Wicked

Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer Armentrout

4 Tink stars!

“I’m a lot of things, but today I’m your fucking saving grace.”

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This one was a nice surprise! After seeing a handful of negative reviews on this one, I went into it with lowered expectations. I came out of this reading experience a very happy girl! And after 2 previous books I DNF’d, I need this gem of a story.

First off, this book is very much New Adult genre, so don’t go into it thinking it’s YA. The fact that in Chapter 1 the MC is discussing getting laid and orgasms is the first giant sign.

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Ivy is a member of an Order that can see fae in our realm. Faeries aren’t the good guys, in fact they feed off of humans with deadly consequences. Living in New Orleans, Ivy has a very tragic past and does her best to keep those around her at arms length. That is, until she’s assigned a new partner Ren, who is hotness come to life and very much interested in her.

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This book had me smiling the majority of the time I was reading it. It’s not the most original plot, but it was enjoyable and it worked for me. Because my brain is a bit fried at the moment, I’m doing a breakdown review.

What I liked:
-Ivy: A great mix of kick ass woman with a little but of a vulnerable girl in her, Ivy wants more than the predicted short life span the Order has to offer. Ivy dreams of a future of moreand I found that admirable.

-Tink: Loved this guy, he was freaking hilarious. Especially that Dobby house elf scene. LMAO!

“You gave Tink a scarf. Tink is free!” He flew out into the hallway like a little cracked-out fairy, screeching, “Tink is freeeeee!”

-Ren’s determination: While he was spewing a bunch of instalust, Ren made the point that in their line of work, they had to chase after what they wanted with no hesitations. And he wanted Ivy and his pursuit of her was so much fun to read.

-Pop culture references: I’m fairly certain that this book is self-published, and I feel because of that JLA was able to include references to Harry Potter, The Walking Dead, Amazon Prime etc, which yes will date this book in the future, but gave the book a unique touch that I rather enjoyed.

“Why couldn’t he say I reminded him of Ariel or something? Then again, Ariel was kind of stupid, giving up her voice for a dude.”

-Setting: I’ve always wanted to go to New Orleans, so enough said.

What I didn’t like:
-Pacing: Got a little slow there in the middle and I did have to push myself a bit to keep going. But it soon picked up and remedied itself

-Cliffhanger: Gah! We have to wait until Summer 2015 for answers!! JLA you wound meh!!!

-Predictability: <—that pretty much says it all.

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Bottom line, if you need a quick, unique New Adult read mixed with a little bit of Urban Fantasy, this book is for you!

Top 10 books I read in 2014

There are so many books I read this year that were winners. Bravo for a wonderful year in books! These are the top 10 books this year that stuck their hooks in my heart and will never let go. I highly recommend picking up all of these books for a an amazing read.

10. The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L. B. Simmons

Beautiful story of a young woman who must come to terms with her past and present.

9. Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie

The story of Daisy and Ryke and how their friendship becomes a full blown forbidden romance. Must read all of the previous Addicted series books before this one.

8. rock by Anyta Sunday

An M/M romance between two stepbrothers in New Zealand. This book has some serious feels.

7. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A young married couple takes unusual risks to save their marriage when they find they cannot stand each other anymore. Both agree to take an extended amount of time apart from each other to find out what they want.

6. Thin Love by Eden Butler

The angsty and intense romance of college sweethearts Keira and Kona.

5. Dust to Dust by Karina Halle

The conclusion to the Experiment in Terror series, Dex and Perry must fight the ultimate evil in their lives.

4. Rome by Jay Crownover

The unlikely romance of military man Rome, and pixie tattooed Cora.

3. The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Modern day telling of the Medusa myth, and the God Hermes who saved her.

2. Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

Friends to lovers tale of Nate and Olivia. I’ve lost track of how many times I have reread this book this year. Truly a masterful romance!

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

The 3rd book about Celeana Sardothien, the king’s assassin. I can’t say much else for fear of spoilers, but I’m pretty sure my head exploded with how amazing this book is!

 

Six of Hearts

Six of Hearts by L. H. Cosway

4 stars!

“People love shit that’s all obscure and mysterious.”

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Well, this is a book bandwagon I’m glad I jumped into. There’s been so many positive reviews written about this book since it’s release, and to be honest, I tend to stay away from the flavor of the month book because most of the time, I end up disappointed. That’s not the case with this book.

Placed in Ireland, Matilda works as a secretary for her father in his small law firm. One day the illusionist Jay Fields walks in and proceeds to turn their world around. A slanderous article has been published about Jay, and he wants Matilda’s father to assist him with the lawsuit. On top of this, Jay has rented a room with her father and is now living with the two of them for an indefinite amount of time.

“Note to self: Never try to out-trick a trickster.”

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I honestly put this book down around 17% because the pacing was slow and other shinier books were calling to me. But with the urging of many of my GR’s friends, I returned to this book to finish what I started. Around 22%, the book began to pick up some speed. At the beginning I really had to overlook how weird this book was set up. It all made sense by the end, but for me this dude just waltzed into these peoples’ live and made himself at home.

I really loved Matilda as the heroine. She was a little insecure from her dating inexperience, but it was charming and not at all annoying. Jay, well, we all know Jay is amazing. And I don’t want to inflate his ego so I will not continue.

About 50% of the way into the book I was growling with frustration. What was Jay’s game? Were he and Matilda friends? Dating? FWB? Give me a label people!!!! I call this point of the book the Frustration Game, as in:
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I mean really, he performs oral on her and then is all like “I can only be friends” to Matilda. Blow me asshole. Stop giving me whiplash!! Luckily, around 60% all that shit was remedied.

Was it my favorite book of the year? No. Was it a fun and entertaining read? Yep! The banter was witty, the chemistry off the charts, and the side characters very well developed. I call this book a success!

“I might tell you that you’re mine, but you need to understand that it goes both ways. I belong to you, too.”

My Beloved

My Beloved (Thin Love #1.5) by Eden Butler

4.5 Oh My God KONA YOU IDIOT stars

“Only you, Wildcat. Only you could give me this. Only you could make my heart this damn full.”

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My Beloved is a short story that picks up a few months after the end of Thin Love. Kona and Keira are getting married and finally having their happily ever after. Except, the wedding is kind of a disaster and the paparazzi won’t leave Keira and Ransom alone.

I loved this short story if only because Eden Butler delivered all of the feels. Lots of love, angst, desperation and anger from all over the map in this one. This short story shows that Keira and Kona have to fight for their HEA, it’s not something that comes easily wrapped up at the end of the last book.

Kona was for sure a gigantic jackass in this short story. Like a true guy, he didn’t really understand how badly he fucked up until it all blew up in his face. I could not get over what an oblivious idiot he was being in his choices, especially because he seemed terrified and insecure about Keira leaving him.

One of my favorite tiny aspects of this book was the closure Keira was able to come to in regards to her relationship with her mother. In the previous book she seemed so evil and uncaring, but this novella proved that Keira’s mom really did love her in her own messed up way.

I mentioned this in my last review, but I’ll say it again. I HATE how Keira calls Kona “Bebe”. I always without fail imagine the little girl from South Park who developed early. So .5 points off for that. But that’s just one of my weird pet peeves.

“I lost you once, Keira. It cost me decades. It cost me a lifetime of memories with you, with my son. I’m not doing that shit again.”

You Were Mine

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

3.75 I hate myself for loving these books stars

“Things worth having don’t come easy. You have to fight for it until you’re tired of fighting, and then you take a breather and fight some more.”

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You Were Mine is an Abbi Glines book I was excited to read. I’ve noticed as an author she has the rare ability to make me like a character I’ve had doubts about previously. Bethy is the perfect example of this. To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve read the first books in these series, Bethy and Jace’s relationship never really stood out to me. And I honestly didn’t even remember who Tripp was until it was mentioned he was the dude who sent Della to Rosemary Beach. Because of this, I feel like I got a fresh start on these characters.

Eight years ago, Bethy and Tripp had their own summer romance when Bethy was 16 and Tripp was 18. They met at a party, and decided to become friends. Tripp and Bethy never told anyone they were hanging out, and when romantic feelings developed, they didn’t say anything in fear of Tripp going to jail.

Tripp desperately wanted to escape the rich world built for him in Rosemary Beach, and he need to leave. Tripp just couldn’t take Bethy with him. The plan was to have her wait for him and then leave together when she was 18, but things went wrong and Tripp lost Bethy.

Eight years later and Tripp still loves Bethy, despite her hatred of him. Bethy lost her boyfriend Jace, Tripp’s cousin, in a tragic accident and has been slowly been wasting away with grief. Tripp finds he cannot leave the girl he loves to wither away, so he does his best to watch over her.

“It matters to me that you’re safe.”

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I think that this is the one of the most sad and angsty books Abbi Glines has ever written. Bethy’s inner struggle with her grief and regret was so heartbreaking. All of her friends tried their best to help her, but it was a battle she needed to fight on her own, but having their support helped. Tripp was an amazing hero with a heart of gold. He was never really the “bad guy” even with the mistakes he made 8 years previous because he was just trying to do what was best for him, and for Bethy.

This was probably the best installment for me in this series. Honestly this series has just been getting better with each book. Don’t kill me people, but the Blair and Della books were solid 3 star reads for me, but with Harlow and Bethy, we got something a little more complicated than the typical romance, and I like it. Sometimes with Ms. Glines books they can seem repetitive or cheesy. I didn’t get either one of those things when reading this book. Yes, it’s a chick book, and a guilty pleasure read, but it was a wonderful story and a great break from reality.

My only issue was I felt like the flashbacks were cut off short. They were very present at the beginning and then suddenly gone. It didn’t flow as well as it could have I guess. But otherwise this was a great read.

Looking forward to the next book, which doesn’t come out until April 2015. Boo!

Dark Triumph

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers

4.5 stars!

“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.”

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These books just keep getting better and better!

A daughter of Saint Mortain, Sybella has been trained in the art of assassinry and death. Now that she is a grown woman and fully prepared, the nuns send Sybella to return to her childhood home to spy on her father, and to endure the horrors within.

One evening, Sybella is tasked with aiding the prisoner, Beast, in his escape from the dungeon. From there I cannot say more, as it would give away much of the plot.

“Jewels can be replaced. Independence, once lost, cannot.”

First off, I’d like to note that I rarely if ever, read and enjoy historical fiction. My undergraduate major was general history, so I tend to find historical inaccuracies in many of the HF books I read and it bugs me. I always find myself second guessing what’s happening. For example I end up asking myself questions or making statements such as: “Why are you not pregnant already?!” or “They would never be unchaperoned in that time period.” or “That is such a modern word phrasing, they would never say that.” I never found myself doing these things when reading these books. Since this series has an element of magic, I pretty much have been able to overlook these. Plus, these books are just so good that I throw all of my history pet peeves out of the window.

I liked this book so much better than the first one for many reasons. For one, I found the main characters to be incredibly interesting and way more complex than the MC’s in the first book.

Sybella: she is cunning, smart, untrustworthy, not quick to trust others, haunted, and abused.

Beast: A man described as that ugly has never been more attractive in the readers’ eyes. Beast was a strong, kind, funny, loyal and caring man, and quite honestly, the perfect man for Sybella.

The romance between Beast and Sybella, while not at the forefront of the book, contained some of the sweetest moments. I love the two of them together. It made sense that Sybella would look past Beast’s not so handsome features and see him for the valuable man he was on the inside. Beast was also huge so he could easily overcome her in a fight, which not many can do. These characters, they just clicked right together.

The continuation of the themes from the first book was present in this book.
Do not use a higher power to justify your own actions.
-Think for yourself and make your OWN conclusions.
-(specific to the book) Just because someone is marked, does not mean they need to be assassinated.

Basically I loved this book. The only thing I don’t really care for is the political plot, as it doesn’t interest me. But it cannot be avoided as it is essential to the plot, so I do my best not to skim it.

“Truly, we are the gods’ own children, forged in the fire of our tortured pasts, but also blessed with unimaginable gifts.”

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Note: This book is the 2nd in a series and the 1st book must be read before this one in order to understand what is going on.

The Saint

The Saint (The Original Sinners: The White Years #1) by Tiffany Reisz

4.5 stars

“You’re not a normal priest, are you?”
“My God, I hope not.”

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I LOVE LOVE this author!!! I know going into any book she’s written I will read something original and something that will suck me in right from the beginning. I love her writing style.

The Saint is the sort of prequel to the Original Sinners series. Nora finds herself in Germany, grieving, and ends up telling the tale of how she and Søren met. I am so glad that Tiffany Reisz wrote this book, and although I know you’re techincally not supposed to, I wish I had read this book before reading The Siren.

I know lots of you loved Søren right from the beginning, but it actually took until The Prince for me to like him, and that was the flashbacks from his school boy days. Plus, in The Siren the negative opinions of Wesley and Zack are so prominent, I feel like it influenced my original opinion of him. I loved Søren in this book (for the most part). I found him insightful, caring and at times, hilarious.

“Well, a priest is better than a eunuch for advice, then. I’m guessing you still have all your original parts.”
“Warranty included.”

In this book I really grew to love Søren and Nora’s relationship. I had only liked Søren previously because of him and Kingsley (love them together). I still like Søren and Kingsley more than him and Nora.

“When you hear music so beautiful it gives you chills, those are angel wings brushing against you.”

In this book I grew to hate Nora’s mom. I honestly think that Nora was a victim of neglect because her mother didn’t care about her, like at all.

****SPOILERS UP NEXT BEWARE!!!*****
Why not 5 stars? I had an issue with something Søren did. When he basically abandoned her for one year after she acted “childish”. Whatever, the punishment did not fit the crime asshole. Good for you for teaching her you wouldn’t be there for her when she needed you most. Ugh.

Amour Amour

Amour Amour by Krista and Becca Ritchie

4 Circus is Family stars

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So it’s no secret that I have a giant literary girl crush on the Ritchie twins. In a world of generic NA, these two writers are the diamonds in the rough of their genre. As a reader, I know going into every single one of their books that I will be transfixed by the lives of their characters as if I knew them myself. Their books are unique, evoking, and beautiful. Amour Amour is all of these things as well.

Thora is a college student who decides to drop her entire life in Ohio to go and audition for a Vegas stage show Amour, which is kind of like the Cirque de Solei shows. Thora has risked her entire future on this audition, her scholarship, degree, friendships and her relationship with her family to pursue her dream.

On her first night in Vegas, she meets Nikolai, an alluring Russian. After quite the memorable meeting, Thora shows up to her audition and one of the judges is of course Nikolai. Without spoiling much, Thora’s audition doesn’t go according to plan, but she remains in Vegas anyway. That’s when Nikolai offers to train Thora.

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I found this book to be very refreshing and remarkable. The strongest themes were self-discovery and to follow your dreams, and as cheesy as that sounds, it really wasn’t. Thora worked her ass off to be where she was, and she loved every second of it, the good and the bad.

One of my favorite parts of this book, and honestly my favorite aspects of all of these authors’ books, is the side characters. Many books and authors have side characters in the background for the majority of the book, someone waiting in the wings until their cue to help guide the main characters toward their climax (book climax, stop thinking dirty things y’all). The Ritchie twins do the opposite of this and give the reader incredibly well developed side characters, like anyone else you would be around in real life. Their side characters are a huge part of why their books are so relatable, because you can actually feel surrounded by them as well.

My favorite side character was John. In a way, he kind of reminded me of Ryke from the Addicted series. A much bitchier and snarkier Ryke. I also loved Nikolai’s brothers and sister; their presence almost always bringing a smile to my face.

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The romance between Thora and Nikolai was really well done, I spent most of the book sighing (inwardly) at Nikolai and his sweet actions toward Nora. But he was still an awesome alpha male, so don’t go thinking he’s a softy just yet.

The romance was emotional, sweet and a little angsty which is exactly what I love.
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If you haven’t yet given the Ritchie twins’ books a try yet, this one would be a great place to start. I would still recommend reading the Addicted series first as there are references in this book to that series (and those little tidbits were amazeballs).

Purchase on Amazon

Nine Minutes

Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

Fuck it. I’m giving this 5 stars. This was the most morally conflicting book I’ve read in a long time. I basically had to throw almost every single one of my morals out the window for this book. And I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’m not an avid reader of all of the mindfuck books, but I know this isn’t the usual mindfuck that readers of that genre expect. (Btw sorry for the excessive use of the word “fuck” but it’s helping me process this book).

Ginny is 15 years old when a biker offers her a ride home. Instead of bringing her to her house, he drives her to the Satan’s Army compound, where she discovers that she’s being offered as a gift to the head honcho Griff. Ginny is given a new name, Kit and told to basically forget about her life before the MC.

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For my own poor brain, I’m going to have to break this review down by character.

Ginny/Kit: One thing I keep reading in other reviews is how surprised people are that she didn’t try to escape despite a few opportunities to do so. When you look at where she came from, with a mother and a stepfather who weren’t cruel, but didn’t really seem to care about her I can kind of understand how she decided to stay. At the club, she had people who cared about her (albeit in their own sick and twisted way) but she really wasn’t ignored or neglected like she had been at home.

Ginny without a doubt had Stockholm syndrome. There’s really no denying it, but what I thought was interesting was how she ignored all of the bad things in order to remain somewhat sane. Every time she saw something horrible or heard about it after the fact it was a huge emotional trauma. So I sort of don’t blame her for choosing to remain oblivious when it was a survival skill kicking in.

Grizz: This is the man who brought out all of my morally conflicted thoughts when reading this book. Was Grizz a bad guy, the villain? Yes. Did he treat Ginny horribly? NO. In fact, Grizz never really hurt Ginny directly. She ended up being hurt because of him, but he always treated her well and with respect (except for one instance but it was explained later). Grizz may not have been the hero of the story, but he could have been much much worse of a man to Ginny considering all of his other crimes.

I couldn’t help but compare him to other MC leaders in popular books. I don’t usually compare books to each other, but comparing these characters with Grizz really helped me make up my mind about whether or not I liked him.
Now don’t go and stab me with your pitchforks ladies, but I HATED Tack from Motorcycle Man. He was technically a “good” guy but he treated his woman like shit and ordered her around and she just took it. Did Griff do this to Ginny? No. The only orders he gave her were for her safety. And for almost all of their relationship, he put Ginny’s wellbeing ahead of his.

The other character I wanted to compare Grizz to was Deuce from Undeniable. Another MC guy that I fucking HATED because guess what? he treated his woman like shit and cheated on her all the time. In Undeniable the age difference is very much present, like 20 years or something and it was gross. I liked that in this book, we know the age difference is great, but it’s never explicitly stated. So for me, it wasn’t that gross because I could picture a guy 10 years older than Ginny instead of 20 or 30 years older (vomits).

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One of my favorite realizations when reading this book was the absolute devotion Grizz had for Ginny. He knew that he took her, and that legally he could be punished for it. Grizz lived every day knowing that he could lose Ginny. The police could come and take her, she could try to run away, someone would eventually recognize her. The worst being his actions could scare her away from him. But he loved her, so he did his best to treat her well and to show her how he felt. He knew he had to appreciate her while he had her.

I will warn that there are many triggers in this book. There is rape, murder, torture, and other difficult content. But I feel like if I could stomach it, you could because normally these issues are hard limits for me. Just know that this is a story like no other, so give it a chance.

Thanks Feifei for recommending this one to me!

Kiro’s Emily

Kiro’s Emily (Rosemary Beach #10) by Abbi Glines

4 stars!

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I told myself I wouldn’t do this, and yet here I am. I deserve every single little feel that got sent my way because I had promised myself that I wouldn’t read this book. I even tweeted the author and received this cryptic reply:
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Gah!!! (btw total fangirl moment when Abbi Glines replied)

But then I read Jennifer’s review, and then I saw that this book was free, and then I discovered that I am a masochist and I read it.

For those of us familiar with the Rosemary Beach books, we are all familiar with Kiro and Emily’s story and it’s tragic end. As I said before, when I first learned we would get a book I knew there was no way I was going to read it and like it. Boy was I wrong. Kiro and Emily have quite possibly one of the more beautiful stories that Ms. Glines has written. With novellas it’s often difficult to fully develop characters or make a love believable, but it certainly was believable in this book. While it was still a little too much instalove for my taste, I understand that there are so many pages an author has with a short story.

I will say, I thought I would cry more after reading the end. While it wasn’t a sobbing tear jerker for me, my eyes did water a little bit. Maybe. Or maybe they watered a lot. It doesn’t matter.
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So for all of you who are hesitant to pick up this book, (I can’t believe I’m saying this after all my previous doubts and reservations) I think this is an Abbi Glines that will stick with you for a long time. In a good way. And a crying way.

Sparrow 59

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Sparrow 59 (The Sleepers’ Coalition #1) by Devon Ashley

4 stars!!

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Samantha and Drew are members of a specialized CIA team called Sparrow, a team dedicated to retrieving stolen medical research that is being sold on the black market. Samantha and Drew are posing as a married couple in order to maintain their cover, but in secret, the two are a couple in real life as well.

After a successful mission, Samantha finds herself the sole survivor of an attack on the entire Sparrow team. Except for Drew who has completely disappeared. The evidence suggesting Drew may be a traitor keeps piling up and Samantha must decide whether or not to believe in the man she’s in love with, or to label him a defected agent like everyone else already has. That’s when Drew activates a beacon that only she can see, and she must make the choice to go to him or not.

I don’t even know where to start. This book surpassed any expectations I had. By that I mean I didn’t really know what to expect from this book and I immensely enjoyed what I read. This was a thrilling story that sucked me in right away and didn’t let me go. I read the first half of the book in one sitting and ended up only getting 4 hours of sleep because I had stayed up reading!

Sparrow 59 is not strictly a romance novel nor is it strictly a spy novel, there was a bit of both mixed in to make it the perfect combination. I’m not normally a spy or thriller novel kind of girl, but I really enjoyed the plot in this book. As readers we get a fast paced plot with the added bonus of a great romance! The romance is a bit cleaner than most New Adult books, but it was a sweet one that had me rooting for the characters from Chapter 1.

“You call that a catch? They need to send you back to knight-in-shining-armor school.”

“And they need to send you back to charm school. A thank you would have sufficed.”

Devon Ashley’s greatest strength as a writer is in her characters. Despite not knowing a lot about Samantha or Drew I was able to connect with them right off the bat even though I really have zero zip zilch in common with them. Even the side characters (who shall remain nameless so as not to ruin the plot) had me growing attachments to them very easily.

I can’t really go into my favorite parts of the book without giving away any spoilers, but I will say that there is a twist that Devon Ashley threw in the book that pulled at my heartstrings for the majority of the story. You just have to read it yourself to know what I am talking about.

I will give you one big warning though, this book ends on a semi-cliffhanger! I know people are strict about that so I felt a warning was necessary, but I still urge you to read the book if you don’t like cliffhanger’s anyway and make up your own mind.

****READ BELOW FOR A SPECIAL BLOG TOUR EXCERPT AND A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY****

EXCERPT #1:

 

I leaned over and kissed his lips, and as far gone as he already was, his lips still kissed me back.

“Thank you for not letting me fall.”

His mouth lifted slightly to the left. Softly, he replied, “I’d never let anyone hurt you. Not even your clumsy ass.”

“I’m not clumsy,” I replied defiantly, “my dress just happened to outmaneuver me, is all.”

His smile was pressed tight, and his chuckle stayed put in his throat. “Always the fault of something else,” he jested. “Just admit you’re a klutz and I’ll consider letting you have your way with me.”

“Oh, lucky day!” I sassed in dramatic fashion. “Admit a fault and win a night in a nasty bed with a guy who’s currently broken.” With a strong southern accent, I added, “How will I ever refuse such a desirable offer?”

“Smart-ass.” I didn’t even have time to laugh before he wrapped me up and flipped us, reversing our positions. But instead of finding my lips, his head collapsed over my shoulder, the rest of his body locking up. His mumble sounded downright painful. “You might be right about the broken part.” He hissed through his teeth, groaning as he carefully rolled back off.

Now will you take a pain killer?”

“God yes,” he said on a heavy exhalation, his face still cringing.

I went to grab two from the stash in the medicine cabinet and he swallowed them dry. “Maybe tomorrow.”

As if. He was going to be broken for days. I ran my fingernails through his short brown hair. “Tomorrow we’re having dinner with Jeanine and her new boyfriend.”

He winced and moaned, but this time it wasn’t because of the pain.

I knew he was going to have that reaction, but I hardly ever asked him to do this kind of thing. Jeanine was the only person I had a friendship with outside the CIA, and I only became friendly in the first place because she lived behind us. I could only turn her down for dinner so many times, you know? “You promised!”

“Do you have this so-called promise in writing? Because I think this’ll be one of those times I require proof beforehand.”

My hands went directly to my hips. “Then I guess you should’ve paid more attention to those wedding vows you agreed to. Sorry love, but you’ve agreed to pimp yourself out on a permanent basis, and you have no one to blame but yourself.”

He lazily rolled his head back and forth on the pillow. “I don’t suppose there’s a way to barter myself out of this? Cleaning duty? All day unlimited shopping spree?” He smile was completely devious when he suggested, “Full body massage by yours truly?”

I bit back the smile fighting to take over. “So not going to happen.” Though the massage was definitely tempting.

“Damn it,” he muttered. Childishly, he added, “I won’t go.”

“It’s cute that you think you have a choice,” I replied, playfully tapping him twice on the cheek.

Closing his eyes, he slowly whined, “Fuck me,” finally conceding defeat.

“I tried, remember? You’re broken.”

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

***ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***

Dirty Rowdy Thing

Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons #2) by Christina Lauren

4 stars

“Finn could break your vagina and be just handy enough to put it back together.”

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Dirty Rowdy Thing is the story of Harlow and Finn. Harlow is the daughter of Hollywood royalty and Finn is a Canadian fisherman. In the last book Harlow and Finn got married alongside Mia and Ansel in Vegas, but after a 12 hour sex romp they went ahead and got an annulment. There were no hard feelings between them, Harlow even visited Finn up in Canada for another sex trip. One which after they were done, he promptly called her a cab.

Fast forward a couple months later and Harlow runs into Finn in a Starbucks in her hometown in San Diego. Finn is in town on “business” and staying with their mutual friend Oliver for an indefinite amount of time. Harlow and Finn come to the decision that they should continue their friends with benefits scenario. But it’s not long until they begin to feel more for each other.

Well, this book was certainly dirty. Especially Finn and his dirty talk and affinity for tying Harlow up. I liked this a lot more than the last book because the last book was all about role playing. And I HATE role playing. This is what I see when I think of role playing:

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And this is what I see when Finn ties people up:
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Much classier, yes?
I digress.

Unlike the last book I really liked the characters for who they were in this book. Harlow is a strong, confident and loyal woman. She may be privileged but she’s not spoiled. Harlow doesn’t always have to understand her friends to love them. I liked that she was a fighter and had a bit of a vulnerability about her. She was also freaking funny.

“Come in. Sit anywhere but on the bed. Don’t look cute, don’t get undressed, and don’t touch my underwear.”

Finn is a stoic guy, but very insightful. He’s a caring friend if not always vocal about it. He also see’s Harlow for who she really is, except when he’s teasing her about what he knows she isn’t.

Like the first book, this book has the main characters keeping secrets from each other. I won’t tell you the secrets because that would be spoilering, but I felt the characters made similar types of mistakes in this book that Ansel and Mia made. Just on a different level.

***SPOILERS AHEAD BEWARE***

My only issue with this book? Finn at the end. For those of you who’ve read this, you know what I’m talking about.
Seriously?? He got mad at Harlow for trying to save his job? And then he leaves town? Without saying goodbye when she might be pregnant? No bro. Not cool bro. And then he was a total dick to her when she went to Canada. This book is officially filed under not enough groveling. She took him back way too easily.

The ending was a bit abrupt, I would have liked to see an epilogue. But I guess I’ll have to wait until 2015 for that. Boo!

Under the Never Sky

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

3 stars

“A world of nevers under a never sky.”

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Well kiddies, I am in the minority again. While I enjoyed this book, it lacked the wow factor that I was expecting from it, especially since many of the ratings are 4 and 5 stars.

Under the Never Sky is about Aria, a Dweller, and Perry an Outsider. Both live in a dystopian world placed hundreds of years after our present. After a fatal incident brings Aria and Perry together, both of them are cast out from their groups and must battle to survive together. They harbor an extreme dislike for each other, but after working toward a common goal their feelings begin to change.

“If there was no fear, how could there be comfort? Or courage?”

What didn’t work for me was the beginning. The whole set up was majorly confusing, and really boring. I almost dnf’d this book, but lots of people had said it picks up. While it did, I sort of never lost that tidbit of confusion throughout the rest of the book. I blame this on the worldbuilding. It was a great idea in concept, but sort of fell flat in development.

I don’t want to continue griping about this book. I did like it, I just didn’t love it. The one thing I really liked? Perry. All of the point of views from his side were extremely interesting as he’s a unique character which a special skill set. Perry pretty much saved the book for me.

“She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she’d ever taken. And never had she loved life more.”

Would I recommend this? Yes, but only to those who like YA dystopia. For those willing to venture outside romance and such I would venture elsewhere.

Forever With Me

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

3.5 Final stars

“I’ve been slowly falling for you for a long time, and I’m afraid I fell the rest of the way in love with you last night, and you’re so much more than my darling. You’re my treasure.”

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Well guys, I just had to sneak in another book when I was supposed to be working on my finals. **shrugs sheepishly** I had been planning on waiting until the holidays to purchase and read, but in my defense, this happened:

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I got to meet this sweet author! (By the way, she is super nice. I highly recommend going to one of her signings if you get the chance).

Anyways, Forever With Me is the final installment of the With Me series. sniffle <— OMG keep it together Rachel! ….And now you’ve convinced your readers you’re nuts!

I digress.

This book is about party planner Alecia and the long lost Italian brother Dominic. Dom has made it clear in the past that he’s interested in Alecia but she’s brushed off all his advances. With a little help from our favorite due Natalie and Jules, Dom is nudged in the right direction of how to pursue Alecia without her thinking he just wants in her pants.

There’s only one problem: Alecia doesn’t believe in love.

And that’s all I’m going to say about the plot folks. I thought this was a sweet ending to a series that has fulfilled my check box in the guilty pleasure shelf. Dom was a great hero and Alecia a wonderful damaged heroine. I got my angst fix and everything.

So why not 4 or 5 stars then? You ask. Well, the first 4 installments of this series I really liked and even loved. Unfortunately after book 4, Rock With Me, the books became a little too cheesy and formulaic for me to give any higher of a rating. I do commend the author for sticking with a series this large and remaining true to her characters and themes, but a part of me is glad she is moving on from the Montgomery’s and giving her readers something new.

So thank you Ms. Proby for giving us a lasting romance series that celebrates men treating women the way they should be treated. Bravo.

“Intimacy is who you wake up thinking about at three in the morning, It’s talking about your hopes and fears in the dark. It’s the one person you give your undivided attention to when ten other people are fighting for it. It’s that person, always in the back of your mind, no matter how distracted you are.”

Mai Tai’d Up

Mai Tai’d Up (Cocktail #4) by Alice Clayton

4 stars!

“Everybody’s dealing with some stuff, darlin’. Sometimes it’s just nice to deal with it while looking at a gorgeous hunk of man.”

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Chloe has just done the unthinkable. She left her fiance at the alter. Well, not the alter exactly, but she called off her engagement the day of the wedding. All her life Chloe has been the perfect daughter and she saw herself well on her way to becoming the perfect wife. The only problem with it all? She wasn’t happy, she wasn’t being herself, and most importantly she wasn’t in love.

Spur of the moment after calling off the wedding, Chloe moves from San Diego to Monterey, California where she proceeds to convert a barn into a pitbull rescue.

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^^^Look at how cute those dogs are!!!

In starting the rescue, Chloe becomes friends with the local vet Lucas. Lucas is a hot ginger, and the two have a fast attraction to each other. The only problem? Lucas’ fiance just left him…. at the alter. Understandably, Chloe is a little less than truthful about how she and her fiance ended things.

Over time Lucas and Chloe become close friends with the possibility of something more. But Chloe doesn’t want to be a rebound girl for Lucas, she wants more.

I really liked this last (latest?) edition to the Cocktail series. Alice Clayton wrote a character who was on a search to discover who she really was, and I consider that the main plot more than the romantic one. There were many giggle worthy moments, and I pretty much had a smile on my face the entire time I read this book.

This is a fun read, like all of Clayton’s other books, but there were 2 itty bitty little things that bugged me. Just a little bit.

1) Some other reviewers have pointed this out, there needed to be an epilogue. I was not thoroughly happy with the point at which the book ended. We needed a little more!!

2) I’m sorry but after how Lucas humiliated Chloe at the airport when she made the big romantic gesture? He needed to grovel waaaaaaaaayyyyyy much more than he did to get her back. Just saying. #petpeeve

Ms. Clayton has written herself a spot into my auto-reads/purchase books. Give this one a try y’all!