Friday, 31 January 2014

The Treasure Keeper by Shana Abé (Drakon #4)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy/Paranormal, Romance
Publication Date: March 19th 2009
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 5 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


With such novels as Queen of Dragons and The Dream Thief,Shana Abé has created a unique and vividly imagined world that exists side by side with our own—a realm populated by a race of supersensual men and women whose power to change shape permits them unlimited acts of pleasure…and ever-present danger. Now the survival of the drákon rests in the hands of a young woman with untried and unexpected powers—and the powerful Alpha male she must break every drákon law to save.

The drákon are at war, surrounded by an enemy they have every reason to fear. The sanf inimicus are no ordinary human beings but the most dangerous of hunters. They've sworn to exterminate the shape-shifters whose presence they now can detect, and they've already claimed a prize prisoner: Lord Rhys Langford.

It’s a blow the drákon clans feel from Darkfrith, England, all the way to the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. But it strikes no one harder than Zoe Cyprienne Lane. A mere seamstress’s daughter, Zoe isn't even in the same league as Rhys. In fact, as an unwed male in the Alpha line, according to drákon custom, he owns her. So nothing could be more outrageous—or personally ruinous—than the mere notion that she might set out on her own to find her childhood friend...and first true love.

But the unexpected is exactly what Zoe intends to do. For years she’s been hiding two extraordinary Gifts that have set her apart from other drákon females: the power to become invisible and the power to feel others’ emotions. Now, guided by a link to Rhys—his presence and touch as electric as if he were beside her in the flesh—Zoe uses both Gifts to infiltrate the sanf inimicus. And for Rhys, whose time is running out, Zoe is his last lifeline to a world—and a love—he never thought he’d regain. Only together again, hunter and huntress, can they save the drákon from the traitor in their midst who would destroy them all.


This was better than its predecessor, Queen of Dragons, but not as good as the first two books. So I would rank them 2, 1, 4, 3. I still have to read book 5, that one has the lowest average rating though.

I really enjoyed Zoe as a heroine. I loved how she was such an icon of beauty and grace to all the men of Darkfrith, and she didn't even know. I wonder how Hayden found the courage to court her. Zoe was incredible, how she ran away and searched for Hayden and Rhys on her own. She did so much that people didn't think women could do. And she couldn't even Turn. I suppose that the previous three heroines did similar things, but there is something about Zoe that fools us into thinking she is meek and subdued and not capable of such things, so it surprised you when she does.

I also loved Rhys. He was more like his father than Kimber. But Zane from book 2 is still my favourite hero from this series. Rhys was definitely the most brooding and tragic of the Drakon men. I felt a lot of sympathy for him and I was a bit sad about the ending overall. It was an HEA but not a perfect HEA. We don't know if Zoe would have really chosen Rhys in the end if things had turned out differently. She told Rhys she never really loved Hayden, but she was so loyal to him up until his death, it makes me think that regardless of her feelings, she probably would have gone through with marrying him.

The story was very interesting, and it was the first to not focus very much on the dragons. Since Zoe could not Turn, but had other Gifts that made her unique, and it focused a lot on that. She and Rhys had a lot of great interactions throughout, but I was sad that for so much of the book Zoe was caught up on Hayden. It didn't give much time for a romance to develop between her and Rhys. When it finally did happen it felt a bit rushed. Although Hayden was nice, she clearly belonged with Rhys so I was just waiting for it to happen.

Although I enjoyed this one a lot despite the tragedy of it, I feel very anxious about reading The Time Weaver. It sounds extremely tragic. This series cannot end on a dark note. It better not!

“I love you. At your best and your worst, I love you. Paris or Darkfrith. Here, there, and everywhere, I love you.” 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Twist Me by Anna Zaires (Twist Me #1)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: February 10th 2014
POV: Female - First-person, Present tense
Smut-O-Meter: 10 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely.

Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.

My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in.

My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.


This was the darkest book of this genre that I have read yet. It brought me places that I did not know that I wanted to go. It turned me into a willing victim, just like Nora.

I personally love 'love my captor' stories. I love the psychology behind it; seeing how the different women handle their situations, the motives of the different captors, and how things ultimately turn out. Is love able to conquer all the terrible things that happened between them? Or is love even involved at all? This one was different. The biggest difference is the fact that I found nothing redeemable about Nora's captor, Julian. I hated him all along. This is not the kind of leading male I can swoon over.

But he was the cause of all the games being played between himself and Nora. He was the catalyst for everything that had happened, so I accept his role in the story. But I knew unequivocally that Nora did not belong with him. He was not a good person, and he did not love her. And unlike the other books like this one that I have read, where everyone's emotions are shades of grey, I have no doubt that there is a lot of Stockholm Syndrome going on in this book.

Despite the fact that I never warmed to him, as I neared the end, I found myself hoping that they would remain together. I couldn't believe it had happened. I have no idea how or why I had found myself in that position, and I am slightly ashamed. But that is one of my favourite things about this sort of book. You have so many emotions going in different directions that you don't know which ones to follow. It can be overwhelming and it's a bit of a high for me. And Julian did put me at war with myself more often than I had anticipated.

As much as I enjoyed the psychology behind how Julian treated Nora, I did not enjoy the BDSM aspects of the story. That's just my personal preference, but it also definitely has something to do with why I hated Julian. I just can't separate my feelings and be objective about it. I think I remember Anna Zaires saying that the BDSM in this book would be mild, but if this is mild, I shudder at the thought of what true BDSM is like. I am glad I have avoided it thus far.

Another problem I had with this book is Beth. I hated her more than Julian because she seemed to serve no purpose but to piss me off. I don't understand any way that she could approve of what Julian was doing. No matter what she had been through, or what Julian had done for her, it doesn't make rape ok. And if Beth thinks it does, then she has some other, deeper issues besides her tragic past. Or Julian has brainwashed her as well. 

However wrong it may be, I cannot deny how expertly Julian handled and manipulated Nora. I enjoyed seeing her transformation, as Julian molded her into exactly what he wanted, or needed. It was by far my favourite thing about this book, and out of all the 'love my captor' and 'Stockholm Syndrome' books I have read, I think this is the most convincing and realistic. Although, I'm no expert.

I am looking forward to the sequel, Keep Me. I don't know where I would want their relationship to go from here, and I am not even sure that I would want it to change at all. Would I want to risk all of Nora's conditioning being undone? Regardless of what happens, I am excited by the fact that the excerpt was in Julian's POV. Twist Me was solely in Nora's. I cannot imagine what is going on in Julian's head. He treats Nora like a possession and has no regard for her free will, but he risked his life for her. I would love to see how he can reconcile those two things in his mind. He is certainly a complex, fascinating, and incredibly intelligent man, whatever else I may think of him.

Even though I was already in love with Anna Zaires writing and storytelling from The Krinar Chronicles, I was nevertheless impress with Twist Me. This may not have done it for me in the erotica department (and there is a lot of it. This book is like 80% sex!), but it did not take away from my experience. It was about the purpose and motives of Julian's brutality, not the brutality itself. With this new series, Anna Zaires has surpassed my already high expectations.

"He turns me inside out, takes me apart, and puts me back together—all in the span of one night." 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young (On Dublin Street #1)

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: August 31st 2012
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
My Rating: Did Not Finish


Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.


When I first started this book I was pretty excited. It had a good story setup and I was interested in Joss' life and where things would lead, with getting a new apartment and introducing new people into her life. She had a tragic past but it didn't overwhelm the story like some other tragic heroines in contemporaries tend to do. Although I wasn't entirely won over by Joss herself, I enjoyed Ellie, and Braden seemed to have a lot of potential too.

Joss thought he was an ass but I thought that he was sweet, just a bit overly flirty. He was kind to everyone, and showed concern to Joss on more than one occasion. Especially when she had the panic attack at Ellie's mom's place, and when James showed up at her apartment and Braden gave her his number in case she needed anything. He seemed to actually care about her despite his serial dating. I could see it was a long book and suspected that most of that time would be taken up by Braden trying to break through her walls. *sigh* Nope.

45% into the book Braden lays it out for Joss. He wants to have sex with her. A LOT! He doesn't care about a relationship and he refused to give her emotional support in return. And she agrees! Suddenly Braden has become the ass that Joss saw all along, although Joss seems to have suddenly forgotten. I guess he had me fooled. Now I hate him and I cant even force myself to read the sex scene that follows. Being ordered around by some loser who wants to use you for sex but refuses to give you anything in return does not sound like my idea of a good sex scene. The thought of reading the rest of that scene repulses me, let along the rest of the book. I am sure he does care about her or there would be no story. But I don't care, I just cant read this. Its derogatory IMO.

Also, Joss is one of those women who is smokin' hot but doesn't know it, which is super tedious. She is told by both Ellie and Braden how hot she is but she still doesn't seem to believe it. When she first realized that she was getting Braden's attention, she wondered why. She lists all her physical features, inventorying them, and I am thinking Damn! She sounds fine. But then she's like, "I'm nothing special." How stupid can she really be? The whole thing just makes me gag.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Clutch by Tess Oliver (Custom Culture #2)

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 6 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


When Taylor Flinn’s parents shipped her off to an aunt for her last year of high school, James “Clutch” Mason had convinced himself it was for the best. Taylor, the wild, impulsive and far-too-appealing seventeen-year-old had been driving him nuts. Her school girl crush on him had been the last thing he needed. Now he had time to concentrate on his booming classic car part business, his new found love-- drag racing, and keeping his twenty-year-old brother Barrett out of trouble.

But when Taylor returns from her aunt’s more grown up, utterly seductive, and attached to another guy, Clutch realizes that the only thing he ever needed or wanted was Taylor Flinn.


I enjoyed this a great deal, but not as much as Freefall. I was hoping that the only thing that would be keeping them apart was Taylor's parents, but there were some times when Taylor was not entirely rational. I loved her in Freefall. She seemed like so much fun. She was a pigtail-wearing, bubblegum-chewing tease in Daisy Dukes, and she knew it, and thats why I loved her. She wanted Clutch so badly that she was in his face about, driving him crazy. She seemed a lot tamer in Clutch. She was still rebellious and troublesome, but not as much fun. I still liked her and she never got as bad as it could have been, but there was some whining. And of course having one misunderstanding and running off to Alaska was beyond irrational. She could have got herself into untold trouble if Clutch hadn't found her. But I really loved her dedication to Clutch. How much she loved him and only him for years was admirable.

I loved Clutch though, as much as and more than I thought I would from the bit I got to know him in Freefall. He was so intense and awesome. I loved him even more than Nix. Nix was sweet, but Clutch is larger than life. I really can't blame Taylor for being all over him. Overall, the story was great and was not ruined by Taylor's occasional whining. I loved the fact that they got together regardless of what anyone said and they didn't let anyone stop them. Just a heads up that the sex is more graphic in this book than it was in Freefall. I hope Tess Oliver writes more books in this series. Maybe the next one can be about Rett and Aimee. I might even be open to the possibility of a Jason story, about him smartening his ass up and dumping his bitch girlfriend for a better one. I look forward to whatever she has for us.

“I remember watching you from the back seat with those same big hands gripping the steering wheel, and all I could think was someday I want those massive arms to hold me. I knew nothing bad could happen to me wrapped in those unbelievable arms.”

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Freefall by Tess Oliver (Custom Culture #1)

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 6 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


After leaving high school, with a hard won diploma and the title of most likely to break hearts, Alexander "Nix" Pierce has left his wild, out of control years mostly behind him. A small inheritance from his grandfather has given him the funds to open up his tattoo shop, Freefall, and he has started to pull his life together. Aside from trying to keep his best friend, Dray, from killing himself in the fight ring, and his slight obsession with a pin-up model he's never met, Nix's life is going smoothly . . . until Scotlyn James, the object of his obsession, walks into his shop.

Ever since a tragic accident killed her family and left her alone in the world, Scotlyn James hasn't spoken one word. Up until now she didn't care that she had no way of talking to people. Her awful aunt would never have listened, and Lincoln Hammond the arrogant, selfish man who pulled her from the streets of Los Angeles wouldn't hear her words if she could speak. But when Lincoln insists she get a tattoo to cover up a scar on her side, Scotlyn meets the artist, Nix Pierce. And now she longs for her voice. Now she has found someone who will hear her.


I loved this book and I read it in one sitting. I am surprised by how easily this book drew me in even though I am usually a really tough critic of contemporaries. But this book didn't have any of the things that I usually hate about the genre.

Nix was a tough guy character, but he wasn't a bad person and he didn't follow any stereotypes or cliches about tattoo artist love interests. He was serious about his business, his family, and his friends. He had a past, but he was responsible and reliable and not an asshole.

Scotlyn is one of those super tragic heroines like Echo from Pushing the Limits or Nastya from The Sea of Tranquility, but unlike those two, Scotlyn felt entirely genuine. I didn't feel like she was a drama queen, needed to stop whining about her life, or that the author was trying to force us to care about her through sympathy. Also, the way that her muteness was handled was much better than how it was handles in Sea of Tranquility. Scotlyn suffered a great tragedy, there is no denying that, but she was also a sweetheart, and that's why I love her most. She was honest and open and eventually brave enough to stand up to Lincoln. She was like an angel. How anyone could mistreat her I just don't understand.

Lincoln's character seemed inconsistent and I had some trouble understanding him. There were times that he seemed to be truly hurt by Scotlyn's lack of love for him, but how could he try to frickin' sell her if he had ever cared about her at all? For awhile there I thought he was just a jerk who didn't know how to express his feelings, like Caroline's husband in The Education of Sebastian. But now? Nope, just an all around asshole. I cannot find a way to reconcile the two sides of him.

This book's strength is definitely the characters, and that seems to be a trend in Tess Oliver's work. She creates such real and relatable characters. Dray, Clutch, Cassie, and Taylor all feel like family now, and I cant wait to read Clutch. But I also loved this story and the fact that the only thing keeping Nix and Scotlyn apart for the length of the book was Lincoln, not any of their own issues or stupidness. There was no unnecessary fighting between them or maddening drama of any kind. The only secret between them was the picture in Nix's wallet, and when Scotlyn found out about it she reacted rationally unlike so many past contemp heroines. The story was sweet and desperate but succinct. I wish Nix and Scotlyn nothing but happiness, and I hope to see glimpses of that in Clutch.

“I will take you from him, Scotlyn," he said with quiet confidence. "I think about you every f***ing minute of the day, and I will not let you slip out of my life. I will take you from him.”

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Adventure, Romance
Publication Date: October 29th 2013
POV: Male - First-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5


In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as normal as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for; his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, normal simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.


This book thoroughly exceeded my expectations. I loved The Lost Prince, but I think it was still missing something that the original four Iron Fey books had. I didn't even give Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden books 5-stars. I enjoy them but they don't even come close to how much I love The Iron Fey. But The Iron Traitor has everything that I ever loved about The Iron Fey.

The sense of adventure and of being on a mission was very strong in this book. Every step they took had a purpose. The story didn't wander around at all. Even if Ethan didn't always agree with their mission's purpose, and even if they failed in the end, it still took them somewhere important.

I really enjoyed getting to know all the characters better in this book, even Ethan. He was the MC so we got to know him pretty well in book 1, but I am more impressed with him now; with how loyal he is to Keirran despite everything (I don't know about after the ending, but we'll see), with how he treats Kenzie. The amount of romance was increased quite a bit from book 1. Ethan may be an asshole to most people, but he is really a wonderful person inside who will always be there for you. Kenzie is pretty badass, and yeah, she reminds me of Meghan. Annwyl is a sweetheart and I can't blame Keirran for falling in love with her. I hope to see more of her in the future. 

Then there is Keirran. *sigh* Keirran, Keirran. What can I say about you? Keirran is just what you would imagine the son of Meghan and Ash to be like. He is polite, kind, loyal, brave, fierce, unstoppable, loves passionately, and he is totally hot. Whatever is happening to him, I can't hold it against him. I feel so sorry for him, and afraid for him. I don't know what is happening to him, but it can't be the amulet that is stealing his soul, since he was acting strangely since book 1 when he did not save Ethan from the Forgotten. Although, perhaps the amulet is making it worse. It could have something to do with his parentage. The curse of crossbreeding Fae. It reminds me of Perry's family's curse in Under the Never Sky. I love Keirran and Ethan both for different reasons, and I can't really say which I prefer, but I really hope everything turns out ok for both of them in the end.

I love the fact that Ethan has developed his own group of friends and companions with their own strengths and resources, and he doesn't have to rely on his sister. But I also love the fact that Meghan and her friends are still around and willing to help if they are needed. Meghan wasn't in it too much, but I loved seeing Ash, especially in his role as a father. When he told Keirran that he understood how he felt, how he needed to do anything to save Annwyl, I nearly cried. Grimalkin was...well, Grimalkin. But Puck was in this the most out of the old characters and he was great. I couldn't help but smile the whole time he was around. And he risked his neck for Meghan's brother and son on more than one occasion. I can't help but wonder if he still loves her, or if he is just doing it for a friend. 

"I never make things worse," Puck replied. "I make things more interesting.”

The result of all of this is an incredible addition to The Iron Fey saga that did not disappoint me in the slightest and I cannot wait for book 3. I dont know if it will be the last in the series, but if it is, well, my heart is racing just at the anticipation of all that is going to happen in the book. I'm sure it will blow my mind!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, High Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: December 3rd 2013
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.


What I thought would be a mediocre YA high fantasy after Falling Kingdoms, has turned into the best YA high fantasy I have read since Graceling.

The story is vast and spans three kingdoms as well as a magical realm. It encompasses epic characters from across the kingdoms in various key roles, all of who could tip the scales in the war and in the race to find the Kindred. Sorceresses, kings, princes, princesses, rebels, and immortals.

There isn't a single character that I don't love, except perhaps the villain, King Gaius. He is a bit predictable and blinded by his thirst for power. But he is so psychotic and single-minded in his pursuit, that in a way, that makes him a great villain. He is so evil that it makes him more interesting. I didn't like Jonas too much in book 1 because he was so blinded by his hatred for Auranians, but he has come around in this book and has become a rebel leader and is much more interesting. I also love Lysandra, Lucia, Nic, and the newly introduced Ashur. Every single one, whether good or evil, weak or strong, is amazingly complex and fascinating.

My two favourite characters storylines have merged in book 2, Magnus and Cleo, which is like a dream come true for me. Magnus is the epitome of a misunderstood troubled teen with daddy issues. How can anyone be surprised that Magnus tries to please his father when he is the only one who ever gave him any recognition besides his sister? What teenage boy doesn't want approval from their father? But Magnus isn't like his father, and he is starting to see that. Magnus has been forced into this life while his father chose it. And maybe Cleo is beginning to see that too.

There is no central romance in this story. Most of the characters are between the ages of 16 and 18 and hormones are running high. There are a lot of characters that are attracted to other characters and even have intimate moments with several of them. But so far there is no indication of which relationships will survive the long haul. It seemed for awhile that Cleo and Jonas were going to become an item. I may not like Jonas as much as Magnus, but I love Cleo and I would love for her to have a romance, so I was all behind the Jonas idea. But then that slipped away and Cleo is starting to think maybe Magnus isn't pure evil after all, and Magnus finds himself thinking about Cleo more and more often. Now this I could get behind! With two books left to go in this series, I don't know what will become of Cleo and Magnus' relationship, but I cant wait to find out! As things progressed, their arguing eventually turned into bickering, and eventually seemed half-hearted and almost teasing. I was actually enjoying it.

I am also extremely interested in the idea that Nic may be willing to swing both ways. This could bring us to interesting places as well. I don't know what Prince Ashur's motives are, but I am inclined to believe that he is not evil.

This is an epic fantasy story, full of epic characters. They are so integral to the story that you cant separate them from each other, and I wouldn't want to. I love each and everyone of them as they were written, whether they die, whether they kill one of my favourite characters, whether they try to destroy the world. I love them all.

"She gripped the front of his shirt. It was all too much--she wasn't sure if she was pushing him away or pulling him closer. Much like diving into deep water, she had no idea which way would find her air to breathe or which way would drag her down deeper into the depths where she would surely drown. 
And for a moment, just a moment, she found it didn't seem to matter."

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Torn From You by Nashoda Rose (Tear Asunder #1)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: December 20th 2013
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 9 out of 10
My Rating: 2 out of 5


Love is like an avalanche. It hits hard, fast and without mercy.

At least it did for me when Sculpt, the lead singer of the rock band Tear Asunder knocked me off my feet. Literally, because he’s also a fighter, illegally of course, and he taught me how to fight. He also taught me how to love and I fell hard for him. I mean the guy could do sweet, when he wasn't doing bossy, and I like sweet.

Then it all shattered.

I was alone and fighting to survive.
When I heard Sculpt's voice, I thought he was there to save me.

I was wrong.


I don't even know where to begin. This book infuriated me to no end. I will attempt to start at the beginning.

The prequel novella, With You, was ok, but I didn't feel like the characters were very well developed. Plus, Scuplt was just so forced. Not only is he a fighter, but also a rock star, and he has a bike, and his name is motherf*%#ing Sculpt! What the hell kind of name is Sculpt?! Its like the author was trying to shout in my face, "Hey! Look at this super hot alpha male! Love him!" Ah, no thanks. I'll pass.

Once Emily was taken I got a bit more into the story. I prefer contemporary romances that are also action/suspense. Plus, I love 'Captive Woman' romances. I love seeing a strong woman survive, and finding her light in the darkness. Finding a way to love despite everything, it must be an incredible love to survive that. And as much as I may disapprove of Eme's object of affection, she did fall in love with Sculpt again in that place. And that is the reason for the 2-stars.

Now, Sculpt, aka Logan, is a whole other story. I found him kind of annoying and demanding in the beginning, but once he got into that place, oh man, did he take it to a whole new level. Eme is terrified and alone and will cling to any kindness she receives, I think that that is the definition of Stockholm. So, when she begins to take comfort in Logan, he takes advantage of her. She is not wanting him out of a natural love, but out of her terrifying situation, yet Logan has sex with her over and over again in every manner he can think of. Eme becomes complacent and easier to control. Logan even admits to her that they shouldn't have sex, because Eme needs to act afraid of him, so it wasn't even because he was trying to continue the charade, he was just couldn't control his needs. Every time they had sex while they were there I hated him a little more.

Then they get out, less than half way through the book, and I have over 200 pages left, and I'm thinking," this is gonna be painful." And it was. Logan comes back into Eme's life and is begging her for a second chance. Just the sight of him brings horrible memories back to the surface. But he doesn't take no for an answer. He randomly shows up at her house, shows up when she is hanging out with her friends, constantly calls her. That is harassment even without the history of violence, and I would have gotten a restraining order. She wanted to forget and move on with her life, but he wouldn't let her. He kept bringing it back up to the surface because he is selfish and arrogant and wants her for himself regardless of the consequences to her. He kept throwing their physical attraction in her face, but that is not what you build a relationship on. Especially not one that has such a dark history of objectification. He continued to control her even after she had gained her freedom. He liked to be demanding during sex and sometimes even tied her up. It scared her because it reminded her of what he was like while they were in that place. But he would totally guilt trip her into doing it anyway by saying, "Don't you love me? Don't you trust me?" Gosh, that bastard. I hate him so much. She needs comfort and to regain control of her life. Don't take her control from her during something as personal as sex!

I knew she would eventually give in to him and I was not looking forward to the end. And I got what I expected. He didn't change, he was an asshole to the end. He never eased up his grip on Eme's life. In the last page they even have this conversation,

"You're touring with me."It wasnt a question; it was a statement. "Logan--""Im not asking anymore. This is big and I want you with me.""Dont you think thats kind of selfish? I do have a business to--""No. I told you. We'll try and work in you doing clinics at the stops we make. We need time together, baby.""Logan.""Emily"He leaned in and kissed me, and I melted."

Controlling her with sex to the very end. Charming. I wont be reading the sequel about Kat and Ream. I am the slightest bit curious what they were fighting about, but a sequel would be torture and would probably ruin Ream for me. He would probably end up being portrayed as as big of an asshole as Logan. Now Crisis I might want to read about. :P He is already an ass, but also a total hoot.

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