Thursday, August 28, 2014

Just a Little Crush: Renita Pizzitola

**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

This book was surprisingly good. I'm glad I picked it. I'm always in the mood for a slightly sappy romance, and this was perfect. I liked the happy ending as well (after reading nothing but series books it was nice to read a stand alone with a happy ending). The characters in the book were believable. They were in college, but weren't crazy college kids, nor were they dramatic and over the top. The plot was also easily believable, nothing ridiculous happened (and what did happen could happen anywhere).

I liked Brinley, she was a strong female lead. Independent and intelligent, but still admits when she needs help or needs a friend. I liked her friendship with Mason (maybe we'll get to know him better in a new book?), even if it was completely obvious that he was in love with her. I didn't really like how she was still getting over something that happened in high school, but I can understand it. Having to see Ryder every single day and be reminded of it would suck balls. So, no surprise, when she sees him at a party in college, she freaks the hell out. But, of course, they overcome what happened and start talking to each other. 

So Ryder is this awesome, hot, sexy, tough guy. But what he did overrode that (for me at least). I know that he stopped and didn't continue on with the competition with Brinley, but the fact that he did go on the website and participate...are you KIDDING ME!? No, hell to the no. I like that he turns himself around, and protects Brinley, and the whole scene with her mom made me like him a bit more.

Overall, the book was good. It was predictable, but a nice book to read when cozied up with a cup of tea. The characters had problems with their family (who doesn't) but they don't let it affect them and turn them into horrible people. They grow from it and flourish. Also, I liked that the family drama was not forefront, and it didn't detract from the main story. Nor was it over-the-top stupid drama. It could happen in any family. Definite recommendation for those of you who like happy endings and romance.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tears of Tess: Pepper Winters

**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

So, it has taken me a long time to post a review for this book. Normally, I try to incorporate some humor into the reviews, but this one words. This book isn't humorous, but still great. It isn't the first book I have read that was about sex slaves and the like, but it is by far the best. The one word that comes to mind is phenomenal. This book is not for those of you who want some fluffy romance novel, nor for those who have triggers that you need to avoid. This book was dark, hot, and tough to get through at times, but was completely and totally worth it. I guess you have to read it for yourself to find out. I will try to do this book justice in the review, but I don't know it it will happen.

Tess Snow is our main character, and she is strong. When on a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, she is captured by slavers. She is dehumanized, beaten, and goes through many other horrific experiences before she meets her new master. During all of this, she never loses her will to live. After arriving at her new master's house, she lives there for a while before trying to escape, it doesn't work, and bad things happen as a result. Living with Q (her master), she learns more about herself, and begins to fall in love with Q. I think this would be defined as Stockholm Syndrome, but after finishing the book, I do not think I could classify it as such. Q is not an evil person, and does care for Tess, he just has a very interesting way of showing it. I liked that Tess never let her spirit die, she was always willing to fight, even though she knew that she could be punished. I enjoyed being in her mind and feeling her confusion about Q and what he is doing, what he wants from Tess.

Throughout the book, I found myself rooting for the couple (I guess we could call them that?), but then questioning myself as to why in the hell I was rooting for them to get together. This book was dark, and the author did an absolutely fabulous job of crafting this story. The lines were definitely blurred with regards to the sex that Q and Tess had, whether it was consensual, and whether or not this was a case of Stockholm. This book was slightly hard to get through because it was so heavy. I strongly caution those of you who don't like this type thing to begin with STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. 

Now let us talk about Q. Q is awesome, horrible, hot, and a badass. All rolled into one confusing as hell package. He is good, but has some pretty big demons that he needs to come to terms with. I loved realizing that he wasn't as bad as he seemed, and that everyone in the town knows him. I did feel really bad for him after some of the things that Tess put him through (again, I wondered why the hell I was rooting for him...wasn't he supposed to be bad?). But I still loved him. 

Overall, I give this book all of the stars (yes all of them). The plot was addicting and well written. This book took me on a thrilling journey from beginning to end. With a brilliant set of characters and just enough dark twists and turns to keep me on the edge of my seat, I would happily recommend this to anyone interested!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Carnival: KB Nelson

**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

So you know that saying about not judging a book by it's cover? It is true. This book was judged based on the cover. In my defense, the cover is pretty cool with the bit of bokeh effect, and the faded image of the carnival, right? Right? Maybe not. So then I read the description, and it also looked decent. And I decided, why not? And....I shouldn't have done it. The book started off pretty good, meaningless hookup with a hot carnie (this should have been the first warning bell), followed by a night of crazy teenage partying (this should have been the second warning bell, but I did not listen). I guess I do know people who behave like this, but they drive me nuts in real life, so no surprise they drove me nuts in the book. I am NOT a partier like these people, throwing drugs around because I've never done it and don't want my boyfriend to feel he needs to hide it from me (alarm bells are blaring in the background now...but I still do not listen). I guess some people may like this book, but it just wasn't for me.

Between all of the above mentioned situations, and being a rude bitch to her ex, rolling with a drug dealer, staying at home instead of leaving for college, even though she has a very weak reason for doing so, I did not care for Charlie, our female lead character. The further I went into the book, the more ridiculous things she did. After realizing that her best friend had the hots for Charlie's ex and her dad (alarm bells gave up at this point, figuring I was just an idiot) I had a hard time finishing the book.

Charlie falls for Blue (our male lead), who is many things, but I do have to admit he is sweet, not the most upstanding citizen, but he does care for Charlie, and wants her to be happy in life. He even mentions that he would go back and let her be with her ex, if that is what she wants, yet she just didn't seem to care what he did for her. Blue has a few friends from the carnival, but he hates his dad, yet we never really get an explanation as why or how this came about (aside from the fact that his dad had him dealing drugs). Blue has gone and traveled much more than Charlie, who lives in a small town. Now, I was born and raised in a small town, and I know they are boring, but not boring enough to do many of the things done in this book. Blue wants to protect Charlie, and does a pretty decent job. Deep down they do care for each other, it just shows differently.

Overall, this book was ok, and I use that term loosely. The beginning was great, then progressively got worse. Which could be why I do not like it. It is hard to remember the good parts. I really liked Charlie's ex, he was a good guy, and would have taken care of Charlie until they died. I was shocked to see what happened to him by the end of the book (I'm trying not to give anything away here people, but I tip my hat to you if you make it that far). There were some funny parts in the book, but at most it made me giggle in my head, and I really give authors props when they can make me laugh out loud, instead of sitting on the couch with a scowl on my face. I may give this author another chance, the whole falling in love with a carnie and carnival aspect was original, and I liked that, but could have been done a bit better.

The plot had a few holes, and the story skipped around a bit. But, let's be honest here, the depiction of teenagers and college kids in the book was pretty dead on. To me this wasn't funny, it was sad, but true.

Ricochet: Skye Jordan

**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

So this book was pretty awesome. I loved it, and had a VERY hard time putting it down. Ryker and Rachel's relationship is sweet...but intense. Ryker definitely had damage, but the way he treats Rachel at different times is deplorable. Yes, he apologizes, but I think I would have at least slapped him at some point before forgiving him. Rachel is strong to do what she does in the book. I love the brotherly relationships she had with the rest of the people she worked with.

Ryker (Nathan) is the type of guy that every girl wants. He is, by definition, swoon worthy. A good guy at heart, with a wild side and a little bit edgy. Not to mention awesome in bed, giver of multiple orgasms, with enough stamina to do marathon sex. He's got scars, sexy tattoos, and of course, muscles. He's a hero, cares about those around him, basically perfect except his PTSD, almost too perfect. We hardly hear anything bad about him, or even anything negative, except a bit when Troy warns Rachel. Other than that, it is just him bashing himself. During the book, he gets flashbacks. Often when he hears explosions (duh) which, predictably, causes some problems. However, I really liked him. I thought he overreacted by cutting Rachel out so brutally, but whatever. 

The only word that I could possibly use to describe Rachel is strong. Rachel is unbelievably strong. Going through everything with her sister, her family, and then going after Nathan. And taking care of Nathan after his flashbacks, encouraging him to get help. Rachel made me laugh during the banter with her coworkers, but I am glad that she finally sticks up for herself, making sure that everyone knows she is qualified to take on the job needed to be done. Normally, I don't like love triangles, but throwing in Marx as another guy who wants Rachel actually worked in this book. I think it really forced Nathan to step up and act on his feelings...even though he was kind of a little bitch about it. Rachel's sister really pissed me off, I just wanted to smack her for what she did, and then expecting Rachel to automatically forgive her and forget about it. I'm just glad we didn't meet Dante up close and personal, I'm sure my phone would have been hurled viciously across the room and into a wall. Which would have been a shame, because I really did like the book.

Overall, the plot was good, enough conflict to keep me interested, but still a nice and sweet (except for the sex, that was ridiculously hot) romance book. Now, about the sex, hot, hot, HOT. It was a little kinky (yay!) but Nathan wasn't an uber dom always ordering Rachel around. I liked that he was kinky though. Also, they weren't always having sex. They each had their own lives, and sure, they may have been a bit distracted by the great sex, but they didn't lay in bed all day, neglecting their friends and the rest of their lives. The book didn't jump around, but still gave enough background as to what happened to Nathan. Rachel's background was a little fuzzier, but easy enough to get the main idea of what happened with her sister until the author does go into detail and explain it. There was no whining about unnecessary shit in the book, which I greatly appreciate.

I have never read this author before, but I will be reading the first two books in the series now. Hopefully they are just as great!