Freed in Love – Zoe Ashwood

This book contains:

  • Murder
  • Physical and psychological torture.

Nora and her three men (Levi, Raphael and Isak) are back for the final instalment and their relations are pretty strained to begin with.

Nora is struggling to come to terms with the revelations at the end of Captured in Love but Isak (sea dragon) is at her side supporting her. Meanwhile, Raphael (vampire) and Levi (witch) are desperate to find Nora again and try and rekindle their relationship before things go too badly.

Nora, Levi, Raphael and Isak are racing into the final challenge in the hopes of winning the Ballendial Games. As they find their way to Greece to face the final challenge they’re confronted by mythology and other creatures they never anticipated but have to overcome.

I’m so in love with this series!

This was SUCH an amazing ending to a thrilling adventure. The sheer level of adversity they need to overcome, not just to win the Games, but also to find happiness is gargantuan.

As I got closer and closer to the end I didn’t want it to end. I mean, how could I possibly be happy with the ending given how much amazing action was happening?!

And yet, Zoe didn’t fail me and rather than leave me on yet another cliff hanger she gave me a satisfying ending that was beautiful and exactly what all four of them deserved.

Two for Boarding – Lasairiona E. McMaster

This book contains:

  • Domestic violence
  • BDSM – pleasure Dom (see Goodreads for description of what this includes).

Kenzie is a kick ass, strong, confident woman who’s joined the Snow Pirates as their team physio. And yet, her past that no one really seems to know much about has shaped who she is now and has left lasting emotional scars that she has to try and overcome on a daily basis.

Austin is a quiet guy who keeps his private life private, while still being there to support his teammates however he can. His last Sub left him unexpectedly leaving him unsure of himself with his confidence severely beaten, not that he’ll let anyone else know.

Kenzie and Austin meet at the rink and instantly have a connection almost straight away, not that they do anything to explore it at the time. When Kenzie’s friends bring her to a BDSM club for a fun night out, Austin happens to be there at the same time, and they spend some time chatting. While Kenzie’s innocence is hard to miss, Austin does his best to explain the rules of BDSM and the club without scaring Kenzie.

As time goes on, Kenzie and Austin connect and slowly get to know each other while exploring Austin’s BDSM preferences while finding out what Kenzie enjoys as well.

One thing Lasairiona doesn’t shy away from is the various ways in which couples can enjoy each other. In every book she writes she includes these details, and in this case, the intricacies around BDSM.

I’m sure by now most of us know about 50 Shades of Grey, and therefore have a particular view as to what BDSM is all about. Well in Austin’s case, he’s nothing like that!

By exploring BDSM through Austin introducing Kenzie to it, Lasairiona shows us a completely different view that I think is much healthier for everyone involved. Not only is Austin able to explore his own emotional vulnerabilities, but he’s also able to support Kenzie through her own challenges in a way that ensures she’s safe and loved while coming to grips with her own trauma’s.

If you’re not info sexy books or public displays, you might struggle with elements of this book, but I still think you should read it. It left me with such a powerful feeling at the end, one that I can’t quite describe but still left a lasting impact, that I think you should read this to explore those themes.

Two for Roughing – Lasairiona E. McMaster

This book contains:

  • References and discusses domestic violence against a child
  • References and discusses death of a child
  • References and discusses the impact of grief.

Molly is the little sister of the Snow Pirates captain who we’ve met in the previous two books. She’s outspoken, she’s confident and she doesn’t apologise to anyone about who she is and who she’s attracted to. The only problem she has that she struggles with is that she’s in love with Finn who’s totally, 100% off limits since he’s her brother’s best friend and also on the Snow Pirates.

Finn is set to graduate college and the Snow Pirates are on track to win the season. Except it’s getting harder and harder for him to hide his love for Molly who is absolutely off limits since she’s his best friend’s sister. His best friend and his family took him in when his parents couldn’t cope with the death of his brother (something he still struggles with today) and he definitely doesn’t want to lose the only family he has left.

Molly and Finn’s history spans years. Right back to when they first met back in high school.

With a mix of how they’re handling their attraction now, and flashbacks to the past to explain how and why things are happening now, we watch them come so close but not quite get together. Until they do and then hell seems to break lose as they try and navigate whether they even work without Will finding out and ruining their good thing.

While I really loved this book (forbidden romance is always interesting to me), there was one element I wished was explored more. Molly is very sexually open and happy to explore limits, and Finn loves her as she is and has his own fantasies. Yet this is really only very briefly explored in the very last chapter/epilogue in the most basic way.

I kinda wish their sexual freedom and kinks had been explored more within the story. I got a sense that rather than allowing them to be who they were, they were being pushed to stay in the “mainstream” idea of a relationship. Which given how adamant Molly is that she lives her life how she wants, it just felt wrong in a way.

That’s not to say that their relationship development wasn’t awesome. I just wish the sexual side of the relationship had have reflected who it felt like they were a bit better.

Cold Seduction – Zoe Ashwood

This book contains:

  • Mentions previous cheating in a relationship
  • Very detailed descriptions of domestic violence (emotional and financial control, not physical abuse)
  • Brush with death
  • Description of a massacre.

Hanne escaped her prior relationship by finding a place on the expedition to Rendu. In a bid to keep the freedom she’s found, she chooses to stay on Rendu and make a life for herself. She’s incredibly stubborn and refuses to allow others to help her, even when she desperately needed, thanks to the trauma she’s experienced in the past.

Lhett is an army general, stoic, very closed off and doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t feel like he deserves to have a happy life, but does everything he can to ensure the safety of those he loves and cares about. While we don’t find out why he’s as scarred and closed off as he is until right near the end, he has a very good reason for keeping to himself.

Hanne has decided not to return to Earth and begins making a life for herself on Rendu. She’s fighting her attraction to Lhett in every way and is finally giving in when her past catches up to her and threatens everything she’s achieved and possibly even everyone on Rendu.

Lhett is consumed with guilt for actions in his past but also can’t seem to keep himself away from Hanne even though he doesn’t understand her at all. He just wants to keep her safe, yet everything he does seems to push her further away.

As the final book in the trilogy – and long awaited too! – we round off the partnering up of the ad Naals brothers with yet another tricky situation that could put the new alliance with Earth in danger. Only this time the danger isn’t an orchestrated political game, it’s a personal vendetta.

To begin with, it was just your regular two stubborn characters refusing to communicate to find their way to each other. But as we learn more and more about each of them, the drama unfolds and suddenly you’re sucked in and can’t put the book down because you don’t know how they’ll work through it.

I was a bit worried that because of how much time had passed between the first two and this final book, it might be a bit disjointed and might not have the same political intrigue, action and romance as the others. But I shouldn’t have worried. Zoe pulled it off and I could barely put it down once I started it.

Two for Holding – Lasairiona E. McMaster

This book contains:

  • Discussion of the impact of divorce
  • Emotional family violence
  • Single dad due to mother abandoning them.

Sabrina is from a traditional Indian family. As the youngest of five or six siblings (sorry, I can’t remember exactly how many there are), she’s constantly treated as the selfish one, the one that constantly disappoints the family. But all she’s ever done is help others, want to be heard and want to be able to make her own choices.

Russell is a single dad, has a double major at uni, plays college hockey and has dreams of making the NHL. He has a full plate as it is and is definitely not interested in romance after his daughters’ mother walked away and left them without any notice or a backwards glance.

We’re into the second book in the series of the Snow Pirates romances where we follow a different couple every book. In this one, we follow Sabrina and Russ for about three or four months as they figure out what they have and what it could potentially be.

I really enjoyed reading about how Sabrina and Russ, as young as they are, wove their way through some pretty hefty topics. At uni age, they worked their way through past emotional traumas and found their way to their happily ever after.

What I especially loved was how Lasairiona introduced domestic violence in a different way. So often, when someone talks about domestic violence, they’re talking about physical violence or overt control. But there are more forms than that.

The simple matter that Sabrina’s family (parents and all siblings) made her feel alone, selfish, and like her voice doesn’t matter. And when she raised this with them, their response was typical of domestic violence abusers.

It’s so good to see these impacts being openly talked about in such a real way.

It was so refreshing and I was desperately wanting the next book but of course I need to wait.

A Tale of Six Meet Cutes – Lasairiona E. McMaster

This book contains:

  • Mentions of a past trauma.

This is a short compendium of short stories to introduce the six couples that form the Snow Pirates series. Each “book” has two chapters, one for each character’s point of view.

All we’re doing with these is getting an introduction to how each couple first met and spoke to each other. It’s not meant to be spicy or anything, it’s just a taster.

I quite enjoyed reading this, although I’m still not sure if you should read each short story before or after the characters book… When writing this review, I’d read the first three books so I’ll give you my thoughts on those, but the rest I can’t say yet…

  1. Two for Interference (Cleo and Linc)
    1. I’m so torn with this one! I read their short story after their novel and while I found it hilarious, I have a feeling it could have made moment of their novel more interesting…
  2. Two for Holding (Sabrina and Russ)
    1. Yep, you should definitely read this first. It gives you a taste of a different side of their personalities that takes a little longer to come out in their novel. It made me feel like I was one of their besties being like “just be yourself!” cheering them from the sidelines.
  3. Two for Roughing (Molly and Finn)
    1. I think you couple probably skip this. It’s included in their novel at the right moment so I don’t think you need to worry about reading it here.
  4. Two for Boarding (Mackenzie and Austin)
  5. Two for Tripping (Quinn and Will)
  6. Two for Charging (Hunter and Seb)

If I feel like I want to come back to change this in the future once I’ve read the rest of the series, I will. But for now I don’t have anything more to say without potentially ruining anything for you.

No Matter What – Lasairiona E. McMaster

It’s AJ’s final instalment and it’s coming up to Olivia’s first birthday. AJ and Lisa have had a massive past 12 months and it doesn’t seem to be calming down just yet. When they started their family, who new they’d trade petty romances for petty mum drama?

The best part though, is how Lisa and AJ rise above it in a way that AJ wasn’t expecting.

I think out of all of Lasairiona’s books that I’ve read so far, this one had me laughing the most. Lisa is one of the more refined characters of this world, so to suddenly go through everything that Lisa organises for Oliva’s first birthday was a hilarious ride.

Then of course there was AJ’s response to the whole situation including his mental play of it happening as it happened. It was so much fun, and I just loved every moment of it!

My only problem was that a couple of moments felt a little weird and I wish there had have been more funny moments and observations throughout to really take it off the charts.

All of My Days – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Lisa and AJ are back for the final instalment in Lisa’s series. Lisa has recently given birth to Olivia, and they’ve finally gotten their new house set up, but Lisa is feeling overwhelmed with all the changes she’s experienced in such a short time span.

AJ however, he’s being the rockstar new dad helping Lisa out in any way he can.

As a short story final instalment to wrap up Lisa’s series, it was the perfect ending. It summed up their relationship so well, including how much Lisa internalises her self-doubts. AJ not only did more than I think a lot of new dads have done for the mothers of their children, but he also went above and beyond to try and make Lisa feel as good as possible.

While I found some of his attempts hilarious (coming from a woman’s perspective), they were sweet and well intentioned and that’s all that matters for new parents.

Make sure you check out my reviews for the short stories that finish of AJ’s and Jeremy’s series!

Feels Like Fate – Lasairiona E. McMaster

This is the final instalment written from Jeremy’s point of view; however, it’s centred around him and Chelsea, the girl he’s been in love with forever. His character has changed a fair bit over the Lisa Miller, AJ Williams and his own series, so it’s hard to describe who he is now.

It’s a short story focused on Jeremy trying to convince Chelsea to marry him because he’s sure she wants to, she’s just afraid to. It feels like he proposes to her like 5 times throughout the book, all in an attempt to get her to say yes.

Until the ring starts disappearing…

Being able to finish off Jeremy and Chelsea’s love story in a little wrap up was amazing. I’d been rooting for them for so long I was wondering if they’d ever get their own version of happily ever after.

While there were quite a few bumps in the short story road, they got there in the end in such a cute way, I honestly wasn’t expecting it! I actually thought it’d go a different direction after all the drama these two have had across all the books in this world.

I actually realised reading this one I hadn’t read the final short stories for the Lisa Miller and AJ Williams series, so I went back and read those. I’ve also released the reviews for that today so make sure you check out all the series and reviews. You can find them either on their individual series pages (links in the review) or on Lasairiona’s author page.

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