Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review Roundup...

Hey there my fellow Book Nerdians!
I wanted to do a quick recap of what I have been reading... some of the things I've loved and some things that didn't quite do it for me. 

First up...


AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.

New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?


This Book Nerd Says: 
I don't think it's any type of secret to say that I'm a huge fan of everything that is Christina Lauren. That being said, I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed when I finished reading this new release. Don't get me wrong I liked it, I just didn't love it. While Ruby came across as humorously and awkwardly endearing most of the time, I found it hard to get a grasp on how I felt about Niall. I know it's kind of wrong to compare one book to another but after the Beautiful Series gave us Bennett, Max, and (*swoon*) Will, it's kind of hard not to expect Niall to live up to the terrific individual standards set by the book boyfriends that came before him.
I must also add that while the majority of the book only seems to cover a few weeks but the pacing seemed to go a little too slow for my expectations. 
But it still was a treat to revisit our old friends from the rest of the series... especially Will (you know I had to). In fact it's those little reunions throughout the books that were some of my favorite moments. I also fan girl appreciated the tie in between the Beautiful Series and the Wild Seasons. In my booknerdian world all these characters coexist together anyway and I loved that the authors brought that to the pages. 

I gave Beautiful Secret 3.5 Stars. It's available now so you can check it out for yourselves!

Moving along, next we have....


To take back life, one must first face death...

One man stripped of his freedom, his morals...his life.

Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unremorseful, unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. Death and brutality are the masters of his fate.

After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge...bloody, slow and violent revenge.

Revenge on the man who lied.

Revenge on the man who wronged him.

Revenge on the man who condemned him and turned him into this: a rage-fueled killing machine. A monster void of humanity; a monster filled with hate.

And no one will stand in the way of getting what he wants.

One woman stripped of her freedom, her morals...her life.

Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Triad’ bosses of New York's Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it’s a virtual prison. Her father’s savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring—The Dungeon—ensures too many enemies lurk at their door. 

She dreams to be set free.

Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. As manager of her father’s death match enterprise, only grief and pain fill her days. Her mafia boss father, in her world, rules absolute. And her fiancĂ©, Alik Durov, is no better; the Dungeon’s five-time champion, a stone-cold killer, the treasured son of her father’s best friend, and her very own—and much resented—personal guard. Unrivaled in both strength and social standing, Alik controls every facet of Kisa’s life, dominates her every move; keeps her subdued and dead inside...then one night changes everything. 

While working for her church—the only reprieve in her constant surveillance—Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn’t talk. Doesn’t communicate with anyone. He’s a man beyond saving, and a man she must quickly forget...for both their sakes. 

But when weeks later, out of the blue and to her complete surprise, he’s announced as the replacement fighter in The Dungeon, Kisa knows she’s in a whole lot of trouble. He’s built, ripped and lethally unforgiving to his opponents, leaving fear in his wake and the look of death in his eyes. 

Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man...this man they call Raze.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, excessive violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up.


This Book Nerd Says: 
This book has set on my kindle shelf for a while and so when I finally got a chance to dive in it, I was almost instantly reminded of why I had one-clicked it to begin with. Man this book was so intensely good that I couldn't read anything for a little bit after. Now let me just put it out there, that warning at the end of the book synopsis, it's there for a reason. However, the intensity and the explicit sexual situations/violence, all serve their purpose in this story. To clarify I didn't feel like anything was "overdone", rather it all worked together to make both Raze's and Kisa's character come into better focus. 
Now this was my first read by Tillie Cole so I'm not certain of her writing style in general but this was so well written. I felt like I was watching a thriller mixed with a poignant love story unfold before me. I keep wanting to go back to her characters... 
Raze is the probably one of the most deadly lethal alpha characters I've read and yet from the beginning to the end all you want to do is comfort him. You will cheer him on through every gruesome fight scene because he's Raze and he stole your heart on the first page. 
At the same time as I fell for Raze, I found myself loving Kisa. She has such a pure and genuine quality about her character. And because I loved Kisa... I hated Alik. God, did I hate Alik. But that's another testament to how good these characters were written. 
As the story unfolds, we get to go into another underworld of activity, where there are bad guys who are good at heart and bad guys who transcend the bad and introduce us to unfiltered evil. In this same story we get to witness a love story years in the making...

I gave this one 4 Stars. It's also available now for you to check out! 


... And Lastly


What happens when the man you’re married to isn’t the man you married anymore? Clove Calloway knows within an hour of picking up her husband Turner from the airport that something is different. Yet she can't pin point what. Together since College, they know everything about each other. So why has she spent the last few days watching everything he does, hoping for a clue? What could have happened within that week he was gone?
One way or another she's going to find out.
When Clove invests in the help of her brother Zack, a police detective, she’s afraid her suspicions of infidelity will be confirmed. Terrified that such news will crush her heart, she sets about preparing for the worst.
Only to find it's much more than she could have imagined—there is no other woman.
Clove’s life is about to descend into a web of deceit, lies and betrayal.
Appearances can be deceiving… and only the Master Manipulator will be left standing.
“The eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Henri Bergson
 



This Book Nerd Says: 
I love the premise of the story. The execution... not so much. 
I figured out the twist almost immediately... that's not uncommon for me however so it wasn't the main reason that I didn't like this one. 
I never empathized with the MC, probably because I couldnt help but to feel annoyed and frustrated with her for the entire story line. Her thoughts/words never sync up with her actions.
The story is graphic and while that's not always an instant deal breaker for me, in this case it was a major turnoff because I feel like the plot was only found in spontaneous crumbs disrupting seemingly never ending sex scenes.
By the last 25% of the book I was exhausted of the cycle. The dialogue didn't do it for me, it never felt natural and several times I asked myself aloud "Who talks to people like this?".
There were twists and turns but like I said I figured out the main one pretty much from the start. I wasn't however prepared for the ending which is pretty much a cliff hanger (be warned). 
The ending gave me a small glimmer of hope but then like that *poof*. It just wasn't meant to be. So while I'm sure there'll be another book coming, I wouldn't read it. I had to push myself through this one and it didn't compel me enough to need to know what happens next. 
I don't always post my *not so loved * book reviews on the blog (though they can always be found on my goodreads) but for this one I decided to share because 1. I always promise you guys honest book reviews and 2. I had a few people ask me to let them know how I liked this book... 
So there it is. While the reviews on Goodreads seem to be very mixed, I gave this one 1 Star.  It is available now, so if you want to check it out please do so! My opinion is solely just mine. 
Also if you do check it out, please be aware that there are very intense and graphic sexual scenes that may be a trigger to some, so go into it with that knowledge and only if you're a MATURE reader. 



I hope you are enjoying whatever you are reading right now and if not feel free to check out the books in this REVIEW ROUNDUP and also check out any of the previous book reviews I've written for anything that may catch your eye! 
Also, if you've read anything awesome you think I should check out feel free to let me know in the comments! 

Thanks for stopping by today and stay tuned for some brand new reviews coming in the next few days!!


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