Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bared to You (Crossfire, #1) by Sylvia Day

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness… He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...


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Having read Fifty Shades, I saw this book and pretty much thought 'why not'. There are a lot of comparisons on the outside, such as the initial change in the male main character (Christian Grey-Gideon Cross) or Ana and Eva for that matter. Before I started reading this, that annoyed me a bit. I didn't want to have to read the same book, or a watered down version of the original, but curiosity had gotten the better of me, so I already knew I was going to subject myself to it anyway. Obviously, what I'm trying to say is I went into this book already expecting to find major fault with it. INSTEAD I found all of the little details/comparisons that usually bug me/did originally bug me, no longer did. Gideon can be really stony, and yet I found myself completely enraptured by him, and way more so than I'd ever been by Christian Grey. I hate comparing things like that in a review, but I feel that it's necessary because it looks like others might skip this one for the same reasons I almost did. Don't. It was worth it. I love how Eva has strength and experience. She doesn't come off as meek or mild, and standing next to a character like Gideon that's hard. Is she perfect? Hell on. She makes just as many mistakes throughout the book as he does, but it's interesting to watch, and you can see where she's coming from in most cases. She also has a pretty complex past that makes reading about her all the more entertaining. You want to know more backstory, want to know why she is the way she is. It also touches base on some pretty heavy stuff. Another aspect I liked about this book was that it wasn't an explosion of entering the BDSM world. At the first sign it was going to be, I actually got annoyed because to me that'd be pushing it too close to Fifty and by then I'd already really been enjoying the story. However, it only touches base on that side of things. Gideon is an alpha male, sure, but the sex scenes are a lot less BDSM and more just him taking control. I have no problem with BDSM, I like reading about it, but I really liked how this book didn't go down that route seeing as how there were already so many outward comparisons that could be made with Fifty. Gideon's past is also more twisted. We can't really get into it, but it's there always teasing us. Basically, this book does a good job of making you want to find out what's going to happen next. They're both a little nuts, but they work well together, and by the end you'll be scrambling to buy the next installment. The supporting characters are all also very distinct. They're well written and even their backstories are interesting. All in all, I would highly recommend this.


Just as a note, I have read the second and third books in this series now. I don't think I'll be writing a separate review for either however, simply because I waited about a month too long to be able to supply many details. I will say this, that I liked the second book but only gave it four stars. I also liked the third book, but only gave it two. I'm also fairly annoyed with the fact that this was originally intended as a trilogy but has now been extended. On the one hand, that's great that she feels there's more of their story to tell, on the other, it feels like now this is being stretched for all it's worth. I would have much preferred it to remain a trilogy. I loved it, and the characters, but there's only so much fighting and craziness you can see them put through before it becomes tired and you lose interest. I would still read the next two books, but letting you know that it is longer than a trilogy now.


 


The Hollow Kingdom (The Hollow Kingdom, #1) by Clare B. Dunkle

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

In nineteenth-century England, a powerful sorcerer and King of the Goblins chooses Kate, the elder of two orphan girls recently arrived at their ancestral home, Hallow Hill, to become his bride and queen...

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Well, as you can probably tell by the terribly short blurb, I didn't really know what I was getting into with this book. Honestly, if I hadn't found it at the local book barn, I probably never would have pursued it. However, I do love books about goblins, there are just so few that are done right--in my humble opinion. This one had an interesting storyline, with a lot of detail. It was vivid, especially the descriptions of the goblins. It definitely made discovering more of that world catching, keeping me reading despite the issues I had with the rest of the story. For one, I understand the characters are supposed to be young, and that that is most likely meant more as a preteen book than a teen one. But still. The characters act a little too immature, even the eldest who is supposed to come off as this strong main character. I suppose in many ways she does better then most, but it still got tedious and annoying listening to her whine. This is before she even gets kidnapped, mind you, because everything after that makes perfect sense. I wouldn't exactly be pleased myself. That's another thing however, if this was meant as a preteen book, they touch base on some pretty dark/deep stuff. We get to see that she falls for the goblin kind herself, but there's still the implication that had she not, he'd still impregnate her. That's basically like a sugar coated version of rape. For the story, it makes sense, and the legend, but that's more of a reason I would have preferred for the writing to be stylized for a slightly older audience. The adventure aspects are great, and the second half of the book once the goblins come in full force is much better than the first. It's catchy and had me reading straight through to find out what happens. That is probably what made me give it three stars instead of the two I originally intended. Just as a fair warning, though, if you're interested in the romantic aspect of this book, be aware that the goblin king is not some hot teenage-looking dude. He's the opposite of attractive in fact. Even on the inside at times. If you're looking for a quick read with goblins and magic in it, then I'd give it a shot.