When we sin again, I think I could be in love with the devil.
I tip my invisible hat to Stephanie Lawton for writing such a beautifully flawed book....more
When we sin again, I think I could be in love with the devil.
I tip my invisible hat to Stephanie Lawton for writing such a beautifully flawed book.
Dust motes float in the air, dancing it seems to the quiet energy of his music. I feel his sadness now more than ever. He says much, much more through the piano than he ever does with his spare words.
My blind assumption that this was just another student/teacher affair was completely wrong. This is not your run-of-the-mill Mary Kay Letourneau story.
"He's not a challenge. He doesn't put me in my place or tell me I can do better. He doesn't piss me off, doesn't make me want things I shouldn't want, and he doesn't make me feel." I reach out and place a trembling hand on the side of his neck. "That's you."
This is a dark tale. Redemption is limited, so if you're looking for everything to be wrapped up in tidy sort of way, you'll be in for a disappointment. What you will find is a story of want, need, hurt, regret, missed opportunities, new beginnings and self-realization. This author gave me nothing I asked for, nothing I wanted, yet I found myself believing in the outcome. She took away my desire for how I thought things should happen and replaced it with an appreciation for the possibility of what could be.
I could have been angry with how badly the lot of these characters screwed up. Each and every single person (except for possibly one) went off the deep end. The events of this book had me wanting to talk sense into most of the people involved. Yet, somehow, everything came together and made me fall in love with the book regardless of faulty actions on the part of the characters.
There is no adequate way to summarize Want. If I said it was a story about a music teacher and his student fumbling their way through confused feelings, then I would be doing a disservice to the book. If I said it was about a tired, abused girl who was trying to reach for her dreams in order to get out of the torturous hell she lives in, then I wouldn't be painting a big enough picture. This book shows how a story about pain can be just as beautiful as a story about joy.
Smiling is good. Laughing is great. Add in some sexy time and it gets even better.
3.5 stars. Alice Clayton excels at entertaining a reader. The Redhea...moreSmiling is good. Laughing is great. Add in some sexy time and it gets even better.
3.5 stars. Alice Clayton excels at entertaining a reader. The Redhead series might not be the most polished set of books I've ever experienced, but sometimes entertainment trumps flair...especially when you're in need of a pick-me-up. Her books read like a cross between a riotously funny chick lit and an extremely sexy contemporary romance.
This second installment reminded me vaguely of the book Effortless, except that some of the drama was substituted with humor instead. That's absolutely a good thing because too much drama can get to be tiring. There were a few chapters of couple's angst toward the end but I only rolled my eyes once or twice. I swear. You can trust me (no I'm not whistling innocently over here. You can't prove anything!). I can only imagine what it would be like though to be in a long-distance relationship with a budding movie star when you're 9 years older than the man you love.
The tabloids alone could kill it : I was called Grace Sheridon't, Grace McOldAss, and That Redheaded Hamilton Fucker.
The Characters : Jack (a.k.a. Johnny Bite Down) and Grace were still fun and sexy. The cutesy terms were scaled back somewhat but not enough for my liking.
Jack's still got it -
He was leaning against the town car, looking like a wet dream come true. Black jeans, black v-neck sweater, leather jacket. He gave great lean.
The Humor : It was on point. The New Kids and Golden Girls references still ruled.
The Steam : The trifecta is complete. I love this author's way of writing sex scenes. Grace is one lucky woman.
The first scene after Grace showed Jack a previous picture of herself when she was still heavy, while admitting that she never fully got used to being thin again.
"You. Are. Beautiful," he whispered in my ear, punctuating each word with a thrust.
The Fly in the Ointment : I still feel like there are too many awkward moments of humor in unnecessary places. This gives off the impression that the author is trying to tap dance her way into our hearts while shoveling delicious cookies in our mouths at the same time. I mean, I like cookies and all...but yeah. I don't like being drowned in cutesy terms and slapstick comedy while sex is about to go down.
It took a while for some of the story outside of the "Jack and Grace sex-a-thon" to finally appear and when it finally did, it came in a big wave of drama.
The last few chapters should have been moved to book 3. I thought the book was over...and then it wasn't.
Even so: This is a fun series! If you like to smile or like to get hot and bothered while reading, you'll probably enjoy the Redhead vibe.
I had a lovely review for you all. Then THIS happened when I hit preview.
Okay, so there's no way to prove that my review was actually lovely, but I'm...moreI had a lovely review for you all. Then THIS happened when I hit preview.
Okay, so there's no way to prove that my review was actually lovely, but I'm going to say that it was because you can't prove otherwise.
There's NO way in hell I'm typing it out again. Sorry. Let's see if I can summarize in a couple of paragraphs what took me about 45 minutes to write. Sigh. At least you get to see the miracle of a short review from me...
~ This is erotica, not contemporary romance. Expect just as much sex as there is plot. However, this is a good intro to Olivia Cunning. If you haven't read Backstage Pass, try this one first. You'll get a handle on this author's writing style in much less time and it's slightly less intimidating (read : less anal play/voyeurism) than BP is for hesitant erotica readers.
~ Character development is limited because there isn't time. This really is more of a sex, sex, sex type of story. The characters meet, find they're attracted to each other, then engage in kinky sex. Again, this is a short. I don't mind when the focus is more on sex if I'm reading something that is meant to be read in about an hour.
~ The sex was hot. The characters were likable. The ending was pleasant. All in all, this is the best type of brain reset after reading something heavy.
~ I love rock star stories. Whether it's YA, adult, or erotic in nature. I don't care. I just like being immersed in that fantasy without actually having to live it.
~ There were a few funny moments. Here's just one of them :
"What kind of a dork uses a lame stage name anyway? And why Shade? Because he wears sunglasses all the time?" "Yeah, he has to wear them. He has vision problems." Melanie's stomach dropped and she covered her big, blabbering mouth with one hand. "He does? Shit. Now I feel bad." The guy chuckled. "I'm just fucking with you. He wears them because he enjoys looking like a douche twenty-four-seven."
I'm done with my crappy, lame, condensed review. I'm going to copy this before posting, so I don't have to do this again with nothing but swear words and exclamation points.
2.5 stars. I'm going to go with definition number one : pleasing; agreeable; delightful
In this case, nice ended up being pretty close to :
First off, let me disclaimer that this book wasn't bad. In fact, Weekends Required was pretty standard CR fare : one couple is attracted to each other, yet they fight their feelings for a while until something happens to bring them together. Throw in a few small obstacles to further the plot along the way and there you go. Standard formula. By all reason, this book probably deserves at least a 3 star minimum rating because it's honestly not bad for a CR. However, when taking my enjoyment into consideration (I'm probably pickier than the average romance reader), I couldn't go higher than a 2.5, which is just shy of 'average' for me, since I'm rounding down instead of up.
Some authors manage to work the formula better than others, whether it's by adding in some laughs, or amping up the steam. These are the books that get either a 3, 4, or the rare 5 star rating from me.
Weekends Required ran somewhere along the lines of definition 1 - nice : pleasing; agreeable. Delightful doesn't really qualify in this case.
However there did happen to be one delightful scene. It's hard not to be amused when the female lead is forced to jump out of a cake at a bachelor party for her boss's friend. Especially when the boss is the potential love interest. Talk about embarrassing!
My thoughts in a nutshell :
I wasn't completely bored with the entire book (there were some good parts). I neither liked nor disliked this book. I thought it was pleasant enough to pass the time. I was mildly entertained during the sex scenes. I found myself wondering why our heroine was accident prone. I still hate the use of the nickname baby. I got tired of Danvers referring to Claire as 'the stripper.' I failed to care what happened with the story of the mother. I wasn't sad to see it end. I doubt I'll remember much about this story. I doubt I'll read the next one. (less)
So I've been sitting on this galley for a while and just realized that the book is about to come out. Guess it's time I get moving on this one. Maybe...moreSo I've been sitting on this galley for a while and just realized that the book is about to come out. Guess it's time I get moving on this one. Maybe this will shake me out of the fantasy reading slump I've been in lately.
*edit* putting this one back on the shelf. I know I should read it before release, but two of my other books came in that are series continuations I've been waiting for, so I'm more in the mood to go with a world I know already atm. Come back to this soon!(less)
3 stars? 4 stars? I might be flip-flopping on this rating at least once or twice over the next few days. I actually had an easier time rewarding 4 sta...more 3 stars? 4 stars? I might be flip-flopping on this rating at least once or twice over the next few days. I actually had an easier time rewarding 4 stars to the previous books because my expectations weren't that high to begin with, and I felt like I'd been given more than what I was expecting. In the case of Lover at Last, I think the bar might have been set too high with all of the anticipation to see this relationship finally happen. I'm tempted to stay at 3 stars just for the mention of Ed Hardy footwear. Douchey poser-wear? Don't do that to my brothers! But then again, I'm tempted to go up a point because the mention of masturbating a snow globe was randomly thrown in there and it made me laugh. Decisions, decisions...
If you've read up through book 10 in this series, this review will be safe to read outside of the spoiler tags. Spoiler tags should not be clicked on unless you've read Lover at Last.
All of his life he had wanted to belong.
Qhuay's story = Great but not as epic as I was hoping for. (view spoiler)[There needed to be more at the end after the ceremony (proposal? commitment thing? I still don't know) went down, I thought. (hide spoiler)] Although, I can say that the scenes with Qhuinn and Blay were intense - so thumbs up in regard to that. We readers got what we were waiting for, and that's good. For their portion of the book (which simply wasn't enough!), I was happy. Qhuinn's path to self-discovery got me choked up a couple of times.
He started to cry. Thank fuck for the hood.
Surprisingly, my favorite scene of all was not a Qhuay scene, but an interaction between Xcor and Layla. I generally shy away from using any sort of Romeo and Juliet reference because we all know how that tale turned out (hint : it wasn't good), but when two people from opposite sides of a war are drawn to one another, there's an interesting twist to the character turmoil. Without giving away any plot details, I FELT the raw emotion. I really want Xcor and Layla to get their own book.
"Do not cry." His thumb went to her cheeks. "Beautiful female of worth, do not cry."
You know who I don't want getting a book? Oh...just about all of the other characters who got side billing this time around. I found myself skimming a good portion of the book (outside of Qhuay, the brothers and Xcor/Layla, of course).
Assail and Sola? Please, no. Trez? Eh. What's next? All of the additional family members of the brothers? (view spoiler)[Qhuinn's brother? (hide spoiler)] Is the Scribe Virgin going to break out and start getting freaky? I can't really tell anymore. Will Lassiter ever be more than comic relief?
It's time to start wrapping this series up, Ward. The brothers have found love. Let's not start bringing in a bunch of new characters just to milk the series for all its worth. Quality is starting to take a backseat to quantity and I'd hate to see the appeal of the BDB dragged out way past its prime. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
note : all phrases in brackets [ ] are thoughts from my favorite dog, Oberon.
FINALLY. There were a few big 'finally' moments in Trapped. One of the bi...morenote : all phrases in brackets [ ] are thoughts from my favorite dog, Oberon.
FINALLY. There were a few big 'finally' moments in Trapped. One of the biggest finally moments I refuse to spoil for you, but I think it's safe to mention that Granuaile finally became a full-fledged druid in this book because we've been waiting for it a long time and knew it was going to happen eventually. Yay for her getting her animal forms!
Granuaile's joy at this new (form) elicited an extremely loud road, startling Oberon and me and the surrounding woods into silence.
[I think every creature near enough to hear that just pooped.]
The entire section of the book (and following section immediately afterward) where Granuaile was getting bound to the earth was a massive payout for the fans. Emotional blue balls = gone. I'm happy now.
Hearne delivers on the wit, per usual. I am infatuated with this man's brain because the stuff that comes out of his head and flows onto the paper (or screen in my case) is brilliant.
Dark tangles of hair, groomed by static or maybe playful kittens.
"Stop staring at the meat. Look around for who put it there." [Aw! Wait! How did you know?] "Canine Psychology 101. Seriously, don't look at it. Look for the dastardly villain." [Gah! It's so hard to tear my gaze free! It must have a tractor beam!] "Oberon. It's dead meat. You are stronger than other dogs. Look away." [I can't! It's got me! Atticus, it's got me!]
I love that it's easier to sell someone on reading the series through quotes than actually writing out your feelings about the books. Makes my job a lot easier!
We Now Interrupt Your Regular Review Programming for a Rather Long Ramble.
I am going to opt out of writing a traditional review of this book. Here's m...moreWe Now Interrupt Your Regular Review Programming for a Rather Long Ramble.
I am going to opt out of writing a traditional review of this book. Here's my end note up front, so you can read it and move on while I stay behind and rant to myself :
Who should read this book? Anyone who loves protective, slightly possessive alpha males who are sexy as hell and love to think, talk and act dirty. If you like lots of great sexual tension, being inside of a man's head as he thinks naughty thoughts, and yummy foreplay leading up to when the couple seals the deal, you'll be good to go.
Who should NOT read this book? Anyone who rolls their eyes at super jealous alpha males, stories that focus on not much else except for romance and sex, or anyone who's read more than one Glines book before (other than Breathe because that one was her weakest) and struggles with the fact that not much changes from book to book other than minor location and story details.
*end review and commence rambling*
Abbi Glines is like wicked voodoo to me. I know I shouldn't be messing around with the stuff, yet I can't seem to stop doing it. Her repetitive alpha characters and plot devices constantly make me think of her as the Mature YA/New Adult version of Kristen Ashley, which is funny because I had to stop reading KA for the time being because of the repetitiveness, while I can't seem to make myself stop reading Glines. What I have managed to figure out, is that even though AG tends to push all of the buttons linked to what annoys me, she also manages to push the ones that trigger the happy "romance/love for sexual tension" factor in my brain (but in about half the page length of a KA book, so I'm not struggling to finish).
Quick time-out for the "grown-up" talk. This book was sexy as hell. The sex scenes were better than some I've read in full-on adult romance novels. Cage brought the dirty talk, the cocky attitude, and the naughty thoughts (loved, loved being in his head). If Glines excels at ONE thing it would be this : the sexual tension is off the charts. She teases us with hot kisses and growling and intimate touches, then moves up to hand jobs and undressing and exploration. Then when we're really all hot and bothered, she delivers with the sex (and she didn't leave out detail there either). I like how she works up to the act in stages. She really captures the wide range of foreplay and other sexual options that are normal for college age kids who are still figuring out if they want to give it up or not.
But when you take all of that away... I was hoping for so much more out of Cage's book. I felt like I was reading Beau (from Vincent Brothers) all over again. There are different ways for males to be alpha and protective without stepping in and getting mouthy before knowing what's going on. Is there even one guy in a Glines book who takes a second to think before reacting? Not all alphas are the SAME.
To be fair, I can appreciate the realism of jealousy and emotions and hormones. All of these things happen to most of us at some point or another. But WHY does every single guy have the same trigger reaction in every single book? There is such a thing as a brooding alpha or the kind who gives you those evil looks when you're acting in a way they don't like. Not every single alpha chooses to act like a drunken frat boy looking to smash faces in without first finding out what's really going on.
I honestly loved that Cage was protective of his best friend Willow and would have bent over backwards for her...BUT I was hoping that when he met a girl in this book, he'd meet someone who would banter back and forth with him, and that they'd develop a relationship through resistance because the girl wasn't going to put up with his crap. I wanted to see someone who would really challenge him. Instead, nope...we get another instance of a guy who is drawn to a girl with a sad story, and how he wants to do nothing more than comfort her and take her pain away. Then a bunch of misunderstandings happen and they both go back and forth pursuing each other while the other one runs. Bleh. It's regurgitated crap. REGURGITATED CRAP.
Please excuse me while I bang my head on the desk repeatedly over yet another book from this author. *pause*
Yet, I can't seem to stop reading AG books. I'm sure she'd probably pay me to quit reading her books because my reviews are probably doing more harm than good. However, for reasons unknown, I find reasons to keep reading, even with all of my major bitching and whining. Did I say this book was sexy as hell? Yes, I do believe that's probably why I keep reading.
If you plan on reading this series, do yourself a favor and skip right over Breathe, the first book. Really, the book was painful to read. It doesn't even connect to the second book in the series other than a brief cameo from the original characters. Just go ahead and start with Because of Low (Marcus is quite delicious), then read this one if you are interested.
Signing out...I officially need to step off the romance drama train and immerse myself in some gory zombie madness for a minute.
Very disappointed. I have enjoyed this series for the most part, and loved books 3 and 4. I can't believe I held off on reading Trey's book for so lon...moreVery disappointed. I have enjoyed this series for the most part, and loved books 3 and 4. I can't believe I held off on reading Trey's book for so long, then ended up experiencing so much letdown.
I know that polyamory works for many people and that it can be a legitimate form of relationship(s). I have a couple of friends who live this way, so I've seen it firsthand.
Unfortunately, it's rare that a book is able to convey this type of relationship in a believable light. The closest I've seen was in the book Rough, Raw, and Ready.
Mild (nothing major) spoilers ahead.
Why Double Time did not work for me :
1. The insta-love was off the charts. I'm not anti-insta-love. In some cases, it's written fine. But we've seen it before (and done better) already in book 1 of this series. Considering Trey's backstory, it felt very bizarre that he fell in love with not only one, but TWO people so quickly. His journey to healing was too easily solved by finding Reagan.
2. I didn't believe that the answer to Trey's heartache was to fall in love with two people. This story would have been more believable as a m/m book. Just because Trey is bisexual, it shouldn't have meant that the only way for him to be happy was to fall in love with both a man and woman.
If he wanted to live a poly lifestyle, I would have preferred him to have known this ahead of time and gone into the relationship with the female having her eyes wide open. For him to get involved with a woman, then tell her after the fact that she did NOT complete him - it made me shake my head. There are very few women people who could deal with being told that they are not enough for someone. The way that the situation was handled was the complete opposite of tactful.
3. Trey didn't have the same uniqueness that I saw in the former books. He had lost some of his zing. I was completely bored with him outside of the sex scenes, which was not how things were before. Trey used to be my favorite character.
Things that worked for me :
Nothing. Not even the sex scenes. Something about Reagan bothered me (couldn't put my finger on it), so I couldn't even get into her head for the sex scenes.
I'm sad that I had to end an enjoyable series on a sour note. Ah well. I've been trying to skim Sinners at the Altar and am not getting into it. Maybe I'm over the Sinners now. I don't even know why Trey's getting another book after this. Supposedly, his story wasn't wrapped up, but I'm pretty sure that I don't much care what happens next for him.
I might still read Dare's spin-off book though. I do heart Dare. (less)
Welcome to high school, Rose Zarelli. It's survival of the coolest here. And you, with your running shoes and your French horn and your fear of sex and your missing hymen and your weird attacks and your dead father, you are definitely not part of the posse.
I love the chapter headings (as shown at the start of my review). Cute book, albeit extremely young in tone. Yes, there were colorful words, as well as mentions of sex and drinking, but there's always something about girls trying to figure themselves out which has me reminiscing on the very early side of high school. Which, to be fair, is right where Rose has landed. I know that a lot of "enlightenment" takes place between the years of 14 and 18. I'm probably so used to reading on the older side of YA fiction that it always makes me do this little head shake (yes, I actually DO the shake) when I read about girls who don't know stuff that seems obvious to the rest of us.
As the story continued :
I found myself somewhat frustrated with Rose's hatred of all things popular. Instead of figuring out how not to be a "have not," she griped about the "haves." Although, I do think that some of this outlook did go hand-in-hand with her not fully understanding what she wanted to do with her current situation. I was personally glad to see her start to learn to stand up for herself as the story progressed.
Where I landed :
Overall, I ended up liking this more than I expected to. I found characters to like (Angelo and the brother), a character to be curious about (Jamie), and a few characters who I'll probably love to hate. This isn't my normal fare, but I'm glad I took a chance. I'll be looking forward to book 2.
This book was provided from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Usually, this type of reaction comes from me not being able to express how a book made me...moreSo...Gio. So...Gio. Soooooo....Gio.
I'm not sure what to say.
Usually, this type of reaction comes from me not being able to express how a book made me feel because it was incredible. In the case of Gio, I'm finding myself unsure how to convey that I liked a book fine without making people think I didn't care for it.
We'll start with the cheating
Call it a spoiler if you want to but I can't. Any time a person picks up a book about a trigger subject, it's probably a good idea for them to know ahead of time that it's going to happen. And it happens. And happens. And happens.
I can't say that it bothered me to the point of wanting to rant over the behavior. The book Thoughtless sort of set the gold standard for what not to do in a relationship when it comes to cheating. Any other book with this subject will probably never rile me up the way Thoughtless did.
However, this doesn't mean that I excuse the behavior. What is it with people in relationships where they can't just make a choice and live with it? Cheating happens. It's not a random and isolated thing. I've done it, you might have done it...I just personally have a bit of a pet peeve with people who cheat and cheat and cheat. If nothing else, call off the relationship and give yourself time to figure out who you should be with.
But...I also get that thinking doesn't always come into play when emotions are on the line. Gio allowed himself to be the mistress so I can't lay the blame solely on Bianca.
How was the love story?
It was fine. I didn't feel the same sense of passion that I felt while observing Roni and Noah fall in love. If anything, I've decided that I like Noah even more than I originally thought, so I'm about to go raise my rating from a 3.5 to a solid 4 star. Gio was adequate enough and I had no big complaints. This author has a writing style that's enjoyable and easy to read. I will be happy to continue on with her books because it will be nice to see the rest of the 5th street boys find love. (less)
After speaking with some friends, I decided to come back and revise some of my extreme ranting and raise my rating to a solid 3 star. I thought this f...moreAfter speaking with some friends, I decided to come back and revise some of my extreme ranting and raise my rating to a solid 3 star. I thought this finally might have been the book from Glines that would get me to go up to a 4 star rating but *insert fist shake at the heavens* the last 75 pages or so...sigh. No go.
Important things first. These covers make me want lots and lots of candy, specifically caramel apple pops because this new lollipop looks like a green apple. I don't recall there being lots and lots of candy consumption among the pages. Someone's toying with me, trying to get me to associate candy and sex. I'm not complaining. I like candy and sex (or the song Sex and Candy). I'm just not sure how it relates to the Vincent Boys.
I admit, I liked the book overall, even though I still had a few complaints.
Story-wise, it had me like cute little kittens and puppies have me. You want to cuddle with the adorable little kittens...until the little turds scratch you. Have you ever been scratched by a kitten? Talk about miniature claws of doom. Who would think that something so tiny and adorable could be so scary?
Thank the heavens that Sawyer stepped up his game. Finally. The boy has a working male part, it's good to know. For whatever reason, he never managed to figure this out during his 3 year relationship with Ash. Is he for real? What hormonal teenage boy (not counting those with actual reasons, such as personal or spiritual beliefs) doesn't want to get it on with his girlfriend? Because he thinks she's so brilliantly perfect? Uh...yeah. I guarantee you that no teenage boy is going to be with any girl for 3 years and not ever try to get past 1st base. Come back to the real world, Sawyer. I call BS on this statement of his : "Never, did I think about being inside her."
Whoops, I forgot that I was still in the "pros" section, not the "cons" section. Let me reel this in and say what was great about the story.
I liked caveman Sawyer better than caveman Beau. Yep. I said it. Sawyer used his primal urges for the forces of good.
I also appreciated that there was a bit of game playing and questionable behavior. Not everything during the teen years happens in a "get from point A to point B" manner. Misunderstandings and making people jealous and beating around the bush does come in to play when you're unsure of how the other person feels. As long as the story doesn't get overrun with it (which didn't happen), a little bit of this does provide some accuracy when it comes to the world of teen dating and relationships. I really liked how Lana was working out her bizarre behavior in her head and trying to justify her thinking because most of us have done this at one point or another : Maybe the healthy response would've been to stand my ground and force him to accept I was my own person. But I didn't. I wanted to be wanted.
Something else that worked for me was seeing how both Sawyer and Beau thought the other Vincent had everything handed to them. The grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence, no matter how much we think it is. The dual PoV's worked well in this series because the story became more interesting when we got to see how Beau and Sawyer's minds worked.
The biggest positive : Sawyer never fell too hard, too fast. He knew that he was still carrying a torch for Ash and was honest with Lana about not being completely ready to move on. Huge points for this. This book is worth the read just to see this love story unfold. The timeline was handled perfectly.
And there was some nice sexual tension in this water-boarding (not the torture kind) scene:
"Hmmm...that's nice," Sawyer whispered into the curve of my neck. I tightened my hold on him and buried my face in his shoulder. A warm sexy chuckle vibrated within his chest. We were up and going before I could think about anything else. My legs clamped down on his waist so tightly the hard arousal I'd felt earlier was now firmly pressed against me. "Ah, hell," he whispered in my ear and I shifted, wondering if I weighed too much or was holding on too tight. "Please Lana, don't move. I can't concentrate when you do that." The smoldering gleam in his eyes sent my body into a warm frenzy. "Am I hurting you?" Sawyer shook his head and pressed a kiss to my forehead. "Not the way you think. Hang on, I'm going to give you a little bit of a ride."
Lana and Sawyer's story was enjoyably easy to read. Thankfully, their story does take up most of the book.
Moving on to the "I want my money back" part of the review :
The recycled characters and scenarios keep on happening. I want to be wowed by seeing something new. We had another issue with a parent cheating on another parent with a much younger woman? It's Because of Low all over again. *mini spoiler ahead, click at your own risk.* How about (view spoiler)[siblings finding out they're related after so many years? (hide spoiler)] Again...saw this in BoL.
Enough with the romance lingo. I read YA romance to get away from the adult stereotypes. As much as I love getting lost in adult romance, there's a reason I step away from it when I've read too much. After a while, they all start blending together. At least with YA romance we don't have to deal with the terminology that we've come to expect as normal in adult romance. And then this book decided to borrow the crap that I was trying to get away from. Terms resembling something like these : "coming apart in my arms," or "his fingers found my folds," and "his big hands moved up my back" NO. STOP IT. No teenage guy is going think the words "came apart in my arms." I feel like sometimes authors get this idea in their head that there's certain catchphrases that need to be used. Borrowing from adult romance is not the way to go.
Enough with the self-reflection. Lana's long letter of explanation to Ash sounded like badly reused "after school special" (yes, I know, most people under the age of late 20's/early 30's probably have no clue what I'm talking about). She rambled on about how miserable her life was and how she couldn't trust people, etc. It bordered on cheesy and melodramatic. And I'm guessing most people don't know how to figure themselves out that well on their own. She might as well have been self-diagnosing her problems. I see a future in psychiatry.
My last complaint is that I think Beau finally went off the deep end. He was threatening Sawyer that if he so much as RAISED HIS VOICE (try not ever doing this, it's harder than you think), he was going to have to deal with Beau's wrath. Does the following phrase warrant Beau getting riled up? Keep in mind that Sawyer is concerned that his girl has gone missing, so he's a little panicked to begin with.
"Did you try calling her? Have you called her mom?" I asked Ashton while trying her number again. "Don't raise your voice at her. I know you're upset but remember my warning."
Talk about trigger happy. Any little thing was going to set Beau off. He took his borderline behavior from the last book and continued it, even though Sawyer wasn't a threat anymore. Way to kill off some of my admiration for you, Beau.
It's too bad that these fun stories get interjected with sketchy behavior, bad stereotypes, and repeated plot/character devices. I enjoyed the read but little things kept bugging me here and there. The main thing I'd wish for future books from this author would be to see less focus on what people think is "supposed" to be in a romance book. Instead, I'd rather see a choice made to focus on realism over generic romanticism.
2.5 stars. This is the second time in less than 24 hours where I'm going to have to use the terms quiet and anti-climactic in a review. There's no dou...more2.5 stars. This is the second time in less than 24 hours where I'm going to have to use the terms quiet and anti-climactic in a review. There's no doubt that I should consider digging deep into my mental thesaurus to come up with different terms but I'm going to reserve the effort for a book I'd rather gush about.
Even though this was a much easier read than Lies of Locke Lamora, I don't think I can award bonus points for being able to get through the book quickly. The style of writing was not too complex, yet it lacked depth of emotion. If anything, the mood was somber in a way which felt heavy instead of contemplative. It was as if I wanted to hurry through the book just so I could get the monkey off my back.
Last Will started out almost memoir-like in spirit, if you want to liken this to a memoir from people who you don't really know anything about, which leaves you wondering why you picked up the memoir in the first place. As the dual PoV's started to refine themselves, the narrative turned into an internal monologue of observations. The writing style was very matter-of-fact. Imagine a ping pong match where the moves only alter slightly with each stroke of the paddle.
Some observations were dry and amusing.
That practicality aside, however, breasts are an attractant, examples of the incredible marketing genius of biology. Imagine a toothbrush so alluring it made you want to brush your teeth. You couldn't stop thinking about brushing your teeth. It ate up whole hours of idle thought. That would be quite a toothbrush.
"Two skinny people in bed are dangerous and sad, like lawn chairs having sex."
Some observations were beautifully written.
There were a couple of scenes I would have loved to include in this review had they not been so long. I can't believe I was moved by a passage of Bernie waxing poetic about Meda's stretch-marked breasts. This author should think about switching to another type of storytelling, something that would showcase the power of words.
Meda's fingertips traveled to the scar on her mouth. She didn't say a word. She didn't say, it's the man who cut up my face, who scarred me. She didn't say, it's the man who raped me. She didn't even say his name. It was an omission that spoke volumes to me.
(she was) terrifying, but in the lovely, rollicking way that a snake is terrifying. Fast, poisonous, slithering in the grass, but brilliantly designed. All sharp fangs, plated scales, and sinuous coiled muscle. Even if you're afraid of snakes, once you see their practical beauty, all the things you think you know fall away.
This was a story about two broken people finding their path to...
Recovery? Redemption? A place that worked for them? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. By the time these two figured out what they were doing, I didn't care anymore. Yes, there were bigger issues at work here. Both of these characters had seriously messed up pasts, but their continued emotional detachment from the past really screwed with my head. It killed me that Bernie's lovemaking was described as quiet and uninteresting. Uh...yay for the man who has performance anxiety?
One could argue that the story was moving, the journey was touching, and the ending was what it should be. To be honest, I was hoping the term "last will" was going to make for a nice twist on the ending but it didn't.
I can't say that the book was bad because it wasn't. I'm guessing that in a few months there will be several glowing reviews from people who understood and embraced what this author was trying to do. I won't even be able to disagree with them in that aspect because there is definitely a niche for Last Will. There are readers who will appreciate the complexity of this book much more than I did. The writing style was a distant reminder of Me Before You, except I felt like MBY was executed in a way which kept me wanting to know what was happening to the couple on their journey (and it moved me enough to cry).
So take what I've written with a grain of salt. Check out some other reviews. This might be more your thing than it was mine.
2.5 stars. I swear, I am not pulling one of those out-of-touch fan moments like when a person would want to know why The Casual Vacancy didn't read li...more 2.5 stars. I swear, I am not pulling one of those out-of-touch fan moments like when a person would want to know why The Casual Vacancy didn't read like Harry Potter part deux. I swear it. If there's one thing I've always admired about Richelle Mead, it's that she doesn't sit on her success and write the same formulaic characters and worlds over and over like so many other popular authors today tend to do when they find something that works for them. It's admirable to see any author pushing themselves in order to make sure that their "new" series doesn't read just like their "old" series.
That said, I'm going to give fair warning : if you are expecting a book which will read similar to any previous Mead series, you will be in for a rude awakening. It was easy to pick out some Mead-isms because I knew what to look for, but if I hadn't known ahead of time that I was reading a RM book, I never would have guessed. The writing style and world building was completely alien from anything I've read of hers in the past.
Positive to this new style : It's more polished. The info dumps are spread out (possibly even sparse in a couple of areas). You can see more of a confidence in writing this time around and less shakiness as the ideas are sketched out.
Negative to this new style : It's very sterile. There was a big disconnect when it came to emotion. I honestly don't think it's the switch to third person perspective either. There's definitely something about this world which screams impersonal from the start.
However...Richelle Mead did not lose me as a fan here, even though I wasn't completely sold on this particular book. Her title of my favorite author is still secure. I have faith that she will take me someplace good, even though I'm not sure where we're headed right now. If anyone is a master at building a good story arc, it's this woman.
My biggest issue with Gameboard of the Gods was that it focused more on government, military, power plays, information finding, etc. which is pretty much everything I don't like to read about in books. My complaints are similar to how I felt while reading Mind Fuck. I want more of the alternate genre goodness, not the tedious politics and protocol. I desired that more of the sci-fi and fantasy sides of the story would shine through. We didn't hear much about the gods and true/false worship of the gods until past the halfway point of the book. The "crows" that were with Justin (the male lead) were not explained fully until after the halfway point as well.
I was sooooooooooo damn confused about these two voices speaking to Justin in his head. It bugged me and BUGGED ME that this character was having a conversation with two other beings and I didn't know what was really going on until late in the game because the earliest explanation was so shoddy!
Mae (the female lead) comes across as cold from the start, so it was hard to warm up to her. I think I sort of get her now after seeing some of her back story.
Funny enough, my favorite character was Justin's younger protege. She was a cute kid and I loved every scene she was in.
I don't know...there was so much about this book which felt like a chore to read and it PAINS me to have to give the super-talented Ms. Mead a rating this low because I've never done it before, and that's after having read around 20 works of hers up to this point. But I won't coddle an author just because I've loved everything they've written in the past.
While I wait to find out if book 2 is going to be pass or fail, I'll just go back to my faith in Mead's ability to pull off a sensational story arc that grows better with each book. Given the way Gameboard ended, I'm not giving up hope that the series will become sensational in time. I'm definitely going to stick around and give the series another chance before throwing in the towel.
Even though I'm going to tell all Richelle Mead virgins to try a different series instead of this one if they're new to the author (unless you're into edgier sci-fi and corporate/military games, then this might actually be the right jumping off point for you), I'm *still waving the fangirl banner unashamedly*
This book provided from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.(less)