Review: Raven (Delirium #2.5) by Lauren Oliver

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Title:  Raven
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 3.5/13
Length:  46 pages
Series:  Delirium #2.5

Overview

As a teenager, Raven made the split-second decision to flee across the border to the Wilds, compelled to save an abandoned newborn—a baby girl left for dead and already blue from the cold. When she and the baby are taken in by a band of rebels, Raven finds herself an outsider within a tight-knit group. The only other newcomer is an untrustworthy boy known as the Thief until he finally earns himself a new name: Tack.

Now she and Tack are inseparable, committed to each other, the fledgling rebellion, and a future together. But as they both take center stage in the fight, Raven must decide whether the dangers of the revolution are worth risking her dreams of a peaceful life with Tack.

As her story hurtles back and forth between past and present, Raven transforms from a scared girl newly arrived in the Wilds to the tough leader who helps Lena save former Deliria-Free poster boy Julian Fineman from a death sentence. Whatever the original mission may have been, Raven abides by a conviction that she believes to her core: You always return for the people you love.

By turns surprising, revelatory, and poignant, Raven’s story enriches the Delirium world and resonates with a voice that is as vulnerable as it is strong.

My Thoughts

As you’ll all remember from Lena’s time in the Wilds, she was ‘close’ to a girl named Raven who became a force to be reckoned with during those tough times.  what we have here is the snippet into Raven’s life – how she fell in love with Tack, and how a secret that we didn’t know in the main story came to be – and how Raven found out.

the point in time of this novella is just about when Julien is about to be operated on / killed and Lena’s going in to save him as part of her role in the Resistance.  Raven goes with Tack on a recon mission to get Lena and of course comes back with Julien as well.

We get a peek though into how Raven actually is a bit human and maybe not as hard as she comes off in the big series.  You begin to understand a bit more as to why she is how she is and it’s sweet.

The other bit is the teaser into the ‘Boy from the Crypts’ who had just joined them.  Of course no one knows that it’s Alex – the boy from Lena’s past and i think that it’s a good segue into the point in the story where he does pop up, just when things with Lena and Julien are about as confusing as they can be.

On that note – happy saturday all!

Review: Unwrap Me (Stark Trilogy #3.9) by J Kenner

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Title:  Unwrap Me
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: Random House 10/24/15
Length:  96 pages
Series:  Stark Trilogy #3.9

Overview

Damien Stark is my greatest Christmas wish come true. Immensely powerful and devastatingly sexy, he can undo me with the slightest touch, and with just one glance, he can see straight into my soul.   We both have dark secrets, twisted pieces of our pasts that only the other one understands. Though our fierce love and passion keeps me alive, sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if Damien and I hadn’t met in exactly the way we did.   How would my life have been different? Would another man have laid claim to my body and my heart? Or were Damien and I destined to be together no matter the cost?

My Thoughts

I don’t think that i’ll ever get tired of these 2 – they are so in love and always seem so destined for one another that it’s amazing to see and read.  In this next installment, what we have is the holiday novella, with a bit of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled in.  The couple is hosting Christmas at their Lake Arrowhead home and we see that Nikki is at a loss for what to get her husband that’s perfect for what he means to her.  Where that takes us though is so classic.

After falling asleep, Nikki is taken to a time in her dreams where she hasn’t met Damien yet and she doesn’t quite have him in her life – it’s Ollie instead and the way that the story progresses is so sweet and romantic that you can only hope that she chooses Damien over Ollie even though the latter is growing on us.

The special bit at the end, the exchange is something that’s so endearing and delightful that it gives you a renewed sense of what fate and true romance should be.  I think that you’ll melt when you see how the holiday shapes up especially with the various couples all in attendance.

On that note  – Happy Black Friday and i hope you’re all having a great beginning to the holiday season.

Review: Seduce Me (Stark Trilogy #3.8) by J Kenner

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Title:  Seduce Me
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: Random House 10/13/15
Length:  46  pages
Series:  Stark Trilogy #3.8

Overview

Perfect for readers of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You, this steamy eBook novella from J. Kenner, bestselling author of Release Me, features powerful billionaire Damien Stark and his wife, Nikki Fairchild, on their impromptu getaway to Las Vegas—and there’s no better place to turn up the heat than in Sin City.
 
I’ve never felt as close to anyone as I have with Damien Stark. I know every line of his body, every secret within his soul. There’s nothing I crave more than his touch, and with his kiss, he seals his claim.

Las Vegas is the perfect place for us, where we can indulge every desire and fantasy. But when someone from my past resurfaces, I can’t ignore my instinct that I have to make things right.

With Damien by my side, I feel safe no matter the danger. Our passion protects us, drives us, makes us whole. His pleasure is an exquisite game, and one that I’ll play forever.

My Thoughts

I love the Stark Trilogy and i think that it’s exactly what i needed – a little snippet of fun to continue Nikki and Damien’s story.  In this novella, Nikki has been invited to Vegas with Jamie who’s got a short term reporting gig for a tech show, and what happens there is quite enjoyable.

The first night that the girls are there, they decide that since they are both quite happy in their respective relationships, they will indulge in a bit of sexting an teasing – just to make things all that much better upon their return home.  What they don’t expect is what appears in the background of a selfie that they are sending home to their men – 2 gorgeous guys in the background who have motives of their own.

For Jamie, well, the game turns to reality quickly as she finds Ryan, her boyfriend there and they just enjoy themselves as they normally would.  For Nikki however, it’s a game that she’s going to hold up all weekend, pretending to be single and playing the game with Damien just because she can.

It’s really sweet actually to see how our lovely author shows us that even though these 2 are married, they are still playful and really passionate for one another.

On top of that though, we have to have a bit of tension – there’s a woman that Nikki thinks that she sees over and over again, and recognizes but can’t quite put her finger on it.  That’s the bit of intrigue that we have here.  Who’s the woman, what’s the situation and what will it mean for Nikki and Damien.  Since we know that this is a novella, it’s not like we’re going to get all that deep, and it’s not going to be all that drastic, but at least it gives us another layer to the story that J Kenner is known for.

And on that note – i’m really done reading for the night – i have to put the books down!

Review: Denial (Careless Whispers #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

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Title:  Denial
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Publisher/Year: Gallery Publishing 11/24/15
Length:  242  pages
Series:  Careless Whispers #1

Overview

The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the explosively sexy Inside Out and the Secret Life of Amy Bensen series will seduce you with this sultry tale of possession and ecstasy, wild fantasies and dangerous secrets—first in the racy and suspenseful Careless Whispers series.

Ella awakes alone in Italy, no longer sure of who she is. One thing is certain: a gorgeous man has claimed her as his own. He’s tall, dark, and sexy, the kind of rich, powerful man who makes a girl long to be possessed. And possess her he does, whispering wicked promises in her ear, indulging her deepest desires, stealing her trust—and her cautious heart. Soon, though, she discovers that nothing is as it seems. The truth will shatter her world, but it will also set her free…if it doesn’t destroy her first.

My Thoughts

I’m so in love with the series that started all of this – In and Out where we got to know all about Sara and her romance and stuff to suffer through.  The teaser that we got of Ella’s story at the end of the last bit of the series that you knew that something good was going to come up next.

So we open into Ella’s series when she’s waking up in a hospital, suffering from amnesia – and coming to – seeing a gorgeous man at her bedside who claims that he’s found her on the street and called the cops.

What we get here is completely on par with the level of anxiety and heat/passion and sex that we’ve gotten all along.  Ella and Kayden have a chemistry that’s both unfamilier and yet soo comfortable – seeing as how they both come from such horrible dark pasts.  They have shared experiences which is why Ella trusts him when she can’t even trust herself.

The way that they come together, how Kayden not only wants to protect her but to ‘own’ her in the best way possible is electric.  The dynamic between these two is intense and you can only pray that he’s one of the good guys even though we know from past bits of the main series that there’s no way that it can be the case.  He’s connected in so many ways to an illegal life that it has to blow up in their face.

I think that the best thing that we’ll see is how the story unfolds – we see that Ella’s memory is slowly coming back and what she finds in his office at the very end shows that maybe there’s more to the story than we even know yet.  I also think that we’re going to see that the life that we were led to believe that Ella had via Sara’s story isn’t at all what it seems, and it’s just a matter of time until it comes to a head.

I can’t wait to see how the passion and heat that started off here will continue especially seeing how things are evolving.  Ms Jones does a phenomenal job of really making you feel like you’re in the moment with them, like you’re feeling everything that they are and connecting on the same level – so you really want to see things work out.  I just don’t know if tha’ts possible in this case.

The other thing too – i don’t know why it’s bothering me, but i feel like Giada (a supporting character) and her brother Adriel aren’t all that they seem.  Kayden seems to feel like he’s got these instincts about people and i do too.  i feel like they are going to screw everyone over and i just can’t wait to see how it happens.

On that note – have a happy thanksgiving everyone and i’ll be back soon.

Review: Obscured by Tara Sue Me

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Title:  Obscured
Author: Tara Sue Me
Publisher/Year: Tara Sue Me 10/12/15
Length:  142 pages

Overview

here’s the truth you know…. 

At age 16, Athena Hamilton traded her body for survival when a powerful Vegas hotelier and pimp lured her into his world. Ten years of turning tricks has taught her to trust no one and feel nothing. Yet a chance meeting with a childhood crush sparks hope for something more.

The truth you believe… 

There’s no way Isaiah Martin could want her. He’s a pastor. Too good. Too pure. But when she learns her days are numbered, she runs into the safety of his arms and trusts his promise of protection.

And the truth you never imagined… 

The aftermath of a tragic accident and a bitter betrayal leaves her destitute and alone. The one man she shouldn’t trust offers her a chance to escape. But when good and evil collide, what do you do when the truth is Obscured?

My Thoughts

I love Tara Sue Me – and i think that this is yet another great story that we get from her – mixed with not just some amazing scening and heat, but we get to also see a lot of tension and anxiety from a well developed story line.

We meet our leading lady – Athena while she’s rushing to work.  Mind you it’s not a usual job as the summary tells us – she’s a hooker of sorts – and that’s something that she wishes that she wasn’t – but unfortunately she’s ‘owned’ by a man named Mike who calls all the shots in her life.  She would do anything to get out of his control but of course since he owns her in a sense, she’s got nothing without him.

It’s that night where she finds herself in front of Isaiah  – a man from her past in a good way but someone who would never understand or tolerate what she’s become.  Ironically he’s there to meet with Mike and that just makes things too coincidental and horrible for her.

The other man that we meet is Harris – he spends much of the book as a supporting character – we see him when he’s working for Mike, but as the story progresses, we see that he’s so much better than all that and there’s a lot from his past that makes him into the kind of guy that we want to have in Athena’s life.

The great thing about this story is that i don’t know that anyone could imagine what was going to happen in this ending.  there are so many twists between the characters – who’s on what side, who’s going to disappear, who’s going to threaten to kill someone and who will succeed.

While this story isn’t billed as being the beginning of a series, the way that this one ended, you know that there has to be more.  There’s a teaser of what’s to come when you think that nothing else could go wrong so personally i can’t wait.

In addition to that – our author brings us some great passion and heat but in a really nice way – there’s the dirty bits while Athena’s working along with the flashbacks from her time with Mike, and then there’s romance with others in the story.  A great balance.  Anyhow, happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone!

ARC Review: Seduction and Surrender (Reckless #2) by C.C. Gibbs

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Title:  Seduction and Surrender
Author: CC Gibbs
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 3/1/16
Length:  416 pages
Series:  Reckless #2

Overview

From the peaks of erotic ecstasy–to the point of no return . . .

Power. Passion. Pleasure beyond imagining. Billionaire playboy Rafe Contini offers all this–and more–to the beautiful Nicole Parrish, a young American traveler with a taste for adventure that matches his own. From the private yachts of Monte Carlo to the palatial estates of Geneva to the glittering penthouses of Bangkok, Rafe has shown her a world of unimaginable sensual delights. Now, he is ready to take her to the next daring level. Of danger. Of desire. Of deliciously erotic self-discovery.

Nicole has never known a man as sexy, as strong–or as commanding–as Rafe Contini. Night after steamy night, he turns up the heat, tests her boundaries, and pushes the limits of her body and soul to the point of sweetest agony. But when this masterful lover sweeps her away to a secluded island getaway–where anything can and will happen–Nicole must decide just how far she wants to take this game. And just how much she can bend Rafe’s rules . . .

My Thoughts

I have to start off by saying thanks to the folks at Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for getting me this early read – this is a series that i’ve been invested in before it was a spin-off.  On that note, we start off this 2nd installment with Rafe and Nicole – when they are in hiding in a sense trying to track Zou, all the while, Rafe is trying to keep nicole safe and sated.

What we get here is on par with everything that we’ve come to expect from CC Gibbs – a lot of heat and passion, some great character relationship dynamics and a lot of anxiety wondering when the other shoes going to drop.

Throughout the story, you can see that Rafe’s trying to distract not only Nicole from what’s going on, but himself as much as he won’t admit it.  He’s very involved in the whole scenario trying to find Zhou and his mistress/child but you also see that his head is all wrapped up in Nicole and doesn’t quite know what to do.

The interesting thing here though is that while we’re typically accustomed to seeing the issues as a result of the relationship, anything that keeps these two apart has nothing to do with them – they are GOOD – it’s outside forces pulling at them, but never for too long.

So that being said, it’s very expected in the sense of knowing where the love relationship will go, but the questions that you have throughout while you read is where is Zhou, where is he going to pop up next, who’s he going to hurt and what will that mean.  it’s the last third of the book when things really start to speed up and you’re really getting pulling into the crux of the story.  I have to say that it’s expected yet there were twists, and it was enjoyable to read.  I got what i was hoping for and i’m a happy girl.

 

The question that remains though is what’s next.  who are we going to get to read about next and in what context.  i’m interested and intrigued since this can’t be the end.  that’s all i’m saying.  have a great night all!

Review: Alex (Delirium #1.1) by Lauren Oliver

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Title:  Alex
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 11/25/14
Length:  49 pages
Series:  Delirium #1.1

Overview

This captivating digital original story set in the world of Lauren Oliver’s New York Timesbestselling Delirium series focuses on Alex, Lena’s first love.

When Alex sacrificed himself to save Lena, he thought he was committing himself to certain death, but what he got was almost worse. Imprisoned and tortured by the guards, his mind forces him to relive a past he would rather forget. But in the dark he grows stronger. Both hopeful and terrified, he fights to find his way back to her and the love he still clings to.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will learn of Alex’s time after the events of Delirium, as well as the dark past that he has tried to forget.

My Thoughts

I don’t know why it’s taken me soo soo long to read this one but it’s cute.  That’s about all i can say about it.  You’ll all remember what happened after Lena and Alex try to escape and they are getting over the fence and Lena makes it while Alex does not.  We know that he’s thrown into the Crypt and this novella picks up right around that time – when we’re seeing what he’s living in and then what happens when he’s broken out.

What i like here though is that you see that Alex always loves Lena and that she’s what’s keeping him going.  He’s definitely banking on her being alive to pull him through his imprisonment and i think that it’s something that is really good to see – especially knowing where the story has gone through the latter installments.

The frustrating thing that i find in these types of novellas is that we get teased.  they just aren’t enough because you don’t get a chance to see much depth.  you dont see what he’s really going through in all this and what’s deep in his head.  you also don’t get a lot of character interactions – but at least you see how the story progressed from this angle since we’ll really only get Lena’s in the 2nd book. On that note – happy friday!

Release Blitz: The Last Betrayal (Cursaders #2) by L Grubb

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Review: Queen Song (Red Queen #0.1) by Victoria Aveyard

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Title:  Queen Song
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publisher/Year: Harper Collins 9/1/15
Length:  56 pages
Series:  Red Queen 0.1

Overview

In this 55-page prequel novella set in the Red Queen world, Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

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