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 Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

TITLE: Sweet Reckoning
SERIES: The Sweet Trilogy #3
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
PUBLICATION DATE: April 29, 2013
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 464 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss / Freebie shelf from Malaprops
RATING: 4 bows

Anna Whitt and her nephilim allies are preparing for the final battle. They aren’t sure when it’ll start, but it’ll be sooner rather than later, no matter how much they want to delay it. As Anna gathers those she loves in close, she is determined that her love will be an asset, but she’s terrified it’ll be her downfall. How can they win this war with no casualties? Can she take the grief that will come with losing one of her loved ones? Kai? Patti? Jay? Marna? Kopano? Can she keep them all safe as she extinguishes the Duke’s lives here on Earth? I guess you’ll have to read to find out!

Anna is just as sweet and innocent here as she was in all the previous books. I still find her naive and annoying, and sometimes down right dumb….but she’s slightly better here. We actually get to see her swear once and that endears her to me. This chick is put through countless life threatening scenarios and I just don’t find it believable that she doesn’t feel the need to use swear words as an outlet. Big group of demons threatening my life? OH FUCK would be the first words out of my mouth or at least in thought, and Anna never debases herself to that level. I get that she is the “good God-fearing girl” and whatnot, but seriously?

It’s just not believable for me, regardless of the genre I’m reading. The sensors aren’t going to throw you to the wolves for an expletive here or there. ANYWAY, our sweet Anna does grow a bit more here, with lessons learned and consequences to face, so she was a little less annoying but still no where near a likable character for me.

Then there is Kai…..I constantly make fun of those “I sigh for Kai” banners, but he is very sigh worthy here. He’s quit his “job” of sleeping around, though he keeps up appearances for his father, and he’s all about Anna. Our dear stupid Anna. I still cannot fathom why he just needs to be with her, but, hey dude, it’s your fictional life! We get much more Kai here than we did in Sweet Peril and lots of steamy scene****SPOILER****He and Anna actually get married because she needs to be rid of her virginity or Pharzuph will kill her (and Kaiden) on-sight. She also needs to keep her “purity” so that she can wield the sword of righteousness. The two really steam up the page after their nuptials, but it wasn’t quit as sexy as the scenes at the end of Sweet Peril****END SPOILER****

I like most of the side characters, but I especially love Ginger. Why couldn’t this be told through her perspective? She’s the exact kind of snarky badass that I typically root for. No such luck, though, because it’s all Anna, all the time. The whole gang is in on this one, seeing as it is the final battle to end all battles. Jay even sticks his head in quite a bit.

This gets 4 stars for much the same reason the rest of the series has, it’s addictive. Once you start, you want to keep going and it’s incredibly difficult to put down even if it’s for something important like food or work or sleep. We don’t really need those things, do we? We can subsist on oxygen, live off our pittance of a savings account, and sleep when we’re dead, right? It was worth a shot. This world, no matter how annoying or preposterous, draws you in until it’s all you can think about. Do they succeed? Do they all die trying? Do Anna & Kai finally get it on? Inquiring minds need to know. It says a lot that I give it 4 stars because I had so many issues with this novel, and this series as a whole.

Warning: Rant ahead!
One my biggest issues is how this series pushes that outdated “no sex before marriage rule” which I can’t stay. The message this series (the last book especially) seems to send is that sex before marriage is wrong. Now, before you start yelling at me about all the characters except Anna are going at it with other people like jackrabbits, let me just say that all of them (except the “bad” dukes, of course) harbor obvious guilt over it. Maybe I read wrong, but that’s how it came off to me. It literally seems like it’s saying “No sex before marriage unless you want to get pregnant and then die!” which is not a moral I’m cool with.****SPOILER****Anna and Kaiden only sleep together after the marriage vows, which make it gloriously acceptable. Jay and Marna nearly jump into the sack the minute he is free from Veronica, no marriage vows recited, and BAM! Marna’s pregnant. Marna’s pregnant even though she has had surgeries to remove pregnancy as even a remote possibility. Marna is pregnant, which means she will die in childbirth because human bodies aren’t capable of handling the birth of even an half Nephilim. Wait until marriage? Golden. Dare to break this archaic laws? Die painfully in childbirth, cause that’s what whores deserve.

****END SPOILER**** Yeah, that’s a serious problem for me.

Another issues is the love triangle, which isn’t really there, but it’s hinted at. Last book, Kopano and Anna kissed, even though she’s like totally not like into him or anything, causing a big rift between Kope and Kai. This book, all that jazz has been settled and Kope actually has a lady friend (I don’t say girlfriend because it’s never officially stated), but that awkward love triangle fest moment still slips in. Then there is Jay and Marna. Jay & Veronica break up at the very beginning of the novel, and he and Marna are together at the first possible second. Again, no official triangle since Jay and Ronnie are totally over, but it’s got the twinges of it because we all know Veronica would flip the fuck out if she knew about it. Them being together leads to the spoilery thing, but does it bother anyone else that they jump into a relationship so quickly? Months without any contact, but it’s okay suddenly to do sleepovers? GRH.

Oh and the character deaths. Let us not forget those! ****SPOILER****As mentioned in the last bit of hidden spoilers, Marna dies in childbirth. It does happen after the end of the official story, but still, it was unnecessary. Patti gets shanked to death to try and make Anna doubt her faith, and obviously Pops goes back to Heaven after the battle when they must choose sides. And Flynn got shot in the last book which royally pissed me off.****END SPOILER****

Despite my personal hangups, I think anyone who has enjoyed the previous books in this series will like this one. It’s a fast-paced thrillride that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s easily the best book of the series, with all the baddies getting their comeuppance and (most) of the goodies riding off into the sunset to live happily ever after. I’m interested to see how I like Higgins’ newer novel, See Me because it’s supposed to be wildly different than this trilogy. I’m more than willing to give it a shot because the woman definitely knows how to write addictive stories. With all my complaints, you’d think this wouldn’t be a series I’d recommend, but I did enjoy it (for the most part) and I think as long as you can tolerate yet another story about a special little snowflake who is the only one with the ability to save the world, you’ll enjoy this.

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

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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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Review for Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evin by Wendy Higgins

TITLE: Sweet Evil
SERIES: The Sweet Trilogy #1
AUTHOR: Wendy Higgins
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 453 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Won from Chapter By Chapter
RATING: 4 stars

First off, I want to thank Maryann at for hosting the giveaway where I won this (well, really she hosted a giveaway where I could win my book of choice from TDB and I chose this, but still). Thank you!

I am beginning to think I’m going to be disappointed in every book I read right now. It’s not the past few books I’ve read have been bad, it’s just that they haven’t been amazingly good either. Sweet Evil falls into that category. Can anybody suggest something amazing to get me out of this mediocre funk?

Anyway, Sweet Evil is about Anna, the daughter of an angel and a demon (or rather an angel and a fallen angel because in this world, all demons are fallen angels). She is unaware of her heritage, since she was adopted as an infant and though she has unusual powers, she chalks it up to random genes and leaves it to that. Until she meets Kaiden who can obviously do the same things she can. Once he explains their background, she is off on a whirlwind adventure across the country to meet her father and find out the whole truth, once and for all.

I will say this, it was addictive. From moment one, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. But I had too many issues to really love it. The number one issue was Anna. She was just too much of a goodie goodie for my likening. I know, that’s part of the point, but seriously, part of being a teenager is to rebel a little! She was also so naïve that I wanted to punch her in the fucking face. Hello? Little girl? There are big dangers out in the world, so stop being stupid! Ironically what irritated me about her is what drew Kaiden’s attention. His never met anyone like her and she fascinates him.

I really liked him. Kaiden is the son of the demon of lust and boy does he radiate sex appeal. He’s a drummer in a band and he’s British, need I say more? Despite the fact that I didn’t like Anna, watching him try to seduce her was magical. Boy, can he turn up the charm. He really was the bright light in this book that made me keep reading. I wanted to see how his and Anna’s relationship turned out.

Well, without giving anything away, it doesn’t end well. I specifically picked this book to read next to avoid love triangle land, and while I don’t think it has one, the closer you get to the end, the more you see a budding attraction between Anna and someone who isn’t Kai. I think book two is going to be a love triangle fest.

But while trying to avoid one shitty gimmick, I fell face first into another. Cliffhanger central people. This story doesn’t end well, at all. And since it is book 1 in a trilogy, I guess I can expect book 2 to be cliffhanger central as well. Does anything live up to my standards anymore, or have I set the bar too high?

Anyway, the bottom line, is if you are looking for a hunky guy who will steam up the page and an adventure that you can’t put down, then this is for you. Just beware of bad endings ahead!