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review 2016-03-17 17:42
NetGalley Review - Last Kiss Goodnight
Last Kiss Goodnight: A heart-breaking story of lost children and the power of a mother's love - Teresa Driscoll

I absolutely loved Recipes for Melissa last year, so when I saw that the author had a new book out, I had to read it. I’m pleased to report that I was not disappointed. Last Kiss Goodnight is another beautifully written and emotional read.

Having read two books by this author now, I’m discovering that Teresa Driscoll has a way of creating authentic characters that are genuinely lovable. It is impossible not to get emotionally involved in the story. This novel has a good mix of happy and sad moments, and I had tears in my eyes while reading the epilogue. I also loved the friendships between some of the characters, and the feel of the close-knit community.

I did work out a number of outcomes quite early on, which did take away the element of surprise, but I wouldn’t say this had an impact on my overall enjoyment of the book, as I enjoyed the emotional journey of each character as the story progressed. I guess it’s kind of like watching one of your favourite films. You know what is going to happen, but you still watch and enjoy it, looking forward to your favourite parts, perhaps occasionally wishing for another outcome, or just happy that it ended the same way again.

I would say this is as well written as Recipes for Melissa, so I feel I need to justify why this gets 4 stars instead of 5, as it is no reflection on the quality of writing. My only justification for this is that Recipes for Melissa felt more personal to me, because it brought back childhood memories due to me making soda bread with my Irish mother when I was young, and watching Jaws with my dad when I was only 4 years old. Plus, I have lived in Cornwall for the last few years, so I had that connection too.

I'm confident this is a book that will be loved my many over the coming months, and highly recommend it to those who enjoy emotional, sometimes heart-breaking stories with well developed and lovable characters.

I would like to thank the publisher, Bookouture for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1556901400
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review 2016-03-12 23:08
Last Kiss Goodnight - Gena Showalter

 I am so torn about this book. On one hand I enjoyed the premise and even the characters. On the other hand the preaching was as subtle as a 2x4 to the head. There were definitely parts that took me completely out of the story and I felt as if I had to grit my teeth and power through. It was unnecessary and ultimately contributed nothing to the story. The story itself was a classic beauty and the beast tale, which I enjoyed. The setting and the world were unique enough that my interest in finding out what happened next got me through the aforementioned rough spots. I also had issues with the love scenes. They were not what I was expecting from this seasoned author and I felt as if she got suddenly squeamish about including details but knew she had to include the love scenes anyway. It read very conflicted for me and I was left feeling very cold by them. I'm not sure I can really recommend this book to anyone because of my issues with it. But there were still some parts of it I enjoyed very much. Ugh. So torn. Ultimately I could only give this 2 stars.

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review 2015-01-09 02:31
Last Kiss Goodnight - Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter does it again! I have been a faithful reader of everything Gena Showalter since I picked up my first LOTU series book and fell in love with her writing and characters. She is on my auto-buy list and has yet to disappoint. I was super excited to see that she started a new series and that there were going to be sexy black ops agents.

 

So, Soloman Judah is a black ops agent…duh. Well, tragedy strikes at a meeting with his team and he is knocked out. When he wakes up he finds that he is in a strange place: a cage. Solo has been bought by a crazy evil circus owner and is bound with more Otherworlder’s as attractions in a twisted show. Solo is determined to break out and kill his captures, but when the daughter of the owner shows him some compassion in a situation where she doesn’t have to, he starts to think that there is more going on than her being bred from evil.

 

Vika is as much of a captive as the Otherworlder’s in the cages. She has endured an abusive father and has a plan to escape and set the Otherworlder’s free. The only problem is that when all of the other captives throw rocks at her and say awful things, the new Otherworlder Solo, protects her.

 

Vika and Solo share an incredible bond through their situation and as all good love stories go, triumph in the end.  I really enjoyed the setting of this book. The circus is not someplace I have experience in any fantasy romance novels, but I definitely liked it. A lot of the story was told during captivity, so it really had a dark vibe to it. There are bible verses at the beginning of each chapter, which might bother some people, but didn’t me. I felt they were extraordinarily fitting for each chapter and what happened following the quote. They didn’t feel preachy to me, but kind of enlightening to what may come, or words of encouragement or wisdom for the characters.

 

The one thing that was missing for me in this book was the sex. Is it so hard to write in a good steamy sex scene?

Some of us readers live for those scenes! Especially when you have a yummy otherworlder like Solo! I did feel a bit confused with Mr. X and Mr. E and it basically took me the whole book to figure out what the hell was going on with that, but in the end I supposed it worked. There was also the vow voodoo going on with Solo, but that didn’t bother me as much. I know a lot of the people that read this were disappointed, but I enjoyed it. It could be that I haven’t read any Gena Showalter in a while, but either way, I liked it. It was a solid read for me and I plan on reading the second book in this series Black and Blue.  

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review 2014-10-30 02:17
Not much 'romance', but a great read!
Last Kiss Goodnight - Gena Showalter

Vika and Solo were very interesting characters, and definitely different than most you end up reading about! Solo is considered 'ugly and hideous' throughout the book by...well, pretty much everyone, including himself. He's strong, fierce, and will do whatever it takes, whenever it takes, to get the job done. Then we have Vika. And POOR Vika! You really empathize with her character, after the first chapter she's introduced I was already hoping for justice. Seriously, my heart went out to her. And the fact she's so sweet, and hides her 'disability' so well, is incredible. Her adaptability and will is noteworthy. And the fact she takes a liking to Solo...it just melts your heart!!!

Now, to mention my side-note from the beginning. While I'm a HUGE Showalter fan (Lords of the Underworld anyone?!), this book didn't have the 'steamy romance' that her books usually have. Is that a bad thing? No, definitely not. But there's a lot of buildup to that point in the book, and while romance happens, it's just mentioned that it happens. Like, in a paragraph or two. This book is very story based, and while Vika and Solo fall in love and overcome overwhelming odds, there isn't much romance. Like I said, which is FINE, the story does great without it, I just...expected it, I guess? It sounds odd I'm complaining about it, when the story was very well done!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! The only reason I gave it a 4 out of 5 is because of: A.) the beginning of the book, and several parts along the way, were very confusing to me for a while (lots of information to process, but I suppose it's needed to set the stage) and B.) as a Showalter fan, I expected more steamy-ness and was disappointed by the lack of romance. But otherwise a GREAT read, and I will definitely be picking up book 2!

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text 2014-07-01 16:38
Love is a Circus
To Catch A Wolf (Historical Werewolf Series, Book 4) - Susan Krinard
Bone Deep - Bonnie Dee
Hannah's Journey - Anna Schmidt
Kiss an Angel - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
Strongman - Denise Rossetti
Wicked as They Come - Delilah S. Dawson
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Last Kiss Goodnight - Gena Showalter
The Knife Thrower's Bride (Under the Big Top Book 1) - Angie Troubador

Circuses from all eras make compelling settings for romances. The close knit community, the traveling, the talent and  the athleticism come together to create a back drop for love full of lights, fairy floss, and unexpected turns.

 

I wish writers would move away from the "ran away to the circus" theme a bit more but I am still happy to buy a ticket to these romances. 

 

Here are some love story set under the Big Top. 

 

1. Bone Deep by Bonnie Dee The Tattooed Man

2. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Russian Circus Manger 

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  Two Young Magicians

4. Strongman by Denise Rossetti  Strongman

5. Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson  A Magician

6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen  Equestrian

7. Last Kiss Goodnight by Gena Showalter Head Keeper

8. Hannah's Journey by Anna Schmidt Circus Owner

9. The Knife Thrower's Bride by Angie Troubador Knife Thrower

10. To Catch A Wolf by Susan Krinard Side Show Performer 

 

Do you have a favorite Circus Set Romance? Let me know!

 

To vote for the best of the best, go to the Goodreads list: Love is a Circus: Romances with Circuses. 

 

Enjoy some amazing images from world of the Circus and even more recommendations on my Pinterest Board: Love is a Circus. 

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