Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review: There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness #1) by Claire Contreras


4.5 stars for There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness book 1) by Claire Contreras.

I have reservations on reading this book initially as I am not a great fan of New Adult genre. On giving this book a flip, it turns out that I got addicted by chapter 4 and cannot stop reading till late into the night. As it is, I spend bulk of my 3 hour road trip home reading and yes, I finish reading this weepy heartrending story of secrets, truth and love.

I adore the way the author crafted some of the amazing phrases, especially the last sentence in the final paragraph. What more perfect way to conclude a story but using back its own story title.

Publisher: Claire Contreras
Publication Date: 2 Dec 2013

*** Favorite quote 1 ***

In the end, he hurt me more than I hurt him.
I broke his heart, but he tore mine into a million pieces.
Even if I wanted to piece it back together, I would never find them all because he would always be holding some.

*** Favourite quote 2 ***

No matter what you go through in life, don’t be afraid to love.
Loving is the only thing that keeps us sane.
If it weren’t for love, the suffering we experience wouldn’t be worth it.
If it weren’t for the suffering, we wouldn’t cherish the good things life gives us.
Sometimes it’ll seem as though life only knocks you down, but you have to learn to pick yourself up and fight back.

*** Favourite quote 3 ***

My eyes begin to shut heavily -- once, twice, then a third time.
I open them one last time as I try to search for light, but I know I'll never find it,
because there is no light in darkness.

~ There is No Light in Datkness
Claire Contreras

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A past hidden in darkness. Her present cloaked in secrets. The future holds the only truth that cannot be escaped.

After the mysterious and violent death of her parents, Blake Brennan finds comfort with an unconventional family. As the dramatic loss of her parents continues to haunt her—and hinders her from reciprocating love that others give freely—Blake embarks on a harrowing journey in search for the truth.

Living in a constant state of fear and need for control, vivid nightmares reveal details that lead to perilous situations. The past begins to collide with the present, and Blake must decide if the truth is worth losing the ones she loves.

Can love conquer all as her past comes to light? Or will Blake realize that there is no light in darkness?

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Tangled (The Tangled #1) by Emma Chase


5 stars for Tangled (The Tangled book 1) by Emma Chase.

Tangled is an amazingly sexy romance story with vibrant, dazzling characters. It is outrageously entertaining and hilariously absorbing with witty come back.

I salute the author for writing such a deliciously delectable plot using the voice of a male protagonist so clearly projected that he seems to leap off the pages in high-definition prose.

A must read that is guaranteed to keep the reader enthralled and captivated.

Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition
Publication date: 2 Aug 2013

*** Favourite quote ***

You ever been on the freeway, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic? And when you finally get to the head of the line, you realise the backup is because of an accident? Maybe not a bad one -- maybe just a fender bender that's already been moved to the side of the road. And all the traffic -- all that wasted time -- is because every driver who passes the scene has to slow down and take a look.

It's ridiculous, isn't it? And you swear that when you pass by, you're not going to look -- Just on principle alone. But when you get there, and you're driving past the dented doors and flashing lights and smashed bumpers, what do you do?

You slow down and look. You didn't want to, but you can't help it. It's morbid. Absurd. But that's human nature for you.

~ Tangled
Emma Chase

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Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and stubborn. She refuses to let anything, oranyone, derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre


4.5 stars for Enclave (Razorland book 1) by Ann Aguirre.

Enclave is a gripping, spine-tingling, hair-raising Young Adult urban fantasy; a chilling yet fascinating tale about apocalypse and survival of the fittest.

Deuce and Fade are very likeable characters and I love how their relationship develops throughout the story; a story which in all aspects, exhibits originality.

Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition
Publication date: 7 Aug 2012

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WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Raw by Belle Aurora


Did Not Finish Raw by Belle Aurora.

The author has created two lead characters who are amoral. The heroine, as a social worker should have behaved as one with honorable and ethical values. Yet she cares nothing about the moral character of her hero and instead, looks forward to his stalking and nightly visits. There is absolutely nothing redeeming or appealing about either of these characters or their behaviors.

I give up reading somewhere around 30% of the book. It is a wonder that I have managed to struggle to this much considering how twisted and disturbing the story is. There is not a single drop of romance in this book, but dark, depressing, twisted sex.

This is seriously one of the worst books I have ever read. And I will be staying far, far away from anything else written by this author.

Publisher: Belle Aurora
Publication Date: 13 Jan 2014

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Growing up the way I did, you'd think I'd be more screwed up than what I actually am. Soon as I turned sixteen, I left that bump in the road I called home and took my chances on the street. Best decision I ever made.

Now, at the age of twenty six, I'm educated, employed and damn good at my job. My friends have become my family. Like me, they know what it's like to grow up unloved.

But the saying is true. The world makes way for those who know where they are going. That's me. I know where I'm going and I'll get there eventually. On my own terms and at my own pace.

But then there's him. I feel his eyes on me. I see him hiding in plain sight. He watches me.  He makes me feel. It's unconventional. But it's real.

I'm sure you're wondering how a person falls in love with their stalker. So am I.

This isn't a story.

This is my life.

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom #2) by Devon Monk


4 stars for Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom book 2) by Devon Monk.

I am glad to have persisted my reading in this magic series. Magic in the Blood is definitely a better read than book 1 Magic to the Bones. And I see great potential for next instalment in the series. Way to go!

Publisher: Roc
Publication date: 5 May 2009

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Working as a Hound-tracing illegal spells back to their casters-has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit.

Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Archer's Voice (Sign of Love #4) by Mia Sheridan


4 stars for Archer's Voice (Sign of Love book 4) by Mia Sheridan.

Archer's Voice is a sweet lovely tale set in a nice little cottage overlooking a lake at the opposite end of a sleepy small town.

The story of an emotionally charged Bree is beatifully written and fits like a glove in this quiet peaceful town. Equally matching in its intensity is the progression in friendship and development in affection between Bree and Archer.

Though I enjoyed the story immersely, it could have done better with less coitus that emerge profusely three quarters past the book.

On a final note, I so love the title. It is perfect for the book, understandably even more so after I wrapped up my reading.

Publisher: Mia Sheridan
Publication date: 25 Jan 2014

*** Favourite Quote ***

I was glad he didn't try to come up with something encouraging to say. Sometimes an understanding silence was better than a bunch of meaningless words.

~ Archer's Voice
Mia Sheridan

@}--->>--->>-----

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE NOVEL. The first three books in the series need not be read to enjoy this book.

*Blurb from FantasticFiction*

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Review: Arsen by Mia Asher


5 stars for Arsen by Mia Asher.

This contemporary romance is so captivating and engaging that it has me hooked and staying up till 3am to finish. It is an exquisitely written book that now owns a piece of my heart.

Arsen is a poignant, heart wrenching love story, filled with intense emotional turmoil and harsh reality. I feel as if I am one with Cathy as raw pain gripped her time and again through the recurring pregnancy loss. Cathy's self destruction, her showdown night with Ben and her bearing of truth the following morning make me sob and weep infinite tears of sadness.

Then just as I think the story will end as I have come to expect, the author throws me completely off the grid by granting Arsen a voice. It is so bittersweet yet tender that I am left confused and not sure who I want to root for anymore: Ben or Arsen?

Publisher: Mia Asher
Publication Date: 2 Dec 2013

*** Favourite quote 1 ***

They say being in love and loving someone are two different things.
Falling in love with someone is easy.
It's loving when the newness has worn off, when life gets tough, when things get in the way, when physical passion is gone, that true love remains. When love conquers it all.
When you fall out of love, it doesn't mean that you stop loving someone. They just don't make your heart beat faster.
You don't crave them until you don't know where they end and begin.
I don't know that I ever fall out of love with Ben, But I do know that I fell in love with Arsen along the way...

*** Favourite quote 2 ***

He was the fire that burned my marriage down to ashes, but in those ashes, hope was reborn.
He healed me.
Arsen.

*** Favorite quote 3 ***

Love is infinite.
There is no beginning and no end.
There is no starting point and no finishing line.
Love just is.
Love is born, grows, matures, and sometimes it dies.
But the memory will remain with you for the rest of your breathing hours.
You fall in love, you fall out of love.
But you will love again.
You always do.

~Arsen
Mia Asher

@}--->>--->>-----

One glance was all it took…

I'm a cheater.
I'm a liar.
My whole life is a mess.

I love a man.
No, I love two men…
I think.

One makes love to me. The other sets me on fire.
One is my rock. The other is my kryptonite.

I'm broken, lost, and disgusted with myself.

But I can't stop. This is my story.
My broken love story.

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: Night Owl (The Night Owl Trilogy #1) by M Pierce


Did Not Finish Night Owl (The Night Owl Trilogy book 1) by M. Pierce.

Night Owl starts out mysterious and promising but gradually degrades itself beyond words. The story of an anonymous online writing partnership turned uncontrollable, passionate obsession, is just so not for me. At 40% mark, I realise the story is not getting anywhere but downhill; so I hang up the white flag and give up reading.

The author has fabricated two lead characters who are not only immoral, but dishonorable, detestable and a disgrace to mankind. I could not find any positive trait in either the hero or the heroine. Their behavior is shockingly atrocious, unjustifiable and unpardonable.

Though I only read 40% of the book, I would say this book falls fittingly under the porn category. Whatever the storyline the author is trying to tell is just a cover-up. Ultimately, there is nothing constructive but lust, coitus and orgasm.

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition
Publication date: 11 Feb 2014

*** Favourite quote ***

There is no such thing as loneliness.
There is only the idea of loneliness.

~ Night Owl
M. Pierce

@}--->>--->>-----


At twenty-eight, Matt Sky has the perfect life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a massive inheritance, and four national bestsellers -- all penned under his airtight alias, M. Pierce.

At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano is a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.

Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent...

Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah. Hannah's picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that's passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable.

*Blurb from author's website*

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 1 Jul 2014

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair


2 stars for Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair.

I read Finders Keepers because (One) I am a great fan of science fiction romance and have always love a good story on romantic space opera; and (Two) I am deeply impressed and mesmerized by Linnea Sinclair's Dock Five Universe series which is a fascinating sci-fic romance. However, I am greatly disappointed that Finders Keepers is a far cry from my usual expectations.

Finders Keepers feels more like a romance story minus the science fiction. Though the author throws in plenty of aircraft technical jargon to impress, they only ended up reading like technobabble and a load of claptrap to the layman reader. Nevertheless, the romance part of the story is not too bad as far as romance stories go.

I read the first half of this book and then skimmed the rest just to find out the ending and to say I have finished.

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 26 Apr 2005

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Now that they found each other, the universe won't know what hit it...

Blending hard SF with sizzling romantic suspense, Linnea Sinclair brings readers this red-hot adventure of two space outcasts on a collision course with destiny. Now that this star-crossed couple have found each other, the universe won't know what hit it...

Trilby Elliot is a barely legal independent trader. Rhis Vanur is the arrogant Zafharin military officer she rescued from a crash landing. It would have been a miracle if they survived each other's company on Trilby's slapdash starfreighter even under the best of circumstances. And these are far from the best of circumstances. For Trilby's best friend is missing and the warlike 'Sko are hunting both Trilby and Rhis. Suddenly they're in it together, for better, for worse--or until death blasts them to oblivion...

*Blurb from author's website*

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom #1) by Devon Monk


3 stars for Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom book 1) by Devon Monk.

Once bitten, twice shy. But I am glad that I did not shy away from this book after the first try 5 years ago. Lately, I decide to revisit this author's book and finally manage to complete this urban fantasy novel.

Magic to the Bone is smooth flowing with a likeable female lead character, who is in no way perfect and, like anyone else, is subject to making mistakes.

In my opinion, the mistakes originate from Allie running around fruitlessly and always ending up in mama's house. These happened more than a handful of times that I have lost count. It is indeed distressing and a pain to see Allie tossing herself around unproductively.

All in all, I am glad to have finished reading this book. There is potential for betterment in the later books in this series.

Publisher: Roc
Publication date: 4 Nov 2008

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Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it.

But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control…

*Blurb from author's website*

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: Ravage Me (Ravage MC #1) by Ryan Michele


Did Not Finish Ravage Me (Ravage MC book 1) by Ryan Michele.

Ravage Me starts out as a great and promising read. However, it deteriorates slowly but surely, as the story moves along. I make it to 43% of the book before putting my hands up and throwing in the towel.

Having grown up in the Ravage Motorcycle Club as daughter to the club's Vice President, I would expect the heroine, Harlow to have a clear distinction between the club's 'momma' and old lady. Instead, the author paints a conflicted Harlow who is clearly confused and cannot differentiate between the two.

To make matters worse, the ease in which Harlow breaches her self-imposed rule of no tangling with club brother reflects terribly on her willpower and marks her as as one of those 'easy' targets in the club. Needless to say, the story goes downhill pronto.

Publisher: Ryan Michele
Publication date: 4 Feb 2014

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After spending the last two years stuck behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit, Harlow ‘Princess’ Gavelson’s time inside has finally come to an end, and she’s ready for revenge.
Unfortunately, being the daughter to the Vice President of the Ravage Motorcycle Club cuts into her plans, as orders must be followed.

Trying to settle back into this life is proving difficult when the tables are turned and the woman who framed her is out for blood. Lucky for Princess, growing up in a MC has taught her how to hold her own.

After spending years in hell overseas, Donavon ‘Cruz’came home to lose the very thing he went into hell for, sending him to the darkest moments of his life. Joining Ravage two years ago was his safe haven, and he protects his family at all costs.

When a dark-haired bombshell struts into the club’s shop, he’s caught off guard but immediately knows she’s the one he’d do anything for. Tough as nails, and taking no crap from anyone, he’s captivated by a woman who could handle this life. Trying to meet the needs of the MC business and follow his heart proves to be difficult when the two collide, and lives are at stake.

Can these two find a way to be together, or will the needs of Ravage cost them everything, including their lives?

*Blurb from author's website*

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