Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Forbidden Surrender (Forever, #1) by Priscila West

Review by Tempest.

Blurb:

“What gives you a thrill Kristen?”

The minute I saw Vincent Sorenson, I knew he was trouble. Billionaire. Bad boy. And dangerously sexy. He was everything I craved, and nothing I needed.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t just avoid him. The higher ups at my company decided they needed his business, and I was on the team to bring him in. Vincent Sorenson didn’t seem as interested in business as he was in me, but I knew that was a door better left unopened. If I got involved with him, it would only unearth the pain I spent years trying to bury.

I thought I had it under control, but I seriously underestimated Vincent’s seductive charm and silver-tongue. I would soon find out how delicious it would feel to let myself fall into this forbidden surrender.


* * *

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I got it off of NetGalley and was honestly expecting another Fifty Shades wannabe. While this genre/concept has been done many times now, I felt Forbidden Surrender was a fresh twist on what could have been a stale story. I really liked both lead characters, which doesn't happen often for me in these types of books, and found myself more and more interested in their pasts. Vincent was....wow. Those three letters pretty much sum it up. I'm the type of girl who's into tattoos, which we can get a lot of in books, but the added nipple piercings were a fantastic touch. I also really enjoyed the tiny explanation of how/why got them. Instead of it just being one of those details where the author's like, "he has them cause they're hot!" she actually took the time to work it in there so that it actually acted as character building. From that single (probably only two line) explanation, we see and understand a lot about who Julian is as a person. I loved how independent Kristen was. It's totally believable why she doesn't want to cross that line with him, and why she eventually does. This was a fun, quick and light read with tons of romance and plot. I was expecting smut, smut, smut, and don't get me wrong, there are a few sex scenes, but for the most part, the author really takes the time to draw you in and get you to care about these characters and their situation. The only remotely bad thing I can say is that it ended in a way that made me feel this was more the first part to a serial than the first book of a series. HOWEVER, that's more a personal opinion than anything, and in no way detracts from how great the story is. Highly recommend, and started on the second already!




Don't forget to check out the huge giveaway going on over at my author's blog!!! The link can be found on the left sidebar! ;)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Twist Me (Twist Me, #1) by Anna Zaires


Review by Tempest.

Side note: I read a different book by this author last week titled, Close Liaison's, and only gave it 2 stars. There were a lot of things that I didn't like about it (like the implication that a vegan diet is hands down the healthiest, and the female lead being an idiot) BUT there were parts about it I liked enough that I decided to give another of this authors books a try, albeit from a different series (though I may eventually revisit the second book of the Krinar Chronicles which I did buy). This book was GREAT. I probably won't be reviewing Close Liaison's, which is why I just wanted to give a heads up for anyone who checked and saw I'd read it and gave it 2 where as I'm giving this book by the same author 5. :) Ok, now to why you're really here!




Blurb:


***New Adult Dark Erotic Novel***
Kidnapped. Taken to a private island.
I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely.
Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.
My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in.
My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.
WARNING: This is NOT a traditional romance. It contains disturbing subject matter, including themes of questionable consent and Stockholm Syndrome, as well as graphic sexual content. This is a work of fiction intended for a mature, 18+ audience only. The author neither endorses nor condones this type of behavior.


* * *


To be perfectly honest, I didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. I was expecting a whinny, annoying, insta-love female character who gets kidnapped but then falls for the guy over night. More than half the time with these types of stories that's what happens, am I right? Not so with this. Sure, there's a jump, so there are a few months between point "I totally hate him" to point "I totally...don't know anymore" but surprisingly it worked, and helped keep things believable. I'll admit I'm into these kinds of stories (obviously) but more often than not I find myself extremely disappointed by how implausible the addiction and love aspect plays in. I'm a seriously independent woman, so reading about other woman being abusing and then over night deciding they're ok with it because the guys just has the most amazing sex moves on the planet...pretty much makes me want to yack. The only reason I'm rambling on and bringing this up is because there isn't any of that in this book. I kept reading, waiting until that moment where I could hate Nora (yes, I expected that to happen that much) and it just never came. There was an incident with a vase I thought was pretty stupid, but in retrospect, hey, can't blame a girl for trying. The details were rich in this book, just enough to set the scene yet still not beating us over the head. And while Beth annoyed me, and actually even her friendship with Beth, that whole storyline tied up nicely. And Julian....I love that he was honest about who and what he was. He's not a good guy, he's not the worst guy, but he's pretty bad. He doesn't try to hide that, which is great. Nora was the same way, she dealt with things in a believable manner, and I loved how she was able to admit to herself that she knew her feelings were messed up. Because of that, I was able to jump on board with her. I found myself nodding my head along to her inner monologue being like, "Yes, you're right. This is messed up. You have been mind fucked into feeling this way. But I am right there with you." You're sort of torn between wanting to be able to say this is screwy and wrong, but you find yourself being drawn into Julian as well. It's understandable, given she's been there for fifteen months with only him to rely on. It was the perfect mix of psychological and erotic. And it was erotic. Really erotic. One thing I really appreciate about this author, (because I read the first of the Krinar Chronicles, too) which might seem weird, is that she's honest about the whole losing ones virginity thing. Another pet peeve of mine is when it get sugar coated over. The girl is being forced to have sex for the first time, with someone who is way above average size, and ends up...being totally fine? Yeah right. There's none of that fantasy land bullshit here. Losing her v-card sucks for Nora, like it would for pretty much everyone in her situation. The book starting out honestly like that was helped keep me reading. I ended up liking this book more than Close Liaisons even, I just feel Nora is a much better lead character. Her choices are smart ones, even when they're desperate where as I felt the lead in Krinar just acted on desperation and didn't really think. Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but I loved this. Will definitely be reading the second one asap!



Be sure to check out the huge giveaway going on over at my author blog! The link can be found on the left sidebar! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Captured Miracle (Captured Miracle, #1) by Alannah Carbonneau

Review by Tempest.

Be sure to check out the giveaway for Unbound in the post below which ends tonight!!!

Blurb:

Sometimes the darkest of hearts are the most blinding. Not because of their light, but because of their suffocating endlessness. The dark abyss of their possession claims you before you’re even aware of the capture.

Love is not linear. There is no timeline in which the emotion blooms. Sometimes it is a slow succession of events where one soul learns another and sometimes it’s quick. Sometimes it’s like lightning. Possessive.

That’s what Calix was to me. He infused himself within my life – my mind – my body – and my heart. Until he possessed my soul. And then he shattered it all.

The worst part of it all was that he owned me. Completely. And it only took him four days.

What started out as an act of revenge quickly becomes so much more. After years of plotting and two years of watching Nova, Calix takes her. In the dead of the night, three strange men in her room, tugging her from her bed, wake Nova. Terrified of forcing the men to act on their threats to harm her mother and sisters, Nova agrees to allow them to cart her from the safety of her home.

She never expected they would lead her to Calix. A dark and captivating man determined to have her as his wife – and every other way. As Nova tries to keep Calix from pushing his way past her barriers, his determination to capture her heart in the same way he captured her body grows. In his quest for her heart, Calix pushes her past her barriers and tests her every limit.

When her heart softens, the reason for the game of revenge turns very real and Calix is forced to tell Nova just why he took her. Only, the truth will harden the heart that had softened against him.

But Calix still won’t let Nova go.

Until the end of time, she is his.


*** This is an erotic romance. Captured Miracle is the first novel in what will be a three book series. This novel does end in a cliffhanger.
  

* * *

Honestly, the insta-love was a bit much, and it started to really ruin it for me there towards the late middle/end, HOWEVER, for some reason I still really liked the story. It was a quick read, and while there were a ton of grammatical errors (such as commas instead of periods) it didn't detract from the story as much as one would think. I found I could easily enough look past them.

Nova was a bit whiney, and then annoying. Given her circumstances, the crying I totally understood, but she was guilty over ridiculous things, like being snappy with the grandmother of her kidnapper. Hello? The woman knows you were kidnapped, and she's doing nothing. You deserve to be a little rude at the very least. She was also a bit too naïve. If she really reads as many romance novels as she claims, then she'd be able to figure out half of Calix's "vague" (not really) suggestions. Instead, she almost never gets it. It's pretty frustration, and it makes it hard to relate to her, or feel sorry for her. Not to mention, four days is just way to fast for her to fall in love and brush under the rug what he's done. I would have preferred a time jump to that at least, where we're told in the next chapter a week has passed or whatever. Anything would have been better. I don't care how hot he is, he kidnapped her, threatened to KILL her family, and has forced her into doing things that embarrass the crap out of her. Even with Stockholm syndrome being taken into consideration, that's way too quick.

Still, three stars, because like I said, I kept reading anyway, and there was never a moment, even as frustrated and eye roll worthy as Nova became, where I wanted to put the book down and walk away. As a quick read that's honest about what it is in the blurb, I'd say worth it to anyone wanting to check it out.

Reading Updates:

59.0% "That's idiotic. Why be ashamed? The kidnapped you"
             
62.0%
"That happened waaaaay too quickly. Technically it hasn't even been a few days."             
             
 
64.0%
"This is ridiculous...."

 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Unbound Release/Giveaway!!!

Post by Tempest:

My book, Unbound, is finally being released! It's the third book of my Underworld saga (after this there's only one more to go!) is coming out the 16th! In honor of it, there's a giveaway currently being offered where you can win either copies of all three books in the series so far, or a copy of the new book when it comes out! There are a bunch of ways to enter, including leaving a comment below here or heading over to my personal blog (the link of which can be found on the left) to take part in my Ask Away page, a place where you can ask specific characters questions. :) Here's the blurb for the book for any of you who don't know about it!

Add it to your Goodreads! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25807738-unbound

Blurb:

It's been six months since Spencer made the deal with the god of the Underworld: a year of spending nights below. Now that she's finally given into her feelings for Hadrian, she hopes her second life will start getting less complicated. Of course, considering her new world is filled with Reapers, demons, and malicious spirits, that doesn't seem likely. What does surprise her is the way her ex-soul mate Micah St. James is treating her. Ever since they broke up he's been giving her the cold shoulder, and the more she worries about where they stand, the more she ends up putting a wedge between her and Hadrian. She chose the god for a reason, now she just has to keep that in mind while they fight off the attacks of an evil Persephone hell bent on tearing them apart. By any means necessary. She's already lost Micah. She'd die--again--if the original Gravewalker got her way and managed to steal Hadrian as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Darken the Stars (Kricket, #3) by Amy A. Bartol


Review by Tempest.

Sorry I've been away guys! We're looking for someone else interested in joining the blog so that a lot of the review gaps we leave can be filled, if interested, let us know!!!

Also, I didn't review the first two books of this series because they were so good, I honestly didn't want to stop reading to take the time! That being said, they really are amazing, and the only reason I can think of not to read them is because the ending of the series is so....well, if you read the review you'll see.

The third book itself was also very good, up until the last two chapters. Honestly, those last two ruined what was a phenomenal series, that also got me interested in giving the scifi genre another chance. :/ Anyway, to the review!

Blurb:

 Kyon Ensin finally has what he’s always wanted: possession of Kricket Hollowell, the priestess who foresees the future. Together, their combined power will be unrivaled. Kricket, however, doesn’t crave the crown of Ethar—she has an unbreakable desire to live life on her own terms, a life that she desperately wants to share with her love, Trey Allairis.

As conspiracies rage in the war for Ethar, Kricket’s so-called allies want to use her as a spy. Even those held closest cannot be trusted—including Astrid, her sister, and Giffen, a member of a mysterious order with a hidden agenda. But Kricket’s resolve will not allow her to be used as anyone’s pawn, even as the Brotherhood sharpens its plans to cut out her heart.

As the destiny prophesied by her mother approaches, Kricket will backtrack through her fiery future to reshape it. For she knows one thing above all else: the only person she can truly count on is herself.
  

***

I feel like I just got shot with a freston.

So, this review is going to be more of a rant, which is why I generally don't write one until at least the day after reading a book, BUT I just...can't. Because of this, heads up, it's riddled with spoilers, so if you don't feel like listening to me rant on, and you don't want to know what happens with this book, stop reading now. I loved this book up until the ending. The ending ruined, for me personally, not only this book, but the previous ones in the series as well.

I also feel like it's important to mention, that if this turns out not to be the last book (which is what it says on the author's blog) I will rescind MOST of the comments to follow. But I mean, a book about Kricket. Not a spin-off series where we glimpse her and she happens to be living a life of leasure off on some beach somewhere (which actually, now that I'm thinking about it, would ALSO be a sucky ending), but an actual book about what happens next and how all of this can be fixed. Doesn't even have to be a full fledged novel, I'd settle for a novella at this point. Heck, a short story even! But I digress on to the actual "review" *cough* rant *cough*.

I'm serious about that freston though. Or, better yet, I'll one up it to brain burrowing worms. What the heck just happened?! What did I just subject myself to?! Let's start with the beginning, where I read the first two books of this series in the course of three days (and it only took me that long because I worked 9 1/2 hour shifts). I've never been big on the scifi genre, which is ironic, considering I was named after a character from Frank Herberts Dune series. I've always tried to get into them, because I love most genres but never could. Until Under Different Stars. Not only did the book blow my mind, but it gave me a new appreciation for the science fiction genre, alien worlds, etc. I love all of the characters, and the story itself was so wrought with emotion that it quickly became one of my favorite books of all time. Then I read the second book, and while I thought there was a ton of unnecessary detail, and really nothing happens in the first half (they're in the same place pretty much forever) by the end of it I still found I loved it. After reading the third book however...I'm convinced that the author is actually a priestess and I've been brainwashed. It's her series, these are her characters and her worlds, and she can do whatever she wants with them. As a reader, I generally don't feel like I have the right to complain when tiny details don't go the way I'd hoped. But come on? Really? Really? REALLY? (Told you this was going to be a rant). I did NOT just read three books just to see the main character end up exactly where she started! Oh wait! Not even exactly there, because now, instead of the two friends she had on earth, she has only one. And one who doesn't know anything about the planet, at all. I love Phlix, don't get me wrong, I was seriously rooting for her and was already gearing to riot if anything happened to her (like with Dobrey...seriously? Yuck. Poor dude) but now it just feels like she was thrown in there simply so the author could point and be like, "No! Look, guys! Look! I didn't totally rip her from her life and then leave her all alone in the end anyway! She's got Phlix!". If you couldn't already tell by now, I am not impressed. Like, at all. Yay, Phlix isn't dead! Boo, who got spoonfed a small role supporting character and told it was a full course meal. Basically, right now, I feel a lot like Kricket. Absolutely no control over the horrible things that have happened to me. Am I being dramatic? Admittedly, sure, but come on, guys? Who doesn't AT THE VERY LEAST want some closure about Trey and Kyon? I was totally okay with her falling for the latter. Honestly, if she hadn't I would have called her crazy. He was convincing. Even I was falling for him. But I still wanted her to end up with Trey. It's left open, with her being warned Kyon might decide to come after her once he wakes up (yeah, good luck getting past all those a-hole Amster d-bags, who also, by the way, I ended up hating JUST AS MUCH if not more than the Alameeda, but we'll get to that) and Phlix, the friend who doesn't actually see the future so take everything she says with a grain of salt, told her she and Trey weren't done. Thanks for that, girl who really has no way of knowing. While we're speaking, I'm sorry you got used as a plot device. I know you have issues with being used and all. Back to Kyon, I get why she fell for him, it was realistic and it made sense. I'm sure it upset some people, but it worked for me because I assumed everything would come to a somewhat acceptable conclusion in the end. Wrong. So wrong. Clearly, I don't see the future either. In this book, try as the author might, Trey gets swept aside. Forget the rug, he's under the floorboards. We never really get a chance to see closure there, even enough of it for Kricket walking away to seem justified. She's trying to be cruel to protect him, ok, but isn't that the same as lying to him? That thing she hates when people do? There's not even any mention of him in that damn letter to her stupid sister (or Jax for that matter!! I had begun to suspect in book two that the author's love had shifted from Jax to Wayra, but that proves it!). And don't even get me started on her sister. We know absolutely nothing about Astrid. Aside from the two or three miniscule glimpses we get of her, everything else is all hearsay. While there's been no mention of it that I'm aware of, I don't even feel like a book series revolved around her would be good/helpful at this point. We came into it knowing nothing about her, and we left the same. Sort of like Kricket. In fact, by the end I'm pretty much completely like Kricket. I don't have Trey, I don't have Kyon, I don't have a place in Ethar, and because I'm not so sure I'll be recommending this series to anyone anymore, I don't even have the one friend. IF we'd gotten to actually know Astrid, and IF we'd actually gotten the chance to like her, MAYBE Kricket running off in the end would have at least been alright. Because, to be clear, I've got no problems with her leaving, it's how she leaves and what she leaves behind that pisses me off. Also, she's not really heading towards anything. She can't even go back to Chicago so...there goes the only two people prior to this entire mess that she cared about. We see in book two that Astrid "loves" Kricket, but even then it does seem pretty clear that Kricket would make a better empress than her. So, because she was coddled by their jerkwad of a dad, she gets to live happily? With the guy she loves? And with a family? While her people basically go around slaughtering people the same as the Alameeda did? Riiiight. That seems reasonable. Not. At least the Alameeda were honest that they were arrogant, insufferable,entitled pricks. Pan's people? They honestly think they're better. Wow. Just wow. Basically, to me, it doesn't seem like in the end Kricket got to be free. It seems like she ran. And she'll be running. FOREVER. Maybe Astrid won't send people after her (which I'm sure personally she won't, but hello, who really thinks she has control over daddy dearest? Or Giffin) but she and Phlix won't really KNOW that for certain. They'll always be forced to look over their shoulders. There were too many characters left in the gray area for it to leave off with such an untidy ending. Giffin clearly doesn't want her dead, but he'll kill her to protect Astrid. Her dad does want her dead, but he loves Astrid, so maybe if she asks he'll let it go. Trey loves Kricket, but he's pissed about Kyon and possibly thinks she hates him. Kyon is unconscious, and needs to survive the a-hole Amster d-bags before he can even consider how he can get to Kricket. Oh, but we know he loves her right, because he turned himself in? Nope. Doesn't satisfy me. Nice try though. Not. (I'm probably being harsh, am I being harsh? This is why I don't usually let myself rant). Her dad did what he thought he HAD to, based off a prophecy of the future, even knowing that FUTURES CAN CHANGE. Umm, hello? Kricket apparently changed it by writing on a mirror with makeup. Which, also seemed like a stretch, like, how convenient she was able to escape imminent demise by writing on a mirror. What? That's attempted to be explained away by Pan telling Trey earlier that his wife saw too far into the future for small details like that to have a large enough ripple effect. Uh huh. Totally buying it. Again, not. Honestly, the dude didn't even try, and it disgusts me how he got away with it. Seriously, NOTHING happens to him. Nothing. He's just as bad as Kyon's dad, using his children, thinking he has all the answers. She doesn't even get to tell him off properly. WHAT?! So, because Papa Ensin is dead, one bad guy down, I should be happy? Nope. Not even a little bit. I didn't need Kricket to become empress or anything, but I did need her to be the badass that I fell for in the first book, the one that kept me reading and actually got me interested in the genre. I just needed her not to run. That being said, I would have been a lot happier if we'd gotten to know Astrid at the last minute, found out she'd never wanted to rule and abdicated to Kricket, so that their father got screwed like he deserved, and Kricket got a family and a future that didn't include sleeping in alleys and being homeless. Is that too much to ask? Maybe. But still.

To wrap this insanely long rant up, at the beginning of this we got a girl who's had a horrible life and is FINALLY about to be free of it because she's turning eighteen. She has a couple best friends who love her, a place to live, and a job that pays the bills and doesn't completely blow (there are worse things she could have been doing, and we all know it). Then she got ripped from her life. Fell in love, "possibly twice", found out she was abandoned as a child, found out she was also stalked as a child by a guy who allowed horrible things to happen to her in order to keep her down, and that like she's believed her entire life, people only want to use her. She's nothing special. How does she end up? Probably stalked the rest of her life by a guy who'll do nothing to help her in order to keep her down, now jobless, friendless (aside from Phlix of course) and homeless. Things are even more bleak now than they were at the damn start, the only difference is instead of being abandoned, she was the abandoner. And it wasn't even because she loves Earth so much, no, it's because if she hadn't RUN, she would have been killed. So, really, where's the change in that? Where has this character grown? She's still only doing whatever she has to to survive because she's desperate. Like telling Trey she doesn't love him. And not telling Kyon that she loves him. By the time it's all over, she doesn't even trust the Cavar's who have had her back the first two books that we all fell in love with. She's just as suspicious, heartbroken, empty, and alone as she was in the first chapter of book one, if not more so. WHY DID I NEED TO READ THREE BOOKS FOR THE MAIN CHARACTER TO END UP IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE?! Where has she grown as a person? What's changed for the better? She killed a dude who sucked for a bunch of other dudes who sucked. That was it. If he hadn't been trying to kill her, would she have even bothered? Who knows at this point! Ok, I'm done. Maybe. Might add one or two things later if they pop into my head, but for now, gonna end it with the part that really disappoints me is that it was attempted to make Kricket end on a note where she's finally achieved freedom, but that's the biggest lie of all. What she has right now is more running, not freedom. She's worse off now than she was before. I feel really bad for Kricket. And Trey. And even Kyon. So, I guess thanks for being such a good writer that I fell head over heels, one hundred percent, in love with all of these characters, only so you could stick brain eating worms into my ears while I was distracted. Awesome.

Again, like I said earlier, if this ends up not actually being the last of KRICKET's books, then I'll change my rating. It'd totally make a five, at the very least a four. As of now, being it's the last book, I can't even bring myself to give it a three. The only reason it's even getting a two is because I feel like part of me is betraying these characters, otherwise it would be a one. :/