So, I picked up Beyond Shame as a freebie on Amazon (which I think still is by the way), and while it did take me a little while to read that was more so due to personal reasons rather than book being slow. In fact, it moves quite fast, and in a good way. This is the first book of the series, and it focuses on Nicole and Jasper—or Jas. Jasper is kind of like Dallas’s right hand man and second in command of the group. Nicole is literally thrown into this area of Sector Four from the City (Eden). With the way is set up, it really gave me a similar feeling to Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series—which I liked. There wasn’t that much in world building per se. However, I think that was more because this was, at the end of the day, still a Romance, and so, a lot of the focus was on Nicole and Jasper’s relationship. While I don’t want to say that it was perfect, because, like I said, it does move fast, they have a relatively good relationship. For once I was able to find a portrayal of a BDSM/”Bad Boy” Romance where the male character is redeemable and isn’t grating on my nerves. Huzzah!! There was great push and pull from them, both and emotionally and even sexually.
Jasper is a great character. He isn’t over possessive or going on a “You are mine” type of thing in an over the top kind of way. He really is about pleasing Nicole and helping her kind of figure out what she likes, doesn’t like, etc. I liked that about him. Again, he didn’t make me want to slam my head against the wall. That makes me really, really happy.
Nicole kind of came into her own too. I do like the fact that she is fresh faced and new to everything outside of the city. I do like the fact that she came into it without having to completely sacrifice her personality or who she was as a person. She wasn’t out to necessarily be like the other woman in the group but find out she was while still being apart of the group—if that makes sense.
The sex scenes were hot. Hahah. They were hot, well-written, and well done. Loved it.
I don’t really have anything bad to say about this book. I will say when you step back and realize that it does kind of take place over a couple of weeks, it does seem like Jasper and Nicole moved fast (at least imo) but I think that was apart of their personalities at the same time and what were they about.
Rating: 5 starts out of 5
Arc provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing) through Netgalley
Release Date: February 24 th
This was basically an okay read...
The beginning was great in a, "I don't ever want to stop reading it" that kind of great.
Great chemistry between the two leading characters, plus a great number of secondary characters led me to expect a different kind of story: one that I would have devoured in one sitting.
Unfortunately after a strange and silly situation of exchanged luggages, Sam and May find themselves stuck in a somewhat stereotyped eighties romance: Sam ends up being a little too Neanderthal for my tastes.
He likes to boss around and especially favourites the word "Mine".
You see where this is going..
As to May or Maisa, I found her a little lacking in character development. In the end I wanted more from her that simply her bouts of bad humour.
The secondary characters were okay, but with the exception of Karl's with his man-bro's thoughts, they really weren't that memorable.
The thriller parts weren't that engaging, and the hot and steamy ones _ I can't believe I am going to say this _ although extremely hot, ended up being tiresome in a plot that had little else to give, you know?
The thing is, when the story starts, Sam and May already have _or had _ a story, so we're not able to see those first moments in their relationship, and for me, their romance feels somewhat lacking because of that.
Maybe if the story had been cut shorter I wouldn't feel that way, but as it was, I was more than ready to be done with it.
In the end this ended having one too many stupid to live moments, more appropriate to a new adult story, than an adult romantic contemporary romance.
The writing however was flawless as is normal with Elizabeth Hoyt's novels.
I received an ARC for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
With that synopsis and that cover, I knew I had to dig into Blood and Shattered Glass and find out for myself what the mystery was all about. It seemed too twisted and fun to pass up, plus I love Tyffani Clark Kemp's writing. I've read the first two books of her LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted series, and I love it when authors branch out into other genres.
I'm going to have to be really vague with this review because too much can be given away if I start getting into specifics. And I definitely don't want to give anything away, not one single thing. There were so many surprises around every corner that I wasn't expecting, and the plot blew me away. It's fantastic. I want you to have the opportunity to be blown away by this book, too.
Trista and Jeremi depend on one another - I could tell that right away. At first it appeared he was the one taking care of her, but I think he relied on her almost as much as she did him. I couldn't wait to find out the secrets he was keeping - I had no idea what those could be. Plus I was looking forward to finding out if there was something fishy going on at the psychiatric hospital.
Blood and Shattered Glass is full of secrets waiting to be found out. There were just a couple of small issues I had with it plot wise where things happened a bit too conveniently, but it didn't detract me from enjoying the story as much as I did. I highly recommend this romantic thriller - it'll keep you up reading way past your bedtime and is totally worth losing sleep over!
Opening Line: “Devin Carter had five days off thanks to a torn knee ligament, and he needed to get away from everyone and everything he knew, so he threw some clothes and a couple books in a bag, loaded the dog in the car, and drove down the gulf coast of Florida to Naples, where he picked up the Tamiami Trail.”
Wow, I totally got into this one, a real surprise as the story didn’t at all go where I was expecting it to and the love scenes were for the most part fade-to-black (which might explain some of the lower ratings?) Sure we get the usual hand jobs, blow jobs and make out sessions but except for a delicious “edging” scene (yup, learn something new every day in my M/M romances) our hero “makes love” and leaves the rest to our imaginations. Kinda refreshing.
Blue Paradise also gives us a creepy stalker plotline –which I didn’t see coming, and our hero is a professional baseball player. Yum! And wasn’t it fun going behind the scenes with him; locker rooms, agents, groupies etc. Giving me flashes of For Love Of The Game (without Kevin Costner) as he tries to break Barry Bonds homerun record on a failing knee. I should also mention the awesome Florida setting here; so well written that I could actually feel the humidly, smell the salt air and see the swaying palms. Total escapism and I loved it. This was a big hit for me and I’ll definitely be seeking out more from Theo Fenraven.
Professional baseball player Devin Carter is nursing a bad knee, benched by the team doctor he’s hoping a week’s rest in the Florida Keys will be just what his mind and body need to help him break the home run record when he returns for the remainder of the season. With no true direction in mind Devin just grabs his dog and hits the road, eventually checking into a non-descript hotel bungalow on the beach. It’s there at the Blue Paradise that Devin meets Jim, the grandson of the owner and the man he doesn’t know he’s been looking for.
Their affair is short lived but meaningful and when Devin returns to Sarasota they decide to keep it going over the phone. There isn’t any angst or unnecessary drama between Devin and Jim; it’s all very mature (that aspect has been saved up for Jorge.) Devin is still in the closet when it comes to the media and his teammates but otherwise quite secure in his sexuality so even though he’s never fooled around with a teammate before when the opportunity presents itself - and with Jim’s open minded blessing, he forges into unknown and potentially messy territory with the team’s new outfielder. And that’s when things get really interesting.
For a novella I managed to I got way caught up in the stalker aspect of this story and the utter helplessness Devin feels as his life crumbles around him. He can’t even go to his coach or the police without coming out, however as the violence escalates he also runs out of options. The bad guy here is nothing new or special but he still managed to make me hate him while upping the suspense level. My only real complaint here would be Dev and Jim’s initial meeting which just felt a little too easy and convenient but hey what do I know about gay hook ups?
Lastly I have to give a shout out to Rusty the dog who manages to get quite a bit of realistic page time. So much so that when the stalker starts threatening him I actually said to myself (and the author) you better not hurt the dog or I’m gunna stop reading and when I start talking to my books I know it’s good. Cheers