Blog

7 Homely Things about Kate Cross’s “Heart of Brass”

Heart of Brass

Clockwork Agents Book 1

by Kate Cross

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary:  After 7 years of hoping that he was still alive, Arden Grey sees her husband with her own eyes, as he tries to kill her. Luke remembers nothing of their love or anything before he was Five, an agent for the Company. Working for the Wardens, the Company’s sworn enemy, Arden must find a way to get Luke to remember her and their life or risk them having to say goodbye forever.

7 Homely Things about Kate Cross’s “Heart of Brass”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Arden Grey

Incredibly smart, Arden is not only employed as a woman but is an inventor. This woman has no problems telling the status quo to f-off and to take matters in her own hands. Even with her husband back in her life, she does not allow him to tell her what she can or cannot do.

2. Estranged

“Heart of Brass” had the unique premise of the main hero and heroine already being married, just estranged.

3. Characters

Character development was done well and realistic that both Arden and Luke would be different after 7 years. It was a pleasure watching them fall in love and find their way back to each other again while still being who they are.

4. Marriage

Kate Cross gives an honest view of marriage, it is never perfect and entails forgiveness and a lot of compromises.

5. Steampunk

The Clockwork Agents series takes place in 1898 London with added steampunk elements creating a vibrant, interesting setting.

6. Happy Ending

“Heart of Brass” was an overall imaginative and riveting story that came to a touching, happy conclusion.

7. Touch of Steel

Thankfully Kate Cross’s steampunk Clockwork Agents series continues in “Touch of Steel.”

What are your favorite things about “Heart of Brass”?


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

4 Swell Things about Maya Banks’s “Sweet Surrender”

Sweet Surrender

Sweet Book 1

by Maya Banks

Nikki’s Rating: 4 out of 10

Summary: Looking for a man to dominate her, Faith, is caught at a kinky sex club by her new colleague, Gray Montgomery, a previous Dallas cop. As Gray tries to deny their mutual attraction, he continues searching for the murderer of his partner. But then Faith is threatened and Gray will stop at nothing to protect and take care of her.

4 Swell Things about Maya Banks’s “Sweet Surrender”

(May Contain Spoilers)


1. GRAY MONTGOMERY

Strong, alpha male, who is dominate but also thoughtful, protective, and kind. While also being a sexy cop. Instant win!

2. SUB & DOM RELATIONSHIP

Maya Banks’s “Sweet Surrender” focuses on a true sub and dom relationship, not just kinky sex in the bedroom but a relationship in which one partner is blatantly submissive to the other partner who is dominant in a manner that extends past the bedroom. A healthy sub and dom relationship is based on mutual respect and trust and can be deeply satisfying to both parties.

3. HAWT

Erotic scenes in “Sweet Surrender” were kinky, passionate, and hot, hot, hot! A third player sometimes was featured too.

4. SWEET PERSUASION

While “Sweet Surrender” happily concludes Gray and Faith’s story, Maya Banks continues her erotic stories in “Sweet Persuasion.”

What are your favorite things about “Sweet Surrender”?


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

10 Greatest Things about Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Millennium Book 3

by Stieg Larsson

NIKKI’S RATING: 10 OUT OF 10

Summary: Shot in the head and fighting for her life, Lisbeth Salander must now prepare for the trial of her life. Facing charges for 3 murders, Mikhael Blomkvist is desperate to prove Lisbeth’s innocence. But now it is not just Lisbeth’s father they will expose, but the Swedish government. The clock is ticking as government agents move to silence Mikhael and Lisbeth forever.

10 Greatest Things about Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. the writing

As with the other books in the Millennium series, “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” was a thrilling masterpiece. Hard to put down, this novel was a rollercoaster of emotions and anticipation.

2. Lisbeth Salander

An unforgettable heroine who continues to push on with strength and determination regardless of being the victim of traumatic abuse at the hands of so many men in her life.

3. Sexuality

Throughout the Millennium series, Lisbeth’s character never conforms to a label on her sexuality and openly opposes the idea of giving herself a label. She consistently displays a healthy acceptance of herself and her fluid sexuality without judgment.

4. Polyamorous

The Millenium series also includes a portrayal of a healthy polyamorous relationship that is presented in a nonjudgemental manner with the characters being mature and respectful of each other.

5. Sexism

Larsson uses his characters and their stories to portray the sexism that many women experience every day in real life. From questions about their sexuality and other sexual comments to believing that their work is less than simply because they are a woman; sexism leads to violence against women.

6. Violence Against Women

Larsson’s most important theme throughout the Millennium series is that of violence against women. Larsson includes examples of rape, assault, stalking, and harassment of women in the series.

7. The Characters

The whole Millennium series includes characters readers become invested in and truly care about. Characters with depth, with both irritating and endearing qualities; readers fall in love with them, regardless of their faults.

8. Corruption

“The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” accurately portrays how easy it is for a group of people, especially in the government, to be seduced by the idea of their own power and importance. Without proper oversight and transparency, corruption is easy and can have devasting effects for many.

9. Sweden

While by no means a detailed account of Sweden, it was enjoyable and interesting to read a book that was placed in modern-day Sweden.

10. The Ending

Happy to report that while Larsson intended for the Millennium series to continue and then unexpectedly died after completed the transcripts for the first 3 novels, “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” concludes satisfyingly and has an overall happy ending with no cliffhangers to drive readers mad.

What are your favorite things about “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”?


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

Book Reviews of October 2019

The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier

Lair of the Lion by Christine Feehan

Too Dangerous to Desire by Cara Elliott

A Notorious Countess Confesses by Julie Long

10 Gutsy Things about Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl who Played with Fire”

The Girl who Played with Fire

Millennium Book 2

by Stieg Larsson

Nikki’s Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary: Working on a story about sex trafficking, famous reporter and publisher Mikhael Blomkvist, stumbles on sensitive information that gets a colleague killed. Lisbeth Salander’s past catches up to her and she is framed for the murder of a Swedish couple. Now Mikhael and Lisbeth must use all their skills of espionage, blackmail, hacking, and researching to solve the murders before one of them is the next victim.


10 Gutsy Things about Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl who Played with Fire”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth is a badass. This genius hacker takes no bullshit from anyone and although small, can hold her own in a fight. While rough around the edges and abrasive, she cares for those around her fiercely and loyally.  Lisbeth is one of my favorite heroines with her sarcasm, brutal honesty, and devilish thinking.

2. Sex Trafficking

Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl who Played with Fire” centers around the issue of sex trafficking, having this be the topic main character Mikhael Blomkvist is researching and reporting on. In the real world, there are about 25 million victims of sex trafficking globally and it is the fastest growing crime.

3. Violence Against Women

Another important theme seen in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series is that of violence against women. Having witnessed a young girl being gang-raped at the age of 15, Stieg Larsson was a feminist and used his books to portray the abhorrent violence many women are subjected to.

4. The Characters

Stieg Larsson creates characters that are so in-depth, realistic, and relatable. Even the main characters are seen with positive qualities and some pretty major faults.

5. System Failure

Stieg Larsson also touches upon the issue of system failure, especially that in the mental health field. Lisbeth’s backstory includes her being placed in a mental health facility and instead of treatment she received more abuse and trauma at the hands of professionals.

6. Thrilling

While the mystery/thriller genre is not a favorite of mine, putting “The Girl who Played with Fire” down was nearly impossible. Very well written, Stieg Larsson provided an intriguing and complex murder-mystery with an unforgettable heroine.

7. Zala

An interesting and realistic power-hungry villain with the twist of being Lisbeth’s sadistic father.

8. Friends

While lacking in a love story, “The Girl who Played with Fire” features so much love amongst friends. Touching and inspirational, characters consistently provided limitless love and support to their friends throughout the story, even when it caused a danger to themselves.

9. No Romance

While a huge romance genre fan and a sucker for love stories, it was refreshing and surprising that the main male and female characters were not starcrossed lovers trying to achieve their happily-ever-after. Continues with the feminist ideals that a woman is strong and worthy on her own, no man needed.

10. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Thankfully this is not the last of Lisbeth Salander and there is Millennium Book 3: “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”

What are your favorite things about Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl who Played with Fire”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

5 Touching Things about Cara Elliott’s “Too Dangerous to Desire”

“Too Dangerous to Desire” Lords of Midnight Book 3

by Cara Elliott

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: After years of running from his past and a broken heart, Cameron Daggett returns home. Determined to continue his rogue ways, he closely guards his heart against his ex-sweetheart, Sophie. But his past catches up to him and Sophie is now in danger. As Cameron and Sophie work together, they find themselves falling in love once more. But will cautious, responsible Sophie allow herself to be swept away by Cameron, a criminal and Hellhound, or will she choose to be prudent and walk away from their love once more?


5 Touching Things about Cara Elliott’s “Too Dangerous to Desire”

May contain Spoilers

1. The Story

The story overall was very engaging as you try to figure out everyones’ motives as one character is being blackmailed, another’s birthright is being denied, and then the suspicious death of a whole family.

2. Childhood Sweethearts

Sophie and Cameron grew up together and they are adorable, there is just something heartwarming about childhood sweethearts.

3. Birth Control

“Too Dangerous to Desire” is the first romance novel that I’ve come across (that I remember) that includes any mention of birth control. Although it is only briefly mentioned, Cara Elliott allows her story to be that much more realistic having her characters take measures to prevent pregnancy.

4. Hotness

Cara Elliott includes some pretty steamy and romantic scenes in “Too Dangerous to Desire.”

5. Partners in Crime

Cameron and Sophie had plenty adventures as kids. And even as adults Cameron teaches Sophie a few tricks of the trade and includes her on some of his “jobs.” While he worries for her, he also realizes that she is an equal and she can make her own decisions.

What are your favorite things about Cara Elliott’s “Too Dangerous to Desire”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.