Sunday, 7 September 2014

Andrea's Review of Branded: A Bad Boys Anthology by B.L. Wilde, Jeanne McDonald, Jo Matthews, Mary Elizabeth, and Sarah Elizabeth

A Bad Boys Anthology

Jeanne McDonald
Jo Matthews
Mary Elizabeth
Sarah Elizabeth

Cover Design: Cover It Designs
Genre: Romance/Suspense

Summary: B.L. Wilde, Jeanne McDonald, Jo Matthews, Mary Elizabeth, and Sarah Elizabeth give us five good reasons why good girls love bad boys. The men of Branded are sexy, adventurous, and troubled deep into their souls. There may be no redeeming them, but at the risk of losing everything, these good girls must decide if loving their bad boy is indeed worth the cost.

Condemned by B.L.Wilde
Ten years served for a crime he didn’t commit. Ten years to lose everything he ever knew. Finally released from prison, Clayton McGuire is on a mission and nothing will stand in his way. He is determined to get revenge against the gang that set him up and take back what was stolen from him all those years ago.
Clay will stop at nothing to win back his honor and the heart of the only woman he has ever loved. Will she take him back when he finds her? Or will he be condemned to live a life without his soulmate?

Cover Design: FS Meurinne

Renegade by Jeanne McDonald
A chance meeting between a rookie cop and a common criminal who’s searching for a way out.  
An unforeseen circumstance.  An instant attraction.  A magnetic connection.
Tattooed, pierced, and foul-mouthed, she can’t help but be drawn to him.
Two people entirely wrong for one another, yet so perfectly right.
When their worlds collide, Lucy Diamond will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice as she embarks on the road of no return with bad boy Jude Wallace.  
Like a thief in the night, love will take them both by surprise.

Cover Design: Jada D'Lee Designs
Desolation By Jo Matthews
Liam Jenkins grew up with everything he ever wanted. At age 17, his world is ripped apart and he finds himself without a home, without a car, and without money. His support system is gone and he is left to fend for himself. Not having any other option, Liam turns to sex and small crimes to survive.
When a beautiful woman chooses not to turn him into the cops but invites him to her hotel room instead, Liam’s world is flipped upside down again and everything he’s learned on the streets ceases to exist.
What will happen when one night with her isn’t enough? When she haunts his thoughts and dreams? When his past finally catches up with him, will he be able to start over? And will his mystery woman be there to see him through?

Cover Design: Jo Matthews
Low By Mary Elizabeth
Lowen Seely has been forced into making bad choices his whole life but none as consequential as the one that lands him behind bars. He thought times were tough before he was locked up; the boy from the hood learns living a law-abiding life is nearly impossible with a felony record.
He finds hope in Poesy Ashby, the girl who kissed him through glass partitions every weekend for two years.
Not everything is simple, but in her he finds strength.
In her, he is brave.
Even crooks love.
When Lowen and Poesy stare poverty in the face, he has another choice to make.
And this time, she’s driving.

Cover Design: Valentine S.

Don't Let Me Go By Sarah Elizabeth
Based almost entirely on body language, intimate feelings can develop within less than a minute of meeting someone.
Additionally, meeting in a dangerous situation increases the chances of falling in love.
This is that fall.
Where meeting her eyes means seeing it through.
Following down from the start to don’t let me go.
From roll up to run.
Between old glory and new beginnings.
This is what happens when a lamb is carried to the slaughter by courage, instead of a cowardly lion.

Cover Design: Bishop Clark


Branded: A Bad Boys Anthology

Branded is a compilation of five stories by five different authors, all featuring a different bad boy. When given the opportunity to review this anthology I almost knocked everyone down in front of me. Bad boys? Sign. Me. Up. Five? Where do I start? While I don’t believe a bad boy equals a criminal I equally do not believe a criminal equals a bad boy. I found myself struggling with a few stories because the bad boy was not anyone I cared about nor did I feel he could be redeemed. That being said, each brought something to the anthology that another didn’t and that is the whole point behind a compilation of authors and writing styles.

By B.L. Wilde

We meet Clay shortly after being released from prison where he has spent the past ten years paying for a crime he didn’t commit. When Clay chose to walk away from his life and take the deal that sent him away from his true love, Brooke, he never imagined she could actually move forward. Focused on getting Brooke back and clearing his name, Clay sets out on a path that is both dangerous and necessary.

I loved Clay because while he was not apologetic for his past he also wasn’t afraid of what he would have to do to regain his life with Brooke. In true bad boy fashion, he must ride the fine line of right and wrong along the way. Clay and Brooke share a passion that burns up the pages and proves that we all like a little bad boy in our life. Clay’s undying love for Brooke and his forever commitment to her simply made me fall a little in love with him and his true heart. Clay is a 4 honeypot rating on his own.


By Jeanne McDonald

Of all of the shorts this one begs for more. Or maybe that’s just me - sitting there, tapping my Kindle talking to the screen telling it what is supposed to happen. That is how I ended Renegade. Lucy is a second generation cop facing what should be a routine call at the end of a very long day. Lucy’s story teaches us that one moment can change a future. Jude is a guy living on the edge, wanting more from life but pushing the limits to get there. When a chance encounter brings Lucy and Jude together it as if all the stars align for them. A bad boy to the bone, Jude gives us the power, seduction and sexiness you expect but he also gives us a selfless and ultimate act of love - perfecting the bad boy persona.

I was blown away by how quickly I accepted and believed in the love that Lucy and Jude shared. Jeanne McDonald has a way of bringing you instantly into the moment and showering you with emotion. I want more for Lucy. I need more for Jude. It isn’t even a question of if, it is only of when this story ends. Perfectly written to draw us in and make us want more. Jude is a four honeypot rating on his own.


By Jo Matthews

Oh sweet Liam, if only the world was kinder. That is how I see this bad boy—needing a kinder world to give him the life he deserves. We meet Liam as a teen living a life of privilege and straddling the line of right and wrong. Once faced with an adult moment, a moment of a choice in life, he does what his heart and soul tell him to do—forever changing his life.

We fast forward to years later suffering the consequences of the choices he has made and the choices that were made for him. Liam is living on the edge and still longing for the life he thought was his to have. Enter the sweet and intriguing Paige. Liam and Paige have an instant attraction and you never question it. By the words and moments set forth by Jo Matthews, you believe connection between these two characters and need more for them. The need they feel for each other oozes from the pages and makes you, the reader, want more.

Fate hands Liam a second chance and that second chance not only surprises Liam but the reader as well. Kind and loving, Liam is only a bad boy because he has to be, because the hand was dealt to him. In his heart I believe he is a gentle and loving soul that would give his life to protect those he loves. Liam is five honeypots on his own.


By Mary Elizabeth

This was my first glimpse into the world created by Mary Elizabeth. If I’m honest I was conflicted. I didn’t want to care for Lowen Seeley but I found myself drawn to him. Much as I expect, Poesy found herself. A smart young man handed an awful set of circumstance Lowen makes due with what he can. One night and one poor decision changes his life and those he loves, forever.

After serving time in prison for a crime he did commit and deserved to be punished for, Lowen is given his second chance. I struggled when Lowen and Poesy were left to life on their own. I wondered where their family and friends were. How could life turn its back on them? I then realized that was the realness of this story. Life out of prison is beyond difficult and emotional for those that have served and those that have waited for them.

When Lowen and Poesy make another life altering decision, I  was torn once again. How can this end well for them? Is love enough to make this choice? Does this make sense for these characters? I don’t know. I’m left with my questions and honestly my own ending to hope that these two come out of the darkness okay and their lives are fulfilled and peaceful as I believe they both deserve. Not a story of a happily ever after but perhaps the realest of them all. Lowen is three honeypots on his own.


Don’t Let Me Go
By Sarah Elizabeth

This was the hardest of the stories for me. I felt like I was coming into a story half-way and completely lost. Who was the bad boy? Who was the person I was supposed to care about? I thought each of the characters was a thug and honestly a complete jackass. I waited and waited for something to happen so I could care. It never happened. CL—who I don’t think ever had an actual name or age given—seduced a young girl with what appeared to be kindness but how much was kindness and how much was hormones I still don’t know.

I never cared about anyone in this story except Kenny. I wanted to scream at her to get out and not turn back. When the story ended I was relieved she was alone. That is the only way I could begin to care about the other characters in this story. CL is one and half honeypots on his own.


Overall Rating:

Meet the Authors

B.L. Wilde
B.L. Wilde is a British author obsessed with many things, including heated love stories. Fully supported by her husband, she can often be found at her desk working on her next project.
Her journey into the world of erotica began when she started writing online stories over three years ago, and she hasn't looked back since.
Facebook      |     Goodreads         |     Twitter
Blog          |     Website

Jeanne McDonald
Jeanne McDonald began telling stories at the ripe young age of five, when her mother considered the truth to be a lie due to her extensive embellishment to the retelling of an event.  She wrote her first short story when she was twelve years old, and at the age of sixteen she tried her hand at poetry.  She reconnected with her love for writing in 2010 thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend.
Her passions include a "mild" Starbucks addiction, music, reading, quotes, movies, and romance.  When she's not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, writing, chatting with her friends or diligently working toward her bachelor's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology.  A proud Texan, Jeanne currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her family.

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Jo Matthews
Jo Matthews is an Arizona native, where she lives with son. A stay-at-home mom since 2007, she only recently discovered her love and passion for the written word. When she’s not writing, she’s usually knee deep in editing—an aspect she thoroughly enjoys.
As an editor, she has propelled quite a few authors into the published world, and with her skills, has landed several stories on Amazon’s Top Sellers lists.

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Twitter     |     Google+

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths—a duo brave enough to never hide the truth. Born and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.

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Sarah Elizabeth
love’s listener is a lone wolf born a unicorn with a red panda soul and a heart she drew herself. friend, sister, elizabeth, and true love, she’s a messenger that makes art with words and love with art. she’s been yelly, yellowglue, squeak, cuppycakes, precious pinks, warren, little grey, a girl named ben, and sarahbear.  she’s a synesthete, a heart junkie, a truth seeker and secret keeper. poet half, sun half, and total scripturient, Sarah’s work is equal parts her passion, sanctuary, precipice, vice, adventure, restorative, deliverance, and joy. she currently resides in Kansas City, and she’s bringing Rococo back.

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  1. Wonderful review! Thank you so much for supporting us Andrea. <3
    My best,

  2. Thank you so much so much for reading!!