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.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Review - Walking Disaster (Beautiful, Book 2), Jamie McGuire

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

I literally cannot tell you how excited I was for the release of this book. Beautiful Disaster was one of my favourite books of 2012 and Travis Maddox is officially my favourite book boyfriend ever.

The one thing I wanted after reading it was a little more insight into Travis and what went on in his head, so when McGuire announced that Walking Disaster would be the same story but from his perspective, I flipped.

The main thing I loved about Walking Disaster was that it doesn't pander to a general audience. You probably wont understand most of it, or get some of the jokes or references, unless you've read BD. I thought that was brilliant. Kudos to McGuire for not pushing out another novel purely to gain a following. Obviously fans are great but this book felt a little more personal and I took it as McGuire giving a more intimate hat-tip to BD fans (who are totally obsessive mental - in a good way, of course).

Travis, as always, was a huge ball of neuroses, sex, and brooding, and we wouldn't have him any other way. His character didn't deviate at all from BD and within seconds of opening the book his style of speech and thoughts brought back all kinds of feelings from BD that I shouldn't be having about a fictional character.

It was great to be reading all the crucial moments from Travis's POV and I had a major swoon moment when McGuire FINALLY explained the meaning behind the 'Pidgeon' nickname, which is freaking adorable by the way.

We (obviously) get much more insight into Travis's life and his relationship with his dad and brothers which you don't get to see in BD and it was really lovely (crap word, I know) to see a more relaxed Travis. McGuire is also a great writer with that side of the narrative and just reading those scenes made me feel comfortable for him. It was refreshing to see a male protagonist in this genre who is able to brood and vent with his family and friends in equal measure. (I tend to find a lot of male characters a little too broody, you know?)

As the story line didn't change there's not too much I can comment on that (go and read my Beautiful Disaster review) but naturally there were new scenes in Walking Disaster and a lot more dialogue from Shep and Travis, and again, it was nice to see Travis's relationship with Shep from an inside perspective.

I thought McGuire did a great job in BD of making the reader understand Abby and Travis's relationship and how Travis reacted to certain situations, so I can't say I found anything profoundly new from that angle. We know Travis smashes up the apartment, we know he sits outside Abby's dorm room all night, we know he plans the surprise party etc. That's not a bad thing as I don't really think any of that needed to change... and theres another tick for McGuire's writing - She doesn't over-do it on the detail. She has a panache for knowing just how much info needs to be given. This was something that I worried about when picking up WD but McGuire hit the nail of the head square on.

I won't lie and say I loved the ending a whole lot. I don't know what I was expecting because I think I would have been equally as upset if we just left Abby and Travis in college with a 'and they lived happily ever after...' stuck on the end, but the whole thing with Travis's job and Benny was maybe a little too far fetched and I'm not convinced the story really needed it to be honest.

Despite that, if you were a fan of Beautiful Disaster, even a little bit, then go and read Walking Disaster. I've just sat and read it in a day and I'm already considering starting my third re-read of BD just so I can start it again. I love these two books, I love the story line, I love the characters, I love McGuire's writing, and if none of that can sway you, just read them for Travis Maddox. Hands down 5 out of 5 stars, exactly what it needed to be.