Tag: Dystopian

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Beyond the Night by Joss Ware

Posted September 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Beyond the Night by Joss WareReviewer: Rowena
Beyond the Night (The Heroes of New Vegas #1) by Joss Ware, Colleen Gleason
Series: The Heroes of New Vegas #1
Also in this series: Beyond the Night, Embrace the Night , Beyond the Night, Abandon the Night
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 357
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: five-stars

A man with no future . . .

When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift"--he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.

A woman with a past . . .

Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one . . . until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart?

If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that take them beyond danger. Beyond desire.

This is the last book on my summer reading challenge and to be honest, I would never have read this book on my own. I do enjoy a nice dystopian romance from time to time (with a lot of time in between) but I don’t know, I just wasn’t ever interested in trying this series out and I’m sorry about that because this was a solid story.

So this story takes place in the future, a future that doesn’t look anything like the world we know. It’s run by creatures called Gangas and they’re like zombies that wear strange looking crystals. When Dr. Elliott Drake and his friends went to Sedona to explore some caves, they didn’t expect to come out of those caves and find the world they knew and loved…gone. It’s been six months and they’re nowhere near close to figuring out how to get back to their world. They’re dealing with each day as they come and doing their best to stay alive.

Elliott was a doctor in his previous life so it’s not a surprise that he took on the role of healer in their little group. What is a surprise is that in this new world, Elliott has healing superpowers. He’s a human MRI machine that can scan people and know what their injuries are. He’s also learning new things about his new abilities, like how he can take someone’s injuries into himself and then transfer them to someone else. It’s kind of freaky but he’s learning and he’s dealing and I really dug this part of the story.

When a group of teenagers needs rescuing from the Gangas, Elliott and his friends help them out but so does a mysterious woman who rides in on a horse and gets herself injured. Elliott helps her and is immediately attracted to her. Her name is Jade and she (along with the teenagers) are from Envy, the place that Elliott and his friends are trying to get to. When they band together to get to Envy, things really start to take off.

There’s a lot going on in this book but I thought Ware did a great job of telling Elliott and Jade’s story without bogging the story down with details. It’s the first book in a series so of course there are a lot of questions and a lot of things don’t make sense but the more I read, the more interested I was in learning what was going on.

Readers are treated to a unique world with a unique set of characters that you will be rooting for. The romance for Elliott and Jade was probably the weakest part of the story because they did a whole lot of inappropriate lusting over each other at the weirdest times but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book as a whole. There’s a lot to enjoy in this book and that’s saying something from someone who didn’t even want to read this book.

Casee, you did good with this recommendation. I am mighty curious about the other books in this series and I will definitely be reading them.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Heroes of New Vegas


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Review: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

Posted November 4, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Ruled by Elle KennedyReviewer: Rowena
Ruled by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #3
Also in this series: Claimed
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, from the New York Times bestselling author of Claimed.

In the latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, one woman must choose between the two men who want to claim her... ...Or does she?

Despite his magnetic personality, Rylan can’t seem to seduce Reese, the deadly leader of their town of outlaws. Winning her over is a welcome challenge, but her indifference isn’t the only thing standing in his way. If he wants Reese, Rylan must also win over Sloan, her stoic protector...

Sloan has always loved Reese, but their painful past has stolen his chances of a future with her. Rylan’s interest in Reese only intensifies the tension—until Sloan begins to wonder if the reckless man might be the one person who can bridge the distance...   The last time Reese fell for the wrong man, she had no choice but to kill him. Now, she desperately wants to take what both Rylan and Sloan are offering. But if she makes the wrong call again, she risks losing them both.

Ruled is the third book in Kennedy’s Outlaws series and it’s the first book that I’ve read where the main couple has three people so that was a new experience for me. The romance between all three people was hot as hell and I found myself intrigued by how exactly they would make that work so I kept right on turning the pages.

Rylan has been on Reese train since we met him in Book 1. Too bad Reese hasn’t been on the Rylan train at all. A little rejection never stopped Rylan and in this book, he’s full steam ahead in the seduce Reese into his pants camp and I couldn’t help but think that if Rylan lived nowadays…he’d probably be in the NFL or a Navy SEAL or something like that because he was determined as hell. He was bullheaded enough to get what he wants and once he does, he get a whole lot more than he was expecting.

Reese runs the outlaw city of Foxworth and has a lot of people depending on her for their safety and wellbeing. She rules with compassion but there is nothing she wouldn’t do to protect her people so she doesn’t need distractions or the attentions of a man who just might have the ability to push her to lose the control she can’t afford to lose. On top of the complication that is Rylan, Reese also has her right hand man Sloan to think about. She knows that Sloan wants her but they’ve never gone down that road and she doesn’t want to lose him so she keeps her distance but it’s getting harder and harder to stay away from him when she doesn’t want to stay away. When she gives in to Rylan, Sloan is right there with her and surprisingly, things get a whole lot hot and that makes Reese thirsty for more.

The romance between the three of them was what kept me interested in the book as a whole. It was new to me and the dynamic between Sloan, Reese and Rylan intrigued me. Reese is a hard woman to like (I think Jamie mentions this in the last book) and it took me a while to come around to her. I felt like with all of the intense feelings she had for Sloan and Sloan for her, there wasn’t much left for Rylan and I felt like Rylan settled for less just to be with Reese. I thought that Sloan was more in love with Rylan than Reese was and that bummed me out because I went into this book for Rylan.

Also, the other stuff going on with the Enforcers and the war that Reese is planning and just all of that took a back seat to the romance for me so I didn’t really pay much attention to that. I saw that last attack coming from a mile away and thought Reese was an idiot for not listening to Sloan but aside from that, I couldn’t really tell you much about all of that.

I’m curious to see if Xander gets his own book and if maybe Bethany might move on from Arch as well. I’d like to see more from the other folks in both Foxworth and Connor’s camp. It makes sense for Dominick to get his own book since I can see that coming through with what’s to come after all of the stuff that went down in this book.

Overall, the book was good but it’s not my favorite from Kennedy’s backlist. I was much more invested in the romance than what’s building up in the background but even the romance bummed me out a little bit with feeling like Rylan got the short end of the stick but even with those little gripes, Kennedy still delivers a romance that fans will enjoy. She really knows what she is doing and has a talent for making the reader take notice of what she’s doing so while I was a bit disappointed, I’m still looking forward to more from these characters and this world.

Those love scenes had me like:

They were hot, hot, hot.

Grade: 3 out of 5


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Sunday Spotlight: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

Posted October 30, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Elle Kennedy is really cranking them out this year, isn’t she? As a big fan of her work, I am thrilled with all of the book love we’re getting. I’m loving all of her series right now and today’s Sunday Spotlight features the third book in the Outlaws series. A dystopian romance series that follows a bunch of Outlaws living in a time way far into the future, in a United States that is probably going to be Donald Trump’s fault. Haha, just kidding.

The Outlaws series is a lot steamier than what I normally read but I’m still enjoying this series a bunch.

On with the spotlight…

Sunday Spotlight: Ruled by Elle KennedyRuled (Outlaws, #3) by Elle Kennedy, Robyn stella Bligh
Series: Outlaws #3
Also in this series: Claimed, Ruled
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Genres: Dystopian Romance
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, from the New York Times bestselling author of Claimed. In the latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, one woman must choose between the two men who want to claim her... ...Or does she?   Despite his magnetic personality, Rylan can’t seem to seduce Reese, the deadly leader of their town of outlaws. Winning her over is a welcome challenge, but her indifference isn’t the only thing standing in his way. If he wants Reese, Rylan must also win over Sloan, her stoic protector...   Sloan has always loved Reese, but their painful past has stolen his chances of a future with her. Rylan’s interest in Reese only intensifies the tension—until Sloan begins to wonder if the reckless man might be the one person who can bridge the distance...   The last time Reese fell for the wrong man, she had no choice but to kill him. Now, she desperately wants to take what both Rylan and Sloan are offering. But if she makes the wrong call again, she risks losing them both.

Pre-Order the Book:


Ruled is Rylan’s book. I love this guy. He’s got no shame in his game and he’s not picky about who he sleeps with because he loves everyone. He can get anyone he wants too…anyone but the one woman he wants more than anything. Reese is the Ruler of Foxworth, an Outlaw city that is fighting the good fight against the Enforcers who are always trying to get in her damn business. I can only assume that this book is called Ruled because Reese is going to finally let herself be ruled by Rylan…and Sloan? Wowzers.


He stared moodily out the window. It was cold outside, but there wasn’t any snow. Technically it was still winter, but spring-like weather had come too soon, and with it, endless rain. The truck moved slowly in the mud and slush. He hated it.

After another ten miles of smoke-filled silence, Rylan had had enough. Enough of the shitty weather. Enough of the bleak landscape. Enough of the goddamn quiet. He didn’t want to be in his head thinking about Reese, the weather, or the dire situation that the successful raid would no doubt spark.

“Nice work with the electronics tonight.”

Xander grunted.

Okay, this wasn’t going to work. No way could he survive another two hours next to this sullen soldier, especially when his own thoughts were wandering into melancholy territory. If he stayed in the truck with Xan, the two of them would end up singing dirges and wiping away man tears.

The rumble of a motorcycle roared next to them. As Rylan looked out the window, he made out long red hair streaming out the bottom of a black wool hat, and leather-clad legs wrapped around a man big enough to be mistaken for a mountain.

The fit of his pants became impossibly tight as he stared at Reese, the outlaw queen. There wasn’t a man who saw her that didn’t instantly want to fuck her. Or if there was, Rylan hadn’t met him and didn’t want to. He couldn’t stand ridiculous jackasses who were turned off by a woman as strong as steel.

He wondered if Sloan could feel the heat of Reese’s pussy as she plastered her body against the man’s back. Now that was where Rylan wanted to be. Not cooped up with Mr. Sourface, but out on the open road with Reese wrapped around him. One of her hands would be attached to his dick, which meant they’d have to stop at some point so he could bend her over the side of the bike and fuck her until she was too weak to walk. Then, when they got to Foxworth, they’d shower, fuck again, get into bed, and fuck some more.

His cock couldn’t get stiffer.

“You’re gonna permanently damage something downstairs if you don’t get yourself under control,” Xander remarked.

“Shit, man, the condition of my hard-on is what gets you to talk? Why don’t you reach over and do something about it?” Rylan waved a hand toward his lap. Anything but his own touch would be a welcome relief these days.


Beside the truck, Sloan gunned the motorcycle’s engine and the vehicle jumped past them, heading for Foxworth. Reese didn’t even look Rylan’s way.

There was a name for men who constantly chased after what they couldn’t have. Scratch that. Several names: Idiot. Fool. Ass.

But Rylan couldn’t turn off his desire, even if he wanted to.

He had options, of course. Jamie might be off the table because she’d finally hooked Lennox—or rather, Lennox had woken the fuck up and realized if he didn’t make his claim, he was going to lose Jamie. But even without Jamie, there were other options at Connor’s camp. Layla. Piper. And Connor and Hudson would definitely invite him to join them. They both enjoyed his company—Connor, because he loved making Hudson happy, and Hudson, because, well, Rylan was shit hot in bed. But afterward, he’d still have to go back to sleep in his cabin and think about the fact that they were starting a war.

Or . . . he could throw himself at the tigress. Who cared if he got scratched up a little? Better than being dead. Besides, Xan was right. If he didn’t do something about the spike in his pants, there was going to be damage. If not to his head, then to his body.

He rolled down the window and looked behind him. Ten lengths back was Beckett’s vehicle. Beck was the mechanic at Foxworth. “Pull over and drop me off,” Rylan told Xander.

The other man tilted his head. “You think she’s gonna say yes this time after months of saying no?”

“You only lose the fights you never enter,” Rylan quipped.

Maybe if he was lucky, Reese would finally throw him a bone.

Well, alright then. 🙂

Ruled comes out on Tuesday so make sure you get your copy of this one because it sure looks like it’s gonna be a wild ride.

Outlaws Series

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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Review: Claimed by Elle Kennedy

Posted October 12, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Claimed by Elle KennedyClaimed by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #1
Also in this series: Ruled
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Genres: Dystopian
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

The bestselling author of the Killer Instincts novels “knows how to write scorching sexual tension” (USA Today). Now she really sets it on fire in a new series about men and women living on the edge of violence, sex, and life and death.

After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.

Rowena’s review of Claimed (Outlaws #1) by Elle Kennedy.

In the last year or so, I’ve become a huge Elle Kennedy fan. I’m at the point in my fangirlishness over her work that I’ll read anything she puts out. I’m not a big reader of dystopian stories but when I found out that Elle Kennedy was writing one, I wanted to read it and knew that I was going to enjoy it.

So in this Outlaws world, it’s after the big war that destroyed well…everything. The world as we know it now, is completely gone in this world. California, Colorado, New York City, it’s all a part of the past and the people are now under the control of the government. Those that will not bend to the government’s rule, are living as outlaws in the wilderness – hunted by the government.

Connor MacKenzie has been living as an outlaw for a while now and along the way, the loner has attracted some friends who just stuck around. After his wife and people were killed by Dominick Lane, leader of the Enforcers, Connor has dreamed of avenging his wife. Dominick has been on his kill list for a long time and Connor knew that one day, he was going to kill him. He just had to be patient. His band of followers keeps getting bigger and bigger and that was something Connor was not counting on. He didn’t want to become a leader but that’s what happened anyway.

When the beautiful Hudson comes across Connor and his men, she wants their protection and at first, Connor was like, “Hell no” but the guilt trips from his men had him turning around and taking Hudson under his protection. His life was never the same again.

Hudson is running from the enforcers because her father has promised her hand in marriage to a monster that scares the daylights out of Hudson and she would rather live as an outlaw than to live as his wife. So of course at the first chance she gets, Hudson flees the safety of her home to the wild lands of the outlaws. When she comes across Connor and his men, she knows that she’ll be safe from Knox with them so she practically begs to be a part of their group.

Watching Connor and Hudson battle their personal issues along with their growing feelings for each other was a treat to read because I was all up in their business. There were times when I wanted to throttle Connor for being so hard on Hudson but as the story progressed, I switched gears and wanted to choke Hudson out for waiting so long to come clean with not just Connor but the other guys as well. I understood why she didn’t tell them at first but she knew that Connor was falling in love with her and she was falling for him and she still kept her secret and for a little bit, that didn’t sit right with me.

Kennedy continues to hit every single one of my happy buttons and this book wasn’t an exception. I enjoyed the cast of characters and am looking forward to see who is getting their book next. I’m pretty anxious for books for everyone but Dominick and Rylan just a tad bit more. I’m kind of wondering who Rylan will end up with…Reese or Jamie?

Overall, this book was entertaining and everything that I’ve come to expect from Elle Kennedy. She writes the kind of books that readers want to read. I’m definitely on board for more.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Signet. 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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Movie Review: Divergent

Posted May 14, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Divergent.

Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another – for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests, that transform them all. But Tris has a secret that she is Divergent, which means she doesn’t fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death. As she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly peaceful society, this secret might help her save the people she loves… or it might destroy her. Written by anonymous

I was super excited to watch this movie because I finished my read of the book a couple of days before seeing the movie so everything was fresh in my mind.

Did the movie follow everything from the book, exactly? Nope. Did I care? Hell no.

I loved the movie. I thought the changes from the book made sense for the movie. I also thought that the casting for this movie was heaps better than both Hunger Games and Twilight. I’m not going to lie, a whole lot of why I liked the movie had to do with this one:

I enjoyed seeing everyone come to life through the movie and though some of my favorite scenes from the book didn’t make it to the movie, it was still a very enjoyable movie. There’s action, there’s an actual story line and guys?!! There’s no love triangle. Woot for that!

So this movie is about Tris’ journey through the Dauntless initiation process. The movie takes place in Dystopian Chicago society. There was a huge war that caused the higher ups to build a wall around Chicago and they divided the society up into five different factions. Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. Abnegation peeps are selfless, they live to serve others. They’re trusted to run the government. The Amity faction is all about peace. They’re the hippies who do the farming and what not. Candor faction tell the truth. Erudite’s are smart. They’re the brainiacs, the ones who thirst for knowledge. So they’re the teachers, inventors and what not. Dauntless are the protectors. They’re the cops, the military and all of that other stuff. Tris was born into the Abnegation faction and her test results were inconclusive but on her choosing day (when you’re 16, you get tested to show which faction you should choose and then on choosing day, you can either choose the faction you already belong to and tested for or you can make an entirely different choice. It’s up to you), she opts out of Abnegation and goes to Dauntless.

While initiating for Dauntless, you can see the change come over Tris. She goes from selfless weakling to total bad ass. A lot of that had to do with her training from Four. Holy crap was Four amazing. So freaking hawt! I thought both Shailene and Theo portrayed their characters extremely well. Four is exactly how I pictured him, in both looks and character. I pictured Tris as smaller, more frail but Shailene portrayed her character well.

Divergents can’t be controlled. They’re the only ones that go under simulations and know that they’re in a simulation. Normal people go under simulations and everything is real to them. Their fears control them and it takes them a long time to get out from under a simulations. This works in favor of the bad guys who are trying to build an army to overthrow a whole faction. Divergents are a threat to them so the bad guys are hunting Divergents and killing them.

There’s a whole lot more to the movie so you’ll have to watch it to see what I mean. If you liked the book, I’m thinking you’ll like the movie. Even Holly enjoyed it and she’s hard to please so go watch this movie!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This movie is available from Summit and Red Wagon Entertainment. I purchased this DVD and my ticket to movie.

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