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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-21 20:01
Broken Heart by Tammy Faith (2016 Review)
Broken Heart - Tammy Faith

Broken Heart by Tammy Faith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Phoebe Stephen's life drastically changes when she awakes from an attack - an attack she can't remember. Giving in to the fear, to the emotional insecurities, she strives to keep it hidden from all who care for her. But such brutal violence takes its toll and can't remain hidden for long, especially when love is at stake.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

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

Upon being given the opportunity to read this debut novel, I admittedly had to mull over whether it would ultimately capture my interest. Romance as a genre can be a very extreme hit or miss with me, but I almost always prefer it involving paranormal aspects or erotic content as a focus point. Despite these factors however, I finally decided to give it a go even though the blurb didn't particularly appeal; which had nothing to do with the implied delicate subject matter, I might add, it simply struck me as rather flat, as Contemporary New Adult often does. I was happy I finished it though, as I detest having to leave a book before it concludes.

The story of Phoebe and Crisanto could've been considered a relationship fantasied about by the young and naive - it was mind-numbingly perfect and a little ridiculous. Sure, they battled through some serious issues, broke up and got back together more than once, but their connection was formed in childhood and they essentially needed each other to properly function. Over and over I was reminded how they were meant to be, how their souls were joined; mostly tedious ramblings that repeatedly played on my nerves. Phoebe's life often revolved around Cris and his rise to fame (she moved twice, following him as he succeeded in his sports career), as it appeared "his dream" was the only one that mattered. I foresaw the happy ending, thus the numerous occasions they appeared to be in jeopardy failed to cause uncertainty or concern. A lot of romance material shares this very trait, but I've found it can still be done whilst successfully creating sense of edge-of-your-seat excitement. Unfortunately, this one fell quite short.

It wasn't all bad however, as I found myself impressed with some of the dialogue and narrative that related to life's habit of being unfair and difficult; it was truly quote-worthy at times and I appreciated the good writing (even though as a whole it was rife with spelling errors). The sexual abuse was also handled well, and added a touch of mystery amongst the awfulness of the situation - yet in the end the identity of the rapist made little sense. She was friends with Cris for most of his life and never, even once, met his father? I believe such a glaringly questionable plot-hole should've probably been addressed, but I assume Faith wanted to shock her readers, therefore who better than the parent of the beloved boyfriend?

I can't say I came to care for the characters, nor the story to a large degree. It was a quick read, with the timeline regularly racing ahead and skimming over a lot of time. I became confused at a point when one of the scenes from the past didn't quite add up in the scheme of things, but that could've been my own oversight or just another problem on the list.

In conclusion - Whilst I definitely believe this book held potential, it needs revision and editing. Also, the lovey-dovey definitely became a bit much, as it seemed to me to be rather unhealthy. Not my thing, I can say that for sure!

Notable Quote:

I'm glad we didn't give up when things got ugly, because maybe love isn't supposed to be easy. Maybe it's supposed to be tough, to make you prove to yourself that this person is worth fighting for, to hold on tight when everything seems to want to tear you apart.

© Red Lace 2016

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/21/broken-heart-by-tammy-faith-2016-review
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review 2018-04-13 19:17
Broken Promise by Tara Hall
Broken Promise - Tara Q. Thomas

Third in this series. All the plot twists come to fruition and there are some well kept secrets here. The previous books are not necessary to understand the story, but they would enhance this read. I knew who the bad guy was before starting this and he is a piece of work. There is steam but the story is not overwhelmed with it. A lot of intrigue and just plain crazy. Good read.

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review 2018-04-05 15:01
"Night Broken - Mercy Thompson #8" by Patricia Briggs
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs

This is the first time I've finished a Mercy Thompson book and gone - "that was an OK episode" rather than "Wow! This series just keeps getting better".


I've delayed writing a review, to see if I'd be able to put my finger on why "Night Broken" didn't excite me.

It's not one thing. There's nothing actually wrong with this book.


Patricia Briggs writes with her usual wit and flair. There were a couple of really good fight-scenes, especially the one in Mercy's garage (who knew an engine could be used like that?). The plot promised a lot of fun: two new bad-guys, both powerful and scary are threatening Mercy and the Pack; Christie, Adam's ex-wife, is given shelter by the Pack and uses the opportunity to manipulate them and undermine Mercy;  Mercy gets to find out more about her Coyote side, including meeting her much-put-upon "Brother".


So what wasn't to like? The pace felt a little uneven. The bad-guys were dealt with a little too easily (one turning out to be not so bad after all). Christie's presence caused some tension but was dealt with in such an enlightened way that it felt a little anticlimactic.


Maybe I should be reading these things as Patricia Briggs bravely taking the path less travelled by but it didn't feel that way at the time.


"Night Broken" was an entertaining read. I just didn't enjoy it as much as "Frost Burned" or "River Marked"


I've been rationing myself to one Mercy Thompson book a month. A new month has just started, and I'm already looking forward to reading the ninth book, "Fire Touched".


As usual, Lorelie King's narration increased my enjoyment of the Mercy's adventure. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.


[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/132835238" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

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review 2018-04-04 09:36
The Broken Girls
The Broken Girls - Simone St. James



I didn't have a good feeling about this one when the pre-release stuff came out, because I loved all her previous work, this was a departure, and I hate change.  I couldn't not read it, because that would be dumb, but when I started it I was even more unsure; I dislike alternating time lines and POVs almost as much as I dislike change.


Anyway, the one pivotal thing that didn't change is that this is a Simon St. James ghost story.  So, I got up at 6 this morning, got the house keeping over with, then sat down with this book at 8, because I can't read St. James' books in anything but broad daylight.  I love her ghost stories, but they scare me spitless. 


The ghost doesn't have the same front-and-center starring role, but she made up for the lack of page time with quality creepiness. And the rest of the story... well.  I don't want to give a lot away, which makes it hard to say the things I really want to say.  Therefore, I'm just gong to bullet point a few things that feel important:


 - Like her previous books, there's a war connection.  The best one yet (imo);

 - There's a murder mystery;

 - The author does not take the reader down the expected paths.


There are two plots in this book, tied together by a common place, but they remain distinct and they are both devastating.  Utterly.  St. James pulls no punches.  In my opinion, this is what fantastic fiction is all about - I was utterly captivated, entertained, and at the end, left with much to think over.  This is a book about the power of the families we choose, when the ones we are born to betray us.


Outstanding. Just don't read it in the dark.

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review 2018-04-01 17:41
What Lies Beneath A Perfect Family
Broken Harbor - Tana French

What a great installment in the Dublin Murder Squad. I didn't like Scorcher in the last book, but loved him here. It makes you sad that he was thinking of a long time partner and wanting that connection with someone and realizing he wasn't going to get it. I honestly don't have any criticism of this book. I think a lot of people may not like Scorcher, but honestly this book helps you understand him a lot. I think he may be my second favorite character after Rob. 


"Broken Harbor" is about the faces you present to the outside world and what's going on beneath. Scorcher has a connection to Broken Harbor, his family used to spend summer holidays there. Something tragic happened to Scorcher when he was a teenager that still ripples in his life today. Being called out to a murder investigation there leads a potential that it will negatively affect his younger sister Dina. Trying to juggle a new detective (Curran) and his family obligations, you can see why Scorcher keeps such a tight control of himself. 


A family of four is found assaulted with one member of the family barely alive. Scorcher and his partner Curran go in deep on the picture perfect family to see what was going on below the surface. 


There's reference to the last case with Mackey and now I feel like he was even more of a jerk when you see how that case impacted Scorcher. 


His relationship with his sister Dina was hard to read about. He and his sister Geri are eventually going to have to make some hard decisions there. The book ends with Scorcher just accepting what this case has done to him and what he's going to have to do next. 


What gets me is that Scorcher is lonely. He's protective of both of his sisters and takes a certain pride that Geri's life looks perfect. With the latest murder case he has a chance to show someone the ropes, but also starts to see why so many people in partnerships in the murder squad do very well. The best parts for me were reading how in synch he and Curran we're becoming and how both of them were learning from each other. However the story begins with knowing something with this case goes wrong, it just takes us a while to get there.


The writing was great. I felt for mostly every character. The flow was good too and you get to read about the hard work of a murder investigation and how it impacts you when children are involved.


The setting of Ireland during the recession reads as an almost broken country. Most people are broke and or about to lose their homes. Broken Harbor reads as perfect from afar until you get up close and see the empty homes. Even homes with people living there know they are on borrowed time and the shoddiness of the construction is impacting things as well. It's about two years since the events of "Faithful Place". We hear references to Mackey, but don't see him in this book.


The ending leaves Scorcher adrift. I hope there's some references to him in the next book. 

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