Category Archives: Video Book Club

Hooking Up – Video Book Club

Title: Hooking Up
Series: Stand-alone
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Christine’s Review

I loved this book. It had everything in this book that I love. I have read Helena Hunting before and I found it started in the same fashion. It had some great shock value that immediately makes you want to get into this book. I thought that Amie carried herself very well. It is so hard not to give into the pressure that she must have been going through at the time. Her husband was such an asshole!!! Thank goodness she has a good family and friends behind her. I love Lex. Amie met Lex first and was attracted to him but his cousin Armstong stole her away. But I think fate keep throwing Lex in Amie’s path.

There were several scenes in this book that were hilarious. One of the funniest was the airport security scene. I almost fell over laughing. Amie just has a way of turning what could be an embarrassing moment to her advantage. I found that this book was paced well and conveyed emotion and humour. I love Helena’s style of writing. She writes great female characters.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

I rate Hooking Up 4 Hearts as it kept me engaged throughout the entire story. There was an even balance of humour but also emotional moments that made my heart hurt for both Lex and Aimie. These characters were both very easy to connect to from the first few chapters. I have not read the other book for Ruby and Bane and it did not affect my ability to enjoy this stand-alone.

When Aimie goes through the security check at the airport it was such a humous moment and made me laugh out loud. The way Lex attempts to be the good guy just made me fall in love with him from the moment he saves her at the airport, to caring for her on the plane and to being her protector. The balance the author gives to the sex scenes to me was perfect, there are hot sensual up against the door sex but also moments where Aimie and Lex’s barriers are breaking down.

When Anarchy Aimie comes out to play it is wonderful and her realisation as to the way Armstrong was manipulating her was insightful. The moments as Aimie takes back her innerself that was hidden away is delightful. When she asks Lexington what socks he is wearing, her coloured underwear and realising she is a capable woman again. The author gave Aimie the time to process her feelings, this is not her jumping from one relationship to another, Lex and Aimie are given time to develop their true feelings and come to realisations of what they both want. Ruby and Bane were favourite supporting characters although a little judgy at times however Bane was forgiven when he stands up for Lex in the end.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hooking Up, it had all the wonderful elements of a great love story.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

After meeting Amie and her fiancé, Armstrong, in SHACKING UP, I was really looking forward to Amie’s story, because I knew Armstrong was a cheating douchebag and I wanted to see Amie find a man worthy of her.  While I don’t remember Lex from the previous book, in this book he proves he is definitely that man.

Helena Hunting has a great way of writing characters that you’ll love, and characters that you’ll love to hate.  I really liked Amie, who was strong and comfortable with her sexuality, but she also had just the right amount of insecurity that made her relatable.  I loved that she stood her ground against Armstrong, physically and mentally.  Speaking of Armstrong, he’s a huge douchebag.  Yes, I know I’ve called him that twice already, but he’s such a big one that it deserves being mentioned more than once.  Finally, I loved Lex, who is definitely a keeper with his playful personality and kind heart, and I’m very glad that he got the girl.

I enjoyed HOOKING UP, but it didn’t have the same amount of humour that SHACKING UP did.  Sure, there were scenes that had me smiling and laughing, but they were few and far between, and thanks to Armstrong’s disturbing and delusional behaviour, it was quite a bit more serious than the previous book.  I liked reading how Lex and Amie met in the proglogue, and how Chapter One really draws you into the story by making you feel a wide range of emotions.  Unfortunately, I did feel that the story dragged a little after Lex and Amie left Bora Bora, and it didn’t really pick up again until towards the end.

HOOKING UP is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Lex and Amie.  While it is listed as a stand-alone—and it can be read as such—its characters are connected to SHACKING UP.  If you haven’t read SHACKING UP yet, I highly recommend it.  Will there be another book after this one?  Maybe.  There’s a little scene at the end that involved a much-hated female character that got my spidey senses tingling.  Time will tell.

My Rating:  

Most Of All You – Video Book Club

Title: Most Of All You
Series: Stand-alone
Author: Mia Sheridan
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Christine’s Review

Most of All You is a story of two damaged people finding each other. The hard part is believing in each other and themselves in order to make a life together. I gave this book 4 hearts. I really liked the concept of the story. Gabriel was a tortured child that managed to escape and heal himself for the most part. Ellie was a neglected child that had to endure her own torture and never quite healed until Gabriel.

I liked the fact the Gabriel was constantly reminded that Ellie was not a project for him to fix. That she had to believe in herself. I loved the heart that this story had from all the characters.

This story had so much heart but there were a few things that really stuck with me. These are really nitpicking but it seemed like their meeting was very convenient. I’m not sure why Gabriel picked “Crystal” to hire to get him past his problem with being touched.

I also felt like the angel theme was overdone. He is angelic looking, his name is Gabriel, he’s working on a cherub and Ellie feels like he is too good for her. So I felt like I get it he’s a good guy.

But having said all that, I did really enjoy the book. I had a fantastic cry at the beginning and having never read Mia Sheridan before I will definitely have to read her again.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

Most of All You is a heartbreaking but incredibly uplifting story of finding love and forging ahead. Gabe & Ellie gave each other so many firsts in life and my eyes tear up thinking of those.

Chapter 23 simply shattered me, when we learn fully of Gambit, Racer, Shadow, Lemon Fair, Lady Eloise – talk about arrow straight through my heart. I could not breathe once I realised the full significance of these pieces of Gabe’s puzzle. As I remember this moment I have tears in my eyes.

Gabe and Ellie both tell us their stories which entwine amongst each others recovery to be open to love. Both had stories of their youth being taken from them and losing family.

The first 30% of this book is incredibly hard to read. It is depressing to watch Ellie and how she accepts her life. My favourite part of this whole journey was Gabe showing her she is capable and entitled to a better life.

“The man who’d loved me enough to wait for me to love myself”

The last 30% is my favourite, so much repair and new love and life. The way Ellie on her own starts to rebuild her life is amazing and gave me pure joy.

So many wonderful moments in this story where I would highlight paragraphs of beautiful words.

I wanted to scream, cry, yell, curse but then I laughed, held hope and ultimately fell in love with this dynamic couple.

Chloe at first I did not like, I was like a protective shield wanting Ellie to have it all. The turn of events for Chloe was surprising for me. Dominic who is Gabe’s brother well at the start I understood his reservations and I loved how his character grew over the story and how his shell also opened from his guilt.

The passionate and emotional scenes and slow build up for Gabe and Ellie was just perfect for me, it was believable.

Gabe and his sculpting, it was like we were watching not only him sculpt William, he was cracking away at not only his shell but Ellie’s too. Gabe and Ellie gave each other so many firsts in life and my eyes tear up thinking of those, it gives me joy and reminds me why I read romance books.

“I don’t create beauty, Eloise, I just reveal what’s already there”

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

I’ve previously read four books by Mia Sheridan before, and each one was able to really draw me in and make me cry my eyes out. So I was surprised when that didn’t happen with MOST OF ALL YOU, and I put that down to me just not being in the mood for an emotional read rather than the story or the author’s telling of it. Or, as I told Christine and Lulu, perhaps I’m broken.

I had a lot of trouble connecting with Ellie, and I think that’s mainly because she would disconnect her mind from what was going on around her. What she went through as a child is terrible, and what she continues to experience as an adult is just as bad, but I didn’t like her give up mentality. That she never fought for herself or for anything better.

I loved Gabriel, who I thought suffered a hell of a lot more than Ellie did, but who had a much better outlook on life than she did. He was such a sweetheart and a gentleman, and that might be another reason why I couldn’t connect with Ellie, because Gabriel was so nice, thoughtful and honest, and she was horrible to him the first few times they were together.

“I know how to remove myself. I know how to do that. I want to stay present. That’s what I need you to help me with. Staying.”

There are a few other characters that deserve a mention. Gabriel’s brother, Dominic, was a prick and I didn’t like him at all. I loved George, who was a wonderful father figure not just for Gabriel and Dominic, but for Ellie too. I would have loved to have seen more one-on-one time between Ellie and George because I think she desperately needed it, but he kind of faded into the background, which was disappointing.

In regards to the story, I thought it was odd that Gabriel felt a strip club was the best place to help him with his problem. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if it was the anonymity of it all that he felt it was the best place. Ellie is able to help him with his problem, but I felt this was a part of the story that wasn’t tidied up. Has his problem been solved with everyone, or just with Ellie? How did he feel about it after all these years? Does he experience setbacks? From what I remember, he was suddenly cured and then nothing was said about it again.

MOST OF ALL YOU is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Gabriel and Ellie. I did find it a bit wordy with the amount of inner monologue throughout the story. Be warned, this story contains rape and physical abuse, which may be triggers for some readers.

My Rating:  

A Change Of View – Video Book Club

Title: A Change of View
Series: Northern Lights # 2
Author: Freya Barker
Release Date: August 16, 2017

Christine’s Review

I love Freya Barkers’s style of writing. It feels very authentic like I am watching real people’s lives play out. I like the fact that these characters are in the middle of their lives and that they are moving onto the next stage after children and navigating what happens when life doesn’t go the way they planned.

I had true compassion for Leelo. She traveled a tough road hoping to start over again. She was divorced and alienated her children. I loved how she picked herself back up and made herself take advantage of a new life that presented itself to her. I really liked how she took responsibility for her own actions, that spoke volumes about the person she became after her divorce.

Roar was not perfect but he was perfect for Leelo. He had issues but he was available for everyone he cared about in his life. I really like that he could handle Leelo’s stubbornness.

Leelo’s children also played a role in Leelo’s transformation and I wanted to hate them but Freya wrote them in a way that made me realize that they were hurt too and they were trying to find their own path in the world. The town was another character in this book. I loved Roar’s mother and all the people that were just a little quirky but they were just protective of what they had there in the town and were leery of newcomers.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

As Freya says, it’s amazing how beautiful things are when you occasionally risk a change of view.

Leelo had my heart from the first few chapters as she forged ahead to make a change in her life.  She was 46, divorced, lonely and needed to repair her inner self belief.  As all women know we are our greatest critics both physically and mentally.

Roar was strong, masculine but he was also sensitive and I loved watching him make Leelo sensual again.  His group of friends and famiy provided lighthearted moments in this story, his mother Charlie a standout for me.

My favourite component of this story was watching how her relationship with her adult children evolved.  Her son Matt visiting, helping her and making his own life.  The relationship with her daughter brought tears to my eyes.

Surprising me was the suspense and mystery towards the end of this story with the constant danger placed in Leelo’s way, I had no clue to the turn of events so that was a great twist.

The Epilogue I loved and when the jar was opened well my heart swelled and tears were in my eyes.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

A CHANGE OF VIEW is the first book from Freya Barker I have read, and I quite enjoyed it.  Lulu warned me that the story builds slowly, because she knows I’m not a big fan of the slow-build.  But that’s because most of the the slow-build reads I’ve read end up with an ending that’s so rushed I feel like if I blink, I’ll miss it.  That doesn’t happen here, as the book moves at the same smooth pace from beginning to end.

I liked Roar.  He’s a nice guy who helps people when they need it, but he is very quiet and mostly keeps to himself.  I can’t say much more about him because, in my opinion, Leelo stood out in this story because of her strength, courage and determination.  After allowing herself to be mentally beaten down by her husband throughout their entire marriage, she’s now trying to find out who she really is and what she’s capable of.  I liked that she accepted responsibility for her actions after the marriage broke down, and that those actions affected her relationship with her adult children.  I also enjoyed watching her rebuild her relationship with them, and that they got to see a side of their mother they never knew existed.  What I really liked about Roar and Leelo is that they’re both in their mid-forties…and they act like it.

A CHANGE OF VIEW is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can most definitely be read as a stand-alone.  I haven’t read the first book in this series, but not once did I feel like I was missing something by not having read it.

My Rating:  

Revenge – Video Book Club

Title: Revenge
Series: Lawless # 3
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: June 20, 2017

Christine’s Review

Family is everything for the Lawless siblings.  These four have been through so much and deserve to be able to move to the next stage of their lives.  Drew wants to finish what they started so they can finally live in peace.

I felt compassion for Drew because he has spent his life sacrificing himself so his siblings could have a better life.  Even if that meant he had to give up his only chance at happiness.  His only goal was for them to have a good life and to avenge his parents.  I could understand why he was socially awkward.  He could only trust his brothers and sister.  Everything else to him was a transaction that he had to be in control of. But he will find out quickly that people cannot be a transaction.

Shelby is perfect for Drew, even though he warns her that he is not good for her. She allows him to have enough latitude before she puts her foot down.  I loved getting to know Shelby. She has missing pieces in her life too.  She needs a family that she can depend on but she is also strong and independent.

The whole family is amazing, they support each other and never doubt each other.  Both Riley and Bran have grown into their roles as husbands and in the company.  They manage to help inject the story with humour and advice.

Revenge is a story that shows that strength in many ways.  Strength in family bonds and forgiveness.  So much is happening in this story and I love that Lexi but heart in the center.  The introduction of a new character into this story really pulled everything for me.  I loved this character and I hope one day he might have his own story.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

Since I first read book 1 of this series I have been dying with aniticipation for Andrew Lawless and his story. For this whole series he has been the mastermind of the family, the centre of all the siblings lives and I knew his attration and ultimate relationship with Shelby would not dissapoint. What surprised me about book 3 was the fact that it was also about Hatch and his role in their lives before and after the night of the fire – he definately had some secrets and demons to overcome which makes sense now with all his drinking problems.

All questions are answered and I was left totally satfisfied with the outcome and there are still many surprises in store for the reader in this installment. This is actually a hard book to review as there is so much I could comment on but I will not as I do not want to give away any surprises.

What I will talk about is how Andrew (Drew) changes over the course of the book from a man hell bent on revenge to one who actually wants a life outside of the endless revenge dreams that have made his life empty and full of lonliness. Shelby was the perfect partner for him, she was an equal and their intellectual banter was enjoyable. Shelby and Drew’s sex scenes were my favourite of the entire series from the limosine to the private confines of Drew’s bedroom where his mask came off and he was a man needing compassion and to be held. You really saw behind his facade and how those events from the night of the fire really affected him.

Now a favourite scene for me was when Charlotte Taggart gave Shelby an intervention talk and slapped some sense into her to fight for what she wants – that being Drew and a family. Lastly the author tied up the whole mystery from that night of the fire and my most hated character being Iris really well and I was still guessing up to the last few chapters what her end game was and I loved how it was all settled.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

REVENGE is a story I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning of the series, and while I’m glad to see the family get the closure they so desperately needed, I am sad to see them go.

I really liked Shelby.  She was smart and kind, and she had no problem standing up to Drew when he was being an idiot.  There were times I liked Drew, and times I didn’t like Drew.  He could be sweet, generous, caring and funny, but then he could also be arrogant, cruel and manipulative.  I liked that Shelby instinctively knew what Drew needed, and that Drew knew he could get from Shelby things he didn’t know how to ask for.

The introduction of a new character this late in the game would usually frustrate me, but not in this case.  This new character’s entrance was so shocking and totally unexpected, but it worked with this story and broke my heart at the same time.  Will this new character get their own book?  I certainly hope so.

REVENGE is told in dual POVs and is the final book in the Lawless trilogy, where each book has to be read in order.  I read this story in one day and it was hard to put down.  I would have loved an epilogue, especially if said epilogue included seeing everyone involved in screwing over the Lawless siblings receiving punishment.  But that’s just me.

My Rating:  

The Hard Truth About Sunshine – Video Book Club

Title: The Hard Truth About Sunshine
Series: Stand-alone
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: March 28, 2017

Christine’s Review

OMG, It has taken me at least a week and half to process everything that happens in this book. I have traveled through the whole range of emotions. I feel like I went on this Journey with Christopher, Jillian, Barb and Connor. And some of the moments were tough and some were uplifting. I feel that 5 hearts is not enough to give this book. Saywer Bennett made me think about the people in my own life.

I love the fact that everything is taken from Christopher’s perspective. He has a unique view because he is so emotionally detached because of circumstances. I really hate his family and if I was him then I could never speak to them again. As he enters into this new situation with being in group thearpy, his defenses go up because he doesn’t want to feel anything. I think he could tell there was something special about this group.

Jillian offered a different perspective than the rest of the group. I loved that she was so giving. Christopher has to process this and he is trying to figure her out. I really think that she was what he needed at this time in his life.

Connor and Barb were two characters that I wanted to take of and protect. They were special. Connor the strong one and Barb the vulnerable one. The both had a profound effect on me.

This story was really special and at end of the journey it leaves you with the thought that you have no idea what another person has gone through but to understand that everyone’s journey is unique. And everytone has to find their own way to finding their own peace.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

I am officially in a book coma.  I am sad but uplifted, reflective but hopeful, alone but not lonely.  This is a hard journey but I am full of sunshine.  I have the warmth of an amazing story that has just given me hope, happiness and peace for four amazing characters.

I choose to live. I choose to love. I choose to forge my path. Life is my choice.

Christopher, Barb, Jillian and Connor are four characters that will stay with me forever. Upon finishing this story I was speechless as my faith and hope was tested many times. These guys were the fearsome foursome, at times throughout this book they all had their moments of sadness but then also happiness, despair but determination, I cannot remember a book that upon the first chapter I was so investsed.

As a reader you know there will not be a happy ever after for all these characters however in saying that upon finishing I think the characters all in some way found their own place of peace, the pain and dullness was put to rest.

Jillian is the sunshine and I connected to her immediately with her compassion and determination, she had a backbone and she pushed the other three characters. She was my standout and I immediately wanted her to fall in love with Christopher.

‘Jillian, you were my bucket list and I didn’t even know it’

Barb grew on my slowly until the point when I knew her moment of choice was to be made and I am surprised in my lack of judgement for her. Barb’s chapter after the beach and the way her story was told all through well I laughed, was angry and then I felt peace for her to find her light amongst her grey. I felt the author respected Barb, her past story and her present and I laughed with Barb when pissing on the grave and my smile shined bright for Connor’s parents and what they did for her at the end of the book.

Connor and Christopher were like older and younger brother, the journey they take for Connor to see the sun set on the west coast was so enjoyable.

Jillian and Christopher’s relationship I loved and the gentle way their physical connection changed over the course of the story.

Lastly onto Christopher, told from his POV, he held me captive and to see his whole perception on life, love, happiness and forgiveness evolve over the story largely due to his three different travelling companions was just thought provoking. It took me hours to put into perspective this whole story, it will have you question your own thoughts on life and death and finding your peace in life.

The Hard Truth About Sunshine will be one of those books I will always remember.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

I don’t even know where to start with this review, mainly because I just don’t think I have the words that will do this book justice.

When I first received the ARC request for THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE, I spent several days wavering between signing up for it because it’s a Sawyer Bennett book, and not signing up for it because it sounded too intense for my tastes. I finally decided to request an ARC, but when it was time for me to read it, I hesitated again. I still wasn’t sure if it was right for me and I’ll admit I regretted signing up for it. But then I started reading it and I have never been happier to prove myself wrong.

I won’t sugar coat it, Christopher starts out as an absolute arsehole. He’s so bogged down hating his own life and being angry at the world over his disfigurement, that he doesn’t care about anyone else’s problems. After being abandoned by his family and girlfriend while recovering from his injuries, he’s bitter and unwilling to let anyone else in. But after just a few days into a road trip with the three members of his therapy group, he starts to open up and let them in, and he grows up a lot in a short amount of time because of it.

THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE is told only in Christopher’s POV, so it’s his story you learn the most about. But while Christopher is the focus, Jillian, Connor and Barb play big roles from beginning to end. Their personal stories will break your heart at the unfairness of it all, and all three will grab your heart in their own ways. This is a stand-alone and despite the devastating topics woven throughout, it does come with a HEA, one that is both sad and beautiful. It was a perfect end to an emotional story.

THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT SUNSHINE is beyond amazing. It is real, deeply emotional and it will break your heart before putting it back together again. I smiled a little. I laughed a little. I cried a lot. I think I will be hard pressed to find another book that will affect me as deeply as this one did for a very long time.

My Rating:  

Kiss Marry Kill – Video Book Club

Title: Kiss Marry Kill
Series: Iron Clad Security # 1
Author: Sidney Halston
Release Date: March 28, 2017

Christine’s Review

Kiss Marry Kill is the story of two people who fell for each other at the wrong time in their lives. They had a chance at something special after four amazing days together but unfortunately reality stepped in and it was not meant to be.  Five years later, circumstances have given Megan and Jax another chance.

Jax is the head of a security company and Megan is a music star and the obsession of a stalker. Jax comes in and does everything in his power to make her safe.  But in the five years that they were apart they both changed.  Jax was changed by the war.  Megan was changed by Jax and learned to do what she was passionate about.

Megan has some great friends that help her on her journey.  Her friends in the band are amazing and bring a lighter feel to the story.  Her parents are also support system even if they don’t totally understand why she wants to go down this path.  Megan also has a serious problem, she has a stalker that has managed to invade her home and her sense of security.

Kiss Marry Kill is a sweet second change love story that had some thrilling parts in it.  I loved how they meet at the baseball game and spent 4 amazing days together.  I also felt that the way Jax had changed seemed appropriate for what he went through in the war.  But I did feel like the story started to loose energy about 40% of the way through and didn’t pick back up until nearly the end.  It does have a twist in it that I had guessed but it still made an interesting ending.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

It started off fantastic with all the drama and suspense and the last 30% was really fast paced however I just felt the middle it went a little bit slow and I put that down to the fact I just wanted to find out who the stalker was !! I also did not enjoy the constant returning to 5 years earlier when they had their fling so be warned you will return to poignent moments for them throughout this story.

Now can I say I LOVED the way they meet at the baseball that was brilliant and so good for giving Dick what he deserved. This story really does centre around Jax and Meg and that was one of the reasons I really enjoyed it as they were characters that connected to me on different levels. The story was their love story of how they met, left and then returned to each other and we did not get bogged down with other characters dramas.

I did not pick the twist in the stalker straight away but I had a hunch before they went on tour and it was all neatly tied up however I did think hacking into the train system a little out there but hey Jax was saving his girl! The passionate scenes between Jax and Meg were enjoyable and I thought the humour and characters stubborness at parts was great. Another character I really enjoyed was Joey his partner in his security firm and obviously there is going to be a story about him and also his sister which will be next going on the way the story ended.

If you have read Sidney’s “Panic Series” you will find the “Iron Clad Security” definately has a lighter and sweeter romance feel and is not as Dark.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

I loved how KISS MARRY KILL started, throwing us right into the action from the very first page. It kept my attention and I finished it fairly quickly, but I did find the story a little slow at times. I was disappointed that there was all this buildup to the action, but then the action was just skimmed over: the stalker was caught, we flashed forward to three months later, the end.  I did guess the stalker twist fairly early on, but I felt the twist was realistic, which was good.  There’s nothing I hate more than a twist that comes out of nowhere and makes absolutely zero sense.

Character wise, I liked both Jax and Megan and I loved how they first met five years before.  They spent an amazing four days together before parting ways, but they both never forgot the other. In fact, those four days changed Megan’s life forever and for the better.  When Jax finds out that Megan is in trouble, he drops everything to keep her safe and they rekindle their brief relationship.  That being said, I wouldn’t hire Jax’s security company to protect me given how easily people without military and security training were able to infiltrate areas that were deemed secure.

KISS MARRY KILL is told in dual POVs and is the beginning of a new series from Sidney Halston.  It is told in present time, but also includes several flashbacks to the four days they spent together years ago.  I did feel that some things were left unresolved and unclarified.  For example, Megan’s relationship with her parents, and Jax referring several times to losing his team because he mixed business with pleasure and/or lost focus, but from what I remember reading, that’s not the reason why his team died.  Judging by how this book ended, it looks like Jax’s business partner’s little sister will get the next book in the series.

My Rating:  3 Hearts 1/2

The Harmless Series – Video Book Club

Title: A Harmless Little Game
Title: A Harmless Little Ruse
Title: A Harmless Little Plan
Series: Harmless
Author: Meli Raine
Release Dates: Oct 18 2016, Nov 18 2016, Dec 13 2016

Christine’s Review

Book 1 had a great set up for the series. There is a lot that Lindsay doesn’t know but she had been forced to stay on the island for so long that her truth was everything that she thought that she saw on the video. Drew intends to be everything that he couldn’t be on that night for Lindsay. He is going to protectect her whether she thinks she needs it or not. They realize quickly that John, Stellan and Blaine are quickly catching up to them. And can Lindsay fall for Drew again after eveything that has happened.

Book 2 picks up with Drew feeling used and Lindsay out to protect herself and Drew. More truth comes out about that night and even more questions. Drew manages to show more emotion than he has in a long time and in turn gets fired for it. Leaving Lindsay in trouble because no one can protect her like he can.

Book 3 makes the mystery even deeper. We find out there is a lot more to this attack than they thought possible. But even though there were a lot of answers in book 3 I found I had even more questions. Like why did the 3 girls do what they did. They didn’t seem to have anything to gain out of it. Did Drew and Mark’s parents have any connection to these events. And though I liked how the book ended I also felt cheated in a way because I wanted Lindsay to stand up to her mother more.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

BOOK 1 – There were so many moments in this that had me shaking with anger and frustration at the people affecting her life. Drew was one right from the start I knew had more to reveal. So glad the author gave us snippets of what happened to her as if it was revealed all in the one go I probably may have put it down as it is truly horrific what she went through and then to be locked up by her own family. I have so many questions, someome is pulling some major strings in her parents lives. Now her father I have softened to but her mother – god give me strength as the woman is pure evilness in my mind.

BOOK 2 – I have so many more questions but characters have started alert me to the alterior motives and then the major OMG moment at the end with Linday and then all the revelations about Drew come to light and my heart breaks all over again. This was very fast paced this whole book, kept turning and twisting. I was shaking at the end. I have thoughts on characters and am looking forward to answers.

BOOK 3 – I actually really liked this final part of the story, I admit I was slightly frustrated by the time we got to Tiffany’s role (which I did not overly like but then to play such a major piece to this puzzle being finally put to bed – outstanding manipulation of the character and her place in the puzzle). I was honestly thinking “for the love of god” someone give Drew and Lindsay a heads up and a break but then all hell lets loose and their saviour is in the form of a blond bimbo porn star next door neighbour – just classic after all the angst and darkness the comedic of her role I can now understand! I was glued to the pages when Lindsay was in hospital fighting her way back from the darkness – could not put this down. What Lindsay goes through 4 years ago and then more traumatic events in book 3 just broke my heart and had me shaking in fear for her. Drew was my knight in shining amount and I loved her Dad’s final say in this story – beautiful and loving.

On a side note a character that stepped up to the plate big time and who was a champion was Silas. I was wrong with her mother – she is just a bitch however I was right on other characters not being 100% honest. This was a refreshing series and with the political backdrop I found a great change to my normal romance genre.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

WOW!  A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME is a book that grabbed me right from the very first page and did not let me go.  I know a book is good when I’m up until 1am reading.  Since this is the first book in the Harmless trilogy that focuses on Lindsay and her desire for revenge, I can’t say much, so this will be a fairly short review.  What Lindsay went through four years ago was horrific.  What’s worse is that the men involved got away with it.  If that doesn’t fire up your anger, I don’t know what will.  I really felt for her and I admired the strength and courage she displayed to stand up for herself.  I also liked Drew, who is a very quiet and controlled man.  I have a feeling that when his control slips, the fallout will be huge and it’s going to be a sight to behold.  I absolutely hated her parents, especially her mother.  Honestly, if it turns out that she had something to do with what happened to her daughter, I would not be surprised at all.  The scene where Lindsay stood up to her mother was awesome and I was so cheering her on.

A HARMLESS LITTLE RUSE continues on from A HARMLESS LITTLE GAME, however in this part of the trilogy we are seeing the story from Drew’s POV.  Again, this review will be kind of vague because I can’t say anything without giving away spoilers.  At the end of book 1, Drew and Lindsay rekindled their relationship and appeared to be on the same page.  But in the beginning of this book, Lindsay does something that has him questioning her feelings and intentions.  While she spent most of the first book questioning whether she could trust him, now it’s his turn to question whether he can trust her.  They spend this book trying to heal old wounds while Drew works on his revenge plans against those who hurt them, but they always seem to be one step ahead of him, as proven by the cliffhanger we are left with.  I’m still not a fan of her parents, who seem to care more about the election than their only child, and I still don’t know who is friend or foe.  We learn more about what happened that night four years ago, and I honestly didn’t think I could hate those three monsters more, but I was wrong.  Despite the new information, all the questions I had from the first book remain unanswered, and I truly hope they will be answered in the next book.  This was another quick read that easily held my attention.

After loving and quickly devouring the first two books in the Harmless trilogy, I’m sad to say that I found A HARMLESS LITTLE PLAN to be a little disappointing.  Why?  Because despite the happy-for-now ending, I felt there was no real closure in this story.  There are a lot of loose threads and unanswered questions, and I am not a fan of either of those things.  The first 50% of the book is where all the excitement lies.  After that, the book slows down a lot as we watch Lindsay and Drew heal from their ordeal.  I liked both Drew and Lindsay and was very glad to see them get their revenge and happy ending.  I was hoping to find just one redeeming quality in Lindsay’s mother, but by the end of this book I hated her as much as I did in the beginning of the series.  Throughout the series, I’ve alternated between liking and hating her father, and in the end I found him gutless.  He does love his daughter, but I think he loves his career more and will put it before her.  There is no epilogue, but it comes with a HFN ending.  Honestly, if all the loose threads had been taken care of, if nothing was left unresolved, this would have been a 5❤️ read for sure.

My Rating:   1/3

Satisfaction – Video Book Club

Title: Satisfaction
Series: Lawless # 2
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: January 3, 2017

Christine’s Review

Satisfaction is the second installment to the Lawless Family.  It centers around Brandon Lawless and we learn about his experience after their parents were murdered.

I love Bran, yes he does have his issues but I think he is the soul of the family.  He wants to be honest and upfront with everyone, including Carly.  He has a different way of looking at the world and he knows when his brother is about to take things too far.

Patricia Cain is a special kind of evil.  Where Bran is the soul of the family, Patricia has no soul. She uses everyone around her and she creates leverage so that people can’t get away from her, including Carly.

Carly is working her way back into the world after a failed marriage to a criminal. She works hard for everyone else and has a great heart.  Even though she is trapped in her situation, Carly knows when to help those around her.  She is extremely close to her sister who convinces her to start dating again through a dating app. She is conveniently paired with Drew. This is set up completely to continue with the Lawless plan of justice in the form of revenge.  Bran is sitting watching the cafe when he sees Carly.  He can’t let them pull her into their scheme without her knowing what is could happen to her.  He knows in his heart that she will choose to help them. Carly is perfect for Bran.  She hasn’t had it easy and still she has a great heart.

So much happens in Satisfaction.  Carly is attacked on two fronts and we get to see Bran be the hero we know he can be.  We also get to see Drew learn to be more of a human.  He is starting to see what revenge is doing to his family.  He does have a great heart to heart scene in this book and we also learn more about who he is attracted to.  Ian Taggart also made an appearance in this book.  We were given a treat with his insight of what is going on with the boys or in his words “puppies”.

Just like in other novels from Lexi Blake, she draws you in with emotion and humour.  You fall for all her characters and she knows how to write a villain.  I am excited to see what she has in store next for Drew.

My Rating:  

Lulu’s Review

Firstly I loved how this story was different to book 1, this was more a romance story of Bran finding the woman who would heal him and less suspense/mystery, don’t get me wrong we still follow the clues to unravel the Lawless family story but I felt that took more of a back seat to the Romance of Bran and Carly. I am glad there was not another deceitful love angle played out and that Bran was upfront with Carly, she already had too many people playing games in front and behind her back, if the Lawless brothers had done it too, I think it would have been excessive and I probably would not have been a happy reader.

Some parts of the story I found had too much inner dialogue about how Bran and Carly did not understand each other. Shelby the reporter friend was a great new character and I immediately thought of Drew for her. I loved Ian Taggert and he makes me want to read his book in the Masters & Mercenaries series by this author. I wished we would have had a flashback to the full Bran story earlier so I could have understood his anger issues – it wore me out by the end and when he finally revealed all it was a bit of a non WTH moment. I had a hunch about the big revelation at the end of this book when a new character is introduced, I had thought about it in book 1 but it pretty much cemented it for me and especially during the party chapters. My question is why did this character really organise the murder?

There must be more to be revealed in book 3 and I for one cannot wait for their Revenge. Why did they do what they did to Bran? OMG! I was waiting for more of an emotional moment from this story like we got in book 1 in the boardroom scene with Riley but alas this book is definately to me like a filler between book 1 and book 3. I must say I think book 3 is going to be fast paced with so many questions answered and I am really looking forward to read this.

My Rating:  

Vicki’s Review

The first thing I’m going to do is brag that I guessed who the fourth person was early on in RUTHLESS, book 1 in the Lawless series.  No, I won’t tell you who it is…you’ll have to read
SATISFACTION to find out yourself.

I did enjoy SATISFACTION, but I did find it a little wordy and was skipping parts of the story the closer I got to the end.  Bran and Carly are both very nice people and I liked them, but I got annoyed at their repeated arguments.  I’ll be honest, I was in a mood when I read this, which may have affected my enjoyment of the book.  For me, the end of this book was the best part (I loved the sex-tape scene and the big reveal) and it made me really want to read book 3,
REVENGE.  I am looking forward to reading Drew and Shelby’s story and I really hope that the Lawless siblings get the revenge and justice they’ve been chasing for so many years.

My Rating:  3 Hearts 1/2

Torn – Video Book Club

Title: Torn
Series: Stand-Alone
Author: C.J. Fallowfield
Release Date: August 31, 2016


Christine’s Review

Christine gave Torn 3.5 hearts. This story really is a coming of age story. I gave this story a lot of consideration before giving my final rating. There were some areas of this story that really had me thinking.

I found that I didn’t care for many characters in this story. I really loved Nate and Sky’s parents. I didn’t care for Billy’s character at all and wondered if he really belonged in the story. I liked Josh but there were several times that I thought he could have handled himself differently. I also found that Sky wasn’t the strongest character. Even though she didn’t realize it at the time she played a game with those boys. She always knew who her choice would be but she choose to create a scenario where two would be hurt.

The story as a whole almost felt like the pacing was a little off. The beginning was really slow and it didn’t get faster until the 60% mark. Then the story moved really fast. It was also really, really, really dramatic. Almost too dramatic without any balance. I like a good cry but I need it balanced with humour or anger or even happy moment. I really wanted to love Torn but there was too much drama going on and I really only loved Nate.

My Rating:  3 Hearts 1/2

Lulu’s Review

So Lulu is deftinately Torn about her rating – in the end I have given it 3.5 Hearts – I found this story really slow and it honestly did not grab me until after Valentines day – then all hell breaks loose. The continual underlying story for Billy and his mum really annoyed me – either disclose the big secret or move on – I really wanted Nate & Josh to find out their true story. Sky’s dad was another character that I felt angst towards (his curfews and inability to see the goodness in two of the three boys) however he redeemed himself when Nate really needed a man figure.

My god what Nate & Josh go through for his mum is unbelieveable – again really depressing. There are so many secrets and endless sadness for all four characters and this wore me down. I have to say I did not feel good about Billy from the start of this book and when his secret is revealed I was not surprised. Valentines night chapter was just incredible and this is where the whole story blows apart for me and really gets going, alas it was at 50% of the book and I really thought the first half of this book dragged – the sexual buildup for Sky to lose her virginity was too long and do not get me started on the chapters covering the three date scenario – I actually disliked Sky for awhile after that.

I loved the ending it was perfect in that everything was resolved there are no what ifs for this story. I really wanted to love this more though. My favourite scene was when Sky was in the Kitchen and she has a wonderful moment that basically gave me happy tears instead of sad tears – I was shaking with fear thinking it could not be real. I thought I had it all figured out who had broken her heart, trust and who would kill – think again until you reach the last few chapters! In the end Sky pays a hefty price and in the end there was only one male character I will love forever and that was the guy that sacrificed so much for his family.

Have a happy romance book on the standby after this – you will need it – took Lulu two books on her favourite book shelf to get over this tragic tale – it left me Torn Apart.

My Rating:  3 Hearts 1/2

Vicki’s Review

TORN is the second book I’ve read from CJ Fallowfield and as with the first one I read, I found this one to be quite depressing.  It’s a long story filled with a lot of bad situations, sad events and roadblocks, so you can expect to shed a lot of tears.  It comes with a HEA, but it’s a huge struggle to get there.  The story starts out slow and drags for about the first 50%⎯after which the pace picks up quite a lot⎯and it takes place over several years (about five, I think), so there are huge gaps in time throughout.

The main characters are Nate, Josh and Billy (two brothers and a cousin) who are all vying for the affection of Sky, the new girl in town.  I didn’t like Billy at all, but I think he was written to be unlikeable.  I initially liked Josh, but his hurtful admissions and scenes towards the end turned me against him very quickly and I ended up finding him weak and a little cruel.  There were times I liked Sky and times I didn’t.  I didn’t like that she lead all three on a bit until she finally decided which one she wanted to be with⎯which was the one she wanted from the start⎯but I liked her when she displayed amazing strength and fortitude.  Nate was my favourite character and he was the epitome of self-sacrifice.  Everything he endured broke my heart.  My main fault with him was that he gave too much of himself.  At times he needed to be selfish and think about his own life and future instead of always thinking about others.

TORN was a book that I read fairly quickly, but I definitely wish there was less drama and more happy times.

My Rating:  3 Hearts

Sugar Free – Video Book Club

Title: Sugar Free
Series: Sugar Bowl # 3
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: October 11, 2016


Christine’s Review

The whole Sugar Bowl Series was amazing. The prologe in Sugar Daddy was tough to get through because of the subject matter but set up the story perfectly. I don’t want to write about the story too much because it would give away spoilers. But I love the two main characters Beck and Sela. Beck is just a good human being and Sela is an example of a strong female character. I thought the villian of the story was written very well and every time he showed up on the page it put me on edge. This was the first time for me to read Sawyer Bennett but won’t be the last. I can wait to see what her hext book will be. (Hopefully something concerning Dennis.)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Lulu’s Review

From the Sugar Bowl Series – Book 2 Sugar Rush was my favourite. I found Beck and Sela’s romance story really strenthened in book 2 and then the ending well who would not pick up the final. I loved Sela’s Dad and also Dennis was another favourite of mine. Reading Book 3 I was begging for Dennis to come back. I kept messaging Vicki thinking she may leak a hint to tell me all was going to be okay but alas no she kept saying = keep turning those pages so much is still yet to happen. The ending was just perfect as we jump ahead at really significant times for all the characters and I am just so happy with the conclusion. I am left with no questions from this book in relation to Sela and Beck I feel totally satisfied which is really rare. However on saying that I would love a book on Dennis, I would like it to start with an overlay from Sugar Free at the poingent moment in the book say around Chapter 25 or when Beck makes his desperate call to him about being in a “world of trouble”. So glad that Caroline gets her answers as does Sela evenutally. I found Beck’s parents just awful characters and loved the twists and turns with JT.

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Vicki’s Review

SUGAR FREE takes place immediately after SUGAR RUSH, with Sela telling Beck about JT’s latest attack, a scene that was pretty rough to read.  Beck and Sela have to make a choice about what to do next, and that choice quickly leads them towards an uncertain future.  The lengths these two are willing to go to, just to protect the other, shows you how much they love each other.  While Beck has been a pillar of support for Sela in all three books, it’s Sela’s chance to return the favour because the secrets revealed and the events that transpire in this story are soul crushing.  Thankfully in the end, Sela gets justice, JT gets what he deserved and Beck and Sela get their HEA.

“What you and I have, Sela…no one will ever comprehend it.  No one will ever come in between it.  But it’s real and it’s ours, and I’m never letting it go.”

SUGAR FREE is told in dual POVs and is the final book in the Sugar Bowl trilogy.  All three books are connected by a single story and cannot be read as stand-alones.  I was very happy with how this series concluded, although I was scared there for a little while because I thought the book would end in a way I was not going to like.  But then I got to chapter 25.  A chapter so good that I read it not once, not twice, but three times.  That chapter was fantastic and deserves a mic drop at the end of it because it was that good.

What else can I say about SUGAR FREE?  Honestly, not much because to do so would give away all the scary and awesome things that happened in this book.  The twists and turns from beginning to end had my head spinning, and I never knew where the story was going to take me next.  As with SUGAR DADDY and SUGAR RUSH, this was another amazing read that was impossible to put down.  I FUCKING LOVED IT!!!

My Rating:  5 Hearts