Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Dreams ~ Kristen Ashley

Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2)Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 stars!

My second KA read turned out to be nearly as enjoyable as my first!

My Tate

So, going into this book I knew it would be almost impossible to surpass the love I had for the first book in the series, The Gamble. And while I had some issues with Tate in the beginning, and never quite warmed up to Lauren the way I did to Nina, this book still ended up blowing me away.

Let me just put this out there :

Technically The Gamble is slightly longer, but I have to admit Sweet Dreams felt like a much longer book. Not because I found it to be boring in any way...just because there was just so much going on. In fact about half way through I literally had to take a break from the book for a few hours just because I felt like I was trying to process too much information at one time and needed to give my poor brain a rest!

Tate is a much different breed of Alpha then my beloved Max was in The Gamble. First of all - Tate is an all out, balls-to-the-wall badass biker mofo. He was also much moodier and more dangerous. And in the beginning he said something about the heroine that I honestly didn't think I would be able to forgive him for. But thankfully I did manage to get past it (as did Lauren), and came to discover that with all his faults, Tate was indeed a wonderfully complex, if slightly cranky Alpha who I definitely ended up falling for in the end.

As I have already said, I was never able to quite warm up to Lauren completely. There were several little things that annoyed me about her personality, and I am never fond of the heroine that every male within a 100 mile radius falls in love with. But having said that, Lauren and Tate's romance was a beautiful thing to watch unfold. I also loved her interactions with Tate's son, Jonas (who completely stole my heart).

The secondary characters were wonderful (I especially loved Shambles and Sunny) and the suspense element in the book worked very well, even though the actual conclusion of that part of the plot seemed a teeny bit rushed. Although considering this book was nearly 600 pages long nothing about it was too rushed. :P

Unlike many other reviewers, the fact that KA is so detail oriented in her stories (descriptions of what the characters are wearing etc) doesn't really bother me. The constant repetitiveness of certain phrases ("sorry?" "Come again?" etc) was a little bit bothersome, but again, KA's story was just so damn engaging that I was gladly able to look past the imperfections and just embrace my love for the characters and their world.

Once again I find myself sooo glad that I decided to give KA's books another try because I haven't enjoyed reading this much in far too long. I can't wait to dive into Lady Luck next!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Gamble ~ Kristen Ashley

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 stars!!!

It's rare that I finish a book and can't wait to write a review for it but at the same time I haven't a clue what I should say about something that touched me as deeply as this book touched me. Many others have given incredibly eloquent reviews for this book, so I will bypass trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about as far as story line and world building goes, and instead focus on talking about the many things I loved about this book and these characters.

Shortly after finishing this book tonight a song popped up on my iPod that pretty much captured my version of Max & Nina and their amazingly beautiful relationship.

I walked, through the thickness of your heart
Straight through the middle of your deepest, darkest dream
I wrote the melody that brought you back to life, love
Come hear it for yourself

Who says we're wrong for opening the wrong doors?
Lock up, swallow the key
You'll never replace me.
'Cause back then I told you, if you fall I'll fall too
Wake up and feel the breeze
You'll never replace me

~Replace Me by Andrew Belle

That's always been one of my favorite songs, but now it will forever have even deeper meaning for me.

Things I loved About The Gamble:

First and foremost?

"Yes, I was right. Max was becoming more wonderful and I was in trouble."

You and me both, sister! Holy....cow.
I recently wrote a review for another book where I mentioned that there was a difference between being a strong Alpha Male and being a bully. In my opinion...Max is the epitome of the perfect Alpha Male. Dominant? yes. Possessive? Hell yes. But mean and cruel? Never. Max literally adores Nina practically from the moment he first sees her, and he doesn't have any problem showing how he feels. Be it the fact that he is always touching her in some way, even in front of both their families. Or the way he remembers the small things, like how she likes her coffee, or if she drinks in the evening she'll be passed out dead asleep within a couple of hours. Or, most tellingly...and this comes at the very beginning of their relationship...the way he takes care of Nina when she is delirious with a fever. I mean, could there be a more perfect man?

"Found somethin' I want, don't tend to fuck around when that happens, Duchess. Ever."

"You think to slide back, settle for something that made you run away because you think it's safe, because it's familiar, because you're scared of taking a gamble on me. I'm warnin' you now, Duchess, I'm not gonna allow that." I said...he's pretty much perfect. <3


"Only Holden Maxwell would think my neurotic was cute."

God, I loved this woman! And I think part of the reason I did was because I could somewhat relate to her. We have similar insecurities and I understood why she warred with herself over letting herself get close to Max, expecting that she would always be 'second best' to him. Which made their HEA that much sweeter. <3

And speaking of that HEA...

**The Epilogue
Without giving anything away, all I can say is Swooooooooon!!!
It wrapped up Nina & Max's story perfectly and I have to say I adored getting a glimpse inside the mind of Max at the very end of the book. It just capped off what had already been one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I have had in a really long time.

Funny thing is, several months ago I attempted to read this book and gave up without even making it to the end of the first chapter. I'm not sure if i was just not in the mood for a romance, or hell...maybe i was just in a crappy mood that day. Whatever the case may be, I am so glad...that i decided to give this book another shot. Because I absolutely loved every minute of the ride this time. And I can't wait to dive into more books by this author!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bittersweet Seraphim Blog Tour!!

Bittersweet Seraphim has been released from Hell.

Satan Jack invites you to come…and indulge yourself in his journey to save the angel he loves. After running Hell for over a thousand years one foul-mouthed Seraph has changed his end game.
Even if it means destroying the universe, Jack refuses to give up on Emma. He didn’t know what love was until Emma’s skin pressed against his, the addiction to any of his other vices paling in comparison. Jack has never been a fearful man, but he gets it now. Fear comes when you have something to lose. Or someone.

Suffering is worst when you’re doing it alone. But Emma’s taking Hell like an angel—even though her languishing began with having her seraph wings torn from her back. Now her worst enemy lords his body and his evil desires over her while she tries desperately to remember the words to her favorite prayer. As Devil, Jack used to have Hell and its women humming like well-oiled machines. Too bad he’s nowhere near the place now. Stuck on Earth as a human, he must work with a ragtag team of exiled minions and half-breeds to save the angel who’s become all that matters. Rescuing a seraph is the plan, but breaking into Hell means letting evil things out. Once they collide, minions and angels converge in the battle of the ages: good versus evil. But which side is which? Will Jack destroy the world as he fights to save Emma, his true and timeless love, from a damnation he designed? An action-packed sequel to Crushed Seraphim, this tale reveals—time and again—what happens when the heart’s deepest desires break free. With a story both sizzling and sensual, emotional and enigmatic, Debra Anastasia invites readers to join a battle with nothing less than love on the line.

2 lucky winners will each receive an eBook copy of Bittersweet Seraphim.

It's pretty simple. There are only two requirements to enter.
1. You must subscribe to this blog.
2. Leave a comment on this blog post with your email address and tell us who your number one Book Boyfriend is and why.
That's it!

A HUGE thank you to the amazing Debra Anastasia & OmniFic Publishing for making this giveaway possible!

Good luck everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This Man ~ Jodi Ellen Malpas

This Man (This Man, #1)This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Attempting to write a review for this book without allowing myself to go off on a rant about everything that bothered me about the story would be next to impossible. So, consider yourself warned.

I am a fan of the Alpha Male character in books. Hell, gimme an Uber-Alpha Male and I'm an even happier girl. But...there is a difference between being an Alpha Male and being an obnoxious bully. Sometimes the lines blur, but in the case of this book...there is no question that the character of Jesse Ward is a first class asshat.

Let me make this clear: There is nothing sexy about Jesse's behavior in this book. Nothing. He becomes obsessed with and begins systematically stalking Ava after their first encounter. Calling her phone dozens of times and when she refuses to answer he goes out and gets a new cell phone so he can trick her by calling her from another phone number. Showing up at her house in the middle of the night, banging on her door and screaming like a madman until she lets him in. Calling and blowing up at her for not calling him as soon as she got home after spending the night with him (oh, and did I mention the fact that she wanted to return home the night before but he physically restrained her from leaving?). I'm sorry, but if someone acted like that in real life, his ass would get arrested pretty damn quick.

As far as the sex scenes go...I am far from a prude. In fact a large portion of the books I have read in 2012 have been erotica & BDSM related. Having said that, in my opinion there is nothing sexy about basically forcing a particular sex act on someone regardless of the fact that the woman 'ended up liking it'. After that scene it became increasingly difficult for me to continue on to the end of this book.

Oh, and did i mention how Malpas described Jesse as being twitchy, having clammy hands and having a habit of heavy breathing on Ava?!

As others have mentioned, this book is by an independent British author who continually uses many British terms that are unfamiliar. I can pretty much ignore that most of the time and something like that very rarely makes me enjoy a good book less. However, here I found myself downright confused at times. Ava repeatedly describes Jesse's eyes as being "sludgy". Now, I am assuming that the author meant this in a positive way (considering she uses the term when Ava is waxing poetic about how impossibly perfect Jesse is), but it just didn't compute with me. Maybe's it's some obscure British-ism, but it was especially distracting given how many times the author used the term.

Speaking of which...and I feel like I'm having a Fifty Shades of Grey flashback here, but this author was extremely repetitive. Jesse was continually yelling at Ava about cursing ("Watch your mouth, lady!") even while cursing himself. And dear Lord in heaven I think I speak for everyone who read this book when I ask the following question:


I really wish the author had cleared that up because I was so damn sick of Ava pontificating about it throughout the book. In the beginning, Ava comments that Jesse looks to be in his early 30's, but at other times she acts like he is a dirty old man and must be in his 40's or 50's because she constantly comments about how much older he is than her (even though she is in her mid 20's). That was just one more aspect of the story line that I found maddening.

Despite what it might sound like given the tone of this review, I did go into this book with an open mind, wanting to like it. Unfortunately it was 100% not for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quickie Reviews #4

The Darkest Fire (Lords of the Underworld, #0.5 Prequel)The Darkest Fire by Gena Showalter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When the wall separating Hell from mankind begins to crack and fall apart, a Goddess and a smitten demon go on a quest to save the world.

Granted it has literally been YEARS since I read a LOTU book (and I have actually only ever read the first one), but this prequel novella doesn't really inspire me to dive into the series any further. The writing seemed very over the top and corny at times. Especially when the demon is waxing poetic about how much he loves the Goddess, but how she will never love him back blah blah blah. I don't know, I guess I was just hoping for a lot more. Something to really catch my interest and make me want to continue on with a series that has been sitting on my TBR shelf for a looooong time. Unfortunately, this story didn't do it for me.

On Dublin StreetOn Dublin Street by Samantha Young
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Unpopular Opinion Time:
I didn't love this book. I didn't even like it that much.

Dodges rotten tomatoes

I keep reading books that so many of my friends are going nuts over (Beautiful Disaster,Divergent , Captive in the Dark) and I feel like I am reading a completely different book than they are, because I have just not been impressed with any of them.

I'm not sure what my problem was with this book. Other than I felt like I had read this story so many times before. Troubled/damaged/insecure woman trying to make a new life for herself becomes the object of affection/obsession for a wealthy uber-alpha dog male. Been there. Done that.

I didn't like Joss and Braden as characters. I can't exactly put my finger on why exactly. But, i didn't feel the insane chemistry so many people said they got out of their story. I think I may have just read too many books with this theme and I am just burned out. Either way, I was disappointed. I wanted to be excited over this, but just wasn't. :(

Eternal Hunter (Night Watch, #1)Eternal Hunter by Cynthia Eden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh Cynthia Eden, you do have a knack for creating some yummy heroes. They have just the right mix of Alpha Male & Protectiveness without coming off as either a bully or a stalker. The writing style can seem a bit...fluffy at times, but what the heck? I like that every once in a while.

This was a very quick read. As I have said in the past, the majority of Paranormal Romances are all about enjoyment...going on a fun, sexy ride (Unless of course your name happens to be J. R. Ward and then it's a COMPLETELY different emotional ballgame, but I digress...). And this book definitely fits that description to a tee.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Head Over Heels ~ Jill Shalvis

Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor, #3)Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book in the Lucky Harbor series lacks a bit of the emotional punch that the previous two books had, but it was still a wonderfully romantic charmer.

This is book focuses on Chloe, the free-spirited wild child of the family. She is having to deal with overcoming both her at times crippling asthma and her past as someone who prefers to run away from her problems, and is enjoying life in Lucky Harbor working with her sisters at the families B&B. But she especially enjoys playing cat & mouse with the local Sheriff Sawyer Thompson, a seemingly no-nonsense man who is constantly frustrated by Chloe's antics.

The chemistry between Chloe and Sawyer has been on a slow burn since the first book in the series, and Shalvis definitely delivers on all the buildup. The two characters are a perfect match for each other, and it was always entertaining watching Sawyer go running to the rescue after another one of Chloe's mis-adventures. Where the story stumbles a bit is when the two decide that they want to be together. I felt some of the stumbling blocks in their way were a bit of filler to prolong the book, and then the actual ending was sort of flat. But, that is just in comparison to the previous two books...which were perfection in my opinion, so I am holding these books up to an exceedingly high standard.

This was still a very enjoyable story and a great addition to the Lucky Harbor series.

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