Saturday, 31 May 2014

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (Fever #1)

Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: October 26th 2006
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 3 out of 10
My Rating: 3 out of 5


MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands...


This wasn't really what I had been expecting. Its way more Urban Fantasy than Paranormal Romance. The story was interesting and the world easy to get into and understand. But I can tell that it is merely the introduction. The story didn't get too deep and didn't progress too far. Really, I am disappointed by the fact that this had no conclusion whatsoever. I am always a little upset by books that don't have the five-stage story structure. This book didn't solve anything. They didn't find the Sinsar Dubh. They didn't find Alina's killer. We didn't even learn a single thing about Barron. I don't think a main character should remain a mystery past the first book. It makes it hard to really care when you don't know who it is you're supposed to care about.

I really enjoyed MacKayla's character. She was amusing and lively, fun, honest, loyal, brave, and a girl. A girlie-girl, and I liked that. I am a girlie-girl. I like to look nice and I like to wear pink. My friends even half-heartedly make fun of me for always making them look bad. I always dress up even when we aren't going anywhere. I love how MacKayla proved that just because you like to look nice does not mean that you are a damsel or a wuss. Barrons was ok. He was definitely domineering, but that in itself is not hot. I know I hardly know him at this point so I cannot judge until I have read the next book. But at this point he is pretty dull, and if I have to wait longer than two books to get to know a character I will most definitely hold it against the series. I have already ordered book 2 and then after I finish that one I will reassess whether or not I will continue the series.

The cover on this book is extremely misleading. There are two seemingly naked people on the cover but there was zero romance in this book. Z. E. R. O. I gave this a 3/10 on the Smut-O-Meter only because one of the fey tried to rape MacKayla, not because of anything that happened between her and Barrons. This book has an average rating of 4.19 out of 76 000 readers, and I know that they can't all be wrong, but at this point I am doubtful. I rated this 3/5 because it had an interesting Urban Fantasy type story, but I was disappointed in everything that I was led to expect it to be. If I had heard nothing about this series before reading this I don't think I would have bothered continuing it. Sure, book 1 was interesting, but I don't like things that are drawn out too much, and with no conclusion to this one I may not have bothered. It makes me wonder how this became popular when it was new and no one knew that it would be worth waiting for.

"Why, Ms. Lane, do you look like a perky rainbow?”

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time #2)

Genres: High Fantasy, Adventure
Publication Date: November 15th 1990
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense.
My Rating: 5 out of 5


The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.

And it is stolen.


The story really picks up in book 2. It's not just travel and adventure anymore. As the group separates and goes in different directions they face new and individual threats. Nynaeve and Egwene travel to the White Tower to begin training and are betrayed. Rand and Loial are separated from their group and must find the Horn of Valere before Padan Fain. Everything accumulates on Toman Head while the Seanchan invade.

I especially enjoyed the girls' story, and I enjoyed getting to know Min and Elayne better. I think it may just be the female perspective, because even when they were simply training to light candles, I always looked forward to Nynaeve or Egwene's POV. It was a treat once we began to receive Min's POV as well. And their story together only became more and more intense as time passed. Although, I am a little put off by how they are all fighting over Rand. I love Rand as a protagonist, and I love stories of "achieving greatness", but if all these women are in his future I don't know if it is possible for me to not lose some respect for him.

Rand's personal journey is fascinating in itself. How much he has changed in this book alone. He is being molded. I don't know if Rand will be affected by saidin and turn into more of an anti-hero, or if he will be able to withstand it and remain such an incredible soul. But either way, I look forward to witnessing the transformation.

Mat and Perrin are also starting to grow on me. I don't know what role they will have in the story or the coming battle. Even though they are ta'veren, they haven't served any grand purpose so far, besides Mat blowing the horn. I am sure Perrin's wolves could be useful though. We got to know Perrin a bit better in the last book when he was separated along with Egwene, when he first learned about the wolves. And I grew to appreciate him more then. Mat was the one that needed the development in this book, and I wonder if being separated from the dagger will make him more useful still.

Big things are set into motion at the end of this book, now that the world knows Rand is the Dragon Reborn, and sides are being chosen, lines are being drawn. It is making me very nervous to see how many people and armies are against him, and the amount of people who think he is a Darkfriend makes me sad. I have already begun book 3, The Dragon Reborn. I cannot get through this series fast enough. But I will have to resign myself to the fact that I have a long ways to go. Better get to it!

“Some men choose to seek greatness, while others are forced to it. It is always better to choose than to be forced.A man who is forced is never completely his own master."

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Confessions of a Litigation God by Sawyer Bennett (Legal Affairs)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: May 17th 2014
POV: Male - First-person, Present tense
Smut-O-Meter: 9 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


My name is Matt Connover. I am a Litigation God.
Other lawyers quake before me.
Women crawl on their knees just to spend the night in my bed and when I’m finished with them, I walk away without a backward glance.

I am well satisfied with my life and there isn't a damn thing I’d change about it.

That is, until McKayla Dawson came along.

She was meant to be for one night only.
But she got under my skin, and now I want her back underneath my body.

It’s torture working with her in my law firm… day in and day out. But I have to think maybe the Fates have intervened to throw us together because she is unlike anyone I've ever known, and thus I need to pay careful attention to these Legal Affairs.


I enjoyed this much more than the original series of shorts. I would really recommend reading only this one, or at least reading this one first. This tells the story of all the shorts as one novel and from the POV of Matt rather than McKayla. Matt comes across as a real asshole in the shorts since we don't get much insight into his motivations. But in Confessions of a Litigation God we can see Matt struggling with his feelings.

A lot of the time he lets his fears and insecurities get in the way of being happy with McKayla, but at least you get more of the good with the bad. You see how much he at first enjoys McKayla's company and can't stop thinking about her, how he eventually cares for her and doesn't want to let her go, and finally, how much he loves and needs her. I honestly didn't know that from reading the shorts. I assumed that Matt's asshole behavior was due to the fact that he didn't care about her until much later. Especially during the "off" periods of their off again-on again relationship. During those times, Matt was actually in a lot of pain, struggling with all the damage that his ex-wife had caused. He was missing Mac terribly, and trying to find a way to be with her without being hurt. He just needed time to work through his issues, which he did eventually. I found it extremely enlightening.

“Oh, God." 
Not God, babe. 
Matt Fucking Connover.”

This book really goes with its "Confessions" title, and is almost all inner dialogue. Inner dialogue I think is a 'love it or hate it' kind of thing, and for the most part I love it. I love really getting into the mind of a character. And this story is primarily the story of Matt working through his issues. You will have to be patient and understanding to enjoy this book. Matt makes a lot of epic mistakes. He deserves to get knocked on the head more often than not. But I love him.

The original Legal Affairs series was just a casual read for me. But I was completely immersed in this novel and I felt for Matt so much. I think this portrayed both Matt and Mac in a much more flattering light. We got to understand Matt and also see why he loves Mac so much. Mac is incredible for being able to influence such a stubborn and powerful man. She healed him. When I read this from Mac's POV, I often found myself wondering why she was attracted to him, besides the physical. But now I feel like I know them both better, but this is still Matt's story.

“I'm not just craving to get inside of her, I am utterly aching with the need to hold hear her voice, to worship her, to have her entire being envelope me.”

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Magic, Historical Fiction/Alternate History, Mythology, Romance
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
My Rating: 3 out of 5


Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.


I really had no idea what to expect from this. I sort of went in blind and I am not entirely sure whether or not that is a good thing. It turned out not be my kind of story, but it was interesting enough to keep my attention, even if I was sorely disappointed by the outcome.

This book is set in an alternate history. It is the turn of the century and the descendants of Arthur rule the empire, with the descendants of Merlin as their advisors. It had an extremely large cast of characters with constantly alternating POVs, as people come from all over the world to London for the engagement ball of Princess Marie-Victoria of the Franco-English Empire and Prince Leopold of Prussia. I did not love any of the characters. Anelwyn was supposedly a powerful sorceress but she never did anything useful. Ronan was shallow and did not deserve Wolf. Marie was selfish and short sighted. Isabelle was so hot and cold it was ridiculous. I did not mind Wolf, so I suppose what happened to him in the end is for the best. But I cannot understand why he wasted his time with Ronan.
This reminded me immensely of Anna Godbersen's The Luxe series, so be warned. If you have read that series, you know it is a story of no one getting their happy ending. Most of their endings are not tragic, and are a sort of comfort. But no one ends up with their first choice, their true love. Although it was a rather melancholy ending over all, I mourned the most for Isabelle and Louis. Isabelle could be a ridiculous ninny sometimes, but she did not deserve that. Neither did Louis.

Although there was a bit of a conspiracy against the Empire in the end, it was not the focus of the story. Most of the story consisted of Marie and Anelwyn arguing over Leopold, and Marie complaining about her lot in life. I certainly would not rejoice at the notion of an arranged marriage myself, but you would expect a heroine and a princess to have a stronger sense of duty and respectability. But I kept reading because I was just curious enough to want to know how everything turned out. Well, it did not turn out wonderfully, I must say. Although it turned out rather well for the empire. The new Franco-British-Prussian Empire has two good rulers and a loyal Morgaine advisor.

This book seems to be the first in a series according to Goodreads, although it felt pretty well tied up. There were no great happy endings, as I said, but it still had a sense of finality. I don't see the need for further installments, unless it is to introduce new, larger threats to the Empire, and to show its new young rulers prove their merits.

“It was a story they could tell their children, something out of a fairy tale. How their mother had not known who he was when she accepted him, and the frog turned out to be a prince. But the princess had been unwilling to kiss the frog, the prince remained warty and unloved, and now there was no adventure to be had.”

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Rett by Tess Oliver (Custom Culture #4)

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: May 28th 2014
POV: Alternating - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Barrett "Rett" Mason has never found the one girl who can tame his wild heart. And sometimes life is just easier and less complicated without love. While working for Kingston Construction, Barrett becomes fast friends with the owner's son, Cole. They have one major thing in common-- their insatiable appetite for women. But when Barrett meets Cole's sister Finley, the easy, care-free, no commitment lifestyle he's grown used to suddenly loses its appeal. Now Barrett has met his match and the one girl who is just too damn impossible to walk out on.

For several years, Finley King has been a slave to the anxiety disorder that gripped her and kept her from enjoying life. Now with the support of her family, friends, and medication she is on the mend. But the one thing she lacks in her otherwise lush existence as a rock star's daughter is passion. Barrett Mason is about to change that...


I think this might be my second favourite book in this series. My favourite is still Freefall. I always loved Rett. He seemed like such a genuinely nice guy. He never set out to hurt or use women. And especially after he saved Aimee from the fire, I knew he was a winner.

I never really though about it before, that women and sex were Rett's talent. Nix has tattoos, Clutch has cars, and Dray has fighting. Rett has women and sex. But it made sense. It suited him. This was exactly how I always imagined Rett's more personal side to be like, even though we never saw it before. Rett was around a little less than the other men and I feel like we knew the least about him going into his book. But I always knew he was yummy and I was really excited about this book.

Although I never imagined Rett to look like this cover image before it was revealed. I've gotten used to it now, but I didn't know he had long hair. The way everyone was going on about him I imagine him prettier. He is definitely good looking, but way more rugged than pretty. And he looks a lot like his brother, which of course makes sense.

I already loved Finley from Strangely Normal, and she was great in this too. I enjoyed seeing more of her, and Some Pig. Some Pig is awesome. Minus the sexual appetite, Finley really is like a Disney princess. She sounds so amazing, like a person I wish I could be friends with. And she and Rett go so well together. When I first heard that Finley was going to be back as Rett's love interest, I was so excited. I could already imagine the chemistry they were going to have. And of course it turned out to be so much hotter than the other books, with some semi-explicit sex. As I said above, this suits Rett and should have been expected. But I hadn't been expecting it, since the first two books were pretty moderate, and I don't even remember there being any sex in Dray.

But the meaning of all this is that Rett and Finley are perfectly balanced together. Finley can direct Rett's previously unchecked passion, and Rett can ignite Finley previously non-existent passion. I think Rett may be my favourite of the lead males in this series now, even if I preferred Freefall over all because it had an engrossing story. I already miss Rett.

Is this series over? There are no more males I can think of to be featured. None that are part of the same close knit group anyway. Although I would read a book about Cole, and possibly Taylor's brother, Jason. He needs a better girlfriend.

“Having you around is like having a piece of the North star break off and drop to earth.”

Monday, 19 May 2014

The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: December 1978
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 2 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Amid the gilded opulence and dark intrigue of Renaissance Italy grew a love that knew no bounds.

No woman's heart is safe from the Silver Devil. From the moment he sees the beautiful Felicia, he must have her. Overnight he changes Felicia's nightmare world of tavern drudgery into an erotic adventure as his royal mistress. He is the Duke of Cabria who holds his subjects in constant fear. He is troubled. He is ruthless. And Felicia is hopelessly in love with him - though at times he seems like the devil incarnate.


This was nothing like I expected. It was hardly even a romance. Primarily it reminded me of the TV show The Borgias, which I loved, so it made me enjoy this book a great deal more, being able to imagine it happening during the setting of that show. Although the book took place about a century after the event of the series, there were a lot of familiar places and prominent family names.

Most of the story was political, but simply seen through the POV of the mistress of the Duke of Cabria, while the Duke, Domenico, fights to keep his position from spies and betraying family. Felicia is always in the background, witnessing it all. She is madly in love with Domenico, to the point of obsession, but she never considers herself more than his possession, and never considers the possibility that he sees her as anything more than that. She is always there for him, in any small way she can be. She is incredibly supportive even as she convinces herself of his complete indifference. She keeps his secrets, she keeps her eyes and ears open to plots against him, she disguises herself and travels with him and his men across Italy in search of allies. She would do anything for him, even die. And if he died she would die with him. Even as he is cold and harsh to her.
"Domenico, whether you live or die, let me share it!"
Domenico is one of those romantic heroes that you love even though you know you shouldn't. Like a wounded puppy who bites you. You can't hold it against him. He is tall and lean and strong. He is always the tallest man around. Probably 6 and a half feet. Whenever he meets a man who is taller than him, he orders their legs broken. He is arrogant beyond belief, to the point of narcissism. He is often described as a lounging cat, completely sure and confident and graceful, always cunning and on top. He has hair that is silver-gold, and makes me think of the hair of the Targaryens, and that is where he gets his nickname, the Silver Devil. He is also very pale and only ever wears white, black, or silver. In 17th century Italy he is the epitome of beauty and everyone is in love with him. Man, woman, and child.

"I knew that love would not turn the silver devil into an angel. He would remain what he was--subtle yet childish, unfeeling yet passionate, lost irretrievably to everything but his own desire."

He shows no feelings for anyone. He kills without remorse, he watches and laughs as his men rape women, he is brutal towards Felicia in bed and she is always sporting bruises. He is a complete bastard. But Felicia loves his grace and confidence and intelligence and beauty. But he will never change. He eventually confesses that he has always loved her. Which only goes to show that his feelings towards her have not changed him. If he did not realize until the end that he loved her, then perhaps that would mean he could still change. But no. He has always loved her, and he is still a bastard. But I have to admire the way he fought to be with her. He challenged all his men and his council and kingdom for the right to be with her forever. A former tavern wench. In his own way he loves her. And there is no doubt that Felicia loves him. He owns her soul.

"He was on his knees at my feet, and as I watched he lifted the hem of my gown to his lips and kissed it. I made some sort of sound in my throat, but I could not speak.
"You cannot go." He spoke in a whisper, without lifting his head. "I love you. I have always loved you."

Monday, 12 May 2014

The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan (The Tied Man #1)

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense, Romance
Publication Date: January 5th 2013
POV: Alternating - First-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 10 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Lilith Bresson, an independent, successful young artist, is forced to travel from her home in Spain to the wild borderlands of northern England, to repay her feckless father’s latest debt by painting a portrait of the enigmatic Lady Blaine Albermarle.

On her first night at Albermarle Hall she meets Finn Strachan, Blaine’s ‘companion’, a cultured and hauntingly beautiful young man who seems to have it all. But Lilith has an artist’s eye, and a gift for seeing what lies beneath the skin. She soon discovers that Blaine is more gaoler than lover, and if the price is right, depravity has no limits.

As the weeks pass, Lilith finds that she too is drawn into the malign web that her patron has spun, yet against the odds she forges a strong friendship with the damaged, dysfunctional Finn. In a dark, modern twist to an age-old story, Lilith Bresson proves that sometimes it’s the princess who needs to become the rescuer.


This book is extremely dark and not exactly erotica. It was very violent and more like a psychological thriller featuring lots of sexual crimes. The characters were strong and the story had me enthralled. As twisted as it was, I read with a morbid fascination. I love dark romances, but I usually steer clear of anything with BDSM because there is nothing that can turn me off quicker than sadism, and in most stories labeled BDSM, the male lead is a sadist. Then that just ruins the whole thing for me if I cant love the male lead. But this one gets through my filters because the sadists are all portrayed as villains, and the two leads are victims in everything.

Lilith Bresson is a famous artist who is commissioned to do a portrait for the rich English heiress, Blaine Albermarle. She is to stay at Blaine's exclusive private resort while she completes the portrait, which at Lilith's usual pace, could be as long as 6 months. But almost as soon as Lilith arrives she finds out that Blaine Albermarle is a completely psychotic sadist. Her "exclusive resort" is a House of Horrors where the rich and powerful come to play out their darkest desires. Blaine tries to force Lilith to participate in the festivities, hoping it will give her some leverage over her, but Lilith refuses. Blaine will not let Lilith leave the island however, and threatens to have Lilith's younger brother killed if she does. So Lilith stays to complete the portrait.

Also living at Albermarle House is Finn Strachan, an angelic young man who Blaine has forced to cater to the depravities of her clients for years, with a threat to the lives of his sisters hanging over his head. Almost every night he is strung up, beaten, raped, and who knows what else. All at the whim of Blaine's clients. And now, during the day, Finn has Lilith.

“The summer I met Lilith Bresson, I had begun to die. Not physically, you understand. I had never been that lucky. But each day a little more of my soul disappeared.”

Blaine has forbidden Lilith from getting a "free sample" from Finn, but she doesn't stop them from spending time together. They begin to become each other's support, the only refuge in the storm. Lilith starts by simply checking on Finn in the morning, tending to his wounds, keeping his mind occupied with conversation or a walk, keeping him company in his garden, which was his only refuge before Lilith. She isn't forceful, she is just there for him. Which is surprising considering what type of person she was.

Before she arrived at Albermarle House, we see her mouthing off and swearing at everyone she meets. She is not a nice person and she is simply rude and mean. But somehow I still liked her. Under it all she still had principles. I never would have expected her to fall for such a broken man though. But Finn is simply a beautiful person, inside and out. He has incredible strength, and is a bit cheeky himself. I don't know how long he had been working for Blaine, but I think it was several years, and he is 24 in the setting of the book. But he was still alive and sane when Lilith found him. If only just barely hanging on to any will to live. Lilith saved him just in time.

Despite my rating of 10/10 on the smut-o-meter, most of the explicit content in this book is the violence, not the sex. There is sex, but it only feels more graphic because of its nature. It is mostly non-consensual BDSM, but it is not particularly descriptive. The amount of violence and sadism is shocking, but the actual sexual aspects are not detailed. Even the one scene between Lilith and Finn is short and vague. The violence that is added to the sexual scenes is what makes it all the more shocking. This is not a book that will turn you on. At least I hope not.

“The momentary discomfort was nothing at all compared to the realisation that she was finding refuge in my flawed embrace.”

My only complaints about this book are the fact that Blaine's business seemed very sketchy. It is obviously illegal, but I mean it didn't seem to be run that well. How could she have gotten away with these activities for so long? Also, no matter how beautiful, Finn would not have satisfied all the clients. It seems a bit far fetched that practically everyone was attracted to him.

This book isn't an epic romance. The romance is slow, but strong. There are no declarations of love, no grand gesture besides risking Blaine's wrath for each other. They never once said the words "I love you", and there was only one consensual sex scene. But I loved their relationship because of the desperation. The need for each other in order to keep going each day. For the fact that in the end, they were each other's salvation. And I am glad to see that there is a sequel that shows us how Lilith and Finn are doing now. How they are surviving. Although, it probably could have been done in an epilogue.

“ I needed the haven that Finn offered more than oxygen.”

Saturday, 10 May 2014

How to Seduce a Band Geek by Cassie Mae (How To #2)

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Humour, Romance
Publication Date: May 6th 2014
POV: Female - First-person, Present tense.
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Sierra Livingston’s got it bad for her sister’s best friend, Levi Mason—the boy who carries his drumsticks in his pocket, marches with the school’s band, and taps his feet to whatever beat runs through his head. Sierra racks her brain for ways to impress the sexy drummer, but the short skirts and bursting cleavage don’t seem to cut it.

When Sierra gets paired with Levi’s sister, Brea, for a mentorship program, they strike a deal. In exchange for Sierra keeping her mouth shut about Brea ditching the program, Brea lets Sierra dig for more info on Levi to help get the guy of her dreams.

But when Sierra discovers Levi no longer plays the drums, his family has moved into a trailer, and he’s traded in his Range Rover for a baby blue moped, Sierra’s not sure if she can go through with violating his privacy. She’ll have to find the courage to ask him straight out—if he’s willing to let her in—and explore other ways to seduce the school’s band geek

This book was adorable, as I knew it would be. I think this is now my second favourite Cassie Mae book. Since reading Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend I have kept reading all her books hoping they would be as good. They have all been great (except for maybe Switched which I wasn't a big fan of) but this one came the closest.

Levi was adorable, which I knew from How to Date a Nerd. But what I didn't know was that Sierra was so awesome. I love her weird style and how she made her own outfits. I would never wear any of it myself, but at least she was creative and unique. I liked that about her.

I loved how to story was so simple and straight forward. Sierra didn't need to hatch an elaborate plan to win Levi. They just clicked. Probably the only reason it didn't happen sooner was because Sierra was younger than him, and I know from experience that even if you are friends with someone for years, you just have to look at them from the right angle or in the right situation before seeing them as a love interest. I assume the same will go for Adam and Brea, since 2 more years will pass before the next book.

“Levi is made from the beautiful pool of people, but its his good-guy-ness that makes him the most gorgeous man alive.”

And Adam was totally awesome in this book. I am kinda sad that he goes from being Sierra's best friend to Brea's, but of course he will be something different for Brea. :P But I think Adam has the potential to be even more awesome than Levi. He was like the best friend in the world to Sierra. I think its funny that he was so short in this, but he was only 16 and guys are still growing at that age, so maybe he will have a growth spurt before How to Hook a Bookworm.

Sidney was a monster! Oh my gosh I cant believe what she did to Sierra! I was so happy when Sierra yelled at her. She deserved worse.

And again I loved the ending. I love the big public scenes. It reminds me a lot of teen movies. I think these would all make great movies, and I cant wait to read How to Hook a Bookworm! Why is the release date so far away!?

“My eyes travel up red slacks, a white marching band shirt with a red sash that says ORCHARD HIGH, and finally reach the top of Levi's head fashioning a red and white hat that straps under his chin. He gives me a half smile, and taps his leg with his piccolo.
He is without a doubt, the sexiest human being alive.”

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Destroyed by Pepper Winters

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
POV: Alternating - First-person, Past tense.
Smut-O-Meter: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 3 out of 5


She has a secret.

I’m complicated. Not broken or ruined or running from a past I can’t face. Just complicated.

I thought my life couldn’t get any more tangled in deceit and confusion. But I hadn’t met him. I hadn't realized how far I could fall or what I'd do to get free.

He has a secret.

I’ve never pretended to be good or deserving. I chase who I want, do what I want, act how I want.

I didn’t have time to lust after a woman I had no right to lust after. I told myself to shut up and stay hidden. But then she tried to run. I’d tasted what she could offer me and damned if I would let her go.

One secret destroys them.


This book wasn't really what I expected. Its not really the kind of 'dark' that I was thinking of. Its more what I would call 'gritty'. 'Dark' when in combination with romance usually means twisted and psychological. But this was mostly just violent, like some biker romances.

I was really interested in Roan, aka Fox, in the beginning. I love tortured heroes and Roan is nothing if not tortured. He was raised as an assassin in Russia from a young age, and has a lot of behaviour conditioning and brainwashing that he has to fight all the time. There are certain triggers that tell him to kill, and he has to try to fight it, to not hurt the people around him. Its daily, hourly torture for Roan and he has turned to hurting himself to control it. Getting people to beat the crap out of him or cutting can clear his head for a few hours. He is definitely the most tortured hero I have ever read about.

But it eventually became too much. Its a bit far fetched and unbelievable. Not only Roan's behaviour, but his relationship with Hazel. Roan has never been attracted to a woman before, it was bred out of him as an assassin. But for some reason the moment he laid eyes on Hazel he couldn't look away. Its the kind of thing I can usually let slide in a PNR because there are supernatural forces at work, bringing them together. But not in a contemporary. And the fact that he could touch her without flipping out and he couldn't touch anyone else. How he felt like she was his cure. The same goes for Clara. It felt too supernatural. Like there was something greater directing their lives. It was just too much of a coincidence.

The book was pretty long and it just went on and on and on about Roan's problems. And his relationship with Hazel kept going back and forth. One minute she hates him, then she loves him, then she hates him, then she loves him. It was stretched out way too much. I know he is hard to live with, but either love him or don't. Make up your mind and then live with it! She made me so mad in the epilogue. The freaking epilogue! After everything is supposed to be settled and hunky-dory, she flipping changes her mind again and tried to kick him out! Jeez! I couldn't believe she would do that to him after everything they had been through. I know she was just trying to protect someone, but that is not how you treat someone you supposedly love. Especially when it was her fault! She is the one who kept pushing him to do it. If he had actually hurt him, she would have had only herself to blame. But it is not the first time she pushed him too far. Jeez, she never learned. Roan said more than once that she forgave him too often. Maybe she forgave him more than Roan thought he deserved, but she did not forgive him as often as I think someone she loves deserves.

They concept was interesting and overall I like Roan, but this story did not reach its potential IMO. Still recommended for fans of violent heroes.

“My heart cracked, splintered, shattered in my chest. And I knew without a doubt I would love Roan until I died.”

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Alpha by Jasinda Wilder

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: April 29th 2014
POV: Female - First-person, Past tense.
Epilogue, Male - First-person, Past tense.
Smut-O-Meter: 10 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom's hospital bills. My baby brother's tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just "VRI Inc.," and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing…except a single word, on the notes line: "You." Just those three letters.

If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it?
I did.
The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: "belong."
A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. "To me."
The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom's hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you're desperate? You don't. I didn't.
And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: "It's time to pay your debt."
Would you have gotten in?
I did.

It turns out $120,000 doesn't come free.


This book totally blew my mind! It is absolutely only for fans of erotica. For some strange reason it is categorized as NA on Goodreads and I think that is drawing in the wrong readers and resulting in negative reviews. I don't know why it is listed as NA when the heroine is 26 and the hero is 36. This is just full blown Alpha erotica! No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It kind of reminds me of a cross between Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren and Twist Me by Anna Zaires, but with a better hero than either of them. A better hero than Bennett and Julian combined and multiplied by 10. And both of those books got a 4.5/5 from me.

If you are a fan of that type of book you know the bulk of the story is just an alpha male who has to win over a woman. There aren't a lot of other characters and it focuses pretty much entirely on their interactions. And if you love the trope, then that is enough for you. And it was enough for me. Valentine comes into Kyrie's life and he is commanding and controlling and he wants her. He backs her into a corner until she has no choice but to accept his offer. He slowly seduces her and wins her heart, as he lavishes every kind of luxury onto her. Food, wine, clothes, jewelry, expensive leisurely activities such as the opera and sailing; and eventually, once she is willing to beg him for it, "earth-shattering" sex.
“As you learn to trust me, as you give yourself to me, so will I learn to trust you, and give you myself.”

Valentine is a reclusive millionaire, and although he has no traumatic history, he kind of gives off those tortured hero vibes. Something about his reclusiveness made him feel vulnerable, and in turn irresistible. He really grabbed my heart. And he wasn't a captor. I love "love my captor" stories, but the ones I love the most feature captors who have some sort of excuse. Who aren't really captors. Valentine's excuse is that he always gave Kyrie a choice. The doors were unlocked, she could leave at any time. He is the sort of man who has the power, the commanding presence, the ability to use coercion to that extent. He was obsessed with her but he didn't know her. He didn't expect to love her.

Kyrie (pronounced like Siri) was an independent woman. Forced to take care of her family since her father's death and her mother's schizophrenia landed her in a home when Kyrie was 19. She has financially supported her brother and mother for 7 years. But she has had little time for herself. Valentine helps her see herself more clearly. He challenges her to explore herself and what she really wants. Never lets her make a decision without pushing her to look deeper and not make a knee jerk decision. He understands her better than herself. And even a stubborn woman like Kyrie cannot resist Valentine's confidence and commanding presence. They play off each other well. Before Kyrie was even over her initial unease about the situation, I already felt like she should just throw her troubles to the wind and dive in head first. They just clicked. I was always expecting their taunting and games to suddenly turn into a giggling wrestling match. It never did, but I could totally see them doing something like that, and they had their fair share of funny moments. I eventually felt like they had known each other forever and the games weren't even necessary anymore.

“Of course he would stare at me with eyes so understanding and expressive and intelligent that I couldn't and wouldn't dare look away.”

I knew a conflict would be introduced later in the story, because when Kyrie first arrived in his home, Valentine warned her that he had a big secret, that it would change everything, and that he would tell her when the time was right. But because he was upfront and honest about it, because I knew it was coming, and because it was true, and not just a misunderstanding, I was ok with it. I usually hate conflict in contemporary romances, but this was just the right touch, even though I had suspected what his secret would be. Valentine is not a bad person. He had been planning to tell her the truth even before he fell in love with her. Just everything about the way that it was handled was perfect.

And this is beyond a doubt erotica. I would guess about 50% of the book was sex. That doesn't sound like a lot actually, except it took awhile before it started, but once it did, it did not stop! I just feel like I need to emphasize that since I have seen so many people complaining about how much sex this book had. That is definitely not a bad thing when talking to the right people. The sex scenes in this book were absolutely incredible! They are the kind of sex scenes that are worth re-reading. There was no BDSM besides a little bit of spanking, I think twice, and one time he tied her wrists lightly with a piece of lace, which is on the cover. Valentine is just in general a person who likes to be in control, so that definitely came into play sometimes during sex, but he's not a Dom. He's an Alpha.

“God, Roth.” 
“In your life, at this time, those two words could be considered synonymous.”

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