REVIEW: Master Over You is a very dark romance novel. There are times when stories are too raw, too painful and all together to much to handle. Master Over You is one of those stories. The plot develops around human trafficking, a subject that is not only dark, raw & painful but one that holds a certain fascination.
When I requested this book for a review I was expecting something dramatic, painful, filled with angst and raw emotions. I got exactly that, the story tells about the dark minds behind the act, and suffering of the victim of abuse, it also gives us the story of two characters that after suffering horrendous circumstances take a path for the worse. The plot was gripping and the characters crafted to show their darkest nature.
The characters are broken, ruined and violated in ways that would forever altered their future and their nature. I think that aspect of the story was beautifully exploit. However, the way in which the story flows between the two main characters is not what I expected. At some point during the story, we as readers are supposed to connect and be able to identify with the characters we read about. Angeline & Noah are very different, they are not your typical characters. One can’t identify Noah as the hero nor can one identify Angelina as the heroine. As characters they both have strong voices and strong personalities, however the lack of interaction and dialog between these characters makes it almost impossible to connect with their suffering and anguish.
The plot deals with each character separately, they both seem to be going on different paths. Neither Angeline or Noah maintain an open dialog, their inner monologue makes it difficult to connect them in a way that supports their love story, each held anger, passion and disturbing emotions that made them unique and passionate yet incompatible. Their hate runs deep, their sadness perhaps justified but their actions and reactions made them at times feel like there was no connection and that their love story was forced.
The story has a lot of repetition, Noah’s constant declaration of who he is and what does was a bit distracting. Noah’s inability to communicate and express his emotions was disconcerting. Angeline’s constant need to hurt Noah was exhausting and unnecessary. Though both characters shared a terrible past, they did not seem to share the same passion for the future. Their love did not have a strong foundation, Angeline’s anger and Noah’s detachment did not seem enough for a happily ever after, yes their sexual chemistry was high and explosive that did not give them enough to hold on to. Love doesn’t feed on sex, there is more to a relationship than the sexual connection, it needs passion, it needs understanding and mutual respect. These two characters did not do it for me.
The story is about second changes and found love, redemption and forgiveness. If you enjoy dark romance, dirty mouth anti-hero and an almost psychotic anti-heroine Master Over You is the story for you. Do not expect sweet talk and loving talk between the characters, do not expect undying love and acts of heroism. There is none of that, but do expect however a man who calls his woman a bitch and who seems to be more in-love with her body than her heart and soul, and who is unable to speak with passion or love to the woman he has promised to spend the rest of his life.
REVIEW: Lock In is the first book I read by John Scalzi, not only was I very intrigued by the book cover but also by the story line. There is something to be said about a book that entertains you while it teaches you. That’s how I felt about Lock In, the narrative, the plot line and the characters make this book a page turner and one that should be added to your priority reading list. If you aren’t into Thrillers then I suggest you give this book a chance. It is intricate, well researched and beautifully crafted.
A virus spreads around the world with flu like symptoms, however the consequences of this illness are far worse than those of the flu. The disease spreads around the world forcing those affected by it to live in a vegetate state while fully aware of the world around them but unable to move or live a normal life, keeping them Lock In. After years of suffering the Haden’s Syndrome as known years later has been contained and those Lock In have been given a chance to live in a different type of world. A world that does not require them to walk or even be awake.
The author creates a world where the Lock In have the opportunity to exist in a virtual world, one that could be explained as what we know today as the cloud, however, more intricate, with virtual communities and interaction that replaces that of the actual world without making it any less human or obscure but a lot more complex. The plot brings the subject of humanity and its need to make distinctions and set differences between what we consider unique or normal. The Haden’s as they were later referred and known to the world were kept in a different category, regardless of their social status. I enjoyed how well the author was able to detailed the Haden community, and how they were able to maintain their humanity even after their unusual integration to the world.
Lock In flows beautifully, the author present us with a very intricate and well develop story that holds the reader’s attention until the very last page. From the Integrators, the human subjects capable of connecting with the Haden by switching on and off their subconscious allowing the Haden to use their body to corporate & scientific conspiracy. The author mastered the way in which he tells this story. The science behind it, the conspiracy and the different aspect in which the characters interact and work around each other is beautifully crafted. I enjoyed every aspect of these characters, from the rookie FBI agent Sean to the already experience agent Vann who in her own way finds herself admiring his investigative skills.
This story is quite innovative, the science behind it well thought out and researched. The way in which the narrative flows feels at times as if the characters were speaking to the reader, bringing them up to date with what was happening behind the scenes. I really enjoyed the quality of the narrative. This story has it all, conspiracy, suspense, power and money hungry villains and beautifully crafted characters that will put you on the scene while giving you the ability to come up with your own conclusions
REVIEW: Sins & Needles is the first book in the Artistry Trilogy, in this book we are introduced to Eden (Ellie) Watts, a troubled, damaged twenty six year old woman whose life has being difficult and nightmarish from the start. At an early age, Eden learned the art of robbery, the art of lying and the tricks of hiding in plain sight. Her life has never been easy, she has done everything she needed to do to survive and to always stay ahead of the game.
Sins & Needles is quite different from many romance stories I have read. The concept unique, refreshing and interesting because it puts a different spin on the heroine. The plot flows between the present and a series of flash backs giving the reader an idea of what happened to Eden during her younger years and helps in a way set the grounds and justification for her actions.
The story flows as we get to know the many ways in which Ellie has been wronged by her parents and how her life slowly turned into a disaster. From her predispose future set on course by her parents, to the ways in which she rip the people she loves off and gets involved with the wrong man, this is one of the kind story, the author did a great job crafting Ellie’s character. Her anger, her dark nature and attitude makes her an interesting character. Though at times readers may accept her actions as a justification for her terrible childhood, readers may also find it difficult to agree with her reasoning and question her sense of survival. This dark romance has every bit of uncertainty, sexual desires, a combination of dark personalities & violent attraction between the characters. From the character callous ways in which she takes advantage of people she loves, to the way in which her expectations and egotistic attitude gets her from one trouble to the next, this story nicely maps out her life and exposes her vulnerabilities in many ways.
Sins & Needles has a bit of everything, the darkness that makes it interesting and the romance that makes it likeable adding a touch of spice to make it a hit. The male characters are enthusiastic and perhaps the one thing that adds edge to the story. This story will appeal to readers who like me enjoy flawed & broken characters and characters driven stories, but I have to question the reason behind her non stop and impulse in which she gets herself in one trouble after the other. Readers can expect rocky relationships, characters with selfish motivations and agendas but all the while maintaining redeemable qualities.
Sins & Needles is one of those stories that have many good things, enough to counter balance the negatives and one that readers may end up loving it as much as they hate it. It has a good story line and evolving characters with strong voices. If you enjoy stories where the heroine is not the usual damsel in distress then you will enjoy Sins & Needles.
REVIEW: My favorite Erotic Romance writer Tiffany Reisz is a genius. She continues to amaze me with her sinful, smart, complex yet funny and amazing stories. This time she gives us The King – Kingsley beginnings. How he came to be the King of kink but not without showing us first the broken heart and amazing life of a man we have come to lust after. Kingsley is my favorite character after Søren and a character that has proven to have been the master mind behind the most exclusive kink club in Manhattan.
The King introduces us to a young Kingsley, a man who pushed himself to do things in the name of love and self-preservation. The King is almost an exploration of what pushed Kingsley to become The King of kink. This story takes us back to when Kingsley was 28 years old, rough and plagued with memories of torture and love, an anger so deep that blind his heart while also giving his heart a purpose. I love every aspect of this story, it slowly explains many things we have always wonder about Kingsley, his refrain from forming attachments, his reluctance to fall in-love and his inability to put aside his raw and undeniably sexy desires.
The King didn’t become who he is by mistake nor by chance, his life from the moment Søren left to the moment he return to Kingsley is filled with angst, suffering, seduction, play and a lot of sex. While we get to see a whole different man, the 28-year-old Kingsley is far from typical. With the looks of a model and the sex drive of a bunny he exudes danger and raw pleasures. I loved every bit of Kingsley as a younger man. He never strays far from his need of raw pleasures of sex and pain and that’s exactly why it makes him one of my favorite character. Though we get to see a very vulnerable King we also get to see him wear his love for Søren on his sleeves. The story goes into more details of what happened to Kingsley during his time in the French Foreign Legion, his tortured after being capture, his suffering and his PTSD that brought him to his knees. All of that suffering and dark moments is what made him the man he later become. It is hard to see a character who exudes so much power being brought to his knees by pain and suffering from past tortures & experiences.
The beauty in this story is that not one of the characters mentioned become irrelevant, every one of them has a role and makes an impact in Kingsley life. Their time as part of Kingsley’s life served a purpose and taught him lessons, from loving them to ruin them they entwined in ways not many authors can convey. I love the complications, the betrayal, the seduction and the sex, there is not an aspect of this story that makes it typical. Reisz has found the way to give us a deep and raw story of a man who devoted his life to offer others the beauty of pleasure and pain.
If you are yet to read any of Tiffany Reisz books I must make you aware you are missing out. Her stories combine amazing characters and plot that are unique to her writing. She draws the reader to feel and experience the characters needs and desires in ways that not many authors can manage to carry out. Cross to the dark side of The Original Sinners and I promise you will love this wild ride.
REVIEW: I read Raw a while ago but I was not able to come to terms with it until recently. Raw is not your typical love story, and it isn’t either your typical erotic romance. Raw is one of those stories that stays in the back of your mind even after months of having read it. It imprints in the memory and doesn’t let go.
When I came across this book in Amazon I felt a certain attraction to the cover and I found myself clicking on it and reading the description, I was bought the moment I read it and I proceeded to read it. I know at first I wasn’t entirely sold, I felt like it resemble many of the stories being published at the time but there was a bit of distinction to it that made it different for me.
The plot is compelling and intricate, the story develops around Twitch, a man who knows torment from a very young age and one who has made his torment part of his life, he bends it, he manipulates it and spreads it around. Raw as the name implies is a very dark and complex story where love doesn’t necessarily has a place, and where the circumstances of life are exposed and explained in vivid details.
There is passion, there are life lessons and there is pain. Raw covers a variety of subjects that most authors and romance stories don’t tend to focus on. It ranges from domestic violence to stalking, without giving or taking away the validity of the characters actions. I enjoyed this book because it didn’t read as the typical romance with bits and pieces of eroticism and the lack of depth. I liked this book because unlike many, it brings many questions to the table, it pushes the reader to question their own decisions about love and life. It pushes the limits and boundaries and for me that’s what I enjoyed about Raw. Do not expect a love story, because it certainly isn’t. Expect a vivid and quite realistic set of events in a young man’s life, a young man who suffered a lot, but a man who used life many circumstances to his advantage, because it helped him shape the man he one day would become.
These characters felt real, their conflicts and their struggles as well. Our definition of ever after does not translate the same in Raw, what we may see as unfinished it is in fact an aspect of life one learns to live with, in reality not everything has a happy ending.
If you are looking for an intense and realistic story about love, absolution, second chances and life changing events then Raw is for you. Do not expect romance in the general meaning of the world, in Raw the definition of romance means a whole different thing.
REVIEW: The title of a book should always entice readers to open the book, that’s exactly what happened when I saw Avenge Me by Maisey Yates. The title said READ ME and I was not able to walk away after that. I started reading the book with zero expectations hoping that it would surprise me and bring me excitement.
Avenge Me is the type of story that holds a unique plot and one that teases the reader enough to keep us entertained. They say revenge is best served cold, and that’s exactly the case in Avenge Me. What I liked about Avenge Me was the premise of the story. The plot is quite interesting, not necessarily complex but it is entertaining nevertheless.
Avenge Me shows us the injustice forced upon Sarah a girl who found herself involved with the wrong person and ended up costing her her life, by giving us the heroic and selfless actions of a lawyer who fight to protect and advocate for women’s rights and safety. Yet it also exposes the reality that comes with power and that in many cases overshadow the true intentions of the anti-hero. Though the story doesn’t give a lot of details to start with, one can easily deduct from the first few chapters that the characters were very involved and connected in many ways which in terms made a lot of the outcome predictable.
The story lacks surprise and suspense which is something I have come to expect in this type of stories. However, the story does go into revealing who is responsible and who will take charge into making those involved pay in ways they wish never to experience. The main characters are introduced early in the story, their role are defined and presented with ease while letting us know who will form alliances, who is going to demand justice and who will find ways in which make the responsible pay.
I liked most of the characters, they have potential, however the plot left me wanting and waiting for that point where hell breaks loose and your are left gasping for air. The point of surprise never came and I was left waiting for a climax that was not going to happen. Don’t get me wrong, not everything is lost in this story. The chemistry between the characters is flawless and enticing. The dialog didn’t feel pushed or rushed and they had a simple yet easy voice that made them all quite likeable.
Austin is handsome, intelligent and the man any woman would love to have by her side. He is hunted by the death of his dear friend and feel responsible for all she suffered. Austin has a great personality and that’s one thing I think readers will find appealing about him. He is caring and sensible yet strong and imposing. I think Austin is what makes this story more interesting. His connection to the anti-hero makes him vulnerable but not at one instance he loses his predominance and control, I think he makes the story whole.
Katy is likeable, she demands justice for her sister and she would not rest until getting it done and making the person responsible pay. She would do anything to make sure this happen, even if she has to form an alliance with the least of people. While I think Katy is strong, sweet and intuitive I also think she come across as inexperience, driven by her rage and hate. I liked how mature she was but I was left feeling that she could’ve been a better character. Her decisions are at times rushed and not always thought-out and that could put her need and desire for revenge in jeopardy.
Overall Avenge Me is a good story, I liked the writing style and I think the series has great potential. It has the ingredients I look to find in dark romance, passion, power-hungry characters, sensibility, understanding, sex and unabashedly desire. I think the premise is there, though not execute to its full potential. I will read the other two books in the series because I want to see how far this revenge goes and how it all unfolds. But If like me you enjoy character driver stories you will also hope that the other characters in the story are better develop.
Review: Do you love angels? Well, I do too. Burning Dawn is book #3 in the Angels of the Dark series by the amazing Gina Showalter. In this installment we meet the hot and ever playboy Thane. His duty is to fight evil and some may say to bed women as well. Thane is everything I like in an character, he is strong, relentless, brutal and hot. He has had his share in the world, his past forces him to feel a violence he never felt before, while his heart lives in a perpetual commotion.
Gina Showalter writes great paranormal stories that tend to touch the readers heart and at times squeeze the breath out of us with powerful scenes and amazing setting and scenarios. Burning Dawn is the awakening of Thane and a shot at a second chance. Thane is one of those characters that draw us into his world and one can’t help but love him from the start. This story of love, trust and redemption is very engaging. I enjoyed the attraction between Elin & Thane, I enjoyed enjoyed their differences, their interaction and dialog. The way in which things slowly progressed and how well the story flowed without feeling rushed.
Stories of good vs evil are everywhere but very few manage to be as engaging as Burning Dawn, these angels know how to rock the world in more ways than one can think of. Showalter did a great job, the way in which she explored Thane’s feelings and emotions was great, she gave us a troubled man, a man who didn’t think happiness was a possibility in his world.
The story has great characters, we get glimpses into other characters state and lives, as well as new and old drama between the angels and the evil they fight. Overall I enjoyed Burning Dawn because it gives us a steamy and sensual love story that grows slowly and become stronger as many events develops and the fight against evil prevails. The Angels of The Dark series keeps getting better, do not delay to start reading it. If you thought vampires were hot, just wait until you get a taste of these angels.
***Originally posted @ReadingDiva's Blog **
EVIEW: I am a sucker for a good love story, and as a big fan of Gena Showalter I couldn’t be happier to have to read the next book in her Angels of Dark Series. Back in 2012 when the first book of the series came out Wicked Nights, I was blown away by the intensity and fantastic carachters Gena had put together. This time around, Showalter brings us a story that touches our heart and melt our souls.
The thing I like the most about Gena Showalters’s writing is how she is capable of bringing us stories filled with passion and intense desire without sacrificing character development. We first met Koldo during an intense battle in Wicked Nights. The description of his character implanted a spark of curiosity that left me wanting to know more. Now on Beauty Awakened I was given the opportunity to learn more about this broken angel who only seek revenge but while doing so he is risking losing his soul.
The plot is quite interesting and raw, Koldo has suffer greatly and has sacrifice a lot since he was a child. Born from an Angel and a demon he knows what is to be different and what’s to be hated for it. His nature is to fight evil yet his heart has started to darken due to hate and there is the possibility that he ended up in hell because of it. While Koldo fights to control his anger he takes unto himself to defend a woman who is be accosted by demons while she succumbs to the agony of seeing her sister slowly dying.
I loved the story between Koldo & Nicola. They are both strong and fragile at the same time, perhaps not in the same way but both are vulnerable in matters of the heart. The author exploit their feelings, showing us their insecurities while also letting us savor their intensity. Both Nicola & Koldo had demons to fight, they were both forced into situations that didn’t allow them to seek options and perhaps that’s what I liked how they both seem to always come on top. Not because they found the easy way out of their troubles but because they fought with strong conviction, they felt the need to protect and trust one another. I enjoyed how nice their relationship developed, it was not something that happened and all of the sudden, their relationship seem to grow as their interaction increased but not without mishaps and conflicts.
The fight between good and evil has always being one I enjoyed, seeing these characters fight for what they believe to be right is something I look forward to. While I usually fall for strong heroines, I found in Nicola the balance I like to see between fragile and strong. I think Nicola was one of the kind, readers will be able to identify in may ways, from her love for her sister, the way in which she sacrifices herself in order to save the one she loves. Beauty Awakened is a beautiful story. The characters (other angels) were as usual, strong and sexy, but not without issues of their own. This series just keeps getting better, each book gives us a glimpse into what’s next for the angels and it seems Gena Showalter isn’t going to hold back. This story is almost a clean romance, the sexual intensity and innuendos are not predominant in this story, it almost reads as a sweet and clean contemporary romance, more than the usual hot, intense and sexual paranormal romance we are used to get from Gena and her LOTU.
Note: To some this story may sound preachy. The mention of God is common and at times repetitive. However, do not let that fool you, the story is one of love, romance and sacrifice. The author does not leave the fun and fights out, there is plenty action as well.
REVIEW: If you have been following the Inside Out series and the novellas closely you have probably experience all sort of emotions, from sadness to sexual excitement. My Hunger is the next novella that explores Mark’s inner demons and feelings after learning his submissive Rebecca is dead and that his mother was diagnosed with cancer. While he is still trying to come to terms with Rebecca being dead, he is also trying to understand the new obsession that plague his mind and body. I have enjoyed the thrill of the novels and now that we have these novellas to fill in the blanks I am enjoying whole story and characters even more.
From the beginning I have been a big fan of Mark, I find his character to have the complexity and mystery that Chris character lacks. Though both have demons and tons of issues I think Mark shows more confidence and that I find it to be a lot sexier than his looks. I enjoyed My Hunger because once again we explore Mark feelings, feelings he isn’t always used to experience and therefore his battle with his heart and mind makes him the more interesting. I think this story even as short as it is has a lot more substance than some of the other novellas in the series. I think Mark is more engaging and dynamic in this novella than he was in Master Undone.
I enjoy his vulnerability, the situation and the stress that he is going through are making him lose control, the control he has fought so hard to maintain. But while I think his control makes him the man he is, his vulnerability makes him more desirable and I think that’s what makes Mark’s character better as a whole.
My Hunger is a great continuation to the Inside Out Series, it keeps us entertaining and wanting more, giving us glimpses into Mark’s mind and heart, a heart we thought didn’t beat and didn’t know love. I can’t wait for the next installment. I am looking forward to seeing Mark experience more loss of control and I want to see how far his buttons can be pushed before he burst.
I think Lisa Renee Jones has done a fantastic job creating a character like Crystal Smith. She is the female version of Mark, not in the dominating and forceful ways but in ways that requires calculation, patience and the need to experience sex on a level that requires the body and soul to become one. The sexual connection and tension that exist between these two characters is explosive. Crystal is reserved and mysterious while Mark is possessive and dominating. Both characters have very strong minds and personalities and their clashes are not only sexy but at times quite realistic and fun.
If you haven’t read the Inside Out Series I recommend you do, Chris & Mark will keep you quivering. The mystery behind the journals and the sexual awakening of some characters bring to the series the needed balance to make it a page turner. Buy the books now and enjoy the ride!