Monday, September 14, 2015

Review: Sins of My Father by Lisa Cardiff

Sins of my Father (Black Brothers #1)Sins of my Father by Lisa Cardiff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Archer Black


My Review:

I would like to start this review by thanking Lisa Cardiff for writing a 'revenge on a senator in Washington plotline' in the right way. I luckily found this book after having come off reading the first two books in the Pawn series by Maya St. James. Sins of my Father managed to do what the two books in that series couldn't. Deliver a killer plotline and story with well developed characters, a hot romance and a revenge in Washington story that actually addressed its revenge and Washington themes.

Archer Black. Archer freakin' Black. How I loved thee. Seriously, ladies. This man was everything. I felt so bad for him because his reasons for wanting to take down the senator who did him wrong were so validated because the senator in this story was just so awful and manipulative and evil. It was heartbreaking to find out about Archer's backstory. Though successful as an adult, he surely had to suffer to get there. And most importantly he just oozed this powerful persona in the book. He had the looks, the talk and the attitude. He was awesome.

Langley, the female lead in this story, I also loved. Lisa Cardiff switches the point of view of the story from Langley to Archer so you get to be in both of the characters heads. Langley was a beautiful girl who easily couldve been very superficial and vapid with her settings and surroundings but she was decent to the core and very straight forward with herself about what she wanted. She had integrity that was believable.

Archer and Langley together were great. If both characters didn't have personality and strength there was no way they could've attracted each other and worked as a couple.

What I loved about Archer and Langley is that both were a bit jaded about life and love and in each other they found solid ground. They had to fight their shady and dubious surroundings and also their own misconceptions about each other and the situations they were in.

I loved the Washington setting in this book with political deception, scandal, betrayal, lies, manipulation. I felt like I was right there waiting for things to unravel in DC.

And the thing I loved the mostest (yes, that is not a word but bare with me) is that Archer Black is one of the few male characters I have ever read that makes sure that his girl pursues her dream and switches his agenda and life after all the drama in the story goes down, to make sure she is complete as a person and happy with life. That barely happens, especially with a super young, successful and handsome man like Archer. Langley could've easily been in the corner just thanking her lucky stars she found this sexy guy who had it all, but it wasn't like that. They both completed each other and grew together and supported each other. Archer Black is my new book bae/husband/ and fave male lead.

What is exciting is that this is a series and Archer has brothers that are also as troubled, complex and sexy as him. I need book two like I need air. I think its about Knox, and though Knox seemed well on the outside, I could sense a lot was going on underneath the surface.

Favorite quote:
"I never felt like I belonged to anyone. I was always on the outside looking in, waiting for someone to notice and want me.
Archer changed all of that."

My rating: 5/5

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Review: Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountains #2) by Kristen Ashley

Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2)Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



So, this is the second book in the Colorado Mountain series by Kristen Ashley and it did not disappoint. At this point, Kristen Ashley is one of those author's who have my auto-buy trust. Her books maybe are a bit lengthy but they are well rounded, have great character development and have a realistic tone to them that I really like. You feel like the characters are going through struggles that are not unimaginable.

In what seems to be Kristen Ashley fashion, we have a female lead, Lauren, who is at a point in her life that she has been deceived by all and kinda jaded in love and trying to get on with life. And then BAM in comes in an alpha male macho man who seems to be a douche but actually is about to flip her world upside down for the better because he's actually a great man.

And that man was Tate.

Are there words for Tate? I loved him. He was a badass biker bounty hunter with a heart of gold, handsome as hell, and with a heart of gold who doesn't take anyone's crap. He was really layered. He got on a rough start with Lauren, but in time their story becomes something really special.

Lauren was the opposite to Tate. More delicate, a girly girl, thoughtful, sweet but in my opinion she struggled with seeing herself in the right light.

But what's awesome about Lauren and Tate is that in a way they are both broken but awaken what is special in each other. They make each other SEE it. Not like other stories where they make it out like the main couple becomes special because the are together. In this story it's different. They are each special in their own right but forgot it along the way through life's struggles and eventually make each other see their true selves again. And that was a great message the author sent to her readers: You are special in your own right, you don't have to be with someone to have worth.

This book had it all. It was sexy, had romance, suspense, mystery and great characterization.

Btw: Tate made me laugh a couple of times out loud. A man a few words who makes cussing charming.

Favorite quote:
“You’re gonna find special, Ace.”

“Sometimes special doesn’t exist, Tate,” I told him. “And I’m okay with that.”
His lips came back to mine and when he spoke, he did it gently. “It will for you baby.”

My rating: 4.5/5

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1) by Kristen Ashley

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do I even start this review? I don't know. This book swept me off my feet. Several people had recommended Kristen Ashley to me so I decided to take a gamble on one of her books and I lucked out because THE GAMBLE was amazing.

It's no joke when people call Kristen Ashley one of the queens of romance because 'The Gamble' had it all. An outstanding heroine in search of herself. A tough mountain man with a mouth on him and sex appeal by the bucket loads. A full cast of charming characters with it's hidden villains in the mix. And the best part of this book is that the characters are incredibly layered and there was suspense and not a boring moment. So even though 'The Gamble' is a long read, it doesn't ever worn you out because there is never a dull moment.

My favorite aspect of this book is that both Nina and Max, the main characters in this story, kinda thought they had seen the best to offer in life without realizing that the best was yet to come when they met each other. Their relationship went from being rocky, to funny, to sweet and then to intense, it seems like in no time. They went through all the phases that a couple could face until they realized that they had to be together or else life wouldn't be the same.

I think what makes this book special is how drastically different Nina and Max are from each other yet how their differences balance them out and create magic. Nina comes from England to a small town in Colorado to get away and get her thoughts sorted out. She is sophisticated, classy, strong willed and thoughtful and then meets Max. Max, is a alpha macho mountain man in Colorado who is a full out guys guy who likes beer, cussing, his land, and secretly was the biggest softie ever. I don't think Max ever thought he could fall for someone like Nina but he does and it was great to read about.

Not only is Nina hiding a lot of vulnerability, but as tough as mountain man Max is, he too, has been through so much, and takes a huge gamble on Nina when he falls for her. But what's awesome is that there are moments that Nina tries to walk away from him because of the newness and fear of this relationship with Max, but he never lets her get away. He knows what he wants and he makes her see it too and face the reality of what they have.

Max and Nina now take a place in my reading heart as one of my all time fave couples. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series and read about the rest of Kristen Ashley's famous alpha men. Ladies who told me to read this book, you were right, they are the best!

My rating: 5/5

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Point of No Return by Olivia Luck

Point of No ReturnPoint of No Return by Olivia Luck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Favorite quote from this book:
"That's what falling in love is, I guess. Hurling yourself at the unknown, unsure if a safety net will catch your fall. The thing is, if you don't fall, you're souring. The chance to soar with Violet is way worth the risk of the unknown."

Let me start this review by saying that this is my first book that I have read set in the hockey world and I was not disappointed. On the surface, this book looks like the classic, player type of guy who finds a really sweet girl to finally make him a 'one woman' type of man. And it is that in a sense, but it also is so much more. This book is about finding your voice in the world, finding meaning and overcoming grief.

The character development in this book is amazing. The two main characters, Violet and Cam, go through SO much growth. Violet has the challenge of overcoming the death of her husband and her strict religious upbringing. Cam, the male lead, has the challenge of learning to overcome his 'love and leave them' type of attitude with women to become the type of man who is devoted to one type of woman, in this case, Violet. The fact that Cameron is a famous hockey player who looks like a male model, doesn't help him in his quest so much because women are always flocking to him because of his fame and athletic status.

My favorite aspect of this book is that there is no insta love here. Cam does spot out Violet early on but at the time she is with someone else and goes through this whole ordeal with her husband who passes away. Because of that Violet has, like, a wall up, it takes her a long time to open herself up to the thought of love. Widow's guilt is what she suffers through and I have never read a book about a young woman becoming a widow and the grieving process and this book did it well. I could feel Violet's trepidation to say yes to Cameron. And though Cameron is an alpha male, he becomes the most patient, caring and sweetest guy with Violet. He respects her SO much and that was great to read about. A man that has pure admiration for a woman who is trying her best to survive the tragedies of life.

I loved that this book had great secondary characters. From Violet's straightforward gay best friend, Felix, to her other bestie, Stella, they were all such well developed characters in their own right. I loved Ben, who was the cousin of Violet's deceased husband, who had down syndrome but was such a fully fleshed out character rather than a caricature of someone with disability. Even down to the characters who were not the greatest of people, this book had great characterization.

My favorite character in this book was Cameron. Totally new book boyfriend material. So protective, so sexy, so everything. Seeing his process of growth was awesome. He really learned with Violet that he could find Miss Right. I also thought it was so funny how he had to fight his sexual thoughts with Violet. This poor man, suffered. He was SO into her in always, but because she was a widow, trying to find her own place in the world, he had to be patient. But when they finally do hook up, HELLO. Cam drops the sweet side and becomes the purest of Alpha males and let's his inner desires flow to the surface. He definitely became the type of man who take the wheel.

Lastly, a really great aspect of this book is that it shows the reader that they must have patience in life and that even when they do fall in love, they can't forget to pursue their dreams and goals. Because YES Violet and Cameron develop feelings for one another and had a rocky journey to find their way back to eachother, but they don't get lost in that. Violet pursues her goals as an event planner, while Cameron stays focused on his career as a goalie on a hockey team.

Overall, this was a really great read. I think there will be a book about Violet's sister, who also has the challenge of overcoming her strict upbringing and facing love, sexuality and life in the big city of Chicago.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: Beautiful Entourage by E.L. Todd (Beautiful Entourage #1)

Beautiful Entourage (Beautiful Entourage #1)Beautiful Entourage by E.L. Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book I have ever read about an escort service and it was nothing like I expected. In a good way, of course. This book is about misconceptions and two damaged souls coming together to become each others support system.

The main characters, Aspen and Rhett, don't have the best of lives, though on the surface it may be appear to be so. Though Aspen is a successful business woman, she works under her father, who is a complete disaster of a human being and undermines everything she does. Rhett on the other hand is an escort in a escort company he built with friends. He is a handsome and smart guy but because of his profession people tend to misjudge him and think that he is a sort of prostitute which is not the case.

Rhett's escort service has very strict rules to keep the people who hire them from doing anything romantic or sexual with them. All they do is accompany people to events who need them either because they are lonely and need someone to talk to or need a handsome man to keep appearances with friends, family, or work people and not look like they are alone. So the escorts are kinda like boyfriends or friends for hire. And the escorts do make good money. Sadly though, their personal lives do suffer because of the misconceptions that people have with a person being an escort.

My favorite aspect of this book is the characterization. Rhett and Aspen are an amazing leading couple. Aspen does suffer a lot because of her father and goes through a betrayal with her boyfriend and cousin. In comes Rhett who she hires and the rest is history. A beautiful relationship blossoms between the two that starts as a friendship and grows into something more with time. Part in due to the rules of the escort service, these two have to struggle to get together. Rhett helps Aspen learn that not all men are bad and that she's not alone in the world. While Rhett learns that not all women will objectify him and misjudge him and that he doesnt have to suffer with his family problems alone (he has a brother with a strange phobia who requires a lot of his help).

The romance in this book is so sweet which you wouldn't expect with an escort and his client, since that is how Aspen meets Rhett. They also get really hot and heavy. Rhett is such a swoon worthy guy. He is sexy, smart, caring. Aspen is a bit skeptical about herself because of her past relationship but Rhett lets her overcome that by just letting her be herself and loving her for who she is. Their relationship is so healthy and comes so natural.

There are also some tough villains in this book. Aspen's father and cousin are the worst people but I liked how Aspen always stayed strong and overcame that.

I love the best friends in this book. Harper is so fun and loyal and straightforward. She is a huge support system for Aspen. While Troy is a bit foul mouthed and might come off as a meat-head but is actually quite a good and supportive friend for Rhett. I think he and Harper might be the subject of one of the following books in this series. Both character seem confident but I think that below the surface, their is a bit of loneliness with them and phobia of relationships.

This is a great start to this series. I can bet each book in this series is about each of the five escorts in the Beautiful Entourage company and I think they will all be awesome guys, like Rhett in book 1 has been.

My Rating: 4/5

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1)The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like the style of writing in this book. It is very contemporary in the sense that the references to pop culture are very current and clever. I like how the author often described a character and in the same breath compared them to a famous actor. It really brought a lot of the characters to life.

The highlight of this book for me is the first half of it. Camryn, the female lead, had a really unique voice in the first half of this book. She wanted to break free from the monotony of life and look for something more. She quits her jobs, buys a ticket on a bus to nowhere, no real destination and it was one of the coolest decisions I've seen a character make because it was brave. People tend to get tied down by life, daily life responsibilities, but this girl follows her gut and makes a run for it, a run towards freedom.

Camryn meets this very cool and gorgeous looking guy on the bus and the rest is history. Andrew, the male lead of the story, also doesn't want to be tied to societal conventions and finds himself intrigued by Camryn on this bus alone, which for a young woman can be dangerous with all the creepers out there nowadays.

Camryn and Andrew eventually find themselves on a road trip together, going from city to city with nothing but what they have in their pockets. What's cool about Andrew is that he also had really cool views in life. He essentially didn't want to live by anyone's rules and do what makes him happy.

Overall, this book would've been a perfect read if it wasnt for the second half of the book. Andrew comes in the story and for someone who wants to break free, Camryn surely becomes a bit submissive and cliche as a girl. Andrew definitely takes authority in this book and Camryn loses the powerful voice she had in the first half. Almost doesnt seem like the same girl. You see glimpses of it, but it doesnt follow through with what she wanted in the first half of the book.

I do love that Camryn and Andrew want to create their own life for themselves without caring what people think. They encounter everything: creepers, bars, illness, death, their own insecurities, you name it. On their road trip together they go through it all. They do have a tenderness to their love story, but it also gets really steamy. Like, be warned, the sex scenes are descriptive, nothing was held back. NOTHING. It got 50 shades of grey real quick in some moments. This book has it all.

There is a lot of surprises towards the end. Good and bad. But my only quirk was that I felt Camryn lost a bit of what made her a unique female lead, her strong voice and willfullness. Overall, this is a good start to this series, I do know there is a sequel. I do wonder how their story continues.

My rating: 4/5

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