Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review - Wethering the Storm (The Storm, Book 2), by Samantha Towle

Music journalist Tru Bennett has done the impossible: capture the heart of rock-star bad boy Jake Wethers. Now they’re busy planning a wedding and navigating their new life together in the US. Of course Tru misses London and her best friend, Simone, but living happily ever after with Jake in LA is going to be great…right?

Wrong. Even the bright California sun can’t whitewash the dark side of celebrity coupledom. Greedy music execs, merciless paparazzi, and Jake’s wild past are lurking around every corner. Making matters worse, Jake announces he doesn’t want kids, which just may be a deal breaker.

Tru loves Jake more than anything. But when a devastating crisis threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for, the couple must face the hard truth: What if, this time, love is not enough?

I've been a pretty big fan of Samantha Towle since I first discovered the Alexandra Jones series last year. I thought her characters were well written, witty and interesting, the storylines were original and captivating, but most of all her actual writing style flowed really well and made for an all round good read.

When I first saw The Mighty Storm, the first book in the Storm series, I knew without a doubt that I would be reading the book. All of the above, PLUS hot guys in bands? I'm sold. In fact, it was one of the first 'bad boy musician' type books I picked up, so safe to say it got a solid review from me. However, I didn't figure that the rest of this series could offer too much more than we already saw in The Mighty Storm. We had the romance, the drama, the obstacles to overcome etc. What more could she possibly include in another book?

But BOY was I wrong. I won't lie, the first half of the book followed a similar pattern to the first and I thought the initial big plot point was very, very predictable (and very 50 Shades... Just sayin'). I started to groan around here and begged Towle to offer something in the latter half of the book to pick it up and keep it on par with The Mighty Storm...

AND THEN BAM! There it was. I won't give it away BUT GOOD GIRL Samantha Towle. It was exactly what the book needed and from that point onward I was a god damn blubbering mess. I genuinely don't think I've cried so much, so consistently, at a story. It wasn't necessarily full blown ugly face, snot cry, but it was pretty much steady tears until I closed the book.

Jake's character in this story appealed to me a lot more, too. He was much more controlled, made pretty much no stupid decisions (okay, maybe one), and just generally a more likable character. I also felt this way about Tru, though I did start to tire of her mood swings (and if I remember correctly, I felt the same throughout The Mighty Storm).

But anyway, for me, the character's weren't the most important thing in Wethering the Storm. What I needed to really keep this book on par with The Mighty Storm was a more exciting storyline, and Towle more than offered that. So much so that I've given Wethering the Storm 5/5 stars on GoodReads, a whole extra star than it's predecessor. Would definitely recommend.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Review - Twisted Perfection, Abbi Glines

Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected…

Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help.

What he didn’t know was she was as fragile as they came. The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine…

Right, so I've read a few Abbi Glines books in the past, and while I've never given them huge scores, they've definitely always been good for a YA/NA pick me up when I've needed it - and Twisted Perfection was no exception.

Glines tends to follow the same pattern in her books with troubled protagonists that find love and solace in each other's imperfections (this isn't a bad thing, some of the best YA/NA authors I've read are exactly the same).

Della Sloan is a little darker than a lot of leading females I've come across; a broken recluse with a suicidal mother and a strong belief that she'll meet the same tragic end. Woods Kerrington is more typical of this genre; a rich, 90210-esq socialite set to inherit his fathers fortune of beach houses and diamonds should he marry in his station continue the family's flawless name.

As with most relationships in this genre, for me, it was much too rushed and I didn't really see too much development in terms of discovering each other and all that jazz. It was very much a 'wham-bam thank you ma'am, oh now I'm in love' type thing which always irks me a little. It did with Della and Woods more so because of how much Woods is willing to risk for his infatuation with a one night stand.

Despite this, the characters were easy to like and Della isn't too needy and doesn't make too many decisions which I'd like to punch her for, which I unfortunately find quite often. There's a nice mix of 'booster' characters that offer a bit of variety in terms of dialogue, are also pretty easy to like, and keep the narrative flowing.

The actual storyline was nothing spectacular, though the darkness of Della's past was somewhat of a nice (albeit morbid) surprise and added to the intensity of her character (however, I was still slightly surprised at how developed she was in terms of social skills and confidence given her upbringing... just sayin')

Anyway, I don't have anything super amazing to say, it was an easy read and gave me the fill of romance, passion, and YA/NA that I was looking for and expecting. I'm guessing there'll be more to come in this series that I may or may not check out depending on my TBR list at the time. Middle of the road 3 out of 5 stars for Twisted Perfection - worth checking out for YA/NA fans and Abbi Glines fans will certainly love it.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Review - Promises After Dark (After Dark, Book 3), Sadie Matthews

Intensity, sensuality, and seduction awaits in the final part of the provocative romantic AFTER DARK trilogy that has left readers longing for more.

Can a fractured love be salvaged? Parting with Dominic has left me broken in a way I could never have imagined. We held elation in the palm of our hands, but one misunderstanding brought it crashing down around us. Now the hurt and sadness follows me like a shadow and makes choosing the right path to take impossible.

But one moment with him and the pulsing heat is singing in my blood again; his touch lights a fire that my body refuses to ever forget. I'm hopelessly lost in him. Finding our way back to one another will take trust and a leap of faith - only then we will know whether we have a chance at forever.

I read the first two books in this series a few months ago now, before I started blogging, so I can't 100% remember what I said about them. The first book Fire After Dark I read when I was still in my 50 Shades phase so according to GoodReads I've given it a 4 out of 5. The second, Secrets After Dark I've given a 3 out 5 and after finishing book 3, Promises After Dark, I think I'm seeing a downwards pattern.

To be completely honest, I got bored with this book. I remember book 1 being a bit naughtier and more relationship/sex orientated, and therefore more Dominic orientated, but book 3 just felt like I was reading the dialogue for a Broken Sword game.

The language was quite wooden in places and a number of times I found myself having a "who speaks like that!?" moment. Dominic wasn't really in the story too much and it focused much more on Mark and Andrei and Beth's relationship with the two men. I missed Dominic's presence and eventually started getting a bit irritated with Beth's devotion to him given his somewhat lackadaisical attitude to her. We kind of go through a big chunk of the book without him, then all of a sudden its 'lets buy a house and live happily ever after'. I'm not convinced by the sincerity of the relationship which ultimately makes me not care about it.

The story line was okay but after the first 2 books I think I was expecting something a little more exotic than what it turned out Andrei was up to. The final encounter with Beth and Andrei was hugely disappointing and pretty unbelievable given Andrei's fierce determination for the entire book up until that point,

I don't have too much to say about it to be honest. I'm not sure if this is the final book and Matthews is rounding it off as a trilogy or whether there's another one to come, but I'd be really disappointed it that's how she's chosen to end the story.

I after reading Promises After Dark, I wouldn't recommend this series to adult fans. If I would have to describe it in one word it would be 'average' and to be perfectly honest, if there is a 4th book, I probably will have forgotten about the series by the time it comes out. I'll give it a 3 out of 5 because I'm feeling nice.