Book Review - Serial Volume 1 (Serial #1) by Lily White & Jaden Wilkes

29 Sep 2014

3.5 NEED MORE CONVICTION STARS ★★★☆

 


"I believe I love my victims. Something about each and every one of them calls to me, draws me in and makes me fall in love. I just happen to destroy the things that I love." 

After reading Her Master's Courtesan, I swore off to read almost anything that Lily White writes & when I found out that a collaboration featuring her has been released, I jumped right at it.

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Serial, Volume One starts off with Jude Hollister. A wealthy CEO by day and a serial killer by night. He lives for the kill and gets off by killing women who entices him.

"I couldn’t stop now even if I wanted to. And why would I want to? I grant those I love the gift of eternal youth, beauty that will never fade or falter such as that of a withering flower. It’s my calling."

Ronnie, a waitress at Waffle House catches the attention of Jude and he's determined to capture her and make her his own. She's got troubles on her own but when Jude sweeps in to save her, little did she know that Jude has trapped her in his grasp.

There's also Agent Donovan Blake, the FBI agent on the Cascades Killer (aka Jude) case. We don't see that much of him in this instalment and so far all we know is that he's hell bent on catching Jude and may have some dark issues on his own. Oh and he's totally shagging his second-in-command lady, Agent Emily Chase (gotta love some dirty cop action *winks*).

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This was a fairly quick read and felt more like an introduction to all the MC's in the book, so I guess it's fairly safe to say that the thriller factor in this one is still very minimal. The only disturbing thing was being inside Jude's sick, twisted mind as he described how much he gets off during killing.

 

Due to the short length of the read, I barely find myself connecting to any MCs so far & also had me questioning a lot of things. Like why is Ronnie so different from the other women Jude kills? Why did he capture her and not kill her? Why is Ronnie seemingly calm under Jude's capture? 

Overall, I really enjoyed the dark humor that the book had to offer; being inside Jude's head was fairly disturbing but wickedly amusing. But it somehow lacked the oomph factor I was looking for in a dark erotic thriller read. Like I said, this book probably served as an intro and hopefully the later books are much more compelling to read.

I still have high hopes for this series as it sounds promising so far & with that abrupt cliffhanger at the end, I'm very eager to read the next one ;)

Book Review - Dangerous to Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

27 Sep 2014

4 I HEAR YOU STARS ★★★★

 



“Everything has changed since I met you. I thought I knew who I was, what I was, but being with you, I’ve learned about the kind of man I want to be.” 

This is my first book from Jane Harvey-Berrick and I can definitely say that I truly enjoy her writing style. With that said, I would have loved this book to be a winner for me, but sadly the heroine totally struck my nerves one too many times.

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Dangerous to Know & Love revolves around Daniel and Lisanne, two young teenagers who just started college. Lisanne is a conservative, naive girl who is pursuing music as her major but is forced to take Introduction to Business class under her parent's orders. She meets the notorious, tattooed hottie, Daniel Colton on her first day of Business class and immediately took a disliking towards him due to his closed-off behaviour.

When both of them are paired up for a business project, Lisanne discovered that there is much more to Daniel Colton that she could have ever imagined and learnt about his secret that he'd been hiding from everyone.

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Before I started this book, I noticed that a couple of my buddies DNF-ed this and those who didn't DNF-ed this, completely loved it and mostly gave it 5-stars. It had me wondering that maybe this book must be doing something right AND wrong, which piqued my interest more. And now that I've read this, I can clearly see what worked and didn't work in this book.

What worked:

* The story's premise.
Without spoiling the secret for anyone, I will just say that this is another unique premise that I TRULY enjoyed reading. I've only read a premise similar to this once before and superbly loved it. This one displayed the emotional struggles well and had its share of heart-breaking and beautiful moments.

* Daniel Colton.
MMHHMM he's definitely going into my list of book bfs! ♥ Hot, sexy, romantic and such a dirty talker; I'd take him any day ;) My heart goes out to him every single time people go all judgemental on him & I wanted to yell at everyone to leave him alone!

 

 What didn't work:

* Lisanne.
She's somewhere near the top of my list of 'heroines I would like to bitchslap/throttle/kick some sense in'. To top it off, she was a virginal heroine that came off TOO innocent and conservative that made me eye-rolled whenever she made some dumb naive comments. Also, I couldn't stand her judgemental & childish attitude; it was almost too intolerable for me that I nearly had to DNF this book.

 

Also this book was filled with judgemental people. ROAMING EVERYWHERE. BUT I do understand that it had to be written in this way because it somewhat contributes to the crux of the story. Still, it frustrated me for a good portion of the book. At one point, I even wanted to murder Lisanne's parents for their awful, AWFUL judgemental attitude.

"You have to walk a mile in another man's shoes before you judge him."


********

Thankfully by the halfway point, Lisanne didn't piss me off as much anymore & started growing on me. I was really grateful for that but sadly, I couldn't bring myself to embrace and love her character fully.

Also, Daniel & Lisanne's relationship was a great one to read. They had a turbulent relationship fueled with a lot of passion (and anger sometimes), which made this a rather angsty read and made me a happy angst whore.

Overall, I still really enjoyed this read despite the heroine issue. The story had a mixture of funny & sweet scenes, delicious sex scenes (have I mentioned that Daniel is just panty-melting hot?!), heartbreaking moments and topped with some good angst.

If you could just get past the heroine and hang on for Daniel's sake, I can assure you that this is worth the read ;)



“You think I’m broken, don’t you? You think I should be fixed? You want me to be normal. I’ll never be your version of normal, Lis. I’ll never be like you- like them.” “I’m not trying to fix you, Daniel. I just want you to be happy. I love you just the way you are.”

Book Review - Her Master's Courtesan (The Masters #1) by Lily White

24 Sep 2014

6 MIND RAPE/FUCK/TWIST UBER DARK STARS! ★★★★★★

 


"He was skilled in seduction, demanding in his domination, and haunting in the hedonism in his desire." 

This book definitely deserved a bookshelf on its own which I now proudly call the ‘book comatose’ shelf. After putting it down and even sleeping over it, my mind is still utterly consumed by this read and I can’t stop mulling over it even while at work.

I'll admit, this has completely stumped me and exceeded all possible expectations I've ever had on dark reads. It felt like all these while I was in an absolute delusion about this genre and reading this was like a rude awakening, almost as if someone poured a bucket of ice water over me. Needless to say, this book doesn't even hold a candle to any dark reads I've read out there. Period.



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I'm not gonna divulge into the plot because I think the blurb is sufficient enough to prepare you for this read. And mostly because I don't want to spoil the read for anyone. This is just one of those reads that you should just go in with an open mind and just experience it for yourself.

What I will however emphasize, is that you should take the author's warning VERY SERIOUSLY and know that this is NOT a love story. So if anyone is looking for fluffy unicorns and rainbows or anything close to hearts and flowers, STAY AWAY. This book is absolutely dark to its core, it’s dark with a capital D. So for the love of your sanity and possibly your stomach contents, please avoid this read if you’re unprepared. And for those who are, get ready to strap on for this crazy mindfuck ride and where applicable: prepare alcohol, valium and maybe some moral support from any willing party (not sure if your pets are deemed safe to be around during this read either).

 

********

I think I can easily say for everyone who has read that the contents of this read will leave you shocked, appalled and highly disturbed. And while I find this an absolute 6-stars read, please do not assume that I’m a sick masochist who condone the behaviors of both MCs nor did I find myself comfortable reading most scenes. If anything, I found myself almost chickening out this read by 70% and by the time I hit the 90% mark, I felt like throwing up my dinner. I think those who have read it can testify to my statement that the 90% mark was one of the most disturbing and brutal scene in the book.

 

I’m giving this 6 stars mainly because of the author’s bloody amazing writing in which she could turn such a disturbing read into something so completely thought-provoking. The psychological elements and twists in this book astounded me to say the least. Lily White has somehow managed to subtly weave in these twists without me realizing and planted little seeds in my mind that made me believed in what Aiden would have wanted me to believe in. I swear to God sometimes, it was almost like Aiden was speaking in my mind O__O

And of course, that’s where the mindfuckery comes into play and boy, was it a damn good one well-played by Aiden and Lily White herself. IT FEELS LIKE INCEPTION.



Another strong winning point for me was the consistency in Aiden’s character. Let me tell you, Aiden is an anti-hero at its best. If you think you’re gonna see a softer or vulnerable side of him, you have been deluded. From the very beginning, he has clearly made his stand and he damn well stuck to it. This wicked and twisted man is completely driven and unwavering that will leave you in complete awe if not mostly appalled by his actions.

You must know this fact to understand my story. I capture women. I break them down. And I rebuild them. And I am - in no way - a good man. I do not want love. I do not want kindness.



The dual POV element also made this read an absolutely riveting one as it allows the readers to tap into both the minds of Aiden and Rebecca, which I actually found to have greatly enhanced the mindfuckery element in this book. Absolutely brilliant actually. I can't spoil too much but it was rather disturbingly awesome.



********

Overall, I may fall in the minority for this but I loved the ending of the book. Actually, I even expected worse but thankfully it was much different from my imagination. For me, I thought it was perfect given the circumstances.

So how can I motivate you dark/mindfuck read junkies to pick this one up? Well, the next book in the series is coming out soon in October!! Do yourself a favor and check out this awesome review written by the ever-amazing Feifei HERE on the next book (she even beta-read it)! Seriously, it can't get any better than that! :D



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IN SUMMARY (in case anyone got sick of my word vomit):

Are you tired & bored of the same ole' dark reads? 
Do you enjoy psychological mindfuckery? 
Do you want to read about a truly dark anti-hero? 
Are you okay with non-consensual sex scenes/BDSM (which btw is highly erotic)?

If your answer is 'YES' or 'MAYBE' or 'IDK maybe with alcohol/valium/moral suppport I could do this': then by all means, TRY THIS BOOK.

If you're looking for a nice romance topped with a HEA, fluffy kittens and puppies surrounded by rainbow and sunshine: then by all means, STAY AWAY.

ARC Book Review - Believing Lies by Rachel Everleigh

21 Sep 2014

4 FORTUNE COOKIES STARS ★★★★

 



With a debut novel, there is really no way of knowing what to expect. While I did find the storyline to be rather predictable for me, I still enjoyed this quick fun read which was filled with just a right amount of angst, humor and love.

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Believing Lies starts off with Sienna who believed that her life was working out perfectly. Only months away from getting married, her perfect world is shattered when she finds out that her fiancé has been cheating on her. In an attempt to mend her broken heart, she moved in with her perky cousin, Sophie and a girls' night out at the bar has brought Sienna colliding with Adam, the sexy tattooed player.

Not eager to jump into any relationships after a betrayal, Sienna keeps her heart guarded but cannot deny the attraction she feels for Adam. A no-strings attached guy like Adam is equally attracted to Sienna but knows she isn't just another notch on his bedpost. An attempt to keep their relationship at arms' length begins with them as friends but slowly turns into much more once both defenses are torn down.

*********

Honestly I've been avoiding NA contemporary reads like a plague these days especially when nothing sticks out with all the overly common and clichéd plots. I will admit that this one is no exception to the case as the 'friends-become-lovers' plot is something I've come across one too many times.



However, I do appreciate that the author did try to twist some things up in an overused plot to make it a much more refreshing and enjoyable read for me. I enjoyed that there was no insta-love (one of my huge pet peeves) and the development in Adam & Sienna's relationship progressed realistically especially in this scenario with Sienna just coming out from a failed engagement. I also enjoyed the little touch that the author put in with the fortune cookies ♥

"If you desire something you've never had, you will have to do something you've never done."

Another winning point for me was also how lovable the secondary characters are. Sophie and her boyfriend Connor, who is also Adam's best friend really brought on some great humor to the read and was ever-ready to give the two MC's the push they needed.

My only complaint would be that the drama/conflicts that arose came off rather predictable & clichéd for me. As y'all know I'm quite the angst-whore, so I like it when my drama llama throws me off unexpectedly. However, this is just my personal taste. Those who love them angst in small doses will enjoy this one :)



*********

Overall, Believing Lies is a quick fun read for anyone who enjoys reading that 'friends-to-lovers' plot. Sienna and Adam's story comes with many ups and downs, filled with love and some heartbreak. Throw in some witty banters, great humor and the right amount of steam, this debut novel was a fun light one to read.

 ~ ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review ~

Book Review - Thin Love by Eden Butler

20 Sep 2014

4 WILDCAT STARS! ★★★★

 


"This entire piece is the story of my life, Keira; who I was, what I lost, what I want to have back and it all starts here. It starts with you, Wildcat." 

This book definitely reminded me how good angsty stories should be written and let me tell you, there were just plenty of 'em angst coming from all directions! Also I'm such an angst whore, so this one really worked for me although it drove my sanity up the wall so many times.

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Thin Love is a second chance romance story that revolves around Keira and Kona, whose story will be told in two parts in the book. Part 1 depicting their love story in college and Part 2 taking place 16 years later where they are reunited once more after a tragic event that tore them apart. Majority of the book takes place in Part 1, introducing us to the young hearts of Keira and Kona.

Keira, the 18-year old girl who is studious and ambitious; her attitude mainly driven by the weight of her overbearing mother who cares very little about her true desires. Seeking escape from her mum's suffocating grasp, Keira focuses on getting good grades and mostly channels her thoughts through music. Keira was on a straight path filled with certainty until Kona came into her life.

Kona, the charming campus manwhore is only good at one thing; and that's playing football. Beneath that tough exterior also lies a boy who silently carries the weight of his own by having to prove himself worthy of his mother's and coach's expectations. He doesn't do relationships but his world is sent into a turmoil when he unexpectedly gets paired up with Keira for an assignment.

It was hate at first sight for these two but as they slowly tear down each other's walls, their love was nothing short of wild and intensely passionate.



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Honestly I can't remember the last time I got so worked up reading a book that it made me want to leap into the book and start doing vicious things to everyone! There were some borderline insanity moments that I thought I was going to have to murder someone or as my book bestie, Penelope puts it, "go burning down everyone's houses" LOL!

I'm telling you ladies, that's seriously how crazy the angst is in this one. Keira & Kona's love story will suck you in so badly and put you through a whirlwind of emotions as you stand alongside watching their explosive relationship. I hated them but yet I loved them. I wanted to smack them multiple times but yet I wanted to give them cuddles and hugs.



The push and pull dynamic between these two will have you begging for your sanity throughout the book. There was this undeniable sizzling chemistry between them and their wild attraction towards each other will grip you so tightly as you read. The flirty and witty banters were executed well to balance out the angst and I love how Keira totally sassed Kona during their initial encounters. Love it when my heroine got balls!

I couldn't remember the last time I felt so invested in a romance story where love drowns out all logic and reasoning, where love can be so thick yet toxic at the same time. Where two young souls are consumed by love so powerful that could be so destructive.

“I don’t want easy. I want the impossible. I want love so thick, I drown in it; it’s the only thing worth having."

Their love story was of all sorts; dangerously explosive, beautifully tragic and absolutely heart-wrenching.



"When you think of me, see my face, hear my name, you’ll only remember that I loved you. You’ll remember that my love for you was never thin. You’ll remember this moment because it will be the biggest regret of your life.”

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This could have been a 5-stars winner for me if it hadn't been for the writing style of the book. I'm never really a fan of 3rd person POV and the switching of past/present tenses threw me off way too many times while reading. There were also times that I had to re-read a paragraph to understand if it was Kona or Keira speaking and that slightly disrupted my reading flow. However, luckily I was way too emotionally invested in this story that it didn't bother me too much.

Another would be that I wanted more insight on both Kona & Keira's mothers. They were equally both so spiteful that I was hoping there would be some sort of explanation to justify their behaviours.



Overall, Thin Love is an emotionally charged and angst-filled love story. A story of how two young uninhibited souls could loved so ferociously that lead them to make terrible mistakes. A story of a second chance at true love.

Highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys a story with angst galore.

Special thanks to my lovely ladies, Penelope and Supreet for our Buddy Read! ❤️❤️ I'm glad we had each other to keep our sanities intact while reading! ;)

Book Review - The Rules Regarding Gray by Elizabeth Finn

17 Sep 2014

2 NOT MY CUPPA STARS ★★ 

 


"I want to do something I'm not supposed to do. I want to want something I'm not supposed to want. I want to make the mistake I'm not supposed to make." 

The first thing that went through my mind after putting down the book was:

 

And let me tell you, I do not mean it in an entirely good way.

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Gracelynn aka Gray is a ballerina who is at the peak of her career and has been dating her current boyfriend, Ian for 4 months. On one of her rehearsal days, Ian's introduces his best friend, Jasper to Gray and subsequently led to Ian proposing a threesome (and also hinted that it's a common thing between those two in the past). Initially refusing the idea from both Gray & Jasper, a dinner between the trio has made Gray realised that she needed to let loose a little and eventually agreed to the idea. 

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Okay so here’s the thing. Prior to picking up the book, I’ve already read enough reviews to know what this book has to offer. Yes it’s not technically a love triangle book because one of them was a complete twat & that said twat allowed the other two to play hanky-panky with each other. But then the curious side of me was dying to read this one, so I went into this with only three expectations in mind.

1. To see how much of a douchebag can Ian be.
2. To see how long it takes for Gray to dump said douchebag above.
3. To see how irresistible Jasper is.

Expectation 1

And without a doubt, the award for the King of Douchebags goes to Ian.

 

On a scale of 1-10 of “the worst boyfriend ever existed” meter, he’s at 100. Rating him any less would be a complete understatement. Calling him a rude, condescending prick and an arsehole is being very nice. Seriously, there were zero redeeming qualities about him. I found his little rules to be rather pointless because he sets the rules for Jas & Gray and later walks out on them, in which he ACTUALLY expects them to abide with the rules when he’s not around. Wow talk about major benefit of doubt right there. That's very un-douchey of him tho.

Expectation 2

The official breakup was done at like 80% into the book. Unfreakingbelievable. I honestly thought it would be around 50% (which would have been bad enough), but 80% is absolutely ludicrous. I can’t for the life of me understand how it didn’t cross her mind to dump Ian sooner. I’m appalled that any woman would subject themselves to such degradation from their boyfriend in which he insults her small tits and says shit like how he was nice enough to accept her “flaws”.



I probably get it that the author went overboard with Ian’s douchebaggery to cure the love triangle situation and not dumping him earlier would only escalate the angst and the “forbidden love” factor in this story. But I would have appreciated it more if the author took the time to executed it better. I love me some good angst, but this one didn't appeal to me at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against douchebags, I just have issues with heroines who lack any sense of dignity.

However, before anyone starts throwing objects at me, I understand that this is a work of fiction. And that it's totally okay to date douchebags & not dump them at their soonest. And the fact that not everything has to make sense in a fictional world.

Lesson learnt: Suspension of disbelief will save your tortured soul in this read. Toss all logic aside and enjoy the ride.

Expectation 3: Well I've finally made it to the redeeming part of the book for me. Lo and behold the incredible smutfest!



Brought to you by Jasper who is the complete opposite of Ian. Besides the obvious fact that he is one amazing sex on legs (and a dirty talker mmhmm), he was completely endearing and affectionate towards Gray. I won’t lie, the chemistry between Jas and Gray was undeniable and they shared some great emotional moments together.

You can’t help but root for this couple throughout the book and you probably won’t even remember that Ian doucheface still existed. And remind me, what rules again?



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Overall, I was probably not made to love these kind of stories. Well yeah, I did enjoy the smut and some of the emotional scenes but that was just about it for me. I need my angst to be well-substantiated and for my heroine to have a better backbone. And that little juvenile part at the end? Definitely not well-played at all.

However, this is my very honest personal opinion of the book and while I didn't love it, please do not let it stop you from trying out the book :) I have a lot of buddies who really enjoyed this one and personally, you should give it a shot and you may find it to be at your liking ;)

Book Review - Awaken (Spiral of Bliss #3) by Nina Lane

16 Sep 2014

5 BLISSFUL STARS! ★★★★★


 


"And the most valuable lesson I’ve learned will forever live in my heart, right beside my husband. Love the one who proves to you that happily ever after is only the beginning.” 

I swooned, I cried, I laughed and then I cried more. But above all, I fell in love with Dean & Liv's story over and over again throughout the entire series.

I have no more other words to utter than I've already said in my previous reviews. The title of the series speaks for itself; it was truly a Spiral of Bliss.

Thank you Nina Lane for gifting us one of the most remarkable, unforgettable love story. For allowing us to experience Dean & Liv's story as it finally comes back to a full circle. For showing us the perfectly imperfect love.

*******
“My white knight. My beautiful, strong, brave husband who loves me more than I ever knew it was possible to be loved.

This man would give me the stars, the moon, the sun. He has slain monsters for me and alongside me. He’s battled through dark, tangled woods with me because he has never once wavered in his belief that we are meant to be forever. He would do anything for me. For us.

He’s a rare gift, my husband, perfect and flawed and completely, unreservedly mine.”
*******

PS: Sorry this isn't my usual wordy review. Perhaps one day when I revisit this book again, I'll rewrite it :) But as of now, I'd like to curl up in a ball and deal with the bittersweet feeling of this series ending ♥

Book Review - Allure (Spiral of Bliss #2) by Nina Lane

15 Sep 2014

5 ALLURING STARS! ★★★★★

 


“Our relationship, our love, cannot and will never be perfect. It will, however, always belong only to us in all its flawed, intense beauty. Perfect in its very imperfection.” 

After reading that quote above, I knew THIS was definitely a winner for me. Once I put down the book, I was in complete awe as the last 20% completely blew me away. I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes and I just wanted to give a standing ovation to Nina Lane for writing one of the most powerful endings I've ever read. And sweet Jesus, this is only the 2nd book in the series but she delivered a mighty punch right there.

Honestly Nina, if you'd write 10 more books in this series, I'll buy and read all 10 of them. No questions asked.

*******

Allure picks up right after the shocking revelation in the first book. Liv & Dean are still trying to pick up the pieces of their troubled marriage but now they're back; stronger and willing to do whatever it takes to protect each other.

When a family emergency calls Dean back home to California, the couple is once again tested. With more revelations on Dean's past coming to light and fuelled with a series of shocking turns, will they finally reach their breaking points?

*******
I don't want to sound like a broken record and tell you how amazing the writing is. Everyone should just pick up this series and experience for yourselves all these wondrous feelings. Nina's portrayal of marriage is as real as it gets and even in the most perfect relationships, there will always come a time that there will be doubts. Liv and Dean are both flawed characters with their own fears and insecurities but trust me, they are some of the strongest characters I've read, both individually and as a couple.


"For despite our differences, our struggles, our childhoods at opposite ends of the spectrum... Dean and I were the same.”



Another strong winning point for me in this book is Olivia's character. She was ABSOLUTELY ON FIRE in this one! I admit in Arouse, I wasn't too sure of her; she wavered a lot and her insecurities were everywhere. But in Allure, this woman completely soared through and stole the spotlight (I still love you Dean, but your wife totally won me over in this one). Gone is that timid, unsure woman and here comes Olivia who's just one BAMF; burning with passion who's ready to fight for what she wants and above all, to protect her husband.

“I now understand the fierce protectiveness that Dean has always had for me. I know that white-hot burn of rage, the certainty that you would do anything, anything, to make things right. I hate the helpless feeling simmering at the edge of my anger, the fear that my husband could be hurt. I want to stand in front of him like some avenging angel, battling anyone who dares to try and destroy what he has worked so hard to build.”



*******

Absolutely phenomenal writing from Nina Lane. The weaving of the past and present continues to be perfectly executed and I can see it coming back to a full circle soon enough. There were just so many beautiful quotes that I almost highlighted 50% of the book.

To keep it simple and short, this book completely surpassed all my expectations. I know all my GR ladies and my book bestie kept telling me how amazing this series was but I still had my own tiny reservations. But after putting this down, I whole-heartedly concur with all of you ;)

In that place of us, Liv and Dean, love has its own poetry and language. Allure, quatrefoil, fleur-de-lis. Right here. PR9199.3 R5115 Y68. My white knight. I’m yours. Give me a kiss. Pie love you. I remember. Professor. Beauty.

Book Review - Arouse (Spiral of Bliss #1) by Nina Lane

14 Sep 2014

4.5 BEAUTY STARS! ★★★★☆

 


“I want to learn how to trust a man. I wanted to know what true, physical pleasure felt like. I wanted to find the courage to be vulnerable on my own terms, as my own choice.” 

So I've finally made it to the Nina Lane party & after reading Arouse, I can definitely see what's the hype about ;) Also, GR really needs to start implementing the 0.5 stars in ratings because while I really did enjoy this book, it just didn't give me the 5-stars winner feel that I was hoping for.

******
Arouse is the story of Olivia & her husband, Professor Dean West. Being in marital bliss for 3 years, their marriage began to hit a rough patch when a certain event occurred which in turn, triggered a series of events that would lead our blissful couple to question everything about their relationship.

With secrets and old pasts coming to light, the question is, will their marriage survive through it all?

******

I'm starting to think that I really enjoy reading these marital books because they deal with the real issues everyone faces in their relationships. I love how realistic and relatable these stories are, we get to see that everything is not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, the imperfections are what make all these reads very honest and real.

Our marriage has always been an island, a safe place where sea-dragons and monstrous creatures can’t reach us. Now we’re letting them in, gnashing teeth and all, and we are failing to protect each other.

Arouse is exactly the type of story that I described above. It's beautifully written and despite them being a married couple, Nina Lane still managed to portray their relationship as a passionate and intense one. Sure there were moments that were a bit slow-moving at the beginning, but overall I found the story to be well-paced and did not rush into anything that is overly dramatic.



Also, I must commend Nina for doing a damn fine job in weaving the past and present together very well. Usually I'm not a huge fan of these past/present flashbacks because they confuse me and might give me a whiplash. But in this one, I thought it was brilliantly done at the right moments in the book, allowing us to experience and understand the very strong foundation of their relationship in the first place. Reading the past flashbacks definitely gave me the flutters as I witnessed first-hand their courtship days and how their relationship blossomed beautifully.

"For years, Dean has been my best friend , my confidante, the love of my life. We’ve fought for each other. My demons have cowered in the face of his strength. My secrets have always been safe with him."

Well, what can I say about Professor Dean West? A sexy professor is definitely someone right up my alley! He is wonderfully described as the white knight in this story; he's protective of Liv and you can just sense how strong his love is for his wife. The way Nina wrote Dean's character has certainly got my heart all mushy and nothing short of swoon-worthy. Sexy, brilliant, confident and possessive; Dean West fits the bill perfectly of my kind of man ♥

“Liv,” he said, his voice rough with tenderness, “you don’t have to be afraid.” “Why not?” “Because I’ll slay monsters for you.

Honestly, I thought I was going to settle for 4-stars but once I hit around 70% and the author gave us Dean's POV, that really made me upgraded my rating a little. Having it from Dean's perspective and understanding what he's equally going through really tugged at my heartstrings. Also not to mentioned, Kelsey was an amazing secondary character. Trust me, we all need someone like Kelsey in our lives ;)



Only a minor thing that bugged me was how the miscommunication between them was being dealt. I wasn't entirely happy when either one always walk out on each other after an argument and well, I kinda expected better from these two. But that's just my personal opinion ;)

******

Overall, Arouse is the first instalment of a heart-achingly beautiful story of Liv & Dean as you watched them overcome the trials and tribulations of their marriage. It also has the perfect balance of angst and erotica which keeps you captivated throughout the book.

Although it ends off with a minor cliffhanger, this book seems to be a very promising start to a great series.

Book Review - On Demon Wings (Experiment in Terror, #5) by Karina Halle

13 Sep 2014

5 CRAZY DEMONIC STARS! ★★★★★

 


“Perry,” he said quietly, his fingers trailing down the side of my face, “you’ll never have to save my life. You gave me life. I never lived a single day until the day I first met you.” 

Yes I'm powering through this series because this book is COMPLETELY UNPUTDOWNABLE! I read it in one complete sitting till the wee hours of the morning because it's JUST. THAT. GOOD.

I don't even care if I nearly peed on my bed reading this. Or the fact that I was too spooked to even leave my bedroom to go to the toilet after this one. Honestly, who the heck reads demonic possession book past midnight?! Well that would be me but still.

 

**********
A quick review in GIFs because my words will not be able to do justice to this amazeballs book.

After the ending of Book 4, Perry is back at her home at Portland. She's been trying to move on but all she feels is constant emptiness and barely making through each day.



But strange things starts happening to Perry. She often loses periods of time, she doesn't remember doing certain things or how she ends up in other places.

 

All of these seems to point at demonic possession but no one believes her. Her parents, her doctor and Maximus (I'd like to punch him in the nuts) think she's losing it.



And it really starts to get outta hand & she slowly starts to lose control of her mind and body.





Perry's sister, Ada was the only one who believed her and saved her in time by bringing Dex back (FINALLY! AMEN!) .

 

**********
And this is mostly my reaction the entire time:





All I can say that it was emotionally exhausting and absolutely terrifying.

Karina Halle absolutely outdone herself and I am completely floored by her writing. She is not only just capable of striking terror but also allowing us to connect to Perry on a whole new level. I even shed some tears because it was so heartbreaking to watch Perry struggled through everything alone :'(

I know a lot of people were upset with the lack of Dex in this one, but it really made the wait worthwhile when he finally made his appearance. My shipper heart soared with overwhelming happiness and trust me, every minute of them back together was PERFECTION ♥♥♥♥♥


"You have every right to hate me for this lifetime and many others. You have every right to never see me again. To spit on my grave. But tonight, now I'm not going to give up on you. I'm going to fix you, or die trying".

Dex Foray, you have ruined all men for me right now. I can't wait to get inside your little head with your POV-based novella ;D