Wildcard: Volume Three – Missy Johnson

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Author: Missy Johnson
Series: Wildcard #3
Pages: 110

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She’s hiding something from me and I need to know what it is.
I’ve done so many things I never thought I’d do for this woman and it kills me that she’s lying to me.
How can I make her see that she can trust me?
Do I want to know the truth?
Sometimes things are easier when they’re left unsaid…

With this third part of Wildcard I finish a saga I started a long time ago. This is part of my let’s-finish-them resolution. Already December and this is the first one I have finished… about 50 more to go. Obviously, the resolution will still be active in the following years (and possibly in other lifes, if you believe in such things).

The second part ended with Scarlett hiring a hitman to take out her ex-boyfriend and with Ryder paying to the later a lot of money to leave Scarlett and Jake alone. There are too many secrets boling and, to put the cherry on top, Jake is again very sick…

Finally, the big bad secret of Scarlett is out in the world to be properly dissected. And yes, it was as bad as the author makes us believe during the previous books. It’s a crime she comitted willingly in order to get rid of Tony, her ex-boyfriend. It ended badly: rape. That is why she is so scared of letting Tony tell anyone. Scarlett doesn’t want to give Fate the chance to pull her apart from Jake. Hiring a hitman is a bit extreme, but the love of a mother is boundless…

Buuut, for some reason I still don’t understand, the author ignores the hitman bluntly. I mean, he is mentioned now and then, but he never fulfills his mission. I know some lowlifes beat him to it, but… shouldn’t he return the money? Or at least say something? I have no idea if he had any intention of doing it. Was he a conman? If that is the case… was Scarlett’s friend on it? I know it’s stupid, but I feel there is a whole book out there that for some reason wasn’t told.

Apart from that, I must repeat myself in my adoration towards Ryder. I feel so comfortable reading his point of view. He is such a nice guy with a cocky sense of humor that adds many layers to the enjoyment of the book. Once again, his interactions with Callie are the best part. I’m going to miss this guy like crazy, although he has a couple of huge missteps: the breaking and entering into Scarlett’s house to sort through her things and impersonating her to exchange some messages with Scarlett’s friend. With any other guy, it would be the end of my love for him. With Ryder, even though I don’t like it a tiny bit, I know it comes from a good place. He is worried sick about her and he doesn’t have the experience to deal with such emotions. He was a colder than ice jerk and he barely knows what to do with the warm sensation in his chest… So, yeah, big mistakes are bound to happen. Good to know he is a really fast learner.

Missy could have skipped the usual ending of a Romance Book: the I-barely-know-you-but-here-you-have-an-engagement-ring ending. It made me cringe a little bit, but if I’m being honest, it wasn’t as bad as in other books. I guess I can forgive Ryder even the most repetitive mistake of the Romance genre!!

According to the prmotions at then end, there is a book starred by Callie. Too bad it doesn’t say the title. I’ve lookng through Missy’s book, but I haven’t been able to find it. There is a fair chance of meeting Ryder in that one…

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Wildcard: Volume Two – Missy Johnson

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Author: Missy Johnson
Series: Wildcard #2
Pages: 75

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I’m so fucking pissed off that she would do this to me.

I really thought we had something, but instead, I’m left feeling like an idiot.

All I want to do is go back home and forget the last few weeks ever happened, but I’m stuck in this stupid country teaching tennis to spoiled rich kids who care less about playing than I do.

All I want to do is forget about her.

But things are never that easy, are they?

I got the first volume of Wildcard for free in Amazon a long time ago. I loved it. The main characters were very fun to read. I purchased the next two volumes, but I forgot about them until now. Now, Wildcard is a single book; but I will read them as they were originally released. Let’s review the second one!!

If you don’t remember (I barely did), the first one ended with a massive cliffhanger. Scarlett was kissing his ex in front of Ryder. Obviously there must be something else behind that act, but the tennis player is pretty angry and jelous. Jelousy that only grows bigger in the second book when Scarlett avoids him for a while. Later we learn that the ex is blackmailing her, so Ryder puts on his best white knight armor to protect her.

This book, as the previous one, is very simple and easy to read; but Ryder is such a great character that the time invested is worthy. Granted, it’s a short book; so no much time is needed to finish it. His arrogance and cockiness drive everyone crazy in many senses, but it’s so much fun for the reader! You can tell that deep down he has a really big heart and that he cares for the wellness of the people around him. His coaching lessons are the best part of this second volume… Has he found a Nemesis?? And the banter with Josh!! It’s kind of heartwarming to read a couple of guys that are rivals in the tennis court, but best friends out of it.

Ryder’s jelousy attack doesn’t last long and Scarlett is capable of explaining to him what her ex is trying to accomplish. He helps her as best he can, but Ryder is not a warrior; so Scarlett has a plan B that I guess we will see in motion in the third volume. Will Tony accept Ryder’s money or will he face the hitman? By the way, how can Scarlett afford to pay the hitman and not her ex? It’s the same amount of money.

I’m also worried about Scarlett’s son. He is in the hospital due to some breathing issues… I hope he is OK. It must be hard for Scarlett to keep away from her son in order to protect him from his father. That reminds me of the secret she is still hiding… What is that thing so terrible that his ex is using against her?? Will that put in danger her relationship with Ryder once again? The player is having some trouble trusting her…

I also need to mention that the three books have some really nice stock photos as covers. The simple composition is perfect. Too bad the are so many words all over it…

The cliffhnager of this book is not as big as the one in the first volume. I wouldn’t even call it a cliffhanger. Anyway, I need to know how this will end; so I hope to read the third volume this year.

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At Attention – Annabeth Albert

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Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform #2

Pages: 304

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Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

The first book of this saga, Off Base, was one of the first books I reviewed here and I LOVED it! I know is hard to equal or exceed what that first Out of Uniform story meant for me emotionally, so I’m not going to be too harsh with the second book. It doesn’t deserve any kind of venom. The second part is stil very good and I can’t wait to keep reading the series. Well, I will wait… I don’t like getting an overdose with sagas.

This time we meet Apollo, a 34 years old widow with two little girls and a huge house to take care. And we meet Dylan, the twenty something years old and younger brother of Apollo’s best friend. Both of them are openly gay, so we are not in the same Zack and Pike situation. It’s a trickier one, though. Apollo’s mother is about to travel abroad for several weeks and he needs help with the kids and the house. And Dylan needs a place to stay near his new job as summer camp teacher. So Dustin, Dylan’s brother, thinks the best idea is that his brother should live in Apollo’s house; so he can help the Lieutenant. The catch: Apollo’s is still mourning his husband and think his love and sexual life is over. And Dylan has had a long standing crush for his brother’s best friend that needs to take out of his system.

There is a lot of fun flirting coming from Dylan that makes Apollo uncomfortable, at least at first. Sooner rather than later he starts craving his new roommate. It’s a bit sad to see how he struggles with those moments. Somehow Apollo thinks he is being dishonest with Neal, his dead husband. The age difference doesn’t help at all and it’s the hot potato thrown in every single chapter. Maybe the author insists too much about that. It even seems that Dylan only wants to con Apollo into a relationship so that he can feel like a big man. I know that is not what Annabeth wanted to tell us, but sometimes that is what I get… And the soldier is a bit stubborn about that difference, too… It’s not such a big gap!! Stop looking at you as a 60-years-old man!!

That issue is so big during the whole book that I don’t truly believe the happy ending. Maybe that is because the author takes a huge leap with the last chapter. The proposal is totally anticlimatic and waaaaaay too soon. Those two need to talk a lot more before commiting to something like that. That end is the worst part of the book.

One of my favourite parts is the way Apollo finally deals with Neal’s death. There were moments along the book were Annabeth almost makes the mistake to convert Neal in some kind of villain, but thankfully she doesn’t go there full force. That would be sad and wrong. Apollo can fall in love with a new person and still love his former husband… It’s  human. We are capable of loving un unlimited amount of people. The way Apollo accepts that, talking with Neal aloud and expressing his feelings… Hands down, that is the best part of the book!!

I’m also have to point out that the sex scenes are really good. When Apollo discovers the power of a mirror… That was a hot read!!

The author also uses this book to introduce the next one: Ben & Maddox. I have the feeling their book is going to be a fun one!! Or maybe I’m totally wrong. I’ll read it sooner or later. This year if everything goes according to plan.

 

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