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review 2016-10-26 08:26
Review: Sweet Ruin - Kresley Cole
Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark) - Kresley Cole

Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #16
Published by Gallery Books on 1 December 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame Challenge
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A foundling raised in a world of humans
Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Her baby brother Thaddeus was as perfect as she was flawed; protecting him became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl... to would-be superhero... to enchanting, ruthless villain.
A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission
A threat to the Møriør has brought archer Rune the Baneblood to the mortal realm to slay the oldest living Valkyrie. Whether by bow or in bed, he never fails to eliminate his target. Yet before he can strike, he encounters a vampiric creature whose beauty conceals a black heart. With one bite, she pierces him with aching pleasure, taking his forbidden blood - and jeopardizing the secrets of his brethren.
A boundless passion that will lead to sweet ruin...
Could this exquisite female be a spy sent by the very Valkyrie he hunts? Rune knows he must not trust Josephine, yet he’s unable to turn her away. Despite his millennia of sexual conquests, he can’t ignore the unfamiliar longing she arouses deep within him. When Jo betrays the identity of the one man she will die to protect, she and Rune become locked in a treacherous battle of wills that pits ultimate loyalty against unbridled lust.

 

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-ARC (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Challenge (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Fantasy Hot, hot, hot - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Paranormal (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Romance

 

*I received a free copy of Sweet Ruin from Gallery Books via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *


Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.

 

Sweet Ruin continues the saga of the immortals who mostly haunt New Orleans, and I have to say that Rune and Josie’s story was both touching and sweet, with lots of action, and even more nostalgia.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I’m not sure why I have kept Sweet Ruin hidden on my kindle for so long! But I’m very happy to have read it now – so that I’ll be ready to delve into Immortals After Dark #17 in January next year… This is a series with an extremely well done mythology, and I am always in awe when I read a new installment. The stories are also character-driven, with a solid story and an overall plot that spans over several books in the series. What’s not to like, right?

 

From the very beginning of Sweet Ruin, I had so many feels for Jo! She was a little girl, and she was all alone in the world, responsible for her littler brother who was just a toddler. Still, she was strong, and she was very creative when it came to taking care of him – until the day when she wasn’t able to do that anymore – when she was shot, and left for dead. Only, because Jo wasn’t human, she didn’t exactly die, she just came into her powers instead, but she had to leave her brother somewhere safe so he could grow up off the streets.

 

As an adult, Jo ran into Rune, a half demon half fae, several thousand years old, one who knew he would never find a mate, never be able to love. And to make things more interesting, Nix was definitely messing with both of them. I have a special place in my heart for Nix – she’s pretty out there in many ways, but she’s also fun, and I think she loves pretending she’s not got all her marbles, as it lets her do exactly what she wants, while others will always underestimate her.

 

Needless to say, Sweet Ruin was an action packed and very hot story. I loved the characters, and I especially loved that Jo wasn’t willing to let her needs be second. She stated very clearly what she expected from a relationship, and expected nothing less if Rune agreed to be with her. Gotta love a woman who has a backbone and the self respect to keep to her guns!

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Whereas Jo would just as soon sneer at someone, he babbled greetings to everyone, inviting them to play with his toy. If she’d ever owned a toy of her own, she never would’ve shared it with people who weren’t Thaddie.

 

She sounded reasonable, but here was the thing: Jo was feral. There’d be no living under someone else’s roof and following someone else’s rules. Rules didn’t apply to Jo and never had. There’d be no sharing Thaddie with a woman who desperately wanted to be his mother.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/review-sweet-ruin-kresley-cole
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review 2016-08-17 21:11
Review: Lessons in Pleasure - Victoria Dahl
Lessons In Pleasure - Victoria Dahl

*I received a free copy of Lessons in Pleasure from Lyrical Press via Netgalley in exchange of an honest and unbiased review*


Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.


Lessons in Pleasure
by Victoria Dahl
Published by Lyrical Press on 10 May 2016
Genres: Adult, Erotica
Pages: 68
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge,COYER Summer 2016
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Newlywed Sarah Rose Hood should be blissfully happy. After all, she is married to her beloved, handsome James, who’s provided her with a lovely home, servants, and all the new dresses and books she could wish for. She cannot help but love him—and fear him, just a bit. For Sarah is unused to the attentions of gentlemen, and suddenly living so intimately with a man fills her with anxiety—and also a puzzling longing. Fortunately, her kind, experienced husband plans to awaken Sarah to the joy of giving—and receiving—pleasure, turning her unease to delicious desire, and forging a true union of body and soul…

 

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-ARC (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Challenge Erotica - (un)Conventional Bookviews Historical - (un)Conventional Bookviews Hot, hot, hot - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Romance

 

Lessons In Pleasure shows just how long we have come, as women, since the time at which this novel is set. Well written, hot and passionate – and even with such a short story, the characters were well fleshed out and relatable.

 

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lessons in Pleasure is a novella set in the past, when ladies weren’t supposed to have any sexual pleasure, when men had their needs, and their wives were supposed to close their eyes and think of England. Women who were passionate were seen as eccentric at best – insane at worst, and always, always, men held the keys to their future.

 

James really wanted his wife to like him, but he hadn’t the slightest idea how to make that happen, and Sarah was a bit afraid of him. At the same time, the feelings she had started having made her even more afraid, especially in light of her mother’s insanity and death years before. In order to learn more about those feelings, Sarah procured books, however, only one of those books were any help to her at all. Lessons in Pleasure was what she really needed, but in order to truly get that, she had to trust James, and open up to him.

 

Written in third person point of view, past tense, and mostly from Sarah’s perspective Lessons in Pleasure is about more than just pleasure and marriage, it is about trust, which was something that could be fatal to women in Sarah’s time. Dahl managed to show that aspect of Sarah and her relationship with James, but also how much better and fulfilling her life could be if she dared take that step.

 

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

The new mood in the room reminded her of the countryside in the fall, when buck deer would suddenly transform from gentle, pretty animals to fierce creatures bunched with muscle.

 

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/review-lessons-in-pleasure-victoria-dahl
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review 2016-08-17 20:39
Review: Mr. Corporate - J.A. Huss
Mr. Corporate (The Mister Series) (Volume 3) - J A Huss

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.

 

Mr. Corporate by J. A. Huss
Series: Mister #3
Published by Science Future Press on 17 August 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica,Romance, Suspense
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, COYER Summer 2016
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Weston Conrad is the best headhunter in the business. That handsome smile goes a long way towards convincing most people to trust him with their future.
I’m not most people. I’m his direct competition. And it doesn’t hurt to be just the kind of woman he’s been looking for.
I’m gonna flash you these legs, Weston Conrad.
I’m gonna wear low-cut shirts and micro-mini skirts.
I’m gonna dazzle you with wit and conversation and kiss those lips like they’re exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
So don’t hate me when you figure out my secret.
You understand, right? You’re Mr. Corporate and this is just business.

 

2nd Chance - (un) Conventional Bookviews Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-ARC (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Challenge Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews Erotica - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Mystery (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Romance (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Suspense

 

Mr. Corporate made me doubt what I thought I knew about the Misters, and I enjoyed that he was keeping his card so close to the chest he wasn’t even thinking about what they were.

 

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

I really enjoyed Weston and what he brought to the story in Mr. Corporate, but Tori truly grated on my nerves. For almost the whole story, she went from hot to cold to scalding, and her reactions didn’t really make much sense to me. Even when I got to know her back story, I didn’t fully understand her or think she was justified in the way she treated Weston. The overall story and plot was awesome, though, and I found Weston to be great – especially because even at the end of the story, he was still keeping secrets about his own past. Just because he thought he could.

 

There is still someone in the background pulling all the Misters’ strings to get them into situations that are really potentially deadly. Mr. Corporate seems to think he knows who that person is, but he isn’t sharing with the group – nor the readers – so the mystery is still intact. The suspense was extremely well done, too, just like I’ve gotten used to with a Huss novel. She manages to keep her readers guessing, while the characters are scrambling to stay alive and try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys (or gals).

 

Even with the tense storyline, there was a lot of humor. I enjoyed the fact that while Tori and West were the only two characters present for parts of the story, all the Misters and Five make some strong appearances as well. So between the overall plot of the series moving forward, the romance between West and Tori, and the mystery that is still impossible to guess, Mr. Corporate satisfied most of my reading needs. There is a strong story, characters that evolve, a lot of teasing and a solid plot.

 

Written in dual points of view, with chapters from either Weston’s or Victoria’s perspective, I felt like I was right there with them, and I have to admit my heart rate was racing in places – there was just so many things that could go wrong!

 

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

I sigh. Because I don’t really want to do any of that. I want to say I’m sorry. I want to say I’ve missed her. I want to say there has never been another woman in my life like her and there never will be. I want to say… I love her. 

 

West is eerily silent and contemplative as he stares out the window. It’s like he doesn’t even notice me. I dressed in these clothes to taunt him, wore this low-cut shirt to pique his interest. And all I’ve gotten so far is indifference. He’s always been that way, right?

 

Everything about her is complex and convoluted. She’s a maze of emotions and a labyrinth of feelings that requires careful navigation or the wild comes out and can’t be put back. 

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/review-mr-corporate-j-a-huss
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review 2016-08-17 20:30
Review: Made for Sin - Stacia Kane
Made for Sin - Stacia Kane

*I received a free copy of Made for Sin from Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange of an honest and unbiased review*


Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
 
Made for Sin by Stacia Kane
Published by Loveswept on 30 August 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Suspense,Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 266
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, COYER Summer 2016
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

A lot of bad hands get dealt in Vegas, but E. L. Speare may be holding one of the worst: He’s cursed with the need to commit sins, and if he misses his daily quota, there’s hell to pay—literally. Fortunately, his hometown affords him plenty of chances to behave badly.
But Speare’s newest case really has him going out on a limb. The right-hand man of a notorious crime boss has been found dead in a Dumpster—minus his right hand, not to mention the rest of his arm. What catches Speare’s attention, however, is that the missing appendage was severed clean by a demon-sword, a frighteningly powerful tool of the underworld.
Speare’s out of his element, so he turns to a specialist: Ardeth Coyle, master thief, dealer in occult artifacts, and bona fide temptress. Ardeth’s hotter than a Las Vegas sidewalk on the Fourth of July, but she’s one sin Speare has to resist.
The dismembered corpses are piling up, unimaginable evil lurks in the shadows, and if this odd couple hopes to beat the odds, Speare needs to keep his hands off Ardeth, and his head in the game.

 

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-ARC (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Challenge (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Paranormal (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Romance (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Suspense UF - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

Made for Sin is set in a dark, gritty universe, where there are demons and magic, and where safety is not a given. Characters that kept me on my toes, a tight plot and a good storyline entertained me and had me hooked from start to finish.

 

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

Made for Sin has quite a bit of suspense, as the story starts with the discovery of a corpse without its right arm. Yes, you read that right – the whole arm was taken off, from the shoulder, and the rest was left behind. Speare was the one PI who was set on the case, and he needed help both from the police and from a thief who might know something about a demon sword. Ardeth was an amazing character, too, because she was able to hold her cards oh so close to the chest, so while I enjoyed her and got a good feel for her – neither I nor Speare really got to know her very well.

 

Kane is quite a master at world building, and in Made for Sin, the story is set in Las Vegas, but not necessarily in the same world as us. Speare truly loves his sinful city, and he wants to do what he can to protect it from the evil that is lurking and might destroy them all. The characters are well done, and I enjoyed both their personalities and their strange humor. The dark magic that was present made things very interesting as well.

 

If you’re a fan of dark and gritty stories with extremely flawed characters who have to truly fight to be ‘good’, you should definitely pickup Made for Sin and enjoy the slightly scary, quite suspenseful, and sometimes romantic ride it will take you on. Written in third person past tense, with a narrator that shows us what happens mostly from Speare’s perspective. (And really, how can you not wonder about that name??)

 

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

 

Speare figured it was a mixture of both, but either way, the place was full of gold leaf and shiny flocked wallpaper and ruffled pink bordello curtains. Mirrors hung on almost every wall, too, amplifying the neon glare. Speare wasn’t a guy who knew much about decorating, but he knew that place hurt his eyes.

 

Those adding-machine eyes were back, he could feel them, calculating how much she trusted him. How much to tell him. Hopefully the answer was “all of it,” because fighting her over every piece of information was already getting old and he’d only known her for three hours.

 

“Sorry,” she said. “I didn’t realize it was a sore spot.”
“It’s not.”
“Sure it is.” She sucked on the Coke he’d bought her and made a face. Yeah, sitting in the car for forty minutes hadn’t made it taste any better. “You’re kind of a walking sore spot, Speare. I wonder why.”

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/review-made-sin-stacia-kane
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review 2016-05-08 12:34
★★★★★ Review: Acting Brave - Helena Newbury
Acting Brave (Fenbrook Academy #3 - New Adult Romance) - Helena Newbury
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.

Review: Acting Brave – Helena NewburyActing Brave by Helena Newbury
Series: Fenbrook Academy #3
on 13 January 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 581
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Purchase
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

She’s spent her whole life acting. But can she make him believe she doesn’t love him? The final book in the Fenbrook Academy trilogy
Three years ago, a terrified girl named Emma fled a world of crime and abuse in Chicago and bought a one-way ticket to New York. She reinvented herself as an actress, enrolled at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy and buried her pain beneath a vivacious new persona. Her new name was Jasmine.

Now she has to pull off the performance of her career. Landing her dream part in a police show, she finds herself falling for her co-star, Ryan, a real-life cop. If she lets him get too close, he’ll awaken memories she doesn’t want to face and uncover secrets that could endanger them both. But how can she keep a guy at arm’s length when she has to kiss him on camera?

The last place Ryan imagined himself was on a TV show. Blaming himself for the death of his partner, he’s on a downward spiral of rage and guilt. The show is his last chance…but how can he keep it professional when his co-star is a woman he’s crazy about?

As their on-screen and off-screen relationships merge, things go from hot to blistering. But when Jasmine’s old life catches up with her, will a cop be the one person she can’t be around...or the only person who can save her?

 

Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews Dark - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Fave New Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews (un)ConventionalBookViews_Genre-Romance

 

Jasmine definitely did act brave, even when she thought herself she wasn’t brave at all! Acting Brave is a very strong ending to Newbury’s Fenbrook Academy series, filled with emotions – both good and bad, I both laughed, cried, and swooned! – and amazing characters.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

The third instalment in Newbury’s Fenbrook Academy series fulfilled me – I loved Jasmine as a character, even if I found her hard to ‘get’ in the prior novels where she was a side character. When I got to know her better, I understood so well why she often seemed aloof and a bit detached, she really had to be to protect both herself and her friends. She came from a very difficult past, and she had seen firsthand what it meant to stand up for herself – it didn’t only have consequences for her, but for those who wanted to help her as well. Fenbrook was a new start for her, and she wanted to make the most of it, while staying safe at the same time.

Ryan had fallen in love with Jasmine almost at sight, even when he had to break up a fight, and he thought she was a high-end prostitute. The young police officer had things together, though, at least until his partner was shot dead and he had trouble dealing with his temper. When the two of them end up at the same audition for a TV show, sparks fly, and they get leading roles, even if Ryan has never acted before.

The characters moved the story forward flawlessly, and I loved to learn more about them little, by little, Jasmine had a lot of what she saw as bad luggage on her young shoulders, and it was so nice to see how she might be able to let go of the past to fully live her life in the present while also preparing for the future.

Written in first person point of view, from both Ryan’s and Jasmine’s perspectives, I enjoyed myself and was amazed at how quickly I finished the book. Completely engrossed from start to finish, I loved every second.

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I hadn’t slept for two nights and I was practically hallucinating. But before I crashed out, there was one last thing I had to do. I pulled the Ploaroid camera from my backpack and took off all my clothes. And then, using the self-timer, I took photos of everything he’d done to me.

 

My eyes went from gray to green, courtesy of colored contacts. My face, once gaunt from stress and bad food, filled out. My skin went from deathly pale and spotty to something you might romantically call ivory. I grew my hair until it hung in long, shining waves I liked to think qualified as tresses.

 

“Did I do something wrong?” she asked. And even that throwaway, innocent comment was just laden with teasing, sexy innuendo. My mind filled with all the things she might have done wrong, and all the wrong things I’d like to do to her. Or was it all in my head? Was I just reading that into it because I was completely, hopelessly smitten with this girl?

 

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Source: unconventionalbookviews.com/review-acting-brave-helena-newbury
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