Book Review: What We Do In The Light – Stylo Fantome

Just one month ago, Valentine O’Dell got her heart ripped out – yet another problem to add to her rapidly growing list. Between fighting to bring her sick grandmother home, searching for a new apartment after being evicted, and trying to figure out how exactly she’s going to pay for everything, she doesn’t have time to cry over a broken heart.

Then Ari Sharapov walks back in and tries to solve everything.

Ari may have gained a little more control in his life, but there’s still one area he doesn’t have a grip on – Valentine refuses to believe anything he says. Gone is the girl who wanted someone to take care of her, and in her place is a woman who’s willing to take everything he has to offer, but without giving anything of herself in return. He’s used to fighting battles in a courtroom, but convincing her of his feelings will be his biggest struggle yet.

Maybe it’s time for this relationship to be brought to light.


 

 

Well… * takes a deep breath *  Let´s just say I´m bummed about  `What We Do In The Light`( book #2 ) by author Stylo Fantome.

The whole story was a little lackluster. All the tension from book #1, `What We Do In The Night`, was gone. Key characters suddenly disappeared from the pages ( only to be mentioned shortly towards the end ) and the focus was more on the questionable back-and-forth relationship between the romantic couple.

The constant “Yes! Oh, wait… NO! Oh to hell with it- Let´s give it a try. Meeh, I changed my mind.” drove me nuts.

 

Problems were easily solved with money.

The main characters ( romantic couple ) had no clue how to leave each other alone ( which would´ve been in everyone´s interest ). The actual threat of the story was… there was none. Any possible threats were removed, thus leaving the indecisive lovebirds to support the book with their unnecessary shenanigans. Their characters were beautifully created in book #1 but they weren´t strong enough to carry their story alone.

All in all, I´m bummed. This installment sort of ruined the uniqueness book #1 provided.

 


 

The Cover – It´s pretty. And the title is catchy.

The Characters – The few who remained weren´t putting much effort.

The Story – It´s a no from me.

My emotional state after finishing this book- Disappointed.

 

 

Book Reviews: Griffin Family- Suzanne Enoch

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It´s Suzanne Enoch time, y´all! With all the Historical Romances I´ve been collecting over the years I thought it was time to write reviews for my guilty reading pleasures.

Are you familiar with Suzanne Enoch´s books? I wasn´t. It actually took me a while to discover the author or her books ( possibly because I was too caught up with finishing every Lisa Kleypas book out there ) but when I did stumble upon Suzanne Enoch on Amazon I was a happy Historical romance camper.

I remember having seen the cover of `Sin and Sensibility´ ( book #1 ), thinking I should give the book a go. Minutes later I ordered all books from the Griffin Family series. Days later, I inhaled all four books. I felt and still don´t feel any shame.

I will say this, though: Reading this series was a rollercoaster ride for me. Each book did something different for my emotional household.

Are you ready for the mini-reviews for book #1 – #4? Have a seat.

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Sin and Sensibility ( book #1 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Sin And Sensibility #1

 

The brother´s best friend. Set in a time where etiquette felt like it was above the law, we meet Elenore Griffin, sister to overbearing older brothers. Elenore is ready for an adventure, but not ready to settle down and give in to the pressures of society. Just when Sebastian ( oldest brother ) has enough of Elenore´s wish for independence they both strike a deal. Only that deal is more twisted than it´s supposed to be.
Enter Valentine Corbett, London´s drop-dead gorgeous bad boy and best friend to Sebastian Griffin. Elenore can have her freedom IF she stays out of trouble. And what better way to make sure that doesn´t happen? One employs unofficially babysitter- namely, Valentine.

Seriously, I loved Sin and Sensibility. It´s cute and romantic and so full of emotional fluff that I can´t find it in me to find anything negative to say. I loved Valentine. His character was a true masterpiece. An arrogant ass waiting to be loved. Elenore was… As one would expect- a tad childish at times. That can be forgiven if you consider the era and how ignorant women were kept in those days. This was beautifully highlighted in this story.

So, the arrogant, worldly ass falls for the best friend´s sister who wants to see and experience the world before she meets her unwanted fate.

Best HR couple, ever. A story well told.

5 hearts

 

 

 

 

 

An Invitation To Sin  ( Book #2 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

An Invitation To Sin #2

 

If you ever want to read a story that feels so random- Look no further. `An Invitation To Sin` will give you that feeling right from the start. Bah, my least favorite read from the Griffin bundle. If I´m honest- Elenore´s brother, Zachary, never interested me when his character popped up in the first book. It was clear he´d receive his own let´s-find-true-love story but I didn´t think I would dislike it as much as I did. His story felt so unnecessary. His supposed better half felt equally unnecessary. Not a good match. Not a great story.

Zachary gets shit from his older brother, Sebastian, the Duke, for basically being a good-for-nothing ( I could have told Zach that during book #1. But nooo. It takes the Duke to drive the point home ). One thing leads to another and we meet Caroline, the most egoistical Heroine in the book universe. Seriously, she was a pain. How and why Zachary and Caroline ended up together will forever be a mystery to me. With their lack of chemistry, you´d think she´d have cured him for life for ever thinking about a relationship.

From start to finish- I was not in the best of moods.

1 heart

 

 

 

 

 

Something Sinful  ( Book #3 ) – Suzanne Enoch 

 

Something Sinful #3

 

A Cat & Mouse read with some adventure! And definitely a far cry from being anything like the previous book.` Something Sinful` is truly a read that feels alive and… different. Was it as good as book #1? Not for me. But that´s okay. I kind of felt like the first would be the strongest of all four books.

We meet another brother, Lord Charlemagne Griffin, the “sharper” brother, who´s book feels more like it´s set in India than in London. Okay, I´m down with that. What I liked about this book was how “exotic” it felt but also hated how “exotic” it was. There was sex overload, which I wasn´t too fond of. But other than that the core of the story was interesting. As for the couple: Yeah… Meeh. Gonna have to pass.

2 hearts

 

 

 

 

Sins Of A Duke ( Book #4 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Ha! We´re back on the love-gush train. `Sins Of A Duke` was exactly what I had hoped it would be- A challenge for the Hero.

Sebastian- Oldest brother of the Griffin lot, match-maker extraordinaire and almost most powerful figure in London receives his own story. And it´s a quirky one, too.

When Sebastian is set to marry a Princess from a new country he turns on his killer Duke wits and senses fraud. Of course, it doesn´t help his case that the phony Princess is beautiful beyond words.

The best thing about this book is to read about someone as controlled as Sebastian loses his composure and the iron grip he had on many things. I love when the perfect becomes flawed.  This is kind of like watching an opera where the actors drop their masks after every act.

A worthy conclusion to the Griffin Family series.

4 hearts

 


 

As a whole, I´d say the Griffin Family series deserves a 3 – rating. There was a strong start with book #1 and a floppy middle with book #2 and #3 but book #4 picked things up again. Thankfully.

Suzanne Enoch´s writing is great. Smooth and engaging. Character development was satisfying. Details were spot on. Sadly enough, I haven´t had enough interest in checking more of the author´s books out. Maybe that´ll change in the future, though.

 


 

Would I recommend this series? Yes and no. It really depends what a Historical romance reader is looking for.

Would I reread this series? I´ve already reread book #1 and book #4. The others weren´t really my cup of tea.

 


 

 

Purchase Links

( Books in reading order )

Sin And Sensibility  ♥ 

An Invitation To Sin

Something Sinful

Sins Of A Duke

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: How The States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein

synopsis single

Why does Oklahoma have that panhandle? Did someone make a mistake?

We are so familiar with the map of the United States that our state borders seem as much a part of nature as mountains and rivers. Even the oddities—the entire state of Maryland(!)—have become so engrained that our map might as well be a giant jigsaw puzzle designed by Divine Providence. But that’s where the real mystery begins. Every edge of the familiar wooden jigsaw pieces of our childhood represents a revealing moment of history and of, well, humans drawing lines in the sand.

How the States Got Their Shapes is the first book to tackle why our state lines are where they are. Here are the stories behind the stories, right down to the tiny northward jog at the eastern end of Tennessee and the teeny-tiny (and little known) parts of Delaware that are not attached to Delaware but to New Jersey.

How the States Got Their Shapes examines:

Why West Virginia has a finger creeping up the side of Pennsylvania
Why Michigan has an upper peninsula that isn’t attached to Michigan
Why some Hawaiian islands are not Hawaii
Why Texas and California are so outsized, especially when so many Midwestern states are nearly identical in size
Packed with fun oddities and trivia, this entertaining guide also reveals the major fault lines of American history, from ideological intrigues and religious intolerance to major territorial acquisitions. Adding the fresh lens of local geographic disputes, military skirmishes, and land grabs, Mark Stein shows how the seemingly haphazard puzzle pieces of our nation fit together perfectly.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

If you´re interested in American state history then look no further. This book is exactly what you need to understand how borders formed and reshaped throughout the early period of America.

Interesting. Insightful. Fascinating.

 

`How The States Got Their Shapes`  is exactly what the title suggests. A book on how each of the 50 states got their shapes. Not necessarily important to know but interesting nonetheless. How the states got their shape

If you´re anything like me you´ll inhale this book and appreciate the knowledge handed out here. Some things I already knew about but some other things, like- the equality of height of the prairie states and the equality of width of the western states is just…

 

A great read with tons of facts on states. My expectations were met.

The only complaint I have is about how some states didn´t receive as much detailed spotlight as others. I don´t know why. Maybe there wasn´t enough available info? Who knows.

America is one big fat game of Tetris.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Sure. It´s a quick read with loads of interesting facts.

Would I reread this book? Yes, I would.

Since this is a History / Geography book on American History I will skip my usual 4 point speed rating. 

4 stars

 

You can purchase `How The States Got Their Shapes` by Mark Stein on Amazon.com

 

Book Review: Broken – W. Winters

book description

Heartless. Ruthless. Stone Cold Killer.

That’s me. I destroy anything in my path to get what I want.

Then she showed up. Olivia Bell. She’s sweet and innocent, and in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Now she’s mine. My property. I own her. Given to me as a bargaining chip.

She’s not a part of my plans, but plans change. Her pouty lips and gorgeous curves beg me to break her.

Taking her lush curvy body, and ravaging it for all its worth would be easy, but I want to earn her submission. It’s addictive. I want it. I want her.

They wanted me to break her. I am. And I’m enjoying it. Now they want to take her from me.

Over my dead body.

Let them come for us. I’ll kill them all.

By the time I’m done, everyone will know. She belongs to me.

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**This is a DARK romance. A full-length standalone novel with HEA and no cheating**

(taken from Goodreads)

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my thoughts

I don´t know about you but I get a little moody when I see a warning label beneath a synopsis. Especially when it´s a spoiler-filled warning.

HEA + no cheating

 

 

But since I found the synopsis good I turned a blind eye toward that little tidbit. One simply can´t nag about everything, right?

So, the synopsis sounded good. The book cover looked pretty decent. All I needed was for `Broken` by author Willow Winters, to be a mind-blower. broken

The only thing that knocked the wind out of my sails was how similar this story was to the Dark Duet series by C.J. Roberts. 

 

In both books, a girl named Olivia ( yes, both young ladies are named Olivia ) falls victim to human trafficking.

In both books, Olivia learns the art of submission but only for the public eye.

In both books, Olivia endures sexual punishment ( one scene is almost a carbon copy of the original )

In both books, the Hero is torn between what he needs and wants to do.

In both books, the Heroine ends up having to wait for the love of her life because of the legal system.

 

Now, if I didn´t know any better, I´d say the author was very heavily “inspired” by `Captive In The Dark`,  `Seduced In The Dark` &  `Epilogue`. Which is fine. I´m not too bothered by this. The only problem I have is that I can´t stop comparing the two stories. That happens when the similarities are too obvious. I tend to prefer one over the other instead of seeing these two stories as individual pieces.

I guess you can say that there were slight differences with `Broken`, though. The Hero wasn´t an emotionally damaged sadist with a heart the size of a pea. Kane was an undercover cop in the middle of a case and Olivia 2.0 just so happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Another difference – `Broken` is a standalone and the Dark Duet is 3 books strong. 3 very graphic and detailed books. I´m that reader who always has questions and appreciates lots of background info. For me, `Broken` felt like a Dark Duet greatest hits.

An okay read that didn´t tickle me senseless. Not a 1:1 copy but one where the story comes pretty close to the other.

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Would I reread this book? I don´t think I will. There are a few great parts I might check out again but I don´t think I´ll do a from start-to-finish again.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. If the Dark Duet series were a little too rough for you then this one would be just right. Also, fans of C.J. Roberts who´re thirsty for more Olivia & Caleb would probably enjoy Olivia & Kane.

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The Cover – 4 Hearts:  It´s okay. The filter gives the outdated image a nice touch.

The Story – 3 Hearts:  It´s the Stockholm syndrome party 2.0. Not as dangerous as it could´ve been. A little on the tame side. A dark romance for beginners.

The Characters – 3 Hearts:  I liked the idea of Kane being an undercover cop and how that messed with his true character. Olivia- Meeh. She´s the type who says no but means yes. * sigh *

My emotional state after finishing this read: Indifferent.

3 hearts

broken

Purchase the book on Amazon.com

Book Review: What We Do In The Night ( #1) – Stylo Fantome

book description

Just five months ago, Valentine O’Dell started working at a very special kind of club – one where you can dance the night away, or live out your greatest fantasy. She’s learned to lose herself to her nights, forgetting all her day time woes as she charms every man she meets. It’s easy enough to do when she doesn’t let her feelings get involved.

Then Ari Sharapov walked in and changed everything.

Working for his father’s law firm has left Ari with very little control over his life, so when he meets Valentine for the first time, he sees a girl who is desperate for someone to take care of her. To take over her. So what he can’t get for himself in the day time, he’ll simply take for himself at night. But when power struggles lead to real feelings, who’s actually controlling whom?

Some relationships are better left in the dark.

 

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my thoughts

 

So, this is what happened: I found the author at RARE ´19 London. I took one look at the table where the author´s books were on display and immediately fell in love with a book title-

`What We Do In The Dark`.

Well, if that doesn´t get a romance reader´s heart beating then I don´t know what does. I reacted as if there was a mile-long line of greedy book lovers behind me, waiting to get their hands on this book: I´m now the proud owner of a signed paperback copy of this gem.

 

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Mine, mine, mine, mine.

 

As for my actual review: Where to start and how to finish? I don´t think I´m able to give proper thoughts on `What We Do In The Night` ( Day to Night #1 ) by author Stylo Fantome. 

 

 

WHat we do in the night

 

The Synopsis is truly a taste of what you´ll get when you read the story. A young woman pushing through life as best as she can until some special someone enters the picture- her picture- and rattles the foundations of her unconventional existence. Even if that sounds like every other romance that´s been published, it´s not. It´s better. It´s pretty much `Pretty Woman` only with a forbidden touch.

 

An enthralling romance with a creative spin I loved.

 

I don´t say this often ( mainly because it doesn´t happen often ) but `What We Do In The Dark` exceeded my expectations. The story has a slight darkness to it, which I love. It´s raunchy, it´s sexy and so full of exciting moments.  This is the type of romance where you can feel how much love was put into it.

The push and pull between the main characters, Valentine and Ari.. Their struggle to keep reality apart from fantasy was what kept my eyes glued to the pages. Having lived through their good and bad moments, and having witnessed what happened when a fantasy collided with reality was heart-stopping. You can keep up a facade for only so long until everything goes downhill.

I really can´t say much more without giving the story away. The writing was great. The pace was perfect. There was a nice balance between dialogue and details.

Personally, I can´t ask for more. This is the type of romance I could read without ever getting bored.


 

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. It´s a breath of fresh bookish air. It´s a romance with erotic elements that aren´t pushy.

Would I reread this book? I most certainly would.


 

The Cover – 4 Hearts:  It´s okay. It´s not something I´d consider a masterpiece but… Definitely fits the story to a T.

The Story – 5 Hearts:  Gotta love a well-told story.

The Characters – 5 Hearts: Oh, I loved how their relationship made so much sense even though it shouldn´t have.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Ready for more!

 

5 hearts