Review : This is Who I Am (Masters of the Shadowlands #7) by Cherise Sinclair

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Title:  This is Who I Am
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Publisher/Year:  Loose Id LLC 5/28/12
Length:  298 pages
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #7

Overview

When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won’t even admit she’s a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an opportunity arises, he slips into her life, intending to make amends. She’s everything he knew she would be…except for her bullheaded determination to be ‘normal’.

Now the horrible time is past, Linda just wants to return to her small conservative town, pick up her quiet life, and be normal. But how can someone who likes pain be ‘normal’? To her dismay, when someone spray-paints her home with obscenities, Sam shows up to rescue her. Again. Doesn’t he understand that the last thing she needs in her life is a sadist? He’s amused by her objections. But his dry sense of humor doesn’t disguise that he’s tough as nails and dominant and stubborn. He’s not going to let her drive him off this time. All too soon, she realizes she wants him to stay.

When he takes her to the Shadowlands, she finds a new home…until she hears a voice from out of her nightmares.

My Thoughts

It seemed like a pretty long wait for me to finally be able to get my hands on this next installment in the series, and it almost made me forget about where things were left off.  So, as a refresher,  in the last story, we encountered the Harvest Association which is an organization that kidnaps women who are involved in the BDSM lifestyle and enslaves them to be tortured and sold.   A few of the women that we’ve come to love in past books (Kim especially) was kidnapped and Jessica and Beth were being scoped out by the association to be kidnapped as well.

We met Linda back in the previous story when Sam came in to help the FBI arrest the Overseer and slavers, and Kim had gotten Sam to protect her and free her.  At the beginning of this book 7, Linda is testifying against the overseer and the organization in the hopes that it’ll stop what’s going on.  She’s somewhat successful since the overseer is put into jail and the organization is shut down in the South Florida area.

Where that takes us next?  Linda is trying to get back to life, however the rumors of her interests in the BDSM lifestyle and what hse’s into comes to the forefront because her small town isn’t so accepting and one of the guys that she had dated who was too ‘vanilla’ for her doesn’t take rejection well and happens to be a reporter for the local newspaper and wants to paint her in a horrible light.

This is when Sam comes in to try to help.  I acknowledges that there’s a strong connection between them and wants to protect her.  This is how their relationship grows – Sam who’s a Sadist shows Linda that her need for pain isn’t wrong and that he can show her how ‘Right’ it is! they get hot and steamy in a way that the other masters stories never did.

This is where i have to commend Cherise Sinclair.  I don’t know how she does it, but each time we read a new master’s story, we get a completely different POV on the lifestyle and what their kink is.  it’s never dull and it’s never the same and i can say that i have an even deeper appreciation for all things BDSM.  We not only get some incredibly hot scenes here, we get a strong emotional connection which is something that doesn’t always appear to be the case in books like this.  We’re rooting for things to work out between Sam and Linda and know that it can’t be easy.

The other great thing here is that throughout the story, there’s an underlying threat that the association may not be gone completely and there’s a Spotter in the club that recognizes Linda and wants to figure out a way to get his hands on her again, while trying to satiate his ugly need for raping and killing women in the lifestyle (or if not submissive, then prostitutes).  So while we’re holding our breath to see how long it’ll take for Sam and Linda to come to terms with their needs, we also worry about what’s going to happen to Linda, and who the Spotter is and what will happen there.

So, all in all, quite enjoyable and a good read.  I can’t wait until the next installment comes out since i think that we’ll get the stories of the FBI agents (which should be hot since they are a duo and seems like they like to do things together).  i would also love to get a sense of Master Anne’s story too so i’m looking forward to that one too.

Review: Revenge Wears Prada (Devil Wears Prada #2) by Lauren Weisberger

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Title:  Revenge Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Publisher/Year:  Simon & Schuster 6/4/13
Length:  400 pages
Series: Devil Wears Prada #2

Overview 

The sequel you’ve been waiting for: the follow-up to the sensational #1 bestseller The Devil Wears Prada.

Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine—a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing—not her husband, nor her beloved career—is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago—and directly into the path of the devil herself…

My Thoughts 

I can’t say that i had the highest expectations of this story – but i think that i was kind of hoping for more.  I really enjoyed Devil Wears Prada and the movie was a decent interpretation.  The problem now though is that since i’ve seen the movie endless number of times, those are the images that i have in my head and that means that all of the characters in this sequel have to be the actresses/actors and that’s just not right!

So let’s just start with the overview of this story – granted i know that they write things to lure you in, but what you get in the first handful of chapters jive with this but the whole story isn’t necessarily based on it all.  I was expecting a bit more drama in a few places and we didn’t get that.

What we DO get is a new found friendship between Emily and Andy which is nice.  They had a hate hate relationship back in the runway days, but after re-meeting at a cooking class, being paired together and realizing that it’s not because of themselves that they hate each other, the start to bond.  It’s a nice thing for andy given that she’s alone (single since the breakup with Alex), her best friend Lily just moved to Colorado and her parents are getting divorced.  Emily is just what the doctor ordered.

Also, we see that Andy is quite strong on her own and we get this throughout the book.  After giving Miranda the big ‘F U’, she’s managed to land on her feet professionally and parlay that into something great and amazing both on her own and with the help of Emily.

So, as I was reading this story, there were things that i knew that were going to happen, things that i kind of hoped wouldn’t happen, and a thing or 2 that i was actually a little bit surprised about.

Where this leaves me?  My questions for you to think about as you read:

1) How does Miranda fit into everything and is she as bad as we remember, or worse?

2) how strong is Andy and Emily’s friendship really?

3) What’s going to happen with Andy and Max?

4) Do you ever wonder about Alex and Andy?  we know that Andy does….:)

so….an average 3 out of 5 stars i’d have to say…not bad but not amazing.  Happy Reading!

Review: Destined to Feel (Avalon Trilogy #2) by Indigo Bloome

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Title:  Destined to Feel
Author: Indigo Bloome
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins Publishers 2/12/13
Length:  323 pages
Series: Avalon Trilogy #2

Overview

The second in the intensely erotic Avalon series that started with Destined to Play. Perfect for anyone who was seduced by 50 Shades of Grey.

Psychologist Alexandra Blake has been awakened sexually by her lover, Jeremy Quinn. Their erotic journey has seen Alexandra explore her innermost sexual fantasies and pushed her boundaries to their very limit.

Her world is plunged into uncertainty when she is abducted in London and Alexandra finds herself caught up in a dangerous game being played out in the shadows. Her captors want to use her to explore the darkest enigma of female sexuality and Alexandra is powerless to escape—but does she even want to? How far will Alexandra be willing to go to satisfy her curiosity and her desires? Is this a game gone too far, or is there still everything to play for. . . .

Destined to Feel is the second book in the Avalon trilogy exploring the intricate relationships between trust and betrayal, desire and love, risk . . . and reward. If you liked 50 Shades of Grey, you will love Destined to Feel.

My Thoughts

I don’t know how to say this, cause i really didn’t want it to be the case, but i couldn’t wait for the book to be finished, and that’s not in a good way.

So, as we know from the end of Book 1, Alex and Jeremy have figured out that they can make their relationship work because of circumstances in their lives, and it’s all on an upswing right?  Alex and her husband have an agreement now because we know what his inclinations are and things seem to be smelling of roses.

Of course that means that the anxiety and hints that we got at the end of book 1 were going to come true.  One of the best parts that i found from the first installment was the tail end, where they imply that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to all this drug development and that Alex’s life and that of her family may be at risk.  I liked that there was a hint of mystery and trouble in the background.  Well that comes out to us in full force at the onset of this story.

Alex is on her way to a forum with all of the people involved in the development of the depression drug when she’s intercepted by 2 folks posing as her drivers and she’s ‘kidnapped’ and taken to places unknown.  She’s medicated, tied up, stuffed in a suitcase and all this happens without anyone else knowing about it.  interesting right?

What i didn’t quite understand though is how she was so calm throughout all this stuff and how she was so quick to agree to what they were asking her to do and believe what they said about Jeremy.  Personally, i got the sense from the first book that she thought a LOT more about things and didn’t necessarily trust what was in front of her but all that kind of fell to the way side.  There was also a lot of stuff that was far fetched that i really wasn’t buying into it.

Then we can take a look at the sensual nature of this book.  where we had started on this journey with a steamy romance between Jeremy and Alex, where we got present day accounts as well as those hot and heavy flashbacks, everything in this book was an experiment.  nothing was real, there was no feeling behind it, just clinical stuff and human responses.  i felt like it was just lacking a real connection that i wanted to get.

We also didn’t really get to know ANYONE in this book besides those that we knew already.  there were a few doctors and a few folks that Jeremy knew that we saw from time to time, but no real deep insight into them, their relationships and their roles.

The ending of this installment was also quite typical and expected, especially since we know that it’s a trilogy, although i was waiting for a bit more of an exciting jump off to keep us on the edge of our seat until the next book was available.  (in this case it’s out already so if i choose to finish the trilogy, i have it already).

So, my questions

1) what’s going to happen to Alex and Jeremy?

2) What’s going to happen with the Xsade folks ?

3) will Alex’s kids get kidnapped?

4) who else is a traitor?

5) should i even bother reading the finale to the trilogy?

ARC Review : The Dominant (The Submissive Trilogy #2) by Tara Sue Me

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Title:  The Dominant
Author: Tara Sue Me
Publisher/Year:  The Penguin Group (USA) 8/6/2013
Length:  400 pages
Series: SubmissiveTrilogy #2

Overview

Nathaniel West doesn’t lose control.

As the playboy CEO of West Industries, he governs the boardroom during the day; as a strict dominant with exacting rules, he commands the bedroom at night. He never takes on inexperienced submissives, but when Abigail King’s application comes across his desk, he breaks his own restrictions and decides to test her limits.

Abby’s combination of innocence and willingness is intoxicating, and Nathaniel is soon determined to collar her as his own. As long as she follows his orders and surrenders herself fully to him, no one will get hurt.

But when Nathaniel begins falling for Abby on a deeper level, he realizes that the trust must go both ways—and he has secrets which could bring the foundations of their entire relationship crashing down…

My Thoughts

i’ve gotten used to the idea of installments coming out from the POV of the other lead, but i don’t know if that was necessarily what i was expecting here.  Granted with the title of The Dominant, there’s not much else to expect, i still didn’t think that it would be a carbon copy.  that being said, i actually enjoy the idea of seeing the whole story replayed through the eyes of Nathaniel and hear what his internal struggles were since we didn’t get a good picture of all that until the very end of Submissive

What we get here was actually a nice story showing us a more human side of Nathaniel.  I think that we’re typically accustomed to the Dom being more of a hard ass and really not having this internal debate from the get go on his relationship with his sub.  Nathaniel has a back story that we started to hear about in book 1 and really get into here in book 2.

The other really nice thing that was done here was that we got to know Paul, the mentor that showed Nathaniel the ropes 10 years ago when he was thinking about the lifestyle, and it’s really great to see a dom in one of these types of stories get a chastising and really see that it’s not something that you’re born knowing how to do – you actually have to have someone teach you the basics about how to be a good dom.  On top of everything else, that makes me like Nathaniel that much more.

So aside from all of that, we didn’t veer too much off of The Submissive, it’s only the last few chapters that really shape the story differently and set us up for a good finale in The Training.

There was a teaser of The Training at the end of the ARC that i read and i’m really looking forward to what’s to come.  i think that we see a big dynamic shift here, and we see that there’s going to be a bit of give and take, and both i think will be trained in some sense or another.

It’s Hot, and it’s Steamy and that’s one of the GREAT things that i’ve come to appreciate from Tara Sue Me.  Her scenes don’t disappoint, and i found that maybe i shouldn’t have been reading this and The Submissive on the Train while commuting since i felt like i was hiding a dark and dirty secret by reading this stuff and i felt my cheeks turn red (at least maybe i thought they were) because of the tone and verbiage that were used over and over again.

Here are my questions

1) what’s in store for Abby (Abigail) and Nathanlel?

2) will we continue the story with Jackson and Felicia?

3) Will melanie play a role at all in book 3?

4) who’s going to be trained and in what sense?

5) is there going to be some dark secret that comes out or some bit of angst or anxiety that makes the finale a tense one?

so, for those of you who weren’t lucky to get the pre-read, at least it’s less than 2 months until you’ll get to read it!

 

Review: The Submissive (The Submissive Trilogy #1) By Tara Sue Me

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Title:  The Submissive
Author: Tara Sue Me
Publisher/Year:  The Penguin Group (USA) 2/7/2013
Length:  304 pages
Series: SubmissiveTrilogy #1

Overview

Abby King has a secret fantasy.

New York knows Nathaniel West as the brilliant and handsome CEO of West Industries, but Abby knows he’s more: a sexy and skilled dominant who is looking for a new submissive. Yearning to experience a world of pleasure beyond her simple life as a librarian, Abby offers herself to Nathaniel to fulfill her most hidden desires.

After only one weekend with the Master, Abby knows she needs more, and fully submits to Nathaniel’s terms. But despite the pleasure he takes in Abby’s willing spirit, the Nathaniel hidden behind the rules remains cold and distant.

As Abby falls deeper into his tantalizing world of power and passion, she fears that Nathaniel’s heart may be beyond her reach—and that her own might be beyond saving.…

My Thoughts

We are launched right into the middle of a story here, which is interesting.  There’s no lead in or set up as to how Abby is in Nathaniel’s office or what the application process is.  we know WHY she’s there sort of, but not the steps that took her there.

So we have to think about this one a bit and that’s a nice thing sort of.  In this story, we’re taken into the dom/sub world in a different way than a lot of other series try it.  here, we meet Nathaniel who’s an experienced dom who’s looking for his next sub.  At the same time we meet Abby (Abigail) who’s never been a sub before but for some reason she’s submitted an application to be Nathaniel’s.  interesting set up – wonder where it will go right?

What we get in this story is a lot of development of the other characters – we hear more about Nathaniel’s ‘family’ but not so much about him.  I think that while i really enjoyed who he is now, we never got to what made him this way, and that was lacking.  at least he’s skilled sexually so that brought the heat and made me forget my woes.

Abby on the other hand, i’m still trying to figure her out.  She’s quite naive into her own sexuality which is nice and expected, but again, we get glimpses into her back story but not too much.

We’re taking on a hot and steamy journey with these 2 as they figure out how to make their arrangement work, who they have to keep it from and what they can learn from each other.  They get to bask in the glow of new found connections, bringing together their friends, breaking through their own walls and of course the expected struggles of what they want from each other.

While it may not have been the most compelling read, it was enjoyable and i’ve managed to get my hands on an ARC of The Dominant (book 2) so we’ll see where things go.

My questions

1) What’s going to happen with Nathaniel and Abby

2) is their back story deeper than we know?

3) Will Melanie come back and who’s side is she on?

4) do we ever get to know ‘more’ about anyone?

enjoy!

Review: Destined to Play (Avalon Trilogy #1) by Indigo Bloome

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Title:  Destined to Play
Author: Indigo Bloome
Publisher/Year:  HarperCollins Publishers 9/11/12
Length:  278 pages
Series: Avalon Trilogy #1

Overview

“It’s simple. No sight. No questions. Forty-eight hours.” An intensely charged erotic journey, perfect for anyone who was seduced by 50 Shades of Grey.

When thirty-seven-year-old psychologist Alexandra Blake leaves her comfortable suburban existence to travel for a series of lectures, she meets up with Dr. Jeremy Quinn, the man who opened her eyes and body to the world in ways she never thought possible. After a few glasses of champagne in his luxurious hotel penthouse, he presents her with an extraordinary proposition. Alexandra knows that they never promise each other something they can’t commit to and that he will challenge her every inhibition. But she soon finds herself seduced into a level of surrender—and danger—she could never have imagined.

Destined to Play is the first book in the Avalon Trilogy exploring the intricate relationships between trust and betrayal, desire and love, risk . . . and reward.

My Thoughts

This story starts off when we’re introduced to Alexandra (Alexa, AB – whatever you’d like to call her) when she’s sending her husband and 2 kids off on a week long trip into the wilderness while at the same time she’s going on a short lecture tour of her own to present some of her research findings since she’s a highly acclaimed psychologist.  At her first stop, she’s returning to her university in Sydney where she meets up with Samuel who was her mentor at school and then for drinks afterwards with Jeremy Quinn who is now very well known and respected research doctor.  What we learn though is that there’s a sexually charged past between these 2 – meaning that throughout uni, they didn’t hide their attraction for one another, explored and experienced each other and really fell into an amazing groove where they could build and develop a lifelong bond that most people don’t have.

so if you’re the reader, you’re wondering how PG these drinks are going to be, and we’re quickly taken down the path of how UN-PG they will be.  Jeremy has a proposition for Alexa, one that she can’t refuse because she’s sexually bound to Jeremy, has been relatively ‘a-sexual’ these past few years with her husband, and well…she can do what she wants right?

Jeremy presents her with a proposition of a weekend of unknown sexual pleasures if Alexa is willing to give up a sense – her sight, and not ask questions in the hopes that she’ll let him push her as far as he can.

This is where i think that the story goes awry.  mind you – we know that there’s a DEEP history between these 2, but i’m surprised that Alexa didn’t fight more for the fact that she was married and this was cheating….or that Jeremy seemed to be fully ok with ruining a marriage potentially….those conversations NEVER come up.

We’re taking on a journey where sexploration isn’t a strong enough word.  Senses are used to take Alexa and us over the edge of fear as often as possible and see if that’s then turned into sexual pleasure.  Because our leading lady doesn’t have sight, our journey is more picturesque through the use of sound, smell, taste….

I have to say that it wasn’t until the final chapter and Epilogue actually that i had decided that it potentially isn’t a waste that i’ve already bought books 2 and 3 of the trilogy.  I was worried that it was a waste of money since this one really didn’t do much for me since it’s so unrealistic, however….the lead in to book 2 really takes me on a path that i’m excited to go down.

My Questions

1)  what’s going to happen to Alexa and her family?

2) are Alexa and Jeremy destined to be together?  are they soul mates from uni days?

3) what really is the research that Jeremy’s doing and what’s Alexa’s role going to be?

4) how much further can Alexa be pushed.

so…i was going to give it a 2 out of 5 stars…now i’m at a 3….let me know what you guys think though!

Review: Entwined With You (Crossfire #3) by Sylvia Day

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Title:  Entwined With You
Author: Sylvia Day
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group (USA) 6/4/13
Length:  368 pages
Series: Crossfire #3

Overview

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside—so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

My Thoughts

****WARNING – just as a precaution, if you haven’t read the other books in the series, there may be SPOILERS*****

let’s start by saying OMG – i don’t know how i thought this, but i for some reason thought this book wasn’t coming out until December.  Don’t know why i thought that, and when i got an email from Barnes & Nobles telling me my pre-order download was ready, i literally jumped for joy.

So this 3rd installment picks up just days after Reflected In You ended – after major drama took place.  If you’ll remember, Eva had this haunted past with Nathan, her step brother i believe – who sexually assaulted her for some time, and that’s why she was so ‘damaged’, ended up in therapy, met Cary and built her life from there.  In Book 2, Nathan begins stalking her and even threatens Gideon because he knows that it’s one way to get to Eva and a way to extort him.  Well, things didn’t turn out so good for Nathan, seeing as how he didn’t quite make it to the end of the story alive.  We find that Gideon took care of things, which came at a price – and that threw a HUGE wrench in everything that we had been building towards in the relationship between Eva and Gideon. Eva is led to believe that circumstances weren’t really what they were, that it was an affair going on vs. Gideon protecting the one thing that means the most to him.

See, Corinne, a woman from Gideon’s past kept coming back up since she’s still in love with him, and she becomes Gideon’s semi-alibi at a point, only as a means to protect Eva from any number of things.  With this, Gideon and Eva find themselves in a situation where Eva wants nothing to do with him (again, thinking that he’s back with Corinne), and Gideon really just trying to put some distance between them so that the police don’t name his as the prime suspect.

We start EWY when they are slowly finding their way back together because things are starting to settle down, however it can’t be public knowledge that they are together for the sake of keeping them both safe.  While that’s going on, there’s plenty of other drama coming up.

A reporter starts stalking Eva to get information on Gideon (mind you we learn that she’s got a past with Gideon herself).  Cary is still juggling 2 relationships one with Tatiana, which Eva isn’t too pleased about and one with Trey whom Eva really likes.  it’ll be interesting to see how that develops as the story goes on since i think that we’re all clear on who we want him to be with.  We also get to see a bit more of a build in the relationship with Eva and Megumi (which i hoped would be the case coming out of the last installment) and Mark (her boss) and his own personal life. I think that it’s a nice supplement to the main story lines that we get to be involved more in these secondary characters.

It reminds us that the story isnt’ JUST about the sexual relationship and trouble relationship that Eva and Gideon have but that she’s a girl who’s new to NYC, just out of college and trying to find her way.  We forget about that a bit since it really started all from Day 1 when she mapped out her timing/route to go to her new job in the beginning of Bared to You.

All that aside, you have to assume that there will be even more drama coming for Eva since things seem to be getting a bit more normal for her.  That would mean – re-enter Brett, her ex something or other who we met briefly in the 2nd book.  he’s a rock star and has this tumultuous relationship history with Eva-  really meaning that it was highly sexually charged, and potentially a love relationship as well but that didn’t happen.  Eva’s moved on somewhat to Gideon, but Brett is still holding out hope that something can happen.  Since no one can know that Eva and Gideon are back together, that just means that there’s chance for Brett to get his hopes up, for Gideon to get jealous and for Eva to be stressed out.  The media is making an assumption about the 2 of them since Brett wrote their hit song about her and they debut a video that features an Eva look-alike.  And well, there’s a bit of blackmail going on tied to the pair too which adds a bit more spice.

What i really liked in this story is that while it was really predictable what was going on in a lot of these story lines, there were quite a few curve balls thrown in that kept me wondering.  The story line with ‘who killed Nathan’ kept coming up and since we know that it was Gideon but there’s still a bit of mystery there.  the detectives are on the trail of who did it, and we’re worried that it’ll be attention put on Gideon, or that someone else will be taking the fall for it which we know that Gideon won’t really let happen.  I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on since it’s a bit twisted – and there’s a bracelet that is talked about a number of times that you just wonder ‘what’s that about’

My Questions

1) What’s next for Eva and Gideon?  Will they last, will they be happy

2) What’s the story with murder case and what’s going to come of it?  are they safe?

3) What’s next for Cary?  There’s a story line developing there and i wonder what that means for him

4) What’s going on with Megumi?  She’s ‘sick’ but i wonder if there’s more to that story

5) While Eva’s Mom and Dad ever sort out their relationship?  we know from Reflected in You that they still have love for one another, and that’s definitely re-hashed a bit in EWY

so, the GREAT thing that i loved here, which i hope isn’t too much of a spoiler, is that throughout this story i thought that the series was a Trilogy.  I was about 3/4 of the way through trying to figure out how Sylvia Day planned to resolve some of these story lines, and then at about 10 pages left i was saying to myself ‘this is going to be such a let down with the ending since it’ll all resolve so fats’ and guess what?

i’ve learned that this is a 5 BOOK SERIES.  How awesome is that?  i can’t be happier knowing that the story continues for 2 more books, and that there could be so much more to the development of these relationships and what happens next.

ARC Review: Come Alive (Cityscape series #2) by Jessica Hawkins

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Title:  Come Alive
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Publisher/Year:  Barnes & Nobles 5/30/13
Length:  275 pages
Series: CityScape Series #2

Overview

Determined to move on with her life, Olivia Germaine has vowed to forget David Dylan. Struggling to keep her head above water, she focuses on her new promotion and refuses to drown in the memory of their night together. But when Olivia realizes what life without David means, she must decide if she is willing to risk everything for him… and if she is ready to reopen the wounds of her past.

Can Olivia move forward with her marriage despite her feelings for David?

And can David stay away like he promised?

My Thoughts

I still find myself really enjoying that in this series, it’s the man (David) who tends to be the more emotional ‘clingy’ one and Olivia the one that’s pushing him away.  It’s a nice change to see that sort of strength in the female lead.  I also really enjoy the fact that we know that David is successful and established professionally, financially very well off, but it’s not really talked about in this story too much.  we don’t really see him flaunting his wealth aside from his Porsche and the properties that he works on.

When i finished Book 1, Come Undone, i was left a bit wanting for where things would go.  We kept getting glimpses into the dynamic with Liv and Bill and among their friends too.  I feel like the 2nd installment really brought that to the forefront for us and we got to see more about how Olivia’s choices and actions really impacted everyone.  She finds herself in a drunken moment right before Lucy got married spewing off the idea that love and marriage are just a shame, she continues to try to be the supportive friend for Gretchen who’s going through her own roller coaster of romance, and at the same time she’s trying to find the right place for herself professionally.

Throughout this entire story, i kept wondering when we were going to get a decisive ending to things, the closure that we wanted either to be with bill or to be with David…and it literally took until the final moment of the book for us to figure it out.  I really enjoyed that while Olivia knew that she was going against everything right and moral by having an affair with David, she wasn’t willing to throw that away just for the connection.  She kept debating internally that there had to be a valid reason for things, wondering if she could be what Bill wanted and she fought for that long and hard.

So, all this being said, we got a LOT MORE heat and passion in this book, and it took me to that happy place that i look for when i’m reading the romance/erotica genre.  We feel the sexual tension, and feel what it’s like for Liv and David when we know that Olivia has struggled with connections her whole life.  We also feel how hard Bill tries to make things as good as Olivia wants them, and with all that, you know that it’s going to be explosive.

You’ll have to read up if you want to find out who’s endings are happiest here, but i think that it’s the right ending for the story.  now i have to do my research to see if there will be a follow up because i’m curious about what’s next on the journey for these characters.

Review: Come Undone (Cityscape Series #1) by Jessica Hawkins

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Title:  Come Undone
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Publisher/Year:  Barnes & Nobles 1/1/13
Length:  245 pages
Series: CityScape Series #1

Overview

COME UNDONE tells a compelling story of devotion, desire, deception and ultimately, love. It is book one in The Cityscape Series.

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Olivia Germaine has already found love. Devoted wife, loyal friend, successful career woman – she’s created the life she always envisioned.

But when Olivia locks eyes with a handsome stranger across a crowded room, he peers a little too closely and sees emotions she thought she’d buried long ago.

David Dylan, alleged playboy and eternal bachelor, challenges Olivia to confront the life she’s built and to make decisions that could either lead to happiness . . . or regret.

Will Olivia be able to draw the line between lust and love?

And can David respect that line?

My Thoughts

I picked up this first installment not knowing what i was going to get.  The summary itself seemed nice and interesting, a married woman who’s at a crossroads in her life, relatively happy but missing something quite big and important in her relationship.  So…i figured why not read right?

So we meet Olivia (Liv) the married woman who has most things going for her.  she’s got a husband that initially she felt a really impressive draw to, a good job that she’s up for promotion on, and great friends.  Her past is a little rocky of course but not to the extent that we feel will really have an impact on her.  Her parents divorced right before she was in high school, but it took a toll on her. Her friends seem to think that it changed her and damaged her, but we don’t really get into it too much.

We also meet Bill, her husband who’s a busy lawyer.  He seems nice enough, but kinds of ‘run of the mill’ if you ask me.  He wants to settle down and be a suburban family man, which isn’t really where Liv is feeling her life should be right now.  that paired with a missing spark means that we’re in for a rocky ride.

One night at an event, Liv’s life changes forever.  she locks eyes with a mysterious dark handsome man across the room and feels a connection that she can’t shake.  This man, David is going to find himself completely intertwined in her life through a number of circumstances.  He knows her best friend’s fiance, he’s being courted as one of Chicago’s Most Elligible Bachelors (which Liv is in charge of at her job as an editor of a mag).

What i enjoyed in this story is that our lead is married – i’m used to it being a single girl that wants to prove that she’s not naive and inexperienced.  Here, we have Liv who is married, has morals and is certainly NOT naive.  She’s just missing the wow factor and tries to convince herself that she doesn’t need David for that, and that she can find it with Bill.

So throughout this story, we’re wondering what’s going to become of the dynamic with Liv and David and then what’ll happen with Bill.  Not only do we get that, we get the added drama of a man that Bill put into jail now attacking Liv and trying to harm her.  So my questions:

1) What’s going to happen with Liv and Bill

2) what’s going to happen with Liv and David

3) Will Mark (the criminal) come back?

4) do you trust that Bill actually works so much or is there something else going on?

5)Will Liv get the promotion?

so, now i’m onto reading the 2nd book in the series ‘Come Alive’ to see if we get any of these answers