Wine and Whiskey by Nikki Belaire

wine and whiskeyBlurb: No longer controlled by her mother, manager, or former fiancé, pop star Shae Armstrong steps out on her own and into the path of Nick DeMarco, a wealthy investor with alleged ties to organized crime and real childhood scars to overcome. She wants to take it slow. He needs her now, in his life and in his bed.

Nick’s enemies threaten her career, her friendships, even her sanity, but not Shae’s heart – the one thing Nick holds precious. He proves his love is real, and she stops running. Until everything around them falls apart, including him. He swore he would never hurt her. Instead, he almost destroys them both.

Shae makes a dangerous choice, sacrificing her happiness for his, just like he always does for her. Now that she’s found her own voice, can Shae survive the challenges of living in Nick’s world?

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

images

DNF’d at 40%

I couldn’t wrap my head around her wishy washiness.  She kept changing her mind when it came to being in a relationship with him.  It was like riding a merry go round for too long.  I got tired of it.

And she allowed her friends to dictate what she should do.  She didn’t trust herself with her feelings.  It just took too long to get where it was supposed to be.  Her character didn’t grow, like, at all.  I would have thought by the middle of the book she would have picked a lane already.

Curly Carla_small

The Kiss That Killed Me by Kristy Nicole

the kiss that killed meBlurbWhen Callie Pierce turns 18 she has three very simple goals: avoid her stepfather, escape to an Ivy League university of her dreams, and party with her friends. But on a night like any other, when the moon is full over the ocean, her life changes in a way that no one could have ever seen coming. On the sandy beaches of San Diego she meets Orion, a man from whom she cannot stay away, to whom her return becomes as inevitable as the tide kissing the shore. If that isn’t enough, a kiss which changes everything plunges Callie head first into a world of mythic responsibility, epic danger, and heart stopping romance. The mer, an ancient race of warriors brought forth to defend the seas, show her wonders beyond what is humanly possible, forcing her into an archaic chain of events that bring together power, seduction, violence, and beauty in a terrifying, yet exhilarating mix. Then there’s the Banished to contend with, a group of psirens corrupted by the oceans abyss that stand to destroy the eternity Callie has been promised. Will she sacrifice herself for the greater good, or is the gravity that pulls her to Orion just too great to bear?

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

images

DNF

I DNF’d this book at 40%. It was just a bit too much detail for me. It was too slow and the descriptions were so detailed that I found myself skimming past them so I could get to some action. Still never found out what the plot was.

The cover is really pretty though!

Curly Carla_small

Casted by Sonya Loveday

Synopsis:
19292511“My mind absorbed everything in the spell book I clutched tightly to me. Pages ruffled inside of my head, urging me to remember things and then to forget them. Voices chanted with tempo rising at the breaking points of pain until the book vanished and words to an ancient spell scribed across my arms. Each stroke brought blood to the surface, imprinting words I could not read; words that would forever change who I was.”

Jade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. A powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.

With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.

Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.

Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

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

My Review:
DNF @ 31% — There wasn’t some huge badness about this book, I was just simply not engaged.  I felt like I was forcing myself to read, and when I have 40+ books I want to read in just over a month, well, I just have to make some tough decisions.  I have a feeling this book would have ended as a 2.5 or 3 stars if it maintained where it was going, and I doubt I would have read more in the series.  I wasn’t feeling any connection for any of the characters, most especially not for Jade our heroine.  She wasn’t necessarily annoying or bugged me, I just didn’t care about her and couldn’t really tell you much about her except some facts.  There was a depth missing there.  I guess she did annoy me a little with how she quickly she trusted people (like Jessa and Rainy).  It felt a little bit suspect, what with her being on the run for unknown reasons since she was young.

As for the paranormal aspect, I found that it was kind of laid out in facts too, and I just wasn’t enchanted.  I wasn’t clamouring to learn more.  And occasionally I found myself kind of confused — almost like there were pieces missing that would have helped the story flow better (for example when Dagger all of a sudden tells Jade about being there with the vial…when?  Was this when her parents died?  Why did he all of a sudden bring that up?  It didn’t feel like it flowed naturally from what they were doing or talking about).

So yeah.  Just not a book for me.  It’s too bad too, b/c I won it.  For some reason I feel an obligation to finish books when I don’t buy them for myself, you know?  Oh well.  On to the next!

Lenoreo_small

The Lilith Scroll by B.L. Marsh

lilith scrollBlurb: What if you discovered there was “time” before time began? What if everything you thought was true, was not? What if there was a beginning before “In the beginning”; another story unfolding within our time, steeped in loss, love, betrayal, and secrets.

Welcome to Eden where magic was born, trees are gateways to other realms and angels aren’t what you think they are. Meet Lilith. A young girl with an incredible story. One she isn’t supposed to know much less tell. Meet Sagan. A man without past and powers who rival Lilith’s. Will he be able to help her find out her past and discover his own in the process?

Go back in time. Back to the garden. Experience the magic of the creation, the wonder of nature and the betrayal that destroyed it all.

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

images

DNF

I had to DNF this book.
It just had too much info and not enough action.
Too much backstory as if this wasn’t the first book. I felt kinda lost from the very beginning. Maybe I’m just not smart enough to read it.
The book had to have a page with a list of characters for me to memorize in the beginning of the book.
Why?
Shouldn’t I be able to figure out which characters are which on my own as I’m reading? And if the author assumed that we as readers couldn’t figure it out and needed the cheat sheet, this is a red flag to me that it has so many characters that a person can get easily confused.
After a third of the book I expected more to be happening. Not just some chic fainting at a starbucks. Maybe I was just not in the mood, even though I tried three different times to get into it. ::shakes head::

Storm (Storm MC #1) by Nina Levine

StormBlurb: Life can be a bitch but love can get you through any storm.

Madison Cole’s family is the Storm Motorcycle Club. Her father is the President and her brother is the VP. She grew up surrounded by bikers, crime and violence. Two years ago she walked away from her family and the world they live in. Her soul was shattered, her heart was broken and she had an addiction she couldn’t shake. She picked up the pieces and put herself back together. Now her family wants her back. The club is being threatened and they send a club member to return her home to safety; the one person that could destroy everything she has worked so hard to build.

Jason Reilly has sacrificed a lot for the motorcycle club he calls family. Two years ago he made the biggest sacrifice of all; he gave up the woman he loved for them. Now he is being sent to bring her back and he is conflicted. He thought he was over her but discovers their connection is as strong as ever. Their love was all-consuming, passionate and fiery. It was also their undoing and he doesn’t know if either of them is strong enough to battle the demons that ripped them apart, to find love again.

Madison and Jason are brought back together by a force out of their control; one that pushes them to a breaking point. Can they overcome their past and discover a love worth fighting for or will the harsh reality of their world finally and completely break them both?

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

images

DNF

I gave up at 32%. I tried to get into this book, really really hard.  I love an alpha male as much as the next gal.  But there was too much telling and not enough showing.  Add to the fact that the back story could have been a book on its own so the information that I was plied with in the beginning was a lot to take in.  The terrible things she went thorugh were too glossed over and just made me feel they were added for shock value.  The story didn’t need them to be what it was.  In short I couldn’t see myself getting inton it and after a third of the book, I had to put it down.

This book is free so if you want to give it a go, be my guest. 🙂

Curly Carla_small

Five (Elemental Enmity #1) by Christie Rich

FiveBlurb: Rayla Tate dreams of escaping her ordinary world for a bright future in the art world. Throw in an overbearing aunt who is keeping major secrets, a disgruntled best friend tagging along to college, and a bunch of fae warriors waiting in the wings to claim her the minute she leaves her sleepy little town, and Rayla’s dreams are about to shatter.

She soon discovers she is a coveted Elemental with power she never knew she possessed–a power that could change the world. Everywhere she turns another man tries to woo her. The weird part is she’s drawn to each one of them. Who are these strange men, and what dark power do they hold over her? Rayla must quickly learn to fend off these beautiful and seductive pursuers using any means necessary or find herself lost to the fae world forever.

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

images

DNF’d

I just couldn’t get into it.  Rayla wasn’t believable to me and the story itself was pretty slow.  Add the info dumps here and there and I just wasn’t interested in what happens to her at all.  Cassie was too wishy washy.  Zach was flat as the male lead. The story didn’t flow very smoothly. It seemed that the author expected the reader to infer much of it.  That’s fine by me, I’m not one of those readers who expects everything to be spelled out for her. I do expect some things to be made clear, especially in the beginning.  It just didn’t work out for me.

But hey, it’s free so if you want to check it out and see for yourself.  It has quite a few 4-5* reveiws.

Curly Carla_small

Heart of Fire by T.K. Leigh

Synopsis:
22921244Twelve years ago, Jolene’s adoptive mother died. Twelve years ago, a man showed up at Jolene’s door and promised to take care of her. Twelve years ago, Jolene was happy. Then it all changed…

Jolene Bergio has spent the last twelve years of her life asking one question… Why? Why was she left in the custody of a man who would sell her each and every night to the highest bidder? After a few years, she shut off, giving up hope that anyone would ever find her. Until her luck changed one night and she escaped.

Twelve years later, she finally feels something she hasn’t felt in a long time… Free.

Almost.

Scared that her past will find her unexpectedly, she hides away in a rented beach house, trying to distance herself from everyone… Until Dr. Cameron Bowen enters her world and slowly tears down the walls that she has built up over the past twelve years of her captivity. Jolene begins to learn to love again.

And trust again.

But when a man from Jolene’s past emerges, will she be able to keep her identity hidden? When lies are told and hearts are broken, will the truth surface in time to bring Jolene back from the shadows that threaten to expose who she really is?

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

My Review:
No star rating.  DNF @ 22%.  This was another author who was going to be at an author event I’m planning on attending, so I wanted to read her book before then.  I have a bunch of these, so I was rereading some reviews on Goodreads to try to decide what to read next (especially since I haven’t been having great luck with new authors lately).  I ended up finding some negative reviews that left me feeling somewhat dismayed and wary…and unfortunately I ended up agreeing with their initial observations, and even had my own set of things that went wrong for me in this book (and led to me DNFing it).

So right from the first few pages I found the switching of POVs to be haphazard and without a clear indication.  Usually I read books from 1 or 2 POVs (since I read a lot of romance, it’s the hero and heroine in most cases — sometimes with one or two other characters jumping in).  In the first 3 pages I think I read 4 different POVs, and there was no extra space when changing POVs, so all of a sudden it was just someone else.  We had the heroine, then the housekeeper, then the security guy, then back to the housekeeper, then the boss guy, then the housekeeper’s husband….  It was very muddled and I was not a fan of this style of writing.  It takes me out of the story.

Then there were the main characters themselves — the way they were portrayed felt very flat and shallow to me, and their emotions were beyond volatile.  I guess I just like a bit more depth and nuance….  Jolene in particular wasn’t very likable, and I just never really got behind her actions.

And then we get to the complaints that other folks have — Jolene spends a LOT of time talking about how she can’t tell anyone her name (which is totally understandable), but instead of making up a new identity or something, she just refuses and refuses (making everyone suspicious) and then like later that day she’s told 2 people, and confessed her whole story to another woman.  Um what?  That didn’t sit right with me.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t repeated OVER AND OVER how she couldn’t tell anyone her name…to have her just trust people so quickly just felt unrealistic.  She’s also really enthralled with Cam’s silver eyes already, it just feels like everything was moving at a really rapid pace.

I was mildly curious about what would happen plotwise, but the characters and writing style bugged me enough that I figured it wasn’t worth my time, especially with the ginormous number of other books I have on my TBR pile.

Lenoreo_small

Riven (book 3) by Alivia Anders

rivenSynopsis: The third installment of The Illumine Series.

Captured, imprisoned, and left to burn.
You know what they say- where there’s smoke there’s fire…

For the last two weeks, Essallie Hanley has been a prisoner, in more ways than one. Held hostage by the Queen, she is forced to endure the mind-numbing pain tearing her body- and soul -apart, killing her with every tick of the clock. It seems all hope is lost, until one chance moment gives Essallie a name, Rinae Decante, the final person needed for the Queen to unveil her master plan to end Essallie. Armed with this name, and with the help of Ari and Kayden, Essallie breaks free from her captivity and launches in a search for this mystery girl.

But their search doesn’t go as smoothly as planned, and the three soon find themselves fighting against an impenetrable course of fate aimed to destroy them all from the inside out. When Essallie falls victim to her altering soul, they all begin to wonder of there’s any chance at all to save themselves from the burning effects of their actions.

Love, lies, and betrayal.
No one is safe from the undoing of secrets surrounding Essallie.

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

images

Not rated

I DNF’d this book at 30 percent.  I just couldn’t get into it.  It felt like work and this is my pleasure activity so I gave up.  I might try to go back and read it again because after the first two I had certain expectations for this book.  I want to try and let those go before returning to this one.  Might is the key word in that sentence.

Curly Carla_small