We simply came back from press days at probably the most important vehicle occasions of the season: the 2018 New You are able to Worldwide Auto Show. Here’s what caught our eye:

Interactive Displays: Automakers got creative and accepted augmented reality and virtual reality to be able to display their latest cars and technology. How did they are doing it? Dodge featured two Demons placed in an online drag race. The cars bucked in position and provided vibration feedback because the motorists sped lower the strip.

At Nissan, users donned a set of glasses to discover the most recent security features around the Leaf via augmented reality. To discover specific features, users simply centered on different icons floating before them. It’s more interactive than the usual marketing video (and far cooler, too).

Toyota desired to make its Fine-Comfort concept vehicle more interactive, so that they produced a VR experience. Yes, the headsets are clunky, but when they’re on, you can sit within the driver’s seat and backseat. Toyota’s strength was making its VR experience feel a lot more like walking to return. Should you required a 360-degree look, you can begin to see the interior from the vehicle entirely.

Consensus? These encounters won’t switch the traditional try out in the near future. However for shoppers who wish to visit a car’s interior or do a preliminary walk around? AR and VR may help motorists through the shopping process.

Encounters: Ever thought about if you could fall over a Jeep Wrangler? We attempted at Camp Jeep. Attendees drove cars over some obstacles to focus on the need for ground clearance and articulation. The ride was short, but Jeep will get credit for creating an event like this in the center of New You are able to City.

Toyota labored with professional race motorists to demonstrate the awesome side from the Camry within the Camry Thrill Ride. It felt a bit more unrestrained than Camp Jeep. To show handling, motorists floored it and maneuvered the vehicle around tight turns. Then they spun the vehicle 180 and 360 levels.

Consensus? Roller-coaster fans will like this.

New methods to fight distracted driving: Both 2019 Acura RDX and Subaru Foresterhave introduced technology to combat distracted driving. The Forester uses facial recognition software to consider indications of sleepiness within the driver. The RDX built a 1-of-a-kind trackpad which makes it simpler to move with the infotainment system.

Classic Cars, Supercars, and Concept Cars: We had a classic Lamborghini in addition to a concept vehicle from Genesis having a mostly glass exterior. And, obviously, we ensured to visit the Koenigsegg station…

Consensus? We can’t wait to determine what’s going to attend the brand new You are able to show the coming year.

Need to see more coverage out of this year’s New You are able to auto show? Take a look at our Facebook page, and don’t hesitate to incorperate your comments, photos or perhaps video of your show visit.

As Mustangs go, a four-cylinder turbocharged automatic Convertible couldn’t be further from the American dream if it was made in North Korea in a factory staffed by Russians. But bear with us, because Ford has been busy working on the facelift of its sixth-generation Mustang.

We first drove the revised V8 GT last year, but we’ve had to wait until now to try one of the European-spec cars due in UK dealers in the coming months. Along with a light nip and tuck at the front and rear, Ford has added new digital dials and a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

• New Ford Mustang V8 review

Curiously, the four-cylinder 2.3-litre EcoBoost’s power output has dropped in order to reduce emissions and improve economy. But despite peak power dropping from 313bhp to 286bhp, it’ll sprint from 0-62mph one-tenth quicker (5.7 seconds) and hit 145mph flat out.

Of bigger significance is that new 10-speed automatic gearbox. Having sampled it in the V8 previously, we concluded that while it’s an improvement over the six-speed auto it replaces, it still doesn’t offer the immediacy and performance advantages of the best double-clutch units favoured by the likes of Porsche, BMW and the VW Group. Could its true calling be in a cabrio with half the cylinders?

•Best performance cars

It’s the sound that hits you first. Or rather the lack of any noise ruffling your ear hair. There’s a gentle rasp from the EcoBoost engine on start up, but for a car with the bonnet acreage of a Mustang, the mute soundtrack doesn’t make the strongest first impression. Switch between the driving modes – Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet are now joined by Drag mode and My Mode, the latter allowing you to configure engine, exhaust sound and, if fitted, the optional adaptive dampers – and the tone doesn’t improve greatly, either.

Noise aside, the new drivetrain is a marked improvement over its predecessor. The ratios in the 10-speed unit are tightly stacked and remarkably close (the EcoBoost and V8 share the same set-up) and once you get your head around being in seventh gear at less than 40mph, it’s as effortless as you want it to be. Crucially, when you up the pace, there are few objections from the powertrain.

Upshifts are quick enough when left in D, but knock the selector back to Sport or use the paddles on the steering wheel, and you can neatly match your upshifts to the engine’s output. This is useful, because the four-cylinder becomes breathless once you reach its 5,400rpm peak, and there’s little to be had from chasing the redline some 600rpm later.

Downsides? Well, while the downshifts aren’t too slow, the time-lapse between you pulling the left hand paddle and a lower gear being selected is too long if you want to make the most of the Mustang’s performance.

Of greater significance, is the transformation the optional MagnaRide adaptive dampers make to the car’s chassis – especially in the Convertible car. Previously, a drop-top Mustang would pitch into a corner and wait for the body to catch up, before wobbling through the exit. Now, though, there’s poise and body control, but it doesn’t come at the expense of the Mustang’s more gentile approach to ride quality.

The set-up adds a level of precision and composure that was previously lacking, too; roof up or down, a MagnaRide-equipped Mustang Convertible closes the dynamic gap on its Coupe equivalent. Ford charges £1,600 for the dampers, and they’re worth every penny.

Elsewhere, the new 12-inch TFT instrument cluster is clearer to read and offers more functionality than before. There’s additional safety kit including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control. The seats are still a little too gentleman’s club for our liking and the roof-down buffeting can be tiresome, but overall it’s a marked improvement on its predecessor.

Smart business owners know how to manage their finances properly. And if your company needs a new van or pick-up to get the job done, then it’s arguable that finding the best financial deal is more important than the kind of options you can get. So we’ve rounded up the finance deals that can help you to keep costs down on your new van or pickup.

While buying a van outright is one option, it’s not necessarily the best deal financially if your outgoings and income are limited. And if you secure a van or pickup on finance, then you have the option of upgrading to the latest model when your deal is up for renewal. That means you’ll have a well turned out new van every few years that will give customers a good impression, rather than an ageing work vehicle that will soon look tired and shabby.

Many manufacturers offer competitive deals for commercial vehicle users, with small deposit amounts and surprisingly small monthly costs. But there’s more to these deals than simply offering low repayments, as maintenance and servicing deals are likely to be the kind of sweeteners that are included to tempt buyers into the van of their choice.

We’ve scoured the websites of a range of commercial vehicle makers to find the best offers available on a variety of new vans and pick-up trucks on sale today. All of these offers are as advertised by each manufacturer, but we reckon you can get to your local van centre and skim a little bit more off the top to seal the deal, so try and treat these numbers as the starting point for your negotiations!

Prices and figures quoted are excluding VAT (except where stated), because it will typically be reclaimable for business users.

BEST VAN AND PICK-UP DEALS 2018

FORD RANGER

Ford’s tough Ranger pick-up is available through a range of offers on Ford’s website,and the well specced Limited 2 Double Cab with the 2.2-litre 4cyl diesel can be yours for £291 per month on contract hire.

The Limited 2 model nets you a lot of equipment, including 17-inch alloys, Ford’s latest SYNC3 infotainment system with Bluetooth, leather seats, rear parking sensors and more. That monthly figure is yours if you can stump up six months in advance rental and keep on it for four years. Ford will also pay the road tax, breakdown cover and a 48 hour courtesy vehicle in case of breakdown.

• Check out our round-up of thebest car dealson today’s market

Contract Hire Initial payment: £1,746 47 monthly installments: £291

MERCEDES X-CLASS

It’s only been revealed in concept form so far, but demand for Mercedes’ new double cab pickup truck is so strong that Mercedes-Benz Vans is already taking £1,000 deposits for the newcomer. The deposit is fully refundable, but if you want to be one of the first behind the wheel when the X-Class finally arrives in 2018, then log on to the Mercedes website now.

MITSUBISHI L200

TheMitsubishi L200 has been king of the tough 4×4 pick-up truck segment for years – so much so that the Series 5 model was our Pick-Up of the Yearin our 2016 New Car Awards, the second year it took the title.

Still, the latest L200 is an able workhorse with its new and efficient 2.4Di D engine, and in popular Titan spec can be yours in Double Cab mode for just under £200 per month via Mitsubishi’s own contract hire deal – as long as you’ve got twelve months payment to put down up front.

Contract Hire Cash price: £21,249
Initial payment: £2,388
35 monthly installments: £199

NISSAN NAVARA

TheNissan Navara is the smoothest drive around in the 4×4 pick-up segment, thanks to a fancy multi-link rear suspension that still retains all the off-road capability owners have come to expect.

It’s not quite SUV-smooth to drive on the road, but it’s close, and that quality means the Navara appeals strongly to business users who want the tough style and practicality of a pick-up as an everyday vehicle. Chances are if you want to use a pick-up every day, you’ll be wanting a decent amount of equipment. This where the Navara Tekna comes in; dual-zone climate control, reversing camera and part-leather trim are standard. However, beware that there’s a 10,000-mile annual mileage limit.

Contract Hire Initial payment: £1,800 35 monthly payments: £300

TOYOTA HILUX

Toyota’s durable and reliable Hilux can be yours for £271 per month.

That’ll net you a 2.4-litre diesel Hilux Invinciblemodel that comes laden with kit. Every Invincible model has a touchscreen infotainment system, LED headlights, cruise control, climate control and a multitude of safety systems including pedestrian safety assist and traffic sign recognition.

Contract Hire Cash price: £24,922
Initial payment: £1,626
35 monthly payments: £271

FORD TRANSIT

With a multitude of different models – incredibly Ford lists 450 variants – from panel vans to minibuses, a trio of fuel-efficient and torquey diesel engines, and improved driving dynamics, the latest Ford Transit is an impressive proposition.

Load volumes are up by 10 per cent for panel vans, and the driver’s environment is excellent too.

It all means the Transit is right at the top of our best panel van top 10, but if that’s not enough to make you want one, Ford has some tempting low interest rate offers, like this 0.9% APR and £2,700 manufacturer contribution on a four year balloon payment deal for the Transit 350 Trend L3 H2 2.0 TDCi EcoBlue 130PS RWD model.

Finance purchase with balloon payment Cash price (with £4,500 contribution/dealer savings): £30,714 (Inc VAT) Customer deposit: £10,121
48 monthly payments: £399
Final payment £5,717

VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER

The latestVolkswagen Transporter featuresan upgraded engine range, plus significant in-cab enhancements to make sure it retains its place in the sales charts.

As well as the company’s renowned build quality, the Transporter now features a full range of Euro 6 diesel engine options and a raft of safety kit such as Active Cruise Control, Lane Change Assist and Post-Collision Braking. With Caravelle and Shuttle minibus options, the sharper Sportline trim and optional four-wheel-drive, the Transporter still plays to its enduring strengths – a fact which helped it clinch the 2016 International Van of the Year Award. You can drive away in a T26 SWB 2.0 TDI Startline 102PS for £239 per month with a Volkswagen finance purchase, including a £500 VW contribution to your down payment.

Finance purchase with balloon payment
Cash price: £24,813
Volkswagen contribution: £500
Customer first payment: £1,434
36 monthly payments: £239

Behind the looks of the latestVauxhall Vivaro,

its carrying capacity has been enhanced across the range, it’s very comfortable on those long-haul motorway trips, and there’s an excellent line-up of turbodiesel engines that offer terrific economy and efficiency.

Best of the bunch is the 118bhp (120PS) 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo which, with ecoFLEX stop-start, can return up to 47.9mpg on the official government combined test cycle.

If you want to buy one, Vauxhall’s 4x4x4x4 deal should appeal, with 4 years’ zero per cent APR credit, 4 years’ free servicing, 4 years’ warranty and 4 years’ breakdown cover thrown in. But leasing looks attractive too, at just £235 per month for the Vivaro L1 H1 Sportive 2700 1.6 CDTi BiTurbo.

Contract hire

Cash price: £22,758 Initial payment: £2,892 23 monthly payments: £241

MERCEDES SPRINTER

For customer facing businesses in particular, the prestige of a Mercedes badge on the grille of your van can make a subtle but appreciable difference to your public image.

But in spite of its popularity and impeccable credentials, the Sprinter is coming to the end of its life, and we’re expecting a new version to be unveiled in 2017. Which is good news if you want to buy a Sprinter now, as you can drive away in a 214 CDI SWB Premium Edition for £289 a month on Merc’s Agility balloon-payment lease deal – thanks to a hefty £3,450 deposit contribution from the manufacturer.

Finance purchase with balloon payment
Cash price: £26,091
Customer deposit: £7,180
Mercedes deposit contribution: £3,400
48 monthly payments: £289
Optional final payment: £7,600

CITROEN BERLINGO

The Citroen Berlingo feels as though it’s been around for donkey’s years, but a refresh in 2015 gave it a worthwhile new lease of life.

Sure, there are newer competitors around that are more pleasant to drive, but you can’t argue with prices for the panel van that start at just £10,226. Euro 6 BlueHDI engines are also offered on the Berlingo spec sheet, giving up to 68.9mpg and 109g/km of CO2, along with a six-speed automatic gearbox, and a 7-inch colour touchscreen option.

Granted, you won’t get all that on the Berlingo Panel Van HDI manual L1 in Enterprise spec, but at least you do get parking sensors. And for £189 per month on a Citroen contract hire deal, it’s almost as cheap as chips.

Contract hire
Cash price: £15,500
Initial payment: £1,074
36 monthly payments: £179

For more optionsvisit our sister site BuyaCar for new and used van deals.

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan’s kink kingdom.  Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club­: a dungeon playground for New York’s A-list that’ll change the scene forever.  The club becomes Kingsley’s obsession—and he’s enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can’t subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won’t rest until King’s dream is destroyed. It’s one man’s sacred mission against another’s….

Having read the first five books and never giving much of a second thought to Kingsley, I was surprised but happy to finish this book thinking that he just might be my favorite out of the Sinners group. This book is all about Kingsley, his beginnings, his experiences, and how his kingdom, the Eight Circle, all began. I loved how dynamic his character was, and he’s so charming, playful, and witty and while crude and often times dismissive, he has so much love for the people he cares about. Though the book unfolds in the form of a story Kingsley tells to a side character, the plot didn’t feel narrative at all and I very much felt like I was physically in the book, on the outside looking in like a third wheel.
“Twenty years ago…it feels like yesterday. Yesterday and a lifetime.”
In present time, Kingsley is on a journey and his first stop is with Zach and Grace (first introduced in book 1), where he basically tells Grace his life story from his twenties and beyond. In the beginning, it’s revealed that he’s a lost soul. Damaged from war. Dying slowly bereft of the one man he loves. Living without a purpose. He drinks, he fucks, and he repeats the cycle. As destiny would have it, an incident involving a young Nora places Soren in King’s path again and like moths drawn to flame, he feels alive and invigorated to do what he was always meant to do: build his one-of-a-kind BDSM club for others that take pleasure from pain.
“A promise made long ago…A promise he would keep. A king must have a kingdom after all.”
With Soren back in his life, it was equally heartbreaking and heartwarming to see King’s interactions with him. There are just so many barriers preventing them from ever being together, and deep down I know Soren belongs with Nora, but sometimes I can’t help but want there to be a decisive, clean-cut way for Soren and King to be together. Just them.
I have to say though, this book and the rest of the series is probably the closest I’ll ever get to reading M/M. Not that I have anything against it, but it’s just not something that appeals to me for the time being so any erotic scenes with the two of them together I pretty much put on my big girl panties. They were hot. They were sensual. And the love and their ‘BDSM chemistry’ was 100% undeniable.
“You beat me this early before.
I was attempting to wake you up.
With your alarm cock?”
Though I didn’t expect to, I fell irrevocably in love with his character, every bit of him. He’s too irresistible, one minute charmingly witty and the next deadly serious. He’s such a people-person and no matter what side character that comes into contact with him, it’s always a joy to read, especially his banter with his assistant Sam (only briefly mentioned in previous books).
“Party time. Have fun fucking half your guests.
What are you going to do?
Fuck the other half.”
Just like the other books, this book will always be hardcore erotica first as the main genre with a very unconventional romance hidden within. While I do think some scenes were dragged out a little and towards the end the book lost a little momentum, nevertheless, this is a story that grabbed me from the beginning. And I mean the very first line. Tiffany Reisz’s writing is a true wonder and evokes so much emotion whether it’s laughter, pain, sadness, or love.
“…his confession hadn’t been to a priest but about a priest, the priest he loved not despite all the sins they’d committed against each other but because of them, because the sins were what bound them together. And the love. Of course the love. Always the love.”
One of my very best book decisions was choosing to read this series a year ago. Erotica has never been the same for me and any and all erotica books I read I hold to the standard of this series. Excellent, phenomenal writing became synonymous with Tiffany Reisz’s writing. And top-notch storybuilding will always be compared with the intricate plotline of this series. Reading these books truly make me feel like I’m coming home, and no matter what, I can always trust and count on Tiffany Reisz’s stories to be winners for me again and again.
The King is the 6th book in The Original Sinner series, 2nd book in the White Years quartet within the overall series. This is not a standalone and must be read after the first 5 books in the following order: The Siren, The Angel,The Prince,The Mistress, and The Saint.
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advanced copy and subject to change in the final edition.
Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany’s books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as “literary friction,” a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself. She lives in Portland, Oregon. If she couldn’t write, she would die.

The world knows the notorious Kevlar Killer, but few have ever seen what lies beneath his armor. The abused child. The neglected teenager. The broken man. He always did whatever he had to do in order to survive.

It’s kill or be killed.

Throughout his life, he has been there in the shadows, a witness to everything from beginning to end. Bound by loyalty and honor, there’s only one thing he would sacrifice it all for: family.

Never get close. Never get attached. It’s a lesson that has been brutally pounded into him since childhood, but they’re words the DeMarcos make it difficult for him to follow. Through them he finds love and grieves loss, realizing the world isn’t quite as black and white as it’s made out to be.

Made.

5 stars!!
I could spend days telling you how much I’ve been looking forward to this book so I’ll just go with a simple ‘I’ve been waiting for Corrado Moretti’s story since 2012.’ Not only was he one of my earliest book boyfriends, but he also was the very first guy I’d read about who was in the mafia so needless to say, he has a very special place in my heart. I was surprised that this book was longer than the Sempre books but that made me happy; the more Corrado, the better! This book is like a chronicle of Corrado’s life and each part is categorized by a major turning point in his life. J.M. Darhower left no stone unturned; from his childhood to teenage years to the Corrado we know him now as is all written down and I lapped it all up. But first, the beginning…
Before Corrado was known as the fearless Kevlar Killer, before he was ever exposed to the harsh mafia world, he was a boy. A lonely, misguided and mistreated boy who suffered from his mother’s physical and emotional abuse and had a father who was always absent. Growing up under these family circumstances, Corrado further isolated himself from what you’d expect normal kids to grow into. And eventually he realizes that he doesn’t fit in. He’s different. The life he currently lives holds no meaning and he has no purpose. Traits like detachment, decisiveness, and cunning all points him in the direction of his father’s ‘career’ path, the mafia. And even though he starts off on shaky ground, Corrado finds his true talents and purpose with mafia work. The adrenaline, the rush of power, the hits all come natural to him.
We’re treated to multiple scenes where Corrado more than proves his worth along with intriguing mafia dynamics and most importantly, his beautiful relationship with Celia, his one and only weakness. In the Sempre books it’s heavily hinted that Corrado and Celia’s marriage was a love match but the one question that plagued me was how? How does one as cold as Corrado and one as bright as Celia fall in love? This book is the answer. Their relationship is anything but predictable and the way their paths cross had me sighing and swooning. I think what makes Corrado more endearing to me than most heroes is that despite the dark, suffocating world he lives in, he hasn’t completely lost his ability to love even though he’s unemotional most of the time. So when a man like him falls, he falls deep and he falls hard. And there isn’t a better girl he could’ve fallen in love with than the vivacious Celia who brings light into his dim world. Normal concerns couples have like cheating, jealousy, etc…are so trivial and petty to him because there will only ever be one woman for him. That one woman who is worth fighting for. Worth killing for. Worth dying for. That kind of love and feeling coming from a ruthless killer just seems to magnify it to epic proportions, at least I think so.
Reading this book hit me hard with the feels. Since this was literally a record of Corrado’s life story, I felt as if I lived through 40 years myself. To go through his childhood, his turbulent teenage years and his rise in the mafia underground and his enduring relationship with Celia, it was like reading a saga. Once I finished the book, I felt an immediate sense of loss and heavily contemplated the legacy of a man who gave nothing and everything, who had to be cruel in order to be kind, and a dozen other contradictions to live the life that chose him.
Made is set in the time before and during the events of Sempre and Sempre-Redemption and can technically be read on its own. However, it also contains major plot spoilers for both Sempre books so I would recommend reading those books first before starting this one.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

When a powerful man is willing to risk everything for his own satisfaction, only one woman can beat him at his own game: his wife. Or so she thinks…

“Let’s start with you calling me Stewart. Formalities seem unnecessary.”

Stewart Harrington is rich, gorgeous, and one of the most powerful men in Miami. He always gets what he wants. Anything is available to him for the right price.

Even me.

Being the wife of a mogul comes with all the perks, but being Mrs. Stewart Harrington comes with a few special requirements. I’ve learned to keep a part of myself locked away as my husband watches me submit to his needs. But the more he demands of me, the more beguiled he becomes and that’s to my advantage. So I keep fulfilling his fantasies and following his rules because he doesn’t know that what he’s playing is really my game. And winning is everything, right?

3.5 stars!
It’s been a while since I’ve read an Aleatha Romig book as I wanted to read something new and fresh from her that didn’t ride out on the coattails of the Consequences series. Although I didn’t fully love Insidious it is still a very worthy read and is a book that constantly kept me on my toes and had my head spinning with each new reveal and twist thrown at me. My biggest complaint is how things were so hastily wrapped up in the end but it didn’t annoy me to the point where it ruined the rest of my enjoyable reading experience.
There’s not much I can say plot-wise without spoiling the book. This author certainly loves her contracts and it’s through a contract that the female protagonist Victoria Conway signs away her life to the much older, wealthy, and charismatic Stewart Harrington to settle financial debts. Doe-eyed and innocent, Victoria has no clue that the contract she signs also enslaves her in a sexual role she must participate in or risk a cascade of financial setbacks that could hurt her family.
And so as the years pass by, she maintains an outwardly dutiful and doting wifely appearance while submitting to Stewart’s sexual demands. He thinks he has her completely under his thumb, but what he doesn’t know is that he’s underestimated Victoria. This book is partially their story – both past and present – of a silent power struggle between the two and the aftermath when the web of lies, deceit, and betrayal falls.
Romance is a very minor aspect in this book (like all of Aleatha Romig’s books) and is a secondary element to the suspense and mystery Victoria tries to uncover that revolves around Stewart’s company and the contract she signed with him. The romance was very unpredictable and I don’t think I would’ve ever anticipated Victoria ending up with the guy she ends up with. Even in the most lighthearted and romantic moments in the book, there are no pretty words. This book is dirty, filthy, but wickedly hot all at the same time.
Aleatha Romig is an extremely talented writer and though there was never a doubt in my mind that she could pull off a story so suspenseful and erotic, I also felt like it wasn’t her best. I’ve always believed that her strongest skill was her attention to detail and the ability to use that detail and stun and smack twist after turn in her stories that thrill us, excite us, and satisfy us. As this book is a standalone, I got the feeling that all the loose ends (there were many) had to be wrapped up quickly in the last 20% of the book in order to reach that ‘standalone’ status so I was disappointed that the quality I admire most in this author’s writing – her attention to detail – wasn’t present, thus several secondary plotlines that had the potential to become something major in the book were underdeveloped. I know I’m explaining things in very general terms to avoid spoilers of all kind but if you want all the sordid details I’d be happy to chat with you about them.
I still enjoyed this book overall and once I started reading, I didn’t put it down until I finished it 4 hours later. I do believe that if this story was expanded upon in another book I would’ve fully enjoyed each of the twists and turns the author presented.
Insidious is the first book in a series of dark erotic thriller standalones. It is not related to the Consequences series.

Ryley Clarke has grown up with the military in her blood, with both parents serving their country. Ryley knows the risks of being married to the military. But when the unthinkable happens, and her future husband is killed in action, Ryley can barely survive… until Evan’s twin brother, Nate, helps her pick up the pieces.

After serving on a special mission with the military for six years, Evan Archer returns home to find the unthinkable – the love of his life, Ryley Clarke – engaged to his brother, Nate. With Nate on deployment, Evan needs to figure out what happened in his absence, and more importantly, how to win Ryley back from the man he once considered his best friend, but now thinks of as his rival.

Mixed rating – 2 stars and 5 stars
(spoiler-free)
Well this is one of those times where I don’t know how to rate a book. I adored the writing – it was evocative, fluent, and brilliant. I highlighted like crazy and I had to pause a couple of times because it was painful to read. The military subject matter was also weaved nicely into the story, adding an edgy, suspenseful tone. However, the way the book is styled did a big injustice to one of the characters and as a result, it lead me to resent the other two later on (and I’m NOT talking about cheating here). Cheating is literally the least of my concerns with this book by the way.
I’m going to split the rest into 2 parts: a 5 star review and a 2 star review.
5 star part
Like I said in the beginning, the writing is beautiful. Exquisite. And extremely evocative. With a premise like this one that promises angst, tears, and heartbreak, terrific writing only adds to the strife and conflict.
“I’m here because six years ago I lost the love of my life but now he’s back from the dead, and in a few weeks I’m set to marry my best friend. His brother.”
Welp! For starters, I liked how the author laid out the first half of the book through therapy sessions that provided the background story and shed light on the relationship dynamic among the heroine Ryley and the twin brothers in love with her, Evan and Nate. I also appreciated that these characters were extremely honest about their feelings and where they stood with each other. No second guessing. No indecisiveness.
“It’s how he made me feel. The sun was brighter. The clouds were bigger. The birds even sang louder once I met him. I know not everyone has that experience, but I did. He was like my daily dose of life.”
Simply put, Ryley and Evan are it for each other. They have that soul mate love and had a life planned out but one military operation changes everything for them. With Evan presumably dead, Ryley painstakingly moves on with her life and though it was unexpected, she gradually fell in love with Nate, her best friend and Evan’s twin.
“Sometimes love has an odd way of working around pain.”
This is where the intriguing military aspect kicks in. Evan thought it’d be a quick, simple operation but as days, months, and eventually years pass by he’s given no leeway to return home even though he and the rest of his team accomplished the goal. On top of that, families and friends are told that they all died just months after they leave so their return 6 years later is met with confusion, denial, and bitterness.
“When he was there on my front porch, my [grocery] bags should’ve dropped. My eggs should’ve splattered all over my driveway and my gallon of milk should’ve exploded. Instead I stood there staring at the ghost who had taken the form of my former fiancé as he descended the stairs of our front porch. His smile was bright until he saw my face and then it died.”
And this is where the 2 star part comes in.
2 star part
I’m not going to outright tell you the guy who has Ryley’s heart but knowing how much this author loves her second chance romances and the way this book was written in alternating Evan and Ryley POVs, it will be very obvious. The first 50% of this book I was confident it’d be at least a 4.5 star read. The writing, the emotion, the love…it all spoke to me and squeezed my heart.
But one thing that’s neglected in the synopsis and most reviews is that Nate – the man Ryley’s engaged to – is physically ABSENT for 97% of the book. You see, both Evan and Nate are Navy SEALs and when Evan was thought dead, Nate still continued on his missions and such. Nate left Ryley thinking they were in love and getting married soon, which was blown out of the water when Evan returns.
I do want to preface that Ryley made it very clear who was her soul mate. She loved both men, but in very different ways. And as much as I believed that Ryley and Evan’s love was stronger than what she feels for Nate, Evan is the one who completely destroyed any sympathy I had for him.
“Her, I’m willing to forgive. Him, I’m not even willing to try.”
Evan thinks of their engagement as a betrayal. Which emotionally, maybe it was. But technically? Logically? NO. He was thought dead. They buried him. They were able to move on. A heartbroken girl with a presumably dead fiancé doesn’t need to stay heartbroken forever. A man who lost his twin doesn’t need to suffer forever. And if they could move on and find solace in each other, then there shouldn’t be a single reason to think that Nate and Ryley’s love was inappropriate or a betrayal as Evan would call it.
At this point, I was extremely frustrated with the author because there wasn’t a single Nate POV until the very last chapter. WHY? By excluding Nate’s POV and his insight to this entire situation, the love triangle, the blame, basically everything is one-sided and it all tips towards Evan’s side. It’s like condemning a man who wasn’t present at his own trial. The author did not give Nate a chance to explain his side, to fight for the girl he loves. And I FUCKING HATED THAT. Whether or not that was the author’s intention, this emotional manipulation made me resent and hate Evan in the second half of the book and made me question why Ryley didn’t defend Nate as she should’ve since he’s her fiancé now.
I know some are not going to care about this issue, but it’s big for me. I’m the kind of reader who will always sympathize and root for the underdog, the second place finisher, the runner up. And that is Nate in this book. He came in second in everything. Ryley noted several times that even his sister was closer to Evan and her dad favored Evan over Nate. And now the author doesn’t give us his POV until the very last chapter? That was a huge disservice to his character.
So with these feelings and thoughts warring in my head, I can’t rate this book like I normally would. At this very moment I am itching to slap a 2 star because the author – intentionally or unintentionally – wrote this book in a way that clearly favors one character over the other and screwed over the underdog. But at the same time, the depth of emotion evoked because of her beautiful writing and the military aspect of the story I can’t ignore either. A mixed rating is the only way that allows me to stay true to my honest feelings for this book but also acknowledges the author’s merits.
Here With Me is the first book in the Archer Brothers series and not a standalone. The story is not concluded and will continue on in book 2 Choose Me.

Two addicts. One epic love story.

Prepare for the worst.

That’s what Lily and Lo try to do when Jonathan Hale schedules an “important” meeting. The problem: after being swept into the public eye and battling their addictions, they’re not sure what the worst is anymore.

In a sea of many changes—including Ryke & Daisy living with them—Lily realizes that the best part of her fluctuating hormones might just be the worst.

Her sex drive is out of control.

Loren knows that she’s insatiable, but he’s not giving up on her. She’s too much a part of him. And as he carries more and more responsibility, some of the people that he loves doubt his resolve.

In the conclusion to their love story, Lily & Lo stand side-by-side to fight, one last time, for their happily ever after.

**AUTHORS’ NOTE**
Due to the 2-year gap between Addicted for Now (Addicted #2) and Addicted After All (Addicted #3), you must read Thrive (Addicted #2.5) or the Calloway Sisters spin-off series before reading Addicted After All.
TEXT MESSAGE CONVO: LILY TO LORENLily Calloway is the female protagonist in the Addicted series. When she decides to text her family and friends, it’s usually for fun questions, and she doesn’t always receive the response she’s looking for. Here are some of her more colorful text conversations.

Note: In the series, Lily ends up using a flip phone (without internet access) but for the sake of these posts, we’re going to pretend she still has an iPhone.

Krista & Becca Ritchie are identical twins. They write New Adult books that make you cringe, gasp, and go ooh-la-la. (If you do that sort of thing.) They are currently working on the spin-offs and final books in the Addicted series.