Whew! I'm emotionally drained, I went thru a box of tissue, and I've got dark circles under my eyes from staying up all night reading...sure signs tha...moreWhew! I'm emotionally drained, I went thru a box of tissue, and I've got dark circles under my eyes from staying up all night reading...sure signs that I loved the hell out of this book!
Tru & Jake were the best of friends for the first 14 years of their lives. But then Jake and his family moved from England to the US and the two lost touch. It is now 12 years later. Tru received a college degree and now works as a music journalist for an indie magazine. Jake started up a rock band, The Mighty Storm, that has become world famous. Now on the European leg of a world-wide tour, the band is in England; and Tru has landed the job of interviewing the man who not only can make panties drop with just a flash of his devastating smile but the best friend that Tru has kept close to her heart for over 20 years. When they meet for the first time, it is like all the years melt away and they still have that special bond between them. Only this isn't an adolescent crush anymore but the he-gets-hard, she-gets-wet, tongues-get-tied, this-is-my-long-lost-soulmate type of crush. There is just one problem...Tru is in a committed relationship with Will, and they are very much in love. Did I say that was problem? Nah, at least not for Jake; because, as he tells her more than once, he always gets what he wants. Poor, arrogant Jake...if that was the case, we wouldn't have a story!
If you happen to be a fan of Thoughtless by SC Stephens, The Mighty Storm is the fix you've been looking for...and Jake Wethers is the man to steal your heart away from Kellan Kyle. While both books basically share the same premise (rock star + girl + boyfriend), the gist of the stories are very different; and in this respect I enjoyed TMS more because, although the results of the triangles were both disastrous and heartbreaking, Tru didn't vacillate between her choices and string us along for several unnecessary chapters like Kiera did. Sure, Tru wagered an ongoing battle with herself (no, not with her inner goddess) throughout the book but I expected & appreciated that because the story was told from her POV. I enjoyed Tru...in fact, all of the characters were likeable. Tru & Jake were the only 2 characters who were thoroughly fleshed out but that was perfect for me. TMS was their personal love story and I like nothing better than when an author focuses solely on the two main protagonists and leaves the sub-plots and secondary characters in the background or out of the story completely.
But truly, what elevates this story from good to great is Jake...hot, hung[image error], arrogant, cocky, talented, tattooed, sexy smart-ass that he was, lived the typical rocker life. He drank too much, got high too often and fucked anything that moved... until the day that Tru walked back into his life. She was his true best friend - his one and only love - and he tried hard to be the best man he could be for her. But even rock gods are human, and the best-laid plans complete with happy-ever-afters aren't as easy to come by as Jake once thought. The last 25% of the book was both heart-wrenching and painful to experience as Jake put it out there like no other hero ever has. Raw anguish, sincere grovelling and pure love...it was all Jake. Believe me, you won't be forgetting him anytime soon!!
“You’re my life, Tru. My everything. And you always will be." “I’ll never be good enough for you, I know that. But I’m no good without you, and if that makes me a selfish bastard for wanting you as badly as I do then so be it because I can’t live a life that doesn’t have you in it.”
Thank you Samantha Towle for giving us this kickass, awesome hero and the touching, beautiful love story that came with him!!!
Gabriel's Inferno wins my award for "Biggest Disappoint in a Highly Anticipated Novel for 2012". For months I've been reading rave reviews about this...moreGabriel's Inferno wins my award for "Biggest Disappoint in a Highly Anticipated Novel for 2012". For months I've been reading rave reviews about this book so when it recently became available on audio, I picked it up. The premise of the story is much like that of several other books that are currently popular in contemporary romance...handsome, dark, brooding man in his late 20's insanely attracted to beautiful, innocent woman in her early 20's. He is rich and she is not, he is sexually experienced while she is not. They both have secrets from their pasts that are mentally crippling, and to bring these secrets to light is the key to unlocking their hearts and ultimately leading them to a HEA. I love this "new adult" genre and with the multitude of 5-star reviews at both Goodreads and Amazon, I assumed Gabriel's Inferno would be a sure thing.
My first and biggest issue with this book is the heroine, Julia. She kisses a guy for the first time when she is 17 and develops a crush on him. Okay, not unusual. She sleeps with a picture of him under her pillow for the next 6 years. Hmm, okay I'll even give her that one (although it might be a little shaky that she was still doing this at age 23). She moves from home to do her graduate studies at a college where her crush, Gabriel Emerson, is a professor; and - no surprise - she is studying the Italian poet, Dante, which happens to be Gabriel's area of expertise. The night they had been together oh so long ago, Gabriel likened himself and Julia to Dante & his love Beatrice...a comparison where the lines seem to have blurred for both of them. More so for Julia, however, because she never moves on past that ONE night spent with Gabriel. For the next 6 years she has absolutely NO love life except for a 6- month stint with a senator's son who mentally abuses her on a daily basis. Why does she stay with him? Who knows...but the girl definitely has some serious self-esteem issues that are made worse by this relationship. Although they NEVER have sex during the time they are a couple, she is traumatized by his blatant threats to "fuck her like an animal" and then by finding him in bed with her roommate. And I mean traumatized to the point where she is one step away from a mental breakdown.
How the hell is this girl functioning in real life? Aside from having absolutely no self-worth, she is painfully shy and afraid of her own shadow. She is insecure and distrustful, self-conscious and self-effacing. How could she possibly have gone to Italy to study, alone, and survived? And now, just the thought of Professor Emerson being upset with her over something inconsequential has her literally packing her bags to return home before she has even met with him, resigned to her fate of being a failure. Living in a state of perpetual fear - of the past finding her in the present and of the present heading into an unknown future - doth not a stable girl make.
My second issue is with Gabriel. Mysterious and brooding, he carries a shameful secret that propels him on a downward spiral to self-destruction. And of course he is actively involved in mindless sex that involves pain (although this is merely alluded to in the first book). He is also looking for his "Beatrice" from that one night 6 years ago, yet does not recognize her in the form of Julia until she tells him it is so. Never mind that she is best friends with Gabriel's sister and his parents are like family to Julia. Apparently they never cross paths before or after that one night. When Gabriel learns who Julia is, his whole attitude changes and he is in awe of her...putting her on a pedestal so high that no degree of suspending disbelief can justify. Which brings me to the last issue I have with this book...
Julia's virginity. WTF is so special about her purity that it is the focal point of the second half of the book? She tells Gabriel she would've given it up to him that one night long ago on more than one occasion; now, however, he is going to pay the price for being absent from her life for 6 years and for unknowingly being the object of her unrequited love. And Gabriel is fine with that - he, who has been trolling for sex on a nightly basis for most of his adult life - is now going to practice celibacy until "his kitten" is ready. My question is WHY??? Is it because they decided they were Dante & Beatrice after one kiss in an orchard (side note: Gabriel was high on cocaine that night)? Is it because he sees Julia as a scared little kitten that needs protection and guidance (suspiciously bordering on "daddy" issues)? It is not her vivacious personality because she pretty much lacks one altogether. It is not her beauty because Gabriel has supermodel-type women at his beck and call. Whatever the reason, Gabriel becomes a man possessed and completely alters his lifestyle for her. Spouting romantic verse and Danteisms, delivering roses, chaste kisses and PG-rated touches, Gabriel commences with Dante's 800-yr old philosophy of courtly love to win Julia's heart (and get in her pants). It was noble. It was pure as the driven snow. It was chivalry at its finest.
It was boring.
If having sex for the first time is going to be such a big part of a story, there should at least be some sexual tension leading up to the act. There is none. In fact, when it finally does happen, it is rather anticlimactic. In reality, Julia would probably be termed a "dead lay" because she really isn't into the act at all. Ever.
Aside from my opinion of the actual story, I think the author did an excellent job in terms of research on the subject of Dante and structuring the story to incorporate the information into modern life. She also has a fluid writing style that gives the dialogue an authentic feel. I am going to read the sequel, Gabriel's Rapture, because I hear there is an abundance of sex (right up my alley) and because I am somewhat invested in Gabriel & Julia's relationship and not satisfied with the HFN ending of this book. I enjoyed the various mini-dramas involving the secondary characters (comprised of Gabriel's immediate family members) and hope that their situations are readdressed in the sequel. Also, I'm hoping for an evil woman or two to resurface from Gabriel's past and try to cause problems, only to have the new and improved Julia (sex will do it every time) defend her man and kick some ass!
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 Ho...moreI 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!
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...more*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!
Try Me is a great short story introducing Olivia Cunning's new band of bad boys, Sole Regret. If you like The Sinners, you are going to love these guy...moreTry Me is a great short story introducing Olivia Cunning's new band of bad boys, Sole Regret. If you like The Sinners, you are going to love these guys!(less)
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 Mad...moreThis 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*(less)
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 when...moreBeing 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*
This is the 3rd installment in Jennifer Foor's Mitchell Family Series; and although there is at least one more book on the way, Raging Love was like r...moreThis is the 3rd installment in Jennifer Foor's Mitchell Family Series; and although there is at least one more book on the way, Raging Love was like reading one very long epilogue for Colt & Savanna's story in Letting Go and Ty & Miranda's story in Folding Hearts. This is a great series to get into because the characters are so well drawn and the drama so real that you easily lose that tenuous touch we all have with reality when we read and become part of the Mitchell family. There is, however, a bittersweet twist to this story that I couldn't seem to get my head around enough to rate it higher.(less)
A new take on the bad-boy rockstar theme. The girl's father is the leader of a bad-ass motorcycle gang so there are all sorts of crazy things going on...moreA new take on the bad-boy rockstar theme. The girl's father is the leader of a bad-ass motorcycle gang so there are all sorts of crazy things going on in this story. The book ends with a cliffhanger but I've got book #2 Heart Song ready to roll. This is great...I can visualize the cast of characters...Katey Sagal as Violet's mother, Ron Perlman as her father, Charlie Hunnam as Travis Phoenix, etc...it's totally Sons of Anarchy!(less)
No sophomore jinx here! Samantha Young's 2nd novel is another heart-wrenching tale set in modern-day Scotland focusing on a tortured heroine and the b...moreNo sophomore jinx here! Samantha Young's 2nd novel is another heart-wrenching tale set in modern-day Scotland focusing on a tortured heroine and the bone-melting, sex-on-a-stick Scottish hottie who loves her. This is a 4-star read compared to On Dublin Street but in the big scheme of things it is definitely a 5! I [image error] Samantha Young!!!(less)