Category Archives: Video Book Club

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

Wilder – Video Book Club

Title: Wilder
Series: The Renegades # 1
Author: Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: September 19, 2016


Christine’s Review

I rate this book 4 1/2 Hearts. This is also my first book for Rebecca Yarros. The book had a few slow places for me but the ending was well worth the wait. I also felt like something was mssing from Leah to make her character complete. Maybe she was mssing a sisterly bond that I thought since Penna became her accidental roommate that maybe she would fill that role but that didn’t happen. What I did love about Leah was her inner strength. She was ready to move on with her life again and start living after a terrible trauma that happened early in her life. Paxton Wilder lives up to his title of original renegade. He is an adrenaline junkie that really shows no fear. He has motives for everything that he does in this book. Even down to sacrificing his own happiness. I think the one thing he didn’t plan on was his feelings for Leah.

I really liked this book the only thing that I would say stopped me from giving a full 5 Hearts was that Leah’s trauma was continually repeated through out the book and I wish that she had just told him earlier. And Paxton also had events that haunted him throughout the beggining of the book that I wish he just would have delt with.

My favorite part of the book was when Leah was about to zip line which was way out of her comfort zone and she started praying. And one of the things she promised was to broker for world peace. I loved it.

My Rating:  4 Hearts 1/2

Lulu’s Review

I rate this book 4 Hearts and this is my first book by Rebecca Yarros. Started slow for me but by 30% mark I was hooked and needed to find out all the secrets this group of Renegades were keeping and probably the biggest one I did not pick till right before reveal.

The one character that I loved was Leah, although the title will have you believe it is about the Renegades to me this was her story of reclaiming life after tragedy. I do not know much about the X Games and it was just weird being on a boat but I got over that after attaching myself to the characters and their stories. One character I would love a story on is Paxton’s brother Brandon, I immediately felt something for this guy and wanted to know his story, considering these two grew up together they were so different but so loyal to each other in the end.

Now onto the ending, I felt a bit flat I have to say, the romantic in me would have loved for them to be back at Mykonos declring undying love even a month on. Now onto Mykonos, my all time favoiurite part of the book, yes I know it is when they make love for the first time but so much else is revealed to me by both characters. Rachel was an intersting character to the whole story and I would love to read Landon’s story considering his manwhore ways and then his revelations at the end. Penna was probably one of the first charcters who immediately jumped at me, she has a vitality that captured you from the start. Whilst most of the X Games terminilogy was lost on me I did enjoy reading about their tricks which also encorporated the ultimate suspense and mystery of the storyline. I really also loved the first time they had sex, the build up over the days before was perfect and I honestly would have cried if they did not do it at the point in time at the book when they did – perfect location.

My Rating:  4 Hearts

Vicki’s Review

I enjoyed WILDER and thought it was a great start to a new series from Rebecca Yarros.  In this series we have a trio of adrenaline junkies⎯Wilder (Pax), Nova (Landon) and Rebel (Penna)⎯who are the Renegades.  They’re taking a year off competing in order to finish college, but will film a documentary showcasing all their crazy stunts performed around the world while they spend the school year at sea.  Because of his busy schedule, Pax needs a tutor to help him graduate, and Leah has been chosen for him.

Leah is recovering from a traumatic event and just getting on the ship is the craziest and bravest thing she’s done in two years.  On her first day, she meets Pax and is thrown into a situation that terrifies her.  But she’s strong and brave and handles it like a champ.  She would normally never consider doing the crazy things that Pax does, but he makes her want to step out of her comfort zone and live a little.  I liked that while she thinks about her traumatic past, she doesn’t use it as a reason not to be with Pax.  Pax is cocky and arrogant, but he’s also a nice guy who would do anything for those he cares about.  He’s also haunted by a traumatic event for which he blames himself for, but it’s not his fault at all.  He’s determined to graduate college, gain access to his trust fund and finish the documentary to honour a friend.

There was one thing I didn’t like about the story, and that was how many times Pax and Leah’s “secrets” were alluded to before finally being revealed.  Leah’s traumatic event.  Pax hiding something from Leah.  Pax being the cause of Nova’s man-whore ways.  They were talked or thought about so many times that by the time the secrets were revealed, they weren’t shocking because they’d become easy to predict, and that was disappointing.  But other than that, I liked the story and it’s characters, and I am looking forward to reading Nova’s books next, which comes out in February 2017.  WILDER is told in dual POVs and is the first book in The Renegades series.  It doesn’t end with a cliffhanger and comes with a HEA for Pax and Leah, who I’m sure we’ll see again throughout the series.

My Rating:  4 Hearts


Ruthless – Video Book Club

Title: Ruthless
Series: Lawless # 1
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: August 9, 2016


Christine’s Review

RUTHLESS is a fantastic spin-off to the Masters and Mercenaries series.  I loved these brothers and sister.  The way this novel started broke my heart and just thinking of it now is making me emotional all over again.  This family has endured so much and deserves justice.

I really loved Ellie.  My heart hurt knowing that she had to be hurt in order for the family to receive justice.  I loved the fact that she has rose coloured glasses on. She believes that she can make things right and take her father’s company to a new level.  Not even her own father’s admissions to her on his death bed can change her outlook on the world.  It’s not until Riley comes along and rips those glasses off that she sees people for who they really are.  I almost wish, though, that she can put those glasses back on and regain that naivety.

There were several quotes that were very humous, mostly coming from Mia. But the one that I found very fitting was “The sins of the father were about to be visited on the daughter’s doorstep. Ellie Stratton would have to pay her father’s debt.”

Even though I want to hate Riley for what he was about to do Ellie, I knew that he needed to stay loyal to his family in order to move on with his own life.  Drew keep him focused while Bran keep him grounded. This family works so well together but even they can’t plan on the people that they are going to take down having an agenda of their own.

There were a lot of great moments both humorous and serious in this novel.  I’m glad that we got to see the continued story of Mia and Case.  They are so good together.  It felt like Case was the voice of reason for Riley which really nice to see how he grew as a character.

In closing, I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait for book two.

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Lulu’s Review

RUTHLESS was a fantastic read, even though I now know some of the major OMG secrets and explosive moments yet I know if I picked this up (which I will be doing before book 2 gets released) there would be other clues perhaps given that I may have missed.  I was so glued to watching Ellie miss all the signs and willing her to see all these awful people that I am sure I missed parts which I have so many questions especially regarding the Lawless family and I cannot wait to read book 2.

I was beside myself throughout the first half of this book knowing and waiting for Ellie to have revealed to her all the players. The surprise boardroom meeting scene is just epic and threw the whole storyline wide open – I was in shock I put the book down for 5 minutes I was so angry and hurt for Ellie.

My favourite quote came from Mia (the boys sister) talking about wanting Ellie to fall in love with her brother Reilly as she was sick of the “Sausuage Fest”, I mean anyone who can put Sausage Fest into a mystery/suspense novel and make me laugh while still having my heart broken and being scared for other characters being hurt by the bad guys – yeah I loved it.

Now moving onto the sex scenes – look we are given great moments – quickies on the desk at work, the first time they “do it”, my favourite was after Ellies emotional heart to heart with Bran and then she and Riley sleep together, now it was not so much the sex but the actions of Ellie to enable Riley to sleep all night with her – just kind of cemented them for me as a couple and I knew deep down they were going to be okay – well until the next curve ball was being thrown Ellie & Reilly’s way – I mean your heart does not stop beating until those last few pages – will we get a HEA for these two – I will not ruin the surprise – you need to pick this up!!

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Vicki’s Review

RUTHLESS starts out with the Lawless children grieving the loss of their parents who were murdered, but whose deaths are being ruled as a murder-suicide.  They spend the next twenty years planning their revenge on all those involved and now it’s time to start putting their plans into action, starting with Ellie, the daughter of one of the men involved.  Riley is sent in to get close to her, but his desire to make her pay for her father’s sins quickly changes when he discovers that she’s the polar opposite of her father.

I really liked Riley who, despite his desire to make those responsible pay for their crimes, wasn’t blinded by twenty years of hate and revenge.  When he gets to know Ellie, he was adamant that she not be hurt and he was devastated when that was exactly what happened.  I liked Ellie, who was very kind and caring, and my heart broke for her when she believed she had been robbed of everything and had no-one she could turn to or trust.  But while she’s intelligent enough to be the CEO of a multimillion dollar business, she did some really stupid things that annoyed me.

RUTHLESS is told in dual POVs and is part of a series where the books will not be able to be read as stand-alones.  It’s the first book in the spin-off from the Masters and Mercenaries series, but as someone who hasn’t read any of those books, I was never confused or overwhelmed by characters I should have known about.  The story starts off slow, but it really picks up with the boardroom scene just before the 50% mark, and after that scene it was really hard to put this book down.  I loved the mystery and suspense, and I felt that that side of the story overshadowed the romance side.  In fact, when it comes to Riley and Ellie’s relationship, I couldn’t understand how they both fell in love when we didn’t see them spend a lot of time together, except when they were at work…working.  I have a really out-there theory as to who the other person involved might be, and I’m definitely interested in reading more of the Lawless books to find out if I’m right.  Bran Lawless gets the next book, target and girl.

My Rating:  4 Hearts