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Baba

Reading is like breathing...

I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter 

Her Best Laid Plans - Cara McKenna

3.5 stars. Review posted April 20, 2014

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A quick review for a quick read.

In a nutshell 
Jamie Webb, a student from Boston, is house-sitting for her mother's best friend in Ireland for the next ten days. While nursing a Guinness in a pub she makes the acquaintance of Connor Kelleher, a hot Irish mechanic bartender with aspirations to become an engineer. The attraction is mutual and they start flirting. One thing leads to another and they're entangled in a vacation fling...

My thoughts
I'm actually not a fan of insta-anything but when you're on the lookout for a little holiday fling and when you're on the rebound as well, then I guess it's required that you have to feel some kind of insta-lust to get to fourth base. Going into this I knew it wouldn't be McKenna's best work to date. Thus, don't expect anything too deep or special. Just take it for what it is; Her Best Laid Plans is a nice read, a rather light and easy one, just something pretty short and good for in between. It's solidly written and definitely better than all those Harlequins I've been reading during the 80s and 90s. I felt entertained and that's what matters in the end. Again, I must point out how well Cara McKenna writes her steamy scenes. They are sexy and arousing. The man is considerate, generous and demanding all at the same time; he takes care of the woman and knows how to get her off. Really well done.

"(…)And we've both picked the worst possible time to fall for somebody."
"And we've both picked the worst possible person to fall for."
"Don't blame me for that--I was just minding my business in the proper hemisphere. You're the one who came poaching." He kissed her temple.
 


Overall an enjoyable read but it didn't provide an intensity or emotional pull that would have justified a higher rating. If you are on the lookout for something short and light then give it a try. I also think that fans of Cara McKenna will like it.


All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted in the final copy


**ARC courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/827036753?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Boring

Every Time I Think of You - Jim Provenzano

DNF @20 %, no rating.

The writing was nice enough. I guess this is a case of it's not the book, it's me. I was secretly hoping it would remind me a little bit of Memorizing You, my favorite YA M/M read. While Memorizing You drew me in from the beginning and never let go, Every Time I Think of You simply bored me to tears.

I will gladly move onto the next one…


P.S. The formatting is off (the size of the font differed constantly).

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/909922432?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

My least favorite so far

All the Sky (Signal Bend Series) - Susan Fanetti

3 stars. Review posted April 17, 2014

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Havoc is sporting a shaved head, a beard and a very ripped and tattooed body. Right from the beginning he manifested what a real sexist and jerk he is. He did change somewhat over the course of time, but I didn’t quite buy the “I can be sweet.” What I liked best about him was his hotness factor which was pretty high and, of course, I really loved the interaction between him and Nolan. These two really hit it off and I was happy for Nolan that he found a father figure. I could practically see how he thrived and bloomed when he got Havoc’s attention. Havoc, however, was very uptight when it came to love, relationships and commitment. In fact, intimacy scared the heck out of him. Due to his upbringing it didn’t come as a surprise, though. It goes without saying (view spoiler) And I can’t help feeling a grudge against (view spoiler)

A three-star rating means that I liked the book but didn't love it. I think that Havoc and Cory can’t hold a candle to Isaac and Lilli. In my opinion All the Sky lacked depth, gripping and real emotion. By the way, drama doesn’t necessarily equal emotion, at least not to me. Another issue of mine was the plot itself as well as the writing which felt very disjointed. Nothing really flowed smoothly and the plot was all over the place at times. Plus, I wasn’t particularly fond of Cory either. Aside from love, kids need stability in their lives. Being a parent means that we should be a good role model and I think Cory could have tried harder to hold a job longer than a couple months. When she went mental I was like “Daf@ck? What was that?" As always it would have been very nice to think first and act later. I honestly don’t know what’s so difficult about having a reasonable conversation instead of going apeshit in no time flat. Also, her parenting skills are lacking. What parent lets their kid unattended wander around in the dark for hours?? It’s very careless as well as dangerous and(view spoiler)

All the Sky is by no means a bad read because it did entertain me, yet it’s not up to par with the previous books in the Signal Bend series. I hope that Len's story will appeal more to me.

My ranking
In Dark Woods 4.5 stars
Move the Sun 4 stars
Behold the Stars 3.75 stars
Into the Storm 3.5 stars
All the Sky 3 stars


Warning
All the Sky contains explicit sex and violence. One particular scene was pretty gruesome. (view spoiler)

 

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/902686225?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

A charismatic hero

Naughty Bits, Part I: The Lingerie Shop - Joey W. Hill

4 stars. Review posted April 14, 2014

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From Boston to the small town Matthews on the outskirts of Charlotte . From selling stocks and bonds and managing the investments of powerful millionaires and corporate businessmen to inheriting her late sister's business and selling sexy lingerie and BDSM accessories. That's quite a change for our heroine Madison and requires some adjustments. Add in the fact that Madison fed a few kinky fantasies over the course of time and being in the presence of her new neighbor, Logan Scott, a hardware store owner and training Master at the local dungeon, revved up her imaginative mind quite a bit.

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OMG, there goes my feels…*sigh*
This is what I want and expect from Joey. 

Emotion.
Sensuality.
Thoughtfulness.
A deep connection. To the story. And its characters. 

The very best offered within 110 pages. I loved it. Imagine, no kiss and no sex between these two in this first novella and yet there were moments where I could feel the air vibrate with sexual tension. Gah…I was glued to the pages and I'm so excited to see more of Logan and Madison in Naughty Bits Part II: The Training Session. There's room for a higher rating. *hint* *hint*

I'll be honest, I was afraid to read this novella because of my latest disaster. Joey W. Hill's Divine Solace was so not what I was hoping for. However, Naughty Bits Part I put me back in my little happy place. This novella reads like a sensual appetizer and I cannot wait to get to the mouth-watering main course where Joey will blend in the sensuality with blatant sexuality. Hopefully.

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The beginning did not quite convince me but when I first laid my eyes on Logan I was a goner. What came out of that man's mouth reminded me a bit of Tyler. Logan is one thoughtful and sexy package pushing forty, very masculine with warm brown eyes and brown, long-ish hair peppered with gray. He's got a mesmerizing voice and exudes a worldly wisdom I will always fall for in a heartbeat. He's got a firm presence that practically screams authority and yet he exudes a gentleness that softens his rougher edges. He's got something else in spades that will always make me end up in a puddle of goo at a hero's feet: charisma.Fact is, I wasn't particularly fond of Madison to whom I did not fully connect, but I definitely swooned over Logan. Without doubt, he made that short story for me and held me in his irresistible spell. 

Madison is standing at a crossroads in her life. This first novella deals with her fantasies. It's about figuring out what she really wants for herself and exploring her hidden feelings. It's also about making a choice. Logan doesn't push, he only gives her an inspiration, an idea what she can expect. He offers to be her teacher among other 'things', but he made it clear it will be up to Madison to decide what she wants from him.

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A great and satisfying intro, well written and sprinkled with a little bit of Joey magic. I'm so glad I read it and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel. Is it May yet?

Thank you, Joey.

Recommended read.


All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted in the final copy.

**ARC courtesy of Penguin Group via NetGalley**


Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/904672609?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Very emotional.

In Dark Woods - Susan Fanetti

4.5 stars. Review posted April 13, 2014

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It was intense and almost unbearably emotional occasionally. It fucking hurt. Keep a stack of tissues at the ready. Let me handle my review the same way we rip off a band-aid: quick. Fact is, I don't see any purpose in digging around the painful and fierce turmoil which had been provided by In Dark Woods. A riveting and well-written turmoil, that is.

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I'm neither a writer nor a poet. I am a simple reviewer. Yet I wanted to convey my feelings in a special way. It's not a poem, it's a listing of thoughts and I'd like to dedicate it to Isaac and Lilli. Since I didn't want to feel stupid over doing something a bit unconventional for once, I sent it to a dear friend of mine to get her…um…approval. She told me it made her cry. Well, and her response made me teary-eyed.


When tragedy strikes, time stands still
All the wait saturated with angst, despair and hope

Drowning in pain and misery
Fighting back, coping with depression, inadequacies
A savage fear rears its ugly head

Hope blooms

Wiped out by setbacks and everyday worries
Crying jags, exhaustion obliterated by strength and a battling disposition

Marked by milestones
Suppressed desires
Touching, caressing, feeling, skin on skin

Just hold me
Fucking hold me together

A climax

Incentive to keep going
Dealing with quarrels, divergences

To wing hope
(view spoiler)
Love weathers any storm

And underneath it all a human being
No surrender, unconditional devotion

Don't take anything for granted
Gratitude, bliss

At last

Escaping the dark woods
Back on the right road

(view spoiler)

Again.



Maybe I should hand over a thankyou to the author because her words inspired mine. 
In Dark Woods really touched me deeply. Even today I'm still thinking about this novella and I decided to upgrade my rating to 4.5 stars.

(view spoiler)

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Bottom line, In Dark Woods is a very intimate and profoundly moving portrayal of Isaac and Lilli and a must read for every fan of the Signal Bend series. 

Recommended read.

 

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/889376071?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Good plot but the MCs drove me effin' mad.

Amor En Retrogrado - A.M. Riley

2.5 stars.

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When I started to read Amor En Retrogrado I was very excited. However, my excitement retrograded steadily and by the end of the book I felt totally drained and incredibly annoyed which led me to my decision to not read the next installment immediately. Although I'm tempted to give it a try eventually. It's a great pity because Amor En Retrogrado could have been a fabulous read. Fact is, I enjoyed the riveting plot and writing, but Robert and JD's characterizations and actions spoilt this book for me. I think I can cope with one major asshole in a story but it's beyond bad when I've got to struggle along with two über asshole-ish drama queens. If it hadn’t been for the engaging plot that kept me reading, I would have given up somewhere into the second half of the story because, honestly, the MCs' behavior drove me effin' mad! The plot alternated between past and present which was fine by me and spanned over fifteen years of Robert and JD’s crazy and dysfunctional relationshitship. I lost count how many times they upset me to the point where I wanted to throw my Kindle against a wall. 

That was hot…
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JD was drunk off his ass all the time and that imbecile of an attorney (Robert) filled the fridge with beer and whatnot. Is this a bad joke? Robert should have persuaded JD to attend AA meetings ASAP and he should have banned beer and hard liquor from his house permanently.

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(view spoiler) "Hate to be a prick," he said. "But could we lose the Guinness?"
"Sure," said Robert, surprised. "I only stock it for you."
 
*serious headdesk moment*

(view spoiler)

Aha! Frankly, I don't know what I should believe. (view spoiler)These two deserve each other.

(view spoiler)

I could have dealt with (view spoiler) (which, by the way, happened off page) but I could not forgive them for their basically pathetic, inexplicable and juvenile behavior. JD is a lecherous, whiny, choleric and obnoxious drunk who drowned in self-pity. And Robert did give him a run for his money in the obnoxious department. Geez, that man is sickeningly jealous and possessive, a highly volatile hothead. Robert has HUGE anger management issues and I'd recommend him to start counseling stat. Holy moly, that man is a *"?!£à+")?`^!!;ç*&! cabron! As a matter of fact, both of them are swift to take offence and fly off the handle. All. The. Time. I’ve had more issues, i.e. all the weeping and too many saccharine endearments. Also, I wasn’t too happy how the recriminations and admission of guilt had been handled. Plus, all the growling…why do I always get the impression that I’ve been catapulted among a pack of feral cats when I read a romance book? Just. Dial. It. Down. A. Notch. Thank you.

Towards the end the cheese dripped off the nooks of my Kindle when Robert and JD were oh-so sorry for everything that went wrong and made amends. Sapsville, much? It was way too convenient for my liking. Anyway, let’s wrap everything up with a lovely metaphorical bow, shall we?

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/902495254?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Not as good as the two previous books.

Into the Storm - Susan Fanetti

Overall rating 3.5 stars. Rating clarification: please scroll down. Review completed April 8, 2014

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Unfortunately Into the Storm wasn't up to par with the two previous books.

Showdown: 4.5 stars 
Shannon: 2 stars
Storyline: 3.5 stars
Sex scenes: 3.75 stars
Overall rating: 3.5 stars

I could have given Show five stars in order to honor the author's "originality" and courage for having written a sexy and hot hero in his late 40s (Show is almost fifty-years-old). As many of you know I'm a sucker for older MCs. By the way, it would have pleased me immensely when Show had been paired with a strong woman in her late 40s.

For the sake of all those readers who haven’t started this series yet, I won’t be going into real details as to what happened to Show in the previous book Behold the Stars. Suffice it to say that his loss was huge. He’d been drowning his grief in too many bottles of hard liquor and didn’t socialize much. Even before he lost everything, his family life wasn’t at its best. Show was still trying to weather that storm of grief, pain and loss when Shannon entered his life. The manager of Signal Bend's new Keller Acres Bed & Breakfast brought a fresh breeze into his life before he was even ready to acknowledge it. In the process he had to reacquaint himself how to court a prospect love interest. Lemme tell you it started off a little bit bumpy but in the course of time good ole Showdown was back in the swing of things. Mmm…it might be of interest to you when I say it was pretty hot. Not too shabby for an almost fifty-year-old biker dude, for sure.

I didn't understand why Shannon acted self-righteous and bitchy because she was pretty much aware of Show's tragic fate when she hit on him. Thus I really expected her to be more sympathetic and understanding towards Show's position and his state of mind. Show is a level-headed man, taciturn and a thinker. He's the opposite of hothead Isaac, hero of Move the Sun and Behold the Stars. First, Show acted indifferent, like he wasn't interested and he simply ignored Shannon. However, as time passed, he had to admit that he wanted to share his life with someone even though he was afraid to bind himself to a woman again. Being intimate with Shannon made him realize how lonely and hollow his life had been (view spoiler)

What saved this book for me was Show. He's the s@it! I have a little crush on that HUGE hunk of a man, and I would have loved to give this book a higher rating, but I honestly didn't like Shannon. In fact, I would have preferred to seeing Show with a woman who could have kicked some serious ass. Someone…different. Shannon was too insensitive and her secretiveness got on my last nerve. Oh, and that effin' freak-out of hers…WTF? It was very OTT. Despite there being a couple incredibly intense and heart-breaking moments depicting Show and his gut-wrenching grief, I'm very sorry to say that I couldn't get past my dislike for Shannon. I didn't mind the quieter tone of the story which accommodated the calm hero nicely, and romance readers will be pleased to hear that Into the Storm is much less violent than its predecessors. 

Into the Storm is a story about laying old demons to rest and finding a sense of purpose again. It's also about rediscovering your needs, wants and desires and acting upon them without feeling guilty. Show has found his road again.

If you are a fan of the Signal Bend series then I recommend you to read Into the Storm.

 

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/889376262?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
Twisted  - Emma Chase

2.5 stars. I rounded up to 3 stars due to the fantastic epilogue told from Drew's POV. Review completed April 7, 2014

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After having read and enjoyed Holy Frigging Matrimony: A Tangled Series Short Story back in December 2013, I interviewed Drew for the Berner Zeitung for the first time. I have decided to do another interview. Brace yourselves coz Baba is not in the best of mood and she gotta give it to them straight.

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(view spoiler)

Drew pulls the front of his pants away from his waist and looks down. "Nope--still got a dick. Which explains a lot, because your reasoning would only make sense to a woman." 

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The story of my life, I got sidetracked by the quotes. Let's give it another shot, shall we?

********************

Baba: 
Hello Drew. It's me again. Baba, a freelance journalist for the Berner Zeitung.

Drew: 
*makes confused face* Excuse me, should I know you?

Baba: 
*makes angelic face* Yes, Drew sweetie, we've met already, although under much more pleasant circumstances. But then again, you're looking at plenty of women, I'm only a plain little number among so many staggering flowers.

Drew: 
No, no, no. I only look at my sweet Kate these days. (view spoiler) Uh...I'm really sorry but your face doesn't seem familiar to me.

Baba: 
That's entirely possible since my face looks a tiny bit strained after having witnessed that effin' clusterfuck of yours. Do I make myself clear? By the way, Kate's on her way to meet up with us, so she can contribute something "nice" to this cozy round of ours. I hope she's got a good color in store coz I gotta tell you, dude, anything is possible! 

Drew: 
*rubs his hands desperately* *sweat breaks out on his forehead* Uh…I'm not sure how to respond to you; proper words seem to elude me at the moment.

Baba: 
A speechless Drew. Wonders will never cease! You don't have to say anything at all right now coz I'm so effin' pissed off. *Baba fumes*

Someone is knocking resolutely at the door.

Baba: 
Come on in!

Kate: 
Hi! Sorry, I'm late.

Baba: 
That's alright, Kate honey. *Baba smiles sweetly at Kate* I'm enjoying Drew's company and we've had quite a chat already. However, if you're late again I'm going to staple your hands to the conference table. 

Kate: 
*gasps* 

Drew: 
*mouths at Kate* She must be PMSing.

Baba: 
Shut it, Drew. I can lip-read. I am over-fucking-joyed to see you both. Now let's get down to business, shall we? I swear you two need a divine intervention to save you from your own stupidity and that's why I'm here. Oh, and Kate honey, remove your Jimmy Choos and put them in the corner, please. I don't want to get one of those thrown at my head when you can't rein in your temper while I'm going to give you a well-deserved lecture!

Kate: 
*makes a hurt face but removes shoes* *a little tear slips out of the corner of her left eye* 

Baba:
Oh please, don't push it, Katie baby. Remember, you're (view spoiler)

Drew:
Let's get back to the topic at hand. What did you mean with Kate having a good color in store?

Baba:
Well, I gotta jog your memory, Drew sweetie. *Baba makes a stern face*

(view spoiler)

Drew:
I must be a bit slow on the uptake…I don't get it.

Kate: 
*chimes in* Yes, I don't understand it either.

Baba: 
*says to Kate* Still on cloud nine busy thinking about Dick Lick 101? 

Kate: 
*makes pouty face* That's not true! You are so mean, Baba.

Baba:
*says to Drew* Yep, I distinctly remember that you were slow on the uptake as well when I was talking to you about TGIF during our last interview. BTW, that was so much fun, wasn't it? Well, back to the issue at hand. Let's see…a little green paint from Drew, some yellow paint from Kate, and Baba is going to shake it all together, and boom--she gets a whole new couple at the end of that process. A sexy lovestruck couple who happens to talk to each other early, often and well. Et voilà. Easy peasy. No more clusterfucks of epic proportions in the future.

Drew:
(view spoiler)

Baba: 
Excuse me? What do you mean?

Drew: 
Your lecture, of course, are you going to (view spoiler)

Baba: 
See? I am so pro communication, you morons! Do I have to spell it out for you? Lack of communication and miscommunication is one of my biggest pet peeves! In case your minds are still functioning, you can use your brain cells to give a couple impulses so you can form reasonable words and compose entire (coherent) sentences. You don't just assume stuff all the time. Use your mouth to ask questions or use sign language or whatever the hell you want but do communicate properly please. If the questions are not answered satisfactorily then you do a follow up. Do. Not. Jump. To. Conclusions. Ever. And, to respond to your question, yes, (view spoiler) Geez, this is more important than Kama Sutra and Michelangelo. 

Kate:
I'd like to…

Baba:
Hold off, Kate. Here's the next lecture. (view spoiler) and being completely unsuspecting borders on juvenile behavior. Come on, really? What the heck were you thinking?
Plus, it's too easy to blame (view spoiler) spoiling for a fight. You were being irrational and unfair.

Kate: 
Erm…

Baba: 
Spare me. I don't wanna hear it. And this is my final lecture. I could practically smell (view spoiler) blah blah blah. I didn't like your POV because you are not half as funny as Drew who, lucky me, made me laugh my ass off once again. (*Drew smiles smugly at Kate*) But, unfortunately, didn't really save the book for me. (*Drew's smug smile has been wiped off his face*) The plot was incredibly predictable at all levels and way too lame to justify that exorbitant price of 8.13 euro for 273 legendary (excuse me, I'm being sarcastic) pages.

Drew:
I think I should be in charge for the next book. Kate honey, don't give me that look, please. It's not my fault that my POV is funnier, cruder and more engaging. *smiles innocently*

Baba: 
Yep, I want your POV back and all of your brain cells. Naturally this extends to Kate as well (I mean the brain cells not the POV). You need to step up your game, guys!


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*******************

Let me lay it all out. I think the plot was effin' ridiculous, unrealistic and that (view spoiler) plot device is so old it's not even funny anymore. Jumping to conclusions, misunderstanding over misunderstanding and the whole situation is totally FUBAR. I didn't like Kate's POV which, by the way, kinda reminded me of Drew but wasn't as stellar as Drew's, not by a long shot. And what the heck was up with Billy? If I remember correctly I didn't like that asshat in Tangled at all and now I kinda fell for kind Billy boy. Huh? Did he have a personality change? Also, I think that Kate was as much to blame for that epic clusterfuck as Drew. Seriously? It's just pathetic and I doubt that real people would act so stupidly. And last but not least, I was so effin' annoyed when Drew and Kate (view spoiler) I mean WTF? Did she do it to prolong the misery? Jesus Christ on a crutch. It goes without saying that the epilogue was the BEST part of the entire book. I want Drew's POV back. Drew forever. <33333

Recommended to readers who enjoy to read a predictable clusterfuck. Well, who knows, Drew might make it worth your while…

Drew:
*spluttering* Baba, how dare you not recommend our book unconditionally?

"In the last two years, I've probably told you a dozen times that I would do anything for you." He shrugs. "It's time I put up or shut up." 

Wise call, Drew.

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And think back what I told you in our last interview about TGIF. Go practice! It might help to make your sweet Kate happy.

My very last word…
(view spoiler)

 

It might be fun to read my spoilers. Please check out the GR link below. :)

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/624905544?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
The Open Arms of the Sea - Jasper Dorgan

DNF at 50 %. 2 stars. Review posted April 6, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first paragraph...beautiful:
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The writing was good but my low rating reflects my BOREDOM.

I loved the cover and the title and saw the list Best Gay Military and I was like "Hell yes, count me in!" In fact, it was unavoidable to take a trip down memory lane because Special Forces: Soldiers Part I -Director's Cut is on the same list. Friendly heads up, lovers of the SF epic should go into it with realistic expectations. The Open Arms of the Sea is nothing, and I mean nothing, like Special Forces.

I will not go into details, though. I mean what can I review anyway? Proper words elude me because I was simply bored out of my ever lovin' mind. Like I mentioned in one of my updates, Deacon ogling a couple sweaty soldiers and feeling guilty won't hold my interest. There wasn't much going on and while I'm perfectly fine with a clean read I really, really need some kind of relationship development but there wasn't anything remotely close to that going on either.

This was a total bust. Well, onwards…


P.S. I wonder over and over again why authors don't hire professional editors who really command a foreign language. The French translations were not correct. A little example: a l'eglise = à l'église.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/897098790?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
Behold the Stars (Signal Bend Series) - Susan Fanetti

3.75 stars. Review posted April 4, 2014

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A vigorous Lilli who doesn't mince matters. :)
"Fuck, guys. I'm sure everybody's dick is equally enormous, okay? I promise I'm not staking a claim on the damn chair. I'll say what I came to say and leave you to your circle jerk." 

I enjoyed Move the Sun very much and I was thrilled to read the continuation of Isaac and Lilli's story in Behold the Stars. The story started off very strong and I was smiling like a crazy fool. Clearly, I was in a great place. It's hard to put a finger on it but somewhere along the line I didn't feel that irresistible pull anymore that was so obviously present in the first book. Lilli is an intelligent, strong, highly trained and careful woman, so I was quite agitated when she had a TSTL moment at 64 %. (view spoiler) was kinda amateurish and very careless. Don't get me wrong, overall I enjoyed Behold the Stars and I loved the beginning and the final 20 %. In my book, however, this installment was neither as great nor as engaging as Move the Sun. 

Let me get back to the final 20 %. Both of them (view spoiler) But while I found that part of the plot very engaging, I have to point out another minor issue of mine. After (view spoiler)

The sex in Behold the Stars isn't rough but I was glad that it didn't lack the anticipated intensity. Fact is, Isaac and Lilli complemented each other perfectly and even though it wasn't the perfect moment to (view spoiler) In any event, it wasn't a rational decision; it was Isaac's heart that tipped the scales.

Don't throw any rotten tomatoes at me now, but I must admit that I wanted more smexy times. What was a bit too much in Move the Sun was a bit lacking in this one. Although I'm perfectly fine with less rough sex, I just needed to feel more of their connection and I believe that Isaac and Lilli always 'communicated' quite spectacularly through intimacy and sex.

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Behold the Stars is definitely more somber and emotional than Move the Sun and due to its violence it's not easy to read at times. However, if you're a fan of Isaac and Lilli then it's a must read. And last but not least I'm looking forward to reading Showdown's story. Shannon, his love interest, has been set up nicely at the end of Behold the Stars.


WARNING
Behold the Stars contains explicit sex and language and quite a bit of VIOLENCE (view spoiler) There's (view spoiler)


Recommended read.


****************

Thanks for doing the buddy read with me, Glam! <333 xxx

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/889376222?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
Veiled Innocence - Ella Frank

3.5 stars. Review posted April 3, 2014

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Tick, tick, tock. Fate took its course when 18-year-old Addison Lancaster arrived late at school on the first day of her senior year and came face to face with her new world history teacher, 32-year-old Mr. McKendrick.

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Due to personal reasons, Mr. McKendrick (sorry, no first name because that would be a spoiler) decided to come back to Denver. Yet he wasn’t prepared for what he would be ‘finding’ there.

My thoughts 
When you have read an author’s entire backlist then you’re compelled to choose a favorite. Also, an important point in reviewing books is being honest. I do give Ella plenty of credit for always writing different stories as well as different characters. One thing’s for sure, she switches effortlessly from a fun and light plot to something much more wistful and gloomy. Long story short, I enjoyed Veiled Innocence but it isn’t my favorite book by Ella Frank. Besides, it didn’t hit the originality, the painful intensity, the staggering beauty and the mind-blowing steam level of Blind Obsession. Thus it’s obvious which book of hers is my favorite. I tend to ruminate a lot when I don’t fall for the characters, especially when the book has been written by one of my favorite authors.

I distinctly remember when more than a few of my classmates and I were swooning over our best-looking teachers. However, in light of Addison’s actions, none of us would have taken the next step and hit on any of them in such a brazen and unapologetically candid manner. I also find myself pondering as to why I’m such a sucker for student/teacher stories. Let’s face it, we all know that on a moral and ethical level this is so very wrong, and yet I can’t resist feeling irresistibly drawn to this kind of trope over and over again. What I feel opposed to in real life works quite fine in my fictional world. Not always, though (no kidnapping, human-trafficking and slavery and rape stories for Baba). No matter how I look at it, a little something was missing here but I hope you'll find it. What I couldn't seem to see or feel might as well be within touching distance for you.

Veiled Innocence is told from Addison and Mr. McKendrick’s POVs and switches between past and present events. I’m actually not a fan of timeframe hopping. Despite the many shifts, however, the plot flowed smoothly and didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

Addison is brazen and ruthless and I sure as heck can’t accuse her of not going after what she wants. Plus, she’s burdened by lots of baggage due to her messed up background and she has to deal with mental issues. Addison is very obsessive and unveils stalker-ish tendencies. I was torn between feeling sorry for her, knowing what she went through in the past three years, and an unshakable sense of anger because she showed not one iota of will to respect boundaries. In fact, it was pretty shocking to see how easily she overstepped any and all boundaries and challenged and tempted her teacher all. The. Time. Addison played a dangerous game and I wasn’t sure if she even cared about the consequences. I can’t and won’t conceal my dislike that I felt for her. On the other hand, I must give her credit for taking the blame when the s@it hit the fan.

Despite Mr. KcKendrick being a very sexy teacher with gorgeous, long-ish hair, he didn’t quite win me over. I appreciated the fact that he scrutinized his choices numerous times and he never acted like a predatory lecher. Mr. McKendrick’s father had instilled a sense of morality in him and he was aware of his transgressions. Even though he tried pretty hard to resist Addison, ultimately temptation won over common sense. On second thought, I guess what I missed most about his personality was this all-encompassing charisma that Phillipe Tibideau, hero of Blind Obsession, exuded in spades.

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Bottom line, Veiled Innocence is an interesting and solid read and I enjoyed it. The writing is good and Ella captured the somber and gloomy atmosphere nicely. I loved the history and mythology references, and I think Ella did a great job at intertwining all those references with the plot. A few tempting smexy times (without any ick-factor) and a couple twists and turns made for another satisfying reading experience from this talented author. Ella, whatever you’ve got in store next, I’ll be ready to read it!

Recommended to lovers of student/teacher stories and all fans of Ella Frank.


All quotes approved by author.

**ARC courtesy of Ella Frank in exchange for an honest review**

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/670783457?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
Move the Sun (Signal Bend Series) - Susan Fanetti

4 f@ck-me-rough stars. Review completed March 31, 2014

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When an attractive yet mysterious woman rents a place in Signal Bend, Isaac Lunden, President of the Night Horde Motorcycle Club, casts an eye at the sexy woman when she turns up at a town's dive. They share a meal together, have some 'fun' in the form of a little brawl and continue to have some more fun between the sheets. From an economical point, Signal Bend is a very crisis-ridden town and Lilli moving here stirs up some interesting questions. Isaac is more than willing to combine the sexy pleasure with the serious matter.

"Are you asking me on a date? Won't the town gossips have a field day?"
"Baby, they started hearing wedding bells when they saw us at Marie's. I'm not known to feed my fucks. There's nothing we could do to stir them up more--unless I knock you up, which I have no intention of doin'.



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"I think we're getting to know each other in the important ways first." He lifted her hand to his mouth for a kiss. His lips still brushing the back of her hand, he said. "You amaze me, Lilli. I'm not afraid to say I'm gettin' caught up here."



This goes both ways, though. Isaac amazes Lilli too. He's a bearded badass biker hunk, incredibly tall, ripped, broad-shouldered with very long and thick hair with a penchant for(view spoiler) and if I hadn't fallen for him already I would have when I knew that his hands are not only good to bring tough Lilli to screaming orgasms, but he also knows how to (view spoiler)To top everything off, Isaac is a very well-read man. Me likey. Very much so.

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"I'm not gonna fuck you, baby. I'm gonna move you. Let me. Let me have you."

She spread her legs, and the cool eddied over her tender flesh. Closing her eyes, she let the water take her, her hair loose and swirling softly around her.



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"Jesus fuck, you feel good," he breathed. She didn't say anything. She was too wrapped up in the amazing feel of this night, of him sliding inside her. Moaning, she tipped her head back, and he latched on, suckling at her throat, then kissing along her shoulder where the surface of the lake lapped at her.



Not so long ago I've had a chat with my friend Kels and she was talking about how much fun she's had by reading Susan Fanetti's Signal Bend series. After having experienced another train wreck together with my friend and buddy reader Glamdring, we were both in dire need of a good read. We decided to give this series a shot and I must say it was worth my time and money! Yowza. I'm back in a very good place and I'm positive that some good reads lay ahead of me in the foreseeable future.

I liked Lilli very much. She was right up my alley because she's the opposite of an idiotic and screeching biker babe. Lilli is used to give as good as she gets and then some. She's a very well-educated, (view spoiler) polylingual (view spoiler) and strong woman who has nothing much to lose anymore. She's quite experienced sexually but not so much in the matters of the heart and hasn't settled down yet. She sure as heck hadn't expected that to happen when she set foot in Signal Bend for the first time, though. But things never turn out the way you expect anyway. I must say that I was more than a little bit thrilled when I knew more about Lilli's background and realized what a badass chick this woman is. Lilli (view spoiler)

Move the Sun is a fast-paced and very engaging read that provides lots of sex (a bit too much for my tastes actually); it is funny in places and rather gritty and violent in others. A couple scenes made me wince, i.e. Isaac (view spoiler) is honestly not my kind of fun but I've got to deal with it. Bikers are no angels, after all. Friendly heads up, the f@cks are definitely on the rougher side, but as long as both parties love to play it wild all is fine. Anyway, they are real good at what they're doing and might achieve to rev up your libido as well. Mission accomplished, right? In consequence, smut lovers will get their money's worth, but also those readers who enjoy a good story will most likely end up pleased.

Bottom line
Move the Sun combines the hot as fuck sex with a hot as fuck hunk of a hero and a sexy and tough as fuck heroine and a really well-developed storyline. Satisfaction guaranteed. Pun intended.

Go read it!


Recommended read.

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/889376165?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Surprisingly good. No idiotic, crazy, screeching biker babe. Thanks for small favors.

For Your Sake - Elayne DiSano

4 stars. Review completed March 28, 2014

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The heroine is not a biker babe. She's actually quite a lady...
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Even though Taz is a nosy gossip I already love him. Not sure but he might have been set up already with (view spoiler)

"Your chariot awaits. Keys are inside. Fixed, buffed, polished and shining like a newly, waxed…"
"Shut up," Ben snapped at him.
"What?" Taz feigned ignorance, flashing a devilish smile which made his heavily pierced eyebrows slant up before disappearing.
 


And Aero…holy crappity crap, that man is sexy as all get out!

"Air Force," MaryLynn hummed. "I'd like to ride his cock pit."
Eva glanced away from the window. "Says the married woman."
"Pfft, details," her friend said with a wave of her hand. "I'm an attorney. I can temporarily divorce myself."
"You're a real estate attorney, Mar."
"Well, you're a fantasy buzz-kill. And, looks like Mr. Air Force has a friend with him…holy shit!"
 


In 1987 when little Eva was only six years old, her mother left without bothering to explain her actions. Now twenty-six years later, Eva is back in Tippitt, West Virginia after she attended business school in Pennsylvania. She took over a card and gift shop and bought an old Victorian house which is in need of some renovations. One night when Eva (view spoiler) As it later transpired, the mountain of a man is the Mountain Skulls Motorcycle Club's enforcer. And when Ben takes care of (view spoiler) they meet again. Eva can't get the quiet and rock-solid man out of her mind anymore and Ben starts to dig around in her background.

"Could've done it the old fashioned way and ask. Would've been easier."
"Yeah, but not as fun. Plus, you could always lie."
"About what?" I don't know what else you found, but I'm sure it wasn't much."
He nodded. "True. Actually, it was quite dull."
She narrowed her eyes "I prefer…uneventful."
 


Told in third person POV, I enjoyed For Your Sake very much. Above all, I appreciated that Eva wasn't the expected stereotype of a biker babe. Kudos to Elayne who accomplished to write a very likable and grounded heroine among the shallow pond of hysterical and screeching biker babes. In today's romance books they are few and far between, after all. The only thing that she shared with Eva, heroine of Undeniable, was the first name. This Eva here was mature and intelligent; she wasn't a hysterical bitch who threw a screeching fit over and over again. She dressed tastefully and didn't use filthy language all the time. And to top everything off, she wasn't one of those women who run through men like underwear. Granted, some will say all those attributes will make her look somewhat boring or plain but I didn't mind. If anything, I could relate to her much better than to all those other old ladies I had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting in the past. I also appreciated the fact that Ben didn't really outshine Eva in this story. 

That leads me to another satisfying aspect of the story. I really liked the slow-burning romance. The attraction between Ben and Eva was pretty obvious from the get-go, yet they didn't hit the sheets right in the beginning of the story. In fact, the reader has to wait for a long time to actually experience their first real kiss but what do they say? Good things come to those who wait. While the sex was all right it didn't really knock my socks off. However, my favorite part of the entire book was the f@ck-tastic scene at 74 % which could make it easily on my favorites shelf. Whew. No, scratch that. Double whew. Lots of sparks were flying around and the chemistry and tension oozed out of their pores. Ben can go all dominant and pissy on me anytime! Geez, where the heck was my darn fan when I needed one?

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Needless to say that I liked the tortured hero very much. Six foot and six inches tall, ripped and adorned with a goatee and dirty blond long-ish hair are good enough to make me drool. At first sight Ben was pretty scary but when he smiled he was quite the stunner. This gorgeous hunk of a man and ex-con with his quiet and unassuming demeanor who was not afraid to show his vulnerability was a welcome change. It's very rare for him to lose his cool but when he does then you should brace yourself for a shitstorm of emotions. I enjoyed seeing Eva's (uneventful) civil world collide with Ben's outlaw world. Slowly yet steadily their lives entwined with one another and they worked towards their HEA. What I loved very much about For Your Sake was Eva's old Victorian house. I felt like I was face to face with yet another secondary character. All the descriptions of the building, the stained-glass windows and the old clawfoot tub were so heart-warming and felt vivid and blissfully domestic. All the work that Eva and Ben put into that home gave this story an extra shiny touch. I think the author did a fine job at bringing all those details to life. Knowing that Ben had never lived in a house before, I was so glad that Eva could offer him a precious gift. A real home filled with love.

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Major issue
I predict that all "Grammar Nazis" will happily whip out their red pens. Elayne, for your sake send your book to a professional editor/proofreader who will fix that shoddy job. A few examples:

Situation as per March 21, 2014
he fingers ---> her fingers
Eva watched his unfold ---> Eva watched this unfold
palpatations ---> palpitations
No by a long shot ---> not by a long shot
it must have broke his heart ---> it must have broken his heart
had lept forward ---> had leapt forward
Detatched, detatch, detatchment ---> detached, detach, detachment.

There are many more mistakes, so I think the book could benefit from better editing/proofreading.


Overall For Your Sake is a very good book that accomplished to hold my attention from start to finish. I really hope this is going to turn into a series because the potential is there and I'd love to see a couple characters again (Nosy Gossip Taz and Aero need their stories told). This may be only a biker story 'lite' because it's neither hysterically crazy nor overwhelmingly gritty and yet I appreciated the depth of the characters as well as the author's appealing storytelling skills. More please.

For his sake.




Recommended read.

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/885980406?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

I blame Lyda. What an effin' train wreck.

Divine Solace: 8 (Nature of Desire) - Joey W. Hill

1.5 stars. Review posted March 27, 2014

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Considering how much I adore Joey's work, writing this rant wasn't a walk in the park for me. As a matter of fact, I've been wide awake at 3 am and then at 4 am I decided to get up and put my "review" together. This book caused me a stomach ache. I apologize in advance for the overuse of the term „effin”. So let me get down to business.

I popped my F/F/M (or F/M/F) cherry by reading Divine Solace. Having been 50 % or 60 % in I thought I’d made a very big mistake. I felt girl-on-girl smexin’ wasn’t my cup of tea and seeing Lyda and Gen “in action” provided some kind of epiphany in the form of me telling myself a couple times yuck. No, scratch that. Double yuck (pun intended). It was a turn-off. On the other hand, when I put everything into perspective a little bit later, I thought that even though I’m definitely very dick-oriented, I might give that girl-on-girl thing another chance. Erm…probably not right now because I really need to disassociate myself from that wretched experience first. What clearly ruined Divine Solace for me was Lyda. It all began and ended with her. I feel very strongly about Lyda but unfortunately in a very negative way. I don’t apologize for whipping out so many unflattering attributes to describe that woman. Mean, cold, manipulative, callous and insensitive. If anyone could make hell freeze over it would be Lyda. In fact, I'm very surprised she isn't comatose yet due to all the coldness that emanates off her in waves. Her body temperature must be life-threateningly low. At 56 % I was ready to strangle that bitch. (view spoiler) *gags* When I say I highly disliked her then it’s the effin’ understatement of the year. Without doubt Lyda is one of the most unlikable heroines that I’ve had the misfortune to meet as a romance reader. So I guess if it hadn’t been for Lyda, I could have somehow enjoyed the girl-on-girl action.

Divine Solace started off promising. Granted, Lyda came off as “weird” and aloof from the beginning and I wasn’t quite sure how I’d be feeling about her for the long haul, but when Noah and Gen met for the first time and I could feel their mutual attraction, it reassured me greatly. Seeing Noah and Gen interact and getting it on was utterly hot and erotic! The emotional pull between these two was strong; they formed a beautiful couple and had some great chemistry. I loved it! But the more I read the less I liked the story, and my good feelings started to vanish into thin air. My favorite scene was when Noah and Gen made love at the beach. I could feel all the great vibes, lots of emotion and I was clearly in a fabulous place. Hence I’m sure that I would have enjoyed the story way more if Lyda had been taken out of the equation. I. Wanted. Her. Gone. Lyda, take an effin' hike!

As you can see I didn’t dislike the entire book. I also found some beautiful quotes and most of the time the writing was very good.

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It's almost not believable that something lovely like this came out of Lyda's mouth...
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Lyda stated numerous times It’s your choice and yet she did insist that she KNEW exactly what Gen needed. I felt she was manipulating her. One of the best examples was a specific club scene where she offered Gen a deal. Gen wanted to (view spoiler)at the club. At first Lyda wasn't very enthusiastic but of course she knows exactly how to change a situation to her favor. A bitter pill transformed to sweet candy, so to speak. Therefore Lyda (view spoiler) Lyda shouldn’t have felt hurt or pissed off when a dizzy and VERY CONFUSED Gen turned to Noah for aftercare instead of her considering how effin’ insensitive and cold Lyda acted all the effin’ time. Naturally it’s Gen who takes the blame for acting “selfish”. I couldn’t effin’ believe this! Gen said that she was in over her head, it was a lot to process, to figure out and she ended up confused. I don’t think that Lyda provided enough support to help her get through all that. Besides, it’s not nearly enough telling her she needs her control yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm still processing what Gen experienced in Divine Solace. She must have felt like a girl in a candy store or is it more accurate when I say she entered a lion's den? She lived her whole life as a vanilla girl, she'd been divorced twice and was used to making the "wrong" choices. It was utterly mind-boggling what our vanilla girl Gen did within such a brief span of time...of course with useful and gracious assistance of Cold Bitch Lyda. Can you hear my sarcasm? I could compare it to my thinking about doing a bungee jump and then 30 minutes later I take the plunge from a high bridge. Mind you, I never did that and never will because it scares the heck outta me. Call me a wimp but I’ve decided it’s not worth the thrill. Of course that’s not the way it works in romance books. H/h (or in this story h/h/H) have to end up in their expected positions—Domme “takes care”, “cherishes” and “controls” two subs and they live happily ever after.
Also, right from the start Gen could take anything Lyda dished out. She flogged the living daylights out of her, so much so that (view spoiler) But Gen actually asked for more before Noah (view spoiler) I. Couldn’t. Effin’. Believe. It!

I really liked Noah a lot and the way he instinctively knew how Gen felt was admirable. The way he cared for her was beautiful. Noah is very generous, kind, sexy and handsome. His selfless personality does have some great pros but also some cons. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that Noah wouldn’t want to defend himself. (view spoiler) Seriously?

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Noah’s mind was totally messed up and he needed professional help in the form of a very good shrink way more than healing through kink. I never got the impression that Lyda was capable to really help him. Acting like a hard-ass drill sergeant didn't provide the support to fix his problems. Lyda mentioned that he needs saving from himself, there’s a wire that needs to be repaired and it will happen with the right person he’s meant to be with. Lyda thought she’d be that person but of course after having seen Noah interact and fuck with Gen she thought it needed two people to do that. Uh huh. Gen came in quite handy. Talk about a divine providence...

Then Noah totally freaked out when (view spoiler) Lyda came to Noah but didn’t hold him. She did not comfort him and kept her distance. I want to see some effin’ emotion, some effin' affection for f?&%!!£*"??!!!+"*@$ sake!!! She’s a woman but acts like a cold and heartless robot and everything she does or demands is justified because she KNOWS what Noah needs. Really? Well, she soothed Noah by ordering him (view spoiler)Instead of memories (view spoiler) that provides…erm…security and protection. Yeah, whatever. I get the meaning but still. And of course Noah had to be punished for throwing a tantrum. But again, he NEEDS it and at the same time Gen had to be punished for…hmm… (view spoiler) That happened at the same time they had to prepare dinner under the mean eye of their Mistress…gee, Baba, are we in a slight bitch mode today? Yep, I feel somewhat bitchy but I also feel entitled to my effin' bitchiness. Let me get back to the topic at hand, though. Dinner turned out to be another kink fest. While wearing certain "torture" devices, they had to arrange (view spoiler) WTF? Is she OCD or should that have been another "arousing punishment”? I, for one, didn't feel aroused. And then another f@ck scene followed suit I couldn't have cared less about and I was honestly at a point where I wanted to DNF the book because I was so effin' upset! Then again, I told myself I had to suck it up like a real sub and finish the book. Jesus Christ on a crutch. Just to witness more animalistic, unemotional, unerotic f@@@ing. What a turn-off. One thing’s for sure, while I enjoyed the smexy times in the beginning of Divine Solace, a huge majority of the sex scenes didn’t do anything for me. Gen f@@@ing Noah with a strap-on while at the same time Lyda had been f@@@ing Gen with another strap-on was just one. Big. Yuck. I guess I prefer real dick. 

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And don't get me started on how the ILY's were voiced. Does it get any more AWKWARD? (view spoiler) And the cherry on top was that cheesy OTT drama that took place around 94% and the mind-boggling resolution at 96%. Seriously? Yeah, no shrink necessary when all it takes is (view spoiler) and kink to heal Noah’s messed up mind. I’m very sorry but it didn’t add up at all. Lyda’s weak efforts at being somewhat more affectionate towards the end of the story felt utterly awkward and not credible. And last but not least the epilogue was too corny.

What I loved were the scenes that included Marguerite or Tyler. 

"He's an irrevocably straight male," Marguerite said dryly.(view spoiler)

Tyler and Marguerite:
"You have to let them figure it out, angel."
She arched a brow. "Because you never push your own agenda on someone or interfere with the natural course of things."
"Of course not. But when the natural course of things can be helped along by my will…" He shrugged. "God does it all the time."
"I'm sure Satan does the same thing."
"Imitation is the best form of flattery."
"I'd like to say I'm surprised you'd compare yourself to God or Lucifer, but that would be a waste of breath."
(…)
"I have a far better use for your breath."
She smiled against his mouth, let the kiss take her under, relying on his strength to hold her up as her knees weakened, as they always did when he kissed her. Not that she'd ever tell him that.
He already knew.
When he lifted his head, she gave him an amused look, despite the rapid trip of her pulse.
(view spoiler)
"My wife knows me well."


Tyler…there can be only one. He’s the smart, charismatic and sexy Southern gentleman and class act who emanates power to the nth. And his amber tiger eyes are unforgettable. Love him to pieces! Meeting Marguerite and Tyler brought all the wonderful memories back that I’ll always hold very close to my heart. I also realized that Lyda lacked something utterly essential that Marguerite has in spades: CHARISMA.

WARNING
Divine Solace contains plenty of explicit and kinky sex (M/F, F/F, F/F/M, M/F/M), explicit language, voyeurism, public play, and toys (strap-ons, ball gag and other toys), a (view spoiler) and bondage. 


My ranking:
Mirror of My Soul (Tyler and Marguerite) 5 stars
Rough Canvas (Marcus and Thomas) 5 stars
Ice Queen (Tyler and Marguerite) 5 stars
Branded Sanctuary (Brendan and Chloe) 4.5 stars
Natural Law (Mac and Violet) 4 stars
Holding The Cards (Josh and Lauren; Marcus) 4 stars
Divine Solace 1.5 stars

I have not read Mistress of Redemption.


A thankyou goes to Glam for doing the buddy read with me!
Here is the link to her review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

 

 

If you'd like to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/881458257?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

When I DNFd the book I've had my fill of analogies.

Star-Crossed - Luna Lacour

1.5 stars. DNF at 50 % Review posted March 24, 2014

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I love lyrical prose (emphasis on lyrical) and not corny purple prose. When I get the impression that an author tries too hard and, in the process comes off as pretentious, my interest fades away fast. As you can gather from my review this was the case with Star-Crossed. The characters and plot but also the storytelling itself came off as indifferent and unappealing. The story was monotonous and fell flat. Everything simply plodded along without much purpose. I know the purpose of the story was that game to seduce the teacher but still. I just didn't feel it and ended up bored. 

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Star-Crossed is nowhere as good as Leah Raeder's Unteachable because first and foremost it lacked the magic. It didn't shine. If anything, it came off as bland and dull. I remember that I didn't fall for the characters in Unteachable but I irrevocably fell for Leah's splendid writing. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case here. I neither liked the characters nor the writing style.

When I finally DNFd the book I've had my fill of analogies and semi-colons. I think the quotes are more telling than a long-winded review.

It wasn't love. (I hope not, Kaitlyn. After all, you only met him a few minutes ago). I didn't love him. But I felt something - and that was enough to make me breathe in the air around us like it was some sweet nectar that if I didn't savor then, I'd never have the chance. He smelled of warm almond; of coffee and sweat, which might have been mixed with the espresso I'd drank or the caramel still lacing my breath. Cherry sugar still coated my tongue, and I wanted him to taste it.

Shame came flooding like a syringe shot straight into the vein, mixed with an undeniable thrill. 

She had about the same subtlety of a cow chewing grass, but oddly enough, there was something sultry about the way her mouth moved.

My father was surrounded by his business partners, all in suits, their faces already flushed from the alcohol that slogged through their veins like motor oil.

The candle flame was still dancing, rising and falling as the white wax dripped down like sweat from joined bodies.
 


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At first, his hands shot up, like a criminal marked with a red hot target; like he was facing certain death by firing squad. They fell slow as quick-sand, eventually finding my hips where they settled with a shaky hesitancy, hovering just above the fabric.

Mr. Tennant kissed my mouth like it was something to worship, something to savor. Delicate and delicious, his breath shallow as a pool of puddle water. And if I were still a child, still stuck in the age of sticky-sweet candy and hop-scotch, I would have jumped and played in that murky depth forever.
 


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When it was just the two of us, door securely latched, my heart started humming; it trashed around like a caged animal. Standing there, no words spoken, we were like two stranded voiceless islands. 

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I could listen to him talk for hours about anything and everything. Literature, film; his past that was still about as clear as an aged, opaque window.

Mr. Tennant remained standing, and I watched his throat move as if something lived inside there.
 


It's probably a frog...
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Will appeared unconvinced; skimming his hands through hair that only proceeded to fall straight over his forehead; black strands over fair and flawless skin. His natural allure was a tragedy itself.

"Jesus," he exclaimed; soft and feral in the way the words crawled into my ears, sinking like toxic paint into the crevices of my brain.

One by one, I started unbuttoning my shirt; watching as his eyes, like an elevator, slowly drop from my chin to that calico fabric.
 


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There was an undeniable spark in his eyes, flint on stone. The idea seeped into his face as if I were suggesting he dive into the first sheet of freshly-fallen snow. 

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He listened without protest; his eyes quickly lapping up every movement like the constant shutter-sound of a camera; each millisecond like a frame of film that would forever burn into his mind. 

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While XXXXXX kiss felt like the impending explosion of a firework, Mr. Tennant's mouth against mine was like oxygen drizzling from a cannula; enabling a deeper breath; giving me the sneaking suspicion that there was a deeper strength concealed somewhere amidst entrails and bone. 


I'm very sorry but this book wasn't my cup of tea. At all.


**Review at request of author Luna Lacour**

All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted in the final copy.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/888475804?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

A bit short but very good.

Caught - A.B. Gayle

4 stars.****Review posted March 23, 2014

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His whole face had changed from the moment I'd handed him the camera. Back near Connie's house, apart from the brief flash of grief, his expression had been devoid of emotion. Now there was full focus. After a while the intermittent glimpses of almost frightening intensity whenever he lowered the Pentax became too much for me, so I gazed out to sea instead.

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"You're probably just like all the others--see the outside and assume the rest."
"But it's the outside that interests me. Not that I wouldn't love to get closer acquainted with what's underneath." His voice dropped to a sexy drawl as he uttered his last words.
 


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"Sometimes you don't have to jump off a cliff to die. You can die inside little by little and still appear to be alive on the outside. That's how it was for me. I hid myself here away from the world. I thought I'd lost the capacity to love and live. (…)



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122 very good pages. A story about grief and the right of every man to mourn a loss however they see fit. A story also about loyalty and critically scrutinizing their own self.

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I would have loved to read a longer story because let's face it, Nat is a gorgeous and very intriguing hunk and I have a weak spot for artistic main protagonists. Photography is something very intimate and sensual and I felt irrevocably drawn to our sexy lead character. Also, I wanted to see more of Daniel and Nat as a couple; Caught hardly spanned 48 hours of their lives and I wasn't ready to let them go yet. To balance out the somewhat melancholic and sad atmosphere of Caught, A.B. wrote an excellent scene when Daniel did a great drag performance. Thanks for putting a goofy grin on my face, sweetie.

“Oh, sweetie, you’ve made my day and I haven’t even started taking the hormones yet.”



Minor quibbles
Maybe due to the shortness of Caught, there's a bit too much insta-feel thrown into the story and everything happened so fast. On the other hand, I must say it was beautifully done and very engaging. The secrecy bugged me when Daniel didn't want to tell Nat why he approached him. Although the reasoning was understandable and the ensuing resolution was fine by me.

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Caught was my second read by A.B. Gayle. Fact is, I really like her writing style and the way I bond so easily with her characters leaves (almost) nothing to be desired. More please. 

The living moment.




Recommended read.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/885109242?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating