This book was originally reviewed with my fellow blog-mate, Celeste, on The Book Hookup!
Celeste & Amy: 3.5 stars! We love this se...moreThis book was originally reviewed with my fellow blog-mate, Celeste, on The Book Hookup!
Celeste & Amy: 3.5 stars! We love this series and this installment about Jimmy and Jenna made our hearts so happy and full.
Plot, Pacing, and Style..
Celeste & Amy: We fell in love these characters back with book 1, so we were so glad to finally meet JD, or Jimmy it turns out. He finally finds a woman who makes him realize there’s more to life than being a part of the band 4225 West and having gorgeous girls fawn all over him. However, while the love that he found with Jenna was so intense and deep, it wasn’t as easy as it first seemed. This all made us love seeing the journey these two took to find their forever. This story was told in alternating POVs and took place in less than a year, which made the pacing just right because we both read this very quickly.
Celeste & Amy: As with the two books before this, we seriously fell in love with both the female and male MCs. We wanted to be Jenna, and we wanted Jimmy to love us all night long. Both Jenna and Jimmy have baggage, serious baggage, but the love they feel for each other seems so pure, and they never do anything to taint it and we loved them for it. No games, no back and forth, just love and opening up to each other. Yes, they held back a little on the truth, but there never were any games.
Celeste & Amy: So very hot, and while it seemed like their love came out of nowhere, we’re telling you, we felt this and it was real. Ms. McLaughlin has a gift and can write a romance that tugs at your heart and makes you fall in love right along side of the MCs. We also have to touch on one more topic: the filthy mouth of Mr. Davis. Whoa. Mama. Likey. We are totally dirty and would have liked more, but then we discussed and realized that less is more so really, we can’t be greedy because then it would have been over the top. It was truly just right (and so hot!!!).
Celeste & Amy: Hello, perfection. Win and win. Both were so spot on and let’s be real people, that cover is so freaking hot!
Celeste & Amy: Oh Heidi, we love you. Thank you. You got us pretty teary eyed at one point, and we knew that we’d get our HEA, but getting there was definitely not just handed to these two. It was worth the wait.
Celeste & Amy: We don’t really have any huge issues as we loved this story. However, we always feel like this section rounds it all out and makes our flails more believable so here you go…we guess we don’t know if the dad needed to be such a jerk, and maybe he could have held back a little bit and just been seriously flawed. We also wish the subject of domestic abuse and stalking was taken more seriously. We were kind of surprised Jenna wasn’t losing more sleep over it. We saw it all coming, but it was like she was in denial a little bit. But then maybe she was worried but just didn’t share it with us, the readers.
Final Thoughts/Rec it?
Celeste & Amy: Oh yes yes yes yes yes. We love this series and this book fell right into place. If you love romance, heartache, and rock and roll with smexy tatted guys who have huge hearts you want this on your TBR!(less)
Actual rating of 4.5 stars! WOW. Alright.. I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately.. Everything I've picked up just all seems t...more Initial Thoughts..
Actual rating of 4.5 stars! WOW. Alright.. I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately.. Everything I've picked up just all seems to blend together.. same plot, same drama, every dude's a bad boy now.. Blah. And then I started Broken and Screwed.. SLUMP. OVER! Holy friggin' bookmarks this was an awesome, AWESOME story!
The Pace, The Plot and The Writing..
I finished this book off in about 4 hours one night because I HAD to find out what happened! Couldn't put it down.. Oh yeah. It was that good!
There was certain darkness to this story that was oddly refreshing if that makes any sense at all.. The plot is pretty straightforward and predictable (until the end.. OMG!), yet it's interwoven with all of these complexities, intense feelings, and unfortunate circumstances that gives this story a uniqueness all it's own. The pacing was seriously perfect. Everything happened at just the right time and had me an anxious, swooning, heart-clenching mess throughout the entire book. Hold onto your emotions because you're in for a ride with this series!
The Characters and Relationships..
Jesse Hunt is one bad dude. Finally.. Halleluiah! He's the kind of character whose actions and behavior makes you literally want to cringe, scream, cry and attack him sexy style all at the same time. He's a damaged, insensitive asshole that takes what he needs, when he needs it then he'll bust your pride, self esteem and hope into a million pieces and walk away. That's just who he is. But there's one girl he can't completely walk away from and that girl happens to be his dead best friend's younger sister..
Alex is quite simply broken. There were times in this book when I had a hard time reading through all the heartbreak in this poor girls life. After her brother Ethan died, she lost herself.. and the person she was. Her parents, the only family she had left, abandoned her, the only child they had left, as they struggled to live in a world without their son. Jesse was Ethan's best friend, and Alex loved him from the very beginning. He was the only one that could ever dull the pain.. even if it was temporary.
Now, the romance between these two is far from romantic.. Actually, as you first begin the story, I wouldn't even refer to it as romance at all. I'm fairly certain you'll have a similar reaction to my own over Jesse's awfulness towards Alex and Alex's' weakness for taking it, which may or may not have included a time out or two and a whole lotta f-bombs and other choice words.. Their relationship, even when it was just as friends, is complex, confusing and constantly surrounded by darkness. But, there is also something curiously palpable too.. something different you can feel between the characters that makes you ignore all the bad stuff. The connection between Jesse and Alex is indescribable (in both good and bad ways) and their chemistry is emotionally and physically explosive. And because of the complicated nature of story, the intimate scenes have an even bigger impact than they normally would.
As for the other characters, some I loved, some I didn't. There were so many secondary characters to keep track of.. it was confusing and a little bit overwhelming, which was why I had to knock my rating for this book down 1/2 a star. I just felt like the same kind of effectiveness within the storyline could of been had with a few less people involved. I'm sure the author has her reasonings, but that's just my opinion..
The ending.. AKA a cliffhanger of epic portions, nearly killed me! So many unanswered questions.. It was brutal! Thankfully, Broken and Screwed #2 was already loaded and ready to go on my Kindle or I would of stroked out cried. But that aside, I'm truly so impressed with the authors writing and the way she constructed this beautifully dark story. It was a totally addictive, completely captivating and overall fantastic read, and I'm really looking forward to checking out all of her other series!
Oh, and p.s., Tijan, if I'm lucky enough for you to see this review.. Could you please, please, PLEASE give us a chapter/scene/paragraph/whole book from Jesse's point of view? OMG PLEASE! I need it! Loved your book! PLEASE! ♥(less)
First Thoughts: Celeste: 5 Stars Dark. Gritty. Intense. Raw. HOT. Loved it. *flails wildly*
Amy: 5 Stars! Could. Not. Put. It. Down. This series is fantastic! *flails with Celeste*
Jag: Oh ya baby! 5++++ stars. Page turning, intense, SEXY SEXY, did I mention SEXY, emotional roller coaster *grabs Celeste and Amy and group flails*
Plot, Setting, Pacing and Style: Celeste: This story picks up nearly where Promise Me Darkness left off, and it took about 1 page for my heart to start pounding. The war changed everything so dramatically, and the outcome looked so dire. Ryder has gone off to help look for Maddie’s best friend, Eva, but the wait for him to return is nearly unbearable. I knew there had to be a HEA, but man oh man, getting there was a serious nail biter and I was sweating bullets. Sometimes the setting in a story is fairly irrelevant, but here, I could picture the entire thing. The war has created a sense of desperation, and people were sent back to times like the great depression. I could feel the coldness in my bones, the dirt on their clothes, their hunger….Ms. Weaver made me feel like I lived in the Delaney house right along with them. The pacing was spot on. I had to restrain myself from reading faster to find out what would happen next. When Maddie was waiting for the return of the men, I am pretty sure I felt the weeks that went by just as she did. Waiting for a fever to break….yep, those days felt like years to me as well and I didn’t know which way it was going to go. It was told from Maddie’s POV (except for one part :) ) and I could feel her pain and hopelessness…it was heartbreaking, yet I loved being in her head.
Amy: One of the reasons I love this series so much is because of the consistency that flows constantly and seamlessly within the entire storyline and also in the authors writing as well. In sequels, I’ve noticed a lot lately that the tone of the story noticeably shifts away from the first book, thus having a different impact on readers, rather than having that ability to catapult us right back into the same feel and excitement the first installment provided.. I’m stoked to say that Promise Me Light is every bit as full of the same awesomeness that Promise Me Darkness had! I am so very impressed with the vividness, boldness and creativity behind Paige’s words and just how well her writing translates to readers. It’s an awesome thing really. The plot is perfectly constructed and unpredictable in my opinion (which I loved), and the pace was fast, exciting and totally engaging. This book is packed with action, drama, sadness and struggles, and topped off with a knock-your-socks-off heaping dose of smokin’ hot romance.. doesn’t get much better than this!
Jag: I can’t lie, I was sooo nervous for this book. Sequels so rarely live up to the hype of the first book but this book absolutely blew my expectations out.of.the.water. The world and characters that Paige Weaver so vividly manages to create in Promise Me Darkness are that much better in Promise Me Light. I love how she is able to maintain the integrity of the characters in this book while keeping the intensity and emotional angst I loved so much in the first book. Promise Me Lightness sucked me in from page one, had me biting my nails, reaching for my tissue, swooning over Ryder and clutching my chest. The pacing was perfect, the story was never predictable and damn if I don’t absolutely adore all of these characters. I felt like I was back on my favourite emotional roller coaster with some old friends. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, this would make a great HBO series, can someone make this happen lol :)
The Characters: Celeste: To say that Maddie and Ryder have an intense love and need for each other is an understatement. They can’t exist without the other, and will do anything and go anywhere to make sure the other is happy and safe. Maddie finally knew she could not live without Ryder, but Ryder still didn’t feel that he deserved Maddie. I loved watching them learn that they just had to be together. Gavin, Cash, Brody and Eva were fantastic secondary characters, and I really mean it. I love them so much that I wish Paige would write a book about each one of them. They all have some serious demons, and I want to know what they are!
Amy: It’s a pretty awesome thing when you’re reading a book and you’re just as obsessed with the secondary characters as you are the main ones, and that’s how I felt with this cast of characters. I will say though, whenever Ryder or Gavin for that matter, stepped into a scene, my heart raced a little faster, because they’re both friggin’ hot and I love them and want BOTH. OF. THEM. BAAAAAAAD. but I loved everyone in this book.. Eva, Cash, Brody and Maddie.. They all had such specific importance and held their own in the storyline.. it’s pure greatness I tell ya!
Jag: Needless to say I’m all about Maddie and Ryder but there were two standout characters for me in this book. First, I really loved Gavin and I was surprised to see where his story went here (no spoilers for you peeps) I didn’t see that coming. I really need to get a little more Gavin going forward. Second was Cash. Dayum I am intrigued by Cash, so much so that I plan on blowing up Paige’s twitter for a Cash book. Cash seems so mysterious to me, quiet, watchful, protective…there’s a story there and I want to find out what it is.
Romance /Chemistry: Celeste: *smokes cigarette* oh, wait, what I am supposed to be discussing? That’s right, the sex chemistry. Yes, it is THAT HOT. Naughty, naughty, naughty Ryder and mama loved it. He certainly took control a lot more than I remembered and it was craaaaaazy delicious. What do I mean? Let’s just say he was pretty dominant and it was FREAKING SEXY AND HE HAD ME ON FIRE AND I WISH HE WERE REAL SO I COULD RUB HIS BEARD AND ALL OVER HIS ABS. Yep, prepare yourself, ladies.
Amy: Ryder, Ryder, Ryder.. For the love of all that is holy.. He can boss me around ANY DAY! No really, I’m serious. Ryder and all of his dominant goodness was epically hot. Maddie brings out the beast in her man without even trying and their chemistry literally explodes all over the pages. *fans self and steals Celeste’s cigarette* And not only that, but there’s also the more tender, intimate moments that they share as well and they’ll melt your heart, I swear it.
Jag: *fans self* What can I say about Maddie and Ryder…they are a sexy hot mess and the chemistry is beyond intense. Maddie’s known forever that she’s loved Ryder but always felt that she wasn’t what Ryder wanted. And Ryder, has always loved Maddie but never felt deserving of her. Their relationship is explosive, filled with the push and pull of two people who are destined to be together but just need to get out of their own way. Ryder in this book was all alpha male and that sh*t is hot, yep true it’s HOTT! On a serious note, Paige does an amazing job balancing the sexy hotness with the emotional intimacy and the result is heart pounding, stomach fluttering, swoons that you feel all the way to your toes.
Title/Cover: Celeste: The title is beyond perfect on so many levels…..read it and you will agree! The cover is pretty hot! I probably picture Ryder a little bit scruffier and dirtier, but hey, hot is hot!! I also love the blue as opposed to the red in Promise Me Darkness. This is one gorgeous set of books.
Amy: The cover is indeed gorgeous and the title’s perfect.. But if I’m being completely honest, I wish Ryder would of been portrayed in a darker, more rough and rugged way.. just because that’s how I envision him in my head.
Jag: Look at it people, LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s sexy and gritty and dark, just like Ryder, just like the book. I have to agree with Amy though, my Ryder was darker looking, darker hair, but I can still get on board with this Ryder ;) .
Ending: Celeste: It can’t be over. It can’t. Yes, the epilogue gave me so much closure, so much light, but I STILL WANT MORE MORE MORE.
Amy: That epilogue? I died all over myself. The ending rounded the story off so well. I don’t want it to be over though!
Jag: *sobs* I read it too fast. I READ IT WAY TOO FAST! All I can say is the ending was the perfect closure for Ryder and Maddie, but I need more of these characters. I need to find out about Cash and Gavin and Brody and Eva, there are so many stories still left there.
Gripes/suggestions/things that irked: Celeste: My biggest “gripe” is actually the flaws in a character, but understand this is not a gripe with the story telling. So no, it doesn’t change the fact that this story is a 5 star for me. Here it is: I wish Maddie had been a little less headstrong and had a stronger maternal instinct. I connected with her where her love for Ryder was concerned (no issues there lol), but her maternal instinct was kind of lacking; she seemed to love Ryder more than her baby. I guess I was disappointed in her for that. When she insisted to go with the men into town to look for Ryder, I cringed because it was pure foolishness. My other smaller issue (which can easily be fixed, Paige!): I felt a little “hungry” at the end regarding the other characters and would love to know how their lives played out…what’s my suggestion for this?—–> more books. ;)
Amy: My only gripe, and it’s really not even an actual gripe, more like a plead for more.. is being teased with all these awesome secondary characters and not knowing how their individual stories end! I MUST know what happens to everyone. Please Paige! Pleeeeaaassseee write more books!
Jag: I have to agree with both Celeste and Amy. At times I wanted to smack Maddie in the head for some of her choices and decisions, but it’s who she is and it’s how she is. And like Amy said….Please Paige! Pleeeeaaassseee write more books! AND talk to HBO!
Final Thoughts/Rec It? Celeste: YES. Read this and then reread it. I am still stuck with a book hangover that doesn’t seem to have a cure. Maybe we can convince Paige to write stories about Gavin, Cash, Brody and Eva (please).
Amy: OMG YES! Highly, highly recommend this series!
Jag: YES YES a thousand Ryders YES! I loved this series and can’t wait to revisit it on audio book again as soon as it comes out. #TEAMCash(less)
I originally reviewed this title with my blog mate, Celeste, on The Book Hookup!
Aww man am I in LOVE with this story! Rachel Van Dyken, where have you...moreI originally reviewed this title with my blog mate, Celeste, on The Book Hookup!
Aww man am I in LOVE with this story! Rachel Van Dyken, where have you and your books been all my life?! I’m actually still in a bit of shock and awe after finishing Ruin.. Yes. It was THAT good!
So. Many. Emotions! Ruin is a whirlwind rush of love, loss, the challenges of acceptance and promise of new beginnings. The pacing of the story was pretty much perfect and the believability factor was nearly spot on as well. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone so I’ll just simply say as someone with an extensive medical background, that Rachel did an incredible job writing specific details and scenes throughout the book and also did so in such a way that gave us that basic understanding but also tied in the seriousness of situation while still portraying a possible realistic circumstance for the most part. Now I know you’re probably all like whaa? but you have to read the story and you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.. I was very impressed with how the story was told and the way everything unfolded. And as always, I really loved the alternating POV’s.. as readers, we’re given so much more insight into the exact feelings and tone being expressed and this is very, very well done in Ruin.
The characters totally made this story the awesomeness that it is. Kiersten won me over within the first couple of pages. I’m typically not a fan of overly sweet and sensitive heroines, but in this case, her vulnerability and innocence was intriguing and complimented the story, and Wes’s character, so dang well! Kiersten’s past is full of grief and sadness and the effects of the events that changed her life forever, also caused her to completely withdrawal from experiencing life.. until she met him..
Now insert Wes Michals.. This all-star quarterback with abs of steel and a swoonworthy wolfish grin, burst onto the scene with an instant, undeniable attraction for Kiersten. Honestly, his presence in the beginning of the story unsettled me a bit. Given his playboy reputation, I almost (and this is so weird for me because I’m normally all about the bad boys.. ALL ABOUT them) wanted Kiersten to run far, far away! But, he’s different with her. She’s special and he slowly realizes that he wants to give her all that she deserves. As the story progressed, we learn so much about Wes, his feelings and his uncertain future and I fell head over heels in love with him right alongside of Kiersten. What a man! Seriously. Rawr!
And not only did we get 2 fantastically written characters in Wes and Kiersten, but we also got some perfectly written secondary characters as well. I really hope Gabe gets to tell his story, because man was he epic.. *fingers crossed*
Ruin is a unique and unexpected story filled with a great balance of powerful characters, emotions and life experiences. I loved this book and highly recommend it!(less)
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars! This book screams rock and roll!
The Pace, The Plot and The Writing..
Unfortunately, I had some issues with the pacing of the overall story. While I LOVED the edgy and unique environment that was created for this book, I just felt like things seriously stalled in certain places and unrealistically fast-forwarded in others. I’ve read a lot of stories influenced by or centered around music and I can honestly say that The Devil’s Tattoo is one of the first books where I could actually place myself within the scenes of a gig.. The author does a great job lacing her words with authenticity and vividness when it comes to the whole experience behind a concert. When both Will and Zoe were up on stage performing or even when they simply hung out in the venues after their shows, I was so curiously drawn in by their actions and behaviors as popular musicians. I will say though, the music vibe started off strong in the beginning of the story and flowed steadily through the middle, but seemed to fade off as Will and Zoe’s romance hit its high notes and I wish it would of remained constant throughout the entire book. However, I did love cover of this book, the title, the band names, and the bonds and friendships between the band mates. There’s definitely heaps of potential with this series..
Zoe Granger is a damaged woman that allowed the demons of her painful past to heavily influence the person that she is today.. Aside from her best friend and the guys from her band, she doesn’t have the energy for relationships but isn’t interested in one night stands either. Zoe’s character is complex and hard to relate to at times, she’s very intense and personally, I felt she came off pretty cold at times (even though I know she wasn’t..) but was still frustratingly intriguing all at the same time. She throws herself into this sort of rockstar goddess persona on stage, but when she steps away from the microphone, she reverts back into a socially awkward, closed off shell of the girl she used to be. Zoe uses music to escape her reality and eventually becomes the lead of The Devil’s Tattoo, unknowingly memorizing her fans, her band mates and most importantly, Will Strictland..
Will, Will, Will… There’s something immediately captivating about his character.. As one of the guys from the band, The Stabs, he carries around this reputation that has labeled him as bit of a ladies man (aka manwhore), something he may have been at one time but isn’t anymore. Especially after he lays eyes on the wildly beautiful Zoe Granger..
The romance between these two is complicated, confusing and for the most part, swoonworthy. What was frustrating as a reader, was the length of time it took for the pair to finally come to their senses and hookup already. There was heated, instantaneous attraction right from the very beginning, and while I understand why the progression of their relationship was hindered, I felt like some of the events and reactions of the characters were unnecessary and misplaced. It made for choppy translation in my opinion. I think if the importance of Zoe’s brokenness had been introduced earlier on in the story, it may have allowed me to better relate to her and her reasonings. It was those misunderstandings that disrupted the flow and made things a little too confusing for my taste. But, that aside, the chemistry is still undeniable and palpable!
I live for books that incorporate music into its storyline. It’s a difficult topic to write about too because there’s readers like me that are pretty demanding about capturing that “realness” of dark venues, loud music, passionate musicians with an all-consuming romance on top of it! Yes, there were some things that fell short for me when it comes to this book, but as I mentioned earlier, there’s quite a bit of potential as well. I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here!(less)