*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
So I’m not going to lie, the main reason I wanted to read Wrecked was because of my love of MMA Fighters. I LOVE them, and I can’t get enough. After reading the synopsis I was hooked.
Lorrie had returned to college, after taking time off, as two years before her mother was murdered, and her father committed suicide. Lorrie wants to move forward with her life, she wants to feel normal again and doesn’t want to feel sad anymore. I liked Lorrie; she had been through a lot of heartache. Emotionally she was a mess, but she did frustrate me with her actions, and stubbornness. So as much as I found myself wanting to hug her I also wanted to shake some sense into her.
Hunter ‘The Hammer ‘Jensen is your typical MMA fighter with muscles and tattoos. He loves to fight. He’s a charmer, funny and sexy with a soft side. Hunter loves the ladies, and the ladies love Hunter. I liked Hunter, but I wished he had been a bit more Alpha at times, as I do love my fighters to be a little rougher around the edges. But that being said I still had a soft spot for him.
Lorrie and Hunter are two souls who have their secrets and issues. They are cute together, and it was interesting and frustrating at times to watch as Lorrie and Hunter’s friendship/relationship develops. It has it fair share of dramas and problems especially with Lorrie’s insecurities.
The storyline had some angsty, touching, funny, sexy, and a few rolling my eyes moments. I felt that it started really well, and I was eager to read more, but somewhere during the middle for me, the story started to frustrate me big time, and I think that was mainly because of Lorrie’s stupid and ridiculous behavior. It picks up again for the last 30%, and I found myself wanting to get to the end, as I was desperate to know what as going to happen.
The story is mainly told in Lorrie’s POV, I liked being inside her head and did feel for her at times. I really liked the last few chapters as we also get Hunter’s POV, which really added to the story. I have to say I loved it, and I wish there had been more as there were a few times that I wanted to know what he was thinking. My heart went out to him after reading them, and discovering his secret.
Overall, I liked this book, it was the first I have read by Pricilla West, and I will definitely read more of her work. It had some secondary characters I liked such as Daniela and Gary, but Ade not so much. There is a cliffhanger ending, and one that certainly left me knowing that Lorrie and Hunter’s story was not over yet. Therefore, I will definitely be reading the next book in the series Rescued, as I want to find out what happens next and to see them get their HEA.
“He was so gorgeous, my breath hitched in my throat. Had I died and gone to heaven?”
“Don’t worry Lorrie, if you’re scared, I’ll protect you with my muscles”
“I had no idea how to be around Hunter Jensen, especially now that I knew he was a badass cage fighter”
"We both don’t know each other well but I know you’re different from other people here. It takes a weirdo to know a weirdo. ~ Hunter
“He made me uncomfortable and comfortable, restless and calm, annoyed and entertained—all at the same time”
"You make me feel alive and I make you feel alive. Let's save each other."~ Hunter
Priscilla West is the author of the popular Surrender series. Her next release titled: Wrecked will be available on December 16th. She likes to write stories with sassy heroines and strong but flawed heroes.
She enjoys: cuddles, men in suits, eskimo kisses, life-sized teddy bears, and eggs over medium.
Title: Thou Shalt Not
Author: J.J. Rossum
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 9 2013
Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.
I heard great things about this book from a few people, so of course I had to read it!
Luke Harper is a high school English teacher and in a friends-with-benefits "relationship" with Holly, his ex-girlfriend. When he meets April, he's instantly attracted to her. They connect over their mutual love for literature and the fact that she is married does not stop him. I was not very fond of Luke. Throughout the whole book I just wanted him to man-up, put his big-boy pants on and make a decision about what he wanted or just do something! He sometimes went into long drawn-out explanations about certain things, in the middle of talking about something else, so by the time he finished, I had completely forgotten what he was talking about in the first place.
I did not like April. From the get-go, I felt like there was more to her than met the eye. I found her manipulative and a bitch. When her true colors came out, I just wanted to slap her! I felt like every little thing she did was all planned out. She definitely knew what she was going to do and when from the beginning. I liked Holly. She's been there for Luke, not only as a lover, but also as a friend. I could tell she cared for him. I wish I had more time to get to know her, her past and also her "relationship" with Luke. We really just got told about her almost at the end of the book.
I really liked the flashbacks. We got to see what was going on with him and one of the hardest times of his life. I really connected with him during that time. I've heard that this book is a standalone, but I felt that with that ending, a lot of questions were left unanswered so I'm hoping that's false and the author writes a sequel.
If you looking a book with a love triangle and some drama, I recommend you pick this book up.
I had heard many great things about Thou Shalt Not so of course I had to check it out. Written from the male POV by a man himself, I heard we were in for a treat.
Luke is a teacher in his early thirties, he's had a life of heartbreak in his younger years so he is perfectly content having a friends with benefits relationship with Holly. That is until a new substitute teacher arrives. Luke has no idea why he is instantly hankering after April and even when he finds out that she is married with kids, this still doesn't deter him.
I didn't really take to Luke and by the end I had almost given up on him. I get that he was a young guy wanting to take risks and of course April was a shiny, new forbidden plaything but my heart went out to poor, dependable Holly who was waiting in the wings just hoping he would come to his senses and realise she was the one for him all along.
I struggled to feel the connection between Luke and his lady loves, with Holly he only let her in so far and even when the truth came out I didn't believe his declaration, it was more of a 'yeah you'll do' situation. I felt reading from Luke's POV that I couldn't fall for him, his 'voice' sounded monotone and the only time I really felt anything was when he had flashbacks to his heartbreak and the business with his friend Robin. It was during these periods I felt Luke was showing some emotion. With that being said, some of his neurotic monologue was entertaining. Luke wasn't an Alpha male or a billionaire, he was a bit nerdy and that worked for him.
"I replayed everything. It really was pathetic. I'm not generally a creepy-ass flirt who targets married women. But, apparently now I wink, so who the hell knows what's happening."
I'm not sure if this book is intended to be a standalone with an open ending or there will be in fact a sequel. The last chapter leaves you with more questions than answers, I was also left wondering about the strange little side plot with a student thrown in at the end. So maybe there will be more, who knows?
Thou Shalt Not wasn't as fast paced and engrossing as I had been expecting. If you are a fan of love triangles and don't mind adultery then this is up your street. The twists and turns will keep you guessing until the end!
Where to begin with this review? Thou Shalt Not was very different than other books that I've read that feature the male POV. He is definitely no alpha. But, then again we have so many of those.
Luke Harper is an english teacher at a private high school. He has suffered heartbreak in the past, and as you read further your heart goes out to him. He doesn't really do relationships. He has a friends with benefits, Holly. They apparently have great sex, but there is no other connection so they found it less complicated to be FWB. Things change when he meet a substitute teacher, April. Oh and she's married. With kids. You immediately feel the connection between them. But, what about Holly right? You have no idea!
While I am a huge sucker for love triangles, this was the first time where I was torn. Holly and April. I liked them at first for very different reasons. As April and Luke get to know each other over time, their attraction intensifies. April's husband is a total jerk, so her seeking out another man's attention didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was the twist in the story! I did not see that coming. This story definitely keeps the reader guessing.
What I liked was that I didn't expect their to be emotional parts. I really connected to those parts as I felt the writing was strong and I easily related to the characters. I didn't expect a story of love, loss, and hope. Luke, Holly, and April were looking for all the same things, but in different places. Everything came full circle.
But the end? There's more right? There is no way this is a standalone. I found the writing of the story to be paced nicely. If you are looking for your not so average hero, then this is for you.
"You know, if I knew you better I would probably push you in," she said very nonchalantly, as if letting me know the water temperature.
"If I knew you better, I would probably beat you to it," I replied.
She turned to me, her eyes full of mischievous energy.
Her hands quickly went up and grabbed my shoulders, and mine instinctively grabbed her waist. I could feel her grip tighten when I touched her, and her eyes widened.
"If I go in, you are going in with me," I said, shuffling my feet closer to the edge.
Her hands moved along my shoulders and her feet edged closer to mine.
"I'm a grown woman," she said. "Threats involving water don't scare me."
Her bottom lip curled up under her teeth as she smiled, repeating what I had said earlier. Or mocking me, perhaps.
I tightened my grip on her hips and flinched, pretending I was about to throw her in. She gasped slightly, hands grabbing my shoulders tightly again. Her hips arched forward and she leaned up on her toes as if in reflex.
"I thought you weren't scared," I said, pulling her closer to me. "People usually don't gasp when they are ready for what's about to happen."
She was less than a foot from me, her face getting much closer to mine.
"It depends on what's happening," she said, looking up into my eyes.
I wasn't thinking about throwing her into the water anymore. Everything within me wanted to pull her tightly in and kiss her right there, in front of the pool in the house her husband bought with all the millions of dollars he had made throughout his career. Kiss her on the spot where he probably threw numerous parties. Kiss her on the lips I wished were mine, and not his.
The look in her eyes told me she wanted the same. At least I thought they did. I hadn't been in a position where I felt like this for someone in a long time. Thankfully, my hands were around her waist or I surely would have been able to feel them get clammy, nervous, like a high school kid on his first date with the prom queen he never thought he could get.
She is calculating, remember? I thought to myself. If she hadn't wanted it to get to this point she never would have asked you over to her house. She wants this as much as you do.
I wasn't sure which shoulder angel was feeding me that line but whoever it was, I knew they were right.
My hands pulled her closer until her feet were between mine; our legs and waists touching.
"You have really strong shoulders," she said. Her voice was soft and she tilted her head up toward mine when she spoke.
Do it, I told myself. Kiss her.
My heart was racing, and I could hear the beating in my ears. My hands moved up her body and found her neck. My fingers laced in her hair behind her head and I pulled her up.
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Title: The Destiny of Violet & Luke
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Series: The Coincidence #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Release Date: January 7 2013
Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.
Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.
Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .
But as the elevator continues up and my arms stay at my side, I realize that I can’t go through with it and honestly I have no idea why. She’s messing with my head and I don’t know what else to do besides stare at my reflection in the shiny steel doors for the rest of the elevator ride. When the doors open, I let out a breath of relief, glad we’re coming to the end of this strange, silent journey. As we approach Violet’s dorm room toward the end of the hall, I spot Kayden and Callie standing in front of the door. They’re smiling as they talk to each other and they make it look so easy, so natural, like it’s as simple as breathing. But even breathing is difficult for me sometimes.
Callie says something and Kayden laughs, but when he sees me walking up the hallway with Violet his expression fills with inquisitiveness.
“What’s up?” he asks as we walk up to them. He glances from Violet to me, then his eyebrows arch, his eyes widening a little.
Callie steps out of the way as Violet moves out of my arm and drags her foot as she moves up to the door. “Are you okay?” Callie asks, looking down at Violet’s ankle.
“Yeah,” Violet answers with indifference as she punches in the code to their room with her finger. The lock beeps and she shoves the door open, tossing her book aside as she starts to shut the door behind her. I’m about to call our stubborn challenge a tie, when she pauses with the door still open a crack, her eyes sparkling with life for the very first time, and says, “Thanks, Mr. Stoically Aloof.”
“You’re welcome, Violet with no last name,” I tell her and then she shuts the door.
“Take whatever you want. Nothing I have left in me is worth anything anyways”
Violet has been shuffled from foster home to foster home since the age of six when her parents were murdered. Never finding the right fit, or coming across horrible “parents” within those homes, she never really felt loved or even wanted it because of the fear of it all being taken away from her again.
Then Violet moves in with Preston, her new foster dad. He uses her to sell drugs and scam college kids out of their money. And then one night she jumps out of a window to escape some angry kids, she ends up kicking a guy in the face on her way down, and that guy is Luke. And so their journey begins.
“I only want girls who can suck my cock and smile about it, without asking for more.”
Luke was no stranger to a messed up childhood. With a father that left, a sister who committed suicide and a mother… well let’s just say she will never be winning the mother of the year award. He was forced to do things no child or even adult should be subject to. Why would you make your child do that?! I’m surprised Luke didn’t fall into the same patterns as she did.
Violet and Luke come together, begin to open up to each other and start to learn that there are feelings between them that neither of them have ever experienced. But before it all really begins for the emotionally troubled couple, it all comes crashing down with the unexpected discovery of how their pasts connect them together. A devastating and shocking one that may be impossible to overcome.
In true Jessica Sorenson fashion with this series, it does end in a cliff-hanger. I did feel the story moved too slow for me. And as much as I appreciated the struggles of each character, I felt it was just dragged out a little too much and took up too much of the story. I liked the book, not as much as the first two books in the series, which happen to be two of my favourite books. I am looking forward to the continuation of Violet and Luke’s story, I just wish it could have been tied up in one book.
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Title: Wake For Me
Author: Isobel Irons
Series: Life or Death #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Age Group: New Adult
Release Date: December 15 2013
"Finding the man of your dreams can be hard... Especially if you're unconscious."
When Viola Bellerose breaks up with her “up and coming” Irish rock star boyfriend, the feisty winery heiress takes it in stride—by making out with a hot stranger and accidentally crashing her Mercedes into the East River. Whoops.
Somewhat unfairly, in her opinion, Viola now spends her days in a coma, trapped inside the prison of her own body. With each passing day, she finds herself becoming more lost in a world of vivid and terrifying dreams, in which a tall and tortured doctor often appears in a romantic role.
First year intern Sam Philips is barely surviving his complicated life, dealing with his older brother’s death, avoiding scary charge nurses and working endless hours--all while competing against his fellow interns. His solace is the time he spends with his favorite patient, the girl he’s nicknamed Sleeping Beauty. Convinced that her coma can’t last forever, Sam spends hours at her bedside, spilling his secrets to the unconscious girl.
But what the outwardly shy Sam could never guess, is that his Sleeping Beauty is actually aware. That she's secretly hanging on his every word, and falling head over heels in love with him. That even as Sam tries to save her, someone else might be trying to kill her.
How is a girl supposed to fall in love with her doctor (and vice versa) when they have never interacted since she's in a coma? That's the question that I asked myself after reading the synopsis for this book and I, of course, had to read it and see how the author was going to make that happen.
Viola is in a coma after a car accident. Most her time is spent in these frightening nightmares that she can't seem to escape and start getting mixed with reality. Sam stops by his favorite patient's room as much as he can to talk about what's going in his life and is one of the few people that believe that she will wake up. I liked Sam. He was sweet, protective and a little dorky (which I loved). Viola feels like her and Sam are a perfect match even though she has only heard his voice and doesn't even know anything about him other than what he tells her on his visits. She was feisty and had a take-charge attitude throughout the story.
I liked the whole doctor/patient in a coma plot. It kind of played in my head like a Grey's Anatomy episode as I was reading it. I also really liked that the book is written in dual pov so I was able to not only be in Viola's head, but I also got to see what was going on with Sam. There's a little mystery thrown in. Someone is plotting against her and she has no idea who could it be. I did find it boring at times and I felt like a couple of questions I had were left unanswered.
Overall, I liked this book. It had romance, a different kind of plot, and a little mystery and suspense. The characters were likeable and relatable. I recommended it to anyone who's looking for something a little different.
In real life, I am (among many things) an indie film director and TV producer with a deep–some might even say obsessive–appreciation for onscreen storytelling and a lifelong book habit that I just can’t seem to kick.
In film, there’s nothing I like better than a JJ Abrams “show, not tell” character reveal, or a Joss Whedon banter session. Or an Erik Kripke-level “bromance.” And of course, I’m a die-hard fan of the will they / won’t they trope, where the fans start shipping two characters agonizingly long before they share their first kiss. Or in Hart Hanson’s case, like three frigging years before. (That’s right, Hart. I’m talking to you, you incorrigible tease.)
In my novels, I use my visual storytelling skills to show the reader an entire menagerie of hidden worlds. When it comes to imagination, there is no production value and no budget. But if there was, I would spend it all and then some. To me, my characters are real people, who just happen to live in my mind. Before I write, I scout locations to set the scene, I hold exhaustive casting sessions to find the perfect quirks that will ignite the maximum amount of conflict. Then, I throw in some tricky, but believable situations that allow my characters to expose themselves–sometimes in a figurative, emotional sense, other times quite literally. Rawr.
Finally, I sit back and let the story unfold. If it sucks, I cut it. I tell my characters–sternly, but calmly–to reset and do it again, but this time give me MORE. Show me MORE. Make me laugh or cry or want to hit something MORE. And then, when I realize I’ve read through the entire thing in one sitting and–Holy shit, is it really that late, and Oh my God I am SO hungry! Have I even eaten today? That’s when I know it’s ready to be unleashed into the world.
Vivid characters. Vibrant settings. Relatable problems. Together, these elements combine to form the Ultimate Literary Crack. Or, as I like to call it, “Promoting Literacy through Shameless Addiction.”
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