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Passion Ignites by Donna Grant

Passion Ignites (Dark Kings) - Donna Grant

**Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog


REVIEW: Passion Ignites is the second book I read by Donna Grant and it certainly isn’t going to be the last. In Passion Ignites we witness once again the fight between the Dark Fey and the Dragon Kings that seem to be getting even more dangerous.

For Thorn, finding his mate was not in his plans. He wasn’t even thinking about the possibility when it just happened. While in the streets fighting the Dark, Thorn meets Lexi, a woman who doesn’t understand the danger she is putting herself against by following a group of Dark.

Lexi has witness first hard what evil can do, when her friend Christina was murdered she set up herself to find the man or men responsible for her death. She didn’t see who killed her friend but she saw who she left the bar with the night she was murdered, she knows that man is behind her friend’s death. The red eyes are out to kill everyone and Lexi is convinced she must avenge the death of her friend at all cost, and she will do so by killing the man responsible.

I really enjoyed this installment, the author did a fantastic job pairing these two characters. Each one has things that the other needs, however their differences threaten to separate what destiny might’ve tried to unite. Thorn is one of those characters one can’t stop thinking even after finishing the book. He is understanding, brave, sensitive, and adoringly sexy. Lexi is smart, sensitive, loyal and brave. These two people meet during stressful circumstances for both yet make these circumstances work in ways that brings them together and make each of them stronger.

I really like how the author manages to put together a love story that survives the evil that seems to lurk around the Kings, even when the Dark attacks get stronger and bolder the attraction between these two characters get stronger. I enjoy the twists and turns the story seems to take. From the way in which other characters come to be part of every story to the finality their actions take when one of their own is in danger. Their unity, their loyalty and love for one another is threaten and put to the test over and over yet, they all manage to surpass whatever evil threatens to make them weaker or try to force them to lose their path.

I can’t wait see what happens with Darius & Sophia. I already like the nonsense kind of attitude these two characters seem to share, both seem to be at the ready when they are needed and both seem to have a tremendous will and strong personality. I can’t seriously wait to read it.

If you are looking for a great paranormal/urban fantasy then look no further.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-passion-ignites-by-donna-grant

The Girl On The Train by Paula Kawkins

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

**Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog Rating 3.5 of 5


REVIEW: The Girl On The Train is the first book I read by author Paula Hawkins, and it certainly will not be the last. The Girl On The Train is the story of Rachel, a woman who has gone through a rough time in life. She failed at marriage, failed as a woman, and to make matters worse she is an alcoholic.

There is something to be said about a character that though knows she has a problem she constantly keep adding more stress and drama to her life without at times stopping to actually consider the consequences. Either because they are too invest in whatever it is their head and heart tells them, or because they are reckless enough to dismiss it.

Rachel is not a typical woman by any means, she is a woman who has been broken. A woman who has suffered rejection and betrayal from the man she promised to love and to cherish. Though Rachel goes on with life as best as she can she can’t help but imagine others life as she would’ve picture & imagined hers. It is how she finds herself involved in the lives of Scott and Megan.

Rachel commutes for work, and everyday she witness people around her, their coming and going all through a passenger window or simply while waiting for her train at the station. Rachel’s problems come in many forms, mostly in her inability to stay sober, her friends and family are kept a bait but all because she has let alcohol take over her life. While traveling to work, Rachel meets these two strangers, or rather imagining who they are, how they live. She creates a whole world around these two people she has never met, but she imagine them as the perfect couple. Megan who she names Jess, a beautiful blonde, with soft features and manners and Scott who she names Jason a strong and handsome and protective of the woman he loves. And while Rachel does not know the couple in person, she knows where they live and who their neighbors are, all because she too used to live on the same street, just a few houses over. As Rachel travels back and forth between home the pub and her job, she witness Megan kissing another man. It is then when it all starts, the story flows as Rachel witness how their life unravels in front of her eyes, every bit of it all while she watches it unfolds through the window of a train car.

The Girl On The Train is a well crated murder mystery, it brings to the table all the suspense and twists one expect to see from an well seasoned writer. While it is at times frustrating and unnerving, the author does a great job bringing the frustrations and suspicions of a woman that almost seems paranoid. I think the story itself is great however it is a bit slow. Rachel’s problems and lack of self control gave the story a very realistic twist. The blackouts, the abuse and the many other twists and unexpected turns made The Girl On The Train a page turner.

If you are looking for a realistic and heart felt story with a few unexpected twist and turns then you must read The Girl On The Train, you will not regret it.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-audio-book-the-girl-on-the-train-by-paula-hawkins

The Queen by Tiffany Reisz

The Queen (The Original Sinners) - Tiffany Reisz

**Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog

REVIEW: The Queen is another amazing work by Tiffany Reisz. The Queen is the final book in the Original Sinners: The White Years series and the conclusion is one that will break your heart while filling it up with happiness and so much love.

Tiffany Reisz has written one of the most amazing Erotic stories I have ever read, her characters are compelling, complex and layered – as a reader of romance and erotic novels I find myself sometimes wondering how her brain works. The Queen brings us back to the years when Nora had not yet defined her real role in the kinky world, having left Søren, her heart and mind were not always in the same place and going at the same speed. The Nora we meet in The Queen is not the always assertive, and secure, but a woman whose feelings and thoughts are in a battle for domination and control. Nora knows and feel her place in the kingdom is to be on top – to dominate but she also knows her heart belongs to Søren and she can’t deny how she feels when she is on the receiving end of their affair.

I loved every page of this book, Nora – Kingsley & Soren are perfect in every way. These characters show a connection that would put any other story to shame. Their world and their feelings are in-sync with their desires, and once they are together their exchange is usually explosive. Reisz takes us into a journey, The Queen is everything one would expect. Though Nora is at war with her heart and mind, she doesn’t let that stop her from enjoying the kinks and the pleasure it brings her. As strong as these characters are, and as in control as they may be, they are every bit of human and their vulnerabilities are heartfelt. From Kingsley to Søren these characters showed us a very different side of them, their emotions ran free, and Nora was absolutely awesome. There were a few times when my heart broke, like when Søren expresses his fear and his life without Nora, showing us the depth of his vulnerability – another was when Kingsley cried in Søren’s arms and the moment when Nora comes back for her Everything & Forever those scenes were heart breaking while exhilarating all at once. I love these characters, their story and their lives. They have taught us more than just kinks, their differences made them stronger and their passion, desires, and love brought them together. Trust, loyalty, desire and need for one another was always present but without taking away their feelings, passions & emotions. Every aspect of their story was told in a way that stays with the reader.

Reisz has defined a genre by giving us complexity and depth. Her stories are not typical in any way, her characters layered in ways that pushes the reader into a roller-coaster of emotions. The Queen may be the last book in the series but I am hoping it isn’t the last we hear from these characters. Griffin & Michael have their ever after, Kingsley found his peace and Søren gave Nora her Everything & Forever. The Queen was awesome and I can’t help but feel like it will take a while before the sense of loss goes away.

Reisz, thank you for having written such an amazing story and for taking us into a journey that has shaken us up in many ways, giving us characters that fall far from typical and a romance that falls far from the stereotypical. You must read The Original Sinners Series because this is one of those reads that will stay with you for a very long while.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-the-queen-original-sinners-the-white-years-by-tiffany-reisz

Rule & Ruin by Pepper Winters

Ruin & Rule - Pepper Winters

**Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog **

REVIEW: I have become a fan of Pepper Winters after I read her Indebted series. I was looking forward to reading Ruin & Rules and I will have to admit to having high hopes and expectations.

Ruin & Rules is the first book in the Pure Corruption Series (MC series) that explores the traitorous world of motorcycle clubs. Ruin & Rules is not your typical romance, the story deals with raw and intense moments, passion, deceit and violence. It explores the characters intimacies and exploit their feelings.

Though I wanted to love this story I can’t say I did. There were a few things that kept me from loving it. The story itself is profound and intense, however I believe the way in which it was executed took away the intensity that I expected, a story is only as good as the characters who live it. Cleo is a young woman who was born in the heart of a motorcycle club, while everything seem to be perfect, evil lurked in the background. She fell in-love at a young age of fourteen, almost too intensely for a young child, her thoughts as well as her intensity for the boy made her feelings at times seem more adult than childish. Arthur (Kill) was a bit older than Cleo, he is intelligent & sweet, destine for great things. That all changed when loyalty changed to deceit and tragedy happens.

Cleo isn’t a character one can easily relate, her story is complex and at times hard to understand her motives and actions. Her reality most times mixes with her past, and a lot times her flashbacks aren’t relevant to the scene. The story has all the things needed to make Cleo an interesting character but somehow this is not the case. Due to the tragedy she experienced, she lost memory and 8 years of her life, she doesn’t know who she really is, but at times does very little to find out. Her concerns are more intone with having sex with her found lover than recovering the lost years. Some of her struggles are inconsequential and her inability to communicate her memories creates uncertainties that are key and necessarily important to her story. Her lack of interest in her own story makes it hard to believe her need to know her past. While I think she tries to remember, I also think she focuses too much on what Art is thinking and what he is doing to help her. The lack of communication & relevant interaction between the characters take away from the raw reality I expected Cleo to experience.

Art on the other hand is a bit more open, his explorations and as well his thoughts are out in the open and that’s something I enjoyed. He says what he feels and think, and does what he says he would do. I think the author did a better job portraying a well developed and mature character, however not without flaws. Arthur (Killer) has every bit of bad boy that we have come to love in Peppers writing however, the nature of this character as well as his capabilities are highly unlikely.

The story itself is too far fetch, a motorcycle president who is also a mathematics genius as well as a very rich day trader. It is almost as if we would mix Sons of Anarchy and The Wolf of Wall Street. The combination of these two would likely create a story just like Ruin & Rule where money and trading as well as trafficking is part of the reality these characters live.

Overall, the story did not have the WOW factor I expected however it is the type of story you hope and feel could’ve been so much more. While I think the characters could’ve been better and their drama better exploit I think the focus of the story shouldn’t be so much Cleo finding Art, but about Cleo finding out who she truly is, not the young girl who fell crazy in-love but the young girl whose past came back to hunt her. The story has a certain level of predictability and it doesn’t get intense until the last 20 pages. This is a 400+ pages of self hate and uncertain thoughts.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-ruin-rule-by-pepper-winters

The Martian by Andy Weir

— feeling excited
The Martian - Andy Weir

**Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog **

REVIEW: Would you believe me if I tell you I have had The Martian in hand since the fall of 2013 (2013 #NYCC – ARC) and just this month I decided to read it. It isn’t because I didn’t care for it, it was just because as usual I got distracted by other books. OK, let’s move onto what I think of the book.

The Martian is an amazing story of survival, I am sure you have heard that many times by now. It is in fact the simplest yet most amazing survival story I have ever read/watch. I enjoyed every aspect of this book, from the descriptions & settings to the ingenuity of the story and characters themselves. The simplicity in which the author wrote this book, and how easy the words find their way into your heart is simply flawless.

Do not think of The Martian as a science fiction masterpiece, because it isn’t. It is however an amazing story that seems written from the experiences of a man who survived it, the language, the actions, the descriptions at times feel as if Weir is narrating something he has been told. The certainty in which his story flows brought me to laughter, to tears and the emotion behind the main character Mark Watney is what I love the most about The Martian.

To add to my review I decided to go watch the movie, I was not disappointed. Matt Damon did a fantastic job – not only was he able to give us a vivid representation of what Mark Watney was going through but he also seem to have put his heart into it. I enjoyed this adaptation thoroughly.

I can’t recommend this book enough, from the simplistic way in which it was written to the funny and human ways in which these characters react to adversity. The Martian also teaches us a lesson, perseverance, faith and survival is what makes us human. The need to live one more day, to experience life to the fullest and to love who we are, and what we do regardless of where the latter take us. The Martian is indeed a masterpiece that can’t hardly be compare to anything I have ever read.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-the-martian-by-andy-weir

Review: The Shadows by J. R. Ward

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13) - J.R. Ward

**Originally Posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

 

REVIEW: The Shadows is the latest and perhaps one of the best stories in the BDB series of late. I have been looking forward to this book because I loved the shadows IAm & Trez. Both of these characters have been part of the BDB for quite some time but they have always been in the background – never really been primordial to the series but they have been able to captivate us in many ways.

 

In The Shadows as in every other book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, we are able to explore the many different point of views and stories that each of these characters bring. Giving us a complex and at times discombobulated plot that flows differently for each of these characters. At times focusing on just one or two and other times bringing them all together into one major plot. Regardless of how Ward present us these characters she always manage to captivate us with their stories, their emotions and actions.

 

IAm & Trez are exactly what we have been seeing of them, they are protective of each other, loving and caring. Each with a very different personality but both possess admirable traits. Anyone who has read Ward’s books know that Trez has baggage that runs deep and the more time pass the more complicated and intricate his problems become, as the story develops we see a very centered character. From his love for his new mate and at times selfish ways we get to see a much more open character. Trez’s only focus and care is the well being of Selena, however as the story progresses her illness and end creeps closer and closer. All the while IAm keeps trying to resolve his brother life by attempting to find a solution to his mate’s illness without considering the consequences of his action, which marks him for a very unexpected future.

 

I enjoyed the brothers’ story very much, from Trez’s sense of sacrifice and redemption to IAm’s new experiences of love and sexual awakening. These two characters are amazing and their stories was just as wonderful. Of course Ward treat us with bits and pieces of other characters and their importance in the series, we get to meet new ones and follow along with the old ones. From Rhage to Lassiter we are given bits and pieces of their drama, we are also exposed to their fears and their thoughts. While perhaps their individual stories don’t make much sense, we are left with the understanding that their actions are part of a bigger and more complex story that involves not only their own life but the lives of those around them, making it at times difficult to decide which characters make the most impact.

 

Going back to The Shadows, their story was simple, but it didn’t lack angst or passion. Trez’s love and devotion for his mate brought tears to my eyes and of course his loss was just as sad and great. I think Ward did a great job giving us another side of these character’s story, not only did she showed us how brave and powerful they are when united but she also showed us how capable of great they are. I enjoyed every aspect of their story, from Trez’s redemption to IAm’s new found love. Their story is captivating, powerful and emotional.

 

Ward has proven to have what it takes to keep the series on top. I can’t wait to see what happens with Rhage & Mary how the new events presented in this book will alter their future. I can’t wait to see what happens with Paradise. I was completely driven to her character and I can’t wait to see what happens with her, I am also looking forward to the bastards next step in their quest to defeat the King. Xcor is another character that captivates me, and now that we get to see a whole new side of him I can’t help but enjoy him even more.

 

Overall, if I am to pick the best book of the BDB’s series thur far I would say The Shadows come #3 for me. I think their story was simple yet dramatic enough to keep the reader glued to the pages.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-the-shadows-by-j-r-ward/#.VbrAyEr3aK0

Review: The Vampire's Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter

The Vampire's Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls, #1) - Kristen Painter

**Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

REVIEW: I am a big fan of Kristen Painter, I have always loved everything she writes. The Vampire's Mail Order Bride is a sweet & uncomplicated paranormal romance that will swoon you away with its charm and simplicity.

 

The story isn't complicated nor are the characters, the plot with its simplistic and easy flow keeps the reader entertained from beginning to end. The story develops around the two main characters while it also evolves and at times depends on other characters perspective which is characteristic on Painter's writing. She has a knack for combining the perfect balance of personalities and actions, which in turns makes her stories original and engaging. Though this story isn't as complex and involved as many others she has written, it doesn't lack the charm and enthusiasm.

 

Hugh the main character is a self  imposed loner who prefer spending his days in his lab. Working towards finding a solution that could replace the magic that allows him to walk in the sun. That bit of detail keeps him under his controlling and at times manipulative grandmother. Hugh is one of those characters who isn't necessarily especial but he does have a certain charm that makes him likeable and swoon worthy. While his female counterpart Delaney is charming, witty and straight forward, Hugh has that sort of innocence that calls upon the reader's emotions making him sweet and unavoidably likeable.

 

Though the story flows at a good pace, the romance develops fast. The sparks and attraction starts quickly and though it doesn't have the swoon or wow factor it does bring into play the angst that seems at times required in a good romance. Painter's stories usually brings us unusual and complex characters, plots that become nail biting and action that seems to come out of a Hollywood movie. However, The Vampire's Mail Order Bride is a lite and sweet romance that will make you smile and wish you lived in Nocturne Falls. Don't let the simplicity in this romance fool you, each character bring uniqueness & charm making The Vampire's Mail Order Bride quite enjoyable. As usual, Kristen Painter brings romance, great characters and uniqueness to a genre that seems to be lacking just that. If you enjoy Painter's writing style you will be happy to read Nocturne Falls series, you will not regret it.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/?p=14869

The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

The Bourbon Kings - J.R. Ward

**Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog** **Giveaway link at the bottom of review**

 

REVIEW: The Bourbon Kings is the latest book in Ward’s collection , it is perhaps one of my favorite of 2015 thus far. I enjoyed every aspect of this book, from the history behind the families to the romance that awakens the heart and shaken one’s soul. Ward has written a fantastic story about a family’s legacy, about money and deceit, how it passes from one generation to another,  giving the reader every aspect of its history and the dark side of money and power.

 

From the moment I started reading I felt transported to a southern Downton Abby. From the charm that exudes from the story, to the description of grandeur and luxury in every page. The Bradford family is one of the most powerful bourbon makers in the world and their fortune has no limits. There isn’t anything or anyone who can tarnish their name and their power, that’s until Williams Bradford does the inconceivable.  There is so much to say about this story, the plot flows beautifully. It explores the dealings of a man whose motives are unknown but whose power has no match. His control over the bourbon empire is massive. His position of power over one of the biggest wealth in the country as well as the power over his family is unparalleled, not only does he dominates with fear but he has almost managed to removed anything and anyone who stands in his way.

 

The story is brilliantly plotted, as the story flows, we get closer and closer to these characters. Lane is not your typical billionaire. I expected to find a character that was egotistical, power hungry and irreverent. What I found, a man who wear his emotions on his sleeve, a man of certain integrity, a man who loves deep and strong. The story is fantastically paced, it gathers speed and dread until the very last page.

 

The Bourbon Kings doesn’t fall from Ward’s original writing style, it is descriptive, intense, realistic. However, this time around her writing seems a bit richer, it posses the formality that isn’t always visible or experienced in her writing. Though the romance comes with its own history it doesn’t lack intensity and angst. I like how Ward explores these characters, exposing their feelings and emotions in ways that one can relate. Ward makes these characters vulnerable without taking away their strong and independent nature, she gives them a natural and real feel that compels the reader to love them.

 

I liked Lizzy, she is independent, caring, responsible and stubborn. I think those are traits I have come to enjoy about Ward’s characters. Lizzy isn’t perfect by any means and that’s perhaps what I enjoyed the most, her virtues are those of any other human being, but along with those traits & virtues come indecision. Since the past seem to be repeating itself Lizzy takes upon herself to help the man she loves, not without first going through indecision & a ton of misunderstandings.

 

Overall, The Bourbon Kings is a hell of a great story, one that will not disappoint. If you are looking for deceit, family drama and dirty deeds look no further, The Bourbon Kings is all you need to read.

 

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Source: http://readingdiva.com/early-review-the-bourbon-kings-by-j-r-ward

Forsaken by Jacquelyn Frank

Forsaken - Jacquelyn Frank

*Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

 

REVIEW: Forsaken is book #3 in The World of Nightwalkers series. This is Leo story and one I have been dying to read for a while. Finally we get to experience Leo’s POV – a man who has had his share of trouble and rough experiences in life. He loves deep and strong. His relationship with Jackson & Docia is as strong as the bond of a brother. I liked Leo from the moment he was introduced to the series, his nonsense kind of attitude is exactly what this series needed and with Leo we got a lot more than that.

 

Leo’s experiences with the supernatural came abruptly as he was captured and tortured to the brink of death over and over again. Now in Forsaken we see his process of healing and his reluctance yet coming acceptance of the new world around him. He is all I thought he would be, compassionate, caring, strong and hardheaded. Leo see the world in a whole different set of eyes, from his experience of loss when his mother died to seeing his best friend die and come back something different is just what brought him to the edge.

I enjoyed Leo’s story very much. At times it felt like we were in Leo’s head and we are able to experience his reluctance to the things he is experiencing. I also enjoyed how well author Frank explored Leo’s feelings and emotions. I liked his reluctance yet curiosity about his new allied. The Night Angel who brought out feelings he had long time ago forgotten. I liked how their relationship exploded from a simple alliance to undeniable desire and need. These two made the story so much more sweet and passionate than I thought it would be. Now that the god Apep is on the loose, Leo has proven to be more than just a mere human in a messy supernatural world, he is a man of action and one who can be very dangerous. I was a bit disappointed however, having read about how badass Leo is, I expected a lot more action and drama. Leo is sort of a hitman/mercenary therefore I was looking to find a lot more than just a quest to find an object that would help them save his friends life yet again. There is a bit of action, but not enough to have given me the fix I was looking for.

 

The world of the Nightwalker is always filled with danger and amazing characters, giving us yet another dosage of temptation and darkness while also allowing us to experience deep and raw passion. These characters are easy to like and relate, they all experience things that defines love and life. Jacquelyn Frank has proven to write  stories with great passion. Her characters are charismatic and enjoyable, she makes them strong without taking away their sensibilities and compassion, she makes them enjoyable and human.

 

If you are looking to read a story that explores pain, second chances, passion and love then look no further, read Forsaken.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-forsaken-by-jacquelyn-frank
SPOILER ALERT!

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg

**Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

REVIEW: Hilarious!, yes that’s how I describe this book. It is fresh and insightful, I can’t help but recommend it from the start. When I got the email inviting me to read it I couldn’t say no. I just had to, not only was it written by one of my favorite comedians but it was about something I have found myself wondering about a lot lately.

Aziz gives us his take on the romance of today, he explores the differences in times and evaluate his findings with experts in the fields of psychologists, sociologists, married couples, families and other interesting people. His findings are those things many of us have probably wondered and already discussed before with your friends and boyfriend(s)/husband(s).

Modern Romance comically explains how we are adapted to marrying for love rather than marrying for the purpose of creating a family, which might’ve been the number one of the reason for marriage in the past. It goes into explaining that today’s marriages have adapted to the changing times, and that marriage is not longer the only acceptable union in our society and hilariously explains how long lasting and fulfilling today relationships can be.

“Today we’ve become far more accepting of alternative lifestyles, and people move in and out of different situations: single with roommates, single and solo, single with partner, married, divorced, divorced and living with an iguana, remarried with iguana, then divorced with seven iguanas because your iguana obsession ruined your relationship, and, finally, single with six iguanas (Arturo was sadly run over by an ice cream truck).”

Aziz and these experts also go into explaining that when we do get married, with do it for love (more so these days but there may exceptions “gold diggers anyone?”) and we are finding our soul-mate, and that just in case there is trouble (such as oops he really wasn’t who I thought he was) we have the tools which are incredibly easy to use (name the internet and its infinite dating websites and social media channels).

“Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that.”

I have to appreciate the humor in this book because even though it covers a very “serious” topic  (love & romance) it does it in a way that is easy to relate, it makes you laugh and makes you think. Many single people will be able to relate to Aziz anecdotes (which are hilarious), they will be able to sympathize and even understand his perspective. This book does not give you the formula to find love, but instead it shows that there are so many ways in which people find connection and via different means. And though I could keep going about why I think every young and single person (and married like me) should read this book, I think I will leave you with the certainty that Aziz will make you chuckle and laugh-out-loud from page one.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-modern-romance-by-aziz-ansari

Manwhore by Katy Evans

Manwhore - Katy Evans

**Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

 

REVIEW: Manwhore is the first book I read by Katy Evans, after reading so many good things about her writing I decided to start my adventure with Manwhore.

Manwhore is the story of a playboy, a guy that has it all. He has money, he had the looks, and the women. It is also the story of  Rachel, a young woman trying to make her way into a fierce and struggling business of publishing. I have read a good share of rich playboys in need of fixing and in need of love.

 

Manwhore doesn’t fall far from that bandwagon, the story follows the struggles of a young journalist, a woman who is trying to find her way in the world of news, but since competition is fierce she has to reinvent herself. She works at a magazine that is in trouble, almost at risk of closing its business. Their idea of reinvention and their only way to maintain the edge needed to keep the business open is to do a full expose′ about the hottest player Chicago has to offer.

 

The story flows as the characters struggle with their reality. Rachel for one seems to enjoy what she does, she loves writing but feels she needs more in order to establish herself as a respectable writer.  Her break comes in the form of an expose′, her chance, the one thing that will guarantee her break and the magazine’s only chance to surviving their rival, the only chance it has to maintaining their business afloat. As the story flows we experience Rachel’s reluctance to taking this new assignment, her fears take over her rationale but at the same time it exposes her need to know, her need to investigate and explore. After going over the reasons why this is her only chance she accepts the assignment but not without some apprehension.

 

As far as characters go, Saint is pure sin. His looks and his power have given him the ability to always getting what he wants, nothing stands in the way of  what he wants and he doesn’t shy from taking it if necessary. I think his character as many other in the genre seems to always lean towards arrogance, over powering, domination and sexuality. He keeps his friends close and his enemies closer, he has control over his business and has made a name all on his own. His character is pretty close to others I have read in the past, though comparing characters isn’t always wise because stories differ from plot and setting it is hard not to fall under the same daze that their power and sensuality offers.

 

The author explores both of these characters struggles with their reality, but each under different circumstances. While one struggles with the reality of  a career and a the possibility of a ruined future, the other struggles to maintain an appearance that is deem necessary in a world where money and power set standards. The story focuses on Rachel’s point of view, we witness as she moves from the girl who isn’t always certain of her steps to the woman who is willing to risk and explore, giving the reader a first hand experience of her feelings and emotions. We are also given bits and pieces of Saints struggles, his demons resurface as he exposes his feelings to Rachel, showing vulnerability while also showing his masculinity and sensuality.

 

This story explores more than just sexual awakening and need, it explores the emotions and weaknesses of these characters. It gives us a first look into the relationship foundation and what it lacks. Though the story has plenty sexuality, I think it lacks passion making it also difficult to relate to these characters. Yes, the author explores feelings, emotions and sentiments that are natural in any relationship and attraction but these characters lack passion in the sense of their encounters. Their interaction seems guarded and predefined. Their dialog does not have a real feel and flow making it hard to establish a connection, I enjoy characters whose feelings flow easily, whose thoughts are easy to explore without making them predictable.

 

Though Rachel come across as an independent and strong character I think her ingenuity is misplaced. The author portrait of Rachel does not fit her actions, yes at times she goes head on towards what she needs to do while other times struggles to make the simplest of decisions. Rachel’s reality doesn’t call for indecision and inaction, I think that’s what I felt her character lacked most. What I find interesting is that even though she knows she has to do her best, she seems to think  that writing for a magazine that is on the brink of collapsing is her only way to stardom. She didn’t seem to have the backbone one expect to see from a journalist, a go get it, a action seeker, a hunger for exploration and news. As a reader, I need to be able to visualize the characters thoughts in order for me to establish a connection. I needed that in order to take her side, though she states her love for what she dose and for the news, it just wasn’t there.

 

Overall, I enjoyed Manwhore. I think the story though it didn’t have the WOW factor I expected still maintain a level of interest that makes it easy for me to pick the next book in the series. I am interested in seeing how their story develops and how these two characters will make their love story work. If you enjoy love story between rich boys and not so rich girls then this story is for you.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-manwhore-the-manwhore-series-by-katy-evans

Below the Belt: A Worth the Fight Novel

Below the Belt: A Worth the Fight Novel - Sidney Halston **Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog

REVIEW: Below The Belt is the first book I read by Sidney Halston and also the first book I read under an MMA series, I can assure you it will not be the last. I was given the chance by the publisher to read an ARC and I am very happy to have had the chance.

Below The Belt is a great story of love, trust and second chances. I will admit to have fallen in-love with Antonio (Tony), he is everything I like in a male character. He is sexy, funny, strong, understanding and sexual but he is also sensitive and knows when to step back. The story flows nicely and at a good pace, Tony is a champion MMA fighter, cocky, egocentric and full of himself. He is also smart, strong and dedicated, however over the past few years he has stir into partying, bar fights, women and everything a champion should avoid if he doesn’t want his career to end. It was extremely fun to get to know Tony, he is a Casanova, a ladies man, a 100% macho. He is a good representation of a Latino, full of himself, a good son to his mother and a great bother to his sisters. He is also a man whose temper can easily get the best of him.

Francesca is strong, independent and beautiful. However, her past has always hounded her present and it threatens to eliminate any future. I liked Francesca for many reasons, she is the epitome of an independent twenty something year old woman. She hides behind a veil of responsibility trying to find solace and an anchor in her work. She is loyal, hard worker, bossy, temperamental and sweet. There isn’t anything I don’t like about her, she is exactly the kind of female I wish most authors write about. She was exactly what I expected from a woman surrounded by testosterone and a woman who once was part of the MMA world.

Below The Belt is funny, passionate, hot and sexy. These two characters were meant for each other, their passion, banter, fights and flirts can put a lot of other couples to shame. I enjoyed their chemistry and dialog. I liked how their relationship developed slowly. The tension was always there, which for me was exactly what the story needed to balance out the bit of drama that Francesca had about her past. But it also lighten up the mood in the story, it made it fun and sexy.

I think Below The Belt is one of those stories I will always come back to because I felt I could relate with the characters, specially Tony. Knowing the culture well, I couldn’t help but love his rants, his struggles and his love for his family, even his jealous rants were enjoyable. The relationship described between Tony and his mother is heartwarming and funny, even hilarious at times. I really liked this book and I can’t wait to read the others in the series. Though Below the Belt is part of a series it can also be read as a stand alone. There are references to other characters but not detailed enough that would throw off the plot. Overall, I liked this books very much, it is funny, sexy & heartwarming. I think the author did a great job exploring Francesca and Tony’s feelings and backgrounds. Their difference made them unique and that’s exactly what brought them together. The sex between Francesca and Tony is explosive, I totally enjoyed how these two characters took their time to fall into it and how they managed to balance their attraction and their professional life even when the line was crossed a few times.

If like me you are new to these type of reads I recommend you start with Worth the Fight Series by Sidney Halston. She has done a great job introducing us to a great group of characters, that for the look of it are all strong and independent, sensitive and loving but above all, passionate and sexy.

Propositions

Propositions - Tania  Joyce **Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog

REVIEW: When the offer to read Propositions came to me, it was introduced as a contemporary romance set in the corporate world, explaining that Tania’s sexy, sassy style is comparable to bestselling authors Victoria Dahl and Jennifer Probst. I have read Jennifer Probst (Searching For Something) and if the author is comparable to Probst then I am sold.

Propositions is set in the corporate world of Sidney Australia, a world where money, reputation and hard work is what pays off and feelings and sentiments aren’t always a priority. The story is interesting and flows easily. Jessica owns a marketing agency, her work has been her life for a long time and that’s all she wants. Jessica’s life wasn’t always perfect, she got pregnant at a very young age but instead of letting that get in her way, she too charge of her life. While young she gave away her heart and only got hurt in return. As a woman, she kept a very tight leash on her control, her non existent love life and feelings. Work was all Jessica knew about and was content with that, however she also knew she was missing the fun and the vibrancy sex gives. She wants it all, sex, passion, security, success but she wants it all without complications, without getting hurt and without putting her heart at risk.

I enjoyed Propositions a lot, it has everything I like seeing in a romantic story. The story itself was beautifully developed. It moved slowly and it provided the needed balance between drama, romance and sex. The complications did not exceed the characters tolerance and it didn’t take away from the sense of reality that the story had. I enjoyed how the complications were part of life and not unnecessary drama added by the characters inabilities. The characters are mature, intelligent and give the reader a sense of connection. Nate a successful hotelier knows life has a way of getting the best of you if you do not keep one step ahead. He also understands his priorities have taken over his life but his business and his career are what keeps him afloat. Though Nate has it all, he is missing the love and closeness he expected to have with the woman he married, after his marriage failed he didn’t want to risk getting hurt again and focused his energy and life goals towards his business and his daughter.

The way these characters interacted gave the story the “real’ feel that many contemporary romance stories lack of. Their dialog and their encounters made it feel as if they were people you would encounter in your work place. The writing style is sexy and smart, the passion and sex was also quite steamy and detailed. The different events and situations were believable and it added an interest spark to the story. I enjoyed how well Nate and Jessica complimented one another. They had many ways in which they connected and to me that was very important. I enjoy when characters have more than their desire for passion and sex as a way to connect. They matched professionally and romantically. Their desired mirrored that of the other and in a way, it is what helped me connect with these characters.

If you are looking for an adult romance that has a great balance between drama and romance Propositions is for you, if you enjoy witty and mature characters then look no further, in Propositions will you find the perfect balance between romance and eroticism. Tania Joyce is an author you want to keep an eye on.

Bound By Flames by Jeaniene Frost

Untitled - Jeaniene Frost

***Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog***

REVIEW: One of the most exciting PNR Jeaniene Frost gives us another installment in the Night Prince series. Bound by Flames is the 3rd book in the series and it is just as enticing and exciting to read as the first two books.

Bound By Flames follows up on the war between Vlad and his century-old enemy, Szilagyi. While these two has gone about killing each other for centuries, Leila is practically new to the conflict but she doesn’t just sit back and watch everything develop, she has become part of it and will do anything possible to make sure it ends with Szilagyi’s death.

Bound By Flames was fun to read, Leila proved to have mature considerably not just in her powers but mentally and emotionally. She no longer needs reassurance and comfort, she goes out and fight for the people she loves. While at times reckless I think her character proved to have grown a lot more than in previous installments. I enjoyed how their relationship has also grown, not without their ups and downs. The trust & the loyalty they have for one another keeps them alive. I think the author did a great job when it came to Vlad & Leila’s relationship. The was something sweet about it, even though both of these characters are quite dangerous.

I felt the conflict between Vlad & Szilagyi lacked substance and drama. Yes, there were bloody encounters but I felt Frost left out a good one on one juicy action. I enjoyed the other aspect of the drama, the uncertainty and the evil that Leila had to go through, while proving she has become invaluable to Vlad’s life. I liked how Vlad not longer kept his feelings hidden and was able to acknowledge his desire and need for Leila.

There were a few surprises, good and bad. I think I would love to see more of Maximus at some point, there is something about his character that tells me he could give us an entertaining story. Overall Frost did a great job bringing us a drama filled installment, with gruesome and bloody moments. With intense desire and feelings as well as the uncertainty that comes with every development while adding suspense to the story. This story pushes love to its limits, exploring the characters feelings and sense of belonging while exposing the inner desires and needs without making the characters any more vulnerable or weak.

I am looking forward to the next installment. Vlad & Leila are explosive and fun together, I can’t wait to see what the future brings them. If you are looking for a story that brings love, war & action then Bound By Flames is the book for you.

Review: The Accidental Art Thief

The Accidental Art Thief - Joan Schweighardt

Originally posted @ **ReadingDiva's Blog**

 

When I was given the opportunity to review The Accidental Art Thief I didn’t think twice, I jumped head first. The premise of the story told me that I would enjoy it, thought I expected a fast paced all out action, what I encountered was a compelling story of regrets, solace,  humor, acceptance and human connection.

I was very pleased with this story. While I expected something completely different I can honestly say I was nicely surprised to have found a story that gives the reader not only a great set of characters, but also a story that seems to have come from a crazy tale told by a distant uncle.  The Accidental Art Thief is not a James Bond sort of read, not at all. The Accidental Art Thief is the story of Zinc, a woman who has spent many years in the company of an old man who she served as a housekeeper and a companion.  While at times they shared stories other times they shared their silence, a friendship that would transcend the age difference and societal backgrounds.

Kathryn Winesky who goes by the nickname of Zinc is a forty five year old woman whose innocence and lack of life experience and somewhat social awkwardness makes her a weirdo in the eyes of her brother and those who simply do not know her. As a young woman, Zinc experiences loss and pain when both of her parents die, making a dent in her life and her future.  After having found her place in the company of the old man Thomas Quickwater, Zinc’s life changes for the best. She becomes the old man’s companion and friend, often sharing thoughts and conversations about art and literature. However all that changes when the old man as she calls him dies.

I really enjoyed Zinc’s character, while not exactly your typical heroine she holds a charming personality that makes you like her from the moment you meet her. I think the one thing that I enjoyed the most is the way in which life keeps throwing things at her and while she doesn’t necessarily know what to do with herself, she keeps coming back on top. The author gives us a character that doesn’t show as an experienced, strong or well verse in life but a character that manage to handle every situation life throws at her.

From Zinc inner battles with her conscience forcing her to making decisions she never thought she would have to make, to Marge, a troubled woman who drags the failures and troubles of the past to a present she wishes she could control, to Frank a brother who selfish and self centered personality only shows how flawed relatives can be to Tymothy at the computer shop who seem to judge Zinc from the moment he saw her. All these characters have something unique to offer, they compliment the story in a way that make sense, making it at times funny, sometimes ridiculous but ultimately enjoyable. They each hold flaws that make the story a bit surreal,  allowing the reader to experience their crude reality in a comical and humorous way, because we all have a selfish relative, we have all been judged, we have all lied about something in our lives. I can’t say I read this story without cracking a smile or without chuckles.

Overall, I think we all have a bit of Zinc in us, while some have a hard time coping with life, others move along with it as if nothing is of consequence.  If you want a fast pace story then move along, The Accidental Art Thief isn’t for you, but if you are looking for a story that explores the reality of a woman whose personality is everything you never want to be but to whom life seems to favor in a strange way then read The Accidental Art Thief , you will not regret it.

Shifted Souls by Jamie Lynn Dougherty

Shifted Souls - Jamie Lynn Dougherty

REVIEW: We all need a dose of Paranormal Romance from time to time, and what’s better than sweet romance between an alpha and his mate. When author Jamie Lynn Dougherty announced her new book I was excited to read it. I will admit to also being a bit apprehensive, I really wanted this story to have the same exciting and fresh flare that her other books had (Samantha Brand & Trinity Pierce) series.

 

Shifted Souls is the story of Francine (Frankie), a woman who was born with privilege and money but whose decision to leave it all behind for love cost her almost her very soul. Shifted Souls is one of those stories that start somewhat slow, it gives us the ins and outs of its main character, Frankie, a young woman who left everything she had for love thinking that her happily ever after was forever. Little did she know, the man who she promised to love and cherish would break her heart in more pieces than she could count.

 

The story developed slowly at first, Frankie is a tortured & abused woman who is not aware of what lurks inside her. She married her high school sweetheart and though things didn’t exactly pan out as she wanted she doesn’t give up on her relationship. She lives isolated and away from the father and the friends she grew up with. Frankie’s story explores the terrible damage and consequences of domestic violence, it shows us the fragility of the human soul when exposed to abuse from those who promised love and tenderness. However, things abruptly change when Frankie shifts into a wolf and put an end to her abuser making things a little more interesting. The twists and turns that follow add the suspense needed, making the story move a little faster.

 

While I understand Frankie’s indecision and at times lack of action, I can’t deny my frustration. She has the means and even the support she might’ve needed if she decided to leave her husband yet she stuck with him, taking his abuse not only physical but also psychological and emotional. I think as a heroine she lacked the backbone I am used to seeing, and I can’t help myself but compare her character to others from Dougherty’s books.

 

I am a fan of Dougherty’s writing style, she create great stories with heart and passion. Her characters though flawed, they manage to capture the readers’ heart. She writes sensitive and compassionate alpha males, without taking away their strong and dominant personalities that makes us fall in-love. Bo is one of those characters, his understanding and dedication to his pack and Frankie is admirable and extremely sweet, his admiration and love for her is what made me like him even more. He trusts her decisions and stands back in support, allowing her to make mistakes while also encouraging her to show and give her best.

 

I enjoyed their story, their relationship developed slowly which is something I enjoy in Dougherty’s books. She doesn’t rush or push her characters to extreme, she manages to maintain a believable pace at which relationships should develop, she usually gives them a strong foundation and admirable traits. I loved how they grew from friends to lovers, giving each other the support and respect needed to keep and maintain a strong bond.

Shifted Souls is a great story, one of second chances, passion and devotion and one that has set a strong foundation to more stories. If you enjoy sweet paranormal romance Shifted Souls is for you. Get to know their these characters and their story, each unique and ultimately likeable.

Source: http://readingdiva.com/review-shifted-souls-by-jamie-lynn-dougherty