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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Confession (Curio Vignettes #5) by Cara McKenna

At long last!!! A confession! That's not a real spoiler considering the built up of the previous installments and the name of the novella. So here we are in the one before last novella in the Curio Vignettes (mini) series and as usual I'm really happy to finish another sweet part!

This one was mostly their love confession to one another and them dreaming together of their future together, as a real couple. I'm not much for sticky love but I felt their confession of love was simply beautiful, real and charming in it's imperfection.

Reversal (Curio Vignettes #4) by Cara McKenna

I'm giving this one 5 stars but I actually would have given it more if that was possible :) I SO loved this one! We go back to listening to Didier's POV which is very different than we heard before and a little similar to the voice of Caroly in the first installment where she is so insecure, wanting yet afraid to reach and caress. Didier is the same, only his insecurities aren't in bed, but outside his bed and outside his flat. 

We got to listen to Didier's inner fears, inner torture, how much he wants Caroly and how much he wants to give her or rather wishes he could. He has such a tender heart. his love for Caroly and the respect he has for her is simply beautiful and the way Caroly doesn't give up on him, she knows him, can read his body when he is stressed, calms him when he is in this state but also doesn't leave him like all the people around him - locked in a cage he himself built. You have to truly love someone to do what she is willing to do for him - helping him deal with this crippling fear of outdoors. 

Craving (Curio Vignettes #3) by Cara McKenna

Here we are in the third installment, returning to Caroly's POV. I really enjoyed this one, we started with Caroly and Didier having dinner together outside his apartment. I loved listening to Caroly's inner voice, explaining how she is the one who really knows Didier, the only one seeing him this vulnerable with hands shaking and a haunted face, and she is the one who experience these things with him without looking at him with pity or disrespect. She loves him for who he really is not just the beautiful guy or the one who really knows how to make a girl happy. From his perspective it's quite obvious that he truly trusts her and want to sort of "impress" her and "be normal" for her, so he can really be with her like "regular" couples are (naturally it's funny writing that when he is not "faithful" to her).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Coercion (Curio Vignettes #2) by Cara McKenna

After listening to Caroly's inner voice, in the next installment of "Curio Vignettes" we get to hear Didier - The way he perceives his world and the way he perceives her. 

Didier is just a man. A beautiful man, a man who knows how to satisfy women, but also a man who cannot leave his own flat due to Agoraphobia. In the first installment, he goes outside to the museum Caroly works to resume their relationship and make it a friendship kind of relationship and not a costumer paying for a whore.. 

Curio (Curio Vignettes #1) by Cara McKenna

This one was a total joy to read!!! I loved it!
It's a steamy hot erotica novella and when I say steamy hot I mean - WOW steamy hot! But believe it or not, in about 100 pages you get the fore-play and the sex and actually a story. Well, it's not a lot but what does happen between the two of them and how they connected was an interesting read and the ending left me with such a huge smile!
I would have been pleased just to leave it at that but YAY for me! There's 5 more smallish novellas to this mini-series. 

The whole novella is from Caroly's POV. She is almost 30 years old American living for the past 3 years in Paris and oh, she's a virgin. Finding this fact to be a nuisance somehow preventing her from being "normal" or a "woman" so to speak she turns to Didier a man whore who comes with good recommendations ;) All she has to do is come, relax, get rid of her virginity with probably one of THE most beautiful and sexy man alive. Really, one can't ask for more.. Thinking of how it went for her, I do think we each need a Didier of our own ;)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #9) [Payne & Manny] by J.R. Ward

Well, well, well, I'm nearing the end here! Can't believe it! This is the book of Payne and Manny aka Dr. Manuel Manello or as Payne calls him about half of the book "healer" :) I really liked that she called him that, so old fashioned and respectful. 

Payne FINALLY get to return to real world and leave the sanctuary behind, too bad it's only because she broken her back and needs medical attention that might not even help her, leaving her a prisoner in her own body. From the start, Payne tells V that if the operation doesn't succeed she wants him to kill her (great for V getting to know he has a sister then realizing he might have to kill her in less than a week...). Jane doesn't think she can handle this kind of operation that's why they contact Dr. Manuel Manello her boss but also a good friend from her "living days". 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider'es Guide by J. R. Ward

This insider's guide was published after the 6th book in the series - Lover Unbound (V's story) and contains a short novella I read and reviewed separately -"Father Mine". 

Took me long enough to get to this Insider's guide, I had it even before I started re-reading the series I just didn't find the right time to get into it. Thing is, if you read the books a long time ago then some of the things you've forgotten so I'm quite happy I decided to wait to read it after a re-read of the series. 

This Insider's guide have a lot of fun and games, interviews of the Warden (As she is often called) with the brother, a summary of what she has to say about the writing of each book, her experience as a writer, funny quotes from the books, few deleted scenes and "slices of life" (Which are small entries she posted in message boards relating to day-to-day with the brothers).

Beauty Awakened (Angels of the Dark #2) [Koldo & Nicola] by Gena Showalter

So here is the review of the second book in the series. I've really enjoyed reading this one (and the previous one), I think this series is going to be great! As I wrote in the first one, it's more innocent sex-wise, I mean, in this book and the previous both main characters are virgins and the sex comes in quite "late" in the game and it's not explicit. So I think it can be suitable to a bigger span of readers.

That being said, The book does deal with rough situations I nearly cried just reading the Prologue! (and did infact shed a few tears later on) Koldo's story is heartbreaking, and it's clear that as much as Nicola needs him, HE needs HER even more. He is tormented by his past, what both his parents did to him. His mother was an angel but his father, well, I won't spoiler, I'll just say his kind are considered the "good guys" in any sense of the way.. In the previous book we've learnt that the woman who cut off his wings was in fact his own mother which no matter what we find out about her, I hated her with a vengeance, his father is no better but you know what, in a way he IS better, when someone is wicked that's who he is (especially in these kinds of books when you can categories good vs. evil quite easily by species), but her? I don't buy her "excuses" for being THAT cruel. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark #1) [Zacharel & Annabelle] by Gena Showalter

I found about this series kinda by mistake. I don't really remember how it happened I just remember I was looking at Gena's website and looking for the next books in the series and on which character they are going to be and then I found it! I just finished "The Darkest Secret" (Amun and Haidee's book) and I just fell in love with  Zacharel. Yeah, he's a guy that grows on you, not the one you fell for the second he lands in a room wings spread but well, what can I say, I guess a smoldering hot angel who behaves badly and therefore walks around with snow falling on top of his wings seems to be specifically my type! I'm really not to blame!

I should say that if you haven't read the "Lords of the Underworld" series it really doesn't matter. The warriors appear in two scenes in the book and if you don't know who they are you'll still get it (there's a small explanation that I think covers the important).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood #8) [John Matthew & Xhexania] by J.R. Ward

We're here! John Matthew and Xhex's book! I think for most BDB fans this is absolutely one of the favorites, favorite book and absolutely favorite character. But for me, you know, he can only be third best after Z and Rehv.

The previous book ended with Lash capturing Xhex and it starts with JM being obsessed with finding her though in his heart he doesn't believe she is still alive and even if she is, it's obvious to him that they can't / won't be a mated couple. Xhex IS alive, captured in a special invisible "holding cell" by Lash. Lash, the fucked up guy that he is naturally falls in love with her (with tormenting her and torturing her as well), reminds us a little bit of David (Mr O) from Bella and Z's book only 10 times worse for Xhex than it was with Bella. 

One Hot Night (Old Port Nights #1) by Samantha Hunter

This one was EXACTLY what I needed. After all the crazy crazy at work, being sick and mostly feeling tired I found that I lost my ability to sit down and gulp a whole book (OK, most of the time it's half a book..). Adding to that the poor choice of books I have lately and it's really been a while since I sat down and read a book I could enjoy beginning to end. Yeah, I know that this one is 80 pages but that's the fun in novellas, you don't have the time to invest in a "real read" you want a little "time off" you want to have it "all" right now a story with a beginning - plot - end and all in about two hours.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Country Mouse Collection (Country Mouse + City Mouse) by Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov

Sometimes I postpone a review for no apparent reason, I think it's more about being in the "right mood" to write, wanting to be able to capture what I felt about the book. So here we are 3 days after I finished, already read another (half) one and was disappointed as hell, which only make this 5 stars book even more appreciated. 

This book is actually a long novella in two parts (that could be bought separately).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark, #1) by A. Meredith Walters

I'm sorry.. I tried.. I tried.. but I simply can't do it...
This one is a DNF at 49%...

I'll try to explain myself (with helping quotes):
"Had there ever been two people loved each other as much as we did? I couldn't put into words the way we felt about each other"
"You are everything. To me your'e the world. [...] At the moment, I knew it was the truth. I'd follow Clayton Reed to the edge of the Earth if he asked me to"

For me, these two quotes (pretty close to where I stopped reading) was what did it. What made me realize I'm NOT going to be able to read Maggie's POV for a second longer (well, I'm quite proud I finished the chapter..).

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood #7) [Rehvenge & Ehlena] by J.R. Ward

I'm having a really hard time thinking who is my favorite character.. Zsadist or Rehvenge.. and also which one of the books is my absolute favorite - this one or Lover Awakened. It's a close call and each day I might change my mind.. but anyhow both of them are excellent also when considering the side plots. 

In the first books, Rhevenge is mainly portrayed as a "drug lord". We know he is the owner of "Zero Sum" a club in which there are gambling being made, whores and drugs to be bought. But we also started getting a little bit more from him in the previous book, when we see he "has a soul" so to speak. He is willing to stop selling drugs to Phury when Z asks him to, we know that though he is a tough brother to Bella he truly cares about her and in his eyes he is not only her big brother but somehow her father. Bella doesn't remember her father and what it was like growing up with him because thankfully he killed him after he beaten their mother one time too many.. (he was also harsh on Bella but she doesn't remember as it seems..). Rehv will do anything, anything at all, to keep his mother and sister safe and since he and his family has been through a lot he is quite obsessive and aggressive when it comes to them and also to his close friends - iAm, Trez and Xhex which are mostly "partners in crime" but also friends he values as his family.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1) by Redmerski, J.A.

I'm quite reluctant to write this review.. It's just that I'm disappointed, and I hate being disappointed with a book, and also I realized the previous book I've read had been a disappointment as well. When I finished reading Covet I felt so damn lucky. I felt that I've been reading a lot more than I used to the past year and a half. I've discovered so many good writers, some of them new, publishing their first few novels, some already published a lot. Different genres, ones I haven't read before. Great ideas, great stories, amazing characters, not always perfect but amazing nevertheless. and here I am now. Feeling my "luck" has dried up. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 2014 Goals

Brash(Burlesque Bombshells, #2) 
Blush (Burlesque Bombshells, #3
by Nicola Marsh
Actually as I'm writing this down I already finished the first one and wrote it's review. I'm not sure if I'll be reading the following ones since I have an issue with the main heroine.. so I might do a "break" and read other books before I return to the next two, or I might skip them entirely.  

The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never #2)
by Redmerski, J.A.
I'm not sure who recommended this series to me. Haven't a clue about it. 

by Aleksandr Voinov and Amy Lane
After reading "Unhinge the Universe" I've been looking for books by Aleksandr Voinov. I think I have more planned by him. 

Cloud Walking (Find You in the Dark, #1.5)
Light in the Shadows (Find You in the Dark, #2)
Warmth in Ice (Find You in the Dark, #2.5)
by  A. Meredith Walters
I had the first one planned for March but when I realized I'm not going to make it I decided it's better to plan for a time to read a whole series and not just for the first in each new series (if I don't like it and don't want to continue there is always what to read ;))

One Hot Night ★★★★★ 
By Samantha Hunter
Another one I has planned for the previous month. This is just a short novella that will turn into a series I think, not sure. Samantha is one of the 5 authors of "strangers on a train" and for that I'm looking into her books. This one is quite new. I have another new one scheduled for next month I think. I'm not sure how to pick through her endless list of books so if you have recommendation about specific books you liked by her I'll be glad to hear :)

By Gena Showalter
I'm actually not sure if I'll get to read the both of them this month considering I "lost a week" with reading only one book.. But anyway since the 3rd one will be released somewhere in the end of April it seemed a good place to put these two. This is a spin-off for Lords of the Underworld series. I really loved Zacharel character in Paris's book (The Darkest Seduction LotU #9) so I can't wait to read his book (the first in the series). I also figured I haven't read a Paranormal Romance for a while.. There were none in March and on February they have been a disappointment mostly.. Finding a new good Paranormal series would be great! 

As I've started on February, I'm re-listening the the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J. R. Ward "preparing" myself for the 12th book "The King" which was released on the 1st of April. I did want to listen to them fast enough to get to the last book in April but I'm being realistic here that it's NOT going to happen. 
Right now I'm listening to "Lover Avenged" (Rehv's book and no. 7 on the series).

I have a few books from March I had to postpone to further months. "If You Stay" (Beautifully Broken #1) by Courtney Cole which I decided to put somewhere I'll have time to read all the series not just the first one (like I wrote in "Find You in the Dark"). "By Degrees" series by Taylor V. Donovan has quite longs books so I had to find a big enough space for them. I'm not sure where I scheduled them at the moment (and things do change so..)

That's it!
Have a great April everyone! :)

Note - I crossed off the ones I'm not planning on reading.

Monday, April 7, 2014

March 2014 Recap

March ended a week ago and I can't believe how fast this month flown by! Mostly because I was SO busy with work! I won't go into specifics for several reasons but let's just say I basically worked and slept - either working A LOT of hours than crashing to sleep or returning home after a regular hour work day and crashing from exaction! I tried reading but it was no use, after 10 pages I was asleep. This weekend I became sick so that's my body's way telling me I have to stop. Lucky for me the most of the stress is over and now I can lay back a little and return to my regular routine. 

So basically I read about half of what i had planned.. 
I did manage to listen to 5 audio books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward - 
I had my hopes I'll finish the series in March allowing me to delve into the 12th book which was released on the 1st of April but sadly this book will probably wait until May..

I did read one more book I haven't mentioned in my March Goals. I basically didn't think I'll get to read it in March only in the beginning of April but that one being by Ruthie Knox made sure that a book published on the 25th of the month WILL get read just then! I must say it took me more that it would have because of my schedule but it was SO worth it. I'm talking about Roman Holiday.

As in previous months, if you go to my March Goals you'll have a link to any book I've read and made a review on. The black ones with no links are the ones I didn't read... I'll post their names again when I'll be planning to read them. 

So let's do the summary! 

Author of the Month: (Covet) Tracey Garvis-Graves:
I'm giving this one my favorite author and not my favorite book (as I thought of when I started planning my recap) because when I think of what Tracey brought me into, how different the characters and the place in life they are in compared to me, and yet how much I related to them made me realize just how amazing she is as an author. I also read "On the Island" by her (and the next short novella) and I HIGHLY recommend it. That book as well, deals with conflicts that in a way are common yet I haven't seen any books that relate that sensitively to them. In my eyes Tracey is an artist and I can't wait to read more by her!

Favorite Book of the Month: Yours to Keep by Serena Bell
I had a hard time thinking which book I want to choose for this category and to tell you the truth, Yours to Keep has been one of the first books I've read in March which means he is farthest from my memory as the others I've read more recently (and this month being such a killer means my memory isn't working as it should..) and yet when I just looked at the cover and thought of this book I felt this smile spreading on my face. I enjoyed this one so much! I felt each one of the characters and even though we had a kid in this book (something I usually dislike) I thought that he had a really good part in moving the plot along. I loved how realistic this one felt. I don't know anything about migration certainly not in the US so I mostly talk about it from the emotional side. How it affected Anna and her family but also how people around her reacted to her situation. Serena has a new book "Hold on Tight" which will be published in June. Naturally I'm NOT going to miss this one out!

Disappointment of the Month: Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) - Abigail Roux
Last month my disappointment have been the last book in the Night Huntress series and this month I have the 8th book, prior to last, in the Cut & Run series. I was really waiting for this one and when it did and I delve into it I felt that this one has been more about getting the ground ready than a "real book", ready for the last novel as well as getting ready for the spin-off series. I felt Abigail spent WAY too much time on the "new couple" Nick and Kelly and less about the MAIN couple - Ty and Zane which I missed terribly and really wanted to get a nice dose, not just a snippet. and the other thing was that the plot was, well, strange, it basically made no sense and when we got the idea of what/who was behind all this it felt unreal and as I said a prelude to the next one. I felt like this one could have been a great novella with less "around and around" and more of Ty and Zane but as a whole book I was disappointed. 

Discovery of the Month: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I REALLY didn't know where to put this book in.. First off, I thought, yeah, it was my favorite book! and in a way it was! Then I thought, no, I should put it in my favorite author since Katja blew my mind off especially since it is her debut novel. Then I realized this category is the best. I didn't know what to expect from this one. I really didn't. I knew it would be a tormented heroes kinda book (which I generally like) but I wasn't sure what to expect and when I started reading and got hooked I knew this would be a book to remember. I keep thinking about the way Nastya looked at the world after she was hurt, the decisions she made, and even if they were the "wrong ones" I felt she is probably one of the bravest heroines I've ever read if not THE bravest. 

Fun Break of the Month: Roman Holiday by Ruthie Knox
 I made this category last month especially for the Backup Boyfriend which was SUCH a joy to read. Even if it HAD it's dark sides basically it was fun and games and I do think that I should read more books like this and maybe a little less of the tortured kind. It's so me reading those gloomy stories yet there is something about reading something for the fun of it, for the laugh. It always takes me to "I do.. or die" by Donna Cummings - I remember that I wrote in the review that it wasn't a maser piece and I always feel bad writing that. Like if it's not THAT amazing then it's "just a book" but actually I meant that it was a fun book to read, I enjoyed it even if it doesn't speak of something that breaks your heart or deals with a heavy subject or something like that.. That being said - let's get back to Roman and Ashley. This book, in parts or as a whole has a lot of fun and games to it. It's not really the life changing book (for the reader), it's a journey that both Roman and Ashley goes through and end up together - better together than apart but also better on their own than they used to be. So there is a dept to this one FOR SURE but there is also a fun story to just read and enjoy. 

Before I off and go I have to mention "Headstrong" By Meg Maguire, why? because it was good, because I really enjoyed it and I have no freaking Idea where to put it so I'll just put it here :)

So that's it for March. I think I mentioned most of what I read this month in this review (well, except for two books i gave about 3 stars) not like the previous months were I actually read twice as much as I did this month but well, that's life for you, always interfering with our precious reading.. 

I'll probably post tomorrow my goal for this month. I don't have a lot planned but I do hope I'll make it. When I look on my yearly challenge for 2014 on GR I can see not just how many books I've read but how I'm doing so for now I'm 7 books behind schedule :D I mostly find that amusing I don't mind that much. I'm the most noncompetitive person I know, even toward myself :)

Before (Burlesque Bombshells #1) by Nicola Marsh

Sadly this have been a disappointment. It started up quite nice, didn't know where it's going, only thing I knew is this is a prequel to the Burlesque Bombshells series which has 2 books in it. 

Reid offers his little sis a vacation in Australia with him. He is in for a business trip and since it's "plus one" and his life is too damn busy to have a girl friend he offers the ticket to his sister. Jess comes eagerly. She doesn't have plans for the summer and having a really bad experience in the last day of the semester makes her want to get away a little even more. 

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

WOW WOW WOW - That's the basic really.
I loved this book so much! I feel so lucky that lately almost every book I read I enjoy so much, and this one was a very good surprise being Katja's debut novel. Can't wait to read anything by her (though I didn't see she has anything planned..)

This book tells us about Katya, a very complicated yet very interesting girl. She used to be an amazing pianist yet, after being attacked she lost her ability to play. Now she is plagued by the need to find and harm the person who hurt her and taken her life from her. After what she has been through Katya decided not to speak. She has her reasons, it's not that she is incapable of speaking, she spoke before, but now, in a new city, a new school where no one knows her she won't speak a word to anyone. She doesn't want to interact with anyone actually and she makes sure of that with provocative cloths and black eye makeup that keeps the girls away and the guys, well, she can handle the guys - if they talk to her she can always ignore (after all she doesn't speak) and if they misbehave she can and will strike back. 

Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood #6.5) [Zsadist, Bella & Nalla] by J.R. Ward

I'm "returning to myself" this week, returning to my reading. I had SUCH intense two weeks all I did was work and sleep and then this weekend I became sick.. So this week I promised myself less work, more relaxation which naturally means more time to read. 
I have one more review to write before I do my March Recap and to tell you the truth I read maybe half of what I planned on reading.. so I really hope April will be better in this sense. 

Zsadist is my absolute favorite character in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and it's quite obvious why, he is the ultimate tormented warrior but he is also a lot more than that. He has a tender side that probably Bella is the only one who sees on a regular basis. But we saw him display his tenderness to a few other characters during the the series like with JM and we also saw that though he always behaves as though he is a soulless bastard - that he is surely not! As he was wrongly accused of accepting Havers offer to off Wrath. Even when he refuses to thank his brother for saving his life he is there for him when his addiction is getting worse, he may not say the "proper" words but he knows what to say to his brother. Yes, he mistreated Phury when he asked him over and over again to beat him but I think it's obvious that he was in a very dark place at the time. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves

I just finished this book and I'm surprised at how much I loved it!

This book deals with subjects I have no experience in – being in a relationship for a long while (not just a few years but married with children) and though I was in a fairly serious relationship what Claire and Chris go though is nothing I had to deal with.

Another thing that is quite meaningful in this book is the kids, and the fact that Claire is a sort of "stay at home mom", maybe not fully since she does freelance work from home but it's not the main income (or wasn't supposed to be). I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with my life, let's say, ten years from now but even if I would work from home I don't think it would be part time and I don't see any children in my future. This book has a lot of "kid's schedule" in it, something I could have found tedious and yet I felt it was made the story feel more realistic.

Roman Holiday (The Complete Adventure) (2-Book Bundle: The Adventure Begins + The Adventure Continue) by Ruthie Knox

Well, well, well, A LAST we have the missing half of the Roman Holiday "series". This book was published originally in parts. First 5 parts were published weekly (were sold separately but now can be purchase as a bundle "The Adventure Begins") and then we had a short break until the next 5 parts were scheduled to be published one week after another. For some reason Ruthie published the the next 5 chapters (6-10) as one bundle called "The Adventure Continues". Well, I'm an impatient person so naturally I was VERY happy I could get the whole story in one and not having to wait.. 

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood #6) [Phury & Cormia] by J.R. Ward

I think it's kinda obvious what I thought of this one.. I REALLY disliked it! You know what, there were a few good parts that I wouldn't have wanted to miss out (if I chose to skip this one) and there are a few parts that are important for the understanding of the future plot. This is the story of Phury and Cormia finding their HEA together but luckily it has a lot to it then just the two of them.

There are a lot of scenes with JM, Quinn and Blay. There are revaluations on all sides, some we knew but other characters didn't and some are new. There is a lot about Quinn's family and why he is the way he is. It's heart breaking but he is a man about it. You see his hurt and his struggle but he deals with the cards he got the best he can. He has a lot to go through till he gets his "happily ever after" (on the 10th book). Blay is a sweetheart. He doesn't deserve the heartache he gets in this book and in the following ones but sometimes you need to wait for the one you love to come to grips. JM is having a hard time as well, his past, his present at the training center with Lash and missing his father - Thor. He also continues to be interested in Xhex.