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Taking Control by Jen Frederick

taking controlWhy I read it:  One of my blogger friends had a review copy and, with the permission of the author, she shared it with me.

ETA April 2015: At the time I accepted/read the book and wrote the review, I didn’t know Jen Frederick was also Jane Litte from Dear Author.  No Jen Frederick books have been reviewed by me, anywhere, since I became aware of this and, given my existing relationship with Jane, I will not be reviewing any more of her books.  I will continue to update my personal Goodreads account with all the books I read as per usual but, consistent with my review policy, there won’t be further formal reviews of Jen Frederick’s work.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  I thought I needed only one thing in my life–the money and power to crush one man. But the moment I laid eyes on Victoria Corielli, my thirst for revenge was replaced by my craving for her.

No rule would keep me away; no obstacle too large to overcome. Not her will, not our differing social positions, not my infamous past. When she lost everything, I helped her pick up the pieces. When she trusted me with everything, she sealed her fate.

I’ve convinced Victoria she can put her heart in my hands. Now I have to protect it–from her shady stepfather and my business rivals, from enemies known and hidden. I’ll do anything to keep her. And I might have to prove it, because now Victoria”s risking more than her heart to be with me; she’s risking her life.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  After finishing Losing Control earlier this year, I was looking forward to the second and final part of the story, especially because I heard it was from Ian’s POV.  (The book does have some sections from Tiny’s perspective but most of it is from Ian’s.)  However there were times I felt a bit “be careful what you wish for”. It was apparent from the first book that Ian Kerr is a very alpha billionaire who goes after what he wants and always gets it.  Being in Tiny’s perspective made his alpha-ness a little easier to take.  There were some occasions in this book where he crossed the line from commanding/demanding to creeper.

Losing Control by Jen Frederick

LosingControlCoverWhy I read it:  I received a review copy via the author.

ETA April 2015: At the time I accepted/read the book and wrote the review, I didn’t know Jen Frederick was also Jane Litte from Dear Author.  No Jen Frederick books have been reviewed by me, anywhere, since I became aware of this and, given my existing relationship with Jane, I will not be reviewing any more of her books.  I will continue to update my personal Goodreads account with all the books I read as per usual but, consistent with my review policy, there won’t be further formal reviews of Jen Frederick’s work.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  I’d do anything to keep my mother alive.

Anything, including ask Ian Kerr for help. I don’t know much about him, except that he has more money than some small countries. And he’s willing to spend it on me. Just one catch: there’s a string attached, and not just the one I feel pulling me into his arms and his bed. There’s also the plan for revenge he wants my help with.

Every time he says my name, it makes my body shiver and my heart stutter. I know he’s going to wreck me, know there won’t be anything left of me but lust and sensation by the time he’s done with me, but even though I can see the heartbreak coming towards me like a train, ready to crash into me, I can’t get out of the way. I want what he makes me feel. Want what he’s offering.

This may have started out as something to save my mother, but now…now it’s about what he makes me feel. I’m in danger of losing everything that’s important. Worse? Ian’s whispered words and hot caresses are making me believe that’s okay.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I confess I hadn’t planned to read this one quite yet.  But I saw Mandi’s Tori’s Smex Scene Sunday which featured an excerpt from Losing Control and I decided to bump it up the queue.  You may make of that what you will :P.

I guess this is Jen Frederick’s take on the billionaire/ingenue trope but while it conforms to the trope in many ways, it breaks the mold in others and I found it a very entertaining read.  It is the first book in a series (there is another book to be released later this year, which I understand will be told from Ian’s POV but will not be merely a re-hash of what happened in this one – I stand to be corrected on that) but it does have a satisfying HFN ending, which you could take as a HEA if you really wanted to. You’d hardly have to squint.

Unraveled by Jen Frederick

UnraveledWhy I read it:  I received a review copy from the author.

ETA April 2015: At the time I accepted/read the book and wrote the review, I didn’t know Jen Frederick was also Jane Litte from Dear Author.  No Jen Frederick books have been reviewed by me, anywhere, since I became aware of this and, given my existing relationship with Jane, I will not be reviewing any more of her books.  I will continue to update my personal Goodreads account with all the books I read as per usual but, consistent with my review policy, there won’t be further formal reviews of Jen Frederick’s work.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.

Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Gray Phillips was introduced briefly in Unspoken and represents somewhat of a departure in the series about the guys who live in the house in Woodlands.  Because, of course, Gray doesn’t live there – but he does come to visit for the 45 days of leave he has in the summer.  His congressman dad pulled some strings for him to get that length of time off in a row and he has a decision to make – re-enlist in the Marines or separate and do… something else.  Gray was badly burned in a previous relationship – his then-girlfriend cheated on him during his second deployment in Afghanistan, with the local Marine Recruiting Officer no less and then she was diagnosed with syphilis.  So, he’s not trusting and paranoid about sexual health and safety.  he has a few “friends with benefits” but they’re not really actually friends.  As he describes in the book, he is basically a human dildo for the girls and while he clearly respects them, he doesn’t actually have any real feelings for them either.

Unspoken by Jen Frederick

UnspokenWhy I read it:  I received a review copy from the author.

ETA April 2015: At the time I accepted/read the book and wrote the review, I didn’t know Jen Frederick was also Jane Litte from Dear Author.  No Jen Frederick books have been reviewed by me, anywhere, since I became aware of this and, given my existing relationship with Jane, I will not be reviewing any more of her books.  I will continue to update my personal Goodreads account with all the books I read as per usual but, consistent with my review policy, there won’t be further formal reviews of Jen Frederick’s work.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Whore. Slut. Typhoid Mary.

I’ve been called all these at Central College. One drunken night, one act of irresponsible behavior, and my reputation was ruined. Guys labeled me as easy and girls shied away. To cope, I stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men, so why is it that my new biology lab partner is so irresistible to me?

He’s everything I shouldn’t want. A former Marine involved in illegal fighting with a quick trigger temper and an easy smile for all the women. His fists aren’t the danger to me, though, it’s his charm. He’s sliding his way into my heart and I’m afraid that he’s going to be the one to break me.

Impulsive. Unthinking. Hot tempered.

I allow instinct to rule my behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been my motto because if I spend too much time thinking, I’ll begin to remember exactly where I came from. At Central College, I’ve got fighting and I’ve got women and I thought I was satisfied until I met her.

She’s everything I didn’t realize I wanted and the more time I spend with her, the more I want her. But she’s been hurt too much in the past and I don’t want to be the one to break her. I know I should walk away, but I just can’t.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  After reading the first book in the series, Undeclared, I was keen to see what the author would come up with next.  The first book was a bit of a mixed bag for me but I certainly wanted to keep reading the series.  This one was for me, a much stronger book. The plotting was tighter and more cohesive and there were barely any errors or typos.  There were more of the things I liked in the first book (much more) and less of the things I didn’t like (much less).  If the first book was a bit of a mixed bag, this book was a bag of goodness.

Undeclared by Jen Frederick

Why I read it:  I was provided with a review copy by the author.
ETA April 2015: At the time I accepted/read the book and wrote the review, I didn’t know Jen Frederick was also Jane Litte from Dear Author.  No Jen Frederick books have been reviewed by me, anywhere, since I became aware of this and, given my existing relationship with Jane, I will not be reviewing any more of her books.  I will continue to update my personal Goodreads account with all the books I read as per usual but, consistent with my review policy, there won’t be further formal reviews of Jen Frederick’s work.
What it’s about:  (from Goodreads)  For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): When the author approached me regarding a review, I read the blurb and then went to her website and read the two excerpts available.  I liked the premise and I liked the excerpts, particularly the one from Noah’s POV, so I said yes.  I’m glad I did but the experience wasn’t wholly successful for me
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