Before I say anything else about Lead and Follow, I just have to take a moment and note that I picked up this book with a really open mind. You see I Before I say anything else about Lead and Follow, I just have to take a moment and note that I picked up this book with a really open mind. You see I have never before read anything quite similar to this story. Never. But I just couldn't resist myself and ask this book for review (and here I really need to say a huge thank you to both Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown for providing me with a copy of this book upon my request).
I mean, have you read that premise? As soon as I read it I just had to get this book at all costs. I have a thing both for dancers and Russians. A hot Russian dancer? How could I ever resist that combo? No way! So, I picked this book up and literally devoured it! Oh it's that good and if it's possible, even better!
The writing style and character development is great as one would expect from the duo of authors. I'm not familiar with Lorelie Brown's writing style (but now I desperately want to!) but I'm in love with Carrie Lofty's writing style. I have still not read a story of hers that didn't grab me and in the end of day I didn't enjoy. So, as far as the writing is concerned, Lead and Follow is incredible! The characters are multi-dimensional, have wants and needs and they are flawed as any real person would be. So even though I couldn't really understand them (I'll explain in a bit why) and their needs and wishes I cared for them and I could connect with them. And it's the first time that I can connect with a set of characters I can't fully understand what motivates them.
So, let me explain now why I couldn't really understand the characters. Like I said in the beginning, it's the first time I read something like Lead and Follow. And that is a truly erotica novel. Yeah, that 50 Shades craziness has caught up with me, so sure, I have read some erotica novels, but nothing with menage or M/M romance in it. Lead and Follow is erotica in its very core. It's all about sex and carnal wishes but with a great set of characters and a plot in there. It has lots of hot sex in it, but even if the story is centered around sex, it's not just that. So, the reason I couldn't fully understand Dima and Lizzie was purely personal and simply because I couldn't myself fathom what motivated them. How could they love so much each other and engage in sex with others. I couldn't put myself in Lizzie's shoes and imagine myself being turned on by seeing the man I love having sex with another man. That's why I couldn't relate to the characters, but still, I could connect with them. To make a long story short, the whole story was outside my comfort zone. Am I making any sense?
Anyway, Lead and Follow delivers exactly what the premise indicates and then so much more!!! I couldn't care less if I understood the characters. The scenes were incredibly sexy and I couldn't care less if Dima was playing for both teams. He was one sexy man with an incredibly dirty mind!
But like I said, Lead and Follow, although centered around sex, isn't only about that. It explores relationships and their dynamics, how our fears can hold us back, from everything, and how much better it is to chase what you want even if you're afraid you might lose everything in the process. Because otherwise, you might lose the chance of even trying to.
Lead and Follow is how an erotica novel should be written. Because a good erotic story isn't only about well written sex scenes. It's about making you care for characters outside your comfort zone. And in that area, this story delivered everything I didn't even dare to hope for!...more
Kissing Kendal is a sweet and cute romance that you will finish in no time and you will3.5 stars. Review first published at Books to Brighten your Mood
Kissing Kendal is a sweet and cute romance that you will finish in no time and you will be left with a huge grin afterwards. Yes it is that sweet.
Kissing Kendall is the story of Kendall, a young widow who after losing her parents and husband is afraid to fall in love and live again and Brad, her best friend's brother who is in love with her since he can remember himself but has never acted upon those feelings in fear of ruining their friendship.
Jennifer Shirk has done a really good job with both the character development in this story and the pace of the romance. Not an incredible work, but good nonetheless. For the first half of the book I was reading nonstop and loving every minute of it. The second half of this book though, is a whole other matter.
Unfortunately, even if in the end of the day I found Kissing Kendall enjoyable and sweet, still I had some problems with it, problems, that are reflecting in my rating of this book, I'm afraid.
For starters, the pace of the book was a bit uneven. You see the first part is moving forward and in a fast pace making it a very enjoyable read until the moment Brad finally reveals his emotions to Kendall. From that point on, the whole story is slowly starting losing its appeal. Because from that moment on starts the non stop back and forth in their relationship, a back and forth that I have to blame solely on Kendall. And she is my second problem with this novel. Because Brad, is an amazing character. Sweet and protective and to be honest, it has been a long time since I read about an undeniably alpha male who was portrayed in such a sweet way. He didn't have to scream alpha. He just was, without being possessive or any other thing. So Brad's character, is maybe the best thing in Kissing Kendall.
Kendall on the other hand, not so much. At least for me. I got that she was wounded, that she couldn't move forward and forget and deal with that many misfortunes, but still, her behavior at times was difficult to put up with. She came of as rather self centered. I'm pretty certain that through her reluctance to fall in love again and the general way she chose to deal with her wounded past, the author's intention was to make the reader feel sympathetic towards her. But in my case, all that had the exact opposite effect I'm afraid. I know Kendall isn't self centered. But she certainly appeared that way. And the way she almost "played" with Brad, tired me after a point. I mean one moment she wanted him, the next she pushed him away and that pattern was repeated over and over again.
So, even though I pretty much enjoyed Kissing Kendall, I can't say that it's among the best contemporary romances out there. I had a good time reading it but I don't think I will remember much of it, except for the way Kendall couldn't make up her mind and get what she wanted. Oh, and how I much loved Brad :)...more
An Infamous Marriage is a decent historical romance, one that was incredible in the beginning only to be dragged down by a really slow second half.
Like I said, when I started reading An Infamous Marriage, and throughout the first half of the book, I was quite certain that I had a winner in my hands. I mean, up to the point that Jack gets back home to a wife he doesn't want I was in love with this story. I liked the setting, the characters, everything about this book screamed amazing. Well, you know me, I'm a sucker for the marriage of convenience or forced marriage trope and especially if the sparks are flying between the main couple. And as long as Jack and Elizabeth were away from each other you could feel the promise of sparks in the air between them. All the potential was there and Susanna Fraser did an excellent job in building the anticipation of the two of them getting back together. Only when the time of the reunion actually came, the sparks went away, so far away, that you couldn't even see their promise in the air I'm afraid....
You see, when you spent the whole first half of the book hearing Jack being utterly frustrated that he had to go home to a wife he never wanted, that he actually preferred to stay at risk in the battlefield rather than get back to a normal life by her side while at the same time you see a so determined to keep him away and punish him Elizabeth, well, it's only natural that you expect them to bicker a lot, to fight each other and their growing feelings, if for no other reason than their wounded pride (well that applies mostly to Elizabeth).
What we actually get, is a Jack, who as soon as he lays eyes on his wife falls in love with her and an Elizabeth who can't resist him for long. So, you get why I was a little bit disappointed with their reunion... And although I could maybe understand Elizabeth, I just couldn't see exactly why and how Jack was so determined to get her affections other than the fact that Elizabeth was a lot prettier than he remembered her.
Anyway, apart from the lack of sparks between the main couple, the writing style was good enough, the book well researched and in overall An Infamous Marriage was a decent book, that it could easily have been a lot better in my opinion. After all, the potential was all there.
I had really high hopes for Princess Avenger by Bernadette Rowley. I may haven't read any reviews about this book prior to me picking it up but still,I had really high hopes for Princess Avenger by Bernadette Rowley. I may haven't read any reviews about this book prior to me picking it up but still, from the premise I was certain that I had an amazing story in my hands. And although in some departments, Princess Avenger delivered what the premise promised, in others, it didn't fair so well I'm afraid.
For the first 1/3 of the story, Princess Avenger was everything I was expecting it to be. There was an intricate world building, a strong and independent heroine and a very mysterious and sexy hero. I mean, everything at the beginning was indicating a fresh and unique story, having all those elements I'm searching for. But before I even reached the middle of the story, my initial thoughts about Princess Avenger started to change rapidly. I found myself tired and a little bit bored, so I had to put it down, read another book and then continue with it. I don't usually do this. When I start a book I either put it aside or finish it. I rarely pick up again a book that I stopped reading. But I had to give it another try because like I said, at the beginning I really liked it. And my three star rating reflects mostly that part and the fact that even if I couldn't connect with the story, Bernadette Rowley's writing style is pretty good.
My main problem with the book was with the world building. It was rather ambitious, but Princess Avenger never delivered in that area. It's mostly a fantasy novel with a focus on romance and let's face it, the beginning and end of a fantasy novel is the world building. At least for me. But unfortunately in this story the world building is loose and vague. Details are never given about how exactly the world ticks or what is going on. The whole plot is based on the fact that the reader takes everything described as given and never asks any why's or how's. And that is a major failure for me. Maybe the fact that Princess Avenger wasn't really that long a book, explains why the world building was a little bit vague. But still, I just can't take everything for granted.
The other problem is that Princess Avenger is primarily a romance and then a fantasy novel. And I have nothing against that, if and only if, the romantic plot isn't explored against the basic plot of the whole story. And sadly, that was the case with Princess Avenger. After a point, everything was focused on the romance between Alecia and Vard and everything other was lost. Never explored. The whole book was about them and all the other interesting things happening at the same time where just completely brushed off. There wasn't a balance. And still, if the romance was good, I may still not be having that many problems, but their romance was also sort of lukewarm. Maybe because both Alecia and Vard (especially Vard) felt so distant. As for the rest of the characters, they might as well haven't been there. There was no character development or there was, but a minimum one.
All in all, Princess Avenger was a rather ambitious attempt that I'm pretty certain that it could have been so much better. There was potential in there. But unfortunately, it failed to impress me and catch my interest. ...more
With all the craziness that 50 Shades has created recently and after seeing one erotica, BDSM themed, storReview posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
With all the craziness that 50 Shades has created recently and after seeing one erotica, BDSM themed, story being published after the other, I had made a promise to myself that I would try to stay away from it all. Since 50 Shades weren't really one of my favorite books and not for its story but for the writing style, it was only natural for me to stay away from anything that is promoted to be the next 50 Shades, only better. To be honest with myself, I was tempted more than a few times by some titles but always managed to stir away from temptation. But, with The Pleasures of Winter, I just couldn't resist. Even if deep down I knew that I shouldn't try it, that premise made me break my promise and pick up this book. Now I read it, I think that promises are made for a reason and next time, I'd do well to not break them...
The Pleasures of Winter, is indeed a book fans of 50 would really enjoy and like some other reviewers said, better written. And I can't agree more about either of those facts. Pleasures of Winter follows the exact same pattern with 50 (with spankings, obsessive heroes and the like), only the writing style is so much better, with actual plot in the story and there's not a moment you want to smack your head on any available surface due to repetitions or the appearances of inner goddesses. Hands down, this book is actually written in a way that you can easily read it and there's some character development. But, despite that, it still wasn't the right book for me.
The best part of Pleasures of Winter is by far the first part of the story that is set in the jungle. The part where Abbie and Winter crash in the jungle and fight for survival is the best part of the book. I liked everything about it. Well, everything right up their last day in the jungle that is and the first real hint of Winter's sexual appetites. Up until Winter "punished" Abbie for disobeying him I was sure that this would be an erotica title that I would love. After that, I felt uneasy towards Winter but still had hopes that he would somehow redeem himself, something that unfortunately never happened.
Maybe, BDSM themed stories are not for me. I don't know. Most of the stories with that theme that I read, were certainly not for me, but, there are a few that I really liked, so probably, it's not the theme that I don't like, but the way the hero or heroine is portrayed. And although Abbie was a nice character, well written and even if submissive in bed not a pushover, Winter was, for lack of a better description a real jerk. I didn't like Pleasures not because of the BDSM theme, not because of the writing style, not even because of the fact that it's a story already been written and said but because of the main hero, who I just couldn't picture him as sexy and caring no matter how hard I tried. The way he treated Abbie was horrific. I mean, I get the whole spanking idea, BUT only if both participants are okay with it all. How would you call a man who just starts spanking you just because you disobeyed him and it's not in the middle of a sexual act you both agree to, or you don't even know that this is the way he's turned on? Winter just starts spanking Abbie while she has no kind of relationship with him, she doesn't know a thing about him and they're not even in the middle of a sexual game. Because in my world, that screams abusive. It's a whole other thing to consent to something and a whole other to just get thrown in the middle of it with no prior knowledge. Who cares if Abbie is turned of in the end by the spanking? I don't. I was so repulsed with the whole scenario that from that point on, nothing Winter did could be perceived as sexy from me. And to make matters worst, he keeps treating Abbie badly and I'm not talking about while exploring her submissive side. Somewhere in the end of the story, Abbie and Winter break up and Winter's attempt to make up to her and take Abbie back is only saying that he's sorry (I think I'm not 100% certain about the sorry part), not giving any explanation whatsoever for his behavior and when Abbie isn't responding the way he'd liked he threatens her with punishment for not being obedient on the spot. I mean come on!!!! Is that even remotely sexy??? Is something wrong with me that I can't see it as sexy?
Like I said, maybe BDSM themed stories are not my cup of tea, despite enjoying a few of them in the past. But for me to enjoy any book, I must like the heroes and understand them, regardless the story's theme. So maybe, BDSM books are harder to write in terms of character, I don't know. The thing is, that The Pleasures of Winter was yet another failure for me, a book that might be well written and with sufficient character development, but with a main hero who I could never understand or find likable. I can't recommend it, but it will have a certain appeal to fans of 50 Shades, that's for sure. ...more
As soon as I heard that there was a sequel to Her Forbidden Hero featuring Brady, I just couldn't wait to get my hands on it. You see, Laura Kaye intrigued me to no end with Brady's character,even if he appeared only shortly in Her Forbidden Hero and I was just dying to read his story.
Now that I read it, I just have to say that Laura Kaye can't disappoint with her work. Even if my feelings were a bit mixed towards certain parts of the story, in the end, I'm left with a sweet feeling, loving pretty much everything about One Night with a Hero.
First of all, let my clear what I mean by saying that I have mixed feelings towards certain parts of the story. At first, I found the pace of the story a little slow and the romantic part felt a bit rushed. You know me, when sex comes really soon in the story I rarely end up liking it. Not that I will judge a story only by that detail, but in most cases, when the sex comes before I have the chance to form any real attachment to the characters, I just can't connect with the hotness level of that said scene. And in One Night with a Hero, the first sex scene came way too quickly and as a result it was like I was just reading about two people having sex, without caring about how they felt or anything else. That first sex scene along with the next one were hot, but still, I couldn't really appreciate them.
Then, the pace of the story picked up and although it was cheesy at times, I had a great time while reading it. Only to be a bit disappointed with Brady and his behavior after a while until finally, the ending left me with a bittersweet feeling.
Yeah, One Night with a Hero was a bit of a roller coaster of a read for me. Not that I didn't like Laura Kaye's writing style, I absolutely loved it! She is one gifted writer and she made me enjoy a story that if written by any other author I don't think that I would enjoy as much.
The sex scenes are sexy and hot as hell but the character development was a bit inferior compared to the first book in the series.
Both Joss and Brady have so many emotional wounds and carry such a heavy emotional baggage that I definitely expected more in the character development department. As it is, both of them felt a little bit one-dimensional, with Joss' only highlighted aspect being her kindness while with Brady, all one could really see was his troubled past and how that affected his life. There aren't many other things the reader can say about them. And certainly, those aspects of their characters are crucial to the story, but there's more than that and I really wanted to see them. And after seeing how Kaye really can write a hero with a troubled past in the previous book, well, I kind of expected more.
But like I said in the beginning, despite not enjoying One Night with a Hero as much as I expected, I still liked it a great deal. Laura Kaye can definitely deliver in the romance department and despite some minor problems, what I remember the most about this story, aren't all those things that I somehow expected them to be better, but a cute and beautiful romantic story....more
When I picked up Touch of Death in my hands, I have to admit that for some reason I had high ex Review originally posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
When I picked up Touch of Death in my hands, I have to admit that for some reason I had high expectations from this book. What with those few raving early reviews and a premise that gives glimpses of a really interesting story and I thought that this book would be amazing. And although the potential for a good book is all there, the execution I'm afraid, spoiled things for me.
The first thing that bothered me in Touch of Death, was how slow it was. I mean almost the whole first half of the book feels like an introduction to the story, where nothing crucial happens, only the problem is, that all that place in the narration isn't used to build the world or the plot, but it's rather wasted on extensive descriptions that aren't really helping anywhere or adding anything to the story. The first half of the book is full of some really extensive descriptions of things like an attempt to catch a rat, that to be frank, I think could have been described in far less pages... As it was, the author wastes precious space in her book just to prolong things. At least I felt that way...
My next problem was the main heroine, Jodi. She was a bit annoying and too self-centred at times. She just acts in a way I can't possibly understand, like when she totally disregards the fact that her room was searched by a stalker just to go on a date. To be accurate, she just pretends that important and dangerous things haven't even happened, just to go on a date...! She pretends and acts with a total abandon over her own life and the life of people she claims she loves, just because she has more important things to do that evening, like finally kissing her boyfriend. I'm sorry, but I just can't like a heroine who acts like that. Jodi is too irresponsible, too gullible and to reckless for my taste. The way she just chose to believe without a second thought, all the crazy things her "stalker" presented her as the truth, didn't help matters either. I mean, you don't just believe a stranger you presume as your stalker so easily and make plans to go away with him for the sake of the people you love. It's just unbelievable.
And now, time for my main source of problems with Touch of Death which I'm afraid is the core of the whole plot. And that is the fact that for the reader to understand Jodi's powers, the author goes on and describes not one, but five (or maybe six I'm not completely sure) deaths, deaths, Jodi herself was responsible for. It doesn't matter for me that she didn't know about her powers. We are talking about 5 murders here, 2 animals and 3 people. I think that I could understand Jodi's extensive powers without all that killing. After that, I really couldn't sympathise with Jodi no matter what. I just couldn't stomach all those deaths. Call me bizarre, but it bugged me.
The second half of the book though is far better and it's the reason I'm giving this book 2 starts instead of one. The plot there becomes more interesting with the necromancers and Medusa, but still, it was far too predictable and the plot was a bit all over the place.
All in all, Touch of Death was a book that couldn't really hold my attention and one that I had many problems with regarding both the plot and the main heroine that are the core of every novel. It may haven't been the book for me, but for so many reviewers to love it, it must have some redeeming qualities that I failed to notice.
The Boss's Fake Fiancee is soooo much better than the first book in this series Rules of Negotiation. So m Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
The Boss's Fake Fiancee is soooo much better than the first book in this series Rules of Negotiation. So much better that you can't even imagine it! It sucked me from the first page and until the very last one I just couldn't put it down. It's cute and sexy and fun and a romance title that I absolutely loved.
If you read my review of Rules of Negotiation, you know that I had some problems with the characters, but the writing style was so good that I managed to like it despite the fact that I couldn't connect with the characters. Well, in The Boss's Fake Fiancee, imagine the same exceptional writing style, but with characters I couldn't help but fall in love with. Both Melissa and Garth are characters I loved reading about, that I could connect with and care for them, something that I couldn't feel with Brit and Tori. And now that I think about it, Brit, my main problem in the first book, remains a character that I can't really like. I mean, as Melissa's older brother he was a secondary character in this one, and everytime he made his appearance I kind of remembered why I couldn't like him before.
Anyway, The Boss's Fake Fiancee is the story of Melissa, Brit's little sister and Garth a super smart billionaire and her boss, who are trapped in a fake marriage scenario that sooner rather than later becomes true. Well, I'm a sucker for the forced marriage of fake marriage trope and no matter how many stories like that I read, if they are well written, I can't resist but fall in love with them. And this one, is an exceptionally written one. It's not a long story but the character development is amazing, and even if the plot follows all the cliches of such stories, it still manages to stand out and be memorable. Mainly, because of the main couple. Melissa is the kind of female heroine I like reading about, caring and compassionate and I loved seeing her taking her life into her hands and putting both her mother and Brit in their place and demanding that they both stop judging her and her decisions. The scene with the wedding gowns was just precious!
Brit on the other hand was the challenge in this novel. Writing his character was the most difficult part of this novel in my opinion and the part where I appreciated Inara Scott all the most. The way she handled him and presented him was just perfect. Granted, I understood really soon what was the deal with him, but even so, his character was well researched and believable. I won't say anything more, I hate spoilers, but thumbs up to the author for writing him. He was my favorite part of the story.
All in all, The Boss's Fake Fiancee is a rather typical romantic story, that manages to stand out due to its characters and the author's incredible writing style. There's not a single moment you'll feel bored while reading it and I can't help but recommend it to all fans of romance. It's quick and cute and sexy. What are you waiting for? ...more
Sugar Rush is one of the sweetest and cutest stories I read this year! I mean this book is so sweet that I Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
Sugar Rush is one of the sweetest and cutest stories I read this year! I mean this book is so sweet that I dreamt of cupcakes the whole time while reading it! Well ,the fact that cupcakes and other various candies were mentioned the whole time didn't help me with my diet, that's for sure :)
But, even if candies weren't mentioned every now and then, still, Sugar Rush would be a super sweet and cute read. Hands down!
First of all, it was refreshing amidst the erotica chaos, were every single romantic title has its protagonists having some sex from the very first chapters, to finally read one that the sex is only implied. I didn't realise how accustomed I had become to sex scenes until I read this book. It kind of reminded me that if the author is up to the task, there's no need for a book to be sexy to be bombarded by sex scenes. And granted, Sugar Rush may not have any descriptions of steamy hot scenes, but still, it's sexy in it's own way. And for that, I loved it all the more.
The other thing I really loved about this one is the fact that plot is surrounded by soooo much chocolate! I'm a chocolate addict myself and this book combined two of my loves in one single package: chocolate and romance. I mean is there any other more perfect setting for a romantic story than that of a candy store? I was a goner before I even started reading this story!
I really loved Dulcie and Nick, the two protagonists, how they interacted and how their romance unfolded. Granted, the actual plot of the book might not be that original but the setting definitely makes up for it! On the other hand, Dulcie's grandmother and Nick's father weren't my most favorite characters of the book, but even so, I think that they added to the whole narration. The character development is pretty good, although I would have loved for Nick to be a little bit more explored. I kind of feel that I don't know him as good as Dulcie and I definitely needed some more background. But even so, Sugar Rush was one of those books that as soon as I started reading it I just couldn't put it down.!
All in all, Sugar Rush is a super sweet and cute read you shouldn't miss the opportunity reading. Even if it is for the creativity of some of the candies described :) You'd be pleasantly surprised, believe me!...more
When I picked up How Beauty Met the Beast, to be completely honest I didn't really know what to expect fro Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
When I picked up How Beauty Met the Beast, to be completely honest I didn't really know what to expect from it. The blurb was intriguing enough but I kind of have a bad history with retellings or stories based on fairy tales, so although I loved the blurb I was a bit sceptical towards it. And I'm glad to say that any doubt I might have that this book wasn't the right for me, vanished pretty fast, as soon as I started reading Jax Garren's story. Because let me tell you, it's one unbelievably amazing and great one!
From the very first chapters of How Beauty Met the Beast I just fell in love with everything about it. The characters, the writing style, the story, the setting, everything! It was simply fascinating! I didn't even mind that one seriously sexy scene came way too early in the story (in the second or third chapter if I remember correctly). And if you follow my reviews, you know that I usually have a problem with those awfully early sexy scenes, when I don't even have time to get to know the characters of a book and start caring for them. But nooooo, Jax Garren pulled of that scene despite the fact that we knew next to nothing about Jolie and Hauk. And for me to connect with a set of characters so soon in the narration is a rare occurrence...
The best part about How Beauty Met the Beast in my opinion are the characters and their development. It's a rather small story, not too long, but Garren has written a character oriented story, one that speaks through its characters and their actions rather than anything else. And for a book of such length that was an impressive achievement. Believe me when I say it, because I have read books twice the size of this one where the characters couldn't be more flat...
I really liked Jolie and the way she was portrayed, her reactions to situations couldn't be more believable and the kindness of her heart was just heart-warming. Hauk on the other side is simply incredible. He may be so scarred that his mere sight scares people but he's so smart and compassionate and sexy that in my mind he's the most beautiful person in the world. So, like I said, the characters in this title are its main advantage!
The story is fast paced, making it hard to put my ereader down but at the same time I was so enjoying myself while reading it, that I wished that it would take me longer to finish it. And I haven't felt that way for a book for a really long time now.
Surely, there are many things that are left unanswered by the end of the book and it's not completely clear how the world Jax Garren created really works but I guess that I'll get my answers in the next book which can't be released soon enough!
All in all, How Beauty Met the Beast is one spectacular debut novel I absolutely loved and can't wait to get its sequel on my hands. A must read!
Reading The Marriage Mistake was so much more fun than reading the previous title in this series! It was so much fun that I just couldn't put4.5 stars
Reading The Marriage Mistake was so much more fun than reading the previous title in this series! It was so much fun that I just couldn't put this book down. I just loved it! It was fun and cute and super sexy and in overall a contemporary romance title written exactly in the way I like.
The third instalment is Jennifer Probst's Marriage to a Billionaire follows the exact same pattern the previous books do, but in this case, I really loved both Carina and Max, much more than I did Michael and Maggie of the previous title. Especially Carina is so much more fun to read than Maggie was and I didn't have any problems with her, like I had with Maggie. Minor problems, I know, but they had managed to spoil some of the fun of the book, whereas here, I'm perfectly content with both my main characters.
I just knew that this story would work better for me, even while reading The Marriage Trap. You see we got to know a bit about Carina from that book, so, I knew that she would be a heroine right up my alley. And in Marriage Mistake, she proves just that. And at this point, I should add that the woman Carina grew up to be was even better than what I expected. I liked her confidence, especially after witnessing her self-esteem problems in the second book, and the way she knew exactly what she wanted from her sex partner, even if she was relatively inexperienced.
Max on the other hand, is as much an alpha male as one could hope for, without being a caveman occasionally like Michael did. He was drool worthy and sexy as hell, a hero I always appreciate reading about.
As for the secondary characters, all the protagonists of the previous books make their appearance as well as some of the rest of the recurring characters, and since this is the third book, the character development department is pretty good. We already know much about the secondary characters and we just see how their lives progress, while the development of the main ones is evident by the end of the story.
The story is typical for a chick lit title, even cheesy at times, but it's written in such a fun way that I couldn't care less. After all, the premise let's the reader know exactly what he/she should expect from this story, so if you don't like what the premise is about, then don't try this one. If like me, you search for a hot, cute and light read, then The Marriage Mistake is just the book for you.
One last thing I want to mention, is that the 50 Shades phenomenon, is evident in Probst's writing style as well. There are certain references to that book and Carina's submissive side will probably appeal to fans of the genre. Don't expect any heavy BDSM elements, but there are certain references and the subject is mentioned a few times.
All in all, The Marriage Mistake was exactly what I had hoped it to be and I had a really good time while reading it. So good a time that I can't wait for any future releases of this author :)...more
When I started reading The Convenient Bride, I really didn't know what I should be expecting from this nov Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
When I started reading The Convenient Bride, I really didn't know what I should be expecting from this novel, seeing there where no reviews for the book at the time. So I just relied on the premise of this story and on my gut feeling and I'm glad to say that I wasn't disappointed by this story in the least.
The Convenient Bride is your typical, romantic story featuring one of my favorite tropes in the genre, the one of the marriage of convenience (which seems to be in every romantic title I pick lately).
The story isn't anything fresh or really memorable, after all there are a number of similar books out there, but Jennifer St George manages to make her story stand out with her characters. Because the setting might be common, the story as well, but the characters are what makes this story stand out among all the other similar stories out there. I really enjoyed reading about both Sienna and Antonio.
The character development along with the author's ability to create perfect images of places and buildings in this book, is what makes The Convenient Bride a memorable story for me. Because the author chose to place her story first in Melbourne and later on in Venice and as far as perfect settings for a romantic story are concerned, this one, couldn't be any better. Add to that, the author's ability to create perfect images and I was just left amazed with all the scenery I was able to imagine through those descriptions.
But the Convenient Bride isn't just a perfect setting. Is how two people for almost opposite worlds fall in love and how through that love they help each other overcome their fears.
Because if you consider how small a novel this one is, the way Antonio's character developed until the end of the story is just amazing!
And up until the last two chapters of this book, I was quite certain that it would be a solid 5 star review. But, the last two chapters where just not consistent with how great a book this one could really be. The easy way everything wrapped up in the final two chapters sort of destroyed the awesomeness. Everything was just settled way too easily for my taste.
All in all, The Convenient Bride is a novel all fans of romance should watch out for, one I really enjoyed both for the story and the writing style and if not for the easy way everything wrapped up in the end, it would almost perfect! As it is, it is definitely worth your time and I will certainly watch out this author from now on. ...more
Improper Relations by Juliana Ross is so small a story that I actually read it in a couple of houReview first published at Books to Brighten your Mood
Improper Relations by Juliana Ross is so small a story that I actually read it in a couple of hours. Yeap, it's really short. Short and really hot that is. Because what this story lacks in plot and character development makes up for level of hotness.
But let's take things from the beginning, shall we? I picked up this book, because many of my trusted GR reviewers have really liked it. So even if I really try to stay away from really short stories, I gave this one a chance. And maybe because I knew from the beginning that I shouldn't be expecting much in the character development and plot department, I ended up liking Improper Relations way more than I probably should. Because this story is focused only in the sex scenes and little more else. And those sex scenes are definitely well written. Now all the rest, that make a good story stand out among the others are barely there. Like a plot. There's no plot. Only a basic one. Inexperienced woman takes sex lessons from experienced man, she falls for him and they live happily ever after. Can't be more basic than that right?
The character development is also as good as absent. And how could it not when Improper Relations is so short. There's simply no room to develop any characters in so small a story. So, like I said, all there is to this book is the sex scenes. Which are well written and hot but once more, I found myself just reading them not caring for the heroes' feelings. I just couldn't feel them or connect with them, because honestly, I didn't have time to get to care for them. So, even if the sex scenes are written in a hot way, still, I couldn't connect to them and fully appreciate them.
Bottom line, pick Improper Relations fully aware that there's not much else in this story apart from some really good sex scenes and a nice setting. If you want a more elaborate story, search somewhere else. This one, will leave you unsatisfied....more
The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst may be the second book in her successful Marriage of a Billionaire se Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst may be the second book in her successful Marriage of a Billionaire series but this is actually the first book I try of this author and let me tell you that I was impressed! Yeah sure it may be a little cheesy at times and certainly full of cliches but I just loved it! It was fun and quick and cute and a read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This is the story of Maggie, a photographer who thinks that she will never find true love and she doesn't care because she doesn't need it in her life. Or so she tries to convince herself. Michael is the hot billionaire every woman dreams to snatch for herself, a playboy at heart but who is big on family and tries his best to provide everything for his mother and sisters since his father died, even is his personal life's cost. The two of them agree on a faux marriage in order to help Michael's sister to get married and go on a trip to Italy where they finally realise that they are made for each other. Cliche and cheesy enough? I couldn't care less, believe me! I loved the tension between those two and how they didn't fall immediately into each other's arms but kept fighting and resisting their mutual attraction. I just loved their constant bickering and fighting and how different they were from each other.
Michael was as much alpha as one could hope for, reaching caveman level at some points. He was hot-headed and stubborn but so was Maggie. So they were good for each other. Maggie on the other hand was the only character in this book I had some problems with. Maggie and Mama Conte that is. Maggie because she was a little full of pretence in some cases and a bit arrogant as well. Just because a man didn't want to sleep with her, it didn't mean that he was in love with her married best friend. Maybe that wasn't the case, but it certainly came of that way. When she described how certain she was that Michael was in love with Alexa (aka her best friend) it actually came of as her certainty was the result of Michael's rejection.
And I disliked Mama Conte because she reminded me of an old meddling lady who tries to do things her way no matter what, which she actually is. The stunt she pulled towards the end of the book, was just precious! And so obvious I can't understand how no one else saw right through her petty tricks.
Apart from Maggie and Michael who are certainly developed enough as characters throughout the novel, the set of the secondary characters was a bit neglected. Mama Conte was just there only to meddle in things, Michael's sisters apart from Carina who is the main hero in the next novel in the series could just as well have not been present in the whole story and in overall the only secondary characters with some kind of depth are those that appeared in the previous novel (Alexa and Nick) and those that will appear in the next. The rest are just there to fill gaps. But once more, even with the lack of serious character development, I still loved The Marriage Trap. I loved it because it was sexy and cute and delivered in every department a romance novel should.
All in all, The Marriage Trap is a contemporary romance title full of cliches but enjoyable nonetheless. Try it and you won't regret it. At least you'll spend a few fun hours while reading it :)...more
When I read the premise of No Reservations, I instantly got the impression that we were talking about a se Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
When I read the premise of No Reservations, I instantly got the impression that we were talking about a seriously hot and cute romantic story. Rivals as students, Travis and Alicia meet each other after many years, and all the passion their rivalry was hiding, suddenly explodes. The premise couldn't be more misleading I'm afraid... Because although the story is in truth that, No Reservations is so small that no story actually unfolds. There's just sex. It's almost like those adult movies, where everyone knows and wants to see it for the sex, but there's also some basic plot, movies I usually call porn with a screenplay.
To understand how small a story this one is, imagine that I started it in bed, as a light reading before I fell asleep, and I finished it in a matter of an hour... You can easily imagine, that when we are talking about a 50 pages long story, where the sex plays a major part and there are like 4 sex scenes in there, there's no much room for an actual plot to unfold. Travis and Alicia fall immediately in bed after we're only 10 pages in the story and they just keep doing it until the very end. Which I have no problem with, but let's face it, No Reservations, is just about sex and nothing else apart from that. So if you're into that kind of book, try it. If like me, you expect for something more than a simple reason for the couple to fall in bed, look for something else.
So, I won't even say anything about the plot or the character development. Both elements are simple non existent. Even if the premise promises something really good, believe me, this book doesn't deliver it. And it's a pity, because the whole idea, if a little further explored, could transform this book into something amazing.
As it is, when I can't connect with the characters even in a basic level, no matter how hot the sex scenes, they just leave me unimpressed. So, I don't know if it's just me or if indeed, the sex scenes were rushed and nothing extraordinary. And talking about sex, I saw that this book was tagged somewhere as BDSM, which I'm afraid is not... Except if you count the use of a sex toy as a restrainment as BDSM or pinning someone down as kinky. I don't really know...
All in all, No Reservations was nothing like what I expected it to be, too small for my taste or for any plot to be unfolded. The good thing about it though is the fact that it is so small, that at least you don't spend much time trying to finish it. You'll be done with it in a matter of an hour....more
Contract for Marriage's premise makes it sound like it's the perfect book for me. Cute, romantic and perfect for a light reading. And although in some departments this story delivered just that, in some others I was kind of left unsatisfied, wanting for more.
The first chapters of this story were a little bit too fast paced or rather too crammed with details that could have been presented later on in the narration and as a result I was left with a head full of unnecessary details. I was only in the second chapter of the story and I kind of needed to take notes to keep up with every new detail I learnt concerning the relationship between the two heroes and their families... It's not that those details weren't needed, I just felt that I could learn them later on along with the story. I kind of felt like I was reading an UF novel more than a contemporary one with an intricate world building. It wasn't that heavy, but you get the picture.
Another thing I found a little overwhelming at the beginning of the story was death's presence. The deaths occurring from the very beginning were just too much for me. Wasn't it enough that both Ruby's parents are dead, should the father of her unborn child die as well?They were all pretty young and died unexpectedly (apart from her father who I don't think I saw mentioning how he died or at what age). And to top things of, Christo, the hero, also had to fight cancer as a teenager, almost dying himself and not able to have kids because of his chemotherapy. All that is just too much. I was expecting a light read, not reading about so much death (yeah, I have a thing with death, I don't really like reading about it...)
So, you get that I had a little of a rough start with Contract for Marriage concerning some details of the whole story, but as I continued on reading, I had a hard time with the main couple as well. Ruby, is sweet and all, but she's too coward, too depending and ready to compromise without a fight. Christo's proposition to take care of her and her child in exchange for a marriage is one she accepts without much thinking. Take into consideration that she believes that he has wronged, betrayed and humiliated her in the past and the easy way she accepts to marry such a man just to have security for her and her child is something I just can't understand or like about her.
Christo on the other hand is the kind of hero I wanted to like because he was sexy and arrogant and with a bad boy attitude I usually die for but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't like him. He was just too arrogant, too calculative and dispassionate. He talks about his marriage and the possibility to have a family like it's a business plan and not something he would love to have. The part of the book where they discuss the pros and cons of a possible marriage between them was nothing close to romantic. It was pure business for both of them.
As you can understand, no matter how much I liked the premise of the story, I just couldn't connect to it primarily because of the main couple and then due to a few details.
The writing style on the other hand is pretty good and although the character development could have been a little better in overall, Contract for Marriage was a pleasant story, one that I'm pretty certain that if I could connect to in more levels, I would really enjoy. As it is, it's a story I read pleasantly but I was left unsatisfied in more than one levels. And it's a pity because the potential for a great story is right there....more
Oh well, there are absolutely no words to describe how brilliant an author Jennifer Armentrout reReview first published at Books to Brighten your Mood
Oh well, there are absolutely no words to describe how brilliant an author Jennifer Armentrout really is! And I'm afraid, that no matter what I say or what words I'll use to do it won't do her justice. Yeah, you guessed right, I absolutely loved Tempting the Player! No big surprise here, right?
Jennifer Armentrout is one of those authors whose work hasn't failed me even once to this day. Either she writes YA or adult, her stories are incredible and manage to stir such emotions that has made this author one of my absolute favourites!
Tempting the Player is her second adult contemporary romance in her Gamble Brothers series and its the story of Chad Gable and Bridget and if I just loved the story of the first Gable brother, Chase, let me tell you that I loved this one even more because somehow, it's even better! I don't how that is even possible but it's true! Chad and Bridget's story just blew me away with its humor and sexual tension and with how deliciously hot those sex scenes were!
Honestly, if there's one thing that Jennifer Armentrout can do perfect (and there are many more believe me!) that is building a painfully delicious sexual tension between her main couples. In every single title I read by this author, that is one department she never fails to deliver. Never! And not only that, but it seems that book by book, she gets even better if that is possible. I mean how many levels of sexual tension are there to get better and better by each book?
So be warned, Chad and Bridget share some really HOT scenes in Tempting the Player!
The story of Tempting the Player is rather typical, not big surprises here, but the way Jennifer Armentrout delivers her stories is what makes them so unique. It's not the actual stories that are so great (which they are now that I'm thinking about it) but it's also the way she writes them. Her sense of humor is just priceless!
All in all, Tempting the Player was a pure delight to read, a story all fans of the genre and all fans of the author shouldn't miss. It's simply wickedly entertaining!...more
When I picked up Easy I was in a mood to read something fresh and cute and from the summary as weReview first published at Books to Brighten your Mood
When I picked up Easy I was in a mood to read something fresh and cute and from the summary as well as all the raving reviews, I was quite certain that this was just the book for me. But, picking up a book with high expectations once more didn't work out for me, I'm afraid.
Not that Easy was a bad book, not by a long shot. But it simply wasn't what I expected from all those 5 star reviews. And it's my fault entirely, but somehow, I just can't stop reading reviews only because from time to time I create unrealistic expectations for some books.
Let's take things from the beginning and let me tell you first of all what I liked about Easy. I have read previously another book written by Tammara Webber, so I already knew that the writing style would be fresh and "juicy". Easy is one of those books that are so smoothly flowing that you don't understand when you reach the last page.
The story also was another point I really enjoyed in this novel and especially the way Webber handled the delicate issue of rape and attempted rape. Let's face it, rape isn't an easy topic to handle and especially if you intend for your story to be focused more on the romantic part rather than in the dramatic one. But Webber somehow managed to handle the "hot" topic of rape in a way that didn't take the focus off the romance in the story, didn't "steal" the humorous tone of some scenes and at the same time highlighted not only the consequences but the way one should deal after a rape or an attempt. That part is maybe my favorite thing about the novel and if I should rate it based on that alone, it would be a 5 star review, believe me.
But, apart from the good parts, I had some serious problems with Easy as well, and mainly with the characters. To put it simply, I just couldn't connect to anyone in this novel, not the main characters and definitely not with the secondary ones. For some reason I felt detached from them, I just felt that I didn't have enough to get to know them and as a result I simply read their story without being able to feel their emotions.
Both Jackie and Lucas somehow felt... distant. I couldn't understand their reactions to things, because simply I didn't have enough info to understand them as characters.
Jackie, acts all responsible in one scene and then goes and does something completely out of character. Lucas the same. He did some things that even if explained, the explanation somehow isn't exactly explaining things.
The plot on the other hand, even if the subject is interesting, is far too predictable for my taste... I mean Lucas' secret was apparent almost from the first moment, so there weren't any big surprises. And the drama by the end was again too predictable and the resolution far too quick.
So, although there were definitely some good parts in Easy, still it was a book that I won't remember for long I'm afraid. Even if the story was interesting, the characters were underdeveloped for my taste, lowering my overall appreciation of the whole book I'm afraid....more
Kimberly Montague truly astonished me with her YA series! I mean I had read in the past her adult novel Until the Morning Sun, so I was already familiar with her writing style and I kind of knew what this author is capable of, but still, I think that YA is her strong point.
Manipulated is the third novel in her Setenid Blight series and even if I hadn't read the previous two books in the series, as Kimberly says, it can be read as a stand alone. I didn't feel lost at any point in her narration, the world building and the details of the whole setting were given in a way that helped me follow the story and slowly get into everything. I can't really say if I missed anything not having read this series in its order, except maybe the fact that I now really want to read them just to satisfy my curiosity :P
Honestly, Kimberly Montague did an amazing job and helps her readers follow the story even if they haven't read the previous two books in the series. After all, Manipulated features a brand new couple, and characters of the previous novels only make a brief appearance, at least as far as I could tell.
Manipulated isn't your typical YA novel. It starts much like a contemporary romance title would only to change direction somewhere after the second half and become a much darker urban fantasy one. This split in the narration is what made me love so much this novel and at the same time it was my main source of problems. Funny right? Let me explain.
You see, the fact that I was expecting an Urban Fantasy novel and it started with a very contemporary romance feeling took me by surprise, a really pleasant surprise. I loved seeing Risa and Brodie get together, how their relationship evolved and most of all I liked reading about the changes in Risa herself and her relationship with her father after all the bad things that happened to her. Especially Risa's relationship with her father is maybe my favorite part of the whole book. I loved the way Montague slowly worked the details of their tenuous relationship and the misunderstandings that kept them apart.
But, like I said, Manipulated in essence is an Urban Fantasy novel and somewhere along the second half of the book, it was more than obvious where the story was heading. And I didn't mind this change, if only the transition was smoother. I kind of felt that everything exploded rather untimely or maybe a little bit unexpectedly. There wasn't a balance, and from a teen romance/drama, the whole novel turned into a dystopian fight for survival. And if only that transition was smoother, I would have no problem whatsoever with that. On the contrary. But as it is, I feel like the biggest part of this book is contemporary and only a small part Urban Fantasy. There's no balance between those two genres. And as a result, vital information about the virus and how exactly that dark world operated are missing. There wasn't simply too much space for the world to unfold. It was consumed by Risa and Brodie's love story, which I really liked, but it kind of ruined the balance of the narration.
The character development is really good, with both main and secondary characters being explored. The plot, if split in half is evenly paced. The romantic part and the action part have a pace of their own, they just don't meet each other. I really don't know if I'm making much sense :P
All in all, Manipulated is a fascinating novel, that apart from some details is a great YA story. I fell in love with Risa and Brodie and I'm looking forward to see how things will unfold in their future. And I hope that in the future instalment most of my questions will be answered. The ending left me craving for more :)...more
After reading Taste by Kate Evangelista I have to admit that I was "stalking" the author for her next rele Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
After reading Taste by Kate Evangelista I have to admit that I was "stalking" the author for her next release. I loved so much Kate's debut novel and her writing style is right up my alley, so I was certain that there's no way that she could write a story I wouldn't love. And after reading Reaping me Softly, I'm glad to say that I couldn't be more right about this author!
Kate Evangelista is an amazing storyteller, an author with a unique voice and a talent to create different worlds, worlds that suck you in and completely mesmerise you. Worlds that are magical but hold a certain dark quality along with a distinct threat. A threat that everything pure and beautiful in this world can shatter any minute while there's also a promise that this pureness can overcome any darkness. All those elements are perfectly balanced in Evangelista's work and that is maybe what makes me love her stories so much. Well, one of the reasons anyway!
Reaping me Softly is the story of Ariane and Niko, a human and a Reaper, who meet and fall in love against all odds. But this is so much more than a teen paranormal romance story. Evangelista also deals with death and grief in her newest novel, along with the hot topic of bullying. And all that wrapped in a sweet and incredible love story.
I won't say anything about the plot. Only that it's even paced and keeps you turning the pages of this book until you reach the last one. The character development is pretty good with both main and secondary characters being explored. Especially those glimpses into Death's thoughts were priceless!
The ending just left me wanting for more. Seriously, there was no need for things to end that way and make us wait for so long until the second book is released... I'm kidding, the way things turned at the end and the ending, even if a little bit cliffhangerish, is just perfect.
All in all, Kate Evangelista is among the authors I discovered this year and whose work I will stalk because simply, I love everything about it! From Taste to Reaping me Softly, this author proves that she's is here to stay!...more
The Forbidden Lady is my very first book by Kerrelyn Sparks and believe me when I say that I was impressed Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
The Forbidden Lady is my very first book by Kerrelyn Sparks and believe me when I say that I was impressed! So impressed, that her paranormal series that I've been forever postponing to read, has moved up to my TBR pile.
Since I haven't read the author's paranormal series, Love at Stake, I can't really compare her writing style between the genres, but what I can safely say is that historical romance is definitely a genre she can deliver! I enjoyed every single minute of reading The Forbidden Lady!
One of the things I really love about Historical Romances is that along with a good story I have the chance to learn new things too about the era each story is set in. Not that every historical romance story out there delivers in that department, but when I find one, I greatly appreciate it. And The Forbidden Lady is definitely among those ones. Set in Boston in 1769, Kerrelyn Sparks did an amazing job at weaving fact with fiction, making me want to learn as much as possible about the events she described, and stopping my reading just to research some things. I always love it when an author makes me do that.
This is the story of Quincy Stanton, something like the James Bond of that time one could say, just because of the various gadgets he uses! I loved him. Even with the wigs, the heels and every other piece of clothing I couldn't imagine a sexy guy wearing, I absolutely loved him. His attitude, his masculinity, everything about him was just amazing! As amazing and fearless was Virginia as well. As far as memorable couples are concerned, this one is high on my list. Both of them, work as spies for the Sons of Liberty, a revolutionary organisation, Quincy knowingly, and Virginia as a means to help her aunt. When they two meet, they can't help but fall in love, despite of the way Quincy acts to maintain his secret identity.
The Forbidden Lady isn't full of action, as one might expect considering the premise and the fact that both heroes are spies, but there's definitely some action there and the romance is sweet and not the instant love I despise so much. There's instant attraction, but not love. And that in my book, is always a plus. The writing style is good but the character development could have been a little bit better. Especially the secondary characters if they were a little bit more explored they could have easily added to the whole narration.
All in all, The Forbidden Lady is a really interesting story, one that had the potential to be a little bit better, at least in the action department, that makes me hope that Kerrelyn Sparks will write another story in this genre as soon as possible!...more
I just have to admit that I didn't really think twice to pick Just One Look up. I just saw the cover, read the premise and I just knew that I had to read it. Huge mistake on my part... As huge was my mistake to believe that a contemporary title, first published in 1990 would be something new and fresh... I still believe that some stories or authors are timeless, but that's not the case for Just One Look I'm afraid.
As soon as I started reading this one, it was obvious that I wouldn't end up loving it. The story, no matter how interesting the premise sounds is a little bit boring and far from what I expected. Because let's face it, when you read about spies you kind of expect some action, some violence, something. Just One Look had nothing. It was just a romantic story where the protagonists happen to be something like spies (Susan is nothing like Jennifer Garner from Alias, believe me!) and there's no action, anywhere in the book. There's no action even in the sex scenes if you know what I mean... All the story, in every department, is sort of flat. I have no other word to describe it any better.
The writing style is slow, heavy on the romantic department, but the kind of romance with no spark, where the protagonists feel an immediate attraction for each other, from the very first glimpse. And I'm not a fan of that, especially in adult novels. In YA, instant love is something that may work occasionally, but I have yet to encounter an adult novel where IL worked in advantage of the story. Remy, the main hero, tried very hard to be the drool worthy alpha male, but he failed to caught my attention, and I have yet to encounter a heroine, as indifferent as Susan. It pains me to be so harsh, but nothing in Just One Look worked for me. Absolutely nothing. Well, apart from one thing: Susan's grand mother! That's the only redeeming character and quality in this story for me. As soon as she was in a scene, I knew I wouldn't be bored and thankfully, she was part of the story for the biggest part.
All in all, Just One Look is not a romantic suspense story. Far from it. It's just a romantic story set in a world that so much could happen in terms of action and suspense. It's a short story, so at least you can easily read it but as far as memorable characters and stories go, it's among those novels that I easily forget. Nothing remarkable. Whether I recommend it or not? Consider yourselves warned :) ...more
Immortal Surrender is as good as Immortal Hope was and then some! Claire Ashgrove does an amazing job on her paranormal series about hot Templar KnighImmortal Surrender is as good as Immortal Hope was and then some! Claire Ashgrove does an amazing job on her paranormal series about hot Templar Knights!
I remember saying in my previous review on Immortal Hope, that Templar Knights always fascinated me. So The Curse of Templars series starts for me with a huge advantage over similar paranormal romance series that feature vampires or werewolves or any other paranormal creature. That particular myth is among my favorites and most intriguing. So, thumbs up to Claire Ashgrove for creating such a fresh and unique universe and story. I really needed that amongst the overuse of all the other paranormal elements.
I enjoyed reading Immortal Surrender, even more than I did the first book in the series, even if I didn't fall in love with Farran as much as I did with Merrick :) Farran was as alpha as one could hope, but he overdid it with his surliness and in more than one cases I hoped he would stop living in the past and do what he can with his present. So, Merrick was a far more preferable main hero for my taste I'm afraid... Not that I didn't like Farran at all, it's just that after a certain point I was tired seeing him acting the way he did towards Noelle and I couldn't help but think that he did so just because he was still in love with his first wife Brighid (who had died more than 500 years ago...).
Noelle on the other hand, was just the perfect leading lady. Smart, independent, full of insecurities and ready to sacrifice herself to save Farran. A damsel in distress that actually saved the guy of the story in more than one ways and at last someone who actually stops to think and not believe immediately every paranormal story she hears. I mean, I'm tired of characters just taking for granted every irrational story they hear. Yeah, it might be the truth, but when you're raised believing certain things you can't just assume that what you hear is the truth and not the product of some mental illness... Noelle in that department won me over and her character in overall was believable.
The romance between them was scorching hot, despite Farran's back and forths. There was unmistakable attraction between them and like in the first novel, Ashgrove did a splendid job with building some sexual tension and not throwing her characters in bed from the first chapters.
The story is action packed, with maybe a few less action scenes than Immortal Hope had, but they were far better and more powerful. The scene of the final battle was simply incredible. The pace is even, not boring for a single moment, even when nothing crucial happens.
And last but not least, one of my favorite things about Claire Ashgrove's writing is the way she develops her characters, both main and secondary ones. Everyone has a certain role in her world and the way she develops her characters sets the motions for the next books in the series.
All in all, I absolutely loved Immortal Surrender and I can't wait to get the next book in my hands. If you love paranormal romance, just give this series a chance. It won't disappoint you....more
I don't think that in my review of His Very Own Girl I'll say about Carrie Lofty something that I haven't Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
I don't think that in my review of His Very Own Girl I'll say about Carrie Lofty something that I haven't already said. The woman is brilliant! Simple as that. It's not that her stories are always amazing (which they are) or perfect or I don't know, it's the fact that as an author, Carrie Lofty has that certain quality that defines her, that separates her and her writing style so that you could probably recognise her work, without knowing that it belongs to her.
His Very Own Girl is to this day, my favorite book by the author. As far as historical romances are concerned, this story is my first set in World War II and let me tell you it was incredible!
Personally speaking, World War II fascinates me and interests me like nothing else does. As a kid I would search and find anything that had to do with that period, from novels to documents but whatever I have read to this day is mostly from Greek history. I haven't read much about other countries along that time, and nothing about English history. So His Very Own Girl first and foremost satisfied my inner geek. It's so well researched and Lofty does a splendid job touching and communicating to her readers the feeling of that time that apart from enjoying myself with an excellent story I could actually learn a thing or two.
Carrie Lofty manages to capture the essence of that time period, the feelings, the way people lived, hoping for everything and nothing at the same time, enjoying what they could, while they could, including human relationships. Lofty managed to make her readers see and feel exactly how her heroes feel and what motivates their actions. It's not that this ability of hers as an author wasn't evident in her other stories, but in His Very Own Girl, I think she surpasses herself!
I won't tell much about the story. The premise is very informative and believe me, you don't need to know anything else to fall in love with this book. The amazing writing style, the character development and the setting will do the rest!
Lulu is one of my favorite characters, strong, independent the way Carrie Lofty always writes her heroines. She's not the damsel in distress waiting for her perfect hero to save the day. She's a woman of her own, ready to save the day and do whatever she can for what she believes just.
Joe on the other hand is the tortured hero you can't help but love and hope the best for him. Together they make an explosive couple the reader can identify with and care for.
The plot is evenly paced, full of action scenes and romantic ones along with some others that help you get the feeling of the time and compliment the whole story beyond imagination.
The secondary characters are well developed, as are the main ones, and in overall, there's nothing bad I could say about this book, even if I tried.
All in all, His Very Own Girl is a historical romance, no fan of the genre should miss and Carrie Lofty, one of the best authors you can find out there. She just has that remarkable ability that transforms normal stories to something extraordinary....more
Seducing Cinderella is a fun and sexy hot story, just perfect for a light summer read! I couldn't find a better or a more suitable book to fit my current mood.
This is the story of Reid, a mixed martial arts fighter who while trying to overcome a serious injure crosses paths with Lucie, his best friend's sister, and a woman he can't put out of his mind, even if he tries. Their story is hot, really hot, though not unique at all, except for the fact that the main hero is a mixed martial arts fighter, who behaves and knows things I would have never imagined. Because you see Reid, in order to persuade Lucie to work full time on his injury, promises to help her learn everything she needs to grab the attention of a doctor she's in love with for years. And when I say everything, I mean everything. He gives her fashion and styling advice, flirting advice and in an act of "generosity", has sex with her for educational purposes. Yeah right. That last part was a major put off for me, but because the chemistry between Reid and Lucie was scorching hot, I managed to move past it.
The main characters were well developed, but I'm afraid I can't say the same for the secondary ones. And it's a pity, because there was a cast of pretty interesting secondary characters, that could have easily add more to the whole narration. But in this case, the secondary characters were there just to compliment the story rather than contribute to it.
The plot was fast paced, and almost split in half. The first half was the best for me. It was funnier and I liked how Reid tried to teach Lucie the art of seduction. The second half was heavier on the romance department and hot, and although the sex scenes were well written and imaginative and the chemistry between the main characters palpable, the first half was sexier (even without the sex) and what I enjoyed the most. The twist at the end of the story that added a bit drama to the whole narration was predictable, so no big surprises here as well as predictable was the ending itself.
But, even though Seducing Cinderella was a story far from unique or unpredictable, it still managed to grab my attention and entertain me in all the things that matter. Because Reid is the kind of man any woman would want beside her, Lucie is sweet and caring and full of insecurities as any real woman out there is and their story sweet and sexy. And after all, that's what I'm looking for in a romantic novel. Characters that I can identify with and a romantic plot to satisfy me. And Gina Maxwell gives her readers all that.
All in all, Seducing Cinderella is a fun story I totally recommend to all romance lovers. It will entertain you up to the very last page....more
It saddens me to say so, but Run the Risk disappointed me in many levels. It's not the fact that it is a b Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
It saddens me to say so, but Run the Risk disappointed me in many levels. It's not the fact that it is a bad book, or anything as simple as that, but for a Lori Foster book, it is nothing close to what I expect from this author.
I haven't read much from this author, granted, but I have heard so many great things about her writing and her stories, and from the one book I have read of hers, my expectations were pretty high. And having high expectations from a book or an author, never works in my advantage. Never.
Run the Risk is the first book in Lori Foster's new romantic suspense series, Love Undercover, and it's the story of Logan, an undercover detective who will stop at nothing to uncover his best friend's murder and Pepper, sister of the sole witness in the murder case Logan tries to solve. Intriguing enough? I know I was intrigued to no ends as soon as I read that blurb and I just had to read this book immediately. Now that I actually read it, maybe I shouldn't have rushed to it so quickly. Run the Risk was a typical romantic suspense story, with nothing fresh to add to the genre and with a romantic plot that could have been so much better. As it is, neither the plot, nor the romantic part of the story holds something memorable or remarkable. We get an alpha male, a heroine that from an ugly and sitting duck transforms into a swan and an independent woman everyone lusts after and a mystery that is pretty predictable and easy to solve.
My first problem with this book was the main hero, Logan. Granted, from the blurb I knew that he would try to seduce Pepper to serve his own means. That fact on itself is something I don't usually enjoy reading, but if done correctly, I end up loving it. But, Logan and his attitude didn't help matters. He was much too arrogant for my taste, much too certain for his sexual prowess and at times, ruthless. At least that's how I saw him. Pepper on the other hand was an easy victim, who didn't think twice on acting at the exact same way when Logan's betrayal revealed and use him in turn to satisfy her sexual needs. At least Logan had an ulterior motive. Pepper's revenge on him was purely mean. And how could she ever sleep with a man she felt betrayed from is beyond me. So, one could safely assume that the romantic department of the story was a total failure for me. I didn't care neither for Logan nor for Pepper and their happily ever after left me deeply untouched. I couldn't connect with neither of them, almost from the first chapters of the story.
The plot is typical for the genre. Some mystery, some hot scenes, and like I said before, nothing memorable... Especially the first half of the book was boring. The second half was way better and the reason my overall rating of Run the Risk isn't lower. It possessed a certain spark and things finally picked up a bit. Contrary to the first half where all we got to read was how much Logan and Pepper lusted after each other, even if they shouldn't, for their own reasons. And talking about lust and sex between those two, I still can't understand why Pepper was against the whole touching thing. An explanation is given, but from the way she reacted to every touch I assumed something greater was behind her attitude. But now. Nothing great or exciting...
The writing style is good. We are talking about a Lori Foster story here. The writing is expected to be good. As good and sexy are the sex scenes as well, but for a sex scene to work for me and to enjoy it I have to care for the protagonists. If I don't, then even the best written and sexiest scene fells flat for me. And that was the case with every sex scene in this book. I couldn't connect with the heroes, so the spark between them eluded me. It almost felt as if they didn't care for each other and all they wanted was to blow off some steam, and that wasn't the case, believe me, but it surely felt that way at some points.
All in all, Run the Risk is just a good book for me, nothing special, with a set of characters I could feel no real connection and a mystery that was far too predictable. Still, I read it pretty quickly, so that counts for something, right?...more
The Theory of Attraction was a pleasant surprise for me. I haven't really read all that much erotica or BDSM themed stories, that are currently THE trend, and the couple of which I have read were a bit of a disappointment... But The Theory of Attraction was a pleasant and really hot surprise that I devoured in one sitting. Literally. It wasn't a really long story after all. The Theory of Attraction is the story of Ivan, a totally clueless in social interactions genius scientist and Camilla, his neighbor who is secretly lusting after him for a long time before anything happens between them.
Let me say here that the story seems being split into two parts. The first part, where no sex is involved, is the building of the story, where we get to know the two main characters and get warmed up to them and the second half, where all the sex takes place and we get to know the characters in a lot different way. That splitting is what I didn't really like about this book, mostly, because Ivan's character is almost split in two as well. Because the Ivan of the first half of the story is nothing like the Ivan as Dom. It's almost like reading about a different person.
Let me explain myself. As soon as the story begins, we get to know Ivan as a gorgeous and really clever scientist, who's totally clueless in all human and social interactions. Somewhere is mentioned that he's borderline autistic. And from how he's described in the first half, you can totally place him somewhere there, although not quite. But Ivan of the second half, has nothing to do with that shy and reclusive person. He's far from shy, far from clueless in understanding other people, far from what we learned about him in the first part, period. His character isn't simply consistent. Though the fact that he's into the BDSM lifestyle is creatively explained and believable, scientist Ivan has nothing to do with Dom Ivan. I can understand how he wasn't shy while in a BDSM context but what I can't understand is how he seems unable to understand people when not in a sexual situation whereas when being Dom he understands everything perfectly and seems to anticipate his sub's needs. It just doesn't add up or I just haven't researched much on BDSM lifestyle and I'm just missing something. And it's not only that but how he also seems to get everything when Camilla explains it to him. It's like no one ever explained to him how to behave before Camilla which I find rather hard to believe to be honest.
Apart from that, the writing style is nice, easy flowing and full of humor. It made an already interesting and good story flow even easier. But what I have to note about The Theory of Attraction, and I can't stress that enough is that it's one seriously hot piece of story. And when I say hot, I mean really HOT! Some of the scenes there were incredible. The chemistry between Ivan and Camilla was touchable and at last, we have a sub who isn't that pathetic kind of heroine who has absolutely no self-esteem but is consensual and fully aware of what she does and really enjoying it.
All in all, The Theory of Attraction is a hot and sexy as hell story that I totally recommend. If for nothing else but for the creativity of some scenes :P ...more
Oh well, what can I say about Deity and Jennifer L. Armentrout herself that I haven't already saiReview first published at Books to Brighten your Mood
Oh well, what can I say about Deity and Jennifer L. Armentrout herself that I haven't already said numerous times... To put it simply and efficiently, I absolutely LOVE this author. If I need to read something good, then all I have to do is pick one of her books and I'm absolutely certain that I will have an amazing time while reading it. Honestly, I just believe that there's no way this author will ever write a book that will disappoint me. Nope, no way!
Deity is phenomenal!!! I know that most people's favorite book is Pure, but somehow Pure didn't work for me the way Half-Blood and now Deity do. Not that Pure wasn't a good book, or I didn't like it, but Deity is so much better! The things that happen here, the romance, the action, everything is just perfect. I loved the way the plot progressed, the things that happened and even if I see the fans of a certain team being a bit disappointed by the turn of events, I personally thought that everything was just mind-blowingly good. Even the bad things.
Needless to say that I read Deity is a matter of hours... Well, I tend to do that with all of Armentrout's books :) As soon as I start reading one of her stories there's no way I'll be able to put them down unless I reach the end. And Deity has so many things going on that putting this book down is next to impossible :P I mean it's action packed, more than Pure was, it's heart-breaking and the romance just delicious! And the ending??? Why would you do that to us Jennifer? Why?
Alex is the same Alex we all love from the previous books, but in Deity I got to understand her motives and characters a little bit better. While her connection with Seth in Pure was presented as something she just couldn't resist, in Deity the reader gets to understand exactly how difficult is for Alex to choose on her own where Seth is concerned. Aiden is swoon worthy. Well, I guess you didn't expect anything less, right? You're absolutely right! Aiden is once more amazing and the romance between them, so sweet and so perfect! (If you're counting how many times I said the word perfect in this review, don't be surprised, I just have no other words to describe things :) )
Anyway, if you're a fan of The Covenant series, then you don't need me to urge you any further to pick this book up. If for some reason you haven't read this series yet, then you should. Believe me, you're in for a treat!...more
It doesn't come as a big surprise that I absolutely loved Angel's Ink. Whoever is familiar with Jocelynn D Review posted at Books to Brighten your Mood
It doesn't come as a big surprise that I absolutely loved Angel's Ink. Whoever is familiar with Jocelynn Drake's work and her ability to create intricate and unique worlds knows exactly what I'm talking about and why I couldn't help but thoroughly enjoy Drake's newest release. She's simply one of those authors that just sweep you away into a magical journey you never want it to end.
But let's take things from the start. The first thing I really loved about Angel's Ink and found really refreshing was the male POV. I kind of take for granted that the voice I will hear in my head telling the story will be female that I was pleasantly surprised to realize that this time I would hear a man telling me his story. I know the blurb clearly states the POV but believe it or not I haven't even read the blurb before picking up this title. It was a book written by Jocelynn Drake, I didn't need any other recommendations... So, the male POV was such a fresh take on the genre, at least for me. I know this one isn't the first story told in male POV, but I seem to just keep picking all those that are told from a female one.
Gage's voice was strong and sexy and reading about his growing feelings for Trixie and how their romance developed was hotter than what I could have ever imagined and sweet at the same time.
The world building is something new and intricate. In fact the world building is so complicated that I kind of struggled to understand how everything works. And to be honest, even now that I have finished reading Angel's Ink I still haven't understood how everything falls in place in this world. You have humans and almost every paranormal creature you can imagine (warlocks, fae, elves, werewolves, trolls), all living together in modern society. The details of the world are slowly given to the reader along with the narration but up to the end, it's not quite clear how everything works or connects in the story. At least I fell that way. At points, everything was just too much and the actual story was lost in the details of such an intricate world.
The character development is pretty good, although it's mainly focused on Gage. We only learn about him and little else about the rest of the characters. And that was the reason I felt a little bit tired sometime after I reached the middle of the book. I was a bit tired about Gage's endless list of problems and fires he needed to put out. He was constantly running from someone to save his life or he was in the middle of trying to fix someone else's life in cost of his own.
The romance between Gage and Trixie was sweet and sexy at the same time and I really enjoyed reading that part of the book. Plus, the ending just blew me away. Although from an aspect it felt a bit anticlimatic, some details revealed at the end of the book just made sure that I would be definitely reading the next installment in this series.
All in all, Angel's Ink is a fresh UF story that all lovers of the genre should try reading. It may be weak in some aspects but Jocelynn Drake makes sure that you'll have a great time while reading her stories, even if you have some minor problems....more
Demon Hunting in the Deep South is one of those books I find it extremely hard to review from time to time. For different reasons in most cases, but difficult nonetheless. And it's so hard for my to rate and review this one because even though I knew that it was part of a series, I was under the impression that it could be read as a stand alone just as well. But that, was a mistake.
Let me explain. Demon Hunting in the Deep South, has a different set of characters from the first book in the Demon Hunting series BUT the same characters that are now the main couple, had a rather extended presence in the first book of the series, Demon Hunting in Dixie. And when I say extended, I mean that they had so much history, that I couldn't possibly keep up with their story. There were so many things that tied Evie and Ansgar together, so many things that happened between them in the first book that no matter how many explanations the author gave me, I always felt that there were some pieces missing.
And that feeling of loss extends to the world building and plot as well. Lexi George does an amazing job with the complexity of her world but not everything is explained in detail. Or in enough detail to be able to grasp exactly how everything works. Granted, some things are explained but there are many that are not making it difficult for me not only to understand how the world ticks but to evaluate the author's ability to present her world to her readers. I simply don't know if things are left unexplained or were explained in the first book.
For example, in Demon Hunting in the Deep South you will meet a diversity of paranormal creatures: demons, fairies, ghosts and lots of magic. There are so many different paranormal elements but they don't form a solid world I'm afraid... I can't see any connection between them. They are just thrown in the story, without so much of an explanation or reason for existence. Nothing. And as I said, I don't know if those explanations I was seeking were given on the first book of the series, or not at all. SO, you see my problem in making my mind about the world building and the writing style...
Apart from that, there's one thing I immensely enjoyed about this book though: the sarcastic tone and humour of the author. Lexi George simply has a voice that stands out and knows how to write a villain who you love to hate. And that is Meredith. She may not be the main villain but she's definitely not angel material. But I loved her to pieces even when she was a total bitch. Especially when she was one :)
As far as Evie and Ansgar are concerned, there where things I liked and disliked in both of them. In Evie I liked how she developed throughout the novel and how loyal she was, but she was far too shy for my taste and honestly, the part where she gets arrested and her main concern is that she's commando, made me roll my eyes more than once.
Ansgar on the other hand, is your typical, drool-worthy alpha male, which is always a plus, I loved his brutality and how he fought his feelings for Evie, but I thought that he approached her far too easily and quickly for a man that did everything he could for Evie to forget all about him. He kind of contradicted himself.
The sex scenes, were fairly good written and sexy and you could see the chemistry between Evie and Ansgar, but again due to their history form the first book, the make out scenes came far too quickly before I could connect with the characters, and that is something I don't usually like. That, and reading sentences like "touche me there" or "touch her houhah" in the middle of a sexy scene that completely turned me off.
All in all, Demon Hunting in the Deep South is a book I had some problems with, problems that I wouldn't probably have if I had read the first book in the series. As it is, my review and rating is based solely without any previous knowledge to Lexi George's world and I really want you to take that into consideration. To fans of this series, Demon Hunting in the Deep South is a must. To the rest, take my advice and read those books in order. Lexi George's sense of humour is worth it! That, and I want you to meet Meredith :P...more