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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-17 22:33
The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld) - Gena Showalter

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Baden, former Keeper of Distrust, has something new living inside him, something darker than any mere demon. Bound to the King of the Underworld, he struggles to fit into his new role of assassin, however his biggest challenge comes in the form of Katarina - a dog trainer that happens to be the wife of a very troublesome man.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

Let me start by saying that this instalment's number twelve in an ongoing series (Lords of the Underworld), and at the beginning - it's been seven years since I picked up the first book - I absolutely adored Showalter's steamy and mythological world. My very first reviews are of this series, where I found the characters, the stories, and the sexual heat all new and captivating. I even gave five star ratings to a couple, The Darkest Pleasure and The Darkest Passion. I had nothing but praise.

That time has unfortunately passed.

Whilst these books will always have a place in my heart, and I'll probably, against my better judgement, continue on until they come to a final conclusion, I'm truthful to myself in that I'm not enjoying them as I once did. At this point I'm just regurgitating my complaints, and it feels more like a chore to get down my thoughts. I'll however try and be coherent about my reasoning - why do I now largely dislike what was once beloved?

- The characters tend to fuse together, becoming indistinguishable. They're too similar, often having the same mental outlook, the same behaviour and even the same dialogue. Say a bunch of them were in the same scene and it wasn't directly stated who was speaking, well, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

- The sex has become stale and it fails to thrill me anymore. What was once downright dirty has turned tame. I don't need an excuse to prefer the eroticism that once dominated the romance.

- Plot inconsistencies are plentiful. I'm not even going to go into detail, but it's clear that Showalter made a decision to change already established storylines. Baden's past in particular completely confused me.

- The writing's declined on a monumental level. Full sentences are a thing of the past. Example:

Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?”

“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.”

Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad.


Which brings me to the dynamic of Baden and Katarina, and how she ultimately considered him an animal in need of training. When someone doesn't even think of their significant other as an actual person, then there's undoubtedly something wrong with the relationship. I liked the hellhounds, though, but that's the only thing, and it's not enough to justify a higher rating.

As for the whole William and Gillian debacle - I just didn't care.

In conclusion: I initially rated this two stars, however I believe one to be more appropriate in regards to how I feel. I'm not into this series anymore, but I feel an obligation to trudge onward. If only I could walk away.

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/17/the-darkest-torment-by-gena-showalter
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review 2018-02-17 13:41
The Hotter You Burn (Original Heartbreakers) - Gena Showalter

Book two focuses on the playboy he-slut, (her phrasing for him) Beck, and Harlow Glass the school yard bully turned homeless girl who has been secretly living off the land the men now own that she lost. This one was so good. Better than book one because unlike book one Beck didn’t sleep with a sister first, he just slept with everyone else but when he sees Harlow stealing his pie from inside his home, he can’t let her get away. So he takes a page out of Jase’s playbook and hires Harlow as a freelance artist for his company. While having her work for him, he sets out to win her and she was hard to win. She knows his reputation and she knows that she can’t be a one-and-done girl on his resume of conquests. But she also can't help and see what others don’t, that he is just as scared as she is, but where her scars are on the outside, his are all internal. I loved it. Loved their story. Loved returning to Strawberry Valley and seeing how Jase and Brook Lynn are doing. These guys are so scarred and it takes a special kind of woman to win them for keeps. Great story.

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review 2018-02-12 15:26
Audio Review: The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1) by Gena Showalter (Narrator: Savannah Richards)
The Closer You Come (Original Heartbreakers) - Gena Showalter
The Closer You Come

The Original Heartbreakers #1
Gena Showalter (Narrator: Savannah Richards)
Contemporary Romance
Recorded Books
March 31, 2015
Audiobook
13 hours and 46 minutes
Audible Romance Package

 

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.

 

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. Model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty—but he's determined to play by the rules.

 

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been the responsible type. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and wouldn’t know fun if it bit her. Or so she thinks. Jase makes bad look oh, so good. Dangerous, sexy and tempting as sin, he is everything she never knew she wanted. Passion sizzles between them, but is it enough to melt his resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what he needs…

 

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Gena Showalter is well know for her paranormal romances. I love her Lords of the Underworld series, but I’m also glad I picked up her contemporary romance to try. I feel in love with Strawberry Valley and it’s characters.

 

Jase Hollister has been out of prison for six months and is now trying to make a life for himself. His two best friends or bothers, have all come to Strawberry Valley to start fresh. All Jase wants is peace, quiet, and solitude. He bears some major scars from his time in prison and his past; before prison. He dons’t show this on the outside, but inside you see he’s scared and scarred.

 

Brook Lynn Dillon has lived in Strawberry Valley her entire life. Brook Lynn and her sister, Jessie Kay, have struggled to survive. Their past was wonderful until tragidy struck their family. Brook Lynn has and is working herself hard to support herself and her sister ,who is a loose party girl and besides all that she was treated unkind as a kid for her hearing ads.

 

To say Jase and Brook Lynn don’t have a good first meeting is an understatement and to make it worse he’s bedded her sister. As time moves on and they get to know each other, the chemistry between them sizzles. They both have issues and Jase doesn’t make it easy for anyone to get close.

 

These two where a lot of fun. The slow build in their romance was enduring and the sexual tension was off the charts. When these two finally get together, oh my, do the sparks fly. They had to work through their issues and fight for each other. Jase and Brook Lynn have some good exchanges which where funny and enjoyable to hear and that “to do” list was a great addition to the story. I had a taste of this “to do” list concept in the novella and loved it so much, I was hopping it would show up in the other books and it did.

 

I really like the small town feel of Strawberry Valley and the characters were so reminiscent of what people go through in life. All the different trials, issues, and tribulations. Life is not easy. It has it’s good moments and it’s bad. We must learn to deal, move on, and fight for those we love.

 

Audio Narration: Savannah Richards was wonderful. Her narration was enjoyable and she brought out each character, handling the different voices and genders splendidly. She also brought the slow burning romance alive and the emotional issues to life.

 

I’m hooked! I had a lot of fun with The Closer You Come. It’s sweet, emotional, fun, and sexy with a little bit of suspense. I plan on picking up the next book in audiobook for this series.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge (2018): Audiobook

 

 


 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/02/audio-review-the-closer-you-come-the-original-heartbreakers-1-by-gena-showalter-narrator-savannah-richards/?ct=t(RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN)&mc_cid=ad269dfc2c&mc_eid=e0bf19cfb1
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review 2018-01-19 15:07
Audio Review: The One You Want (The Original Heartbreakers #0.5) by Gena Showalter (Narrator: Savannah Richards)
The One You Want (Original Heartbreakers) - Gena Showalter
The One You Want

The Original Heartbreakers #0.5
Gena Showalter (Narrator: Savannah Richards)
Contemporary Romance - Novella
Recorded Books
January 15th 2015
Audiobook
4 hours and 24 minutes
Audible Romance Package

 

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers—about sexy bad boys each meeting their match—with a special prequel novella!

 

In small-town Oklahoma, reputation is everything, and Kenna Starr will do anything to overcome hers. The supposed bad girl is determined to walk the straight and narrow, a seemingly impossible task when Tall, Dark and Sexy shows up…

 

Rich and powerful, Dane Michaelson is every woman's dream. When he returns to Strawberry Valley after a sixteen-year absence, he is unprepared for the redheaded girl he's never been able to forget. She's all woman now—and he's never wanted anyone more. But to have her, he'll have to break through her defenses… and surrender his own.

 

* First published in the 2014 anthology, All For You.

 

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The One You Want is a novella in The Original Heartbreakers series by Gena Showalter. It introduces us to Strawberry Valley and several of the townsfolk and new residences. 

I really enjoyed this novella more then I expected too. I can’t wait to continue into the series.

 

Kenna is a hard working single mother who has had to deal with town gossip and labels that aren’t true. 

 

Dane used to live in Strawberry Valley, but his family left and now he’s back and boy has he grown up, in all the best ways. 

 

Dane and Kenna both have issues and things in their past that they haven’t dealt with. I fell in love with both Dane and Kenna at the start. Kenna held her ground throughout the book. I liked the friendship Kenna has with Brook Lynn and that crazy silly bucket list was just too much fun. And, Kenna’s daughter was just wonderful. She has no filter and with kids it’s so true. They say anything and everything. 

 

The setting and characters were so reminiscent of what people go through when they think they know your past, what you’ve done, and how you’e acted.

 

I adored this novella, I loved the setting, and I loved the characters.

 

Audio Review: This is my first experience with Savannah Richards. She brought this novella to life. Everything felt more real and intense. I thoroughly enjoyed all the voices. They came across clear, crisp, and well defined. The audio was pleasant and comfortable to listen too. I plan to continue the series in this formate.

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

Challenge(s) (2018): Try Something New (Series) | Audiobook 

 

 


 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/01/audio-review-the-one-you-want-the-original-heartbreakers-0-5-by-gena-showalter-narrator-savannah-richards
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review 2018-01-03 23:59
The Closer You Come (Original Heartbreakers) - Gena Showalter

Jase is an ex-con with a lot of scars and nightmares. All he wants is a quiet life and a fresh start. Brook Lynn is a small town girl trying to make ends meet and rope in her wild and crazy older sister. When they meet, he is actually in bed with her older sister, and she doesn’t give him a second thought until he dumps her into their backyard pool to cool off from her fight with her party girl sister. From that moment on they can’t help but think of each other and when he offers her a job, she can’t resist (partly because she gets fired from her other two jobs because of her sister and her health issues). I loved their chemistry. I liked that the relationship developed really slow and steady, it wasn’t rushed, it felt real. I liked how she helped him with his demons and the sparks definitely flew and were very hot. Their passion and developing love was great to watch. I loved how he was redeemed and saw that he did have a right to a happily ever after and how she was strong enough to go for what she really wanted, which was a life with Jase.

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