Tag Archive | dark

Envy (The Elite series, book 4) by M.N. Forgy–Review

WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST READ? I, mean, seriously, what da fuq, did I just read?

We ended Wrath, with a mountain of questions and I expected to go into Envy getting some resolution. While some questions were answered, Ms. Forgy opened a can of worms and threw question’s all over the place. The series has been ratcheted up to another level with the release of Envy, and I expect it will end with a blowout bomb.

Sebastian Westbrook is a very complicated and complex character. His mind, thoughts and inner dialogue was always a constant chatter in his life. Due to his upbringing, he developed a fascination with others and slowly that intense curiousity will lead him into all kinds of situations.

“I’d give Michael Myers a run for his money in the stalking territory. Man, I hate that word. It’s just intense curiosity”.

Sebastian Westbrook had every materialistic item he could ever want, but there was one thing he could never attain. Sebastian longed for love, affection and someone to care about. He was insanely jealous of others, specifically if they had a significant other/girlfriend. He couldn’t understand why things like that wouldn’t happen for him. So, he took drastic measures, which included being an Elite, to get what he wanted.

“Something in my chest swells at the thought, and a smile rises to my face. Wouldn’t that be fucking awesome. Sam–my Elite brother and maybe my brother-in-law. We’d double date and have barbeques on the weekend…I swallow down my excitement. It’s too soon to be thinking about all that, but Sabella said she wanted to do this again. She hugged me–that has to mean something.”

With his newfound Elite family, He anticipated things changing for him. He had this new brother ship, with like-minded boys that he could always rely on, yet still didn’t feel he was gelling with. He still had this insatiable need to stalk others and was a pro at manipulation. They way Sabastian’s mind worked is downright scary. I mean, truly, psychological thriller, keep you on the edge of your seat until you jump, popcorn goes flying and you want to watch/read it with all the lights on in the daylight scary. Sebastian had me on edge with the twists, turns and things that he did.

“I don’t know. He’s super sweet, but I get this Ted Bundy feeling around him, you know?”

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I will admit that upon immediately finishing, I didn’t like Sebastian and truthfully didn’t know how I felt about the book. Time travel to 5 days in the future and I am applauding Ms. Forgy. As uncomfortable, bothered and irritated as I was, it reiterates to me how well she did her job as an author. She set up an incredible character profile and setting to be handing a baton to Amo Jones in Greed. With this information, my mind is flying with possibilities as to where the Elites are going to go. I know enough, never to anticipate anything with Amo, however, that ending…that epilogue and ending in Envy had me screaming. I’m glad I only have to wait until 4/8/19 to get the next book!! M.N. Forgy for a new to me author, you now have a dedicated stalker…I mean, follower! Well done!!

4 ‘Stalking’ Stars

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Violent Delights (White Monarch, book 1) by Jessica Hawkins–Review

I am not new to Jessica Hawkins. After all, I barely survived her ‘Something in the Way’ series. (I still get flashbacks). Well, I happily report that her ‘White Monarch’ series will most likely take that place.

Now, if you know Ms. Hawkins, you know she delivers on tension, angst, twists and turns, drama and sexual tension. She delivers all this and more in Violent Delights. She kicks off the beginning of Violent Delights with a bang. A real shocking moment that sucked me in completely.

We have three main characters: Natalia, Cristiano and Diego. One an actual member of the family, and two who are like family. When talking about the Mexican cartel trust means EVERYTHING and something happens within the family that shocks them to the core.

Natalia has been sent to the states to attend college. This year she decided to come home for Easter and to see her dad.  Since she was young, she has been best friends with Diego. They have plans to either get her dads approval for marriage or they will elope. They both have big dreams of running away to the states. Cristiano meanwhile makes a dramatic return. The three of them make an interesting dynamic. I would say this they are embroiled in a dramatic and explosive non-love triangle, which brings a whole unique perspective to this book.

Just a quick thought on the ending. Yes, this is a multi-arc series with Violent Delights being book one. I would say the ending is not so much a cliffhanger, but an inappropriately timed ending in the story. I am anxiously awaiting, ‘Violent Ends’, coming June 2019.

Jessica has this innate ability to write a story that not only has layers upon layers to create such depth, but also throws so many shocking twists and turns that you will never see coming.  She will have you on the edge of your seat, screaming at the pages or just plain breathless. I, highly recommend, this book.

 

5 ‘White Monarch’ Stars

Cristiano

Violent Delights

In the de la Rosa family, old grudges run deeper than loyalty, and betrayal is a three-letter word: war. But this feud isn’t between enemies. It’s between brothers. And I’m the prize.

I was born a princess among criminals. An untouchable among thieves. Heiress to a life others have killed for, and one I’d do anything to escape. I vowed not to leave without Diego, my first love and best friend, but if his ruthless brother has his way, I won’t leave at all. Cristiano de la Rosa is a man as big and bold as his legend. Once upon a time, he was our cartel’s best soldier . . . until he became my family’s worst enemy.

A man like Cristiano will bend fate to his will to get what he wants. Even if it means dragging me to hell—and tearing me from his brother’s arms.

“She is mine.” Three words from two different men.
A life, future, and love I don’t get to choose.

Genre: Contemporary Romance; slow burn, angst, dark, cartel

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Wrath by Claire C. Riley–Review

Samuel Gunner, aka Wrath is our next contestant in The Elite Seven rotation. Unfortunately, Samuel has been born into a very unhealthy and dysfunctional atmosphere. He has a twin sister, Sabella, who he absolutely adores and is his reason for living. Beyond that, he’s a very volatile young man. His mother passed away under very unfortunate circumstances and a father that blames him. Remember actions do speak louder than words people and this is what Samuel has learned.

From an early age, he has started to acquire and churn a never-ending ball of madness, intensity and rage, which only grows the older he gets. To say he has control on this hair trigger that’s attached to this ball, is equivalent to saying The Hulk has the ability, while in Hulk form, to participate in a tea party with the Queen while dancing a waltz.  It doesn’t happen. Everyone knows The Hulk is going to blow, and The Elite are now learning that Samuel has to same problem. Do NOT mess with his sister or anyone else he cares about.
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Patience is unique. She is feisty, not willing to put up with anyone’s crap and determined. She is a wonderful character and I loved her part in their ‘point-counterpoint’ type of relationship. She kept Wrath on his toes for sure.

It was enduring to watch these two tip-toe around each other, yet at the same time, develop their characters and relationship. What I felt was wonderful about this book, is the interaction and weave of the timeline between Wrath with Lust and Pride. With Wrath, there’s a little more story telling and a little less of actual relationship building. As far as storyline goes, thank goodness Envy is up next, because I wanted to scream on the ending!!

Claire Riley wrote a book that was engaging, difficult to write yet made it look easy with a consistent storyline and book pacing. There were a couple scenes that shocked me (Hello, Joey Lawrence moment here. WHOA!) and had me questioning if it was needed. However, I’ve had some time to think about it and realize she is further developing the plot, which I assume, will continue in Envy’s book. I, anxiously, am waiting for the next contestant in The Elite Kings roundup.
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4 ‘Whoa!’ Stars

 

Zealous by Hazel Grace–Review

(Ok, girl, deep breath, you can do this!) FAN-FREAKING-TABULOUS!!! I LOVED Disorderly and was curious as to how Hazel Grace could top it. Well, she not only topped it, she started adding additional layers and then some! I’m have so many emotions and thoughts swirling through this brain of mine, that taming those is like wrangling the wind. If you think Disorderly took you on hair bending wild ride, welcome to page one of Zealous.
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*No spoilers here*, but we start the book with Nova and the little dilemma she is in. It’s a shock, but I knew I was in for something, based on the ending of Disorderly. Upon further reading, you begin to get a good sense of the situation she is in. Welcome world to the birth of Nova 2.0! Just when I think Nova can’t get any better as a heroine, she does! Fortitude, determination, grit and a newfound fighter spirit are some of the new characteristic to Nova.

Wyatt and the boys are back and yes Wyatt is still H-O-T and deeply in love with Nova. He is still an a-hole with caveman tendencies, but hello, that’s why I love him!! It’s hard to expand too much on Wyatt without giving something away, but I will say this, we see a different side of him dispersed throughout. There will be moments of intense love and moments of intense loathing. Hazel Grace has developed these characters incredibly well considering what is going on.
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Which brings me to my next topic. Be forewarned, there may be triggers in this book. This was beautifully handled with a trigger warning in the beginning by the author. I implore you to give it a try, but you have been warned and if you know you may be sensitive to situations, please don’t write a poor review, because of it.

Zealous was the perfect sequel to Disorderly. Hazel Grace is not afraid to go there. She stayed true to her characters while adjusting them to changing situations. Her ability to suck you in and kick you back out on the other side is exquisite. While you (the reader) think, ‘What the heck’, ‘Oh my gosh, no way’ and   probably most important, ‘What have I just been through?’ Wyatt and Nova are one of those couples that you can’t help but root for, despite their ever-evolving individual characters.

I cried, I swore, I yelled, and I sat on pins and needles. I would go through it all over again, to experience this incredibly sublime writing and gripping story.
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5 ‘Jaw Dropping’ Stars

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Corrupt (Devil's Night, #1)Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was in a book funk and couldn’t find that special book that would bring me out! I was recommended to take a chance and read Corrupt. I was so stinking happy that I took that chance to open the book and start reading.

Penelope Douglas is a new to me author and I’m ecstatic to have found her. If possible, Corrupt would receive 6 stars! Before I start reviewing, I will say, Michael Crist is mine!!

Let’s take a little trip to the ultra-exclusive town of Thunder Bay. You’ve heard that with power and money, you can rule the world. This is none truer that in Thunder Bay, where kids can get away with anything, thanks to their parents’ wealth and standing.

Erika Fane is in high school, living life as an adult instead of the high schooler she is. Her father passed away, which not only left a big hole in her life but crippled her mother to long term grieving (pills, alcohol, sleeping, etc.). Erika is taken in by her mother’s best friends’ family (Delia Crist). She is given her own room in their house, eats meals with them, and oh, yeah, she was raised to be the bride of their youngest son, Trevor. The problem with this whole scenario is that no one knows the real Erika. She paints the picture of the perfect daughter, student and individual. She is full of polite smiles, ‘yes, sir’ or ‘yes, please’ and does as she’s told. There was only one person who understood her, but she feared him and was secretly in love with, Trevor’s older brother, Michael.

“For the first time in my entire life, someone told me it was okay to want what I wanted. To get into messes and to dive in head-first. To have a little f@#king fun before I died.”

It all starts out with one Devil’s Night and The Four Horsemen (Michael Crist, Damon Torrance, Kai Mori, Will Grayson III). These four boys were graduates from Thunder Bay Prep and October 30th was Devil’s Night where pranks and hijinks rule the night. Erika has always wondered about Michael and his friends and the kind of stuff they get into on this night. So, she decided to tag along without anyone knowing.

“I wanted to get into a little trouble. I wanted to catch some rain, find something that made my heart pump again, and I wanted to know what it was like to not have anyone to grab onto.”

Penelope Douglas wrote her characters and storyline with such exquisite details that they popped off the paper/screen. I am a lover of a-holes and Michael is the leader of the pack. There are many twists and turns, that you won’t see what’s coming next, along with steaminess galore and Corrupt is full of mystery.

Forever fan of Penelope Douglas! Highly recommend this incredible book!

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Heartbreak Warfare by Heather M. Orgeron and Kate Stewart–Review

Trauma creates change you don’t choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose.‘ –Michelle Rosenthal

Holy macaroni! I honestly don’t know where to start, so I’m going to start with the authors. Heather and Kate are FLIPPING geniuses! I love a good emotional read, but, honestly, I don’t actively go looking for it. Heartbreak Warfare is one that has ALL the feels and then some. I don’t know what rock (or boulder) I’ve been under where I haven’t heard of this dynamic duo, but I think it’s safe to say, they found themselves another permanent reader!!

Despair, elation, fear, love, hate, anger, sadness, joy and anticipation. Those are a lot of emotions placed between the front and back cover. I laughed, I cried, I was enraged and I was hopeful. Heather and Kate were able to pull out of me all these emotions, but I truly felt like I was with Katy and Briggs as they experienced war and the trauma that follows, both internally, externally and emotionally. I was filleted open, rubbed raw and left to try and stitch myself back together! I cannot emphasize enough not only how amazing Heartbreak Warfare is, but how engaging and sucked in you become. I was taken aback the first time I started crying.

Staff Sergeant Katy Scott is married to a Captain in the US Army with a six-year-old boy. Needless to say, deployments haven’t been easy on this family. Katy works in the clinic on base as a nurse/medic with her best friend, Corporal Mullins. The only thing Sergeant Briggs has known is the military. Katy and Mullins volunteer to go on a humanitarian mission along with Briggs and his buddies. Feeling excitement on getting off base and cooped up all the time, the only thing that made Katy uncomfortable was Briggs. Keep in mind, Katy says she is happily married, but there is something about Briggs, that she can’t ignore and sucks her in. While out on this mission, they are ambushed. What ensues is, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and chaotic. Heather and Kate do a phenomenal job with what follows, not only along the storyline, but at making you feel as though you were one with the book. I’m still in awe.

Heartbreak Warfare was about more than Katy and Briggs, it also included Gavin, Katy’s husband. This guy deserves sainthood. What he went through when Katy came home is, unfortunately, something many families go through. He tried desperately to bring Katy back, but unfortunately, there was only one person that would understand what she’s been through and he’s fighting his own battle. Each character was written so well, that it was hard to have a favorite. You know in some books, you are pulling for one character or another? Well this one, I felt like everybody deserved a win at happiness!

I am in awe of Heather, Kate and their glorious book, Heartbreak Warfare. If you are like me and want angst, but usually avoid super emotional reads, don’t pass this book up. You will not be disappointed. In fact, there are many great wonderful lessons throughout. It gave me a greater appreciation for people in the military, past and present, for our freedom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

5 stars

Five ‘Superhero’ Stars PLUS Five ‘Awe-inspiring’ Stars

Truth by Trilina Pucci–Review

 

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‘Lust: to have an intense desire or need: Crave specifically: to have a sexual urge’

-Merriam-Webster

A simple, straightforward statement of the definition of lust. Easy-peasy, right?   Wrong. Trilina does a wonderful job of intertwining life, lust, love and realism. As a reader, you feel all the emotions that she is provoking along with, shock, hope, laughter and eventually the cherishing of each other between Dom and Drew.

Drew Matthews has been recently promoted to VP of Marketing at her company. Her best friend, Gretchen, works right alongside her. As a way to celebrate, they get all dolled up and decide to hit the town. Drew is a beautiful soul, inside and out, so it’s not a shock that she gets hit on as soon as she is there. None of these men interest her, until one. Despite being a strong individual, she is easily flustered when in the presence of a handsome man.

‘I mean, sorry…I’m a meat eater.’…’What I mean is, I would love the steak, but I’m not sure if I can fit that much meat in me.’

Dominic King is a businessman that is based out of NYC but has many business ventures in Chicago. Dom has a twin, Luca, who lives in Chicago and handles the business when Dom isn’t there. One spectacular business is a club called, Church. Church is a sex club with all the usual happenings but is somewhat elevated to give it a ritzier atmosphere. Through a series of incidences in their early youth, Dom is a little bit more jaded with love, relationships and marriage.

‘I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I definitely believe in lust at first sight. And I fucking want her.’

Drew and Dom are an inevitable just waiting to happen. Dom has a certain inclination to some kink. Unbeknownst to Drew, Dom sees the same need in her, that he feels inside. For some unknown reason, he can’t get Drew out of his head. Dom and Drew go through many ups and downs before you, the reader, reach the end.

Trilina Pucci has created not only an exquisite book, but she has established a firm foothold in the background stories, which set her up nicely, for the next book, Envy. Are you catching a theme here? You guessed it, each book is based off the seven deadly sins and personally, I can’t wait! I, absolutely, loved everything about ‘Truth’ and am excited for more.

‘Baby, we’re just getting started. I’m not your god—I’m your King.’