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The third and final book in the steamy Gamble brothers series. Oh yes. I've been going throuThis review can be found at whatsyourstorybookreviews.com.
The third and final book in the steamy Gamble brothers series. Oh yes. I've been going through something of a terrible reading slump lately, mostly due to time constraints with school. But now that summer's here, I thought I should dive back into my books and I figured I should start with something I knew I would devour in one sitting. So of course I chose Tempting the Bodyguard, because if the previous two books were anything to judge by (and they were) I'd spend the night with my Kindle glued to my hand. And I did.
Jennifer L. Armentrout never fails to deliver when it comes to the pure sexual tension she can create between her characters. It's apparent even in her YA series--hellooo, Daemon and Katy anyone?--and she's perfected the art in her adult series. All 3 of the Gamble brothers are basically walking hard-ons that'll screw anything that moves, but Chandler more so than the others. His tastes are... much more intense than his brothers'. However, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed in that aspect. While in the previous book it was hinted that Chandler was into BDSM, and in this book he even talks about his kinks, a lot of the sex in the book was almost completely vanilla. While there's nothing wrong with that, it would've been better, I think, to actually explore the difference in intensity that kinky sex can bring. I'm not asking for any 50 Shades of Grey bullshit because we all know how horrible that is, but I feel like as readers we got our fill of steamy vanilla sex in the previous two books. I think there was definitely a missed opportunity for pushing the boundaries in this book.
I loved Chandler, as I love all of Jennifer L. Armentrout's men. She has a knack for writing lovable assholes, which I know is kinda feeding into the 'girls fall for bad boys' trope, but eh, I'm not bothered. Chandler was the perfect amount of confident and caring--and downright sexual, can't forget that.
As always, the writing is superb. I did figure out the plot a mile away, but I guess that wasn't really my biggest focus--nah, I was more focused on all the hot oral sex going on. Starting the day with a guy going down on you? Bless.
While this book is part of a series, and I absolutely recommend you grab the first two--Tempting the Best Man, and Tempting the Player--I think it can be read as a stand alone and it wouldn't be so jarring. Of course you might not quite understand Alana's dynamic with the other two Gamble brothers, but I don't think the sexual tension would suffer any....more
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The amount of times I've searched for a novel about a girl who can kick ass without fallingThis review can be found at whatsyourstorybookreviews.com.
The amount of times I've searched for a novel about a girl who can kick ass without falling into the stereotypes of what it means to be a "strong woman" must number in the hundreds. Too often these kick ass female characters are only that--kick ass, and they lack the substance that makes them well-rounded people and interesting to read about. (Okay, so reading about a woman kicking dudes in the face is awesome, but, y'know, if she had a real personality that'd be awesome-er.) And while I love romance as much as the next gal, I hate when it becomes the all consuming thought of these women
I was nicely surprised when I found that Devil's Kiss gave me a female lead who didn't drop her life for romance and actually felt like a human being. Like a real 15 year old girl. Bless you Sarwat Chadda.
Devil's Kiss was quite fast paced. There really never was a dull moment, even from the first page. These are the first words: "Killing him should be easy; he's only six." Oooooohkay how's that for an opener? (For the record, no they do not murder a child. Well, they sort of don't. Ah, you'll see what I mean if you read it.)
As I was saying earlier about Billi not losing her cool over romance, that doesn't mean there wasn't any romance in the book. But quite honestly it was not a very deep romance--at least I didn't feel it--and it didn't cloud Billi's vision the way love oft does to young YA heroines. Which I was so grateful for, because Billi as a protagonist was refreshing. She was strong, yes, in the literal sense of the word, but she was also a bit jaded from her splintered relationship with her father. And she didn't quite have everything together in her life, which is to be expected of her. Gosh, she's only 15. She's practically a fetus. Watching her learn and push through her failures was nice.
This novel does contain lots of religious content, although it's not specifically religious. I very much enjoyed how Sarwat Chadda used a wide range of religious canon and brought it together to create the... I don't think 'mythology' is the right word here, but I can't think of anything else to call it. In any case, I thought it served the story well.
I am definitely interested to read more about Billi and the Knights Templar. My only regret is that I didn't read Devil's Kiss sooner! It's been sitting on my shelves for several years now. Glad I did, finally! 4 out of 5 stars....more
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Into the Deep is a welcome addition to the (sadly small) canon of YA mermaid novels out therThis review can be found at whatsyourstorybookreviews.com.
Into the Deep is a welcome addition to the (sadly small) canon of YA mermaid novels out there in the world. Although is certainly has its faults, I quite enjoyed Into the Deep and reveled in the wonderful world and mythology Missy Fleming created. Being a mermaid lover (not a joke, I thought I was a literal mermaid for the first 7 years of my life---that's a story for another time, though) I am always eager to gobble up mermaid stories and this one left me satisfied and definitely interested in more.
The beginning is the problem. I'll admit, getting into this novel didn't happen easily for me. The first few chapters were just build up, teasing us with information that we already know just from the description of the book. There was no suspense in Zoey finding out she was a mermaid or in her wondering what was happening to her because I already knew. So instead of sitting there are mirroring Zoey's curiosity, my thought process was more along the lines of "Yes you're a mermaid. Yep. Mermaid. No, that's not really that weird because oBVIOUSLY YOU'RE A MERMAID." The beginning just felt like it was happening because we needed the exposition of Zoey finding out this life changing information. Because of that, it felt flat and I couldn't get a feel for Zoey's personality, or really any of the other characters.
Things are looking up! However, all of this pretty much disappeared once Zoey ventured to the undersea kingdom. From there Missy Fleming really flexed her muscles as an author and created a vibrant world of mermaids and customs that mirror our own, but are fundamentally different. I loved the fact that the mer people weren't what we typically imagine mermaids to be, physically at least. They painted their bodies and dyed their hair in bright shades. A little later on in the story when we find out the origins of the mer people I was pleased to find that Greek mythology was woven into the plot. This is also when I felt Zoey was become more fleshed out as a character and her personality started shining through.
Characters don't always have character. I really came to like Zoey and was able to connect with her, and I was also incredibly fond of her father Stavros, who is the king. The building of their relationship gave the book some of its sweetest moments. And while I felt that the immediately important characters like Nerio and Xander were also well written, the rest seemed to fall into archetypes and didn't manage to come to life outside of that. Zoey's grandmother felt like she was just there to be the "wise maternal figure," Magdalena and Eustice filled the "evil stepmother/daughter" roles and didn't feel like they had any motivations for the way they acted other than because they needed to be that way to fill a character stereotype. Not all of the characters were like this, in fact there were quite a few smaller characters that I felt had dimension even though they were only in the story for a short amount of time, such as Nerio's family.
Into the Deep was well-written with a clear and concise writing style that allowed me to read quickly without getting bogged down in any wordiness. Despite the few drawbacks I noted, I enjoyed reading it and will certainly be looking forward to future novels to see where Zoey's journey ends up. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars....more
I finished this book feeling nothing but soul crushing sorrow. Which is a good thing. A brilliant thing, actually, because it means that Molly RingleI finished this book feeling nothing but soul crushing sorrow. Which is a good thing. A brilliant thing, actually, because it means that Molly Ringle accomplished her job in getting me emotionally invested in the story and the characters enough to feel their pain.
But let me not get ahead of myself.
Underworld's Daughter is the sequel to Persephone's Orchard, which if you read my review you know I loved. And I loved this one as well, but in a different way. As the author herself says in the afterword of the novel, while Persephone's Orchard (it will henceforth be referenced as P.O.) can be considered a retelling, Underworld's Daughter veers pretty directly into the Greek mythology fan fiction realm. Which I was totally okay with because I thought Molly Ringle handled it masterfully. Because she so vividly fleshed out the world of the Greek immortals in the first novel, Ringle went into this one with more freedom to expand on her world and characters in a way that allowed her to break free of the myths and instead use them for her own purposes. This may bother some die-hard Greek mythology fans, but I for one welcome ingenuity into the genre. If I wanted to read about completely accurate Greek myths I'd pick up Edith Hamilton's Mythology, not a paranormal romance novel.
The one change that did take some getting used to was the shifted focus of the narrative. Whereas P.O. focused almost solely on Sophie and Adrian and their past-selves Hades and Persephone, in Underworld's Daughter they took a backseat to Dionysus and Hekate, something that I wasn't so happy about when I realized they were going to be the predominant focus. What enchanted me most about P.O. was that I was watching two lives unfold at the same time and was totally invested in both with equal fervor and desire to see them snog each other senseless. Sophie and Adrian's story and relationship was just as capturing as Hades and Persephone's was.
However, this was not the case with Tabitha/Zoe and Dionysus/Hekate. I was thoroughly intrigued with Hekate and Dionysus and I did very much enjoy their story and the bit of debauchery our boy Dio brought to the table. But, Tabitha and Zoe's "sort of but not really romance" wasn't something I was particularly worried over. Mostly because of Tabitha being a bit of a jerk in the situation and I think Zoe deserved better than her. If Tab cleaned up her act and figured out what--and who--she wants instead of straddling the fence, I could totally get behind their relationship.
I did miss the focus on Sophie and Adrian, but I also truly commend the author for her ability to create a story that benefits from several different perspectives and expanding the world through the eyes of more people than just our protagonists. Creating such distinct voices is an amazing feat, especially when the same person is technically speaking from two different lifetimes (for example, I can always tell the difference between Hades and Adrian speaking.) While I do hope that the focus does go back to Sophie and Adrian next book, now that their Hades and Persephone story has fully been revealed, I do enjoy the looks into other character's heads. Actually, I'd love to know what's going on in Niko's mind. (Niko is the modern day incarnation of Hermes and one of my favorite characters, the sly devil.)
This is series is quickly gaining traction as one of my favorites. I'll reserve myself from proclaiming it's definitely my favorite until the series is completed and I can enjoy it as a whole, but if the next book continues to impress me like this I'm sure it will be. I did love Persephone's Orchard just slightly more, so while I gave P.O. 5 stars, I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. I loved Underworld's Daughter and am so excited to continue this amazing series....more