2017/02/18

Born of Vengeance (The League #12)

Born of Vengeance (The League, #10)Born of Vengeance Summary: 
A fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her team were left on an outpost to die under a barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But if she doesn’t bring Bastien in, her sister will pay the ultimate price. Now she has to find some way to betray her former wingman (and fiance) before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms.

Yet as she tries to do right by her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to the entire Tavali nation. If she hands him over, three nations fall. If she doesn’t, her entire family dies. Their fates are all in her hands, and time for all of them is quickly running out.


Born of Vengeance Review: 
I actually thought this book was stellar and one of the better ones that Kenyon has written. Now, this is based mostly on the new dialogue that I felt added a lot to the story and even the repeated parts were good for me because I forgot most of them from the previous book. It also helped that I got this book from the library, so I didn't feel cheated for the repeated material.

What I liked:

Bastien: He was absolutely amazing! He was a great hero first and foremost, but on top of that, he didn't wallow in his history. Characters like Jullien (even though I liked his book) would constantly worry about their self-worth and it came off like a pity party. There was none of that with Bastien making the story refreshing and absolutely hilarious. There were actually parts that I laughed out loud which I couldn't do for previous books just because there was so much sadness in them. I'm not saying Bastien had it easy because his past will break your heart and pray for his happy ending. In all honesty, he was one of Kenyon's most real heroes and someone I wish had gotten a larger book.
 
The Intro: What a spectacular way to start a story!! It brought you right into their world and made you thoroughly enjoy the ride. It wasn't one of the endings Kenyon usually does that shows the hero talking (sometimes wallowing) in his past. It was exciting, invigorating and told us more about the characters than any long description could have.
 
The Side Characters: Some of the best stories were Bastien interacting with people like Ryn and Chayden. Holy cow was Chayden funny! I really really hope his story is to come soon because it will definitely be a spectacular book. Even the short story at the end about Thia was better just for having a Chayden cameo.
 
The Plot. It was well drawn out and interesting. It also revealed some new information which is going to be VERY important for the future of the League War. What was there and new was amazing. Another thing about this was that instead of getting a long description of characters and places, we actually got to see what was happening. The most important thing an author can do is show not tell and Kenyon did a much better job in this novel.

Now what I didn't like:
Ember: Now I'm currently on the fence about her. I really didn't like her in the beginning, even during the first chapter she gave me iffy vibes. I generally don't like the females in Paranormal Adult books because they come off as holier than thou and have so many irritating qualities. Not all because most of my favourite books are adult ones. Back to Ember, I was routinely pissed off that she tried to blame Bastien for her fear. Yes, he made mistakes but he accepted that and didn't take it out on Ember. Ember was not that selfless, even going as far as to hide secrets from him. Luckily, by the end, I did like her a bit more, but still one of the least favourite heroines.

Ember's Sisters: I am impressed that most of them managed to stick by each other through all the suffering they went through. The other side of that is that seemed like a cult. The were willing to lash out any person who slighted one of them. It angered me so much when they ALL turned on Bastien when they knew the parties at fault. And then when they
The Story: There were two problems with the story itself. The first is that there was a year completely ignored. We see them meet and then skip to when they were supposed to be in love. That year we missed did not develop the characters enough to actual feel for them during loss and to not understand the villain. This book could have only been strengthened by adding more information about their relationship and showing important character developments. The second problem came from that fact that so much of this material was repeated verbatim from the Born of Legend and Born of Fury. It was great to see this but it didn't add anything new to the story. What could have been better would be to add dialogue that wasn't in the previous books but still at the same time of those scenes. Kenyon did do one example of this by adding a scene we hadn't seen from Born of Fury. There were obviously many interesting new tidbits we saw, but more of this should have been included. It wouldn't have taken away from the story and could have allowed for more plot development. Just changing the perspective is not enough because there was so much that could have been talked about instead.

Also, the synopsis is actually a bit misleading so beware.

Honestly, this book was pretty good. Not the best, but better than a lot of the previous books have been. It could have even better had the story included more important information that wasn't previous revealed. It would have only strengthened and enhanced the book.

Overall, this is a 4-star read. 5 stars for the new parts of the story and 2.5 for the repeated parts. In all, I will read the next book and pray that it won't have the same problems as this one did. That it will only get better from here because she will learn what works and what doesn't because what is important to her isn't necessarily important for her readers.

2017/01/09

Intense Pleasure (Bound Hearts #14)

Intense PleasureIntense Pleasure Summary:
Sexy, scintillating, and secretive, Intense Pleasure is the story of hidden desires and illicit romance. When danger threatens a woman, the two men who crave her, cannot live without her, will stop at nothing to protect her life… and satisfy every burning desire she has. They must stay bound together to be stronger than what hunts her, and let passion consume them…

TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Her name is Summer, as beautiful and occasionally fierce as her name suggests. Her past has just come back to haunt her, and suddenly she’s not sure who she can trust. Her longtime confidantes Falcone and Raeg seem to have Summer’s best interests at heart. . .but it’s clear that their desire for her still burns between them. Can they find a way to keep Summer safe—or will a bitter rivalry stand in their way?

Falcone and Raeg need to work together, now more than ever, if they intend to protect Summer from an old enemy who knows her dangerous secret. When Summer’s identity as a sweet, Southern socialite gets out, the two men must find a way to draw out the ruthless assassin on her trail. . .and keep their illicit romance with her under wraps. But some passions are so intense they can’t remain hidden.

What are Falcone and Raeg willing to risk for the woman they both crave like no other, in Intense Pleasure, the next Bound Hearts novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh.

Intense Pleasure Review:
This book is not the best Lora Leigh novel that I have read but it definitely was not the worst. The Southern family atmosphere in this book was a welcome change from previous erotica books I was reading. And it made the book a lot more enjoyable.

The characters were interesting and three dimensional. It was easy to root for a happy ending for the characters. Unfortunately, during some points of the story there seemed to be a disconnect between the characters and the plot. This usually happened when the plot was slowing down.

The word count could have been decreased because it made the plot drawn out and at some points unlikely. In the first few chapters of the book, this became a problem especially because I couldn’t understand what was happening. It was almost like the beginning was another book.

As the book continued, the plot was consistent and interesting. It was filled with great character development, sexy moments, wonderful cameos and an all around awesome book!

Overall, this book was a three-star read! If the beginning was better and a more consistent plot, then this book could have been a four-star read easy.

Thank you to Lora Leigh for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review

2016/11/24

For Maggie's Sake (Tempting Seals #3)

For Maggie's Sake Summary:
Maggie Chavez is in protective custody with a member of her former lover's SEAL team. Joe, her ex-lover, thinks Maggie is hiding information from him about a powerful drug lord and the deaths of some SEALs. He intends to seduce her and get the information before she can sell it back to the drug cartel. But the desire crackles between them and their attraction is undeniable. How can Joe use her and leave her, when all he wants is to hold her close and never let go?

For Maggie's Sake Review: 
After Elle Kennedy's Out of Uniform series I wanted to try some more with Military heroes and heroines. For Maggie's Sake was my first book and it wasn't until I started reading this book that I realized it was the third book in Tempting Seals.

Lora Leigh's books are a hit or miss for me. This one was a miss, unfortunately. The romance was kinda there but the premise and plot was mind-boggling, and not in a good way. This book is erotic romance so you have to expect a very strong sexual aspect but there should be a development in the romance. Unfortunately, There was too much of the same sex that was enjoyable in the beginning but it tends to get repetitive if not done right. For Maggie's Sake was not done right. This was also because the sex was overshadowing much of the romance's development.

The characters came off as 2D sometimes. Some of them were quite interesting but unfortunately were just side characters. The main characters were the cliché romance hero and heroine, not something spectacular to read about. The hero will wait forever for the heroine no matter her circumstances while the heroine never loved her husband even though she married him. Now lots of stories do the waiting for the right match story line but not when it is kinda impossible for the two to get together. And it was cheesy.

Also Electric Penis??

Overall, this book a 1 star read. It was cheesy and cliché , the plot was not captivating, the writing was awkward and the story was too short for any actual development. I will say this though; I will be reading the previous two books to get a better understand of For Maggie's Sake. Maybe that will change my rating.

Thank you to Lora Leigh for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Only Pleasure: Part 3 (Broken Hearted #10)

Only Pleasure: Part 3Only Pleasure: Part 3 Summary:
When Chase opens Kia up to a whole new world of lust and pleasure, her world can never be the same again. But when danger looms closer and Kia's life is threatened, Chase will stop at nothing to keep his lovely Kia safe...and burning with desire in his arms forever.

Only Pleasure: Part 3 Review:
What a great way to end this Only Pleasure! It not only finishes this book but shows the beginning to Khalid's book.

This book does a spectacular job of putting together the suspense paired with the relationship between the two. While the sexual relationship is still there it has moved away from the menage. Not that a menage was a bad thing, but this transition shows the importance and connection between Ria and Chase. Also, it reinforces the emotional connection. Chase and Ria have both opened up so that they can finally love each other.

Overall, it was a great way to end this series and will get a 4.5 star rating. I am excited to read the next book in this series, Guilty Pleasures.

*Note: Only Pleasure: Part 3 is third and final part of the Only Pleasure book by Lora Leigh. *

Thank you to Lora Leigh for providing and ARC in exchange for an honest review!

2016/11/08

Only Pleasure: Part 2 (Broken Hearted #10)

Only Pleasure: Part 2Only Pleasure: Part 2 Summary:
Kia is a dream Chase has not allowed himself to entertain. Now that he has her, it's her heart he's after and he's determined to win it, no matter the cost. And even though they both agreed that it would only be for pleasure, a feeling deeper than all-consuming lust and illicit pleasure has taken hold of them.

Only Pleasure: Part 2 Review: 
This series (just these three books) is getting better. Chase and Kia are developing as separate characters alongside their romance. We are also moving away from the ménage scenes so we can see the emotional and sexual relationship between the two. The plot is thickening with the unanswered question of who is trying to hurt Kia.

Chase is going through a turning point. He no longer sees the relationship with Kia as safe. His feelings are playing a significant role in his emotional turmoil. Chase is afraid of how much he needs Kia and if she feels the same for him.

Kia on the other hand, is becoming much more independent. She is no longer the doormat from before; gaining an inner strength that comes from moving on from her past. Kia keeps a strong face against any harrowing events and goes after what she wants.

Overall, this book is a 4.5 star read. The plot, characters and romance are developing faster to create an interesting story. Only Pleasure: Part Two is a great read that I recommend for fans of romance and erotica to read.

Thank you to Lora Leigh for providing and ARC in exchange for an honest review!

2016/11/04

Only Pleasure: Part 1 (Broken Hearted #10)

Only Pleasure: Part 1Only Pleasure: Part 1 Summary:
Since Chase Falladay came to her rescue two years ago, Kia Stanton has never been able to forget the powerful man or the kind of life he leads. So two years later when she runs into Chase and his friend, Khalid, and leaves with them that night, she knows exactly where it is all heading. However, little prepares her for the smoldering pleasure she feels in the arms of two men. After years of holding back, Kia is finally able to find freedom...as Chase and Khalid possess her body with forbidden sensations...

Only Pleasure: Part 1 Review:
This book was good compared to the last book, Wicked Pleasures with the plot, characters and romance being much more developed. The main bad part of this novel is that it is divided into three parts. It ends off in an odd place that would have been much better had it just been continued.

Part One starts the sexual relationship between Kia and Chase that does get a little bit tedious because there is only so much sex you can handle before you want something more. It also let's us see more of Khalid, who is a character I definitely want to see more of.

The plot was suspenseful and dramatic, or as much as it can happen in such a short story. With Kia being stalked by her Ex-Husband plus Chase and Kia wondering whether they should pursue a deeper relationship, the story is very interesting.

The one thing that would have been nice is if we got a little bit more background on Kia and Chase's previous relationship. It would have helped a lot of understand where any potential relationship between the two can go.

Overall, this book is 3.5 start read. I will be posting a full review once I have read all parts of Only Pleasure

Thank you to Lora Leigh for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

2016/11/02

To Love and to Cherish (Wedding Belles #3)

To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles, #3)To Love and to Cherish Summary:
Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever..

To Love and to Cherish Review:
To Love and to Cherish was a good way to end the Wedding Belles series. It didn't match the expectations I had after reading For Better or Worse, but still provided a very enjoyable read. It had all the makings of a wonderful Lauren Layne novel with it's quirky humor, steamy romance and lovable characters.

These were two characters I was excited from the very beginning because you could feel the tension between the two and a romance just waiting to happen. Logan blew away every expectation. He was the type of hero that every girl pins for. He is smart, charming, sexy, funny, kind and is the perfect boyfriend material. By the end of the novel I was kind of disappointed that he didn't get a heroine that was equal to him.

"Logan was... everything. He was her friend and her business and her future all wrapped up into one admittedly yummy package. / And Alexis's careful, practical heart, even at its most vulnerable like it was now, just couldn't handle the potential of losing everything"


Alexis on the other hand, gave my mixed feelings. From the beginning of this series we knew that she was aloof and had some emotional problems that she was still dealing with. I started rooting for at the start. It's always wonderful to see someone gain emotional closure and self confidence. As the story progressed she started to move away from being an independent woman to a scared child. It was especially irritating because she would fear change and insult Logan. It was understandable to act like this for a bit because of her past, but throughout 90% of the story is pushing it. Thankfully, by the end of the novel she did pull herself together yet there seemed to be a lack of progressive growth in her character.

"Logan. I don't understand you like this. I don't get what you want from me."
"Yes. You do."


The other characters were amazing as usual. Always bringing a smile to my face, especially Josh from For Better or Worse. It was hilarious to see their meddling in Logan's and Alexis' love life and the way that they protected each other during tough times. It will be sad to let them go with such a heartwarming group of people.

Overall, this book is a 3.5-4 star read. To Love and to Cherish unfortunately, didn't live up to high expectations following the previous book but a great read nonetheless. On the other hand, it was a great way to end the Wedding Belles series and is a very enjoyable romance story that did a wonderful job of tying all loose ends. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a Lauren Layne series or wants a good romance.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

2016/09/22

J.C. Braswell Q&A

Below is a Q&A that I had with long time author J.C. Braswell. He has just released his book Reignfall and in honor of this release, we're going to post this special Q&A session. 
 
Reignfall
Reignfall is released today! If you want to buy this book, click the link to go to Amazon and if you want to learn more click here to go to the Goodreads page. It is a book that I recommend you try as it is a great way to dive into this new genre. I hope you enjoy reading the answers below and if you want to read my review, click here!

1. What prompted you to become an author?
The desire to open people’s minds about a variety of subjects. Writing is an extremely persuasive tool. Also, CS Lewis and my mother played a huge role in it as well.

2. How did you become an author?

I still don’t consider myself an author. I think it’s one of those titles readers give you.

3. What does your family think of your writing?
They’re all encouraging to varying degrees. My mom was the first believer. I know my wife is proud of me. I think she carries my mother’s torch in that regard.

4. How do you get over writer's block?
I’m really not sure. I know if I ever find myself at an impasse with a story I usually get another cup of coffee. That usually helps me out.

5. What else have you written (essays, novellas, etc)?
Besides some extremely dry articles in academic legal journals, I have two short stories coming out with Scarlett Galleon Press. One is titled Netherlands and will be released in the October anthology Dark Hallows II. The other is titled Rise of Finfolkaheem and is schedule to be part of a two volume set titled Fearful Fathoms. I believe that will come out early 2017. I also wrote a series of short stories last year and combined them in a middle grade/young adult novel titled The Lighthouse Keeper.


6. What is your schedule for writing? Do you have a lot time for other things (hobbies, work, events)?
I stick to Stephen King’s 2,000 words a day when I’m writing. I think that’s the gold standard. It’s not nearly as time consuming as editing. I do find time for my family as they’re the most important thing to me.
 
7. How did you come up with this idea for Reignfall?
The seeds were definitely planted by my wife. While we were drinking beer during a happy hour my wife looked over at me and started talking about eternal life. Like everyone does when they’ve had a couple, we got into a fairly deep theological discussion about it. I started mapping out a story in my head that grew into Reignfall.

8. Are the views of main characters in this story a representation of your views?
You can find some of my ideology within several characters throughout the story. I tried not to focus my personal views—political, religious, or otherwise—inside one character’s point of view, rather spread them out. But, yeah, they are definitely in there. Even Sullivan captures a couple of my viewpoints. Overall, I wanted to capture a variety of viewpoints from all spectrums of life. I think it would be a disservice, given the nature of the story, to do otherwise.

9. If you have to pick your favorite character, who would it be and why?It would be easy to say Crixtian. He’s a flawed protagonist but not in the stereotypical sort of way. There’s a raw honor to him that he has trouble understanding. It also helps to know his eventual story arc in my head. But at this point in the story, I would have to say Jedediah Bane. I think his personal path of redemption mixed with obsession is a griping arc. I love where he goes in the second book. President Sullivan is a close second. Without giving too much away, I think he really captures the essence of how power and temptation can corrupt the most noble of people.

10. What future books do you have planned?
I have a supernatural thriller titled Ghosts of My Lai coming out this winter, probably near Christmas. It follows group of American soldiers in Vietnam who get lost under unusual circumstances after the massacre at My Lai. Then there’s Reignfall’s sequel A Time For War which I’ll release next year. The first few drafts are finished, and I’m really looking forward to how the story grows. I could talk about the other fourteen novels I’ve drafted, but I’m really focused on My Lai and A Time For War during the coming months.

11. What genre of books do you tend to write in?
Sci-Fi thrillers, Supernatural thrillers, some MG/YG fantasies.

12. If you have to pick a favorite book, what would it be?
It’s a draw between The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Lewis because of the symbolism and Hemingway because of the way he writes and the romantic story. I really love that story.

13. If you have to collab with one author, who would it be?
I think it's going to be Ronald Malfi eventually. We already floated a dark comedy novel about zombies on the Titanic. Yeah, we need to write that book.

14. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Everything about my writing is at my website www.jcbraswell.com. You can also follow me on twitter (buyer beware) at @JC_Braz. There’s really not much to me. I’m just some ordinary guy.

15. Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Yes, thank you for inviting me onto your blog. I certainly appreciate the time you took to review the novel. The most important part of writing is the readers. A writer cannot thank their readers enough. A writer is essentially inviting others into their mind who don’t have to accept your invitation.

Thank you J.C. Braswell for doing this interview! I will definitely reading the next book after Reignfall and trying out some of his other books. I hope this has motivated you to give this book a read!
 
He is also having a giveaway on his Goodreads page which can be accessed with the link above. If you don't have a Goodreads account, then comment below and I'll see if I can get a giveaway running here.