Sunday, December 25, 2016

Review: Shadows of the Forest

Shadows of the Forest Shadows of the Forest by Emma Michaels
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

What the hell did I just read???? This one was weird - Once I got to the end and then had all parts of the story, I could see what I was missing but this one was... Well, it was weird and felt very disjointed. That may have been the intention behind the author's writing style - it just felt like everything lost steam as the story started rolling along.

Kaede, Willow and Usagi - Great use of mythological ideals here. It was beautiful symbolism, however, it felt rushed. There was no real obstacle to getting Usagi back with her family in the land of the living. There was never a doubt that Lily would not do anything to save Cole. I think this was part of the problem.

The relationships were just too perfect - there wasn't enough conflict nor did the stakes raise very high until the very last moment when she had to convince them to get out of the forest. That's not to say that someone wouldn't enjoy the read, but you have to be looking for something uncomplicated and a little weird to really be able to appreciate this one.

I gave this three stars for the idea of a spirit world. I think this story really could have been something if it wasn't so condensed. I think more detail and raising the stakes would make it even harder to put down and make it even easier to love.

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte

The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte The Viscount of Maisons-Laffitte by Jennie Goutet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my copy of the eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I really like this one a lot! There was more going on here than just a romance - and it wasn't that it was a thriller, because it wasn't quite a thriller to me - it was more of a romance. There was just more plot to it than the usual thriller romance. Some of the most poignant moments occurred when the stakes were at their highest in the case of the drug ring/stolen paintings.

I really loved how these two came together. Charles and Chastity (though I hated her name, but that's neither here nor there) are first placed in each others' paths as Chastity is the English teacher at his son's school. She thinks that perhaps his son Louis could be doing drugs (he is, but that is merely a side plot) and tries to get him more involved in his son's life.

Charles has a hard time connecting with his son though, he doesn't know how to take interest into his life that isn't intrusive like he had felt his parents had been with his life. He also cannot disconnect his thoughts of his lost wife and the son who came into the world as she left it. There was so much I really loved about this, but the fact that he was not only someone who was considered an aristocrat but also someone who was gainfully employed, a neurosurgeon who helps others (children no less!) and regardless of his pain has so much love to give.

I love that Chastity really had to evaluate the father of her son Tommy's return to her life and had to decide whether she could ever go back to being with him when he was so clearly trying to make that happen. I have a hard time reading relationships like this because I recognize my own vulnerability in this. I have been in that situation before, where my child's father was trying to manipulate me into a relationship because of what he wanted not what was best for me or my child. I think that was part of my ability to be able to pickout who the bad guy was. Like Tommy, I was angry and hurt. I spend may days angry and hurt on behalf of my own child, that I was happy that Chastity found what she needed in Charles in the end. I think if Tommy had not been injured she may not have found that, and that would be a shame!

Again, I really liked this one. four stars only because the ending felt rushed. I would have loved to see some kind of an epilogue where we got to see Charles and Chastity happy and their newly melded family. Excellent!

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Review: Isabella: Pretty Woman

Isabella: Pretty Woman Isabella: Pretty Woman by Jamie Brook Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received my copy of this eBook in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Ok, this wasn't a character driven plot, it wasn't a clean romance (but it didn't qualify for my hotttttt pile) and it wasn't really trying to be like Audrey Carlan's Calendar Girl series, but it was fun in its own way.

Isabella and Reef were probably the most complex characters of the book and even they were a little flat. Reef seems to have it, but he lacks love, respect and partnership that comes from your true love. Isabella is making things work by moonlighting as Madame X's 'Ice Queen' in an escort service. When he hires her for a weekend, they make a connection that neither one of them can deny and suddenly all thoughts are about the dream - the white picket fence, the children, dogs, etc.. You know, that dream that everyone seems to have, except Isabella's is filled with more than the stereotypical one girl and one boy.

I liked their relationship - I liked the evolution! It was a simple, fun read that made you care about the characters and the outcome even without being too complicated.

There were some great gems throughout the book, but I loved this one the most:

"Look, I just wanted to take you somewhere familiar so I could be comfortable. I swear I have no other intentions. It's just I'm a nervous damn wreck around you, and - "

"You don't seem nervous," she interrupts.

"Trust me this is an act I use on all my customers. I just wanted us to be somewhere familiar today and see where things could go."

"I'm a customer? Is that how you see it?" She bites at her bottom lip as though I've struck a nerve. "Because you're sort of confusing me."

"No, I don't see you like that. Damn. This is hard. I'm confusing the hell out of myself."

I loved that Jamie Brook Thompson allowed her hero to be vulnerable and awkward. This is something that many romance authors don't take the chance with their Alpha male. They can still be an Alpha with an awkward, vulnerable moment. Thank you for giving this nervous candour in Reef!

I really enjoyed this - It would have had five stars if I'd felt more depth to the characters. Four stars and two thumbs up!

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