Monthly Archives: September 2012

I LOVE YOU TO DEATH by NATALIE WARD

I Love You To Death

SYNOPSIS

When Ash loses her boyfriend, she is consumed by grief, loneliness and an overwhelming sense of guilt for her role in not only his death, but the deaths of everyone she has ever loved. Refusing to let anyone in for fear of losing them too, she becomes withdrawn, spending her days reliving the nightmares from her past.

Until she meets Luke.

Initially scared by his intensity and interest in her, Ash tries to push him away. But as Luke slowly starts to chip away at the walls she’s built, Ash finds herself doing the one thing she swore she’d never do again — falling in love.

When the familiar feelings Ash had hoped were long buried with her past begin to resurface, she is forced to ask herself if falling in love again is really worth the risk. 

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Gitte 4.5 Stars.
Jenny 4.5 Stars

Gitte:     I thought this was an extremely emotional and beautiful story. So different to anything I have read lately.  I felt very melancholy throughout pretty much the whole book.  I LOVED the music references, the play list was so important to this story. And because I pretty much have the majority of those songs on my iPod I felt ever written word in my heart.  As I listened to them whilst reading I got chills, tears and at times my heart was in a puddle on the floor!

Jenny:   I got excited for this book on the first few pages when I saw the first playlist.  Like you GG, it was like the author had stolen my Ipod and put all my favourite bands and music in this book and every song was so important to the story.  I did the same…listened to the songs while reading.
This was certainly a beautiful and emotional book and so well written.  I just loved the author’ style of writing  – everything felt so real and being that it is written in the first person you really feel the impact of the story especially when Ash allows herself to feel.  This is a story I truly felt.

Gitte:  It was beautifully written and I have to say the build-up had me desperate to get to the end because I literally had no idea where this story was going to end up. And the ending…WOW…PERFECTION! I did not see that coming and it made the story of Ash and Luke so poignant and emotionally heart wrenching and moving.

Jenny:  I was the same – I was so anxious while reading it just wondering what was coming next and felt the story was well executed and switching from past to present prevented the story from getting bogged down and really kept up the pace l – I was dying to know how this book was going to end up.

Gitte: My heart ached for Ash, I wanted to pick her up , cuddle her and keep her out of harm’s way…in my head I called her my little Grim Reaper. But affectionally; because this girl; what she had to go through, wow I cried…A LOT!!!

“The anger at being the way I am, the anger at having caused all this and more than anything, the anger at being unable to do a f*****g thing about it all.”

Jenny:  I loved Ash (Asha) too.  Wow, what that girl had dealt with.  No wonder she was so closed off emotionally.  She was so full of self-doubt and so afraid to care or love another person and understandably so.  I cried a few times as well.  How much could one person endure and come out unscathed.

Gitte    I LOVED the past/present style of writing.  It gave us the background and explained the perception and conclusions drawn by Ash. This girl has rationalised everything back to herself and lives with this dark and distorted view of herself.

Jenny:  I really enjoyed the past/present switch too and found myself itching for it to go back and forth because I really wanted to know how Ash got to the place she was at now, but at the same time I wanted to switch to the present to watch this beautiful relationship between her and Luke evolve, watching how Luke draws Ash out of herself.
The switching was flawless and handled so well.  In particular the story of Sam had me in tears.

Gitte:  Luke was amazing. He was a hero; a saviour and I loved him immediately!

Jenny Luke….where do I start with him.  I just loved him. And not because he was gorgeous, sensitive, caring, patient, tattooed lead singer in a band….okay, that helped, but Luke is so much more.  What a great hero he was.  I have to say, the sexual chemistry between these two was sizzling. Watching their relationship develop just touched my heart.  Luke really sees Ash.  He sees her pain.
He’s unearthed it and yet he stays”
I love how Luke saw through her.  How he took the time and saw the girl who was underneath.

Gitte:  Two scenes in particular completely did me in….I had to stop reading I was crying that hard….but I won’t spoil this amazing book and say any more than that! Just know that if you are a crier like me you will need a full box of tissues!!

“…these things do happen and it’s just a part of life….”

Jenny:   This book is a sad book, I certainly shed a few tears, but it’s also a book about hope and moving forward and dealing with your past.  Luke and Ash dealt together and they will both steal your heart.   I love these lines from Ash about Luke:

Ash on Luke
“I watch his eyes as they find me in the crowd.  I watch his lips as they sing into the microphone.  I watch his fingers as they play his guitar.  I watch his body as it moves around the stage and I imagine his eyes, his body…all over me.  I want him”

Well, have I tempted you to read this book yet?  I hope so because I’m sure you will love it as much as we did.

 I LOVE YOU TO DEATH by NATALIE WARD
amazon us || amazon uk

I Love You To Death

 

I LOVE YOU SERIES can be purchased below


I LOVE YOU TO DEATH BOOK ONE : amazon us || amazon uk
STUBBORN LOVE BOOK TWO :  amazon us | amazon uk
I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS BOOK THREE : amazon us | amazon uk

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Natalie Ward, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Need (Finday Anna #2) by Sherri Hayes

SYNOPSIS

As Brianna comes to terms with the realization that she is no longer a slave, she must figure out what she wants for her life. Forgetting her past isn’t an option. It is an integral part of who she is now, and it will forever shape her view of life. The one thing she knows is that she cannot imagine her life without the man who saved her, but can she be what he needs?

Stephan never imagined falling in love with the woman he rescued, but the thought of her no longer being part of his life is physically painful. The scars from her past continue to haunt her, and he is helpless to stop them. All he can do is try to help her work through the traumas of her past. Can he be everything she needs and help her move on?

Available to purchase below

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Reviewed by Gitte

4 Stars

Need was a beautiful continuation of the story that began in Slave. I still love the style of writing and the pace in which it is told. I also love that we get the POV change again with some scenes told by both Stephan and Brianna so we know how each was affected.

This instalment sees Stephan’s continuous strength, patience and efforts in helping Brianna on her road to recovery.  He realizes he has fallen in love with her and she is slowly starting to realize she is not his slave and is free to leave him should she wish to. However, Brianna is initially still so broken she is unable to leave the safe haven of his apartment.

Stephan is truly fabulous and patient, and despite being a Dominant, he pushes Brianna to realise her worth and her right to independence as well as showing her she can trust him without ever pushing her beyond her limits.

Brianna needs this kind of control, and through the firm guiding of Stephan and his gentle advances  he begins to be the one person who can retrieve her when she succumbs to flash backs and panic attacks. Brianna’s trust in him has grown and she realizes that Stephan is her constant, her lifeline and her hope, she is actually, despite coming across almost childlike, a very strong person. Stephan wants her as his submissive but is afraid to push this want on Brianna. She knows that Stephan has had submissives before but to begin with is unable to differentiate between this and being a slave.

I thought Stephan came across unwise in the sense of determining what is the best and most appropriate method to adopt to “fix” Brianna. However, I think he feels so responsible for her recovery and extremely protective over her. He perhaps arrogantly thinks he is the only one that won’t hurt her and has her best intentions at heart. To me, he came across a lot older than his years. Sometimes I had a bit of a hard time believing he was only in his early 20’s. I would have added another 10 years. However, with Brianna only being 18, this just wouldn’t have worked. Overall though, I understood him, his attentiveness, his control proved to slowly improve Brianna’s life mentally. This came about through his ability to second guess her and ultimately his love

I have to say that Need raised more answers than it answered. However, how would a young girl come back from a life of being sold, beaten and abused in every manner? And how long would such a process take?

We are left with a cliff-hanger, oh how I hate that!!! The third book is not due until summer 2013, and I for one cannot wait!!!

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Filed under 4 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Sherri Hayes

Slave (Finding Anna #1) by Sherri Hayes

4 STARS

This is quite a distressing story of young Brianna who has been forced to live a life as a slave. That is until Stephan steps in and saves her.

Stephan is a dominant and when he is told about a girl named Brianna who lives as an unwilling slave, being tortured and used not by choice he cannot help but act.  Unfortunately the “Owner” of Brianna will only relinquish his ownership if Stephan buys her off him for a substantial amount of money. Stephan, who is a very wealthy young CEO, recognises that this girl is terrified and understands the current and eventual plight of this poor girl when he sees he bruised and haunted.

“The Thought of buying a woman turned my stomach…..I couldn’t leave her there that was certain, not if she was there against her will.”

Stephan originally thought to set her free once he got her safely out of there. However, he soon finds that Brianna is so emotionally scarred and is unable to function on her own that he sets himself the task of slowly trying to bring her out of herself, helping her reclaim who she is, her own worth and her recovery. First though he needs to gain her trust and make her feel safe. This proves to be a long arduous journey and trust is not something that is easily reached as Brianna believes she has gone from one sadist master to another.

I loved how this story is told in both the hero and the heroines POV. We get to see this horrific situation from both sides which makes it that much more emotional and you get the chance to understand the actions of both characters.

Poor Brianna, she broke my heart. She has been tortured and broken and is understandably scared to death of Stephen. Through her POV some of her past is revealed and I have to say I felt both distressed and sick to my stomach at times reading what she had been through.

Stephan, well he was pretty damn amazing. Here is a young guy who knows exactly who he is and what he wants. He is a strong alpha male but he has compassion, he has decency and he has heart. All he wants to do is help Brianna recover and set her free.

Things don’t go quite to plan when slowly, Stephan realises that he is falling in love with Brianna. This broke my heart when he sadly realises that she may never have the emotional strength or ability to return this love.

In a nutshell this journey is a very deep and emotional read about how a young girl kept in sadistic non-consensual slavery is affected mentally and how our hero takes it upon himself to try to heal her and show her it is okay to trust and love.

Side note: This story does not have BDSM in it other than a few mentions from Brianna’s time as a slave. It also does not have explicit sex.

I can highly recommend this book and I would like to thank Sherri Hayes,TWCS & Netgalley for sending me the ARC.

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Filed under 4 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Sherri Hayes

Dark Soul The Complete Collection 1-5 by Aleksandr Voinov

SYNOPSIS

Love lights even the darkest soul.

A killer’s moral compass rarely points true, and among made men, being gay is a capital crime. But Silvio Spadaro, deadly prodigy and heir to a Family fortune, is determined to find his own way–at the feet of the man he loves or by the barrel of a gun–no matter the dangers or costs.

Stefano Marino lives a comfortable–some might even say enviable–life. As a mob boss at the top of the food chain, he has it all: money, respect, a beautiful wife he loves as much now as the day they wed. But he also has a turf war on his hands, and far too soft a heart for this dark business.

When Silvio is sent to help Stefano with his turf war, sparks fly. Stefano loves his wife, but he wants Silvio. It’s a desire he hardly knows how to process, but Silvio, ever the patient predator, maneuvers Stefano closer and closer to his bed each day. Stefano resists; giving in to these dark desires means giving up on his marriage, and exposure would surely mean death. Yet there’s no denying Silvio’s magnetic pull, or the long-repressed urges inside himself. Yielding is inevitable, but he may yet find a way to hold on to everything–and everyone–he loves.

DARK SOUL THE COMPLETE COLLECTION is available to purchase below
Amazon US | Amazon UK


4.5 stars

I just finished vol 1 -5 and I would like to say it rendered me speechless, but quite the opposite, I have so much to say there is no way it’s going to come out eloquent or possibly make any sense by any stretch. Dark Soul is a scarily addictive; dark but delicious m/m mafia series.

To say I loved it would be an understatement. My heart pretty much sat in my throat whilst reading and it broke. Silvio broke it! He scared me yes, but I literally got so swept up by Mr. Voinov’s words, I wanted to pick Silvio out the story, touch him, and keep him safe. I wanted to fix him, heal his pain and teach him love and emotion. He had strength yet was vulnerable, he seemed emotionless but he felt. He was a killer. I fell in love with Stefano too and despite his violent criminal life as a Mafia boss, he was truly a decent man with a big heart despite this.

Now, I thought the writing was exceptional. Truly. So dark, powerful and raw. The brilliance of the words made me almost feel like I was there in the background watching this journey play out in front of me.

Aleksandr Voinov pushed every boundary I had making me almost uncomfortable with my feelings, questioning myself. He had me feel utter compassion for killers, accept adultery, understand extreme sexual needs and wants. Truly astounding! He kind of made the irrational rational. It truly is a brutal journey of beauty, violence, excitement, love, hate, sex, incest, life and death.

I have to say as I finished reading the last page I was emotionally exhausted to the point of crying when I read the last words. These characters will honestly stay with me. They took a piece of my heart!

Thank You to Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Caution: This is an extremely disturbing, dark and erotic m/m

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Filed under 5 Stars, Aleksandr Voinov, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte

Unravel Me by Kendall Ryan

Gitte:    Ashlyn is researching and writing her final thesis – on associative amnesia disorder. She doesn’t do relationships. They are more hassle than they are worth. Now Ashlyn, she blew kind of hot and cold…(no I don’t mean that!).

Jenny:   I liked Ashlyn as a character, but yes she blew hot and cold (hmmm and yes….you did mean that!).  She doesn’t do relationships normally.

Gitte:    Ashlyn meets ‘Logan’ when her Professor initiates a consultation as it will help her reaserch. Logan is kind of like her test subject. When she meets him he is handcuffed to a bed under suspicion of murder with no memory of who he is or his past for that matter. Ashlyn’s intentions are to study him and perhaps help him as well. However she feels almost an immediate attraction and Logan seems to be drawn to her too.  Ashlyn wants to help ‘Logan’ figure out his past and find out who he is and what his name is. The pair of them have an instant connection in more ways than one! She showed amazing courage placing her faith and trust in ‘Logan’, and he in her.

Jenny:  Ashlyn Drake has an orderly life.  She is a Psychology and she has the opportunity to meet a perfect test subject for her amnesia thesis – a young man without any memory of his previous life, including the murder he’s accused of committing.
Logan is very gorgeous and very male.  Ashlyn hasn’t had a boyfriend in a long time and spends a lot of time alone studying.  She is drawn to Logan in a way that is more than professional.  There are a few things that draw her to Logan including his cryptic tattoos and they definitely have a chemistry between them.  She really wants to learn about his past and help him get his retrieve his memory.

“ I watched him sleep and saw him lying there, this living, breathing, attractive man, who so incredibly male.”

Gitte:    ‘Logan’ is confused and desperate, who wouldn’t be! He wakes up and everyone treats him like a murderer and he hasn’t got a clue! I felt really sorry for him, I can’t imagine what that must be like! Now ‘Logan’ was HOT, alpha-male, he was a dirty talker and umm he had a big…..yeah…so I liked Logan!!  I also learnt something new…Amnesia does not make you forget “everything” …that is all…

Jenny:   Oh Logan definitely remembered how to do a lot of things! I really did want to read more about what happened, not just be told if you get what I mean.  I wanted to be “present” once Logan started remembering his past – we did get to see his memory unravel somewhat but I felt I needed more.

Gitte:    I have to say I liked how the mystery of ‘Logan’ was unravelled through his paintings and his tattoos. I also liked the suspense of who this man is/was and how Ashlyn was determined to help him find himself again despite the possibility of unravelling something dark and finding out he is not what she believes him to be. I would have loved to have Logan’s POV as his past was unravelled.

“…was like admitting I was nothing, a nameless faceless nobody. With nothing to my name and nobody who even cares, It was too much” – Logan

Jenny:   I thought the paintings being used that way very clever and you felt for Ashlyn during those times having to witness Logan’s memory returning and what it might mean for her.    Still, it left me wanting to “know” how Logan felt about his past coming back to him – we were never told how he felt – it just sort of happened and I feel we should have put in the moment so we could feel his frustration and emotions.

Gitte:  I was slightly disappointed though, because the premise of this story was fab, but I believe it could have been so much more. I wanted more. Once the big reveal happened it was almost over and it felt a bit like an anti-climax.

Jenny:   I agree.  The actual premise of the story was brilliant and I really did love what I read but I was looking forward to getting into the “nitty gritty’ f his past and seeing Ashlyn and Logan explore this together in detail.  Because this didn’t happen it may me feel disconnected to the this in some way..

Gitte:    3.5 – As I said the premise of the story was fab just wanted more.

Jenny:   3.5 – I loved the characters and the actual story was really good.  The build up was great but then it was all over. Because we weren’t present for Logan’s “story” it left me wanting more as well

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Kendall Ryan, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny