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review 2017-05-10 13:20
DOMINION BY: J. KOWALLIS
Dominion (The Enertia Trials Book 4) - J. Kowallis
"The future always changes. Like water ripples interrupted by a falling stick, the afterimage can be disrupted, and in the end, only the strongest claim dominion."
 
What just happened to me? I am convinced that Kowallis's goal was to have her readers feeling as completely ravaged as her characters felt. Well mam,
 
mission accomplished boom
 
You broke me.
 
ruined
 
Over and over again. You had me doubting EVERYTHING. I was stuck in this place of unyielding paranoia. I had to question pretty much everyone, even people I would have sworn were unwavering in their cause. Even my FAVORITE characters were not safe. Even if it was just for a brief moment, I doubted their intentions, I wondered if they could possibly be going darkside.
 
paranoid gif 2
 
And I can just picture you sitting there after finishing writing Dominion cackling with your evil author laugh like...
 
 
tears of my readersevil smirk
 
Dominion was an intense, high anxiety adrenaline rush that does not relent until the very end. And I would not give back a moment of it. Thankfully, Kowallis somehow manages to sneak in a few really sweet moments that end up feeling even more precious because they are happening amidst the sheer chaos going on around them. I also think this book especially highlights just how wonderfully complex the characters are in this series. Each one shows such a wide range in Dominion. No one is the same as they were when they started out in this journey, which is what you want to see by the last book. Even when you were seeing the worst of them they still had your heart, even if, as Roy so eloquently put it, they have that "damn stubbornness and piece-of-shit attitudes that make people want to hit you in the face with a hammer.". Just another reason I adore Roy. That man is a ROCK. I never ceased to be amazed by how stead-fast he was through everything, and he stayed true to that through all the insanity he had to endure in this one.
 
well done sir
 
It is really hard to fully gush about this book because there are just so many things that would spoil the full experience of it and I refuse to do that. If you've come this far with the series I promise that Dominion does not disappoint. You'll feel like a war torn mess after reading it, but you will also feel a sense of peace and hopefulness at the end. Which considering everything that went down in this series, is more than you can ask for.
 
do it again
 
Now, if you're one of the unfortunate souls that has not yet started this series...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
 
poor unfortunate souls
 
It is complete now, and if dystopian is something you like than this series is a DO NOT MISS! I truly can't recommend it enough.
 
I am sad to say goodbye to this series, but I am completely fulfilled and content with the way it ended. And I CAN'T WAIT to see what J. Kowallis comes up with next!
 
im ready gif
 
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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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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review 2016-04-27 21:23
The Watcher in the Wall - A Review

THE WATCHER IN THE WALL by Owen Laukkanen

 
It’s a sad fact, but a fact none-the-less; teenagers commit suicide.  Thousands of young people take their own lives every year so what made Adrian Miller’s death so different?   Kirk Stevens daughter went to school with Adrian and while they were not close friends – Adrian didn’t really have any friends – she comes to her father’s FBI-BCA office with a concern that cannot be ignored; Adrian had some online help in ending his life.
 
Although this is not the type of case that usually gets the attention of Kirk Stevens, Carla Windermere and their team Kirk’s daughter’s insistence makes them take a closer look … but how do you find a killer that lurks behind the walls of many private websites and chatrooms using even more alias’?  Especially when the stakes are getting higher and more kids are on the suicide track thanks to a bullied kid who turned into a bully himself – the kind of bully that kills without once stepping away from the keyboard.
 
“The Watcher in the Wall” is the fifth in the Stevens/Windermere series and, in my opinion, the best of the bunch so far.  Mr. Laukkanen finally gives up on the secret attraction between Carla and Kirk and lets them get on with the police work they do so well.  Without that trope distracting me I found this moved along at a nice brisk pace.  In the past books, which I enjoyed a great deal, we learned a lot about Kirk Stevens’ private life and in this one it was time to learn a little bit more about Carla Windermere and what we learn gives credence to her doggedness in wanting to solve this case. 
 
Any time an author undertakes writing a series there is always the “cookie-cutter” element which admittedly, after Mr. Laukkanen’s last book I was afraid was beginning to seep into this series but this book totally eliminated that fear.   The ending was a little overdone in terms of the bad guy’s stamina, but still a solid entry into the series.
 
As I read the author acknowledgement at the end of the book it became clear to me why  I felt this entry was a step above the rest in the series.  As Mr. Laukkanen explains ...
 
“Watcher in the Wall” is inspired very loosely by real-life incidents, but it’s also a fairly personal book for me.  I’ve dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was a teenager, and it’s only now, two decades later, that I’ve started taking real steps to deal with it.  In some ways, this book is a response to the dark stuff.”
 
It takes courage to put your personal demons into a book even if it is a work of fiction and no doubt that is part of what made such a good read.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from his webpage)
 

A graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program, Laukkanen spent three years in the world of professional poker reporting before turning to fiction. He currently lives in Vancouver, where he’s hard at work on the sixth installment in the Stevens and Windermere series.

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