Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week in Reviews #3

This Week's Reads:

Reckless Abandon (November Blue #2) by Andrea Randall

This is the second book in the November Blue series.

November Harris is lost. After a failed romance with musician Bo Cavanaugh, Ember is left struggling to regain her true self. The problem is, Bo won’t go away and Ember's stance is firm—she doesn't want him back.

Adrian Turner, Ember's ex-boyfriend-turned confidant, is patient with her heartbreak, but he can't hold back his own feelings forever.

As she sorts through her past, in an effort to plan a solid future, Ember will find that sometimes even the best laid plans bow to the soul's desire for reckless abandon.

My Rating: 4 Coffee Cups!

I don't know why, but in my opinion this one was much better than the first in the series, 10 Days of Perfect.  In the first book, November and Bo's insta-love was too much for me. And the way they ended it was too dramatic. This second book was good. The pacing was perfect, November actually had to make a choice between two loves, and the end was heartbreaking.

The Groupie Trilogy (Groupie, Rockstar and Mogul) by Ginger Voight

When Andy Foster met the sexy front man of an up-and-coming rock band, the most she could imagine was a steamy stolen night of passion. But her attraction to Giovanni Carnevale hit her like a bolt of lightning. Soon she was traipsing all over the country, an unintentional groupie, finding herself thrust into his path even when she knew it was a very bad idea. Over four years their romance would face indiscretions, crazed stalkers and the interloping paparazzi, keeping these star-crossed lovers circling around a happily ever after they could never quite catch.

In the beloved "Groupie" trilogy by Ginger Voight, three books tell the passionate and angst-driven tale of Andy and Vanni. Now, "Groupie," "Rock Star" and "Mogul" are available in one volume that tells their story from that first meeting in Philadelphia to an explosive conclusion on the opposite coast. 

My Rating: 4 1/2 Coffee Cups!

I bought this as a bundle, so I figured I'd review it that way. When I finished this first book I truly didn't know whether I should like it or hate it. It was angst to the millionth degree. You wanted to simultaneously slap, shake and hug the main characters Vanni and Andy. I was legit LIVID while reading the first book (until about 2am). I gave the other two books a try after the ulcer the first one gave me and I'm glad I did. It got much better throughout. There were still some painful things to read, but you saw a possible light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel. Amazing series.

Wanted (Wanted #1) by Kelly Elliott

Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.
The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brothers best friend.
Gunner only had two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like.
Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?
What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?

My Rating: 2 1/2 Coffee Cups

What can I say about this book. First off, I understand the concept of this. Psychological trauma and verbal abuse, especially from one's parent, is an extremely hard thing to overcome. It was just the execution of this book that didn't jibe with me. Ellie's character was understandably insecure and emotionally fragile, but this story pushed it. Gunner had the patience of (a very unrealistic) saint. The love was very insta-love and considering the back story, didn't feel right to me. She was so back and forth with him it made my head spin. And he just kept pushing because "she was the one". Also, the side story of Ellie's best friend Ari and her brother Jeff felt like filler to make this book longer. I know that's who the sequel is going to be centered around, but the author should've just done 2 separate stories instead of starting Ari and Jeff's love story in the middle of Ellie and Gunner's. 

The Prophecy by Rachel Deagan

Everything dropped away as I fell. Time had momentarily suspended, and the air around me hollered in my ears. In the distance I heard men yelling, and even the crack of a gunshot--at least it sounded like one--but that commotion was soon drowned out by the low hum of car engines and blasting horns. My senses caught up to me as I saw the pavement closing in.
I was going to die.
“The cards tell me of the children of the stars.”
Jacey thinks her life is worthless, when she finds herself in a psychiatric hospital after a failed attempt to end her life; her wounds miraculously healed. Devin, who claims to kill on touch, is also there. When Michael arrives, bearing telekinetic powers, he insists the government, and an even darker, more powerful force, wants them dead. 
In a desperate attempt to escape for their lives, the three teens find they must confront an even greater adversary, themselves - and with a prophecy forced upon them, they must find a way to accept their fate, or rebel together, as one.

My Rating: 3 Coffee Cups

This book had so much potential. The premise was new and refreshing. The characters were interesting. The world building was creative. But none of it fleshed out. There were flashes of brilliance, but that was it- just flashes. It just didn't feel as though it was thought all the way through. And then there was the love story. It was a tough pill to swallow. I started following Devin and Jacey and even somewhat rooting for them, although it was an odd meeting. You saw their similarities and their need to be loved. But then Michael got thrown into the mix and it just completely threw it all off. I don't know. The ending was so abrupt that I will probably have to read the next one (which I am assuming there will be one- although it hasn't been announced) to see where it goes and if the story grows into itself.

On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy #0.5) by Karina Halle

When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she's set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.
This 50K word (100+ pages) novella takes place six years before Sins & Needles. It can be read before or after Sins & Needles and may also be read as a standalone.

 My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!

Loved this! But man-oh-man I thought I was supposed to despise Javier?!? Instead I kinda fell for him. Well, until the last bit that is. Now I have to go back and read the end of Sins and Needles again. Awesome novella. Was great to get into Ellie/Eden and Javier's story and fully understand why she feared him in S&N.

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