Wait For It by Molly O’Keefe
Series: Everything I left Unsaid, #4
February 28, 2016
Wait For It is the fourth book in Molly O’Keefe’s emotionally gritty Everything I Left Unsaid series. It’s also the story I’ve been waiting on. We first met the MCs, Blake and Tiffany, in book two and the meeting was not pretty to say the least. Blake comes to Tiffany’s trailer and is shocked to learn his brother Phil not only had a wife the family knew nothing about, but also three children. Phil has disappointed his family his whole life. Blake attempts to protect the family from more heartbreak by offering Tiffany money to disappear and never contact their family again. Tiffany is no fool and knows this money can help get her and her kids out of Phil’s abusive reach. A year or so later, Blake learns how wrong he was handling that situation and his attempts to redeem himself opens up wounds he thought long closed.
O’Keefe has an addictive rich voice that effortlessly paints erotic fantasies while stripping away the artifice and deals directly with the heart(s) of the issue. While I always enjoy her stories overall, felt there was a curious sense of disconnection here. Both protagonists are old souls who will always sacrifice themselves for the good of those they care for. O’Keefe does a fabulous job of dissecting them as individuals so she can put them back together as a couple but I never felt them became a couple. Their chemistry was delish and I loved the role playing of sorts but I never bought the step from lust to love. The hint of suspense through Phil was admirably done and am I the only one wondering about the mysterious J? Wait For Me entertained but just didn’t blow me away.
Gilded Cage by Vic James
Series: Dark Gifts, #1
February 14, 2017
Gilded Cage is the first in Vic James dystopian fantasy series based on a world that is controlled by the magically elite who require the commoners to serve them for ten years of their lives. Hints of romance flavor this story as James sets up a complicated and heavily character integrated world. The premise is certainly interesting. Who doesn’t get a bit of a chill when presented by what looks to be a David and Goliath type of story? The enslaved will rise up with the help of an unknown source to topple the autocratic ruling body. Hell to the yeah! The strong writing and solid base shines through but the sheer enormity of the storyline with its many many layers, and varied characters who are involved is overwhelming. It felt like I was hearing one million voices all trying to make me understand what was happening at once. While I appreciated the efforts James extends to personalize this world, showing us both sides of the coin so to speak, I admit I just couldn’t find the connection to any of the characters. No one stood out for me. No one screamed champion. No one looked to be my David. The ending left me a little peeved as I felt as though I just finished an excruciating race only to be told this was only the first leg of my journey. My questions left unanswered were legion. Interesting to an extent, the story just tried do too much to the detriment of my enjoyment.
Never Better by Charlotte Stein
Series: Dark Obsession, #3
February 14, 2017
Stein once again builds an intriguing, heavily characterized story that is far more complicated than originally suspected. Lydia finds herself the victim of assault though she is saved from rape by one of the men who broke into her home. When her roommate pressures her to go to group therapy, she meets Isaac whose ability to erect barriers gives him what she wants-emotional & physical immunity from the world. She asks him for help and soon they are spending time together. When the attraction between them becomes too much to bear, Lydia and Isaac begin a relationship but there are things Isaac hasn’t told Lydia…things that may very well destroy her.
I am a huge fan of Stein’s work. Her writing skills and intuitive voice are instantly appealing. This particular series has been a roller coaster ride for me. I wasn’t a fan of book one but book two blew me away. I find this one landed right in the middle. I enjoyed the set up and hint of suspense that intertwines through the story. Wonderfully paced narrative and dialogue gives our couple the dynamics in which to meet and develop a realistic relationship. My main issue was the lack of connection I felt between them. Of course, the elephant in the room is responsible for that but I found even after Lydia learns the truth, I still didn’t feel they belonged together. An abrupt ending that leaves their fate up in the air only solidified my feelings.
King’s Captive by Amber Bardan
Released: February 13, 2017
It’s rare that I love a “heroine falls for her kidnapper” book, but after I read this review at Smart Bitches, I had to try it. And I really did enjoy this one. After Sarah’s family is murdered, she agrees to go to an island with Julius, with a promise her little brother (who is at boarding school) will stay safe. She is on this prison of an island for three years, and hates Julius with every fiber of her being. She has hope that a man is coming to rescue her, as her father hinted at this in his dying breaths. I can’t set it up much more because I don’t want to give anything away. The explanation/twist at the end is a good one!! And the HEA is solid and believable. I HATED Julius at first and then loved him by the end. How could I ask for anything more? And the best thins in this book is Sarah. I need a strong heroine in a book where I hate the hero to start, and I really enjoyed her. The end is a bit rushed but overall a very nice read. Definitely give this one a try. Kini also loved this along with many of my reviewer friends.
The Whole Man by CF Rose
Released: February 7, 2017
A second chance at love story pairs Jesse, a once promising baseball player with Evan, a woman who he had a passionate night of love with years ago, and then left her. Now years later, Jesse is a high school baseball coach and Evan comes with a friend to watch her son play, and runs into Jesse again. Their romance flares up, but not without issues. After Jesse’s brother dies, he can’t commit to anyone or anything. Evan has an ex who is stalking her, and she thinks he has found her…
A couple of things in this book didn’t work for me. The romance was very push-pull. Jesse and Evan got back together, and then they pushed each other apart. And then back together, and then a silly argument tears them apart. Evan got on my nerves at time. Throwing up so many mixed signals about Jesse that I couldn’t take much more of it. Her stalker issues annoyed me a little too – the whole – let’s not involve the police because they won’t do anything anyway – concept is there and it always seems so predictable. This was a miss for me.
I did really love Captive Prince. I am very forgiving and never hated Julius. Sarah was a great heroine. She was sassy and feisty in all the best ways. And so incredibly strong. She even called another character too stupid to live. I stayed up much too late to finish this book. I don’t read suspenseful books very often because they tend to be over the top, but this was the perfect amount for me.
I’m really interested in Gilded Cage, and I’ve got it on my phone to read soon. I had no idea it was the first in a series though, so I’m glad I’m forewarned now before I get stuck in. I’m probably going to read it in March.