Monday, November 30, 2015

REVIEW - The Raven Room by Ana Medeiros

Title - The Raven Room
Author - Ana Medeiros


Anything you can imagine. Everything you crave. For the members of The Raven Room, it’s every fantasy fulfilled. But for some, that desire is a matter of life and death.

Drawn by needs he cannot control, Julian ventures to The Raven Room, a secret and exclusive sex club in the underbelly of Chicago. It goes beyond sex. It goes beyond kink. The Raven Room is the only place where Julian finds release from the dangerous urges that threaten to destroy the successful life he’s worked so hard to build.

When the police link the Raven Room to the death of a young woman, it threatens to expose a number of powerful people—people who would kill to stay anonymous...

Meredith’s body can’t get enough of Julian. He has opened her sexual horizons to tempting new possibilities. But out of bed she’s an aspiring journalist, and The Raven Room is the story she’s been looking for. By writing an exposé on the club and its elite clientele, she plans to launch her career.

As Meredith embarks on a sexual journey into the forbidden world that Julian inhabits, questions emerge, and dark appetites threaten to swallow her whole. How much can she trust the man who has laid bare her erotic nature and how much will she sacrifice in order to protect him?

What I thought

Reserved and secretive, Julian Reeve is a child psychologist and a professor. He is also a kinky guy with kinky needs.
Meredith Dalton is a student and aspiring journalist, who has a sexual "arrangement" with Julian. They both get what they want and need from each other and let's just say their arrangement / relationship is "open".

"She knows this is where I need her to be so I can take my pleasure. It's both incredibly selfish and giving. She knows it. I know it. The perfect understanding of human nature."

Meredith is aware that Julian is a member of a super secret kinky club, and after having a light bulb moment embarks on a mission to excel herself in her journalistic career by convincing Julian to take her there so she can write an exposé on the underground oasis that is "The Raven Room".

This book is not a regular romance. Yeah there is connection between a couple, but not the couple you think. (Enter Alana who I really liked)
" 'I thought we agreed to no more questions' she said gently scolding him. 'I haven't agreed to anything. Yet' "
This is an erotic suspense with enough twist to give you whiplash. Characters & mystery galore. on paper that's a winner for me, but in reality, me and this book just didn't connect.

There is a lot going on and there is a cliffy, which added to my moderate feelings. Between the frustration of Meredith selfishness and the fact that I actually wanted something different for Julian I just finished this book feeling unbalanced. That said it is book one of a series so I'm sure following through the rest of the books will level my sense of uneven and hopefully I'll have kinder feelings towards the characters.

Side bar, this is a debut novel, and a damn good debut novel. Its confident and compelling and my personal feelings aside, at no point did I want to put this down. I see a good future for this series when it is complete.

"She moved the hair away from Alana's neck. Suddenly, Meredith knew what Julian was trying to tell her."

Star Ratings:
Plot = 4/5
Characters = 3/5
Heat = 3/5
Writing Style = 4/5
Overall Rating = 3.5


** A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review**

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Top 10 List - Cartel/Mafia/Mob

Cartel - Lili St Germain - Goodreads
Dark and gritty story, telling the story of Dornan Ross before Seven Sons. Totally gripping, and a different side to Dornan. 

Dirty Angels - Karina Halle - Goodreads
Very dark look at one of Mexico's notorious Cartel leaders. Twisted tale of abduction, attraction, and revenge. Some really gritty scenes. Totally addictive. 

Little Doll - Melissa Jane - Goodreads
A girl goes hunting for her missing brother and ends up abducted. She ends up a prisoner in a sprawling Cartel leaders mansion. Tale of trafficking, evil blood, and unlikely chemistry. Full on dark action.

Hell's Kitchen - Hart Saint Germain - Goodreads
The sons of a mafia boss, two kidnapped women an out of the business hitman and a couple on the run. An ensemble cast from two women who really know how to write a mafia romance.

Raze - Tillie Cole - Goodreads
Russian notorious crime family runs an underground fighting ring. Only to find their latest big fighter is closer to them than they realised. Very hot action, emotional story, and lots of blood and darkness. 

Dark, dangerous and at times deeply disturbing. One man will go to extraordinary lengths to seek revenge on the mobster who ruined his life from childhood on.

Carter Reed - Tijan - Goodreads
When Emma gets mixed up with the wrong people, she turns to the only person she can trust, Carter Reed

Killing Sarai - JA Redmerski - Goodreads
Girl prisoner since she was a child, finally breaks free, with the help of a professional killer. She now wants revenge on the ruthless crime family who held her prisoner, tormented and abused her for years. Years of abuse has left her with different outlook on life. 

Savage Fire - Kathleen Kelly - Goodreads
An Italian crime family member, meets and MC club and of course chaos ensues. A sexy look into two opposite end of the spectrum group and the drama they cause.

Heart of Stone; Incineration - DH Sidebottom - Goodreads
When a London crime family take in lifelong victim Ava Stone, everyone gets more than they bargained for and the trouble Ava thought she already knew, is only the beginning.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

REVIEW - Talon (Ashes & Embers #4) - Carian Cole

TITLE - Talon (Ashes & Embers #4)

AUTHOR - Carian Cole



Caring. Hard-working. A devoted family man, loves kids.
Clean cut, funny, smart, quiet, but a good communicator.

~ Asia Jenson


Independent. Tall, blonde, sexy. Outgoing. Intelligent, 
neat. Unslutty. Confident. Loves to travel. Committed.

~ Talon Valentine


The concept was scary but exciting... 
Marry a total stranger.
Live together for six months.
Journal everything. (Feelings. Fights. All of it.)

After six months, we each get $50K in trade for our journals, whether we stay married or not. But the goal is to commit to the experience and see if the relationship experts could put together the perfect matches.

I have never been lucky in love. This was my chance to find my soulmate.
I couldn’t wait to meet the man the experts felt was perfect for me.
My hopes were immediately dashed when I saw him at the altar.
Shit. I married my worst nightmare.

** can be read as a stand-alone! **

My Review:

Talon is the fourth book in the Ashes and Embers series by Carian Cole. Carian has slowly become one of my favorite authors with this series. I love the way she writes and the fact that she is fearless in addressing different topics. While these books can be read as standalones, I enjoyed following the stories from the beginning. They are all intertwined together and you learn more about the other characters in the series while you are reading the books as well.

Talon focuses on Talon, one of the Valentine brothers and also member of the famous rock group Ashes and Embers. Talon is tired of one night stands and women who only want to use him for sex. His mother suggests he apply for a social experiment that would have him marry a complete stranger chosen by a group of people after getting to know all people in the experiment. Enter Asia. She has never had an easy life. She had no one in her corner other than her best friend. She has always had trouble in the dating scene and wants to find her perfect match so she applies for the experiment.

Each of these characters go into this having an ideal match in their head. When they meet, they quickly agree that they do not think the other is their perfect match. This was an important part of the book for me. I think Carian did an amazing job of discussing how first impressions are not always right. I also loved how she explored the fact that what we might think is perfect for us, might not actually be what we need. What one wants and what one needs is sometimes going to be different and we must accept it.

Both Talon and Asia go through major development. They each change slowly as they get to know one another. Although they are not sure about the other person, they both take the experiment very seriously. I think Talon grows the most though. He had a set thought about what his new wife was going to want from him. When he met Asia and she fought him tooth and nail about everything, he realized that maybe not all women were gold digging women who only wanted him for sex. I think that this set in motion his development and growth for the story.

There is also tragedy within this story. I love that Carian is not afraid to take a serious topic and research it to put it into one of her books. It is obvious that she did her research with this one. I also love how she didn’t shy away from the ugly parts of life. Although it broke my heart and I cried at points, this story felt organic and raw. I love that about Carian’s writing.

I do want to mention that we get to see from the other characters in the series. Asher tends to always make an appearance within all the books so far. He seems like the level headed wise one in the group. I absolutely love his part in this book. Not only does he come out in the beginning and do an amazing thing for Asia, but he speaks wise words throughout the book. I cannot wait to read his story because throughout the series we were able to see glimpses of his life. It seems like he really wants all his siblings and cousins to be happy and find love.

Overall, I loved this book. This would have to be my favorite book in the series, which is hard to say because I loved Lukas. I did not find anything in this book I didn’t like. There was an amazing plot, two very well developed characters, and a lot of heat. I would recommend this book to my friends and others. Thank you Carian Cole for another AMAZING book. I cannot wait to read the next one.

Star Ratings:

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Heat: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Favourite Quotes:

“You can barely find your glasses on your own head sometimes. Please don’t try to find me a man.”
“I found Rob, didn’t I?”
“You rear-ended him at a red light while you were texting and driving. You’re lucky you didn’t hurt him.”- Asia and Kat, Talon

“You were sheer perfection,” he says wistfully. “You know the vanity in the bathroom?”
I nod a little. “Yes. We’re not on a first name basis, but we’ve met.”
“Shut up, smartass.”-Asia and Talon, Talon

“Every part of you tastes delicious,” he groans. “I want to f’n eat you alive.”
“Mmmmm… sexy with a side of serial killer…” I tease. –Asia and Talon, Talon.


Monday, November 23, 2015

REVIEW - When Our Worlds Fall Apart - Lindsey Iler

TITLE - When Our Worlds Fall Apart 

AUTHOR - Lindsey Iler


Love is complicated. Add in high school and it’s bound to get worse. 
Kennedy Conrad spent her summer hiding from the world, leaving her plenty of time to relive every moment spent with Graham Black. Now at the start of her senior year, she has one goal. Avoid the boy who broke her heart. He seems to be everywhere she turns.
Letting go isn’t always the easiest thing to do. 
Graham Black spent his summer parading around with nameless girls at endless parties. At the start of his senior year, he pretends to be okay with his choices and masks his pain, but Graham can’t escape the reminder of his own broken heart. Every time he turns around, she’s there.
Sometimes people come into your life for different reasons. 
Someone new reminds Kennedy what she deserves, leaving Graham two choices: be pushed back into the shadows or fight for the only girl who’s ever understood him.
Can they find their way back as their worlds fall apart?

My Review:

“4 star, pick yourself up and dust yourself off kind of Novel” 

This is the second book of Lindsey Iler’s following Graham and Kennedy. They are going into their senior year of High School and are no longer the IT couple. They are trying to figure out how to just be near each other, but not be together. Like any couple who loves each other, they are struggling with not being together. Kennedy wants Graham, but he won't do it. He believes he's the reason for her problems. 

After all the pain and heartache from book one Kennedy has decided to pick herself up and move on. Shes trying to hold herself together, get through the school year, then she's free to get the hell out of dodge. 

Mark, Graham’s former best friend sets his sights on Kennedy. He's not afraid of Graham. He helps Kennedy heal and become whole again. With Graham out of the picture Mark quickly becomes someone she can count on. Only problem is, he falls for her, does she feel the same or is she holding out for Graham? 

After leaving Kennedy, Graham fell back into his former manwhore ways. He can't stand to be around her and not be able to touch her. It becomes even harder when Kennedy and Mark get together. Can he keep it together? Can he really take up Kennedy's offer and be just friends? 

The struggle is real in this book! We don’t get the answers we want or feel like we deserve. Once again Iler kept us hanging at the end of the book. We will have to wait for the third and final book to find out if Graham and Kennedy make it in the adult world. Or maybe all they are, is each other's first loves and we will meet their forever people in college. The only person who knows is Iler and she's holding her cards close to her chest. 

In When Our Worlds Fall Apart you get to know the secondary characters even better and fall in love with them even more. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book: 

“You’re the most free-spirited, strong, determined girl I know. It’s because of this that I thought I would give back to you because you’ve done so much for everyone else.” 

“Life’s no fairytale, but if it were, you and I would be an epic one.” 

“Life is not as simple. Once a choice is made, if you second guess your decision, you can either ask for forgiveness or a do-over. I’ve been given plenty of do-overs in my life. Sometimes, I just don’t know what to do with them.” 

“We aren’t sad. Our relationship may not have had the easiest start and middle, but I would never describe our love as sad. I gave up on us for you, and to this day, I regret that choice, but only for selfish reasons.” 

“There has never been any doubt of the love we share. It’s the type of love we feel even when our worlds aren’t connected, even when things seem impossible and broken. A love like ours, you fight for. A love like ours means we’ll always find each other.” 

Star Ratings:

Plot- 4/5 
Characters- 4/5 
Heat- 3/5 
Writing style- 4/5 
Overall- 4/5 


REVIEW - When Our Worlds Collide - Lindsey Iler

TITLE - When Our Worlds Collide

AUTHOR - Lindsey Iler


Kennedy Conrad is everything he needs.
Graham Black has two rules in life. Play baseball, so he can get the hell out of Tennessee, and leave your shirt on when you drop your panties.
He’s a typical all-American pitcher with the world at his fingertips. His devilish good looks and charm help him crawl into the beds and hearts of the girls at his high school. With secrets no one knows, he has every intention of running away from his hometown the minute he graduates. Nothing can get in his way. Until poor choices collide him into Kennedy Conrad.
Graham Black is everything she wants.
Kennedy Conrad has her own set of rules. Dance with your whole heart, and make it through each day without being noticed. 
She’s sweet and reserved, everything Graham’s not. After one fated night, she can’t stop him from noticing her anymore. She knows there’s a chance of heartache by letting him in. When the unthinkable happens to Kennedy, Graham realizes what he’s been fighting is what causes Kennedy to end up hurt. 
Can their love survive one more thing that is meant to pull them apart?

My Review:

When Our Worlds Collide is Lindsey Ilers debut novel, with that being said I was quite impressed. Usually I feel like authors hit off the mark when writing about High School kids, but Iler nailed it in my opinion. She took real life scenarios that would be hard for an adult couple and threw them at a few kids. 

Kennedy is the good girl. All she cares about is dance, getting good grades, and getting into Columbia. Nothing else matters, until Graham. She sees the guy he's meant to be, not the one he acts like. 

Graham is the typical popular jock. He always had a drink in his hand and a girl on his arm. His ticket out of town is his curveball and nothing is going to stop him. The only person who stands in his way is Kennedy. 

They started off as people in the same class, not even knowing each other. Then they form a sort of friendship, that turns into the real kind of friendship, that falls into lovers. Their love is far from easy though. Kennedy is willing to fight to hold onto Graham where all he can see is the trouble he's brought into her life unintentionally. Will they make it? 

This book covers underage drinking, abuse, rape, and much more. Basically Iler puts Kennedy and Graham in every worst case scenario. It's real life stuff that can happen to anybody. The secondary characters are a riot. I don’t know who couldn't love Dan or Violet. They will remind you of some couple you know. I cannot wait for book two to see what happens to not only Kennedy and Graham, but the whole group. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes: 

“I’m going to kiss you. You just need to tell me when to stop because I’m pretty sure that I could kiss a girl like you forever.” 

“I’m the guy who refuses to let girls take their tops off when I’m fooling around with them because it’s too personal. I’m not someone who you should want to get close to.” 

“There’s something about young love that makes us adults secretly jealous. Love at your age is easy. You know in your heart that this person consumes you, owns you. Knowing their name isn’t necessary before it all happens. As you get older you’ll learn that love becomes more about the circumstance rather than the excitement of your heart. Promise me you won’t let your heart age before you do. If you do you could end up letting something go wishing everyday that you still had it in your grasp.” 

“Sort of and I’m starting to believe that there’s a reason why life sometimes doesn’t want people to be together, so we’re thrown these curveballs and obstacles to prove to us that we were never supposed to be together in the first place,” 

“She’s a rare one who somehow is timid and sarcastic and overwhelmingly beautiful to the point that it hurts to just be in her presence.” 

Star Ratings:

Plot- 3.5/5 
Character- 4/5 
Heat- 4/5 
Writing style- 4/5 
Overall- 4/5 


REVIEW - Lukas (Ashes & Embers #3) - Carian Cole

TITLE - Lukas (Ashes & Embers #3)

AUTHOR - Carian Cole


Storm’s younger cousin.
Vandal’s little brother.
You’ve met him in the background.
The sweet one. 
The nice one. 
The one they can all rely on.
The good one.
He’s a tattoo artist. He plays metal and classical music - on the violin.
He’s got a body built for sin.
He’s 24.
In comes Ivy. She’s a 36 year old single mom who hasn’t dated in 18 years. 
All she wanted was a tattoo.
She got a helluva lot more :) 
Being good has never been so bad.

My Review:

Lukas is one hot book. This is the third book in the series, but it has become my favorite book in the series. The main character, Lukas, is my new favorite book boyfriend. He is incredibly hot and encompasses everything a bad boy should be, while also being incredibly sweet. He is honestly everything that I would want in a significant other.

I have to say that I am falling in love with Carian Cole books. She's an amazing author that makes each book unique. Often times when you find books in a series they are very similar and it can sometimes seem like you're reading the same book over and over with just different characters. Carian does a wonderful job of intertwining the stories, yet making sure that they are each their own story with their own unique detail. I cannot believe how different these books are but I love every single one of them. I cannot wait to read the future books.

These two main characters are developed wonderfully. Ivy is going through such a rough time and she's really just trying to figure out where to go in life. I loved her storyline. There are often times that comes in a person's life when they have to sit back and evaluate situations and make decisions that they definitely do not want to make. Ivy had to go through this in the book and while it was heartbreaking and I want to cry for her, at the same time I was proud of her for actually taking time to evaluate the situation. Sometimes we as people jump to wrong conclusions or make decisions without having all the facts. I love that she trusted her gut.

Lukas was also developed. I feel like he was so lost and that he was looking for somewhere to belong. I think he was impulsive at times and I think that him and Ivy together helped each other grow into more mature people. There are definitely some very hard parts in the book, and I was very happy to be able to read his point of view. As these stories intertwine we are able to see the other characters as well and I love this part of the book.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. There are plenty of hot scenes it, a lot of drama, and definitely tears. I felt so many emotions while reading this book. I would one hundred percent recommend this to friends and family.  If you haven't been reading her books he's been missing out!

Star Ratings:
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Heat: 5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Favorite Quotes:

“I will, and think about getting on top of someone else, too. A good sexy fling could really cheer you up.”
“Go.” I point to the door, laughing at her. 
Lindsay and Ivy, Lukas

He looks at me sideways and winks. “I don’t make mistakes. And if I did? I’d do it so well you wouldn’t even realize it happened.”
“I see,” I say, admiring his confidence. “Some things in life, you just can’t do over. They’re meant to be permanent, whether they’re what we expected or not. Doesn’t mean they’re a mistake.” 
Ivy and Lukas, Lukas

He scoffs and re-positions my leg. “Shit, that’s not old either, and you look great. I see some young girls in here that look awful from doing drugs, abusing their bodies, baking in the sun. Hell, most of them have fake body parts. I don’t know what I’m touching half the time, and what might break off or pop.”He smiles up at me. “You have a really sweet natural beauty.” 
Lukas, Lukas