Monday, October 20, 2014

ARC REVIEW - ROWDY by Jay Crownover

Rowdy (Marked Men #5)
by Jay Crownover
Publisher - Harper
Release Date - October 23rd 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

After the only girl he had ever loved told him he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and decided he was going to do everything in his power to live up to his nickname. Life was all about a good time, good friends and never taking much too seriously. Only now he has a new coworker, a ghost from the past who’s making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in a house with too many rules – and no fun allowed. She left it all behind as soon as she could, but she never forgot the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been in love with her little sister. Now, fate and good intentions from an old friend have placed her right in Rowdy’s path and she’s determined to show him he picked the wrong sister all those years ago…
As you all know by now, Jay Crownover's Marked Men series, is one I've followed and loved from the beginning (or the middle if you count Rome, that I reviewed first) Rowdy novel is just amazing... Whilst I was buddy reading this with the lovely Donna from Book Passion for Life, we have both really enjoyed this series and it was great to share it with in the next installment.

Rowdy is an odd character, you only really get to see him from being another member of the Marked Family, I guess you can say that he is a surrogate of the family but considered an equal nonetheless, much like Nash. In the beginning Rowdy sort of reminds me of Rule, where he tends not to commit to relationships and sticks to the one-night stand, the less complicated the better. So when an old flame, and first love rocks up into the new Marked shop...Salem, his new colleague was going to be more than just trouble to mind but to the heart. Rowdy was a kid of many talents including his imaginative and artistic nature, since being chucked here, there and everywhere in the system, he didn't didn't feel like he belonged until he found his family and best friend, next door. Salem and her sister, Poppy saw him for who he really was. One day, Salem got up and left forever, with one kiss she was outta there, and that was the day that Rowdy would never love or go back again.

Salem was certainly nothing we've ever met before, her style, kick-ass persona and strong sense of self really shone through this novel. I mean how cool is her name!?! Salem obviously came here to work in the business for one reason and one reason only...Rowdy. Salem had her reasons for leaving, her family are not the easiest and forgiving to be a part of of. Her father, a vicar, was the culprit in all of it. Poppy was always the golden girl, so her father saw that Salem wasn't worthy of him or God for that matter. He was pushy and forceful and would hardly show any amount of emotion. But her mother was no better, she followed where he followed. So she left, even with the consequences so dear, her sister and her best friend, Rowdy. So when Rule, manager of the Marked shops, phoned her to offer her job, courtesy of the legend Phil, she couldn't say no. 

At times her background became a little repetitive and overly dramatic. What was frustrating for about 40% of the book, was that I really wanted them to bash there heads together, yes Salem left, yes Rowdy certainly had his moments with Poppy. The build-up was incredibly tense and made me feel a little impatient. But if they are so hell-bent on ignoring then there is more chemistry, desire and passion between them that they have ever realised. Like Rowdy says he's had plenty of firsts but he wants to only have her as his last! 

Whilst we had Rowdy's and Salem's alternate POVs, I felt that there was also more than just them in the background. We have the whole Marked family, seeing some of the old gang building up their futures together. However, what I felt and loved most of all was the presence of Phil. For me, Phil really has inspired and motivates this story, not because he grew the Marked family from scratch but it's that Crownover keeps him living after Nash's story. The Marked Men series is really Phil's written legacy. What I loved though was that there wasn't that horrible and gut-wrenching tension and break-up between them. Instead Crownover encompassed the beginning of a new relationship which we all can't wait to read, Asa. 

Rating - 4

Friday, October 10, 2014


Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson #2)
by Darynda Jones
Publisher - Piatkus Books
Release Date - January 25th 2012
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository 

"If you hang around with dead people, life can deliver a whole world of trouble."

Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time P.I. and full-time Grim Reaper.The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible...

When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can't let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven...well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.

Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm's way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?
I read First Grave on the Right a few years back and remembering how much a I really enjoyed it, but I never actually continued the series, honest to god I don't know why I didn't. With the Seventh Grave and No Body to be released later this month, the publishers have very kindly sent me novels 5,6 and 7 of the Charley Davidson series. I thought it was about time I continue where I left off and order it from my library. Reading it a little over a day and half, I really don't know why I didn't continue the series ages ago...

Charley Davidson, professional status PI - Leading Investigator of the State of Albuquerque, working alongside her father and her Uncle Bob also known as Ubie since she was 5. How and Why? you say, she also provides an invaluable service for the society, for humanity and for the world as the only Grim Reaper this side of forever. The one and only on the planet and universe to let the departed, dead people, pass over into...well we assume Heaven. Alongside her killer supernatural entity within her, described as this shining bright light that the dead are drawn too as well as Reyes. Charley takes on a dangerous game, in Second Grave on the Left, but there isn't one day that someone isn't trying to kill her, it was only last week that she nearly died, but her supernatural half lets her heal pretty quickly. It's just another day at the office. Or that is until, her receptionist, Cookie gets a call, that her friend Mimi, has been missing for a week which leads to a high school conspiracy, with a very powerful senate involved is this mix. 

Charley also is in love with the Son of Satan, also known as the part-human, Reyes Alexandra Farrow. Wanted man serving a life sentence for killing his father, but he also departs from his corporeal body to always protect and passionately seduce his 'Dutch', Charley. Reyes is all kinds of hotness, but he also key to hell and key to physically to being the beginning and end of the apocalypse if said certain demons, destroy and find his body and Charley to go with it. Reyes presence in the novel, brought all kinds of feels, leaving blushing and hot as hell at certain scenes as well as feeling pity and compelling sense to back his side throughout. 
"His gaze slid over me like a veil of fire. He could ignite my deepest desires with a single glance. I decided right then and there no more reading romance novels by candlelight.” 
Charley's character has this uncanny brilliance to make this such a humorous take to Urban Fantasy. What makes me laugh is her take to life itself, how she names things, Danger and Will Robinson, and Misery, to make her life that more interesting or for people to see who she really is and she isn't afraid to be show that. I mean if you didn't know Charley you probably think she's crazy, or needs to go to a mental institute but that's the beauty of Jones's writing, because that's the humour and laughter that just shines through Charley's character. Oh and let's not forget Cookie, what an awesome name. There were just some scenes that had me cracking up laughing, she is a real klutz but she does it with style. With a Grim Reaper as a neighbour, best friend and colleague she certainly has to put up a lot. 

When it comes to UF I haven't really read many in a very long time, and it's about time I did. Darynda Jones is only the tip of the iceberg, but with her kick-ass heroine, hot son of Satan and a page turner of a missing person's case, what could be better. If you have any recommendations to UF let me know in the comments, I'm always looking for more like this! 

Rating - 5

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


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As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2)
by Ann Aguirre
Publisher - Harlequin HQN
Release Date - 30th September 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository 

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
We first met Lauren as best friend and roommate to Angus, Max and finally Nadia in I Want It That Way. Whilst she wanted to grow up, go to college and go to university with Nadia, she knew she was just following the footsteps of her best friend, it wasn't her path to take. Clearly Lauren wasn't herself, so she took to parties and alcohol to cover the rejections and failures she was getting through uni, she knew this was effecting not only herself but also those of her roommates, and distancing from her one true friend. So she decided to go back, to Sharon, Nebraska, to back home, where not only she will find a place to stay but also place to share it with. This is where As Long As You Love Me continues. This was what I loved about this sequel, Aguirre completely transports you to where you left off and often highlights moments from the previous novel. Only this time we see new character relationships forming into the 2B family. 

Lauren focuses on forming a new life or maybe just rekindling her old life, with old relationships and new. Krista, a friend from way back in high school has also returned to Sharon only to be pregnant and her boyfriend who is out fighting for his country. Instantly they started where they left off, so life in Sharon doesn't seem so bad after all. She also befriends Rob's ex girlfriend who has way more in common than they realise and become really close friends. 

However, she also runs into Rob, Nadia's very hot big brother in the superstore. Only, Lauren has a huge crush on him for like...forever. However, Rob currently has a girlfriend and even before then he has always treated Lauren like a second sister. But that doesn't mean they can be friends now can it!? Lauren is very much a different character that we might have seen IWITW, we saw a totally unrecognisable self than we see in this novel. What I love about Lauren is that she is totally honest, bold, sweet girl who just wants to find a path for herself. She suffers from her anxiety problems, but she tries to take control of them rather than they controlled her in IWITW. 

Rob isn't your typical NA male character, he far from the badass, overly confident persona that we usually see, who just swoon into the female character's lead. However, Rob has confidence, issues, he has always believed that he wasn't the brains of the family and that he shouldn't bother with his life. His mum and dad tended to resolve around Nadia for that. But Rob is talented, he's a hard worker but he just doesn't have inspiration or enthusiasm to build on or move up of his own life. So when Lauren waltzes back into his life, he finds someone to latch onto, to support him in his future but also his happiness. You instantly fall on love with his character, his heart is laid out for you too see and all you want to do is grab it for yourself, he's kind, honest and literally has a heart of gold. In my book he has hit all the right buttons...oh and including his obvious hotness *blushes* 

Aguirre's companion novel in the 2B trilogy is far more emotional, realistic and heart-warming to read. It makes your toes curl, a dreamy sigh escapes you and a bright smile as an after effect. Like I've said before, NA truly is changing and I think this woman really has highlighted that more through her primary and secondary characters, building quite an flawlessly written New Adult novel. If your not usually into NA or haven't read this series, I really urge you too and please let me know of your thoughts. 

Rating - 5

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Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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