Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Monster in His Eyes By J.M. Darhower

Every one has their corner of the market that I shop when I need to curve my reading appetite. I turn to Kirsten Ashley when I want a well thought out and lengthy novel, I go to Jodi Ellen Malpas for all my British men, Madeline Sheehan provides my biker romance, E.K. Blair and Barbara Elsborg gives good M/M romance, Alessanda Torre writes some of the best unconventional but works stories and J.M Darhower is all about the Italian Mafia, cause Latrivia Nelson has the Russians.

With that being said, it is safe to say that I enjoyed every minute of this book and I never wanted it to end. I kept trying to find loopholes when the truth was revealed and kept screaming at Karissa to be Team Naz. Everyone against this man is my enemy -_-

Ignazio Vitale. It's sweet and filled with fear all in one, depending on how you say it. He had the best character profile to me. Yes, he is American-Italian, apart of the mob, does suspicious things all hours of the day and gets off on pseudo-rape and restraint scenes, but I love him anyway. He is honest and carries himself with a flair that begs you to try and question him. Every time he opens his mouth, I learn something new and rethink an earlier assumption.

They are ridiculously cute and compatible as a couple and I can stand just as strongly as individuals. Everyone's personality was memorable and I love that the mafia aspect was subtle. There was not the usual criminal activities scenes, just a man on a mission, who fell in love on the way. His ties and power was strongly suggested but never flaunted. If you bypass the obvious luxury and reputation these men carry, they seem like a normal set of older men living life and making no excuses. I even liked the mistress o.O

Karissa was an interesting character. She is lost, unsure of where she is going in life, because she doesn't even know where she is coming from. I love how she interacts with every one in this novel and she occasionally reminds me of myself with her nonchalant, wherever the wind blows you, personality.

I can understand being confused, but the tone at the beginning and end of this novel puzzles me, because I can't figure out how she ends up hating Naz. By the end of this book, based on the story line and development, I would have thought they's be stronger than ever, trusting in each other and leaning on one another as they sort through  the past to the future. He isn't perfect and he surely makes some mistakes, but after the ride we had with him throughout this novel, I couldn't possibly hate him. He gave no valid reason to receive hate. If anything, he's been deceived one too many times by the people he holds dear.

There is something about Ignazio, that draws you into this story, more than the story line itself. It's one of revenge and justification but it's also heavily philosophically based and I for one love the topic. We covered from Plato to Dr. Suess and everything in between. Some were used to identify present day situations and others were just down right for fun.

Paul and Melody gave us breaks from Ignazio's intensity but I found myself missing him in those moments. He has an answer for everything and Karissa has just the right questions to keep us entertained and following the story.

Even their down time was filled with anecdotes and truth that we shy away from when in a relationship. The glaringly obvious age gap didn't even register pass the first time it was mentioned and the few times it was alluded thereafter. I loved the dynamic and could care less about anything else. It is effortless for me to say all the things I loved about Ignazio and Karissa as individuals and a couple.

This novel covers an array of topics and stages many of life questions and answers while throwing up a major road block at the end. I am jittery, waiting to see what will become of these two, because as much as I love them, life altering doesn't begin to explain the developments of the last chapter. Normally I shake my head at climaxes that appear at the end of novels, but I felt the build up and think we broke away at just the right time. I am not a fan of cliffhangers, but sometimes they are necessary and this story needed this impasse.

Love, lies, betrayal, trust issues and an Italian gangster who is paranoid to the point of domestication. You will laugh, cry, mope and soar, hoping for the best while anticipating the worse. This was another notch on Darhower belt and I can't wait for the next stroke on the post!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dark Trade By Miranda Kavi

I just couldn't connect with the story and Sophia. I understand that she lost some really important people in her life, but I can't decipher her personality or feelings; She has her moral dilemma's but no one tackles it the way she does. I was lost half of the time and when I wasn't, I was pondering reading past chapters a second time, so my reading experience could match all the 5 stars reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I am not kidding people! If you check on Amazon, there is currently nothing but 5 star reviews and I am extremely baffled and wondering if perchance I got the wrong copy x_x

I like Dmitri, but I would love to get some more alone time with him and maybe a nugget of his past. He is precise, dangerous and he  has the way to him. I believe him when he speaks and I feel much better knowing he's around. I would follow that man anywhere! He runs a tight ship and even though we spent a small amount of time with him, I was more connected to him than Sophia, who for all intents and purposes, was the narrator of this story. It was done in a thrdi person narrative, but there was no other POV but that of Sophia's.

His criminal network was carefully planned and executed. It was detailed and as covert as it could get. There was no eventual come around or involvement of Sophia. I don't even know when any of them fell in love, because I was too busy admiring his business acumen. I would prefer to see behind the scenes of his operations, more than I want to see him in bed with Sophia. I can tolerate them as a couple, but I would sacrifice her for his career any day!

Sophia is a walking, talking oxymoron who got away with murder. Literally and figuratively. She floats between Magnum PI, Nancy Drew and Natasha Romanoff. The people behind all these wrong doings are even worse, because they allow her to sort, print and collate documents that could sink them further than the Titanic!

This story is all crime on both sides. It's just whose better at being a criminal. In her quest, for only she knows what, Sophia is trying to justify one crime network while plotting to sink another. Bare in mind, if not for these two unscrupulous networks, she wouldn't have met the so called "love of her life"

I live for the Dmitri moments even though he is at times a little reckless, sensitive and not as polished as you would expect from a polyglot. I also did not know it was such a thin line between Russian and Shakespeare o.O

This man is fluent in eight languages and the female lead is fluent in Russian culture and linguistics. Yet still, we only ever get about two words in Russian and he is barely able to construct a proper sentence in English. Broken English Ms. Kavi, is for those who are not as verse. He knows eight languages ... what is his excuse?

I love that he was intelligent and not just a Russian sewer rat who made it big. No offence Dmitry Medlov :) He was cool, calm, deadly and believable. Apart from his language blunders, I think it was great character structure and portrayal.

Instant sex is something I have gotten used to, so I won't judge, because it sometimes work. With this novel, I don't know. As I said in the beginning, I was lost most of the times and I don't find their sex explosive or memorable. I remember the events leading up to the sex better than I do the act itself.

Sophia tries to juggle two hats in this novel and she is terrible at it. She annoyed me frequently and as much as I like that she wasn't the meek lamb that the women of this genre usually embody, I just couldn't get on her team in the end. To be honest, I hope she never finds him or he find the true love of his life.

I don't trust Sophia for Dmitri and I believe that is important in a book of this genre. I don't see her staying by his side and if it does happen, it would be forced. Sophia is selfish, confused and extremely hard to read. She is fiercely independent and even knowing that she can get caught, she's all carefree and so is the climax of this novel. I didn't identify it until it was over, because not only didn't I expect that ending, I don't fully understand it. I am filled with why's!

I think I need to wrap up this review, because if I don't, I'm gonna be here all night knit picking everything that was wrong by the end of this novel. It had no sense of direction and it tried to drop as many cliches while keeping a ridiculously naive level of fear.

Dmitri and his criminal network was the saving grace for me in this story. Sophia's past is blurry and a chaos of flashbacks and we know nothing but the bad about Dmitri. He is struggling to make his character shine through all the missing information and Sophia dominates the book without letting us into her world.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I wouldn't read the next book but at least this time I can prepare myself for the development and chaotic progression, if any. This story needs emotion; It was missing and it showed.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Being Julia By Sandi Lynn

Never say never people, because after reading 'Being Julia' and a snippet of  'Lie Next to me', I could become a Sandi Lynn fan. It is tentative but possible :)

This book was mostly what I expected and it was tastefully done. There was the right amount of drama, comedy and life changes. The right scenes to highlight important moments were chosen. By the end, I find that I would have preferred a novel for Julia, because I loved her story and I wanted the opportunity to know Jake better. I feel a better connection with him than I do Connor.

I love the relationship between Julia and Collin, especially with she being the eldest and female. It doesn't matter for these two and I like that he went to his sister for advice and provided a shoulder when she need one. I wished London could have stayed to be Julia's Peyton, but I think it also helped transition Julia from teenager to young adult.

Her interactions with different family members and friends gave us updates on all the characters we loved from the 'Forever Black' series. It even allowed us that precursor for the next novel in the series, without making it as blatant as past novels.

Yes, It is 23 years later, but every one seems to be alive and some holding on by a thread to see the Black family conquer the barriers life throw their way.

Julia and Collin find their own path and we see both of them lose their virginity and the events after. Collin is currently sweet, loving, caring and quite the opposite of Connor Black when we first met him. I can't wait to see where it all went wrong for him. Julia matured from a materialistic, hormonal teenager in love to a wife. She was witty, funny and fierce, which I find important if you are the child of Ellery and Connor Black.

Recollections of Ellery and Connor's life together was done tastefully and at just the right moments. I was surprisedto see Ellery and Connor handle the issues of a teenager with such finesse, as oppose to their chaotic beginnings when Julia was a baby. The man still has anger issues and I am surprised he still has a liver.

There is growth and progress in this series with the introduction of this novella. It's more than just the kids growing up, as we get to see Julia at some of the most important stages in a girl's life. Sixteen and hormonal; eighteen and going off to college; getting married and having kids in your twenties.

The development and progression was timed and even though we still lacked a proper sense of time, I didn't mind. I enjoyed spending time with the Black/Jensen clan and I couldn't have asked for a better representation of Julia. All I wanted, was a full novel to experience life with this crazy, fierce girl that we got to see from birth to motherhood.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Forever Us By Sandi Lynn

Some might say I harp on this series way too much but it's because I see so much untapped potential. I am proud now to say that finally there has been some noticeable changes! So much is going on this go that even Connor's father has decided to speak for the first time!! x_x

Yes! He is not autistic or mute and is quite the philander! Yes people! Drama galore and that's not even the best part.

I got to know the Connor of the present, because his past is still a mystery and that won't be tapped into anytime soon. I did however get to understand him as a father and as a husband. Being a CEO took the back seat and I saw how compassionate he could be and the connection he shared with Denny. He also finally got friends younger than 60, even if it was just one :)

The dual POVs were a brilliant idea that complemented the flow of the story and helped to eliminate the need for another novel structured like 'Forever you'. Getting the opportunity to see Julia grow was great and I only wish that we could have gotten that with Collin also. Maybe she should have had twins o.O

I finally took notice that this series has no real sense of time. I don't know the year we started or finished. However, the avenue that this story takes, makes it difficult to navigate real world time because by the end of this novel, at least 23 years have passed. See the dilemma?

Ellery seems to get less sensitive the further we get in this series. The almost soft spoken good Samaritan seems like quite the fiery wench now. She keeps getting into brawls and arguments with 98% of the women in this novel. She seemed meek and soft spoken before, but she has grown and I don't see her volunteering in soup kitchens anymore. Didn't know remission did that. Then again, she has a new baby!

Speaking of which, it was great to see them work through parenthood and all of Julia's baby problems. They still fight, but they work it out like adults and almost made it without spending an extensive time apart. There was more cancer in this novel, but this time Ellery was speared. It wasn't as touching as Ellery's, but as I said before in my review of the previous novel, cancer is no joke!

If it is even possible, Ashlyn got even crazier and Phil, who I never took much stock of until now, joined her on the crazy train. There were many random plots thrown into this story that I think had their good and bad moments.

It wasn't only Connor and Ellery moving on, as Peyton and Henry did some restructuring themselves. I didn't see the pressing difference of Mason and Landon in NYC but I guess it was a service to Ellery. Though not much, we finally got some family time and history with and from Connor. I do believe that he needs anger management classes and maybe two AA meetings. The man drinks a lot of scotch!

As usual, to the end of this novel, we got an epilogue to prepare us for the next novels in the series. I loved those final scenes and wished we could have had a smoother transition and spend some time watching both Julia and Collin grow up. Julia is quite the replica of Ellery and Collin is just as mysterious as his dad.

Overall though, I think this was a good solid update on the Black's and how they have grown since 'Forever Black'. There were a few deja vu scenes but they were done in humour and I never had to review a scene I experienced before. It was fresh material even when it got a little far fetched.

I am anticipating reading 'Being Julia' because this installment showed me growth and improvement in not only the characters, but the writing style. If Julia is anything like Ellery, then this should be a fun ride!

Forever You By Sandi Lynn

I expected this novel to be all about Connor and his journey to Ellery with a mixture of events from 'Forever Black' that we we were and weren't privy to. What we got was Connor's summary of "Forever Black', the standard chapter from Ellery's POV, that was not mentioned in 'Forever Black' and  few new scenes. We still haven't gotten done to the babies part and a lot of other details that I expected Connor to fill were once again skimmed, leaving me to ask why bother write them a second time? I am guessing that these missing scenes will be shared in 'Forever Us'.

While I know a little more about Connor now, It still wasn't the things needed to make me connect with his character. There is still so much missing and unexplained about the man whose last name dominates this series. It was like reading 'Forever Black', but with Connor's eyes. I love the times that we focused on the things in his life that never had any impact on his relationship with Ellery. Somehow though, he still felt distant.

I get his penchant for living a certain lifestyle, but why doesn't he have any friends? Why is his driver, who is suppose to be old enough to be hid father, the only one who he can call a friend? Him and his maid?

I take cancer more serious that I do any other disease. I even hate writing or talking about it, that's how serious my fear is. I understood the connection from book 1. I felt Ellery' fear but this go, it was missing, even while we recounted the same exact scenes from book 1. Emotions and Connor Black are just not synonymous. I am not saying I didn't understand his fear, because Lord knows not many people understand him, myself included, but those scenes that made me stop and look before, once again felt like summaries.

It's true that saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes, because Ellery was a different person in this novel. Connor Black obviously has on the darkest pair of rose glasses when it comes to Ellery Lane. She didn't even seem selfish nor did their fights seem as frequent. Maybe it's because I technically read this story before or maybe Ellery started all the fights.

The character of Ashlyn baffles me, especially with how her character was portrayed. I know she is extremly manipulative and that's all that matters. Connor is a pansy that fuels her brand of crazy and quite frankly, the man needs to learn more than how to swipe a card and toss around a few bills. The man even pays a next man to stop dancing with his girl. Where they do that at? o.O

We got the results of Ellery's excruciating immunotherapy treatments and glimpses of the wedding preparation and day itself . I strongly believe that Connor needs a change in therapist and more friends, because he already pays Denny to do and say the things his therapist does. Denny even gives better advice!

Maybe he doesn't notice them, but the fawning women were at a minimum this go, even though the sex was still vanilla with even more elaboration. Oh goody! -_-

I think this novel needed it's own identity and not a summary and play by play of 'Forever Black' with some missing scenes. It was like a director's cut. I wanted to see Connor in his world while he adjusts to add Elle. I didn't need a full recollection of the story I read couple hours ago. Also, what is up with Connor's father? Is he autistic too, because the man has yet to say a word and we are two novels deep!

I am hoping that 'Forever Us' will leave behind the summary of the two previous novels and focus on the future. I am very much interested in reading 'Being Julia' and 'Collin' but we have to pass this bridge first and I would prefer if it wasn't something I read less than an hour ago.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Forever Black By Sandi Lynn

This is a billionaire romance novel, with it's own spin. It had a really good start and then they had sex and it all went in the crapper :(

'Forever Breaking up' is my title for this novel. I am not surprised this book has so many installments because Sandi Lynn is not short of issues for this couple to knit pick and bicker about. They are incapable of being on the same page with everything in life. They are drastic and dramatic, as they spend more time fighting and apart than they spend together.

I don't know when they fell in love or decide to become a couple, because one minute they decide on a friendship and it's going good. Next thing I know, their a couple and every single thing on God's green earth is a fight between them! They are complete opposites, but when they aren't at each other's throat, they make the cutest couple, especially Ellery from Connor's POV.

Chunks of this story were missing. There were numerous conversations, decisions and emotions that we weren't apart of and only got the end result. Points in question ... them turning a couple; getting married; having a family. The last time I left them, they were fighting a life threatening illness that I think might have left and came back a third time. There is an air or mystery and their is just complete ignorance. Guess where the readers fell? -_-

I had hoped that the sex scenes could have been traded in for one on one time getting to know someone else other than Ellery, whether it be Connor or her relationship with Peyton. If they had gotten one full sex scene and then elude to the act thereafter, that would be fine. As is, they were basic, uninspiring and weren't as steamy as I would expect from Connor Black. They were pretty vanilla and I forgot them as they were over.

Most of the conversations, especially between Ellery and some minor characters, were jumbled and confusing. It was abrupt in it's flow like most major changes in this novel. They were instantaneous, angry, confusing and ended as soon as they began. The one thing I can give them as a couple, is their fights. They were epic and done with great conviction and execution. It had the right amount of insecurities, reactions and conviction.

Even though as a reader, we were able to quickly decipher her illness, I respected and connected with her more when she was being pumped with pills and chemical cocktails. People's reactions to illness, no matter how brief, can't be helped. This section of the novel stripped both her and Connor and gave us a side of them we never get. It was vulnerable and showed them leaning on each other as she fight for her life and he tries to hold it together for her while she fights. They were the model couple when she was screaming, crying, vomiting and fighting for her life.

Yes, she is selfish, but I like Ellery. Love her name a lot also. She has her faults and she is one crazy woman, but I happen to like crazy. She was fiery, out spoken and full of sarcasm and wit. I like that she wasn't shy and she did what she wanted and spoke her mind frequently. She isn't allowed to judge anyone ever in life, but when she decides to take her's serious, she makes a good heroine that whether you are ill or not, you can relate with. Let's be real ladies, we have had one or more of these fights with men in the past.

I don't know enough about Connor to make a sound judgement on him, because we really spent a lot of time with Ellery and she spent most of it running from him. His family is eccentric to say the least and he seems to carry around every one's baggage in life. The women in his life seem intent on driving him crazy and while he isn't the best at resolution and being the bigger person, he works it out occasionally. There is literally one chapter in this novel from his POV and I believe it is the driving force behind me reading the rest of this series. That and the potential of reading their future children stories, something we hardly get in this genre. It was through this POV that I got to know the man behind his financial situation and the fact that he attracts more women than a gynecologist.

I always hated novels that make it seem like women are catty wenches who bat their eyelashes at the heroine's man every where he goes. This book has it in spades! It's extremely unrealistic and made me wanna cage him and donate him to the Smithsonian with how ridiculous it was.

Potentially epic story line, with a weak development and progression that failed the overall body of work. Ellery and Connor could work, because they are passionate and able to withdraw both good and bad from each other. We, on the other hand, need to know them pass their hangups.

The illness elements of this novel saved it for me and gave it dynamics. However, it wasn't enough to cover up the horrendous conversations and lack of proper development, progression and most importantly for them, transition. It felt rushed and summarized and I feel that it needed more pages, time and details.

It could have been epic and I am disappointed it gave up half way.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Uncomplicated: A Vegas Girl's Tale By Dawn Robertson and Jo-Anna Walker

What is wrong with these people?!!! No one behaves like this or makes up the justifications that they do. Stop it, no one lives, talk, or behaves like this, even f they are current and retired call girls on the Vega strip!

This story really is uncomplicated. You know how sometimes your reading a story and you just wanna get to the good part? Well, this story cuts out all that suspense and gets to the point. I am thrown as it relates toa concrete feeling about this lack of filter and many quick progressions left me baffled and staring. I keep wondering, where is the build up? While I keep thinking that this seems rushed, I didn't quite feel it. I am so confused!!! I don't hate this story, but it is a ridiculously developed and delivered one. The progression, conflicts, characters, everything is all over the place!

Mathis ... first off, I hate his name. I kept thinking of the insect or whatever called the Praying Mantis. I did this every time his name was called. He is crazy with a bit of anger management problems and either he is using subliminal messages to get his way, or Jenny is such a horn dog that a few whispered words get her anywhere and place he wants. Once again though, somehow this works for THEM.

Speaking of Jenny Sunshine, which is her real name by the way, yes, imagine my shock that it wasn't a skripper name! Jenny Sunshine is in the building with her bible thumping parents whose presence I can't fathom. They did a cameo in the first half of the book and then they were eaten by large Praying Mantis :)

Ok, that last bit was a joke, but where were they?! They were totally M.I.A. for the remainder of this novel and life changing doesn't explain the month Jenny had. This book took a whole month to pit two strangers together and give them lifetimes worth of issues. Bare in mind, that at this point, you can count on one hand, how many sensible conversations they had, that didn't lead to a fight and/or sex.

They were insta-everything. It took them 3 days time in total to declare their love. After that month though, there were more yellow tapes that the authors just decide was not needed, so we fast forward a year, get some stuff out the way, fast forward another year and called it a day. As I said in the beginning ... uncomplicated!

I keep wondering if it's the Vegas heat that has fried every one's brain, but all the characters in this novel are either crazy, depressing, freaky or drunk. Efficient are these authors, because they gave us a lifetime worth of issues and friendship in 191 pages with enough issues and outcomes for an at least 300 page full length novel. Did it work? ... the jury is still out on that one.

You need patience, a quiet corner, so people don't see you crying and laughing like a loon at all the crazy and ridiculousness that takes place and are discussed in this novel and an extremly broad, vented, open mind. They are depraved and surely don't reason like the rest of the adults in the world. On the bright side though, they don't believe in going to bed angry, so every chapter ends on a happy note. Oh, I hated you for 15 years? Worry not! A visit to my office and a half hour of conversation, we are right as rain and ready to face all life's evils together!

This is a tight knit group, so with the exception of one mercenary type character, every one had their silly, cliche positions. Best friend, bodyguard, whore turned assistant, drunk, bitter ex. You name it, they had it! Let's not forget the underground life of a European born night life entrepreneur. Yup! Let the cliches reign!!!

I don't understand much when it comes to the past and even sometimes the present of the main characters, what I do know, is that they both like dominance and are extremly competitive. Hence the reason they even ended up together. It always a battle for dominance with these two.

I could stay here all day and outline this story with it's wild progression and crazy cast, but get some patience, time, understanding and try it for yourself, who knows, you might like it! It's not every day we get to see crime syndicates break of their own volition, just to get into more illegal activities on the Vegas strip o.O

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Once Upon a Billionaire By Jessica Clare

It was exactly how I pictured Griffin! Pairing him with Maylee was a brilliant move that added to the juxtaposition of this novel. My major complain, would be the ending, as I personally don't believe they were ready for that step yet. Especially with Griffin's previous predilections, I see them being able to fall in love, but they aren't in love yet. A couple ice cream cones and a trip to Spain doesn't change Griffin being a prat and Maylee being ... well Maylee. It felt rushed and out of place. I would have preferred to see them taking a step to get to know each other in NYC, where their real lives are, as most of this story is set in Belissime.

Griffin was every bit the pretentious snob that he is and I am happy that even in the end, that didn't change. I enjoyed his English lessons as well as his banter and dislike for Gretchen. They are a brotherhood, but readers of this series are well aware that there are mini groups within, so for the first time, we got some insight and good enough conversation from Jonathan.

Maylee is country! There is no two ways about it. She is full of everything that makes a Southern country bumpkin. She has the walk, talk, wardrobe and even the outlook on life. I was just as appalled as Griffin, because I keep thinking that Maylee has been in NYC a while now. I didn't dislike her character, but I wasn't a fan of her hang ups either. I learn to tolerate it, but I never got over it. She seemed more suited in Alabama than she did NYC, but what I like, is when she stands up for herself and not only give us a confident side, but allow us to see just how incompetent Griffin is in taking care of himself.

The banters were hilarious and there was good conversation, as Jessica continues to find the best females to complement this group of playboy Billionaires. She also kept her theme of isolation until the couple is ready to face the world together, this time, it was all the way in Belissime.

I am going to assume that this country is fictional, because I am unable to find it on a map, Google or otherwise, but I liked the culture and details placed in helping us to experience this country through the eyes of both Griffin and Maylee.

The sex, when it finally happened, wasn't off the charts hot, but it was more than I expected from Griffin. To be honest, I thought he'd either be gay or a virgin o.O

Even though we got the scholar, Maylee helped us to see the tatted rebel who can be unleashed. She got me to see Griffin as more than novels and digging up old ruins. We got to spend time with the Scholar and the relaxed Viscount of the group, as he went on an European adventure with his ditsy, borrowed assistant. It was full of laughs, fun, culture, new experiences and a few country home remedies ... burn talker? Really?

It's a short one sitting read with English lessons as you go. No one has yet to beat Hunter and Gretchen's book in this series, but Jessica Clare continues to give us satisfying, compatible romance stories from this series. It highlighted both characters personalities while allowing us to understand and accept them as a couple.

P.S. ... It's probably not gonna happen and too late anyways, but I would have sworn one of them would have been gay ... oh well!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Mid Life Love: At Last By Whitney Gracia Williams

Naturally, Claire and Jonathan are about to take their next step after having a committed, secret relationship and never ending desperation on both their parts.

My thoughts on this novel are 50/50. It had it's purpose but I can see people thinking that this could have been a wedding novella instead of a full length novel. The dilemma is evident. I personally, would have liked the focus to be on Claire and Jonathan's wedding, as oppose to Ryan losing his ever loving mind! They never were the most important of characters, but I always saw Ryan and Amanda as worlds away living their life. I neither hated or cared much for them, but their inclusion in this novel had me stopping and asking if these two are for real o.O

Jonathan continued to throw money like it's air and Claire gave us progress and even more pieces of herself. She took us to her past and showed us how she has changed since her moment of desperation at the end of Mid Life Love.

The characters were funny as usual and the planning of the wedding was equal parts frustrating, romantic and hilarious. I love the details and moments we got to share in the planning and ceremony. Every body got a role and together it was fantastic! Even with change, they both brought traits from the previous book; Jonathan was more possessive than before and I completely forgot Claire's age and that she had issues with their age difference. I saw her as nothing else than an occasionally frazzled bride to be.

I guess any good book needs conflict, but this one seemed more like a curve ball. I still don't see the need, especially with the impact it had on the story line. We never got to meet Ryan and Amanda last time and after this novel, I think it should have stayed that way. All they did, was ruin their lives.

The twins remained hilarious and continued to lack a filter. I am also glad that the cliched things we expected weren't addressed. It's nice when I can be thrown even if it's not that far off.

The sex was the same as before with a few tweaks and I will admit that the little BDSM scene got me thinking and I therefore expected some down and dirty honeymoon sex! I appreciate the issues that were cleared and the ones that still need developing. In the end though, it all came across as one big epilogue, Jonathan and Claire style.

Claire continued to shrug her molds and kept us all on our toes. From her witty one liners to her full blown rants at Amanda, Ryan and even Jonathan. I love that she isn't afraid to stand up to anyone and in the most embarrassing of situations, she shines.

I had a great time watching the planning and executing of this wedding with Claire, Jonathan and their closest friends and families. I also wish we had spent some more time with Milton in book 1 because he is quite the character.

As much as was possible from the past was brought forward, while every one is moving and trying to find their place. We chilled on beaches and experience a little BDSM nightlife Costa Rica style. We saw what real friends do in your time of need and changed the perspective of Jonathan as more than the young billionaire tossing dollars. We saw an ugly side of him that I think helped to break him from his mold.

We also got to know him and Hayley better, with a trip into their past. He continues to be sweet, considerate, jealous, possessive and I love him. Whitney Williams is throwing and extravagantly ridiculous affair for Claire Gracen and Jonathan Stratham, don't miss it!

P.s. Love the cover model! She is gorge!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Mid Life Love By Whitney Gracia Williams

Whitney Williams is the queen of "life after the life altering break ups". Her characters believe in stability and their relationships and sacrifices are no joke. She tackles every day issues with her own twist and this one was no different. There were layers and stages without stating the obvious. Even though this wasn't as constant as her previous novellas, on account of this being a full length novel, they were many spurts and I love that every one had to work for what they got. It was a struggle from beginning to end and I had to cover my face a few times at the end, because I was mortified for Claire!

Due to a statement in Whitney's acknowledgement, I don't know what Johnathan's character was like before, but he was perfect in this interpretation. He was determined, witty, sarcastic and quite the romantic. He didn't mince is words, regardless of the individual and he set the bar so high I can't see anyone crossing it.

Women's fiction sometimes bring the hot and heavy issues, that not most young readers can relate. It's of a different nature and the cat and mouse is mostly out the window, after all, they are grown! This novel though had just the right balance between NA romance and Women's fiction.

Claire doesn't look or act her age. There are moments where her maturity shine, especially in work related and parental atmospheres, but other times, she's just a woman dating a man with the insecurities of most. Then again, there is no manual on the behavior of a 40 year old divorcee. She is also determined, motivated, witty, sarcastic and romantic. They complemented each other well as a couple and still held their separate personalities as individuals.

The story line is done in stages and span a quality amount of time. There is major conflict but with a lighter note, banter and every day relationship issues. I didn't expect the person behind the roadblocks and insecurities in Claire's life, but being a female myself, I can understand your motivations and dilemmas at that age. You don't have to be 40 to have Claire's problems, but add to that dating a younger guy and there were enough every day qualities to relate. Claire's personality and approach to issues varied from a 40 year old, divorcee with two kids, to a fresh out of college girl looking for fun. She was dynamic and didn't fit any mold I give.

We fluttered between past and present frequently and they were incorporated beautifully, other than an identifiable mark needed to show a break of scenes and a constant way to instantly let us that we were being brought to the past, this novel was edited and presented well.

I will say that there were some major unrealistic topics, like the Golden Gate bridge scene and the emphasis on his company's position in his chosen profession. The tech issues came off as far fetched and I wished that she had decided to take his importance from another POV. There is nothing wrong with the industry, but it's a small, well known one and the fact that the world knows the major players, it was kind of hard to not see this book as cheesy when it name dropped and gave a product more hype than it could possibly currently garner.

The sex scenes weren't explosive, but they were passionate and believeable. Even with the corny one liners, he came off genuine and I loved the conversations. I believe Whitney G has a knack for giving some really good, filling conversations as oppose to space holders for the point of having a chat going.

Whitney G is also the queen of second chance romance and I love what she can do with two strangers in a matter of days. She writes about sarcastic, strong willed characters who aren't afraid to get what they want. They are confident to the point of cocky and each one is memorable by their skills and personalities. I can even tell the twins apart!

The characters will entertain from beginning to end and this novel balances a line with readers that few novels of this genre is able to maintain.

I never heard of this author before last week, but I am glad I did. She writes nothing but borderline flawless pieces about every day relationship problems and personal insecurities. Join this journey as she tries to contain the ego of a young billionaire and the esteem of an established but self conscious divorcee. It makes you believe, even when you don't wanna.

*** For access to an unpublished Epilogue***

My Last Resolution (A New Year's Novella) By Whitney Gracia Williams

You have got to be kidding me! Come back with the rest of my story Ms. Williams! I wanna know what happens and I certainly don't see a follow-up book for this story! WTH was that though!!! Arghhh!!!

It's safe to say I loved it! It was short, sweet, spicy and packed with so much into it's 118 pages. We not only meet two complete strangers, but we get to understand them as individuals and accept them as a couple. Though not much on Blake's part, we got a load of history from Paris.

I initially hated her name because I am not a fan of names of places for a person's name, but I completely forgot about that and everything Nashville the moment he said "Your in my seat"

I felt like I knew both main characters for years and had invested in there story for the same amount of time. It was fiery, detailed, romantic and memorable, without even leaving the house. It's phenomenal to see what can be packed into a well written, developed and delivered novella. This was more fulfilling than the last two full length novels I read.

All important issues and conversation were covered and we got clarity and opinions from all necessary parties. I will be the first to say that my initial reaction was that this chick is crazy! I still think she is, but the way she takes control of not only her life, but events and a room for the matter, is magnificent. They are the perfect match and there was never a dull moment. I am desperate to know how their story will end but I doubt we might ever get that, because it might take away from the path chartered for this story.

The emotions were real, so were many of her thoughts in relation her ex. I understand the feelings and the inner struggles and monologues; I also understand how some one might interpret this story as too much of a fairy tale, but I never got that. It could have thread the line, but it was no where near.

Maybe this story has been told before, but it's new to me. I loved all the characters, Adrian included and i think it held a flair of originality. I don't normally do road trip novels, because I like stability, but I loved this one and hope to see them acclimate to their separate lives, together. The appeal of them as a couple is too strong!

We only got one in depth sex scene but I loved it! It comprised of both sides and gave you soft and hard depending on what you like. There were a lot of reverse rolls also and even missing some pertinent information on Blake, but I never felt the lost and lived in every moment.

After reading two novella length books and a prologue to a novel, it's safe to say that Whitney G. Williams is now one of my new favourite authors. I am sincerely a fan!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Spin By C.D. Reiss

Is it me or is it the stories that I have been reading of late? I don't understand a thing! What was that?! Where is this going? I kept on wondering if it was because I hadn't read the 'Songs of Submission' series, but I find as I went along, that it didn't really matter. Johnathan was featured when necessary but it neither aided or injured the story. He helped with a problem and gave us a cameo of Monica, but that's about it. You really might not need to read that series to read this one.

Theresa is brave, fierce,  loyal, fiery and most importantly, adaptable. Maybe a little too adaptable. She easily switches between clairvoyant accountant to Mafia queen with the press of a trigger. Thing is, I actually believe it. She can be any one she needs to be in a  moment and I love that about her.

My problem is, where does it all fit? I need more of her past and family history to understand the woman she is today and aiming to be in the future. She's rich, loyal, ruthless and is brimming with potential, but I still wanna know where she is coming from and what gives her the ability to tackle problems like she does.

She seem to have a boat load of siblings and her family doesn't seem as clean as I initially thought. The deeper this story gets, the more confusing I become, to the point where I had to re-read a few conversations and lines because I wasn't sure who was speaking or what they were talking about.

I like Spin. I actually like calling him Spin also :)

I enjoy Spin the lawyer, the sentimental Italian, the persistent suitor and even the jealous boyfriend. What I didn't care for, was Spin the Capo. There were moments when I liked him being an Italian boss, but then his world got crazy and he just seems too soft to be apart of it, much less lead it. His explanation of his past life was also like a scene straight out of 'The Godfather Part I' ... I could literally anticipate his next visual.

If this had remained a love story between a businessman, accountant and District Attorney, then I'd have a better angle. When you got into the underworld crime scene, I was not impressed and it's not just because of the lack of answers.

The sex scenes were not as hot as I anticipated for a man of his description and a few were rushed and felt forced. I don't know about any one else, but not even a porn star's first time doing anal would be the outcome of Theresa's. I was a little scared for Spin at that point o.O

I doubt they had sex in a bed once and I am fine with that, but after the first sex scene, it all became repetitious.

There were a lot of details and potential for witty one liners and growth. The story however, fell in a mold and by the end I was even more lost and thoroughly surprised at the end. Cliffhangers have become a regular in the world of novels, but this one gave no clarity on no one item. Everything is a loose end.

I love a good Mafia book, preferably Russian, but I don't mind a little Italian occasionally. I just didn't get the mafia vibe from this novel at all. Personally, I don't think he was respected as a Boss and I am still unaware of his actual operations, if any. He can beat out a brick wall, fix an Italian car, make great scrambled eggs, drive like a NASCAR driver and get a complete stranger to lick vomit off the hood of a car. Mafia Capo? ... Not so much.

A lot of details were placed in crime network; the world of Hollywood talent and movie producing. I always love and commend an author who do their research. She might not have a lot of help with Capo's in the Italian mob, but she excelled in crime covers, producing a movie and pouring over financials.

This story needs direction and a solid background, not built on hearsay, to get us a better understanding of the main characters. I don't connect with them as a couple. They could be such a strong pair together. I can see them dominating any room and I hope we will get more of that in the next installment. At their age and maturity, they are too grown to be picking petals off of "he loves me not" flowers.

I'd  read the next installment, but I am not in a big hurry. I was surprised to see that at this time, not even a blurb was present for the next installment, especially with where the book ended. I find it hard to believe that the author wrote to that abrupt point and just called it quits.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Buying Thyme By T.J. Hamilton

So this is a first, normally when I am finish reading a book, I check on other reviews in the rating category I feel best describe said book. I can normally find at least one review that mirrors my own. I am out of luck this time, as none seem to capture what I am feeling. Either they are too good or too bad. I feel like this book fell in the middle and threaded both lines occasionally.

It's not what I expected and I didn't build a connection with any of the characters. I found myself wanting to see Joe and Toni again, but being disappointed with Tom this and Tom that. Maybe I did make a connection in Joe, but he is lined up will a bulls eye so we spent more time with his competition.

I am completely unaware as to the background of all the characters. I am only even sure that two (2) people used their real name throughout the novel. It was to the end when we got some insight into Miranda and by then I was over her character. I even so much as cheated and read the synopsis of the other two novels in the series, before finishing this one and I still have no sense of direction with regards to the story and it's characters. Where is this all going? It's one conspiracy theory after the next.

I am assuming Joe Tench is suppose to be the bad guy, but other than a very wrong ballet session, he seems like an ok guy to me. Yes, his decisions in the end were dramatic to say the least, but c'mon Miranda! You would have thrown a fit if you caught your man cheating on you!

Miranda plays the role of a "high class escort" well. She is committed to her craft and possess quite the system. It's not a hobby, it's her job and she attacks it with vigor, pride (as much as is possible) and dedication. Honestly, she enjoys this, because she hardly never climax. She is just as attached to these clients as they are, but she keeps in mind what time her pumpkin will arrive. I'm unaware of her background and I'm not really interested either.

Emphasis was placed on explaining every single detail and by the end, I had nothing of value that's memorable, as I see the beginnings of a whole new story line about to be come to life. The coincidences at the end were not ironed out either and had me questioning the rushed ending that did nothing for me. The only person I am interested in from this novel is Joe and he seems to be gearing up for a very bad ending.

The story is set in Australia and I realize I have been venturing in that pond as of late. I love Australian stories, because it brings a totally different lifestyle and culture. The excessive details became an advantage in capturing Australia from a real Aussie's perspective. If she lied or messed up a detail, I am unaware because I believed her in everything Aussie related.

The story line became increasingly confusing as we progressed and I didn't see half the danger or feel a smidgen of the emotion that Miranda felt, as she narrate. I don't mind reading the next novel in this series, but I will take a break in between for fear that I might not like the next one. A clear unbiased opinion is best and I currently need a break from Miranda and Tom. I can already see this series gearing up to become a Nikita without the Agency. Miranda is a prostitute and a very good one at that. Training her to become a spy? ... I just can't see it!

What I found interesting, was that so much time was placed on elaborating every little make up trick and accessory, but the ending was rushed with gaping holes. How does she run away and drop off the radar of such a high ranking Government agency, that a crime boss himself had to leave the country, to stem off some of the heat? Especially the fact that she is 8 hours away lying on a beach o.O

When did her brother call this Nick guy and was he waiting on the call? Cause he got there awfully fast! I was neither impressed or captivated with this story. The story line got crazy and everything turned into conspiracy theories.

If not for a total of maybe 5 scenes, I would surely not think of Mr. Trench as a crime boss. Maybe he is; that's fine, but I need to believe it and I don't. The only thing I can state without a doubt from this novel, is that Miranda makes a really good call girl.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Underworld Champions By Ella Stone

Everyone keeps talking about this book being similar to some other biker novel. I haven't read that other novel, so I can't confirm or deny, but from my perspective, I think this novel brought it's own flavour to the world of bikers. I also appreciate that it was set in Australia, as oppose to the US and they spoke of their US charters instead of the other way around.

Once you have read one biker novel, you've read them all. The basics are the same, the names are ridiculously inappropriate or aiming to drive fear and the women are doing and aiming for the same thing. I have yet to find one on the caliber of Madeline Sheehan's 'Undeniable' series, but this one didn't do too bad in my opinion, I have definitely read worse.

There were some overly sappy moments and a few conversations that were premature in my opinion, but I eventually acclimated to it all and appreciate it for the individuality it possess for me.

Maddie is not your usual broken girl or biker novel heroine. Yes, she had a rough life, she is running from her past and a person in said past, but she faces it all like such a trooper. She doesn't curse and moan about her sad life and if not for her nightmares and occasionally voiced insecurities, you would never know that she is a really damaged girl that isn't even looking for love. She is looking for a better future and life, I would actually believe her if she gave that cheesy romance line of not looking for love.

Maddie is feisty, witty, straight forward and has no problem speaking her mind. She take what she wants and makes no apologies for it. She is a bad ass and I hate seeing her lose some of that fire as the novel progressed; She fell into a mold and she wasn't the girl that challenged biker's with guns and broke into their homes.

I don't understand or know much about Cole, or his feelings for Maddie, but he says they are there and they seem to work as a couple.We didn't get much of his back story, but there was so much going on that I didn't notice until the end. His family is a mixture of depravity, confusion and so much more.

Speaking of endings, this one was sad and depressing. I think it all happened too fast for the impact it possess and regardless of what the author wants us to think, I do blame Maddie and I am sure others do and will in the upcoming novel. The lost was surreal and personal for readers. It was over so fast that I didn't get time to reflect or review on the fallen. Major characters, that I expected to maybe even get a book of their own, didn't make it to the last page. I started hoping for the fairy tale recovery and after math. I got none :(

Maddie and Cole are like bunnies, so expect a lot of sexing all over the place. Public and private. It was entertaining to hear how some members got their alias and I definitely think Mango tops the bunch :)

Tthe story line is a good one but I would have loved to spend more time with Maddie and her immediate family. I didn't mind the insta-romance, but I wanted some family time too. I think it was important in this novel, especially as we got to the end.

This is a quick read, because I got up, read it then got ready for work. It's fast-paced, sticking to the points and wasting no time in getting to the matters at hand. It replicates no other biker romance novel that I have ever read and the characters and their personalities grow on you. I never heard of Aussie bikers before, don't even know if they exist, but I did like this story and have no problem reading the next one.

It's not perfect, gripping or that intriguing of a novel, but it's interesting enough and comprises of a different point of interest and scenery. Not only are the hero and heroine far from shy, they follow their own rules and take us on quite the ride down under!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Until the End By London Miller

I find the last chapter more interesting than the novel in it's entirety. If not for that last chapter, I would see that as a cat and mouse game with a last minute conflict that technically has nothing to do with the Bratva personally.

I also remembered that I do hate cliffhangers and I found out that I am more invested in this story than I thought. I have always dismissed this story as a comfort read, that's neither intriguing nor boring, but at the end of this installment, I am left reeling and needing to know what is coming next, a feeling I link to being invested in a story.

The players are moving and a mafia war is on the cusp. The possibilities are endless and the addition of Naomi and Klaus has me tethering on the edge. Yup, I am even more interested in this story now that I don't have book 3 waiting in my library ... #karma :(

The story line and characters continue to grow and we get introduced to new characters and secrets every day. Mishca is starting to behave and embody the role of a Bratva captain and I don't know who is this Lauren, though she is still feisty and out spoken. With the proper training, I could see her as lethal, at the top of the criminal ladder with Mishca. Vlad and Luca would make good right-hand men. I doubt either of them would want that though, Mishca through his fear of unintentionally hurting Lauren and Lauren because she believes in justice too much to lead a FULL life of crime.

With the budding romance story out of the way, this novel focused more on beefs (no, not meat) and secrets of Mischa's past. Yup! There is skeletons in this man's closet that I am dying to get a hold of! Klaus in particular, because I just love a good Russian enforcer!

There is no dwelling in this novel, it's constant and with every new day and setting sun, someone is changed. Alex of 'Until the End' is surely not the Alex of 'In the beginning'.

For all the progression in the story line and characters; the grammatical, spelling and editing errors were still more frequent than I hoped. The narration also threw me off a lot and had me doing a few reviews to figure out whose POV I was in. The chapter titling helped in the last novel, but without it this go, I had some struggles. This series so far needs an editor or friend to review and correct some of these glaringly obvious editing mistakes.

The dynamics have changed, with not only the world of crime, but Lauren's friends away from Mischa's life. People are changing to acclimate to the war that is brewing and forces are being realigned. Lines are drawn in the sand and every one seems to be stepping over said lines.

Even with the editing errors and the slow pace at the beginning of this novel, the end and future of this series have me captivated. I think this series will get better as it goes and the length is perfect enough to not bore you before you reach the end.

Don't look for the people you left in 'In the beginning', they are gone. Every one has made decisions and this story is moving forward towards a blood bath for more than one reason. If the teasers are anything to go by, I could come out of book three hating Ms. Miller or loving Mischa and Lauren even more.

New players, new games, new rules ... it's all coming to a head and this is just the beginning!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

In the Beginning By London Miller

This was a cut and clear mafia romance novel. It had all the basics, including rules, punishments and illegal activities. I assume those elements are for those who have yet to read a novel of this genre. I wasn't a fan of the parts used to explain the Bratva, but I guess it was a necessary evil for clarification. It just came off robotic.

I liked the characters, story line and development. The characters were each unique and not the set your frequently see in a mob romance; There were two worlds that rarely crossed and I loved the individuality each world possess. Everyone has their issues and other character's problems were highlighted while we wait for the big reveals.

This story hit the ground running and had me interested and hanging on to every word, which is hard, with the amount of grammatical and spelling errors in my copy. It lost momentum occasionally, but for the most part, it was on track and fluid. Time moved and with it, interest, decisions and feelings. Change came with each chapter.

I can't see Mishca as a Bratva Captain. He came off as a regular business man looking for love and I appreciate that there was no insta-love and dirty talk, as they took the time to know each other and slowly acclimate to each other's worlds. Mishca was fierce, loyal, witty and quite the romantic when given the chance. I could ask for more from the semi-sex scenes, but otherwise, it good in a familiar sense. They came off as a married couple of 10 years and I hope they get that.

Even abiding by the rules of the Vory v Zakone, this story had some rules of it's own, so don't expect the heroine to fall in love with the bad guy and forsake all others. Lauren has a head on her shoulders and quite the support system, plus revenge runs thick in this girl blood. She's fierce and I love that she doesn't cower and throw fits, she stands up for what she believes and want and isn't afraid to investigate if necessary. Turn a blind eye is not this one!

The criminal aspects of this novel weren't highlighted in detail like most, time was spent fighting within the family over matters blood than they did guns, drugs or women. Don't be mistaken though, there was still death, as well as, respect, hierarchy and a whole lot of Maury drama! Even if it was October 2013, I wouldn't say I hate the cliffhanger ending, but it's April 2014 and I already have book two queued up :)

The ending of this novel sets you up for a storm of possibilities. I like Alex and I hate that she had to get hurt in the crossfire, but I love that it didn't deter Lauren in her revenge.

It's not flashy or as heavy as I expected. This is a romance story about two strangers meeting in a coffee shop with ties from their past that bind them in ways that are bound to cost unrest. Filled with the basics of a Russian mob romance, it adds it's own flair and take you on a crazy ride. Get your Google translate out and give this novel a try. It won't have you at the end of your seat, but it's another comfort read for a rainy, romantic, mystery filled afternoon.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tethered By L.D. Davis

God I love them!!! I swear there is no other woman/man in the world like Emmet Grayne and Donya Stewart. I was wrestling with writing this review immediately after reading this novel or sitting on it for a day or two. I was completely wrung out, it's like running a marathon; I decided why not get it out of the way!

Instead of a trilogy or two part series, L.D. Davis gave us one really long book from Kindergarten to adulthood. We got to witness every single important event in Emmett, Emmy and Donya's life. I certainly didn't pay much attention to Emmett before and Donya was always in the background. While I know this isn't strange, it makes you stop and say wow! It also made me appreciate the adage of not knowing what's going on behind a smile. There was a masquerade ball worth of masks in this novel.

We didn't go back to Emmy's toddler years, but it still explained and highlighted many ironies and issues from the 'Accidentally on Purpose' series. It also made room for an update on Emmy and Luke, as well as, to catapult us into past events from a totally different angle and POV.

Thankfully, this novel is done in stages, as it separates itself in three fitting parts. There is the younger years, teenage into young adult and the adult years. You are never short of  drama and life altering decisions made under duress or anger, but boy was it real, intense and gripping! This is real life, for the most part and I am glad that it chose to highlight a few struggles that every day couples face in relationships, without money and fame.

I loved all the characters, even the ones who screwed up royally. I will admit, that I wasn't the #1 fan of this novel in the beginning, as I resented where we had to begin. By the end though, I appreciated the process and wanted to push my kindle back a few percentages. It wasn't all unicorns and rainbows in the end, but 3/4 of it was fixed and I sort of raised my brow at that. It seems every one gets a happy ending except one and I feel he deserves it too or shake up the others to make it even ground. After all, this novel is laced with mistakes on all character parts, especially the major ones.

Emmet and Donya are quite the couple. I love them individually and I adore them together. Even when I joined the members of their world, thinking this would never work, they surprised me. At one point in time, I had to call my sister who read this novel days before me to ask her if this book really have a happy ending. It was bleak times folks!

Donya is strong, independent, fierce, naive and one of my favorite female characters in a novel. It leaves me wondering where she was all that time in 'Accidentally on Purpose' but maybe that helped me appreciate her character now. I loved her, hated her, cried with her, laugh with her. I surely believed everything she said and felt. The emotions in this book are ridiculously powerful and if you are the sappy type, it's bound to leave you on your knees too.

Even though I love and understand Emmett, I don't think I connected with him like I did Donya. I was even ready to give him up for Jerry until my sister, once again, said wait until the end. Thanks sis :)
He was a constant, loyal, in need of some anger management classes and not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve when he mattered. I also thought the man was sexiest when bent over a book!

If you love a roller coaster ride, then this is the story for you. You are never in one place or emotion too long and the shifts are powerful and impacting. You develop your own tether to the characters and their story because they ensure to take you on a journey.

Getting to know Sam and Fred better was lovely and I realize that I actually like Sam. She is the adorable, annoying mother that we love to hate and I never hated her once. She spoke her mind and bantered with Emmy like a devoted and caring mother would. She added humour, truth and clarity to a lot of issues and I admired and respected her opinion.

You can only get bored with this novel if you are not interested in the story line, or like me initially, hoped for some grown up sneaking! Even then, you eventually acclimate to what is offered and appreciate it for the base it provides.

The sex in this novel, was kept to the necessary and everything was given in just the right dosage. We were never overwhelmed with an issue. Honestly, this is a beautifully developed and edited novel. It carries just the same amount of drama as its sister series, but carries it's own identity, maturity, flare and most importantly, characters.

I appreciate this novel by the last page and I am satisfied with the story line, elements, development and ending. If anything I could ask for, is an ending to fit the realistic views this novel stuck to throughout. Every one seemed to have baby fever by the end o.O

L.D. Davis has a way of giving every one redemption and she surely likes all sides of a story, so while I am a little emotionally wrung out from this one, if she ever gets up to writing break away novels in this series, or starting fresh with another character, I am game!

I try, I really do, but it is hard to find things wrong with her wonderful work and execution. She brings you to the cliff and takes you back with time to spare. It was a beautiful tale of love, lost, life and the paths we travel every day to reach our destined end. Some of us will never reach it, but it surely would be nice if we did :)

Friday, 11 April 2014

Reasonable Doubt: Volume 1 By Whitney Gracia Williams

I have never heard of or read a book by this author before, but I can say that I am now a fan of her work. No offence to those published authors out there, living their dream and feeding their families, but sometimes self-published novels have an air and quality about them that published ones can't measure to. I always say, that "starving" artiste (I mean that in a good way), normally produce some of the best works.

Without a reasonable doubt, I can say that I enjoyed this story. I love the characters, detail, story line and development. For the first time, I could actually manage them throwing each other up against walls, without rolling my eyes to the sky. The thing that has me weary, is her wanted career path. I am one of those persons who ALWAYS have a plan B and thoroughly believe in stability. Therefore, I kind of want her to be committed to being a lawyer.

I like all the characters so far and even the cliches are tolerable. There isn't much spin or twist to the story line from others of it's genre and subject matter, but there is something about Aubrey and Andrew that makes you fall in love with them and exclude them from the group some people would say they are firmly apart of.

Andrew is a douche to everyone but Alyssa; He is witty, intelligent, sarcastic, sexy, possibly and introvert and quite the dirty talker. I don't mind that this novel has two POVs, but I currently slightly prefer Andrew to Aubrey's POV. He got me from the first page and I just kept on yearning for him right down to the last.

Aubrey is quite the hellcat when provoked and I love her "honesty", I say this tentatively. She adds fire and intensity, she is outspoken, confident and it completely baffles me, as to her lack of friends. I loved her instantly and her banters with Andrew are hilarious, spicy and always end with some arousing kink free sex. It's raw, gritty, passionate, unexpected and in just the right amount of doses.

This novel is all about pace; You have to pace yourself for Andrew's, past and the demons he are trying to outrun. You also have to pace yourself with regards to their future, because Andrew's past is unknown and the present is murky at best.

I love the details and time placed in each conversation and scene. I am actually shocked that this is novella length, because so much is packed in there without you paying attention to the length. I have learnt so much about and from both, while still waiting on the superglue to tie everything together. Maybe Andrew will lend me some off his office floor :)

The ending is unfortunately firmly in cliffhanger territory. I'm not gonna front like I'm not disappointed, as his secrets are crawling from their holes and his reaction after Aubrey's last revelation is definitely on my mind. I am thinking up all sort of scenarios at this point and dying to meet the new addition, as well as, to figure out what took the hot shot New York lawyer to North Carolina.

There is many more to learn and experience with Andrew and Aubrey. I love them as individuals and as a couple, which I believe is important in romance novels of this nature. If the characters don't know themselves, how will we know?

Their story flows while it brings heat, sexiness, mystery and joy. There is always something happening or being revealed and the main relationship dynamic, has me excited in a way I haven't been in awhile with new stories.

I hope the continuation will keep this momentum and I can't wait to see what book 2 brings. Hopefully, it's a little longer, because I have fallen in love with fire and fire; It can make the biggest blaze we have ever seen or it can burn until it fizzles. I personally am voting for the first option, so I shall cross my fingers and toes until the next installment.

Torn Epilogue By Kim Karr

So, this is River and Dahlia's last night in Paris on their honeymoon. They do the tourist thing and discover a piece of history in a Paris brothel now turned club. It's surely not much and can be read in 5-10 minutes. We also get to meet Jagger, whose novella is next in the series.

I decided to read this first because I didn't want to go in 'Dazed' wondering who is Jagger and what is he bringing to the table.  Turns out it wasn't necessary, as we literally only meet him. Other than his basics, that I imagine we would get regardless, he's a background character and so is his mom, Celeste. I am not certain what to expect from or with him. That's good and bad I guess, as it keeps the mystery but loses me also. I really don't know this guy and need to like him in the span of a novella. Let's see what happens.

I don't remember Dahlia being a fashion, sex kitten, but I guess Paris will do that. There was the inappropriate sex scene and the teasers throughout. Still, it's nothing to write home about and I wish it took us on their honeymoon play by play, instead of a blast to give us an update on their time in Paris. It doesn't even set us up for what's next in the series, after reading, your guess is as good as mine o.O

It wasn't bad though and as I said before, it's a quick read for those who just want some more River/Dahlia time.

***Get your FREE 'Torn' epilogue here***

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Obsessed - Part Three By Deborah Bladon

Would you look at that?! I swear I keep getting the wrong copies that are missing pages. I refuse to believe, the structure and main characters in this novel, isn't an accident. Ivy is annoying and feels sorry for herself way to much! When she isn't feeling sorry for herself, she's bitter and trudging her way through a tug-o-war with her ex-fiance and the new "love" of her life. He claims he "loves" her too, but I think he loves his company more. Mark is such a rascal but I love him nonetheless. At times, he reminds me of Nolen Adams from 'Black Butterfly' by Sienna Mynx

It's the same old games and drama from books 1 and 2, then a beautifully worded letter, followed by the acknowledgement o.O
Now do you see my problem? I can't understand how this can be called the conclusion to the series, when only Ivy has gotten her answers. Then again, even she should need some loose ends tightened.

Other than Mark and his mischievous self, the remaining characters of this novel were completely ignored, even when they were needed to confirm and tie a bow on this bad boy! There are too many holes and what ifs, which brought to light for me, that Book 3 didn't really progress. It answered a few questions, brought up a hell of a lot more and then ended. Hence, the reason I don't believe that this is over, as their are too many loose ends and a big "what the hell happened?!" at the end.

On the bright side, I felt twinges of connection with Jax this go. I am no where near loving him status, but he shows potential. I would have loved to be included in the build up that led to his complete 360 on the literal last page of the novel, maybe even that one scene could have made a difference.

Let's not even talk about what was really in that video on the flash drive. It could have been more creative. In trying to find Jax, I ended up losing Ivy's character. I give up on trying to understand and navigate this novel and remain on her side. She fluctuates between the Ivy from the first chapters of book 1, to the naive, lonely, desperate Ivy of books 2 and 3. I just wanted the bag of wit that had me engaged when I began reading this series.

All the above and more was bearable because this is a short novel. With time, you can read this novel in a hour and a half tops. I don't mind novella material but being that it is suppose to be the "last" book in the series, we could have gotten some more pages because we really did need it.

I am starting to wonder if it is the length of these novels that diminish the attributes of Jax that compels Ivy. My dislike for him lessened by 5% with this installment but I still am unable to connect with him and vote for him in the land of book boyfriends.

The sex was fast and to the point, so thank God for that and Jax being a douche. Mark is a little criminal with a whole lot of mouthy. I expected more and not just as a reader, but as an observer. A ton of questions were left unanswered. Like where is Mark now and why the sudden change in Jax?

It doesn't feel like an end to me and the eye rolling was back with a vengeance in the beginning chapters. I am unable to completely write off this series, because I believe that it is filled with potential but in need of more pages and for the characters to share the small moments that are more important than they think. 200 more pages and we could have had a star!

Obsessed - Part Two By Deborah Bladon

Someone please change the name of this novel and give us back the Ivy of book 1. This Ivy was naive, annoying and searching for love in all the wrong places. It's like she reverted to a teenage version of herself. At this point, I can see her by herself, but I doubt she would. If I was a psychiatrist, I'd even go as far as to recommend it. Some people needed a breather, she is one of them. I am waiting to see what it is she sees in Jax.

I still haven't connected with Jax, but I can say with certainty that he is a controlling douche. Maybe there are points to his personality that I am missing, but those two are the ones that stand out for me. He has yet to win my vote. A vase of Daisy and a cheesy little necklace doesn't do it for me either. I hope this is the aim of Ms. Bladon, for the character, because based off principles alone, I dislike the personality of most of the main characters in this novel.

I think I have figured out what the obsession in this novel is, but it's not what I expected or wanted when I first picked up this series. Reading this story hasn't gotten me interested either, as I believe that deception runs more rampant than obsession.

I liked Mark in this installment, especially when he stood up to Ivy in the last half of this novel. I assume he is suppose to be the bad guy, but when he's not sleeping with half of Manhattan, he wins me over. We know that he cares for Ivy obviously, but his self-preservation tactics in the face of Ivy's naivety, is the closest to reality we came in this novel.

There were a few scenes, that needed more weight than they pulled, like the ones with Ivy and her dad. Fret not though, because most of the reveals of this novel like book 1, was drama filled but complimented the issues and current situations well. This story is moving full speed ahead. In some areas and in the name of development, that speed is welcomed, as it's a novella. Still, it sometimes need to get a hold of things that thread the unrealistic line.

As short as this novel is we have met new characters, learnt more about the old ones and spend some time with Ivy's life outside of Manhattan. For all the misconceptions and my lack of attraction to the lead male, I can stick with this story to the end, mostly because it's not that far away.

Swimming in cliches with a questionable cast, 'Obsessed' surely knows how hold my attention at the end and Ms. Adams is still her nosy, lovable self. I might have rolled my eyes repeatedly by the end of this novel, but I am sure I am gonna pick up the next installment, because I did remain interested. As is, I have only one favourite and no expectation. I am not as invested in this story as I thought I would be, but thankfully it progresses, or it would have been a complete failure for me.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The King By J.R. Ward

It's like watching a satisfying episode of your favourite TV series. Although, I get what I want, without a cliffhanger ending and can wait patiently for the next episode to clarify the actions and decisions of the last.

As usual, this story takes us all over the place and even gave us a blast into the past with Wrath's parents, as they struggle through some of the same issues, that Beth and Wrath currently face. We are trekking through more than one relationship in this novel, but I never felt lost. At the beginning of each relationship highlight, I want the one I was at before, and by the end of that one, I am right where I began, craving more of the current.

I love that JR Ward chose the relationships she wanted to focus on, while keeping all the members of this series relevant at some point in time. She balances progression and stability like no other paranormal writer I have read. It is a gift what she does with a world she has created. I am always in the zone when reading a novel of this series. It feels as if I am transformed to Caldwell, in vampire territory and ready to tackle anything thrown my way. This series makes you a fan, as you step out of the real world for a minute and enjoy life of the Old Country and Caldwell, paranormal style.

To clear up some misconceptions without giving anything away, the main relationships of this novel are Beth/Wrath, Selena/Trez, Assail/Marisol, Layla/Xcor, Wrath/Anha. Beth wants a baby, Wrath is a little on the fence; Selena is having her world rocked in more than one way and Trez is finally growing up and taking responsibilities for his actions; Assail is new territory while traversing his old life and Marisol is giving up her old life to traverse new territory; Xcor is turning a new life and Layla is fighting for her King; Wrath is learning the dimensions of being a King and Anha is learning the realities of being a Queen.

For those looking for a Lash apperance, like myself, it was not this installment. This novel was filled with less Lessers than any of the previous. This, I had no problem with, as I believe this novel called for a different approach and I enjoyed the change in course.

Focus was placed on sacrifice, love, loyalty, history and the power they wield over the present and future. These are the catalyst for a few changes in the end of this novel, that me and my friend the Scribe Virgin surely aren't gonna like. I get the notion, but I wish there was another way.

In all of this, we still met new characters, some from the modern world and others that have traveled from the Old Country with a swell of issues and ideologies that put this story in a tail spin. I was glad for the time we got to spend with occasional characters, like Saxton and the time spent with Abalone and the commoners. It was about time we find out what is going on in the world of vampires outside the Monarchy and those who oppose them.

The perspectives from this novel, were presented and executed perfectly. My only problem while reading this novel, was finding the time to sit and give it a proper read. Once I did, I breezed through it in a couple hours. It is impossible not to get hooked to a novel from this series and it doesn't change with this installment.
I can see this story being around for years to come and I am dying to get my hand on a book about the young's of this series. I anticipate a really good story from their behalf.

There is nothing in this book for me to complain about; It was progressive, never repetitive and even the martial issues were that of humans. The fights were real and the characters stayed through to their personalities and beliefs. I never even missed the nights out in the field. I think we progress with the characters, to the point where their mindset is our own. It's been quite a journey with the Brotherhood and this novel reminds you of that, while preparing you for the future and all it's possibilities.

The climaxes within this novel are not your usual and they don't culminate in a battle to end all battles, as it's more from an intellectual stand point. That doesn't give it less of a fight or fire either, as it packs the same punch as Rhage morphing, V getting shot, Zsadist getting black, Phury's addiction, Tohr losing Wellsie and Butch sucking in Lessers. (Yes, I did that all from memory recollection and not a review of the novels). As I said, this story sticks with you.

I could stay here all day and give you my feelings on this amazing series that continues to rock me to the core, but I say check it out for yourself. This book is long for a reason, it is packed with enough issues to last you until the end of the week, where your craving another installment. It never leaves you unsatisfied and with each installment, you fall deeper into JR Wards' crazy world in Caldwell, New York.

Reconnect with the Brotherhood, learn about the King's past, take a trip down memory lane to 'Dark Lover' and inch your way through all the other installments, as you await the future. I really hope this isn't the end of this series, because I want so much more from this group of characters, who keep us on our toe guessing. Every time I think they can't possibly have more, I realize that the end is no where in sight and I am alright with that!