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review 2018-05-17 19:54
The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry
The Air He Breathes - Brittainy C. Cherry,Brian Pallino,Erin Mallon

I’ve had this sucker downloaded to my phone for over a year so figured it was about time to get it done. Note to all: I knew nothing of the plot before going into it because I bought it a year ago and my memory is crap. The guy on the cover looked promising though. So what follows is likely ALL my fault. Or mostly my fault. I will not accept the blame for all of this. Namely the last ¼ when something I anticipated in the first hour comes true. This is the rare case that I will admit that it sucks to be right.


Tristan and Elizabeth do not meet cute. They meet when she hits his golden retriever (which is later described as a “small/med dog” so I am confused. My golden’s have both been large/x-large but maybe I fed them too many treats!). I will admit that I almost deleted the thing off my phone when this happened because I was not up for this, would never be up for this, truth be told. Elizabeth does the right thing and drives him to the vet since he’s running around town without shoes and the vet is a mile away. He verbally abuses her for most of the ride in front of her five year old daughter. Apparently she just ran into the town asshole. Of all the luck. He’s scared and I felt for him but he was being a real dick all the same. Fortunately the poor dog only has a fracture but what a completely crappy way to start out a romance! Tristan is so emotionally fragile that he breaks down into big heaving sobs when he hears that his dog is ok. Yikes. My heart was not ready for this level of heartbreaking sorrow and it only gets more crushing from there.


These two are so broken and so emotionally raw that it is painful to read their stories. Both have lost their spouses in a car accident. Tristan actually lost his 8 year old son and his wife. Neither are dealing with their grief very well. He has channeled his into anger and she is a walking zombie. The first half is so grief laden it is almost physically painful to read. They forge an unhealthy relationship based on sadness and sex. It’s frankly creepy and very freaking sad and it continues to hurt to read about these two. They eventually realize what they’ve been doing is not a good idea and forge a real friendship that turns into something more and I LOVED this. I was ready to give it 4 ½ stars. It was gorgeous and heartfelt and full of healing goodness. The book should’ve ended right here but sadly it didn’t.


Someone mistakenly thought that adding in some crazy plot twists, suspense and loads of unneeded drama were needed and turned the lovely ending into a shitshow of epic proportions before finally giving us a HEA in the epilogue. I’m bumping off a full point for all of this nonsense.


So anyway, if you want some drama in your reading life and need to shed a few tears then read this. The characters are very well written, well matched and the romance believably developed. The little girl, Emma, was the kind of child that I actually enjoy reading about in romance. She’s funny and loves scary movies and monsters and dogs. She is awesome and I want to read her book someday. There’s also an ongoing thread featuring feathers that will gut you every time they appear. It’s all worth reading. Just be warned that the first third, as my notes say, and my notes do not lie, is “so fucking depressing I may as well be reading a bleak horror novel.” The next bit is five star material and so beautifully cleansing after all of the pain but argh that last bit before the very end needed to be exorcised right out of the book!

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review 2018-05-09 19:57
Five Dares by Eli Easton
Five Dares - Bret Easton Ellis

I needed a little change of pace from all of the darkness and smart-stuff I’ve been reading lately and this book was just the thing. It was also about 6 months late over @ Netgalley. Oops. I don't know why they give me stuff. 

So, the setup is completely ridiculous but you know what? I don’t even care! 

Here it is:

Andy and Jake have been best friends for years. The pair are known for doing stupid stunts but the latest is the stupidest of all. While drunk, Andy decides that holding lit firecrackers will impress their college buds so Jake goes along with it. Andy says he’s tested this out, so why not? The stunt predictably leaves them both with badly burned hands that will take months to heal. They decide to heal together at Andy’s family cottage (his family is wealthy) where two kind souls come in daily to help them shower, provide nursing care and prepare their meals. Soon they tire of Netflix and the inability to, ahem, pleasure themselves (kind of tough without hands) and they start experimenting with each other. Andy, previously straight, starts getting feelings for his bisexual friend who has loved him forever and you just know this is going to get messy.

I told you the setup was ridiculous but hey, I still don’t care. It’s sexy and fun and sometimes you just need a little frivolity in your reading life.




These two were best friends and that came across in their thoughts and actions. Neither wanted to step over a line and lose the other and neither could come right out and express their true feelings fearing they’d lose their best friend. It’s a sticky situation, to be sure. The relationship started out as simply a means to ease their sexual pain but it soon morphed into something that had been simmering below the surface for years.

I really enjoyed this story for all of its sweet sexiness. The only thing I wasn’t too thrilled about were all of the flashbacks to their silly stunts in the past. Those kept throwing me out of the current story. One or two would’ve done the trick, if anyone were asking me. Other than that this story was exactly what I hoped it would be. There was plenty of time spent developing both characters which would’ve been a complete disaster done wrong as they were pretty much the only two in story! There’s a little angst but it was never unbearable. I actually enjoyed Andy’s struggles to figure basically everything out; his future, his sexual preferences, his career path. Argh, so stressful! But when the light finally turns on it feels genuine. That isn’t something I can say about a lot of romances. I really loved these two and almost finished this book in one sitting because I just didn’t want to put it down. They were both sweet and slightly goofy and acted their age without being obnoxious. If you’re ever looking for a fun romance this is a pretty good one. 

Now back to the horror . . .

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review 2018-01-11 18:11
Hard Core by Tess Oliver
Hard Core - Tess Oliver

I haven’t a clue why this book is called Hard core because it’s not hard core at all and that’s not a terrible thing. Just don’t be misled by the title thinking you’re going into some gritty, taboo, murder filled read. You might be disappointed if that’s the case.

Hard Core is a sweet, slightly saucy little love story. Ledger has recently been released from prison for a stupid but rather harmless offense. He’s covered in tattoos but he’s nothing but sweetness on the inside.

He did not murder or harm anyone, if you were still wondering.

Jacy runs a coffee shop and is recovering from an abusive relationship and a devastating secret she doesn’t share with anyone when she meets Ledger. They soon fall in love but Ledger has a secret of his own. A secret which will come back to bite him in his perfect butt and possibly ruin everything he’s been living for the past few years.

This was a straight-forward, slightly predicable but pleasant romance with a likable, if sometimes misguided, hero and a heroine who didn’t get on my last nerve. I’d recommend reading it in paper as I wasn’t overly thrilled with either narrator. I love the idea of two narrators for this type of story but have to admit it threw me at first and took some getting used to. Lauren Sweet voices Jacy and her voice was so nasally at times that it made me cringe. Marcio Catalano does his best with Ledger but I felt his voice was too cultured and smooth for a man like Ledger. A little roughness would’ve made it work better for me. I’m not sure either narrator was the best choice for these two characters but they weren’t abominable so if audio is your only thing give it a go.

 

 

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review 2017-08-25 16:46
Pound of Flesh by Jessa Kane
Pound of Flesh - Jessa Kane

This little story is about a recently released, bulldog faced convict, built like an ogre who takes a young (but not too young) beauty hostage to get back at her brother for some reason or another (but mostly it's the sex he wants, if you're wondering).

 

She's pretty cool with it. Guess she likes monstrous men who take what they want. Hey, we all have our things . . .

 

This is "ravage me, I love it" soft porn. My brain was tired and I needed something slightly offensive and silly to take my mind off my real life woes and this one did the trick.

 

Sorta recommended, I guess?

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review 2017-08-08 20:04
Dark Water by K.L. White
Dark Water - K.L. White

Benjamin has had enough of this cruel, cruel world. Blind and battered and suffering from PTSD after returning from service in the military, he visits the beach where he and his now dead best friend Rez shared many good times. He intends to drown himself but before he can do that he hears horse hooves and then, strangely enough, he hears Rez’s voice.

Rez is not only alive but he claims he is a kelpie arisen from the sea and must take a human sacrifice to appease and keep the bloodthirst of his band of kelpies at bay. Because he touched the water with death in his thoughts, Benjamin is marked for death and Rez is charged with bringing it. Uh oh.

So, what’s a kelpie, you may ask? According to this book and google legend, a kelpie is a shapeshifting water horse that watches over and saves hapless humans from drowning and shark attacks but twice a year they must sacrifice a villain or willing victim (and eat them!) or the bloodlust may overcome them. 



Don’t you love it? So beautiful yet so very sinister. 

Anyhow, once Rez realizes it’s his buddy that is marked for death, he seeks advice to remove the mark. This is where things get a wee bit wonky for me. The only way he can remove it is by having sexy times with Benjamin and making him his mate for life. Rez likes men but Benjamin is straight. Or at least he thought so . . . 

I’ll say nothing more about the plot but I will say that the brevity of this story was definitely a deterrent to my falling in love with it. I don’t mind a good gay for you love story but this one didn’t work because there was no time for things to develop naturally. It was rushed and, in the end, I felt the relationship was based more on lust, comfort and outside pressures than any true love match. Add another hundred pages to this novella and it could’ve been an emotional angst-fest that I would’ve adored. As written it was just a strange little tale of lust. Not horrible but not all that memorable either.

 

I received a copy of this ARC from Netgalley and Carina Press.

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