**spoiler alert** One word describes this story...intense. Extremely, brutally, heart-wrenchingly intense. It is the story of Michael Wade, lead guita**spoiler alert** One word describes this story...intense. Extremely, brutally, heart-wrenchingly intense. It is the story of Michael Wade, lead guitarist for the rock band Thrust and Annie Logan, the woman he loves. Their feelings for each other are genuine but their relationship is tempestuous, volatile and nothing short of overwhelming. How can it be otherwise considering the lifestyles they lead? But Annie wants what surely seems to be the impossible...the devotion, the honesty AND the fidelity of a man who has spent the last 20 years of his life proving that sex, drugs & rock n roll is much more than just a cliche.
I really loved Michael. He knew he had found his soul mate in Annie and he honestly tried to be as perfect as she wanted him to be. Being a musician herself, Annie was well aware of the temptations Michael was confronted with on a daily basis yet she cut him no slack. Most of the time I admired her for the short leash she was able to keep Michael on, but other times she irritated me when she was purposely trying to hurt him. Yes, he cheated early in their marriage. He was on the road on tour...tired, alone and missing his wife...when a persistent band groupie slut wouldn't leave him alone. He kept trying to get rid of her but she was giving him a massage and he basically let his defenses down and she gave him a blow job. It was over in two minutes but the guilt was already tearing him up when - unannounced - Annie arrived. Of all the cheating books I've read, this is the one heroine that didn't roll over and play dead. She bit, kicked, punched, and spewed venom at him...for months. When he tried to touch her, she would actually vomit (although being pregnant certainly helped that bit of drama along). Michael groveled. And groveled. And groveled some more. It was obvious that when she finally did forgive him, she wasn't being sincere because when a similar situation presented itself, Michael actually fought the girl off and got scratched for it. Annie saw the scratches; and without giving him a chance to explain, she walked out of his life & divorced him.
Michael did everything he could to make Annie happy...went to rehab, stopped touring, even let her divorce him without a fight. If nothing else, they had 2 baby girls together and he desperately wanted to be a part of their lives. But Annie's bitterness ran deep, and for claiming to love Michael so much, she did everything in her power to beat him down. Purposefully making out with a guy in front of Michael when he was there to see the girls was an immature stunt for a 34-yr-old woman to pull. Yes, he was flawed...he had cheated, but he paid for that indiscretion in spades...he lost the only 3 people he truly loved.
Although the author wrote Michael & Annie a happy ending, I'm not so sure that would've been the outcome in reality. But, thankfully, this isn't reality. And the rock legend, his loving wife and 2 beautiful daughters, drove their Land Rover to their beachfront home on Martha's Vineyard and lived happily ever after. *sigh*
Where She Went is the concluding story of Adam Wilde and Mia Hall, whose relationship was put on hold at the end of the first book, If I Stay, when MiWhere She Went is the concluding story of Adam Wilde and Mia Hall, whose relationship was put on hold at the end of the first book, If I Stay, when Mia, a gifted cellist, left Adam in Oregon to attend Julliard in New York. The story is told in first-person by Adam, and let me just say that if you do not listen to audio books but were thinking about doing so, this would be an excellent book to begin with. The narrator has a great voice and very smooth presentation.
When Adam kissed Mia goodbye and put her on the plane to New York, little did he know that she would be severing their long distance relationship within the first six months. Adam's grief was profound...he was not only hurt but was totally in the dark as to why Mia had shut down all methods of communication. During his self-imposed period of mourning and reflection, he wrote lyrics to more than 10 songs that were not only therapeutic in helping him deal with the breakup, but were kick-ass as well. The album Collateral Damage was recorded and Adam's small-time band, Shooting Star, became internationally famous almost overnight.
The story begins three years later, and Adam is living the typical life of a rock star...complete with renowned fame, luxury and a famous girlfriend. Unfortunately, fame for Adam also brings paranoia, reclusiveness and a penchant for violent outbursts. It is Friday the 13th, and Adam refuses to fly, on that particular day, with the rest of the band members to Europe where they will begin a 3-month tour. He will fly out the next day; thus, he finds himself alone in New York City for an entire day. After an unwelcome magazine interview that, as usual, ended badly, Adam donned his sunglasses & hit the streets. Totally blown away when he sees a marquee advertising a concert at Carnegie Hall featuring Mia, he buys a ticket.
What follows is a heart-wrenching story of two people who have just a few hours of time together to find some type of closure over an old relationship that had once been rock-solid & filled with love. The author seamlessly blends the past with the present, so you do not have to read the first book (as I did not) to be totally in tune with what is going on. And as a bonus, every other chapter begins with a verse from a song off Collateral Damage, the lyrics being so poignant that you will wonder if such an album actually exists! Also, telling the story from Adam's POV is the perfect touch as it isn't often us romance readers are allowed this intimacy.
This book is listed under the subgenre of "young adult" but please don't let that stop you from reading a truly wonderful story of two people who shared a "once-in-a-lifetime" love, lost each other in the confusion of life, yet never let go of the love. Have tissues handy.
Really good debut novel...well thought-out plot and engaging characters. A totally hot beta hero and a heroine worthy of him. The sex scenes rocked asReally good debut novel...well thought-out plot and engaging characters. A totally hot beta hero and a heroine worthy of him. The sex scenes rocked as they were not only explicit but very sensual...the amazing chemistry Quinn & Sylvia shared was undeniable and explosive.
Across The Hall will suck you right into the story and run you through the gamut of emotions, concluding with a perfect epilogue - the kind romance readers yearn for in every novel but very rarely see. I am looking forward to reading more by this author!
I picked this book up because I love tattoos on men and was intrigued by the cover. Also, the only other book I have read by Bonnie Dee was Finding HoI picked this book up because I love tattoos on men and was intrigued by the cover. Also, the only other book I have read by Bonnie Dee was Finding Home, which I loved, so I decided to give this one a go. What a wonderful love story! In the same vein as Finding Home where an average, everyday woman befriends a societal misfit, Ms. Dee once again takes us outside the box of what most of us perceive to be normal in romance.
The year is 1945 and Sarah, a young war widow, has been coerced by a group of friends to go to the circus. In the "freak show" tent, Sarah is mesmerized by the beautiful man who is covered from head to toe in brilliant, exotic tattoos. In the morning, she discovers said male hiding in her barn.
So begins this incredible journey of two people defying the overwhelming odds against them for the sake of love. Tom's story is horrific. His mother was the fortune teller with a gaudy traveling circus. When she died, Tom, age 8, was taken under the wing of the sadistic circus owner who used Tom as his personal, human canvas. For the simple creature comforts of food to eat and a place to sleep, Tom endured years of pain under the needle as well as the humiliation of being "rented out" to the gawkers that were willing to pay a little extra to get nasty with a circus "freak". When Tom saw Sarah for the first time, he recognized her as the woman who had been haunting his dreams for years. So, having known no other life but the circus yet unable to resist the urge he felt to be with her, Tom made his escape. Sarah, plagued by dreams of the tattooed man after seeing him, was shocked but not afraid of Tom when she found him.
One woman working a nice-sized farm alone was at times overwhelming. With this rationalization in mind, Sarah put Tom to work in the fields in return for 3 square meals and use of the guest room. Tom was quiet and polite - although his manners were atrocious - and he was illiterate as well. He had no idea how old he was or the date of his birthday, and Sarah's heart (and mine) went out to him. She taught him to read and write, manners and customs; and, as the days went by, she couldn't ignore the sexual awakening overtaking a mind and body she had thought long dead and buried with her young husband. Before long, Sarah seduces Tom (in a sweet way) and they become lovers.
The idyllic life cocooned away from reality is shortlived, however, when a local girl goes missing and the small-town folks are fearful that the "retarded escapee from the circus" is the one responsible. Tom is responsible in the sense that he can "feel" the girl's pain and can envision her surroundings (a gift handed down by his mother?). Sarah, being the decent & morally- conscious person that she is, takes Tom to see the sheriff & relay the story. For once we have a sheriff that is a good guy. Hurray! He accepts Tom's story as truth and they are off to find the girl. Afterwards, Tom is socially accepted by the majority, but the few that insist he is a freak as well as the deranged circus owner, cause enough problems to run Tom off. Sarah, plagued with the terrible thought of losing another man she loves, ignores everyone's advice to leave well enough alone and sets out to bring her man home.
One of the things I love about Bonnie Dee is the fact she is not in the least bit shy about being sexually descriptive. For some odd reason, I wouldn't connote the word "pussy" with the freshly- scrubbed Norman Rockwell faces I envision when thinking of 1945, but it's in this story, it works and what do I know about connotations? haha In other words (if that wasn't plain enough), she keeps the bedroom door wide open for the wannabe voyeurs like me...elevating a 4.5 star story to a solid 5 stars. Ms. Dee also makes good use of metaphors...giving her readers clear and defined mental images to enhance the story.
Bone Deep is a fast-paced read that packs a walloping moral punch that, once again, exposes the debase side of human nature that refuses to comprehend the law of God in that all things are created equal. Fortunately, Sarah wasn't part of the majority...
"Her gaze lingered on the meticulous artwork of each design that covered his skin like a painstakingly stitched quilt. Once again she admitted that despite his evil, Arthur Reed was a talented artist. Tom’s canvas of skin was intricately filled with dynamic color and motion. When she first saw Tom, Sarah thought there was no pattern or reason behind the designs but the more she looked at them, the more she felt there was something significant right beyond the edge of her grasp. Whatever the meaning, her lover’s painted skin was beautiful. He was beautiful--both inside and out."
Highly recommended to romance readers looking for something different!
I was totally intrigued by the number of favorable reviews this book has received, given the subject matter is one that perhaps the majority of readerI was totally intrigued by the number of favorable reviews this book has received, given the subject matter is one that perhaps the majority of readers would find, on the surface, distasteful. Surprisingly, the praise for A Much Younger Man is not unfounded, as the author handled the relationship between Alyson & Tom very delicately, easing the reader into a relationship probably deemed taboo by the majority of civilized society. I mean, seriously, how many love stories have you read where you are rooting with all your heart for the couple to be together when said couple is a 16 year old boy and a 35 year old woman?
Before you think to toss Alyson into the poky for statutory rape, this is a contemporary story that takes place in Australia, where the legal age of consent is 16. Legalities thus being the least of their problems, the near star-crossed lovers are constantly swimming upstream in the real world - disillusionment, disapproval, disbelief, severed family ties, broken friendships, jobs lost and opportunities denied - every day is a struggle. But together at home, Alyson & Tom shut out the rest of the world and bask in the warmth of their love for each other. Alyson - having only one prior relationship, with a husband that beat her, is as innocent to the joys of true love as Tom. But her marital experience has left her wary and she subconsciously knows the other shoe will eventually drop. Tom, on the other hand, is an innocent "old soul" (if there can be such a person). He understands the sacrifices he is making by having a relationship with Alyson but it nevers deters him. He is solid, sure and a rock to Alyson's fragility. He knows what he wants now and in the future and all of those plans include Alyson. He is the proverbial guy who, when handed lemons, makes lemonade.
Unfortunately, something happens that ends the relationship and crushes Tom's spirit. Innocence is replaced by the harshness of reality, and both Tom and Alyson - while appearing to be functioning normally - on the inside are dying a little bit every day as each moves on without the other. At this point, the age difference is all but forgotten (it seems so unimportant now) and you fervently hope, when they finally happen to meet again, that the flame has not burned out.
I really loved this story and the unusual way the author chose to tell it. She has an unorthodox style that I can't even begin to describe but certainly enjoyed. Therefore, I found it a little depressing that A Much Younger Man, written in 1999, has been Dianne Highbridge's first and only novel to date.
I recommend this book to any romance readers looking for something completely different from what you normally read...and maybe just a little outside of your boundaries.
Note: I didn't have to suspend disbelief at all for this story. About 6 years ago, I was playing on an online mahjongg/wordscape league. Two other members - she was 31, divorced with 1 small daughter, he was 16 and a junior in high school - decided they were in love. She lived in So. Calif and he in Australia. She went over there to meet him and, even though he was of legal age, it became a huge scandal fueled by the media. They were on the cover of every Aussie rag mag, vying for the country's attention with the story of the birth of Suri Cruise. I never saw either one of them again until about 2 weeks ago when she happened to be playing wordscape in the same room as I was. She told me they have been happily married now for 5 years and have brought 2 more daughters into the world!
Goodreads needs a new rating system. Again I've been blown away by a book that is so frigging good a paltry 5 stars does not do it any justice.
On theGoodreads needs a new rating system. Again I've been blown away by a book that is so frigging good a paltry 5 stars does not do it any justice.
On the Island is not your everyday romance novel and you will need to step out of the box for this one. The setting is an island...and I'm not talking the Bahamas. It is a small, deserted island with no food, no water and no shelter. What it does have is relentless heat and extreme humidity, rabid bats intent on sucking blood, and the human remains of a survivor who obviously did not live up to the moniker. And that's the lighter fare! The true "survivors" on the island are the protagonists of this story...a 16-year-old boy, TJ, and a 30-year-old woman, Annie. And, yes, it is a romance. But keep an open mind! It may breach your moral code but I can guarantee it will do so with your blessing.
TJ is a high school sophomore who has recently undergone treatment for cancer. He and Annie, the tutor his parents have hired for him to catch up on the schoolwork he has missed, are flying from Chicago to the Maldive Islands to join TJ's family on vacation. Bumped from their scheduled flight on the last leg of their trek, they charter a seaplane to take them the final few miles. Tragically, the pilot has a massive heart attack while en route and the plane crashes into the ocean. TJ and Annie both survive and wash ashore of the island.
What follows is a fantastic account of two people beating the odds and staying alive...day after day...month after month...and yes...year after year. TJ & Annie's "life story" is shocking and raw and brutal...and as a reader you become very connected with their ordeal as the story is told from their alternating points of view and supplemented with a great deal of dialog. TJ & Annie's "love story" is everything you could ask for in a true romance. They do not get together until TJ is nineteen and Annie is thirty-three, but when they do it feels natural and realistic and very, very right. You actually watch two people fall in love...and it really kicks ass over being "told" a couple is in love - which of course is standard fare for most romance novels. The author lets you into the very heart and soul of these characters; and when TJ & Annie return to real-life, you fervently pray they will find a way to beat the odds and make their extraordinary relationship work.
OK, I might sound like a drama queen but I can't help it...this is a dramatic story! I read a few reviews that described On the Island as a "light, easy read" and I was like WTF?? Maybe easy to read because it is written so well, but being in a plane crash and stranded on a deserted island for over three years with hardly anything more than coconuts to eat, a shark that is chomping at the bit for a good meal, no clothes, tainted water, feelings of panic, hopelessness and despair,as well as the grief that comes from knowing your family thinks you are dead and are mourning your passing...is NOT, in my opinion, "light" reading! And this story does not go away after you have read the last page and closed the book. How can it? This was your journey too!
Best of all, Tracey Garvis-Graves is undoubtedly one of us "die-hard romantics" because the epilogue she has given this story is absolutely fantastic - it is sweet and touching and pretty damn near perfect. It deserves 10 stars by itself!
Seriously, think of all the reasons you should treat yourself to this book - you will read something very different while still staying in the genre you love (and who knows, you might even learn how to start a fire with just your shoelace), you will successfully escape from real life (and if you're anything like me, you can never get enough of that), you will believe that anything is possible (even those of you with a strict moral compass), and best of all, it will make you happy. Without a doubt, you deserve that! [image error]...more
Hardy Bradford is a high school senior who, by outward appearance, has it all going on. Tall, with dark hair, light eyes and rockin' a 6-pk, he's theHardy Bradford is a high school senior who, by outward appearance, has it all going on. Tall, with dark hair, light eyes and rockin' a 6-pk, he's the picture you see when you look up "swoonworthy". He's the quarterback "on fire"...the one being scouted most actively by the top colleges in the country; and his girlfriend of several years, Cheyenne, is the best-looking female on the planet. Although Hardy knows his future as a football pro is more for his father than for himself, and Cheyenne - handpicked by his father as well - is NOT the girl of his dreams, he is content for now...until he meets Miracle St. James.
The first time Hardy lays eyes on Miracle she is sitting on a park bench. He is mesmerized by her emerald green eyes, her sweet smile, her seductive voice. Does her skin feel as soft as it looks, he wonders. Hardy is oblivious to anything but this beautiful girl in front of him until Cheyenne walks up and asks him if he is "into bald chicks now." The spell is broken and he walks away...but he doesn't forget. Five months later, Hardy is ecstatic when he discovers Miracle is now attending his school. Like a moth to a flame, he is drawn to her beauty...her sweet disposition...her joy in experiencing the little things in life that most people take for granted. Unfortunately, everything good that is Miracle is overshadowed by everything bad that is Cheyenne...and Hardy feels no remorse when he kicks Cheyenne to the curb. Yeah!!!
What follows is a touching story about two young people who are fortunate enough to find their lifelong soul mate in each other. The question is...how long is lifelong? Miracle had been diagnosed with cancer the year before, but treatment had been successful and she was clean; however, as the result of high med dosage, chemo, etc, she lost a kidney. Now tests on her surviving kidney are indicating problems...
Hardy is probably the best YA hero I have come across to date. He realizes early on that Miracle is the love of his life; and, while a few of his decisions are probably not too smart (like knocking her ex unconscious with little forethought) he is completely exonerated of any wrongdoing in my book. Miracle holds his heart; therefore, her happiness and well-being are foremost in his mind and affect every decision he makes. At one point Miracle calls Hardy her hero, and he realizes that is exactly what he wants to be...her protector, her lover and her savior...forever. But while Hardy envisions forever to mean he and Miracle sporting white hair & playing with their grandchildren, the heartbreaking truth is that Miracle might not live to see her 19th birthday. My heart went out to Hardy...he had so much conflict at home to contend with, his scholastic future was unclear, Cheyenne kept trying to break him down...yet despite all that, he stayed focused on Miracle and his quest to fill her life with happiness.
Please don't think you can read this story without shedding a tear. If you can, then you are probably made of stone.
Staring deeply into her eyes, Hardy prayed that all he felt for her would show, that she could see what he couldn’t find the words to say. When her lips curved into a tremulous smile, he cupped her face in his hands and pressed his forehead to hers, closing his eyes. Hardy whispered, just loud enough for Miracle to hear, “Someday I’ll marry you, Miracle. And maybe someday after that, I’ll deserve you.”
Although Fragile is told in 3rd person with an insight to only what Hardy is thinking, I felt like I knew Miracle just as well. The author, M. Leighton, must have poured her heart and soul into creating Hardy & Miracle because they were living, breathing people from the first page to the last. The dialog flowed smoothly and all characters used to build the story were thoroughly fleshed out. Best of all, I was told nothing and experienced everything. That is the make-it-or-break-it issue for me when I read a book and Ms. Leighton's presentation kicked ass! Indie authors rock!
WOW! Now I think I understand the meaning of the term "anti-hero".
William Honor is the bad boy college professor who commits the cardinal sin o*gulp*
WOW! Now I think I understand the meaning of the term "anti-hero".
William Honor is the bad boy college professor who commits the cardinal sin of hitting on one of his students. But he doesn't just flirt with Emma...he throws it into high gear from day one and "goes after" her. What I mean by that is he really wants this girl...wants to possess her, wants to dominate her, wants to fuck her six ways to Sunday. Is he losing his mind? He can't think straight anymore. She makes him crazy, she makes him horny, she makes him lose control... and William never loses control. OMG this is a wild ride from beginning to end!
I thought I should hate William but I'm drooling over the guy instead. He's the poster boy for the term "hot mess", yet something about him is so damn attractive. If you're familiar with Travis Maddox from Beautiful Disaster then you have a good idea what William is all about...but about 4 times more intense. Once he seduces Emma it's all over for any man who even looks her way. Like Travis, he is totally dysfunctional in a one-on-one relationship; however, while Travis used his fists to "communicate" his displeasure of any man that looked Abby's way, William's method of dealing with Emma's admirers is ratcheted way the hell up from simply delivering a black eye.
So why do I find this troubled man so appealing? To begin with, the story is told in first person by William. We get to find out first-hand what has happened in his troubled past to make him the man he is today. In the first book, Honor Student, we get the story from Emma's POV...and that gives us zero insight as to where this crazy guy Emma has latched onto is coming from. We only know that he is a gorgeous young teacher who is into kinky fuckery and totally messes with Emma's head. You wonder WTF is she doing with this guy? He's having an affair with a married staff member, his ex-wife is blackmailing him, he freaks out when Emma dances with another man and punishes her for it by whipping her with his belt. Jeez Emma...t-h-e-r-a-p-y...think you might need some?
But when the story flips and we are inside of William's head, we find out where he's been, who he has become, his self-deprecating thoughts; and, best of all, how much he cares for Emma and what lengths he will go to protect her. He's a user, an abuser and way too out of control. If Christian Grey is fifty shades of fucked up then William Honor is sixty. Apart from Emma, he places little value on human life - including his own. He is a train wreck coming and going...and I'm crushing on him terribly!
Honor Thy Teacher is an adrenaline rush from the first page to the last, and is erotic to the core. Kudos to Teresa Mummert for gifting us with the most dysfunctional couple in romancelandia and having the writing skills it takes to not only make Emma and William believable but have us rooting for them as well. I love the fact that their story is to be continued with Honor and Obey (Emma's POV) and Honor and Betray (William's POV), thereby insuring that William Honor will remain my Kindle fantasy boyfriend for a long time to come!
While this is definitely one of my top ten favorite ebooks, the audiobook version of On Dublin Street is nothing short of fucking spectacular, and isWhile this is definitely one of my top ten favorite ebooks, the audiobook version of On Dublin Street is nothing short of fucking spectacular, and is easily my favorite of the 400+ audiobooks I have listened to thus far. It is the only book listed for the narrator, Paula Costello, so hopefully it is her debut narration and we'll be enjoying many more books read by her in the future.
10 stars - 5 for Samantha Young's amazing imagination & creativity and 5 for Paula Costello's talent for bringing to life the gang down On Dublin Street!
This is Beautiful Disaster from Travis' POV and I loved it even more than its predecessor. Really...the book boyfriend mold was broken when Travis MadThis is Beautiful Disaster from Travis' POV and I loved it even more than its predecessor. Really...the book boyfriend mold was broken when Travis Maddox was created! They just don't get any better than him. *sigh*...more
Being a big fan of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless/Effortless, I'm always looking for a book that will give me the same adrenaline rush I felt whenBeing a big fan of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless/Effortless, I'm always looking for a book that will give me the same adrenaline rush I felt when I read those. Taking Chances was that book for me. It has the incredibly sexy, tatted, buzzed-head hero who makes a living as an underground fighter like BD and the heart-wrenching love triangle between a sweet girl and two equally awesome frat brothers who are both in love with her like T/E. Can Romancelandia get any better for me? Not likely.
Harper Jackson has just started her freshman year at San Diego State University. Being raised by a strict, emotionless father on a military base in North Carolina, she is completely overwhelmed by her over-zealous roommate Bree and the craziness of living in the dorms on campus. Bree's brother, Chase, is the first guy she meets; and, although they fall into a routine of trading snarky remarks with each other, Chase's chiseled, tatted body and surfer good looks have Harper secretly swooning despite her vow to steer clear of the obvious "man-ho". But then she meets Brandon, the sexy "Travis Maddox look-alike" and it is love at first sight for both of them. Unfortunately, Brandon lives in Chase's frat house and it becomes a messy love triangle that escalates to disastrous proportions.
I can't say anything more in detail without giving away the story, but it is an amazing, heart-wrenching, soul-searching journey that Harper embarks upon in her first year of college. It is a long book - just short of 500 pages - but I was so caught up in Harper's dilemma with her two awesome men that I read the book in one sitting. Yes, it is that good!
This is Molly McAdams debut "new adult" novel and I'm excited for her to write more because she has that special "gift" of bringing her characters alive and making her readers feel as though we know these people personally. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all lovers of a good romance but especially to those who are still in a state of limbo after experiencing Travis Maddox and Kellan Kyle. But heed this warning: Have a box of tissue handy...there are a few situations that will have you tearing up and one incident that will tear your heart to pieces! *sniff*