Tuesday, 28 October 2014

In my absence ....

Sighz. For all my loyal readers, you might have noticed that I was missing since October 15. I am sad to say I was struggling to read my first DNF and after exactly two weeks, I have decided that it will in fact become and stay a DNF.

At this point in time, I don't even know what I am gonna read next because I NEED a pick me up!

Anyways, I apologize for my absence and hope I didn't lose too much readers with my two weeks "sabbatical". I am hoping to jump into a new novel right away and continue to bring you the best spoiler free reviews I can churn out!

Missed you guys and can't wait to get back on the saddle.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Reaper's Legacy by Joanna Wylde

I am seeing myself in the minority once again. I took a while, after finish reading, to think on this novel and what got my attention. Unfortunately, that was harder than I expected.

I think the story began really strong with a lot of drama, angst and questions but the delivery left much to be desired. I never questioned the relevance of scenes or characters but they all seem to be standing and waiting on something spectacular or maybe that was just me o.O

I know I was interested in the story but it's hard to pinpoint what exactly I enjoyed. Interest is completely different from engaging and memorable. So while I was interested, I believe we could have used some more of the two latter, as I'm still not sure where the story climaxed.

Sophie doesn't embrace the life and that's fine. Not every one is cool with the coming and going of criminals and I don't judge or hate her for that. However, I think that her eventual acceptance was too lackluster in it's delivery. I had to also check if she was sure because if acts of kindness made a difference then she should have embraced the life a lot earlier. Maybe around the time her son almost got raped o.O

Ruger is interesting. He is loyal and honest to a fault but he's forgettable. I did not remember this man from 'Reaper's Property' and had to do a search of that novel. Can you imagine my shock at how important and frequent of a role he played?! Then again, maybe it's how long I took between novels.

Ruger is hot and quite the caveman aka sexist. Still, the man knows how to spoil a woman and I love the wild, possessive sex scenes. Those were definitely hot!

As I write this review, a few things hit me and one of them was how the women in this novel fought 3/4 of their battles, maybe even more. The MC always came in as cleaners and that just added to the already soft tone this novel carries.

Though Sophie and Ruger don't make a bad couple, they aren't that interesting as one either. Their romance story line was rather basic and I felt like Horse and Marie's relationship took center stage. In the end, I wasn't even interested in any of the couples and just wanted to get a peek at Noah's novel. Now that's a story I wanna read!

I was more interested in life after the story, especially as it relates to Noah, Ruger and now Faith's relationship.

This was a solid story line with some really good moments but the delivery wasn't as great. Exciting things happened but not all of them were exciting. It was good enough though to glide to the end and have me anticipating the next novel in the series. Not perfect but still a good read.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Pretty Instinct by S.E. Hall

Without meaning to, this novel clarified for me why Hollywood marriages rarely last long. Tight quarters; uninterrupted time spent exclusively and in secluded spaces for work will make strangers think they know each other for years. Enough to get the three letter phrase and walk down the aisle.

If you follow my reviews you know I am not a fan of insta love stories, especially ones of this caliber. Still, I enjoyed the story for the most part. Liz's humour and Connor's lack of a filter and love of fish, yes, I am weird like that, my favourite pet are fish, made it easier to relax and get to know the other characters.

Contrary to what you might expect, the music brings them together but that's where it ends. This story focuses more on the insta love story line and Liz's past than it does C.U.N.T (name of the band) and their musical journey. I think they should get the award for "Most pointless tour in history". So if your looking for a full on rockstar romance, then this can only fill half of that need, but it does have a good playlist :)

Liz is spunky and does a great job of narrating the majority of this story. She is fierce, fiery and did I mention funny? "You don't eat my pussy or pay my bills so you don't get a say" will remain my favourite line in a novel until it gets a worthy successor. Meeting Cannon made her a cheesy romantic but occasionally, the Liz I love broke through.

Cannon, with the exception of his name, is too good to be true. He is the epitome of price charming so I never really got into his character. I like my guys with a little edge! He had his moments in the bedroom but outside he was too much of a pacifist. I'm sorry, but no new girlfriend should have to face off with an ex-fiance while the guy sits in the car. It's not cute, it's cowardly!

As story line goes, this one had too much, but only one interested me and when I finally got the answers, I was sorely disappointed. Vaughn sums it up best with his appearance. This story was longer than it needed to be, especially with the fact that the interesting things didn't happen until the end and by then, we were staring at the chapter long acknowledgement. Hope she got everybody o.O

Vaughn I believe, is the one character that got the summary of this story right, to the point where I would read a novel about the little sociopath. Yeah, I apparently like 'em dark ;)

If not for a select few characters, prolly three, I would probably not like this story at all. I actually thought about discontinuing at 10% but I stuck through it! This was too much teenage angst, for the age group, mixed with a fairy tale romance. I kept waiting for Taylor Swift to burst out in song!

It wasn't perfect, realistic or relateable but it was good enough for me to get to the end and when it was good, it was great! I am actually curious as to who is next in the series cause it surely can't be Cannon and Elizabeth and no one else is as interesting so that's saying something o.O


Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Final Hour by London Miller

That was the perfect conclusion to the Mishca and Lauren story line. It's been a while since I read the previous novels in this series and though we are left with a lot of unanswered questions, I think the solutions to their past unraveled and progressed wonderfully, even if it occasionally became a tad too easy.

For every good plot execution, there was some underlying, questionable executions and though their past have been put to rest, their future is anything but stable.

We focused on the Bratva and Mishca's involvement and duties, as oppose to his relationship with Lauren and his "family". With the exception of their wedding, the romantic elements were few as was the sex scenes. This, I didn't mind, because there was so much going on that took precedence over who was poking who.

We got the opportunity to explore Klaus and Luka's character and though I have some clarity, I am also confused. I understand their personalities and thirst for blood but I really want to know more about the Albanian-Russian enforcer and the Russian mercenary. Especially the question of who is Klaus's next target.

This novel was more about closure via mind games with a relative amount of violence. Minus the club scene. That was just brutal! I loved the moments Mishca spent in police custody, battling with Agent Green and the time spent on the court proceedings. I could feel the emotions on both side from desperation to anxiety.

We learnt more about Mishca than any other character which led me to understand his stance on the Bratva and living a life of organized crime. I will never fully understand Lauren, especially with her earlier inclinations, but she stood by her man in the roughest of times and it was interesting to see her in the role of a Bratva queen as she adjusted to the problems as they arise.

Everyone had a role to play and I am sad that we had to lose a major character. When I figured it out, I was fairly surprised but it had a stronger impact when everyone was made aware and decisions had to be made. So you can imagine how badly I now wanna know Luca's secret.

There was a ton of grammatical and spelling errors that led me to believe that I might have an unedited copy but I edit it myself as I read and it did not detract from the engaging story line and delivery that had me up till early morning fighting sleep to see what would happen in the final hour.

London Miller has always gave us good and intriguing stories on the Russians and their associates and this time was no different. There was drama, love, lies, culture and history as far back as necessary. It was detailed in it's delivery and never left me wanting for more when an issue was closed. Unfortunately, I have to patiently wait for the next installment and I can't wait to dive deeper into Klaus and Luka's crazy world!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

In Deeper by Kella McKinnon

So it's safe to say that Criss is certifiable and needs to be admitted. The man is crazy. To be honest, Brie is a little crazy too. She just doesn't acknowledge it yet.

The phrase of this novel is: "How many sins can love forgive?" and I feel like this book answered that question and then some. As it relates to the story line, it was a few of what I expected with some of it's own twists. It was cliche riddled and ridiculous in it's representation of the Honduras cartel but it was also quite entertaining to see them reason through all the chaos Criss single-handedly caused. Especially towards the end.

This time, we had purpose and a solid reason to end the past and embrace the future but I can't help but to highlight the fact that the journey was extremely far-fetched and unrealistic. Occasionally, it crossed the line into impossible and ridiculous.

There is gun slinging pregnant women in labour and even more hot and cold from the one and only Cristos Vicario. I actually found myself reenacting the, 'Waking up in Vegas' music video from Katy Perry, a few times. Yes, it had really cheesy moments.

On the plus side, I got to know Cristos this go and found that he shares the same spot as Brielle in my eyes. Just with a touch of crazy! I connected with him more and it was interesting, to say the least, to be in his loony bin of thoughts. The fact that he was MacGyver/Jason Bourne in one didn't go unnoticed either. After all, it was the epitome of all the unrealistic and ridiculously fictional scenes. I actually wished we focused more on the billionaire aspect, because his profile didn't fit with any crime related activities and both of their needs to justify his criminal ways only made them seem naive.

Brielle kept her wit and humour that I came to love from the previous novel and though it didn't last long, she got a backbone for a good two weeks at least. A lot was laid open in this installment but I was over the old and more interested in the present. Funny how these series work sometimes :)

There was a whole lot of drama, action and activities to keep you in the present without needing the escape of the past.

The level of direct conversation remained the same, but this time they were filled with some substance, as we got to know more about Criss, at the expense of Brie's side of the family. We finally met what's remaining of the Dalton's but one was silent and the other did not meet me expectations.

The insightful and relative quotes at the beginning of each chapter served to ease my tension or make me a little apprehensive based on the subject and once again, I went highlighter crazy!

I was more committed and interested in this novel than the previous, as I got comfortable with Criss's crazy and Brie's lack of self control, preservation or esteem when it came to Criss. It became raw and uninhibited. If you remove all the money being tossed around and the wild wild west gun slinging, it was the remnants of an every day relationship, where no matter how bad it gets, you kept going back for more.

I am sad to see Criss go but I can say that I enjoyed this installment more than the last and I hope we can at least get an update novella in the upcoming future. Even Evan's story perhaps? Who knows :)

P.S. Chapter 15 is where all the magic happens! :)

- Buy 'In Deeper' by Kella McKinnon on Amazon today!

In Deep by Kella McKinnon

I am a sucker for philosophy and quotes! At the beginning of each chapter, we got little quotes that got me thinking and I will admit to going crazy with my kindle highlighter for a few. This, I believe was one of the best features of this novel.

Though this is a story line that I have read before, I would like to think that this one was different. In the end, Criss didn't change much of his POV, but his theories and train of thought would make any psychologist delirious with joy! Yes, he's got issues. I can't say I connected much with his character but I will say that I wanna know what exactly it is that he's plotting.

Regardless of the cliche themes and progression, Brie was a spark in all that familiarity as she remained realistic and brought a different angle and approach to the usual billionaire romance story line. She questioned everything and became the more relateable of the two.

Initially, I thought that this would be one of those dual POV novels, where one character repeated everything that happened in the previous chapter, but then it turned into snapshots of Cristos's past. It's not a very nice past, but it was my first time being treated to this writing style and I found that most of the mystery, intrigue and questions came with the past recollections, as nothing note worthy happened in the present. Except for a whole lot of angry sex!

Yes, it is a cliffhanger and on top of that, I find myself still trying to figure out the point, climax and overall journey this story will be taking. I thought I had it all figured out but as the novel got closer to the end, I found that I really don't know much about the past or future. I am still trying to figure out the characters, their motivations and decisions. I am totally clueless as to where this novel is going or wants us to follow.

It has a few grammatical errors but it's nothing overwhelming and I find that Brie's personality and reactions allowed you to overlook some of the faults, as you remained interested in the story as it progresses, trying to find the end or point. My biggest concern now is how the author will be able to straighten and present a complete story in one more novel, because even the basics are still murky. The conversations were few and in between and we spent most of the time in both characters heads.

This novel can easily fall in the category of billionaire romance but there is something about Brie that makes it more. She adds a difference with her firm grip on life. There is nothing sexier than a confident and secure woman in love.

Regardless of my love for Brie, there is a story here and I really want to find out what it is. Also, there is the added intrigue of that kiss that we both want so badly :)

Who knew a kiss held so much power?


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Arrangement by Bethany-Kris

I have read about the Russian mafia and arranged marriages before but not within the same story line. There is something to be said about characters who embrace and live in the dark. The ones who don't try to seek out the light.The fact that Vine was already acclimated to the mafia life, cut a lot of red tape and dropped us right into the meat of the matter.

Where we went from there though balanced the line between cheesy and good. There were good and boring moments but by the end, I was fully invested, especially after that cliffhanger, soap opera-esque ending.

There were a few stagnant areas that were filled with mindless, detailed sex scenes that did nothing for me or the story line and I found that I preferred their conversations and banters to the sex. They aren't your usual couple, pairing or individuals and that made for an interesting story.

The Anton we meet is barely Russian, despite being 100% born and bred Russian. There were times when I had to be reminded that he is a Russian mob boss. He came off as an American hitman, as oppose to Russian royalty, but I didn't mind. He was honest and sure in what he wanted and the Russian came out when he got angry enough or business needed to be conducted.

Vine's personality changes with the different stages of her life but one thing remains the same and that is her knowledge and acceptance of the life. She acts accordingly without being a boss herself or inserting herself into Bratva and Cosa Nostra business. She is the perfect mob wife.

Some would say that this story lacks a good dose of Russian and Italian culture but I think it was dispersed in just the right amount for an introduction. It was focused and didn't stray with mindless explanations to cover space, even when the transitions became messy, as you tried to decipher Anton's from Vine's POV.

Still, I found myself confused and unsure in the middle, as I tried to decipher the big secret and ascertain the main underlying point of the novel. The climax didn't help much in the way of excitement, as it was rather mellow, much like the rest of the novel and didn't appear until the last 20%.

Even in my confusion, I was hanging on to every page of this novel. It was straight forward, clean and balanced in it's delivery. There wasn't an excess of cheesy mafia or romantic moments. There was a lot more history than present and the future looks filled with possibilities but this installment got me grounded in the idea of Vine and Anton and believe me when I say that I am already ready to get my hands on book 2.


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Take Me for Granted by K.A. Linde

In the beginning, I had to double check that this was in fact a K.A. Linde novel. It didn't feel like her usual writing style and it takes you a while to warm up to the characters, if at all. I'm still not the biggest Vin fan. He just doesn't know when to quit!

As usual, there were a few spin to the usual college/rockstar romance drama. Thing is though, this story wasn't riddled with music as much as I expected. As popular and present music goes, there was none and all the musicians outside of Contraband, with the exception of Vin, were tools. I don't know much about the music industry but this was the most unwelcome representation.

Grant is an interesting character because his first impression leaves everything to be desired. He was cheesy, trying too hard and I didn't buy into his "playboy" persona. He was just annoying. As the novel progressed, I started to warm to his character and like him a little more. He balanced the line between fiction and reality, with his 360 upon meeting Ari, but his continued appreciation of the female anatomy. After all, he isn't blind or impotent.

Ari was a banshee from beginning to end but I love her. She took her time, stayed focus and never lost sight of who she is and wanted to be. She never backs down and made for the perfect balance to Grant's character. Her dry humour and sarcasm helped also. Even though she was on the wealthier side, she held a more relateable and realistic tone in comparison to the other characters.

We really only got Grant's background but it was so out of left field and that ending did nothing to reassure or help me understand his past anymore. I was left even more confused and unsure of why we needed a happy, anxiety filled cliffhanger o.O

Overall, I feel like this story is an easy read, that keeps you interested enough to finish. However, there is hardly any substance and playing out all the cliches of a rockstar romance can only take it so far. I wish there was more music and less groupie focus but K.A. Linde has always taken her novel from the opposite POVs and this time was no different. The friends were questionable and God bless the few people who possessed any morals.

Minus the lack of musical influences, shock value and overall point, I would read book 2 mostly to see what's next for Grant, Ari and Contraband. Maybe it will get better as it progress and I would like to be apart of that when if it does, plus I have few questions that only K.A. Linde can answer :)


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

If you can look pass the cliche cover and cheesy title, you will find that this novel is just as you expected. Cheesy, cliche and standard YA/NA romance story line and all but with a twist!

I already knew what the ending and major conflicts would look like before they even began but there is something with the delivery that made this novel stand out and made me decide to become a regular reader of this author's work.

Maybe it was Elec's honesty, because I go crazy for the brutally honest ones; or maybe it's Greta's straight forward and persistent personality, as she never held back her wants or feelings. They are both to the point and that makes for an interesting and occasionally shocking story.

This novel isn't a dual POV but it's split into two (2) parts. There is teenage Greta and Elec, then there is adult Greta and Elec, with all the issues and unsaid words from when they were teens. Both parts were interesting and very new adult in their delivery but at some point, part two became a recount of part one (1) but in Elec's POV. Though it was good to have his POV, it shortened the time we spent in the present and eventually became lacking in fresh content as I recollected, word for word, things I read a hour ago. It was just too soon for a revision.

Therefore, by time I got to the HEA, I felt cheated and unsure. Enough time wasn't spent on them as a couple, because they spent 90% of the novel single or with other people.

Still, I was kept entertained, intrigued and guessing throughout, because while I anticipated most of the happenings, there were a few that threw me and it helped that at no point in time I saw them as 17 year old teens. Especially not Elec.

I figured there was a separate story line behind Randy and Elec's constant disagreements but to finally get his history was a unique and shocking one that could have made a wonderful base for a story. It is controversial, unusual and the definition of drama. Unfortunately, it was a recollection and therefore I felt like we were cheated the quality of that particular content.

For what it lacked in present content, it made up with the writing style, background, characters and initial structure. It held alot of fairy tale towards the end but I didn't mind and only wish I could have been apart of the full process to such a heart felt ending.

I don't know if there will be a follow up but I am in love with both Greta and Elec's character and will look out for any potential content in the future.


Friday, 3 October 2014

Torture to Her Soul By J.M. Darhower

Though not what I expected, it was interested when it began, lost in the middle and indifferent by the end. I still love Ignazio Vitale and always will but I felt like this installment didn't know what to do with the remnants of Naz's actions from book 1. The blow back was too light and we spent more time killing people than we did dealing with the onslaught of emotions that should have followed both their betrayals and actions.

In a completely unexpected and lovely twist, this installment was entirely told in Ignazio's POV, with the exception of a bonus scene at the end. The story line was therefore straight forward and hilarious, as we explored his mind and personality. He remained true to his character and I found that the highlights of this novel was when he was being rude or questioned and believe me, he gets questioned alot!

The mortality rate skyrocketed in this novel, all by the hands of Naz and I will admit, that at times I too feared him and saw the monster beneath, but in the end, I just wanted to fly away to Italy and make a new life with the man. I still can't understand the pull.

Even though it was focused around the ramifications of Naz's love for Karissa, I find that the romance played back seat to the criminal elements. We spent more time deciphering the future and reconciling the past. Questions were answered, but alot was still left unsaid and incomplete. There is an understanding that eliminates the need for a book 3, but I will admit that I am not averse to a novella :)

Karissa's character became a supporting role and Ignazio shined in all his glory. Her presence remained constant and I am sure by the end, alot of people won't be able to understand or accept their relationship but I think the uncertainty and day to day struggle to preserve their love gave it a balance between fiction and every day life.

For the sex nuts, yes, there is sex and a good portion of it, but as I previously stated, I preferred the conversations and happenings to the heavy, sometimes dangerous sex that Naz and Karissa partaked in.

I don't believe this novel contained half as much intrigue, suspense and drama that book 1 hefted on us but it had it's moments and did a good job of tying as much loose ends before the acknowledgement. It's not a fairy tale or drama. It just is.

It's about a man trying to decipher his past to find his future and a girl who is caught between the love for her family and the love of her life. It's basic in it's overall delivery but my love for Naz outweighs that factor and the fact that this book is all Naz, all the time is just an added bonus :)