There are differences between a "love story" and a romance. Those differences were kind of transparent to me until I read Kelsey's Song. It is wholly...moreThere are differences between a "love story" and a romance. Those differences were kind of transparent to me until I read Kelsey's Song. It is wholly a love story.
Kelsey is a single mother of two wonderful children who one day shopping at Target comes across a struggling single father whose daughter seems to be the spawn of Satan. She is strong, she is independent, and she is emotionally set on getting by day to day in the little world she has now created for herself and her children. J.D. did not fit into her plans. She was not expecting the handsome, intelligent, and immensely talented musician to break down her defenses by first becoming the best friend she's ever had, and later the object of her most secret desires.
J.D. is thrown into a world of single parenting after his ex-girlfriend passes away leaving him with a 5 year old daughter he never knew he had. He is not used to living the life of an almost starving musician on his own, let alone trying to raise a daughter who obviously hates him. When he is rescued by the beautiful Kelsey in the middle of Target, who then turns out to be his neighbor he knows he has been blessed with a savior. A savior who provides babysitting services and hot meals and who he isn't expecting to steal his heart.
I rarely read a story where the characters are as well developed as Kelsey and J.D. were. This book was pure character driven and it was done absolutely right! I loved these two. And the secondary characters that were brought in were just as alive on the pages as our hero and heroine. The children, the band, even J.D's mother, were written in a manner that had me emotionally drawn to them.
The only thing that bumped this down from a 5 to a 4 for me was the middle lagged a bit and I was so anxious for Kelsey and J.D. to find their way to each other emotionally that I started to get bored with their day to day. When the finally did, wooo mama, I got exactly what I was waiting for.
I was in the mood for a good musician falls in love with normal girl story and this fit the bill perfectly. It excited me more to see that this was the first in a series and J.D's brother TJ's book is out for me to devour next.
Thanks to my GR friend Michelle for recommending it!(less)
**spoiler alert** Lauren is a woman looking for something different. When she meets Michael Flynn all her wildest fantasies are about to come true, or...more**spoiler alert** Lauren is a woman looking for something different. When she meets Michael Flynn all her wildest fantasies are about to come true, or is that her worst nightmares?
I hated the beginning of this book! My perception may be off because I'm more of a romance reader than erotica, but when Lauren volunteered to watch Flynn have sex with another woman?!?! it took everything I had in me not to stop reading. After reluctantly trudging on after that horrid scene, I surprised myself with how much I actually enjoyed Willing Victim.
Behind the in charge mean-ass alpha male, Flynn was a really great guy. He was funny and sensitive, and all though his tastes run a little on the wild side for me, I still fell a little bit in love with him.
Lauren was pretty great too. She was caring and strong, and once the episode in the very beginning faded into the background of my memory, I grew to like her as well.
All and all I have the same complaint as most every other reader, this was way too short. But for a novella, it sure hit all the right spots for me. (less)
Ut oh. I'm totally in the minority here on this one. Tack was just too much alpha man for me I guess.
Another thing that really bugged me about this w...moreUt oh. I'm totally in the minority here on this one. Tack was just too much alpha man for me I guess.
Another thing that really bugged me about this was I thought Tack's kids were little a-holes. Especially his daughter. I know they didn't play a huge role like other KA hero's kids and I also realized their mother was nuts (she was waaay too over the top too, that's another story) but I think it says a lot about a character when he can repeatedly let his children get away with calling their own mother a crazy bitch. Just not cool.
In all honesty I must admit I only got about 60% through Motorcycle Man. Once I was skimming more than I was reading I felt it was time to throw in the towel.
Driving Mr. Dead was a cute, light and funny read (I actually listened). Molly Harper has an excellent sense of humor and Mr. Dead was no exception to...moreDriving Mr. Dead was a cute, light and funny read (I actually listened). Molly Harper has an excellent sense of humor and Mr. Dead was no exception to her witty character dialogue and inner monologues.
I read quite a few reviews complaining about the narrator of the audio book but I actually liked her. She was energetic and made Miranda come alive for me. Her "light" accent for Collin wasn't perfect but I still enjoyed her performance. (less)
I was first introduced to Kristen Ashley with Sweet Dreams. That book absolutely blew me away! I loved it so much. Since that time I've read several o...moreI was first introduced to Kristen Ashley with Sweet Dreams. That book absolutely blew me away! I loved it so much. Since that time I've read several other KA books, most of which I've liked, some of course more than others. But not since Sweet Dreams have I read a KA book that I've loved so much, not until I read Law Man that is.
Rarely, if ever can I say that I thoroughly relate to a heroine. Also rarely can I say that I want a hero all for my very own. But Mara and Mitch!!! Boy can I say with absolute honesty that no two characters that I've ever read about belonged together more.
Mara is a realist, at least SHE believes she is. She knows she is not a 10, or even a 3 on the hotness scale. She is a solid 2 1/2. Mitch Lawson??? Now he is a solid 10 1/2. In Mara's world 2 1/2s do NOT mix with 10 1/2s. Mara's reality comes to a screeching halt when her life as she knew it to be completely turns upside down. Not only is Mara now responsible for her cousin's two young children but Mitch Mr. 10 1/2 Lawson wants to be part of her life.
Mara gradually comes around as Mitch and "her kids" show her what it truly feels like to be loved. What it truly feels like to be part of a family. And most of all what it feels like to be wanted and desired.
Mitch, oh Mitch... Would you like to come home with me???
I loved this guy, loved, loved, loved him!
I am as big of a fan of the ultimate alphamale as the next gal. A take control kind of man is a great fantasy that I've read about and loved often. Fantasy, being the key word there. There is no way I could live with a guy like Tate, Brock (Slim), or Ty (all previous KA heros I've read). Sure they take charge and take care of their woman but what happens on the day I want to be in charge? That's the day Tate would've gotten socked in the rocks for bossing me around! But Mitch... (***insert swooney sigh here***), he was the perfect mix of take charge, sweet, and everything else awesome that a guy could be. Of course not least of all HOT AS HELL!!! He never gave up on Mara. He courted her beautifully and finally after effort, after effort, after effort, convinced her she was worthy of him. After Mitch confessed his love to Mara he made her feel she was worthy of everything.
I can't boast enough about these characters. I am a huge fan of character driven books and this one is on the short list of favs. Mara, Mitch, their kids and their friends made me want to jump into this book so I could hang out with them. (less)
Oh jeez!!! I feel like I'm missing out on something here. I wanted to love this book. I mean I really, really did... So many of my GR friends are ravi...moreOh jeez!!! I feel like I'm missing out on something here. I wanted to love this book. I mean I really, really did... So many of my GR friends are raving about it. But I just couldn't do it.
The characters, the plot, everything about Playing For Keeps was just too over the top for me. The bad guys (Haley's family) were just a little too mean, Haley especially was just a little too perfect and then we have the dreaded "she's too good for me" thing going on. Even Jason's parents had to emphasize that Haley was too good for their son. It was almost as if the author was trying so hard to create interesting, lovable (and hate able) characters and she lost sight that at some point drama piled on top of drama and humor piled on top of humor passes the point of believable and enters the realm of ridiculous. (less)
This is NOT your normal Barbara Elsborg! I have read quite a few books by B.E. and she has never truly disappointed me. And all though Chosen is not h...moreThis is NOT your normal Barbara Elsborg! I have read quite a few books by B.E. and she has never truly disappointed me. And all though Chosen is not her normal romantica/erotica it is no exception to her uber greatness. In Chosen she's created a thrilling ride of torture, insanity and survival.
Kate Evans lives under the radar. She avoids people and tries to stay within her own little bubble. She succeeds with this anonymity until one day she makes a terrible mistake by letting down her guard and opening her door for a mysterious flower delivery.
When Jack abducts Kate it's to make her his in every way. What he's not counting on is her tenacity and her ability to fight him at every turn, no matter what he does to her. He's also not expecting the interference of his half brother Nathan, who is determined to hurt Jack in the same way Jack hurt him.
What a crazy ride we take on with this story... I must say that it is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are numerous scenes of horrific torment acted out towards Kate by Jack. These scenes are very disturbing. To the point I would get a sick feeling in my gut and have to set the book aside for a while. All though this was some pretty sick and twisted subject matter, I'm not stating this as a negative. It is a story of survival and Kate as a heroine was amazing. The agony she suffered and her ability to rise above everything and still maintain her humanity in a realistic manner thoroughly solidifies my opinion that Barbara Elsborg creates amazing heroines. Kate made this book great.
My only small negative that brought the rating down from 5 to 4 stars for me was the ending. I was absorbed into the story up until that point. It ended just a bit to abruptly for me and the epilogue definitely left something to be desired. (less)
Kia is a survivor. Soon after she learned her cheating husband is caught in the act and murdered by his girlfriend's husband, Kia finds out that not o...moreKia is a survivor. Soon after she learned her cheating husband is caught in the act and murdered by his girlfriend's husband, Kia finds out that not only was Cooter abusive towards her, he was actually plotting to have her killed! Finally relieved of the burden of her horrible husband, Kia whisks off on a long overdue European vacation.
While sitting in a cafe Kia's life changes forever when her waiter abruptly lifts her out of her chair and seats her at the table of Sampson Cooper. The ex-football star turned Army commando takes one look at Kia and they both begin to learn what real love is all about.
This is going to be contradictory to my other Kristen Ashley reviews, but I just couldn't ignore it this time. Those cursed run on sentences... I am not by any means an English teacher. Hell, I'm lucky to know the difference between a noun and a verb, or a period and an exclamation mark. But the lack of editing and the run on sentences in Heaven and Hell actually distracted me. I couldn't understand just about anything that Sam was saying.
"Okay, baby, now that my cock is no longer inside you and when it is, that is a place he'll never be, I'll say this straight. You don't get it straight, we work on it but I'll say it straight and maybe it'll penetrate and you can focus on the Kia you are, not the Kia he dragged down and made you be".
Okay, What??? Now, after I read that paragraph 4 or 5 times, I finally figured out what he was saying. But in my opinion there were about 50 different ways Sam could have worded that thought that would have actually made sense the first time. I've read some of my GR friend's reviews on Kristen Ashley books and they laid it out perfectly... Yes the run on's are noticeable, but KA writes how someone would actually talk. I couldn't agree more with that. Which is why I can usually adapt and look past the run on's. But with Sam Cooper, I couldn't help but have Rocky Balboa's mumbly jumbly voice in my head every time I read his dialogue. It was like he couldn't form a coherent sentence. I was waiting for him to yell "Yo Adrian!!!" (or Yo Kia, buy you know the scene I'm referring to).
But with all the negative points I could dish out about H&H, once again KA has dazzled me with a lovable heroine and primed up hot alpha male. These are the common characteristics in all of her books and I applaud her with a full on standing ovation for them. I loved Kia. I admired her strength, her courage and most especially her ability to come to terms with the difference between what her life was and what it could become with Sam. I liked Sam too. One of KA's token alpha's. If I could have understood more of what he was saying there is no doubt I would have loved him.
I can't believe I'm going to say this, because KA is giving me exactly what I've always asked for (a writer who literally kicks out books as fast as we can read them) but... I think maybe she's pumping out the books a bit too fast. There is literally a new KA book out to read every few weeks. She is becoming like that new song on the radio that when it first comes out everyone LOVES it. But then the radio stations play it over and over and over. So, after a while you get sick of hearing the same thing and actually change the station. This and I think she's sacrificing editing to meet the demands of her readers.
Ok, one last thing then I'll shut up... Cooter??? Really??? I mean I know it was mentioned that his real name is Jeff, but no one ever called him that. But COOTER!!!??? (yes, those are shouty capitols) This is not a name that instills fear in one's heart. Yes, "Cooter" may beat his wife. But above all else Cooter is the guy that has chewing tobacco, beer and sweat stains on his Hanes tank top (hence the "wife beater"), brown teeth with gunk between them and you're worried he's going to give you or your kid lice so you tell Jr. to stay away from him and his trailer. Cooter is not the name of the villain in the story. He's the guy that grosses you out so much you laugh at him. (less)
I had very mixed feelings on How to Kill a Rock Star. There were parts I absolutely loved and parts that I almost couldn't continue because I hated th...moreI had very mixed feelings on How to Kill a Rock Star. There were parts I absolutely loved and parts that I almost couldn't continue because I hated the direction it was going so much.
Eliza is a music journalist. When she lands a great job at a music magazine she jumps at the opportunity to move to New York and be in the same city as her brother. Because Michael (Eliza's brother) and his wife's apartment is so small, Eliza moves in with Michael's best friend Paul, the talented singer in her brother's band. Eliza and Paul quickly fall head over heels for each other all the while pushing a deadline for Paul to get the band signed onto a contract before Michael has to quit and get a real job. Things turn sour for the couple when Paul finally gets the band noticed and they are set to go on tour. The tour will have to be traveled by airplane, a situation Eliza is deathly afraid of after both witnessing a plane hit one of the towers on 9/11 compounded with her parents dying in a plane crash when she was a teenager.
I absolutely loved the male characters. Paul, Michael(s) and most especially Loring. They all loved so deeply and were fleshed out so well that they kept me reading when I wanted to toss the book across the room. I could never quite understand what exactly Loring saw in Eliza but I guess that's the luck even a crappy heroine is blessed with.
Eliza was a dumb ass. I don't know what other way to put it. I tried very hard, because I do realize there are some people who have such debilitating fears that it can be not only ruinous to their happiness, but their very lives. So I tried to detach myself from reality and think what I would do if I had a fear as terrifying and irrational as hers. The first thing that popped in my head would be SEE A DOCTOR!!! Therapy, drugs, hell even a good drunken stupor would have been more logical than what she did. She immediately turned me off and I hated her from that point on. For months and months Eliza made herself and Paul miserable. And not ignoring the fact that she dragged Loring into it from the beginning and then later even when she hated herself for it, she continued to use him. She disgusted me. I hate heroines that are surrounded by great guys, shit on them, and then act dumb about it.
This was a strong character driven book and the characters were very well developed. All of them. Though I hated Eliza I thought the writing itself was really good and isn't creating some type of strong emotion what reading is all about? Even if it is strong loathing? (less)