Review: How We Lived, by Erin Butler

17791107

 

Part of a series? No.

Cliffhanger? No.

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Pages: 200

Category: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Larkin’s parents uninvited her to her brother’s funeral. She just wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt—the clothes Kyle would’ve wanted her in—not wrap herself up in death. So she watched the funeral from afar, like an outsider. Which is just how she feels.

Chase came, though, just like she knew he would. Until a few months ago, the three of them had been best friends, and then Chase made a mistake that shattered both families. But when Kelsey looks at him, she doesn’t see her brother’s killer. She sees the boy next door who’s always taken care of her. She sees home.

When Chase tells her his feelings run deeper than friendship, she can’t help but get lost in him. In Chase, she finally has the closure she’s been unable to find anywhere else. But the boy she’s falling in love with is still hiding secrets about the night Kyle died. Secrets that could destroy everything they have…again.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17791107-how-we-lived

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I love reading books that will make you tear up, that will gut you and move you to the point that you have a hard time thinking that it’s just a book, that it’s not real and that these characters aren’t your friends. When I find a book like that, I’m in book Heaven.

How We Lived got to me, mostly the first half. The grief all characters were feeling seemed real and raw, exactly how it does in real live. The author described it really well and it made me like the characters right away.

Chase’s pain is palpable, undeniable and yet he’s strong enough to fight for Kelsey in the most beautiful way, never invading her, never pushing her but he was always there despite the mess he created.

I truly enjoyed their relationship even though I’d have preferred a slower build up and some scenes and dialogues more polished to better FEEL what they were feeling. Sometimes, the dialogues seemed rushed or a little messy and it pushed me out of the story. Since this book is quite short, it’s an issue I need to address.

But still, I truly enjoyed reading it because nothing is overdone and the hope brought back to the characters’ life is truly humbling. In fact, after I finished reading this book I was madly in love with the title, something that never happens with me.

The only issue I have is the length of the book that makes it impossible for the author to develop fully all the secondary characters and the way things evolve between Chase and Kelsey, otherwise in the genre I recommend this book. I’m one to believe that when you’re tackling a heavy subject, you need to take the time to truly show everything, take the time to show how the relationships, no matter which sort, are affected, how the character(s) are doing to get better. In this book, I think it could have been even more explored to fully knock us to our knees and then make this book unforgettable.

Who read this one? What do you think about Chase? Do you think that some parts were too rushed and not showed?

 

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Review: Rocked, by Taryn Elliott and Cari Quinn

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Publisher: Rainbow Rage Publishing

Pages: 474

Category: Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance borderline on erotica

Warnings: Language and sex scenes.

Blurb:

Love definitely wasn’t on the setlist.

Opening for their idols on their first tour, Oblivion is living the dream. Mostly. Frustrated at being shoved out of his mediator role by their new manager, Deacon McCoy loses himself in brutal workouts. He only comes up for air long enough to refuel—and to tease the deliciously cute chef who makes him crave a lot more than what she’s offering on her serving plate.

As the child of roadie parents, Harper Pruitt has heard every pickup line twice. To her, musicians are one step above the scraps on her cutting board. All she wants is to get enough experience to run her own catering company, but Deacon and his bottomless stomach are too tempting to resist. He’s far from the typical rock star and before long, she finds herself experimenting with him, inside and out of the kitchen.

Apron – and panties – optional.

When Harper sees that Deacon’s dream band with his best friends may be turning into a nightmare, she can’t walk away. Deacon’s so much more than just a peacemaker and the man behind the bass. But she has her own dreams to chase…even if she’s starting to think what she’s building with him might be the biggest one of all.

You met Deacon McCoy in SEDUCED, now you can watch just how far a big man can fall.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21894989-rocked

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

To be honest, I still wonder how I never heard about this one before I saw it on Netgalley. I mean, I am a sucker for rock stars and this one doesn’t disappoint.

This book doesn’t bring anything new and uses the same tropes these books often use, but they work perfectly mostly because all the characters are perfectly portrayed here. When you have well-portrayed characters, everything will flow better, and in no time you’ll delve into the story.

But, I didn’t delve in the story right away because there are many characters and sometimes it was difficult to follow who was talking to who, but after a couple of chapters things got easier.

Deacon is really a great male lead character. I warmed up to him right away even though his attraction to Harper feels almost too much like love at first sight, which got me worried for a while. Usually, I hate it when the characters get close fast, but the authors here made it easy, mostly because of the settings. After all, we don’t know what happens during rock tours! 😉

Harper is an interesting female character and she didn’t annoy me contrary to what many female characters have done these past few weeks. Though, I would have loved to see more of how her past, how the way she’s been raised could have truly jeopardized her relationship with Deacon. In this instance, I never truly saw it or believed it.

And the same goes with Deacon. Somehow, his troubled past is too “down-played”. He’s young and his tough life should have let a bigger scar on him which should have resulted in some hang-ups. Unfortunately, there are more sex scenes —very well written— than actual conflicts.

It’s a pleasant read, one you should read if you enjoy Contemporary Romance novels with rock stars, because you’ll love the dynamic of the band Oblivion. In fact, I look forward to reading the next installment.

What do you think about Deacon? Don’t you think he’s book boyfriend material? Who is your favorite band member?

 

RATING:

4

Review: Dominic, by L.A. Casey

21473305

 

Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Self-Published.

Pages: 337

Category: Supposedly New Adult, but I’d say it’s between NA and Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Blurb: 

After a car accident killed her parents when she was a child, Bronagh Murphy chose to box herself off from people in an effort to keep herself from future hurt. If she doesn’t befriend people, talk to them or acknowledge them in any way they leave her alone just like she wants.

When Dominic Slater enters her life, ignoring him is all she has to do to get his attention. Dominic is used to attention, and when he and his brothers move to Dublin, Ireland for family business, he gets nothing but attention. Attention from everyone except the beautiful brunette with a sharp tongue.

Dominic wants Bronagh and the only way he can get to her, is by dragging her from the boxed off corner she has herself trapped in the only way he knows how…by force.

Dominic wants her, and what Dominic wants, Dominic gets.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21473305-dominic?ac=1

 

REVIEW:

 

I’m not going to lie. I first had a look at the book’s blurb because of the cover. Shame on me! But at least, I discovered a new author and a new series!

I really enjoyed reading this book and yet I really shouldn’t. Why? Well, probably because the consequences of violence, as mild as the violence might be, are overlooked. But the chemistry between Dominic and Brognagh, the dialogues and the secondary characters made it impossible for me to put this book down and not enjoy reading every chapters.

To be honest, I fell in love with Dominic even if he is a prick as Brognagh would say. He is a prick and yet I love the hell out of him! That must say something about my sanity, right? 😉

I needed a good laugh reading a book and the dialogues – mostly in the first part of the book – made it possible. The dialogues are more than just funny banters, and even if you could say they are silly at times, I still loved reading them.

So yeah, I can’t explain why I loved this book because maybe I shouldn’t, but I did. The pace is wicked good, the characters amazing, the plot interesting, the chemistry undeniable and the writing style good. What should I ask more?

I can’t wait to read the next installment and see the next Slater brother fall in love. I truly hope the female lead character will give him hell like Brognah did with Dominic.

Who read this book? What do you think about Dominic? Is he your book boyfriend?

 

RATING:

4

Review: See Through Me, by Sera Bright

20878454

 

Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Self-Published.

Category: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Warnings: Sex scenes.

Pages: 222

Blurb: 

There’s only one person I want to see when I return home. But I know he won’t be waiting. It’s the reason I feel safe enough to come back.

I’m so wrong.

Ash Townsend isn’t the same quiet boy from next door. He’s tall, dark and demanding answers. He wants me, but he doesn’t trust me. Why should he? When his own family tried to break him down, he still sheltered me in this town full of liars. And I repaid it by leaving him without a word.

But I’ll do anything to protect him. I have the scars on my wrist to prove it.

* * *

This is NOT a standalone novel. Many of the questions that are raised will NOT be answered. This is Katie’s story.

Contains strong language, descriptive sexual situations, and mature themes of child abuse and neglect. This novel is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

 

Will be available May 8th 2014.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20878454-see-through-me?ac=1

 

Review:

I received this book through Netgalley for an honest review.

Do you know that I’m what you can call a cover whore on top of a bookwhore? Yep, I must confess. So, when I saw that cover I had to read the blurb. While the blurb isn’t very detailed, it caught my attention.

This book isn’t a stand-alone and I’m disappointed. I knew it when I started it, but now that I’m finished with it, I don’t understand why the author didn’t wrap up the lose ends in this book instead of making some scenes repetitive to better stretch things out.

I would have preferred a story with a tighter plot.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a pleasant read, but not the gut wrenching kind I was expecting. It’s bittersweet most of the time and at some point I was almost bored with the way both main characters were handling things.

I really enjoy it when characters actually fight against their feelings, fight against what they truly want, but here I couldn’t relate much. Somehow, I didn’t click with the characters and in turn I didn’t fully ‘’experienced’’ their chemistry.

But, because I have to place a but somewhere, there are a few sub-plots, a few twists that caught my attention enough to actually make me want to read the next installment. Though, I don’t really follow all the logic as everything was kind of revealed at once and I couldn’t process everything and actually feel the angst I should have felt then.

All in all, it’s more of an introduction to the main characters’ feelings than anything else. At least, that’s how I feel now that I’m finished with it.

I have high hopes for the next installment and I look forward to reading it.

What do you think about Ash? What do you think about See Through Me? Will you read the next installment?

 

Rating:

3

Review: Pursuit, by Lynda Chance

19253221

 

Part of a series? No

No cliffhanger.

Self-Published.

Pages: 175

Category: Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance bordering on erotica

Warnings: Sex scenes.

blurb: 

Logan Crenshaw is doing just fine until a chance meeting with Lauren Jacobs sends his libido into a tailspin. When she turns down his offer of a date, his hunting instincts go on high alert and a predatory urge he never knew existed explodes within him.

Lauren Jacob’s life is perfectly predictable until she meets Logan Crenshaw, a man who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Logan is more rampaging beast than normal man and Lauren finds herself the prey he wants to plunder. Being the target of his sexual quest is more than exciting, but when it’s over, will she be safe in his care or just the prize after his merciless pursuit?

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19253221-pursuit?ac=1

 

REVIEW:

 

When I saw this book while perusing the kindle store, I was eager to read it. After all, it sounded like a romance I’d enjoy, something not too twisted to read between two books.

 

And it is a great romance. The two main characters have a  real and palpable chemistry, the dialogues are great even if sometimes quite clichés in the genre when an alpha male is portrayed, but it doesn’t bother me here.

 

It’s really enjoyable to read and I’d recommend this book if someone asked me which kind of book to read in the genre, but I’m not sure that I will remember it in a month. It was great, but it didn’t blow my mind to the point that I couldn’t put it down.

 

There are quite a lot of sex scenes and while it doesn’t bother me at all—otherwise I wouldn’t be reading that kind of books—I have a feeling that it takes too much space in the plot to the point that there isn’t any real “threat” for Logan and Lauren to over as a couple. Don’t you think “threats” make a love story more thrilling?

 

Overall, it’s quite a linear evolution, quite interesting to follow, but nothing to remember down the road.

 

That being said, it’s always fun to read a story with an alpha male, I would have liked it better if it had been more original in its treatment and if the scenes put in the book would have been more surprising.

 

I’m asking for too much, I know.

 

Who read this book? Do you think Logan is Hot Stuff or not? I do think he deserves it. 😉

 

Rating:

3 to 3.5

Review: Only For You, by Genna Rulon

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No. (Can be read as a stand-alone).

Category: New Adult/Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of mysteries.

Self-Published

Pages: 390

Blurb: 

“In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent. It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!”

 

All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned.

 

When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar by her best friend, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, a tempestuous relationship is born.

 

Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate—that fickle shrew—continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant. The only complication…Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication…by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh’s ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.

 

Only For You is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption—brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love’s unassailable perseverance.

 

• This story is appropriate for readers 18+
• Only For You is the first book in the For You series by Genna Rulon. Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone novel.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18458057-only-for-you?ac=1

 

Review: 

This book is the first one of a series, but the second installment is focusing on secondary characters. There’s no cliffhanger and it can be read as a stand-alone, but I can assure you that you’ll want to read the next one!

I decided to read this book on a whim, quite disappointed with the books I had finished recently and I must say that it was a pleasant surprise.

Is it a perfect book? No.

Is it fun? Yes.

Is it gut wrenching? Yes to that too.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I started it, but I soon found myself unable to put it down. Not only the characters all won me over, even the secondary ones, but the plot itself was unfolding in such a way that I had to read the next chapter, and the next one and so on.

But I must admit that I had a hard time at first with the writing style and the dialogues. This author is talented and did an amazing job at writing sarcastic dialogues like I love them, but the words used by the characters were at times almost unbelievable for their age or the situation, which made it uneasy at first to fully delve into the story.

That being said, more times than I can count I laughed while reading this book. The dialogues, or banters, between Ev and Hunter are priceless. I can honestly admit that some of these are gems I’d go back to if I ever feel down after I read books I didn’t enjoy. Everleigh is a fun character, one with a backbone and a personality so strong that it’s impossible to be bored. And her connection with Hunter is undeniable, which is a gigantic bonus when it comes to Romance novels.

The strange thing though is that it’s not all fun and light-hearted scenes. This book put into perspective some very awful dramatic things to the point that my heart broke, shattered even. It’s tastefully done and yet conveys quite well the atrocity. It made me love the characters all that much more.

That being said, unfortunately, I think some scenes or pages are more telling than showing which broke the rhythm of the story. Just slightly, but still enough for me to notice and point out.

But all in all, I had an amazing time with this book and will read other stories by this author, starting with the sequel to this book already available. I hope you’ll want to read it too because I truly think that this book deserves to be read and talked about.

Who read Only For You? What do you think about Hunter? Hot Stuff or not? In my opinion, he’s Hot Stuff all the way! 🙂

 

Rating:

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Review: Phenomenal X, by Michelle A. Valentine

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Part of a series? Yes

Cliffhanger? Yes

Self-Published

Pages:  336

Genre: Contemporary Romance 

Category: Adult

Warnings: Best for mature readers. 

 

Blurb:

Good Girl. Notorious Bad-Boy. One Phenomenal Love.

From the mean streets of Detroit rises the newest superstar of professional wrestling, Xavier Cold, better known as Phenomenal X. His muscular physique makes men cower before him and woman lose their minds with desire.

Anna Cortez is fresh out of college and naive to the harsh realities of the real world. Tired of living under the thumb of her conservative family, she defies them when she accepts a job as the assistant to wrestling’s most notorious bad-boy. Phenomenal X has an animalistic nature that even good girl Anna finds hard to resist.

One night forced to share a bed in a sold-out hotel, lines blur between them and they quickly learn that one lustful night changes everything and neither one of them will ever be the same.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21972350-phenomenal-x

 

Review:

Since the very beginning I’ve been following closely Michelle A. Valentine’s books. I know, it sounds really stalkerish, but I don’t mind. 😉
Of course, when I first saw this one, I was eager to read it.

Phenomenal X is a great first installment of what could be a great series if the sequel doesn’t disappoint. The story is fast paced, the writing style does’t disappoint and the characters have just enough flaws and hang-ups to make the story more interesting and epic.

So yeah, I enjoyed reading this book. I devoured it in two days, which isn’t that complicated because the book isn’t that long. Speaking of the length… I think that the plot would have deserved to be more detailed, some aspects with Anna’s father could have been better explored than it is in this first installment. That way, it would have given more depth to the character and in turn I think I’d have felt more interested, more invested.

Also, there is one tiny thing that bothered me. In my opinion, considering the time frame of the story, the romance comes too fast too easily. Xavier and Anna fall for each other too damn fast for my liking, which is always a pet peeve of mine. Though, don’t get me wrong, it’s well-brought and the chemistry between the two characters is so thick that you tend to forget everything else.

I truly enjoyed discovering the little bits of Xavier’s past and I love how the author put these glimpses from his past to blend so perfectly with the narration. I hope we’ll discover even more in the next book.

But be warned! There is a cliffhanger. I really hate/love cliffhangers.

Even though I enjoyed reading this book, it’s not my favorite written by this author. That being said, or written in this case, I’ll 1-click the sequel as soon as it is available.

What do you think about Xavier? Is he your new book boyfriend?

 

Rating:

Image to 3.5