26 June 2015

Apple Polisher by Heidi Belleau

Hey everyone,

I promised the posts would be more regular from now on! This week I went back to one of my favourite sub-genres of romance, contemporary m/m. I finally started a series that I have been wanting to read for SO long, and I'm not going to lie I'm already on book two! Today, however, I want to focus on Apple Polisher by Heidi Belleau the first in the Rear Entrance Video Book series.

The book:

Christian Blake dreams of being a kindergarten teacher, but making the grade means maintaining a squeaky clean image: no drinking, no drugs, no swearing, no sex. And definitely no falling for his new roommate-tattooed bad-boy Max, who may or may not be a drug dealer.

Most of all, it means no working at a porn store. But Christian's aunt has cancer, and her beloved Rear Entrance Video will go bankrupt if Christian doesn't take over managerial duties. Soon enough, Christian finds himself juggling sticky twenty-five cent peep show booths, a blackmailing employee, and a demanding professor who likes to make an example of him.

And then there's Max, who doesn't know anything about the store, but hates Christian's preppy sweater vests and the closet Christian forces him into when they're together. Max just wants Christian to be himself-even though Max is keeping secrets of his own. Christian struggles to find the impossible balance between his real life and the ideal one he thinks a teacher needs to live . . . all while trying to keep his aunt's dream alive without losing his own.

My thoughts:

For me this book was about discovery. Both Christian personal journey of self-discovery and his discovery into those around him. In the beginning Christian does come across as a little judgemental; he assumes one of his new housemates is a drug dealer with very little evidence. He's also completely paranoid about the image he projects to the outside world, partly due to his relationship with his mother.

22 June 2015

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Hey everyone,

I hang my head in shame for not posting at all over the last 2 weeks, honestly didn’t expect the new course to take up quite so much of my time! Now hopefully though things will be business as usual and the regular schedule will be maintained because I missed blogging. Today I want to talk about Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren (aka the writing duo Christina and Lauren). Now I am aware that this book has a very loyal following and thousands and thousands of reviews, so rather than doing a regular run-down of my thoughts on the book I want to focus on a particular scene from the novel that I found troubling.

The book:

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office. 

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

My thoughts:

As in typical in New Adult or angsty contemporary romances the hero and heroine fight. The bicker, they flirt, they rile each other, they tear each others clothes off, they agonise over there feelings and the cycle repeats itself until the eventual HEA. I have absolutely no issue with books of that nature, when written well they can be extremely enjoyable and provide a lot of entertainment. What I do have issues with is domestic abuse and in my opinion this book contained domestic violence between the hero and heroine.

11 June 2015

Seduction and Surrender by Cali MacKay

Hey everyone,

Today I’m going to review Seduction and Surrender by Cali MacKay, a contemporary romance novel that I would argue relies on two distinct tropes. These are the billionaire trope and the deal or arrangement trope (the contemporary romance version of the marriage-of-convenience trope, well at least in my opinion). Now these tropes can be controversial in the Romance genre, particularly when used together as it’ll often result in an Hero who doesn’t really understand the concept of no.

For some people this will be an instant red flag, but others really enjoy this type of Romance. If you are in the first camp then I’d take a guess that Seduction and Surrender is probably not the book for you... But feel free to continue reading the review just to make sure!

The book:

Chef Emma Sparrow has poured her heart and soul—not to mention all her money—into the restaurant of her dreams. But when Quinn Ryker, her landlord and billionaire playboy, refuses to renew her lease, her entire world and all those who depend on her, are at risk.

Quinn’s spent months trying to stifle his curiosity for the gorgeous chef who runs the kitchen of his favorite bistro like she’s a five-star general. He can’t help but want her, especially when she comes marching into his office full of fire and passion, furious with him and demanding he renew her lease. Yet he now has something she wants, and he knows just what he’ll do with that heat and anger of hers, especially once she’s in his bed.

A bargain is stuck that will save Emma’s restaurant and give Quinn what he most desires—Emma. But it turns out there’s a lot more on the line when negotiating matters involving one’s body, heart, and soul.

My thoughts:

Have you ever read a book that you enjoyed but still had major issues with? If you have you’ll know its confusing and can really make you question the type of books you enjoy. Seduction and Surrender was that book for me. Some aspects of it I thought were engaging, witty and hot-as-hell, but other parts made me stop, pause and think.

7 June 2015

Her Dark Angel by Felicity Heaton

Hey everyone,

Tomorrow I’m starting a super intensive course at Makers Academy to become a web developer extraordinaire! I’m going to try and keep blogging on my regular schedule but please be kind if I don’t manage it, okay?  Anyway now we have the admin out of the way time to review Her Dark Angel by Felicity Heaton.

The book:
An angel trapped in Hell for centuries, Apollyon is tired of guarding the Devil. He longs to break free and feel the wind in his feathers, but he cannot leave the endless darkness without permission from above. When he senses someone calling him, he seizes his chance for freedom, but soon discovers the call came from a beautiful woman he has watched over from Hell, a woman who casts a spell on him and awakens the darkest desires of his heart.
Serenity is shocked when a wickedly sensual black-winged angel shows up in her city of Paris claiming that she called him when she was only casting a simple vengeance spell. He's no other than the angel of death! When the lethally handsome warrior offers to obey her and give her revenge, Serenity can't resist the temptation, but can she resist the forbidden hungers the dark angel stirs in her?
My thoughts:

Being a novella it would be fair to say the plot for Her Dark Angel is a little thin on the round, or perhaps a better word would be simplistic. Rather than investing time and energy into developing a complicated plot, Felicity Heaton has instead focused on character development and the relationship between Apollyon and Serenity. For me this worked because I love well developed characters, particularly when those character are tormented, lonely immortals just waiting for their lady love to appear.

4 June 2015

The Worst Best Luck by Brad Vance

Hey everyone,

I’m finally writing another review! Can I get a whoop whoop? No? Okay moving on then... As mentioned in all the books I need to read I’m recently went through my TBR pile and in doing so came across The Worst Best Luck, a book that I had honestly forgotten I’ve even owned. Yet I have now read it and i’m ready to past my opinions about it on to you.

The book:

Peter Rabe's luck is about to change. Taking a co-worker's car into the shop nets him a desperately needed $100 tip...and the attentions of Matt Kensington, master mechanic. Peter can't believe that someone as hot as Matt could be interested in the young man his tormentors used to call "Peter Rabbit." But, incredibly enough, he is. And when the Quadrillions lottery jackpot is up to $700,000,000, wouldn't it be crazy of Peter not to buy a ticket on his lucky day? 

Matt doesn't think much of money, having grown up on New York's Upper East Side in the lap of luxury. He'd walked away from the professional drudgery his Harvard degree had qualified him for, to become a mechanic, to touch things that were real, to fix things that were broken. And a hot shy guy like Peter is another machine Matt wants to believe he can fix. But when Peter finds out he's won the lottery, it almost feels like his luck has run out.

Especially when Cody Burrell, his emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend, mysteriously re-enters his life just before he cashes the ticket and reveals his good fortune to the world... Peter must wrestle with the pressures of wealth on someone who's grown up poor, the pressure of fame that comes with so much instant fortune, and most of all, with his own demons, the demons that Cody knows all too well how to manipulate.

My Thoughts:

I started reading this book without absolutely no clue what is was about, beyond it being a contemporary m/m. I actually thought it a New Adult based on the cover... So thats not awkward at all. Yet The Worst Best Luck packed a serious punch, it tackled issues left, right and centre without neglecting the core romance between Peter and Matt.

1 June 2015

All the books I need to read!

Hey everyone,

It would probably be fair to say that the following blog post is fairly self-indulgent, and could therefore be of no interest to anyone else in the world. It is quite simply a list of all the books I own but still to read, commonly referred to as a To-Be-Read pile or TBR for short. As some of you may know from having read previous posts on this blog I have banned myself from buying a new book until my TBR pile is destroyed. That means I haven’t brought a book  since the 15th April 2015, almost a month and half!

For that reason alone I’m fairly proud of myself and just think of all the money I’ve saved to spend on future books! Now that I am below fifty books on my TBR pile I thought it would be a good idea to create a list, mainly so that future me can look back with a sense of pride and achievement at reading all those books... Without indulging in new ones.

Also to make this list more interesting you we’re gonna split it into seven categories, starting with... Drumroll please...