Book Review: Hard To Love – W. Winters

book description

 

She was too good for this world. I was too much of a bastard to push her away.

I grew up in this life, and now I run these streets. Blood and violence taint everything I touch.

Everything but her. She was my constant through it all.

Just a touch would singe and soothe.

Just a look would tempt and torment.

She became my escape and my addiction.

I only survived because she was by my side.

I should’ve known better than to indulge.

I should’ve known better than to let her fall for me.

It was only a matter of time before the danger bled into what we had.

I was Laura’s downfall. Problem was, she was mine too.

 

trenner

 

my thoughts

 

I saw a post about this book somewhere on Facebook. A book blogger claimed that this was the real deal. Dark romance galore! My first thought was  ” Tell me something new.

A book cover with a guy who doesn´t have a shirt on? * holds breath *  We all know my thoughts on those cover images. Insert the title and I was ready to forget about this book. It was the hilarious statement that got me interested, though. The post caption said:

 

“Bitch, PLEASE! Give me more.” 

 

I hopped on over to Amazon. One look at the price for the paperback had me swallowing hard. 14.46 Euros. Well, slap me silly. That´s a proud sum of money for a 197 page read from an author I wasn´t familiar with. Weeell, I ended up buying the paperback. Don´t judge… I was in a good mood that day and turned a blind eye towards the price. Hard To Love 2

 

`Hard To Love by author W. Winters has become my favorite 2019 dark romance! Good Lawd, I went through some awful hot-flashes while reading this gripping romance and I loved every minute of it.

Right at the beginning, you get to experience a heartbreaking moment through the eyes of Seth- the Hero. That first scene had tension with a nice build-up. From there on a reader is plunged back to the past, where the story unfolds and you can understand what happened, in the beginning, a little better.

If you´ve been following my reviews you´ve come to know that I´m not a fan of time leaps or dual POVs. Funnily enough- There is a time leap and dual POVs in this one but neither bothered me. I can´t really say why. Maybe because the story was short? Or because the time leaps were reduced to a minimum? Beats me. All I know is that I´m one happy camper.

 

`Hard To Love` is intense. It´s unforgiving. It´s romantic and sexy. It´s exactly what I´ve been looking for.

 

I like my romances dark. Darker than dark. While `Hard To Love` is a dark romance I wouldn´t classify it to be shocking in any sense. There is a level of violence in this one but nothing too dramatic. The focus is more on the relationship and what the couple´s environment has done to their relationship.

About the writing: You know, it´s a total surprise for me that the author pulled off a well-balanced story in a little less than 200 pages. The writing was spot on. The dialogue and details were perfect. I lived in their world and suffered with the characters thanks to the writing.

If there is one thing I´m not happy about then it would be the page count & knowing there´ll be a book 2. I flew through this one effortlessly. And even if I loved the story I´m still a little hurt about the price. Other than that…
All in all I´m satisfied and can only second what the book blogger included in her post.

BITCH, PLEASE! GIVE ME MORE! trenner

 

Would I recommend this book? Sure. To anyone who loves themselves a quick and intense read and for fans of dark romances, absolutely.  

Would I reread this book? You can bet your ass on it.

 

trenner

 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   Nope. Not a fan. But I will say that I think it fits the story.

The Story – 5 Stars:   I´m a sucker for the violent stuff. I love myself some bad guys/gangster/mobster romances. For me, they somehow make everything more dramatic.

The Characters – 5 Stars:   Seth- I loved his character to bits. Laura- She easily made my top 5 fav Heroine list. Strong but still delicate.

My emotional state after finishing this read:   Thrilled I can add a new favorite to my list!

 

5 hearts

 

Purchase the book!

Hard To Love

 

Book Review: The Silver Swan ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) – Amo Jones

synopsis single

Riddle me this…
“I am neither dead, nor alive, and I’m not something little Madison can hide.
But you will be dead, by the time this is done…
the timer starts now, and the games have just begun…”

Madison Montgomery comes from money and power, but when someone close to her commits the ultimate crime, Madison must live with her tainted name for the rest of her life. When she begins Riverside Preparatory Academy, the private school her father has swept her into in The Hamptons, she hopes for a fresh start. What she wasn’t hoping for was the pack of bad boys who run the school; ten, to be exact. When Madison gains the attention of their leader, Bishop Vincent Hayes, a whole new world that she didn’t think existed is exposed to her. A whole world that starts and ends with The Elite Kings Club and these boys, are about to flip her world upside down. Secrets are overflowing and family lies are about to be exposed. Is there more to Madison Montgomery than even she knows?

ººººº

Note From Author Taken From Goodreads

About this book: 
I need to admit something right now. The Silver Swan is f*cked. It might be the most insane story I’ve ever written with equally insane characters. Who knew? You know, when I started this book, it was supposed to be YA. I wanted to write a book that my sisters could read. A book that won’t have people look at my mum like “damn… what sort of messed up shit happened to your kid?”. The angst, the assholeness, the games, the f**kery, the WHAT THE F**KING F**K ARE YOU DOING???!!!…
I cannot even…. anyway, this is a warning (and the only one I’ll give you). It’s crazy. I don’t compare my work to my others, but this book is f**ked. It will most likely stomp all the f**k over people’s hard limits (and not give a sh*t while it’s doing it) and will make you second guess all the morals you thought you had.
This most definitely is not looking like a love story right now… more like a….. I don’t even….*shakes head* anyway, I apologise now. You asked for it……….

 


 

My Thoughts 2

I must be one weird screwed up chick because I didn´t find anything insane or da fuq worthy about this book. The note the author left beneath the book description on Goodreads got me all excited. Even had me squealing with anticipation. Hard limits? Looks like I have none. Make me second guess my morals? `The Silver Swan` ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) did nothing of the sorts. Well, at least not for me.

It is true- `The Silver Swan`by Amo Jones cannot be compared to other books. But I can The Silver Swandefinitely compare the vibes I got from this  read with a particular movie – Cruel Intentions. Remember that one? Yeah, the story is so not the same but the vibe it gave off ( and still does ) is similar to what I felt while reading this book.

Judging by the description this book sounds a lot like a dark romance with a good dose of mystery. After having read the story I can say there is, indeed, mystery. The romantic aspect? Not sure. The lines are blurred.

 

 

What I appreciated most about the story:

 

  • The Flair. I´m a sucker for dark settings. Put a blue filter on the story and I´m happy. I liked the overall feeling I had while reading `The Silver Swan`.

 

  • The Characters. Although I wasn´t completely on board with half of these wackos I definitely appreciated how individual they were.

 

  • The Writing. This has been my first rodeo with the author´s work. I´m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the unique writing. It´s smooth and easy on the mind.

 

Unfortunately, there are parts I didn´t enjoy.

 

 

What I didn´t appreciate about the story:

 

  • The dragging mystery. Hear me out on this one. I was a fan of the secrets and all. Until they became boring. It´s almost like the case of the boy who cried wolf. The secrets are mentioned quite often but it isn´t until the end when a reader gets a glimpse of the entire disaster that´s Madison´s life.

 

  • Madison Montgomery. The Heroine of `The Silver Swan`. In the beginning I enjoyed her character very much. Until I reached the point where I was like

 

“Here, sweety. Let me call the cops for you because you´ve clearly forgotten how your phone works.”

 

I´m not sure if her character will grow much more in book #2 and book #3. In this one, though, she wasn´t what I would call a powerful young woman with a good head on her shoulders. She was fearless but that, alone, doesn´t make a character great.

 

  • Enter Bishop. The Hero of the story. When he was first introduced I was game. When he popped in to the picture every now and again, I became more curious. But then he turned into this figure who didn´t do it for me at all. What a shame, really. Instead of rooting for him I found myself wishing he´d just leave the picture. There were definitely others that felt like a more suitable match for Madison.

 

  • My Inner Dialogue. This is something I love to rely on when writing my review. Why did I think? What were my initial thoughts during certain scenes?

– Hmm

– Huh?

– What the….

– Oh.

– Do we have any waffles left?

 

All in all, I wasn´t tickled senseless. There were parts I enjoyed immensely but then there were parts that made no sense to me. Without wanting to disrespect the author or the story- I didn´t feel the awesomeness this book offered me.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. For readers who like a good drawn out mystery will probably enjoy this type of YA / NA dark romance. I´d also recommend the author because the writing is really nice. Will definitely be checking out other works by Amo Jones.

 

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I like a little cat and mouse play in my dark romances. There can be a whole lot of mystery for all I care but there has to be something that holds on to my atention. Reading a book and calling it a day ( as I did with this book ) will not move me to invest more time in further books that belong to this one.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It´s okay. Not necessarily my cup of tea….

The Story – 3 Stars:    The idea is great. The way it´s written is great. It´s just that the exciting parts weren´t as exciting and these dragged on a little for me.

The Characters – 3 Stars: Hands down- The sub characters were great. The main characters, though, they could have had more positive traits. Something to make a reader fall in love with.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Indifferent.

3 stars



 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com

Book Review ( Before & After ): Dirty Angels ( #1 ) – Karina Halle

synopsis single

For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.

Unless she ruins him first.


 

***WARNING***

This book deals with drug cartels and as such it contains a lot of sex and violence and some violent sex. It can get pretty ugly, pretty dark and pretty crazy. There is drug use, abuse, a bit of torture and dubious consent. The hero is not a hero and the villains…well, they’re even worse. If this sort of thing bothers you, PLEASE DO NOT READ IT. This ain’t no cupcake farting unicorn kind of book. If you are even a bit squeamish about violence, brutality and rape, this is your warning to stay away from a book that you certainly will not like (and why read books that you know you won’t like?)

 

Copied from the `Dirty Angels`( Dirty Angels #1) book description on Goodreads

 


 

before and after

 

It´s been close to 5 years when I first laid my hands on this gem. Back in 2014 I was all hot and bothered to read this promising and much talked about dark romance.

Word had it ( back then ) that `Dirty Angels`was the latest shocker. Dirty, filthy, brutal and just one of those reads where you get riled up, all while falling helplessly in love with the romantic clusterfuck. dirty angels

Love / hate. Despise / adore. Exciting / shocking. `Dirty Angels` was that all that and so much more.

I´ve always been a sucker for gritty romances. The more triggers dark romances had the more intrigued I was. Did I get my money´s worth? Did my fellow book bloggers promise too much when they said this book should be approached with caution? Yes. YES. Y. E. S!

32 year old me loved this read. I remember the overnighter I pulled because I couldn´t put the book down. I remember suffering a week long book hangover after I finished the book. I remember calling my husband at work, telling him I needed to find more books like `Dirty Angels`.

I even found my 2014 review on my old blog! You´re welcome.

 

review old
Please excuse the review. It´s old and orange. Don´t know what was wrong with me back then. 

 

See? Literally the slow motion train wreck you couldn´t pull your eyes away from.

Back in 2014 I gave `Dirty Angels`( Dirty Angels #1 ) by author Karina Halle 5 out of 5 stars champagne glasses.

 

5 years later…. 

 

37 year old me decided it was time to do some `Dirty Angel`rereading. It´s been a while and I wanted to know if I still felt the same.

In a way- I do. My general feelings for the story haven´t changed. I still believe the story is just as great as it was back in 2014. For me, this book is a timeless dark romance because it still tugs at all the “right” emotional strings. Even 5 years later I still feel very strong for the characters and what they´ve been put through.

 

Do I think this book is worth the warning label? The answer to that is complicated.

2014 was the year for dark romances. Authors were testing new waters and began publishing the “mind fuck” stories. Didn´t bother me one bit. But in 2014 there weren´t many offended readers. The triggered groups were smaller. Also, in 2014 reviews looked a little different. You either enjoyed the brutal romance or you didn´t. You either accepted the warning and felt warned or you didn´t.

These days, a book can´t have enough warning labels because there are far too many reviewers who are easily offended by the slightest event.

 

I can say, without a shred of doubt, that `Dirty Angels` by Karina Halle is still a fucking awesome twisted dark romance. One readers should treat as a work of fiction.

 


Would I recommend this read? 32 year old me would have. 37 year old me still would. I still think it would be wise to trust the warning label, though. Not everyone treats certain topics as casually as I do.

Would I reread this book? Already have.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:     I can´t remember what I thought of the cover back in the day but now… I don´t really think it´s mind blowing. Fitting for the story, sure.

The Story – 5 Stars:     This is what I enjoy. This is how I expect my dark romances to be like. Shocking, graphic and full of “Oh hell no!”

The Characters – 5 Stars:   Nothing has changed. Javier is still a bastard I appreciate and Luisa is, by far, one of the strongest characters ever created. Bad ass all the way!

My emotional state after finishing this read- 2014: Impressed. 2019: Entertained.

 

5 stars

 


 

`Dirty Angels`can be purchased on  Amazon.com

dirty angels

 

Book Review: The Silver Cage – Anonymous

Very Opinionated Review Without Major Spoilers

( This is not a warning. This is a matter of fact. )

 

Synopsis

A bitter, mysterious author. A young and naive journalist. A tragic past, a dark secret, and an unforgettable tale of passion and love. 

WARNING: The Silver Cage is intended for mature readers; it contains graphic sensuality and strong themes including suicide, sexual identity, and self-harm. 

— 
Anonymous is a pseudonymous international bestseller. The Silver Cord, a companion novel to The Silver Cage, will be released in the first half of 2018. – Taken from Goodreads

My Thoughts

How do I write this review without offending people?

I have 2 choices. Either not write a review at all or just go for it and accept whatever shitstorm will come my way. Just bear in mind that I am not religious, by any means, ( like- at all) but I´m relatively tolerant about religion ( until religion becomes a problem). I accept the beliefs of others ( unless they try to sell me their beliefs). But I will become an unpleasant companion when I hear / read about discrimination towards love.

I want to start off by saying that I find the warning in the synopsis completely unnecessary. There are topics in this book that don´t need warnings.  They need a spotlight brighter than any stadium light can provide.

The topics tackled in this read are painful, yes. Yet, none of those deserve to be warned about. They´ve been kept in the dark long enough. Those topics deserve to be talked about. The thing about warnings are: They give people a heads up before they read something uncomfortable. If suicide, sexual identity and self harm are topics that need a warning label then I´m slowly losing faith in humanity. Those words need just as much spotlight as the words happiness, joy and fulfillment already have.

This really aggravates me to no end because there is nothing I dislike more than people shying away from the topics mentioned above or not liking to be confronted with sexual identity. It´s sad enough people struggle with the idiocy and hypocrisy from many people.

With that being said….

`The Silver Cage`by Annonymous – A dark M/M romance that was more tragic than romantic. A tragedy that didn´t quite tug the right heart-strings. I thought I would get to read a deep emotional, ugly cry story. What I got was, indeed, emotional… I just became utterly pissed instead of sad. the silver cage

Pissed about the fact that somewhere, someone is truly suffering like these characters were.

Pissed about what religion / faith can do to people ( Because if God is picky about who he/she/it loves then he/she/it is no better than a mother picking a favorite child. I bet alot would call child service on a mother quicker than blaming God for not being the embodiment of perfection ).

Pissed that there isn´t enough tolerance in our day of age. We live in 2018. Give me a damn break.

I´m more emotionally charged that being an emotional mess.

`The Silver Cage` is not just a simple fairy-tale. It´s a punch – in –  your –  gut story that´s more real than not.

I applaud the author for the clever pen name. I applaud the author for being brave when they shouldn´t have to be. I bow before anyone who writes a story that´s about 2 men struggling to live their lives.

So why am I giving `The Silver Cage` 3 out of 5 stars? It´s not because of the story itself. I liked the story alot and think there aren´t enough stories like this one available, especially for a younger audience.

I wasn´t particularly a fan of the writing style and I felt the characters weren´t as committed as they were set out to be. I might be completely alone with my opinion * shoulder shrug * . I just think that when you struggle with something then there should be more of an inner conflict going on.

Still- I enjoyed this book and would advise anyone to read it.

`The Silver Cage` by Anonymous is an eye – opener and it sends out a deep and meaningful message. Something I completely welcome in books.

Would I recommend this book? Without a doubt, yes.

Would I reread this book? I can´t say. I probably would. It´s deep. I´d have to be in the mood for deep.

The Cover – 4 stars ( It´s simple. It´s one of those covers that stop you for a second look)

The Story – 3 stars ( While I believe it´s a good story about topics that need attention, the writing wasn´t my cup of tea.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( My heart goes out to these poor souls but… the connection between them was a bit flat for me)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Aggravated. Satisfied. I want to drown myself in wine at the thought that there are still people who aren´t accepting.

3 stars

Purchase Links    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.dethe silver cage

Book Review- Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

Book Description

When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it’s not because she likes the neighborhood, or even because she likes the house. It’s because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else. 

My Thoughts

Sometimes I read a book from a specific author and end up not liking it. That once happened with Tarryn Fisher´s novel, The Opportunist ( Love Me With Lies #1 ), back in 2013. After not seeing what the hype over that book was about, I decided to not include the author´s works in my monthly Amazon shopping lists again.

I wasn´t a fan.

But sometimes, often years later, an author pops out a book that grabs my attention and I decide to give that author another chance.

`Bad Mommy` by Tarryn Fisher wasn´t the shining light I had hoped for. Bad Mommy

Since I want to keep this review clean and spoiler free I´m going say that the problem with this book was a combination of everything and the lack of.

The writing was not close to what I´m usually used to. The topic was rather interesting but it was a bit off. The dialogue Not for me ( a problem I had with the author´s former works). The characters were all over the place. It seemed like someone left the gates to Crazy Town open. The emotions the story brought out in me and the overall feeling the book gave out was closer to negative than positive.

`Bad Mommy` is a thriller. I expect a tad more thrill when reading a thriller. I expect a story to pull me in and make me forget everything else surrounding me.

The story was indeed like a rollercoaster ride. Chaotic and flat. Confusing and long ( as in: it took me forever to finish reading.)

I´m sad to say that `Bad Mommy` wasn´t my cup of tea.

Would I recommend this book? No. Personally, I wouldn´t. I believe a book has to have more than just a flashy cover, catchy title and mysterious synopsis. A story that includes multiple personalities is bound to be confusing but this one takes the cake.

Would I re-read this book? No. I might even go so far and say that Tarryn Fisher isn´t the author for me.

The Cover – 4 stars ( The cover is surprisingly great. I like the vibe it gives off. )

The Story – 1 star ( Too chaotic. Too flat. Not what I expected. Not was I hoped for.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( Confusing. Some characters even felt like shadows. Again, I expected more)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Very disappointed.

I´m giving `Bad Mommy` by Tarryn Fisher 1 star out of 5.

stars18

Purchase Link

Amazon.com