Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bottom of Form
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Collateral Damage is a best friend’s brother romance with some mystery thrown in and a touch of suspense in the background. I sat down to read it this morning and I carried my e-reader everywhere I went today, unwilling to have the book out of reach until I finished it just a few minutes ago. I must say, WOW!

This book is the second of three novels in a series (Hidden Scars) but it can be read as a standalone without the reader feeling like they are walking into the middle of a story. However, skipping the first book, Hidden Scars, is not advised because it is such a great story and you would be missing out. For those that have read Hidden Scars, this book’s time line runs parallel to the first book but it is not overly repetitive and it remains in the background until they have to converge.

Daisy has loved her best friend’s brother, Tucker, since she was a child. Tucker has always treated her like his own little sister, until one night and one kiss changes everything. Or does it? Can Daisy’s love and patience break down the walls Tucker has been building for his entire adult life? Will Daisy be strong enough to hold out for the love she deserves? Will Tucker realize that his past doesn’t erase his worth of a future? Will Daisy and Tucker even survive the storm that is brewing in the background? I am not telling!

Daisy was a rare and impressive woman in the romance world. She was kind, patient, and understanding but she was no doormat. She gave Tucker a fair shot and few chances but she knew when to stand her ground and she stood it so well that it broke my heart. Her loyalty, capacity to love, her patience and her strength are inspirational.  She is officially my new favorite romance heroine.

 Tucker is a yummy, dirty talking, alpha with a side helping of damage that draws me in but his stubbornness and secrecy had me shaking my Kindle and raising my voice in exasperation. Tucker’s secret remains intact for the majority of the book, building curiosity and frustration to a boiling point. When he finally shares his story, my heart broke just a little bit more.

This book gave me so many feels. There were moments that made me chuckle out loud. There were many moments that had me fanning myself and I may have sent my husband a text or two asking him to come home from work early. Curiosity and frustration were plentiful when it came to trying to figure out what made Tucker the way he is. My heart broke for both characters but Daisy’s plight had me shedding some quiet tears. Collateral Damage has everything I look for in a great book. The story pulled me in and held on tight, forcing me to finish in under a day. I felt for the characters. The background story, while familiar to me, was told from a perspective different to that of the first novel so it didn’t feel like I was reading the same thing over again. The perfect level of angst that pushed the story forward and didn’t feel like filler made me love the book even more.

There is a lot of sex in this book and it is neither repetitive nor boring. In fact, I am pretty sure my husband will be contacting the author in the morning to thank her for putting me in a randy mood. The sex is graphic and there are dirty words, so if you don’t like this…please don’t buy the book and trash it in a review. It is a contemporary romance and these days, a little smut is the norm rather than the exception. We are reading romance, not Zane Grey.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

120 Days by M. Stratton

  I began reading 120 Days  late at night and had to force myself to put it down so I could get some sleep. I was up at dawn the next day and immediately started reading. I had to get to the end. Half an hour after finishing it, I was still crying. Ugly cry is not an understatement for this one. Many books have touched me. Several have made me sad. A few have made me cry. I have even experienced a couple of ugly cries but this one packed a special punch because there are many stories in this book and each one is special. Each person at Last Resort could easily be someone I have known.

     The book begins with Ethan, a very wealthy and powerful but unhappy man. His brother, Evan, comes to tell him he is dying and rather than spending time together, he wishes to say good-bye. He doesn’t want Ethan to take care of him in his final days or witness his death. Can you imagine? I can’t. Samantha runs Last Resort. Consider it a combination of hospice care and Make a Wish foundation. People go there to embrace life while they still can and to die with dignity, on their own terms. Ethan seeks out Last Resort to find out if it is everything his brother claimed or if something sinister is taking place. He is convinced that the place his brother described is too good to be true and insists on uncovering whatever scam the owner must be running. He gets his answers and so much more.
     The chemistry between Ethan and Sam was hard to feel at first but be patient. When it hit me, it hit hard and it never eased. I suspect that this story is one that will be stuck in my head for a long time to come. This book is “book hangover” epic, despite its simplicity. It is a story of life and love taking place, beautifully, in the midst of terminal illness. There were a couple of parts that stretched my ability to suspend disbelief. Certain events take place that are so unlikely, it distracted me from the main story line. However, that element of fantasy is absolutely necessary to make Last Resort what it supposed to be. 

     There is so much more I want to write about this book but I don’t want to give anything away. I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading it and I certainly don’t want to ruin or mar the impact of reading it for the first time. I would like to say that if you do read it and feel the way I felt when I read it, don’t stop at the end of the story. Read the next part. It is worth the extra few minutes of your time.

     If you are looking for something erotic, naughty, or a little dirty. Pass on this one. That is not what this is about and adding that element would have distracted from the overall story. If you want a story that has a deeper meaning than most romance novels or love stories, something epic – this should do it for you.

Overall rating – 4 stars
Steam - mild

What was your last "ugly cry" book?