So, at the end of Slave (Book 1) Brianna realises that she is no longer a Slave and never was a Slave to Stephan. She has choices which she clearly shSo, at the end of Slave (Book 1) Brianna realises that she is no longer a Slave and never was a Slave to Stephan. She has choices which she clearly shows when she decides to sit on the couch next to him rather than sit on his lap on their chair. A brave move for her.
In Need (Book 2 in the Finding Anna Series) we find Brianna finally deciding that she does actually want Stephan. Although she doesn't understand her feelings in the beginning, especially when it comes to him, she learns over the course of this book that she is attracted to him and finds him sexy.
The routines and punishments still happen as Stephan maintains his dominance over her. However they prove to work in favour of the couple. One punishment is to have her sleep on the floor beside his bed, and another is to text him on the hour and every hour when she refuses to answer his call one day. Quite harsh to Brianna initially but they bond more as a couple because of this. Brianna soon craves Stephan and towards the end of the book is finally understanding what it is to be submissive (with a little help from Lily)
Stephan helps Brianna tremendously with more of a caring attitude than the first book. He is besotted with her and soon cannot bear to be away from her either.
Slowly and steadily they are falling in love.
The ending is wonderful as their wishes come true finally but the cliffhanger at the end throws in another kettle of disturbing fish. Now I'm nervous and biting my nails to find out what happens next.
The characters are really awesome in this one. Logan and Lily play more of a role, and Richard and Diane take a backseat realising that they are out of their depth with Brianna's situation. The introduction of Cal is intriguing and I fear it can only lead to a downfall and if his actions have anything to do with said cliffhanger than I will royally hate him :)
A great second book picking up directly from the first. Now we have to wait again to find out how it all ends... :) ...more
Sylvia Day is probably so fed up of having her book compared to Fifty Shades of Grey - so I'm not going to. If this book was released either a year eaSylvia Day is probably so fed up of having her book compared to Fifty Shades of Grey - so I'm not going to. If this book was released either a year earlier or later then no one would be comparing. This book was so much better than the aforementioned. Here's what I thought.
I loved Eva. She was sparky, quirky and had such a huge personality that I took to her straight away. Her awesome best friend is a relationship I am very envious of and totally completes her.
But then comes the day when she helps somebody out and gets knocked on her ass. And catches the eye of Gideon Cross who takes her breathe away. The build up of their relationship is tense. She really tries to back down but his instance is tenacious.
Soon a complicated love story continues. Both Eva and Gideon consider themselves damaged, and both of them know full well that they can help each other to heal their wounds. But it comes at a price. Can they get past their stubborn sides and win each other over for good?
The depth of character Day has created for both Gideon and Eva is remarkable. Clearly lots of thought has gone into writing this book. Its sexy, witty and Gideon is as hot as hell!
The book does end abruptly but now I think all readers are dying to know more about Gideon's past as no indication was given in this first book. I'm eagerly waiting for Reflected in You. I can't wait to read more....more
This is a tough book to review. A lot of people will try to compare with Fifty Shades because of the Writers Coffee House connection and the connotatiThis is a tough book to review. A lot of people will try to compare with Fifty Shades because of the Writers Coffee House connection and the connotations between the two stories (and there’s quite a few), however this is a contemporary love story and if erotica and BDSM is your thing then this isn’t for you.
I won’t tell the synopsis of the book because there are many reviews out there doing just that. But my thoughts are as follows. Firstly, I read the book and actually enjoyed it. One thing I really enjoyed was the two POV’s from both Stephan and Brianna. Sometimes they overlap so you can know what each of the characters is thinking, and this helped to understand the characters train of thought all the more.
The back-story of Brianna is heartrending and painful to imagine. As a 17 year old she had no idea or concept of sex, and when she’s sold and used it is without thought or feeling. Brianna’s attitude and mindset was spot on in my opinion. Her thoughts are of confusion and she spends a great deal of time not understanding Stephan’s own thoughts and motives.
Considering Stephan keeps emphasising to her the need for communication he really fell short here. I understand that he wanted to give her time to get used to a safe environment but Brianna had no idea what her status or position was in his house, and he did nothing to ease her mind. If he’d spoken at the beginning and allowed her to understand this then she might have felt a little easier. Even when Lily tells her she’s not a slave, Brianna still doubts Stephan.
So, onto Stephan. Throughout the book I considered him a great and wonderful human being. So thoughtful and understanding. He has no idea whether he can open Brianna up from the closed and broken person she’s become but his actions are always gentle, kind and unexpected for a 24 year old.
Even until the end I thought this way. But then as the book ended I started thinking again. Stephan did the most wonderful thing by ‘buying’ her and releasing her from the nightmare she was living in. At first I wondered whether he would call the authorities but he didn’t. Brianna wasn’t a submissive before she went to Ian’s. She was also still a virgin. She has no idea of the lifestyle that he enjoys. So why did he think he could change this girl and ask her to accept him as a Dominant? Effectively change her to a submissive instead. Yes, now she has the gruesome training and acts like a complete submissive but he’s doing this for his own selfish reasons. Once I got my head round this I actually felt uncomfortable. Brianna’s been raped and abused and had untold horrible things done to her. By being a submissive, will that actually help her?
In the end the story finishes abruptly, a sure sign that you have to read Need (Book 2) to continue the story. The only downsides of this book are the interfering random dialogue scenes with no meaning for the story. For instance Stephan has whole conversations on the phone about his business and staff and this was boring. Also, and I know the context of the story probably doesn’t allow this but there is no humour but this only emphasises the seriousness of the book.
This is a harrowing story and I’m sure it will get much worse with the second book. Nevertheless, I will be reading it :)...more
The First 20% The first 20 fills you in on the entire back story. We come straight into Echo's family therapy session and instantly realise why she's aThe First 20% The first 20 fills you in on the entire back story. We come straight into Echo's family therapy session and instantly realise why she's acting the way she is. Noah is waiting outside for his own therapy session. We catch up on his own tragic story of how he was once one of the good sporty students but fell through the gaps in the foster family system and decided to let the stereotype stick. Early on we get to learn that these two characters have their own scars - on the outside as well as in - and how a crafty clinical therapist puts them together not realising that they will be each others salvation.
The Main Characters With an overbearing father who doesn't listen to her opinion and a new step mum -or ex babysitter - who talks of nothing but their unborn baby its no wonder Echo feels like second best to everything in her life right now. A restraining order prevents any contact with her mother and her brother has died in Afghanistan. There is not much more alone that Echo can take. She has horrid and ugly scars on her wrists that have sparked enough rumours around school so she's now unable to appear normal and prefers to keep gloves on and long sleeves down to hide them. Her best friend Lila sticks with her for the most part but the two other best girl-friends have a hard time dealing with their own emotions and feel that Echo brings down their popularity at school and therefore they avoid her and don't discourage the gossip. The worst part of Echo's story is that she has a complete blank on the day and night of her 'accident'. And no matter what she does nothing can bring back her beloved brother.
Noah has seen the rough end of the stick. He lived a normal life with loving parents and two younger brothers but a house fire killed his parents and put him and his two brothers in the care system. His experience in foster families is harrowing. His first 'family' forced him to punch his foster-father who scarred Noah. The second had him defending the natural born son from being parentally attacked. Noah is then treated as a liability. But he seems to have found a small amount of solace when he's placed with another foster kid his age, Isaiah, and the niece of his present foster-family, Beth. The trio keep each other together and defend each other like a proper family, even though the parents only keep them for the monthly checks.
Noah and Echo are an unlikely couple. But pushed together by their therapist they begin to help each other unravel the harshness of their plight. Noah understands Echo's need to keep covered while Echo understands Noah's need to recover his brothers and get his family back at whatever cost. They both need something and they only have each other to help in their task. Echo needs to know the truth of the night of her accident, and Noah needs to find out more information on the carers of his brothers, deeming them incapable from an early encounter.
I liked Echo and understood exactly why she was reticent towards her father and step-mum. The new baby means a replacement to her and her brother. Her father can barely talk to her any more. Echo has a great character though and isn't afraid. She's uncomfortable at school but she still goes every day and gets through it. She needed Noah as much as he needed her.
Noah was a stranger character though. Being as he didn't have a bad upbringing and his desperation to see his brothers, I'm surprised that he sank to a lower expectation of himself. He knows he's a hot guy and can bag any girl he wants - and does frequently - but Noah has built a defence around himself, a wall so strong that he doesn't let anyone in. Until he meets Echo, and soon every reputation he has gets tested. Echo is no pushover, and Noah can't resist her.
The Story The plot is gripping, compelling and emotionally charged. The pieces of Echo's missing night gradually come back but always at a cost. No matter how much Noah bash's against the walls of the system he doesn't get anywhere until Echo. Without even trying he cleans up his act and begins his arduous task of becoming respectable enough to visit his brothers. Noah and Echo hurt each other, bounce off each other with tears and laughter, trust each other but when things go wrong neither of them have anywhere else to turn.
The End? The only thing that marred this was that Noah asked Echo a question that was completely left of centre which I didn't really feel was in his character. There were also moments when Echo's characteristics and actions were slightly confusing, as if she was going in too many different directions at the same time. The sporadic-ness was a little unsettling. However we did reach a good satisfying ending.
Overall A great read. I enjoy books where you realise that even though the characters are flawed in so many ways, it’s really only those characters that can help heal or fix the other person....more
An ordinary 12-year-old boy in America has weird neighbours, a bully of a coach, and a giant crush on the girl next door. That is, of course, until heAn ordinary 12-year-old boy in America has weird neighbours, a bully of a coach, and a giant crush on the girl next door. That is, of course, until he finds out who he really is – and what he is destined to do.
So far, ho hum, but the author offers a new take on the ‘I’m a –what??’ story. He interacts very directly with the reader with a distinct narrative voice which is fresh and energetic. A good sense of humour helps the story zip along, and the story itself is pacey and well-structured. The author sets scenes well, has some imaginative flair and the narrative is kept fairly lean, with nothing there but the essentials.
And now for the ugly bits.
First, the writing is not always clear, and this rankles with the reader from early on in the novel: ‘In Farwell, the tiny town on the edge of Texas where our story starts, nothing ever was really a secret anyway. You see, in a city (if you could call it that) of just a few thousand, not much happened, and what did happen was common news the very next day in which a thing of importance did happen.’ I’m not sure what that means.
The author uses some terrible English – for example, ‘would it be possible if I make my speech tomorrow?’ There’s also some very weird phrasing where the author uses words he hasn’t quite got the hang of: ‘I dare say you have had an entire semester to gather all your thoughts into one report …’
It’s hard to know whether to put these glitches down to poor writing or poor editing, so let’s give the benefit of the doubt.
But besides this, there are other, larger problems, such as a lack of development in the secondary characters, and some difficulties with writing action scenes. And to be honest, I have a few pet peeves, such as - why do boys get to laugh and chuckle when girls only ever seem to giggle?
Altogether, the author shows some real promise. The story can be unexpectedly touching (for example, our hero’s teacher insists that he consider a more sensible career than ‘astronaut’, something most young adults will probably relate to), and there’s good use of simile and fun, very light references to pop culture phenomena such as Star Wars. Finally, a good, gorey finish with a light-touch last chapter will keep you reading happily enough til the end.