Friday, February 9, 2018

Review: Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry @BrittainyCherry

Title: Loving Mr. Daniels

Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

Publication date: May 11th, 2014

Pages: 310

ISBN: 9780692221914

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
To Whom it May Concern,

It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates.

When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn't plan to find him. I didn't plan to stumble into Joe's bar and have Daniel's music stir up my emotions I had no clue that his voice would make me hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss.

When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn't prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons.

Our love story wasn't only about the physical connection.

It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.

It was ours.

And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for Loving Mr. Daniels.

- Ashlyn Jennings

I said I was going to give Brittainy Cherry another chance after I read her book "The Air He Breathes" and I stuck by my word. I was so glad that I did. "Loving Mr. Daniels" was the next book on the list on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited New Adult Romance. The opportunity to read another book by her was presented and I dove in.

Ashlyn has lost her best friend and sister all at once. She doesn't know what to do with herself as a part of her has suddenly been ripped away. Now, her mother has decided to send her to stay with her estranged father. Does anyone truly want Ashlyn in their life because from the way it seems everyone is trying to get away from her or push her away? Ashlyn  only has one thing to hold onto; letters and a bucket list written to her by her dead sister. Ashlyn manages to meet a man... boy... manboy, on the train to her new life and upon his invitation and a chance to knock something off her bucket list, she finds herself standing outside the bar waiting to see his band. After an unforeseeable panic attack and the comfort of this manboy named Daniel, Ashlyn starts to find reasons to smile again. This is until she walks into her new school and sees her favorite reason for standing at the front of the class wishing to be addressed as Mr. Daniels. Now Ashlyn must figure out how to resist her new teacher while not losing the first person who seems to understand her loss.

Daniel definitely understands loss. He has lost more people in his life than he cares to think about. Which is how he chooses to handle this fact; don't think about it. You can't hurt if you merely accept what has happened and move past it, right? But is there really any way to move past losing people who mean the world to you? And what about finding a kindred spirit only to find she is forbidden? Can he manage his past and keep his future intact by resisting Ashlyn or is he going to give into temptation and find solace in someone as equally as broken as he is?

Daniel was an indecisive ass hat in my opinion. He couldn't decide whether to break up with Ashlyn or be with her. He would pull her close, then push her away, then pull her close and promise forever, then tell her they can't be together. Ashlyn spends most of her time crying which got to be a bit of a pain in the ass. Ashlyn is fine, flip the page, and there she goes again. I swear if her tears were physically manifested my house would be called Atlantis. But that is all minor irritants and doesn't reflect on the meat and bones of the story. The teacher/student thing was interesting to watch unfold. The splitting of the main male character in Ashlyn's eyes between Daniel and Mr. Daniels was also a good way of showing the differences between professional and personal lifestyles. There was a lot of good in this book which outweighed the character flaws and the fast-paced writing that seems to be the norm with Brittainy. All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and felt like crying a lot of the time right along with Ashlyn. Some of the writing was almost poetic. Shakespeare would have added a death scene or twelve but he'd be proud either way.

Loving Mr. Daniels tests the bounds of the taboo and makes it less shockworthy by adding a healthy dose of romance in the face of tragedy. 

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

Title: The Air He Breathes

Author: Brittainy C. Cherry

Series: Elements #1

Publication date: September 25th 2015

Pages: 422

ISBN: 9782755623826

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
I was warned about Tristan Cole.

"Stay away from him," people said.
"He's cruel."
"He's cold."
"He's damaged."

It's easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.

But I couldn't do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty.
We were both looking for someone else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.

Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

In the world of literature there are many facets, often called genres, which helps narrow down a subject matter a reader would be interested in. Mine is more times than not in the romance genre. A subset of this genre, the new adult section, has become my home away from home. While looking through books I may enjoy reading this one came across my desktop. I went into the read totally blind as I often like doing so that I am not waiting for a particular scene to happen to have the synopsis make sense. What I found was equal parts delightful and cringe-worthy.

Elizabeth and Tristan know loss better than any other people in their small town of Meadow's Creek. Elizabeth, one year from the loss of her husband, is trying to pull the pieces of her life back together when she meets her new surly neighbor. The hard edge of his eyes are often seen as evil or angry by most of the other townspeople but Elizabeth sees more. She knows the look of loss and desperate pain because she wears a similar expression in hers. Elizabeth and Tristan feel an attraction for one another and hope to feel what they lost once more in each other's arms. The recipe for disaster was set from that point on. The two of them must learn to grieve, let go, and move on before they lose themselves completely.

This book was scattered and not well formatted. The quick pace makes me feel as if the book would have been better suited for a trilogy. One book having their struggles to deal with their pain and try to love again, one where they realize their love only to lose it, and one where they come together as a united force against a common antagonist. As it is, the book rushes from one milestone to the next leaving me blinking in confusion while trying to let myself fall into the story. The characters, in my opinion, grieve and fall in love too fast. There were ample opportunities to throw obstacles in their way to cause hiccups. The hiccups did happen, but they were overcome so easily I had to roll my eyes. It had only been a year since they lose their spouses and yet they were able to throw themselves together without much buckling as to how the dead spouse would feel (as is common with the loss of a spouse, I would assume)?

Mostly, the book just left me exhausted. I felt like so much happened and it was so rushed that I wasn't able to relax into what was happening between two characters that were otherwise well constructed. I would be willing to give the author's books another chance to see if the rush job on this one was a fluke but if a pattern is evident I will sadly have to write it off as a loss.

I wanted to love "The Air He Breathes" but I was never given a chance to catch my OWN breath.

DISCLAIMER: This book was borrowed from the Kindle Unlimited Library at the discretion of the reviewer and not in exchange for a good review by the author.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Review: Pretend You're Mine by Lucy Score @LucyScore1

Title: Pretend You're Mine

Author: Lucy Score

Publication date: October 22nd, 2015

Pages: 451

ISBN: 9781518674129

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
A Small Town Love Story

I only wanted to protect you...

Luke Garrison is a hometown hero, a member of the National Guard ready to deploy again. Strong, sweet, and sexy, he doesn't have a girlfriend and doesn't want one. When the wildly beautiful Harper stumbles into his life, though, he realizes that she's the perfect decoy. A fake girlfriend to keep his family off his back until he's out on another mission.

So what if a single bite of her lip sends his mind to wicked places? He can control himself. Can't he?

Harper was on her way to starting a new life... again. But something about Luke makes her want to settle down in this small town and make Luke's house a home. When his arms wrap around her like steel, she finally knows what it's like to feel safe. Protected.

One night of sleeping in the same bed turns into something much, much, more... and soon Luke can't keep his mind off Harper's wide gray eyes, or his hands off of her luscious curves. He never thought he'd feel this way about a woman again. But he knows that he can't tell her the truth about his dark past, and she can't reveal to him what she's running from.

Anyway, this isn't a real relationship. It's only for a month. Only pretend. Until it isn't...

On my excursion to read every romance book available on Kindle Unlimited I stumbled across this gem. As I had never read anything but the author, I was more than happy to see how to stood up to all the other authors I have had the pleasure of getting to know through their work. I had been going through a bit of a drought for good books so I was desperate to find something I could get into. Once I read the male lead was a military man, I was sold. Who doesn't love a man in uniform, amiright?

Harper was on the run again, this time to avoid the philandering ex-boyfriend she found banging a random woman in their bed. She left her home with nothing but the keys to her car and headed towards her best friend's a few hours away. What she didn't realize until she stopped on the side of the road to find a phone to call her friend, that she had gone the completely opposite way! It was only after Harper jumps on the back of a man assaulting another woman like a rabid monkey that she is suddenly thrown into the path (literally) of devastatingly handsome, Luke. 

Luke was set to deploy in a month's time. His life was planned out. His goals were set. Then Harper happened. The attraction was immediate but due to his dark past, Luke resisted. Even with the spirited little blonde tucked into his bed beside him, he tried to maintain his distance. But, his family is determined to see him let another woman into his life and at the risk of dating a third cousin, he asks Harper to be his pretend girlfriend. But where does the line between pretend and real truly end?

Two words, ladies. Miliary. Man. The uniform is drool-worthy on its own but add to that a chip on his shoulder and a 'no nonsense' personality makes the main male lead extra swoony. I loved that he was paired with a woman that was DRASTICALLY different from him in every way. She was the lighthearted troublemaker to his stoic hardass-ness. Harper was my ideal heroine. She was not one to let bad things drag her down for too long. She was a survivor through and through. Her personality is infectious and she bettered Luke's small town and Luke himself just by being there. 

In some ways, I found this book to be a little long winded. There were several times in the book where I thought it was drawing to and end only to hit another bump and start towards yet another climax. Normally, I would be heavily frustrated and ripping my hair out but somehow this author made a very odd format work to her advantage. I never got tired of the characters and while I think she would have been better sticking to their underlying issues and not adding separate ones, I still enjoyed it. 

"Pretend You're Mine" is the perfect contemporary romance book featuring two very odd characters who make you believe love is possible no matter how hard life kicks you in the teeth.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: Rock the Heart by Michelle A. Valentine @M_A_Valentine

Title: Rock the Heart

Author: Michelle A. Valentine

Series: Black Falcon #1

Publication date: November 15th, 2012

Pages: 330

ISBN: 9781479390045

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
For the last four years, good girl Lane has regretted breaking up with Noel Falcon. She thought she was sensible when she took him his dreams of being a rock star would get him nowhere, but now that he's a rock god and her career is stagnant, she realizes just how wrong she was. When Noel hires the marking company where Lane is an intern, she's forced to see him again. If she wants to land her dream job as executive within the company, she has to win him over and secure his account. Too bad Noel is still pissed at her for breaking his heart.

When Lane's company flies her to a Black Falcon concert to gain Noel's attention, emotions run high the moment she sees him and realizes she's far from over him. But Noel's countless trysts with groupies and his cocky attitude make Lane believe he isn't the same guy she once loved--now he seems to only want her body. Then after Lane discloses she needs him to procure a job, Noel proves he's a changed man by forcing her to go on the road with him in order to get it.

After Lane reluctantly takes Noel up on his offer, she becomes willing to do whatever it takes to keep him satisfied, even if it means succumbing to his seductive ways. Lane finds deception is a dangerous game and she's not the only one playing.

Rock star romance has become a mainstream fascination in today's book market. I am not the only groupie of the genre but I am possibly one of the most fascinated. Throw in a bit of sexual angst with the common issues every rock god has to deal with while on tour and you got the makings of a book I am willing to binge over and over again.

Lane hadn't given her first love, Noel, much thought since they had broken up four years ago. But when she sees him back stage at a concert he is at and gets the cold brush off, she remembers why they parted ways in the first place. Little did she know though that Noel wasn't finished with her. He calls her marketing company and demands Lane head up his charity but only if she comes on the road with him and his band. Lane tries to find a loop hole but must eventually decide between her career and her dignity.

Noel has been trying to forget his heartbreak from the moment Lane left him. He buries himself in booze, drugs, groupies, and music. When Lane breezes back into his life he wants to pay her back for all the pain she set upon him. He wants to get under her skin and into her pants as soon as humanly possibly. He wasn't counting on the resistance Lane puts up nor the game she wants to play. Can either of them get out with their hearts intact?

Noel was one of those main characters where you don't know from one page to the next whether you're going to hate him or love him. One minute he was being deliciously seductive in his pursuit of Lane and the next he was being a complete and utter douchebag. That is the male gender though. It takes a lot for me to actually feel connected to the female character of a story. Lane was delightful in her determination to show Noel she didn't want a thing to do with him while desperately trying to fight the feelings that are rearing their ugly head.

Rock the Heart will rock your world and leave you sweaty, sore, and desperate for an encore.

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