Published by Self-published Genres: Contemporary Romance
I have enjoyed Jamie Begley’s Last Riders Series, but I put off reading the VIP Room Series because it was about strippers. What a massive mistake because I ended up loving it. If you are as OCD as me about reading things in order, I would read Teased and Tainted before reading Shade’s Fall from the Last Riders. King can be read right after.
The VIP Room series is really about two women who grew up in the poorest of projects and their childhood friend that didn’t make it. By clinging together Vida and Sawyer made it to adulthood but always felt the hole left when Callie died. They had no idea that a walking nightmare was stalking them and the reason has something to do with the friend they lost so long ago.
It’s a Jamie Begley series so you know on the front end these are not going to be “safe” reads and they weren’t. This doesn’t bother me at all since the actions of the characters are true to who they are. They don’t hide a thing since they are upfront and in your face with what they want and do. It’s hard to scream “cheating” when everyone is straight about what type of relationship they are willing to have.
Again, not a safe trio of books, but a damn good collection.
Series: VIP Room #1
Also In This Series: Tainted, King
Published by: Young Ink Press on September 26, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Knowing the heroine was a stripper was a tough sell for me, but once I started and understood the circumstances I got over my prejudice fast. Vida was in trouble. Her best friend was missing and when she went to King, a major player with loads of power in the underground, he agreed to protect her and help her find her best friend but in return, she had to become a stripper. Willing to do anything to save her friend and stay safe she agreed.
Vida impressed me. She was sweet and unbelievably loyal. Underneath all that sweetness and light was a will of steel. Needing to keep her mouth shut to get the help she needed to find her friend, at first she came off as timid, but she was anything but. Pushed into a corner, she could throw sass and attitude with the best of them. I liked that mostly she played things smart. I wondered how she could stay so innocent and unscathed considering where she grew up, but as the story unfolds you learn why.
King asked Colton, who had just been released from prison to help him keep Vida safe. At first, I did not like Colton or his actions. Talk about a manwhore. I get that he was locked up for three years and needed some relief but he truly outdid himself. As the book progressed and I learned his story and why he was so determined to stay away from Vida, although I still didn’t like his actions, I understood them.
Teased is our introduction to not only Colton and Vida but to King, Henry, Reverend and the Predators. King and company intrigued me but being the biker junkie I am, the Predators, especially Max, had me absolutely clamoring for more. Add in the mystery of what happened to Sawyer and I was hooked on this little series.
Spice’s Rating: 4.5 Strippers Are People Too Stars
Series: VIP Room #2
Also In This Series: Teased, King
Published by: Young Ink Press on January 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Kidnapped, drugged and held by the worst of the worst, Sawyer finds herself at the mercy of a world famous band, Mouth2Mouth, who had no idea the women sent to them were part of a sex trafficking ring. Unable to set her free for reasons he can’t tell her, but doing their best to keep her safe, Kaden Cross finds himself with his hands full trying to keep Sawyer from escaping and ending up back at the mercy of a man who plans on using her as revenge.
Kaden won me over from the start, but he definitely had his alpha-hole moments. It didn’t take him long to realize he not only wanted to keep her from escaping, he wanted to keep her for good. The problem was convincing her that the safest place for her was with him. Desperate to get loose to warn her friend Vida of the danger stalking them, Sawyer gave Kaden one hell of a run for his money. Fortunately, Kaden with his hot, broody, unbelievably dominant personality was up for the task. When they finally come together, it was freaking hot.
With the kidnappers getting increasingly desperate to get to her, danger shows at every turn. As the mystery deepens with nothing making sense, Tainted kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
Spice’s Rating: 4 Rock Stars Are People Too Stars
King by Jamie Begley
Series: VIP Room #3
Also In This Series: Teased, Tainted
Published by: Young Ink Press on June 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I was intrigued by King while reading Teased and Tainted. He definitely is an anti-hero, but once the mystery was solved of what the tie-in was between King, Vida, and Sawyer I wasn’t sure how I felt about him. He definitely has the anti-hero thing going on, that was for sure. As I read the first part of King’s story, I gotta say he did not impress me at freaking all. In fact, his behavior made me think “Forget alpha-hole, this guy is a freaking alpha-prick and a pretentious one at that.” Every decision he made from the second he found out about Callie all those years ago was a stupid one. Then to decide to play Daddy and go head to head with Shade and the Last Riders- what an idiot.
For someone in his line of business and with his upbringing and history, I couldn’t believe how he kept continually misjudging not only Evie but everyone else as well. He kept underestimating the people he considered his adversaries and overestimating himself. He redeems himself in the end, but he’ll never be a favorite.
Evie absolutely saved this book. As we learn her history so much is made clear as to why she’s with the Last Riders and the loyalty they all have for her. She’s tough, smart, and resilient which are all qualities I admire in a heroine.
As unimpressed as I was with King at first, he and Evie worked together and they had some serious chemistry. Both fought their feelings and it was a rough row to hoe at times, but I found myself rooting for them.
With Digger in jail, the threats came from different sources both in Queen City and from Treepoint. I did find myself surprised that one particular threat wasn’t taken care of immediately after a particular incident. It seemed out of character for the Last Riders, particularly Shade, but King too. That was a huge disappointment for me. I did love all the time spent with the MC and the epilogue was unbelievably sweet. Sparkles would have approved.
Rating: 3.5 Pretentious Alpha-holes Are People Too (and maybe even redeemable) Stars
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