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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-15 09:52
Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge (2017 Review)
Look Behind You - Sibel Hodge

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Waking up and surrounded by an eerie darkness, Chloe Benson soon discovers she's trapped underground in what appears to be someone's tomb. Desperate to avoid the same fate as the skeleton in her midst, she musters all the strength she can to escape, however emerging back into her ordinary life proves to be just as dangerous. Someone wants her dead, yet due to issues with her memory, she just can't recall who.

(WARNING: this review contains minor spoilers.)

I finished this book last year, October (2016) to be specific, and didn't feel overly eager to voice my thoughts upon its completion, so suffice it to say; it's been a long time coming in that regard. You might wonder how I could possibly still remember the finer details, and indeed; my memory's not exactly fresh, however I can still recall what irked and disappointed me, as well as what stemmed the little amount of enjoyment. That being said, I had wanted to read something a little different than my usual flavours, and this one was ready and waiting in my library. What did I expect? Well, a mystery, of course - something that kept me guessing, kept the wheels of my mind turning. It was unfortunate that it promptly fell short, and the conundrum didn't require much thought at all; the identity of the "villain" was clear pretty much immediately. There were several moments I questioned; "Could it be this obvious?" and lo and behold, it was exactly that.

Admittedly though, the beginning drew me in, and I sincerely believed the rest would've thus followed its strong onset. A woman, trapped underground in complete darkness; the narrative truly expressed her helplessness and her will to survive. From there, it morphed into something not-so-thrilling, and it felt much like a long wait for it (or rather, Chloe) to reach the conclusion I already knew was coming. Thankfully the book wasn't that long, so I was able to force myself through the boredom without it becoming too much of a chore.

The character of Chloe was rather unmemorable, as despite how hard I try, I can't say much about her. I always like to take the time to analyse the main protagonist, but the sheer lack of impression was even worse than disliking her, because at least then she would've made me feel something. The same goes for the rest of them - the domineering husband, the too-perfect other man; none of them had much personality, besides being convenient to the plot. One thing that I did find outrageous however, was the general attitudes of the authorities. Both the police and hospital staff were unrealistic, in that they were outright rude to a patient they believed to be mentally ill. At least in the real word, such cold treatment has the possibility to distress the patient further, thus I highly doubt the "shut up, you're crazy" tactic is actually applied.

In conclusion: Have I mentioned how utterly apparent the "twist" was? Well, I'm saying it again - a mystery should have mystery. It should keep you guessing until the truth's finally unveiled. This was largely a disappointing read for me.

Notable Quote:

Why does anyone stay in a relationship that deep down they know isn’t right? You don’t know why until it happens to you. It’s easy to fool yourself. To stuff things under the surface where they can’t hurt you. To persuade yourself it’s all just normal. Make excuses. There’s a fine line between craziness and love.

© Red Lace 2017

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/15/look-behind-you-by-sibel-hodge-2017-review
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review 2018-03-14 04:36
Book Review for Hard Wood by Jenika Snow
Hard Wood by Jenika Snow
  • File Size: 1190 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (March 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: March 19, 2018
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B076ZLX914
Arc Copy Provided by Netgallery
Reviewed by: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Gene: Erotica Romance , Novella,Romance
The Dirty Bits from Carina Press give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after.

A new supersexy insta-love novella from USA TODAY bestselling author Jenika Snow that has a gruff lumberjack yelling T-I-M-B-E-R for the woman he’s been waiting for.

The Ash Brothers—they know how to handle their wood.

I’m a hard man. A loner. Or so town gossip says. After having my heart sent through the chipper, I’ve kept to myself. I prefer the quiet of the woods to the ramblings of clingy women who think they can tame a wild mountain man.

Until Mia. Now she’s all I think about.

I should have stayed away. She’s too sweet for a brute like me, but I can’t stop wanting her, picturing her sated in my sheets.

Mia knows just what kind of wood I’m working with. She’s the soft to my hard, the sugar to my bitter bark.

And I love seeing her walk on the wild side.

This book is approximately 15,000 words

For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: Quick and dirty, just the way we like it.
Lets start of saying that this story started off with a bang and a sizzle.This was one of those instant attraction instant love stories.Noah and Mia are instantly attracted to one another and the sexual fantasies they are having with one another are super super hot!
Noah has been hurt by a lover in the past an has been withdrawn and keeps to himself but, spotting Mia something has awaken in him after a very long time when things have pretty much been dormant.Mia on the other hand has been struggling of late with her own unhappiness and she is hoping this move is going to improve things for her. Spotting Noah across the room at a diner definitely puts a smile on her face and some pink in her cheeks! Instant attraction and heated looks hell yeah!
This stories plot was interesting.This couple had more fantasies with each other and more sex in they heads prior to actually meeting one another and I have to say their sexual fantasies were smokin!
For me I enjoyed the characters they were very like-able but the story itself didn't really give you a chance to love them.I enjoyed this short story as the story started out as super hot.I am okay with the instant love story but, a writer for me anyway is suppose to carry that attraction and intenseness and that possessiveness they feel for each other and somewhere along the middle of the story I felt that all flame die out after their first sexual encounter.
For me the sexual fantasies each had with one another was hotter than the deed itself.Then after the deed its two weeks later.Something happened in the middle here and they lost me.I guess for me I missed the couple getting to know each other on paper all the things your are learning about your sexual partner .The fun the playfulness the heated looks etc.I think the author should have added something  to that effect in the middle of the story.Two weeks later you understood they are getting to know one another but, we are not seeing it on paper.For me the story would have been more enjoyable had the author carried through with the spark,sizzle, and fireworks as the say  to the very end.
3 stars from us
Personal note: Even though this story was not a top favorite I have enjoyed many other of this author stories that she has co written with other authors.I would like to read more about these Ash brothers so were are looking forward to that.
Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and children. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse. 

You can find her at:

Website: www.jenikasnow.com

Facebook: /jenikasnow

Instagram: @jenikasnow

Twitter: @JenikaSnow

Email: jenika_snow@yahoo.com
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-14 01:04
Preta's Realm: The Haunting by J. Thorn
Preta's Realm: The Haunting - J. Thorn

Preta's Realm: The Haunting by J. Thorn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When certain people in his life start disappearing, Drew Green struggles to keep his mind and family intact. Something whispers to him at night; a voice of a person no longer living. It tells him of a time long past, and a curse set to haunt the bloodline. As events eventually spin out of control, Drew finds himself at the mercy of a creature that should only reside within nightmares.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

After about a year or more of having this on my kindle and eventually forgetting about its existence, it finally caught my eye once again. What followed was a last minute read of the month - it's a short book, which I was later thankful for. Initially I didn't know what to expect, but the words akin to "disgusting" and the likes on other reviews piqued my interest. Just how bad could it be? At this point I'd say I'm pretty used to the extreme use of gore and other similar themes, so my curiosity got the better of me. My concluding opinion is that whilst involving some nasty and sensitive elements, it was largely poor in regards to story. I found myself confused most of the time, not only questioning certain plot decisions, but also of how it was paced. A scene would suddenly jump in time without it being properly conveyed, yet I'm not sure if that was supposed to be intentional or not. Either way, it came across as not entirely thought out - like Thorn rushed through the process.

I can't say I particularly liked any of the characters, nor did I understand their actions. I found Drew to be dislikeable as a person; how he treated his family was a large part of that. It was hinted throughout that he suffered from something in the past, perhaps some form of mental illness, yet it was never explained, and thus I settled into a state of aforementioned confusion whilst trying to garner what I could of the backstory. I know Ravna was a decent man in the grand scheme of things, but I didn't get a good first impression of him and unfortunately that stuck. His introduction consisted of him fantasising about a younger waitress, which I honestly found to be offputting. He referred to her as his "gothic princess", and the moment he noticed her in a colour other than black, the fantasy was apparently ruined. Clearly this information wasn't relevant in any way, shape, or form, yet it was still relayed like it was somehow crucial. The others? I don't have much to say about them, other than they lacked memorable presence.

"Preta" and "Gaki" essentially mean the same thing - "hungry ghost" - and is a supernatural being present in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Chinese and Vietnamese folk religion. I can't say I was familiar with the lore of this creature until I did some homework. It's a good concept - I always like when authors include their on take on weird and wonderful monsters. I did find some discomfort in Thorn's representation, but I was simply too distracted by other elements to really appreciate the depravity. The accounts of the past, told through the spirit of Drew's grandfather, honestly bored me enough that I wanted to skim over; the narrative was written in such a way that didn't pull me in, or make me care for what was happening.

If I were to detail how this could've been a better read for me, then it would go like this; the focus solely upon Drew or Ravna, with either one being fleshed out instead of the back and forth. Drew was supposed to be a devoted family man, yet I didn't see that. Ravna was supposed to be some sort of hunter, yet I felt I was merely given a brief glimpse. Of course, this is my personal opinion; plenty of others thoroughly enjoyed it as it is.

In conclusion: I originally rated this three stars, however I've retracted one to better fit my thoughts. It was a definite miss for me - I didn't like much about it other than the somewhat disturbing scenes of "Gaki".

Notable Quote:

"The 'cesspool' you mention is humanity itself. The 'gateway' is the greed, lust and insatiable suffering of humankind. You can no more rid the universe of Gaki than you can of air or water."

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/14/pretas-realm-the-haunting-by-j-thorn
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review 2018-03-11 06:40
Book Review for Law & Beard by Lani Lynn Vale

Title: Law & Beard
Series: The Dixie Warden Rejects #8
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Genre: MC Romance 
Release Date: March 8, 2018
Photographer: Furious Fotog Cover Model: Joe Adams

  • File Size: 397 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07864H5Q3
Reviewed by: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
5 Amazing stars

Winnie thinks she has the perfect life. Two beautiful, healthy children. A police officer husband. A job that she loves. Oh, and let’s not forget that she’s a nationally ranked marathon runner. Fast forward six months, and her perfect life has imploded. Winnie finds herself in a completely new world, and this new world is a brutal bitch. In this new life of hers, her husband is gone. He realizes, at the worst possible time, that he’s no longer in love with her. He’s in love with her best friend. So he leaves, and doesn’t look back. Her sixteen-year-old daughter is in trouble with the law, and she’s barely making ends meet thanks to losing the job that was keeping her and her tiny family afloat. Then, the last thing that could make it all bearable, her running, is ripped out from under her, too. Thanks to a spinal stroke that leaves her unable to walk, let alone run, she’s having to relearn how to do the simplest of tasks—such as putting on her own pants. She’s at the lowest of lows, and the last thing she wants is a sexy, bearded, motorcycle riding alpha to tell her how to live her life. But Steel Cross never asks her what she wants. *** The moment Steel Cross sees Winnie’s daughter steal some shoes for her younger brother, he knows he’s in trouble. He’s a sucker for misunderstood teens. After all, he was once one himself. He knows he can’t just walk away, and the moment he sees that troubled teen’s mother, he doesn’t just know it, he feels it. Down to the very bottom of his soul. With his share of hard knocks, he knows that he shouldn’t step in and make his move on a fellow police officer’s ex. There’s a code, after all, yet he just can’t seem to help himself. He’s done being the good guy. Sometimes he just wants to be bad. And Winnie makes him realize that being bad is still kind of good. As long as you’re with the right person.

Omg ! Omg ! Omg! Loved loved this one !This is definitely one of my favorite reads so far in this MC series.Storm had me totally in love with him from the very first pages.This story had an amazing cast of characters from the main characters themselves to Winnie's children's.
I love stories like this a lot as they just make you warm and fuzzy inside.I have to say that my heart broke for Winnie from first meeting her and the struggles she was enduring on top of trying to recover from a spinal stroke.I never heard of such a thing so I needed to look it up and after reading about it it gave me even more insight into what challenges Winnie faced and top of it all trying to care for a teenager and a small child who had set backs himself.With all that she had to cope with she still kept it together just made me love her more.Going from a renowned marathon runner to barely able to walk never seemed to get the best of her she never wallowed in self pity she just fought harder and harder to get back to the way she was before the stroke.What an amazing women!
I always pick a favorite character in a story and I have to say that this time around it was extremely hard but I am picking Storm but, in my mind there were so many favorites.Storm was just so love-able,sweet,kind,sexy,stern and rough around the edges,dangerous with just his presence and looks but, he was also a marshmallow inside along with having one very large heart.I loved how he handled Conleigh from the onset of meeting her right away he saw more to her than a delinquent he saw a troubled teen who he wanted to help set back on the right path.I loved the banter back and forth between these too along with forging and instant connection and a certain kind of trust.I just loved how he took to Cody and never got annoyed with all his random facts that constantly came from the little boys mouth but, seemed keenly interested and in awe.My heart melted when he gave Cody the man talk.I laughed out loud along with finding myself falling in love with him even more.Storm needed these kids just as much as they needed him as he was going through a bit of a rough patch himself.
I loved this sweet romance that was filled with chemistry,the scorching looks,the heat that sizzled between Storm and Winnie.I loved the easiness that they had between them.I loved that Storm became the father figure for two lonely children without even realizing he was doing just that and mended a broken women just by loving her and his deeds alone.Storm maybe easy on the eye and level headed but, when someone messes with his family all bets are off and we see what just lurks beneath the surface and that is a deadly dangerous predator!
Cody Winnie's sons was just so adorable and cute and  I loved him always spilling his random facts especially spouting from a 5 year old.Precious!Love how he took to Storm like a duck to water and that Storm being so much older never fazed him he just saw Storm as a buddy.
Conleigh broke my heart as you new she suffered from her parents break up and Matt her stepfather's betrayal.She was hurting acted out irrationally and even dangerously.I loved how she unloaded some of her burdens on Storm and the friendship she created with him putting her trust in him there first chance meeting.Feeling the warm and fuzzies here..I loved the closeness she had with her brother Cody the sweetness and kindness she always showed him.The typical teen with defiance but just as love-able as her brother.
Winnie for me just was women to admire and you couldn't help but love and she had so many great qualities.I found her to be filled with kindness one of the sweetest people yet bold,brave,determined who loved her family fiercely and was willing to lay down her own life for the ones she loves.
This really was a very emotional touching story that went straight to your heart infused with pain,suffering,betrayals,overcoming the odds infused with a bit of drama and suspense surprises and Happily Ever Afters and we loved it from cover to cover.
I love when you can connect with the characters that you read about and I did just that making it even a more of an enjoyable story.My favorite part of the story would have to be when Storm realized that love meant more to him than a age difference and took just what his heart desired and had always desired not just his women but the children he was meant to love and call his own.
Favorite scene in the entire book would have to be the breakfast scene between Storms Son,daughter in-law and grand-daughter interacting with his current ready made family the entire scene made me laugh as well as smile and I loved it!
For me the author created the perfect surprise ending to such and endearing love story that we enjoyed imensely.Lets just say it left me crying as well as laughing just the perfect mix.
5 stars
A personal note: I have loved each and every story that I have read so far by this author and I am so looking forward to other books in this series and well as her other works she creates for us. 
About The Author  
I’m a married mother of three. My kids are all under 8, so I can assure you that they are a handful. I’ve been with my paramedic husband now for ten years, and we’ve produced three offspring that are nothing like us. I live in the greatest state in the world, Texas.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-10 22:50
Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn
Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn

Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With monsters that hunger for flesh, ghosts that lie in wait, and brutality at the hands of humanity - this collection certainly has it all. Delving into the satirical, chilling and downright disgusting, this is a must read for those that like a bit of horror in their lives.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Mike Thorn for giving me the opportunity!

This anthology has sixteen individual stories, each offering varying degrees of horror in different forms; bizarro, quiet and psychological are just a few of the sub-genres that are incorporated. Chances are you'll find something that tickles your fancy within the wide spectrum that is Thorn's imagination, just as I did. I do, however, feel the need to mention the reoccurring themes that present themselves throughout the majority of the book. Despite each short being unrelated and diverse in form, there were certain factors that kept resurfacing; the heavy metal, the smoking (specifically marijuana and Camel cigarettes), and lastly, academia. It just didn't work for me all that much - instead of characters blending together, I would've preferred differentiating attributes.

I always find it difficult to review these type of books, for the sole reason that I feel there's so much to write - I can get carried away with my thoughts and write paragraph upon paragraph. For my own sanity I've decided to forgo a ten-page essay detailing each and every short, and instead highlight the the top three that I enjoyed the most.

A New Kind of Drug
This is the first story that really piqued my interest, primarily due to the fact I've never read anything quite like it before, and it caused me to think of how we, as a species, are awfully enticed by substances that alter the state of consciousness. It's said that we're always looking for the next big thing, the next high that will affect us in new and oftentimes dangerous ways. I liked how Thorn took that aspect, and spun something that didn't seem so far-fetched in regards to human cruelty. Whether the creature was a demon, an alien, or whatever else, I felt pity for it and thus viewed the people themselves as the monsters. The added possibility of there being another plane of existence only interested me further.

And maybe I was screaming too, I don't know, but I'm quite sure I would've done something to stop this awful spectacle if I'd had the time, or the will, or even just a modicum of bravery.

Economy These days
Clearly the ugliness of humanity's a personal favourite of mine; the type of horror that's closer to home and more real than any supernatural beast. This particular short reminded me of the film Hostel, with the concept that people pay money to hurt a stranger. The difference was, in this case, both parties acted upon a consensual basis, where rules and regulations were strictly set in place. I have no doubt that something like this exists today, and whilst I don't consider it terrifying in the traditional sense, it's immensely thought-provoking.

But in this moment, money seemed like some grotesque abstraction; these terrible means dwarfed the process of reaching agreeable ends.

Lucio Schluter
Yet another example of human savagery, yet in an entirely different manner. Appreciating art as much as I do, I couldn't help but feel fascinated by Schluter's work and the way in which Thorn truly captured its disturbing essence. To turn actual people into such ghastly pieces of craftsmanship, it's delightfully macabre. The artist himself was a character I favoured because of the unnerving, yet obvious way he felt strongly for his victims - perhaps even a sort of love for them.

To really look at one of Schluter's subjects was like seeing a reflection of yourself ten years from now, somehow locked in a stasis of fear and eternal nakedness.

Other honourable mentions are The Auteur, Long Man, Sabbatical and Fusion.

Of course, due to the differing of story-types, there were some I didn't care for, and some I outright disliked. With Mired, Fear and Grace, and Speaking of Ghosts, my attention considerably waned until I just wanted them to end as quickly as possible.

In conclusion - A well-written concoction of the dark and twisted. My interest fluctuated depending upon the concept, but it's clear that Thorn has talent. An author to keep an eye on, for sure.

© Red Lace 2018

 Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/10/darkest-hours-by-mike-thorn
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