Review: Challenge by @amydawsauthor

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Amy Daws is a new author for me. And I like her, I really do. This’ll be a tiny teensy review, by the way, as I’m on the way out for a much-needed drink… but the long and short of it is: I bought Vi Harris and her husband’s book, after I was introduced to Vi’s brother, Camden and his lady love, Dr. Indie Porter, in “Challenge.” And, I can’t wait to dive into that. 4 stars

Review: Like A Memory by Abbi Glines

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It started off all right, but by the end of “Like A Memory,” I was scratching my head in confusion. Not “confusion,” as in I don’t understand what’s going on, but “confusion” in the sense that… well, suffice it to say I don’t get why author Abbi Glines took such extremes with her characters.

Granted. Ms. Glines creates realistically flawed characters, as evidenced by her past books. I get protagonists, Nate Finlay and Bliss York’s, struggles with their supposed-relationship and their reactions towards each other. What I felt just came out of left field was Nate’s fiancee, Olivia’s, characterization.

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Olivia, apparently, was a rape survivor. She had her childhood rapist killed, couldn’t cope with it, didn’t plan on telling Nate that she was 4-months pregnant with his son, wanted to kill her unexpected baby, committed suicide by hanging herself, and then wrote Nate a suicide note saying he’s to blame because he broke up with her. All that – in the last 25% of the entire book. I mean: what?!

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Yeah, I was surprised, but it just didn’t jive well with the rest of the plot, in my opinion. I get that someone has to be “bad guy” in a romantic novel of this genre, but the sudden twist wasn’t as seamless as other plot twists I’ve read. It was like Olivia was killed off, just for the hell of it. 

2 stars

Let Me Just Leave This Here

Serial books: love ’em or hate ’em? My definition of serial books is a set of novels that carry at most two main characters’ s story from one book to the next. Take for example: the Twilight series, the Crossfire series, and this one below.

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This series, with books 1-3 pictured above, where I had thought when they were simultaneously released in early January 2017, ended with “Ray of Love.” The way that author E.L. Todd writes is perfectly fine. Except that this story is just too damned stretched. It’s quite interesting, because it’s actually got several stories meshed together:

(1) There’s the one about Rae’s heartbreak over Ryker, with whom she had entered into a hook-up slash serious relationship in book 1, but then she finally gets her shit together and feels THE feelings for Zeke, one of her and her brother’s best friends, who had been harboring lovey-dovey feelings for her for 3 years. Unfortunately…

(2) Zeke’s in a super-speedy, but great relationship with Rochelle, whilst still holding a candle for Rae. By “super-speedy” I mean, Zeke was on the verge of proposing marriage to Rochelle after only 6 months of knowing and dating her. So, then he abruptly breaks Rochelle’s heart and goes after Rae, after he finds out that she’s got the feels for him, too.

(3) Ryker suddenly wants Rae back.

(4) Then, there’s Rae’s brother, Rex, who has gotten his head out of his ass and went after Kayden, another one of Rae and Rex’s best friends, romantically. Kayden had suddenly exemplified whore-y characteristics to get back at Rex for breaking her heart. I still don’t get why Kayden wants him, though. Rex, after all, is neither the brightest bulb in the room, nor is he the richest or the most hard-working. His only redeeming traits must be in between in his legs and his heart (i.e., loyalty)?

Reading these three books sequentially was like reading TV shows “Friends” and “Dallas” mashed together in book form, except it has different character names, has only 2 guys in the group, and one of the girls, Jessie, has a purposeless role within their circle. Everyone in the group lusts for someone else, but is too lame to speak up, thus making their stories too long to tell in one book.

Then, after spending $15 on those 3 simultaneously-released e-books, I then found out at the end of book 3 that there’s more to this tale.

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Books 4 AND 5 are, apparently, going to be released in April 2017, and each are priced at another whopping $4.99, making the total investment for this weird but very erotically sexy and trying to be funny series a hefty $24.95. I refuse to spend another ten bucks, man. I’m tapping out.

Hence, my predictions: Rae is going to hem and haw between her supposed love for Zeke and Ryker; and, Rex and Kayden will live HEA. I’m hoping Rae chooses Zeke, ‘coz, damn, the boy broke innocent-bystander, Rochelle’s, heart to be with her. However, I think E.L. Todd is going to make Ryker the winner of Rae’s stupid heart. Le sigh. I hate serials. (less)

What about you?

Review: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Warning: spoilers ahead. When I hate on a book, sorry (not sorry), I can’t help but expound on the reasons why I hated the story in it, just so I’ll remember NOT to buy another book of the same author’s.

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Welp, so the heroine cheated on a seemingly good, older man who had loved her enough to let her go. That was the worst part of the story. It’s women like this fictional one who make the rest of us look bad, quite frankly. I couldn’t tolerate (i.e., completely skipped over) the main characters’ first sexy scene together (at around the 75% mark of the book), particularly because I felt really bad for Frankie’s then-boyfriend, Victor.

Added to that, the 2 main characters, Mack Morrison and Francesca “Frankie” O’Hara, just don’t know how to communicate themselves well. During their time in college, Mack didn’t break up with his then-girlfriend, Torrie, when he felt like he should pursue his feelings/interest/relationship with Frankie. By the time that he found his balls to finally say adios to Torrie, he then discovered that he’s already knocked her up. So, he compounds one mistake after another, but continues to looooooong for Frankie. On the flip side, Frankie had moved on and formed her first long-term relationship with an older guy, Victor, who, by all indications made, was a super nice guy. He even gave Frankie a hall pass to spend 1 week with the a$$ she couldn’t get over. What did the stupid girl do? She proceeded to string Mack along, told him about the hall pass, but made it apparent that she didn’t want to use it. Mack got pissed that she didn’t want to use the hall pass, and breaks it off with her. Temporarily, of course, since she’s his true love.

Oi. WTF. And then, there was the question of Mack’s son’s paternity, since Torrie had also been sleeping with his own father, Sen. Morrison.

Jaaaaayzus, this was a 1985 soap opera/Mexican telenovela all rolled in one. Hated it, absolutely hated it. I hereby resolve not to read another Penelope Ward book, unless she’s writing it with Vi Keeland. Such a waste of time and money.

wave bye

eye roll

bang head frustrated 1 star

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Review: Her Touch by Alexa Riley

This is where I normally show the cover of the book I’m reviewing. However, due to the discomfort, agitation, and aggravation I felt after reading “Her Touch,” I decided not to show the otherwise sexily photographed and beautifully laid out book cover. The book cover belies what’s inside.

I’ve read all of Alexa Riley’s books. These two women know how to write smut. Good smut. But I guess this one crossed a line that I never thought existed for me.

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Ms. Riley pushes the boundaries in the romance genre. Taboo is her specialty. It’s inherent in all her stories, which, like I said, I’ve read. The theme of “daddy and his little girl” – that one I don’t like at all, especially the Innocence series, but it’s, to a certain degree, tolerable (still DNF’ed it). Virgins having a ruddy good time? They’re also part of Riley’s repertoire. Case in point, Shielding Lily, continues to be one of my favorite AR books. I also even like Coach, which was my first Riley-authored book. Teenaged girl and dad’s friend falling in love, with a 12-to-18-year age gap between them? Okay, I can find that hot – but only if the fictional parents approve the relationship.

But in “Her Touch?” I got the heebie-jeebies. A lot of ants metaphorically crawled all over my skin, just because I had the audacity to read this after all of the authors’ warnings in their social media feeds. In my defense, I ignored them because I thought I could handle whatever new taboo AR is dishing out.

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As the book’s blurb indicates, it’s primarily the story of how Maggie and Eli met and fell in love. In the middle of this full novel, Eli gets parental custody of 17-yo Maggie, as her dad, Thomas (Eli’s friend and mentor) went missing while on an official mission for the USMC. Maggie’s upset, sure, but her best friend, Alice? Well, she lost it. Turns out she was secretly boinking Maggie’s dad, while she was living with them during her senior year of high school. When Thomas went missing, Alice cried unconsolably and repeatedly, because… well, she’s preggers. That’s right. Eighteen year old Alice, best friend to 17-yo Maggie, is secretly pregnant with her friend’s half-sibling, thanks to Maggie’s 39-yo father. *VOMIT*

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There were other overused elements that annoyed me to no end in “Her Touch” (i.e., Eli was apparently so handsome and macho, all the women around him hit on him non-stop, including a teacher who threatened to report his taboo relationship with Maggie if he didn’t go out with her [the teacher]). However, it was the secretly pregnant Alice that broke this camel’s back. The very thought that Thomas impregnating his daughter’s high school best friend is a sexy plot twist?! And Maggie is okay with that, because Alice was a perpetually tearful wimp who was her only friend in her new school?! *EW* Excuse me while I go throw up again.

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1 star