This book is definitely not for everyone. With that said, I thought Knight did a great job in creating an actual story around the erotica and I'm goinThis book is definitely not for everyone. With that said, I thought Knight did a great job in creating an actual story around the erotica and I'm going to keep this short and sweet.
Eva is thrown into this situation where the man she is supposed to marry throws her away. He (obviously) is involved in some pretty shady stuff and has a few enemies. At the top of that list are Gabriel and Syn Rivera.
I would not categorize these guys as heroes and although they "saved" Eva from one horrible situation, they only gave her a less horrible (I think??) option. Yes, they had reasons for doing the things they did but I can't say that I was fully on board with that reasoning.
As Eva realizes she is stuck in a no win situation, she begins to realize she is developing feelings for the brothers. Yes...both of them. As the brothers work to bring down her ex-fiance, they also begin to care about Eva and things change for all of them.
If you are looking for something dark, consider this book but definitely be aware of the author note as this is not a swoony romance if that is what you are looking for as this story includes some sensitive subjects.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy....more
Naked by Stacey Trombley won’t be for everyone but I don’t shy away from stories that have difficult to read situations. If you’re the sam3-3.5 stars.
Naked by Stacey Trombley won’t be for everyone but I don’t shy away from stories that have difficult to read situations. If you’re the same, consider checking this one out.
Anna has never gotten along with her parents. Her father is strict and really only ever worries about the impact her decisions will have on the way people see him and their family. As overbearing as he is, her mom is pretty much one who does whatever he tells her to do and doesn’t really stand up for herself or Anna. Because of these things Anna rebelled. By the age of thirteen she was headed down a path that led her to running away from home.
When she gets to New York City, Anna is pulled into a life she never imagined. After being attacked, she is saved by a man named Luis. From Anna’s perspective, things started out ok and she considers Luis her boyfriend. But things shift very quickly and he has her doing things that no thirteen year old should ever have to do. Eventually he is more her pimp than her boyfriend and the day he “sells” her off to another pimp, things change drastically for Anna.
After being taken to the police station, Anna meets Sarah, a social worker who does a bit of digging. Sarah ends up finding Anna’s parents and after being gone for three years, Anna’s parents take her back home to Westchester. To say her transition from living with Luis and being a hooker to moving back in with her parents is tough is probably an understatement. When she and Sarah sit down with them, it is very clear that they still don’t see eye to eye on some things.
In addition to trying to figure out how to integrate back into her family, she also needs to figure out how to do the same thing with school. One of the things her father forces Anna to do, is physically attend school – no GED for her. As she goes back to school, Anna finds herself drawn to a boy named Jackson and even though there are rumors about her swirling around, she is doing whatever she can to make sure Jackson doesn’t find out anything about her last three years and the things she has done. She wants to “just be Anna” to him and because of that, she doesn’t tell him things that she should have once she started hanging out with him.
The other thing I will mention here is that outside of the relationship aspect of the story, there is a little mystery/suspense too. As Anna goes back to school, she sees someone from her past in the hallways and he isn’t above threatening her to get what he feels he is still owed. As Anna tries to balance her past with the life she is trying to lead now, things don’t always go perfectly. She also needs to face her past, including Luis, and make decisions on how she wants to move forward.
Overall I enjoyed this story. As I mentioned, it won’t be for everyone but if you aren’t afraid of tough topics and enjoy relationship driven stories with a bit of suspense, check this one out.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy....more
2.5-3 stars. I picked up Days Like This by Danielle Ellison because I loved the cover and I was interested in the story based on what I read in the sum2.5-3 stars. I picked up Days Like This by Danielle Ellison because I loved the cover and I was interested in the story based on what I read in the summary. Admittedly, I finished this one up and had some mixed feelings about it and I have a feeling it has a lot to do with the characters.
Cassie is the main character and as her story unfolds, we learn her mother is bipolar and this has translated into a rough childhood for Cassie. The one person in her life that she could always count on was Graham, the boy next door who then became her boyfriend. At nineteen, Cassie was not prepared to force a life like the one she has lived on Graham so she sneaks away to college without telling him and this creates the basis of the rest of their relationship.
I have to say, Cassie didn’t win me over. I get that she was trying to make it easy for Graham to move on and not worry about whether she might turn out like her mother or not but what she did was pretty selfish. Most people can’t just turn off their feelings and if Graham really did love her and was ready to spend the rest of his life with her, I can only imagine how heartbroken he would have been when she dumped him. And then when she came back to town and thought their friends would be ok with her and the way she had treated him, I was glad they had his back.
Graham’s mistake was that he centered his life around Cassie and until she left, he wasn’t really thinking about anything other than their life together. I thought it was a good wake up call for him and got him on a path that allowed him to think about what he wanted in life. No matter what though, living next door to Cassie’s mom always gave him moments where he would go back to thinking about Cassie and what they could have been. It was clear that despite the fact that he moved on and had another girlfriend, he hadn’t really moved on and cared about Cassie.
Overall this one was okay for me and it might just be an it’s not you, it’s me type of situation here. Ellison creates a solid story about mental health, love, and second chances, if that intrigues you consider checking it out.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy....more
Thorn by Intisar Khanani is a book I just happened to cross paths with and I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed the story and admittedly I have never readThorn by Intisar Khanani is a book I just happened to cross paths with and I’m glad I did! I really enjoyed the story and admittedly I have never read the original fairytale but I think that added to the story for me because I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
I enjoyed the story and thought Khanani did a wonderful job developing the world. There were some things in this story that I found odd and I do wish that the backstory between Alyrra and her maid were revealed a bit sooner so I would have known what the issue really was between these two but I really did find myself unable to put the book down as I wanted to see what was going to happen.
Alyrra is an interesting character. As she becomes betrothed to a Prince, Alyrra begins her trek to his kingdom only to be betrayed by her maid and ultimately trapped in the body of her maid. When she ends up in a role she has never been in before, that of a Goose Girl and even more importantly, not a princess, she has to figure out what the right thing to do is. Either she walks away and leaves the Prince to face an evil that could destroy him and his court, or she faces everything and does whatever she can to get back to who she is.
I liked that Alyrra faced the challenges and her situation head on. She wasn’t perfect and she wasn’t fearless but she always used her head and thought about what was going on. While Kestrin played a major role, I found that the romance wasn’t really romancy (I don’t think that’s a word…). I did like the interactions he had with Alyrra and the way he tried to figure out the puzzle but I didn’t get anything that made me swoon for him.
As I said, this was a nice surprise and a quick read. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, consider checking this one out. I will be adding Khanani to my watch list as I thought this one was well done and I look forward to more from her.
Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy!...more
Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss was a book I came across due to a book blogger friend’s review. I have to admit, I love everything tied to the Tudors andWolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss was a book I came across due to a book blogger friend’s review. I have to admit, I love everything tied to the Tudors and at first I glance I almost passed this one up but after reading the review, I went ahead and requested it. If you love the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn you might enjoy this story. They both make appearances and while they aren’t what I would consider the main characters, both Eloise and Wolf are tied to the royal family.
Wolf Bride is the story of Eloise Tyrell, a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, and Lord Wolf, one of the King’s favored soldiers. Lord Wolf is ready to marry and having grown up near the Tyrell’s he decides to negotiate with Eloise’s father for her hand. Unfortunately for Eloise, she had her eye on someone else and when she is told about her upcoming betrothal, she isn’t exactly excited about it. With that said, she accepts the decision but Wolf does not make it easy.
As the story continues, they both make mistakes in their interactions with each other and a little conversation could have probably fixed some of the problems. As they both figure out how to live with each other, they are pulled into the drama of what is happening with Henry and Anne. As Anne’s lady-in-waiting, Thomas Cromwell is looking to question Eloise about Anne’s activities while married to Henry.
Navigating the politics of the royal court as well as a new marriage isn’t easy for either of these two but they continue to be drawn to each other and work to figure out what to do in order to get back to their manor in the North and away from the danger of the court. One thing is certain, regardless of their feelings toward each other, their chemistry is there and the only thing that might have made it better was if I was more invested in either of these characters.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It has a great mix of history tied into a fictional story and Moss has created the beginnings of a solid series. I am definitely interested to see where Moss takes the story with Eloise’s sister as she was one of the more interesting characters introduced in this book. Consider checking this one out if you enjoy a historical that has an interesting story and some definitely hot times.
Thank you to Sourcebooks for the review copy!...more
5 to 1 by Holly Bodger was a quick and engaging read that pulled me into a world where young girls are prized due to an imbalance in genders and young5 to 1 by Holly Bodger was a quick and engaging read that pulled me into a world where young girls are prized due to an imbalance in genders and young boys are put into a series of tests to earn the right to marry.
Sudasa is a solid main character and although at times I wanted her to do more to rebel against a life she doesn’t believe in, I still liked her. I wish we would have seen more of her outside of the tests to better understand her but I thought the glimpses we did have of her throughout showed just how eager she was to do what she wanted versus what was expected.
Kiran is one of the boys involved in Sudasa’s test. As the test begins, it is clear that he is not interested in marrying and will do whatever he can to “lose” so that he can move his plan forward. And he does have a plan – one that means he needs to make an effort to not show up the obviously rich boy who is also in the test and clearly going to win.
Both of these characters are strong and willing to stand up for what they want in life…not necessarily what the government (and in Sudasa’s case – her family) want for them. The secondary characters weren’t really developed as much as I would have liked as I wanted to know more about both their families. We only got little snippets of the people outside of the test even though some of the characters played a pivotal role in the decisions Sudasa and Kiran made.
As I mentioned, this was a very quick read. The story was great and left me wanting more. It leaves off at a point in these character’s stories that had me flipping the next page wondering where the rest of the book was. I seriously want to know what happens next for both Sudasa and Kiran. Bodger explores this dystopian world and integrates two very different voices that kept me engaged. If you are looking for a unique story told in a unique way, definitely check this one out.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!...more
I had every intention of listening to this before I started Storm Siren but alas...it didn't happen. Regardless, it was good to get back into the storI had every intention of listening to this before I started Storm Siren but alas...it didn't happen. Regardless, it was good to get back into the story and be reminded about all the things that happened in book one.
I will start out by saying…this book will not be for everyone. Regardless, I found myself immediately diving into this story and I thought overall, itI will start out by saying…this book will not be for everyone. Regardless, I found myself immediately diving into this story and I thought overall, it was well done. Yes, there are very sensitive issues and fantasies brought up but I thought Pace did a good job of making it about more than just these people that get off on certain things.
When I started this one I admit, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was immediately drawn into Vivienne’s story and subsequently, Jonah’s. As the story progresses, we find out that both of these characters have wounds and the way things are revealed make the story that much better.
Trust me when I say that Pace wrote a story that had me anxiously turning pages to find out what was going to happen for these two and I sincerely can’t wait to read the next book to find out how their story ends. There isn’t much more I want to say because I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that if you can handle sensitive subjects, you might consider checking this one out!
Thank you to Netgalley and the Berkley for the review copy! ...more
Rogue is the second book of the Talon series by Julie Kagawa and its release was the catalyst to getting me to dive into these books.3.5 for this one.
Rogue is the second book of the Talon series by Julie Kagawa and its release was the catalyst to getting me to dive into these books. I have been hesitant lately on starting new series books just because I am so bad at finishing them. I am actually sitting on a number of last books in a series just because I don’t want them to end. With all of that said, I really enjoyed Talon and Rogue.
Talon of course sets up the story for Rogue and I won’t spend much time talking about that book here so if you haven’t yet read that book, stop reading this. I will do what I can to not spoil anything here but there will be some chance of a spoiler if you haven’t read Talon.
As I mentioned, Talon really sets the stage for Rogue and when that book wrapped up, Ember and Riley were on their way to see if they could save Garrett from St. George. I thought Kagawa did a great job of showing the conflict between these two sides of Ember (human and dragon) and this is really what moves the story forward. Ember continues to struggle with balancing her human side with her dragon side and Riley and Garrett embody that struggle.
I like Ember. She knows she doesn’t want the life that Talon has laid out for her and if she didn’t worry about Dante, she would probably drop off the grid. As Dante looks to make a name for himself within the Talon organization, he sets up a way to bring Ember back into the Talon fold. When Ember finds out that he is really responsible for the trap that was set, she finally realizes that Dante is lost to her and she needs to do what she can to survive away from Talon while helping Riley save other hatchlings any way she can.
The relationship between Dante and Ember is one that will continue to be a touchy subject as the story moves forward. I do believe Dante’s heart is in the right place but he is unwilling to open his eyes and due to the way things went down at the end of Rogue, I can’t imagine that he or Ember are going to be quick to forgive the other for their role.
Another aspect to the story are the relationships Ember has with both Riley and Garrett. There is a love triangle here but mostly because of the conflict Ember has between her dragon self and her human self. I am certain that if she was one or the other, the choice would be easy for her but her dragon side is clearly drawn to Riley/Cobalt and her human side is drawn to Garrett. As the story progresses, Ember has to figure out who she is and what that means to the people around her.
It felt like Rogue had more action than Talon so if that is something you are looking for, definitely buckle up. Ember, Riley, Garrett, and Wes are all on the run and seem to be constantly looking over their shoulder, either for Talon agents or St. George agents. Regardless, both sides are looking to get their claws on this group and in some cases, willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate the threat. I found myself flying through this book and I thought Kagawa did a great job of moving the story along as well as providing a bit more background on Riley and his role within Talon. Admittedly, I want to know more about Garrett’s past and where he is headed, what Talon is really up to and how Dante fits into it, as well as what the burning need is for them to bring Ember back versus just eliminating the threat. I also hope we find out more about who is leaking information about the safe houses – I don’t have any clue who it might be. I am hopeful that we will get more information on all of these things in the next book.
If you know me, you know I love Kagawa’s other series so I had high expectations going into this series. Overall I think Kagawa wrote a solid second book in this series but I do hope we get more exposure to the dragons and the Talon organization. So far I feel like we have only had some glimpses of the whole thing and I want more of that. Consider checking this one out and if you haven’t read Talon yet, don’t be like me and wait so long. Also, make sure you pull off the dust jacket to see the actual cover…it is pretty cool!
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the review copy....more
I loved the Ruby Red series so when I heard Kerstin Gier had another series coming out this year I was super excited to get my hands on it. I was immeI loved the Ruby Red series so when I heard Kerstin Gier had another series coming out this year I was super excited to get my hands on it. I was immediately pulled into this story and found myself enjoying not only the story but the characters too!
Liv and her sister, Mia, don’t have a normal life. They spend their time moving around a lot and are seriously looking forward to the time with their mother where they will have an actual home to live in and won’t have to worry about packing up their possessions again in less than a year. As they show up in London and meet their mom at the airport, Liv finds out that her mom has met someone (Mr. Change of Plan) and this is going to have a bigger impact than she expected.
As far as characters go, I liked Liv and found her to be a solid main character. She was smart and loved her family. She also loves to dig into a puzzle and is willing to take risks if something is important to her. Her mother was somewhat frustrating to me and thank the lord that Liv and Mia had Lottie, their au pair. Then we also have the four boys (Grayson, Henry, Jasper, and Arthur) who happen to be the most popular at school and also happen to be involved in something that Liv inadvertently gets pulled into. More to come on that piece but two of these boys have swoon potential.
As Liv is introduced to Grayson, who happens to be the son of her mom's boyfriend, she is also pulled into an unexpected situation. One where she thinks she is just dreaming but really, she is pulled into a shared dream where she sees the boys performing a ritual and this is the start of something she never would have believed could happen. Also…a bit of danger.
I can’t say too much here because as usual, I don’t want to give anything away. What I will say is that Gier does a wonderful job of creating this world of dreams and the rules around it. I loved how everyone’s dream doors were different and protected by things that were important to them. It all happens to be tied to something dark and dangerous but through this avenue, Liv is able to learn more about Grayson and Henry than she probably ever would have in the real world. She also meets Anabel Scott who is Arthur’s girlfriend, and the reason they are all in the mess they are in and linked to this demon, the Lord of Shadows.
I’m going to take a moment to talk about Henry because I love that he calls Liv “Cheese Girl” and come on, he’s described as the tall, tattooed type with pale skin, tousled honey-blond hair, and slate-gray eyes.” You had me at tattooed but really, I also love that he does whatever he can to learn as much about Liv as possible, and he really does care about what happens to her.
The one piece of the story that I am hoping we get more of is the around the Tittle-Tattle Blog and who Secrecy is. I honestly have no idea who it could be (although some solid suspicion was thrown a certain way in the story, I’m not sure I am on board with who is identified) and I NEED to know more about this. I am definitely going to check out the next book in this series as I can’t wait to see what happens next for this group! Consider checking this one out if you enjoy a story with a bit of mystery, some interesting characters, and solid dream-world building.
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the review copy!...more
Claimed by Sarah Fine is book two in the Servants of Fate series. I decided to read this one back to back with book one (Marked) and I have to admit,Claimed by Sarah Fine is book two in the Servants of Fate series. I decided to read this one back to back with book one (Marked) and I have to admit, between the two books, I liked Marked more but overall as a series, I found myself pulled in and really enjoyed it.
Very quickly, Marked was Cacia’s story and that book has a lot of the backstory you will need before diving into this book so definitely read Marked before Claimed or you will be a bit lost. In Marked, we learn that Cacia is a Ferry…both in name and occupation (she is also a paramedic). As a Ferry, she is tasked with guiding those souls that have passed on to their final destination. She (and her brothers and sister) work closely with the Ker’s to keep the balance and follow through on what Fate has determined for humanity. Eli is Cacia’s new paramedic partner and he has a secret of his own that leads these characters through to the end of book one. Since this isn’t necessarily a review for that book, I have glossed over a lot.
Moving into Claimed, the story is more focused on Eli’s sister Galena and Cacia’s brother Declan. Galena has a fairly tragic story and while a good bit of it is revealed in Marked, we learn more about what really happened and the effect it had on both Galena and Eli. Since Galena’s research to find a vaccine for the human plagues has a direct impact on the Fates and the paranormal world, she is a target for those that don’t want her to succeed. Also, now that Eli is a Kere and working for Moros, Galena is pulled into danger.
As Galena and her test subjects become targets for those trying to stop her, the only answer that the Ferry’s can come up with to protect her is that Galena needs to marry into the Ferry family …and not only marry but become claimed and really, truly a Ferry. Not only would it mark her as part of the family and therefore, not someone who can be marked, but it also would make her indestructible in the human world and therefore, offer her a bit of protection.
At the beginning of the story, it is clear there are some feelings between Declan and Galena and I thought Fine did a great job of showing how the trauma Galena experienced funneled over not only into her professional life, but also the relationships she had with those around her. She did her best to power through with Declan but I loved that he forced her to stop and take a step back to consider what he was going through having to get her out of her head the first time they tried to be together.
As characters go, I liked Galena. I don’t know that anything about her really stood out for me. She clearly loves her work and has fallen back on that and Eli as the things that continue to push her forward. I am fairly positive that if she didn’t have one of both of those things in her life she would have given up after her attack. I did like Declan. He is tough but caring and truly loves his family. He was also very patient with Galena and learned quickly what he needed to do to protect her and ultimately gain her trust.
The overall story of who is behind the rogue markings and attacks on Galena and her research is interesting. I’m looking forward to learning more about Moros’ sisters and what will happen in book three. I thought the world building and the character development were done well. If you are looking for an interesting take on paranormal with an urban fantasy feel, definitely check this series out. Fine does a wonderful job of creating her characters and developing / moving the story forward. I will definitely be reading the next book of this series when it comes out.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy....more