Behind the Scandal (Reluctance #2) by M.A. Stacie

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‘Wow, we’re back to that, are we?’ ‘Back to what, Blue? You asked me a question. I asked you to repeat it.’ Her bottle-green eyes drifted over him, her gaze heating his skin. She licked her lips, her eyes fixed at his hips, and he remembered he was standing there wearing just a towel. ‘This Blue thing is getting old.’ ‘And so am I, standing here listening to you complain. Are you going to tell me what you want?’ ‘Not before you tell me what Blue even means.’ She looked him up and down again, taking her time around the area his towel covered. ‘Because it’s the opposite of your red hair.’

Taylor has messed up, big time. He got hooked on drugs and almost got himself killed. So his father gave him an ultimatum: go to his uncle’s ranch and get clean or get cut off (daddy’s rich).

Libby’s a single mother with secrets, she lives on the ranch and helps with its running.

When Libby and Taylor met… he’s an ass and she doesn’t take his shit. This could only go one of two ways, but getting past each others pasts could prove to be a bit difficult.

‘Here’s the thing. You’ve known about my flaws. You saw the consequences leaking from my nose as it bled. You’ve seen me sick with stomach cramps and raging with mood swings. You’ve experienced my downfall from the day you met me, and yet you? You’re a mystery.’ Libby opened her mouth, but Taylor went on. ‘I see how loving you are with your son. I see the affection you have for my uncle, and I feel the attraction you have for me, but there’s nothing else. I don’t know anything about you, because you refuse to allow it. Let me in. Let me know you.’

I give this book a 4.5 put of 5 stars. I liked this one a lot better than the first one in the series. I feel that Taylor and Libby were easier to understand than Kyran and Dale. Libby is a strong woman who has had her share of troubles and she is a survivor. Taylor is broken, he is cocky and arrogant, but only on the surface. (I was secretly rooting for Taylor the moment he started narrating in this book, he was just an ass in the first book now he’s a person… you know what I mean) They both grow immensely throughout the book and though some things are predictable it’s still enjoyable and interesting to get to where you know it’s going. This can be read as a standalone but I suggest you start with the first book in the series, Beneath the Surface.

 

 

The Decaying Empire (Vanishing Girl #2) by Laura Thalassa

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He stood to go, so I grabbed his hand and pressed a kiss to his knuckles. ‘I love you,’ I whispered against his callused skin. He glanced back down at his captive hand. Slowly his gaze rose, and the emotion that flickered at the back of his eyes made my breath catch. Someone less trained in reading people would say they saw lust. But I knew the emotion that shone back at me wasn’t that. It was fervor. Faith. Conviction on the deepest level. Salvation.

The worst has happened, Ember was spliced and in order to save her they cryogenically froze her… for 10 months. During this time Caden has been lead to believe that she is dead and he is coping as best he can (which isn’t all that well).

He was a sun god, the American dream, and he was staring at me like I was his whole world. Something this good was bound to end terribly. It was karma evening the score- you get a gorgeous man in return for your tragic life and early death. Not a happily ever after. That was for movies and romance novels.

When Ember is awoken and returns to Caden a changed woman, he vows to never lose her again. When he finds that the project isn’t what he thought they set plans in motion to escape… but things are never easy when the government is involved.

I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was a bit predictable at times but it was also really interesting and it could pull out a plot twist every once and a while. I don’t really feel that Ember has grown as a character too much she has definitely changed but she hasn’t really grown. Caden is slowly changing, he is pretty much forced to grow when he finds that some of the people he trusted most in the world betrayed him as well as the fact that Ember has changed and he has to keep her sane and in perspective at times. This is the second book in The Vanishing Girl series and it like its predecessor has a cliffhanger (it’s not a horrible cliffhanger, it leaves you curious but not deprived).

Check out my review for the first book in the series!

The Vanishing Girl

 

 

 

Truce: The Historic Neighbor from Hell R.L. Mathewson

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‘Looks like I just got my chair back,’ she said with a grin, shooting Gregory a wink. The little minx winked! It hit him then what she’d done. She’d never planned on stealing Gregory from him. In one swift move she’d taken her chair back, humiliated him, and cost him an extra ten pounds a month, at least for the next month or two. He looked over his shoulder to find Gregory smiling in Elizabeth’s direction. The damn man had figured it out as well.

Elizabeth and Robert have been at odds ever since he made fun of her crush on his older brother and she got revenge by starting the nickname ‘Robert Lemonade’ (let’s just say that he still wet his pants at 12).

Robert tried to take a step back and get away from her, but Elizabeth took a step closer, refusing to grant his escape. She suddenly looked oddly dangerous in that light pink dress. Looking thoughtful, she tapped a finger to her chin. If I recall correctly you’ve been told to be careful when you laugh, get too excited, nervous…’ she started to explain. Robert knew where she was going with this. The little witch was about to break the promise that her parents had made his. ‘Shut up!’ he screamed as desperation and fear coiled in the pit of his stomach. She continued as if she hadn’t heard him. ‘When you’re anxious or upset, because…’ this is where she leaned in conspiratorially, but she didn’t whisper. Oh no, she didn’t whisper at all, she yelled, ‘You will wet your pants, again! You know we still can’t get the smell out of the parlor rug, but then again, it was only last week that you wet your pants when my puppy jumped on you! In fact, I don’t know what was worse, your crying or the smell!’ Loud hoots of laughter seemed to fill the park as he stood there, momentarily frozen in shock as the realization that his deepest darkest secret was out hit him. ‘Robert Lemonade!’ she said in a singsong voice, further taunting him and making him hate her more than even he thought possible.

After years of not seeing one another, one night changes everything. Things are done, mistakes are made and Robert and Elizabeth find themselves in a predicament neither thought would happen in their wildest dreams. Take a trip back in time and learn the story of the very first Bradford ever.

I gave this book a 4.1 out of 5 stars. I liked this one almost as much as I liked the first book in this series. Elizabeth is a strong independent woman and she really doesn’t fit in in her era (she’s a bit too strong willed). I like her because she doesn’t let what others think about her affect her mindset. Robert is a typical Bradford man, attractive, smart, funny and… annoying. Together this duo switch between fighting and falling in love, teasing and taming and most of all they work through their troubles to reach their dreams. This like the other books in the series can be read as a standalone but they are better read in order.

Check out my other reviews for books from this series!

Playing for Keeps

Perfection

The Vanishing Girl by Laura Thalassa

Vanishing Girl Cover

‘The Prometheus Project began over two decades ago when a group of scientists were hired by the U.S. government to mutate human genes. These scientists discovered that by manipulating the genetic code, they could alter a person’s appearance and intelligence. They could even create abilities never before seen. One of these was seeing if the human body could teleport.’ She fell silent, letting me take this in. I felt my throat work, but no words came out. They made me a freak. On purpose. It was unforgivable-I wouldn’t wish this ability on anyone.

Ember is different than other girls, she can teleport. Cool right? No, she has no control over her ability and it’s getting harder to hide…

Caden can teleport too. The difference is he’s been living at a government facility with other teleporters, he gets what he’s supposed to do and relishes the feeling of a successfully completed mission.

When Ember is discovered and brought to the teleporter facility she is made to be Caden’s pair(partner, mission buddy… whatever) and her questioning into the running of the facility is sure to turn Caden’s world onto its head.

Beneath my hand Caden stilled. ‘You have a secret that I want to know,’ he said, he voice low. ‘A secret that you now owe me.’ I eyed him warily. I was about to feel naked in a whole new way. Strange enough, it seemed worse exposing a secret than it did exposing my skin. He watched me for a long time. ‘Could you love me?’ he finally asked. What? That was the secret he wanted to know? ‘What kind of question is that?’ I asked. ‘A simple one.’

I gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I have to say that my favorite character is Ember. She is strong, resourceful and level-headed. She doesn’t always have the answers (she’s 18, no one has answers at 18) but she is a fighter and she learns quickly (especially from her mistakes). I really liked this book in that it was really unique and relatively believable. I do feel that the romance between Caden and Ember is a bit strange though, just the way it happened seemed a bit forced to me. Otherwise it’s a great storyline with action, mystery and a bit of suspense. WARNING this is NOT a standalone and it does end on a cliffhanger (the second books out but I’m not sure how it ends… you were warned)!

Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway

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It’s no wonder rich people are always going on about their shrinks. I’m pretty sure they have split personalities.

Berry has lived in Eugene, Oregon for all her life. When she gets the opportunity to move to New York she all but jumps at the chance. But when she arrives she learns that not only is the best friend she was to stay with not answering the phone but where she was to live is also… otherwise occupied. After some misunderstandings and short stay in a sketchy motel, Berry gets down to business.

‘You didn’t tell me he’s a rock star.’ It’s a non sequitur but I can’t help myself. ‘ I didn’t think it mattered. Here’s the thing, Berry: our clients aren’t just rich. They’re private- jet rich. British-trained butler rich. And they all have this complex about wanting to be treated just like everyone else, but also wanting to be special.’ ‘ You mean, don’t make a big deal that he’s a rockstar?’ ‘Exactly. You make it a big deal, you go all fangirl on him, and he’ll freak. It’s like you’re invading his space. But if you treat him like you don’t know who he is, like this is just a professional relationship, and he’ll be OK letting you into his life so that we can do what we need to do.’

Thus starts Berry’s adventures as cleaner/ dog walker/ whatever is needed to the obscenely rich.

I gave this book a 3.6 out of 5 stars. This story is mostly about Berry and her exploits in the Big Apple. One thing that was really different about this book was that Gavin and Berry didn’t even actually meet each other till towards the end of the book. They got to know each other through phone calls and emails. I actually liked this scenario more than I thought that I would. Berry is a little city girl in the big apple and in the beginning everything that could go wrong does, but I like her perseverance as well as her never give up attitude. Gavin is the moody rockstar with troubles from his past that haunt him, but he’s actually a pretty cool guy(He just got caught up in the troubles that come with fame). There are some minor twists, but nothing too unexpected. Overall I really like Berry’s wanderlust and the banter between Gavin and herself. This can be read as a standalone (but there are more in the series).

New Giveaway!

Hey all!

I just wanted you all to know that I am currently having a giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card under the Giveaway tab (or click the gift card pictured below). You should definitely check it out and enter soon as it ends this Sunday! Please tell your friends about it and good luck in the running to win!

Gift card

P.S. Don’t worry there will still be a new review up later on tonight, I wouldn’t leave y’all hanging 🙂

Wallbanger (Cocktail Series #1) Alice Clayton

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‘Oh God.’ Thump. ‘Oh, God’ thump thump. What the… ‘Oh, God, that’s so good!’ I scrambled up out of sleep, confused as I looked around the strange room. Boxes on the floor. Pictures propped against the wall. My new bedroom, in my new apartment, I reminded myself, placing both hands on the duvet, grounding myself with the luxurious thread count. Even half asleep, I was aware of my thread count. ‘Mmmmm…Yeah, baby. Right there. Just like that…Don’t stop, don’t stop!’ Oh boy… I sat up, rubbed my eyes, and turned to look at the wall behind me, beginning to understand what had woken me up.

Let’s just say that Caroline and her new neighbor don’t get off to the best start, seeing as he very ‘popular’ with the ladies and her walls are very thin.

I scanned and acquired the target: there at the leather club chair in front of the window. Purina perched on the back of this chair, hands in her hair, moaning and wailing and crying. Her skirt was shredded, and there were tiny claw marks in her stockings. She attempted with every fiber of her being to shrink away from the cat in front of her. And Clive? Clive was strutting. Strutting back and forth in front of her, giving it his all. He turned like he was on a runway, pacing along a line on the floor and glancing at her nonchalantly. If Clive could wear a blazer, he would have taken it off, draped it casually over his kitty shoulder, and pointed at her. It was all I could do not to fall down laughing. I stepped toward him, and Purina shouted something at me in Russian. I ignored her and focused all my attention on my cat.

As you can see this book is pretty funny from Caroline’s cat, Clive falling for one of Simon’s ladies (Lets just say he heard her meowing, yes meowing, through the wall one night…) to Caroline and her missing O (We’ll just say she lost her O after a night with ‘Pizza Parlor Cory’, yeah)

I give this book a 4.7 out of 5 stars. I have to say that Alice Clayton is one of my favorite authors because all of her characters are really funny and really relatable. Take Caroline for instance, she is hilarious! She’s witty and strong but she’s not perfect. She makes questionable relationship choices and feels insecure at times. I also like that she and Simon don’t fall in love at first sight, it’s a gradual thing, they get to know one another. I have to say that there were so many times that I was tearing at, just because I was laughing that hard at what was going on. This can be read as a standalone but there is also a second part to their story.

Beneath the Surface (Reluctance #1) by M.A. Stacie

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‘So, as I’m the boss- the CEO- I think it’s time to return to business,’ he stated, his tone cold. ‘The Reese Corporation was started many years ago by our father, Jacob. We basically buy failing companies and make new ones out of them.’ ‘I know.’ She interrupted him as he turned to face her. ‘You’re Edward Lewis.’ Racking his brain, Kyran tried to place who the hell Edward Lewis was. It could be the mail boy- he was fairly sure his name was Edward- but then why would she be comparing him to someone who delivered the mail from floor to floor? He was lost. The woman was driving him crazy with her silly talk and interruptions. With anyone else, Kyran would have called a halt to the meeting, or at least put them in their place, but Ms. Porter had him fumbling for a grip on the situation. He didn’t like it one bit.

In case you don’t know Edward Lewis is Richard Gere’s character in the movie Pretty Woman. Kyran is (as he said) CEO of the company that Dale has just been hired to work at. There should be no problem, but with the tangible sexual energy between them it’s only a matter of time before things get complicated.

The butterflies in her stomach started doing the samba as she pulled on the ribbon. She lifted off the lid and stared at the single, white orchid nestled between folds of lilac tissue paper. Her ex would never have been so thoughtful, nor would he have thanked her for anything. The flower could have only come from one person. Kyran.

Kyran must face his personal and familial demons in order to be with Dale but his ‘holier than thou’ attitude keeps getting in the way… Will he be able to face his demons in order to keep Dale’s heart and protect his own? Or will his demons overpower him and lead him down a path to self-destruction? I know, but you’ll have to delve Beneath the Surface (like what I did there? :P).

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I really liked the fact that the story was told from both character’s point of view. I also liked that they were pretty realistic, Kyran a CEO with a secret fighting addiction, daddy issues and a troublesome relationship with his brother. On the other hand there is Dale, a strong, confident woman, who was betrayed in her last relationship. I liked how Dale knew what she wanted and what she needed and how she would make changes if her needs weren’t met. On the other hand I didn’t like how Kyran’s character was a bit too predictable (still likeable, just very predictable as well). All in all it was a good standalone story and now I’m curious about Taylor and his future!

Perfection (Neighbor from Hell #2) by R.L. Mathewson

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‘You stupid bitch! You ruined my life!’ ‘Mrs. Sands, wait!’ Zoe cried, holding her hands in front of her face as she desperately tried to back up in her small cubicle only to bang into the cheap, off-white colored plastic wall, leaving her with nowhere to go and a seriously pissed off woman holding the extra-large iced coffee that Zoe had bought ten minutes earlier, coming her way. ‘Please don’t-’ Her words were cut off by a stunned gasp as twenty four freezing ounces of her much needed caffeine fix hit her in the face, neck, and chest, instantly drenching her.

Zoe’s day is not off to a good start, after finding out her boss’s wife has been embezzling from the company she is fired for ‘not finding it sooner’. To make matters worse when she gets home her neighbor steals her food delivery (he is a Bradford, you will understand if you have read Playing for Keeps) and her day keeps going downhill from there.

‘Hey!’ ‘I need sustenance to deal with this, woman!’ he snapped before taking a huge bite out of her muffin. It took a split second before the taste hit and when it did, he ran past her and headed for the small wicker trashcan by her couch and spit the entire bite out, but that wasn’t enough. The horrible taste was still in his mouth. ‘It wasn’t that bad was it?’ she asked, worrying her bottom lip. He threw her a disbelieving look as he rushed past her into the kitchen. He yanked open her refrigerator and nearly wept with relief when he spotted the full gallon of orange juice.

As they get to know each other they are strangely attracted to one another. Strangely because 1. She can’t cook and he, being a Bradford, never stops eating and 2. Because he is an annoying as hell neighbor (and landlord) she must deal with. From R.L. Mathewson comes another story of how sometimes the one thing that gets on your nerves the most can also lead to finding just what you needed the most.

I gave this book a 3.6 out of 5 stars. You may notice that this book lost some stars when compared to the first book in the series. This happened because for me this book had the same storyline as its predecessor, just with new characters. I didn’t dislike the book or characters, it was just that for me one thing I like about authors is that with each book release they seem to grow and their characters get better. In the case of this book while I still liked the characters and they had different backgrounds, it was just too similar to the first book. I did however still connect to the characters and laugh at Trevor’s antics and Zoe’s reactions. While I was a little disappointed this is still a great read and a standalone (You understand more if you read the first book, but you can get along without it) so check it out and tell me what you think.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Guest Review)

Hey guys! I really wanted to have a review on Outlander, and since I (sadly) have yet to read it I got one of my friends to not only review the book but also the tv series (it’s on Starz if you didn’t know, also the new episodes start this Saturday!!!)

  • Fe 😉

Outlander Cover  Outlander-TV_series-2014

 

On the eve of second season (or the second half of the first season) of Outlander I was asked to view the first half of the show and compare it to the book.  I was honored to be asked.  I’m not sure how I came across this book, but I am elated that I did.  A few days after I started reading, I was asked if I was watching Outlander and was informed that it was from a book.  Since I had just started the book and had no idea 1.) how long it had been out and 2.) that there was a television series that was being made from it, I was excited to finish the book and to compare it with the series.

I flapped my hand, dismissing the matter of outlawry as a minor consideration, compared to the whole monstrous idea.  I had one last try. “Does it bother you that I’m not a virgin?”  he hesitated moment before answering. “Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it does not bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and back toward the door. “Reckon one of us should know what they’re doing,” he said.  The door close softly behind him; clearly the courtship was over.

I enjoyed the first season almost as much as I enjoyed the first book.  The show is based on the books (of course) but with some variations.  The parts with Frank after Claire goes through the stones are a creation of the series writers and is not in the book.  I actually enjoyed the contrast on the story.  There were a few things that were also in the book that were not in the series, a few of them (in my opinion) important, so I am interested to see how that will be dealt with on the series.

I had so far avoided looking at him, but now glancing up to find him staring down at me. His face was white and carefully expressionless; he looked as he had when I dressed the wound in his shoulder.  I tried to smile at him, but the corners of my mouth wobbled precariously. The pressure of his fingers on mine increased.  I had the impression that we were holding each other up; if either of us let go or looked away, we would both fall down. Oddly, the feeling was mildly reassuring. Whatever we were in for, at least there were two of us.

Diana Gabaldon is talented writer and is very good at creating a picture of the characters and the places in your mind, or at least in mine.  The backscapes and the imagery in the series   are masterful and just add to the images that were conjured in my imagination of the things described in the book. I am happy also to report to all of the lovers of the series that the first season of the show is not even a third of the first book and there are 8 books so far, with no finality at the end of book 8.  So in effect this show could go on for a very long time.

 

Suih Patton