Saturday, January 14, 2017

Until Ashlyn-- Aurora Rose Reynolds

This is the third installment in the Until Her series, which includes Until July and Until June. Those are secondary novels to the Until series. I say this because this is probably the weakest book in the series. Mostly due to plot holes that seemed highly unrealistic to me, and then secondly because there were a fair amount of spelling errors. Now with that negativity out of the way, I still enjoyed the book.

Dillon Keck knew Ashlyn Mayson was drunk when she suggested they get married. He knew he should have taken her back to their hotel room and put her to bed. Instead, he did what he had been craving to do since the moment they met.
Claim her as his.
Waking up married in Vegas isn't something Ashlyn Mayson ever thought would happen to her. Having Dillon, her boss, a man she thinks is a dick, insist they stay married is absurd, but every time he touches her, she gets lost in him and wonders if maybe they are meant to be together.
But someone isn't happy for Dillon and Ashlyn and their new found romance, and they're willing to do anything to keep them apart. Even commit murder.

In one of the other Until books, we hear about how Ashlyn’s boss makes her change how she dresses to work, and is a complete dickhead. All she does is complain, but her cousins know that deep down she has feelings for him. Here enter the plot issues that got to me:

Getting married in Vegas while drunk, done before and done better. I don’t see how she wasn’t extremely angry at the man who just trapped her in a “loveless” marriage. Personally, even if the man I had a secret crush on married me, I would be irritated. She puts up barely any fight besides semi-withholding sex. 

(Now that is something that was fantastic…the chemistry between these two is off the charts. Dillion is so caring, that when they meet in bed you would almost expect him to be soft. Ha-ha, that is not the case. At all.)

Now my other issue is with the murdering, stalker thing. Not much of a spoiler since it says it in the synopsis, so this will be vague as to not spoil more. If he was actually stalking her, he would have realized something was not right. It seemed to me sort of cheap, almost like she needed a quick way to add drama and suspense. I feel like there could have been better ways to tie it into the story than what was chosen.

Since the unhappy thoughts are out of the way, I will gladly read this book again, because while the plot was a bit cliché and contrived, it was cute and entertaining. (A bit expected since these story points have been used so many times before.) It is a feel-good book you can pick up and read whenever you want. Not original but enjoyable.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Corrupt-- Penelope Douglas

I read it, I was sucked into it, but I don’t know if I liked it. How can that be, you ask? Simple. It was dark and twisty and overall all kinds of f-ed up. Seriously.


I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.
His name is Michael Crist.
My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.
But I noticed him.
I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.
Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.
Because he’s finally noticed me.


Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.
My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.
Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.
In my city.
The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.
We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.

The synopsis makes it seem like this is some high-school prankery. It’s not. It’s grown-up, psychopathic terror. Throughout the first half of the book, you honestly aren’t sure of anything. Which way is up, who is right, who to trust or believe? There are glimpses of the past making this novel like a giant jig-saw puzzle that you don’t have a picture of the final outcome.

Some people are comparing it to B.B. Reid’s “Fear Me”, and while I can see the similarities, I would definitely say this has differences for the better. I completely and utterly despised “Fear Me”, “Corrupt” has some similar aspects, i.e. brooding domineering alpha male, who is bordering on being completely abusive and a female character who falls prey to said male. However in this book, our alpha-male, Michael, never truly goes into things looking to physically hurt Rika. Emotionally scar, yes. And Rika, she plays plenty of games on her own. She gives as good as she gets. But the darker, twisty-er part of this book did leave me feeling unsettled.

A few things that I was confused by:
·         Random three-some
·         The prevalence of jumping to conclusions
·         Why is revenge a dish best served cold?

A few things that I greatly enjoyed:
·         Random-three some
·         The epilogue
·         Having to postpone my gym date due to the drama-filled suspense

Will I read this book again? Probably, right before I read Kai’s story, but not on the regular. I fully admit that I enjoy feel good books. This one has some definite feel good moments but also has a lot of moments that made me question why I was reading it. I will say that my favorite thing about this entire book was the epilogue. It brought the storyline to a close in a way that was complete. I would recommend reading it if you like suspense and drama, if you are after a HEA there is one…for the most part.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Nero (Made Men 1)-- Sarah Brianne

Let me preface this by saying that I really love this series and this book was the perfect start to it.

Nero is the king of Legacy Prep, living a life of power.
Elle is the school’s punching bag, living a life of fear.
The only good girls Nero knows jump in his bed when he tells them to.
The closest Elle has come to a bad boy like him is in the cafeteria line.
The mob boss gave him orders to find out what she knows.
Her mouth is sealed.

I just want to be a fu**ing made man.
I’m just a fu**ing waitress

After witnessing a murder, Elle is determined to live life like it never happened. However, the boss has a different idea. He sent his ladies-man of a son to find out what she knows. One little problem... he has been a part of her problem for the last three years. Just a week before these event he made fun of Elle's best friend. Which we all come to find out is a sure way to get on her shit-list.

But Nero makes it his mission to right the wrongs he didn't stop and to win her trust. She becomes more important to him than finding out what she knows. But the family needs to know. She was lucky to be alive, and it was only because she is 17. Dante Caruso doesn't kill kids.

Nero is pretty much exactly what Elle needs. She has spent the last three years of her life lying to everyone but Chloe. Nero has one main rule, "Don't lie to me." That rule is definitely a test for Elle. One because she doesn't fully trust him and two because it is so deeply ingrained in her. Nero also has that little extra something, you could call it dominance, alpha-male extreme, hot sexiness--what ever you call it, he has it in spades. So for Elle's first dip into the dating pool it would be overwhelming. In a great way.

Nero and Elle have their ups and downs. I mean it's basically the worlds worst emotional roller coaster. I know you are thinking but isn't that unhealthy? Why yes, yes it is. But they are both kinda screwed up, Nero holds onto an amazing amount of guilt and Elle is broken from abuse. This is where I get frustrated.

Elle has spent three years at Legacy Prep High School on a scholarship. She has spent those three years being bullied, verbally and physically. Like bloody heap beatings. No-one did anything. They stood by and watched. Her family didn't notice (granted they addressed that a little). One of the teachers knows that her time there hasn't been the best and yet he does nothing. This school has terrified this girl and her reasoning is that they would be glad to have her gone so they would save money. THIS IS NOT OKAY. EVER. Now, the school may feel like Nero did and think that it was only verbal insults being said by girls. Still not okay. However when Nero found out that it was more than just the girls, he went nuclear. He also beat the crap out of a lot of people.

Now that being said, if you have seen, I hated (with a fiery passion) Fear Me by B.B. Reid. You might question why I like this book, well Nero was never really abusive towards Elle. Especially when they were in their relationship, he cherished and protected her. There were no threats, blackmailing or issues of consent. He stopped when she said stop. Yes, he pushed her boundaries but she had the final say. This book is more on the line of Bully by Penelope Douglas, than the monstrosity Fear Me.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Anatomy of Jane-- Amelia LeFay

This steamy novel is not for the closed-minded or the younger crowd. Definitely earns an NC-17 or even an X rating. Whoooeeeee! The moments in this books were up there in scorch level. Wes, Max and Jane have such a great chemistry together and apart you can literally feel it through the book--like into yourself not through the story-line but you see it that way too.

There is more than just sex, which is huge. I feel quite a few books nowadays try and go "50 Shades" but get lost on plot. "The Anatomy of Jane" weaves a tangled web of love, lies and hope. They love each other, they lie to/for each other and they hope for the best for each other. Each character goes through a journey, trying to find out who they are and what's important to them. Of course, they do that while having a tantalizing ménage à trois.

I will fully admit that there is the cliche of extremely rich, attractive men save a poor, young attractive girl. But in this cliches the two men are totally gay for each other. It's fantastic. I fully admit to enjoy an occasional gay-smut. This book was different from those in the sense that we were the interlopers in their relationship. As the reader (and Jane), we are awkwardly getting turned on as we stumble across their steamy love fest. Ms. LeFay does a their relationship justice. They aren't something new. They have been together for four years. They know the ins and outs of each other and then adding someone new to the mix unbalances somethings. She made it seem so realistic as to how this might actually occur in life.

Please read it, so you too can share in my despair of having to wait for book two. The last three pages, boy did they destroy me or what?! I seriously hate books that end this way, but it's so good. I will just have to re-read it.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Last Year's Mistake-- Gina Ciocca

You ever read one of those books that as you're reading it you just don't care? That's kind of how I felt about “Last Year's Mistake”. It just didn't seem to have very much substance. Everything that happened was ready immature. I know that it was supposed to be a high school drama but everything was blown out of proportion. Yes, I know that kids make stupid things epically huge, I just don't really see how this would be the case.

The main character, Kelsey, was genuinely sick and instead of having people be concerned about her (which I feel would have happened), people were making fun of her. Don’t get me wrong I understand how that made her feel I feel alienated. What I don't understand how she would think it was a good idea to alienate the one person who truly cared about her?  David was there for her FOR EVERYTHING. Yes, he made stupid decisions but he's a teenage boy they don't usually use their upper brain, if you know what I'm saying. But her reaction to everything that occurred was probably the worst that could ever happen.

David, David, David. Let’s talk about what he did. His declaration was selfish. HE didn’t really need to do it at that point in time. I get that her being sick brought it all to the fore-front. BUT I feel like he would have told her prior to a few days before her leaving. Like you know when we didn’t really know what was wrong? When there was the stressful admission about her not wanting to die a virgin? OR you know he could have shown her how he felt by not going to the dance that night… but those are just suggestions. I mean, if my best friend was in the hospital the day of the dance I would not have gone.

Maybe I'm just overthinking things but there was definitely something I did not enjoy about this but it just seemed to drag on. Originally, I told my friend that I would recommend this book for her to read, so that I would have somebody to talk to about it. Now, though, I don't even want her to read it.  I don't want my friends to think these are books that I enjoy. It was childish and I'm not really okay with all the drinking that occurred even though I do know that it's something that happens in high school aged kids.

The book, however, was written for high school-aged kids to read. It just felt to me like was normalizing behavior that shouldn’t be acceptable. Also, how easily she brings up kids having sex when they’re freshman or sophomores. That's not something that should be happening and I know that it is, believe me. Studies show that kids are having sex at younger and younger ages, so do we really need books flippantly adding it in. I think that, especially, if your book is geared towards young adults you need to walk cautiously when it comes to those kinds of hot topics. And if you are going more realistic make sure you add in basic knowledge to keep kids safe. There was no mention of safe sex or anything.

Now that being said I did read this book in a little over two hours. I was intrigued with David and Kelsey relationship. I needed to know what happened between them, but when I found out it was just BLAH. I was waiting for more from them, honestly. It was very anti-climactic when it came to their relationship. I just felt like there definitely needed to be more explosion when it came to them actually resolving their issues. I mean if they were to ever really talk about it. It seemed like they just glazed over their problems. Setting up for a healthy relationship.

The book was okay but probably wouldn't recommend, in case you didn't get that from the rest of my review.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cinder & Ella-- Kelly Oram

I have read most of Kelly Oram’s book and I am intent to read more after I post this review. Her stories are not the most complex but boy, do they draw you in. Cinder & Ella is exactly what you would think with a title like that--a revamped version of Cinderella.

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Sound familiar? What you don’t see in the synopsis is how she relies so heavily on her relationship with Cinder, that even to her, her disability gets in the way. She is barely a year out of recovery, which to me makes some of the story not as believable and I will get to that later. When Cinder's identity is revealed she is crushed, if he was just some rich kid then it would have been no big deal. They would have been out of the spot light, but Hollywood's rising star was sure to be see. Her self-esteem is at an all time low and she can't even fathom what people would say about her if they give celebrities a hard time about their noses.To her, it's not logical. To him, it is a necessity.

Now back to her recovery: she had 70% of her body burned in either 2nd or 3rd degree burns, so much so that her toes are disfigured. She spent 8 months in the hospital and had thirty-some odd surgeries. I just don’t feel like she would ready to be out in the world. Now while I will nit-pick on this fact now, it doesn’t bug me one bit while I am reading.

I love the relationship that Cinder and Ella had and how easily they pick it back up. I love how Brian/Cinder is so concerned with Ella’s health and her well-being. He is so in love with her that he will be her rock. Their witty banter is amazing to read, you can just hear them bickering in the most loving way. I picture it, similarly to the way that my husband and I tease one another. Enough to annoy the crap out of each other but not enough to really piss the off--most of the time.

Now as for the other relationships, that’s where my dilemmas begin. Her dad is an idiot, genuine idiot. Why does he think bringing his 18 year old daughter, who he hasn’t seen in 10 years, will be a seem less transition? This doesn’t even include the fact that his wife and step-daughter are the family her left her for…yet he acts affronted when she calls him out for things. Now his wife is sharing a spot with him on the idiot train. She tries to help but she is completely lacking tact and is basically the least couth person there. I feel like she forget that not only Ella is scarred, living in a new place with new people, living every day in pain, but that she also lost her mother not even a year ago. Seriously, Jennifer?! What the heck?!

Now to the evil step-sisters, I feel like they are completely over the top. Anastasia was the culprit for most of the absurdity, but Juliette in the beginning was a bit much, too. Granted I have never had step-sisters, evil or otherwise, so maybe it is a more normal thing for newly made step-families. Some things pulled away from my general enjoyment of the book, but not enough to make the rating a 3.
It’s a solid 3.5 leaning more towards 4, because I am a sucker for a happily ever after and a sappy romance.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Getting Out of Hand (Sapphire Falls 1)-- Erin Nicholas

I really love this whole series and while they are not directly connected storyline-wise there is definite overlap or spoilers. So best start with this book before venturing further into the series.

What better way to go to your high school reunion, and back to a small town you have avoided since you graduated, than by being a huge success with multiple masters degrees and a PhD? Most people would want that, but not Mason Reilly. He hated his time in Sapphire Falls and even more than that he hated how the people there made him feel. He was a social outcast, too smart for his own good and had about as many social skills as a slug. But he was a good kisser. His reunion is fast approaching and he is adamant not to show up, especially since they are also looking at him to fund their newest thrill.

The town of Sapphire Falls needs Mason Reilly, but maybe the only person who really knows how much is Adrianne Scott. She was the one who worked up his profile, knows the minutia about his life/career and is attracted to him.  The attraction is mutual, for mason Reilly he never has felt attraction like this before. The type of craving that makes you want to do....things. Dirty things-- and I'm not talking about farming.

Like any relationship, they have their ups and downs. Especially since the shops they aware hoping Mason will fund will directly impact Adrianne. Mason is determined to win her love even without the monetary options. He decides that it is high time to move back home, leaving all his work and meetings with the Vice President behind. Of course, that's crazy. In comes the lovely bi-sexual Lauren. She might be my favorite if it weren't for what she convinces Adrianne to do.

Lauren and her big brain state that Mason is letting down people and will continue to do so as long as he loves Adrianne. So she goes and ruthlessly breaks his heart. Granted he knew something was up with her but it didn't take the sting away.

See here is one of my pet peeves; I don't understand why adults do this. They could have a rational conversation that won't result in (as much) pain or they could be underhanded and evil. Why do they choose to be evil? I mean seriously?! Mason Reilly in my mind is a more rugged Spencer Reid. Who would want to break his heart?! It’s just not fair. Granted she realizes that she does love him and headquarters. Still. It's just not fair.

But it is still a happily ever after, and if you are thinking I gave away spoilers, I glossed over the premise but did not even cover the steaminess that occurs. Which, delectably, is the best part. I fell in love with Sapphire Falls, hopefully you will too.