Hi, I'm Leea. Reading has always been a passion of mine. I remember my grandmother taking me to get my first library card and teaching me the places I could go inside a book. Now as a mother to two crazy boys I find that reading takes me away from the everyday madness. So you can find me with my kindle in one hand and a cup of coffee in another most days.
Highlands at Sunset...
He whispered, “Isa, our history had been written long before it ever began.” I smiled, beaming up at him. He’d spoken the utter truth
Wow! What an adventure, that is the best way for me to describeForged in Dreams and Magick. I started this book understanding that they're would be some time travel and heartache but I didn't know it was to this level. I was impressed with the historical accuracy and attention to detail, the imagination put into the time travel and the love one woman had between two amazing men.
Let's start with what surprised me the most. How researched this book was. One of my favorite books, The White Mare is based on a Pict tribe and how they defeat the Romans. It's beautifully written and painstakingly researched and I found myself comparing Forged in Dreams and Magick to The White Mare. With parts of Forged in Dreams and Magick set in Velloc's time and the other set in Ian's time (1300's Scotland). We get vivid detail on the surrounding landscape, people and cultural difference.
Control had always been a matter of perception. Accepting those things I had no power over was a first step toward feeling like I at least had my hands on the steering wheel, even if I had to stay on the paved road. Dorothy had to follow her yellow-bricked path, and in a way, I had my destiny laid out before me, even if nothing appeared golden about it. She had to skirt dangers, villains, and fantasy beyond her belief system to find her way home, and if that teenaged braided girl could do it in her land of OZ, so could I.
Time Travel: I will admit, this had my head spinning a bit. I mean, Isabel goes from present day to 1300 scotland then to a Pict chieftain. It was hard to wrap my brain around it at first. But once you started to understand the box and how time moved it was easier to see how Isa moved within this linear time. That didn't mean your heart didn't break with every goodbye. I think that's what made this time travel so hard and one my few complaints about this book. I felt that at time Isa was just flying thru space and time (figuratively and actually). Once I got used to her being with Ian she'd somehow end up back with Velloc. Basically there was a lot of time travel. It fit the story but at times, especially in the beginning it was too much.
My heart beat for two men, and I didn’t care about the ramifications of such insanity.
Valloc and Ian: When I grow up I want to Isobel... Please! These amazing, hard toned warriors were head over heels in love with her. She's honestly the luckies fictional woman... well one of them. From the beginning, I wanted Isa to be with Ian. There was just something magical about their relationship that pulled at my heart. His ability to say that he wanted to hide her away from harm but allow her to be the strong independent woman that she is was beautiful to read. On the flip side of that there was Valloc, a fierce Pict chieftain who's not that different than Ian and I time I wondered if they were related. Valloc is strong willed, spiritual, honest and fierce. In the end there is only one man for Isa, not because of choice but fate steps in and makes that decision for her.
“Promise me, Isobel. Promise me, no matter what happens, you’ll stay with me.” He raised his eyebrows slightly, searching my eyes with hope.
In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this book. I found myself drawn to it and unable to put it down. This is my first book by Ms. Bastion and I cannot wait to read the next book in the Highland Legends Series. I've been truly captivated and a must read for those who love the Highlands like me.
ARC courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
On the cover of Louder Than Love it says Love Loss and Rock and Roll well that about sums it up. Lets get right to it...
In Louder Than Love we meet Katrina (Kat) her friends call her Tree and her 4 year old daughter Abby, they're living in small upstate New York town and trying to put the pieces of their life back together again after the death of her husband Pete, almost 4 years ago. In walks Adrian Graves, the singer of her daughters favorite cartoon character. Kat is not what Adrian imagined when this library requesting him play at her story time. Both are pleasantly surprised, what happens next breaks open old wounds, mends hearts and finally put a happy ending to their story.
We spent the next two hours holding each other, Adrian’s fingers kneading his history across my skin. My vertebrae became pinpoints on the time line he lingered upon, as I kissed my questions along his shoulders and neck.
Louder Than Love is smart, funny and very sad. The writing is elequent and deep, layering music lyrics into everyday life in such a way that you can hear it right in your head. With such utter sadness and heartbreak, you have to balance it out with some amazing funny moments. In the end it's just Adrian and Kat's ability to always find the happy in everything that makes his book so fun to read.
In conclusion, when requesting books to read on Netgalley you never know if your going to find a gem and I found one in Louder Than Love. It's a mix of How to Kill a Rock Star and your favorite romance novel without all the angst.
Sometimes, he would bring bags brimming with food from Myers of Keswick or Dean & DeLuca. With his reading glasses perched on his nose and my mom’s pin-striped apron slung around his tattooed torso, he looked positively adorable. Like the badass metal version of the Frugal Gourmet. He’d spend hours slowly cooking, refusing help, and carefully consulting cookbooks. The end results were traditional English meals that even Abbey took to
ARC Courtesy of Penguin group via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
When I requested this book from Netgalley, I didn't know it was the third in a Victorious Vikings series by Joanna Fulford The great thing is I didn't feel like I was missing anything at all and it's made me curious about the pervious book in the series.
In Defiant in the Viking's Bed we get a sense of Astrid and Leif before everything becomes on betrayal after another. Yes, this is one of those historical romance books where almost to the end the H/h are reluctant to say "I love you". Like most HR there is a happy ending and this is really a fun read. I loved reading about Leif and the other Vikings. The ship descriptions and how the land is described took me to another world (that's why I love HR books). I was taken by Astrid strength and her ability to not waver from what she wanted. I admired that about her. Leif also didn't weaver from his beliefs. It was refreshing to read.
In the end I read Defiant in the Viking's Bed in a day. It's a fun quick escape and I look forward to reading more by this author.
ARC provided by Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or kept from, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.
This story is something almost out of a fantasy film. As the reader you're taken along this glorious ride, filled with magic, hope, love and danger. At times it was hard to separate reality from dreams but that was just part of the fun.
This is the second book in the Raven Circle series by Maggie Stiefvater. This is not her first series, if you've read her Mercy Falls Series, then you'll be happy to know that never before have I read an author that's improved so drastically. It's almost like someone else wrote each series. That kind of came out wrong, I'm just so happy with Dream Thieves. This is such a hard book to review, mainly because with all the twists and turns and secrets revealed I just don't want to spoil anything. Here is my attempt:
Dream Thieves starts off shortly after Raven Boys ends. Blue, Gansey, Ronan and Adam are all still searching for the Welsh King and Cabeswater. They're each determined for their own reason but Ronan is having this dreams, dreams that are almost real and he starts to find out what his gift is. In fact systematically each characters gifts or talents are revealed.
I love Blue. She's just an amazing girl. The fact she can see the beautiful qualities in each Raven Boy almost makes me love her more.
In that moment, Blue was a little in love with all of them. Their magic. Their quest. Their awfulness and strangeness.
The writing is beautiful. Descriptive in such a unique way that made my heart ache. I was captivated by the unorthodised waysMs. Stiefvater described some situations. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
All of the Ganseys sort of looked like one another, like a dog that begins to look like its owner, or vice versa.
His voice was full of the honeybaked accent of old Virginia money.
This story can only be described at sweeping. From the Raven Boys (I include Blue in that group) to the new characters added, in the end the direction of the story has almost shifted. We're left with a small cliffhanger but nothing that will keep you up at night. Because the subject matter was so heavy, we get small breaks with Maura, Calla and Persephone being themselves which is just funny. Without them the books would be too heavy on fantasy for me. So I enjoy Maura's storyline greatly. Plus i'm so thrilled with it's new direction and I cannot wait to see how that works out.
So why 4.5 stars instead of 5? Well I loved this book, it took me a week to read and that's unlike me. It's almost like I had to savor these characters and make this morsel last. I honestly was a little lost for the first quarter of the book. I was waiting for Ms. Stiefvater to hint at what she was getting at but she sure did make me work for it. I just think that other readers may have a harder time and end up giving up. But that's just my humble opinion.
In conclusion, this is an amazing addition to the Raven Circle Series, so far i'm a huge fan of Ms. Stiefvater writing. For me this book felt more like a transition book in the series, we as readers are taken on this fantastic journey only to find ourselves headed in a different direction. If you haven't picked up The Raven Boysit's a must read for all fans of YA fantasy.
ARC courtesy of Scholastic Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes were taken from the pre-released copy and should be viewed so.
We’re the Cantons. Sun-kissed, all-American, picture-perfect. By all appearances, we’re the ideal suburban family. As long as you don’t look too closely.
I'm not going to lie and tell you that I didn't find this eerily odd connection to Claire (even writing that brings up some deep emotions within me) to the point where I found myself up in the wee hours of the morning to finish Covet. To say I was simply moved would be an understatement. When you think of infidelity you always imagine that you would hate the wife or the boyfriend, that you would be upset or let down by someone in this dysfunctional triangle. You know that guy who just couldn't keep it in his pants. That's just not the case with Ms. Garvis-Graves second book. I was moved by each character, I enjoyed the story progression and the ending was simply perfect.
In all the years we’d been together, I’d never experienced anything quite as heartbreaking as watching the lights of my golden boy fade.
Covet is written from the point of view of each character, Claire, Chris and Daniel. It's the heartbreaking story of a marriage and love that is slowly unraveling and neither Claire or Chris are able to prevent this systematic breakdown of affection and connection. Claire is a work at home mom to Jordan and Josh, she gets the kids to school, takes care of the house all while Chris is away for weeks at a time working. Underneath it all Claire is lonely, so deeply lonely and she misses the once connection she and Chris used to share. To watch the breakdown of their love was almost unbearable to read, It broke my heart at every turn but I have to say that I understand why Claire started her friendship with Daniel.
It took me a bit to get used to the alternating POV's but once I did it fit the story perfectly. I loved being inside each of their heads and knowing what they we're each thinking of the same situation. Claire, her heartbreak and pain with regards to her marriage was really difficult to read. She is not the kind of woman that has an affair. That's just not who she is, she's reliable, stable, a thinker and loyal. slowly she starts up a friendship with Daniel and even she can tell at times that she's crossing the line and having an emotional affair. Meanwhile, Chris is in his own prison, taking a job that requires so much more travel and he hates being away from his family. He knows his marriage is in trouble but he's just getting out of a deep depression and he's focused on keeping himself mentally healthy. He doesn't know the extent of the loneliness that Claire feels. How she misses just him holding her hand or just sleeping in the same bed together. Chris just puts one foot in front of the other in order to care for the family he loves so much. Daniel, a police officer is available when ever Claire needs him, he's fun, honest and handsome. He keeps his distance with Claire and what starts out as lunch a few times a month soon leads to hanging at Daniels house while the kids are at school. He's attentive, considerate and never pushes Claire to be anything other than friends.
I set the phone on the nightstand and take a deep breath. There’s a man downstairs who has every right to be in this bed with me, but he isn’t interested. And there’s a man who doesn’t have any right at all, yet he sounds as though he’d give just about anything for the opportunity. I have never felt more alone.
What I enjoyed most about Covet was the amazing detail that Ms. Garvis-Graves wrote each character and action. The suburban housewife lifestyle may be coveted by some but for others is a suffocating blanket that leaves many feeling lonely and unworthy. They're caught between what they want to do and what they should do and Graves demonstrates that within Claire but also within all her seemingly "perfect" neighbors.
Maybe love is like a pendulum. It swings back and forth, slowly, steadily, and sometimes you don’t know where it will come to rest.
In conclusion, this was an outstanding second book for Ms. Garvis-Graves. I was blown away by the depth of emotion Claire, Chris and Daniel's journeys evoked in me. Covet is a moving story of love, lose and the ability to start over again. That even though you've taken some steps in the wrong direction people can still find their way back to one another. It's a beautiful journey.
ARC courtesy of PENGUIN GROUP Dutton via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes were taken from the pre-published book and should be viewed accordingly
I kept waiting for that moment in Bound by Night that would draw me into these characters, hook me into the story and make it impossible to put this book down. That all didn't happen but what did happen was Ms. Ione created a unique vampire world, one that I can't wait to read more about.
I'm not going to dive into what this story is about, you can read the synopsis... what I do want to touch on is the difference in this Vampire book as it compares to others. What I enjoyed was howMs. Ione created a world where vampires are second class citizens, there captured by humans and make to serve them. It's demeaning to vampires to serve humans and slavery has made many vampire clans very upset. Vampires must feed from the opposite sex when the moon is full and this is also the time when some females become pregnant. Although, birthrates among Vampires is very low. Vampire's lore is filled with magic and passed down stories of Native American Ancestors and that was very fun to read and I hope to learn more about that in the upcoming books.
Nicole is a fun character to read, on the outside she's not complicated but once you read more about her life and what's happened to her you cannot help but really like her. I enjoyed reading about her research on vampires and even her candor on not really understanding them as much as she thought. The flip side of that is Riker, a vampire that hates humans, he also has a vendetta against any Martin and Nicole is someone he'd love to kill. His character is also layered and you learn more about him and his long life as a vampire.
Somethings that made me go Hmm...
Something just didn't add up... like how Nicole and Riker were able to help get a friend out of the Martin's holding easily. Some parts of the story were just not believable. Yes, I know i'm talking about a vampire book. Other parts of their relationship had me rolling my eyes. I hate when characters do not communicate and most of Nicole and Rikers problems stemmed from them not talking it out. Plus, I thought how she (view spoiler)
In conclusion, I found myself up past midnight wanting to finish Bound by Night. The ending is non stop fun and I cannot wait to see what happens with these characters we're just getting introduced to.
ARC courtesy of Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
It's always a tricky thing when an author contacts you and requests you read their novel, i'll admit I don't do this ever. Not sure why I decided to read Texas Redeemed but i'm sure glad that I did.
Her words chased him, taunted him. We don’t need that kind of fire. Valerie perched on that picnic table, so open, letting him touch her … telling him that he’d made her happy once … It was enough to undo a man. And the only thing more destructive than that was the dangerous urge to make her that happy again.
We meet up with Payton Turner and Valerie Jordan 13 years after they separated when Payton left Night Sky in the dead of night. Payton's working for Doctors without boarders and Valerie is running her families cattle ranch with her cousins and daughter. Their lives are so different now than when they came together in a fever that summer night. What will happen when Payton finds out the secret that Val has been keeping for 13 years?
Ms. Bennet writes the lives of Payton and Valerie before they see each other after 13 years, beautifully. They're each so content (from the outside) with the choices they made and the path they took. So when she introduces Lucy you almost don't know where this is going to go. The progression from that moment of meeting his daughter in the children's wing of memorial hospital the the very last word in Texas Redeemed was very organic. I mean that it took on a life of it's own. Parts were not pretty to read but it was real. Or it had that real feeling which is often missing while reading contemporary romance.
Now nothing is perfect and I did roll my eyes at the fact that Payton Turner's family is made of money, but he doesn't need their money nor does he want it. Throughout the book, Valerie is very persistent of Payton, wanting the relationship to grow. I liked that Payton wanted to have a relationship with his daughter before starting up his relationship to Valerie. Thus, Ms. Bennetspent most of the book working up to this moment, where they're finally revealing how they feel about each other only to later take that away. I guess, I just wanted more time with Payton and Valerie together.
In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised at my admiration for Valerie and Payton. I felt the progression of their relationship was real and believable and also how Lucy reacted to seeing her father for the first time. This is a great first novel by Isla Bennet and I hope to read more from this author.
I have a few questions that maybe Ms. Bennet can answer:
1. Is Chase going to get a book because he was one of my favorite secondary characters and as a reader I wanted to know more about him?
2. Was this written to be part of a series? I felt at times during the middle of the book that there was a sort of transition and maybe you decided to do that?
ARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The Hero finally showcases Ms. Carr for the fantastic storytelling she is. Her ability to weave these 'simple' relationships into this small town setting is one of the reasons i've been such a fan of hers since getting my hands on Virgin Riverseveral years ago. It's no secret that I haven't been smitten with the pervious books in the Thunder Point Series but this one brings us fans back to what makes Ms. Carr so unique and special.
“I haven’t been here too long, Devon, but there’s something I know about this town. Unless you’re a really bad person or someone who stirs up a lot of trouble, they just hope things work out. That’s all. They want their kids to be safe and make something out of themselves, they want their neighbors to get by all right, they want their friends to be happy and they want to be blessed with work. Everyone around here seems to work real hard. They seem to always be pulling for the good guys. It’s so uncomplicated.”
The whole series centers about the make believe town on the Oregon coast, close to Bandon. Where people are friendly, hardworking, real and kind at heart. This backdrop, ocean with people quietly wondering the beach then grabbing a meal at Coopers is packed with small town feel and unity. It's this foundation that gives Ms. Carr the staying power. I often joke with my friend Regina that at time of stress we should just run off to Virgin River (Carr's other series, also set in a small town in Northern California). It's where you wish you lived, if not just for a little bit. In The Hero we get a clearer picture of Thunder Point, where it's situated on the coast and how people keep finding there way here. I really enjoyed that part.
The landscape of Thunder Point is going to change with Cooper building along the hill, so imagine sitting in those chairs staring at the hillside while he and Sarah build their home. I have a strong feeling their house wont be the last but the start of many to come.
The people of Thunder Point are just regular hardworking folks. They're always welcoming with a smile and a good morning and always willing to help. In The Hero we meet Devon a mother who fled a commune because she's afraid for her daughter, Mercy. They leave the middle of the night and make their way towards the coast. Devon finds herself in Rawley's truck and on the way to Thunder Point. He's really the unexpected Hero of this story and I really enjoyed getting to know the man under all that gruff. Rawley helps Devon and Mercy keep their secret and keep them safe from the Fellowship. Watching Devon transform from this scared woman to one who found strength in a town that stood behind her, was very beautiful to read. Devon puts her life together and in the process finds Spencer a widowed father in the process. You can't help but feel all the wheels working in Thunder Point.
Maybe it’s not a choice between either yielding my free will and identity to The Fellowship, or experiencing complete devastation and danger on my own. Maybe there is a place in the middle.
There are several side stories that seem to be setting us readers up for future books. Erick, Ashley's long lost father is planning to make a move to Thunder Point. Laine, the woman who helped the other fellowship woman escape. I know there is more in store of her. Plus all the young love, some are getting ready to graduate and leave for collage. Some much potential in the coming books and I can't wait to read where Ms. Carr takes us.
Why 3.5 stars... Well, I felt that my standards were set very love coming off reading the Newcomer and although I loved the direction that The Hero went. It didn't blow me away as some of her previous books have. This really was my last try at this series, i'm glad that Carr stuck to one storyline with snippets of other people on the side. I made this book read smoothly and I can't wait for what comes next for the Thunder Point Series.
ARC courtesy of Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I'm reeling from finishing this book in the wee hours of the morning. To say that Cam and Ellie have been on my mind the last two days reading this book would be an understatement.
“Will you burn with me?” she asked. “Or will you go free?”
I grabbed her face as the heat pressed in. “I’ll burn with you.”
My lips touched hers for one second. Our screams covered us in the next.
Shooting Scars is the second book in The Artists Trilogy, byKarina Halle. We meet up with Camden and Ellie not long after we left them at the end of Sins & Needles. Ellie is with Javier and Cam is back with his family and they're going to run away together. But Ellie and Cam are still in love with each other and both doing what they think the other wants and needs. But Ellie and Cam are destined to be together, but at what cost?
A whole new light...
We see Camden is a whole new light in Shooting Scars. It's frightening, scary and damn sexy.
If I’d ever get my life back and take charge. But I had to. I wanted to. I was going to find Gus. And then I was going to find Ellie. And nothing, absolutely nothing, would get in my way.
There is a scene where Camden uses his tattooing machine to inflict pain on a thug that wont give him the information he wants. It's almost a game changer for Cam, he does this and he'll be different but he's so far gone at this point that he doesn't hesitate. He'll do anything to get Ellie back because he believes that once he has her back then she can redeem him of his sins.
Ellie isn't innocent either but her transformation is more of her coming to the realization that her relationship with Javier was all just a game to him. Who was really playing who six years ago? My heart broke for Ellie in Shooting Scars, yes she's a con artist but she's also a little girl abandoned and not protected by her parents. Ellie is still being used by Javier and he knows just what to say to get her to do what he wants. It's almost painful to read how she falls under his spell again...
Then he stopped a few feet back, close enough for me to smell his earthy cologne, close enough to grab me if he wanted to, but not close enough to be doing anything wrong. He was good at that, skirting the line between coincidence and intent.
Javier is my least favorite character in this book. He scared me in On Every Street and I thought he couldn't get any more creepier... He did. Six years away from Ellie has given Javier time to plan his next move and without giving anything away, it's a move that even I didn't see coming. It's calculated, devious and heartless to say the least. Seeing Javier in this new light, he's so far gone I don't know what he could do to redeem himself.
Men like Javier used sympathy as a fuel.
Shooting Scars take the reader to a place most haven't gone before, into the mexican drug cartel and I have to say this world scared the pants off me. I know that in the Artist Trilogy world some people are Team Cam and some are Team Javier. Javier scares me beyond belief, It's like the words that roll off his tongue are serpents, each one ready to strike.
Part of the reason I gave this second book a 3.5 stars is because of the over the top storyline. Gun fights, running from Cartel mansions and car chases are always fun to read about but at some point when done to many times they begin to feel fake. I found this to be the case towards the end of Shooting Scars. To the point that when the book ended I almost felt cheated because we don't really have a resolutions between Javier, Ellie and Cam. We're left with a small cliffhanger and the idea that these three are not done fighting and running.
In conclusion, Shooting Scars is another great addition to theKarina Halle collection. This fast paced, non-stop trilled ride will push the lines between what makes you good and what makes you bad. The idea of what you are willing to sacrifice for those you love? Although, I wasn't thrilled at the ending of this book, i'm still eagerly awaiting the next and final book in The Artist Trilogy.
Looked right at me. Blue, beautifully blue and soulful eyes behind Clark Kent glasses. Strong, wide jaw, full lips, straight nose. Model looks on a model body, dense muscular shoulders, biceps I couldn’t fit my hands around. I knew because I’d tried. Tight black T-shirt that showed it all off, including a sling that went around one shoulder, propping up one heavily inked arm. Camden McQueen.
ARC courtesy of Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
“You’re like Mr. Romance and Mr. Porn Star wrapped in one.”
I love this cover and I love Eric Sticks! If you've read the previous Sinner's books then you know that Eric is the guy that likes to watch all this bandmates have sex, he doesn't participate. Everything changes in Wicked Beat. I'll admit, I never understood why Eric was always a watcher, he's hot, smart and great with the ladies. You're not getting any spoilers from my review so make sure and read this book to find out why...
What I loved!
I enjoyed the story, once we got to around the half way mark. I read this series not for the hot factor but for the relationship between the Sinner bandmates. Each of them is so different and damaged. They each bring something to the band that is unique but also needed. Eric is one of the members who underestimates his worth to the band. He's just lucky to be playing drums and making a living off it. His past has left him feeling abandoned and not lovable. When he meets Rebekah, he's instantly attracted to her in a different kind of way. Eric wants to protect and take care of her, this is such a new feeling for him. As the relationship progresses it's those natural honest moments that they share that I loved. It's really my favorite part of the book.
I did love all the dress up, it made me laugh so hard at time and it was just plain hot! Rebekah is everything that Eric needed. Eric is everything the Rebeckah needed.
“Let’s play cops and robbers when we get home. You can pretend I’m a jewel thief and handcuff me. Show me your long arm of the law until I confess to crimes I never committed.”
Not my favorite moments
Without giving anything away, I felt at times that Rebeckah pushed the envelope with Eric. Trey was involved in some of their earlier activities but he just didn't fit into how I viewed their relationship. I felt like Ms. Cunning was doing this just for the wow factor. It sort of pissed me off. There was also an incident with Jon and it was brushed off as nothing. The ending was rushed and I wanted more of Rebeckah and Eric being alone without the band. Having said that I know what a huge part Sinners plays in both their lives.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this addition to the Sinner's series. It;s not my favorite book but I thought the sex in this book was very hot. I enjoyed getting to know Eric more and I cannot wait to see whats in store for Trey.
ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
In the book A Wrinkle in Time, it says that time is like a big old rumpled blanket. What I’d like is to be caught in one of those wrinkles. Tucked away. Hidden in a small tight fold.
In Tell the Wolves I'm Home we meet June and Greta, sisters who have lost the close relationship that they had growing up. Their uncle Finn is dying of AIDS. It's 1987, the AIDS epidemic is claiming more victims and scarring people. But Junie just loves her Uncle Finn and doesn't really understand the magnitude of this disease or what it really means.
“Why are you telling me all this now? Why are you waiting until right now to let me in on this?” He looked away. “Because maybe I don’t want to leave the planet invisible. Maybe I need at least one person to remember something about me. And . . .” “And what?” Toby closed his eyes and breathed in deep. I thought maybe he was about to fall asleep, but then he reached over for my hand again and looked right into my eyes. “He was both our first loves, June.”
I have to say that this book touched my heart and then ripped it out of my chest. You see I know the world is a cruel mean place but when your 15 and your uncle dies from AIDS all you know is that he's gone and you loved him. June is awkward, smart and unsure of the world around her. She likes to take walks into the woods near her house and pretend that she lives in a far off place, times before cars we're invented. It's something she shared with Finn, their love for old things. It's a place for Junie to be herself and alone.
Finn was right. I could tell. Toby had nobody. But it was okay. It was all sealed. He had me now.
I loved how June was written. She's 15 and unsure of herself at times, others she's blurting out her feelings. Carol Rifka Bruntwrote June perfectly, so believable and real. Being a 15 year old emotional girl myself I remember those jumbled up feelings.
What takes place in the pages of Tell the Wolves I'm Home is truly amazing. I don't want to spoil anything, but the story that unravels was so real. Toby shows up and changes Junes ideas about her uncle and she truly begins to understand the relationship that Finn and Toby had. Her sister Greta was written as the jealous sister but at times she was so mean and cruel. I hated Greta for most of the book but in the end she redeems herself.
It's impossible not to be touched by the events that take place inTell the Wolves I'm Home. I personally feel a connection not only to June but to Toby and Finn. I wanted to wrap them all up in a giant hug and protect them from any sickness and pain.
Lastly on a personal note, when I was 15 years old my great Aunt Avis only son died of AIDS. Like Finn he went away for many years and he came home sick. I remember sitting on our front porch as my mother told me Jimmy was dead, the whole truth because I had a mother like that. I remember visiting my Aunt Avis many times and Jimmy's room stayed the same. A yellow start on his door and his name added to a quilt in memory of his life that was taken too soon. Aunt Avis lived to be 87, all those years without her son. When she died I remember crying so hard, not tears of sadness but joy because she was finally with her son.
I don’t believe in fate. I firmly believe that life is what you make of it, that life will react to your actions, and that your final destination has nothing to do with destiny but instead everything to do with the choices you make along the way. With one exception. Love.
3.5 stars... There is nothing like diving into MC world. For all the good and bad, it's never a dull moment and that exactly how I can sum up Unbeautifully.
I just going to say this and get it over with. I'm not woman enough to be in the kinds of dysfunctional relationships outlined in the Undeniable Series. I could never put up with cheating, someone calling me "bitch" or "whore" like it was nothing or the pure violence to oozes out of this club. Having said that, I love reading about it. Go figure!
I was taken back by how much I liked Danny, I felt for her story and how she's always wanted her fathers attention and love. This seems to be a running theme throughout Unbeautifully and I can almost understand why she was drawn to Ripper. Danny described their relationship as:
Ours was the furthest thing from a picture-perfect romance; it was more of a car crash, a metal-bending, blood-splattered disaster that left no survivors, only bad memories and heartache. But it was ours. And because it was ours…I wouldn’t change a thing.
I really can't add more than that. It's perfect, just how they are and in the mix of all that is a ton of Club drama and hurt that seeps into everyones lives.
This book has it's flaws, some things I just cannot pass over because ultimately that almost ruined this book for me. The violence against woman in this book was rapid, maybe that's the life but it was hard to read. Woman being used and pushed aside made me cringe and just isn't sexy at all. There was a gang rape as punishment...
In conclusion, this series is a guilty pleasure for me. It fills the void till SoA is back on the air. It's fun to read about I life I'm so far removed from and relationships that are unlike any i've know. Underneath all that, there is this brotherhood that shines thru all the curse words, violence and gruff.
“All scars tell a story, beautiful girl,” he said
Anna turned as a man stepped out of the shadows near the door and approached her, two drinks in hand. Unable to hold back her smile, she beamed as brightly as the city below, still struggling to believe that all of her dreams had somehow become real.
Under a Texas Sky is an original mix of old hollywood glamor and the harshness of West Texas. Sometimes you pick up a book, having little knowledge about the author or really what the book is about. I mean the synopsis is just a snippet of what if found within these pages. I was beyond surprised to find myself turning page after page falling more in love with each character.
In Under a Texas Sky we meet Ann Finnegan a young girl trying to survive in Chicago, her parents are gone and she's torn between stealing food and starving. Fate steps in and Ann finds herself on the stage, acting has stolen her soul and she loves it more than anything. It's 1932 and Ann finds herself thrown into her first movie and into the small down of Redstone Texas. Fate has a way of handing you what you never knew was missing, in walks Dalton Barnes.
In the dark and silence of her dingy bedroom, Anna pulled one of the other apples she’d stolen from her coat, one of the two she’d managed to keep hidden from her brother, and took a ravenous bite. I’m going to be somebody.
What I loved about how Under a Texas Sky was written was the feeling for coming full circle. We meet Ann at a low point in her life, she's hit rock bottom and she makes a choice to do what's needed to survive. It's a powerful heart wrenching moment which leads us to understand her character on such a deep level. She's strong, has a great heart but above everything else understands the everyday person. I was fascinated by how Ms. Garlock was able to create such a likable heroine. Dalton, he's a blacksmith who grew up fixing the messes his father left in the wake of a devastating gambling problem. He's torn between the love for his father and the hurt and anger he's caused with his addiction. Then there's Walter, Dalton's best friend who happens to be mute and their friendship is something I loved reading about. It added this depth to Daltons hard honed exterior, plus Walter was never afraid to tell Dalton how he felt or give him some advice about what Dalton was doing wrong with regards to Ann.
The movie set is filled with interesting characters as well: The aging actress who is jealous of the new and upcoming star. The male costar who's never be denied his advances before. The old time actor who's seasoned and honed his craft but his acting career may be coming to an end. The Villain, who at every turn has his heart set on making money and never thinks about the cost to those involved. Under a Texas Sky is layered with character you can relate to. Some more than others.
I found the mix of Old Hollywood with the back drop of this struggling West Texas town very fascinating. I've never read a book that mixed these town before, I was captivated right away. What I didn't expect was a little mystery intertwined with this story. You see someone is sabotaging the movie set, but we don't know who it is and till the end, I still was wrong about who the person was. That was just fun!
Ms. Garlock gives us details about everything involved in making a movie in 1933, Hollywood movie reporters are lurking around the saloon. Down to how the costume designs are put together and altered. Such details we're not too much but added to the feeling of being in the town of Redstone.
The ending was not what I expected in a very good way. To be honest, I expected Ann to give up her career for Dalton, to stay in Redstone and have a family. In the end, Dalton followed Ann's dreams and her to Hollywood. It was simply beautiful the way he faced every uncomfortable moment to be by her side.
In conclusion... I was pleasantly surprised with Under a Texas Sky. Rich characters, moving story and a romance that tugged at your heart. All with the back ground of this harsh Texas land. As the reader you were taking into Old Hollywood a place filled with mystery and intrigue. In the end it was the relationships that made this book so good. This being my first book by Ms. Garlock, I look forward to reading more of her works.
Every moment that Anna spent with Dalton felt better than the last. Listening to the sound of his voice, looking up at his smile as she wrapped herself in his arms, even lying in bed and feeling the rise and fall of his chest as he slept, everything about him enchanted her. Sometimes she felt as if he was a matinee idol and she was the swooning fan.
ARC by Grand Central publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really liked Jace's story and learning about his damaged and emotionally scaring home life. But what I LOVED about this book was Aggie. She's honest, beautiful, confident and does not hold back at all.
This series is a total guilty pleasure for me because on one aspect the sex is hot but there are so many layers within the band members that just make this rag tag group of misfits work.
Next up the arc of Wicked Beat - can't wait!
I kiss her. I kiss her like it’s the first time I’ve ever kissed her. I kiss her like it’s the last time I’ll ever kiss her.
This Girl was a 2 star book to me until that last section... those last few moments that completed the whole circle that is theSlammed series.
What do you get in This Girl?
It's not all new unfortunately. Like many authors now days we get Will's point of view, which is awesome but we also get to see so many of the event's from the last two books played out yet again. To say that I was a little frustrated by that would be an understatement. Now we do get Will's thoughts and internal dialogue but I wanted more of Lake and Will together as they move forward as husband and wife.
What I wanted out of This Girl
I wanted to see Will and Lake newly married, with this whole finally togetherness falling all around them. I loved seeing them during their short but sweet honeymoon. I mean we've seen them for 2 years struggle to stay apart but also stay together. It's been an emotional ride for them but I have to say that This Girl lacked that emotion for me. It felt like filler, just another way to publish a book without all the thought and work. I know that statement wont make me popular but it's just how I felt reading this book.
In conclusion this is a sweet conclusions to Will and Layken's relationship. If you're looking for Will's perspective and thoughts during his courtship with Lake then this book is perfect for you. As a bonus you get them married and a honeymoon.
Her eyes scroll over my face and her mouth is curled up into a slight grin. She doesn’t speak, but she doesn’t have to. I know in these moments, when it’s just her and me and nothing else, that she truly, soul-deep loves me.