Dec 19, 2014

PRE-RELEASE ARC REVIEW: Falling (Fall or Break, #1) by Barbara Elsborg

Expected Publication: March 24th 2015 by Samhain Publishing

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Genre:
MM Contemporary Romance

Summary On Goodreads:

Falling is easy. Landing without breaking your heart? Impossible.

Harper is no longer behind bars, but it doesn’t feel like it. Ten years serving time for a crime he didn’t commit have left him shut down, numb, and a frozen wreck over the simplest of choices.

He’s acutely aware of the dark-haired young man checking him out in the supermarket, but he’s too deep in panic mode to even meet the guy’s gaze. Afraid the slightest move will trigger a fall that will never stop.

Fresh off a long-term relationship with a controlling man, Malachi is stuck living with relatives who think he’s a waste of oxygen. The tall guy in the long, gray coat is the first bright spot he’s glimpsed in a long time…though the man’s unblinking stare at a bottle of shower gel is a touch alarming.

Hard experience tells both of them to turn away before lust turns to hopeless attraction, and inevitably to disaster. But once their sparks connect, the arc of electricity is too strong to deny. Even if the cost is too much to bear.

Warning: Contains an ex-con with disaster written all over him, a boy toy who’s trouble with a capital T, a damp old British house, compulsive meddling, and enough hot sex to cure the severe case of nervous babbling.

RATING:


***REVIEW***

Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review

"Without you, I'm nothing. With you, I'm everything."

My first mm read by Barbara Elsborg and all I can say is- what a pleasant surprise! This book was one of those spur of the moment/ I'm-captivated-by-the-cover picks, but it ended up being one of the best mm romance reads I read this year.


4 dark, bittersweet, suspenseful, & deeply emotional stars 

This is an mm contemporary romance with a suspenseful mystery which will keep you on your toes til' the very end. It's not an easy read, because it deals with some heavy subjects like abuse, rape, suicide etc. It is told from two point of views by its main characters: the 24 year old journalist Malachi and 34 years old high school teacher and ex-prisoner Harper.

Both MCs didn't have an easy life. The timing sucks when they meet for the first time, both of them not being in a good place. Their luck seemed to keep getting worse with every next chapter, but they are not the type of characters to give up so easily, especially not the adorable, selfless and witty Malachi. He always seemed to find something positive and humorous, even in the most chaotic situations. The story had me on brink of tears a couple of times, but then, he would say something totally inappropriate and hilarious and made it more bearable. In comparison to him, Harper was more one of those closed off and mysterious types, but fortunately Malachi's enthusiasm and humor were contagious and it was slowly helping him to come out of his shelf. Both of them are broken in their own way, but maybe together they can help each other heal. 

When it comes to the mystery the author keeps you second guessing til' the last page. I must admit that the revelation of the bad guy totally caught me off guard which is another positive thing, because that happens quite rarely lately.

And the ending? Well, I loved it! The last page left me with a huge smile on my face. That's all I'm going to share. I assume that the next book will feature one of the secondary characters in the main role and my vote goes to the guy who scared the c*ap out of me through most of the book and whose gut I hated almost til' the very ending and that's the cold, calculated, but intriguing Conrad. What can I say? First impressions can be misleading. The guy totally won me over in the end.
  • Who should read this book:
  1. Readers who enjoy dark, heart-wrenching & touching stories.
  2. Readers who enjoy love stories with tormented, but fun & endearing heroes. 
  3. Readers who prefer a slow-building, heartwarming, steamy and light on the drama romance.
  4. Readers who love an interesting, suspenseful & unpredictable mystery/crime.
Message Of The Story: Sometimes, the people & world around us can be very dark and cruel, but at the same time, if you're lucky enough, there are moments when even in that ugliness of life you can find things worth living for, your personal ray of sunshine. Things like love.

Ok, I better stop now, before I get too sappy, LOL. All in all, I'll be eagerly waiting for the next book in the series! In the meantime I'm definitely going to read something new by this author.

Highly recommended to every MM Romance fan!

xoxo

Dec 16, 2014

Deceptive Innocence (Pure Sin, #1) by Kyra Davis

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Genre:
Contemporary Romance / Suspense

Summary on Goodreads:

Kyra Davis, the New York Times bestselling author of Just One Night, returns with book one in the thrillingly erotic Pure Sin series featuring a beautiful young woman out for revenge—until she falls in love with the one man whose secrets are as dangerous as her own.

Ever since Bell’s mother died while serving time for a murder she didn’t commit, Bell’s been focused on one thing: revenge. She knows her mother was set up by Jonathon Gable, the head of both the powerful Gable family and an international banking corporation. Now she’s determined to take him down—from the inside.

Bell needs access to the Gable home and offices, so she poses as a bartender to seduce her way into the bed—and life—of Jonathon’s rebellious youngest son, Lander. He’s not a typical Gable, spending more time in the dive bars of Harlem than the posh cocktail lounges of the Upper East Side. He has an attraction to danger, a vulnerability Bell isn’t shy about exploiting. It should be easy to uncover the secrets she needs to destroy his family and clear her mother’s name.

But it turns out Lander is much more complicated than she ever imagined. He’s enticing, intelligent, mysterious—plus their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Even though Bell knows he’s the enemy, she can’t help but be moved, both physically and emotionally, by the man she swore was just a target. When he finds out the truth she’s sure both their hearts and her plan will be crushed...until she begins to realize that Lander might be hiding his own secrets, darker than she ever imagined.

NOTE: This book includes Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 which are no longer sold separately.

RATING:

***REVIEW***

Without revenge and vengeance- without war- what's left of me?

Are you a fan of the TV show Revenge? Do you enjoy reading books with similar themes? Then, come and meet Deceptive Innocence (Pure Sin, #1) by Kyra Davis.

Dark, gripping, suspenseful & emotional mindfuck.

There are 4 leading players in this mindfuck:

~ Bellona Dantes a.k.a Bell is the main character of this series and the story is told from her pov. She and her single mother led a peaceful, normal life until one horrible event that took place when she was only 12 years old. That incident turned her life upside down and had a major impact on the person she became today- strong, intelligent, calculated and merciless for everyone who ruined the life of the innocent child she once was.

I really liked Bell as a MC. Some issues aside, she was the type of the character I prefer reading about. She is far from perfect, but I was touched by her story and cheering for her to make them pay from the page 1 and I think that every reader will.

~ Lander Gable is Bell's love interest and also the person who may or may not had his fingers in the incident that ruined her life. The readers will be in the dark through most of the story about Lander's potential guilt. What hides behind his poker face? Is he a trustworthy person? What are his true feelings for Bell? I'm still undecided about him. The chemistry between them was off the charts and resulted in some pretty steamy scenes.

“My beautiful warrior.” He gently lifts my chin. “You’re mesmerizing.”
“Yeah? Well. you’re going to have to come out of your trance,” I uncurl the belt, swing it over the wide part of his back, use it to pull him to me. “I want you now.”

~ Travis Gable is Lander's step-brother and in his case the readers won't have problem with figuring his character out. Manipulative, cruel, aggressive, ruthless. A true psychopath. 

~ Micah is a mob boss and Bell's frenemy- it remains to be seen.  Just like Travis, this guy scared the crap out of me. With Travis at least you know what to expect, but this guy is totally another story. Is he there to protect Bell or is he another person to add on her black list? We'll just have to wait and see.

Everything starts out as a game of revenge, but can you truly win without any loss in a game whose rules are based on secrets, lies and deceit? When the poker faces start falling down who'll be the last one standing?

~ Negative:
  • I would have preferred if the romance was more slow-building or to be more exact- I felt that Bell fell too quickly for Lander even if she tried so hard not to and therefore made excuses for him even when she didn't know him that well or long enough.
  • A few details of the plot reminded me on the TV show. I don't know if that's coincidence or not or if the author was inspired by that show. It didn't spoiled the story for me, but I hope she'll develop the story in her own, unique way.

Throughout the story my rating was changing between 3.5 and 4 stars, but the awesome ending  decided it on 4 stars. All in all, this was a promising beginning to the new book series. I have huge hope for book 2!

Recommended to the fans of suspenseful mindfucks with a kickass heroine and fans of the TV show Revenge.

Being with him like this shouldn't feel this powerful. I've forgotten who I am. Maybe that was inevitable. But I shouldn't forget who he is.

xoxo

(Cover Reveal) Do Not Disturb by Alessandra Torre



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Book info

Title: Do Not Disturb

Author: A. R. Torre

Genre: Erotic Thriller

Details: Standalone, 2nd book in series

Cover Designer: Wendy Chan

Release Date: April 21st 2015

Preorder: Amazon - Nook

 

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synopsis

1. Don't leave the apartment 2. Never let anyone in. 3. Don't kill anyone

The rules were simple. I broke them. Now, I must face the consequences. Everyone else must face me.

**This is Book 2 in the Deanna Madden Series. All books in this series are standalone reads, but are best enjoyed if read in order.**

 
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 A.R. Torre is a pseudonym for New York Times Bestselling erotica author Alessandra Torre. Do Not Disturb is the second in her Deanna Madden series, a line of standalone erotic thrillers. While not writing, Alessandra enjoys reading, spending time with her family and playing with her dogs. She lives on Florida's Emerald Coast and is married, with one young son. Find out more about Alessandra by subscribing to her popular newsletter.

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(Cover Reveal) Black Hearts: The Leather Valentine Collection



Title: Black Hearts ( The Leather Valentine Collection)
Release Date: February 10, 2015
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Dec 15, 2014

Two Roads (Gypsy Brothers, #6) by Lili St. Germain

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Genre:
Dark Romance

Summary On Goodreads:


The sixth book in the #1 iBooks bestselling Gypsy Brothers series.


Juliette and Jase may be out of Dornan's immediate reach, but as tensions rise, will they end up walking right into the enemy's trap?

Can Juliette forgive Jase for his devastating betrayal, or will it destroy everything they've been fighting for?



RATING:


***REVIEW***

"To let go? To give up? No, I would never- will never- give up. I take the road less traveled. I write my own fate. I deliver my own justice. I wreck my own special brand of revenge."

Shocked. Confused. Appalled. Conflicted. Devastated. But above all completely heartbroken. That is almost close enough summary of my feelings while reading the sixth book of Gypsy Brothers series. I didn't like the previous installment, because I felt that the author made it too unrealistic considering everything that had happened, and that is why I was hesitant about reading this book, but now, after I finished it, even though I didn't love it like some of the previous books I still think that the author is on the right track again. There were some things I liked and then there were some things I didn't, as usual.

"Will he even want me now? Or will I remain the empty, tarnished vessel- unlovable, dead on the inside, forever alone?"

Julie is in a really bad and dark place after the shocking ending of the previous book. She is far from the role of the ruthless and merciless avenger she imposed on herself. The inevitable thing happened and she finds herself at the very bottom for the 2nd time. Ruined. Tarnished.  Hopeless. One step from a total breakdown caused by so much pain, despair and loss. That's why it wasn't easy to read this book, especially because the author describes every detail so vividly. 

Considering her state it wasn't easy for me to like her, because she did some pretty careless things that made me want to shake some sense into her, but then again I also couldn't not feel sorry for her, because no person could stay sane after all that tragedy. I also didn't appreciate how she was more worried about Jace's opinion about her than other much important things. Jace is again on my shit list. My opinion about him has been conflicted since the beginning of the series, but the more the story is developing the less fondly I think  about him, especially after this book. I really didn't appreciate his behavior towards Julie in some situations. I wanted him to be more considerate taking in consideration all the fucked-up things she went through and I felt that he didn't do enough to help her heal.

Dark, twisted, devastating & heart-breaking. 

This series is definitely not for everyone. Only fans of dark reads will be able to enjoy it and handle the dark themes (gang-rape, murder, abortion, drug abuse etc.) and characters with questionable redeemable quality it is dealing with. I barely handled it and I've read some pretty twisted books so far. Also recommendable to the fans of the TV show Revenge, but have in mind that this is darker and gorier.

Today is the release day of the 7th book- One Love (Gypsy brothers, #7) which is also the last installment of the series. Considering the devious mind of the author, as always, I am both excited to read it and at the same time petrified of the out-come, because I believe it will be a hit/miss for me like the two previous books. Bring on the mindfuck, I'm not ready!

~ Get the 1st book in the series for free on AMAZON!

"I am a ghost. I am nothing, and inside me, that tiny seed of rage grows patiently, a little each day, and I know when I'm strong enough I'll be able to harness it for my own survival.
I need the rage to come back to me, because without it, I am a shell."

xoxo

Dec 13, 2014

Review: NOWHERE RANCH by Heidi Cullinan





Roe Davis is a man who works hard, keeps to himself, and never mixes business with pleasure — until he takes a weekend away from his new job at Nowhere Ranch and runs into the owner at the only gay bar for two hundred miles. Getting involved with the boss is a bad idea, but Travis Loving is hard to say no to, especially when it turns out their kinks line up like a pair of custom-cut rails. As Loving points out, so long as this is sex on the side, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.

The truth is, there’s good reason Roe never settles down and always spends his birthdays and holidays celebrating alone. Shut out in the cold by his family years ago, Roe survived by declaring he didn’t need a home. As his affair with Loving grows into more than just sex, Roe finds out what happens when he stays put a little bit too long: the past always catches up with you. Eventually, even a loner gets lonely, and home will grow up through whatever cracks you leave open for it — even in a place called Nowhere.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices, strong BDSM theme and elements, fetish play.

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 My rating: ✮✮✮✮

My review:


Picking up a book by an author whose work I've never read before is always exciting. So many possibilities lie ahead. I try not to expect much, but always end up expecting anything and everything.
This was my first book by Heidi Cullinan, and if this is how she usually writes, I want to read more.
 

To be honest, the only reason I even chose this book was because I needed a kinky book with a title that starts with the letter N. I was very happy when I found it -- it fit the criteria, and as an added bonus it was M/M. The D/s and M/M combination is my weakness, so I was hopeful I would enjoy reading Nowhere Ranch. But with my reason for reading it, and the author being new to me, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. Luckily for me, the story of how Monroe Davis found home is one I will remember fondly.
 

Nowhere Ranch surprised me three times. First was the kink. When almost all the books with kink take place in big cities' fancy BDSM clubs with all the possible instruments available, you start wondering what kind of play could be possible on a ranch, especially one called Nowhere Ranch. Well, as it turned out, you can do a lot. Travis and Roe really played hard, even in my opinion. But they enjoyed it, so I liked it.


The first part of the book was about Roe and Travis getting to know each other a little, though mostly physically, and it's the part with most kink. Just when I got used to that pace, the second surprise came. It was the part that made me very sad. 


Roe left his hometown when his family wouldn't accept him being gay, and ever since he had been going from place to place, always moving, never making home anywhere, or making friends with anyone. And after a long time, he heard from his family. It was not for a good reason, and it was very unpleasant. I couldn't not feel bad for Roe. Your immediate family are the ones who should accept you the way you are no matter what. Even when the whole world turns their back on you, they are the ones who should stand by you. Sadly, that sounds like utopia. And Roe suffered because of their rejection. 


Fortunately, after all that darkness came the light. And that was the third thing that surprised me: the warm-and-fuzzy-feelings part. I never would have guessed the book would lead me there, but I loved this part. This is when Roe and Travis built a home for themselves, became a family in an unexpected way. It was the happy part, which both Roe and Travis more than deserved it.

Oh, yes, the story of how Monroe Davis found home is a great one.

XOXO
 

Dec 12, 2014

Watch Me (Dark Obsession, #1) by Cynthia Eden

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Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication date: December 3rd 2015, Hocus Pocus Publishing

My rating: 3 stars
 
Book summary:

"Watch Me…The first book in New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Cynthia Eden’s sexy new romantic suspense series…DARK OBSESSION.

He was hired to protect her.

Watching gorgeous Gwen Hawthorne wasn’t a hard job—but it certainly was tempting. Chance Valentine had tried to keep his distance from the sexy socialite for years, but when her father hired him to keep watch on her—as a twenty-four, seven bodyguard—Chance knew his control was about to be pushed to the limit.

He’d never wanted another woman the way he desired her. Hot. Intense. Consuming. Being so close to Gwen, Chance knew that he wouldn’t be able to resist her. So he gave into his need, her need, and he took them both to the edge of a dark and consuming desire.

But Chance soon realizes that he isn’t the only one watching Gwen. Someone else is out there, a stalker who won’t rest until Gwen is destroyed. Every day, every moment…Gwen is in danger. And Chance knows that if he can’t unmask the stalker, then he may just lose the only woman he has ever loved."

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23675176-watch-me

        I finally found courage to give Cynthia Eden another chance, especially because I started to read romantic suspense novels lately, and I really hoped that this book would turn out to be a great read. It was fun and quick, but unfortunately, I did have few issues. 


Positive 

  • Watch Me is a perfect choice is you want shorter book that will distract you from everyday problems. You will see that you will read it rather quickly because you just have to know what will happen next. 
  • Chemistry. Second chance romance and dominant bastards we love to hate. This book has it all. Have you read Masters and Mercenaries series by Lexi Blake? Watch Me might remind you a little bit f that series (but without Doms and other kinky stuff).
  • If you are not fan of suspense/ thriller /mystery novels where main focus is on crime, this will work out for you - Cynthia Eden is all about romance. 


Negative

  • Everything happens too fast. I wish that author took time to develop plot more thoughtfully and not just give us glimpses of whys and hows.
  • Stereotypes and cliches. This book is full of them, from characters to their interaction. 
  • Predictable. You pretty much know what will happen from the start  which doesn't mean that you won enjoy reading this book.


Who should read this?

Fans of light suspense and everyone who liked previous books by Cynthia Eden. 



xoxo,
 
*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
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