Reading a bunch!

Y’all, I read seven books in 8 days. Let me clarify. They were Ebooks.

I read a couple of romance, a thriller, a mystery, and a true crime book. I won’t get into details because none of them were stand alone books. Also, the authors are almost all first time authors.

I hate trying to rate first time authors because it feels like I am not giving them a chance to improve, or get a better editor, or find a better subject, or better story. There are many examples of first timers getting horrible reviews, but their second books were vastly improved.

So. My thought on this: free ebooks are great for passing time. They are great entertainment. They may help you, may intrigue you, may inspire you.

Whatever the outcome: READ. ūüôā

If you have feelings on this topic, hit me up.

Some books…

I recently read a book. I won’t share the title. I won’t do a review. You may ask why I even bring it up. Well. I was considering the context and subject matter of the book, which I felt was of a personal matter, and did not need to be shared. Also, some things (yes, even books) just need to be kept for oneself.

Have you ever had an experience and you were dying to share with someone, but conflicted because if you shared it, it would no longer belong to just you?? That is kind of how it feels.

I wanted you to know I am still reading, and my list of books to be read is ever growing, and makes me sad because what if I can’t read them all?!?! I know. #booknerdproblems, right?

So. Until I decide what book is next, and do the business of reading it…

Puzzling Read

I finished this series a while ago, but never got around to writing about it. I read Enigma: the Complete Collection by Shandi Boyes. The series consists of four books: Enigma of Life, Unraveling the Enigma, Enigma: The Mystery Unmasked, and Enigma: the Final Chapter.
This series was a free offering through an email service I signed up for.

In case you have never heard of the series:
This is a story about an alleged mobster and an FBI agent. It is a love story, a mystery, an exciting “romance”, and some smut thrown in for good measure. He is a true alpha: big, burly, handsome, rich, and elusively private. She is na√Įve, a loner, a hard worker, and not giving in without a fight. How will they fare? Read and find out!!

In case you have never heard of the author:
She lives in Queensland, Australia. She is an accomplished author of “sizzling hot reads” that include mainly alpha males, open door sex, and happy endings that are fought for.

What I thought of the series:
As I have posted before, I am not a huge reader of “romance novels”. I do enjoy a happy ending though, and this series brought the FBI and mob dynamic into the plot. It was well plotted from start to finish, and had a few surprises. I was impressed with the totality of the series, and would recommend it if you are into romantic mystery with a hint of sex.

untitled

What Would You Do Behind Closed Doors?

BCD image

In a slightly silly twist of fate, I found this book in a grocery store in Waco. I was curious, bc the back of the book offered mystery and thriller sentiments. It piqued my curiosity. However, it was the author’s debut novel, and I am wary of new authors, as they sometimes have not found their voice yet. So, I found it at the local library, and read away.

In case you have never heard of the book:
It is a thriller/mystery/psychological book. It is about the perfect couple, Jack and Grace Angel. They have the perfect house, the perfect garden, never argue, and maintain their perfect personas in their social circles. Everyone is jealous, but do they know the real couple? Do they have any idea what happens behind closed doors?

In case you have never heard of the author:
This is her debut novel. B.A. Paris is a native Englishwoman, but spent most her life in France. She was a teacher and worked in finance. She has since written two more novels. She is a best-seller, y’all.

My opinion of the book:
For a debut, I thought it was outstanding. It was indeed psychological, kept my attention, kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering how things were going to work out. I thought the characters were well developed, but Jack could have used a little more back story. I would recommend this book to those looking for a new author or a thrilling mini-mystery. It was easy to read, easy to follow, and kept pace well. With a plot line of which I have not seen often, I enjoyed the level of psychopathy included.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Did you hate it? Let me know in a message below.

 

 

*UPDATED* Craving more…

I finally got my hands on the last two books in the Steele Brothers’ series. I was excited to wrap it up!!

Shattered and Unraveled are books #8 and #9 in the series, by Helen Hardt. A romantic, smut series with a plot line! The further along in the series, the more interesting it became.
The story followed the same lines, the first three were for Talon, the second three were for Jonah, and the final three were for Ryan. Each book ends with a cliffhanger, through book eight, and is wrapped up nicely in book nine. We find out about the people who caused all of the problems those brothers are trying to work out. We find out about the parents of all the major players in the story. We find out who likes whom, and with whom they end up.
The final couple of books forced a lot of sex scenes into inappropriate timing…and there were themes throughout: non-consensual sex, human trafficking, other illegal dilemma.
I enjoyed it as a whole. I would recommend the series if you are looking for nine books, in that genre, to keep you busy.

books

A New Book! *UPDATED*

There is nothing like the feel of a new book. A newly printed, unbroken binding, smelling of ink and paper is the best thing in the world. I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of a novel called “The Other Woman” by Sandie Jones.¬† The actual book does not come out until August 21st, but I got my sticky fingers on this copy to read and let you know how it is before the release date!!

What we know about the author:
She is a resident of London, England. She is a freelance journalist for magazines, websites, etc. This is her first novel, and is touted to be a psychological thriller with a super twist ending.

I will update when I have finished reading!!

the other woman sandie jones

 

About the book:

**Possible Spoilers and Trigger Warning for Physical and Verbal Abuse and Manipulation**

This book starts as a love story and ends in horror.
Adam is in IT; handsome, responsible, and in control. Emily is a recruiter for big businesses; beautiful, confident, and in for trouble.
When Emily falls for Adam, she eventually meets his mom. She thinks his mom is out to get her; she is a crazy, jealous old woman. Pammie makes Emily question her confidence, intelligence and relationship. Emily evolves from a strong, independent woman into an emotionally needy, confused, and insecure person in need of constant attention and approval of her man. However, his need to control Emily speaks volumes louder than the occasional nice thing he says to her.

How well does she really know Adam? Pammie? Herself??

There are two terms used in psychology that are highlighted prominently in this book. The first is called “the web of deceit” and refers to the lies and manipulations used against an individual to make them believe something. Usually the idea is untrue.
The second is “the cycle of abuse” and refers to a domestic violence situation in which the abused returns to the abuser after an incident, based solely on an apology and promise never to repeat the incident.

I enjoyed this book, as a whole. The secondary relationships were well-written and relatable. There were enough details to make it interesting, but not enough to make it dull. Some of the British slang took me a second to decode (as an uncultured American swine).
The book took about two days of intermittent reading. It was not difficult to read, or hard to follow.
While the characters were thoughtfully written, I had a hard time believing the relationship between the main characters as it continued throughout the story. Emily seems easily manipulated, and blind to serious red flags. Adam seems like the kind of guy that one is informed about in classes concerning self-defense and psychological abuse.
I know saying and doing things are two separate things, but Emily was na√Įve to the manipulation and put herself at serious risk. The mother, Pammie, was not straight-forward or honest from the get go, which could have saved everyone the trouble…however, then there would be no book.
Emily’s family did not react the way that a “loving” and “supportive” family, I believe, would react to their daughter being in such a situation.

I gave it four stars because it was well-written, and overall, enjoyable. A romantic thriller that was like a Lifetime movie in book form.

*UPDATED* Craving more

I just finished reading a free e-book that landed in my email. Don’t judge me. It’s a romance novel. Smut, at that. So, if you are into rich, damaged guys learning to love again thanks to na√Įve young women, then this is your book!!
****UPDATE****
I have read through book six of nine. So, let me clarify something. The first three books are about Talon and Jade’s relationship. Although they make appearances in the rest of the books, their role is secondary. The second set of three books focuses on Jonah Steel, the eldest of the three brothers and his object of affection, Melanie Carmichael. The last three books, which I haven’t gotten to yet, are about the youngest brother, Ryan Steel.
In case you don’t know the author…Her name is Helen Hardt. She is a well-written author from Colorado, known for romance novels and erotica. She wrote this particular series about the Steel brothers, a series of nine books. I plan to go over all of them here…
In case you haven’t read the book:
Talon Steel is broken. Jade was left at the altar. Can she fix him? Can he love her?
You get the idea….
****Updated****
The first three books are the journey to find love for Talon and Jade. There is an underlying plot which is part mystery, part thriller.

The second three books follows the story line out even further, still trying to get answers for the Steel Brothers and their family, while following Jonah and Melanie’s story. A new sub-plot is introduced.

The third set of books, and the completion of the series, (hopefully) answers all of the questions brought up in the first six books, is about Ryan, the baby brother. Let’s hope he can find love like his brothers, and closure for his family.
What I thought:
It wasn’t too bad. I am not a huge fan of romance novels, but this one had just enough adult language and scenes to draw me out of my romance funk, and into the “yeah, buddy” frame of mind. Although I enjoyed this book, it is not a stand alone, as it leaves you with a cliffhanger-so prepare yourself for the next book before you even start reading. My patience for poor writing is low, and this was actually decently written. Some suspense, some thrill, some sadness, some happiness, and let’s not forget the sex. I am glad to see that someone knows how to use a thesaurus to prevent using the same word over and over.

Overall, not a bad book. I will let you know as I progress through the series if it is worth it to keep going. ūüôā

I am glad that there is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book-claiming that there was language and childhood events that may cause victims of childhood abuse to trigger. Please be aware of that when reading this series!

Each book ends in a cliffhanger. Each. Book. Kind of MAKES you want to keep reading-just to see what happens. To me, the “romance” portion has taken a back seat and I have become more interested in the plot twisty mystery behind the romance.
If you have read this book, or know of it, or just wanna chat about books, drop me a line!

 

steel brothers craving

 

Alright.

Let’s avoid conflict on here, okay? I wanna write about a book I have finished up, but I don’t need any kind of bickering or emails complaining about the lack of plot, the lack of detail, the lack of synonyms, or the distaste for the topics…I am just writing my opinion on the book, and the series in general. So, relax.
I finished reading Darker by E.L. James, the fifth in the Fifty Shades of Grey series. The first three were the original trilogy, written in the voice of Anastasia Steele, the main female character. The fourth book, Grey, was the first of the trilogy of the same story, written in the voice of Christian Grey, the main male character.

In case you have never heard of the series:
The story of Ana and Christian is a strained love story about a na√Įve college grad and a very rich, very disturbed entrepreneur. This story is a romance, but it is so strained because of veiled elements of BDSM, and relationship/emotional issues of the characters. Although the story has become a movie series, with the third movie due out in Feb of 2018, the book series offers more insight. (As most books tend to.)

In case you don’t know of E.L. James:
She is a British tv writer, who chose to write some fan fiction for Twilight that got her some notice. She has since written books and scripts, etc. for the series, and has won multiple awards.

My opinion on this book/series:
Okay. So, this is difficult to put into words. My opinion of the plot, is that it is a fun love story of two people who were never destined to meet in normal circumstances. My opinion of the writing is that the author could have used a thesaurus, or an editor that actually read the manuscript with any detail…The writing bothers me at times, using very common phrases found in all five of the books. I understand that maintaining a “voice” throughout the series is important, but GAH…
My opinion of the series is that it is not a book based on a BDSM relationship. I also do not believe it is an abusive relationship, as others tend to believe. (Please people, before you broadcast your opinion everywhere, READ what is being discussed. It kills me.) The relationship is deep, complicated, dangerous (for both), and freeing. It is a learning curve for both Ana and Christian; for she has never had a relationship period, and he has never been in a reciprocating relationship.
I have sat through the first novel and movie and made comparisons and there are things missing from both that would better allay the problems with the BDSM community. A little research goes a long way. It would also heighten the expectation of “naughtiness” in the books. But, mainly because this is NOT a novel on BDSM, it is most certainly comparable to a haughty romance novel.
The first three, being from Ana’s perspective, lay the groundwork for the more deep character analysis in the fourth and fifth (and hopefully sixth) books. The last two are from Christian’s perspective and relay more information looking in, as to the thoughts and motivations behind some of his actions. However, I was a little disappointed that book five did not address more history, memory, and life sequences of Christian. I was looking forward to finding out from where some of his compulsions are derived. Although I was given dream sequences, a small bit of history of his childhood, and some epiphanies made through counseling, I feel there was more there to address that was left in limbo. Maybe, one day, I will make a list of questions and send them to the author and attempt to get some approval of possible headcannons. If I can find the time.
So, overall, if you are into sappy romances, then this one is for you:
A difficult gentleman of means, who is need of an education in love, finds a lady who is chaste, pure, educated in literature, but na√Įve in the bedroom, awakens his stone heart and brings them both happiness.¬† (AKA every. fairy. tale. ever.)
However, if you are prudish, uptight, or very sexually repressed, DO NOT read these. You will be embarrassed. ūüėÄ

If you have read the series and have any opinion on it (that is not combative or hostile), then hit me up. Feel free to discuss other opinions too, just be prepared to appreciate others’ opinions.¬†christian grey

Update: Bibliophile

I finished The Fever Code by James Dashner, a teen, post-apocalyptic prequel sequel. Whoo!!! Did you get all that?? It is BOOK FIVE in the series. Book Four is a prequel to the trilogy. This book is the follow up. I promised an update when I read it, because I did not know it existed-but have since found, and indeed, read it.

About the book:
It is book 5 in the series. It is a follow up to the prequel, book 4, in the Maze Runner Series. While the prequel,¬†The Kill Order, discussed how the flare started, how the “Flare” disease was spread, and what happened when it got out of control, this book focused more on building the maze. It gave us an in-depth, more main-character-centric introduction to characters that were prominent in the Maze Runner Series trilogy. It also gave us a little background on WICKED, and on the possible ramifications of all things apocalyptic.
My opinion on the book:
So, having read the entire series, I thoroughly enjoyed this look inward at the characters and their respective stories. I felt like I was invited to peep in on part of their lives I had wondered about when I read the initial trilogy. This book was a fun read-however heartbreaking in its background. An easy read, like the others, meant for young teen readers, but still enjoyable for adults. At the same time, the plot thickens and becomes more intricate and involved, allowing us to become attached to our main characters and their friends.

As I stated before, if you are looking for a fun read, are into suspense and thrill seeking on a book-lover-level, then this series is for you.

If you have read it, or want to discuss any opinions on it, feel free to hit me up!!

fever code

Divergence

I recently finished reading¬†Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy.¬†

In case you have never heard of the book:
The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth is a trilogy of books (with an extra called Four) about a post apocalyptic society based in Chicago and run in factions. The book Divergent Thinking is a book of essays based in psychology, sociology, military, and other thoughts focusing on the books and topics found within.

In case you have never heard of the authors/editor:
There are 13 different authors that wrote essays for this book: V Arrow; Jennifer Lynn Barnes; Mary Borsellino; Rosemary Clement-Moore; Debra Driza; Julia Karr; Dan Krokos; Elizabeth Norris; Maria V Snyder and Jenna Snyder; Janine K Spendlove; Elizabeth Wein; and Blythe Woolston. The editor is Leah Wilson, editor of other “Smart Pop” books.

My opinion of the book:
I really enjoyed this book of essays. Each essay consisted of about 10-ish pages (give or take) of informative point of views from the real world, but waged against the fiction of the¬†Divergent¬†books, characters, and behaviors. One example: “Mapping Divergent’s Chicago.” This was an amusing essay, taking information from the books to lay out the locations in the story on a real life map of Chicago today. While the actual locations may be just “guesstimates,” the argument for them was pretty compelling.
If you read the series, this is a nice extension of the work, bringing some of it into the real world, making the characters even more authentic and relatable. If you are interested in finding out to which faction you would belong, and to which job you might fit into, and want to jump into the Dauntless pit then eat chocolate cake, then this book would be an interesting addition for you.

If you have read the book and wanna chat, hit me up!!

four

“Fear doesn’t tear you down, it wakes you up.” -Four, from¬†Divergent