This is a book I doubt I would pick out without someone pointing it out to me. My book club picked it for October, and as with all my book club books,This is a book I doubt I would pick out without someone pointing it out to me. My book club picked it for October, and as with all my book club books, I dove right in without reading the synopsis or any reviews. I'm glad that I did, as usual. I really like to be fully surprised with books, even on the most minute details, that can be given away in a synopsis or review. I got through the first chapter and thought that this was going to be a DNF. It did not feel like my kinda book, at all. It felt very contemporary, with characters that I really had no interest in getting to know on an intimate level. I am glad that I stuck it out, however, because the book is actually pretty interesting in both concept and delivery. This book felt very similar to a time travel book, which can confuse the bleep out of me. And it was confusing until I got the hang of the author's delivery. Since it is a book about alternate, or parallel worlds, we obviously jump back and forth between two realities involving the same characters. As with most of these types of stories, the choices of the characters in the earlier year affects the situation of the characters in the later year. It's all very interesting once you wrap your head around it.
Our main character, Abby, is likable but it took me a while. I especially enjoyed the supporting cast. Her best friend, Caitlin, and their best guy friend, Tyler. And of course, the two romantic interests, Josh and Michael. Yes, there are two boys. But you see, they happen in different realities and time periods, so it doesn't feel all that similar to your typical love triangle, even though it kinda is one. All in all, the characters are relatable, down to earth and interesting. I enjoyed Abby's growth throughout the book, because I was uncertain of her in the beginning.
I think the best thing about this book is the focus on how the choices we make can take us down different paths, causing us to blindly steer our way through the muck and mayhem. But in the end, we'll eventually end up where we we're supposed to end up. One of the characters, Dr. Mann, an astrophysicist, makes a comment about this very idea. We can make different choices to try to alter our future, but we end up right where fate wants us. Maybe this is true in real life, and maybe it's not...but I think "keeping your eye on the prize" is a huge motivational force to set goals for yourself and strive towards achieving them.
“We spend so much time worrying about how the future is going to play out, and not nearly enough time admiring the precious perfection of the present.”
This quote also stood out to me. I think we are all so very future focused in this society that we forget to live in the now. On the flip side of that, we get caught up in the minutia of daily life and sometimes forget to LIVE and enjoy life. When I, myself, lose track of this important piece of sanity, I refer to my favorite musical evar, RENT. That musical focuses on the here and now, because tomorrow is uncertain and you might not even wake up to welcome it. I don't mean to get morbid, but you get my drift.
I am really, really happy that I decided to read this. Isa gushed about it at Book Bash, and since T
#insixwords: Beautiful story yet an uneasy read.
I am really, really happy that I decided to read this. Isa gushed about it at Book Bash, and since Tammara was signing, I said "Why the hell not?" Listening to Isa tell Tammara her feelings about the book was super special, and it pushed the book to the top of my TBR pile. This isn't my typical genre, though I love tough issue books. And it seems I am liking contemporary romance a bit more these days. Is it pregnancy hormones or just a shift in my reading preferences? Who knows, but I'm enjoying the ride...
Easy isn't an easy book. It's full of pain, terror and guilt, but it's also full of passion, healing and awakening. It has equal doses of love and horror, but that is what makes the book gripping. I read it in two sittings, though to me, it was really one. I barely dug into it in the first sitting before I had to put it down. When I picked it up the second time, I was engrossed. I halted plans to visit family until I was done. I did not want to put it down, yo!
I think one of the best things about this book is the growth in Jacqueline. At the beginning of the book, she appears to be exactly how she feels: arm candy for her now ex-boyfriend of three years, Kennedy. She didn't appear to have much self-confidence, and I could completely relate. I had a moment in early adulthood where I let a guy become "my world." I was no longer as important as he was, or our relationship. I did everything to make it work, even when the odds were clearly stacked against us. I lost a lot of myself in the process, and I'm still thankful for the day when I WOKE. UP. I feel like Jacqueline definitely goes through this kind of awakening, though her experience and situation were far different from mine. Regardless, it was the catalyst for change, and change she did.
I love the mystery behind Lucas, though I guessed his situation early on. He is the White Knight in Shinning Armor of this story, but he is hard to figure out. The only thing I was certain of was that he liked Jacqueline, in a big way. He was like her Guardian Angel. It's really hard not to fall in love with a guy who saves you from physical and emotional torment, even if he is mysterious, broody, and aloof. I had no insight about his past, and when it is revealed, Lucas' support of Jacqueline and women's safety, in general, made so much more sense. As he helps Jacqueline heal, Jacqueline returns the favor ten-fold. This particular piece of the story is the most heartfelt. It is the part that made my heart smile, though I was quite tearful through it.
Tammara is writing a book from Lucas' POV, which makes me super giddy. She states that it has some prequel bits and some Easy overlap, but it is ultimately his story.
I read a contemporary romance! Can you believe it? I mean, it isn't the first, but they are certainly few and#insixwords: The Edge of Never is steep.
I read a contemporary romance! Can you believe it? I mean, it isn't the first, but they are certainly few and far between in my world. I guess this book is considered New Adult, since it is about young adults with more adult-themes (aka, smexy time). I picked it up at Book Bash in Orlando because Isa was telling me she heard amazing things about it. Plus, the cover! *flails* That cover is beyond gorgeous.
I was happy to see that we get the POV of both Camryn and Andrew. We meet Camryn first, and for a good while, it's just her voice because we haven't met Andrew yet. But there he is, on the same bus headed to nowhere, and their paths cross in a big way. I wasn't engaged or intrigued right off the bat, but little things started to happen: emotional walls started to crumble, honesty and trust started to flow freely. It was a beautiful thing, and I found myself wanting to read it all the time. At work, at home, on my lunch break, waking up early on my day off to finish it. The story wasn't really gripping in the beginning, but those characters kept drawing me in. There was nothing majorly mesmerizing about them separately, but their time together was a whirlwind of fun, passion and awakening. Of course, the characters should be the draw, since this is a romance.
Andrew. There was no way I was closing this book with anything but love for the guy. I admit there are some things about him that raised a red flag for me, particularly his hot temper and penchant for fighting, but they quickly melt away because his live life in the now personality is so infectious. #NoDayButToday! He gets Camryn to open her eyes to life, and LIVE for the first time. To move past fears and hug the hell out of the world around her. We all need someone like Andrew in our life.
“Just remember to always be yourself and don’t be afraid to speak your mind or to dream out loud”
Andrew's personality is so infectious, in fact, that Camryn gets bit by the Andrew Parrish bug. A big fat bite right on her ass. And her inner thigh. And well, other unmentionable places, too. Of course, smexy time comes later, because Camryn is hell-bent on not feeling love ever. again. Her past experiences have left her feeling apathetic towards her future, and she is not open to any romantic notions. I honestly connected to Camryn in a big way because of this mindset. I was in her shoes once. I was over guys and being hurt. I applied to the Peace Corps and was ready to live life my own way, and BAM, Dr. Smash fell right into my lap. I think these types of love stories are the best. I love seeing that fight and struggle to resist the love and affection that you are feeling for someone. I love seeing walls come down, and hearts opening to new possibilities. It is the reason I enjoyed this book so much. I connected to it in a big way.
Now, I do have one quip about this story. These young adults, old enough to make wise decisions, did not use condoms. Naturally, being a social worker and thinking about young adults who read romance stories, this surprised me. This being my first New Adult read, I was actually expecting it. And I was certainly expecting it from Camryn, being the more careful, composed individual of the group. I guess Andrew just overloaded her brain with pheromones and hormones. Hell, he overloaded my own brain. Dude was smoking hot, in a dominant sexual way. He brought out the inner sex kitten in Camryn.
Rawr. I want MOAR.
“Never thought I’d intentionally sleep on a bathroom floor next to a toilet while sober, but I meant it when I said I would sleep anywhere with her.”...more
This book started out iffy for me, but it became increasingly interesting. Once I guessed a certain plot line, the social worker in me could not put iThis book started out iffy for me, but it became increasingly interesting. Once I guessed a certain plot line, the social worker in me could not put it down. The love story might be a little over the top, but I absolutely love the characters and their ability to persevere. ...more
Note: I cannot write the review without smiling and snorting at the numerous raunchy, flavorful phrase#insixwords: Animated erotica that hit the spot.
Note: I cannot write the review without smiling and snorting at the numerous raunchy, flavorful phrases that Kendall uses to describe body parts and sexual acts. This book will entertain the panties right off of you, unless you are easily offended by insanely hilarious terms like "cooter juice," "twat lava" or "pork sword." /Note
Welcome to the world of the Hard Rock Harlots. Our leading lady, Letty Dillinger, is on her way to stardom when she meets Todd, aka Shades, in a bar in Athens, GA. It's her birthday, she's horny, and he appropriately responds with:
"What a coincidence. I've got a big dick, a bar tab and the local cab company's number on speed dial." The guy's eyes bore into me from behind the dark lenses, and I have a momentary lapse in vaginal secretion control.
She follows him out to the cab, and his sweet talk sends her vagina into overload.
"I clench my thighs together to keep from pressure washing the pavement."
This is the start of a whirlwind fuck-mance that will leave you snort-laughing and turn your head to the side like a dog, wondering "wow, I didn't know that fit there..." Of course, there's more to the story than just cooter juice and anal sex. Letty is a musician in the all-female band, Cherry Buzz Float. Their manager signs them up for a tour with their mortal enemy, Killer Dixon, which sends everyone on the defensive. The tension on the tour bus (sexual and otherwise) is taut like a guitar string.
Letty is of the mindset that romance is for the birds, but Shades throws a wrench into her personal code of "No Strings Attached." Letty and her new sex toy have lots of fun on their unexpected journey to love, though they have to keep it on the down low. If her band mates find out she's bumping uglies with the new lead singer of Killer Dixon, she's up Shit's Creek. Letty and Todd have an undeniable attraction for one another, however, so sneaky tour bus bunk bumpin' and bathroom quickies are on the menu for this duo.
Shades is a good guy. He isn't the cocky bastard you assume to find as a front man for a band. He does come from money, though he just feel life has been lucky for him, and remains low-key and level-headed. Letty is definitely a "wild beast" in personality and sexual antics, and she is full of spunk and spice. Either Shades is the "quiet but wild" type, or Letty brings out his inner Tarzan. Whatever the case may be, this couple is H.O.T. Let there be no doubts: Letty and Shades will rock the fuck right outta ya! Or maybe, into ya? Or sideways, backwards, upside down...
The characters in this book are larger than life. There are a lot of strong personalities and things get ugly a few dozen times. However, the band's time practicing and performing on stage, the camaraderie between them, and their passion for music, provide some of the best moments of the book. It's hard not to like this band of misfits, in all their horny glory. I look forward to reading about band mates, Jinx and Toombs, in the upcoming sequel, Beats. Favorite Quote
"I'm gonna fill up this sweet little box with hot Toddy."
Oh man, that line about killed me. Dr. Smash has been called Hot Toddy a time or two in his day. :P...more
I met Rick Yancey at the Decatur Book Festival this past weekend. I’ve definitely heard about this book and read some reviews, but it was not high onI met Rick Yancey at the Decatur Book Festival this past weekend. I’ve definitely heard about this book and read some reviews, but it was not high on my priority list. That is, until I head Rick talk about this book. Let’s just say he hooked me, and hooked me good. I love his intelligent approach to an alien invasion. It seems he combined elements from post-apocalyptic and alien invasion stories and combined them in a way that makes so much sense and is ridiculously scary to think about. The world-building was just fantastic, but it is a world you need to experience firsthand. I will refrain from flailing too much about the waves of destruction the aliens perform to eradicate humans from Earth.
I inhaled this book over the weekend. The characters were interesting and spoke volumes to my heart. Cassie, our main character, has been struggling to survive on her own in a world full of terror and destruction. She cannot trust anyone at this point and appears lost and hopeless. Cassie’s fear never leaves her, but she grows over the course of the story into a young lady determined to keep a promise to her 5 year old brother, Sammy. I loved her determination, will to survive, and fierceness as she fights her way through enemy territory to retrieve her brother.
There are two boys. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave out identifying information. They both have interesting backgrounds and play a large part in Cassie’s life, in very different ways. One of them is sincere, protective and mysterious, which causes some serious anxiety in Cassie. Another has left behind a care-free life to become a hard-core soldier. I have such awesome characteristics to mention about these guys, but it will surely spoil their role in the story. They are both fantastic and I really enjoyed their page time.
All in all, the book was just exciting! Learning about the different waves was terrifying and interesting, and I enjoyed how the background of the attacks was spread through out the book, as Cassie revisits life in memories, both heart-warming and terrifying. I really enjoyed the pacing, the different points of view, and the build-up to the main events at the end. The writing was strong, and I enjoyed every page!...more
I've been wanting to read this series since I met Veronica Rossi last year in Miami. Seeing her again just recently, I was reminded that this book is soooo up my alley, in terms of genre and world- building. And then Amanda and Cassie decided to do a read-along, and well, it was destiny. I went into it expecting fantastic characters, intense world-building and a simmering, intense romance. I got that and so much more!
The world-building in this book was so great! The world has been burned and mutilated by Aether storms. Aether is some sort of fire/lightning combo that is wild in the sky, uncontrollable and lethal. Humanity built pods to house the populations in, and with that came some interesting and creative uses of technology to keep humans from going stir crazy. SmartEyes whisk people away to virtual reality Realms, and since they are connected to your brain via your...wait for it....eye, they are able to take over your senses and trick your mind into believing that you are truly experiencing whatever you are currently doing. Everything, apparently...
Roar leaned across the table and smiled at her seductively, his dark hair falling into his eyes. "When you say everything happens in the Realms, do you mean everything?'
Aria laughed nervously."Yes. Especially that.There are no risks in the Realms."
Roar's smile widened. "You simply think it and it happens? And it actually feels real?"
"Why are we talking about this?"
"I need a Smarteye," he said.
I think the SmartEyes are hella cool, but as with any crazy futuristic setting where technology is overused, I strongly feel like we can easily lose ourselves to it and eventually, lose our personal connections. Nobody really knows anyone, nobody touches or feels or smells anything real because it does not exist in the pods. So, when Aria finds herself on the outside for the first time ever, her senses are overwhelmed. It makes for an intense and horrifying experience as she struggles to survive in harsh terrain. As with many heroines in these stories, however, Aria gets her shit together eventually and surprises the characters and reader alike. I ended up loving the hell out of this girl by the end of the book.
Peregrine (because I do not like the name Perry) is a beautiful specimen, both inside and out. He encompasses many of the qualities that I look for in a male lead. He has to overcome great odds, he loves with all of his heart and he is a fierce opponent. Growing up on the outside in harsh conditions, Peregrine's life has been anything but easy. He has constantly struggled to feed himself, has an intense connection to his nephew and challenge's his brother's authority at every turn. His honest, protective, vulnerable soul set my heart ablaze. I love this guy! I also absolutely adored his friend, Roar. There I go loving the secondary characters to pieces again! He brightened the pages with his presence. ♥
I loved the world-building, but I think the best part about this book is the connection between Aria and Peregrine. They are enemies, at first, hostile, prejudiced and unwelcoming towards one another. I think most of it stemmed from fear of the unknown, and plain ole ignorance. Aria has been in the dark about reality her entire life, and Peregrine has intense feelings about Dwellers and how they view and treat Outsiders. As with any biases and stereotypes, they can be broken down if the people are open to the idea. I don't think either character was consciously open to it, but curiosity got the best of them, not to mention all the incredible things they learned from one another. The attraction, respect and dignity that grew out of their time together was a beautiful thing to watch unfold, and I am rooting for these two 110%.
"Perry. I want to see your back."
Another surprise, but he nodded and turned away. Dropped his head forward and took the moment to try and calm his breath. He jerked when she traced the shape of the wings on his skin, a groan sliding out of him. Perry silently cursed himself. He couldn't have sounded more savage if he'd tried.
"Sorry," she whispered... "He's magnificent. Like you," she added softly.
This is one of the most unique stories I've ever come across. David Levithan is a contemporary writer, but this story haCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
This is one of the most unique stories I've ever come across. David Levithan is a contemporary writer, but this story has a supernatural twist to it. This aspect of the story, however, is never explained nor is it ever the focus. I was ok with this. The How and Why were of no interest to me because of how engaged and engrossed I was in the Now. I categorized this one under Tough Issues because of the wide array of people and situations that A experiences day after day. I really loved that the author choose to give us the good, the bad and the ugly, in terms of human behavior and circumstance. It really catapulted the story into amazing.
A goes through each day trying to remain impassive and causing as little disruption for the host as possible. A has long ago come to terms with daily change. Then A meets Rhiannon when A is inhabiting her boyfriend's body. A no longer wants to stumble though life as Jane, Dick and Mary. A wants to be with Rhiannon and A does what A can to see her as much as possible. A remains careful and thoughtful about the hosts but begins to step outside the code A has set up for A's existence, all in the name of love. I think this aspect of the story felt so real, because people really do lose some of their logical reasoning when they fall in love. The mind becomes obsessed with doing whatever it takes to be with that person.
This is not your typical love story. It's raw and personal, simple yet extremely complicated. You can't help but wonder what you would do in Rhiannon's shoes, how you would feel to love someone who is a different shape, size and sex every day. For love to transcend such stiff boundaries is an incredible feat. Rhiannon definitely struggles with the situation, but in very different ways from A. Their perspectives are unique because Rhiannon cannot compare life to A's, and though A has been in human bodies since birth, A simply cannot understand what it means to really be human because A is not around long enough to feel the impact.
The author's grasp on the emotion, vulnerability and pain of some of the character's that A inhabits for a day was meaningful and intense. I became those characters for a day. I felt their joy and pain and laughed and cried during their experiences. I found this paragraph about addiction to be extremely touching.
There comes a time when the body takes over the life. There comes a time when the body's urges, the body's needs, dictate the life. You have no idea you are giving the body the key. But you hand it over. And then it's in control. You mess with the wiring and the wiring takes charge.
I want to thank Amy (bookgoonie) for her thoughtful review that had me pull this book off my shelf and read it. One simple line in her review - "A’s heart will win yours, but A’s journey will break it." - grabbed me. I met David Levithan at Decatur Book Festival last year and he read a passage from the book. It was hella intriguing and I definitely wanted to read it, but it got put on the shelf with all the other lonely books I have yet to read. I'm glad I picked it up sooner rather than later. It was an experience that will stay with me.
Amy also posted the book trailer for Every Day, which I had never seen. I am posting it here for you because it is also an attention grabber.
We watch the trees, the sky, the signs, the road. We sense each other. The world, right now, is only us. We continue to sing along. And we sing with the same abandon, not worrying too much if our voices hit the right notes or the right words. We look at each other while we're singing; these aren't two solos, this is a duet that isn't taking itself at all seriously. It is its own form of conversation- you can learn a lot about people from the stories they tell, but you can also know them from the way they sing along, whether they like the windows up or down, if they live by the map or by the world, if they feel the pull of the ocean.
Interest in Book: This was the August choice for my rocksauce book club. I am not sure I was even aware of it before theCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads
Interest in Book: This was the August choice for my rocksauce book club. I am not sure I was even aware of it before then, but I am super happy that it fell in my lap. It was pleasantly morbid and I enjoyed the psychopathology aspect of it all. Maybe I should work with sociopaths? Not to get too personal in this book review, but I have huge interest in Attachment theory as a social worker. While there has not been a lot of research linking non-attachment in the first few years of life to antisocial personality disorder in adulthood, I am a full believer that attachment can be a major factor. I would love to someday, maybe, work in this area. I've worked with children who likely had insecure attachments, and one with Reactive Attachment Disorder, and holy cannoli, it's bone-chilling to interact with a child that has no life in their eyes. To hear them talk about hurting or killing animals or people like they were going for ice cream. EEEEEEEP!
World-Building: This isn't a fantasy book. Rather, it's set in modern times in a small po-dunk southern town. I think the most chilling aspect of it was because it's reality-based. Serial killers, do in fact, exist in our society. Getting a glimpse of how serial killers think was fascinating and creepy as hell. More interesting, however, was being inside the head of Jazz Dent, teenage son of the infamous serial killer, Billy Dent. Jazz was pretty much molded by his father to become a serial killer. Now that Billy is finally in prison, being caught by a small-town sheriff after 120+ kills, Jazz is living with his grandmother and doing everything in his power to not become a monster.
Characters: Jazz's constant internal struggle was so incredibly fascinating. He does not 100% believe he is not turning into his father, but is trying his damnedest otherwise. Jazz constantly questions his humanity, often seeing both sides to his actions. It was eerie and sad. Throughout the novel, we get glimpses of Billy Dent via Jazz's perspective, the trauma and horrors he subjected Jazz to as a child. Dear Old Dad, as Jazz refers to his lunatic kin, sent chills up my spine. It appears that he cared for Jazz in the only way he knew how. Unfortunately, being devoid of emotional input/output , Jazz likely did not grow up with the warm snugglies from his pops. Dr. Smash always says the quickest way to raise a sociopath is to use cold, inconsistent parenting. I don't envision Billy being that father who played baseball with Jazz and took him to the zoo. And as far as consistency goes, I'm thinking he was only consistent when it came to Jazz's special training. The nature vs. nurture question is heavily apparent in this book.
Jazz's mother has been out of the picture for sometime, another piece of Jazz's life that is slowly pieced together throughout the story. Or not. His grandmother, Billy's mother, is definitely psychotic. She has random hallucinations and appears paranoid.
“[She] was made up of skin and bones and hate and crazy, and hate and crazy don't weigh anything.”
Jazz has to care for her now, though he has been keeping that information from his social worker. The last thing he wants is to be placed in foster care. He treats the social worker with the least amount of respect possible, and as social workers do, she doesn't give up. NO appreciation, peeps! :) If his grandmother has always been psychotic, I'm not surprised Billy grew up to be loco! Having a mental illness as a parent, especially a psychotic disorder, will definitely hinder your parenting ability. Jazz does not want to abandon his grandmother, however, and deals with her random bouts of psychosis and personal attacks.
Ok, enough of my analyzing. I have to mention best friend, Howie, who I wanted to give a great big hug or high five on many occasion. Of course, I would have to be very careful, as Howie has some serious hemophilia and even a light tap on the knuckles can bruise him for days. You would never guess that Howie is plagued by a serious disease which has kept him from doing many enjoyable activities. His personality shines bright and he is forever the optimist. He made me laugh multiple times and I adored what a good friend he is to Jazz, despite his background and the rest of the town's opinion of Billy Dent's child. Connie, Jazz's girlfriend, was also a great character. She challenges and pushes him to work through his father's influence and break the tight grip he has on Jazz's sanity. I was proud of her in a few scenes. Jazz's affection for her is something he struggles with, constantly wondering if he is manipulating her or if his feelings are true.
“Jazz hadn't given her many details of exactly what life in the Dent house had been like, but he'd told her enough that she knew it wasn't hearts and flowers. Well, except for the occasional heart cut from a chest. And the kind of flowers you send to funerals.”
Lasting Impressions:I Hunt Killers will rock your world, in a morbid way. It definitely has gory scenes and is not for the squeamish. I was really impressed with the author's knowledge about the psychopathology of serial killers, and his ability to write those intracacies into his characters made this one hell of a good story. I truly look forward to Game! I think parents should definitely gauge their child's maturity before allowing them to take this one on. And, as always, be there for them to discuss their thoughts and feelings. Way important. Favorite Quote:
“...called nine-one-one," Howie was saying, "and then I heard something in the alleyway, so I went back there and" --Howie coughed-- "and valiantly attacked his knife with my guts, to no avail."
"Did you get a good look at him? Could you describe him?"
Howie smiled wanly. "Yeah. He was about yay long" --he held up his hands, four inches apart-- "thin, made of steel. Pointy. Sharp.”
Interest in the book: After being introduced to Kendall's first book, Inhale, and devouring its wicked world-building aCourtesy of Smash Attack Reads.
Interest in the book: After being introduced to Kendall's first book, Inhale, and devouring its wicked world-building awesomeness, I knew I had to continue on the journey with Zoe and Gavin. Their story is one that you want to finish. I want to see them safely through the end of their struggles. I NEED THEM TO BE OK! Ok?
First Impressions: The book leaves off exactly where Inhale ends, which I personally enjoy. We are catapulted back into the situation at hand, which is as hairy as your Uncle Mo's back. Emotions are raw and confused, and hellions are back on the loose to make life hell for Zoe and Gavin.
Characters: Zoe and Gavin are back with their stellar personalities, insecurities, yearning to experience life, passion for their respective jobs (and each other!) and compassion for others. Zoe is great and I really enjoy her voice in the story. She's insecure but her stubborn nature will not allow others in very easily. She is tough at her core but crumbles under the passion and adoration of Gavin. I think we'd all crumble. Gavin is a stand up guy. He's oozing with sex and definitely makes you want to take a cold shower, but the guy is just plain ole tender-hearted and good-natured. I frakking love experiencing Zoe and Gavin from the other's perspective. Aside from the serious intimacy of it all, I love knowing their thoughts in the moment, their insecurities and confidence, their happy and sad memories. I LOVE being inside their head. They balance each other but also challenge and push each other.
God, she was instant relief from all the shit flying around in his head. Her touch grounded him, put things in perspective.
Plus, their moments together never disappoint. Their encounters don't always end happily but their passion and adoration for the other pours off the pages.
He'd always viewed kissing as the path of least resistance to achieving the goal of bedding women. But Jesus, this wasn't a kiss. It was a fucking experience. Like discovering a new world. And the intoxicating atmosphere in Zoeland turned his bones to jelly.
And the HEAT they produce together is steamy. Kendall's use of phrasing always bring home a win.
He leaned in for a kiss, but she avoided his lips by dropping to her knees. She sucked his dick stupid.
Of course, Scarlet and Sinnder are never to far behind where Zoe and Gavin are concerned. Sinnder was so perplexing throughout the entire book. I love his mysterious nature. He constantly has me guessing where his loyalties lie and if his heart is as fiery as it's supposed to be. He is my favorite character in the series, and his role in this whole clusterfuck is becoming more and more interesting! Scarlet really upped the ante in this installment and bitch took psycho to ultimate levels of crazy. As much as I want her to go out in an everlasting flame of good riddance, I LOVE her character. She is seriously one of the best villains I've come across in a long while.
Fuck. If she'd been an ordinary human, Scarlet would have been classified as dangerous, but the Fyre Elemental label upgraded her psycho status to platinum deadly.
World-Building: You want world-building? You got it. Rich, intense and interesting world-building. Characters that jump off the pages and sear you with their interesting, engaging and sometimes down-right scary personalities. Two different parallel worlds that affect the other in tragic ways. And whales! YAY!
Lasting Impressions: Kendall Grey has talent and a beautiful heart. Did you know she was donating all proceeds of this trilogy to whale education? That, to me, is pure heart and compassion and a cherry on top. I wanted to be a marine biologist throughout my entire childhood, and dolphins were my passion. I completely get where she is coming from, and also love how she weaves them into her storytelling....more
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents. Humanity is rearing up for one hell of a bumpy ride!
Interest in the book: Rhiannon Frater invited me to be part of the blog tour, and being a major fangirl, I could not say no. After the cover reveal, I was even more excited to read the book. Isn't that cover ridiculously awesome? At first, I thought it was a series, but then she corrected me. I am actually glad it's a standalone. The ending works. It felt right.
First Impressions: In true Frater fashion, the prologue sets the scene and grips you tightly by the throat. Humanity is dangling by a thread because the last Bastion has been cut off from its food sources due to the Inferi Scourge breaking through a pretty impenetrable gate. The Bastion sets out on its final mission to save humanity, and as with any zombie book, they don't make it easy on you!
Characters: Vanguard Maria Martinez is a bad. ass. mama. jama. She is fierce, protective, loyal, inquisitive and compassionate. She is also broken, physically and mentally, but is not afraid to lay her ass on the line to save the last of mankind. Maria is in love with officer Dwayne Reichardt and their secret love affair is her only form of happiness. Maria was part of the last mission to rid the valley of Inferi Scourge, a mission that ends on a serious sour note. When she is contacted to be part of a secret mission as the final attempt to rid the world of the infected, Maria jumps at the chance to save humanity, even though it may cost her everything. She is such an admirable, courageous woman! She faces fears pretty damn personal throughout the mission but she always keeps her eye on the prize.
Dwayne surprised me with his dedication to Maria. He is left back home while Maria is in the field, but with the assistance of Maria's dear friend and tech geek, Lindsay, he is able assist Maria behind the scenes. You see, not all is what it seems in this game. Discovering the truth about everything, along with the characters, is incredible. You feel the intense feelings right along with them, and the deception and surprises will make you gasp!
World-Building: Ohhh. The world-building was rich in this book. It's set in the future, and a virus has infected most of the human population, turning them into mindless Inferi Scourge whose sole purpose is to spread the virus by biting their victims. In other words, they do not eat flesh. They merely bite your ass and welcome you to the family. These zombie-like creatures do not decompose, so their human-like appearance plays psychological havoc with the military personnel sent to destroy them.
The Last Bastion is the final safe place for humanity, and it is surrounded by millions of Inferi Scourge. The Bastion is slowly dying because the Inferi Scourge has cut them off from all renewable resources and food. The future is bleak, the current living conditions are poor, the ammunition is running low, but the government officials have something up their sleeve. The government's super secret mission is their last hurrah before humanity dies out, and it is full of devious, treacherous, scandalous twists and turns. But as is typical with zombies and viruses, in general, they deliver a set of surprises all their own. Booyah!
Lasting Impressions: The ending worked. I was expecting something different, as I am sure others will, but I'm glad Frater decided to surprise us. I finished the book with hope and a smile on my face. And trust me, there is no time for smiles with the Inferi Scourge breathing down your neck! Frater lights up the plot with conspiracies, treachery, coups and a bucket load of political fucktards to last through a nuclear explosion (since, you know, they are like roaches). She also delivers a touching love story that stands strong through a milieu of WTFckery!...more
This turned out to be a really great read! It was a great mix of current and historical (Jack the Ripper). I love how it ended and look forward to booThis turned out to be a really great read! It was a great mix of current and historical (Jack the Ripper). I love how it ended and look forward to book 2. ...more
World-building: WOW! I am wicked impressed with Kendall's world-building skills! The world she has created is intense and it took me a while to acclimate to it all. In this world, you have the Dreaming (dream world) and the Realis (real life). You also have Aers, Wæters, Fyres and Erthe elementals. These elementals have different functions and personalities, but we get a major dose of the Fyre elementals, whose personalities are exactly what you imagine: passionate, fierce, dangerous. The elementals feed off of the Wylding (humans) in the Realis, but need skin contact in order to absorb elements; their life force. In the Dreaming, it's an entirely different ballgame. However, elementals aren't supposed to be in the Dreaming. When they invade the Dreaming and mess with the Wyldlings therein, the seriously mess up the Balance. As Kendall states here: "Though the Dreaming is the collective unconscious of the human race, events that transpire there affect people in real ways." In other words, an elemental might suck the real life right out of a human! Therefore, Sentinels, beings with equal parts of water, air, fire and earth, have to guard the Dreaming and protect the vulnerable Wyldlings.
Confused yet? I was! But tell me that isn't damn interesting? It is seriously original and really sucks you in to the possibilities of it all. Wicked impressed, I tell you!
Characters: Gavin, our hero, is an Australian musician with tattoos and a lip ring. Rawr! I do love me some bloody fun Australian colloquial language. The use or arse and bloke had me smiling. Anywho, Gavin's conflicted about his past and struggling to go on with life when he meets our beloved heroine, Zoe, a whale biologist. Their encounters are anything but normal. Gavin is a Sentinel, and first meets Zoe in the Dreaming. Needless to say, their lives intertwine and their connection becomes undeniable. Gavin has lost his way and Zoe is just the spark to bring him back online. *waggles eyebrows* Note: See my favorite quote below. Gavin is full of protective spirit and when he regains his passion, his fire made me sweat! I absolutely loved watching his transformation. He has so much potential and I am excited to watch his growth. All of his growth. ;) Zoe is one hell of lady! She is fiercely passionate about her job, but her past experiences have taken a toll on her ego. She struggles to regain herself, though you would never be able to tell that from the outside. Zoe is admirable for standing up for her beliefs, regardless of the consequences.
There are other characters worth mentioning: Scarlet and Sinnder, Fyre elementals up to no damn good. Scarlet is one hell of a bitch, wrapped tightly in leather and fuck you. She is behind a master plan of which Zoe stands so firmly in the way. And of course, Scarlet has history with Gavin, but she is not yet ready for it to be considered history. She is out for blood. Scarlet is so easy to hate but she added such steam to this story. While I'm not a fan, I am totally digging her role and its effects.
SINNDER! Ha. Oh my. *fans self* Sinnder is Scarlet's lackey, or so she thinks. As Kendall described him here: "Sinnder’s an enigma. You just don’t know what the hell he’s about, what his goal is, or whose side he’s really on." I completely agree, as you never truly know his motives. His way of dealing with Scarlet and her unwanted advances towards him is sooooooo sexy. I love those scenes the most! Um, kitchen scene, anyone! Woot! He is just sexy without even trying. He bleeds sex. He is a Fyre, after all.
Whoa. Hot. The kind of hot that could make a woman feel like she needed a month-long vacation in a nunnery after one night with him.
Um. I have located my local nunnery. #JustSaying
Lasting Impressions: THE ENDING! THANK YOU FOR THAT ENDING, Kendall! And um, all the other in between stuff too. I cannot wait to pick up Exhale and continue on Zoe and Gavin's journey. And experience more Sinnder! And get scalded by Scarlet!
"I'm not finished with you yet," she whispered, dragging her hips up, down, squeezing her inner muscles around his cock. It was like fucking CPR. Brought him right back online.
I may have written this note in my Kindle: "That's what I'm fuckin talkin' bout, right there! #SmexyTime"...more