Author: Natalia S

Guest Review: Taking It All by Maya Banks

Posted August 20, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 0 Comments

Taking it AllNatalia’s review of Taking It All (Surrender Trilogy, #3) by Maya Banks

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. And loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business the success it has become, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappier with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give. Or they stand to lose it all

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband, a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back. And prove to her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give far more back. Himself. His undying love.

As a whole, I enjoyed this series well enough. I thought it was a different outlook on the dominant submissive type of relationship where all parties involved were happy and respected. We always see happily ever after in romances, but rarely do we see what happens afterwords. Where does a marriage go, and how do they overcome their fazes?

Because of this, when I finished the second book, Letting Go, I’ve been looking forward to this release. I must say that sadly, it didn’t fulfill my expectations.

It was nice to revisit the old Characters Kiley, Joss, Nash, and Jenson. I wanted to see how happily they ended up. However for the most part, I felt that this was a pointless book.  First off. Chessy’s unhappiness in her marriage. It seems that she grew unhappy as time passed, but didn’t do anything about it. She never had any kind of conversation with Tate, expressing her feelings. When she finally did, it seemed to me that Tate was willing to listen and change. The entire thing felt at least to me, that it could’ve been avoided with good communication and compromise.

One of the things I love most about romance novels are devoted heroes. Every hero in this trilogy is absolutely devoted to his heroin. Still, while the story line of each book was different, the personalities of each hero and heroine were exactly the same. It felt as though I was reading the same book for the third time in a row with a different plot.

In spite of my nit picking, I did enjoy this series, and liked how everyone ended up. I hear that this author has a romantic suspense series. I’m looking forward to her take on that genre!

Grade: 3 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

This book is available from Berkley.  You can purchase the book here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Guest Review: The Man Plan by Tracy Anne Warren

Posted August 15, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The  Man Plan by Tracy Anne WarrenReviewer: Natalia
The Man Plan by Tracy Anne Warren
Series: The Grayson's series #2
Published by Signet
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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five-stars

 

What’s a girl to do when the man she’s loved her entire life thinks of her as a little sister? Worse, her own big sister was the one who broke his heart years earlier. For Ivy Grayson, the chance to get him to see her in a different light comes when she receives an unexpected invitation to move into his luxury New York apartment building. Manhattan also just happens to be the perfect place to pursue her wish to become a successful artist. But how many dreams can one woman expect to come true?

Billionaire financier James Jordon has everything a man could want—except love. When Ivy’s family asks him to keep an eye on their “little girl” in the big city, he agrees. But the innocent girl he knew is now a dynamic woman who knows what she wants, and how to get it. He may have promised himself to keep things platonic, but ignoring the game of love isn’t an option. Especially when Ivy is so eager to play.

Natalia’s review of The Man Plan  (The Graysons, #2) by Tracy Anne Warren

 

The first book in this series, the last man on earth, was absolutely fantastic! When I finished it, I was left with an emptiness in my heart because I just needed to read the next book. I couldn’t believe when this day was finally here!

In certain romance novels, there are characters that come off the page in such a way, that they need their own story. Ivy and James Jordan were 2 of them.  After Madelyn jilted James in The last man on earth, we all felt a hole in our hearts for him. I for one wanted him to find someone to love, and of course, Ivy was the charismatic baby sister we all adored, so who better? One thing that surprised me about this book was the major age difference between James and Ivy. I thought she was 20 and he 30, but in fact they have a 15 year age difference! For some reason we are ok with that in historicals, but somehow in the generation where such big differences are leered at, it’s a little hard to get around… The author did a great job getting around it though. From beginning to end, Tracy Anne Warren proved to us that Ivy and James were perfect for each other in spite of their ages. James needed a woman who was happy, artistic and fun loving to balance out his serious workaholic personality, and Ivy also needed a loving and serious man to balance her out, and of course, who doesn’t need the man they’ve love  their entire life?

I loved the chemistry between Ivy and James. It was nice to see the heroin doing the chasing, and I must admit, she did it brilliantly. Ivy was the kind of kick ass, go getter, and fearless kind of girl we all admire in our books. I must add that I adored her friends! Josh and Neill were warm, funny, and all the things we want in true friends. James was the best kind of Hero. Rich, handsome, and clean hearted. What more could we ask for in our main characters?

I actually read this book in one sitting without distractions, something that is rare for me, and a tribute to how good it was. I hope the author will continue writing books in this series. I enjoyed revisiting the world of the grasons. They’re such a dynamic family!  I am very much looking forwards to Bri Grason’s story! She to, should find somebody to love.

Rating: 5 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover

This book is available from Signet.  You can purchase the book here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

five-stars

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Guest Review: Rhythm and Bluegrass by Molly Harper

Posted June 12, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rhythm and BluegrassNatalia’s review of Rhythm and Bluegrass (Bluegrass, #2) by Molly Harper 

Bonnie Turkle, multimedia historian for the Kentucky Commission of Tourism, is dispatched to Mud Creek, a tiny eastern Kentucky town, with few prospects but many oddballs, to rescue important artifacts from McBride’s Music Hall. Now fallen beyond disrepair, McBride’s was once a jewel of the early American music scene, an intersection of the country-western and rhythm and blues circuits. The former owner’s grandson, Will McBride, who also happens to be Mud Creek’s esteemed mayor, would like nothing more than to see the place bull-dozed in favor of a factory that will provide much-needed jobs to his citizens. But Bonnie finds evidence of a legendary musical event at the music hall and her plans to turn it into a museum put Mud Creek’s economic future at risk – not to mention the growing flirtation between the two of them. If Will and Bonnie can’t find common ground, the town’s past and future will be lost.

Since my first introduction to Molly Harper and her unforgettable character of Jane Jameson, I’ve loved all of her books.  For me, the best thing about Molly’s books is that they prove what all English teachers tell us growing up. “Have an engaging first sentence!” Molly’s first sentences never fail to draw me in, along with the titles of her chapters.  They fit the stories incredibly well, with a hilarious twist! I always really love her characters and their originality. This book contains all of her usual sparks.

Bonnie is a historian, who dedicates her life to preserving artifacts. She is assigned to preserve as much as she can from the McBride Music hall in Mud Creak, Kentucky. Will is the Mayer of mud creak, and wants to tear down the building in order to save his town. I loved this Preface. As I’m a musician, I’m all for preserving the history of our music. Bonnie’s love for history was so real. Her passion was infectious.

The characters of the town were original and hilarious. However, unlike all the rest of Molly’s books, I’m not sure how I feel about the romance. Perhaps the book was too short, but I didn’t get the reason for Bonnie and Will’s attraction. Also, I think I am biased, but I didn’t like Will too much, either. He was so bullheaded! I feel that there was no foundation between them as a couple.

Regardless of my doubts, I still enjoyed this book. It had all the elements of Molly harper that we love. Wonderful humor, a good plot, and hours of entertainment. I am looking forward to her next book coming out later this month.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Series:
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This book is available from Pocket Star.  You can purchase the book here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Guest Review: Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline

Posted June 10, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 1 Comment

Keep QuietNatalia’s review of Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline 

Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater. On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all.

My my this book! There is nothing I love more than a good mystery where you make a million guesses of all the possible endings, and race to find the actual one. This story made me run that race.

“Making a decision to have a child is Momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” What a tremendous quote to start the story. It touched me deeply, and swept me in. It was a great story. For fear of spoiling anything, I will not go in to too much detail about the plot. All I will say is that it’ll have anyone reading until the end. The end was mostly something I didn’t expect nor predict.

I loved Jake’s fierce protectiveness of his son. His love knew no bounds, and this is a great thing. However, he had flaws that I just couldn’t come to terms with. The only show of strength he had was when protecting his son, but he was an absolute push over everywhere else! I couldn’t understand it or why! I also didn’t like His wife Pam at all. I understand that they were going through something abnormal by all means, but something has to be said when the teenager shows more sense than both parents.

I said before that the ending was unexpected to me and it was. I also found it a bit rushed and unrealistic. I won’t make further comments because they’ll spoil the book.

In spite of my nit picking, I quite liked this story and would recommend it.  I look forward to reading more books by this author in future.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This title is available from St. Martin’s Press.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Ready: Giving In by Maya banks

Posted May 21, 2014 by Natalia S in Reviews | 1 Comment

giving in largeNatalia‘s review of Giving In (The Surrender Trilogy, book 2) by Maya Banks

Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit—fully to him—will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

 

 

This is the second book I’ve read by Maya banks, and it was great! When I read the first book in the series, Letting Go, I was looking forward to Kylie and Jensen’s story.

The book surprised me. As many books before it, we have an abused heroine consumed by her past, and an alpha male wanting to save her. However, unlike books before it, this book represented a more realistic aspect of love, and complications with oneself.  I expected Jensen to make everything better and save Kylie. I thought she’d become someone able to withstand being a submissive in every way, and I couldn’t figure out how an author would make it happen in a couple hundred pages. . I was pleasantly surprised. Jensen and Kylie both made everything better for each other. They were two people with their own demons to fight, and they did so, nicely. Rather than saving each other, an impossibility, they complimented each other. I love how patient Jensen was with Kylie and her traumas. I didn’t expect that. He was incredibly sweet with her! I really appreciate the respect represented in this series, given the usual nature of the genre these days.

When it came down to it, Kylie was exactly what Jensen needed. I loved that the author didn’t all of a sudden make Kylie in to this person able to withstand s and M just because the book is fiction. We saw an ending where they both were just beginning to work on their issues, and the promise for further growth for the couple.

The next book in this series is coming out in September, and I cannot wait. As many who have read this series can attest, the characters can stick to you. I’m dying to read Tate and Chessy’s story!

 

4 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley.  You can purchase the book here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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