Review for Deviant (Blood & Roses #1) by Callie Hart

Deviant by Callie Hart

TITLE: Deviant
SERIES: Blood & Roses #1
AUTHOR: Callie Hart
PUBLICATION DATE: February 20, 2014
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 116 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 bows

Sloane is determined to do whatever necessary to find her sister. She is willing to do indecent things, make trades, do favors, whatever it takes. Zeth knows he can help her. He can get the information she needs, but what will be the cost of his assistance?

Here’s the dead, I don’t really know what to say here. I don’t review many erotica novels for this exact reason. The template for this review has been sitting in my drafts folder for months because I don’t really know what to say. How to you review erotica? There’s smut and smut and…oh yeah! More smut! I have no problem reading it, but what to say to all you waiting for my thoughts? Ummm…I like smut?

It is a dark little story with endless amounts of…wait…you guessed it, smut and an intriguing mystery. I want Sloane to find her sister and I’m not yet sure how I feel about Zeth. He seems to be the controlling alpha male type dominant (hehehe) in erotica and I’m not the biggest fan of that type. I am an adult and I am fully capable of making my own decisions and I don’t need some tough guy bossing me around. I don’t understand how women find that attractive.

The mystery is good, but you don’t really get enough to go on. This is a novella, so it’s tiny. It gives you just enough to make you want more and then it stops. It’s like that whole shtick drug dealers have. I give you a taste for free and then you’re hooked and begging for more!

What you really need to know is this: it’s a pretty decent novel. I still haven’t read the next one, but I’m curious enough now that I definitely want to. Be warned, however, that this is smut. This is intense smut. If you can’t handle the sex scenes in normal romance, then steer clear of this thing.

4 bows
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Review for Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

TITLE: Sweet Peril
SERIES: The Sweet Trilogy #2
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 371 pages
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 4 bows

Anna Whitt once swore that she would never do the dirty work associated with her father’s sin and that was a very stupid claim to make. Since the end of her cross-country trip with Kaiden (where he broke her heart) she has become the new school party girl, living it up and tempting teens to drink to their hearts content and then some. Then a ghost shows up, giving Anna hope for the future and suddenly she’s off traveling the world trying to build herself an army to take on the Duke’s. The only problem, besides the obvious life and death stuff, is Kopano is the one with her, not Kaiden. Can she get over her epic love and move on or will she be so stuck over Kai that she is can’t do her job?

Anna was just as irritating here as she was in Sweet Evil. She’s too much of a goodie goodie and she is so naive. There were moments where I genuinely wanted to slap some sense into her. She does improve minutely as the novel progresses, but the it’s still not enough to make me like her. I sympathized with her at moments, that whole forbidden love bit gets me every time, but I wanted her to grow up a bit and break free from that mommy cord. I understand that teenage characters need to be flawed because no one is perfect during that time in their life, what with all the growing and brain development still to come, but that doesn’t mean they need to be so stupid.

Then there is Kai, the saving grace of this trilogy. Unfortunately for us, he is absent for the majority of this novel. We get a scant scene or two with in the first 250 or so pages and then he finally shows up for good in the last 100. Once he shows up, he really makes up for lost time. There are such steamy scenes between him and Anna that I was beginning to wonder if we had suddenly switched to New Adult. Kai is so hot and sexy and British. I have moments where I’m not completely convinced his a nice guy because he’s father’s sin makes him such a man-slut that it’s hard to see past it, but Anna never fails to see right through his bullshit, which is one of the few (very few) things I love about her.

The annoying third point in this triangle is Kopano and I’m not a fan. He’s a nice guy and that fits with Anna, so maybe they are perfect for each other, but he’s too nice and too restrained. He really is the male version of Anna and since we know I don’t particularly like her, is it any wonder he doesn’t appeal to me? I’m all for nice guys, hell, I am happily married to one, but I need a little rebellion. Give me something to go on!

This does suffer from middle book syndrome because there is nothing really new going on. It’s Anna on a quest to build an army and nothing major takes place plot-wise. There is no epic battle, just Anna and Kopano country hopping to get other Nephilim on their side. And we blow through quite a bit of time, skipping entire school semesters and seasons. There are parts that are endlessly dull and then there are parts that are I-can’t-put-it-down-because-it’s-so-good. Beyond Anna’s annoyingness, I only had one major issue that happens right at the end.****SPOILER****FLYNN DIES. Really? Was that necessary? I’m so sick of YA novels using character death to prove that this “fight” is really a war and war has casualties. FUCK. YOU. At least you could have killed a character I didn’t like, such as Kopano, but Flynn? Might as well have just shot Blake in the head.****END SPOILER****

After I finished Sweet Evil, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d continue reading the series. I have a hard time focusing on Anna’s problems, but I saw a audiobook copy at the library and thought I could give it a shot. Sweet Peril is as addictive as it’s predecessor. It has it’s flaws but it has that must-have-more quality to it that you can’t stop. It’s only after reading that you see it’s issues. Really, isn’t that the best kind of book, though? The kind that keeps you so enraptured that you can’t put it down and you don’t see any problems at all? The bottom line is if you enjoyed Sweet Evil, you’ll like this. If you like steamy romance that doesn’t quite cross the romance novel border (tehehe), then you’ll get that at the end. You have to wade through an entire novel of waiting, but I daresay it’s worth it.

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Review for Capturing Peace (Sharing You #0.5) by Molly McAdams

Capturing Peace by Molly McAdams

TITLE: Capturing Peace
SERIES: Sharing You #0.5
AUTHOR: Molly McAdams
PUBLISHER: William Morrow Impulse
PAGES: 192 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Reagan Hudson has more or less built the life she shares with her son from scratch. Her parents helped her in the beginning, but she was out supporting herself as soon as she was able. But she’s so weary of men that she can’t bring herself to even try dating. She never really got over her sons dad walking away when he found out she was pregnant. He gave her an ultimatum: him or the baby. She chose her child and never looked back. Coen Steele just got out of the army and he’s got his fair share of issues. He had a hard time during one of his tours and he’s haunted by the ghosts of his past. Despite her distrust of males, Reagan finds her self in front of Coen over and over and soon she’ll have to learn to trust him or risk losing the love between them.

Reagan is that character that is so easy to identify with and not, at the same time. I was never in her shoes. I’m 25 and no children yet, but I can sympathize with her plight because it could easily have been me. The difference? I don’t have well-off parents to help me. Wait…that came out harsher than I meant it. Okay, maybe it didn’t, but it gives the wrong impression. Let me try again. Reagan has been on her own since she graduated high school. She pays her mom to watch her son since they refused to let her put him in traditional daycare. She’s determined to always be in control of her situation because letting that control slip from her grasp means she could end up even more heartbroken than she was when her son’s dad walked away from her and she doesn’t know if she can take that.

Coen is the hot asian, in Reagan’s words. Tattooed and muscle-y, he’s a bad boy fantasy waiting to happen…except he isn’t a bad boy. Despite his appearance, he seems to be a standup guy. He’s one irredeemable quality was his refusal to get help for his obvious case of PTSD. I get that no one has been in your shoes and no one will truly understand what you saw, but you still need to try to get help. Sleep deprivation has serious consequences. That on top of the PTSD could be paralyzing. If nothing else, there has to be a medication to knock you out so you can sleep without dreams. Beyond that, though, he’s pretty perfect. Sweet, caring, and a whiz at handling the kid.

The romance between them is fast-paced, but believable. It’s quick without feeling insta-lovey, which is a real treat to read. Their attraction was heated, but at the same time, you could feel it was much deeper. I’d really like to get more from Reagan’s brother. I was hoping the next novel would be about him, but it’s not.

This is my first Molly McAdams book. Though I have heard amazing things about her work, I have avoided it. All her books contain some form of cheating, which is something I can’t tolerate. Either you love someone and want to work it out or you don’t. If you do, then suck it up and make it work. If you don’t, then leave. I realize the world is a bit more complicated than that, but that’s how I feel. Cheating isn’t justifiable to me. This has me wanting to reconsider my stance on Molly’s works though. I think I may try to read the next novel in this series, even though it does contain infidelity.

Wow, this review doesn’t sound like a 5 star rave fest, does it? Well, I truly loved it. It’s the perfect novella. I couldn’t put it down. I kept going for more of the story and for more steamy scenes that McAdams wrote flawlessly. It has great writing and is gloriously free of insta-love, love triangles, and cliffhangers. I absolutely adored every minute of it. I loved it enough that I’m willing to try to read an novel I know will piss be off because I think it just might be worth it. Doesn’t that say it all?

****Thank you to William Morrow Impluse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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