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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 

Take My Picture - Giselle Ellis

3 stars.***Review posted February 21, 2014

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Take My Picture started off very promising and I was hooked immediately thanks to the MCs funny and snarky banter and let's not forget the very likable Alyson and (view spoiler) However, the more I read the more frustrated I became because approximately half of the plot was monopolized by a very huge pet peeve of mine: LACK OF COMMUNICATION. Jesus christ on a crutch. Talk. Already. Talk. Already. Talk. Already. I can't stress enough how frustrating it was. And once they (view spoiler) it was too much about Melodrama meets SugarVille. 

This could have been a great read but overall it was a lost opportunity.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/520590196?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
Glory Lands - Vastine Bondurant

2 stars.

Too religious and all the drama goes hand in hand with Sugartown.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/853635397?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
The Apothecary's Garden - Julie Bozza

It started off promising but somewhere along the line it just bored me to tears. DNF.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/623361481?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

I was pleasantly surprised

Vivaldi in the Dark - Matthew J. Metzger

4 sensitive stars.****Review completed February 13, 2014

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Matthew J. Metzger had me at…

The baton came down, the bows came up, and the storm ended. The silence was as ringing as the strings, and rolled in like an angry tide to reclaim the stage, flooding over the orchestra until the very last memory of the tempest in Vivaldi's Summer had been washed away.

As I see it, this excellent intro sums up the entire book. Vivaldi in the Dark deals with some heavy subject matter. Undertones are interrupted by mournful clouds of numbness and sorrow until they're washed away by rays of hope.

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"My friends are girls," Jayden said. "The other guys, they don't…you know, it's weird. Being friends with a gay guy. You know, they might…I don't know, it's like they think I'm catching."
Darren snorted. It echoed oddly in the bathroom. "I'm friends with a black guy; doesn't mean I tan better in the summer."

GPS (Gay Perception System)

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Alone in the darkness, he played Vivaldi.

Vivaldi in the Dark is the story about Jayden and Darren. On the one hand, we have the sixteen-year-old effeminate Jayden who's been bullied for ages. Jayden, however, has a plan and he's determined to succeed. He wants to apply for the scholarship to the sixth form at St. John's, a private school. Once there, he'd do his A-levels in order to apply to the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, nobody would care that he was gay. The bullying would stop (I kinda doubt it because bullying happens everywhere) and he could do whatever he wanted to do. He could act and write; he could join the drama societies and he could find like-minded people and befriend them. He could find a boyfriend already.

On the other hand, there is the fifteen-year-old brooding, sensitive yet highly talented violinist Darren. He suffers from depression. His parents, especially his father, have high goals for Darren. His father puts him under pressure relentlessly to become a musician. He doesn't care if Darren is happy with what he's doing. As a consequence, Darren's father is absolutely clueless that his own son is depressive. When Jayden meets Darren for the first time, they feel a mutual sympathy and over the following days and weeks become more than only friendly. Darren realizes that Jayden makes his life easier. In fact, the light Jayden brings into Darren's life can balance out the darkness. Even though Jayden suffers from a case of severe tongue-tied shyness whenever he's around Darren, he starts to loosen up, albeit haltingly. When he talks to Darren he's blushing all the time in many different shades of red. Plus, he's stuttering and fumbling over very simple sentences but in a very sweet and adorable way. 

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But he didn't say a word as Darren pulled himself impossibly closer and the hot dampness of tears began to collect in Jayden's hair and on the pillowcase. He didn't say anything as the shaking became more violent. He kept quiet as that arm pinned and clung for dear life, and he held his tongue when the sound of Darren crying, actually crying, ripped into his own chest and burned a path up to his throat. The ceiling swam blearily above them, and Jayden said nothing. 

Vivaldi in the Dark is a sensitive portrayal about a depressed teenager who finds a way out of darkness thanks to his first love. But it's also a story about bullying and overcoming fears and family dynamics. Darren feels hollowed-out, empty and aching after every practice, rehearsal or recital. He doesn't enjoy playing the sad and solemn violin. Besides, playing the violin makes Darren's bad days even worse. 

"I feel like I'm disappearing," he whispered.

When Darren is depressed, there's a numbness to everything and he feels listless and very exhausted. Simply put, during those darker days he's overwhelmed by a strong lethargy. But Jayden is a big help to make it bearable. There's a light at the end of the dark tunnel.

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As a much appreciated counterpoint we have Ethan and Paul, Darren's loyal (best) friends. I loved seeing them goofing around. They really mellowed the plot.

"Biscuit?" Ethan wrinkled his nose. "No way, muffin is so much cooler."
"You're both freaks," Darren opined, but they ignored him.
"Muffins would totally have curly hair if they were people, so he's a muffin."
"He's not gay enough to be a muffin. Muffins are completely, one hundred percent, Elton-John-in-a-tutu gay."
"You're the one who said he had a boyfriend."
"You two, I swear to God, are fucking married," Darren said and managed (somehow) to extract himself from the tangle.

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When an author accomplishes to hold my attention from start to finish and, in the process, engages my heart, then he's totally won me over. This story felt believable and authentic. Right from the beginning I was there and ready to absorb the story even though I hadn't known what to expect and I was once again afraid that I had to deal with yet another dramatic cheese festival. Granted, Vivaldi in the Dark is anything but a drama-free story. On the other hand, the drama doesn't overshadow the entire plot. It is there but in small and well-placed doses. The author gave me room and time to breathe; he gave me time to deal with the subject matter. And at the same time he brightened the plot with witty dialogue and some well-placed banter. I never felt overwhelmed by Darren's depression. It is an emotional read, yet there is no cheese alert either which made me sigh with relief. Overall it was a very accomplished combination of good plot, eclectic main and secondary characters with great characterization and a beautiful and credible romance. All in all an authentic story about finding your first true love.

Matthew J. Metzger is a new-to-me author and after reading Vivaldi in the Dark, I'm definitely looking forward to checking out his backlist. He's a young author and yet he impressed me with his mature and engaging writing style. As many of you know I'm not a fan of YA books. Isn't it significant that the YA stories I enjoy the most belong to the m/m sub genre?

Life did not come with a soundtrack, and yet some low, haunting melody was drifting through the hall.

It's true, life doesn't come with a soundtrack but you can compose your own music; a melody that will guide you through life's ups and downs and will lead you to your destination. A destination that YOU choose and not your parents. Parents are here to counsel, guide, cherish and protect their kids. We should never forget that.

Steam low (no explicit sex scenes; you'll have to settle for kissing, cuddling and hugging)

Recommended read.

"I don't know," Darren said honestly. "I just feel like…I've been jarred. Shaken. Like something ripped all the cobwebs out. I don't know. Just…different. It's still there, you know. It's not gone, it's just…not quite…everything."
Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/838049123?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
The Do-Over - M.K. Schiller

2 stars. DNF at 48 %. Not my cup of tea. I won't even bother reviewing this.

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Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/838085150?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating


Superhero - Eli Easton

4 stars.****Review completed February 9, 2014

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From that day on, Owen was my best friend—jelly to my peanut butter, fellow pea in my pod, Sam to my Frodo. And I was his.

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„Clearly, this is your first wrestling match,“ I said dryly.
“But…why don’t they wear something underneath?”
“Owen says it’s a macho thing. Guys who wear straps or cups are considered lame. I guess it’s like gladiator mentality. Burp, fart, sweat, let it all hang out.”

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„You’re a dork,“ I said.
“If I’m a dork, then you’re a bigger dork for being friends with me.”
“It doesn’t work that way. It’s not like people exude a dork ray or something. Well, sometimes you do, but I’m immune.”
“Oh, I see. You do know that you’re the king of dorks and that this conversation is absurd.”

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Holy sexual paradise, Batman, I was so fucking glad I was gay!

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Superhero is the story about Jordan Carson and Owen Nelson. Jordan and Owen couldn't be more different from a physical POV and yet they have some things in common. They are both students, best friends and developed a successful cartoon project together. It's called Pin Man and Pencil Boy. Jordan draws it and Owen contributes the speech bubbles. Owen is a very good-looking kid with several excellent attributes. He's a great sportsman and loyal friend, quiet, reasonable, very polite and the Wisconsin state champion wrestler.

(…) He always took his glass to the sink and rinsed it out. I mean, the kid was a parent's wet dream. 

Jordan is all kinds of adorably geeky, stylish, witty and he excels at drawing. He's simply amazing and you can't not love him. Jordan loves to dream big; he wants to do a lot of things in his life. However, his biggest wish is to have Owen as his boyfriend. But Owen is straight or…is that a wrong assumption? 

Despite its shortness this story packed quite a heroic punch. I enjoyed it very much. Extremely likable main characters, a good storyline and engaging writing that provided plenty of entertaining, thoughtful and witty dialogue made this an all-around winner. It was so much fun to follow Jordan and Owen, especially Jordan. I also liked the more serious tone of the plot. Superhero is another book that deals with bullying. It shows once again how important it is to stand up and fight for the things you believe in.

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Also, I think this short story conveys another important message. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your alleged destination to find your real goal. It's not important if others are happy as long as you're making something of your life that will let you feel comfortable with yourself.

Superhero is a story that left me with a warm and fuzzy feeling in my belly and aside from the pretty steep pricing (4.10 euro for 98 pages), I have no complaints. I closed the book with a big smile on my face.

To sum it up in one word: adorkable. 

Maybe I was Jordan-sexual.

Recommended read.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/837190661?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

A cheesy and ridiculous stage play

Queers - A.J.  Rose

1 drama-drama-drama star. Review posted February 6, 2014

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I'm going to dedicate this gif to Garrett…
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Duff came to Queers having expectations. There's no denying it, Queers couldn't live up to my very high expectations. I'm completely bummed.
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In a nutshell (between 40 % and 100 %):
Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * Drama * Sobfest * SugarVille * 

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I am so freaking mad and frustrated I don’t know what to say. I'm still frustrated but I gotta get it off my chest before I choke on it. Bear with me when my thoughts are all over the place. Also, I apologize for using the term drama excessively. 

First off I'd like to point out that I absolutely devoured Safeword and it saddens me very much to tell you that I didn't recognize the author's voice in Queers. In fact, I enjoyed the beginning but the more I read the less I liked where the storyline was heading and I felt a strong antipathy towards the characters. I don't need to beat around the bush. The second half was a bloody nightmare. If I had bought the paperback I would have burned the book.

Of course Garrett being a delusional and stupid Drama Queen and LIVING IN CONSTANT DENIAL wasn’t enough. Nope, we needed more of that crap in the form of Brad dealing with (view spoiler) And let's not ignore the drama between Brad and Duff and to top everything off, (view spoiler) had to add another layer of drama to the plot. All the mayhem, problems and DRAMA smothered the entire book. Terrible. Queers is a bloody soap opera. No, scratch that. It was worse than a soap opera.

(view spoiler) Poor Garrett is a needy attention whore and since(view spoiler) Nice. Not. Garrett made his bed, so he can lie in it. There comes a time when I, as the reader, transcend the point where my empathy dissolves into nothingness and I end up angry and ill tempered. I gotta tell you reading Queers caused my sympathy to plummet disastrously. Honestly, I wanted to scream my head off, I was so un-f@cking-believably angry and frustrated. I actually liked Moonshine and Jackson in the beginning. However, when both of them decided to jump right into the middle of that gooey and cheesy drama, which was divided in several pathetic acts, I was so done. As in really, reallydone.

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(view spoiler) Calm down, Baba. *pets*

(view spoiler)

Dafuck? That's not irrational anger, that's just acting stupidly. Maybe Landon (view spoiler) Jackson?

As if I hadn't had to deal with enough drama, mayhem, angry outbursts etc., the women felt the need to scream their heads off, too.

"I fucking knew it!" Jennica screeched, and charged into the office, face red and claws fully extended. (…)
"It's not what you think!" Moonshine yelled from inside. "Jennica! Hey!"

Yup, (view spoiler) "is not what you think." *insert major eye roll*

*screech* *yell* *screech* *yell* *growl* *snarl* yadda, yadda, yadda.

Garrett's behavior had been explained like this (I quote):

"Because he grew up being told he was a faggot, disgusting, unlovable, mentally deficient, blah, blah, blah. So he got it in his head if he could find his one true love, he could prove them all wrong.(…)"

Regardless, it's unacceptable that Garrett did deactivate his brain cells.

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(view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

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Wasn't it incredibly convenient that (view spoiler) What a nice, sweet, little bow. I want one, too. Not.

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I'm not dense at all. I knew that I had to expect something completely different from Safeword and I really do appreciate different. But this cheesy and RIDICULOUS stage play is not my cup of tea. I'm pretty sure that Queers will go down in my book history as one of my biggest reading disappointments in 2014. Considering the very high average rating you might as well ignore my opinion. Happy dramatic reading!

Queers contains (view spoiler) LOTS of cheese, crying, screaming, snarling, growling, and EXCESSIVE drama.

Rant over.

P.S. The absolutely fantastic trailer deserves five stars! Here is the link:




If you want to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/832299063?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating
Life After Joe - Harper Fox

2 melodramatic stars. Review posted February 3, 2014

Expectations suck...

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In a nutshell
Matt is supposed to be a doctor and drowns in self-pity by swallowing every crap he can get his hands on. He's stoned, drunk and unhappy all. The. Time. Plus, he fucks everybody on two legs. Disgusting. Let's keep it simple. He's a sobbing mess of a depressing alcoholic. But of course it's not his fault (yes, it's also his fault). Joe, the little mean fucker left him for…(view spoiler) Tsk-tsk. Sorry for being a tiny bit sarcastic. How many times do I have to put up with that beat-up plot twist?

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However, the icing on the cake was when Joe (view spoiler) Well played, Matthew love. Ugh.

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And the mysterious (view spoiler) Instead of asking a couple questions that would have helped to solve the "threat", Matt prefers to shut his mouth ---> old pet peeve of mine: LACK OF COMMUNICATION, MISCOMMUNICATION, MISUNDERSTANDINGS yadda, yadda, yadda. I can't hear it anymore. I'm actually glad that I AM A CHICK cos I really do like to talk. I. Mean. Talk. As. In. Asking. Questions.

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Jesus christ on a crutch
I do not like weepy, self-pitying "heroes". I do not like doormat "heroes", either. I do not like melodrama. No, scratch that. I'm HIGHLY ALLERGIC TO CHEESY MELODRAMA. 

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Also, the first sex scene between Matt and Aaron was hugely disappointing and very awkward. I wanted to close my eyes in order to not witness that pathetic scene. Matt annoyed me from the beginning but after my first update the whole thing went downhill fast. And what the heck happened to Matt's addiction? My very best guess is that some fairy dust sprinkled upon him and cured his drug and alcohol problem. Nothing was resolved regarding that aspect of the plot. It's very unrealistic and not good enough for me.

Fairy dust. There…you are cured, Matty boy.
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It's safe to say that Life After Joe wasn't my cup of tea. Après moi le déluge.



If you want to read my spoilers then check out the GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/500069052?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Anne Calhoun delivers.

Jaded  - Anne Calhoun

4 stars.****Full review posted January 30, 2014

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Lucas likes to work out to keep his body in shape.


Classy and well-bred yet reserved Alana Wentworth is the temporary librarian at Walkers Ford Public Library. She came to Walkers Ford to get over a bad breakup. Her only goal at the moment is to get under her landlord and Chief of Police, Lucas Ridgeway, to make him her rebound man. There's a little problem, though. Alana is not so savvy when it comes to men and figuring out how to get Lucas between her sheets seems to be quite a difficult endeavor. Well, Alana might end up surprised because Lucas is more than ready to cop a feel after he takes care of her clogged bathroom sink. They start a secret affair, sex without any commitment because Alana makes it very clear that she will go back to her job and her rich family in Chicago in a couple of weeks. During a town council meeting, however, Alana is charged with an assignment. This leads to her prolonged stay at Walkers Ford, yet it will only grant their affair a reprieve. Or is there really hope for more?

One thing is for sure, Lucas is determined to explore every nuance of her blushes. 

"I do it all the time," she added breathlessly.
"All the time?" he asked, as if he hadn't noticed.
She nodded.
"Show me."
The way Alana Wentworth blushed damn near slayed him. Every. Single. Time.
Blushing usually meant innocence, but the combination of soft hands on his body and the heated slide of her tongue banished any illusions he had about sheltered librarians.

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"I'm not going to get hurt. Stop thinking about what you don't want to do, and tell me what you do want to do."
"I want to finish what we started last night."
"Too general," he said bluntly. "Be specific."
"I want to know what your beard feels like against my lips."

As a side note
It's a five o'clock shadow.

"More," she breathed.
With a twist of hips and shoulders he surged to his feet and pressed her into the narrow space between the fridge and the door to the dining room. She wound her legs around his hips and her arms around his neck, the better to revel in the sensation of his arm under her bottom and that delicious, sensitizing scuff against her mouth.

Librarians are sexy…
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The muscles in his face slackened just before his tongue touched the tip of her thumb. 
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Anne really knows how to write the somber, detached hero who displays a remote bearing. Lucas is no exception to the rule. After an 'incident' in Denver where he worked as a DEA cop, he came to Walkers Ford to live a less hectic life. His defense mechanisms are up all the time and readers need patience because his past remains a mystery for a long time. I liked the grounded, successful yet simple Alana, although there was something about her that irritated me (see minor quibble). I don't get tired of repeating it. I would LOVE to read Nate's story, a filthy rich businessman and former US Marine. He's a very intriguing character. Readers met him for the first time in Unforgiven and you will see him again in Jaded. Since he came home he isn't the same man anymore. The war changed him and left its mark and might have been the cause of his marital problems. I LOVE stories about a second chance at love. *hint* *hint* *makes puppy eyes*

If you want to read a light and fluffy romance novel, then Jaded might be the wrong book for you. While this story provides a much appreciated and multifaceted small-town feeling with a very interesting and eclectic cast of secondary characters, the story itself is surrounded by a touch of melancholy and sadness and the road to Alana and Lucas's HEA is quite bumpy. Don't let that put you off though, because Jaded is so worth reading. 

As always, the sex scenes are so deliciously good. The author takes the reader on a sensual journey while Lucas and Alana explore their bodies. You are there when they exchange soft and carnal kisses that turn into passion and hot desire in no time flat. And you can feel their aroused breaths when they part their lips in anticipation of yet another sexy kiss. Those scenes ooze sensuality and intimacy as all get out. A touch, a look and chemistry ignites. It goes without saying that their carnal encounters made me shiver. Sweetness blending into passion and need, that's what Anne masters easily. In consequence, it feels so darn good to immerse myself in Anne's stories and to revel and ultimately drown in so many various sensations. 

While the beginning was good, I wasn't quite sure how I'd be feeling about the MCs and the plot, though. Funnily enough, I've had some similar feelings when I read Unforgiven. But who I am to worry or even doubt Anne? She always delivers and Jaded is no exception to the rule. Soon enough, everything was tingling inside me and I was so back in the swing of things.

Even though Jaded works just fine as a standalone, I advise you to read the books in order--especially if you are a stickler for reading in order--because Marissa and Adam, main characters of Unforgiven, make more than a little cameo in Jaded.

Minor quibble
Like I mentioned already, this isn't a cheerful story and Alana telling herself again and again that she had to go back to Chicago added another layer of wistfulness to the plot that somewhat impaired the story in my opinion. Sometimes less is more, just tone it down a little bit.

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Referring to a specific quote of Jaded I'd like to say that you have something wonderful here. In an age of increasing disconnectedness, Anne has written an engaging story that can connect her fans in different countries. Thank you, Anne, for another great read!

"I want to take you upstairs, and turn off the lights, and watch your skin turn pink as I move inside you. When I've kissed you and your skin's marked by my mouth, you look like a rose in the moonlight. It gets darker when I'm moving inside you, that blood flush."

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You used to care like this.
And now I remember why I stopped. It fucking hurts. Not the pain. The longing.

Recommended read.

My ranking
Unforgiven 4.5 stars
Jaded 4 stars

Official release date February 4, 2014 

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

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

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/700576058?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Atrocious writing. One of the worst books I've ever read.

Bound by Lies  - Hanna Peach

0 stars. Review completed January 27, 2014

Bound by Lies fails miserably. Geez, what an awful book. It's among the worst books I've ever read.
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Heaven help me. I am so wrong about his eyes. They aren't brown. They are the intense green of rough seas, turbulent and luring with depths that I might never be able to swim out of. And Lord, do I want to swim in them. Naked.

His voice sinks into my skin like a bite, sending heat into my blood.

A deep sadness fills me like rust-colored water into an empty glass vase when I realize the answer is yes.
I turn my back to him and slip on the jacket, transferring my heels from hand to hand. The inside of it is warm, and his scent brushes up my neck to my nose in a soft caress. God, I could lose myself in his smell and this warmth. I almost believe that this jacket is bulletproof.

He straddles the motorbike and it seems to sigh under him.

The motorbike growls to life under him like a waking lion.

My limbs work of their own volition, moving me towards him like a ship returning to harbor.

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And all I can think about is this beautiful man and how right it will feel to get very, very naked with him. Every second without him inside me, every inch of air between our bodies is a tragedy. 

It sure is a tragedy that I even considered reading this book. *shudder*

My stomach pains as if someone is wringing it in their hands. 

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My insides shatter and I am liquid stars. Unable to support myself anymore, I start to fall like dust and ash returning to the ground. But I don't land. I smell wood smoke and home as he cradles me in his arms. I feel myself floating and floating. Then the softness of the mattress underneath me. 

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At first it is just a press, his soft lips, tasting of sweet grapes and rosemary, touching mine. It is butterflies and falling leaves and it makes my skin tingle like those sparkles of sunlight that dance upon a babbling brook. 

Yep, who's babbling here?

I feel a small wet line all the way in my belly. Then he sucks, starting an energy in me like the distant rumble of earth under hooves. 

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His tongue teases my mouth and at my heart, coaxing it to open for him like a flower. I part my lips for him and he enters me with his tongue. Like a jolt of electricity, I awake. My body lights with fire, aching, consuming fire. I begin to move with him, searching for his taste, exploring his lips and his mouth, tilting my head so our breaths can fuse even more. 

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On his face I see an inner tragedy play out. 

My review won't crush this book cos the author sure as hell took care of that herself. Tons of atrocious style blossoms and cheese suffocated Bound by Lies. It's safe to say that Hanna Peach didn't make me feel peachy at all. Again, I do love flowery writing when it's done right. The writing in Bound by Lies, however, is disastrous. The author tried way, way too hard to wax lyrical and in the end failed miserably. Everything felt incredibly awkward and embarrassing. Excuse me but is this a bad joke? Also, the constant switch between past and present didn't facilitate a smooth flow of the plot. And I couldn't for the life of me connect with the shallow and absolutely trivial main protagonists, either. Oh my, I had to deal with yet another whiny and dumb heroine. Concept, storyline (what storyline?) and execution are less than 'blah', and don't get me started on the BDSM elements and the silly sex scenes. Honestly, there is no nice way to say it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, worked out for me. Bound by Lies is a terribly bad read. I'm sorry for being harsh but this book should never have seen the light of day.

And we rock. He moves faster. And I swear my underwear is just going to burn away from all this heat and friction. My head and my body are almost hurting from all this pressure inside. God, I just need him. 

God, my head and stomach are hurting, too. If I had bought a paperback I would have burned the book. *facepalm*

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A shot of heat hits the back of my eyeballs and I look away before I start to cry.

The love on his face cracks open the shell of pain across his features when he realizes what I am doing.

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Oh, and please, no more kitten. No. More. I. Mean. It.

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"Kitten, I want to make love to you."
"Yes," I cry. The aching need under my skin crackles like electricity. 

Yes, I'm going to stop this whole nonsense now. DNF at 40 %. I want my money back.

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P.S. Bound by Lies was a total PITA. And while I felt the need to hit my head on my table, I couldn't help doing this…
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Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/833944929?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Disappointing…it's time to quit.

Camp Hell  - Jordan Castillo Price

2 disappointing stars.**Review completed January 24, 2014

I wanted more of Jacob…
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…and less of the ghost hunting and paranoia which were all over the place.
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Granted, Vic had reasons for panicking and feeling freaked out but I got fed up and after having been bored in book 4 already, I just think it's time to reconsider. I enjoyed the beginning but after my first update a lot went downhill fast and hard. But first and foremost...

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As aforementioned I wanted more of Jacob. Camp Hell, however, was all about Vic here, Vic there, Vic everywhere. 85 % Vic and 15 % Jacob. Maybe I'm exaggerating but that's how I feel about it. In Camp Hell Jacob is like a persona non grata. Superfluous. Redundant. Oh, yes, he's good enough to give Vic mind-blowing orgasms but anything else that goes beyond the four walls of the bedroom seems to be irrelevant. To me he's more than a hot body, though. Hence, I just wanted more page time for Jacob but also more page time for Vic and Jacob as a couple.

Also, I find it ridiculous how incredibly naive Vic is. And to top everything off, I think that before Vic would shoot a baddie, he would hurt himself with his own gun. I got the impression that he doesn't seem overtly competent when it comes to arms. Maybe I'm being bitchy but I think if he hadn't that special ability he would never have made detective in the first place.

It goes without saying that I wasn't partial to the storyline. Honestly, I couldn't have cared less. Simply blah. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…And then all the empaths, telepaths, precocks, oops sorry, I meant to say precogs, etc. couldn't hold my interest. At all.

Isn't it kinda funny that I couldn't stop thinking about Mr. Bean when Vic was on my mind? I wonder why? Well, Vic has his own special brand of dorkiness, for sure.

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I'm definitely a minority here and I'm very sorry that I didn't enjoy Camp Hell. While I did enjoy the first three books very much, book 4 was kinda boring already and it is very unfortunate that Camp Hell was a hellish disappointment. And finally I need to get that off my chest as well. Since I started to read this series every book is getting more expensive. Yes, I can pay the price, yet I'm not a milk cow and I think that the pricing for such short stories is quite steep. In fact, 5.14 euro for 256 disappointing pages is a lot of dough. I'm sorry but I'm not willing to pay even more for the next one. I'm done. Camp Hell goes back to Amazon for a refund of my money. I just think it's best to quit while I still have some fond memories of the series. Goodbye Vic and Jacob. It was a hot dance as long as it lasted and I wish you two all the best.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/823390291?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

A gorgeous fifty-one-year-old hero. Kaylea Cross writes some of the BEST mature characters!

Rekindled (Titanium Security Series) - Kaylea Cross

4 being-mature-is-sexy stars.****Review completed January 16, 2014

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Alex’s own hand shook slightly as he reached up to cradle her cheek in his palm. She flinched at the contact but didn’t shove him back as he’d feared. He stroked his thumb gently across the silken curve of her cheek, dying inside because he needed so much more. “It was me,” he whispered back. “Whatever I did and didn’t tell you back then, it was still me.” He wrapped the fingers of his other hand around her palm, pressed it to his chest over his pounding heart. “I’m still the man you knew, no matter what else has happened.” 

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Instead he leaned in closer and put one hand on the door, caging her between it and his body. “I don’t want you to think, I want you to feel. Feel me, Grace. Feel this.” He grabbed her hand again, pressed it tight to his chest. “Feel that? The connection? It’s still there, you know it is, because it’s real. Whatever else I lied to you about, I never lied about this.” 

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Sorry means you feel the pulse of other people's pain as well as your own, and saying it means you take a share of it. And so it binds us together, makes us trodden and sodden as one another. Sorry is a lot of things. It's a hole refilled. A debt repaid. Sorry is the wake of misdeed. It's the crippling ripple of consequence. Sorry is sadness, just as knowing is sadness. Sorry is sometimes self-pity. But Sorry, really, is not about you. It's theirs to take or leave.

Sorry means you leave yourself open, to embrace or to ridicule or to revenge. Sorry is a question that begs forgiveness, because the metronome of a good heart won't settle until things are set right and true. Sorry doesn't take things back, but it pushes things forward. It bridges the gap. Sorry is a sacrament. It's an offering. A gift.
-- by Craig Silvey

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"Then I guess I'll have to keep showing you how I feel about you until you actually believe it."
For a moment he thought he'd gone too far, that she'd shut down and retreat from him emotionally, but instead she studied him with an almost wistful expression.
"How do you feel about me?"
"You're the only woman I want, and I'd do anything for you."

Except for the prologue, Rekindled picks right up where Extinguished left off. Still, you could read Rekindled as a standalone if you don’t mind to read out of order. Keep in mind that all the secondary characters have been introduced in the previous books, though.

Alex met Grace four years ago while working another high-risk job in the Middle East for the NSA (National Security Agency) and fell hard and fast for her. However, due to an incident they separated 'involuntarily'. Now Alex is back in Islamabad, Pakistan. A terrorist and his minions are keeping him and the Titanium Security team on the go. As chance would have it, Alex spotted Grace a few days ago on a market in Peshawar and can't stop thinking about her. His source confirmed that she's residing in Islamabad for the next few days. Grace's professional background is very interesting. She's got a PhD in chemistry and is a chemical weapons inspector for the UN. Of course her stay in Pakistan is work-related; she has no intention whatsoever to get involved with Alex once more. Regardless, Alex is very determined to make amends and win her heart all over again. Although before that will happen, Alex and Grace have a few barriers and dangerous situations to overcome.

Rekindling old but not forgotten feelings…
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"Alex. Quit stripping Grace with your eyes and get in here."

Since I read and loved Absolution and the fifty-year-old main characters Luke and Em, I was asking Kaylea to write more stories about mature H/h. So when I started to read her Titanium Security series and set my eyes on Alex for the first time, I found myself in the same position again. Asking Kaylea to please, please give Alex his own story. I gotta tell you I was on pins and needles to get my hands on Alex and Grace's book. Come to think of it, I’m pretty much game to put my mouth and hands all over Alex’s delectable body and I wouldn’t mind to enjoy his expertise, sharing some out-of-breath moments with that gorgeous man myself. I make no bones about the fact that I'm a sucker for older, mature main characters, especially when it comes to my heroes. Alex fits the bill but the same can be said about Grace as well. Alex is 51 and Grace is 46. Come on, who wants to read more stories that feature main protagonists in their 40s and 50s? Newsflash, publishers, I’m not the only one! We’re all getting older and I believe that reading tastes change which, in fact, is very positive. Despite all the big sales of YA/NA books, I believe there is a market out there for my kind of book. My kind of hero. A very sexy and mature man in his early fifties who craves a second chance at love. And he's ready to give anything and everything to get his Grace back.

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Alex does it right…
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Besides, let's not forget that sex gets better with age--comparable to good wine. Believe me, Alex gives fabulous head, and I’d volunteer any day. Rekindled is an action-packed, fast-paced and emotional read with some angst that ends on a very beautiful note. The sex scenes are steamy and enticingly written by Kaylea Cross. It goes without saying that Grace and Alex share some intense chemistry and their longing and passion for each other is very palpable. Although Grace doesn’t make it too easy for Alex to win her back, and he was quite ready to beg to enfold her in his arms again. I loved the beautiful final chapter in which Alex showed his best side; he was charming and teasing as all get out. And the epilogue was the icing on the cake. No, scratch that. The icing on the cake was the final chapter and then the author decided to add some chocolate sprinkles on top of the icing when she wrote the epilogue. Fair enough.


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What I especially loved about Alex is the fact that while he clearly holds the reins in the bedroom, he’s not ashamed of making himself vulnerable when he interacts with Grace. Of course he’s the expected tough alpha male on the job, though. Near the end is an angsty and very dramatic scene that proved how much these two love each other. I know this scene was very “apt”, yet the author accomplished to surprise me and left me rather shocked. Also, all the MCs of the previous books made several cameos and got a chance to do something good. Gage…you know I love you, you sexy beast! As I see it, Kaylea writes some of the BEST mature heroes. Luke, anyone? And with Alex she added another gorgeous specimen to her collection.

Alex couldn’t take back what happened four years ago, but he could offer an apology to bridge the gap and push things forward. Like the citation states, sorry is an offering and a gift all at the same time and Grace accepted it, washing away the pain and sadness, refilling the hole in her heart for a well deserved second chance at love.

"I XXXX with you that night, and every day since." Maybe not physically, but his heart hadn't known the difference. "I've missed you so goddamn much," he said hoarsely.
He caught the flash of surprise and tenderness in her eyes, then she put her free hand over his, pressing it against her cheek. Holding him there. "I missed you too. But I'm here now."

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Recommended read. 

My ranking
Singed (Gage)
Rekindled (Alex)
Ignited (Hunter)
Extinguished (Blake)
Burned (Sean)

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

**ARC courtesy of Kaylea Cross in exchange for an honest review**

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/797216534?book_show_action=false

Blatantly similar to...

A Reason To Breathe - C.P.  Smith

1 star. DNF at 57 %. Review posted January 23, 2014

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It would be very welcome…
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I did something I don’t really like to do. I started reading A Reason to Breathe without having checked out a negative review. On the one hand, this book came highly recommended and on the other hand, there wasn’t a single negative review to be found on GR. I’m very sorry to say that A Reason to Breathe failed the baba-bing test big time. I won’t bore you with a synopsis. Just let me cut to the chase of the matter.

In a nutshell
Neither the bland and unoriginal writing nor the annoying characters appealed to me.

Even though Jenn was married for ages, she fell hard and fast for Jack when she set her eyes on him for the first time. It goes without saying that she became his babe the very same day. I. Just. Did. Not. Buy. That. After a little incident--the very same day they met--she clung to him, sat on his lap, cried and he said “I got you, babe.” It’s just extremely unrealistic and oh-so stereotypical.

On the one hand, Jenn was all gaga over Jack and on the other hand, she was totally indecisive. I want him, I don’t want him. This can’t go any further yadda yadda yadda. I was 14 % done when Jack’s grin and all the babe here and babe there started to get on my very last nerve. He’s another one of those uber bossy, uber possessive alpha-holes who use caveman antics to woo the naïve little heroine. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great alpha but I need more than caveman speech, a constant grin and eyes going soft for the umpteenth time to feel a connection or even an attraction to said alpha. Also, give me a great alpha man any day but he must sound real to me. A caveman alpha-hole is just fantasy material, no more no less, and it’s a fantasy I can live without, thank you very much.

Well, and Sheriff Jack is all eagle-eyed from day one when another dude might dare to look at his babe. They didn’t even have a relationship yet. Uber jealous, much? There’s no build-up whatsoever and no sexual tension. Nada. Zilch. Nichts. Würklech gar nüüt. Oh, wait, why would I need that when it’s been replaced by caveman speech. Problem solved. There was lots of shouting, barking, growling, purring (down the line) and hissing in this story which was the reason for my virtual headache. The sex simply made me roll my eyes…no further comments necessary.

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What a career leap! From the entertainment section and writing about cookies, Jenn jumps seamlessly to amateur sleuth--naturally without the consent of her boss. Whatever she did she was so incredibly competent…uh-huh…I might be slightly sarcastic. Let's face it, there is a vast difference between being stubborn and stupid. Jenn seems to be a candidate for the latter category. 

"Jesus, Jenny, are you sure you want to investigate this guy?"
"Oh, come on, Ben, this is fascinating, although creepy stuff." I defended.

Yes, it's very fascinating how you screwed up, Jenn.

At 26 % Jenn babe and Mandy took the cake. They went off half-cocked when they were trying (view spoiler)

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(view spoiler)

Is she for REAL? Where. Is. Your. Brain. Woman? *Baba hits head on the table. Repeatedly*

Later on she said to Jack…

(view spoiler) *facepalm*

Yeah, riiiiight, 39 is a number. It doesn't necessarily mean that someone is mature or smart.

And when Jenn had lunch (view spoiler) Gosh, how can she be so dense and clueless?

(view spoiler) *Baba nods head vigorously* Do I need to spell it out for you, Jenn? 

Clue the heck in, babe, he never had any honorable intentions when it came to you. Geez…
Well, being unsuspecting is one thing but what's even worse is the fact that she didn't quit after the (view spoiler) I don't know what to say when I'm confronted with this kind of brainless heroine. ---> Great basis to build a manufactured drama. There is that, right?

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The main protagonists incl. all the characterizations, the writing style and the lack of proper editing are blatantly similar to…um…I think it’s best I don’t comment.

"Thought you were a typical nosey in your face reporter, then you showed me a different side and I liked what I saw. But Babe, gotta tell ya, this innocent side, the one where you have no clue to the fact that you could have any man in this town and still you'd be settling, total fucking turn-on; and you think I'm gonna settle for friends? Fuck no."

"And now on top of sweet, I get innocent too? No way, Jenn, no fucking way."

"Sweetness, I don't give a fuck if he's pissed or inconvenienced, you kiss me like that again, and I'll make the whole fuckin' town wait." Grinning at him, 'cause how could I not after that, I giggled like the adolescent schoolgirl he'd turned me into, and for some odd reason that made him grin.

“Jenn, had my mouth between your legs, my cock buried deep more than once in the past six hours, believe me when I say, I. Don’t. Share. (…)”

Also, we have the obligatory ex who's freaking out. She cries, sobs, screams and hits and of course (view spoiler) Just the whole shebang. Sound familiar?
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Of course the heroine has been thrown through the air. I think every woman should have the pleasure of experiencing that thrilling moment just once. In. Her. Life. Again, sound familiar?
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"Bed it is," barely left his mouth, as I was thrown through the air and landed on his bed. Jack landed on top of me, looked at his watch and grinned. 

Jenn (view spoiler) *Baba takes a deep breath*
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What the heck is up with all those (misplaced) semi-colons? It's very distracting. Here are some examples to your perusal:

Arms raised; I could still hear Jack shouting comments.

"(…) That being said; I'm gonna do my damnedest to try and keep up with you so I can catch you when you fall. But honest to god, right about now, locking you in a cell sounds pretty damned good to me; (…)"

“(…)I mean; I get that, you look like you do and wear a badge, why limit yourself to one woman? So I get it, really; I do, but I'm not (…)”

Our food came and just as the reviews suggested; it was outstanding; we'd all had steak, big surprise, and it was thick and delicious.

Oh and let's not forget that specific situation…semi-colons topped off by Jenn's keen wit. *cough* 

Then it hit me; Jack was a sheriff; he carried a gun. 

Amazing, Jenn. Truly amazing.

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Unfortunately, A Reason to Breathe has to go on my shelf books-everyone-loved-but-baba. I'm sure it will find some good company in order to not feel lonely. It's safe to say that I will steer clear of Ms. Smith's future books.



If you want to read my spoilers then check out to GR link below.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/826180267?comment=91291049&page=2#comment_91291049

The beginning of the end...

Secrets (PsyCop) - Jordan Castillo Price

3.5 stars.***Review posted January 20, 2013

(Jacob) Baba is being pensive…the beginning of the end.
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It was good and I liked it. Yet there’s no getting round it to point out that I felt somewhat underwhelmed—even bored at times. I guess I just expected…more? In fact, there was nothing earth-shattering about all those little secrets even though I know that all the talk about Heliotrope Station and Vic not (view spoiler)will lead us to the next book Camp Hell. I'd be lying if I said that I was partial to the plot, though. It was just 'meh'. Plus, I’m honestly getting a bit fed up on the si-no game. Also, Vic really pissed me off for the first time. How can he (view spoiler)Shit. I mean, crap. Vic really seems to have (view spoiler) Like I said in one of my updates, lying by omission or not being totally honest goes both ways. Sure, Jacob made a mistake. However, I gotta give him credit for being absolutely star struck by Vic. Have you seen how Jacob practically eats Vic up with his eyes? I love the way he looks at Vic cos it's always so intense. As I see it, Jacob is all gaga over Vic and (view spoiler) Not cool.

Enough of the negative points. Of course there were some really great scenes, too. At the risk of sounding shallow, I don’t mind telling you that I loved the smexin’. Whatever Vic and Jacob do, be it against a wall, in the kitchen, in the bathroom or between the sheets…I love it. They can keep on sucking face and c@ck or whatever else makes them happy cos they sure make me happy.Hawt!

My absolute favorite scene (no sex, I assure you):

Jacob cupped my cheek with his palm and ran his thumb along my cheekbone. His eyes were so dark and intense, and he stared at me so hard that I'd swear he was trying to forge a telepathic connection. 
Jacob rocked his forehead against mine. I couldn't focus on his eyes--he was too close. But his breathing, that was starting to fill up my whole awareness. It'd gone deep and rough, like it did when he was about to nail me to the nearest convenient surface.
"Look guys…" said Carolyn.
Jacob crushed his mouth against mine, forced his tongue between my lips. He slipped his free hand around my back and pulled me against him. And there it was: a new kink. I thought it was really fucking hot for him to maul me at work. Exhibitionism. You're never too old to learn.
"Oh, come on," Carolyn whined. "When I want to see that, I'll rent Brokeback Mountain."
Jacob pulled back so that we could see eye to eye, and he was breathing so deep that his nostrils flared. I could feel the rise and fall of his chest against mine. "I am here for you," I told him.

Freaking intense. I loved it.

Overall verdict
A pretty good book but I didn’t get my money’s worth. 4.43 euro is too much for 156 pages because the storyline didn't knock my socks off and Secrets ends with a cliffie that practically taunts you to buy the next book.



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

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/812980422?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Clichéd and shallow to the nth and major editing issues.

A Twist of Fate (The Lexi Series, #1) - T. Gephart

0 stars. DNF at 50 %. Review completed January 19, 2014

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In a nutshell: Clichéd and shallow to the nth. Cheesy cardboard writing. The heroine is an annoying cow and the hero isn't anyone to write home about either.

I will deliberately refrain from dropping the f-bomb or any other filthy language in my review except for a few gifs because Lexi's filthy mouth is bad enough.

As I saw it, the plot was all over the place in the beginning of the story. Lexi picks Matt up at the airport and the cheese starts to flow. FYI, Matt is not the hero.

"Sorry, Lexi." His low gravelly voice caressed my name, sending a shiver right to my core. "I'm Matt," he crooned, his smooth accent rolling off his tongue like morning dew off my windscreen. 

I'm stunned that Lexi is still alive after having endured so many shocks of electricity.

I pulled my hand away from a shock of electricity and spun on my heel, leading him (Matt not Alex) to the parking garage walkway. 

And a couple hours later she's already daydreaming when she hears his voice behind her. No, scratch that. She wanted to jump his bones before she even met him. 

"A truer word never spoken" I heard it from over my shoulder…that voice! I didn't need to turn around as I could see from Anna's wide-eyed expression and open jaw that Matt was standing directly behind me. Mmmmm I'd love for him to take me from behind, feel his strong arms reaching around and pulling me close to his strong athletic frame. "Mind if I join you ladies? he continued, oblivious to my hardening nipples beneath my jacket. 

And then later on Matt turns her down and that pisses poor Lexi off.

"Why, is there something wrong with me? Are you not attracted to me?" I shot back indignantly.
Anger once again flared inside me, I was not used to rejection
(Baba: Get used to it, bitch.) I was not a MISTAKE, nor would I ever be. How dare he! (Baba: How dare you? Ugh.) It had been a long time since a man had turned me down. (Baba: Someone should bitch-slap you. Any volunteers? Take me, take me.)

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I was actually beginning to wonder when I would be meeting the "hero" for the first time. Would he be as disastrous as Lexi? Unfortunately, he didn't accomplish to make my panties wet. Then again I couldn't have cared less. 

At 23 % Lexi sets her eyes for the first time on Alex. Within seconds the juice starts to flow.

I felt myself shiver with excitement just from the intonation of his voice. He could make me come just by looking at me; I could already feel my panties getting moist.
"I'm Lexi" was all I could manage.
(Baba: It's too bad when your wet panties accomplish to deactivate your brain cells. Tsk-tsk...)
"Lexi. Well, it is a pleasure." He lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it. My insides quivered. Seriously, is it possible to achieve an orgasm just from a kiss? 'Cause I was pretty close right now. 


Of course his face is astonishingly handsome.

Before Lexi met Alex there was a life and death situation and good ole Lexi had to contemplate how sexy the dude is. Did he work out at the gym? Come on! It's not realistic. *insert major eye roll moment*


"As for your generous compensation I can also assure you that I have never nor will I ever be anyone's WHORE so do NOT treat me like one," I barked. 

I quote another one word for word.

"Oh I understand perfectly Asshole. I can see your posturing a mile away. I have been in this game a lot longer than you think. This is where you whip out your dick to show me how BIG it is…like that is supposed to intimate me." 

Or this…

"So you need to deal with me directly from now on because I will not speak to this disrespectful motherfucker any longer, and if this doesn't suit you - then you can go fuck yourself. The whole lot of you can GO FUCK YOURSELVES." My disappointment at this insulting behavior of my idols was fueling my anger and I knew I was being over the top but I just couldn't stop.
"Lexi, I didn't know…this isn't from us...Sol?! What the fuck man??" James was clearly confused about how this had played out but was quickly catching up. He grabbed my arm to try and hinder my exit.

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Wow, I can't believe that she's a very successful employee. Lexi, before you open your filthy mouth you should try and start being a little bit more diplomatic. Activate your brain, think, do some research to clarify things and then speak like a civilized person. Lexi swears, spats, barks, growls, breaths, purrs, snarls, snaps, pouts etc. like a world champion.

Let me get something off my chest. A heroine who's swearing like a sailor isn't strong. If anything, she seems to gloss over her insecurities. She obviously needs to make up for other shortcomings regarding her character by opening her filthy mouth at all times. Lexi is blunt, crude, vulgar and choleric as all get out and completely unlikable. I should stab her with a needle and then she would deflate instantly like an old, wrinkled balloon. Excuse me for being blunt myself but she's an irritating and stupid cow who wouldn't find her brain cells in the darkness if several flashlights would shine on her. Lexi lacks some serious class. Plus, she's very fixated on physical appearances. She knows that she isn't ugly and yet she can't believe that she's beautiful. Of course she needs to work out harder cos she isn't satisfied with her hot body either. Lexi, get over your hang-ups already and I'd appreciate it if you could shut down your giggling. It's getting on my last nerve.

It had been fast and frenzied and I'd never had sex fully clothed before. It was HOT. I pulled down my hem. 

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What a revelation. Do I care? Nope. BTW, poorly written sex scenes are a turn-off.

I'm not a native English speaker, yet it is very obvious that A Twist of Fate needs major proofreading and editing. Someone needs to take care of spelling errors, missing words etc. Two examples: intimate me should be intimidate me and barley should be barely. And what's up with all those multiple exclamation marks (i.e. FUCK YOU!!!) and question marks (What the hell?? Was he gay??) and all those words written in capitals (i.e. HATE, FUCK, FUCK YOU, INSANE, KNOW, WHORE, NOT) and weird noises like Mmmmmm…Aghhhhhh…Aggghhhhhh, Ahhhh…Ahhhh, Uggghhhhhh, Ooooh, Ohhhhhh baby…ahhhhh? Basically there are way too many exclamation marks. All those things are very distracting and downright irritating.

Reading this book was a very bad twist of fate and a waste of my precious time because nothing appealed to me. Once again my bum secured itself another window seat in BoredomVille. Add in the fact that we took a turn into Sugarville as well and I might be inclined to place a standing order. Not. The author's writing is extremely amateurish and stilted. Lucky me, I got it for free. Looking at the very high average rating, A Twist of Fate goes straight on my shelf books-everyone-loved-but-baba. Read at your own risk.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/826182475?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating

Nina Lane at her very best! Dean-a-licious…a fantastic dirty talker and a knight in shining armor!

Awaken - Nina Lane

5++++ chivalrous, beautiful and intensely erotic stars.*****Review completed December 12, 2013

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Awaken was my first beta read and I'm very grateful for having experienced Liv and Dean's journey come to an end at first hand. Thank you, Nina, you're an awesome author and a wonderful woman! A special thankyou goes to my dear friend, Jen. Doing the beta read with you was a true blast! <3
I don't tell you any news when I say that I loved all three books, yet it's obvious that Awaken is my favorite, regardless of my beta read.

Since I started to read Dean and Liv’s journey in Arouse, Nina achieved to deliver a very compelling story and character growth and came to an extraordinary conclusion with Awaken. Liv and Dean have come full circle. Even though I beta read Awaken, it doesn’t get any more honest and objective when I say this is an outstanding erotic romance book (emphasis on erotic andromance). I mean it with all my heart and I love Dean and Awaken to pieces. This is Nina Lane at her very best! I know Nina did all the writing and she deserves all the praise and Awaken is definitely her baby. Yet a tiny part of me is very proud that I got the chance to make a great book even better, and I’m very happy about the outcome. In conclusion, this is also a little bit my baby (and Jen's of course) and I feel protective about this book. Nina, Jen and I discussed Awaken extensively and after the first round of beta reads, Nina performed some major rewrites which proved to be very advantageous for Liv as well as Liv and Dean as a couple. 

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Fans of the Spiral of Bliss series know already that Liv and Dean’s happiness but also Dean’s career are threatened by “certain circumstances”. For the sake of readers who have yet to read the series, I prefer to not get into details here. Suffice it to say that a lot of things are going on in this conclusion and it ties up all the loose ends perfectly. As a matter of fact, Awaken leaves nothing to be desired.
On the one hand, this third book deals with a specific, nasty problem. On the other hand, Awaken depicts an Olivia who evolves, thrives and—in the end—truly shines. This is Liv's awakening and she starts to stand on her own. Also, she's ready to take a risk, to make her own decisions and refuses to accept Dean’s safety net. As a consequence, she evolves from the somewhat shy and innocent Liv to a mature and much more decisive woman. It pleases me tremendously to tell you that I loved Olivia without reservation in this story arc. She has come a long way and really deserves my praise.

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Dean is my knight in shining armor. Looking at Awaken, he's so chivalrous and honorable, protective, selfless, handsome and sexy as all get out. Whatever is thrown in their path, he'd go to hell and back to give Liv anything and everything she needs. Whatever the cost, Dean never flinched from doing what was best for their relationship. His love for Liv is so incredibly deep, I always feared for him that a probable loss of the love of his life would destroy him irrevocably. No worries though, there is no such thing. So, here we are at the end of their journey and what an exceptional journey it was. Please keep your tissues at the ready—I promise you’ll need them.

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Dean is a fabulous dirty talker and this particular scene went down in my book history!

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"Soon you're getting on your knees in front of me," I tell her. "Naked except for tight cotton panties that rub against your pussy. You're going to squeeze your pretty tits together so I can push my c@ck between them and f@ck them. Thrusting into that tight, damp valley all the way up to your throat. I'll shoot hard all over you, like a goddamn geyser. My come will drip off your tight nipples before I make you rub it in. Then you're going to lick my c@ck clean, swiping your tongue all over the shaft, taking it all the way into your greedy mouth."

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“Do you still want me to touch myself?”
Holy f@ck, do I ever.
“Do it,” I tell her.

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The love between Dean and Liv is unique and their intense emotional connection will make your heart pound and race. Awaken is an intensely passionate conclusion to their journey, and I'm convinced that this story is going to make your fingers and toes curl. It's advisable to have a bucket of cold water at the ready, so you can cool off now and then. Honestly, the sex scenes are fantastic and scorchingly hot! Witnessing their erotic encounters is not only a physical experience, you'll be swamped by many feelings and deep emotions. You can feel their bodies tremble, the air is saturated with heat and sparkling electricity, their strained breaths are palpable. The damp skin, the drops of sweat trickling down bare skin…it's mesmerizing. The thrill of anticipation, all the sensations, the blazing heat that surrounds these two whenever their bodies are melding together…it's going to leave you breathless. Liv and Dean's chemistry is truly explosive and the urgency, need, lust, passion and longing will push you over the edge. Also, I'm sure that the sexy dirty talk will make you all hot and bothered. Don't forget to breathe otherwise Liv and Dean are going to drive you senseless. *fans self*

I'd bend over for Dean anytime!
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This is another little sample of one of my favorite scenes.

„What are you going to do with all those pictures?“ Liv asks.
“Plaster them on the ceiling like stars so I can look up at them at night.”
“Aw.” She smiles. “Good one.”

Dean you're my star! *swoon*
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Awaken has been beautifully and compellingly penned by Nina Lane and it shines in its various and intriguing facets. Excellent plot, great and witty dialogue, some well-placed banter and first and foremost two very likable main protagonists made this story a huge all around winner. This is a labor of love, I could feel it and I will always hold it very, very close to my heart.

The way Liv and Dean love each other is primal, visceral and intense. It’s like breathing because it’s so vital and every beat of their hearts is pure devotion and strengthens their unbreakable bond. Awaken provided not only scorchingly hot sex scenes, I could also swoon over many intimate and utterly romantic moments between Liv and Dean. Fortune favored...

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Readers, you're in for a real treat. Savor and cherish every loving and titillating moment of this story because it doesn’t get any better.

Steam: 4 to 4.5

Nina, this is for you…

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Reading order:


Highly recommended.

Release date January 7th, 2014

All quotes approved by author

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/616883211?book_show_action=false