May 31, 2016

RELEASE BLAST of Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham

 with No comments 
In , ,  

Title: Kiss Me That Way (Cottonbloom #1)
Author: Laura Trentham
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Published by: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114466-kiss-me-that-way

SYNOPSIS:
A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…
 
Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…
 
Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?

EXCERPT:
“You left Cottonbloom without telling me. Without saying good-bye. I want to know why.” Monroe hadn’t meant for the words to come out at all, much less with such vehemence.

“It was complicated.” Cade broke eye contact. “You were a good kid in a bad situation.”

“Weren’t you a good kid in a bad situation?”

He shifted toward her, bracing a hand on the dash and laying his other arm over the back of her seat, invading her space. She didn’t retreat. His intensity spurred her heart rate into an erratic gallop, yet she wasn’t intimidated. Perhaps it was only echoes of the past, but he made her feel safe, even when he was the one she should be scared of.

“I grew up fast and tough.” His voice contained more than a hint of warning.

“You were nice to me,” she said softly.

“Don’t fool yourself into thinking I’m nice. I wasn’t then, and I’m sure as hell not now.”

He ran a callused finger down her cheek, the rasp igniting her nerve endings like a flint. His hand continued south and wrapped itself in her braid, the slight tug on her scalp sending shivers through her body in spite of the sun bearing down on the truck. Her nipples felt tight, and she hoped her tight sports tank masked her sudden, inexplicable arousal.

He pulled her braid, forcing her toward him. She didn’t fight him. He dropped his face next to hers, his coarse beard hair caressing her cheek, his mouth close to her ear. “If I see something I want, I go after it and get it by any means necessary.”

“How very Machiavellian.” She tried a laugh, but it came out more like a stuttering sigh. His scent hooked her even closer, and her lips grazed the outer rim of his ear.

He pulled back, his green-eyed gaze roving her face. She returned the favor, noting the faint brackets around his mouth, the crinkles at his eyes, the thick beard. A full-grown man. Yet was he so different from the boy she remembered?

“Ovid.” The movement of his lips jammed the cogs of her brain. The word made no sense. Her confusion must have been obvious, because the mouth she stared at tipped up in the corners, deepening the grooves. “The Greek philosopher Ovid, not Machiavelli, actually wrote: The end justifies the means.”

“Ovid. Of course.” Apparently, Monroe had slept through that philosophy class at Ole Miss. The fact that high-school dropout Cade Fournette was quoting Ovid made her wonder what other mysteries she might uncover if she went digging.

Just when she was ready to grab a shovel, he released her braid and slipped away. His limp was less pronounced as he took the stairs holding the cane parallel to the ground. Although he’d physically released her, she felt bound to him in some other fundamental way, incapable of tearing her eyes off him until he disappeared behind Sawyer’s front door. Even then, she sat, unable to drive away for a long minute.

How could the simple brush of Cade’s finger ignite a fire when other men left her cold? As her arousal ebbed, she realized something else. She’d just been manipulated by a master. He hadn’t explained why he left.

She spent the evening going through the motions of her life, eating when her stomach growled and heading to bed when her eyes felt heavy. A few short hours ago, her life had been tidy and predictable and boring. Cade Fournette’s return had spun her into chaos.
 
BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Me-That-Way-Cottonbloom/dp/125007763X
B&N
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kiss-me-that-way-laura-trentham/1122537860?ean=9781466889798
Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Laura_Trentham_Kiss_Me_That_Way?id=mWbkCgAAQBAJ
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.
 
AUTHOR LINKS:
Websitehttp://www.lauratrentham.com/
 
GIVEAWAY!!

TOUR ORGANIZED:

 
 

Share:

May 30, 2016

REVIEW of Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell

 with 2 comments 
In , , , ,  

Have I read the first three installments of the Sinful Serenade series? No, no I have not. Do I regret anything about reading Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell? Yes, yes I do. But before you start thinking of me as a horrible book reviewer, I only meant that I regret not knowing about this band series first and not reading the other three books in the series. On that note, here's my review of Play Your Heart Out.

Title: Play Your Heart Out (Sinful Serenade #4) 
Author: Crystal Kaswell 
Publication Date: May 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Source: ARC Given by Tour Organizer
Rating: 4 Stars

SYNOPSIS: 
He parties like a rockstar.
She's there to make sure no one finds out...

Jess James has her eye on the prize. She is finding the money to pay for law school. Period. She is starting a new life on her own. Period. And she's absolutely staying in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from the people who expect her to lie for them. It doesn't matter how lonely she gets on her own, how exhausted she is from working overtime as a cocktail waitress, or how deep the knife wound in her back cuts. She is going to be a lawyer, whatever it takes.

Only she doesn't have what it takes. She can barely afford to pay her rent.

Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has enough to pay Jess's rent and buy her a small island in the Caribbean. The famous, talented rock star has everything... except the one thing his manager wants. Pete rose to fame as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn't matter that his ex slept with his best friend, he needs to stop screwing his way through Los Angeles to keep his reputation clean. Pete works hard, and parties harder... and the sweet, blond waitress is exactly the girl he needs on his arm if he wants to keep the record company happy.

Their arrangement is simple: he pays her tuition, she plays his girlfriend. They'll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they're alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her moaning his name.

Jess is good at keeping up appearances. She can play the enigmatic rock star's girlfriend. But Pete shouldn't play games with a girl who's been broken before...


REVIEW:
Going into the world of Sinful Serenade, I admit that I had a lot of reservations. I have read a few other novels with a similar plot outline--bad boy rock star, good girl falls in love with him, they struggle, they end up together, blah blah blah. So you can say that I was preparing myself mentally to not roll my eyes at cliche lines and scenes. 

"If you thought this book is unoriginal, then why did you want to review it?" you might be thinking. I have a simple answer for this: the author was obviously doing something right to get people hooked on this world, and I wanted to see it for myself. 

There are three things I'm absolutely certain as I'm writing this review: first, Crystal Kaswell is a talented and passionate author. The way she wrote Play Your Heart Out, (and her other books too, I'm sure) with such seamless story telling, colorful dialogues, and vivid descriptions prove that this is not her first rodeo. Her ability to effectively spin a story, add deep layers to its plot, and create complex and relatable characters is a testament to her years of experience, hard work, and colorful imagination. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not reviewing the author. I just wanted to show you why and how Play Your Heart Out exceeded my expectations and broke all my premature assumptions. 

Now I don't know how Pete was in the first three parts of the Sinful Serenade series, but the Pete in this book is a hard-headed manwhore who is in the road to self-destruction -- career-wise and in life. But I think for me, what sets this guy apart from all the other bad boy rock stars is he used to be a good guy who wanted a long and happy relationship but got hurt big time. So he's not who or what he is just because, there's a reason behind it making him relatable to some people who got hurt by their exes. Now Jess, she also got hurt. But because of the strength she posseses, she decided to push through in life. She's intelligent, career-minded, and goal-oriented, which should help her do what she has to do easily, but doesn't really. Jess and Pete's chemistry is great, their verbal exchanges colorful, and their pain and sadness real. 

I don't want to say too much about the book, only that it's amazing and you should read it ...  but not before parts 1-3, because you won't get the whole Sinful Serenade experience...like me. 

Check this out you guys.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Previous books:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.


AUTHOR LINKS:

GIVEAWAY!!
$25 Amazon gift card


TOUR ORGANIZED BY:


Share:

May 24, 2016

REVIEW of Deep Dark by Laura Griffin

 with 2 comments 
In , , , ,  

I've always had a thing for romance mixed with suspense and/or action--the different layers brought together in one heart-pounding story *sigh*, can it get any better than that?
The problem I find myself having with this fascination of mine though, is it's hard to satiate. It's not at all easy to look for a book that will make me properly swoon, laugh, sad, and nervous. I guess that's why I wanted to give Deep Dark by Laura Griffin a shot. I've read so many good reviews about it, so I thought it can't hurt to try. Was it any good? It was mind-numbingly fantastic!

Title: Deep Dark (Tracers #10)
Author: Laura Griffin
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Published by: Pocket Books
Source: ARC Given by Tour Organizer
Rating: 5 Stars
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25814336-deep-dark

SYNOPSIS:
A gripping new romantic thriller from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Griffin...

The moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it.

As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim.

CHARACTER BACKGROUND:
Reed Novak has been in the police force for 17 years and he has seen, heard, and learn of things that made him the jaded person that he is today. His work is his life and that's a testament to his ended marriage and closed-off persona. He interrogates people in and out of the job and trusting others does not come easily to him. That's why he's drawn to this young, petite, guarded woman who believes in making the world a better place one hack at a time. She makes him want to believe in different things; even things that may go against everything he believes in.

Laney Knox is one of the best at what she does. She takes down all kinds of criminals through hacking anything and everything; nothing is impossible with her skills--only now she's faced with an enemy that is playing with her and the people she's helping. The case that she's caught in brings back a lot of haunting memories, memories that she prefer to not think about anymore. Memories of a night that forever changed the way she lived and saw the world. But being around Reed makes her feel something she's never felt in a long time...safe. so she's willing to put her life--and heart--on the line to catch the bad guy causing mayhem in their city.

REVIEW:
I'm kind of ashamed to say that Deep Dark is the first book penned by Laura Griffin I've read. I tried checking Goodreads to see what else she's written, and to say that I was surprised to see the number of books she's written is an understatement. But at the same time, it made sense to me. Deep Dark, which apparently is the 10th installment of the Tracers series, has a certain flawlessness to it. Like whoever wrote this and came up with the storyline has obviously been doing it for quite some time. And Laura has produced a number of well-loved novels.

The story's pace was perfect, scenes weren't cut short or excessively lengthened for no reason; the setting descriptions were enough to paint a clear picture of what's happening and where it's happening, which is important in this case because we're brought to crime scenes, laboratories, and other locations and scenarios that require clear details; and most of the characters have layers that we all get a glimpse of because the story is told from multiple POVs--which I prefer 100%--giving the entire story more depth and color.

I am a huge fan of crime show dramas like Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds and the like, so I knew what I was looking for in a book that boasts of suspense and crime. These are some of the things that must be noted when discussing murder: cause of death, motive, murder weapon, point of entry. I don't know if everything stated in Deep Dark is indeed possible, but Laura Griffin sure had me believing EVERYTHING she wrote. The point of entry alone had the cops baffled, and even I was starting to think about all the possibilites. I cannot tell you how many times I talked to veronica (you'd get to know her once you read the book) to look at certain places and maybe this or that is what happened. But no-o-oh, Laura had something else in mind and it's so much more awesome--and plausible--than my assumptions.

You know what, Deep Dark has me so excited and there are so many things I'd like to tell you guys, but I can't without risking spoilers and possible lawsuits. But I will tell ya'll this, Deep Dark--or maybe even the entire series Laura Griffin wrote--can be turned into a TV show, in my opinion. The entire book was well-written, there is an air of danger in almost every page that even made me look if my bedroom door is closed, the characters were all realistic and relatable, and the chemistry between Laney and Reed is explosive. Not much to be said about the sex, but it's totally okay because it's not necessary to make the book better...it already is excellent.

SUMMARY:
What else can I say? Hmm, I will be reading the next installment of the Tracers series and quite possibly the first 9 as well, just so I'll know if Laura is consistent with the quality of her writing, because let's admit it, there are authors who'll write a masterpiece one day and provide total garbage the next. But I highly doubt that this is the case with Ms. Griffin since again, I've been reading a lot of positive reviews.

Do pick Deep Dark by Laura Griffin up you guys. I promise you, YOU. WILL. NOT. REGRET. IT. AT. ALL. It's romantic, mind-boggling, and nerve-wracking. It'll make you feel safe one second and let you know that you're still in danger the next. It's such an amazing read, one that will put you on the edge of your seat (or bed, your choice), and make you hold your breath. Two thumbs-up to Laura and all who made this book possible. Cheers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author LAURA GRIFFIN started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of romantic suspense. She is a two-time RITA Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award. Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.
GIVEAWAY!!
Rafflecopter Giveaway (a $50 Amazon gift card, a Tracers tote bag, and a signed copy of DEEP DARK)
TOUR ORGANIZED BY:
Share:

May 18, 2016

BLOG TOUR of Fighter Girl by Kathryn James

 with No comments 
In ,  


Title
: Fighter Girl
Author: Kathryn James
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: May 17th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29080179-fighter-girl

SYNOPSIS:
“It began three days ago with a fight. Seems that for me, everything begins with a fight…”
 
Sammy Jo may be strong, fast and tough, even in heels, but she gets into trouble when she fights some local thugs to save a rich boy named Gregory.
 
Now bad guy McCloud is after her – and he’s even more dangerous than her forbidden love for Gregory.
 
Fighter Girl was published in the United Kingdom under the title GYPSY GIRL.


EXCERPT:
The wedding is over.

My beautiful bridesmaid dress is soaked in blood. Bright crimson patterning the white. The hem ragged and torn. The tulle skirt missing and the strapless bodice ripped.

My tiara is long gone. My hair stiffened with dried blood, not mousse. My legs are crumpled beneath, unable to move. I’m like a ragdoll.

I’m lying here in this circle of trees by the black water. They call it a beauty spot. I can’t see any beauty today. Only death. The magpies warned us.

Gregory is beside me, his sun­streaked, fair hair red with blood, his face white as a ghost. Shocked and injured again. It’s my fault. I want to hug him, hold him close, tell him I didn’t mean to let this happen to him. But I can’t move. Anyway, he probably hates me.

Is it over? Don’t ask me.

In the distance, I can hear emergency sirens. Has everyone found out? Has my daddy? His name is Samson Smith. He comes from a long line of champion fighters.

My name is Sammy­Jo Smith. I’m the only girl to have inherited the Smith fighting skills. Sometimes I love it, but now I hate it. I’m too fast, too strong, even in my Jimmy Choo heels. It’s brought me here, to this place of death.

It began three days ago with a fight. Seems that for me everything always begins with a fight ...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kathryn lives in Leicester with her family, writing full time (and loves that!) Kathryn always wanted to become an author and wrote her first story at age eight. But it took quite a while and lots of different jobs before she got published.
 
She's worked with gypsy and traveller children, working from a converted bus with a rainbow on the side, doing video and photography projects, and documenting travelling lives.

Mist draws on and is influenced by her work with this community.
 
She's also written scripts for a local video production company, many of them for children and teenagers.

AUTHOR LINKS:

GIVEAWAY!!
$10 Amazon Gift Card + eBook copy of Fighter Girl
 
TOUR ORGANIZED BY:
 
Share:

May 17, 2016

REVIEW of Mishca and Lauren: The Complete Collection by London Miller

 with No comments 
In , , , , ,  


Ever since I've read author J.J. McAvoy's Ruthless People series, I've developed a thing for romance novels that involve organized crime. I say this with the risk of sounding like a bad person, but there's just something hot about a guy who won't bat an eye at killing someone that falls madly in love with a woman who brings out the best in him. And this is exactly what Mischa and Lauren: The Complete Collection offers.

Here's how we're going to do this. I'll be reviewing each book individually (if I can), then to summarize, I'll tell you what I think about the series as a whole, so basically what I thought of the box set. Ready? Let's get this ball rolling.

Title: Mishca and Lauren: The Complete Collection (Volkov Bratva, #1-3)
Author: London Miller
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Organized Crime
Source: ARC Given by Tour Organizer
Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29726998-mishca-and-lauren


SYNOPSIS:
Lauren was just a girl looking to make a fresh start in New York City, until she meets the man that will change everything she thought she knew. Spanning over two years, from the very beginning, until the sweet end, delve into the Volkov Bratva world and learn how it all began.
Mishca and Lauren: The Complete Collection contains the first three novels of the Volkov Bratva Series, as well as the companion novella...

**********

Twenty-year-old Lauren Thompson left her small town in Michigan to begin a new life in the Big Apple where no one knows her name or the tragedy that had rocked her family fifteen years prior. With new friends and an intriguing new love interest, starting over is easier than she expected...but Mishca Volkov isn't what he seems. As the son of a Russian Mob boss, he thrives in a world of chaos and fear, earning the title of Bratva Captain through blood and pain.
When the two cross paths, lines blur and passions ignite, bringing them closer than they could ever imagine. Until secrets from the past threaten to tear them apart. Can they fight past their demons...or were they doomed by fate before they ever met.
**********

Lauren Thompson

After learning the truth behind her father's tragic murder, Lauren vowed never to go near another Volkov again, but sometimes matters of the heart are too strong to resist...

Mishca Volkov

As a Captain in the Volkov Bratva, Mishca has pledged his loyalty to the Vory v Zakone, but he soon finds himself at odds with the life he's always known...

Until the End

When Mishca and Lauren fight to salvage their relationship, new obstacles present themselves, forcing the pair to make drastic choices that either tear them apart or bring them closer together...
**********
Three months pass without incident, leading Mishca and Lauren to believe they can finally move on from the past and build a life together...but enemies both old and new lurk in the shadows, waiting for the opportunity to strike.
When a dangerous threat presents itself, Lauren is forced to turn to the one person that would rather see Mishca dead than live happily ever after...she now has to step into a role that demands payment in blood.
Alliances are formed, one side fighting for survival, and the other for retribution.
No one can be trusted.
No one is safe.
War is coming.


...and not everyone will live to see the end of it.
**********

Can a love born of violence stand the test of time?
Despite a less than ideal start to their marriage, Mishca and Lauren are finally in a place where they do not have to look over their shoulders at every turn. Now that they are in a secure place, it's time for them to have the one thing Mishca had promised her before they took their vows.
A honeymoon...
Traveling to the sandy beaches of Sardinia, Italy, the couple will explore what brought them together in the first place, instead of the life that constantly threatens to tear them apart.
But as the newly appointed Boss of the Volkov Bratva, is it too late for Mishca to have an even remotely normal life...and is Lauren ready to face another challenge that neither of them saw coming...

CHARACTER BACKGROUND:
Lauren Thompson is a strong young woman who believes that everyone should get what they deserve. She grew up feeling isolated and conscious because of what she and her mother went through when her father died, hence she wanted to be more independent, open, and strong now that she has started a new chapter in her life. However, underneath all the soft-hearted and kind persona lies a woman who wants to pay blood with blood. She doesn't flinch at the site of violence and most definitely doesn't care about the lives of the people that wronged her family. Maybe she's not as fragile and nice as most people think she is.
Mischka Volkov never experienced what a real familial relationship is like. He's so used to prioritizing the Bratva that he doesn't care for much else, especially if it will make him appear weak. But what he didn't expect is the sense of completeness and contentedness he gets every time he's with Lauren. However, life is more complicated than that. With all the secrets he keep and the enemies he have, he's starting to doubt whether or not loving someone is worth all the serious, life-threatening risks.
REVIEW:
In The Beginning:
As the first book in a series, it's crucial for In the Beginning to build a strong foundation for the story and the characters. This is the perfect time for the author to set the tone and pace of the entire series, as well as hook the readers. Was London Miller successful in doing all this? Yes, yes she was.
I found it interesting that the opening scene was of Lauren's father, Doctor Cameron Thompson, thinking about his impending death. What kind of a person are you if your curiosity isn't piqued by something so dark and depressing? From that point on, I knew that I would read this book--and all the followings ones--and enjoy it. And I did, mind you, all in one day. 14 hours to be exact, I was able to finish the entire box set. And can I just say how happy I am that there are more books circling this world, because I don't think I'm ready to let go of Mishca, Klaus, and Luka.
The story progresses at an understandable pace, and the romance growth between Mischa and Lauren was believable. Their chemistry *low whistle* wow-oh-wow! I can practically feel their sexual tension crackling from outside the book, and that's saying something. Okay let me give you a spoiler...they didn't have sex. At least not in this book. If you feel disappointed now, don't be. Trust me. With everything that happened between them--the bad and the worse--you'd be happy that Lauren didn't give her V-card away because you would want to kill Mischa with your own hands at the end.
There were a lot of characters introduced here, which is both a curse and a blessing as we get to know different people who play important roles in the entire plot, but it's also easy to get a bit confused with the new names being thrown in left and right. But what should we expect right? It's an organized crime story, meaning there are a lot of people involved. Speaking of character though, I just want to give Lauren a big round of applause. She's not a trained killer or a member of an important family, but the fact that she was able to standup for herself and prove to people that she shouldn't be messed with is note-worthy.
Overall, In the Beginning is definitely a great start to a wonderful series.

Until the End:

The second installment in the series starts off quite differently. It's told from Naomi Le Feuvre's point-of-view. She's a woman who's used to getting whatever she wants by playing with other people's minds and feelings. In a nutshell, she's a manipulative bitch. Unfortunately for everyone else, her latest exploit brought upon chaos to the streets of New York, all the way from Albania.

Until the End is a new chapter in the lives of Lauren and Mischa. With a less than pleasant end from book 1, book 2 takes a play at forgiveness, redemption, and trust, along with other things of course. We get to see a whole other side to all our characters, some for the better and some for the worst. But for me, slightly better than the character growth is the story development. 
Unlike In the Beginning, Until the End showcases the real, gruesome, and violent side of the mob life. We see people kill and people die, and we see how Lauren deals with this side of Mischa's life. There was this one scene that I really liked; Lauren was repeatedly being disrespected by one of Mikhail's, Mischa's father and Pakhan, men. And to punish the guy, Mischa repeatedly stabs the guy's hands...while Lauren watches. SO. AWESOME. 
A couple of important characters are introduced in this installment while a few others were removed. There were also a few people that we don't really get to see much of like Lauren's friends, mother, and Ross. Mikhail also doesn't show much of himself apart from the first couple of chapters. This is really where London Miller starts establishing who the core characters are in the story as a whole. 
Oh and you DON'T want to miss out on the cliffhanger of this book. You won't believe it. 
The Final Hour: 
After such an intense ending of Until the End, The Final Hour picks up from where the Albenian Mob seeks revenge. Meanwhile, back in New York, things between Lauren amd Mischa are amazing. Lauren is graduating, Alex is finally in good terms with them again, and Mischa proposes! Actually they also get married in this book ... then Mischa gets shot in the chest by a sniper ... on their wedding day ... just when they were walking towarda the guests. A pretty eventful wedding if you ask me. 
But things aren't all that bad as this incident finally brought Klaus in their little group. Who is this Klaus that I keep mentioning? You'd have to read to find out *wink*. 
There are a lot more humor in this installment, and we also get to see things from other characters' perspective like Luka, Klaus, and Alex. However, I feel like Lauren doesn't really shine in this book. It's as though she's became timid and reserved when things started crumbling around them. Speaking of crumbling, the twist London throws readers here is something I NEVER saw coming. I can't say what it is of course, but it is honestly heartbreaking. Tears were shed and my heart did break in a certain scene where Mischa's mind and heart were at war with each other. He was breaking down and I just can't handle the things that happened from that point on. 
London's seemless story telling skill is amazing. I loved how she gave us glimpses of Luka and Klaus' pasts, the demons that follow them around, and the scars--physically, emotionally, and mentally--they carry 24/7. But what I loved more is how she showed us how these seemingly messed up people can work together and make Mischa's "mission" a success. 
I can't say much anymore because I will end up revealing more than I already have, which I don't want to do because I want ya'll to experience what I did. 
Time Stood Still: 
I don't have much to say about this short addition to the series, except that it's nice seeing Mischa and Lauren as a regular married couple. Well maybe not so regular, but as normal as they can be. 
Alex and Luka's bickering also gets worse here and we start seeing the latter's carefully crafted facade start to break the more the former pushes. I really can't wait to see them together, which I would hopefully do in part 4 of the Volkov Bratvs which is unfortunately not part of this box set.

SUMMARY:
Like all other series, this one is not perfect. There were a lot of holes I'm still looking to fill, a lot of people I feel just disappeared and weren't given enough emphasis, and a lot of questions left unanswered. But I guess that's exactly what the author wanted to do so we'd be more inclined to immerse ourselves deeper in this world she created.

In a nutshell, I LOVED Mischa and Lauren: The Complete Collection books 1-3.5. I craved the complexity of the characters and of the situations, I yearned to dig deeper and learn more about them and their pasts, and I'm excited to see what lies ahead in their bumpy and risky journey. 
PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): http://amzn.to/1qmeYRI
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
With a degree in Creative Writing, London Miller has turned pen to paper, creating riveting fictional worlds where the bad guys are sometimes the good guys. Her debut novel, In the Beginning, is the first in the Volkov Bratva Series. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two puppies, where she drinks far too much Sprite, and spends her nights writing.
AUTHOR LINKS:
GIVEAWAY!!
TOUR ORGANIZED BY:
Share:

REVIEW of Conflicted by Ruby Black

 with No comments 
In , , , ,  


You know that feeling you get when you think you know how a story is going to go? You think, "Eh, this is probably like every other book with the same plot. A guy and a girl become best of friends, but one of them falls in love with the other. He or she doesn't want to come clean with his/her feelings though because of the risk of ruining their friendship. Fast forward a hundred pages then voila! They end up together and live happily ever after."

But the thing is, Conflicted isn't anything like that. I mean, yeah there are certain elements making it similar to others with the same storyline, but as a whole, it's deeper, more realistic, and a whole lot more complicated.

Title: Conflicted
Author: Ruby Black
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: ARC Given by Tour Organizer
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29743045-conflicted

SYNOPSIS:
She’s the only one I’ve ever needed and the only one I’ll never have.
The only problem is…she’s my best friend.
I’ve always felt the connection, but I just can’t go there. Not with her. She deserves better than what I can offer her. So I drown myself in women and booze, certain I’m doing the right thing, keeping her at a distance.
Or so I thought.
When Lacey tells me about the internship she’s scored with a hotshot criminal attorney, I’m happy for her. This could make her career. If anyone deserves success, it’s her.
Then I learn who her new ‘mentor’ is.
My father.
Now, the secrets I’ve been keeping may cost me the very friendship I’ve been trying to protect.
IMPORTANT LINKS:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1q0p22H
Easy share: https://www.facebook.com/indiesagepr/photos/p.1010641355692254/1010641355692254/?type=3&theater
Tweet: She’s the only one I’ve ever needed and the only one I’ll never have @rubyblackbooks http://amzn.to/1q0p22H

CHARACTER BACKGROUND:
Lacey is an intelligent woman who will do everything she can to achieve her dream. Her life revolves around studying, coffee, and Lucas--that is until she started her internship that can make or break her future career. But underneath all that strong shell is a shy, insecure girl who's just looking for love, support, and acceptance. But what will she do if she gets all that but under the wrong circumstances?

Lucas has only ever experienced loss. He lost his mother, his sister, his grandmother, and he might as well consider his father gone too. Letting people in is hard for him because he's afraid of being abandoned and hurt again. That's why he puts up the easy-go-lucky, care-about-nothing facade 24/7, especially when he's with Lacey. Wanting her but not wanting anyone else to have her is eating at him day by day. But there's nothing he can do, especially since he's keeping huge secrets from her.

REVIEW:
I am a woman, so I hate being wrong by default. One of the few times I do like to be mistaken however is when it comes to a book. Going into Conflicted, I had quite an assumption of how the story will go, as I have expressed earlier. Was that wrong of me? Yes, of course. But I tried my best to read this contemporary romance novel by Ruby Black with fresh eyes and no judgement. Boy was I glad I did. 

Here are a few notable things I liked about Conflicted: 

Character focus. In the entire book, there were only a handful of characters that were given emphasis. These are Lucas, Lacey, Aaron, and Eva. There were a couple more supporting characters introduced, but they weren't really thrust into the limelight. Because the author opted to make the story focus around Lucas, Lacey, and Aaron, I was able to understand the depth of each character more, more than if Ruby Black decided to congest the book with new characters in every chapter. 

Multiple POVs. I have always enjoyed a book told from different points of view compared to one that is narrated from just one. I feel like this writing style enables me to connect to the main characters more, and I become more invested in the book as a whole. Conflicted is told from Lacey and Lucas' perspective, giving all of us a glimpse of their thoughts, their actions, and their feelings. 

Attraction. I liked how Lacey was a lot like any other single woman in the sense that when she was thrust in a situation with a man she was attracted and infatuated with, she was real and honest. She did give in to her physical and carnal needs--which is normal because she is single and into Aaron--but didn't go all the way because she knew that her sleeping with him is wrong in more ways than one. She knew at the back of her mind that she wants Lucas to be the one in that moment with her. But that doesn't mean that Lacey and Aaron's attraction to each other was purely sexual, because Aaron really did like Lacey. She made him dream and gave him hope that when things turn around, they can be together. 

Which leads me to my last point...

Love triangle. YES, this is a love triangle. It may or may not be the intention of the author, but it is a three-way relationship to me. I may not be a fan of stories like this (because someone ALWAYS gets hurt), but because of the special circumstances in this particular book, I found myself anticipating what's to come and who will end up together. 

What did I mean by that? You may be wondering, "Shouldn't Lucas and Lacey be together?" Well, they did finally end up confessing their feelings for one another. But the last two to three paragraphs in the book led me to believe that there is so much more to come before we can celebrate.

SUMMARY:
Conflicted didn't exactly hit me with a bat from the first few pages; it slowly crawled its way into my mind and heart as each page passes. 

It's a story that will make you think of what-ifs, second chances, redemption, and happily-ever-after. It makes you yearn to see things from a different perspective, makes you want to understand the reason behind the characters' actions. And because of all these things, it is a great read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ruby Black is the pseudonym for a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She likes angsty romance, alpha males, and full bookshelves. Her novel Conflicted will be available May 10, 2016.

AUTHOR LINKS:

GIVEAWAY!!
TOUR ORGANIZED BY:
Share: