Review: Dark Light (The Dark Light Series) by S.L. Jennings

Blurb:

LOVE. SEX. MAGIC.

Before her 20th birthday, Gabriella was pretty much clueless about all three. In love with her best guy friend since the age of 14 and too crass and intimidating for most of the male population of Colorado Springs, both love and good sex were virtually a myth.

And then there’s magic. Freakin’ magic. There’s no way that legend could have a place in her less than exciting life. So why after twenty years of utter obscurity do her adopted parents hit her with the ton of bricks that is her true identity? And how the heck is she supposed to accept all this and instantly become what she was destined to be?
 
Lucky for Gabs, sexy as sin Dorian is more than equipped to help her embrace these new revelations. And while everything about him feels oh so good, she soon learns that there’s more behind his crystal blue eyes, chiseled body and exotic beauty. Something dark, menacing and downright unnatural. Yet Gabs is in way too deep to even try to turn away from him now.

Dark Light, Book 1 of the Dark Light Series, is the raw, emotional story of a young woman’s journey of self-discovery in a world that was not meant for her. And her scorching hot, lip-biting addiction for the man she can’t deny, no matter the cost.
*Contains strong adult content.

Very steamy book!  Overall, I thought the book was very good.  Gabriella just turns 20 and learns that she is a magical being.  When she turns 21, she will ascend.  But, there has not been anyone like her before.  She learns about her parents, and a little about what and who she is.

Enter Dorian.  A man she sees at a club, then meets later.  They start a steamy, hot relationship, but you know there is something about him.  You want Gabriella to see him for what he is, but you don’t know if that will really make a difference.

I really did like this book.  It had some really good sex scenes that didn’t take away from the plot.  I liked the characters, the scenery, the plot.  This is a short review because I have to get ready for work!

I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

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Review: Rogue (Exceptional Series Book #2) by Jess Petosa

Blurb:

This is the second book in the Exceptional series.

Ally lowered her hands and stared at the pile of ash in front of her. They made it four hours into their morning travels before they ran into another pair of Exceptional Guards. The Guards had approached Ally and her group with ease, expecting an easy catch. Once again, Ally had raised her hands and eliminated the Guards before they took another step toward her or the others. She stood over the pile, breathing heavily.
She felt Stosh come up beside her, his arm brushing against hers.
“Seven,” she said in almost a whisper.
“I know,” he responded, taking her hand in his.

Ally is finally outside the City walls, with her brother and her best friends.

Luke is still inside the City walls, with no memory of the girl he once loved. 

Life in the Wilderness is dangerous, and they soon find out that they are not alone. Will Ally continue her journey to the Southern City, or will she risk it all to help the boy she loves?

As the blurb states, this story picks up where the first book left off.  Ally, Stosh, and their friends are traveling through the wilderness to escape the Guards while trying to locate other settlements.  On the way, they do encounter some Guards, which Ally has to kill.  They come across a settlement, which is more like a town, called Champaign.  Champaign has at least a couple thousand residents, and they have electricity, running water, etc.  Heath, the town’s leader, has allies that are Guards.

Enter Max.  He is Heath’s nephew, and starts falling for Ally.  Ally then runs across some information from Kemp.  She gets that info and tries to figure out who she trusts enough with it. She decides she trusts Heath with the vaccine information.  A raid by the Guards in the town of Champaign lands Stosh and Sabine in the City jail.  Ally decides to no longer wait for Heath’s plans to enter the city.  Will Luke be there when she enters?  What will it be like?  She has no idea Luke had his memory wiped clean of her.

While all of that is going on, the story follows Luke in the City as well.  You watch things that he is doing, knowing the old Luke would never do them.  He is becoming more like his father, Aden.  Aden gets sick, so Luke is placed into power early.  Pax is by his side, which you do wonder about him since in the first book he killed a friend of Luke’s with a smile on his face.  Luke has the city plan for evacuations, and prepares for the Rogue attacks.  But how well can you really plan for a war?

Okay, I did enjoy this book.  I re-read the first in the series before starting this one to get to know the characters again, and I’m glad I did.  You see how Luke and Ally fall in love, and you see how that is taken away from them.  You do want them to get back together, but is it really in the stars for them?

This book had some suspense, love, fighting, and of course two swoon-worthy guys!  You feel sorry for Ally having to deal with all of this when she is only 18 years old.  And Luke, you are angry that he is acting like his father.  Even though his memory has been erased, he still knows he is missing something-some sort of shadow.  And the people Ally and Luke trust- are they really trustworthy?  I stayed up late last night finishing this book because I was so into it.  You do have to read the first to understand the second.  Character development was good, plot was good, and twist at the ending was good.  The ending helped explain some things, but also left a few questions in my mind.  I’m excited for the next book, but I know I’ll have to wait a while.

I give this 4.5 out of 5!

Review: Suicide Note by Teresa Mummert

Blurb:

Sometimes in life it feels like everything that can go wrong does, but everything happens for a reason.  A relationship crumbles so someone else can mend the pieces of your broken heart.  A change of plans can lead you to something you didn’t even know you were missing. We help others and discover that it was us who needed to be helped all along. 
Jenn’s life is nothing as she had imagined it would be. She is twenty-something with a failing career and her love life has officially ended with an ultimate act of betrayal. She is ready to throw away her dreams when a chance run-in with a soldier, dealing with his own misfortunes, alters her course and changes her perspective on life. 
 Everything happens for a reason.
I really tried to like this book.  It started out okay, and I could see that I could possibly enjoy it.  Unfortunately, the author left me hanging.  I had a difficult time identifying with Jenn.  At one point in particular-when she is talking with Gail about Gail not being able to have kids.  And Jenn thinks Gail only wants kids because she was jealous of the attention her friend was getting.  Then, Jenn thinks ‘Everything really does happen for a reason.’  First off, how insensitive can the author be?  I understand Gail is a bitch-I totally get that.  But for the main character, Jenn, to even think that Gail is not able to have kids because she is selfish is ridiculous.  That really pissed me off.  Made me think of how judgmental Jenn actually is.
Another issue that really bothered me- always saying I am instead of I’m.  I am fine.  I am eating.  Two sentences in a row.  A majority of the book was spoken like this, which I found highly unlikely.  Who says that?  Think of the next time someone asks how you are doing- do you verbally say I am fine, or I’m fine?
Outside of those, the story was a bit predictable.  Then, towards the end, Jenn asks Shane if he’s mad at her because his ex-girlfriend is telling her stuff and he’s not opening up to her.  Talk about set up for an abusive relationship.  Jenn seems to talk a bit like she is still in high school, not 27 years old.
There were some interesting parts, and some parts that would make you cry if you could identify with the characters easier.  But, due to lack of good character development, the emotional parts just reminded me of a quick commercial.
Okay, I’m done tearing a new one to this book.  Obviously I still have issues with it!  I really don’t like giving bad reviews, which is why I waited on this one.  But I just couldn’t wait any longer, and had to get this off my chest!
I give it 1 out of 5.

Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle

Blurb:

When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she’s set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.

This 50K word (100+ pages) novella takes place six years before Sins & Needles (book #1 of The Artists Trilogy) and tells the story of Ellie and Javier’s passionate yet torrid affair. It can be read before or after Sins & Needles.
You do not need to have read Sins & Needles to enjoy this book and can be read as a standalone.

***Contains graphic sexual scenes, language and violence***

This is the prequel to Sins & Needles, delving into the life of Ellie as she meets Javier.  I’m glad Karina Halle decided to write this prequel-it gives a lot to the background for Sins & Needles in regards to Javier and Ellie.

Ellie decides she needs revenge on a drug lord who scarred her leg when she was just a child, caught trying to steal from him per her parents’ order.  She figures the best way to the man she is looking for is to get close to one of his associates.  Enter Javier.  But what she doesn’t expect is to actually fall in love with him.

This story takes you through their relationship-the ups and downs.  It includes love, lust, and extreme heartbreak.  On Every Street did help me to get into Ellie’s head easier, so her character development was mainly built in this story.  I would highly recommend reading this if you choose to read The Artists Trilogy.

While Javier doesn’t have the ideal occupation, you actually do feel something for him.  He shows a human side that you wouldn’t think for a seasoned killer.  This is not a typical romance-it’s messed up and messy.  I do recommend reading it!

I give it 5 out of 5!

Review: Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle

Blurb:

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents’ latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.**WARNING** This book contains graphic language, sex and violence. Readers who are sensitive to sexual scenes, violence and a lot of cursing should refrain from reading this book.This is not YA or NA. 18 and above.

Look for On Every Street – Ellie and Javier’s story, out March 12th 2013

 
I love Karina Halle’s series, Experiment in Terror, so I decided to give her other books a read.  In Sins and Needles, Ellie is a con artist who returns to a small town to try to get her life on track.  She is running from something she did, but you don’t find out about it for a little while.  You do know she’s running from a really dangerous man, though.
She meets back up with Camden McQueen, a guy she went to school with.  In school, they started as friends-he was a goth kid, she was the town’s con artists’ daughter.  Until she gets a chance to be friends with the popular girls.  Then, she basically turns into a bully against Camden in school.  So, when she returns to the small town, she doesn’t expect to see him, especially him all tatted up with a built body.  Camden still has feelings for Ellie, but Ellie ends up seeing him as a mark.  Maybe her last mark, to steal from and start a new life, but a mark none the less.
But Camden can’t be fooled so easily-he’s basically been waiting for her.  He catches her while she tries to rob him, and blackmails her into helping him.  This takes them both on a road of serious danger.  He doesn’t initially understand the type of danger, but soon finds out.
I did enjoy this book, and will finish the series.  But I did have a hard time identifying with Ellie and her feelings.  Spoiler*****Do not read anymore if you don’t want to see what happens!!!!  Ellie ends up falling for Camden, which would be fine, if he wasn’t a freaking psycho!  Yeah, he’s sexy enough, but seriously has issues!  He basically wants to get back at Ellie for humiliating him in high school, and also because he has some obsessive qualities where he still wants to be with her.  He claims to still love her, and while they are on the run, from her ex-boyfriend who she stole money and his car, she falls in love with him.
Now I know her lifestyle doesn’t offer up the good guy to love, but Camden seriously has issue! If you read the book, you will understand.  That was my main snag with this book.  I understand why the author did that-Ellie has always been a con artist and will never have the good life.  But I was hoping for a bit more redeeming qualities with Camden.  Maybe he will be redeemed in the following books.  Hopefully!
Anyways, overall, I did enjoy this book.  I give it a 4 out of 5.

Review: The Devil’s Touch (Erotic Romance) by Vivien Sparx

Blurb:

Lucien Lance – a ruthless, relentless corporate raider. A man known for his single minded determination and his uncompromising thirst for money and power. A man so fearsome they had a name for him on Wall Street. 
Lucifer.
When young Angelica meets Lucien at a business function she quickly discovers just how dangerous and sexy Lucien is, as he seduces her into an erotic world of dominance and submission using a mysterious pleasure technique called the ‘Devil’s Touch’.
But Lucien’s hunger for wealth and control comes with a cost… and Angelica must decide how much she is willing to risk to earn the chance of love. 
A story of approx. 42,000 words

I really tried to like this book.  I heard some great things about it, so I gave it a try.  It was very similar to Pretty Woman, if Richard Gere was a bit of a Dom.  Angelica is not a prostitute in this story, but she does proposition Lucien for sex, so it’s pretty close.  Lucien is just like Richard Gere’s character in Pretty Woman-ruthless, taking big corporations and breaking them down, expensive penthouse, limo driver, card that he gives Angelica to use for shopping, etc.

Again, I really tried to like this book.  But, it just didn’t do anything for me.  If you want to read a very similar story to Pretty Woman, by all means, please read this book.  But to me, the characters were not very well developed.  I had a hard time staying with this book until the end.

There were a couple of steamy areas.

I give this a 2 out of 5.

Review: And With Madness Comes the Light (Experiment in Terror #6.5) by Karina Halle

Blurb:

The Man. The Mystery. The Madness.

Dex Foray has never been anyone’s fool – until he missed his chance for happiness with Perry Palomino. Broken and alone, Dex has no choice but to rise from the ashes Perry left behind and find his own path to redemption. But nothing in Dex’s life has ever come easily, especially when there’s a dark madness waiting in the wings.

Told from Dex’s POV, And With Madness Comes the Light is short story/novella that spans the time period from the end of Lying Season (Book #4) until the end of On Demon Wings (Book #5). If you were ever wondering what really happened to Dex while Perry was gone – his journey to Dex 2.0 – now is your chance.

*****WARNING***** This novella is not a standalone and contains spoilers for Experiment in Terror Books #1-5. It also contains harsh language and scenes of a sexual nature*******

Again, love this series!  And this is told from Dex’s POV.  Ah, gotta love Dex!  It starts with his and Perry’s break up, or break down, whatever you want to call it.  And follows him through his transformation to Dex 2.0.

I loved being able to get inside his head, to see what he was feeling and going through during their separation.  His struggle to become something better, for himself and for Perry.  This story made me love him much more.  Initially in the series, he seems kinda like an ass.  But as the series continues, you see he’s not as much of an ass, or pig, as he tries to portray.

Love this novella.  It was short, quick, and interesting.  Excellent character development for Dex, delving deeper into his emotional state to you understand him much more.

I obviously give this one a 5 out of 5!  Unfortunately, I have to wait until June for the next book, which will be told entirely from Dex’s POV.  It will be interesting to have it from his POV only.  I’m hoping I like the full length novel as much as this novella from his POV.