Monday, April 29, 2013
Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines
Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected…
Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help.
What he didn’t know was she was as fragile as they came.
The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine...
My rate & take
Heat Index 3 ☼☼☼
Abbi Glines is quickly moving up my list of favorite authors. There is something about her writing. The dialog is believable, the pacing is always right on, and she is a master at making the reader feel the emotions the characters are experiencing.
This book is listed as Perfection #1 and it is clear from the ending that more is to come, book two is said to be due out this summer. This is another thing I love about the author, no super long waits for the next installment, she must type like a mad woman.
This book picks up on the male character of Woods, someone we met in Fallen Too Far and got to know a little bit better in Never Too Far and gives him his own story line. I really enjoyed it and and look forward to Perfection #2. I also can see where the writing has opened up room for at least two more characters to get their own love story's spot lighted...and I will eagerly await those as well. If Abbi is writing....I am reading.
I do have one admission though...as sweet as Woods is....I still have a Rush crush, if you've read the Fallen series you will know all about what I mean.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Strings by Kendall Grey
Free-spirited musician Letty Dillinger adheres to a strict, “no strings attached” policy when it comes to men. After a wild night of unabashed sex in a fancy hotel room, she never expects to see the adventurous stud she dubs “Shades” again. When her all-girl rock trio books a tour at the last minute as the opening act for their archenemies, Letty’s shocked to discover she knows the competition’s new lead singer. Intimately. Shades is no longer a one-night stand. Now he’s the guy she has to one-up on stage every night for the sake of her career.
Sharing close quarters on a bus with her sexy nemesis and his bad-boy buddies puts Letty’s Golden Rule to the test. On this tour, guitar strings aren’t the only things being played. And when heartstrings are pulled too hard, they’re bound to snap sooner or later.
My rate & take
Heat Index 5 ☼☼☼☼☼
Before I begin my review I would like you to read the warning the author wrote, while it is humorous it makes the point that this book is not at all for the faint of heart...
"WARNING: STRINGS is not suitable for slut shamers, uptight stone throwers, Holier-Than-Thou prudes, humorless virgins, persons with chronic neck or back pain, pearl-clutching bitties, those who disparage crude humor or vulgarity in their many forms, closed-minded people with sticks up their asses, or anyone under the age of 18. The vile, base language and shocking, unholy sexual acts contained herein are not condoned by anyone with a lick of sense and should certainly not be reproduced without proper training and protection. The potty-mouthed and perpetually horny "heroine" (the term is used loosely) of this book does not resemble a normal, well-adjusted, or remotely believable person in any way, shape, or form. The author acknowledges that the characters in this book are shallow and two-dimensional; the plot is both ridiculous and insipid. She makes no apologies for any of it.
* Readers are strongly advised to wear latex gloves whilst reading to minimize contamination risks."
So my friends, consider yourselves warned. This book has a lot of vulgarity, shocking escapades, and a very thin plot. This ain't no romance novel and should only be read by the stoutest of smut reader who wants to walk on the very wild side of the genre. If you are still not sure if it's for you I recommend reading the free pages of the book from Amazon, that will give you a clearer picture of some of what you can expect.
As for me I laughed out loud, was shocked once or twice, and overall had a rocking good time with this crazy little read....I choose to not look too closely at what that says about me and instead focus on the fact that it was just a fun read.
For any brave enough to give this title a go I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Ivy Lessons by J. Lerman
When Sophia wins a post-graduate place at Ivy Drama College, she can't believe her luck. The college is owned by one of the most well-respected young actors in London, Marc Blackwell – who not only founded the college, but teaches the students.
Known for his strict classes and belief in discipline, Marc has a reputation for being arrogant and aloof, yet Sophia soon finds herself drawn to this cold, fascinating young man.
Soon, Sophia is embarking on a journey of sexual discovery that promises to explore all that is forbidden between teacher and student.
Where the Ivy Grows by J. Lerman
It's time to disobey...
When Sophia first meets Hollywood actor and Ivy College teacher, Marc Blackwell, she never dreams they’ll share a forbidden, obsessive relationship.
Now, dawn is breaking and they’ve decided to tell the world of their affair.
But as paparazzi hound Sophia’s every move, Marc steps up his control – dominating Sophia in every way possible, and drawing her into his dark world of intensity and passion.
Soon, Sophia is led into Marc’s troubled past, and shown the shadowy secrets that torment him.
However, Marc’s desire to discipline Sophia awakens her deepest fears, and she realises it’s time to disobey.
My overall rate & take
Heat Index: 3 ☼☼☼
This is book one and two of the Devoted series, book three will be out this summer.
In the promotional photo of these books it says it's for the fan Of Fifty Shades of Grey. My belief is publishers should be wary of the comparison if the actual title or in this case titles have only the smallest likeness to the hugely best selling Fifty Shades....and now I know buyer beware as well, as I jumped right in and purchased book one and two without a blink.
Overall I did like the books, I enjoyed the setting of London and the school grounds and buildings sounded lovely. I also didn't find the dialogue overly cheesy...another plus. What I found most difficult was the lack of character development. They main male and female character never owned up to who they were, the author never made them fully committed to their personalities. For the female it was 'oh I don't like how you make me feel' but she never let that stop her. For him it was 'I'm such a bad dark person' but we're never shown or learn anything truly shocking, in fact most new characters we meet sing his praises. Book two was left in a will she/won't she moment, and darn it I will be buying book three when it comes out to see what her decision is and find out what obstacles will be thrown in the way, and also because I am hopeful that the author will grow and improve as the writing progresses. I've seen it happen many times and have always been glad to witness it.
Monday, April 22, 2013
When in Paris by Beverley Kendall
College freshman Olivia Montgomery is thrilled at the chance to start over, escape the rumors that plagued her in high school. And she can finally put her juvenile crush, Zachary Pearson, where he belongs--in her past. Then her unrequited love strolls into her French class, shattering Olivia's new found peace, and the feelings she'd thought buried for good come rushing back. Now she can't shake her unwanted attraction to the one guy who can twist her stomach into knots with just a smile...but has never given her the time of day.
Zach's good looks may have always gotten him his pick of girls, but it's the star quarterback's skill on the football field that gives him his pick of the Big Ten colleges. To escape the crushing demands of his win-at-all-costs father, Zach opts for a private university in upstate New York where...his present and past collide. And the one girl he's always wanted but can't have--and a class trip to Paris--turn out to be the ultimate game changer that has him breaking every one of his rules.
My rate & take
Heat Index 3 ☼☼☼
Does the mention of romance in Paris just make you sigh wistfully like it does me? I'm not sure it's even on a conscious level, more like something bubbling up from my ancestral DNA. And so with that in mind, of course I really liked this book. Was it cheesy in spots and a bit simple with the plot? Sure was, but this bothered me not in the least. Not only did I get my happy ending but in the future I also get spin off books that have side characters getting their own love story's showcased. It's good to know my happy reading future just got a little more secure.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Damaged by H.M. Ward
Life sucks. And, as soon as Sidney picks up the pieces something always knocks her back onto her butt. It's never pretty, but this time is different. This time pretty isn't even the right word.
Peter is the personification of perfection. It's like he fell off his angel perch in purgatory, because let's face it--any guy that hot has got to be naughty. He was probably sent here to ruin her life.
Peter is beyond beautiful with his sexy blue eyes, dark hair, and toned body. Add in his charming wit and Peter is everything Sidney ever wanted in a man, but when things get hot and heavy Peter shows her the door. Sidney takes the walk of shame and leaves. It's the end of the worst blind date ever. Her life couldn't possibly reach higher levels of suckage, but it does.
The next morning everything comes crashing down. The insanely hot guy from last night, the one that saw her half naked, is teaching at the front of the class room.
My rate & take
This little book had me glued to it, and as I neared the end I know it wasn't going to be enough for me. As luck (and torture) would have it I found out this is book 1 of the Damaged series. Sadly I will have to wait for book 2 to continue my crush. I loved the way the main characters flirted and some of their killer looks for each other were scorchers in their own rights. Of course with the fun comes the pain, both characters are dragging a boat load of hurt around on top of the balancing act of not seeming to be 'too friendly' since they are on opposite sides of academia. I am going to be eagerly awaiting book 2!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Letters to a Scret Lover by Toni Blake
The last thing she needs right now is a man
Lindsey Brooks had it all—an awesome job doling out advice to the lovelorn, a fabulous high-rise apartment, and a to-die-for fiance. But then she got dumped—wearing nothing but a Kiss the Cook apron—and desperate to escape, she retreats to a tiny Montana town to reclaim a family treasure. She never dreamed anyone would try to stop her – or that he’d be sexy as sin.
Too bad she finds such a hot one …
Rob Colter isn’t into relationships—but Lindsey sees Rob as the perfect guy to help her “get back on the horse.” The sex horse, that is. Unfortunately, he comes complete with a mysterious past, which gets even more mysterious when she finds his passionate letters to another woman – whose name happens to be tattooed on his chest.
And too bad he has so many secrets …
Now Rob’s dangerous past is about to catch up with them both. And if that’s not horrible enough, Lindsey is falling for him – hard. For a girl who usually has all the answers, Lindsey is up to her neck in trouble.
My rate & take
Heat Index 3 ☼☼☼
I thought this was nicely done, at times the writing of the main female character felt a bit cheesy but the story helped control it from being too over the top. I have no complaints about the main male character....in my book the hot, gruff, handy man who choses to live alone makes for some fun reading reading. And once we get that gruff exterior to crack, my do things ever get steamy!!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
My rate & take
I was eager to get this book (book 2 in the Caster Chronicles, Beautiful Creatures was book #1) on my reading list, and while it turned out to be very good, I struggled with the first third of the book. I knew I would be rewarded if I stuck with it (but I'll admit I did read other books around it when the I was overly stuck) but the drag in the beginning had put me off a bit. Thankfully everything picked up and revelations were had and reconciliations we made, and I felt like all was right with the world at the end - well except for the fact that there is still a lot of actions to come in the Caster world before our hero and heroine can breathe a sigh of relief. So I will happily stay tuned with the series.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
True by Erin McCarthy
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
Update: When I posted this review I neglected to mention/disclose that I received a digital copy free of charge for the purposes of review via Netgalley. This book will be published 5/7/2013.
My rate & Take
Heat Index 1 ☼ (I think it's more like one half though)
This was a nice read, the writing never felt forced or cheesy and the kids in the story will tug the heart strings. There was a happy ending....however I felt there could have been a little more explanation in how that happy ending was going to be maintained. The main characters were from very different economic backgrounds and as the story unfolded what was a potential for rising to a better place economically was permanently taken away. I know I should keep my trap shut about this since most of the genre's I read and love need me to suspend my sense of disbelief...BUT in the real world 'I Love You' only goes so far if you can't pay the bills....unless of course some magical fix could have been written in...maybe a good epilogue was needed. Still in all a sweet read.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Parker
Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he's witty, he's brilliant.
And he’s also very, very stupid.
When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit?
It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn.
But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.
You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.
Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.
My rate and take
Heat Index 1 ☼
I love when authors really listen to what the fans are clamoring for!! Jessica Parker is just such an author. This title is a novella to follow up her very successful book Flat-Out Love published last year, to which I also gave a rating of 4 out of 5. F-O-L had a very complete ending and gave the reader a feeling that the future for all the characters was going to be just fine, maybe even better than fine. While I appreciated knowing everyone was sorted out I admit I was greedy to see at least a glimpse of that future. A lot of fans must have felt the same way I did and TA-DA the author granted our collective wish. Not only did we get to see more of that happy ending the author was also able to weave new bits of story through out the original one with great care and skill. For a small read it sure packed a big punch for this fan.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Since I am reviewing the whole trilogy together I decided to change my normal format for this occasion.
The Pearl Trilogy by Arianne Richmonde
- Forty Shades of Pearl - Documentary producer, Pearl Robinson, is a beautiful and smart forty year-old divorcee but has not had a date for over two years. When she hears about Alexandre Chevalier, a young French, Internet success story, she assumes he is a nerd. But when she bumps into him face to face she’s stunned by his charm, beauty and sophistication, and startled by her strong feelings and desire for a man fifteen years her junior. His looks, wealth and worldwide triumph with his social media site, HookedUp, means he can get any woman he chooses, but there is something about Pearl he finds irresistible…
- Shadows of Pearl - Pearl Robinson feels like the luckiest woman in the world. In just a couple of months she is to be married to the man she's head over heels in love with: the wonderful and charismatic Alexandre Chevalier, fifteen years her junior and founder of the billion dollar social media sensation, HookedUp. But Pearl is convinced that Alexandre's sister and business partner, Sophie Dumas, has other, darker ideas. And the shadows of Pearl's past come back to haunt her in ways she could never have imagined...
- Shimmers of Pearl - Pearl Robinson’s life was teetering on the edge of perfection. Everything was about to blossom, not least a marriage made in Heaven with her fiancé, Alexandre Chevalier - the kindest, sexiest, most handsome man she could ever have wished for. But her own insecurities, fears and murky shadows from her past led her to make certain choices that could change the course of her fate altogether.
Pearl now finds herself alone and bereft, a victim of unexpected Deceit. She has been lied to… tricked. But by whom?
Another reviewer of one of these books said the read felt like it was written by two different people. I didn't disagree at the time, but upon further reflection I decided it felt more like it was the same person writing.....just with a Jekyll & Hyde flair. For my purposes here Hyde does a decent job with some of the writing, describing Paris, and creating much of the steamy scenes . Jekyll has much more writing time and makes the characters say and do really silly/crazy things that seemed so out of context that I start wondering about the strength of my own sanity.
So why did I stick with it through the whole series?
1) I'm a little crazy like that, hoping somehow madness will evolve into order.
2) There just aren't enough good books to satisfy my need to read!
3) I knew I would get my happy ending, no matter how sappy.
I by no means hated the trilogy and in fact found I could almost hear the sexy French accent the main male character had and the steamy scenes were overall, well, nicely steamed.
So my rating for the series is:
It was almost going to be 2 and 1/2 but the steam gave it the edge.
Heat Index: 3 ☼☼☼ to sometimes 5 ☼☼☼☼☼
Monday, April 1, 2013
Stark Naked by Desiree Holt
"Naked is nice. But Stark naked is definitely more fun "
Reenie Davenport learned the hard way that men are cheating, promotion-thieving poison. A month after making a fresh start in Texas, she looks forward to taking a breather at her old college friend Amy s family ranch. Instead, she s left breathless when Amy s very drunk, very sexy, very "naked" brother lands at her feet. Even as she hardens her heart, a small part of her wishes that quickly tossed towel would shift just a little.
When Matt Stark shows up at Reenie s door to apologize, he can barely squeeze a word past her emotional barriers. Suddenly nothing else matters except convincing her not all men are clones of her ex. Sweet-talking her into lunch is only the beginning.
One touch, and "boom! " Much to Reenie s dismay, lunch ends in a hot, flaming dessert in her bed. Shutting Matt out isn t as easy as simply blowing out a match. Especially since this cowboy is equally determined to unlock her heart.
Warning: Contains graphic and explicit, hot nekkid cowboy lovin .
My rate & take
Heat Index: 1 ☼
I had never read any books by this author - and had never heard of her until I was watching my favorite news show (Sunday Morning on CBS) and my was it ever interesting. I highly recommend watching this video of the interview, the author seems like a lot of fun and it was nice to see a news piece on this genre. (I find it very ironic that the commercial before the video is for Viagra!)
As for the book itself it was fun fluff. If you are looking a beach-like read it's right here. I love the way the book took right off with no hold back on the action. I will say everything was wrapped up a bit quicker that I would have liked, but I got my happy ending so that trumps my little pacing issue.