Friday, 28 June 2013

Skin by Kylie Scott (Flesh #2)

Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance
Publication Date: February 1st 2013
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 9 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Six months since the zombie plague struck, former librarian Roslyn Stewart has been holed up in a school with eight other survivors. But now the shelves in the school canteen are bare. The stranger at the gate has supplies that will ensure the group’s ongoing survival, but at a cost. He wants a woman.

Nick is a man with a plan. He’ll treat Roslyn like a Queen, devoting the rest of his life to protecting and providing for her. In exchange, of course, for sexual favours. It’s the deal of the century given the state of the world. But Roslyn doesn’t see it that way. The first chance she gets she attacks the ex-army man and attempts to escape, forcing Nick to contain her. And so begins his awkward courtship of the woman, with her chained to the bed for security reasons.

Chained like a dog and forced to spend her every waking moment with a creep, albeit a good looking one, Ros is determined to escape. When circumstances force them to band together against a common enemy their very survival depends on their ability to learn to trust each other. An uneasy partnership develops, but can a relationship with such a difficult beginning ever have a future?


I enjoyed this much more than I first thought I would, and I would like to give it 4.5/5 because it has really stayed with me. I had no problem with the premise or Nick. I thought perhaps I would have trouble accepting a man who did something so horrible. I have never been into the bad boys, and have always had trouble accepting men with bad habits, which the last book I read proves, Bully. But I fell for Nick and his excuses faster than Roslyn. He had good intentions, and like he said, the world isn't fair anymore. Never really was. There is no law anymore and no society. Nothing but survival. And what he needed to help him survive was a purpose. A woman to protect, a reason to get up and keep going every day.
So he kidnapped Ros and treated her like a queen, minus the chains. He had a cabin stocked and ready for her. Full of clothes her size, books to keep her busy, food, even wine. They were set up for the long haul. He cooked for her, forced her to work out and stay fit to stay alive. Taught her how to fight, run, climb trees, shoot, and anything else that would keep her alive against the zombies. He even massaged her after a long day. And he never raped her. He planned to woo her. He may not have kept his hands off her, but I cant blame him if he intended to win her over, and he knew he was an appealing guy. So he had to push his luck a bit if he ever intended to win her over. He gave her a few unwelcome kisses, and sometimes forced her to cuddle with him at night. All A-ok in my books. The only thing he did which I had a problem with was when he was dry humping her against her will. But besides that, I would have agreed to the deal if I were her. Why would you wanna face the zombies alone when you could have a big military guy do it for you, and do everything else for you too, in exchange for some loving? And Nick wasn't even serious and creepy like rapists and stalkers. He was sweet and funny and a smart-ass. I would want to have at least some sort of connection, however small. But given that we had that, I would have been like, "Where do I sign?" 

"How could you have bought that girl, chained her up and yet still have managed to persuade her to give you a chance? I mean, how the f*** did you pull that off?"

By being that awesome.

I also really enjoyed Ros. She was so full of spark and fight, and she was so mouthy. Nick really didn't know what he was getting himself into when he picked her. But he still picked the perfect woman for him. I wasn't sure about Nick and Ros' relationship at first. I felt like it wasn't really a romance, just survival. He loved having her around because it gave him purpose, nothing more. It didn't really have anything to do with who she was. Realistically, if he kidnapped the first half decent woman he came across, chances are it wouldn't be his soulmate. But it wouldn't be in a book if she wasn't. So, I waited a bit longer than I wanted to to see the natural sparks, and I was sad to see their cabin go, but once they were on the run and Ros was free of her chains, they were free to explore a relationship in a more natural atmosphere, minus the zombies. I love the fact that they were able to get passed their relationship's questionable beginnings, to accept the world they are in and the hand they have been dealt, and just hang on to each other. 

We also met the three protagonists from Flesh near the end of this one. I didn't realize who they were at first because I haven't read Flesh. It took me awhile before I realized she was with two men. But as soon as I did I went and checked the blurb for book 1, and sure enough it was the same two men. And it still kinda creeps me out. Definitely not reading Flesh. I don't do menage. But I still loved this and will check out Kylie Scott's other books, as long as they don't contain menage. I will read Room With a View: Hot Down Under next, but I would enjoy another full-length book in this series. Maybe one day?

"I drove a car into a house and killed a man for you. You chained me up for days and I still wanted to come back and talk over our darkly sordid, slightly kinky, and a lot warped relationship. Face it, you're stuck with me."

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bully by Penelope Douglas (Fall Away #1)

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: June 17th 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 6 out of 10
My Rating: 3 out of 5


My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We're neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I'm back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I'm hoping that after a year of breathing room, he's moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn't changed, I have. I'm not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We're going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.


I am not a big fan of contemporary romance, but this was not bad. It took a while to get into, about 50%. It started out pretty slow for me. I didn't enjoy the day-to-day school life, and all the time Tate spent trying to avoid Jared. It didn't get interesting until their relationship changed. I guess the turning point was the race. That's when things got interesting and the story actually became about a romance.

The story reminded me somewhat of The Vincent Boys. Both are about a couple who were inseparable friends since childhood, and a part of them always knew they belonged together, even before they were old enough to understand. But then something changed when they were 14 and they lose that friendship. I don't understand why Jared felt the need to treat Tate the way he did. Just like I don't understand why Ash said yes to Sawyer when he first asked her out. In both cases they sabotaged their own chances for happiness, until senior year.

Jared's behaviour really doesn't make sense to me, so it makes it hard to connect to his character. But I did really sympathize and I enjoyed their story of trust and forgiveness overall. But I really do not appreciate sex in my YA. I am not a prude. I really enjoy adult romance and erotica. But sex in YA just leaves me feeling dirty. I don't even enjoy NA, but the characters in this were even younger than NA (starting out 16 and ending up 18), while engaging in sex that was more graphic than the average adult romance. Even though it only happened twice, it was with enough detail to be borderline-erotic. It was strange. Still, an enjoyable read.

“I held Madoc by the inside of his elbow and held Jared closer to me by the bicep. While a month ago I never would've thought I'd be with these two, I felt at ease. 
"Totally. This is the start of a great friendship.""

Friday, 7 June 2013

Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (Bermuda Triangle #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: June 18th 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
My Rating: 2 out of 5


A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?In the Bermuda Triangle--a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her fathers death years ago, her mothers medical problems, and the loser whos practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears shes gone nuts for more than one reason: that losers suddenly claiming theyre a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying Happy Anniversary... and suddenly, shes full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ships doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, shes warned that these alternate realities could become permanent.She just has to ask herself one question--how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?


First of all, I really did not like Autumn. At first I hated her and thought she was a total bitch. There is a guy who she works with, Joey, who is totally in love with her. He is like a puppy at her heels. And she is totally inconsiderate of his feelings. I know she doesn't owe him anything. She never gave him any reason to think she would return his feelings, but a decent person would at least try not to cause him unnecessary pain. Autumn just did not care. She could not stand him and always said the most unkind things behind his back about how pathetic he was. He did not deserve any of it.

I actually thought he was pretty sweet. He was cute, and unintentionally funny. Autumn was a total bitch. I really have no idea what he saw in her. The scene near the beginning in the pool was the worst. That is when I hated her the most. But after reading her story I got used to having her around. I don't think she got that much better, she did a bit, but I just grew to accept her over time. She eventually didn't bother me as much.

When Autumn's cruise ship drives through the Bermuda triangle, she begins to experience alternate dimensions. Each day she experiences a new reality and it's like a life lesson. Some days she loses things or people she didn't know she needed. Other days she gains things she never knew she wanted, or things she never thought she could have again. It's like a way to teach her what is important in life. It was a bit obviously contrived, but worse was the fact that you always knew it wasn't real, and it made it hard to get attached, and invested in what was happening. And most of the scenarios were pretty extreme and melodramatic.

In the end she learned her lesson, I guess she became somewhat of a better person in the process, and she got her HEA, and Joey really loves her. He's still a bit awkward, but I guess that's realistic. No one is perfect. Although sometimes I think maybe he loves her a little too much. His extreme reaction in one of the alternate realities was really off-putting. Although I sorta wish Emmie was real. She was adorable. But this book is really short so it wasn't a bad read. My hard copy was only 175 pages even though Goodreads says 216. I read it in one afternoon.

"I wanted to let him in. I really did. But could my fragile heart handle it?Joey would be the only one I could trust not to break it. I smiled and closed by eyes as I realized yes, I would let him in."

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal, Romance
My Rating: 4 out of 5

In Allison Sekemoto's world, there is one rule left: Blood calls to blood

She has done the unthinkable: died so that she might continue to live. Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever—and possibly end human and vampire existence.

There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago—and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

Allison thought that immortality was forever. But now, with eternity itself hanging in the balance, the lines between human and monster will blur even further, and Allie must face another choice she could never have imagined having to make.


I enjoyed this a bit more than book 1, The Immortal Rules. The story is more developed, with several more layers and went in more interesting directions. Zeke isn't quite as much of a wuss, and we see a new, far more interesting and entertaining side of Jackal. And Sarren is a far better villain than Jackal was. Jackal works better as comic relief IMO. He made me bark with laughter at the most unexpected moments.

It took me awhile to get into this, I think because it was just Allie and Jackal at first. I enjoy their banter now, but at first I didn't know if he was gonna try to kill her at any moment. But now that I have gotten to know him better I really enjoy his company. But things really picked up once Zeke and Kanin were added to the picture. They are a great team, despite their drastically different backgrounds. And like Allie once mentioned, you would not expect to see them working together, but with their common goal, they work together well.

The tension was high in this and I never knew what was going to happen next, and there were a lot of emotions near the end. I gotta say I really don't understand Stick. What the hell was he trying to do? He said he wanted her to see him, but there were other ways. It made no sense. Did he have romantic feelings for her? I guess it doesn't really matter, like he doesn't matter to Allie anymore. Still a bit frustrating.

I still don't really love Zeke, which is a shame after the amazing and unforgettable Ash and Puck from Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey. But I can accept him. There is no denying that he makes Allie better. He's like Allie's version of Peeta, just less awesome. Despite the evil cliffhanger in this, I will be enthusiastically yet calmly waiting for The Forever Song.

"There would never be another soul as bright as his. And that both terrified me and made me savagely - and maybe selfishly - determined to keep him. Zeke was mine now. Forever."

Monday, 3 June 2013

PODs by Michelle K. Pickett (PODs #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.


I really enjoyed this book more than I expected to. It was a great combo of feel-good romance and the suspense of a zombie apocalypse, and just a hint of dystopia. The story went through several phases. It felt a lot longer than it actually was. Not because it was slow or drawn-out, but because so much happened in 300 pages!

In the beginning, we learn about the virus. The details are a bit vague, but its not the details, or the virus that really matters. Its Eva's journey, and the virus started her on that journey. She is one of only 50 000 Americans chosen to live safely in the PODs while they wait out the decimation of the rest of humanity. I really enjoyed this stage of the story, while Eva lived underground with the rest of her PODmates, and David.

I really enjoyed the diverse characters that Eva lived with, and David was a sweetheart. But besides that, they seemed to love each other just because. It wasn't insta-love. They were down there a long time and got to know each other slowly. But I never really got the basis of their relationship. I am sure, if you've read a lot of YA romance like me, you know what I mean. There are occasionally those books where the hero and heroine fall in love for no apparent reason. Because they're the MCs? And they're beautiful? Nevertheless I enjoyed the romance. I misjudged the book due to the lack of development in the beginning of the story concerning the virus. But the romance and the characters were still well developed, and it was a lot steamier than I first anticipated. Eva and David were constantly making out! I enjoyed them, but it eventually got a bit irritating how someone would always interrupt them before they got carried away. It was way too convenient.

“Will you, Eva? Will you risk everything to see David? Because that's what you'll be doing." 
"I'm not risking anything. There's nothing here I want if I can't have him.”

After they left the PODs the story took a slight dystopian turn, but it never fully took roots into that genre, and then turned into a full-on zombie apocalypse. I really enjoyed this stage of the story as well. I love the suspense of always being on the run, scavenging for weapons and food, living in abandoned hotels and tents. Although it was really annoying how sexist the other survivors were, including David. I am so glad Eva did not put up with that shit.

Eva and David had an interesting relationship, and its strange that I sort of get them as a couple. Even though I don't really see why they love each other, I still see how they love each other. They were both extremely stubborn, and independent, and sometimes they would clash, but they were stronger together. I love how they never gave up on each other, no matter what. And all they needed was each other to survive. It was one of those epic "I'll f***ing die for you" romances. And it was all tied up with a pretty bow in the end. I am sort of looking forward to seeing more of them. But at the same time, I want them to have their HEA and a sequel means they are not quite there yet. I thought it was a standalone, and the way it ended felt complete. But now I see that it is listed as Pods #1. I suspect the sequel will explore the dystopian aspect of the story more, which was not fully developed in book #1.

So, this book was really entertaining and romantic, action-packed and suspenseful. But don't expect the best world-building, and some of the less important aspects of the story, or minor characters are just glazed over and abandoned. But I definitely recommend this to fans of the many genres it contains, and I look forward to PODs #2, whatever it will be called.

“Not for the first time, I found myself wondering if leaving the compound had been the right thing to do. Then, as always, I looked at David and knew. Yes, I was where I was supposed to be--where David was.”

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