And why did I find it so crazy addictive, unputdownable, and entertaining?!? This book is not PC or a sugarcoated depiction of a motorcycle club, but that’s probably part of what makes it so gripping. As I said in my Undeniable review, maybe I shouldn’t have enjoyed this so much, but shamelessly, I did. And I can’t wait for Cage and Tegen’s book!(less)
Ex-Army Ranger Ethan Cooper owns a bad-ass biker bar in a small Texas town and enjoys his no-strings-attached, love ‘em-and-leave ‘em, bad-boy lifestyle. He suddenly finds his life turned upside down and his hardened, cold heart turned inside out when he finds himself lusting after his quiet, innocent, prim and proper neighbor, Miss Sarah Fox. I loved Sarah’s character, and her yearning and loneliness brought tears to my eyes. I really enjoyed this story.(less)
This is a total train wreck (or horrific motorcycle accident), but it’s also wildly, chocolate coated crack addictive! I...more5 stars – Contemporary Romance
This is a total train wreck (or horrific motorcycle accident), but it’s also wildly, chocolate coated crack addictive! It has a somewhat Kristen Ashley vibe but ramped up about 500% in the crazy department. Seriously, the characters in this story make the people on Jerry Springer seem tame and normal.
It’s no holds barred rough, raw, crude, brutal, and violent with crazy characters, cheating galore, a hero who gives new meaning and an A+ distinction to uber A+lpha and A+sshat, and a heroine who makes ridiculously, repeatedly stupid choices. I wanted to smack them both silly several times. (view spoiler)[Deuce’s random whore banging and the way he treated Eva when she was pregnant was appallingly, unforgivably awful. And Eva’s pathological love, forgiveness, and codependency for Frankie was creepy and disturbing, not to mention the twisted, sexual mess she got herself into with Chase. (hide spoiler)] These people should be on posters for STD screening.
Yet despite all the vulgarity and wacky chaos, I was absolutely absorbed from beginning to end and exhaustively entertained. And even though the H/h drove me batty with all their insane drama, I was still captivated and rooting for their HEA. Perhaps I shouldn’t have enjoyed this so much, but surprisingly, shamelessly, I did.
It’s been a while since I’ve read such an imaginative paranormal romance. Bec McMaster has penned a noteworthy...more4 ½ stars – Paranormal Romance/Steampunk
It’s been a while since I’ve read such an imaginative paranormal romance. Bec McMaster has penned a noteworthy debut that’s bold, inventive, engrossing, and sensual. I really enjoyed this!
McMaster has crafted an intricate, alternate London set historical with memorable, complex characters and unique elements of paranormal, steampunk, vampires, and verwulfen blended seamlessly without excessive world building to bog down the pacing or impede the romance. The dark, eerie Whitechapel setting gives the story an authentic gothic resonance and provides lots of danger, intrigue, thrills, and chills.
Blade, “the devil of Whitechapel”, is a captivating, sexy hero with a fascinating mix of tortured soul and primal alpha male who’s at times brutal yet intimately tender and protective of those he cares about. He’s rough, growly, ruthless, and possessive, has a caring heart of gold, and yearns for affection, trust, and peace. Blade reminded me a little of Charming Mickey from Elizabeth Hoyt’s Scandalous Desires at times but with more of a predator, supernatural edge and a somewhat softer, gooier center. In other words...YOWZA!
Honoria Todd is a strong, brave heroine and I both admired and wanted to strangle her at times for being so stubborn, proud, and loyal to a fault. It drove me crazy that she continually resisted and rebuffed Blade, no matter what he did or how hard he tried. Blade and Honoria engage in quite a bit of bickering, sparring, and bantering and have some seriously explosive chemistry. And when she finally comes to her senses I nearly screamed...well, it’s about time!
Kiss of Steel is a terrific, original debut that’s dark, passionate, intense, emotional, and satisfyingly steamy. I’m looking forward to the next book, Heart of Iron.
3 ½ stars – Chick lit/Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
I was initially worried that this might be too chick lit for my taste, but I figured I cou...more3 ½ stars – Chick lit/Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
I was initially worried that this might be too chick lit for my taste, but I figured I couldn’t go wrong with it being Kristen Ashley. Rock Chick is definitely a wild ride with a weird mix of self-indulgent, silly chick lit, zany mystery, wacky humor, movie style action, madcap suspense, and steamy romance that’s overall entertaining.
I especially liked enigmatic, badass alpha male Liam “Lee” Nightingale, but self-proclaimed rock chick and annoying TSTL poster girl Indy Savage nearly ruined this for me. Gawd I wanted to b*tch slap her sooo many times! And she had all these hot men fighting for her and falling all over themselves to rescue her ass. Seriously?!?! Do men really want such high maintenance, ungrateful, shrill b*tches? Sadly, I think the answer to that is probably...oh hell yes. After all, knights love to save damsels in distress, right? But I’m hoping the other Rock Chick heroines won’t be so infuriating or make my palm itch for a smackdown like Indy.
*****Edited from original rating/review*****
I bumped this from a low 3.5 to a higher 3.5 (closer to 4 stars) after finishing Rock Chick Regret, loving the series, and eventually growing to like Indy!
Wow! I loved this! Kristen Ashley is an amazing author warrior queen! Seriously! At Peace is the 8th...more5 stars – Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Wow! I loved this! Kristen Ashley is an amazing author warrior queen! Seriously! At Peace is the 8th book of hers that I’ve read and highly enjoyed and it’s one of my favorite KA reads. Although the Colorado Mountain series and my beloved Law Man still hold a definite edge.
Joe Callahan is another extremely domineering, uber alpha asshat and lordy have mercy did he piss me off...until around the 80% mark that is! There were times I swore that even if he got down on his hands and knees and crawled through broken glass to apologize, plead, and beg for forgiveness for being such an absolute d*ck that I wouldn’t have been swayed. I mean, I wanted him to execute some serious groveling. Alas, he never did. BUT, his way of making amends was much more subtle, genuine, powerful, and affecting and therefore all the more gratifying. And in the end, he totally won me over and had me sighing and swooning along with the Winters girls.
So Joe was an arrogant jerk and Violet could be a wishy-washy wimp at times, but boy were they explosive together! The sex scenes were rough and smokin’ hot! And I was anxious for them to find their HEA. The love triangle between Joe/Violet/Mike lasted far too long, and I missed Ashley’s staple, celebrated, detailed epilogue, but otherwise this is another fabulous KA winner!
I’m looking forward to reading Mike’s story, Games of the Heart, because he’s certainly due a much deserved HEA. And I read on the author’s website that she’s planning to write Frankie and Benny’s story in an upcoming ‘Burg release. Yay! Kristen Ashley has already solidified a position as one of my top favorite keeper authors of 2012. Big 5 stars!
I had a hard time finding my perfect Joe because he’s so enigmatically, broodingly sexy and all badass, rugged alpha male with some macho Italian mixed in, but I think Italian actor Raoul Bova could fit the bill.
All the single ladies, all the single ladies All the single ladies, all the single ladies All the single ladies...
Now pack your bags up!
Considering there’s not one but four yummy heroes introduced in this first book in the Dream Man series that’s set in Denver, Colorado (all of whom get their own book...YAY!), not to mention the smokin’ hot, badass alpha heroes from Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series, and it definitely wouldn’t be surprising if all the single ladies suddenly packed up and moved to Colorado.
Mystery Man is Cabe “Hawk” Delgado’s book. Initially, I was far more fascinated and smitten with Detective Mitch Lawson and biker badass Tack (two of the aforementioned yummy Dream Men who will have leading roles in Law Man and Motorcycle Man respectively). But of course Hawk soon won me over and left me panting, daydreaming, and swooning like all of KA’s heroes.
Hawk is a growly, bossy, arrogant, brooding, domineering, and possessive uber alpha commando who could teach Tate from Sweet Dreams a thing or two about being a badass, including the correct, standard rumbling response to anything and everything...“Babe”.
There were several times I wanted to smack both Hawk and Gwen, but they eventually got their sh*t together. Kristen Ashley is a master when it comes to dreamy, gratifying epilogues, and this time was certainly no exception...just heartwarming perfection. 5 stars!
There are a lot of reviews for this already, so here are some of my random thoughts.
The Bad and The U...more5+ stars – Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
There are a lot of reviews for this already, so here are some of my random thoughts.
The Bad and The Ugly:
•Yes, it’s an editing nightmare that at times made me want to whip out my red pen and go crazy with correcting remarks. •There is way too much (and occurring too often) inane detail, especially about the heroine’s wardrobe, outfits, hair, makeup, getting ready, routine, etc. I understand that her self-esteem and makeover were a significant component to the story, but I still think an easy 50+ pages of random “stuff” could have been trimmed. •It was annoying to me how the heroine constantly answered the hero with “Sorry?”, and also how she repeated Tate’s name over and over again like Kate Winslet’s Rose continually said “Jack”, “Jack”, “Jack”, “Jack” all throughout Titanic.
BUT, despite those annoyances, here’s why I still rated it 5 stars.
•The story has a frenetic hodgepodge of themes: chick lit self-discovery, steamy contemporary romance, small town drama, family angst, crazy exes, serial killer suspense...you name it. But amazingly enough, it works. I was sucked in and thoroughly entertained. •The hero is an ex-football star, ex-cop, bounty hunting, bar-owning, tattooed badass, uber alpha biker. He’s growly, sometimes mean, often pissed off, possessive, and fond of saying (or perhaps I should say grunting) “Babe” and “Ace” to communicate a wealth of things, rather than expressing or explaining himself. There were times I wanted Lauren to smack him and send his ass packing to the curb. But DAYUM! Tate is f’n HOT! •The heroine is insecure, funny, flawed, sweet, sometimes cranky and bitchy, caring, and most of all, genuine and endearing. Laurie is easy to identify with because she’s so real. I could see myself laughing over manis and martinis with her. •Cute scenes with Buster the cat, aka, Princess Fancy Pants. •Tender, heartbreaking moments with Tate’s son, Jonas. *sigh* •An unforgettable, quirky cast of secondary characters. •Great dialogue, snappy banter, humor, and emotion. It made me laugh out loud at times and tear up in others. •And oh yeah, the steamy romance between Tate and Laurie is truly addictive.
So it’s not perfect, but I still loved it and will definitely read more by this author!
I had a hard time casting my perfect Tate, mainly because he’s so impossibly gruff, badass, and smokin’ hot. But I think Hugh Jackman could portray him fairly convincingly, especially if he acted all Wolverine broody, growly, alpha badass and got some sexy tats. He particularly looks the part in these pictures. YUMMY!
Addendum after further Internet exploration for the perfect Tate:
This is Tate in all his beautiful, badass, bounty hunter glory. *sigh*
I found out about this from its Goodreads Choice Award nomination and then noticed that several...more**spoiler alert** 5 stars – Contemporary Erotic Romance
I found out about this from its Goodreads Choice Award nomination and then noticed that several of my GR friends had rated it 5 stars. I didn’t read any reviews before reading (other than glimpses here and there that I couldn’t avoid) because I didn’t want any spoilers. So I’m not sure if the author intended it to be somewhat Twilight-esque or not, and/or if other readers thought there were comparisons between them like I did? I couldn’t help but feel like this read as a dark, erotic, and intriguing BDSM twist on Twilight, sans vampires. I mean, there just seemed to be so many similarities to me. Or maybe seeing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn movie three times has influenced and/or warped my thinking? Hmmm...that’s definitely a possibility.
Anyway, here are some of my random observations/thoughts. Coincidences?
•Heroine is Anastasia “Ana” Steele (vs. Isabella “Bella” Swan). •Ana’s first person POV narrative read like a YA book, particularly for the beginning 15%-25% or so, and her insecurity and inner dialogue and the overall tone of the story reminded me of Bella in Twilight, even though Ana is 21 and turns 22 during the story. •Ana is a plain, mousy, bookish, awkward, klutzy, shy, clumsy, naïve nerd, misfit, and virtual loner and reads classic literature for fun. •She has pale skin and blushes profusely...at just about everything. •She has two left feet, trips easily, and can’t dance. •Hero Christian Grey is “heart-stoppingly beautiful” and “dazzling”, has gorgeous, messy copper colored hair that’s always in sexy, mussed disarray, and has a “crooked, dazzling smile”. •He’s remarkably handsome, rich, autocratic, domineering, enigmatic, controlling, stern, gruff, brooding, jealous, mercurial, possessive, and outright stalkerish. •She’s a brunette and he prefers brunettes, even though he’s surrounded by tall, leggy, stunning blondes. •She was never picked for team sports like volleyball...hmmm, that’s familiar. •She talks in her sleep and in doing so reveals her feelings about Christian. •It takes place in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver and Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon) and her mom lives in sunny Georgia (vs. Florida). •Ana has a close male friend, Jose, whom she loves like a brother but he has unrequited romantic feelings for her. Their dads are also close friends. Hmmm...Jose...Jacob? •She drives a beat up Beetle (not truck) that used to belong to her friend Jose’s mom and he does the maintenance and repairs for her. •Christian saves her when she’s almost run over by a cyclist. •He saves her from unwanted advances outside a bar when she’s drunk by stalking tracking her down. •He warns her, more than once, that she should stay away from him...for her own good...and that he’s not the right man for her. •He always says he wishes he knew what she was thinking. •She has vying suitors, even though she’s an awkward, shy, and insecure girl. •She doesn’t understand or believe what Christian sees in her, even though he insists that he finds her beautiful and irresistible and it’s quite obvious that he’s totally infatuated/obsessed with her. •He buys her extravagant gifts. •He buys her a car. •He has a black Audi SUV, not silver Volvo, but its close. (Audi is apparently his motor brand of choice.) •He expertly plays the piano...melancholy classical of course. •She has a flighty, whimsical mother. •She has a serious, taciturn, yet loving father. •He’s adopted. •His adoptive father is a handsome blonde named Carrick...ahem...not Carlisle. •His adoptive brother is an easygoing hunk with curly blond hair. •His adoptive sister Mia, whom he shows fond affection for, is exuberant and enthusiastic in befriending Ana and encouraging Ana’s and Christian’s relationship.
I’m not saying the author plagiarized the Twilight series, so don’t get your panties in a twist if you disagree with me that there are similarities between them. (And notice I rated it 5 stars, so obviously I think it’s a great read.)
Overall I found Fifty Shades of Grey really intense and addictive, but I would have enjoyed the story even more had it been told from third person POV because I really, really wanted insight into Christian’s “fifty shades of f*cked-up” psyche! I immediately started reading the second book, Fifty Shades Darker, but then realized the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, isn’t out until January. Eeks! I imagine that I’ll be anxiously awaiting its release. 5 stars!
Now I’m off to read reviews to see what my GR friends think about this!
*Addendum: I’ve since learned (after reading some reviews) that this was originally written as a Twilight fanfiction story, so I guess my powers of observation are keen and my thinking is appropriately warped. LOL!*
Oh I really enjoyed this one! A sexy, rugged former Army Ranger turned PI alpha hero and a sweet, spunky teacher masque...more4 ½-5 stars – Romantic Suspense
Oh I really enjoyed this one! A sexy, rugged former Army Ranger turned PI alpha hero and a sweet, spunky teacher masquerading as a stripper to find her missing sister have scorching hot chemistry. It’s got the perfect mix of steamy romance, suspense, drama, and action, great characters, and even had me tearing up. I’d only previously read the first book of the series, Against the Wind, but this worked really well as a standalone read.(less)