**spoiler alert** First things first, can I just say how much I love the cover??
I'd actually never heard of this book until the other day when perusi...more**spoiler alert** First things first, can I just say how much I love the cover??
I'd actually never heard of this book until the other day when perusing the DABWAHA website and saw that it was actually the finalist against Larissa Ione's Ecstasy Unveiled (which is a fantabulous book itself btw).
Now let me go ahead and say it – I'm not usually that into same-sex romance. I've nothing against it (in fact, some of my favorite fanfiction is slash), but it's not typically something I actively seek out on my own.
That said, I LOVED THIS BOOK!
It had everything I love in a contemporary, action-filled romance: a tortured hit man with a conscience, a hot target who slowly breaks through said hitman's tough shell, and just enough action (er.. that is.. fighting) to keep things exciting.
Add on top of that the whole “ahh crap I guess I'm gay, huh?” bit (which I admit, I found more amusing than anything – does that make me mean?) and you've got tons of delicious angst.
D doesn't want to get close to Jack. In fact, he does everything he can to continously push him away, especially once he starts to develop feelings for him. But dear Jack just won't let him keep running, and very gently starts to pull him out of his shell.
And the love scenes? HOTTT *fans self* *wipes drool* *licks lips*
*clears throat* Er. Sorry. What were we talking about?
D and Jack make a wonderful couple. Jack's not all effeminite, which I think would have definitely put D off, but he's not some super badass either. He's... human. I really like that about him. Sure, he's a little braver than I would have been had I come home to find a hitman calmly sitting on my couch with a shiny gun (complete with silencer) sitting in his lap, but then again he's also used to dealing with high-pressure situations in his career as a surgeon. And his reaction to seeing D kill for the first time felt really true to how I think most “average” people would react.
I had to snicker when someone referred to him as a “twink” and he didn't get the reference ;) Sure he was a bit preppy, but I wasn't getting the twink vibe from him.
I really felt like his courage overlaying his natural vulnerability is what attracted D to him in the first place, and made it impossible for D to walk away.
Jack knew from the beginning of the novel that he was homosexual, and had had prior sexual relationships with men. D, on the other hand, was deeeeep in the closet. He knew he had these “feelings” but he denied himself for so long that it was a difficult path to get him to recognize and act on his attractions and affections for Jack.
The angst of D trying to stay away from Jack for his own good was just gut wrenching. As a reader, I agonized with him because I knew his logic was sound, but at the same time I just wanted to shake him and tell him to go to him and end both their suffering.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the book was right after D had kidnapped Jack , and Jack was thinking the whole situation was like a cheesy TNT movie... At one point he thinks to himself “Actually, if this were a movie, you’d be a beautiful woman and you’d be sleeping with HAL by the second act.” This made me snort when I read it, because obviously I knew from the description that they would be hooking up and they were both so oblivious to it at that point (side note – the “HAL” reference is because D hadn't actually introduced himself, so Jack started calling him HAL in his head due to the resemblance between his sunglasses and the HAL computer from 2001: A Space Oddessy)
Now, it's not all rainbows and sunshine here – there are several times in the book where D's internal monologue prompted a bit of eye-rolling on my part. I understand why it was there though – there were little tidbits hinting at his past, and why he felt the way he did that were very important to character development, and the internal monologue was truly the best way for JS to put that across without bogging us down with awkward and untimely conversations or true flashbacks. Knowing that didn't make it any less irritating though, which is why I mention it.
Did I mention that I like D's accent too? I'm not sure exactly what sort of accent it's supposed to be (it might have been mentioned but honestly I missed it), but for once I enjoyed phoenetic typing to emphasize accent. That sort of thing normally drives me bonkers (re: Diana Galbaldon's Outlander series. I went crosseyed from all the verra's and ya ken's in that series .lol)
The part right after they've discovered the identity of the villain (which, btw, I totally guessed beforehand) was simply heartbreaking – when they realized that their dreams of being together were practically pipe dreams, and that the reality was that one (or both) of them was going to die. Heartbreaking.
And Dear Lawd, the separation just about killed me. Christmas litrerally had me all choked up *sniffle* Gah.
Their reunion though, was worth it. It was very satisfying (er. No pun intended there) because it wasn't just a “and the lovers were reunited and lived happily ever after The End” – instead it had them work through some issues that felt real, rather than just jumping to the glossy HEA that so many other romances end up with in the final chapters.
I also like that she left it open-ended for future sequels, without giving it the whole unresolved/cliff-hanger vibe that so many debut books have these days.
Being that it's a same-sex romance, I realize that this book won't be for everyone. The sex scenes are well done, but are just as explicit as a typical heterosexual romance, and as such might put a few readers off. However if that sort of thing bothers you, I still recommend reading it and just skipping/skimming the sex scenes, because the romance and the suspense/action is so gut-wrenchingly fantastic that it's not to be missed.
Also, be sure that once you've read the book, you head on over to Jane Seville's website – she's got several outtakes and epilogue short stories posted for free (but, yeah, don't read them until you've read the book lol)
This is my first Monica Burns book, and whoooo mama *fans self* I wasn't expecting it to be quite so hot! There was a LOT of delicious UST (which I ad...moreThis is my first Monica Burns book, and whoooo mama *fans self* I wasn't expecting it to be quite so hot! There was a LOT of delicious UST (which I admit, is often lacking these days), and when they finally came together *cough* pun intended *cough*... Yeah, niiiiiiice :)
I need to start reading more standalone novels, or at the very least, pick books that already have a few out in the series already, because these cliff-hanger endings are killing me :P The relationship between Aries and Emma was wrapped up nicely enough, and I was glad he got back a certain item at the end.. But it was definitely open-ended which often annoys me.
I'm DYING waiting for the next book, Assassin's Heart (which for some reason the Goodreads linking thing isn't working for me at the moment or I'd link it), which stars Lysander and Phaedra *thud*
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it.. It lost half a star because the "oh but s/he doesn't love me" angst got a bit tiring after a while, along with Emma's stubbornness getting them into trouble and her constantly blaming Ares for all her woes.
Holy cow! There's a good reason that Ava Gray is firmly on my "auto-buy" list!
Ok, I lovedSkin Game, and I do suggest reading that one first, just bec...moreHoly cow! There's a good reason that Ava Gray is firmly on my "auto-buy" list!
Ok, I lovedSkin Game, and I do suggest reading that one first, just because it's an awesome book in its own right. However, I do think that Skin Tight could easily stand on its own. While you're only given vague references to Kyra's ability from the first book, she's not actually present enough that you need to know anything other than the fact that she's "different"..
So, slight spoiler for the first novel, the hero of Skin Tight does something to Mia (the heroine of this novel) towards the end of the book which leaves her spitting mad at him (and rightfully so). Thinking they'll never see each other again, they end up working together at the same office, and whooboy Mia is not one to live and let live.
I don't want to give too much away, because the masterful Ava Gray (who also writes as Ann Aguirre and Ellen Connor, btw) does such a delicious job of slowly unraveling details and I'd hate to ruin it for you.
That said, I LOVE THIS HERO!!! Good heavens he was just all sorts of delicious with his "curse" and his revenge plot and his attraction to Mia and all the delicious angst that comes with the combination of the three.
I'm dying to read Skin Heat (book 3 in the Skin series), and will be gnawing on my fingernails until January. Arg!
Final verdict? A very easy, VERY solid 5 Stars(less)
**spoiler alert** Seeing as how much I adored Grimspace, it really came as no surprise that I'd be head over heels for this book as well.
It had every...more**spoiler alert** Seeing as how much I adored Grimspace, it really came as no surprise that I'd be head over heels for this book as well.
It had everything I desire in contemporary romantic-suspense novels:
A not so innocent heroine who is being pursued by...
An assassin (with standards) who has been hired to kill her by...
An evil (or is he really?) villain out for revenge on aforementioned not-so-innocent heroine because she publicly embarrassed him as part of her own revenge plot.
Throw in the agendas of other characters throughout the story, a pinch of hot, rough sex, and a dash of paranormal ability on the part of our heroine, and you've got the makings of a deliciously complex and compelling novel.
I was actually hesitant to mark this one as a PNR, simply because it didn't have the "whole world" of paranormality -- as far as Kyra and the reader know, she's the only one of her kind, rather than a part of an entire underground group of psychics or mages or shifters or any other group that typically goes hand in hand with the PNR genre.
While the paranormal aspects definitely added to the story and were key to moving the plot along, I think I would have enjoyed it even without them, which is saying something since I'm not typically one for straight up contemporary romances. The relationship between Reyes and Kyra was simply fantastic to follow. They were both working with trust issues (for good reason obviously!) and the pacing felt perfect for their relationship -- any faster and it wouldn't have been believable, but any slower and the readers would start getting impatient.
There were only a couple bits that kept it from getting a solid five stars, and that's due to my own hangups as a reader rather than any defect in the writing. Having Kyra actually kill people felt wrong to me. Sure, she's no angel, and that fact was established literally from page one onward... She's a con artist, and she was out for revenge, but it didn't seem to fit into her character, at least not the second time. The first time could be attributed to the "power" she'd stolen just prior, rather than an ingrained part of her personality. I suppose that the second time could just illustrate an evolution of her character, but tt just took me aback for a moment. Then again, that's part of what I like about Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray's writing -- she certainly manages to constantly keep me on my toes.
I'm really looking forward to Skin Tight, due out this summer.
**spoiler alert** This book was so good that I'm hesitant to read the sequel because I know it can't possibly be as good as this one lol
I love the cha...more**spoiler alert** This book was so good that I'm hesitant to read the sequel because I know it can't possibly be as good as this one lol
I love the character progressions and how Ann Aguirre wasn't afraid to kill off major characters over the course of the story... That gave it a gritty realism that you have to respect, not to mention keeping you on your toes as a reader, because you never know who's gonna bite the big one next...
The first person POV helped as well I think, since I've recently discovered a strong liking for first person POV in my reading ;)
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Kensington Imprint: Brava...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Kensington Imprint: Brava Author’s Website: http://www.lucymonroe.com My Source for This Book: Amazon.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5 of The Goddard Project series Series Best Read In Order: Yes, but works well as a standalone. Steam Level: Hot
Yes, I know, I’m on a Lucy Monroe kick. I can’t help it! I just love her writing. This is Book 5 in The Goddard Project series, which is a wonderful series full of Special Ops super soldiers who are the best of the best. One thing I love about this series is that her characters aren’t just soldiers — they’re almost all brilliant scientists and technophiles as well, which the geek in me really loves.
Overall, it was classic Lucy Monroe. There was a hero unwilling to let emotions rule him, a heroine who gave herself over to the hero without recognizing that she was in deeper than he was, and some lovely alpha-male groveling. The heat level was just right, the mystery of the conspiracy and treason was intriguing, and there was a very satisfying secondary romance to boot. A very solid 4/5 Stars.(less)
I recently discovered Shiloh Walker as an author, and let me tell you, she's quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Even though Broken is a sequel to Fr...moreI recently discovered Shiloh Walker as an author, and let me tell you, she's quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Even though Broken is a sequel to Fragile, I do think it would stand well on its own.
Quinn is just delicious. I do adore my tortured heroes *swoon* I also really liked Sara, and how hard it was for her knowing she shouldn't stay but desperately wanting to anyway.
The romance was sizzling. The chemistry between Quinn and Sara was simply to die for. However, sensitive readers should be aware that there is a scene involving explicit back door action. I do hope, however, that even those who don't like that sort of thing in novels will just skip over that part, because the rest of the book is truly worth it.
I was very pleasantly surprised at the twisty end. I had it partially figured out but not completely, and when the truth was revealed, I truly smacked my forehead because looking back, Ms. Walker had done such a fantastic job of planting the clues all along and yet my mind still failed to come to the correct conclusion.