Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dear Adam ~ Ava Zova

Dear AdamDear Adam by Ava Zavora
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5++++ emotional, captivating, obsessively readable stars!!

“You’re the more real to me than any man I’ve ever known … ”

To book blogger Eden, Adam is the embodiment of every literary fantasy she’s ever had. Intelligent, wickedly funny, sexy, and attentive – he and his fascinating life seem right out of a novel. Their whirlwind relationship is so intense and all consuming that soon she can’t imagine being with anyone else.

But there’s one little thing that’s keeping Adam and Eden from their happily ever after.

They’ve never met. She doesn’t even know what he looks like.

Despite how hard she’s fallen for him and how he makes her feel, Eden’s doubts begin to threaten their passionate love affair. Why is he so mysterious? Why does he seem reluctant to meet her? What is Adam hiding?

Afraid that she’s being made a fool of, Eden is forced to choose between her heart and her head. Is Adam too good to be true, as her common sense is telling her, or is the truth more startling than fiction?

It's not often that I come across a book that so completely consumes my life. This book had me from the first paragraph, and completely captivated me.

"The best things in life are worth waiting for. When it's right," he said in a voice that was unshakably certain, "Name the place. Name the date. Name the hour. And I will fly anywhere in the world to meet you."

Going into this story, I wasn't sure what to expect really. Honestly, I was kind of looking forward to reading a story that might, in some way, mirror an episode of my favorite guilty pleasure TV show.

~For those of you unaware of the term "Catfishing" - it describes a person who deceives someone they are in an online relationship with by lying about their appearance, age, location etc~

Such a silly, silly girl I am.

While the summary of the book was definitely intriguing, it in no way prepared me for the true emotional rollercoaster that Dear Adam turned out to be.

"How I wish I could explore the labyrinth of your strange mind..."

Eden is a 34 year old book blogger (you go girl!!), raising her teenage son. One day, she ends up having a conversation via Twitter with a man who complimented her on one of her reviews. What starts out as a seemingly random encounter with a fellow bibliophile, turns into an intense friendship between two seemingly lost and broken souls desperate for a connection.

"I don't want to interfere with your life. I want to be your life."

Adam tells Eden that he is an Englishman living in Sicily. He owns several properties, is extremely vague about his profession, but that he plans on retiring in 2 years when he's 30.

Naturally, Eden is skeptical of what Adam tells her. But, as he begins to open up about himself, his past and his life...she completely falls under his spell and wants so desperately to believe that what he's telling her is true so she is willing to go along with him on faith. The two have conversations via Skype almost every night, but Adam stubbornly refuses to allow Eden to see his face. He has a seemingly viable if far-fetched reason for this, but Eden tries to overcome her doubts.

If you think you know how this story plays out after reading this far into my review...you'd be wrong. Like I was. Even though I was totally hooked on this story, I had it set in my brain that I knew exactly what was going to happen and how. I was wrong. Almost at every turn.

There was a point, at about the half-way mark...when the story takes a decidedly unexpected turn. It wasn't a complete shift in the overall plot, just an added element to the story that I never saw coming. And it added a whole new dimension to this already intense story, and I loved it.

It was like a magician had peered into my soul, divined it's secrets, then conjured you - a mysterious, masked man from a distant land drawn to me by my writing.

He had picked her from a dusty bookshelf and read her as easily as an open book.

This book held my attention in a steel vice from the moment I started reading. I dreamt about the story. I thought about it while working. It just completely overwhelmed my senses in the best possible way. Ava Zova is such a talented author. She managed to weave so much intensity, and emotion into a book that never stopped surprising me.

There are so many things I want to talk about regarding this book. But honestly, I refuse to allow myself to spoil the story for anyone. No matter how many times my emotions got twisted, no matter how many times I wanted to yell at both Eden and Adam about various things they were both holding back from each other...I never, for one second stopped caring. And that speaks volumes.

And while finding a happy ever after is next to impossible in the Catfish world, sometimes miracles happen.

But, as with every other element of this book...the ending wasn't at all traditional. Ava decided to included an additional chapter...an epilogue...that proceeds to turn the entire story upside down. Again.


It has been a long time since I have been this excited to get people to read a book as I am about Dear Adam. I consider it my mission to get as many people as possible to give this author, and this book a shot. It will be a ride you will never forget.

You were all the books I had ever read, all the fairy tales I wished were true, everything I had ever wanted. Someone strong, principled, honorable, intelligent, soulful, funny, poetic...

If you are a fictional character, then I am spellbound by a lie.

**This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review**

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gemini ~ Penelope Ward

GeminiGemini by Penelope Ward
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF at 30%

I tried. I really, really did. Honestly, i can't remember the last time I gave up on a book this early on, but I just couldn't take it any more.

I don't feel like sitting here and writing out all of the problems I had with this book, but I feel the need to mention a couple of things. First of all, the H & h were in their 30's. But they came off sounding so incredibly juvenile. Their inner monologues sounded like the thoughts of love-sick teenagers, which made it really awkward for me - especially with Cedric, who sounded more like a 13 yr old girl with a crush, than a 34 year old successful businessman.

This story also featured one of the fastest cases of insta-love that I have come across in a very long time. After one brief encounter, both Cedric and Allison are (internally at least) declaring how connected they feel and how they want no one else but each other.

There was much talk about a huge twist that happens at some point in the book, and that was the reason I attempted to keep going even though this book was on my bad side almost from the beginning. But frankly, I don't really care what the twist was, and I doubt it would have been able to save this reading experience for me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Axel ~ Harper Sloan

Axel (Corps Security, #1)Axel by Harper Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Axel Book Blog Tour is Finally here!!!

4 drama-filled, lusty stars!

Isabelle has learned the hard way how hard life can be when fate isn’t by your side. It can hand you dreams on silver platters, but it can snatch them right back and hand you nightmares. One thing Isabelle knew for sure fate was consistent with was taking away everything she ever loved.

For the last two years Isabelle has been slowly clearing the clouds of her past. Happiness is finally on the horizon. She has a thriving business, great friends, and her life back. All she has to do is jump over the last hurdle…her ex-husband.

When problems start causing her to fear her new life, and memories that are better left forgotten start rushing to the surface the last thing she needs is a ghost from her past to come knocking on her door.

Axel never thought he would look into the eyes of Isabelle West again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to now. He’s carried his anger for so long he isn’t sure he can just turn it off, but when he is faced with protecting her and an unexpected desire to have her again, life gets a little more complicated.

How will Axel and Isabelle deal when all their cards are put on the table and everything they thought was true blows up in their faces?

It's not often that the first few pages of a book grab me the way this one did. The prologue was incredibly powerful and sooo well done, that I knew I was going to be in for a wild ride with this book. And that was definitely true. When Axel begins, Isabelle is trapped in a terrifying situation, and it is only by sheer determination and strength that is she finally able to escape and attempt to create a new life for herself. And through it all, she can't help but know that she is missing out on the life she *should* have had.

One with the man that she was meant to be with, but who was seemingly ripped from her life in a very tragic way.

Writing this review is difficult for me because I really think this story should be read and experienced without knowing too much about the story beforehand. But, I will say that it is amazing for me to sit here and say that this is Harper Sloan's first book. She writes with a confidence that authors who have been around for decades would love to possess and I for one was truly impressed by how she crafted this story.

Having said that, my only true complaint with this book is that the drama was at times, way over the top. I have never been the biggest fan of an overload of angst in my romance novels, and this one has a lot. A LOT. But, even with that issue, this book fun, and addictive and I loved our H/h so much that I was able to mostly overlook it.

Isabelle & Axel truly are the definition of "soul mates". They may have had a long, hard road to find their way back together, but as a reader we never stop rooting for them and wanting them to find a way to back to each other.

As for the steam factor?!

I LOVED Axel and his dirty mouth. I loved that boy to such a degree that it might have been slightly harmful to my health. Harper Sloan definitely knows how to write sexy times in a way that will have you squirming and reaching for some ice cubes to cool off. Or for your partner to help relieve the...*in my best Frank-n-Furter voice*...tension. ;)

So...in closing, Axel was an amazing, if angst-filled, joyride. And I can't wait to see what else Harper has in store for all of us in the future!

**This book was provided by the author in an exchange for an honest review**