Friday, November 20, 2015

Book #Review: Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks

Book Title: Darkest Before Dawn  ( KGI #10)
Author: Maya Banks |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series/Standalone: Series Book 10
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cost: $7.99
Pages: 378
How I got it: Published  
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
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The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty. But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”
I came into this series blind, I actually haven't read all the other books that come with the KGI books, and the two I have read are in the random order so I went into this one kind of blind and missing key information. Not the best way, since this is kind of written as if you have read the other stories and know who all the other people are and why this mission is so important.  It is easy to pick up on the information because several times within the story the characters go back over information and share with you how and why it's relevant.

Sadly this story echoes so much of what is going on right now and especially after what happened in the past week in Beirut, Nigeria and Paris, this group echoes way too closely with that dreaded group in real life, so this took me a little longer to read because i kept thinking how close to real life this was.

I liked the story and the build up, however I have a few questions as to why Hancock didn't see any other alternatives, even as his team tired to point out to him that saving a few doesn't save them as much as delaying the inevitable because there is always someone willing to be evil and be scary for a dollar.  Hancock had tunnel vision when it came to taking down the big bad and scary and he used whatever was necessary to get the mission done.  This is why this book hurts, because the mission was king and that meant way too many were hurt in the process of making the mission come to fruition.

Honor at times was an awesome character and then she would say something that makes you want to shove her out the car, why tell the people who are risking their lives to save yours that as soon as you are safe you're going right back into the fray??? Not even in say a place you aren't a wanted and hunted woman, but like right back where you are trying to leave?? If it was me I would stop the car, take a picture of you have you call your family then leave you behind because eventually you're going to die so why risk my team and countless others??  She really cant be that naive can she??  NOBODY is that selfless, it's against human nature, if we all acted like that we would all be dead already, it's one thing to want to help it's another to put others at risk so you can feel like you have a place in the world.

The story was a bit slow and repetitive at first and then the action kicked in and it flew by.  So many things happened that I both understood, and didn't especially when it came down to the team,  I think if I had read all the books in order I would have understood even more what each character means to the story arc and they wouldn't just be names on a page to me.  I did like the way the story was building and how we got to where we were, even if at times I wanted to look at some of the characters and be like Really?? You think now is the time for this?? And how unrealistic is this??  Especially Honor at times, like really girl? I need some answer.

In the end of the book when Honor is talking to her brother Brad, I kind of felt like that was a jab at women who when faced with the same problem but make a different choice than she did. I commend any woman who can make Honor's choice, however Honor has the option because she knows that even though in the end it sucked, her condition came about as part of her choice whereas for many other it isn't a choice they made so why should they suffer???  I understand what Honor was saying but it still felt like a judgement on those who don't follow her thinking.

Overall if you are a huge fan of the series you might find it a great read, however having not read the entire series, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I wasn't a fan of the characters in the end because they didn't seem to know who or what they wanted to be, so if you can't decide then how am I supposed to know??  It was a great action packed read, and then it focused once again on the romance closer to the end.

I kinda felt like this was missing the signature Maya Banks writing, I didnt feel as connected to the characters as I used to when reading her books and so this wasn't a great read for me, it was unfortunately kind of meh.
Happy Reading

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book #Review: Tame Me (Stark International ) by J Kenner @.juliekenner

Book Title: Tame Me (Stark International 3.15)
Author:  J Kenner  |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Genre: Contemporay Erotic Romance
Series/Standalone: Series
Format: ebook
Cost: $0.99
Pages: 80
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon  | KOBO| Nook
Publication Date: March 2014
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Aspiring actress Jamie Archer is on the run. From herself. From her wild child ways. From the screwed up life that she left behind in Los Angeles. And, most of all, from Ryan Hunter—the first man who has the potential to break through her defenses to see the dark fears and secrets she hides. Stark International Security Chief Ryan Hunter knows only one thing for sure—he wants Jamie. Wants to hold her, make love to her, possess her, and claim her. Wants to do whatever it takes to make her his. But after one night of bliss, Jamie bolts. And now it’s up to Ryan to not only bring her back, but to convince her that she’s running away from the best thing that ever happened to her--him.
I really enjoyed this one. It was a great gap closer for the Stark trilogy, and gave us Jamie's story as well.  From the stark trilogy we got to see Jamie grow and make mistakes, here we see her fight to claim a life free from mistakes.  With that idea in mind Jamie make THE PLAN (yes the caps are necessary).

THE PLAN is a way for her to reset her life and not hinge her dreams on a man or chasing men, so she's got a couple of steps, and one of the major ones is going home to Texas.  But first she's going to have one last chance at the man she wants and knows wants her.  However that plan doesn't go quite the way she wants, and when given the opportunity to make a move on the plan she takes it, who care if it looks like running.

I really enjoyed seeing Jaime again and watching the sparks fly between her and Hunter was pretty awesome. Hunter is pretty witty when it comes to Jamie and isn't at all afraid to let her know he's not here to play any games.  And boy does he make the pages singe.  I loved reading them together, their exploration of their desires (holy heck that was hot) and I loved that Jaime was so open and honest with her desires, well not all of them but at least the physical ones.

I really enjoyed the whole reading experience and was kinda hoping there will be more from them throughout the books.

Well now onto the next one!!
Would recommend for those looking for a quick sexy erotic read.  And as always my loves, Happy Reading

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Book #Review: The Kouvaris Marriage by Diana Hamilton

Book Title: The Kouvaris Marriage
Author:  Diana Hamilton |Website
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Romance
Series/Standalone: Wedlocked Series 
Format: paperback
Cost: $5.25
Pages: 192
How I got it: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: March 2007
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Wanted--to have his baby! Madeleine never dreamed she would marry a Greek billionaire--especially one as attractive as Dimitri Kouvaris. But after a whirlwind courtship and three passionate months of marriage, Maddie is devastated to learn that Dimitri only married her in order to conceive a child. Desperate to escape the humiliating charade of her marriage, Maddie asks for a divorce. But Dimitri is determined to keep Maddie at his side--and in his bed--until she bears the Kouvaris heir.
There are days I wonder why I read these books, this book is the reason I wonder. Seriously WTF did I just read?!!!  Sometimes I love books where the miscommunication is the cause of the rife between the lovers, and eventually they realize they just aren't on the same frequency, then there are these books where it's written in a way I just can't get behind and I want to demand my time back. Ugh...

I ended up giving this just one star because there were just too many things that didn't make sense and I couldn't get behind them at all. Starting with how dumb is the main character, how is home girl so naive that she never considers the source of the information that makes her flee her husband.  Why isn't she asking herself what they gain\?? And how blind and slow does he have to be to only now be coming to the conclusion that his Aunt doesn't like the bride he's chosen?? I mean she's had a bride picked for him for years, and he had the nerve to not take her choice, so why wouldn't she be upset?? Really how dumb does he have to be??

Also why is her 'self' confidence contingent on him loving her?? Last time I check "self esteem" isn't something I can give you, only you can give that you dummy that's why it's called Self esteem. UGHHUGUGUGHGHGHGHGH Another question for you, why all the hate on women??  How exactly does it make you better?? I'm a bit of a tomboy and I wear makeup and can dress whatever part I need to. It's called being an adult biotch.   Hating on the other women who like makeup and dressing up doesn't make you a better woman, it makes you a person who sucks at those things.  And hating on others doesn't increase your sense of self so go suck a bog of sour lemons and stop judging those who have a sense of fashion.

At the end of the day I just didn't like the female character enough to care, anything about her at all. I didn't care if it worked out or not. And I totally blame this book for part of my slump.
Meh, not much there to enjoy, but I hope you have a fun reading a good book anyway. 
Happy Reading

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Stacking The Shelves (38) : October Haul 1

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

I did pretty poorly this month, both in books read and books purchased.  Or even borrowed from the library or anything, here are the three books that I got in this month. Yep you read that right only three for the month. *sob*

This was on my 2015 most anticipated books list, and I borrowed it from the library to read and never got to it, so I was excited to see this on the Bookoutlet website.  

First Frost (Waverley Family #2) by Sarah Addison Allen

Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker.  I have always of the books in this series, but this one, so I snagged it as soon as I found it on Bookoutlet.

He Said, She Said by Kwame Alexander.  I've had this on my list for a few years, and everytime I went to get it, its gone, or I don't remember it, I totally snagged this as soon as I saw this.

And that's it my loves, that's all I got in October.  What's you get?? Share in the comments down below.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book #Review: Heartsong Cottage (Eternity Cottage # 10) by Emily March .@emilymarchbooks

Book Title: Heartsong Cottage  (Eternity Springs #10)
Author:  Emily March |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series/Standalone: Series
Format: ebook, Mass Market
Cost: $5.99
Pages: 320
How I got it: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
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Two weary strangers are about to rest their burdens in Eternity Springs, where there's hope for every broken heart. Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn't found a way to mend the wounds of his past-until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs...and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he'd never have again. Sometimes life gives us a second chance at love. Shannon O'Toole isn't looking for romance. Ever since her fiancé's death, she created a quiet life for herself restoring Victorian cottages. Still, she can't deny her attraction to the handsome, broad-shouldered stranger. Daniel makes her feel things she's hasn't felt in years-including the desire to share her secrets. But can Shannon trust a detective when doing so could bring danger to her cottage door? In Eternity Springs, anything-and everything-is possible...
I really enjoyed this story. I hadn't realized this was a part of a series, so I was a little lost when some names and stories were referenced, but now I want to read the rest of the series.  I have created a playlist for this and I really enjoyed that the book had such a strong love for music.  Also for those looking for a clean romance novel, this is it, I really enjoyed that as well.

The two caracters each also had a strong love and affinity for music and I really enjoyed the way it helped to be their meet cue and gave them a basis for their connection.  Daniel has had a brutal blow dealt to his life and he has taken the damage it has left and tried to help those currently dealing with it.   I loved that he was able to make his experience something worthwhile, because so many would have just gone down with the grief.  Shannon O'Toole is living a life she never thought she would be living, and even though it's not the life she envisioned, she's still having one hell of a life, she owns a bar, she's renovating an older home and she's surrounded by friends that she loves.

When a friends gets married and she runs into Daniel, she does something totally out of character for her and now she has to decide where to go from here.  Daniel will bring change and challenge her ideas of what her life will be like, and they will have to decide if they are ok with the changes. I loved how Daniel was so not down for anything and then as the story progressed he came to some serious conclusions well before Shannon did. I loved the friendships we got to see, not just between Daniel and Shannon but the frienshships they had with people in eternity springs.  I almost belive that the lady on the Gold Wings, is actually an angel.  I really loved this story, I loved how it unfolded and how they were as they grew as friends.  I loved that they had music in common, and that Daniel was a singer.

I loved the scene in the tavern,  I loved that Daniel such a strong character and that he was amazing with Shannon.  Shannon was an awesome character to read, she really had a good life that she was living, even if it was limited by her fear.  When we get her full story I'm so heartbroken for her, and I totally understand why she is the way she is. I mean that trip to Florida proved her right didn't it.

I really enjoyed this story, and the growth for both characters, even when I wanted to knee Daniel for being an idiot.  I love how the story comes together and I so totally need the other books in my life.  I loved that it's a Christmas story as well, and second chances are amazing to read.

I highly recommend it. I totally read this in one day and I can't wait to get into the others. Have you read Emily's work before??  What did you think ? I'm loving this new town.

The only cons I had which brought it down to a four instead of a five star read was the use of the word "Gypsy" now while Daniel was the one who used it describing himself and his family history it should be noted that the Romani don't call themselves that, it's a derogatory word very much a racial slur, because it comes with it's own associations of criminal activity or someone with loose morals and many other stereotypes.  My other reason was her description of a person of color who is from the Caribbean, his accent is described, his hair but he isn't given a name, even the damn kid who causes an accident but has nothing else to add to the story, has a name. Also Rastafarian is a religion, it isn't a hair type, they can have locs, locks, dreads, however you want to call it, but to be Rasta is to be of the faith, that's like saying you're Jewish, because your hair is curly, nah that's not how it works. So I docked points for those, other than that I loved the story.  
Are you excited about the Yule/Christmas books that are coming out?? Im so excited about the season.  Happy Reading

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Monthly To Be Read (TBR) Pile: November 2015 | Bewitching Bibliophile

My goal this year is 200 books, if I break that down it comes out to 19 books per month , and  4/5 books a week. Totally doable in my books, so as the proverb says, you can eat an elephant one bite at a time, so here's my first few bites:

Read So Far this Year 99
TBR Pile :200
TBR Balance:  101

This Month has a theme, since I don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm going to go right ahead and skip that holiday and instead move on to YuleTide reading.  Here are the Yule/Christmas themed books on my shelf (I'm sure there are more, however these are the most "Christmassy" since they have "Christmas" in their titles. Now onto to the list:

  • Carolyn Brown's Cowboy Books For Christmas (Cowboy not Included)
  • Jingle Bell Rock by Jannel Dennison and Friends
  • The Magical Christmas Cat by Lora Leigh and Friends
  • Holiday Fantasy by Donna Hill and Friends
  • Naughty or Nice by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Friends
  • A SEAl Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear
  • A Bride For Christmas by Heather Graham and Friends
  • This Christmas by Jane Green and Friends
  • Under The Mistletoe by Linda Howard and Stephanie Bond
  • The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus by Carly Alexander
  • Christmas on Mimosa Lane by Anna DeStefano
  • Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Three Days on Mimosa Lane Anna DeStefano
  • An Enchanted Season by Maggie Shayne and Friends
  • @Home For The Holidays by Meredith Efken
ARCs That I Need To Read:
  • The Keepers Christmas In Salem Heather Graham 
  • Christmas Brides by Suzanne Enoch and Friends
  • A Last Chance Christmas by Vicki Lewis Thompson
  • A Christmas To Remember by Jill Shalvis and Friends
I'm sure I have a ton more in ebook form that I need to get to, my kindle has a bunch that I know of and Goddess only knows about the others I haven't added to a collection yet.

I also pulled an alternate list just in case and that is the letter "S"
  • Safe in His Arms ~Renee Rose
  • Spotlight on Love LJ Young
  • Salt and Storm Kendal Kulper
  • So that others may live
  • Solid gold seduction
  • Since you've been gone
  • Simple Pleasure
  • Sheikh's scandal
  • Shattered bonds
  • Shadow Scale
  • Shadow heart
  • Shadow fall
  • Sentinels
  • Seeker
  • Seduced by the playboy
  • Secret surrender
  • Secret sister
  • Second star
  • Season of the witch
  • Searching for perfect
  • Say my name
  • Save the date
  • Sworn to raise
  • Sweet revenge
  • Supermarket magic
  • Sugarbaby
  • Suffer the children
  • Succulent Sexcraft
  • Stranded with the rancher
  • Stolen kisses from a prince
  • Stealing rose
  • Stay with me
What's on your Christmas To Be Read List?? Share down in the comments down below and be sure to check out the YT channel and my personal channel for all the fun stuff leading up to and after Yule. 

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays whatever you may Celebrate in this wonderful fall to Winter season.