Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review for Risking It All by Christi Barth - 4 out of 5 stars




SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

Who doesn’t love Naked Men? In Christi Barth’s irresistible series, a group of close-knit friends talk out their problems with naked honesty on a popular blog. Bonded by a high-school tragedy, they’re moving on from the past—and fighting for the future with strong and sassy women.

Griffin Montgomery helps people. As a teenager, he kept his best friends alive after their soccer team’s bus crashed in the Alps. Now, as a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot, he saves lives with reckless abandon—until he goes too far and earns a lengthy suspension. Working on the Naked Men projects keeps his mind busy, but Griff’s itching to get back in the action. That’s when he finds his latest rescue mission: a pretty wallflower who’s stuck in her comfort zone.

Chloe Widmore doesn’t take risks. As a professional letter writer, she gets enough excitement out of expressing other people’s emotions. So when the hottest man she’s ever seen invades her coffee shop, Chloe surprises herself with how much she wants to be with him. Routines make her feel safe. Griff makes her deliciously unsafe, in so many ways. But falling for him is one risk she might just have to take . . . whether she’s ready or not.


MY REVIEW -


I enjoyed Risking It All, and I liked the characters. I did feel like Griffin and Chloe's relationship was a little odd, and I can't really pin point what I exactly mean, but I felt like they were sort of picking at each other a lot, and their personalities and those of the side characters were in a way far-fetched, unbelievable to me, so I wasn't connecting fully with the story, but I still liked the book.

Griffin is in the Coast Guard, and he has a bit of a hero complex; he feels like he needs to "save" everyone, even if it may be a danger to himself. He gets suspended from work for going against protocol and putting his team in danger by taking a risky move to save some people in danger. His story goes viral, and he becomes famous for being a hero, so that also doesn't do him any favors with his boss. Griffin is in a sour mood because he hates being grounded from flying and saving people, so he doesn't know what to do with himself. He also has a blog with some friends from high school, who he went through a life threatening experience with, so they are more like brothers, and the blog is called The Naked Men. It's a blog where the guys give honest opinions about random things in life; they give their "naked" opinions.

Chloe is a professional letter writer, who does most of her work in a coffee shop, and she isn't much of a risk taker because she also went through a life threatening event, so she has a pretty tame, safe life.

Griffin and Chloe meet at the coffee shop, and begin to date. Griffin and Chloe have an instant attraction, but there are a few obstacles in their way to happily ever after.

I enjoyed the banter between Griffin and his friends; they are lots of fun, and have a unique bond. I also liked Chloe. She's intelligent, has a good sense of humor, and I liked all her personality quirks. I did like Griff too, but I didn't like how high handed he was with people sometimes; I think the way he handled a couple of things with Chloe were kind of rude, and he could've soften his approach. Chloe and Griff make a cute couple, and I liked the sexual tension between them, and I liked that they get to know each other before getting really serious about each other. I felt like their feelings were more than just lust at first sight; they compliment each other personalities. I liked that they both had some things to work through in their lives, and they helped each other do that.

I liked the writing, so I'd like to read more books in this series, and I do look forward to Griffin's friends books because I pretty much liked all the guys, and even though some of those guys sleep with lots of women; which I don't enjoy reading about, I feel like the author will do a good job of not shoving it in your face, so I look forward to reading those books. I also think Chloe's BFF will be part of a book, and I'm not usually fans of reading about women who like to have lots of boyfriends, but I'm interested to see how her story goes; I have a thought that she will get with one of Griffin's friends.

Risking It All was sweet and fun, and I loved the dual POV's!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Review for Touched by Elisa S. Amore - 4 out of 5 stars



SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

Based on a Norwegian legend
A Sealed Fate
An Angel of Death
A Forbidden Love

“As seductive as Meet Joe Black. As mysterious as City of Angels. As powerful as Twilight.”

What are you willing to sacrifice when the only person who can save you is the same one who has to kill you?

After vampires and werewolves, after wizards and fallen angels, a new breed of Angels is here to usher you into their dark world. An ancient, deadly, inescapable race.
No one can see them. They’re shadows of destiny. They’re knights of death. They’re the Subterraneans and they’re here to claim our lives.
Commanded by a mysterious congregation called the Màsala, the Angels of Death ensure that each man’s destiny takes its due course on Earth.
But what happens when love intervenes?
Can an Angel of Death deny his own nature and challenge destiny?
Can love rebel against fate?

When Gemma’s eyes first meet the dark, piercing gaze of Evan James, an ominous shadow creeps into her life, ultimately leading her to face her destiny. She doesn't realize Evan is one of Death's soldiers and that Death is summoning her.
Her time is up: Gemma must die . . . and Evan has been sent to kill her.
But what if she’s the only one who can truly see him?

Against every rule. Against fate itself. Against everything and everyone. A story of forbidden love and star-crossed destinies.

Dark. Romantic. Dangerous.

Touched combines devastating passion and unconfessable secrets, heartrending decisions and deep emotions, giving life to a love story as intense as the feelings that unite Evan and Gemma, as inescapable as the destiny that looms over them . . .


MY REVIEW -

I really love the whole premise of Touched, and I was interested and entertained the whole time I was reading it, so that is definitely a good sign! The main thing that dropped the rating down a star was Gemma, and that's mainly due to how she acts with Evan. I feel like she loses herself because of how obsessed she is with Evan; nothing else matters to her but Evan, and she doesn't use intelligence when it comes to him; she's so infatuated with Evan that she shuts out any type of sensible thought, and I just couldn't get on board with that. Gemma's intelligence is really lacking for me in this book; I expected more out of her, maybe that's the problem, my expectations were too high. I also have absolutely no problem with instalove, but I felt there is no explanation about why Gemma and Evan feel this intense connection; I guess I'm going to assume it's a soulmate type of thing, and maybe more will be explained in the next book. With that being said, I am looking forward to the next book in the series because I liked a lot of the elements of the story, and Gemma grew on me a bit. I struggled with not giving this 5 stars because I'm a sap for romantic, deep connections, but I just couldn't get over how diminished Gemma was, and I felt how she treats her so-called friends was rude, and I also don't really get why the author chose to have the prequel book, The Shadow of Fate, be all about how Peter feels about Gemma because I feel his role in this book was extremely limited, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because I didn't like him as much in this book as I did in the prequel, but maybe there will be something with him in later books.

I enjoyed the death dealer aspect; I love when "Death" is put into a romantic role in books, and I'm interested to read where this story is going to go in the next book. I loved that this book didn't have the stereotypical "bitchy" girl hating on Gemma; that's nice for a change. I did like the scenes between Gemma and Evan; just not how Gemma acts when she's on her own. The romance is actually really sweet and like I said, I don't mind instalove, so I'm all on board for the connection between them. I liked Evan, and I was glad when he had some chapters with his POV; most are in Gemma's POV though. I love soul deep connections, and I don't mind super sappy romance, and Touched is definitely those things.

Here's a little bit about how the story starts, Gemma is a 17 year old girl in high school, who loves books so much, she often zones out, and ignores her "friends". Gemma has a pretty normal life, her parents are good parents and love each other very much, but they are often busy with running their diner. Gemma's best friend is Peter, who happens to have feelings for Gemma, but she is oblivious to his feelings, or so she says. I hated how insensitive she is towards Peter and his feelings, but I also think Peter should man up, and tell her how he feels. Anyway, Gemma ends up in the forest, and sees a good-looking, mysterious guy in the woods, but in the next moment he disappears, so she thinks she is seeing things. Gemma begins to feel as if she is being watched, but brushes it off, and continues on with her life. So some time later, the guy she saw in the forest appears at her school, and she realizes she wasn't hallucinating. Gemma feels a strong pull towards Evan, the guy in the woods, but he seems to have secrets and possibly already have a girlfriend, so she shies away from him, but she has these very vivid "dreams" where she talks to Evan, so even though she rarely talks to him in person, her feelings continue to grow for Evan. Touched is about Gemma trying to navigate through her feelings about Evan, and also why there are some weird, mysterious things happening in her town, and what to think and do about them.

I ended up going with 4 stars because I did find the story interesting, and I want to know more! I also liked the writing, and I liked the world the author creates. So, I'm really looking forward to the next book! I think there's a lot of potential for the story to get really interesting!

Oh one more thing! I'm not in love with the whole Gevan thing, lol.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review for The Shadow of Fate by Elisa S. Amore - 5 out of 5!



SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

Peter and Gemma have been friends since childhood. Peter has always been the one Gemma has turned to. It is his shoulder she cries on, and it is he who knows her better than anyone else. And, for as long as he can remember, Peter has seen Gemma as more than just a friend. She is the only girl he has ever loved, the only one he would be willing to sacrifice everything for. But how can he confess his feelings without ruining what they have? Perhaps the right moment is a trip to Split Rock Falls, the spectacular waterfalls not too far from town. There, surrounded by the beauty of unspoiled woods and crystal waters, Peter will finally be able to reveal what is in his heart, and Gemma will understand that the two of them are meant for each other. But Peter does not realize that Gemma’s destiny has already been written…

We meet several characters from Touched in this prequel, where the threads of love, friendship and suspense intertwine in a storyline that is direct and at the same time full of twists and turns, simple yet unexpected.



MY REVIEW -

It's hard to rate this because it is so short; I read it in 30 minutes or so, probably less, and I haven't read the first full length book, but I did like this, and I'm looking forward to reading the first full length book, Touched. I'm a little worried because I adored Peter! How he thinks of Gemma is so sweet, and he is a good guy, but I know in Touched Gemma meets some other guy, and I'm sort of sad by it because I feel bad for Peter, but I don't know what is going to happen, so we'll see.

This was a fun read. It's told from Peter's POV; except for a little bit by Gemma, and it's about how he is in love with Gemma, who is his best friend, but doesn't know how to tell her. The story about how he realized he loved Gemma was really sweet. I love that Gemma is so into books, and that she was reading Clockwork Prince! Love that series! And the Hunger Games mention was great! Peter and Gemma go to the beach with some friends, and it's all pretty much fun times, and Peter debating how to tell Gemma he loves her, and their other friends relationships.

I enjoyed the story even without much to go on, and I'm looking forward to reading Touched next!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Review for Banished by Kimberley Griffiths Little - 5 out of 5!





SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

She thought she’d lost everything…

After spending months traveling the harsh, unforgiving Mesopotamian desert, Jayden reunites with a broken, injured Kadesh. Although everyone was convinced the violent and unpredictable Horeb, Jayden’s betrothed, killed the handsome prince, Jayden knew in her heart that her love was alive and safe. But their reunion is short-lived, as they learn Horeb is on their trail and determined to take back the girl he has claimed. Soon, the two star-crossed lovers are on the run toward Sariba, Kadesh’s homeland, where, as heir to the kingdom, he plans to make Jayden his princess.

But the trek to Sariba comes with heartache and danger. After narrowly escaping being stoned to death for a crime she didn’t commit, and learning that her sister has disappeared, Jayden’s only solace is her love for Kadesh. But even he is keeping secrets from her…secrets that will change everything.

This gorgeous and enchanting sequel to Forbidden is fraught with love, danger, and heated passion that will leave readers breathless.


MY REVIEW -


I'm loving this series, and I want the third book now! Dang you cliffhangers!

This book starts off where the first ended. With Jayden on a search for Kadesh. Jayden has only heard rumors that Kadesh may still be alive, so she travels on her own through the dangerous desert in search of Kadesh. The desert is harsh to Jayden, but she will do what she needs to do to be reunited with Kadesh. When Jayden and Kadesh are reunited (no spoiler, in the synopsis), the reunion is bittersweet. Both Jayden and Kadesh have inner and outer scars that they need to deal with. Kadesh and Jayden set out to travel to Kadesh's home land with an army of sorts that Kadesh has formed. They have hopes of reaching Kadesh's home before Horeb catches up with them, but first Jayden wants to try to get her family. Jayden and Kadesh have to deal with the desolate desert, secrets, spies, loss of family, more than one evil person, a stoning and doubts. The majority of this book takes place while they are traveling through the desert, and although it was a bit the same thing the whole time, I was still interested till the end; there's enough going on and the characters really carry the story. We get some new characters in this book, some I really liked; Asher, and some I despised; Aliyah. I don't get how certain people could allow the temple to infiltrate so far into the kingdom; I won't say more because Spoilers!

I still adore Jayden and Kadesh's relationship, and I enjoy the strength and depth of their love. The romance is so sweet and soulful. I really like Jayden; her strength and determination, but I was a little disappointed that Jayden didn't pick up on some things quicker, and I also wanted Kadesh to not be so unwilling to discuss important things with Jayden. I also was disappointed with how things were in the end; I felt there was more that could've been done to curb the events that take place; I felt like the characters weren't using their intelligence.

I really enjoy the way Kimberley Griffiths Little sets a scene. I can really visualize the setting of this book. I'm really looking forward to the third book!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review for Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little - 5 out of 5!




SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.


MY REVIEW -


This story is so rich and full, and I absolutely loved it! Kimberley Griffiths Little does a wonderful job of painting such a vivid picture! I was immersed in the story from the beginning. Forbidden has great soul to it, and lots of heart.

Forbidden is told from the POV of Jayden. Jayden is a young woman, who lives with her family and tribe in the desert. Jayden is in an arranged betrothal with Horeb. Jayden doesn't feel romantic towards Horeb, and she feels that Horeb is hiding a darker side of himself, but she doesn't want to dishonor her family, so she goes along with the engagement. Jayden's tribe is traveling across the desert to an oasis to set up camp for awhile and there her marriage to Horeb will be planned, but on the day Jayden's family is suppose to leave with her tribe, her family must stay behind to deal with a tragedy. While Jayden is taking some time to herself, she spots a stranger in the cliffs, Kadesh. At first Jayden is weary of Kadesh, but he convinces her he means no harm, so she takes him to her family. Kadesh is injured, and Jayden and her family decide to help Kadesh, and bring Kadesh as they travel to the oasis that their tribe has already left for. Kadesh doesn't want to go because he is on a sort of mission for his family, but since he is injured so he doesn't have much choice.

So, they all set out across the desert to meet up with the tribe, but along the way they face some ordeals that they need to contend with, and along the way Jayden and Kadesh's feelings for each other grow, but since Jayden is already engaged, she withholds herself from Kadesh because she and her family will be shamed if it is found out that she has feelings for another man. Eventually they arrive at their destination, but Jayden is finding it difficult to hide her true feelings for Kadesh; especially with Horeb showing more and more of his darker nature. Jayden really struggles with what she feels in her heart, and what she thinks is best for her family.

I really enjoyed reading Forbidden! Jayden is a strong character; she stands up for herself, even when there isn't much hope, and I enjoyed the slow burn between her and Kadesh. There were some scenes towards the end where I felt Jayden was a bit too scattered, but she had a lot going on, so I overlooked it, and I also didn't really like the scenes at the goddess temple, which is pretty much a brothel, but in the guise of worshipping a goddess; I wanted Jayden to be stronger in those scenes. Jayden has a lot bringing her down, and she is struggling to find a way to honor her family, while still staying true to herself. I enjoyed reading about her growing into a version of herself that she feels proud of.

I'm excited to continue Jayden's story, and since Forbidden ends in a cliffhanger, I am super glad I have the next book to read because I would have hated to wait!

Review for Until It's Right by Jamie Howard - 5 out of 5!




SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

Haley Mitchell is tired of moping. With her broken heart repaired with a thick layer of duct tape, she’s ready to put her ex behind her and move on. After a chance encounter in a club, she’s convinced she’s met Mr. Perfect. But when he accidentally gives her the wrong number, the stranger on the other end of her texts becomes her confidant.

Kyle Lawson has always had more luck with computers than women. So when the new temp, Haley, arrives, he has the misfortune of falling for her, only to land firmly in the friend zone. But when he learns the mysterious woman he’s been texting is actually Haley, he keeps the entire thing a secret.

As things move straight from platonic to decidedly hot, Kyle must come clean about his secret texting identity and risk losing the woman he’s fallen in love with.



MY REVIEW -



I liked this book a lot better than the first book in this series, Until We Break. I'm going to give some spoilers about the first book, Until We Break, so be warned! In Until We Break, the main characters were with other people for the majority of the book, and I just really did not like that, so I didn't really connect with that book, and I was unsure if I wanted to continue reading this series, but I did enjoy the writing and I liked the synopsis for Until It's Right, so I thought what the heck! I'm going to give it a go, and I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed it!

In this book, Haley is the ex-girlfriend of the main male character from the first book, and Haley was dumped after he reconnected with the girl he truly loved in the first book, and she is heartbroken, and trying to pull herself together. I didn't really like that it has been about 6 months, and she is still pretty mopey about Luke dumping her for Sloane, and I don't like that Haley felt she needed to be more like Sloane in order to attract guys, but I still really liked her. Haley's friend thinks she needs to find a new guy, so they go to a club, and Haley meets a guy she has an instant connection with, so he gives her his number, but doesn't take hers because he wants her to make the move. Unfortunately or fortunately, the club was really loud, so Haley mishears the phone number, and when she goes to text the guy, she finds a different guy on the other end. Haley tries to find the guy she met in the club, but doesn't have any luck, and in the mean time she has continued conversing with the other guy though texts, and begins a sort of friendship with the guy; they don't exchange real names, they use code names. Haley also is doing some internet dating; at the strong suggestion from her roommate/friend, and so that leads to some fun scenes.

Haley also meets a cute IT guy at her work, Kyle. Kyle is sort of nerdy and after a bad experience with a girl, Kyle isn't really confident with his skills with women. Kyle is really attracted to Haley, but he doesn't know how to approach the topic of a date, so Haley and Kyle start a friendship. Since this is in the synopsis it isn't a spoiler, so I will go ahead and say that Kyle ends up being the guy Haley is texting with, and when Kyle finds out that the girl he has been texting with is Haley, he doesn't know how to tell her without her thinking he was being devious, so he decides to keep it to himself, and continues to be her friend.

Through hanging out with Kyle, Haley begins to have romantic feelings for Kyle, but through some misunderstandings they have some troubles connecting. I loved Kyle! I've read too many books with angsty alphas, so I love when there's a nice guy; I fear I'm getting tired of those alpha type of males. A nice guy is such a breath of fresh air! Kyle is a really sweet, nice guy, and he still maintains his masculine sexiness; plus I love nerdy guys.

Haley and Kyle are a great couple! Luke definitely wasn't for Haley, and I liked that she realized that she wasn't truly herself with him, and she gains a new confidence. Kyle and Haley's romance scenes were hot and sweet, and I loved that they evolved from a friendship. I enjoyed the scenes with Kyle's family, and I loved the end, but as with the first book, I wanted more ending! But I still loved it. I think Jamie Howard did an excellent job of balancing other events in the book with the romance.

I will continue to read other books by Jamie Howard, and I look forward to getting more glimpses of the characters from the first two books in future books!

I'm going to say this is a spoiler because some people may be thinking something will come of it, but I think it may just be a typo. In one of the text messages between Kyle and Haley, Kyle uses Haley's real name, when he should have used her code name, but nothing comes of it. I was thinking that Haley would know it was someone she knew from that slip, but nope. So, typo.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Review for Drive by Sidney Bristol - 3 out of 5



SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS -

Aiden DeHart has a history—and secrets. His classic car garage is a front for an FBI operation. His current mission: get some evidence from a drug dealer’s ex-wife, then get out. Madison Haughton sending his engine into overdrive isn’t part of the plan, though, especially considering she might not be as innocent as Aiden thought…

Since her divorce from her sleazeball ex, Madison has sworn off bad boys, gotten some sweet tattoos, and become a star of Miami’s roller derby scene. But however fast she skates, her ex is always on her tail. When the sexy guy in the muscle car offers to help, he could be her ticket to safety—or a detour down a deadly road…


MY REVIEW -

I enjoyed Drive, and I liked that it sort of has a Fast and Furious feel because I like those movies, so I was on board for all the car talk. I almost gave this a 4 rating, but I felt the characters were a bit confusing, and I would have liked them to be fleshed out a bit more. I loved that Madison was part of the roller derby! And she has a really kick-ass moment, that was awesome! Unfortunately, she usually put herself in bad situations by making some bad decisions, so I was going back and forth on how I felt about her, and I didn't love that she says one thing and does another. I liked Aiden, but I also felt he also made odd decisions, and he also wasn't firm in his decisions.

Aiden runs a car shop, but he also is helping the FBI catch some bad guys by working undercover as a guy who is sort of involved with the criminal element, so he's not exactly squeaky clean. Aiden is tired of doing this type of work, but feels like he is sort of trapped in his position, and he has a team that he cares for, so that just adds to the pressure to keep working with the FBI, and he also has a personal vendetta against a really bad guy. Madison is trying to pull her life together after divorcing a douche of a guy, who is involved in shady business with the bad guys, but said douche, asks Aiden to get a flash drive from Madison by any means necessary. The FBI wants Aiden to see if Madison knows anything about the douches business, so Aiden agrees to get close to Madison to find out if she is trustworthy or if she was/is involved with the douche's business. Madison wants her Ex out of her life, so when Aiden offers to help her out, she agrees that Aiden can help keep her safe from her Ex's dealings.

I felt Madison was a bit too trusting after having a less than stellar track record of dealing with guys. She meets Aiden, and right away she gets into a car with him. I also found it odd that Aiden is trying to protect Madison, so I don't really understand why she went with him to the races because all it did was create more problems, and nothing was accomplished; they just went there and did nothing and then left, but along the way, they caught the attention of some local gang leader, who has beef with Aiden and his crew, so now Madison is in danger because the gang people saw her with him, so yup more problems.

Both Aiden and Madison feel a connection, but they both feel they aren't in a place to be in any type of serious relationship. I liked them together, and they do have some sweet moments, and some spicy scenes. I think the sex scenes were well placed, and the author did a good job of balancing out the story with the relationship scenes.

I kind of felt that not a lot is going on in this book; they basically drive around to different places, and build up trouble, but I was interested through the whole book, and there were some cool elements in the story. I liked most of the side characters, so I'm looking forward to reading their books, and read more about Aiden and Madison. This book ends in a sort of cliffhanger, but more of a to be continued type of thing, and the next books in the series will feature other characters in the lead positions. If you enjoy car talk, a cute romance, and some action, then I suggest giving Drive a read. Looking forward to more!