Wednesday, August 5, 2020
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First, we'd like to thank Waterhouse Press for providing a copy of this book via Net Galley.
This was the first time we'd read a book by these authors. Over the years we'd seen the names Payne & Blue on some top blogs, so of course we wanted to request this title. However, regardless of these authors' great reputations, this book just didn't work for us.
One of the issues we had was with the pacing of the story. This was probably one of the slowest books we'd ever read. At 26 percent into the story, we just couldn't take it anymore, so we skipped over to the 55 percent mark. But even with all the missed pages, we discovered that we didn't miss anything. Actually, the only thing that did happen was a LOT of inner monologue. The main characters constantly hated/liked/lusted after each other.
Enough already! Get on with it. :(
Also the heroine, a caterer, was ultra boring. Shark was an nonredeemable anus.
The acknowledgements in the back matter of the book mentioned the involvement of several big name authors who were involved in the crafting of this story. But sadly, the popular list of names just wasn't enough to keep us interested in the other installments.
One Cup Of Regular Coffee
We weren't up all night reading this one.
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Thursday, July 30, 2020
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Three 1/2 stars
This new to me author impressed me in some ways, but not in others. The writing was good, but the story line wasn't original or earth shaking. I wasn't totally glued to the book, but after putting it down for a couple of weeks to deal with life matters, I didn't find it difficult to pick back up.
Avery is a struggling artist working as a bartender to make ends meet. While visiting the art gallery that rejected her work, Avery meets a dark, handsome and insanely rich man, Mr. Baine. Sparks instantaneously fly between Avery and the man, igniting a red hot physical relationship between them.
As their relationship progresses, Avery feels she can't be honest with Mr. Baine about who she really is. Avery feels she's not his typical type of lover (successful, rich, gorgeous) so she dodges telling him the truth about her life. She also leaves out the fact that the penthouse she's staying in really belongs to a supermodel she's house sitting for. Avery is also not honest in the fact that she serves drinks for a living...Mr. Baine is lead to believe Avery's job is in marketing.
The author reels in readers with that Fifty Shades appeal. Much like Christian Grey, Mr. Baine is the typical alpha who is into power exchange. This quality about Baine isn't revealed until later in the book. Beware, there are TONS of love scenes...so many that I actually skipped a great many and didn't miss important points. Ugh. I know love scenes are important in romance, but after a while, we feel like were drowning in body fluids.
**Hey, I'm not knocking the FSOG trope because it sold over 1 million copies...so please, stop with the comments on FSOG cut/paste comments. If you picked up this book, then you probably read Fifty too.
Anyhoo, to make a long story short, Avery finally comes clean about the truth of her bar tending and the fact that her mother is in prison for killing Avery's abusive step father. BUT Avery doesn't tell Mr. Baine what her 'other' secret is. This is so frustrating because we're reminded a gazillion times of this 'secret' that Avery thinks it would sink her relationship with Mr. Baine. At this point, I'm pretty sure Mr. Baine wouldn't be too upset...he's still with her after learning about her other lies. Jeeze, I guess the author has to use something to keep us guessing until the very end.
I will be reading the next installment after I catch up on Net Galley reviews.
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reaching the end of this series was bittersweet. I love mystery and not knowing where the author will take us! But I knew I'd eventually have to face the music and read that very last sentence.
Fifth a Fury was a necessity. It wasn't spectacular like the preceding installments and it didn't draw me in like the other four books, BUT it gives us closure.
The book consists of:
SULLY LIVES AND DIES
Sully bobbles between life and death. He's in. He's out. He's fighting. He wants to give up. Of course he doesn't decide to die because he wants to spend his life with the woman who has stolen his black heart.
And a black heart it is! Sometimes Sully REALLY got on my last nerve by treating people the way he did...like Eleanor's dad. I mean, Sully stole Eleanor away from her family. He drugged her and mistreated her AND MADE HER A SLAVE. When Sully finally meets Eleanor's worried sick dad via video call, Sully hangs up on him. Oh my gosh, what a jerk. Ugh. I can't even...
ELEANOR WORRIES AND WHITTLES
While Sully is in a comma, Eleanor deals with the police who want to investigate the island. And with the help of the good doctor, she manages to delete all the files off Sully's computers and destroys all evidence of the wrong doings on Goddess Isles. WOW, that was fast.
A WHITE WEDDING
Yep, you guessed it. Eleanor and Sully make it official. Happy now????
A popular author (not Winters) made the statement that she used real life drama to mold plots and characters, but had to tone down reality because many times real life was MUCH more strange than fiction. At times I almost confused this story with current events and ultra creepy people who have made the news. Sully comments of hating overpopulation and developing drugs to cure diseases was too close to Bill Gates. I despise Gates, BTW.
Sully, no matter how many times you say you're a 'new man' because Eleanor has changed you, you're still a first class, grade A disrespectful jerk.
QUESTION: If Sully hates overpopulation, does this mean he won't have kids with Eleanor? (Careful, Sully, your arrogance is getting in the way.)
And ahhhh....yet there was another page taken from current events...the email Sully got from the mysterious Q. In the story, Q is an anonymous person who seems to know every dark and dirty secret Sully harbors.
Q sends Sully an email claiming to know all of Sully's secrets and alludes that he/she might spill the beans to the police. Turns out, Q is Tess's boyfriend. This point was written so late into the story that I don't even know why it mattered.
Although this book seems to be inspired from news or tabloids, it truly doesn't matter. Writers get inspired by current events all the time. There's nothing wrong with it and it's not breaking copyright laws. Winters is a fantastic writer with a wicked imagination.
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Thursday, July 9, 2020
Date Published: July 9, 2020
Publisher: Elite Online Publishing
Read Clark East’s journey, the untold real-life story of how one bad decision destroyed his multimillionaire lifestyle. This is his story of the road back to god, faith, and love. His poor choices ultimately guided him to discover what is truly important in life.
Our mistakes do not define us. Learning from them and changing our decisions and actions are what define us. Choices in his past were all based on fear. Fear led Clark to the emotional and irrational decisions he made every time he had a challenge or a difficulty.
As you read about his journey, his unexpected interruptions, know that no matter your mistakes or what seems to be failures, are just little interruptions that may just lead you to where you need to be. You need not fear them or any other obstacle in your life. You are, however, encouraged to learn and grow.
What has enabled you to be the person you are meant to be — the person God wants you to be?
What unexpected interruption changed your life?
About the Author
Clark East became a millionaire at 25 and went on to become a successful commercial developer specializing in Retail Shopping Centers spanning Texas, Florida and North Carolina. Clark developed over 1,000,000 square feet of retail space including not only Shopping Centers, but Apartments, Office buildings and Hotels, exceeding over $100 Million in development. Just some of his clients have included Starbucks, CVS, LA Fitness, HomeGoods, GolfSmith, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s and Panera Bread.
Always the entrepreneur, Clark founded/invented “TracFind” - it tracks anything, anytime, anywhere and alerts you instantly worldwide. He was awarded a patent.
He also invented a Faith Coin and gives them out on a regular basis to anyone where he feels a connection and need.
Originally from Louisiana, Clark began his career early, owning a Bar/Restaurant and Limo service at just 19 years old. Clark’s heart is still on the Gulf Coast of Florida where he grew up. Clark loves boating, the beach and anything around water. He loves spending time with his 4 grand kids and his family. Passionate about family, cooking, creating and giving back.
Clark currently resides in Sugar Land, Texas.
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Sunday, July 5, 2020
Diamond in the Rough by Skye Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Warren is a great plotter and story teller. Would I read another Warren title? Yes, and I plan to very soon.
However, my first read by Skye Warren, Diamond in the Rough was definitely a diamond in the rough. Yes, the story was good...lots of twists and turns. A great plot. An alpha. BUT the good things were accompanied by some less-than-stellar moments like:
1. Holland was kidnapped and held against her will. She's frightened, dehydrated and injured. HOWEVER, only the friction from Elijah's knee caused her to...
2. Elijah was injured, dehydrated...bounced from life to death for days, yet after he and Holland escaped into the woods, he was able to...
3. The situation with the diamonds deserved more clarity. Ugh. Who had the diamonds? Oh no, they weren't missing--Elijah hid them. No, London had them. Okay, so maybe I'm the DUMBEST reader in the whole universe, but the bouncing around of information on the diamonds' whereabouts was frustrating. Come on, Skye Warren, stop with the confusing curve balls and just tell us who has them.
4. Also, it wasn't clear as to why Adam kidnapped Holland. Maybe to hold her as collateral for London? Because Adam knew Elijah had the hots for Holland years before? The fact that London's sister ends up in a cell with Elijah after meeting him years before was too much of a coincidence for me, but whatever...
I really appreciated the fact that the love scenes weren't over done...too graphic or continue for ten pages. I like dark romance...a love that blossoms out of an imperfect situation. Loved the alpha in Elijah. Loved the mystery. As far as the unfinished pieces of the puzzle, well, I think I understand that's part of the way the story is weaved, but I felt like information on London and her role in the diamonds were too scattered--not clear cut. This was the reason I couldn't give this story a five star rating.
As for the heroine, Holland wasn't unlikable but I prefer characters who aren't from privileged backgrounds. I find it tough to sympathize with their plights.
At this point, the story is so unfinished that I feel as if I can't give a detailed review on this first book. I'm certain book 2 is in the makings, but I have no idea when it'll be available. Ugh...this is such an agitation. I sure hope book 2 doesn't come out way after I've forgotten the characters and the plot.
Received an ARC from a tour company for a voluntary review.
Diamond in the Rough
Publication date: July 7th 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance
I’m on my way to meet my birth parents when it happens. A white van. A dark hood. Every woman’s worst nightmare. Now I’m trapped in an abandoned building. The man who took me says I won’t be hurt. The man in the cell next to me says that’s a lie. I’ll fight with every ounce of strength, but there are secrets in these walls. I’ll need every single one of them to survive.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a new dark romance from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren. Finding yourself has never been so dangerous…
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her new book ESCORT is out now!
“ESCORT is perfection only Skye Warren can deliver—a poetically erotic tale of exquisitely damaged characters, devastating secrets, revenge and redemption.” – Samanthe Beck, USA Today bestselling author
“Hypnotically romantic…this book reads like a sensual dream and I didn’t want to wake up.” – Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author
Don’t miss a release! Sign up for the newsletter to get new book alerts: www.skyewarren.com/newsletter
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Monday, June 29, 2020
The Devious King by B.L. Mute
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Okay, so all stories have great and not-so-great moments, but fairness and honesty are at the core of our review policy. If we do not feel like we can be truthful, we just won't write the review. We were okay with the book, but not glued to it.
Not So Great Moments
Come on, we understand readers like strong female characters but Charlie's ability to fight a man in the gym was just way too much. We were certain her wardrobe contained a red, white and blue cape. She could probably leap tall buildings in a single bound. Her super spidey senses told her exactly when a bad guy was packing. She could even take down a big, macho guy with one swat of a high heel. Perhaps, make a bomb out of a mascara wand.
But every superhero has a kryptonite. After Teddy killed a man in a club, Charlie cried. Shouldn't a seasoned super woman expect to run into bloodshed at some point in her venture with the mafia?
SHE LOVES HIM....SHE LOVES HIM NOT
At one point, the gun toting, fist flying, superhero said she couldn't love a killer. But she was 'hired' to be a bodyguard to a mafia leader, and killing is exactly what a body guard is supposed to do. The character's emotions did not line up with her talk. She spent 40 percent of the book detesting Teddy, then slapped him in the face after he told her that he had a half-brother. Why? What is wrong with having a half brother? AND in the same breath, she internally professed her own love for him.
And the pet name, Monkshood? Please, someone tell Teddy the name Monkshood isn't sexy, sweet or endearing. Seeing the word over and over again pulled us out of the story.
'ALMOST' MADE US LOVE TEDDY
Teddy was basically a cardboard cutout mafia character. Other than his thirst for blood, acquaintance with Charlie's dad, and the fact that Teddy had a half-brother did not make him an interesting, three-dimensional character. Gosh, this was a letdown-like being served a luscious chocolate cake but not allowed to eat it. Hopefully for those who read the next installment, more will be revealed about Teddy. The morsels of tender moments with Charlie was not enough to make us fall in love with this character.
TEDDY WAS NO TEDDY BEAR
Teddy is a mafia leader, therefore we expected him to torture and cut off the fingers of his enemies. What we did not expect was his ability to get it on with Charlie before the blood even dried on his shirt.
Yuck. Yuck. Yucky.
And Charlie was okay with nasty blood smears all over her body? That is downright weird.
"This is Theodore Hale, leader of the Hale Family mafia.
Covered in blood, yet so beautiful.
I raise my hands carefully, and run my fingers through his hair, coating them in blood."
But just when we thought the weirdness was over, things got weirder.
"I move my hands and trace the path his hands followed up my body, leaving a trail of blood until they meet. I rest them on top of his. He squeezes me and I moan, letting my head fall back and my back arch with anticipation."
Ew, Charlie allowed him to smear the blood all over her.
THE CRYPTIC ENDING
The ending was very unsatisfying...a set up for another book. We were left empty handed about the death of Charlie's father and the contents of the mysterious file. Oh, but a character (We will not mention the name) reappeared on the very last page.
1. Love scenes weren't too long. Normally adult romance writers feel like they have to write three- and-four page length love scenes. We don't mind them; however we don't want to feel like we're drowning in body fluids after the book is over.
2. Plotting. This book has an actual plot! Although the unfinished situation with the key and the file folder were not fully answered, we were not given an information dump.
3. Some impressive writing...phrases and descriptions. If the author is new, the writing didn't reflect it.
SUMMING IT UP
Since it is obvious this is going to be a series, we have no idea how long it will be before book 2 is available. But because we try to read every book on our schedule, continuing on to the next installment of any serial requires us to be absolutely in love with the first book.
Extra Cup of Regular Coffee
We were willing to read on to find out what happened next.
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“Be ready to have a new book boyfriend in Teddy. That man is hot! The suspense in this book is a killer!” ~Cassie’s Book Addicts
“IT WAS WONDERFUL! Over the top great mafia story with lots of intrigue and a murder mystery and a secret cartel. I couldn’t get enough.” ~Beyond the Covers Blog
“Devious King is a dark, suspenseful mafia romance that keeps you thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.” ~Kerri’s Reading Corner
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