Monthly Archives: February 2015

THE MALEBOX (Our Male Reviewer) REVIEWS FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – THE MOVIE

The Malebox is baaaack!

We’ve all seen, discussed and had opinions on the Fifty Shades of Grey Movie, but we haven’t been able to find many comments from the guys who have had to accompany their significant other’s to watch it.
We did ask our husbands to go with us but they politely (or should we say, categorically) declined.

MB has been a bit slack of late so it fell on his shoulders to bring us a male POV of this much talked about movie.

We think you’ll enjoy  –  Malebox’s Day At Fifty. 

✦     ✦✦✦     ✦

THE MALEBOX REVIEWS
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – THE MOVIE

Fifty

Reviewed by MB

MB is back with a bang, a Fifty Shades bang that is. It’s been a while and I thought I’d do something different…instead of being book review guy, I’m going to do a review of the new Fifty Shades movie.

To make this happen, I went to see the movie today. No I didn’t go on my own, I didn’t want to be THAT guy, I went with a girl. She’s read the books, so this made it easier to suggest. I pretended I wanted to see American Sniper at first, just to make her work for it a bit. Now she thinks I’m the best guy ever and all going well this will stand me in good stead later when I bring out the power tools!

The movie theatre was about half full and made up of groups of girls and two guys. Me and the rather strange middle aged man sat on his own a few rows in front. I didn’t want to make eye contact, just in case this was seen as some sort of invitation.

I bought my lady popcorn and a drink. I normally don’t share food, but on this occasion, as I cut out a hole in the bottom of the of the popcorn bucket, needs must. I was hoping that this little treat for me might coincide with a sexy scene in the movie. As usual the commercials droned on, however an ad for strawberry flavoured condom lube put us all in the mood. Then came the previews…unfortunately I was slightly sick in my own mouth at the prospect of being dragged to see Magic Mike 2 this time it’s XXL.

Before we get onto the movie itself, I will let you into a guy secret. There are certain movies that guys secretly like but that they won’t admit to. Some examples of these are 17 Again and Dirty Dancing. We pretend not to like them, but we all see ourselves as Patrick Swayze throwing our shapes at the end, just like you Ladies see yourselves as Baby in the corner. We can now add the Fifty movie to our guy list…do we want to be Christian Grey? Yes, we most certainly do.

As I’ve read the books already, I was quite interested to see how Anastasia would look naked on the big screen and I wasn’t disappointed. Any girl that is spawned from the loins of Sonny Crockett, the coolest cop ever, was always going to be something special. She was perfectly cast in the role and played it cool just like her Dad. Jamie Dornan was perfect as Christian as well, just enough without coming across as a sex pest who should be on some sort of sexual offences register.

I thought the movie was very well done and that the sex scenes were delivered appropriately. I’ve read negative reviews about the movie and its portrayal of women, and I think it’s ridiculous. This is fiction people, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it or read it. For what it’s worth, as far as I could tell Ana seemed to be enjoying herself. I would expect these sorts of comments from do-gooders types and ‘I have an opinion on everything’ sorts, but this movie does not glorify anything bad.

I do think that it’s one of those movies that means much more if you’ve read the books though. If you went out with your partner one night and just decided to see the movie, you may walk out at the end a bit confused by it all. I had this experience with The Thin Red Line, I have no idea what this movie was about and appear to have missed the point of the entire thing. Quite why it was Oscar nominated and lasted over 3 hours is beyond me. Fifty won’t win any Oscars, but who cares, give the people what they want. They want Christian and Ana, love, sex and butt plugs.

To all you men out there, give it chance, your Lady may like it and may even want to stop off at a hardware store on the way home. If she does just go with it…in my view, anything that encourages more women to get involved in DIY is a bonus.

Just as a personal plea to E L James, maybe her next book could be about a dominant sportsman or even a dominant who likes to go out with his male friends to bars and get drunk every weekend. This would really do us men a favour.

I feel no shame in admitting that I enjoyed the movie, and any self-awkwardness in the cinema left each time I saw my male friend two rows in front, who I’m certain was touching himself. Did my date enjoy the movie I hear you ask? Yes she did… does she want my best Christian Grey moves later? Yeahhhhh she does!!! Does she want me to sniff her underwear? She may well do, but MB doesn’t roll with that. Especially not as she won’t have changed them since watching the movie, so it will be like Niagara down there. Maybe if she changes them, we can…..NEGOTIATE

“We aim to please, Miss Steele “

LATER’S, LADIES! 

We asked MB for a pic to accompany this post but he wants to remain anonymous. We had to settle for a bit of ‘arm porn.

Fifty 2

 ✦✦          ✦

PRE ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE FIFTY SHADES OF GREY DVD
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU

Mr Grey

 ✦✦     ✦✦✦     ✦

THE MALEBOX & SAMANTHA
JOINT REVIEW FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – THE BOOK!

Here’s a blast from the past we thought you might enjoy!
Back in 2012 The Malebox did a joint review of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with one of our readers, Samantha.
We thought we’d share it here again for those who may have missed it.
Enjoy!!!!!

 

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To:mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Confession from The Malebox

Can I tell you a secret?

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject: My lips are sealed

Sure you can, I am like a vault! (wink, wink)

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Full Access

Since I agreed to tandem read with you, TB have bought me a few books for my kindle.  So Ms. Samantha,  Mr. Malebox has been reading one of these books which is Fifty Shades of Grey!  I was curious and just wanted to know what all the fuss was about!

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  Very Intrigued….

Really?  And how do you feel about Fifty Shades Mr. Malebox?

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Pleasantly surprised….

I kinda like it…I didn’t know there were 3 books though….Mr. Grey is pretty cool.

 From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  I have to know…tell me!

Yeah, Mr. Grey is…pretty cool….

So, Mr. Malebox… Vanilla or Red Room of Pain???

Well, we all want to know don’t we?

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Ah now that would be telling…

I think the red room for you, Ms. Samantha…. Wait!  You are a bad influence on me!!!

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  Pouting…..

Fine, sorry, boring questions from now on…

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Never…..

I don’t do boring Ms. Samantha…we all need a bit of bad in our lives…

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  Impressed!

That was such a Mr. Grey line, Mr. Malebox!

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Gold Star!

I know…how cool was that!!!

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  Squirming….

That was pretty hot!  So umm, the book??  It isn’t particularly well written, but it is so good in a bad way!

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Yes!

I know…the writing is quite strange at times…I found it weird at the beginning but got used to it. I didn’t like all the inner goddess stuff….I have a lot to say about this book, so be prepared…

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  Go on….

Hit me baby

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Hand twitching….

How apt….

I don’t know what I was expecting from the book but it wasn’t what I read.

I was expecting it to be full of sex and whips, also I wasn’t expecting to actually enjoy it and I wanted to read it just to see what everyone was talking about.

I was wrong on both fronts.  I found the sex side of the book secondary to the relationship between the characters and all rather tame.

I was not expecting this…I actually really liked Christian Grey and also liked Ana.

I found the emails between them quite amusing….I really don’t mean this to be rude, but I found at times; the writing and Ana almost childlike…I assume that this may have been the intention though. What surprised me the most about the book was that I assumed that it would be complete shit and over publicized? It was much better than I expected it to be…It kept me interested throughout.

I don’t see what all the controversy with the book was all about though.

I can see why this book is popular and that is because of Mr. Christian Grey…the man is a genius!!

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject: Speechless….

Wow!  A genius?  I am surprised that you actually like Christian more than you like Ana, maybe it’s because she doesn’t really have much of a personality.  The email portion of the book was my favorite as well.  The emails were very well done and had me cracking up.  Ditto on the controversy, there are far more risqué books out there and they have been written better.   That being said, I can say I found myself strangely addicted to these books and I loved them.

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  I don’t make love….

I fuck hard…what a line.

Your thoughts on Ana…. I quite liked her. Not as a hot as my Myrna though, but I liked her more as a person.  I get the obsession thing by Grey…..

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject:  Liar, liar pants on fire…

That line was HOT, one of the best lines in the book!  I also liked when Ana said to Christian “don’t get your panties in such a twist…and give me back mine”.  I don’t get Ana.  Sometimes she seems like an independent woman and then others she seems like…..not.  How in the ham fat can you be twenty- something and not have touched your girly parts???  I call bullshit.  I wanna know about your obsession…

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Obsessions, possessions and confessions

I am a male with alpha tendencies which is why I like Mr. Grey and understand his relationship with Miss Steele. This may be controversial but I am going to ask 2 questions…are women possessions?

Secondly, should a man be obsessed with a woman?

The simple answer to both is yes.  A woman is a man’s most valued possession and with that possession rightly comes the obsession.  A man should be obsessed with his woman….I do not condone either behavior which is not reciprocal.

Do women want a man who panders to their every need and make a fuss of them. Well yes they do, but they also need something else…that is the challenge, excitement and fulfillment.

This is what Mr. Grey represents.

A woman also needs to feel secure and protected and safe. How do you feel when someone borrows your important stuff?  If you are like me, you worry that they will not take care of it or break it. Would you let someone steal this stuff?  No, you wouldn’t and I have already said that a woman is the most prized of all possessions.  So if someone tries to steal my woman then expect a beat down of the highest order…..

This is why I get Mr. Grey.

I would like to see Mr. Grey take on Myrna from the last book (Backstage Pass). Now that would be interesting.  It would be like Superman taking on Batman…who would win?

Actually I would like to take on Myrna…

From: mbandsam1@gmail.com
To: themalebox69@gmail.com
Subject: Ground rules…..

I am going to sit in a freezer now.  Holy hell Malebox, that was hot.

From: themalebox69@gmail.com
To: mbandsam1@gmail.com
Subject:  Breaking Ground Rules

Now I know there are rules but  I will be blatantly breaking them at every opportunity….. 

 ✦✦     ✦✦✦     ✦

THE FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY by E L JAMES

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY BUNDLE
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU

Fifty Trilogy

Purchase the MOVIE TIE IN PAPERBACK
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU

Fifty Movie Tie IN Book

 

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Filed under Aleksandr Voinov, E L James, MaleBox, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author

FIGHTING SILENCE (On The Ropes Book One) by ALY MARTINEZ

Fighting Silence

SYNOPSIS

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it’s the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I’ve always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn’t a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that’s the sound I’ll miss the most.

Each book in this series can be read as a standalone.

 ♥ 

Fighting Silence

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

✯✯✯✯ Stars

“Leave the window open..”

As everyone knows who follows TB, we love a friends to lovers romance especially following their emotional journey. Fighting Silence was just that; emotional – a believable and profound friendship which became an addiction in order to breathe in many respects. For us there was a real refreshing shift in this one which saw an incredibly strong heroine who loved and fought for those who meant something to her no matter how big the fight. She knew her heart belonged to her friend and she refused to deny that.

“We’re family, right? Well, family watches out for each other.”

Then we had a hero who had this innate and real fear that the hope and the beauty he felt too lucky to have in his otherwise ‘ugly’ life was somehow – a dream in reality – waiting to shatter and be taken away from him. He felt worthless and undeserving of this beauty and the light she shone on him.

‘I’d happily give up every noise in the world if I could just keep her laugh. But my life didn’t work that way.’

Our hero and heroine’s escape is – each other – in a place where their ‘lives’ can’t reach them nor the outside world – it becomes a fantasy from reality. A hopeful beautiful place where as youngsters they find in each other comfort, love and happiness.

‘I knew I’d loved Till years ago, but this was more. I needed him in order to function on a basic level.’

We loved how these two characters grew and faced obstacles no one should have to see or be a part of. The struggles Till faced whilst trying to look after his brothers at such an early age were overwhelming and we completely understood his apprehension and fear as the friendship between him and Eliza developed and love and passion entered their friendship. This is where the angst and heartfelt emotion began to play out as Till struggled to overcome his irrational fears and balance his life and the reality he ultimately faced.

“No more, Till. I love you, but I’m sick of living in your fantasy. My door will always be open for you.”

We did have a couple of issues whilst reading; one being the jumping from one scene to the next – one timeframe to another. It felt quite stilted and certain emotional milestones in Till and Eliza’s relationship lost their impact and emotional significance as a result. It felt quite rushed which was such a shame.

“Open your eyes, Till. I’m sick of letting the Earth spin under my feet while you circle around me.”

“I’m ready to let us go.”

The other was that as our characters grew older their thought processes seemed quite naïve and almost frozen as childlike which seemed a disservice to two beautiful characters who should have – would have grown as the story progressed.

However, saying that we absolutely loved the raw emotion from the beautiful writing and definitely recommend this story. We can’t wait to read more by this Author and we’re eagerly awaiting Flint’s book! THAT promises to be heart-breaking, compulsive reading!

‘He was the only thing I’d ever had that I honestly thought I couldn’t live without. Till Page was my soulmate on every level.’

**ARC provided by the author, with thanks, for an honest review**

Purchase FIGHTING SILENCE
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU 

Fighting Silence

Stay tuned for more
ON THE ROPES…….

FIGHTING SHADOWS-
Flint’s book is coming 30th June

FIGHTING FOREVER
Coming October 2015

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Filed under Aly Martinez, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE DEAL (Off Campus Book #1) by ELLE KENNEDY – REVIEW & EXCERPT

The Deal (Off Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy - 24th Feb
SYNOPSIS

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy… 

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date. 

...and it’s going to be oh so good. 

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

´´♥´

The Deal

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

✯✯✯✯✯  Stars

“I’m broken, and I wanted you to fix me.”

BOOK LOVE! We haven’t wiped these happy dopey grins off our faces since finishing The Deal and yep, we were well and truly in book heaven from start to finish and everything in between!!!

If you’ve read the synopsis and thinking to yourself ‘oh I’ve read this type of story before‘, then think again because Elle Kennedy managed to make this NA story feel refreshing and new.

This author has such a beautiful fluidity to her writing, we couldn’t help but get be swept away in her words. The Deal was delivered with sweetness, emotion, heartache, tonnes of humour  all wrapped up in a heart-warming story that had us in fits of giggles one minute, welling up the next and melting in a swoon worthy puddle throughout.

‘Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.’

We were thrilled this author chose to tell Garrett and Hannah’s story in dual POV as each character’s voice brought a new depth to the story and their inner monologues were priceless and these two characters were ADORABLE! One thing we really loved was that Elle Kennedy gave us a bloke’s pov that actually sounded like…well, a bloke as often it’s difficult to differentiate between the two. Not so in this case. Hannah and Garrett both had such distinctive voices that allowed us to completely lose ourselves in their story.

“Exactly how old is your penis?”
“He’s twenty, like me…but he’s way more mature than I am.”

Hannah is smart, sassy and beautiful, not to mention cute and a bit goofy with a vulnerability that utterly endeared her to us. Hannah isn’t one of the ‘cool’ kids but in our eyes, she was pretty bloody spectacular. Having lived through something horrific it is testament to this young lady that she is as level headed and caring as she is. We loved her!

“You won’t let anything bad happen to me, will you, Garrett?”

Garrett Graham….let’s just pause a minute to remind ourselves of everything we loved about this cocky, smart, loyal, gorgeous (just ask him, he’ll happily tell you haha!) beautiful soul of a man who strives to live up to the constant pressure of being the son of Hockey legend Phil Graham. Garrett stole our hearts. The secrets that lay behind his happy go lucky façade broke our hearts!

“When I’m on the ice, it’s the only time I feel….alive….”

There wasn’t anything we didn’t love about The Deal. The banter between Hannah and Garrett was brilliant and Garrett’s consternation over Hannah’s questionable music tastes had us grinning from ear to ear.

“How do you feel about Lynyrd Skynyrd? Or do you only like bands where the guys coordinate their outfits?” – Garrett

The chemistry sizzled – the backstories were heartbreaking on both sides but the author didn’t dwell on these, instead she delivered them with heartfelt emotion and warmth, while entertaining the reader with some of the wittiest banter we’ve read. The humour didn’t detract from the emotion of the story and the emotion didn’t weigh down the flow of the story either. In fact, it was all balanced beautifully.

“Trust me, the pressure I put on myself is nothing compared to what I had to deal with growing up.”

But you don’t want to hear us go on about it. Grab this book for yourselves and be prepared to lose yourself for a while. We can’t think of a better escape. The Deal can be read as a Standalone but you can bet we’ll be coming back for more!

**ARC copy provided by Omnific Publishing in exchange for an honest review**

 ´♥´♥´♥

THE OFF CAMPUS SERIES

THE DEAL – OFF CAMPUS BOOK ONE
Our 5 Star Review and Excerpt
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

THE MISTAKE – OFF CAMPUS BOOK TWO
Amazon US || Amazon UK 

THE SCORE – OFF CAMPUS BOOK THREE
Amazon us | Amazon uk

THE GOAL – OFF CAMPUS BOOK FOUR
Amazon US | Amazon UK

´´♥´

​EXCERPTFROM
‘THE DEAL by ELLE KENNEDY’

 

“Wellsy, wait up.”

She looks over her shoulder, frowning deeply. “For the love of God, I’m not tutoring 

“Sure you are.” I shrug. “I just need to figure out what you want in return.”

Hannah whirls around like a dark-haired tornado. “I want to not tutor you. That’s what I 

want.”

“All right, so it’s obvious you’re not interested in money,” I muse as if she hasn’t spoken. 

“Has to be something else then.” I mull it over for a beat. “Booze? Weed?”

“No, and no, and get lost.”

She starts walking again, her white sneakers slapping the sidewalk as she marches toward 

the gravel lot at the side of the diner. She makes a beeline for the silver Toyota hatchback parked 

right next to my Jeep.

“Okay then. I guess you’re not into party favors.”

I follow her to the driver’s side, but she completely ignores me as she unlocks the door 

and tosses her purse into the passenger seat.

“How about a date?” I offer.

That gets her attention. She straightens up like someone shoved a metal rod up her spine, 

then swivels her head in astonishment. “What?”

“Ah. I’ve got your attention.”

“No, you’ve got my disgust. You actually think I want to go out with you?”

“Everyone wants to go out with me.”

She bursts out laughing.

Maybe I should feel insulted by the response, but I like the sound of her laughter. It’s got 

a musical quality to it, a husky pitch that tickles my ears.

“Just out of curiosity,” she says, “after you wake up in the morning, do you admire 

yourself in the mirror for one hour or two?”

“Two,” I reply cheerfully.

“Do you high five yourself?”

“Of course not.” I smirk. “I kiss each of my biceps and then point to the ceiling and thank 

the big man upstairs for creating such a perfect male specimen.”

She snorts. “Uh-huh. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, Mr. Perfect, but I’m not interested 

in dating you.”

“I think you’re misunderstanding, Wellsy. I’m not looking to make a love connection 

with you. I know you’re not into me. If it makes you feel better, I’m not into you either.”

“That does make me feel better. I was starting to worry I might actually be your type, and 

that’s too terrifying to even contemplate.”

When she tries to duck into the car, I curl my fingers over the doorframe to keep it open. 

“I’m talking about image,” I clarify.

“Image,” she echoes.

“Yeah. Do you think you’d be the first girl who went out with me to boost her 

popularity? Happens all the time.”

Hannah laughs again. “I’m perfectly content with my current rung on the social ladder, 

but thanks so much for offering to ‘boost my popularity.’ You’re a prince, Garrett. Really.”

Frustration scrambles up my throat. “What’ll it take to change your mind?”

“Nothing. You’re wasting your time.” She shakes her head, looking as frustrated as I feel. 

“You know, if you take all the effort you’re using to harass me and channel it to your studies, 

you’d get an A-plus-plus-plus on that midterm.”

She shoves my hand out of the way, slides into the driver’s seat, and shuts the door. A 

second later, the engine roars to life, and I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t stepped back in time, she 

would’ve run right over my foot.

 

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Filed under Elle Kennedy, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE 5 STAGES OF FALLING IN LOVE by RACHEL HIGGINSON

The five stages

SYNOPSIS

The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a Contemporary Romance.
Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s

The 5 Stages of falling in Love

Jointly Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 Stars 

“I can’t take anymore heartbreak.”
“Then it’s a good thing I’m not going to break your heart.”

The 5 Stages of Falling in Love was as heart-warming as it was heart wrenching. The prologue was one of the saddest and most beautifully moving passages we’ve read and we truly felt every word, every moment and we felt it hard. What a way for this author to bring us into her story.

‘Grief doesn’t get easier with each stage. Grief becomes harder, more difficult to face, more consuming with each breath I take. I am adrift in a sea of confusion.  I am lost in a desert of heartache.’

Liz is a young woman in her early 30’s with four children, left widowed and adrift after losing the one and only love of her life. Liz is forced to deal with the grief of losing her husband, her soulmate, all whilst remaining buoyant enough to be support and confidante to her children. Despite drowning in her own grief, Liz had to be strong and attempt to ease the grief and confusion enveloping her children.

How do you move on after experiencing a soul searing love and a completely heartbreaking loss?

‘Sometimes love didn’t make sense. And that was okay.’

A bright light in Liz’s otherwise dull existence is her new neighbour Ben Tyler. An upbeat, eternal bachelor who takes a shine to Liz, enjoying her company and he in turn offers Liz an outlet to share her thoughts and escape her misery. We have to say, the introduction between Liz and Ben was hilarious! This was such a sweet and funny scene and on that note we have to say, this author wrote these children beautifully. They felt real, vulnerable and they completely touched our hearts.

“Is that why Ben is here…..did Daddy send Ben to take care of us?”

As Liz goes through her stages of grief you desperately will her to come out the other end and open her heart to Ben, but the road isn’t an easy one. Along with grief, there is the feeling of guilt for wanting to move on, for experiencing feelings Liz thinks she shouldn’t feel.

‘Our feelings for each other didn’t start as a seed, they started as an ocean.’

The 5 Stages of falling In Love is tragic yet so beautifully hopeful. There were times our sympathies tended to lie with Ben as, in this character, the author wrote such an endearingly wonderful man, that when he hurt, we hurt and these moments sometimes had us disconnecting from Liz. Her actions often felt unfair, though we did understand the conflicting feelings she was experiencing.

‘Ben wasn’t the answer to all of my problems. He might have eased the burden, be he didn’t take them away.’

There were a few times, particularly towards the end, where we felt as though we were being told, rather than shown the story, we would have also loved more ‘afters’ as we felt it ended a little abruptly.

But that said, if you’re looking for a beautiful, emotional and story of grief, love, hope and love, then this standalone read is a certainly recommended to satisfy feelings.

  ♥ 

Purchase your copy of THE 5 STAGES OF FALLING IN LOVE here
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The five stages

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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Rachel Higginson, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

RELEASE (Fire on Ice #5) by BRENDA ROTHERT – REVIEW & GIVEAWAY!! WIN THE COMPLETE FIRE ON ICE SERIES – SIGNED by BRENDA!

release

SYNOPSIS

NHL player Orion Caldwell protects his own. He’s an enforcer to his core, but he was the one left defenseless when his longtime girlfriend broke his heart. Now he’s all about his game, but spending the offseason in his hometown forces him to confront painful issues –both old and new.

Samara Cross just wants to be invisible. After living a nightmare, she came back to her hometown seeking solace. But her quiet new life is upturned by the hot, charismatic hockey player who’s taken a sudden interest in her.

Orion and Samara find something unexpected in each other, but when the hockey offseason ends, so does their time together. They struggle with their separation, confronted by ghosts of the past and an uncertain future, discovering that sometimes the only way to hold on to something precious is to let go. 

 

Release Collage

Reviewed by Jenny

✯✯✯✯1/2  ‘A great end to a series’ stars!

‘There were no guarantees, ever, but love was a leap of faith and I’d been standing on the edge…’

I’ve loved this series. I never fail to get swept up in Brenda Rothert’s words, atmosphere and characters and it was sort of sad opening this book knowing this was the end to the Fire on Ice Series, however Brenda certainly left me on a high because Orion’s book was up there as one of my faves of this series.

“Samara…..you’re worth fighting for.”

This was such a sweet and beautiful read. There was nothing overly dramatic, no overabundance of angst – in fact it all flowed beautifully.

“You know, this you and me thing?” “I think we’re on to something really great.”

Our hero Orion was just divine! Orion is the teams enforcer and it’s a tough role putting your body on the line but this guy couldn’t be more different off the ice.

“Yeah, I’m a lover and a fighter.”

Orion was warm, sensitive and loyal and was exactly what Samara needed. Her feelings of worthlessness were heartbreaking but this man really brought her out of herself and taught her what love, desire and happiness really meant. That it was worth fighting for.

The love between Orion and Samara felt so genuine and sweet, it was impossible not to fall in love with these two. Their love was simplistic and honest and I felt every word and every touch between them.  It was sheer beauty!

“I’m yours, too….and nothing’s ever felt better than that.”

As usual the Hockey ‘feel’  was apparent in this story and it’s one of the things that kept me coming back to this series again and again because Brenda really does put me in the moment as I’m swept up in the atmospheric delight of the hockey arena and the team brotherhood she creates.

If you haven’t checked out this series yet I urge you to add them to your TBR’s. Honestly, there has not been one book out of the five that I haven’t loved.  Each is special in its own way and every character has an engaging, passionate and emotional story to tell.

I have to say I was a tad excited when I saw there would be a spin off series! Bring it on!  The Fire on Ice series is an absolutely recommend from me!

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author, with thanks**

   ♥ 

Purchase THE FIRE ON ICE SERIES here

fire on ice

♥ BOUND – BOOK ONE
(FREEEE)
(Our Review)
 AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU

♥ CAPTIVE – BOOK TWO 
(Our Review)
A companion to Book One
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♥ EDGE  – BOOK THREE
(Our Review)
Can be read as standalone
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DRIVE – BOOK FOUR
(Our Review)
Can be read as standalone
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♥ RELEASE – BOOK FIVE
Can be read as standalone
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   ♥ 

Don’t forget to PRE ORDER KILIAN for Only 99c/99p:
KILLIAN – ON THE LINE BOOK ONE

(This is the first in  a spin off series releasing 23rd February)
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Killian (On the Line #1) by Brenda Rothert

SYNOPSIS

Killian Bosch knows he’s his own worst enemy – he just doesn’t give a damn. The star forward of a minor league hockey team, he’s unstoppable on the ice. His reckless behavior, devil-may-care attitude and complete disregard for consequences have made him a major source of headaches for the Fenway Flyers’ brass. 


But the new Flyers owner is more steel than brass. Sidney Stahl is a disciplined woman who parlayed earnings from a college job into a real estate empire. She’s determined to transform the Flyers from marketing nightmare to hockey powerhouse. Once she gets Killian in line, she knows the rest of the team will follow his lead. 


The seduction of his sexy new team owner is a challenge too forbidden for Killian to resist. Sidney plays into his attraction as a means of controlling him, but soon finds that she’s the one surrendering. It’s all on the line as Killian. and Sidney are forced to choose – business or pleasure?

♥ ♥ ♥

About the Author

Brenda

Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres. She loves to hear from readers by email at bjrothert@sbcglobal.net.

Connect with Brenda
Goodreads || Facebook || Web || Twitter

    ♥ 

GIVEAWAY!! 

WIN THE COMPLETE FIRE ON ICE SERIES – SIGNED BY BRENDA!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Filed under Brenda Rothert, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Jenny