Monday, December 15, 2014

Addicted For Now (Addicted #2) ~ Krista & Becca Ritchie

Addicted for Now (Addicted, #2)Addicted for Now by Krista Ritchie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6 This-Series-Just-Keeps-Getting-Better Stars!!

This is the 3rd book (including #1.5 Ricochet) in what has quickly become my very favorite series! I can't even begin to express just how much I adore the way K&B write. They write with passion and love for these characters. They bring them to life so completely that they feel like living, breathing friends of mine that i have known forever. Which probably explains why I have found it VERY difficult to read anything else while making way through this series. Talk about having a book hangover!

This  book picks up right after the end of Ricochet, with Lily and Lo attempting to live somewhat normal lives in the midst of battling their addictions (Lo to Alcohol, and Lily to sex). Just when things seem to be getting back on track for the couple, Lily begins receiving messages from someone threatening to go to the press about her addiction - thereby humiliating her friends and family.

Normally I would probably expect a plot like this to have an overload of unnessasry angst involved. But, while there is definitely tension and drama resulting from LiLo trying to figure out who's behind the threats...nothing is ever overdone or unnecessary in this series. One of the main things i absolutely LOVE about this series, and about K&B's writing style in particular, is the unwavering love and devotion among the characters. When they are faced with obstacles, they continue to battle through them together. Instead of pushing each other away.

These books aren't just about one or two people. All six of the main characters feel real and important to the overall storyline. Their friendships are sometimes hard and they push each other's buttons, but they truly are a close-knit, if more than a little dysfunctional, family. The issues they deal with are completely believable and nothing is glossed over. Lily and Lo struggle with their addictions every day, and they stumble more than once. Which only makes them more human. But through all the ups and downs, their support and love for each other never falters.

I know my reviews for these books probably sound like nothing but fangirl gushing. But, honestly....I AM a K&B fangirl, and I make no apologies for it. It has been a long time since i have found a series of books that I felt such a connection to. I am beyond grateful to be experiencing these stories now and look forward to supporting these wonderful ladies in the future.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

This is Falling ~ Ginger Scott

This is Falling (Falling, #1)This is Falling by Ginger Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 Stars

Damn. This book had such potential. And, going by the other reviews I have read, I am definitely in the minority when it comes to this one, many ways, while it had some good moments, this book ended up being too sappy for me.

Rowe has been homeschooled for the last 2 years due to a traumatic event involving the loss of her best friend and boyfriend. She decides to try and come out of her self imposed exile by moving away to go to college, where she meets Nate, a sweet, hopelessly romantic guy who falls for her pretty much instantly.

I have never been a huge fan of insta-love. I much prefer when two characters actually get to know each other before deciding that they are head over heels for the other person. I also don't like needless angst. Something that this book had in spades. While i could understand the heroine's reluctance to get close to Nate, I felt like that aspect of the storyline dragged and just inserted angst where it wasn't needed. For a while it seemed like there was just a constant stream of misunderstandings between the two leads....a plot device that has always seemed like filler to me.

The writing itself was good. And i really enjoyed the dynamic between Nate and his older brother Ty. Plus, there were several swoon-worthy moments involving Nate...a character that while at times came off as overly sappy, i truly did like. He knows instantaneously that he likes Rowe and wants to be with her, but is willing to give her time to deal with the issues she is obviously going through. He's a total sweetheart and I see why Rowe always ended up finding it hard to resist him. Rowe on the other hand was harder for me to warm up to. I understand some of her motivations for how she acted, but...and i know this is going to sound harsh....but sometimes she came off as whiny to me. This is i think where the book suffers the most. The way the author handles that tragedy. I know this wasn't supposed to be the story of Rowe and her high school life with her best friend and boyfriend. But, both Josh and Betsy were never fleshed out enough for me as a reader to care about them. And quite frankly, Rowe hardly mentions the girl who was supposed to be her best friend, and the clearest picture we get of her high school sweetheart, comes from a letter that NATE writes at the end of the book.  Which was a problem for me in being able to both care about, and relate to Rowe as a character.

Speaking of which, The letter that Nate wrote was beautiful, and it did make me get a wee bit teary eyed. It was probably my favorite part of the entire book. I also liked the over the top ending. It was sweet, romantic and felt like the HEA ending to a big budget Hollywood movie.

This book had it's ups and downs. But overall it was a sweet, if slightly bumpy ride for me.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wicked ~ Jennifer Armentrout

Wicked (A Wicked Saga, #1)Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2 Underwhelming Stars.

To be completely honest, I don't have the best track record with PNR books over the last few years. Add to the fact that I am not a fan of stories involving the Fae, and I guess you could say I was doomed to not be impressed by this book. And unfortunately that turned out to be the case with Wicked

Ivy is a college student living in New Orleans. She also happens to work for a group called "The Order", who's job is to hunt down Otherworldly bad guys - in this case, the Faerie Folk. One day she's attacked by someone who seems especially badass, and whom she believes was an of the seemingly unkillable (but supposedly extinct) members of the Fae. Her co-workers think she's a bit loopy, or at the very least got hit on the head too hard. Everyone it seems except the Hot New Guy, Ren. Who confesses he works in a super-secret section of The Order, specializing in hunting down the Ancients.

The writing itself was okay. And there were certain things I really enjoyed about the story. I am a huge fan of snarky sarcasm, so I loved most of the banter, especially between Ivy & Tink. Speaking of that smartass little Brownie that lives in Ivy's apartment, Tink was hands down my favorite park of the book. He actually reminded me a little bit of Jenks from The Hallows series by Kim Harrison. Jenks, incidentally, was my favorite part of that series as well. I guess I just have a thing for sarcastic, hot, little dudes.

Moving on....I also enjoyed some of the relationship between Ivy and Ren.
A typical YA leading man is part badass, part sappy romantic, and part frustrating asshat. Ren is not really an asshat, but is a bit too over the top in the "Oh-My-God-You're-So-Beautiful-I-Will-Die-If-I-Don't-Have-You" kind of way. I like a guy who is openly romantic, but Ren pushed it a bit too far.

The storyline involving the hunt for The Ancients, just didn't hold my interest. I found myself skimming a lot of the book in order to get to the sarcastic banter, or to the scenes with Tink. The supposed 'twists' weren't surprising at all in my opinion, and kind of felt like the author took the easy way out and just gave us a cliched and very predictable 'first book in a series' cliffhanger. As a reader, i am constantly frustrated by authors who feel the need to leave their readers hanging. Do they actually think that if the person reading the book enjoyed it - and if there was some kind of resolution to the first part of the story - that the reader wouldn't continue with the series? Leaving us with a cliffhanger isn't the solution. In all honesty, instead of feeling satisfied and happy about a book i just read, most cliffhangers make me angry that i invested all this time in a story, only to be told 'Hey, sorry about this, but i need to make sure you're going to read my next let's leave everything up in the air AND/OR rip the hero/heroine apart for the sake of drama AND/OR set up a potentially life or death situation AND/OR just throw in some unnecessary angst to make the story arc longer and more frustrating for the readers. I really am sorry. But, don't forget to buy the next 6 books in the series!"

That little rant wasn't really directed at this particular author. But i guess reading this book reminded me how much cliffhangers and needless angst bothers me.

While i enjoyed certain aspects of the book...I guess the lesson i learned is that I am just not the audience for PNR YA. I need to stop getting sucked in by Cover Lust and hype. It never ends well.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ricochet (Addicted 1.5) ~ Krista & Becca Ritchie

Ricochet (Addicted, #1.5)Ricochet by Krista Ritchie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+ I Love Lily & Lo Stars!

One of the best things about the Addicted series....besides the fact that it's probably the best written and emotionally fulfilling series out there right the fact that K&B always give us a healthy dose of our favorite characters with each new release. There are no 50 page novellas to fill in the gap between regular books in the series. So, even though this is listed as book 1.5 in the series, it's a full length story. And I for one, couldn't be happier.

Ricochet focuses on Lily as she tries to cope with the absence of Lo, while he battles his alcohol addiction in rehab. Lily is of course, battling her own demons, and is struggling with the idea of staying committed and faithful to Lo while he's away. Which means no sex for 90 days. A tall order for a sex addict who has is without her support system for the very first time.

Going into this book, i was curious how K&B would handle Lily and Lo being apart, because one of the best parts of the first book, Addicted to You was the intense dynamic between them. But, if anything, this book solidified the reader's understanding of LiLo's unbreakable bond. These two people love each other enough to be strong for each other. To battle their demons separately in order to be stronger when they come back together.

This book is really where we start to get to know Rose and Connor....(my personal two favorite characters in the series). On the surface, Rose seems like an Ice Queen, but in reality she is fiercely loyal and devoted to those she loves. The way she loves and supports Lily, and makes it her mission to understand her sister's addiction...without question or why Rose will always be the true backbone and hero of this entire series in my opinion. And then we have Connor (whom i will spend a GREAT deal of time drooling over in my reviews of later books in the series). He's an outsider to the group, but even though he appears to be arrogant and self-centered...okay, maybe he IS those things...but underneath it all, he is also fiercely loyal to those he cares about. In Lo, Connor finds his first true friend, and in Rose he finds a partner in crime.

Other reviewers have commented on this, but this book had some of the sexiest scenes that didn't involve two people being in the same room with each other. Let's just say Skype can be your friend.

When Lily and Lo finally do reunite, it is handled in a completely believable and realistic way. Yes, there are awkward moments, which is to be expected when one person has been off in rehab learning a completely new way to live. And yes, Lily does wonder if Lo will want to be with her now that he is on the road to recovery. Will he consider her too damaged, or a risk to his sobriety? Other authors may have decided to pile on the angst...separate the two characters...make them (and the reader) suffer through endless pages of them being miserable apart. But not in K&B's world. They know that they best, really the only, way that both Lily and Lo can hope to succeed in fighting their demons, is by doing so together. And i freaking love that.

I heart and soul of Lily & Lo's story, is their unwavering devotion to each other. And that is one of the many....many....reasons I love this series.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Addicted To You ~ Krista & Becca Ritchie

Addicted to You (Addicted, #1)Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a perfect example of a how everyone and their uncle recommends a series of books to me, but I keep putting off reading them for various reasons. And then when i finally do pick up the first book and dive into it...i want to kick my own ass for waiting so long.

I honestly don't know what say that hasn't already been said about these books and these incredible authors. Simply put, this is my new favorite series. Period.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when i began the series. Something angst filled and over the top dramatic, maybe? And while there is more than their fair share of both drama and angst here, the Addicted series is just

much more than that. The world that K&B have created here is just absolutely beautiful. And passionate. And emotional. And so many other adjectives that have probably been used repeatedly by other reviews in a much better way. All i can tell anyone reading this is that this story, and these characters touched me in a way that hasn't happened in far too long.

Lily and Lo are such damaged souls, and both are suffering from addictions that are spiraling out of control (she is addicted to sex, and he is addicted to alcohol). They have been best friends since they were small children, and all they know is each other. While they both come from wealthy, dysfunctional families, their family dynamic differs in that while Lily has 3 loving sisters (who she continually shuts out of her life), the only kind of love and support (co-depented and enabling as it may be) that Lo receives is from Lily. His father is a "functioning" alcoholic and emotionally abusive, and his mother has never been in the picture. Lily and Lo cling to each other like a mutual life support system and while I absolutely adore the devotion the two have for each other...the fact that they shut everyone else out of their lives, can't help but feed into their addictions.

I'm not going to lie. As i got deeper into Lily and Lo's story, it was hard to see them in so much pain, and being so destructive. But, I love the fact that K&B didn't sugarcoat their struggles at all. Did they make mistakes? Hell yeah, and often. Did they push and pull each other to the breaking point and beyond? Absolutely. But in the end, it only served to make their bond even stronger and prove that soul mates really do exist (at least in fiction).

Probably my favorite aspect of this entire series is that  the focus is not just on one or two characters. This series truly is an ensemble piece. While this book is definitely Lily & Lo's story, the series has six main characters and all of them are equally important and fully brought to life.

Probably my favorite scene in the entire book, was the ending. That scene between Lily & Lo....broke my heart in a million pieces, but also filled me with such love and understanding for these characters that have come to feel like living, breathing people to me. It was a beautiful, heartbreaking scene....done impeccably well. And while bittersweet, was the perfect way to end the first chapter of LiLo's story.

As corny as this will probably sound, it's very fitting that this series is called Addicted. Because these books have taken over my life over the last month. I am currently reading (and loving)  Hothouse Flower, and while i keep telling myself i need to try and space out the books to make them last longer, i am finding it impossible to read anything else. I will pick up something else, and find myself thinking about these characters, and wanting to get back into their world. In the space of a couple weeks I have turned into a massively unapologetic K&B fangirl. And i have no plans on looking back now.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mud Vein ~ Tarryn Fisher

Mud VeinMud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2 stars

God, this is a hard one for me.

I absolutely LOVE Fisher's writing style. It's beautiful and unique and always conjures up various emotions for me. And while the writing in Mud Vein was as gorgeous as ever....the actual story left me feeling cold and detached.

I don't really want to sit here and list all of the problems I had with this book. I actually hate writing negative reviews over all. But, i feel like i need to at least partially explain why it was a struggle for me to even give this book 2 stars.

First of all, the premise was very intriguing to me. And even though for the first 30% of the book I was beyond confused as to WTF was going on, I was still willing to go with it...hoping that everything would make sense in the end, and when Fisher gave us the Big Reveal it would wash away all of the frustration I had with the plot.

No such luck.

The twist...was a HUGE disappointment. It made very little sense, and was just too far fetched for me. And while I never found myself really rooting for the main characters, I still found the actual ending to be quite depressing.

Mud Vein was one of my top 3 most anticipated books of 2014, and perhaps some could say that my expectations were too high. Judging by all the glowing reviews I have seen for this book, once again i seem to be in the minority when it comes to my opinion.

I am still an enormous fan of Fisher's writing, and even though this book left me disappointed, I will still gladly read anything else she decides to publish.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pull ~ Claire Wallis

Pull (Push, #2)Pull by Claire Wallis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2.5 - 3 WTF Stars

I have devoted most of the last 24 hrs of my life to reading these 2 messed up books (part one was Push ). So, how do I feel now that all is said and done?

Exhausted. And like my brain has melted and is starting to leak out of my ears.
I feel like I ran a marathon and then spent 3 days on a roller coaster.

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Book Blurb:
David Calgaro has secrets, and the only woman he's ever loved is about to pay the ultimate price to protect them. He's spent a lifetime searching for purpose and control. And the only place he's managed to find them is in a single, perfect moment; a moment in which he has absolute control over someone else's life.

David is unredeemable, unfixable, unsalvageable. But Emma Searfoss has forced a tiny sliver of hope to penetrate his soul. Hope that, even though redemption is impossible, maybe life isn't. Maybe he isn't who he thought he was. Maybe he's meant to be more.

The continuation of David's story is not nearly as bat-shit crazy this time around. Yes, he's fucked in the head. Yes, he has done some seriously messed up shit (putting it very mildly). But, i was somewhat used to the craziness of his character by the time i started this book. And i think because the 'novelty' had worn off a bit (not sure how else to describe it without giving major spoilers to both books), this book wasn't quite as addicting as the first.

There was so much going on here. And not all of it worked. I know that trying to make David more....sympathetic  was a tall order....and honestly, i can't say that it worked for me the entire time. This story is so dark and so crazy that it's hard to truly connect with these characters like I normally would while absorbed in a good book. Whether or not I liked who i was reading about....and a lot of the time i didn't....i still wanted to know more. I wanted to know the rest of the story. And that's the sign of a truly compelling story.  I give all the credit to the author. She brought a very dark, slightly depressing and TRULY twisted world to life that just captured my attention and would not let go. So bravo once again, Ms Wallis.

This story seriously messed with my head, folks.
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i will admit to feeling a bit emotional at then end of this book. Looking back, I suppose there was no other way for this story to truly end. But, it was still sad to see it play out that way. Maybe in the end, some of the characters had seeped into my brain and made a little home there, and i was sad to see them go. That's all I'm gonna say on the subject. So there.

I finally understand the kind of love my mother told me about. The kind of love you would die for. It does exist. It's real. And I have it, at last. With her.

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These two books made my head spin, and confused and surprised me. It might have been a hard journey to make, but it was worth it in the end.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quickie Reviews - Keeping it Short & ...not so Sweet

A few books that left me feeling more than a little disappointed.

Follow (Social Media, #1)Follow by J.A. Huss
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2 'meh' stars.

Started out fun, but ended up being a bit too silly and all over the place for me. The characters came off as juvenile and I just didn't like either of them at all.

I have had many people recommend this author to me, so once again i seem to be in the minority.  I have been having an off year for reading, and maybe i picked this one up at the wrong time....but this just wasn't my cup of tea.

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, #1)Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh
My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Granted its been a long time since i was able to get through a contemporary romance novel, but I am shocked by how much i just did not like this book.

I have always been a huge fan of NS's writing...but, this just came off as very cliche and OTT for my taste. I never thought i would ever give one of her books less than a great review, but this was a HUGE miss for me. I was bothered by the way the initial hook up played out, didn't like either of the leads at all and in my opinion the story never got off the ground.

The Redeemer (Harry Hole, #6)The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, this was a huge disappointment for me.

I am a HUGE fan of the Harry Hole novels, but this one just didn't work for me. I'm not sure if it was the fact that i devoured the first 5 books in the series so quickly (and in a row), or maybe the story just didn't click. This one took me a looooong time to finish, and i was all too happy to move past this one.

The Sordid Promise (A Sordid Love, #1)The Sordid Promise by Courtney Lane
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF @36%


Look up 'Train Wreck", and there should be a picture of the cover of this book

Ridiculous and a waste of time.

The Cypress HouseThe Cypress House by Michael Koryta
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1 - 2 confusing stars

The premise for this book sounded amazing: A retired military man can look at someone and know when they are about to die. Avoiding an upcoming disaster, he and a friend take sanctuary in a small town...only to discover they are in the direct path of a monster hurricane.

Sounds exciting, right? Well it would have been. If that was the actual main storyline. But all of that happens in the first 20% of the book. After that, the story turns into an awkward love story slash mystery slash i don't even know what else. It was messy and rambling and more than a little dull. I lasted until the 65% mark before giving up on this one.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pull ~ Claire Wallis

Push (Push, #1)Push by Claire Wallis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3 Messed Up Ride Into Crazy Town - Stars

What. The. Hell.

That was pretty much what I kept saying to myself as I read this book. It was definitely unlike anything else I have ever read. So...there's that. But considering i have spent the majority of the last 24 hours reading this book and the sequel/companion/continuation-of-the-fuckery, Pull, I am not exactly sure if i truly enjoyed the story....or was just so wrapped up in how insane it was that I had to see how it all played out.


Book Blurb:
I feel like I am wrapped in a cyclone. Everything is whirling around me, drawing the air out of my lungs and filling me with the best kind of turmoil. Every time his tongue slides against mine, a prickle in my gut tells me how right we are together. How much I need David. How much I need us.

I hope the cyclone never stops.

Emma Searfoss has spent a lifetime trying to escape her abusive stepfather. It's why she moved far away from home. It's why she's kept no ties with her remaining family. And it's why she's got a major rage problem. When her neighbor shows up to fix the kitchen in her new apartment, his enigmatic charm calms the fire in her. David is cool and collected, and he makes Emma feel safe for the first time ever. But David has his own chilling past—his six previous girlfriends have all disappeared without a trace. Emma's walking a dangerous line, but David's pull is intoxicating. And impossible to resist…

This is one of those books it is best to go into completely blind. The description doesn't really give anything away, which is a good thing. Because trust me, if you fall into this story the way that i did, you will constantly be questioning what the hell is going on, as well as the sanity of the main characters.

The book gets off to a crazy start from page one. I seriously challenge anyone to read the duel POV prologues and not have to find out how this story ends. So, I was obviously hooked immediately. And in the beginning, i actually thought that Emma was more messed up than David. Her mood swings can give anyone whiplash. And then i got more into the story....and further into David's flashbacks....and i realized that these two were in a fucked up league of their own.

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There several times when i wanted to just give up on this book. It was making my head spin, and confused me and made me want to yell at my Kindle. But in the end...i just had to know. I had to know what the hell was going on. I had to know the motivations behind the things David did. And just when I thought I was going to get some answers, the book ends. On a GINORMOUS cliffhanger! Like, there could be no bigger cliffhanger than the way this book ends. And once again, i was angry and frustrated and wanted to throw kittens.

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And then it hit me.
This author is a flipping genius. Because her little messed up story completely took over my life while i was reading it. And while it was driving me nuts and I wasn't overly fond of the main characters....i still cared enough to keep reading.

So well played Ms Wallis. Well played.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sweet Filthy Boy ~ Christina Lauren

Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons, #1)Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Swoony Frenchman stars

This was my second foray into the minds of Christina Lauren, and thankfully it was much more enjoyable this time around.

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  Book blurb

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

This was pretty much me while reading the first third of this book.
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I loved everything about it. i loved the humor, the snarky best friends, the over the top One-Night-Stand-In-Vegas-Ends-in-Marriage premise. It was perfection. I especially loved Ansel. He was the perfect blend of sweet and sexy, and who doesn't love an accent?! And Mia was also great. She was spunky and a bit damaged and I really loved how she decided to follow her heart.

Then we reached about the half way mark in the book. And suddenly, i felt a bit like this.
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Strangely, the story began to lose some of it's steam when the action moved to Paris. I appreciated how well the authors handled the awkwardness between Ansel and Mia once the reality of the situation hit them. It was realistic and believable that after the whirlwind of their night in Vegas, that they would doubt their attraction/feelings for each other. BUT...that aspect of the story seemed to drag on a bit too long.

Having said all that, CL completely redeemed themselves with the nearly perfect ending. Talk about sweet and swoon-worthy. Ansel is a Hero to die for, and Mia proved to be a wonderful, strong heroine that i came to love and respect.

This would have definitely gotten a 4+ star rating if it didn't drag a bit in the middle. Otherwise, this was a fun, sweet, and steamy read. :)

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