Started out ok, but after a while the narrator felt all wrong for the character and genre. She had a very "chick-lit" tone rather than a voice for DNF
Started out ok, but after a while the narrator felt all wrong for the character and genre. She had a very "chick-lit" tone rather than a voice for erotic romance. Also, after at least half way through it became a sex fest. Sex, sex, sex. Maybe this wouldn't have been so obvious if I'd read the book, but listening to the audiobook it was really evident, and became very repetitive with no actual storyline. ...more
Good story, well written and narrated. Ended a bit too soon in my opinion, and although I really liked the characters I didn't quite believe the loveGood story, well written and narrated. Ended a bit too soon in my opinion, and although I really liked the characters I didn't quite believe the love between Horse and Marie. Liked the writing so will definitely listen to book two when it's released....more
Audiobook: Such a fun book with great characters. Really enjoyed this, and Jane Collingwood narrated brilliantly as usual. Definitely recommend if youAudiobook: Such a fun book with great characters. Really enjoyed this, and Jane Collingwood narrated brilliantly as usual. Definitely recommend if you want a fun, light, entertaining read/listen....more
This was my first Gibson novel, and I did enjoy it but I wasn’t wowed by it. Not a lot happens and I didn’t feel particularly engaged. An easy read wiThis was my first Gibson novel, and I did enjoy it but I wasn’t wowed by it. Not a lot happens and I didn’t feel particularly engaged. An easy read with a sweet romance none the less....more
Deeper is the first book in the Caroline &Westnew adult, contemporary romance series. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I hDeeper is the first book in the Caroline & West new adult, contemporary romance series. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I hadn't heard of the author or the series before (although subsequently have found out it's the pen name of Ruthie Knox). However, from the first page I was hooked. This book is beautifully written, has two of the most amazing characters I've read in a long time - especially within the new adult, contemporary romance genre - and the added aspect of revenge porn which, although I knew about it, hadn't realised it was called revenge porn.
Throughout the novel the perspective changes between Caroline and West, but the chapters are pretty long so it's not like it's constantly swinging to and fro all the time. You really get to know the characters and their personalities, what they are about, and who they are inside. Although contemporary romance has its fair share of the trope of good girl falls for bad boy, there is a lot more here than just that trope. These characters are well rounded and three-dimensional. And once you get to know West, you realise he's not really bad boy at all, just in the wrong place at the wrong time, or trying to make ends meet.
The one thing I loved about this story is Caroline's personal growth. We start with her finding out that sexual pictures of her and her ex-boyfriend have gone viral on the Internet. We watch as she closes up, shuts down and isolates herself. She doesn't fight back, she doesn't go out, she doesn't have a life; and she wonders if she will ever get to be a lawyer, because nobody's going to hire a slut. But, by the time we get to the end of the novel, Caroline has come full circle back to the girl that her friends knew before all the craziness, and it was really nice to see.
West is one of the sexiest, most complex and interesting heroes I've read in a long time. Yes, he does seem to be a bad boy, but he isn't really. He comes from a bad area, but nobody really knows because he keeps it well hidden. He's embarrassed and so puts across a persona that he's happier with when at university. The one real aspect that makes West bad boy material is the fact that he deals marijuana, and if we were on the outside looking in we probably would look at West and think, 'you're no good', and I'm sure we wouldn't want anything to do with him.
However, once we see him through Caroline's eyes, see what he does for her, as well as hearing his own thoughts and feelings about the people in his life; Caroline, his mum, dad, and sister, his life really; as well as what he has had to deal with, we begin to understand (although not condone) why he sells marijuana. You begin to realise that he's not really bad at all, but that life has put him in a very difficult situation. He struggles to get himself to a really good college, in order to try and get a good job as a doctor, so he won't have to worry about money when taking care of his little sister, who he adores, and his deadbeat mum.
When Caroline and West do eventually get together, the sex scenes are just so well written, it's a beautiful coming together. There is nothing in the writing that is jarring or made me cringe. The buildup is so heart-wrenching, so beautiful that I was completely and utterly absorbed.
As well is the romance aspect, there is the revenge porn. I thought the author did an amazing job at expressing Caroline's feelings regarding this heinous act by her ex-boyfriend. Caroline's thoughts are very realistic and totally understandable, it made my heart bleed for her. To think that this actually goes on in the real world and not just in fiction is heartbreaking. However, from being a 'victim' to seeing her growth through both these two books, made me feel really proud of her and optimistic for her future, whether it was going to be with West or not.
Although Caroline's feelings towards West are all consuming, in that she needed, wanted, lusted after him, she knows that she would be able to live her life without him, and the ending of Deeper shows that. West is really supportive of Caroline and what she goes through regarding the revenge porn, and I loved how gentle and caring and understanding he is towards her, and how much it helps her get through such a dark time in her life.
The secondary characters are also very good, in fact, the whole ensemble of characters are fantastic. Not one of them got on my nerves or irritated me, unless they were meant to, such as Caroline's ex and West's mum.
As well as the support from West, Caroline's best friend is also there for her as she tries to navigate her way through this awful time. Caroline is surprised at herself for what she is eventually able to achieve in the face of adversity. When she begins to get back into life rather than hiding away, she joins an all-girl rugby team, where she makes more friends and starts to enjoy life again. It was nice to see Caroline eventually surrounded by people that supported and cared for her, and believed in her. It was a shame that her own family didn't do the same thing. When it all came out and she has to tell her father, his reaction is really disappointing. He does redeem himself somewhat, but something like that is not easily forgotten, or easy for a character to come back from.
Deeper and Harder have to be two of my favourite reads of the year, and I know my review just doesn't do either of them justice. Deeper really touched me, and Harder is a great second instalment.
The ending to Deeper is heartbreaking, but fortunately Harder does resolve everything, so make sure you have it to hand otherwise you will die. Yes, die. There is so much more to these books than simply romance, but going into it in too much depth would possibly lead to spoilers, which I don't want to do.
Make Deeper and Harder your two next reads, especially if you enjoy contemporary romance with wonderful, three-dimensional characters and a heartfelt storyline.
I devoured this series in one go and read all the books back to back. I really enjoyed them, but my favourites are book one, On Dublin Street3.5 Stars
I devoured this series in one go and read all the books back to back. I really enjoyed them, but my favourites are book one, On Dublin Street, and book three, Before Jamaica Lane. I was looking forward to reading Fall From India Place as it's the next generation. It's from the view point of Hannah, who, when we first met her was in her teens, is now twenty-two and an English teacher.
The first part of the book is a combination of the present and flashbacks to Hannah's past. The flashbacks are mostly of her relationship with Marco, who she falls in love with at the age of fourteen to Marco's seventeen. She's sure he feels the same way but his actions turn hot and cold. Then something happens when she's sixteen that crushes her and ends with Marco leaving her.
Hannah hasn't been with a guy since Marco left, which is quite a few years ago now, so when he comes back into her life it's a shock. There are plenty of secrets between these two, and so the rekindling of their relationship doesn't start out well. They have their ups and downs, but the love between then is still there, it's just that the trust isn't.
I can see why Hannah is reluctant to take Marco back. Having him leave her the way he did, at such an impressionable age, would scar anyone, especially with the ramifications that play out after he leaves, which I won't go into as it contains spoilers. However, I did find that their hesitancy to get together went on for a bit too long. The author should have had Hannah take Marco back a bit earlier in the story as the toing and froing became a little annoying.
Overall thought, I enjoyed Fall From India Place. The sex is hot, the characters are sweet, and I would still recommend it. I just wasn't invested in the characters as much as I have been with other characters in previous books in the series, and for me it wasn't a stand out novel in the series.
Contemporary romance, Talk to Me by Jules Wake, has a lot going for it. I really liked the writing style, it’s easy reading with likeable characters,Contemporary romance, Talk to Me by Jules Wake, has a lot going for it. I really liked the writing style, it’s easy reading with likeable characters, and it’s a lot of fun. However, it doesn’t really know if it is a straight up contemporary romance, or a romantic suspense. I guess that its main aim is to be a straight up romance, but with creepy stalkers, cats being killed by having their throats cut, and evil house mates, combined with a fairly light romance, it doesn’t manage to pull off either. Sadly, its mistaken identity made this book fall a bit flat. I wish the author had stuck to her guns and made the romance itself the main focus, giving the characters a bit more depth and the romance a bit more substance.
Our heroine is Olivia and she has been in love with Daniel for a very long time, but has never vocalised her feelings. Daniel, our hero, has always been in love with Olivia but has never told her how he feels. Each time the moment finally comes for them to tell each other how they feel something always happens to prevent it. This is the story of their journey to their, hopefully, happy ever after (but do they get there? I’m not gonna say as I don’t want to give away any spoilers). Both of these characters are endearing and they both have great voices, which made them enjoyable to read, but they do have some serious flaws.
Emily is Olivia’s flat mate, and newly made girlfriend of Daniel’s, who is just down right horrible – what a nasty piece of work she is. How she is anyone’s friend is beyond me. She lies, gossips, snarks (without being funny or cute) and says the most nastiest things.
There are several moments throughout the book that I was like WTF?! at some of the things she says. Most of the time they are in front of Daniel aimed at Olivia, and not only does Olivia allow Emily to speak to her that way, without saying anything, but so does Daniel!
Daniel has known Olivia for a very long time, and although they haven’t managed to voice their romantic feelings towards one another, they have always been the best of friends. So I was really surprised to see how Daniel just sat back and let his best friend (and the girl he supposedly loves) get abused by his girlfriend of five minutes. Not only that but surely the venom that spews from Emily would be a huge turn off? Over time I did see Daniel in a different light, I mean, where was his backbone? Why would he allow his girlfriend to say such horrible things, and speak to his best friend in such a way? I also became increasingly frustrated with Olivia for allowing Emily to speak to her like that. I can understand that being flat mates and wanting to keep the piece played a part in Olivia’s silence, but Emily never said anything nice. Ever. So I really wanted to see Olivia say something at some point, but she doesn’t.
The other aspect about Daniel that disappointed me was how much he was willing to listen to Emily’s lies about Olivia. He believed everything Emily said, which meant that there were so many misunderstandings between Daniel and Olivia that I could of slapped him. How can someone be so blind?
The other point I have to mention was the climatic scene between Olivia and Daniel. What should have been the pinnacle of this tale is somewhat overshadowed by the stalker aspect of the novel. This really detracted from what was good about the overall story, and that was Daniel and Olivia’s relationship.
So, would I recommend Talk to Me? Well, it’s not the best romance ever written, but it is a quick, enjoyable read, despite its irritations. There are some fun moments with a few laughs, so, if you want something that’s on the whole light and entertaining (minus the cat scene), then I’d say definitely pick it up from your local library and give it a go. ...more
Hard to Handle is the second book in the Love in the Balance series, I hadn't read book one before picking this up, but I honestly didn't notice. TheHard to Handle is the second book in the Love in the Balance series, I hadn't read book one before picking this up, but I honestly didn't notice. The author did a great job keeping this a self-contained romance.
The story is about Aidan and Sadie, their struggle to let go of the past, to move on in the present towards their future. It is a sweet romance, with some really lovely moments, but there are also sections that were slightly jarring, knocking me out of the scene.
Sadie and Aidan have a past. A year previously they met, talked all night, got hot and steamy, but before things could go further, and as Aidan's mum was dying of cancer, his ex-wife comes back into his life, not because he still has feelings for her, but to save his mother the anguish and worry of finding out they are actually separated and going through a divorce. He also ups and moves to help his mother try and live out her remaining days as she wishes, which has him at odds with his siblings as it's more along the lines of alternative medicine.
Sadie was devastated when Aidan dumped her over the phone. She thought they had connected on a deep level, and was hurt more than she thought possible when he left. A year later, the present day, Sadie sees Aidan again at her friend's wedding, and all those feelings come rushing back.
They dance around each other for a while, but of course they eventually give in, but not before a few truths are aired, secrets are revealed, and lots of feelings are thrown about the place. Fear plays a huge role in Sadie's life, and although her exterior is professional, and hard at times, deep down she finds many things difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to Aidan.
I found their relationship an odd one. On the one hand I could understand their fears, but on the other I just wished they'd get it on already. It was only in the last quarter of the book they actually got down and dirty, after at least three or four false starts throughout the first three quarters of the book.
I was also surprised at some of the decisions from both Aidan and Sadie, and especially the trope of not having sex before marriage, personally it's not a trope I particularly care for, and to be honest was a little disappointed to find it here. But as the plot moved forward, Aidan suddenly goes off the idea just so he can seduce Sadie and orgasm her to death... well, at least into saying yes to marriage. There is quite a bit of starting and stopping when it came to their relationship. When one was ready the other wasn't, then when they caught up the other got cold feet. It was a touch silly and a lot frustrating.
There were also a few places where I cringed, and the repetitive terms "raking" and "rasping" when it came to the romantic scenes just threw me completely out of the moment:
"He rasped her cheek with the back of his knuckles because he couldn't stand being this close and not touching her."
- touching yes, but this sounds painful to me rather than hot and sexy.
"...his teeth raking over her lips as a low, guttural grown emitted from his throat."
- how about brushed over her lips or nibbled her lips, "raking" just doesn't work for me.
There were some sentences that were a little cliché too, and could have done without as they really didn't add anything to the over story or romance:
"Damn, she looked good in pink - like a cupcake with too much frosting. Guaranteed to make his teeth ache."
However, some of the scenes were really hot and steamy, and there were moments when the author's writing really shined. The humour was nice too:
"He worked the corkscrew into the bottle and refilled her glass, sending her a wink that had her sagging against the counter behind her. Then he took both their glasses and swaggered his sweet ass into her living room. Sadie knew because she kept her eyes on it the entire time."
Sadie and Aidan as characters are sweet though. They are warm and I did care about them and their outcome. I had become invested in them which is so important to me when reading any book, but especially when reading a romance, as it's the connection between the two lovers that is basically the entire story and so they need to be captivating and likeable.
There were also a few secondary characters that I really liked. Two of them are the couple from book one, and I assume the series will continue with a few of the others. I liked Aidan's brother Evan, as he seems rather aloof and I think he would be an interesting character.
Hard to Handle has its flaws, with repetitive terms throughout and slightly clumsy prose. However, the characters are extremely likeable, and although their romance is a little too bumpy, which became frustrating, it's a sweet and sexy story with a happy ever after. I would definitely try more from this author. ...more