LOVED Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by JM Darhower

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Menace (Scarlet Scars #1) by JM Darhower – 4.5 Stars

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I, Steph, am in love with a gun wielding murdering sociopath named Lorenzo and I regret nothing. I want to have his psychotic babies even though he claims to not want children. I’ll make him change his mind. I will.

Not sure who Lorenzo is? I’ll remind you. For those who read the Monster In His Eyes trilogy (and if you haven’t don’t even talk to me you until you do – you need to get your life right), Lorenzo is a character from Target On Our Backs. He’s a little testy. A little crazy.

“Tell your boss he can suck my cock,” I say, shoving my chair back to stand up. “If he does a good enough job, maybe I won’t blow his fucking brains out for calling me a thief.”

And a whole lot of fun to read about.

Swinging the spatula, he smacks Leo in the head, the loud thwack echoing though the kitchen. “Shit!” Leo winces, “What the hell was that for?”
“The table isn’t set,” Lorenzo says. “What are we, animals?”

…this coming from a man who shot someone in the face with zero hesitation for not listening to an order. Am I sick to love him? Maybe. But I don’t care.

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When Menace starts, Lorenzo is basically running the crime scene in New York and bored of the every day crap he deals with. Enter Morgan / Scarlet. She’s fiery and feisty and brings some color into Lorenzo’s life. But she has one hell of a shitty past.

“I yearn to mean something.
Do you know what that’s like?
To know you’re poison but still be desperate for someone to sip from you anyway?”

Andddd that’s all you’ll get on the plot from me. Don’t won’t to spoil a single thing about this story.

Scarlet is a character who actually took me by surprise. I actually wasn’t expecting to like her all that much. But boy was I wrong. She was an incredible, resilient, tough girl and I LOVED her even more than I thought possible at the end.

And Lorenzo, well I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love him. He’s so much more than you think he will be. Him and Scarlet together were everything.

“His lips are the softest thing about him, warm and gentle, like a slice of heaven wrapped in hell, so worth battling the flames to feel his fire.”

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You know what I love about JM’s stories? As soon as you think you know what’s happening or which way the story is going to go, she flips the switch and turns everything on its head and you’re left a little speechless.

And she also creates delicious murderous men who make me want to be a mob wife (but that’s besides the point).

The point is this story is another of hers that has topped my favorites list and book 2 Grievous (out in February) cannot come soon enough. I need MORE LORENZO IN MY LIFE!


Menace is out tomorrow!

Unpopular Opinion Book Tag :)

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Saw this one and just had to do it 🙂 I tag anyone who wants to join!

*and just a friendly reminder. These are MY opinions and are not meant to offend. If you don’t agree, well, feel free to write an unpopular opinion post of your own =D

A popular book or series that you didn’t like

Oh man. We could be here all day. But I’ll only name a few:

Price of a Kiss (Forbidden Men #1) by Linda Kage

Thoughtless Series by S.C. Stephens

Bossman by Vi Keeland

Sparrow by L.J. Shen

A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love

I love me some Father Bell from Priest and anyone who doesn’t can leave this page right this second 😉

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A popular book genre that you hardly reach for

Historical Romance. Not sure why but I have never had the urge to read this genre.

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A popular or beloved character that you do not like

Jared Trent (from Bully by Penelope Douglas). There’s lovable asshole, and then there’s shithead. And you Jared, are a shithead.

A popular author that you can’t seem to get into

Tillie Cole and Penny Reid. And before all the pitchforks come out let me explain. I feel like every story in Tillie’s series are SO similar. And her romance is too cheesy for my taste. I used to adore her books, but my tastes have most definitely changed. And to me, both authors’ writing tends to be really repetitive (though I do enjoy the premise of Penny’s books. I just can’t get passed her writing style.)

A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing

Anything involving a billionaire.

And while we’re at it, I’m also tired of:

*Words/Phrases using any combination of the following:
I own you.
She owns me.
OWN.
You’re mine.
That pussy is mine.
MINE.
He’s touched my soul.
He is my soul.
SOUL.

*Men who won’t , sorry, “can’t”, do relationships because of a fucked up past. Go see a therapist, would you?

*Half naked men on book covers. I can’t be the only person who doesn’t give a shit about seeing abs anymore.

*Reviews that OMG! and GAH! and squee and squawk or anything else sounding like that.
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A popular series that you have no interest in reading

Black Lotus Series by EK Blair.

Read the first book. Did not like it. No desire to read the rest.

The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

The Notebook and Fifty Shades. I know I know, how cliché. But I just love me some Ryan Gosling. And don’t even GET ME STARTED on Jamie Dornan.

That man.

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thanks for reading!

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Review: Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

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Truth or Beard by Penny Reid – 3 stars

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Can somebody please tell me where I can find me a Duane Winston of my own? Because I’d like me one of those, stat.

Things I loved about this book:

1. Duane Winston
2. Cletus and his sausage
3. Duane Winston
4. The Winston Brothers
5. Duane Winston

I think I’ve made it quite clear I kind of love Duane Winston, no?

Though I didn’t quite get Jessica, her and Duane together were pretty adorable.

So …why not 5 stars? While I loved Duane and the Winston boys (obviously), the writing in this was pretty verbose and could be really repetitive, which is something I always pick up on when I read and can be annoying for me. There was also a lot of inner monologue and filler I could have done without, along with the contrived drama. And I kind of wish we got to see a little more of their argumentative banter in the beginning because I find that so entertaining. They realize their feelings for one another very quickly, so I think if we got a little more resistance in the beginning it would have felt a little more realistic.

All in all a sweet read, but with some things I could have done without.


 

COVER REVEAL! Menace (Scarlet Scars Book 1) by my FAV J.M. Darhower

 

I. Am. So. Excited. For. This. Book!!!!!!!!!!

If you don’t know by now, JM Darhower is my all time FAVORITE. This woman can do no wrong. She writes. I read. And I can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

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MENACE

(Scarlet Scars Book One)
Dark Romance
J.M. Darhower
Release Date: January 16th
Scarlet Scars is a two-book series.
GRIEVOUS (Scarlet Scars Book Two) will release February 6th.
***Scarlet Scars contains dark elements that some readers may

find disturbing*** <–HELL YES BTW!

***Synopsis***
Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.
Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.
Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him—a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.

About the Author
J.M.Darhower is the USA Today Bestselling Author of
paranormal/erotic/romantic suspense novels about the baddest bad boys and the
ladies who love them. Fangirl at heart, J.M. is obsessed with books, music, and
all things Marvel, especially the glorious Sebastian Stan. She spends her days
in a tiny town in North Carolina, churning out words and chasing down Pokémon.

*For those who may not know, the hero in Menace, Lorenzo, is a side character from Target On Our Backs (Monster In His Eyes #3). Menace can be read without reading Monster In His Eyes first, but I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend reading the trilogy. It remains one of my top favorites EVER!

Most anticipated reads of 2017!

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There are so many great books coming in 2017! Below are some I can’t wait for  ❤


Spiders In The Grove (In The Company of Killers #7) by JA Redmerski:

No cover. No release date. No Blurb. No problem. I still am dying for the next book in this fantastic series!

Infini by Krista and Becca Ritchie (*set in the book world of Amour Amour but can be read as a standalone):

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Some love is infinite.
“Don’t have a best friend that’s a girl” — this was the advice from my older cousin. I didn’t take it. Because he followed with, “friends don’t f*ck friends. And you’ll want to f*ck her.”
It was terrible advice.
My cousin should’ve told me that being best friends with Baylee Wright — since she was twelve — would be the best and worst decision of my life.
He should have told me to protect her from what was coming.
He should have told me that when a darkness crawled towards us, there’d be no safety net.

 

Damaged Like Us by Krista and Becca Ritchie (*spin off from the Addicted Series but can be read as a standalone):

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Fame has immortalized them.
Family has bonded them.
Love will destroy them.

*P.S. I am claiming Maximoff right now. Let it be known. Spread the word. 😀

Book 4 in the Game On Series by Kristen Callahan:

Another with no blurb or cover yet. BUT. I love this series SO MUCH, and word is Kristen is bringing it back to the college scene and this story will focus on Cal Alder, the quarterback who takes Drew’s place when he is injured, and is a friends/enemies/to lovers romance!

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios:

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Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.
Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor:

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Give me anything this woman writes and I will devour it. This Cover. This blurb! :

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Sinner (Priest #2) By Sierra Simone:

No exact release date or cover yet. But there is a blurb! :

I’m not a good man, and I’ve never pretended to be. I don’t believe in goodness or God or any happy ending that isn’t paid for in advance.

What do I believe in? Money. Sex. Macallan 18.

They have words for men like me—playboy. Womanizer. Skirt chaser.

My brother used to be a priest, and he only has one word for me.

Sinner.

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren:

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Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

You Don’t Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1) by Kristen Orlando

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Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.

Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?

Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don’t Know My Name,from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus:

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The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.


*rubs hands together* 2017 is looking good!

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The best book I’ve read this year. Maybe EVER: Wolfsong by TJ Klune

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Wolfsong by TJ Klune – 5 MILLION STARS

6c050-goodreads-button“You don’t get to decide what you’re worth because you obviously don’t know. You don’t get to decide that anymore because you have no fucking idea that you’re worth everything.”

How does one review perfection? I don’t know. But I am sure going to try.

I knew from chapter 1 this was going to be a 5 star read. That this was going to be the best thing I’ve read in a while. Or maybe even one of the best books I’ve read, EVER.

You know when a book is so good you have to go back and re-read chapters because you just don’t want it to end? You know when a book is so good that you RUSH home and shut out the world so you can focus on the story and nothing else? You know when a book is so good you sneak your kindle out wherever you are so you can just be with the characters for a little while longer?

That was this book. In fact, I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading it. I think I’ll just re-read chapters for the rest of time.

“And I’ve been waiting,” Joe said. “For him to look at me like I looked at him. And he finally did. He finally did. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it stays like that. Because I want him for always.”

I mean. I highlighted whole chapters. WHOLE ENTIRE FREAKING CHAPTERS.

I was not prepared for the emotional slaughter this put me through. I was NOT prepared to fall in love with the simplistic writing style. Or to laugh as hard as I did. Or to have my heart burst from the love that oozed from the pages or the incredible characters.

“You confuse me. You aggravate me. You’re amazing and beautiful, and sometimes, I want to put my teeth in you just to watch you bleed. I want to know what you taste like. I want to leave my marks on your skin. I want to cover you until all you smell like is me. I don’t want anyone to touch you ever again. I want you. Every part of you.”

To quote the great Suanne Laqueur, “What the fuck is this book doing being a profoundly beautiful love story?” For real, TJ Klune, who the hell do you think you are creating this masterpiece?

Wtf man.

You’ve ruined me. RUINED ME. You have also sabotaged anything I try and pick up after this. There is no freaking way anything will compare.

All kidding aside, every single person needs to read this book. I will be harassing you until you do. 🙂

“There was never anyone else the entire time I was gone. There was never anyone else for me. Because even if you couldn’t hear me when I called for you, the howl in my heart was always meant for you.”


FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016!

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I didn’t read as much as I did in 2015, but I did read some fantastic books this year. In no particular order, here are my favorite books –and ok I cheated, I included some series 😉 -read this year!

*Click the title to be brought to my review and Goodreads*


Below are some of the graphics I made for these amazing books ❤

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Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Here’s to a good year and great books in 2017 ❤

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Here are some favs from some other awesome bloggers:

Relentless Romance ❤ Feeding My Book Addiction ❤ Smokin’ Hot Book Blog ❤ I Love Book Love ❤ Reading Frenzy Book Blog ❤  Night Owl Reader

Unpopular Opinion Alert: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I KNOW I KNOW the minority once again.

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One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 2 Stars

I’m conflicted with this story. I loved the first half of this, but after about 70% or so, there were things I didn’t understand and some things I just didn’t enjoy.

As you may have read from the blurb, Emma and Jesse meet as teenagers, fall in love, and marry. But after a helicopter crash, Jesse goes missing and is assumed to be dead. Fast forward 3 years, Emma moves back home and is reacquainted with a childhood friend, Sam. They start to date, fall in love, and eventually become engaged. But a few months after their engagement, Jesse is found and returns home.

In the beginning, when the characters are in their teenage years, I loved how the author unfolded how they all met and the years that followed. I found the dry witty humor refreshing and I just immediately connected with the story. I really liked Emma’s personality and I loved how insightful it was.

Now what didn’t work for me is going to be a little harder to explain without spoiling anything. But the last 70% or so was just so ….convenient, and was wrapped up way too neatly in a nice little bow. The way things ended and so easily came together didn’t seem realistic to me. At all. I also didn’t understand Emma’s decisions toward the end. In fact, they angered me quite a bit. Again, I can’t say much more without spoiling some parts, so I’ll leave a more detailed description with some spoilers for those who want to know below.

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One of the main things I did not like about this was how Jesse accepts him and Emma aren’t going to be together after 1 conversation. This wasn’t believable to me. They have spent their LIVES loving one another. He comes back fully expecting them to be together. And for him to let her go after one simple conversation didn’t seem realistic.

Also, Jesse spent 3 years on a secluded island fighting for his life. For him to come back seemingly fine and with no alteration to his personality, PTSD, anything, was also unrealistic to me. Sure, he admits later on he doesn’t feel “right” and this may have been discussed “off screen”. But someone who goes through that ordeal must have some resonating symptoms. I am sure there are exceptions to this, but I didn’t believe it.

Lastly, and the biggest issue for me here: After Emma decides to leave Jesse, and she is 100% sure she wants to be with Sam, she sleeps with Jesse. Again. WHY?! I didn’t understand the need for that and it angered me. Her claim that it was a “goodbye” was ridiculous. And pretty disgusting.
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And how Sam reacts to basically knowing Emma slept with her once-dead husband? COME. ON. No anger, no resentment. Nothing? Just an “It’s ok, it happened.” That wasn’t believable at ALL. I don’t care how understanding you are. I don’t care if you’re a saint or the Dalai Lama himself. Knowing your fiancé has slept with someone else (multiple times) has got to evoke some emotions and anger.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read at first, though I didn’t agree with how a lot of things were handled later on. I do think books like this that involve a sort of love triangle / cheating are a tricky thing to write. Naturally, people are going to pick sides and find the person in the middle selfish and not always understand their decisions. Which is what the main issue was for me. While I can’t deny that the author is a talented writer, I enjoyed the first half so much more than the last.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

Here To Stay by Suanne Laqueur – 5 Million Stars!

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Here To Stay (The Fish Tales #3) by Suanne Laqueur- 5 Stars

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Confession: I don’t ever put off reading books in a series. If all the books have been released, I read them all back to back.

But I put off reading this book. Why? Because I didn’t want to cry. And I KNEW when I read it I would cry. All Suanne does is make me fucking cry.

AND BOY DID I FUCKING CRY.

I realize I’m cursing like a sailor here. But I don’t like to cry and I rarely cry so when I do cry it’s because I’ve reached a breaking point and the damn has burst and my emotions are over flooding and I feel chaotic and I don’t like to feel chaotic and this is what Suanne’s fucking writing does to me.

But I swear all this cursing and crying is a good thing. A really good thing. Because Suanne is a fucking Jedi Master when it comes to words and she is poetic and her prose is magic and lyrical and GOD I LOVE AND HATE HER ALL AT ONCE FOR MAKING ME SO EMOTIONAL.

Hands down one of the greatest series of all time. I can’t praise Suanne and her fucking brilliant writing enough.

Fucking read this series. The end.

Read my reviews for book 1 The Man I Love here and book 2 Give Me Your Answer True here.


Unpopular Opinion Alert : Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu- 1 Star

Can I just start by saying I really really REALLY wanted to like this book? But Jesus. What a disaster.

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What didn’t work:

1. The BIGGEST ISSUE – The two MCs, June and Day, were written in such a blasé way and I could barely tell them apart. If it wasn’t for the different fonts chosen for each POV, I wouldn’t have been able to tell who was who. They were completely indistinguishable. This was especially annoying seeing as they grew up in completely different environments.

2. This author’s writing was robotic, monotone, and had ZERO emotion. The prose was SO disappointing. So emotionless in fact I didn’t feel a single thing while reading this. Danger, intrigue, lust – nothing jumped from the pages even though this book had a lot of action in it and a “star crossed” love story. Even the personalities of the MCs were stale. They never experience any emotions whatsoever. Fear, grief, anger – NOTHING!

Her dry as toast writing also ruined their first kiss. After it happened, my only thought was “that’s it?” The lead up and the first kiss between the government’s most wanted criminal and the girl sent to catch him should have been filled with angst. Instead it was like reading about someone’s great great grandfather kissing his wife.

3. The absolute lack of any world building – I’m not even elaborating on this one. I’d be here all day.

4. The plot was boring, predictable, completely convenient, and cliché. Again not going to go into details with this, but the things these characters did, the situations that so easily presented themselves…give me a break.

Overall a really disappointing read and an author I don’t think I’ll ever read again unless she has miraculously changed her writing style since this was released.