3.75 stars. Reski takes a rather personal approach to her subject, and "The Honored Society" both profits and suffers a bit as a result. She's chosen...more3.75 stars. Reski takes a rather personal approach to her subject, and "The Honored Society" both profits and suffers a bit as a result. She's chosen to intertwine her own personal recollections into the story, sometimes with very good effect; at other points, the back and forth jumps in time and place end up being confusing. There are many, many players to keep track of (some with rather similar names), and Reski's hopscotching from one to the other and back again had me scratching my head at some points because I'd lose the thread regarding who she was discussing. If you are not already rather familiar with the subject and the main players, you may be hopelessly lost.
I should point out that the title is a bit misleading; while Reski does discuss the 'Ndrangheta a great deal, she spends equal time (if not more) on Cosa Nostra and also devotes a few sections to the Camorra. All of this is interesting (and somewhat inevitable, since the three mafias are intertwined to some degree), but given the title, I'd expected the focus to be more or less on the 'Ndrangheta, so I was a bit disappointed. She does delve into the 'Ndrangheta's operations outside Italy more than any other writer I've read so far, and her coverage of the ties between the three mafias and Italy's politicians is fascinating. She also does the best job I've seen yet of describing the various mechanisms (including cultural attitudes) that allow the mafias to survive and thrive in Italy, and elsewhere.
Despite a few issues, "The Honored Society" has much to offer. Reski has a poetic command of the language, and her rich descriptions of people and places make you feel like you're right alongside her. Well worth reading to get an "on the ground" feel for Sicily, Naples, and Calabria and the people who live there. (less)
3.5 stars. A nice sexy read with some good suspenseful moments, a scary villain, and some good laughs. The very last scene in particular made me laugh...more3.5 stars. A nice sexy read with some good suspenseful moments, a scary villain, and some good laughs. The very last scene in particular made me laugh out loud, which I didn't expect. :)
I probably would have loved this book if it had been written in deep third person POV instead of omniscient POV, but that's my preference, so it may not be an issue for most people. I just felt a little distanced from the characters because of it.
The sex is very, very hot, and I wish there had been a little more of it. The suspense story has a number of terrifying moments, but there were a few too many coincidences in the plot to make it truly satisfying (at least for me). That said, I was definitely rooting for the villain to be caught, and there are some good red herrings in the plot so that I was second-guessing who the villain was up to the point where his identity was revealed. There was also a good twist involving the hero's back story that I hadn't guessed at all and that ended up being quite heartbreaking.
There were a couple loose ends that weren't resolved in the book (what the heck is up with Ben???), but perhaps there's another book that addresses those.
Overall, a satisfying read, and one I'd recommend to fans of erotic romantic suspense. I'll pick up more books by the author. (less)
3.5 stars. I really liked the premise of this story, and Rahmi was HOT. Aeren was smart and fun, and the chemistry between them was well done. The sto...more3.5 stars. I really liked the premise of this story, and Rahmi was HOT. Aeren was smart and fun, and the chemistry between them was well done. The story started off really great, with Aeren and Ram in danger. We then find out about Ram's past and why although he's loved Ari, he's kept her at arm's length for five years. They have a nice steamy time once they're alone, and then blam... we fast-forward to two years later, with no resolution to the suspense story.
I thought this story had a TON of potential, with all this great build-up, but then it just went straight to the HEA without telling us how they got there. I think it could have been an excellent novel or novella. As it was, it's a good story, but it felt like a big chunk of it was missing. The description does make clear that it's not a full-length book, but I still expected a completed suspense arc within those parameters. (Also, the last 20% of the book was a preview for another book, so the story was shorter than I was led to believe by the page count given in the description.)
Recommended if you're looking for something a little different and a short, steamy read. (less)
"Survival" is an excellent start to a serial horror story by Rhonda Hopkins. The story opens with a bang, and you're soon caught up in the tale of sev...more"Survival" is an excellent start to a serial horror story by Rhonda Hopkins. The story opens with a bang, and you're soon caught up in the tale of several women struggling to make it through the first night of what turns out be a zombie apocalypse.
Hopkins has chosen some atypical characters for her tale, particularly prickly Meredith, a woman who's just finished her last day of chemo treatment. I also liked that the first part of this story centered on three women, who each find their own strength in the midst of chaos.
I would have liked a little more scene-setting than we've gotten so far, but overall the story is very strong, and I definitely want to read more about these characters.
I'll be picking up the rest of these when they come out. Well done! (less)
4.5 stars. I loved Showtime's "The Borgias" even though I know it's not all that accurate. How could you *not* love the juicy story of a family unafra...more4.5 stars. I loved Showtime's "The Borgias" even though I know it's not all that accurate. How could you *not* love the juicy story of a family unafraid to bribe, murder, or conquer anyone who stood in their way? Showtime billed them as "the original crime family" with plenty of reason. So when I learned that Sarah Dunant had tackled this infamous family, I had to pick up the book and dive in.
In "Blood & Beauty," Dunant sets out to give us a far more accurate accounting of the Borgias' bloody misdeeds, and the result is no less engrossing. No matter how despicable the Borgias are (especially Rodrigo and Cesare), you almost want to root for their tremendous ambition and utter disregard for the rules. You even feel a bit sorry for Cesare at times; he was incredibly intelligent and capable, yet his father took far more pride in his loutish second son, Juan.
Lucrezia, who's often been portrayed as every bit as ruthless as her father and brother, is given a much more sympathetic treatment in this book, and she's the story's beating heart--an innocent young girl who gradually learns how to navigate the treacherous political web she's been thrust into.
Despite my interest in the subject, I did find the start of the book a bit slow, and I had trouble connecting with the characters at first. However, a few chapters in, and I was hooked. So hang in there--it's worth it.
"Blood & Beauty" ends just as Lucrezia marries her third husband in an attempt to solidify the Borgias' hold over much of Italy. Dunant plans to write a second book about the family, and I'll be picking it up when it comes out. Highly recommended for those who love historical fiction. (less)
Intriguing start to the Invitation to Eden series! Well-written, professionally edited, all-around nicely done! It's a short story, and the author mak...moreIntriguing start to the Invitation to Eden series! Well-written, professionally edited, all-around nicely done! It's a short story, and the author makes clear that it's not meant to be a stand-alone, but merely an introduction to the series.
Bought the follow-up story to learn what happens to Theo, and will probably buy all the other books in this series. Recommended for folks who like erotic romance.(less)
A dark, disturbing read. The protagonist is a sociopath and makes no bones about it. He's a sexual user and a touch of a sadist. But there's a twist;...moreA dark, disturbing read. The protagonist is a sociopath and makes no bones about it. He's a sexual user and a touch of a sadist. But there's a twist; he meets his match, but even that has a twist to it.
About three-quarters through, I thought I'd figured out what was happening. I sort of had, but not really. The ending seemed a touch rushed, but overall, this was a well-written book; a cut above what I expected. Could have used a touch more proofreading, but very well done overall. I recommend it to anyone looking for a dark, twisted tale. (less)
3.5 stars. Erotic romance with an interesting premise (the heroine, Emily, has been in love with her childhood friend for ages... but he doesn't see h...more3.5 stars. Erotic romance with an interesting premise (the heroine, Emily, has been in love with her childhood friend for ages... but he doesn't see her that way, so she makes herself over and seduces him as "Candy," a girl who's nothing like her!). The big surprise? Paul is a Dom, and Emily/Candy isn't sure she wants to pursue that kind of relationship with him... plus there's the whole problem that she lied to him about who she was.
Great sexual chemistry and smoking hot sex scenes. I ended up liking Emily/Candy better than Paul, but the real surprise was how much I liked Andre Chevalier, a very fun French Dom who tutors Emily/Candy in BDSM and ends up helping her and Paul overcome their differences. Andre apparently appears in several other of Nikki Sex's books, so I'll be looking for those to learn more about him. His character steals every scene he's in.
The reason this didn't get a higher rating from me is the amount of repetition in the book. It also probably doesn't help that I prefer books written in close third person point of view instead of omniscient point of view, but that's really my preference. I also was a little disappointed that the sex between Emily and Paul remains mostly vanilla, instead of having more BDSM elements. I also wouldn't have minded if Emily had taken Paul and his best friend up on their offer of a threesome. ;) Given the setup, I expected the book to be a little more sexually daring than it was. However, the scenes we do get are very, very hot, so I really can't complain!
I'll be checking out other books by the author, especially those with Andre Chevalier in them. He's an intriguing character, and we get only a bit of his story in this book.(less)
An interesting entry in the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series! Provides a nice bridge between Reaver and Revenant, as well as filling in Azagoth's...moreAn interesting entry in the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series! Provides a nice bridge between Reaver and Revenant, as well as filling in Azagoth's story. Good chemistry between the leads. I wanted a little more sex, but it *was* a short story... ;)
"Entwined with You" picks up right where "Reflected in You" leaves off and takes us to the next level in Eva and Gideon's relationship, with plenty of...more"Entwined with You" picks up right where "Reflected in You" leaves off and takes us to the next level in Eva and Gideon's relationship, with plenty of twists, turns, catfights, jealousy, passion, and nonstop Gideon Cross ogling along the way. Since I'm picturing David Gandy in the Gideon role, that works for me.
I still wish we'd get more insight into Cary (Eva and Cary plan to go to San Diego, just the two of them, but it doesn't happen in this book), though we do learn more details about both Eva's and Gideon's pasts, and there are some fun moments with Mark and Steve, so there was plenty to keep me occupied.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this isn't the last book in the series, and I'm looking forward to the next installment in the Eva and Gideon saga. (less)
I thought I might get tired of Gideon and Eva, but the story kept moving and they started evolving, so that didn't happen. "Reflected in You" turned o...moreI thought I might get tired of Gideon and Eva, but the story kept moving and they started evolving, so that didn't happen. "Reflected in You" turned out to be the best kind of soap opera--sexy, tempestuous, twisty, and not above a catfight or two. I didn't expect the major event in this book, and now of course, I *must* know what happens next. This is primo book crack!
I do wish more time had been spent diving into Cary and the other side characters, but here's hoping we'll see more of them in the next one.
Yes, it's pretty much the same premise as FSOG... but it's better. I still find a 28-year-old billionaire hard to believe, but if I set that aside, th...moreYes, it's pretty much the same premise as FSOG... but it's better. I still find a 28-year-old billionaire hard to believe, but if I set that aside, the rest is quite fun. The secondary characters are better drawn, and the relationship more complex because of Eva's issues.
The sex is scorching hot and there's a fun new soapy twist every few pages, so what's not to like?
4.5 stars. Another exciting entry in the Charley Davidson series. This one deepens the mythology around Charley and Reyes and introduces an intriguing...more4.5 stars. Another exciting entry in the Charley Davidson series. This one deepens the mythology around Charley and Reyes and introduces an intriguing new character (the Dealer). Charley's relationship with Reyes intensifies and there are some major sexy times (yay!). There's also quite the bombshell dropped at the end that makes me want the next book this very minute.
As awesome (and at times touching) as this book was, several story lines get raised (particularly with Charley's parents) that get completely dropped, and the story line involving Captain Eckert seemed ultimately pointless. I did enjoy the subplot with Angel though and wish more time had been devoted to it; he's a great character, and I like how his relationship with Charley has developed. The book felt a wee bit too chaotic compared to some of the others--there was a *lot* going on! I think the book would have benefited from some of these subplots being resolved and/or moved to a future book where they could get more development.
If you buy the print book (at least the hardcover), there's a "bonus chapter" at the end. It's really a bonus scene, not a chapter, and is a recounting of a scene much earlier in the book, but this time told from Reyes' point of view. It's a nice trifle, but if you don't buy the print book, you're not missing anything significant.
Can't wait for the next one! If you love humorous paranormal romance, I highly recommend this series.(less)