The Guilded Chain (Surrender #3) by Lauren Smith


You are cordially invited to the engagement party of Hayden Thorne and Fenn Lockwood—” With a pained gasp, Callie Taylor ripped the expensive cream card and blinked hard against the thick tears that started to drip down her cheeks. Fenn, the man she’d loved her entire life, was getting married to her friend Hayden. It was too much to process over the sudden and shattering pain inside her chest.

After her crush of multiple years suddenly finds the woman of his dreams, Callie is left with her heart in pieces.

There was a wildness to her anguish that was breathtakingly gorgeous and something in him had rumbled, like a deep quake beneath the earth. Her pain had unsettled him, and few things ever unsettled him. So he’d decided to stay a few days to make sure she was going to be all right. Of course, if anyone asked, he was only staying to check on the cabins. That was his story and he was sticking to it.

But when Wes Thorne sets his sights on poor, innocent, heart-broken Callie; things start to change quickly… for both of them.

I give this book a 2.7 out of 5 stars. I have to say that after reading the last two books in this series I was a bit disappointed with this addition. I didn’t feel as connected to these characters and I felt that they lacked the depth of their predecessors. Another thing that I was saddened by was the fact that the story for Wes and Callie didn’t run as smoothly and was a bit predictable. On the other hand Smith still has a way of describing things with just enough detail that you can have a clear picture of scenes and events in your head with out overwhelming you with extra tidbit (which is a big plus!). My favorite character in this book would probably be Wes, because he knows what he wants and he’s not afraid to fight for it. While I did like Callie, I felt that she was a bit too cliche. She was super innocent (and naive) and she never really stood her ground when she and Wes had differing opinions. While I did have some trouble with this book particularly some events that happened in the end (can’t tell you because… spoilers) overall I was able to finish the book and was even surprised at one point. This is the third book in a series but it can be read as a standalone (though there are references to the other books).

Check out my reviews on the first two books in the series!

The Gilded Cuff

The Gilded Cage

Against the Wall by Jill Sorenson

AVAILABLE 2/2/2016!!!

I told April not to make a big deal out of my homecoming, but I can see the decorations as soon as Jenny opens the door. Pink fucking balloons, like my prison release is a baby shower. I gave birth to a violent criminal record. Congrats!

Eric just got paroled and is trying to stay on the straight and narrow.

“You should apply to an art school,” I say. “Get financial aid.” “Felons can’t get financial aid.” “Oh.” “I’d have to save up my money.” “Are you going to?” “I’m thinking about it.” He seems sincere, and I’m struck by a strange feeling. It goes deeper than sexual chemistry and wiggles underneath my resentment toward him. I admire the way he’s overcome so many obstacles. He had a tough childhood, joined a gang and went to prison, but he was never a bad person. He deserves a fresh start. He’s ten times the man Chip is, with a fraction of the opportunities.

Megan sees in Eric what he can’t see himself and encourages him to reach his potential. But Eric’s past is determined to drag him back to a life of crime.

I give this book 2.8 out of 5 stars. I have to say that I really hope that this is a continuing series, because I was left wanting. While I did have some closure there are definitely some very important questions that need to be answered. My favorite character in this book would have to be Eric. I loved how he was always trying to be better and protect those he loved. I don’t always agree with the ways he chose to protect them though, especially when he hurt them in the process.  While I found Megan to be interesting I wasn’t in love with her. I felt that she didn’t do enough, she was always complaining in my opinion (I would have liked her more if she did more to fix her problems). On the other hand her best friend was really fun and kept me laughing, I really hope she gets her own book. Anyway I did like this book, but there are too many questions left for me to really call it a standalone. The relationship is given closure but some of the problems brought about are left without conclusion.

Confess by Colleen Hoover

“I’m sorry, Adam. I tried really hard not to cry.” His eyes grow soft with his response. “If you would have walked out of this room today without crying, it would have devastated me.” I stop fighting it with those words. I fist his shirt in my hands and begin to sob against his chest while he holds me. Through my tears, I try to listen to his heart, wanting to curse his whole body for being so unheroic. “I love you so much.” His voice is breathless and full of fear. “I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.” My tears fall harder at his words. “And I’ll love you forever. Even when I shouldn’t.”

Auburn has lost a great love in her life and isn’t sure how to move on

Owen has lost his family and the only member he has left, his father, isn’t all he seems

“Well, since neither of us feels like talking at all, do you at least dance?” He glances over my shoulder at the small, empty dance floor on the opposite side of the room. I immediately shake my head. “How did I know that would be your answer?” He stands up. “Come on.” I shake my head again and almost instantly, my mood changes. There’s no way I’m dancing with him, especially to whatever slow song just started playing. He grabs my hand and tries to pull me up, but I’m gripping my chair with my other hand, ready to fight him off if I have to.

Will these two be able to overcome their losses and face the challenges set ahead of them?

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really like Colleen Hoover as an author, I love that she is able to literally suck you into her stories. You are practically the character (there were a couple times I almost broken my kindle, I had the urge to throw it across the room but restrained myself). I have to say that my favorite characters are the two men that Auburn loves throughout the story (no, it’s not a love triangle either). I can’t tell you too much because I don’t want to spoil but man, she had some good men! Auburn herself is a bit annoying to me, I feel like she as a character should have been a stronger person, but I wasn’t unsatisfied at the end of the book (she had significant growth). I have to say that she did have a lot of manipulators in her life so that may have affected her, but thank goodness she changed (if she didn’t I really would have thrown my kindle). This is a standalone so feel free to read it all in one sitting!

P.S. A cool thing that CoHo did for this book was that she found an artist to actually paint Owen’s artwork and included them in the book!



The Truth About Him by M. O’Keefe

AVAILABLE 11/24/15!!!!!
Annie McKay came to slowly. Aware in pieces of her surroundings. The pebbled linoleum of the trailer floor dug into her cheek. Her ankle was twisted, wedged against something hard. The hot copper smell of blood made her stomach roll and she gagged. “Annie, I’m sorry.” That voice … oh God. It was Hoyt. Her husband. Standing over her.

Just when Annie thought she was safe to move on with her life… HE returns to smash it to pieces

If hope was hard for me, faith was impossible. Growing up Dylan Daniels among the thieves and killers and rabid animals disguised as humans that were my family, faith didn’t stand a chance. But goddammit—I was trying. I clutched hope and faith in my scarred hands. Hands far too used to shoving those things away.

Dylan must overcome his own demons in order to save Annie from hers…

I gave this book 4.4 stars out of 5. I have to say that I actually really liked Dylan and didn’t think that he was as bad as he swore he was. I think that he just didn’t see himself as worthy of Annie, which is funny because she didn’t think she was good enough for him either. I loved his struggle with what he thought was true and what she saw in him, and how at times he wanted so much to be the man she saw and held himself from it. I also liked how Annie continued to grow in this book. Plenty happened where she could have just folded into herself and there were times when she almost did. Luckily the people who are now in her life helped her through her crisis and showed her not only who she could be, but who she had already become. I really liked this series in that the characters were realistic  and they evolved as the story progressed. I was sad when the book ended, but I did get the closure that I needed (the end of the first book was a MAJOR cliffhanger and I almost died when I had to wait for the next one!)

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

Everything I Left Unsaid

Loving Rowan (Friends #1) by Ariadne Wayne

FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE AT TIME OF POST (click picture)
The bus had no one else on it. This was such a quiet route I loved that I was by myself as I tucked myself down the back as usual. A bit of music would help keep my mind off everything. Then, he was there, standing at the front of the bus and fumbling in his pocket for change, mumbling about not having enough. The bus driver told him to hurry up, and the guy looked around helplessly. For just a moment, our eyes locked, and I felt nothing but sympathy for him. If I’d been in that situation, I would have been mortified. “Hey, you don’t have fifty cents, do you?” he called out. He grinned, as if he didn’t have a care in the world, even though the driver was about to kick him back out into the pouring rain. “Uh, sure.” I dug in to my pocket, finding the right coin, and made my way to him. “You’re a lifesaver,” he said, taking it from me and winking. I went back to my seat only to find that he’d followed, sitting in the seat in front of me. “I really appreciate your help.” Holy shit. He wants to have a conversation.

On what seems like the worst day of her life all Rowan wants is some quiet in which to feel sorry for herself. Sadly, fate seems to have other plans when a hot guy gets on her bus and starts to talk to her.

Nothing had changed that much, until we got to the small office at the end of the building. Crouched behind the desk, plugging something in to the computer was the most beautiful shaped rear end I’d ever seen, squeezed into a pair of jeans. Perfection in denim. “Rowan?” Dad said. Shit. It was a guy? She stood up, turning towards me, and I caught my breath at what I saw. I never forgot a face: it was the girl from the bus.

I give this book 3.3 out of 5 stars. I have to say this book was a bit predictable to me. I really liked a lot of the ideas and themes that were there but they didn’t always work in the story. Then the ending was kinda crazy, it was something I saw coming but I felt that the author rushed through it and so it didn’t connect like I felt it had the potential to. Anyway, my favorite character was Kyle. I liked him because he understood Rowan and was willing to wait for her to come into herself and become more confident in herself. He also helped to build her up and even though he at times felt he was in the ‘friendzone’ he was confident enough in himself to think ‘she needs this right now, but it’s temporary’. He was really cool to me, he knew just to be a bit possessive as well so that others guys woudn’t take her from him and so that she would know that when she was ready he was waiting for her. Rowan on the other hand was a bit annoying in how clueless she was about her beauty. She was always putting herself down in her head and it got a bit tiring to read, especially since I liked her when she wasn’t stuck in her head.

This book can be read as a standalone!

NUTS (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice Clayton

Nuts-by-Alice-Clayton3

AVAILABLE 10/20/15!!!

Fired.

Fired?

Fired.

FOR. BUTTER.

Roxie is a private chef in LA, who just got fired for whipping cream into butter. One faux pas at the end of a perfect dinner and it cost her one of her best clients and consequently a line of clients. This however, works out for her mother who needs her to come home (upstate New York) and run her diner for the summer.

Enter Leo…..

The guy with the nuts was named Leo. I know this because when my mom came around the corner and caught him face down on her daughter, she cried out, “Leo!” and rushed to help him up. Him. She never could resist a good-looking man. And once the man was extracted from between my legs… mercy… he reached down once more to try and help me up.

Leo has moved into town since Roxie left (and never looked back) and is running the farm of a wealthy family.

I pick up the peas, prepared to eat crow. Standing up, I turned toward him to apologize for the other day and the snarky comments I’d just made. But as I turned, I tripped on the leg of the chair, my forehead hitting his chest as I pitched forward into him, taking us both to the floor once more, sugar snap peas flying everywhere again. Only this time I landed on top of him. Facedown. Between his thighs.

Roxie and Leo keep bumping into each other, literally.

I enjoyed this book and am giving it 4.7 of 5 stars. I enjoyed the storyline and as always in Alice Clayton books, the humor. Roxie is a straightforward character who knows what she wants and what she thinks she doesn’t. She speaks her mind and makes sure that Leo understands in the beginning that she is only in town for the summer. Leo is hard working and comfortable with himself, who he is, and where he is in his life. When the summer comes to an end and, as Roxie keeps reminding them, it’s a summer thing, things start to happen that make her question everything she thinks she wants. And when an unexpected surprise arrives in town, one that  everyone but Roxie seems to know about, it might change everything.

I can’t wait for the next books in this series, Cream and Pickled. I’m just putting it out there, Ms Clayton.

 

~Review by Suih Patton

Everything I Left Unsaid by M O’Keefe

AVAILABLE 10/13/15!
Everyone minds their own here. They all keep to themselves. That’s what Kevin, the park manager, had said when I put down my cash for the trailer. It’s safe and it’s quiet and we don’t truck with no nonsense. Safe, quiet, and no nonsense made this little scrap of swamp a perfect place to end my week of helter-skelter traveling.

Annie is running

She’s finally escaped her own little piece of Hell and she’s finally getting a taste of true freedom

Then she answers the phone…

Make no mistake, Dylan Daniels was the beast. He was the bad guy in the stories. Some other asshole could be the hero, save the day and get the girl. Alone and gruesome, he’d stay up on his mountain with his money and his work, as far from people as he could get because that was how he liked it. It was better. For everyone. But every once in a while he got to worrying about the monsters that lived off the mountain and he called to check up on Ben.

Dylan isn’t looking for anything or anyone new, then he calls

And Annie picks up the phone

One phone call can change everything

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I have to say that I really liked the difference of the setting in this story. While it was pretty weird, I thought it was interesting how the main characters pretty much communicated solely by cell phone. What made this book so different is that these characters started to fall for one another all while never having set eyes on the other. They literally fell for the others personality and how they made each other feel. It was an interesting concept, I kinda thought he was a serial killer or something for a while but he won me over. This was a relatively fast read though there were a few times where the storyline did lag for the most part I had to know what was going to happen next. I think that my favorite character was Annie, even though she did frustrate me at times. I liked that she was sarcastic, funny, and eventually she grew a backbone. I liked that while her past did have a major impact on her life, she was still able to work at finding herself. I was really proud of her for her growth and while I didn’t agree with some of her decisions in the end they were what helped her to be herself and put her past behind her. This is definitely NOT a standalone and it DOES end on a CLIFFHANGER so while you should read it be warned…

Faking it (Losing it #2) by Cora Carmack

faking-it

Now, I just had to figure out what to tell my parents about my suddenly absent library-going-nice-guy-boyfriend. I’d just have to tell them he had to work or go to class or heal the sick or something. I scanned the room for an open table. They’d probably see right through the lie and know there was no nice guy, but there was no way around it. Damn. The coffee shop was packed, and there weren’t any open tables. There was a four top with only one guy sitting at it, and it looked like he was almost done. He had short, brown curls that had been tamed into something neat and clean. He was gorgeous, in that all-American model kind of way. He wore a sweater and scarf and had a book sitting on his table. Newsflash! This was the kind of guy libraries should use in advertising if they wanted more people to read.

 Max has never been able to show her parents the real her

Cade is working to get over the one who got away

“Golden Boy nickname aside, I’m not a saint, Max.” His body was stiff next to mine. I rubbed at my eyes, and slowly the world started to resurface. I was in my bed. In my apartment. Light filtered in through the window, and Cade was sitting on my bed, fully clothed, staring at the wall like it was Hitler. Oh holy Hell, I was dreaming. I’d just put the moves on him in my sleep! I covered my mouth with my hand and racked my brain to try to remember if I’d said anything that would give me away. When the shock wore off, I let my hand drop to my chest, where my fingertips touched bare skin. I looked down and had to resist the urge to scream. I WAS NAKED.

When deceptions begin to go to far, feeling get involved

As they fight their inner demons as well as the odds

One word would describe Max and Cade’s relationship… COMPLICATED

I gave this book 4.3 out of 5 stars. I have to say in this book my favorite character would have to be Cade, which is funny because I tend to always love the bad boy (Max and I have that in common). However Cade was able to swoop in and steal my heart (swoon), the thing I think that gets me the most about him is the way he almost always understands Max and what she’s not saying. I spent a greater part of this book jealous the he wasn’t real/mine. The coolest thing about this book in my opinion is the fact that the storyline wasn’t a typical romance storyline. The guy was the one who was seen as the ‘Golden Boy’ and the girl was the one who was edgy and mysterious. For me Max projected the girl that all girls want to be, strong and fearless, but on the inside she was just as scared and uncertain of herself as the rest of us if not more. As she began to trust and rely on Cade more she was able to face her inner turmoil and strive to be who she always wanted to be. This is the second book in the Losing It series and does have some ties to the first book but you won’t be lost if you start with this book.

Tyrant (King #2) by T. M. Frazier

It’s so cold. I’m going to drown. Deeper and deeper I sink into the dark water until two arms appear above me, hands extended out, calling for me to grab them so I could be saved. One arm was adorned with a gold wrist watch, the other was wrapped in a thick leather belt. I try to grab onto both of them, but I can’t reach and they don’t reach into the water any deeper. It’s then I realize that in order to be saved, I can only chose one. I reach toward the belted arm and grab hold, but instead of being lifted out from the abyss and thrust back into the frigid air as I expected, the arm turns me around and pushes me down deeper and deeper until I have no choice but to inhale the murky water. I fade into oblivion wondering if there really was a right choice, because I have a feeling that no matter which one I chose, they both would’ve pulled me under.

With her real identity now known to her, Doe is more confused than ever.

Just when Doe’s found a place for herself everything is ripped away… again

I gave this book a 4.7 out of 5 stars. The thing really liked about this book is that there was never really a dull moment. From basically the first page (well the last chapter of King if we’re being serious) you know that this book will be as action packed if not more packed than the last one. Frazier introduces almost a whole new set of characters without losing the ones you already know and even tying some of them together in ways you didn’t necessarily expect. My favorite character of this series continues to be Doe. While Doe continues to have her world knocked off it’s axis, she continues to grow and adapt for her survival. In this book you finally get to see the ‘complete’ Doe, she gains what she’s lost and she finally finds out who she truly wants to be. King is still a badass in this book, but he’s also still an idiot when it comes to his feelings. The one thing I dont like about King is that he makes a major decision and then in hindsight he realizes that he did the opposite of what he wanted the whole time. :/   Though I thought that it wasn’t really a surprise who the villain was, some people (Suih P) disagreed. But, overall whether you know whats going to happen or you’re left completely clueless it’s a great read and definitely a page-turner. Also this is the end of Doe and King’s story but apparently we can expect more books about different characters in the series!

Check out my review on the first book of the series!

King

The Kricket Series (As a Whole) by Amy A Bartol

IMG_5396    

“I think finding Prince Charming is your wish.  Mine is still Northwestern University,” I reply, picking up my backpack and throwing it over my shoulder.  “Just think how happy my mom would be if I told her I was marrying you. She’d flip out, seriously,” he says half-jokingly. “Enrique, that’s a really tempting offer, but since I’m only seventeen, I’m gonna keep my options open,” I reply, putting my hat on and trying to sweep my mass of blond hair beneath it.

Kricket doesn’t live in a fairytale and she is well aware of it. She just wants to make to eighteen so that she can be legally responsible for herself.

 

“The priestess, born of two worlds and of two houses, has returned to Ethar as prophesied.  Kricket Valke, the stolen daughter of our order, is a hostage in the House of Rafe”

Kricket is forced into a world that she knows nothing about, with prophesies that she is a part of but that she has never known.

 

His lips should be cold, I think, a mirror of his ice-blue stare. I try to turn my head and escape the curves of his mouth.  My lips skim lightly over the stone rigidness of his jaw, tasting the saltiness of the sea air that settles there. His lips hunt mine, finding them again – claiming ownership by covering them once more.

Kricket has to learn what she has to do to survive, (as she always has), but this time the rules are different.  On a different world she not only has to survive, she has to learn the customs and the politics so that she can make it through another day.

 

I must admit when I finished the last book, I felt duped. I was not expecting it to end the way that it did and I felt that it was all wrong (of course it was after midnight, so we’ll put some of that on tiredness).  When I woke up the next morning and thought about the ending and the other possible outcomes, I calmed down a bit. I’ll be the first to admit that I want a HEA and after all the things that Kricket goes through in this book I thought that she deserved one as well. In retrospect I realized that she got one.

I give this series 4.3 of 5 stars. I did enjoy this book and once I got over how I envisioned it ending and the actual ending, I appreciated it more. Kricket is a strong young woman who comes into her own and realizes that the only person she can really depend on 100% of the time, is herself.  She is crafty and strong and has to use those qualities often to survive. She discovers a lot about herself and people in general, what can be endured and where loyalties lie. The people that she should be able to count on all let her down, and even the people that she adopts as her own have a tendency to either have ulterior motives or decide that there are other things that are more important to them then she is…

Amy Bartol is a talented writer with a vivid imagination. She has the great ability to bring you into her stories, with the imagery that allows you to picture her alternate worlds. She gives enough detail that you can merge into the world of the characters, without being too wordy.

I was reluctant to start this series because I have been burn by Ms Bartol before. I started her Premonition Series and I don’t know that it was ever finished. I am notorious for not starting a series unless I know that it is finished, partially because of this series. I am however glad that I took a chance and read this series.

-Suih Patton

 

Yay! Another Review from my sometimes reviewer!

Also look at my review for just the first book: Under Different Stars

-Fe