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review 2017-06-13 21:59
Book Review: Tempting Raven (Curse Of The Vampire Queen #1) By Jessica Sorensen
Tempting Raven - Jessica Sorensen

 

I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. It started off very typical with the main character pulling the woe-is-me card and having no friends. What happened after that blew everything out of the water. Though I would love it if the author had gotten this book through a few more rounds of editing.

 

I liked Raven. She's the type of character that I see myself in if I were ever in her shoes. She's suspicious and questions everything. She wants explanations for (what seem to be) very simple and straightforward questions. I love that she doesn't give up. Her attitude and sassy remarks made her all the more likable in my eyes.

 

Rhyland almost won me over, but the cryptic conversations that Raven overheard and his avoidance of what should have been easy to answer questions got old very fast. He also seemed to read her mind during a few scenes (let me point out that he specifically stated that he doesn't have that ability). He was overall cagey and his brother didn't help matters in the slightest. 

 

By the end, I was already putting a few pieces together and had somewhat of an inkling to what could have been happening. Even though I ended up being wrong, it was even better than I imagined. I want to know if what happened in that ending is what made Rhyland bully Raven when they were younger? Can she actually trust him? These questions are circling my mind and I want the answers to them.

 

My Favorite Quotes:


"I'm all jokes and sarcasm."


"(...) My future, which felt like it had finally just started, is no longer mine."


"And Fate knows what it's doing (...)"

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review 2016-10-02 14:37
Reivew for Seth & Greyson
Seth & Greyson (The Coincidence Series Book 8) - Jessica Sorensen

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

Seth has been betrayed by everyone he cares about and he can’t hang around after such an event. Early summer semester at college is his best option and so off he goes to college he goes. It really was a great decision for him because he meets Callie and they become fast friends. Bonding over the shitty ways of the world. The fall semester starts and he meets Greyson. Greyson is everything he could want, but after all the betrayal, Seth hesitates to really be with Greyson. With Callie’s encouragement, Seth knows he is going to have to get over his fears and make the commitment leap, if he can just leave his fears behind.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is novel I have been waiting for. I love Callie, Kayden, Violet, and Luke a lot, but Seth was a favorite character of mine from the very start. Seth’s character is just what we expect. He’s smart and sweet and so concerned about Callie that it melts my heart even more. He is so scared of the past repeating itself that he has trouble moving on. The decision to be open about his life choices in public is a hard one when he knows it’s not all going to be rainbows and sunshine. There are many stupid and close-minded people in the world, something Seth knows first hand. It’s an infuriating thing because the world has come so far in accepting homosexuality and yet there are so many out there who think they have the right to judge and call it wrong. What’s so hard to understand about love being love? Beyond that, it’s nobody’s business who anyone else decides to be with! Sorry, mini-rant over. It’s just a touchy subject for me.

I loved Greyson already, but it was interesting to get more of him. I loved being about to see inside his head. He’s smart and strong and comes from an incredible family. Greyson has more or less lived the dream for a boy coming out. He’s parents were very supportive and his hometown wasn’t as closed-minded about it. He has no horrors in his past like Seth does. Even so, he is incredibly understanding of Seth’s fears and goes out of his way to try to help assuage them. He’s exactly the type of guy Seth deserves.

What I loved about this was not only finally getting to see through Seth’s eyes, but also getting to see more of the rest of The Coincidence cast. I’m very character driven and Sorensen excels at creating an entire cast of people that I love and want to see more of. I don’t know how she does it, but she never fails to make me care about her perfectly flawed characters…even the ones I despise, like Delilah from the Nova series.

Seth and Greyson’s relationship progresses at a reasonable pace, but was a bit hot and cold. Seth has every right and reason to be cautious, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to shake him a time or two for being so stupid. Even though Greyson wasn’t happy about it, he was understanding and would have been happy to keep things quiet if that was what Seth needed. I know that Seth’s reasons for avoiding a relationship were deeper than normal fear, but it still bugged me…a lot. I’ve never been a fan of that on again off again thing, so it always bugs me even if there is a logical reason for it.

I was a little worried when I started this that it would spoil me for some of the rest of the series. I’ve only read the first three and I was apprehensive about skipping three books to read this one, but I’m happy to report that it spoils nothing. I do recommend that you at least read The Coincidence Of Callie & Kayden before this or it will spoil that storyline, but I don’t think it will have an impact the rest of the series.

This novel is exactly what I was hoping for when I heard about the possibility of a storyline for my favorite side character. It’s smart and sweet and not overly dramatic. It has the romantic moments we were all imagining as we read The Coincidence, but with enough conflict to really feel like a well-rounded story.

****Thank you to Jessica Sorensen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

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review 2016-10-02 14:35
Review for Unbeautiful by Jessica Sorensen
Unbeautiful by Jessica Sorensen (2014-12-23) - Jessica Sorensen

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

Emery's was raised to be the perfect daughter. Pretty and obedient, she knows better to ever question her parents or act anything less than perfect in public. Now, at 18, she is leaving for college, against her families wishes. She's not going far, a mere hour away, but the freedom is enough to see that the world she has been raised in is drastically different than the outside world. Ryler looks like the typical bad boy. He's tattooed and pierced and plays the strong silent card pretty well. That's pretty easy for a mute guy to do. Society has labeled him as dangerous and he is determined to get away from that label and start over. Step 1? College far from home. And then he bumps into Emery and the connection is immediate. She dumps shredded paper on his head and the few tidbits he read astound him. It's like she is writing directly to him. As the two are drawn together, will their pasts tear them apart or will they fight to stay together?

Emery was entirely astonishing. This girl has been abused for her entire life and she never even realized that there was any other way. There are loving parents out there who don't strap their kid to their beds each night?
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It's a shocking concept, I know. It's hard for someone like me to really imagine a life like that, but Sorensen does her usual amazing job of putting me in Emery's mind. She walks a fine line of raging against the abuse of her life and feeling honor-bound to keep her families secrets. Her fear is completely understandable. Her crazy family is definitely capable of killing her should she spill their secrets, but you just want to see her escape this life. Her attraction to Ryler is immediate. He's her opposite in so many ways, but they have so much in common. Also, the fact that this girl has never listened to music just flabbergasts me. No music? Nothing? No stupid pop phase? No epic moment of realization when you listen to your first great rock song?
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The torture is bad enough. The emotional conditioning and the meds and forcing her to be with someone she really has no interest in, but to deny that simple pleasure? I have no words. I cannot fathom people this cruel and I hope to hell I never meet anyone like them. If I have one aim as a parent, it's to be nothing like them.

Ryler's past isn't much better. Bounced from foster home to foster home until he gets sent to juvie for something that is misconstrued by everyone. But that's in the past and he can't change that. He can look to the future and do whatever necessary to ensure a better one. If that means being an informant and having to do things he doesn't like to get there, then so be it. You have to give the boy props for his dedication to that end. Living with a record, especially one proclaiming you are violent, is far from easy. Even though Emery's past is much worse, you can't help but sympathize with him. He just tries to do what is right and help those he cares for and gets punished in return. He knows getting close to Emery is something he should avoid. The life he leads right now, it's not on he would want her involved in, but those words and the haunted look in her eyes makes it impossible to stay away.

VIOLET AND LUKE!

I totally didn't realize this was The Coincidence adjacent. I kinda felt like a moron because I didn't realize this even after reading scenes containing both Violet & Luke.
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I know, I'm the lowest form of stupid. It wasn't until Greyson and Seth showed up that the light bulb clicked on. Seth? Greyson? OH! Violet! Luke! I haven't yet finished The Coincidence series, but I'm glad to see you guys will work it out...eventually.

At this point, I wholly believe that it is impossible for Jessica Sorensen to write a story I won't love. She's a master of the contemporary romance/new adult genre. She knows exactly how to reel you in and then hit you where it hurts. Especially with cliffhangers. I am very happy I never tried to read this before I got my grabby hands on the sequel because that ending was not good. In fact, had I not already had book 2, this might have gotten demoted a star. But, I did have the sequel and I recommend you do as well before attempting this story. I finished this on my kindle and immediately pulled up the next book. There was no waiting period or allowing the fact that it was already 1 in the morning to prevent me from finding out what happens next.

This novel is exactly what I've come to expect from Jessica Sorensen, which is awesome. Unbeautiful lives up to it's title. It's raw and ugly and heart-breaking, but beautiful anyway. Ryler & Emery have a lot to overcome before they can really be together, but it's worth it in the end. Trust me, I've already finished the next book and they make it to their happily ever after. What more could you ask for?

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text 2016-09-15 01:43
Review for Untamed by Jessica Sorensen
Untamed - Jessica Sorensen

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

 

In Unbeautiful, Emery tried to escape her family’s boundaries. She moved out and went away for college. Unfortunately, since she refuses to return home, her family has brought their rules and restrictions to her. The ex-boyfriend reappears with strict family orders that she will date him and the one guy she thought she could trust has betrayed her more than anyone. Ryler is her new bodyguard and the fact that he has been working for her father this entire time just breaks her heart. She was out on her own and her family still manages to control every part of her life. Her father has a creepy way of knowing exactly what is going on in her life and now she knows why. Ryler has been reporting back to him with her every move. But Ryler didn’t betray her as much as she thinks and he has no choice but to follow her father’s orders. The sooner he finds that gold information that the feds are looking for and can get out of this situation, the better. But the more he sees the abuse they put on Emery, the more he knows he needs to find a way to get her out of this life as well. Can they both escape their pasts or will it continue to haunt them?

 

Emery and Ryler are pretty much the same characters we fell in love with in Unbeautiful. We get to see a little more of Emery’s crazy side and a lot more of her worries now that the secrets are out in the open, but she’s still that girl who has been abused by her family in unbelievable ways. Ryler is much more tortured here because he’s new “job” requires him to lie to Emery and the tension between them is killing him. Gone is that easy way they had with each other before the truth was known. Gone were are the days when Emery would confide in him. She sees him as the enemy now and he is desperate to change that.

 

This is definitely not one of those books you can jump into without reading the first one. If you don’t read Unbeautiful first, you’ll be confused beyond belief. This series has quite a bit more mystery and suspense than I’m used to with Sorensen, but she wears it well. Unbeautiful left us with so many unanswered questions and Untamed does it’s best to answer most of them. We finally find out what really happened with Emery’s brother and how her father is so all-knowing when it comes to her new life. We do (eventually) get to see things heat up again between Ryler and Emery. That doesn’t happen for a while. It takes a lot for Emery to trust Ryler again, after what feels like the ultimate betrayal.

I was a little surprised to learn that this was just a duology. I’ve come to expect much longer series from her and I worried a little that she wouldn’t be able to condense everything that needed to be covered into just two books. That worry was stupid of me. I should know by now that Sorensen is capable of writing goal that she sets her mind to and this is no exception. Though I was still left with a question or two, I was completely satisfied with this story. I now genuinely hope that Ryler and Emery don’t get another story because that would mean more turmoil for them and they deserve some peace and quiet.

 

This is one of those series that you spend your weekend hiding in your house to finish reading because you have to know what happens next. I read Untamed in a single day. I stayed super late Saturday night to finish Unbeautiful and get quite a ways into Untamed before collapsing from exhaustion. I got up the next morning and immediately pick it back up to keep going. I am not a fast reader, so for me to finish something in a single day is an accomplishment and that only happens with things I truly cannot put down. I should surprise no one, least of all me, that it happened here because Sorensen knows how to write exactly what I like to read. She’s truly a master of her craft and I bow down to her brillance. Emery and Ryler’s story is heartbreaking, almost to that Nova & Quinton level, and you cannot help but feel for them and hope that they get the best ending possible. And they do get it, so what more could you want? You get suspense, mystery, tension, romance, and an happy ending?

 

****Thank you to Jessica Sorensen for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review****

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text 2016-09-15 00:38
Review for Wreck Me by Jessica Sorensen
Wreck Me (Nova) - Jessica Sorensen

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

 

Tristan Morganson is constantly battling his addiction to drugs. He's doing better, they call to him every single day. The only thing keeping him straight now is that night three months ago when an intriguing lady gave him the choice of taking his drugs back or allowing her to flush them down the toilet. He doesn't know why exactly, just that that particular moment keeps floating back to him when he thinks about finding more drugs. Avery Hensley, the intriguing lady, has had a bad life up until the past few years. She followed her heart as a teen and ended up married with a son before she became legal. Then Conner, the man of her dreams, started showing his darker side and suddenly things are falling apart. She has managed to get her life back together, but she swore she would never again allow a man in her life. That leaves too much up to question and life with a 5 year old son just isn't up for that. Then she meets Tristan and he's so different from Conner. He's real and sweet and fighting an addiction she understands too well. The more time they spend together, the more she longs to break her rules, but is she brave enough to really give it a try?

 

I think we've covered how much I like Tristan in past reviews, right?
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K, so I'll skip the over the top gushing about how awesome he is. I may even like him more than Quinton...maybe...I'm not sure. Either way, he's that sweet, flirty guy who manages to be both cocky and vulnerable flawlessly. He perfectly captures that inner debate I think everyone can relate to, that "Am I really good enough" thing. Besides that, he's, you know, hot.

 

I sympathized with Avery immediately. This girl is just trying to better herself and enrich her son's life. And she's working her ass off to do it. Balancing school, work, a kid, and helping Habitat build a house to repay them for building her one is nothing to joke about. I don't know how she manages to do it without falling apart. She was in such a bad place and she's come so far. She's a fighter and a lover and she's so determined to do what's right by her kid that her wants and needs don't factor in at all. It was admirable, even when it was infuriating because I know how much Tristan wants to be more than friends and I know his intentions are far from nefarious and I just want her to realize that. JUST GET IT ON ALREADY! ::coughs:: I mean, you know, talk it out....

 

I think what makes me love Sorensen's characters, and work in general, is her ability to make perfectly flawed characters. She writes characters that have been through bad shit and manage to keep breathing every day. She writes characters that have serious problems and yet I never dislike them. You just don't understand how amazing that it because I have serious issues with drugs and their users. I am also incredibly unforgiving in real life, but somehow Sorensen makes me love her characters even with their addictions and their pasts. I mean, Tristan has done terrible things for drugs. Fuck, Quinton did terrible things for drugs. And yet I love both of them.

 

This has everything you could want in a contemporary romance. It has love, angst, and just the right level of smut. It's written in that highly addictive way we've all come to expect from Sorensen. I'm being to think that it is impossible for her to write something that I won't love intensely. This one can be read as a stand-alone, but I think it'll mean more if you've read the first three books in this series. Reading the earlier ones also helps set the tone for this. Though Sorensen has delved into dark and disturbing places before, this particular series is more heartbreaking than the rest. Nova and Quinton's story is more brutal than the others and I think knowing that helps you set the stage for this one. Bottom line? Read it. If you're a romance fan at all, you won't be able to stop yourself from loving it!

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