Someone Like You (Oxford #3)

someone-like-you

Author: Lauren Layne
Published: December 6, 2016
Pages: 228

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Links to Other Books in Series:
Irresistibly Yours
I Wish you Were Mine (Oxford, #2)

Synopsis:
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Review:
You know what they say about forbidden fruit.. Well, that’s Daisy. Emma’s identical twin sister. She is tough, gorgeous, and broken. Lincoln on the other hand is a tight box of secrets. Secrets even his friends don’t know about. But somehow Daisy is able to uncover these secrets within days of knowing him. Lincoln is the flirt, the kind of guy who can easily put a room at ease. If you’ve read the previous two books in this series, then you know just how good looking Lincoln is. But like Daisy, Lincoln is broken. This book is about finding the courage to fix what’s broken. 

One thing both Lincoln and Daisy have in common is the masks they wear and hide behind. When both Lincoln and Daisy meet, the encounter is both flirtatious with an acknowledgment of the walls or boundaries each other put up. Not at all what I expected in the opening chapter. 

The tone of this book is heavy and the chapters are tinged with sadness as you turn each page, waiting to discover the hidden secret. And when it comes, there is no triumphant moment. Because Lincoln’s secret is heartbreaking. Part one of the book is mostly heartbreaking. The ending brought tears to my eyes. 

Part two of the book starts off on a lighter note. I found myself smiling and enjoying the possibilities to come. But then we get a closer look into Daisy’s secrets and I find myself feeling a mix of hope and sadness. I honestly can say part two flew and by the end I had mix feelings. I really wish I could say more here, but that would be giving too much away. 

The rest of the book flows in a similar way, happy moments sometimes tinged with sadness. The sex scenes are hot and fun. And as far as Lincoln goes, there is only so much understanding I can give. Simply put, he messed up. And I don’t think I would be as understanding as Daisy. There was one scene at the end of the book with Kate’s voice (can’t say more without giving too much away) that had me rolling my eyes. 

Overall I enjoyed the book but this wasn’t my favorite book in this series. I probably won’t ever buy this book because it’s more of the read it once and that’s enough. The book just had too much sadness and not enough sassy banter.

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Dirty For Me (Motor City Royals, #1)

dirty-for-me
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Published: July 26, 2016
Pages: 288

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Ezekiel “Zee” Chase has a complicated past. Born into a family whose wealth grew from the seedy world of big-time crime, he ran away as a teenager and made a home for himself on the streets of Detroit. By day, the mechanic works at a local garage. But by night, he throws down with the best of them in Detroit’s gritty underground fighting scene. With all those muscles, he’s never had trouble with women–until he meets one who challenges him to the greatest fight of his life. . .

Tamara Eliot is a hardworking corporate high-flyer who appreciates the finer things in life, from her expensive perfume to her designer handbags. More than anything, though, she likes to be in control–and when Zee explodes into her life, she feels anything but. He’s the definition of a bad boy: brash, fiery, and of course, irresistibly hot. And there’s a darkness about him that keeps her coming back for more. As Zee takes Tamara deeper into a world she never knew existed, she just might prove to be the one opponent he won’t be able to dominate–at least not without some pleasurable convincing . . .

Review:
The book opens up with the introduction of Zee. The way the author describes him is both scary and sexy. He is a mix of power, confidence, and intimidation. His description is captivating and draws the reader in.

On the other hand, Tamara doesn’t seem as interesting or captivating. At least not at first. She is an intern at her families company and enjoys the finer things in life. Although she seems to have a great life, she is board and unhappy.

Once Tamara and Zee begin to interact, the attraction between them is intense. But Zee isn’t exactly Prince Charming. He is demanding, crude, and somehow still sexy! The sex scenes, as you can imagine, are intense and hot. But the scenes that followed and sometimes led up to these were stuffy. The characters were too much in their own heads and often said the same thing over and over again.

Even though the ending was cheesy, I did enjoy this book.  It’s a quick and entertaining read. Probably not a book I would rush out to buy or want to read again. But for a one time read, it wasn’t bad.

 

One With You (Crossfire, #5)

One with You

Author: Sylvia Day
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 464

Stars: 3 out of 5

 

Links to buy:
$9.99 Amazon
$9.99 Barnes&Noble

 

 

Synopsis:
Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

Review:

This book was better than I thought. Since the release, I have read reviews that put the book near the middle of the road. And for the most part, I would have to agree. For me, the repetition of what Gideon and Eva say was slightly annoying and I felt like it was something the author did to fill the space. The same goes for the plot. I felt the plot was similar to a conversation that crept along at a leisurely pace. My thoughts on reasons behind doing this range from the plot not having enough substance to stand on its own to the author wanting to incorporate an overview of the series. What I mean by this is the author would highlight scenes from previous books in this series as something the characters looked back on or commented on how they grew.

The author did a wonderful job of staying true to her characters. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the characters grew on an individual level but they did develop as far as their relationship is concerned. I wouldn’t say the developments in Eva and Gideon’s relationship was jaw dropping insightful or suspenseful. It was in ways predictable and  slightly uneventful.

Overall, I am glad I read this book. The author does a nice job wrapping everything up and tying loose ends. If you have been keeping up with this series, you will enjoy reading this book. It’s provides the perfect closure for these loved characters.

The Exiled Seven (The Exiled Series, #1)

The Exiled Seven

Author: Blake Renworth
Published: May 12, 2016
Pages: 340

Stars: 3 out of 5

Goodreads
Amazon $2.99
Barnes&Noble $2.99

 

 

I had the privilege to read this book along side rakioddbooks. I haven’t done a buddy read in a while and I miss it! It was so much fun being able to discuss details of the book that you can’t really talk about in fear of saying too much or spoiling the plot. If you are interested in doing a buddy read, I would love to do another one. In the meantime, check out her review for this books here.

Synopsis:
When Alariq is exiled from his home city-state for a crime he did not commit, only six stand by his side, convinced of his innocence and steadfast in their loyalty.

The seven dwarfs must set out from Ishtara to look for a new place to call home, but in doing so, they make a discovery that puts them all in danger. They are rescued and taken in by a mysterious and beautiful outsider, who lives alone in the depths of Loraheem Forest. What follows is Alariq’s struggle to come to terms with his exile, as those around him seek to make a place for themselves in this new life. Soon, however, it becomes clear their situation is more complex than they initially realized, and they begin to wonder if there is more behind Alariq’s exile than simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Told in a unique storyteller voice, this reversal and reimagining of the classic fairy tale explores the themes of shattering betrayal, the subsequent struggle to trust again, and the basic desire to take control of one’s own destiny.

Review:
I loved the first couple of chapters in this book. The way the author talks to the reader while opening the story is fun and in a way a unique approach. In many ways, by doing this the author has given himself a voice within his book. And although I really liked this in the beginning, I found the deeper I got into the plot or chapters the more I didn’t care for it. It’s not that it truly bugs me or anything. It’s just that it takes me out of the story, ever so slightly, but nonetheless it feels like a break from the plot. Almost like the author feels a need to rationalize something or reassure the reader of what is happening or about to happen.

As you dig deeper into the story, the plot unfolds effortlessly and you can easily image the world these dwarfs live in. Right away we are introduced to Alariq and discover he is banished for a crime he didn’t commit. Alariq believes his friends, although loyal in their beliefs of his innocence, foolishly follow him into banishment. Full of regrets and wishing for home, the dwarfs follow a lost Alariq in hopes of settling into a new home. But what they find may be more than they bargained for.

I was surprised how quickly I started to like Alariq. In many ways this feeling snuck up on me and I didn’t even realize how protective I became of his character until the human girl (Tianna) showed up. When she started having power struggles with him, I automatically hated her. Which doesn’t make any sense because she actually saved him and his friends. The more I thought about it, a lot of what goes on between Tianna and Alariq didn’t really make much sense. For the majority of the time they are at odds with each other and just crabby. But there wasn’t really any reason why they were this way. Another thing that was inconsistent or odd was even though everyone unofficially nominated Alariq as the leader of the group, a lot of the decisions he made caused an uproar between everyone. And instead of following his lead, there was a lot of questioning, doubt, and dirty looks. I think I was expecting the leader wouldn’t be questioned as much.

Tianna, although small, can defend herself quite well. Her skills in disappearing and blending into her surroundings is impressive. Actually everything about her character is impressive. The way she is described, it is as if she has no flaws. She is the fastest, best shot, knows most of the answers, and has an attitude to match. I can’t say I cared for Tianna’s character. Simply put, she isn’t realistic and seems too perfect. And for me, that’s just not very appealing.

Overall, the book was interesting and I enjoyed where the author took the plot. The world building was great. As each scene unfolded, I could easily picture everything that happened and what it looked like. For me, This book was entertaining, a nice read that was different from my norm. But ultimately I didn’t love the book and found I wasn’t as invested in the characters or what happened within the story. You don’t learn much about any of the supporting characters which makes it difficult to sympathize with them. The book didn’t have much dialogue and the entire time I was reading I felt more like an outsider watching a movie.

If you are a lover of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings, I would give this book a chance. It might be just what you are looking for.

 

Once Upon a One Night Stand (Lover, #1)

Once Upon

Author: D.N. Hola
Published: May 29, 2016
Pages: 204

Stars: 3 out of 5

Where to Buy:
$2.99 Kindle

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:
Five friends. Five stories.

Welcome to the LOVER show. Let’s begin with L:

Have you ever tried not liking a guy when your best friends decide you should like him? How about if that guy had the sexiest ass on the planet, and was your birthday-cake one-night-stand with icing on top?

London Reeves agrees that three years is a long time to live without sex, but one steamy hot night could never last longer than the morning after. Yet, her four lunatic best friends disagree on that last one. The voices in her head disagree, too, and even her mother seems to think she’s crazy. And sexyass will not take a goddamn no for an answer. Now what exactly is a girl to do against that?

Review:
London is a little odd. She visualizes voices in her head as replicas of herself that have one feeling. For example there is one for happy, angry.. You get the idea. But once you get used to this, there are times it is funny but mostly it easily fades into the background. Almost like it is the most normal thing in the world.. I know, strange right?

London, is on a dry spell and is stuck in the ‘friends’ zone with the guy she loves- Carter. So when she meets sexy Liam at a bar, she lets lose. And WHOA, what a one night stand!! This part of the book was sexy, fun and if I had to classify it as anything it would be entitled- Marathon Sex! But London is an emotional roller coaster and at times it was difficult to identify with her juvenile antics. To be honest, I did’t really like her character in the beginning. But surprisingly, she grew on me and near the second half of the book, I didn’t want to put it down.

Liam is hot. There is just no other words for it. He is sweat, flirtatious, and fun. But he has some major flaws that pushed me away from his character. Without giving away anything all I can say is I didn’t like how he was willing to jump to ‘the next best thing’ at the first sign of distress. But I liked how he stood up for himself when he discovered what was behind London’s antics and how she wasn’t all in.

I know that last paragraph is a little confusing but I can’t say more without giving away some of the plot twists. Overall, the book was a fun read. The characters grow on you and by the end of the book you don’t want to put it down.

Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)

Author: Kristin Cast
Published: June 9, 2015
Pages: 275

Stars: 3 out of 5

Synopsis:
There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.

Review:

The story starts off with the tail of Maiden, Mother, and Crone in the underworld. The prologue spins a tail of forbidden love and the curse to follow. A curse that sends the underworlds protective walls crashing down and a need for a warrior to bring those who escaped back down. Alek, being that warrior, is young and naïve to the human world.  He is slightly cocky but also full of self doubt. The way he perceives the world is at times awkward but mostly strange and he just seems out of place.

Eva is a smart young woman with a good head on her shoulders. But there are things she does in this book that are completely reckless and sometimes irritating. For someone who is educated and smart, she sure has a difficult time making common sense decisions and taking life threatening situations seriously. For most of the book, I really enjoyed her character. I liked how she was shy when it comes to her crush and how sweet and nice she was.

The author does a fantastic job describing what a serial killer/stalker would be like. Everything from the calm in his voice to the violent mood swings, it all sucks you into the story. And when it comes to describing the demon within him, talk about nightmare material. Especially the ending, that was a little disturbing. If you are one of those readers with a vivid imagination, picturing the plot unfold in detail in your head, then there are scenes in this book that are high in the creepy sense.

This book is told through multiple perspectives. It took me a while to figure out why the author introduced Detective James. In fact, it took mostly the book to understand why his point of view was needed or what it added. And to be honest, I’m not 100% sure I understand his role. The author uses the detectives working Eva’s kidnapping case to create havoc and stress. Their jump of viewing Eva as a victim to her being the primary suspect isn’t realistic and doesn’t make much sense.

The story line goes from dragging at times to an intense scene that is either disturbing, frightening, or bizarre. The author ends the book on a cliff hanger and not much is really solved but you are left with wanting more. The writing is well done and the description is great.

One thing I noticed was how the synopsis doesn’t really align with the book. I didn’t catch onto the secrets Eva was surrounded by. Maybe someone could point those out for me?? And she doesn’t really become the Hunter. Yes, Alek help her become reborn but she doesn’t go hunting demons. Again, maybe I missed something here?? And I didn’t really notice how they discovered their limits to their powers. This, added with some unrealistic plot lines and the slightly slow moving pace, made this book a three star instead of five. I am interested to see where the author is taking this series and will be wanting to read the next book.

If this book interests you, click on the link- Amber Smoke: The Escaped – Book One (The Escaped Series) – for more information.

 

 

His to Protect (Fireside, #2)

His to protect

Author: Stacey Lynn
Published: July 12, 2016
Pages: 225

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis:

Declan James lost his last ounce of trust the day his wife walked out the door, leaving him to save the restaurant they built together. Throwing himself into his work, Declan swears off women—or at least, women who expect him to stick around in the morning. But when he discovers a skittish beauty scrounging through the Fireside’s trash to feed her dog, Declan offers her a job and a place to rest her head. There’s just something about her that awakens his protective side. And soon, not even that mangy mutt can stop Declan from caring for her.

After one too many trips to the ER, Trina Wilson finally gathered the courage to leave her husband, taking only her car and hyperactive boxer. Unfortunately, life on the run proves harder than she anticipated—until Declan takes a leap of faith on her. But even as Trina starts to see beyond his gruff exterior, she can’t relax, even for a moment. Not with her husband still tracking her down. What Trina doesn’t know is that in Declan, she has a powerful ally—and, if she would only follow her heart, a devoted lover.

Review:

After reading the synopsis, I was surprised to find the book started the way it did. The emotions, the fear, everything was perfectly described. The writing in this book is well done and pulls the readers in. This book might be considered a trigger book if you have ever been in an abusive relationship. The book doesn’t go into details about the abuse, but Trina’s character is the perfect resemblance of a bettered wife.

While reading this book, my heart ached for Trina. Her character is amazingly strong but not in the sense I am used to reading. She is a woman who knows her worth but sacrifices herself because of what she feels is the right thing to do at the time. When all is said and done, she is hardly a shell of her former self.

From the very beginning when Declan meets Trina, he has this innate need to protect her. He doesn’t understand it but he also doesn’t fight it. He is a strong man who can easily be described as having an alpha male personality. Declan’s character isn’t perfect and because of his ex wife, he has a hard time trusting and accepting love.

What I found interesting was both characters just came out of a bad relationships. Yet, they both kind of jump right in with each other. Yes, Declan’s ex wife was out of the picture but Trina’s husband wasn’t. The rational part of me has a hard time believing a relationship developed under these circumstances could ever be sustained.

And although both Trina and Declan help each other heal and their characters grow, I couldn’t help but feel like I have read this plot a thousand times. Not necessarily the dynamics in this particular book, but the overall theme isn’t new. The plot was well written and flowed beautifully. And I enjoyed the story but wasn’t head over heels in love with it.

Overall, This is one of those books that captivates your attention and pulls you in because the emotions are so raw. But at the same time, you need to take a step back and let the book set in before you come to your conclusion.