May 30, 2015

Review: ADDICTED (Addicted, #1) by Charlotte Featherstone


Friends since childhood, Anais Darnby and Lindsay Markham have long harbored a secret passion for one another. When they finally confess their love, their future together seems assured, sealed with their searing embrace.

But when a debauched Lindsay is seduced by a scheming socialite, a devastated Anais seeks refuge in another man's bed while Lindsay retreats to the exotic East. There, he is seduced again—this time by the alluring red smoke and sinister beauty of opium.

Back home, Lindsay's addiction is fed by the vogue for all things Oriental—especially its sensual pleasures—in fashionable London society. In his lucid moments, Lindsay still lusts after Anais, who can neither allow him near nor forget his smoldering touch. Tortured by two obsessions—opium and Anais—Lindsay must ultimately decide which is the one he truly cannot live without.

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My review:

What a terribly sad book! That's the first thought about Addicted that pops into my mind right after finishing it. The main characters, Lindsay and Anais, put each other through hell on earth, most of which could have been avoided which makes it even more tragic. Even the HEA ending they got, even though they appeared to be happy and content, left me feeling sad.
The second concerns Sinful , book two in this series, that is about Wallingford, a supporting character in this book. As I liked the author's writing style, I am more than interested in reading his book. I think--I hope--he and whoever his love interest turns out to be won't make the stupid decisions Lindsay and Anais made, that they won't make me want to slap some sense into them, and yell Why, why did you do that?! That would be my loudest thought throughout the book: WHY?! I wanted to shout that at the characters for their behavior was often one I'm failing to find acceptable.

As any other reader, I have a few plot devices that don't sit well with me. Unfortunately, I found them in Addicted. The first is misunderstanding. Even the simplest of misunderstandings can lead to awful consequences, which is why I get all mad and anxious when I find it in books. The fact that it all could have been avoided just by talking doesn't help. Misunderstandings in historical novels I find even worse. With no phones, cellphones, internet and whatnot communication relies heavily on actually talking in person. When you can't call, text or email someone if you forgot to say something, or to explain or really get anything off your chest, it's crucial not to mince words when so much is depending on them. And for God's sake, do not avoid seeing someone you love and who loves you, after they did something wrong denying them a chance to explain! Especially not when that person had been your best friend for almost your entire lives! No, just no! And, yet, that's exactly what happened setting off a series of unfortunate events with tragic consequences, if you ask me.

It is that beginning of the book that puzzles me the most. Lindsay and Anais were friends for many, many years, and for many years they were in love with each other. For Lindsay it was 14 years he'd been craving for Anais, and why he hadn't made his move before is a bit confusing to me. Why wait until he was 30. How quickly everything happened between him and Anais when he did make his move is also not entirely clear to me. Talking would have been preferable before jumping into haystack. Then, of course came the real doozy when Anais ran away from Lindsay, and kept on refusing to see him, then even went as far as to lead him to believe she left the country. Behavior of a smart, mature, good 28-year-old woman that was not. Even if they had only been lovers, he deserved to be heard, but to do that to the person you called your best friend for the better part of your life, left me flabbergasted. To make matters worse, she wasn't alone--one of Lindsay's closest friends was helping her. One adult behaving like a petulant child, and the other supposedly levelheaded adult encouraging her. My advice to Lindsay would be to get new friends, which is why when he made peace with Garrett so easily, I wanted to kick him. As far as I'm concerned, Garrett was a weasel, acting all hing and mighty, who only wanted Anais for himself, and did everything to make that happen.

That said, I could've, and probably would've overlooked all that, had there not been another plot device that I can't stomach no matter how much I try. I'd rather not say which exactly as it would be a spoiler. I've read some reviews of Addicted saying it's a quite common plot device, but to me it wasn't, and I hope that I won't find it in a romance book ever again. I can get over a lot of transgressions fictional characters commit, by which I mean I root for them to be forgiven for it. I always try to find reasons they should be redeemed. I tried here, too. I failed. To a point I can understand Anais' actions and decisions, but no matter what, I find it unforgivable. That is why that stupid misunderstanding from the beginning of the book pains me. It makes me furious because all of it could have been avoided, but still what was done was done, and it was done by Anais. The hurt she caused Lindsay was so big I could barely stand it. I contemplated just abandoning the book because it was too much, but I soldiered on hoping against hope it could be fixed. It couldn't. It wasn't. Today such decisions can be revoked, but this was a different time, and there was no turning back, which just fueled the rage I felt towards those characters that were involved. Lindsay may have been able to forgive and move on, Anais may have been able to forgive herself and move on, they may have been able to move on together, and be okay with everything, but I still can't. I found another hard limit. Whenever I put myself in the shoes of either of them, I find if unbearable.

Needless to say, Addicted turned out to a very different reading experience from what I expected. From what I'd gathered from the title, the blurb, and some reviews, I thought the major focus would be on Lindsay coming to terms with how serious his opium addiction was, and trying to save himself from its clutches, with the help of his one true love. Even that appeared challenging, but this was brutal. His addiction was fought against in the last part, and it was a constant part of Lindsay's life throughout the book. His dependency may have made him vulnerable to that viper at the beginning (and the viper was Anais' friend, and Garrett's fiancé, which just shows how bright they were) which made Anais to act stupidly in the first place, but when all is said and done, Lindsay was drugged, and instead of helping him, his best friends turned their backs on him. Afterwards, they made his life a living hell, completely sober and of sound mind. I think it's obvious by now I took Lindsay's side in this story. Anais was perfect in his mind, but I could see no reason for putting her on a pedestal like that. I actually started wishing he would get over her, and find someone else. What I could see, though, was that she was an addiction, perhaps a bigger addiction than opium. She won, after all.

“Loving you is the same feeling the opium gives me. [...] Lust, passion, salvation.”

Addicted, despite everything that happened in it, is still an erotic novel, exceedingly emotional erotic novel. That's not written on the cover just for show. There were quite a few erotic scenes, maybe even more than I would've preferred. Given their situation, even those scenes were heartbreaking and depressing, and the fact Anais was keeping her secret made it all worse. Plus, I wish those pages gave way to them actually talking, and resolving their issues as they had so many, but talking wasn't their strong suit from the start.

It goes without saying, reading this book was stressful. Reviewing it was, too. However, no matter how much I found heroine's decisions regretful, I don't regret reading this story. It's been calling my name for a very long time. It made a lot of cracks on my heart, but at least the main characters had a semblance to a happy ever after.

The rating, as it usually is with books I like/hate, is 3,5 stars.
Wallingford's book won't put me through this, I hope, and I trust that will earn it more stars from me.
Until next time, happy reading!


May 29, 2015

REVIEW : Eight Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8) By Darynda Jones

Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy

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With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….


*** REVIEW ***

My expectations before reading the newest installment in Charley Davidson series were:

a) Epic battle between Good vs. Evil

b) Charley, Reyes and the rest of the gang on the winning side

c) Arrival of Beep

Now, after I've read the book, I must admit that even though I did like the story despite some "issues", I also can understand the more critical/negative reviews and even side with some of the issues the other fans of this series pointed out and which I'll list now in short in my review too.

But before the negative stuff, I have to say that these characters are still dear to my heart. There were some parts of the story that I loved and I'm definitely going to continue with the series. It's just that I don't think that the story is on the same level yet as my favorite series of this genre (Fever series by K. M. Moning, Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh.)

The reasons for 3 stars rating (NO SPOILERS):

~ The main reason for my 3 stars rating is the ending where the epic battle or rather epic failure of the battle between the good guys vs. the bad guys took place. Why failure? Well, it had all the elements to be epic, but in my opinion it was poorly developed and concluded. No offense, but it was rushed and kind of sloppy. How come the best and the most expected part of the story happened in less than 20 pages? And what about the poor portrayal of the new, important characters who instead of scary, bad-ass and ruthless turned out weak and boring? You all know whom I mean.

~ Charley's constant reckless and naive behavior. When are we finally see some character growth ???

~ Confusing theory about Charley's origin. This constant re-adjusting of her origin theory is only confusing me more and more and resulting in loopholes. First she is this, then she is that and now she is smth else etc.

~ Charley & Reyes being secretive with each other even now. Trust issues, trust issues everywhere.

All in all, I liked the book, but I didn't love it. I'm sure the majority of the Charley fandom will love it though. Considering all the amazing books I've read so far, this is a 3 stars read for me.



May 27, 2015

REVIEW: Black Iris By Leah Raeder

Thriller/ Contemporary / Romance

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The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Todaybestselling author of Unteachable.

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all.

Purple's RATING: 5/5 STARS
Beatrix' RATING: 5/5 STARS
Glass' RATING: 5/5 STARS

*** Buddy-read REVIEWS ***

~ Purple:

“I am not the heroine of this story. And I'm not trying to be cute. It's the truth. I'm diagnosed borderline and seriously fucked-up. I hold grudges. I bottle my hate until it ferments into poison, and then I get high off the fumes.”

I've read a fair share of good books this year, but this is only the 2nd one I've rated full 5 stars and it more than deserves it because for me it's on a totally another, I would even dare to say superior level from the the rest of them. My first book by this author was Unteachable. While I loved the author's writing style there, the story as a whole was more of a 3.5/4 stars read for me, but with this book Leah Raeder won me completely over. And what better way to read her newest book than buddy-reading it with my friend & co-blogger Beatrix, who was also the one who first introduced me to this author.

"I never wanted to be saved. I wanted someone to follow me down into the darkness. To hold my hand as I fell."

Without spoiling anything all I can say is that Black Iris is one dark, gripping, twisted, riveting, poignant, thought-provoking page-turner which will leave you speechless after every new unpredictable twist of the story. What's special and compelling about this book is the fact that the main character Laney is nor the heroine nor the true villain. The lines between good and evil get blurred and disputable, at times over-weighing on one and at other times on the other side, therefore messing with our heads all over again and of course I loved it, the weirdo that I am.

This book was so good that not the even infamous "love triangle", which is usually a deal-breaker for me when choosing my next read, bothered me. That says it all. I won't say anything more about the plot, because when it comes to mindfucks like this the best way is to experience it without any prior knowledge. The writing was supreme. One of the most highlighted books in my collection.

Highly recommended to every fan of dark thrillers/mindfucks!

“Strength is not in the body, it’s in the mind. It doesn’t lie in flexing your muscles and crushing those who oppose you. It lies in being the last one standing. By any means. At any cost.”


“Darkness isn’t bad. It’s only darkness.” Those fingers relaxed. “All it means is you don’t see the world as they do. You see what’s really there. They see what they wish was there.”

Revenge. Suspense. Ecstasy. Sex. 

BLACK IRIS was my most anticipated book of 2015, and it did not disappoint. That’s saying a lot since I’m a huge fan of Leah Raeder and I’ve been craving this book basically since I’ve read Unteachable back in 2013 when it was first published. In my opinion Raeder is a true artist when it comes to the art of words. I feel as if she sees the world with different eyes and then transforms that onto the page and gives us her more poetic, vivid, and colorful version of reality. Here’s a paragraph to illustrate what I’m saying: 

I smelled the storm on him. There’s a word for that scent, the breathy fragrance that’s released when rain soaks soil and floods your sinuses like a drug: petrichor. Petros, stone. Ichor, the blood of gods. There was a disturbing loveliness in that image, gods opening their wrists to slake the earth with their quicksilver blood.

This is the kind of novel which will definitely make you question everything. Not only will you constantly be on the edge of your seat with questions such as: what is happening; but this book will also make you question your beliefs and morals. Characters in this book are constantly doing some morally ambiguous acts and let’s just say this is not for those of tender heart. If you’re bothered with excessive drinking and drug abuse, F/F sex, revenge, cheating, love triangles, unlikeable protagonists – then this book might not be for you. 

Don’t expect a typical NA story, or a morally encouraging book. However, what you can and should expect is an incredibly well written and important book, with its message about labeling, sexual fluidity, bullying, and mental illness. 

Something ineffably sad rose in my chest, a drowning feeling, as if my lungs were filling with water from the inside. My hand raised but not touching. My voice unheard. I’d spent all my life in moments like this.

Nothing here was black and white. These characters are so complex and my attitude towards them was ambivalent. I didn’t like Laney, but I understood her. Furthermore, she is not meant to be a role model, nor is she trying to be one. BI is unapologetic and that’s why I like it. Characters are entirely messed up and they’re not trying to hide it. Laney is not attempting to set an example with her behavior. She does what she wants and if you don’t like it, then she’s probably tell you: “Screw you, I’m not trying to impress anyone.”

I’m saying this because I’ve noticed how some negative reviews state that Laney sets a bad example for young girls with her drinking, sleeping around, and basically being high the entire duration of the novel. If you’re so sensitive, then don’t read this. And you’ve probably missed the point as it’s stated right on the first page what kind of novel this would be. This is not the story with a typical HEA; don’t expect a heroine to overcome her issues. This is a dark and twisted story and that’s why it’s so unique.

Furthermore, a few words on the writing style and a quick comparison with Unteachable. Obviously both books are written in the same lyrical, purple tone and if I’m being completely honest I have to admit that maybe, just maybe this style was more suitable for UN and the reason for that is the genre. 

UN is first and foremost a romance novel – it explored emotions, maturing, growing up, love, etc. However, BI proclaims itself to be a suspense novel and I believe it’s difficult to build up tension with adjectives. You need lots of dynamic verbs, descriptions of processes, not states. That taken together with switching timelines, I can see how some readers were lost or found the book to be too slow. I personally was not bothered by that, and I’ve raved enough how I love Raeder’s writing style, but I can understand some of the frustration I’ve noticed in several reviews.

Some of the things I've loved: the sex scenes. Hot damn. This is how you write steamy. Nothing overly vulgar, but so poetic and sizzling hot. Moreover, let’s not forget the poetry. T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson are some of my favorite poets and it made me so giddy to recognize all the references. I truly think BI wouldn’t have been the same without it. 

In conclusion, BLACK IRIS is at its core a powerful story which explores the darkness within a person, triggered by someone else’s darkness. It portrays how one act of violence may initiate entire chain of such deeds and how a person may end up trapped in that vicious circle. Have you ever been bullied, misunderstood, and rejected for who you are? Sometimes it’s difficult for a person to see the light, sometimes a person is so weakened, tormented by their own demons that it’s easier to drown than to swim back to the surface. 

Leah Raeder wrote a book for anyone who has ever felt that way. She is the voice of the downtrodden, of the underdog. It’s okay to feel malice and rage, those too are human emotions. Therefore, what I’m saying is – don’t expect a redemption story. But, if you do prefer dark, challenging, and gritty stories, then BLACK IRIS might be just the right book for you! 

I’m the black iris watered by poison. The wolf that raised its head among sheep and devoured its way, ruthless and bloody, to freedom. I never forgave, never forgot.

PS: I’ve found the song which perfectly fits the book, with its lyrics and overall atmosphere -- Sick by Chelsea Wolfe

This suffering brings me closer to you

And time is broken and moves slow
Your pure heart, your white light
I should be put to death for ever being cruel to you
Come closer now and step right into
The wide mouth, the sharp teeth of the one you love
I’m not the kind of sick that you can fix
Don't you worry about me baby 


Purple & Beatrix

May 26, 2015

REVIEW: Trust (Temptation, #3) By Ella Frank

MM Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis On Goodreads:

TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.

Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
Having struggled with a self-identity crisis throughout college, he’s spent the years since then creating a sophisticated facade to present to the world.
It’s an armor he thought was impenetrable—until he met Tate Morrison.
The gorgeous, headstrong bartender he’d sat across from only months ago has taken a tight hold of his heart, and Logan is discovering that it’s time to let go. 
It’s time to let someone inside.

After years of placing his dreams on hold for his family, Tate has finally chosen to do what makes him happy and follow his heart. 
The one thing he never would’ve imagined was that it would lead him into the arms of a man—and not just any man—the striking, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Logan Mitchell.
Tate has fallen hard, and as his world is turned on its axis and they move forward together, he finds his life becoming more entwined with the confident, successful lawyer.

Even though neither man expected the other, it’s time to trust in their relationship—but not everything comes so easily…

RATING: 3/5 stars


So, the end has come to the Temptation series featuring one of my favorite mm couples ever- Logan & Tate and I'm rating their last installment only 3 stars. Blasphemy, right? Well, not exactly.

Yes, I've enjoyed the story. Yes, Logan & Tate were their usual smoking hot, adorable selves, BUT the fact is that the book wasn't as mind-blowing as the first two books, at least not for me. The biggest reason for that in my opinion is the author's rather poor solving of the majority of the twists in the story. Like f. e. *something big* happens and then it's solved shortly in the best possible way and that's it. I know I'm the first to complain when there's too much of drama in books, but here there was almost none, so the story fell flat at some points and therefore as a whole it was good, but not great. That's why 3 stars.

On the positive side, the story was yet again fun, steamy & very emotional. Every reader wants to see their favorite couple have a HEA and I'm happy and grateful these two finally had one of their own and don't regret a bit following them on their journey. I'm also looking forward to Ella Frank's new stories and I hope this won't be her last contribution to the mm genre.

I would recommend this series to mm romance readers who enjoy emotional, erotic and fun series with no bigger drama between two mischievous, hot, but adorable dirty talkers.



May 24, 2015

Review: FLYING by Megan Hart


Ever hear of wanderlust?

Every other weekend, Stella buys a ticket on the next flight out of town and leaves her life behind. Home is a place with too many memories, and departure is the sweetest possible distraction.

As soon as she arrives at her destination, Stella visits the airport bar. She orders a drink and waits for the right guy to come along. A bored businessman, a backpacker, a baggage handler just off shift. If he's into a hot, no-strings hookup, he's perfect. Each time is a thrilling escape from reality that gives the term layover a whole new meaning.

When Stella meets the enigmatic Matthew in Chicago one weekend, she hits some serious turbulence. Something about him tells her she's not the only one running from the past. The connection between them is explosive, and for the first time, one taste is not enough for Stella. But returning to find a gorgeous man waiting for her is the easy part—facing the reason she's there is a whole other matter...

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Rating: 3,5 stars.

In little over two years I've been a Goodreads member I've discovered quite a few amazing authors whose books keep knocking my socks off. One of such authors is most definitely Megan Hart. Ever since I read Broken I've been on a mission to read as much of her books as possible. Some I liked, some I loved, and some I really, really, really loved. But even so I've grown a bit reluctant to read her latest books -- a lot of mixed reviews I've been seeing of those. That is what happened with Flying. It took me almost a year for my curiosity about this book to make me read it, but I got there, and I'm glad I did.

The first books by M. Hart I read, Broken, and Dirty, were so emotional reading them at times proved to be difficult, and I loved them for it, Broken especially. Flying didn't give those feels, but it certainly had that sorrowful atmosphere about it that I look for in Hart's novels. The Megan Hart magic was felt here, too. I just felt it more before.

There was one thing about the writing that took time getting used to: third person narrative. Normally, I'd pick the third person over first anytime. However, all her other novels I've read so far were written in first person narrative, and it worked so great, that I missed that terribly. I missed it so much that I'm writing a sentence I never thought I would write: I would have preferred had Flying been written in first person.

What's most important is the key part I look forward to when picking up this author's book, and that's having one woman's life--her present, her past, and hints of her future, the significant people that make her life both good and complicated--written on these pages in a manner that make the story interesting to read. This time it was Stella, a divorced mom of a teenage boy, working at a photo editing job. The title, however, comes from another part of her life she kept hidden: whenever she could, Stella would fly somewhere, don a new outfit and with it a new name and personality, then she'd find a man, hook up with him, leave him, and go back to her life, all of which is perfectly said in the blurb. The blurb also perfectly introduces Matthew, another man Stella met in an airport bar, but with him everything was different from the very beginning. She wasn't "flying", she met him as Stella, shared with him more time and more information than she expected. She gave a lot more than she expected.

I have to admit, as much as I did like Matthew at the beginning, he soon turned into a character that annoyed me. He pissed me off majorly, is what he did. It started off nice between him and Stella, but the more was revealed about him, and by this I mean how whipped he was by his ex-wife all the friggin time, he lost my sympathy. It was enough to make one want to punch him in the face, and then punch him in the face again because once was not enough! One might want to throw in a third punch for crazy behavior he caused in Stella. All her frustration over his not answering his goddamn phone got to me, too. Phew, still gets to me, it would seem. Needless to say, I was less than happy when that strong, confident woman turned into a, I'm sorry to say, pathetic one over Matthew. When all his story came out, yes, I understood him more, but it was not enough to let go of everything else. No matter how much they were great together, my advice to Stella would've been: Kick him to the curb! Because they were great when it was just the two of them, but it would never be just the two of them. They both had failed marriages, and they both had children that tied them to their exes.

Usually with Hart's novels come The End, I feel such relief that the main characters somehow got to a happy ending despite everything. This time that relief was missing. I was just having a hard time picturing them getting past the issues they kept having throughout the book. Honestly, I was actually sad and disappointed Stella was over Craig, another man that came back into her life. On the other hand, I loved all those comparisons of her feelings for him years ago and now. It's incredible how much changes over time, and the change in those feelings was perfectly captured, in my opinion.

Through Stella's interactions with Matthew, Craig, her ex-husband, her son, her painful past was revealed part by part. It was brutal, and as much as I'd like to be all judgey about the way she was or wasn't handling it so many years later, I can't find in me to actually do it. It's easy to stand aside and pass judgment, especially about fictional characters, but that would make me a hypocrite. Plus, all those flaws, bad decisions, and somewhat irrational behavior makes these characters more real. Oftentimes, I feel as though I like Megan Hart's characters because of their flaws, not despite. Stella is one of them.

I suppose the conclusion would be I have mixed feelings about this book, but that I did like it. More importantly, my doubts about this author's newer books have shrunk. Now I'm looking forward to reading them.
Until next time, happy reading!


May 22, 2015

Review: THE MISTAKE (Off-Campus, #2) by Elle Kennedy


He’s a player in more ways than one…
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

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My review:

Well, this is


So very awkward. 2,5 stars from me. It's as high as I can go.

I have recently jumped on The Deal train to see for myself what is it about that book that has almost everyone raving about it, and after I finished it I became one of those readers. I raved, and I raved, happy that book two was already out so I could continue with this series almost immediately, which is exactly what I did right after I was done with another book I needed to read. I wish I could tell you I loved it, I wish I could tell you I had as much fun with Logan and Grace as I did with Garrett and Hannah, but I can't. Just as I knew I'd love The Deal very soon after starting it, I knew that wouldn't happen with The Mistake. Since I didn't start it right when it was released, I got to see quite a few ratings and reviews before I got to read it; most of them were positive, but there were others written by disappointed readers. Sadly, mine is the latter.

Garrett had made a deal with Hannah, and like the title and the blurb say, Logan made a mistake with Grace.
John Logan had a crush on his best friend's girlfriend, and his solution to that was avoiding them, and when he wasn't playing hockey, he was partying, drinking, and hooking up as much as possible. Grace was a freshman worried about her status as a virgin, who had the hots for one John Logan. When fate brought Logan to Grace's door, she welcomed him in, and that was the beginning of Logan & Grace. After that they hung out, made out, and then the mistake happened when they almost had sex, and Logan ran off because he was crushing on another girl. The school year ended. Grace went to Paris to visit her mother, where she got a makeover, pined over Logan, and avoided his and her best friend's, who tried to hook up with Logan behind her back, calls. Logan went to work in his father's shop, and after realizing the truth about his feelings for Hannah, he was determined to make everything right with Grace, and win her back. Come new school year, that was what he did.

Grace & Logan's story I'm sure will be to the liking of the majority of Off-Campus fans -- that's already evident. I'm a part of the smaller disappointed group who loved book one and thought this one was just meh. I am not a fan of NA novels, but The Deal had so many positive reviews that I thought it was safe for me to read it. The Mistake, on the other hand, just reminded me why I avoid books with college students as main characters, as they and their actions tend to annoy me. This book had a few parts that irritated me, but for the most part reading about Grace and Logan was putting me to sleep, and since I was feeling very sleepy those days I spent reading The Mistake, it wasn't helpful. It's shorter than The Deal, but it felt infinitely longer. When you have to give yourself pep talks to get yourself to finish a book, you know it's bad. With Garrett and Hannah's book I couldn't wait to read what happens next. They were so much fun time would just fly by. Not with Grace and Logan.

Grace... *sigh* Grace barely left an impression on me. When I think of her, this is all I come up with:
*She was a virgin. (This is the first thing that comes to mind because it was on hers more times than I cared to read about it.)
*After Paris she was blonde and made Logan do some silly things to agree to give him a second chance.
*She had a shitty BFF.
Aaand... That's it, really.

Logan grew on me gradually. At the beginning his party-drink-and-hook-up-as-much-as-possible ways went on my nerves, but when he changed those ways I liked him better. His situation at home, and his sacrifice for his family won me over to his side. I was glad for him when it was resolved, but I wasn't particularly pleased with how fast and easy it all played out. Also, his willingness to jump through hoops to win Grace back was sweet.

It wasn't all bleak; there were a few fun parts, but in general, this didn't work for me, and it confirmed I'm doing the right thing by avoiding the NA genre. In short, me reading The Mistake was a mistake. Which leaves one question: What to do when Dean's book comes out?
Until next time, happy reading!


May 21, 2015

ARC REVIEW: WOLF BRIDE (Lust in the Tudor Court, Book #1) by Elizabeth Moss

Title: Wolf Bride
Author: Elizabeth Moss
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Series: Lust in the Tutor Court Book #1

Summary On Goodreads:

Bound to him against her will…

Lord Wolf, hardened soldier and expert lover, has come to King Henry VIII's court to claim his new bride: a girl who has intrigued him since he first saw her riding across the Yorkshire moors.

Eloise Tyrell, now lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne Boleyn, has other ideas. She has no desire to submit to a man she barely knows and who-though she is loath to admit it-frightens her more than a little.

Their first kiss awakens in both a fierce desire that bares them to the soul. But as the court erupts into scandal around the ill-fated Queen, Eloise sees firsthand what happens when powerful men tire of their wives...

Buy Links:

RATING: 2/ 5 stars


One of the goals I set for myself this year when it comes to reading is to try some genres I rarely read. One of them is historical romance, so that was one of the main reasons beside the sexy cover I picked this book up.

~ Why it didn't work out for me:

~ Unfortunately, after reading this book I'm even more sure than ever that historical romances aren't the right genre for me and that I should stick to contemporary. Why is that? First of all, I'm not a fan of the courteous way people communicate in historical romances. Secondly and probably the most important reason is the inferior portrayal of women in this genre. Women are seen only as a source for increasing population and they have little to none right in comparison to men which bothered me a lot while reading this book. Yes, I've read a lot of classics from this genre which are still one of my favorite books ever, but no offense to anyone- I don't think this book is on the same level.

~ I couldn't connect to the characters or their story. This refers especially to the main character Eloise who I considered weak, naive and at times- a true drama queen. But then again, I also think that the biggest reason for that is the era she was born in. She was raised to keep her mouth shut and be the obedient woman, daughter and wife like the rest of the women of that time, so I can't really blame her. 

~ The over-used plot. To be honest I feel that we've seen/read this plot too many times so far. It lacked originality and therefore I was bored through the most of the book.

I did enjoy some of the sexy banter between the main couple occasionally, but the book as a whole failed to leave some bigger impression on me. That is why 2 stars. Read it and decide for yourself.


“Let’s have a kiss to seal your oath,” Wolf said shortly, and bent his head to hers.

Eloise had thought Lord Wolf would give her a token kiss, like that given by a bridegroom after the marriage vows had been exchanged. Some cold and bloodless meeting of lips to remind her that she belonged to him now. But his mouth took hers with a kiss of such ardent fervor she could barely stand beneath it, her hands clinging to his shoulders. She was dazed, her body under assault, not expecting the wave of violent passion that swept through her in the wake of his embrace.

His kiss was bold and darkly possessive. Lord Wolf was sure of her acquiescence, she realized with a shock. Nor was he wrong. Eloise found her lips parting beneath his, her tiny gasp an opportunity for his tongue to slip inside.

Seeming to sense her surrender, he lifted her slightly, pressing her against the cold stone wall, just as Simon had done, and lowered his head again to claim her lips.

He tasted of heat and long summer nights, his scent as well as his hands enticing her closer, reminding her of spice and oranges. She had meant to resist, but it was impossible. His tongue traced slowly along her lower lip, then dipped back inside, stroking and flickering, promising the kind of sensual pleasures she had only dreamt of before in the privacy of her bed.

In a few ecstatic seconds, she had forgotten Simon’s boyish, enthusiastic kisses. This was beyond mere physical desire. His body weighted strongly against hers, he no longer needed to hold her still. His mouth teased and played her, one hand cupping her face, the other stroking her long hair.

Eloise moaned under his kiss, her eyes closing with pleasure. She felt new worlds opening up as he touched her, parts of herself suddenly springing to life under his hands. Her breasts tingled in a way she barely recognized, her nipples taut, pushing against the neckline of her gown. Between her thighs a strangely sweet ache had begun to throb, her flesh there slick with unaccustomed longing.

Eloise drew back, turning her head away so he could not kiss her again. “Please,” she whispered.

His gaze followed her, heavy-lidded with desire. “Please yes, or please no?”


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