Friday, March 24, 2017

"Vicious Cycle" by Katie Ashley


SERIES: Vicious Cycle #1
PUBLISHER: Headline Eternal
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
SOURCE: Borrowed

Tough, hard Deacon Malloy has dedicated his life to the Hells Raiders motorcycle club. So he's thrown when the five-year-old daughter he never knew existed appears. Alexandra Evans is devoted to her students—but the aura of sadness around Willow Malloy truly tags at her heart. When Willow stops coming to school, Alexandra's search leads to a clubhouse full of bikers...and a father hell-bent on keeping his daughter always within sight. The moment Deacon sees Alexandra, sparks fly, but she refuses to be just another conquest. Instead Deacon finds himself being seduced by the prospect of a brighter future—for himself, his daughter, and the woman he's falling for against all odds.


Katie Ashley was an author whose books I meant to try a long time ago and, since I heard good things about her works from a few fellow bloggers, I was really excited to read this book. However, I might have just picked the wrong title to start with...

While the plot is intriguing and it has the potential to put you on edge—and out of your comfort zone—the characters don't do the job. The book opens with quite the crude scene, one that got me in and made me turn the first few chapters worrying about the five-year-old girl, Willow, and curious to see her trying to make a connection with her father. Nevertheless, I constantly felt like the sexy and dangerous Deacon was off, and his love interest was all over the place. Alexandra—who can be truly naive and annoyingly makes a big scene at times—goes Alex 2.0 just like that, completely changing her character and becoming the bad-ass of the story. Also, members of her family are unbelievably understanding, considering their background.

I was expecting a thrilling, sexy, and intense read but, in the end, I found the book disappointing. Oddly enough, the hero of the second instalment is the character I'd be curious to know better, but I still have to make up my mind if/when to go for it.


Monday, March 20, 2017

"What a Wallflower Wants" by Maya Rodale


SERIES: Bad Boys & Wallflowers #3
GENRE: Historical Romance
SOURCE: Publisher

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret. Everyone knows that she's the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again. John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody's hero. He's a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future—that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn't start falling in love with her. When Prudence's dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her—even though he risks revealing his own secret that could destroy his future.


I have to confess I haven't read the other instalments in the series, but since I'm aware this kind of books usually work as stand-alones, I didn't mind jumping in the third volume when the opportunity to review it presented itself. And it worked better than anticipated.

There's something in this story that makes it different from other historical romances, it's darker and it certainly gets the reader deeply emotional. Sexual violence is despicable, an act that unfortunately we hear about way too frequently, and something that in another time could have had such awful repercussions—to hell with etiquette—that our modern mind can't even comprehend, or refuses to. As a woman, it was impossible not to feel close to the heroine, understand her fears, her doubts, her struggles, but still not letting that little hope inside completely die... The hero here is like no others, not the scoundrel you'd expect and most definitely a really decent, worth-the-wait man.

From the event that brings these two together to how they develop an unusual companionship, I was charmed and touched. It's a book that gives you hope and reminds you well to stand up and fight back.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#43)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine
in which we have the opportunity to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's pick: VIOLET GRENADE by Victoria Scott
Expected publication: May 2nd, 2017 by Entangled Teen

DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind.

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

What do you think? And what are you waiting for?
Leave a comment with a link to your WoW so I can stop by and get excited, too! ;)

Friday, March 10, 2017

"Tonight" by Karen Stivali


SERIES: Stand-alone
PUBLISHER: Karen Stivali
SOURCE: Freebie
LINKS: Goodreads

David has loved his older brother Derek's BFF, Wiley, since the first day he met him, five long lust-filled years ago. But, as Derek never hesitates to point out, Wiley is straight. When Wiley has a falling out with his roommate and winds up crashing on David and Derek's couch for a month, he's a 24/7 reminder of what David wants but fears he'll never have. Until one afternoon when David has a major art project to finish and a model who's a no-show. Wiley offers to pose for him—and it sure feels like the heat between them is mutual. Could Derek have been wrong about his best friend for all these years? Would David's dreams about Wiley finally come true? The only thing David knows is that one way or another he'll find out for sure...tonight.


This is a good example of 'grab the freebie and you won't regret it'. Before the novella starts, the author states this story is inspired by a picture—not the one on the cover—so she gives the reader a brief description to let them get the right idea. I loved that, the picture couldn't be clearer and I'm really glad Stivali got such an inspiration that charmed me with the hot and funny thoughts running through David's mind, yummy breakfasts, steamy but also sweet sex, and what I call having a lovely break with a proper reading escape.

Sweet, sexy, deliciously good. Karen Stivali made her point, I need to check more of her books and let my mind dreamily lose itself into her luscious romances.


Monday, March 06, 2017

"The Evolution of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin


SERIES: Mara Dyer #2
PUBLISHER: Simone Pulse
GENRE: YA Paranormal
SOURCE: Gifted

Mara Dyer knows she isn't crazy. She knows she can kill with her mind, and that her boyfriend, Noah, can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, her ex, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she's not crazy isn't easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out how Jude survived the asylum collapse, and how he knows so much about her strange ability... before anyone else ends up dead.


A couple of months before last year ended, I read "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" and got completely hooked, so imagine my excitement when on Christmas Day—among some serious amazing gifts—I received the last two instalments in the Mara Dyer Trilogy! What gave me the strength to wait I will never know, but I'm done being patient and here I am after reading the second book...

If I thought the first instalment was puzzling and captivating, I found this second one being twisted and creepy. There's something in the way the story is told that keeps you engaged and makes you obsessed with the need to discover the truth behind the whole craziness. What's at stake, who is lying, who/what is the enemy, what's the matter with everyone are just a few of the questions that run in the reader's mind while turning the haunting pages. It's incredible how the plot thickens and makes the mystery around Mara Dyer one of the most addictive ones I can remember encountering in a YA read.

I'm ready to finally get things sorted out and yet, there's a part of me that doesn't want it to end because of how much I'm enjoying this story. The need to know is too much to bear, though...


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#42)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine
in which we have the opportunity to spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's pick: MISSING by Kelley Armstrong
Expected publication: April 18th, 2017 by Atom

Winter Crane has exactly one thing to look forward to in Reeve’s End: leaving it. Like her best friend did. Like her sister did. Like most of the teens born in town have done. There’s nothing for them there but abandoned mines and empty futures. They’re better off taking a chance elsewhere.

The only thing Winter will miss is the forest. Her only refuge. At least it was. Until the day she found a boy—a stranger—left for dead.

But now he’s gone too. And he has Winter questioning what she once thought was true. What if nobody left Reeve’s End at all? What if they’re all missing?

What do you think? And what are you waiting for?
Leave a comment with a link to your WoW so I can stop by and get excited, too! ;)
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