Saturday, 31 August 2013

Ceaseless By Abbi Glines

I won't discount this story as being a bad one, but I have to say, regardless of the beginning of this installment, it was very uninspiring in the end. It's like the author feels the frail connection between Dank and Pagan and decide that it would be best to keep a flat note so that no one compares to the perfection that is Dankmar (still love his name btw).

Loved the beginning of this novel and the premise. I felt it a smart move to basically try to give us a completely new story at the end of a series. I was uncertain as to the necessity of a third book for Dank and Pagan as oppose to Lief and Sabine, but a clean slate changed my mind.

We started off well, even building a relationship with Dank and Gee that I am sure no other transporter has, and I was really getting into the motions of this story. Pagan was semi-fresh and to see her try to connect the dots as we go was interesting and different.

Then in pops Jay and I'm like ... "WTH is this? Her soul mate is a douche and Dank is a god for crying out loud!" ... everyone keeps waiting on that connection that never really came. Dank did the martyr thing and Pagan did the girly thing that normally made her different from the rest of the female population.

Then before I know it, crazy stuff start to happen and the one thing I never wanted but expected happen (read to find out) ;)

I think this a trend with this series. Stellar beginnings, but then the ends just don't live up to your expectation. They are either really corny or so subtle they seem like your just skipping through a chapter in the middle of the book. That excitement and uncertainty lasted a millisecond too short!

As ever, Lief was present. I never really felt much for him this time. Honestly, it was kind of ballsy for him. Being a coward and all. I understand his curiosity, but I would prefer if he moved on with Sabine or anyone and get his own book. Speaking of books, I was starting to wonder if Gee was gonna get her own show, but with that ending and some questions hanging out there, I don't know what to think.

I am not certain if it's because we had to love Dank all over again, but I was beginning to like them as a couple for the first time through the series. I saw it building and liked the foundation. Then we just did a tailspin and skip to the end and I feel like I was stuck in the really like stage while everyone else reached love.

However, regardless of my feelings for Dank and Pagan's relationship, his lyrics are really good. They are deep and soulful. They say what he isn't able to say, and it is in those moments that I feel like I can see within him to find the love and connection that he has with Pagan. I just wish we could do it more often. Afterall, those are the times I connect with the male lead.

This novel was filled with potential, but I think it dragged on until it realized it needed to end and then it was just abruptly dropped on our laps with so many questions and possible outcomes. Honestly, I feel kind of short changed. I understood everything I read, even the climax and ending. But I feel like something is missing. Messing around with gods shouldn't be this easy and drama free, even if you are Death himself.

Sometimes, it's like they didn't even leave high school. I expected growth from the characters, and we basically stayed the same but with a game of Russian Roulette of the hearts and minds.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Leif By Abbi Glines

If it was possible to fall anymore in love with Lief, I did after reading this book. I don't know what Abbi's idea or route was, but I have grown to love this character more with each installment, and in return get more detach with the relationship between Dank and Pagan.

Still, I have a problem with this book. Whilst I didn't have a specific route for this story, I didn't expect it to keep Lief in a state of constant anguish, and to end on such a somber note. I am not sure as to Sabine's role but I am looking forward to even one book for Lief and Sabine. Give my guy some happiness Abbi! He deserves it!

Please note that if you have literally just finished reading 'Predestined', you might want to give your mind at least a couple hours ... maybe 5 or a day if you can spare, because this story is mainly a re-enactment of books 1 and 2 from Lief's POV. You will be re-reading a lot of scenes you have just previously passed and that can get infuriating waiting to see what happens after Pagan has made her decision.

Despite his calling, Lief seems like a good character through and through. At times I don't even believe that he is without a soul. He is caring, compassionate and sincere. He keeps drawing the short stick and honestly, I feel more for his character than I have for any other in this series. Imagine my disappointment with the ending :(

However, before he gets a slice of his eternal pie, the boy needs to grow a pair and then some! He is such a coward and he actually paces ... too much evil seems to make Lief good ... I'm not really sure of the dynamics o.O

All I know is, Lief is like the nerd and Dankmar the bully. Pagan is still Pagan here, because well ... this book is a re-enactment. There was no change for her, as we have already read these scenes from both her and Dankmar's POV.

It was an honor to be in the mind of Lief Montgomery (Not sure of his real last name or if he even has one). All I know is, this novel made me love and appreciate this character more, and I now hope that Pagan and Dank can go live the existence they fight so hard for, while Lief gets to find his Princess and tell his dad where to stick it! ... A girl can dream :)

This book is for die hard 'Existence' and Lief fans. It shows the real Lief and what he has struggled with for years and the outcome of it all. With such an abrupt end, I have high hopes and really hope this isn't the end of his story.

Predestined By Abbi Glines

Ask and you shall receive! Even though it didn't live up to my expectations, I did in fact get a dual POV for this installment. But even though I got one of my wishes from Book 1, in the form of a dual POV, and while some of my expectations were covered, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be! Dank seemed uber serious all the time around Pagan if you ask me. I wanted more of the fun, jovial guy from Abbi's mini prequel. The scene was literally like 5 minutes if even so much but it held more in my mind than this entire novel.

Despite his cowardice, and true form, I still love Lief, and I really hope he can find his Princess. There is something about his character where even though I know he is suppose to be bad, I can't make my mind feel it. I believe his love for Pagan, but the boy really needs to grow a spine or two! I love his love for Pagan, and understand, as well as, feel it more than what she has with Dank. (Totally in love with his full name btw ... Dankmar :D

Pagan is quite the soul and body if you ask me. Selfish she is not. She seems to be the perpetual sacrificial lamb in this series. It seems from the day she arrived, she was really predestined for the life of the supernatural. She fits right in and seem to have a power over death that I can't understand.

I had expected a deeper view into all that is supernatural, and while we did get more in depth than before, it still all felt flat to me. It's still a tween drama, and I think this book lags because of the side it's chosen.
Though, I must say, despite this book showing characters who are walking in the light, as oppose to trying to find the light in the dark, I respect this premise and find it a harder one to write, in which Abbi has succeeded.

It would be so easy to write a dark story, and try to redeem the condemned, but another route was taken that helps us to understand that you can have pure love in the light, even with death and without turning into an immortal. This story aims for a balance between the living and the dead. Whilst very rare, their paths cross and it makes for interesting conversation and reactions when this happen.

While I got more Gee, she lost some of her appeal from Book 1. I still love her, but she wasn't as fiery as before. She was still crazy cool, but  a lot more tame.

Even with the addition of Dank' s POV, I still don't connect with him like I would like to. Something keeps me from feeling with him like I should. Maybe it's him being death and all, I'm really not sure. Don't get me wrong, I like his character, but I still love Lief more. I really can't explain it!

We solved a lot of questions form book 1, but we also lost a lovely soul. We were also awarded the return of said soul, even if it's in a new life. The re-entry of Jay Potts is an interesting one that I believe is shaping us up for the personal battles of book 3. I see this series getting a new direction and I can't wait to see the outcome. Maybe I will fell Dank then ... who knows!

While this novel wasn't what I expected, it was a good read, even if the climax was a little cheesy and flat for me. I surely expected more of a fight on Leif's part. Got to say he let me down there. Still, I enjoyed going into all the world's and following death as he did his job. It was entertaining, well written, researched and composed. I always appreciate a good piece of literature and I got that from this installment.

I can't wait to start Lief to see what the dark Prince is up to!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Existence By Abbi Glines

Let me get a couple breathes in here before I start .... Now! ... I am not one who reads supernatural stories much. I prefer to watch. E.G. City of Bones and Vampire Diaries (Vampire Diaries the TV series is better than the book in my opinion). Still, I can honestly say that apart from the Harry Potter and Twilight series, I haven't read  much paranormal.

With that being said, I might have a totally different experience and appreciation for this novel than a para junkie. But I liked it. I didn't understand parts of it, and I left with a few questions, but I loved it from beginning to end, and if not for loosing the fight with my eyes for sleep last night, it would have been a one day read for me.

Pagan (yup! She set herself up with that name ...) is not your average girl. She ain't no Bella or Elena and I love her courage despite her fear. I also lover her honesty (except with Lief), and how she relates to situations as they come. She has been channeling sixth sense from birth, so that might help with her ability to manage the supernatural. She brings a different view to your usual paranormal female characters and even though she doesn't try to venture into the unknown, or at least not initially, I like the pace and distance that the story kept. It was balanced and followed it's own rules and pace. For that I was grateful.

I like Lief. Even though I am not sure what he is yet, and what he might turn this series into, but I know that the ending of this novel is not enough to let me question the guy that I have grown to care for. Not that I don't like Dank, but we got more touching and intimate moments with Lief and I can't let that final scene sway me from the relationship I have developed with this character.

Honestly, I get that Pagan loves Dank, but for now, I kind of love Lief :(

There is a difference with this story, that people are fighting more for the normal, and are closer to it than your usual paranormal reads. For the business that they are in, namely Dank, they sure find loop holes to stay  and interact with the living. At times I completely forgot this was a paranormal novel and felt like I was just reading about some crazy cool high school kids.

I liked Dank's character and I love Gee! I really hope we get more of her in the 2nd book. I would however, have liked to get some of this story from Dank's POV, maybe even Lief, as I I think he would add a certain element to this story if we could understand his existence and motions. I'd really love to be in his mind.

I finished this story with a lot of questions and surrounding fog. I am as confused as Pagan, and not too sure of a lot around me. Still, it wasn't done in an uncomfortable way, but in a way that has you knowing and wanting more but willing to wait on the outcomes on the horizon.

This is an extremely PG novel, so don't expect any supernatural sex or anything else of the sort. I must admit also, that I wasn't scared throughout, and I don't know if I place that on Pagan's nature to ease your mind of worries, and take you on her journey, or if it's figuring out who Dank is from early, even before Pagan, and knowing what to expect. The unexpected still had me on edge occasionally, but I found that I coasted through this novel. I think this story is a good bridge into hardcore paranormal romances.

I loved all the characters and enjoyed the pace for the first book in this series. I can't wait to go deeper and hopefully find more interesting tidbits and characters as we watch Pagan and Dank thread through the world of the living and dead. It would also be nice if Pagan got a part to play in all this other than the coveted soul of the supernatural world.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Fear of Falling By S.L. Jennings

So, I spent 5 days reading this book. Which is definitely not a norm for me. I would want to blame it on work, and overall the days being too short, but I must say that some of this time frame is due to interest. I had enough to keep me around, but not enough to stop me from putting this book down a few times. I understood the message and could tolerate the characters, but honestly, it didn't capture my attention like I hoped. The first chapter hit the floor running and the momentum wasn't really sustained from there on out.

I say tolerate when it comes to the characters, but this in no way says that they were bad. They (meaning Kami) was so set in her resolve, that you just wanted to slap her silly at times! I gotta say, that when Kami commits to an emotion she isn't easily swayed. I loved that about her character. She was believable, because love didn't sway her. She was really damaged and stuck to her character, even when it infuriated us.

There was a message within this story, and for that I try to thread carefully with this review, as it is very personal and close to me. It might not have been as extreme as Kami's situation, but abuse is abuse and it affects us all at sometime.

Still, I wasn't a fan of the monotone that was portrayed throughout most of this novel. We know the message, and we understand Kami's faults, as well as Blaine's intentions. While I felt their connection, and love their easy going nature and banters, I still felt that the opening chapter, as well as, the second to last was the most exciting and captivating. In between that all was rather flat. We spent most of the time waiting on the other shoe to drop, or at least I did. It was all good and fun, but I was still waiting for those special moments that sealed Blaine and Kami as couple, and gave us those highlighter worthy moments. There were a few ... but not enough for a person with Kami's caliber of issues ... or at least I don't think so.

Blaine is a good guy, with a temper, a messed up past, and the occasional patience of a Saint. Definitely not the mouth! Other than that, an a few other inconsequential details that you can read to find out for yourself, I didn't really connect with his character. We got his POV when it mattered, but I still don't connect with him nor Kami as I would like. Honestly, I see the changes at the end of this novel, but I have no clue as to the catalyst or the original epiphany that lead to these moments. Is it a case of repeating it until you believe it?

We spent so much time in Kami's mind re-enacting her abuse. While I didn't mind, as I found bits of her story an interesting an original one, I would have loved more conversations and moments like that of the lake scenes. I wanted to see her fears played out and also watch as she conquered them. Therefore, I wasn't surprised at her reaction to his declaration, because I don't feel like they were solid enough for that, or that his approach was right. Sometimes it's like he forgot who he was dating. Maybe that's good in some ways, but Kami is a scared cat that needs patience in taming.

Angel and Dom, as well as the dynamic of all three together, was fun to watch. The moved so well together, and I would love to see each of them get their HEA or something close. Even CJ deserves something special. They were a great supporting cast and I loved the Dirty Dom and Angel Cassidy banter. I could definitely read a book about her, and I love the switch where we get a gay female instead of the male. Every detail counts!

All in all, this book showed a damaged girl trying to overcome her fears, while assisted by a guy with his own issues mile high, and their band of misfit friends who each has had a parent or both hurt them. They try to find their way together and cope as each sees fit.

Kami's story is a disturbing and familiar one, that might help someone who knows someone or is currently in the same position. It might not be the most exciting or captivating novel, but it's comfortable enough for you to get into and follow through, as each character makes their share of mistakes, as they try to deal with the hand they were dealt.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Tracks By Sarah Biermann

Tracks ... this is one of those books that you have to power through to get to the good stuff. It's not easy and you will feel like giving up, because Dylan is a tad naive and Jeremy is ... well, Jeremy. But about 70% into this book, I started to get really interested and went through the motions with the characters. Even as the obvious story line was revealed, I loved how it was portrayed and the few instances that separated this story from the others.

I am the first to say that I had mixed feelings throughout the entirety of this novel. I had an unsure start, then I got annoyed with Dylan's reaction to Jeremy, then I fell in love with them, then with the introduction of Scott, I was relieved to have a love triangle of sorts, and I got to say, I loved Scott, and found it interesting that even swimming in all his riches, Scott had a one up on everything when it comes to Jeremy. Except Dylan's heart sweet :D

Anyhoo, I moved from wanting a love triangle, to anxiously hoping that Dylan and Jeremy can work it out as a couple, as I love them together and honestly believe they are better together than apart. You can imagine my surprise as to the ending of this book, and the blurb for book 2. I know I wasn't happy with the ending of this installment as it relates to their relationship dynamic, but I am kinda upset that Jeremy can't get a break in book 2 and they are still fighting for each other. I just want them to be happy already!

Jeremy is complex. You love him, you hate him, you despise him, you feel sorry for him and then it all starts over again. He is no way a prince and I am surprised the boy has a liver left. With his bad luck, by book 3 he might have cancer -_-

Still, I love his character and the tender moments he has with Dylan. I was unsure of their relationship initially, as I found it a little too easy and happy go lucky, at least on Dylan's part. But as the story went on, I believed in them as a couple, and then resent Scott's addition, as I think he placed some if not most of the doubt on this relationship. Ideas can be toxic little seeds that grow to fruition, I always say, and I wasn't wrong here at all. You have some relationships and people who need a support system to heal. Dylan and Jeremy are those people. I believe without interference, they could make it together, but it would definitely be a fight!

As I said before, Dylan is a uber naive 22 year old with self-esteem issues that run a  mile! The press in this novel ain't the pretty ones either. They are ruthless, and strive on picking the bad out of everything. I swear they are like leeches! Obviously, this doesn't help Dylan's self-esteem issues the least. Still, with a less than stellar upbringing and family history, she turns it all around, and when this girl gets a backbone you fall more in love with her. I was impressed with her turns and when she decided to take both their lives in her hands. She's hot when she's in control ;)

Surprisingly, I loved the detox and how real it felt. He was bitter and resentful like an addict, and for a girl with self-esteem issues, Dylan handled it like a pro!

This story isn't about a shy, pretending to be bad rock star, who is looking for a wife and groupie to take all around the world with him. This is about a young man who is highly intelligent and unsure as to how to relate to people as a reflection of his own upbringing and self-worth issues. It shows him finding his light, losing it and finding it again. While we never get this story from Jeremy's POV, Dylan did a good job of portraying that for us and while I wasn't sure if I liked him initially, I loved him in the end.

It's not all good and even with a story book beginning, we got a realistic story in the middle and end. I know I can't wait to get my hand on book 2, because I am in love with this couple and I wanna see them fight their issues together, because I will always be team Dylan and Jeremy, even if they're with someone else.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Acting on Temptation By S.M. Donaldson

I have tried with this series. Honestly, I have. But how do you consistently write crappy?! I would assume that having written one, you would be better by the second book. I was contemplating reading another book by this author, that's not in this series, to see if it's the series, or the writing style, and I don't know if I can really do it.

The conversations don't flow. The emotions are unconvincing and leave me rolling my eyes whenever they opent heir mouth. The entire, and I do mean the entire, cast talks and occasionally behave like 14 year old girls sharing gossip with their BFFs. Not one of them has reach legal drinking age in the US, but by the end of this book, they are popping out babies and getting married. Like seriously, how can you be 11 weeks pregnant and not have some hint? ... super birth control I believe o.O

If anyone, and I mean anyone slapped anyone in this novel again, I might have to slap myself! I never knew it was possible to be passively violent ... yup! Just made that one up! Everyone kept getting in a punch, thump or slam somewhere within this novel. I swear Skylar has zero brain cells and pride left. I don't think I have ever read a book where a character gets beat as much as him.

The chemistry between the characters as a group is lacking, and the conversations had me rolling my eyes at their stiffness, and unconvincing nature. Add all the extra unnecessary convo scenes, with a little death here and the breaking of a solid relationship, to make way for a third book, and you have the summary for 'Acting on Temptation'.

I still don't know what the temptation was, and after a couple of chapters, this book strayed from Anna and Russ to ... well, everyone. There was so much going on in this novel, especially as we got to the end. It became a scramble for a climax and build up to a book 3 in one. I still don't know what happened with Daria and Cade and while my interest is piqued, I don't know right now if I will stay around to catch that one, because this series seems to be getting more and more annoying as we go.

While I didn't mind the characters before, I found myself not believing their emotions or declarations. It was all too fast, cheesy and done in poor taste. This was a very unimaginative story. Don't give me 2% worth of angst in the end and expect me to be grateful. To make matters worse, this story shouldn't have as many grammatical errors as it did, seeing as how much time obviously wasn't spent on a story line.

There were instances were POVs were mistaken and pronouns were therefore mixed up and I had to skip back to the beginning of the chapter to check who was narrating.

I believe that the female characters in this book, are borderline schizophrenic, if not having a slight touch of Tourettes. They charged like bulls in the blink of an eye, and everyone kept slapping each other like a bad porno. If Anna was so tough and slapping around everybody, why was she Jack's punching bag? ... idk Anna, pick a side. Your either bad or your not. You decide.

Russ, I don't know you. I don't know what your initial problem was, what changed your mind, and honestly, I loved him better in book 1 than in his own book. He was unbelievable (not in the good way), and he lost that all knowing trait and straight forwardness that he brought to the first book.

Once again, a death was thrown in the end, and I believe we are continuing on the same path, down the same road, with the same characters, with no where in sight. What's the point of all these deaths, beatings and arguments? Is it really necessary? I think not. Build a story already and stop with the slapping and slandering like ya'll are 12.

Why even break up a solid relationship? Then again, how solid can it be if that's what breaks them up? ... Guess they aren't a no matter what kind of couple.

Honestly, this book focused on everyone around Russ and Anna more than it did them. I'll give them the first time they messed around because, I'll admit it wasn't too bad of a sex scene, but after that, it was all pretty basic and boring and I kept counting down the percentages to the end. At 10% I was weary.

This book went on and on, with no where in sight, and when we realize this, someone dies, a couple break up and we are left waiting on book 3. I think I'll pass because I am over this series and it seems to be tanking by the installment. Good luck with the rest of this series but I can't do this to myself anymore.

Fixed on You By Laurelin Paige

Let me start off by saying that I originally chose this book because ... c'mon ... we all wanna know what it's like for the crazy obsessive women in the books we read. The ones that are dangerously clingy, borderline crazy. We hardly feel sorry for them, and most times they don't end up getting the guy, because they are either catty ... or just plain crazy. Well, Laynie is neither. She is her own special brand of crazy obsessive cocktail, but unfortunately, yes unfortunately, we never got to see her in action. This book was a half and half. We got the inner ramblings of an obsessively clingy female, we even got prognosis and diagnosis of her condition, but no action. The one inclination we got was rather tame, and I believe with a few obsessive tendencies, this book could have been better. I get that she's healing, but sometimes seeing is believing!

I was looking forward to some serious stalking, to see how far this chick would really go and I must say I am a tad disappointed, that while we got the idea, we never actually did anything that a regular female in a relationship or love would do, or think. In actuality, she was more composed than some, that I garner to be from her overly obsessing about not overly obsessing. (If that even makes sense ...)

Lack of severe obsession aside, I liked Alayna's character. She was composed, raunchy when necessary and really to the point. I was surprised when she first met Hudson's mother, as that conversation definitely raised my eyebrows to the center of my head. Still, I feel that her, along with the characters of Hudson and Sophia were being held back. I expected a certain force and power behind these character based on what they stand for, but I felt like they weren't used to their full potential. Unleash the beasts and I guarantee perfection where this story is concerned.

I diagnosed Hudson before we really got to know his "secret".(Yup, it's in quotation for a reason ... simply, I don't believe it). Even though you could see he had some issues at the beginning of this novel, I never expected it to be what was revealed, and honestly, I am neither impressed nor swayed. He is a mama's boy who is secretly seeking his mother's approval in his personal life and is so brain washed for such a successful business man that I wonder how he ever made it without her holding his hands.

I could be wrong, but I got none of the hinted traits or concerns that everyone had in this book for him. I just felt that if he cared less what his mother thinks, he might be able to have healthy, normal relationships. Also, that pseudo-martyr act in relation to Celia, was unnecessary and annoying. I wanna smack him and tell him to grow some balls and stand up to your mother! The whole lot of you actually!

The ending of this novel, provides a certain level of closure for you to disregard the cliffhanger notion of it all. You are left with wanting to see the reactions as to Alayna and Hudson's decision, as oppose to needing an update as to the other characters and unresolved situations. Maybe they both are addicts, because it was certainly all about them!

However, there is still much to clear up, and drama lurking around the corner, because there seems to be more people against this union than there are rooting for it. Still, I love how regardless of the critics, these two latch on to each other to make it in a world that view them as crazy or sick.

The charades were entertaining when in full force, but other than that, this was  a very laid back novel that had me confused half the time, as I am not certain as to where we are really going or the aim of it all. I must say though, that having Hudson's POV might help to garner more interest or intrigue into this series as I would love a look into both of their minds, as they wrestle with their addictions and shortcomings.

Irrespective of the rather saucy cover, the sex scenes are mild and we focus more on the underlying story, than the sexual passion. I could totally see these two as a couple, and love when they are together, because their honesty is unrivaled, but their sex scenes are pretty basic, except for when real emotions come into play and then he's just pounding into her like crazy! ;)

This story is more than obsession though. A big theme throughout for the main characters is acceptance. They are both trying to be accepted into the world that they live, and I think they can, have and will find it in each other.

Whilst not action packed and full on crazy like I had expected or hoped, this is a comfort novel that I hope will push all the right buttons in book 2 and 3 to bring us that amazing story lurking in there, and to see Laynie and H get their time in the sun.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Mine by Katy Evans *Cover Reveal*

While this is not our usual here at Lit Junkie, we decided to shake it up a bit and help with a series we fell in love with and is yearning for more to come!!

So .... presenting to you ... *totally should get a drum roll embedded in here* ...

The second book in the Real, Raw & Ripped series, MINE by Katy Evans


In the international bestseller REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the  
Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in
 prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington 
“Riptide” Tate as vital as the air he breathes . . . and now he can’t
live without her. 

Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman’s dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when Remington needs her the most, Brooke makes a discovery that forces her away from the  
ringside. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing 
left is to fight for the love of the man she calls MINE.


REAL preorder links:

REMY preorder links: 

Into the Deep By Samantha Young

Dear Lord what to do?!?! I am at a lost. You see the thing with this novel is, that I know who we are suppose to love, but it is written in a way that I don't know about you, but I don't want the expected character. I don't even know if that makes sense. Then again, it's 2 in the morning, and I just started reading this like 8 pm yesterday.

I love Charley's character. She is like a mini Nancy Drew and Nikita mixed in one. She has it all. She is what you call a unique gem within the female population. Her wit, banters, and that's with everyone, and her all around presence can account for everyone wanting to be with this girl. I'd want her too, and it's definitely not the sex, because we had like literally two fully explained sex scenes, but it's her personality and demeanor. Even the people who should hate her the most can't.

Jake. I have developed a serious love/hate relationship with this character and I don't know how to fix this. I am as torn as Charley, and believe me, this book will leave you torn and unsure as to whose side to pick.

Ms. Young has a gift of mixing past and present situations, as I saw in 'Until Fountain Bridge' ... which I still believe is the best installment in the 'On Dublin Street' series ... and as such, it has confused me immensely. I love past Jake. From their first meeting and the shared moments in between. I even wanted to slap him for the things he said when he broke up with her, an for the fact he even did. They were solid and far passed 16 year olds.

But then, we are thrown into a totally different country four years later, and introduced to the hotness that is Lowe. I gotta say, I am not so sure. Due to their past, I was initially inclined to wanting a re-kindle, but then time wore on and all I could think was, I kind of like Lowe better for her. To take back Jake at all, especially without a fight, wouldn't be Charley at all. I always loved Samantha's female characters because she gives them strength like no other, even when they are kind as can be and quieter than a church mouse.

Still, it's that strength, determination and occasional indifference mixed with independence, that not only draws me to Charley's character, but gives me second thoughts about her and Jake's relationship.

Not a fan of trilogies, I will concede for this novel, because I think it needed that break/cliffhanger of sorts to recharge us, as well as, give Ms. Young some time to come good enough for all of us, readers and characters, to move pass the hurt dished out by Jake and whether we can move pass that into friendly territory. Once again, not really rooting for Jake. I don't wanna see Jake sad, but I do love Lowe and Charley together!

Speaking of the devil, Lowe adds that uncertain element to the story but I love him! He gets Charley and banters with her like no other, not even Jake in my opinion, and I believe that with Charley's lack of filter and Lowe's lack of humility they could have an explosively awesome romance. I got all this from a few banters, shared moments and one kiss. (These male characters are too good!)

Charley has a great group of friends and I loved our interaction with them all. They were unique in their own way and kept the flow going whilst adding their own drama to the pile to distract us at just the right time.

And with drama, comes Claudia and Beck (love his name!) ... they seem to take major roles in this novel, as they were the catalyst for this re-kindled romance, whilst they are unable to find their own. I could totally read a book in this series about those two.

At times, the British in Ms. Young overpowered the American slangs.  It left them all seeming more British than Americans, but that was fine, because I love culture within a novel. We certainly got that though, as we were taken on a tour around Scotland and more. Sites were mentioned that had us feeling as if we were there touring with the characters. I always appreciate new cultures, and while we never got to go in depth with European life, I loved the little nuggets we were given.

I 'd throw expectations through the window for this one, because this is some original material with a lead female character that isn't afraid of anything. She gets you going and makes you pick sides as we all try to find out what's best for Charley and how to go about getting it.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Wethering the Storm By Samantha Towle

So, what better song to write this review to than Ou est le Swimming Pool's 'You Started' ?

I don't know about anyone else but I know that the thing that drew me to liking this series originally, was not even Jake Wethers or Tru Bennett, and was definitely the musical nuggets I stumbled upon, as well as rekindled my love affair with. I have always associated songs with this series, especially 'Mr. Brightside' by the Killers and 'Don't Speak' by No Doubt. If this series was a movie, it would have a killer soundtrack!!

I initially wasn't sure if it was sheer coincidence, or if there was a link between the release date of this book, and the death of Charlie from the group that sings Tru n Jake's song, which is now my ringtone-to-be as soon as I am finish writing this :) If so, I thought it morbid and deep! If not, then wow that's creepy! Turns out it was creepy. Totally unrelated. But for someone looking for a deeper meaning to everything in life, this stood out for me.

I spent a good 20 minutes researching this group from a chorus and a verse, and that was at around 3% into this novel. I knew then that I would love this installment more than I did the last.

Whether it was being familiar with the characters, or watching the promotions of the launch, or maybe it is just the development. But I can truly say that this was a much better read than 'The Mighty Storm'. I love development within a story, especially a trilogy, and we surely got that and more. We weren't travelling the same path as before, hell, we weren't even in the same countries or locations!

A dual POV also really helped to boost this novel. I wish it could have been even, but Jake being a busy man and Trudy being a busy body, maybe the chapters worked out for the best.

I stated a lack of interaction with the minor characters from 'The Mighty Storm' and it's safe to say we got interaction like never before. Everyone was apart of this installment, and Tru's inner ramblings was much funnier this go. We even ended with a full update. No one was left out, not even Will.
Also, we were lined up for Tom's book and I say, Bring it on! Tom is comedy. Honestly, why didn't we interact with him this much before? He is awesomeness personified!!!

I know I loved Jake from he sung 'Mr. Brightside' in book 1, but I am gonna chalk that up to music appreciation because without singing a bar, I fell even more in love with this guy after one very important scene.

I swear to God after that scene when they have just moved in to their new home, and Tru goes downstairs for dinner, I just called dibs on Jake, and asked whose Kellan Kyle and Gavin Blake o.O ???? (sorry S.C. Stephens and Gail McHugh, he took the dreamy points there!)
No guy is that thoughtful, or more swoon worthy in that moment! I'd take him without the bow and call it even :)

There was depth, comedy, action, anticipation, anxiety attacks for yours truly, and those moments while we waited with Jake for Tru were very much filled with anxiety in my mind. While I was optimistic, I got to say that I had a few what ifs, because authors can be cruel (No offence Sam), and that was a very graphic description of Tru in those moments, than we've ever gotten from this series. Ain't gonna lie .. shed a tear there for a minute. Kept hearing Ou est le Swimming Pool while we waited. (Side Note: I swear this band name is ridiculously long and awesome!)

There were such memorable moments throughout this novel, from both past and present. We built memories and even rules with these characters that could be translated into our everyday lives. Never let someone you love leave your sight without telling them that you love them because you honestly don't know if an hour later you will get the chance. Also, try to make your house a happy place and find a spot to air your drama outside the walls of your house and from prying eyes and ears. Might be a little harder to do that last bit, but those are two lessons I learned and will carry around from this novel.

I could go on and on about this novel, but you can't truly experience it until you have read it. I suggest reading 'The Mighty Storm' first, but this book could also be a psuedo-standalone if you don't mind not experiencing past moments from book 1. They are regaled in this installment. But some like it more intimate.

There was growth, direction, love, friendship and issues that hit home for more than just the characters. There was laughter, celebration and strength within this group. There was also great music, and the story was such a good one that we didn't even need the sex scenes ... let's call them added bonuses. I have to say they weren't as passionate as in book 1, but Tru and Jake aren't reuniting, they are joined and if a little Spanish gets the off, then have at it :D

There are novels that make you unable to shut up about them because they are either really good or really bad. I don't even need to tell you, but this one was really _________

P.S: View The Storm series playlist here: ... I guarantee you some good music!!!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Vincent Boys By Abbi Glines

Ashton, Ashton, Ashton ... where is she from and where can we get more? I still can't believe that Abbi Glines wrote 'Breathe', because that was an awful book in comparison to all her others, or at least all the others that I have read so far which is the Sea Breeze and Fallen Series.

Ashton was normal but weird. At least her reaction in the end to the bullying was weird. For such a fiery spirit, she acted like a walk over. Kudos to Kayla though, for not being your stereotypical head cheerleader. Still, I loved her balance in handling some situations. She didn't overreact, even when necessary, and when she decided to defend herself it was good to see her in her element that we were being told about from the beginning.

This story was a comfortable one with a few issues. I loved the dynamic of Beau and Ashton, and honestly I never really felt bad for Sawyer because well ... he was hardly in the picture and I already fell in love with Beau. Even at the end of this novel, I still wasn't really a Sawyer fan, but then again ... always absent when needed the most!

There is something about Beau and Ashton as characters that seem to mesh. Together they are great, but they are just as awesome apart. They share a lot of similar personality traits and vices. I also love the opening of this book where we saw where Beau's feeling developed and little Ash's interaction with the Vincent boys.

Regardless of my love for this couple, I felt that I would have wanted more elaboration, for some what I would find, important scenes, but then I just sum it up to it being a teen novel, so the hot and heavy wouldn't be elaborated. I could have also used a little heavier drama than the bullying and bomb that was dropped at the end of this novel.

I liked Lana's visit and find that book 2 should be interesting as she is just as weird as Ashton if not more.

The stories of when they were kids, helped to build the history between the two, as well as make the transition and cheating easier to digest than just a summer fling between the towns bad boy and the pastor's daughter. I get the idea, but not so thrilled about the execution.

A lot of action was also missing from this story. Once again, I am going to sum it up to the target audience. We mostly got to see a friendship rekindled and bud into a really forbidden romance. It seemed to grow more forbidden as the chapters went on.

The claws were out but not as much as you expected in a high school novel with a cheating drama. It was done at a soft pace, and the indifference or at least the ability of the main characters to pretend to be indifferent, didn't leave much room for the anticipated drama. It was a little too controlled and grown up for my liking, especially with their age group and the premise of the story. I might not be Sawyer's biggest fan, but betrayal is betrayal, regardless of the circumstances.

While the premise has been done before, and I love the characters of Beau and Ashton (especially Ash), I felt that a little more could be done to add some spice into this story or capitalize on the drama it initiated from chapter 1. The bomb at the end was ... meh! Nice little shocker, but that's exactly what it was ... a little shocker.

I wish we had interacted with the parents more or been apart of the big reveals and confrontations. We were shaded from a lot of outside drama in this novel while we focused on getting Beau and Ashton to a better place. I'm still not sure they will ever reach there, because they crossed so many line and fences.

A safe story, but I believe it needed a little bit more life to make it one of the greats. Still, I will be moving on to book 2, because Lana fascinates me, and I would like to see how Sawyer really feels about Beau and Ash together. Maybe we might get some life in this one, because Lana is a sneaky little thing!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden By Jessica Sorensen

I always love a story with a good message, and this story delivered just that. It was like a small modern day Breakfast Club. I kept picturing the four of them in the cab of Luke's truck and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else either. There is more love in that truck cab than anywhere else in that novel.

The gang was all back and a tight knit crew they were. Seth for the dramatics and spontaneity, Luke for the brooding mystery, Kayden the martyr and Callie with her quirky ways. There is something to Callie's unawareness that has always set this book apart because even though it seems strange, it also feel real as if to say this is who she is. You never expect her reactions and actions and while you understand the character of Callie, you can still count on her to floor you with what comes out of her mouth.

I think that all the characters got their day in the sun in this one, and we found out even more tidbits, as well as, slide a lot of things into place. Honestly, when this ended, it felt more like a see you later than a good bye. I expect some Kayden & Callie time or cameos in Luke and Violet's story that's next in line ... who knows, Ella and Micha got a forever, maybe Callie and Kayden can too ... holding my breath for that one Jess :)

Kayden annoyed me a lot in this novel. Callie was trying so hard to get through to him and he was like a steel enforced wall. Sometimes I just wanted to give up on him. Callie seems to have the patience of a saint because she pulls them both through this like a champ and I loved to finally see them stand on their own two feet. Even with a little assistance from the other.

Even Seth got his time, and it's good to finally hear him voice some of his insecurities, and to see Callie of all people, crawl from her shell to not only help him, but Luke and Kayden.
I loved how we were eased into Luke as a major character, to prepare us for his story that's next in the series. While not a total happy ending, at least it wasn't anxiety filled like book 1 and left you with more hope than before in this series.

I must note that while their is no hardcore sex scenes in this novel, they were passionate and filled with purpose. It wasn't crazy all around sexing, and it was done within good time frames and with just the right amount of length and emotion if not in depth description. I loved their connection and banter, especially with Callie's mom on the phone ;)

There seems to be an air of incomplete within this installment, as I have a lot of questions as it relates to both Callie and Kayden's life separately. The ending left a few questions that I assume or at least hope will be answered within the next installment.

Overall though, this was a story filled with scenarios for more than one person at a time, and it was relayed beautifully with a fun, quirky set of characters, who makes me crave pancakes all day and leave me wanting to make pseudo bucket list of things to make life easier. It was inspirational, because it covered so many sensitive subject areas, and it was different to see the male character in a tighter jam than the female. You could not have pit together a better group of people and turn them into friends. They understood each other, and in turn we understood them.

The conversations were good, even the awkward silent moments, and the banters hilarious and even serious moments ran deeper than I could expect. I loved to see the ties severed and the bridges gap. It left many what ifs and what now, but I have the utmost faith in this series, because there is always something unexpected or quirky going on when you are around Callie, Kayden, Seth and Luke. This story became more than redemption for Callie and Kayden and formed a lifetime bond that I will always love and adore about these group of characters, as I see this book as more than Callie and Kayden's story, as everyone was involved and added to the greatness that was this novel.

I can't wait to get Luke's story and I hope it's everything I want it to be and more. I love you too Kayden :D

13 Rounds By Lauren Hammond

What I would like to know is, what was that I just read? -_- Felt like a sneak preview to me. Kinda like a movie trailer.

There are samples that are longer than this novella. I am starting to wonder if I didn't get a few pages or someone released her draft without her knowing and posting it as her novel. For half the price of book 1, this novel also has less than half the amount of content in book 1.

We got back all the characters, and the three inner monologues but then what else did we get?

I think this story probably span a couple hours or could have, because switching days or week, doesn't detract from the fact that this isn't a full story, and felt like someone skimming through a novel. For my $2.99?! ... No, that's not cutting it!

First of all, we didn't even pick up where we left off. I have no idea how they solved their problem to end up back together and the fact that book 2 ended the same way as book 1 but without as much story line and chapters is a total turn off for me. Honestly, this is robbery and this series isn't that good for you to be buying it basically per chapter. As a matter of fact, there are chapters that are longer than this entire story.

I came into this book not sure where the characters are at, and how they got there, and I left not sure where they are going or where they will be when it's all over. Only thing I am sure of, is that this possessed a very careless kidnapping, abrupt conversation and break up, and that Murphy might be dead by the next book. I still don't even know if Teagan is the rat or why they thought so in the first place, as well as, where was her 'husband' in all this, because I surely thought he was dead to let this happen. But then as I said before, the story seemed like it only elapsed a couple hours, because I could have finish reading it in half an hour if I wasn't busy.

There was no Sean banter with himself or anyone else. There wasn't the fight that I expected from Hadlee that she so professed in book 1 and I swear they got the least amount of attention as a couple than you would expect from a novel that I assumed was based on them. There was too much going on without a central point, direction or conclusion. We were all over the place, covering bases, while we barely had a present story. Just as I thought we were going to finally get into why we are here, it ended ... with an unnecessary attempted murder I might add!

There was no start, middle or end. Just a run through or call it a summary of what did and will probably happen. There was no climax (I don't count the too easy break up), and there was nothing to get the action flowing in our blood. I usually avoid 50 pages novels, because I don't think you can write a story within 50 pages.  Because I already started this series, I expected more and took that leap. Glad to know I was right, because this wasn't even subpar!

This "novel" lacked, creativity, passion, direction, development ... it basically lacked sense. I am truly disappointed and astounded that this was passed as a novel. And to make matters worse, it is full of grammatical errors. I am at a lost as to how you make errors with 50 pages -_- ... Afterall, it's 50 pages o.O

Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I have decided to wait until March 2014 (might be longer) for the release of the 3rd installment, as I believe in miracles, chances and redemption. Please don't let me down!

If one thing you do get from this novel though, isn't a sense of urgency for the next, as you have nothing to make you anxious or excited to jump into the next. So take all the time you need to write the next book, because you have some major making up to do!

Unscrupulous By Avery Aster

There is a trend with this series and it's characters. Each character has their success/vices ... for some of them, it's the same thing. 'Undressed' was heavy on the fashion while 'Unscrupulous' was heavy on love, acceptance, sex and success.

There was deeper meaning to this novel as oppose to the first that focused more on fashion and business with a dab of talkative sex. While the talking didn't lessen that much in this installment, I found that there was at least one unwilling participant and that's the chick I love the most from this series so far. Taddy Brill!

I love Taddy and Warner as a couple. I love to see them challenge each other and their methods of submission. Maybe it's the familiarity with this series that I have developed, but I find that I was more receptive to this installment. Then again, it could be the characters and deeper story line for this one. Afterall, nobody wants to be abandoned.

I was glad for the 6 months gap, as it added time frame that the previous novel lacked. But as soon as Taddy and Warner reconciled, the rush that this series is known for was thrust upon us. One minute we are taking it slow and then a next we are spiraling with Taddy and Warner. These characters seem to love fast and hard. I guess it's a testament to their Manhattan life.

Being a prequel of sorts to book 1, I wasn't a fan of the Lex seen in this novel, as she seemed weak. I'm not certain if it's weakness or due to the command that Taddy possess as a lead character. Either way, I don't like a weak Lex!

The connection between Taddy and Lex seems rather obvious, but I am just waiting to see when in the series the obvious bomb will be dropped. Hopefully I am not wrong ... or at least I don't think so o.O

We spent a lot more time with Taddy than Warner, so I once again never got to connect with the male lead like I would have wanted. But when he was in the picture, I loved his command over Taddy and his will to succeed at everything especially Taddy :)

Taddy is a lady perv, and has bigger balls than most men! I believe she has found the perfect match in Warner, even though I still want to know more about him, as well as some of his vices and quirks. He had a few that weren't elaborated.

While there was more depth and issues relayed, when I was just buckling down into a scene, it felt as if someone hit the fast forward button. I had to review a couple conversations but they still came across as hyper. Maybe it's how I read it .... not too sure.

With lack of a real family, we spent more time with the other characters of the series. While not much, it was more interaction than we received in 'Undressed'. We got a cameo of Sheldon, and I loved his character and totally see him hooking up with Vive .... I assume that's where we are headed :)

Even in her depravity and open sexuality, Taddy brought a certain air to this novel. There was love, lost, appreciation, humour and definitely shock (Candyland and that hotel balcony scene is just crazy!) I loved her independence and her dominating nature and appearance.
These are some fiery independent ladies and Taddy is Queen B of them all! I love an independent ladies novel and I find it in 'Unscrupulous' with Taddy Brill!

Warner had an unusual background story as oppose to most book billionaires, that I believe set him apart, and I only wish we got more time with him. He is an interestingly trained one. Sorry we couldn't meet Jacqueline. But then that might prove a conflict of interest!

I never cared much for Kiki and Dj Dejon, but they added good distractions and WTH scenes in this novel.

At the end, I felt a sense of incomplete, as if their story isn't finish, and their is more to come. I hope that there will be more of Taddy and Warner because there  is some questions to be answered that I don't think we can get from Blake and Vive books.

Even with a few of the same issues as book 1, with the weekend love and half cocked (pun not intended) sex scenes, I enjoyed this installment more, due to the characters, their conversations, interactions and the reverse roles of Taddy and Warner. I loved their honesty and the foundation of their relationship. I was also glad that their story didn't end in engagement or marriage because Avery Aster stays true to her Manhattanites and I love Taddy and Warner as is. Brilliant couple, better installment!

Note: An ARC was provided by NetGalley, from the publisher Ellora's Cave for a honest review

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Undressed By Avery Aster

I initially started reading this book because I wanted to read book 2 in the series, and I figure I should start with the first one to get a feel of what this series is like, and what I would be getting myself into and if I would even like the writing style, as the synopsis was not my usual reads.

Now ... if you are not at all into fashion or high society and don't have an open mind to it all, then don't read this one! Because those are very necessary traits. This story is heavily laced with fashion, high society, artificial drama, threesomes and every imaginable sexual sin and situations. This is a book about perception and the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I swear there is barely and unsuccessful person in this series. Even the butlers seem to be doing well off.

Regardless of me being lost half the time, mostly to my lack of knowledge when it comes to fashion, or at least fashion week fashion, and the ridiculously short time line of this all, I enjoyed parts of this novel and my interest whilst not piqued frequently, was kept.

There comes a point when we want bold characters who know what they want and don't turn to putty by a look or touch, and this is what I got and admired from 'Undressed'. We know they like each other, but business was given equal attention, and no Mills & Boons looks, or reactions were presented. It was all high class and all fierce. There was no raw, primal male testosterone throwing down for the simplest of looks. It was refine and every thing you expect in a Prince. If anything, Avery Aster stayed true to her characters. We were always in high class Manhattan and Italy and it showed throughout.

I liked the touch of Italian throughout and the characters were easy to like and get along with. In actuality, there were only two catty wenches and they were criminals so they hardly count. The cast was all good people with very open sexuality!

Still, I must say that when I began this story, I was annoyed with the fact that a character layout was given. I would prefer to figure these things out myself and learn as I go along, as that adds to the suspense of it all. To tell me what to expect, and who was who before I met them, took away from the anxiety of finding out these things an being in the emotions with the characters. Honestly, it was so much a fairy tale, that it bordered on unbelievable.

Masi is a different kind of guy. I respect him, but I don't know if I would swoon over him, hung or not. I gotta say he is sexy and has style with it, but I just don't feel that Masi love. Still, it's not that I dislike the character, but I just really never connected with him or any of them for that matter. Maybe it was the full layout at the beginning of the novel or the time span with which this story took place, but the potential dwindled and the fire barely got started.

Honestly, their business banter was sexier and more believable than their personal life. I got hot and bothered when they spoke business than when they tried sex.

I found myself lost a couple times also, that never related to the fashion of it all. The fight scene, as well as his confession at the end, was so rushed and jumbled that I was re-reading trying to get it all together but that still didn't work so I just threw in my chips and call it a game!

I like Lex. I actually prefer her POV to Masi's, even though the duality of it all did help occasionally. I think she is the one character we really got into, but it was still brushing the surface and most of the other characters pale, until I forgot them all together. Actually, her friends were thrown in when needed and we never saw them all together until the end. Once again, it might be the time frame, but character structure and development was weak. I get that we got a layout in the beginning. But where incorporating them into the story is concerned, that wasn't done very well.

Regardless of the start, time frame and lack of character development I was still interested in this novel, if not for their business transactions, and find that this novel fits a person who likes high society, fashion and hot Italian sex all wrapped in one.

While not a bad story, this one wasn't for me. Hopefully book 2 will give me something to rave about though, as I like her brazen characters, and their take charge attitude. It is a welcome change from they shy virgins and street thugs, and the main thing that might keep me coming for more of this series.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Million Dirty Secrets By C.L. Parker

This story is long. And unnecessarily so if you ask me. While you don't feel it at some parts, it shows occasionally. Especially with the scenes that are filled with sex instead of conversations. Actually, when I think about it, there is more sex than conversation, but i wouldn't title this a BDSM. Fortunately, other than the numerous sexual encounters, real conversations are fairly good and a little Lanie/Noah banter is sometimes nice. At least he isn't brooding and growling like and animal all day everyday.

The author tried a dual POV for this novel and occasionally it back fired, because sometimes Noah sounded like being in mind of a young female. Also, I didn't like when we switched POVs and went over what we read in the previous chapter or POV. If not for names as a divider, I would have probably mixed up the POVs eventually.

Lanie seems like a good character, despite me trying to come to terms as to how she goes from not getting any to being a raging nympho/freak all wrapped in one bow. I find that she changes throughout this novel where personality is concerned, because she started out as a shy girl looking an out for her family, but turns into this goddess and tough chick with the snap of a finger and I keep wondering if this is the girl I met at the beginning of this novel. I liked her fiery personality, even though she has a flair for the dramatics. (That fire scene ... crazy!)

The constant incorporation of double agent coochie got annoying fast! I wanted to slap her and beg her to desist from having conversations with, spanking and everything else in between when it came to her vagina. Come on now, totally unnecessary! It was done in excess and detracted from the story.

I don't understand Noah. And that's saying a lot, because the guy gets his own POV. Still, I haven't really connected with the character and if you ask me, action speaks louder than words and he's quite the coward. Give me a fighting hero any day as oppose to the pansies who bow out in honour or whatever else they have led themselves to believe!

I must say, that for a man so involved in charity, and whose company gives a lot, he seems like the Grinch at times ... own elevator to avoid people ... sound like a recluse to me!

While not the strongest of starts, I eventually got into the story and expected so much based on their agreement and the timeframe. This story builds momentum only to fall, start again, and them fall some more. Consistency of intensity is not this story's motto at all.

Their first meeting was hilarious and I have never laughed so much when reading about a BJ. I have to say, it was extremely funny!! Description and all. I also liked their small sexual gestures in the beginning of this novel. I felt every little touch as it was explained. But over time, most of that which drew me in before was gone.

The sex scenes were barbaric and a few held some level of inspiration. I have to give that final sex scene it's props though, as it was passion filled and I felt every touch and word as if it was me. I also loved the Graceland nod being a fan myself !

But despite all these traits, I felt that a story with so much promise, a good premise, a good couple that are in sync with each other on all levels, could have been written better. What started out promising pummeled sporadically and I believe lost it's touch by the end. I really wish more could have been done between the characters and for a longer time frame between Delanie and Noah so as to cement their feelings.

It seemed rushed at the end, and the cliffhanger didn't help matters any. I will wait on the next book in the series as I wasn't bored and enjoyed the story for the most part. I can only hope that we get a more realistic feel and time line as even the characters seem the complete opposite of what they are suppose to stand for.

I really hope book 2 is better and that we aren't left with another cliffhanger. While not the best execution, I was comfortable with the premise, characters and story line. I just hoped for a better delivery and conversation. Still, I can't wait to go on to book 2 to see what is happening and how it will be handled.

Note: An ARC was provided by NetGalley, from the publisher Random House Publishing Group for a honest review

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Chronicles of Young Dmitry Medlov: V5 By Latrivia Nelson

What can I say, other than I would love some more of this story! I definitely wasn't ready for it to end as yet. So many seeds were planted and now we just have to sit and wait to see what has become of them. I must however say that every time I read one of the chronicles I am compelled to re-read the Medlov Crime Family series.

There was just the right balance and history that we have come to expect from Ms. Nelson and her characters. Her writing is superb and her characters are lovable regardless of their day and night jobs.

We continue to get updates on the present day Medlov family and get to dive into the past before Royal was in the picture, and situations that lead to present day Prague, as well as instances that are similar to the present day with a tad of unknowing prediction as to some characters fates.

I like Arie, and I'm sad to know that she became a victim of the Medlov men. She seems like a great character to have around, especially due to her willingness to please and her occasional loyalty. The girl just wants to be loved if you ask me :)

And the devious creature that is Ivan returns. Ivan is one of those characters that I know is bad and would probably kill me just for breathing, but there is still something about him that I like. With the right allegiances and if he didn't have an undying love for money, he would be the best person to have on your team if he wasn't plotting to over throw you or kill you for once again ... money. I don't think the man knows what the word betrayal means, or maybe he just doesn't care.

That proposal, wedding and wedding night scene was ... let's just say different. No matter how in love these men are, never expect conventional from them. I love that consistency better than most in this series. I can count on the raw, primal, drama filled scenes of this novel and I never get bored!

Dmitry is slowly becoming the man we meet in Dmitry's Closet and I like how we get to see him transform from a prison escapee to the refined gentleman and underground boss that he is today. He has taken London, Prague and even Angola by storm. I just love being in his presence and to see him and Davyd formulate and execute a plan.

I like Elsa, honestly, if I wasn't sure who he ended up with I would have picked her. She actually has alot of Royal's traits except that she carries a vengeance like no other and I can imagine that it is not only bad for business, but might just be her downfall. I love her any way and can't wait to see what happens with her plans.

There is not much to say about this volume and that speaks nothing of the writing or story line. It's just so good that you don't wanna talk, you just wanna read. There is a level of excellence with this story and Latrivia Nelson seems to deliver that and more with each volume that we cross. Honestly, I can't get enough and I don't want this ride to stop. As long as it's within a relative time frame, I say keep dropping those volumes! H.M. Ward should take notes for 'The Arrangement'.

The vodka kept flowing, bodies kept dropping as the Medlov men build their names and empire. We are getting further into the men that are Dmitry and Ivan Medlov, and their lives, as it leads to all that they have currently acquired and legacies left behind. I can't wait to go further and to meet Anatoly all over again. This series always make it worth the wait!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Pulse By Gail McHugh

Once again ... too long, but boy if I wasn't skipping pages while at the end of my seat. Honestly, I was about to go to the end of this book half way in  to find out what happens because I was very much on edge! (Everyone likes a good, healthy relationship struggle)

I can say with certainty that this was a much better installment that will leave you with heart palpitations and that's from experience! At one point my heart was racing with what could be on the next page and what was currently happening.

However, for some unknown reason to myself, we were bombarded with 3 filler chapters and a epilogue that kind of killed that anxious vibe that was coursing through once again, it totally dropped me from my high that I believe should have ended this novel. Once again also, the end of this novel was the best of it all. I have to say, Gail McHugh knows how to start and carry along drama with just the right pull and push.

So it's official, Dillon proved his evil side, even though I still believe it's more from hurt and betrayal than anything else. Afterall, he was blindsided! He finally did as I predicted from book 1 and got physically abusive which I am definitely not a fan of nor condone. Drunk is one thing, sober ... no bueno! People have died for less -_-

Once again, Gavin was handed the short end of the stick and he had to trod through hell with Emily but by God the man gives new meaning to the word swoon worthy, because with all the drama going on, I swear he kept us all grounded. We all should have Gavin Blake's in our lives and make a green mini van full of blue-eyed heart breakers ... tell me where to sign up!!! :)

Emily, Emily ... if anyone deserves their HEA is you and Gavin. The consolation prize for the emotional ringer of book 1 was certainly a good one, as you could not have received a better partner for the ride! I am going to admit that I have never really sympathized with Emily's the character, but shockingly I think that was due to the knowledge of how she felt mentally with regards to Dillon, and knowing that Gavin would catch her when she fell ... if your talking about romance novel story type love, then you speak of Gavin Blake, Emily Cooper and their twenty questions filled relationship.

While the dialogues barely improved in this one and a lot of unnecessary scenes and conversations still lingered, there were a few in depth scenes that were done really well and deserve their props. Namely, Emily's dream and *spoiler alert* child birth. They were both great in depth scenes with an air of realism to it all. We went through it all with her, from the first contraction to the baby's first cry. I have to say though, I would have liked to attend a wedding in this book, because Gavin deserved HEAs galore and for them to be noted.

The gang was back, and I love the honesty and fairness behind both Fallon and Olivia. Now those are friends to have! They weren't afraid of confrontation and speaking their mind, even if it meant hurting Emily/Gavin feelings.

Believe me when I say, that their are elements galore in this novel for you to peel back and explore, and even though I believed that a lot of scenes could be chopped from this novel, it had me in a way that very few novels hold me when it came down to the by product of this triangle even after it ended.

We were kept on edge and held with just the right amount of rope. The story line was one many people could relate. We were comfortable with the characters, and even the microscopic details that were relayed. Some helped that they add a sense of realism within the fairy tale of it all (e.g Lillian's reaction to the news). It definitely wasn't always rainbow and sunshine.

The sex scenes also didn't improve much but I stayed awake this time :)
I have to say that if you can get over the length, cliches and winded scene and chapters, you will get to the gem stone moments of this novel.

P.S. To the lovely lady who thought up that dream scene ... brilliant idea! Heart haven't beaten that fast in a while. Thanks for letting me know the ticker still works :)

P.S.S. ... great preview story at the end! :D

Friday, 9 August 2013

Collide By Gail McHugh

Thank God for the last 5% of this book, because if not for that redeeming 5% I wouldn't be knocking off this review to get on to book 2.

I have to start by saying this story was too long, and as such, carried a lot of unnecessary scenes and conversations. A whole 1/4 of this book could have been eliminated and still have a story good enough to print. The sex scenes weren't really passionate or heated as I would suspect when a chick is banging more than one guy, I even fell asleep during one session.

The thing with this story, is that I don't really hate any of them, or at least not yet. Even as they go about making really wrong decisions. Honestly, no one is allowed to judge in this novel. I understand everyone's dilemma and honestly wish that things could be different. I get Emily's loyalty to Dillon and love for Gavin. I even understand Dillon's need for Emily, despite his lies. I won't saying cheating, because we are still not certain as to what his secrets are and we have yet to ever catch him cheating. I also understand Gavin's struggles and how he seems to be the one keep on getting the bad end of the stick, and I am pretty sure there is more to come.

While it took me a while to get into this book, I eventually warmed up to the characters and their everyday life and struggles. It was also nice to finally have a lesbian best friend as oppose to the usual male gay friend ... little changes are noted :)

Dillon has his douche tendencies, but he is also a victim to Emily and Gavin's love. He has a secret and I am pretty sure he overreacts to everything Emily and would eventually beat Emily if the chance arrived. But I still don't hate the guy. (Kind of hard to explain really). He has a lot of redeeming qualities, and if Kyle Sterling from 'Worthy of Redemption' by L.D. Davis can get it, then so can Dillon Parker. I just hope he doesn't kill himself before he gets the chance.

I might not like how he did a full 360 to the NY monster that he became, but he is still the man who held her mom's hair while she was sick, and for that, the man deserves a reprieve. Honestly, I don't know what in the NY air that turn him into the drunken mess he always become.

Gavin, Gavin, Gavin ... who wouldn't love Gavin. The man seems to fight harder than anyone in this novel for what he wants, and it's both in business and his personal life. He deserves a break and I am terrified of what to expect for him in book 2.

Emily is really between a rock and a hard place and this is what real love triangles are made from, or at least that's what I believe. She is torn between a man that she loved who was good to her at one point in her life, and a guy who she has fallen in love with and can't seem to function without.

Still, both of them get her and both of them have an undying love for her, one of them just seem to be more mentally unbalanced than the next. This is really a hard decision, regardless of how easy a choice was made in this novel. While I have no problem with the choice, I respect the story line and the development of a really tough and tentative decision that this novel created.

With a great group of secondary characters, a believable story line with everyday problems and decisions, I hit it off with this novel, even if it was in the literal final stages, and I can't wait to see what book 2 brings and how they will sort out this inevitable mess that is upon them all.

Great characters, nice story line, decent progression and an ending that leave you wanting more. I could ask for better conversations, more passion both in and out of the bedroom and a shorter more necessary novel. Still, I can't wait to get into book 2 to see what will happen next ... teetering on the edge here!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Escaping Reality By Lisa Renee Jones

I sat on this one and tried to think it through before I came to a conclusion, and I am still not sure but here goes nothing!

I liked this story. I was interested in where it was going and what each character and turn meant. Afterall, who doesn't like a good puzzle. Still, I have to say I am a little disappointed that we didn't get to find out everything that happened, then follow Amy on her adventure to clear it all up. But, I am still interested enough to wait on the next book in the series.

We spent a lot of time in the mind of Amy Benson, but it was comfortable. Even with the repetition of starting over, facing the past and being watched or uncertain, I hardly felt that fear factor and felt more confused because I don't know whose side to take and how everyone comes into play. There was too many coincidences for my liking and not enough information to go on.

Amy was a ... let's say complicated character. She doesn't really fit a mold. She is who she needs to be when she needs to be. I like Liam also and I can see them together, but I am so on edge that I feel as though I can't trust anyone in this story.

Liam is ... intense and not your average Joe. He is an enigma and I am not sure if it's good or bad yet. I feel his care for Amy, but I am not convince as to his intentions. I, However, like Amy, love his tattoo and the originality of it all.

This story gets off to a high paced start, that has you on edge, but somewhere along the line it turns into a love story and we spend so much time trying to learn what Amy is hiding that before we know it, we forget she is running from something dangerous and just like that the story is ending and now we have wait to put it all together. I don't know where the time went!

Losing time came more as a shock, because there were times where we went without entire conversations and confrontations, but when you do, they were good and not just their to hold space. I loved the banter and hidden messages shared between her and Liam and how he handles his life and took over hers.

Even though the rush calmed down once we got into the novel, their relationship stayed on a fast track, and by the end of this book, I can truly say I have no clue or idea as to what is going to happen and if she will even be able to leave the State before she is found. I have gotten so use to the uncertainty and being kept in the dark that a continuation doesn't even bother me that much ... then again, I'm dying to know what's gonna happen when Liam catches up to her ... because he will!

Now Jared and Meg ... another unknown anomaly in this all. There seems to be alot more questions than answers, but then, we can't know what Amy doesn't and believe me ... I'm not sure she remembers much before she started to run.

Ms. Jones has found a way to keep us so interested that we don't realize when we are nearing the end of this novel. But if you review it all, not much time passed but so much happened that you can't help but try to get from page to page. What seems like months is actually a couple of weeks.

The sex scenes didn't really get me going and I even spaced out during a few, but that didn't detract from the vibe you got when these two were together. It was a comfortable relationship that had even me wanting to share my secrets with Liam. He is quite the safety net.

I am confused and unsure of where this story is going, but I love the story line, characters and progression. I can't wait to get some answers and see where this road leads. I am unable to pick a side so let's just say I'm on the fence! I don't know what to feel and whose side to take, because I basically trust no one. I expect a lot more heart pounding and anxiety ridden scenes from book 2, but right now I am content with the basics and smooth start of this saga that book 1 provides. Can't wait to put this puzzle together!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Burn By Maya Banks

No!!! Come back! I want more!!!

I always loved Ash and I was uber glad for his book! Then again, I loved all the books in this trilogy. Might actually be the first time I wish that a trilogy wasn't that ... could take a page from the crossfire series for this one, because it's definitely worth a fourth book in comparison to the 'Bared To You' series.

Ash is the man! I gotta say that I was surprise at the intensity of Ash's character and how he dealt with his problems, both relationship and familial. He surprised me with his actions, and he seem nothing like the careless easy going guy described throughout the series so far. He was probably even more serious and intense that Gabe and Jace. He even left me feeling protected and scared at times.

I must say, based on the blurb, I expected more resistance from Josie, but she was as straightforward as Ash and her sexual preferences were extremely compatible to that of his. However, this surprisingly made their bedroom antics not as exciting as I would have thought. There was hardly any anticipation and this kind of helped me to realize why these dominant's usually like inexperienced females, because they sure create a sense of anxiety and excitement to it all. I guess it's safe to say that Jace still holds the title with best sex in a trilogy :)

I found that this installment focused more on Ash getting his footing with his now taken friends and Josie building a life after all the hands that she was dealt. Or at least I think that's what she wanted, I'm not too sure. I know she wanted to be an independent submissive (contradiction of the year!), but otherwise, she was pretty easy going and just went through the motions of pleasing Ash. Sex was mostly a background noise, not that it wasn't good, but it lacked that intensity and level of bedroom scenes that we usually get from this series. I guess with Ash's sole focus on sex throughout, he was painted in a more committed light for this installment, so as to give sex a back seat. Josie's submission was so easy that you weren't really sure what to look forward to next. Still, even not being sure what my focus was suppose to be, I was never bored or deterred. I loved every minute of it and kept checking to ensure that I wasn't close to the end. When I did get there though, I wanted to go back to chapter 1.

There was a lot of interaction and conversations between the characters and none were unnecessary or boring. I loved the banter between all the characters and the continued tradition of Girls's Nigh Out, as well as, the incorporation of all the minor characters, even Caro, Chesy, Gina and Trish. No one was left out and it was all comfortable and familiar with progression all around. I gotta say, I miss the gang and could surely read another book in this series ... even a novella :)

I was surprised and sad that we never got to partake in Mia and Gabe's wedding, but it also excluded the cliche of having Josie as a wedding date and the usual hoorah of couples getting married in a novel. It was done so as to not miss a step. It didn't bother me that much when I turned the page, as Josie and Ash kept me plenty occupied.

Ash made me feel like I wanted to be a submissive and boy did I want my own collar! Even though their sex scenes didn't draw the passion I expected, I still enjoyed this novel and the main characters, but more so as a couple than lovers. Even with it's fast paced vibe, and either overly excessive or under dramatic flair, I was interested from the first to the last page.

I gotta say though, Josie was like a beating stick in this book. The girl kept on getting beat, literally! Like ... really Maya? Give the chick a break! I must say I was worried for her the second time because I sort of felt like she was going to die.

Great story, fun characters, comfortable conversations, laughs all around, sex with kink, intensity and Ash ... who could ask for more? :)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Clementine By R. Jean Wilson

I get the premise and I like the characters. I even love that there was no dark twisty past to the characters, or at least to Addison, because I still feel a story there where Holden is concerned. Still, it was a weak delivery that played it really safe where drama was concerned.

There was a lot, bordering on too much medical jargon, and grammatical errors, even being a debut novel. It could have still been edited properly. I always believe that there is an excuse for everything in story writing, except for editing. All it takes is reading. It's your story after all, read it a million times if that's what it takes!

This was a really safe story and as such we never really got much anxiety from this one. Addison was so insecure that it was unbelievable. I don't think I ever shared her concerns with regards to Holden only wanting to be her friend or him having a girlfriend ... c'mon Addy, no guy leaves a hospital shift to go yoga with you, no matter hoe good a friend you are!
Their major problems, (like a fundraising dinner ....) seemed very boring and not so major to me. A lot of excitement and anxiety filled moments would have pushed this novel to the next level, or maybe even some recognition of a fight from Holden whenever Addison decided to run. But it all remained extremely safe like we were afraid to start conflict for fear of Holden and Addy not being the perfect couple.

The medical jargon was quite alot. I had to read the author's bio to check if she was a doctor or in the field of medicine. I love Grey's Anatomy and I feel like this at times started to feel like a Grey's Anatomy rip off. I like research when it comes to a story line but we spent so much time at the hospital and I still don't even know what she was really doing those weeks and if I didn't already know what a physician's assistant was, I'd confuse them with a surgeon from this book. Honestly, why go to medical school if you can do this?!

However, there were moments to love in this novel. While I don't fully grasp the soul mate moments that begin most chapters, I liked the vibe it brought and the atmosphere it transcended. I'm not a sappy romantic, but even I could somewhat understand and appreciate the creativity and gesture.

Holden ... He loved Addison, is into outdoors activities and seems like a stand up guy, but a chunk of this story was spent in another state, with another set of people, and as such, I felt like we were roaming. I found it hard to get a footing on Holden's character, because I'm not too sure when we would be running or gone again. Even though we were eventually reassured that this is how we are suppose to be feeling. Due to all this change, I never really got to love Holden as a character as much as I understand the logic of them being together.

I like Addison (mostly her name), but I also respect her strength. Regardless of her insecurity issues, she is strong and determine and didn't fill this story with naivety and crying or unhealthy pining. She took control of her life and surroundings even when it was falling apart, and having Vickie as a mom really helped.

Speaking of which, it was good to also break the cliche and have a nice healthy southern family, who hasn't caused their daughter deep seeded issues by death or abuse. Even though we only get direct and constant contact with her mom, it's nice to know she has the support and they are around.

As I am always looking out for new music, I loved the playlist at the beginning of the novel, as I love some of the songs, even if I hate the way they were referenced into the novel.
Speaking of which, I love the text format, as it's a nice touch to actually have message bubbles so it seems as if you are reading it from Addy's phone. Their little notes were a cute touch also.

Addison is unable to hold a steady best friend, I feel as if Holden is hiding a secret with regards to his life before Addy, and this story needs some good drama, anxiety and editing to take it to that next level!
With such an abrupt and incomplete ending, or at least it felt that way to me, I hope if there is a second book on the horizon, it is much better and doesn't seem like a Grey's Anatomy rip off.

This story has potential and I was definitely interested to see where it would end up. Hopefully there is a continuation on the horizon, because as is, it's a little too safe for me.