Posted in Romance

Phenomenal X (mmmm…)

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Overall rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Narrator rating: Alexandria Wilde 4.5 Stars

                                 Sean Crisden 2 stars

I gave this book 4 stars. I am somewhere between 3.5 and 4. I think the story held a lot of promise, but maybe for me, it fell a bit short because I just didn’t connect fully. Let me explain:

There seem to be a lot of books out there where good girls tame bad boys, or fix broken boys, etc. I get that Anna is supposed to be escaping from her father and branching out on her own, but her prudeness got to be a little much sometimes. I did like Anna’s character though, and I loved Xavier. Sure, I am not a big fan of bad boys, but Xavier is the sex. I would never want to tame him,  I mentioned in a status update on Goodreads that I would use him just like he uses other women. It would be purely sexual and I am so okay with that.

The point is, I am getting a bit tired of the whole good girl/bad boy thing going on these days. I understand in this book why Xavier is a bad boy, but I dont know, can’t we have a bad girl and a bad boy taming each other?! Or maybe a good girl/boy finding their inner devil 😉 Spice it up!

I do like the sex scenes in this story. One thing I can’t stand is when authors write “he touches my sex…” I can’t connect to that. If and when I read smutty, steamy novels, I want to feel it. I love when a scene was so well written I need a cigarette after (and I don’t smoke). A quick way for me to lose interest is using terms that aren’t relateable. I am not afraid of reading the “p” word (I say it this way for the simple fact that out of respect to my younger Goodreads friends and followers) in a sex scene. That’s hot! I want to hear what I would hear if it were me in that scene! Though the scenes weren’t fireworks, they held for a lot of promise.

At the end of the day all I can say is THAT END THOUGH! There is a major cliffhanger. So, if you don’t want to have to be stranded with the literary version of blue balls, wait until the second and final book comes out (date not yet given).

I listened to this as an audiobook. I think Alexandria Wilde did a phenomenal job. At first it took me a little getting used to her narrating style, but it worked. I loved her voice for Xavier. She made him sound all grovely and sexy. So when I heard Sean Crisden reading the few Xavier chapters, it just didn’t do it for me! I was left wanting and disappointed. The voice just wasn’t sexy. It made me a little sad that Alexandria Wilde’s voice for Xavier makes you feel things when the narrator who read Xavier’s chapters left you going “WTF”

Posted in Romance

Beauty Dates the Beast

beauty dates the beast

My rating: 4 stars

Browsing through audiobooks on my library’s website, I came across this book. So of course, I had to read what it was about…The book review information was so funny, I decided I had to listen to it.

First, I want to say, if you get embarrassed easily, don’t listen to this book with your mom. Second, if your mom gets embarrassed, don’t listen to it with her. In any scene where there was some form of innuendo (and there are plenty), I received a bruise on my arm while I was driving…each time some sexual word or phrase was used, I received a bigger bruise on my arm…while driving. I can’t decide if it is because my mom was listening to it with me and maybe she was just embarrassed or if maybe the scenes themselves were embarrassing. Either way, it didn’t bother me, except for the receiving bruises while driving. As soon as it was done, my mom screeched that she was ready for the second book. In fact, she is trying to push us through a different audiobook just so we can continue on with this series QUICKLY because she enjoyed this book that much.

I don’t have a lot of “Bad” with this book. The only reason why I didn’t give it that 5th star is because the main character was CONSTANTLY trying to feel like she had to protect everyone and that she couldn’t tell anyone anything…but c’mon…seriously? Her sister is a werewolf and you seriously try to hide her smell when you are around other were-animals to keep her safe? Yeah…c’mon…I am sure we have all read enough paranormal books to know how effective that is yeah? After a while, this does get annoying.

Other than that, the characters were great. I figured it out, mom it took a bit. (but to her credit, I read a lot of similar books). The story line was enjoyable and creative. I do think that the character sketches could have been a little stronger, but they weren’t miserably horrible.

As for the narrator, she wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t the greatest either. I feel like over the last year I have come an audiobook snob. I have heard some REALLY BAD narrators, but I have heard narrators so amazing, I wanted to re-listen to the books over and over and over again, or I find myself searching out every book that person narrates so I can listen to more. In this book, some of her voices were just kind of “meh.” My mom didn’t like her voice for Beau but I did. It just fit some how. Overall, I wouldn’t go out of my way to not listen to a book by her again.

Posted in Romance

Dark Lover

Dark Lover

My rating: 4 stars

This is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This series is constantly gracing my Goodreads News Feed. Many of my friends have suggested I start it. So, I happened upon a copy at Wal-Mart and said guess I will start now!

This story is told from various viewpoints, some I enjoyed more than others. I found when I was reading Mr. X’s viewpoints, I was aggravated, but I guess that is the point as he becomes a leader in a sect of vampire killers. J.R. Ward takes vampire lore and just changes everything. Thankfully, she gives a mini dictionary at the beginning of the book because there were new terms I had never heard of before. Yes, this is a series about vampire warriors that are in a group called the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The main goal of this group is to protect the vampire race from the Lessening Society, which are a bunch of men (lessers) who literally sell their soul to the Omega and hunt vampires. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is run by a vampire named Wrath, who also happens to be the Vampire King that refuses to be king and lead his people (who are desperate for a leader).

This story follows Beth, the daughter of one of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (named Darius) who is killed in the beginning of the book. Apparently, in J.R. Ward’s world, vampires are born not created. You can either be born into a vampire family or be half human half vampire. You cannot be human and be bit and changed. At a certain age, these children “transition” into vampires. Usually in the early to mid-20s. When a person transitions, they have to suck the blood from a vampire of the opposite sex. Many people do not make it through the transition, especially ones that are half human.

This book is the same love story, told differently. Wrath is an asshole, pushes everyone away, bad boy, reckless. Beth is the girl everyone wants, yet hates her life and feels like it is going no where. Darius requests Wrath to be the blood donor during Beth’s transition, which he said no at first. Wrath is one of the only pure vampires left, and his blood would help Beth survive the transition. Basically, Beth tames Wrath. Beth makes Wrath suddenly have purpose and want to live. What made this story fun and interesting is the challenges faced along the way. The way each character becomes important, even if they aren’t the main. Every character has a specific role. You either hate them, or you love them, or you know that they are just misunderstood.

This is no small book, and I read it within a day because I couldn’t put it down. For being a romance novel, I did feel like there wasn’t enough “romance” but the side story was fun and enjoyable. I think, at this moment, there are about 12 books in this series. So if you like reading series that are further along when you start, you should be able to read through these before the next book comes out, which should be next year.

Posted in Romance

Jet

Jet

My rating: 4 stars

Since I enjoyed Rule so much (see previous review) I decided to go ahead and continue on with the series. Jet is book 2 in this series. Jet focuses on Jet Keller and Ayden Cross. Ayden is Shaw’s best friend and roommate in Rule. Jet is a friend of Rule’s who is the lead singer and guitarist for a local band.

I did enjoy this book, but sadly not as much as Rule. Sure, Jet and Ayden have their own issues that they have to work through. These issues cause them to almost push each other completely away. They both have to get their shit together. I feel like some parts of this story was a bit forced. I was a little caught off guard what their ultimate decision was with their relationship’s viability, but I wasn’t really disappointed either.

I like that in this installment, we get to go deeper into the pasts of Jet and Ayden. In Rule, it was barely touched on for Ayden during a conversation with Shaw. We get to meet other characters as well such as Ayden’s lovely psychopath brother and Jet’s alcoholic has been father.

Where this story missed for me was the sex scenes. I felt like they were a bit boring, and there was too much implied. Sure, there were a few scenes that were WHOA, but the others just fell short.

From my understanding, this book fell short for a lot of readers in this series. A lot of readers like the other books out more than this one.

Posted in Romance

Dragons need a little lovin’ too

How to Date a Dragon

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

This book is the second in a series, however, they are written in such a way you can read them as standalones. This book did touch a little bit on some characters introduced in the first novel, but they do not have active roles, and when they are around, you don’t feel lost about their significance (if any).

What I liked about this book was that it is something that I haven’t really read before. Lately, I have broadened smut horizons…(side note: I have a hard time reading romance novels for the simple fact that they tend to be a bit unbelievable. The romance I tend to read when I do, does favor that with some sort of paranormalcy to it…primarily because it is so fake, I can enjoy the story more over that “dream relationship”. Also, lately, I have been finding some pretty spot on accurate smut novels that I have truly enjoyed).

I did like the dragon aspect. To be completely honest, I had never read anything regarding dragons before. I think Ashlyn Chase really had to have a good imagination with setting up dragon history and how he came to fall in love with this human. On a negative, I could have used a little more heat and passion. When I read smut, I want to need a cigarette after I read a sex scene. And I don’t smoke.

I also liked Bliss’ character. Her character sketch was strong. I know I moan about it often, but I can’t stand the “woe is me” type character sketch for women. Bliss has her own struggles, she doesn’t like accepting help, she struggles with an overbearing family, she is currently in a greeting card reality competition, a fire consumes her house, she finds out the fireman who saved her life whom she starts falling in love with is actually a dragon, she is attacked by a crazy dragon lady (a literal dragon lady) and she doesn’t falter. Not once does she give up, throw in the towel or complain. She rolls with the punches, picks up the pieces and keeps going.

Do I recommend it? Meh, it’s not necessarily one of those books I would suggest you go out of your way and read RIGHT NOW, but the story was cute and enjoyable. If you find yourself with nothing else to read, and you want to read something a bit different, then yes, you should pick up a copy of this book. Plus…the model on the cover is pretty delicious 😉

Posted in Romance

You can Rule me any day!

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Do you ever read a book that takes you hostage? Consumes every part of you so that when you aren’t reading it, you are thinking about it? Dreaming about it? Trying to finish everything taking your time away from the story so you can just dive back into it head first? Yeah…well…this is that book.

I give it 5 stars….a BIG 5 stars.

So let me start of with saying, I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I happen to like tattoos…a lot. I think they look so delicious on men. I know not everyone does. This series doesn’t necessarily revolve around tattoos, but the main man in each book is tatted up, and each book is based on one of the men you meet in the first book, Rule. But that is what I am going to talk about, because I haven’t gotten my hands on the rest yet.

Rule, what can I say? Everything I want in a smutty book, I got. It wasn’t all smut though, there were multiple story lines and dramas. that were believable. Real life situations that I have seen on a daily basis with my own life or even with lives of those around me. Each character was believable. I know people JUST like each one of them. Each drama, each everything. So how about the sex? Yup…BELIEVABLE. I like a good smutty sex scene that is true. Let me explain. Some authors have a hard time writing a sex scene. Maybe it is because they feel awkward writing it, or don’t know which terms to use to get the point across. I have read scenes that weren’t even there. Literally, sex had been implied but not talked about or anything. Some books, the words were just so weird I couldn’t get passed how it was described because that is not how normal people like me refer to certain body parts, or even just to describe something. Ex: 50 Shades and calling her fun zone “my sex.” I am sorry, but I don’t know a single 23 year old, or virgin, who says that. Other words can be used if not outright but to at least describe it. In Rule, it was described in a believable way that was still tasteful. Also, I don’t generally read romance books. I just can’t buy the story. Its not because I don’t believe in romance, because I do. I just feel like they are so far from the truth that it gives false hopes. I feel (especially with the likes of Twilight) that everyone goes out looking for that “Edward” type..yes they exist. They do. However, I feel like when you are out seeking that, you might miss someone who has all the qualities you want, but just don’t show their hand at first meet and greet. Or, you look so hard, that you don’t see who they really are. So, I have an issue with books that don’t just lay it all out there. The “what happens after the happily ever after” is important to me.

Shaw is a very real and loveable character. You just can’t not like her. She is a “real” female also. She has issues, she has her dramas, and she is not all “woe is me” because she needs a man to save her. No. She wants to have a man, sure, who wouldn’t want Rule, if they can get past his issues, but she can. But, she comes into her own on her own. She starts living her life for her, she recognized how unhappy she was and went about being the real her. She was so unhappy trying to constantly seek approval or do what she was “supposed” to do because of her parents constantly dangling approval in front of her face but not making it attainable. She finally said forget it, she wasn’t happy, so she was just going to make herself happy. That she could be a doctor and still have a tattooed up boyfriend (or maybe one day husband). She didn’t have to have the suit and tie kind of guy just for “image” of how she should be living. She just became herself. And I like that.

Rule, your typical bad guy, right? Maybe. He had a lot of shit thrown at him from an early age. He and Shaw are a lot alike, except he never did things that wasn’t him, no matter who pushed or how they pushed. He was just dealt shit and took it when he thought it was worth it. He knew that people were weary of him because of his tattoos, and because he felt like he was unloved since he was a child, it didn’t matter. Eventually, it did matter.

This story was amazing. Seeing it from both of their perspectives. I love that about books, when an author will write from more than one perspective. You can really get an idea about what each person is thinking about each situation. So you can fall in love with the characters. I am looking forward to continuing on with the series. I even emailed the author to tell her how much I enjoyed this book. I feel like I need to scream it.

Here is my list of books with smut in it that I enjoy:

1. Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamiliton. Sure. The scenarios are not believable as they are not real…werewolves..come on…but man..Richard can come to my house any day! Hamiliton’s scenes, though unreal, can be believed. Maybe it is because I know she writes these scenes from an oppressed place. That as Anita comes into her sexuality, it shows how Hamiliton came through hers. How sex is okay. (Because let’s face it..when it comes to sex, women are oppressed. We are supposed to not like sex because it makes us “slutty”, yeah…no thanks. I don’t buy into that nonsense. The sexualization of women is a real thing and the double standards are outrageous and misogynistic) It is okay to have good sex. Enjoyable sex. It is okay to fall in love and enjoy sex from that as well. That is why I enjoy it. Also. Man those scenes are HOT! For those of you who enjoyed the 50 shades, if you read the Anita Blake series, you will truly understand where 50 Shades fell short. In every aspect.

2. Wallbangers by Alice Clayton. That was enjoyable for the same reasons Rule was. Situations that were believable. Character that was real and most likely a lot of us have been there. And, the author wrote about the scenes in ways you could enjoy, were tasteful and honest.

3. Rule by Jay Crownover. Yup this book made my list. I will sing its praises until I can’t breathe.

Sure, there were some typos. But I have read typos in well known authors’ books. They happen. Shoot, I make them! I am sure I made some in this post. I try to catch them, but sometimes it is just not possible or easy to do so. Do I care? Nah. I try to fix them. I re-read what I write but I still seem to find them well after when I didn’t catch them the first 10 times. Are there many? Honestly I was too caught up in the story to notice them (except one which stuck out but wasn’t a big deal).

This is one of those books I had to get a review out of my system. I enjoyed it so much I want to just give a copy to everyone I meet. Shove it under their faces and say YOU HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THIS. Maybe they will love it just as much, maybe they will hate it. But you know, I gave it a chance and was sucked in. It felt real. I felt right there with them.  Do I think my review even gave the book justice? Nope, I don’t. Do I think my email to the author did? Nope, but I was being honest. I will copy the email here maybe it will help bring some sort of justice to Rule? We will see:

 

I am sure you get these emails often, but I have a few things I want to say. 🙂
 
First, I saw “Rule” on Goodreads when a friend of mine marked it as To Read. Then I marked it the same. I thought it sounded pretty good. After that, I hadn’t quite put much thought into it or finding it. It just so happens Rule found me. I was in Barnes and Nobles looking for a different book. I was in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section. This particular B&N had one row of the Sci-fi section facing the beginning of the Romance section. I had turned around, and what do you know…Rule was just staring right at me! So I got it. I didn’t read it right away. I have this thing where I can buy a book I want, but it may be months before I finally pick it up to read. I have to be in the mood to read it. If I am not “feeling it” when I start reading, then I won’t finish until I am ready to read it. So I brought it home and put it up on my bookshelf until I was ready for it. I was ready for it yesterday. I finished just a few minutes ago.
 
I have to say this, I don’t like romance books because I believe that most of them are completely unrealistic and I can’t relate in any way to what I am reading. (For instance, 50 shades…ugh). I am a sucker for a good love scene. I think when an author can portray a sex scene that makes you completely devour the pages, then that is a good thing. My list of books and authors who I feel can do that, is small. The Anita Blake series always gets me. I know paranormal is completely fake, but her scenes are so well written that it almost sucks you in like you are there too. Recently, you just made that list. I felt their relationship was so real. I cried, I laughed, I was seriously going to shit myself if they didn’t get it together. The book made me so anxious, I had to know what would happen to them that I almost skipped to the end to see.
 
I even suggested this book to my best friend, and she knows that I don’t care for Romance books, but that I loved this one so much and I was only 100 pages in at the time really said something. She bought it. hopefully she starts reading it soon.
 
I really enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward the others in this series. I didn’t mind any typos or anything. Normally I do, but I was so sucked into the story that I just didnt care and didn’t see many. The last thing, I love how this story is completely real and believable. That is what I loved most about it.
 
Thank you for writing such an amazing book!!!!
 

Bridgett

Posted in Romance

OoooooooOoooooO My…..

wallbanger

My rating for Wallbanger by Alice Clayton: 4.5 out of 5!

Romantic fiction is not usually my cup of tea. In fact, romance in books in general, have never been my cup of tea. I first found Wallbanger months ago. I saw it sitting their on the shelf of New Romance at Barnes and Noble. I glanced at the back cover, thought to myself, I might have to give this a try. I placed the book back into its spot and moved forward to the aisle I was really there for. I passed by and looked at this book on 4 different occasions (because I have a SERIOUS book addiction…but I do read what I buy…eventually). I even checked out on Goodreads what others thought about it (I typically ignore this because of spoilers, or that I am afraid other people’s thoughts will cloud my judgment and ultimately my enjoyment from the book). I found, after the first few reviews, that people typically enjoyed this book, that it was full of wit and sultry spice! Finally, I bought the book.

From the very beginning of this book, I was captivated. I found myself laughing loudly (the kicker being I was in public) throughout  the first couple chapters of this book. I read the first half of this book within a couple of hours. I had to literally pull the book out of my hands to get work done.

The downfall to most romantic novels to me, is usually the sex scenes (like 50 Shades of Grey…gag) because they are horribly written and make it awkward and uncomfortable. Clayton, however, did not do this. I felt while reading the flirtations, sexual tensions, and ultimately the sexual encounters, it was legitimately believable. Caroline, who is 26, and Simon, who is 28, were both believable in their roles of this particular story. Their interactions, witty banter, down to their lifestyles, were what you find typically in this age range. Another thing that really made me like this book, she used ACTUAL words to describe what was happening. Not other terms that are not usually used to refer to any other part on the body (like ‘my sex’…who says that anyways?!..no one that is who…especially 23 year old virgins…I am just saying) or leaving my imagination to do the rest. Clayton makes you feel what her characters are feeling from their point of view.

So why 4.5 stars? As refreshingly amazing as this book was, I felt it took too long to get to the point. Though it was nice to see the budding friendship/relationship, I felt that some parts were a played out a little too long. I did enjoy some chapters beginning with a lot of sexual talking, and then you realize they are actually eating meatballs. This happened on more than one occasion and I found myself laughing loudly. This book left me with that real, warm, happy feeling inside. I smiled the entire time I read this book. I was even more delighted to know that this is a series, with the next two books coming out this year….however, only 1 of the next 3 books have the characters Caroline and Simon, but it will do I suppose.

I do suggest this book, even if romance is not your cup of tea. I was pleasantly surprised and I think I might have to be brave and step outside of my genre comfort zone a bit more often, or maybe not, I guess it depends 🙂 But for anyone whose O mysteriously went missing, this treasure hunt sure was fun!

* Note* For those of you just joining in on the fun, I don’t usually include a ‘summary’ as I think the “back of the book” suffices enough. I don’t like giving out spoilers if I don’t have to. I enjoy reading, and I enjoy telling others what my thoughts of the book are. I can give a book report, but where is the fun in that? I am all about discovering the fun for myself. I like to know how a book makes someone feel, the passion it can illicit, the imagination at play…that is what I look for in a review, so this is what I try to give in return!