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Summary

Krystina Cole was a girl on a mission. She had big dreams and aspirations, none of which included a man by her side. She knew better than that - at least until she met Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate tycoon. She saw the way that he looked at her, and the dark promises in his eyes. She was curious about his world and all that it entailed. But the shadows of her past haunted her, making her afraid to explore possibilities that she could never before have imagined....

Alexander Stone was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. He understood the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result. He was successful and wealthy, relying on his naturally sharp instincts to guide him through life. But a chance run-in with Krystina Cole quickly turned his world upside down. Her quick wit and firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what he wanted in a woman, and his instincts failed him at every turn....

However, both Krystina and Alexander are clinging to the secrets of their past, and neither of them are willing to compromise. Krystina's hardened heart makes emotional surrender a hard limit. But for Alexander, revealing his past could have devastating results. Visit www.dakotawillink.com.

©2015 Dakota Willink (P)2017 Dakota Willink

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

50 Shades of Better!

This was amazing. I loved this, I only found a few issues, but that was merely something on my part, not the authors or the narrators, if you were left feeling disappointed by 50 Shades of Grey then give this a go.

At first all I could do was compare with FSOG but once I got past that, I couldnt stop listening and loved it.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher, and/or narrator

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Review

This is such a good story, but very emotional and difficult because of all the hangups Alexander and Krystina are living with. It is clear that they had an immediate and strong attraction to each other that could turn into enduring love. However this can never happen unless they come to terms with their pasts. I liked the way the story was narrated very much, it had a powerful effect on me and I really want to listen to the conclusion.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brandie @Bookwhore_am_I
  • 29-12-17

Oooooo I love it

Story: I could not put this book down. The chemistry... The story.... the characters... It is all fantastic. I can not wait to read more. Powerful dominating man, wounded inexperienced woman. Together, FIRE.

Narration: Together Lacy and Jeffrey heat this story up. The performance is great! I love how they bring this story to life in the best ways.

Absolutely recommend

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Blackeagle
  • 10-02-18

Letting go of the past.

Krystina Cole is a recent college grad who works in a dead end job. During a mishap at her place of employment she meets Alexander Stone and is lost in him from the word go. Alexander is a billionaire real estate investor who is looking to invest in the store where she works. He is equally in awe of her became he can't figure her out. She unnerves him because she does not fgit into any mold he has ever seen. Alexander brings her in for an interview for a marketing position to try to get into her head because he is all about control. There are strings attached to his offer and she must decide to except the position or not. They both have deep secrets that neither are forthcoming about. What started out as a simple situation turns into much more because of their feelings. Can they be honest with each other and overcome the past or will it sink their relationship before it gets started. Well written and worth the money. It had me hooked from page one. I can't wait to read book two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Readers Together
  • 06-10-17

I think fans of 50 shades will love this book

I have struggled over this review, more than I ever have any others. I contemplated not reviewing it at all. Contrary to what some people believe reviewers/ bloggers don’t like to be negative, but we also don’t feel the need to give everything 5 stars. Which is why, in the end, I’ve decided to write this review, because I committed to it and I’ve always been honest and I hope fair, in my reviews.

Alexander Stone is a wealthy businessman who takes a shine to Krystina Cole, both have sworn off relationships but sex? They can do no strings sex, surely that’s ok? Only Alexander has certain expectations when it comes to sex that Krystina may not be able to deliver. The chemistry they feel for each other is enough to make them question everything. Will they be able to overcome the odds and make their unconventional relationship work or will their secrets ruin things before they can really start?

I have to start by saying this story was not my cup of tea, the subject yes, but not the execution. I felt the story had great promise and at the beginning, I enjoyed it and thought it was a book I was going to love, it pains me to say that it didn’t work out that way. I had so many issues with how certain elements were handled. That, of course, is personal opinion and I’m sure many will read or listen to it and enjoy it. It was well written and although I don’t like to compare books, I will say that I think if you’re a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey you’ll like this book.

Alexander and Krystina literally bump into one another and the chemistry is there, they meet again and flirting ensues. Krystina needs a job and that job comes in the form of an offer from Alexander… with perks, he’s a dominant not looking for love but a sub he can spend a few nights with. Krystina is not a sub, she’s not a sub when he suggests it, and she’s not a sub throughout the book, she’s a woman mesmerised by a man who doesn’t take the time to explain things to her properly; things he wants, things he expects, and then he gets upset when she doesn’t act like a sub and questions him.

When I started listening to this book I liked Alexander but as the story progressed I took a dislike to him. He kept talking about trust like it was something that he could demand and Krystina would give, without question and without it being a two-way street. I’m sorry but it doesn’t work that way. The more he demanded the more I started to dislike him. I didn’t understand his need to keep his secrets so close to his chest, especially with someone he was falling for.
I liked Krystina, for me, she was a light in this story. She was sweet, yet strong, and knew what she did and didn’t want. I did get frustrated a few times when I wanted her to be firmer and stand her ground. The reveal of her secret was a pivotal moment in the story and for her as a character and it touched my heart.

The relationship between them was baffling, it was like neither of them knew what they really wanted. So much happened, in such a short space of time, it was hard to keep track of all the ups and downs. The sex scenes were steamy, well written and played a pivotal role in the story.

Jeffrey Kafer was great in this book, his performance of Alexander was fantastic. He transitions smoothly from the male and female POV and really draws you into the story.
I enjoyed Lacy Laurel’s performance of Krystina, I thought she had a great voice for her. When it came to Alexander I did have to increase the speed, but once I did I found I could enjoy it that little bit more. The part of the performance that really stood out for me was when Krystina was revealing her secret, the emotion and determination conveyed in the performance was beautiful.
However, the contrast between Lacy and Jeffrey is so stark that I feel the narration would have been better as a duet or if the book had only one narrator. Because Jeffrey has a deep baritone, so the switch between the two was so shockingly different that it took away a little from the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda V.
  • 30-07-17

So much better then I thought!

I really enjoyed this story. As it went on I started liking it more and more. Story had you holding your breath and I couldn't stop listening. But hated that it was a cliffhanger:( I didn't realize that till the end.

I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Krystyn
  • 12-05-18

Hooked from the very start!

This book definitely had me hook, line, and sinker. I couldn't put it down! I ignored everything around me whenever I had the chance to read. The characters drew me in right away. Dakota did a fantastic job writing 2 very different characters that matched up so perfectly together. Stories about the experienced, sexy, billionaire who falls for the sassy, stubborn inexperienced woman will always be my top favorite subject and Heart of Stone fit this description perfectly!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • carvanz
  • 06-05-18

My perfect couple

Audio-book: Narrators – Lacy Laurel and Jeffrey Kafer

These narrators did an exceptional job! Both were able to switch smoothly from male pov to female pov without a disruption in my enjoyment of the story. Jeffrey’s voice was exactly as I would imagine Alexander’s to be and he brought the character to full dominate life. Lacy’s voice was sweet, innocent and perfect for the uncertain and confused Krystina. When emotion was called for both of these narrators allowed their voices to flow with the full depth of characterization. I could not have asked for better rendering than this duo.


I really enjoyed this story. The characters are each holding secrets that prevent them from looking for a full committed relationship. However, once Alex and Krystina begin their arrangement the chemistry between them is too much to ignore and they begin to sink into a deeper intimacy.

I did struggle some with the trust issue. While Krys eventually shared her secret, Alex did not, would not. And yet, he was the one who continued to remind her that their relationship required trust. That didn’t really work for me especially as he would demand it from her, and trust cannot be forced, it is earned over time.

Otherwise, I actually loved this couple. They were like my jam. I like sweet heroines who are soft in character (not weak doormats) and heroes who want to protect and provide for the heroine. I found both of these with Krystina and Alexander. I enjoyed that what Alex initially meant to be an occasional thing a few nights a week suddenly became a need to have her with him always. That right there…more jam.

I didn’t realize this would end in a cliffhanger and I kept thinking, better wrap this up guys! But alas, I was disappointed to learn there was no wrapping it up but a huge cliffy that is driving me freaking crazy right now! And while I have an abhorrence to cliffhangers, I’m secretly thrilled that Alex and Krys’ story isn’t over yet. Shh. Don’t tell anyone.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jocelyne
  • 31-01-18

Good story!

Good story, in the style of Fifty Shade of Grey. Alexander and Krystina, the two main characters, are interesting. This book ends with a cliffhanger. The narration is also great. I really like the voice of Lacy Laurel. Jeffrey Kafer gives a good performance, maybe less natural. This is a good start in this Series. I've read/listen this story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ashley Hedden
  • 15-01-18

Great book

Heart of Stone by Dakota Willink was a great book. Krystina is a very determined person with many dreams and aspirations. She is very independent and never wanted to rely on a man. Alexander Stone is a New York Billionaire who has made his billions in real estate. Since meeting Alexander everything in Krystinas life starts to change. I absolutely loved reading this book and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MaureenB
  • 18-12-17

Nice story but not really for me

After not having listened to audiobooks for probably months, I was really looking for a new audiobook I could listen to while driving to and from work. I figured that all those traffic jams would be a little less terrible while listening to a nice audiobook. And when I saw ‘Heart of Stone’ I thought it would have to be a sign.

In ‘Heart of Stone’ we meet Krystina Cole. Krystina recently finished college, and is busy looking for the perfect job. As focused as she is on her job hunt, she definitely isn’t looking for a man. But when she meets rich bachelor Alexander Stone she soon finds out she isn’t in control of her own will anymore. Alexander is handsome, and wants Krystina. And although they seem to be very different, they can’t seem to stay away from each other.

‘Heart of Stone’ was honestly not what I expected. Somehow I expected a romantic read about two characters who really shouldn’t be together. I expected a cliché story really. And I didn’t really feel the romance in this story. I enjoyed some moments between Krystina and Alexander. Especially when they met, and the moment they started to have sleepovers etc.

This book is in reviews compared a lot with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Well, I don’t agree. Yes, there is SM in this book just like in Fifty Shades.. but I missed the romance which made reading about SM tolerable for me. So without the romance feelings, I just didn’t really like this book. And I did feel the romance in Fifty Shades, I believed there love. In this book the SM bothered me, the characters weren’t really two people I liked and I just couldn’t connect with them as much as I hoped.

As with every audiobook I always need to get ‘used’ to the narrators. And Lacy Lauren and Jeffrey Kafer where to narrators I had not listened to before. Especially Lacy Lauren took me a very long time to get used to. Her voice was just different and I didn’t always thought the way she spoke fitted the story. She put the emphasis on a word differently than I would expect. But in the end I didn’t notice this as much anymore and I started to enjoy listening to her voice.
Jeffery Kafer didn’t have as much ‘speaking time’ as Lacy but it was definitely fun to listen to his voice. I could easily picture a strong character while I listened to his voice.

This book gets a three star rating for me. It was fun, but not really for me. And I do wonder if I would have liked this story more if I read it myself instead of listening to the audiobook?

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lilly's Book World
  • 11-12-17

More Than Shades

Fifty Shades of Grey meets clubbing – you’ll understand more later in the book. If you are a fan of the series, you will for sure like “Heart of Stone”. Book one is quite amazing and even emotional at times. Both characters chatter unknown waters and this first part is an introduction and accommodation to their lifestyle.

Krystina Cole’s wish to put in practice her marketing diploma lands her a job with Stone Enterprise, not before knowing the rich businessman. Book one concentrates on how their romantic relationship evolves, from the moment they meet until they reveal their almost all their deepest and darkest secrets.

I mostly appreciated how the author has left Krystina with a part of her independence, even if her struggle to comply with Alex’s wishes is visible. They both try to meet half way, once they realize there may be more between them than one night stands. The backstory is there, each having their own drama, or their own issues to face or fears to conquer. I loved how the feelings transcend the written pages and how their relationship builds up. The alternation between our female character’s POV and the mace character’s is refreshing as well.

There were some items that did not stand well with me. The way Alex wanted to call Krystina for her full name and not Krys, but she could call him Alex was one of them and there may be a couple of really small items. But the major item for me was the narration. The male voice interpreted by Lacy Laurel comes in contrast with the actual male voice of Jeffrey Kafer. While his seems more dangerous and strong, Lacy’s is more kind. This was confusing at times.

All in all, I’m going with 4 stars for the audio edition of the story. This is for sure an intense series, with some elements that are definitely not for the light hearted. Let me know your thoughts on it, I myself, am going to the next part J Enjoy!