Soaring is the second book in the Magdalene Series, of which―if I read correctly―there will only be three. The first, The Will, wasI own an eBook copy
Soaring is the second book in the Magdalene Series, of which―if I read correctly―there will only be three. The first, The Will, was one of my absolute favourites and ranked way up there with Creed from the Unfinished Hero series. So, although I couldn’t wait for Soaring to be released, I was still somewhat hesitant. If you’ve read either of the one’s I’ve mentioned and adored them to bits as I did, you perhaps felt the same; expectations and all that. However, this is one author who more than delivers on any story of hers I've read so far. The Will is still in my top spot, but Soaring was just as beautiful.
Amelia, who is beyond sweet, has had a shitty life―as many women (and sometimes men) do, despite being an heiress. But money, although it makes the world go around, is not what made her happy. Her husband was cheat, lower than low as far as I’m concerned, and after 16 years of marriage, it all tumbled down around her. Sadly, she turned into the ‘woman scorned’. This only widened the chasm between herself and her children. She moves to Magdalene to star her life anew and win her children back. She did this on a wing and a prayer as that’s where her ex has moved to, along with his new wife and her children. In the beginning, when Amelia is setting up a home where her children will feel safe and welcome and most importantly loved, for she loves them with her whole heart, I found myself feeling angry and highly stressed over the kids’ attitude towards her. Granted, she turned into a bitch of note after the divorce and seemed to be stuck in a if-you-can-do-it-to-me-I’ll-return-the-favour kind of cesspool. However, I fumed on occasion due to the kids’ lack of interest and coldness towards her. I suppose each kid acts differently and in this case they had no clue as to what their father had done, and after their mother’s outbursts they withdrew and believed those whose roof they now resided under. Eventually, as is the point, trust is gained and Amelia’s relationship with her kids is fabulous.
Mickey is a firefighter. He hasn’t got much materially, but has a whole of love for his children, even and although they all struggle with his ex-wife’s drinking problem, he tries his utmost to help in any way he can. It goes without saying that he has issues of his own, and one in particular is Amelia’s wealth. Whereas she never has to worry for the rest of her life about money, it’s not something he could ever match. However, he has a history, which I’ll leave for you to find out.
Soaring is a beautiful story of heartache, love, give and take, understanding, and also what bullying does to a child’s self-esteem. It’s also a story about forming bonds with those who become a part of your family. I’ve read many a love story in my lifetime as romance books are what I began reading from a very young age, but there’s something special about Kristen Ashley’s words, characters and the family dynamic. It feels like every time I read one of her books, the words seep deep down into my very bones. I also laugh in every book as there are always crazy situations, but I cry like there’s no tomorrow.
And I always hate reaching the end of one of this author’s books.
Below is just one teeny, tiny scene between Mikey and Amelia. Her brother is going through his own kind of hell. She tells Mikey she's worried, but that she's fine. And that's the reply she gets from him.
I opened my eyes. "I hurt for my brother," I told him. "But I'm fine."
"It'll happen. Won't know when it will happen. But mine moved in right across the street."
I drew in a sharp breath. Mickey kept talking like he didn't just gift me with something precious....more
I must mention first that I had no clue this was the second book. However, I'll say that not once did I feel like I’d missed out on the backstory forI must mention first that I had no clue this was the second book. However, I'll say that not once did I feel like I’d missed out on the backstory for not having read the first one, as it's easily read as a standalone. So, that has to say something about how it's set out, which is everything good in my book.
The Baby and The Bride revolves around not only Poppy―the main character―but also her best friend, Jazz; her fiancé, Ryan; as well as her mother, aunt, brother and a whole other set of friends/not so much friends/family members, and a previous love interest where Ryan is concerned.
Best friends, Poppy and Jazz, both face life changes. Jazz, who's had a baby isn’t sure who the father is―could be her ex-boyfriend, or Poppy’s brother, Ollie. And Poppy, who is on the verge of getting married, isn't quite sure if she will go through with the wedding, call it off, or just make a run for it. This is how crazy these two are, and I'm not even touching base here. Amidst these two very important milestones, everything you can possibly think of, happens. And then we have Meryl, Poppy’s mother. She's hilarious and as moms do, takes over putting together the perfect wedding. Well, perfect in her mind, because much like Poppy, I wouldn’t want bloody clowns at my wedding, either! Meryl, bless her soul, made me laugh more times than I can count, but then so did almost every character in this book. Her e-mails are seriously to die for.
I appreciated the fact that this book was written in both Poppy’s and Jazz’s point of views, which makes for an interesting storyline. You’re kept on your toes and turning those pages at breakneck speed (that's how I felt) in order to see what either is up to or going through next. I liked this a lot.
The only thing that saddened me somewhat was the number of typos in this book. This was such a pity and made me pause on occasion. Surprisingly, I eventually managed to ignore them, which isn't something I'm able to do often as I tend to become frustrated, with the end result being that I don't finish a book because of it. But, it just goes to show how much I loved this story that even I set that aside.
The Baby and The Bride is fast-paced. It’s an easy read and humorous to boot. I love these kinds of books, because there are times in one’s life where a good laugh is needed. This is the type of story one can read at any time; it always go down a treat.
Thank you Laura for sending me a copy of your book. I knew I was going to like it as soon as I'd read the synopsis!
Holy guacamole!! Fire Inside was crazy hot, hot, hot. This book is aptly named. Trust me, they sure had aI own an eBook copy : WARNING - adult content
Holy guacamole!! Fire Inside was crazy hot, hot, hot. This book is aptly named. Trust me, they sure had a fire inside, one that continuously burnt right until the very last page, it sizzled something fierce. I'm surprised my iPad didn't catch fire! Phew. With any other book I'd probably have thought that there was way, way too much sex in this one, but these two were hot for each other. Lanie and Hop are completely from opposite sides of the track and not only did no one think they'd have ever be one hot to trot couple, no one thought they would actually be interested in each other. However, as far as I'm concerned, they were so totally meant to be together after the hell they'd both experienced in their lives. Their relationship was hectic in all departments but oh so flipping awesome. Hopper Kincaid. You ARE all that! For me to say this is like a revelation, mainly because he was always in the background, kind of, and I never really got to know him, but dang if I didn't get to know him now. Yeah, I did, mustache and all!
This is how it started. At first, knowing Lanie, designer girl from head to toe and drama queen extraordinaire, I was like, "Whaaaaat?" and bear in mind that she's gone through the ringer, too. Her husband was shot to death by Elliott Belova and all because he had to do something for her that one particular night. Added to this, Hop thinks she's one effed up bitch, but not in the way that makes him hate her, at all. For him to think that despite her being skinny, doesn't have a big enough arse (even though he likes the one she has), isn't blessed in the breast department but has bedroom eyes and he thinks she's sex on legs, says it all. And then she does something even I wasn't expecting. Neither was Hop, apparently. As he watched her make her way in his direction at the compound, and not being able to help himself from oggling her, he was shocked by what she asked after they greeted each other. After my initial shock, my face lit up like a freaking huge firework display! It did. From here on in, it did not stop. So, prepare yourself for a ride (no pun intended) like no other.
"Hey," he heard Lanie greet him and his eyes moved back to her. "Hey," he replied. Her head tilted slightly down, but her eyes never left his as she remarked, "Getting rowdy." "Always does," he murmured, his gaze moving over her shoulder while he thought, Jesus, she was tall. She had to be five-nine without those heels. In them, she was six-foot-one. Nearly his height. They were almost eye to eye. He didn't like this, normally. Lanie... eye to eye with those fucking eyes? Shit. "Wanna fuck?" At her question, his gaze sliced back to hers as she felt his body jerk in shock. "Say again?" he asked. She leaned in slightly, never looking away and repeated, "Wanna Fuck?"
I fanned myself right after this. Bet you, you did, too. Hop now thinks she's had one too many but she denies it. It's never as simple as what she proposes; a one night stand. Plus, there's the fact that she's Tyra's--Tack's wife--best friend. Hop respects them both and this type of situation not only ends up hurting those closest to you, but it complicates matters. However, Lanie doesn't see what the problem is. It's for one night only. However, a guy not wanting to reciprocate this kind of invite makes one feel somewhat inadequate. Much as Lanie did.
"Do you want to fuck me?" she asked. Her voice, sweet and feminine normally, was soft now, a little hesitant, a little excited, and that intoxicating combination was doing a number on him too. "Babe, you looked in the mirror lately?" he asked back by way of answer. "Man would have to be dead not to wanna fuck you."
Man alive. It took Hop some convincing. Lanie isn't looking to get hitched. She's had it bad and all she needs is this one night, with Hop. Whereas before they'd both been involved with all that was crazy with their other halves, it's not the case now. This is something Lanie's been thinking about for a while, coupled with the fact that she thinks he's good-looking. I give Hop props for trying everything in his power to deter her, even though it was killing him to turn her down. As a last resort, Lanie throws down a challenge. She's going to his room and will wait there for a short period of time, fifteen minutes to be exact, and if he doesn't show, there won't be any hard feelings. To seal this challenge, she tells him she hopes he shows.
So, you can gather from this that things escalated to such proportions, I thought I would combust along with my iPad. O.M.G. One taste and Hop was caught, because when Lanie wanted to leave after the explosive night they had, he was none too pleased. Once wasn't and would never be enough, not for him, and eventually not for Lanie either, no matter how much drama she dished out or how much she protested. Here's another couple that were absolutely made for each other. To die for romance. Hop took Lanie's heart and made it whole, just as I wanted him to. Like Creed, Vance, Hector, Hawk, and Tack, Hop has joined the awesome men brigade. Don't anyone yell at me, the rest were fabulous, too. These just shone a little bit more.
As much as there's always a seriousness about situations and lives in KA's stories, there is always that element of laugh out loud situations. Just pure beauty interwoven from one word to the next. These two books in the Chaos series are right up there with my favourite series by this author, the Rock Chick series. I need to go and count how many of this author's books I've read. However many I've devoured, they will never be enough.
Pure, unadulterated, toe-curling, mind-numbing, heart-wrenching, smile inducing, and rock your socks off superbness.
I simply cannot wait for the third book, and I can't wait for Rush's story--Tabby's brother. He's going to be explosive. I can tell.
*And I'm happy to say that I now own this beauty in paperback! Be still my heart. I won this on the author's FB page during a competition she was running. It's signed and all and I shall forever treasure it. ...more
Wicked Innocence was a sweet read from a first time author for me. Due to having less time lateRATING : 3.5 stars
I received an ARC for review purposes
Wicked Innocence was a sweet read from a first time author for me. Due to having less time lately as result of juggling a number of things, I stopped taking review requests altogether as most of you know. However, if there's something that I happen to catch doing the rounds on FB or Twitter which sounds interesting and I can see I'll be able to fit it in, I'll sign up for it. As I did with WI. Plus, it was awesome that Ms. Johnson ran a few teaser competitions, of which I entered one. I've added two of my teasers above, because I love them and had loads of fun making them.
I don't particularly go for the NA genre, much as I don't go for YA that often, either, but if they happen to cross my path, good. So, it's always somewhat challenging for me to read stories where the characters are way younger than I am. Having said this, I've read a few that have knocked me speechless, making me think that some land on my lap at just the right time and that the story itself is more than memorable. One thing that impressed me is the fact that for once in a long while, I've come across an author who doesn't go on and on for the purpose of stretching her sentences unnecessarily by stating the obvious in reference to descriptions or actions, something that seems to be a growing trend of late. This went down a treat and was utterly refreshing. It also pleased me that there weren't pages and pages filled with nonsense to make a book longer. WI was to the point with absolutely no skirting the issue of characters' pasts where we eventually only learn what took place right at the end of the book. You know what's what when you need to know what's what, and at the right time. So props for that.
Micah is seventeen, but only she knows that. To the rest of the world, she's twenty-one. She's had a hard-knock life, which included a mom who had addiction issues and couldn't have cared less about her children, and an eleven-year-old brother who was killed for something as inconsequential as shoes. Micah was only fourteen at the time. To avoid being shipped off to yet another foster home by her mother, or even worse, a group home due to her age, she gathered whatever information she could, made use of certain people she knew and got herself an ID stating she was twenty-one. When life threatens to pull you further under than where you already are, some don't make it but others, like Micah, make it a mission to survive. And survive she did, even if surviving consisted of lying over her age. There's a difference between blatant, hurtful lies and those little white lies. At least there is for me. When needs must...
She's a singer and is hopeful that upon auditioning for the band Resurrection, she'll get the lead. Things don't get off to a good start but she redeems herself. She has to take it one step further and show what she's made of after performing at a live gig. The one person she hasn't met is the band's manager and when she does, her world tilts. He's none other than Saxon Waite, former fallen rock star. He, too, has a dark past, one that led him to abandon singing and one that landed him in Juvie. Now, he's Resurrection's manager. His cousin Harry forms part of the band and it's something neither is overjoyous about. What happened with Sax not only affects him daily and will for the rest of his life, but caused heartbreak and dissension within his family, with good reason. And then he meets Micah. The attraction for both is instant although they don't act on it right away. When they do, though, it sizzled. As days go by, they come to know each other but not all is revealed. When Sax inadvertently finds out that Micah is only seventeen, he's shocked to the core because not only is she underage, he's twenty-five and by then is in love with her. And one thing Saxon Waite does not do is love.
What I expected more of was a tad bit more naughtiness, if I may be so bold. I started off by saying it was a sweet read, and it was. Despite the fact that there is a fair amount of cussing (something that does not bother me in the least as that's how most people speak anyway and rings true―especially with the younger male crowd), as well as a few descriptive sex scenes, which again does not bother me in the least and not something I ever shy away from―it was a sweet love story. The reason I expected more probably stems from the fact that in my head, I saw Sax as someone who would be somewhat more dominant, more sure of himself, slightly rougher around the edges, if only to suit the rock star persona. He was just sweet, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that either, but when I read stories on rockers or bands, I always but always expect a little more roughness for some reason where the male lead is concerned. Sax wasn't either of those things. Probably due to what he'd already gone through, a kind of been there, done that type of scenario and he was over the whole macho vibe. However, he did make me laugh on more than one occasion with references to the fact that he doesn't need to try hard in any case as women just fall at his feet.
Micah on the other hand was a strong female lead, and someone who took the bull by the horns and carved the life she wanted for herself, even though it wasn't all down the straight and respectable road. When forced to make choices, she went with the one that suited her best and I admired her for that. As for the age difference between the two? She was more mature than those who were older. Age is but a number, within reason. My mom is six years younger than my dad and they started dating when she was sixteen, so for me it wasn't anything catastrophic, as it might be for someone else. It lends the relationship that little bit of forbidden fruit.
This was an easy and light read, which luckily included a lovely romance between the main characters. On a side note, despite Harry being otherwise ornery towards Sax, I still really liked him. I'm glad I read WI and I'm thankful to the author for having given me the opportunity to receive an ARC. ...more
I actually don't even know what to say about this book. You know, I've now read quite a lot of Kristen Ashley’s books, seventeen to be precise (thereI actually don't even know what to say about this book. You know, I've now read quite a lot of Kristen Ashley’s books, seventeen to be precise (there are still outstanding reviews for the Chaos series), although this number doesn't even touch what KA has written―and I’ve loved every single one, although I still need to have a chat with Knight. KA fans will know who I’m talking about. In order to read the other gazillion books she’s written (feels like a gazillion to me) I'd have to go without sleep for, say, six months―maybe more―to even attempt anything close to catching up. I keep threatening that I’m going to send an e-mail requesting she take a year long holiday for this precise purpose. But I'm getting there and am currently reading the first in the Colorado Mountain series, The Gamble. I can't express enough how much this author's stories get to me, but I will end my review with something I said on Facebook the other day. That should sum it up.
Something that had me stressing over KA’s books was the fact that―and I've mentioned this before―her voice, writing style and down to the bone amazingness would be wiped clean by a publishing company, but that hasn't been the case at all. For once, I'm the one doing the chin lift here, because they've kept the heart and soul she pours into every single page of her writing intact. As a reader and absolute fan, I'm very appreciative, as that would have most definitely been a tragedy. Kristen still self-publishes, so what I'm saying is that nothing has changed. A few things are more polished, but the gist, the guts of what undoubtedly transfers from her head onto keyboard is the real deal.
The Will was EPIC! It was. And right from the first page it had me hooked and dangling from a very flimsy piece of string. I was more blurry-eyed than I've ever been, except whilst reading Creed, book two in the Unfinished Hero series, and I cried my way through that one. If I had this physical book, I'd hug it for dear life―it affected me that much. This story was different to the all others I've read and by this I mean the premise. Gawd. Who'd ever think to leave something as was left in a will to two people? Not in my wildest imagination would I ever have come up with this. L.O.V.E.D. I.T. I sound very cheesy, I've just realised, but I really don't care. It's how I feel and that's exactly what should be mentioned about a book we've read and adored.
Every character KA writes is a character you will come to love. Unless they're the bad kind, of course. They are part and parcel of the bigger picture; you can't help but take everyone into your heart. KA always pays special attention, I believe, to characters portraying children. They're so real and written to the utmost perfection, everything about them―whatever age―resonates within me. I've got quite a few nieces and nephews, including my own son, so I totally relate. That's the thing with this super fabulous author. Everything is relatable, down to the minutest detail. Sigh. Best I move on.
Firstly, I love reading about characters that are more mature. Too many books lately sport too many young characters and I can only read so many before my attention wanes. Josie is around my age, somewhere in her forties, and has had a life most of us have been lucky enough not to have lived. Save for her gran, whom she loved dearly. Jake has had his own issues and both, cumulitavely, have had their fair share of disappointments. She first lays eyes on Jake at her gran’s funeral. Seriously, I already want to tear up just writing that line. The way this book starts had me putting it down just so I could wipe my eyes in order to start over. Jake is good looking, she couldn’t help notice, and he’s not alone. He’s flanked by whom she presumes are his children. She properly makes Jake’s acquaintance when her gran’s will is read and he’s in attendance, which is odd. However, she soon comes to realise that for Jake to be present, her gran must have thought highly of him. And she did. She loved him. I’m getting goosies just thinking about what Lydia bequeathed in her will, and I’m sorry to have to say this but there won’t be a spoiler in my review. Oh, believe me, I’m holding myself back by skin of my teeth. I want to quote Lydia so badly, but I can’t. You will have to read it yourself.
Although Jake is a former boxer and might have what some believe a tough exterior, he’s really such a softie at heart. A beautiful soul. I adored Jake. Everything about Jake. Including the determination and tenacity he has for doing right by his children, always, and as best as he possibly can. And of course, by Josie. What’s not to love? It goes without saying that I loved Josie just as much. They were perfect together.
The catch in this dynamic between Josie and Jake is the simple fact that he knows all about Josie, yet she knows absolutely nothing about him. Why her gran never said a word has her puzzled. It’s not long, though, before the true meaning of what Lydia was attempting to give her, them both, comes to light. Man, oh man. As much as she loved her gran, Josie was at one point quite upset by what Lydia did, which isn’t really possible at all but the meaning of what Lydia hoped for was clear.
Josie and Jake come together in the most beautiful and gradual manner that had me swooning. The bond they eventually form, along with his children, is the stuff of dreams. A dream I happily waded in right to the very last full stop, and then I cursed myself for not having slowed down to savour it some more. It’s the kind of story one needs to savour over and over, but very hard to do with this author. You just can't help yourself.
As per any KA book, emotions will be wrung from you and at times you might feel depleted as a result. But I’m always happy to let go when reading stories by this author, because I know that despite all the ups and downs and life’s obstacles her characters live through, I will come out unhurt and unscathed, as do they most of the time. What I will come out feeling is satisfied, totally in awe and so thankful that there are such amazing people out there who are able to take me away from life’s unpleasantness and thrust me into the beautiful worlds filled with super, salt of the earth people they created with their words. I’m all the richer in my soul for reading them.
I posted on the author’s wall just the other day, which probably sounded like I was not quite all there but she was so nice not to say so, the following: “If I ever die whilst reading one of your books, I will die happy.” And boy, isn’t that the truth....more
I had conflicting emotions throughout this book, all of them good. I loved it. It made me cry, it made my heart pound, and I loved the way it was set out--alternating between the past and present. I'll expand on a review in time....more
This won’t be my usual lengthy review, but it doesn’t have to be one in order to convey how I’ve felt about this series sARC received from the author.
This won’t be my usual lengthy review, but it doesn’t have to be one in order to convey how I’ve felt about this series so far. Sometimes, less is more.
I adored The Broken Destiny, which is book one in the Broken Series, but I do believe that Evanescent surpassed it. The author has grown in leaps and bounds, not that it really surprised me. Her debut novel alone was beyond what I’d expected. With Evanescent, though, I’d find myself on numerous occasions re-reading the same passage over and over; it’s how beautifully descriptive they were. The action in Evanescent was upped ten-fold and was such that whilst reading, it played in my head like a movie. I’d give anything to see this series on the big screen, it’s that good for me.
I’ve read a handful of sci-fi/dystopian novels in my lifetime―probably sad but nevertheless true―and Ms. Labuschagne is by far occupying top position where I’m concerned. I live for the moments when I’m reading and a story makes me react physically to what’s taking place. Whether it’s anger, excitement, laughter or tears, makes no difference. Any emotion a book can evoke within me is a book I’ll remember forever. These are such books.
This installment continues with not only Ava, Troy, Enoch and every other character we came to know and love―and I do love them all, even the evil―but it’s deeply rooted within the psyche of one particular character. I can’t really say much as I’d be giving not only the concept but the story away, and that would be unfair. An added bonus is reading from Troy’s and Maya’s POV, which gives us that much more insight into who they really are.
Evanescent is fast-paced, riddled with suspense, has fabulous action scenes, tender and swoon-worthy moments and by the end, you are left wanting more. Good thing there will be a third on the way, and I for one simply cannot wait.
This is Ms. Labuschagne’s second full length novel, and as far as I’m concerned she’s headed for good things. Some people were born to write. It’s written in their stars. To say I loved or adored Evanescent would be putting it mildly, but I did, and yet it was so much more. ...more
ARC received from the publishers in exchange for my honest review, and as part of the blog tour.
The Virgin of Clan Sinclair is the third in a series by Karen Ranney. I’ve read them all and loved every single one. This one more. Some readers found that they lost interest as the stories progressed, but I’m seem to have thought differently. At the end of my review for the second book, The Witch of Clan Sinclair, I did say Ellice Traylor was next and that she was the quiet one, but that usually the quiet ones were the ones to watch for. And I was right!
Ellice is timid, reserved and basically―I’ve thought throughout the series―a wallflower. She has reason to be, though, as I would have. No one likes being compared to the ‘wonderful’ dead sister. No one would like to constantly be told that Eudora would always act the lady; Eudora knew exactly what to do in any situation; she was just made of gold―blah, blah, blah. Seriously, Enid actually started to grate on me. It infuriated me that Ellice kept quiet for so long throughout the book, but I guess in the end, one always respected one's parents, but still. She resented it, deep down inside, and hated every single word uttered by her mother regarding Eudora. Which mother would do that to a child? I actually held a grudge toward Enid, one that even by the end of the book had not dissipated in the least. That’s okay, because I didn’t read the book for Enid, I read it for Ellice’s story.
In this installment, Enid decides it’s time to find Ellice a husband, something she’s not at all keen on. She has a secret, and quite a scandalous one. She’s written a novel and not your everyday cutesy romance novel at that, it’s hot, spicy and everything Ellice envisions her life to be; the woman she’d love to be, and the man she would love to fall in love with who would adore her in every which way possible. Her novel is entitled The Lustful Adventures of Lady Pamela. No need to say more. It’s really hot!
During one of her wanderings about Drumvagen, she hears voices and slyly investigates. She sees Macrath talking to a very good looking gentleman. She overhears a few things, but one of them really interests her. He’ll be making his way back to Edinburgh after his visit with Macrath. The most silliest notion enters her head and she decides that in order to escape her mother’s husband seeking attentions, she decides to grab her novel, which by the way is written out by hand and bound, and stow herself away in the Earl of Gladsden’s carriage! Even though I thought she’d surely suffocate all the way to Edinburgh, it was quite funny. Things don’t pan out as she’d wished because unbeknownst to her, a huge storm is approaching and Macrath would never send a guest home during such a perilous time. She eventually realises that although the carriage is moving, it most certainly didn't get very far. She eventually makes her way out, and stumbles into the Earl, Ross. He makes her all her aflutter, but it’s not something she shows. In fact, he finds her quite obstinate when questioning her reasons for being in his carriage. She continually throws questions back at him. This infuriates him further, but he's not totally immune. For me, it was quite hilarious. A while later, she realises she’s forgotten her book in his carriage and tries to retrieve it. Prior to this, one of Ross’ employees finds the book and hands it over. Ross, curious as anyone would be, reads a random passage and is shocked. Not only shocked, but also finds himself hot and bothered. At this point, he doesn’t have a clue who she is, or that she’s even the daughter of an Earl. He thinks she’s simply a maid. Interesting.
Ross, against his better judgement, reads the whole book. It's there and too tempting not to read. Descriptions of the male character shock him for the simple reason that Donald, the character, could very well be him! Further, where Donald resides is pretty much what Ross’ home looks like. He confronts Ellice, asks her not to publish her book as it could very well interfere with his career in politics because people will undoubtedly think it’s him. The result? He continues to hit a brick wall where she's concerned. She’s adamant on getting it published. So is Mairi, Macrath’s sister, whom we met in the second book, The Witch of Clan Sinclair.
Both are attracted to the other but Ross, during one or two occasions treats her quite unfairly, I thought. Regardless, caught in a comprising position, there is no choice but to marry. Heavens, the scandal it would cause. Ellice eventually agrees to not publish the book, even though by now Mairi has read it, is surprised beyond all heck that Ellice could write something of this nature, and absolutely loved the book.
There’s quite a bit of back story to Ross, which I won’t mention here, suffice it to say that he’d been previously married. Ross’ mother is quite lovely and has her own little love interest going on. Brianag is still causing havoc within Drumvagen, but by the end of this story, all is well simply because Enid will no longer be a part of Drumvagen’s household. More than one person, actually everyone, breathed a sigh of relief with this turn of events.
I loved Ellice. Who’d have thought she’d have such a wild and, can I say, vivid imagination? For someone who’d never been with a man, she sure as heck knew what was what and what all to do with a man's equipment! Ellice is a genuine person, one who eventually accepts herself both on the outside and inside. Enid was horrible in the sense that Ellice was never quite good enough. I really ended up not liking Enid much. These types of people make others, including their own children, feel ugly, frumpy, and inadequate, and this should never be the case.
I loved Ross, too, once I got to know him, and felt that they suited each other perfectly. He was amazing towards the end when all their issues had been sorted. This was simply my favourite book of all three. I also loved the fact that everyone was present from Macrath and Virginia, as well as their children, to Mairi and Logan. Their stories are also concluded beautifully.
These are the only three books I’ve read by this author, but I must reiterate that although historical romance is not one of my favourite genres even though I’ve read a few, I do so love this author’s writing style, her characters and the stories she tells. They make me feel good, make me smile and make me root―always―for both the hero and heroine of the story, as well as the expected HEA. I got it all....more
To be quite honest, I've never read anything by Karen Ranney. Not that I remember in any case, probably because I've read so many books in my lifetime. Also, although I've read a few of late, I'm not really one for historical romances/highlander type of genre. I mean, I tried the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and for the life of me could just not get into it. Now these, however, went down a treat. I say these because I've now read the first one―this one right here―and the second. You see, I was offered the opportunity to be a part of this NYT bestselling author's blog tour, and after having read the synopsis for both signed right up. You also know I don't take on review requests as I just don't have the time, and have come to a point where I want to read books of my own choosing, so for me to take these on obviously means I really wanted to read them.
We meet Virginia Traylor and Macrath Sinclair―a wealthy man in his own right, one who invented an ice machine―right from the get go, and I immediately liked them both, which was strange as it usually takes me a while to warm up to characters. Their story is one of love, forbidden by her father at that, separation, deceit and the eventual HEA. Something that's a must for me in these types of situations and books. That's what romance is all about!
American born Virginia, who becomes the Countess of Barrett is forced to marry the Earl, after all, in that day and age one did as one's parents asked dictated. He died without an heir. Enid, her mother-in-law, including both Eudora and Ellice, her sisters-in-law find themselves on the verge of losing everything. Virgina's fortune handed to her husband by her father, has not been left to her, but indeed to the next male in line. That would be his cousin. The only thing her mother-in-law can think of is for Virginia to simply become pregnant and pass it off as the Earl's. This goes against Virginia's scruples, but needs must. She makes her way to Scotland on the pretence of visiting Macrath and giving him the news of her husband's passing. All this time, Macrath has pined for Virginia, and she likewise. He even attempted to find himself a wife, but Virginia was always at the forefront of his mind.
She seduces Macrath, and then promptly returns to London. The ruse worked and she finds herself pregnant. After her son is born, tragedy strikes in the form of smallpox. One that takes Eudora's life, one of her sisters-in-law. Virginia herself is very ill and on the brink of death, when Macrath pays a visit. Unbeknownst to her, he discovers her betrayel and decides to take his son, Elliott, back with him.
When she's lucid enough to understand what's happened, though still very sickly, she has no choice but to make her way back to Scotland to claim her son back. She's not welcome, isn't allowed to spend time with the now renamed, Allistair, and all Macrath wants is for her to leave, for that will be the only time she'll be allowed to see Elliott.
Virginia must now work at repairing the damage she's done to the one man she's always loved.
I loved this story. Not only the two main characters, but everyone else within this story. Especially Brianag, Macrath's head housekeeper―gosh she's full of it she is but that only makes me laugh, and it goes without saying―Hannah, Virginia's maid who turned out to be so much more than that. His sisters were also most enjoyable characters, but Mairi stood out more and she's the protagonist in the second book, The Witch of Clan Sinclair. Macrath, although known as the devil, one adamant in forming his own clan, is a softie. That's not to say that he wasn't tough, because he was. He was just the perfect measure of everything, but a softie and caring man, nonetheless.
The writing style is fabulous and I'm ever so glad I decided to read these stories! What I truly loved besides the story itself, were the mannerisms and way things were done then, including the factual knowledge the author provides at the end of each book. It fascinates me.
Truly lovely and most enjoyable, which made it easy for me to pick up book two, The Witch of Clan Sinclair. I'll be reviewing this as part of the blog tour on the 9th of May. I'll just say that I loved, loved, loved Mairi and Logan. And kilts!...more
I loved this book. Another first time author where I’m concerned, and again another super find through NetGalley and Kensington. I'm chuffed. The only thing I was bummed about was the fact that I had no idea there was a prequel. I usually check, but for some reason this time I didn’t. Never mind, because I’ve now bought the first one and will read it as soon as possible. Also, I will be added to the author’s ARC list for the third book―and I hope many more!
Tell No Lies is the second in these Oyster Point thrillers and is a Southern tale set in Charleston, which I adored, and revolves around the Aldridge family. I can’t speak―as yet―for the first book Speak No Evil, so don’t have a clue what took place, but from Tell No Lies it's quite evident that quite a bit happened. Even so, this one read fully and comprehensively, at no time making me feel like something was missing. However, because I’m pedantic this way, I will now make my full acquaintance with the Aldridge family by going backwards. I look forward to it, regardless.
Tell No Lies follows Augusta, one of three sisters; the eldest being, Caroline and the youngest, Savannah, who have been brought together once again following their mother’s death. Their relationship as a whole has never really been the best, so to be placed under the same roof is nothing short of strenuous. Each has been given a task they need to accomplish within a certain time period in order to inherit. Augusta is in charge of renovations, Caroline has taken over the newspaper, and Savannah is writing a book whilst inventorying the house. Sadie, the housekeeper, and her son, Josh, are a big and integral part of this family. A family whose secrets have stayed buried for many years.
I have to say that this book had me right from the beginning. It was eerie, haunting and scary to say the least.
Cody’s friend tells him a tale about seeing a dead body and blood at a burnt down church in the middle of nowhere, and he wants Cody to see it. Not really wanting to explore this bit of gruesome, he eventually gives in. Persistence and not wanting to be chicken always plays a big part where kids are concerned. Upon closer inspection, they see a shadow and frightened out of their minds, make a run for it. Cody isn’t lucky, stumbles, falls into a hole and is terrified of the consequences. That his friend didn’t have the decency to wait for him, or backtrack to help, did not add to his cause. Someone looms over him, and Cody disappears.
Being home is the last place Augusta wants to be; she can’t stand it. One good thing seems to be the man she's met. Ian Patterson is a former priest as a consequence of what happens in this book―who for some reason has her full attention. Inexplicably, after a sizzling night of passion, Ian’s arrested the next day. He's not only being blamed for the disappearance of a young lady, but the gruesome murders of others. It goes without saying that should a mere child point finger in regards to molestation after her attentions aren't reciprocated, it’s a given his the perp. Sadly, Ian knows who really molested her, but hasn’t been able to voice the truth, a truth her own mother knew. Because Ian is pursuing her disappearance, this doesn’t bode well for his denials. However, Augusta knows deep down that it’s just not possible, and for some reason trusts Ian even though she hasn’t known him that long. Some things just are. When a body is found, Jack, who is a cop and Caroline’s fiancé, has no option but to release him, because Ian couldn't have done it. He's been locked up. Augusta, going against what she knows will cause a further divide between herself and her sisters, bails him out. Caroline is adamant Ian is the killer, and is the one who spreads the word far and wide. She later finds out that things aren't quite as they seem.
To touch briefly on Sadie, my heart broke for her, and although I understood some of the anger from Augusta’s point of view, I also managed to take in the why of it all. The only part that had me gasping where Sadie is concerned was regarding something that must have taken place in the first book, which affected the entire Aldridge family. As a mother, I know I would do anything for my son, but there is a line that should never be crossed. I say this knowing full well that I have never been in her situation, and hope I never, ever am.
What we have here is pure awesomeness. Tell No Lies is dark, chilling and thrilling, with a dash of scandal. There are various angles and relationships at play here, not forgetting the untold secrets, which do come to the fore. I had an inkling as to who the killer could be, then changed my mind, only to find out that I was correct. This only much, much later on in the story, though. Points of view change at exactly the right time throughout the story, which added to my pounding heart; the killers, Cody’s, Augusta, Ian’s and more. It’s a keep-you-on-your-toes kind of read with a continuous plot twist. Nail-biting. One part in the story I loved was the interaction between Cody and the snake. The mind assurances Cody had going on with himself, and the connection of what I fully believed was taking place between these two gave me goosies.
What can I say I haven’t already said? It was amazing! I love Ms. Crosby's writing style; it flows with as much ease as it does in pulling you in. Superb. Another 2014 favourite read!...more
There's nothing worse than spending over an hour typing up a review ready for posting, only to come in on the Monday, and for some inexplicable reason, Blogger has somehow made it disappear! This isn't the first time, either. Needless to say, I couldn't remember what I wrote, so here goes my second attempt.
This was a lovely story, and one recommended by my sister-in-law when we were talking about an upcoming release's date. Curious as always, I checked it out on Amazon, liked the blurb and lucky me, it was free. It still is for those interested, although I don't know how long for. When the author's name was mentioned, I was like "Who? Never heard of her." Well, now I have.
I love paranormal―definitely one of my favourite genres, and this one sounded like something different mainly because there are four books, and each pertain to one of the elements: wind, earth, fire and water. She (Natalie) said they were really nice and different from what we’re used to. They are.
This wasn’t your typical vampire book, as not everyone is a vampire. Also, I must mention that I loved the history behind it, and it was what caught my attention from the very first page.
The two lead characters are Giovanni Vecchio (Gio)―a 500-year-old vampire, and Beatrice De Novo (B)―a student, who works one day a week at the university’s library, precisely where she meets Gio, who is transcribing some documents for clients; it’s what he does, but he has ulterior motives. When someone ‘donates’ letters to the library for interest sakes on loan, things start to become clear. The only thing he wasn’t expecting was that everything he been searching for, all seems to―unbeknownst to either of them in the beginning―revolve around B. More accurately, the cause of this upheaval is because of her father, Stephen De Novo, who was a Dante scholar. He was apparently caught when he discovered hidden letters abroad. B has thought her father to be dead all this time, but now she's not so sure. Or, is he dead but still very much alive? Now B doesn't know what Gio is from the beginning, although she always thought there was something different about him. Mind you, she wasn't such a goodie-two-shoes to begin with. She mostly dresses in black and wears combat boots, something Gio likes a lot. When she's eventually enlightened as to what he is, she doesn't go into hiding and throws tantrums, because things start falling into place. She's actually very accepting, but then Gio explained some of it in this manner:
"I'm not asking you to believe in magic, Beatrice. I'm asking you to believe that there are thing in this world you don't understand yet. Things that none of us do."
Gio is lovely! Simply lovely, although he has moods on the odd occasion. He’s a fire vampire (works on current called amnis), and not only is B fascinated by his ability and those of other vampires, so am I! He’s also not, as urban legend has it, one who hunts and kills, neither does he suck humans dry. He feeds once a week to keep up his strength, and out of necessity. They also have the ability to make you forget certain things. Oh, and fire is the one element that's kind of frowned upon. A sire, more often than not, can kill a son or daughter if they show signs toward fire almost immediately.
We’re introduced to Lorenzo just over halfway through the book, who seems to have turned up with the express purpose of goading Gio. They each have something the other wants, but stakes are high. Lorenzo is connected to Gio in a manner Gio wished he wasn’t. Power changes people, or in this case, vampires.
This was an easy, flowing read, and the author did a really good job. I’m more than impressed that it’s a self-published book, and I found nothing in it I don’t find in traditionally published books. Of course, there’s a romance brewing between Gio and B, but it’s kept clean throughout the story, something I think will more than likely develop throughout the series.
As far as characters go, secondary ones at that, here are a few I adored. Caspar, Gio’s butler-cum-friend―who is still very much a mortal―made me laugh on numerous occasions. A sweet and cute relationship has developed between Caspar and B’s grandmother. Too awesome for words. He thinks she’s all that and more! Then we have Tenzin who is quite sarcastic but in a good way―she’s quite a hoot, and of course, Father Carwyn Ap Bryn. He is just beyond hilarious, and unlike any Father I have ever known; cheeky, flirty, and a joker! There are lots more side characters, and I loved them all. Here's a little insight into Carwyn:
"Carwyn rolled his eyes. "Silly B, love is friendship...just with less clothes, which makes it far more brilliant.”
"Oh, Count Stuffy della Prissypants is not with me."
The only thing I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed with was the lack of action in what I thought would be a all hell is going to break loose action scene. I'm hoping that these will be described to further extent in the next book. Maybe it's because elements are used rather than hand to hand combat, but I rather expected a scene with these very elements being flung back and forth in such a manner I would have felt it down to my bones.
With that said, I'm really glad I read A Hidden Fire, and will be reading the rest in the series. Already added them to Goodreads. This story was most enjoyable, fresh and entertaining, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting something different paranormal-wise.
The reading order in the ELEMENTAL MYSTERIES Series goes as follows:
A HIDDEN FIRE ● THIS SAME EARTH ● THE FORCE OF WIND ● A FALL OF WATER...more
Watch Your Back is one of my 2014 favourites, and it’s even longer that the previous one, Did You Miss Me. This one is 699 pages long, and it was fabulous! One thing my friend, Suzanne, and I appreciate from Karen’s books is the length. However, I still wanted more. It’s okay, though, as there are more books to come.
I have to start by saying that I adore Clay to freaking bits. This guy has the patience of a saint, and the hugest heart ever. I won’t even talk about his restraint. WOW. He totally rocks this book―as much as he rocked in the previous book―but, yeah, he’s all that and more. And, I have to say that Stevie rocks, too, even though at times I wanted to draw her a picture, or two. This purely stemmed from frustration but, trust me, you so get where she’s coming from, and you do sympathise. She is kick-arse, and tough an nails. I will also say she's damn stubborn!
As per any Karen Rose book, it’s a tumultuous journey from the very first page to the last. Her work is such that it’s like consuming your favourite and most decadent meal every day for however long her stories last. There is never a boring moment, nothing ever just hangs without an explanation, and you never sit wanting to skip certain paragraphs in search of excitement. You won’t ever find anything remotely slow in these books. I cannot vouch for this author enough, and between Suzanne and myself―and we say this all the time―Karen Rose is underrated. Yes, I know she’s a Sunday Times, NYT and USA Today Bestseller, but she’s still not being bowed (best way I know how to put it!) to as she deserves. I love thrillers and romantic suspense, and I’ve read quite a few in my time, but this lady knocks it out the ballpark people, she truly does. To say I adore her work doesn’t come close to what I actually feel. I simply can’t express the amazingness.
In Watch Your Back, everything that’s taken place throughout the four in the Baltimore series, comes to an awesome conclusion. The main characters in WYB are Stevie Mazetti, a cop, and Clay Maynard, a PI, who wants nothing more than to protect Stevie and her daughter, Cordelia. Stevie not only lost her husband eight years ago, but her son in the same incident. It’s bad enough losing one’s husband, but to lose one’s son is heart ripping. Stevie fights many demons, as does Clay, and has done so all these years. Unfortunately, Cordelia―poor Cordelia, she’s gone through hell for someone so young―knows and sees more than any adult gives her credit for. Kids are clever and more aware than we think. Clay adores Cordelia and the feeling is mutual, but to see how much this man feels for them both made my heart swell to humongous proportions. Sigh.
It seems that past events are coming back to haunt them, and Stevie is the one who got the ball rolling. She’s investigating a few of corrupt cops, who were never implicated in certain cases, in trying to bring to justice what her former partner, Silas Dandrige, turned upside down. She’s stirred the hornet's nest, which always but always brings along trouble. On top of all of this, she has the added pressure where Clay is concerned. Oh, she tries to ignore him and his advances, and went as far as to tell him straight to his face that she can’t and won’t ever go there―she’d think of him as second best… ouch!―but she’s not totally immune. It’s more a case of being unfaithful to Paul’s memory, and her self doubt. Maybe once Clay gets what he wants, she won’t be good enough. She’s so wrong. When these two finally come together, it’s fireworks the likes of which coloured my world. For me, this was my absolute favourite couple in all the 15 books I’ve read. They totally sizzle, but then have I mentioned that Clay is all that and rocks? Think I might have.
So much goes on in this book, as with all the others, there is no way I could even touch base. I’d be writing for a couple of hours, at least. The plot threads and twists are many throughout, and when you get to a particular scene and think that a conclusion is forthcoming, boom, you’re led in another direction; unbelievable. The tenseness is palpable. So much so, I’m surprised my nails stay somewhat intact by the end. And as with every book, previous characters make an appearance here and there. I love this and mention often in my reviews that when I invest this much time in these many books, the characters become a family of sorts. We reminisce over a cup, or ten, of coffee and do so, page after page, after page. Pure bliss.
Needless to say that deaths are a given, as are kidnappings. Villains, Todd Robinette in WYB, are callous, emotionally dead and have absolutely no remorse or compassion for anyone, or anything. The details and investigation procedures always grab my attention; so well done, and superbly written.
Here’s the thing. Some authors can write romance well, some write the suspense well, others are brilliant at thrillers, but not all are capable of getting every aspect right. Karen Rose can, and does. Every single time. The romance factor is heating up as the series progresses, and I’m loving this. I hope it continues.
To each his own, but for me, I’d almost say her stories are a work of art. Superb, thrilling, and always entertaining, down to the very last full stop. ...more
Long review on its way. This is an EPIC culmination to the Dream Man series. I kind of ended my review of the previous book, Law Man, with these words: I swear this author knows deep and writes deep. This is so true. I don't know what it is that makes her stand out, and I don't know how she manages―time and again―to shred me with her stories, but it obviously has something to do with what I've said. It’s because she manages to take real life situations she’s experienced either personally or with family and friends (it’s no secret as she’s mentioned this before), and add these to her characters making them amazing stories. They aren’t always pretty, and they aren’t always hilarious, but one thing I can promise you is that no matter the circumstances or the background, she will pull you out of the dark tunnel and through to the other side where the sun shines brighter than you’ve probably ever witnessed. Truth be told, I’m always a wreck when I read a KA book, mainly because of all the emotions she manages to wrench from me throughout the storie's entirety. Most importantly, though, however sad I am when I’ve reached the end, I’m just as elated that I got my HEA. Always. As a bonus, Kristen Ashley’s epilogues are to die for. No one rivals her in this department as far as I’m concerned.
We met Tack (Kane Allen) right at the beginning of this series. He’s the one who took an interest in Gwen when she stormed into Ride wanting to sort out her sister’s problems. He was hilarious then, and I knew, just knew, that when it got to his book it would blow everything out the water. It did, and then some. Tack’s the one who called her Peaches, and the one who inevitably lost out to Hawk (Cabe Delgado). Still, they stayed close. Throughout the series, he’s made an appearance in every book, exactly what we―as readers―always want, and look forward to. So, it was about time he got his own woman. And boy, he so got what he (thought) he didn’t want, but had secretly wanted all his life. Men also have dream women in mind. He met his match in a manner he’d never dreamt he would. Epic! I’ll probably say this word a lot throughout this review.
Now, with all that said, when I started Motorcycle Man, it was with the giddiness of a two-year-old. And then, boy, I felt like Tack personally slapped me, hard, across the face. My explanation is a given and I’ll get to it shortly.
The book starts off with Tyra, who is invited to a party by Eloise who told her she needed to become a member of the ‘family. Tyra had applied for a job, Eloise’s job to be precise, as the woman was leaving for Vegas. This party was all biker dudes and their ‘old lady’s’, and so not her scene at all. She went regardless. This is where she met the man of her dreams, her motorcycle man. He wasn’t what she thought she’d end up with, but there she was nonetheless after he’d walked up to her, shared tequila shots and an hour later he took her hand and led her to the club’s compound room. Several hours later, after many satisfying moments, she’s in heaven. He’s the one. Tyra is shocked, feels stupid, is embarrassed but mostly hurt when Tack slaps her arse and says, “Time to get your own bed, darlin’.” To make matters worse, he deals this blow: “Leave your number and close the door on your way out, would you, Red?” Then he was gone. OMW. I wanted to die right along with Tyra. Seriously! He pissed me off majorly right at this juncture and let me tell you, this is was only the prologue!
Mother of all surprises, a whole day after she’d slept with Tack, she’s standing on Chaos ground (they own a garage and supply stores, fix cars and bikes etc.) to start learning the job from Eloise as office manager, of which she only has two days in which to do this. Her boss, president of the Chaos Motorcycle Club, is none other than Tack. She knew this, though. Tack? Apparently he wasn't clued in. He’s named this by the way, as he is as sharp as a Tack. Stemmed from when he was a kid and stuck. Anyway, she’s early and is standing outside the doors when she sees Tack practically eating some other women’s mouth. Once he's done, he saunters up to her and wants to know what the heck she’s doing there. Now, she’s thinking she told him she would be his new office manager, as well as telling him her name. Anyway, after much back and forth where he tells her no way in hell is she working there, she gives it back as good as she gets and says she is. According to him he doesn’t work with women he’s banged (I’m saying it mildly). She suggests they forget what happened and move on. Much goes on here, and she eventually stays. Because Eloise only had two days to show her the ropes, they weren't near enough for her to learn anything substantial (it doesn't help she knows zip about cars or bikes) and she continuously stuffs up every order. Quite hilarious.
From here on in, Tack warns her that he will have her again, and that (arrogant much?) she will want it. I must say that he picks on everything regarding Tyra whom he calls, Red, including her code of dress. She’s all woman like, sexy skirts, blouses and high heels; not fit for a garage, but she gives a stuff.
Here’s why he totally made me see red in the beginning, mind you, most times throughout the book, but we come to love him because he has so many layers that are peeled back and we get to know the 'deep' Tack: he turns out to be quite an amazing person. Below, however, growl.
"Yeah, absolutely, we can not talk about this. That works for me. It also works for me you showed since you didn’t leave your number before you took off on Saturday. So give me your number, get your ass in your car and I’ll call you when I got a taste for you.”
Through all their ups and downs, they deal with a lot unwanted crap from not only stuff Tack and his club are aiming to clean up, and the same Russian mob from the previous books, but also from Tack’s ex-wife, Naomi, who is a freaking bitch of note. I hated her with a passion. But between them, they have two kids, Tabitha and Rush (Cole) whom I loved. So much happens here, no way I can get into it.
Tyra, for me, was an absolutely perfect match for Tack and what lay beneath each made them work beautifully. Trust me. You will cry in this book, more than the others. The tender moments, the heart wrenching moments are beyond anything I could have imagined. He likes her feisty and she can’t handle his sweet. Man oh man. This was an epic story, although darker as Trya comes very close to not making it after the Russian mob get their hands on her, and there was a particular habit Tack had of making. This involved his hand around a certain part on Tyra’s body, one I won’t mention, but when you read why he does this it’s like your body sighs on all on its own. Unexpected and fabulous. I so get it.
The club as a whole is one borne of brotherhood, but comes across more like a family, as should be. They all have each others backs, no questions asked, no judgement. Amazing.
Tack is truly a rough and tumble kind of guy. I thought no one would ever come across as hard or as rough as Knight from the Unfinished Heroes series. I was wrong. Tack takes centre stage, but Tack has something deep down which still makes me choose him above Knight. He comes dipped in mountains of sugar. Much like Creed, Vance and Hector from KA’s previous series I’ve read―Tack is also all that.
The next series I should read after this one is the Colorado Mountain series, but because it’s a completely different series with new characters and none of the ones I’ve come to know make an appearance, I might keep this one aside for a later stage as there are six books to it already, and move right on to the Chaos series, which is a spin off from this one, the Dream Man series, and starts off with Tabitha and Shy’s book. I really want to carry on with their story.
Every character is amazing and so well fleshed out, you end up believing these people really exist, but I say this not only pertaining to this series. I’m talking about all the books I’ve read so far by this author. Also, much like me, you will be very hard pressed to quote but only one or two things. I’ve never read books where I’d ever want to quote the whole book just so readers can see how amazing they are. Alas, it’s all I can do… just to give you a little glimpse of the awesomeness that exists between these pages. Here’s a taste of Tack’s deepness. The movie she made him watch was The Color Purple.
"That movie you made me watch, first time at your house. Love and redemption. You said, ‘the most beautiful stories ever told are the most difficult to take’. You said that, Red. Right out. And I knew if you got that, when it was later and I shared my shit with you, you’d get me. I never thought my story was beautiful. I thought it was shit. But you said that and when you did, I saw it. The ride is not over but if I can keep my Club together and find a sweet, feisty woman who’s got my back and enough to her that she’ll stay there, holding me up not dragging me down, I figure I’d find my way to beauty eventually. And I’d find absolution because I’d know, I earned the love of that woman, a woman who’s got so much to her it’ll take years to dig down and find the heart of her, that would be my reward.”
And this was his sweet.
"That how you like it?” “That’s always been my dream.” “You didn’t settle for a man until you found the one you wanted, you keep settlin’ for nothin’ less, baby.”
I think it’s time I shut my mind down as I could add plenty to this review, but will end off by saying that once you dip your toe in the Kristen Ashley pool of deep-hearted and absolutely amazing stories, you will never want to come out. Her stories are addictive. This author―along with her stories―pulls you in so deep it's like being addicted to something bad, except that in this case it's all good.
What can I say that I haven’t already said regarding this author and her books? I don’t know. I can repeat myself, which I’ll probably do regardless.
I loved Law Man. I did. I didn’t, however, think I’d like it as much as the others, but again I was wrong. This one is completely different to Mystery Man #1 and Wild Man #2 and now Motorcycle Man #4―because within 6 hours of finishing Law Man, I could barely put this book down and finished it a short while ago―in the sense that it’s not so much about tons of action, drive-by shootings and every shenanigan known to man in KA's books. It read more like a romance novel. Well, they’re all about romance and HEAs. But this one, I don’t know, it was just a total love story. Totally different to what I was expecting from Mitch Lawson. Sure there’s action in it. Of course there is, or it wouldn’t be a Kristen Ashley book. There’s lots of yelling and screaming, too, from some iffy family members, but for me it was all about huge hearts, trust and amazing love between not only the two main characters, but their humongous love for two small children, and what they were willing to do to get them. Man alive. I cried buckets all over again. Something I end up doing, no matter what, in any Kristen Ashley book I’ve read. She’s the bomb, this author is. I freaking adore her.
So, this is Detective Mitch Lawson’s story, as well as that of Mara Hanover. Seriously, us women are suckers for punishment in the love department, especially if we are so shy we don’t do stuff-all about the situation. Mara is shy, and has had her eye on Mitch for ages, someone she avoids at all costs. She’d die of mortification, either that or pass out had he ever even looked her way. This is something he’d never do in any case (according to her way of thinking) as Mara has this freaking number system (which is stupid at best, but something I totally and irrevocably understood) and she’s way down on it. Mitch tops the scale, of course, he’s a ten point five and ten point fives never hook up with anyone under a seven. So, no way in hell would he so much as want to breathe the air around her. She only considers herself to be a two point five. Wrong! But she didn’t know this.
Mitch has lived across from her for four years and unbeknownst to her, has had her in sight all this time. He’s waited four long years to make his move―damn he’s a patient one but I so get him as I read along, he is superb―so he waited. Until the day she couldn’t turn off one of her taps in the bathroom. She asks her friend and neighbour across the hall if her boyfriend Derek can help, but he’s out. So, as she’s talking to LaTanya, who calls out to her and offers his help? None other than Mitch Lawson. Mara wants to die. She wants the ground to swallow her up. She would love nothing better than to be whisked away, quietly, to anywhere just as long as she wasn’t standing where she was. From here on in, it was hilarious, it was magical, it was unbelievable, it was sad, it was amazing and it was deep!
“You want me to look at it?” This came from Detective Mitch Lawson and I sucked in breath and twisted my neck so only my head was facing him. He was standing outside his open apartment door still carrying his bags and his eyes were on me. My mind went blank. I lost the lock on my legs and my knees wobbled. God, he was beautiful.
Mara comes from nothing… a trailer park actually, where her mother and whole family were nothing but rubbish and treated her much the same. So, she’d got close to her one cousin, Bill. They’d planned to leave one day and make their life elsewhere. And one day indeed came knocking. Her best friend’s parents, whom she totally loved and knew of her situation, gave her an old car (nobody had ever given her anything that illustrious) and some cash. Mara and Bill got out. She made a life for herself, made a home for herself and she was a good person. Granted, she sold mattresses, so she kept telling Mitch, but who in life cares? Only those who don’t judge. She has a good life. Unfortunately, her cousin, Bill, went the other way completely. He’s down and out, doesn’t care about bugger all including his two little kids.
I’m going to interject here by way of an explanation as not everyone does what I do. I always read the author’s note, and as usual there is always a message that either makes me cry, or makes me hoot with laughter. This one proved to be the latter. KA asked her hubby to give her names of a male and female offspring of a loser. He asked her what the loser’s name was, and when she said, Bill, he immediately replied with Billy and Billerina. Like KA, I found this a hoot, and she went with it. So the secondary characters (which are really like main characters to me) are called Billy and Billie.
When Mara receives yet another call from Billy that they are hungry and that their dad doesn’t have food at home, she hightails it. Mitch catches her as they collide on the steps and as she’s not her normal self, he wants to know what’s up. She eventually tells him, and he accompanies her to fetch the kids. They then go and see Bill, who is practically drunk as a skunk, high as a kite and whatnot and everything is a mess. The kids don’t have clean clothes, mind you they have practically nothing at all, Bill pays them no mind, not even caring or knowing as he’s so out of it that his kids have been missing. And so Mara and Mitch’s mission begin where these kids are concerned. Remember now, they barely know each other, but Mitch knows right away how deep Mara goes. It works both ways, though. However, throughout their story, she is still in denial over how much Mitch is really into her, albeit that he’s shown her time and again how much he’s really into her and has been for the past four years, not excluding the fact about what he's willing to do for her and the kids.
Mara, the kids and Mitch have to deal with her mother (Melbamae), her aunt, Bill’s mother (Lulamae) and Billie’s mom―the kids have different moms―whom Bill has set after them. So, there are legal issues at stake here. I’ve put the names in here as Mara’s name is actually Marabelle Jolene Hanover, a name she keeps telling Mitch is who she is… trailer trash like her family. I think I’ve said enough about this story.
Again, characters from the previous books, as well as those from the Rock Chick series once again make an appearance. Elvira? Damn she’s a hoot. I adore her to bits. She totally rocks. Stuff is happening around them and she has the audacity to spew stuff like this out:
“We’re in crisis mode and little black dresses. Crisis plus LBDs equals alcohol consumption. Strike that, crisis at all equals alcohol consumption. I gotta keep my girls steady in the face of the unknown and we’re your guests,” she educated him.
Interspersed within this story, we have the Russian mob, whom Bill becomes involved with, as well as her bosse's kind of stupid cousin. This is where the action came in, because as with all of KA's stories, there is involvement with either friends or family in one way or another.
For those who haven’t ever read a Kristen Ashley book, you are missing out. I must warn you though, that KA has a unique style of writing. And it’s one that with some people is accepted from the word go and with others, like myself, it takes at least one book to get it. But I can guarantee you, once you get it, oh my Lord, you do not (cannot) stop reading her stories. Kristen Ashley is addictive. Her books are addictive. And, although sometimes I think maybe some of the characters should choose to say something else besides ‘babe’ and ‘give me your mouth’, honestly? I just move on, because I swear this author knows deep and writes deep. She makes me bloody want to hug the crap out of my iPad it’s how much I want to be one with her stories, dammit. I’ll gush some more with my next review, because Motorcyle Man rocked the heck out.
I've just finished Wild Man, and for the past two days I've stayed up until close to 3am. I'm an insomniac in any case, but when I read Kristen Ashley's books, I manage to turn myself into this mental person who knows that by this time I have to try and get some sleep, but I have to read just one more page. One more page usually turns out into another chapter. Let me tell you, though, all of KA's books are long. I love that, but will also - in the same breath - say that when I get to end I'm not glad it's ended even though I can't wait to read about the the next character. This won't be a long review (liar!) and I doubt the rest will be either (why am I lying?), simply because I don't want to start sounding like a broken record. And I know I will because I have nothing but good things to say about this author and these books.
Not sure if some of you remember, but KA is a self-published author and right from the beginning when I started with the Unfinished Heroes series, I had a bit of a problem with all the typos and whatnot in her books. I've done a complete turnaround and I'll tell you why. Because firstly, they aren't intentional (nobody's is), and secondly her stories are so amazing and gut-wrenching, real, and raw that these minute things don't even phase me anymore. What worries me is the fact that some of her series, namely the Dream Man series (this one I'm reading right now - all the covers have had a revamp and they are gorgeous), the Colorado Mountain series and the Chaos series have been bought by a publisher (Grand Central) and I know - after reading a few reviews on Amazon - that some people are way put out with the Chaos series as what KA gives us in these books is apparently missing from the now too-polished books. I guess I'll have to form my own opinion when I get to them. I do know that the ones I'm reading are the original, so they haven't been touched. Either way, KA is what she calls a 'hybrid' author; both self-published and traditionally published. On to Wild Man.
We met Brock (Slim) aka Jake in Mystery Man where he and Hawk had a bit of a headbutt over a case. Anyway, we didn't really get to know what he was all about in MM, but we sure as heck got to know him in his book. When I started Wild Man it somehow read different to what I was used to and I couldn't pinpoint why, but it hit me as I finished this book. It wasn't as jam-packed as the others in the action department. I'm glad for two reasons; although it wasn't jam-packed it most certainly had action, and this one concentrated more on feelings, dealing with real life situations where children of divorce are concerned, rape, family dynamics as a whole and of course putting past issues aside when dealing with an ex family member who is terminal. I adored it.
Brock works for the DEA and has garnered a reputation for sleeping with the occasional woman he's investigating in the underworld surrounding Denver, something [it's said] he takes seriously. This Tess O'Hara finds out after welcoming him into her life, home and bed for the past four months. A reputation that was dissected by her friends. Well Martha is and has been her best friend since the 5th grade, but connections are inevitably made by the women whose men know one another in their dealings. This all came to a head when, Jake as we know him when the books starts, is leaving for work and asks Tess if she sleeps naked. She says no, and he replies with something along the lines that she shouldn't start that night - she found this odd, but it didn't register for too long. He departs and not a short while later, she has men in her bedroom all bullet-proof-vest-decked-out, she's being taken in for questioning, is interrogated by Detective Calhoun - all this regarding her arsehole of an ex-husband - and who when on the verge of frustration in trying to explain to Calhoun about their non-existing relationship, spews that she divorced him due to being beaten up, abused and raped by him. Upon leaving the station, she sees someone she has come to know quite well. Jake. Of course, she didn't have a clue what he did, storms out and wants nothing to do with him ever again. Three months later he rocks up at her cake shop (I was seriously salivating throughout this entire book due to her baking!), she still wants nothing to do with him, but after his explanation, kissing skills and body contact, she's forgiven him. Way overdue explanations come to the fore, and Jake comes clean that his name is actually Brock, and that he now knows what happened to her as he witnessed the interrogation from behind those amazing but obvious mirrors.
Tess meets his family, his mom, his two sisters, and a cautious - almost OTT - brother, Levi, his dad who is no longer part of the family - a family with lots of history, and one bitch from hell, Olivia, his ex-wife. She also meets his two sons. These are things she didn't have a clue about. Both have quite hectic pasts, but Brock is hellbent on protecting and keeping Tess safe. He's been through this before. His sister was raped as well as his first girlfriend who couldn't deal and eventually died. Tess means something to him. She's real. What you see with Tess is what you get. She's no game player, very much unlike Olivia. This story plays out with all the intricacies of a drama but one sprinkled with mountainous layers of frosting.
As per KA's other books, the humour, angst, turmoil, love, friendships, understanding and sadness she injects into every page is very much what pulls, I'm sure, all her readers/fans in. Much like myself. I've now read thirteen books by Kristen Ashley, and there isn't one I haven't cried in. Some more than others, but I cry with every single one. I love Wild Man because both the hero and heroine and just amazing people. They fight tooth and nail to carve out their own piece of heaven along with his two boys, whilst fighting both their exes.
Another thing KA always manages to do, and that is make me like and feel sorry for someone who I gave the evil eye to in the beginning of the book. In this case, it's Brock's father, Cob. I won't go into it in great detail, but will say that he knows he's done wrong, he is dying and although he can't right what he did wrong, he sure as hell can put in the time where his children and grandkids are concerned. This caused a divide within the family, but eventually works out. There's a very short piece at the end that I cried so much, I had to get up and make a coffee in order for my eyes to clear so I could carry on reading. And there is one more thing Brock does, also towards the end where, Dade - Damian's father, Tess' ex - is concerned. It honest to goodness made me want to get into the book and hug the crap out of him. Ah man, there's so much to say and not enough space to write everything I'd want to write. But I wouldn't want to tell you every little detail regarding the book in any case. KA's books need to be experienced. That's exactly the perfect word. They are an experience. Romance, drama, heart-wrenching stories, especially those that always end up with a HEA, are made for me.
All the characters are fleshed out beautifully, the kids are written perfectly, Elvira cracks me up as does Martha, and be still my heart - both Vance and Hector were back in this book, not for too long, but enough to put a smile on my face. Vance Crowe is one of my favourite characters, and his book rocked in the RC series.
The only thing I didn't like in this book was simply one word. When used in a certain manner, like towards Olivia and people like her, then I have no problem with it. But, when describing something else, it just doesn't go down well. The C word. Look, Tess liked it, so good for her. I just didn't. But this is neither here no there. And really, who cares if I like it or not. To each his own.
I'll be starting Law Man today, which is Mitch's book. We also met in MM. Can't bloody wait!...more
I dove head first back into Kristen Ashley's world with the Dream Man series after completing the Rock Chick series - having a momentary pause of say a few weeks due to not being able to get into this series as I was kind of depressed the RC series had come to a finale (that's a mouthful!) - and let me add that I actually put MM down after reaching 20% last year, but when I surfaced after finishing this book, I was in freaking heaven! YES! I can feel a longish review coming on, but this author is that good, and she's still rocking my world! Needless to say, as this review is here it's because I picked up MM a week ago and started from scratch again.
I must start off by saying that although I loved this book right from the beginning - Hawk (Cade Delgado) - once in a while rubbed me off the wrong way. Anyway, this didn't last long. Hawk rocks! And so does Gwendolyn Kidd. They are so perfectly suited to each other, KA couldn't have paired two better characters. She has though, of course she has, and she continues to do so. Mystery Man was fully loaded in the alpha male/bad arse department, and right, front and center we have Hawk. The beauty of this is that it's balanced out so awesomely, with the heroine, Gwen, and all the other female counterparts.
Hawk is the mystery man in Gwen's life. And he's the mystery man for the simple reason that she met him a year and a half ago while drinking cosmopolitans (I need to make myself one 'cause they sound awesome and I've never tried it - I love margaritas!) in a bar. As far as she's concerned, she'd clocked him first when he walked in and tried in vein to get his attention, but as she later finds out, Hawk had laid eyes on her prior to walking in. So, yeah, sigh. He had her number.
No conversation took place at all, but as he was leaving - and she was dying a thousand little deaths - he turns to her and says, "You comin' or what?" Just like that. She did go, and she most certainly well... you know. For a whole year and a half, she slept with a man who stole into her house at night, had sex with her, making her happy and tingly as happy and tingly can be, and left thereafter. She didn't know his name, she didn't know how he got in - she knew nothing. I can just picture all the gasps, finger wagging and head shaking going on accompanied by grunts of disapproval. I can tell you this, she wasn't complaining. She did wonder what she was doing, but it's not something she ever thought of stopping.
"God," I whispered, "I am such a slut."
And then one day, her sister's friend (ex/would be friend) Darla, pitches up at her house looking for Ginger (Gwen's half sister). Shit's going down, Ginger better show herself or bodies are going to fall. Gwen has no option but to walk into Ride where members of the Chaos MC club operate from to speak to Dog, Ginger's ex-boyfriend. This is beyond crazy because this isn't a place where everything is all happy-go-lucky, and she attracts the attention of the head honcho, Tack. Ginger owes them, big time. Hilariously, Gwen's mouth tends to run and I love it. She wants to sort out whatever Ginger has managed to stuff up, yet again, so she proceeds to explain how much of a pain Ginger is. I'll just add that her sister also added fuel to the fire by sleeping with Gwen's then husband on their wedding day.
"Ginger. A pain in my ass. A pain in my ass since the day she cut off all the hair on my Barbies. She was three. I was too old for Barbies but they were mine. She couldn't leave them alone? What's with cutting their hair?" I looked up at Dog and said, "I think that's what psychos do. We should have known then. She's three, wielding scissors and causing mayhem and heartbreak." I kept babbling as I dug in my purse, found my checkbook and then kept scrounging for a pen declaring, "She was always, always a bad seed."
Gwen then pulls out her cheque book and asks: "All right, how much does she owe you?"
Tack replies: "Two million, three hundred and fifty-seven thousand, one hundred and seven dollars." Finishing with, "And twelve cents."
There's obviously more to this passage, and it was hilarious, especially when she thinks they must have made an accountancy error, or that it's foreign currency. Seriously funny.
From here on in things take a turn for the worst as she's dragged into her sister's illegal life and problems. After leaving Dog and Tack, she heads home to be confronted by her nightly visitor. It's the second time she's seeing him in light - the first time being at the bar. She'd forgotten how gorgeous he was. He's there confronting her over her visit to Dog. She's shocked he even knows her name, but is further gobsmacked that he knows every single little detail about her. According to him, he knows exactly who he sleeps with.
There are drive-by shootings, and all manner of crap has honed in on her. She meets Mitch Lawson (who I now know will be our hero in the third book - Law Man), who is also hot, as is Tack (Kane Allen). Seriously, Gwen seems to be surrounded by hot men, who by the way, all want a piece of her should be ever become available. Her friend, Troy, whom she didn't know was into her, is put in his place by Hawk who'd sussed him out, telling Gwen that Troy had the hots for her. Throughout the story, Troy is sulky due to having lost out (I wanted to slap him upside the head), but in the end all is well.
As far as their relationship goes, gosh so much happens, I couldn't possibly get into it, suffice it to say that at one point when Hawk wants to end things as he can't do the relationship thing anymore, Gwen is heartbroken but then finds out - from him- as to the why. He'd had a family before, a wife and a daughter. It's 8 years since he lost them, in very similar circumstances to what Gwen's going through and he's not prepared to go through that again. Strangely enough, Gwen did something that totally pissed me off, and that was instead of putting what Hawk's been through first in understanding his reason for wanting to end things, she was very much only thinking about Gwen. It does eventually get resolved, and I'm glad she woke up to the fact that she was wrong. As far as tender, awesome and tear inducing moments in this book go, there are plenty.
"So, yeah, I get where you're comin' from. Jesus, I understand protecting yourself from pain. But standing in front of me is a woman who can't see beyond herself and her own fuckin' issues to recognize that the man she was tying' herself to needs some understanding or, if that's too much for you, some fucking compassion."
Again, this book is no different from any Kristen Ashley book I've read. It's full of non-stop action, humour, love, sex, amazing friendships, family (I adore Meredith - Gwen's stepmom) and end with a snot inducing but beautiful epilogue. I'm always a mess after reading a KA book - in a very, very good way - and I honest to goodness become a part of these characters' lives, and when I get to the end I'm always sad.
This really got to me, it was simply a one word answer, but so full of depth and meaning.
"You're in deep with me, aren't you baby?" I whispered my question just to confirm. "Drowning," he whispered back.
Safe to say I loved, loved, loved this book. One of my favourite characters, which somewhat reminds me of Shirleen from the RC series, who made an appearance here too, is Elvira. Love her! I'm starting with Wild Man next, book two in this series....more
ARC received from Kensington Publishing via NetGalley.
My reviews are always honest and not in any way, shape or form influenced by anything or anyone.
Loved. Loved. Loved! And I cannot wait for the second book. I'm on a roll with good books and good authors with the last three I've read so far. The best part about enjoying a book is the fact that it's the first in a series. I don't know how many yet the author has planned, but with the fabulous characters she has written, there has to be a few. Please.
This is Jennifer Dawson's debut, and what a way to start. I'm impressed. This story was just up my street. I'm a huge romance fan, and when a story encompasses everything but the kitchen sink, the author is on to something. She must be as she has one extremely happy reader right here. Me!
It's not simply just a romance novel, there are many facets and pasts in play here, but it starts off with Maddie Donovan escaping out a bathroom window - on her wedding day! With nothing more than $50.00 to her name plus her car, which her uncle had driven to the venue, she hightails it out of there until she can drive no more; she runs out of gas. No choice but having to walk, she does this for miles and follows a neon sign to a bar in a small town called Revival. She's done all this in her wedding dress and veil mind you. The picture she must have presented, all ragged, tired, torn, and sporting aching feet was a vision in my mind. Here she meets Mitch Riley who happens to be the owner.
Mitch is intrigued and after a couple of drinks and some back and forth banter does something odd, and suggests she go home with him. After all, she's got no money and no place to go. Maddie was quite trusting in agreeing, which might boggle a lot of people's minds, but sometimes we just know if someone is trustworthy. Mitch is quite gagga over Maddie, and who wouldn't be? Everyone ended up liking her, me too.
Mitch is/was a lawyer in Chicago. Something awful went down, he was blamed but never charged, his father is a senator, his parents' relationship wasn't all that but now is even worse due to a scandal in the works. He's living in his grandmother's house, which he bought, owns the bar he hates, is bored and is for all intents and purposes hiding from his former life.
Maddie has her own issues. She's also from Chicago, ran out on her wedding, her father is dead for which she blames herself, everyone has always decided what she should and should not do and she's just gone along with everything in order to not hurt anyone's feelings. She also refers to herself as being wild when she was younger (and in one particular scene, she plays it downright dirty and unfair - but in a fun way), and even though she's in her late twenties, still comes across - at times - as pretty young due to all the protecting everyone's been doing for her. This is her opportunity to break free, control her own life and put her foot down. Something she eventually does.
There's lots going on in this book, there are amazing characters (Shane, James, Gracie - she's a hoot - Charlie, Sam, Penelope & Sophie - her best friends), and Mitch's mom, all of whom I loved and can't wait to read more about, and... and this book was spicy. Forget spicy, it was hot. It goes without saying that I hate Steve; the childhood 'sweetheart', who is ever bloody forceful, and manipulative as far as I was concerned.
As for emotional scenes, there's plenty to go around, which I love and make me cry. Here are a few.
"Don't you ever do that to me again. Do you understand?" She blinked at him, then shoved him away. "You told me to leave." "You weren't supposed to listen!" he yelled, wrenching her back for another punishing kiss. (This one was quite funny - but emotional at the same time as he thought he'd lost her - because she did what he asked, but she wasn't supposed to! Role reversal?)
Almost forgot this one. I loved Maddie's mom, too. Especially after what she said in response to what Maddie had to say:
"I wish, when I was growing up, I could have been the daughter you wanted." Shannon squeezed her fingers, then pulled away to gently cup her chin. "Madeline, you are the daughter I needed."
And then, this. Mitch went on to explain why he asked her to leave. I can't put the whole passage here as I don't want to ruin it, so I will only share three lines:
She went to her tiptoes and kissed him, a soft brush of promise. "Don't you understand?" He shook his head. "I've never been so clueless in my life." She rubbed her thumb over his jaw. "You saved me. And I will love you forever."
To end, we get our HEA. Brilliant debut. Awesome writing. I needed to read a love story right now, and this one went down like a decadent slice of chocolate cake accompanied by a large cappuccino. Filling, satisfying and orgasmic to say the least. Me thinks I've found a brand new favourite author! Yeah, I'm a fan.
The second book entitled, The Winner Takes It all, will be Cecilia's story - Mitch's sister. Can't wait, but I"ll have to. It's due for publication on 14 December 2014! I could cry. Also, I e-mailed the author, and she's just told me that my wish has come true; she's just finishing up Gracie's story. Now what I don't know is if Gracie's story is book three - she didn't tell me, but I do know that the third book is entitled, The Name of the Game....more
As I mentioned in my full review, there’s a lot of threesome action in this story between Jack, Mary and Mary’s ‘brother’, Simon. I don’t want to spoil it for those who are interested in reading this series, but will say that it’s full of secrets, intrigue, suspense and of course, sex as you by now know, it’s erotic. However, you’ll see that I mention the actual story surpasses the sexual scenes. Kate Pearce is so good at writing all and every aspect pertaining to her stories.
I did think that the connection and intimacy between Jack and Simon was more believable than the one between Jack and Mary. Although I thought Simon was a twit in the beginning of the book, I ended up liking him a hell of a lot more than Jack and Mary, even though they, too, were awesome. Jack because his character was most interesting, and what he was prepared to do to rightly inherit what was his was downright cheeky, and Mary because despite her upbringing, or because of it, turned out to be a very strong woman, one prepared to not go down without a fight, and one who would do almost (but not quite) anything to make sure her future was secure. I admire this, and completely understood her thought process. Simon was just fabulous. I don't know what it is, but there's something about him that pulled at my heartstrings; it's safe to say that his background is probably a huge factor in carving out the man he became. I was actually hoping that Jack and Simon might have ended up together as a couple, even though Mary's pull on Jack was strong. Who knows, maybe Simon will have his own book. I'd love that.
Seriously entertaining. These are not stories for those who aren’t prepared to be showered with what most would deem scandalous. Faint-hearted? These are not for you, but then if you don't enjoy erotica it's a sure sign. However! Kate Pearce may change your mind.
‘House of Pleasure’ series comes before this one, although I’ve checked and do believe you do not have to read this series before ‘The Sinners Club series’. What the author has done is introduced characters who played a part in HOP, and written their own stories. There are nine books in the HOP series for those interested.
I see that the second book in TSC series is expected to be released on 29 June by Kensington Publishing (Imprint : Aprodisia), and it’s called ‘Tempting The Sinner’. I cannot wait to read it....more
Well, don't fabulous surprises come in all sorts of packages? I got this book from Wendy Logsdon, the author's marketing manager at Booktrope, as a thank you. Godspeed was part of my blogaversary this year, for which I was most thankful, but after I downloaded it to my iPad, it joined many, many others awaiting my attention. Of late, I go through periods where I'm stumped as to what to read. Yes, I've just said this book joined many others on my eReader so it's most definitely not a case of being short on books to read, but stumped means just that. I look at everything, even some of my favourite authors, but I'm just not sure if that particular book is something I want to read right then. Also, work does interfere with reading, whether I like it or not, and by the end of the day I'm too darn tired to concentrate. I hate reading just to get reading in. I love to read for the love of reading, and for the love of numerous emotions authors are able to put me through with their book, their story.
This happened a few weeks ago. It's happening more often than not of late. Anyway, I was just about to start a book, which is part of a series, but for some reason my eyes fell on Godspeed once again. I have books set aside for review purposes, and books I choose to read myself. This falls under the latter. Before I go on, I have to be quite honest about something, as I always am, and say that although I don't believe there's anything wrong with this cover per say, as far as I'm concerned it doesn't do this amazing book any justice at all. There are so many possibilities here, and I can guarantee that should this cover be changed to incorporate not only one of the characters as it now stands, but say a certain balcony and Abigail, it will most definitely garner the attention from all age groups without a doubt.
With that said, I loved this book so much. It took me by surprise. I haven't read anything written in this manner in years! The prose, the characters, the story - just everything appealed to me. It's a period novel, although we (at least I don't) don't know which, and you know what? I don't give a hoot at all. Makes absolutely no difference, and doesn't detract one iota from the story if an exact year is not mentioned. At all. It also incorporates romance, and is steampunkish in a sense, but to me reads more historical at times, especially where garments and such were concerned. Fabulous. Seriously.
The setting is in Fairever (loved!), and it starts off with Abigail Courage being dismissed and turned out from the only home she's ever known due to having suffered at the hands of the Dread Fever. A fever which affects those struck down by it in different ways. Some go blind, others deaf, and yet others who suffer from heart failure as a result, and die. To think that the family who had employed her father for years upon years, turns around and basically discards her is nothing but cruel to say the least. Abigail has nothing, and she has no one. After wandering around, she collapses in the street where a kind soul by the name of Schuyler comes to her rescue. She would have died had he not intervened, and for all intents and purposes as you will gather once you've read the book, she is dead. Enter Dr. Quinn Godspeed, who by using his amazing talents, heart and hands, creates a device which keeps her heart beating - keeps her alive. Prior to her receiving a smaller device in the form of a pendant, which interconnects to her heart via her chest, she'd been hooked up to a machine which periodically (and almost) shocked what little life she hung on to. It's so perfectly explained in the book, I won't even attempt a description here. I wouldn't do it justice. Needless to say that daylight hours for Abigail are no longer a part of her life due to her device having to be recharged by solar power during the day. Enough said.
As the story progresses, more surprises come to light including the handful of young adults she meets, who also have sad stories of their own. I loved every character from Penn to Jib, from Marielle to Lilibet - you have to love all these names - even Schuyler and Quinn, despite both their pasts making me wonder at times if they were all there, which eventually come to the fore. Abigail struggles quite a bit throughout the story as to whether living as she is was the best option for her, or if perhaps it would have been better for death to have claimed her. Of course, Quinn, plays a huge role not only in the book, but in Abigail's life. From the first time she opened her eyes, something about him captured not only her attention but also her heart.
When she finds out that where she was at first held is where she will stay albeit more expanse than what she had originally thought, she tries to find out what circumstances led to Quinn and Schuyler having the arrangement they have, and also why Quinn acts as his own twin brother. Oh, believe me, it's not something you will expect. I didn't, but could totally sympathise with both. It proved to be an ordeal for Schuyler for most of his life, as well as for Quinn - there's more than meets the eye, with Schuyler's sister having played a big part in the backstory - and something that by the end of the book is so explosive, I never saw it coming.
This story captured my heart, and is riddled with sadness, courage, love, compassion, and pain. I do believe this is the author's debut novel, I could be wrong. But if I'm right, I am more than impressed, more so because the ending was nothing what I expected. This, for me, was seriously amazing writing. Beautifully descriptive, and easy flowing. I got goosebumps within the first couple of pages, it's how much the writing affected me. Loved, loved, loved and I haven't read anything like this before. Oh, one more thing. I'm painful this way. I'm not one for books written in first person. I love third person POV, always have and always will, but sometimes an author comes along who writes in first person, doing it so well, that when I read their book my brain is tricked into thinking it's written in third person. I'm that unaware. Amazing. Not every author can pull this off, but February Grace can, with ease....more
I LOVED this book. One of my favourites right after Jules and Vance's book. I've mentioned once or twice that Vance was all that and it's still true, but Hector (Oh my God) Chavez is all that, too. I'm not going to make this review long either as I've just finished the next (and last) installment in this series. This will be the last time I read a book and don't sit down right away to write my review. Other things got in the way, work wise, and I kept putting writing reviews on the back burner. The thing is, one tends to forget certain details and that ticks me off. However, I didn't forget this one. With this said, the synopsis says it all, so I will just touch on why I loved this book so, so much.
Firstly, Ralphie and Buddy were two new characters, a gay couple, and Sadie's only friends really. They are just as fabulous as Tod and Stevie. Love them to bits, but then I love every single character that throughout this series have become like a family to me. Crap. I could actually cry right now as I'm going to miss them so much. Yes, yes, I know it's only books, but that's the whole point of stories isn't it? If they don't make you feel a damn, then what's the point of reading. Sniff. Moving on...
Sadie. OMW. I adored Sadie. My heart cried for Sadie. I wished I could have climbed into this book and hugged Sadie. It's how much she affected me. To grow up that alone, and then needing help finds her way to Lee's office only to be turned away, which (not their fault as they could not have known) results in her getting raped? Truly sad. I nearly flipped when this happened. Nobody, no woman, man or child should ever have to go through such a horror, such a violation of their body and soul. She did, and she come out on the other side like a freaking trooper. But then, when one 'inherits' a huge family like the rock chicks and the hot bunch along with their families and friends, the support is unfathomable. And although she finds out that her dad, despite being a drug lord and bossy and commanding as hell, did love her - it still made me angry over the way he treated her. What's the point of having children, only to treat them like freaking robots or shall I say, more like they are there just to serve you? Disgusting. And I'm not even talking about what he does for a living. A***hole. I'm happy to report that Sadie eventually got to a point where she stood firm and shocked the hell out of her dad. She would not do his biding ever again. And Hector (Eddie's brother), was just magnificent! Truly. What a heart. Queue in my 'sniff' again. I have to share this. Ralphie calls Hector, double H. So hilarious. When asked what it means, here is what he said: "I call them as I see 'em. He's Hispanic..." Raplhie lifted one hand and then continued, "And he's hot." He lifted his other hand and then shoved them together like he was squeezing an accordion. "Hence, Hispanic Hottie." As much as there is action and suspense, shootings, kidnappings, fighting, a heck of a lot of romance (and sex) including this unfortunate rape, there is so much laughter - these books are beyond entertaining. Really.
Throughout this book, a love meant to be takes you up above the clouds. It was so beautiful, I don't even know how to describe it. Sadie has the most amazing heart, but then so does Hector. One thing that really stood out for me was how innocent she was. Almost child-like at times, which for once was refreshing. Not that I enjoyed the fact that she'd had no friends, had never gone to a concert... things like that. Her character was just different from the usual is all.
Hector turned out to be even more badass than what I'd originally thought he was, only when it called for it. Otherwise, he was just magnificently protective of Sadie. His mom, his sisters - the family, reminded me of mine. Gosh continental people are sooo volatile, but mostly in a good way. We're loud and rambunctious, but I have to tell you - we are passionate as heck. Family is important, so of course we tend to meddle when we shouldn't. Causes loads of confusion, but ultimately it's all in the name of love. Almost always.
There are a quite a few things Sadie becomes privvy to regarding her mother and what happened to her. We also learn a few more things about Marcus and Daisy. You have to LOVE this couple. Both Sadie and Daisy finally learn why their friendship went down the toilet due to not only a misunderstanding, but also due to Marcus keeping something (important) from Daisy. He had his reasons, although it caused a lot of hurt where it could have been avoided.
Again, not once in this series has any character we've come to love and read about - been left out. I cannot stress enough how much this series has become one of my favourites, and as soon as the paperbacks are available in South Africa, you can bet your sweet patootie I will be lining my 'newish' bookshelf with them. I've had an amazing journey with the Rock Chicks, and I'll probably cry when I write my next review for the last in this series... Ally's and Ren's book. It was beyond amazing. For now. This one rocked. It rocked me, and it once again rocked my world.
In closing, I have to thank my friend, Suzanne, for introducing me to not only this series but for catapulting me into Kristen Ashley's world. I don't think I've laughed as hard or cried as hard - albeit at the same time - as I have whilst on this journey. Top notch! ...more
Rock Chick Revenge was by far the busiest book! There's so much going on at any given time, it was exhausting but in a good way, of course.
When I started to read this book (5th in the RC series), I found myself becoming highly pissed off with Luke the more I read for some reason. Well, there are reasons, which I know carried over from previous books. Although I liked him, he rubbed me up the wrong way, and I honest to goodness thought I was going to hate this book simply because of him. But, true to KA style, she had me reversing my early judgement in no time at all. Super.
I've made no secret of the fact over how irritated I used to be with the choppy writing/editing and so forth with Kristen Ashley's books, and I didn't really want to bring it up here again, but I will as I need to explain how this eventually makes no flipping difference. One thing's for sure, they've gotten better as I've read along. This is how Kristen Ashley writes, and to be brutally honest, I just don't give a stuff anymore, because I've fallen in love with how she writes. I have. This is what she does to everyone who reads her books, well, almost everyone. When KA has something to say (hence, her characters), she puts her heart and soul into her words. Every single book, so far, is riddled with quotable passages, so much so, I promise that if you were told to quote just three of them, you'd be hard pressed to choose. You'd drive yourself crazy over this. It's how meaningful they are. But the best part, her alpha males (and they are tough as heck, sometimes so rough around the edges they resemble sand paper) although ho-hum, it's my way (never the highway though) and what I say goes, deep down, they have hearts the size of our planet! Even though they give their, I like to call them better halves *smirk*, women hell in the stubborn department, they would do anything, anything to protect them and keep them safe. They are also very, very, deep. They may not say much on a day to day basis but boy, when they open their mouths to say something meaningful, you just melt, in an unsightly puddle. Okay, now that I've waxed lyrical about why I love KA and her books so much, let me get on with things.
I liked Ava, and I thought it quite hilarious that she had a good Ava sitting on one shoulder and a bad Ava on the other. This was extremely fun to read, and quite entertaining when these two had a go at each other. Ava, like any character, had and has issues. The major one being that she was overweight, was called fatty-fatty four eyes, had two horrible sisters, and a mother who never stood up for her, except towards the end of the book when she became the mom she should have been all along. These three actually reminded me of Cinderella. She tends to bottle up a lot of important stuff about herself and her feelings, but who at some point doesn't? She's also not always truthful with Luke, and I believe this to be her 'protective' mode, but what it really boils down to is the fact that they are really little fibs. Everyone fibs (little white lies) at certain points in their lives, and let no one say they don't, because it's akin to saying, "I never pick my nose." Gross analogy, I know, but it's the most stupid one I could come up with right now.
She's been in love with Luke since she was eight-years old. He was the only one who ever looked at and treated her without judgement. Still, the day of his father's funeral, she overhead her sisters making fun of how Luke managed to hug all that fat. She vowed then and there that the next time Luke saw her, she'd be different. She worked out, highlighted her hair, changed glasses (although she still wears them on occasion) for contacts, and a new Ava was born. On the outside at least. Same Ava, insecurities and all, still resided on the inside, although a little stronger in some instances. She's taken under Shirleen's wing, as is the way of the rock chicks. She's also made a good friend in her trainer only that he has more than 'friendly' feelings towards her. Something that doesn't bode well with Luke.
When her best friend's cheating husband pissed Ava off beyond sanity, she decided she'd hire Luke, whom she hadn't seen in years, to do the job. He worked for Lee's PI agency. Once there, she has a change of heart, but too late. Luke is interested in seeing Ava, after all, it's been years and she never returned his call. He'd like to know why. This is what followed and I loved it.
"Luke's eyes moved away from me and scanned the room. Obviously looking for something then not finding it, his gaze sliced back to Shirleen. "Where's Ava? he asked, his eyes narrowed, the arms around me tightened and both my captor and I straightened. "What do you mean, where's Ava? Boy, you looked right at her," Shirleen answered. I heard a door open but since it was behind my back and there was a big, solid guy there, I couldn't look. Not that I would have. Luke's eyes had cut to me and pinned me to the spot. I went still and he stared at me. "Hey Luke," I said feeling and sounding stupid. His brows came together. "Ava?" he asked. "In the flesh," I tried for a jaunty smile even though Mace still hadn't let me go and I felt like a big dork. Luke did a body scan then his eyes came back to mine. "What the fuck happened to you?"
It was fab, and the book continued in this fabulous manner right to the end. We're talking mafia, kidnappings, chases - the usual hectic and wonderful stuff KA conjures from within the confines of her wonderful mind. We meet Ava's best friend, the usual Hot Bunch is strutting their stuff, the rock chicks are rocking on, Tex, Shirleen and Daisy continue to make me laugh - mind you - they all do, and I'm still firmly living in Denver, Colorado. I wonder if KA needs another secretary? Coffee maker? Dog walker? Heck, I'd dust her desk, just for the chance to pick her brain over her amazing stories.
As per usual, a love story to die for, characters you can't help but consume with every word you read. Yeah, they, this series, is just awesome. I've started book #6. Just as awesome. I'm just taking longer as I'm busy with other commitments, but I'll get there.
Read this series, get them, devour them. Laugh with them, and cry with them. KA will keep you on your toes, sporting (when not sobbing as I do) a huge smile and snorting out loud! ...more
Much like Creed, I adored, devoured and practically ate this book up! I kid you not. Those four words sound familiar to any Kristen Ashley fans? Of course they do. Seriously though, I read this book in 26 hours, and it's by no means short. I would have finished it sooner, but at certain points, I had to eat and sleep. I told my friend, Suzanne, I was surprised anyone got supper over at my house. I waited till the last second to clean my house, it's how much I could not stop reading this book. Wow. Wow. KA had me crying by 2%, for goodness sakes. I just knew this one was going to be oh-so-good, and it was.
Isn't it strange that when I started with Kristen Ashley books, I had a huge, humongous even, problem with the way editing was evidently lacking? I think that's why she has so many fans, not only because of her amazing stories, and believe me people they truly are, but because of the way she writes. She makes you feel every single bit and aspect of everything she writes. Whether it's about who is wearing what to how a house is laid out, you name it, she describes it but not in an irritating way where you wish the author hadn't taken the time to write about every little detail. Nope. You want to read what she describes, because not only do you visualise it - you feel like you are honest to goodness standing right there. And her characters? They become real people. They are amazing. I've said before that I'd love to move to Denver, Colorado. This urge becomes greater as I read further. I will say though that as there are seven books in this series so far, it can become somewhat repetitive where the alpha male moves the heroine right in to his house within the first few days, if not right away, but there you have it. Gosh, I'm even speaking like KA's characters! I could wax lyrical about her 'voice', and maybe I should refrain from doing so. But, after thinking about it for like a nanosecond, I decided to throw caution to the wind and go ahead regardless. If you have not read a KA book, please do so. Pronto! Start with the Unfinished Hero series, although I'll warn you right now, do not let this series put you off any other KA book should you be inclined to do so. Creed (#2) stands out above and beyond the other two as there are only three at the moment. Once you've read these, start with the Rock Chick Series, then the Dream Man series, Colorado Man series and then the Chaos series. I've still got a long way to go as I'm a fairly 'new' KA reader/fan. I'm new because there are just so many. I'm now on my 8th book. So, regarding her 'voice'. Kristen Ashley will, at some point or another, pull you in and make you want to read her books. It's a given. You can't help it, but she's clever that way. Or, I'll just say that she was born to write wonderful stories. Everyone has something they're good at. Kristen Ashley has a world of stories to tell, a world of books to keep you entertained, and a world of characters to make you fall in love with.
Jules is fabulous. She's one of my favourites so far, right after Indie from the first book. She's a social worker at a runaway shelter, and is called 'Law' - her surname is Lawler', but she's called 'Law' because at the shelter, her word is law - the kids listen to what she has to say. She's practically alone in the world except for Nick (her uncle) who married her aunt, Reba, a few months after Jules got out of hospital. He's another man in a million for sure. I loved Nick. She'd lost her mom, dad and brother in an accident; she was the sole survivor. A greater love than between Nick and aunt Reba (who died when Jules was fifteen) she'd never witnessed. This was the part (2% in) where KA made me cry. I mean, how beautiful was this?
"And I knew Nick's love for Auntie Reba. He loved her in a way that was indescribable. It wasn't like she walked on water or was the earth and moon and stars. It was different. It was breath. It was necessity. She was the last of my blood and she was life to him."
When Jules loses Park (one of her boys) to drugs, she decides it's high time someone starts getting these dealers off the street. Believe me, she's kiss-arse, learns to shoot, trains to defend herself and then, hunts these low life's at night. Of course, this is where one evening she's caught Vance's attention and with him, not only Lee's team's attention, but Darius and those whose attention she truly didn't need to catch. The vigilante status she's grabbed hold of has more consequences she ever thought possible. She's not only got the kids at the shelter to protect, there are two who are especially dear to her. They were Park's best friends, and all three always went everywhere together - Roam and Sniff.
After meeting Vance (a hero/boyfriend to die for - like Creed), her world as she knows it is turned upside down. She's an innocent, even though she's twenty-six. She's never been with a man in that way, so Vance becomes her first and last. Jules is hard pressed to truly open up to him, and constantly holds back - protecting herself. This eventually goes out the window, but it was a work in progress and a beautiful one at that.
Vance? I have so many words, but can't fully express them. He is just amazing. He's deep. When Vance says something, your toes curl at the beauty that comes from not only his mouth but his heart. I can't describe it or do it justice. I read and re-read certain parts, that's how much it gripped me. He's from native American descent and a total player. That is, until Jules. Vance just is. All that. And more. In this series so far, he's my absolute favourite male character.
"Outside my bike, never has anything important in my life been just mine." My body stilled, so did my heart, and my eyes locked with his. He started moving again, slowly, deeply and he kept talking. "Always castoffs, leftovers, used, sometimes even food from dumpsters." My heart started beating again, only to trip over itself. My breath came fast, not only from what was happening to my body but what he was saying. "Vance--" His lips came to mine, his hands moved out of my hair and went to the sides of my face and he stared into my eyes, pressing deep inside. "Mine," he muttered, his deep voice hoarse, that fierce undercurrent there."
See what I mean? This is just one bit. This whole book is quotable. I've highlighted so many things, but can't possibly put them all here. Actually, I was hard pressed to choose the two I've quoted. I could go on and on. You cannot but help falling in love with Vance and Jules. They are dynamic apart, but together? They are the ultimate love story. A right-to-your-heart zinger of a couple.
I loved that Jules, for someone almost alone, suddenly has friends coming out of the kazoo from the rock
chicks, to all the guys, Tex and three new characters, Zip, Heavy and Frank. Again, she's added more characters just when you think you can't possible keep up with them all. But you see, KA makes them so interesting you have no choice but to like them, too. This book, like the others before it, is full of suspense, bad guys, shootings and everything you can think of to keep you on your toes. One pertinent part was Darius and Shirleen deciding to finally move away from the 'dark side'. I practically danced at this point. Shirleen is one funny woman. By the end of the book, Darius, Hector (Eddie's brother who was going through his own thing) and Shirleen, become a part of Lee's team. Oh yes! Awesome. I'm just glad Dawn has finally received her just desserts. Bitchy cow. Shirleen though, takes on a different role and I'll leave it here. She's going to be even more of a hoot than she already is. Also, the ending was different in that it was written not only in Jules and Luke's POV due to a particular situation taking place, but also in previous characters'. Very interesting.
So, after starting out a sceptic, I've completely changed my tune! Needless to say that I've now started with the fifth book. I'm knee-deep and don't see myself moving for a long time to come yet. Simply, I adored....more
I finally got to Raid, the third in the Unfinished Hero series. It was recently released, February to be precise, and I couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately, it had to wait a while as I was in the midst of other stories.
I think I mentioned this before, but if not, this series by Kristen Ashley touches on BDSM. I mean touches, because after reading all three FSOG's, these really only scratch the surface. Thank goodness. Although I am open-minded, there are a lot of things that are just not my cup of tea. So, these are easier to read in that sense, and don't freak me out as much. When I read Knight, I wasn't impressed, not really, but Knight himself had a lot to do with it. Knight was the first book. I've since changed my mind a bit where Knight is concerned, not from his book, but from Creed's. Then, I read Creed - the second, and oh my God, every time I think about Creed, I get chills - hence it being one of my favourites for this year. I loved, adored and devoured this book. When I'd finished it, I didn't think any book following Creed would be either on par, or exceed my love for it. I'm happy to say, this one didn't! It wasn't even close. I didn't hate this book, but I didn't love it either. I simply enjoyed it. There were lovely parts, there were sniffling parts, but it was mostly just about Raid and Hanna, which in and of themselves isn't a bad thing at all, but it was just kind of black and white, no grey. That's it. Nothing wrong with this either, but the whole book focused on them, except for when Knight, Creed and their women visit Hanna in hospital, a short part towards the end when Marcus (from Rock Chicks) makes an appearance, and Lee Investigations (also Rock Chicks), his guys and their ladies are mentioned. These parts, believe it or not, made it more interesting, I'm sorry to say. But ultimately, the most interesting person for me in this whole book was Hanna's grandmother! I loved her to bits. She's awesome, she's loving, she's all-knowing and she's very, very wise. Reminded me of my grandmother.
With Knight and Creed, aside from the romance, there was a whole lot of other stuff happening on the side. There was suspense and intrigue. With Raid, this fell very short in that department. Granted, he was off for periods at a time working on his not legal, but not really criminal job, but we weren't in the midst of what he was doing. At all. Ever. Look, I liked Raid, and I liked Hanna, but there was no wow. There were lovely moments when Raid said certain things to Hanna and one of my favourites, which the book is riddled with, was, 'my reward'. I loved this. The only moment that truly wrenched any emotion from me was when Hanna was brutally attacked. This formed a huge knot in my stomach. I thought that this was where things would turn in the the book, where when someone is this brutally attacked, it's human nature to suffer some form of post-traumatic stress. She didn't. Not really. I would have had bloody nightmares had this happened to me. I'd have sleepless nights, and I know I would have been a nervous wreck. She didn't even go here. I found it strange.
This was quite a tame and 'quiet' third installment compared to Knight and without sounding awful, quite bland compared to Creed. I don't know if I'll even read the fourth in this series should there be one on the horizon. I do have a feeling I know why this didn't bowl me over. One word. Creed. Creed has spoiled me in this series, and any consequent books, such as Raid, will not come close or even compare. At least, as of now, I'm that sure.
So, I enjoyed this book, but that was it. I know others have loved it, and I'm glad. I'm still loving Kristen Ashley, this doesn't change my mind about her books in the least, but then I'm reading another of her series, Rock Chicks, which place me completely and totally in my element. I can't love every book, but as long as I enjoy them, then I'm happy. You might have a different take on this one....more
Quite a lot of people have said that this one, the third in the Rock Chick series, is better than the previous two. I don't think so. Perhaps in the sense that Roxie doesn't talk 'silly', but other than that, it is just as wonderful and enjoyable. It's also just as funny, suspenseful and hot.
I will, however, say that the dynamic between Hank (Lee's brother who we met in the previous two) and Roxie is that much more intense. Hank's a good guy, not only personally but also professionally. This doesn't mean he still doesn't try to hold Roxie back in certain things, but again, when do these rock chicks listen? Hardly ever. And, why should they? Sometimes, I'll agree, that putting themselves in danger is asking for it, but at other times, they just plow ahead and with good reason. They're not weaklings when it comes to getting what they want, or when they occasionally have to kick butt.
Roxie has a plan. Her boyfriend, whom she's tried to break up with on numerous occasions, doesn't seem to get the hint but then, Roxie's pretty much ignored (or rather not wanted to know) what he does for a living. It's not good. Anything involving drugs is not good. She concocts a plan, saves up her money, packs clothes and whatnot and starts storing them at her friends place. She then takes a trip to visit and stay with her uncle, none other than the man who is one of my absolute favourites, Tex, hoping to gain some time on her side and hopefully lose the ex, whereupon she will go back, get all her stuff and disappear. Well, things do not go according to plan. When do they ever?
Tex is over the moon when Roxie pitches up. They've never met, because Tex's sister and her mom haven't spoken in years. Roxie had written him letters, letters that kept him sane whilst in prison way back when. When she enters Fortnum's, the guy's are all there (the Hot Bunch). Hank gets first dibs, and life gets complicated, interesting and out of control from here on in. Kidnappings, car chases and all that crazy stuff.
Every single guy you meet in these books is sizzling and naughty! I mean, at a point where it's clear that Roxie is with Hank, Vance and Luke get quite flirty with her. Really! But like Tex pointed out, not in these words but similar, you snooze you lose. If you aren't quick enough, all the good ones are gone. Of course, he may have been biased at the time, as she is his niece.
We meet her friend Annette, who by the way is just as crazy as the rest of these characters, is so taken with Denver, the ambiance and the people, she decides to move there! The whole cast is back, something I absolutely love. When I read these books, I feel like I'm transported to Denver, Colorado. I feel like I'm physically there. Mention them liking Springsteen and heck, I'd move there myself. I know that sometimes things seem to get a little out of control, or maybe some readers might think that some things are predictable, but then this isn't rocket science. These stories are meant to make you fall in love with the characters and all their shenanigans. They are meant to make you sit back, and oohh and ahhh, and they are meant not to be taken too seriously. If they were, they'd be classified as non-fiction.
One thing that always stands out, whether it was Lee, Eddie or Hank, is the fact that they love to have 'conversations' with their women. More often than not, they are wasting their breath, but they do keep trying. Shame.
I loved Roxie. I loved how despite everything that's happening to her, she's down to earth (although very high maintenance - something she freely admits), is able to have fun, and is quick to make friends with the girls.
I look forward to the 4th book, Rock Chick Renegade. I'm pretty sure it's going to be just as fun as the first three I've now read. There is always some kind of drama going on, but they are truly easy and fun reads. Try them - they really are worth your reading time. They're definitely worth mine....more
Finally! Finally! Finally! Finally! There, got that out of the way.
Short of sounding like a broken record, we all have our own opinions, thoughts, ideas and certain ways we'd like a book to read. I don't force my opinions on others - I can only recommend and hope that someone else will feel the same - so I appreciate when others don't force their opinions on me. If we all thought the same and agreed on everything, this existence we live would be damn freaking boring. So, whatever anyone else who has read Lover At Last thought, personally, I LOVED it! And, I would read it again in a heart-bloody-beat. J.R. Ward is the bomb, she is, and ain't nobody going to change my mind about this. For once, I refrained from reading reviews, anywhere, until I finished LAL. I'm glad I did, because one or two were so obviously hate reviews, and I wonder why these people bother to spend time writing drivel where they could be say... getting a clue, or a lobotomy. To spend time logging in to Amazon to write absolutely nothing about the book, but spend a whole paragraph complaining about the price is beyond my thought process. Did someone hold a gun to their head and force them to buy the book? I don't think so. Take your grievances and tell somebody who cares - I don't. Right, moving along.
As you all know by now, this book was long - 591 pages long, and I devoured every single one of these 591 pages. I did. Although I've been waiting what seems like years for this book where Qhuinn and Blay finally unite, somewhere at the back of my mind I hoped that J.R. Ward would take and make what was a love story between two males waiting to happen, Qhuinn and Blay, not only tasteful, but also do them justice. She did. It was 100% perfect. Interjection here, again: another thing that got my back up. There were quite a number of complaints about a gay couple. Oh for goodness sakes people! What's wrong with it? Nothing! At all! Besides, you shouldn't complain because you must have followed the BDB series, so KNEW this was coming. Honestly, I get very irritated with people wanting to complain for the sake of it. Rather don't buy it then, or just get over it.
This book is jam-packed-to-the-brim-flowing with story lines, sub plots, and new characters - especially one Marisol Morte aka Sola. I'll get to her further on. This was and is essentially, Qhuinn and Blay's story. Although I could have read a bit more involving them, I don't feel like it was lacking in the least for what I got. What I liked as well, was that LAL was not riddled with sex scenes (just because they've now finally gotten their groove on) between the two of them. Yeah, we had a few, and yeah I enjoyed them. I think - if I remember correctly - there were four in total. If the whole book had concentrated solely on them and their 'romance', then it wouldn't have been about the BDB, but rather just a straight forward romance, and we know the BDB is not just straight forward romance although there's plenty to go around.
Due to so much going on in this book, I'm going to only touch on a few things, or else I'll just keep going. I will tell you this, though. I have not been able to pick up a paranormal story since I finished Lover At Last. I just, still, cannot get into one. I think (actually I know) I may be addicted to what JRW dishes out, the way she writes, just everything. I'm still on a high, and it may take a while to come down, so I'll be patient. Something I'm not overly good at.
Right, if you didn't get it already, I loved this book. Sure, I went a bit mad on certain complaints, dishing out my own against them, but I do understand what some are saying. After waiting for Qhuinn and Blay's story, where it's been building up for what... the last three to four books? I could have most definitely had more interaction between the two. But, this is by no means the end of them, and I'm sure we will still read more about them in the future. I was nonetheless more than satisfied.
In as short a way as possible, this is what all has been happening with the brothers, and those 'related' to, or against them.
● Layla and Qhuinn, each with their own issues who chose to have a baby together - a family of their own. ● Blay and Qhuinn who needed to resolve their issues, where finally Qhuinn came to realise what he's been throwing away all these years. We finally get to see his inner turmoil, his angst and his eventual opening up to Blay where his feelings are concerned. This, of course, throws Blay for a loop. I didn't blame him, because after all's been said and done; after Blay pining away for Qhuinn; after Qhuinn pushing him away and into to his cousin's arms (Saxton); their relationship becoming strained over Blay holding a torch for Qhuinn; a hallelujah moment was hard for Blay to believe. But eventually, he did. Blay is such a sweetie. He really is, but then his parents are amazing! ● Blay, who I've always thought was a softie (and is), dished out some stern facts and truths right to Q's face. They were needed, although at the time, I was screaming, "No, he's realised it's you he wants, so please don't turn him away!" A hill must always be climbed before we can walk back down the other end. ● Assail, whom we met previously and his attraction to newcomer Sola (Marisol). This, we all know, will continue in future books. I look forward to what's going to happen with them. I really like Assail. I like that he's not siding with Xcor or with the BDB. He just wants to live his life, carry on with his business (an unsavoury one at that), and be left alone. Don't think either camp is going to let this happen, but it's for me to wait and see. ● Trez and iAm : brothers, who worked for Rehvenge, are Shadows, and have now - due to Trez's unwanted 'mated' problem - moved into the brothers' compound. Although I like them both, Trez is a hoot. ● Trez and Selena (a Chosen who services the brothers' blood needs). Trez's eyes have landed on Selena, and he won't be leaving her alone anytime soon. iAm keeps warning him, but Trez isn't one to listen. ● Xcor. Wrath's nemesis. So much going on here with laws and whatnot, which is stressing me out where Wrath and Beth are concerned, I'll be hyperventilating for the next year. ● Again, Xcor - this time in conjunction with Layla. You'll know that in Lover Reborn these two met. Xcor (who according to himself is ugly/deformed as sin) cannot forget Layla. She's his. Layla in turn, although she feels it's wrong, has no problem with his looks at all, has strong feelings for Xcor as well. Remember, she's pregnant with Qhuinn's baby. What's to come of this? I cannot wait to find out. ● Yet again, Xcor: Why is it that JRW always, always, manages to make me like someone who I shouldn't be liking? I mean, he's tried to kill Wrath, wants to be king and rule his way - the only way he believes is acceptable. I hate him... yet, I don't! OMW. When he thinks of Layla, he's a marshmallow. At one point, where he feels her presence and tracks back to where they first met, Layla is sitting in her car as she was drawn to the very same spot. He places all his weapons on the hood of the car, leaving himself totally open for an attack - sure death, yet not caring in the least, because Layla is there. He must set her at ease, he does not want her to fear him. And then, in the car? I was expecting a kiss at least, and then boom! it was total shut down. I growled at this point. But see what I mean? He is so gentle. You cannot help but feel for him. ● The icing on the cake? All the wonderful brothers were back in some form or another. Sigh. I love them all, but V and Z? Tops! Pure, unadulterated awesomeness. One thing I missed, was the Scribe Virgin herself for some reason. She featured quite a bit in a number of the books, and although quite stoic as is expected of her, I still like her in certain instances and honestly, she's quite important in the order of things. I hope she makes an appearance in future books once again. ● What I'm still waiting for: When is John Mathew going to become a full-fledged brother and start using his name? When is Blay going to become a full-fledged brother as well?
I guess I will have to wait, again, patiently.
Since the laws allowed for Qhuinn to be inducted into the brotherhood (very much deserved), will this open up the door for say, Trez, iAm, or Assail (maybe) to become one of them? Things are hotting up, and the more hands on board, the better. I don't know, I can't guess, but do look forward to what's on the horizon.
For those of you who don't know, or didn't see the clip posted on JRW's Facebook page, she announced that the 12th book will be entitled: The King. With good reason. And you will know this reason, once you've read Lover At Last.
Despite the book not focusing that little bit more on Q & B, it was one of my favourites for this year. Which BDB book isn't? So much so, I can't let go. Yes, there's loads going on, but I love that because it kept me on my toes constantly, and I love it because this means that there is still so much more that needs to pour out of JRW. Thank goodness! The mere thought of a final ending to the BDB series is so frightening, it doesn't bear thinking about.
This author and her books rock my world, tilt it on its head and oh my, it's such a wonderful and glorious feeling. Sigh. I'm not alone in this either. Suzanne agrees!
For anyone who hasn't as yet read the BDB series, I'd suggest starting from the first book. You'll be happier for it.
| HERE'S THE ORDER |
#1 Dark Lover #2 Lover Eternal #3 Lover Awakened #4 Lover Revealed #5 Lover Unbound #6 Lover Enshrined #7 Lover Avenged #8 Lover Mine #9 Lover Unleashed #10 Lover Reborn #11 Lover At Last #12 The King (Coming 2014)
AND THEN... and then, there was this dedication.
DEDICATED TO: YOU BOTH— AT THE RISK OF INAPPROPRIATE LEVITY, IT'S ABOUT TIME— AND NO ONE DESERVES IT MORE THAN THE TWO OF YOU....more