• book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Sadistic Sherlock by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    41795497. sy475

    Ward Security: Sadistic Sherlock – Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    Ten years ago, Dominic Walsh faked his own death. With no true identity, it wasn’t hard. But if he’d stayed, he would have been drawn further into a life he’d never chosen. He has friends and family at Ward Security now and has managed to escape his dark past. There is only one thing he truly wants.

    Abraham Stephens.

    When Dom was first tasked with watching over his friend’s father, he didn’t expect to fall so hard for the gorgeous silver fox. But Abe is interested in friendship only. He’s at a point in his life where he wants something permanent, not a romp with the sexy redhead who happens to be the same age as his son.

    But Abe finds himself drawn deeper into Dom’s life when cryptic messages start appearing—ones that frighten the skilled security specialist. The more Dom tries to hide what’s happening, the more Abe wants to help him.

    And maybe, just maybe, he’ll find a way to trust the strength of the bond Dom understood from the start.

    Ward Security is the spin-off series of Unbreakable Bonds. This features Ward Security employees from the bodyguards like Dom to the tech specialists like Quinn. Ward Security is like a family to many of them

    I think Ward Security rule #1 should be: At the first sign of trouble, tell Rowe.

    Yet another Ward Security employee is neck-deep in trouble and failed to tell the boss. Dom, whose cheeky personality reminded me of Rowe, saved an A-list movie star from a stalker. His heroic act was caught on cam and became a viral video. This led people he ran away from and who thought he was dead to track his whereabouts. And then, these people threatened him and Abe via ciphers.

    At first he tried to handle it himself. But he was caught and had to be rescued. Stupid, stupid move, Dom.

    I enjoyed the unveiling of Dom’s mysterious past. Because of his goofy personality, you would think he had it easy but his childhood was spent thieving and conning. I especially liked the meeting with the last of his family. His brother was a ruthless psycho, though I’m kind of interested in him and his boyfriend. Too bad he was almost 100% evil so it’s a no go on more appearances.

    Abe and Dom’s slow-burn romance began in book one. Abe was the mysterious person the bodyguard was so hang up on. And Dom, who was normally a playboy, had been pursuing him for a year.

    I pictured Abe as a Henry Rollins lookalike because the punker is THE silver fox. Abe had known he was bi since his younger days but had never really acted on his attraction to men. Until Dom.

    Truth be told, this is the book I’m least looking forward to read. The romance had the age-gap, silver fox trope. It’s not really something I go for. I find it kind of awkward that Dom is same age as Abe’s son, Shane. I’m ok with mature MCs. I just prefer them with love interests close to their age.

    Still, I rate this a notch higher than the previous book, Deadly Dorian. Even if the romance was not my cup of tea, I liked Dom and Abe individually. Also, the troubled past had been done in the series before with Royce’s story, but, Sadistic Sherlock was able to offer a different take while still having the usual elements we love, like the missions, the humor and the OTT action scenes. This was also a more fun story with more involvement from the other guys.

    This series has been hits and misses so far, but I’m pretty much committed to it. The characters feel like old friends and I love catching up with each of them every time there’s a new story. Here’s hoping the next one would be better.


    Ward Security is best read in order. WS books here
    Unbreakable Bonds here

    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: Bury It
    Artist: CHVRCHES
    Album: Every Open Eye

  • Uncategorized

    FIRST LINES FRIDAY 56: Dead Man Dating

    First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Nicole @ BookWyrmKnits.

    I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Deadly Dorian by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    39182824. sy475

    Someone is trying to kill Marc Foster.

    Attempted poisoning was bad enough, but when the would-be killer messes with the brakes on Marc’s precious Porsche, the art dealer admits he needs help. He just wasn’t expecting help to be quite so dark and sexy.

    Royce Karras loves his job at Ward Security. He’s making up for a lifetime of bad decisions and a bloody past he’d rather forget. But Marc isn’t the spoiled rich boy he thought he’d be protecting. Sticking close to Marc as his “boyfriend” gives Royce insight into his toxic family, but it also reveals a brilliant, compassionate man who completely disarms Royce. Against his better judgment, Royce finds himself falling.

    But can they find a way to make it work when Royce’s past threatens to tear their lives apart? Their futures hinges on a lost Renaissance painting, six Bichon Frises, and a pornographic Robin Hood.

    No worries, right? 

    Ward Security is the spin-off series of Unbreakable Bonds. This features Ward Security employees from the bodyguards like Royce to the tech specialists like Quinn. Ward Security is like a family to many of them


    Okay so I really like Royce. I really liked Marc. They were great together but finishing their book was a struggle. Seemed like the story let them down somehow.

    There were two major threads running. First was somebody was trying to kill Marc, possibly someone from his own family. This led to him hiring Royce as a bodyguard and pretending to be a couple to avoid letting his siblings know he was suspecting them. This in turn led to their fake boyfriend deal turning into the real thing.

    I loved this part. Sure there was too much ‘desperate need‘ for my liking and also a little too insta but Royce and Marc had undeniable chemistry. Even Marc’s homophobic siblings could see that. So I’m all in for their romance. The mystery of who was trying to get Marc out of the picture had a neat little twist to it that I didn’t see coming. All in all the mystery side of the story was well done.

    The second plot point was Royce’s family woes. Royce was the nephew of a Greek mob boss. Royce mother took him away from the family business when he was young and the uncle never forgave her for that. Royce still ended up working as an enforcer. Somewhere along the way, he met a gentle writer named Michael with whom he had a serious relationship. After some dirty deals gone sour and a tragic incident occurred, Royce resolved to leave the past behind and live a new life. However, the past caught up to him and now his mother was in danger.

    This one could have been great. I loved that we finally learn more about Royce’s past and why he is so damn angry and closed off all the time. However some things here were a bit too OTT even if I did my usual suspension of disbelief trick. The part of him and Marc pulling off a heist in order to get a valuable painting had me scratching my head for a bit. Angelo the thief was kind of unnecessary. Royce could have handled things more smartly than this while still staying true to his Dark Lord persona. The rescue could have been done much sooner.

    Also Royce was being an idiot with his ‘for your own good’ reasoning when he very stupidly pushed Marc away because he was scared he might put Marc, with his heart condition, in danger. Like if his uncle’s goons jumped his boyfriend and have a heart attack. Eh, should have have let him grovel more, Marc.

    But of course, this series is all about the characters. It’s great that Garrett finally had more page time. He should get his own book. Quinn was adorkable as always (where the hell is Shane) and yay for Sven and Geoffrey. Rowe and Noah nearly stole the show simply by being their usual crazy selves.

    Overall, it was a mixed bag of highs and lows.

    Ward Security might not be as strong a series as Unbreakable Bonds but even if I’m not so impressed with Deadly Dorian, I’m not throwing in the towel just yet. I love these boys too much.


    Dom is next. I’m not so sure about the age-gap thing but we’ll see how his story works out.

    Ward Security is best read in order. WS books here
    Unbreakable Bonds books here

    2 Stars – it’s a struggle to finish the damn book

    Soundtrack: Fear and Loathing
    Artist: Marina and the Diamonds
    Album: Electra Heart

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Dantes Unglued by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    38202175. sy475

    Ward Security: Dantes Unglued – Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.

    Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.

    But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.

    With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

    Ward Security is the spin-off series of Unbreakable Bonds. This features Ward Security employees from the bodyguards like Sven to the tech specialists like Quinn. Ward Security is like a family to many of them.

    Dantes Unglued is the second book of the series starring IT specialist a.k.a. reformed hacker Quinn Lake and private investigator Shane Stephens. They were to track down a hacker threatening the mayor. The story was about revenge, referencing the characters in The Count of Monte Christo. As is usually the case with this author pair, the mystery was nothing to write home about but since it gave a viable reason for the hacker and PI to work together and be together (because that is really why we’re here), I’m not complaining about that part.

    But, hmm…I dunno. I wanted to like this more. I’m all gung-ho for the entire idea of Quinn and Shane hooking up, I’ve been hearing about Shane in the other books and Quinn had major page time in Psycho Romeo. But, what came out fell somewhere between liked and loved.

    I adored Quinn. Always had. Diggin’ his nerdy hacker vibe. I wanna hang out with him and chill over Assassin’s Creed. Shane, I could take or leave. I liked that he reads, he’s easy going, he’s honest and he’s not afraid to admit he’s scared but he wouldn’t really stand out in a room full of JD & RE characters.

    The book is written in dual POV and that is normally something I go for. In this case, however, I think it would be more interesting to see the story progressed through Shane’s perspective alone. I liked seeing nerds from their lover’s POV and I wanted to see how Quinn put his genius to work and how he blossomed as he went from shy and inexperienced to toppy and happy though Shane’s eyes. I enjoyed experiencing Shane’s growing awareness that there is somebody worth committing to as the truth gradually dawned on him. And I liked his determined pursuit of the man.

    “Sometimes, when it’s real, it doesn’t take long at all.”

    Quinn and Shane were good together. The affection was there, the physical attraction was strong, so was the chemistry. They were upfront that it’s all about fun, casual sex. But it kind of seemed like it was all they had. I wasn’t that convinced that they should be using the L-word already for the mere two weeks they were together. Though I am convinced they’re heading towards that point, they just need more chapters to build their relationship or at least an epilogue. But yeah, if your boy’s a hardcore gamer, a room full of gaming consoles seals the deal.


    The Dark Lord is next. Fuck yeah Royce!

    To fully enjoy Ward Security, it’s best to also read Unbreakable Bonds. The books should be read in order.

    Ward Security books here
    Unbreakable Bonds here
    Jocelynn Drake books here

    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Little Bit
    Artist: Lykke Li
    Album: Youth Novels

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Psycho Romeo by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    36262555. sy475

    Ward Security: Psycho Romeo – Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

    The Ward Security Series is a spin-off of the Unbreakable Bonds Series.

    Geoffrey Ralse is known for being the life of the party. He loves the club scene, hanging with his friends, and flirting with whomever catches his eye. He certainly isn’t going to stop living his life just because some would-be stalker starts sending him threats. 

    But it all changes when Geoffrey is drugged and wakes up half naked in his own home with a new message from his stalker. 

    He needs help and there’s only one person he trusts… 

    Protective Agent Sven Larsen has been fighting Geoffrey’s flirtatious advances for months, even though he’s impossibly drawn to the man. There’s no way he can be around him twenty-four/seven and not finally crack. But one look at Geoffrey’s haunted eyes, and he knows there’s no way he’s letting Geoffrey walk out of Ward Security without him. 

    Even if it means breaking his own rules, he will keep Geoffrey safe.

    Trigger warning: There is a very short section with sexual assault that some could find upsetting

    Ward Security is the spin-off series of Unbreakable Bonds. This features Ward Security employees from the bodyguards like Sven to the tech specialists like Quinn. Ward Security is like a family to many of them.

    Rowe and Noah had a lot of page time here. My heart gave happy lil jigs every time the UB characters show up on page or there were updates on how they’re doing.

    I’m super amused at how the book kept emphasizing that Geoffrey, at 5’5, is smol while here I am, an inch shorter than him and considered ‘tall’ by everyone I know. We’re all hobbits to Sven, who stands at 6’7(?).

    “Looks like I am doomed to stand in the land of giants.”

    It’s not only the size difference that made up their crazy good opposite-attracts chemistry. Geoffrey is vivacious and talkative while Sven is taciturn and still. The bodyguard tried to put up a distant, stoic front but Geoffrey was adorably relentless. The great Nordic giant stood no chance. And I knew, that moment in Unbreakable Bonds when Geoffrey flipped him over his back with his badass Aikido move, they were IT!

    Psycho Romeo has some noticeably wonky parts. The mystery took longer to solve than it was supposed to and the showdown with the villain was a bit meh though I’m happy Geoffrey was no damsel in distress. I hardly felt any suspense but as a whole, these weaknesses could be overlooked because the book delivered where it really mattered.

    The thing with JD & RE so far is that they write great romance but the other aspects of the stories are not as strongly executed. These things might or might not be a big deal depending on how good the book is in general. Be that as it may, they have created many memorable characters and it’s quite easy to get hook on their books.

    From the look of things, Ward Security is shaping up to be as addicting as the original series. I’m already starting on Quinn and Shane’s story.


    To fully enjoy Ward Security, it’s best to also read Unbreakable Bonds. The books should be read in order.

    Unbreakable Bonds books here
    Jocelynn Drake books here

    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: We Fit Together
    Artist: Jess Penner
    Album: Love, Love, Love