Expected Release Date: November 15, 2012 Publisher: Kensington Imprint: Ke...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: November 15, 2012 Publisher: Kensington Imprint: Kensington Trade/eKensington Author’s Website: http://kckleinbooks.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Adultery or Infideliy, Too Much Emphasis On Secondary Romance Favorite Tropes: Unrequited Love, Good Use Of Flashbacks
As most followers of my reviews already know, I tend to shy away from contemporary novels in general, but as a fan of Ms. Klein’s sci-fi tales, I couldn’t turn this one down.
The use of flashbacks was brilliant, and expertly crafted to build tension without becoming tiresome, and the copious amounts of angst and heartache in the story were sublime.
The two biggest, and really only, drawbacks for me were the presence of infidelity on the part of one of the protagonists, as one of them was involved in a relationship with another person when Katie was unexpected thrust back into Cole’s path, and the secondary romance between Jett and Nikki. The former is simply a pet peeve of mine, and the latter threw me off quite a bit. Cole and Katie’s tale is interrupted somewhere around halfway through by a full albeit integrated secondary tale of Cole’s sister Nikki and Cole’s best friend, Jett. As the story progressed, I began to really enjoy the secondary storyline, but was incredibly disappointed by the ending — so much time had been spent building up things between them, but the ending is at worst unsatisfying and at best bittersweet, and not at all what I was expecting as the book was obviously drawing to a close.
Even so, the emotional roller coaster that was Cole and Katie’s relationship made it more than worth the while to read. This is not a light, fluffy romance by any means, but I think that those looking for a harder road to a happy ending will be quite pleased.
4.5/5 Stars, and I’m really hoping that Nikki and Jett get a sequel.(less)
Though I think it would have benefited from being a little longer, a solid read. PLENTY of steam and heat, and the hero needed to be beaten slightly,...moreThough I think it would have benefited from being a little longer, a solid read. PLENTY of steam and heat, and the hero needed to be beaten slightly, but the heroine gives him a satisfying-enough setdown in the end so that definitely helped. :P
Review: My Lady Quicksilver - Bec McMaster This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: Octobe...moreReview: My Lady Quicksilver - Bec McMaster This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2013Publisher: SourcebooksImprint: CasablancaAuthor’s Website: http://www.becmcmaster.com/My Source for This Book: NetgalleyPart of a Series: Yes, Book 3, London Steampunk SeriesSeries Best Read In Order: Probably, but would stand well on its own.Steam Level: HotPet Peeves: Adultery/Infidelity (Sort Of, Minor)Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, Secret Identity
I’ve been anxiously awaiting this book ever since the final pages of the previous book, Heart of Iron. I love the Enemies To Lovers trope in romance, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. With Lynch on the hunt for the elusive rebel leader, Mercury, and Mercury herself hiding right under his nose, there was plenty of excitement and subterfuge, and I loved getting an inside look into the Nighthawks.
The world-building is fantastic, as it has been throughout the series, and I simply cannot get enough of this world where the glittering sphere of the Echelon clashes so perfectly with the dark, gritty world of the mechs and the working class.
The battle between the blue bloods and the humanists really heats up in this story, and the hunt for Mercury as well as the humanists’ plans for war really come to life.
Getting inside of Rosalind’s head was wonderful, and I loved the insight into not only her past but also her heart. I’ve known ever since he first graced the pages that Lynch was a man of great depth, and seeing him, especially at his most vulnerable, made me all for him even harder.
Bottom line – I adored this book. Had it not been for the kind-of-sort-of-but-maybe-not-really cheating, it very likely would have been a full five stars for me. As it is, though, it was still a wonderful, exciting, sexy read, and it is firmly on my keeper shelf.
Expected Release Date: May 28, 2013 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Imprin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 28, 2013 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Imprint: Pocket Books Author’s Website: http://mollyharper.com/ My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Half Moon Hollow Series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone. Steam Level: Warm Pet Peeves: Infidelity (Heroine) Favorite Tropes: Major Betrayal
The premise of this story was quite intriguing, and I knew as soon as Jed stepped onto the pages that his relationship with Nola was going to be quite enjoyable. However, despite how much I enjoyed his character, in the end, there wasn’t really much about this story that stood out to me.
There was so much focus on the townspeople of Half-Moon Hollow (which makes sense seeing as how this is the third installment in a series) that I found myself actually getting bored with Nola’s search for the artifacts that had drawn her to the town in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the secondary characters, especially Jane, but there was almost a “chick-lit” vibe to this book, when I had gone into it expected a somewhat steamy paranormal romance.
Overall, I would recommend this one to fans of the series, as they will be more likely to fully appreciate all of the emphasis placed on the residents of the town, but while I enjoyed it, I doubt that I will be reading more of this series in the future.
I almost fell over myself when I saw this one on Netgalley, because I love Shona Husk's writing, and was a big fan of Dark Vow.. I'd no idea there was...moreI almost fell over myself when I saw this one on Netgalley, because I love Shona Husk's writing, and was a big fan of Dark Vow.. I'd no idea there was even a sequel in the works, so I knew immediately that I had to read this one.
Quite dark, with some very heavy issues at hand, it was just as good as the first, if not better. I loved Haidyn *dreamy sigh*
I couldn't bring myself to rate this one, as mine would be the only rating, and the fact that I didn't care for it really wasn't the fault of the auth...moreI couldn't bring myself to rate this one, as mine would be the only rating, and the fact that I didn't care for it really wasn't the fault of the author. I think I snagged it free for kindle or something and found it when I was browsing through my library one night, and I didn't realize what it was at first, so I wasn't prepared for a husband and wife, bored and insecure, who ended up living out a few sexy fantasies together with the help of a smutty djinn.. That part was alright, until it turned out that those fantasies included having sex with people other than each other -- while the spouses watched.
Just....... *winces* Not my thing.
I can't really rate the steamy bits either, because I was so squicked by the fantasies that I couldn't really get into the rest of it.
I did like the underlying romance of it, because behind all the explicit smut was a rather sweet romance, but in the end, I'm just not an erotica reader at heart, so this wasn't my cup of tea.
Still, it wasn't adultery in the technical sense, and all parties were consenting, so if that sort of thing floats your boat, it may be worth checking out :)(less)
Man this one was a WILD ride. I loved loved LOVED the world-building, and there's no denying that it was steamy, but there were a few things that made...moreMan this one was a WILD ride. I loved loved LOVED the world-building, and there's no denying that it was steamy, but there were a few things that made me want to punch the characters in the face (or at least throw the book against the wall).
Plus, the hero's name is "Heyerdar", which I kept pronouncing as "Hurrderr" in my head, which made it hard for me to take him serious as the big bad alpha that he is :P
And even with those things I HATED, it's still a solid 4/5. Very well done. Full review to follow. (less)
A great friends-to-lovers story, with some deliciously intense love scenes and some heart-felt emotion behind the lust.
While I wish that it had been...moreA great friends-to-lovers story, with some deliciously intense love scenes and some heart-felt emotion behind the lust.
While I wish that it had been a little longer, that was more because I simply wanted more Clara and Jackson than because it felt incomplete.
Recommended for fans of unrequited love, friends to lovers, and of scrumptiously intense love scenes.
A deliciously hot 4/5 Stars
*Note, the "Adultery or Infidelity" tag is because Clara is separated and going through a divorce (so technically still married) when she hooks up with Jackson. There is NO INFIDELITY between the protagonists. (less)
Technically, I don't even know if this is the right book. I got Her Cyborg Awakes from Amazon for free, and I THINK it's a revamped version of this bo...moreTechnically, I don't even know if this is the right book. I got Her Cyborg Awakes from Amazon for free, and I THINK it's a revamped version of this book. *shrugs*
There were a lot of editing and formatting errors in my copy, which disrupted my reading experience, but I know that's often not actually the author's fault -- kindle reformatting is a beach sometimes -- so that didn't really count in my final rating.
I think it was hard for me to respect Sabralia as a heroine, since she used Qy for sex* while he was a cyborg. (*ehhh kinda. Kissing, sensual massage, and getting her off with a bath nozzle, but no actual "sex". Still.) Sure, it was hot, and she'd been told that cyborgs were literally nothing but mindless machines with humanoid bodies, but still, I felt like it cheapened their "romance" later on.
Plus, I was a little confused as to the... scourge? I can't remember what it was called, but the attackers that forced Sabralia to flee.
Once they escaped, the story got MUCH better IMHO, but even so, I couldn't get past her behavior in the beginning.
Still, not bad for a free/cheap read. There are a couple other titles from this author that have caught my eye, so I'll probably be reading one of them in the future, just to see how they compare.
I wanted, so badly, to love it. In fact, up until a certain part, I was certain I'd be rating it 4.5-...moreThis book broke my heart, in more ways than one.
I wanted, so badly, to love it. In fact, up until a certain part, I was certain I'd be rating it 4.5-5 stars!
Unfortunately, there's so much infidelity that I just couldn't get past it. Yes, he had pretty excuses, but... *queasy*
I LOVED Daisy/Theo. Loved her. And in some ways, I loved James as well. The betrayal early on was absolutely delicious, and up until the point where he dipped his wick in some foreign widow, I was hooked! But the very blatant infidelity, AND the fact he didn't seem to be ashamed about it when recounting it to his wife made me want to vomit, especially when combined with a seven year estrangement.
To be fair, it's very well-written, with well-rounded characters and an intense amount of emotion, but I personally couldn't get past the cheating, even though I easily admit that James did grovel rather prettily there in the end.
Fans of cheating heroes and fairly long estrangements will eat this one up with a spoon, but for me, 3/5. :-/(less)
Gah I wish I had time to actually review books that I read for my own personal pleasure rather than for the review queue, but I could spend all night...moreGah I wish I had time to actually review books that I read for my own personal pleasure rather than for the review queue, but I could spend all night trying to craft the perfect way to sum up my feelings for this series and still fail.
I'm so, so torn on this series as a whole, and most especially on this book.
As a general rule, I don't like love triangles, and I don't like infidelity, no matter the justification for it.
I can't really say more without giving spoilers, but while I LOVE the way Ms. Crane unashamedly toys with the reader's emotions and loyalties, in the end that's the exact reason I can't claim to love this series and indeed this book as much as it probably deserved.
At this very moment in time, this one is a 3.5/5 Star for me. I enjoyed it, but I was left rather depressed by the ending of the trilogy rather than happy at the resolution.
Definitely read the series in order, and do yourself a favor and avoid spoilery reviews -- despite my discomfort withe some of the turns the plot has taken over the course of the three stories, I will say that the twists are what made the series. (less)
I'm a bit torn on this one. There was some beautiful unrequited love, and quite a bit of delightful angst, and yet there was also explicit rape and sp...moreI'm a bit torn on this one. There was some beautiful unrequited love, and quite a bit of delightful angst, and yet there was also explicit rape and spousal abuse, which is not something I had anticipated going in.
While it was well-written and enjoyable story that certainly kept my attention, I think there was just a tiny bit too much "heaviness" to it for my tastes right now.
This one was just okay for me. While I admit the angst was delicious, and the chemistry between Juliet and Marko was great, the whole "you've been rep...moreThis one was just okay for me. While I admit the angst was delicious, and the chemistry between Juliet and Marko was great, the whole "you've been replaced in my bed" thing was a total turnoff. Yeah, yeah, historical realism and all that. *shakes head* In full-length novels, I'm sometimes able to get past the cheating thing, or even if not "technically" cheating, then the "I've moved on and taken other lovers" thing, but in a novella? There's not enough time for me to get past it, and it annoys me when the heroine just accepts it and moves on.
Other than that, though, it was good. There was chemistry, angst, excitement, and even a sweet ending. Those not bothered by the estrangement/infidelity thing might rate it higher. For me though, 3/5 Stars. (less)
Expected Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Available Now) Publisher: Harpe...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Available Now) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.eloisajames.com/ My Source for This Book: Wal-Mart Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Fairy Tales Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Cute and sweet and funny and exciting and sexy and occasionally heartbreaking, I loved Quin, and of course was all about Oliva, with her overweight figure and bawdy sense of humor. For the most part, the story was quite lighthearted, even when things looked to be quite serious, and there were only a few spots that I didn’t really care for.
I loved the dynamic between Olivia and her sister, and the angst caused by the forbidden romance between her and Quin, as well as the excitement that happened later in the book.
Overall, I would recommend this to fans of realistically sized heroines, forbidden romance, and unconventional heroes.
Expected Release Date: January 1, 2012 (Available Now) Publisher: HarperC...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: January 1, 2012 (Available Now) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.leciacornwall.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Lady Evelyn Renshaw might as well be a ruined woman. Married to an accused traitor, she has no idea if her husband is even alive or not, and is living in a sort of limbo, waiting for notification of her husband’s death or capture. Accosted during a ride in the park by a French spy convinced that Evelyn knows more than she’s been letting on, she’s rescued by the handsome Captain Sinjon Rutehrford, recently returned from war.
Sinjon has his own problems — he’s been falsely accused of rape, murder, and treason, while the real perpetrator is a celebrated hero, and he’s returned to England to prove his innocence. When he’s approached by agents of the Crown, he agrees to pose as a servant in Evelyn’s household to report back on whether or not Evelyn knows more than she’s letting on about her husband’s activities or whereabouts.
But neither Evelyn nor Sinjon could predict the scorching chemistry or passionate desire between them, and each has their own reasons for avoiding falling in love. Sinjon isn’t the only one keeping secrets in the Renshaw household, however, and soon both Evelyn and Sinjon find themselves in the middle of a deadly play for power…
Full of mystery, suspense, angst, and steam, I loved that I actually wound up caring about the characters and was completely enthralled by the relationship between Evelyn and Sinjon.
The angst caused by Sinjon’s deception was delicious, and the suspense and action in the story kept me drawn in from the very first chapter. I found that the pacing was wonderful, even though it took a while for any sort of physical relationship between Evelyn and Sinjon to actually begin, and the mystery of both Philip’s whereabouts and the location of a missing relic certainly kept things moving.
While this was my first experience with Lecia Cornwall, I can guarantee that it won’t be my last.
I actually enjoyed the whole series, though I read them in backwards order, so some of it was a bit disorienting to me.
The heroine's a bit of a baref...moreI actually enjoyed the whole series, though I read them in backwards order, so some of it was a bit disorienting to me.
The heroine's a bit of a barefooted hippie (complete with a bit of a "free love" attitude, despite her innocence), the hero (thinks he) is in love with another (married) woman, there's a whisper of magic (not really enough to make me classify it as "paranormal", but definitely there), and there's enough lighthearted angst (if there truly is such a thing) to fill a bathtub.
Expected Release Date: October 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Griffyn Ink Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.ajscudiere.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Katharine Geryon has it made, or so it seems. As the daughter of the president of the company she works in, most people think that her position in the company is due solely to her relationship with the boss man, and most ignore her long hours at work and her utter dedication to the company.
When suddenly not one but two handsome men enter her life, Katharine is thrown for a loop -- after all, most men who want to date her either see her as a meal ticket or a way to rise to the top of their own careers. So when the handsome Zachary moves in next door and quickly pursues her, and then her attractive new assistant Alistair cashes in on the sparking attraction between them, she's at a complete loss.
What Katharine doesn't realize, however, is that she's been chosen as the personal battlefield between Good and Evil, and that the outcome of more than just her own heart rests on a choice she will have to make...
One thing that I should be clear about up front is that this is not a traditional "romance". While there is a romantic aspect, this is much more strongly about choices, and the battle between good and evil. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of sex and romance, but in the end, that's not really what this story is about.
I don't particularly care for infidelity in my romance novels -- there's just nothing sexy in my mind about cheating on someone -- but in this particular case I admit that it was a very minor negative point, if for nothing else than the fact that Zachary and Alistair are both unashamedly using Katharine for their own ends.
In the end, however, there were enough hot love scenes, world building, and intriguing plot twists to keep me from being able to put this one down, so despite containing not only a love triangle but also infidelity, it scores a very solid 4/5 Stars.
Halloween Special -- God's Eye is only $2.99 for the eBook (regular price $7.99) through October 31st! Grab it now while it's such a great price! (less)
While I enjoyed all of the lovely angst brought about by the unconventional marriage, the author played a nasty trick on the readers in the middle, an...moreWhile I enjoyed all of the lovely angst brought about by the unconventional marriage, the author played a nasty trick on the readers in the middle, and honestly, this one was |thisclose| to being a wallbanger. My own sheer stubbornness was the only thing that kept me from slapping it firmly into the DNF pile with a look of disgust, and even though the ending was quite lovely, it wasn't nearly enough to make up for the middle.
2.5/5 Stars, only that high because of the author's writing skills -- plot alone would rate a DNF.
Expected Release Date: August 29, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carin...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 29, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://joelysueburkhart.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
As a child, Jin was reviled for her strange golden eyes, until one day, a military general saw her, and proclaimed that she was destined for the Emperor. Trained in the erotic arts, and having learned to associate pain with unending pleasure, her dreams are dashed when the Emperor she lusts after gives her instead to his son.
However, his son’s interest soon wanes, and Jin offers herself to her beloved Emperor. His darkest shame lies in the deep pleasure he gets from inflicting pain upon a woman, yet when Jin lets it be known that she craves the erotic pain that only he can give her, he cannot help himself.
Unfortunately, life in the Emperor’s Court is fraught with danger, as political machinations and multiple assassination attempts threaten all that Jin holds dear.
See, the thing is, I knew going into this story that it wasn’t something I would likely find enjoyable on an overall level. I personally do not like adultery and I do not like polygamy (which is different than polyamory in my mind — comment or message me if you’d like me to explain), both of which I knew played a big part in this story based on the official blurb.
I blame it on the excerpt. You see, when I saw this story available on Netgalley, I visited the author’s page and found THE EXCERPT, which was intriguing dang it! So I requested it and read it very quickly.
The story was hot. It was both well-written and surprisingly interesting, even outside of the bedroom, as Jin and her beloved nurse must navigate the dangerous waters of the Emperor’s Court, avoiding assassination plots and political scheming, all while showing the Emperor that no matter how many women he may sleep with, she is the only woman who can give him truly what he craves.
The scenes where the Emperor gives into his desire to inflict pain on his lovers? *fans self* Richly detailed, vivid, and incredibly erotic, they absolutely stole my breath. And combined with the various intrigues and political machinations of the various members of the royal court, this story was incredibly gripping and kept me glued to the pages from the first page right through the last.
In the end, however, I couldn’t get past the fact that the Emperor also slept with countless women outside of his relationship with Jin. Now, now, put down the torches and the pitchforks — I know this is historically accurate, and maybe more importantly, that Jin herself was perfectly fine with it.
There was even one scene where he makes love to another woman in her presence, and her heart was breaking because he touched the other woman with a gentle touch that she herself craved from him, and yet Jin was perfectly content because of a realization she had about halfway through.
And yet. This was a definite case of YKINMKBYKIOK. There was adultery. There was polygamy without a monogamous or even polyamorous ending. There was voyeurism and exhibitionism and even forced nudity and intentional humiliation. All of which are really, really not my thing.
I wavered back and forth on the final rating for this. On one hand, I couldn’t truly enjoy it because there were so many factors that I don’t care for, probably most importantly the feeling that there wasn’t a true HEA, despite Jin and the Emperor both being satisfied with the outcome. On the other hand, it was beautifully well-written, incredibly interesting, and frankly pretty danged hot.
In the end, however, I’m going to have to go with what most would consider to be a low rating, simply because there were so many things I didn’t care for about it, but there is absolutely the catch that if those factors don’t bother you, you’re going to love this story.
2.5/5 Stars (but worth giving it a chance anyway)(less)
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Eternal...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Eternal Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://monicamarlowe.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the Author Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
I felt like the official blurb was totally misleading. When I read it, I thought that this would be a fairly straightforward forbidden-type romance between a New York City divorcee slash workaholic and a tranquil yet slightly troubled Italian Monk, and that together they would find a balance and fall in love and ride off together into the sunset or whatnot. Instead, there was a complicated love triangle that ended in painful tragedy and a large amount of melancholy, and while the ending could possibly be considered "bittersweet", it was in no way in line with what I was expecting going into the story.
I think that perhaps the problem lies in the categorization of this novel. You see, I prefer to read romance. And yet, I feel that this book would be better categorized as chick lit. Now, before you pull out the pitchforks and torches, there is nothing wrong with Chick-Lit. It's simply not typically my genre of choice. While chick-lit typically focuses on the main female character and her evolution over the course of the novel, learning to forgive and love and accept herself and yada yada, romance focuses on the relationship between two (or more in polyamory, but that's a totally different topic) main characters. Finding Felicity is about Madeline learning to let go of her hurt and anger at the betrayals of the past and allowing herself to be open to true happiness and inner peace. But "romance" it is not.
That said, the spiritual elements were absolutely gorgeous. Several quotes stood out to me, such as "Wars don't happen because G-d forgets about man, Marco. Wars happen because man forgets about G-d.", and "We all have our own way of relating to G-d. For some of us, it's not at all. The beautiful thing, though, is that G-d is always relating to us whether we know it or not." (the dashes are mine, the book contains correct spelling). Madeline and Anthony both have a spiritual crisis of sorts, and together, they're able to see that G-d is truly everywhere, and that there are many ways to celebrate Him and His glory.
In the end, however, the lovely spiritual elements and the gradual transformation and growth of Madeline's character could not make up for the fact that by the time I was finished, I felt utterly betrayed. Had I gone into this book expecting a "poignant love story" with a "bittersweet ending" or somesuch, I think this book would have rated much higher for me. Instead, based on the blurb, I went in expecting that Madeline would go to Italy to see her estranged sister, fall in love with a monk, be there as her sister dies, and then they would both move to New York, face some challenges, but in the end, live happily ever after. What I read, however, was so far from that as to be considered an entirely different book altogether.
To be completely fair, the BOOK'S TRAILER VIDEO absolutely mentions the love triangle that is present in this book. I was sent the link to the trailer when I received this book, and it was completely my own fault that I did not watch it before I started reading.
Removing my feelings about the misleading blurb, and looking at the book from the perspective of a character-driven women's fiction novel, I must admit that Madeline's story actually did keep my attention. The entire book focused on love, passion, betrayal, forgiveness, and spirituality, and Madeline is not the only character who evolved over the course of the novel. When the book opened, Madeline was a workaholic, fairly frozen in time because of the hurt she continued to hold on to from a betrayal several years prior. Her bitterness, cynicism, and refusal to open herself up to that kind of pain again kept her from being happy, no matter the fact that she was incredibly wealthy, beautiful, and successful. Traveling to Italy to reconcile with her dying sister changed not only Madeline's life, but Madeline herself. Allowing herself to finally let go of some of the anger at her family's betrayal, but also the anger at herself, Madeline opened herself up to the beauty of not just Italy, but of moving past mere physicality and lust and into something so much more powerful.
So, my suggestion to readers is this: go into this knowing that there is a love triangle, and that Madeline does engage in sexual relations with two different men over the course of the novel. Know that there are some incredibly painful family issues that this book deals with. Know that there is a bittersweet ending, but also know that the ending really was perfect for the book, based on the journey Madeline's character took. Above all, however, go into this knowing that it is not a traditional "boy meets girl" romance (or, I suppose, in this case, "CEO meets monk"), and disregard the blurb entirely. I think that if readers are sufficiently prepared for these things, they're going to enjoy this story.
In the end, however, I was not prepared for this book to be women's fiction, and so my disappointment at the turns the plot took stained my overall feelings in the end. Were I rating this as a "chick-lit" novel, rather than a romance, I believe my final rating would have been either 3.5/5 or 4/5 stars. As it was, in reviewing this as someone who had been expecting a more traditional happy ending, my final rating rests at 2/5 Stars.(less)
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Im...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2011 Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Imprint: N/A My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: NA Steam Level: Warm
I am so very torn on my final rating for this novel. On one hand, the first person POV lets the reader into Ben’s mind, and when Ben begins to suspect he’s insane, you feel his confusion and paranoia as your own, which is actually pretty awesome. On the other hand, events got so confusing at times, that it was only my own sheer stubbornness that made me stick it out until the end.
I was also disappointed that this was not exactly the “romance” I’d thought it would be when I first started reading. Ben’s bisexuality, while not bothering me in and of itself, definitely led to situations that were confusing and awkward for me as a reader, and frankly, there was such a strong concept of open relationships in this novel that I couldn’t really enjoy any romance in it. Casual sex simply isn’t my cup of tea, even in novels, so the romance lover in me was greatly saddened by the lack of monogamy.
In the end, I have to go with what is literally a middle-of-the road rating. While the psychological aspects were quite frankly astounding, there were simply too many factors that didn’t mesh with my preferences, such as the many open sexual relationships, the non-traditional HEA, and the simple fact that it was so utterly confusing that it took sheer willpower to plow through the middle long enough to get to the explanation towards the end.
(Stories Individually Rated and Reviewed on The Romanceaholic)
Six bite-size stories for under $2? You really can’t beat that, and this anthology is perfect when you need a quick pick-me-up but don’t have time to sit down to a full-length novel. The best thing about this anthology, however, is that there’s something for everyone, with both contemporary and historical stories, and even one with a possible hint of the paranormal.(less)
Nooooooot my thing. I have to say, however, that the author is an incredibly skilled and creative writer. My inability to finish this book was by no m...moreNooooooot my thing. I have to say, however, that the author is an incredibly skilled and creative writer. My inability to finish this book was by no means due to poor writing, but rather the subject matter just not being my cuppa tea :)(less)
Incredibly poetic and strangely thought-provoking, this is probably one of the coolest "non-romance novels" I've ever read. Unapologetically full of b...moreIncredibly poetic and strangely thought-provoking, this is probably one of the coolest "non-romance novels" I've ever read. Unapologetically full of blood and gore, the underlying romance and life is absolutely wonderful. Using a definite (and obvious) parallel to Romeo and Juliet (there's even a balcony scene for cripe's sake), there's a decidedly non-tragic ending, which pleased me greatly. I'd love a sequel.
I agree with other reviewers that Perry's death could've been so much... more, instead of being glossed over and easily forgiven by everyone, but even so, I adored it.