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review 2017-03-11 06:25
Cirque: Act 1 ~ Ashleigh Giannoccaro
Cirque Act 1 - Ashleigh Giannoccaro

Nothing is ever all shining lights and glitter, even when we don't see it there is darkness, a bad side of the coin.



As a young lad Sivan spent many evenings at the circus with his family. He'd sneak off to a familiar trailer and watch with fascination the carnal events taking place between one particular clown and showgirl. Since childhood, Sivan's obsession started and lasted into his adulthood. Now hiding away from the regular world he keeps his secret where it belongs: tucked and hidden away.

Imogene comes from a trying past yet she has circus in her blood- she can't escape and wouldn't want to- she's a natural. Once Sivan sets his eyes on her the attraction is overpowering. But what happens in a world where no one loves clowns?

When I picked this up I knew it would be unlike anything I've read and suffice to say I was happily impressed! This was soooo good! And so unique. I did also get the added thrill of taunting my fiance that I was reading about a sexy clown doing naughty clown things (he is TERRIFIED of clowns).



One thing that really stood out to me was the classic hedonism in this author's writing style- even the words were sexy. The way the dancers moved, the application of make-up, everything had a sexually charged description. Even when there wasn't a lot of action happening, I was lost in the pages.

The characters themselves were also a welcomed change- it isn't often to read a darker romance with a feisty girl with a pixie haircut! No doe eyes here! Imogene was something new and a character unlike any I've ever read before. I couldn't imagine a better fallen hero like Sivan who could make a clown come alive in our day and age. Sivan was a rough and gruff rugby player but deep inside he's truly his own sadistic version of a sad clown.



Overall an amazing read & one that will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend this book to readers across various genres!! xx

My theme song for the book: *Dirty Pretty by In This Moment*

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review 2017-03-01 19:31
Four Crows ~ Lily White
Four Crows - Lily White

Women were meant to be respected. They were meant to be treated with care and protected against the injustices of the world, but I guessed that meant nothing to the thieves in the night- the monsters that fed on the fragilities and vulnerabilities of those who they considered weaker than themselves.



A young mother and child torn from the man who swore to protect them.
A soldier devastated not only after the atrocities of war.
A young girl with her innocence in precarious balance.
And a family of 3 men who would one day pay for their sins.


W.O.W. I’ve read Lily White in the past but that couldn’t prepare me for just how amazing this story was. I’m almost at a loss of words writing this review. Four Crows had every element a dark romance/thriller reader could dream of. Mystery, passion, violence, and a few major twists to keep the action at a steady pace throughout the book.

I'm a rabid dog off his leash, a hungry tiger uncaged, a feral wolf that's been injured and abused, only to be set free.



Elliott spent the last 14 years chasing the people responsible for stealing his wife and child away from him. After the police declaring the disappearances a cold case and many, many long nights, Elliott finally believes he may have found the individuals responsible. He sees an easy in- seduce the young daughter of the male ringleader of the trio of terror. Little does he know Maggie, the daughter, has a hidden strength she may tap into at any time. After all, blood IS thicker than water.

The sings of the father don't lie on the shoulders of his daughter. It's the sons that bear the weight.

Maggie has spent her life sheltered yet witnessed the atrocities committed by the men in her family. She dreams of freedom and to have a choice in her life. A choice to run, a choice to stay, just a choice period. When a stranger comes into her orbit she believes for once she may have a choice for her future, but any decision comes with consequences.



The dynamic between Maggie and Elliott was palpable and could be felt throughout reading. They were perfect prisms of light and darkness to each other. At about 40% I already had such a book hangover and a lot of the action was just starting to get good. The two characters were so dimensional and “real” my emotions were at an all-time high reading this.

I also enjoyed the author’s writing style where the atrocities surrounding Elliott’s family were left somewhat ambiguous yet also discovered throughout the course of the novel. There were no flashbacks in time to EXACTLY what happened to them but Elliott did finally learn the truth in a way an outsider can learn. It made the book all more real and even unsettling as well.

Overall, this book was gold. I can’t recommend it enough to readers across various genres- romance, thriller, mystery, horror- there is something in this story for everyone. xx

*Received an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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review 2017-02-02 23:17
Pretty Lost Dolls ~ Ker Dukey & K. Webster
Pretty Lost Dolls - K. Webster,Ker Dukey
Pretty Lost Dolls picks up right where Pretty Stolen Dolls left off; with the help of Macy, Jade finds herself back in her cell. But this time Jade isn’t the scared little girl she once was… She is a detective, trained, ruthless, and she was getting out alive once and for all.

Benny doesn't have little Jade.
He has Detective Jade Phillips.
The department's most ruthless cop.
A b*tch.
A rumored dike.
A f*cking nightmare.


I still feel aghast at myself for rating a book with Ker Dukey 4 stars (Pretty Stolen Dolls) but the first installment lost my interest because I didn’t quite connect with Jade. This installment still kind of went that way- BUT Benny’s backstory and Macy’s unraveling took the plot and action through the roof! This is what I’m talking about! Whoa! *this was intense*



Jade, as a character, I still find wishy-washy- and it was hard for me to empathize with her point of view. She is not a compassionate person in my opinion. With Benny showing vulnerability I would have expected her to feel some sort of Stockholm syndrome towards him but nope- she was almost robotic. I must escape. I hate him.

Okay, now onto the plot- did I say it was intense? OMG I could not put this down. This was darker, grittier, and more captivating than the first book. There wasn’t a dull moment- just nonstop twists, revelations, and action. We finally learn more about Benny and how he came to be- which is dark and f’ed up in itself. And Macy- she takes creepy doll to a new level. Wanna play a game?



Dirty Little Doll,
You are invited to a tea party.
Dress pretty and don't be late!
XOXO,
Broken Little Doll


Now. I know this can’t be the end. With the Empathy series we got some novellas. To make this convenient I have provided the authors with a list of novellas I would like:
• Macy’s point of view
• The future novella with a character introduced at the end
• Benny’s full story
• A Bethany’s point of view


Please. Please. Don’t make me beg!



5 stars hands down xx
 
 

 

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review 2017-01-29 06:03
The Masterpiecers ~ Olivia Wildenstein
The Masterpiecers - Olivia Wildenstein

"Do you know what it feels like when your future contains no pigment, no sparkle? Because that's what mine looks like. I have nothing...no one besides my sister."

Aster and Ivy are identical twins yet they couldn’t be more different. Ivy is the polished, artistic, and charismatic sister whereas Aster shows great insecurity and has many quirks. Chosen to be on the reality show, The Masterpiecers , Ivy is hoping for her big break in the art world. Contestants compete to win an elusive spot at the namesake school. While Aster is her biggest fan, Aster will be watching the competition behind bars.

Ivy


Aster


Awaiting release to a murder out of self-defense, Aster soon learns her sister doesn’t quite share the same adoration. Both of the girls have secrets. Both of them begin to start losing trust in the other. Who holds the truth?

I haven’t read a New Adult book in a lonnnggg time but I was pleased with how much I enjoyed this story! The premise was completely unique and unlike any other story I’ve read. There were elements of romance, intrigue, and crime. I absolutely loved it!

Both characters were multi-dimensional and the story continuously switched between their two viewpoints. Somewhat likable, somewhat unlikable I still found myself rooting for each girl despite their (heavy) flaws. Aster had tunnel vision while in her mindset as all of her mental energy revolves around Ivy. Will Ivy win? What is Ivy doing? Around and around we see how the dynamic between the sisters has evolved since their childhood. The “good” child and the “bad” child so to speak.



Although the story was fast-paced and exciting I did think some threads weren’t really resolved. I know there is a second book but I think a little too much never had closure- for example, we are still missing the connection between Aster’s “victim” and Ivy. I wanted to find out what REALLY happened there. I wouldn’t necessarily say this book ends on a cliffhanger but there is still a lot of story left- I can only hope all threads will be sealed after I pick up book toe. Overall an enjoyable five star read.

*Arc received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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review 2017-01-25 22:07
The Grownup ~ Gillian Flynn
The Grownup - Gillian Flynn

I didn't stop giving hand jobs because I wasn't good at it. I stopped giving hand jobs because I was the best at it.

Skilled as a con artist from a young age, an unnamed woman has morphed her business of deception as a soft-core sex worker and then later, a psychological intuitive. When she meets Susan, sad, lonely, rich Susan the narrator really decides its her time to go for it-- to get recommendations from Susan's friends and make her business exploiting poor gullible housewives.

I received this book as a freebie in my Book of the Month subscription and I absolutely loved it! I can't say much more about the plot but Gillian Flynn writes narcissistic women like no other author! Her eloquence and unsettling candor is bone-chilling at times.

There was a little bit of everything in this story--humor, the paranormal, a child to rival Damien, and a small tinge of horror. The ending is left ambiguous which definitely spiked the creepy mood BUT I would have liked just a little MORE-- at least one of the several ends tied up! Ugh so good! You got me Mz Flynn!

But I wasn't a well-read bookworm; I was just a dumb whore in the right library.

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