A MelanieM Release Day Review: All In (Wild Cards #3) by Ava Drake


All In by Ava Drake

Rating 3 stars out of 5

In crime, like in love, there can be no half measures….

Fashion model Zane Stryker needs money—badly. At almost thirty, his glory days are behind him, and he needs capital to start over. When his luggage is switched with a bag containing contraband he’s forced to deliver, it’s either the worst thing that’s ever happened to him… or the best.

Enter Sebastian Gigoni, formerly of the British Special Forces, who has to decide just where Zane’s loyalty lies and why. Sizzling attraction erupts between them, but that doesn’t mean they can trust each other. They double down in a race for their lives—and their love—but are their purposes at odds? As they struggle to reconcile their goals, their consciences, and the needs of their hearts, one thing is clear—they must go all in or give up altogether.

All In is the third story in the Wilds Cards series by Ava Drake and I have to admit it was a fun if improbable read.  You have a gorgeous fashion model Zane Stryker who ends up in the middle of a crime/espionage case via a suitcase which is a well established trope true. Throw in a mystery man named Sebastian Gigoni, who eventually turns out to be formerly of the British Special Forces (of course we don’t get that at the beginning, neither does Zane), so the confusion is rampant and complete.

I get that March was going for that old zany sort of adventure/mystery/scarum sort of thing done in the 60’s with Audrey Hepburn with Grant or other leading men.  Those were fun comedies with just enough thrillers to make us fear for the couple.  But this just didn’t make sense at parts or perhaps there just wasn’t enough time to make a big enough connection between the two main character for this to work for me.  Why on earth would these men trust each other given their actions? Not a clue….

And that ending?  Truly far fetching even for a Dreamspun Desires title.  Sweet though, and very romantic even as it had it rolling my eyes a bit.

For this series, the best remains the first story which I adored, Ace in the Hole (Wild Cards #1).  I thought that was just terrific and wish to see that couple revisited again.

But until then.  All In is a nice little romance adventure to while away your afternoon with.

Cover art by Bree Archer is terrific.  Love the action and drama. Great job.

Sales Links : Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

ebook, 178 pages
Published July 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish


A Lila Review: Convincing the Secretary (London Legal #3) by Ava March


Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Convincing the SecretaryBusiness and pleasure is a mix no gentleman should consider.

Lord Grayson Holloway goes after what he wants—be it in the law office on his clients’ behalf or in the bedchamber. His new position as partner puts him closer to achieving his goal of becoming the most successful solicitor in London. There’s just one problem—his new secretary. Broad of shoulder yet mild of manner, Edward tempts Gray like no other. Yet the young man barely notices him.

Edward Fenton tries to be a good secretary, but being in Lord Grayson’s hard, commanding presence rouses Edward’s most forbidden desires. Wicked, naughty desires no gentleman should consider giving in to, let alone with his new employer.

Gray is more than willing to mix business with pleasure. But convincing Edward to take a chance on a future with him? That might be the most challenging case Gray has ever taken on.

Our introduction to Mr. Fenton is through Lord Grayson’s eyes, and it would play an important role later in the story. We get an account of Mr. Fenton’s whereabouts, the other man with him, his physical description and the type of man Lord Grayson thinks Mr. Fenton is looking for as a partner.

 We get to see then, Mr. Fenton’s competency and his physical response to Lord Grayson’s proximity. Gray is trying to measure Edward’s attraction to have a better idea of his secretary’s wants. And from there, he devised a plan to gain Edward’s attention.

 As we learned more from Edward, we get to see a very different man than the one described by Lord Grayson. As well as eroneous assumptions by Edward about the Lord. After a subtle test by Gray, their relationship turns physical, and Edward’s wicked desires are fulfilled.

 They have about four days together before everything goes wrong due to lack of communication. Both men believe they are justified in their actions and made decisions that affect the new relationship blossoming between them.

 Thanks to a first step taken by Lord Grayson, they are able to understand each other better and what they need from each other. The story ends with an epilogue and the exchange of I love yous.

 Convincing the Secretary is the third book in the London Legal Series. I hadn’t read the first two books in the series, but it’s not necessary to enjoy this particular installment. Unless, you want additional background information about some of the characters mentioned in the story– including Edward.

 The first part of the story reflects the musings of both MC about each other. We get to know the basics, as well as the insecurities they had. Certainly, they don’t believe to be good enough for the other. And we see all this during their interactions at work.

 The physical chemistry between the characters is palpable since the beginning of the story. I just had trouble believing in how openly Lord Grayson asked Edward about his inclinations. Even if they were both being bold, the question felt out of place with the story and the soft spoken man Gray seems to think of Edward to be.

 The novella was easy to follow and entertaining. The sex and kink scenes up to par, without excessive wording and endless orgasms. The two characters acted according to their stations even when most of the story kept them isolated from other most of the time.

 Overall, a good read. Just not enough to make me want to read the previous books.

Designed by Kim Killion, the cover follows the previous two books– a bare torso over the night skyline of London. Perhaps more contemporary than historical, but goes with the rest of the series.

Sale Links: Samhain | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

 ebook, 138 pages
Published: March 8, 2016, by Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 1619222523 (ISBN13: 9781619222526)
Edition Language: English


Series: London Legal
Book #1: Convincing Arthur
Book #2: Convincing Leopold
Book #3: Convincing the Secretary