May 25, 2017

Review: Tampa by Alissa Nutting




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Book summary:

In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.

Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.

Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.

MY REVIEW:

Rating: 


What a story!

Tampa is the story of Celeste Price, female sexual predator. I’ll admit I was actually nervous to read this book. I’ve had Tampa on my radar for years now, but I always hesitated to pick it up. Now, I’m so glad I decided to read this book!

It’s an important book, boys can and are being molested by their female teachers, and in a way Tampa educates us. It also touches upon the subject of looks. Celeste is stunningly beautiful. She says: “People who look like me don’t go to jail.” And it illuminates the issue of how young and beautiful people, because they are young and beautiful are somehow less guilty, in the eyes of the public.

I’ve never read a book quite like this one, where the author went so in-depth, in trying to give us accurate portrayal of the perverted mind of the pedophile. All the while reading this, you’re in Celeste’s mind – and her thoughts are constantly focused on 14-year old boys. Her mind was not a nice place to be in.

While reading reviews, one of them stated that the book was inspired by the case of Debra Lafave. I’m not sure if that’s true, but there are similarities. Google her, but only after you read the book, otherwise it spoils the book.

There is one other book that evoked similar reaction in me, repulsion but at the same time morbid fascination; and it’s Taming the Beast , which was written from victim’s POV and the molester was a male teacher. Tampa was not as dark as Taming the Beast, it was uncomfortable to read because it described all the sexual acts in details, but Nutting’s writing has an almost parodic quality to it, you want to laugh at how absurd Celeste is being, but then you realize what she’s doing, sober up and shudder with horror. 


xoxo,
Beatrix

May 22, 2017

Cover Reveal: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher


Title:  Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Release Date:  TBD
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Cover Design:  Ellie McLove of Love N. Books

Synopsis: 
Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.
She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse. 
A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he's found what he's been looking for. 

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential: A broken heart.
David's religion is love.
Yara's religion is heartache.
Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.  



xoxo,
Beatrix

Apr 28, 2017

Cover Reveal: ROYALLY ENDOWED (Royally, #3) by Emma Chase




  
Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go. 

*** 

Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.
 
PRE-ORDER NOW


 

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine. 

 



 
XOXO,
 

Apr 6, 2017

ARC Review: ALL THE LIES WE TELL (Quarry Road, #1) by Megan Hart

Everyone knew Alicia Harrison’s marriage to Ilya Stern wouldn’t last. They’d grown up on a remote stretch of Quarry Street, where there were two houses, two sets of siblings, and eventually, a tangled mess of betrayal, longing, and loss. Tragedy catapulted Allie and Ilya together, but divorce—even as neighbors—has been relatively uncomplicated.

Then Ilya’s brother, Nikolai, comes home for their grandmother’s last days. He’s the guy who teased and fought with Allie, infuriated her, then fled town without a good-bye. Now Niko makes her feel something else entirely—a rush of connection and pure desire that she’s been trying to quench since one secret kiss years ago. Niko’s not sticking around. She’s not going to leave. And after all that’s happened between their families, this can’t be anything more than brief pleasure and a bad idea.

But the lies we tell ourselves can’t compete with the truths our hearts refuse to let go…










It's been three years and change since I read my very first Megan Hart book. It was one of those books that made me go: I must read more by this author! Much more! Now, many Hart books later, I can say those novels I read way back then are my favorite. All the Lies We Tell isn't like the other books by Ms. Hart I've read, but reading it felt like I was reading one of those earlier ones. It reminded me why I fell in love with her work in the first place. For this reason I kept smiling while I was reading it even though the story wasn't exactly a happy one. Weird? Maybe.

Like I said, I found this novel different from all those other books by Ms. Hart I've read. I'm aware she's a prolific author writing in several genres, but for the most part, I've stuck to her romance novels. All the Lies We Tell has romance, but it's also a story about two families and the ways their lives were connected over many years. The book has multiple POVs which was something new for me in the author's work. Plus, there was mystery surrounding a death of a family member. Mystery which will be unveiled in the second book, I assume. So, to me this is something of a romance mixed with family drama with a dash of mystery.

The story is told from the perspective of a few characters, but the main couple here is Alicia and Nikolai. They had brief romantic past which ended when Niko left town. As it would happen Alicia ended up marrying his brother Ilya. Their marriage is another thing of the past. Speaking of the past, Ilya used to be in love with Alicia's sister. Oh, yes, Megan Hart has cooked up some pretty complicated drama which would get even more complicated when Niko finally returns from his journey, and old feelings of attraction, hurt, resentment, and love come to surface. However, even as old flames were reignited and Alicia and Niko were older, more mature people, they kept secrets from each other, and doubted each other making their relationship even more difficult than it had to be, but it sure made for an interesting read.

What I've come to realize over years of reading is that I love it when the story is told in both the present and the past, and this book had that. Besides Alicia and Niko and their relationship, the present is about Ilya, and his relationship with Alicia, and Niko, and it's about Ilya and Niko's family that has loads of drama on their own. The past covered some significant moments in all of their history which helped to get a clearer picture about these characters and the ties that bind them. I'd rather not get more specific than this. Some things are better left to be read by oneself.

All in all, All the Lies We Tell was a book which reminded me why I'm a fan of Megan Hart's storytelling.

Book two All the Secrets We Keep will be available only little over one month after this one, and I'm excited to read how the story of these two families from Quarry Road will be concluded.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
 

Until next time, happy reading!


XOXO,
 






Mar 27, 2017

ARC Review: DIRTY DOCTOR by Whitney G.





Summary:

"Lean back on the table and spread your legs for me..."

Being a doctor in New York City has never been easy. Especially for someone like me who has a private practice and an incompetent staff who insists on leaving me to fill in for them.

Over the past six months, I've performed one too many pap smears, three too many "breast exams," and scrubbed in on several reconstructive surgeries. (This would be acceptable if I was still interested in general medicine, but I'm not. I'm supposed to be a goddamn therapist...)

When my team finally came to their senses and decided to bring someone more competent into the practice last month, I was actually elated.

Until I realized that our new "doctor" was none other than the woman I was supposed to meet over dinner two weeks ago. The same woman who stood me up with nothing more than an "I can't meet you anymore, sorry," after we agreed to move our online talks into reality.

I haven't forgotten any of the filthy fantasies she told me about, and I never deleted our dirty messages. And if she thinks that I'm going to act like a "professional" and pretend like that shit never happened, she has another thing coming...




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Review:


Rating: 3 stars
 
It's been a long while since I read anything by Whitney G. Even longer since Reasonable Doubt and its lovable asshole Andrew, so when Dirty Doctor appeared in my inbox promising to be a story just for sexy fun, I thought to myself that yes, I could go for something like that. After all, I couldn't remember the last time I read a book just for sexy fun. I still can't, and that is troubling. Anyways, the Dirty Doctor...

The story of the Dirty Doctor and the Resident had elements not unfamiliar in a Whitney G. book. In more ways than one it reminded me of Reasonable Doubt. I can't say I was too bothered by that, but I also can't say it had the same effect. My favorite of the two is crystal clear. To be fair, going in I didn't expect the Dirty Doctor to dethrone Andrew no matter how dirty he was. This was a book I chose to be my easy read on a lazy Saturday, and it filled that function.

Garrett (the Dirty Doctor) and Natalie, the main characters of this romance, first met online through a dating site. According to the site, they were a perfect match, but neither made a move to make a date in person or exchange real names. What they did was chat a lot about everything. Many emails were exchanged full of sexy banter throughout the novella. Whitney G's characters do seem to like that form of communication. So, the chats continued until a date was finally set for them to meet in person over dinner. Unfortunately for Garrett, his date stood him up.

Garrett is a doctor at a private practice and the owner, and Natalie became a new resident at the same practice. Neither of them knew that until Natalie came to their dinner and realized her date is also her new boss, at which point she did the "really mature" thing and fled before he saw her. Garrett would realize his no-show date was the new resident some time later at which point he would start acting "really maturely" and "professionally" towards Natalie all leading up to them hooking up and ultimately getting involved in a serious relationship.

Whitney G. described this novella as having no real plot, just fun, sexy banter, and sex. The first three were there, but the fourth happened only once and I found that a little surprising.

All in all, for a lazy-Saturday read, this novella did alright.


***An ARC was provided by the author.***
 

Until next time, happy reading!




 





Mar 3, 2017

ARC Review: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION (Sins of the Cities, #1) by K.J. Charles




  Summary

A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship...

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding... it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

 


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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 


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Review

Rating: 3.5 stars.


An Unseen Attraction is the first book in KJ Charles's new trilogy Sins of the City. A new series by KJC is one good reason to bring out the celebrating-ponies gif, so here it is:

description

From what I've gathered from the blurbs, just like the previous series, each book in this trilogy will be about different characters. In this one we get to meet two sweet, kind, loyal men Clem Talleyfer and Rowley Green. Clem was a lodging-house keeper; Rowley was one of the lodgers. They'd lived under the same roof for eight months, in which time they'd formed a friendship over tea and conversation at night. However, both would have liked to be more than that, and this story was about them making that step towards a romantic relationship and becoming a couple. Theirs was a slow-burning romance, with them being careful around each other, and sometimes painfully slow. This could be why I wasn't as into the story as I usually am when I'm reading something KJC wrote. I guess I just prefer one that burns a bit faster, but I have to admit that for these characters the pace was just right.

An Unseen Attraction is romance and mystery wrapped up together, and the second part of the book was more about the mystery. That was the part I enjoyed the most. Dead bodies, arson, family secrets left and right, and that was only the beginning. Where it will go next, I don't know, but I look forward to finding out.

The second half was also the part where the other characters who will get their own books came into play, which is another thing I liked. Going on what I've read about them, I have a pretty good feeling about their stories.

3.5 stars is a little less stars than usual for a KJC book, but I am not one bit worried about that. You see, the author's last series is one I loved, and I mean LOVED. If I were to make a list of my favorite series, Society of Gentlemen would have a place on it, no doubt about that. However, if my memory serves, and I believe it does, I wasn't that much into the first book. The second was one of my favorite books ever; the third I also loved; the short prequel was amazing. With the first installment it took me some time to warm up to it, and by the end I couldn't wait to read the rest of the series. That's exactly what happened here: the story and the main characters didn't grab me from the get-go, but now I can't wait to read the remaining two books, and closely meet the other main characters and see where the mystery will take us next.


***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

 
Until next time, happy reading!


XOXO,
 

Feb 20, 2017

ARC Review: WANTED, A GENTLEMAN by KJ Charles




  Summary

By the good offices of Riptide Publishing
KJ Charles’s new Entertainment

WANTED, A GENTLEMAN
Or, Virtue Over-Rated


the grand romance of

Mr. Martin St. Vincent . . . a Merchant with a Mission, also a Problem
Mr. Theodore Swann . . . a humble Scribbler and Advertiser for Love

Act the First:

the offices of the Matrimonial Advertiser, London
where Lonely Hearts may seek one another for the cost of a shilling

Act the Second:

a Pursuit to Gretna Green (or thereabouts)

featuring

a speedy Carriage
sundry rustic Inns
a private Bed-chamber

***

In the course of which are presented

Romance, Revenge, and Redemption
Deceptions, Discoveries, and Desires

the particulars of which are too numerous to impart




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Review

Rating: 4 stars!




description




... and KJ Charles is one of my favorite authors, so -- and I'm sure I've said this before -- any time I get my hands on one of her new books, I'm a happy camper. That's why I feel terrible it took me this long to sit down and write my review. Real life got in the way of talking about fictional worlds, but still I feel like I've been a bad fan.

KJ Charles's books made me fall in love with M/M historicals, and Wanted, A Gentleman falls in that category. It's a historical novella set in London at the beginning of the 19th century. As it turned out even in 1805 people turned to personal ads in search for a lonely heart to match their own, or to play S/M games with or something... And in 1805 there was a young lady, very young and very spoiled, who used those ads to communicate with her fiancé. That fiancé was a gentleman of questionable morals and intentions, and she an heiress to an enviable fortune. Needless to say, her parents were desperate to see that marriage never happened and to end any correspondence between the young lady and the man she was so foolishly infatuated with. Martin St. Vincent was asked to help in the matter. Martin was once that family's slave, but was freed when he grew up and given the funds that helped him become a successful merchant, which left him under the burden of gratitude. His task brought him to the offices of Theo Swann, a man with his own burden and not too enthusiastic about being alive, who ran the Matrimonial Advertiser. There, a deal was made between the two men, a deal that would have them chasing the ill-matched couple across country.
Trying to break them up brought Theo's and Martin's lonely hearts together. 

Wanted, A Gentleman is a novella I enjoyed reading (twice, actually), and Theo and Martin were a couple I liked. This made me wish I met them in a novel... that was part of a series. Yes, KJ Charles's series are my favorite, and there's just something in reading about a group of characters over several books that turns them from characters I like to characters I love. However, as much as I would've liked Theo and Martin got more than a novella, I can't say I didn't get to know them. The author does her job well, and these characters got their backstories and personal traits that made them an interesting couple with interesting stories to tell.

Martin and Theo's love story wasn't without its obstacles, of course. Some truths weren't easy to hear, and they almost ended their relationship before it began, but resolution wasn't far behind. This is a novella -- you don't have to wait long for anything. The resolution was fun as it came from Theo's imaginative scribbler's mind whose villains were apparently superbly written. 

It all ended with a "Wanted, A Gentleman..." ad bringing Theo and Martin back together. Ah, they did make quite a pair. I hope they were happy together for a long time in that fictional past. 

Now, if you'll excuse me I have another KJ Charles book that requires my immediate attention. 


***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***



Until next time, happy reading!




XOXO,
 
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