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review 2016-11-05 12:41
No Braking My Heart by Kate Angell
No Breaking My Heart (Barefoot William Beach) - Kate Angell

Professional baseball player Halo Todd doesn't like failure, but he can never turn down a challenge. Especially when there's a pretty woman involved. How else would he end up dressed as a rooster, helping a complete stranger compete on a wacky game show? Even when they're eliminated after the first round, Halo isn't about to lose the girl…

Alyn is stunned when gorgeous, generous Halo whisks her off for a dream vacation to the beach--she's been let down by friends and even family so many times, she's lost count. Later, he offers to lend a hand getting her vintage shop up and running. But his constant--and ridiculous--purchases are the last thing she needs. How can she convince the stubborn man that she doesn't need his help--not when all she wants is his heart…


* I've got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*

I didn't like this book at all. The main male character was cocky, pushy, acted like a stalker. It makes me furious when the guy decides that he knows better what a woman wants and if she says "no", that in his stupid mind this word means "later".


The main female character was unmemorable and boring, couldn't protect her opinion. She did everything what the guy pushed her to do.


The story was also ridiculous. After few weeks of hanging out they fell in love... Come on, this couple, if I can call them couple, spent just few hours together, other times they were with family members of friends and barely exchanged few sentences. I don't understand for what they loved each other. For good looks ?

Do not recommend this book.

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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 2016-01-17 13:41
Hurts in all the Right Places
Sutphin Boulevard - Santino Hassell

“I wish I didn’t love your stupid ass so much.”



Dear lord, this book slayed me. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did. And I didn't expect it to hurt so good, even though I had been warned. 


So let me tell you why the pain is so worth it. 


Firstly, we get to meet Michael. Puerto-Rican New Yorker, escaped from his messed up family life in South Jamaica, teaching in one of the most LGBTQ friendly schools in Brooklyn, is struggling with... Everything. His family is broken. His mother is dead, his brother can't motivate himself to even keep the house clean, let alone find a job, and ever since MIchael moved back into his childhood home, his feelings are all over the place. Add his low-life father, who not surprisingly is dying because of the cirrhosis of his liver, and the mix is getting toxic pretty damn fast. You can practically taste Michael's guilt, anger and desperation right from the start. 


The only light in his life is Nunzio. Best friends for twenty years, the two men know each other inside out - even literally ever since picking up drunk David in a bar. But toxic stays toxic, no matter how much sugar you add to it. So, even though Michael still has his rock, Nunzio, things start to change. At work, they're put on two different teams, there is the new supervisor who looks awfully familiar with all the green stuff behind his ears, and at home the atmosphere is so full of rage and desperation, that not even his escapes to Nunzio can really make a dent in Michael's ever-growing pile of dark feelings. Liquor is his crutch, a sharp tongue his only weapon, flight his only instinct remaining intact. 


And that's only the beginning, because as soon as things start to crumble left and right, Michael looses his footing for real, more so with each day that doesn't get better. And it's so painful to read, it's insane. 


Santino Hassell has an eerie talent to transport me right into the middle of his tale without warning. I started reading and I was just right there with Michael. There was no way out of his head, and even when I stopped reading, I had him on my mind the whole time. I realize that for some readers that was too much. Which is totally understandable, but made the book all the better for me. I wasn't able to get away from the darkness lurking behind the pages, and didn't want to. Not once. Even after the hollow feeling in my gut got worse and worse, even when I felt like I was watching a train wreck and would probably crumble as soon as shit hit the fan for real, I kept on reading. And reading. And reading. Despite my fear that nothing would get better in the end, I kept going. Which is not how I usually operate. 


I also understand that some readers felt Nunzio to be too pale, or too vague, his thoughts not illustrated enough. That they would have needed his POV in order to really enjoy him as an MC. That was so not the case for me. Because even though we never get a chance to be in his head, Nunzio is one of the most expressive and clearly portrayed MCs I've read in a long time. Even though his POV is not given, I understood him perfectly. Granted, you had to read between the lines, watch him carefully, empathize a lot, but in the end that made it all the more worth it. Nunzio just felt real to me. As deeply flawed as Michael, but more self-less, more empathetic and as a reader you had to do what Nunzio was doing with Michael. Not listen to his words, but watch his reactions, analyze his actions and get your clues from what he was NOT saying.


Needless to say, I loved both of these men. Despite Michael's depression and very own darkness, he was an inherently good guy. Self-centred more often than not, oblivious to a fault, descending into his very own hell faster and faster, but never selfish or evil. His own fears, guilt and desperation led him to some questionable decisions, his caring nature brought him to his knees when it came to his family, his despreate clutch on the status quo almost destroyed the good things he still had. I loved him. He was flawed, he didn't always do the right thing, he didn't react to things the way I would have or did in the past. But he still got under my skin and made me hurt in all the right places. As for his family drama: If there is one thing I understand it's the predicament of "I know, it ttears me apart, but it's still my FAMILY." Resounded with me on every possible level. Same goes for Nunzio. He grabbed me by my heart and my "balls" and queezed until I wanted to hug him for days.


One word for the smut: Delicious! Or maybe three: Dirty, gritty, RAW. No sweet fluffy love-making, at least not in the traditional sense. There was tenderness, there were real feelings, heart-breaking moments - but it came in a package that fit the story so damn perfectly, it was unreal.


And special kudos go to Raymond, Michael's brother. Another flawed, real character with many facets, layers and a complex personality. One thing this book aced were the three-dimensional characters. Perfectly done. Plus, I loved Raymond's tendency to call 'em as he saw 'em.   


“Wow, son. You’re mad retarded.”
David whipped his head around and pinned my brother with a lethal glare. “Don’t say that word.”
“Sorry.” Raymond kept staring at me. “You’re mad special ed.”
David scoffed, and I burst out laughing.”



I'll stop now, because enough said. But just so you know, I could go on for hours about this book! All the love, because this definitely is one of my favorites of 2016. 

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review 2016-01-17 11:30
Every Shattered Dream
Every Shattered Dream: Part Four - T.A. Chase
Every Shattered Dream: Part Three - T.A. Chase
Every Shattered Dream (Part 1) - T.A. Chase
Every Shattered Dream - T.A. Chase
Every Shattered Dream - T.A. Chase

 Alright, I'm going to review all five parts of this together. Because I don't know why someone would break this up into five individual parts and the complete serial together was quite good. 


Logan Shelton, retired from the army, is a little lost in the civilian world. He's trying to get his lafe back on track and find some purpose after he left the only carrer he has ever known. A beautiful car and a chance meeting result in an unexpected friendship that changes his life in ways he never anticipated. 


Dawson Harrow is visiting his friends, and the last thing he expects is to hook up with a hot guy - not in a small town bar. But Logan is intriguing, sexy and willing, so home together they go. Little does Dawson know that he'll get more than he bargained for - as a military history professor and as a psychic. When he and Logan join forces in trying to fullfill the last wish of a persistent ghost, things get interesting. And heart-breaking. 


I enjoyed all of the parts individually, although I think they worked so well for me because I had all of them on my kindle and basically read them as if they were one whole novel instead of five novellas. 


Story-wise it was a fine balance between the past of Kenny, and the present blossoming relationship between Logan and Dawson. The supernatural aspects fit the story, the flashbacks were good and placed right in order to not distract from the present. Also, I was a big fan of Logan's family dynamics. They made it all feel more real. One little niggle was Dawson. He remained rather pale throughout the books and sometimes felt more like a "plot device" rather than a real MC. 


But all in all, it was a good read. A little angsty, a little sexy and a little heart-breaking. Not sure how it would work if you didn't read one part right after the other, but as a package deal they made for an enjoyable read. 

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review 2015-12-08 20:10
REVIEW: Reap by Tillie Cole
Reap: A Scarred Souls Novel - Tillie Cole

♥ ♥ ♥ 5 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

“Zaal Kostava, you've stolen my forbidden heart."

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

When I read Raze, I loved it. It was dark and crazy, but so good. When I heard there was a second book in the series, I was ecstatic but I was also really scared that this one wouldn't be as good. I am so glad that my worries were for nothing because I actually enjoyed this one a lot more.

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

'Talia Tolstaia. My Talia Tolstaia.
I tried to find hate. I tried to despise.
I only found warmth.
It was her warmth. She was mine.
She had cleansed me. Cared for me. Cried for me. She was...for me.'

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

Zaal Kostava has been 221 for as long as he can remember. He knows nothing about his past, he only knows that he has to kill for Master. Luka Tolstaia feels like he is indebted to Anri Kostava, because of him he survived. Now Luka will do whatever he can to pay him back and get revenge for him. After finding out that Anri has a brother in the same situation they were in, he will not stop until he saves him too. When Talia wants a bit of an escape from the Bratva life, she heads to their home in the Hamptons. Only for her time away to be disturbed when her brother Luka shows up with a savage man being hauled into their basement. She can't believe that the man is a Kostava, he is from the family her family hates. She needs to stay clear of him. But, every time she sees him through their security cameras, the more she seems to be drawn to him. The heavy drugs he was on are wearing off, and the true man he is begins to resurface. No matter what she tells herself, there is no way she is leaving him alone.

This story was beautiful and captivating. I found myself not being able to stop turning the pages. I absolutely loved Zaal. He made me swoon and melt so damn hard. It was hard to see him struggle with his memories since he seemed to be stuck in a fog after the drugs left his system. He was vulnerable but strong and possessive. He was just so awesome. Talia was a pretty strong heroine as well. She was patient and caring towards Zaal, something that was so novel to him since he has only been hurt by his Master. It was so heart warming to see them grow closer to one another. I could feel the connection between them so strongly that I couldn't get enough. I also really liked how Talia stood up for Zaal, when no one ever had.

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

“You are… for me. No other male. Just me. And me… for you. This is my ‘I love you.’ These are my words from my scarred soul. They are not borrowed words, but words from my full heart, and my heart only.”

●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●  ●

This book was so great. It wasn't as dark and raw as Raze, but it wasn't fluffy either. It was a gritty emotional read, but the heaviness was elevated by the heart warming romance between Talia and Zaal. The story line was very interesting and the turns it took made it only so much better. I highly recommend this one. I just can't say enough how much I loved it. The ending has left me craving the next installment. I already have some theories of who that mystery woman could be, so I can't wait. I really hope that the next one will be as good the previous two.

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