The Core (Equilibrium #1)

Core

Author: Kate Thomas                                                                                                           Published: February 10, 2015                                                                                                  Pages: 200

Stars: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:

There’s something strange about David, something that goes beyond the way he makes Ellie feel. He’s wealthy, poised, and a complete enigma. With nothing to lose but her heart, Ellie goes in search of the truth — a search that leads her down an eye-opening path that reveals secrets about the world she thought she knew.

The world’s order is held in careful balance, the essence of good and evil tilting the scale. When the fabric of reality is stripped away, Ellie is forced to make a decision to follow the path David’s constructed before her or simply walk away. The Core is missing and someone must step up and stand between the light and darkness, holding each back and maintaining equilibrium.

Review:

The concept of Alice going down the rabbit hole most definitely applies to this book. While times I love the verbal web the author creates, where you feel you are following Alice. But other times I feel like the dialogue becomes superficial. I think part of this is the struggle I have with the characters. Ellie is odd in that she believes the unbelievable but denies the obvious. Half way through the book this gets annoying. She doesn’t question things that scream something is wrong but she questions random acts. I understand when it comes to paranormal books, there needs to be some balance between things still being realistic but also fantasy. This book at times was unrealistic. The author hints at a love triangle and forbidden love. Overall, the book is an easy read.

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My Clarity

Clarity

Author: M. Clarke
Published: February 10, 2015
Pages: 200

Stars:  1 out of 5

Synopsis:

Still reeling from the death of her father, Alexandria hopes to find both independence and reprieve from her grief by heading off to college. However, life throws her a serious curveball when she discovers that her roommate isn’t quite the person she had imagined.

Smoking, tattoos, and street racing for fast cash are Elijah’s only interests. A harsh life has made him apathetic and indifferent, until Alexandria enters his life. When their paths cross, turmoil abounds.

An inevitable encounter, an undeniable attraction, and an unexpected chance at love—will it be enough?

Review:

The prologue in this book emotionally tore me apart. I’m not usually one to quote a book during a review, but this passage really struck a cord with me:

“Trying hard not to break down as I wiped my tears, I didn’t see my dad. I saw a man who suffered because of his chosen path.”

Maybe this passage hit me harder because I know so many people who have suffered at the hand of cancer and you can’t help but think of the paths they have chosen that led them to this painful spot in life. Unfortunately, the prologue was the only part of the book I enjoyed.

Alexandria is awkward, naive, and judgmental. She thinks a tattoo on someone is “dangerous or badass”…This book starts off with a bunch of awkward dialogue and scenes. It’s obvious that Elijah is Ellie, but I felt like the author dragged this discovery out. Unfortunately, the book continues with the ridiculous story plot. This is one of those love at first sight stories, where the characters deny there feelings even though there inner monologue couldn’t be more obvious.

The dialogue in the book didn’t make much sense. The entire time I a reading this book, I’m getting more and more frustrated with how immature the characters act, again the awkwardness, and things being more complicated than they need to be.

I really didn’t like Alexandria’s character, or Elijah, or the plot. Maybe if the dialogue was a bit more mature or if things weren’t so obvious. I’m sorry, this book was not for me.

Blood Shadows (Blackthorn #1)

Blood Shadows

Author: Lindsay Pryor                                                                                                 Published: November 27, 2012                                                                                           Pages: 380

Stars: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

For vengeance – would you trust a vampire?

For justice – could you betray your family?

For love – are you ready to question everything you believe in?

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for.

Or die.

Review:

This book was a great read! As I was reading the book, I was intending on stopping to take notes. But somehow I found myself at the end of the book with only two sentences written. The book was so interesting, I didn’t want to put it down.

I really enjoyed Kane’s character. I know he can be a chauvinistic ass, but it’s done in a goading way and he owns it. Besides, he’s the villain. I love that hid character isn’t the idolized vampire who is just misunderstood. Yes he was charming, handsome, and flirtatious. But he was also a ruthless bad guy and he didn’t let you forget it. He didn’t pretend to be anything than he was and I appreciate how true his character stayed.

Caitlin’s character was strong, feisty, smart, and fun. But at the same time her biggest weakness was her emotions. This was frustrating because really, a woman’s weakness is her emotions. Not all that original and kind of touches on a misogyny undertone. I honestly didn’t find her character all that strong. She was kind of a pushover and didn’t really bring all that much to the investigation. But I did enjoy her snarkiness.

I like how the author had you guessing throughout the entire book. The plot is detailed with lots of twists and hidden agendas. This book is heavy with sexual tension and dominated sex. If you are shy about this sort of thing, this book isn’t for you. Overall, I really enjoyed the book.

 

Return of the Ascendant (Ascendant #1)

Return

Author: Raine Thomas                                                                                                Published: April 8, 2014                                                                                                     Pages: 270

Stars: 2 out of 5

Synopsis:

Expecting to enjoy another typical college night at a frat party with friends, Kyra Vaughn’s plans derail when she’s almost killed…twice. Her savior, a tall, sexy stranger who calls himself TaeDane, claims that he’s the personal bodyguard for the Ascendant of Alametria. She’s convinced he’s crazy.

Especially when he insists that she’s the Ascendant.

With dark enemies hunting her down, Kyra has no choice but to trust her supposed bodyguard. Ty vows to help her remember her past and return her safely to Alametria, but someone seems intent on interfering, challenging his abilities at every turn.

As Kyra’s memories emerge, she remembers that Ty is more to her than he’s let on…much more than he’s allowed to be. She’ll also discover that there are many things about her planet and herself that she’d rather forget. In the end, she’ll have to make a choice: cling to the life she knows, or risk it all to become the person she’s destined to be.

Review:

This story is complicated and hard to follow in the beginning because of all the different names and planet references. But the story itself is really simple. I would say the target audience is young teen even though there are some sexual content. I understand the goal the plot was trying to reach but ultimately it fell short. I think this book had the potential to discuss global issues and create characters with more depth. But when those opportunities presented themselves, the author either skipped over them or only touched the surface of various issues. Instead the focus of the book was on forbidden love with light references to society/social issues. I don’t think the book was bad but it wasn’t for me.

The romance between Kyra and Ty is over the top. Ty endures physical pain whenever he gets romantic feelings for Kyra. I guess it literally hurts to love Kyra. Kyra is very dependent on Ty and there are many “helpless damsel” scenes in the book that irritate me. For someone who is going to be the new leader of her world, you would think Kyra would have a stronger personality and not be so annoyingly helpless all the time.

Overall, I just couldn’t get into the book. The writing was fine but I was hoping for more depth than infatuated love.

Exposed (Captive #2)

Exposed

Author: Brighton Walsh                                                                                              Published: July 21, 2015                                                                                                      Pages: 256

Stars: 4 out of 5

Synopsis:

Evie is about to embark on the perfect life. Beautiful, poised, and engaged to a rising business star, she fits the part of trophy wife perfectly, except for one thing: her entire identity is a lie.

Five years ago she created a new identity for herself, but it all crashes back when something she witnessed years ago comes back to haunt her. Now she’s in danger of losing more than her social status.

Determined to protect the careful life she’s built for herself, Evie doesn’t want anything to do with Riley, the criminal for hire who broke her heart years ago. But Riley has other ideas. He’s never forgotten Evie, and to protect her, he steals her away. Hidden from the world, sparks begin to fly as old memories resurface and their passion reignites.

Review:

I didn’t read the first book in this series and I don’t think you necessarily need to but it would probably make sense if you did.

From the very first chapter, this book catches your attention and holds it. Slowly the mystery begins to unwind and the reader is left with more questions and wanting to know more! This book is a heart stopping, can’t turn the page fast enough, amazing book! It’s about heartache, doing the right thing even though it’s difficult, it’s about love and loss, and above all facing your fears.

Evie or as she is known now as Genevieve, is in hiding. Although she is living a privileged life, it’s a life full of lies. Engaged to the senators son, Eric, Evie is discovered after a photo was taken of her at a charity event. Now her past has caught up to her in more ways than one. One of the most significant being her ex boyfriend Riley. But there reunion is far less than ideal. After spending five years mourning the love of his life, he isn’t exactly happy to find out she has been alive this entire time. As Evie and Riley rediscover each other, secrets emerge and both of there lives are put in danger.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. At times the story was heartbreaking and others it was exciting. There were scenes that seemed to drag, but not enough to take away from the overall story. The characters had depth and the chemistry between Evie and Riley was mouth watering.

Laid Out (Worth the Fight #4)

Laid Out

Author: Sidney Halston
Published: August 18, 2015
Pages: 302

Stars: 5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Growing up an Army brat, Violet Channing could never meet her dad’s high expectations. But in the eyes of her best friend, she could do no wrong. He even insisted that he should be her first kiss. Now Cain Sorensen is all grown up, hardened by years in special ops and always looking for a good fight. Tall, with striking blue eyes and impossibly blond hair, he’s a modern-day Viking warrior. Of course, Violet’s all grown up, too, and she’s ready to surrender to his every command.

Cain knows he’s bad for Violet. His work is dangerous, and his hobbies are downright deadly. As a private mercenary and a mixed martial arts fighter, he could never let such an innocent soul into his world. And yet his most grueling combat training is no match for Violet’s killer curves, hot touch, and suggestive glances. Now all of Cain’s most explosive fantasies are coming true—but once they cross the line between friends and lovers, there’s no turning back.

Review:

This book is interesting, at times intense, and pulls at your emotions. The story is about best friends, love, guilt, and the struggle to forgive yourself and allow yourself to love/be loved. Not at all what I was expecting from this book. I haven’t read any of the books prior to this one in the series and I’m sad I missed out. Although this book is a great stand alone, I would recommend reading the first three books since the characters build within each book.

Violet’s character is completely lovely. She loves with all her heart, she is the perfect best friend, and guys would be lucky to have her as their girlfriend. Her only flaw, if you can even call it that, is she forgives to easily.

Cain’s character is intense with all the emotions he has suppressed. He is an alpha, brooding, baggage caring, fool of a man. But oh can he be hot! And that mouth of his, yes please. This book is unique in the reasons behind why Cain stays away from Violet. That being there is actually legitimate reasons, not the typical ignore or run away from what’s in front of you.

This book is powerful and a great read! And the ending, oh the ending!! By the end of the book, my heart was broken but full and excited. This is a book that is full of emotion and one you think back to weeks after you finished reading it. I really enjoyed this book and plan to read it again!!

Embrace (The Affair #2)

Embrace

Author: Stacey lynn                                                                                                     Published: May 10, 2015                                                                                                     Pages: 256

Stars: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:

Liam Parker crash landed into Laurie’s life when everything else was crumbling all around her. Her marriage and career were in pieces and her mind was left spinning.
But one touch from Liam, and Laurie could forget everything else around her.
She thought she had it all figured out. As Laurie lost herself in Liam’s warm caresses and his commanding blue eyes, her husband refused to go quietly into the night. While Laurie fought to move on, it was James who was working his way back into her life, fighting for the marriage they had once held dear.
Forced to make choices she never imagined having to make, Laurie finally found herself on firm footing, knowing which way she was going to turn. But then life threw her another curveball. And when she once again began picking up the pieces, learning how to survive and rebuild after everything exploded, there was only one man still there, one man who remained by her side, showing her that sometimes life isn’t about learning how to survive…

Review:

This story is something else. This book is full of drama, betrayal, and hurt pride. I know James cheated on Laurie and to be honest, I’m not sure If something like this actually happened to me that I could forgive and forget. But my heart hurts for James!

Laurie’s character really frustrated me in this book. Part of me wants to shake Laurie and tell her to stop toying with the men in her life. But another part understands why she is hesitant. She says she wants one thing, but when that one thing is looking her in the eye, she doesn’t want it. Ugh, talk about emotional whiplash!

The part of the story that had me throwing my hands up and almost walking away from the book is when Laurie walks in on James masturbating to porn and completely freaks out. She acts as though James cheated on her and what he was doing was wrong. There is nothing wrong about masturbation and I feel like the author is sending a bad message that there is. Laurie’s expectations aren’t realistic.

Luckily, Laurie gets herself together by the end of the book and I am happy to say I love the ending! It was touch and go there and an emotional roller coaster.