Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Devil's Contract By Claire Contreras

I had a choice. I read this. 
I was technically promised intrigued.
I wish I had known this was gonna fall short.

The above is my blurb of my experience of this novel. This isn't what I expected in story line or delivery. I was bored for approximately 65% of this novel and though it picked up steam to the end, I still wasn't excited but more curious with the new developments. It had no impact on me as a reader and my reading the next book is pure curiosity.

I couldn't identify with the romance in this novel even before Amara left New York. I kept waiting for Phillip to swoop in and Colin went with the flow so there wasn't much for me to get excited about. Colin is struggling with the sudden loss of Amara, a death, his inheritance and it's stipulations while Amara is trying to keep her family floating. Phillip is more on the sidelines than I anticipated; Courtney is not as interesting as reviews promised and Samuel is just a constant that I have no interest in sorting. I am most curious about the mysterious blonde that I thought was Nolan and he only gets two small parts in two different chapters. He doesn't even speak in one.

The sex scenes are pretty basic, even the "BDSM" ones and for my first lesbian experience in a novel, this one wasn't very enticing. It happened and that's about it. I understand there is web here but I have no idea where it came from, what it will lead to or if I even care to find out the root of this all. I was literally living by the moment.

Phillips' blackmail card is also starting to get on my nerves; If he reminds Amara one more time what's at stake I'm gonna scream! There is a layer of deception and obvious lies but I just can't care enough about it all. The delivery is too flat and weak and the confusing writing style doesn't help either. The only breaks are chapters so I don't know when I am delving into another character's POV, namely Colin. I still can't even figure out who the main couples are because there seem to be none.

The time period is sketchy so really I have no sense of time and while Amara's escort skills are better than Avery from 'The Arrangement' she still isn't no Miranda from 'Buying Thyme' either, so I don't really have much to keep me company but the detailed description of everything and person.

Courtney's character seems to only be there to partake in awkward threesomes withe her friend and the guy she loves. As long as the lesbian quota is filled she seems to just exist. If  any of these characters have a point I have yet to seen it. They just seem to be floating around in an endless abyss waiting to get to this big secret that can bring down Governments and the scariest of Sultans.

I am interested to find out what will happen next but I am in no hurry. The story line is unclear to me even at the end and I only connected to a character that I literally saw twice, once without words. It was just another story of forced slavery and hidden identities without the romance. I don't know what will become of it all but I am not that eager to find out.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Beast By Jaden Wilkes

*crickets* ... What was that? o.O

I just read that? Really. I just did. I want my day and a half back. The blurb was promising, the beginning was perfectly balanced with history and present and then they met and it all went down the crapper and never came back.

I don't mind reading a book about depraved sociopaths but the time frame, events and epilogue was ridiculous! It was unrealistic, unbelievable and just plain bad. The thing is, I think I could actually like this author because of her sense of humor but I just can't get behind this story as a complete body of work.

The time frame of the story itself is let's say a week because 5 days sounds really bad. The epilogue ... I don't even know how much time later than was. Dimitri, the most used Russian name in literature, is a coward who kept running until his "girlfriend" and I say this loosely, helped him exact revenge. A revenge that I expected to contain much more build up and execution.

This novel is an attempt at erotica masked as a mob themed romance. Columbia is more of a criminal than all the vile men in this novel, Sergei included, because I don't know how hard it is to find a wealthy recluse if you really want him dead and what Russian Bratva enforcer hides away and literally plays with his wounds for years, then run when his enemies get close? You feel safe Columbia? I beg you to reconsider! Also, where is the face off scene where you get closure and real information as to what happened to make your friend literally light you on fire?? o.O

I won't even knock the insta-love, lust and everything else but make me believe it. These two could be the next Bonnie and Clyde but the conviction and delivery weren't up to standard. It was rushed and quite frankly annoying because it started off so well. With that ending also I can't understand all the queue of other novels in this series because it seemed like that was a wrap.

The sex had BDSM elements but I wasn't interested. They weren't memorable or even sensual. Quite plain actually for a couple with an asphyxia fetish. Dimitri was quite vocal in his sexual needs but it still wasn't anything to write home about. The fact that they only knew each other a day didn't help either.

There is a scene in this novel where Dimitri tries to explain an emotion to Columbia and he says that he might struggle to explain because his English isn't good. Listen here people! The man says one word in Russian throughout this entire novel and it's .... *drum roll please* ... Bratva -_-

His English is better than most of the people I know and my first language is English. Not even a few broken sentences were placed to show his struggle and I initially thought that was fine because he did explain earlier that he had speech experts to help him in the past but then all of a sudden all that is forgotten as he explains himself in plain as day English. See what I mean? You have got to make me believe it Jaden!

There are a few elements that did it for me though, like the fact that it was based in Canada. It's always good to leave the USA scene and I personally love Canada. It's one of my dream countries to live out my last days so I loved the time spent here. I've never been, so I can't confirm, but I loved the few culture details and hope they were accurate.

I like the Columbia we got in the beginning who was the embodiment of an environmental activist regardless of her motives; the Dimitri before he was the literal "Beast" and even after when his paranoia was at it's prime. His concierge, who seems to be without a name, reminds me of an English butler and I wish we got to spend some more time with him because I love me some English butlers and he seems like a loyal, possibly hilarious one, if only we got the time.

I will admit to liking this story in the beginning but it fell away as soon as they met and kept the same trajectory to the end. The chapters became repetitive, conversation was less and because we spent more time in both of their minds we had to read them recount the same sex scenes we read in the chapter before. It was rushed, heavily based with sex and the dark and twisted wasn't really dark and twisted. Their minds are crazy but their actions left me bored :(

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Entice By Rachel Van Dyken

Here I go being the odd one out again.

I still believe that this series got better from the first novel but that ending was pitiful and left me longing for an alternate. The prologue and first chapter to the next book has me rolling my eyes and over the dramatics and theatrics of it all but once again, I am interested to see what caused all those betrayals. There is so much build up in the beginning story line and then we get to the most flaccid ending.

At first, I thought the problem might be the couple dynamics, because Trace and Nixon were struggling in the beginning but then I find that I like Trace and Nixon together, especially as they battle the residual resentments from Trace moving on and Nixon faking his death. Mil and Chase however didn't have me convinced or move.

I don't know when they fell in love and the emotions backing them as a couple feels like it appeared out of thin air. They were so bland as a couple that I found myself craving Nixon and Tracey scenes more than Chase and Mil's. Also, let's talk about how the end of this installment focused on every one except Mil and Chase. Thought it was there book o.O

This novel needs a better sense of time also. I can't tell you how much time has passed since Tracey enrolled at Elite. All I know is, that they haven't had a break since and they have lost friends along the way.

The person that strike fear into every one reminds me of Trevor Slattery from Iron Man 3, for those who are about that Marvel Comics life like myself; He was more a face of terror than terror itself. I understand setting us up for Tex's story but this ending unbelievable and flat especially from a man of his calibre and superstitious mindset.

Chase didn't portray the things I adored about him from book 1 and 2. He was suppose to be a "love sick puppy" over Mil but I just didn't believe him. His words, feelings and reactions held more impact when he was panting after Trace, than when he was discovering his love for Mil. He deserves better, Mil isn't it. I found myself missing the love triangle.

This novel continues to be YA mafia romance so expect more cliche "mafia" scenes and the continued absence of any police presence or good, on the brink of death, sex scenes. These mafia gods even fly commercial -_-

Mil was not tough and feisty as I expected. I liked the gun wheeling girl from the previous novels but this one just had really terrible flashbacks. She was more the abused 14 year old than the 20 year old mob boss. I don't even know what the point this novel was aiming to make. I am lost as to their Vegas visit and all the random acts of violence that followed.

Even Luca wasn't his usual devious self leading up to the most unbelievable final fight scene. At this point, they should all just kill each other and put us out of our misery. They literally shoot first then ask questions later and I am getting tired of the repetitive themes. The ghost that is ever present, constant betrayal from a past that their parents set in motion and relationship epiphanies that's portrayed with the same urgency as brushing your teeth. It needs a new spin because we've read this before from this same series.

You might think from my above review that I might not have liked this novel but I was actually interested. My problem is the ending. It had a great build up that had me focused and wanting to know what Mil was hiding and what Chase,  Trace and Nixon's response would be to Chase being a  married man. In the end, it was just more gunshots, death and secrets from the past that's ripping this friendship to threads.

Book 4 has me interested but I hope that we get more than the usual. While chapter one has me scared and intrigued in one I can't wait to see if Tex is the shake up I am still looking for to give this series a higher rating than the one it's kept so far.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Elect By Rachel Van Dyken

The mafia police has arrived and with him comes history, allegiance and most importantly ... redemption for all who seek it. Redemption is possible and it comes in the form of Luca Nicolassi. I don't know what to make of the man other than he is rather impulsive with a twisted sense of humor.

I have now even moved on to accept the Academy for the twisted mini country it provides. They rule and conquer through the walls of this school and they do it with such finesse that you fear them without even really knowing them. 'Elect' was much better than 'Elite' and brought more depth, personality and believable drama and guilt. I hurt for Chase and Nixon especially at Tracey's oblivious nature. She really is innocent and naive. This time, we get to know more about the characters, their feelings and natural responses and I like that the story was taken from Phoenix, Nixon and Chase's POV. I guess Tex is still the lackey.

Totally unexpected but Phoenix managed to shed a new light on himself. He is one of my crazies and I now wish I had spend more time getting to know him. The other big turn around for me was Nixon. Who is this selfless, hopeless, Shakespeare quoting romantic? He was the perfect man before everything else and exuded more than a cheesy, pierced guy in charge of a crime syndicate. He was fair, concise, smart, manipulative and a tad cliche but it worked in his favour.

The mind of Chase is a lovely place and I really do love this guy despite him continuously getting the short end of the stick. I understood him and sympathized with him the most and if not for the obvious route with Trace being Queen B and Nixon King to his stolen empire I could see Tracey and Chase as a couple.

As relationships go I have fallen into a comfortable role with them all. They have become more like a family of orphaned misfits and I once again ignore their age to focus on their wisdom and experience beyond their years. This novel was a lot more violent and calculated than the last and their personalities adjusted to the plot. I liked them more as next generation mafia as oppose to the ridiculously unrealistic catty college fights and grade school bullying.

Despite all the guns, deaths and threats this was still quite PG and still lacked that lust and steam needed between two people like Tracey and Nixon. I find that I liked Tracey more through Nixon and Chase's eyes but I especially loved Tracey in the eyes of Chase. She might be a terrible mafia princess but I see it growing on her and the cow references lessened!  She has adapted to the life wonderfully and I liked the B role she played in this installment. She played it well.

I got a better appreciation for this story and the characters and I was actually hooked to a few pages trying to see what the end will bring. I am satisfied but disappointed in the loss and realignments. At least I was right that Nixon seems to love being bad and that just made me love him even more! That scene with him threatening Chase in the car was real and one of my faves and I liked his conversations with Phoenix, however volatile.

The flashbacks to the past also helped to clarify the future and show all the guys in a different light. I wish we could have spent more time with Luca and Frank because old mafia is always funny and Sergio seems fulls of possibilities. The more I read is the more I wanted so it's safe to say this series is getting better with each installment.

Mil's character seems like the firecracker that this story needs to go forward and I can't wait to see her brand of crazy and what she has to carry to the table. I expect a shake up!

It still holds a touch of the Eagle Elite Academy but this novel was more mafia based as it right the wrongs and established the future. Alliances have been formed and an illusion of peace is presented but it was an interesting journey to that point and the love triangle only made it that more interesting. There was unrequited love and secrets that span years. It's more YA mafia but it was interesting and captivating at times.

Elite By Rachel Van Dyken

I seem to be in a rut. Once I pick a bad book in a genre, I seem to unconsciously continue the trend. This week it's bad, unrealistic mafia romances. I don't understand the structure of this crime network and the fact that they are afraid of their Sicilian counterparts that should be family. Literally.

The premise of the Elite Academy silly, far fetched and pointless like the children who attend. They are more high school bullies than college aged adults who are suppose to be the head of billion dollar empires and countries in the future. I wouldn't want them to rule a jerk pan.

Nixon is a douche and there was not enough redeeming qualities for me to fall in love with him. Also, what self respecting Sicilian mob boss walks around with a lip ring? o.O

Tracey is like a chameleon. She is naive when she wants to be but at times I can her as part of a mafia family. That might turn into a blessing because Nixon doesn't seem like the repentant kind. That might be his saving grace for me. He likes to bad and I just love when they are bad and loving it!

Phoenix's character baffles and annoy me. His history with the Elect is lengthy but his anti climatic reveals and cheesy villain displays just had me rolling my eyes. The boy needs some work in that department. Tex spent most of his time with his tongue down Monroe's throat so I can't really judge his character. Chase is a sweetheart who doesn't d bad guy well either. Actually, none of them do but Nixon tries a little better. Eventually.

This fascination with cows is ridiculous and annoying. It's not funny, romantic or any other sentiment the author was going for. It's just plain 'ol cheesy. I can't see the path this novel is trying to take and I think the hype of the Abandonato name is too far fetched and borders on fairy tale.

Speaking of which, the names in this novel is ridiculous! They have plain old regular American names and the tackiest made up Sicilian names known to man. Alfredo without the 'D' and Abandonato? C'mon! You can do better!

There is no steam or attraction even between Tracey, Nixon and Chase. Tracey is a jovial, "farm girl" and that's all she was. Her relationship with Nixon and Chase was more friendly than steamy and the lust factor was 0. I just see them as a silly group of friends who are apparently apart of Mafia families.

I have now read a total of 3 books from Rachel Van Dyken and I really want to know who wrote 'Ruin' because I have yet to read another book that matches 'Ruin' in emotions, intensity and overall story line, progression and development. This novel was juvenile, unrealistic and over the top in every possible way.

This school would have to be another Hogwarts to have even half of the amenities it possess and the super secret, mafia academy just came off as flat, cliched and quite frankly stupid.

I didn't connect with the characters like I expected and even though I don't hate any of them I don't believe their roles either. The friendships aren't solid but what we have so far could turn into a strong fort and for that and sheer curiosity I will continue with this series for now.

I still don't know what the secret is and I think their plan was a stupid one with not much direction or point much like this novel. Everyone is impulsive and it just makes for even more mess that just confuses more than it explains. The explanations that we do get are also so out of bounds that I just move on anyway.

The story line is choppy, the characters are more YA based than NA and the mafia elements are just not convincing. If there is a love triangle, I don't see it, as there is barely any love or passion between any of the main characters. I really hope book two will find a balance and answer some questions because I am lost and very close to just giving up on the series.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Way Off Plan By Alexa Land

This was an extremely unrealistic, naive and nerdtastic adaptation of a gay mafia romance. It also seems that being openly gay and in the Mafia, whatever ethnicity, is fine in this world that Alexa has created. I highly doubt the possibility but let's just add that to the list of unrealistic elements in this novel.

This story is also the epitome of insta-love. I don't think a month pass between meeting and HEA. Somehow it works for them though because I occasionally forget the time frame until a reminder is given, as I actually like these group of characters, especially Dmitri and Jamie. They are the perfect couple, sexual orientation aside. They don't have that heated sexual chemistry but have a more comfortable, camaraderie that transforms into the perfect relationship. Even their one and only fight was cute and more sweet than it was angry or sad. I just love them!

Jamie is hilarious and does a great job of narrating this story though his moral compass spun a lot throughout this novel and annoyed me at times. I loved when he was just the laid back unfashionable, nerdy, surfer guy than when he was trying to decipher Dmitri to rationalize their relationship. I think the ultimate sacrifice would have been to love him through his predilections but that's just me! In the end, the one who was presented as the feminine counterpart did the most masculine sacrifice. Then again, I guess he can be a stay at home dad now :)

Dmitri is the one I assumed would be the bad apple that walks in with the sexy smirks and have a group of guys that whimper when he gets mad but he was the complete opposite. Behind close doors he was extremely vulnerable and insecure. He had his vices that we had to learn from the lovely hurricane that is Catherine but finding out the real Dmitri through it all was enlightening because I find that I loved all facets of his personality. Too bad he's gay. I'd totally hit that! :)

The sex was ... this might sound bad to others but it was friendly. It's like they knew each other for years and were so comfortable that it came off almost practiced. It didn't have that raging passion and intensity of desperate, lustful lovers but then those aren't the emotions their relationship exudes.

I am no authority on criminal networks but this interpretation was too soft and nonchalant. I understand that these characters might not have been as inducted as others but them being on the edge was much lighter than expected. I keep thinking that they are gonna get themselves killed and I am actually surprised that none of them got shot or ended up in the hospital.

This is not your hardcore macho gay novel as these guys are openly gay, laid back and impatient in their love for each other. Everything is instant with them and they waste no time getting down to the core to get to their HEA. It's a really short time frame packed with some sex, guns, surf and a good time with friends and family.

It might not be the most convincing body of work but I think the characters won me over, I don't mind reading the next installment and despite it's faults I enjoyed this one.

Friday, 23 May 2014

A Debt Repaid By N. Isabelle Blanco

The premise was different. Silly really and I could surely think of another way to recover what was stolen but I still wanted to read this novel. Surprise, surprise, I was bored and Chase is an idiot who is giving away millions for a woman who I don't think is worth it.

We spent more time in the mind of Aria than we did having conversations, learning about the main characters and sifting through the deeds of Douglas. This novel was shallow but packed more intensity than it's topics warranted. Unfortunately, the intensity and feelings didn't match the actual content. Also, someone please give the VP/best friend a name because his name couldn't decide if it was Marcus or Matthew. Depends on the day.

Drop every romance novel cliche with the intensity of every book ever read and you have this story. I don't really know or understand these characters even with it being a dual POV novel. Every one is either angry, really intense or bred from so many cliches that it's impossible to know who they are out of their molds. My favourite character is Adam and the kid is 5 with like 5 minutes of shine.

I understand Aria's reservations but I  don't sympathize or connect with her on any other level than she is the one who narrates most of this story. Hilary's character comes in like a tornado and then exit just as fast. As a female, I  know that their is that one friend in your life, sometimes more, that you lean on when it all goes belly up. Hilary is suppose to be that friend but she came off more as an alien beamed down to retrieve something and then return to the mother ship. Weird analogy? Possibly, but as I said before, development was not he author's top priority. I know nothing about this woman other than she must be rich, been around a while and she is apparently beautiful and hates Douglas for years. Guess that's all we need.

I honestly believed this story would be memorable and left me reeling needing to read the next but I am pretty sure that I can wait. Obviously, I am gonna wanna know what's next but I am in no rush. It's just plain human curiosity.

I like Chase and I could love his character. We got the most back story about him and got personal with his past and present life. However, there is still a level of indifference to him but I have no deep interest to claw at those barriers to get to the man within. I could however read the entire story from his POV and maybe with another woman. I don't know about him but I am tired of Aria's indecision and uncertainty.

Aria's character is annoying and everything that is wrong with cliched insta-lust, love, regret female heroine's. No one is forcing her to do anything, no one is even in her way. People get separated and date all the time and some even commit crimes and get married while still married. Get off your horse Aria because it doesn't even fit you.

I can see them having that one sex scene but I just can't see them as a couple. I think he can do better and Aria is just plain annoying so I just don't really wanna have to interact with her. I seem to tolerate her more from Chase's POV.

Also, not to be outdone, this story added another cliched couple into the mix with Lori and Brent and while I wasn't rolling my eyes, about 30% into this novel I was over this story. I only continued because I really don't wanna have a DNF. I suspect one day a book will be bad enough to make me finally have that shelf but for now, I powered through to a not as intense as the author thinks sex scene and the blatant irresponsibility didn't even do anything for me. The whole story did nothing for me. I literally wanna pick some characters and points and make a whole new story. I am  actually hoping that someone has written a story with this premise but a better delivery.

I wasn't impressed but I wasn't disgusted either. I was just indifferent. I won't even disrespect debut authors by saying that this was debut work. This was just flat, uninspiring, annoying and over before it even began. There was no real direction, chemistry, development or stability. There are sweet touches and a few comedic moments but for the most part I just wanted it to end.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 2 By Whitney Gracia Williams

It pains me to say this because I am a big fan of Whitney Williams but I fear that this story might turn into another 'Arrangement' series, where we get really small moments in time before breaking to the next volume. Books cost money, yes, 99¢ is still money, so it's really not fair the amount of content we get but we buy these books anyway because we love the authors and their work.

Volume 1 was an introduction and I am fine with that because it was a powerful and memorable introduction that lined you up for so much more that I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next copy. Therefore, I genuinely expected more than I got from Volume 2. I like that Andrew kept his blunt personality and we even got some more information about his character from New York with not only one this time but two flash backs to before Durham.

It's all the same issues though with a new variable in the form of his ex-wife that was mentioned at the end of volume 1. It was average sex and a blow job lesson that was quite crass but that's fine.

There is no real growth in their relationship, because even though he is out of his comfort zone for a majority of the second half of this novel which we are not privy to details, by the end he is right there again and I don't feel like I know them well enough as individuals or a couple. They have great chemistry when it comes to arguing and I find that I like that and Andrew's blunt, conceited personality more than I did the story line. Those and the length of this novella were the saving points for me.

Personally and professionally Andrew almost remains the same with the exception of getting his real name and a look into his relationship with his ex-wife. Some might say this is progress and should be enough and it could be but it's how it was delivered. I can remove so many unnecessary scenes and conversations that could make way for more or better timed reveals.

Aubrey seems stuck in a rut also because nothing has changed on her front. She did 1 ... I repeat 1 ballet duo in the entirety of this novella so the cover kind of stump me now because I was looking for a full on ballet themed performance. Call me crazy!

It's the same old characters doing the same old things with the introduction of Andrew's ex-wife. The editing and writing is fine but I just think the delivery was weak and I really expected more growth in the content than what we got.

For another author, this could be a work of art, but Whitney has set the bar ridiculously high and I just don't think this is her best. She strives on packing the most intense feelings, emotions and stories in the smallest of packages so I don't know what went wrong here.

I wouldn't not recommend this novella nor skip out on reading the next but I didn't get much from this volume and I am hoping for a better volume 3. If that will be the end then I expect her to pull out every trick she has in her bag because she is gonna need it to not fall on a loop again.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bang By E.K. Blair

Is it wrong that I am currently more interested in seeing what other people think of this novel than I am sharing my views? It's not that I don't know, i'm more itching to find out what every one else think because this is one for a book club.

It's hard to explain how I really feel because I don't really know what I am feeling. I just spent the last 3 days reading this novel and I am just as confused as when I started and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't pissed with this ending -_-

This book is one big mess and only E.K. probably knows how to clean it up. The story line is solid and never waving but at the same time, the story isn't constant and the characters, except for maybe Declan and Bennett, are extremely damaged and the biggest douche canoe of them all is our guide.

But guess what? ... I loved it!

It takes a steadfast state of mind to like the narrator of this story and the men are all pawns in a scheme that is bred from pure misfortune turned abuse. It might not be a bad story but when you can't trust the narrator, you will have some problems when you just wanna escape her deceit.

Bennett was the biggest player in this novel but he was also the most absent. He spent more time in Dubai than he did in Chicago so I didn't get to know him like I did Nina, Pike and Declan. He seems like a good guy who got caught in a web that's laced with more poison than a snake and we don't even find out his purpose until the end of this novel and by then his fate is sealed. By the time Bennett gets some sense and I feel like we might have a good battle of wills, it's bang and we are left waiting to see who if any one survives part two.

Pike and Declan got a lot more light but I spent so much time focusing on the con in this novel that I didn't get the time to focus on Declan;'s character as much. He is passionate I will give him that and he is quite the understanding kind; sexy as hell in the kitchen and one of the nastiest and most possessive men I have ever read about. I am NOT down with that waste matter life. Piss somewhere else Mister, I am not a toilet!!!

Pike as a kid could make any woman fall to their knees. I loved that little boy to the point of obsession from we saw him coming out of that truck with Carl. I even loved him some when they grew up. He was constant, dependable, damaged and fighting for the worse live that was dealt him from the age of 2. I know you will all think I am crazy but I still love him. He got a ray of light after spending all of his formative years in terror and abuse and it's becoming a little hard for him to let that go. His actions? ... undesirable. His light was snatched from him and he retaliated like an angry abused man would. The years would wear on anyone.

Unfortunately, his anger brought this whole story to it's knees. I keep wanting to rewind because I am confused as to how a situation can tank to these levels in such a short time. If they get away with this it will have to be on a much more complex level than Pike and Elizabeth's reasoning.

I empathized with a young Nina because she had it hard and to hear her first introduction to sex would chisel any cold heart a little. The abuse in this novel was raw and painful but Nina erased those feelings to the point where I was unable to stand her inner monologues anymore. The chick is crazy and needs some help. I had a difficult time deciphering her emotions because just as I feel like I know what she is feeling, she reveals her real thoughts and I feel just as manipulated as every one else in this novel.

It's either hot or cold no lukewarm. I can't trust any one in this book because everybody has an agenda and their moral compass is all over the place. This is a complicated story and it is impossible for you to put a definitive name or emotion to the final body of work. It's a struggle from beginning to end so don't expect to ever understand or pick a side. There is no side, it's every one for themselves!

I can't say much without giving this book away but I am also a bubbling mess because I need someone to discuss what it is I just read. I truly believe Pike and Elizabeth could have a different path but is that eve possible now?

E.K. Blair has written emotional novels before but I never expected this level of emotional from her. The story, formatting, editing is impeccable and you can see the time and effort placed in creating the final published work but it's also so confusing that she will either end up giving us one of the most splendid stories in this genre for the year or it will tank and leave us gaping. The complications and web can lose even the best of authors.

I commend her though because this story had me even when I wanted to skip the wavering sex scenes to get to the necessary points. It was like a video game as you tried to get up to the next level. I might have dislike the narrator and remained in the dark for 90% of this novel but I won't discount that E.K. Blair wrote another spectacular piece and I really hope Carnegie helps her out in the end with this one because she is gonna need all the help she can get and he seems to have all the answers.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Broken By A.E. Murphy

I need to process this book that I just read and I don't even know how. My skin is literally prickling after reading this novel and between the ending and the preview of book 2 I am left shaken, confused and hoping Nathan isn't as crazy as I think he is, because from germaphobe to killer is quite a bracket.

This story has three distinct tones that you might miss because you are so wrapped up in the story line. There is the light and fluffy bordering on unrealistic beginning, the changes and growth in the middle and the convoluted and uncertain ending.

I was tempted to stop reading when I began because the beginning wasn't the most solid of starts. It felt very naive and filled with childish fantasies and actions, so I was skeptic while wondering who are these Disney kids? Then everything goes to hell and I literally see the story switch to heartache and unbearable pain. They might not have fell but my eyes did quite the job today at holding my tears at bay. One more painful description and I'd have been weeping like a baby. We moved into a more mature setting until we finally transitioned into the unpredictable ending and even more frightening preview.

I connected with every single one of the main characters. Caleb was the fun, fairy tale side and I loved and missed him with every bone in my body. There will never be enough time passed for you to forget this character. I was depressed with her and felt every pity stare and brick wall to a shelter.

I love Gwen. I thought her silly at first but she completely won me over. She was loyal, fierce, opinionated and real. Yes, she's hormonal but she respected herself and Caleb even when he was no longer around. She had literally found her soul mate and no matter what any one else says I will always love him for her. There is no man in the world like Caleb and even though we might learn some of his secrets in the next novel people can change and he did. We never saw a bad side. He was the loving, caring, compassionate boyfriend to the point of being selfish. Prevention is better than cure and he could have prevented half the pain Gwen endured if he had prepared properly and spoke to her about what they were really up against.

Though I am irrevocably in love with Caleb this story has two sides and the lead for the next is Nathan. I like Nathan but I don't trust him. It took not only Gwen, but myself as a reader, time to warm to his character and before I know it, I was acclimating to his current role and medical condition. What came at the end though just stirred me even more and got me wondering what will happen next. His next move will determine if I continue to get to know and like him or loathe him forever.

It's impossible to not get tangled up in this story. The characters are real, their decisions are tough but their own and resentment runs rampant with hate and indifference. The sex in this novel is virginal and is PG at best. It was all about the story line and I love that. We followed the lost of a promising life; a single, homeless, unemployed almost widow trying to get by and a man with a literal vault of secrets and quite the mental illness.

Once this story picks up speed, it doesn't slow. It holds you and dare you to take this journey across the pond. As usual, nothing beats a good UK novel written by someone from the UK or at the very least, with a strong hold in their culture. The dialect was definitely British and I love using my dictionary as I sorted through British slang.

It was an emotional roller coaster and I didn't wanna get off this ride. There is a moment for every one and after the first 10% I was hooked and couldn't put it down. I read it all in an afternoon as I was unable to move until I saw 100% on my kindle. This is normally when I know a book is good and has you right where it wants you.

 I was surprised at the authors age  because the pain and struggles were real and spoke of more worldly experience than her 23 years. All the same though, congratulations on tapping and unlocking some intense feelings and reactions.

I love it. I recommend it and what makes it even better, it's currently FREE on Amazon and Smashword.

Tame Me By J. Kenner

Firstly, Jamie Archer has too many issues for it to be summed up in a novella, even if it is only part 1. There was no background or base to their relationship from our POV therefore, I  didn't believe their intense feelings for each other in the end, which then led to me being bored. I fell asleep 3 times reading this novella and one of those times was 1/2 hour after waking from a full night's sleep.

It's not that I don't think that they could make a good couple, it's just that I need to see it begin and develop, or at the very least, a flash back to where the feelings began. I am sure it wasn't from seeing Jamie semi-naked and masturbating on Damien's chaise. I understand lust and a good old roll in the hay but the deep feelings that followed seemed abrupt and unbelievable (Not in the good way). They could work as a couple but show it to me. A quick sex in LA and bet in Vegas does not a relationship make.

Jamie was confident and I love that. Damaged or confused, she knew what she wanted and she wasn't afraid to take it. Literally. I don't know who was getting tamed though because she never once put up a fight.

I'm sorry but I can't see Ryan as a dominant and it's not only because he works for another dominant alpha male but there were times when he felt like he was in control and Jamie was actually leading the whole scene. The illusion of him being a dominant is just that. An illusion.

We never met them but the mention of Jamie's parents had me wanting to meet the couple that was so in love that they disregard everything around them inclusive of their daughter. I also don't feel sorry for Jamie's logistics because regardless of her parents infatuation with each other she should know love and is the catalyst for all her insecurities. Your mad at the world because they take you at face value? How about you show them that there is more to Jamie Archer? If anything I am looking forward to is Jamie gaining some confidence in her own confidence.

Ryan is a male lead that was needed in a story. It's his story and the man still takes a back seat to everything. Sometimes I even forgot he was the one she was with. He doesn't do much for me in this installment as he was more a bodyguard than a lover.

Also, what's up with him tracking her every where she goes like a jealous boyfriend? I am not even gonna touch on the James Bond ending he starred. I just wanna know if Damien knows how company resources are being used o.O

Ryan is a nice guy but tell me more. He is too forgettable as he literally and figuratively fades into the background like an every present shadow. He plays security detail very well.

The sex was in a good time frame from amount to length. I was already falling asleep reading them so I can't imagine them any longer. I did enjoy the story outside of the sex and inner rants of Jamie and I think that watching them build a relationship and life in LA would be a good and interesting story as the base of this one left me bored and looking to give up on everything Stark related.

This novella had it's moments but they were few and far between. It seemed very chopped and summarized and not because it's a novella. You could literally feel and see the massive jumps especially in the end. I had to skip back a  page to find out what happened between she sinking the gas and him jumping out of helicopters.

I don't believe their level of connection right now, but I think with a better story line, focus and progression I could be persuaded to read the next copy. In the interim, I was left bored, uninspired and ecstatic for the the end of a 80 page novel. I swear it felt like 400!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Strings of the Heart By Katie Ashley

The last 90% of this novel was more interesting than the entire compilation. Bella gave us an interesting start and even though I would have loved some Mia flair in that moment, I still had high hopes. Therefore, I was rather disappointed to find that after that, I spent most of the novel bored and learning about Rhys family and the time they spent in Savannah. I could have even then tolerated that, if not for the fact that nothing was done with the mass amount of hours spent telling this tale. The personal aspects of his life went no where. Unless there is going to be another novel for him and Allison, then almost nothing came out of getting in depth with his family life.

At about 30%, I just wanted to finish this novel and move on to something else waiting in my kindle, but by the end, I needed more. While it technically is a HEA, there is still so much unanswered questions and a lot more time needed to acclimate to this new relationship. Especially on Jake's part.

Despite the secrecy though, this wasn't an angst fest. It was however filled with sunshine and unicorns on Allison's part. She is a beam of sunshine through  every one's dark cloud and it annoyed initially to the point where I considered stopping. She cries because of baby pics. I'm sorry ... too weak for me.

Naturally though, I love it when she got fierce with not only the catty wenches but Rhys. Her anger was palpable and I loved her fierce and feral, the girl wears heartbreak well. When she wasn't being any of the above though, she was quite the sex fiend! She likes it rough and there is something about their sex that's more than the description. It was passionate, raw and intense, as you get to see and feel both their POVs on what's happening in their bedroom or make up counter ;)

I never paid much mine to Rhys before, but he sometimes reminds me of Griffin from 'Once upon a Billionaire', except that he's not pretentious and cares not about public appearances. However, they are both scholars, maybe one more than the other and when you get them out their underpants, they know how to give you some good sex!

I loved both sides of both Allison's worlds and I wish that they could have eventually mixed. Cassie is awesome and I wish we got more time with her outside of the Savannah side of the story. It would be fun to see her interact with the other members of Runaway Train and Jacob's Labber. Emmie and Lucy hanging couldn't be that bad either. In essence, I feel like a mixture was needed at the end to tie it all together.

The climax came very close to the end and while the reaction was expected, It was 50/50 for the big reveal, in my opinion. Yes, it had me alert, out of my bed and pouring over the pages but it was also predictable. It wasn't bad, it was crass, funny and mortifying for me the reader, so I can only imagine them as the characters.  I thought a comfortable resolution would take time and expected the time period of the epilogue, to show more than it did. As I said before, I wanted a mixture and an overall sense of togetherness for both of Rhys's worlds.

There seems to be a bucket load of eligible bachelors being paraded around and I am sort of hoping Mr. Marshall from the auction wasn't just apart of the story. I think his past is the base for a really good romance novel and I really want to see what Eli and Gabe have to give.

Brayden and Lily are still a mystery to me but that's fine, because the make awesome parents and they are the most stable couple on this train. Mia is way too mellow now and AJ is his usual eccentric self. Jake remains angry, with Abby as his anchor and we are given a brief view into the men of Jacob's Ladder. I love that we got updates on every one and got to reacquaint ourselves with characters through the series we might not have focused on before.

It's really sugary sweet in the beginning and it lost me in the middle but luckily, the ending made up for the initial progression. It became fast paced, on point and kept up the vibe till the end.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Collaboration By Michelle Lynn and Nevaeh Lee

What a collaboration! I loved every minute of this novel and if not for sleep, I would have finished it in 8 hours max! Either way, I was still under 24 hours to show you how engaged I was. I laughed, shed a tear and rolled my eyes at the lifestyle or Trace's crew.

This is a completely different take, from the music based romances I have read in the past and that alone brought most of the appeal for me. I tried to picture two current artiste to as my muse when reading this novel and I couldn't. They reminded me of no one and I like that. They held and carried their own personalities. Trace wasn't ghetto or rapping about sex with chicks just because he was a rapper and Taryn wasn't singing about cornfields and the like.

In the end, they weren't even as polar opposites as I thought. Their backgrounds are not what you expect and their present day relationship dynamics with their team and parental figures waver. I actually like that there wasn't any pomp and fluff with these reveals because their crazy lives held enough drama.

Taryn is portrayed to the public as America's sweetheart but she has quite the skeletons in her past, that her mother never took enough time to cover. That is what surprises me most, because the woman is like a bulldozer. I like though that she was feisty, level headed and secure. She didn't go around demeaning herself or speculating the worse. Honestly, she was born to be a star, because she handles it like a pro! I like that she stood up for what she believed in and wanted and she and Trace make really good music ;)

Trace surprised me, not only with his past, but his thinking. Yes, he partied and drank with the best of them but he had his priorities straight and his ideas weren't bad either. He was an artiste who revered his craft and respected those inside and those looking to get into the industry. I believe Eli's story would be an interesting one.

I love when they got down to the music and the focus they all exuded, even Dre and Xavier. With this ebook, you could click on the songs mentioned, as they were mentioned, as it was a direct link to the YouTube page. I've never read a book that's done that and I love the interactivity of it all. Even though I knew most of the songs, it was good to just click and be introduced to new ones.

The sex in this novel was dear I say more street. *face palm* ...  There was no sentimental crap! It was some good, rough, need you right now, sex! I never felt a soft aspect and it wasn't laced with any BDSM based or implied acts. It was a guy getting his rocks off with a girl who wasn't afraid to say what she want and when she want it! :D

The shadier side of being a celebrity was the focal point the further we got into this romance. It wasn't all glamour and it showed how easy things get misconstrued to sell tabloids. Being stars didn't make them immune, they just handled it better. I even like that the race card was played, because racism is still prevalent in society, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. I am sure they probably got some aspects of the music world wrong but it's their story and they can do whatever they want!

The build up in this story was a good one because both characters are at the peak of their career and are literally touring on different sides of the country. Some how, they make it work and show more interaction than couples who see each other daily. I believed their relationship and eventually love, even with them being half way across the country, for the majority of the novel. They might be apart but their connection was strong.

There are a lot of unexpected events by the end of this story and I will say that I don't agree with some. I was sad because there was one death in this novel that I for one didn't want, especially the fact that it was unnecessary. It's not the violence that most would expect from a novel about a black rapper, but I think that racing to get away from the paps is silly and in a tanker like that, why is he the only one that died?

Either way, I loved this story, it's characters and the slow build up to something so good and fulfilling. I might not like the death in this novel but there is some semblance of closure and a HEA for those who hate cliffhangers.

I am glad I took a chance on this novel because Michelle Lynn and Nevaeh Lee made a great collaboration!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A Song For Us By Teresa Mummert

I think I took too long to finish reading this novel and now I am paying for it. I have an array of emotions to accompany this novel, based on the chapters I got through each day. Therefore, by the end, I have no one set emotional evaluation of this novel. It just is.

The beginning was tentative. Nothing much happened but we got updates and reconnected with old characters. No offence Dorris :)

Before, I saw Eric's character as an angry douche, but I wasn't sure what to expect this go. I was thoroughly surprised to see that Eric through his and Sarah's eyes is a completely different man. Even Cass and Tucker seemed grown and more confident and secure than when we first met them.

Eric is more sensitive than you'd expect and his cynical words did not match his deep actions. I liked his character from beginning to end and I actually wish that he ended up with Donna. I like them together and I think they could have helped each other out of their funk.

Yes, after that last statement, you might find me crazy but I actually think that Derek and Sarah make a good couple. I think he really loves her, he's just as messed up in the head as the rest of them. It's just that no one bothered to talk to him and Sarah was unable to be the support he needed because she could barely hold herself up. If not for that major, appalling wrench thrown in at the climax of this novel, Derek could have become a better person and Donna could have enhanced not only 'Damaged' but the Eric we got to know in this installment.

Sarah annoyed me a lot throughout this novel. I will admit it now, I am bias. I like novels about the guys that are crazy but I resent when it's a female. Irrespective of what we like to think, men are the stronger sex physically, so to see a man vulnerable is welcomed. Women are always placed in a category of being weaklings, so I hate when one free falls into said category, especially through cutting. I hate that most of all.

I started reading this novel after clearly stating to myself that I didn't want to read a love triangle. The irony? Yes, I saw it too. This was a love square! However, I had hopes that maybe Sarah would stick with Derek and Eric and Donna would be the real outcome. Eventually though, I had to get over that dream and try to navigate the murky waters of tainted and unrequited love. Eric had to fight both literally and figuratively for this one. I hope she's worth it.

The resolution in this novel baffled me because all it took was showing up to start mending the problems that plagued and stunted these characters for most of their adult life. I liked the blast into their past because I was interested in the conversations between Eric and his dad. Those were some vulnerable moments.

Even though this was a rock and roll novel it gave us an aspect that we rarely see with this genre. They weren't touring and getting in trouble with groupies , they were on a break. It was good to see them in a different element, removed from the celebrity scene and it assisted in highlighting the struggles for artiste to acclimate back to every day life when the touring ends.

The twins were more interactive in this novel and I like the time spent with Terry and Chris. They are the life of the party! The camaraderie only got better with the return of Tucker as he helped create ways for Eric and Sarah's relationship to grow. Side note, if you haven't noticed, I refuse to call him 'E'. It's a letter and quite retarded of a nick name -_-

This can be a quick read if your in the mood and have the time. It's interesting enough to keep you engaged but get ready to be annoyed at some point with the back and forth between Donna, Eric, Sarah and Derek.

I liked Eric and Derek the most from this novel and their constant competition and deception kept this story interesting and moving more than the actual romance. Truthfully, I was over it when the final couple dynamics were revealed. I didn't hate the romance but I was more a fan of the road to the romance.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Willing Captive By Belle Aurora

So, here I am tittering between 2 and 3 stars so I say ... "Hey! Let me go over to Goodreads and see what's up". Imagine my surprise, that on the first page of reviews for this book, I could only spot two reviews that matched my ratings and feelings. Therefore, here goes my minority report ...

My commitment wavered with this story. In the beginning I was not a fan and was contemplating having my first DNF. As it progressed, it didn't get much better either. It took me taking a break, then going back to read the end scenes, to appreciate and get a different view of this story and it's characters. I am still not 100% won over but I ended with a better rating than I carried while reading.

Lily is immature and I assume we are to blame this on her sheltered life and issues of her past that not even she could recall. Still, I find the dialogue of not only herself but Nox, occasionally to be that of a 13 year old instead of the 23 and 28 years old they were suppose to be. His mocking feminine moments weren't cute either. It just left me doing a face palm x_x

Nox is a no nonsense guy and I like that he took his job serious. He wasn't blinded by lust and even when things got heated he stuck to at least half of the procedures. I still don't know where she was being kept. I also didn't mind the build up to their relationship. It was cute and not so much insta lust and love. Yes, she looked but she wasn't all ready and willing to be a captive.

Speaking of, please believe the side note that notifies you that this isn't a dark and twisted thriller. It's really not. At one point in time, I forgot that she was even in danger. I still don't even see or acknowledge the threat. That's mainly because there was no build up or information there even though we got both characters POV.

I was not familiar with the "threat" and the reveal felt very anti climatic, like the story needed to end, so let's just reveal the masterminds in the most Steven Segal way and get onto the HEA. Positive side? No cliffhangers. This one is all wrapped up!

I say Steven Segal ending because of the account of the deaths and all the crazy super spy shenanigans that followed the big "reveal". I mean, this man is having a full fledged phone conversation, with two bullet holes in his chest -_-

In relation to spies, Rock and Boo need better names. Just had to get that off my chest. Now moving on ... this novel was more light and airy and never felt like a kidnapping for 3/4 of the journey. There were also so many pointless things that I now wonder why we were even privy to the information. We spent buck loads of time watching this girl train. I swore she would at least get to cut somebody o.O

As I said in the beginning, I was more interested in this book after the climax. To see the lingering effects, of a malicious few, woke me up. Heroes are suppose to withstand anything the book world throws at them but Nox shows his mortality and it's more revealing than most. His scars aren't emotional and they are definitely permanent. I actually think it was drastic because messing with his head was enough. Then again, I wouldn't have felt the power in this novel without those scenes. I actually wanted to read more of this story when we got to those scenes. I was more interested in him struggling and adjusting to his new life than I was the "kidnapping".

Another positive for me, was that I read 'Raw' before I read 'Willing Captive'. So at the end of this novel, Belle notifies us of Nox's cameo in 'Raw'. I was squealing with excitement to revisit my beloved Twitch because I didn't remember Nox.

I am now more familiar with Nox and Lily, bridged a gap and got to revisit a character I loved. I toe the line between recommending and not recommending this novel so I say try it for yourself. Don't expect blatant lies, dark and twisted depression between the H/h. It's quite a fluffy read but it's not that bad that you can't power through.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Monster By Francette Phal

This story took all the cliches of dark twisted romances and chucked them together with a few of it's own spins. It was long but short at the same time, because even though it is over 300 pages, the timeline was not used well. It felt more like a manuscript of ideas as oppose to a complete novel.

We didn't get to see the courting or beginning of this marriage, which is fine. I have no problem meeting them four years into the financial based marriage but then we weren't given enough time or scenes to understand and appreciate her concerns or motivations. I was therefore unable to completely side with her, because she was a gold digger so she could have eased up some, as she gave neither the readers or Dominic reasons to trust in her like she wanted. No one accidentally becomes a gold digger; She was one and circumstances allowed her to change her perception of life, as did his.

Problem is, we didn't get to share in that catalyst, that changed both these characters from a gold digging trophy wife and a cold, ruthless, demeaning husband. He's never hidden is penchant for the darker side of life but what's her excuse?

They are fierce as a couple and their arguments are heated to the point where you wanna tear off your own clothes. There sexual tension is palpable and when he isn't putting her on display like a show pony they do have some passion filled, dirty, sexy sex without whips and chains. They know how to make even you the reader feel sexy. I also liked that neither had tunnel vision and I was actually anticipating a no pressure three some at one point :)

Individually, I find that we never got to know Dominic as much as Eden because she was open from the beginning and her POV dominated the majority of this story, as almost every one got the opportunity to voice their side of this story. It was told more as a narrative and at times switched to first person narration. There was no one course so we got all angles, from the sex-addict best friend to the resentful stepbrother.

Dominic makes a good monster and can sit at the top with the rest who knows how to command a room and have the facial expressions of Stu Ungar. He had the usual unbecoming childhood, spur on by neglectful parents. The usual Francette Phal MO. I might not know him inside out like other book husbands I have read but I liked his character, especially when he gets to scheming and calculating. He is driven and he plans everything. The man doesn't lose, he concedes as necessary.

Eden was a good strong character. A little too judgmental, especially with her past decisions, but she knows how to hold her own. Jenna is an oxymoron of sorts because while she is conniving and not the most trustworthy of best friends, she can be extremely loyal. This seems to be gearing up to be a series and while I had expected Jenna's book next, I hope we get inside her head soon.

The sneak preview of the next book in the series has me a little iffy if the one female we are introduced to will be taking the lead. I normally like crazy but she scares me a little o.O

There was more explanation than conversation and I liked the conversation because what little we had flowed and it was never frivolous or done to hold space. It was interesting, engaging and brought us to a point. I just hoped for more.

In the early stages of this novel, we sliced out a whole chunk of a year that wasn't very in depth for the reader. This story leaves you with a lot of deleted scenes, questions and missing pieces that are privy to Eden and Dominic only. Not much changed within that year, it's like time stood still. I'm still not even sure how Liam almost died or died and came back, whatever happened!

It was good to see them interact as a family and to see Dominic as he wooed Eden. As the novel progressed, I missed his cold indifference that defined him in the beginning of this novel and I appreciate that the minor characters issues were displayed and just as engaging as Dominic and Eden's story. Especially Cassie and Bruce, however short their spotlight was.

Even though it came off as cliche it had it's engaging moments. I liked the characters and think their story line had bouts of originality but needed a better delivery and use of time frame. We spent all this time watching a husband win the wife he never really had and I left feeling unsatisfied and thinking that the end was anti climatic. I could have asked for a more secure and fulfilling ending, unless their story isn't over. With Francette Phal, you never know.

Friday, 9 May 2014

When I Break By Kendall Ryan

It's not much to write home about. Knox is suppose to a sex addict and McKenna is trying to run her self ragged volunteering all over Chicago like she ain't got bills to pay. I like McKenna and Knox as individuals but they make for a very weird couple. I do appreciate their friendship though as I found it comfortable and easy going from it began. If anything has me stumped, it's her reaction at the end of this book and that it ended in a cliffhanger.

Knox's brothers were the highlight of this novel for me. The boys were straight forward and hilarious. They act their respective ages and I like that Jaxon is currently in that place where he's bound to get himself in trouble. Knox wasn't a hypocrite when it came to his brothers and their sexual adventures. My favorite line might be "I had no clue whose virginity Luke was planning to take and honestly I didn't really care as long as he wrapped it up." It was definitely something Knox would say.

He wasn't a perpetual tough guy and we occasionally got to see his softer side when in the presence of McKenna and the boys. Is he a sex addict? Quite possibly! But I think he wavers in that category because he does possess a high level of control with his "addiction" and the many struggles in his every day life. He's a guy, with a lot of responbilities, so naturally he messes up at times, but for the most part, he's a good friend, brother and whatever he has going on with McKenna.

I have nothing against the girl but McKenna needs to wake up and grow up. Her issues aren't really an issue and let's clear something up now ... she isn't a virgin. She just haven't had good sex and only attempted it once. Doesn't make you a virgin McKenna! She is way too innocent and this book eludes at BDSM but I can't see it from either of them. He's too controlled and sweet with her and she's like Mary's little lamb.

There is no actual penetration sex in this novel. It's a lot of fore and oral play but no one is getting their stick dipped. It's basically PG.

The conflict in this novel is getting over and addiction that Knox doesn't really have and McKenna finding redemption for something that isn't really her fault. I personally think she needs to get a real job and stop blaming herself for something that was so not her fault. Both major conflicts are almost unnecessary and I wish we could spend more time seeing these two as a couple raising the boys. It's make for a more interesting story because we aren't actually hearing what's going on in SAA, so what's the point?

This is a short, quick read and while not much happen in the way of a relationship or sex, it was a good book that you can read in one sitting to pass some time. It's heavily family based and it's not filled with your cliche girl looking for love. She is shy, timid and the definition of philanthropic.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Tangled By Em Wolf

First order of business, this book needs to get a better cover and title. It is so much better than what you get at face value. I thought it would be some silly, bratty kids pissing away their parents money, doing drugs and sexing all over the place. They aren't even in high school anymore. They are sophomores in college who live and act like adult nearing 30. Their lives, decisions and actions were beyond their years and I loved their clique however cliched the view on college life was. It was a good and held it's own in the world of NA and college romance.

It's another one of the genetic crazies and you know how I love this type! I will admit that I was lost in the beginning and thought about quitting ... *knocks wood* ... something I have yet to do with a novel. I am glad I powered through though, because this is a diamond in the rough. Even though it ended with a HEA for two of our main characters, I wanted more. I wasn't ready to let go of Adonis and Tessandra yet.

I was a little hesitant with Adonis in the beginning because this novel skipped years of tension, friendship and changes to show us a smitten Tess, undecided Cameron and the douche druggie that is Adonis.

Yes, his name is pretentious, but so is the guy. He is crude, easy to hate and carries most of the sarcasm and levity of this novel from beginning to end. He is blunt, in your face and not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeves. I loved that about him. Even when he wasn't coming down from a manic high, he had no problem voicing his thoughts.

I loved him even more closer to the end when he started to reveal his past and his current struggles. While not much of a fight for him, I liked when he fell in love and tried to be a better man. He didn't lose the Adonis we met in chapter 1 but his remarks were spun to give him a different angle and I love that they continued to bicker like enemies with all the benefits at the end :)

Their sex was passionate, rough, wild and a game of upstaging the other but it worked. Their personalities shined and there was never a dull moment. Tess is still a mystery to me because I don't understand why such an awesome girl would want to change even though I loved the different aspects of her personality and all her struggles with the parental figures in her life.

Cameron was the golden boy turn vindictive prick when things went south. He was however, right. He was smart, loyal, caring and got the bad end of the stick when the smoke clear. His character made for the best of friends even if he lacked in other areas. The fact that we got almost everyone's POV was good for the development of the story also.

This novel held a great cast of characters and I loved every one of them. Their camaraderie was evident and their friendships solid even when rocky. I was surprised to see such a vindictive side to Cameron towards the end of this novel but then I thought about it, every one in this novel had their hang ups and smoke screen mirrors in place in one aspect or another of their life.

For those adverse to cheating, I won't say it wasn't present, but it wasn't done in a tacky sense and if you were to get technical it could almost be seen as non existent. Tess and Cameron make great friends and to me some dynamics shouldn't be disturbed.

Adonis and Tess on the other hand have passion like no other and their relationship is unpredictable, wild and ever changing. We also got to see the struggles of Jade and Lance and spent some time with the Irish, Riley. At times I wavered with his sexuality, but for now, I'm gonna say he's straight.

They might be privileged teens trying to find their way through life while fighting through college and the events of their past but this came off more as New Adult than Young Adult. A lot is skipped and you will feel lost in the beginning trying to get your bearings right, but in the end, you'll come out with a great story of mental illness, love, drug abuse and unfortunately betrayal. They work it out but you can't help but wonder if there is more. I personally hope so :)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Nash By Jay Crownover

So, I'm still battling my sinusitis from hell this week but I had to power through a novel and I am glad it was Nash. I find that I never really took stock of his character before and at the end of this novel I wasn't ready to move on. I wanted more of Nash and Saint, especially Royal. I don't know how she will fit in yet, but I am desperate to see if this is all we will be getting from the fierce redhead!

This was a calm and sweet novel about loving yourself before anything else. It focused more on the events in both main characters lives than it did the romance. Which was fine, because these two were made for each other and I like that the struggle was more with her past life than the man she chose to love presently. Though the same, they are different. The story line and main characters were different and not as angry or lost as the novels and characters before. Yes, they had to walk their own paths to absolution but their journey was more secure than before. Even when they were on separate pages, they were close. 

There wasn't the attitude of Rule, absence and struggles of Jet and the constant anger and lost that plagued Rome. It was sweet Nashville, yes, that's his full name, and his love for Saint and his uncle turned dad.

Once again, it was the disease from hell but I liked how it was represented and it progressed so as to give us all the answers and leave us with a sense of completion. If every one could leave the world with that comfort, minus the pain, it'd definitely be a better world.

Saint was insecure, which a lot of women struggle with, even the pretty ones and it showed in her lifestyle and ideologies. I like though that it didn't make her shy away completely. She was fierce and I had a hard time seeing her as fat and shy. She seemed to dominate when she blew through and I loved her rational and interactions with her mom. If anything, I would want to see her have some of the similar conversations with her father.

Nash was sweet, sensitive an everything contradictory to the other members of this series. I thought Asa was my favorite, even though I have yet to read his story, but Nash is surely giving him a run now that I have gotten to known the broody artiste away from the Marked and all it's other band of misfits.

We got to experience Rule and Shaw's wedding and I am grateful for that. They started it all and I love that while we go, we continue to get updates on all the stories passed. I'm normally not a fan of this, but Nash's take is done to not make it seem like a revisit to the past, but a present discussion. I also liked his one on one with Asa because I love a redeemed, struggling lunatic of a bad boy and Asa confirmed and holds that spot for me.

I never paid much attention to Rowdy before but I think my interest is peaked more because of Salem than Rowdy himself. Royal has me pairing her with Asa also but who knows! Jay Crownover has a way to just insert a character out of the blue and they fit. It really is a band of castaways that make for the most well rounded group of friends.

Nash in the eyes of a young Saint was good. I actually wanted to spend time in the past with them to see them interact. I am also grateful that we could get Nash's POV and that he didn't have super memory of that incident like Saint did, because it made for a more realistic angle and gave justification for her erratic behaviour.

This was a match made in heaven and a love and crush lasting the span of years. Nash is the glue of this group and he's also the most secure and sure in his endeavours. He tackles his problems head on and I just wish we got more time with Phil so we could see him understand and appreciate the love he was searching for.

You are guaranteed to fall in love with all the characters of this novel as the drama was less and life's choices were highlighted. We get a real romance without the endless drama and heartbreaking separation. 

I enjoyed every page of this novel and no one was left in the wind. It was more laid back than previous novels but I have to say that I really enjoyed this mellow mood while the pills kept me calm and half awake. Even so, I was never bored and while the sex wasn't Rule and Shaw's kinda rowdy play, it was good and I love when a man is willing to make a woman in charge in the bedroom. Sometimes we need to dominate too ;)

Coming from a chick with a few piercings of her own, I always enjoy the many different piercings in this series and the ideas they bring. I will say that this was another great novel by Jay Crownover, whose real name I finally got, by reading more than just the story :)

Love, lost, trust and change is prevalent. There is a handle for every one and I absolutely love the beginning quotes of the epigraph. My favorite quote was among them and that alone had me ready and rearing to go.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" - Eleanor Roosevelt

Truer words have never been spoken!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Then Came Alexandra By E.L. Todd

First off, I don't know in which world Blaise was and can be a playboy. He is too sensitive and too much of a push over to the point where his behavior disgust. Maybe it's a Southern thing but this man was more sentimental than all the women of this novel combined. Grow a spine man!

Gabe was ridiculously annoying and I continued to roll my eyes at the intensity with which these men fought for Alexandra. It was like answering to a siren's call with how they behaved. I actually think that Blaise needs some anger management classes and is one upset away from being a woman beater, even if Danielle is infuriating and deserves it.

Speaking of which, why does Danielle have so much power in this story? I believe the conflict of this story can easily be solved with a good ol' fashion conversation between all parties involved. Her secret isn't much of a secret and at the price of my happiness? Sorry, can't do it! Especially if I loathe you the way he "claims" he loathes Danielle. At this point, he doesn't deserve Alexandra because he isn't man enough to put Danielle in her place and give Alexandra a reason to forgive him and see past this betrayal.

Then in comes Paul. He is a douche. I say this, because he is. There is no justification for cheating and emotional cheating is way worse than physical cheating. Still, there is something about him I like. He shows up at the literal beginning and end of this novel but I'd give him a chance over Blaise because he is honest and man enough to clear the air and try to make it work. Right now, he is the better candidate.

Martha is hilarious and I think she adds that wise, parental aspect to this novel, without any one feeling like a disappointment. She seems to be the glue that ties every one together and I love her blunt one on one conversations with both Blaise and Alexandra.

This was my first real Southern novel. I didn't know what to expect, so I expected nothing. It's kind of sweet and it's not the culture shock I assumed it to be. Their ideologies and time frame was quick but it worked for them. They don't beat around the bush or waste time. Except for the very irresponsible Blaise -_-

I am comfortably with them as a couple, for however long it was, but I am not crazy about them either. As I said, Blaise needs to grow a pair! Dual POVs can have their advantage but every time I switched to Blaise I just wanted to pummel him. The wording of his POVs from most conversations, outside of the ones with Martha and Alexandra, came of rather feminine and left me rolling my eyes with their delivery. It was so melodramatic and sappy. I wanted a strong country male perspective, not this whiny, ungrateful, sap of a man.

You might be thinking that I hate him but I don't. I just think that his behaviour, after his major screw up that could be seen a mile away, knocked him down a notch in my book. His confidence in his sexual prowess baffles me, because it was also very sweet and tame sex. You are not a sex God Blaise. Please repeat this to yourself!

The more time Alexandra spent in Savannah, the more she started to seem less mature than the raging NYC girl who showed up in the middle of the night with issues a mile long. She was strong, independent and witty in the opening of this novel and to the end I saw some more of that. Maybe it's Paul who brings out the rugged in her.

We only had one interaction with Abby but I love it! She is hilarious and I can see how Alexandra could have all those tough city chick traits because her sister and aunt is no different. Lana and Hannah are the epitome of Southern girls and all the cotton rearing was done in just the right amount as to not overwhelm this story. It's a short read and I got it done in a couple hours while doing the laundry.

I think this was a good, solid story that carries just the right Southern sway. I am not a fan of cheating novels, as my last was 'Thoughtless' by S.C. Stephens, over a year ago, so I am tentative to read the next novel in this series.

Despite all the grammatical, spelling and editing errors, as well as, the lack of balls on Blaise, I enjoyed this installment and would read the next in the series.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Breathe You In By Joya Ryan

Joya Ryan writes sweet novels. It's what she do. It's insta everything and the plots aren't that well developed. It's like she tries to skirt around the many conflicts that all her characters seem to have. This was no different. They aren't angst filled and take on a more simplistic approach, to the point of complete old school sappy romance novels, but always with a flair of betrayal and the requisite dark past. That's why they make for nice, breezy Sunday afternoon reads. Lucky for me, the breeze is crazy today and it so happens to be a Sunday :)

I think Amy and Roman were made for each other. They compliment each other well as a couple and I can't see them as anything else. With time and development, they could be a New York power couple, getting everything right down to a science. To be honest, I expected this story to end with marriage and a baby carriage. It's only fitting.

While they make the perfect couple, I know and connect with Amy because she narrates. A lot about Roman is still a mystery and I don't know when he decided to change his ways, but I just went with it cause it worked. He is open without actually being open. Confusing, I know. Unless they are having crazy passionate sex, the man keeps his distance and has mommy and trust issues all in one.

I've never read about a sitting Governor or any politician run for his current post, but there is something to say about election processes and I wish we had gotten that story also. I would have loved to see them tackle the press as a couple instead of separately. After all, they are the golden couple. Politics was made for Roman and Amy.

Amy was adorable and I respected her struggles at work and the faint competition with Silas. She has a weight on her conscience, that while I can't relate directly, I understand. Her issues don't make her personality and I love that she was the softer side that helped pull Roman from the dark. Despite her past, she wasn't tatted and pierced, looking for love in all the wrong places. She maintained her innocence and fought for her family while preserving her sister's memory. I also love the rapport she buit with Regina, because very rare in political novels we see a political family of this caliber.

By the end of this novel, I know and understand the characters but I am not head over heels crazy for the story or said characters. It was a simple book. Not that it's a bad thing but it doesn't give much for me to fawn over. It was cut and clear. The most interesting thing was Amy's parents and her visit. Their disdain and misconception was astonishing and had me sitting up to wonder if they really can be so callous. At least they aren't swayed by fame because the presence of the Governor made no difference to either of them.

I think both main characters have interesting back stories it's just that the delivery was too soft. I might not have gotten bored, but it didn't do such a good job of capturing and keeping my interest. I was more interested in the story when Warren burst on the scene with his diabolical ways or when Bill tried to make Amy feel like gum on his shoes bottom. Call me crazy but I think crazy is sometimes necessary to get and keep a spark in a story.

As I said in the beginning though, it's a Joya Ryan story, so it's soft in it's delivery and  I have yet to see a story from Joya Ryan that has the impact of 'Possess me Slowly'. Still, it was a fairly good novel with characters that you can love and relate to. However unconventional the Governor's private life may be, it's still a good read.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Nameless By Claire Kent

Today is a Saturday. First one in May 2014 actually. I got up, talked with my mom, read couple pages of a book I have been reading since Wednesday, had some breakfast, got back to reading, read some more, wash the dishes, spread my bed, took a shower, got dressed for work, went to work, did work, had lunch with my friend while he introduced me to a new Vegan restaurant (good ones are hard to find in Jamaica), then I continued reading the same book, finished reading said book and I am now embarking on writing a review of that book. What's happening later? Well catch that in the next installment.

The above, was the tone and progression of this novel, using my actual day. Every minute and unnecessary detail was given. Never mind the fact that they had plain 'ol Jane sex, it was detailed! You know normally when the non BDSM sex scenes seems quick, because it is summed up to not make the book drag? Well, this one wasn't. Every single itch was detailed! I won't say a couple never got you a little moist but c'mon! They ain't changing it up so why must I read every detail of this? At this point, I could tell when Erin was gonna come and how.

At 40%, this book had accomplished issues and solutions of a full length novel, but without any of the passion or meaning. It certainly had conflicts lining up til the end, even if it was from the main characters themselves, against themselves. Then if that wasn't enough, she decided in the end, to drop the most infuriating woman in the world back to square one in a technical sense.

I don't know much about Seth, but I do know that I prefer him to Erin. The man spoke the least and had the least impact on the story. We could literally do without both Erin and Seth with how independent this story and it's main characters were. Seth was impersonal, cold, distant and never once completely let go and be vulnerable. Yet still, in comparison to Erin, I would take him any day.

Erin is annoying and I got tired of her very quickly. The frustration and inevitable indifference where she was concerned came later. All this made it even harder to read, because she narrates the whole thing. She is infuriating, obstinate with a capital 'O' and frankly, I think she is rather selfish and only cares about herself and her baby. I keep waiting on them, especially her, to get a little personal with the readers but they were so distant. The only person able to feel their love is them and their baby.

I can't fully call this a romance novel because the romance was minimal. I struggled to reach the end, because the chapters are gigantic and the story flowed as more a text book than one of leisure and pleasure. I have read books about strong willed characters before, but these two never allow you to see the soft side. Even when they are showing it, it's rough and in need of a good polishing!

I must commend the author though, because even with it's rather large size, I can't remember seeing a grammatical or editing error. It was the work of an English teacher, which I found out in the acknowledgement.

Yes, you are going to get bored, because they are like an every day family trying to get through a one night stand baby and the feelings of their past and present. I read stories to escape real life and get as close to it as possible without it being all too real. This story was all too real. If I wanted every day problems, I'd film my life, minus the baby drama -_-

I think the pregnancy process was detailed well and gave us a blow by blow of Erin in labour. Don't expect the shortened version, because you will be there with her through every contraction and the results after.

If you have the patience and are a fan of stories that are more real than fairy tale, then you can pick up a copy of this novel. For me though, I need a light, novella now to help restore my faith in regards to romance novels, because this was too impersonal and I have seen business deals more personal than this story.