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Archive for the category “5 Stars”

Review: Marriage Games by C.D. Reiss

Marriage Games (The Games Duet, #1)

Marriage Games
(The Games Duet #1)
Author: C.D. Reiss
Publisher: Flip City Media Inc.
Published: October 22, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Erotica, BDSM, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

THIRTY DAYS
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.

THIRTY DAYS
That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.

THIRTY DAYS
She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.

She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.

She’s wrong.

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This book stunned me in so many levels. It’s been quite a while since I enjoyed a dark love story with a BDSM content that does not suffer a “wannabe” syndrome like some books do. So you can just imagine how amazed I was after reading this book. It was so gripping it managed to stir me up all the way through.

Caution: This book is not for everybody, and certainly not for the faint-hearted.:-)

Told in 2 different POVs, Marriage Games started when the marriage of Diana Barnes Steinbeck and Adam Steinbeck was about to fall down. Diana left a letter to Adam saying that she needs a divorce because she no longer felt their connection as a married couple. Adam did not immediately let her, but instead, he asked for thirty days for them to be together and to show her the things that he hid all throughout their marriage– his life as a Dom.

“Bedroom games. That’s all it is. But they’re serious, and when played right, everyone wins.”

I didn’t set high expectations prior to reading this. Seeing my friends’ 5-star ratings made me felt skeptical because some top-rated books just do not work out for me. BUT THIS. WAS. SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

I loved C.D. Reiss‘s writing. It’s my first time to read a book written by her and she just blew my mind with her poetic and lyrical tone that felt so right for a dark book like this. I was amazed by the back-and-forth narration between the past and the present events. It was so engaging and it made me want to read more and more in order for me to find out what the heck is really happening with the two.

“You’re a submmissive, and the Dominant in me always knew it.”

This book basically explored deep and complex thoughts from a man who fell into the world of BDSM. It was then when I read Adam’s POV that I felt kind of enlightened. His thoughts simply show that not everyone who gets involved with this strange sexual act wants to do it to their loved partner. Some people hide it because they do not want to show their “dark” side which would taunt the relationship. They have this need to protect and to just be “normal”.

What I especially loved about this book was the balance between the romance and the intimate scenes. Just by reading it, you can feel the deep connection between the two characters. You can feel the emotions, the conflict, and the confusion through their POVs.

The characters were also admirable. This is a BDSM book but I was surprised to find a feisty, strong heroine. Diana is the kind of heroine that does not annoy me nor bother me because of her tendency to become vulnerable, but she was such an amazing character.

Everything about this book– the plotline, the characters, the writing, the romance, the hot kinky scenes — was good. I daresay it’s one of the best page-turners I’ve read so far. The ending was a cliffhanger, but it made me feel excited to find out how the story would end.

“I love you. Every version of me loves you.”

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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Review: Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Punk 57

Punk 57
Author: Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Penelope Douglas
Published: October 21, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

“We were perfect together. Until we met.”

Misha

I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.

In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.

It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever…

And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us.

Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.

We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?

Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances?

F*ck it. I need to meet her.

I just don’t expect to hate what I find.

Ryen

He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch.

Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.

He could be gone forever.

Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

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Rarely have I read a book as raw and amazing as this one. Punk 57 was quite possibly one of the best books that I have read this year. Such well-constructed storyline. Such real characters that are flawed yet redeemable. Such unique plot twist. It’s packed full of everything. HATS OFF, PENELOPE DOUGLAS!

“Do you notice that, too? How all of us just want to get through life as quickly and easily as possible? And even though we know that without risk there’s no reward, we’re still so scared to chance it?”

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The story is all about childhood pen pals Misha Lare and Ryen Trevarrow. They’ve been writing letters for each other since grade school and for about seven years, they’ve never seen each others’ faces. They promised not to search each other’s name on social media to keep their identity a mystery and to keep their meaningful friendship as it is. But one unexpected night at his band’s party, Misha wasn’t able to resist the temptation of looking at Ryen’s Facebook account after he accidentally saw her picture online. That’s when he knew that Ryen was actually there at the party’s venue.

I’d be honest. This book was HOT. Like RATED PG HOT. And I’m warning you, Ryen and Misha’s smoking chemistry and their steamy scenes will possibly burn your e-reader. lol. And since it’s written by THE PENELOPE DOUGLAS, it’ll be impossible to stop reading.

Steamy scenes aside, this book resonated a powerful message. I loved how it tackled a very important issue which is bullying that happens in every school. The anti-bullying theme here was quite different compared to Douglas’s previous book Bully because in this book, the storyline was centered around the issue and most of the events happened at school. It presented a look at what kids go through every day. It was honest and terrifying and it served as an eye-opening view of what these kids’ lives are like.

One of the things that I also loved about this book was Ryen’s character which came as a huge surprise for me. She was not easy to like especially in the first few chapters, but I totally understood her. She’s a famous student at her school. A beautiful and sexy cheerleader. But underneath it all, she’s insecure. She’s worried about losing her place and losing her friends. She’s afraid to be alone. Afraid to be bullied. And that’s what made me appreciate her character. For me, she was real.

Same goes for Misha. I loved that both of these characters shared the same passion for words, the same desire for attention and love. Not to mention the same rebellious trait which was quite entertaining. And as I’ve mentioned, these characters were redeemable ones.

“We’re rebels with a reason.”

And you know what especially blew me away? The PLOT TWIST. Yes, that twist was a shocker and totally unpredictable!

It will surely take me a lot of time to get over this book. It was simply amazing. A new favorite of mine. 🙂

“We’re all ugly, Ryen. The only difference is, some hide it and some wear it.”

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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Blog Tour & Review: Mr. President by Katy Evans

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Mr. President (White House, #1)

Mr. President
(White House #1)
Author: Katy Evans
Publisher: Katy Evans
Published: October 31, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans comes a sizzling new contemporary romance.

He’s won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a guy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I’m determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I’m helpless to resist.

We’re stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt’s chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything. Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.

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(I’ve read this book together with my lovely sis Bea. Click her name to read her wonderful review.)

You can always count on Katy Evans delivering such a novel complete with a perfect mix of angst and steam. I’ve been a fan of her works since her Manwhore series because of her way of writing that is simply addicting and her Alpha male men that are hot and irresistible.

Apparently Mr. President has rendered me utterly amazed. It was an all-consuming novel, so different compared to her previous works. As what the blurb says, this book tells a story about two characters living in a political world, Matthew “Matt” Hamilton and Chralotte Wells. Matt is the son of an ex US President while Charlotte is the daughter of an ex Senator. They first met when Charlotte was 11 years old and Matt and her father went to her family’s house for a visit. She has been crushing on Matt ever since that day and she even promised to support him if he ever runs for presidency in the future. Now after 11 years, they met again and this time, Matt is already a candidate for President and Charlotte is working for his campaign.

“You will not be the reason for me losing. If anything, you’ll be the reason for me winning.”

What made this book stand out for me was the off-the-charts chemistry between Charlotte and Matt. They simply hit it off! I loved how their relationship was built up from a simple crush to a deep attraction which later on bloomed into sexual tension and frustration and yes– white-hot love.

“She grounds me. She obsesses me. She fuels me. This woman not only makes me want to be a great man, she makes me want to be the best goddamn president that ever lived.”

Both characters are also likeable. Matt is such a sweet and passionate person. The way he looks at Charlotte like he’s the last woman on earth even when there are tons of people around. Oh MY GOD. And don’t even get me started on his irresistible charm that wins millions of people. On the other hand, I adore Charlotte’s character. She’s a natural. She has a soft heart for the place where she grew up and she’s a down to earth person despite the fact that she belongs to a well-endowed family.

What’s even great about Charlotte’s character is the way she loves Matt in a selfless way. She doesn’t set expectations right when they started their secret love affair. She knows what’s bound to happen and that their relationship is about to fall when America chooses Matt as the next president. She’s not whiny and needy and these qualities made me love her.

“I don’t care about more. I don’t care that there is no future for us if he wins. I won’t deny us both this moment. He said he needs me. And I need him.”

As for the ending, well, this was me after that ending…

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…a hot mess. A steaming pile of mess.

It’s not yet a happily-ever-after for Charlotte and Matt but the ending promised all kinds of feels and goodness in the upcoming sequel. And I so need the next installment so bad it hurts!

A real page-turner, this book is no doubt one of the best romance novels I’ve read this year and possibly one of the most beautiful political romance books ever written. The story was brought out in a passionate and intoxicating way. The angst was overwhelming and the love the characters both share for each other made this book a keeper. Yet another book added to my favorites shelf!

“Love has no place in the White House.”

(An ARC was provided by the author Katy Evans in exchange for an honest review)

Rating:

5 stars new

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Buy this book at:

 

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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Review: Sempre Redemption by J.M. Darhower

Sempre: Redemption (Sempre, #2)

Sempre Redemption
(Forever #2)
Author: J.M. Darhower
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: April 1, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Dark, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.

The electrifying sequel to Sempre! This is a story about loyalty and love. It is a story about finding redemption— even when all seems lost.

Swearing allegiance to the Mafia in order to save Haven Antonelli—the girl he loves—forces Carmine DeMarco to make the ultimate sacrifice. Sent to Chicago to work for La Cosa Nostra, he refuses to place Haven in harm’s way by taking her with him. She deserves a shot at a normal life. But as he becomes more and more immersed in a world of terrible crimes, he realizes that surviving without her may be more than he is able to bear. . . .

Stunned and hurt that Carmine has left her, Haven must now learn to make her way in the world without him. Her heart aches with the loss, but for the first time, she’s making her own choices and accomplishing dreams she never thought were within her reach. The past, however, is not done with either her or Carmine. As Haven discovers dark secrets about the family who enslaved her and her mother, and why she matters so much in this web of lies, she realizes what terrible pain may still lie in wait for her and the boy she loves. And what they must suffer to find redemption. . . .

my thoughts new

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“What do you do when the thing you want most suddenly feels like it’s beyond your fingertips?”

5 stars will never be enough for this book.

I still can’t believe how this series ended in such a beautiful, satisfying, and all-consuming fashion. This is absolutely one of the riveting series-enders I’ve read so far– one that will stay glued in my mind forever.

In this second and final book of Sempre duology, Carmine and Haven’s life totally changed. Both of them were forced to separate and go in opposite directions because of the deal Carmine made with Salvatore in the previous book. Carmine is now a full-pledged member of the Mafia while Haven is basically free and is pursuing a normal college life in New York. With the absence of each other, their hearts didn’t seem to grow fonder and despite the things that happened, both of them weren’t able to forget their love.

I cannot think of better words that will do the book justice. Everything messed up my emotions. First off, I loved J.M. Darhower’s writing. As always. It just didn’t get old. This author manages to leave such an overwhelming impact to her readers because of her raw and brilliant way of writing. The dialogues shared by the characters were so intimately sensitive that I found myself falling in love and feeling their sadness and pain.

“He was surrounded by violence and death, the ugliness eating away at him, but then on the other side, there was her. She was peace and hope, and pure beauty. She was the good that he hoped would overpower the bad.”

Sempre: Redemption didn’t particularly prepare me with its much darker approach. I thought Sempre has a mild touch of darkness and graphic violence scenes but in this book, I can say that J.M. Darhower gave it all when it comes to the intensity of its dark theme. Some daring actions were thrown in and even the major character Corrado Moretti(who was so much badass-er) was given an opportunity to stand out.

Haven and Carmine’s character was also nicely developed here. I loved their strength and their faith. What basically made them admirable was how they didn’t give in to possible new relationships when they were no longer together. It took a lot of chapters for me to endure their sacrifice but in the end, I was glad because what happened to them was exactly what I wished to transpire in the book.

Yes, this book was hard to read at times because of its emotionally-draining scenes which were dragged on an interlude of heartaches and even tragedies, but it was so worth it. This book was so heartfelt and it wasn’t just about two characters in a forbidden love but it was also more about how these Mafia people value their devotion to their family. Given the length of the book which is about 500+ pages, I wasn’t intimated. It’s because no matter how tough this book was and even if there were sad and terrifying moments that occurred, the ending turned out to be a perfection it made me wept both sad and happy tears. I will never forget this series. It will remain in my heart, SEMPRE.

“Everyone falls sometimes, son, even me, but the trick is to get right back up. They’ll always target the ones who appear vulnerable, so you need to be strong. Fake it until you make it.”

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Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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Review: Play by Kylie Scott

Play (Stage Dive, #2)

Play
(Stage Dive #2)
Author: Kylie Scott
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: March 25, 2014
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Adult, Contemporary
My Rating:

5 stars new

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Synopsis new

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.
Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast-at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl.
Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls-especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

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“Life`s a song, Anne. Let’s play.”

You cannot just simply resist Mal Ericson.

I have been so interested to read the Mal’s story ever since Lick. Well who doesn’t want to get to know him more? He’s such a fun and goofy character and I knew that behind his playful attitude there’s a different side of him that we have yet to see.

Malcolm “Mal” Ericson is Stage Dive’s drummer. He is known as someone who always “plays” around when it comes to women. With his happy-go-lucky lifestyle, relationship is certainly out of the picture. But when he met a personal dilemma that requires him to basically snag a pretend girlfriend, he didn’t have a choice but to look for the perfect one to act as his girl. Meeting Anne Rollins at Ev and David’s party though was a perfect timing. They automatically clicked after a few minutes of flirting. And because Anne happens to have financial troubles, he proposed to meet her needs in exchange of moving with her in her apartment and her cooperation in his pretend relationship scheme.

“You’re the best boyfriend. Fake or not.”

You can imagine my face while I was reading this book the whole time.

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There were certainly lots of hilarious moments in this book. Mal didn’t fail to crack me up with his sexual innuendos with Anne and his crazy exchange and shenanigans with his band mates. Hilarious scenes aside, there was an emotional side to it that made me appreciate its entirety. I loved Mal and Anne’s dynamic. While Mal might be a player, his character development throughout the story– the way he stuck to Anne and basically followed a monogamous relationship, very well pleased me. There was no cheating involved which made me love this book even more. I also loved Anne’s character. The way she accepted Mal behind his many layers and the way she stood by him despite the fact the she too has some personal issues was really admirable. This couple is perfect for each other!

Like most pretend relationship books, these characters fell into a real relationship together, but what I loved about this book was Mal and Anne’s mutual acceptance when it comes to their weak sides. Each conflict was immediately resolved without getting into so much drama which I really loved.

What also made me embrace this book was Mal’s relationship with his family, especially with his mom. It was touching. I even found myself crying over some scenes here. I think his family relationship was the one that truly changed Anne’s feelings toward her mom, too.

I also thought the rock star theme here was more palpable compared to the previous book. In this installment there was certainly a lot of stage actions by the Stage Dive. I felt their passion to music because of their performances and connection with their fans.

“Mal’s playing and the music owned me, the smoothness of his movements and his absolute focus. His energy.”

Kylie Scott made it really possible to balance out both the hilarious and emotional vibes in this book. Play, in my opinion, was better than Lick. I loved that it possesses all the elements (sexy times included) to make it a lot more enjoyable. If you’ve enjoyed David and Ev’s story in Lick, then you definitely need to get into Mal’s story.

Rating:

5 stars new

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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