Review: Frigid (Frigid #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

FrigidTitle: Frigid
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Frigid #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor’easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

My Review:
4.5 Stars.

This was quite a short read, but an enthralling one all the same. Ordinarily I don’t like contemporary romance unless there’s other key sub-plots behind it. There was a little drama/suspense in this book but primarily it centers on the relationship between Sydney (Syd) and Kyler. I’m therefore impressed that Jennifer managed to write a book like this that hooked me in quickly and kept my attention the full way through.

Kyler and Sydney have been BFF’s since they were kids. Both of them harbor romantic feelings for the other but neither has been brave enough to broach the subject, for fear of ruining their friendship. That is a very believable story line and I could completely relate to both characters as they reacted in different ways to things that happened between them.

Kyler is described as a ‘man-whore’ and it’s a very unlike-able trait. I started off hating him but he quickly won me over. At times I was reminded a little of Christian Gray. That I still loved him is down to Jennifer’s ability to create totally swoon-worthy guys that you just can’t help falling for. His sweet protectiveness of Syd also won him additional points.

All in all, another great read from JLA.

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

CursedTitle: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Dying sucks
…and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand.

After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.

My Review:
Gifted or Cursed? That’s the dilemma facing our heroine Ember.

Ember awoke from death a changed person. Quickly realizing she now has a death-touch, she has lived the last two years shielding herself from coming into contact with others. Good to the core, she sacrifices a normal teenage life to care for her uniquely-talented kid sister Olivia. Her only friend is Adam, her mom treats her as if she’s invisible, and the kids at school are horrible to her. I felt for her from the get-go.

Then this hot, mysterious guy starts showing up and soon her whole world is turned on its head.

Hayden is an intriguing male lead. Clearly fond of Ember, and willing to literally put his life on the line to protect her, he’s also hiding his own dark secrets.

Cursed reminded me a little of X-Men with the school for gifted kids, but set in a more contemporary environment. There are plenty of twists and turns in this book – some predictable, some not – but plenty to propel the plot forward nicely.

I liked these characters, a little less run of the mill than JLA’s normal characters and I really enjoyed that. There were parts where I literally cringed inwardly for Ember, and could scarcely read on. I love when a book makes you feel that emotionally connected, and that’s what Cursed did for me.

Superbly written as usual, I’m surprised that this book isn’t one of her more popular ones. I’m suffering separation anxiety now though as this one looks like it won’t ever be anything more than a stand alone, and I’d love to read more of these characters.

I really loved this book. In my opinion it’s a great addition to JLA’s paranormal YA romance collection.

Review: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ObsessionTitle: Obsession
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone, spinn-off from the Lux series
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ sci-fi
Links:

Blurb:
This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off of the Lux Series You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something… unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

My Review:
Holy smoking aliens, this book is so hot it’s scorching!!

I’m a massive fan of the Lux series, and I was intrigued enough about Hunter and Serena from the scenes in that series to read Obsession. I’m glad I did as I loved it.

Hunter starts out being a total douche, and I could relate to Serena’s initial sense of fear around him. As the story develops we start to understand him a little more, and I found myself changing my opinion of the Arum. Hunter thoroughly redeems himself in his one-man/alien quest to protect Serena from the Luxen who are out to kill her. That she falls for him is totally believable, and I was readily rooting for both of them by the end.

I love that Jennifer writes so many bonus scenes, and novellas, from different POV’s, showing different sides to the story. Obsession has inspired me to read Lux again, now that I have a different interpretation of the motivations behind Arum like Hunter.

This book is definitely not for young teens though, as the heady mix of sex and violence are for mature readers only.

Another epic read from the NA, YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Queen!

Review: Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements 0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bitter Sweet LoveTitle: Bitter Sweet Love
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements 0.5
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining the balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

My Review:
I adore Jennifer’s Dark Elements series so I was looking forward to reading Bitter Sweet Love, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations.
There is nothing wrong with the writing or the pacing, I just didn’t connect with either Jasmine or Dez and found that I really didn’t care what happened to them.
It was incredibly short, an easy, quick read, but it may have benefited from a little more detail and depth.
I really enjoyed the glimpse we got of a younger Layla and Zayne, and the scene with Roth was brilliant. It got extra brownie points for that, and I’d recommend it to fans of this series purely on that basis alone.

Review: Unchained (Nephilim Rising #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

UnchainedTitle: Unchained
Author: by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Nephilim Rising #1
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Between the pissed off creatures that want demon-hunter Lily Marks dead and the fallen angel who just…wants her, Lily is about ready to trade in forever for a comfy job in a cubicle farm.

The fact that she and Julian are civil to one another is enough to have her thrown out of the Sanctuary, but she can’t shake her not-so-angelic stalker or how he brings her dangerously close to ecstasy.

Her forbidden relationship with Julian provides the perfect fuel for suspicion when a traitor is discovered to be working within the Sanctuary. Lily quickly finds herself hunted by well, everyone.

Her only hope is to discover the real traitor before she loses everything–and she’ll need Julian’s help. That is, if Julian is really there to help her…and not destroy her.

Yeah, being a Nephilim isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

My Review:
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I definitely enjoyed reading it, it didn’t grab me in the way Jennifer’s books usually do. It lacks her usual finesse, and isn’t up to the normal superb standard. In the acknowledgments section she admits that this was the second book she ever wrote, back in 2008, and that made total sense. So I’ve adjusted my views accordingly, reviewing it as a debut work of sorts.

It took me a little while to engage with both Lily and Julian. Julian seemed like a total creeper at the start and his description was off-putting, I couldn’t understand how Lily would be attracted to him. As the story progressed and I learned more of his character he grew on me. For a 26-year-old I felt Lily was quite immature at times, but I made allowances given her background She grew up in the Sanctuary and really didn’t have much opportunity to be a kid, so I can understand how she’s mature in some ways, and immature in others. Believable.

Michael was the character I felt most connected to in this story, and I would have loved it if he had stronger plot lines. However, if she continues this series I’d expect to hear more about him in future novels given how this one ended.

In the main the writing is not as good as normal, but I’ve addressed that above. One of the things I love most about JLA’s writing is her ability to write really compelling dialogue between her characters. I still can’t get the Seth/Aiden/Alex dialogue from ‘Pure’ out of my head – totally bloody brilliant in the way it’s written. Not so much here, but she was only starting out.

Pacing is a little slow in parts, but overall okay. Plot is good but nothing overly original. Once I got half-way in I got totally sucked into the mystery and enjoyed it much more.

If you are a fan of JLA you might be a little disappointed with this one so I’d say go into it with an open mind and you’ll enjoy it more.

3.5 stars.

Release Week Blitz: Consumed by You (Fighting Fire #3) by Lauren Blakely

consumed RWB Banner

I am thrilled to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Lauren Blakely’s Consumed by You! Consumed by You is the third standalone novel from Lauren’s New York Times bestselling Romance Series, Fighting Fire! This passionate, high-heat fireman romance series is a three-book series about sexy fireman and the women they love and is being published through Entangled Brazen. Lauren Blakely is well known for writing sexy, heartfelt and humorous contemporary romance as well as deeply emotional new adult stories –one commonality in all her books is the scorching hot sexy times. And Consumed by You is absolutely no different! Consumed by You is the next book in the red-hot Fighting Fire Series and is Travis and Cara’s sexy love story.

CbY_500_NEW (1)Title:Consumed by You
Author: Lauren Blakely
Series: Fighting Fire #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A sexy romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

She’s playing with fire…

Dog trainer Cara Bailey wants to find “the one,” but fantasizing about her sexy-as-hell client, firefighter Travis Jansen, is getting in the way. Her only option? Get the confirmed bachelor out of her system-in every position possible-so she can settle down with Mr. Right. Starting right now.

Travis doesn’t do relationships, so no matter how badly he wants the pretty little brunette, he keeps his distance. Until Cara goes and changes the game. She’ll fulfill all of his fantasies if he agrees to walk away when it’s over. But when the wildfire between them blazes out of control, it will consume everything-and everyone-in its path….

Consumed by You is a full-length, standalone romance novel that follows Travis and Cara’s scorching story.

CBY Teaser 1
Praise for Consumed by You:

A seductive tale of bets and propositions that will ignite your senses and warm your heart.” – Patricia at A Literary Perusal

“This book was amazing!! Cara and Travis are awesome together! They can go from friendly joking to smoldering lovers in the blink of an eye. A 5-Star Read!” – Book Lovers Obsession

“I totally loved Consumed by You. It was an amazing book about second chances, about finding and fighting for what you want in life, about sexy deals and, of course, about how easy is to fall in love with a firefighter as awesome as Travis Jansen, my new addition to the book boyfriend collection.” – Angelica at Collector of Book Boyfriends

The intensity that flows between Travis and Cara not only consumes them, but the reader as well.” – Liz’s Reading Life

available-now_jeans

And don’t miss the first two titles in the Fighting Fire series!
Burn for Me by Lauren Blakely
BfM_500_new (1)

Melt for Him by Lauren Blakely
MfH_new_500 (2)

Author PhotoAbout Lauren Blakely:
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had eight books on the New York Times Bestseller list and thirteen on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire. She recently released SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the first novel in her new sexy romance series Sinful Nights that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her new adult forbidden romance, 21 Stolen Kisses, hit e-readers in May and landed on the USA Today Bestseller list. This summer she’ll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).

And there’s a giveaway with this tour, for a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Review: Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

WickedTitle: Wicked
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Wicked Saga #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

My Review:
Wicked is another fantastic fantasy read from writing power-house Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am seriously in awe of her talent. How on Earth does she write so many great books so quickly? She said recently that she’s released 30 books in 3 years. I only discovered her a few months back, and I’ve already read 22 of those 30 and the rest are on my Kindle, along with pre-orders of the books due out this year. I devour everything she reads, and it’s becoming a major problem as it’s taking over my life. Ha ha. So just to put it out there at the start of this review, I have a major JLA addiction and the woman can barely put a foot wrong in my book.

Onto Wicked, I loved it 🙂 Ivy is great, fiesty yet vulnerable, like-able if a bit prickly. My favorite kind of protagonist. Ren is charming as the male lead, though he reminded me a little of Aiden St. Delphi in that he’s mature and takes his responsibilities seriously, but has a funny side too. And he’s massively caring and protective of Ivy which is aahh,swoon.

But Tink is my favorite character from this book. He’s hilarious, and the banter between him and Ren at the end is priceless. He’s got Ivy’s back too, and you know there is more of an agenda there than he’s let on. Hopefully we’ll find out more when Torn is released in the summer.

I love Jennifer’s inimitable writing style and this book is up there with the best of her best. Pacing is great, and I was hooked from the start. The plot was predictable in places, but I still really enjoyed it. The whole thing with Val and what Ivy is – totally guessed it, even with the bum steer. Also where were the Elite with this big threat hanging over New Orleans? Surely they would have sent in the cavalry? The other thing that didn’t make sense to me was how David and Ren were both suspicious of Val (you could tell) yet they assigned her to room that held the gateway? Again, didn’t add up.

JLA loves her cliff-hangar endings, and so do I. This was isn’t a total killer but I’m still dying for the next book. Ivy is facing a real dilemma and I’m intrigued to see what she does. She can’t tell Ren, not that he would turn her in, but she’d involve him in it if she confided in him. Yet she can’t run either, as then they will all be hunting her. So she’s kind-of damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

If you’re a fan of JLA, or of new adult fantasy in general then you should pick up a copy of this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Book Blitz: Love, Defined by Leila Tualla

Love, Defined banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Love, Defined by Leila Tualla. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 4 till 10 August, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Love, Defined coverLove, Defined
by Leila Tualla
Genre: Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Blurb:

In their final summer before graduating college, three childhood friends expect an uncomplicated transition to adulthood…but learn they all still have some growing up to do.

Alex Makapulo is facing a crisis of faith.
Raised a Catholic, Alex is considering becoming a member of her best friend Jack Page’s church—against her family’s wishes—but she can’t quite take the final step of baptism. Jack loves Alex and doesn’t understand her hesitation, and Alex wonders if Jack’s love is a blessing or a distraction to test her religious conviction.

Lori Hanson embarks on the trip of a lifetime.
For her twenty-second birthday, Lori’s grandfather presents her with a summer vacation in England. While preparing for her adventure, she meets British musician Colin Watson online and quickly falls for him. They plan to hook up when she lands in London, but her grandfather forbids it. Due to complicated family dynamics, Lori must regretfully comply with his wishes, though she vows never to forgive him.

Andy Taylor is looking for love in all the wrong places.
When Andy runs into an old crush, she decides she wants a more meaningful relationship with sexy Miles Webber. But when she confides in Alex, her friend warns her Miles only wants her for sex. Andy becomes angry and devises a reckless plan to distract Alex’s attention from her relationship. Things don’t go quite as she expected, though, and Andy is left facing a crushing moral dilemma.

As the summer unfolds, three young women learn love and faith go hand in hand, not everything is black and white, and sometimes in a fast-paced world you have to slow down, breathe a little, and find your own definition of love.

Alex Excerpt:
“Do you think no matter what we do, we are still forgiven?” Somewhere between Francesca Battistelli’s He Knows My Name and Casting Crown’s I Will Praise You In The Storm, Andy finally spoke. “I mean.” Andy stopped.
The last song had reached its thunderous ascent and rolled towards the finish. Alex had barely heard her and for a second, thought that perhaps she had imagined it. Almond shaped brown eyes locked briefly in the mirror with a pair of big blue eyes and Alex waited, expecting Andy to go on.
She didn’t. Instead, Andy broke eye contact and turned her head to face the window.
“Yes.” She finally replied. Andy jerked up, and the two caught each other’s gaze again before Alex had to look back at the road again, frowning. “We can be forgiven as long as we ask for forgiveness, and repent and promise not to do it again.”
Another song began and once again replaced the gap of silence. Alex turned her head this time to see Andy’s eyes closed, headphones on, effectively dismissing her. She sighed out loud and set her sights on the horizon.
Lord, I pray this won’t be the last time she asks about forgiveness.
Skyscrapers of oil and energy giants glistened as they neared downtown Houston. After some guidance with the GPS, her car pulled up into the tightly spaced parking lot of the Women’s Clinic. The brick building was among other non-descript buildings that they could have easily passed by. A lot better than a little backroom, Alex surmised.
“How did you find this place?” Lori asked reluctantly. Alex got out of the Volkswagen and immediately wanted to retreat back inside. The thought of what took place inside started to make her stomach churn. Despite the blaring sun and Texas humidity, she shuddered.
“The internet.” Andy mumbled the answer as she was getting out of the car.
The three of them stood in the parking lot, in a small circle, looking at their surroundings, the traffic behind them, and nervously at each other.
Alex fixed her eyes on Andy. She wanted to say that ‘You have to forgive yourself and then ask for forgiveness.’ But her lips couldn’t form the words. She had three hours on the drive to craft the perfect words to get through to Andy and yet, here they all were, under the Texas heat, in the middle of a parking lot, shivering with nerves and barely registering each other.
After a brief period of silence, Alex cleared her throat. “Andy, you can still change your mind.”
“I know.” Came the softest reply.
Alex’s jaw tightened, and she looked at her feet to hide her feelings once more. Again, her brain tried to tell her lips to formulate the words it wanted and she looked up to open her mouth again and frowned when no words would come. Again.
This time, Alex searched her friend’s beautiful face and prayed that somewhere in those blue eyes, she could find the one thing for her to go ‘Aha! You’re just as scared as I am. You’re just as doubtful about this thing. Let’s get out of here.’ Her heart sank when instead of those things she hoped to find in her friend’s eyes, she found a quiet and settled determination.
She swallowed the defeat, shoulders hunched down and felt there was only one more thing left to say. “You are loved, Andrea Grace Taylor, remember that. Find your courage.”
Andy just nodded with the faintest smile on her lips
“Okay, you guys.” Alex said trying to keep her voice light and tried to respond to Andy’s smile. It wasn’t working. “I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble we saw on the way here. Call me when you’re done.” She was heading for the car, when she turned around and added, “Call me if you change your mind.”
A few minutes later, she maneuvered in and out of traffic, half concentrating on finding the bookstore. The other remained back at the parking lot of the clinic. A bright green Scion cut in front of her with a slew of bumper stickers. Coexist and Got Jesus, but Alex fixed on the yellow sign with black letters that read “Headed in the wrong direction? God allows for U-Turns.” Andy. Dear God, am I doing the right thing?

About the Author:
Leila Tualla is a Christian blogger and writer. She blogs at www.tuallaleila.blogspot.com and writes about her misadventures in faith, in motherhood, and whatever else inspires her. She holds a membership to the American Christian Fiction Writer. Her current project is a YA Christian Romance.

You can find and contact Leila here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram


banner Lola's Blog Tours

Review: Beautiful Bedlam (Beautiful Bedlam #1) by Ali Harper

Beautifull BedlamTitle: Beautiful Bedlam
Author: Ali Harper
Series: Beautiful Bedlam #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Sienna Rivers has it all, the looks, the smarts, oh and the dysfunctional family from hell, a distorted mind of epic proportions coupled with the return of a childhood sweetheart bad boy Logan Jackson with his smoldering dark eyes, tousled hair, leather jackets and cherry red Mustang, her life suddenly got a lot more complicated.

Before the start of her junior year of high school, Sienna’s greatest problems were studying for the SAT’s and trying to watch Game of Thrones alone in her room without her mother walking in unannounced thinking she was watching some form of adult entertainment.

Now that Logan is back in their small town of Haven Falls, she has to face heartbreak and falling in an all-consuming love for the first time whilst simultaneously dealing with her strange hallucinations, her parents’ crumbling marriage, family secrets crawling out from under the woodwork and her mother’s growing alcohol abuse problem, and of course deciding what dress to wear to her first ever high school dance.

Falling in love had never been so insane.

“He was stunning, striking, charismatic, extroverted, grand and greater than life, every guy wanted to be him and all the girls wanted to be with him. He was the spark, twinkle and gleam of the stars and she was merely the contrasting dark night sky behind that allowed him to shine.”

“She’s everything right in this world, she’s kind, and funny and so beautifully insanely weird and she just gets it. She gets me.”

My Review:
Beautiful Bedlam is in the main a romance story, with elements of suspense, family drama, betrayal, intrigue and a hint at some paranormal twists.

Sienna is like-able if a bit naive at times. Her family life is very dysfunctional, and her best friend betrays her in the worst possible way. Sienna has been pining for Logan Jackson since he upped and left very mysteriously a couple of years previously. As soon as he reappears, she gets sucked back into his life, and falls for him all over again.

Logan was definitely rocking the whole bad-boy vibe, but I’m a total sucker for these type of fictional boyfriends, so I loved him (sad to admit I know). Noah was just too sickly-sweet, no contest if you’re Sienna.

Ali Harper writes beautifully in the main, though I was a little confused in parts at some unclear scene and POV changes.

It’s a very quick, easy read and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next for Logan and Sienna, especially now they’re properly together. I’m also keen to see how the author develops the paranormal theme throughout the rest of the series.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Sienna Rivers, ex-nerd, undisputed reigning chess champion of the class of ’09 and the proverbial all around wise-ass degenerate pain in your backside.”

“Be careful. He uses that line on all the girls.”

“All clichés aside, sometimes a girl needed to cry in the rain.”

“Meet Logan Jackson, smug, self-entitled, proud, arrogant, trust-fund brat.”

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

I engaged in a R4R swap in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

dont look backTitle: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Mystery/ Suspense/ Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

My Review:
Sammy wakes up bloodied and battered with no recollection of where she is, or how she got there. This is further confounded when she can’t even remember her name, or who she is. Her family arrive at the hospital to reclaim her and that doesn’t jog her memory. Her brother Scott, his girlfriend Julie and Carson the sorta-boy-next-door all try and help her to piece back the memories of her life. She discovers that she wasn’t a very likable person and quickly realizes this is a ‘second chance’ that most don’t get.

Her best friend Cassie is still missing and her body is subsequently discovered prompting the police to begin a murder investigation, with Sammy prime suspect.

Her parents have a non-existent relationship and the family atmosphere is tense, heightened by Sammy’s obvious distaste towards long-term boyfriend Del and some serious crushing on Carson.She quickly discards the majority of her so-called friends, who are in the main nasty and bitchy.

Sammy’s mind is playing tricks on her as she suffers hallucinations/visions, surges of memory/recollections, eerie images of dead Cassie, and mysterious warning notes that are left in close proximity.

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of JLA’s writing and I adore the Lux, Covenent and Dark Elements series. This is the first contemporary novel I’ve read from JLA and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, it didn’t hook me as much as the other books did. The romance is quite muted compared to her other novels, and I missed that. Because boy can JLA write great romance scenes.

However, she has deftly developed the mystery/suspense theme within this novel and as a reader, you constantly wonder whether Sammy is being told the truth by those around her, and continuously ponder who is trustworthy. I did guess the culprit pretty early on – the clues are subtly embedded throughout the story – but I constantly questioned myself, and switched my mind a few times.

The writing was sublime, and the pacing bang-on, as usual. I don’t think the dialogue was as engaging as normal, lacking the humorous/satirical element that is regularly found in her fantasy books, however I felt the characters were a bit more unique and individual as a result.
I finished this book in less than 24 hours, and that says it all really.

Another epic read from writing power-house Jennifer L. Armentrout.