendricks on a personal mission to save her. Will is good at what he does and manages to get Jessie to safety, but not before witnessing her being brutally raped by her captors. He also witnesses more about Jessie’s personal life than he ever wanted to know—like the fact that she cuts herself.

Jessie Bains has been harboring secrets for most of her life thanks to the things her father has subjected her to, so it shouldn’t be a problem for her to keep her mouth shut about being raped. When she finds out she’s pregnant, Will accepts her father’s request to marry her and pass the baby off as his. But Will has an agenda of his own now that he knows what the general has been doing to Jessie. Despite not liking Jessie at first, Will vows to protect her and take care of her, even if that means giving her up so she can heal from her wounds.

The Other Sister is a compelling story that grips you right from the beginning and never lets you go. You’ll feel for Jessie, you’ll understand Will, and you’ll hurt right along with both of them. Watching Will go from disliking Jessie, to understanding her, to loving her, to having to walk away will give you all the feels. Seeing Jessie go from the abused, emotionally scarred girl to a confident woman will have you cheering her on. This made me applaud her and cry at the same time:

“Be gone when I wake up. I don’t want a big, sad goodbye at the door. I don’t want to watch you leave me. I don’t want to think about where you’re going after you leave me. Just be gone.”

I loved the way the author showed Will’s transformation from hero-worship of the general to absolute disdain for the man who abused and pimped out his daughter. Will was such a strong, confident character that even when he was insulting and threatening the general, he was able to do so calmly and with military precision. His love for the military never died—just his love for the general. And his no-nonsense attitude served him well when dealing with Jessie’s outbursts.

Since Jessie had never known love before, it was no wonder she wasn’t able to recognize it in Will, nor was the newly confident woman able to fight for it. But when faced with tragic circumstances, she finally took the reins and did what had to be done in order for justice to be served and to try to get her love back.

Truly, the only reason for a less than five star rating was the editing in this book. The comma splices all over the place actually made some parts difficult to read, and there were also tense issues. But the content was worth trudging through that.

If you enjoy what feels like an impossible romance mixed in with a good dose of hurt and healing, The Other Sister is worth a read. I would definitely read more by this author.

Happy reading!

Rach

The Navy SEAL’s E-mail Order Bride (The Heroes of Chance Creek #1) by Cora Seton

The Navy SEAL’s E-mail Order Bride (The Heroes of Chance Creek #1) by Cora Seton

The Navy SEAL's E-mail Order Bride Cover

5 out of 5 Stars

Regan Anderson wants a baby, so much so that she’s quit her loan officer job, moved into a smaller apartment, is getting ready to start her own consulting business, and has an appointment for artificial insemination. What she doesn’t count on is the persistent Navy SEAL she began corresponding with one drunken night.

Mason Hall is about to be discharged from the Navy when he finds out he and his brothers have a chance to inherit their family’s ranch back from their eccentric aunt—but only if each of them marries within a year and one of them has a baby, in addition to getting the ranch back up and running. Mason is determined to fulfill all of the requirements, beginning with getting himself an e-mail order bride. Regan’s email intrigues him, and although she admits she isn’t really a contender in his search, she agrees to help him weed through his options. But Mason’s determination has served him well in his career. He’s not about to give up on what he wants so easily, and what he wants is Regan.

Bringing Regan to the ranch for a month appears to be the perfect idea. She’ll fall in love with Mason and the land at the same time. But Mason doesn’t count on the state of disrepair his uncle left the place in. It’s going to take a lot more than he and his brothers expected to get the place back up and running.

Regan does fall in love with the place and the man. Unfortunately Mason’s ready to throw in the towel. They’ll need to work together to make their dreams—a ranch, a marriage, and a baby—come true.

Let’s be honest: the premise is a bit overused these days. It’s tough to find an original spin on an online romance story. But The Navy SEAL’s E-mail Order Bride did just that. While Regan’s correspondence with Mason was not meant to start a romance (the last thing she was looking for), it was fun and playful and just right to get their relationship started. When their Skype sessions started, things turned up a notch, because what is attraction without some degree of physical desirability? And while the fact that Mason’s uncle owed so many people so much money and they didn’t bother to try to collect until Mason came to town may be a bit farfetched, it was easy to see the overall picture of throwing good money over bad on a risky venture.

The relationship between the main characters was well developed by the time they really needed to dig in and work together. Mason had just been discharged from the Navy and was still immersing himself in civilian life—a plot point that was nicely sprinkled throughout the story. When he broke down and decided saving the ranch was impossible, it was no stretch that Regan was ready to convince him otherwise. And her playful method of convincing him was just what he needed.

I loved how Mason looked to his parents’ relationship as a guide, and the similarities between that and his relationship with Regan. His determination to be an honorable man made me love him even more.

This happily ever after is a standalone book, but the quest to save the ranch hasn’t ended since all four brothers need to get married. Presumably that’s what the rest of the series is about. I don’t know that I’d read three more stories on the same premise, but I certainly loved reading this one!

Happy reading!

Rach