So I have to say the blurb for this book and it's sequel, Naked, which I read via Netgalley and will be reviewing soon, are both kinda off the mark. W...moreSo I have to say the blurb for this book and it's sequel, Naked, which I read via Netgalley and will be reviewing soon, are both kinda off the mark. When I read this novel I didn't get the feeling that Anne didn't like Alex the first time she saw him, yes she appeared uncomfortable about this long lost friend of her husband's that she knew so little about and with the way James changed around him. But I NEVER got the impression she didn't like Alex, in fact I thought she was pretty much immediately attracted to him. Anyway, that's my little quibble with the blurb.
Tempted is my first foray into erotica. I was a little apprehensive, I wasn't sure what to expect or how I would like it. It was afraid it would be a literary version of porn: all sex, no plot. I've read some reviews of Hart's other books and was intrigued. They sounded like really gripping, intense reads. When I saw Naked available on NetGalley I wanted to read it but knew this book came first and had Alex in it. It's not necessary to read Tempted first to enjoy Naked but Tempted really gives you a background on what happened between Alex, James and Anne and helps the reader understand Alex better in Naked. So I would highly recommend picking this up before reading Naked.
I'm really glad I gave Tempted a chance. It's hot, it's sexually and emotionally intense. It's sweet and sad all at the same time. It's not a light read, which, I gather, not many of Hart's books are. However, I'm now a bona fide Hart fangirl and have also picked up Deeper and Stranger and intend to get her entire backlist! Yay for trying something out of my comfort zone and finding an amazing new-to-me author!
Disclosure: I checked this book out from the library. I did not receive any compensation for this review. (less)
I really enjoyed this book! It was smart, funny, and sexy. The characters were flawed but endearing. And I kept picturing Gareth as our lovely Mr. Thornton from North & South. Sigh. Definitely pick this one up folks! (less)
Rules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles' trilogy about the Fuentes brothers. I read the first book, Perfect Chemistry, in February an...moreRules of Attraction is the second book in Simone Elkeles' trilogy about the Fuentes brothers. I read the first book, Perfect Chemistry, in February and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'd seen a lot of great reviews about it but for some reason I didn't think I'd like it. I was so wrong! So, I had high hopes for Rules of Attraction, but alas, I was disappointed in Carlos' story. I finished this a few days ago and have been trying to pin-point just what exactly I found wrong with the book; it boils down to the fact that I didn't connect with Carlos. There was something about his voice/point of view that lacked the spark I felt when reading Alex's book.
I like the alternating chapters with Carlos and Kiara's points of view. I really liked Kiara, she's a little out there, not your typical teenager always concerned about what others think of her, despite her stuttering problem. She really seemed to know who she was and wasn't looking to Carlos to "complete" her, even though in the end he did. She seems pretty secure in who she is, and I found that refreshing. I also enjoyed her family especially her father and little brother.
Carlos, oh Carlos. Why didn't you do it for me? Your brother Alex was AMAZING. You, on the other hand, were kinda "meh". I'm not sure how to explain what I thought was lacking. However, when I was reading there were several passages where I literally rolled my yes. What Carlos was expressing was, I assume, supposed to come off as profound and insightful but, to me, it came off as forced and insincere. For example the following excerpt, just doesn't ring true; to me, it felt inauthentic :
"I expect everyone in my life to leave me at some point. Since Destiny, I haven't allowed myself to get emotionally involved with anyone. If I let myself care about someone, they'll leave me, push me away, or die. That's the way it's been, and will always be."
I guess with Alex's book I really felt for him: he had the burden of being "the man of the house", he was trying to protect his brothers from falling prey to gangs, his struggles, both internal and external, felt flushed out and fully realized. I really felt Carlos's story lacked this intensity and development of character. It's not that I disliked the book overall, I was left slightly unsatisfied and felt that the spark from Perfect Chemistry was missing. Looking through the reviews/ratings on Goodreads, I seem to be in the minority. I wanted to like this one as much as Perfect Chemistry but Carlos just didn't do it for me.(less)
**spoiler alert** Since I returned from New Orleans, I've been avoiding the interwebz for the most part. Mostly because I did not have a copy of Mocki...more**spoiler alert** Since I returned from New Orleans, I've been avoiding the interwebz for the most part. Mostly because I did not have a copy of Mockingjay yet and did not want to accidentally stumble upon spoilers. So, while I waited for Mockingjay to arrive, I re-read both Hunger Games and Catching Fire. The day I finished Catching Fire my copy of Mockingjay arrived, it was fate, no? Ok, it was UPS, but whatever. Anyway the following review will be ripe with spoilers so it will be hidden in order to protect those who do not want spoilers.
I think we all had theories about what would happen in Mockingjay. Who would live, who would die, who Katniss would end up with, if anyone. But one of the reasons I love this series and Suzanne Collins is her ability to surprise readers. Well, she surprised me at least. I never dreamed she would have the Capitol essentially brainwash Peeta into a Katniss killing machine. Nor that her relationship with Gale would come to such a tragic end.
I've always been Team Katniss, not necessarily overly concerned with which boy she ended up with, but if I'm totally honest, I was always a Peeta fan. I understand some of the arguments Team Gale had however, personally I thought that when Katniss took Prim's place in the Reaping, her life was irrevocably changed and any future she MIGHT have had with Gale was lost.
I have to say that with each book felt so sorry for Katniss. In the Hunger Games she was a pawn in the Capitol's game, in Catching Fire she was manipulated and used by the Rebels, and again in Mockingjay both the Capitol and the Rebellion were jerking her around. I loved when she killed President Coin. I had a very bad feeling about her from the minute District 13's utilitarian, regimented system was described. The Districts would have been trading in one totalitarian ruler for another. I was glad Katniss killed her even if it meant not getting to directly kill President Snow.
I have to say that, on the whole, The Hunger Games series is one of my all time favorite YA series. I love that Katniss is such a strong heroine. She had to make difficult choices and often her decisions weren't the most popular but she did what she thought was right and she fought till the bitter end. She is one badass chick. If you all haven't read them, I would highly recommend both of Kristen Cashore's books that also feature some seriously kick ass heroines in Graceling and Fire. Katniss, Katsa, and Fire are some of my all time favorite YA heroines!
Mockingjay was, like the previous books, filled with action, anger, pain, sadness, self discovery and self sacrifice, love, hate, revenge and, ultimately, a bittersweet ending. After I finished it, I sat on my couch staring off into space trying to work out my feelings. I was happy, sad, and angry. At the Capitol, the Rebels, Gale, Peeta, Katniss. Mockingjay was a wild ride but after consideration, I loved every minute of it!
Since I've finally read it and reviewed it I'm off to engage in discussion and debate with others! I can't wait to see what others thought! (less)
Wow. I was completely blown away by If I Stay. This slim, wisp of a novel packs quite an emotional punch. Forman effortlessly balances humor, love, an...moreWow. I was completely blown away by If I Stay. This slim, wisp of a novel packs quite an emotional punch. Forman effortlessly balances humor, love, and loss in this unique twist on the traditional "teen death book". There are currently a lot of YA books out dealing with death; the loss of a parent, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend or friend however, Forman has a unique twist on the topic.
In a dramatic twist of fate, the main character, Mia, has been in a car accident with her parents and younger brother. She is the lone survivor, barley holding on to a life she's not sure she can face without her family. With her physical body comatose, Mia is on the cusp of the afterlife. She's in a state of limbo with an impending life or death decision.
Through alternating flashbacks of her life and her present state, we learn about her relationships with those closest to her: her parents, brother, boyfriend, and best friend. We learn about her budding career as a cellist with a bright future at Julliard. We want her to choose to stay, to fight, to live. Our hearts break for her monumental loss and sympathize with her fear of a future without her family.
If I Stay is quite possibly one of the most touching stories about family, love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit that I've ever read. My review is sparse and, I feel, inadequately conveys the emotional response that the book elicited from me. So I'll simply say that I would highly recommend this book! (less)
Before I begin this review I want to take just a minute to talk about reader expectations. I know I've mentioned this in previous reviews. Sometimes,...moreBefore I begin this review I want to take just a minute to talk about reader expectations. I know I've mentioned this in previous reviews. Sometimes, as readers, we start a novel having certain expectations. Sometimes you have low expectations and then are pleasantly surprised by a book. Other times you have such high expectations that no book could possibly live up to and, every once in a blue moon, your exceedingly high expectations are met. Lover Mine is one of these books.
Fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood have been waiting for this book since we met John Matthew as a lonely, scared "pretrans" in Dark Lover. We watched him grow, mature, change, fall in love, and get his heart broken. In Lover Mine, John and Xhex finally get their HEA but, as per usual with the BDB series, not without heartache and pain.
At the end of Lover Avenged, Xhex disappears having been kidnapped by Lash and is now being held prisoner. The Brotherhood, John specifically, is losing hope of finding her alive. However, as we all know, Xhex is a fighter and is not about to sit around and wait to be rescued. Xhex busts through the invisible barrier Lash has erected around her thanks to his waning strength. The rest of the novel is basically John, Xhex, and the rest of the brotherhood hunting down Lash. After a few twists and turns and a road block or two our beloved, John Matthew gets his female. I know this isn't much of a summary but those of you who read the series know the plot, those that don't well, all those details would just be overwhelming!
I was really nervous about reading Lover Mine. This was John Matthew's story and I wanted it to be perfect. But how often does that happen? Like I mentioned, it seems I had such high expectations that I didn't know how Ward would be able to live up to them. But she did. Not only did I love John Matthew and Xhex's storyline but we finally got some more Qhuinn/Blay face time.
One thing I'm really sad about going forward from Lover Mine is, what I assume will be, the lack of John Matthew's point of view. Since Dark Lover, we've always had a glimpse into John Matthew's head. However, Ward usually doesn't revisit previous hero/heroine's POV after she's given them their HEA. One huge exception was the return of Wrath's POV in Lover Avenged as his sight continued to deteriorate. It's just so sad, for me, to think about not having John Matthew's POV anymore. I am looking forward to more from Qhuinn and Blay and I really hope we get their story!
Anyway, I've fallen, like many before me, into a post-Lover Mine funk. I'm not ready to move on from the Brothers just yet. So I started The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide, that's right I hadn't read that yet either. And reading through it I'm half tempted to re-read the entire series. However, I have sooo many books in my TBR pile the idea of re-reading so many books makes me feel guilty! But I'm seriously not ready to move on from the Brotherhood just yet. I am feeling another intesnse read though. I was thinking I might acutally tackle An Echo in the Bone, the newest Outlander book. But I'm not sure...
Lover Mine is vying with Lover Awakened as my favorite BDB novel!
Those of you that read Lover Mine did it live up to your expectations? Also, are there folks out there that STILL haven't read this series? If so, what are you waiting for? (No seriously, that's not a rhetorical question, I really wanna know!)(less)