Due to explicit sexual content, not recommended for readers under the age of 17.
Jay Crownover is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors with her...moreDue to explicit sexual content, not recommended for readers under the age of 17.
Jay Crownover is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors with her sexy, action-packed, tattoo parlor filled with all sorts of broken playboys. Rome, brother to Rule and retired soldier in the Army, isn't in the tattoo business, but spent many years of his life protecting others: Rule & Remy, Shaw, and an entire country's freedoms. He's had a difficult time forgiving himself for not protecting Remy from a terrible car accident that claimed his life, even though Rome was away fighting a war.
When Rome returns home after his tour, he finds himself having trouble fitting in. Everyone has moved on with their lives. Rule has straightened his life out and has taken over the role of protecting Shaw, he's furious with his parents because of a secret they kept from him and Rule, and those nightmares that keep haunting his sleep leave him tired, cranky, and lost. Lucky for him, there's a girl who can handle all of him. The good, bad, and the ugly. Now he only needs to trust her.
Cora continues to be one of my favorite characters in this series. She's all girl with a side of kick ass, and this little pixie with her different colored eyes are just what Rome needs to put a smile back on his face. People should really stop doubting Cora's ability to take care of herself. The girl has some moves!
I'm going to admit to crying more than once during this novel. Jay ratcheted up the action three-fold, threw in several twists I never saw coming, and made me fall in love with this extended family more than I already had. I especially enjoyed learning more about Remy, although the amount of tears shed will never be divulged. I will admit to not being a big fan of an all too common trope being used entirely too often lately, but Jay found a unique way to make it work.
I highly recommend the Marked Men series to anyone looking for a few bad boys slowly finding their ways to the women they love. Rome's book is slightly more intense than Rule or Jet, but so very good.(less)
Man, I had to scroll up and hide those enigmas on the cover so I could concentrate on my review and ignore the three brutally handsome men's lips smir...moreMan, I had to scroll up and hide those enigmas on the cover so I could concentrate on my review and ignore the three brutally handsome men's lips smirking at me. Talk about sidetracked. Wowza!
I think I bought into the hype a little too much on this one, not to say it wasn't cute and funny and an all together good read, I just expected so much more from a story of three men and one woman sharing an apartment. I waited for hijinks to ensue, the boys bringing girls home at all hours of the night, heck, even all three of them fighting for her attention, but none of that happened. Not once, and it made me sad.
What did not make me sad is the actual interaction I experiences through multiple characters in the book.
Pandora decides to take a gander at a loft apartment she found advertised in a grocery store, hoping to find somewhere she can study and sleep without the oohs and aahs of sex creeping into every second of her day. Her newly married roommates haven't moved past the honeymoon stage yet, and she's going insane. And seeing her best friend's penis when she wanted a drink late one night gave her the creeps. She needed a new place to live, but being a broke college student didn't leave her with many options, so she chanced the before mentioned apartment.
Once introduced to the three yummy men, they wanted her as their roommate, no one else, so they resorted to bribery and just a little bit of blackmail. By the time she finished talking with Drew, she realized he'd offered Kevin and Julie, her best friends, an apartment in another part of the building and they'd accepted, so she literally had nowhere to live, except with three exceptionally hot men. How her life must suck!
Throughout the book, we catch a glimpse of which of the guys might be interested in her, and honestly, if you look at all the clues, you'll figure it out far before she does.
I'm going to interject something here... I'm getting a little tired of every girl in every book I read thinking she's nothing special. Come on guys, let's write about some girls who have some self-esteem. It's perfectly okay to think you're pretty, actually, it's healthy, because when Dora decides to tell her roommates they only want to hang with her because they've taken her on as a charity case, I wanted to scream. And to have to hear another friend say "you really don't see yourself, do you?" sends me running in another direction.
These are three famous models. They wouldn't hang out with you if they didn't want to. Pandora wasn't their kid sister, or even kid sister's best friend.
(view spoiler)[SPOILER - HIGHLIGHT THE TEXT IF YOU WANT TO READ THE SPOILER
Once Pandora finds out who her admirer is, it's off for some fun in the sun, but not before some unprotected sex in the bed. This is becoming a trope I'm tired of reading about. Maybe it hits too close to home, I don't know. But getting pregnant out of wedlock was not as fun as these authors make it seem. The guy rarely says "Oh Happy Day" and does the Snoopy dance even when they've been dating for years, much less a couple of months, and the girl, well, I, personally, was a complete mess.
Outside of what I revealed in the spoiler sections, there were definitely some twists and turns I never saw coming, and yes, my eyes teared up once or twice. There was a lot of "tell" and not enough "show" in Lucky Number Four. And while I know what happened to two of the three guys, I'm left wondering about one. He seems to have just disappeared somewhere near the end.
Would I recommend this book to a friend? Absolutely, after a warning that the hype around it has been built up, and if you're looking for a steamy, sexy read, this might not be it. If you're looking for something fun and entertaining... go for it!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Hmmm, so all I needed was a deep immersion into one of my favorite series to brighten my week. There will be people, especially after The Iron Traitor...moreHmmm, so all I needed was a deep immersion into one of my favorite series to brighten my week. There will be people, especially after The Iron Traitor, who will disagree with me on so many levels I may lose friends, but Keirran may be even hotter than his father, and how I do love me some Ash. But... Keirran is broken in ways Ash never was, so...
One of my favorite things about Fey is the way they can be adapted, sculpted, and completely reinvented by an author to do anything, be anything, AND then be interpreted by the reader to look or sound or, again, be anything. What I love about Julie Kagawa's IRON FEY SERIES is the way she can shift between writing terrifying, monstrous creatures who cause my insides to quiver, then write a breathtakingly heartwarming, and surprisingly human scene the very next paragraph, and everything coheres.
Let's take Keirran as an example. While The Iron Traitor is told from Ethan's POV, I think we can all agree, the CALL OF THE FALLEN is a story about both Ethan and his nephew, Keirran. One human, and one Fey. Throughout the novel, Keirran shifts back and forth between cold, and sometimes sinister, to warm and sorrowful. Granted, Keirran is only half-Fey, he's been raised in the Nevernever, Mag Tuiredh, to be exact. He's born of a Winter Prince (Ash) and half Summer Fey Princess/half human turned Iron Queen (Meghan). A boy who possesses the blood of Winter, Summer, Iron, and human... talk about confusing! And all he really wants, is to save his love Annwyl from Fading. You might think with his extensive bloodline he'd have plenty of family and friends to support him, but you would be mistaken. Aside from his parents, he has a few Iron gadgets, Razor, and Ethan. Fey politics aside, the prophecies revolving around both he and Ethan are enough to keep most Fey far away.
The journey to stop Annwyl from Fading is plagued with trouble from the beginning. Keirran is determined to pay whatever price he must to keep his love alive. Her disappearing from existence is not an option, and how often do teenagers, even those not of this world, make well-formed and sound choices when pushed into a corner? (PLEASE, leave me a comment if you know one. I now have 2 and I'm not sure either of them will ever complete this task when not backed against a wall.) Lucky for Keirran, he has a trusty uncle who will fight with him until the end. Too bad they're both seventeenish.
Ethan, my dear sweet, naive Ethan. When will you learn? So, yeah, Ethan hears his nephew is missing. Meghan and Ash are searching both sides of the Veil for him, and finding nothing. The winds whisper where he's been, but by the time someone can catch him, he disappears again. Ethan gets pulled into the chase when Annwyl shows up begging for his help. Meghan also took time away as the Iron Queen to make a quick house call, hoping Ethan would have heard from Keirran. No such luck. And, well, if Ethan's going, then Kenzie's going too.
Anyone see how this could go wrong?
Did I mention Puck? Yep, you'll see him too. Guess what... they're off to see Titania to ask her to reinstate Annwyl into the Summer Court so her Fade will stop. Titania despises Keirran almost as much as she hates humans and Puck.
Even to obtain Queen Titania's consideration, the two humans and Keirran will be given an almost impossible task. A task they should probably think through, consult a few bazillion people, and then just not do, but as lovesick teenagers, they run straight ahead. It's entirely possible that Keirran doesn't have all the facts associated with Annwyl's exile either. However, I'm going to go on and say... Puck could have hindered them some. Seriously.
Now, the title of this book is ominous in itself. The Iron Traitor? I'm sure you picked up on that, so I'll leave you with that thought, and also a couple of my favorite passages from this book.
"That's quite an offer," he said, lowering his arm. "But I think you're forgetting something."
"Oh? And what is that, boy?"
Keirran dropped to one knee, driving his fist into the wooden floor. There was a blinding flash of blue-white, and I fliched, turning away, as roars and screams erupted around us. But a second later, they cut out as if someone had flipped a switch. My skin burned with cold, and I opened my eyes with a gasp...
"I don't sell out my family." - page 164
"This was different," I told her. "I wasn't forced to do anything. This was a choice."
"Yes, it was," Kenzie agreed solemnly. "You chose to help a friend. You chose to go along with this request because it was the only way to save his life. To save both their lives." - page 316
And the reason I will insist on reading Faery Tales to my children, and their children:
"But now—" the Lady made a hopeless, weary gesture "—we are all but gone from their minds. Our stories have been sanitized and made into children's tales. The Nevernever still exists on the dreams and fears of mortals, but even it grows smaller with each passing year. For those cut off from the dreamworld, we cannot help but Fade into nothing." - page 339
*While I was fortunate enough to receive an e-ARC from HarlequinTeen via NetGalley, this review is of the finished copy which was purchased by me from Barnes & Noble. All quotes are from finished product.(less)
How about that cover? YUMMY, right? I definitely thought so; however, the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" can go both ways. I'm always lookin...moreHow about that cover? YUMMY, right? I definitely thought so; however, the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" can go both ways. I'm always looking for a new series centering around a bad boy Rock God and a woman worthy of his unfettered attention. When I found this one on Amazon along with an average rating of 4 stars, I thought I'd found my next obsession. I never like saying I'm wrong, but on occasion, it's a must. And Music of the Heart just wasn't for me. At all.
Sure Jake Slater started out the book being all sexy with all his flirtations and his alpha male ego. His manipulating of Abby to stay on their bus for a week instead of running to her brothers' band where she was supposed to be provided a ton of potential.
Abby was supposed to spend a week touring with her brothers' band, Jacob's Latter - a Christian rock band, so she could decide whether or not she wanted to live her life in the limelight. Instead, she accidentally finds herself on Runaway Train's bus, in Jake Slater's bed to be exact. Jake is the womanizing lead singer of this hard rock band, and Abby landing in his bed would be the beginning of his metamorphosis into an upstanding one-woman man. And now the problems begin.
My first and, by far, largest complaint was the feeling of being preached to. I get Abby grew up in a conservative Christian household, but she spent the first half of the novel preaching to this group of bad boys about how they should treat a woman. How they should act like gentleman, not make sexual innuendos, etc. Essentially her goal was to change these men, make them into something they weren't. And not just Jake, but Rhys and AJ also. Brayden was married and loved his wife and children very much so, in Abby's eyes, he didn't need to change.
Now, I understand the idea of these books is to take a womanizing rock star and win his loyalty, but it's been my experience that most of these women want the guy for who he is. They have no desire to change his personality, only his promiscuous ways. And any woman in her right mind KNOWS better than to try to change a man.
Secondly, nothing about Jake and Abby's relationship was believable. She forgave every mistake, small or large, the minute he said "I'm sorry." Sure, some slip-ups can be forgiven that easily, but bringing another girl on the bus to purposefully hurt someone you love, no. Running after having a heated make out session with the love of your life. No. Ranting at said girl, telling her the only reason she loves you is because you are Jake Fucking Slater and kicking her out of your house when she's there to comfort you. Hell no. But Abby just let everything slide.
My final point is the numerous plot holes. Jacob's Latter, the band Abby was supposed to tour with, played such a small part in the book, I almost wondered why they were even there. Then Garrett, a singer from another band in which Abby sang a duet with, played no part in the book. He was a trope to play at Jake's jealousy, but forgotten within a page or two. For womanizing rock stars, we never see AJ or Rhys in action. In fact, other than Abby, Brayden's wife is the only other female the guys from Runaway Train even converse with. AJ was humorous, and out of all the characters, he was definitely the best written.
Also, one of my biggest pet peeves is repetition, and wow!!! The repetition in this book knows no bounds.
I will not be continuing on with this series, but I've heard great things about Katie's other works and will most likely give one of them a try. I sincerely hate having so little positive things to say about a book, but on the bright side I finished it. Mostly to see if there would be some kind of lesson about trying to change a man and how absolutely wrong that plan could go.(less)