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review 2017-03-11 06:29
Lucky You ~ Erika Carter
Lucky You: A Novel - Erika Carter

3 women.
One café.
Multiple inner demons.




Lucky You follows 3 women from Arkansas as they navigate post-collegiate life with anything but grace and dignity. After reaching an emotional dead end, Chloe and Ellie decide to join Rachel in the Ozark Mountains to capture true “health.” Health is a way of living doctored by Rachel’s charismatic yet cult-like boyfriend, Autry. Here they renounce their vices from the “old world.”

The survivalist aspect of this book definitely had my intention but while reading I learned it was anything but survivalist. Each of these women became hauntingly ill both mentally and physically during the book so I was a little disappointed that the book intimated at survivalist when in reality it was more cult-like simplicity.

Transformation.
Rachel’s story line painted her as an enigma; we truly don’t know WHO she is because she doesn’t know WHO she is. Rachel absorbs a persona and becomes that persona. She has absorbed everything about “health” and is a shell of her former self.

Narcissism.
Ellie is right up there as a sexually addicted narcissist. Ellie enjoys the humiliation she receives and causes- she never lets anyone get too close and if they do- she discards them quicker than you could imagine. Of course, the female narcissist in this book is blonde and beautiful; desired by all men and envied by the women.

Worst nightmare.
Sometimes a girl’s worst nightmare- turning out like your mother. Chloe recollects the delusional paranoia she witnessed her mother endure as a child. Now as she reaches her mid-20s Chloe begins to suffer some of the same delusions.

Overall, this book was more of a character analysis than a “story” per se. You can’t escape the dark corners of your personality – no matter what. Anyone who has taken an Abnormal Psychology class would enjoy this book in my opinion. 4 stars xx

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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 2017-03-11 06:12
Dark Protector ~ Celia Aaron
Dark Protector - Celia Aaron

My flower's thorns were already dripping with the blood of her enemies.



Conrad Mercer watches the pretty little florist from a distance-a safe distance- or so he believes. When his florist, Charlie, is stolen by men out to get him Conrad surges forward to rescue the damsel he admires. Charlie knows there’s a man in a black Audi watching her but for some reason, she feels safer with him out there. When she ends up in a dingy basement with bad men she is thrust into the life of the mysterious man.

He was a battlefield, his story told with blood and scar tissue.



Once the door is opened it can’t be closed. Conrad may have found the missing piece he was always looking for but Charlie has dark secrets of her own.

Celia Aaron is definitely becoming a comfort read for me- her characters are flawed yet lovable and she totally nails the classic dynamic in dark romance. I absolutely love the fierce yet vulnerable heroine- she’s soft yet guarded and the perfect match for her total Alpha male who’s a bad boy with redeeming qualities. *drool*

Her soft breaths created a soundtrack that could soothe even the most vicious beast, myself included.



What put this as a 4.5 versus a 5-star rating depended on the fact that were soooo many opportunities to really gut the reader. Multiple times I felt at the brink for the action to get really DARK- which the dark and sadistic reader in me wanted. I totally understand this isn’t the writer’s style but I did find it a little unbelievable the heroine would be in the jaws of danger and narrowly escape unscathed each time.

Also, wow. There were some incredible back stories in this book! Completely unique and new- I want Charlie’s story BEFORE Conrad- now that’s a plot line I’m talking about it! Sorry can’t say it’s spoiler-y…

Also I would love to read Nate’s story going forward. Please pretty please!!

Overall, LOVED loved it- grab your glass of Chardonnay and curl up with a fur baby this is one that’ll make your heart sing ♥.

*Arc received in exchange for an honest review*

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review 2017-03-11 06:10
Strange Girls ~ Tara Dawn & Yolanda Olson
Strange Girls - Yolanda Olson,Tara Dawn

Sissy, an agoraphobic young woman, spies a new neighbor moving in and instantly becomes entranced with the shabby-chic new woman on the block. Artemis, the new neighbor, spies a woman watching her as she moves in and wonders just what the he!l has she gotten herself into?! Insert creepy yet objectified landlord Mark and we have a trio of trouble!

After reading the blurb I was sort of expecting a dark romance meets Dean Koontz’s False Memory. I’m not sure what this story is. In my personal opinion it does not fit the “dark” genre but does contain dark violent undertones. To me this was PURE hardcore erotica. A lot of shocks – this one delivers on the shock value that’s for sure.

Ever hear of the national news story about the women who superglued their cheatin’ man’s member to his body? Most would rejoice and say YAASS he deserved it! And some felt sick and sorry for the poor guy. This story fits that dynamic - and I’m in the minority feelin’ sorry for the guy.

Overall, I could not relate to the characters or the plot. A lot of elements did not match (characters portrayed as one way yet acting the opposite) and the events were not realistic to me. The twist at the end did throw everything into a tailspin but did not lessen the WTF feeling I had reading the other 90% of the time. This is definitely a case of “It’s not you, it’s me.” I admire both of the authors’ writing and dark inclinations but this story simply did not work for me. I would still recommend this book as a boundary-testing read and am interested to read reviews of all opinions. Xx

Note: I do also want to compliment the authors on their portrayal of a character with agoraphobia. It is definitely a hard and misunderstood disorder to portray yet I believe the authors excelled with understanding.

*Arc received in exchange for an honest review*

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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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