First Touch by Laurelin Paige

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★☆☆☆☆

Genres: erotica, romance, mystery

Pages:  384

Series: Book 1 of the “First and Last” series

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

Release date: December 29th, 2015

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Those who were put off by Fifty Shades, please don’t even attempt to read this book. Just avert your eyes and keep walking because it was child’s play in every fashion when it comes to the ‘dark’ quality.

Never have I regretted reading a book so much in my life.

Emily Wayborn is a voice actress on a hit show and when she goes home for Thanksgiving she receives a disturbing message from her former bestie, it’s an SOS in the form of a safe word they shared. Emily hires a PI to help her figure out what is wrong – her bestie, Amber is missing and no one wants to help since no one will believe her that she’s actually missing so, Emily ventures off to a resort where Emily was last seen and known to be dating the owner.

Once there the story severely drops in quality not that it’s so far into it that there is much anyway, I’m talking about the fact we cannot stop seeing mentions of her breasts and if you didn’t know she has big breasts you’ll be reminded of it quite frequently. You’re also not to forget she’s hot and basically enraptured with her appearance. Yes, it’s great she has confidence but this takes it to the extreme and not to mention this book repeatedly goes back and forth about this characters self worth. It’s not consistent, or maybe that is the point. I don’t know. I don’t like what this character is representing. Appreciating your figure is great, having confidence is great, but to throw it up in someone’s face all the time or to then purposely use her body to garner attention then to get uppity when she DOES? WTF.

This was only into chapter two mind you, it gets worse for me from there. We swiftly forget about Amber and the very reason she is there and the story begins to go down a very dark path when Emily finds herself infatuated with the dangerous and I mean actually dangerous Reeve Sallis. Reeve isn’t the mysterious and dark guy that is so often smeared in romance books, Reeve is dangerous, he admits it and even goes so far as to be physically abusive toward Emily. He refuses her the option of a safe word down the road, he threatens to snuff the life out of her while massaging her and also has his fingers at her throat, that kind of dangerous. 

I’m not sure what I’m more worried about… the fact this book is out there or the fact that most people have rated this 5 stars and raved about how wonderful of a couple these two are. They represent an abusive, sick relationship. I don’t get it and I didn’t like it. This is glorifying the fact this girl is remaining in a highly abusive and highly dangerous relationship.

By the end when things are winding down we somehow remember that oh yeah, the reason why she is there in the first place is AMBER! Who she has come to resent because of the ties she had with Reeve! There is a cliffhanger that makes you want to know WHY, what HAPPENED.. but it is most certainly not enough to make me want to read the second one. I was really disturbed reading this book, it wasn’t sexy, it was sick and disgusting.

SCARRED FOR LIFE: A Guide to Living with Scars by Jennifer Hamilton

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★★★☆☆

SCARRED FOR LIFE: A Guide to Living with Scars by Jennifer Hamilton

Genres: non fiction

Pages:  23

Series: Single

Published by Jennifer Hamilton

Release date: November 28th, 2015

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Summary: Written by someone who understands how scars can affect your everyday life, this guide will be useful if you yourself have ever suffered from the social stigma of scars. It will help you recognise different types of scarring, how to prevent them from emerging and some of the many treatment methods you can use to lessen their appearance.

In this book you will learn about:

– My Story

– The many different types of scars and how they form

– Steps you can take to inhibit their development

– The best natural, medical and surgical techniques being used today to decrease their appearance


 

Review: Without delving too much into my personal life I can say that I understand what it is to have scars, I don’t wear my scars on the outside so much as I do on the inside. At a young age, I had severe health issues and it wasn’t until I was thirteen that I was on my way until better health.

This being said, the story behind the creation of this book is touching. Although I felt like there should have been more of the personal story fused in with the medical help. I thought that perhaps there would be more introduction to the author’s struggles from a young age to the then surgery and recovery after which would have led to the knowledge of scars and how to heal them properly, etc.

However, this is a very knowledgeable book about how to take care of wounds and how to reduce scars or their appearances.

Find me if you dare by Vicki Leigh

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★★★☆☆

Find me if you dare by Vicki Leigh

Genres: young adult, paranormal, romance, urban fantasy

Pages:  255

Series: Book 2 in the Dreamcatcher series

Published by Curiosity Quills Press

Release dateDecember 1st 2015

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Summary: They may have won the first battle, but the Apocalypse has just begun.

Five weeks have passed since the battle that left Rome and Columbus in ruins. Sheltered in the hidden city of Caelum, Daniel and Kayla train alongside over one hundred Magus and Protectors, hoping that their unified ranks will be enough to take down their greatest threat yet: Richard, his followers, and his horde of Nightmares. Then a fallen comrade is returned to Caelum with a message carved into his chest and a note referencing the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Daniel knows their time for training is over.

Finally understanding Richard’s plans for Kayla and the three other Magus born on Halloween, Daniel and the rest of Caelum’s volunteers scout the U.S. in a desperate attempt to stop their enemy before he can unleash his first Horseman. But when massive attacks claim thousands of lives, people all over the world begin to fall ill—including those Daniel and Kayla care about the most.

With the Horseman of Pestilence released, Daniel knows it’s time to step aside and let Kayla take the lead. Only she has the power to rival her father’s. But when Richard’s plot turns out to be darker than they imagined, their fight is met with more death and destruction—and an enemy who might be unbeatable, after all.


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Vicki Leigh

Adopted at three-days-old by a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom, Vicki Leigh grew up in a small suburb of Akron, Ohio where she learned to read by the age of four and considered being sent to her room for punishment as an opportunity to dive into another book. By the sixth grade, Vicki penned her first, full-length screenplay. If she couldn’t be a writer, Vicki would be a Hunter (think Dean and Sam Winchester) or a Jedi. Her favorite place on earth is Hogwarts (she refuses to believe it doesn’t exist), and her favorite dreams include solving cases alongside Sherlock Holmes.

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*I received this ARC from Curiosity Quills in exchange for an honest review.*

This is the second book to the series and yes I did read the first as well. This is a fast moving series, there isn’t a lot of drag time in them and the pages really do fly by. There is constantly action.

For those who like the Hush, Hush series and The Mortal Instruments, this is kind of up your alley. While this is an entirely unique idea it is along the same pathways.

If you thought that you would get a break from the excitement after the last book, think again.. we really kind of hit the ground running here. There is more action and yes…romance.

The characters experience a good amount of growth, Kayla for instance grows by leaps and bounds even amidst the darkness that threatens everyone. The friends bind together and they rebuild.. all in all it’s a good, fast paced sequel.

 

 

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker/Kelly Zekas

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★★★★☆

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Published by Swoon Reads on February 9, 2016
Genres: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural, Abilities, Victorian Era
Pages: 352
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Let me begin with saying is this cover not to die for? Most of us often do judge a book by it’s cover as it is something that draws us in and this one does that quite well. Often times we find ourselves misled by a beautiful cover with a mediocre tale inside, this does not do that.

This is set is a beautiful Victorian London, the characters are Austen-esque characters and with a brilliantly strong leading lady. Evelyn starts off bored with the tedium of society, her mother akin to Mrs. Bennet of Pride & Prejudice, does not help matters. Rose, Evelyn’s sister is a lovely charismatic angel that just seems to have a way with people.

The story begins off a touch slow until we meet Mr. Braddock, at once the story hits the ground running with what you may think is going on and what is actually going on. Mr. Braddock seems unlikable, secretive and not one to be trifled with!

Once Rose vanishes, leaving a strange note behind, Evelyn cannot stand for it as she believes she has been abducted. Evelyn springs into action, enlisting her friend Mr. Kent and oddly enough seeking out Mr. Braddock for answers.

The story begins to run, it’s a page turner once they begin looking for Rose and all that happens had me clutching my iPad as I read. By the end I really wanted more, and you can be sure that a second book would surely have me reading.

I truly enjoyed this book. It was fast paced once the real story started, there is a touch of romance in there too, but not overly much and what was in there I felt the emotions which is quite important to me. Over all, a lovely book deserving of the 4 stars!

Stone-Cold Fox by Hailey Edwards

25567459 ★★★☆☆

Stone-Cold Fox by Hailey Edwards
Published by Hailey Edwards on October 31st 2015
Genres: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural, Shape-shifting
Pages: 100
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*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

I must confess I haven’t read any of these books so I was walking into it blindly, but that being said even though I don’t know the back stories this was fairly easy to follow along with. The book explains in dribs and drabs about what is going on or what has transpired.

The book starts off with Mai at a comic con and I really found myself amused at this part because of the Labyrinth references – being a huge Labyrinth buff myself I kept giggling. From there the story moves quickly and Mai winds up abducted by someone she thought was her friend only to wind up in Ryuu’s claws.

It’s a quick moving story and soon we begin to learn some truths and Mai feels her world teetering, unable to grasp at the more reliable truth which is her memories. Things are resolved quickly and there are more Labyrinth references throughout the book which just makes me squee.

It goes by quickly and definitely leaves you wanting more just as it begins to get interesting. It’s a cute, fun, fast read.

The Benighted by A.M. Dunnewin

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★★★☆☆

I received this book in an exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.

First of all, let me begin by saying that this book was nearly a 4 stars for me and perhaps is more deserving of a 3.8 but since I can’t use a “3.8” rating on sites, a 3 will have to do.

I gave it a 3 because while this book is rather good, the writing is done well and the story is intriguing there is one thing above all else that held me back from really becoming engaged in this story – which is the constant shifting between present and past via flashbacks. While the flashbacks themselves aren’t troublesome its that one moment you’re reading a line of the present and the next you’re thrown into a dream state and flashback of what really happened. It takes a moment for your brain to adjust and for me it kind of kept me from really engaging into the story.

HOWEVER, all of this aside I really did enjoy the story and the fact the MC, Skylar Mandolyn, is a strong female character who takes matters into her own hands. Plus, her trusty knight – Harlin – is a strong, sturdy male who is there to support her.

There is a touch of romance but not the sort to make your teeth fall out, it’s a fast paced tale and will surely get you hooked and waiting for the next one. Look out for A.M. Dunnewin!