Punctured, Bruised, and Barely Tattooed

Punctured

Author: Jade Jamison                                                                                                   Published: September 30, 2014                                                                                          Pages: 215

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Kory McCallister has had her eyes on tattoo artist Stone Bowman for quite some time—so long, in fact, that no other guy will do. Stone pushes every turn on button Kory has—he’s tattooed from head to toe; he’s hot; he’s funny and charming; and he’s also mysterious. So when Kory’s friends dare her to ask Stone out on a date, she can’t believe she actually finds the guts to do it.

More surprising? He takes her up on the offer.

She discovers that, while his past might not be quite as dark or mysterious as she’d imagined, it’s bigger than she’d expected, and it’s something she will need to contend with if she decides she wants to keep him around to color her life for good.

Review:

This book was surprisingly easy to fall into. Before you know it, you’ve read fourteen chapters and you have to make yourself put down the book and accomplish something. The author did a fantastic job creating realistic characters- people you can easily picture in your everyday life. The plot flowed with ease and I loved it!

The main character Kory is young and in college studying to become a business major. To say she is obsessed with the local tattoo artist Stone, is a mild understatement! To feed her obsession (and maybe the darkness within herself) and to feel his hands on her, she continues to get piercings from him, even though she is deathly scared of needles. Although Kory is young, she has witness and experienced more than most people- including abuse, starvation, and horrific fear. The more time and the more involved Kory gets with Stone, the more secrets from her past begin to unwind. Everything she thought she got over is now resurfacing with a vengeance. But Lucky for her, Stone is there to help.

Again this book was a great read! The book felt real, the plot wasn’t to far fetched.

Steeling my Heart (Steeling my Heart #1)

Steeling my heart

Author: Lizzy Roberts                                                                                                  Published: March 13, 2015                                                                                                  Pages: 258

Stars: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:

Eight years ago Emma’s life is ripped apart when Charlie saves her life from a devastating tornado and walks away. Left with nothing, she moves from Glen Springs, Oklahoma to New York. She finds success, but the only thing that feels like home is M’s Place, the diner near her apartment.

A trip to Las Vegas changes everything. Things are looking up then tragedy strikes. Emma moves back to Oklahoma with more on her plate than she ever imagined. Can she finally get her life together and put the history between her and Charlie to rest?

Review:

Charlie is a high school dropout who works in his uncles auto shop. He grew up in a trailer park and has had to take care of his mother. To say he doesn’t think highly of himself is an understatement. Charlie’s girlfriend is Emma and she couldn’t be more opposite. She was top of her class and could be or do anything. But she chose to stay in her small town and be with Charlie. That is until he and her family persuaded her to apply for college. The day she received her acceptance letter, a significant tornado storm came threw. That night not only did Charlie save her live, but he also made love to her, taking her virginity. The next morning, everything changes as Charlie leaves Emma so she can peruse a brighter future.

8 years later, Emma has everything that Charlie wanted for her- a great job, enough money, and a nice home. But she is lonely and can’t stop thinking about her one true love. She does however find a place of comfort,a place that reminds her of home at a near by restaurant. Strangely enough, it takes Vegas for her to realize she needs to follow her own dreams and stopping doing what others (aka Charlie) want her to do.

The story twists and turns and ends with a love struck happy ending. The proposal was amazing, I just loved it! But I must say, the end of the book left me with goosebumps! I was going to give the book a solid three stars, but the ending was not on,y unexpected but added an entirely new element to the book. After reading the book, you can’t help but look back on everything that happened and see it in a new way.

I still think Charlie got off to easy with what he pulled. But it’s hard to stay upset at him, his character is to sweet.

The grammatical errors were frustrating and at times really difficult to get past. The book seemed to have more than enough filler information that I didn’t think added much to the story/plot. Regardless, the concept of the book was fun and entertaining.

Feral (Once Bitten Twice Shy #1)

Feral

Author: Anne Berkeley                                                                                                Published: October 26, 2014                                                                                              Pages: 378

Stars: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:

Thaleia Llorente isn’t afraid of the dark, and doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when an incident during a party on Halloween night sends her fleeing into the woods in search of seclusion, she’ll come face to face with one of the creatures she had thought lived only in myths and legends.

Bitten, she’ll need the protection and the help of Icarus Quirinus, her newfound and loathed alpha, to guide her through her transformation and descent into the dangerous world of lycan. Despite his constant need to dominate her, she feels an irresistible and undeniable attraction to him, but can they look past their differences, or will the secrets he holds and her refusal to cede, drive them further apart?

Review: 

This book was interesting but the plot was a bit on the weak side. The concept was good but it either wasn’t executed well enough or the scene was filled with immature topics to fill in the voids. The main character is Thaleia who is model attractive. She walks in on her boyfriend having sex with her best friend. He chases after her and ends up biting her, thus launching the story of her turning into a werewolf. The local pack alpha, Icarus, ends up saving her and bringing her into his pack.

Icarus is an odd character. He is twenty-five but often acts like a young teen. I think the author was trying to portray him as a strong alpha male but he comes across more childish. He often reverts to spanking Thaleia and the way it’s portrayed it ridiculous.

Thaleia’s character was at times annoying but I did like her sense of humor. The only thing that really irritated me was how often her moods would change. Within the same chapter she went from loving Icarus to hating him and then loving him again. Um ok… Then wanting to mate with him to wanting to kill herself, to being in love with him again. Yeah… Not sure that needs more of an explanation.

Some of the scenes were difficult to follow and the author didn’t do a very good job of explaining/detailing things. Overall, I did finish the book and it was enjoyable.

How to Seduce a Billionaire

How to Seduce

Author: Portia Costa                                                                                                    Published: September 15, 2015                                                                                          Pages: 393

Stars: 1 out of 5

Synopsis:

Twenty-nine year old virgin Jess Lockhart has had to put her life on hold due to family commitments, but now it’s time to break out and start enjoying sex and love. Trickily for her, years of artistic dreaming and fantasising about her first ever lover have given her impossibly high standards where men are concerned. She’s not about to do the deed with just any old male that crosses her path. He has to be Mr Right, or at the very least Mr Sex, right for now, and a super special, superior example of his gender. Nothing less will do…

Ellis McKenna has all the credentials to be Jess’s ‘Dream Lover’. He’s gorgeous, accomplished, capable and a fabulous lover, and he also just happens to be the scion of a family whose international assets can be counted in the billions. He’s perfect Mr Right material, apart from one thing… the thing that makes him Mr Wrong for any woman wanting a relationship. Ellis is a grieving widower who’s sworn never to love again. He wants sex, yes, and plenty of it, as a way to forget his pain… but his deeper heart is locked away by regret and sorrow.

Can this unusual couple put aside their issues and enjoy a simple seduction? Or will life’s complexities put a spanner in the works?

Review: 

This book is about taking a chance- with love, opening yourself up, and showing vulnerability.

Jess is a 29 year old virgin who masterbates to an imaginary person who she calls ‘dream lover’. Not only that but she fantasizes about this imaginary person. Comparing ‘him’ to all the imperfect men in the world because of course this imaginary man is perfect. Luck as it may be, Jess ends up running into a real perfect man who also happens to be the billionaire who runs the insurance company she works at.

Ellis McKenna is not the typical alpha, strong, and overpowering male. He seems more like someone who is lost and looking for something but isnt sure what that something is exactly. Ellis lost his wife and daughters in a tragic accident and because of this, he only has what he calls ‘four weekers’ with women. That is until Jess comes along.

Jess’s inner monologue in this book is far to slow and not only drags on and on but it’s also the kind of thoughts a young adolescent may have about Prince Charming. The kind of sappy idealism that makes your stomach turn. Not, might I point out, the thoughts of a 29 year. Almost nothing about her screams she is older than a young teenager. For instance, when she is having a conversation with her new boss, she says this to him: “I mean, your like the super duper boss of me”. I found myself wanting to skip her inner monologue, hoping the story will speed up more.

The first part of the book is awkward and ridiculous. It’s obvious from Jess’s inner monologue that she is infatuated with her new boss. But when he approaches her, she lies and is rather rude to him. I guess you can’t really expect to much from a person who would rather fantasize about an imaginary person than accept the advances of a real one. And then she yells out that her secret about being special is that she is a virgin. I’m not sure I would be comfortable telling a stranger, let alone my boss, something that personal. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Overall, the book was ok. Although it did get better, I just wasn’t able to get into it. Jess’s character was far to immature, annoying, and awkward. I’m sorry, this book just wasn’t for me.

Playing Dirty (Monkey Business #1)

Playing Dirty

Author: C.L. Parker
Published: May 12, 2015
Pages: 310

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Shaw Matthews plays to win, and he intends to snag a coveted partnership at San Diego’s hottest sports agency by signing America’s top athlete. Only one woman stands in his way: rival agent Cassidy Whalen. But eliminating the competition will be Shaw’s pleasure when he concocts an ingenious plan to seduce Cassidy and show the beautiful ballbreaker who’s the better man for the job. That is, until Cassidy turns the tables—and their steamy encounters start breaking all the rules.

Cassidy has worked hard to make it in a man’s cutthroat arena, and she isn’t going down without a fight, not even against the six-two alpha hunk whose rock-hard body awakens desires she’s never known before. As Cassidy shares night after night of unending passion with Shaw, the game begins to change. Now Cassidy stands to lose everything—unless a fiery contest of wills can become a winning proposition for two people who keep raising the stakes.

Review:

This story is about seduction and the power behind it. The two dueling characters, Shaw and Cassidy, both work at Striker and are in a fierce competition to sign San Diego’s star quarterback. And whoever does gets promoted and becomes the other persons boss. No pressure right? Both characters decide the best way to outwit and throw each other off there game is to seduce and concur. The basis of this book is almost comical if not fully entertaining. The writing is fantastic, keeping the reader slightly blushing but always wanting more. And the ending, was genius but oh so cruel. I am definitely left wanting more and wishing the second book was already out.

Shaw’s character comes across as a chauvinist pig. Although confident, his sense of humor can lean on the side of offensive. He rationalizes Cassidy’s ability to do well at her job (seeing as she is a female in a males job), not gossip around the water cooler, and not tied to a male is based on her being and I quote “a black widow, sucking the life out of the men who dared get near her”. I couldn’t help but chuckle at his inner monologue and how he rationalizes what he wants. It is obvious he has wanted to get Cassidy in bed for a while but instead of admitting and just doing it, he justifies going after her as a means take her out of the competition.

Cassidy’s character comes off as confident and strong but on the inside she stumbles around just like the rest of us. The only thing different is she is better at hiding it than the average person. Throughout the book, it becomes clear she is actually very similar to Shaw in his chauvinist mannerisms but with males. It also becomes clear that although she comes across as prim and proper, in regards to sex she discovers she wants anything but. “Maybe it was then that I realized I wasn’t the typical woman. Romance and niceties didn’t do it for me. I wanted a gentleman with a firm hand…”

Normally I don’t really care for books that have dual POV because most authors struggle with creating individual “voices” for each character. But Parker did a great job and stayed consistent and true in regards to the characters voice. This was a fantastic read!

Beautiful Collision (Desperation #1)

Beautiful Collision

Author: Toni Vallan
Published: May 27, 2015
Pages: 225

Stars: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

Eighteen year old Gray McAllister is on the run. Leaving her dangerous past behind her is easier said than done, even when she finds herself at last able to forge a new life.

But then the planets align and Gray finds herself bumping into super-hot Thane Blackwell. Drooling over him from afar is safe but that’s only until she is forced to look after Thane while he recovers from surgery.

Being holed up in her apartment is a bad, bad idea. Can Gray control the fire that Thane seems to light inside her, or will she give in to her deepest desires. Can Thane achieve his goal without hurting Gray in the process?

The stakes are impossibly high, but love and lies don’t play nice with each other. Will Gray’s past catch up with her first? Or will Thane’s own secrets explode and tear them apart?

Review:

Wow, the author wastes no time jumping into the book. Right from the start, the reader is sucked into a high intense and fast moving plot. At times, the author has a unique ability to describe a scene or emotion in a poetic way. Unfortunately due to grammatical errors, it is difficult to get completely submerged in the book. Regardless, the book had a great plot, it was a fun read, and the author did a great job.

The chapters go between two different perspectives: Gray and Thane (aka Watcher). Previously known as Sara, Gray McAllister is on the run. Parents killed in a car accident at age 14, Gray was left under the care of her older brother. A brother who not only beats her, he also resented her and wanted her “on her back” making money. You discover Gray was saved from her brothers assault and is being protected by Nikolai. But Nikolai has other ulterior motives for helping her. It’s unclear why Nikolai favors Gray but it doesn’t take long for that to end.

Thane’s character is a complete mystery throughout most of the book. He has been tasked with the responsibility to follow Gray and keeping her from harm until they get what they need from her. And when danger presents himself, he doesn’t think before breaking into her apartment to save her. As he gets close to Gray, you learn she isn’t the only one with secrets.

Overall, I really liked the book. Again, the grammatical errors were frustrating and hard to get past at times. When Gray was reading a letter from one of the slaves that Nikolai owned, it was very difficult to read. I am wondering if the copy of the book I got was the actual cause of this problem. Multiple words were scrunched together and the spaces were off. Even so, I honestly can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out!

Daemon Seer (The Daemon World #1)

Daemon Seer

Author: Mary Maddox                                                                                                 Published: February 10, 2015                                                                                             Pages: 330

Stars: 2 out of 5

Synopsis:

As a teenager, Lu Darlington attracted national attention when she and her friend Lisa escaped a sadistic killer known as the Professor of Death. She never told anyone about the daemon who saved her life that day.

Ten years later, Lisa shows up at Lu’s door, fleeing another psychopath stalker. But Lisa’s not the only one seeking Lu after all this time. One by one, the daemons descend: Voracious Chama. Sinister Black Claw. Beautiful Talion. Chama wants Lu, but Talion claims her. The women of Lu’s family have always belonged to Talion—and they’ve suffered deeply for it.

As the human threat draws closer, Talion demands that Lu bind herself to him in a harrowing ceremony that will destroy an innocent man and change her forever—but might save Lisa’s life. Can she navigate the violent intrigues of the daemon world without being consumed by its terrible, all-consuming demands?

Review:

*** Sorry, I got a little carried away with my review. There are probably more spoilers than I usually have in this review. ***

The book is somewhat interesting at times but difficult to follow. In the beginning chapters the author doesn’t explain things with enough detail for the reader to get a clear picture of what is happening in the story. Instead Maddox provides a little more understanding the deeper you get into the story. If done correctly, this can be both frustrating and genius! In this case, I would say I was left feeling frustrated and wondering what was happening and why the characters responded a certain way. The book is really slow and hard to get into. Around chapter 9, the book became more interesting and a little less confusing. Overall, the book was both disturbing and fascinating.

Luanda or Lu has had a difficult life.- alcoholic parents who didn’t care, grew up in a trailer park, and an uncomfortable abusive childhood. After watching her father be killed by a serial killer and being one of two survivors, Lu desperately tried to move on with her life. Unfortunately life wouldn’t allow her to forget and move on. Lu’s boss Ken has discovered her secret past and Lisa, the other person to survive and escape the serial killer, has come running back into Lu’s life for help. Lisa needs help because she became mixed up with a dirty cop. He rapped Lisa and framed her for drug possession. And now he is coming after her.

Lisa and Lu are far more connected than the kidnapping they experienced together many years ago. Somehow they are able to send images to each other’s minds and almost know exactly what is happening to each other. While Lisa draws demons she has never seen before, Lu has what she refers to as moments. This is where she not only sees the same demons Lisa draws but is able to communicate with them.

The connection Lu has with the demons is complex. She is “owned” by Talion, the demon who saved her, who “owned” her mother, and who she fell in love with. Talion shows up and demands she creates a child by having sex with any male five times. During this time, the demon would enter the male to create a knot that will tether the demons to earth. The downside is whoever is chosen as her disposable mate, the demons mess with their minds and they end up self destructing and die before to long. Talion forces her to have sex with her nice neighbor. This is one of many uncomfortable scene. Lu is trapped in her mind while her body is being possessed and she gets transformed into ‘animal Lu’. So even though her body is encouraging the sex, Lu herself doesn’t want this and feels like she is getting rapped. This type of scene, her being raped, happens a couple times throughout the book.

I didn’t really care for Lu or Lisa’s character. They are both weak characters who seem to make foolish decisions. Lisa plays the helpless card and hides behind/uses her kidnapping as an excuse to act without though to consequences. She is more the spoiled brat who would rather feel sorry for herself and drag those around her down than address her issues and move on. Lu’s character is similar in how she just accepts what is happening in her life and to her without putting up any fight. Half way into the book Lu begins to fight back, which is refreshing. And by the end of the book, her character has transformed into something stronger. But even so, her character is annoyingly fragile and you can’t help but feel sorry for her.

Just the Sexiest Man Alive

Sexiest Man

Author: Julie James                                                                                                      Published: October 7, 2008                                                                                                Pages: 296

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.

Review: 

Taylor Donovan is a litigation associate to a big law firm in Chicago but is on a harassment case in California. During her time there. She gets roped into allowing Jason Andrews, a top recognized actor, to follow her around in order to learn how to play a realistic lawyer in an upcoming movie. Jason isn’t only recognized for his acting skills but also his ability to pick up women. This skill in particular reminds her all to well of her ex fiancé Daniel. Taylor is an interesting character. She is a hard working feminist who only lets the people around her see the no nonsense, strong, independent side. Although she tries to hide her softer sides, somehow Jason is able to penetrate her defenses.

Jason’s character was arrogant and self involved. He seemed to always be fishing for compliments and was an ass throughout the book. Although he did have his charming side, I’m not always sure it was enough.

This book didn’t follow the normal script most authors use when writing a romance novel. Most authors throw in a scene where one characters makes the other jealous by pretending to be into someone else and even going so as to lie to them. This author did something similar but with a refreshing twist.  Jason isn’t getting anywhere fast with Taylor (or at least not as fast as Jason would like), so to move things along he not only lies but is deceptive in order to make Taylor jealous to see her reaction. It luckily didn’t work on Taylor.I hate when authors do this and then the female lead character admits her mistakes and runs into her soon to be lovers arms. Such crap because it makes perfect sense to fall for a guy and trust him after he pulls a stunt like that.

Diving into the book, the chapters flew by. The sarcastic banter between Taylor and Jason was fantastic! The entire book was not only entertaining but fun to read. The end of the book was a bit mushy and happily ever after. But it was hard not to smile. Hands down, this was a terrific book!!

The Wicked We Have Done (Chaos Theory #1)

The Wicked we have done

Author: Sarah Harian
Published: March 18, 2014
Pages: 272

Stars: 1 out of 5

Synopsis:

Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice. If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends. She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

Review:

The concept of the plot was intriguing and because of this, the author was able to capture the readers attention from the very beginning. Unfortunately the writing style, or more so the grammatical errors took away from the book and it made it difficult for the reader to get lost in the world being created. If you are able to look past some of the odd sayings, grammatical errors, and the constant switch from past to present tense, then you find yourself reading a book that is full of physiological games and somewhat freaky scenes.

This book is about a girl named Evalyn who supposedly was one of eight, who killed 56 people during a college faculty banquet. Because of this, she was sentenced to one month In the compass room. Here she will be subject to different simulations and her reactions will be recorded and judged. If her reactions, either hormonal or emotional, are imbalanced and her “moral compass” is deemed evil, then she will be executed.

Once the inmates wake up in the Compass room, this is when the games begin. Evalyn is the first one to experience this when she “sees” her baby brother running out of her room asking her to chase him. The author did an alright job creating a creepy vibe, especially when it became difficult to tell what is real and what isn’t. Although there were many scenes in the book that were somewhat creepy, they lacked enough detail to truly create a disturbing image.

The story doesn’t really change much with all the characters in the book “seeing” people from there past crimes. This reminds me a lot of the hunger games series in how 12 inmates are in an arena that is manipulated by a creator. Some of the inmates try to kill each other, most try to run a way from there past. But they are all led or guided on a certain path, forced to travel where the creators want them. In one scene, the creator decides to flood them out. This scene in particular reminded me of Catching fire where part of the arena if flooded.

I felt like the book was frustrating in how the chapters jump from the present to the past to further in the past. I found myself wanting to yell, ‘just get on with it’. The book somewhat dragged, as though the author was trying to make a bigger deal or make Evalyn’s story more complicated than it actually is.

I didn’t like Evalyn’s character. She let everyone walk over her and she went along with the idea that she was guilty. Her reasoning behind choosing the campus room was because she wasn’t sure if she was innocent or guilty. Seriously! Did you plan and kill people, no? Then she isn’t guilty of the crime they accused her of. Another thing that irritated me about her character was how immature she is. She is in her 20’s but treats her mom horrible because she doesn’t approve of her major.

Overall I found myself bored with the book. I just couldn’t finish it which is to bad because the book had a lot of promise. I read 3/4th of the book… That was more than enough.

The Deal (Off-Campus #1)

The Deal

Author: Elle Kennedy                                                                                                  Published: February 24, 2015                                                                                            Pages: 358

Stars: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book! The characters were amazing, the plot was entertaining, and I found myself not wanting to put down the book. I am so glad I bought this book.

The book revolves around two characters, Hanna and Garette. Garette is the captain of the hockey team and needs to find a tutor to help keep from failing one of his classes. This is where Hanna comes into the picture. She is a lovable, artsy musician who happens to be one of the few people who passed the midterm in the class she shares with Garette. Garette does everything he can in order to convince Hanna to help him pass the class. He finally convinced Hanna to help by proposing they go on a fake date in order to attract the attention of the person she likes. As I’m sure you can guess, the outcome of this entire situation is not what Hanna had in mind.

As the two of them spend more time together, I found myself unable to stop smiling and laughing. The banter between Hanna and Garette is fantastic. The author did a great job using stereotypes to lead the reader into believing one thing and then finding out the entire situation/character is nothing you assumed. I love the depth the characters had. The ending is one you can only find in a make believe romance novel. Yet, the book overall wasn’t cheesy or over the top.

Overall, great read! I can’t wait for the second book to come out. This is a book you find yourself thinking back on and wanting to reread.