5 Star Review: Undeniably You by Jewel E Ann

Sunday 19 July 2015 No comments
Undeniably YouUndeniably You by Jewel E. Ann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is the first I’ve read by the author and it won’t be the last. I love a good stand-alone and this is definitely one to delve into. The writing is clear and concise, the story captivating and the humour is balanced and with characters perfectly complimenting each other, this is a story to love, cherish and hold on to.

For me this story had a bit of a Jekyll & Hyde feel about it. It started out with one distinct theme to it; comical romance with a dash of quirkiness, but then it morphed into its alter-ego; a deep contemporary romance with passion, heartbreak, angst, dare I say it, some cheating, before reaching its long awaited HEA. I loved both parts but it did feel that the author set out with one objective in mind only to be swept away by the power of the characters’ connection. The start was lighthearted with comical moments, fun banter and a delicious combo in the form of the “pool guy”, aka Lautner, and the easy-going but equally gorgeous vet, Dale. Torn between both men from the outset, Sydney, knowing she will only be house-sitting for a month, knows that romance should be kept firmly in its place; buried deep inside a locked box.

Review: Tyrant

Tuesday 14 July 2015 No comments
Tyrant Tyrant by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From a King to a Tyrant, we return to the drama of Doe/Ray/Pup’s life as she heads home and into the arms of her family and away from the man who saved her but will she be able to settle into her old life or will the pull of darkness overpower her?

From a hesitant start with King, I was pleasantly surprised to find Tyrant captivating and a compulsive read as we find answers to the questions which were left hanging at the end of book one. The storyline seemed stronger throughout and with only the odd aspect of the story which I felt could have been expanded upon.

Having returned home Doe is still unable to remember her life before she became amnesic and despite familiar surroundings, her memories are still elusive even after finding out that she was a mother in her former life. Tanner is the father of her son and he tries to help her to remember but it is Nikki who holds the keys to this story and when Doe’s memories start returning, and her life starts to piece itself back together, Doe starts to make some startling realisations.

Doe knows that despite her past memories returning she is struggling to forget the man who saved her and when she unexpectedly sees King again, she knows he is the one that her heart truly belongs to. However, King is still facing threats to his life and knows that the only way to protect Doe is to leave her safe in the arms of her family, for now.

This story is certainly fast-paced and full of twists and turns. Right proves to be wrong as Doe comes to understand who the monsters are from her past and how she came to be found by Nikki. Sadly, Preppy doesn’t make a return from the dead appearance, in true fantasy style, but he does still play a part in this story in his own special way. Bear is also back and facing dangers and demons which will leave you pained as this strong man is broken and brought back to life again.

I really enjoyed this two-part serial and I can’t wait to read Bear’s story in the next instalment. That man captured my interest in King as his personality clawed at me and even managed to overpower King at times!

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Review: Sloth

Friday 10 July 2015 No comments
Sloth Sloth by Ella James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.75 Stars

A curious read and one which has left me in a quandary. Yes, I enjoyed the story but at the same time if left me questioning whether I’d see it through to the end. Never fear though, my OCD prevailed and my need to finish each and every book won out and I’m glad it did. The last 20% of the book held me in rapture as it bled into my heart and poured through my soul.

So what was it about this book that had me wondering why I’d started it?

From the first few pages I found it difficult to settle into. The story commences with a series of handwritten letters and with no preamble or character definition, they left me wondering what I’d picked up to read but then the story commenced, properly, and I was fixated and read it non-stop until the end of Part 1 when, for me, the story lost its way and fell flat. Yes, I know the end of Part 1 depicted a shift in the characters’ relationship but still, from then on I felt that the story floundered. I still persevered though, despite my inner monologue telling me to give it up. I read on until 80% when finally my prayers were answered and I re-connected with the story.

What didn’t I like I hear you ask. Well, it was a cluster of unnecessary ramblings, definitions and body part fixations. At one point I thought a third person had joined the story, its part was so “big”, and that was Kellan’s dick. Why of why, did it have to “jump” into almost every tender scene between Sloth and Kellan? I’m all for a bit of sexiness in a story even I can only take so many BJs and HJs but for some reason, in this story, they cured all, really?! Another constant point of reference was Kellan’s shoulders and thighs. I got it from the outset - they sealed the deal for Sloth, so why did they get mentioned again and again throughout the story? Maybe the author thought that us readers had a short-term memory problem in which case I suppose I should thank her.

I struggled to feel any sort of a connection between Sloth and Kellan for the first three-quarters of the story but at least that part of the mystery was solved and resolved by the end of the book but the cold and callous treatment of Sloth and her feelings was still in part uncomfortable to read. Another aspect that seemed out of place for me was the BDSM element in the story. I suppose reading deeper into the character you could say that BDSM gave Kellan an element of control within the life he was struggling to maintain but even so, it still felt slightly overplayed.

Another conundrum for me was the way the characters were revealed to each other. For one, the world nearly stopped spinning on its axis and for the other, meh, a small fizzle of emotions. Maybe the timing played an important part in that but still, it felt overshadowed.

Overall the story’s premise was an exceptional one but it just felt rushed, which given the amount of time it took to write didn’t make sense. The author seemed to race to put her thoughts and words down on paper in an excitable manner when instead you wanted her to take a step back, breathe and compose herself. This could have been an all-time epic read but sadly the edge was lost in the story’s portrayal of what was an emotive and powerful theme.

Despite my misgivings, this was a great story about a thought provoking theme. It was powerful, it brought tears to my eyes and at the end of the story I felt like I’d been on the biggest fair ground ride of my life and it left me unable to pick up another book for a day or two (in a positive sense). This was my first Ella James book and I’m not sure if I will read another, especially if it was written in the same vein but still, I’m glad I read Sloth, I got a lot out of the story and its message and it will certainly be a book that remains in my psyche for a long time.

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Review: Come to Me Recklessly

Come to Me Recklessly Come to Me Recklessly by A.L. Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having not read the first two books in this series I wasn't sure whether to dip straight in to Come To Me Recklessly. Authors quite often say their books can be read as a stand alone and, in my experience, readers often miss out or are unable to fully connect with the characters as a result. This may have been the case here but even without having read the first two books, which portray Jared and Aly’s story, I was able to easily settle into and enjoy this book.

This story is told in a dual timeline. Starting in the present we meet Samantha. Now living with, Ben, she is living an emotionally empty life. Having loved and lost the boy who stole her young heart, Christopher, she continues to struggle to understand why he so cruelly rebuffed her when they were destined for a long and happy life together. After an unexpected and chance meeting with Aly, Christopher’s sister, the two agree to meet up despite knowing the pain Samantha could subject her heart to if she ever came face to face with Christopher again. Also living a life of regret, Christopher is immersing himself in women but it’s Samantha who still haunts his heart and stops him from ever moving on despite the time which has elapsed since their last painful encounter.

As expected, Christopher and Samantha are brought face to face with one another again as Christopher unexpectedly arrives at his sister’s house. Samantha is horrified when she looks across the room and into Christopher’s eyes and sees the pools of hatred that lie within them. Despite their angry encounter, Aly sees that there is still something between Christopher and Samantha and despite the hurt and punishment they continue to put each other through, she tries to make them realise that they belong together, despite their history.

Heading back into the past, we see how Samantha and Christopher met and slowly fell in love. Despite their feelings for one another, Samantha and Christopher had to hide their relationship from her parents. Being brought up as a pastor's daughter, Samantha had to act in a certain way and sneaking out a night to see Christopher was not what her parents expected from her. But never fear the good boy that her parents love, Ben, was never far away but he wasn't what or who Samantha and her parents expected him to be. Forever scheming, Ben ensures that there will only be one winner of Samantha's heart, him.

As expected, it’s not long before Samantha’s parents discover her duplicitous ways and after finding her returning from a party they were not aware she had gone to, her life with Christopher is all but over. This is one point in the story where the background to Aly and Jared’s lives would have explained the emotions running through Christopher’s mind. I felt slightly lost as the author recounted the experiences for readers but, without the depth and emotion that I feel I would have experienced had I read the first two books, the story lost some of its depth. This didn’t detract from the story however as you still felt the pain of Samantha’s separation from Christopher even if you couldn’t necessarily appreciate or fully understand his actions.

I enjoyed this story. It was slightly too long winded and drawn out at times and left me waiting for the story to move on instead of recounting past emotions and actions between Christopher and Samantha. I’m not sure whether I will go back and read book one and two. For the price, I’m not sure if I’d enjoy the story enough but then again am I missing out on something special? I’ll keep it in my wish list and you never know, my curiosity may win me over as I really do want to know what happened to Jared when he went off the rails and how he found himself and Aly again.

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5 Star Review: Capture (Seaside Pictures, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

Friday 3 July 2015 No comments
Capture (Seaside Pictures, #1)Capture by Rachel Van Dyken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another brilliant story from an amazing author whose writing lights up the pages in front of your eyes as it entertains and leaves you with a lasting memory. With books spanning across a range of themes, Rachel Van Dyken’s Capture brings with it an element of surprise as some of our favourite characters, from her other works, make cameo appearances to add a little something extra to this already wonderful story.

From reading the synopsis, I thought this was going to be an emotional read but with Rachel Van Dyken's talent to bring humour into most situations I need not have been concerned. From the start, when we first meet Dani and the rest of the wonderful cast, we're thrust into a potential love affair as 17 year old, recently mute, Dani crashes straight into Lincoln who, unbeknownst to her, is her new employer thanks to her Hollywood movie star/director/brother-in-law, Jaymeson. Dani is immediately captured by Lincoln, in more ways than one, as she feels something in her heart that has been dormant since losing her parents in a tragic accident.