Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review | LADIES MAN by Katy Evans

Ladies Man by Katy Evans
Adult Romance published April 26, 2016
KT Publishing
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

TAHOE ROTH.
Irreverent, cocky, playful and naughty.
He’s not the guy you date.
He’s the one night stand.
The one your mother warned you about.
The one your body craves.

You’d think the man who called me succulent would want to strip me down and spread me out on his bed—like he’s done with countless others.
But he passed on my offer….
Just like I’d once passed on his.
He’s wary, like I am.
He’s broken, like I am.
And everyone knows two broken parts can’t ever make a whole.
Tahoe and I are strictly friends.
So I distract myself with other men.
He doesn’t think my new man is good enough. This blond blue-eyed beast doesn’t think any man is—himself included.
But the more time we spend together, the more confused I feel.
I'm trying to open myself to love.
Yet I'm quickly realizing that the only man I want is Tahoe Roth.
The one man who will surely break my heart.
My Thoughts...
I guess that I didn't realize that Katy Evans was going to spin off of the Manwhore Series, but I am SO glad she did.  I really enjoyed this story.  I wasn't a huge Gina fan in Saint and Rachel's books.  I felt like she was way too wrapped up in a man that didn't love or appreciate her.  She spent so much time pining after a man who wasn't worthy of her time.  You know who is worthy of her time?  Tahoe Roth!

It's entirely possible that I like Tahoe more than Saint.  He's definitely a more likable character from the beginning, even if he's a player just like Saint was in the beginning.  He's another rich playboy that all the women want and he's not one to deny them.  Most of them, that is.  He has this idea in his head that Gina is too good for him so he's keeping her at arms length.  Meanwhile Gina gets tired of waiting and decides to date someone else.  There is no denying the chemistry between them though.  Being just friends is much harder than either of them anticipated.

For the bulk of the story they remain friends, but there comes a point where there is no denying what is going on between them.  I think that Katy Evans does a great job with the build up of their relationship.  It's definitely not the "insta love" so many novels have these days.  I think they both feel that very early on, but they don't act on it like couples in most books do.

There are some cameos made by Saint and Rachel and we meet Tahoe's little sister who, I believe, will be the lead in the next book.  This book takes place over the course of a year so a lot happens.  If you liked the original series you will want to pick this book up for sure, but if you haven't read that one you won't be lost since this can be read as a standalone.

XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Friday, March 11, 2016

Review | "The Changing Season" by Steven Manchester

The Changing Season by Steven Manchester
Contemporary published February 23, 2016
The Story Plant
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This was supposed to be a simple summer for Billy; one more lazy expanse of time before college began. He'd fill the hours playing with Jimmy – his canine best buddy – going camping and doing all the things he promised Jimmy they'd do before Billy left.

But that was before the accident that shook the entire town.

It was before the summer job that turned into something so much more than a way to get a paycheck.

And it was before Vicki.

This summer was destined to be many things to Billy, things he didn't truly understand until now. But it was definitely not going to be simple.

An enormously touching, richly textured, deeply moving novel of new adulthood, THE CHANGING SEASON is an experience to savor.
My Thoughts...
This was actually the first book that I have taken the time to sit down and read since this school semester had really gotten started for me.  I enjoyed it, as I do all of Steven's books, but it wasn't my favorite.  There was a time when I probably wouldn't have even cared for it at all because until this past year, I was not a dog person.  I never understood how people could get so attached to their animals, but our kids talked us into getting a dog a little over a year ago and now I finally get it.  

This is the story of the last summer that Billy spends at home before he goes off to to college.  He is kind of adrift.  He doesn't know what he wants to do with his is life and he seems to be the only one of his friends who is in this position.  He takes a summer job at an animal shelter and this turns out to be the best decision he's ever made.  He is even able to take is long time companion Jimmy, a mutt he adopted from the very same shelter years before, in to work with him.  Throughout the summer Billy is also dealing some very hard issues.  He's keeping a secret for a friend, one that has the potential to change many things including a new relationship with Vikki, the girl he is in love with.

This is the story of how Billy grows up and learns that things don't always turn out the way you hope, but the way they do turn out may be better for you in the long run.  I won't say that I am a huge fan of how everything was resolved in the end.  I feel like there were things that could have been handled better or at least with a little more closure, but I do understand why it ended the way it did.  And as always Steven managed to make me cry at the end!

XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Release Review | Stepbrother Thief by Violet Blaze


Stepbrother Thief by Violet Blaze
Published by Sarian Royal on January 15th, 2016


Author's Website | Goodreads | Buy The Book On Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon:

Thirty minutes ago, my stepbrother pulled off one of the biggest jewelry heists in history—and I helped him do it. 

Now we're on the run, and I don't know what to think. 
He says he'll protect me no matter what, but I'm not sure if I should believe him. 
After all, we tried that once and it did not turn out well for either of us. 
Besides, his father raised us both after my mother passed away. 
Gill can be lots of things to me, but he can't be my lover. 

Not again. 


When I turned twenty-one, he disappeared. Just disappeared without a word. 
Over a decade later, and now he's back and more ruthless than ever. 
He says the right things, does the right things, but the truth is … 
I'm afraid of him. 
I'm afraid for him. 


What I thought….

Oh my goodness, where to begin?? As always, when Violet Blaze promotes a new novel, I jump on it as soon as it is released. This was no different with Stepbrother Thief. I was so excited for new material and like always, Blaze does not disappoint.

Gill captivated from the very first page; with his demanding demeanor and his rough calloused outer shell, I was a gone girl. Something though that I appreciated about the novel was that Gill’s character wasn’t immediately revealed. You really had to invest yourself into the story to truely understand Gill and what motivated him. As much as he wants Regi to stay at a distance, he’s pulled to her. After he left her, engaged and alone in Paris, he never thought they would be paired up once again, this time, stealing diamonds.

“Gill is….he’s too big to be contained, too explosive, too unpredictable. He’s a lion that can’t be kept in a cage.” - Regi
 
Regi is resilient, I’ll give her that. After watching cancer take her mother and being carted off to Paris with a step-father she barely knows, she’s been through the ringer. Then, after loosing the one man who meant the most to her, she still battles on. After what seems like forever, Regi is finally comfortable with life. Her step-father is more like a father to her and better to her than anyone else could ever be. Plus, she gained a half-sibling along the way. What more could she want? Yet, when Gill waltzes back into their lives, it’s like she’s thrown into the eye of a hurricane. Not only do old feelings resurface, but the real truth comes out. It takes everything for our beautiful girl to keep it together.
 
“I feel like I’ve spent a decade being eternally thirsty and now I’m drowning, drowning in him and his smell and the way his mouth always tastes bright and fresh like citrus.” - Regi
 
Again, if you’ve never read anything by Violet Blaze, pick it up! Her characters are diverse, her novels well-written, and her stories captivating. I’m giving Stepbrother Thief a solid 5 stars!

Victoria ♥

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review | The Shadows by J.R. Ward

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by J.R. Ward
Published March 31st 2015 by NAL 


Synopsis from Goodreads:
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

What I Thought...

I know it's been a while since I've posted just a regular review, so I thought I'd start 2016 with a review over a J.R. Ward novel. The last novel I reviewed of hers was The Bourbon Kings, which I hated, so when I started this novel in July of last year, it took much longer than what I'd planned to finish it. However, my reaction to The Shadows was MUCH better than what it was to The Bourbon Kings. This material is the type of material I'm used to reading of Wards. It was powerful, it was sexy, and it was worth my time.

Though slow at the beginning, just simply because it had been over six months since I'd read The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12) and my memory was playing catch up, once I delved in I couldn't put the book down! The love story between Trez and Serena isn't told like most romantic stories usually are. Ward picks apart each character down to their bare bones to show the vulnerability found within. It is through this bareness their true passion is brought to light.

The Chosen daughter Serena is a warrior. Battling an fatal illness that has plagued her ancestors for generations, she knows she doesn't have much time before her time is up. However, that doesn't stop her from living her life to the absolute fullest. After pledging to be nothing but honest with Trez and her feelings about life, Serena embarks on a journey of healing, not just for her body, but for her mind and heart as well.

Trez has always been my favorite Shadow brother, so when I realized the main proportion of this book was about him, I could hardly contain my excitement! We are introduced to the Shadow Brothers in the BDB #7, Lover Avenged. Trez and iAm trickle through the series because they are key components of the S’Hsib feud that's brewing. Trez is the "Chosen One" of his people and therefore must marry the S'Hsib princess to complete their mating ritual. Fortunately for Serena, Trez has been running from that position for years and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. He finally gets the girl and wont let anything interfere with their future plans. Trez is different than most of Ward's male characters; he isn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and be romantic and mushy. That is what really set this novel apart for me. 

Usually, Ward focuses on two main characters in her novels, with supporting minor characters to go with. However, here she throws a curve ball; while Trez and Serena are busy trying to fight fate, iAm is trying to fight the ritual that has his brother ensnared. Little does he know, the Princess of the S'Hsib tribe also has a curve ball to throw, and when the two finally collide....its nothing but a hot mess!

The only negative thing that I have to say about this novel, which it really isn't negative but more questionable, was that I hated how Ward ended it. For now, there is no talk of a BDB #14 in the works, which is good, because I don't have any idea how Ward would come back from where she ended this novel. I'm sad, too, because the ending is so real, it sucks everything positive out of the air and just basically ends. However, if this truly is the end of BDB, it was a great way to go out. Overall, I give it a solid 4 stars. If you're a fan of the series, definitely read it! If you've never read the series, start it!

Victoria ♥

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