What About Us (Panic: Book 4) by Sidney Halston

What About Us (Panic, #4)

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 20th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Panic

Pull Me Close–book 1 (review here)

Make Me Stay–book 2 (review here)

Kiss Me Back–book 3 (review here)

What About Us–book 4

Where you can find What About Us: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Don’t miss Sidney Halston’s Panic series:

My review:

Alex is in Duality, trying to close on a business deal. He has no interest in the façade of sex and hedonism that the club offers. He wouldn’t be in the club but his partner is recovering from a car accident. Alex is more than surprised when he sees Helen working. Helen, whose father destroyed his family. Helen, who has galavanted around the world on the money that her father stole from his family. But, if she had that money, why is she working at Duality? Why does she have a bruise on her cheek? And why is she treating him like a long-lost friend? Alex is determined to find out. But, what he finds out goes against everything that he has thought he had known for the past 15 years. Can Alex reconcile what he now knows with what he thought he knew about Helen?

Helen is a survivor. She was forced to grow up when she was 18 and her father was sent to prison. But she got her life back on track. It took hard work but she did it. Lately, life seems to be biting her in the butt. Her drunken, abusive ex-husband has decided to throw her out of the house after he assaulted her. Then she runs into Alex, her first love and old friend, at the club. Alex makes her an offer that she can’t refuse. The more time she spends in his company, the more she starts to care for him. But she is wary. Alex and his family left her high and dry when she needed them the most. Can she trust Alex? Will Helen be able to see the truth of what her father did? Or will it drive an even bigger wedge between her and Alex?

The one thing I loved about this series is that the author made her characters suffer from real life issues. Take Helen for instance. She was homeless for a while when she was a teenager. Later on in her adulthood, she was the victim of domestic violence. Or Alex. He had some pretty bad anger issues. It was how she handled those issues that made me want to read more of the book (and the series).

I wasn’t sure if I liked Alex and Helen as a couple. I felt that she was going from one bad situation to another. He harbored so much anger towards her that I found it hard to believe that it disappeared overnight. Plus, he acted like a jerk to her at her work. In front of her boss and co-workers. Even they were like “Ummm, you sure about this Helen?” He treated her horribly all the way to almost the end of the book.

I didn’t feel the sexual attraction between Alex and Helen at first. I was too involved in with the drama. I did catch glimpses of it. It didn’t smack you in the face but it was there. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not.

I did like the sex scenes. They packed enough heat to make me fan myself. They were super steamy. Loved them!!!

The end of What About Us was bittersweet. I liked what Alex did for Helen. But it was what Helen did for Alex that made the end of the book. The author did a great job at wrapping up all the plotlines. I do wonder if there is going to be a book 5.

I gave What About Us a 3.5-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. I liked how the author had her characters suffer from real life issues. It made them more relatable. I also thought that the sex was steamy. But, I didn’t like how Alex treated Helen for 90% of the book. I also didn’t see any sparks between them until after the first time they had sex.

I would give What About Us an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. There are trigger warnings. They are domestic violence and suicide. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread What About Us. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. But I would include a warning about the triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review What About Us.

All opinions stated in this review of What About Us are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read What About Us?

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Make Me Stay (Panic: Book 2) by Sidney Halston

Make Me Stay (Panic, #2)

Title: Make Me Stay

Author: Sidney Halston

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 27th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Panic

Pull Me Close – Book 1 (review here)

Make Me Stay – Book 2

Where you can find Make Me Stay: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Secret identities, second chances, drama, desire: It’s all going down in Miami Beach in this tantalizing novel from the bestselling author of Pull Me Close, which was hailed by Aurora Rose Reynolds as “a heart-gripping story about . . . the power of love.”

April: Walking away from Matt Moreno was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Lying to him was a close second, but for his safety, I had no other choice. I was undercover, working to put some nasty people behind bars. But when Matt nearly recognizes me on Lincoln Road a year later, all those very real feelings come rushing back. Now that my assignment’s almost over, will he understand why I lied? Why I had to leave? Most important, can he ever forgive me?
Matt: I was madly in love with June Simpson . . . or, at least, with the woman I thought was June. Then she just disappeared while my family’s nightclub went through hell. And after months of searching, when I think I’ve finally found that sexy, raspy voice and those exquisite blue eyes, she slips away once more. Turns out, “June” is actually Detective April White. She’s been playing me the whole time. And she’s about to rock my world all over again.

My review:

Make Me Stay is the second book in the Panic series. Set in the hot, hip city of Miami, you are taken on a smoldering journey with April and Matt as they learn to love each other again after betrayal rocks their world. If you dare, enter a world of sex, drugs, and betrayal and expect to have your world rocked.

Continue reading “Make Me Stay (Panic: Book 2) by Sidney Halston”

Pull Me Close (The Panic Series: Book 1) by Sidney Halston

Pull Me Close: The Panic Series by [Halston, Sidney]

5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 25th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: The Panic Series

Pull Me CloseBook 1

Where you can find this book: Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis:

Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for “a magnificent story full of deep emotion” (Sawyer Bennett).

Katherine: I thought I could enjoy a night out like a normal person. I thought I could handle the flashing lights, the pulsing music, the crowded dance floor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After having an anxiety attack and passing out during my sister’s engagement party at Panic, I wake up in the arms of the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Nick Moreno’s no gentleman. But he might just be the man I need to help me take control of my life.

Nick: When I hear there’s some random girl passed out in the back room of my family’s South Beach nightclub, I’m pissed. My dad’s already behind bars and we can’t afford any more bad press. But after giving her a lift—literally—back to her apartment, I stop seeing Katherine Wilson as some random girl. She’s gorgeous, vulnerable, and braver than she knows. And when we kiss, all I want to do is pull her close and promise that she’ll always be safe in my arms.

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

My review:

Katherine thought she could attend her sister’s bachelorette without having a major panic attack. See, Katherine hadn’t been outside of her apartment in well over a year but forced herself to go because her sister wanted her to. Saying that her attempt to go out of her apartment ended badly was an understatement. She passed out in front of Mat, Nick’s twin brother and co-owner of Panic….the nightclub she was at.

Nick was an idiot (to keep it PC) and was beyond stressed out when Katherine was brought to him. He had taken over his father’s nightclub after his father was arrested and put in jail. He is stressed because he is trying to keep the club on the straight and narrow (which was the opposite his father had done). He is also a bit jaded when it comes to women. His ex-girlfriend (who thankfully didn’t make an appearance at all) was caught naked in the VIP section by Nick with his former best friend. She was also doing lines of meth off of his man bits. Oh, the mental image that went with that….lol. So, it was safe to say that when Katherine was brought to him, unconscious, he wasn’t happy and assumed that she was a junkie.

He does make the effort to believe her and even started to get to know her. But, one day he showed up at her apartment and she was acting like she was high. He ripped her a new one and took off. Meanwhile, as he is telling her off, she is trying to tell Nick that she’s having a reaction to the new medications she is on. Nick acting the way he acted was a catalyst of sorts for Katherine. She started to get the help she needed and she was able to go to Nick’s club to explain that she has PTSD, agoraphobic and has an anxiety disorder and that she had a reaction to her medications the last time she saw him.

From then on, Nick didn’t leave Katherine’s side. He read up on PTSD and worked with her on getting better. Those scenes were so sweet because you could tell that he wasn’t a bad guy. The more he hung around Katherine, the sweeter he got. It got me right in the feels.

Even better, the author held off on them having sex. But when they did…omg good was it good. Better than good, it was fantastic. They even had protected sex (gasp) which doesn’t happen in many of the books I have read lately (and if you have read my blog, you know how I feel about that….lmao).

The end of the book was beyond fantastic. I hope to read the 2nd book because I have a feeling that Mat’s story will be next and I would love to see what will happen with him.

I also want to add that the author’s note at the end of the book brought me to tears.

I would give Pull Me Close an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Pull Me Close. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**