Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.
My rate & take
Heat Index: 1/2 ☼
Beautiful Disaster came out last year and I read a lot about it from its many fans. I was reluctant to read it because its detractors were almost equally vocal. Then I read the author was publishing a follow up that would be from the male point of view and I found that just intriguing enough to dive in. I made room on my reading schedule to read them back to back and found I really didn't need to go to all that trouble.
The only other time I have done a similar reading was the partially finished Midnight Sun written by Stephanie Meyer. Midnight Sun follows the male lead (Edward) in Twilight. I will admit I was a big Twilight fan but gushing aside Stephanie had it the right way, you learned so many new details about the internal thoughts and emotions of Edward that it really was an original book all on its own.
To me it seems there is a right way and a wrong way to write the he said/she said books, I think if an author is going to tackle it, it should never be a glorified re-write of the original book. And much of Walking Disaster is just that, almost an exact copy of Beautiful Disaster, with only a few fresh insights.
Since reading one is enough I recommend reading Walking Disaster because at the end you get a nice section that talks about the main character's lives 11 years after the ending in Beautiful Disaster, and I love when I get that little bit of extra!!
Even with my disappointment I still liked the characters and the voice the author gave them.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
My rate & take
I never knew about this series until the movie came along, which I got to see with my daughter and we both enjoyed it. As most readers know the book is almost always better than the movie. That truism applies to this title as well.
While the movie tried hard to stay some what close to the book, there was a lot of depth and plot that it missed along the way. My only issue with the book was it seemed some of the angst was rather drawn out. If you knew something bad might happen to you on a set date in the future would you spend most of your time lament that fact, or would you let yourself live a little? I'd go for the fun, but maybe that is just me.
The book was in the voice of the main male character and that made good sense since he was the one that had to do the most adjusting and changing throughout the story. I so enjoyed his narrative, his intelligence, his perceptive abilities, so much so I could see why he was easy to love.
I have a few books lined up to be next on my reading queue but I will happily return to this series as soon as possible.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy
Althea Grant's Charleston gallery might be suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere, but she's doing just fine, thank you. When bad-boy sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual—and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes.
Steel, fascinated by Althea's rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr designed for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the cool Southern belle into modeling for him is the second.
As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn't just fine at all—it's as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she's failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?
My rate and take
Heat Index (3) ☼☼☼
This book was really good at keeping my humor level up with some of the turns of words and phrases. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but most people don't use the term 'Diddle' instead they use sex, or making love, or other colorful descriptors...any that aren't diddle, please! While I am pontificating on the writing...I think that the only part of the body that should 'weep' are ones eyes while crying, anything other and it's so not hot. Also of note, this is the first smutty book I have read that used the clinical V term instead of a cute or naughty term for the lady goods.
At one point I was having so much fun with this read I felt the need to share the frivolity with my hubby and read a portion of a steamy scene out loud. I learned four things from that experience;
1) What the book sounded like in my head was actually much, much different aloud.
2) Reading steamy scenes out loud is a recipe for hilarity - It makes me want to form a group of people that will take turns reading one love scene each from a different book...can someone say epic party idea??? I am !!
3) I can't remember the last time I've seen my hubby exit a room that faster.
4) I now have a firm promise from my hubby that if I read aloud to him again from this genre he will reciprocate and read to me from one of his books. People, there is only so much a girl really needs to know about Bass Fishing....now do you see why #2 is such a good idea to me?
Even though I said all that I did above, I still liked the book. I enjoyed the characters and got my happy ending. All was right in my world once again.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Blood Lust by Zoe Winter
This is an anthology of: Kept, Claimed, and Mated.
… The enemy of my enemy is my lover. Is that how it goes?
No one should have to be on the run from their family. Family is who you can trust, right? Dark magic users are the ones on the don’t trust list. Yet, when Greta learns the werecat tribe plans to sacrifice her on the full moon to steal her potent magical blood, she ditches common sense in favor of running to the one man who can protect her. Will Dayne kill her as he has so many others of her kind, or is his grudge against her family strong enough to save her?
… Vampires claiming amnesiacs is the new black.
Anthony is cold, ruthless, undead, and hard to like. Yet, all it takes is one human with amnesia, to soften his heart. Ever since being bitten, Charlotte hasn’t been the same. More than anything, he wants to return to a time when she saw him for the man he is, instead of the monster she’s discovered. A time before she feared him.
In the midst of a power struggle for vampire king, it soon becomes clear that the only way to protect a fragile human in his care is to claim her as his mate. Meanwhile, his deepest wish is to have his lover awakened from the memory loss that took everything... not just the memories he meant to erase.
A classic, sweet werewolf love story. Or maybe not.
Be small. Be invisible. It’s an odd life mantra for a human woman in a world of monsters. But Jane’s blood contains a touch of vampire magic, making her their victim over and over. With her faster-than-normal healing time, she’s an ideal punching bag for the abusive vampire she’s been living with, the one she thought might protect her this time.
Paul owes a debt to the werewolf alpha, and Cole doesn’t care how he gets paid: flesh or coin. $10,000 or Jane? The human is a small price for the vampire to pay to be debt-free.
Cole is attractive and warm---so different from the coldness and death Jane has grown used to. If the werewolves didn’t have a worse reputation than the vampires, being taken by the alpha might feel like rescue, but Cole’s growing possessive nature, makes Jane fear he’ll only abuse her like the others. If he doesn’t, could becoming an alpha’s mate free her from the vampires for good?
My rate & take
Heat Index (1) ☼
I'll admit it....I didn't read the fine (or not so fine print) and didn't get that this was an anthology pieced together from three short stories from the author. Part of the reason I missed that is some of the characters go from story to story, the only big shift seemed to be which two main characters were the focus of the story. My blond moment(s) never got in the way of my enjoyment of the stories. They book itself seemed to have it all, a crabby wizard, werewolves, shifters, vamps, a half-ling, and one cheeky demon. Each story was as entertaining as the last and even though each story had a very nice ending, I still want more of those characters.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Grounded by R.K. Lilley
James and Bianca’s story draws to a close in the explosive conclusion to the Up In The Air Trilogy.
After a short but earnest courtship, Bianca can no longer deny her feelings for James, and though she’s tried her hardest, she can’t help but see that he cares deeply for her, as well. In a completely uncharacteristic move, she has put aside her misgivings and agreed to live with the enigmatic billionaire. Is her leap of faith the beginning of something wonderful, or is it too much, too fast?
As James and Bianca feel a growing need for each other that neither can deny, circumstances beyond their control intervene, trying to tear them apart. Amidst the ever mounting threat of a monster who wants Bianca dead, and the constant pitfalls of an indiscreet past that James can’t seem to escape, can these two passionate lovers manage to find their happily ever after?
My rate & take
Heat Index (3) ☼☼☼
This is the book that ends the trilogy....and I thought it was a bit light of real writing material to be a book all by itself. All the important plot details from this book could have easily been added to book two. Not everything needs to be a trilogy just 'cause three books make more money for everyone rather than two.
I have a few more rants about this book (this one actually applies to some parts of book 2 now that I am thinking about it). The first is the word 'yanno.' I get that it is slang for the words 'you know' but somehow I was really put on edge every time I saw it in print. I think my favorite English teacher (who did try her best with me) must be spinning in her grave on this new language development. My second issue is the amount of time spent talking about clothes. What people were wearing, what were in their closets, what was going to be in their closets, etc. It felt like the author was just marking word count to make an arbitrary book length.
Having said my peace above I am still glad I read it...I needed to know how my happily ever after went down after all!
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Mile High by R.K. Lilley
James has initiated Bianca into a dark and drugging world of passion and pain. He taught her about her own submissive, masochistic nature, and she fell swiftly and deeply in love with the undeniably charming and impossibly beautiful Mr. Cavendish, but a painful misunderstanding and the return of the brutally violent demon of her past have combined to overwhelm Bianca, and, confused and hurt, she pushes him away.
It’s been over a month since the shocking attack that hospitalized her, and since she told a distraught James that she needed space, but her feelings haven’t gone away. Even she knew that it was only a matter of time before he would cast his spell on her again.
My rate & take
Heat Index (5) ☼☼☼☼☼
This is book two in the Up In the Air trilogy and continues the story of Bianca and James and there newly formed relationship. The similarities continued between Fifty Shades and Crossfire series, but I didn't care, I was hooked and happily went along. This was just a fun/steamy page turner that had me ordering the final book in the trilogy before this book was cold.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
In Flight by R.K. Lilley
When reserved flight attendant Bianca gets one look at billionaire hotel owner James Cavendish, she loses all of her hard-won composure. For a girl who can easily juggle a tray of champagne flutes at 35,000 feet in three inch heels, she finds herself shockingly weak-kneed from their first encounter. The normally unruffled Bianca can't seem to look away from his electrifying turquoise gaze. They hold a challenge, and a promise, that she finds impossible to resist, and she is a girl who is used to saying no and meaning it.
Bianca is accustomed to dealing with supermodels and movie stars in her job as a first class flight attendant, but James Cavendish puts them all to shame in the looks department. If only it were just his looks that she found so irresistible about the intimidating man, Bianca could have ignored his attentions. But what tempts her like never before is the dominant pull he seems to have over her from the moment they meet, and the promise of pleasure, and pain, that she reads in his eyes.
My rate & take
Heat Index: (3) ☼☼☼
This is book one of the Up in the Air trilogy and I must say having read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (by E.L. James) and the two books currently out in the Crossfire Series (by Sylvia Day) this book and series feels very much like a melding of the two with some of its own originality mixed in. Even with that factored in, I still enjoyed the story. The story never seemed to get bogged down and the pacing made it a nice page turner.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more.
After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.
Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.
My rate & Take
This is book 7 in the Mercy Thompson series and I have a been a fan of each one of the books. That is why I was puzzled when I felt that this book was some how going to be less entertaining than the previous ones. I had nothing to worry about, Patricia Briggs is keeping the series as fresh as ever. To me there is something about supernatural beings trying to do everyday things (like having a family and working a day job) while trying to fend off their enemies or the latest political storm that keeps me reading.
I enjoy all of the characters but Mercy is the stand out one for me. I love her internal dialog and thought process. She is good example for a role model that just happens to have the bonus ability of turning into a coyote at will!
I have no idea when the series will end but it will be a sad day for me when it does. I just might have to re-read the series from start to finish then.
Friday, March 8, 2013
Nightfall by Norah Wilson
Aiden Afflack (a vampire) is as charming, sexy and easy-going as he is gorgeous. Unless you happen to be a rogue vampire, in which case he’s apt to be the last thing you see. Sam Shea is a wildly successful nature photographer whose prescient dreams lead her to some of the world’s most turbulent, awe-inspiring weather phenomena.
When their paths cross and Aiden discovers that his proximity to Sam warps her psychic power, causing her to hone in on vampire violence instead of violent weather, he knows he’s found a priceless tool in his fight to rid the world of rogues.
Sam has a deep-rooted aversion to having her powers exploited, but once her eyes have been opened to the lives she can help save, she can’t withhold her cooperation.
My rate & take
Heat Index (3) ☼☼☼
This was a fun read, I really liked the chemistry between the two main characters and the idea of a vampire being a vampire hunter of sorts, made for an interesting read. There weren't any shocking plot twists along the way but that didn't stop the pages from flying by all the same.
I had stumbled onto this book and didn't know it is a second book in the authors Vampire Romance Series. The first book is called The Merzetti Effect. Even though I didn't read book one I didn't feel lost at all.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Never Too Far by Abbi Glines
He had held a secret that destroyed her world.
Everything she had known was no longer true.
Blaire couldn’t stop loving him but she knew she could never forgive him.
Now, she was back home and learning to live again. Moving on with life… until something happened to send her world spinning once again.
What do you do when the one person you can never trust again is the one that you need to trust so desperately?
You lie, hide, avoid, and pray that your sins never find you out.
My rate & take
Heat Index: (3) ☼☼☼
I have been anticipating this book for months. I needed to find closure to the story that had me hooked from the began in Fallen Too Far, and this book was well worth the wait.
Both books are amazing, with characters you'll fall in love with and want to know more about. Abbi Glines has the ability to make you feel every journey with each character. I laughed and cried along the way, the only thing I didn't like was how soon these books were over.
BUT I found out recently that due to popular demand from the fans the author has agreed to write a 3rd and final book for this series, due out late this summer. Don't let that stop you from enjoying these books now, Never Too Far was not a cliff hanger ending so you can dive in right now!
Here you can find my review of Fallen Too Far, and just like this review I feel like I can't say much (other than gush) or I'll give away something in the plot that you should be finding out for yourself. You'll be glad you did!