Sunday, November 6, 2016

Update and Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Hey there fellow bloggers, how is everyone doing tonight? 

I've just finished making dinner and am now at the keys. This month is NaNo and this month my goal is to not only finish Seducing the Black Prince but also Eternal Earth, which I am picking back up on tomorrow after work. Lets hope Adien is talking to me. 

With that being said, I do have another review for everyone. As you all know The Girl on the Train is the newest movie that is creating a lot f buzz (well it was before it came out). After I saw the trailer for it I was interested in seeing it. However, instead of watching the movie, I brought the book and now I have no desire to see the movie (for reasons I will explain in a second). So lets get to it shall we?

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins:


When I brought this book I dove right into it, reading most of it on the plane and the last few chapters once I reached home. At first I was excited about the book and this urge to read it until the end consumed me. I just had to know who committed the murder. And I admit the ending caught me off guard as I was not expecting it.

This book for me, is in a sense very similar to Crime and Punishment, written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Not really plot wise but in the sense that the book starts off with the crime commited and works its was backwards to go forwards to untanlge the event that led up to the murder in the first place.

In this novel the reader is given three different point of views: Megan, Anna and Rachel, whose view you get the most of. Through their views and lives the story is told. Their lives interlocking with each other. Between them there is this common bond that forever changes their lives.

The impression the book first gives is that this will be the crazy ravings of a delusional drunk, who is unable to move on with her life after her husbands infidelity and divorce. With her inability to move on affecting her life, she begins to project her unstable emotions and desires on to a random couple she sees everyday from her seat on the train. As the plot and the lives of these women unfold, the reader is pushed into several directions as to who committed the crime. However by the end of the book and the reader has found out what actually happened and its aftermath, they are left caught off guard and thinking why didn't I see that coming?

Ms./Mrs. Hawkins did an excellent job of keeping the reader from figuring out who the real killer was and their motive. Which, in my opinion, was the highlight of the book. I must say that for me the characters weren't all that complex or interesting for that matter, except for the couple that Rachel watched from the train window. The mystery that surrounded their lives provided the little spark the book was lacking otherwise. 

Truthfully, by the time I finished the book any desire I had to see the movie had faded. Not because I knew the ending but because (to me) it just wasn't memorable enough to be made into a movie. With that being said let me give you a break down on the characters' perspective.

I will state with Anna. While I could call her a homewrecker, the truth is you can't take something that doesn't want to be taken. But I might have felt the most sorry for her by the end of the book. She has this arrogant attitude about her and she is even a little bit o f a bitch, but she is naive to some of the most obvious things around her. Granted, there were times when her actions surprised me but still she was probably one of the weaker character perspectives in the book. In truth I am not sure what her point of view did to add to the story. I think without her point of view the story would have still been the same. 

Then there is Megan or Jess as Rachel named her before she actually knew her name. At first we get a description of what she may or may not be like from what Rachel see from the train window and her imagination. To me, Megan provided to be the more interesting and complex of the characters as there isn't much known about her or her past. While it is touched on in the book, it isn't fully explored. So the reader (at least I was) was left in a state of limbo about who she really is. I do wish a little more time was spent on developing her and telling a little more about her and her marriage but then again it may be better that it was left out. While she could come off as a bitch, the reader is left to watch her struggled with trying to figure out the cause of her problems. In doing so, there are many surprises that pop up along the way when it comes to Megan. She is definitely my favorite view point to read. 

Last but not least is Rachel. I have mixed feelings about her. Sometimes I like her and other times she comes off as a nosy drunk who doesn't know when to leave things alone. Listening to her whine and complain about her ex and then make up an entire fantasy life about the couple she watches from the train and then get mad when they turn out to be a normal couple who right and argue was annoying at times, However, Ms. Hawkins did a great jog of making her and using her flaws as a way to propel the story and keep you guess as to what was really going on. When the reader finally finds out the truth of things the reader is left with a different view of Rachel and may even understand her actions. While she still came off as a nosy neighbor who didn't leave well enough alone, she was essentail to finding out what really happened and I was glad to see her evolve and finally begin to move forward with her life.

Rating: 3/5

Would I recommend? Maybe, I am not too sure yet

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Update and Review: Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland

Good Evening,

Hello everyone, it has been a long time since I last updated you guys on what's been happening in my world. There is just so much going on and so many changes happening that it's hard for me to keep up on everything. Even now, due to some jerk running a stop sign and totaling out my car, I had to have surgery on my left arm and because of the fact that I am left handed, everything is twice as difficult as it should be. However, there are still books that need to be written and things that have to get done.

So with that being said, let me fill you guys in. Well first things first (I know, I know, don't get mad at me) but I am still working on Eternal Earth and Darknight: Dawn of the Red Sun. Like I am sure I told you before that I am working on a new title called Seducing the Black Prince, which is my little twist on Beauty and the Beast. Depending on how this book ends, this might turn into a series but I am not too sure yet. Especially since this book is giving me some trouble. As usual my characters are not talking to me... and that might be partly my fault due to everything else that is going on in my life. But, my goal is to get this book done by the end of the month so I can move on to my other works. Wish me luck with that :).

Next, something I am super excited to share with everyone. I did my first official book signing last month at Penned Con. One of my friends had talked me in to it and I am super happy that I went. I met a ton of new and awesome people and hopefully gained some new readers. My table mate was the nice and sweet Tricia Copeland, she was such a pleasure to hand out with and get to know. She was just the many new friends that I made during the convention. After this signing, I am looking forward to doing more and more and meeting more new readers and authors.

Now with that being said, let me move on to my review :)

DROPS OF SUNSHINE by Tricia Copeland:


As most people know I am not a fan of YA or first person point of view (thank Twilight for that one) but I can say that I enjoyed this short and easy to read story. Light and fun, this light paranormal YA follows the summer adventures of 16 year old Nina.

To be honest for the first few pages I did not like Nina. To me, she was annoying and whinny, definitely someone who would get on my nerves at fight sight. However, this is why you do not judge a book by its cover. While at first Nina, to me, felt like one of those unnecessarily mean and nasty teens, the type I didn't get along with when I was actually in high school, the more I read her story the more she grew on me and I understood her feelings and the need to be away from everyone.

A lot happens in this short story to make Nina not only let loose a little and come out of er shell but also forced her to grow up and face her fears. The brief backdrop of her relationship with her mother and father was enough to make her a round character and make her believable.

The supporting characters were also well crafted and represented a few of the different personalities you meet when you a dropped into an already formed group. From Britney, the sex crazed teen, to Leo, the one everyone loves, to Jacob, the serious and responsible one, and the other camp counselors and the gifted campers, helped add a dynamic to the story that pushed Nina out her comfort zone and forced her to interact with the world around her.

Also there was a light romance that developed between a few characters and Nina that by the end of her little tale had me wishing for a second part to see what happens and how she continues to grow.

For the supporting characters I liked them for the roles they played. However, I always have my favorite right off the back. From the moment Jacob was introduced into the story I was drawn to his character. Serious, mysterious, and a little broody, he captured my attention from the beginning. Watching him interact with Nina was a delightful joy.

Overall, I enjoyed this light and fun read. It was easy to read with very likable and believable characters that stayed in view long enough to spark your curiosity and forward the story but not take away from the main character.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Update and Review: Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken

Good evening fellow bloggers,

How is everyone doing tonight? I am okay, a little tired but holding up. I finally managed to recover from RT after about three days. I have to say this RT was much better than the one in Dallas (granted I still didn't make it to any panels), but I still say New Orleans was my best RT. Like always I met up with old friends that I have missed and made new friends that I am excited to see and keep in contact with. (Total Fan Girl moment: I met Larissa Ione again and saw stars again. I simply love her, She is such an awesome person and her works are amazing. Now if only I can met J.R. Ward my life would be complete.)

Aside from RT, I am getting ready for Penned Con that is happening in September. Currently two of my friends are helping me with my currently published works while I work on getting this new story together (which in truth is taking me longer than I thought it would). I probably said this in another post but this will be the first convention that I will be signing at and I am extremely nervous and honestly pressed for time. Just thinking about all the work I have to do, from redesigning my covers, to making new bookmarks to thinking up new ideas for swag. It's a lot to take in but I am working on it and it will get done in time for the convention. I just hope I do well and am able to actually connect with people who have read my works and gain new readers.

In the mean time, while I am doing that, I have a awesome new review for you guys. So lets get into it before I get tired and forget what I want to say...

Feel The Burn by G.A. Aiken

First off let me just start off by saying I adore this series (I know I have said that before but it is true). With each new book that is added the world of the dragon kin series is expanded. With that being said, I let this book marinate in my head for a week or so, just so I can calm down off my initial high of finishing a book and actually think about it. Sometimes my feelings changes other times they don't.

For starters this addition to the series is about the Rebel King and the barbarian woman Kachka (she has some really long name in the book), who happens to be the rough and tough sister of the main character from the previous book Light My Fire (make sure to read that one too). Like all romance stories you get to watch them go through their journey and fall for each other. But, signature to Ms. Aiken's dragon kin serious, their story is not only filled with danger but humor that mixes with the overall dark tone of the story.

If you are up to date in the dragon kin world than you already know that there is a new "god" trying to be born and his minions all killing priestess and priest throughout the lands. The Mad Queen is not happy about this as is doing everything within her power to keep her people safe. In pushing back the minions she sends them into the Rebel King's territory, in turn he has to take a break from his own revenge to help with clearing out the new god's minions (of course there is much more going on but I don't want to give away too many spoilers) and protect his kingdom. In the process he continually runs into Kachka, who is a firecracker with a sharp and amusing tongue, and her comrades that make for added humor in their travels and deadly allies in battle.

There is a lot of diversity in this story, with the Rebel King being an Iron Dragon, to the Mad Queens and the Dragon Kin who are continuously referred to as lazy southern landers, to the barbarian women who are almost as strong as the dragon warriors. Like in Light My Fire, in Feel the Burn you get to see how the different cultures interact with each other and how each other them mange to keep their origins and yet fit together as one. Something I truly liked about this book.

For me the chemistry between the King and Kachka was not one so focused on passion and this overwhelming urge to have one another like in most of the stories (which is not a bad thing), but to me it seemed to be something more normal and real life like and most certainly comical. The insults Kachka would fly at the King and he would just embrace it made the book ten times better for me. Their personalities, while cultures clashed, where perfectly matched for each other. The King, while a dragon and still having that dragon arrogance, understood Kachka and her needs, giving her space when she needed it or protecting her when she needed it (even when she thought she didn't). Kachka gave the same balance to him as well and her character never seemed to get lost as she slowly began to recognize her feelings for the King. She remained the same sarcastic and fierce warrior she had been from the beginning.

Another thing that I liked was how, unlike most romance stories, these two never confessed and undying love for each other aloud. Of course their actions and such proved they were in love, but for this pair it was not something that necessarily had to be said. It was one of the first things I noticed when I finished reading the book.

Also, there were many side stories and plots going on and we also got introduced to a few new characters. Yet and still I will always love the Mad Queen's children, called the Abominations. They are just interesting and fun to read about. Strong willed and thinkers, I look forwards to seeing what is in store for them and if we will ever get their stories. One of the major relationships to grow out of this book was the Queen and her daughter. For me it was one of the more fundamental changes in that book... that's all I will say on that because I won't spoil anymore of the book.

Overall, like I said I enjoyed this book, (and I just realized that this is probably the only series where I don't have a favorite character), I believe this book was one of the stepping stones inroudcing the readers to a new phase that is coming in the dragon kin world and the growth of characters that you may or may not have noticed. I am excited to see who the next book will be about. I have my suspicions but I am not entirely sure what will happen.

Rating: 4/5

Would I recommend? Yes

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review: Fighting to Forgive by JB Salsbury

Evening everyone,

How are all of you doing tonight? It has been a while since I last updated, but life has been happening to me lately and I have a lot of work that needs to get done within the next few months and a few books that need editing and finishing before Penn Con in September. With that being said this is going to be a short post, a simple review of the recent book I read and my thoughts on it.

Let's begin shall we?

Review: Fighting to Forgive by JB Salsbury


Fighting to Forgive is another book that I purchased while at an RT convention not too long ago. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Salsbury, and she was a very lovely lady.

This book is one of the first MMA fighter books that I have read, (side note: the more I learn about the industry the more I learn about all types of Sub-Genres of Romance. Pretty Cool if you ask me), and I must say that it was a very well done story. Both main characters; Layla and Blake, showed realistic character growth throughout the story. Their interactions with each other, from the moment they first met to the last kiss of the book, was like watching a romantic comedy with a slight dark edge given both characters back stories.

Ms. Salsbury does a excellent job giving enough backstory on the characters to make you feel as if you know them but not enough to take away from the story. Since I prefer third person as opposed to first person, which this book is, it shocked me that I was pulled so hard and fast into the story. I managed to read over half the book in a few hours (the only reason I stopped was because I had work in the morning, or else I would have finished it that night.)

I was instantly drawn to Blake's character and found myself fantasizing about having my own MMA fighter like him. Growing up with a militant father, it was understandable that he had serious family issues. Its no secret that just about every tortured character has come dark secret they hold on to, and Blake is no different. Except his secret was actually something that caught me off guard and was a delightful surprise that had me fall deeper in love with his character. Like always with a strong willed male character, I enjoyed watching his fall into the depths of love.

As for Layla's character she was indeed a strong woman, even if she was a bit predictable at times. I admired her will to start over and better her life for her and her daughter. I especially enjoyed watching her wrap Blake the Snake around her finger. Her interaction with her daughter, although there were times where her daughter pissed me off, were realistic and gave even more depths to the character. Making it so Layla not only had to deal with Blake but her daughter's well being was also in the back of her mind with everything she did. While Layla might not been the world's greatest mother she was definitely one that loved and would do anything for her daughter.

It is rare for me to get caught off guard by a book, however, there were several times when this books caught me off guard (but in a good way). The fast that I was caught off guard caused me to continue reading. From Blake's secret to Layla's EX showing up and almost ruining everything. I was continually shocked by the book. When I thought on thing happened... it didn't.

All in all a very good book with a decent plot, steamy love scenes, and touching moments that will make your heart melt.

Would I recommend this book? Yes

Rating: 4/5

Until next time

SMUCHEZ

-Layla-

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy New Year! Update and Reviews: Bound and Determined by Shayla Black, Fire Rising by Donna Grant

Good evening fellow bloggers,

How are you all doing tonight? 

First, before I get started I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year (a little late I know) and I hope you all are sticking to your resolutions. I've been meaning to update for a while now, but I just haven't had the time. But I am here now and that is all that matters. So lets get into it, shall we?

As everyone knows, Eternal Earth is still in the process of being completed. I just about half way done with it, but I still have a lot more to write before Harmony and Adien's tale is over. The same can be said for SnoWolf, DarKnight: Dawn of the Red Sun, and Twisted Midnight. All of them are currently in process. Hopefully, I can have at least two of them done by the end of the year. 

I am still working on Seducing the Black Prince, I had challenged myself to complete it by the end of the month and here we are at the end of the month and I've reached the middle of the book yet. :(. However, the book is coming along nicely and should be finished soon....

Since I am drained from lack of sleep, I am going to jump right in to the reviews... annnnndddd here we go :)

Bound and Determined by Shayla Black: 


When I saw that this book was on sale at Barns and Noble, I was excited to read it. Thinking that is was just like her previous books that I have read; Decadent and Wicked Ties, I dove right into the book. For the first few chapters I was interested in the characters and story. After getting a few chapters in my enthusiasm for the book died down. It was easy for me to put this book down for days at a time and not think about it. In fact several times I found myself wanting to put the book back in my bookcase and never look at it again. However, with that being said I tried to give the book the benefit of the doubt since it had been published years back and was the first in a new series.

However that doesn't  change the fact that there (for me anyway) are serious issues with character development  and the over all excitement for the plot, which was very predictable and took me all of five seconds to figure out once all the characters had been introduced.  Granted, this is a romance/erotica novel and not a mystery or thriller novel there is still something  to be said for a decent plot.

I have several issues with the plot and characters. For one the heroine comes off as a dependent and whinny young girl, who is so infatuated by the first hot guy to give her attention that it is sickening. I considered her a dumb blonde type for most of the book and her half wittiness didn't  add anything mentionable to her character. Without giving away too many spoilers, ill give an example of what i mean, for instance, once Kathy and Ralph come up with a plan to catch the bad guys, Kathy is told not to mention their plans to anyone . And what does our lovely Kathy do? She spills the beans. One would think common sense especially  when you are not sure who you should trust you do not tell one of the suspects you plans unless you are ten steps ahead of them... in which case Kathy is not.

Then there is Ralph, our drop dead sexy hero who is a asshole but you can't  help but like him. For me Ralph was the best part of the book and out of all the characters  was the only  one who actually had any character growth. He goes threw a wide range of emotions that he had to deal with and fears he couldn't  run away from. I admit i have a little crush on Ralph simply because he is hot has gray eyes and is a sexual animal.

As far as the plot is concerned...i didn't find much to it and the ending seemed like a forced and rushed happily ever  after.  I was no impressed nor was i pleased with its lack luster ending. The heroine  had no change or growth, she was still the same cry baby 20 year old we met in the beginning of the book, and Ralph seemed like some desperate  child looking for the affection his father didn't give him.

Overall this book was a disappointment and not what i expected.

Would i recommended  this....no

Rating...2/5

Fire Rising by Donna Grant

After reading the first book in this new series, darkest flame, i knew i found a new series that i couldn't  wait to get my hands on. Fire Rising  was just as good as i expected it to be. While i haven't read the books in the other series that are also involved in the dragon kings world and didn't get to know Duncan and the warriors, i didn't feel as if i was missing anything regarding Tristan's past as Duncan. In fact as his story continued i found myself more and more interested in Tristan as a dragon king rather than a warrior.

Like all series this book picked up where the first left off. And all the characters i loved from the first book, especially  Rhi and Con were back in full force. I feel like this book makes you think about normal life choices that we all have to make, such as if there was a side of your family that you didn't know about is it better if you never meet them or should you try and build that connection to them. Obviously  in a paranormal  romance its always better to make as many allies as you can. But fire rising also focuses on the topic of trust. The trust of a newbie vs the group, the trust between old friends and the secrets  that they hold. Add to that you are fighting  to save not only an entire race of dragons but also a stubborn woman who drives you insane. Makes for an entertaining  story that i couldn't  put down.

Tristan like any other shape shifting king alpha male, is a sexy, mysterious  and brooding man that you cant help but swoon over. Like all characters he has his own set of problems. Struggling with desire is a trait that all romances have in common, but i enjoyed watching Tristan  struggle with his memories and deciding if he wanted to know who he was before he was a king. His growth was a slow and natural thing that given the circumstances added to the story line.

As for his heroine, she did get on my nerves for he first few chapters with her stubbornness but soon she grew on me and i was happy that she wasn't some hopeless female. Well for the most part. But an important  part was that she was fully human and was pretty normal and not some secret agent or spy. So of course when dealing with dragons and fae there are situations that  she simply cannot handle. I like that as it gave a sense of realness to the story. Nor was she a nitwit or clueless, her stubbornness  was what usually led to her bad situations.

Of course there was a lot more going on, such as kidnappings, battles, and internal conflicts that set up for the next books which i am excited to read. Especially, Con's book. Whenever it comes out that is.

Would i recommend. .. yes

Rating....4/5