Opening Line: “You wanted me to catch you, didn’t you?”
Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins & Needles left me hanging over the cliff; with EllOpening Line: “You wanted me to catch you, didn’t you?”
Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins & Needles left me hanging over the cliff; with Ellie taking a step backwards in her life and giving Camden a second chance at his. Ellie has of course just given herself over to her ex-boyfriend Javier, the man she’s been on the run from for 6 long years. She’s now his prisoner and her running days have officially come to a close. In her words she’s “trapped with a man who would either love me or kill me.”
Karina Halle once again drops us into the thick of things from the onset, as Camden’s little family reunion with his wife doesn’t go exactly as planned and Ellie finds herself on a yacht heading for Mexico after agreeing to assist bad boy Javier in murder. The excitement continues with car chases, gun fights, the shocking, anguished and unexpected.
One of the things I really liked about Shooting Scars (preferred actually) is that it’s been written using a dual POV. That’s right ladies we finally get into Camden’s head. Now I’m assuming she had to write it this way because Ellie and Camden actually spend most of the book apart. With Ellie slowly falling back under Javier’s spell and Camden chasing her down in a fixated rescue attempt.
I’m going to be completely honest now folks, that was the only thing I preferred about this book. Unlike Sins& Needles which I found fresh, exciting and unputdownable the magic was just missing for me here and the whole story fell flat.
Unlike tons of other reviewers I just don’t get the whole team Javier thing, I mean this is the man who cheated on her and killed her Uncle Jim in front of her plus I’m pretty sure he’s certifiably psycho. How is this suitable love triangle material? I was left stunned at the things Ellie did with him and not in a good way either. Quite honestly her whole character just confused me here and I never understood her emotions or reasoning.
Camden also lost me a bit. Gone was the mysterious, double crossing, and sexy antihero from the first book. This new Camden was living on one track (see obsessed) Must find Ellie, need more pain killers, must get to Ellie, going to Kill Javier, I love Ellie. Truthfully he began to annoy me after a while maybe that’s why I liked his travelling companion Gus so much. (Pretty sure I’m team Gus.)
I really wanted to love this as much as I did the first book and I’m in the minority with my rating so don’t take my word for it, this is super popular trilogy and it will probably work for you. Cheers.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) who provided a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Opening Line:” ”I’m sorry, you must think I’m very rude. We’ve hardly even been introduced and here I am telling you all about the terrible things thaOpening Line:” ”I’m sorry, you must think I’m very rude. We’ve hardly even been introduced and here I am telling you all about the terrible things that have happened to me.”
Claire thought she had the perfect life right up until her husband James announced that he didn’t love her anymore and was leaving her for another woman. He might have picked a better day to deliver this earth shattering news than directly after the birth of their first child. Shocked, heartbroken and now packing some serious baby weight, Claire flees London and retreats back to her dysfunctional family in Ireland to regroup. Claire’s idea of regrouping is of course to take to bed and only emerge when the baby needs feeding or she runs out of liquor.
Eventually she does get out of bed, hitting her father’s dusty stationary bike to work off the rage and inadvertently the pounds. Yes her period of mourning has gone from devastation to depression to rage. And then she goes about starting her life again. Along the way one of her sisters drags home Adam, the cute, younger and (obviously unobtainable) man that honestly seems to be flirting with her. Before long Claire has almost forgotten James, well not really but he’s no longer her first waking thought and besides Adam has a really nice bum. So then the story gets kinda predictable because of course James comes slinking back. He has some interesting excuses for having his affair but now basically just wants everything to go back to the way it was!
Okay I have to talk about James, what an asshat. I understand he is meant to the antagonist here but jeez. It’s not so much his character I am judging but that of the author deciding our heroine would actually be dumb enough to consider taking him back after the shit he pulled. I mean he hasn’t phoned once or even asked after his daughter, in fact doesn’t even know her name and to top it all off he blames Claire for the fact that he had an affair. And then Keyes continued to write him in such a way that he actually comes across a bit psycho, with moods changing on a dime (yes she loves to use idioms) and yet Claire still wants him in her daughter’s life. I would be doing everything I could to make sure he never had contact with her. Anyways.
This was a super long book (614 pages) which wouldn’t have been an issue if the author had stayed on track. As it was this could have been cut by about 200 pages as the heroine’s silly (see annoying) inner dialogue prattled on with random off topic issues, spending 8 pages talking about the history off her parents’ liquor cabinet and other non-related issues. Some of her inner ramblings were funny but I’ll be honest it got to the point where I was skimming just to get on with the actual story (this continued for the entire 600 page read.)
I did enjoy the sections where it was written as though the author/heroine is talking directly to the reader. However I still never got a real “feel" for her. I also had a hard time believing that she was a new mother, her baby is such a non-issue throughout this book, just part of the plot and then she remains in the background as an accessory while Claire goes about her binge drinking and depression at her parents’ house. And with that in mind I would have to describe this as bitter chick-lit because while it has its moments of humour its always with a harsh edge so that you’re not so much laughing as cringing. 380jb3.5...more
Wow, what a brilliant book, another near 5 star read from JoJo Moyes, damn can this woman ever drop me into her stories.
I loved, loved, loved the firsWow, what a brilliant book, another near 5 star read from JoJo Moyes, damn can this woman ever drop me into her stories.
I loved, loved, loved the first part of this book which takes place in 1916 German occupied France (an apparently largely unrecorded corner of First World War history) I mean I was right there with our heroine Sophie and her family at their hotel La Coq Rouge. I could hear the German soldier’s boots marching by on the cobbled streets, I was anguished by the decisions she was forced to make, and I felt her hunger, anxiety, and the cold.
I feared for her husband fighting on the front lines and laughed with the rest of the townsfolk at the “pig baby.” And when the Kommandant started to show an interest in Sophie and the portrait her husband had painted of her I knew nothing good would come of their “arrangement” but I also didn’t expect the brutal reality of what did happen. I’m totally rambling here but this was just so good.
I was jarred back to reality when in Part 2 the book switched to 2006 London. Suddenly I’m reading texts and e-mails, riding in cabs, swearing and drinking too much wine in gay bars. It was like starting another book altogether and honestly it took me a while to get with the program, to get into Liv’s equally heartbreaking story.
I eventually did find Liv almost as interesting as Sophie as she struggles with the death of her husband and tries to hang onto the painting he bought her on their honeymoon. The painting that “TARP” is now trying to get her to return to its rightful owners as it has been earmarked as stolen by the Nazi’s. Liv was also put in an impossible situation by circumstances beyond her control and then to have the awesomely played twist of who her new boyfriend Paul is as well.
Towards the end there is a court case and the story seemed to waffle a bit and go on (and on) but I loved the outcome, especially when we get to see a glimpse of a quiet, reserved couple living in the Swiss Alps. That made me smile. Pretty excellent all in.
Moyes is a definite auto buy and I can’t wait to see what adventures await from her back list. Cheers.
Opening Line: “I sometimes think to myself that I’m the last of my kind.”
Well I’ve gotta give this 5 stars because Nicholas Sparks did it to me againOpening Line: “I sometimes think to myself that I’m the last of my kind.”
Well I’ve gotta give this 5 stars because Nicholas Sparks did it to me again with another unforgettable romance. I just can’t help myself when it comes to his stuff. By now I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be guaranteed a HEA, which may actually be part of the attraction, it sure adds to the suspense factor as I never know who he’s going to kill off and I’ve thrown more than one of his books across the room in disgust but, yeah I keep coming back for more.
The Longest Ride was different than the last couple in that there’s no mystery or unscrupulous bad guys here. No big suspense factor or real tragedy. It is still a fantastic story though, the romance is just beautiful –soft and slow burning between our modern couple and sweet and sad via the Notebook-esque flashbacks from our older couple, who manage to give us a complete picture of their long life together –I just loved them. I also enjoyed the bull riding aspect, with its descriptions of the PBR and Luke’s battle with his nemesis “Big Ugly Critter”. The accounts of a hard working ranch life are also well done. Sophia was a little harder for me to relate to; a New Jersey college girl and her sorority sister issues. A great pairing of opposites.
Despite the lack of an antagonist the ending still managed to be pretty exciting, keeping me up late to see the outcome and wondering once again if Sparks was going to kill off another hero. I will say that this one is a little twisty, a little sneaky and (view spoiler)[ we do very much get our HEA so I didn’t have to throw anything or cry. (hide spoiler)]
Alternating with 3 different POV’s we begin with 91 year old Ira Levinson crashing his car over an embankment during a snow storm. Ira is alone in the world and no one is going to be looking for him for a very long time. In poor health to begin with he is now suffering from multiple injuries, unable to move and barely conscious, somehow his beloved wife Ruth appears in the passenger seat beside him. She’s been gone for 9 years now so couldn’t possibly be here yet she forces him to hang on, her clothes and appearance changing with the times as she urges him to recount the stories of their life together. Their early courtship, the dark days of WWll when he served as a pilot, their eventual marriage and their discovery of art which begins a lifelong hobby of collecting paintings from as then unknown artists. It is a life well lived.
We also meet Sophia Danko, a college senior in the midst of being pressured to join her roommate for a weekend at the local rodeo. Sophia is recovering from a recent breakup after her boyfriend of 2 years cheated on her and realizes her friend might be right, she needs a night out. She meets former PBR champion Luke Collins at the bull riding event, when he comes to her rescue in all his yummy cowboy goodness. Luke bears no resemblance to the silly college boys she’s used to and despite their differences the two start dating and fall in love. We follow them through the early stages of their budding relationship as they try not to think too hard about what the future holds as their worlds are so far removed. Luke is trying to keep the bank from taking his flailing ranch all while attempting a comeback after a horrific bullriding injury sidelined his dreams. His days are long and filled with guilt and fear.
Alternating characters throughout we see Ira and Ruth’s life lived while waiting and hoping for Ira to be rescued, growing weaker as the days pass. We witness young love and difficult decisions as Luke keeps a weighty secret and pushes himself to the limits. In the end Sophia and Luke’s lives are changed forever by an old man and the last letter he wrote to his wife on their anniversary. Cheers. Sigh.
For some reason Sharon Sala is always hit or miss with me, this one was a near miss. It started out really good, very suspenseful with a tornado takinFor some reason Sharon Sala is always hit or miss with me, this one was a near miss. It started out really good, very suspenseful with a tornado taking out the heroine’s house (and family) only moments after she`d stumbled across her ex-fiancé burying a body in a shallow grave. We then have her swapping identities with her deceased and near identical cousin and fleeing to Baton Rouge.
These opening chapters were excellent unfortunately though the rest of the story kind of petered out and a lot of times I just had to just go with it and not ask too many questions as to why the heroine was doing what she was doing; her motives were all over the place.
When she wakes up in the hospital (instead of going to the police) our heroine decides to continue living as her cousin while attending her own funeral, burying the family dog, flushing out the killer and having an insta-romance with her alternate identity`s boss –a near perfect southern gentleman who quickly susses out she`s not who she says she is but decides to help her anyways. Yeah things got a little silly. The romance angle was okay except for the falling in love in a couple days thing but Mike was definitely swoon-worthy, maybe even a tad too perfect.
Surprisingly my favourite character here was the bad guy, he wasn’t just your stereotypical villain and I enjoyed watching him trying to salvage the mess he`d made of his life while panicking and making mistake after mistake.
There are 2 more books in this series and both of the storylines have been started here during the tornado. I have to say I enjoyed the southern setting so I’ll probably check them out. Cheers 398jb2 ...more
Took me over a month to read this and was honestly a bit of a slog to get through. Disappointing romance between Cait and Duke/G.B and what the hell wTook me over a month to read this and was honestly a bit of a slog to get through. Disappointing romance between Cait and Duke/G.B and what the hell was Jim doing here? Not much. I didn't feel that this advanced the series at all. The whole 500 + pages could have been accomplished in about a chapter. Sorry Ward. I used to love you....more