Freitag, 19. Februar 2016

A Hold On Me (The Dark Heart #01) - Pat Esden

Title: A Hold On Me (The Dark Heart #01)
Author: Pat Esden
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
She never wanted to return.
He wants nothing more than for her to leave.
But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.

Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It's a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue--until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine--and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie's mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he's a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support--Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can't even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie's own longings--and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she'll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy...

Let me start by saying this book was unlike anything I expected it to be. Honestly, I didn't put that much thought into requesting it. The cover was beautiful and the summary seemed fine. Sometimes, I'm just desperate for new reading material (doesn't mean that I request just any book or that I use my blogger status on NetGalley). Anyway, I'm really glad I requested this book, because it surprised me.

In the beginning, I felt like I was reading a book about gypsies (is that the word for it?). Annie and her father live all over the states. They works as antiquaries, which means they pick up stuff at churches and other institutes and sell them later on. They're not exactly rich, but they make the best of it. That is until Annie's father shows signs of dementia and she's forced to move back to his hometown - Moonhill - with him.

Moonhill is one scary place. Right after Annie and her father arrived there, I wondered whether I had requested a horror book. It was so damn scary. Usually, I don't read horror books, but wow, this one was really good. At least in the beginning I felt that way. Unfortunately, as the story went on, the book lost its appeal to me. That doesn't mean I gave up on it or didn't fully enjoy it. It was still good, but the events seemed to go on and on without anything really happening. And then of course there was Chase, who's a real cutie and I loved reading about his past, but the thing with him and Annie didn't make much sense to me. Naturally, I wanted them to end up together, but that's just my romantic heart and not because I felt chemistry between them. I did, at some point, when they were at the library. The two of them share nice, sweet scenes, but for my taste, there were too less of them.

Whenever I mention a thing I didn't like so much in a book, I feel like disappointing the author. That's not my attention at all. The book was still good. I never read a book about djinns before and I enjoyed that very much. It was scary and thrilling. And it was totally surprising, because when you think of the word 'supernatural', you don't think about djinns at first. It was different and I liked that, also the part about her father and how the family tried to heal him, hiring a priest and so on. It was really creative of the author.

However, I think I won't read the second book in this series. Not because I didn't like this book (I did, I did, I did! There will always be things that I don't enjoy. Doesn't mean the book is crap), but because I'm not sure whether I'll like to read about Annie and Chase. That's weird, isn't it?! So, I'll probably end up reading the sequel anyway, because we'll finally find out more about Annie's mom and that story will be fascinating, I can tell.

Sonntag, 7. Februar 2016

Zeke (Breaking the Declan Brothers #03) - Kelly Gendron

Title: Zeke (Breaking the Declan Brothers #03)
Author: Kelly Gendron
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Kelly Gendron (Book Enthusiast Promotions) for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Every girl in Galveston County knows about Zeke Declan’s rules and has agreed to them or is considering them.

Rule #1 Don’t call him. He’ll call you.
Rule #2 He doesn’t date.
Rule #3 No sleepovers.
Rule #4 Absolutely, no virgins.

When a couple friends talk me into going back to their hometown in the Bayou for the summer and challenge me to break “the best damn lay in Galveston County” along with every single one of his ridiculous rules, I’m confident that I can get the job done. I’m no stranger to men. I have five older brothers. I’m a teacher and I’m used to being around rebellious teenagers. However, Zeke Declan is definitely not someone that I could have prepared for. He’s not a testosterone-fueled, immature boy. He’s a confident, arousing, playful, and mind-melting man. But, behind that sexy charming smile, I know he’s hiding a secret. And, in order to break him, I’m going to need to find out what it is...

So, after saying I would definitely read Zeke, I was so glad to find it up for request on NetGalley. And I wasn't disappointed. Not in the least. If anything, I loved it more than Slate, the second book in the series. Zeke is my new favourite fighter, oh yes.

I wasn't sure whether I was going to like Lurlene, but turns out I liked her alright. She's an English teacher and I'm seriously so sad we don't read anything about that. I mean, we get a glimpse of her job because someone asks her about it, but it's not the same. I would have liked to read an actual class scene or something.

However, I loved the chemistry between Zeke and Lurlene. It was truly awesome. I expected it to be a bit forced, but it wasn't anything like that. Both characters kept their voices, they didn't do anything that wouldn't have fitted for them. And I liked that, because far too many times, author change their characters and bend them into something they're not. And that always feels wrong.

Zeke had a really hard past and I cried for him. The stories inside his head, what he went through, it was all so disturbing. And without realizing it, Lurlene helps him overcome his fears. Only thing that I'd critize here is that it happened a bit late - him telling her everything. I wish they would have come clean with one another a bit sooner, but then again I guess it would have shorten the story itself. And to be honest, it is soooo damn short. Oh, I usually like quick reads, because they're not dragged, but with Zeke. Aww, come on - I wanted more!

You see, I can't tell much about the story without giving anything away, or maybe it's just my weakness - writing reviews without actually telling anything but how much I loved or hated a book. I'm sorry if this review isn't helpful for you or captures your opinion about the book, but it's safe to say that I liked it really, really much. And I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who asked me if I knew a book about fighters or hot romances or uptight women who lose their fences with a hot guy around. This one has it all.

And still, I think I won't read Jax, the first one in the series. The three stories happen around the same time, that's what I figured now, but I think Jax is just too much of a nice guy for me. But as I write this review, I suppose I'll probably change my mind some time and give Jax a try, because this series is just so good!

Donnerstag, 4. Februar 2016

Call Me, Maybe - Ellie Cahill

Title: Call Me, Maybe
Author: Ellie Cahill
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before the official release date.
Clementine Daly knows she's the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almost got caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine's sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn't an option. Of course, the last thing she does before boarding the plane is to grab a stranger's phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the line, but he doesn't know her real name, or her famous pedigree—which is just the way Clementine likes it.

Despite all the hassles, Justin Mueller is intrigued to realize that the beautiful brown-eyed girl he met at the airport is suddenly at his fingertips. They agree to exchange phones when they're both back in town, but after a week of flirty texts and wonderfully intimate conversations, Justin doesn't want to let her go. The only problem? It turns out that Clemetine has been lying to him about, well, everything. Except for the one thing two people can't fake, the only thing that matters: The heat between them is for real.

I was looking for a light and sweet read, like one of Cassie Mae's novels, and when I saw her recommending Call Me, Maybe on NetGalley, it felt like my duty to request a digital copy of it. In the beginning, it seemed like I made the right choice (and I still don't regret reading this one, but then when I reached like 50% of the book, I was disappointed in how things turned out and about the main character's behavior.

At the airport, Clementine's brother Honor accidently grabs the wrong phone and Clementine ends up with a stranger's cell phone. As the stranger - whose name is Justin - notices he has got the wrong one, too, Clementine decides not to tell him her real last name, in order for him not to be able to blackmail her or something. In the past, she has already had a bad experience with that. It soon turns out that the stranger's who's got her phone is also the guy she almost fell on at the airport, so technically, they already met. Though they're connected by calls and messages only, within days their feelings for each other develop and when they find out they're both from Chicago, they agree on meeting in real life too. But is their attraction strong enough to survive real-life problems, too?!

Of course, my long-story-short version is bad as always. That's what happens when I'm still conflicted about whether to like a book or not - my thoughts get all mixed up. As I said, I liked Call Me, Maybe in the beginning. I saw the potential and was really excited about reading of a relationship that slowly develops through phone calls. However, that’s not what happened… Things picked up pace really fast and I was disappointed in both characters. May I blame it on the hormones or whatever, but what Clementine thought and her actions were two different pair of shoes. And I liked none of them.

In my opinion, they met too fast. I guess it was thought-through concerning the plot of the story, but to me it seemed a bit rushed. Their whole relationship was rushed, seeing their first date as the perfect example. Seriously, if she's so traumatized by her past, why would she say the things she says to Justin? Why would she send the pictures she sends? Why would she... Yeah, you get the story. Also, toward the end, I was tired by her “sorry’s” so much. Funny how she told Justin the word would lose its meaning at some point, when she crossed that line already.

I don’t mean to sound harsh or ungrateful. I’m still very lucky I received a digital copy long before the book’s official release date, but I can’t make myself like it any more than I actually did. And it wasn’t all bad. The character’s connection is what bothered me. Other than that, I liked how book-obsessed Clementine was, how she tried to figure out what to do with her life while her family expected her to decide on a path that mainly includes the family business. So no matter what I thought about the relationship, the problems she dealt with were real. Other twenty-three year old girls feel the same way.

Maybe this is another wrong-time novel, which means maybe I should wait a year or two and read it again. Perhaps I’ll start liking it more then. But even then I won’t find out more about Clementine’s parents or about Justin’s past at all. We only find out so little about him, that made me like him less from chapter to chapter. And whew, he really grew on me during their phone calls, but when they met… It all evaporated.

Naturally, I’m sorry for not finding more positive things to talk about. Look at my rating; it’s still a good one. Please don’t take my review as an advice to drop this book, because if you want to try it, then do it. Ellie Cahill probably hates me right now, gah. I feel awful. Anyhow, I like the author’s writing style, and that’s also the reason I’d pick up a book written by her any time. Call Me, Maybe wasn’t what I expected and I still finished it. I wouldn’t have if there was something I truly hated. It definitely has potential, most definitely. It’s probably the characters that I just couldn’t relate to.