Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Ever My Merlin

Ever My Merlin
Ever My Merlin by Priya Ardis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: The end of the world. The day of reckoning. The final battle.

In the last chapter of the My Merlin Series, it is a time of great strife for Arriane (aka Ryan) and Merlin (aka Matt) as they struggle to stem the flood of destruction unleashed upon the world. Their only hope rests in the one object that can restore their greatest ally: the Healing Cup.

With every scrap of life hanging in the balance, Ryan must convince both friends and enemies that the key to survival rests in the plans of a sword-toting girl of only eighteen. She must reconcile a fifteen-hundred-year rivalry between two brothers, and be ruthless enough to break a heart—and a life—in the process. And at some point, she really needs to get herself to Prom.

My Thoughts: WOW! What a roller coaster ride!

This installment is a total and complete race against time to save the world as we know it. Matt, as usual, thinks he has all the answers. But his judgement is clouded by his jealousy and anger. Ryan, thankfully, is the voice of reason, and is able to perceive things that Matt just can’t bring himself to see. Vane, meanwhile, remains his rather arrogant self…arrogant or not, his love has no bounds where Ryan is concerned.

Priya Ardis has written a very satisfying conclusion to a wonderful story that had something for everyone! Yes, there is an element of romance, but there is so much more. Global, cataclysmic events, duels, history, mythology, at one time I felt like I was reading an episode of “The Amazing Race”, and the prize at the end was saving the world and it’s inhabitants. Ardis has a wonderful voice and her attention to detail as well as history is amazing! I can’t recommend this story enough to everyone, but especially to those who love anything having to do with magic, Camelot, fantasy, history, and mythology! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you Priya Ardis for a wonderful series that is now an all-time favorite! I look forward to re-visiting Matt, Ryan, and Vane many times in the years to come…and I will be anxiously awaiting whatever you choose to write in the future…Yours Truly, a Forever Fan!

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Review: Gabriel's Rapture

Gabriel's Rapture
Gabriel's Rapture by Sylvain Reynard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student, Julia Mitchell. Sequestered on a romantic holiday in Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the raptures of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover. When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he succumb to Dante's fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever? In Gabriel's Rapture, the brilliant sequel to the wildly successful debut novel, Gabriel's Inferno, Sylvain Reynard weaves an exquisite love story that will touch the reader's mind, body, and soul, forever.

My Thoughts: Still love this series. Since finishing this book, I’ve learned that Reynard will be writing one more book with Gabriel and Julia…I’m thrilled! I wonder where he will take the story this time.

The story of Rapture was pretty much a foregone conclusion…you knew the University was going to find out about Gabriel and Julia’s affair. With that in mind, Reynard did not go the easy route and he generated a great story for Gabriel and Julia.

I think both Gabriel and Julia grow immensely through this book. They are forced to see their relationship for what it is and the impact it had on each other but also those around them…and that impact wasn’t necessarily very good. Ultimately, this is Gabriel’s quest for redemption in his professional as well as his personal life. And it is quite a quest!

I remain so very impressed by Mr. Reynard’s ability to write such great romance. His attention to detail is second to none in my book! I can’t help but wonder if Sylvain Reynard is really a Sylvia?? If not, that I will continue to picture him as the basis for Gabriel.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Gabriel's Inferno

Gabriel's Inferno
Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, "Gabriel's Inferno" is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man's escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible...forgiveness and love.

My Thoughts: What a sexy, romantic read…and it’s written by a man! Gives a girl hope I tell ya!

I loved Reynard’s writing style! He, so completely, incorporated Dante and his works into the story and then used quotes from other classic works/authors to drive his point home. To quote Reynard’s bio on his website:
“I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.”

Reynard’s writing intrigued me and in researching him after reading this title, I found the quote and it really struck me just how successful he was in incorporating those aesthetic elements. Reynard’s writing is beautiful and creates

Gabriel was really hard to like at first. But ultimately I was totally in love with him just like Julia. Like Julia I was amazed that he didn’t know who she was, even after his sister came to town and told him who she was. Gabriel’s history was a huge aspect to his story and loved how it all came full circle. Julia has an equally disturbing history that haunts her. It’s their individual histories that draws Julia and Gabriel together.

Loved the sensuality of this story…so romantic, dreamy, the whole kit and caboodle. Am anxious to see where the story will go from here.

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Review: Where Demons Fear to Tread

Where Demons Fear to Tread
Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Fledging guardian angel and yoga teacher Serena St. Clair dares to enter Devil's Paradise nightclub on a mission—to retrieve the wayward Hollywood "It Boy" she's assigned to protect. But she's ambushed by the club's owner, arch demon Julian Ascher. The most powerful demonic entity in Los Angeles, Julian is handsome as sin, a master of temptation who loves nothing more than corrupting pleasure-seeking humans. He won't release the lost soul Serena is supposed to guard. Unless she accepts his dangerous wager…

After the disastrous way his human life ended, Julian vowed that no woman would get the better of him again. Yet this sexy-sweet angel, smelling of fresh ocean air and happiness, triggers centuries-old feelings. Now, their high-stakes game of seduction, where angels fall from grace and where demons fear to tread, will lead them either to an eternity in hell or a deliciously hot heaven.

My Thoughts: Very interesting premise! Certain people, when they die, are given the opportunity to return to Earth as Guardians. These Guardians are usually assigned to a pivotal person in the fight of good against evil. Those people that have turned against God are destined for Hell where they have the opportunity to work their way up the ranks of “demonhood” to even become Satan’s right-hand man. So while demons are tempting these pivotal people, guardians are trying to steer them clear of the demons.

I love the whole angels and demons, paranormal storylines. This one was especially hard for me to put down. Especially since the demon in question is trying to turn the guardian assigned to that pivotal person. But there was a back story going on that the demon and guardian were unaware of. All of this mad the story exciting, really hot, and a real page turner.

Serena wasn’t fully fleshed out. We didn’t learn a lot about her life before becoming a guardian. The demon, Julian Ascher, was a much more complete character. We spent a lot of time in his head learning his history and what made him tick.

The ending was hinted at, but I didn’t see it coming because it went against the grain which made the read all the better. I love when authors do the unexpected! Really looking forward to the next installment of this series.

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Review: Eve of Samhain

Eve of Samhain
Eve of Samhain by Lisa Sanchez

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis: As a college senior and server at Hanaford Park's hottest nightclub, twenty-one year old Ryann Pierce's plan was simple: work hard, make lots of money, and avoid the ass-grabbers at all costs. What she never planned for was Quinn Donegan—the living, breathing advertisement for sinful behavior that waltzed into her life.

With an angelic face, a hard body and a butt-load of charm, Quinn had a way with the ladies—a lot of ladies. Cursed with a deadly, addictive touch, his trail of indiscretion blazed across five hundred years. Tired and jaded, Ryann is a shocking revelation Quinn didn't see coming.

Filled with desire, yet unable to touch one another, Ryann and Quinn embark on a daunting journey, battling frustrating physical limitations while exploring their new love. In a race against the clock, Ryann learns she must plead for Quinn's life before…the Eve of Samhain. Determined to end her lover's suffering, not even the danger dogging her every move can keep her from her mission.

My Thoughts: Really enjoyed this book! The reader could feel the heat and attraction between Ryann and Quinn and I absolutely loved that Ryann was able to resist Quinn when everyone else fell at his feet! She had some really great, really snarky comebacks for some of Quinn’s comments that had me thinking “You go girl!”.

This is a reimagining of the fae Gancanagh story, which is one I was completely unfamiliar with. The Irish Mythology has the Gancanagh as a race of people. The Gancanagh, in Eve of Samhain is a singular person.

While “Eve of Samhain” was predictable, it was a sweet story. The characters were not fully realized and I would have loved to know why Ryann’s Aunt was such a bitch. The story had a few holes, but over all a warm fuzzy read while it’s cold and dark outside.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: The Dark Light

The Dark Light
The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Mia is torn between two guys—and two worlds—in this epic, romantic fantasy.

Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she’s concerned, that’s about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia’s not one to fall for just any guy, but she can’t get Sol—or the brilliant tattoo on his back—out of her mind.

Then Mia’s brother goes missing, and Mia’s convinced that Sol knows more than he’s sharing. But getting closer to Sol means reevaluating everything Mia once believed to be true. Because Sol’s not who Mia thought he was—and neither is she.

My Thoughts: Interesting story about an alternate universe…or maybe it’s another dimension? Mia doesn’t leave Earth per se, more like she steps through a curtain into a previously unseen Earth.

I’m not a big fan of what I call “High Fantasy”. Those are the types where whole new worlds and creatures are invented. This was not that. But I do love “looking behind the curtain” to see how an alternate version of life as I know it can be created.

“Dark Light” starts out as a mystery with young boys disappearing and weird lights in the sky. OK, you have my attention now. Poor Mia, whose life up to this point has been nothing but abandonment after abandonment, watches as her little brother disappears in front of her eyes…and the new guy in town is there with her but denies all knowledge to the cops. Abandoned again, Mia is desperate to find answers and her brother.

Great read, very mysterious, and you feel so strongly for Mia after all she and her brother have endured. By the time you finish Mia’s whole world has been turned upside down numerous times and you are pissed you have to wait to find out what happens next!

The characters are great…Sol is very chivalrous. And Mia is a lot smarter and tougher than she seems. The incredibly strong sense of family is what really blew me away. So little YA fiction has that focus and it was very nice to read. I’m assuming there will be another book…just too many questions left unanswered for this to be a stand alone book. I can only hope I don’t have to wait too long.

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Review: The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel

The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel
The Lost Soul: A 666 Park Avenue Novel by Gabriella Pierce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Jane Boyle has long since known that her mother-in-law is a witch, but she'd never imagined Lynne Doran was actually the embodiment of a powerful, ancient, body-snatching evil! Now that Jane and her friends have uncovered Lynne and 666 Park Avenue's dark truth, they must race against the clock to find a way to destroy the ancient witch before she finds her next unwilling host. And as Jane attempts to tap into power stronger than her enemy's, her estranged husband Malcolm arrives in time to join the fight.but can she grow to trust him before it's too late?

My Thoughts: Honestly, I really didn’t enjoy the second book in this series, “The Dark Glamour”, and didn’t intend to read anymore. But then I saw this book and it had the whole TV series tie-in and thought I would give it another try.

“The Lost Soul” brought a few characters back into the fold, that were missing from the second book. That made the story more intriguing…yes, I am specifically talking about estranged husband Malcolm. Add to that the fact that his long lost, and long thought dead, sister is back among the Dorans. The question became how to stop evil matriarch Lynne from her dastardly plan.

Lots of new characters were introduced and the planning involved made this installment much more intriguing. What really impressed the hell out of me was the fact that Pierce had quite a death toll by the time all was said and done. And who died was what surprised the hell out of me. Now I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens to Jane and where she goes from here. Lots and lots of possibilities!

Now, in regards to the tie-in with the TV Show…a few of the names are the same, but that is about it. I’ve watched a couple of episodes and there really is nothing else in common. 666 Park Ave, on TV, is an apartment building and the Doran’s are the head of the Co-op board. There is a Malcolm but he is not a Doran, and there is a Jane, but she is the building’s manager. That is it…these are two entirely different stories! So don’t be confused and don’t look for the books content on the TV show and vice versa.

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Review: Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts: You know, I’ve owned this book since I read Jamie’s book, “Providence”. What drew me to “Providence” was a bit of a paranormal element…but I loved her writing so much that I wanted all of her books. So I bought “Beautiful Disaster”. Contemporary romance is not something that usually gets my attention so this book sat on my shelf for a LONG time. I finally opened it up yesterday and just couldn’t put it down.

McGuire has such a compelling voice. Her writing, as well as her stories, grab my attention and interest in such a firm grasp I find putting her books down damn near impossible. She doesn’t go for the “insta-love”, more like a much more plausible “insta-lust”. Her roads to a relationship are fraught with misunderstandings, insecurity, fear, the whole gamut, which makes it much more realistic. Everyone gets to know each other, slowly…readers included. If I’m going to use a cliché it is like watching a flower gradually open over time. If you haven’t figured it out, all of McGuires books rate space on my “Favorites” shelf!

“Beautiful Disaster” is just what the name implies. Two people, whose histories are disasterous, become best friends, then lovers. They fight their pasts throughout the whole story...the question becomes which element is going to win? Love or History? You’d like to assume it will be love, but it was really hard to gauge while reading…but I was rooting for love.

I loved Travis. He was an “all or nothing” kind of guy, black or white, no shades of gray. He was so sweet in his earnestness even when he screwed up and he took screwing up to new levels. I couldn’t help but love him and want to heal him.

I fell in love with Abby over time. If Travis was a “black or white” kind of guy, then Abby was all gray. Abby was constantly battling her past, where Travis was oblivious to the effect his past had on him. All of this made for great conflict. Abby wore me down over time, as I got to know her better. I was blown away by her by the end of the book. She turned out to be a cool chick after all

Abby and Travis have a wonderful and comical supporting cast, including their best friends and members of the boys’ fraternity.

This story was an e-ticket ride and definitely worth the price of admission. It just reiterated what a wonderful storytelling voice Jamie McGuire has. I, personally, will be looking forward to her continued success!!!!!

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Because You Tempt Me

Because You Tempt Me
Because You Tempt Me by Beth Kery

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Francesca Arno has been commissioned to create a grand centerpiece painting for the lobby of Ian Noble’s new skyscraper. It’s at a cocktail party in her honor that she first meets him—and the attraction is immediate for Francesca. It’s also bewildering. She’s not used to such a wholesale sexual response to a stranger. Enigmatic, darkly intense, with a commanding presence, Ian completely unnerves her. And she likes it.

For Ian, she’s the kind of woman he can’t resist—one that comes all too rarely: a true innocent. But he can sense in her a desire to open up, to experiment, to give herself to the fantasies of a man in control. The first kiss, the first caress, the first challenge for a woman who craves what she’s never had—a man who gets what he wants

My Thoughts: For some reason this was written in 8 installments and each installment is listed as an individual book in GoodReads. I did read all 8 installment but am only going to post on the first one.

Honestly, this book seemed like a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. The names, jobs, and ages were changed, but not a whole lot else. Now Beth Kery is a much better writer with a whole lot more books under her belt, but I just couldn’t shake how much this reminded me of 50 Shades.

I don’t know if this is going to be a series or if this was a stand alone book. Regardless, if you liked 50 Shades and want more just like it, here is one to add to your reading list.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: The Serpent's Shadow

The Serpent's Shadow
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: He's b-a-a-ack Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

My Thoughts: LOVED this series. This was a great conclusion to a series that I believe was only intended to be 3 books, but Riordan left the door open to possibly more books. I loved that the storyline told from the alternating perspectives of the 2 heroes. Each speaking into a tape recorder that would be forwarded to Riordan for translation and publication. It allowed for a first person story to read more like a third person story.

Kane Chronicles moved much faster and was much more engaging than the “Heroes of Olympus” trilogy Riordan was writing at the same time. Olympus seems to really get hung up on the differences between the Greek and Roman versions of the mythology…whereas with Kane Chronicles it all a fun interpretation of Egyptian mythology. Loved that Riordan included lots of hieroglyphics in the text as part of the storyline as well. Fun series and really piques your interest in Egyptian mythology.

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Review: Moonlight

Moonlight by Tim O'Rourke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 Stars!
GoodReads Synopsis: When eighteen-year-old Winter McCall is offered a chance to leave her life of poverty behind on the streets of London, she moves to a remote part of the South West of England. Here she takes up the job as housekeeper to the young and handsome, yet mysterious, Thaddeus Blake.

Warned that he has some curious habits, Winter soon realises that not all is as it firsts appears at the remote mansion where she now lives and works.

Blind to the real danger that she is in, Winter finds herself becoming attracted to Thaddeus, and with nowhere and no one to run to, she slowly succumbs to his strange requests. But none of them are as strange as asking Winter to stand each night in the moonlight.

My Thoughts: OK, couldn’t put this one down, but had to to make dinner, etc. The story was not what you thought it was going to be.

Moonlight grabs you and doesn’t let go until it’s done. Pacing is quick and the author isn’t one to go on and on describing something (YAY!). There is a lot of meat to this story, pardon the pun. Moonlight starts with a murder and it isn’t until much later that you learn who the murder is, all the while wondering if our pal Thaddeus is the guy!! Lots of other sly plot points kept me guessing what was really going on until the author wanted us to know what was going on. Props to Tim O’Rourke for NOT being predictable.

Now that I have devoured the first book in this new series I am anxious for the next. I have my thoughts on where the storyline may take me, but won’t put much faith in my ideas since O’Rourke has made it clear he will keep me guessing until he is ready for me to know what is going on! In the meantime, I am definitely going to check out some of O’Rourke’s many other works. Love finding new authors!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: Guardian

Guardian by Heather Burch

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Vigilance. The mission to safeguard Nikki Youngblood depends on the fragile alliance of two half-angel, half-human guardians, both struggling with intense feelings for the girl who has been assigned to their care. Mace, steadfast and deeply in love, wants to protect Nikki at all costs, while Raven's loyalty to Nikki finds him advocating for her independence and battling his own darker inclinations. At the same time, Nikki finds it harder and harder to choose between the two heavenly beings she may never have. Dangers intensify, and tensions between Mace and Raven flare as the purpose of their mission becomes clear. Can their defenses hold up to master manipulator Damon Vessler and the powerful secret he holds regarding Nikki's heritage? Can anyone protect Nikki from her true purpose and destiny?

My Thoughts: If only you could put Mace and Raven together in one body and Nikki would have the “perfect” guy. But then we wouldn’t have the love triangle which is one of the reasons I read this series. Mace and Raven are as different as night and day and they relate to Nikki in different ways and get different results from her. Nikki feels strongly for both of them and the tug of war over her is pretty intense.

One of my complaints regarding this series is that there is a wonderful cast of secondary characters. Because they are so good, I wish they had more opportunity to be “center stage”. Will, Vine, Zero and the girls are funny and really add to the story, I just wish they added more.

Burch has created an interesting world of Angels and half-angels. She has created quite the roller coaster ride in Guardian! There is a lot that is learned in Guardian but there are lots of new questions as the story is propelled forward. I am wondering where the next book will lead? I have my suspicions, but guess I will have to wait and see.

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Review: When Summer Ends

When Summer Ends
When Summer Ends by Isabelle Rae

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Chloe Henderson has never been one to break the rules or push the boundaries… but during her summer break, she and her friends use fake IDs to sneak into a club. It’s there that she meets handsome and alluring bartender, Will Morris. The pair hit it off immediately, growing closer with every passing day. But as with every summer, it has to end sometime.

Chloe’s senior year approaches and there’s a shock in store when she returns to do her final year at school. Will is there too, but he’s not one of her fellow students…

My Thoughts: When I read the synopsis for this book, it reminded me of an movie called “Sooner or Later” with Rex Smith (swoon) and Denise Miller from 1979. Yeah, I know, I am dating myself…suddenly I feel so much older than I did a minute ago. Anyway, I loved this movie, and the book. So with that memory in mind, I picked up “When Summer Ends”. I am so glad I did!

I started “When Summer Ends” last night and it proceeded to keep me up until after 2am. This was an incredibly sweet story. I couldn’t imagine being in Chloe’s shoes walking into the first day of school to find out your boyfriend is the new Calculus teacher. EEK! And in the lead up to that discovery, Chloe and Will seem to be meant for each other.

You know as the story continues that something is going to be discovered, somehow, somewhere. All you can do is sit back and wait…and hope it all works out for the best.

This story was a roller coaster ride of emotions. One I plan on taking again…it was just too good of a read. I’m going to have to read it again. Clichés and predictability aside, the love and ultimate devotion that flow through the story put this one high up on list of favorites to re-read. I’m going to have to check to see if Isabella Rae has any more work out there in the hopes of finding another gem like “When Summer Ends”.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Review: Beyond Shame

Beyond Shame
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.


My Thoughts: What a different book! It wasn’t what I was expecting, it was so much better.

I was riveted to the theme…dystopian erotica. That was definitely new to me. What I really liked is that everything followed the theme. Even the sex and lust had a dystopian theme to them.

This was an “in the moment” kind of story. We didn’t learn a whole lot about the characters beyond Noelle. We knew more about her but not a whole lot of what really made her tick. But we were introduced to a very interesting cast of characters, as well as the equally interesting sector life beyond the walled city of Eden. I would love to see more books in this series continuing the mob/gang theme out in the Sectors as well as seeing some of the unattached gang members finding someone to call their own.

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Review: Lip Service

Lip Service
Lip Service by M.J. Rose

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GoodReads Synopsis: Lip Service probes the secret world of phone sex and one woman who becomes empowered by what she discovers there. Not since Erica Jong's Fear of Flying has a novel so masterfully examined the relationship between sexuality and identity.

On the surface, Julia Sterling's life seems blessed. Married to a renowned psychiatrist, living on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, Julia deeply loves her stepson, and is forging a career as a journalist.

When a writing job at The Butterfield Institute - a sex therapy clinic - exposes her to the world of phone sex, Julia glimpses a world that stirs her erotic fantasies but threatens her carefully constructed reality. As she explores her emotional and sexual connections to the men she knows and several she will never meet, she confronts evil, perversity, and her own passions.

My Thoughts: I really got sucked into this story. A bit of history on me, I used to work for a 900# company way back in the early 90s…I wasn’t a phone operator, I was in the background building the program and dealing with the long distance carriers and the FCC. The phone sex operators in this story were using the phone as a means of therapy, rather than the way the 900 numbers were used in the 90s.

The story was riveting. Poor Julia went through a breakdown while in college. The only child of a rather renowned psychiatrist. It was through her father that she met her husband, Paul, her father’s protégé. Paul was drawn to her, but not for the reasons one would imagine. Paul has been more of a live in Dr. to Julia rather than a husband and Julia has allowed it. While researching her book for the Butterfield Institute that Julia starts to come out of her shell and really live. The research journey she undertakes opens up a new world for her in a number of different ways and we get to watch her blossom into a completely different person than the one we are introduced to at the beginning of the story. Her transformation made the book very hard to put down.

I liked Rose’s writing style and apparently this book is a prequel to a series she wrote about the Butterfield Institute. I will be checking out those books.

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