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Review:

Deviant (Blood & Roses, #1) by Callie Hart

Thursday, June 30
Deviant by Callie Hart
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Sloane I'm not proud of the things I've done. The things I've had to do. The things I've given away. but I'd give it all over again to find her. Even if I die trying, I have to find Alexis. Zeth She wants me to help her, But I won't. She wants me to save her sister, But I can't. She wants me to be her hero, But I'm not a good man. I am her damnation.
 

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What I loved:
- The decadent description of the sex party was good. Sex parties / gang bangs / whatever are not my thing, but opulent costumes and masquerade balls so definitely are. So the OTT extravagance of the whole event was right up my alley.
- A++ for Callie Hart's description of Zeth's body. Fine holiday fun!

What I didn’t love:
- One of the first chapters... Zeth got shot at close range, with a 50 calibre handgun. Not only did this not kill him, or floor him, or put him out of commission - he still managed to beat an unwounded person to a bloody pulp afterwards, then walk out. I literally had to check the book synopsis after reading this bit, and make sure I wasn't reading paranormal fiction. It was bizarre.
- The h prostitutes herself for info she doesn't get, then the H walks out. Fine. I read some pretty dark stuff, I get it. The very next chapter happens 2 YEARS later. Nobody did any damn thing to find the missing sister, over whom the whole prostitution situation was manipulated.
- So many holes in the story. The H randomly spots this woman at the hospital, stalks her, then coincidentally runs into a PI bragging about pimping her out. What?
- What exactly makes either of these characters special? I didn't get it.
- The H is a douche. An arrogant, evil, in-love-with-himself douche that any shrink could tell you had massive self-esteem and abuse issues. None of it was hot.
- The chemistry was not strong in this one. She spent most of her time whimpering, being scared, and pretending she didn't want him, and he spent most of his time trying to scare her, wanting to use his knife on her, and giving us inner monologue about his big dick.
- It was all a bit rapey, even though it actually wasn't. From her body being sold to the highest bidder, to him taking her virginity, to grabbing her by the throat in her place of work and kissing her, to the knife incident at his orgy, to pretty much everything that came after.
- The worst part, for me, was when the h goes to the orgy and does the dirty dirty, then flips out the next morning. She has a full on tantrum at the H, blaming him for what she did. He gave her plenty of chances to leave, and she wanted to be there. She chose to be there. She chose, hell, begged, for him to do the things he did. Then in the morning she got all indignant and said she was only trying to get information about her sister. Her sister who she hasn't been looking for for 2. Whole. Years.
- And it's a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger novella. Why can't authors just write one full length novel, rather than cliffhanger novellas? Gah!
Overall…
If it wasn't such a short book, I'd have DNF'd it. As it stands, it was a super quick read and I still resorted to skimming. Neither leading character was likeable. 2 stars because it wasn't as despicable as FSOG, Twilight, the Hacker series whos author I can't remember, or the Gideon books.

Update: New covers this week

Wednesday, June 29

Review:

Repo (The Henchmen MC, #4) by Jessica Gadziala

Tuesday, June 21
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MAZE:

In concept, the plan was simple: prospect at The Henchmen MC. In practice, however, it was anything but. One, because I was a woman. Two, because it was a brotherhood. And three, because Repo, the man who was in charge of making my life a living hell until I quit or screwed up enough to get thrown out, also happened to be the hottest guy I had come across in ages.

The problem was, if I didn't get in and stay in despite the hazing from the members and the undeniable attraction building between me and Repo, there was a very good chance I would be found by them. And if I was found by them, well, I was dead.


REPO:

How the hell was I supposed to get her out of the MC when, one, I didn't agree with the fact that because she was a woman, she had no place in The Henchmen. Two, because she was strong, smart, capable, and determined to get a patch. And three, because, well, I wanted her.

The problem was, if I didn't get her kicked out, I would be screwing up a job that was important to the prez. But the problem was also that if I kicked her out, there was no way I was going to get a shot with her.

I didn't know, however, that the real problem was a lot more complicated and a lot more dangerous than disappointing my boss or not getting laid... the problem was Maze had demons and they were hot on her trail...

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Oh, sweet baby Jesus. I am hooked on these Henchmen people and now I see I'm on the last book! For shame, Jessica Gadziala, for shame.

What I loved:
- Every-damn-thing. Cash (The Henchmen MC, #2) by Jessica Gadziala, Wolf (The Henchmen MC, #3) by Jessica Gadziala, and Reign (The Henchmen MC, #1) by Jessica Gadziala all got 5 glorious stars, and Repo, who was my least favourite member of the Henchmen MC, totally stole the show. The heat, the plot, the romance, the character building - all of it stole my heart.
- Special mention for Maze. She kicked ass in every way.

What I didn’t love:
- At this point it would be sacrilege to not love something about this series. I don't care if there were spelling or grammar issues - your brain fixes those as you read. It didn't bother me in the slightest. I'd rather read this story translated in 5 year old's grammar than miss out on anything that happens in this series.

Overall…
Just. Sigh.

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Review:

Cash (The Henchmen MC #2) by Jessica Gadziala

Thursday, June 16

My rating:
5 Stars…

What I loved:
CASH

My life has been about three things- brotherhood, good times, and women. Easy. Nothing complicated. That was until Willow Swift came barging back into my life, face bloodied, banging at the gates of The Henchmen compound calling in a favor owed. Now a marker is a marker and I had to make good, but if there was one woman in the world I didn't need in my life, it was the hard-as-stone, hot-as-sin Willow Swift and whatever mysterious ghosts from her past that were haunting her present.

WILLOW

My life has been nothing but two things: hard and complicated. The last person I wanted in my business was the notorious love-em and leave-em Cash, but I needed help and he was the only one I could lean on without worrying about him finding out about my past. But I was starting to wonder if maybe he was his own kind of dangerous bent on tearing down some things I had long since learned were not possible for me- like falling for a guy I could not, ever, let see the real me.

****

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Without a doubt, 5 glorious stars! Jessica Gadziala is the author I never knew I always wanted!

What I loved:
- Lo is such a strong leading woman. I loved her character progression, the way her story unfolded, the way she carried herself, conducted herself - just adored her. JG paints a strong, feisty, independent woman without letting her come across as bitchy, manipulative or too stubborn for her own good.
- Cash. What a ladies man! I loved that he loved and respected women - he enjoyed everything about female company, and wasn't a neanderthal... though I do love me some neanderthal! I just loved how unique JG made her characters.
- Internal dialogue. These characters don't all talk the same, act the same, use the same mannerisms. Each is their own person, and their thoughts weren't interchangeable. Having read as many romances as I now have, I've come to appreciate that characters are often lacking their own personalities. Not here!
- Wolf. Reign. Repo. Summer. Janie. I want to know all of these characters stories. I feel a series binge read coming on!
- The plot arc. It was dramatic without being predictable. It stood out. It made sense. The way the characters reacted to situations made sense.
- Parts of the book were damned funny. Laugh out loud hilarious, actually. That was a welcome break in what could be a little bit dark at times.

What I didn’t love:
- There were a few grammar and structure issues in the actual writing, but I was loving the book so much that I gave zero shits about that. It was nothing that your brain doesn't correct for itself anyway. And I'll be honest, in this genre, and an era of self publishing, I've seen a whole lot worse.

Overall…
My first book from this author - so no, I have not read the series in order - and I loved it like a chocolate fish. Totally up there in my million star ratings! If the rest of this series contains these kind of strong, unique characters and twisty story lines, I'm hooked.

Review: Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3) by Judith McNaught

Friday, June 10
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
My rating:
In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

ELIZABETH CAMERON

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

IAN THORNTON

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth's heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.

Destined for each other, yet wary of each other's motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London's drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?


What I loved:
 
Feeling a little foolish over her confidences, Elizabeth glanced up at him with an embarrassed smile. “What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?”
Dragging his gaze from the beauty of the gardens, Ian looked down at the beauty beside him. “Any place,” he said huskily, “where you are.”

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Why did happy memories fade and blur until one could scarcely recall them at all, while horrible memories seemed to retain their blinding clarity and painful sharpness?

What I didn’t love:

Loved it all. A header like 'What I didn't love" doesn't belong anywhere near this book.

Overall…

Nobody writes like Judith McNaught.

Review:

Wolf (The Henchmen MC, #3) by Jessica Gadziala

Wednesday, June 8
My rating:
5 Stars…

What I loved:


The Henchmen return to finally give us Wolf & Janie’s story.

He was just supposed to be saving her from herself… and the half dozen criminal enterprises that would want her blood when they realized what she had done.

What he hadn’t planned on was her invading every aspect of his life with her fiery temper and inability to take no for an answer. And when he finally got beneath her walls and found out why she had gotten herself into trouble in the first place, he knew what he needed to do.

He sure as hell didn’t think he would end up being the one who would need saving…

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Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

What I loved:
- Wolf's backstory. Actually, probably anything Wolf did, I loved.
- So, this story is darker than either of the previous books in the series. I'm fine with dark, if it has impact. Sometimes I feel that authors' throw bad things into their plot for shock value, which actually has the opposite effect. With JG's writing, the darkness is so personal, so graphic, so uniquely worded that she can make a massive impact without it seeming contrived. Anyway - what I'm saying is: The darkness in the story actually made me love the characters more.
- Janie. She's so smart, and a total crusader for her causes.
- I'm starting to sense a theme with this series (and hopefully, with all JG books!). All the leading women are not built like barbies. Some are pear shaped. Some are straight up and down, and flat chested. Some are tall and skinny. Some are short and 'plump.' And all are strong, kickass, intelligent women, with their own spirit and their own mind.

What I didn’t love:
- Nothing. Everything about this book was awesome, to me. I got depressed when I saw I only had 30 pages to go.

Overall…
I rated Cash a 5 star and adored it. But Wolf's story was even better! I haven't read Reign or Repo yet but they are next on my list. Come on Jessica Gadziala - so far you've not let me down!!!

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