#FinishLine by Cambria Hebert

Blurb:
34384215
Every race has a finish line.

Where you go after you cross it is what matters most. And sometimes, that’s the most intriguing.

Here at GearShark, we’ve featured lots of drivers. All of them are well acquainted with the finish line. And as race fans, we’re well acquainted with cheering as they cross it. What we aren’t privy to is riding shotgun, seeing where they drive once the race is over.

Our interviews barely scratch the surface, offering just a glimpse of the men and women behind the wheel. The discovery of vanished Motocross sensation Jayson Hamilton, who has been right under our noses for years, proves secrets abound.

It’s time to dig deep. Look beyond the racetrack at the drivers who continue to pique our interest. In addition to scoring an exclusive, all-access interview with the elusive Jayson Hamilton (his first and only since the death of his fellow racer and partner Matt Lewis), we’ve caught up with some of our most popular featured men and women in the racing world.

Where are they now?

Who are they now?

What do these hot commodities do when they escape the spotlight?

Rumors of weddings, babies, and new tattoos swirl through the media on a weekly basis. And though we’re headlining the hashtag #Finishline, we’re far from finished. In fact, we’re just getting started.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I think I might have enjoyed this one a bit more if I’d had dedicated time to read it, instead of it being broken up in little pieces whenever I had time in between other stuff going on in my life.

That being said, remember how I LOVED #Bae because it was so much more than *just* a huge epilogue??  Well, this one is basically just a huge epilogue.  I kept waiting for twists and turns and more character development, and I really didn’t get it.  We did get a few answers about Hopper’s past, but in general I felt underwhelmed…like I wanted more.

And honestly, while I love Hopper and Arrow together, things got a bit overdramatic in their relationship…over the top declarations and stuff like that.  And I couldn’t help but be a bit uncomfortable with the co-dependency that was their relationship.  In some ways I can see how these two damaged characters might form that kind of relationship, but it’s not my favourite, if that makes sense.

Now, it was not all over the top and crazy, don’t get me wrong.  If it was, I wouldn’t be rounding up.  I do LOVE epilogues, so it was super fun to see them together, loving each other, putting each other first, and actually getting to see the happily ever after.  I loved Hopper and Jace’s conversation near the beginning, I loved the proposal, I loved Arrow’s surprise for Hopper in Las Vegas…well surprises (honeymoon too).  I loved the wedding.

I do remember seeing people mention that this was not just an Arrow/Hopper story, so I wasn’t completely taken by surprise when their story finished at 70%…I kind of still wanted more, but I was satisfied.  And I do remember people mentioning that there is no more Trent and Drew story (though they do have cameos), so I wasn’t surprised about that either (though there was a tiny piece of my heart that held out hope for some reason).

And I actually enjoyed Josie and Jace’s extra bit of story.  I thought they had a bit more to say, and I actually almost got more out of their story than I was expecting.  Though their little bit of conflict was resolved fairly quickly in the end, but I still appreciated that we got to see them hit a stumbling block.  I loved the proposal, I loved Jace’s conversation with Josie’s Dad and the way it played out after that, I LOVED the wedding (and seeing Josie get some girlfriends in Rimmel and Ivy, Trent’s da bomb), and I thought that the hospital scene at the end was hilarious and a perfect end to their story.

So yeah.  I enjoyed it.  Just not as much as I was hoping to.  Trent and Drew remain my faves, but I’m glad that Ms. Hebert didn’t just slap something together for them just because fans were asking.  I hope she gets inspired, but I will wait for gold if it comes, and be satisfied if this is all I get if inspiration doesn’t strike.

Lenoreo_small

#Blur by Cambria Hebert

Blurb:
32856045Nothing but a #blur…
There’s a new kid in town, and he’s hell on wheels.
From what we’ve heard, it may be because
he knows exactly what hell’s like.
Lonely.
Scorching.
Unforgiving.
You may know his brother, the NRR hotshot
(and former GearShark cover model)
Lorhaven.
It’s only natural a driver with his background and family connections
has sped his racecar into the newest, hottest division.
But that’s not all.
Arrow may be following in big bro’s tread marks,
but he doesn’t plan to stay there.
He’s swerving onto the road less traveled…
and a lot more controversial.
He’s opening up about his private struggles with sexuality
to tell a story that’s gone unheard until now.
One thing’s for sure; Arrow may have a painful past,
but his foot is heavy on the accelerator.
With speed like this, he’s bound to leave everything behind in
nothing but a #blur.
Check out the full feature article inside…

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I will start off by saying that this book should contain a HUGE trigger warning.  I don’t have triggers, but I really don’t get why more authors aren’t putting them on books.  You can be vague, you can just say trigger warning and not explain what kind, but give people who have triggers at least a mini head’s up.

This book broke me, particularly the past sections.  I was trying so hard to contain my bawling in bed because my hubby was sleeping, but even though I wasn’t making any noise, I was shaking so hard he woke up anyways.  And didn’t even comfort me, the bastard.  So yeah, be prepared for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster in parts.

I’ve been fascinated by both Arrow and Hopper from previous books.  And their book was both really fulfilling and left me wanting a bit more at the same time.  We’ll see how I feel after #FinishLine, but this book was a strange dichotomy.  It’s why I’ll end up rounding down, even though I had mega feels while reading it.

I loved both characters.  I felt like we really got to delve into what their shattered souls were like, and I loved seeing them develop strength both on their own, and derive it from each other.  I really loved them together.  There were so many lines that just got to my heart, I loved how they recognized the brokenness in each other, but weren’t put off by it…rather they were drawn to each other almost because of it.

I freaking stood up and cheered with Arrow’s confrontation with his father at the end.  That was ridiculously satisfying.

There were so many scenes that just pulled me in and grabbed hold of me.  I loved the way they loved each other, how they both resisted, were unsure, were afraid, but the connection was powerful enough to keep drawing them back.  I even enjoyed that they had stumbling blocks, but that they overcame them.  And I really felt their chemistry, I especially enjoyed their first explorations of each other.

I will admit that there were things that didn’t quite work for me.  I thought the stuff Arrow dealt with from his father at the beginning was a bit over the top.  I was disappointed that we didn’t really get any resolution on the aftermath of Arrow’s past (I really thought we’d find out more details on what happened when Lorhaven found him, and what happened to the guys).  And similarly I was disappointed that we got NO resolution from Hopper’s past.  What happened to those two guys?  What happened to Arrow’s mother?  She just kind of fell off the radar, that seemed odd.  And while I loved the connection between Arrow and Hopper, it felt a bit rushed at the beginning…  And quite frankly, I thought the development of their physical relationship moved too fast to be believable with Arrow…I wouldn’t have minded something more there.  It seemed like a missed opportunity.  I know people heal in different ways, but…

So yeah.  Those are some mega missed opportunities, but I guess that goes to show how much I loved the parts that I loved.  They overshadowed those things that on a different book would have brought my rating down much farther.  Super curious to see what we get from the final book…

Lenoreo_small

#Bae by Cambria Hebert

Blurb:
30968750Happily-ever-after.
That’s what happens when you get married.
Right?
Turns out sparkly rings, cake and a fantastic wedding do not automatically grant you that, not even when it’s all you truly want.
I’m even starting to doubt the bottomless, unconditional love I share with the man I married will be enough.
I can’t have happily ever after, know why?
Because I can’t give Romeo what he truly wants. I’ve tried. So hard. I won’t be happy unless he is and something is missing. Someone.
Paparazzi are in my face. The flashing cameras and prying eyes are everywhere. My secret is getting harder to hide, and I know the second the scoop is dished the grip I have on the fraying rope of that happily ever after will snap right in my face.
In our face.
I can’t let that happen. No matter what.
Because with or without a happy ending, Romeo comes Before Anyone Else.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — Oh Rimmeo… I forgot how much I loved their voices, you know? Like I knew I was in love with them, but I forgot just how much. And right from the prologue I was like “OH YEAH!” Seriously, these two are epic. Like I love them both individually, but I also love them as a couple. I love the way they love each other, I love the way they tease each other, I love them from their light interactions to their heavy interactions.

What I think I loved most about this book is that it wasn’t just an extended epilogue, full of happy, happy, happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love those…though usually in novella form, not in novel form. NOPE, Ms. Hebert gave us so much more. It’s like how in real life there is no such thing as a Happily Ever After…not really. You find your person, and that part is AMAZING…but you still work EVERY SINGLE DAY to make it the best it can be. You’re still faced with challenges, both individually and as a couple. And that’s what we get to see in this book, though a bit amplified because of Romeo and Rimmel’s celebrity status, and because Ms. Hebert loves to torture her characters along the way.

This book had a lot of heavy. It starts right from the prologue, and we really get a lot of feels and raw emotions. I’ll try not to go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but as I already had an idea of the issue Rimmel and Romeo would be facing, I’m not sure if it’s a spoiler or not. But if you’re adamant about not being spoiled AT ALL, perhaps skip the rest of this review.

OK, still with me? I cannot fathom how prospective parents do it. The loss that they suffer in the prologue is experienced by so many, but not really talked about openly. And as someone who doesn’t even desire children, it’s a bit out of my realm of experience. But I have friends who have experienced miscarriages, and I thought that Romeo and Rimmel’s experience was very raw and real, and touched on a few related topics. I actually did OK emotionally in the prologue, probably b/c I knew it was coming, but Ms. Hebert certainly tried to make me bawl, b/c you see how happy and playful and excited they are. And the rest of the book we get sprinkles of their struggles, mixed in with paparazzi crap, and the usual drama that seems to surround our favourite couple. I broke down for Rimmel, particularly in the scene where she visits Valerie. It’s so hard to see our kind-hearted heroine struggling with so many expectations and guilt. But it was Romeo’s struggles that truly caught me off guard…because I think we forget about the potential papa’s sometimes. I totally bawled for him, and felt every one of his emotions.

If that all has you concerned, don’t worry…we do still get a lot of moments of levity sprinkled in. And not only that, but it feels like coming home while reading this book, where you get to hang out with all your favourite characters again. I love the whole freaking family, and seeing Braeden, Ivy, Nova, Trent and Drew again just made my heart happy.

And yes, they do experience their fair share of over the top drama, but if you’re a fan of the Hashtag series, you know what to expect. And can I just say that I laughed so hard at the fourth wall break near the end of the book that I actually woke my husband up? That was comedy gold Ms. Hebert. Dark humour at its finest.

So yeah. As a die-hard fan of the series, I wasn’t surprised that I loved the book, but I think I was surprised that even after all this time there’s still more story to tell. And honestly? It just made me desperately want to reread from the beginning again. Instead I’m on to #Blur! Soon I will be done, and they’ll have to wait until I have time for another epic reread.

Lenoreo_small

Déjà Revu August 14th, 2017

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Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
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Original

Meme

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Contemporary

Fantasy

Horror

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Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Fantasy

General Fiction

Horror

Romance

Science Fiction

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Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Romance

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Contemporary

Fantasy

General Fiction

Historical

Non-Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

Science Fiction

Suspense/Thriller

Women’s Fiction

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Science Fiction

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

Blurb:

The Art of HidingWhat would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Netgalley

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DNF

This book was a bit disappointing.  I wanted to like it, but I had to start skimming.  And I RARELY skim. I had to stop at 30%. It was frankly too depressing and I just didn’t care what happened to the characters anymore.

I felt the hopelessness, guilt and despair were overdone and focused on too much.  We get it, she was blindsided.  It was the focus of the story for more of the book than it should have been. by the time she put on your big girl pants and dealt with things I had already lost interest.  I found her to be a weak female lead and therefore could not find myself to have any sympathy for her.  Her children were not people I found myself caring about either.  They didn’t have much in the way of layers.  It was mediocre IMO. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I just didn’t like it.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

Curly Carla_small

One True Pairing (Fandom Hearts #2) by Cathy Yardley

30174469Blurb: They couldn’t be more opposite, the Hollywood actor and the hometown girl, but all they need is a little convention magic to become the perfect ship in Cathy Yardley’s One True Pairing.

Jake Reese needs a decoy girlfriend. Fast. The lead actor of the popular TV show, Mystics, is tired of losing his shirt to overeager fans. Literally. Which is why a chance meeting with gothabilly bookworm-slash-barista Hailey Frost seems almost too perfect to be true. Hailey is not impressed with his TV fame and is desperate to save her family’s bookstore. It’s a match made in Hollywood, but as the two pretend to date, fan fiction becomes reality. Can this OTP become canon?

 

 

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4 stars

First off, I LOVE the covers of her books!  Level Up had a great cover too!

I really enjoyed this cute romcom with a nerdy twist.  I mean, how could you not?  We already met these characters in Level Up and the setting for the story takes place in a book store.  That sold me right there!

Hailey is a spitfire with a fierce loyal streak.  I loved her character immediately.  Her gothabilly style was appealing and described perfectly.  You could really tell her family was important to her and she was not too proud to ask for help.

Jake was super adorable.  His genuine love of the show was written beautifully and he was very down to earth despite his fortunate circumstances.  The pocket ripping incident shone a light on the fact that sexual harassment isn’t just aimed at females.  The chemistry was scorching hot and I loved how they both tried to ignore it but just couldn’t keep their hands to themselves.  Which made for some pretty heavy fanning as I read it!

And the setting was totally up my alley.   You know you are gonna meet some great characters in a bookstore.  Even better, a fandom bookstore! I’m totally jealous of Hailey for being able to live above it.  But I’m not bitter. 😉

Highly recommend reading all her books.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased review.

Curly Carla_small

The Suit (Holly Springs #1) by B.N. Toler

The SuitBlurb: What happens when two dreams collide?

Fed up with the farm life and his one-time love of training horses, John Wilson has traded his tattered boots and jeans for power suits and cufflinks. Through hard work and determination, John has just graduated from law school and is focused on a fresh start. Refusing to let his bitter past hinder his future, John is intent on moving forward with his new life.

Except there’s one last thing he has to do—settle old debts before he can truly move on.

Unfortunately, settling debts involves him returning to a life he’s worked hard to forget. A mind-numbing summer working on a horse farm awaits him, and he’s dreading every damn minute of it.

Edie James is mourning the loss of her grandfather when John Wilson shows up in his perfectly tailored suit, reeking sexiness and city elegance—everything she’s not. Their meeting is less than pleasant as they both distastefully size up one another.

She thinks he’s arrogant and a white-collar yuppie.

He thinks she’s a simple, goody two-shoes farm girl.

Edie’s grandfather made a new will before he passed leaving stipulations in order for Edie to inherit the family farm. And as if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the suit has to work on the farm with her for three months to settle a debt he owed to her grandfather.

And he’s moving in with her.

With a rocky start, the two seemingly polar opposites call a truce and attempt to be friends. As their unexpected friendship blooms, an attraction develops and both realize their first impression of each other is far from the truth. Now this once dreaded summer is set to be the hottest and most unforgettable they’ve ever had.

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Favorite Quote: 

“Porn gives you an image. You only see what they want you to see. Books let you fill in the blanks, make it what you want. Books give you the idea of fantasy, but you get to perfect the lover in your mind. In porn we watch them touch one another, in a book, with your imagination, it’s like they’re touching you.”

4 stars

This book had some great ideas for spicing up your sex life.  LOL.  The story had a good pace.  It had some great emotive description and there were no loose ends that needed to be tied up.

That being said, I thought that Edie was a bit too mature for her age but that’s just me.  It was like she felt she had something to prove to everyone in town.  But in reality it was just her own insecurity eating at her.  And that didn’t really appeal to my personality. But I did like her. Her passion for saving her grandfathers horse farm was admirable.  She just didn’t wow me, ya know?

John was my favorite character in this story TBH. I don’t think him less for changing his mind, in fact, I admire him for it.  I change my mind all the time. I just think he didn’t really give himself a chance before bailing. And the whole not giving the long term relationship a shot kinda bothered me because I saw no reason why they couldn’t continue having a relationship that way.  He did have enough pride to see it through to the end and at least try to live without her so there is that.

I’d read more by this author.  This book is only 99 pennies, I downloaded the sample before fully committing because I barely have a buck to spend on books these days, at least, until my job transition is complete.

Curly Carla_small

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #1) by C.S. Lewis

Lion witch and wardrobeBlurb: Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This book satisfies challenge #9: A classic about a animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title. 

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5 stars

I’ve read this book about three times now. Still love it. I forgot how fast paced it was.  And the sentences are quite long-winded.  It was hard to read it to my daughter in any kind of rhythm cause I had to keep catching my breath, so annoying.

My kid loved it, we tore that book in about a month.  I read aloud to her so it takes a lot longer to finish books with her. My favorite part was when the wolf was fighting Peter and Aslan was all, “Nah bro, he needs to earn his bones on this fight, don’t help him.” I mean, not in those words but you get the idea. My daughters favorite part was the end, when they were all grown up and they came back through the wardrobe and no time had passed for them on earth.

Anyway, if you don’t know this book, you were probably never in the US public school system cause it mandatory reading here.  Great book, highly recommend.

Curly Carla_small

Writing Reviews: Discussion Challenge

Discussion Challenge

So Joood over at Platypire Reviews has tagged us in a discussion challenge for bloggers. We have been asked the following questions and while we almost exclusively post reviews on our blog, we decided to make an exception for her.  Cause we kinda like her and stuff. 🙂  

Here’s how to play:  Once you’re tagged, write an article using the questions listed at the bottom.   You can always expand as much as you’d like, but it isn’t a requirement.  (Don’t forget to acknowledge the blog that you got the prompt from!) Under the article, tag a blogger or three to participate after you and make sure to include the questions at the bottom.  Oh, and you can post it wherever you feel comfortable.  This means your facebook/blog/tumblr/whatever else I’m forgetting.

So here’s mine:

  1. What got you into writing reviews? I hella don’t remember why I started to write them.  I just remember finding some authors who thanked me for reviewing their works and I thought, “That’s nice of them. I’m gonna keep doing this.” Then, in 2015, I met my TRIBE!  The Rebel Writers and their Street Team.  They welcomed me with open arms and I came to love them ALL so very much.  It’s very rare when you come into an established group of people and are made to feel completely accepted.  I am still thanking my lucky stars for being asked to join it.  This is actually how I met Lenore. (who co-pilots this blog with me)  We hit it off great and after we met IRL, she contacted me and asked if I wanted to be a part of this blog with her.  And I jumped at the chance.  This has been one of the most personally rewarding things  I have ever done in my life.  And I’m very grateful she asked me to be a part of it with her.  
  2. Do you post reviews for books you didn’t like?  Hell yeah I do! Why or why not?  Why wouldn’t I share my opinion for something I didn’t like?  No one has written a book that EVERYONE loves.  It makes sense to review all the books I read regardless of whether or not I liked them.  I like to think I am pretty diplomatic with regards to the ones I didn’t like so I’m not too concerned with backlash.  
  3. Do you write reviews for books you didn’t finish? This one I go back and forth on in my head, but yes, I always end up reviewing them.  However, I do not rate them. Why or why not? I feel like I am still allowed an opinion of a book even if I didn’t finish it. 
  4. How do you decide what rating to give a book? This is an interesting question. Off the top of my head I’d say I have a half-assed system really.  It’s half instinctive and half based on some aspects of the writing.  If it’s a series I look for growth of character and progression of plot. Repetitiveness will get you a 3 or lower depending on the writing itself and how much it kept my attention.   If they have G (growth) and PP (plot progression), then more often than not I rate higher. Cliffhangers have no basis on my rating scale. Even though I am not really a fan, if the main plot was resolved then that’s all that really matters to me. Now if it didn’t get resolved, I will most likely point that out in my review as a basis for the lower rating.   I’m also pretty liberal with my 5* ratings.  If it really blew me away, ie it had growth, PP, the pacing was good and the emotions were spot on… I’ll for sure hand you one of those babies.  I’ll also throw out 4*’s like no ones business if the series kept my attention and had G and PP.  To get below a 3 star, the book really has to have multiple major plot holes, grammar errors and lack of growth.  I like to give the book the benefit of the doubt till about 35% in.  I hate DNF’ing a book and tend to be more lenient about it. I don’t really feel qualified to be judging someone’s heart and soul like that so for every negative I give I try to throw in a few positives. Cause I’m considerate AF like that. 😉 But don’t get it twisted, I will absolutely speak on a book I felt was not written well. 
  5. Have you ever read certain books you’re too embarrassed to review? Hmmm, no, can’t say that I have.  
  6. Where do you post your reviews? I try to post EVERYWHERE.  Google +, Twitter, Facebook, our blog website Celebrity Readers, Goodreads and Amazon.  

Now go forth and play!

Tags:

Questions Used

  1. What got you into writing reviews?
  2. Do you post reviews for books you didn’t like?  Why or why not?
  3. Do you write reviews for books you didn’t finish?  Why or why not?
  4. How do you decide what rating to give a book?
  5. Have you ever read certain books you’re too embarrassed to review?
  6. Where do you post your reviews?

Curly Carla_small

#Swag by Cambria Hebert

Blurb:
30367827These drivers got #swag…

Racing is in her DNA.
Right alongside money and power.
When you’re the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country,
you have to work harder for success.
Joey Gamble’s a girl on a male-dominated track.
With a daddy who can buy whatever she wants.
But she doesn’t want anything… except to EARN her reputation.

Racing is his passion.
Trouble follows him everywhere. Some even say he invites it.
When you’re nipping at the taillights of the best driver in the new NRR,
you have to fight and claw for each and every success.
It’s never been easy for Lorhaven.
That’s why he doesn’t play by the rules.
He’s a man with a serious chip on his shoulder against the pro racing circuit.
We at GearShark want to know what’s up with that.

We’ve also been hearing rumblings…
of a pro who wants to go indie.

We’ve invited racing royalty and the driver from the wrong side of the tracks to sit down and talk to us about a possible crossover.
We expected sparks to fly when Joey and Lorhaven crossed paths.
Will those sparks ignite into a full-on inferno?
Read the full feature article inside…

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My Review:
4 stars — This book had an up and down vibe for me.  There were parts where I felt like it dragged a bit, but then there were parts that were just over the top amazing for me.  So perhaps it’s really a 3.5 star read, but I just loved the ending so much, and it’s amazing how much the way a book ends can affect your opinion of it, you know?  So I’m going with full 4 stars anyways.  I rate on gut feeling anyways, so I guess I should go with my gut.

I will say that I’m not convinced that the Lorhaven we met in this book matched the Lorhaven we saw in #Junkie and #Rev.  Which is I guess sort of the point, we’re supposed to look at him more closely and see him more deeply.  And I totally did!  I really actually fell in love with the Lorhaven we meet in this book…but we didn’t meet Lorhaven did we?  We met Jace.  And I will caveat that I feel like there’s a disconnect between the two, there’s something missing from really allowing me to mesh these two together.  It’s not that you don’t see the ruthless side of him.  But I felt like his reasons for the illegal betting/gambling were just kind of glossed over, and weren’t enough for me.  And I can’t figure out why the man we meet in this book would have chased after Drew in #Junkie…but I might be forgetting an explanation that occurred in Trew’s books, since it’s been a few months since I reread them.  Basically what I’m saying is that if I look at him as a character solely from this book, I have no problems.  But if I look at him as a whole, I don’t feel like his character arc is believable.

Those stipulations aside, I LOVED Jace.  I loved the way he cared for his brother, how fiercely he loved him.  I loved that he made no apologies for his asshole-like nature, and that we did get to see how much of his personality was a front to maintain control.  I loved that while we got to see his good qualities, Ms. Hebert didn’t make all his bad qualities magically disappear.  And while I wasn’t completely won over by the speed and reasons he fell for Joey (or Josie as he calls her), I LOVED the way he fell in love with her…the way he cared for her, and how he is fierce in his love for her as well.  He was just very no-nonsense, and straightforward, which kind of surprised me.

Joey tried my patience at times.  There was a lot to love about her as well, she was a passionate woman dealing with so many struggles, both internally and externally.  My heart broke for her and how she saw her relationship with her father, and how she struggled to prove her worth in the face of insurmountable odds.  I LOVED how comfortable she was in her sensuality, and yet how innocent she was in love.  She was a strange mix of strong and vulnerable, and in general I thought it was done very well.  The climax of her story had my heart aching, and I loved the way she learned to lean on Jace, and open up to him and her father.

BUT.  But.  I’m the kind of girl that doesn’t believe it’s OK for women to hit men without provocation.  And there was a part earlier in the book that just tweaked me.  She slams her pointed heel into Jace’s foot and slaps him across the face for his asshole nature (“calling her sweetheart”).  Maybe it’s just me, but that is NOT a good enough reason to resort to violence.  And that bothered me.  To a lesser degree, there is another moment where I’m not thrilled with her physical violence, but I could give more of a pass (the street race).  At least there she had slightly better reasons, but I honestly hate it when a woman can physically assault a man and no one chides her, but when the man comes after her, everyone talks about how it’s wrong to hit a woman.  Uh, it’s kind of wrong to hit anyone, regardless of gender.  I get not everyone feels this way, and it’s not an issue I’m super passionate about (not enough to ruin a book for me), but it is something that bugs me.  (and no, I had no problems with the stuff in the climax…totally different circumstances)

The chemistry between Jace and Josie was fantastic.  You could really feel their attraction, and the steamy scenes were awesome.  And I really felt the development of their feelings for each other.  I thought the progression was natural and I loved getting to really see it happen.  I loved how they understood each other intrinsically, and how in most cases they brought out the best in each other.

And I loved getting to see so many characters that we already love, and ones I can already see myself falling more in love with.  This book sets up nicely for Arrow and Hopper’s book, I can’t wait to dive into it!

I can honestly say I enjoyed this story more than I had anticipated.  And while it was not all rainbows and unicorns, the things I loved outweighed my niggles this time.

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