Review: Lifeless (Lifeless 1)

Lifeless
Lifeless by J.M. LaRocca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was something in his eyes that hit me deep inside. Nothing else mattered in the world except for right then and there, with him. He was what I’d been craving for so long, and I didn’t even know it. – Scarlett

This book was very unexpectedly good! The sexual tension was hot as hell and Kade is one sexy, smokin’ hot alpha male! The sex scenes could have melted my Kindle!

Scarlett just graduated from college and was on a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Trey when she finds out that he is actually married with a baby on the way! She was heart broken and her best friend talks her into moving to Atlanta offering a job and a place to live.

Her life is finally going in the right direction when she meets Kade. Kade the super sexy, guitar playing, lead singer of one of the hottest bands in America. Kade is dangerous and she knows that she should stay away from him but she can’t resist the magnetic pull that draws her to him.

… he leaned in toward me, our bodies barely touching. My smile fell as his lips got closer to my ear and he whispered, “Do you feel that?” He nuzzled his nose against my ear. Instant need traveled through my body. I gasped and closed my eyes. “Yes.” “Do you feel the heat?” I could feel his hot breath on my ear, and it was sending lightning bolts down my body. “Yes.” I said, biting my lower lip. He grabbed my hips and pulled me closer, nuzzling his face in my neck before returning his lips to my ear. “I feel that heat every time I look at you, Scarlett, since the first time I saw you.” My breathing picked up speed. “You make me feel things that scare the fuck out of me, but I like the way they make me feel. Can you feel it too, Scarlett?” I could only nod. “That’s why I played the song for you. That song is a piece of me that I want you to have. Do you understand that, Scarlett?” He was still nuzzling his nose against my ear. His voice had me hypnotized. I could only nod….

This book doesn’t have a HEA but it doesn’t have a crazy cliffhanger either. The story is not over yet but book two is a continuation of Scarlett & Kade, which I am off to start reading now. 🙂

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Review: Exquisite Betrayal

Exquisite Betrayal
Exquisite Betrayal by A.M. Hargrove
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.75!!!

“This is what I want. Always. Right here. Like this. Forever and without end. You, Fallon. It’s always been you and it will always be you.” – Ryland Thomas

Fallon is a book blogger who is determined to lose her virginity while in Las Vegas at a book convention to see her favorite romance author, R.T. Sinclair. Ryland catches her eye and she decides that he would be perfect for the task but when he discovers this at the exact moment she becomes a non-virgin, Ryland gets very angry and stops. Humiliated, Fallon goes to leave his hotel room only to find her purse missing with her I.D., money and credit cards, and she was due at the airport to return home to Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Ryland Thomas is a wealthy writer who has closed himself off to love after catching the women he thought that he loved going down on his best friend. He has not opened himself up to anyone since that heartbreak. That is before Fallon literally fell into his life. When Fallon discovers herself with no money and no-one to help her, he takes her to his home at Lake Tahoe to wait for her new I.D. and credit card.

Suddenly, it becomes abundantly clear to me that a kiss with her is more intimate than the act of sex itself. There is something so incredibly emotional and personal about it that I know I’ll never think of kissing in the same way again. – Ryland Thomas

The taste of him when we kiss is beyond anything I’ve ever known. Most of all, he’s seeped into my heart, wedging himself within it, and I don’t ever want him to leave. If he does, there will be a space so huge that I’ll never be whole, never be myself again; I know that Fallon will cease to exist. – Fallon

Fallon eventually goes back home, but neither one can stop thinking about the other. Eventually Fallon gets a her dream job in San Francisco where Ryland’s sister, Tilly lives. I can’t say too much more or I will be giving the story away, but Ryland Thomas and Fallon begin a relationship full of the trials and tribulations that they need to work through.

“… sometimes when you go through the rough spots, the beauty shines through, and when it does, it’s much more appreciated.” – Ryland Thomas

I am kind-of on the fence with this book. I really liked to story line but felt it was a bit long and stretched out. Some of the wording was straight up corny, for instance, pleasure button, hoo-hah, jerk-hole, and intimate bits. The ending was good but the story had a bit of predictability due to all of the misunderstandings.

Sometimes, you think you’re getting over something, and that your life is taking a turn for the better, but then someone comes and throws you a fucking curve ball that flies at you so fast that you don’t have time to get out of the way before it smashes right into your skull,
blinding you with the pain. – Fallon

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Review: Falling (Fading 2)

Falling
Falling by E.K. Blair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Sometimes the things worth keeping are the things we have to work for.” – Donna

Falling is book 2 of the Fading series and is written in Ryan’s POV. I think that it could be read as a standalone but to get the full effect of the story, I suggest reading book 1 and 1.5 before diving into this one. This review contains spoilers if you haven’t read then previous books but if you have then nothing I write should spoil the story because Ryan’s story is in the same time period as Candace’s & Jase’s POV’s.

Ryan Campbell has a troubled past and feels that he incapable of love and just never thought that it was in the cards for him. His father was a nasty drunk and extremely abusive to Donna (Ryan’s mom) and Ryan. After he died in a drunk driving accident after stabbing Ryan, Donna and Ryan were finally free of the terror they lived through. Neither of them ever told anyone of the abuse and they went on with their lives.

“Pain is a reminder you’re still alive.” – Ryan

One night while getting ready to leave the bar that he owns, he hears screams and goes to the rescue of a girl being raped. Seeing what he saw haunted him and it changed him. He stopped having superficial hook-ups with random women because he no longer wanted to use someone for his own personal pleasure.

“I’m almost thirty. I’m sick of going out all the time to just fuck random chicks. I’m tired.” … Gavin’s the same age as me, and I know he’s perfectly happy doing the shit that he does, but it doesn’t make me happy anymore. It never did make me happy; it only made me numb. – Ryan

You know how most of the rest of the story play’s out, and at times it got a bit redundant after reading Candace’s POV and then Jase’s POV but I really enjoyed being in Ryan’s head. It answered all of the questions that I had after the first two books.

I see it. No. Suddenly, reality stabs into my chest, and I feel everything I never wanted to be true pour out of me. Time freezes. I can’t breathe, and the panging inside of me is unbearable. I know I can’t deny what I see, but I do. Because it can’t be. It just can’t. God, don’t let it be. Slow motion. Everything moves in slow motion as I bring my hand to her hip, and with a trembling thumb, I drag it across what I can no longer blame on head-trips. I brush it again, not wanting to believe what my eyes see. A thin black outline of a tiny heart. That tiny heart from that night. The thud of my chest is painful; it’s the most painful thing I’ve ever felt in my entire life, and before I know it, she slings hers arms around me, but I’m in shock. I can’t fuckin’ move. I’m too scared. It can’t be her. Not her. Not that girl. Not my girl.

Squeezing my eyes shut, it’s all I see now. Her bloody thighs. Her beaten face. Her shredded nails. “God, please! Stop!” I hear it. Her voice. Her shrieking, desperate voice. Opening my eyes, I’m jittery. She has to feel it. Her body is clung tightly to mine, and I realize that I’m not touching her. I feel like I can’t touch her. Like I don’t know how, but I force myself to. And when I cautiously wrap my arms around her, I feel her shaking too. And now everything is clear. I can’t pretend that I don’t know exactly why she’s shaking. – Ryan

Ryan’s pain when Candace leaves him is palpable. They chest hurt and I cried for his pain even though I already knew how the story ended. I didn’t think that it would affect me the way that it did. It was so emotional and painful. I cried reading about his pain even though I knew that Candace would find her way back to him.

It almost hurts to look at her because I know this will be the last time I will probably ever see her. I can’t take my eyes off her. I don’t ever want to. I’d hide back here forever if it meant I wouldn’t have to stop looking at her. As tiny as she is, she made the biggest impact on me. I’ve never loved as hard as I did with her. I don’t know how anyone could ever love her more. With everything we went through to get to the point we were at, knitted so tightly together, I never thought there could be a possibility of us unraveling like we did. But we did. – Ryan

The book doesn’t end like the first book. It keeps going with a wonderful HEA. I was at 80% thinking that the rest was going to be teasers for upcoming work but the book didn’t end until I was at 100%. You need to read it the get the full effect of this powerful love story. So don’t skip it because you think that you know the whole story, because you don’t. Just read it – you won’t be sorry.

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Review: Freeing (Fading 1.5)

Freeing
Freeing by E.K. Blair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t think that it was possible to top the first book in the series (Fading) but Freeing did just that. It is such a beautiful love story. The struggle that Jase has with coming to terms with who he is is enormous. And seeing Candace’s rape from his POV was heartbreaking. I cried more reading what he witnessed and felt affected me more than reading Candace’s POV.

Jase is Candace’s best friend, but it was a very strong and affectionate friendship. They are each others home. They are each others everything. When one hurts the other hurts too.

I love this girl; I always have. I can share things with her that I never could with anyone else. She never judges. Our physical relationship has always been a part of who we are together. We
often sleep in the same bed, and I honestly think I give her something she has always lacked in her life—affection. – Jase

I just want to go back to the only home I know. I just want to crawl into bed with her and tell her all this shit and let it out, knowing that she loves me regardless of anything I could possibly say. – Jase

Freeing is during the same time period as Fading and is written from Jase’s POV, but it is not all about Candace – this is about Jase and Mark and Jase’s struggle to come out of the closet publicly and to his parents. He has never had a relationship with a man, only casual hook-ups. But with Marks understanding and patience, Jase is finally able to accept his sexuality and let go of all of his fears and accept love.

“I was scared because I’ve never done this before. I’ve never wanted to be around another guy the way I want to be around you. The thing is… I’m not sure what the hell I’m doing… it wasn’t until I met you that I realized I was terrified to admit that I’m gay. I mean, I’ve always known, but the idea of a relationship just seemed too defining, and I wasn’t sure I was ready. I… a part of me is still really uncomfortable with this” – Jase

Witnessing Candace’s trauma and aftermath from the rape was very emotional and well written. He was is so much pain for her.

I walk in to see my girl’s bloody, swollen face. I know I can’t hide my horror, and she falls apart, sobbing. Rushing over to her, I wrap my arms around her head as much as I can since she’s wearing a neck brace. I can’t stop kissing the top of her head and telling her that I love her. My tears fall effortlessly from my eyes and into her
hair. I just keep repeating it over and over as her body jerks with her wails. She cries for a long time, but I never loosen my hold on her. I’ve never been so scared for anyone in my life. Candace is so strong and always keeps her emotions held tight. Hearing the pain that’s coming out of her is killing me. – Jase

This book is emotional and moving on so many levels. If you liked Fading, you will love Freeing.

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Review: Fading (Fading 1)

Fading
Fading by E.K. Blair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

pain is a reminder you’re still alive

Candace has always kept people at an arms length because if they don’t get close, they can’t hurt her. The only to exceptions to that rule are her best friends Jase and Kimber. Jase is her rock and they consider themselves family. They would have made an awesome couple but Jase is gay.

As we lie here, staring at each other with no words, Jase holds my hand and laces his fingers through mine. This simple gesture comforts me in a way that only Jase can do. We have always been very affectionate with each other, but it has never felt weird. It was our natural chemistry from the moment we met our freshman year. And now, I feel like he is my only lifeline.

At the urging of her friends Candace decides to go a bit out of her comfort zone and goes on a second and third date with Jack even though she didn’t really like him. She was tired of living in her cocoon. Then she experiences one of the most horrific things that a women can go through. She was raped. By Jack.

Time is frozen as I stand here in this position. My chest aches, and my whole body feels broken. My stomach burns, and I swear to God I can start to feel my soul begin to break. Piece by piece I begin to lose myself. My chest is crumbling into painful shards of what used to be me. Violent sobs wrack my body, and I slowly collapse on the wet tile beneath me. Sitting there on my knees, with one hand on the floor balancing myself, and the other pressed against my chest, I try desperately to gasp in breaths between my wails.

This book takes you on a journey of the struggle to move forward. She would take one step forward and two steps back. She is introduced to Ryan by Jase’s boyfriend Mark. Over time she learns to trust him and a friendship develops. Then love develops. He is everything that she needs. He supports her when she needs support. He comforts her when she needs comfort. He loves her in a way she has never experienced before. He is so patient with her and he gives her all of the time she needs to heal. And she does, over time.

What I feel for this man is more than I ever thought I was capable of feeling. For a while, I thought I would never truly laugh again, but with Ryan, I’m my happiest. He gives me what I have been desperate for.

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