Sunday 20 November 2011

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Novella
Smut-O-Meter: 8 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

This was my very first erotic read. But the premise sounded very interesting, and I was really curious to see what kind of relationship two people could build from one night together in an elevator. Of course we had the advantage of hearing the thoughts of both ppl, so it was easier for us to believe the relationship that was developing. We knew they were both being honest. But they didnt know. Its hard to imagine two ppl who are so trusting. But I guess that is inevitable in this premise and perhaps I am nitpicking a bit.

I was still very impressed with the result. I was able to accept what was happening, and enjoy it. Logically I question whether someone could fall in love after a few hours talking in an elevator, but Laura Kaye convinces me. MaKenna and Caden were so perfect for each other, and needed each other so much that fate brought them together. The book never claimed it was fate, but I am, because it was just too perfect of a coincidence. Their bond grew at a pace that was believable and beautiful, and led to an amazing climax (pun totally intended).

I usually dont read erotica, and those scenes are usually not important enough for it to matter to the story. But in this it was the climax of the story and it was really important to MaKenna and Caden. It was everything that their talking and the whole of the book had been leading up to. It revealed so much more about them through all their thoughts, and a bit of conversation. Most importantly it revealed what they really wanted from each other, and it wasnt just sex.

“I love...that elevator,” she said. 
With a sleepy smile and a full heart, he turned his head and kissed into her soft hair. “Aw, Red. I love that elevator, too.”

Monday 7 November 2011

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck (The Tiger Saga #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Mythology, Adventure, Romance 
My Rating: 5 out of 5


Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

Kelsey is an 18 year old girl from Oregon, who, while working at a circus for a summer job, befriends a tiger named Ren. When Ren is bought by a rich man in Indian, Kelsey is asked to accompany them to help transport Ren, due to her close relationship and easy way with him. Once she arrives in India they reveal to her that Ren is actually an Indian Prince who was cursed to live as a tiger for the past 400 years, and that Kelsey is the one that can save him. She then embarks on a great Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider style adventure to break the curse. She will have to complete several tasks and by the end of the book she has completed the first task, so I assume the process will take up the entire series.

This was a really great adventure like I was not expecting. It was a lot of fun. It took me awhile before I started to like Kelsey, although it took no time at all for me to like Ren. Like wow! What a leading man! He was so sweet, and for a while it was great. But then Kelsey started acting like a moron. She is not the first heroine to make a similar decision, thinking the hero needs to consider his options before he can decide what he really wants. But its still frustrating that she cant trust he is smart enough to know what he wants. At least there are several more books for them to sort things out, it still has me somewhat worried for the series. I dont want it to be one of those series that continuously goes out of its way to put barriers between a couple.

I totally love how the setting is so unique for YA and I love India, and Ren is so totally gorgeous, and its such a magical adventure. I cant wait to read the next book and I am very excited that this is going to be made into a movie!

“We looked at each other for a minute, not saying anything, but I could feel the air between us shift. It became thick, sultry, and tangible—like when the air changes right before a storm. I could feel its power envelop me as it brushed across my skin. Even though I couldn’t see it, I knew a storm was coming.”

Friday 4 November 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)

Genres: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopian, Romance 
My Rating: 5 out of 5


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


Oh my gosh! This was so good! When I finished this I let out a sound that sort of sounded like a dying cat, and my husband thought I was choking. Haha, I was just so excited I couldn't hold it in and I half squeed, half had a fit. Its the best book I have read in a long time, and definitely the best of all recent dystopians I have read.

I'm not a big The Hunger Games fan so this beat it easily. My previous favourite of recent dystopians was Matched. Its of a very different sort from this so I still love it and hold it very highly. But Matched is primarily a romance, while Divergent is a great dystopian on its own, while still having a great romance. Its world was unique and interesting, and well thought out and organized.

There was so much action, excitement and danger you don't even have a chance to breath. And all the characters were realistic and fully developed. And of course Tris and Four were awesome, as separate characters as well as a couple. A lot of the time YA novels have a love interest who has no purpose other than being a love interest. Divergent does not suffer from that. Really, I cant think of a single bad thing to say about this book. I can't wait to see the movie!

"Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating. Sometimes I just want to see it again. Want to see you awake.”

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy/Fairy Tale, Romance 
My Rating: 3 out of 5


Come and mend your broken hearts here. In this retelling of the classic tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," the eldest princess must fight to save her family--and her heart--from an ancient dark magic within the palace walls.

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her--beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing--it's taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

This felt so much like a fairy tale for many reasons. Most of all, because of the way it left the reader so distant from the characters. You know the way that old books and movies didnt really have as much character development as modern stories? Disney's Sleeping Beauty, and Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz come to mind. It felt like that. I wasnt really as drawn into the story as I should have been. It was a great story though. I dont know if the distance was intentional (to make it feel like a genuine fairy tale) or poor execution.

It also felt very much like a fairy tale because of the ending. Everyone got their happily ever after. All the couples were adorable but so obvious. I knew who all the couples were going to be from the first time they interacted with each other. It practically said *sparks* *sparks*. And I must say, Teddie was adorable. I dont know why everyone thought him annoying and unfunny besides Bramble (although I dont know why she threw the pie at him). I thought he was hilarious and awesomesauce. But it was all rather abstract. Cute, like a Disney movie, but not deep and moving like a lot of great YA romance can be.

I really didnt understand their government, or society, or whatever I should call it. The strangest thing about it is that the King is chosen to be whoever marries the previous King's daughter. Not as Prince Consort, but as King. What is the point of having a Royal family when it doesnt stay in the family? Not that I disapprove, its just strange. Also, the King was sometimes called General, which I dont get. And why were they so poor?! This I cannot figure out. They mention it on many occasions. They come straight out and say they are poor once or twice. But they continuously point out their cheap boots and mended dresses. What kind of Royal family is this?!

"Breaking all the windows? He's mad.""Ah, no," said the King. "It's only madness if you actually do it. If you want to break all the windows in the house and drown yourself in a bucket but don't actually do it, well, that's love.”
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