Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Becoming by Samantha Summers


Title: Becoming: Book 3 in the Project Five Fifteen Series
 
Author: Samantha Summers


Publisher: Samantha Summers

Published Date: October 31, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback 

Author Website: http://samanthasummers515.blogspot.com/

 







Synopsis: 

Turning his back on the killer he was trained to be wasn’t as easy as Kalen Smith had hoped. They’d tried to run. They’d tried to hide. People had lost their lives. The wrong people. Now, driven by a thirst for revenge, Kalen and his team are preparing to take down those responsible.

But vengeance comes at a price and Ronnie can feel the boy she fell in love with slipping away from her as the darkness he’s been running from for so long threatens to consume him.

With danger looming in every direction, the possibility of a happy-ever-after is looking bleak, but The Agency isn’t the only obstacle in the way of Ronnie and Kalen’s future. Ronnie’s harbouring a tragic secret that isn’t hers to keep and the truth could destroy not only their relationship, but what’s left of Kalen’s humanity.

One way or another, everything is about to change...


My Thoughts:

I write this post about Samantha Summers' latest book, Becoming, with mixed emotions.  My sadness is not because I disliked Becoming (FAR from it!) or that it ended on a bad note.  No, I have this empty feeling because Becoming is the last book in Summers' Project Five Fifteen series.  A series that I absolutely adore.  A series that I found myself immersed in.  A series that I didn't want to end.  But like all good things... 

I first discovered Ronnie and Kalen a year ago and immediately fell in love with all of the characters and fast moving storyline.  In fact, I posted my review of First Light, the first book in the series, on November 4th of 2012 (Click here to read it.)  After that I couldn't wait to find out what was next for Ronnie and Kalen, along with the rest of the Five Fifteen boys.  I had to wait until August to read the second book, As You Were (Review found here.)  As You Were was left with a cliffhanger of sorts.  Would Ronnie and Kalen's relationship survive the secret she now knows about his past?  How would Kal, Ace, and Denver beat their nemesis and if they managed to pull it off would there be causalities?  All of these questions and more were running through my mind as I impatiently waited for Becoming to be published.

I didn't know how Summers would top First Light and As You Were, but somehow she did!  Becoming just might be the best book in the Project Five Fifteen series, and that is saying a lot!  From the moment I opened the cover I was pulled into Kal and Ronnie's life on the run.  Becoming is full of twists, turns, romance, heartache, laughter, adventure, and mystery.  I loved learning more about the other Five Fifteen boys and where life took them when they escaped Canter Creek.  I am secretly holding out hope that Summers may decide to write another book delving into the lives of these other boys.  I would LOVE to see Ace find love and for Denver to meet his match.  Wouldn't it be great to see Raf reunite with his 'family?'  And how about the other 'project' the Agency at Canter Creek had started?  I would be interested to see Ace and Denver deal with that new complication. 

I can not praise Becoming, by Samantha Summers, enough.  I really and truly loved everything about this book (and series!)  In fact, I would love to see the Project Five Fifteen series turned into a movie franchise.  Kalen and Ronnie on the big screen?  Excuse me while I swoon!  Please take my advice and if you pick up a book to read this winter, do yourself a favor and read this fantastic series.  You won't be sorry!                    


Samantha Summers


The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, Becoming, for the purpose of review.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr



Title: Blogger Girl
 
Author: Meredith Schorr


Publisher: Booktrope


Published Date: August 2, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback 


Author Website: http://meredithschorr.com/

 






Synopsis: 

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. 
 
A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. 
 
While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

 
My Thoughts:

Blogger Girl, b
y Meredith Schorr, is a fantastic Chick Lit novel that really hit close to THIS blogger's home.  At the center of the story is Kim, a legal secretary by day and the author of a successful Chick Lit blog by night.  Kim reads and reviews all of the newest Chick Lit on her blog and is highly sought after by authors and publishers alike.  It is safe to say that being a legal secretary is not Kim's passion, however her understanding boss allows her to work on her blog during slow times at the office so she really can't complain about her day job.

One of the attorney's that works at the office is Nicholas, Kim's long time crush.  As the novel starts out, Kim is beginning to get to know Nicholas a little better and it seems that her interest in him is being reciprocated.  Kim soon finds herself in a sweet and hot romance with the man of her dreams.  However, throughout the relationship Kim can't help but feel like Nicholas is better than her on many levels, the foremost being their career differences.  While Nicholas pushes her to follow her dream of being an author, Kim begins to resent his pressuring and feels even worse about herself.   

A very interesting aspect of Blogger Girl, is that fact that Kim's arch rival in high school, Hannah, has written a wonderful new piece of Chick Lit.  Wanting nothing to do with the novel, Kim gets stressed out when Hannah's publisher contacts her to review the new novel.  Another nail in the coffin is that fact that their high school reunion is upon them and Hannah makes it her mission to get a good review out of Kim.  Kim must decide what she will do: ignore the review requests, give the novel a horrible review out of spite, or write an honest review of Hannah's popular novel.

I really enjoyed Meredith Schorr's novel.  As a blogger myself, Kim's many experiences with authors and publishers really hit close to home as did her management of her blog.  At times it felt like Blogger Girl was a true reflection of my blogging life.  I also loved reading about Kim and Nicholas' romance.  Throughout the novel I found myself laughing out loud one minute, cringing the next, and then getting teary eyed.  In addition, I especially loved the interactions between Kim and Hannah.  Truly one of the 'mean girls' in high school, it seems like Hannah has not changed as the years went by. However, the scenes between the two women were hilarious and witty and I found myself looking forward to their conversations.

Blogger Girl, by Meredith Schorr, is definitely a novel that I recommend to all Chick Lit readers.  Blogger Girl is a very fast read and left me feeling happy and content.  If you are looking for romance with sarcastic dialogue and great three dimensional characters, Blogger Girl is for you!           
             

             
 
Meredith Schorr




The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, Blogger Girl, for the purpose of review.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tainted Love: Book 2 in the Sweetest Taboo Series by Eva Marquez

Title: Tainted Love: Book 2 in the Sweetest Taboo Series
 
Author: Eva Marquez


Publisher: Terra Mia Press


Published Date: March 1, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback 


Author Website: http://www.eva-marquez.com/


 





 
Synopsis: 

Isabel thought her life was on track – she was doing well in college, moving quickly toward her future, and deciding who she wanted to be. Best of all, she’d reunited with Tom, the swim coach she had a secret affair with in high school. But it doesn’t take long for her history – and his – to start catching up with them.

When Isabel goes back to her college life, after spending a blissful summer reuniting with Tom, things take a dangerous turn. Isabel gets swept up in a relationship with a dark, mysterious professor, with whom she begins a covert love affair that could ruin everything she has rebuilt with Tom. Worse, she starts to hear rumors from friends back home - rumors about a teacher having affairs with students. And Tom seems to be at the center of the controversy. Will Isabel’s instincts about what Tom’s been up to during their time apart drive her farther away, or will she forgo her new romance to run to Tom’s defense?


 
My Thoughts:

Tainted Love, by Eva Marquez, is the second book in the Sweetest Taboo series. Sweetest Taboo, the first novel, is about high school student Isabel and the three year affair she has with her married teacher and swim coach, Tom.  My review of Sweetest Taboo can be found here: http://endlessdaysofbooks.blogspot.com/2013/07/sweetest-taboo-by-eva-marquez.html


Sweetest Taboo was a very controversial and thought provoking novel.  At times I hated Tom for taking advantage of Isabel, and at other times I felt that Tom truly loved her.  My emotions were up and down so often that it felt like I was on a roller coaster.  When Sweetest Taboo ended, Isabel had just come home from her first year of college where she had nothing to do with Tom.  However, after she runs into him it seems like they may reunite and ends on a cliffhanger.   

Tainted Love picks right up where the first novel left off.  Isabel quickly finds herself back in Tom's arms and secretly goes away with him for a getaway before she leaves for her second year of college.  Things with Tom are just as magical as they were before, she realizes how much she loves and has missed him.  No one else listens to her like he does, or gives such great advice.  Tom quickly asks her to live with him in a new house he plans to buy and while she is thrilled that they can finally have a real, 'normal' adult relationship, she also feels pressured by him wanting to move so quickly while she is trying to build a life in college.  

In Tainted Love, Isabel is now 20 years old and Tom in his late 30's.  During her summer rendezvous with Tom (and when she goes back to college), Isabel can't help but be suspicious of him and his relationships with other female students.  Was she the only student he had a relationship with in all of his teaching career, or was she one of many?  What was Tom up to while she was away for her first year of college?  These doubts starts to gnaw at her as she goes back to college and she finds herself worrying about what he is doing while she is away.

Marquez's Tainted Love is told from different points of view, most notably that of Isabel and Tom.  In Sweetest Taboo, readers never quite knew what Tom was thinking.  In Tainted Love it was refreshing to read his true feelings, desires, fears, and goals and definitely gave me a new perspective on him and his relationship with Isabel.  I was most surprised by the marriage he had been in and how his two children came to be.  My opinion of how he cheats on his wife and forsakes his family was definitely altered by reading his truth.

I definitely recommend Tainted Love as I truly enjoyed it!  However, please read Sweetest Taboo first so that you have an understanding of the history of Isabel and Tom's relationship.  Eva Marquez's Tainted Love ends on a surprising and somewhat dreary note. I'm very curious to see how the final book, Time After Time, plays out.  Will Isabel finally see the whole truth about her and Tom and what will happen when the truth is revealed?                

                
 
Eva Marquez


The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, Tainted Love, for the purpose of review.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Satyr's Curse by Alexandrea Weis

Title: The Satyr's Curse
 
Author: Alexandrea Weis


Publisher: World Castle Publishing


Published Date: May 20, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  


Author Website: http://www.alexandreaweis.com/index.html




 

 
Synopsis: 

Gruesome murders are rocking New Orleans.

But Jazzmyn Livaudais is too busy running her restaurant to pay attention to the sensational headlines. And when the charismatic Julian Devereau enters Jazzmyn’s life, she becomes even more distracted by the handsome stranger.

Seduced by Julian’s charm, Jazzmyn is swept up in a passionate romance. Then she learns the horrific truth about Julian and the murders. Cursed to an unending life where no woman can satisfy his lust and no wine can quench his thirst, Julian needs Jazzmyn’s love to free him from his torment.

But Jazzmyn is in love with someone else. And Julian isn’t very happy about it.  He vows to keep on killing until Jazzmyn submits to his will.  For Jazzmyn Livaudais the nightmare is just beginning.

No one can ever break The Satyr’s Curse.


 
My Thoughts:

The Satyr's Curse, by Alexandrea Weis, is a suspenseful novel full of paranormal elements and romance that will leave your heart pounding.  Set in present day New Orleans,
The Satyr's Curse centers around Jazzmyn, a young woman who is the last of an old New Orleans family.  She owns and operates The Sweet Note Bistro, a well loved restaurant that takes up both her time and money.  Jazzmyn's life centers around her restaurant and she feels her employees are her confidants and adopted family. 
 

Jazzmyn's best friend and head cook is the handsome Kyle, whom she once had a drunken one night stand with.  She has put the night behind her for the most part and determined that there is no future with Kyle as he is not the settling down type.  Kyle, on the other hand, has been madly in love with Jazzmyn for years.  Kyle keeps the role of her best friend in the hopes that one day she will have a change of heart and give a relationship with him a real chance.

In The Satyr's Curse, Jazzmyn becomes besotted with a man who comes into The Sweet Note Bistro and strikes up a conversation with her.  There is something about Julian that instantly draws Jazzmyn to him, and the chemistry she feels can not be ignored.  However, as Jazzmyn finds herself in a relationship with Julian, she begins to realize that he is not what he seems.  As she begins to question who he really is and what he is after, Jazzmyn finds herself on a journey of revealing Julian's past and discovering his dark and dangerous side.  Shockingly, what Jazzmyn finds out is more than she could have ever imagined.  Jazzmyn is soon pulled in two directions and realizes that if she leaves Julian many negative consequences will occur.  Determined to help Julian out of his dilemma, she can't help but wish she had given Kyle a real chance.

Alexandrea Weis does an excellent job in describing New Orleans in The Satyr's Curse.  It was evident to me how much she loves her hometown.  She goes into great detail about the various neighborhoods, houses, and the deep history that is found in the city, including the element of VooDoo.  Having been to New Orleans a few years back, it was neat to recognize just what and where Weis was writing about.

The Satyr's Curse is definitely a novel that I recommend to readers who love mystery, paranormal elements, and romance.  There are many steamy scenes in Weis' novel, as well as suspenseful moments that leave you guessing.  The novel ends open ended but I was happy to see that there is a second and third book in the works.             
 
Alexandrea Weis
 

The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, The Satyr's Curse, for the purpose of review.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chasing Atlantis by Kelly Coughlin



Title: Chasing Atlantis
 
Author: Kelly Coughlin


Publisher: Outskirts Press


Published Date: July 16, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  


Author Website: http://chasingatlantis13.blogspot.com/


 




 
Synopsis: 

Amy isn't like most girls her age who dream of spending all summer on the beach. In fact, she dreads it. The yearly visit to see her mom seems even more ominous than usual. In the quaint town known as Vero Beach many bizarre things begin to happen that leave her perplexed. She can't place her finger on it but even the housekeeper is acting odd, and praying over her room. Things get even creepier when her family starts pushing an old friend on her for dates and he doesn't seem to know how to take no for an answer. So why do the three enigmatic life guards intrigue her, especially Ty, who is yelling at her one minute and saving her another. The only question is: What is he saving her from? What lies out in the ocean waiting for her? Together they must discover the truth about the world and battle the evil that threatens to destroy them.

 
My Thoughts:

C
hasing Atlantis, by Kelly Coughlin, is an intriguing Young Adult novel that has a mixture of romance and paranormal elements.  Chasing Atlantis is Coughlin's first novel and it is easy to see that she has a great imagination and storytelling capabilities.  At first Chasing Atlantis seemed like a regular YA romance, however I was surprised as the novel unfolded when Coughlin introduced readers to many creatures of the night including vampires, mermaids, and dragons.

At the start of every summer Amy must leave her father's home and fly to Florida to visit her mother and stepfather.  Never something she looks forward to, Amy is especially resistant this year and is preparing herself for the feeling of being not good enough for her perfect mother and stepfather.  However, things at her mother's house seem even stranger than normal and Amy begins to find ways to escape spending time there.  

On one such occasion, Amy finds herself at the beach and being watched by Ty, a lifeguard.  She automatically feels a pull towards him, but is confused by his familiarity with her.  Has she met the mysterious lifeguard before?  As she embarks on getting to know Ty better, Amy realizes that there are many strange things going on in her mother's small town, and it would seem that they are starting to revolve around her.  As Amy's mother pushes her towards a romance with the young and insolent Adam, Amy must figure out just what is going on in Vero Beach before she is swallowed whole.

Without giving away the story, they characters in Coughlin's Chasing Atlantis are not as they first appear and it seems everyone knows but Amy.  I felt most sorry for Amy's mother.  When Amy was a little girl her mother doted on her.  However, everything changed when her mother met and married youthful and perfect Steve.  From that day on everything her mother did revolved around making Steve happy and being the picture perfect wife to the plastic surgeon.  Amy and her needs were placed on the back burner, and as Amy became older they grew more apart.  I really felt horrible for Amy at the end of the novel with how things ended between her and her mother.         

If you are a fan of both Young Adult Literature and paranormal novels, Chasing Atlantis is for you.  Kelly Coughlin does a great job in revealing the secrets of Vero Beach and it's inhabitants at a pace that will keep readers interested.  She also succeeded in writing a very creative story.  While parts of the novel seemed a little out there, the scorching romance that is between Ty and Amy make up for it.  I personally can not wait to see what Coughlin comes up with next!             
                
 

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, Chasing Atlantis, for the purpose of review.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Inside Out Trilogy by Lisa Renee Jones (If I Were You, Being Me, & Revealing Us)




Title: The Inside Out Trilogy:
                If I Were You
                Being Me
                Revealing Us
 
Author: Lisa Renee Jones


Publisher:
Gallery Books

Author Website: http://www.lisareneejones.com/


 
My Thoughts:

The Inside Out Trilogy, by Lisa Renee Jones, consists of the novels If I Were You, Being Me, and Revealing Us.  The trilogy reminded me in a way of Sylvia Day's Crossfire Series and the Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James.  There is a little BDSM involved as well as graphic sexual scenes.  However, I feel that Jones' trilogy should not just be categorized in the erotic romance genre.  It could also be placed in the mystery/suspense category which easily makes it stand out from among it's peers.  The story being told is fresh and new, with surprises around every corner. 


Lisa Renee Jones is no stranger to writing books and her well written trilogy proves that.  After publishing over 30 novels, Jones is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.  In an exciting development for her and lovers of the Inside Out Trilogy, the STARZ Network has optioned Jones' trilogy to be made into a television series.

The Inside Out Trilogy revolves around Sara, a high school English teacher whose real passion is Art.  Out of the blue Ella, her best friend, runs off to Paris to elope as summer vacation starts.  Ella leaves Sara with a key to a storage unit she bought to flip that needs cleaned out before the summer is over.  The unit is not only filled with beautiful paintings, but Sara also finds herself drawn to the owner's personal journals.  Sara is stunned that Rebecca, the owner, would leave such priceless artwork and personal mementos to be sold to the highest bidder.  

Sara quickly immerses herself into the life of Rebecca and finds herself captivated by the sexual secrets found in the journals.  After reading about Rebecca's thoughts, feelings, and sexual escapades, Sara has a sinking feeling that something horrible has happened to the young woman.  Putting her detective hat on leads Sara to Allure Gallery, a premier art gallery that Rebecca last worked at.  With the sole purpose of finding Rebecca and giving her a chance to claim her personal effects, Sara goes to Allure.  However, what Sara doesn't realize is that by entering Allure, her safe and predictable world will never be the same.

After speaking to Rebecca's former boss, Mark, Sara is shocked when he offers her Rebecca's position at Allure.  There is something about Mark that makes Sara wonder if he is the man in Rebecca's journals.  Jumping at the chance to be around art during her summer break and hoping to find clues of Rebecca's whereabouts, Sara accepts the job.  Sara soon meets and falls for renowned artist Chris Merit, a dark and dangerous man full of secrets.  If I Were You, Being Me, and Revealing Us revolves around both the tumultuous relationship Sara and Chris embark upon and several mysteries that come to light.

I really enjoyed Lisa Renee Jones' Inside Out Trilogy.  It is well written with authentic three dimensional characters.  Chris and Sara's relationship was addicting to me and full of romance, passion, and angst.  I quickly finished each book to find out what the next novel would bring for these two dark and secretive lovers.  I also loved the various mysteries throughout the three novels.  The mysteries keep on coming, from Rebecca's disappearance and secret lover, to Chris and Sara's complicated past, and also Ella's elopement and then vanishment.  Jones' definitely kept me guessing and the suspense never went away, all of the way to the last page!     
I without a doubt recommend Lisa Renee Jones' If I Were You, Being Me, and Revealing Us.  I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Readers Copy of Revealing Us; the actual book will be released on September 10th.  If you love romance or mystery this trilogy is most definitely for you, don't miss out on the love story of Chris and Sara.  I look forward to seeing their romance come to life on the STARZ network!        
 



Lisa Renee Jones


I have been provided a complimentary copy of The Inside Out Trilogy for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Great Divide by Janet Goss

Title: The Great Divide
 
Author: Janet Goss


Publisher: Penguin
(NAL Trade)

Published Date: July 2, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  


Author Website: http://www.janetgossbooks.com/indexOldSite.html


 



 
Synopsis: 


For the past ten years, Vera Van Loon has been beating the city heat at her friend’s idyllic lakeside guest cabin. There, she’s Aunt Loony to Kit Garrett’s teenagers, a kayaker instead of a straphanger—and a million miles away from the complications of “real” life in Manhattan.

If only she didn’t have to alternate weekends with one of the Garretts’ relatives, everything would be perfect—until she discovers the truth: “Uncle” Cyrus is hardly the man she thought he was. He’s just her type, wildly appealing—and a worthy Scrabble opponent. All of a sudden, everything is perfect…until Labor Day. Because Cyrus prefers the rural life, and Vera could never give up New York.

Back in town, a chance encounter with a seductive local convinces her she’s where she belongs—but Cyrus has other ideas. With choices, and crises, coming from all directions, it’s time for Vera to make a life-or-life decision that will be anything but a day at the beach.


 
My Thoughts:

The Great Divide, by Janet Goss, is an exceptionally written contemporary chick lit novel.  The Great Divide is definitely a 'win' in my eyes!  Goss' novel centers around Vera, a calligrapher and artist in Manhattan who makes a living writing calligraphy on wedding envelopes, place cards, and other materials for high maintenance New York Socialites.  Vera is also single and has no plans of ever having children; being around her best friend Izzy's little boy is more than enough for her.  


Every summer weekend for the last decade Vera has driven out to the Poconos to be with her June-September best friend, Kit, and her family.  However, Vera is informed that this summer things will be different.  She is very unhappy that she has to split weekends at the lake with Cyrus, the best friend of Kit's hubby.  After being clued in by Kit's children, Vera realizes that 'Uncle' Cyrus just might be her soul mate, or at least be a fun summer fling.  Against Kit's wishes, Vera and Cyrus finally meet and sparks fly.  Excited for the possibility of the best summer of her life, Vera happily leaves her regular life every Friday that is composed of a family mystery that she just might be blowing out of proportion, crazy neighbors, and her September-June BFF Izzy.

Some of my favorite parts of The Great Divide had to do with Vera and Cyrus' interactions with the lake teenagers.  In the book, Goss describes Uncle Cyrus and Aunt 'Loony' as America's aunt and uncle.  They are most definitely the 'cool' adults and gladly embrace that role.  Between evening beer pong and middle of the night escapades with a rouge bear, their time in the Poconos is never dull and full of memories.

While much of The Great Divide focuses on Vera's weekends at the lake, her 'normal' life in Manhattan is also in the spotlight and progressing forward.  Vera recently moved into a coveted apartment that her father turned over to her. Here her busy life gets busier as she finds her weekdays filled with new people and situations.  Taking the problem son of her building's board president under her wings, Vera's evenings are filled unexpectedly with pot smoke, impromptu ballet recitals, and movie making.

Janet Goss' The Great Divide is a fun read that will leave you smiling both in shock and happiness.  I really enjoyed witnessing the personal journey Vera took from when the book first began until it ended.  The Great Divide is the perfect beach read, nothing too deep yet extremely entertaining!  Definitely a book that I will recommend to friends!        
                
 

Janet Goss
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, The Great Divide, for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Andrea at the Center by J.P. Kansas

 
Title: Andrea at the Center
 
Author: J.P. Kansas

Publisher:
Pink Flamingo Publications

Published Date: February 8, 2013 (Revised Print)

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle




 
 
Synopsis:

Young and beautiful Andrea is, without warning, whisked away to a secret location, where a mysterious group devotes itself to the pursuit of sexual enlightenment through the use of many sensual techniques. Gradually, she's introduced to the ways of the Center by the people that gladly occupy it. Her sense of self and her understanding of sexuality are profoundly challenged, leading her to a new understanding of herself and the deepest sexual satisfaction.
 
 
My Thoughts:

J.P. Kansas' novel, Andrea at the Center, is definitely not for the faint of heart as it is classified in the erotica genre.  In the novel Andrea is kidnapped while jogging.  When she awakes she finds herself in a castle like place with many other people, both male and female.  She soon learns that some of the people are there voluntarily while others were taken like herself.  Confused and scared, Andrea is told that she will not be harmed and will be returned to her normal life once she lets herself 'become what you are.'   

The Center is a place for various types of sexual exploration.  The people there are given jobs where they earn money and then can purchase commodities while on their sexual journey.  Deciding that she will go along with everything until she can escape or is allowed to go back home, Andrea starts to open herself up to the teachings of the Center.  Here she meets all kinds of people, both that she likes and is fearful of.    

Kansas quickly delves into the world of erotica.  Kansas has included in her novel pretty much every type of eroticism there is.  Fetishism, multiple partners, BDSM, LBGT and much more.  The novel was very eye-opening for me and I was 'squinting' at many scenes.  Please be aware that Andrea at the Center is not an erotic romance novel, so if you are looking for a lovey-dovey romance this is definitely not for you.  Instead, Andrea is on a journey of self-discovery and awakening, both sexual and personal.

If you enjoy the erotica genre then I definitely challenge you to read J.P. Kansas' Andrea at the Center.  In it you will find yourself going along with Andrea on her journey.  Be ready for some very eye opening and graphic scenes!  


The author has provided me a complimentary copy of her book, Andrea at the Center, for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Magenta Man by Jodi Cardin


Title: The Magenta Man
 
Author: Jodi Cardin

Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing

Published Date: November 26, 2012

Buy on Amazon: Paperback


Author Website: http://www.themagentaman.com/index.php






Synopsis: 

What will be the consequences when a thirty-eight-year-old wife and mother of three seeks to fulfill her secret sexual desires in the arms of a man she'd had a crush on twenty years ago? The Magenta Man explores the consequences of Katie Duncan's ultimate betrayal during the year she spent on the planning committee for her high school reunion with hunky Mark Sabatino. Although happily married to Glen for 15 years, she struggles with her intimate relations with him-at least in comparison to the ideal lover her co-workers have dubbed The Magenta Man. Reunited at the out-of-town planning committee meetings, Katie and Mark soon realize these getaway weekends have much more to offer than merely planning a reunion as they selfishly indulge in a variety of guilty pleasures, unleashing and feeding their hidden desires. Yet, in the end, the devastating fallout causes tempers to flare, strains relationships to the near breaking point, and tests tender psyches, resulting in a dénouement of infinite compassion and divine forgiveness.
 
 
My Thoughts:

The Magenta Man, by Jodi Cardin, is a contemporary novel revolving around the character of Katie Duncan.  Katie has it all, a devoted husband who loves her more than anything, three great children, a fulfilling job, and great friends.  However, after listening to the sexual adventures of her girlfriends, Katie begins to become dissatisfied with the sexual relationship she has with her husband, Glen.  Both virgins on their wedding night, Katie and Glen have an active, albeit vanilla, sex life.  Katie feels it is getting stale and wants to bring a little color into the bedroom.  However, instead of sitting down and discussing what is 'missing' with Glen, Katie allows herself to stray from her husband at the slightest temptation.


Looking for a little excitement in her life, Glen encourages Katie to sign up to serve on her twenty year high school reunion committee.  Due to the fact that she lives in a different state than her hometown, once a month Katie must drive home and stay the weekend in a hotel for the meetings.  Glen thinks this is a great way for Katie to have some personal time away from the kids and relax.  Little does he know that Katie quickly gets reacquainted with Mark, her high school crush, who also stays at the hotel during each monthly weekend meeting.  Thus begins a hot and heavy affair between Katie and Mark that carries on until the night of their high school reunion.  Of course Glen and Mark's wife find out eventually what their spouses have been up to and everything in Katie's perfect world gets turned upside down.  

I did not connect very well with Katie.  In the beginning of The Magenta Man she seems like a great wife, mother, and friend; however she makes some very selfish decisions without thinking of her husband or children.  It would have been one thing if Mark and Katie tried to stay away from each other and fought their attraction every month and then finally gave in.  However, this is not the case.  On the night of the very first meeting, Katie and Mark start their affair without much thought other than pleasing each other.  Instead of feeling guilty or ashamed afterwards, they look forward to meeting once a month to continue their affair.

It was hard for me to understand Katie's need to stray from her husband.  Had he been abusive, neglectful, mean, a liar, or a cheater it would have made more sense.  However, Glen has been nothing but faithful and loving to Katie throughout their fifteen year marriage.  He truly was the 'perfect' husband.  She says how happy she is, yet as soon as Mark enters the picture she forgets all of that and morphs into a different person.  Katie didn't really even seem to feel guilty afterward, instead she went out lingerie shopping and became giddy at the thought of choosing knockout outfits to impress her lover.  It was almost like Katie was leading two different lives:  at home she was the perfect wife and mother.  She mentioned several times how happy she was in her marriage and how much she loved Glen.  However, in the same token she looked forward to planning her weekends with Mark and escaping her life.

Jodi Cardin did a great job writing The Magenta Man.  It is a very entertaining and thought provoking novel with characters that are flawed just as real people are.  I went through many emotions while reading The Magenta Man: happiness, shock, anger, annoyance, and sadness.  If you are looking for a great read then pick up Cardin's novel and enjoy!

Jodi Cardin has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, The Magenta Man, for the purpose of review.

Monday, August 5, 2013

As You Were by Samantha Summers



Title: As You Were
 
Author: Samantha Summers


Publisher: Samantha Summers


Published Date: December 12, 2012

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  


Author Website: http://projectfivefifteen.com/

 





Synopsis: 


For every choice, there is a consequence.

Ronnie and Kalen are finally together, living their life in secret under the radar of the people who want Kalen dead. But when a visit from an old friend sends Kalen away on a rescue mission, Ronnie finds herself plunged back into the world of Project Five Fifteen quicker than she ever thought possible.

It’s fast becoming clear The Agency will never give up their hunt for the boys, and a betrayal closer to home starts a chain reaction that will change everything. Now, caught in a deadly web of lies and deceit, Ronnie is forced to question who she can trust; even the person she once trusted most.

As enemies close in, Kalen’s past threatens to destroy the happiness they sacrificed so much for, and it’s only a matter of time before the ultimate choice must be made…



My Thoughts:

As You Were, by Samantha Summers, is the second book in her phenomenal Project Five Fifteen trilogy.  Picking up two months after First Light ends, As You Were follows Kalen and Ronnie as they hide from the people trying to kill him.  I read First Light in November of 2012 and absolutely fell in love with the characters and storyline (my review of First Light can be found at http://endlessdaysofbooks.blogspot.com/2012/11/first-light-by-samantha-summers.html)  I was a little worried that As You Were would not live up to the first novel, but that concern was for nothing.  If anything, Summers' second book was packed with even more action, suspense, and romance!

As soon as I starting reading As You Were I was pulled into the world of the Project Five Fifteen boys.  This is definitely a book that is hard to put down.  For those wanting a little background information, Project Five Fifteen was a small and very secretive branch of the United States government that trained orphaned young boys to be thoughtless killing machines.  Once trained, the children in Project Five Fifteen were sent overseas as spies, mercenaries, and given other dangerous assignments from the US government.  

The boys did not question their assignments or superiors until Kalen discovered that once you turned sixteen you were killed.  The government thought the boys were too far gone to be integrated into society and the children of Project Five Fifteen decided to take their chances and escape to avoid death.  Kalen, Denver, Nash, Laith, and Ace were five of the boys that stuck together as they fled and became a family of drifters on the run.  They never stayed in one place for long, until Kalen met and fell in love with Ronnie in First Light.

I can not say enough about how great a book As You Were is.  In the beginning of this second novel the boys have split up after the craziness of the Laith ambush.  Ronnie and Kalen ran off together and while constantly watching their backs, they enjoy their time together.  However, everything changes when Ace finds them and informs them that Nash has gone missing.  What follows is a fast-paced, suspense-filled novel that has the boys and Ronnie fighting for everything they know and love.

I really love Ace and Ronnie's brother/sister relationship.  Ace is such an innocent boy, even after being trained as an assassin.  In As You Were Ace's feelings for Ronnie begin to transform into something more, however she does a good job at not leading him on.  Ronnie has very deep and sincere feelings for Ace and protects him and his secrets from the other boys, sometimes when she shouldn't.  I would love to see Ace find a nice girl in the upcoming third novel, Becoming.

The end of Samantha Summers' As You Were definitely threw me for a loop.  There were a couple of big shockers that I did NOT see coming!  The ending of Summers' second novel definitely has me impatient for her third and final novel in the trilogy that will come out in October, Becoming.  If it is ANYTHING like the first two books, Becoming will be a superb read!  If you haven't discovered the boys of Project Five Fifteen yet then I definitely recommend that you pick up the first book and join the growing fan base!   You will NOT be disappointed!   
                
 
Samantha Summers





Samantha Summers has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, As You Were, for the purpose of review.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Naked: The Dating Game by Tamra Mercieca


Title: Getting Naked: The Dating Game
 
Author: Tamra Mercieca

Publisher:
BalboaPressAU

Published Date: November 13, 2012

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle


Author Website: http://www.gettingnaked.com.au/wardrobe.html



 
Synopsis:

Unzip those fashionably worn figure-hugging jeans, slip off your beautifully laced French knickers and join Tamra in Getting Naked as she bares all in this provocative memoir. This manicured manuscript tells the sweet yet seductive tale of a woman's search for love, and what to do when the elusive desire for that all-encompassing heartfelt connection turns into a string of piercing heartbreaks. 
 
You will not find a typical love story with a happy ending inside the covers of this tantalising text. The Dating Game reveals the honest truth about modern love; the dating landscape of games, relationship faux pas, and the unspoken rules of technologically enhanced communication we must embrace in order to line up our next romantic rendezvous. 
 
Tamra strips back the layers in order to navigate her way through the racks of vulnerability and ill-fitting threads that have collected dust and stopped her opening her heart to love. As she clears out the wardrobe, she soon discovers that the truly unique garment she was looking for has been with her all along.
 
 
My Thoughts:

Tamra Mercieca's Getting Naked: The Dating Game is a biography/memoir that centers around Tamra's love life and finding happiness.  Getting Naked begins after Tamra gets out of a five year relationship.  She then begins a journey of self-discovery and finding Mr. Right.  Along the way, Tamra begins learning all she can about relationships, men, and what makes them tick.  

I really enjoyed how open Tamra was with readers throughout her book.  She was not one to shy away from controversial topics or embarrassing moments.  She faced her past head on and let readers experience what she was feeling.  It was very refreshing to see how the dating world is for single woman during this day and age in Australia vs America. Tamra led readers on her journey through online dating, blind dates, one night stands, friends with benefits situations, speed dating, and more.

Tamra is an extremely talented woman living in Australia.  During Getting Naked, Tamra is a successful news anchor on Australian radio, a drummer, author, and journalist.  She also shared how she was working on receiving her credentials to be a Relationship Therapist (which she now is.) 

Tamra Mercieca's Getting Naked: The Dating Game really opened my eyes to how many guys tick.  They can be just as body conscious, shy, and affectionate as women.  At the end of Tamra's memoir, she had gone full circle with most of the men in her life and was happily single.  I would love to see a part two to Getting Naked somewhere down the line to see if she every found 'the one.'  If you are looking for insight into relationships, men, or finding your self worth, Tamra Mercieca's Getting Naked: The Dating Game is for you!   



Tamra Mercieca
The author has provided me a complimentary copy of her book, Getting Naked: The Dating Game, for the purpose of review.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sweetest Taboo by Eva Marquez

Title: Sweetest Taboo
 
Author: Eva Marquez

Publisher: Terra Mia Press

Published Date: October 14, 2012

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  


Author Website: http://www.eva-marquez.com/










 
Synopsis: 

Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. 
 
This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.
 
My Thoughts:

Sweetest Taboo, by Eva Marquez, is a controversial book that takes a very close and personal look at a sexual relationship between a teacher and a student.  Marquez is able to tackle the forbidden, or 'taboo', relationship in a respectful and classy way.  However, that doesn't make the subject matter any less shocking to read about.  Marquez does a great job in creating a story where the reader has to think, reflect on his/her beliefs, and then think some more.

Sweetest Taboo takes place over the span of four years. When it begins, Isabel is a fifteen year old high school student who is just coming into her body.  She is finding that she likes the attention she receives from boys and looks forward to a fun sophomore year.  

After joining the swim team, thoughts of teenage boys are soon put on the back burner as Isabel finds herself fantasizing about her handsome swim coach, Tom Stevens, who also happens to be a teacher at her school.  At first Isabel believes her dreams are delusions since Mr. Stevens is in his late thirties, married, and has children.  However, Isabel soon realizes that there may be hope of a relationship when she discovers that Mr. Stevens is looking at her, finding ways to have their touches linger, and makes excuses to get her alone.

What starts as a somewhat innocent flirtation turns into a sexual relationship that lasts from Isabel's Sophomore to Senior year.  Their relationship has its ups and downs, as well as close calls.  Isabel is in a constant state of worry.  She is afraid her parents will find out, along with her peers, Tom's family, the school administration, and the police.  Isabel also worries that someone will walk in on them in a compromising position.  She never feels safe and is always looking over her shoulder.  Many times Isabel tries to break things off with Tom, but he is always able to draw her back to him.  There is something about Tom that Isabel can't resist.  He definitely has a power over her.         

I constantly found myself with two opposing viewpoints while reading Sweetest Taboo.  Marquez starts off her novel by writing, "Sometimes, regardless of the ages of the participants, it is just that.  Love.  True and pure as it can be between two people, and strong enough to lat through the years." (Marquez ix)  This opening set me up to think that maybe, just maybe, the relationship that I was beginning to read about was pure and both parties were on the same page.  However, throughout the novel there were many times when I felt myself cringing over Tom and Isabel.  Was I uncomfortable because student/teacher relations are a taboo, the major age difference, or was it because Tom wasn't who he seemed to be?  Was he truly the honest and caring man that fell in love with Isabel, or was he a man that got off on having power over young, influential girls?  Never in a novel have I battled back and forth with myself as much as I did in Sweetest Taboo. 

Eva Marquez has written a thought provoking and controversial novel.  It is hard to read Sweetest Taboo without having some kind of emotional reaction.  Sweetest Taboo is the first novel in a 3 book series.  The second book in the series is called Tainted Love and takes place while Isabel is in college.  I'm curious to read this book to see if the last opinion I formed of Tom and Isabel's relationship will change now that she is of age.      

 
Eva Marquez


Eva Marquez has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, Sweetest Taboo, for the purpose of review.