#BookReview Diamonds by K.A. Linde

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Oh. Hot. Damn.

This book is ridiculously sexy, super hot, and HAS A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER THAT KILLED ME.

I’ve been putting off reading this book (it’s in A Love Thing anthology that I bought months ago), mainly because the device I was reading it on kept dying before I could open the app. I finally put enough charge on it to get to this story, and it was the best one so far!

Diamonds is a tale of a young high-schooler falling for for an older (30-something) year old man. Right off the bat we have a juicy story that is all about forbidden love!

This book gets hot and steamy – R-rated steamy. It’s a mix of dominance, crazy hot sex, and sexual exploration. Throw in a romantic story line, an evil step-brother and the rich and famous and you’ve got yourself a home run!

I did really enjoy this book. It was the perfect mix of drama and sexiness that it somehow worked. Was it slightly creepy? Yeah, the age gap was a little much, BUT…I simply wrapped my mind around her being a tiny bit older (like, college age) and I was able to accept that this book can be just as sexy. It does cross the line a little bit, which is where readers might step back from this story, but it’s still awesome! I 100% want more K.A. Linde in my life now as soon as possible!

The one interesting part of this story was it felt like a YA story/author (due to the way Bryna’s mind was working in the book) but with a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque plot line thrown in. Honestly, it’s the Fifty Shades of Grey book I wanted in my life, because it’s WAY better and seems way more realistic. It was so addicting I finished it in a couple hours and I’m now clammering for the next book. Seriously. I need this book. If K.A. Linde wants, I’ll read every single book she has on catalogue just to get this next book.

Overall, this book is HOT HOT HOT! If you’re looking for a forbidden love with lots of angst, this is the book for you!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Kobo

Chapters/Cole/Indigo #1 / Chapters/Coles/Indigo #2

Barnes & Nobles

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about K.A. Linde on:

http://www.kalinde.com/

Goodreads – K.A. Linde

Twitter – @authorkalinde

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on my Twitter @ReviewAlholic or give me a shout out on my Facebook page @BriarsReviews or comment below!

And if you liked this book or review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview A Week In New York by Louise Bay

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Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Photo via Goodreads.

I never liked stories about History, but this novel definitely made me gain a new respect for War stories.

The Nightingale follows a set of two sisters throughout World War 2, and it a thrilling, addicting read. Vianne Mauriac’s husband has set off to war and she must deal with the aftermath of his absence. Soldiers from Germany are invading France, which means anyone who is labelled a Jew will be in trouble in the near future. Vianne must deal with soldiers staying in her home, friends disappearing, orphaned children, and situations no woman would ever want to face.

Meanwhile Vianne’s sister Isabelle is doing the opposite of Vianne, she’s getting involved. Vianne is trying to stay quiet if she decides to help, but Isabelle is being loud and proud. Isabelle will help people, and is determined to no matter what.

The story has many different arcs and plot intertwined in one. Vianne’s love story with her husband, Isabelle’s love story, Vianne and Isabelle’s rough relationship with their father, the War itself, the life of Jewish people during the war, the life of those who are friends with Jewish people, and many other little side plots that create an epic, war-time drama.

I found this book to be very believable. The entire novel is written in an excellent style and gets better as you read. At first it seemed a little boring, but after a few chapters I was hooked an addicted. The novel shares the feelings of the characters during this rough time, and nothing seems out of place.

As someone who didn’t have a great appreciation for History, I definitely respect anyone who lived or lost during the wars now. While this might be a fictional novel, it gives many examples of what happened to people during the war time. Kristin Hannah did an excellent job showcasing the War in a fictional novel and making it highly believable.

I would suggest this book to anyone who likes: Historical fiction, dramatic novels, novels with a mere splash of romance, war stories, and realistic novels.

Five out of five stars! A truly amazing read that transports you to World War ll in France.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: An American Duchess by Sharon Page

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Photo via Goodreads.

This romantic novel by Sharon Page reminded me how much I loved romance novels.

I hadn’t touched a pure romance book for a while, and when I won this book and decided to read it, I was not let down. This book was beautifully written in a time period that reminded me a lot of “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald. The book battles some issues including loss, war, love, following your dreams and also focusing on being a time piece rather than a modern day piece.

Following Zoe, who is a headstrong girl who wants to do what she wants and not others was pretty stereotypical, but she was not the stereotypical character other than following the path of many other famous lead characters. She is not your typical lady, since she is willing to be both ladylike, and tomboy-ish and sarcastic.

I could not put this book down and I was glued to every page when I was reading it. The novel featured beautiful descriptions and had a lot of heart put into it. The emotional roller coaster I experienced while reading this book was possible only through the author’s ability to make the characters feel real and have the situations seem realistic.

Beautiful book! Five out of five stars! I cannot praise this book enough!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: The Shadow (The Florentine #2) by Sylvain Reynard

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Photo via Goodreads.

 

Sylvain Reynard has another incredible novel in The Shadow.

This is the sequel to The Raven, and it doesn’t disappoint. While this novel doesn’t seem to move as fast as the first one, it is still delicious and intriguing.

I liked this novel, but I didn’t exactly love it. Yes, I was obsessed with knowing what would happen with the characters but I felt like it was missing something. There was a good amount of romance in it, and the action lacked a little. I felt like this book was more of a set up, since it explained a lot of the vampire politics involved in the story.

This series does have at least one more book (I heard a rumour it was two) so this book ended at the perfect little cliffhanger. It wasn’t a cliffhanger that left me angry at Sylvain for making me wait, but it was just enough – leaving me desperate for the next book but willing to wait.

Overall, I did enjoy this book! The first book was so incredible (and so was the Gabriel’s series) that I had really high expectations for this book, perhaps too high.

Four out of five stars. I can’t wait for the next book, I want it now!

Book Review: School Ties by Tamsen Parker

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Photo via Goodreads.

Just when you think Tamsen Parker has reached her peak, she introduces a new forbidden fruit that left me breathless.

Title: School Ties
Author: Tamsen Parker
Date Read: August 21st-September 6th, 2016
Date Reviewed: September 11th, 2016
Spoilers Ahead?: Yes!

Introduction: I love Tamsen Parker (and that’s no secret) and every time she writes another book I am grasping desperately to try to get a hold of it. So when I was able to get my hands on School Ties (since Tamsen is totally amazing!!) I almost fangirled myself to death. And then I read the book, and I was silently begging Tamsen to stop (and by stop, I mean stop giving me a heart attack with her super sexy stories!). She stepped her game up with this novel! A pinch of BDSM and sexy time, a few splashes of ex drama, a handful of strong characters and then she added dump truck of forbidden romance.

Quick Summary: Erin Brewster begins to teach at a boys boarding school – Hawthorn Hill. She notices a certain student, Zach Shepard, and instantly sparks flash. Their eyes linger over the school year, and feelings flutter. Flash forward three years after Zach’s grad, and here is he back to tempt Erin. They haven’t forgotten each other, and soon enough they’ll be begging for each other’s company…

Evaluations: I had no words when I first finished this novel. I had to wait a few days to even write this because my brain couldn’t wrap around how Tamsen stepped her game up. Not only did she include her typical, hot, sexy BDSM time, but she added a flicker of forbidden romance as well? Tamsen is doing what most writers don’t – she’s growing!! And that makes my inner fangirl super happy and desperate to get her writing more! Or at least get her books more recognition!!

The book was told in both Erin and Zach’s point of view. This gave an added umph to the story since we got to see both of their thoughts and not just one. It opened up the readers to the thoughts of the characters, and we understood what was going on inside of their head. I typically don’t like multiple POVs in past books, but in this story it fit perfectly!

I also enjoyed the realistic aspects of the story – Erin starts a new job and actually feels self conscious! I can’t list enough books where the characters are glowing and perfect the first day on the job. Every time I’ve done something new (new job, new school, etc) I am definitely not glowing with self confidence! Tamsen does a beautiful job showing this, and this makes Erin so much more relatable!

The angst, drama and love in this story is just overall fantastic. Tamsen opens up more and explores! While there isn’t as much crazy BDSM/sexy time like some of her past books, it’s still great! Erin deals with drama before she meets Shep and that makes her grow as a character, so when the story finally progresses and we see more of adult Shep, we understand the struggles our main woman has dealt with.

Overall, I loved it! It’s a step up in the plot and character building department!

Plot: Tamsen’s plot building skills have definitely improved. While I love all of her old books (and their plots are uber sexy) there seemed to be more plot than sexy time in this novel! While I do love some great sex scenes, I love a wicked plot as well!

Erin Brewster’s troubles before Shep are a bit drawn out and I wanted more Zach in those scenes, but it gave a beautiful insight into the character. We saw her struggles and into her mind. I liked understanding her instead of just sex scene after sex scene. To me, it made her more relatable than Tamsen’s past characters. I felt for Erin and I understood how she saw the world.

When we got to Zach’s scenes, I felt like it was a little to late. I kept yearning and yearning for Zach and Erin to have some kind of fling or flirty scene before he left, but it didn’t happen. Yet Tamsen didn’t disappoint! When Zach was brought back, the sex scenes were super sexy and hot. The long, drawn out wait made those scenes even better.

When Zach explains his life in a sex club (and how he’s a virgin? That was a strange twist) I wanted to read more about it. I wanted to see maybe a flash back chapter or an insight into that part of his memory. His explanations were so interesting, and I felt like his back story could have been a novel all on it’s own!! If anything, his back story felt out of place without the chapters to back it up, but Tamsen still made it work! I would love for Tamsen to make an ebook or side story explaining that, similar to how she made more books in India’s series to see other aspects of that world.

Characters:
Erin Brewster – She’s a realistic and relatable character, which is great for a sexy, BDSM book. She gets nervous and has second thoughts and deals with real issues. I loved that! She wasn’t just some sex toy in the book for the man. The woman tries her best when dealing with her issues in the first half of the book. While I’ve seen other reviewers put down this aspect of the story, I felt like it fit her character. She married a man to keep her job, because she’s young and wants her job. I know many people who are in new jobs and let themselves get pushed around because they need their job. She then stays with the man she marries so she can keep the job. While in real life I would have kicked that guy to the curb, she’s young and she’s really trying.

Zach Shepard – Zach was an interesting character, and for a romance and BDSM book it was odd to read his POV, but that also made this book stand above the others. I didn’t expect to see his side of the story, but we did! As stated earlier I would have loved some more chapters relating to his back story. Him being a changed man was interesting, and makes sense since he went away to another school, but I would have liked to see more of it. He was definitely a hot character, and I could place his personality on a few guys I know, so relatable-ness was met on this character! Seeing Erin and Zach both work through forming a relationship was also nice, so I thoroughly enjoyed his character development.

Themes/Creativity: I wouldn’t say there were any distinct themes in this novel (it’s a romance, BDSM type book) but there was creativity for days in this book! Seeing Erin’s issues before she meets Zach is definitely creative compared to other books. I’ve read many romance novels where the main character complains about her past issues, but I’ve never seen the book actually display them. I also really enjoyed seeing both Zach and Erin’s POV in this novel. I liked seeing Tamsen step up her game with adding forbidden romance with BDSM in this novel and I would love to see her experiment more with these different topics in future books!

Uniqueness: I’ll combine the uniqueness with creativity together. Most of the unique aspects of this novel were also the most creative aspects.

Strengths: Character growth, the plot, the realism of the situations in the story – these are all wonderful strengths in my eyes. I enjoyed Tamsen’s growth in writing, and I can’t wait to see more!
Weaknesses: The lack of Shep’s background story felt like the biggest weakness. I would have liked to read more on that! It wouldn’t have added anything crazy to the novel and it wasn’t a necessity, but I would still like to read it!

Score: 5 out of 5. Despite the little issues here and there, I loved the book. I didn’t really see any weaknesses while reading the book, it was only after when I thought about it and compared it to other novels that are somewhat similar that I started coming up with “problems”. Tamsen did a fantastic job, and I’ll be reading this book over and over again! Tamsen stepped her game up and did a wonderful job with this book! It’s an addicting read that I read in one sitting, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s rare for me to literally sit down and finish a book all in one sitting, I can name only two other books I’ve done that with – Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and Hamlet by Shakespeare. That definitely puts Tamsen high in my books, when I literally restart the book on one day and finish it in that same sitting.

Quick Book Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

 

 

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Photo Courtesy of Goodreads.

Most of this book is really, really hot – and the other half is…well, not.

This book is essentially pure erotica – which some people enjoy! If you want a book that is mainly the two characters going at it constantly, then this book is for you! If you were hoping for a dramatic novel mixed with sexy scenes, well, you are outta luck!

When I heard about this book, it was explained to me as mainly a drama mixed with the “romance” scenes…alas, they were wrong. Perhaps they picked up the wrong book?

Now, don’t get me wrong. This book is well written for a steamy book! This soap opera like novel is definitely a great book if you want to turn your brain off and not deal with complicated issues – just steamy romance, the odd dramatic moment, and then more sexy time!

I did enjoy this book – mainly for the time that I could turn my brain off and just read. It’s not complicated, it’s quite easy to read, and the book keeps moving along!

Would I have liked more drama? Yes. But, this book was a turn-your-brain-off-and-relax sort of book!

Would I have liked the main characters not to be the stereotypical “they hate each other but oh wow let’s get busy”? Yes.

It seemed like another novel made as a Twilight fan fiction into a book…but hey, it was hot!

Three out of five stars!

Quick Review – Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody

“Lexington and 42nd was a hot, steamy romance that follows a realistic plot.

First of all, I loved the fact that this book was semi-realistic – it took time for the characters’ relationship to build! These characters didn’t just look at each other and fall in love. They went through romantic stages, they fought, they took in considerations like life choices and all the fun parts about being an adult before they made a decision. And as boring as that sounds, Kim Carmody made it thrilling and addicting!

These characters were also made very realistic. They weren’t perfect, cookie-cutter characters – they had flaws and reasoning behind their actions. This made the book more interesting, since these characters had problems to face that wasn’t just ‘wow some guy doesn’t think I’m hot’!

As a sports lover, this book was also quite the charmer. I don’t like football, but it gave a realistic view into the life of a sport’s fan (even if Emma isn’t the biggest fan in the world).

Now, the “problems”:
While there was conflict in the story, it wasn’t very big. It was briefly touched on and seemed more like the side plot of the story. But, this is mainly a romance novel so it is understandable. This conflicting conflict might bug some readers.

Our main character was incredibly emotional, but that could just be how the character was built. I just find that having an emotional character might bug some readers (even though it shows she is a well built character to other readers).

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It impressed me! I am definitely going to pick up the second book if I ever find it!

Five out of five stars!
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.”

 

This review is on my Goodreads profile.

~Briar