Review: Tank by Carmen Jenner

Review: Tank by Carmen JennerTank by Carmen Jenner
Series: Savage Saints MC #2
Published by Carmen Jenner September 24, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance
Format: eBook
Also by this author: Revelry
Amazon US
Goodreads

Killer. Criminal. Sociopath.

All of these words have been used to describe me, and for the longest time I believed that that’s all I was.

I’m the man you call in to clean up your mess, assuming your mess is a guy who needs a bullet to the head. I’m the man the MC calls when they want their dirty work done.

I’m the man who doesn’t feel.

Until now.

Until her.

Now my mess is a woman who won’t save herself. I’ll fight like hell to save her, but at what price to the club? And at what cost to me?

Warning: TANK contains graphic violence, profanity, drug use, and explicit sexual situations that may be a trigger and cause some readers emotional discomfort. Intended for an 18+ audience only. Not intended for pussies.

I almost feel like this book should be titled Ivy, not Tank.  Tank is a huge part of it, of course he is, but it’s Ivy’s story of struggle and survival that took the center stage for me.

Tank isn’t the best guy. He’s done awful things. He’s the MC’s assassin, he’s witnessed horrific things happen to people who didn’t deserve them, he’s lived a life of debauchery, he’s watched as Ivy, determinately self destructs.

But he’s done with most of that now. Minus the assassin stuff, anyway.  More specifically, he’s done letting Ivy hurt herself anymore and he sure as hell is done letting her hurt him by proxy.  Though it will take all his brute strength and the caring teddy bear (it is a super huge fucking teddy bear too, let me tell you)  hiding inside to keep the woman he wants from getting what she thinks she deserves.

 

I want her submission. I want her heart. I want her to look at me and not wish I were someone else.

 

Ivy’s had a hard life. The hardest. Her past is dark and full of all the terrible horrors you never wish on a child. Becoming a whore for the MC is almost like a dream come true to her. Which, yeah…that’s fucked up, but it’s better than what she had before and the MC offers a protection she can’t gain in any other way.

Her story is a hard one to read. Start to finish. At the beginning (and if you’ve read Kick), she isn’t the easiest girl to like but as you learn more about her, she’s impossible to hate.

 

 

Ivy is tragedy, she’s pain, she’s abuse, she’s addiction, she’s sorrow.

Tank, the club assassin, is her salvation – or maybe, he’s the tool for her to find her own.

There was a point in this story that I had to set my kindle down and just absorb. I actually messaged Jenner…I may have even called her a naughty name. I can’t be blamed. I felt flayed. I felt defeated.

But that’s the point. She means for you to feel it a certain way and I did. Luckily, for the sake of our friendship, she put me back together at the end. I truly believe Jenner’s strength in writing comes out when she’s writing dark and heavy. Weather it’s dealing with abuse or rape or hell, zombies…she does it with a certain amount of bravery and I always FEEL it.

 

Miss Ali - Transparent

 

 

About Carmen Jenner

Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA TODAY and international bestselling author of the Sugartown, Savage Saints, and Taint series.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore MAC addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?


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Review: Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole

Review: Souls Unfractured by Tillie ColeSouls Unfractured by Tillie Cole
Series: Hades Hangmen
Published by Tillie Cole August 11, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance
Pages: 371
Format: eBook
Also in this series: Deep Redemption
Also by this author: Reap (Scarred Souls, #2)
Amazon US
Goodreads

Labeled a ‘Cursed’ woman of Eve from birth, Maddie has endured nothing but pain and repression at the hands of The Order’s most abusive elder, Moses. Now living with her sister in The Hangmen’s secluded compound, finally, Maddie, is free. Free from the suffocating faith she no longer believes in. Free from endless years of physical and mental torment.

Just… free…

At age twenty-one, the timid and shy Maddie is content to live within the confines of her new home—safe from the outside world, safe from harm and, strangely, protected by the Hangmen’s most volatile member; the heavily pierced and tattooed, Flame.

Flame.

The man who ceaselessly watches over her with his midnight dark and searing eyes.
The man who protects her with a breath-taking intensity. And the man who stirs something deep within her numbed heart.

But when circumstances conspire for Flame to need HER help, Maddie bravely risks it all for the broken man who has captivated her fragile soul.

The Hangmen’s most infamous member, Flame, is ruled by one thing—anger. Plagued by haunting demons from his past, an all-consuming rage, and isolated by an abhorrent hatred of being touched, Flame's days are filled with suffocating darkness, pierced only by a single ray of light—Maddie. The shy, beautiful woman he cannot purge from his thoughts. The woman he has an overwhelming need to possess…

... the only person who has ever been able to touch him.

Flame’s mission in life is to protect Maddie, to keep her safe. Until a trigger from his troubled past sends him spiraling into madness, trapping him in the deepest recesses of his disturbed mind.

His Hangmen brothers fear that Flame is beyond saving.

His only hope of salvation: Maddie and her healing light.

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

 

When Tillie Cole writes I easily forget that I am reading the works of a single woman but feel like the characters themselves are telling me a story…

 

 
 
My collection of words will not be able to convey how truly complex this novel is, I just hope I can shed a tiny light on how brutally beautiful Flame and Maddie’s story happens to be. The thing about this book is that I was having such a hard time letting it go and moving on, to be honest I didn’t want to review it right away because I wanted to be selfish with this pair and allow them to live in my soul for as long as possible, but I think the entire world should be reading this series!
 
He was still the man who protected me. He was still the silent shadow that kept me safe. The man I had missed with the most incredible fervor.
 
These two have such a tortured past that serves as a daily reminder of just how broken their lives have become. Being as this is the third book in the series we learned of Maddie’s past in the previous two books and the endless hours of rape that she fell victim to. Which leaves her frigid and afraid of anything and everything but from the sanctuary of her window she seems to hang on to the only constant that comforts her… Flame. Now he has always been a mystery to us, all we knew was that he was psycho, no more and no more less but experiencing his past but me in a rage! The things this ruggedly beautiful man had to live through do more than break my heart in half. There were multiple times when reading that I could only endure maybe 5 minutes at a time but every single word that was given in his regards is more than necessary to uncover FLAME.
 
My heart fluttered when I admitted to myself that I liked the way he watched me.
 
Even though Flame is amazing beyond belief I loved Maddie just as much, if not more I have a major girl crush on her. She was so selfless and adapted to any situation and just wanted to care for Flame in any way she could as if that were her life mission. Her intensity and loyalty to him just makes you happy and filled with pride.

 

 
Lastly, there were a few surprises that occurred one which shall remain nameless, but I can tell you that I am anxiously awaiting for Deep Redemption and to finally see if redemption can be granted to the so called villain.

 

Miss Tiffany - Transparent

 

 

About Tillie Cole

After years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or in her dream of pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap, Stetson-wearing cowgirl… Ye-haw!
Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish, which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.


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Review: You Loved Me At My Ugliest by Evie Harper

Review: You Loved Me At My Ugliest by Evie HarperYou Loved Me At My Ugliest by Evie Harper
July 28, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

She’s no stranger to love and loss…

By age eighteen, Alexa Kingsley had lost everyone. Only Joey, the lonely boy next door, remained. He’d clung to Alexa like a lifeline through years of abuse at the hands of his father, and she vowed to protect him as best she could. Alexa thought Joey was the one person who’d always be there—until the day he left her as well. Finally forced to go it alone, Alexa finds this latest loss may hurt worst of all.

He’s no stranger to lack of love…

Joseph O’Connor was every bit the villain his father trained him to be, his young heart twisted into something ugly, corrupted. But his father underestimated the girl next door, miscalculated the impact Lexi would have on Joey’s life, the spark she ignited that eventually, despite all odds, grew to an inferno of hope. To reclaim her, Joey must first become a man Lexi can be proud of…the kind of man she deserves.

Amidst a shadowy world of guns and drugs, will Joey’s ultimate sacrifice—a declaration of love from a man who was never shown any at all—be enough to finally set him free?

This series has won me over from start to finish! The order begins from YLMAM Darkest, Weakest, and lastly Ugliest. These cannot be read as standalones as the story progresses with each book and they are intertwined. I began this series after finding the first book for free on Amazon and to my luck the second one was already out, I loved the covers so decided to dive in blind, and since finishing the second book I have been not so patiently waiting for the release of the final book. I was offered an early copy (although the book is now available) for a honest review, and really it isn’t hard since I genuinely loved it! 
So there is no way to review this book without spoilers and with that, I’m begging you, do not read my review if you haven’t already read the first two books. And if you haven’t I would add them to your TBR!
This series comes to a close with Joey and Alexa, who in my opinion, concluded this group so well. Once again spoilers are coming so don’t be an asshole and keep reading if you haven’t read the first two books this is your final warning… 
 
There is so much drama and heartbreak in this book the balance was perfect. Evie’s writing is very sequential and I find that’s the only way I can describe it, when her characters say they’re going to do something they do it, bottom line. She’s definitely an emerging author and I think everyone should keep their eye out for her.

 
Now that Joey’s dad Marco O’Connor is dead and no longer a threat and his business of skin trafficking and his “Collection Pieces” have all been freed of his devilish hold Alexa and Joey should be able to live their lives free of that horrid man, or so she thought… Instead of starting a new life together Joey decides to leave Alexa to tend to his uncle Michael O’Connor who wants to carry on the family business exactly where his brother left off, and against her pleas Joey didn’t stay. All Joey wants to do is give his woman the safest life possible, but he failed to realize without him in her life she might be safe but she could never be happy. 
 

In my mind, I’m scrambling to remember why I love Joey so much, when I’m always the one, he puts last. 

 
Alexa goes in search of Joey, but really she doesn’t have to look far to find him, but when she finds him it’s far from a warm welcome! She is a fierce woman and doesn’t wait for things to happen she makes them happen, and Joey well he’s an alpha pure alpha. But she is discovering she keeps following a man who is putting her second rather than first, even if his intentions are from a good place, that explanation can only take him so far. 
 

Lexi, I not only want you,crave you, desire you, but I fucking need you. You’re essential to my soul, my fucking life force. My heart doesn’t beat without you in my life. I found that out the hard way yesterday.

 
Joey, Joseph, Joey I love him so much it’s really hard for me to part with him! Jake from the first book was my favorite but after getting more Joey it’s evident that he owns all of me! The way he loved Alexa with such a soul shattering certainty just left me whole, I pretty much just want to be Alexa and I want him to call me baby. This poor man has been plagued with some of the ugliest family members who are manipulative and dirty scoundrels but he refuses to let said family continue on destroying his life and future with the only woman who has ever mattered to him. 
 

All’s fair in love and war, baby. Tonight, we are more alike than you think, Alexa. Joey is with someone who should be mine. Pay back’s a bitch,” he says with a smirk, and then walks away, leaving me alone with Nick.

 
Meet the O’Connor Brothers… Drum roll please! So in this final book you meet Joey’s three cousins who will branch off into their own series, and yes, as always I am enthusiastically excited about this! William will be the first in the line up which is good news because he is my favorite. These three brothers will definitely be taking us for a ride!

 

Another amazing read for me and I hope this is a series everyone picks up because the men are amazing and the heroines aren’t half bad!
Miss Tiffany - Transparent
Book Series
You Loved Me at My Darkest (Book #1):  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Nook
You Loved Me at My Weakest (Book #2): Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Nook
You Loved Me at My Ugliest (Book #2): Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Nook
About the Author
Evie is an Australian author whose passion for reading lead her into writing. Evie spends her days writing heartbreaking, suspense filled love stories with happily ever afters. Evie’s characters are strong alphas with even stronger heroines who bring sexy sass to the relationship.
Stalk Evie:  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter

 


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Review: Echo by E.K. Blair

Review: Echo by E.K. BlairEcho by E.K. Blair
Series: Black Lotus #2
May 11, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance, Dark, Erotica
Pages: 335
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Hush
Also by this author: Hush
Amazon US
Goodreads

It's been said the longest echo ever measured lasted 75 seconds, but I can assure you, this will last much longer. The bang deafened the world around me, muting everything into nullity, allowing the reflection of its destruction to live far beyond its intended life.

It will follow me forever, destroying me—destroying you.

You want answers?

So do I.

I don’t think there was any other book I had been anticipating more this year, than Echo.  Bang was a book that stuck with me for so long. Maybe due to how dark and disturbing it was, maybe because the characters were so deeply, horrifically flawed. I’m not really sure, but it lingered. To say I was excited to start Echo, would be greatly underappreciating my feelings.
 
Echo will not be an easy book to review and keep it spoiler free not only for those who have yet to read it, but also those who have yet to read Bang. I’ll do my best to convey my feelings without giving away too much of the integral plot.

 

 

Nina, or Elizabeth as we’ve come to know her…is in a tailspin. A hurricane of emotions from losing everything.  Not that she ever really had a tight grip on much in life, but now she finds herself utterly alone.  Depressed, heartbroken, scared, angry and wasted – she leaves the life she’s had with no sense of purpose or direction. Just a longing to be near a dream she never believes she can reach.
 
The journey ends up bringing her face to face with the past. A past she thought was lost forever. A person she desperately wants forgiveness from. A person dead set on never giving it to her. I can’t blame this man for his feelings, I can’t blame him for most of his actions.  Some are just, some are totally cruel and some make him as equally evil and unforgivable as she is.

 

 

I can see how some readers will hate Blair for one scene in particular. It was a bitter pill to swallow.  It broke my heart. But most everything in this book broke my heart, so this felt in keeping with the theme.  These characters are brutal in their need for revenge and for pain.  Yet, they are also beautiful in the way they love unequivocally.  Despite everything they do to each other…underneath it all, it’s fueled by the love they can’t deny for each other.  They hate with such passion because they love with it as well. 
 
Echo does not have the same feel that Bang did.  It’s definitely still very dark. However, it’s much less conniving and twisted and so much more mental and emotional.  It’s not about gaining justice and revenge, it’s about healing once you are on the other side of that and facing the monster that revenge turned you into.

 

Echo by e.k. blair teaser

 

I spent more time with tears streaming down my face while reading Echo,  than not.  That’s not a lie.  I could not help be shattered by the utter despair this book emoted.
 
After reading Echo, I realized just how underrated Blair is as an author.  Flipping through my notes, I noticed more highlighted quotes in this book than I have had for any book in such a long time.  Her words are gorgeous, even when they are completely disturbing.  She’s an extremely talented writer with a brain that scares the ever loving shit out of me.  The places she has taken this story are terrifying and I’d hate to see what inspired her. Whatever it was though, I’m thankful for it. The Black Lotus series has proven to give me more feels than I ever expected.
 Miss Ali - Transparent

About E.K. Blair

New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling author, E.K. Blair, takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her books. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody and has been noted as ‘The Queen of Dark and Twisted’. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.


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Review: Asking For It by Lilah Pace

Review: Asking For It by Lilah PaceAsking For It by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking For It #1
Published by Berkley June 2, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance, Erotica
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Begging For It
Also by this author: Begging For It
Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes
Goodreads

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

Asking For It pushes the boundaries of twisted and dark erotica by seating the reader soundly in the middle of sexual uncomfortableness, hopeful romanticism and psychological curiosities.
 
Vivienne Charles is perhaps the most interesting character I’ve read all year.  The path that leads to her fantasies and how those fantasies rule such a major part of her life, was beyond intriguing. She doesn’t want to think the things she does, she certainly doesn’t want her body to respond to those thoughts with so much passion. She lives in secret, trusting people with such dark desires isn’t easy.
 
Jonah understands Vivienne’s plight. He has some depraved wants of his own. The difference between Vivienne and Jonah is that Asking for It is written in Vivienne’s point of view. So, we get to understand where her desires stem from. Maybe understand is too strong of a word. Regardless, we don’t get that with Jonah. He’s a mystery for a good portion of the book.  But no less interesting and appealing.
 
When the secrets all begin to unravel and the emotions taking place outside of the fantasy play, hit…that’s when it becomes all the more heartbreaking.
 
Asking for It is not a standalone, but I’m thankful for that. I don’t think the issues these two have, with themselves and each other, would be easily tidied up in one book.  The life and times of Vivienne and Jonah is, at best, bone jarring.  That shit takes time to mend.
 
I had a hard time setting this story down to live my own life. I was so curious as to how any real, sustainable relationship could come out of something so deeply personal and terrifying.  Asking for It is a strange mix of sadness, tenderness, tragedy and sexuality – told by a tender hand.
 Miss Ali - Transparent

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.


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Chat Review: Torture in Her Soul by J.M Darhower

Chat Review: Torture in Her Soul by J.M DarhowerTorture to Her Soul by J.M. Darhower
Series: Monster in His Eyes #2
September 29, 2014
Genres: Dark Romance
Pages: 394
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

Don't say it unless you mean it…

It's a simple concept, one I've said time and again, but something people don't seem to comprehend. You should choose every syllable carefully, because you never know when somebody will hold you to your word.

Somebody like me.

I'm not a good man. I'm not. I know. I have enough darkness inside of me to rid the world of every stitch of light. But there's one I could never harm, one light I couldn't bring myself to snuff out.

Karissa.

She thinks I'm a monster, and maybe I am. I taunt her with my touch, get a thrill out of torturing her soul. But I'm not the only one. The world is full of monsters, and I'm not the most dangerous one out there.

Not even close…

God help me, I love her.

I do.

And God help anyone who tries to take her from me.

TORTURE IN HER SOUL is the second and final book in J.M. Darhower’s Monster in His Eyes series and concludes Ignazio Vitale and Karissa Reed’s dangerous whirlwind romance. While we weren’t completely blown away by Monster in His Eyes, Torture in Her Souls was still one of our most anticipated releases of the year. How could we not be when Naz was such a dark, mysterious and dangerous hero.
Describe TORTURE IN HER SOUL in 140 characters or less.
 
Ali: A boring journey into the life of a sexy psycho fucker & his simple minded girlfriend, with not enough darkness,vengeance, or fight.
 
Debbie: Another painfully slow journey in JM Darhower’s mafia world about a sexy-as-hell psycho killer & his young and boring girlfriend.
 
How did you like having the story told in Naz’s POV compared to Karissa’s in Monster in His Eyes? 
 
Ali: I preferred Naz’s point of view, actually.  Karissa was very naive and I found it hard to connect with or like her in the first book.  While Naz’s POV takes away some of the mystery of him, his mind works in a much darker, more complicated fashion and I enjoyed seeing those complexities unravel.
 
Debbie: Ditto Ali. I much preferred having the story told in Naz’s point of view. One of my main issues with Monster in His Eyes was Karissa’s naivety. Seeing how simple minded she was and how she rarely questioned anything totally grated my skin. With Torture in Her Soul, I loved seeing just how dark and complex this mysterious man was. You see how the cogs in his brain works and how calculating he really is. Compared to Karissa, Naz is a much more well-developed character and it just made reading the story from his point of view a lot more interesting. 

What about Naz was appealing to you as a reader?

Debbie: Everything about Naz is so appealing to me. He’s dark, dangerous and totally insane. He doesn’t apologize for what he is, what he’s done, or what he will do. He has lived a majority of his life in this dark and dangerous world and he totally owns up to his craziness. I don’t know why but I love characters that are damaged and totally fucked up. It makes for an exciting read and I have to admit that I was totally turned on whenever he choked Karissa while they had sex. I know. Crazy. But damnit I found it sexy!

Ali: I completely agree, Debbie.  My favorite characters are always the most damaged ones.  I’m always intrigued by how they got that way, what makes them tick. Naz is mess inside his head but has this completely calm and controlled exterior.  I love that about him.  As well as the fact that he makes no apologies for who he is or the actions he takes, in his mind they are just.  And yeah…the choking.  The book gets an extra half star on our rating just for the choking!

Do you think Karissa evolved as a character from book one to two?

Debbie: Honestly? No. To me, she was still the same weak and simple minded girl from book one. A lot of it could be due to the fact that she grew up so isolated but to me it just seemed like she had no desire to find out anything about the situation she’s in. It’s like she was just sitting there waiting for the next shitty thing to happen and then react.

Ali: I don’t feel like she did at all.  She seemed content enough to just go along with everything.  Not talking to him isn’t really putting up a fight. You’re in a situation that is complicated, dangerous and uncomfortable yet you make no real waves about it.  She backtracked a little for me. I think she showed more strength, slightly, in book one.  All in all, I don’t see what her appeal is for a man like Naz.

Did you feel the same chemistry between Naz and Karissa in this book? Debbie: The way Monster in His Eyes ended, I knew that the chemistry between Naz and Karissa would not be the same. The physical chemistry was still the same; these two still lit up the pages. But when it came to the emotional connection, I just could not feel it. With Naz’s history and everything that happened in Monster and Torture, I could not fathom how they are even still together. It just didn’t make sense to me, especially with everything that happened to Karissa’s parents.Ali: Again, I agree. The way Monster ended, I expected there to be some explosive dialogue at the very least, and then some heartfelt revelations.  I needed it to be extreme, because this is an extreme situation.  I didn’t feel that though.  It fell really flat for me.

Overall, what did you think about the series?
 
Ali: I think the series is all about Naz, for me.  The day to day drone of the story bored me. Karissa was all too annoying and entirely too simple, just a follower with no real personality or fight.  Naz is an interesting character, which compelled me to continue to read but I think his world would have been more extreme.  His actions should have been more volatile, more desperate. As well as the actions of those he works with and hunts.  His world felt too easy and he’s not an easy guy. There was a ton of potential with his story, the opportunity to capitalize on that was missed in my mind.
 
Debbie: I think this series could have been so much better if I wasn’t so damn BORED for the majority of the time. I think Naz is one of the most disturbed and complex characters that I have met in contemporary romance and I hated seeing him being pared to one of the most lack luster heroines. The backstory between Naz and Karissa’s family was really intriguing and I loved the idea. Unfortunately, the author’s execution just didn’t work for me. I’m just glad we got to see some hard fucking and choking happening or I would have checked the fuck out long time ago.

 


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Review: Please, Pretty Lights by Ina Zajec

Review: Please, Pretty Lights by Ina ZajecPlease, Pretty Lights July 16, 2014
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 314
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

It’s September when good girl Via Sorenson stumbles into a Seattle strip club, drunk and alone on her twenty-first birthday. Matt and Nick—best friends, bandmates, and bouncers—do their best to shield her from their sadistic cocaine-trafficking boss, Carlos. They don’t realize her daddy issues come with a forty-million-dollar trust fund and a legacy she would do anything to escape.

She is actually Violetta Rabbotino, who had been all over the news ten years earlier when her father, an acclaimed abstract artist, came home in a rage, murdered her mother, then turned the gun on himself. Young Violetta was spared, hidden behind the family Christmas tree, veiled by the mysticism of its pretty lights whose unadulterated love captivated and calmed her.

Now, desperate to shed her role as orphaned victim, Via stage dives into a one-hundred-day adventure with Matt and Nick, the bassist and drummer of popular nineties cover band Obliviot. The rock-and-roll lifestyle is the perfect distraction—until she is rattled by true love. As Christmas looms closer, her notorious past becomes undeniable. How will she ever untangle herself from her twisted string of pretty lights?

Please, Pretty Lights is full of raw, grimy, damaged characters. The best kind, in my opinion.

Via witnesses the most horrific thing a child can see, at the age of 11. Her life changes that day and her world ends up revolving around that event. A decade later, on her twenty first birthday reality takes on her fragile shell of a life and dumps it in the gutter.

Drunk and looking for something, a release or a feeling of anything but numbness, she stumbles into amateur night at a local strip club. One night, changes her life for both better and worse.

Worse in that it opens her humble church mouse existence into drugs, sex and general debauchery. But better because it brings real people into her life. People that see her for who she is and not what she should or could be.

“I want to wash your hair.”  “My hair?” “It will feel better to you than anything I could ever do with my dick,” he said.

Via took some time to grow on me. At first, like any human with a heart, I felt for the little girl Via was. But it was harder to feel bad for the young woman who was constantly making really bad decisions. She grows on you though and as the layers fall away you gain such an understanding of why she is who she is. You begin to root for her, even after she lets you down time and time again.

Two characters that did not have to grow on me are Matt and Nick. They were adorably quirky from the jump. It was like insta-love for me. I am crushing on them both hard. They are far from perfect, they are perfectly flawed.

As the lives of these three intertwine and become dependent on each other, the darker the story gets. It’s a story of broken girl becoming a broken young woman and love saving her but only after it destroys her first.

 

It’s not the easiest book to read. It’s tragic, sad, gritty, dark and at times violent. The first, perhaps, fifty percent is quite slow but then you connect and so much happens – making it really hard to set aside.

I will say that I had some issue with the writing style. There were times were it felt frenetic. I had moments were I wondered why thoughts were thrown in where they were. Maybe it was to add to the frantic characters mindsets. I’m not sure, but there moments when I was a bit thrown.

Ultimately, my thoughts brought me to the belief that this is really a great debut. It won’t resonate with all readers. If you don’t like raw stories or you like graphic sexual experiences, this isn’t your book. If you like messed up characters, fighting to find a place in the world – then give this one a shot.

 


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