*** Update *** I enjoyed the audio very much on my "reread".
Taryn Mitchell is a bar owner in the small(ish) town of Seaport. She is just readying her...more*** Update *** I enjoyed the audio very much on my "reread".
Taryn Mitchell is a bar owner in the small(ish) town of Seaport. She is just readying her pub for the day when A list Hollywood heart throb Ryan Christensen stumbles into her bar trying to escape a screaming mob of fans. There relationship begins as they slowly get to know each other and then eventually fall madly in love. Taryn must learn that being in a relationship with a man who as wanted by women and as much in the public eye as Ryan is anything but easy.
I bounced around quite a bit between 3 and 4 stars with Love Unscripted. I did like it, I thought it was better than merely ok (which is 3 stars to me) but there were quite a few problems I had that in the end weighed down my rating.
The easiest way I can boil it down in my review is by the simple pros and cons. I'll start out with the cons... The book was seriously long, way too long for the subject matter. I found myself skimming quite a bit, especially towards the middle. A lot of subject matter was introduced and instead of one major conflict that led to a solo climax there were several that were portrayed as all "major" hurdles in the main couple's relationship, but because of the quantity of them they all weren't (and I don't think could possibly be) delivered in a manner that caught my breath in a "oh no, what are they going to do now" kind of way. Instead I found my self sarcastically thinking "oh god, another one". The other con I had that to me was pretty major were the amount of exclamation marks used to punctuate dialogue as well as Taryn's thoughts. An ! is used to emphasize a dramatic and serious point. It often means to me that someone is yelling, or conveying a very strong emotion. The number of ! used was big distraction to me. At first I read them as a raised voice or a heightened emotion. Then after a bit everyone was yelling at one another in my head and it threw off the tempo of the book, so I tried to ignore them. But all that did was make me feel like I was missing something because I was trying to re-train my brain to not emphasize a punctuation mark that has been in bedded in me since I first learned how to read. I shouldn't have to do that. An author should lead the reader through the book smoothly and as the reader I shouldn't have to compensate in my mind for what I felt was mis-punctuating. I've read entire books that had maybe a total of a dozen !. Love Unscripted had about 3, 4 sometimes more ! per page. Overall my cons boiled down to the book needing some editing.
My pros were pretty big pros... The main characters Taryn and Ryan were both excellent characters. Well developed and fleshed out and I found myself liking and caring about them. All though at many times Taryn irritated me and did some things that I thought were unbelievably stupid, she reacted like a real woman would. And I felt drawn to her and understood her insecurities. Ryan and Taryn's relationship was built on love and it showed in everything they did for each other. Ryan being Hollywood's newest "it" heart throb and Taryn being a (semi) normal everyday woman (I say semi-normal because she was often told how beautiful she is by complete strangers. I don't think that happens very often to "normal" everyday pub owners). Ryan's stress at how he handled the media, paparazzi and screaming female fans seemed real to me. The author really made me open my eyes to what these "A list" Hollywood types go through on probably a daily basis. Though this was an extreme situation, I thought quite frequently of the tabloids I see when in line at the grocery store. One will say "Angelina finally sick of Brad's cheating and calls their relationship quits" then right next to that magazine is one with the headline "Brad and Angie finally tie the knot. Sources say they've never been more in love". The way our media exploits these people is disgusting. But on the flip side of that I guess that's the price one pays to be famous.
All in all I did enjoyed Love Unscripted and I will gladly be reading the next installment in the trilogy. I realize that this is a self published book and I respect anyone with the gift of being able to create. I simply wished that this particular book had been edited more which could have definitely molded this into at least a 4 if not a 5 star read for me. (less)
**spoiler alert** To start I want to make clear that I LOVE Fifty. I will eagerly purchase the next E.L. James book, whatever it is, and whenever it c...more**spoiler alert** To start I want to make clear that I LOVE Fifty. I will eagerly purchase the next E.L. James book, whatever it is, and whenever it comes out. But the final chapter in the Fifty Shades trilogy left me wanting. And it didn't quite answer all the questions I had about Christian's fifty shades of f'ed up.
We begin reading shortly after Ana and Christian are married. There are a few flashbacks in the beginning where we get a good look at what their wedding, (and wedding night) was like and then we are whisked away to an exotic island. But of course honeymoons don't last forever, so when we are brought back to the Grey's real life that's when we begin to learn no matter how much love there truly is between two people, nothing is ever perfect.
Ana and Christian are settling into their life together. After returning from their honeymoon Fifty and Ana realize a new threat is following them. Both inside their relationship created by Christian's constant need for control, and outside their relationship an old enemy is out for revenge.
First of all, Ana and Christian fight, a lot. And as far as I'm concerned most of their fights are because Ana has somehow become an idiot. This was very disappointing to me because my one absolute requirement for a great romance is a great heroine. In the two previous books Ana was strong, determined, and still able to hold her own even in Fifty's world. In Fifty Shades Freed, Ana was still strong and determined all right, but she portrayed it in a manner that was totally outlandish and un-necessary, pissing Christian off time and again. Drama, drama, drama about Ana doing what Christian asked her NOT to do. Now in my day to day real life, a man like Christian would drive me nuts. But by the third book, I knew how he ticked and I felt there was a better way for Ana to keep Christian's attention and interest in her other than doing stupid crap that would make a lot of "normal" men clench their fists let alone Fifty.
Now my biggest beef of all... We are driven through drama time and again by Ana defying Fifty. Ana rolls over on a nude beach and flashes everyone, Ana goes out and gets hammered after Fifty asks her to just go home and hang out with her friend there, Ana doesn't tell Christian she wants to keep her maiden name at work, there is example after example of this. I understand most of these events end with hot make up sex, but honestly I could have done without the 101 sex scenes to get more than two and a half pages of explanation into Fifty's past with Elena. Yes folks, that's all there is. It is there and gone so quickly I thought I'd missed something. That coupled with the lack of groveling for his treatment and actions after Ana told him she was pregnant almost ruined the book for me.
It took me 5 days to read this (which is a very long time for me with a favorite book). Not one night of staying up extra late, not one load of laundry missed, I even rented a movie. When I fall into a great book I lose track of time and really don't care that my normal day to day has been disrupted. It makes me sad that The Final Fifty just didn't do it for me. (less)
Where She Went, the sequel to If I Stay was a satisfying conclusion to Mia and Adam's story. I enjoyed this author's writing and these two books so mu...moreWhere She Went, the sequel to If I Stay was a satisfying conclusion to Mia and Adam's story. I enjoyed this author's writing and these two books so much I read both of them in one day (on a work day even).
Every so often, and I'm saying maybe two or three times in a year I am lucky enough to stumble across a book so soul wrenching that I think about it for days or even weeks after I'm done reading it. If I Stay was one of those books for me, and though I liked Where She Went and it scratched my itch for Mia and Adam's happily ever after, it didn't pull at my heart strings as much as its predecessor.
Adam has made it. He and his band Shooting Star are a rock music sensation. It appears as though he has it all, fame, money, a beautiful famous girlfriend and a talent for creating music. This is nothing to him however because the one thing he wants, the thing that he has always wanted left him and he is a mess without her.
I have to say I LOVED Adam. He is one of my fantasy men. Hot rocker that is so in love that he has trouble functioning without his one true love (I know that's not healthy but hey it's a fantasy). With that I have to put out there that I wish this book could be made into an adult version, so we could delve more into the rocker life that Adam lived without Mia. The biggest thing I loved about If I Stay was that Gayle Forman made me feel what Mia was feeling. I was sick with dread for her. I couldn't get to that emotional place with Adam. Again I loved him and thought he was a remarkable character, but I felt that because of the limitations placed on a YA book we just couldn't get deep enough into the darkness of Adam's misery.
Ok, to be fair... I've just read too many "adult" books with rockers and I felt a little robbed of the naughty stuff that I love so much in them. I shouldn't fault the author, or the book for that. This is a YA book and for what it is, it is a great conclusion with the same great leading guy and gal. (less)
I bounced around between 4 and 5 stars with this one. In the end I decided for what it was, and for what I'm anticipating we'll see in the next book t...moreI bounced around between 4 and 5 stars with this one. In the end I decided for what it was, and for what I'm anticipating we'll see in the next book that it was worth the 5 star rating.
Written in the first person, which normally I am disappointed in, Fifty Shades of Grey was pretty much everything I look for in a romance. Ana, the heroine is a fairly normal 21 year old woman who is confident in what she wants and who she is. That is until she meets Christian Grey, a rich and ultra successful 27 year old man who has control issues, and who wants Ana with everything he is.
Imagine being a 21 year old virgin, and the first man you find that you are attracted to shows you his "Red Room of Pain" and then asks you to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement. So, in all the weirdness that is your new beau you can't even talk to your best friend about him or your first sexual experience. That is the boat that Ana is in. She loves Christian so much. But how do you love a man or show your love for a man who doesn't like to be touched, and who has an obviously tortured past that he will not tell you anything about. Ana handled this in a way that I thought was totally realistic, she cried a lot. I would have cried too.
I saw quite a few of my GR friends have this on their "to read" lists. I would totally recommend it. I was skeptical at first because of the price but it was worth it.(less)
Kate and Charlie are two lost souls who cross paths in the middle of the ocean while both of them are trying to end their own life. Kate...more4 1/2 stars...
Kate and Charlie are two lost souls who cross paths in the middle of the ocean while both of them are trying to end their own life. Kate has been let down by so many people, been hurt so many times she has grown tired and finds that life is no longer worth living. That is until she meets Charlie. Charlie is an ultra famous singer turned actor who has discovered that fame and fortune isn't all it's cracked up to be. Charlie is sick of the fans, sick of the fake friends and just sick of living. That is until he meets Kate. Charlie and Kate come together in a fast, passionate and loving way that made me laugh and cry all in the same breath.
A 5 star read is something that is very special to me. I considered Strangers a 4 1/2 star read but I rounded up for my rating. I really, really liked Strangers the characters were wonderful, I loved Kate and Charlie both as separate characters as well as together. The story was thoroughly entertaining I didn't want it to end.
The only small issues I had with Strangers, which was the half a star knock down was I didn't like how Charlie handled Kate and his relationship with her in public. He was thinking of protecting her from the crazy media but ultimately to me the way he acted towards her was kind of mean, especially for a character like Kate who is used to being ignored and cast aside. I felt if he truly loved Kate his actions could have been thought out differently as to not make her appear that she simply did not exist to him.
Overall I would recommend Strangers and will read more by Barbara Elsborg. (less)
I started out loving this book, for those who love The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred Blue Willow is similar. Artemas (yes Artemas was the hero's...moreI started out loving this book, for those who love The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred Blue Willow is similar. Artemas (yes Artemas was the hero's name) is a young boy visiting his grandmother's estate when Mrs. Mackenzie, the home's pregnant housekeeper goes into labor. No one else including the woman's husband is around so young Artemas helps Mrs. Mackenzie deliver her baby. When the baby is born Artemas is enamored by her and asks the infant's mother if they could name her Lily.
Artemas and Lily begin a long distance pen pal type of relationship after he returns when Lily is 6 to visit the Mackenzie's. Over the years they fall in love through the letters they write both realizing that they are connected to one another in their hearts. But they are frustratingly kept physically apart by misunderstandings, family drama, catastrophic tragedies, the list goes on and on.
I enjoyed the first part of this book tremendously as Lily and Artemas grow and develop as characters. Towards the second half however Deborah Smith floods us with the angst in this one, overly so. Any horrible thing that could possibly happen, happened in this book. Rape, murder, drugs, child molestation, and pretty much any other horrendous thing you can think of happens to these people.
Overall I really did enjoy Blue Willow. Deborah Smith is a great writer and I would read her books again and again. I just felt this was about 100 or so pages too long. All the extra drama actually took the book from a 5 star down to a 4 for me. (less)
I gave this 3 stars solely for the last 3 or 4 chapters. The preceding chapters I would have given 2 stars which I feel is being generous. Eva and Gid...moreI gave this 3 stars solely for the last 3 or 4 chapters. The preceding chapters I would have given 2 stars which I feel is being generous. Eva and Gideon's story continues in Reflected in You however there is absolutely no progression or growth of their relationship until the last few chapters at which point we are hit with a truly rattling revelation.
It was painfully frustrating to dredge through chapters and chapters of the heroin type addiction roller coaster ride that is Eva and Gideon's relationship. It starts with Eva going on and on about how hot Gideon is, how she doesn't deserve a man like him, they get in a fight because one of them is jealous or controlling or unreasonably dumb about a situation which has occurred, Gideon calls Eva "Angel", they have hot sex in which they both have multiple orgasms, repeat, repeat, repeat... This continues until at one point Gideon for some reason turns a cold shoulder towards Eva and she needs to find out why. At this point I started to get very interested in why after so much lust, attraction and "love" their relationship would cool off so significantly. I admit from that point I was pretty riveted to the story and really didn't want it to end. The big problem was it took so damn long to get there and the "good parts" didn't last long at all.
I'm not sure if I'll be purchasing and reading the final book in this trilogy. To be honest the only reason I bought this one was because I got the audio version off of Audible for $7. (less)
When Bernie's grandfather dies Bernie finds himself to be the sole heir of an insurmountable fortune. Bernie is...more3 1/2 stars for me, but I rounded up.
When Bernie's grandfather dies Bernie finds himself to be the sole heir of an insurmountable fortune. Bernie is not happy about this. In fact, it is a huge disruption and inconvenience in his normally quiet and unobtrusive life. When he's forced to his grandfather's home to take care of settling the estate, Bernie becomes enamored with Meda, one of the house keepers who tends to the huge mansion.
Both Bernie and Meda have troubled pasts. Meda, who is described many times as a thoroughly beautiful woman, bares the evidence of her tormentors on her face. And though she's a single mother who is surrounded by reminders on why her life should suck, she doesn't really let it bring her down. She is a breath of beautiful fresh air into Bernie's world who's troubles are more complicated. Having been abducted and held for ransom when he was a child has left scars on his soul. The kidnapping and how his family dealt with the situation, compiled with the fact that he lost his father and only brother in a car wreck when he was a teenager have left Bernie a simple shell of a man. He has very little emotion, and even less desire to be around others.
There were several parts of Last Will that I really enjoyed. Thus the 3 1/2 star rating... Bernie's dry humor had me giggling a few times, his inability to connect with anyone around him had me sad for him and I found myself wanting to hug him tell him to just let go of it all and everything would be alright. I also liked the character of Meda. She had been hurt, tortured almost, but she never let it define who she was. She was a tough cookie and she wasn't going to just lay down and let life bull doze over her. She was a survivor and I admire that. This was a character driven book. And 9 times out of 10 if the author can create likable characters, I'm on board.
Where I felt the book fell a bit flat... This was written in 1st person from 3 different character's points of view. Bernie, Meda and Bernie's Aunt Ginny. First, all though she was a likable enough lady, I thought the inserts from Aunt Ginny were useless. They were few and far between and didn't really give me much insight into herself, Bernie or Meda, who were the MAIN characters. I did learn a few things about Bernie through Aunt Ginny's narration, but since most of the book was Bernie's, I felt I should have learned about Bernie from being in Bernie's head. Not an outsider's perception of Bernie. I just never felt like I really got to know any of these people, despite the fact that I was reading from their own view points. That along with there was really no resolution to Bernie's messed upness the book left me feeling a bit unfulfilled.
I wasn't too impressed with In Your Eyes at all. I found it lacking depth, plot and I put it down easily to do the laundry (which is saying a lot).
Ge...moreI wasn't too impressed with In Your Eyes at all. I found it lacking depth, plot and I put it down easily to do the laundry (which is saying a lot).
Gen, our heroine is an artist who is hired by Alex to create a painting for the new children's wing our super rich hero is donating to a hospital. Sparks fly and Alex, who is normally stand offish with his women falls head over heals for Gen. Gen falls right along with Alex and there you have it.
I normally soak up books that are all centered on the characters and the romance they create. With this type of story though, the hero and heroine have to be strong moving characters. I felt Alex pretty much fit this bill, but Gen's character fell short of likable to me. Though I thought the author did a great job of developing her, we knew who she was and what she felt, she was over the top corny and way too sweet. I know she was in love and all doey eyed but this was one of those scenarios when you want to stick your finger down you throat because you're going to hurl at her sweetness. I couldn't picture her with any backbone and I just can't respond in a positive way to heroines who are potential doormats.
What really clinched my opinion of In Your Eyes was how Gen handled the climax in the book ("climax" is loosely put). She went the road of "if you love someone set them free". Maybe I'm too much of a cynic but if that main conflict would have come earlier in the book I would not have continued reading it. Her actions were so unbelievably stupid I couldn't help but roll my eyes and groan to myself. (less)
After hearing of a young woman in a horrible situation, Stephen is faced with the apparent immoral decision; shou...moreI received this book from Netgalley.
After hearing of a young woman in a horrible situation, Stephen is faced with the apparent immoral decision; should he buy her in order to save her? 18 year old Brianna is confused and scared when her current Master sells her to another man. Is her new Master as cruel and evil? Will he hurt and humiliate her in the same ways? The manner in which he talks to her and handles her with such care it doesn't seem so. But she is his slave isn't she? She is in his care only to serve him, right???
This book really grabbed a hold of me and I had a very hard time putting it down. Sherri Hayes's writing "voice" or her style was almost perfectly in line with my reading tastes. Slave was tagged with labels such as "BDSM" and "Erotica" but yet there was not one actual sex scene and not one incident of BDSM. In many situations I would describe this as a negative... who wants to read a BDSM Erotica book with no spanking and not sex? I guess I do because all though I was looking forward to it, when it wasn't there I didn't miss it. The story was filled with characters developing and showing their natures and personalities and this was done in just a way that I was completely intrigued.
Stephen Coleman is described as a Dominant, though there was not one event which occurred that allowed him to demonstrate this facet of his character. He was so kind and compassionate that he suppressed his true nature to put Brianna at ease, to show her he wasn't like her former Master. He grew to love her. And though he had no idea how to express it, he treated her like the breakable glass that she was. Eventually his dreams of having Brianna's heart begin to unfold as she learns to trust him more and more. Stephen's character was beautiful, I couldn't have hoped or wished for a better hero.
Brianna is a broken and battered soul. She has spent the last 10 months of her existence in an absolute hell. Ian, her former Master has done horrible irrevocable things to her body as well as her mind. She is no longer the person she used to be and it's going to take a miracle, or maybe just one wonderful Dominant man to put her back together.
I thoroughly enjoyed Slave by Sherri Hayes. The only negative I can comment on that drew this down from a 5 to a 4 star read for me was; I had a difficult time relating to Brianna. She was put through horrible things that no human should EVER have to face, but I couldn't quite accept her behavior. My acceptance was not because I found her actions and fear unbelievable, we were just given so little information on Brianna's history pre-slavey. She was owned by Ian for 10 months. She was with her loving mother until she was 15. What happened after her mother passed away and she was forced to go with her father. How did he contribute to her sense of fear (besides a terrible one time event that ends with her in slavery)? We just never find out what it was like for her those 2 years she was with her father. It was kind of a void in the character development for me. (less)
Fifty Shades Darker starts off immediately where Fifty Shades of Gray leaves off. Ana has left Christian after determining that she will neve...more4.5 stars
Fifty Shades Darker starts off immediately where Fifty Shades of Gray leaves off. Ana has left Christian after determining that she will never be a woman that could fit into his twisted world. Throughout the entire book we see a completely different side of Fifty popping out through his uber alpha-maleness, one that confuses, excites and completely upends Ana. Oh, Christian is still fifty shades of f'ed up, but he finally shows Ana how he really feels about her, and what his life would be without her. Very sweet, very touching, very not what I thought it would ever be between them.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fifty Shades Darker. Both Ana and Fifty grew as characters and when Christian reveals to Ana how he truly feels about her, and what he will be without her, I actually had to stop reading for a few minutes because my heart was in my throat. He is such an unbelievably tortured hero that you just want to wrap yourself around and protect right after he spanks you.
The only reason I gave this 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because I did like the first book a tiny bit better and that one was a 5 star read for me.
I am so happy I found this series, so happy I read it. The Fifties will be definite re-re-re-reads for me for a long time to come.
Ordinary Girl was my third Barbara Elsborg read and I have to say, once again she did not disappoint me. The biggest pleasure I've found in reading th...moreOrdinary Girl was my third Barbara Elsborg read and I have to say, once again she did not disappoint me. The biggest pleasure I've found in reading this author is she creates spectacular heroines and Ash is no exception. She is spunky, strong, and full of so much pain, that she eloquently hides from the entire world. Noah, the hero was also a treat. He was a true tortured hero and I thoroughly enjoyed watching as Ash pulled him out of his own personal hell.
This is an excellent example of how to create a spectacular character driven book (my favorite). I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great tortured hero/heroine. (less)
Any Man of Mine falls into line with all Rachel Gibson's others in the adorable Chinook Hockey series. I liked it a lot.
After a crazy drunk week in V...moreAny Man of Mine falls into line with all Rachel Gibson's others in the adorable Chinook Hockey series. I liked it a lot.
After a crazy drunk week in Vegas Autumn ends up married, pregnant, and dumped by Chinook Hockey Star Sam LeClaire. 5 years later Sam and Autumn have a mutual hate-dislike relationship and realize that though they have a son together it's best that they are never in the same room with one another. This all changes when Sam starts to realize he has not been the kind of father his son Conner deserves so he tries harder to be the dad he should have been all along. All the while Sam is hyper aware of Autumn and the serious attraction he had for her in Vegas all those years ago is stirring him up again.
The one thing I need in any book is likable characters. And Any Man of Mine without question has a great heroine and a hero who kind of starts out as an ass, but grows into a guy any woman would want. Autumn impressed me with not only her kindness but her resistance to the overpowering Sam LeClaire. Sam was a party animal womanizer who grew throughout the book to become a stand up guy. I love that about Rachel Gibson. She puts her characters together like a puzzle so we can grow to know, respect and eventually love them.
The ONLY gripe I have about Any Man of Mine was I felt it was a bit short. It was 360some pages but the print was large and I wanted a little more page time with Sam and Autumn.
Overall Rachel Gibson is always an autobuy for me and I will continue to eat her books up as soon as they come out. (less)