The Winning Side (University Park #3) by C.M. Doporto

The winning sideBlurb: Lexi’s determined to keep her word and stand by Raven’s side because her love for him is too strong to deny. As Raven learns to deal with the issues that are destined to destroy him and their relationship, their love is taken to a new level. As doors are closed and new ones are opened, Lexi and Raven find themselves in a heavenly bliss, but not without the challenges from Raven’s past. With a true test of love, Lexi and Raven have to decide if they are willing to do whatever it takes to be on the winning side.

 

 

 

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

This story was sooooo slow.  I started reading this series in 2014 I think and I breezed through the first two books.  Then when I started the last one I stopped reading it.  Fast forward three years later and I figured I’d come back and try to finish it since I’ve been on this kick lately about trying to finish all the series I have ever started.  (This is gonna be a lifelong commitment. )

I don’t know if my tastes have changed but I found this book kinda basic.  The scenes were going from showing to telling quickly with little to no transition. It was choppy and repetitive.  And I found some things that just didn’t jive with the plot.  It’s too bad. I really wanted to add this to my list of series finales for the year.

Curly Carla_small

Carter Reed (Carter Reed #1) by Tijan

18221931Blurb: Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by her boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.

 

 

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

This book started off with a bang and I was excited to see how it would play out.  But then….it got boring and repetitive with her running away and his possessiveness.  And things were happening that were really explained in the book until after they happened. I tried to hold on but then I thought, “Why?”  So, I let it go.

Curly Carla_small

Vanishing Act by A.M. Madden

Blurb:
32502728In this captivating standalone romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Stone Walls, Hollywood’s hottest actor meets his dream woman: a free spirit who has no idea who he is.

After personal heartbreak and professional setbacks, Landon Price is running on empty. If he doesn’t take a break from the public eye soon, he’ll risk becoming another cautionary tale in a town that’s full of them. So in between film projects, Landon asks his agent to clear his schedule and then he simply . . . vanishes. Renting a discreet home on a remote Hawaiian beach for the summer, Landon begins to recharge. And in the process of finding himself, he meets a beautiful, feisty local who challenges everything he thinks he knows.

Zara Jobert has no interest in being a conquest for a cocky playboy from the mainland—even one with undeniable charisma and movie-star good looks. So she’s pleasantly surprised when the handsome newcomer’s persistent advances mellow into cozy banter and a sneakily seductive intimacy. When Landon reveals his true identity, Zara’s hurt that he lied, but she doesn’t care that he’s famous. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way. And falling for Landon might come with a heartbreaking choice—between Zara’s old life, and a new love.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

My Review:
DNF @ 40% — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

I really tried with this one.  I will say one thing right from the start, this was not a *bad* book.  It just wasn’t capturing my attention AT ALL, and I just have too much to read to spend my time reading something that’s not captivating me.  Basically I was bored.  And when I looked at my Kindle’s prediction of time left in this book and it said 4.5 hours, I said I’M DONE!

If the book kept going as it was going, I probably would have given it a 3 star.  Like I said, it wasn’t bad.  But I’m behind on things as it is, so I gave up.  The first bit until we meet Spike/Marshmallow was really slow, and I did not get a great feel for Landon at all.  He didn’t have personality traits that bugged me, but I really had no idea what he was like, other than self-important.  There really just didn’t feel like there was any depth there.  I was already considering DNFing it at that point, b/c I think the writing style just wasn’t jiving with me either.  I know it was just an ARC, but the tenses felt funny, and I kept getting tripped up on sentences because of the weird way the words were organized sometimes.

BUT!  Then we met Spike/Marshmallow.  AND OMG HE STOLE THE SHOW!  And it wasn’t just because he was freaking ADORABLE, but b/c he brought out something that I had been waiting for in Landon — a personality!  Landon was HILARIOUS when he was interacting with Spike.  Like, he was funny, and sassy, and I just started to love him!!  Things were looking up!!

And then we met Zara.  And again, nice girl, but she felt a bit flat.  And part of that is because Landon concentrated so much on how beautiful/hot she was, it really felt like the physical aspects were the main ones in their attraction.  And even at 40%, I still wasn’t feeling them together.  We were *told* that he liked other aspects of her, but not shown really.  I enjoyed his teasing, and I thought we were getting a wee bit more depth, but for some reason I was just bored.  Too slow?  I don’t know.  But I wasn’t even remotely invested.  OK, I was like 1% invested, b/c that part of me wants to know what happens.  If anyone wants to spoil it for me, please feel free.

Honestly, in that entire 40%, the bits where Spike/Marshmallow were present were the absolute highlights for me.  But an awesome dog is not enough to make a book great.  Good?  Yes.  Great?  No.  And so I gave up.  Ah well, they can’t all be matches right?

Lenoreo_small

Sunlit Surrender by Jess Dee

Blurb:
35209988Bianca Rogers is ready to forget her worries for a while and celebrate her brother’s wedding at the exotic Bandicoot Cove resort. The last thing she expects is to be knocked off her feet—literally—by Brody Evans.

The chemistry between Brody and Bianca is undeniable. She’s everything he wants in a woman. She’s sexy, warm, friendly…delicious, and overwhelming attraction quickly grows to full-blown lust.

But they’ve come to the island with baggage that can’t be ignored forever, and their previous mistakes and the circumstances that have led them to the island soon demand attention. As desire transforms into love, it’s time to see if the past is going to get in the way of any happy-ever-after there could be in their future.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

My Review:
DNF — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

OK, technically I did get to the end of this book.  But at 34% I started skipping to get to a point, and after that I skimmed to the end.  This book’s “hook” did NOT work for me.  Not only did it not work for me, it actually made me irrationally angry.  I’m not even kidding.  I started reading, got to the point where our heroine and hero meet, started getting REALLY confused, had a theory, then read something that nullified that theory, then got more confused, then wondered if my theory was correct despite inner musings that made it truly unbelievable, and finally couldn’t take it anymore and started skipping until I could confirm my theory.  Then I got really really mad because the way the heroine’s inner thoughts were written, it did NOT make sense.  So not only did I not like this hook (my theory) in general, but I felt like it was not done well.

The stupid thing is, I’ve read a few books by this author before, though granted they were a few years ago, so I’d been anticipating an enjoyable read.  But despite all the anger from above, I was actually pretty bored.  Bored with the characters, even bored with the sex!  And being bored with the sex is not a good sign for an erotica type book.  Maybe I was bored because I didn’t like the characters, or because I was already so irrationally angry; it’s a distinct possibility.

And after my theory was confirmed, I started skimming to see where this all was going to go, and got mad at the miscommunications that were continually perpetuated for no reason I could understand.  And I just didn’t care about their problems.

Take all this with a grain of salt.  I can’t divulge the hook, b/c that would be spoilery to the extreme, but not everyone will have a problem with it.  And since I think that affected my enjoyment of every aspect, it kind of makes the rest of my opinions null and void outside of that.  Sometimes I just get heated, you know?  And yesterday was definitely a day for that.  Since I did skim to the end, if I rated it it would probably be a 1 star for me.  But since I didn’t honestly read the whole thing, I usually don’t give a rating.  I can’t decide if the skimming was enough to validate my opinion.  I almost think it was.  *shrugs*

Lenoreo_small

Shifter in Paradise by Susan Kearney

shifter I paradiseBlurb: Ari Dillon is not your ordinary hero. He’s willing to lie, deceive, and hijack a private jet—all in the name of his cause. So if abducting billionaire Samantha Bessinger is the only way Ari can get her alone, he’ll do it.

Real estate mogul Samantha has never met anyone like Ari. He’s charming, ruthless, and almost irresistible. Yet when he crash-lands her jet onto a deserted Caribbean island and reveals his shapeshifting secrets, she can’t deny he’s one of a kind.

But just because he shows her things she never knew were possible, doesn’t prove they are soul mates as he claims. While Samantha didn’t become a success by being a pushover, is she enough of a match for the devil in paradise?

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

I had to DNF this one at about 30%. As soon as the female MC allowed her attraction to override her common sense I was done. I just lost interest with this one REALLY fast after that.

Curly Carla_small

Enforce (Eagle Elite #1.5) by Rachel Van Dyken

23931211Blurb: There’s two sides to every story…

And ours?
Isn’t pretty… Then again,
what’s pretty about the mafia?
Trace Rooks, that’s what.
But she only wants one of us, and I’ll kill him before I let him have her.
The only problem ?
We’re cousins .
And she may just be our long lost enemy.
Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn’t attend Eagle Elite University.
Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep
yours?
Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies?
Even closer…

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

This book made NO sense whatsoever! I’m so upset because I have never reacted this way to a book by RVD before. I don’t even know what plot was. Something like, mafia were trying to protect there asses by running a college and also they were the heads of their families, but they were only like 22? And then there was a new girl who was nice so they were mean to her to protect her? From what I have no idea. And they murdered and sexually manipulated people but I’m supposed to care about them? I just don’t get it.

Curly Carla_small

Field of Schemes by Jennifer Coburn

17458431Blurb: Newly widowed Claire Emmett leaves Los Angeles so she and her eleven-year-old daughter, Rachel, can have a fresh start in the picture-perfect suburb of Santa Bella, California. But the simple, quiet life she seeks is nowhere to be found in the town where soccer is king and parents are far, far too involved in children’s sports.

When Rachel is scouted for an elite travel team, Claire is sucked into a world of high drama, backstabbing and deceit. The team manager plots a Wall Street-style hostile takeover. Parents sabotage players, serve as sports agents, and trade sexual favors for playtime.

Off the field, Claire must navigate the brave new world of the suburbs and build a life that doesn’t revolve around kids’ sports. Nothing is simple in Santa Bella, though. Claire’s neighbor is an outrageous flirt. She stumbles upon some dark secrets and unwittingly becomes the target of a very powerful enemy.

As Rachel’s team moves to the State Cup championship, Claire must develop a game plan of her own. It’s time for her to fight back and show her daughter what it means to be a soccer mom who plays to win when it matters most.

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

Originally, the title, cover and blurb drew me in.

But…..It was slow, and the same things kept getting repeated. Like how hard it was for her to move on and the fact she likes to run away when things get tough.  They just didn’t seem to be progressing fast enough to hold my attention.  And I guess I have an issue with this but….the TELLING! OMG, there was so much telling.  I was just not interested enough to move past the slow parts.
Curly Carla_small

Called by the Bear, #1-3 (Called by the Bear #1-3) by V. Vaughn

called by the bearBlurb: I’m Carly Cutler and my dreams predict the future. So why am I dreaming about a sexy beast of a guy, a bear, and a paw print design? I don’t know. A force I can’t fight wants me to find out, and I’m leaving the only life I’ve ever known. With a fresh tattoo of a bear paw and my best friend by my side, I’m on a quest to find a man I’ve never met.

Sierra Steele here, and ready for adventure – We’ve been chosen. The moment I saw Carly’s first tattoo, I felt the undeniable attraction of the guy I’ve been dreaming about. My cautious friend can’t resist the pull either, and we’re off to the mountains to get answers. Something’s calling us, and I’m certain the hunky men are our exciting destiny. They’ll keep us safe from the bear, right?

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

This story was terrible. I’m sorry, I have no other words and I’m not trying to be an asshole.  The transitions didn’t make sense and there was too much telling and not enough showing.  The characters were flat and shallow, only thinking of their baser feelings. It took too long to get where it needed to go so I lost interest pretty quickly.  I’m glad it was free.

Curly Carla_small

The Faith of William Shakespeare by Graham Holderness

TFOWSBlurb: William Shakespeare is arguably the world’s most famous writer. His plays and sonnets have been translated into many different languages, and are performed, read and loved the world over. But what of the man himself? What did he believe? Was he a secret Catholic, like his father, prepared to run the risk of being accused of treachery to the Tudor state? Or was he convinced by the new Protestant teaching? Or maybe did he not believe any of it, just saying and doing what was expected of him, in order to get by in a dangerous age? Shakespearean scholar Graham Holderness examines the evidence, both from Shakespeare’s life and his key works.

 

Netgalley

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

I tried and tried and tried to finish this book. I’ve had it for a looooong time. I think I thought this was a fictional story when I first requested it. I made it about 25% through before I couldn’t read anymore. This book is not in my wheelhouse so I wouldn’t count this as a negative review. I don’t generally read non-fiction and was trying to challenge myself to broaden my horizons. This one just didn’t do it for me.

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Curly Carla_small

Bluebells (Wolf Land #1) by Fiona McShane


32797353Blurb:
 In 1652, Ireland is known as Wolf Land. Oliver Cromwell’s army have arrived. Properties will be seized. Land will be cleared. Wolves will be destroyed.

In the small village of Wolf Wood, Cromwell’s men face far worse enemies than those in the rest of the country. The wolves here are bigger, stronger, more intelligent. Could these wolves be something different? Could these wolves be forming an army of their own?

Sorcha Moore has grown up hearing stories about the unusual wolves of Wolf Wood, but her fears are more immediate. She fears what will happen to her older sister, Peggy. Peggy is to become the latest mistress of Lord Tolbert, so that the Moores can keep their farm. Sorcha is frightened, too, of her own future marriage to Sean, a farmhand. If the decision were hers she would be with Rory Farrrell, a young blacksmith.

Peter Moore has never let his daughters have their freedom. If he had, they might have turned out like their mother before them – a woman many thought was a witch.

On the night of Bealtaine, Rory Farrell is bitten. Unable to tell Sorcha that he must join the ranks of the werewolves who protect Wolf Wood, he tells her he is moving to Dublin.

No matter what his new responsibilities, Rory cannot truly abandon Sorcha. As the years pass, and Sorcha grows from girl to woman, he watches over her night after night. But when Lord Tolbert’s eyes turn to Sorcha, will Rory be able to keep her safe?

scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg

images

DNF

I couldn’t get through this one. I made it about 20% in before stopping. It was too dry for me. I didn’t feel anything for the characters and the storyline was too linear for me if that makes sense. Too bad, I love shifter books.

Curly Carla_small