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review 2014-07-31 03:02
Break the Sky - Nina Lane



When I first met Archer in Allure, I was immediately captivated, wanting to bask in my glorious feels that only a reformed asshole could erect in me. I had found him so interesting that I was literally begging for Nina Lane to write his story, and wonders of all wonders, I got my wish.


Break The Sky is the story of two reformed souls struggling to escape the mistakes of their pasts. Professor Kseniya "Kelsey" March knows what is expected of her, knows how to be a "good girl", knows to stay in control at all times so as not to fall into the uncontrollable downward spiral that almost ruined her. So when Archer West rides into town and batters against that formidable control, she fights it, knowing that the heat sparking between them is too wild, too consuming, too temporary. But the pull is irresistible, and Kelsey is unable to withstand Archer' s intensity, the storm brewing between them raging strongly and absolutely beautiful in its destruction.


There were so many things that worked brilliantly for me that I'm still trying to come to terms with it all. Archer, my goodness. Let me tell you about Archer freaking West.

I didn't think that anyone could surpass Professor Dean. He does it for me, an academic with a body to die for and so possessive that it makes me giddy just to think about it. But then Archer West comes along and I'm whimpering pathetically and my ovaries are all "Dean who?" If you've ever wondered if a tatted guy could be bad ass and drink chocolate milk at the same time, I'd say hell yes and pour that milk all over me so he could drink it. He's so unabashed in his desires, so direct in his dealings, so devastating in his efforts to reach out towards family that its absolutely too much. What really had me though was the heart break in him.

"Mom and Dad gave you everything they gave me and Paige," Dean said.

"No, they fucking didn't."
"Oh, yeah?" He whirled around, his arms spread. "What, Archer? What the fuck did you not have that Paige and I did?"
"A family!" I shouted. "A goddamned family, okay?"

I can't quite express just how brilliant he is but suffice to say, this is one book boyfriend that has forever ruined my expectations for men in real life.


Kelsey March was a good character for me. She's so stubborn which was frustrating at times, her character somewhat different from what I had expected from the Spiral series. Despite this, there were aspects of her story which I could identify with. For one thing, the differences between her and Archer academic wise. I'm not going to lie, with a double degree in Med Sci and Arts, I have never been able to imagine myself with anyone who hasn't done the same amount of studying as I have. So when this issue was brought up, I found I was both ashamed of myself and of Kelsey for (briefly) thinking less of Archer simply because he's a high school drop out. I've always valued education but I didn't realise how uncharitable I've been to others, and its not a great feeling. The other thing that I could relate to was Kelsey's parents. I'll be honest, I absolutely cried when I read about their journey and struggle to find a better life for their Kseniya. Their story was an absolute reflection of ours and I balled my eyes out when I imagined Alexei with my own dad's cracked and work-roughened hands or Vera with my mum's arthritic hands.


The love scenes between Archer and Kelsey were definitely steamy. Archer's alpha male side came to the fore and that delightfully wicked mouth of his was to die for. But what did it for me the most was the emotional aspect of their relationship and their struggle to reconcile themselves to the fact that they mean so much more to each other than they're willing to admit.

I yanked my arm from Archer's grip and slapped his face again. A red imprint spread over his jaw. Grim satisfaction filled me.
"You want more?" Archer released me and yanked open his leather jacket to expose the damp white T-shirt underneath. "Go ahead. I'll take it."
"You sonuvabitch." I flew at him, hissing and scratching. My fists connected with his chest, his face, his abdomen. "How dare you? How fucking dare you come here and turn my world upside down and then leave? How dare you think I would fall in love with a man I thought was less? You've never been less, Archer! You've always been more...so much more...too goddamned much..."
The impact of my fists barely moved him, but I felt his unleashed pain. I could hardly see his expression past the blur of tears. I slapped him again. His hand closed around my wrist to stop another blow.
"Goddammit, Kelsey," he whispered. "I surrender."


So, why not five stars? While I loved almost everything in this book, I have to admit, the beginning was kinda slow. Don't get me wrong, I could totally enjoy a book based off the simmering heat between mcs, but the emotional roller coaster ride that started for me at about the 65% mark and the intensity that it brought had me wishing that it started a little earlier. While the second half of the book is almost enough to smash through to the five star threshold, my frustrations with Kelsey and my desire for a little more forces me to hold off on the five star rating.


I would definitely recommend this book to others, especially to those who loved what little of Archer they got during the Spiral series. For me, this book was definitely worth the wait!

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review 2014-07-18 17:04
Ricochet: Renegades, Book 3 - Skye Jordan,Joan Swan



From the moment I started the Renegade series, I absolutely fell in love with the characters that Skye Jordan brought to life, gobbling up Reckless with Jax and Lexi's oh so sexy airport texting and Rebel with Wes' southern boy charm literally charming the pants off the strong-willed Rubi. So when I heard that the fiesty secretary Rachel Hart was getting her own novel, I jumped the moment Ricochet was released and was all over it like white on rice.


I wish I could say that I was absolutely blown away by this third installment but unfortunately, I can't. Don't get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed it, this book almost had all my boxes ticked, but there were a few bits I just couldn't come to terms with and therefore stopped me from really enjoying the book.


The Good:


* I loved Nathan Ryker. Absolutely loved him as a character. He is every wicked and sensual dream that you've ever had plus more. He's absolutely intense and his animal magnetism is undeniable. You can just feel his intensity dripping from the pages, especially when he's focusing that intensity on Rachel.



His PTSD is heartbreaking and you can't help but shed tears over his nightmares and the bitter shame when he realises that people have witnessed him during his moment of weakness. But what absolutely and forever enshrined him in my league of book boyfriends who have forever ruined me is his love for the men on his team and how easily he voices it.


Ryker laughed, but his eyes were already wet, and he couldn't do anything about the tears squeezing out onto his face. He wiped at them before he dropped his hand. "Can I...I don't know...hug you or something?"

There's nothing quite like a strong man showing his softer side that gets my heart pumping like crazy with overwhelming feels.


* The steamy sex scenes. Oh my goodness, if you thought that Reckless and Rebel were hot reads then prepare yourselves for the hot mess that is Ricochet. So absolutely delicious that I just can't even.


The Bad:


* The main issue I had with this book was Rachel's character. I absolutely loved her to pieces in the previous installment and couldn't wait to read more of her feisty self. And for the first few chapters we saw that sexy side of her and there was much rejoicing in the land. But then her character dips for me with her constant rejection of Ryker. Maybe I'm being naive about this but I honestly couldn't understand her reasoning. I thought for someone who was pegged as the fiesty little secretary, she should have had no problems with telling Troy to bugger off with his opinions. I honestly tried to cut her some slack when her back story was revealed, a betrayal from a sister something that struck quite close to home for me, but my sympathy dried up with what I felt was her doing her best to play a raving shrew. Not to mention her attempt at a flippant dismissal of Ryker towards the end. Honestly could not stop shaking my head at that.


I guess I couldn't help but compare this a little with Love in the Afternoon, which is probably why I couldn't quite connect with Rachel.


* The only other issue I had was the spelling mistakes. I was kinda surprised at the number I found, not to mention the number of grammatical errors. Not really a deal breaker but it was noticeable enough for me that it distracted somewhat from the overall story.


Would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely yes. Even though it was frustrating for me at times, I seriously enjoyed this book. Enjoyed the raw emotions and the fact that love is not something that always comes easily. Looking forward for the next installment in this awesome series.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/877596798
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review 2014-07-14 06:07
Fixed on You - Laurelin Paige




I was so nervous starting this book because I wasn't too inspired after reading the blurb, envisioning drunken dials and psychotic creepings, but I was pleasantly surprised by this little gem that I'm so glad that I decided to give it a shot.


Fixed on You starts off with that typical cliche proposal of I need to hire you as my fake!girlfriend so we can do fake things together and convince people that our fakeness is so real. Not to mention the added cringe-worthy drama of the heroine, Alayna Withers, being somewhat involved with another co-worker who she has tagged as her safe, happy ever after option but having a major lady boner for the new owner of the club where she works at, Hudson Pierce. But what evolves is a heart wrenching story of two broken people trying to break free from the tethers of their destructive pasts and learning to trust one another, despite all that stands in their way.


What really worked for me in this book was Alayna's character. I enjoyed the fact that she was open with her dealings with Hudson. If she was hurt and needed to clear the air, she opened her mouth and said so. If she felt like her unhealthy behaviours were starting to rear its ugly head, she was proactive about it and put up boundaries, went to her group sessions, worked through her techniques and coping mechanisms. If someone was a total bitch to her, she bitched right back at them and put them in their place. But what really got to me about her was the emotional pull that ambushed me. The bitter shame she feels when she realises she's relapsed into dangerous behaviours, the hurt she feels when her dismal familial support network falls apart, the emotional turmoil that she undergoes when her analytical mind obsesses over things Hudson said. The struggle was real, and I was overwhelmed with the connection I felt towards Alayna's character as a reader.


I did understand him. More than I had ever thought possible. What it felt like to be a certain way and to loathe myself for it. How difficult it was to change and learn to accept the parts of me that were fundamentally never going to change. And what it did to me to believe I was incapable of falling in love the way normal people do.


Hudson was also a character that really worked for me. I'd seen a few reviews that labelled him as an asshole, but for me, it didn't quite ring true. Yes, he may have been an asshole in the past, but I think many forget that one of the ongoing themes within the book is struggling to progress from where you were and not falling back into that black hole. Hudson has trouble coming to terms with his feelings, which is perfectly understandable considering his background, but his actions throughout the book isn't that of an intentional asshole, rather, someone trying to learn the ropes of having to be mindful of another's thoughts and feelings.


Other things that really worked for me were the sweet moments between Alayna and Hudson. There are some really awesome quotes in this book that had me drowning in feels:


He almost smiled, but squeezed his eyes shut as if trying to reign in his emotions. When he opened them again, they were pleading. "Alayna, don't quit. Don't quit me."



So, why not five stars? For me, the beginning was a little slow and it almost seemed like a typical run of the mill book until Paige changes the game and allows for readers to really get to know and connect with the two mcs. Not to mention the ever lulzworthy quote from the beginning of the book (before Alayna begins her journey of growth):


I glanced down at the black slinky pants that were so tight they gave me camel toe.


Lol. Camel toes and moose knuckles are definitely not my thing. So glad Hudson talks her into changing her wardrobe.


Overall, a surprisingly good read. Definitely continuing on with this series.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/994366091
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review 2014-07-12 19:22
The Texan's Baby - Donna Alward



I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads, having won the giveaway contest for it, and I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty excited to see it in the mail today and dropped everything to read it.


It was very enjoyable for the most part. It's only 218 pages altogether so the action is very fast paced, and I thought Donna Aylward did a good job with establishing a credible connection between the two main characters within those pages. It also helps to keep the story from dragging on, which was something I was thankful for.


The Texan's Baby is the story of Oil Executive Elizabeth Bennett and cowboy Christopher Miller's one night stand gone wrong. Or right, considering how you look at it. As Lizzie advises the father-to-be of her pregnancy, a health scare involving her father sees her taking the reins of the family company, placing her under the strain and pressure of not only running a big, well-known company, but also a self-imposed stressor of believing her good girl status as the oldest of seven children, has gone down the drain with her recent actions. Chris doesn't hesitate to step up to the plate to take care of her and his unborn child, wanting more than just a co-parent relationship with Lizzie. But having a serious relationship with Lizzy will require her to tackle her issues of trust and abandonment.


What definitely worked for me was the frankness between Liz and Chris at the beginning. While their relationship (or lack thereof) was still new, they were honest with each other, not afraid to put into words their thoughts and feelings, which I definitely found refreshing. And boy, Chris is a serious charmer. His character was what won me over with this book and I couldn't help but sigh with warm feels at some of the things he did and said throughout the book.


What didn't quite work for me was Liz's character in the second half of the book. I appreciated her honestly in the first half of the book, but then I started to get annoyed with how she would constantly push Chris away, always needing to be in control. I did cut her some slack, considering that elevated hormone levels during pregnancy can no doubt make you far more emotional than usual, but the unnecessary drama that she created from thin air towards the end had me rolling my eyes with disdain. She honestly has everything really good in her life but she's just so determined to ruin things for herself, standing in her own way between happiness.


The steamy scenes that I oh so love was sorely lacking in this book. The romance aspect was good, but I wasn't expecting the PG-rating of this book (probably because I love me some good love scenes). Also, the resolution to the story was a bit rushed. It could have been drawn out more, to have Liz face certain truths and to do a bit of grovelling after the rubbish she spouted.


Other than that there were a few raised questions that I thought was left unanswered, but I'm guessing they would be answered in the sequels, as it looks like this book is part one of a series.


Overall, it was a good read. I wasn't completely engrossed but I did find it enjoyable for the most part.


Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/981939621
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review 2014-07-08 07:29
Beauty From Pain (Beauty Series) (Volume 1) - Georgia Cates

Currently free on Amazon!


I always cringe when I read about books that will include Aussies in it, usually because I never completely buy the portrayal of the Aussie character, but I was so happy when I read this book as Georgia Cates does a brilliant job with getting it right. Not to mention, getting this whole story right.


Beauty from Pain, simply put, is the story of how an American girl falls in love with her Aussie bloke. Laurelyn Prescott, aka Paige Beckett, is a sweet and witty girl who's currently spending some much needed vacation time down under with her best friend. While at a club where its open-mic night, Laurelyn is pressured to take to the mic, capturing the attention of Jack Henry McLachlan, aka Lachlan Henry. Intrigued, Jack orchestrates two chance meetings before finally taking her out on a date where he offers her an arrangement that she simply can't refuse.


I really enjoyed this book. Admittedly, it started off a bit slow and kinda bizarre. Bizarre because of the arrangement that forms between the two mcs (I don't think I'd ever read anything like that before previously) and I wasn't really sure if I was going to like the direction that I thought the story was going to head in. But I'm happy to say that I was absolutely wrong.


What I really liked about this book was how open the two mcs are with each other. They tell each other what's on their minds and more often than not, the other can tell what they're thinking because Laurelyn and Jack Henry are just that good together. Cates does a spectacular job with portraying their relationship because you can feel the chemistry just oozing off the pages and you can't help but sigh with warm feels as you read their sometimes sweet and sometimes heated interactions. And boy, their heated interactions are awesome.


My favourite scene had to be:

"Baby, you fucked my mind without touching my body"


What really stood out the most for me was Jack Henry's journey of discovery. Written in dual POV, I loved reading Jack Henry's reactions and thoughts towards Laurelyn and how he just couldn't stay away or get enough from her. It was certainly heart warming to read and made the cliffhanger all that more credible because we'd been exploring right alongside him as the story progressed and knew the destination that he would eventually wind up at, even if it took him longer to realise it.


Overall, a pleasurable four star read. There aren't too many issues that arise to drive unnecessary drama between the two, rather everything that does happen allow you to understand the two characters POV and how far they've come in their relationship when it gets to the end. This simple focus on their relationship and what they come to mean to each other is the beauty of the story. Looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel!


Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/983743208?book_show_action=false
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