Review: Wild Ones, by Kristine Wyllys

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Category: Adult (because I don’t see this book as a NA)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages: 156

Warnings: sex scenes.

Blurb:

Bri Martin likes her skirts too short, her heels too high, and trouble close at hand. So when big, brooding underground boxer Luke Turner comes into the bar where she works and starts a fight before she brings his first drink, she can’t help being intrigued. Luke is everything she never wanted and everything she can’t resist.

Soon, Luke is showing up everywhere Bri is, and she can’t break free of his hold on her, nor does she want to. When her best friend turns on her, it’s Luke who is there. When Luke’s opponent comes after her to send Luke a message, it’s he who comes to her rescue.

Before Bri knows it, she’s caught in the midst of a rivalry between her boyfriend and her boss, both of whom are not content to settle their scores inside the ring. She swore she’d never live this life, so like the one she once ran from. But only by confronting her past can she decide where her future lies…and whether Luke can be a part of it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18484868-wild-ones?from_search=true

About the Author:

Kristine Wyllys, who usually answers to, “Hey, You! With the Hair!” was born in the north and now resides in the northern version of the Carolinas. She lives in a farmhouse older than she is, with a bunch of property that makes her spontaneously break out in Dixie Chicks songs every time she looks out the back door. She’s got babies, books, a boy that she fell in love with at 15, and a dog that might be a lesbian. She spends her spare time naming chickens after Harry Potter characters, breaking smart phones, and blogging.
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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

While it’s undeniable how talented the author is and how this main character doesn’t fall into the usual cliché in the genre, I’m not that head over heel with this novel.
As soon as I started reading this book I saw that there was a real voice quite potent even, so much so that some dialogues were too much for my taste. I had a feeling if being trapped in some kind of movie at first and it was quite disturbing.
Also, sometimes I think the descriptions and internal monologue of the main character were too long and in turn were more telling than showing what happened. A few times, it lost my interest which is a problem when the book is that short.
Then, even if I love reading romances that are quite unhealthy, here it leaves me with a taste of ‘too much’. In fact, I think it’s because throughout the novel I couldn’t relate much to the main character. Not to this extent. Even the conclusion to the book seems… I don’t even know how to put it into words. But it sure isn’t a sweet romance! Not even a love story as it is common called.
But some aspects of the plot were truly enjoyable which explains why I read this book in two days. I hope we will see more of what Luke, Cam, Theo and Brandon are really into because it’s kept too much in the dark, unfortunately.
In fact, I’m sad that the whole plot aside from the thing going on between Bri and Luke was too much in the background and underdeveloped. It could have been even more thrilling and it would have put some more perspective to the relationship between Bri and Luke.
So, if I should tell you one thing about how I feel about this book is ‘too much’. But what saved everything is the writing style. It’s perfect! The analogies, the comparisons the puns are well written, perfectly balanced and made it difficult for me to put the book down.
In the end, it’s really difficult for me to rate this book even if I’m quite eager to read the sequel.
Who read this book? What do you think about Luke? Any other character you’d like to see more in the next book?
Rating:
2.5 to Image
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Review: Falling for Her Soldier, by Ophelia London

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warning: None
Publisher: Entangled Bliss
Pages: 219

Blurb:

She fell for the nice guy, but will she fall for the real guy?

Ex-ballerina Ellie Bell has twenty-four days left until her self-imposed man-less year is up. No more falling for the wrong kind of guy—charming, sexy, bad. Why can’t she find someone sweet like Charlie Johansson, her soldier pen pal? His e-mails meant the world to her, and she can’t stop thinking about him…until she meets Hunter, whose muscles and cocky smile threaten to have her relapsing.

Before Charlie “Big Game Hunter” Johansson’s last tour of duty, he’d gone through women like crazy. But after connecting on a real, emotional level via letters with his best friend’s sister, Charlie’s ready for a relationship—with Ellie Bell. But then her brother introduces him as Hunter. Proving he’s no longer a player by becoming Ellie’s dance partner for an Army benefit seems like it could convince both siblings he’s changed, but the harder he falls for Ellie, the harder it is to come clean. Can he convince her to fall for the real him before it’s too late?

About the author:

Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she’s lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE, ABBY ROAD, the Perfect Kisses series including: PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, and FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER (coming Jan 2014). Visit her at http://www.ophelialondon.com. But don’t call when The Vampire Diaries is on.

Author’s Website

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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

It’s not the first book I read written by this author and it convinces me that I really enjoy reading her novels. This one is everything I was looking for and even more.

I wanted a sweet, light and agreable love story, something that would evolve slowly but surely with likeable characters and I had my fill while reading Falling For Her Soldier. And even if it was obvious where it was heading, I loved every pages of the book, enjoyed reading how it was heading and playing out and how the characters were changing. I was also very eager to see the big finale and know how Ellie would react to THE revelation.

Speaking of the revelation, I would have preferred some more drama or maybe something that would show some more how badly Ellie had been burnt before and how it impacted on her present life with men. While it’s not overlooked, I think it’s under-developped. Of course, it’s a matter of personal taste.

But Ellie and Charlie “Hunter” are great characters. I love both of them and it’s not that often. Both are strong, fun and interesting to follow throughout the novel and they never bored me. And seriously, it’s impossible to not have a tiny crush on the hot and devilishly sweet Charlie “Hunter”.

Ellie is also a female character very sweet, fun and loveable. Sometimes, in this genre of books, the female is either too bitter or too naïve and it’s annoying, but here Ellie is neither. It’s the kind of character you’d like to make a friend of if it makes any sense.

So I had a great time reading this book and I can’t wait to read more from this author. In the genre, this author is becoming unavoidable for me.

Who read this one? What do you think about Charlie “Hunter”?

Rating:

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Review: Wrecked, by Priscilla West

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Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: Some sex scenes.
Publisher: Blackbird Publishing
Pages: 286

Blurb:

“There would be no happy ending for us. He was too damaged. I was too broken.”

Two years ago, Lorrie’s mother was murdered. But that wasn’t the end of it. Reeling from the tragedy, Lorrie’s father spiraled into alcohol, depression, and finally suicide.

The two most important people in Lorrie’s life are both gone but she’s still alive.

Trying to recover from the tragedy, Lorrie returns to campus, ready to pick up the pieces of her life. All Lorrie wants is to get back to “normal.”

Then she meets Hunter. The man, the legend, “the Hammer.”

Hunter is a cage fighter who takes on every fight like he’s got nothing to lose. His life is a tangled mess of girls, booze, and fist fights. And while it may seem like he’s got a devil-may-care attitude, he’s fighting a private cage-match with a monster he can’t defeat.

Lorrie knows that Hunter is the exact type of guy she should stay away from, especially in her fragile state, but Hunter has other ideas.

As Hunter and Lorrie grow closer together, will they be able to overcome their pain and heal each other? Or will they both end up wrecked?

WRECKED
RESCUED (WRECKED BOOK TWO: Coming Early 2014)

About the Author:

About this author edit data
Priscilla West is the author of the Sandstone Affair and the Surrender series. She likes to write stories with sassy heroines and strong but flawed heroes.

She enjoys: cuddles, men in suits, eskimo kisses, life-sized teddy bears, and eggs over medium.

Author’s website

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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

This book is the first book in a series that will count two novels and it ends on a sort of cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers, but this one makes me want to read the next installment even more.

Of course, if you’re following my blog, you know that it was impossible for me to resist requesting this book on Netgalley. Whenever there’s a fighter, I can’t help myself but read the book. Sometimes I’m disappointed, but sometimes like with Wrecked, I fall in love for a new book boyfriend like Hunter.

I spent the weekend reading this book. I had a hard time putting it down. I’m completely in love with the plot, the characters and the way the author brought to life the characters and their complicated life.

I love to read about complicated love stories with broken characters. You can say all you want that it’s borderline unhealthy, but to be honest, when it comes to books I’m only looking for something that will make my heart beat faster, my blood pump harder and my anxiety run higher for the characters.

So yes, this story is fun and light sometimes, but mostly, you feel the under current, the drama ready to explode and it exploded a few times, making it more frustrating when the characters fell into the well-known hot and cold. But it’s not too much, or at least, it never felt too much to me.

I enjoy the twist when it comes to Hunter’s ‘secret’ because it’s different and brings a fresh outlook to an otherwise almost common story in the genre and the category. (And just between you and me, Hunter is my new Book Boyfriend.)

Also, the way the plot evolves always kept me on my toes. The characters’ relationship evolves slowly but surely, making it very thrilling to follow. Not once was I bored.

With all the good thing I’m writing in this review, you must be wondering why I’m not rating this book even higher. The female lead character annoyed me near the end of the book. I understand her pain, but I think the end is a good excuse for a cliffhanger and to make a breaking start for the next book.

Also, I’m disappointed that the author waited so long to put a few scenes from Hunter POV. If the author wanted to write some things from his POV, it could have been great to put some more scenes earlier instead of pilling some close to the end.

But if you have one book you should read in the genre, it should be this one. After all, there’re drama, a hot MMA college fighter, secrets and a sizzling attractions between the main characters. Everything to make a good weekend read!

Who read this book? Do you think Hunter is Hot Stuff or not?

Rating:

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Fighting Love, by Abby Niles

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: A few sex scenes.
Publisher: Entangled Select
Pages: 352

Blurb:

Talk about kicking a fighter while he’s down.

Former Middleweight champion and confirmed bachelor Tommy “Lightning” Sparks has lost it all: his belt, his career, and now his home. After the devastating fire, he moves in with his drama-free best friend, Julie. One encounter changes everything and Julie is no longer the girl he’s spent his life protecting but a desirable woman he wants to take to his bed. Knowing his reputation, he’s determined to protect Julie more than ever—from himself.

Veterinarian Julie Rogers has been in love with Tommy since she was ten, but would love to get over the man. She’s quiet nights at home and a glass of wine. He’s clubbing all night and shots of tequila. As friends they work great. As a couple? No way in hell. She just can’t get her heart to agree. When she starts spending time with another fighter, the man who’s always treated her like a sister is suddenly not being very brotherly and enflames her body like never before.

Can two childhood friends make a relationship work, or will they lose everything because they stopped FIGHTING LOVE

About the Author:

Ever since Abby Niles picked up her first Sweet Valley High book in sixth grade and fell in love with Elizabeth and Todd, she’s been hooked on romance. By the time she reached high school, she was devouring meatier romances with pirates, cowboys and knights. She never imagined that those years of reading would one day lead to her becoming a published author.

In her late twenties, after having twins and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she started doodling stories to keep her sanity. Next thing she knew, she was actually submitting to publishing houses. And was immediately rejected. That didn’t stop her though. She found some kickass critique partners, honed her craft, and continued submitting.

And eventually sold.

Today, she juggles work, being a single mom, and writing. It’s not always easy, but hey, who said life was easy?

Abby is the author of the contemporary MMA romance, Extreme Love, the first book in her Love to the Extreme series. Fighting Love is scheduled to release in December of 2013 and Winning Love is scheduled for 2014. She is also the author of the dark paranormal romance series The Awakening: Aidan and the The Awakening: Liam and The Awakening: Britton. Both series are with Entangled Publishing. She also has a geeky romantic comedy, Defying Convention, with Carina Press.

She is represented by Maureen Walters at Curtis Brown, LTD.

Author’s website

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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

If there’s one thing you should know about me is that when a book features a fighter I will read it as soon as possible. So I obviously couldn’t wait to read this one, the first book I finished this year.

While I give it a good rating because I enjoyed reading this book, a few things bothered me if I have to be honest and if I take a minute to stop drooling over the hot Tommy “Lightning” Sparks. I almost rated this book 3.5 stars, but the good outweighted the ‘bad’ so I decided to rate it higher.

Julie is a great female character, who once decided something went for it. It’s a great quality and sometimes too underdevelopped in Romance as often female characters are weak compared to the male character. Not here. I can’t even think about one bad thing to point out about Julie.

Tommy, the hot MMA fighter is interesting and the author did a great job at showing us the mind of a player and womanizer who is trying to find his footing when he’s changing his ways. It was even funny sometimes and I truly enjoyed it.

But – because there’s always a but – I find it quite exhausting this back and forth between Julie and Tommy. At some point, I thought I would just take a break from this book and start another one to have a breather. I think the editor should have encouraged the author to cut it a couple of chapter before it settled for good. And it’s coming from someone who LOVES that kind of back and forth.

But these two together are amazing. Really. I could feel their connection, their attraction, their past even. Their relationship is one I loved to see unfold and the author did a good job writing it.

Speaking about the author. Her writing style is flawless. The dialogues felt real and blend perfectly with the descriptive parts who are well-balanced and so very enjoyable to read.

Now let’s talk about the steamy scenes. These are H-O-T. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as I had reading them. It’s not vulgar, it’s very thrilling and it showed the connection between Tommy and Julie.

So yes, I recommend this book if you enjoy that kind of story. In fact, I’d love to know what you think about it and about Tommy. Will he be your next book boyfriend? He might be one of mine this week. 😉

Rating:

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Blog Tour – Review: Stealing Promises, by Brina Courtney

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Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary “Romance”
Warning: It’s a drama, so it deals with an important subject.
Pages: 144

Book Description:

Promises are made to be kept, never stolen. But that’s exactly what happened to Victoria Blane and Levi Manor. Tragedy strikes their perfect relationship leaving Victoria struggling to overcome the darkness that threatens to bury her.

With Victoria’s life in tatters she decides that running away is easier than dealing with her troubles. But when a friend finds her on the floor in her kitchen, she knows it’s time for a change.

Brighton Hanley knows what it’s like to lose someone. He knows what it’s like to be haunted by things that can never change. When he meets Victoria he recognizes the pain she’s trying to bury deep in her eyes. He knows she’s trying to run away, but he also knows that you can’t run forever. 

Victoria is drawn to Brighton in ways she never expected. He becomes her champion, her life line… her sunshine in the darkness. But is Victoria ready to let go of the past and grab on to her future? Or will she run away from Brighton before she can be hurt again?

About The Author

Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She’s spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

Author’s Blog

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I received this book after I signed up to be a part of the blog tour. Of course, it doesn’t influence my review.

While I enjoy reading fun and light love stories, my first love is drama. For some unknown reason, I love to read a book in which angst, drama and intensity are a big part of the whole story. When it touches my heart and makes my eyes water, it’s amazing.

Unfortunately, this book missed the mark for me. While I enjoyed it, I think that the plot is not flowing enough or enough balanced to make it unforgetable. It’s possible that I’m asking for too much, but the story itself is a gut wrenching one so it needs to gut me to win me over.

While I think the author did a good job portraying the grief process, I think she spent too much time developing Levi and Victoria’s story to the point that it felt too long. I’m sure the author wanted to make us feel how special their relationship was, but when you devide the whole book in parts, this part is too long and the whole part with Brighton is too short and not enough detailed and explored. Not once did I feel some kind of connection between Victoria and Brighton. It’s an issue for me.

In fact, I think that this book is too short. Even the ending is rushed. In this kind of story, it’s needed to feel everything the character feels, to see the slow process of opening up and moving on and not just vaguely talk about it and put the character in this or that situation just for the sake of moving the story along. That’s how I felt while reading the last part of the book.

What I truly loved is the whole part during which we see Victoria dealing with her grief. I felt for her, wanted the best for, I was hoping that she would find the strength to move on. It’s something the author did really well and with care. Just for this part I’m glad I read this book.

But as I said, all the parts are not as good and it dampened my enjoyment of reading this book. Maybe I was expecting for too much, maybe I was expecting something else, but one thing is for sure, I’m sure a lot of people will enjoy this book.

Because the ending is so rushed and left me with a taste of unfinished business, I hope there will be another book with Victoria and her next steps into her life. Fingers crossed!

Rating:

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Review: Knock Out, by Michele Mannon

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 167

Blurb:

Logan Rettino never imagined she’d fall so far. Dropped by her ex on national TV, she’s gone from prima ballerina to ring card girl, reduced to revving up the crowds before MMA bouts. However distasteful she finds her new job, it pays well…and she needs the money if she’s ever going to rebuild her life. Promised a huge bonus if she can convince a brooding, gifted welterweight to keep fighting, she’ll do whatever it takes to earn his trust.

Keane O’Shea is unbeatable in the octagon. A former marine, he fights with a ruthlessness no gym jockey can match. He knows his brutal strength is too much for the delicate ex-ballerina, regardless of how fascinating he finds Logan’s tight dancer’s body. But one private performance and he’s drawn to her in a way he can’t—or won’t—resist.

As Logan discovers the heartbreaking truth that lies beneath this handsome warrior’s rage, she’ll need to forfeit everything she thought mattered for the one thing that matters the most: saving Keane from himself.

Add this book to Goodreads

About the Author:

Author Michele Mannon is a huge fan of skinny cinnamon dolce lattes, a good book, and/or sports game on television. Michele can be found in her writer’s cave, tweeting, and spending time outdoors with her family.

KNOCK OUT is her first MMA sports romance in the series WORTH THE FIGHT, published by Carina Press.

KNOCK OUT – 4 1/2 Stars TOP PICK – ROMANTIC TIMES MAGAZINE

Michele loves hearing from readers! Please visit Michele at michelemannon.com / Tweet @MicheleMannon / Facebook Page

Author’s website

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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Hot MMA fighter? Check.
Hot scenes? Check.

Is it a new kind of story featuring a hot MMA fighter? No, but to be honest, I don’t really care as long as the chemistry between the characters is working and the plot is well-built.

I had a really great time reading this book. Not only the plot is entertaining, but the male character, Keane O’Shea alias Boom-Yay, won me over right away.

But Logan, the female lead character, annoyed me a little sometimes. Maybe it’s because I didn’t feel everything that the author was trying to convey, but it doesn’t mean that Logan is not loveable or anything. And it doesn’t impact on the scenes between Keane and Logan. These are hot.

Also, I think that the author played her cards well when it concerns Keane’s past. It makes him even more interesting and thrilling. Though, I think that the whole thing about Logan’s past is too downplayed and too easily resolved. It’s my opinion, of course.

The whole MMA aspect of the plot is perfectly brought without being boring or too long for neophytes. I truly enjoyed the scenes and the progression. It’s well-balanced.

In the end, I discovered an author I’ll be following closely. And I can’t wait to read more from her.

I recommend you this book if you want to meet your next book boyfriend and if you’re like me and love MMA fighters in books. 😉

Who read this one? What do you think about Boom-Yay O’Shea? Hot Stuff or not?

Rating

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At Any Price, by Brenna Aubrey

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Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Silver Griffon Publishing
Warning: A few explicit scenes. It’s a book for readers over 18.

Blurb:

Achievement Unlocked: Geek Virgin

When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.

It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.

Difficulty Level: Millionaire CEO

Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.

She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.

This New Adult book is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content and adult situations.

About the Author:

Brenna Aubrey is an author of New Adult contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture. Her debut novel, AT ANY PRICE, releases in December, 2013.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna’s favorite author is Jane Austen and favorite novel is PERSUASION.

Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. A mommy to two little kids and teacher to many more older kids, she juggles schedules to find time to pursue her love of storycrafting.

She currently resides on the west coast with her husband, two children, two adorable golden retriever pups, two birds and some fish.

Brenna’s short story “The Love Letter” was the Grand Prize winner of the JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT Short Story Contest. As such, it was included in the anthology of the same name (Ballantine, 2011)

Author’s website

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I received this novel via Netgalley for an honest review.

Obviously, the blurb of this book caught my attention right away. It’s not a premise very common in the genre and I was quite eager to read it right away.

The writing style of the author is quite flawless. The author knows how to convey her main character’s feelings and I enjoyed Mia right away. Part feisty, part shy and part lost, she’s the kind of character I love to read about.

Now, let’s talk about the male lead character. Adam Drake. It’s without saying that he’s a hot guy with secrets. Unfortunately, while the overall story is different, this aspect is not, but at the same time it’s also what we enjoy in this kind of books.

But while I fell for Adam Drake and was frustrated by his game of hot and cold, I was bothered at some point when it became repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, I love it – I really do – when characters play hot and cold and cat and mouse for a while, but here it was too repetitive. I wasn’t surprised anymore and just plain annoyed. That being said, I loved reading this book. I just think that it could have been cut short. Or the author should have added a more active issue to break the repetitiveness.

But did it bothered me to the point that I had to take a break from reading? Not at all.

Also, I enjoyed the secrets Adam kept until the end even if I discovered what they were quite early in the story. But I enjoyed them, still.

The ending is almost too easy and good to be true, but now that I know that the other books of the series will be centered on Mia and Adam too, I’m pretty sure that we will have plenty of more issues that our lovely and hot couple will have to overcome.

To be honest, I think this story could have been a stand-alone novel. I hope the second one won’t disappoint me, but one thing is sure, the writing style of this author is really great.

So, read this book as the plot itself is quite different even if the author used the tricks we’re used to see in this genre. That’s also the reason why we read these books.

Who read this book? What do you think about Adam Drake? Hot Stuff or not?

Rating:

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