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text 2017-05-31 17:54
May Re-Cap
Death and the Girl Next Door - Darynda Jones
Nil on Fire (Nil Series Book 3) - Lynne Matson
Of Metal and Wishes - Sarah Fine
A Million Worlds with You - Claudia Gray
The Clockwork Dynasty: A Novel - Daniel H. Wilson
Fairest - Marissa Meyer
Unrest (Unknown Trilogy Book 2) - Wendy Higgins
Hunted - Meagan Spooner
The Weight of Lies - Clara Emily Carpenter
Jackaby - William Ritter

While I'm seriously behind on my reviews, my reading and listening did not suffer too much this month.  (I've been preparing an Open House for this weekend)  The titles with links have reviews, the ones without are still pending.


(Audiobook) Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones
Finish Date: 05/04
2.8/5 STARS

(eBook) Nil on Fire by Lynne Matson
Finish Date: 05/09

(Audiobook) Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Finish Date: 05/10

(Audiobook) A Million Worlds with You by Claudia Gray
Finish Date: 05/17
4.2/5 STARS

(netgalley arc) The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson
Finish Date: 05/19
3.8/5 STARS

(Audiobook) Fairest by Marissa Meyer 
Finish Date: 05/21
4.3/5 STARS

(eBook) Unrest by Wendy Higgins
Finish Date: 05/24

(Audiobook) Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Finish Date: 05/26
3.7/5 STARS


(netgalley arc) The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter

Finish Date:  05/29

4.8/5 STARS


(Audiobook) Jackaby by William Ritter

Finish Date:  05/31

2.8/5 STARS


10 Books Total for May (3,428 Pages Read)

6 Audiobooks, 2 eBooks, and 2 Netgalley ARC's

and 1 DNF.  (Of Beast and Beauty, (that one I still might try again, just ebook form instead, the hoopla audio for it was terrible.)


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review 2017-05-12 23:36
Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight) - Darynda Jones,Lorelei King

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

Falling Fast by Avril Lavigne  --Well, they do fall fast for each other…and an Avril Lavigne song seems like a perfect fit for this.♫



Book Title:  Death and the Girl Next Door

Author:  Darynda Jones

Narration:  Lorelei King

Series:  Darklight Series #1

Genre:  Paranormal, YA

Source:  Audiobook (Library)


Add to Goodreads





My Thoughts


Girl meets boy…girl has instant connection to boy…girl finds out she's something paranormal-ish, and boy is too.  Been there, done that. If you like that sort of read and don't mind some high schoolish antics (like…wtf was up with the impromptu ghost hunting they did?) then this story is a well written one.  It had it's funny moments, I'll give it that.  Unfortunately, it just isn't for me.  I think I'm over this kind of read.  Maybe, I should quit trying to make this genre work for me, but some of paranormal out there is doable for me.  Still trying to decide if I want to give her adult series (Charley Davidson) a try.  It seems to have more Mystery approach, so it might work.


Ratings Breakdown


Plot:  2.7/5

Main Characters:  3/5

Secondary Characters:  3/5

The Feels:  2/5

Addictiveness:  3/5

Theme or Tone:  3/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building):  3/5

Originality:  3/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  2/5  Cliffhanger:  Yep!


Will I continue this series?  Probably not…

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review 2017-03-23 01:53
The Abuse of Ashley Collins - Jon Athan


I don’t  know why I ever chose to torture myself and willingly read A CHILD CALLED IT,  but Dave Pelzer broke something inside me – I haven’t been right since.  Knowing that, you’d think I’d have learned a lesson, (yeah, I know… I’m audibly laughing right now, too).  Nope. Years after ‘ACCI’ I decided that I wanted to read THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, and I let Jack Ketchum walk right in and start poking at the wound that David Pelzer left with a big, pointy stick.  I think it was the masochist in me who invited Mendal W. Johnson to drop by and sucker-punch my PTSD in the back of the head.  As far as the ‘Let’s Go Play At The Adams fiction/non-fiction debate’ goes – I’m sticking with IT’S FICTION, but I’m sure all the atrocities have been committed, many times, and on many different Barbaras. 
Like LGPATATHE ABUSE OF ASHLEY COLLINS is not a true story – but it very well could be. Watching the decreasing sanity, and the elevating brutality of Ashley’s parents demonstrates just how fast situations can escalate. One little poke at the wrong moment, and all control is lost – you can’t come back from certain things.


THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. It is disturbing, and hard to read at times, but the author is not exploiting issues to gain shock value for a horror story. Jon Athan comes at the story from every possible angle, from every p.o.v., and sheds light on problems that most families would keep hidden in the dark. Let me misquote one of my favorite movies before you start reading…

WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence, including violence towards children. This book is about abuse—verbal, physical, and emotional. This book does not feature any explicit sex scenes, but it does discuss sexual abuse. This book is not intended for those easily offended or appalled.

Ashley Collins, a sixteen-year-old girl, has severe behavior issues. She regularly fights with her parents, Logan and Jane. When the fights become personal and physical, Logan and Jane decide to take matters into their own hands. They chain their daughter in the basement and abuse her in an attempt to rescue her from her bad behavior… while delving into their own deviance and depravity.

This is a story of family and abuse. This is a story of violence and discipline. This is the abuse of Ashley Collins.

Jon Athan, author of A Family of Violence, brings you an uncompromising vision of human horror. Can the cycle of abuse be broken?


Find The Abuse of Ashley Collins on Goodreads, Amazon, and it’s available through the KU program.

Connect with the author via Twitter – @Jonny_Athan, Facebook,  through the officialJon Athan Website, or his author pages on Goodreads, BookLikes, LibraryThing  &Amazon. You can email him directly at: info@jon-athan.com, or head on over to the West Coast and start stalking him the old fashioned way!


* I'm really glad that you didn't shelf the idea/book, and I think that THE ABUSE OF ASHLEY COLLINS is a better title than your original title. In fact, I think I may have misinterpreted 'A GENERATION OF ABUSE' when I first read it. I was going over my notes and highlights for the review when it clicked - the cycle of abuse - "ahh... OK".

* You made a comment on the 'Join the mailing list' page, and if I WASN'T searching for the things that you mentioned, I sure am now!! It may be a 'private matter', but... we're friends, right? :) IDEA!! If you collect all of the police files, doctor notes, patient files, and maybe even a "found" journal of Ashley's - it could sell as a companion book to THE ABUSE OF ASHLEY COLLINS.

* Something you said (after the story, before 'Dear Reader') made me [inappropriately] giggle for a second - (you know... that super disturbed, "I know I'm going to Hell", "Don't judge me!" giggle? No? Ever laugh at a funeral? Um... OK. Nvmnd).

"[...] Sure, there were a few things that may seem outlandish, especially towards the end [...]"

Well... there was something on the news just a few days ago -

"On Monday, March 6th, 2017 - North Carolina authorities arrived on the scene to witness 18 year old suspect, Oliver Funes Oliver Funes Machado, exit the family home "carrying a knife in one hand and a severed human head in the other."
Authorities found what was left of her body between the kitchen and living room. Funes-Machado had also told the dispatcher his 4-year-old and 2-year-old siblings were in the house. He said his father was not home.
The younger sisters were not hurt, and a teenage brother was at school."

Peace, Love & Necrophilia ♥
 ~  šhαd⊕ω gïrレ


(spoiler show)


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review 2017-02-09 17:09
The Girl Next Door: A Novel - Ruth Rendell

This is more Barbara Vine than Rendell, so you know what you are getting. It chronicles the discovery of two hands and the challenges that brings to a group of people - children in the second World War but 60 plus in the setting of the book. Like most of Rendell's books when she writers as Vine, the emphasis is more on the impact of the crime than the crime itself. It's not the best Vine, but it's not bad. Just a bit predictable.

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review 2017-02-05 09:05
Series Tour w/Review - Bend Or Break

Bend or Break Series

by Amy Jo Cousins



Average rating of 4.1 stars

(Based on the 7 books rated at KBS!)


I know many of you will ask so here is the deal.


My favorite book?  Touch choice.  #3 The Girl Next Door.  


Favorite quote?  You have to read it.  I do not give spoilers and this one is a doozy!



Without further ado, here are the books and reviews in order:



Off Campus (Bend or Break, #1)Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tom goes back to college only to find his roommate was promised he would live alone. They do not get along, but Tom could care less what Reese wants since he only needs a place to crash and get the much needed sleep he deprives himself of. Can they find common ground?

Reese talks to Tom finally, and they make a truce of sorts. They live like hermits in just their room, never leaving except for food, classes, and to shower. Tom works himself to the bone to pay tuition on the weekends, but otherwise lives a closed off existence.

Tom starts to notice his feelings for Reese and they end up friends. Reese is kind of a people person, so eventually they come out to the main room to study instead of just hiding away. Will the pasts that have scarred them ruin their future? Can Tom forge a live of his own and move past his fathers mistakes?

I found this book so riveting! I could NOT put it down. I know this will be a book I read again and keep on my shelf. I loved it! 





Nothing Like Paris (Bend or Break, #2)Nothing Like Paris by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book # 2, in the Bend Or Break series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this incredible series in order.

Jack and Mike AKA Miguel have a history. One full of love, pain, and regret. Getting back into town, Jack needs a friend ad maybe more. Can he get Miguel to forgive him?

Miguel wants to stay away from Jack. His heart can take so much pain. Seeing him in person and being able to touch.... how could he resist?

This series definitely tugs on the heartstrings. I did not expect to like Jack, after book 1. This was a seriously unexpected story that gives you the feels. 



The Girl Next Door (Bend or Break, #3)The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book # 3, in the Bend Or Break series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, understand characters, and fall in love with the series, I recommend reading these in order.

Charles AKA Cash and Stephany AKA Steph met through their mutual friends. College was a time of fun and sex and laughter. When they get in the real world, why do relationships not last?

Steph has a past full of pain and heartache. Trust does not come easy for her. Cash is fun and sexy as hell, but even he has one foot out the door.

This series just grabs me. I mean like by the throat! This is the best book so far of the series. This book has everything. Strong heat, sexy times, and so much more. 





Level Hands (Bend or Break, #4)Level Hands by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the 4th book in the Bend Or Break series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

Rafael and Denny meet through Denny's family. When he gets a chance to go back to school, he feels worlds apart from the other students. The only person he knows there is Denny. Who taught him a sport that gave him back him life.

Denny has felt haunted by his past with Rafael. They have unfinished business, and the only way to solve a problem is to confront it. Or will that just push Rafael away?

This series has so many surprises for the reader! A story this good with characters that have rich stories are always a joy to read. These two were inevitable, and watching them get together and break down walls between them made it a great book. 



Real World (Bend or Break, #5)Real World by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book #5 in the Bend Or Break series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. With the potential for spoilers, and real enjoyment of this amazing series - I recommend you read this series in order intended.

Tom & Reese have already been through the wringer. Now that college is over, they have jobs and life getting in the way. With the holidays looming, Reese wants it to be special.

Reese has planned for Tom to meet his co-workers. Will this be like college all over again? There needs to be common ground before it is too late.

These are such really in depth characters! I love we are back seeing where the series began. Wonderful surprises for the reader, and even some holiday love thrown in. 



Love Me Like a Rock (Bend or Break, #6)Love Me Like a Rock by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #6, in the Bend Or Break series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment of the series, I recommend reading these in order.

Austin has lived in the shadow of wanting his best friend. Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, Sean is there in all his naked glory. Can Austin move on and find real love?

Sean has been trying to chase after Austin for the better part of a year. Now that he has finally seen him, will the differences tear what he was hoping for in a relationship apart? Sean is trying to convince Austin they deserve a fighting chance.

This series just gets better. Every story is full of sincere, and fun characters. I love learning about the rowing also. These guys must be HOT! I cannot wait for the next installment in the series. 



Hard Candy (Bend or Break, #7)Hard Candy by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the 7th book in the Bend Or Break series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding of the series, I recommend reading these in order.

Vincent meets Bryan and his whole view of the world changes. Bryan is everything he is not. Opposites really do attract. Can they make the most of the future?

Bryan has never had to hide who he is or what he does. Why should he have to do that with Vincent? He finds himself drooling over the man, but exasperated a moment later.

This story has so much to it. I was laughing one minute, crying the next. I really felt it all. Cannot wait until the next installment of the series! 



Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Bend or Break, #6-7)Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Amy Jo Cousins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a combo of books 6 & 7 in the Bend Or Break series. These can be read as standalone novels. For reader enjoyment and understanding of the series, I recommend reading them in order.

These books are a good choice as a set since they both have characters who must overcome being opposites and find common ground.

Really good combo with seriously fun characters.  This series has been a heck of a ride.  I will be looking for the next book this author puts out.

***These copies were given in exchange for honest reviews only.

View all my reviews




About the Author:


Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series again. Amy Jo is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.


Readers interested in autographed copies of Amy Jo's paperback books can order them from Chicago's fabulous independent bookstore, The Book Cellar. They can ship anywhere, and will email me to let me know there are books to be signed if you care to order them!


I didn't read a romance novel until seventh grade. Mafia dons and samurai warlords? Check. Love stories? Not so much. Then my grandma showed up one summer with a garbage bag full of books. Her friend belonged to all of the Harlequin and Silhouette Book of the Month Clubs and passed on her copies to my grandma when she was done with them.


My grandma never met a Louis L'Amour book she didn't like, but she had no idea what to do with three hundred romance novels in a trash bag. Since it was clear that I was the book black hole, capable of sucking in uncountable numbers of novels while deaf to the world around me, I was the natural beneficiary of this windfall.


It changed my life.


I binge read all those books over the course of a summer where my mom despaired of getting me out of my bedroom. I was still reading science fiction and fantasy, adventure novels like The Count of Monte Cristo, and Agatha Christie books like they might run out of copies at the library. But those romance novels…I read five or six a day until school started. And when I finished that bag, there was another. And another.


Add in a seminal viewing of Romancing the Stone and the electric typewriter my mom managed to scrounge up and situate in the basement (so the clattering of the keys wouldn't keep everyone awake) on a tiny rolling metal table and there's really no escaping the fact that I've wanted to be a romance author for most of my life. As a career, it gives me the perfect excuse for my never-ending need to learn, about museum art restoration or theater stage management, about organic family farms or librarians' reader advisory ethics. I also get to remind myself again and again of the most important lesson I learned all those summers ago, hiding in my closet with a flashlight after midnight so I wouldn't get in trouble for staying up until my eyes burned…


People can make terrible mistakes with the ones they love, the last ones they ever thought they would hurt, and there can be a way back. Or through.


Because we are flawed and so often damaged already.


Because love is the heart of being human.


Love makes you vulnerable and strong in equal amounts and imparts a stretchiness to the soul that lets us bend when we're afraid we might break.


I can't think of any stories I'd rather tell.


Find Amy Jo Cousins Online:


Website * Mailing List Signup URL * Goodreads Author Page 

Amazon Author Page * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest



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