May 26, 2015

REVIEW: Trust (Temptation, #3) By Ella Frank

Genre:
MM Contemporary Romance

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AMAZON / KOBO / B & N

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Synopsis On Goodreads:

TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.

Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
Having struggled with a self-identity crisis throughout college, he’s spent the years since then creating a sophisticated facade to present to the world.
It’s an armor he thought was impenetrable—until he met Tate Morrison.
The gorgeous, headstrong bartender he’d sat across from only months ago has taken a tight hold of his heart, and Logan is discovering that it’s time to let go. 
It’s time to let someone inside.

After years of placing his dreams on hold for his family, Tate has finally chosen to do what makes him happy and follow his heart. 
The one thing he never would’ve imagined was that it would lead him into the arms of a man—and not just any man—the striking, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Logan Mitchell.
Tate has fallen hard, and as his world is turned on its axis and they move forward together, he finds his life becoming more entwined with the confident, successful lawyer.

Even though neither man expected the other, it’s time to trust in their relationship—but not everything comes so easily…

RATING: 3/5 stars


***REVIEW***


So, the end has come to the Temptation series featuring one of my favorite mm couples ever- Logan & Tate and I'm rating their last installment only 3 stars. Blasphemy, right? Well, not exactly.

Yes, I've enjoyed the story. Yes, Logan & Tate were their usual smoking hot, adorable selves, BUT the fact is that the book wasn't as mind-blowing as the first two books, at least not for me. The biggest reason for that in my opinion is the author's rather poor solving of the majority of the twists in the story. Like f. e. *something big* happens and then it's solved shortly in the best possible way and that's it. I know I'm the first to complain when there's too much of drama in books, but here there was almost none, so the story fell flat at some points and therefore as a whole it was good, but not great. That's why 3 stars.

On the positive side, the story was yet again fun, steamy & very emotional. Every reader wants to see their favorite couple have a HEA and I'm happy and grateful these two finally had one of their own and don't regret a bit following them on their journey. I'm also looking forward to Ella Frank's new stories and I hope this won't be her last contribution to the mm genre.

I would recommend this series to mm romance readers who enjoy emotional, erotic and fun series with no bigger drama between two mischievous, hot, but adorable dirty talkers.


xoxo,

Purple

May 24, 2015

Review: FLYING by Megan Hart



Summary:

Ever hear of wanderlust?

Every other weekend, Stella buys a ticket on the next flight out of town and leaves her life behind. Home is a place with too many memories, and departure is the sweetest possible distraction.

As soon as she arrives at her destination, Stella visits the airport bar. She orders a drink and waits for the right guy to come along. A bored businessman, a backpacker, a baggage handler just off shift. If he's into a hot, no-strings hookup, he's perfect. Each time is a thrilling escape from reality that gives the term layover a whole new meaning.


When Stella meets the enigmatic Matthew in Chicago one weekend, she hits some serious turbulence. Something about him tells her she's not the only one running from the past. The connection between them is explosive, and for the first time, one taste is not enough for Stella. But returning to find a gorgeous man waiting for her is the easy part—facing the reason she's there is a whole other matter...



 
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My review:

Rating: 3,5 stars.

In little over two years I've been a Goodreads member I've discovered quite a few amazing authors whose books keep knocking my socks off. One of such authors is most definitely Megan Hart. Ever since I read Broken I've been on a mission to read as much of her books as possible. Some I liked, some I loved, and some I really, really, really loved. But even so I've grown a bit reluctant to read her latest books -- a lot of mixed reviews I've been seeing of those. That is what happened with Flying. It took me almost a year for my curiosity about this book to make me read it, but I got there, and I'm glad I did.

The first books by M. Hart I read, Broken, and Dirty, were so emotional reading them at times proved to be difficult, and I loved them for it, Broken especially. Flying didn't give those feels, but it certainly had that sorrowful atmosphere about it that I look for in Hart's novels. The Megan Hart magic was felt here, too. I just felt it more before.

There was one thing about the writing that took time getting used to: third person narrative. Normally, I'd pick the third person over first anytime. However, all her other novels I've read so far were written in first person narrative, and it worked so great, that I missed that terribly. I missed it so much that I'm writing a sentence I never thought I would write: I would have preferred had Flying been written in first person.

What's most important is the key part I look forward to when picking up this author's book, and that's having one woman's life--her present, her past, and hints of her future, the significant people that make her life both good and complicated--written on these pages in a manner that make the story interesting to read. This time it was Stella, a divorced mom of a teenage boy, working at a photo editing job. The title, however, comes from another part of her life she kept hidden: whenever she could, Stella would fly somewhere, don a new outfit and with it a new name and personality, then she'd find a man, hook up with him, leave him, and go back to her life, all of which is perfectly said in the blurb. The blurb also perfectly introduces Matthew, another man Stella met in an airport bar, but with him everything was different from the very beginning. She wasn't "flying", she met him as Stella, shared with him more time and more information than she expected. She gave a lot more than she expected.

I have to admit, as much as I did like Matthew at the beginning, he soon turned into a character that annoyed me. He pissed me off majorly, is what he did. It started off nice between him and Stella, but the more was revealed about him, and by this I mean how whipped he was by his ex-wife all the friggin time, he lost my sympathy. It was enough to make one want to punch him in the face, and then punch him in the face again because once was not enough! One might want to throw in a third punch for crazy behavior he caused in Stella. All her frustration over his not answering his goddamn phone got to me, too. Phew, still gets to me, it would seem. Needless to say, I was less than happy when that strong, confident woman turned into a, I'm sorry to say, pathetic one over Matthew. When all his story came out, yes, I understood him more, but it was not enough to let go of everything else. No matter how much they were great together, my advice to Stella would've been: Kick him to the curb! Because they were great when it was just the two of them, but it would never be just the two of them. They both had failed marriages, and they both had children that tied them to their exes.

Usually with Hart's novels come The End, I feel such relief that the main characters somehow got to a happy ending despite everything. This time that relief was missing. I was just having a hard time picturing them getting past the issues they kept having throughout the book. Honestly, I was actually sad and disappointed Stella was over Craig, another man that came back into her life. On the other hand, I loved all those comparisons of her feelings for him years ago and now. It's incredible how much changes over time, and the change in those feelings was perfectly captured, in my opinion.

Through Stella's interactions with Matthew, Craig, her ex-husband, her son, her painful past was revealed part by part. It was brutal, and as much as I'd like to be all judgey about the way she was or wasn't handling it so many years later, I can't find in me to actually do it. It's easy to stand aside and pass judgment, especially about fictional characters, but that would make me a hypocrite. Plus, all those flaws, bad decisions, and somewhat irrational behavior makes these characters more real. Oftentimes, I feel as though I like Megan Hart's characters because of their flaws, not despite. Stella is one of them.

I suppose the conclusion would be I have mixed feelings about this book, but that I did like it. More importantly, my doubts about this author's newer books have shrunk. Now I'm looking forward to reading them.
 
Until next time, happy reading!


XOXO
 






May 22, 2015

Review: THE MISTAKE (Off-Campus, #2) by Elle Kennedy



Summary:

He’s a player in more ways than one…
 
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.



 
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My review:

Well, this is

description

So very awkward. 2,5 stars from me. It's as high as I can go.

I have recently jumped on The Deal train to see for myself what is it about that book that has almost everyone raving about it, and after I finished it I became one of those readers. I raved, and I raved, happy that book two was already out so I could continue with this series almost immediately, which is exactly what I did right after I was done with another book I needed to read. I wish I could tell you I loved it, I wish I could tell you I had as much fun with Logan and Grace as I did with Garrett and Hannah, but I can't. Just as I knew I'd love The Deal very soon after starting it, I knew that wouldn't happen with The Mistake. Since I didn't start it right when it was released, I got to see quite a few ratings and reviews before I got to read it; most of them were positive, but there were others written by disappointed readers. Sadly, mine is the latter.

Garrett had made a deal with Hannah, and like the title and the blurb say, Logan made a mistake with Grace.
John Logan had a crush on his best friend's girlfriend, and his solution to that was avoiding them, and when he wasn't playing hockey, he was partying, drinking, and hooking up as much as possible. Grace was a freshman worried about her status as a virgin, who had the hots for one John Logan. When fate brought Logan to Grace's door, she welcomed him in, and that was the beginning of Logan & Grace. After that they hung out, made out, and then the mistake happened when they almost had sex, and Logan ran off because he was crushing on another girl. The school year ended. Grace went to Paris to visit her mother, where she got a makeover, pined over Logan, and avoided his and her best friend's, who tried to hook up with Logan behind her back, calls. Logan went to work in his father's shop, and after realizing the truth about his feelings for Hannah, he was determined to make everything right with Grace, and win her back. Come new school year, that was what he did.

Grace & Logan's story I'm sure will be to the liking of the majority of Off-Campus fans -- that's already evident. I'm a part of the smaller disappointed group who loved book one and thought this one was just meh. I am not a fan of NA novels, but The Deal had so many positive reviews that I thought it was safe for me to read it. The Mistake, on the other hand, just reminded me why I avoid books with college students as main characters, as they and their actions tend to annoy me. This book had a few parts that irritated me, but for the most part reading about Grace and Logan was putting me to sleep, and since I was feeling very sleepy those days I spent reading The Mistake, it wasn't helpful. It's shorter than The Deal, but it felt infinitely longer. When you have to give yourself pep talks to get yourself to finish a book, you know it's bad. With Garrett and Hannah's book I couldn't wait to read what happens next. They were so much fun time would just fly by. Not with Grace and Logan.

Grace... *sigh* Grace barely left an impression on me. When I think of her, this is all I come up with:
*She was a virgin. (This is the first thing that comes to mind because it was on hers more times than I cared to read about it.)
*After Paris she was blonde and made Logan do some silly things to agree to give him a second chance.
*She had a shitty BFF.
Aaand... That's it, really.

Logan grew on me gradually. At the beginning his party-drink-and-hook-up-as-much-as-possible ways went on my nerves, but when he changed those ways I liked him better. His situation at home, and his sacrifice for his family won me over to his side. I was glad for him when it was resolved, but I wasn't particularly pleased with how fast and easy it all played out. Also, his willingness to jump through hoops to win Grace back was sweet.

It wasn't all bleak; there were a few fun parts, but in general, this didn't work for me, and it confirmed I'm doing the right thing by avoiding the NA genre. In short, me reading The Mistake was a mistake. Which leaves one question: What to do when Dean's book comes out?
 
Until next time, happy reading!


XOXO
 






May 21, 2015

ARC REVIEW: WOLF BRIDE (Lust in the Tudor Court, Book #1) by Elizabeth Moss

Title: Wolf Bride
Author: Elizabeth Moss
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Series: Lust in the Tutor Court Book #1


Summary On Goodreads:

Bound to him against her will…

Lord Wolf, hardened soldier and expert lover, has come to King Henry VIII's court to claim his new bride: a girl who has intrigued him since he first saw her riding across the Yorkshire moors.

Eloise Tyrell, now lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, has other ideas. She has no desire to submit to a man she barely knows and who-though she is loath to admit it-frightens her more than a little.

Their first kiss awakens in both a fierce desire that bares them to the soul. But as the court erupts into scandal around the ill-fated Queen, Eloise sees firsthand what happens when powerful men tire of their wives...

Buy Links:
AMAZON / B & N / KOBO / INDIEBOUND


RATING: 2/ 5 stars

~ REVIEW ~


One of the goals I set for myself this year when it comes to reading is to try some genres I rarely read. One of them is historical romance, so that was one of the main reasons beside the sexy cover I picked this book up.

~ Why it didn't work out for me:


~ Unfortunately, after reading this book I'm even more sure than ever that historical romances aren't the right genre for me and that I should stick to contemporary. Why is that? First of all, I'm not a fan of the courteous way people communicate in historical romances. Secondly and probably the most important reason is the inferior portrayal of women in this genre. Women are seen only as a source for increasing population and they have little to none right in comparison to men which bothered me a lot while reading this book. Yes, I've read a lot of classics from this genre which are still one of my favorite books ever, but no offense to anyone- I don't think this book is on the same level.

~ I couldn't connect to the characters or their story. This refers especially to the main character Eloise who I considered weak, naive and at times- a true drama queen. But then again, I also think that the biggest reason for that is the era she was born in. She was raised to keep her mouth shut and be the obedient woman, daughter and wife like the rest of the women of that time, so I can't really blame her. 

~ The over-used plot. To be honest I feel that we've seen/read this plot too many times so far. It lacked originality and therefore I was bored through the most of the book.

I did enjoy some of the sexy banter between the main couple occasionally, but the book as a whole failed to leave some bigger impression on me. That is why 2 stars. Read it and decide for yourself.




Excerpt 

“Let’s have a kiss to seal your oath,” Wolf said shortly, and bent his head to hers.

Eloise had thought Lord Wolf would give her a token kiss, like that given by a bridegroom after the marriage vows had been exchanged. Some cold and bloodless meeting of lips to remind her that she belonged to him now. But his mouth took hers with a kiss of such ardent fervor she could barely stand beneath it, her hands clinging to his shoulders. She was dazed, her body under assault, not expecting the wave of violent passion that swept through her in the wake of his embrace.

His kiss was bold and darkly possessive. Lord Wolf was sure of her acquiescence, she realized with a shock. Nor was he wrong. Eloise found her lips parting beneath his, her tiny gasp an opportunity for his tongue to slip inside.

Seeming to sense her surrender, he lifted her slightly, pressing her against the cold stone wall, just as Simon had done, and lowered his head again to claim her lips.

He tasted of heat and long summer nights, his scent as well as his hands enticing her closer, reminding her of spice and oranges. She had meant to resist, but it was impossible. His tongue traced slowly along her lower lip, then dipped back inside, stroking and flickering, promising the kind of sensual pleasures she had only dreamt of before in the privacy of her bed.

In a few ecstatic seconds, she had forgotten Simon’s boyish, enthusiastic kisses. This was beyond mere physical desire. His body weighted strongly against hers, he no longer needed to hold her still. His mouth teased and played her, one hand cupping her face, the other stroking her long hair.

Eloise moaned under his kiss, her eyes closing with pleasure. She felt new worlds opening up as he touched her, parts of herself suddenly springing to life under his hands. Her breasts tingled in a way she barely recognized, her nipples taut, pushing against the neckline of her gown. Between her thighs a strangely sweet ache had begun to throb, her flesh there slick with unaccustomed longing.

Eloise drew back, turning her head away so he could not kiss her again. “Please,” she whispered.

His gaze followed her, heavy-lidded with desire. “Please yes, or please no?”

xoxo,

Purple

May 16, 2015

Pre-Release ARC Review: Breaking (Fall or Break, #2) By Barabara Elsborg

Expected Publication: July 28th 2015 by Samhain Publishing

Genre:
MM Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book:
AMAZON / B & N / KOBO

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Synopsis On Goodreads:

Archer Hart is on the move before the man he’s just killed is found. When a bullet whizzes past his ear, he realizes hunter is now hunted. So much for his retirement plans. Someone wants him dead and all he can do is keep running.

Downed by a hit and run driver, barrister Conrad Black is certain the ‘accident’ was deliberate but he has no proof or support. In recovery, struggling to work out of partial paralysis, he has plenty of time to wonder who regrets not striking him harder. At this point, running anywhere is a distant dream.

The confidence, determination and stamina of two alphas males will mean little if neither is willing to bend—seize the love offered—and work together to understand why they’re suddenly both marked men. Not easy for either when Archer has broken the law in the worst possible way and Conrad is the law.

RATING: 4/5 stars

*** Review ***

The 2nd installment in Fall or Break series by B. Elsborg was another winner for me when it comes to mm contemporary romances. I fell hard for Malachi's and Harper's story in Falling (Fall or Break, #1) where we also had met one of the protagonists of this book- Conrad Black whom I strongly disliked almost til' the very ending when he, after some major twist, became my favorite secondary character and I had high hopes that the next book in the series will be his.


We get to see a totally another side of  Conrad in this book and learn more about his background. We knew him as this arrogant, closed off person who doesn't let anybody in, but now we also get to see the man behind the cold front he put up and find out the reasons why. And the guy who makes it all happen is Archer Hart, a secret SIS assassin on the run. The only problem is that they are too much alike. Both of them are alpha males who want the other to give in first, but when feelings get involved that becomes only a question of time.

I think that the author created a perfect match for Conrad in Archer. They've been running from relationships all their lives and now it's the first time when they want to be caught, but first they'll have to survive while on the run from people who want them dead. The story was action-packed, suspenseful, fun, emotional and steamy and I've enjoyed it a lot. Special bonuses were the adorable puppy Deefor, lots of sexy banter and tension. 

All in all Breaking didn't disappoint. I hope the author will keep more books coming. Whose book would I like to read next? Hm, maybe Sev's? Yeah, I vote for Sev.

Highly recommended to every mm romance fan!


xoxo,

Purple

May 15, 2015

Pre-Realese ARC REVIEW: For Real (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall

Publiction Date: June 1st 2015 by Riptide Publishing
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance/ Bdsm

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Synopsis On Goodreads:

Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.


RATING: 3.5/ 5 stars

*** REVIEW ***

I've read only two books from A. Hall so far, but they were enough to make him one of those author's about whose books I don't have second thoughts before reading. Books with bdsm romance were usually a hit/miss in my reading history depending on the story and the writing style, so I'm pretty careful and picky when choosing them, but as soon as I saw this author's name and of course the sexy cover, there was no doubt whether I was going to read this book. I prefer lighter type of bdsm romance, even though I've read and even loved some of the heavy stuff.

But it's like there's a line in his head or something. And I can have everything up to the line. But nothing after it. I've seen glimpses over it.... ... Enough, basically, to make me want to live there, on the other side of him. Except I don't know how to get there. And I'm afraid of pushing- again -in case I lose what I've got.


For Real is, I would say, an emotionally charged romance with a touch of bdsm between a 19 year old Dom Toby and 37 year old submissive Laurie. I know you'll are probably wondering how this type of relationship could work considering their age gap. What could possibly a 19 year old, who is still searching himself and has yet a lot to experience, offer to a 37 year old, who's already been through it all? Without spoiling anything all I can say is that Alexis Hall makes it happen and pretty successfully. As usual I liked both of the MCs and the fact that this author continues to write about real, relate-able characters with all the virtues and flaws that makes us human. 

Why 3.5 stars then? I've enjoyed the story a lot, but it was maybe a bit too "relationship focused" for my taste with quite a lot of sex scenes (it was after all more than 400 pages long.) The sex scenes were smoking hot, but I would have preferred if the relationship had been more slow-building and if the the author had focused a bit more on the background stories of the MCs. It was a good story, but Glitterland and Waiting for the Flood touched me on some deeper level and remain my favs.


xoxo, 

Purple

May 14, 2015

Review: THE DEAL (Off-Campus, #1) by Elle Kennedy



Summary:

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice... even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn't take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn't going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.



 
Buy links:
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My review:

Rating:  ★★★★★

My thoughts after reading The Deal in short are: I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!

But, I don't want to keep it that short, so here comes the longer version.

Some books remind me of certain weather conditions, and The Deal was like a warm, sunny spring day with just enough breeze to make it even more enjoyable. That may be a weird thing to say--it probably is--but that's how it was for me.

To be honest, when I first noticed this book in my News Feed, I didn't find it appealing: I've never read anything by Elle Kennedy, the title reminded me terribly of The Pact which I basically hated, and the words college and sports pushed me even further away. However, my mind was completely changed when all the five-star reviews started pouring in. My curiosity had to be satisfied. This time curiosity didn't kill the cat--it made her purr, purr, purr.

The Deal was one of those books after you finish it, you want to write a thank-you letter to the author for writing it. The plot wasn't overly complex: the heroine, Hannah, got an A on a test, and the hero, Garrett, failed it, and badgered Hannah to tutor him for the makeup test so he could keep his GPA up so he wouldn't be kicked off his hockey team. In return he would help her get the attention of the boy Hannah had a crush on. That was the deal. But its successful outcome ended up not being enough for them--they wanted each other, and they made sure they got it, no matter what.

It was so refreshing, the way the main characters behaved. No excess drama to be found anywhere. Every chapter, every page was interesting.
Most of them were lots of fun, but there were others dealing with some awful, serious subjects. There was not a moment that I felt bored; both Hannah and Garrett were awesome MCs, fun, smart, and witty--I could read about their bickering for days on end. Most importantly they were all around good, mature fictional college people. There was only one instance when I got worried about where the story would go. Almost the exact same thing happened in one of the books I recently read, and it didn't go well there, but Garrett proved to be a bigger man. If I hadn't already been all googly-eyed over him, that would have done it. He often had his cocky-bastard moments, but instead of being irritating, they were adorable. Garrett even sometimes called Hannah "baby", and it didn't bother me. The book has some serious magic powers--there's no other explanation. And Hannah was the perfect heroine. I'd love to read more about young women like her.

In conclusion, I loved everything about The Deal: the story, the writing style, the main characters, all of it! I picked this to read to at least partially forget about the disaster of a TV-series Grey's Anatomy has turned into, and it worked! The book has magic, I stand by it.

Now I'm genuinely looking forward to reading Logan's book. There wasn't much of him in this one, but enough that I adored him, and would be more than willing to comfort him. Lucky for me, his book just came out, so I'll soon be once again enjoying the company of Off-Campus men. YAY!

description
 
Until next time, happy reading!


XOXO
 






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