As soon as I heard that Kate Evangelista was writing a NA novel I just knew I had to read it! It's not just that I was dying to read something new and fresh in this genre that seems to recycle the same topics again and again, it was also the fact that Kate Evangelista managed to grab my attention even from her very first novel so reading her new story was a must for me!
And yes, Kate just blew me away once more with Savor! I have to admit that I didn't even read the blurb before accepting to review Savor. I just knew that since Kate was writing it, I had to read it. So imagine my surprise when I realised that this story was set in the same universe as Taste!!! But you can as well forget everything you knew about our beloved set of characters from Taste. In Savor everything and everyone has changed and matured. Well, it's only natural since it's taking place around 4 years after the events from Taste. But fear not, even if you haven't read Taste, you won't have a single problem adjusting with the story. And it might be even better reading Savor with no prior knowledge because in that way you will be able to appreciate the mystery and the element of surprise of the story that much more.
Where can I possibly start with listing all the things I liked about Savor. Well, my favorite part must be Kate's writing style! Her ability to describe vivid images and the emotions she can communicate to her readers is just incredible! Needless to say, I devoured Savor is one sitting. I just couldn't help myself. Even if for the better part of the story nothing crucial really happens, still I wasn't able to put this book down.
My next favorite thing about Savor is Dakota and the fact that she's a photographer. The way Evangelista build her character and described her love for photography just made me fall in love with an art I have no talent in or knowledge whatsoever.Dakota's passion for what she does is truly inspiring!
As far as the plot is concerned, like I said, nothing really crucial happens for the better part of the story. To be exact, until the final chapters where everything changes. And here I must note that I'm still not sure how I feel about that spin in the end. Granted it makes you want to read the next book right away but still, the whole story took a very abrupt turn I'm not sure whether I don't like or I'm just fine with it.
That spin in the end along with a couple more reasons is why even though I really loved Savor I can't rate it higher. Let me explain. Apart from the ending, I found myself feeling a little bit awkward towards Luca, the main hero of the story. His tantrums just threw me off along with the easy way everyone went along with them and especially Dakota. I get it, Luka is important, he's the hero and something bad happened to him but still, that doesn't explain why he's entitled to act like a spoiled brat while everyone shuts it and play along.
So, my feelings towards Luca where in a constant fight: I adored him in one chapter while in the next one I would like to slap some sense into him.
And Luca's behavior leads me to the next thing I had a problem with Savor and that is the chemistry between Dakota and Luca. There were moments it felt natural and explosive (the video shoot is probably one of the most intense scenes I've ever read!) while at other times it felt forced or rushed. Lucas's advances towards Dakota where a bit creepy at times...
Verdict: Kate Evangelista is one of those authors who you should really keep an eye on! Her writing style and passion for telling stories are just two of her many qualities as an author. Savor is an incredible story, one you'll have a hard time putting down and you'll love every minute of it. Granted, I had a few problems with the book but they weren't enough to make my love it any less!(less)
Believe it or not, Romancing The Duke is the very first book I read by Tessa Dare...! I know, for me to have never read even a single title by this very well known author is a rarity I should long have done something about, but better late than never. Because as you can easily guess I pretty much loved everything about Romancing The Duke!
And what's not to love? The wicked sense of humor? The great and well developed characters? Or the sizzling hot chemistry and toe curling romance between the main couple? Oh yeah, Romancing The Duke delivers in every single of the above departments making this story a really enjoyable one!
I loved Izzy even from the very first lines of this book. I just knew that her sarcasm and how realistic she was towards even the more mundane of things would work just right for me. And I'm glad I wasn't disappointed in my first assessment of her character. Because Izzy is one of those characters that even in the direst circumstances doesn't lose her humor and optimism. She's such a force of life that you can't help but love her. The same thing applies for Ransom. I really loved him as well, though for entirely different reasons and here I might add not nearly as much as I loved Izzy. Not that he wasn't a great character or as sexy as one could hope but still, Izzy is the character who stole my heart in Romancing The Duke :)
The plot is somewhat fresh, not your typical HR romance that has its fair share of ball scenes and interacting with the ton. And if not for the way too easy way things wrapped up at the end or how predictable that spin in the end was, this would be a solid 5 star review. As it is, Romancing The Duke is a novel I more than enjoyed and Tessa Dare an author whose work I really should have read long ago. But like I said, better late than never :P
Verdict: Romancing The Duke is one of the funniest and sexiest Historical Romance novels I read in a long time. It was fresh and I finished it in no time. Surely I had a few problems with it but they were minor and they didn't lessen my whole appreciation of the novel. I will definitely continue reading this series! (less)
I actually don't have the patience to struggle through yet another novel... I just can't. Cruel Beauty has it's fair share of raving reviews so maybe...moreI actually don't have the patience to struggle through yet another novel... I just can't. Cruel Beauty has it's fair share of raving reviews so maybe I wasn't patient enough to reach the part where it gets all perfect and a masterpiece. But after struggling with the first half I just didn't have the patience or the strength to keep on reading. The world building is a confusing mix of so many elements I just can't count. Maybe things are explained later on the story. I wouldn't know. But I wasn't even midly curious to reach to that explanation. The insta love with Shade - Ignifex's servant - was a major turn off. And even though I haven't read about who or what Shade really is I'm pretty sure I have a good idea. It's kind of a retelling of Beauty and the Beast after all so it's kind of obvious... The only thing I liked was how Nyx wasn't all sweet and innocent but even that couldn't intrigue me enough to keep on with this story...(less)
Unfortunatelly this title isn't the right one for me, something that was obvious almost as soon as I started reading Secrets for Seducing a Royal Body...moreUnfortunatelly this title isn't the right one for me, something that was obvious almost as soon as I started reading Secrets for Seducing a Royal Bodyguard. The writing style is one I couldn't easily follow, or rather make me stay focused on the whole narration. But my biggest problem with this story was the immediate lust both heroes felt for each other as soon as the story began. I was never a big fan for instant love or instant lust but especially in this book the whole thing starts way too soon, and by soon, I mean from the bery first chapter. The hero is in the middle of rescuing the heroine and thinks that she's been raped by I don't even know how many men, he has already killed a men and he's on guard for more possible killings and amidst all that he notices the heroine's full bosom and general attractiveness, while the heroine instead of being hysterical or at least in fear, one of her first reactions is to notice how handsome her rescuer is... To say that such a scenario is unrealistical would be an understatement I'm afraid...
After that I couldn't invest myself to the characters or the whole story in general (which was full of cliches I must add) thus reducing my whole appreciation of this book.(less)
Can't finish this one... Not because it is that bad a book. I just knew from the very first pages that it wasn't my style. And after a few chapters st...moreCan't finish this one... Not because it is that bad a book. I just knew from the very first pages that it wasn't my style. And after a few chapters struggling to connect to both the characters and the story itself, I just knew that I would never be able to enjoy it. So instead of struggling through yet another book, I decided to put it aside.(less)
The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books that make it quite a challenge for me to both rate and review. And that is be...moreReview published at Ex Libris
The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books that make it quite a challenge for me to both rate and review. And that is because even though I had quite a few issues with it I still managed to enjoy reading it. At least for the better part of it. So yeah, how exactly do you rate a book that made you roll your eyes at points but you were unable to put down nonetheless?
The Wicked Wallflower is the story of a plain wallflower, who no one notices and a notorious rogue who find themselves posing as a couple, both of them for their own personal reasons. Sounds cliche enough to you? Well, it is, but I have a thing both for reformed rakes and fake relationships that turn into something more. So, even if the story isn't anything new, I was still pretty eager to read it. From the first pages of the story I knew I would have a problem with the author's writing style. Don't get me wrong, it's not that the writing style is bad, it's just that Maya Rodale tried to add a humorous and playful tone to the novel, that although it made the whole story funnier it somehow felt forced and foreign. Not the whole time, but there were moments where I felt that a joke was forced or a situation wasn't all that funny if you thought it twice. Plus, all those "funny" mentions about "The Ashbrooke effect" and " London's Least Likely" or " The Buxom Bluestocking" weren't all that funny after a while.
But it wasn't just that. The whole narration wasn't all that smooth either. As with the funny parts, the romantic parts felt also a bit forced. I mean more than once I felt that a romantic scene came out of nowhere. I don't know if I have to blame the arc copy (after all there were more than a few typos in there) and the final copy will flow in a smoother way or that was the narration style. All I know is that I couldn't really feel any emotion in many romantic scenes. They were well written and after a bit I got in the mood and went along with the story but at first they felt forced. But that, could as well be due to the insufficient character development too. Especially where Ashbrooke is concerned. I mean he went from notorious rogue and scoundrel to lovesick puppy in the blink of an eye. Quite literally. I couldn't notice how his feelings for Emma were growing. Apart from the fact that he was intrigued by her refusal, I couldn't really pinpoint the exact moment he understood she means so much to him. As a result, he came off as a spoiled child who wants something just because he can't have it.
Emma on the other hand was a good character but by the end of the book, I really wanted to slap some sense into her. Granted, she was bound to feel reluctant to believe that Ashbrooke changed just for her, but reading pages upon pages of her internal turmoil tired me a lot. Another moment where I didn't really like her was the scene where she's ready to elope with Benedict. I haven't read a least sexy scene where the heroine finally surrenders to the hero while a second suitor is waiting for her just a few yards away ready to elope. She completely lost any affection I felt for her after that incident I'm afraid.
Verdict: The Wicked Wallflower is one of those books I really don't know how to rate because despite all the issues I had with both characters and writing style, I still managed to enjoy myself while reading it. Maybe some things didn't exactly work for me, but still, it was a decent and enjoyable story. And I will probably continue with the series. I still want to see the rest of the wallflowers finding their HEA :)(less)
This is yet another book by Jennifer Probst that couldn't really catch my interest I'm afraid... Although Searching for Someday was evidently better i...moreThis is yet another book by Jennifer Probst that couldn't really catch my interest I'm afraid... Although Searching for Someday was evidently better in most departments than the previous two books I read by the same author, still, it didn't really work for me.
The story is rather typical once more. I liked how this book was linked to the previous series in such a subtle way but it was like reading pretty much the same story once more... I don't know, if this was my first book by this author, maybe, just maybe, my opinion would be different. But as it is, Searching for Someday is something I have already read like a million times before and the characters didn't really work for me in order to keep my interest in a story that was bound to unimpress me. Kate was too cliche for my taste and Slade an overbearing alpha. The chemistry between them, was nonexistent. Everything seemed forced somehow and to be completely honest I was tempted to put this book down as soon as I read that Kate was still a virgin... I mean the virgin part is a major turn off for me in NA stories, but when reading about a close to 30 y.o. virgin it's just plain unbelievable. No wonder Kate was wet all the time and her nipples were puckered all the time while in close procimity to Slade or when he simply looked at her... Anyway, I continued reading despite my better judgement but things never really improved.
The writing style is easy and the story flows making Searching for Someday a quick read but it's just not my cup of tea.(less)
It was quite some time since I read an erotica title, so when I saw 10 Shades of Seduction featured on NetGalley I just c...moreReview published at Ex Libris
It was quite some time since I read an erotica title, so when I saw 10 Shades of Seduction featured on NetGalley I just couldn't pass the opportunity of reading a few steamy stories in the package of one! And this anthology has at least a story to appeal to every reader. There are stories of submission and secret fantasies coming to life or of lovers reconnecting. Stories about people getting to know a new lifestyle or how a couple can keep their sexual interest through unconventional ways. Suffice it to say that in this anthology you can at least find a story that will appeal to you.
Granted, there are some strong stories in here and some weaker. There are some really hot and others that are just meh. And then there are a couple of them that I really didn't care about. But in overall, in this anthology you get a decent assortment of stories that will entertain you. After all, we're talking about short stories here, so even if you don't particularly like one of them it will end before you'll even know it :)
I'm not a big fan of anthologies usually and that is because I believe that in short stories, there's no room for enough character or plot development. So yeah, all of those stories lack seriously in those departments. There's no character development and in most of them you get down on the dirty parts without no reason whatsoever, well apart from the obvious one :P. But, there are two stories in there that even if there's no real character development, at least the setting and their leading characters feel real. And those authors are whose work I will try in the future. And there are also a couple of real hot stories whose authors I will again try in the future for entirely different reasons :P
Verdict: 10 Shades of Seduction is a good erotica anthology with mostly interesting stories in there. If you're a fan of the genre and you like short and extremely hot stories then this is the read for you!(less)
I know I must be probably living under a rock but Foreplay is actually the first book I ever read by acclaimed author Sop...moreReview published at Ex Libris
I know I must be probably living under a rock but Foreplay is actually the first book I ever read by acclaimed author Sophie Jordan. One might think that with so many YA or HR titles I read I was bound to have read even one of her books but nope, Foreplay is my first ever book by this author and let me tell you it's not gonna be the last! Oh yeah, it was that good of a book!
Upon reading the summary of Foreplay my initial thought was that this would be one of the many New Adult titles that are being published lately. Good and sweet girl meets bad boy while she's in college, she uses him in hope of learning the art of seduction and from there everything changes. Honestly, I've read quite a few NA, YA or adult contemporary titles with the same pretty much concept and even more similar summaries of books I never got around reading. Even so, Foreplay just intrigued me. And I'm so glad that I didn't stay on the well-worn concept of the story and gave this book a chance! Because even if the story is something told like a million times before, Foreplay still manages to add something new and stand out among all the other similar stories. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this book!
And what's not to love in it? The well written and very real characters? The scorching hot and at the same time sweet romance? Or the evenly paced narration? From the first until the last page, Foreplay managed to grab my interest and there wasn't a single moment when I felt bored while reading it. Quite the opposite. I literally devoured it in a matter of hours! Foreplay was exactly the kind of book I needed to make me remember why I love YA and NA. Because lately, all the NA adult titles I was picking couldn't really catch my interest and I just thought that this genre isn't really for me. Scorching hot sex scenes and tortured heroes alone can't make me love a book. But Foreplay has that something extra I search in a story that transforms it from good or typical to worth remembering.
I won't say anything about the plot. It's quite standard and pretty much what you read in the blurb. But the execution and Sophie Jordan's writing style make up for any lack of originality in the whole story. You still get the tortured heroes thing. I tend to believe that this is a necessity in NA pretty much like the love triangle is in YA :P But the dysfunctional past of both heroes isn't the main focus of the story, something that I found rather refreshing. It's just how life is for both Pepper and Reece. You don't get any sappy moments (well, at least not very sappy) which was another refreshing fact about Foreplay. Like I said, there may not be any big surprises in the plot of the book and you can easily guess where the story is heading but still, the execution and the writing style is simply amazing!
Plus, Foreplay has another huge advantage: Reece. Yeah, I'm on of those girls who always try to find their next big fictional male crush and Reece is totally swooning material! Tortured, gorgeous, and sexy as hell. He knows exactly how to make a girl lose her mind! I actually wonder how Pepper could ever resist him for that long a time...! And speaking of Pepper, she was a good character too. Not as great as Reece was though. The way she was so hang up on her envisioned future was a little bit of a turn off but at least she had some good reasons, so I was able to forgive her that little slip :P
Verdict: Don't be fooled by the less than original blurb of Foreplay. This book is full of surprises and one of the best NA books I have ever read. Sophie Jordan delivers a story full of emotion that manages to stay with you long after you have reached the last page of the book. If you're searching for a sweet and sexy at the same time romance that you'll finish in no time, then Foreplay is just the book for you!(less)
Another DNF for me... It wasn't that The Chocolate Touch was that bad a book. Not really. It was cute and sweet but despite that it couldn't really ho...moreAnother DNF for me... It wasn't that The Chocolate Touch was that bad a book. Not really. It was cute and sweet but despite that it couldn't really hold my interest. It's nothing that I haven't read like a gazillion times before so I'm just putting this story aside in search of something much more fun and unique to spend my time reading. The characters felt flat and the romance, no matter how sweet just didn't work for me. Maybe it got better. I can't really say. But up until the middle of the book the story just dragged and nothing really exciting ever happened.(less)
Uninvited was unfortunately not the right book for me. After recently reading Foreplay, Sophie Jordan's latest titl...moreReview first published at Ex Libris
Uninvited was unfortunately not the right book for me. After recently reading Foreplay, Sophie Jordan's latest title, I was pretty certain that I would fall in love with Uninvited. After all, the summary indicated a book right up my alley. But sadly, that wasn't the case with this story...
First of all I have to note that the second part of the book was way better than the first one. Should the story start at the point the second part began maybe I would feel a bit differently towards Uninvited, not that I didn't have a number of problems with the second part too, it's just that it was far more interesting and Davy a little less annoying. Anyway, Uninvited didn't work for me almost from the beginning. Even if the main idea of the book was somewhat fresh and intriguing, the whole plot was too predictable and a little disturbing at times. I'll come back to the disturbing part in a bit. Davy and Sean gave off a Bella and Edward feeling the whole time. I can't pinpoint exact resemblances between these two couples but while reading Uninvited and the way the romance between Davy and Sean bloomed I kept thinking the whole time about Twilight. Maybe it was the way Sean was overprotective towards Davy. How he kept protecting her one minute and the next pushed her away because he was dangerous. The fact remains that Davy and Sean and their insta love was something I have read millions of times before. And sadly there was no distinctive quality in their romance to make them stand apart.
The idea of Uninvited is quite fresh like I said. The idea of a kill gene intrigued me but the execution of it, left me thoroughly disturbed. I mean Uninvited is set in the future, a future so advanced that we are able to detect people with killing tendencies, but Sophie Jordan's world could as well have been one set 50 years ago... Because I can explain no other way the complete disregard of the environmental factor in someone acting on any homicidal tendencies he might have in his DNA... In Sophie Jordan's world, scientists think that all it takes for someone to kill or be violent is to have that kill gene. Everything else is of no importance. I mean how can I believe that in the future any behavior is a sole result of genes and little else, while right now we positively know that for an individual to acquire some behaviors major role plays the environment, how someone learns to behave by imitating the behavior of people close to them and many other factors that have to do with the way someone lives and what he learns is right or wrong? While reading Uninvited I couldn't help but think of the way people regarded mental disorders some years ago. And no, believing that we can step back instead of moving forward is something I refuse to believe and find realistic. And that's the first thing I found disturbing about Uninvited.
The second thing was how Davy faced the threat of rape so many times after learning that she has the kill gene. I could go along if that happened once or twice. But it happened 4 or 5 and in quick succession... Not that it couldn't happen and I completely understood why the author did it. But that didn't make it any less disturbing... I get that Davy was a beautiful girl abandoned by the system that regarded her as a menace therefore didn't care what happened to her but after the second time she escaped someone's sexual advances, the whole thing felt not only disturbing but also unrealistic. I mean every male that encountered Davy wanted to bed her and Sean was there to save her. Not buying it...
And that wasn't the only thing I couldn't buy... The whole plot was full of unrealistic moments and holes. Some things were rushed and a prime example of that is the transition from the first part of the story to the second one. In the moment when the government is most afraid of the carriers of the kill gene, Davy is miraculously chosen for a different fate, among a few more select ones. And while the government painstakingly chose those few carriers, just because Davy suggests it, they bring in the team Sean as well... He's not special, but since Davy who is special recommends him that earns him a ticket. How more unrealistic could a situation be?
Verdict: Uninvited didn't work for me in any department I'm afraid... Even though I really enjoyed Sophie Jordan's writing style and despite some good moments, in overall I couldn't enjoy this book. It's not that it's a bad book, it's just not my cup of tea. The plot turned out to be one I couldn't really enjoy and if you combine that with the fact that I couldn't connect to any of the main characters you can easily understand why I quickly lost my interest in this story.(less)
Crash Into You is easily one of my most anticipated releases of this year and for one single reason: Katie McGarry can do no...moreReview posted at Ex Libris
Crash Into You is easily one of my most anticipated releases of this year and for one single reason: Katie McGarry can do no wrong with her stories. And yes, as it was expected, the third book in the Pushing the Limits series is yet again incredibly good! No big surprises here, right? :)
I don't know exactly what is that distinct quality that makes Katie McGarry's stories such a success. Oh, there are plenty of reasons people love her books, be sure about that, but I still can't pinpoint exactly what it is that makes my heart break each time I read one of her stories. At times I think it's the characters and how well written and real they are that make me fall in love with them. But it's not just that. All of McGarry's characters have such a troubled past and present that you can nothing else but care about them. It's like somehow the author is giving voice and hope to all those teens out there that feel like the world is up against them. And she's doing it in the most impressive way!
Needless to say, I loved Crash Into You! Maybe not so much as the previous two books in the series, but still, I enjoyed every single minute of reading Isaiah's story. You see Isaiah was by far my favorite character of the trio. Maybe because he was always feeling like no one ever cared for him, I don't know, all I know is that I had a soft spot for Isaiah from the very first book. And his story didn't disappoint me. Surely, it could have been a little bit better. After all, we're talking about a story written by Katie McGarry here and she has already proved that she can do much better than really good. She can do perfect! And if it wasn't for how quickly Isaiah fell in love with Rachel you might never hear a simple complain from me.
Anyway, I won't go into details about the plot of Crash Into You. If you have read the previous two books in the series you already know what to expect more or less. And that is a riveting story about two so very different people who are so broken inside but still have the strength to love and move on with their lives and finally emerge stronger from any difficulties they meet along their way. So no, I won't tell anything about the plot other than it is very well written and will keep you on your toes the whole time.
The chemistry between Isaiah and Rachel is sizzling even if their relationship progressed a little bit quicker than I would have liked while the characters are yet again the strongest part of the book. And not just the main ones. No, the brilliance of Katie McGarry's writing is that she can easily and just as well explore her secondary characters along with the main ones. She gives voice to everyone who participates in her stories no matter how small an appearance he/she makes.
Verdict: Katie McGarry delivers yet again a heart-breaking story that manages to stay with you long after you're finished reading it. Strong characters and a toe-curling romance are the best attributes of a story that manages to grab the reader's interest from the first until the last page. I just can't wait for the next book in the series to get published! (less)
The Marriage Merger follows the same successful recipe as the rest of the books in this series, but while I really enjoyed all the previous books, Jen...moreThe Marriage Merger follows the same successful recipe as the rest of the books in this series, but while I really enjoyed all the previous books, Jennifer Probst's latest story didn't really manage to grab my interest. The writing style is as great as always and while Sawyer and Julietta's story was even sexier than what I would dare hope, still, I couldn't connect with either of the main characters plus I felt that their chemistry was somewhat forced. I mean as soon as they meet each other Sawyer is in a constant state of arousal while Julietta can't get him out of her head. I prefer for the author to make me feel the chemistry between her characters rather than notify me about it.
Anyway, another reason The Marriage Merger didn't work for me were also the BDSM references. I noticed the same thing in Jennifer Probst's past stories but I really think that they are somewhat not fitting to a sweet contemporary romance title. And this story for its better part is a sweet romantic title so I kind of found those references irrelevant. All those mentions to Sawyer's dominant side kind of turned me off. And let's face it, kinky sex has nothing to do with BDSM. Just saying.
Anyway, The Marriage Merger failed to impress me in overall but I still think that Jennifer Probst is one of the most talented authors out there. (less)
When I saw that Delphine Dryden was writing a sequel to her Theory of Attraction story I was beyond excited! I absolutely loved the first book in the...moreWhen I saw that Delphine Dryden was writing a sequel to her Theory of Attraction story I was beyond excited! I absolutely loved the first book in the Science of Temptation series that I just couldn't wait to read a new scorching hot nerdy romance. And at this point I can't help but wonder how it's possible for me to love so much the first book in a series and feel absolutely nothing about the second one. Because that's exactly what happened with The Seduction Hypothesis. I just read it feeling nothing whatsoever about the story, never getting the hotness of the scenes, never caring about the main characters and thinking that I should had just avoided reading any sequel to a just perfect story. Not that we had the same main characters but they made an appearance and believe me, it was hard for me to even recognise both Cami and Ivan from the first book in this new story.
But let's take things from the beginning. The Seduction Hypothesis is the story of Lindsey and Ben both nerds who have recently broken up and are again meeting in order to attend the same convention along with 4 other friends, Cami and Ivan of the first book among them. So typically, this is a second chance in love kind of story, one that I usually really enjoy but unfortunately in this book it was rather poorly executed. Because in the end of day, all there was to The Seduction Hypothesis is a couple's initiation to the BDSM lifestyle and the whole plot was just centred around a couple of sex scenes and nothing more. And probably things couldn't have been different since The Seduction Hypothesis was a rather short story. Shorter than Theory of Attraction if I remember correctly. But while in the first book, where the main focus was once more the sex scenes, we also had a very unique and intriguing character, here, we had nothing. Or rather we had once more two very intriguing characters but unfortunately they were never fully explored nor they were developed. Granted, Ben showed the most signs of development throughout the story seeing how he was first introduced as a man who was afraid to make any tough choices and live his life as he wanted and by the end we had a man willing to go after what he thought was good for him but still ,those changes felt somehow forced on his character rather than a natural outcome. He didn't grow as a character he just accepted to explore the BDSM lifestyle and everything else just came along with that decision in a nicely wrapped package. As a result, the HEA by the end, didn't really feel as one. The way Ben and Lindsay got together just felt like a necessity in order for the story to wrap up quickly and end in a happy way while still their problems weren't really all that settled.
But the ending, no matter how quickly wrapped up wasn't my main problem in this book. My main problem was the fact that The Seduction Hypothesis was just an excuse for some more hot BDSM scenes with no plot nor any in depth characters. And as a result, when there's no substantial story nor I can connect to my main characters, the sex scenes hold no real value to me. I just read them detached, unable of feeling anything at all. And how could I ever feel anything when I don't really care about the characters. When the author isn't providing me with anything to make me care about her characters.
All in all, The Seduction Hypothesis is nothing like the first book in the series unfortunately. The writing style is pretty much the same but this story is just written in haste, or at least it seems that way. There's no real plot, the characters lack any depth and in overall The Seduction Hypothesis is just a story with some well written sex scenes in it, though again in the first book were way better, and little else. I read it quite quickly but I doubt I will remember much of it after sometime, unlike the first book which will be among my favorite erotica stories for quite some time.(less)
After how much I enjoyed reading the first book in the Wildefire series, you can easily understand why I was so excited when I started reading Midnight Lies. And for about the first half of the book I was pretty certain that Midnight Lies would be just as good as Midnight Secrets was, if not better. But that feeling unfortunately didn't last...
But let's take things from the start. My favorite part of the book was by far the pretty big introduction. Like in the first book of the series, Ella Grace takes the long route and describes in detail all the events that lead the couple in their present situation rather than start immediately and just inform us of her heroes' past. And while usually I'm not fond of big introductions, in this case I loved it! I thought that even if so many details were not necessary for the reader to understand the characters it still was a great way to get to know them before the actual story began. Plus, I always love a good mystery and Ella Grace knows exactly how to mix the right dose of mystery and suspense with a hot romance.
But, as soon as the intro finished, I noticed that I was becoming less and less excited with the whole story I'm afraid. I can't pinpoint exactly what it was that made me lose my interest. Maybe the fact that I had guessed the murderer's identity way too early in the story played a role. Or maybe because of how Quinn was portrayed as the sole responsible for his break-up with Sam. Don't get me wrong, he did treat her horribly but Sam played a role in their fall-out too. And the fact that only Sam understood that while all the others just assumed he was an asshat irked me a bit. They were both at fault (maybe one more than the other, but still both of them) and they needed to forgive each other.
And here probably lies my next problem with this book. And that is the characters. Sadly, even with the very detailed background I just couldn't connect to either of the main characters in Midnight Lies. Quinn was full of contradictions. He's supposed to be a control freak and never showing his emotions but at the same time he immediately caves to his ex's demands or rushes of to Midnight to beg for Sam's forgiveness as soon as he learns that she was the one who helped drop the charges against him. He's proud but still buys a house (of all things to do to get your loved one to forgive you!) in Midnight even when Sam turns him down. And Quinn's character isn't the only one full of contradictions. Sam is as well. While she's portrayed as a smart and pretty perceptive person she acts nothing like it. What she does is doubt herself every other step of the way and never trusting her instincts.
Other than that the plot is another thing I wasn't all that excited about. While the writing style is very good and full of details and vivid images, the whole mystery subplot was done in a haste. After how great the whole story was set up at the beginning, the ending was anticlimactic to say the least. Both the murderer and his motive were pretty obvious really soon in the story. So, you can easily understand why Midnight Lies couldn't really catch my interest. Neither the mystery part nor the chemistry between the main couple could get my attention I'm afraid.
Verdict: Midnight Lies was something of a disappointment for me I'm afraid, especially considering how much I enjoyed the first book in the Wildefire series. Even so, Ella Grace's writing style is so good that I can't possibly miss the opportunity of reading the next book in the series!(less)
Sins of a Wicked Princess is the third and last book in the Sinners Trio series by Anna Randol which follows the adventur...moreReview published at Ex Libris
Sins of a Wicked Princess is the third and last book in the Sinners Trio series by Anna Randol which follows the adventures of three spies while they try to find their Happily Ever After. Considering how much I loved the second book in the series, Sins of a Ruthless Rogue, I had pretty high expectations from this book. And I'm happy to say that Anna Randol managed to deliver once more a story full of adventure, heartfelt emotion, and great characters that I couldn't possibly put down.
Before anything else, I have to note that the ARC I received for review was full of typos and mistakes something I seriously hope that will be fixed in the final copy. As a result the story wasn't smoothly flowing but that is something easily fixed. That being said, Sins of a Wicked Princess was an incredible book! I loved everything about it and mostly the leading couple. Both Ian and Juliana are characters that manage to stay with you long after you've finished reading their story, they are characters you can easily relate to and care for, thus making their story all the more a joy to read. Juliana is exactly the kind of heroine I like in my books. Not to mention that she's a princess! Yeah, I have a thing for princesses :P And Juliana is one of those princesses who care first of all for her people and then for themselves. She's ready to sacrifice herself or her personal happiness in order to secure a better future for her people. How many of our current political leaders can claim that? But the fact that she's responsible for a country doesn't stop her from being a very real woman with needs and insecurities and a wicked sense of humour!
Ian on the other hand is simply delicious. I don't have a thing for princesses alone. I have also a thing for spies and tortured heroes as well. And Ian is the perfect combination of genius, arrogance and sexiness. Honestly, I don't think Juliana could have a better man by her side, even if she tried :P Together they make the perfect couple. Their chemistry is really good and the reader cares for them and wants them to find their HEA.
As far as the plot is concerned, there's enough mystery to keep you turning the pages and betrayals to spice things up a bit. The writing style is really good and in overall, there wasn't a single moment where I felt bored or tired while reading Sins of a Wicked Princess. On the contrary. I stayed up late at night just to read a few more chapters :)
Verdict: Sins of a Wicked Princess is one of those books I really enjoyed reading. It combines mystery, intrigue and a good dose of romance and humour that I always appreciate in a book. And here I just have to note that this story manages to be sexy even if the sex scenes are limited. And that is another area where Anna Randol won me over. It's not the quantity of sex scenes that make a story sexy but the quality. A must read! (less)
1.5 stars After reading two books by Jennifer Probst and immensely enjoying both of them, it shouldn't come as a big surprise the fact that I just coul...more1.5 stars After reading two books by Jennifer Probst and immensely enjoying both of them, it shouldn't come as a big surprise the fact that I just couldn't wait to get my hands on her newest release with Entangled, All the Way. I was dying to read another sweet and at the same time impossibly sexy romance written in a way only Probst can deliver. Alas, All the Way was nothing like what I expected it to be and compared to the author's Marriage to a Billionaire series, it's quite inferior I'm afraid.
Like I said, I picked up All the Way feeling quite certain that I would enjoy it only to be thoroughly disappointed with it really soon. I mean after the first 5 chapters or maybe even sooner, it became quite apparent that this wasn't the book for me. Maybe the writing style was just as good as in the author's previous work, I won't disagree on that. Maybe the sex scenes were delivered in the same sexy and sinful way. I can't agree more on that either. But when I think of All the Way in its entirety all I can think of to describe it is really cheesy and with little redeeming qualities to balance that cheesiness and make me enjoy the story. Because all the other books I read by the author were again heavy on the cheesy part. But still, even so, I really enjoyed them because I could relate with the characters and the romance was delivered in such a way that honestly, I couldn't care less about anything else. Something that didn't happen with All the Way I'm afraid.
All the Way explores the second chance lovers trope and even if that isn't one of my favorite tropes I really enjoy those kind of stories most of the time. I find incredibly interesting exploring all the reasons that drove the couple apart in the past and seeing them get together again. Plus, in that trope the sexual tension is almost always more delicious since you have two people who were once together. At least the way I see it. In this story unfortunately, neither the reasons that drove the couple apart were interesting nor the tension between them was believable. I mean right where the story starts, Miranda and Gavin meet again after three years and a couple of chapters later Gavin is right in Miranda's house trying to seduce her just because he's a Dom. And don't get me started on that Dom part. Throughout the whole story Gavin is referred to as Dom a couple of times, but his relationship with Miranda isn't anything like the Dom/Sub relationship of a BDSM story one might expect. The Dom references are more to indicate that Gavin wants to control everything while he's having sex more than anything else. At least that's how I saw it since the sex scenes in this book didn't have anything real kinky in them. So here is where I wonder why on earth in a more or less sweet and typical romance the author felt the need to insert BDSM elements, that she wasn't willing to explore in the least. It was a major turn off for me. There were moments when I felt that I was reading a harlequin romance that wanted to magically transform into 50 Shades...
Apart from those unnecessary BDSM elements, I also had a hard time with the characters in this book. I disliked Gavin and I couldn't care less about Miranda... Miranda was an ok character I guess but the way she just caved to Gavin's requests didn't exactly make me love her. I didn't hate her, I just couldn't care for her. I didn't feel sorry for the way Gavin treated her, maybe I did a little bit at first, but after witnessing how her womb clenched upon seeing him after so many years and after being treated in such a way, well, whatever pity I felt for her, just vanished. Now Gavin on the other hand, is one of the most self centred characters I have ever read. The way he just wanted Miranda to forgive him everything and the way he thought that as soon as he understood his bad ways everyone should bow to his majesty was frustrating to say the least. Add to that the fact that he stalked Miranda and you can understand why I couldn't possibly like him. I like an undeniably alpha male in my romance but Gavin was way beyond the caveman line.
And now let's talk about the plot. Nothing new or fresh here I'm afraid. Like I said in the beginning, All the Way is incredibly cheesy and predictable. It follows every known cliche out there, making it really easy to guess where the story is going. So, when one adds a very predictable story to a set of characters I couldn't really like or care about, you can understand why I couldn't wait for this story to end.
It really pains me to write a negative review, especially for a book written by an author whose work I really enjoyed previously. But no matter how hard I tried, All the Way failed to impress me in every department. That doesn't mean though that I don't anxiously await for the 4th book in the Billionaire series. You can bet on that. It's just that this book, wasn't the right one for me. (less)
Tempted by Trouble is a rather difficult book for me to rate. And it's difficult because even though I really enjoyed reading it, there were some aspe...moreTempted by Trouble is a rather difficult book for me to rate. And it's difficult because even though I really enjoyed reading it, there were some aspects of the story that made me want to bang my head on any available surface! And the main thing that made me feel that way was Marco, the main hero of the story.
But let's take things from the start. Tempted by Trouble is a typical romantic story about second chance in love. Pippa is a socialite, the golden girl who has everything right on her feet and chooses to throw them away and be a party animal and Marco, her step uncle, who is her first and only love but doesn't want to ever see her again because he believes she has destroyed his life, or does he?
The setting couldn't be more perfect for me, seeing that it takes place in the Caribbean, and the story, well, it's right up my alley. Add to that the fact that Michelle Smart did a wonderful job both with her writing and the way she developed her characters in such a small story and you get why I really enjoyed this story. I mean we're talking about a rather short story, but still, Smart managed to provide her characters with a solid past, to explore them throughout her story and make her readers care for them. That is a great accomplishment in my book! While I was reading this story I felt more than once my heart breaking for Pippa, the way everyone treated her and the way no one could understand that she was so messed up and all she needed was some love. All she needed was for someone to care about her. And maybe because I cared so much about Pippa, I hated so much Marco and his behavior towards her. Granted, maybe Marco's behavior was justified but still, you never get to treat someone in that way. No matter how much you believe you were wronged, being so short sighted speaks volumes of your own character. For the best part of the book I just wanted to slap both Marco and Pippa. Well, mostly Marco for treating Pippa that way and then I just wanted to slap some sense into Pippa for still dreaming of a man that treated her that way for no apparent reason. He was just horrible to her right until the end. And in case you're wondering, no, he didn't redeem himself by then. Even if he tried to protect Pippa and changed his behavior towards her, I still couldn't forgive him his previous horrible behavior. He was a man with such a huge ego and no matter what he did couldn't change that.
As you can guess, I got quite passionate with this book right? Which is a good thing because it means I got invested in the story, and that is where I find it difficult to rate this book. Because I loved it, but I really hated the main hero. One other thing that I quite didn't like also, were the sex scenes. While I found the whole writing style really good, the sex scenes were a failure. They were very cheesy and descriptions like:
"The first press of his lips on hers turned her bones into fondue." or
"All that mattered was being in his arms again and being kissed with such passion and hunger her whole being turned into noodles"
just killed my mood. Add to that some really unnecessary commands while in the act like "Take me." or "Kiss me." more than once and yeah, the sex scenes were definitely not my favorite part of this story.
Anyway, all in all, Tempted by Trouble is a decent story, well written for the most part of it, that I really enjoyed reading if not for the main hero. He was my main source of problems while reading this book, but Pippa just made up for him. She was one memorable character, so strong and so kind that I just loved her. And maybe because I loved her so much I hated Marco for the way he treated her. Michelle Smart did an incredible job and I just can't wait for her next story!(less)
Yet another book that I'm forced to put aside. Even though the writing style in the little I read seems very good and caught my interest, the storylin...moreYet another book that I'm forced to put aside. Even though the writing style in the little I read seems very good and caught my interest, the storyline is way too dark for my current mood.
The heroine had a child in the tender age of 14 (I'm guessing here that she was raped, though I'm not sure) and as if that is not enough her child is diagnosed with autism. On top of all that, at the age of 22 she has to care for a 7 y.o. boy with problems, and her mother who has sclerosis plus, her father abandoned all of them, leaving her the only person to tend two people with different but equally challenging problems. The hero has his own huge problems too, so you can guess why this is just too much for me right now. I need a book I can enjoy myself not one where so many disasters take place from the very first chapters. The fact that I can't continue with this book right now doesn't mean that I won't do it sometime, when the timing is right, or that it is a bad book. From the little I read the writing style seems decent. So it's just a purely personal thing and has nothing to do with whether the book itself is good or bad. (less)