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review 2017-09-18 22:00
Suspension of belief?
His Virgin Payback: A Billionaire & Virgin Romance - Virginia Sexton

This one as it wasn't at all what I expected. I expected steam and I got that, but the huge suspension of belief required for the story wasn't something I anticipated. After the eye-rolling prologue, maybe I should've seen it coming, but I kept reading. At the start of the story, Jacob comes across as arrogant and selfish, with little regard for anyone else, so for him to willingly sacrifice himself for others would be contrary to that. Then, years later, when he goes after Lily out of revenge, she jumps at the chance to go out with the man she thinks betrayed her father. Lily is innocent as far as relationships and intimacy are concerned, but her father is all she has and it appears that they are close in the beginning, so I can't fathom a situation where a supposedly intelligent young woman would so easily accept any kind of invitation from Jacob, let alone a date. Then, to add insult to injury, when everything comes out, Jacob has no clue what was going on with his partner and mentor during the time of said betrayal? I realize that it's fiction, but it has to make sense for the world that it is set in.  The story is novella length, so maybe a bit more fleshing out of the story would've helped, but there are just too many things that don't work here. 

If you like steam without much substance, then you may enjoy this one more than I did. 

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review 2017-08-10 15:55
The Sworn Virgin
The Sworn Virgin: A Novel - Kristopher Dukes

During the early 20th century in Albania, the Law of Lekë ruled.  Women were under the strict authority of men and men could shoot each other for honor with no consequence.  However, if a woman wanted to swear to live as a virgin for the rest of her life, she could live with the freedoms of a man including the style of dress, carrying a gun, and killing another man for honor.  Eleanora has lived a privileged life for a young woman in a small mountain Village of Albania.  She has spent most of her life traveling with her father who works as  a healer.  This life has given Eleanora extended freedom, a different skill set than most other women and a passion and talent for art.  Eleanora's father, Francis believes he can secure a place for his daughter at an art school in Venice.  While traveling, Francis is recognized and killed in the street as an honor killing.  With no other choice, Eleanora makes the trip back to her village with her step-mother, Meria. Believing she is doing what's best, Meria arranges a marriage for Eleanora with Edi, a cruel man from a neighboring clan.  Rather than become a subservient wife, Eleanora declares herself a sworn virgin. When an injured stranger enters their life, Eleanora fears breaking her vow.

This is an amazing story that introduced me to a culture that I knew nothing about. The writing transported me to the mountainous villages of Albania. The rich culture, vibrant landscapes, houses, food and clothing came to life for me.  Eleanora's character was captivating, I loved her passion for art, her unwavering spirit and following her on her journey to find out how she can fit in. The gender roles and Eleanora's place within them was an intriguing journey that carried throughout the story.  I was very interested to see if she would thrive in her role as a man when she was a sworn virgin or enjoy her role as a traditional woman.  I was not surprised at the outcome.  The suspense created by the many different feuds and the effects they caused on the families was very direct and created a dangerous web that Eleanora fell into which led to a very different ending than I suspected.  Overall, a unique and vibrant tale about a woman's life in early 20th century Albania.  

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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review 2017-07-24 17:50
Review: "The Craving" by Z. Allora
The Craving - Z. Allora

 

~ 3 stars ~

 

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review 2017-07-19 17:12
Review: "Shiny!" by Amy Lane
Shiny! - Amy Lane

 

~ 3.5 stars ~

 

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review 2017-07-17 21:43
Review: Keeping Her: A Dark Romance by Angela Snyder
Keeping Her: A Dark Romance (Keep Me Series Book 1) - Angela Snyder

What a roller coaster of emotions! One moment I was hating the characters, the next I was sympathizing with them, the next I was in love, and before I knew it was exasperated and then back in love. Crazy stuff! 

Now, I feel the most important thing I need to point out is that this is a dark romance and that there are some serious **** TRIGGER ISSUES **** that may make some readers uncomfortable so read with caution. 

The story, which was narrated in first POV by various characters, gave me that feeling of intense passion and angst. I think the author made a good job by portraying Lucian with so many emotional and character flaws, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to overlook his numerous acts of possessiveness and cruelty, even after a very important truth is uncovered and he has no reason to keep acting that way. Adeline is the sweet and innocent girl that captures his attention in a way that no one thought possible. And when I say innocent, I really mean it, and for good reasons too. Odd thing was that it was hard for me to connect with and understand her character but I think that was because of everything that happened in her previous life and her current situation. I just couldn’t relate to her in any feasible way. 

The story has a good pace and flow although I found the characters talking too much to themselves and at times I found their inner dialogue a bit repetitive. However one thing I liked a lot was that even though Adeline started as a victim, she never behaved as one and that made her a more realistic character. 

On a side note, I was totally blindsided by what happened towards end and the cliffhanger. It’s a good thing we don’t have to wait too long how this story ends as the next installment will be out in only a couple of months. 

I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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