Monday, December 8, 2014

Review: Beautiful Outlaw (Savage Outlaw MC #1) by Emily Minton

~Synopsis~
After ten years of surviving as a walking, talking, living doll, Laura feels dead inside. 

She has sacrificed everything for her family, marrying a man she could never love. Her husband doesn’t beat her, doesn’t berate her. He transforms her, forcing her to live as a stand-in for his long dead wife. She stays silent as piece after piece of herself disappears, willing to do anything to protect the people she loves.

When his demands go too far, she finally tells her brother the ugly truth.

Wanting to protect her without putting the rest of their family at risk, he sends her to the one place he knows she’ll be safe. He places her into the hands of his best friend, Vice President of the Savage Outlaws MC.

Once again, she is transformed into someone new; Shay.

Bowie has spent many nights dreaming about his best friend’s little sister. The reality is so much sweeter than his dreams. He wants to be more for Shay, needs to protect her, but he’s not sure if he knows how.

Can an Outlaw show her how beautiful life should be?
~My Review~
«««««

I knew just about nothing about this book when I decided to read it.  I found it because I "like" Emily Minton on Facebook.  Since I read the Renegade MC books, I've been following her, and when I started seeing her posts about this book, I decided to read the Synopsis and buy the book.  I was honestly a little confused (Laura / Shay?), but once I started reading, I totally understood what was going on.  Buying and reading this book was totally worth it.  I loved just about every single minute of it!

I've recently really gotten into these MC books, and this one seriously didn't disappoint.  I felt like both characters were really well developed.  We learned about why Laura/Shay needed protection right away.  Sometimes, there is a level of suspense where we don't know what the main character is running from for a while - not here!  We learn right up front, and I really like that.  At the same time, we immediately get a good understanding of who Bowie is.  Not only is he Laura's brother's buddy from the Army days, but he's a member of the Savage Outlaw MC club, and he has some family issues of his own.

The other characters involved in the story, Laura's brother (Jeremy, aka Lock) and her parents, Bowie's brother (Tin-Man), sister (Rachel), mother (Nina), father (Cash), their new friend Tag, as well as everyone else who plays support roles in the book are awesome.  I love how we get just enough information about them all so that they fit into the story perfectly, but they're not just there to take up space.  They all really help to build up the story and make it complete.

The story was great.  I was hooked from the very beginning.  Laura has been living a miserable existence for the past 10 years with a whack job of a husband.  She married him in order to help the rest of her family, and while they don't know that, they think that she has just been pulling away from them.  When she finally decides that she's had enough, everyone comes together to help her.  Everything about how this happens, and how her life changes really flows well.  They story is told from both Laura/Shay's point of view and Bowie's point of view, so we're not left thinking what Bowie might be thinking.  I really love it when the authors decide to give us both perspectives.  It really gives the reading that much more depth.  I felt like I really understood what Laura was going through when she was all of a sudden forced to become Shay, a new person, but at the same time try to rediscover who she used to be.  In finding herself, she finds others who she can count on to help her, and it really made for a wonderful story.

There is obviously a lot of conflict in the story.  There is the conflict with Laura fleeing from her crazy husband, and all the aftermath of that, and then there are Bowie's own conflicts.  I really enjoyed how the conflict was resolved.  I didn't feel like anything was thrown out of left field.  Nor did I feel like the conflict was resolved too quickly.  Finding out how everything happened led to a pretty sweet twist at the end, and at one point I thought that we would actually never find out what brought everything together, but everything was explained, everything was resolved - and it totally made sense.

The book kind of ends on a cliffhanger.  Actually, a huge cliff hanger.  So the main story ended with a wondering HEA, and I found myself smiling at the end.  Of course, I would love to read more, but where it ended was a logical end to the story.  Then comes the epilogue.  It is set 6 months later, and is set in Bowie's POV.  It gives us an overview of everyone and how they're all doing, and a bit of a surprise with Tin Man.  OK, a big surprise.  It doesn't go into any kind of depth, but totally sets up a story for his own book.  Then comes a second "bonus" epilogue.  This one is in Shay's POV and is set 5 years later.  We get another overview of where everyone is in life, and then a HUGE curve ball is thrown in at the end and I was like....WHAT?????  Oh my goodness.  It was awesome.  I can only hope that the next book to come, Tin Man's story (which comes out in February 2015) not only clears up the surprise at the end of the first epilogue - it has to!!! - but also explains the end of that second epilogue.  Because man, do I want to understand what's going on!

I would totally recommend this story.  I absolutely loved it and I am so happy that I decided to read it.  When I saw Emily Minton's name as the author, I remembered how much I loved the Renegade MC series, and I wasn't disappointed with this new series.  Five well earned stars!!!

Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Friday, December 5, 2014

Review: You Were Mine (Rosemary Beach #9) by Abbi Glines

~Synopsis~
Gossip is the ultimate currency in Rosemary Beach, but Bethy and Tripp have managed to keep one big secret to themselves.

Eight years ago, Tripp Newark was dating a rich girl he didn’t like and was on his way to Yale—and a future he didn’t want. The only way he could escape his predictable life would be to give up the money and power that came with his family’s name. And that’s exactly what he planned to do. At the end of the summer, he was going to ride off on his Harley and never look back.

That was before he met Beth Lowry.

It was only supposed to be a summer fling. She was a sixteen-year-old trailer-park girl who served drinks to his friends at Kerrington Country Club. They didn’t run in the same social circles. No one even knew they were friends, let alone lovers. Yet, for one summer, Bethy became his entire world.

But he couldn’t give up on his plan. He needed to leave Rosemary Beach, but he vowed he would come back for her.

Problem was, by the time he came back—years later than promised—it was too late. His cousin, Jace, had already claimed the woman he loved…

~My Review~
««««


Wow.  OK.  This is the ninth (number 9!!) of the Rosemary Beach series.  A friend of mine suggested this series to me, and when I first started reading, I was able to read about Rush and Blaire, Woods and Della, and the first book for Grant and Harlow.  With each new couple that was introduced, I fell in love with the series a little bit more.  This book is specifically about Bethy and Tripp, and while we know who Tripp is, we never really got to know him in any of the previous books.  We met Bethy in the first book of the series, and I always have had a special place in my heart for her.

Tripp is Jace's cousin, and what we never really knew is that Tripp and Bethy used to date, before Tripp left town and well before Bethy started sleeping around or dating Jace.  Not only did we get to read from both of their POV's in this book, but we also got a glimpse of the past (8 years ago) as well as present day.  I felt that it really helped set the story up so we could really understand exactly why Bethy and Tripp are in the positions that they're currently in.

I've always admired Abbi Glines' writing, and she continues to do a great job in this book.  There was a lot of expansion and explanations that needed to happen in this book.  We know that Bethy hasn't been living her life well since Jace died, and with Tripp back in town, she really holds something against him; but no one can figure out what actually happened between the two of them.  This book really turned into a soul searcher, and I felt like both Bethy and Tripp learned a lot about themselves and each other by the end of the book.

There is obviously a huge conflict in the story.  Bethy and Tripp are the main conflict.  I felt like it moved and progressed well.  Quite a few things happen to resolve the conflict and move things along, and I was thrilled with the HEA that came at the end.  Bethy always had a certain depressed-like quality to her, and I was so happy to finally see her happy.  Tripp too.  They both deserved to start living again.  The best part was that not only did they need to work through the conflict of their past, but they also needed to work through the conflict of the present, the conflict that arose when Tripp came back to town, when Jace died, and the aftermath of everything.  I was really happy with how things worked out here.

There were a couple things that I didn't like, but honestly, they did help the story -- I guess I just didn't like the character.  I don't want to give anything away.  But ultimately, Some things that helped create some conflict and bring out jealousy that were essential to moving the story along were good for that, I was just rooting for Bethy and Tripp and didn't want to see them get hurt by someone....So I guess I was just pulling for B&T instead of others.  But it didn't take a way from the story at all - it was just me saying, "oh, go away!"

I did absolutely love how Blaire, Rush, Woods, Della, Grant, and Harlow were still a part of the story.  Even Nate and Lila Kate had roles in the story, and just the fact that Rush taught Nate (who is now 2 years old) how to fist bump make me squeal with excitement - I mean, how cute?!?  All of these characters played roles in helping to move Bethy and Tripp along in their relationship, and I loved the friendship that jumped off the pages!

This book actually rang in at about 256 pages (But only 2872 location points on Kindle).  The book seemed to go by really fast, and I really enjoyed it.  It was pretty much on par with the length of the other books in the Rosemary Beach series.  It ends on a very happy note (Yay Bethy and Tripp!!), and there is no cliffhanger.  The ending was a bit abrupt, but everything came together well.  I would assume, that since we're still going to get a book about Mase as a part of the Rosemary Beach series that we'll still hear from Bethy and Tripp.  There is a bonus bit at the end of the book for When I'm Gone, and I'm excited about it!  Also, upon inspection of Goodreads, I noticed that there will actually be 2 books for Mase, a book (it says characters and title TBA), and then a book for Nan.  We also can't forget the Christmas Release of the FREE Novella for Kiro!!  I can't wait!!!




Other books in the series:
Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach #1) (Rush & Blaire) 

Never Too Far (Rosemary Beach #2) (Rush & Blaire) 
Forever Too Far (Rosemary Beach #3) (Rush & Blaire) 
Rush Too Far (Rosemary Beach #4) (Rush & Blaire) 
Twisted Perfection (Rosemary Beach #5) (Woods & Della) 
Simple Perfection (Rosemary Beach #6) (Woods & Della) 
Take a Chance (Rosemary Beach #7) (Grant & Harlow) 
One More Chance (Rosemary Beach #8) (Grant & Harlow) 
You Were Mine (Rosemary Beach #9) (Tripp & Bethy) 
Kiro's Emily (Rosemary Beach #10) (Free Novella for Kiro!) 
When I'm Gone (Rosemary Beach #11) (Mase - To Be Released) 
When You're Back (Rosemary Beach #12) (Mase - To Be Released) 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review: Zip, Zero, Zilch (Reed Brothers #6) by Tammy Falkner

~Synopsis~
The last one to fall…

Sam Reed is the only brother in the Reed family who hasn’t fallen head over heels in love. He has a promising contract to play professional football, but something is missing. Sam likes to watch cooking shows, snuggle on the couch, and he wants someone to do it with him. But with his go-getter lifestyle, it’s almost impossible to find the time to get to know one woman. That is, until he meets the one who makes him want to change his whole life.

A fake name and a world of hurt...

When Peck was twelve, she was called by a different name, lived with a different family, and had no prospects whatsoever. But now she finds herself the drummer in an all-girl band, makes more money than she ever dreamed possible, and she’s content. Until the day her birth mother shows back up.

Fame. Fortune. Stardom. Adolation.

Neither of them wants it.

They both have it. But can they have more?

~My Review~
«««««

This is the sixth book in the Reed Brothers series by Tammy Falkner.  I became a tad obsessed with this series after reading Tall, Tatted, and Tempting...My love for Logan and the Reed Brothers apparently knows no bounds.

This book expands on the new relationship between Sam Reed and Peck, the drummer of the band Fallen from Zero.  They originally met in Paul's book, and I think it was love at first sight for both of them, they just don't realize how the other feels.

Once again, the writing in this book is just as good as the other books and the story is from both Sam and Peck's point of view.  We know a bit about Sam since he's been mentioned in all of the previous books, and we learn a lot about Peck in the book.  I feel like both characters are well set up.  We already knew about Sam playing Pro Football, as well as his love for cooking, but it is expanded upon.  All we knew about Peck going into this book really was that she was the drummer for Fallen from Zero, and that she knows sign language.  We had a clue from a previous book that she has a severe speech impediment, and that is expanded upon greatly.  All of the Reeds are involved in this book, and we get more about Peck's other bandmates and sisters who were mentioned in previous books.  Both characters have a ton of family support, and I love how Tammy Falkner writes about such close knit families.

Sam and Peck really support each other in this book.  They have to get over their insecurities with each other, especially Peck's stammer.  I really liked how as the book progressed, not only did their relationship strengthen, but they also strengthened as individuals.  Sam helped Peck to look past her stammer and not be embarrassed by it, and Peck allowed Sam to be who he wanted to be (A football player who liked to cook) without making fun of him.  I absolutely loved how Sam called Peck 'cupcake' throughout most of the book - a name that he gave to her in Paul's book when Peck was over at the apartment and wouldn't eat one of Sam's cupcakes.

Since sign language has such a presence in this series, I liked that Peck and all of her sisters know it as well.  Not only does it tie the two families together, but it also gives them some commonality.  While Sam and Peck have no problems communicating, I like that Sam works with Peck to not use sign language as a crutch around him.  At the same time, he doesn't push her and make her feel uncomfortable, but recognizes when she talks to him and doesn't stammer at all.

As in the other books of the series, the conflict and resolution in this book is good.  Can Peck get past her insecurities (not only her stammer but her physical insecurities) and love Sam the way he loves her?  Will a surprise visit from Peck's birth mother ruin things, or will Sam help Peck get through everything?  Will they be able to work around Band touring schedules and Football schedules?  And will they trust each other while on the road?  There was a lot to get over in this book, but I felt that the resolution was also good; it wasn't abrupt and things seemed to flow well.

One thing that I really did love was the continued relationship between Sam and his brothers.  There's a storyline that pertains directly to Logan, and I loved how this played out.  Paul still takes on the role of dad, but he plays it so well.  Pete and Sam are close, but not as close as they were in TTT and SSS.  Matt is great, but we don't have too much of him in this book.  There are also storylines that come in with Peck's birth mother and Bone, and while they both make for some interesting conflict, all of the brothers get pulled in, and the resolution seems to be a bit lacking in this area (for me at least - I would have liked to know more details!).

This book is on the shorter side compared to the other books in the series.  It's about 230 pages (3255 location points on Kindle).  The story moved fast, but it was done well.  Sam and Peck's story ends on a happy note and we're not left with a cliffhanger.  I did have a couple of questions at the ending with a few things that I would have liked answers to.  But Tammy Falkner did say that she will be writing books for all of the Zero sisters (Lark, Fin, Star, and Wren, as well as Seth, Edward, and Gonzo, so it's possible that we get answers there.  With all of the other books, there was a chapter from one of the other sibling's POV, but we don't get there here.  So I feel like the Reed Brother's story is actually at an end, but we'll get snippets of them in the other books.  I could be wrong, but who knows!


Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other books in the series: 
Tall, Tatted, and Tempting (Reed Brothers #1) 
Smart, Sexy, and Secretive (Reed Brothers #2) 
Calmly, Carefully, and Completely (Reed Brothers #3) 
Reagan's Revenge (Reed Brothers #3.5) 
Maybe Matt's Miracle (Reed Brothers #4) 
Proving Paul's Promise (Reed Brothers #5) 
Zip, Zero, Zilch (Reed Brothers #6) 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Forever With Me (With Me in Seattle #8) by Kristen Proby

~Synopsis~
Dominic Salvatore seemingly has everything a man could want. He’s found a new relationship with his father and the entire Montgomery family. His vineyard, Coppa di Vita, is a success. There’s only one thing that eludes him: a certain driven, intelligent, sexy as hell blonde named Alecia.

Alecia works tirelessly building her event planning business. It’s the most important part of her life. Despite the beautiful, lavish weddings she organizes, Alecia is convinced that the idea of true love is a myth. While Dominic is a sexy, intriguing man, welcoming the handsome Italian into her bed, and her life, is a risk she’s not so sure she’s willing to take.

However Dominic isn’t used to taking no for an answer, and it’s not long before these two are burning up the sheets and discovering a connection that neither can deny. But will it be strong enough to last forever?
~My Review~
«««««

I have been waiting patiently for the release of this book.  I read the others in the series, having found Come Away with Me last year at some point.  When I started the series, I was able to read quite a few of the books, including Come Away with Me, Under the Mistletoe with Me, Fight with Me, Play with Me, Rock with Me, and Safe with Me.  As Tied with Me and Breathe with Me were released, I read those as well.  I absolutely love the Montgomery Family (and the Williams Family), and have loved all the books in the series.  I was actually looking forward to Forever with Me; we really don't know a ton about Dominic, other than that he is Steven's son who connected with the family as a grownup.  But we do know that he has meshed into the fold quite easily.  I knew that his story would be about him and Alecia, but I wasn't sure how the book was going to play out.  I really enjoyed the book, but it wasn't my favorite in the series.

We already knew a bit about the characters coming into this book, as Alecia has been around since Natalie's baby shower in Fight with Me, and Dominic has been around since Safe with me.  However, I felt like a good job was done building up these characters and giving them more of a back story.  We understand a lot more about Alecia, and who she is as a person, not just a party planner.  We also get to know Dominic more, and realize how much he values the family that he is now a part of.  I really liked reading those parts of the story.

Being Italian myself, I was really interested to read Dom's story.  We've obviously been in Dom's company in the past, and I remembered that in Safe with Me, when he first meets the family at the bar/pool hall, he says some things in Italian to the family.  I was surprised that the Italian was incorrect.  Well, it was correct, but the tenses were wrong and the translation was literal.  You only get those kinds of translations when you use a tool like Google translate.  My friend who knows some French said the same thing about that scene when Brynna speaks in French.  It's technically correct, but not actually correct.  While there was an improvement in this book, I still saw a lot of the same, and I was disappointed by that.  I feel that when you're writing a character that speaks a different language, you really need to go out of your way to make sure that the language is correct.

I think there were two major things that really stuck out to me in the incorrect translations in this book:  The first being when Dom is at lunch with Nat and Jules.  Dom calls Jules "sorellina," which does mean little sister.  But when they ask how to say big brother, Dom replies with "grande fratello."  Italian is one of those languages where the adjective (big in this case) often comes after the noun (brother).  So the translation of big brother ends up turning into brother big.  So the first mistake is putting the adjective before the noun.  The second mistake is that grande means big. As in large.  The correct translation should be "fratello maggiore," where maggiore means older, which is what is intended here, I believe.

The second major translation that stuck out to me was at Will and Meg's rehearsal dinner, when Dom calls Stella bella (which is correct, since Stella is a girl), but then he says, "il mio dolce bambino."  What he should have said was, "la mia dolce bambina" ... If you're talking about the same person (and in this case we're talking about Stella) you need to keep the femininity throughout.  It's an easy mistake to make since in English we don't have a gender determination, but it's a careless mistake and should have been picked up.  A man who was raised in Italy never would have made this kind of mistake.

There are some other phrases that Dom uses, and while they are a literal translation (you can put them into Google Translator and get the exact translation), they do make sense.  While i feel like my Italian is good, there are some words that I don't know, so I would assume that the translations are, for the most part, correct.  I mean, google translate is a good tool to use, but I feel like you should always consult someone who really knows the language before you publish something like that.

Other than my obsession with the language in this book, I did enjoy the story.  I do have to admit that at some times, I wished it would move in a bit of a different direction.  Almost everything for the first 60% of the book revolves around Will and Meg's wedding.  I understand that a scene was trying to be set up to put Alecia and Dom in the same locations, while giving information about how they work in their jobs, but it just got a bit boring.  None of the other books revolved around one subject so much like that, and I found it odd.  However, I loved the continuation of the family dynamic with all of the siblings.  I liked how it showed Dom really enjoying the time he spends with his other siblings, and how the girls (Nat and Jules) help give him advice on how to get Alecia to go out with him.  I also loved how the other sibling's stories got completed (I can't expand on this without giving things away).

I was a little confused as to the timing of this book.  At first I couldn't figure out if this timeline was running concurrent with another story or if it was coming after Breathe with Me.  As it turned out, it was kind of running concurrent since Jax and Logan get married toward the end of the book.  I was having trouble figuring out certain things....Like were Mark and Meredith already engaged?  Or were they still dating?  etc.

There is conflict in the book.  There are past lovers and Alecia's backstory of her crazy parents, and while there was resolution, I did feel like a couple of the conflicts were thrown in just to make more of a story.  The resolution was fairly quick with all of the conflict, so it wasn't drawn out unnecessarily, but it was still a little to fast paced.  Since we did get to understand Alecia's parents a little bit better, I would have loved to see some better conflict resolution with them, and I would have loved to actually see what happened with Dom and his cousins in Italy, rather than just a passing comment about how everything was fixed.

All in all, I felt like it was a good book.  I do, however, feel like the characters from the previous book really helped me to like this book more.  In a way, I felt like this not only was a story about Dom and Alecia, but also a massive epilogue to tie together some of the other stories that weren't totally finished in their own books.  I really do wish that we had been able to get more material about Dom and Alecia and how their story really came to a close, but it still ended well.  The final epilogue was actually written in Steven Montgomery's point of view, and as the patriarch of the family, it was nice to close a lot of things out and see where the whole family was.

Overall, a fun read and a nice closeout to the series!!




Other books in the series:
Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle #1) (Natalie and Luke)
Under the Mistletoe with Me (With Me in Seattle #1.5) (Stacy and Issac)
Fight with Me (With Me in Seattle #2) (Jules and Nate)
Play with Me (With Me in Seattle #3) (Meg and Will)
Rock with Me (With Me in Seattle #4) (Leo and Sam)
Safe with Me (With Me in Seattle #5) (Brynna and Caleb)
Tied with Me (With Me in Seattle #6) (Nic and Matt)
Breathe with Me (With Me in Seattle #7) (Meredith and Mark)
Forever with Me (With Me in Seattle #8) (Alecia and Dom)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Every Breath (Every Life #1) by Tasha Ivey

~Synopsis~
How does someone give their heart away when they don’t have all of the pieces? Not that Makenna really wants a second chance at love anyway. She is stuck in her tragic past, secretly living every day for her deceased fiancĂ©, while her new boyfriend, Drew, is gently nudging her into the present. Desperate to appear normal again, she slaps on a happy face and goes through the motions of a normal, healthy relationship—but with the exception of even a single kiss. And she’s okay with pretending, but Drew needs more than she’s willing to give.

Surprisingly, it’s an innocent letter from a soldier halfway around the world that has her seeing life differently. Sawyer is at his breaking point, and his depression sucks him in deeper every day. Makenna becomes his only lifeline to home, and he’s hanging on by a very weak thread.

By helping him, Makenna learns to let go of grief before she’s left with only a ghost of the woman she once was, finally freeing her from guilt and showing her that it is possible to love again. But when she discovers that both of the men in her life are hiding something, she makes two shocking revelations. One of them is insanely in love with her, and one of them destroyed her happy ever after.

Even though a fairytale ending does await her, is she willing to face her own demons to fight for it?
~My Review~
«««««

I honestly don't know where I found this book.  I think it may have been on GoodReads as a recommendation, but I don't recall.  Either way, I absolutely loved this book.  I've actually read it more than once, and I would read it again if I were bored and didn't want to start a new book.

Makenna is a damaged soul.  She's stuck in the past, a tragic past, where she lost her fiance, Shane, in a car accident.  She wants so much to appear like she is living each day with everything she has, but she just can't.  Her best friend Callie, her husband (Shane's brother) Wes, Drew, and Sawyer all play huge roles in getting through to Makenna to heal past her tragic past and move into the future.  They all add to the story, which I absolutely loved, and really help move the story along in their own way.  I never felt like the story dragged, or went to fast.  I felt like I connected with the characters, and never once did I feel like parts of the story were unnecessary.  The story flowed really well, and I didn't have a hard time believing anything that was going on.

I really liked the character development in this book.  I felt like I really knew who Makenna was, and while she suffered so much day to day, I really understood her.  I felt for her when she was hurting, and agreed with a lot of her thoughts on dating Drew, how she felt about him, and then how she felt about Sawyer.  I loved the development of Drew throughout the story.  I felt like I knew what was going to happen with him from the beginning, but at the same time, loved that there were surprises along the way with him.  I absolutely loved Sawyer...I think I have a thing for military men, and he was no exception whatsoever.  He developed quite a bit throughout the story as well, and while I also felt like I knew what was going to happen with him too, it also wasn't obvious and I enjoyed reading through the development of the story.  Just like there were a couple ups and downs in the relationship between Makenna and Drew, the same was for Makenna and Sawyer, and it really added to the story.

There was definitely conflict in the book.  We start the book knowing that Makenna is suffering from her past, and she's going to need to get over that at some point.  But there is also other conflicts between Callie, Drew, and Sawyer, and none of it is silly or drawn out.  At the same time, all of the conflicts are resolved really well. In some books, I feel like the entire book is conflict, and then in about 2 pages, everything is resolved.  Not so much here.  While there are conflicts between Makenna and so many other people, everything is resolved at different times, and everything makes so much sense.

The book is a great length (4820 locations in Kindle, about 405 pages). There is no cliffhanger, and there is a wonderfully happy ending.  There is a second book in the series, but that focuses on the relationship between Callie and her husband, Wes.

I would totally recommend this story to everyone.  I loved every second of it, and loved that it was different that a lot of other books that I've read.  5 wonderful stars for this baby!!.


Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other Books in the Series:
Every Kiss (Every Life #2)
Every Glance (Every Life #3) (To Be Released)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Captivated by You (Crossfire #4) by Sylvia Day

~Synopsis~

The vows we'd exchanged should have bound us tighter than blood and flesh. Instead they opened old wounds, exposed pain and insecurities, and lured bitter enemies out of the shadows. I felt him slipping from my grasp, my greatest fears becoming my reality, my love tested in ways I wasn’t sure I was strong enough to bear.

At the brightest time in our lives, the darkness of his past encroached and threatened everything we’d worked so hard for. We faced a terrible choice: the familiar safety of the lives we’d had before each other or the fight for a future that suddenly seemed an impossible and hopeless dream…
~My Review~
«««««

I have been waiting FOREVER for this book to come out.  At least it feels like forever.  I loved the first three books in this series, and when I found out that it was going to be extended from 3 books to 5 books, I felt both excited and apprehensive at the same time.  Excited because I love Gideon, but apprehensive because I wanted to make sure that the books weren't going to be drawn out just for the heck of it with unnecessary drama.  I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed this book (hence the 5 stars), and I wasn't unhappy with any of the plot lines in the book.  I think that some of the story-lines maybe wouldn't have happened (Megumi, the details about Mark and Steven), but I still really enjoy reading about them.

This book is the fourth in line of the Crossfire series.  It picks up directly where book three left off.  The relationship between Gideon and Eva has always been tumultuous.  I have loved their relationship from the start, and the feelings that fly have the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  I absolutely love them together, even though they are both such damaged souls.  They've hurt each other, but they love each other harder, and as their relationship continues to grow, I love them more and more.

I loved this book because....WE GET GIDEON'S POV!!!!  O-M-G.  How exciting!  I remember a couple of snippets released and at least one of them was in Gideon's POV, but I thought maybe it was just a teaser.  Having both sides of the story added so much more depth into the series, and I really wished that books 1-3 had his POV, as well.  So many times in the first three books I wished I knew what Gideon was thinking...And now we know.  I loved hearing how much Gideon really loves Eva from his own POV, and I love reading about his vulnerabilities from his own POV, too.  Since I read Bared to You (I think in December of 2013), I have loved Gideon.  He is so strong and dominating, but he hides behind the successful businessman that everyone else knows.  Having his POV really shows the vulnerable man that he is, and in CBY, he has fought a lot of demons and really fought to understand himself.

So, so, so much happened in Captivated By You.  I reread the first three books just before this got released, so I didn't have to stop and think about what happened before.  I think that if I hadn't reread the first three books, I might have thought that CBY had too much going on.  We had the obvious story-line around Gideon and Eva, the development of their relationship, and how Gideon is fighting his demons.  Then, we had the story-lines around Corrine, Megumi, Christopher, Brett, and Cary, plus a few smaller characters here and there.  There was a lot going on!  Having reread those first three books, I remembered that even in those books, there was a ton going on, so I almost wasn't surprised there was so much.  Because so much happened in this book, One With You (Crossfire #5) is going to need A LOT of resolution.  There are still so many things that we need answers to, but I don't feel like I've been left totally in the dark.

One of the things I loved about this book was that we were introduced to some of Gideon's friends.  I liked to find out that he actually had friends (and wasn't just a workaholic), and that his friends are pretty cool.  We get to know his lawyer better, not just on a lawyer level, but also on a friend level, and I liked that.  We also got to know Chris, Gideon's step-father, and Ireland, Gideon's sister, a little bit better, and while the circumstances around us getting to know Chris aren't pretty, we see what kind of man he really is.  We already met Ireland in EWY, and I liked her then, and I like her now, too.  I really liked that we got to know Gideon's family a little bit better since we had already been introduced to Eva's parents on multiple occasions.

At the end of the day, there was a ton going on in this book, yet I loved every minute of it.  I do wish some of the story-lines had some resolution, but since everything is connected, I understand why we have seen a lot of movement with the stories, but no real resolution.  Through everything, Gideon and Eva have a crazy love for each other and they always stay strong.  Yes, they hurt each other and make mistakes, but they are passionate and love each other so much, I absolutely love them.  I really can't wait for Book 5 to get resolution, but I know that I'm not ready for their story to end.  I can't wait to see what happens next!.


Captivated By You
Captivated By You

Other books in the series:
Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Renegade Lady (Renegade Sons MC #1) by Dawn Martens & Emily Minton

~Synopsis~

Kiddrick "Kidd" Jones is the VP of the Renegades.  He will soon be taking over as President, and as soon as Chipper brings Jenna home and he meets her, he knows there is something special about her.  But knowing that she's too young, he makes himself stay away until she is 18.

When it comes time for Ice to take her place in the club, her only choices are to become an old lady or to become a club whore.  Her past has convinced her that she could never be an old lady, so she takes her place as a club whore, much to the chagrin of both Chipper and Kidd.

As time passes, Kidd can't keep ignoring Jenna knowing that he wants to make her his.  Will Jenna finally give love a chance, or is Kidd fighting for nothing?
~My Review~
««««

I came across this book after buying the Open Road Bikers Anthology on Amazon (which I believe is no longer available).  When I purchased the Anthology, I had not read many Biker Books, but I was excited to enter into this new world.  While I read quite a few different books, which I will blog about individually, I really enjoyed Renegade Lady.

Renegade Lady is the first book of the Renegade Sons MC Series by Dawn Martens & Emily Minton.  I was hooked into the story as soon as I began reading.  It was so different from any other kind of book I've ever read before.  The first thing I needed to understand was the dynamic of a Motorcycle Club.  It's dangerous and dark.  Lies, cheating, guns, drugs, and alcohol fly around like nothing I've ever seen.  Club whores are exactly that.  They are in the club for the use of the Club Members.  Even if the Club Members have "Old Ladies" (wives), they still sometimes sleep around with the club whores but Old Ladies cannot sleep with other members.  So while it seems completed sexist and ridiculous, it was just something that I had to accept as part of life of the MC.  This is not necessarily explained right up front, so it's something that I had to learn through the process of reading.  But now that I understand that, I feel like I can go into other MC books with this information and I'll only need to learn the nuances of the particular club I'm reading about.  Even though I had a lot of learning to do about the dynamics of life in an MC, it didn't take away from the fact that this was a very well written book.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but I love books where I am not constantly critiquing the grammar, etc.

The character development in the book is good.  Even though there is a six-year lapse in the story, it is bridged well. We are introduced to Jenna right away.  She is a sixteen year old girl whose father has given her to the son of the President of the Mateland club, a chapter of the Renegade Sons.  Against her will, she is considered Timmons' Old Lady, and is repeatedly abused and raped by him and one of his friends.  What I really like about Jenna is that while she is afraid that she is going to have to be brought back to Timmons, she doesn't let the repeated abuse and rapes of her past shape her, even as she grows into her future role in the headquarters club.  She does, however, grow hardened over time and holds other experiences close to her.  Even as she grows older, she holds grudges against her past.  She truly does earn the nickname "Ice."  We meet Kidd when Chipper brings Jenna back to the MC.  He recognizes Jenna as something special right away, and spends a lot of time with her.  Even though he tells people she's like his little sister (much to her horror), he knows she's different and special but recognizes that she's underage and there's nothing he can do with her until she turns 18. He's turns out to be the quintessential fuck-up, in that while waiting for her, he tries sleeping with someone else as her placeholder (um really??  You idiot!!).  I really loved both Jenna and Kidd, as well as the secondary characters involved in their story.  I loved to see how Chipper, who happens to be Kidd's older brother, took Jenna in and he and his wife treated her like a daughter.  I loved the relationships that Jenna forged with not only Chipper and Mindy, but also some of the other men in the club (sexual relationships, yes, but they were also meaningful friendships).  It was surprising to see so much softness and drama being played out by a bunch of Alpha Male MC guys; I wasn't expecting so much drama from this book.  At the same time, the characters didn't lack any of the gritty hardass qualities that you would expect from an MC, and I liked the balance of both. I have to admit that even though the MC is full of illegal things, I really liked that there is at least this firm understanding that the men cannot do anything with an underage girl.  The morals here are applauded.

The story flows well, but at the same time, a lot of the book is dedicated to the drama surrounding Jenna and Kidd. They are both incredibly stubborn and are driven by pride, and at times it's just infuriating. It's their story, and it wouldn't be what it is without it, but at the same time, I wanted to smack both of them and tell them to grow up and get with the picture.  Even while they are battling conflicts together, their stubbornness gets in their own way, and they have multiple battles going on at the same time.

Once we get past the main drama of Jenna and Kidd, there is still conflict that takes place, which forces Jenna and Kidd to rely on each other and work together.  I feel like this conflict is well play out and resolved appropriately.  Nothing is too abrupt or out of nowhere, and I appreciate the time that is taken to build this part of the story.  There are twists that connect the beginning to the end, and I feel like the characters' responses to what is happening is appropriate, and I like how everything plays out in the end.

The book is a good length at 389 pages (4081 location points for the Kindle users).  There is a happy ending (yay!), despite all of the drama, and there's no cliffhanger.  There is a second book in the series which focuses on Daisy and Preach, and I will definitely be reading that!

All in all, I liked this book.  It was totally different from all of the other books I've read, but I think I'll be adding other MC books into my reading rotation.  This story, in particular, was one of the better books that I read in the Biker Anthology that it was featured in..


Renegade Lady
Renegade Lady

Other books in the series:
Renegade Lady (Renegade Sons MC #1)
Renegade Reject (Renegade Sons MC #2)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Insidious (Tales from the Dark Side #1) by Aleatha Romig

~Synopsis~
When a powerful man is willing to risk everything for his own satisfaction, only one woman can beat him at his own game: his wife. Or so she thinks…

“Let’s start with you calling me Stewart. Formalities seem unnecessary.”

Stewart Harrington is rich, gorgeous, and one of the most powerful men in Miami. He always gets what he wants. Anything is available to him for the right price.

Being the wife of a mogul comes with all the perks, but being Mrs. Stewart Harrington comes with a few special requirements. I’ve learned to keep a part of myself locked away as my husband watches me submit to his needs. But the more he demands of me, the more beguiled he becomes and that’s to my advantage. So I keep fulfilling his fantasies and following his rules because he doesn't know that what he’s playing is really my game. And winning is everything, right?

Insidious is a stand-alone novel and the first Tales from the Dark Side title. Due to the dark and explicit nature of this book, it is recommended for mature audiences only.
~My Review~
««««

This book has been on my calendar as a to-be-released book for a while.  I read all of the Consequences books, and knowing that I liked Aleatha Romig's writing style, I figured I would add this to my list.  This book is different from many of the other books that I have read, as it's a Thriller, but I still was ready to read it.  However, once it was released, I honestly didn't know if I wanted to read it or not.  Maybe because it was something totally different from what I've been reading lately - I tend to get stuck in ruts where I want to read only Biker books or only Cowboy books, so I wasn't sure if I wanted to start something new.  I initially just downloaded a sample from Amazon so I could start reading the first couple chapters and see if I liked it or not.  By about 50% of the sample, I was still unsure, but once the sample was over, I decided that I needed to read the rest and figure out what the heck was going on!

18 year old Victoria Conway gets married to a much older Stewart Harrington.  With their marriage comes a contract, and that contract completely changes her life.  Married life seems starts off well; life is adventurous and exciting, until all of a sudden, everything changes.  The fairy tale doesn't exist, and soon Victoria's life is full of lies, revenge, and deception.

Consistent with all of Romig's other writing, this book is extremely well written.  I loved her style in the Consequences series, and while this was I was actually surprised that the book was written in 1st person.  I was so used to reading Consequences in 3rd person, that I just automatically expected that this would be the same.  However, the 1st person POV in this book really only gave us Victoria's perspective, which helped to hold the suspense.  Since we only saw what Victoria saw, we could make assumptions as to what was going on as she gave us information, but we really didn't know the whole of what was going on, which definitely made things more interesting.

The story itself was really interesting.  I can't really say much without giving stuff away, but it was definitely dark, with tons of plot twists, turns, and tons of conflict.  I did feel like it moved a bit slow.  Even the sample that I initially read put me off because it just seemed to be slow.  Once I got to the end of the sample, I knew I wanted to continue reading, so I bought the full version, but it still seemed to drag quite a bit at times.  Maybe it's the nature of a suspense-thriller novel like this?  I'm not sure.

The characters were all very interesting.  There were tons of plot twists and turns, so I was seriously suspicious of everyone and often changed my mind on who was a good guy and who was a bad guy.  Even Victoria.  I couldn't figure her out.  She was very strong, but at times I couldn't figure out if it was strong in a good way or a bad way.  At the same time, I couldn't figure out if I liked her husband, or hated him.  With each new bit of information that I learned about what their contract meant, my opinion of him changed.  The same with other characters.  I found myself hating one person, and then changing my opinion a million times before making a final conclusion.

I mentioned that the story dragged at times.  Once I finally started getting answers, I felt like the book was over.  There was a ton of conflict throughout the book, and there was a lot that needed to be resolved.  However, I felt like the resolution came and went very quickly, and when the book ended, I still had questions.  Some of the questions are touched at, so I have an idea of maybe what happened, but I wished there was a concrete "this is what happened" type of description.  The ending itself leaves off on a question.  Not so much a cliff hanger, but potentially a cliff hanger.  It leaves you wondering, OK, what's going on?  Definitely a fun way to end the story!

So at the end of the day, you have a suspense-thriller romance book, that includes a Billionaire husband, a huge age difference, a manipulative wedding, a crazy contract, family secrets drama, questionable deaths, betrayal, and revenge.  While it was all very interesting, I rated the book 4 stars because of the unanswered questions and somewhat slow pace.  Other than that, it was an excellent read and I would recommend it!.


Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Mr. Beautiful (Up in the Air #4) by R.K. Lilley

~Synopsis~
It is a distinct feeling. Impossible to mistake. The very marked sensation of being unraveled and reknit into a new thing, a new person. It can be good or bad, helpful or harmful, but above all, it is unstoppable. I was remade when my parents died, went from a happy childhood, into navigating a very dark world, with endless responsibilities, surrounded by enemies, and despairingly alone.

It happened again at the hands of a cowardly predator. I’d become angrier with that one, more cynical, and it undoubtedly turned me into the kinky f**k I was today.

The third happened swiftly. One day I looked up into a pair of pale blue eyes and saw the other half of my soul. Checkmate. I went from a completely controlled existence, a life where I made every decision with cold calculation, to a man overcome with feelings and emotions that were foreign but somehow wonderful.

And all too soon after that cataclysmic change was this fourth one, this one where I begged a God I’d never entertained to spare the life of a woman that I could not live without.

The Up in the Air Series, with James's point of view.  As well as a bit of Stephan, Tristan, Jared, Frankie, and Akira.
~My Review~
«««

I have had this book on my reading list for what feels like ages.  I've wanted to read it since it was first announced and I felt like the waiting period was just painful.  I absolutely love the Up in the Air books, and my impression from the little that RK Lilley shared on her blog was that this book was going to be great.  In anticipation for this book, I reread the books leading up to this one, including the Tristan & Danika books, and Lana, since we were told that we wouldn't just get James's point of view in this book.  I blogged about these books last week.

This book is technically labeled as "Up in the Air 4" and with that in mind, my main hope was that most of the book would be from James's point of view.  We know about James and how much he loves Bianca, how protective he is of her, and how possessive he is, but since all three of the other books were from Bianca's point of view, with the exception of a couple chapters at the end of Book 3, we really didn't get much at all from his POV.  At one point in the excruciating waiting period, it was announced that we wouldn't just get POVs from James, but also Stephan, Tristan, Frankie, Jared, and Akira.  I have to admit, that when I heard that news, I wasn't all that excited.  I really just wanted to focus on James.  My reason?  Well, in the Tristan and Danika books, they're already in both points of view (Tristan & Danika), so we get a lot of what Tristan is thinking.  We get a chapter from Frankie's point of view, and Jared is a secondary character so we really don't get much at all from him.  And Akira is also a very small character - we really don't know him very well.  I felt like if I got a book with just a bunch of chapters from 6 different characters, I would have been disappointed.

Instead, most of the main book is from the Point of Views of James and Stephan.  We get a bit of the "past" (When James first met Bianca and when Stephan and Bianca were living on the streets together) and then the "present" (after the accident).  I like books that are from both Points of View, but I don't like books where the alternate POV is just a repeat of what happened in the first place.  When you read James's POV, there are some overlapping scenes, but what's repeated is minimal and there is some new information.  I love reading all of his stories from after the accident, since that's all new material for us.  I love reading Stephan's stories because they're also brand new, since they're really only hinted at by Bianca.

I have to say, though, that the story line, in my opinion, was not really there.  Really, I felt like this was just a collection of different stories from a different either James or Stephan (Mostly James.  Stephan's story is minimal).  Don't get me wrong.  I liked it.  And in a way, there was a continuation of the first 3 books.  But the chapters didn't flow.  It was more like Chapter 1 is for this scenario, Chapter 2 is for another scenario, etc.  I did really love seeing James's love for Bianca from his own perspective, as well as his crazy Alpha-Maleness but it was almost as if each chapter was an individual story in and of itself.

And yes, there were POV chapters from Tristan, Frankie, Jared, and Akira.  But it was just one chapter each.  I was happy that we got a little bit from these characters, but also happy that they weren't just thrown into the middle of the main book.  If that were the case, it wouldn't have made any sense at all.  Instead, they were just written in as "Bonus Scenes" and it worked out well.

The book, in total, was 4729 location points long (Kindle Readers).  The James/Stephan part ended around 3100 (It was really mostly .  Then there are teasers from other books by RK Lilley (The Other Man and Crossing Fire), an Epilogue for Lovely Trigger (which was hilarious), then Bonus James POV's.  These are essentially repeats of some of the things that happen in Bianca's POV, but are still entertaining.  This lasts from 3505-4444 and I honestly couldn't really figure out why these weren't part of the actual book.  I'm guessing that since they added no extra content, and they were just the same story from the alternate POV that they were kept separate.  After that, we get the Bonus Point of Views from Tristan, Jared, Frankie, and Akira.

Overall, I liked getting the extra reading from James's POV.  The scenes from Stephan were fun, and the little extras from Tristan, Jared, Frankie, and Akira were also entertaining.  I liked how there were recaps of what happened in the first three books, as well as new scenes from after Grounded, Lovely Trigger, and Lana ended.  I thought it was another very well written piece from RK Lilley that helped feed my addiction of James Cavendish.  It was entertaining, but it lacked.  The overall layout wasn't great.  I felt like the teasers for The Other Man and Crossing Fire should have been the very last thing - They really interrupted the flow.  I felt like Stephan's extras should have been a part of the end extra Bonus Scenes and the main book should have just been left for James.  And I really wished there was more of a plot instead of just a compilation of extra stories.  So likes and dislikes gives this book a 3 star rating for me....



Other books in the series:
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)
Lana (A Novella)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Review: Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3) by R.K. Lilley

~Synopsis~
Tristan hit rock bottom, and no one felt the impact harder than Danika.  She learned the very hard lesson that love does not conquer all and she was forced to walk away, bruised, bloody, and broken.

After six years of keeping her distance, Danika is forced to spend the weekend with Tristan 
at the wedding of James and Bianca.  She strives to maintain the distance she has put between them over the years, yet she is determined to spend the weekend with Tristan and keep everything friendly between them.  However, just a small amount of time together has Danika remembering what she forced herself to forget:  There was a good reason why she went through hell with Tristan, and many of those reasons are good enough to outweigh all the bad reasons.

After everything that has happened and everything they've been through, can Tristan and Danika find themselves, let the past regrets go, and find the strength to try again?

~My Review~
«««««

I waited what feels like forever for this book.  This was the first book by RK Lilley that wasn't already published when I started the series.  And I'll tell you something:  It was totally worth waiting for!  This was my favorite book in the entire Tristan & Danika series, and I think it's because I'm a sucker for a happy ending.  This is truly a second chance romance story, and if you were on the fence about the first two books, this book will change your mind and make all the pain totally worth it.

Books 1 and 2 really lay the groundwork for all the pain and suffering that both Tristan and Danika endured to make their estrangement in the Up in the Air series make sense.  Once we read the first two books, and the Up in the Air series, we knew that something huge had happened, and that they have essentially spent the last 5-6 years avoiding each other and not talking.  So what happened in those lost years?  Well, Lovely Trigger explains it all.

Lovely Trigger has a completely different setup than all the other books.  It's still told in both Point of Views, but it gives us a little bit of each information:  One year after the accident, two years after the accident, three years after the accident, etc.  During each year of their separation, we got a glimpse of how they were coping, how they dealt with the loss of their best friend and lover, and whether or not they were moving on or if they were still hung up on each other.  Every year that they were separated, I hoped that would be the year they rekindled their relationship, knowing that it was probably going to be a long time before we finally saw them together again.  I was happy to see, however, that despite the years and everything that happened throughout the time they weren't together, they still loved each other fiercely.

When they finally did rekindle their relationship and start dating everything, it was all at a pace that made sense.  Nothing was rushed, and nothing was drawn out.  It really was perfect in every way.  They were able to rebuild what had been shattered, and come to trust one another again.  There was still pain and heartache, but there were many more happy moments than sad moments.  The games they played with each other, how they teased each other, how they loved each other:  it was all perfect.

I was most curious about how much of the accident that Tristan learned throughout the years or if he was still ignorant that he was the one to put Danika in the car with Dean.  I wondered that if he really had no clue, would Danika tell him?  And if she did, how would he react?  Also, we know from the end of Book 2 that the Doctor had told Danika that she wouldn't be able to have children.  I always wondered if there was absolutely no chance that she could have children, or if she just didn't have much of a chance but it was still possible.  And once again, how would Tristan react to this news?  I'm happy to say that Lovely Trigger answered all my questions, and I wasn't disappointed!

I am a huge sap for a love story.  I always knew that Tristan and Danika were going to end up together.  I was so happy that even through everything the experienced, they were able to have their happily ever after.

I did think that there were a few unnecessary things in there, and while I don't want to spoil the surprise, I felt like there was an old relationship of Tristan's that could have been left out and it wouldn't have affected the story at all.  It just didn't add anything to the story for me.  But other than that, I really loved everything about this book!!.


Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other books in the series:
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Spinoffs: 
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
Lana (A Novella)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2) by R.K. Lilley

~Synopsis~
Rock Bottom picks up where Bad Things left off.  Reeling from a profound loss, Tristan and Danika struggle to pick up the pieces and build a life together, but the hard habits of a lifetime are not so easy to escape.  Rock Bottom takes up on a dual point of view journey through addiction and desire, through love and agony, and answers the question we've been asking since these characters were introduced in Grounded:  "What happened between Tristan and Danika?"

Danika is consumed by her love for Tristan.  But is her love enough to overpower their demons?

Tristan knew that Danika was the one.  She was always on his mind, and he constantly longed for her.  He wouldn't survive without her.

Can these two save their relationship?  Or will the train wreck continue?
~My Review~
««««

Rock Bottom picks up directly where Bad things left off.  Knowing that there's going to be a book 3, and knowing what I knew of their relationship (or lack thereof) in Up in the Air, I had a feeling that things weren't going to be pretty in this book.  Also, there's a picture of Tristan on the cover, and the title is Rock Bottom...Therefore, I went into this book assuming that Tristan does, in fact, hit rock bottom, and that things aren't going to be pretty.  The question is, What else happens to come between Tristan and Danika?  And how does Danika get her limp?

I loved that the book is told to us in alternating POV's.  I think it's really important to really see what's going on in both of their heads.  I feel as though Rock Bottom is really mostly Tristan's story, with Danika feeling much of the effects of of his actions, so it was really important to hear where they were both coming from.

My heart really went out to Tristan in this book.  He's the bad boy and a true Alpha - he is constantly trying to protect Danika and is always trying to save her from something.  But unfortunately, he does that to his own detriment.  While he's trying so hard to protect other people, he's barely keeping his head above water.  He went a really long time not seeing himself for who he really is, and that in turn not only hurt himself, but it also hurt Danika and their relationship.  He wants so bad to be a rockstar, but he really just can't handle living like a rockstar.

They were so in love with each other throughout the entire book, but I won't lie:  There were times I needed to put the book down and walk away.  Certain times, it was just too painful to keep reading.  It was as if anything that could go wrong, did go wrong, and I just didn't want to have to see it written down on paper.  I wanted so bad for T&D to have their happily ever after, and I wanted it to happen in this book, and I knew.  I knew.  It just wouldn't happen.

Does the book end on a Cliffhanger?  Yes.  No.  I don't know.  Kind of.  They've both reached their breaking point.  When the book ends, it's still five years before James and Bianca's wedding, and we know from those books that Tristan is still very much in love with Danika.  But she really feels like she can't give him what she's looking for....Just their conversation during Bianca's art showing in Grounded tells us that in no way, at this point, is their story over.

I think it's clear that it's going to take a long time for for T&D to reconcile and get back together.  I've read book 3 already at the time I'm writing this, but at the time I finished (and I had to wait quite a while before Book 3 even came out), I honestly didn't know if they would actually get their happily ever after.  Did the events leading up to what gave Danika her limp leave her with any other injuries? And what happens when Tristan actually finds out what happens on that fateful night?

So yea, there's still a lot more for us to find out.  But at least we're not only reading heartache in this book.  They do really love each other, and they have some wonderful times together.  It's also fun to get a little bit of Fankie's POV, and we see James Cavendish in his Alpha Dominant glory well before Bianca even comes into the picture.  It's fantastic!

Overall, Rock Bottom doesn't disappoint.  The story flows well, and I know that even though the direction that it's going in that it may be painful, but I had faith the entire way through that the series would round out well.  I'm excited for the happy reunion that I know Book 3 will bring!.


Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)

Other books in the series:
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)
Spinoffs
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
Lana (A Novella)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1) by R.K. Lilley

~Synopsis~
Danika hasn't had an easy life.  The fact that she is always attracted to the bad boys hasn't made it any easier.  After just one look at Tristan, all logical thought flees her mind.  Tristan is trouble.  She knew better than to start a relationship with him, but she did it anyway.

While Danika has always been focused on the future with single-minded purpose, Tristan managed to teach her everything about letting go and living for the moment.  She falls hard and fast.

This isn't a typical love story, this is a train wreck. This is Tristan and Danika.

Both Tristan and Danika have small roles in the Up in the Air Series.  However, this can be read as a standalone book.
~My Review~
««««

I bought this book right after I finished reading the Up in the Air Series.  Having been introduced to Tristan and Danika then, I honestly couldn't wait to hear their story.  I wasn't sure what to expect, whether their relationship was going to be a lot like James and Bianca's (would it have the BDSM aspect?) or if it would be totally different.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that their story was completely different.  Once again, just like the books in Up in the Air, I couldn't put this book down!!

Danika lives a very ordered and somewhat boring life.  She works as a nanny for a family in Las Vegas, she goes to school, and she dances.  Other than that, she doesn't seem to have many friends and she never goes out.  When Danika meets Tristan, he turns her world upside down.  Tristan is the complete opposite of Danika, living life for the moment, overindulging, and is just Trouble.  While Tristan has no qualms about starting a relationship with Danika, she pushes back, knowing that she's attracted to the bad boy and that Tristan is the epitome of bad boy.  They attempt to keep their relationship as uncomplicated as possible, but that really only works for a short time before they both give in to their feelings and make their relationship a real thing.

This book really defined the "opposites attract" theory.  Danika was serious about life, sometimes to the extreme, and only did relationships.  Tristan was sometimes not serious enough about life, and only did hookups.  These choices came from their pasts, where Danika came from an abusive home and craved the stability of a serious relationship, and Tristan, having fallen in love at a young age and then having his heart broken, never wanted to have his heart broken again and only wanted quick hookups.  The only thing they really had in common was trust issues and the fact that they really liked each other.  The characters were so well developed that I couldn't help but fall in love with them.

Their chemistry literally almost lit my kindle on fire.  I loved first how they created such an amazing friendship, and then how they skirted the lines of friendship, teased each other mercilessly, and eventually finally gave in.  Their relationship, once they dated, was crazy, as well.  The scenes (lots of sex!) were totally different than anything we read in Up in the Air, and they were totally original and fit into T&D's personalities.

The book flowed so well.  Never once did I feel bored, or feel like things were moving too slow, or even feel like things were moving too fast.  I loved how we got little glimpses of some of the characters from Up in the Air.  T&D's story takes place about 5 years before James and Bianca, so while we never once see Bianca, we do see a very promiscuous James, his swank pad (the pool in Vegas), and Frankie & Estella.  I also love to see the relationships.  We get to see how Tristan and Danika both meet James and how Frankie and Danika meet.

I do have to admit, that while it's easy to love Tristan (the fact that he could cook/bake, the body, the tattoos, the dimples, the rock band, and the Alpha Male possessiveness and 
protectiveness over Danika), there were a lot of times when I just wanted to strangle him.  Yes, he was charming, but he just needed to get his head in the game!  Danika brought out the good in him, the man that wanted to commit to a woman, but there were still so many times when I just wanted to shake my fist at him.  I honestly did not like his friends, at all, and while his friends help to define who Tristan is, they just had bad news and bad influence written all over them.

Once they finally gave into each other, their relationship was hard work.  At the end of the day, we are all shaped by our pasts, and Tristan and Danika are not exempt of this.  Tristan can't do commitment and Danika can do casual and when things go wrong, they really go wrong.  I could see both of their points of view, and while I was more inclined to side with Danika, I could still understand where they were both coming from.  Neither of Tristan or Danika's pasts stay in the past, and it's interesting to see how their pasts shape their current relationship.  Tristan's relationship with his brother and mother is beautiful, but it's not always happy.

The book runs about 360 pages (6008 Location Points for Kindle users), and as I mentioned before, it flows really well.  But it isn't all happy moments.  It's also intense, sometimes tragic, and difficult.  While the book doesn't end on a cliffhanger in Tristan & Danika's relationship, their story is definitely not over.  We're treated to Chapter 1 of Rock Bottom, so we get an idea of what may happen in Book 2.  And it won't be pretty.  We know, from Up in the Air, that Tristan and Danika's story, at least until we get to Bianca and James's timeline, doesn't end happily, so we can only guess that they won't find their Happily Ever After for a while, if at all.  I started reading this book once Rock Bottom had already been released, so I know that there's a book 3 for T&D....So it's going to take a while before they can work through everything..


Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other books in the series:
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)
Spinoffs: 
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up int he Air #3)
Lana (A Novella)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review: Lana (A Novella) by R.K. Lilley

~Synopsis~
Lana has been in love with Akira for as long as she can remember.  Akira may have viewed her as his little sister, but even that didn't deter her feelings.  Their one night together on her 18th birthday may have made things even worse when after seducing Akira, Lana realizes that their love affair is one sided.  Heartbroken and humiliated, Lana flees her home in Hawaii and buries herself in school, and then the family business.

Eight years later, Lana is forced back to Hawaii where her plans are limited to business only.  When she is reunited with Akira, her plans are shot to hell.
~My Review~
««««

We met Lana in the Up in the Air series, when Lana helps Bianca after she is tag teamed in the bathroom at the charity event.  We know that Lana is from originally from Hawaii, and holds a love for Akira.  This book is their full story in detail, and it's a fun little read.

This novella is a fun read, and it tells the story of Lana and Akira, both when Lana was just 18, and then 8 years later when she returns to Maui.  She insists that she is going to keep the trip focused on just work, but she honestly gets about zero work done in the entire novella.

There is really not a lot of conflict in the book, other than the fact that she slept with Akira when she was 18, realized that she was the only person with feelings, and then left.  They do need to spend time resolving their feelings and trusting one another again, however.  And it's so much fun to read.

Lana has loved Akira forever, and it's so much fun to see that he has apparently harbored a love for Lana for just as long.  Their chemistry is hot hot hot and the feelings they have for each other, as well as their love adds great depth to the story.  It was great to see them come together and finally get their Happily Ever After.

The book is short, only 100 pages, but there's a lot going on in a little time, so you still get a great story.  It's a fast read, and very enjoyable!

We do get a glimpse of Bianca, James, and Stephan, and if you haven't finished reading the Up in the Air Series, you'll want to finish that first so that you don't ruin any surprises!.


Link to Amazon
Link to Nook

Other books in the series:
In Flight (Up in the Air #1)
Mile High (Up in the Air #2)
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
Spinoffs:
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan & Danika #2)
Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3)