Sep 18, 2014

MUD VEIN by Tarryn Fisher

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When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat... and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.


Mud Vein is a book which received a lot of mixed reviews. My friend/co-blogger Purple has read it and liked it a lot less than I did, so I suggest you read both sides before making your decision, because Mud Vein  is a kind of book which will not appeal to everyone.  You can read Purple’s review here.


My rating:


He was a pretender, trying to grasp what if felt like to live. So, he found me looking at a lake and grabbed me. Because I wore a shroud of darkness and he wanted desperately to understand what that was like.

When Mud Vein was first published it received a lot of mixed reviews, that’s part of the reason why I didn’t read it right away. Also, this is the kind of book you need to be in the mood for, so I was waiting for the right time. Anyhow, in one particularly negative review I read who the kidnapper was. Now, even though I knew the big revelation, it didn’t deter me from reading. #spoilerscanttouchmeLOL

In terms of plot, Mud Vein is not the best psychological thriller I’ve read, but it has some of the most complex characters I’ve read about. Furthermore, the enjoyment of this book depends on your emotional connection with characters, particularly Senna. You need to feel Senna, and I felt her pain like my own. 

Senna is tragedy. She is complex and dark and I loved her. I wanted to see more, I wanted to see how she would deal with it. 

I loved the writing style and the characterization. The plot could have been a bit better, but this book is first and foremost a character study, not a complex mystery case. I’m not saying the plot is irrelevant, but it holds the second place in importance. 

Moreover, I admire Fisher’s writing, I admire her ability to create such dark, twisted characters. Makes me wonder what else lurks inside her mind. She definitely took a risk by creating Senna, she was not an easy character to like. And this was not an easy book to read, in the sense that it was just so damn sad! Depressing even.
Fear, light footed, dances around me. She whispers seductively in my ear. We are lovers, fear and I. She calls to me, and I let her in.

This is not for everyone, not everyone will like this book, not everyone will understand Senna. Perhaps you need to have a grasp on that darkness to understand her, I don’t know... But having an open mind upon starting this book is definitely recommended. 
I like pain. I like when it lingers. It reminds a person of what they've lived through.

I also think Fisher’s writing is much better here and more mature than in the Love Me With Lies trilogy. I admire Tarryn Fisher for not writing this to please the crowds, she wrote this for herself. Mud Vein was raw and honest. This might be just me rambling things, but this is the kind of book you pour your soul into. 

This book, this is what I love to read the most. Real stories about real people with real emotions.

I was going to give this 4 stars, because at some places the story dragged on and around the 70% mark I was even a little bored; but that ending was perfect. I loved how Fisher wrapped things up and I wouldn’t love it if it had ended any other way. While I loved The Opportunist, I disliked the other two. I felt like she wrote Thief just to gratify her fans. Here, I felt Fisher was more true to herself. And I’m happy to say that after Mud Vein I’m once again a Tarryn Fisher fan. I can’t wait to see what her twisted mind will think of next!
You’ve been silent your whole life. You were silent when we met, silent when you suffered. Silent when life kept hitting you. I was like that too, a little. But not like you. You are a stillness. And I tried to move you. It didn’t work. But that doesn’t mean you didn’t move me. I heard everything you didn’t say. I heard it so loudly that I couldn’t shut it off. Your silence, Senna, I hear it so loudly.


Sep 16, 2014

God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

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When I was twelve, a fortune teller told me that my one true love would die young and leave me all alone. 
Everyone said she was a fraud, that she was just making it up. 
I'd really like to know why the hell a person would make up a thing like that.

Written with the snap, glitter and wit of The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, God-Shaped Hole is a memorable, poignant love story that will leave you weeping with laughter. It is told in the wry, vulnerable voice of Beatrice "Trixie" Jordan who replies to a personal ad, "If your intentions are pure I am seeking a friend for the end of the world.

In doing so, she meets Jacob Grace, a charming, effervescent thirty-something writer, a free spirit who is a passionate seeker of life. He possesses his own turn of phrase and ways of thinking and feeling that dissonantly harmonize with Trixie's off-center vision as they roller coaster through the joys and furies of their wrenching romance. Along the way they try to come to terms with the hurt brought about by their distant fathers who, in different ways, forsook them.

This story will prove so touching you will rush to share it with a friend or loved one or even a stranger.

My rating: 


“Thoughts are king, Trixie, king!”

Well, I just have so many thoughts right now, I felt this novel on a very personal level.
You know that feeling when you feel like a book was written just for you? Makes no sense I know, but I feel like Tiffanie DeBartolo has somehow poked inside my head, took my deepest thoughts and wrote about them. This book spoke to my soul. I could identify with Trixie like with no other literary character. 
I remember feeling it even then - the sensation that your heart weighs more than your body - that it might burst out of your chest and splatter all over the wall. I suppose it’s called loneliness.

Jacob & Trixie are definitely one of my favorite literary couples - Siamese soul lovers – just thinking about them now warms my heart. I liked them both, I love how the author portrayed them, they’re not perfect, but that’s why they seem so real. 
Jacob was the only person I’d ever met, besides myself, who believed music was a cosmic language that spoke directly to our souls – to ease our pain, and to remind us we weren’t alone.

Moreover, I’d read How to Kill a Rock Star and I liked it, I found it quirky and unusual, but I didn’t love it. Now that I’ve read both novels I can see why HTKAR is more popular among readers and sure, in terms of plot, it has a lot more going on, but to me, it can’t compare to GSH. 

Now, the first thing that caught my eye when I picked up this book was the title. God-Shaped Hole. And I loved the concept of it, the way it was embedded into the story. (That notebook cover is not accidental either.)
Or maybe that was the dreamer in me. I try to find meaning anywhere I can. It’s the only way I know how to validate my existence.

To me, this was a story about Trixie and Jacob, but also a story about trying to find meaning. It’s all about the search, we’re all just trying to fill the void, live in spite our fears. GSH is deep, without being pretentious, with the right dose of dry humor. 

It’s a brilliantly written novel with unforgettable characters and a poignant love story, one I’ll for sure never forget!

I guess the feeling that came over me could be described as joy, but only if joy can be profoundly painful. It rushed like a river down into my abysmal emptiness, but no matter how long or how far it flowed, I knew it could never reach the bottom.


Sep 15, 2014

PRE-RELEASE ARC REVIEW: Stand By You by A. M. Arthur (Belonging, #3)

Expected Publication: October 20th 2014 by Carina Press

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Contemporary MM Romance

Summary on Goodreads:

Three months after his rescue from an abusive boyfriend, twenty-two-year-old Romy Myers has landed his first legitimate job bussing tables at his friend's new coffee shop. The job has brought him some stability after years of abuse have left him feeling damaged and broken. He's working hard on his panic and social anxiety, and those things are often tempered by the big, burly presence of Brendan Walker.

From the moment ex-football player Brendan helped rescue Romy from his ex's abuse, he's wanted to protect him. And he does, from a distance, with joking text messages, a new gym routine to toughen him up and a genuine friendship. So far it's been easy but Brendan's feelings aren't just friendly anymore…

When an argument spirals out of control, a hot and heavy make-out session causes Romy's friendship with supposedly straight Brendan to reach a new level. The last thing Romy wants is to fall for another guy who could potentially shatter him, but Brendan also wakes up a part of him he thought had been destroyed by violence his heart.



Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review

First thing I have to say is that this book is the 3d installment in Belonging series which I, unfortunately, didn't know before requesting this arc, because there was no mention of it or maybe I unintentionally skipped it, I'm not sure. It doesn't even matter anymore. If I had been aware of it, I would have probably read the series in order, because I prefer doing it the right way, but the positive thing is that, even though being part of the series meaning it features characters from the previous books, the book can be read as a standalone

Emotional, bitter-sweet & touching.

It's a story about emotional and mental healing of one of the sweetest characters I read about- Romy Myers. Romy is a 22 year old guy who spent almost half of his life homeless or sleeping at places of complete strangers. He lost his family when he was only 13 years old and he had to take care of himself ever since then. It's little to say that he didn't have an easy life. Only 22 years old and having been through so much tragedy and pain. My heart was breaking while reading about the things he's been through and the scars those situations left on his psyche. All his life he's been yearning for some love and safety, but unfortunately, always coming up short-handed.

Then we have his personal Superman who comes to his rescue when he's at the very bottom- Brendan Walker, deeply in the closet, ex-football player. Brendan might seem strong and confident on the outside, but he has his own issues to deal with which may not be as heavy as Romy's, but nevertheless, they keep preventing him from being his true self and leading the life he always wanted. He's not your typical jock, at least not anymore. He's sweet, caring and very protective of his friends and family what I found most admirable about him. Both of them are broken, each in their own way, but maybe together they can help each other heal and give the one thing that's been missing in their lives- love.

The story is told from both their point of views. What I liked the most about it is that it is about ordinary, relate-able people and not some super hot and rich heirs like usual. There was no insta-love, but slow building of friends-lovers relationshipThere was also no bigger drama, but this is not exactly a light read. It's is not a dark read in its true sense, but the story does deal with some heavy issues like physical and sexual abuse. It's a type of a story which will make you appreciate more your own little bubble of happiness when you're sad or depressed and maybe even make you ashamed of occasional dark thoughts, because in reality, there are probably billion of people out there having it much worse than you do.

Now, about the things which in my opinion need a little bit improving is the writing which needs a tiny bit of polishing. It was maybe a little bit too simple for my taste and also the story as a whole needs more editing, but it is stated in the arc that this is an unproved copy which will be edited once more before the publishing, so everything is good then. I also would have preferred, as far as the plot is concerned, if there had been a little more drama or some twist towards the end just to spice things up a bit and if some complicated situations didn't conclude so quickly without enough effort considering what they were about.

All in all, if you want to read a bitter-sweet mm story with real, ordinary, but lovable characters then this is a story for you.

This  is my first book by A. M. Arthur, but it was a fairly good way to start :).


Sep 13, 2014

Review: TAMED (Tangled, #3) by Emma Chase

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Book summary:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: girl meets player, they fall in love, player changes his ways.

It’s a good story. But it’s not our story. Ours is a lot more colorful.

When I met Dee I knew right away that she was special. When she met me, she thought I was anything but special—I was exactly like every other guy who’d screwed her over and let her down. It took some time to convince her otherwise, but turns out I can make a convincing argument when sex is at stake.

You might know where this story’s headed. But the best part isn't where we ended up.

It’s how we got there.

TAMED goes back in time to the Tangled days. But this time around, it’s not Drew dishing out the advice and opinions—it’s his best friend Matthew, who of course is dealing with Dee Dee.

 My rating:  ✮✮✮✮

My review:

Just like with Twisted, I had my doubts about Tamed. Tangled is a tough act to follow. But just like Twisted turned out to be better than I had expected, so did Tamed. It had a different feel than the previous books; it was more relaxed, and sweet, without the excess drama Drew & Kate's story was full of, and dare I say, it was the book in this series I enjoyed most.

If you've read Holy Frigging Matrimony: A Tangled Series Short Story, then you know where Matthew & Dee's relationship, that was blooming in Tangled, ended up. But as Matthew pointed out, the best part isn't that. It's how they got there. And Matthew is not a liar.

Lust is easy. Clear. Exhilarating.
Love is messy. Confusing. Sometimes scary.
Lust is powerful. Primal. Driving.
Love is dubious. Transitory. It can fuck with your head.

My apologies to Drew, but I think I like Matthew more. Matthew is a man, a mature man. I loved reading a book from his point of view, full of his opinions, observations, and advices.

Of course, my favorite part was his relationship with Dee Dee. This is a romance, after all. The patience he seemed to posses was extraordinary. Not to mention he was reading Delores like an open book. It was impressive. A weaker man would have given up. Dee Dee was expecting it; after so many bad experiences, she stopped believing she'd find a decent man. Her distrust led to a few incidents. There was a bit of jumping to conclusions going on, but Matthew, the class act, handled it beautifully. Damn, I think I'm in love with him a little.

What I found interesting was that all that was happening at the same time as the Drew & Kate drama. I liked seeing some of the events through Matthew's eyes. It gave a different perspective, a more realistic one, because like we've seen, Drew sees things a bit "differently". The most fun was all the time Matthew spend in front of Drew's apartment trying to get him to talk, which happened right before Tangled.

Filling in some blanks was nice, but the story of Matthew and Dee was much nicer. It gave me warm fuzzy, feelings (thank you, Matthew), and from time to time I was even misty-eyed. Why? I'm not sure. Let's say it was the Matthew effect. He did stick with Dee even when she was pushing him with both hands, and he did make her trust again, so I think it's understandable.

All in all, a lovely romance that makes me smile every time I think of it.

Happy reading, everyone!


Sep 10, 2014

Review: TWISTED (Tangled, #2) by Emma Chase

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Book summary:

There are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who look first, and the ones who leap. I’ve always been more of a looker. Cautious. A planner. That changed after I met Drew Evans. He was so persistent. So sure of himself – and of me.

But not all love stories end happily ever after. Did you think Drew and I were going to ride off into the sunset? Join the club. Now I have to make a choice, the most important of my life. Drew already made his –in fact, he tried to decide for the both of us. But you know that’s just not my style. So I came back to Greenville. Alone. Well, sort of alone....

What I've come to realize is that old habits die hard and sometimes you have to go back to where you began, before you can move ahead.

TWISTED picks up two years after Tangled’s end, and is told from Kate’s POV.

 My rating:  ✮✮✮✮

My review:

 The news that Tangled would get sequels was the best. Reading it was so much fun, so getting more of it was more than welcome. However, I was not too thrilled by not having Drew's POV which was really entertaining, and my favorite thing about Tangled. Right then and there my excitement dwindled. On top of that, the reviews were all about some stupid misunderstanding and drama that Twisted revolved around. So, for all those reasons, I had been unwilling to read it. Truth be told, I thought Kate would ruin it for me. And here I am now... eating my words, because overall, I really liked Twisted, too. Not as much as I did Tangled, but still enough to regret not reading it sooner. And the funny thing is, the reason I liked this book a little less was not because of Kate. It was Drew!

In many ways Twisted is a lot like its predecessor. Emma Chase's writing style is the same as in Tangled: the main character is still talking directly to the reader, offering information and advices, all in her special way. Another similarity would be the plot. In Tangled we found a very depressed Drew at the beginning, who then told us how he got that way, and afterwards we saw how it all got resolved. If you read it, you know that it was all because Drew jumped to conclusions, and made up a whole story in his head that was nowhere near the truth. Well, he did it again, only now it was more serious. I'm not sure how old he is in the book (I think he's 30), but he acted like a petulant, spoiled child. I'm afraid that's no news--he was always like that. I guess it's more fun reading about it from his point of view.

Back to Kate. Like Drew before her, we found her in a piss poor mood, completely down in the dumps, all because our dear old Drew royally screwed everything up by once again jumping to conclusions, and acting like an asshole. I guess we have our answer to whether he matured. Look, I'm not saying Kate didn't hold any responsibility, but I am siding with her. Hormones can be a real bitch. I know. Drew does not have that justification. I do wish the author chose something else to make up the plot for this book, because there were too many times I wanted to punch both Drew and Kate in the face for being so obtuse. Not to mention what it could have led to.

There's a lesson to be learned from this: don't assume, don't jump to conclusions, don't be vague, use concrete words, act like frigging adults!

On the bright side, those times when I didn't have the urge to hang Drew by the balls, I quite enjoyed Kate's POV. It was nice to have her side of the story, getting to know her better, her past, her family. What was surprising was how much I liked Billy. It was most likely Drew's fault, but in Tangled I wanted Kate to dump that loser's ass. Yeah, definitely Drew's fault. Anyhoo, the guy really grew on me. I kind of wished for his book.

Lastly, the epilogue--it was awesome. As much as I did like Kate, I loved that the epilogue was from Drew's POV. I think I've read somewhere the author has more fun writing in male POV, and it shows. No matter how much he pissed me off, Drew was fun.

Happy reading, everyone!


Sep 9, 2014

ARC review: MASTERED: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender by Opal Carew, Portia Da Costa, Madelynne Ellis, Marie Harte, Joey W. Hill, T.J. Michaels, Kate Pearce, Carrie Ann Ryan, Sasha White, Emily Ryan-Davis with Jennifer Leeland

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For more information about the authors and the stories visit Mastered web page.

Book summary:

Three Secrets by New York Times and USA Today bestseller Opal Carew
Sharing secrets has never been so exhilarating...
Nicole and Abel met in Paris and fell in love, but Nicole believes her secret lifestyle will drive Abel away. After the vacation ends, she decides to take a chance and share her secret, but little does she know he has a secret of his own.

His Secret by International and UK Sunday Times bestseller Portia Da Costa
Quiet storm…
Ben Chambers is the perfect handsome boyfriend. Sarah adores him, yet despite their delicious lovemaking and the fun they share, she senses he has a secret. But then, during a luxury weekend away, one casual pat to her bottom transforms everything, revealing Ben’s thrilling hidden dominance, and a world of decadent pleasure and deeper love.

Remastered by Multi-Award-Winner Madelynne Ellis
A bad experience with a former girlfriend caused Spook Mortensen to repress his sexual urges, but when sound engineer Allegra Hutton is called upon to remaster Black Halo's first album, there's only so much attitude and stubborn refusal to listen to the bands' wishes he can take before he's forced to break his self-imposed vow and take her in hand.

Working Out by USA Today bestseller Marie Harte
When lust turns to love, who’s really on top?
An ex-Marine with a kink for dominance, Mac is Maggie’s boss. But Maggie doesn’t seem to realize he’s in charge…until he shows her that Sir is more than a title. It’s a lifestyle that could suit them both. That’s if Maggie sticks around long enough to wear his collar.

The Scientific Method by bestseller Joey W. Hill
Mastering her body was easy. Mastering her heart and soul will be an erotic science…
In the vampire-servant relationship, the vampire holds all the power. Being Lord Brian’s research assistant as well as his servant, Debra accepts that, but she craves her Master’s heart. When Brian notices his servant’s unhappiness, he uses methods they both understand to prove just what belonging to him fully means.

Juicy by bestseller T.J. Michaels
Twilight Teahouse ~ Choose something decadent from our menu…
Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her heart to had smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs. All Solie has to do…is choose.

No Limits by USA Today bestseller Kate Pearce
All bets are off when there are no limits…
Dr. Julia Reed deals with life or death situations at a California ER. When British businessman Alex Logan offers her a sexual bargain, she gets to share her darkest fantasies; he gets the power to carry them out. But who is the real winner in this high stakes game, and is Alex even playing fair?

Ink Reunited by USA Today bestseller Carrie Ann Ryan
Only two men can give Sassy the happily ever after she craves.
Rafe, Ian and Sassy loved each other…until it all blew apart. Now both men are back for the woman they love. It will take more than apologies for these three to overcome their history. But once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.

Unfettered: An Overwatch Story by Sasha White
You never forget your first love
Mechanic Ronnie Lang is tired of being "one of the guys". Chasing the fantasy of finding a dominant male to help her explore her sexuality she applies to Overwatch, a private BDSM club where her eyes are opened to a world that’s more than she ever imagined, and the man she’s never forgotten.

Bondage on 34th Street by Emily Ryan-Davis & Jennifer Leeland
In knots over love
After years of searching, Tasha Sears finally finds the Master of her heart …on his knees in front of intimidatingly sexy bondage enthusiast Noah Dreyfuss. As sparks flare between the three, Noah’s ropes will either bind them together or pull them apart.

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My rating:★★★

My review:

I've posted my review of the first three stories: The Scientific Method by Joey W. Hill, Three Secrets by Opal Carew, and His Secret by Portia Da Costa a little while back, and you can find it here.

This is my review of the seven remaining tales.

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Tale #4 not only had an interesting title (Bondage on 34th Street), but it was an interesting read, even though it was only a beginning of a longer story. I'm glad the authors decided to write more about these characters, because judging from this, their story is far from over. It has an interesting premise: two men in a D/s relationship -- and let me just add here that I was so happy to find a little M/M action in this anthology :) -- one is a Dom, the other a switch in need of a sub. Then came along a woman from his past, one that discovered her submissive side. Well, you see where this is going, don't you? Well, unfortunately, it didn't get there in this story. I guess we'll get that in the future.
I wish this tale was longer because I really would have liked some more M/M, and because I like Dom/switch/sub relationships.
Oh, and this was the first time I've seen Facebook selfies mentioned in a book. I almost disliked the heroine for it, but I refrained.

Tale #5, Remastered was where I started to get annoyed by the fact a lot of the stories in this anthology seem to be a part of a series, series I frankly wasn't planing on reading. I didn't mind it with the first two stories because they work fine as standalones, but with these I felt like I was missing something. I wish that no matter the length all the tales here were standalones. Remastered was only the first meeting of the main characters. I suppose there will be more published about them. This part was okay. A lot of insta-lust was there, which reminded me of Sinners on Tour series. Both are about rock bands, and the relationships were very hot and heavy from the beginning. In Remastered the characters only just met, and they went pretty far. I've lost interest in that type of reads, but those who haven't could be eager to read more about this couple. It certainly leaves you wondering about Spook's issues, and how they'll overcome them. I'm wondering, too, although I'm not sure I'll find out.


When I realized Working Out would be one of the long stories in this anthology, I wasn't sure whether to be happy or sad about it. On the one hand, if it was good, it would have been great to read more pages, but on the other hand, if it wasn't -- well, many bad pages. Unfortunately, I ended up struggling through this novella, and wishing it was shorter.

Once more, it was the type of kinky book I'd don't care for, and actually avoid reading; one of those I don't even consider kinky, and one of those I think would have worked better for me if it were vanilla -- hot vanilla, but still vanilla. This was diluted kink, which is not my favorite kind of kink, and even though I have found some books with it I enjoyed, this was not one of them.

The writing style didn't work for me, which is why it took me a longer time to read it than it normally does.

The characters didn't help the situation. I failed to connect with any of them. Quite frankly, I found their actions, and interactions immature. They way they behaved and talked was something I'd expect from horny teenagers, not people in their thirties, and definitely not from someone claiming to be a Dominant. If I made a drinking game out of Mac calling himself Master, I'd be hammered. Not to mention it was like he was referring to himself in third person. Oh, yeah. Who's your Master? Show, don't tell -- I wish their D/s relationship was more about showing. If it hadn't been for them always calling each other Master and sub, I probably would have forgotten they were playing that (and it felt like they were just playing), and that's why I believe I would have liked this novella a little more had they taken a vanilla path.

The plot or what there was of it was pretty simple: two people attracted to each other, both hurt in the past, trying to have a casual relationship, but ending up wanting more. A lot of the complications happened because Mac and Maggie didn't talk openly with each other like mature adults they were supposed to be. They made me worry about what I'll be like in my thirties.

Nope, this was definitely not a book for me.

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So, after Working Out hadn't worked for me, I ordered Juicy to be good, and as a good little story, Juicy behaved. I thought it was a cute addition to this anthology. Cute may be a weird adjective to use for this genre, but it was the main characters that made me use it. The heroine Solie was interesting, a little quirky, which was a plus. I liked how Solie and Burton were with each other; the friends-to-lovers storyline was really refreshing to me. I can't remember the last time I found it in a book. Also, Burton, the hot Dom friend, was the hero that saved Solie from her psycho ex-boyfriend, which is another plus.

This could have been a four-star read for me. It just needed some polishing, in my opinion. I definitely liked both the idea for the plot and the characters. A little tweaking in the execution, and it would be perfect.

What to say about the tale #8? No Limits really meant anything could happen. Of the first eight stories, it's definitely the dirtiest one, in my humble opinion. Honestly, the dirty parts really distracted me from the story itself. Yeah, those were definitely distracting. If you read it, you'll see.

However, I do know I found the hero likeable, and not only for the hot British accent. I do love the accent, but it was his fulfilling of the heroine's fantasies that won me over. He appeared to be something like a service Top, but I could be wrong.

The heroine -- not sure how I feel about her. She left me undecided.
The writing style I did like.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to ponder the logistics from a certain scene some more. The number just seems a bit big... ;)

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Ink Reunited was about Sassy, a beloved character from another series by this author. From what I've gathered, her story was much expected. So, if you're one of those who have already met Sassy, I'm sure you'll like Ink Reunited. This was actually my first book by this author, so Sassy was an unknown, but I was looking forward to it because it was MMF. I was a little sad by the lack of kink, but, hey, MMF made up for it.

Just when Sassy was feeling down because of her non-existent love life when everyone around her seemed to paired off, she got a visit from a past love interest. Two love interests. Yes, you can start being jealous of Sassy right away.

I was dying to read a hot scene between the two men, but no such luck; Sassy was in all of them. Bummer.

All in all, an okay story that would appeal to a wider audience.

And the cherry on top, Unfettered, was one of the stories I enjoyed more. It was a lovely end to the anthology.

The heroine from this story also had a man from her past appear, and he appeared as a very attractive Dom. For Veronica, a submissive in training, yearning for a trustworthy Dom, he was like a dream come true. And seeing her dreams realized was a nice read for me. I do think it needs some proofreading because I noticed some mistakes, but overall, the author did a good job. I liked the story, and the characters, oh, and the kink; all of it was just right.

Final score:
- Bondage on 34th Street: ★★★
- Remastered: ★★½
- Working Out: ★★
- Juicy: ★★★
- No Limits: ★★★
- Ink Reunited: ★★★
- Unfettered: ★★★½

And for the first three tales it was:
- The Scientific Method: ★★★★½
- Three Secrets: ★★
- His Secret: ★★★

Now that I've read all the ten tales, I can say that some I liked a little more, some less, and one I absolutely loved. My reading preferences are such that not every story worked for me, which makes me believe that everyone could find something they like amongst these stories. There's a bit for everybody.

***A copy of this book was provided to me through NetGalley.***

 Happy reading!


Sep 8, 2014

ARC REVIEW: The Truth About Air & Water (Truth In Lies, #2) by Katherine Owen

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Contemporary Romance

Summary on Goodreads:

From the bestselling author of This Much Is True, book 1 comes Owen's latest novel, The Truth About Air & Water, book 2 in the Truth In Lies Series. 

Tally Landon and Lincoln Presley share an epic love. The famous couple is poised to begin their married life together after his baseball season ends at the World Series and before her fall ballet season begins, but then a single moment changes everything and a life together that seemed so certain is now shattered. The ballerina learns that you never love the same way twice while the baseball player learns that starting over may be the only way to return home. You only think you know how this love story goes, but do you really know how an epic love can end?

“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” 
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

She is living color, and I’ve been in a black-and-white world for far too long without her. 
Powerful stuff. It surrounds me. I’ve felt it since I first arrived. The forcefield of her. The magnetism of her. The power she wields over me. I’m alive again because of her, like a dying plant that finally gets some water. I’ve got it bad for this girl. 
Reality dawns. 
The light comes through the darkness and shines on me.
She’s my water.
-Lincoln Presley

The truth is I breathe with him. He is my air. Raison d’etre.
-Tally Landon

Author's note: This novel, The Truth About Air & Water, is part of theTruth In Lies series but can be read as standalone. This Much Is True is book 1 in the series.



~Arc provided by the author in exchange for honest review~

"...The darkest hour has arrived..."

You might have thought you have seen it all from Tally & Linc in This Much Is True (Truth In Lies, #1), but you were wrong. You might have thought that this young couple has been through so much pain, lies, secrets and loss already that they more than deserved their HEA in the 1st book, but Katherine Owen says guess again and brings you The Truth About Air & Water, #2 where they face one of the biggest challenges so far in the way of their happiness- wedding or better say weddings preparations...gone terribly wrong.

"Marriage is a life-time commitment, not these one-day affair costing up to fifty grand where the world stops for a few hours, watches the two of you get photographed, and feed each other cake."

I was so excited when I got the arc, because I loved This Much Is True (Truth In Lies, #1)- My Review, but then I read the blurb and my first thought was: Katherine Owen, what did you do again? o_O Remembering the way the 1st book made me feel I braced myself for the emotional roller-coaster I felt is about to come and dived in, but the masochist in me knew that I'll probably love it.
Gripping,  poignant & deeply emotional.

K. Owen is at it again people- breaking our hearts into little pieces and then excruciating slowly mending it together again. I became an emotional mess after only a couple of pages. We all know how stressful and exhausting wedding preparations are nowadays, but imagine how stressful it must be for a famous baseball player and ballerina whose every step of life is exposed and followed by the media eagerly waiting in every corner for them to make a wrong move in order to get their 5 minutes of fame. Add to that overbearing and "well-meaning" family and spokesmen who always know what's best for you and you have a recipe for a certain disaster. You just want to live your life and be free, but you can't, because it isn't only your own.   

This story made me feel so many different things: melancholic, anxious, frustrated, perplexed, angry and then blissfully happy. It made me cry. It kept me awake the whole night. It was that good.

It is told again from both, Linc's & Tally's povs, through at times poetic and evocative writing what is one of the main reasons I liked it this much. In comparison to the first book where my feelings about Tally were complicated; at times I liked her and then, there were times I didn't, in this installation she won me over completely . Yes, she isn't quite the type of main character I usually prefer; she is a fighter deep down, but a little more flawed and insecure, but that is what made her more real in my eyes. Knowing her personality and background from the 1st book I could completely understand her insecurities and worries in this one.

No, the person who was mostly on my shit-list this time was Linc and his profession. He broke my heart with that little confession when whey were talking with the priest at the beginning of the story and I saw that as the main trigger for disaster that was about to come. But then again, in the end,  he was the strongest one of the two of them when it came to their relationship. A rock on which Tally could always rely on when her insecurities and doubts hit, so he had also some of those redeemable & swoon-worthy moments too.

Their story is not an easy story. It's complicated, frustrating, heart-breaking and touching and there's a lot of drama, but less than in the first book. A true masochist treat. And the ending??? Well, I loved it! That's all I'm going to say.

Highly recommended to fans of authors like Megan Hart, Tarryn Fisher  etc. who have a weak spot for  emotional reads.

Yes, this book could be read as a standalone, but still, I recommend starting from This Much Is True. Only then will you truly be able to understand this imperfect, at times tragic, but above all epic love story.

Big thank you to the author for giving me an arc copy of this book! <3

"We are way past wicked.
We have passed up malicious and perhaps even evil.
We are in the midsts of Neverland with nothing of good in sight.
Rock bottom.
The darkest hour has arrived."

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