June 15, 2018

Review: Dark Pleasures by Aja James

Title: Dark Pleasures
Author: Aja James
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: June 15th, 2018
Buy: Amazon

NOTE:  Story is for mature readers due to sexual content.

Goodreads - Devlin Sinclair, the New England Dark Ones’ Hunter, is on a mission to track down the elusive and mysterious Medusa, perhaps the ultimate nemesis the Pure and Dark Ones have been battling in recent years.

But he can’t do it alone.

Grace Darling has isolated herself from the world since a very young age, after her parents’ death and because of her own social disability. Awkward and brilliant, a born sensualist, Grace agrees to a blind date that changes the course of Destiny.

She has the skills he needs.

Their chemistry is off the charts, but will she, can she, give him the love he craves?

My Review - Dark Pleasures is book 4 in the Dark/Pure Ones series. We start off with a bit more of Sophia's story. It seems with each book in the series we get a little more of her story, though woven throughout the main storyline. In this case, the story of Devlin and Grace.

Devlin, a Dark Ones vampire, is very computer savvy but he needs the help of someone even more skilled at hacking than himself. That's where Grace comes into play. Devlin needs Grace's help to hack into Zenn, a tech company that Grace works for and helped build the computer systems for. While Grace eventually agrees to help him, there is something she needs from him as well.

I really liked Devlin and Grace's story. Grace was a rather interesting character. She has a unique form of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her case, she doesn't really show or express feelings. She doesn't know how to. And that makes her blunt, direct and honest to a fault. I found it rather refreshing.

Then we have Devlin! He has a past that haunts him and perhaps even hinders him at times with regards to his feeling for Grace. But I loved his character. :)

As with most of the books in this series, you not only get a main story (in this case that would be Devlin and Grace's story) but you also get more information about characters that you've been introduced to in previous books. As I mentioned already, we learn a bit more about Sophia but also there is some interesting revelations made regarding Tal, Inanna's father and Inanna's adopted son, Benji. Of course, I can't tell you what that is. ;) Just trust when I say it's some intriguing information that I'm sure will be further delved into in a subsequent book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and the series as a whole.


**ARC given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.**





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June 1, 2018

Review: The Billionaire's Assistant by Rose Francis

Title: The Billionaire's Assistant
Author: Rose Francis
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: July 11th, 2016
Buy it: Amazon 

NOTE:  Story is for mature readers due to some sexual content.

Goodreads - Stressed Naomi is having one of those “Murphy’s Law” kind of days—everything that can go wrong is going horribly wrong. Traumatized by events from the night before, she ends up distracted at work—to the point that it gets her fired. Her continued distraction leads to more catastrophe as she almost smashes into a stranger as she hurries away—or is it a blessing in disguise?

Noticing her distress, the handsome, wealthy-looking stranger offers her an attractive solution to her immediate needs: work for him as his personal assistant—no catch.
Ha! She doesn’t believe him, but her desperation makes her accept, and it isn’t long before she suspects he wants a whole lot more from her than getting his coffee!

She has been saving herself, but can she resist the hunk who saved her?

My Review - ******BEWARE - REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS******

I'm rather disappointed with this book. I wanted to like it but I almost stopped reading it twice. But when I realized that I was close to half way through it already, I decided that I might as well finish it.

This story was mainly just told to you as a reader instead of having the dialog necessary to feel like you are there, that you're a part of the story. There is one part in particular that I thought could have made for an exciting twist in the story and ... NOTHING! Yes, the author added the twist, which I'll be honest, I didn't see coming and got all excited to see what would happen. But pretty much nothing happened. Let me explain.

So, you have Naomi and she's hoping one day she finds her sister who was adopted when they were young and Naomi wasn't. She hasn't seen or heard from her sister since. After she's offered a job by billionaire businessman Kevin, she gets a message from her sister through Facebook. She's all excited to reconnect with Tyra (aka Alyssa) that Naomi tells her about her life, her new job, etc. One day Naomi up and leaves Kevin's house without telling him where she's going (not that she had to tell him though, but Kevin was expecting to see her at breakfast and she never showed.) She left a note behind telling him that there is something she needs to do and she'll be back in a couple hours. About an hour after she leaves, and with Kevin going out of his mind waiting for her return, she shows back up at the house.

Kevin is naturally thrilled to see her back, because he thought he may have scared her off, but he notices some odd things about her. So he tells her to go upstairs and wait for him in the room, she'll know which room. Next thing you know, he's calling Naomi, who had gone out to meet her sister. Now you do find out earlier that Tyra is Naomi's twin, but that they are fraternal twins. There was no mention prior to this that they looked identical. I suppose that was the author's way of sneaking the twist in there. But the next thing you know, Naomi returns and they have Tyra locked in a room until Naomi makes a decision on what should be done with her. I would have personally loved to see the scene play out more, not that I wanted Kevin to sleep with Tyra, thinking she was Naomi. I'm beyond happy that he knew Naomi well enough to realize that Tyra wasn't her, but the whole thing was so anti-climactic. And then there wasn't even a scene with Naomi confronting Tyra about what she tried to do.

I'm not sure that I can say I liked any character in this book. Laura, Naomi's roommate in the beginning, only seemed to care about herself. Laura's hook-up tried to rape Naomi and although she apologized, she didn't seem to care that much, and she certainly had no issues with bringing random guys home again. Plus, all she seemed to do was try to bring Naomi down.

There were times when Kevin first hired Naomi, that things he thought were just downright creepy. I can probably safely say that that was not the way the author intended to portray Kevin, but that's the way it read to me. It's something that an alpha male character might think, to be controlling, but that was not Kevin. I never got a real alpha male sense to him, and that's okay!

Oh well, I didn't believe the romance in this book, and I didn't like that there was so little dialog. I'd seen reviews, even of books that I've read myself, where people have mentioned this sort of thing and of the books that I've read myself, I didn't agree with their statements. But this one, I understand what they mean now.



Find Rose Francis Online
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April 5, 2018

Review: Dark Desires by Aja James

Title: Dark Desires
Author: Aja James
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: April 5th, 2018
Buy: Amazon
 
NOTE:  Story is for mature readers due to sexual content.


Goodreads - Ryu Takamura is the Dark Ones’ Assassin. He has never missed his target…until now. Until her.

Ava Monroe is a talented geneticist who holds the key to the vampire race’s future…and perhaps her own as well.

Their attraction is explosive from the first. She would do anything to have him. He would sacrifice all to protect her.

But will their love triumph over seemingly impossible odds as they battle enemies new and old? Especially the demons from Ryu’s past? And deep within his heart?


My Review - Dark Desires is book three in the Pure / Dark Ones series. The world within this series is rather large, with many characters that are important to the stories. Because of that, in the first two books, I found myself having a little difficulty following along, remembering who was who and so forth. However, I didn't have that problem with this book. Apart from Ryu and Ava there were really only a few characters from the previous books in this story, as well as some new characters, but I just felt this one flowed easier for me.

I absolutely loved Ava and Ryu. Ava is incredibly smart and she basically just says exactly what she is thinking, even if she doesn't mean to. So when it came to her feelings for Ryu, from the very beginning, she'd just flat out say what was on her mind. Ryu was more reserved with his feelings and that primarily was due to his upbringing. He didn't have it easy. His mother was a prostitute and he witnessed too much at a very young age. He didn't know who his father was and his mother wouldn't tell him. And even though he seemed to want to dismiss his feelings for Ava, he couldn't.

Ava's work as a geneticist was extremely important to her not just because her own father was living with Parkinson's disease, but it was her father that really fueled her desire to find a cure for any number of degenerative diseases. And vampires weren't even something she thought existed. So when she finds out it doesn't really frighten her. She's more intrigued than anything.

Dark Desires really held my interest. And as much as I loved book one, Pure Healing, I think this one might just be my favorite so far. So if you enjoy paranormal romances with some action, mystery and suspense, I think you will enjoy Dark Desires.





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**I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

February 27, 2018

Review: Happy Ever Never by Brittany Holland

Title: Happy Ever Never
Author: Brittany Holland
Genre: Romance


Goodreads

A modern twist on a classic tale. A love story tangled with secrets, seconds chances and destiny.

Destined to be together, doomed to be torn apart.

When Willow and Piers first met, she was searching for adventure and he was longing for a place to belong. They both found more than they bargained for. Hopes and dreams for their future destroyed by a secret that had to be protected at all costs. Willow was forced to say goodbye to London, leaving behind a heartbroken Piers.

Willow tries to move on but she can't seem to let go of the past. When clues surface leading Piers to her, he realizes he's lost more than he ever imagined. Angry, he leaves her no choice but to return to London with him.

Undeniably drawn together, history starts repeating itself until lies and insecurities threaten to tear their love apart.

Will it be happily ever after for Willow and Piers, or does their story end with happy ever never?

My Review

Happy Ever Never kept me thoroughly immersed in the story of Willow and Piers. Anger, jealousy and betrayal basically tore them apart but their love for each other never faded. And although Piers was initially angry with Willow when he finally found her after a little more than five years, they do their best to repair their relationship.

There is a part of this story that I'd love to talk about but I worry that it might be considered a bit of a spoiler, since I didn't see it coming when I started reading. So I'll just say that I loved this little secret. :)

While I did enjoy the story there were instances that confused me a bit. At one point where Piers and Willow are arguing it didn't feel right. It was like the argument, the anger behind it came right out of nowhere. Especially considering they'd been getting along well at this point.

Willow is needed back in England to be present at the reading of her Aunt Wendy's will. During this time you learn that her Uncle James is unwell. I don't recall if his illness was exactly explained but I felt that his part in this story wasn't finished. There was also another thing that I felt was left hanging, though this book does NOT end in a cliffhanger.

After I finished the book I decided to contact the author to ask some questions and was informed that while the books in this series are standalones, they are interconnected. So even though I felt that there were things that weren't fully explained, those things are likely to be resolved in a future book.

Anyway, I found Happy Ever Never to be a very enjoyable read, and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. It is definitely worth a read!



-- I won an ARC of Happy Ever Never from the author via a Facebook giveaway and voluntarily reviewed it.--

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January 10, 2018

Review: Dark Longing by Aja James

Title: Dark Longing
Author: Aja James
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: January 18, 2018
Pre-Order: Amazon

NOTE:  Story is for mature readers due to sexual content.


Goodreads

“Every story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know, for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.”

This is a story of the Dark Ones…

Inanna: the vampire warrior

Known as the Angel of Death among her kind, she has lived millennia alone, one of the remaining True Bloods in existence, unconsciously longing for the one male she could never have.

Gabriel: the forbidden human

His soul recognizes hers from the first encounter. With the first touch, he is awakened. Though he does not know it, he has been searching for her across the ages.

But even as they are finally reunited, their love faces seemingly impossible odds. Will history repeat itself or will they break all the rules and chart a new course together?


Review

Let me start off by saying that this is book 2 in a series. I originally read book 1 back in 2012, so to reacquaint myself with this world, I re-read book 1 before starting this. And I'm very glad that I did.

The main story in this book revolves around Gabriel and Inanna (aka Nana Chastain). Inanna is referred to by her kind as the Angel of Death. And this story begins with Gabriel visiting his terminally ill wife which is where Inanna comes into the picture. She made a Blood-Contract with Olivia (Gabriel's wife) to help her and to end her suffering. But Olivia also asked Inanna to take care of Gabriel and their son, Benji.

Inanna is immediately drawn to Gabriel from the moment she first saw him. The same can be said for Gabriel when he first meets Nana Chastian as well.

Gabriel, in need of money to help take care of his son and pay his wife's medical bills gets involved in illegal fighting. But we are talking about fighting to the death. Although Gabriel excelled at fighting, Inanna kept an eye on him because of her promise to take care of him, protect him, but also because she cares for him. After his first successful fight, and the fact that he became an Internet sensation (as the fights were live-streamed over the Internet), he was forced into fighting again. Things don't go so well for him the second time around though!

Now there are other storylines in this book that are connected to Inanna and Gabriel's story. So it switches from one to another frequently as well as taking you back into Inanna's past. I particularly enjoyed learning about Inanna's history, her family and her first love.

When I agreed to read and review Dark Longing I asked the author if the books were standalones or if the stories were connected. She said they can be read as standalones. I'm inclined to disagree. LOL In book 1 you are introduced to many of the secondary characters that appear in book 2. And, in fact, one of the storylines that runs throughout books 1 and 2 revolves around Sophia, the teenage queen of the Pure Ones. She meets Ere in Pure Healing as he's a teaching assistant in one of her college classes. She's attracted to him, and although I can't quite say he feels the same for her, he is a bit obsessed with her. And that mysterious storyline continues in Dark Longing, but only a little bit. The mystery behind who Ere is and what his interest in Sophia is still remains.

Another character that you read about in both books doesn't even have a name or a specified gender. This character is referred to as it or the creature. It's featured more in this book than the first though, as if it's storyline is building from one book to another. Which is basically what is happening with Sophia's storyline. So yeah, I personally can't say that the books are standalone. But the main storylines are, for the most part anyway, wrapped up by the end of each book. It's the subplots that continue from one to another.

So while I did enjoy Dark Longing and I loved the storyline about Gabriel and Inanna, I did find it kind of confusing and a bit difficult to follow along. I think part of the reason for that is, as I already mentioned, one of the characters is more often than not referred to as 'it' and, as far as I was aware, was a vampire. But then there is another character that is only, at certain times, referred to as 'the vampire', so for awhile there I was thinking they were the same character. You do eventually learn who the vampire is and the reason the author didn't use their name makes sense. Not referring to the vampire by name, especially when interacting with the creature, added to the intrigue.

One other little thing that I found odd was that in the present time of the story Inanna goes by the name Nana Chastian and in her past she is Inanna. Yet the author more often than not referred to her as Inanna throughout. Which, if I'm being honest, I preferred the name Inanna anyway. :) However, it just felt weird as well. I don't know, I just felt as if the author should have stuck with Nana in the present and Inanna when referring to her distant past. At least until her past identity becomes known to those in the present.

I am curious to see where the author takes this series. In particular, I'm interested in seeing where Sophia's story goes.




Find Aja James Online
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** I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.


October 1, 2017