Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Being Kalli By Rebecca Berto

It's very rare that I read books that I don't like because if I read the blurb and it doesn't interest me then I move along. I don't go out of my way to give bad reviews and bash authors because I can't imagine ever writing a full length novel so I won't hate on someone who tries. With that being said though, I still didn't like this novel and I am kicking myself and my OCD tendencies because it took me one full week to read a book that is 257 pages. I have read 500 page novels in a day.

I couldn't connect to the story, characters or their issues. I have even struggled with a few of these issues myself but I felt nothing! I got the gist and the aim but I was unable to relate and unwilling to make an attempt. Their issues didn't move or inspire and I blame that on the delivery. I felt nothing for any one and that made it hard to develop connections with the characters or their stories.

Nate is a sweetheart but that does nothing for me. I find that I preferred him when he's hurt and hurting Kalli, as oppose to his insecure, sensitive and shy side. I have never read about old friends becoming lovers but I hope they aren't all like this.

There is an influx of different issues but only a few make sense. Every single character has a heavy issue to resolve but none resonated with me; They were too fleeting for their importance and I spent most of the time trying to remember what I read 6 pages before. After fighting my way through this story, I came out with nothing but fatigue from staying up to complete it before Wednesday and I could really use some sleep now.

Kalli is talkative but it eludes you because you are bored and I would never want to spend that much time in her head. We hardly have the courtesy of being apart of important conversations about the past and the different elements to her personality weren't cohesive. I felt like there were gaps, when in fact, it was the presentation.

We have a public sex fiend who only has "sex" in public twice and they were more appetizers than main course, not to say that the main course was better.

This story had an overwhelming amount of controversial issues that could have made for a really good story but the delivery was weak and didn't help me to understand or empathize. I was over it from I made it to 5% and if not for willpower and 3 hours in the early morning, I'd have my first DNF.

I have never read a book from this author before and I am now skeptic about reading another. I was bored, uninterested and had to claw my way to the end. The fact that the end was abrupt, unrealistic and unimaginative didn't help either. I just didn't like or understand this story at all.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Otherwise Unharmed By Shay Savage

I am having a dilemma here, because while I am mad at myself that I had this novel from December and didn't read it until now, I am also glad that I didn't because I would have been missing Evan more than I am now. I don't know how the world of book boyfriends/mafia hitmen are going to survive without Mr. Arden.

I've loved Evan Arden since the first time I met him in the Arizona desert on his porch with Odin. Eventually, I got to like the whole series, even 'Uncockblockable', that wasn't told from his POV. He is one of those characters that remain true to themselves and reel you in with their personality, wit and charm if he ever displays it. He is rough, not just around the edges, but he's also fiercely loyal and his paranoia is what helped to drive the action and suspense of this story.

This series is taken from Evan's POV, so we spend most of the time in his crazy brain and Lia didn't show herself again until the end of 'Otherwise Occupied', so it's safe to say that this novel was the most time we ever spent with her character, including the time in the desert, and even though her appearances were few, I can truly say I like them as a couple. To some, it might look like insta-love but there's more to them than that and I believe they have the perfect balance. I can honestly see her centering him when he starts to go crazy.

She is the complete opposite of every thing in this world but I like that. It's different and a much more realistic approach as oppose to the usual of love pushing them to the dark side. She hated it there and that was fine.

This novel was more action than romance and even the romance at times felt like low key action. Still, I believe it because Evan is intense and crazy so it tied in perfectly with the PTSD riddled hitman who is fresh from spraying his neighbourhood park with bullets.

We got some more on his time spent in the marines and as a POW but the present action was just as intense and nail biting. I was hanging on to every word, especially in the end and I could actually feel myself getting warm from being nervous of the outcome.

There is a death in this novel that might rock a few. He will be missed and Freyja won't ever take his place. There is something about him that even though he couldn't speak, he added a necessary element that bonded both Lia and Evan.

I got to see a different side to Rinaldo, as well as, his relationship with Evan. I like the respect Evan had for him and how no matter his problems and beefs, he never once forgot his military training. We also got some more on him before, during and after his tenure in the Marine's.

Yes, the sex isn't sweet. It's rough, raw and raunchy. He doesn't mince his words and Lia seems to love that line between punishing and loving. I have to admit though, Evan makes you want to thread the line :)

There are so many points, that I would love to highlight, as I have no problem ripping this book page by page to discuss every single move. It's rough, action filled and kept a balance through all the different emotions and situations. I could watch this man hunt and catch his prey all day without ever getting bored. I will miss this story something fierce but I am glad I got to experience Evan Arden and I am really hoping for a future novella update. *hint**hint* ;)


Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Year We Hid Away By Sarina Bowen

You know what I love about a Sarina Bowen novel? Her need for the controversial. The more drama and shock value, the better. She isn't afraid to tackle the major issues and they always come full circle. This makes for some really interesting novels that aren't cliche and has a lasting impact even after you turn the last page.

This novel tackled pedophilia and neglect. Though the pedophilia issues took a front seat for most of the story, I think we still got a chance to explore neglect and it's effects. I got both sides of the spectrum while getting to know and love the characters individually and as a couple.

We focused on the backlash of parents decisions in more ways than one and we got to see more than one outcome from three different situations. I was invested in this story to the point where I had to fall asleep reading it because I didn't wanna put it down.

A few reveals were unexpected and soft in their delivery but I believe that Sarina Bowen unfolded this novel at the right pace and time with the matching emotions. It wasn't a tear jerker for me but I did empathize and relate.

I never expected a party animal but Bridger was not the one we met in 'The Year We Fell Down'. I'm not complaining though and I love it even more that we didn't have the cliche of jealous past bed mates threatening their relationship. After all, they already had their own problems that were far beyond their years. Also, I really would like to know where Harkness College is located because I would love a space at the Hogwarts-esque University.

Scarlet was great from beginning to end and I love the levity and reasoning that her character brought to the table. She reminded me of Corey, from book 1, with her sense of humour and spirit. She stayed strong throughout life's challenges and her inner monologues were just as hilarious as when she voiced them.

Naturally, this novel was heavily hockey based but I have learned that Ms. Bowen is all about the ice sports and I never mind learning a new sport. The sex in this novel was few but they were passionate and held meaning.

It was a nice touch to see Bridger interact with Lucy and to see his fight and determination to make things good for them both. I find it hard to believe in real life that he could do the things he did but that's what makes him a hero isn't it?

'The Year We Hid Away' is another stellar novel in a heart warming series that tackles some major taboo topics while giving us the quintessential college love story with a few twist. Any problems I might have, is the inconclusive ending that left you guessing more than the final score and the fact that I hate the guy on the cover. Not major issues, but then again it's a Sarina Bowen novel, she doesn't leave much stones unturned.


Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Prince's Ex By Nadene Seiters

I am not one of those people who like trilogies but some stories need more than one installment and 'The Prince's Ex' is one of them. Was it rushed? Not until we got to the end but I think that has more to do with my love for the characters and not being ready to let them go.

I will admit that I was a little apprehensive when this story began because it didn't hit the ground running. It took some time to build and I judged the book by it's title and expected fluff and pageantry. I was in for a rude awakening because it was not what I expected and became more realistic as it progressed.

Some will see Amelia (pretty name btw) as a gold digger and I would have to say she's on the line but she's also honest. She knows what she wants and seems obsessed with the moving of money that I am actually surprised she wasn't a Trader. I like that she didn't move from the Prince's ex to the commoner's wife and it was good to see her date and have different relationships before she found the one that worked for her. I also like that the man was the one with more on the line and how they navigated those issues when they arrived.

Amelia is one of those character that has to grow on you because she makes no apologies for her faults and wants and while her back story is a sad one, you'd never know. This story is narrated more like a third party account but all I could hear was Amelia's voice; despite her shortcomings and blatant need for financial stability, you want to see this story through her eyes. I will admit that at times I thought he deserved better but Amelia proved that, given the chance, she can be that better thing he needs in his life.

The dynamic duo of Tina and Amelia made this book quirky, fun and full of good times. It's a hoot whenever those two are together and their time spent in that coffee shop made for quite the comedic relief. If I could, I would rename this book 'Coffee Shop Chronicles' but I don't know how i'd tie in that cover because it is too hot to not stay!

I hate when reviews give away too much information because then a novel loses some of it's mystic so I pride myself on keeping as much a secret as is possible and because Amelia had to go through a few frogs to her real prince, i'll refrain from using a name so as to not give away who the winner of her heart was, so from here on, his name shall be "Him" :)

"Him" was everything you could ever want in a man and though I picked up on a  few of his secrets early, I will admit that some threw me for a loop. Still, he remained intelligent, sweet, understanding and quite frankly one of the best book boyfriends I've seen in a while, without having to negotiate for her life or visiting each other in a hospital or jail cell. They didn't even break up and that's gotta be worth a nod in contemporary romance these days!

They are friends first then lovers and though we spent more time with her suitors than we did with her choice, I felt like I knew him well enough and am actually appalled at myself that I too overlooked him in the beginning.

For all those sex fiends, you can forget it. There is no graphic, detailed sex scenes and no one is being slapped or tied. It's clean fun with a few sexy undertones.

If you're unable to connect with the story, that's fine but I find that most women, especially of the single variety, can relate to this novel because it's a more real account of life in the single lane with a few unrealistic elements to give the novel dynamics. On the surface, it's remains an every day story with an every day couple in a small town with too many ears, nosy yoga classes and a little coffee shop that holds all their secrets :)


Hardline By Meredith Wild

I remained interested in this installment even though it was not the fight I expected. Erica has terrible luck, judgement and taste in men. If I were her I'd live in a cave. Trouble seems to lay in wait for this girl and don't get me started on her relationship that moved from comfortable to jam packed with ultimatums because Blake decided he's a "Dominant".

There was a lot more sex than usual to the point where the first 9% of this novel is 2 conversations and bondage play. While they toned down their "BDSM" sex, it boiled over into their personal life and quite frankly, Erica has lost the one quality she had that I adored and that's her independence.

Personally, I hate relationships based on ultimatums because I feel like they are stunted and will forever be filled with them. If you can't be with me because you can't rule my life, then go! This made me see Blake in a new light and asked a question that it took me three novels deep to ask; How old is Blake? Maybe I missed it somewhere in the series but at times I see a good looking nerd in his 20s and then other times I see him as a ruthless businessman in his early 30s.

As much as my perception changed, I loved that he stood his ground and though his jealously got ridiculous occasionally, I liked when he took control and made his feelings clear. The proper introduction of his family did little to add to the man that is Blake but I feel like because we go so slow to resolve every issue that arise, we don't need added elements or characters to define them.

Some people might be annoyed because this is a slow moving story but I am actually getting into the pace and don't mind going through each challenge with Blake and Erica. I have grown to love them as a couple and realize that their story is complicated and needs the appropriate amount of time to break down all the elements, without it becoming rushed, but I really wish it would stop ending like a soap opera!

We only got a glimpse of Daniel but he has already done a complete 360 in my eyes and I am beginning to accept the dark, political element that he adds; while the businessmen in this novel are a force in and out of the boardroom. It's interesting to see their conduct as they navigate the world of business.

James took a back seat and yes, I was naturally outraged because I really love James, but it's Erica and Blake's story so I digress.

It's safe to say with each installment I get more interested in the story line and invested in the characters. I am starting to relate and love the pace and situations as they unfold. I am actually eagerly awaiting the next installment and it's more to do with Blake being in control and Erica allowing him to have that control. I am once again hoping for a battle of wills so i'll keep my fingers crossed on this one.

At the end of this novel, the author graces you with a Q&A for book clubs or buddy reads I assume. While I am all for Q&A and love that she took the initiative, they are more like a Literature class assignment than they are discussion starters. Still, I love the thought and the fact that she branches out with each installment to give us a little bit more every time.


Friday, 18 July 2014

Hardpressed By Meredith Wild

I'll admit that my interest was piqued, especially to the end, as I love a good competition and I see where the end of this novel lines us up for a potential battle of wills, despite the once again abrupt and untimely ending. She really needs to find a better way to transition through her novels.

I was a little more interested in this story line than before as the characters found themselves and their places within the business and the story. There was more background and a clearer path and priorities sheet. Though the cliches were still present, with the addition of a few more, an effort was made to resolve some leaving us with less story lines. The sex is also becoming more BDSM and I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of this series they have a playroom. I have also found another character to love and that's James.

We were introduced to James in the last novel but now we have a background and present day situations that make him the best character to coax  Erica out of her shell and make her seem more vulnerable.  Yes, she was hung up on Blake, but we saw human nature at play with her interaction and reactions to James.

I have always loved Erica's fortitude when it came to her business but I think she now needs to adapt some of it into her personal life. She spent most of the novel wallowing or conceding and it was good to see her step up to the plate in the end.

I don't think I took stock of their relationship before but there is something there waiting to be ignited. I saw a spark and I like it; They are comfortable with each other, which in turn makes you comfortable with them as a couple.

I even found myself warming to Heath, while Alli became a new character to me. It was good to get some background on Daniel, as well as, Mark and I actually had looked forward to finding out about that relationship.

We are introduced to some new characters and resolved or tempered some issues of the past and present, but this story has still not given me a memorable moment. Yes, there is the death but that hardly counts because of it's delivery and the person.

Grammatical and editing errors are few if any and I truly believe that this story flows but it still remains a little timid in it's delivery. I don't know if it's waiting on the final novel but this story needs a shake to make us stop and look. It's too comfortable right now and I just wanna add some spice and shake!


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hardwired By Meredith Wild

I'm a borderline techie. I have my moments when I am completely invested in everything tech but I tend to have an eclectic taste that sees me trying different things occasionally. With that being said, I didn't mind the angle this novel took but beware that it can get heavy on the tech and if you have no interest whatsoever, you will get lost and bored.

The story line itself seems stagnant because it's constructed with such a heavy plot of ideas; I missed the climax, if there was one and the foundation and path is still developing at the end.

If you take every possible theme from a Contemporary romance novel, you would get the story line to this one. All it's missing is the paranormal element. If there is a cliche situation or character, this novel has it. From the dominant billionaire to the hiding in plain sight rapist and even the tatted up outcasts were present. If it's a contemporary story line, it's there.

While this could have worked, with a more believable cast and background, it just didn't. There was no cohesiveness to all the situations or the characters. There is sex, love, drugs, rape and that's just a few of the major issues that one character is trying to sort. They are highlighted for such a short moment, then do a full 360, that leaves us feeling like these issues are inconsequential. In the wake of all these issues, to the end, all but one is unresolved and to be honest, it's not resolved, it's just that she kinda has no choice.

There is only one character that I understand and don't mind interacting with and it's Sid, even though I doubt he has said a whole chapter worth of things yet. I got confused frequently with who she calls for which crisis and this is a testament as to how much personality her friends possess. Honestly, she could do better in that department.

Erica doesn't interest me as a character but she narrates the whole story so what you gonna do?! She's lost and doesn't know herself so it's hard for me to know her. I did however, like her stubbornness and the fact that she didn't easily fall into his bed like a twit. She had her faculties ... some of the time at least.

Blake is a character that's so mysterious that you need his POV to know what's going on. He doesn't let up! It's not a he falls in love so he spills his guts; The man is a vault and it stays that way until the very abrupt and inconclusive end.

The sex in this novel is basic but thankfully it isn't long. They do the necessary and get on to the next issue as they seem unable to run out of cliches to borrow. There is nothing interesting enough to hold and keep your attention but each element gets you interested to a point.

I would read the next installment because I want to know the answers or solutions for a few questions but it's not a necessity to dive right in.  The emotions in this book are fleeting, so I as a reader didn't know how to feel. Therefore, I didn't connect or get invested in these characters like I would have wanted. At this point, I am still trying to find some of the major defining moments.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Tug By K.J. Bel

Disclaimer: I'm normally more thorough in my research when I want to begin reading a new novel but for some reason I added this novel to my TBR list without checking to see if this was a new standalone or a spin off. Turns out, it's a spin off and I didn't find this out until I read and finished my draft for this review. So it's safe to say that this is my introduction to Tug, Tori and Brady. While I now know that they have a past, that was given in details, I still can't change my review because below is my true thoughts from what I read without this new knowledge.

There is a range of emotions involved in reading 'Tug', from hate to indifference and just plain 'ol frustration. There is too many crazy, unbalanced people in this story and the story line contain more drama than a script of the 'Real Housewives of Atlanta'. Yes, Tug is a douche but I never expected to leave this novel unsure of Maria and tired of the drama with the other characters.

Brady is a little too convenient for my liking, as he lives life on the line of right and wrong and seems to always come out the good guy, while Tug can't seem to get anything right and always end up losing and sacrificing the most in the end. It's all a continuous cycle with Tori in the middle and she being crazy doesn't excuse her. As for Liv and Harrison, Liv is an idiot and Harrison is a pig.

Maria threads the line of naive and eventually untrustworthy, to the point where I just decide to give up on them all. They are confused, which in turn makes you unable to build solid relationships with the characters while keeping a certain level of empathy. I especially hate the fact that I read an entire novel just to have an avoidable upset at the end that makes me question everything I spent my time reading. Also, not that I excuse his behavior but Maria is sort of a bitch with that final decision. An ungrateful one at that. Though it's not clear, it doesn't look good either.

Tug's character is possibly bi-polar but neither him nor the author knows it yet. It's either that or he's just a douche. I'll like to think it's an illness. You will hate him and eventually tolerate him but I never loved him.

I think this story keeps itself interesting occasionally, more so than not, but there is so much drama towards the end that I am pissed I even bother. I'd prefer to just read book 2 and get the updates and solutions.

I believe that all the characters in this novel are doom to be miserable and never fully able to live in the light because there is too many dark and gray areas. While I don't know anything about the US/Mexico border, I doubt it is used as frequently as they do without raising suspicion and this crew uses it like a bus route.

The sex in this novel isn't inspirational but then the focus was on the unrequited love, new love and new relationships being built. It's surely not your usual romance and there is no HEA. These friends also don't mind stepping on you to get to your man if it's convenient.

Their back story is strange, common and different all in one. There are no loving parents and while they all have mommy issues, they don't rely heavily on it. If not for their sporadic reminders of their mom and dad crimes, I'd forget that they had a Lifetime movie upbringing.

There is a certain level of confusion for me in reading this novel and it might show in my review, because even though I understand the story, had no problem with the progression and was entertained for the most part, I felt like the ending killed it all for me and made me want to go over the novel to see what the reader's hustle might be.

Even with a few glitches, it's a good read but you have to be willing to put your emotions aside to garner anything from it. I was unable to do that so I feel duped like I read all that for nothing. Honestly, I didn't see nor understand the change in the wind that lined us up for a book 2 but I guess we are trying to get as close to reality as possible and splitting novels seem to be all the rage these days.

Also, after finding out that this triangle stretched across two other books, I'd like to think that the author might have gotten a little more creative in her efforts to tee us up for a book 2.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Laws of Kings By Jennifer Loren

With every novel there are good and bad moments and this one is no different. The problem with this one is that not all the moments are in sync with the story line or the reader. If I hadn't ever read a book by Jennifer Loren then I would probably not be so inclined to read a next but I know she normally has rocky starts but eventually finds her footing.

There are extremely corny moments of action, confrontation and love. My eyes got a work out occasionally from all the MacGyver moments that had me rolling them uncontrollable. They even got his kits -_-

There is a constant and delicate balance between too much information and not enough conviction. There are tons of unnecessary conversations and as to when they fell in love? I don't know.

Dace's team seem to be the original 'A team' as they channel everything action packed and corny from 80's action-adventure sitcoms. This story had two parts and I liked both. Dace the mercenary was just as entertaining and corny as Dace the mob prince but I mostly like Dace when he's just kicking back with Austin.

There is something about the characters of this novel that I adore, especially when they aren't trying to kill each other. Everyone has their signature traits that differentiate and assist the story line. Michael holds little to no interest for me but Sage makes me take a second look at this complicated but heartbroken man; Ettore is elusive but interesting; Antony is hilarious and just the right guy to have around for everything while Dace is the perfect leader who never wants and also never actually leads.

There are many elements to this story but unfortunately not all of them gel. While there are good and bad moments the story line isn't cohesive at times and their are a few discrepancies with the flow but I still enjoyed the overall body of work even when I knew what to expect next.

Austin and Aaron are unexpected additions but I think they bring their own contribution to this plot. One thing I am looking forward to is Leandra and Austin together as Dace recovers. While I don't know if that will be happening, I think it would make for good entertainment.

There is a lot of violence and killing in this novel to the point where it borders on corny but I love that Dace doesn't second guess his decisions and though it's too late, I could see the Colletto boys as an unstoppable force, if they could just stop trying to kill each other for a minute.

I leave this story not knowing who to trust and not knowing who will be alive by the end of the next but I am also excited for the potentials that lay ahead.

There is a certain edge and roughness to this novel that doesn't lend to the softer side of romance so you might not be able to understand or know when love came into play but I like them so much as a couple that I don't even care. It's hot when a woman can take care of herself and there is no weak women in this novel.

It's a rocky start to a series but I have faith in this story and it's ability to get it all together for the next installment, so as to give us an action packed, drama filled, intellectually executed plan that will lead to an even better book 2.

- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22472427-the-laws-of-kings 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Uncontrollable By Shantel Tessier

I feel like I should be bent over at the knee panting with how long and action packed this novel was. At this rate, Sam should be dead and I really think she needs some prayer and a cleanse. Too many bad things happened in succession and if not for that little note at the beginning of this novel i'd expect her to be dead at the end.

Normally, I feel like a series can conclude at book 2 because most book 3 is an extended version of things we either read  already or not that interested in. This was conflicting for me, because while I shared the same sentiments, I also believe that this novel was necessary to clear the air. Unfortunately, it also left us with more questions and I think they might have to watch their backs for the rest of their lives because a few things still aren't clear to me.

Samantha grows with each novel and this time I find that she was fiery and in control. She's always been strong but she needed some vulnerable moments, especially with the fact that she was almost omnipresent. I needed her to relay certain emotions but she was just being Sam.

Slade got lost a little in the many events of this novel and I blame that on the fact that this novel tried to focus on literally every one. It made it harder for both main characters to shine and Slade didn't mind taking the back seat to Sam's.

I missed Sam playing Barbie with herself, as Sam is known for being the ultimate girly girl. She lost that this go but there was enough going on to keep us preoccupied because that didn't even stand out to me until I was finish reading and analyzing in my mind.

The introduction of Parker is fantastic and I love his filthy mouth and blunt reasoning. He is easy to relax with and I love how he was flawlessly worked into the story, to the point where he at times made every one take a seat to his shine. The only other character in this novel that can stand in that light is Tate.

Even though we know a little more about him now, including his real name, I am still conflicted. He is a tool just as much as Missy is an idiot and honestly, I don't think they currently make a good pair. She is one step away from suicide and he is so bad that it hurts! I don't know what I expected but this wasn't it where they are concerned.

As usual, Josh and Courtney took a back seat to the major story line as they just existed and if not for the wedding and bachelor party I would completely forget that Holly and Micah were apart of the story. There was a lot more sex talk but I like that we kept it light. There's a trait I admire from this series, where Shantel has no problem cutting to a new day in the next chapter, even if the chapter before left us at the beginning of a sex scene. You'd have to read it to get it.

It might sound weird but I see this novel as a cross between 'The Expendables' and 'The Notebook'. It had more good moments blending both aspects, than it had cheesy and unnecessary ones and yes, there was some cheesy, unnecessary moments, especially to the end.

A lot of major issues were highlighted and cleared but these books take so long between releases that I had to scramble to remember some scenes. I liked the flashbacks and break aways because they filled in the blanks and not once did I ever feel the weight of the pages of this novel and I think that's a good trait when you have a hefty read ahead.

It's long, it might get boring and all that's left is for people to jump off roofs but it closes the Slade/Samantha chapter and tees us up for Missy/Tate and Parker/Stripper? I don't know. All I know is that I enjoyed it for the most part and I can't wait to see how Shantel digs both Tate and Missy out the molds I've made for them.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pulse - Part Four By Deborah Bladon

I continue to have a love/hate relationship with Deborah Bladon's novels. I felt like we were on a continuous loop to no where and while I like the transition at the end it still left me feeling incomplete because nothing has really been solved. We are sorting through the blow back of Drew and Nathan's bet and for the first time, Nathan doesn't have a plausible excuse. He's just plain wrong.

If you are promised and ending, it would be nice to actually get an ending. This is a cliffhanger and nothing about it is conclusive but I was left interested in the continuation and the preview of her upcoming novel.

A few lame and unimaginative plot twist were revealed which left Rebecca looking like a bigger douche and the unnecessary pawn that is Bryce finally finding his place in all this crazy. I still don't know his purpose o.O

I don't trust any of the characters, except for maybe Bryce and I believe all of them need a personality overhaul. Every one has their issues but the connections are so blatantly obvious and basic that it says a lot about Cassie because she's the only one unable to make said connections. Maybe it's the kids, they do take up a chunk of time.

I still don't know much about Jessica and Nathan but maybe with the next novel we might get some insight. I did learn a few things though and at this stage, while I shouldn't be, I was shocked by some admissions and aspirations but overall this story was slow and plain. We accomplished nothing of relevance.

Jessica's reluctance was a nice change and even her desire to sate her sexual needs could be excused because why mess with it if it isn't broken? Good sex is hard to find!

Nathan and Drew's complete 360 is what puzzles me though, especially Drew's. When did it happen and why? Nathan is still a tool occasionally but at least you saw him adjusting to make space for Jess. Last time I saw Drew, he was being the menace he is and then couple chapters later he's quoting Revelation? Maybe it's just me but I don't like to move through stories blind and I felt like I wore tinted shades for most of this installment.

The sex was talkative but I find that I didn't mind because they had some of their best conversations then and it wasn't overpowering nor did it distract from the sex itself. It remains basic sex but it seems to be the only time they can truly work out their mess.

In the end, we didn't accomplish much from this installment. It held good banter between Jessica and Nathan; showed a changed Drew and gave us answers to a lot of our lingering questions but we were still left with even more questions and no solid conclusions. I will always read Deborah Bladon's novels but I won't ever be able to fully understand them because they are never resolved. It's an endless loop, almost like your going to be living the day to day lives of the characters without an end in sight.


Saturday, 5 July 2014

Coming In From the Cold By Sarina Bowen

If your in a book stump or just looking for a nice transition read, then look no further! This is my second novel by Sarina Bowen and I was just as satisfied with this attempt. It has an air of old school Mills and Boon romance novels but with a realistic and modern touch for it's characters and their issues.

You can know when an author has done her research and the fact that Sarina has a ski-crazy husband, lives in Vermont and raises chickens only strengthened the main character of Willow. It's not hard to see both Sarina and Willow in love with love. I don't know if this character was emulated from the author but it was a strong character that highlighted her personality and I had no problems developing empathy or concern for her, even when she was wrong and way too forgiving.

I did get annoyed with her occasionally, but for the most part, I liked the character of Willow and her friendship with Callie was endearing even though it only touched the surface. You can't help but to be comfortable with all the characters and their relationships because they really do try to stay away from drama.

Dane is an interesting one for me because while I liked him, I still don't understand him a 100%. I love his honesty and the fact that he was blunt and steadfast in his decisions. I even like that he went ape when he heard his diagnosis and that he remained genuine to his emotions throughout the novel.

I'll be the first to admit that on the surface this story doesn't bring much depth and is flying in fairy tale land but I loved the development and progression. I also like that a serious illness was highlighted without it being the big "C", cheesy or boring. I only wish we got to highlight it more but the amount we got was satisfactory and tastefully done.

The sex was basic without much of a steam factor but Sarina isn't known for her hot and heavy scenes. With her, it's more mellow and to the point. There is a time and place for everything and I think the sex in this novel is good enough for this novel.

The story line hits the ground running and doesn't stop until the end. I assume there will be a part two because so much is unresolved and while I was content with this novel, I am a little apprehensive as to if more drama will be thrown their way, even though they barely sweat their last hurdle.

There's not much to say about this novel because in the grand design of it all there isn't much conflict or moments that need to be picked apart. It's structured well and progressed seamlessly even when it became flat and stuck in a loop at the end.. It's all about love, understanding and hitting the slopes. Some will find it soft in the romance department but I find that if I need centering I can pick up a novel by Sarina Bowen to get the job done and this was no different.


Friday, 4 July 2014

BEWARE By Shanora Williams

Am I pleased with the ending? Not in the slightest but I am also not that interested either. It's a case of if there will be a part two, I will read it; if not, then I 'll be over it by tomorrow this time.

This novel reminded me a lot of 'Raw' by Belle Aurora, especially the ending. I feel that if you read my review of that novel (http://litjungle.blogspot.com/2014/01/raw-by-belle-aurora.html) or even the novel itself, you will get a general idea of my thoughts and what  to expect. Naturally though, there will be a few adjustments but the characters emulate each other in their personalities and occasionally their conversations. The more I think on it, it's the more similarities I find. If you have read one, then you've probably read a close copy of the other.

We did get the backgrounds and even the events leading up to the big "reveal" but I was not impressed and even though I remember, they weren't memorable moments. I still feel like I don't know the characters well enough and I definitely don't know when and how they fell in love. We literally moved to another chapter and they were in love enough to lay down their lives and all.

Ace is an unstable character because you can love him, hate him and be indifferent to him as you go through the chapters and London was just as uninspiring. She had her moments but those weren't the ones that were thoroughly highlighted.

At times I felt like this could be a realistic story with it's premises and progression but then the results of certain actions just left me rolling my eyes and don 't get me started on that climax. It was cheesy, basic and held little to no imagination. Did I suspect the culprit? Not really, because he was absent for 90% of this novel, so I could care less by the time he got his chance in the spotlight.

There seems to be a lot of unnecessary conversations and characters that were highlighted just because we needed a human space saver while there were pertinent characters that we didn't get to know and then were asked to show emotion towards them in the end. No! The sex, thankfully, could be read briskly because it wasn't much and it kept moving. It wasn't bad sex, just pretty basic.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate this novel but I wasn't impressed either. It felt like something I read before and not much happened to get me excited. When things did happen, it felt like it was leading us to a build up that was more clappers than fireworks. Also, by the end, Ace came off softer than we initially thought and Jonah's memory was so badly kept it annoyed me as a reader. The fact that we met and interacted with him didn't help either.

It is so hard to crack the shell of these characters to find that part that makes us connect, empathize and anticipate the possibility of a follow up novel. I'd blame my opinion on the fact that World Cup is in it's best stages but I still wasn't interested in picking up this novel in my down time. It just didn't do anything for me.