Sep 30, 2014

Falling Under by Danielle Younge-Ullman

Buy the book:

Connect with the author:


After growing up as the only child of bitterly divorced parents, Mara Foster has finally gained independence and is embarking on a promising career as an artist. But despite her success, she is fragile. Burdened by a host of fears and anxieties, she finds it difficult even to leave the house on most days. When Mara meets Hugo, the walls she has built around herself begin to crumble, and as she struggles to find a breakthrough both in her art and in life, she must come to terms with her own dark secrets in order to get a second chance at happiness.

Written in spare, crisp prose and marked by wry humor, Falling Under is a gripping contemporary tale of human weakness, friendship, and hard-earned redemption.

My rating:


“He would never understand how being happy makes you sad. How the happier you are the more you know the sky is about to explode into tiny, sparkling shards of glass that will pick up speed as they fall to the earth and slice right through you leaving your skin with little holes in it, leaving your heart bleeding.” 

It took me the longest time to get into this book. But once I did, it was difficult to stop. The beautiful sentences kept flowing and I was simply in awe – the writing style is quite lovely. The author writes about ordinary things in such an extraordinary manner.

This is a story of Mara Foster, young artist who is struggling with anxiety. The story is told alternating between past and present. The main event in the book is the death of her college boyfriend, Lucas. It’s something that defined her, and we see events lining up to it, and we see after – Mara trying to deal with it. There’s a lot of guilt in Mara; she’s damaged, struggling with living her life despite her guilt which is crippling her. When she meets Hugo, she finally has a chance at happiness, but first – she must chase away her demons. We get to know Mara by witnessing her daily struggles, seeing how her past relationships defined her. 

In her past, when she was 16, Mara had an affair with Caleb, a 34-year old painter who was her mentor of sorts. Then there was Lucas whose death left a huge impact on Mara and from whose loss she’s still recovering. In the present she has an occasional lover Erik to whom she runs when her demons are too much. And finally, Hugo, this really sweet guy with a dog. And that’s really all I have to say about Hugo. We meet him first and right away we’re presented with the idea that he’s the one. The one for whom Mara will get better. I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but root for Erik. And Caleb. 

The whole book was intense. If I had to choose one word to describe Falling Under it’d be that. And Erik was intense, his relationship with Mara was nothing but intense. I felt like with Erik, Mara had something real. I liked Hugo in the beginning, but later on I cooled off, I guess. I missed that intensity she had in her previous relationships.

“Sometimes my ears are full of screaming, and sometimes, like tonight, the voices are mine. Erik had them too – demons, voices. Nightmares seared on the soul – I knew it the first time I saw him. And sometime, when there are large, dark spaces inside that you cannot escape, sometimes someone can meet you there, keep you company. Sometimes they can break you out.” 

Mara is dramatic, her thoughts, her paintings are dramatic. Falling Under is the kind of book which relies on emotions a lot. Inner monologue is in the foreground. In fact, I think Mara’s thoughts consist most of the novel. At times, it was even a bit too much being inside her head. 

The ending felt abrupt. I was little surprised how things ended. Yes, all drama regarding her relationships was resolved (maybe), but I felt Mara’s personal issues could’ve been given more attention. You can’t present me with all that drama, make me emotionally invested with Mara, then expect me to believe she’d overcome *all that* that easily? 

In conclusion, Falling Under is dark, sexy and hits you right in the feels. You can’t stay indifferent towards Mara’s pain. I loved, LOVED the writing, it’s the best part of the novel. And I really wish more people knew about this amazing and unusual novel.

“We are fierce and intense and hot, but for the first time, our eyes are honest. Every touch strips us, makes us raw. And what we have always taken from each other by force, we now offer up and then go deeper and find more.” 



Sep 29, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW (Part 1): Katherine Owen, author of Truth In Lies series


~ Add This Much Is True (Truth In Lies, #1) on Goodreads!

~ Add The Truth About Air & Water (Truth In lies, #2) on Goodreads!
Buy Links:

***About The Author***

International best selling author of the New Adult Novel, This Much Is True and the most recently released second novel in the Truth In Lies series of The Truth About Air & Water.

Katherine Owen writes contemporary edgy fiction, which translates to: she writes love stories that are contemporary in setting and both edgy and dark. Some readers term her books emotional roller coasters. She is not sorry. Owen writes about trust, love, and fate and how relationships are often tested by all of these things in one way or another. Love, loss, starting over. Yes, that about covers it. 

Owen is partial to commas, dashes, and plot twists & turns and the ampersand sign. Apparently. With a degree in editorial journalism and English, she is aware of the grammatical rules. She chooses to break them. Sometimes. For her complete take on this, click here.

Connect with her on:


Everyone who knows me is more than aware of the fact that I'm a sucker for dark, edgy and emotional love stories. Truth In Lies series are one of my favorite ones when it comes to this genre, so we are delighted that we got a chance to interview the great mind behind the books- Katherine Owen

~ Thank you for being here with us today Katherine :). You told me that I shouldn't hold back when asking questions- I hope you won't regret it after this interview, lol. 

First question(s) will be an easy one and probably one of those you get asked daily: When did you know that you want to become a writer and what inspired you to choose that profession?

KO: I knew early on I wanted to be a writer. It was a dream of mine (out of reach; it seemed) for a long time. I won a poetry contest at fourteen and majored in editorial journalism in college with a minor in English and took enough psychology classes to major in that too. As it turns out, I went into high tech sales with money and stock options as a draw and did a fair share of public relations and marketing work as well. I had a very successful corporate career in high tech sales and public relations and then seized the dream for writing full-time five years ago.

I spent the first three years taking classes with The Writers Studio, (those assignments all wended their way into novels I’ve released) and wrote a few long manuscripts that will never see the light of day. I started out querying traditional publishing for an agent and came close with several after winning the Zola Award for the romance category with Pacific Northwest Writers Association in July of 2010. By then, I decided to self-publish and released my first two books, Seeing Julia and Not To Us in May of 2011.

~ How did your family and friends react when you told them that you want to write; were they supportive or did they try to talk you out of it?

KO: Overall, my family has been very supportive of my career as a writer. I walked away from a lucrative career in high tech sales, so we all miss the money, and I recognize the sacrifice they make for me to enjoy my career as a writer. I put all those skills I honed over the years in global account management and sales as well as public relations and marketing to work every day with this career as a writer.

~ What’s the best thing about being an author?

KO: For me, the best thing about being an author is that I’m doing something I love and am passionate about. I actually believe—as cliché and simple as that sounds—it’s the secret sauce to a happier life. It’s not easy, don’t misunderstand. Being a writer at eight is a lot easier than being a writer as an adult. As soon as you let the doubts and the naysayers past the front gate of your mind, they all take turns, and it gets complex and incredibly hard most of the time to write. 

You are your own worst critic, but those one-star reviews stay right there with you. It doesn’t matter how many five stars you get, if you let comparison have its way with you, there is always somebody who writes better, sells better, and reaps more rewards than you do. Still? Writing is truly living to me. And I feel lucky every day that I can do it.

~ Tell us something about your writing process; how long does it take you to write one book and where do you get your daily inspiration?

KO: It takes me about a year to write a book. The only exception to that process is Not To Us which I wrote start to finish in about six weeks. (That book is unique for several reasons but there are fans of my work who love that one the best. It is the outlier. The exception. From it, I take the encouragement for myself that I can get her done when the deadline fast approaches.) So I know I can go shorter, but the plotting and character development is what takes the most time. There is a ton of thinking that goes into writing a story. I don’t follow a pattern or normal trope for the storyline. All of that takes time to put together in my head. 

Writing—when it all comes together, and I finally figure out where it needs to go—comes rather easily when the story is complete in my mind but that’s usually about ten months into the book. For example, The Truth About Air & Water was half done in June of this year. It came together by the first part of August. I wrote the ending two days before it went to a few Beta readers; it was that fresh, but I knew I’d finally nailed as I saw the characters arcs so clearly by then. Yay for KO!

~ How do you deal with writer's block?

KO: For me, writer’s block has more to do with being stuck with the plotting of the story. This last round I really focused on writing tighter, avoiding too many tangents, staying away from drama and making things more subtle in the subtext. Focusing in on improving my structure with the story did tighten up the writing. I was only blocked when I was unsure as to where to take it. I was stuck for months on the initial plot line that would separate them. MONTHS. But once I put a structure into place; the story came together, for the most part, and I was able to write. Best thing I did for myself was view Dan Well’s seven-point story structure over and over. THIS is what helped me tighten the storyline and stay on a path.

~ What was your first book about?

KO: My debut novel is Seeing Julia, which is about a young widow who is saved from self-destruction by a charming stranger only to discover that her life is not what it appears to be at all. This is my first book where we get an early glimpse of Kimberley Powers. Aha…the place in Malibu in The Truth About Air & Water belongs to Julia Hamilton. See how that works?

~ Which book of yours are you most proud of?

KO: Two books are near and dear to my heart: This Much Is True and When I See You. This Much Is True is my breakout novel where I truly gained an audience (which, of course, invited the snarkiest of readers as well). When I See You is the just-about-guaranteed-to-make-you-cry kind of book in which I took a lot of risks and created two of my deepest characters in Jordan Holloway and Brock Wainwright. Tally is probably a younger version of Jordan on many levels; she just hasn’t quite achieved the experience that 27-year-old Jordan possesses nor reached that level of maturity yet.

Having said all of this, I stand by The Truth About Air & Water and feel like I actually reached the summit of the proverbial mountain called achievement with this book. I can look around and see the view and enjoy the vista from up here. I paid my dues with all the other books I’ve written, and I improved in the writing of this one. There are so many subtleties to this storyline. I encourage readers to read it again to pick up on all of them.

~ Who is the most favorite character you’ve written about and why?

KO: Tally Landon has to be the most complex character I’ve written. After two books, I’m not sure that me as the writer or readers completely get where she is coming from and why she is the way she is. It’s not just Holly’s death that affected her; there is more back history that probably needs to be explored. So, yes, Tally is the most complex. Runner-up would have to be Jordan Holloway from When I See You. In some ways, Jordan’s just a more mature version of Tally Landon. Huh. Interesting.

~ Do you have more fun writing villains or more “morally acceptable” characters?

KO: I have way too much fun writing villains. I wish I had more of a villain in The Truth About Air & Water but bringing back Nika Vostrikova for round two seemed too easy, so I went in a different direction. By far, my most memorable and fun-to-write villain was Savannah Bennett in Seeing Julia. Boom. SHE was fun to write. My sister read a draft and said she was too mean even for fiction, but I held to the notion that any woman can get like that when threatened so I kept her as mean as originally written.  Another great choice for fun was writing Carrie in Not To UsThe taker best friend. Carrie impossible to love but man she ran a good game on our heroine, Ellie.

~ Favorite book villain you love to hate?

KO: I don’t hate any of the villains I write about. They prove necessary to the plot, but also I don’t think anyone is intrinsically bad on purpose. I think circumstances and/or people make them that way. 

~ In your opinion, what are the pros & cons of your profession? Was there a time when you wanted to give up and do something else?

KO:  Pros: If you’re truly a writer, you cannot not write. It’s a calling. It’s not logical. It just is.

Cons: It’s also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done from the standpoint that you spend a lot of time with yourself and play host to self-doubt to say nothing of the critics of your work when you put it out into the world. You have to overcome all of that that plagues you all of the time it seems.

Cons: Some of the best writers of our time you will never read because it isn’t about writing the best work; it’s about who gets the visibility. In the traditional publishing arena, this is who curries favor and who they believe will be a best seller—commercial grade—if you will.

In the self-publishing arena, it is still all about visibility and who curries favor and who is commercial enough to make those top bloggers and top online retailer sites some cash. I’ll leave it at that.

THAT has been an eye-opener for me. To the point that I do want to give it all up some days because I can land a six-figure job tomorrow and deal with the machinations that exist in high tech sales a whole lot easier.

But alas, I love the writing too much and I intend to navigate the waters of publishing even if it is rough and unsavory and downright disappointing at times.

~ Favorite genre, book(s) and author(s)?

KO: I read a variety of genres. I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn, Tarryn Fisher, Katja Millay, Tess Callahan, DC Bourone, and Jennifer Egan. The writing techniques of all of these writers influences what I do with my own work and the things I picked up in the classes at The Writers Studio adds to my repertoire.

~ Name one book you wish you had written and why.

KO: I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife. Audrey Niffenegger broke a lot of rules in that book. Jumping time. Handling multiple POVs so well. TTTW was fantasy mixed with romance mixed with literary. It’s a masterpiece; and I love it. I can only wish to write that well someday. I would also liked to have written Gone Girl for the same reasons listed above.

~ What the 2nd best thing you like to do aside writing?

KO: I like to cook about twice a year, and my family is forever grateful for those two days which are mostly likely the 4th of July and Thanksgiving and perhaps Christmas Eve dinner. Boom. I’m good on those two or three days, and I really do make a fantastic meal or two.

~ Favorite movie, actor and actress?

KO: I am a big fan of George Clooney because to me he is the entire package of wow. He is handsome and charming and seems like he’d be fun just to spend time with. I love George in anything, but especially loved him in Michael Clayton and Three Kings and all the Ocean movies and still miss him after he left ER.
I’m an intrigued fan of Angelina Jolie. I loved her character in Salt and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, of course. She is beautiful and seems like a very deep thinker.

I also love Jennifer Lawrence after seeing her in Silver Linings Playbook which I think was one of her finest roles. I’m a huge Meryl Streep fan in anything and the same applies to Diane Keaton. And last but not least, Anne Hathaway after seeing her amazing role as Maggie in Love and Other Drugs and One Day although I HATED that ending.

Favorite movies:  Love and Other Drugs, The Vow, Silver Linings Playbook, Something’s Gotta Give and The Family Stone.

~ Favorite music/ song you won’t ever get tired of hearing?

KO: Anything John Mayer sings is fine with me. Free Fallin’ and Your Body Is A Wonderland are all-time favorites.

~ Name three hot hunks you would take on a deserted island.

KO: Henry Cavill, George Clooney, Brad Pitt

~ The most annoying celebrity of nowadays?

KO: Kim Kardashian

~ Guilty pleasure/s ?

KO: Coffee, wine, vodka.

~ What’s the best advice you would give to young, inexperienced authors?

KO: If you truly love writing, in other words, you have the need to write, read a lot and write even more. Study books you love. Study books you didn’t. Embrace what works for your own style. I write in a first-person, present tense not as a gimmick, but because I am actually good at it. I find the third-person, past tense a lot harder to write. Study all of those. Master them. Go with what works for you and listen to your inner critic about what is working and what is not and just keep writing and reading.

TO BE CONTINUED...Stay tuned folks for the 2nd part of this interview where we talk about her Truth n Lies series, plus the awesome give-away!


Sep 24, 2014

Hell Without You by Ranae Rose

Buy The Book:

Author's Page:

Contemporary Romance

Summary on Goodreads::

Time changes everything, except what’s meant to be.

Seven years is a long time – long enough to transform Clementine from a small-town teenager with a broken heart into a woman ready to take on the world, but not long enough to make her forget about the man she was never supposed to see again. A temporary return to tiny Willow Heights thrusts her back into Donovan’s life and home, unearthing heartbreak and obsession that have stood the test of time.

He left seven years ago too, for war and other things Clementine can only imagine. Coming back to the town where he grew up in the shadow of poverty and drug addiction makes no sense, and neither do Clementine’s feelings for him. He could never forgive her for leaving, could he? Even if she had no choice.

Now, she has the freedom to choose … and so does he. Every day in Willow Heights makes it clearer: all he ever really wanted was her, and nothing will change that. Not even a taste of the hell that drove them apart in the first place.



Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review

I always had a weak spot for emotional romance books with the theme of first love and that's why this one sounded very promising, but unfortunately, in the end, it failed to deliver. When the story doesn't grip you from the start it's very unlikely that it will later on and this was one of those stories. It wasn't awful. I didn't hate it. I was just bored out of my mind and couldn't get into it no matter how hard I tried. 

The MCs of this story are Clementine, a rich girl and step-daughter from a well-known politician & Donovan, the poor mechanic living in a trailer, who were each other's first love and both first big heartbreak in the high school. At the beginning of the story we meet them as grown-ups in their late twenties. Their life roads cross again after almost 7 years of having no contact at all and with every next page the present and past events get mixed and we're given clues about which terrible events led to their separation and break-up. Things have changed since the last time they saw each other. They have changed- Clementine graduated on collage and came back to look for a job, while Donovan left military and came back to their hometown in hope to start a new, better life, but the one thing that remained the same are their feelings for each other in spite of huge trust issues from both sides. 

Both Donovan's and Clementine's characters felt not developed and interesting enough in my opinion for me to actually to connect with them or their story. The issues they had solved in the most convenient and quickest way which made the story quite monotonous, predictable and uneventful. I was expecting some kind of bigger twist or something like that, but in the end the story felt flat. My Goodreads profile counts over 500 read books and that's probably one of the biggest reasons for this rating. The story needs to be really interesting and unique to hold my interest and that wasn't the case with this one. It was just too much of a light read for my reading preferences.

I believe there will be a lot of romance fans who will find this story endearing and not share my opinion, especially those who don't read as much as I do, but considering the books I've read and rated so far, sorry, but I don't feel  this deserves more than 2 stars. Read it and decide for yourself.  


Sep 21, 2014

Riding Dirty (Dirty Eleven MC, #1) by Jill Sorenson

Buy the book:

Expected publication date:
October 1st 2014 by Harlequin HQN

Book summary:

"He's her weapon of choice...

Psychologist Mia Richards wants revenge. Her new client, tattooed Cole "Shank" Shepherd, provides the perfect means. She just has to manipulate the felon-turned-informant into eliminating her husband's killers—members of Cole's rival motorcycle club. The first step, seducing Cole, is simple. As for walking away before she falls hard—it's already too late.…

Dirty Eleven practically raised Cole, and he plans to double-cross the cops rather than sell them out. But smart, sexy Mia is an irresistible distraction. While she's evaluating his mind, all he can think about is her body… until he discovers her true intentions. Walking a fine line between desire and betrayal, they'll have to outrun her past, his enemies and the law for a love that's dangerously real."

 ***MY REVIEW***

Rating: 5 stars

Best things happen when you don't expect anything special. I've been in a weird reading funk last few days, I couldn't find a book that would hold my attention so when I picked Riding Dirty, I already lost all hope that I would get back my reading mojo.  

What did I get?
Bikers, strong female character, revenge, bad boys, a little bit less bad boys and super hot love story.


Fans of biker romances and suspense novels will be happy with what Jill Sorenson managed to pull off in her upcoming release. First novel in Dirty Eleven MC series combines the best of both genres. It might not be as brutal and dark as [book:Undeniable|16109563] series by [author:Madeline Sheehan|6554504] or melodramatic as [book:Reaper's Property|17375956] by [author:Joanna Wylde|223343], but I believe it will appeal to fans of both authors.


Hotness on scale from 1 to 10? Damn hot 100! Mia and Cole first won my heart because they are over thirty years old. But second reason is most definitely their chemistry. There is a one scene that I am still thinking about, you will know when you read it. Trust me. Want a clue? Hotel room. I don't think my ovaries can take more of that kind of torture.


Who should read this book? If you don't like a fact that you are watching the last season of Sons of Anarchy. If you love your heroes with a little bit of darkness.  


Copy of this book was provided by publisher, Harlequin, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sep 18, 2014

MUD VEIN by Tarryn Fisher

Buy the book:

Connect with the author:


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

 Buy the book:

Connect with the author:


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

Buy The Book:

Author's Page:

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

Buy links:

Connect with the author:

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!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...