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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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Rellik ~ Teresa Mummert

RellikRellik by Teresa Mummert
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2 disappointed stars

Damn. This book gave me a migraine.

This was one of my most anticipated books of 2014. The blurb....the cover....the title....everything screamed this was going to be an epic read. Maybe my expectations were too high.

I knew this wasn't going to be a typical love story. I wanted the dark and twisty, But for me, this story was just  mess.

Ella and Rellik...Gosh, where do i begin?

The mysterious meeting between these two was intriguing. I knew there was a LOT more going on under the surface, and there was...but it was the getting to the meat of the story where i grew frustrated. Ella came off as more than a little bipolar. One second she was all over Rellik, wanting some of that man-candy....only to turn around and be terrified of him the next. The back and forth was too much for me. And as for Rellik?

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I know. This is an unpopular opinion. I mean, Lord knows i love me a dark and messed up hero. But something about Rellik rubbed me me the wrong way from the beginning.

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This had the potential to be one of the best books of the year. But it ended up being one heck of a train wreck.

Deviant ~ Jaime Roberts

DeviantDeviant by Jaimie Roberts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF @ 43%

What. The. Ever. Living. Hell. Was. THAT?!?

WARNING: Bitchy, snarky rantfest ahead

What was with this woman and her fucking voodoo magic? Her pussy seemed to have me under some kind of hypnotic spell

Really, dude? Really?
i like a good dark and twisty story as much as the next smutty girl, but this was just ridiculous.

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I don't enjoy writing negative reviews. I really don't. However sometimes, it's just something that has to be done. And it's impossible to sugar coat things. This book was a mess. A super sloppy, overt the top mess. And not even in a remotely entertaining way.

The female lead boggles my mind. I understand the fact that she has this fantasy of being "taken" by a stranger, But the fact that she knows that someone has been stalking her....breaking into her house and changing little things just to get under her skin...and her attitude is basically "Oh well! It is what it is."...Well call me nutty, but that seems a wee bit crazy.

When the guy takes it to the next level and begins having uncomfortable-to-read wild monkey sex with her, all the while verbally abusing her....well, i knew me and this book were not going to get along very well. By the time he told her to start calling him "Lotus", I knew it was time for me to make a run for the border and delete this book from my Kindle as fast as possible before my IQ dropped any further.

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"There is one thing you need to know about me, Tyler. I fuck, and I'm going to fuck you until you see the stars falling out of the sky. Do you understand?"

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There is a fine line between Alpha male, and creepy weirdo. "Mr Lotus" leaps over into the creepy whack-a-do category about 10 pages in and it only goes downhill from there. I honestly didn't think anything would top Sleeves as the worst book I read in 2014, but look out people! There's a new King in town.

*steps off my snarky, bitchy soap box*
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NEW RELEASE: Determined to Obey by CJ Roberts

*Cue Fangirl squealing*

One of my very favorite authors - CJ Roberts -  has just released a brand new short story set in the Dark Duet universe. It's called Determined to Obey and it focuses on the character known as "Kid"!
Check out the blurb and cover!

This novella takes place in Mexico and follows Kid after he and his girlfriend, Nancy, are taken hostage by a group of men led by Caleb. Unbeknownst to Kid or Nancy, they are taken to the mansion of Felipe Villanueva, an eccentric crime boss with a taste for the taboo.

We join Kid in the dungeon, where he is about to meet Felipe and his companion Celia for the first time…

Warning: 18+ only. Very frank language, graphic sexuality and coercion. Do not read if M/M/F bothers you!

Determined to Obey is being published independently at the request of thousands of fans who already own Captive in the Dark, Seduced in the Dark, and Epilogue: The Dark Duet--known together as the Dark Duet series.

Determined to Obey was written as part of the bonus material for Dark Duet: Platinum Edition and not meant to be read as a stand alone. However, it is possible to enjoy it as such if one prefers.

The character “Kid” appears in both Captive in the Dark and Seduced in the Dark.


In honor of the novella's release, the author has been kind enough to offer up a copy of her recently released Dark Duet Platinum Edition Bundle !  Head on over to my YouTube channel for details on entering!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Changing Course ~ Aly Martinez

Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined, #1)Changing Course by Aly Martinez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wild and crazy ride!

3.5 Crazy Train stars!

I just finished this book a little while ago, and my head is spinning. So much angst and turmoil. I don't even know where to begin.

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First of all let me just say that I adore Aly Martinez's writing. She has this way of creating characters that seem to just jump off the page and live and breathe in the real world. I am seriously in awe of her talent.

This book is really hard for me to wrap my head around. On the one hand I loved the intensity of the story. I loved how dark the subject matter was. But, on the other hand....i had some problems with the main characters and how they reacted to certain situations.

Sarah: I'm just going to say it flat out. I had very little sympathy for her. Yes, she went through a traumatic event, and lost her best friend. I get that. But some of her actions were just unforgivable in my eyes. And while I am probably....once the minority on this, i honestly am a bit nervous to read Broken Course because of my dislike for her character. All i can say is, she better be good to my Leo....or else.
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Jesse: A rare find indeed...a female lead character that I didn't continually want to bitch slap! Yay!  I loved how much of a little spitfire she was. I even liked how she didn't cuss. However, the speed with which she forgave Brett for his Caveman behavior was a tad annoying. Okay....more than a tad.  I did enjoy her relationship with Caleb though. <3 br="">   photo doyourthinggirl_zpsb144df44.gif

Brett: I am all for a possessive Alpha male. But, Brett stepped over the line into asshat Caveman territory  more than once for me. Plus, his whole attitude regarding Sarah bugged the hell out of me. Yes, i know he loved her. I know he felt guilty leaving her after everything she had been through...but once things progressed with Jesse, and after all the shitty things Sarah did to her....he had no business playing both sides of the fence. At all.
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The entire Sarah/Brett situation was probably my biggest problem with the storyline. It seemed to drag out a bit too long, and the overwhelming angst involved was too much for my delicate constitution. LOL definitely kept me flipping the pages as fast as my little fingers that says a lot about how interesting and addictive the storyline was. I FELT while reading this book. It wasn't always positive feels...but still.

Aly Martinez has a huge fan in me. And while this wasn't as much of a perfect read for me like her Among the Echoes was, it was still a wild ride that I'm glad i got to experience.

Still Life With Crows ~ L. H. Cosway

Still Life with StringsStill Life with Strings by L.H. Cosway
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

2 1/2 -  3 stars

L.H. Cosway is one of my favorite authors. I absolutely love the way she tells a story, and brings to life some of the most unique and endearing characters I've ever encountered. Unfortunately, this matter how much I wanted to like it, just didn't completely work for me.

The book's heroine, Jade is an interesting character. To say she has a lot on her plate, would be putting it mildly. She is raising her younger siblings, working two jobs as both a street performer and as a bartender at a theater that showcases the local symphony. She's also a recovering alcoholic....yes, an alcoholic slinging drinks for a living. That is just one of the aspects to the story that was intriguing but never quite worked for me.

Jade encounters a quiet young man one night as she is performing as a living statue. The two end up having an intense, if highly unusual one-night stand. Or so they think. Turns out, that quiet young man, Shane, is a violinist prodigy and the latest addition to the local symphony.

One of my main problems with the story, was that while there were a few genuinely sweet moments between Jade and Shane, i felt a lack of connection between the characters. There were different aspects to both of them that i found interesting, but when they came together? It just didn't work for me.

There were more than a few cliche' moments

***slight spoilers ahead***

Shane has an 'evil' ex-girlfriend that broke his heart, Jade has sworn off men because she was hurt by an ex in the past and believes if she gets into another relationship she'll fall off the wagon etc...  and I didn't fully believe the two separate sides to Shane (one minute almost painfully awkward, and then the next he's Mr Seductive).  Plus, for a relatively short book, the story itself moved rather slowly.

It had it's moments, but overall this book fell short of my (admittedly high) expectations.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Among The Echoes ~ Aly Martinez

Among the EchoesAmong the Echoes by Aly Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

6+++ Stars

Absolutely fantastic.
One of the best books I've read in 2014.

"I'm not some damsel in destress you can swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming. I'm lost in a world so dark you wouldn't be able to to find the light of day again."

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I have spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how much...or how say about this story. I am a firm believer in diving into certain books completely blind, and letting it take you on a journey that you're not prepared for. This is definitely one of those books. The less said about the plot, the better. It makes for a much more captivating reading experience IMO.

But, this is a book review after all, so I will do my best to convey how much i enjoyed the book without giving too much away.

This book had me at the first sentence.

I am always up for a dark and twisty tale....and judging by the very first chapter of this book, I was in for a wild ride indeed.

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This has to be said: The first chapter is dark. About as dark as it gets.
It may stir up some rather intense emotions, and can be hard to read. But, keep in mind that darkness is important to understanding the actions and RE-actions of the characters throughout the book. One character in particular...and the heart and soul of the book (for me at least) . If you can hold on through the first chapter....the rest of the story is SO worth it.

In a nutshell, the story centers around Riley, a woman who has basically lost everything and been forced into the Witness Protection Program. Initially, she is a terrified young woman, completely dependent on the man who has taken it upon himself to protect her. The emotional journey that she takes, and how much she grows as a character is one of my favorite aspects of the book.

There are three main characters, and they all equally important to the overall success of the story. I know that I am not alone in my preference for the 'Bodyguard' character over the actual leading man (Slate is a good guy, but my heart belonged to "Adam" from the beginning. I'm such a sucker for a tortured soul), but the dynamic between all three was perfectly executed by Martinez. It didn't feel forced in any way - and considering the circumstances the characters find themselves in? It would have been easy for that part of the story to feel a bit over the top or contrived. But, it all worked so beautifully. I honestly can't say enough about her skills as a writer.

All of Martinez's books are considered standalones...but this is loosely tied in with her previous two books Changing Course and Stolen Course. As well as her latest release Broken Course.

This was hands down one of the best books I have read in 2014, and i can't wait to see what this author is going to do next,

"Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I'll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you're the one who is mistaken. You'll be at the end of that story, beautiful. You either come willingly or you force me into the dark after you, It doesn't matter to me, because either way I'll find you."

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