Book Review: Up In The Air (Tetralogy) by R. K. Lilley

before and after

Published back in 2012, the `Up In The Air´tetralogy by author R. K. Lilley celebrated a great success and was announced “One of the hottest erotica novels available” and earned glowing praises from book bloggers across the globe.

That was back in 2012.

Since then the trilogy grew into a tetralogy, leaving a reader with 4 wonderful books about Bianca and James´ relationship. Their very steamy and sexy relationship.

I belonged to the lucky “Lusting after the highly dominant James Cavendish” parade back then… But what about now? After 6 years and 1 reread, do I still feel the same as I once did? Let´s find out! Before & After reviews for book #1 – #4


 

synopsis book 1 In Flight ( Up In The Air: Book 1 )

R. K. Lilley

 

When reserved flight attendant Bianca gets one look at billionaire hotel owner James Cavendish, she loses all of her hard-won composure. For a girl who can easily juggle a tray of champagne flutes at 35,000 feet in three inch heels, she finds herself shockingly weak-kneed from their first encounter. The normally unruffled Bianca can’t seem to look away from his electrifying turquoise gaze. They hold a challenge, and a promise, that she finds impossible to resist, and she is a girl who is used to saying no and meaning it. 

Bianca is accustomed to dealing with supermodels and movie stars in her job as a first class flight attendant, but James Cavendish puts them all to shame in the looks department. If only it were just his looks that she found so irresistible about the intimidating man, Bianca could have ignored his attentions. But what tempts her like never before is the dominant pull he seems to have over her from the moment they meet, and the promise of pleasure, and pain, that she reads in his eyes.

My Thoughts 2

It´s not the books. It´s not even me. It´s the trend that has long passed that has turned this 2012  3 star read into a solid 2 stars. Okay. Maybe the books are the problem.

We all remember the dom / sub trend a few years back. There was hardly a book published ( or self published ) that didn´t have some crazed overly dominant Hero and a meek Heroine who always fought pitifully for her independence. This book definitely belongs in that category.In flight

`In Flight`Up In The Air: Book 1 by R.K. Lilley is a story about a billionaire who falls for a flight attendant. So, basically a romance but on a different level. And this would be a simple romance if not for the BDSM theme.

I don´t know….

In 2012 I kind of ignored the rather heavy dominant / submissive trope and just enjoyed the book. It´s an erotica / BDSM read. No biggy, right?

Well, after my recent reread I discovered a few things.

I don´t like dominant Heroes anymore. They´re full of themselves on so many levels. I´m grateful that trend passed and that my tastes have changed.

“Do this. Do that. Get naked. I´m gonna count….”  So bossy for no greater purpose other than to settle that sexual itch. To be honest- No man would ever come near me with that type of behavior.

The Hero, James Cavendish, is a kinky billionaire who has lots of answers to lots of problems. And many problems can be solved while staying in his bed. Oh, and he has nicknames kindly provided by the Heroine. Mr. Gratification, Mr. Moody, Mr. Mercurial, Mr. Incredible, Mr. BDSM…. The list is long and those are his names used as chapter titles. I remember not being too fond of him when I first read this book. Have my feelings changed after my reread? Yes. I´m now even less impressed than I was years ago.

And what happens when main characters aren´t to one´s liking? The story loses it´s appeal.

How on earth wasn´t I more appalled by his behavior? I mean- It wasn´t the sex I found appalling. The sex was okay. It was his behavior alone. And then Bianca….

Why her character was so eager to put up with someone like him is beyond me.

Still… the story felt a tiny bit unique to me back in 2012. Now? The book still carries that unique vibe but the enjoyment I used to feel is now flatter than a sheet of paper.

2 stars

 


 

synopsis book 2

Mile High ( Up In The Air: Book 2 )

R. K. Lilley

 

James and Bianca’s tumultuous story continues in the sequel to In Flight.

James has initiated Bianca into a dark and drugging world of passion and pain. He taught her about her own submissive, masochistic nature, and she fell swiftly and deeply in love with the undeniably charming and impossibly beautiful Mr. Cavendish, but a painful misunderstanding and the return of the brutally violent demon of her past have combined to overwhelm Bianca, and, confused and hurt, she pushes him away. 

It’s been over a month since the shocking attack that hospitalized her, and since she told a distraught James that she needed space, but her feelings haven’t gone away. Even she knew that it was only a matter of time before he would cast his spell on her again…

 

My Thoughts 2 My reread session for book two consisted of lots of skimming as I didn´t have enough energy to put up with more James Cavendish. Seriously… Why, in all that´s pink and fluffy, is he considered to be a swoon worthy character? And why the 2.0 drama? No, scratch that… `Mile High` ( Up In The Air: Book #2 ) has drama overload. And sex. Lots and lots of Duracell bunny sex. Mile High

I didn´t realize it then but now it somehow dawned on me that James and Bianca have a dysfunctional relationship. He´s weird. She has issues. And together they seem to find a middle ground. Bianca needs to be dominated and James is just the dude to get the job done.

I´m still convinced that Mr. BDSM has too many issues and needs life long therapy ( as they all do ). And Ms. I – have – an – opinion – but – let – it- get – run – over – by – kinky – James…. She needs to just concentrate on life without James.

This book was a 2013 3 star read that has also turned into a 2 star.

2 stars

 


 

Grounded ( Up In The Air: Book #3 ) R. K. Lilley

synopsis book 3 James and Bianca’s story draws to a close in the explosive conclusion to the Up In The Air Trilogy.

After a short but earnest courtship, Bianca can no longer deny her feelings for James, and though she’s tried her hardest, she can’t help but see that he cares deeply for her, as well. In a completely uncharacteristic move, she has put aside her misgivings and agreed to live with the enigmatic billionaire. Is her leap of faith the beginning of something wonderful, or is it too much, too fast?

As James and Bianca feel a growing need for each other that neither can deny, circumstances beyond their control intervene, trying to tear them apart. Amidst the ever mounting threat of a monster who wants Bianca dead, and the constant pitfalls of an indiscreet past that James can’t seem to escape, can these two passionate lovers manage to find their happily ever after?

 

My Thoughts 2 It´s definitely me that has changed as I´m pretty sure no one smuggled this series into my house just recently.

My reading experience from 6 years ago vs. my feelings now couldn´t be more drastic. I simply couldn´t

I was rereading, remember? With this one I had to quit before I could reach the end because I just couldn´t take it all anymore. Too many unnecessary details.. too much sub character involvement.. I´ve also been sexed to death by James and Bianca. Besides, I remember how the story ended. The final scene wasn´t explosive enough for me to want to reread it. grounded

`Grounded`( Up In The Air: Book 3 ) by R. K. Lilley received 3 generous stars back in 2012. Now? I´m not hesitating with a 1 star. 36-year-old me discovered that there isn´t much of a plot but there´s a whole lot of everything else that´s not informative enough.

In which emotional state does this book leave me? Frustrated. Tired. Pooped beyond words.

 

1 star


 

NOTE: I did NOT read book #4 in the Up In The Air series. As far as I´m informed `Mr. Beautiful` is just a rehash from the other books told from Hero´s POV.  POV books never make my priority list so…. mr beautiful

 

 
Now for my over – all opinion on the `Up In The Air` books.

 

The Covers: 2 – 3 stars 

The covers were never really anything overly eye catchy but they match, which is a huge bonus. At least a reader knows the books belong together. Sadly, the image quality of the paperbacks is down right cruel to the eyes. pixellated and blurry. I´m going to be honest here: If I had seen these books in a bookstore with the same horrible image quality then I would never have bought these books. I would never play money for poor quality on a cover. Then the model on the covers… On the one cover you can see that her shoes are a number or two too big for her feet. Really?

 

The Story: 2 stars

Yeah…. No. My 2012 opinion wasn´t as colorful as it is now. Right this moment I can´t seem to come up with a logical explanation as to why I enjoyed reading these books. Why I over looked so many things that usually bug the bejesus out of me. Too much sex, too much filler sex. Too many details. So little actual depth. The writing is simple and engaging but the story itself? There are way better BDSM / dom-sub books worth reading.

 

The Characters: 2 stars

I liked Bianca in book #1 and #2. She nearly killed my vibes in book #3. And James… Poor poor dominating, annoying billionaire hotel owner James just rubbed me the wrong way. He barks at Bianca while tying her up. Who barks at someone in a sexy moment? Who?! That´s many things but not sexy.

Then the sub characters…. They felt new to me during my reread, which tells me that I hadn´t paid attention to them during the first reading round. No more words needed there.

 

My emotional state BEFORE AND AFTER reading the `Up In The Air`books?

Erotica romance novels have to be written in a certain way for me to fully enjoy them. They have to have class, be tasteful and sensual and they have to make my panties change their color. Back in 2012 I remember not having a panty color change. Now, I don´t even want to think about it happening anymore. I think it´s safe to say that I don´t like this story… at all. sex

     2012 Rating                                                                               

3 stars                                  2018 Rating2 stars

 

All books can be purchased on Amazon.com

 


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Book Review: Eight Goodbyes, Christine Brae

synopsis single

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined. 

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

 


My Thoughts 2

**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

`Eight Goodbyes` by author Christine Brae is a heartstrings tugging romance that will push all the right emotional buttons… Or, at least I hope that happens for readers when they pick this read.

Sadly enough, I have mixed feelings regarding this romance. I´m not totally against this book but I´m also not able to lay my heart on the table and profess my undying love for `Eight Goodbyes`Eight Goodbyes

Let me explain why.

The cover and book title caught my attention. The synopsis then sealed the deal for me. Everything seemed interesting and I was hopeful that I had found a new author to add to my ever-growing list of favorite writers.

With that being said- My excitement wasn´t long lasting. To express my mixed feelings a little better let be start off with mentioning what I fully appreciated about this book.

The writing.

The author has the ability to grab a reader´s attention with her words. A nice soft, feminine writing that´s perfect for an emotional read. Loved it.

Unfortunately, the writing , alone,doesn´t cut it for me.

While the synopsis sounded interesting, the story itself wasn´t as gripping. `Eight Goodbyes`. Yes. Somewhere deep down I understood this book was about saying goodbye 8 times. No surprises there. What I didn´t know was how annoying the goodbyes would be for me.

Tessa Tamlan, famous fiction author, lives the dream.

Here is where I felt a strong case of „The protagonist is the author´s self- insert“.

While most of us readers tend to believe being an author is all fun and games, Christine Brae gives us a little insight on how that´s not true through the eyes of Tessa Tamlan. In fact- The detailed mention of how exhausting and time-consuming an author´s life is feels a little too realistic.

This is pure speculation on my part but sometimes a reader can tell if there´s a self – insert. I felt it and I didn´t like it.

Nonetheless- Tessa´s character rubbed me the wrong way on many levels. She came across as arrogant, self-centered, aloof and superficial. A stark contrast to the Hero, Simon Fremont., who I enjoyed to bits.

As for the romance in the story – I had difficulties warming up to Tessa and Simon, as a couple. It took 5 chapters to lose all sympathy for the off-putting Tessa and 5 chapters to see that Simon deserved someone better. So, all the romantic feels I was supposed to feel were non-existent for me because I couldn´t connect with the Hero and Heroine.

Another aspect that made me raise my eyebrows: Tessa liked to mention how intelligent Simon and herself were. It´s a compliment when it´s mentioned once. It´s weird when it´s mentioned more than once.

The `good-byes` frustrated me. The Heroine was unlikable. The story wasn´t my cup of tea. Still…..

Would I recommend this book? For readers who rely on my opinion- No.

Would I reread this book? No.


The cover – 5 stars ( I´m usually not a fan of character images on covers but I did like this one.)

The Story – 2 stars ( The idea is great. The way the story panned out- Not so great )

The Characters – 2 ( Tessa did not work for me. Simon felt like the better character )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Frustrated.

2 stars

Book Title: Eight Goodbyes

Author: Christine Brae

Genre: contemporary romance

Release date: 1. Sept. 2018

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Hot Book Topic- The Cocky Trademark Disaster Has Found An End

Can it be? Have my eyes betrayed me? Is the terrible Cocky trademark war coming to an end?

Sure does look like it.

#cockygate… y´all can drop your pitch forks. The show´s over.

The air has been left out of the Cocky trademark balloon. Just when I was wondering what happened to trademark worrior Faleena Hopkins, I spotted this little article from Mail Online.

Romance novelist tries unsuccessfully to trademark the word cocky after ‘copycat’ authors used it for their own titles on the back of her successful erotic series

 

That is what the title of the article says and even includes a tagline from author Faleena Hopkins.

‘I’m just trying to protect my brand’

 

Yes, yes. We haven´t forgotten about how Faleena wanted to protect her brand. That´s not what I´m getting at. It´s more the

“… tries unsuccessfully to trademark the work cocky…” 

what got me interested. So, this means she wasn´t successful.  It´s over. What in the world am I going to do with my time now?

Game of Thrones season 8 is taking its precious time and now Faleena Hopkins called it a day? ( I´m kidding. I know what to do with my spare time- Patiently wait for GoT and read other books )

 

 

The article says:

“On Friday, the case was settled in a New York court where a judge said she had no right to stop others from using the word in their titles.”

Good! Thank all that´s pink and fluffy that someone with a clear mind and a well-functioning brain spoke up. I mean- it´s not like a million others have said the same words before. Why didn´t the author listen to fans / fellow authors / bloggers / readers / sensation hungry folks in the first place? Why drag everything to court if others tell you you´re crossing a line? I´d be humiliated beyond words if I were the author.

If only the author had listened…

If only she would have found a more suitable way to settle her “Cocky” issues…

Oh wait! I have to correct myself. The article also says:

” Hopkins has since decided to give it up and Tara Crescent, one of the authors she was battling with, has agreed to change the cover of her book, Her Cocky Firefighters, to make it look less like her rival’s. “

It´s really comical.

The author could have had this settlement from the get – go. Just imagine how peaceful life could have been for the author ( and everyone else involved ) if the two hens would have come to that agreement earlier.

So, for weeks the author has successfully pissed people off. The author has made inappropriate statements. Now, she pulled back. Okay. Fair enough. No wait- I think it´s about damn time the author stepped down.

 

Now the only thing left is the #cockygate witch hunt committee. Kind of unfair for the people who´ve made it their daily mission to terrorize the author and her unwise life decisions. What is the #cockygate committee going to do now that the author called it quits?

After spending some quality spying time on Twitter, observing the cocky witch hunt from a safe distance, I don´t really think some of those authors / fans ( the brave people who virtually fought against Faleena Hopkins ) are ready to put down their pitch forks. They´ll either keep the hate boat moving or they´ll find themselves a different wrong doer.

Still, the joke is around the corner. It´s time to let the author lick her wounds behind closed curtains.

I couldn´t be more pleased about the whole situation. A decent judge with a good head on his shoulders put the author in her place ( or so it seems. ) Now everyone can go back to more important matters. Faleena Hopkins can continue to write her 100th Cocky book. I can go back to whatever I was doing before. The detectives investigators authors can concentrate on their own projects. #cockygate, including all the other hashtags can be put to rest.

But man, what a show this has been, huh? I´ve seen a lot of shit happen in the literary world but this type of issue takes the cake.

And sadly, it´s only a matter of time before another eccentric author pulls another dubios number on us all.

I guess this is good bye. May Faleena Hopkins never come up with another idiotic idea ever again. May she learn from her mistake and listen to the common foot folk before creating chaos.

Or, wait…. no. What if someone from her devoted fan base was the one who advised her to trademark the word “cocky”? The thought alone is terrifying. Although I read somewhere that a business friend of hers advised her to trademark, so….
Okay. That´s enough. It´s time to let this spectacle go.

Bye, Faleena. It´s been everyone´s horrifying pleasure.

bye faleena

What are your thoughts on Faleena Hopkins settlement?  

 

 

 

 

Review- Dirty Dix (#1 Hard Love Romance) by Monica James

Book Description

I knew she was bad news when she walked into my office, but I just couldn’t help myself… 

Filthy, sexy and full of surprises, Juliet is so hot she has me on fire. I’ve met my match and I can’t help going back for more. 

Then there’s Madison… she’s sweet, funny and awakens in me a fierce need to protect her. 

But I don’t do relationships. I don’t usually do the same woman twice. 

Juliet and Madison: Two very different women have got me completely hooked. 

Who will I choose? 

I know who I should choose, but I never said I was the hero of this story, or even the good guy. And besides, who wants to be good, when it feels so good being bad? 

My tale isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you’re game, strap yourself in and expect the unexpected. But don’t say I didn’t warn you… 

My Thoughts

Monica James is my GO – TO author. This woman has her writing down to a T. It all started out when I read her very first novel `I Surrender` a few years back. Now, many published books later, I´m sitting here and feeling as happy as any reader could feel.

What can I say about this book?

`Dirty Dix` ( Book #1 in the Hard Love Romance ) is a fun, exciting and intriguing read that´ll put you on a ride you´ll never forget. In fact, this story is so addictive it makes it´s readers long for more.Dirty dix

The story is brilliant. Easy going and playful at first and then everything slowly becomes complicated.

New Yorks top psychiatrist, Dr. Dix Mathews, drowns in two women who are both toxic to his own health.

Both women couldn´t be more opposite from one another and Dr. Dix finds himself in a position he shouldn´t have been in the first place.

What to do, what to do? Dr. Dix is screwed one way or another. Or is he?

This book  reminds me of a time when I dated 2 guys at the same time. I was 16 back then and everything went well before both were standing in my mom´s livingroom. The one guy had a bouquet in his hands and the other wore a confused look on his face. I decided to bail. Crawl my way out of the house through my bedroom window and make an epic escape. But I got caught by my mom outside ( I was a terrible teenager).

I wish Dix had a window to make a grande escape but he wasn´t so fortunate ( neither was I, to be honest. I had to deal with both and ended up alone until I dated my husband 3 years later. What a miserable time!).

ANYWAYS…. Dix.

I loved Dix. His character was something special. A doc who helped others for a living got caught up in his own little personal hell. What´s not to love? Reading his parts brought so much satisfaction. The poor bastard struggled. He was a professional with a broken heart who ignored the rules. And with every step that beautiful man took he unintentionally dug his own grave deeper and deeper. He was fighting an emotional war with his desires, his own personal addiction.

Dix and Juliet were a match made in sex heaven. Dix and Madison were a match made in relationship heaven.

Who will he pick? Both? Neither? Will anyone find some sort of happiness in this book? You´ll have to find that one out for yourself.

All I can tell you is that this story was so good I couldn´t put it down. And the cliffhanger ending… I saw it coming. I truly did. I just hoped it wouldn´t happen. But it did and now I´m left with the awkward feeling of not knowing what´ll happen next until I can get my greedy claws on book #2, `Wicked Dix`.

An enticing, sexy and hot read!

The Cover – 4 stars ( I´m not such a fan of a buffed torso on a book cover but I am a fan of a white shirt and black tie. There´s something sexy about that. And the colors are great.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Way cool. Brings back so many ugly but now funny memories.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( Dix, Madison, Juliet, Finch and Hunter… What a great lot!)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Excited. I just can´t wait to find out what happens next!

I´m giving `Dirty Dix` ( Book #1 Hard Love Romance) by Monica James 5 out of 5 stars.

stars15

To purchase this book  click here

Review- The Precious Ruby ( The Precious Trilogy, #1) by C. Renee

Book Description

At twenty-five, Louise Carter has lived a life beyond her years; she has endured emotional and physical abuse and has now found the courage to leave her biker ex-boyfriend.

When Louise moves back into town and in with her best friend, all aspects of her life start to fall into place until something unexpected happens … she meets Alex, a rich playboy and known womanizer.

Alex wonders whether he has met Louise previously as she piques his interest in ways no other woman has before… 

Will Louise fall for his fake personality, or will she have time to fall for the real one?

*Copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for a Book Box Feature & review*

My Thoughts

I admit, I have never heard from author C. Renee before, nor have I heard of her novel The Precious Ruby`The Precious Ruby`. It was only when the author contacted me on Instagram did I notice the stunning cover and eye-catching title.

`The Precious Ruby` ( The Precious Trilogy, #1) is the author´s debut novel and for that reason I will not be too critical or harsh on the author or her work. Normally, I don´t read debut novels because they´re hard to judge. There are so many things a reader should consider when being honest about a book. And I´m not here to bring down someone´s „baby“. This book, however, was easy to judge.

I really liked the book. Despite a few editorial hiccups, questionable sentence structure ( some words are just too non-american) and a few chaotic scenes, I thought the story was enjoyable. It was certainly entertaining and the story DOES get you interested in more.

The idea of the story isn´t new but it is told in a unique fashion and that´s basically why I liked it.

What `The Precious Ruby` has is alot of drama and it´s also packed with emotions. Although I liked the story I felt that certain scenes were a bit over dramatized / over exaggerated.

The reading experience was also a tad bumpy, which interrupted a nice reading flow but that can be worked on. Let´s blame all that on the fact that this is a debut novel. No one has ever written a masterpiece from the get-go.

All in all, not a bad pick. I´m ready for the story to continue and that´s always a good sign.

C. Renee is on a great path and I can see great things happening for her in this ruthless book world.

The Cover- 4 stars ( I like the simplicity of it. Black with one object on it. It´s definitely an eye catcher.)

The Story – 3 stars ( As stated above- it´s not new but the writing style gives the old a nice unique touch to it. )

The Characters -3 stars ( Matt was a brilliant villain. Alex was a great Hero. The only problem I had was with Louise. Her character was too bipolar. The key is normally to let a character gradually grow and letting them go from one state of mind into another. A slow progress.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Positively surprised and I can´t wait to continue the story.

From all the debut novels I´ve read in my career, `The Precious Ruby` has proven to be one of the good one´s. That is why I will encourage C. Renee with 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase this book by clicking here.

 

Enjoy. xxx

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