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Search tags: yes-a-romance
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review 2018-04-21 23:02
Equals (Equals #1) by Brigham Vaughn Review
Equals - Brigham Vaughn

Too busy to date while he worked to put himself through school, Russell Bishop's dedication finally pays off; he has a great job with Vantage Marketing. Stephen Parker, CFO of the marketing firm, has resigned himself to a life without a partner. For six months, they wanted each other but it isn’t until Russ slips on spilled coffee, and Stephen rushes to his rescue that they discover their attraction is mutual. However, the twenty year age gap between them proves difficult when they begin dating. Fiercely independent, Russ isn't sure he's ready for long-term commitment. Scarred from a previous relationship, Stephen is afraid history is repeating itself. Is there any way for them to meet in the middle and become equals?

 

Review

 

I enjoyed this book. It was great to watch the heroes work through the conflicts of an office romance and an age difference as well as their own backstories.

However, the focus was too narrow for me, not that the book is character driven I love that, but that these men are so isolated in their connections to others.

And then it turns out this book is really a serial stretched out over several books so I don't get the full HEA. Sigh.

Good writing though.

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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 2018-04-21 19:35
Zombie Abbey
Zombie Abbey - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. ]

A story with Austen undertones… and zombies. (I’ve seen it compared to ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’, but not having read that one, I honestly can’t tell.)

At Porthampton Abbey, a couple of years after World War I, the Clarke family has to contend with the problem of the entail, just like in ‘Pride and Prejudice’—meaning that if one of the daughters (preferably the elder, Kate) doesn’t marry very soon and has a male heir, their family will lose their estate after the death of Earl Clarke. Which is why the latter has invited a couple of potential suitors to stay for the weekend, including an older businessman from London, a duke, and a recently discovered cousin who’s very likely to inherit anyway, considering he’s the only male heir (but here’s to hope he’ll marry Kate, and all will be well in the world). And the story would go its posh, merry way, if not for the strange death of a villager, found half-devoured… A villager whom his widow has to kill a second time with a bullet to the head.

The beginning of this story definitely has its appeal: the Clarkes display a comical mix of common sense (Kate when it comes to hunting, for instance) and quirky, whimsical inability to grasp that other people are not only their servants, they’re, well, human beings with their own lives, too. This was a conflict in itself in the book, with the ‘Upstairs’ people having to realise that they have to pay more attention to the ‘Downstairs’ people. The build-up to the part where zombies actually make an appearance was a little slow, but in itself, it didn’t bother me, because discovering the characters (and rolling my eyes while trying to guess who’d kick the bucket) was quite fun. Granted, some of the characters weren’t very likeable; the earl felt too silly, Kate too insensitive… but on the other hand, I liked where Lizzy and Grace started and how they progressed—Lizzy as the girl whom everyone thinks stupid, yet who turns out to be level-headed when things become dangerous, and Grace being likely the most humane person in her family. The suitors, too, looked rather bland at first, however a couple of them started developing more of a (pleasant) personality. And I quite liked Fanny as well, the quiet-at-first but assertive maid who refuses to let ‘propriety’walks all over charity.

After a while, though, the style became a little repetitive. The way the various characters’ point of views were introduced at the beginning of each chapter or sub-chapter, for some reason, tended to grate on my nerves, I’m not exactly sure why; and while I don’t have issues with casts of more than 2-3 POV characters, here the focus regularly went back to some action already shown in a previous chapter, but this time from another character’s point of view, which felts redundant.

I also thought that while there -were- zombies, I’d have liked seeing a little more of them. There was tension, but I never felt the story was really scary (for me and for the characters both), and the moments when a character got hurt was usually due to their being too stupid to live and doing something that no one in their sane mind should’ve done anyway.

Finally, I’m not satisfied with the ending: I don’t know it there’ll be a sequel or not, but if it’s meant to be a standalone, then it leaves way too many things open.

Conclusion: 2.5 /3 stars. I’m curious about how the situation at Porthampton Abbey will unfold, and if there were a sequel, that’d be good, because it’d mean the characters could finish growing, too.

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text 2018-04-21 07:05
Cover Reveal - Vanilla & Vice

VANILLA & VICE 

 
Book one of the EMPIRE SEVENS series
 
RELEASING MAY 15TH
 
by Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea
 
 
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary 

VANILLA & VICE 

 

My sick obsession with DOMINATION and SEX had become an addiction, and I was no longer willing to be a slave to it. Now, I'm six months sex free, and I haven't tied a woman up in five. 
 
I've never felt more powerful in my life.
 
Then EDEN VAUGHN got a job at EMPIRE SEVENS and turned my newfound control on its head. She makes me feel weak--testing my restraint--silently begging me to show her how deep my ADDICTION runs. I can't have her sort of TEMPTATION in my casino, and I'll do whatever it takes to get her to quit.
 
I'm into all things DARK and FILTHY, but INNOCENCE is my kryptonite.
 
She's VIRTUOUS and VANILLA, and vanilla is my VICE
 

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

 

 
 
 
 
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review 2018-04-20 21:31
Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1) by Melissa de la Cruz
Witches of East End - Melissa de la Cruz

It was hard to put this book down, even to just fold laundry. However, it should be noted that de la Cruz has a particular writing style - very short chapters, heavy on plot, rotating third person POVs (in this case Freya, Ingrid, and Joanne), and for an adult book, very little sex on the page. I was familiar with de la Cruz's writing after reading three books in her YA vampire series (with one of those vampires making a guest appearance in this book), and it suited to the story she was telling in this book.

 

And what a book it was - a mix of lessons from early American history (the Salem witch trials in particular), Norse mythology (yeah, with names like Freya and Ingrid kind of give it away), and straight up paranormal. Joanne, Freya, and Ingrid are witches and mother-daughters that were exiled by The Council and banned from using their gifts. After a few centuries, each woman was tired of keeping herself on the down low and starting using her gifts for the good of others - honest intentions to help people. As they continue to use their powers, equally crazy shit happens and it is up to the women to find the source and stop it. 

 

I just loved this book. The women were intelligent, thoughtful, and worked together while still being themselves and the romantic elements were there, but not the focus of the book. It was a joyride with heart. I am definitely going to continue reading this series. Forewarned: you have to read the series in order because the end of one book sets up the next book. So although the problem the women faced ended at the end of this book, the epilogue dropped a big plot line for book two.

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