The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series #1 – 3.5 by Lisa Renee Jones

amy bensenI picked up the first book in this series at the local library. The sticker the librarians had place on it was “Adult erotica” and I thought golly you don’t see that often in a public library.

Upon reading the first book, i was struck with the notion that if this is what the library classed as erotic then “fifty shades of grey” would potentially make their hair go grey and their toes curl. hahaha….

Fair warning there are a few steamy scenes in all these books but nothing too scandalous.

The series follows Amy Bensen who has been on the run for the last 6 years. For what we are unsure just that she doesn’t trust easily. Enter stage left, Liam Stone. He’s a billionaire and upon first sight he must have Amy for himself. The series follows them as they tackle the mystery of Amy and why she is in hiding and more importantly will she ever be safe.

I enjoyed the first book (Escaping Reality) a lot. the story was set up well and I was enjoying getting to see the dynamic of all the characters. Towards the end of the first book i think Lisa realised she need to move things along and for a reason I’m unsure of things began to speed up.

The second book (Infinite Possibilities) felt like it never truly slowed down and at times I needed to re-read things to 100% understand what had happened. I didn’t really love this one in the series. This book felt like the weakest in the set.

Book 3 (Forsaken) was probably my favourite. It focuses on Amy’s brother; Chad. I liked Chad a lot. Probably because he’s the bad boy to Liam’s ‘prince charming’. This book focuses more on why they are running and how things happened. This felt like it filled in some of the gaps. However it was still too fast for me.

I found it hard to believe that something the size of a pencil eraser was going to produce enough clean energy for the whole world. But i’m an accountant so what would I know.

Book 3.5 – Unbroken finishes the whole thing off and brings it to a conclusion.

I enjoyed reading this whole series and that is evident in the fact that i read them all within one week. Adult erotica they are not by they are a nice easy read with a good mix of adventure, danger, love and the all essential naughty scenes.

My rating for this series is 3/5.

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‘It Ends with Us’ by Colleen Hoover

it ends with usThere is nothing scarier then when a friend recommends a book to you. Book recommendations speak volumes about the person and you never want to tell your friend that you didn’t enjoy a book they loved.

So with that in mind, I was a little nervous when this book was suggested as my next read.

But, wow! I loved the shit out of this book and if it had have been up to me I would have stayed home from work to finish it. That’s how good it was.

We meet Lily and Ryle at the beginning and they are both solid characters and you do love both of them. Lily is a bit more complex, as she is dealing with the death of her abusive father and so she is reading old journal entries and of course her first love is in them. Atlas.

As Ryle and Lily’s relationship blossoms (pardon the pun), we find out Atlas is in Boston with them.

Oh no, love triangle ahead….

Alas, no….. Colleen Hoover is smarter than that. She creates a story for these 3 characters that makes you question what is right and wrong and what you would do in their situations. (i’m trying to avoid spoilers). This is a sign of a good writer. Someone who can make your emotions swing backwards and forwards. The story is well written and at times you almost feel like you can feel their pain.

On a lighter note, there are a lot of references to Ellen Degeneres and Finding Nemo. I actually really liked that. It added a lighter side to an otherwise darker story.

Just Keep Swimming.

Put simply, this book was great and I will not hesitate to take future recommendations from this friend or to read other books from Colleen.

My Rating 5/5.

‘Lover Awakened’ (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward

lover awakened book 3I know, I’m late to the party on this series. But gee am I glad I finally got around to them.

Lover Awakened is book 3 and it would be safe to say I loved the first 2 books in the series and this one did not disappoint either. If anything i would say this one was probably the one i enjoyed the most.

Zsadist (the scary vampire in the Brotherhood) finally finds something worth living for and it comes in the form of the lovely Bella.

The whole back story of Z as a blood slave was interesting and added that extra layer to the character. I liked that he wasn’t 2 dimensional in his hate and anger. I’ve noticed that all the ‘brothers’ have some sort of burden to carry with them, I suppose that’s why we love them as they have to overcome their sh$t in order to find their mate.

The other reason I loved this book was because I felt like other characters got a move along in the story too. Clearly they are all being set up for their own stories and I’m ok with that. I look forward to reading and learning more about John, V, Phury and of course Tohr.

I can see why this series sits on a lot of different top 100 lists. Its written well, the characters are developed well and truthful after 3 books I’ve started to really care for the characters. I want to see their happiness achieved. The last 2 pages of this book brought a smile to my face as it was not expected but very much welcomed as the ending.

I look forward to reading more of this series in the future and sharing more smiles and tears with these beloved characters. Thank you J.R. Ward for writing this series.

My rating is 5/5.

‘Lima Nights’ by Marie Arana

lima nightsThe book is set in Peru (which I assume is meant to be a draw card) and is centred around Carlos and Maria. Carlos is happily married with 2 children and enjoys the occasional lady on the side. In dances, Maria (she’s 16) and they begin an affair. Carlos’ clever wife works it out and leaves Carlos. We then jump 20 years into the future where Carlos and Maria are still together but not happy.

Upon reading the above blurb I thought this would be a great character study piece. How wrong I was. The first half of the story was enjoyable and I liked hearing about the differences in their lives and how they came together.

However the step forward 20 years was disappointing. Both characters were almost unrecognisable and I really couldn’t bring myself to care about their welfare one bit. There was certainly no character development. Perhaps Marie Arana just wasn’t sure how to treat her characters 20 years on?!

I was glad when this book ended, as now I am free to read something else. I’m just very disappointed that I have been left with this ‘nothing’ feeling about the book. I have no strong feelings either way on this book and truthfully I can’t even tell you what the purpose of the story was and that’s a sad state to be in.

Anyway, on wards and upwards. Fingers crossed the next book is a winner!

My Rating 2/5.