Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower

The Mad TatterThe Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amanda:
The Mad Tatter was a surprise release by J.M. Darhower as a birthday gift to herself. Happy birthday, Jessica!!! I really liked this book! It is not a typical type of story that she writes—meaning, she didn’t rip my heart out, stomp on it, then suture it back in place—but it was still a beautifully written story.
Reece Hatfield stole a piece of my heart. This sexy tattoo artist is the single dad to a feisty five year old and was just trying to clean up his life. He strived to make a better life for himself and spend more time with his daughter, Lexie. And he was definitely not looking for love when Avery Moore walked through the doors of Wonderland to support her friend while she got a tattoo.
Avery, a dancer from uptown, had spent her entire life dancing. However, Reece was not the only one to have their life turned upside down; Avery’s world became a kaleidoscope of ink and learning what was really important to her, and refused it give it up.
I read The Mad Hatter in one sitting because of the truly addictive storyline. I simply just could not put it down. Real life be damned.
5 stars

Teresa:
I liked this book, but I didn’t fall in love with it. I almost feel bad for saying that because I love J.M. Darhower, hands down, but I felt like I was missing something with this book.
I loved Reece, loved him; he was honest with himself and with Avery about almost everything. I felt like I needed more background on him and I had unanswered questions when I was finished. I guess Reece answered most of them in a roundabout way, but by then, Avery had figured most of it out.
I did love the fact that Avery never gave up on him, even when he pushed her away. She stood firm in her feelings…she was a strong female, and that I admired.
My favorite character in the whole book was Lexie. She was absolutely adorable. Who couldn’t fall in love with that child?
4 stars

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Art & Soul by Brittainy C. Cherry

Art & SoulArt & Soul by Brittainy C. Cherry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 1/2 stars collectively

Teresa:

We received an ARC of Art & Soul from the author for an honest review, well here to goes. I only hope I can do this book justice in my review.

art
ärt/
noun
1.
the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

soul
sōl/
noun
1.
the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

love
ləv/
noun
1.
an intense feeling of deep affection.

This was one of the most emotional books I’ve read in a while; being a teenager was hard, but dealing with hard real-life issues as a teen is even worse. I know, I did; and it made me the person I am today.

I felt every emotion that these characters felt—I laughed, I cried and part of me became one with them. This was one of the most beautiful love stories that wasn’t your typical love story. Aria and Levi didn’t have rainbows and hearts, they struggled with life and some life-changing issues. They persevered even when all of the odds were against them.

They were friends that fell in love.

Aria was sixteen and pregnant, a one-time (mistake) that cost her. She was the good girl, the one who stayed under the radar and never drew attention to herself. An artist who looked at everything in life from an abstract point of view. Being artistic myself, I got where she was coming from and how she viewed things in life.

Her parents had a very hard time dealing with her pregnancy, and both handled it very differently. Aria felt as though she failed, that her dad didn’t lover her anymore, and her siblings blamed her for the fights that her parents had. Aria, never told anyone who the father of the baby was, she kept it to herself. When the father found out, he was shocked and annoyed that she wouldn’t have an abortion. He was a tool, in every sense of the word, but I must say I loved how she handled him throughout her whole pregnancy and her decisions with the baby.

In walked Levi, the boy from Alabama who came to live with his dad, who needed a break from his mom. Levi had never been like other boys; he had been home schooled and sheltered, and his only friend was his mom. So going to school with other kids shocked him, and the first day he met Aria.

Levi was a classical musician. His world revolved around his violin, much like Aria was around her art. So it only made sense that they partner with one another when her art class and his music class came together for a project. This was when it all came together, and you get the privilege of watching two people slowly fall in love despite the outside world, or the internal struggles they both deal with in their lives.

I had lost a parent when I was their age. I felt helpless, angry and scared. I wanted to cry as I read the detail of emotions this author infused this great novel with. Even through the characters’ heartbreak, they find the will and desire to persevere. It was truly the most unselfish things people can do for one another, and it was written beautifully.

As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, this isn’t your typical love story. You won’t find any undue drama or angst. Two people find one another and fall in love in the best and worst of ways. I was snot-sobbing at the end because it was over and I didn’t want it to be. My heart was so full for both art & soul…

5+ stars and then some

Amanda:

This book is not your average love story. It’s about heartbreak, making hard choices, growing up too fast, and a little tough love. I will give you a warning: you will need tissues while reading this one.

Aria Watson was a sixteen year old girl that made a mistake she would live with for the rest of her life…she got pregnant. If that wasn’t enough to deal with already, she became one of the outcasts of school to make sure no one noticed her.

Levi Myers was the new boy in school that came to live with his dad. He couldn’t keep his eyes off of the girl who didn’t want to be seen. He found himself wanting to get to know his dad in a way he never had been able, and protect Aria from the bullies at their school.

Their story was not about love but about finding that one person that could become your everything. It wasn’t pretty, and definitely far from perfect, but whose is?

Overall, I really liked this book, but there were a few things that did not sit right with me.

4 stars

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Confess by Colleen Hoover

ConfessConfess by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teresa

While I liked this book, I wasn’t blown away by it…I felt bad for Auburn on her loss, from the get go, truly I did. It didn’t make me cry though, I just felt the heartache she must have felt.

I loved Owen, I loved his studio and his system of painting, it amazed me. The way they come together, was fate truly, Adam would have been happy. They truly needed one another, it was apparent, and I was so glad that Auburn truly never gave that up.

I do felt Owen should have told her everything, in my own ending in my mind in the future he does.

I’m floundering between 3 1/2 and 4 stars.

Amanda

Once again I was blown away by Colleen Hoover. I am never disappointed when I read one of her books.

I don’t even know where to start with this book. Auburn Reed suffers a great lose at a young age. She has to learn how to grow and love again. She is trying to get her life in order when she wonders up on a Help Wanted sign in the window of an art studio where she meets Owen Gentry. Owen how has also suffers from a great lose. The two of them need each other to gt over their lose even if they don’t know it.
5 Stars

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Do Not Disturb (Deanna Madden #2) by Alessandra Torre

Do Not Disturb (Deanna Madden, #2)Do Not Disturb by Alessandra Torre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teresa
ARC provided by NetGalley on behalf of Alessandra Torre in return for an honest review.
I freaking love dark novels…they are my favorite. I love twisted characters that have complicated flaws and in the ‘real’ world, would never fly. Reading is my fantasy world and I can live any way I want. With that being said, I freaking love Deanna Madden; and I love her with Jeremy Pacer.
The way Deanna’s mind works both scares and fascinates me. She lives in a world that I don’t understand, her mind works in such a way that intrigues me. We go into this book, knowing she has killing tendencies, she’s done it before, but will she do it again?
The twists and turns that Alessandra takes us on, took me awhile to grasp this time around. I didn’t get Marcus’ role at first; I knew I didn’t like him until I got it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. He’s sick, just like Raph, a nasty good-for-nothing excuse of a human being. He makes me want to vomit. Truly.
I love Jeremy; he’s good for Deanna, and seeing her open up to him as much as she possibly can makes me smile. He’s good for her, he takes care of her, he loves her. I felt as though I connected to him on a whole other level this time around; Jeremy’s not just the UPS guy, he’s the guy who fell in love with the girl. I’d love a peek into their future to see where they are. *hint, hint*
We finally get a peek into Mike’s mind and life, and I truly loved that. He’s Deanna’s lifeline into the world, though he never leaves his own house, either. Mike’s her one true friend, though they’ve never met and she’s never seen his face, and has only ever heard his voice. I liked him though…through all of the trials and tribulations.
My one unanswered question, I feel it was a dream…an alternate reality that Deanna wanted. I hope she gets it; even through the darkness she does deserve it.
5+ stars
Amanda
I don’t know where to start with this book review. I went into it really wanting to love this story like I did with the first in this series, but that didn’t happen for me. I will not give any spoilers here, though.

First off, this book did not pick up where The Girl in E6 ends. Then, it was really slow moving. I loved getting a look inside Mike’s life and seeing how he got in the story in the first place. I also enjoyed getting to see Deanna come out of her shell.

But I was sad that I didn’t love this book the way I wanted to; the plot moved too slowly for me and I found myself wanting to skip ahead. If and when there’s a third book added to this series, I hope it bridges the gap that remains between this book and the one before it.

3 stars

Susan
While I enjoyed this book, there were a few things that bothered me. It totally ignored the ending from book one! There’s so much to say about it, and I don’t want to spoil it, but just know that what was going on at the end of the first book isn’t happening in here.

I also felt like this moved too slowly for me. I loved that Deanna was taking steps to reclaim her life, but those glimpses into that took away from the action that I knew was coming.

And speaking of Deanna reclaiming her life, if there’s not a story behind Dr. Derek and his reactions to what she is doing, I’m going to lose my mind.

As expected, this was a little more romantic than the first book in this series. However, I don’t see Deanna and Jeremy together for the long haul with the amount of secrets she keeps from him and if she continues to do the Web-camming.

Would I read another book in this was series? Yes. They’ve carved a spot in my heart and there’s lots I still want to know.
3 stars

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Soaring (Magdalene #2) by Kristen Ashley

Soaring (Magdalene, #2)Soaring by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amanda
I am a big Kristen Ashley fan! It pained me to have to say this, but I was not a big fan of this book. I really wanted to love it, however, I just could not truly get into it. I did finish it even though I wanted to stop many times, which surprised. The book was really long and everything seemed to drag on and on and on.
This story was about a second chance at love. Amelia moved across the country to be close to her children. Her ex-husband, whom the kids lived with, relocated them—and his new wife—to get away from Amelia. She spent most of her time shopping and decorating her new house. Annoying! Mickey was the hot guy that lived across the street with his two children, who was also divorced. He worked in construction and was a volunteer fireman. There was nothing wrong with their story, in fact, it was cute, but it just took way too long to get anywhere. And there were still things in this book that remained unanswered for me.
It hurt my heart that I couldn’t give the story more stars.
3 stars

Teresa
I love Kristen Ashley, love her…but this book not so much. It was long, sooo very long, and there were times I wanted to flounce only because I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere and neither were Amy and Mickey. I get that the author had to let their relationship develop, but it seemed to drag on at times.
I loved that Amy (Amelia) moved cross country to prove to her kids that she loved them. She and her ex-husband went through a nasty divorce and she lost her sense of self. She needed to grow as a person, she needed that for herself, and that she did.
Mickey was her hot neighbor that lived across the street, and he was not KA’s usually alpha male. I liked him, but I didn’t feel him. He made me want to smack him, then, at times, I felt he was so wishy washy she wasn’t sure what he wanted.
I, like Amanda, felt the story was cute, but I wanted more meat in the plot. There were things I needed answers to which I didn’t feel like I got, as well as the ending felt rushed. This kills me, kills me…but three stars for me as well.
It won’t deter me from reading another KA book; I just hope it isn’t a repeat performance of this one.
3 stars

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The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13)

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)The Shadows by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS*Read by Susan

I’m waffling between 4 and 5 stars, so I’ll just say 4.5

There’s nothing like reading almost an entire book through a waterfall of tears. I have cried so hard today while finishing this that I’ve given myself a headache. But, I’ll take some Advil and smile and be happy cause I got to read this and live in their world for a little longer.

You just never know what you’re going to get when you start one of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Sometimes you get steam throughout the whole thing, sometimes you get irritated with the characters, sometimes you wonder what exactly happened to the bad guys that were so prevalent in the first part of the series and then just kind of *poof* disappeared, sometimes you get weepy-eyed with either happy or sad tears, and sometimes you just wonder why that book was written and included in the series. So, it’s with trepidation (that I have learned to deal with) I pick one of these up and start reading.

I’ll just tell you right off, this is more Trez’s book than iAm’s. Sure, they both fall in love in here, but the story focuses more on Trez and Selena. Trez and Selena have quickly become my favorite couple in this series. And I cried bucket loads of tears and want to shake JR Ward for what she’s done to them. I get the guilt Rhage felt throughout the book. Why couldn’t the Warden do something like that for Selena? Did she think we wouldn’t have bought it? Come on. We have a ghost running around the compound that can make herself corporeal to attend the sick and have awesome sex with her man, we’d have agreed to whatever had to be done to save Selena. Trez was the swooniest of heroes…not just from within the series, but he’s moved into my top 5 book boyfriend list. He will always have a place in my heart.

Now, as for iAm. I love that he got his HEA and that all is good in the s’Hisbe world. But I felt it all just fell into place a little bit too easy. I guessed who his woman was almost as soon as we met her, and honestly, I was happy that it turned out I was right and that is who she was. For me, their happiness is dulled by the pain Trez feels because we spent so much time with him and Selena.

As for all the other storylines in this world…It was great to see the Brothers. Throe and Assail continue to be PITAs. The rich woman in the cottage with an ailing husband who bangs the BoB showed up again…not sure of her motives. It’s got to be something cause we keep seeing her. Layla and XCor are there and together, and then not, and I don’t even know what I want for them anymore. The Lessening Society is on the rebound, but they’ll need ANOTHER new forelesser LOL Strangely enough, there was no Murhder in here. Is he still in his plantation pretending to be a ghost? I thought for sure he’d have made an appearance in Caldwell by now. And, we got to meet Paradise and Craeg who will lead off the spinoff series. I liked Paradise. She has the potential to be strong, she’s just so unsure of herself due to the way she’s been sheltered. I hope we see great things for her 🙂

Honestly, this has made me want to go back and read the first few books in the series. I may have to do that 🙂

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