I hate books that.make me cry.or even teary. It's not fair.
FIGHTING REDEMPTION is a superbly written story. It is about love and not just the romantic kind. It talks of family, friendships and all of love's facets. As for the topic of grief, you won't be taken on these characters rock bottoms where they bawl, get drunk and do ugly cries. The kind of heartbreak you'll feel on their behalf is the type that hurts the most. KMcCarthy won't lance your heart with sadness, instead she'll give you the worst kind of pain. The one that will make your heart throb and ache with emptiness. KMcCarthy won't give you heartbreak, she'll give you grief.
But it's not all sadness and mourning, Fin and Ryan's love story is transcending. I love how realistic it is and devoid of dramatic overkill. Sure they've had their ups and downs and somehow they still found their way back to each other. What I love most is Fin and Ryan didn't drive each other to ruin unlike some couples we've read. They are strong independent characters on their own and together they're practically invincible. KMcCarthy didn't torture her heroes by having them go through a series of plaguing problems and tests. Fin and Ryan's journey is believable, realistic, sad and as the title indicates, redeeming. And aside from the wonderfully written characters, I love how KMcCarthy paced her story and how she cut the chapters. She gave us impressions, cutting out the more ugly and gruesome parts, leaving us with the poignant but more resounding ones.
FIGHTING REDEMPTION is such an exceptional read it most definitely earned a spot on my Best of 2013 reads! (less)
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Dirty Monsters by Jackie Trippier Holt are circus themed novellas. There's a mish-mash of creatures dripping with magic. You'll enjoy the sense of familial love and camaraderie the characters have for each other. They may squabble and fight but like families, they still work it out out of love and loyalty. The cast is a little extensive but each is unique in their own way you won't get confused. LIES & LURES is a pivotal volume, a lot of things happened here that will change the texture of the series plot. I say it's about to get even darker and the characters are about to go through huge developments that will nudge the story in a different direction. If the cover arts' gradation of colors is indicative of the series' direction, I won't be surprised if volume 4 is blacked out.
JTHolt really added depth to her characters in LIES & LURES. Violet in particular became a driving force in as far as dictating what direction the troupe and by extension, the series is taking. I thought her decision regarding Henry would be obvious, Violet's been suffering over Henry's transgression since Bloody Secrets and I was surprised by her reaction. Out of loyalty and some sort of residual love for Henry, Violet now wants to save him by giving him to his vampire kin, Blood Mother. Very noble of Violet but unfortunately tragedy struck towards the end and I feel like things are about to change for the troupe. I have a feeling it will be one of those cathartic events that might level them down either literally or figuratively. (less)
Just like the previous novels and novella, A CURSED EMBRACE is loaded with action and para-super adventures. The Weird Girls 2.5 is told from Bren's POV and this wolf had me chuckling all throughout because of his smart ass comments and acid come backs. But underneath his good looks and attitude lies a super devoted friend. Bren will risk life and limb to keep his friends, human or supe, safe and when Dan, a human and Bren's anti-thesis, got taken by Latin American ghosts, Ciguafas, it's no question that Bren will do everything in his power to save him. Another reason why weres are my favorite supes, regardless of the situation, we can always trust that they'll be LOYAL.
Cecy Robson is on a roll with these stories although I have to be honest and say that I was kinda hoping A CURSED MOON would feature Celia's sisters. I was thinking the next novella would be Shayna's since she went through a roller coaster ride back in A Cursed Embrace and I'd like to see how's life been treating her since then. Plus I've been itching to know the other Wirds better, especially Taran [she's my fave], maybe in the next books? Anyways, A CURSED MOON is as fast paced, lively and dangerous as the previous books. CRobson always adds these curious creatures into the mix it'll be a long a$$ time before I get tired of the series. This Weird Girls novella is out now, don't forget to grab a copy from your favorite online bookstore. (less)
Post turkey gobbling, Laura Kaye's HARD AS IT GETS helped me snap out of my tryptophan coma. It was a great balance of romance and suspense, it's fast paced, tight with tension, sizzling with passion and hot smex. This is my first LKaye read and I promise you, it won't be the last. I love her writing voice and she has an easy way of telling a story. Even on those tricky action packed scenes, she wrote it in a vivid but uncomplicated way which made my palms sweat and had me gripping the poor paperback tight. Gripping!
HARD AS IT GETS is a fab series introduction. Here I thought I was going to read a sappy, angst filled romance story between a tattoo artist and a walk-in client. Well I sort of got that and so much more. I love the alternating layers of romance and suspense, I love the colorful cast of characters and more importantly, the plot is fantastic. It build gradually until it turned into this monster of a conflict one has to wonder how is Nick's team going to solve this? So yeah, the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger and I can hardly wait for book 2 because I need answers to these questions LKaye herself wrote in:
Who or what is WCE? How was Merritt connected to them? To Church? What were they looking for when they ransacked both [Becca & Charlie] your houses? Who was the "company" tonight at the club? What do these codes go to? When will they strike again because you know they will. - Beckett
I love the plot and how it was executed by ERight. As this is book 1 of the series, all I can say at this point is everything is timed and calculated to the last point. From what was told, Sarah is the ultimate manipulator and mastermind and I love it! You gotta love Sarah's "puppy dog"/victim drama which Brie fell for. She had Brie wrapped around her finger with promises of big bucks and a means to fulfill the latter's big dreams of independence and then some. Sarah's plotting was slow, deliberate and calculated, I don't think Brie really stood a chance because I'm convinced Sarah will keep on finding ways to hound and torment here until Brie relents. By the end of DEAD DREAMS, I'm convinced that Sarah hand "selected" Brie carefully placing her in a very difficult situation, a hefty collateral for a convenient and expensive end worth $99M.
As for Brie, right now I'm not impressed because of her foolhardiness which makes her the perfect "victim" due to her gullibility. As a reader, we can smell the deceit a mile away and til now, I can't justify why Brie said yes to Sarah's plan. All I can think of is that (1) Sarah knows Brie more than she let on, (2) Brie seeing how Sarah is so paranoid and in so much fear for her life she felt protective of her new roommate, and (3) Brie is really desperate and needed Sarah's gratuity for her own purposes. However these two didn't really demonstrate a convincing friendship for me to justify how on Earth can Brie subject herself to such a complicated fraud! A convenient plot choreography from ERight if you ask me.
Now even if Brie irritated me a bit, I have to admire Sarah's genius at this point. And when the conflict finally unfolded, my jaw dropped to the floor. There's more to the story than meets the eye and Brie is now in a very compromising situation with no one to turn to. DEAD DREAMS is gripping and very engaging, it's one of those books that will make you desperate for book 2 right away because you can't stand the suspense any longer. ERight has a vicious mind I want more!(less)
BROKEN is such a powerful story not just because of the issues it tackled but how it was written. I'm not surprised that this has been nominated in this year's RT Awards for Book of the Year. CJ Lyons wrote an amazing story about a teen who's woes proved to be larger than the novel itself. BROKEN is not just about a teen trying to live through the day, it's about friendship, hope and surviving. And don't be mistaken, BROKEN may appear as this sob story about a dying girl but it has a dark side which will grip you to the end. It's YA with a twist of maleficence.(less)
INFINITE POSSIBILITIES is the sequel to Lisa Renee Jones' new adult series, The Secret Life of Amy Bensen. I reviewed Escaping Reality three months ago and inasmuch as I love LRJones, I have to say that book 1 of this series frustrated me because the plot didn't really progress and I felt we were left more questions than answers with the first book. INFINITE POSSIBILITIES wasn't as mysterious as its predecessor but there's still a lot of questions that are left unanswered. The good thing is that we have a bit of clarity regarding Amy Bensen's old life but overall, I find the plot development slow. At book two, I was hoping that the plot is far ahead than where it should be meaning I was expecting we'd know (1) who the villain is, (2) what was the reason behind Amy's parent's deaths, and (3) what do these people want with her.
I know my feedback sounds a little discouraging and allow me to correct that right now. Despite my complaints about INFINITE POSSIBILITIES I found it engaging. Maybe I wasn't engaged in a pleasant way but I was ENGAGED enough to breeze through it. And if there's anything LRJones is good at, it's writing awesome, nail biting, edge of your seat suspense. I was so motivated to finish the book just so I could get to the bottom of the conflict and let me tell you, I'm loving how the conflict revolving conspiracies and betrayal is shaping up. I'm hoping we'll find less shadows and more concrete shapes in book 3, Forsaken, but for the meantime, INFINITE POSSIBILITIES will fire you up in more ways than one.(less)
Riveting. I guess that's the most appropriate word to describe Connie Ann Michael's military romance, 1000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. I've read a few military romances and most of them are not set in the middle of the Afghan war. This was dead center of that and I felt the sense of urgency that Emma and the rest of the characters are feeling on a daily basis. That carpe diem attitude because who knows, you might find yourself blown to pieces because of landmines and other attacks. And the huge task of being responsible for other people's lives. I've never given protocol on this level much thought but after reading 1000 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, I sure did find a whole new appreciation for military SOP in their glorious OCD-ness.(less)
On paper Allie and Tristan are perfect for each other. They do it like bunnies and every scene is more searing than the previous. It doesn't matter where they are, when the mood strikes, they're compelled to give in to the need. Now I understand insta-lust, it's chemical, basic and instinctual and gutsy. What I didn't didn't like is the insta-love part. Ugh! I hate it when this happens because it's plain unrealistic especially with adults. Even the most hopeless of romantics practice some sort of restraint at some point!
Given that these two are beyond attracted to each other, Tristan is Allie's new boss and though playing with fire is exciting, I was expecting some sort of caution on her part. This is usually the case with heroines in this genre, they're too frickin' naive sometimes it's irritating! Tristan isn't any better either, I appreciate his straightforwardness and I'm sure that he's got Allie's background investigated and memorized but geez, let the emotional tension build a little bit. I can't help but question his intent and principles. Here you are flucking the brains out of your gorgeous employee, no strings attached (yet), you bring her to your house to meet your family and give everyone the impression that you two are exclusive and afterwards everybody is chummy like you guys have known each other since kindergarten. That just doesn't happen especially if your in the business of knowing other people's skeletons! Granted that it will eventually lead to that but again, insta-love is something I can't reconcile with.
Despite my gripes over Allie and Tristan's lightning speed love affair, I found LAYERS DEEP engaging and gave me enough reasons to look forward to reading book 2. LSilks gave us solid romantica smexin' that will keep our imaginations bumpin and grindin and the series plot is really good. It's humming with suspense with vengeance on the helm and human traffickers on the loose. The ending is a cliffhanger but I have a feeling the next part won't be bad news [I hope]. (less)
HIGHLAND PROTECTOR was an exiting installment to the series, it was suspenseful and promising, it set the stage for another great installment. With the prophesy half fulfilled I'm eager to see how Amber and Gavin's union will play a role inasfar as vanquishing the villain, Gainna, permanently. If this is the plot for book 6, Gavin Kincaid's character will go through some rough patches and it may or may not play a pivotal in terms of what direction the series is taking. I love the dual plot and love story, it kept the book moving and with short appearances from the villain, it made the novel even better. The best part is, HIGHLAND PROTECTOR can be read as stand-alone but if you end up loving it like I did, I'm sure you'd want to backtrack and pick up the entire series. (less)
I utterly love this book. Scott and Freedman employed their screenplay writing skills to make the story as vivid a possible and I felt like I was running away with Sophie in the streets of London, gasping on those heartless murders and torture. The flashbacks and back stories are interspersed with the main plot which added another layer to the novel.(less)
I like SChardou's storytelling style. I loved how she introduced her characters, dishing out their backstories from the start which gave me a quick sense of who and what they are and whether or not I'll like them. The world she made is pretty small, there's a bunch of colorful secondary characters and they're all interconnected somehow it's almost incestuous. But even with these dizzying relations, these intriguing tritagonists enriched the series and I'm pretty sure that their respective stories will be told eventually. SChardou gave all of them attractive characteristics they're practically begging for their own book.
OUT FROM UNDER is definitely one of those books that's hard to put down. It's very new adult in it's tragic, angsty, crass and emotional plot completed by complicated family drama made rich by dynamic sub plots and other twists and turns akin to SOA. As OUT FROM UNDER is hinged on the rockstar side of the story, it looks like book 2, In Too Deep, will be told from the MC POV. I can already hear the sounds of gunfire and smell the acrid scent of burning tires and gunpowder.(less)
I had a blast reading TWO ROADS. Suicide is a serious issue and losing someone close to you because of it is not only painful but polarizing. Cali and Logan has been wallowing over Ben's death for years and they blamed everyone and everything, including themselves, for Ben's suicide and dealing with that kind of guilt over something you can't control is brutal. Now though TWO ROADS' theme is heavy, I liked how L.M. Augustine tackled it with a lot of humor which I think is more effective than presenting it in a dark and sorrowful way.
TWO ROADS is definitely a winner! It gave me lots of LOL moments stemming from the back and forth pranks these two are throwing at each other. I was beyond entertained over their verbal foreplay, felt warm and fuzzy over their love for poetry and more tender moments. I also felt sad and a little helpless over Cali and Logan's feeling of loss. Mr. Augustine did a great job in writing a heartfelt story about loss and love from a girl's POV. He wielded his wit carefully and tastefully without sacrificing the message that death is one of the most permanent kind of pain there is and the polarities of grief that go with it. Mr. Augustine is fast becoming one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and you can bet that I will gobble up his upcoming adult contemporary novel. I'm sure it'll be another hit.(less)
Lukewarm smexiness and CURSED wasn't as thrilling as I expected. After all, this is an UF series with law enforcement agents for heroes. It was rich in mystery and suspense but there wasn't an array of hair raising, heart pounding action to keep my adrenalin rushing through my system. It was very investigative probably because the "bad guys" weren't hardcore villains so things didn't get down and dirty. It did however leave us with a few things to think about which sets up the next book quite well.
Now whilst CURSED was a quick read, I do hope that the next book will have more danger and sexual tension. I want my urban fantasy to keep my heart pumping for different reasons. But even if CURSED fell short on some parts, it did give us a great peek at Emma's world and future conflicts, both romantic and otherwise, which we'll know more about in the next book. CURSED may not have wowed me but it was good enough to make me follow the series and read the next installment.(less)
Death has a name. And its name is Aric. Death is easily who we consider the villain in this storyboard but the book isn't called ENDLESS KNIGHT for nothing. Here we get to know Aric a little better and we soon come to discover that his motivation goes beyond winning this game. He's got something personal against Evie and he waited a long time to come face to face with the Empress again. Death is a cunning manipulator so expect plot twists and unfathomable alliances and heartbreaking betrayal to be added in the mix. KCole also did a complete anathema by humanizing him which makes it very complicated for Jack and Evie fans, I mean just look at the cover art! It's so telling! The tension between Aric and Evie is plain as day so yes, there's the dreaded love triangle which makes me a little wary for book 3. There's nothing like a slutty heroine to turn me off but I'm hoping Evie will grow to be a clever vixen and wheedle herself out of this sticky romantic mess she just found herself in.
In closing, ENDLESS KNIGHT and The Arcana Chronicles is a genre bending novel/series so shed any preconceived notions you have about young adult novels and its juvenile characters or even the dark landscape usually associated with post apocalyptic novels. Like I said, the world after KCole's Flash is like the Dark Ages, it's lawless, bloody, gory, very medieval and at times barbaric. It's not about a pair of lovers fighting for survival in a bleak and dark time, it's simply about survival period and any chance at love is a blessing but not a requirement. And though the leads are teens, they've risen to the occasion and have and will continue to give us a fantastic and compelling survival story. (less)
The plot is really simple and there's a short list of secondary characters, just enough to keep the story moving. The conflict is multi-layered, which I really loved, it wasn't too angsty and there's a good push and pull between Carter and Whitney. It's one of those fights where everyone and no one is to blame rather there's emotional conflict between the characters and it's something that they have to work through in order for them to be on the same page. The resolution was drawn well, RWade allowed her characters to do the talking and really had them drawing from within to make things right again. As for the epilogue, it was too perfect and sweet but stranger things have happened so I'll take it where I can get it. Obviously everyone lived happily ever after but regardless of that predictable ending, it still didn't take away from the plot.
The best part is, DECLARATION can be read as stand-alone as Carter's story is a different arc from the previous two books. And you don't have to worry about the missing piece which is Kate because RWade provided sufficient backstory to get you up to speed on what happened between her and Carter. (less)
Ive read Killian's Pure Souls and really enjoyed it. I was surprised with the lack of heat and great romantic tension HGWW considering PS was oozing w...moreIve read Killian's Pure Souls and really enjoyed it. I was surprised with the lack of heat and great romantic tension HGWW considering PS was oozing with it. I loved the premise however the characters, Rosalind & Xavier, never transitioned from their impersonal and business like head hunting/ matchmaking / husband search relationship.
However Killian is a method writer, if there's such a thing. Her voice her is hey different from PS and I really felt like I was in Silicon Valley amongst super techie people. Killian is such a great talent I hope this wont be her last attempt at contemporary romance. Even if HGWW didn't work out for me, Id still fuck out her books for the writing alone. - Braine(less)
The entire time I was reading WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN I was both in awe by CJenner's writing voice and applauding it profusely at the same time. It was so surreal because like I said, I'm acquainted with her and I was blown away by her debut. This lady knows what we want and delivered it to a perfect tee, I laughed, cried, got angry, got hungry and a slew of other emotions while reading Sugartown 1, I know I'll keep coming back for more. She wrote such a vibrant and tantalizing story its INSPIRED. So if you're a fan of hadrcore new adult contemporary romances, you MUST add WELCOME TO SUGARTOWN to your TBR and save a date to read it, it's solid and won't be a waste of your precious reading time.(less)
I liked LUCA'S MAGIC EMBRACE better than Kade's Dark Embrace. I always have a soft spot for betas and Luca may be one but he's as fearsome and loyal as his maker and friend, Kade. We first meet Luca in Immortals of New Orleans 1 and he definitely made an impression on me and I know that this dude's story will be sexy and mighty interesting.
I may just be two books in but I'm getting a good grasp of Kym Grosso's style and I'm really digging it. I love the fact that we are already acquainted with these various characters way before their books are written. We're given cause to root and be drawn to them so by the time that their HEA is ready to be read, we're already invested somehow and that's exactly what happened to me before and during LUCA'S MAGIC EMBRACE. My only regret is I'm still left wanting for New Orleans. It think this should be renamed Immortals of Philly because that's where these books are mostly set and NOLA is nothing more than a passing remark or some sort of loose connection. I'm hoping that I'll get my fix in Tristan's Lyceum Wolves, book 3 of the series which I'm currently reading right now. Still no NOLA so far but Tristan is prime cut meat. (less)