Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Small Town Siren by Sophie Oak (Lexi Blake) - Review



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Author: Sophie Oak, A.K.A. Leki Blake
Publication Date:  9 January 2018, second edition
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment
Series:  Texas Sirens, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, MFM 
Age Recommendation: 18 and Up
Rating: 4 Stars

~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

Re-released in a second edition with a prologue and three new chapters. 

Two cowboys looking for love… 

Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood met in foster care. Over the years, they’ve become best friends and partners. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. There’s only one thing missing: a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore arrives in their small town, Willow Fork, TX. 

A woman trying to find her place in the world… 

Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys. 

One small town that’s ready to explode…

They’re a dream come true—Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away.    


My Review:

First let me say that if you have seen the original cover for the series you will know how awesome the new cover is.  I love it's simplicity and the tie in to the series so much better than that original cover.  That being said I can't put any of that on the author as they rarely have a choice in their cover art, so it gives nothing and takes nothing away from my rating of the book itself, I just want to make a note of saying how much better this cover is and I am thankful that Sophie (just going to call her Lexi from here on out due to habit) and her publicist took the time to revamp it as well.  

Second, I have read a lot of Lexi Blake books and I had no idea that she had this other pen name or books until I stumbled upon a hint of it is her last book, Master Bits and Mercenary Bites.  It's like a whole new world opened up and angels sand the song of Menage to me and I rejoiced.  I am doubly thankful that Lexi Blake was able to get the rights to this series returned to her so she could put it back out into the world, bigger and better than ever.  

So, onto the book.  This was just an all around fun read.  I loved the bits of drama, and I am not a drama fan normally.  I do not like angst in my reads, but that was what was great about this read, while there was drama it was pretty much angst free.  I didn't want to throw my kindle or scream obscenities...okay well, that part might not be true, there is one woman I would have like to given a good shake and a few foul words, but it wasn't anything that made my heart hurt (in that negative kind of way) or my anger to flare.  

The characters are wonderful.  I adored Abby.  She was strong in the face of fear and hatred.  She was understanding and compassionate when the same was never given to her.  She was loving and fearless, though she had every reason to grow hard and cold hearted.  She is just an amazing heroine who has absolutely no trouble standing on her own and doing what it takes to take care of herself and those that she loves and calls family, but she is also (with a little push perhaps) willing to see that those that truly love her should also be given the opportunity to care for her in return.  She is a bit older than the heroes and while it is mentioned a few times it is never much of a big deal and for the majority of the book I honestly forget that there is supposed to be an age difference.  

Sam, what a character.  I loved him, I think it would be hard for anyone not to love him.  He is sweet, kind, a bit of a horn dog, a tad guileless, a fun character to be around, and one of the biggest hearted Heroes I have had the pleasure of 'meeting' in a long time.  Sam goes in heart first and when he does e does it big, but thank goodness he has Jack at his back to temper his spirit a little and to pull  Sam back in when he goes to dive into the deep end with all his clothes on and head first.  

Jack is the strong broody hero that I adore in my books.  He has a lot of baggage that he keeps locked down tight, too afraid to let someone truly love him until he's built a wall so high around his heart that it takes a wreaking ball ( you're singing it, I'm signing it...why do we do this to ourselves? haha) to eventually tear them down.  Luckily for Jack he has his best friend, the one he's constantly trying to tame at his back to keep life in Jack's eyes and to show him that it's okay to be loved, and it's okay to let your heart bleed a little for others because despite the pain that might come with loving others, they will also bring you so much joy that the pain is worth it. 

All three of them together are a perfect compliment to one another, they truly round each other out and making a whole.  I loved how Lexi built their relationship and how they worked with one another to make their lives together fit their needs.  I love the little sign of what might be to come with two of the characters, I am curious to see where that goes and if or how it might change the dynamics.  In the end I just loved that these three characters found joy, happiness, and love together and that they don't give one hoot what any one else thinks.  This isn't some hidden secret in the town, I liked that while Jack and Sam weren't out there telling everyone how they chose to live their life they also weren't keeping it this huge secret.  I loved that while I am sure some in town are scratching their heads or giving a bit of side eye, in general Jack, Sam, and Abby's life choices are accepted.  Wouldn't it be nice if that was the way of life for all of us.  That people can just say, welp, it's their life, live and let live and all that.  Anywhoooo, that's another topic for another day, but, thank you Lexi for not making this book about some taboo secret between the couple, but just saying, this is who we are, take us or leave us.

Finally, Sophie Oak is Lexi Blake, do we really need to talk about the steam level in this book, nah, I didn't think so, ha.  Let's just say total swoon worthy moments between these characters.  I loved each an every one, whether it was all three or just two of them, each one was steamy and special.  I know some of you will say 'Eh, its a menage book, it's going to be all about the sex' and I can say that's not true for this book.  Are there more sex scenes than your average Contemporary Romance, yes, but remember this book has to balance a relationship between three people?  Does that make it more about the sex and less about the story?  In this book I don't believe so.  The story of finding yourself and letting those that love you care for you is beautiful.  The story of breaking down the walls surrounding a harden heart, a heart afraid to love is there.  The story of acceptance and finding your own happiness is all there.   Yep, the romance is there in all the glory that Lexi Blake gives us, threads of BDSM, and just plain hot steamy scenes, but there is also a beautiful story woven all around those moments and luckily for us there is more story to come.  I can't wait to see where this couple goes in Siren in the City and I hope you will join in on the journey of Abby, Jack, and Sam.  You won't regret a minute of it.  



 The door to the women’s room slammed open. Abby practically jumped, ready to beg whoever was walking through to give her some privacy. Jack filled the doorway with his presence. “You can’t come in here, Jack.” She smoothed down her uniform and swept back her hair, trying to retain as much dignity as she could. “Why not, darlin’? I am going to admit that I’m not a man who tends to let things like social conventions keep me out of a place I really want to be in.” Jack walked right up to her. The man really wasn’t big on personal space. Sam walked in and closed the door. He leaned with his back against it. One boot rested negligently against the painted pink door. “Sam, tell him he can’t come into the women’s room.” “You’re the one who chose the venue for this particular conversation, Abigail.” There was nothing vaguely resembling a joke in Jack’s voice now. Abby looked to Sam for help. Sam shook his head. He was grinning like an idiot. “Hell no, honey. You’re gonna have to learn that when Jack gets that hard edge to his voice, he means business. Besides, I’m happy with the way things went. Thank you, baby. You made this so much easier. Jack was talking about dating you and treating you like a lady. That was gonna take forever. It’s much simpler this way.” “What’s simpler?” Abby was unable to keep the trepidation out of her voice. “Taking you home, taking you to bed, and showing you where you belong,” Sam replied with a wink. “Where do I belong?” Abby couldn’t take her eyes off Jack. There was a simple smile on his face that held a wealth of arrogance. He’d been serious. He really had been playing the gentleman. Abby got the feeling she was about to get a full dose of Jack Barnes, and damned if she wasn’t looking forward to it. “Always between me and Sam.” Jack reached out and put his hands on her shoulders, his expression intense. “Tell me you don’t want us, Abby, and I’ll walk away right now. I won’t bother you again.” “Don’t give her ultimatums.” Sam sounded a bit desperate. “I thought we’d give her a taste before we forced her to make a decision. Baby, why don’t you let us play around a little? I promise you’ll want us.” She looked up into Jack’s forest-green eyes. They were very serious as he stared at her. His hand came up to cup her face. He forced her to look at him and Abby felt his will. It should scare the crap out of her, but she found it amazingly sexy. This was a man who would always keep his promises, no matter what it cost him. “She already wants us.” Jack brushed his thumb across her mouth. It was all she could do to not open her mouth and suck his thumb in. “She just needs to admit it. Can you tell me you haven’t spent the last few weeks thinking about this? Thinking about you and me and Sam coming together in bed?” “No,” she said. Jack’s eyes flared, and she felt compelled to continue. “I have thought about it, but I’m scared.” The time for honesty was here. She could run, and they would probably accept her decision. She could give in and enjoy the sex and walk away. Or she could ask for what she wanted. She could be brave and tell them what she needed and what she was scared of. If she did that and it all fell apart, then she would have to forgive herself. She’d learned that one of the great joys of maturing was learning how to forgive herself. “What are you scared of?” A deep crease appeared in Sam’s forehead. He walked up to her and leaned forward. “Honey, we want to take care of you. We don’t want to hurt you.” She felt tears pricking at the edge of her eyes. Everything in her was screaming for that to be true. She wanted them. She craved them. “You could be lying to me. You could want to make me look bad.” She could hear her teenaged self in the statement. She felt every bit as vulnerable as she had then. The last month she’d spent with these two disparately different men had been one of the best of her life. Every evening they’d spent together over the last month had made her want them more. More than once, she’d fantasized about them sweeping into the diner and carrying her away. Lately, when things went wrong, her first thought was to call Jack. Now that her fantasy seemed to be coming true, she didn’t trust fate. Jack’s hands came out and soothingly rubbed the back of her neck. He hadn’t stopped touching her once. “Sweetheart, why would you say something like that? Why would we want to make you look bad?” “Because the Echols family wants me out of town.” Her heart soared when she saw the complete confusion on their faces. They couldn’t make that up. “Are you talking about that crazy old biddy who runs the church socials?” Jack seemed to struggle to place a name with a face. “She always looks at me funny.” “Ruby. That’s her name.” Sam frowned. “She’s real unpleasant to me. Why would we do anything for her? For that matter, why would she care that you’re in town?” Hope swelled inside her. They really weren’t gay, and they really weren’t working for Ruby Echols. If that was true, then she had to assume they wanted her. It suddenly didn’t matter that they were in a bathroom in a public place. She couldn’t wait to feel their mouths pressed to hers. It wasn’t forever. The universe didn’t work that way, but she could have this moment. She could have a few weeks with them. “It doesn’t matter. Kiss me.” “Which one?” Sam asked. Abby continued to smile, looking from gorgeous man to gorgeous man. “It doesn’t matter, but one of you should kiss me.” Jack’s eyes never left her face. “Sam, take care of that door. We wouldn’t want anyone walking in.” Sam cursed and bemoaned his fate, but he walked back and took his previous position. Jack took Abby’s face in both his hands. “I’m completely crazy about you, Abigail Moore.” He leaned over and finally, after what seemed to Abby like a lifetime of wanting, pressed his mouth to hers. Abby felt helpless against the onslaught of desire that rocketed through her as Jack took her mouth. He plundered it, his tongue gently forcing its way in and dancing strongly around hers. She held on to his lean waist for dear life as he slanted over her mouth again and again. He poured his will into her and everything inside her responded. She felt that kiss in her pussy and already she was slick and warm. Jack’s hands reached up and pulled at the band that held up her hair. He set it free and pulled back to look at the mane of auburn locks he’d unleashed. “You’re so fucking gorgeous,” Jack breathed almost reverently as he stroked her hair. In that moment, with Jack’s green eyes looking at her like she was some goddess he was worshipping, Abby felt gorgeous. “Why don’t we take this home, people?” Sam’s voice was tight. Abby looked back at Sam, and his blue eyes were dark with passion. He wanted to go home so he could join in. He wanted to have his turn. The thought should have turned her off, but all it did was get her hotter. Jack’s lips turned up in a lazy smile. “You’ll have to forgive Sam, darlin’. He’s always so impatient. Always has been.” Jack suddenly lifted her up and set her on the counter. He looked back at his friend with great affection. “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve told him that anticipation is the best part?” Jack’s hands pushed up the skirt of her uniform. “Anticipation is damn frustrating, Jack. And I’ve been anticipating for weeks,” Sam complained.  

 NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.


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