Review: Everything She Lost

Tuesday 16 January 2018 No comments
Everything She Lost Everything She Lost by Alessandra Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A story with cruel intentions!

This was a very enjoyable story which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Whilst a suspense story, it becomes a mystery as to whether Nina’s actions were as a result of her mental health or something altogether more sinister.

The story was relatively fast paced and I didn’t predict the ending, although my suspicions started to become more or less accurate towards the book’s conclusion.

As new to me author, I found that I enjoyed Alessandra Harris’ writing style but the book at times felt more like an account than an actual portrayal of a complete story. Despite this, the story was fascinating and despite the cruelty carried out against Nina, it was a pleasurable reading experience.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author and publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: To the Fall

Sunday 14 January 2018 No comments
To the Fall To the Fall by Prescott Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what initially attracted me to this book. I've never read anything by the author before but something about Pierce's character fascinated me, especially with the story being written from his POV.

Here we have a sexaholic businessman who is in therapy - for his sexual proclivities, not sins of the boardroom - and a woman who is his rival in more ways than one. The share painful memories where relationships are concerned but can they find a way to move forward from their previous heartbreak in order to find a way to trust love and everything it has to offer?

Pierce Kingston is a dominant man, in and out of his business suit. He runs a hugely successful hotel alongside lifelong friend, Annie. Together with Pierce’s half-sister, Tawny, they share a close bond and support each other, mostly against Pierce’s stepmother, Vicki. When Tawny gets a gig at a rival hotel, Pierce comes face to face with Sutton Presley, the hotel's new manager. Drawn to her immediately, Pierce is desperate to get to know her but he has one big problem, the sex diet his counsellor has demanded he follow, for one whole month. Whilst this diet frustrates Pierce, it gives untrusting and hesitant Sutton time to get to know the Pierce the man, rather than Piece the man with the body to die for.

Whilst Sutton and Pierce’s relationship gets off the ground slowly, Pierce starts to face new demons which are connected to his past which he had assumed to have put to rest. With Annie needing answers and Pierce needing to forget, the friendship of these two lifelong friends start to crumble with catastrophic effects.

I enjoyed this story but it didn’t blow me away as I hoped and expected. The storyline was intriguing and the characters were interesting but for some reason it just didn’t gel for me. I felt that the story was trying to be too many things and left me watching from the outside rather than drawing me in. As the story progresses there are twists and shocks which I really didn’t foresee but made the story go from being lighthearted to incredible poignant. This is where the essence of the story was finally revealed and savoured.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Strip: The Making of a Feminist

Saturday 13 January 2018 No comments
Strip: The Making of a Feminist Strip: The Making of a Feminist by Catlyn Ladd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Strip provides readers with a fascinating insight into the mind of an exotic dancer from a performer turned academic and through its depiction, the story realises strong feminist and liberal ideologies. Highly recommended!

From the outset, I found the author’s insight into her experiences very surprising. I expected sleazy men and drunk bachelors and what we find within the pages of this book are the complete opposite. In some cases, we’re introduced to intelligent men seeking the company of equally intelligent women and lonely men trying to find their way in life and turning to the dancers as a form of therapy. Each chapter introduces readers to a new patron and you start to see the types of men who frequent these clubs. I found the way the author broke her story down enlightening as each chapter challenged my perceptions and expectations.

The dancers we meet were a mixed bag of personalities and each evidently performed for different reasons. There is clearly a calling to be looked upon as an idol and this in some cases leads to a desperate search to find create the perfect body. With rich patrons willingly offering up cash for these girls to further improve their looks, you can’t help but wonder if these men are feeding off the dancers’ insecurities by funding their desires or if the women have the upper hand and use the men for their own purposes.

Despite the competitive nature of this job, the women clearly share a bond. Referred to a “fresh meat” when starting out, most women would start waving the feminist flag aloft at the perceived slight to their gender and yet these dancers took the term in their stride. It is clear from the outset that these women either simply discount the opinions of men or are happy to simply play their part as a means to an end, as was clearly the case with the author who simply danced for enjoyment and to fund her academic studies never questioning her looks or actions.

At the end of the book, the author sets out a series of questions designed to further challenge our opinions on the empowerment of women, gender equality and class economics. Although written in part as a biography, this story also delves into current research on exotic dancing and the author uses critical commentary in order to challenge the preconceptions of readers by presenting the facts in a way to allow readers to form their own opinions.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author/publisher via Netgalley prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Reed

Wednesday 10 January 2018 No comments
Reed Reed by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

Another enjoyable story in the hugely successful Cold Fury Hockey series.

Reed was a bit of a quiet and unassuming character. I expected bravado but he came across as a sweet but insecure character. Living a relatively shallow life, with a line of Barbie-esque women spending an all too brief time in his company, Reed has never experienced love, until he meets the effervescent Josie.

When Josie unexpectedly bangs on his door thanks to Reed’s headboard banging against her bedroom wall, he finds a spitfire of a woman who is the complete opposite of one of his so-called Barbies. Josie, as Reed’s neighbour, knows he likes a certain type of women and as a result, gives all of his woman a Barbie-themed name.

Josie is a doctor working in emergency medicine at the local hospital and is the polar opposite to Reed, or so he thinks. Despite this, the duo quickly forms a friendship and Reed, who’s in the off-season, finds himself wanting to take care of Josie and ends up spending more time with her. Keen to take their friendship into unknown territory, for Reed, he doesn’t know how to make the next step with Josie. With Josie’s confidence though, they soon have a romantic break-through.

The story doesn’t really have any ups and downs to it until Reed starts to doubt the part he plays in Josie’s life and as a result, this was an easy to read story which was relatively short. The story was lacking in plot somewhat and didn’t have the same fast pace as other titles in the series. That said, this was still an enjoyable read. The build-up to Marek’s story looks to offer a much more complicated storyline though and I can’t wait to read it.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author & publisher via Netgalley prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Review: Mend

Mend Mend by Chelle Bliss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet, feel-good, second chance romance.

This was a relatively quick and easy to read book. The characters, Evie and Jack, are enjoyable and you can easily relate to them and their story. After they are reunited for the second time they quickly realise that they never fell out of love despite assuming they have both been wronged by the other. The story then works towards making their love whole again as Jack realises that he needs to return to his hometown in order to make Evie his once again.

I want an eternity with you, Jack. You’re my forever. Always have been, and always will be.

After seeing Jack again for the first time in years, Evie flees from him and in doing so knocks herself out. When she opens her eyes, Jack is holding her in his arms and despite her best intentions, she realises this is where she has always meant to be. With a secret haunting her though, Evie tries to push Jack away until she can find a way to tell him what happened between them years before.

I’m drunk on Evie, and I don’t think life will ever be the same again.

The side character of Evan seemed to be my particular favourite in this story. Living with Evie, Jack assumed that he will have a fight on his hands to win her heart once again but little does he know that he also rings Evan’s bells. Evan was funny, warm, charismatic and an absolute sweetie and I almost wished he was the main character of this story.

I’ve always belonged to Jack Nelson.

Whilst I enjoyed the book I found it a little simplistic and despite wanting to love the story, I found it lacking somewhat in plot, depth and drama. After the initial mystery as to why Evie and Jack stopped communicating when separated as teenagers, and the revelation that Evie kept something huge from Jack, there was no drama and an all too easy acceptance, in my opinion. I wanted fireworks, frustration, rejection, fighting for their relationship but sadly, Jack just forgave Evie and they carried on with their relationship as if nothing had happened.

We’re a team now, Evie girl.

As always, Chelle Bliss’ writing style drew me in with ease especially due to the delicious characters that she creates and Evie, Jack and Evan were no exception.

This ebook was kindly provided by the author prior to release in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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3 Star Review: The Hookup by Kristen Ashley

Sunday 7 January 2018 No comments
The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil, #1)The Hookup by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Audio Book Review)

This book has left me with mixed feelings.

I appreciate this book is called The Hookup and the premise is in the title but for me, a book which starts with a sex scene is something that I generally loathe. I need to get to know my characters before getting to know them intimately if you know what I mean. Despite my initial reservations though, I did find myself connecting with the main characters relatively quickly. Both Johnny and Izzy have troubled pasts but find themselves coming together, literally and figuratively, unexpectedly having met in a bar.