Saturday, 29 March 2014

Play By Kylie Scott

If you want crazy, impulsive anything, then this is the series for you! Either these guys are really impulsive or they know what they want and waste no time getting it. They do everything back ways, so I was surprise and actually wanting Anne to end this novel barefoot and pregnant.

I've done fake it till you make it romances before, but this one didn't carry that vibe. I believe Mal, they are destined to be together, minus his crazy reasoning. They make  more sense as a couple than they do apart. If they never kept on mentioning how long they were together, I truly wouldn't remember.

The main problem for me, was the drama level. There wasn't an unforgettable, knock you off your feet moment, it kept it safe and free flowing. On the plus side, I haven't read a full length novel in one day, in a long time, so I can safely say it held my attention. It doesn't read like a full length novel and the time line extremely short to cover the issues buried and brought to light.

Both characters have solid backgrounds and issues that could make story lines that leave an impact. However, the moment we start to pressure these issues and events of the past and present, it just as quickly turns into friendly banter. It's fine, if your building character and personality, otherwise it just seems like an incomplete conversation :(

Anne is an interesting mix of possibilities. She is caring, loyal and responsible to a 'T'. She analyzes before she jumps, she reminds me of myself in that aspect. I can second guess myself all day long! We only get one vulnerable side to her and I would have loved more, because even that story seems incomplete with quite a few holes to fill.

Malcolm is just as I remember him from 'Lick'. He is full of humour and can turn a party up in no time! I love his moments behind the kit and find him to be one of the sexiest drummers, in the world of book boyfriends and rock star romances. His drunken conversations are to hilarious and wish we got more. Kudos to him also, for not being your cliche dark past rocker. He's a good guy, raised in a good home, who is having a complete 360 done to his personal life.

Even with all this good base and content, the story line and most events came off unrealistic. The best friends angle is more understated than I expected, it's not a love triangle, so don't start reading it just for that. To be honest, he wasn't even needed in this novel. This couple is solid!

I enjoyed this novel more at the end. I do however hate how we were just queued up for the next in the series and then dropped. I wasn't even sure if I was finished, I was skipping pages trying to see if I am missing a chapter. It was very abrupt and left me with lingering questions and scenes that I would have liked to witness first hand.

Mal is honest and Annie is discreet. They balance each other well and make for interesting interactions. For a rock and roll romance though, I find this novel lacking in the music department. There are concerts and even practicing sessions, but no one knows what they are singing, apart from the girlfriends, wife and baby sitters. I feel as though this series on a whole, focuses more on the instruments than what they produce.

It's a music based novel, so I feel as though some people like myself, read these novels to learn about new music and put a memorable scenery to others. We were forwarded to a band at the end, which I checked out, but they aren't Stage Dive. They need a song or something to make them stand out among the other rock star romance novels.

Even being safe and coloring in the lines, I enjoyed 'Play'. There is a story lurking and the moments you get close enough will draw you in, if only for a time. Mal gives you enough laughs though to not think about it in the moment. I wouldn't abandon this series just yet, but I am hoping to experience an installment that's not afraid to tackle the struggles head on. No pain, no gain!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Underestimated Too By Jettie Woodruff

I am conflicted, even though I loved this story from beginning to end. I was engaged, excited, interested and hanging on to every moment with Drew and Morgan, even the terrible ones. Still, I felt like the last two chapters were really abrupt and came off as a summary, as oppose to the detailed solutions I got accustomed to from book 1. This novel was half the amount of pages as the first and I felt as though we needed another 1/4 worth to make it complete. It's a good ending, but I don't like the time spent to reach that ending.

Don't expect this to be 'Underestimated' from Drew's POV. Though that was the aim, it took on a familiar but creative approach, that was able to mix past, present and future. We were in the present, living, learning, growing, while stuck in the issues of the past, trying to find our way to a future.

The voice Morgan found in 'Underestimated', after her accident, was still there but not as strong as before. It was sorely understated, which led to the first time since picking up this series, I actually hated Drew and despised Morgan. I know the fairy tale wouldn't last, but I didn't expect the reactions and decisions we got either.

Shocking thing is, when the solution my mind lobbied for in the beginning was brought to fruition, I was totally against it! I think I understand this couple, on an unhealthy level. It takes experience and a huge open mind to not get offended by the events of this relationship and series.

Drew's "POV" in this novel was precise for the time of recollection, as well as, hilarious. He recalled some very significant moments from book 1 that we weren't privy to, and some that I never even thought about until then. Morgan's reactions were also comical and helped to lessen the serious nature of the sessions with Deidra.

This novel uncovered even more damning secrets. Because it's Morgan and Drew, there was always drama. It was constant, non stop and each situation was different but similar. I imagine this to be just the tip of the iceberg, but what a tip it is! I now understand Drew Kelley like never before and boy are his skeletons meaty!

To top it all off, we got a Lauren/Dawson update and confirmed one of my previous suspicions from book 1, as it relates to Nicky's father. What I did't expect at the end of this book, was to hate Lauren. That chick is a rhymes with witch and had us all fooled.

Though I wasn't his biggest advocate, I could do a novella with the Maine sheriff. Irrespective of my undying love for the wife beater, that is Drew, I did like the Sheriff and his easy going love making. Not a full length novel, but a novella for sure!

We got to watch Nicky grow and Marta is definitely a better nanny than Rebecca was to Morgan, just as better a friend as Alicia is over Lauren. Morgan finally voiced some of her resentment and I would have loved to be apart of every one of their counselling sessions. These two people are messed up in the head, bed and everything they do in life.

The sex remained the same, as we focused more on the issues at hand and of the past. We learn the truth behind Andrew, Michael, Andrew's mom and Morgan's past. They make for quite the soap opera and turned as many old stones as possible.

I was content with the story line and development. My main disappointment at the end of this novel, is being unable to enjoy the future. I never wanna leave this couple, but I don't want their spark to die either. I could see myself even reading a novel with all the kids in this novel grown. I'd love to see Drew and Morgan deal with a hormonal teenage son :)

Don't look for rainbows and puppies. This is Drew and Morgan. It is angry, abusive, dark and twisted. This is romance done the Kelley's way. If you hated 'Underestimated', you won't be a fan of 'Underestimated Too'. It's worse, because of the love and family they share. It's raw, primal and not looking to make friends. It's all about them and I loved it down to the last letter on the page.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Underestimated By Jettie Woodruff

I've been having a splendid book week with novels that I didn't even anticipated! I just stumbled upon them. I sorely underestimated this book before I started to read it. I thought it would fit into the mold of dark romances and while it seemed to start like that, it quickly carved its own piece of the pie. When I began reading, I wanted the back story, as I hate starting in the middle of anything. I soon found out though that, that was the best place to start.

Seeing the past in flashbacks, dreading the future and uncertain of the future gave this book dimensions. I didn't understand that serious of an accident in the middle of the novel, but when I saw the aftermath, I was snickering like crazy at the possibilities. I was actually pissed at the anti-climatic reveal :(

I was hooked to this novel like I haven't been in a while and I never wanted to put it down for a moment. I lost sleep reading this one, because even though it was long, I wasn't shocked when I realized that I passed the 50% mark. One you get into this story, you don't wanna get out.

This story isn't for the unforgivable, feminist, judgmental type. It's not as dark and twisted as I expected, but it was overwhelming in the beginning. I had a love/hate relationship with Drew, because I just couldn't see the man redeeming himself. Before even getting to the second half of this novel though, I knew I loved him out of the options. Regardless of what happened, I stayed team Drew.

I like the dark ones. I think the men that carry an edge and dare you to dream with your eyes open are the best, even though they have to be taken with a grain of salt. In my personal life, this could never work for me, unless in the bedroom. In a book though, I am all for the Caleb's, Tony's and Drew's. The men that know what they want and don't care whether you want it or not. Even though I loved that he's a part of this community of men I love to hate, I loved his individuality and the fact that he depended on others to survive. His business was also intriguing to me as I have never read about that sector before. Getting off the business circuit was good, so was seeing another side to Vegas.

Separate and apart from my undying love for Drew, I was crazy in love with all the characters. Every one had their part and the fact that this novel took it's time and span over 10 years only made it better. It gave layers, development and within all the dark twisted fairy tale, showed realistic expectations and decisions. People and relationships, even friendships never stayed the same. They evolved like how things happened in real life. It was a pleasure to watch all the different stages. Kinda like a butterfly, but not as boring :)

I always loved Morgan/Riley, but I believe that a lot of people won't understand or like her character. It took her forgetting completely who she was, for me to get behind her 100%. She was always fiery and her inner monologues were just as good as her spoken words. I could not have asked for a better narrator. She was feisty and I loved it every time she back talked Drew! When she got pissed though ... God, she was a beast!. To watch Morgan defy Drew was hilarious and sexy all wrapped up in one big bow.

To forget Dawson is impossible, because he helped shaped this story.Without him, neither Drew or Morgan could have developed to where they were by the epilogue. I never hated the guy, but I wasn't his biggest fan either. There were sentimental moments and times when I felt like he might be the one, but I spent most of this book waiting to get back to Drew.

Well written and keeping me on the edge of my seat, at 75% I couldn't take it any more, so I peaked. I could not wait to find out who she would pick, if anyone in this installment. Yes guys, she did pick! Knowing though, did not detract from the story for me. I was even more interested to see how it would play out. I expected this story to mirror 'Consequences' by Aleathea Romig but it didn't. I noticed a Rawlings mention and wondered, but it wasn't big enough for me to dwell on.

The sex in this novel is raw and perfectly portioned and detailed. I find Morgan to be a sex fiend but it helps when you have the right partner. I loved the dirty things she and Drew did and didn't mind the love making with both guys. I think this is my first novel where the cheating didn't bother me. I understood even though I had my pick.

I was in no hurry for her to choose, because it kept the drama and tension high. I still wanted her to pick my guy and let us live out our HEA. I also thought we would get a little more Justin time/reunion. Maybe a next time, I don't know. Even with all the information that we got and the two biggest closures at the end, I still felt like there was some missing information and people that needed tying up.

I could sit her all day and go through each chapter of this novel, but I say buy a copy and experience it for yourself. It might feel familiar, like you might have read this story before, but believe me that enough unique traits and events are present to lock and keep your interest. It's a steady build up that ends with two powerful forces that take you on a world wind ride to their finish. You won't agree with everything, but it wouldn't be dark and twisted if you did ;)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Death of a Rock Star By N.J. Frost

Have you ever read a book that just left you with this buzz where you just can't wait to share it with the world and waiting on the conclusion is ripping you to pieces? Well, So have I and I can't wait until I get to read more!

If the prequel and the preview of the first novel in this series is anything to go by then sign me up! I was beating on my kindle, wanting more, even knowing that all I was getting was a preview.

I think this will be my first real, gritty, rock star romance novel. It's not glamorous, it's full of history, truth, angst and a playlist that's to die for!! (Sorry Jamie)

I spent a hour, before going to bed, to start and complete this novella. I was hooked from the first word and I never want to let go. There is a raw passion and vibe in both the characters and their works. I wanted to experience life with Jamie around, get in the mind of Sylvie (hate her name btw) and experience every high with Blake. I want it all, even knowing the outcome for Jamie.

N.J. Frost even went as far as to give us a Jamie POV. It is sad, haunting and strikes a nerve. This novella was jam packed with emotions and I can just imagine what a roller coaster ride the story itself will be.
The current characters are filled with conviction and spice. The drama is real and constant. I was extremely emotional for a few pages, that's really suppose to help get me ready for the main event.

This group of characters are eclectic and I am waiting to see where this will all go. I won't say there is potential, because that's a given! I just really hope the final product lives up to this unmistakingly good preview. I am excited, buzzed and waiting on the release of this story, that drags you throw the dark side of rock and roll, all the way across the pond!

It will be epic!!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Trust By Sherri Hayes

I haven't felt like this about this series since 'Slave'. Book 1 had the most memorable impact on me and it was the one that made me want to pursue this series. With that being said, I could, but I won't ask for a better ending. It was detailed, just and not what I expected, but surely good enough to call it an end. Bones part ... no more cliffhangers :)

I might not have said it in my reviews of this series before, but I really like that the world of BDSM is no secret tot he main and some minor characters. This is the norm for them and they don't apologize for being who they are. They are confident bunch and I love their show of unity and strength throughout this series and especially towards the end of this novel.

This story was packaged in a lovely bow and left for us to decide on our own interpretation. I, personally loved it. It mixed the old with the new whilst shedding light on a different side of all the characters. If anything I could ask for, it's a word or conversation from Mr. Pierce. His crazy mind intrigues me. His demeanor captures my attention and I really want to know more.

Brianna finally grew a pair of balls and kept the crying to a respectable level. I understood, sympathized and adored her character unlike I ever had. This installment was the only time I didn't have bouts of frustration with her. I believe that is because the characters and story line were moving! I didn't have time to dwell. It was constant, fresh and filled with drama for days!!!

Worry not though, because it still kept its original pace and details. There was still confessional, Stephan and Brianna style, while we continued to work our way up the BDSM ladder. Stephan is surely a competent and educated DOM.

This time, we get a chapter from Cal' s POV. It was never rushed or forced and I believed every interaction, lie and decision. I was actually surprisingly pleased with the ending. Though fair, it still felt a little premature in my opinion. After all, none of them were even 30, by the time we got to the end. I did however understand the notion.

This installment is broken up into sections with different story lines. It was like reading 2 or 3 novellas in one. It was meshed together beautifully! I loved the dimensions and dynamics that were produced. I read the majority of this novel in one day and it felt like a week. That's the emotional drag it placed on me. I say that though in a good way. I was in it with the characters, right till the very end. As I have come to discovered with a Sherri Hayes novel, the ends cliffhanger or not, leave me wanting more. I just wanna stalk these two!!

I have always been a Stephan fan, but I fell in love with him more. He guided us through some difficult times in this series and it was done to perfection. I felt like Anna in those intense emotional moments and he certainly makes me wanna try the lifestyle. Way to go Mack! ;)

I was left on edge a couple times because the drama level in this one was high! While not what I expected, it was everything I needed. Everyone got a piece of the pie. There was no stone left upturned but I still wanted to spend evenings in the living room with Brianna and Stephan. I have grown to love, respect and appreciate this story and all its characters for the role they play.

I can't see me completely forgetting story. It is surely memorable and I am definitely a Sherri Hayes fan! It's been splendid and I am glad Amazon recommended I purchase 'Slave' because this turned out to be a story to remember with characters that will hold a special place for me.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Truth By Sherri Hayes

Let's stick to the title of this novel, I was considering a break from this series, when I first started reading this installment, I was slowly interested as we near the end and now I am determined to finish based on the ending. The difference between a two and three stars, for this novel, is literally the ending.

It's still not a hold the phone moment and it also ends a cliffhanger, but it's a powerful for both Brianna and Stephan as individuals and as a couple. I totally didn't see happening, especially the fact that it was finalized by Brianna of all characters!

Many readers of this series, might be able to guess the ending, as this series continues to keep its patterns from book 1. As I said before, in another review in this series, the thing I like and dislike about this novel is the time line. I am at times dying for progression, especially as it relates to Brianna's metal and emotional state, but I also like how realistic it feels, that we are taking the time to grow and change with the characters.

Now that the sex has been had, I'm not as impressed with their sexual energy, as I was before. The charge has fizzled! On the plus side, it is still sensual and not overwhelmingly long. Where sex is concerned, ask and ye shall receive!! We get some one on one time with two characters I surely wanted to see play! Unfortunately, we didn't get much :(

We broke the evening pattern once and ventured into the world of night life. From there, we interact with more characters, for the first time, outside of Stephan's circle of friends and family. Even though Brianna is trying really hard to conquer her many fears, I don't think there is enough installments, to clear the mess that is, time spent in Brianna's head o.O

I continued to get annoyed with her character. I am slightly still annoyed. If she cries one more time she might flood the Minneapolis area. Someone should see if this chick tears can run a power plant because with the amount of tears she shed, she should be able to contribute to the environment in some way o.O

We focused a few on Stephan's past and present principles and practices. We got more details on his parents death and believe it or not the man can become Brianna with a simple mode of transportation! It was interesting to see his reaction, as well as hers, as they were both thrown out of their respective zones once or twice in this novel. The main thing I am looking for in the next novel, is more of those moments when Stephan had to rely on Brianna and Brianna stands up for her man!

I  love the lack of camaraderie but mutual understanding and occasional respect between Cal and Stephan. It gets better each installment along with Cal's unwillingness to adapt to Stephan and Brianna's relationship. It is hilarious and carries most of the comedic value in this series.

This story is precisely written and carry every situation to it's fullest. It keeps us captivated for the most past and the ends leave us wanting more. Breaks in the pattern are few, but promising and can be equated to a saving grace. I can't wait to start book four and see the repercussions of those last few scenes.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Need By Sherri Hayes

Let's talk about sex ... they had it! Moving on ...

I knew how this book would end before it even started. It's like a natural progression. There is a cycle and a system as to how things are done in this series and any deviation is welcomed, after all, it is a continuation. While it might seem monotonous to know the ending before you begin, it kept me focused on the other elements to the story, so I could nit pick the lifestyle and choices of all the characters.

So, if you read my review of 'Slave', you will know that I really wanted them to have a roll in the sack because I predicted greatness! However, it was not what I expected and it left me a little disappointed. I wasn't quite pleased with the act itself and some of the emotions that coursed through these characters from book 1 was needed to channel in that moment. It wasn't terrible, but the suspense was more mind blowing. Maybe it's the tease of it all, but the act fell flat to me. Then again, the man been rubbing it out in the shower :)

I love progression. Development is my pot of gold! It's small, but I will take it. We learn more about Brianna before Ian and finally get to see a vulnerable side to Stephan. He provided us with some insight into his childhood, as well as, the death of his parents. Poor Xavier :(

The feminist in me continued to roar though. As we get deeper into the BDSM lifestyle, I get more apprehensive. It's my first time really experiencing the lifestyle outside the bedroom. Maybe that's the struggle for me, as Brianna seems to be okay with being treated like a pet. I am too much of a skeptic to try and appreciate this the way others will. Honestly, if you are a die hard feminist, I don't think you should even be in the BDSM category much less reading this book.

We got more with Lily and Logan, including their back story. I have gotten to appreciate them as a fellow BDSM couple and really good advisors to both Stephan and Brianna. I would like to one day, experience the life of a BDSM couple, without scars and trauma. Then again, can they really be without any of those if they are into the life? So many questions!

There were new developments and characters but there was also so much old patterns and issues. Sometimes it got a bit overwhelming. I really wish Brianna would shake this funk and Stephan deserves a medal for the patience, time and understanding he places in his relationship with Brianna. Give me a carbon copy of him any day!

Irrespective of this inequality, I love them as a couple and love that we get to watch them grow together. They challenge and bring out the best of both their worlds. Even though both characters struggle with their own demons, they conquer them together, one day at a time.

This book is thorough and will literally give you a day by day for both Stephan and Brianna. There is a routine, that as long as you have read book 1, you will know it. Sometimes I wonder, if we were to take out those repetitive scenes and incidents, how many pages would we be left with for reading o.O

Slow, spicy, sweet and straight. Not the best combination of adjectives, but I feel as if they embody this novel best. There is an element for every one and a crazy cliffhanger that has me happy that I didn't discover this series until 3 out of 4 books were available.

It's easy to get caught in a rut when it comes to this series, but I guarantee you that these endings wake you right up, itching for the next installment! You are simmered enough to wait until the release day, but it's so much sweeter when you know it's already waiting in your library :)

P.S. ... Hate the cover, looks like a father and a child but it surely nails Brianna for me!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Slave By Sherri Hayes

Well that was an abrupt ending o.O

'Slave' is definitely not what I expected but it was good enough. I was more engaged and interested at the beginning of the novel, by the end I felt like we didn't really accomplish much with the length of the novel. It became repetitive and I still can't get a good read on either of the main characters.

My copy is an Amazon purchase, and it comes with an narration sample. It was good and it gave voice to the character of Stephan. I still preferred to read on my own. It however, wasn't able to hold up the rest of his personality throughout the novel. I don't hate him, as I don't really know him. I could not tell you his true preferences or reactions. The man is stoic without even trying. Brianna isn't much different, she is so "trained" in her ways, that it might take 12 editions to see a crack in her shell.

We hit the ground running in this one. Unfortunately, it began to drag by the middle. We were experiencing every single day and detail since Stephan was aware of and bought Brianna. We even recapped situations we just read. I understand it was to provide clarity, but I just wanted to see some life in both of them. The oxymoron of it all, is that it also gave a more realistic time line, which I loved. There was no over night make over in either of their lives.

Brianna is a tough cookie and doesn't make it easy on Stephan or the readers. You have to work to gain her trust and believe me, it isn't easy! When you do crack that shell though, it's beautiful! She is not only a beautiful character, but what is left of her personality is memorable. She had a rough past but I love the development, to get where she is now, as well as, how she recollects and tell her past.

I don't normally care either way if a book is concentrated with sex or not, but I do know that I crave it for Brianna and Stephan! I think these two are going to have awesome, explosive sex and I really hope it's in the next book!

We might not get as intimate of a profile in regards to Stephan, but we got the basics. Something that bothered me throughout was his job and finances link. Owner or not, do people in his field of work roll around in dough of that caliber? o.O

Moving on, I never got to see him in his full DOM role and the glimpses weren't all that hot. What he does though, is ooze sex without being over the top cheesy. It's natural, gracefully and tastefully executed. I am without the sex to go on, but I would totally sign up to be this man Sub and I ain't even into that life!

That brings me to the the few moments where I hated both characters. Him for partaking in this lifestyle and she for putting up with it. The feminist in me got angered every time she called him "Master". In the bedroom ... maybe. Outside of it ... NO! I couldn't fully get behind the bandwagon of acceptable standard slave activities. I am well aware that it's BDSM and if you aren't cut out for this lifestyle or too strong willed like myself, you will be offended. Therefore, I had my moments.

I liked Lilly and Logan and once again found myself wondering what it would be like to "play" with them :)

This book needs room to breathe and grow on you. It has it's good and bad like every novel out there, but it is a good enough reading companion, if you can get over the demeaning recollections. There is definitely potential and I can't wait to see where this series will go.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Obsessed By Deborah Bladon

When I hear the word 'obsessed', I get a little excited. Why? Because I sorta kinda love the crazy ones. Like Hudson, Lanie and Clay. They are crazy, we know this, but we love them all the same. Now imagine my disappointment when the word 'obsessed' didn't even fit half the bill of what I am familiar with or expected :(

He was obsessed yes, but certainly not with what or whom I expected. Honestly, I am even questioning if he was obsessed with anything at all. I've read this story line before in 'Miss Taken' by Cleo Scornavacca. This is a younger cast with different anchors, but the concepts are terribly similar, to my eyes at least.

I wasn't blown away, which is unfortunate when it comes to the topic of obsession and how far both characters and author will go, to get us wrapped up in the crazy. The sex scenes were where I lost interest mostly and I completely spaced out a couple times. I didn't hate the story, because until I found out his motive, at the literal cliffhanger ending, I was fairly engaged.

I like Ivy. Not a fan of her name though, which is strange. I keep calling her Liz which I am pretty sure would piss her off in light of the circumstances o.O
She was fiery, witty confident, brazen and reserved. It's all a flaming contradiction, but it works. She carries this story well and kept me interested enough to finish and want the continuation.

I am indifferent to the character that is Jax, even when I see that pretty boy has secrets at the end of this novel. I have no problem with them as a couple, but I don't feel a pull or heat towards their characters. I kept waiting for those crazy moments to separate him from the story and give him his own stamp, but he just currently feels like a space saver. Like, we need a hero, so tag your it!

We started to learn things about him, once again, at the literal end of the novel and from every one else but him. I still don't really know him though. He seems to have a lot of money, is "obsessed" with Ivy and can be quite the douche without even knowing it. That's all I got so far that's of any importance.

I like the curve ball that was thrown at Ivy, even if it was a little horrendous and laced with murder potential. I would have liked her to lash out more and give us some of that sarcastic, fiery Ivy from the first chapter.She was grown and went after what she wanted. Financially though, I just can't seem to understand her. Normally, I don't meddle in the finances of characters, but this book makes you stop and take a look. It's too confusing to sort but she needs to put a handle on that!

This is a short story, novella type actually. It's a little bit more pages than a novella in 'The Arrangement Series' by H.M. Ward. Not surprising, but it gives us more timeline, issues, conflict, plot and story line than an 'Arrangement Series' novel.

I was uber excited to read this book and even had problems choosing between it and another when the time came. I saved this for last, thinking I was using the "save the best for last" philosophy, but I was wrong. While not a complete dull, as it was too short to feel that way, I was definitely not as excited about this series as before I read it.

The elements that keeps you yearning for more and pacing like a crazy person was missing. Not bland, but certainly not brilliant either. I didn't even want more conflict, as much as I wanted more realistic interactions and to feel with and for these characters. I was neither sympathetic or passionate about their present and previous relationships.

It seems crying, hysterics and drama runs in the blood of these characters. Doesn't take much to elicit one or the other from this set. I won't right off this story and while I do want to see what will happen next, I am not as excited as I would want to be based on the topic of the novel. I truly hope the next novel will allow us to interact and gain some emotional traction with the characters, especially Jax.

Liz is a wreck, Mark is annoying, Ivy is witty, Ms. Adams is a star and Jax is Jax. I figure there is much more to all these characters, I just hope I will be able to obsess over them as I thought I'd be doing.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Off the Record By K.A. Linde

I can't believe I waited almost one full year for this. I stumbled upon this book at the end of one of the 'Avoiding' series and it was insta-love! So you can imagine how elated I am to find out that it was just as good as I had hoped it would be!

Let's remove the fact that it came out on my birthday, as that makes me a little bias, towards it's release. It was still a well written, detailed and developed story. I loved the detail given in the speeches, articles, politics and lectures. The sex scenes weren't as hot as I expected, but the length was just right for the heat it brought!

I understand both characters, but I do lean more on the side of Liz, as oppose to, Brady. There were definitely times when I wished she would just walk away! Occasionally, it felt like Lexi from 'Avoiding Commitment', all over again. Ms. Linde has a common message, that she sends through her novels and it's commitment. The conflict in this one was the clash between what was more important of a commitment.

Liz was fresh, fierce, sarcastic and loyal. The list goes on. I just love the chick! She had me from the first chapter, before this novel was even released. I get her dilemma and reluctance all at the same time. I even get her drive and how she continues to draw the short stick, but stay through it all. Honestly, she is the best candidate to be on Brady's arm and I am crossing my fingers in hope of a better tomorrow for them as a couple.

Brady is a little bit more complicated to understand, but the epilogue of sorts gives you a look into his world, as well as, his advisers. I didn't fully appreciate them, as a couple, until that last chapter. As usual, with a K.A. Linde novel, that's when it all started to unravel.

All the main characters and even some of the minor ones, are distinct and memorable. It would take a while for me to forget their personalities, as detailed and fresh, as it is in my mind right now. Even the ones who are fighting against the main characters, I couldn't find the nerve to hate. I am secretly hoping for more depth into as much of them as possible. Impossible I know, but a girl can dream! Clay and Chris certainly have my attention and I would really love some one on one time with those two.

I am from Jamaica, so I don't know much about the US political system, but this book didn't make me feel inadequate. Experience breathes wisdom and it showed. If you aren't about politics, I don't see you taking up this book in the first place, but it does go as deep as possible without losing you.

It also isn't another 'Scandal' as some might be hoping and the fairy tale ending is far if ever. It's a struggle and I found it hard to stick with the relationship dynamic till the end. I loved Liz and just wanted the best for her. Most times, that didn't seem like Brady.

There are numerous climatic moments within this novel and I loved them all. Despite this being a 445 page novel, I wasn't done with this story yet. I literally had to go to Facebook and see if Ms. Linde had posted any teaser or further information on book 2, because I need to know when and what will be happening next. Something, I don't normally do, because I like a little suspense in my upcoming novels. This time, I don't wanna wait. It feels like it's all just about to begin.

'Off the record' is a politically driven romance novel that will have you guessing, questioning, doubting, surrendering and everything in between. It's not for every body, but it surely works for me. It was descriptive, clear and I actually learned some writing techniques along the way. Whether you are interested in politics or not, you can appreciate a good story and this one certainly gets my vote!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Toxic By Rachel Van Dyken

I remembers tidbits of 'Ruin', but I still read my review on 'Ruin' after I wrote the draft for my review. The things I loved from  that novel, were also portrayed in this one. Problem? ... This is a  completely different story, characters and scenarios. Not every one likes dark and twisty, nor am I asking for dark and twisty, but the approach felt all kinds of wrong and just didn't mesh for me. This was a bad management of issues.

This story held a juvenile undertone, that at times, had nothing to with Princess. There were many epic points, moments and facts within the story line, but their development and delivery left much to be desired. I wasn't bored, but I also wasn't into this story as much. I took quite a few breaks because my interest waned. A few of the Saylor/Gabe decisions of this novel could use a re-write.

Rachel Van Dyken strength comes in writing factual occurrences. She is really good at taking true events to make a stellar novel! The problem with this novel, is when she tries to incorporate the fiction with real world experiences. Sometimes it just didn't come together.

The issues of this story were controversial, scandalous and is sure to give you an opinion. There was never any right way to approach the main issue, but I was not feeling the results of this attempt. Even though, he would have been perceived as wrong, any way it ended. Problem is, he was.

I applaud Gabe's level of commitment to Princess. This is surely what fairy tales are made of, even if his was propelled by insurmountable guilt. The end actions of Saylor and Gabe, did not match up to the issues at hand. On the day of the funeral, I was a little resentful of them as a couple. I also believe there is more to be had from this story. There were many elements omitted. A little more time could have been spent in the past and Saylor's introduction seemed like the worse time possible in the life of Gabe.

If given enough time or set in another time, I could have appreciated and understand Gabe and Saylor as a couple. As is, I felt an allegiance to Kimmy and in turn felt that not enough time had turned over for Saylor and Gabe to have a chance. I needed four more years for Kimmy. Brain damage or not, she was still Kimmy.

Even if you exclude my loyalty to Kimmy, I also never got at what point these two really began dating or when they even fell in love. I could of sworn they were still trying to work out the dynamics of stop behaving like they hate each other. I didn't believe the depth of their relationship and that major curve ball, on the day of a funeral at that, had me gawking!

I understand Gabe and I was wrong. He's surely not gay. He did a full 360 in this book once we were aware of his secret though. Conscious change? ... I don't know. He moved from manwhore/possibly gay Gabe to 'Most likely to cry all day every day'. It's safe to say he moved from an Alpha to a Beta. o.O

I am frustrated with this story, because I know it could have been better. I was left confused and hoping for more. Better structure, delivery and depth were needed. This is a good and original plot, I just wanted a better resolution of issues

I don't know much about Saylor. It's was Gabe and Kimmy's book, as they both took the spotlight. I know Saylor's major, goals and the basics of her family, but I would have loved more alone time with her. I especially wanted to spend more time with Eric. Though brief, I enjoyed the time spent with him. It was the first stripped look into Saylor's life.

Surprisingly, Wes annoyed the hell out of me at times! He was all sage and perfect and I was like, "This is not the time to be perfect Wes". Plus side, still hilarious. He helped to give us some of the levity within this dark time.

I loved the quotes and reflection from Wes, Gabe and Saylor. I found some to be inspirational and I am glad that concept from 'Ruin', was transferred to this story. Sometimes I wanna know what's really going through the minds of the characters and these quotes did just that.

I loved 'Ruin' and even though, Gabe and Saylor as a couple, didn't do much for me, I don't think I would abandon this series. It was written well enough with a few grammatical errors. Unfortunately, the issues came off as too much for the years and wisdom of this group and the delivery became jumbled and unbelievable as it relates to Gabe and Saylor. I felt a fierce loyalty and bond with Kimmy, so Gabe came off as all kinds of wrong and his relationship with Saylor didn't do enough for me to use and justify the end.

Irrespective, I already have my copy of 'Fearless' and can't wait for the release of Lisa's story in 'Shame'. As always, I believe this series to have good, solid issues, I just hoped for a better, clear, believable and in no way disrespectful delivery.

*** R.I.P. to the real Uncle JoeBob ***

Monday, 10 March 2014

Broken Pieces By Riley Hart

If I was to tell you how I found and began reading this story, it'd be a lie. I stumbled upon it by accident, on my weekly Goodreads sweep. What I do know, is that I am glad I found it.

This is like no other M/M romance or romance novel that I have ever read before. This is my second, three's not a company, book that I have read and it's the first with an ending of this caliber and emotion for me as a reader. However, I am still apprehensive, especially seeing that there will be a continuation in late 2014.

I love them all. I loved Mateo and Josiah's relationship in the first half of this novel, to the point where I couldn't see how Tristan would fit. Then I loved the dynamic of Tristan and Josiah so much, to the point where, I wasn't sure how Mateo would fit. Somehow, some way, Riley Hart found a way to mesh it all together and what would you know? It worked!

You won't understand this story. Don't expect or try to. Go with the flow and enjoy the ride. It might not be the norm and you will get lost but you can't help but to love these men. It isn't the dark mind sex you would expect it to be, but it comes pretty close. For the most part, they are openly gay and that just takes off the out of the closet issue, but they do have other problems lurking. Their issues, while familiar, are intertwined in a way that leaves it feeling original and still have you in suspense.

I got an in depth description and feel of each character and their personalities, even Ben. I know what each men bring to the table, novel and relationship on a whole. Josiah is the glue, Mateo is the rock and Tristan is the force that keeps them straight and together.

I've loved Josiah from his first introduction of Mateo. We got to watch him grow and become the man he was in the end of this story. He moved from a timid mouse, to the real lion of this pride. I cheered, cried and laughed with him. I believed and felt every emotion propelled from the guys in this novel, but I certainly stuck with Josiah through this ride.

Mateo is an enigma. I never know what to expect with him, but really, it's all the things no one wants to say. Every time I think he will shut down, he does the unexpected. No offence, but I honestly couldn't picture him as being gay, even before we even met his character. He has this edge that takes this novel to another level and without him, this threesome could not work, both figuratively and literally. They all contribute to this relationship and if one is missing, it just wouldn't be the same.

Tristan is the leader, savior, peace keeper. He is there alpha to both men and I love when he gets a chance to be the beta. There is a silent but deadly undertone to this man that I just love. Call me weird, but I love a terse man and Tristan is just that! He is firm, unflinching and I would love to have seen him eviscerate in the courtroom. I got lost in the characters, story line and personalities. I feel like I know them personally.

This story is a journey, that eventually brings you to a satisfying, but incomplete ending. I could stay here day and night to discuss this novel page by page, with how much I loved it and I haven't even got into the hot and heavy three some sex scenes. Now that's participation!

I was enthralled, captivated and I tried to fight with my eyes to remain open to finish this story in one day. It never came to pass, but two days wasn't bad either.

I was never bored. Confused, frustrated, dumbfounded but never bored. I have been looking for a shake up in my reading list for a while now and I have finally found it with 'Broken Pieces' by Riley Hart. I will keep a vigil until the release of book two, because I miss this threesome already and my kindle is still hot from reading the last page!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

The House on Hancock Hill By Indra Vaughn

My first piece of advice? Ignore the cover. While the house on Hancock hill started this whole debacle and technically ended it all, it hardly contributed to the overall story line of this novel. This is a years old romance of unrequited love between one really stressed baker and a very patient vet.

As with every story, there was good and there was bad. There was also issues and places that I hoped could be elaborated upon. This small town is not like most I read about, especially with their accepting nature. As such, I would have hoped that the majority of this story would have taken place in this town. We traveled a lot, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to come home to the UP :)

A vast amount of emphasis was placed on the scenery, appearance and food elements within this story. We were given detailed and precise descriptions from the beaches to the cheesecakes. I am actually surprised, that Ms. Vaughn isn't a part time pastry chef, with the amount of details placed into the pastry side of this novel. Also, I must commend the fact that it was done without boring me to death!

My favourite character is Jay. He was funny, witty, honest and had issues a mile long! I, however, love a confident gay dude and he was just that. While I don't think I have a specific type, I know that I love the ones who remain manly, but with a touch of sass. I am not particularly a fan of those who are an eyeliner away from being a female. Then again, I loved 'Plan B' by SJD Peterson, so I digress.

Jason narrated this story well and while the sex scenes were nothing to write home about, I was comfortable, engaged and ready for his next adventure. I also like the reality of the small town life before and after his departure. What I would have liked, is some more depth into the Taylor situation. I got the nod, to the end of the novel, but it was also handled a little too nonchalant in my opinion.

I don't know Henry like we could have and I certainly know more about Jay than I do him, but I loved his character nonetheless. Truthfully, you can't not. I also like his views on M/M vs M/F relationships and sex. It was truthful, for me at least, and reflected what most of us think and accept.

This story ended with a few loose ends and on the cusp of the beginning of some long overdue issues and resolutions. I can't however, call this book bad nor magnificent. It was in between. It's not a bad book, it's another 'comfort read' and while it never left me excited, it left me content. Maybe it's reading about all that snow, sweets and sleeping o.O

As for heat factor? It was almost as cold as the winters in the UP. While I was aware, interested and following the story, the sex scenes were pretty basic and didn't pack much steam or a punch. The major conflict wasn't even that. It was just a big misunderstanding and miscommunication on Henry's part.

I love the revolving door of gay men and the comfort with which they all traversed this novel. There was nothing obvious to single out their sexuality. They had the caring job, the wall street office and the looking unnecessary degree. There wasn't even gay clubbing! I believe that stories with openly gay men make for better fiction than the ones on the DL. It takes away the cliche main problem and give us it's own unique stamp of a story. That's what I got.

The whole cast of this story is crazy, confused and interesting. This can be a one sitting read that focuses more on the past, present and future than it did the times spent between the sheets. At times, I even forgot that I was reading a M/M romance. This is a good book with a steady cast of characters and possibilities. Take a look, you are bound to at least leave with a recipe tweak or two.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Crashed By K. Bromberg

Not very often this happens, actually, it's the first. At the beginning of composing my review, I had to read my review on the two previous books. I don't know what happened, but for the life of me, I just couldn't remember my emotions from the books before.

Now that I am all caught up, I would like to believe, that it is the uniqueness of this series, where each installment gets better as it relates to character and story development, but it's also equal parts unmemorable.

It was too long and could have been trimmed down to half it's size. The contradiction to this very statement is further below. Watch out for it, because it can't be helped. I was intrigued, bored, intrigued, bored and this continued to the very end. It was an endless loop. In it's quest to cover all the bases, it wasn't such the home run I anticipated it to be.

There has always been a soft undertone to this story and it was present in this installment also. I call these novels 'comfort zone' novels. They are comfortable to read and will take you days sometime to finish, but they aren't bad, they are just slow to build and keep, so you move as such. Momentum's aren't kept but the details are exquisite to the point of you getting bored.

Colton. I can definitely say I know him better now. He is quite the romantic and I have never read about a scavenger hunt of this caliber in a romance novel before. It woke me right up and placed a smile on my face that had people wondering if I was losing my ever loving mind! Good job on that buddy! You totally claimed the checkered flag for that one!

I completely forgot my disconnect with Rylee, until I read my previous reviews. That's what I call, the power of a backbone! She had it all and more in this novel. This is a relationship, a partnership, a struggle. This is how two adults fudge through the mess life has dealt and find their way together. I have always commended this novel for it's approach. 'I love you' is not an insta marriage proposal and it helped me to appreciate Colton's journey to his perfect epilogue.

The details of this novel was spectacular, especially the racing scenes. I have always loved when an author gets some research in and it reflects in her work. I never missed a skipping heart beat, sigh or moment of impact. I was at the edge and in between. If nothing else, I lived for those racing scenes! I say take out the detailed sex scenes and give us more time on the track!

The boys were not to be left out in this installment and I will say that I had hold out hope that they might have adopted them all, but that's not how rich people stay rich, unless your Brad and Angelina :)
The moments spent with them and their incorporation into everything Rylee was wonderful! I'd also like a job like Rylee's, because the way they lived in hospitals throughout this novel is unprecedented! Especially because they aren't doctors or nurses.

I believe in and of this couple. Their struggles, solutions and path to their ending was not an easy one. It was filled with almost weekly obstacles and the reveals and cleansing was lethargic. Everything is done in it's own time frame, even at the cost of other details. This however, does not deduct from the fact that I got bored frequently and at one point was only reading to finish. I had to take breaks, it was the only way to not be cynical with my review when I was done. It was too long and too detailed, but it was also those details that kept it from becoming a complete failure.

I can promise you that this book covers it all. On top of that, there is a little surprise for readers from K.Bromberg at the end. Get your copy, get a long flight or vacay and close the chapter on Rylee, Colton and the boys. If I could ask for anything else from this series, it would be a Zander novel. Read it get to claim your own checkered flag at the end.

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Arrangement 14 By H.M. Ward

I have made a personal decision to overlook the length of the installments within this series and to focus more on the content. So here goes!

It's the same as before -_-

A beginning, that continues where we left off from the previous installment, with a completely different idea than we initially thought. More darkness that is the past, present and future of Sean Ferro. Avery making really bad decisions and being offered more than her weight in gold (figuratively speaking). More death and mistaken identities, that leave us with more questions and a possible two month wait between books.

On the bright side and old character that we haven't interacted with in a while is back! He actually tells Avery like it is and I love their one one one time more than I have the last couple installments. Say what you want about him and his odd personality, but he is the realest character in this series so far, even when he's being a fake. I know other reviews will give it away, but I'll keep it a secret. Add a little surprise that can be opened in this lifetime!

Once again, Avery annoyed me, especially in the end. I am so tired of the cliche, romance novel type conversations, between herself and Sean. You two have too much going on to be sorting through broken souls and the likes. Deal with your feelings later, if you still have life in your body to care! I just really want this entire story to get to the good part already! After 14 installments, at least a year should have passed already and who is this psychotic killer with Ferro type money? If you paying off people in Sean Ferro's circle then you gotta be loaded!

As for the fiance fiasco of installment 13? I won't even touch that with a 7 feet pole! It's not what you think folks and it's surely not an exciting or believable reveal. The jury is still out on these character and this series on a whole.

As I have said before and will say again, I believe in this series. I loved the story line and given an opportunity, I could get down with the installments every two months, but go somewhere already! We can't keep hopping from day to day or a couple of hours every two months. Fan inspired or not, it's just not fair.

At the end of every installment these is a message to sign a petition for a Ferro movie. Why would I when there is barely enough for a novella? The world is spinning, people are dying and babies are born every day. Everything seems to be moving along in life except for the characters in H.M. Ward's 'The Arrangement' series!

I know I said at the beginning of this review that I will judge this book on the content as oppose to the amount of pages, but in all fairness, I don't think these "novellas" should be selling at $2.99 a pop! For the length and development between installments, $.99 could suffice. I'm just saying o.O

Just when I think we are making head way, we are thrown back into last week without a paddle. I know there is suppose to be an air of mystery to this story, but give us something, even a hair follicle!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Plan By Qwen Salsbury

I love Emma. I love Alaric. I love Emma and Alaric. This story and it's characters were quirky, funny and full of wit!

I was a little apprehensive in the beginning, with the format, but I grew to love it and it eventually had me laughing as we moved through the chapters. This is definitely an office romance to talk about! I enjoyed this story for the most part, until they actually got together and I felt the fire in Emma and the coldness in Alaric both fade and thaw respectively. That seems to be the theme of most stories these day, or maybe it's just the excitement that accompanies the build up.

There was a lot of reverse therapy within this novel. Your usual romance novel roles were reversed and the pineapple nods got hilarious as we progressed. I loved that Emma got control in the bedroom and I love the role of Alaric Cannon outside of the bedroom. I believed him and felt that connection when he got to not think about anything and just relax in the arms of Emma.

He wasn't your usual billionaire playboy. He was just another, but well off and respected, member of staff. He never strayed from his character even when he was "courting" of sorts Emma. He is so good at being aloof and sterile that  I can't seem to see him as anything else. He wears douche well! I never expect his reactions and he surely knows how to keep me guessing. At every turn he makes a right instead of the obvious left.

Emma is your usual sarcastic, take no prisoners female  and I adore her inner monologues and narration. The only thing that could have made the flow of this story better was to have more POVs from Alaric. I was never bored and couldn't wait for the next interaction between Alaric and Emma.

I never understood the point of the initial "plan" of this novel but I am glad for the recon work and the outcome. The build up and result was hilarious and fun to experience. I must commend the detail and time taken to explain and navigate the world of business, office relations, mergers and law. I was never confused and was actually interested in the business side of this novel more than I was with the bedroom scenes.

Speaking of, I feel like too much comedy was taken in the bedroom. Due to the writing style, it came off as comedy than passionate bedroom scenes. The heat was missing for me. It all seemed mechanical.

Where conflict is concerned, there wasn't much. This is a novel of comedic proportions and so even the serious moments were lightened with levity. I would have liked more back story from Alaric and Emma, as well as, to see them interact as a couple in the work place. I was actually waiting on the cliche romance novel ending. Baby, house, marriage ... in other words, I wasn't ready for it to end. Take out the sex scenes or make them better and I would surely read double the current pages. (260 pages)

This is a one read novel that will have you laughing and hanging on to every page. Even filled with a few cliche romance novel technicalities, this novel is more than an office romance. It's funny, interesting and highlights some real instances of office romance and camaraderie. The revolving door of assistants? Maybe not so much.

For what it lacked, it made up for in banter, sarcasm and a really well spent business trip. I was hooked to the pages of this novel and loved every minute I spent with Emma and Alaric. I really hope we get a continuation novella or something more on these two, because I probably miss them already :)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Cherry Girl By Raine Miller

Neil and Elaina is the perfect couple. No fuss, no doubt, it's all rainbows and sunshine with these two. I however, could have done without reading about them. When I began reading this story, I totally thought I was reading about Gabrielle and Ivan (totally had to do a kindle search on that) and then I realized who they were my mood plummeted a little :(

I fell asleep and took a lot of breaks to complete this novel. I literally had to power through the last 15% just so I could move on to another novel. I am obsessive like that and I hate to start one book without finishing another. It's not that this story wasn't well written, it's more the focus and elaborations. There are many elements to the story, that could have aided in the monotonous tone of this novel, but they were benched in favour of issues that no one (meaning me) was interested in.

The constant basic sex did nothing for me either. At times I contemplated skipping the sex scenes but I never skip scenes when I am reading a book for the first time, plus these two seem quite vocal while the act is going on.

I liked young Neil and Elaina (totally forgot her name for a minute there, almost called her 'Cherry Girl'). They were funny, witty and definitely a little on the wild side. The moment they announced and began to explore those feelings it all went into the crapper!

I wanted bad, boozed up and high like a kite Elaina fantasizing about the much older, playboy Neil. They worked for me. Sappy Neil and stammering Elaina, of this lifetime, was boring and I barely finished this novel if not for my strong sense of determination :)

Even the conversations at times became pointless, space fillers, in a novel that doesn't even reach 300 pages. The climatic moments were flat and it's in writing my review, I realize that I completely disregarded them for what they were. I also found myself re-reading a fair amount of paragraphs, because my attention span as it relates to this novel was nil. It took as little as, Neal describing sex with Elaina, for me to start wondering if there's anything new on Netflix -_-

If I hear the word 'cherry' in a sentence again for the rest of this month I might just go crazy! Believe me, you can't possibly forget the title of this book or the color of Elaina's hair or any other cherry reference! This book certainly brought attention to the fruit, because I for one, have never been that big of a cherry fan. It's more a garnish for me and that's what this book should have been for the Blackstone series.

I think they were the "star couple" from the 'Blackstone Affair' series and by star I mean, the couple-we-all-wanna-be type. As for them getting a whole novel for themselves? No bueno!

They are great together as a couple, they have a lovely back story, potential and a great foundation. Their families, support system and struggles are real. I don't doubt the sincerity of their love and their relationship, but that's also why people (meaning me) will watch 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' over 'Tori and Dean', it's much more interesting!