Review: Fever (The Breathless Trilogy Book #2) by Maya Banks


Title: Fever 
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group (USA), 4/2/13
Length: 416 pages
Series: The Breathless Trilogy #2

the slightly awaited 2nd installment in the Breathless Trilogy has arrived and i have to admit that i was waiting to see what was next for the 3 sexiest men in the city.  Knowing that we had Gabe’s story all wrapped up in Rush, next on the docket was Jace…mia’s brother.

so we open into the engagement party for Gabe and Mia where everyone’s excited for the happy couple that managed to sort things out in book 2, meaning that we get to see what the future lies with the other 2 boys who everyone knows are majorly into threesomes.  So true to form, Ash notices that Jace is checking out a particularly attractive woman who happens to be working at the party and makes his intentions known.  this is how we meet Bethany.  She’s working for the caterer and upon meeting Ash and Jace who are polar opposites, decides to take them up on their offer for a threesome mostly because it means that she’ll have somewhere warm to stay that night.  see the thing with Bethany is that she’s homeless and she’s been on the streets for about 4 years now trying to survive.

Unlike all other encounters that Ash and Jace have shared, Jace finds himself very possessive of Bethany and doesn’t really want to share her with Ash.  throughout the fun that night, he is very particular about what he’ll allow Ash to do and doesn’t want to even share her.

That begins the torrent romance that they begin and we get to see a harder/dominating side to Jace which is a nice little kink.  Of course though, things are never cut and dry.  while Jace is trying to give Bethany everything in the world (a place to stay, food, clothes the works), Bethany has a ‘brother’ that has been on the streets with her and he’s managed to get himself involved in some less than savory things that some how manage to keep Bethany entwined.

So this is a story of a developing relationship and romance that’s new for both (jace has never been a one woman guy and never been in love) and bethany hasn’t had anything her entire life.  Bethany’s brother Jack is a wild card and there’s just so much that can go wrong.

all in all not a ‘bad’ story – but what i always get frustrated with is when we’re given a glimpse into a character that’s clearly a dom, and in this case Jace even goes as far to say that he wants a ‘slave’ – a full submissive in and out of bed – but we don’t really get into too many scenes with him in that role.  he does a little basic paddle work or spanking, some tying up and all that, but really the best sex scenes are just some less than vanilla things, nothing really BDSM.  i think that the book could have pushed a little farther given that there’s a lot of set up to Jace being all dark and dangerous.

regardless – i’m looking forward to August when Burn, the final book in the trilogy comes out.

Review: Extras (Uglies book 4) by Scott Westerfeld


Title: Extras
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse, 5/3/2011
Length: 416 pages
Series: The Uglies Series book #4

It’s funny about this book – see i don’t know why i thought that it was a novella at first – after i read Uglies, Pretties and Specials, I kind of felt like that was the end of the series since we had some sense of finality from Tally.  Guess i was wrong, and i’m glad that i finally got around to reading extras.  It’s great too that we actually got a different POV on things.

So Extras takes us to Japan where we’re immersed in a ‘Reputation Society’ where your ‘face rank’ is what makes you important and gives you value.  Basically this is such a socially tied society where the more you’re talked about, the higher your rank, and therefore the more you get.  ‘merits’ ,property, invitations places etc.

True to form, we meet our lead when she’s 15, basically the turning point in age across all these stories i think, and our lead is Aya – an ‘extra’ meaning basically no one that’s important and the younger sister of Hiro who is relatively famous.  he’s a tech-head and has managed to break into the elite Top 1000 through his tech ability and being a ‘kicker’ which is someone that broadcasts stories or ‘kicks’ then via a live feed.  All Aya wants in life is to get the recognition that her brother has – to be famous and have a better face rank so that she’s no longer an extra and unknown.

So being a kicker herself, Aya has figured out that there’s one story that she could ‘kick’ that would raise her face rank and make her famous so that’s the path that this story takes us down.  Aya tries to become something that she’s not by ‘truth-slanting’ so that she can get in with an elite crowd and from then on her life changes.

Along the way, Aya manages to break through, and at the same time uncovers something that is life changing for everyone in the world and that’s really what gets her well known.  As a result though, she’s managed to get the world into such a tizzy that Tally is forced to come ‘out of hiding’ and get involved herself.  Honestly, it’s a nice tie in to the sign-off that she gave at the end of Specials and actually fits rather organically into this story.

What i found to be really nice about this story is that we meet a whole cast of new folks while we’re reunited with some that we loved from books past.  The Cutters are back to an extent and so is Andrew Simpson Smith.  We have a great new group of Japanese friends and the story takes interesting twists with them all.  It’s also pretty interesting to see how the social society really relates to our present day 2013 life where hubs like Klout determine who’s more keyed into their social networks etc.  it makes you wonder if that’s where our society is going.

anyway – check it out, it’s a nice continuation on the series and definitely a story that you shouldn’t miss.

Review: Specials (Ugglies #3) by Scott Westerfeld


Title:  Specials
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher/Year: Simon Pulse 5/3/11
Length:  384 pages
Series: Uglies Series #3


“Special Circumstances”: The words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now, in the third book in the series, Tally’s been turned into a Special: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out — until Tally’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

My Thoughts

Ahh, how i do so love a third installment of a series – especially when my expectations throughout is that it’s the final book just to learn that there’s still more to come.  Scott Westerfeld has managed to really keep us invested in not only Tally Youngblood but the whole concept of all of the procedures that society does in order to keep what they consider to be the peace.

So, this story starts off when Tally awakens to find that Shay has somehow managed to get her to be transformed into a Special.  Not just a special, but a ‘special special’ – a clique made up of the cutters and Dr. Cables pet project.  Tally finds that yet again her decisions have been taken away from her, but what can she do right?

so now in reading this story our new keyword isn’t ‘bubbly’ anymore – it’s ‘icy’ – we hear that a lot to describe the mindset of the Specials.  It’s what they consider to be pure of mind and not foggy at all in what they do.

In any event, in this installment, Tally and the Cutters have set out to discover where the Smokies are and rid them of all their pills that are being distributed among the pretties as a cure to their bubbleheadedness.

This of course doesn’t come without a cost right?  They’ve found that Zane is much worse off than even we thought at the end of Pretties.  the nanos in the pill that he had taken have really damaged his brain, and while he’s back to some extend, he’s still not quite what Tally remembers and since she’s so special now, she’s rather disgusted by him.

Specials takes us on the journey of freeing zane and the other Crims so that they can find the New Smoke, shut down their operation of cure distribution and then some how gain control of what they think they know.

nothing’s ever that easy right?  Tally comes across her friends from the Smoke – David specifically and not on the best of terms.  She also comes across Andrew again, but that’s  not so bad in comparison to everything else.  Dr Cable has her own role in things….

i really don’t want to give away what happens here, but what’s learned is that people do tend to repeat the errs of the past, and cities around the world aren’t quite as different as you’d think yet aren’t quite the same either.

The questions here, ….

1) Shay seems to keep getting angry/jealous of Tally and even says that Tally has a sense that she’s the center of the universe.  how does this play out in the story?  we know that they needed each other in the other stories, so does that affect things in this 3rd book?

2) what happens to the new smoke?  and david to be exact?

3) does zane ever get back to where he was?  does tally come to terms with what he’s like now and determine that it’s ok for her?

4) does Peris resurface?  we know that he chickened out in book 2, does that happen again?

5) what’s the deals with the specials and the special specials?

all in all a GREAT read-  can’t wait to get started on Extras since i’ve just downloaded that one.

Review: Exposed to You: A One Night of Passion Novel #2 by Beth Kery

i’m a sucker for any book that has ‘to you’ in the title – i.e. bared to you, reflected in you, entwined in you, and well….this just seemed right up my alley. After reading the whole ‘Because you are Mine’ series last week, i felt like Beth Kery was slowly becoming a favorite of mine.

True to form, we’re introduced to a set of really strong characters – and they come from – of course- completely different worlds. Everett is a movie star, with those amazingly stunning looks – he’s the kind of guy that every woman drools over, yet none seem to connect with.

Then we meet Joy who is an AMAZING artist (do we see a trend here with Beth’s characters all being artistic so far?) – anyway, she’s a fantastic artist – teaches art in a gifted school and helps out her Uncle Seth from time to time in his company. Seth owns ‘Hightower Special Effects’ which does the makeup for hollywood movies.

So we meet Joy while she’s been asked by Seth to help out on the set of a photo shoot for a HUGE blockbuster called Maritime which Everett is starring in. Yet at their first meeting, she doesn’t even know who he is – i.e. meaning that she doesn’t realize that she’s getting all up close and personal with the hottest movie star on the planet. It makes what was an awful day that much better though – see….Joy just learned that day that she has cancer – the same kind in a general sense that killed her mother. So all that – fear, anxiety, and this hot swealtering man….well that just equals sexual tension and chemistry in my book.

and that it does…for a few minutes at least.

They go their separate ways – Everett knowing who she is (i.e. Seth’s niece) yet she has no idea who he is.

fast forward about a year and their paths cross at the Chicago premier of the movie – Joy now lives in Chicago and Everett is in town for the event. The re-connect, Joy FINALLY connecting the dots that her amazing encounter a year ago was with Everett and that he’s kind of interested in a repeat….and that is the start of their complex story.

Complicated to say the least. Joy has closed herself off from anyone getting too close because of her Cancer and the fear that it will come back. Everett considers himself a bit ‘damned’ in the love department because he feels like he’s been given every other good fortune in the world that he thinks he’ll never find the right woman.

Throw in a sister and brother in law that really want to help, an over protective uncle and that just means a lot of opinions on the matter.

so…all in all a decent story right? what i enjoyed is that you get to see different sides of each of these leads. you kind of learn what makes them tick and why they are how they are. what i didn’t quite understand though is why Beth Kery (the author) didn’t go as deep into some things as i thought she could have. Mainly, she kept implying that Everett had this dark ‘undesireable’ unacceptable sexual side…but i didn’t see that. i figured there would be some extreme naughtiness…and unless i’m a bit jaded from all the BDSM that i’ve been reading, i just missed it.

doesn’t mean that it didn’t leave me reading more and more trying to figure out what was going to happen with these 2….hoping for the best for joy, separate from Everett…wondering what the story was with Katie, and actually wondering if there was more to Seth since i sense that from the beginning.

check it out – entertaining, enjoyable and pretty decently written.

Review: Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes

I came across this book when i was browsing through titles on  I’m not usually one to fall for the banner ads on sites because i know that they typically aren’t ‘organic’ but the cover art just drew me in.  I read the synopsis and immediately found myself downloading the full version (vs. the 5 book minis that make up the larger book).  I haven’t heard of the author Sara Fawkes before but definitely figured that she’s be worth the try.

so we are introduced to Lucy, who is our leading lady.  She works as a temp in NYC for a data entry firm of some sort.  Of course, it’s a large multi-company building that she works in because she finds herself staring at a dashingly handsome stranger in the elevator line EVERY day on her way into work.  For several weeks she’s made sure to be in his elevator just to catch a glimpse of him, and of course even though she’s under the assumption that he doesn’t notice such things, he knows she’s there, and her assumed invisibility is about to go to crap.

While in the elevator with this sexy rich looking man one day, they find themselves alone, he confronts her with the knowledge that she’s clearly drawn to him, and they have the first of many erotic encounters.  Lucy is completely out of her element, not being accustomed to all this kind of attention from ‘sexy’ men, and not being one to ever do things in public, but that doesn’t stop her.  Not much after that, the man finds Lucy after work and they fall into each other yet again.

The following day, Lucy is summoned by HR and taken up to one of the higher up corporate floors.  She finds herself in a part of the building that is unlike any other – more modern and opulent.  then she finds herself in the office of a man…who turns out to not only be the same one that she’s been drooling over for ages, but the same one that she’s been intimate with recently, and well, turns out that he’s the CEO of a major company, a billionaire and none other an Jeremiah (Remi) Hamillton.  our leading man.

Long story short, Lucy is informed that even prior to their encounters, her job had been determined unnecessary and she was going to be out of work.  Jeremiah propositioned her with an opportunity to then be his personal assistant, probably partly due to their chemistry and his draw to her and partly because she really is good at what she does.  So, that same day that Lucy is offered her job, her life turns upside down.

She is flown around the world, finds herself in grave danger, isn’t sure who she can trust….all while having AMAZING sex with Jeremiah of course.  If only it ended there right?

One of the things that i LOVED about this book is that you are drawn right into the story from the onset – the way that Sara talks about Lucy and her impressions of Jeremiah.  The way that the story just gets right into it without feeling like it’s rushed.  Then as the story evolves, you begin to think that you’re putting the puzzle together, yet when things shake out, you find that you weren’t entirely correct.  I like to pride myself on being able to figure out stories and get a sense of what’s going to happen, and throughout this one, i found that i was typically a good way.  i read through this really quickly because i was so drawn, and the intense anxiety that happened for the last third really made me want to keep reading

Now what i’m left wondering is whether or not there’s going to be a follow up.  i can’t seem to find out online yet, but that doesn’t mean that i won’t keep looking.  the way that this story left off really lends itself to another book, which i’m praying is what the plan is.  I certainly haven’t had enough of Lucy, Jeremiah and everyone else…..check it out – definitely a 4 out of 5 stars!