Friday, March 31, 2017

Rising Flames (Surviving Ashes #5) by Kennedy Layne



Goodreads Review



USA Today Bestselling Author Kennedy Layne concludes the Surviving Ashes series with an explosive story where the strength of love rises against the loss of humanity…

Van Overton had given years of service to his country. He’d paid his dues and he no longer needed to put his life on the line. He could live out the rest of his days doing what he did best—making money from inside the heart of the world’s fastest paced financial system.

Allie James had wished time and again for something—anything—to happen just so she didn’t have to open another eviction notice. She adored the hustle and bustle of the city, her cozy apartment in a good neighborhood, and the rugged looking man across the hall wasn’t half bad to look at either. Regrettably, she’d been thinking more along the lines of winning the lottery than an approaching apocalypse.

Van should have known his luck wouldn’t hold out, but a supervolcano eruption? It was a good thing his time in the military had taught him to be ready for just about anything. Unfortunately, his next-door neighbor didn’t fit into anyone’s idea of a survival plan. Allie was everything he tried to avoid in a woman, but she was definitely the one who had the ability to steal his heart.

Series Description: The world as they know it is about to change. The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted in an apocalyptic fashion, triggering simultaneous events around the world. The one thing that will either bring society together or rip their lives apart is the need for survival as a group. A company of former Marines will do whatever it takes to reach an area in the far recesses of northeastern Washington State, a region they feel is uniquely equipped for endurance and existence in what is left of the crumbling infrastructure of the United States. Follow along as Kennedy Layne conveys each of their stories as these brave men and women face the harsh, fiery elements of an inevitable apocalypse while encountering passion, intrigue, and suspense...



5++++++ ‘This is Princess to Rambo’ Stars.
I love myself some post-apocalyptic romance and this book is no different. So I came in at the tail end of the series. This is the last book in the series and if this is anything to go by then this is a must read. Go and add all the books to your TBR shelf. The first one is FREE on Amazon.
This is full of action and it really got my blood pumping. It is an exciting read with action and a scary plot that could really happen. The Yellowstone caldera has exploded. The world is full of ashes you will soon be. The odds of surviving? Virtually zero to none.
Unless….
You are Van Overton and your former brothers-in-arms specifically Tank has been a prepper and has everything you need at Lost Summit.
Only problem? Van is in New York so he is going in to danger instead of trying to get away with it. Washington State is where Lost Summit and it won’t be an easy feat getting there. But if anyone can then it is him. HE is a bit of a prick though.
All I can say Allie is be careful what you wish for. But who would have thought that could happen? All the problems you had before seemed trivial and petty when being realistic.
They don’t get off to the best start but Van saves her life on numerous accounts while she comes to grasps with the current situation and in the end realises that her best bet is that she sticks with Van. She has his six and is a fast learner.
Martial Law has been called. The veneer that we call civilisation has come to an end it is survival of the fittest. It didn’t happen long for everything to come to a standstill.  
Three gruelling weeks later and they have come to rely on one another and feelings have developed all they aren’t keen to act on them. Reluctant to admit to their feelings because who want to be the last man/woman on earth? When they were neighbours beforehand.
They first kissed at the 75% mark and had sex somewhat later but the build up to it is great and I don’t care because that is how awesome the plot is.
The obstacles they overcome, being captured by a madman. The life and death situations. The characters and well everything just bloody awesome and a must read.
I will read all the others as this is right up my alley.




The Hard Truth About Sunshine by Sawyer Bennett



Goodreads Review



New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett has written her most gripping and poignant tale yet. Provocatively heart-breaking, audaciously irreverent and romantically fulfilling, The Hard Truth About Sunshine exposes just how very thin the line is between a full life and an empty existence.

An angry, bitter amputee.
An optimist losing her eyesight.
A dying kid.
A suicidal thief.
Four people with nothing in common but their destination.

Despite having narrowly escaped death’s clutches, Christopher Barlow is grateful for nothing. His capacity to love has been crushed. He hates everyone and everything, completely unable to see past the gray stain of misery that coats his perception of the world. It’s only after he involuntarily joins a band of depressed misfits who are struggling to overcome their own problems, does Christopher start to re-evaluate his lot in life.
What could they possibly learn from one another? How could they possibly help each other to heal? And the question that Christopher asks himself over and over again… can he learn to love again?
He’s about to find out as he embarks upon a cross country trip with a beautiful woman who is going blind, a boy with terminal cancer, and an abuse victim who can’t decide whether she wants to live or die.
They will encounter adventure, thrills, loss and love.
And within their travels they will learn the greatest lesson of all.
The hard truth about sunshine…

Warning: This book deals with some tough issues including suicide and sexual abuse.
 



SPOILER FREE.

Let’s pray for the sun to shine its warmth upon us always, so we never forget the hard truth of it.

This is my first book by Sawyer Bennett and there is a sad beauty to the book but on top of that it is a book with a hidden depth. Although told by our Hero’s POV he is an upbeat kind of guy even if he doesn’t think so. With his humor and outlook on life makes the book stand out even more for me.

I'm going with Jackass’s words here. Of all of the stupid shite he had done in his life going on a road trip with a misfit crew (like it or not Jackass you are part of the misfit crew) was apparently the worse one. It beat trying to get flowers out of his sister’s nose with a sharp object. But for him going on a road trip is one of the most ridiculous things he has done.

Our road trip group is Goth Chick, Dead Kid and Sexy Eyes. Jackass’s words here not mine.

Jackass aka Christopher Barlow is shameless. He lives life on his terms and I loved him for his shamelessness. Don't we all want to really say what we think and feel? I for one do and can only say that half the time I can't be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth. There were times where I laughed out loud and times where I put my hand in front of my mouth and thought he did not just say that but yep he did. We should all take a page of his book. Okay so maybe a tiny corner of a page.

One prime example is

She was unique and angry, and that was compelling to me. I wondered if she’d give me a blow job in return for the joint I had stashed in my cargo pocket. On second thought, she was so angry looking I was afraid she might bite my dick off and I couldn’t afford to lose anymore body parts.

The road trip is for Dead Kid. I should probably start calling them by their real names. So, pay attention for I shall only write this once. Goth Chick (Barb), Dead Kid (Connor) and Sexy Eyes (Jillian)

They are all in group therapy for one reason or another. Some are obvious. Some aren’t. Four virtual strangers set out to watch the sunset on the West Coast. The group dynamics are interesting oh what am I saying it's just bloody odd. But things slowly start to change. They start to care for one another although none of them want to get to close or to deal with the demons that they have.

For all the cracks they have also come to rely on one another. They become a tight knit group add in a bucket list and you have a great recipe for disaster it is absolutely hilarious in parts yet soul destroying in others. I could feel my heart bleeding a slow trickle to begin with that at the end I was emotionally drained. In a good way. Full emotion you want to feel and a lot of emotion you don’t.

Each with different obstacles to overcome and their problems/issues aren’t less trivial. For some it works for others it doesn’t. Jackass is fascinated by Jillian she is the light to her dark and well let’s just say that Jackass needs to get an attitude adjustment. But feelings are coming…

I swear to God she was like fucking Snow White… all tra-lah-lah, skipping though the forest and singing to the birds. I hated it and because I am a sick fuck, I wanted to see more of it at the same time.


There is a subtle HEA but it is bittersweet in comparison to what happens in the book. Thinking about it makes me want to squeeze out a tear here and there.
This book brings hope. Looking for joy where there seems to be none. You decide which side you can walk on. At times, bleak and tryst the rays of sunshine shining through and touching lives.  It shows you that in the bleakest times there is a reason to live be it for love, friendship, hope and joy.

This isn't my usual type of read it also isn't Ms. Bennett's usual stomping grounds. She flawlessly hits every high note in the book as well as the deep notes.

In the end, what should we choose?

The choice to live.
The choice to love.
The choice to forge your own path.
Life should be your choice.

P.S. If you have a problem with suicide then this isn’t the book for you.




Tormentor Mine: A Dark Romance by Anna Zaires



Goodreads Review




A new dark romance from New York Times bestseller Anna Zaires

He came to me in the night, a cruel, darkly handsome stranger from the most dangerous corners of Russia. He tormented me and destroyed me, ripping apart my world in his quest for vengeance.

Now he's back, but he’s no longer after my secrets.

The man who stars in my nightmares wants
me.




There is no beauty without ugliness, just as there’s no happiness without sorrow. We live in a world of contrasts, not absolutes.
Peter Sokolov what a Hero you are. Deadly yet kind. A beast that will lash out when he cans but will pamper you in any way that he can to keep the demons at bay. Out for vengeance and revenge. His list has nearly come to an end that is until he meets Sara and can’t seem to let go.
A fascination is born that morphs into obsession. He wants his Ptichka and the predator will give the prey more time. Irrational yet he can’t help himself.
I might not have claimed her yet, but she’s going to be mine.
Sara lost her husband in an accident he is a vegetable. One night when she comes home she is questioned about the whereabouts of her husband until the unorthodox methods make her spill all the details. I mean what’s a little waterboarding and truth serum between soon to be lovers? Doesn’t matter that Peter wants to kill Sara’s husband.
She fights it to begin with but there is no way out for her she is trapped in a cage. But with time her soul and mind start to adapt her body submitted a long time before that. Peter sets out to get what he wants.
When Sara sees me again I want it to be different. I want her to know me as something other than her assailant. – Good luck with that Peter.
And at the last vital second, he succeeds. Although Sara is clear that she wants to get rid of him.
“Fine,” I say in an attempt to regroup. “So what’s it going to take for you to leave me alone?” “A bullet to the brain or heart,” he answers, unblinking, and my stomach lurches as I realize he’s completely serious. He has no intention of walking away from me. Ever.
Although this isn’t as dark and twisted as the other series I like the direction it is going in and I hope it gets darker, grittier and more twisted as that is what I need when I read this authors books.
A book filled with duplicity, subterfuge, secrets and not all is what it seems. They both have suffered a great loss and with time find solace in one another.
I couldn’t give it 5 stars because Sara annoyed to the point where I just wanted to push her out of the way and say “Bitch please if you don’t want him then I’ll take him.” And her constant blabbing on of her tormentor, blah blah, tormentor, blah, blah got exasperating and tiresome. Other than that, this book is perfect.
I love this author’s work. Damn you Ms. Zaires a second book? Although it does make sense. So, I’m not too bummed. It only took me to the very end to figure that shite out as I was constantly wondering how Ms. Zaires was going to fit their unconventional HEA in to one book.
Ever since I read The Twist Me Trilogy I have wanted a book about Peter. And obviously just for me Ms. Zaires decided to write one or in this case a trilogy. The writing is engaging and drags you into an underworld of assassins for hire and a stalker that wants it all.




Can't Fight This Feeling (Spikonos Brothers #2) by Miranda Liasson



Goodreads Review



SHE WANTS TO MOVE ON…WITH SOMEONE BLAND AND BORING…

Widowed psychologist Maggie McShae is ready to find someone who won’t make her heart beat fast, her knees grow weak, or make her feel hot and cold at the same time. No one she can really love, because love brings too much pain.
Drew Poulos, son of a billionaire, is hiding out in Mirror Lake, working at his brothers’ brandy company. He inspires those very feelings Maggie’s determined to avoid. The hunky businessman, who left his high society bride at the altar, is the last person she’d ever seriously date…but he might just be perfect for a fling…


HE NEEDS A DATE FOR HIS BROTHER’S WEDDING…WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN CALM HIS QUIRKY FAMILY…


Drew’s too heartbroken to ever trust any woman again, but the sexy psychologist is the perfect person to deflect his family’s attention as his brother marries the woman Drew once thought was his.
As sparks fly, two injured hearts might just find that true love can be even better the second time around….



This is another tough book to rate. The dead spouse is always hard to get right. Our heroine needs to be separated by a crow bar to let go of the memories.

Corey her husband died of cancer and the amount of times she said he was perfect and they were the loves of each other’s lives leads me to doubt that at the end of the book she does a 180 and realizes that Drew really is the one for her. Drew deserves better. But her groveling at the end helped her for me to soften to her. Drew let her squirm unfortunately not long enough IMO.

I must give props to the author though the MC didn't particularly like one another at the beginning their character development is really good. They become friends and there is an underlying chemistry although both think they are wrong for one another but they are exactly what they need.

I enjoyed the pace of the book at times but was frustrated at the best of times with the pace as well.

I'm a sucker for single parent romance. Drew getting to know Griffin awkward yet adorable is the best.

Overall an enjoyable read. Sweet, sexy yet sad at times with a loss for both but also learning how to move on with life.

To be honest I don't know if I'd read more by this author.





Thursday, March 30, 2017

Defiant Temptation (Harden #3) by Lynn Stookes



Goodreads Review




Harper Andrews hasn't had it easy; abandoned by her mother, dated a scheming boyfriend, and fought for her father’s life against cancer. But she's always prevailed, until now when her world seems to be falling apart.

Tristan Page never loses control; not at the death and reemergence of his sister’s cheating husband, the attack on her life, or even when his company seems to be failing. He's always in command of his actions until one woman threatens to make his world spiral.

Tristan plays on Harper’s last nerve.

Harper tries Tristan’s patience and self-control.

Forced together, in a search for her mother, they battle their attraction for one another. Harper wants him. Tristan wants what he can't have.

Can they defy temptation or will their explosive chemistry set them on a path for self-destruction?



This could have been a fantastic read if the following had been taken into account. The main characters ruined it there was too much push and pull from the Hero, he is an absolute pr§ck and IMO he didn’t improve throughout the book.

The shenanigans of the main characters deflected from the overall plot of the book. As when Harper and Tristan were following leads it got interesting. Secrets and lies were revealed.

But then an abundance of drama was inserted which wasn’t necessary. There were just too many eyerolling moments. Harper is dating Duncan although they aren’t exclusively she was being a right cow to him by getting down and dirty with Tristan.

The moment where I had enough? When Tristan went on a date and without knowing it. It turned into a double date. Most awkward date ever.

But the star of the book? Is Harry. Bless you made this book bearable.

So, what did I do in the end? I skimmed. This is a case of it being ME and not the BOOK. Please take my review with a pinch of salt.




Always Mine (St. Fleur #2) by AJ Renee



Goodreads Review


After a few years of easy small-town living as the St. Fleur librarian, Lindsey finds herself in the middle of a love triangle gone wrong. Gifts begin arriving and in time she realizes her confusing feelings over Derek, the sweet history teacher, and Marc, the man she doesn’t remember, is the least of her troubles. Her complicated love life takes a violent turn when she learns there is a stalker watching her every move.

When Marc visited his best friend’s new home months ago, he didn’t expect to meet the first woman to awaken his desire for more since he was a teen. Too bad she’s already taken. When their shared attraction leads them to the truth, will they finally get the happily ever after they both want?

Or will her current man, his best friend, and her stalker be the nails in the coffin of their attraction?

*For Mature Audiences only due to the sexual scenes and language.*
 


I am most likely going to contradict myself in this review.

I have to be honest here I finished the book yesterday but I don't know how to rate it. It's not bad per se. It is a sweet read with spice and suspense. There were times when I wanted to give it one star but then it would hit the four-star mark. Where I then thought, this is more like it. Then it would plunge back to two or three stars. After my review, sleeping on it for a night and ironing out everything? Still got no clue.

Characterisation is good. I liked the main characters but I didn't develop a connection with them at all to be honest they would have been better off without one another. Too much cat and dog behavior going on here.

They have had feelings for one another since Lindsey has been 15 and Marc has been 18 but you don’t hit on your best friend's kid sister. Well you just don't go there at that age. But being a grown-up ass you step up and claim your woman. Not constantly pratting around which you were doing. Yes, I’m looking at you Marc. I'm surprised Lindsey gave you the time day. On top of that nearly everyone around you knew that you had feelings for one another.

The plot is good and keeps you on the edge of your seat the excitement increases until you can't stand it much longer. But the was just one thing where I thought okay that is a bit of a cliché and then you drop a bomb on her about that. Don’t get me started on the sister implying that shite she did.

I adored book one in the series so I can't figure out what happened here.
I guessed the stalker and for at least the last 30% of the book I was internally shouting at them to who dunnit. It wasn't rocket science okay so I'm most likely being harsh here but a simple question of Lindsey who else do you know whose name starts with D would have been a good start you know but just saying.

I won’t mention everything that irritated me in the book but the most important ones that I found annoying.

Question do all of you out there remember your first crush/love? If you met years later would you remember? I find it hard to believe that they can't remember one another. They have always compared each person they have dated to the other and they have all paled in comparison. So how can you forget? Got to say left me stumped. It did add some spice so I obviously have mixed feelings on this one. I found it frustrating at times very frustrating. There were times it was smooth sailing probably to lure us into a false sense of security and then loads of shit would go down all at once. It could have been evenly spaced but this is just IMO.


Lindsey didn’t have just one nickname instead we had three Lulu, half pint and Linz. Then there are the terms of endearment from Marc every single chance he had he would call her Mi Amor and muñeca. Gah. And Lindsey well she called him honey. Double gah!


Books are beta read etc. So why didn't someone mention this to the author?

All in all, for all of the minor things that bothered me I still liked the book and well I think that you should read it and try it out for yourselves. This is just me and my personal opinion.

3 Stars it is.






Anson (The Black Stallion Trilogy #3) by Maggie Ryan & Alta Hensley



Goodreads Review



Anson Steele, along with his two brothers and father, lives by one code: Help all in need. Even if it means saving those who walk among the most sinister criminals in the world. Known as The Black Stallions, their mission is simple – provide rescue and safety to the innocents drawn into the evil depths of the underground.
Natalia Alvarez has been sold to the leader of one of Argentinian’s largest drug cartels at an underground human auction. Being sold to the highest bidder, she is now nothing more than a possession of Juan Montez and hidden away deep within the walls of his South American compound.

Anson Steele has been on the hunt for Natalia since the day he first saw her at the auction and helplessly had to watch her while not being able to do a thing about it. But he has made it is life’s mission to find this woman and pull her out of the depths of hell at whatever cost. She will be his save one way or another.
With the backdrop of the mission being the unforgiving jungles and the dangerous streets of Argentina, and escaping a foreign country near impossible, is Natalia doomed to be locked away forever?

While fighting against a powerful drug cartel and their ruthless leader, will Anson Steele be able to rescue Natalia before it is too late? Will they both be able to find refuse in The Black Stallion Ranch and put this awful nightmare behind them?



The last installment in the trilogy kind of left me disappointed. Don’t get me wrong this book has its merits.
I have to say that I prefer the main characters in this book to the others in the previous books. Anson isn’t as hotheaded as Maddox or Stryder.
Anson is meticulous and is the clever one of the bunch. He plans it all out but he didn’t count on Natalia recognizing him and not wanting to go with him. Since he saw Natalia at the auction he can’t get her out of his head.
Anson is a strong alpha lead but knows that when he isn’t capable of doing something he concedes and lets Natalia take the lead. Refreshing I tell you.
Natalia Alvarez former Drug Cartel Princess lost her whole family in a massacre to the Montez Cartel. She planned to be at that auction to avenge her family but after six months. She willing went with Montez. But there is something holding her back.
Natalia is a sassy heroine with a backbone made of steel but she was also a tad boring. She showed some vulnerability but there was just too much time they spent alone in the jungle in Argentina. Yes, I know they get to know one another and all that jazz but nothing happens.
These two authors know how to write and they bring real emotions into the book and they harmonize well with one another. The story is captivating and has you in high anticipation of what is going to happen. But for some reason it just didn’t work for me.  But that’s not to say that it won’t work for you.
If I would have to try and pinpoint it why it personally didn’t work for me then I would say that I found the plot of the drug cartel to be slightly weaker compared to what happened in books 1 & 2. But nevertheless, an enjoyable read with likeable characters and authors who know what they are doing.
An epilogue for all would have been the icing on the cake and that Anson did fulfill his “cheesy” dream of climbing Mount Everest as a homage to his parents.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Hitchhiker by Charlie Lee


Goodreads Review




"You can run, but can you hide?"

Life was perfect.
I was on top of the world winning one case after the other leaving no survivors in the wake of my devastation. They may see a pair of long legs in Louboutin heels, but remember my name when I'm finished with them.

Caitlin Winslow, the best, cut-throat defense lawyer in California.
I never play to lose.
It's not in my DNA.
The actions of ethics don't exist in my domain.

Satan, my father, who shaped my life turns up dead. Kill shot to the back of the head in his sleep. The people who murdered him aren't stopping with his death. They're after me.

I ran in the dark of night. Karma that evil bitch meets me step by step and forced me to stick out my thumb on the side of the lonely highway. I'm now the HITCHHIKER begging for redemption.

Oh, how life has a funny way of smacking you in the face.

Katch Sterling storms into my life, and now I'm in his car.
Broody.
Dark.
All-man
My complete opposite.
Who would've thought my world would come full circle on that lonely highway with a hired killer...
  



I tried I really did. I loved the beginning and then somewhere along the way it just went wrong. The plot is good with murder, mayhem, betrayal, lies and secrets coming to light.

I put it on hold @ 44% and after messaging with Eve I decided to pick it up again. Well people I hit the 75 % mark and I just can't do it. For me it was like watching a bad B movie. I don't mind the Heroes being d$cks but he took it to a whole another level. He claims the heroine takes her back to his place and after making his claim decides it would be a good idea to get a blowjob from his housekeeper and the heroine walks in. Yeah I know there are no promises but still. After silence between them he goes out to finish a job and hooks up with two women somewhat descriptive. I didn't feel a connection between the main characters at all. It just felt like they were f. buddies nothing more and after a couple of weeks of bitching at one another she confesses her dying love to him.

It seems to be that I am the only one who feels like this so it is obviously me and not the book. Read it, don't read it but don't let my review sway you not to read it.