‘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.

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‘Everything for Her’ (For Her #1) by Alexa Riley

everything for herNope, nope and nope.

I did not like this book at all and it was only because I was hoping it would get better that I kept reading. I’ll let you in on a secret, it didn’t get better.

Generally basis of this story is that Miles finds the love of his life at the age of 22 but she’s only 17, so he plans out her life for the next 5 years to make sure she will be his.

Can you say controlling much?

Mallory (love of his life) is an orphan and only has one friend and is just looking to be loved. Understandable. But she’s just a massive pushover. When she finds out what Miles has been controlling her life for 5 years she is upset and holds out being mad for a week before she falls back into his arms.

I got that Miles was obsessed and all in love with Mallory, but was Mallory? or was Mallory just taken with finally having someone who cherished her and it wouldn’t have mattered who?! I know I sound super cynical but that’s how this book made me feel.

Also, the entire book alludes to the fact that Miles has a horrible dad. Miles wants revenge and the reason why they have so much security is because Miles’ dad will come after them. Okay, i was hoping this story line would be more juicy.  But enter Miles’ dad stage left and it’s all over after 2 pages. No real revenge or anything. How boring!

Furthermore – what happened to practising safe sex?!

This book just did not raise to the hopes that I had and I don’t think I will be back to read any more of Alexa Riley.

My rating 1.5/5.

 

‘Beyond The Cage’ by Alana Sapphire

beyond the cageMMA fighter meets girl and so begins a beautiful relationship.

Cameron doesn’t talk but some how he and Jasmine seem to communicate just fine. (wink, wink)

The story is not at all focused around fighting. Its more about them outside of the ring – hence the title. I felt like it took me a little while to really get into the story but once it reeled me in I was happy to keep reading.

Alana is certainly not afraid to add the sex scenes and I mean once she started they didn’t really seem to stop. Perhaps they were there to fill in for all the ‘talking’ that wasn’t happening.

It did feel like someone called “dinner time” on Alana, as the story was wrapped up really quick. One minute we are all loved up and lots of sex scenes and BOOM a million things have happened and we are at the epilogue. Weird, but at the same time probably necessary as the story was directionless at times.

Look, I enjoyed the story. I didn’t have to think too much and some of the scenes were pretty hot. It was the right story for me to read to take me away from the stresses of work life.  Also bonus, it’s nice to read a standalone book every now and then.

My rating 3/5.

‘Darkness Revealed’ (Guardians of Eternity #4) by Alexandra Ivy

darkness revealedI loved, loved, loved this book….

Usually, by the fourth book in a series things are getting a bit boring and repetitive and you are questioning whether you really do want to continue on. But, alas this did not happen. Cue big cheesy grin!

Book 4 sees us introduced to Anna and Cezar and they’ve met before. They had a raunchy night together and then never saw each other again for another 200 years.

The chemistry between these 2 is fantastic. Cezar sounds like a very impressive vampire and he’s devotion to Anna is heart felt. Mostly I like that he has attitude and isn’t afraid to show it. Plus bonus he has some pretty good powers on him. Can’t wait to see what that means going forward.

But the true highlight is Anna. I loved her. She’s sweet, brave and a fierce woman. I think the below quote sums her up.

“I’m Anna Randal, a woman who is intelligent, capable and a damn fine lawyer. I’m mate to Conde Cezar and distant granddaughter of King Arthur. And just as importantly , I’m the woman who is destined to kick your ass.”

Another great thing about Anna is she doesn’t just let the ‘powers that be’ run her life. She takes charge and gets what she wants, i.e. Lots of bed time with Cezar – and who wouldn’t want that??!

Woohoo…. well done Alexandra Ivy you have written a great fourth book and have inspired me to read on. Can’t wait to read move about these sexy vampires and their adorable mates.

My Rating 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.

 

‘Darkness Everlasting’ (Guardians of Eternity #3) by Alexandra Ivy

Cripes!darkenss everlasting

How many times can that word be used in a story?? Seriously?! If I had the patience I would’ve counted them. It’s almost like Alexandra used the good old ‘Find and Replace’ for any swear word or exclamation!

Anywhoo…. lets move on. Now that I have gotten my whinge out of the way.

Another good story in the series and finally a vampire not afraid to sink his fangs into someone.

This story focuses on Darcy and Styx. Styx is the newly appointed Anasso (King of the vampires) and he doesn’t seem to get out much. However, he’s trying to keep the peace between all the different demons out there.

Enter the werewolves – Finally! And Darcy. The introduction of the werewolves into the series is great as now we get a greater pool of characters and problems. And personally I can’t wait to read more about Salvatore (king of the werewolves).

Characters from the previous book re-appear, which I love. Can’t ever have enough of Viper. Plus Levet, the gargoyle is back and is as funny as ever!

Three books into the series and I’m finding that the books are following a pattern and because of that I tended to read ahead in this book. Probably time to read something from a different author.

My rating 4/5

‘Embrace The Darkness’ (Guardians of Eternity #2) by Alexandra Ivy

embrace the darkness (2)“You are destined to be a thorn in my side for all of eternity.”

I’d suggest this roughly sums up the book.

We met both of the main characters in book one of this series. Viper is the almighty clan leader and Shay is a half human/demon. To be precise she is a Shalott, which makes her blood irresistible to all vampires.

Viper buys her at a slave market… I know romantic right. However there is a ‘big bad’ trying to take Shay for their own use. So they slowly fall in love, along with the necessary kidnapping, torture and killing of ‘big bad’.

The story is predictable but written well and is fast paced. It’s one of the reasons I am enjoying this series. Action, paranormal and romance all in one, with neither of them outweighing the other.

Viper is swoon worthy in that dangerous Mr.Grey way.

However I think the better character here is Shay. She’s a strong willed, independent and brave woman who can put Viper and other vampires in their place. I liked that and I hope to see more of her in the series.

But prize for the best character in the book goes to Levet. A gargoyle. He’s great, a little nutty but is a great side-kick for Shay.

2 books into a series and I am happy to continue further down the rabbit hole with these characters.

My Rating 4/5.

 

‘When Darkness Comes’ (Guardians of Eternity) by Alexandra Ivy

when darkness comesPicked this bad boy off the local library book shelf. It was an impulse borrow, as I was looking for something light to read that didn’t take it’s self too seriously.

Well, this certainly delivered. I really enjoyed this book.

Story line is basic. Girl meets gorgeous man (who turns out to be vampire), attraction heats up between them and then BAM! She becomes the magical Chalice and demons want to kill her to unleash the ‘dark Prince’. And of course the gorgeous man is her champion.

The story has of course has been done to death (pardon the pun), however I thought Alexandra Ivy moved this story in a quick pace so you can’t get too bored with anything. There is plenty of action and of course the chemistry between Dante and Abby is well written.

The only one annoying thing in this book for me, was how often Abby had to think/say how perfect Dante was looking even thought she looked like sh$t. We get it he’s perfect and you are a slob. Move on… he still loves you.

This book has encouraged me to continue with the series.

My rating is 4/5.

‘The Honeyfield Bequest’ by Anna Jacobs

honeyfield bequesthmmm… what to say about this one??!

It was an easy book to read, kept me in engaged throughout but I feel like this story was a bit “meh” for me.

Perhaps the storyline was not entirely what I was expecting. The blurb gave me the impression that Kathleen was going to be a force of nature, highly independent and with spirit. Yes, she did have these things but she still got married and became shackled to her husband and kids for the story.

What also surprised me in this story was the mention that some characters had some ‘special gifts’. The ability to know things, see ghosts and to find things without looking. After further research, I realised that I was probably reading these books in the wrong order (if there is an order). In a previous series called ‘Greyladies’ I assume the ‘special gifts’ are discussed in greater detail.

This book will end up being a part of a new series, as this book certainly laid the foundations for it and although I didn’t hate this book I don’t think I will be back for the rest.

My rating 2.5/5

 

‘Succubus Blues’ (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead

succubus bluesI want to start by saying I loved and adored the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. So it would be safe to say I held very high hopes and standards for this series.

We begin the series by meeting Georgina, who is a succubus.

What is a succubus I hear you ask? Well it’s a female demon who can appear as a very attractive women and will seduce men in order to feed off their life energy. Thus stealing their soul for the purpose of Hell.

It’s a great premise for a story. Especially when Georgina is not enjoying her life as an immortal. She wants love and to be able to find someone to share it with, without taking their soul.

This story focuses on the fact that something is going around killing immortals. Even though you shouldn’t be able to do that. Georgina being the immortal Nancy Drew gets on the case and begins to come up with her own ideas and suspects. While doing this she is dating, dancing and trying very hard to not having feelings for Roman and the sexy writer Seth.

But this is where I got stuck with the book. It’s a really great storyline but it took me 3/4 of the book to really get into it. For the first half I was actually contemplating put this on the ‘Don’t not finish’ pile. However, I gave Richelle the benefit of the doubt and kept going.

I’m glad I did, as I felt the story picked up after that and I started to enjoy it. Towards the end I actually found myself getting more interested in the other characters in the book. Like Hugh (the Imp), Carter (the Angel) and of course Peter & Cody (vampires) and I look forward to reading more about their antics going forward.

Georgina is still not a character that I’m fully in love with yet and perhaps this is why I struggled at the start with the story. But as we progressed further into the story we learnt more about her history and how she came to be a succubus. Slowly, I’m beginning to thaw on my opinion of her. However it could still take a few books.

Seth (the writer and love interest) is a great character and I found him to be an important mortal character in a demon heavy story. He’s calm, thoughtful and has a strength that Georgina needs in her life.

Who knows if Georgina can find the relationship she is after, but I’m hooked enough to read the next book in the series.

My rating is 3.5/5