Review: Make Me Sin, by J.T. Geissinger

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Rockstar Romance.

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Pages: 400

Blurb:

Chloe Carmichael’s life feels pretty sweet—she’s both maid of honor and florist for her best friend’s A-list wedding, things are getting serious with her boyfriend, and her flower shop is about to get a spread in a national magazine. But it all quickly turns sour whenever the best man, Bad Habit drummer A.J. Edwards, shows his face…his handsome, unforgettable face. A.J. is everything Chloe doesn’t want: tattooed, selfish, and all-around bad news. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Goody two-shoes Chloe isn’t exactly A.J.’s type, either, but the chemistry between them is undeniable. A.J. will be the first to say he isn’t a saint, but there’s something he’s not saying—something that would devastate Chloe. The only way he can protect her is to push her away, but the drummer finds he needs her now more than ever. When a wedding-day confrontation reveals secrets they’re both hiding, will Chloe and A.J. ever find their rhythm again?

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

Make Me Sin is the second book in the Bad Habit series. Each book features a different band member and their significant other. If you remember, last year I reviewed Sweet As Sin which is the first book in the series. I qualified the first installment as a guilty pleasure. Is Make Me Sin like that too?

Guess what?

No! It’s undeniably better and in my opinion more emotionally charged. Or maybe I was able to connect a lot more easily with Chloe and A.J. But the thing is, I truly love this book.

Of course, I can still point out a few things I think could make this novel even better, but it’d be nitpicking. I’d rather start with what I like and love in this second book.

The writing is, in my opinion, more consistent and flows even better. In this book, the dialogues aren’t overdone and mingle really well with the descriptive parts and Chloe’s inner musings (since this book is mostly from her POV). Also, the author conveys really well some of the emotions depicted here.

Then, there are the characters. I love Chloe and A.J. When I read the first book in the series, I just knew I’d love Chloe and A.J’s story, but I would have never expected being so taken by them (especially A.J. 😉 ). Truly, it’s a wonderful surprise.

Then, you have the plot that, while it has its flaws, works rather well. I find it more believable than some events from the first installment.

But now that you know what I love the most in this book, I need to talk a little bit of the things that prevent me from rating this book with the highest rating.

First of all, there still are a few little things I find a bit ‘too much’ for me. It’s not so much some tiny bits of Chloe’s POV that are maybe a bit too chick-lit in some small ways (and while I don’t mind chick-lit I find it clashes a bit with the overall story), but it had more to do with the plot itself.

I know, a few lines before I wrote that the plot works well, but it doesn’t mean it’s all to my liking. Before I go further, I want to point out something. There’s something huge happening at one point that completely took me by surprise. I won’t tell you who is involved or what it is so it doesn’t ruin your reading pleasure, but let me tell you something. HOLLY. SH*T! 😮

I wasn’t expecting that to happen and I swear I thought my heart would break. So you see, some bold choices made by the author are really good and serve to up the story. But then, you have things happening that you see coming from a mile away and that’s when you end up sighing and rolling your eyes a few times. The whole thing with Eric was no surprise whatsoever and while it’s rather well done (even though I wouldn’t have minded a bit more regarding his own troubles to be brought to light in more details), I’m still sad that nothing surprised me and that everything is over rather quickly. I didn’t agonized much here. It’s too bad because sometimes throughout the novels I think there are parts a bit ‘boring’ that could have used a bit more tension.

Overall, it’s a really, really good addition to the rockstar romance novels out there. If anything, I think it’s better than the first one and I will keep Chloe and A.J in my heart for a little while.

I look forward to the next book!

RATING:

4

Review: The Fractured Heart, by Scarlett Cole

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult, Suspense Romance.

Publisher: St Martin’s

Pages: 283

Blurb:

All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.

Tattoo artist Brody “Cujo” Matthews knows how to keep things simple. In life and in love. Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn’t want, he’s intent on staying clear of complicated women. The only things complicated in Cujo’s life are the killer tattoos he designs and inks. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent’s engagement party, which means working with Trent’s fiancée’s best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.

Andrea “Drea” Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she’s at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to Cujo who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever…but as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Second Circle Tattoos series. The first book, The Strongest Steel, is probably one of my favorite books read in 2015 so obviously I was eager to get the second book this time featuring Brody “Cujo” and Drea. Now, it’s time for me to debrief a little with you.

I don’t know if it’s because I had such high expectations or if I’m still recovering from the end of the year celebrations, but this book doesn’t do it for me. I enjoyed reading it to a certain extent, but it’s nowhere near how I have felt while reading The Strongest Steel.

If you ask me, this book is more of a “suspense” book than a contemporary romance and while it could have been a thrill, I’m left feeling a bit uncertain as to the execution… :/

Believe me, I’m surprised I feel this way and it’s hard to explain without giving away spoilers so I’ll do my best.

You see, I really love Cujo and Drea so I think it saved this story for me otherwise I’d have had a hard time finishing it. Cujo has a lot going on in this book between his building feelings for Drea, his hangups regarding some events from his past and a “thing” from his past coming back suddenly. I understand that and I understand this character but… I felt nothing while reading! He is feeling a lot of things and it’s not developed. The same goes for Drea. I’m afraid that the whole suspense aspect of the plot takes up all the space.

Speaking of the suspense, while I see the nice tropes that could have been used to keep me on the edge, the whole thing is rather wonky. Drea is ALWAYS at the right place and the right time to see something or someone and get things rolling. I can buy it once, but several times? I’m sorry, but that’s when I can’t suspend disbelief anymore. And the same goes for the whole thing near the end! In the end, nothing much happens. And I didn’t fear for Drea or Cujo. (Even when I should).

Now, let me go back to the romance between Drea and Cujo. Considering what we know of them two going in, I expected them to be a bit more like cat and mouse in the beginning. The opening chapter is a blast, but then I find that they both get close easily. I’m not saying they jump on each other immediately, but they do a 180 rather quickly. I would have loved a slower burn, a real romance instead of all this suspense thrown in every few pages, pushing to the background the characterization at times, but also the whole issues Drea and Cujo have to overcome to be together.

For example, I find that Cujo easily pushes away Drea a couple of times and while it’s understandable why considering what he’s going through and what he went through at one time, but we don’t see him working things through in his head, we don’t see him struggle. We’re told. 

Basically, I find the story stilted and without much emotions for me to feel. There are everything to make this novel unforgettable, but unfortunately it’s a bit of a miss for me contrary to the first book.

But, I will read the next installment and maybe with less expectations which should prevent me from being disappointed.

Don’t let my opinion stop you from reading this book because I’m pretty sure many of you will enjoy this novel. There are things to enjoy and some littles things that make you want to read the next chapter. I just wish The Fractured Heart had the same impact on me as the first book.

RATING:

3