Review: Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O’Keefe

  • Title: Everything I Left Unsaid
  • Author: M. O’Keefe
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release date: Oct 13, 2015

Blurb: I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.
 
And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.
 
His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.

What I thought: Best book boyfriend alert, all around. When I started reading Everything I Left Unsaid I didn’t know there would be a second book telling the story of Annie and Dylan, so I was a bit annoyed at the end of the book (spoiler alert: it ends with a cliffhanger). Nevertheless, this book is perfect for fans of hot, scorching, sexy, toe-curling scenes that make you wish Dylan was a real person and you could actually call him up (ha!).

M. O’Keefe delivers way more than just a sexy novel, though. Annie and Dylan felt like real people who have been badly damaged in life and are trying desperately to live through the pain. It was at times painfully realistic to see their struggles and the hesitations that come from having a terrible past haunting you (Annie with an abusive husband and Dylan with his wild past).

It was the first time I read a book by M. O’Keefe (how? have I been living under a rock?) but I will make sure it won’t be the last. Now go out and get it! 🙂

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads / Amazon / Author Page

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) – J.R. Ward

#notreallyworthafullreview

Sadly, I must say this book was a huge disappointment for me. Many of my friends love this series and so I put it aside on purpose for a few years until I could fully dedicate myself to it (*cough*havingafulldayonthebeach*cough*).

In my humble opinion, Beth was a ridiculous character and Wrath (what kind of name is that?) was never, at any point, even the slightest bit sexy. How can you really root for your main couple like this?

I won’t give the book 1 star because I managed to finish it (skimmed it is more likely the appropriate word, really), but it’s a series I won’t pick up anytime soon, unless for some reason the rest of the series madly improves.

Review: Sea of Stars by Amy A. Barton

Fair warning: I might fangirl a little bit during this review. Proceed with caution.

I love, love, love Amy A. Bartol’s writing (in general) and this series in particular. It’s truly impressive how captivating she managed to keep this second-book-in-the-series (which I typically find the least interesting). A couple of weeks ago after I finished reading the first book in the series – Under Different Stars – I was left with the impression that I loved it so much it couldn’t quite be real. It couldn’t be quite as good as I remembered it. So now reading the second novel it’s amazing to realize how your first impressions were right.

I found Sea of Stars strikingly different from Under Different Stars. It’s a lot more action packed and we have come to know most of the characters well enough that we can focus on what’s happening to them rather than on their motivations. Reading it at one point became so intense I could almost visualize the things that were happening on Ethar (it made me wonder if someone might pick up the movie rights in more than one occasion).

“You made me love you!” he says harshly. “You’re not allowed to give up, do you understand? No surrender to death. Whatever happens, you have to survive it.”

“But what if things get really, really bad?” I ask.

“Then you fight, like you always do, and we’ll pick up the pieces of us later.”

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥+

Recommended for: Anyone.

Goodreads / Amazon

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review

Go out and read it. You won’t regret it (but don’t forget to start with Under Different Stars). I can’t wait to get started with Darken the Stars.

Review: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

  • Title: Escaping Reality
  • Author: Lisa Renee Jones
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release date: May 5, 2015

Blurb: At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loved to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten—even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets her guard down, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing billionaire recluse, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give?

What I thought: It’s a bit strange to admit this in a review, but I don’t know how I feel about this book. I found the story confusing at times and then over simplistic, and then over the top again in the span of a couple of chapters. I guess my biggest problem was that I couldn’t quite sympathize with Amy’s problems (probably because I couldn’t quite understand what her actual problem was) and Liam felt hot and cold, and not always in the good way .

Having said that, I couldn’t bring myself to give the book one or two stars, because the ending left me wondering what the next book will bring, and all the wonderful possibilities that could be explored now (and I really hope it’s not the romantic, it-was-all-a-misunderstanding solution either).
Rating: ♥♥♥

Goodreads / Amazon / Author

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review

Review: Wrecked by Priscilla West

There would be no happy ending for us. He was too damaged. I was too broken. Things between us shouldn’t have gone this far in the first place. Then this never would’ve happened.”

I have read some books by Pricilla West that I enjoyed, so I was expecting a light, sexy weekend read with this one. Her books are usually quick delightful reads (not life-changing reads by any means, but we don’t always need to read life-changing books) with sexy male characters and that was exactly what I was expecting from Wrecked.

Unfortunately, I was a bit let down by it. I couldn’t get into the characters – Lorrie has been through an incredibly traumatic event in her life after the death of her parents, and my impression was that her relationship with Hunter is meant to be portrayed as two tortured souls coming together and dealing with their messes to be better as one. Sadly, I never really bought it.

I found Hunter mysterious enough, but Lorrie was immature throughout the entire book – she wants to be just friends and throws a fit because Hunter hooks up with some girls, and he actually puts up with it?! I didn’t find it very realistic.

Another thing I found very unrealistic were the “mean girls/boys” in college, since I don’t think people would/could be quite so cruel to someone because of the way they lost their mom.

Overall I don’t think I will be returning to read Rescued (the continuation of Lorrie and Hunter’s story). Priscilla West is a talented writer though, so I will definitely give other books she writes a try again.

Recommended for: Fans of Priscilla West who can forgive a less-exciting book than her previous work

Rating: ♥½

Goodreads

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review

Review: Deal Breakers, by Laura Lee

Meet Riley (Rye) McIntyre – a freshman who apparently has led a pretty easy life. He’s popular, smart, and good looking, and used to getting all the girls he wants, until he sets his eyes on the beautiful yet down to earth, girl-next-down Devyn Summers. After a quick ploy to meet her, he realizes that not only she is beautiful, she is also a football fan and he persuades her grew to go on a date (no, not a date – a hangout).

In spite of his clear intentions to seduce her, Devyn is very clear from the beginning that she isn’t interested in a relationship since she has been through a few traumatic years and decides what she really truly needs is a friend. So, much to Riley’s dismay, Devyn friend-zones him right off the bat.

Through college they become inseparable and, in spite of Rye’s monthly conquests hating Devyn and Rye’s clear physical attraction to her,they manage to stay on a mostly friendly base. Until graduation, when Devyn decides it is time for her to find out what all the fuss is about before starting her marketing career and lose her virginity to the one boy she trusts – yeah, you guessed it, Rye! After spending a magical night together (the last one before they graduate and move away), Devyn realizes her feelings for Rye are much stronger than she anticipated, but he gets scared and they end up losing touch. And that’s when things get interesting. After five years apart, Rye is determined to get back together with Devyn, but she has kept a big secret from him that will do a one-eighty on their relationship.

This was my first Laura Lee novel, and I found myself very connected to these characters and truly caring about how their problems and their relationships. I especially loved the writing from Rye’s point of view, since it’s so hard to find an author that really nails a guy’s perspective. It’s not an incredibly original plot, but it is well developed, explored and I felt it had a great ending.

Recommended for: Readers of romance in general (there are some explicit sex scenes too)

Perfect place to read: Sitting in the balcony with a  glass of red wine (or maybe that’s just me)

Goodreads

An ARC was provided by the author in exchange of an honest review

Review: Beautiful Surrender by Priscilla West (Surrender Series Book 3)

I guess I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d be reading the third book in the series very soon, huh? 🙂

I just love the type of books you take on a day out on the beach and you read between going for a swim, suntanning and taking a bite out of your snacks and you never really get tired of the book because it has a such a nice pace. And this is one of those books. Like the first two, I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t like the romance genre or if you’re not into sexy books – the language can be a bit rough – but overall, it was such an easy weekend read that I’d definitely recommend it to a few friends. This is the last book in the Vincent and Kristen series, and it does bring their story to a satisfactory conclusion. I liked how a few bits and pieces from the first book were explained in this last installment.

Recommended for: Women who like hot romance books, and who are drawn to adventurous billionaires

Perfect place to read: At the beach, as long as you don’t have people reading over your shoulder, haha

Rating: ♥♥♥½

Goodreads

Book 1 – Forbidden Surrender Review

Book 2 – Secret Surrender Review

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review