Tag «dark love»

Blog Tour: Slay: Rivalry by Laurelin Paige

Synopsis for Slay: Rivalry (from Goodreads):
Edward Fasbender is a devil.

He’s my father’s business rival, a powerful, vicious man who takes what he wants and bows to no one. I only took the meeting because I was curious. I thought he was going to offer me a job.

But that’s not what he’s after at all. His proposal is much more intriguing, and I see an opportunity. An opportunity to turn the tables and bring down the devil.

I’ve gotten in trouble playing these games before. I know when the risk is too great, when the stakes are too high. I know how to be cold and strong-willed and destructive. I know how to withstand dominant men with arrogant charm and rugged features.

Yet I can’t resist taking on Edward.

And I can’t resist the pull he has on me.

Soon I’m not so sure which side of the battle I’m standing on–if I’m the warrior meant to slay,

Or the one who will be slain.

Other books in the series:
book3 book4

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Series: Slay Quartet

This is a standalone spin-off of the Fixed Series

Author: Laurelin Paige
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, Ruin (#2) will be released October 2019
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot (BDSM: mild | Kink: mild)
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: June 4, 2019 – ongoing
Source & Format: Candi Kane PR–eARC

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’m a HUGE Laurelin Paige fan. She writes one of my all time favourite contemporary romance series, Fixed. That’s the series I recommend to everyone who wants a delicious contemporary romance read with a hint of drama.

I’ve been dying for more insight into Celia as a character since the moment we met her in the Fixed Series. She’s fascinating as a character and her storyline later in the series is definitely intriguing. So I was eager to dive in to this.

The Plot:

The beautiful thing about all the spin-offs that Paige writes is that you don’t need to read the previous series to get what is happening. Yes, it helps to know what the allusions mean but you can definitely get by without knowing the full details. But each characters’ story is isolated to their own novels.

As some who has read all the previous novels, it was neat to see how this story fits in with the timelines and put some of the pieces together. And even though I somewhat know what happens with their story, Laurelin Paige is still able to deliver this air of the anticipation. After all, I may know some of the outcome of their relationship, but the journey itself is completely unknown!

And what a journey it is! This book had me hooked from the start! I loved this game of cat and mouse between Edward and Celia. Add to that their explosive chemistry and you’re in for a ride.

The Characters:

As I said before, Celia is one of those characters that I’ve been dying to know more about ever since she was introduced. I was so excited when it was announced she was getting her own series.

There’s just something about getting into a character’s head after only seeing them through the filter of other characters. To get her inner monologue now helps me understand her motivations and actions in a completely new way.

As for Edward—it’s funny but I always pictured him as this really old man from the first series. Probably because he is rivals with Celia’s dad. But oh boy! I’ve seen him in a completely new light and me-likey! He’s everything I want in a darker alpha lead. He’s got this air of mystery and authority but he has these moments of vulnerability that charm me every time.

The Romance:

The tension is palpable between these two! I love enemies to lovers stories because the rivalry just amps every thing up, including the romance.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Is the sequel here yet? I’m feeling a little book-hangover here…

My Rating: 5/5

Slay: Rivalry 5/5 | Slay: Ruin TBR | Book 3 TBR | Book 4 TBR

overall
New and returning fans will love this new, darker romance from Laurelin Paige. It has the right amount of angst, romance and drama to keep you hooked!

Read if You Like: Darker Contemporary Romances, arranged romances
Avoid if You: dislike anti-heroes

similarreads

Laurelin Paige

With over 1 million books sold, Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Michael Fassbender. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

Author Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon

Book Tour Organised by:

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact

Fresh Fridays: Bad Reputation (#1) by K.B. Nelson

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Bad Reputation Series

Other books in the series:
book4

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Bad Reputation (from Goodreads):

She knows better. She just doesn’t care.

Apple Malloy is a woman scorned. Scorned by a society that has shamed her, and scorned by the men who have claimed her. On the verge of college graduation, Apple finds herself entangled in one last game of manipulation, deceit and sexual corruption with her former lover, and constant enabler, Brick Valmont.

Apple sets her sights on Jensen Moon—the enigmatic professor who had failed her the semester prior—and vows revenge. She’ll make him fall in love with her, and then break his heart, leaving his reputation destroyed in the process.

Brick makes her a wager she can’t refuse.

If Apple can seduce Jensen before Brick can sleep with Tyra Young, the beautiful, innocent daughter of a sitting U.S. Senator, then she will emerge victorious. If she wins, she gets the satisfaction that she has beaten him at his own game. If she loses, she must sleep with Brick one last time before heading separate ways.

Apple is a pro at this. She knows how to maneuver men and wrap them around her finger. She knows how to get what she wants, but Jensen tosses an unexpected grenade into her path to victory. Soon, she realizes it is she that might face the worst fate of all.

She falls in love.

Jensen has a power over Apple and it terrifies her. He can make her feel things. He can make her heart race. He might be the only one capable of saving her soul before it’s too late. But one thing is certain—nobody escapes unscathed in this titillating story of manipulation where nothing is as it appears.

Bad Reputation is the first book in the Bad Reputation series, and is loosely based on the 1782 classic novel, Dangerous Liaisons.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite ARC Read 2015
Series: Bad Reputation
Author: K.B. Nelson
# of Books: 4 (Bad Reputation, Bad Situation, Bad Cece, Bad Dom)
Book Order: Connected but Chronological
Complete?: No, Bad Cece, has yet to be published
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: Smoking
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: June 11, 2015 – ongoing
Source & Format: Netgalley–eBook   Thanks Neon Lights Publishing!

disclaimernetgalley

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I saw this book on Netgalley, I just HAD to read it! Why? One reason is that I love stories about love games. The other is the mention of Cruel Intentions.

While I was definitely too young to enjoy Cruel Intentions when it first came out, I really enjoyed it when I older. I also really enjoy the story it is based on, Dangerous Liaisons and have seen the play (it was fantastic!).

Needless to say, Bad Reputation had a lot of live up to but it sounded like it was up for the task. I preempted the other books I was reading so I could dive into this one as soon as I was approved.

What I Liked:

-The Concept-

This story lived up to the salacious tone of Cruel Intentions but in a more modern world. It wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty in more ways than one 😉 No, in all seriousness I loved that this book didn’t hold back. While it was crude at times it just added a darker layer to this already dark story.

But don’t go thinking this is a knock-off of Cruel Intentions! This book definitely has some twists up its sleeve and some interesting spins that keeps readers on the edge of their toes!

-The Characters-

Honestly, you love to hate Brick and Apple. They are both so devious and manipulative but at the same time you have to feel for them because you know that something awful has happened to make them this way. I loved the drama that their relationship created and how they are always pushing each other. It makes for an interesting–and intense!–read.

What I Didn’t Like:

-The Insta-Romance-

It happened a little too fast for me but I understand why it had to progress at the pace it did. I can see the connection, I just wanted more time to develop it. Because the passion is there–boy is it ever!–it’s just the timing of it all that didn’t work for me

-The abrupt page breaks-

It felt like every time we were getting to the good stuff we would get a page break (you know, a change to a scene later on). At first I thought my Kobo was skipping pages (sometimes it does that) but it was actually the scene changing in the novel. I really wanted to see those cutoff bits elaborated on because they would have helped me understand the characters more. At the same time though, it did leave the characters with a sense of mystery so I guess it had its positives.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m super excited for Brick’s story in the next novel! There is just so much more to uncover with everything that happened and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

My Rating: 4/5

overall

I’ve been looking for a great dark New Adult read and this series is looking VERY promising! It’s gritty, it’s dirty and it makes no apologies. If you want a book full of manipulation, love games, sex and damaged characters, Bad Reputation has nothing but a good reputation 😉

Read if You Like: love games & manipulation, characters you love to hate
Avoid if You: don’t like crude language, don’t like dark New Adult

similarreads

readingchallenges

catchphrase

Series Review: Fall Away Penelope Douglas

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

 book2 book2 book3 book3

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Bully (from Goodreads):
My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down

breakdown

Series: Fall Away Trilogy
Author: Penelope Douglas
# of Books: 5 (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, Aflame)

Until You is Jared’s POV companion to Bully.

There are some novellas in between the novels. Full list here

Book Order: Connected but Chronological

Bully, Until You and Aflame follow Jared and Tate’s story; Rival and Falling Away focus on different characters. However, they all follow a chronological order of events.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Dark
Heat Rating: getting Hot
Point of View: First Person (Single POV for Bully & Until You; but Alternate for RivalFalling Away & Aflame)
Publication Dates: February 2014 – April 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I read the synopsis for Bully, I flashed back to my memories of elementary school. The whole idea that boys show that they like you by teasing you. Casual “teasing” is one thing but bullying is another–so while I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen in this book, I was curious to see what else was at play.

The Plot:

While I found the romance of the book to be predictable, I did enjoy the ride we take getting there. I didn’t find it boring to read because there are some interesting events that happen and make the book more entertaining. I also found it to be pretty mature considering I went into the book thinking about elementary school romances. There isn’t really anything “elementary” about Tate and Jared’s relationship.

The Characters:

Tate is a strong female character and I’m glad that she develops some backbone as the story progresses. However, I often found that she was trying a little too hard to be tough, so it came across as a little over the top. I also didn’t like how easily she was falling in love with Jared. Given their past, I understood where the feelings were coming from but if I was in her shoes, let me tell you that he would have had to work a lot harder to get back into my good graces.

I think what would have helped me get a better grasp on their relationship is getting Jared’s POV as the events unfold. I’m so used to New Adult readings alternating POV between characters that I almost get disappointed when I don’t get both. Fortunately, Until You is Jared’s POV. I haven’t read it yet, but I am really excited to because I’m hoping to get some more insight into this mysterious character.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really excited to read Rival. It seems like it is going to be really refreshing and Madoc seems like a really interesting character to me. Falling Away also seems really interesting so I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the rest of the series.

updates

–October 25, 2014– Book #1.5: Until You

I finally managed to read Until You and it was everything I wanted to know about Jared. It was the perfect companion novel for Bully. I loved that it wasn’t just a retelling of Bully. It started a little before and ended a little after Bully but the events weren’t just regurgitated for the sake of creating another novel. It was extremely well done and fans of Bully will love reading Until You. I highly recommend that you read it after Bully but before Rival in order to get a fuller reading experience with all the characters.

–October 25, 2014– Book #2: Rival

Rival though, is my favourite of the series! I read it in one sitting and got so sucked into the story. It was packed full of drama and I loved Madoc and Fallon as characters. I enjoyed their relationship a lot more than Jared and Tate’s in Bully (but reading Until You warmed me up to them more). However, I was a little worried at the start of Rival given their past relationship. But as the book progressed, I was rooting for them all the way. I think it helped that we got both characters POV throughout the novel so you got a better grasp on each of them.

I am super excited for Falling Away and have been since I read Until You and figured out which characters were next.

–February 21, 2015– Book #3: Falling Away

Have you ever finished a book where you can’t determine how you actually feel about it? I’m not talking about indifference or the “meh” factor (as I like to call it) where it was just so-so and nothing all that exciting. I’m talking about a book that had its great moments but had not-so-great moments in between–leaving you happy but disappointed all at once? I give those books the “mixed feelings” tag on Goodreads and I create that tag for this book specifically.

I went into this book with high anticipation because I’ve been waiting for this couple since the first book. So I was a little disappointed that this book takes place a few years later but I let it slide because it probably was for the best.

But when I actually saw them together I had to double check I wasn’t rereading Bully because parts felt like a regurgitation of the first book. The heroine seemed super immature despite being 20 and the hero gave me the creeps a bit because he was a little too alpha. Which often made me feel like the relationship bordered on the unhealthy side of things. It was just that the intensity of their relationship, especially when they really had limited interaction before this book, was a little too extreme for me and it made me uncomfortable to read about. Which is why I had mixed feelings: sometimes I loved the couple together (they did have great chemistry) but other times the angst was just too much for me to take.

I also felt like there were too many things going on with these characters lives. Now, I like a lot of things happening in books and I understand that people lead complicated lives but this just seemed a little excessive to me. It kinda felt like the author decided to pile as much tragedy/drama into these character’s lives as possible and it was overwhelming. I really felt like this book was 50 (ebook) pages too long and I would have enjoyed it more without the super packed character pasts.

I’m not sure how I feel about Aflame. I really don’t think it is necessary but I will read it just to finish off the series.

–June 14, 2015– Book #4: Aflame

I was adequately warned about Aflame going into it thanks to the comments below. not that I had high expectations for it before I was told, but I think it helped me be prepared for what I was going to read.

I have mixed feelings about Aflame because I can appreciate what the author was trying to convey (young people make rash decisions). But I felt like Tate and Jared were thrown into a situations that would cause the most drama even if it wasn’t the most logical; and I found that to be frustrating because there really was no reason for the plotline we get. It also made me realize how immature and reckless these two are and how unhealthy their relationship is. I really hope young people reading this series realize this isn’t what a healthy relationship looks like.

Series Rating: 3/5

Bully 4/5 | [Until You] 4/5 | Rival 5/5 | Falling Away 3/5 | Aflame 3/5

overall

This series takes your classic romance story and puts a darker spin on it. I’ve read a lot of New Adult novels but this series standouts because of the relationship between the characters. The classic “dark secret past” isn’t some random event that happened before the characters met their partner–it happened with their partner so the relationship dynamic is completely different. So if you enjoy darker high school/new adult romances, this is a great read to pick up! But it does lose its lustre as the series progresses and the relationships border on the unhealthy.

similarreads

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Bookstr Amazon.ca Reviews Amazon.com Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Crossfire by Sylvia Day

book4 book5

Series: Author: Sylvia Day
# of Books: 5 (Bared to You, Reflected in you, Entwined with You, Captivated by You, One With You)
Complete?: No, One with You, has a publishing date TBA
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Drama, Dark
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: mild)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I won’t lie: I will admit that I read Bared to You because it was linked to Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as some people didn’t like Fifty Shades, I actually enjoyed the romantic suspense and drama that it brought–I just could have done without all the sex. But what interested me about Bared to You was that it stars two dark characters that have tragedy filled pasts that the reader gets to uncover.

As expected, there are some parallels between the two series in terms of the events the two leads find themselves in (read: jealous exes, insecurities and tormented pasts) but they do differ once you get past the first novel in the Crossfire series. Overall I would say the BDSM element is stronger in Fifty Shades than Crossfire which for me is an added bonus because I’m not the biggest BDSM fan.

The relationship dynamic between Gideon and Eva is also easier for me to see. I could see why they both were attracted to each other and love each other more so than Anastasia and Christian (in Fifty Shades I think it’s clearer why Christian needs Ana in his life more so than why Ana needs Christian in hers).

What I liked about the Crossfire series that Fifty Shades develops more in the second and third books is the suspense. It’s present right from get-go in Bared to You and continues into the next books. Also, Reflected in You takes a turn I never expected and gives this series a much darker feel than Fifty Shades.

When I grabbed Entwined with You I thought two things: one) was that we were going to learn more about Gideon as a whole (possibly his point of view) and two) it was end of the series. Turns out we didn’t get either of those hypotheses. Before this book was published, the series got extended for two more books. As a result I really felt like this book was filler more so than anything. I think the series totally could have concluded within three books and people would have been satisfied and happy. From my point of view, there was no need to extend it two more books; a fourth book would have been a bit of a stretch but a fifth is a huge stretch. I also found that Eva was grating on my nerves throughout this book which really disappointment me because I had really liked her character in the previous two books. She just became so whinny and seemed to me like she was suffering from Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome when her character had been so much more independent in the last two books.

Conclusion:

Bared to You and Reflected in You were great books. Entwined with You was a disappointment but I’m not ready to give up on this series quite yet. I think if you want to read a series about two flawed romantic leads, the Stark Trilogy is the better choice than this one as of this moment in the sense that it’s story does get dragged out (well is does in the novellas but the actual novels don’t really do that). Captivated by You shows some promise and I really want to know how this series ends–so I am not going to condemn this series as of now.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1) and Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner

Synopsis for Bared to You (from Goodreads):
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…