Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review: Lahkoni

LakhoniLakhoni by Jared Garrett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hold on to your butts, folks! Lakhoni has it all: Courage, action, mystery, vengeance, angst, and edge-of-your-seat suspense!

Open on Lahkoni, injured and assumed deceased, in the middle of the devastation of his home village. Alronna, his sister, has been taken by the perpetrators. Drawing from the courage and strength just building inside him, Lahkoni must take a journey of adventure, danger, intrigue and revenge. The genre this book would best fit into is a hero’s journey.

Heads up: this is not the happily ever after you might want - this does have a cliff hanger ending, in preparation for the next book. So don’t be upset - I warned you!

As I don’t like to spoil anything, I’ll just tell you about Lahkoni. He is spirited, loving, passionate and young. But he is also endowed with a private reserve of strength, tenacity and will to go on. Every obstacle he encounters is met with the same tenacity and courage. One would be hard put to not like this hero.

I also loved Shimra - the village healer’s daughter who Lahkoni develops a fancy for. I do hope she is in the next installment!

Only negatives: The setting is not specifically explained, but the villages are “primitive” and I pictured it somewhere in early central Americas. And also, this was not my normal book genre, but I wanted to try it out.

Audience: Young adults, adults who like adventures, fans of vengeance stories and plot twists.

Note: I received this product free of charge in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. 

Purchase your copy today! 

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review: Stories of Love and Weight

Stories of Love and Weight by Adi Tsin Ben-Nun

As a curvy woman who struggles with her own self worth and body image, I came into this book with hope of confidence building. And I wasn’t disappointed.

This book is a collection of stories about how people can view themselves in everyday life. It talks of how weight warps the self image, and can cause failure and pain. I found it insightful and could easily see myself in the shoes of storytellers.

Sometimes, this even touched a nerve, but I powered through and ultimately gained the power behind the message: you are not alone. And the additional, empowering message - we can get through this.

I recommend this for any person struggling with body image and in need of support. I also recommend it for anyone with a loved one who suffers from these issues.

Note: I received this product free of charge in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Check it out!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: Dana Sibilsky's Tips to Successful and Profitable Blogging

This book is an excellent start to discuss the beginnings of using Social Media to get your blogging underway. It is geared to those wanting to blog for a living. It has great hints and is conversational. Some of the points are a bit conservative for today's social media, but still appreciated.

Check it out on Audible!

Note: I received this product free of charge in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Review: The Sorcery Code

The Sorcery Code (The Sorcery Code, #1)The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first book review foray into the world of fantasy, and I couldn't have started with a better book. Should you crave a little wizarding world escape, ala a grown-up auror Harry Potter, then The Sorcery Code is the book for you. Not only do you get to wander around in the new land where sorcery rules, but add in a polarizing social class where non-magical folk are exploited and ignored. And let the drama ensue.

I really enjoyed the story arcs in this book, and especially the character interactions. The only thing that would have made it better was a longer book with more character development than we already saw. But fear not - there is a sequel!

Gala is not my favorite character, but it is undeniable that she is the titular character in the book and ultimately a strong feminine lead. Gala is a being born of the Spirit Realm (the parallel universe to the real world where all magic resides) that is created by a great, hermit of a wizard, Blaise. And she is similar to any other newborn - innocent, curious and confused. But as we learn more about her, and her special talents, we start to see the world and its injustices through her eyes.

My Gala - Cate Blanchett

Gala's creator and protector, Blaise, has been self-exiled from the Sorcery Council, due to the loss of his brother. What I love about Blaise is his sense of justice and right. Despite danger to his person and reputation, he always seems to champion the right cause, not the popular cause. And for this - and his brilliant, magical mind, he makes this book an excellent read.

My Blaise - Joseph Fiennes

I try not to spoil the plot in my reviews, so I won't here. But I will say there is some violence, some injustice and even some frustratingly silly plot twists which is the reason for 4, not 5 stars. Overall though, the book is entertaining, quickly engaging, and will keep you wanting to read the sequel. And it will scratch your magical itch very well!

I received this book free of charge, in return for a honest and fair review.

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: The Forbidden Queen

The Forbidden QueenThe Forbidden Queen by Anne O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time to delve into my old favorite: historical fiction...

I stumbled upon The Forbidden Queen when I was hunting in Overdrive for something different to read from my latest kick of Austen-inspired Regency romance and smoldering modern novel series. I wanted something that reminded me of my obsession since my pre-teens - early English Monarchy. And who wouldn't want to learn about a forbidden queen?

Admittedly a big fan of Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy, I was interested to delve into this book by Anne O'Brien. And I wasn't in any way disappointed!

This historical romance is based around Katherine (or Catherine) of Valois, a french princess from the 14th century who became Queen of England through a fluke of a marriage. Even more importantly to many, she also became mother to the Tudor dynasty, to which even today's English monarchy can trace their roots back. Now, just an FYI - I'm a bit history obsessed, so this review is going talk of the book, and history behind it. I also plan to spoil a bit of the story. If that isn't your thing, you might wanna find another review to read.

{Spoiler Alert}

Katherine of Valois (by Silvester Harding, 1792)

We are introduced to a very young and starved (literally and emotionally) young princess Katherine, running around her royal home in rags. Not what you picture for a child of the top class, but unfortunately, madness ran in her family and her father was most affected by it. Katherine, along with her sister Margaret, were ignored by both mother (reported floozy and adulterer) and father (mentally ill). No love in her life greatly influences Katherine, causing her to become unsure, nervous and needy. Her life becomes structured (in a convent) and strict, despite her need for affection and care. It is a sad, sad story that was sadly true of the real Katherine.

Henry V (by unknown artist, before 1923)

From here, a hero appears. Henry V, the hero of England, king that has been slaughtering her French kinsmen in the Hundred Years War, offers for her hand in marriage. Even among the honor and splendor, Katherine finds that she is the last pick from her family, and worse, that there is a price for her marriage. Still, the poor love-starved girl finds Henry handsome, compelling and even kind. But that cannot last for this sweet soul.

The Marriage of Henry and Catherine (by Jean Chartier, 1490)

Katherine's search for love is not ended in the "happily ever after", fairy tale royal wedding. Not only is she a foreigner whisked into England without a friend in site, but she is mostly tolerated by her king husband, as his ambitions and visions of a united England and France are his sole focus. Once again abandoned, you can't help but feel for the sorry position of the new queen. Despite all this, she has this hidden strength that I love to see written into historical figures we know little about. I'm sure she was strong - for she survived the sudden death of her husband and managed to raise her son to be the next King of England. All this, in the very face of villains that would plot to hold her virtual prisoner and bind her will every way they could. Still, Queen Katherine would not break.

Queen Katherine (by Catarina Carol, 1446)

I won't even touch on Edmund because that whole part of the story is why this is a four star and not a five star review. Not that I blame the author for writing about the worthless coward, but no one can truly love Edmund Beaufort, once his serpant-in-the-grass motivations are revealed. What can I say about this man, other than, "Once a Beaufort, always a Beaufort."

Owen Tudor (from the BBC iWonder site)

At last, my favorite character. From the first mention of Owen Tudor, I was intrigued. I must note here that, before reading this book, I had not deeply explored this far back into the Tudor line. I believe the farthest back I had gone was Henry VII. But after my beloved Welshman Owen Tudor (or Owain ap Maredudd ap Tudor) appeared in the picture, I scampered off to Google so I could read more on the real man.

The Owen Tudor of this novel is proud, respectful, dutiful, and solemn. But he is also loyal, loving, fierce and passionate. And for poor Katherine, so unloved for most of her life, this is the ultimate appeal (that and his hot bod - LOL). Very little is known about the real Owen, but I love how Anne O'Brien develops him into this hero that Katherine first thought Henry V to be. And through this, grows a love that will spawn the beginning of a dynasty that will last through the years.

Tudor Family Tree (from the English Monarchs site)

The writing in this novel is compelling, and drives the reader to not want to put it down - the marks of a good novel. The historical references are good, most of the research sound, but the most compelling part of the book for me is the characterizations of these well-known historical figures that we know very little about personally. That makes this book well worth the read. And then go read about the true history to add to your fun!

Next, we tackle a new type of novel review for me - fantasy!

For more on the history behind The Forbidden Queen, please follow the links by the pictures. I don't recommend Wikipedia (which can be faulty by its very nature) for the full truth behind the history, but as an overall summary, it isn't bad.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock StarFitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a love letter to one of my favorite modern retellings of Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star. I've seen all the negative reviews, and I can't understand it. To me, this story is raw and emotional, and the dream of every Austenite out there - a shirtless, rock star version of our favorite heart-throb! Still - to each their own I suppose...

Just a little background: I first read this years ago on Austen Interlude, a fan-fiction site for Austen books. At that time, the story was called "Slurry" (personally I prefer the old title but I understand why it had to be changed for the published book. In addition, there are a lot of differences between the fan-fiction story and the book, some of which take a lot away from the story. First - the fan-fiction featured songs from established, real bands and artists such as Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow, and Puddle of Mudd. In a way, this allowed the reader to better grasp the characters. When Lizzie sang, it was Sheryl Crow's bluesy tone I heard in my head. When Charles belted out the BDSM-based song, I heard Hoobastank rocking out. Now, in the book, it would have been too costly to license the song lyrics, so Heather Lynn Rigaud did her best in writing original lyrics to the songs. It was a valiant attempt, but fans of the fan-fiction felt the disconnect.

So on to the characters!

Meet Longbourne Suffering, an up and coming female rock group picked by the most famous rock band in the world to tour with them.

Lizzie is the guitarist and backup singer. She has her own songs and sound, not to mention her typical sass. This Lizzie is very prejudiced and insecure. She constantly is on her guard and looking for fault in the male members of Slurry - specifically Will Darcy. I personally believe she is envious of Darcy's skill and in awe of him. There is a hidden strength in her, but it takes the love of her life to bring it to the fore.

My Lizzie - Michelle Branch

Jane is what you expect: a sweet, adorable, optimistic lead singer, constantly seeing the good in people. But what we find in this Jane is also a depth you rarely see in P&P adaptations. She is willing to stand her ground. Most of all, when the happiness of her family and her friends is threatened. She might be a damsel-in-distress at one point, but she is also a tigress willing to defend her cubs.

My Jane - Avril Lavigne

The black sheep, Charlotte, is a surprising twist from the original spinster we are introduced to in Austen's work. The colorful (both in personality, attitude and physical appearance) drummer seems at first to be the sensible glue to hold together her band. But we soon see the chink in her emotional armor, and a melancholy that lurks beneath. This version of Charlotte is probably one of my favorites, due to her depth and her humor.

My Charlotte - Mary Elizabeth Winstead


Meet the bad boys of rock, the legendary Slurry. The top of the charts, these boys have a bad rep and no luck on retaining an opening act.

The child-prodigy, moody lead guitarist - the title character of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Jaded and judgmental, withdrawn and a surprising home-body, Darcy is a conundrum. He is what you expect of Darcy - dark, brooding and a true proficient. With a backstory to make you ache for him, Darcy is, as ever, misunderstood, foolish and fast-tempered. But who can help but love him?

My Will - John Mayer

Golden-haired, surfer boy turned lead singer, Charles is the glue of this band. He is the newest member, having replaced a certain villain (guess who?). He also is sweet, innocent and sexy as all hell. Good natured and fast to fall in love, Charles is amazingly lovable from beginning to end. He is however, too trusting, too willing to please. And he learns his lesson the hard way.

My Charles - Jared Leto

Oh Richard. Sexy Sexy drummer god. Good lord, this version of Darcy's cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, is the most damaged and most appealing version of the character I have read. He's funny, irreverent, self-depricating, and so very lost. His wild roller coaster ride through this saga is angst-ridden and dangerous. You know how they say - sex, drugs and rock'n'roll? That phrase defines Richard Fitzwilliam.

My Richard - David Silveria

The story-line is simple enough - Slurry needs an opening band and selects Longbourne Suffering to go on their US Tour with them. Rock and Roll is not what you expect however. Nor is the close confines of a tour bus or the cramped backstage.


Wickham is absolutely despicable in this version. Not only is he a drugged-up philanderer, but he also is a child molester. Ugh, I get skived out thinking about him.

As I said above, the engagement with the story is more extensive in the fan-fiction story. However, I was still drawn in regardless (probably because I love SLURRY!). Anyone who loves to glimpse into the raw side of being a glamorous rock star will like this book. As will lovers of angst and romance.

My personal thanks to Heather Lynn Rigaud, for giving the world this tale. It needed to be told.

Next review... I go way back. Queens, intrigue and heartache!

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review: What Would Mr. Darcy Do?

What Would Mr Darcy Do?What Would Mr Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I delved back into the Regency period with What Would Mr Darcy Do?. As one of Abigail Reynolds earlier books, I wanted to compare it to Alone with Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice Variation which I greatly enjoyed recently (for my review, click here).

Ms. Reynold's skill in writing our favorite couple is, as always, excellent. She writes a passionate Darcy, always more real and earthy than the Darcy portrayed in Austen's novels. This isn't a criticism. Austen wrote as a woman of her time would - an unmarried woman at that. Despite sticking with the Regency lingo and customs (for the most part), the authoress of this book brings the characters closer to the reader of the modern era. In addition, Elizabeth is more vulnerable and more flawed. I like a Lizzy where you can see the cracks in her excellent wit, and underneath, an uncertain woman we can all relate to. Even Georgiana is extremely lovable and accessible in this novel - not just a figurehead to be lamented.

I try not to spoil in my reviews, so I will not say more about the plot. However, this is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice - do not expect too many wild turns. The romance is even too sappy at times, but after some of the angsty things I've read lately, it was good to wallow in the sweet williams and forget-me-nots.

Sweet William, Forget Me Not, Convulvus And A Canary On A Ledge, 1836

The only reason my rating was not higher, was I found that I was left a little bored, as the characters came to an understanding too soon. But then, I'm an angst-glutton, even when I'm taking a break.

Overall, this book is a well-written, fun romp, back into the wilds of Derbyshire and the countryside of Meryton.

On to a revisit to possibly my favorite Darcy ever written - one in only leather pants!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review: Unleashing Mr. Darcy

Unleashing Mr. DarcyUnleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'll confess that I didn't know this book existed until one of my many Austenite fan feeds on Facebook began raving about the news that it was being made into a Hallmark movie. As soon as I heard the clever title, I thought, "Darcy plus dogs - fantastic!"

I'm an avid dog lover myself. Our little Shih Tzu Jojo is the center of our lives... and spoiled rotten because of it. So, that being said, I went into reading Unleashing Mr. Darcy with quite the expectations for greatness. To my surprise, I was delighted with what I found!

This is the tail (see what I did there?) that every proper fan of classic literature knows. Boy meets girl, boy insults girl, girl overhears and hates him, boy falls for girl, etc... If you don't know the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy by now - GO READ PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Duh.

This variation leads us to the strange and proper world of dog shows. Having attended a few in my day, I can tell you that the passion is there - and so is the crazy! Teri Wilson captures all the aspects of the avid breeder and handler, from the grooming down to the cuddles. And the cuteness... *sigh*

But I'm sure I'm rambling, so on to the characters. Meet Donovan Darcy, billionaire philanthropist and esteemed dog show judge. At first, I really struggled with the renaming of Darcy. My favorite relative in the world was named Donovan. But he was also my grandfather, so trying to get over the name on my part was a serious struggle - and thus I'll just call him Darcy. Still, as a character, Darcy is everything you expect: reserved, arrogant, proud and charming in his own way. He meets Elizabeth at a time when everything in his life is in an uproar and he has lost his beloved control. And the fireworks are fabulous.

My Donovan Darcy - James Franco (with one of the puppies - maybe Pudding?)

Elizabeth Scott (yes another rename, though I'm still not sure why?) is a private school teacher who is very down on her luck. Having been propositioned (sexually and financially) by a student's father, she is currently suspended without pay from her beloved position. Elizabeth is quick, sarcastic, and a little disorganized in life and personality. She is also unwilling to trust anyone and prejudiced. Frustrated and on her 30th birthday weekend to rub in the salt, she seeks refuge showing her sweet Bliss, a Blenheim King Charles Spaniel. And who would be her judge? *wink*

My Elizabeth Scott - Liv Tyler (with Bliss)

I don't want to spoil the book or the Hallmark film. What I will say is I found this an extremely easy read, with lots of fun, a little angst and tons of puppy love (figuratively and literally). The writing is engaging, the plot unique enough to never spoil easily, and the ending sweet. The setting for most of the novel is London and for an Anglophile such as myself, it was perfect in tone for a love story.

The Hallmark film, which I watched a few days later, was a little harder to watch. I tried to go into it with an open mind, but struggled with some of the main changes they made to obviously stay in budget. Still, the core story is there and it's a chic flick to be sure! Only one comment - Hallmark, please stop with the stupid incidental music on endless repeat.

I highly recommend this novel to any romance lover, dog lover, or Austen lover. It is a fast read and you will not want to put it down until you are done!

Next stop for me... another P&P adaptation.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Lead

Lead (Stage Dive, #3)Lead by Kylie Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a big fan of romantic novels around rock stars. I mean, who hasn't been to a concert and dreamed of being backstage with the hot singer on stage, right?

Lead by Kylie Scott is a look into what that situation could be like, but with a few major hiccups.
1) The lead singer is a moody, rude, heartless playboy.
2) Said singer is a recovering addict, on the edge of another disaster
3) You have to live with said singer and deal with his mood and callous behavior, not to mention never, never, NEVER fall in love with him.

Jimmy is the tattooed, tortured, spoiled rock star with a chip on his shoulder. Said chip is addiction. And a disgraceful mother that is in worse trouble than he himself is. Despite being famous and rich, and the lead singer of the hot band Stage Dive, Jimmy is in one of the lowest places of his life. Like a lost little boy, he lashes out when confused or hurt, and bottles up his pain where no one can touch it - that is, save the one person he can't love.

My Jimmy - Adam Levine

Hired for her sass and her mettle, Lena is Jimmy's live-in sobriety companion. Resented by her employer, she doesn't take any crap from him. That is, until the betrayed, broken woman behind the 'tude starts to feel again - this time for the man with whom she promised in her employment contract never to have feelings for.

My Lena - Lisa Loeb

Together, Jimmy and Lena, oil and vinegar, embark on a mission to rid Lena of her "crush". With a rollercoaster of feelings they neither of them is willing to admit, and the looming past pain that will rear its ugly head, this story is full of angst and hope.

Of the Kylie Scott Stage Dive books, I would have to rate this at the top for most angst-ridden. While not my favorite overall of the series, I do truly love Lena's story. She speaks to the reader, and her inner dialog will make you giggle out loud, or cry right along with her.

Next up - a book I've been waiting to read...

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review: Alone with Mr. Darcy

Alone with Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice VariationAlone with Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Abigail Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is extremely fitting that I write up this review in the midst of "the great Blizzard of 2016". Alone with Mr. Darcy: A Pride & Prejudice Variation is an excellent book to snuggle in front of the fire with, as the snow flakes flutter past your windows, enveloping your world in pure, crystalized white.

A little disclaimer here: I'm an avid Darcyfic/JAFF (Jane Austen FanFiction) fan. I have been reading variations on Miss Austen's works for decades. So I am very picky when it comes to what I like and don't like in an adapatation or variation.

That being said, I truly enjoyed my little romp with Elizabeth and Darcy in this book. I will try to avoid spoilers, but if you have yet to read the book - two words: DO IT. Leave my little silly review and go read. Then come back and see if you agree with me!


Any fan of Pride and Prejudice knows the story forwards and backwards. Elizabeth is quick to judge, Darcy is pompous and withdrawn. But from the beginning of this tale, you are already endeared to the charming, if torn, Mr. Darcy. He fights his feeling for Elizabeth, even as he believes that he cannot possibly deny them much longer. Then, in one of life's coincidences, he is thrown from his skittish mount, injured, and happened upon by the very embodiment of his angst, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

I believe I have read few variations of "Darcy and Lizzie are trapped together alone". But what sets this story apart is the warmth of the characters as they have to endure through a life-threatening, freak snow storm, and the added social disgrace of being single people alone together without chaperon. They manage to escape from the storm into a old cottage, abandoned by the owners in favor of a wedding celebration. We see glimpses of Darcy's humor, Elizabeth's weaknesses, and the attraction that both of them always try to fight (uselessly IMHO).

The cottage

More delight filled me, as I found a personal touch from the author herself. Being a follower of hers for some time, I often read her Facebook updates, and get glimpses into her world. Imagine my surprise when her beloved miracle kitty Snowdrop appeared as a pivotal character in the story!

Snowdrop - photo from Abigail Reynolds website

After the snow subsides, our favorite couple manages to escape unscathed, except for tender feelings. The most heart-wrenching character of all in this story is poor Maria Lucas. While I agree she was a good character to show the seedier side of soldier life, I always feel so sorry for Maria. She's young, impressionable, and easily influenced. I was distressed by what happened to her, but it perfectly set up the foreshadowing of what happens to "fallen women".

My only gripe with this tale is the suddenness and neatness of the ending. While I loved how it ended (have no fear, HEA is there), I was really saddened that it seemed abrupt and contrived. I did enjoy the beach ramble, but everything seemed to tied in a bow.

My favorite supporting role had to go to Darcy's valet Crewe. I would have liked a little more of him to be honest - he is sarcastic, proper and brilliant. Just the type of servant I can see Fitzwilliam Darcy treasuring, especially if Mrs. Reynolds is anything to go by.

Overall, I believe this was my favorite of Abigail Reynolds' books I've read. I would highly recommend it to those JA fans who want a lot of romance, a little angst and a some giggles in their JAFF.

Next up - naughty Rock Stars...

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Review: Theirs to Cherish

Theirs to Cherish (Wicked Lovers, #8)Theirs to Cherish by Shayla Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally - a full-length novel! I've been wanting to read Theirs to Cherish since I first read about Thorpe earlier on in the Wicked Lovers saga. And I wasn't disappointed.

Callie has always interested me in the other novels when she popped up, but mostly because Thorpe seemed totally over the moon for her. This novel is truly her story. She's a feisty, skittish, closed-off little thing, so afraid of her own shadow that you have to feel empathy for her plight. Callie has so many issues, she almost beats Thorpe in that department. ALMOST. She can be a bit bratty, but not enough to constitute all the times she gets called a brat. In the course of the story, I did fall a little in love with her, but her most annoying trait is her constant drive to run from her fears. Granted, once you've read the book, you understand.

My Callie - Anne Hathaway

Next, we are introduced to the Scottish brogue of the blue-eyed boy wonder, Sean. He's head over heels for the little miss, and man, does he have competition there. Sean seemed a complex character, until his truth is revealed in the first quarter of the book. Needless to say, Sean took a back seat for me in this threesome of character leads. Although he is the heart and flowers guy, I always prefer the dark, broken and brooding. Personal preference.

My Sean - Matt Bomer

Last, but never least - Thorpe. *Sigh* This owner of Dominion, the D/S club featured in all of the Wicked Lovers saga, is wolfishly handsome, dangerous and possessive as hell. No one messes with those he protects, and Callie is his own personal "One Ring". I can just here him repeating under his breath, "My precious... my precious..." Mitchell Thorpe is older, weathered, and broken - but none of that takes away his appeal. Honestly, I would pass out from the number of pheromones this Dom must give off when he commands a room! My only gripe with Thorpe is that his commitment-phobia has been overplayed in this type of novel - and his reason are not that brilliant.

My Thorpe - Michael Fassbender

Overall, the plot of this novel is far, far, far fetched. But honestly, I could care less. I couldn't put it down. The writing flows like wine, the characters are compelling and the danger never ceases. It's almost like a road trip film - the chase is on, and there is never really down time when you feel like any of the characters will get their HEA. But that was compelling enough to make me put this near the top of all the Wicked Lovers Saga. And yes, I'm biased - I LOVE THORPE.

Just a heads up, this is another of Shayla Black's novels where there is ménage-action. If you aren't into that sort of thing, it won't be for you.

Time for a change next, I think... perhaps a historical romance?

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: Forever Wicked

Forever Wicked (Wicked Lovers #7.8)Forever Wicked by Shayla Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having delved back into the Wicked Lovers saga for the new year's challenge, I didn't know what to expect out of this little novella, Forever Wicked.

We open on the long suffering, bitter billionaire Jason. He's a man who has everything... except his wife. Having been taught throughout life that there is nothing money can't buy, Jason can't understand how he lost his wife within a day of their marriage. I found his character charming and sad in the beginning of the book, then confusing as the plot rolled on. But one thing I can say for Jason - he's sexy as hell. Brood, baby, brood.

My Jason - Tyson Ballou

Gia is the one that got away. At first, I was inclined to hate this character. She seemed callous, deceitful, and cruel. But of course, everything has its reason. Gia is a beat cop by day, good Italian Catholic girl by night. Or so it seems. In the course of the story, you see Gia's sacrifices to her family ideals and her need for right to be done. However, I still found her naive and cowardly. Not my favorite of Ms. Black's characters, but then - not every one can be!

My Gia - Monica Bellucci

Overall, the story is well written and engaging. Again, my only issue with this little novella is my frustration with Gia. Yes, Jason has his faults - he doesn't understand that he cannot just buy his way to solve every problem in life - especially in the emotions department. However, if you are looking for a quick read to rub your angst button, then this is it.

Next up - an actual novel!

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: Wicked All Night

Wicked All Night (Wicked Lovers #7.5)Wicked All Night by Shayla Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I took a break from my fan-fiction kick to dive back into the mound of TBR I have waiting for me. I wasn't disappointed. Even as a novella, Wicked All Night was a great start to my 2016 read list.

Decker is dark, dangerous and a bit of a puppy dog. He's sweet with an edge that makes you fall a little in love with him from the first moment. His instant possessiveness, drive to protect and serve, and need for justice makes my heart flutter for this enigmatic hottie.

My Decker - Chris Pratt

Rachel is your sweet, innocent, misunderstood school teacher without a way to see a fault in a soul. She's kind to a fault, willing to sacrifice her happiness for even the most undeserving (a.k.a. her ass-hat ex-husband Owen). I would compare her to Jane Bennet - so sickly sweet and innocent that you would want to hate her, but just can't. That, and she seems to instantly see the light inside the dark of Decker, and entices it out.

My Rachel - Odetta Annable

The story is, of course, too short and rushed. It's a novella - always too short for me. But it engages the reader and keeps you smiling until the end. Shayla is known for the danger element of her "Wicked Lovers" saga - not only D/S tempered but often personal safety issues for one or more of the characters. I enjoy this suspenseful element. It doesn't usually feel like she repeats herself, but this story does echo her story of Morgan and Jack from Wicked Ties. It still didn't take away from the narrative for me, however.

As always, Ms. Black has a way with steaming up her bedroom scenes - that's why she makes the big bucks. If you want to feel hot flashes, this is a good read for you. ;)

Off to read the next in the "Wicked Lovers" saga. Like Pringles, once you pop, you can't stop.

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