Loudly, before a single note about the book, the synopsis for The Bourbon Kings says “from the author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series” and I get it. BDB is a popular series of 13 published books, a spin-off on the way and a rabid fandom that included myself. But, the truth of the matter is that fans of BDB this book was not written for us.
The Bourbon Kings reminds me of that TV show from the 80s that my grandmother and mom used to watch about a rich and powerful oil family from Texas. Basically, it’s a soup opera. With over the top situations and twists seen from up the block, around the corner and through the bend. This book is convoluted, melodramatic, and at parts, offensive.
Lane made a mistake, he married the wrong woman. It takes him a few years, an accident of his beloved black servant and a couple glasses of bourbon for him to finally get off his ass and do something about it. He returns home to see his beloved Miss Aurora and to finally set things right. It’s been many years since he’s touched foot on his family estate, the entirety of his marriage really and he’s unsurprised to find nothing changed. His mother is still reclusive, his father is still a douche, his sister a caricature and his wife a bitch. His Gardner, and spurned lover Lizzie is still working for his family despite the fact that he told her he loved her the day before his wedding was announced in the papers.
I found myself doing the unthinkable and skimming through this book. I just wanted to see if all my predictions came true in the end. It did. There is not an original thought or storyline in this book. Like most books by this author The Bourbon Kings is long. Too long. Why was it so long?
This book lacks some important aspects that Ward is famous for. 1. Sexy men who you want to take care of but hide behind when danger comes cuz they are bad as fuck. 2. Strong female characters who are comfortable in their sexuality but not over the top and manage to be feminine even as they are tough. 3. A complex story with twists and turns where you understand both characters even as they miscommunicate.
The only thing I will say that TBK has over Ward’s popular vampire series is that the characters speak like adult males and not pubescent teenage boys that don’t understand that hip hop isn’t just a way of dress.
I did not like the characters. I didn’t like Lane for being a douche and taking too long to fix his issues. I didn’t like Lizzie, because she was dumb enough to still love him after he stomped all over her heart. I didn’t like Gin because she used her body to manipulate people. I didn’t like Samuel T because he used his body to manipulate people.
These two also have the sickest ever relationship where they one-up each other in an attempt to hurt the other. If Samuel has sex with Gin’a friend, Gin will have sex with Samuel’s brother and make sure that Samuel sees. They will seduce innocent bystanders in the game between them and then they hurt each other just for the pure pleasure of having the last laugh…But, they’re like in love and are meant for each other………
And of course then there is Miss Aurora the only character of color in this book who spends her days cooking for this white family and her nights praying for this white family with no sign of having a life or family of her own. It wasn’t enough for JR Ward to appropriate black culture with her hip hop loving, slang speaking brothers in the BDB series, now she has written a veritable Aunt Jemima whose entire life is lived for and in service to her white masters.
Why are white authors still writing characters like this? Is this how you view us? Are we just here to serve, protect and love you?
This book is so bad it ruined The Black Dagger Brotherhood series for me. I’ve been struggling through the series for the last few years as it got long winded. But, after reading this book I’ve decided not not waste my time on her books anymore. I’m just not impressed by her writing, by how predictable her stories are, how she appropriates black culture, and how she keeps going and going just because she can. ...more
There are two different types of comedy. There’s the type where situations are presented to us in a humorous light and we all laugh together in amusement. Then there’s the type where people and lifestyles are put on display and we laugh at the display, not with it, not together, but at it. THE VIRGIN ROMANCE NOVELIST is the latter. The author puts everyone from virgins and fans of historical romance to cat lovers on display and makes them something we laugh at. If I am being honest, this is one of the most condescending books I have ever read.
Rosie Bloom (of course her name is Rose Bloom, because Rose needs to be deflowered and of course she’s a late bloomer, how clever) is dissatisfied with her job. Rosie wears glasses. Rosie is uncomfortable in her own skin. Rosie is completely ignorant of male anatomy. Rosie is so prudish she cannot say the word vagina. Rosie doesn’t try new things. And Rosie is a virgin.
Obviously, because to be over the age of 21 and a virgin, you have to be an uncomfortable, ignorant and prudish failure.
Rosie is the kind of female character that has ruined the once great movie rom-com. You know, the girl who walks around all day with tissue at the bottom of her shoe or splits her pants at the slightest bit of activity. She’s the kind of girl who can’t play sports, who kicks guys in the crotch when she dances and puts soooo much baby powder on her vagina she causes powder storms when she walks. The kind of girl where all the embarrassing things from our nightmares happens to her in a 48 hour period. In short, this is the kind of book where a woman literally has to completely demean herself to be funny.
Rosie is one of the most annoying characters I have ever read, because she is willfully ignorant. I don’t care that she’s a virgin or if she has self-esteem issues or if she’s been secretly in love with one man for so long, she hasn’t put herself out there.
I care that in the first few chapters Rosie got a vibrator stuck in her vagina. I don’t know the vibrator accident rate or how often women get sex toys stuck inside their bodies. No, I care that Rosie got hers stuck, because she’s an idiot. She finds a bullet vibrator, a gift from her straight male roommate (because that’s not weird at all). He unpackaged it and left it without instructions. She has no idea what kind of sex toy it is. She doesn’t know if it’s for insertion or for stimulus, but she uses it. She has never seen porn or explored her body in anyway, but for some reason she doesn’t think hmm let me google this. Nope. Rosie inserts a bullet in her vagina. She thinks, “oh this should be bigger!” And then continues to push it inside and then is SHOCKED when it gets stuck!
I guess that’s funny to some people. Like, yes of course a virgin would get a vibrator stuck haha. So, what if she is a college graduate and living on her own and paying her own way, virgins are so silly, they don’t know not to stick something up your vag that doesn’t have a way of getting out. She wears tampons and it doesn’t even occur to her that tampons have strings for a reason!!!!!
Some shining examples of Rosie’s intellect:
When given instruction on blow jobs with the help of a banana: "Dear God, where do you guys stuff them?" "We just tape them down to our legs." "Seriously?" I asked, as my gaze swung up to his. No you imbecile!!! Not seriously. She’s 23, how does she not know about erections!!!!???
On sticking pencils up someone’s ass. "I don’t know," I shrugged and laughed. "I just learned how to suck a dick on a banana the other day. How am I supposed to know that people aren’t supposed to stick things in buttholes?" Really?! I wish she would dig a sharpened number 2 pencil up her butthole.
Also, ladies, when you decide that you are ready to lose your virginity men will fall from the sky. That’s right. You will run into men at work. Yup, you’ve worked there for years and haven’t noticed a single man anywhere, but once you decide to lose your virginity they’ll be all over the place. You will literally be climbing over the opposite sex on your way to lunch, because suddenly you are a magnet for penis. And, if you are dumb as nails? Doesn’t matter, because just deciding to lose your virginity makes you an instant knock out. And, the men may be different, but they’ll talk and flirt exactly the same so the minute you figure out how to flirt with one, you’ll be great, because every guy on the planet flirts exactly the same with the same level of intelligence and intensity.
Yes. This book is so stupid. You know how some books have so much sadness it in it, it becomes melodrama? That’s THE VIRGIN ROMANCE NOVELIST. It has soo much ridiculous in it, I can’t even call it a comedy. It’s like the melodrama of comedy.
Then to top it off, the main love interest is her male roommate and best friend, Henry. Henry is a cliche. A man whore, who gets all the girls. Usually, the guy doesn’t recognize that he wants his bff until she has a makeover. No makeover needed. He learns she’s a virgin and BAM he wants her. The book charmingly dubs him a “cherry chaser.”
He begins training her in the art of lovemaking, hands off of course and then loses his mind when he finds out that she has dates and may use her new “knowledge” on other guys. He turns into a total stalker, showing up at her dates, etc.
He’s also an asshole.
"Charlene? No, she’s just fuckable. No substance to her." My God!!!!! How can you dig someone who talks about other human beings that way? Oh and let’s not forget his insistence on calling a character named Alejandro “taco man.”
I kept pushing myself and pushing myself, because early reviews of this book are sooo good. But, this is just not for me. What a ridiculous waste of e-ink.
I like flawed heroines. You will almost never read me calling a heroine whiney, because I like heroines with obsessions. I like when they obsess over the death of a loved one or when they don’t easily fall in to the arms of the hero. That being said, I hated Shannon. Despised her on almost every page of the book and it made the story difficult for me.
Shannon has some traumatic things in her past that does garner sympathy, but it’s not enough to like her. The problem is that Shannon lives on a soap box. She is judgy mcjudge judge. She takes one look at Cole and decides he’s a bad boy. Why is he a bad boy? Because he works in a tattoo shop, is goodlooking and has tattoos. That’s it.
Perhaps if he was any other character, it would have been easier to deal with, but this was Cole Walker. We know his back story. We know about his sister Jo and the alcoholic mother and the deadbeat dad. He’s older and hotter, but we know Cole. So having this girl come out of nowhere and talk down to him and think negatively of him for absolutely no reason was difficult to swallow. And, Shannon doesn’t get better. Even after she discovered the fault in her thinking, I still couldn’t stand her. I am sorry that she was Cole’s heroine.
I cannot stress how much I disliked this character. It’s just one of those things…I mean how dare she misjudge Cole Walker?!!!! And, how dare he fall for someone who treats him like crap.
I am sincerely tired of books and movies misinterpreting bitches as independent women. Being mean to someone for no reason doesn’t make you brave. Being stubborn doesn’t make you strong. Judging others doesn’t make you wise. It makes you a nasty know it all.
Also, can I just remark on the ridiculous nature of romance. There is a scene where Shannon meets everyone from earlier books. That’s right, Joss and Braden are there, Olivia and Nate are there and Ellie and Adam and from couple to couple Shannon thinks how good-looking, how attractive, how beautiful, how stunning etc. Now think about the last party you went to…how many ridiculously attractive people were there?’
Yea, exactly. I would sincerely like to read more books with people who are not all gorgeous and people who fall in love because they are just amazing people.
Recommended for fans of Samantha Young, come on guys it’s Cole’s book. You’re going to read it no matter what I say.
*ARC Provided by PENGUIN GROUP Berkley Release Date: Oct. 7, 2014...more
This book is like that plastic wrapped pastry from the local corner store: disgusting, not at all healthy, but oh so good. This book is the perfect example of a guilty pleasure. Because, I enjoyed it even though I knew that it was bad for me. It’s morally bankrupt, it’s spoiled and selfish and it is decadent. The story and the characters are something you know you shouldn’t like and yet you cannot look away from it. In fact, I enjoyed every moment.
STAR-CROSSED is filled with drama, scandal and weirdly enough, a love story. It’s daring and completely made me question myself and made me sympathize with characters that in real life I would have crucified.
Very much like Romeo & Juliet, the play in which the main characters are performing as their school project, the story begins at a masquerade ball. Kaitlyn has been dragged out of the house by her stepbrother Marius, but she is not happy about it. She keeps to the shadows, avoiding everyone and hating every moment. And then she meets him. The gorgeous guy with the british accent who seems to want to get away from the party as much as she does. Problem? He’s going to be her English teacher in the coming school year.
And so it begins. An unforgivable challenge is put forward and accepted in the form of a bet, a teenage girl throws herself at a teacher and the teacher catches her. It’s all very taboo over the top and dramatic, but fun. It’s like shows like “Gossip Girl, ” ”Pretty Little Liars,” and “The Vampire Diaries.” It’s stupid and fluffy and yet so entertaining.
I have to be honest, I was intrigued by the synopsis, but was mostly skeptical. I read another taboo story about a student/teacher affair about a year ago and I hated it. It’s very difficult for me to accept the idea of an adult falling in love with a child. It’s actually a very scary idea and I have no respect for it. Somehow, I believed in William Tennant. I didn’t hate him, didn’t think he was a pedophile and believed that he tried to stay away. Then again, Kaitlyn is 18.
One thing the author does really well is give humanity to characters that are despicable. There is an obvious connection to the film “Cruel Intentions” which was a modern day retelling of the classic french novel DANGEROUS LIAISONS. Unlike, Sarah Michelle Gellars’ Katherine and Ryan Phillippe’s Sebastian, Marius and Kaitlyn have heart. It’s really easy to see how unhappy they are, how connected they are and how the bet while horrible is laced with emotions that both characters have a difficult time deciphering or accepting.
I really believed these characters, for the most part, but there is one thing I couldn’t stand…Kaitlyn’s unhappiness. It’s very difficult for me to have “poor little rich girl” sympathies. While, I do think that rich kids have problems just like poor kids, I do think money makes things better. Rich kids use universal problems to act up. Rich kids in these books have absent parents and have been abandoned due to the business drive or selfishness of the adults in their lives. It makes no sense to me that rich kids get a pass to act badly, because of this when poor kids have been abandoned as well.
Beyond that, Kaitlyn’s unhappiness with the future her father has planned is hallow for me. Yes, I understand that we all want to have a say in our futures. But, Kaitlyn has no plans. She has no dreams. She does not secretly want to paint or dance or be a teacher. So her disinterest in going to Yale, one of the best schools in the country, seemed very spoiled. Her willingness to throw all that away was unrealistic to me and seemed a ploy to make her more likable. As if the author was screaming “see, she’s independent like her!”
I want to make something clear about life. I went to NYU. A school filled with the comfortable, the rich and the filthy rich. I am from the Bronx, meaning lower middle class on the borderline of poverty. And sure it came up and I knew that my friends and classmates were either oblivious or embarrassed by our differences. Still, it wasn’t a problem. I wasn’t ostracized. I didn’t ask my classmates questions like “what’s it like to be rich?” I have no idea where authors get their ideas about interactions between the poor and rich. Sure, maybe I didn’t go out to tea with all of them, but we were always friendly and polite. We didn’t not shame each other or harp on social economic status.
Also, as much as I liked the character Tyler, he was so obviously based on Dan from “Gossip Girl” it was laughable. Just like Marius was Chuck. Still, I enjoyed this book, because it’s fun. So much fun. And honestly, it got me. At the final scene I have to admit that I was emotional.
One last thing! Even though it takes place in High School, I would not at all call this a YA novel. It is racy, has dirty language and lots of situations that I wouldn’t recommend for 14 year olds.
Recommended for fans of books like “Easy” and “Slammed.” Also for fans of things like “Gossip Girl,” “Cruel Intentions” and “Pretty Little Liars.”
*ARC Provided by Luna Lacour Release Date: March. 28,2014...more
Here’s the thing about FINDING IT, it’s funny, entertaining and in moments honest. I really enjoyed Kelsey. I thought she was fun and free. I liked that she was a young woman who liked sex and liked to have a good time. I even liked her interaction with Hunt. I thought they were a fun couple and enjoyed their adventures.
Here’s the other thing about FINDING IT, been there done that. Literally, I don’t want to spoil it for fans of the series, but it’s been done before. Kelsey meets Hunt and sparks fly. I have to admit that their first meeting is hilarious and Hunt is filled with mystery and chemistry. The two characters have chance meetings, longing glances and chemistry. The kind of chemistry that bounces off the walls.
That’s why I gave this book three stars. I loved the opening. Meeting Kelsey and Hunt in Europe and being a fly on the wall as they experience history, architecture and nature, was absolutely stunning.
But there’s a twist, the truth…who exactly is Hunt? The answer is so obvious I wanted slap Kelsey and yell figure it out. I mean, I guess what are the chances, but as an avid reader the chances were high and the twist obvious.
I have not read LOSING IT, but it’s a very popular book and so I expected good things. I expected the author of such a popular book to write unique characters in unique situations…I have to be honest, as much as I liked Kelsey there are aspects of her that weren’t unique. But, the real problem is that Hunt is one of the most formulaic characters of all time… It’s really becoming ridiculous how authors think that all they have to do is tell us that a character was at war. As if every soldier has the same experience and reacts the same way to trauma, warfare, etc.
I wish authors had more respect for our men and women in the armed forces. I really do, because it’s not one size fits all. Everyone isn’t the same. Every experience isn’t the same and “war” cannot be the only answer to why characters have dark pasts.
This book is fun. I recommend it for a lazy weekend....more
FIGHTING FOR YOU is a story from another decade. A past decade. A decade where it was OK for a man to assume a woman doesn’t know her own mind. Declan wants Emma and Emma wants Declan, but Declan will not be with Emma, because the girl doesn’t know what she wants. She couldn’t possibly want him, because she’s good and pure and he did a few tours in Afghanistan, so obviously he’s soiled and bad.
Eye roll, my God what world does this author live in? Just because a woman is a virgin doesn’t mean she’s some angelic nun. Just because she’s a virgin doesn’t mean she would allow a man to come into her life on his terms and dictate to her what she does or doesn’t want.
This book just isn’t romantic or hot. It’s outdated. Case in point, the cast of supporting female characters are taken from the pages of “Sex and The City,” Samantha type character included. In 2013, it’s abhorrent to me to consider that all career woman talk about is men. They meet for lunch everyday and just wax lyrically about men. It’s not 1786, we women actually have more going on than men and the hope to get married.
Everything about Declan Stone is cliche and formulaic. The author wanted him to be dark and broody so she sent him to war. Yes, war is violent and scary and many of the men and women in the armed forces come back with PTSD, but this has to stop being the go to cop out for authors. It’s such an easy fix. If the war or the army is not a huge part of your story stop using it as a way to give your character depth. It’s offensive. It’s similar to how easy it is to give characters abusive parents to explain a broken character or making a character get raped to explain a closed off character. It’s being done way too often and is weakening the power of these ordeals in genre fiction. Especially in a book like FIGHTING FOR YOU where it’s formulaic and not a bit authentic.
I honestly couldn’t finish this book in fear that my eyes would get stuck in the back of my head.
This book starts off a bit choppy. It’s kind of all over the place and spends too much time trying to give past characters cameos. Yes indeed, I do love Ellie, Oh great there’s Jo, wow Joss is there too?! Got it. Lets move on. My biggest issue is that when Liv and Nate start their friends with benefit like relationship, I don’t buy it, because there’s no tension.
These two characters really are just friends in the beginning. There may be a spark of attraction, but I find some of my friends attractive that doesn’t mean I want to spend forever with them. Samantha Young takes her time setting up the tension and once she does the story gets very interesting.
I loved Olivia. She’s charming, witty and authentic. Reading as she comes into her own and gains confidence really was a joy to read. I loved that Olivia was a normal girl. She had curves, self esteem issues and wasn’t drop dead gorgeous the way that many Contemporary Romance heroines.Olivia also has very little experience with men. That’s usually cliche, but I really bought it. I liked Olivia a lot and really identified with her self esteem issues and sexual frustrations.
I’m not a fan of the player falls for the inexperienced girl trope. It’s really annoying and overdone. How many guys do you actually know who sleeps with a different woman that awesome? I know that making a man have experience usually means that they’re hot, but I found Nate’s lifestyle and more Liv’s defense of his lifestyle to be disgusting. He is a womanizer, let’s call a spade a spade. BUT, not even cynical me could fight the charm of this story.
Nate is a lot less intense in comparison to Braden and Cam, but no less manly or romantic. I enjoyed the fact that Nate and Liv were friends first and everything else was secondary.
This is a fun and sometimes heartbreaking read. In classic Samantha Young style, both these characters have demons and ghosts from their pasts. The traumas that unite Olivia and Nate in friendship pulls them away in romance.
It’s really smart stuff. If not for the overdone camesos and the choppy start I would have called this a five star book. Still, a very good read.
Recommended for Contemporary Romance Readers and fans of the On Dublin Street series....more
I’ve never thought that a book was not for me based on the fact of my age, or social economic status, but COVET wasn’t written for me. I am from a generation whose future will look drastically different from the current middle agers and I am from a neighborhood that could never afford that kind of living.
There are moments in this book where I just couldn’t empathize. There is a reason many books end at the wedding, because marriage isn’t something you understand unless you’re married. I have never even come close to it. I have never had to watch myself drift away from the person I am supposed to love for the rest of my life.
I understand loneliness and temptation though. I also understand a confidence crushing stint of unemployment. Still, this book wasn’t written for a 24 year old single girl from the Bronx. It was written for suburban wives in their early 40s. The crowd who was initially drawn to that Desperate Housewives TV show.
I feel bad for Chris and Claire. I am sorry for the fact that life has separated them, but then there are moments where it is so obviously partially their own fault. Who takes a vacation to Hawaii after being laid off? Claire even says that things have always gone perfectly for Chris his entire life. So, they have lived charmed lives, get a string of bad luck and fall apart. I don’t care about characters like that. I like fighters. Survivors. Not privileged people who fall into despair when life throws them a curve ball. This book would be more interesting if it took place during the unemployment and not after Chris got a new job.
At the end of the day this book didn’t interest me. Just did not care. It was about privileged people who had a slow turn and just couldn’t handle it. Who wants to read about people like that?
I loved REAL.Like couldn’t put it down and couldn’t look away from it, love. It was romantic and had everything I love in a Romance. MINE has all the same elements. I love this kind of romance. The kind where people are not cookie cutter perfect, where there are issues and problems beyond the average. Remington and Brooke are not average.
More than that, I love the way that Katy Evans has taken a mental illness like Bipolar disorder and given it humanity. She’s taken away the stigma and given us more than cliche, or over the top. I love Remy’s ability to fight through his disorder and overcome his traumatic past and horrible parents.
And, I must admit seeing them in a real relationship, where they love each other, are committed and having sex is fantastic. Love this relationship and love these characters.
Here’s the thing about Remington Tate, he is one of the most chest clutch worthy men in modern day romance. I didn’t even know I was a chest clutcher until I read MINE. Remy is still as intense, sexy and wounded in Mine as he was in real and I adore his character, but it wasn’t enough.
My real issue is the way that Brooke and Remington seem to relate to each other. He’s still a god to her. He’s Riptide and not Remy. When her mind wonders and she thinks about him it’s at massive proportions. He is bigger than life. And it makes me uncomfortable. In REAL, Remy makes it very clear that he wants to be real to her, he wants to be her man and not some adventure, but I do not get that feeling from her.
Then there is Remy, his dependency on Brooke cannot be healthy. The idea that he just can’t control himself when it comes to her is not romantic. When she is hurt, his job should be taking care of her not going ballistic. Also, the idea that he relies on her to keep him level. That he needs her in his corner or he will loose it, is scary. They cannot always be happy. They will have misunderstandings and they will fight. That is natural. If Brooke can not voice her opinions are vent her frustrations in fear of him collapsing then they will never work.
This is just an unbalanced relationship. Remy puts Brooke on a pedestal and expects her to stay there. He’s the man. He will fix the problems and she’s HIS!! In REAL, Remy is super hot and he still is for a fling, for a one night stand, but a long lasting relationship with a guy who demands his employees take care of her and when someone says “I’ll protect her like she was my own” Remy turns on him and say she’s not yours, she’s MINE.” That’s unattractive to me and I would advise my friends and sisters to get away from him immediately.
It’s entertaining on the level that I am invested in these characters and want to see then happily ever after. I just think sequels like these raise issues that could easily be ignored in the original installment. This is an unhealthy relationship, masquerading as ideal and it made me very uncomfortable to read....more
I loved this!!! It's not as dynamic as Smooth Talking Stranger, not as emotional as Blue-eyed devil and doesn't have the build up of Sugar Daddy, butI loved this!!! It's not as dynamic as Smooth Talking Stranger, not as emotional as Blue-eyed devil and doesn't have the build up of Sugar Daddy, but I really enjoyed it.
Just a joy to read and a lot more of the Lisa Kleypas that I know and love than her last few books.
I read this book in one night. I started at midnight and then suddenly it was four am and I was closing the book. It is THAT good you guys. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t care that I had work the next day or that I needed sleep.
I came into this book wondering how Beth could not love Isaiah, but then I met Ryan. These two start like oil and water and somehow find a way to merge and beautifully connect. I loved these two. I liked their differences and their similarities. I liked that despite the odds they decided to give each other a chance.
In “Pushing the Limits,” we got a glimpse of Beth’s family life, but that was not even a scratch on the surface. Like the main characters in “Pushing the Limits” Beth and Ryan have both been failed by the adults in their lives. In completely different ways, but both of their personal journeys have a heartbreaking beginning.
This book is sad, romantic, charming, liberating and even funny. I laughed, wanted to cry and felt satisfied at the end. A great read....more
I enjoyed this. It has the same issue that all novellas have in my opinion. Too short. I really enjoyed seeing a little bit more about Ellie and Adam.I enjoyed this. It has the same issue that all novellas have in my opinion. Too short. I really enjoyed seeing a little bit more about Ellie and Adam. They were apart of my favorite things in "On Dublin Street."When I discovered that they got their own story, I was like yes, check me in!
Here's the thing about this story it is very cute. It is also romantic, but it is cheesy. It is. I am supposed to believe that two grown people stood around reading a girl's diary, reminiscing about the past? I just don't believe it. This is the second book that I have read in the last two weeks where I am supposed to be reading the words/thoughts from someone's head. I understand it's a book, but if you are going to go there, go there. 97% of what is in this book does not sound like a girl's diary. It sounds like an author writing. It made it strange for me, because I kept thinking wow that's a big metaphor for a 12 year old.
Aside from that I loved it. I loved seeing Adam and Ellie dodge around eah other until the pull is so strong. The only issue is that I didn't have to read this book. I didn't learn anything new. I got more details sure, but I knew everything from reading On Dublin Street. It's entertaining if you are a fan, but not necessary....more
I have been known to root for forbidden love. Two people with messed up pasts, a married man in a torrid affair or two enemies getting it on. So, taboo or morally ambiguous love stories do not immediately turn me off. My issue with “Sweet Taboo” is the lack of any real love story. Picking up this book, I expected to see a normal student teacher relationship evolve. I expected talks about a shared love of literature or history to lead to hours long conversations that ran away from them and then they realize they have something more. I expected the teacher to fight it. To resist as long as possible until passion could no longer be denied. I expected Isabel to be afraid, to be racked with guilt and really consider her conscience. Instead, Isabel runs around in too tight bathing suits and catches the attention of her swim coach, Tom.
Instead of a forbidden, but honest love story, I got a selfish teen girl and a lecherous weak man. This romance starts because she has a thing for old men (exhibit a. not so subtle ploy of giving Isabel a crush on old enough to be her grandpa Bill Clinton) and because he notices her attention and indecent bathing suit. (Indecent is the authors words) Besides the obvious age and moral issue, “Sweet Taboo” is about one of the most unhealthiest relationships I have ever come across. These characters are codependent, they are careless and their hold on each other is difficult to read never mind root for. Tom and Isabel lose their minds and the ability to function whenever they are apart. It’s pathetic.
At no point did I sense maturity in Isabel’s feelings. She obsesses over Tom the same before their first conversation as she does after they are intimate. She reminds me of my teenage self with a crush. It is sometimes irrational and has no basis in reality. You have a crush on a guy and without even speaking to him you create an entire romance. She is a normal teenage girl and in my opinion that is why Tom loves her. Tom is irresponsible, way too relaxed and selfish. Tom doesn’t love his wife and feels shackled down and so he takes his escape with the innocent love of a child. His character has no strength of will. He is the adult in this relationship, he knows how the world works and he still jumps into this relationship without any real concern for the consequences. Tom doesn’t care that by sneaking around with him Isabel is not having a normal teenage life. He doesn’t care that this relationship has no future, because he has no intention of leaving his wife. He doesn’t care that Isabel is getting the raw end of the deal and that as her first relationship he may be ruining her future relationships. He touches this girl and then goes home to his wife! Disgusting.
There is a lack of guilt that makes this story unbearable to me. Isabel is the worst kind of person. The kind of person who doesn’t care that the person they are fooling around with is in a relationship. Twice in this book she fools around with men who are taken and yes it’s the men who are to blame as they are cheaters. Still, not once but twice you have your lips on someone else’s partner?! Despicable.
This is the second book I have read about a child in an adult relationship and both times I was disturbed. It happens in real life and no pretty words are going to make it any less disgusting. Especially, not words written by this writer with this kind of writing style. Eva Marquez tends to show and not tell. Important scenes are explained by Isabel and not described in detail. We’re a little too deep in her head. We needed to take a step back and be given the chance to actually experience the story. For example, I have no real idea of what Isabel looks like or what any of the locations look like. It’s all talk with no real details or descriptions.
By trying to show that teacher student relationships can be based on true love, the author actually highlighted everything that is wrong with these kinds of relationships. If you read this, please read it with your eyes open. Don’t open this book and just accept the authors “Forward” where she tries to explain why she tells a taboo story. This story is based off of a relationship the author’s mother had in high school. Because her mother doesn’t seem negatively effected or traumatized it seemed as if the author has decided that these relationships are not all bad. I disagree. It may not be the act of a pervert preying on a child, but I don’t see a single positive thing that came out of Isabel loving her teacher.
Recommended for psychology majors and anyone interested in looking at a taboo, but not sexy or romantic relationship.
They are not at all each others type or what either is looking for, but for some reason Southie musician Crank and Harvard senior Julia cannot seem to stay away from each other. In one day they connect in a way that makes Crank want to explore more and makes Julia want to run. It starts with that initial meeting and all that chemistry and then launches into a story about family, healing, letting go of the past and accepting love from the most unlikely sources.
In the midst of traumatic pasts, dysfunctional families, Aspergers syndrome and a band called Morbid Obesity, is a beautiful love story. I loved this book. This is one of the few times I cried at a happy ending. Crank and Julia really touched me; as a couple and independently as characters. There is just the right mix of intelligence, heart and humor used to keep me turning the page and wanting to know more.
This relationship will frustrate you. Why? Because you just want these two crazy kids to get together. Every moment that feelings are being denied, hearts are being broken and they are not committed frustrated the hell out of me. The great thing about this book is that it goes back and forth from Julia’s perspective to Crank’s. Just when you’re getting annoyed with Crank or angry with Julia, we see the story from their point of view and then we’re back on their side. The truth is, there is no sides. You understand both of these characters and you understand the obstacles of this relationship.
There are a lot of obstacles. These two characters have lots of baggage. This is a love story, but it is also a heartbreaking tale. There is so much emotion. Julia’s character has been through very tragic events in her life. I was extremely pleased that at no point this book became a melodrama. There were many instances where it could have and I think it speaks well of Charles Sheehan-Miles’ writing ability that the story always stayed on the right side of dramatic. This journey is real. The idea that at some point you not only have to let go of the past, but deal with it, was just so beautifully done.
There are some instances of mental illness in this book. Mental illness and depression runs in my family and I was pleased with how realistic and sympathetic the author was in his depiction of depression. Sometimes people are sad and they cannot control it. I love that the characters in this book were understanding, helpful and honestly good to characters who needed it.
One real issue with this book is the cliché guy has had sex with every woman around and girl is practically a virgin. While it makes perfect sense that Crank would be promiscuous and Julia wouldn’t, I found myself annoyed with every mention of Crank’s manwhore ways. Why couldn’t Crank just be like a normal guy and have a normal amount of sex? Why are guy’s in romances such Lotharios? Always having a mile long list of sexual encounters?
My other issue is that perhaps this book is a little too long. I only say this, because by the end I was very annoyed with Julia. I got her issues and they were believeable, but Crank was so amazing. I just wanted her to get over it all and accept his love. Then the climax happened and I realize that I was actually wrong. The author unravels Julia and her life so completely, that when she is finally ready for Crank it is perfect.
This book is beautiful. It’s emotional. It’s vivid and it’s real. I believe every aspect of these characters, their life and their love story. Wonderfully done.
Recommended for readers of New Adult Romance and fans of books like “Easy” by Tammara Webber. ...more
I love the men of Ruthie Knox, they are manly, loyal and everything we girls want in our men. That is why I have taken so quickly to Ms. Knox and her work. When it comes to "Along Came Trouble," I have to admit that I did not like her women characters. As a whole I was sympathetic, but when it comes down to it Carly spreading unfair rumors and Ellen treating Caleb like a toy had me rooting for the boys. Even if it meant Caleb and Jamie ended up alone!
Ellen is a single mother, a divorcee and a woman trying her hardest to remain in complete control of her life. She literally cannot take a suggestion from another person if it involves her house or her son. She is very scarred from her marriage and it makes her extremely overprotective. So, when security expert Caleb shows up and wants to protect and love her, Ellen sees nothing, but trouble.
My biggest issue with romance, right now, is that the guys seem to know what's what, while the girls are irrational and clueless. I know that most readers of contemporary romance are ladies and we girls like the idea of a good man chasing us. Still, every contemporary romance I have read in the last 6 months involves the heroine being so messed up from her past she almost lets a good man slip from her life. I get that there needs to be conflict for there to be true drama, but it has really been annoying me.
This, of course, is not the fault of Ruthie Knox or "Along Came Trouble." The book is entertaining, funny and has RK's charming writing. The secondary plot of this story follows Carly and Jamie. She is pregnancy woman who just happened to fall in love with a celebrity. Carly is also the next door neighbor of Jamie’s twin sister Ellen and due to their connection to the pop star they are inundated with trespassers. I found the whole “relations of a celebrity” to be very interesting. I never much wondered how the families of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston handled the onslaught of paparazzi, press and scandal surrounding their famous family members. The absolute spectacle that ensues in this book, because Jamie is a famous musician made me cringe.
Caleb is the right sort of guy. He has flaws, but these are the kind of flaws that are desired, because it means he is not perfect, but he is easy to love. Then there is Jamie, the fabulously wealthy and famous pop star who has everything, but still falls for Carly who is pregnant with someone else's child. I love that idea. Jamie has his faults. He's spoiled and a bit out of touch with reality, but any guy who can love a woman who is already pregnant upon meeting her, is gold in my opinion. Both these guys are loyal, fight hard for the heroine and are committed to being the male presence in their children's lives! What more do these women need? I know that it's more complicated than that and Carly absolutely had a reason to doubt Jamie who abandoned her, but 3/4 of the way in I had to wonder what was up with these women, because the choice was pretty clear.
My issues with Contemporary Romance aside, this was a really entertaining book. It’s funny, fast paced and has a great cast of characters.
Recommended for fans of Ruthie Knox’s “About Last Night,” readers of contemporary romance and anyone who is interested in the less glamorous side of stardom.
Fred likes to play golf. In fact, golf is the only thing in her life that makes her feel good. So, when the coach of the high school golf team asks her to join, Fred jumps at the chance. The problem is that everyone else on the team is male, privileged and white, three things that Fred is not. And the fact that a popular boy was kicked off the team to make space for Fred, doesn’t make things better for her. “Hooked” is told from the POVs of both Fred and school it-boy Ryan. Through their eyes we get to see both sides of the story. It’s all direction and misdirection and how easily it is for the smallest thing to be misconstrued and made into a much bigger problem.
After starting, but not finishing “Perfect Chemistry,” I became weary of reading teenaged interracial contemporary romance. “Perfect Chemistry” is one of the most ignorant and prejudiced books I have ever read. Reading the synopsis of “Hooked,” I was afraid to be bombarded with another ignorant authors idea of teenage romance and what it means to be a minority in this country. Fortunately, “Hooked” is not like that at all. “Hooked” is an honest and well researched. The author did not try to pretend that the divide and distrust between the two groups at this high school was anything but racially charged confusion and ignorance. She didn’t offend my intelligence by trying to excuse, sugarcoat or over exaggerate the situation. She also doesn’t write cliche and stereotypical Native American characters. Both sides of the line have been separated and held back from the other. They do not know each other, they do not understand each other’s ways, but a girl with the strange name of Fred and the game of football is about to change all that.
I recognized a problem with this book on the first page. I opened the book believing it to be about football/soccer, but it’s actually about golf. Golf is a sport I do not get. Footy I get. Rugby, cricket, basketball and American football and baseball, I get all of those. I even understand why people play on bowling leagues, but golf? I just don’t get why anyone competes in that and I was sure this would prevent my enjoyment of “Hooked.”
I was wrong. Golf in “Hooked” is not described from the point if view of the audience, but from the inner thoughts of the players mind. . To Fred Golf is an escape, the one thing she is truly good at and a symbol of her hope for the future. Golf is the thing that can get her out of her family trailer on the reservation. Golf is also her hiding place from her problems. When life gets her down she picks up a nine iron and puts a few balls on the range. (Ha, I learned golf lingo, boom!)
Initially being in Ryan’s head did not endear him to me. His POV gave me the same reaction that meeting him in a high school hallway would give me; spoiled privileged kid who thought his life sucked, but had no earthly idea how lucky he was. I mean what kind of kid doesn’t recognize a girl he has classes with? This is not college where your in a lecture with 250 people! This is high school with what 20 kids per class? To make matters worse he called “The Great Gatsby” a lame 100 yr old book that never made any sense! That frame of thought did not endear him to me, as Gatsby is one of my favorite books.
One thing that works beautifully in “Hooked” is the evolution of Ryan’s character. Sometimes in life we meet people who move through our world like a tornado. They make you take a closer look at yourself and the people around you. They make you question the status quo of your life and as a result you begin to question who you are and what you stand for. Fred is the storm that blows through Ryan’s existence. His POV goes from whiney and cliche teenage angst to thoughtful and full of purpose. Ryan is still a teenager at the end, so there is still overblown angst, but he goes through a transformation that I enjoyed reading.
The love story in “Hooked” is well crafted and filled with dozens of emotions. Fred and Ryan do not look at each other across the room and are instantly in an epic romance. This story, like love, takes its time. It is bumpy in place, smooth in others and has a lot of hurdles to jump over. These characters go from enemies, to tentative team mates, hesitant friends and them finally it becomes more. It is not easy for these two and it is not a match made in heaven. No matter our age group, we all have baggage. We come with family, friends, traditions, expectations and prejudices. It is just a matter of deciding that the other person is worth it.
“Hooked” is not a unique story and at moments it is filled with overblown drama, but it is sweet. By the middle of this book you will be rooting for these kids and hoping that they can figure it out. This story is complicated and filled with half starts and full stops. Your emotions will be all over the place and your frustration will rise, but it will be worth it to finish this journey with Fred and Ryan.
Recommended for fans of YA, people who like a good romance and anyone looking for books about interracial couples.
Release Date: February. 1, 2013
**ARC by Netgalley and Harlequin Enterprises Australia
My low rating of “Mimi” doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad book. It just is not my particular cup of tea. I opened the book with a feeling of dread. Why did I request this ARC? What was I thinking? I’m going to hate it! To my surprise I did not hate this book. The authors writing style completely snared my attention. It’s quirky, introspective and hilarious. Harrison’s mind is fast paced, reflective and all over the place. His list of reasons his ex-girlfriend Gertrude annoys him is absolutely fantastic. I am suddenly afraid that somewhere in space and time someone is making a similar list about me.
The problem is that while entertaining, the pace of the story is too slow for my liking. Harrison sprains his ankle on the first page and we spend the next fifty pages or so alone in his apartment. The story doesn’t really get started for some time. We get amusing flashbacks of his childhood, we meet his brash sister and see him adopt a cat named bubbles, but it’s not enough.
It’s interesting the way fate has Harrison and Mimi collide twice, but by the moment of their second collision I was bored. A strange kind of boredom. I realized that I was reading for the words and not the story. I found Harrison and Mimi to be eccentric and not at all like the other characters are contemporary romances, but it just wasn’t enough.
Mimi is kooky; this book is essentially about two oddball characters that have a whirlwind romance. The issue is that these characters never feel real. Harrison’s brain is a little too focused on the small details and is a little too bothered by small things to be a realistic modern day man. Gertrude is a caricature and Mimi is a little too different to be real. Some of her antics were a little too over the top even for someone like me. (My personality is a bit over the top is what I am saying)
The problem may very well be that at 24 years old I am too young to click with the lives of middle-aged characters, but I sincerely doubt it. When I was 12, I fell in love with the novels of Mario Puzo and consumed Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca at least 10xs. I also watched Bette Davis movies and sympathized with her fear of becoming too old and felt her heartbreak at not getting to have the man she loved. I doubt that 12 years later I would lose my ability to understand characters older or younger than myself.
“Mimi” is also preachy. Don’t get me wrong. I am a feminist, I believe in equal rights and I know that the world is often not fair. I also don’t mind books that have a message; I just prefer it to be subtler. I prefer it when a woman goes against all misogynist ideas, without saying I AM GOING AGAINST MISOGYNIST IDEAS. A book doesn’t have to scream I am woman for us to hear it roar. This book is called the feminist book of our decade or something and I disagree. Give me a book where the woman realistically triumphs over a book like Mimi any day of the week.
I recommend this book to students looking for feminist focused fiction, fans of screwball comedies and anyone who likes their author to have an eccentric writing style....more
Amber is a good girl. She has always done exactly what she is supposed to do and never have her parents any trouble. She went to college, had a few boyfriends, but never went overboard with drinking and never slept around. Amber is not a virgin, but her inexperience and her inability to be comfortable around the opposite sex, makes her seem virginal, sweet and incredibly young for her age. Amber is tired of being good. Good girls don’t have fun, or get to experience the thrills of life. Enter, Tony, a contractor who is expanding the community center where Amber works. He is commanding, sexy and according to a friend he is trouble. Tony has never said more than two words to her, but she cannot get him out of her mind. When a tornado alert forces Amber and Tony to find shelter in a dark basement? Amber isn’t sure if she should be excited or terrified of being in the dark and alone with this troublesome man.
After reading “About Last night,” I emailed Ruthie Knox and begged for Arcs of her next book and lucky me her publisher sent me not one, but two. After begging the author for her book, I got a little nervous. What if I don’t like it? Within five pages of starting this book, I let out a sigh of relief. Another winner.
This is a novella, a short story and it’s about sex. It is sexy, sweet and detailed. Not cringe worthy graphic, but you can definitely imagine everything these characters are doing. This is a short story, which I usually hate. When I am finished with a book, I want to feel as if the characters are my best friends or enemies, depending on how much I like the book. I usually don’t feel that way with novellas, but with “How to Misbehave,” I really didn’t care.
This story is a snippet of a love story. We drop in on Tony and Amber at the beginning of their romance. It’s ripe, brand new and filled with possibilities. From the final page of this story, this relationship can become anything. I really enjoyed that. We go from the awkward conversation, to interests to strong attraction and finally the realization that there could be more between them than just sex.
The thing is, every girl’s first time should be with a guy like Tony. When I say first time, I don’t just mean losing your virginity. Nope, every girls first time with a new lover, first time after a break up, first time after a dry spell, etc, should be with a guy like Tony. Tony is calm, he is patient and is never annoyed with Amber’s inexperience. He explores her body, learns everything she likes while teaching her what he likes. I usually find sex scenes to be a little too much. There are authors who go on for pages and pages, until I am rolling my eyes and skipping the scene entirely. Not so in “How to Misbehave,” Amber’s sexual history is so boring; you are literally cheering Tony on. Someone had to teach this girl the correct way to misbehave!
Tony seems to do everything right. He is a confident, but fair boss. He is an accomplished lover and a guy who does not assault strange women in basements during tornadoes. Tony’s lack of faith in himself didn’t seem to add up with the man we experience. I wanted to know more and discover what it was in his past that made him distrustful of himself. Many times a characters dark past is something outlandish or ridiculous. I found Tony’s past to be heartbreaking and filled with guilt that I understood and sympathized with.
“How to Misbehave” is a quick, fun and entertaining read. I am becoming a big fan of how seamlessly Knox writes romantic male leads who are strong and confident, without the borderline obsessive and abusive tendencies that other authors have embraced.
Recommended for readers of contemporary romance, fans of “About Last Night” and anyone looking for a quick and entertaining read.
“How to Misbehave” Release date January. 28, 2013
***ARC courtesy of Loveswept/Random House and Netgalley...more
This is the story of how two people who are incredibly mean to each other, have lots of sex and then say I love you. That is literally what “Beautiful Bastard” is about. I would never classify this as a love story, because no one actually falls in love. I also wouldn’t call it erotica, because while the sex scenes try really hard, they just are not hot enough. Chloe Mills is an intern at a multi-million dollar company, that some how cannot live without her. Bennett Ryan is the mean COO of his father’s company and Chloe’s boss. After nine months of butting heads and Bennett being a complete bastard to Chloe, they begin having sex. It comes out of nowhere, there is no real hint that these people want each other, they just start doing it and cannot stop.
That kind of storyline drives me crazy. The “I hate you, but you’re so hot I can’t stop myself from having unprotected sex with you everywhere” storyline. Let’s face it, it is not that difficult to control your body. Bennett and Chloe are unbelievably awful to each other. They legitimately each other for most of this book, but some how they have sex in conference rooms, in office hallways, in Bennett’s office, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I understand passion and lust are sometimes beyond our control, but Chloe is supposed to be this serious and ambitious girl, why would she risk her career, her reputation and her job to have sex in hallways with a guy she doesn’t like? It makes no sense. You can say, well, she probably was in denial about liking him. Fine, but how can you like someone who treats you like something on the bottom of his shoe?!
I have worked for media companies, entertainment companies, advertising companies and movie companies since I was 16 years old. I have been the intern to Academy Award winning directors, executives, TV show head writers and company presidents. As good as I was at my job, I never found myself as comfortable and as needed as Chloe Mills is in this book. Sure, she has some kind of MBA internship, but guess what I know people who were MBA interns and they didn’t go to the President’s house for dinner and the president wouldn’t have stormed into their bosses office to demand that the executive treat the intern better. Chloe’s relationship to everyone else in this book is extremely absurd. Everyone’s like “we can’t do this without Chloe.” She is an intern! Of course you can do it without her. If Chloe left, you would still be able to run your million dollar business effectively! Give a me a break! I rolled my eyes at 90% of the office/business scenes, because it is pretty obvious to me that the writing team Christina Lauren, probably have never spent a day in a corporate office, before writing this book.
I think it’s incredibly sad when adults sit down to write fan fiction of teenage stories. How an adult can read “Twilight” and think it is so epic that they have to write Bella and Edward on other situations is beyond me. Liking and finding “Twilight” to be entertaining, I get, but not middle age mothers being so obsessed they decide to write their own book staring these characters. I actually don’t know how old the writing team Christina Lauren is, but since their bio claims they have jobs, etc I’m going to say they’re not 16. It blows my mind that these authors and the author of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” have been able to be successful by copying and repackaging someone else’s characters. I also find it shameful that publishers are actually going out of their way to release fan fiction. What happened to looking for the next great thing? Not rereleasing the same crap in different forms! By the time I have kids and they begin reading, publishing will just be a bunch of fan fiction about characters actual writers have created.
I have to say one thing about EL James, at least she wrote a story. We know about her character histories and there is a beginning, middle and end. The same cannot be said for “Beautiful Bastard.” This “book” consists of a bunch of scenes thrown together where Chloe and Bennett are mean to each other and then have sex. There is no real exploration into the characters and their histories. There is no characterization or evolution. One day out of nowhere they just stop fighting. Nothing has happens to bring this peace truce along, the authors just need them to stop fighting, so they do. There is no real conflict or resolution in this story. There is nothing and no one to really root for. I mostly had a vague interest in whether or not they would end up together in the end. There are no stakes. The author tries to throw in the idea that Chloe’s reputation could be tarnished, but this book does not take place in 1886, so I was not too worried.
I don’t have any real emotions toward this book, which I think is worse than hating it. If I hated it, that would mean that the author were able to get a rise out of me. It means that something they wrote deeply effected me for the worse, but a negative reaction is way better than no reaction at all.
I read this book in a few hours, because it is a ridiculously easy read. You open the book and the next thing you know it’s finished. It doesn’t even give you time to form an actual opinion.
Recommended for fans of Twilight Fan fiction and people who loved “Fifty Shades of Grey.”...more