Book Review: Unseen Messages – Pepper Winters

synopsis single

“There is a message for everything. From handwritten to verbal, seen and unseen. Messages exist all around us.” 

But what if you don’t see?
What if you don’t understand?
What if, by ignoring the message, your life is never the same again?

Estelle Evermore morphed from nobody to somebody overnight.
Galloway Oak put his past behind him and endeavoured to make his fortune using his trade.

Two strangers.
One plane.
Multiple unseen messages.
From sky to island, they find neither fame nor skills can save them. Stripped from society and left alone to survive the elements, the very task of staying alive outweighs all other needs.
Until survival turns to desire.
And desire turns to danger.

 

 

My Thoughts 2

 

Sometimes short reads need to be longer.  Sometimes long reads need to be shorter.  With `Unseen Messages` by author Pepper Winters, I believe the latter is more fitting. unseen messages

 

Pepper Winters is a talented writer but there is one thing that gets on my last nerve when it comes to her books. The way the author emphasizes certain parts in her stories. This will look something like this:

 

” A minute  t..i..c..k..e..d  past.”

 

What´s also very popular with the author is not always giving complete sentences, which often ends up seeming lazy.

“I cried.

I sobbed. 

I begged.

Anyone… please…

Help us. “

While this isn´t world shattering, it does irritate me. So much so that I feel the need to mention this is my review for `Unseen Messages`, one of the author´s ( in my opinion ) less finest published works.

I´ve read quite a few Pepper Winters books and all of them were quite special in their own special way. But `Unseen Messages` really tops off all the special in the world.

The main killer for me was the overload on details. This almost 600 page book could have easily been a 300 page read if half the unnecessary additional info had been taken out. Imagine how excited I was to finally get to read a nearly 600 page book and have that excitement turn into sheer boredom after finding out what made the book so long.

Too.

Many.

Details.

And.

This.

Crap.

Killed.

My.

Interest.

&.

Reading.

Flow.

( isn´t that annoying?)
And I haven´t even started on the story.

What made this book a terrible sort of special was the fact that the story felt like nonsense to me.

Because when your flight crashes and you end up on a deserted island with a guy and 2 random kids  you feel all kinds of sexual helplessness, right? Yes, because that is always on the top 5 survival trick list- 1) Find food. 2) Find a bed. 3) take in your dire situation. 4) Have some inner thoughts. 5) scratch that itch.

( note to self: Watch Bear Grylls and see if he´s sexually sparked on his survival shows )

I kept in mind what other fellow bloggers said: This is not your typical Pepper Winters book. Yeah, they weren´t lying. It was worse for me.

I also never thought inner dialogues could annoy me as much as a dragging story could. Good Lord, I began to notice my own annoyed deep breaths everytime an inner dialogue came up.

Normally, I would have DNF´d this book in a heartbeat if it weren´t for the fact that I thought I was going to end up getting a mind blowing ending. I mean- almost 600 pages and a burning wrist from holding the brick of a paperback tricked me into believing I´d get my “holy shit” ending. I did not.

 


 

Would I recommend this read? No. I sincerely wouldn´t. Just watch Tom Hanks in Castaway. I swear Wilson had more spark.

Would I reread this book? I already passed it down. No point in keeping a book that enraged me more than it pleased me.


 

The Cover – 4 Stars:    Not bad. I like the colors.

The Story – 1 Star:      I refuse.

The Charcaters – 1 Star:    I´m still refusing.

My emotional state after finishing this read – I´m done.

 

1 star

 


 

You can purchase `Unseen Messages` on Amazon.com 

unseen messages

Book Review: Lucian Divine – Renée Carlino

synopsis single

“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey’s life is at a standstill. She’s in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It’s absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he’s a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he’s brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he’s brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as —-. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God. 

Yes, God as in God.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

 

`Lucian Divine` by author Renée Carlino is what I like to call an unsure read.

The beginning is cute and interesting. You get sucked in to the story pretty quick and can´t wait to read more until you reach the point where you´ve read more and start asking yourself questions. Lucian Divine

I´m not a stranger to Renée Carlino´s work so I was familiar with her writing. But this one? I´m not sure I can consider `Lucian Divine` a favorite.

The story concept is great: A young woman falls in love with her guardian angel. Only that angel has luggage. They fall in love and together they create and carry their special brand of luggage.

Not bad when seeing it from that point.

 

And all was well until the speed picked up. 

The main reason that kept me from giving this book all my shiny 5 stars was the pacing of the story. There were parts that felt rushed. Then there were parts that really sped up. I wasn´t confronted with this issue from the previous book I read from the author and it slightly bugged me.

 

With a story idea like that there could have been more. 

This is not to say I was completely unsatisfied with everything. As I´ve said, the concept is great. Even the characters were good, but good is never enough. A reader gets some character info but sadly not enough to actually know a character. Kind of like:

“Here´s a bit. There´s a bit. That should be enough. Now you can work out the rest.” 

If I´m not offered enough character detail then I can´t really form a bond with said figures.

 

Maybe not standalone material.

It would be rude of me to say the author could have turned this standalone in to a trilogy… Meeh, I´ll say it anyways: `Lucian Divine` could have easily been a great trilogy.  Because I felt I was missing big chunks of the story.  Big chunks that would have beautifully stretched the story. Instead I felt like I received a chopped off version of something grand. Granted, this isn´t necessarily a reason to give a book a lesser rating, yet I couldn´t shake the nagging feeling of needing more pages to appreciate this type of read.

 

One of those endings.

The ending wasn´t shocking or surprising. I´d say it was your typical “this is what happens to characters when they make secret deals with “God”. Mind you- A reader isn´t in the know about what goes down, and never will be. This makes the ending feel extra rushed. I´m not really a  fan of these semi happy endings but it worked for the story.


 

Would I recommend this book? Sure. `Lucian Divine` is a quick and light read that offers topics about faith, love and life. A nice romance for in between.

Would I reread this book? I wouldn´t, no.

 


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:    It´s okay.

The Story – 4 Stars:    Great story but too fast paced.

The Characters – 3 Stars:  I thought both were okay. They would have been better if a reader got more insight on them.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Not blown away.

 

3 stars



 

You can purchase `Lucian Divine` on Amazon.comLucian Divine


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Thank The Books It´s Friday

Friday! I´ve missed you something fierce! Before we carry on we need to give Chuck the Thank Fuck Friday Squirrel some love.

 

squirrel fuck

 

It´s been one of those eventful weeks, my bookish Padawans. To be honest- I haven´t had a schedule this packed in a long while. From Monday till this very day… I´ve been swamped with work, appointments, and other things that make me hate being an adult.

The only thing ( aside from reading ) that has brough me joy was watching Norsemen on Netflix.

 

norsemen

 

I have a ritual at night before I go to bed: Watch a history documentary or a documentary on Australians 72 most deadliest animals ( just to inform myself on what I´ll be missing out on while visiting countries that don´t have deadly animals ). I was in a history mood and couldn´t find anything interesting on Sky ( for those who don´t know what Sky is: It´s like Netflix just more organized ) So I found what I thought would be a documentary on Vikings. I received more than just a docu. . So hilarious. So weird. So my kind of humor. They say Norsemen is Norways finest export. I agree. The slaves are by far my favorite characters. If you haven´t already I really recommend watching this series. It´s so SO damn funny.

 

 

So what else have I done this week besides run around like a headless chicken? Aah, yes. I caught up on some reading. March is a birthday month for my social circle so I can´t get too invested in any heavy reading. Right now I decided to give an easy romance my attention. The lady from my preferred bookstore recommended this “light” 374 page chick – lit romance.

I owe you one

 

She said `I Owe You One` by Sophie Kinsella is a perfect quick read for in between reads. PERFECT! I´m currently on page 69 and can´t say I have any complaints yet. It´s sweet and has a great pace. I´m still suspicious, though. Can´t really trust books these days, can we? Fingers crossed this one won´t be another let down.

 

 

As for the blogging bit- I´ve been super productive!

 


Somewhere between going to the dentist, doing school projects, reading, working, etc… I´ve managed to get some blogging done, as well. And not just working on my own stuff but also going through my WordPress Reader! Yippie! I even discovered new blogs.

** sigh ** It truly feels good to be productive.

 

 

Since it´s been a busy week I decided to do nothing this weekend. No plans. No visiting anyone. Nothing. Just spend my days in ratty sweats with the tv remote control in my death grip.

 

 

Many might find this awful but for me, there´s nothing more interesting than having a stay in weekend. ❤ I live for these moments.

 

What about you? What are your plans for the weekend? What will you be reading? Are you going out? Let me know in the comments below!

 

That´s about it, folks. Time to get my sweats ready because I have a few hours left before the true laziness begins!

Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful time. See you all on Monday!

Much love,

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Mr. Male Protagonist, Why Do You Growl?

Romance readers will know about this. Erotica fans are familiar with it. Even Young Adult lovers have seen this occasionally in their beloved innocent books.

 

Growling male protagonists

 

A reaction from a male character in fiction novels triggered mostly by jealousy and / or approval.  But why?

Let´s do a quick run down on living beings that growl

 

  • animals

 

That´s it. Growling is a low, guttural vocalization produced by predatory animals as an aggressive warning but can also be found in other contexts such as playful behaviors or mating ( thanks Wiki * wink * )

So, why are we reading about CEOs, lumberjacks, bad boys and the hot quarterbacks in contemp. romance / young adult / erotica novels growling when it´s clearing an animalistic behaviorism?

 

 

(Warning: Interesting short fun fact ahead)

If you hadn´t known already, there are similarities between human body language and animal behavior. It´s actually interesting to know how human body language resembles the non verbal communication of animals. We can be cocky like cats, we signal aggression like dogs by baring our teeth and we gesture like apes. ( end of fun fact )

And this is okay. To describe a man´s movement by comparing him to a panther isn´t a problem. Sounding like a panther is.

Do we growl? Like actually growl? And what has authors thinking growling is an acceptable reaction? And why is it only male characters who growl?

I´m one of those readers who can get completely lost in a book. Once I´m invested then that´s it- I´m all in. I´m also the type that reads and fails to see someone else´s logic no matter how poetic it may be.

 

“He let out a growl…”

 

A line that has come up in almost all of my novels that have territorial Heroes. Aah, that word: Territorial. Another word that´s often associated with male protagonists. They are territorial. Sure. Why the hell not, right? It´s supposedly hot to read about a guy growling his way in to a woman´s knickers.

10 years, people…. I´ve spent 10 years of questioning this in romance novels and have only recently asked myself what I would do if a male would growl near me. Would this even happen in real life?

 

My first thought and facial expression would be, without a doubt, this, should a man ever growl in public:

 

The thought alone of the husbutt growling his approval when seeing me in a dress would definitely earn him this reaction from me:

 

And should he ever growl because he´s jealous then I might have to use physical education:

 

This is not to say that growling should be banned from all modern romance literature. Growling works beautifully for fictional characters in paranormal romances and fantasy novels or (!!!) for contemporary romances that involve male characters who´ve once been feral children that have had been forced by nature to adapt to wildlife and animals- Technically, they´re allowed to growl.

“I heard a low threatening growl from somewhere in the room. It was him.”

 

Me when I read that line in a contemp. romance novel

 

So, my question is:

Mr. Male Protagonist,

Why do you growl? Why not just smile with pride, use a great comeback line,.. or how about moaning? If you´re going to do something during your less animalistic sex then you shouldn´t growl.


QUESTION Of The Day:

Am I alone with my thoughts? Do men these days growl? Have you ever heard of a female character in novels growl? What are your thoughts? Does a growling male protagonist bother you? What do you think about growling in general?

Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. ❤


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Kiss Thief – L.J Shen

synopsis single

They say your first kiss should be earned. 

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky. 

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred. 

Mine were broken before we left church. 

They say your heart only beats for one man. 

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end. 

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit. 

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage. 

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending. 

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter. 

One kiss. 
Two men. 
Three lives. 
Entwined together. 

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

 



 

My Thoughts 2

 

Oh, my expectations were set high for this one. I´m talking sky high. And because this book has been so hyped and praised I was also terrified of being disappointed.

Beautiful cover and a decent synopsis? I just had to give it a go.

To make a long story short: I wasn´t as disappointed as I thought I´d be. I´m truly not mad at this one because the story almost has everything I want in a contemporary romance novel.

Personally, I thought the story was a tiny bit less dramatic than the synopsis suggested. I was thinking there would be an open Chicago love triangle war in `The Kiss Thief` by L. J. Shen. I didn´t have the impression there was one at all.

The Kiss Thief

That´s not to say this book didn´t have other qualities. `The Kiss Thief` had many things I usually appreciate when reading romances.

 

What I Appreciated Most

  • Character depth. For me, there´s nothing worse than having to read about characters who don´t offer something that makes them special. Wolfe Keaton and Francesca Rossi are powerful main characters who are entertaining from start to finish.
  • Unpredictable actions. I´d be lying if I said the book was unpredictable, because… Well, the ending was sort of a given. But some of the events were actually unpredictable. I certainly never saw certain scenes happening but I´m really glad they did.
  • The dialogue. Very intelligent and quick. I like when characters have something to say to each other rather than having them repeat their thoughts.
  • Enemies to lovers romance. I´m a sucker for this trope.

 

What I Would Have Liked

  • It says in the book description

“… mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.”

“One kiss. Two men. Three lives.”

This is not entirely misleading but I did feel like it suggested there would be an actual love triangle going on. There wasn´t. Yes, there were two men involved in Francesca´s life but one of those men wasn´t present enough to be considered as a third party.

  • A more powerful ending. After so much that went down in this book I did expect a little more CRASH BOOM BANG in the end. There was a really fantastic build up and at some point there was a constant and stable peak. Then the nose dive.
  • More graphic scenes. This isn´t, by any means, a necessity but for a mafia romance I would have appreciated more mafia brutality.

 

All in all I can´t really complain, though. `The Kiss Thief` is a mafia romance that has lots of angst, a decent amount of sex, and drama.


 

Would I reread this book? Sure. Why not? The parts I loved are definitely worth a reread.

Would I recommend this book? I would. `The Kiss Thief` is well written and the story is full of surprises.


 

The Cover – 5 Stars:   Hands down- I´m a fan.

The Story – 4  Stars:   Not too shabby. It´s ruthless, unforgiving and also romantic.

The Characters – 4 Stars:  While I did love Wolfe´s ruthless side and Francesca´s strength I missed a little of Angelo and would have liked to have seen some more engagement from the sub characters.

My emotional state after finishing this read:  Happy.

 

4 stars


 

This book can be purchased on Amazon.com