This came through my subscription to Pixel of Ink, otherwise I don't think I might have discovered it. I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis. It d...moreThis came through my subscription to Pixel of Ink, otherwise I don't think I might have discovered it. I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis. It didn't seem like a typical romance novel. And as the author states in his notes in the back, it really isn't--it's a love story.
What's the difference? Well... in a word: Winfield. He could write about math and I think I'd give it a go. He's that great at telling love without trivializing it with sappiness. He nails both the male and female POV, which is complicated and difficult to pull off. I wanted to hear what the MCs thought and I liked knowing. Usually first person is too flat for me to get a sense of what I want to feel while reading so Winfield scored large there. Others might not care but I loved the setting of Seattle and Bainbridge Island. I'm a native and Winfield knew the weather, sights, sounds, plants and everything down to the finest detail. I saw it all in his writing and enjoyed remembering through his eyes. He so obviously lives there.
Winfield perfectly captures the awkwardness, loss, guilt and reawakening of Jane when she loses her daughter in senseless tragedy. She soon discovers there's happiness for her if she's willing to own her fear and not let it command her. I loved Jane's bravery in this work. It's not showy, and sneaks up on her until she can't deny she'd rather have joy... than wonder if she could have. Caleb isn't bothered by their age difference. It's interesting that the portrayal of Caleb is more about a person, who regardless of their age, knows who they are and acts on their desires with a freshness that is not usually seen. It transcends age. He wanted Jane and it was crystal clear to him. It was a biting role-reversal that left me re-reading certain sections to experience that unusual shift the author put the reader through. And what was glorious was that a man wrote it. It's not a female author's wishful thinking of what SHE thinks a man should feel. But a male author who actually knows it's possible; brilliant.
I liked Winfield's writing so much I might snatch up something else from his catalog... and yeah, Jane's Harmony is a one-click. Try this story; I'm still thinking about it a few days later. If you like a unique love story about two human beings finding each other at the worst of times and coming together despite it, this is for you. A delicious novel. 5 Stars.(less)
Absolutely Five BIG @SS stars; gritty, smart writing, different narrative voice all rolled into hot sex scenes and hard-to-the-wall pacing. Loved it....moreAbsolutely Five BIG @SS stars; gritty, smart writing, different narrative voice all rolled into hot sex scenes and hard-to-the-wall pacing. Loved it. No formula writing!(less)
I'm going to sit back and watch as this book goes into the top 100. It's that great. CitD has the stamp of Win- dead-center. This work isn't just good...moreI'm going to sit back and watch as this book goes into the top 100. It's that great. CitD has the stamp of Win- dead-center. This work isn't just good, it's phenomenal. Captive in the Dark is firmly in the [dark] Erotica genre but has so much more than that one-dimensional moniker implies. Fifty Shades of What? Fifty Shades of Captive is what I say. This work will no doubt be compared to that as they both deal directly with BDSM. However, it is the delivery by Roberts that grips us and disallows even the thought of a good night's sleep. This is dark, gripping and terribly beautiful. There were whole passages when I was blinking back tears at the internal monologue of Livvie, the MC as she wrestles with her captivity and her evolving feelings for her captor. In the latter third of the book, his (Caleb's) POV was no less engaging and the terrible beauty of their humanity is revealed in a type of storytelling that was raw, tragic and utterly, un-put-downable.
Livvie is eighteen and the eldest of a bushel of siblings created from multiple father's of her indifferent and neglectful mother. She feels unloved and unnoticed by all. After a pivotal turn of events when she is thirteen, she becomes even more invisible to the only parent she knows and it shapes her behavior in a pathetic attempt at redemption that is beyond unsuccessful until the fateful day when she is captured by a brutal man who is a key player in middle eastern sex slave trading. Nothing more than a pawn in an elaborate scheme of revenge she will be the catalyst for, Livvie finds that maybe everyone is not so indifferent to her as she believed. Her kidnapper, a victim of the most vicious and tragic abuse a person can possibly hope to stomach; Caleb finds his carefully constructed wall of ice melting before her innocence and quiet bravery. He is shattered as he finds the first true emotions of his life brought to the surface by a young woman he must train as submissive. Caleb finds he can love when he thought it was impossible. Can he fulfill his obligatory plot for revenge by using the only person he can ever remember caring about?
Sex is used liberally in this work, extremely disturbing sexual interaction. However, it seems like a backdrop to the real story. Two broken people finding solace in each other. Two halves of a whole. Meant to be together despite how they came to be. It's a fascinating read and holds all the elements that I look for in a book: dark, engaging, can't-put-it-down and lastly, voice and imagery.
This book will offend some, I'm not going to lie: it's brutal, honest and downright breathtaking. If beatings and submissive/dominance is disturbing to you, don't read this. If you loved 50 Shades (that was a solid 3-star for me) you might think this is over the moon. The quality was here that was lacking in Shades. This is real, it feels touchable... it edifies a reader's soul. Powerful.
I will begin reading book two tonight!
Genre: Dark Erotica Sub-genre: Suspense, Thriller, Drama Elements: Extreme and disturbing sexuality, Abuse against women, Profanity Age: 18+ (less)
I've already admitted to being a fan of Ms. Young, having read two of her paranormal books in two of her different series. When this new contemporary...moreI've already admitted to being a fan of Ms. Young, having read two of her paranormal books in two of her different series. When this new contemporary romance was released I wasn't as interested because I'm generally not a straight romance reader. However, The reviews and buzz gave me whiplash and ODS got sent to the top of a skyscraper TBR list. I dove in and finished it in two nights. First, let me say that the genre does not exactly fit the book: it's not strictly romance, it's actually erotica that has romance as well. An erotic romance novel. This is mature, steamy, edgy with a lot of emotional dynamic that is borderline dysfunctional and not meant for anyone under eighteen. That said, I hope every person over eighteen reads it. Ms. Young has outdone herself with this work.
Jocelyn "Joss" has recently graduated from college with a terrible past hurt that irrevocably changed her life, which she carries with her. Stoic and guarded, Joss lives her life with everyone kept at a safe distance and that's just how she likes it. When events transpire to force a change of scenery, she chooses a gorgeous new life and feels a clean slate has been put before her. Soon, her perceived future peace is shattered by a instant chemical attraction to a man she meets by pure chance. Braden isn't someone she wants to get close to. He represents everything she's worked so hard to avoid in the eight years since the tragedy of her family's sudden death. At this point I'm thinking: Okay? It is awful but.... then Young covertly introduces all these subplots that were so engaging I didn't know what new thing she'd land on the pages as I faced a new chapter. I loved the different friendships and supporting characters but what I loved most was the internal monologue of Joss. She would think something and then respond out loud with something different than what she really felt. That was her modis operandi. As the book progressed we begin to see her internal thought processes slowly sync with her verbal manifestations. Her struggle to become whole after her years of self-imposed denial and solitude made her reversal to health all the more sweet. As the reader I was really rooting for her character. I haven't said anything about the sex yet. WOW. It wasn't just sex scenes guys, it was in-your-face, HD TV live stuff. Joss is sucked into a bat of chemistry that she simmers and stews in. The description! The language! It was all so raw but told in a whisper. I don't know how she did it but it was never cheap, just real. Hats off to you, Ms. Young. You showed us and didn't tell.
Overall, with the glut of recently awesome contemporary romances out there: Flat-out Love, Beautiful Disaster, Easy, On the Island... if you thought those were great, this one is sure to be great for you as well.
Okay, so the only biased thing I'll mention is how much I personally LOVE the cover artist for On Dublin Street! The author deserves attention for this fantastic, earth-shattering romance in addition the cover artist who showcases it so well. (less)
These stories of the Downside Ghosts are hopelessly addictive! There just isn't enough dark urban fantasy that rivals these. ANGELFALL had the same de...moreThese stories of the Downside Ghosts are hopelessly addictive! There just isn't enough dark urban fantasy that rivals these. ANGELFALL had the same decrepit lurching speed as these tales do but was geared more for young adult readers. This series is fully adult and gets edgier with each subsequent installment.
GHOSTS is no different. Delivering action sequence after action sequence of Chess in peril. But she's so tough, she never needs a man to rescue her. That is one of the things I don't like so much: Chess is almost too independent. There is no interdependence. In book three, she allows the facade of her self-preservation to crack just enough to let the one man in she is scared to trust but must. In the end, Chess decides to take a leap of faith. But the big question remains: can she tow the mark?
I am dying here! CHASING MAGIC will not release until June 26! The pain! The misery! Must. Know. What. Happens next! Ugh! Okay... this fourth book of...moreI am dying here! CHASING MAGIC will not release until June 26! The pain! The misery! Must. Know. What. Happens next! Ugh! Okay... this fourth book of the Downside Series is absolutely perfect. What I totally loved was the snippets of Chess's past that are finally revealed. Why, in the name of the Good Lord is she using drugs? Well... we find out and it's not the neat little package of assumptions we thought it'd be. Why does she have such a hard time trusting? Answers there too. I was beginning to be unsympathetic toward Chess by book number four. I was thinking, "clean up your act!" Now, I understand that her internal framework is a myriad of depravity, abuse and memories she cloaks through drug abuse. Gotcha.
Where will our heroine be in book five? I don't know but I can't wait to read and find out!(less)
This installment takes off exactly from the ending of book #1 and never lets off the throttle! It is a roller coaster ride from the inception, draggin...moreThis installment takes off exactly from the ending of book #1 and never lets off the throttle! It is a roller coaster ride from the inception, dragging the reader by the hair and whipping them off their collective feet until the finish. This was a five star: from the artfully decadent prose that left you gasping through love scenes that bordered on violent to hideous circumstances no human being should have been able to survive. Fantastic.
Each of the four books has one major mystery with a heady undercurrent of sexual tension between Chess, Lex and of course, Terrible. The reluctant hero that is flawed, hot, built and stoically moral despite an environment that is depraved beyond what we know.
The relationship between Terrible and Chess sits more solidly and blooms like a reluctant flower between two people that have become porcupines due to abusive backgrounds yet somehow find each other. MAGIC also expounds on the natural skills which Chess possesses in her witchcraft. The "why" and tantalizing other details about the Facts are Truth order come to the surface to fascinate the reader. Chess's world is such a fascinating mix of very old-world and modern. The reader never knows what to expect.
But expect this: a great mystery wrapped up in a tight bundle of taut erotic tension and action.(less)
I'm going to try and Rein. It. In. with this four book series but not without effort! This is a fantastic dark urban fantasy series that is gritty, da...moreI'm going to try and Rein. It. In. with this four book series but not without effort! This is a fantastic dark urban fantasy series that is gritty, dark, real and uncompromising. Kane has flavors of the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton. However, there is more "meat" and less sex in these works. They really smack of Hamilton's earlier works that I adored (#s 1-10) with the detective/action angles. If you like your urban fantasy served up dark, this is totally the series for you.
Chess Putnam, is a drifting loner who believes deeply in the calling she's been assigned: church witch. She is also equally challenged by an upbringing that's left her bereft of the typical emotional foundation most people possess. She's tough and fragile, rolled up in an intoxicatingly mad mix that has the reader rooting for her and worrying after her. Splendid! The world-building is solid and what I really dug was the made-up language of the Downside residents. It's a little off-putting at first as it reads "wrong" but it is so "right" with the depth that it allows into the story. The differences of the people in this dystopian world come alive as you read them. You see them, feel them, hear them. It's story telling at its best.
This debut installment establishes the first Debunking we see from Chess and how she handles herself through her addictions; both with drugs and with her numbing obsession for superficial relationships.
This first book was a 4.5 for me. It was disturbing and messy, with elements I didn't agree with on a personal level. In the end, none of that mattered. I went ahead and read... UNHOLY MAGIC.(less)
I have read the Saving Angel Series by King and really enjoyed the paranormal, soulmate theme in those books and thought I'd give this new, YA crossov...moreI have read the Saving Angel Series by King and really enjoyed the paranormal, soulmate theme in those books and thought I'd give this new, YA crossover work a try. It was so vital, so real, so engaging I thought about it every moment I couldn't get back to reading it! You know a book's good when you become sad that it's coming to an end, when you lose sleep over reading it, when you want to reach inside the narrative and defend and protect the MC from the vicious onslaught of her life. That's what Wishing For Someday Soon is. It's a powerful tale about a brave human being that sacrifices her very welfare for someone dear to her heart. When true joy presents itself she can't be sure that she can embrace it. The prospect of love and trust is so foreign to Katelyn that at first, she doesn't recognize it for what it is. This is such a powerful book. I am seldom moved to tears but found myself stopping the reading of it twice, to regain my composure so I could read further. It's a stunner, leaving the reader dazed throughout and yearning for more at its eventual end.
What I liked: I loved the way King presented the book so cleanly but still with realism. It wasn't this anemic performance of stilted and one-dimensional characters, oh-no. It was a deep narrative given by a 17-year old senior, having seen the inside of twenty different schools in so many years, connecting with humanity as little as possible. King showcases a paralyzing loneliness inside the confines of a narrow hope that Katelyn holds onto with surgical finesse. I was blown away. King was absolutely masterful in painting a picture of stifling and insidious abuse. But she didn't allow the reader to wallow in it. There was enough joy and potential for happiness interspersed during the novel that the reader isn't mired in sorrow. Those flashes of happiness, blooming romance and the protective males that King is getting known for, all comes into play in this terrific narrative.
What I wasn't that fond of: this isn't a series! I have high hopes for more books done in this style from King. And although I really liked her angel series, I am a Forever Fan now that I've read WFSS. It reminds me of Sophie and Carter and Flat-out Love. If you've read the preceding novels, this story is sure to be a good fit. Although the plot is utterly different, it evokes the same feelings as those.
Rich, riveting and unforgettable, WFSS is a read for lovers of real-life teens in tough situations that triumph over the challenges of their life.(less)
This is a 3.5 star read. This is the most difficult book I've ever had to review! There were some passages that were beyond 5 stars for me and some we...moreThis is a 3.5 star read. This is the most difficult book I've ever had to review! There were some passages that were beyond 5 stars for me and some were skulking about in the "two" category. My main problem was Kiera. She treated the men abominably! I couldn't wrap my head around her lack of internal fortitude, therein is the rub. I couldn't stand who she was so I cared less about what happened to her. This read has been likened to the tremendous, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. But the MC in that novel was far more approachable than Kiera.
The guys in the novel had divergent personalities and that made the book better. The pacing didn't get moving until about the 30% mark. In fact, the only reason I continued reading past my "10%" test was the enormous amount of recommendations for the book from other readers. Once I got into it I just HAD to know what was going to happen. The author was able to illicit such inner turmoil while I read that it's a testimony to her sheer talent, despite my misgivings with what I perceived the flaws of the tale.
This is a perfect read for people that enjoy their reads messy, and not neatly wrapped up. This has not gone through the laundromat like a lot of contemporary romance, it's gritty and real, not perfect and I do recommend it with the caveat that the female MC may not be to everyone's liking. The love scenes and apparent chemistry between Kelan and Kiera make up for a lot of it.(less)