Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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

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


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


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)