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 :)


Monday, 29 September 2014

The Understatement of the Year By Sarina Bowen

This was the perfect balance that left me incomplete. Usually, I either get stories of characters wide open and out of the closet and others where characters accept that they are gay and try to find ways to get out of said closet. This go, we had an open gay who wasn't ready and one who can't say the word. No. He isn't mute.

Graham is so deep in the closet that you might need a 100ft rope to get him out. His theories were half sad and half hilarious because of the details placed in every day things like the colour of his sheets o.O

I can't imagine anyone putting in the time and logic that Graham used to keep that closet door close but it made for an interesting story to get the views of a self-loathing gay. It also gave the story another mystery because you leave not knowing if it was the traumatic event as a teen or society's views that made him a paranoid alcoholic for the most part of this story.

Then we have Rikker, who should be the paranoid drunk, but instead is the poster boy for 'gay but manly all the same'. He isn't shopping, sipping cosmos and  gossiping. You just don't need glaringly obvious reminders that he's gay. It's who he is. He was funny, scratch that, he was hilarious! He took everything in stride and flipped Big-D's comments when necessary.

I hate spoilers and I hope this isn't one for someone, but you really do wait until the very end for any revealing scenes. Then, I was left with so much unsaid and unresolved that I wonder if I got the complete novel and if perchance, book 4 will answer some of the questions I now have.

M/M romance novels normally carry the hot and angry sex scenes but this is 'The Ivy Years' series, so blow by blow sex scenes were bypassed for a steamy build up and a little cuddling after.

This novel was the most hockey based novel in the series, but I still didn't feel overwhelmed, so that's a plus. Unfortunately, due to Graham's phobia of his sexual orientation and all the time spent on the ice, we hardly spent any personal time with Rikker and Graham as a couple.

Sometimes, the story even dragged because we were stuck in the back and forth that is Graham's mind. Then came the really fast crescendo that began and ended before we could blink. I am now anxious to know what happens next and it's not even me being greedy, it's just that a whole new world now awaits.

Sarina Bowen has never been afraid to tackle major issues and this was no different. There is more to this novel than "coming out" and I think that's why the end left me feeling incomplete. There were also a few more grammatical errors than I am used to from a Sarina Bowen novel but I'll just chalk that up to it being an ARC. A purchased copy should have less grammatical errors. I hope.

Still, it wasn't enough to deter me and my interest was captured and held until the end. There is drama, lessons, fun, friendship, first love and acceptance all wrapped in two Harkness Hockey jackets.


Cracks in the Armor By Helena Hunting

I realize that all the novellas in this series is based on Sarah and Chris and it's probably because Tenley and Hayden's story have concluded but I am now interested in these two, especially after reading that novella.

I love how it's not insta love and they still have issues to work through even though they really are on the same page. It reminds me of every day life and the uncertainty we carry in relationships.

I am still not fully knowledgeable about either characters past but I assume we will be getting a full length novel some time soon? If not, then I guess this is a waste.

Chris seems to always be seeking approval, so I would really love to know why and Sarah is independent but dependent. They both seem to clash on paper but they seem so right together. They understand each other though they are uncertain where each other priorities lie.

I might not know much about their background but what I do know is that Chris is a sweetheart and Sarah is really a softy under all that armour. They are the perfect oxymoron and I really hope we'll get more on them, because though this was nice, sweet and to the point, it's too short to make a full assessment.


Sunday, 28 September 2014

Inked Armour By Helena Hunting

I handle this series like a sitcom. I never expect it to end so I just wait for this season's climax and wonder what's gonna happen with the new season. Unfortunately, I think this series has ended o.O

I figure based on the novellas that Chris and Sarah are next but I am so much more invested and interested in Tenley and Hayden as a couple and as individuals. I also felt like while we focused on Hayden, there were a few unanswered questions from Tenley's past. Namely Trey.

Despite that, this novel continued with good dialogue, progression and story line. It held closure and promise but lacked much explosive moments that matches that of a good series closing. It was just like the endings before but without the obvious cliffhanger. Then again, I am hoping I am wrong and another novel is in the works :)

You were shown the different transitions between Hayden and Tenley's relationship and personal life. I found that I preferred Hayden's POV, which remained real, raw and true. His lack of filter and honesty continued to add substance and entertainment value.

Tenley got a little lost as the novel progressed, while we focused on Hayden and his demons and she became his anchor. She was stronger than before but somewhere along the line, the cupcake themed elements began to annoy me as they grew in frequency. I am actually shocked that she did everything with them but open a store.

As other cliches go, I saw a few miles away and already knew the answer to many questions, but it was still interesting to see them play out and I would trade all the detailed sex scenes for more time spent solving Hayden's parents murder or Tenley and Hayden's combined PTSDs.

The characters and story line have developed steadily throughout the series and this time was no different. There different proclivities changed as we progressed and it was good to have the tattoo as a symbolic tool of progression. It was continuously weaved into the story and conversations and in the end, we got to see all the changes that led to the perfectly balanced masterpiece.

This novel was good at closing old wounds and though it didn't bring the high drama and explosive moments that I normally look for with the closure of a series, it kept me intrigued, engaged, entertained and included in the story line from beginning to end.

I only have a novella left to read but I am glad I was in a book slump and unearthed this series on my kindle. It is memorable, well written and riddled with substance and as much reality as is possible. It truly is about ink and armour.

I also don't know where they found that embodiment of everything Hayden for the cover, but he really nailed the point home and I found myself staring at him sometimes too :)


Friday, 26 September 2014

Between the Cracks By Helena Hunting

I find that the prequels for this series are always thorough and detailed in their small time frames. For 50 pages, this was a well written summary or the present and future as it relates to Tenley, Hayden, Chris and Sarah's stories. While we didn't venture much into 'Clipped Wings',we got a segue to what happens after Tenley's departure and a preview of those decisions in 'Inked Armour'.

We got an idea of where Tenley is from and her growth since she moved to Chicago. Some of these things aren't obvious though and you would need to take the time to review her reactions and decisions when she return to Arden Hills.

The thing about 'Between the Cracks' though is that it wasn't Tenley and Hayden overload. It wasn't even told in any of their POVs. It was all Chris looking in and showing us a different side to Hayden, Tenley, Sarah and Trey.

It's very short, to the point where I can imagine it being a nuisance if you were reading it before the entire series was released.

It's packed like a 100 page novella with drama and more. It actually has a story line and progression, despite the speed. It's got me pumped and ready to see what becomes of all the characters with the beginning of 'Inked Armour'.

To top it all off, it's currently FREE on Amazon :)


Clipped Wings By Helena Hunting

I love it when a book meets my expectations and 'Clipped Wings' surely didn't disappoint after my 'Cupcakes and Ink' high. It was perfectly paced, concise and detailed in showcasing the similar struggles and insecurities between Tenley and Hayden. It's very rare that you see the main love interest fighting the same battles and reservations. Their realistic approach of just keeping it a secret made for an interesting and captivating story.

I loved the individualistic elements of this novel. You got to know, appreciate and understand all the characters. I can distinguish everyone and their proclivities and what's better is that I love them all in their roles. No one deviates and I actually like that even in the end there was uncertainty. It wasn't stretched across novels for sales alone, it's a story that needs depth and time and I find that the progression was perfectly timed and the ending left me comforted but wanting.

I know I appreciate a novel for it's content when I rush through the sex. Not that it's bad sex, but I crave the conversations and story line, more than I do the intimacy. I love the moments spent learning about Tenley and Hayden; getting updates on her tattoo and everything else spinning around them as a couple and as individuals.

Tenley piqued my interest as the novel began and immediately drew my interest to the staff of Inked Armor. She started as skittish but bold, then as the novel progressed, you unlock more of her personality. It's like your dating Hayden and Tenley as you spend the time knowing, opening and understanding their relationship, as if it's your own.

I had previously stated that Hayden reminds me of Rule from 'Rule' by Jay Crownover and suggested that he might be better. I was right and wrong. Though there are similarities that glaringly remind me of 'The Marked Men' series, Hayden is much more complicated, dramatic and intricate of a character and the Inked Armor crew take damaged to a next level.

There is sex and more sex for the sex fiends who might be interested in this novel but it's sparse in description and lack the BDSM touch that's present in most romance novels these days. Still, I am wired after reading this novel and I can't wait to get to see what's next after that ending.

I have never read a Helena Hunting novel before this week but I am glad I reached for this series in my book stump. It was well researched, executed and summarized. I was hooked from beginning to end and there was never a dull moment between the Inked Armor and Serendipity crew. Hayden's lack of a filter helped some too :)


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Cupcakes and Ink By Helena Hunting

Ok. So I have been in a book slump and decided that I would troll through my kindle library among the many novels that I have and never read. I passed by 'Clipped Wings' and remember all the excitement when this was released, so I decided to start with 'Cupcakes and Ink', then work my way through the series. I am happy I did :)

This series so far reminds me of 'Rule' by Jay Crownover and Hayden might just be a little hotter and better! Sorry Rule :)

I haven't been this excited about a novel in a while so I have rather high hopes for this series.

I only know the basics but I know that the Hayden and Tenley combo should be a knock out! Tenley intrigues me because despite her weird past times and feelings, she remains skittish and I love that she keep a level head, even when she wants to dive in head first. Her fascination with body mod is another element to be added to the clue of who she is and what she is running from or to.

Hayden has zero filter both orally and physically. He makes me laugh in and out of his POV and I can't wait to get up close and personal with the rest of the cast. Cassie is a hoot and the dealings of "The Dollhouse" have my interest piqued.

It might be a story line that we've read before but I love the kick off and can't wait to get deeper in cupcakes and ink :)


Brutal Precious By Sara Wolf

I'm ready to sell the rights for this novel to Disney but I guess I don't even have that right ... *_*  Oh well.

I think I was over this series by book 2 but I didn't remember, so I was excited for book 3. Isis was still crazy without explanation and made friends easily. As for Jack, I don't even know where to start with him. He was absent but present and there were times when I wondered why he was even needed in this story, except for the need to have a hero.

Every spy (yes spy),college and high school 90s drama tv show that Disney ever produced is displayed in this novel, with a splash of XXX.

Still, I liked the opening. It was a detailed summary of everyone's decisions and paths following Sophia's death, in a compact Isis playback. After that though, I scrambled to find relevance and meaning within the story line. If I didn't know, now I do. YA is not for me :(

I understand the need for Isis level of maturity, as she wouldn't instantly change by going to college, but by the end of the novel, I still missed the substance and maturity in her character.

Jack's presence wasn't felt in this novel and found that I didn't mind her with Kieran. I barely saw any of his icy demeanor that I came to love and his side of the story was rather uneventful and corny. Honestly, we could have done without his POV and story line. Believe me when I say that I was just as shocked as you were or will be to find out Jack's decision and line of work following Sophia's death.

This story was all over the place and though it had a focus, it slipped passed me completely! It was knowing without understanding. Apart from Isis and Jack, there was a slew of new characters but none memorable. I once again contribute this to the fact that this novel lacked a strong story line and the best parts were the beginning and end summaries. Literally.

I was kept interested enough though to read through most of the story in a couple hours. It remained engaging, thanks to Isis personality and all the past issues that got some light.

This could have made for a good, college based romance, especially coming off the previous novel and the directions everyone went at the beginning. It's a good enough novel but I find that it's too YA for my taste and crazy Isis got annoying eventually.


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Collin By Sandi Lynn

'Collin' was an easy going story with a host of serious issues and the most fleeting and fairy tale solutions. My ongoing issue with Sandi Lynn novels, is how she always take serious issues and spend as little time on them then throw money at the problem and give us a happy ending.

Hailey, despite her faults, was treated like that crazy stalker chick from 'Forever Black' and Amelia moved from self righteous, to brave, to annoying and then right back to self righteous.

The first 30% of the story was told so fast and I just wanted to slow it down. It was nice there for a while, as I guess and spell who would steal his heart and that pizza girl freaked me out while making me die with laughter (it really does sound better abbreviated).

Anyhoo ... Collin is the fun, alcoholic of the family, even if no one wants to acknowledge it, but the boy is two shots away from being Ellery's dad. I am sure he would have liver failure if he got his heart broken again. Yes, his story isn't told to completion in this novel and I look forward to the repercussions in the upcoming novel.

Though I am glad for the diversity in using another love interest, even if breaks from the keep it all in the family thing they usually have going, Amelia takes some getting used to. I don't understand or connect with any of the characters at the end of this novel because it feels like I was being read a statement instead of partaking in a story. Maybe it's the tone, progression or modern day Saints that was portrayed, but I didn't believe or connect with the characters and their different stories. Connor, Ellery and Julia included. I even forgot about Peyton, Henry and James. They were so faded and uninteresting.

We even lost a main character in this novel and it didn't impact me the way it should have. It wasn't sad, reflective or contemplative. It just happened and we moved on. As for Amelia and her host of issues, I think it needed the same amount of time and dedication that this death warranted, in order to make an impact within the story.

You might read my review and think that I hate this novel but I didn't. I quite enjoyed it and read it in one day with little breaks. I think if you are looking for a quick, easy read with not much complexity, then this is it.

It not only gives you updates from the past but it shows everyone's future and allows you to reconnect with all the characters that we loved from this series. The focus was broader than Collin and Amelia, so though they got lost as a couple and individuals, I still had a good time keeping up with the Black's and their host of friends and acquaintances.


On the Record By K.A. Linde

First, let me start off by saying what a sexy cover this is and I think that even if this story turned out to be crap, atleast the cover was good eye candy. Now on to the story ...

Why must K.A. Linde write these realistic, fairy tales and then drop us like a hot patty at the end? I will admit I had my moments where I wondered where the hell is she going now but just as I am literally standing in the kitchen, unable to go and have a shower because my kindle reads 98%, she drops a bomb and exits until November?! Do you know how far November is?? Sighz.

It's safe to say that I loved it. I'll get angry, disagree and swear off reading another K.A. Linde novel but I never do. I believe she writes some of the most controversial stories and she does it in a way that feels all too real and relateable, while still giving you as happy as an ending, that she can muster out of the mess she creates.

Hayden dominated this novel but it was hard to lose yourself in their love because I kept having the lingering feeling that it wouldn't last. Though he was made to look like a monster at one point, for the most part, he was the perfect replacement and it was good to see that he was human, as he did what anyone else in his position, who was angry and hurting would do. We are jealous and vindictive creatures, so his actions, though harsh, is no surprise. It made me respect the author for being able to comfortably take this step and knowing the outcome.

There were moments when I couldn't understand or tolerate Liz. She annoyed me to no end and had me wondering what every one saw in her but the girl has spirit and drive. Ply her with alcohol and she's your #1! She is strange but relateable. Her reservations came off as a fairy tale but when she broke out of her shell she made me laugh until I snort and she is the only person in this novel who can make you see Brady Maxwell the man and not Brady Maxwell the politician. I really don't think anyone sees him the way she does and his last chapter moments at the end of these novels always take off that edge that his character carries.

There is sex but it's pretty tame and so much was going on that I preferred conversations as oppose to the bedroom actions. The politics was once again done tastefully and reflected someone who understood politics and wasn't just basing a story around the regular affairs. I love a well thought out and executed novel and K.A. Linde didn't disappoint.

'On the record' is split into two parts and you will have to read both to appreciate and understand this novel. I know there will be another Hayden vs Brady battle after this one but I find that the further we go, the more our perceptions of the characters change. This novel is more than Liz and Brady as a couple and I like that everyone is growing and getting their time in the sun.

It took some time and a few good scenes to develop some mystery and intrigue but in the end, it left me yearning for more and jonesing for an ARC for 'For the Record'. This was a brilliantly written and executed political drama and I can't wait for it's conclusion.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Promised By Jodi Ellen Malpas

Let's remove the fact that I spent the better part of the last 4 weeks planning a 5K. When I did get the time, today included, I settled down and tried to read 'One Night: Promised'. At one point, I thought to review 'This man' to find similarities in the writing styles, because I don't wanna believe that this was a JEM novel. What happened? Am I really in the minority here?

'One Night: Promised' did nothing for me as novel neither did Olivia and Miller as characters or as a couple. I was bored and struggled to get to the end. By the time I got to the end, I wanted answers but the story still didn't increase it's pace or my interest. There were so many unnecessary conversations and the continuous loop of pimps and prostitutes did nothing for the story line. Actually, there is no story line. It read like and unedited manuscript and it's more than my expectations. This was just bad, especially for an author of this caliber.

I understand Olivia's character was to be flat, boring and careful in the initial stages but even when she got out of her shell, with little difficulty might I add, she did nothing for me as an individual. I know her struggles, but she remains a contradiction to her brief time in the underworld and her lack of faculties around Miller reminds me of a bad 90's romance novel.

Miller doesn't intrigue me unless he's shifting cutlery and ironing suits in his office. There were Miller moments that had me chuckling, but for the most part, he came off as cheesy and from another century. Though he did teach me something valuable about wines, that I will take into consideration.

There was so much pointless and talkative sex! I hate when people have full on conversations during sex. It can't possibly be that nice if you find the time to speak this much -_-

For a period of time, I found myself more interested in Ben and Greg's story, than I was Miller and Olivia's. I actually wondered if we could get theirs instead, as the main story lacked real drama or clarity and where "wow factor" is concerned, that could use some work. There are pieces, they're just not cohesive.

The main story line/occupation in this story is not dramatic and the reveal left me wanting more. For a moment, I thought Miller was a mob boss, then a DOM, only to find out his real occupation and then the story ends. Will I read the next? Yes. Would I judge Ms. Malpas based on this novel? No. I just wish book 2 is better because I hold Jodi Ellen Malpas to a standard, after all, I get all my Brit romance from her, but this wasn't her best work and I struggled to understand and appreciate the story line and the characters.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Fall of January Cooper By Audrey Bell

Some books need to be released in segments or edited to focus on the more important points. This was one of them.

Did January Cooper fall? In a sense.

January Copper is a walking, talking, contradiction. She is ditsy but intelligent and has more confidence than can be written about. She is also the definition of crazy, mean girl, Queen B and every other snob/diva related title you can find. She pulls it off so well though, that you can't help but to love her.

Let's get honest though, January Cooper was technically down on her luck for maybe 5 minutes. Yes, she does loses a lot but living like the average college students is still better than being unable to even attend college. There are a lot of discrepancies with this story but the characters personalities and series of events occasionally overshadow the underlying issues.

The relationship factor of this novel is too fast and small of a window for me to take it seriously. They make really good frenemies but I can't relate to their "passionate" moments or the times they decide to be a "couple", because I spent 76% of this novel interacting with them as friends. Their relationship by then needed time to grow into more and we also needed some of that time to understand and re-establish them in my mind as a couple.

I don't fully understand Christian's guilt and reasoning but I feel like his story is a unique one that needed more light. I'm not asking for dreams from the grave but his story needed more elaboration. We spent so much time having random conversations that led to literally nothing but filling a space and I kept thinking about all the things we could have learned about him in that time period.

On top of all that, I left this story feeling like it wasn't ready to end. We are moving slow and building to the end then in the last 10% it's one big rush. I, for one, kept checking the percentage, waiting to see when they would seal the deal, until I just called it a pipe dream and gave up. You can then imagine how shocked I was to see that there really was going to be a coupling.

Surprisingly, I liked the cattiness of the females in this novel because it was a true representation of their social circle. I believed every character profile and I love how the hero wasn't glorified. He was a regular middle class guy who once dominated college hockey.

The flow of this story is nice and has really great transitions. However, somewhere on the way to the end, it all got lost and the story felt like being short changed. Still, I liked the characters and I think the writing wasn't bad either, with the exception of a few grammatical errors. It's a quick read with an engaging story and though it's not perfect, it wasn't a failure either.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lead By Kylie Scott

I was never bored; I was kept entertained, given depth and full character profiles, but I still left this novel feeling lost and incomplete. I was interested, love the flow and the steady progression, but as is usual with this series, the end was abrupt. The meaningful fight comes way too late and then it is resolved faster than it took to develop.

Jimmy and Lena are a feisty pair and I love them as a couple. They brought a nice change, where they let it all out, then work on it, as oppose to pulling teeth to find the problems, then fixing it. Even if he bought his way out the dog house a few times.

Though unrequited, for a period of time, there was never a doubt as to what these characters wanted and how they felt. They were uniquely, awkward but they understand and compliment each other.

Lena is sarcastic, witty and a word I've never used before in a review, brave. She never backs down and when you expect her to run, hide and cry, she puts on her strongest face and puts you in your place. She is even in your face demanding her own demise, as long as it's on her terms.

Jimmy is not what I expected but then again, I read 'Play' and 'Lick' eons ago! There are layers to this man and his thoughts, reasoning and perspective was one to assess. I only wish that we could have gotten it straight from him to really understand how his mind works.

Surprisingly, the music aspect of the novel was low. Other than a Maroon 5 nod in the end, it didn't give much musical moments. It was more comedic and filled with dating advice.

For those who are all about the sex, be forewarned, while it is there, it too is tame. There isn't much steamy or passionate scenes and even then they found things to laugh about.

Riddled with grammatical errors, this novel threw me off a few times as I corrected these errors to understand a conversation. I, for one, don't like to be unaware of the words I use and read, so if I don't know it, I goggle it! We seemed to get a little European and Australian slangs as we went and all that did was brought to my attention that we didn't really have much American culture in this novel. Still, that's fine with me. It didn't deter me from the novel, it just removed the American authenticity.

It was good that the rest of Stage Dive also got to highlight where they currently sat in the relationships we were privy to before but there was also a few unanswered questions and unaccounted characters in the end.

If your looking for something fun, quick and flirty then this is the book for you. It has it's moments when it tugs at you but it's not emotional or overly filled with love. It's mostly clueless fun with a spunky heroine and a clueless lead singer.


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Cover reveal: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen!!!

Today is the cover reveal for The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

The Understatement of the Year cover

        The Understatement of the Year 

    (Ivy Years #3)

By Sarina Bowen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: October 1, 2014

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexual preference from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother. 
                                         Graham Teaser

                              You can find The Understatement of the Year on Goodreads
You can pre-order The Understatement of the Year here:

- Kobo
Bella grabbed the front pocket of my Vermont sweatshirt and actually pulled me through the din of the most crowded room, toward a table where Graham sat in a booth, across from Hartley. 

Ugh. I had no idea this would be so cozy. In fact, there was nowhere for me to sit. For a second there I felt like it was seventh grade all over again, and I didn’t know where to sit in class. 
That’s how I met Graham — seventh grade Spanish. We were the two runts in the back row with terrible gringo accents and no friends. The teacher always made the class pair up to practice dialogue. Graham and I were partners. 

Hola, Miguel.
Hola, Juan.
Te gusta el futbol?
Sí, me gusta el futbol. 
The early days of middle school had been awkward. But this? So much more awkward than that. 
“I’ll sit on Graham’s lap,” Bella suggested, grabbing a slice of pizza off the tray. 
“Naw, let me find a chair,” I said, turning quickly into the crowd. And lo, by the grace of God, I found one in front of an ancient pay phone. Setting the chair at the end of their booth gave me some much-needed distance. Bella sat on the end, boxing Graham into the corner. Bella’s hand found its way onto my knee about two seconds after I sat down. 
Someone filled my glass. “Have a slice?” Hartley offered. 
“Thanks, I already ate,” I said quickly. But I sucked back some of the beer. It was pretty wimpy stuff, but I’ll bet the price was right. 

“Tell us about your transfer,” Bella prompted while the others dug in. “You said you’d tell it over beers.” 
Right. Too soon. “Well,” I hedged. The thing was, I’d told people I was gay many, many times. I was actually pretty good at it. But you don’t say it when you’re all trapped at a table. You have to drop the bomb when your victims are free to walk away from you. Because even the people who are going to turn right back around and be there for you often need a minute to digest the idea. 
And the fact that Graham was sitting three feet away, staring at his slice of pizza as if it might reveal the secrets of the universe, made this a particularly bad time. I didn’t want to look vulnerable in front of him. I’d tried that before in my life, and it ended badly. Very badly. 
“Thing is, I haven’t had enough beer yet to tell it.” 
“There you go with the buildup again,” Bella said, nibbling on a slice. 
“Yeah? Well my stories don’t usually disappoint.” That was a bit of pointless bravado. But it was probably true. 
I happened to glance toward Graham then. And even in the low light of the pizza place, I saw him freeze. And I realized just how far a little smack talk about stories I might tell would freak him out. I hadn’t meant it like that. But the effect on him was instant and powerful. His jaw went hard and his fist clenched on the table.
Easy, boy. “Tell me about the practice schedule,” I said to change the topic.

About the Author:

Sarina Bowen makes her home in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where she lives with her family, eight chickens and a large pile of skis and hockey equipment. She is a graduate of Yale University.

You can find and contact Sarina here:

- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the cover reveal of The Understatement of the year. You can win a signed set of paperback books which includes: The Year We Fell Down (Ivy Years #1), The Year We Hid Away (Ivy Years #2) and Blonde Date (Ivy Years 2.5). The giveaway is open international. You can enter the giveaway below, good luck!

Q: Is Harkness College from the Ivy Years series based on Yale?

A: Heck yes! But it’s based on a Yale which has gone soft and fuzzy in my mind, in all the best ways. So I’ve fictionalized it to avoid the errors and inaccuracies that I’d be likely to make if I tried to get everything just right.

Q: Why did you decide to write a book about two guys?

A: In the first place, I didn’t really decide, so much as the idea for Graham’s struggle surgically implanted itself in my brain and would not let go. And when I pictured the two of them meeting up again in a locker room after five years of silence, I just got the chills. This became the book that I cheated on all my other books to write. (If my editors of other projects are reading this… sorry! I’ll get back to work now. Probably.)

Q. Why college hockey?

A. Because… duh! Hockey players are hot. And hockey is a fast-paced game where whining is categorically disallowed. Interestingly, fighting is not legal in college hockey, either. It’s all about the game. I love that!

Q: How many Ivy Years books do you have planned?

A: Five, if you’re counting the novella. After Rikker and Graham’s book, Bella is going to need her own book. What, you haven’t met Bella yet? You will on October 1st, when Understatement of the Year is published. She is a kick-ass chick in much the same way as Corey, Scarlet and Katie. You’ll love her. You can read a bit more about all the titles on The Ivy Years page on my website.

Q: How are the Gravity books different from The Ivy Years?

A: The Gravity books are a heck of a lot steamier than my New Adult titles. And book #1 is angstier, in my opinion. They’re set in Vermont, featuring top-level snowsports athletes. That part is so much fun for me, because we really do have a lot of awesome athletes that live up here. Today my husband spotted Olympic medalist Hannah Kearney in the grocery store. That’s the kind of celeb sightings we have on the Vermont / New Hampshire border.

Q: How did you come to write romance?

A: I’ve always loved novels—all kinds of novels. And my goal is to make the reader do three things when she’s reading my book: cry, laugh, and sigh. Romance is the best vehicle for that goal, and I’ve really enjoyed the ride.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Blonde Date: An Ivy Years Novella By Sarina Bowen

I've never given much thought to the Katie's or Andy, but this novella placed them on my radar. 'Blonde Date' follows Katie Vickery (blonde Katie/K1) and Andy (Bridger's dorm neighbour) on a sorority mandated date. It turns out there is more to blonde Katie than meets the eyes and Andy is just that. Andy. What you see is what you get.

Though it was just a couple hours spent on Sorority Row; drinking and socializing, there is more to this novella than Katie's need for a date and Andy's dreams coming through.We got background information on both lead characters and Dash, as well as, twists, drama and a little adult entertainment.

'Blonde Date' opened me to the possibility of reading a full length novel about both Katie and Andy. Now that I have gotten the opportunity, I wanna know more about blonde Katie and all the pressures that seem to accompany her world. She is more than bandannas on doors and sorority row.

Andy got his time in the spotlight but it's Andy, so the only difference was being privy to his thoughts. I've never thought of him as a nerd, lacking in self-confidence but I liked when he spazz out and over analyzed Katie's signals. There is something about this novella that doesn't try to place them on a pedestal. It keeps them genuine. Katie is a hottie and Andy isn't a 100 on the hot meter but he is one of the good guys and even them deserve their time in the sun.

Thing is, though I enjoyed date night and exam day, I could see these two going their separate ways and remaining friends. A one night stand and fling? Maybe. But the fact that Katie kept Dash as a constant reminder and Dash revealed his true feelings towards Katie, I can see them getting back together. I don't wanna break Andy's heart, but maybe K1 isn't the girl for him in the long run; though we all gotta have our first :)

Dash's POV was welcomed and helped solidify my original thought that just maybe that spark will ignite again, because Andy and Katie are missing one element that Dash and Katie have in common.

As always, Sarina keeps the sex as PG as possible because they are college kids, who are just learning their crafts, sex included and it was actually quite hilarious to get both their accounts of this sexual experience.

If your looking for a quick read while you transition through novels, or just want something light and fluffy, then look no further. 'Blonde Date' is just the right read. It's short, to the point and has enough elements to keep you interested and leave you wanting more. Your're re-introduced to Dash, Katie and Andy; then your gifted a sneak peek at Graham and Rikker's story. Other than a full length novel on this triangle, what more could you ask for?

***ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.***


Saturday, 16 August 2014

For Fallon By Soraya Naomi

I have come to realize that I once again fall in the minority of people who aren't that fond of a novel, while everyone else showers it with praises.

'For Fallon' does nothing for me as a complete body of work and didn't really grab my interest until the 60% mark. It was just another Mafia romance, even though they play by a few different rules.

Fallon is one of the most annoying heroines I've ever met and I was not her biggest fan from beginning to end. I kept thinking, especially in the end, that Luca can do better and I would even trade the copywriter for the stripper any day.  For those who have read this book, it's not in regards to her final decision and more on her overall decisions. She is quite dumb for an intelligent lady and while her reactions might be a more realistic one, I still can't relate, understand or empathize with her character.

If you read my reviews, you will know that I like them bad and a little crazy. Though Luca isn't the crazy type, he has these bad undertones that makes him come to life! Which in turn made me preferred his POV, though Fallon's had their place.

The events of this novel leave much to be desired with most of the action and intrigue coming literally in the last 3%. I despise unnecessary cliffhangers but I feel like this story needed that break to transition into the next story line. I just wish this first installment had excited us a little more.

Relationships, with the exception or Luca and Fallon's, don't get much elaboration. They stay on a need to know basis and offer up no more. I still admired the friendship between Adriano and Luca and how they work as a team. That scene with Alex and subsequently, Camilla and Fallon, wasn't ruthless but it was calculated and showed them working together while using as little force and bloodshed as possible.

There was no one focus and so I am uncertain as to the point of it all. There is the Mafia element that's only highlighted when it's Luca's POV, because he has to do something with his days; then there is the Danny element that started it all and rounds out with the romance, that just happened until there was none left.

Mafia element aside, the rest would make for a good story line but we never met the catalyst for the story line, even when he was a door away; and not being the biggest supporter of their relationship from the beginning, left me hoping that 'For Luca' will see Luca with a new woman. Honestly, Fallon is not the one.

The sex is to the point and there is no domination. No games, circles or questions. Just good old sex! The story line adapted this principle occasionally and saw us cutting to the chase, sometimes without giving us strong enough character development to move forward. Apart from Luca, when he's confused, betrayed and hurt, not much stood out for me.

Don't take this to mean that I am saying this story tanked, because I am sure I will want to read book 2, but it just wasn't a memorable or impactful story. It can easily be filed away under general, with the other generic Italian Mafia romances, without much diversity. It was flat and commercial, so I am hoping for a better book 2.


Monday, 11 August 2014

Ruthless People By J.J. McAvoy

I expected this novel to be a good one and I wasn't disappointed. Liam and Melody had rocky starts in the personality department and while Melody didn't redeem herself, I got to understand and acclimate to her character as the story progressed.

I think everyone in this story with the exception of Olivia and Coraline are ruthless. They can act with the best of them but this family loves blood, chaos and drama. They thrive on it! While Liam eventually broke his mold to accommodate Melody, she stayed true to her character until the end. There is no clear cut reception to this story because their are different stages to their madness. In the beginning, I was a little skeptic, because Melody is not easy to like, as she was the only character that came out guns blazing and stayed that way. Even when she disconnects from the world, she's remains cocky, self-righteous and nonchalant about everything and everyone with the exception of Liam and Evelyn.

Liam's character is like an oxymoron. He shocks me with his decisions and he baffles me even more when he clicks the switch that turns him into a sociopath. I just can't see him as one. He at times seem almost preppy but then in an instant he's killing six year old girls so they don't grow up into "La femme Nikita" and retaliate against his family.  I expected a struggle for dominance but really, one of them gave up before the struggle even began.

If not for Liam's need to love, I could see this story having zero romantic tones. The romance actually takes a back seat to all the criminal affairs. Still, you can't discount that they make a really good team and somewhere along the line, I found myself riding their power wave. They actually make you feel like they are untouchable.

Half way through this novel, we started to get other characters POVs but I am on the fence as to their significance. Yes, it's a different view and thoughts from the family but importance was lacking. I didn't mind getting in their heads but their issues had no bearing on the current story line.

There is sex, love, family, power, drugs and murder. Everything you were promised on the cover. What stood out most though was the title. You can't sleep on these two because they are forever scheming and manipulating everyone, including each other. Every time I think they are redeemed and becoming less power hungry, I realize that they are just planning their next scheme.

The sex isn't as explosive or passionate as I thought it would be but it's not very detailed either so you are quick to get back to the wave of crimes they have planned. In retrospect, not even the criminal acts were given much light either, unless Liam are Melody were suiting up. We weren't always apart of the plan and found ourselves watching the mayhem with the rest of the family.

I found that their banters with their family and men were what made this story interesting and gave us those funny moments.

There is a noticeable amount of grammatical errors and normally when a book captures me enough, I can probably dismiss it but this story is from a publishing house with a professional editor, so I don't think they should be so glaringly obvious.

I had expected more Italian and Irish culture but it was more All-American. I've never read about the Irish or their mobs before so I would have loved to seen more Irish culture and dialect.

Novels with language barriers normally leave me running to Google translate, so I was glad for the key at the end and the ease in navigating between the translation page and the rest of the story.

'Ruthless People' isn't one of those stories that come with a lot for you to gush about. It is precise, to the point and grabs your attention from beginning to end. If you blink, you might miss something and everything and everybody are chess pieces.

They are murders, thieves and liars with no intention of ever slowing down. They love what they do and NOTHING will change that. It's gruesome and leaves you questioning their sanity and the subject of ethics and moral, because they have none.