Before & After Book Review: The Dark Duet, #1, #2, #3 – C.J. Roberts

This is a Before & After review post where I share the thoughts I had in the past and have in the present regarding certain books.

 

`Captured In The Dark` (book #1), `Seduced In The Dark` (book #2), and the ever surprising `Epilogue: The Dark Duet (#3)… All written by the extraordinary CJ Roberts.

 

 

I think it would also be wise, especially in the sensible and fragile time we live in, to give you all a fair warning about these books. The Dark Duet is not for the faint of heart ( and that´s coming from someone who can stomach EVERYTHING with ease and is never offended or triggered ). You´re welcome to continue reading this review to find out why.

 


 

before and after


synopsis book 1

Captive In The Dark ( Dark Duet #1 )

captive

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

 


My Thoughts 2

29 year old me was so confused after reading `Captive In The Dark` ( book #1 ) by CJ Roberts. For the first time in ages I was stunned speechless because I´ve never read such a complex story before.

I remember feeling confused for loving this story because there was nothing to love. The male lead is a sadistic asshole. The young female protagonist is a fighter and survivor. Both struggle with the need to make it through another day of pleasure and pain, of defeat and survival. It´s a game of breaking wills and revealing truths and… I was on such a reading high from all the shocking moments.

A young girl gets kidnapped and is whisked away by a guy who´s involved in the human trafficking business.  From then on it´s his mission to train the young girl to become a sex slave.

This isn´t one of those tacky Oh – spank – me reads. Not a Let´s – play – on – the – weekends story, either. `Captive In The Dark` is a well crafted romance that´s clearly been given many days / weeks / months of good thought before a word made contact with paper. There´s a good reason for the warning labels that state that there´s disturbing situations, dubious consent, graphic violence and strong language… This book is truly painful. Mentally and physically for the Heroine and just mentally painful for a reader.

Olivia´s ( Heroine ) thoughts were realistic. Even spot on for a young lady her age. The fear she felt, the humiliation and degradation… It was understandable until she began to fall for her captor. That was the part where my confusion popped up.

So, a Stockholm Syndrome romance. Gottcha. But then again.. this book wasn´t that at all. It was more warped. Like a walk on a blurred line between sanity and insanity. And it was perfect in a weird way.

That was how I thought 7 years ago.

Has my opinion changed since then? Now that a few years have passed, am I still in love and in shock?

Yes and no. I´m not in shock anymore but I´m still in love. `Captive In The Dark` might be one twisted piece of written art but I love it. It´s deep. It´s emotional. It´s horrible and glorious. It´s intense and captivating. It´s one of those reads where you have to take a break for a much needed deep breath, followed by a visit to the liquor cabinet because there´s no way to survive this story without something strong.

The Cover – 3 stars ( Not my cup of tea )

The Story – 5 stars ( Raw, sexually charged, satisfying in a horrific way. It´s a kinky battle of wills and a proper mind fuck)

7 years haven´t changed a thing. I loved this book back then and I still love it.

5 stars



 

synopsis book 2

Seduced In The Dark ( Dark Duet #2 )

secuded

The exciting, titillating, and action-filled conclusion to Captive in the Dark.

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.

The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.

Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance? 

Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

Quote: 
It seemed to Caleb, the nature of human beings revolved around one empirical truth: we want what we cannot have. For Eve, it was the fruit of the forbidden tree. For Caleb, it was Livvie


 

My Thoughts 2 And the story continues…. WITH A TIME LAPS!! So, technically, the story continues, just not where it left off. 29 year old me was very annoyed about the constant back and forth between present and past. I remember not liking how more characters, in both time frames, were introduced.

We meet Olivia again, only this time in a hospital without Caleb. She´s safe. She´s protected. And what´s worse… she´s going through an emotionally painful interrogation.

Caleb, the one person who Olivia hated and loved, wasn´t with her and that brought her to the brink of insanity.

Despite everything she went through ( namely, more painful humiliation and abuse ) Olivia wasn´t capable of letting Caleb go.

While I hated the time lapse I was so enthralled by the story. The unhealthy obsession Olivia developed was truly remarkable and unsettling, even after the added cruelty she dealt with.

In the end, I was just as damaged as the Heroine. I was also on my way to move all the alcohol in my kitchen to the livingroom because I didn´t have the strength to move after reading such a genius mind screw of a story.  A Stockholm syndrome story gone to the next level and I loved it.

Those were my thoughts then. Do I still feel the same after 7 years?

 

Yes. I do. I have the exact same thoughts and feelings as I had back then. Still don´t like stories with a time lapse. I still love this twisted and cleverly written dark romance. When you read book #1 you think things can´t possibly get worse for the Heroine. You think you´ll get a sloppy and sappy happily ever after at some point and all will live on cloud nr.9  for the rest of their undying days. Fortunately, that doesn´t happen. At least not in the sense a reader would think. There´s a satisfying twist to the story.  There´s no pink hearts and fluff. There´s a nice touch of reality that´ll still leave a smile on a reader´s face.

After all these years… The Dark Duet is still a sexy, thrilling and darker than dark read.

4 stars

The Cover – 3 stars : Still not my cup of tea. But I guess it works for the story.

The Story – 4 stars: Brilliant and clever. Sexy and such a mind fuck. But those damn leaps from present to past, though…..
A total must have for dark romance lovers. I´m so glad I have these books.

 



 

synopsis book 3

Epilogue ( The Dark Duet #3 )

Epilogue

I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging. In fact, you probably know too many things and know them far too well. Who am I? Well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves. She loves me. It’s quite sick, isn’t it? Of course, there’s more to our story than can be surmised in a few short sentences, but I’m at a loss for justifying my behavior back then. I assume if you’re reading this, I don’t need to make those justifications. You’ve already made your own. You’re reading this because you want to know about the rest of the story. You want to know what happened that warm summer night in September of 2010, the night I met Livvie at The Paseo. It was the night my life changed all over again. It didn’t happen exactly as Livvie said. She’s been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more…complicated.

 

My Thoughts 2 And just when I thought the story was over / done / finito.. the author presents us with more Caleb and Olivia.

29 year old me did a rain dance around the livingroom table when I found out the author had planned on releasing a third book.

And when word spread on book #3 being a Caleb POV… DEAR LAWD! The hyperventilation games were on. I was excited beyond words. Caleb. The bastard. The cruel and abusive POS who trained young women to become sex slaves and sold them to rich fuckers across the globe…. That fictional character was getting a chance to speak up.

To make a long story short: The book arrived. The book was read in one sitting. My feelings after I finished `Epilogue´? Indifferent, but in a positive way. I wasn´t necessarily blown out of my knickers but I wasn´t disappointed, either.

We get a reunite in `Epilogue`. Caleb and Olivia meet again but this time, they´re different. Everything is different. And both have difficulties living their new lives.

So, basically… this is a What – Happened – After – Everything – Happened  type of read. 

7 years ago, I didn´t mind buying this book. Now….

7 years later….

I don´t think this book is necessary. Yes, it was lovely to get inside Caleb´s head and see things from his POV. But I think his character lost a bit of that wow factor because a lot was revealed. When you take away the mysterious parts of a character then he / she isn´t mysterious anymore.

Also, the details of how they barely managed their normal lives didn´t exactly contribute to the story. But I guess that can be expected with an epilogue.

Personally, I believe this is a nice addition to the actual story but not a mandatory read. I´m not even sure I´d read it now anymore because I dislike POV switches. They do nothing for me.

Right now, I´d give `Epilogue` book #3 in the Dark Duet series 3 out of 5 stars.

3 stars

 

The Cover – 3 stars: Still not my type of book cover. But it definitely works for the story.

The Story – 3 stars: Nice but not really worth it as book #2 has an ending that works beautifully for the story.


 

Final Thoughts

My love for the series hasn´t changed much. I still find book #1 & #2 out of this world horrific and special but book #3 isn´t what I remembered it to be. Maybe I was blinded by the hype over this story. Pumped up with excitement and just wanting MORE.

I would still, even after 7 years, recommend this dark romance. I would still urge lovers of the genre to read this book as I believe it´s a story that can´t be missed out on. It´s deep. It´s clever. It´s everything shocking and fulfilling. A brutally painful romance that still affects me.


 

Get your copies of the Dark Duet books #1, #2 and #3 on Amazon or a bookstore near you!


 

Morgana´s Book Box Book Feature on Instagram

Standalones, Duets, Trilogies, Oh My.

Standalones. Duets. Trilogies…. Terms that are common in the literature world. These words tell a reader exactly what they´re getting themselves into before they purchase their next read.

But before we start, why not give everyone a quick reminder of what the true definition these words carry.

Standalone – A standalone is either a single book or a book from a series written by an author that doesn´t require a reader to have read the rest of the series in order to understand the plot. The book can stand on it´s own.

Duet – A 2 book story. Duo = Duet.

Trilogy – 1 connected / ongoing story available in a set of 3 books

Tetralogy – 4 books

Pentalogy – A set of 5 books

Hexalogy – 6 books

Series – A sequence of books

Novella – A long short story ( either connected to a story or a standalone )

And the list goes on and on and on….

 

There´s a wonderful large pallet of book sets ready for a reader to enjoy. But… are duets, trilogies and tetralogies really all that enjoyable? Or are author´s pushing their luck with their 5+ book series?

Here´s a little fun fact: Most book people ( bloggers and readers alike ) don´t even use certain terms when referring to a set / sequence of books. Any author that has published a connected story with 4 + books is called a series. Just as 3 books are a trilogy. No one goes out of their way to say they´ve read an awesome pentalogy.

Our book lingo is more simple. It´s either a standalone, a duet, a trilogy or a series.

Although, I have to admit that it does excite and amuse me when I see someone use ancient greek terms.

 

 

Since I lack the time to go out on the streets to do a proper book survey on the topic I´m just going to go ahead and grace you with my own personal observations regarding books, book sets and authors who beat the living daylights out of a story by stretching them into a 10 book series ( Oops, apologies for the passion I unleashed in that last sentence ).

For a reader, books and their series sizes are clearly a matter of preference. Some readers love when a story, written by their favorite author, never seems to find an end and some readers are delighted when a story stops after 3 books. It´s a split audience where no one wins or loses. There is no better or worse, right? Hmm…maybe.

For me… I´m not a fan of anything that´s blown out of proportion. I´m the type that´s totally fine with a story that finds an ending… and it stays that way.

For example: When I see a book I like and also see that it´s a standalone… I´ll not hesitate and buy it. But when I see it´s a book #1 then I feel a wave of disappointment wash over me.

  1. because it´ll usually take a year´s wait until a book #2 releases ( unless we´re talking Game of Thrones. I´ve lost all hope for the next GoT to ever be published in this century )
  2. because I have to invest more time in a story than intended.

Don´t get me started when I see a book #5. That makes me wanna cry on the spot.

Mind you, duets and trilogies aren´t off putting for me… I actually love a good ongoing story- As long as it´s well balanced and doesn´t give me the feeling of wanting to curse it to hell for not being in a single book instead of 3.

What would you think if I told you that standalones and series only work for certain genres? Okay, not really shocking news but it´s true. I´m a contemp. romance reader. Standalones are more common in the romance genre. Once in a while a trilogy trend will fly through and then us romance readers will be presented with the good ´ol standalones again.  Fantasy / Paranormal stories work differently.

A fantasy author faces world and character creations on a deeper level. It would be nearly impossible to stuff a well crafted idea into one single book and call it a day.

This is when book trilogies are born. Fantasy stories need space. They need to unfold and help a reader understand certain events. Most fantasy novels have a minimum of 3 books.

If a contemporary romance author publishes a romance trilogy then it´s usually a story that can be edited into a standalone or a duet. Because there´s no world creation. There´s only repetitive events until a climax is reached and the story ends. A contemp. romance author has to come up with one hell of a brilliant story to make it into a trilogy or else it´s just a waste of paper. What many contemp. romance author´s love to do is attach novellas to their stories ( to a standalone or series ). Something like a book # 1.5 and # 3.5. These are usually additional story info that´s not mandatory for the story itself. May this be for the dedicated fans that have been asking for MORE or the author wasn´t able to let go and move on…. some authors feel their characters need a Christmas special, an Easter hunt edition, or whatever, when there´s actually no need to continue a well ended story.

I might be shot for using this example but I´m going to risk it anyways.

For instance  – The Twilight Saga by author Stephanie Meyer.

Fantasy/Paranormal / Romance. 4 main books. ( not including exclusive fan material )

For fans of the series the author has graciously published a hardcover novella, dedicated to one of the sub characters, called `The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner` book #3.5. Then, a little over a decade later the author presents the book world with `Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined` book # 1.75.

Were the added stories necessary? Probably not. For some die-hard Twilight fans, maybe. But to publish an almost identical story to the one that was published a decade earlier… That´s just kicking a dead horse. Looking for the payoff of a joke that´s long vanished around  the corner. Milking the cow  But hey…. as long as there´s a book # 1.75 and a book # 3.5 then all is good.

 

 

Then there are authors who don´t know when to call it quits with their stories. Let´s take a closer look at J. R. Ward´s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. A very popular 16 ( and growing ) book series that´s left it´s safe haven after book #10. Maybe even earlier.

Elite vampires fighting against evil, all while having beautiful raunchy sex in between shower and nap time breaks. I flipping loved those books until…. they went off course.

And here´s the problem: I ( incl. many other fans of the series ) love the original BDB. But with each new book more sub characters were introduced and the author felt those characters needed their own books as well. Before readers knew it, the story drifted away and focused on the new instead of sticking with the old.

For me- This is a clear sign for the author to move on. Create a new series. Say bye-bye to the BDB. But the author keeps going and going and going. The magic is gone and I´m not interested anymore. Especially not when a series has 16 + books.

And while we´re doing book mentions here… let´s throw Outlander in the mix, shall we?

A time – travel romance set in 1945 and 1743, by author Diana Gabaldon. This epic story will pull the socks right off of any readers feet with it´s historical accuracy and amazing characters. That is…. until the story becomes exhausting. That happens around book 5 or 6. Too many added characters, too much history, too much of everything and that makes this difficult to enjoy the books. A series with 8 books and I lost patience after book #5. Now I´m just waiting for the story to end.

 

Of course, I understand that authors have ideas and stories they need to tell. Some of those stories need lots of attention. Some of those ideas need to be put down on paper. I get that and would never prevent an author from doing their thing.

It´s just that often ( if not always ) overly large series are unnecessary. Trilogies are unnecessary. Book #2.5,  # 3.75, and even book # 0.75 is totally unnecessary.

(These are just my humble thoughts on the subject. I´d love to meet someone who thinks otherwise, just to show me the beauty of the flip side.)

Adding books to a perfectly completed standalone, duet, trilogy does not make a story greater than it already is. Unless you´re a die – hard fan and can´t get enough of said story…. then I´m more than happy you´re happy.

So, if anyone´s interested…. I´m this type of reader:

Love standalones. Enjoy duets. Like trilogies. Dislike anything that has more than 4+ book in a series. Hate added novellas.

 

 

What are your thoughts on Standalones, duets and Co.? Do you enjoy reading large series or do you ignore them? Let´s chat. ❤


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Book Series Review: Consequences #1-#4, Aleatha Romig

Book Series

Consequences

Books

Consequences ( #1 ), Behind His Eyes: Consequences ( #1.5 )  Tony´s POV,
Truth ( #2 ), Behind His Eyes: Truth ( #2.5 ) Tony´s POV
Convicted ( #3 ), Revealed: The Missing Years ( #4 )  Tony´s POV

Author

Aleatha Romig

Genre

Dark, Romance, Adult Fiction

 

 

 

synopsis book 1

Consequences ( Consequences #1 )

 

Every action has consequences.

Waking in an unfamiliar bedroom in a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols is terrified to discover that a chance encounter led her into the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings. Claire has no understanding of why she’s there, but it’s been made abundantly clear–she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences.

Learn the rules to survive.

Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive her new reality–every aspect of her livelihood depends upon the tall, dark-eyed tycoon who is a true master of deception. Driven by unknown demons, he has no tolerance for imperfection, in any aspect of his life, including his recent acquisition. Anthony may appear to the world as a handsome, benevolent businessman, but in reality Claire knows firsthand that he’s a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as you’re told, public failure is not an option, and appearances are of the utmost importance.

Captivate the captor.

To fit together the pieces of the puzzle, Claire must follow his rules. Will her plan work, or will Anthony become enthralled by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination, changing the game forever? If that happens, will either of them survive the consequences?

My Thoughts 2

An exceptional read that´ll leave a reader confused, stunned, irritated, repulsed and in awe. When I read this book ( which was back in 2013 ) I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Mental abuse is the head theme and I never, not in all the years I´ve been reading, have ever read such a proper mind – fuck romance. Yes, romance. Hard to believe after having read Tony and Claire´s story, that this series is a romance. And somewhere hidden between the mind games, abuse and controlling behavior, there is flick of romance. It´s subtle and, quite frankly, fucked up beyond words, but it´s there.

Opinions on this story go way apart. There´s hardly anyone I know who think this book is “just okay”. It´s a Love or Hate type of read and everyone has a strong opinion regarding `Consequences `. consequences

I admit- I found this book hard to take in. The Heroine made a minor mistake and she paid for her slip dearly under the hands of Tony, the Hero. His motives weren´t clear and that made him come across as an unforgiving POS who deserved a boiling hot oil bath twice a day. Claire adjusted to her new life, accepting whatever Tony handed her, and it wasn´t pretty ( or it was pretty but it felt disgusting ).

This is a slow burn story. Even the little mind fucks are slow and add up even slower. That´s exactly what makes this a captivating read. It´s a train wreck you can´t look away from.

NOTE: Although `Consequences` has been categorized as Erotica, it is not an erotica read. There is a little sex involved but the main focus is on the story.

The downside I fought through: Repetitive words. When you´re invested in a story and you get one word thrown at you all the time. That´s something I can´t stand. I´m sure there are synonyms for the word “compartmentalize”.  Why not aim to use a synonym instead of over-using one word?

The book ends with a big bang. No, wait. The end actually feels more like a hard slap across your face. I didn´t know what to feel or what to think when I finished book one. To be honest- I didn´t even know if I liked the story or not. A massive cliffhanger.

The end, alone, deserves 5 stars.


 

synopsis book 2

Truth ( Consequences #2 )

Claire survived the consequences. 

Through strength and compartmentalization, Claire Nichols captivated her captor. Though Anthony Rawlings thought he taught Claire to behave, his domination became desire, and his obsession morphed into love. Or was it? When her choices pushed Anthony’s relentless vendetta too far, Claire barely survived the consequences. 

Discover the truth.

Now, armed with new information and more questions than answers, Claire works to uncover the truth behind the dangerous game at play. As she begins anew, she must decide whom she can truly trust, especially with a new set of players on the move.

New set of rules.

With everything to lose and a manipulative game master controlling the board, Claire and Tony duel by a new set of rules. When thrust together once again, can they learn to trust each other to overcome new dangers? Or will this be Tony’s second attempt at domination? Can Claire resist the man she’d never before been able to resist? Hatred and love. Deception and truth. Old habits and new beginnings. As this real-life game of chess plays out, past sins will come to light and new secrets will be revealed. With so much riding on each move, the stakes have never been higher.

My Thoughts 2

The word “compartmentalization” is even in the synopsis. Wonderful. * eye roll *
Claire and Tony´s story continues, only this time it´s a little less nerve wrecking and a lot more exciting.

In `Truth` we get a truth, but not THE truth. consequences 2

But do we want the truth after reading `Consequences`?

As it says in the synopsis- It´s a real life game of chess and it turned out that Tony wasn´t the only one good at the game. Claire survived the consequences but she also learned from them.

What I liked most about this book ( because second installments are always deeper and exciting ) is how well-balanced everything is. Secrets surface, heart stopping events happen, a love I never thought would blossom blossomed, more characters were introduced… The story undergoes a major shift. A reader has time to appreciate new shock moments and still focus on everything else because the pace was… perfect. Plus the romance pushes through in this one, which I really enjoyed. Knowing what happened in book #1 and then seeing a relationship ( even if it´s toxic ) unfold is… weird, in an oddly positive way.

The downside: Again… compartmentalization.

I would definitely say this is the best book of the whole series because it has more action. More nail bite worthy events. More scenes that call for loud shoutings and yelling because the characters made a wrong move on the real life chess board.

This book deserves 5 stars.


synopsis book 3

Convicted ( Consequences #3 )

Stick to your convictions.

Against all odds, Claire and Tony have found their way back to one another, but it doesn’t mean a happy ever after. Not even close. Just when they seemed to have it all—love, respect, and the promise of a family—the game master exposes the truth and Claire’s world once again unravels. With old convictions wavering and past transgressions coming to light, the cards have changed and luck is not in the deck for Claire and Tony.

Abandon all assumptions.

Lost in a constant nightmare, who will save Claire from her past? From herself? Everyone has a hand to play, and now they’re playing for keeps. Everything known to be true is questioned. Motives are explained. The past is once again unearthed, and this time, secrets lurk between dreams and reality, between the past and the present.

The clock is ticking.

Time is running out on Claire…on Tony…on their happy ever after. When the final cards are played, will their unconventional love trump the opposition?

In the end, some will discover their bets were too high, and all will learn the most crucial lesson—there are always consequences for the truth.

 

My Thoughts 2

Against all odds, my ass. They should never have met in the first place.
`Convicted` ( #3 ) is my least favorite from the series as it has major time leaps.Consequences 3

Past, present, future. All three crammed into one book. Add a side story that´s connected to the actual story and you´ll find yourself spending your nights trying to keep up. I´m not a fan of time leaps because they usually don´t add value to a story ( for me ). Unfortunately, these time laps from the past to present, from present to future and back, do play a significant role in this story. You have to pay attention or else you´ll be forced to go back and reread. Then all the characters! Damn. In the end I decided to name every sub character Michael, because it was easier.

The story finds an end. But did I like how things ended? Most certainly not! Some characters were in jail, someone ended up in a mental facility, and others tried to screw others over.

This book felt like a glorified rat race.

3 stars


Informative Note

Before we continue with reviews for books #1.5, #2.5 and #4  it´s probably good to know that all three books are from Tony´s POV. All three have been published after books #1,#2 and #3 and have been read in the same order ( first books #1, #2, #3 then books #1.5, #2.5 and #4. Readers can read the books according to reading order, #1, #1.5, #2, #2.5, etc )

 

synopsis 1.5

Behind His Eyes: Consequences ( #1.5 )

What was Tony thinking? 

Control? Acquisition? Domination? Love? Behind His Eyes – Consequences explores significant scenes as well as behind-the-scenes moments from the first book of the Consequencesseries. 

Not a total re-write, this companion explores the mind of the man who thought he set the rules and delivered the consequences. 

From the beginning. 

Anthony Rawlings has the perfect world: money, influence, and power. Everything in his life is and has always been planned, executed, and predicted… until Claire. How long can he deny what is right before him? Experience the rare opportunity to see this esteemed man’s world change, from behind his eyes. 

It is always darkest before the light. 

Through significant scenes, experience the dark journey into the mind of the man who believes that he controls everything yet controls nothing. Share his thoughts as glitches are overcome and accidents are survived. 

For the avid reader of the Consequences series, it is recommended that this companion be read after Consequences, Truth, Convicted, and Revealed for more insight into the man who: 

“Once upon a time, she signed a napkin that he knew was a contract. As an esteemed businessman, he forgot one very important rule. He forgot to read the fine print. It wasn’t an acquisition to own another person as he’d previously assumed. It was an agreement to acquire a soul.” — Aleatha Romig, Convicted

 

My Thoughts 2

I usually stay far away from additional POVs because, most of the time, they never add any quality to a story. It´s just a ” what he / she / the neighbor thought”.

So, why did I decide to read ` Behind His Eyes: Consequences`? My ex- co – blogger urged me to read it. This book wasn´t your typical POV swap. So, I trusted her and she did not disappoint. Or, the author did not disappoint. behind his eyes

Throughout the first 3 books I kept asking myself ( and the book ) ” What the hell is wrong with that guy?”. Well, in `Behind His Eyes` my question was answered. He wasn´t just a sick bastard. He was a sick bastard who was on a mission. When a powerful, influential man has an idea then you can bet his ideas are well structured and thought through.

Of course, the story is the same except for Tony. A reader gets the chance to see what goes on in that beautiful twisted head of his. And I can tell you- It was worth it. I can´t say I fully understood his screwed mind – set but it truly was entertaining. Personally, I would have killed the bastard… but I´m just a reader. And Tony isn`t real ( Thank God for that ).

5 stars

 


synopsis 2.5

Behind His Eyes: Truth ( Consequences # 2.5 )

 

Truth is relative.

By delivering the consequences, Anthony has proven he is a man of his word. With one promise complete, he must face the truth of his emotions regarding Claire Nichols. Is it too late? Can a man who had never been forgiven accept forgiveness? Can that man forgive? 

Not a total re-write, this companion explores the thoughts of the man who discovers that the truth is not always what it seems. 

Secrets exposed.

As past sins and motivations are revealed, Behind His Eyes Truth explores the recurring questions: What was Tony thinking? Who can he trust? Through significant scenes and behind-the-scenes moments, learn how Tony’s well-designed existence is incomplete. 
The acquisition of a soul. 

Experience the journey into the mind of the man who slowly realizes that there is more to life than money and power. Witness his thoughts as his control is not only challenged but lost, and as he comes to terms with the new truth. 

 

My Thoughts 2

Again, same story only told from Tony´s view. There´s not much I can say that I haven´t said before. `Behind His Eyes: Truth` is a great story, weird characters, confusing and frustrating.behind his eyes truth

Tony does have a “I found Jesus” moment and thankfully, that lasts. He´s still a calculating bastard, even if his actions are more explained and his twisted mind slows a little.

4 stars


 

synopsis 4

Revealed: The Missing Years ( Consequences #4 )

The unexpected fourth novel of the Consequences series, REVEALED: The Missing Years is…

Readers saw what happened on that fateful afternoon at the Rawlings Estate and heard about the aftermath. This fourth novel of the series is told through the men in Claire Nichols’ life and fills in the gap of time that was only previously mentioned. Like dominoes falling in a line, Revealed allows readers to experience the shocking repercussions one by one, and witness their effect on everyone in the game.  

Share the struggle as Anthony Rawlings fights for what is his as the crashing consequences of his past threatens to change his world forever. Join Harrison Baldwin as he discovers the truth that threatens his beliefs, and John Vandersol as he come to terms with his revelations. Witness as Phillip Roach decides with whom his loyalties lie, and Brent Simmons demonstrates the meaning of friendship—no matter the cost. 

Readers of this series survived the Consequences, learned the Truth, and know who was Convicted, but that is not all. Do not assume that Tony and Claire’s story is complete, because beyond the conclusion of Convicted there is more to be REVEALED

 

My Thoughts 2

I wasn´t too keen on having the missing years revealed. Yet, I still found myself reading the last book in the series. Why? Beats me. Maybe because I thought I´d find closure? I guess I´ll never find the energy to want to find that one out.

I wouldn´t say `Revealed: The Missing Years ( #4 ) was a complete waste of my time but in the end… I felt that I didn´t need it.

3 stars.

 



 

Would I recommend this series? Yes and no. Yes, because it´s really gripping and will evoke all sorts of emotions from a reader, no matter if they´re positive or negative. A reader will feel. No, because this series does have strong triggering topics. Mental and physical abuse are the loudest themes. And this is coming from someone who has a high tolerance level regarding these themes. To be read with caution.

Would I reread this book? No. As much as I liked feeling every available emotion known to mankind, I cannot find the energy to have another go with this series. It´s mentally exhausting and I just want to kill the Hero.


The Covers – 3 stars.

The covers aren´t for me. Especially the covers for #1.5, #2.5 and #4. Those eyes look a little creepy and feel out of place. I think the author would have been better off changing color themes.

 

The Story – 5 stars.

How to keep this short and sweet? This is one fucked up mental job romance that´s worth reading. I never thought I´d find myself saying I fully enjoyed a screwed and twisted romance like this one.

The Characters – 4 stars.

Aside from Tony being a brilliant mastermind with major issues I found Claire to be just as multi – faceted. Some of the additional characters could have stayed away from the big picture, though.

My emotional state after finishing this series- Exhausted. Pooped. Emotionally drained.

 

This series can be found online or in a bookstore near you!

 

Instagram Book Feature Morgana´s Book Box

 

 

Review- Play On by Samantha Young

Book Description

Nora O’Brien chased a dream from Indiana to Scotland, so sure it was the right thing to do. Three years later she was left in her adopted country with nothing to her name but guilt and regret.

Until Aidan Lennox entered her life.

Older, worldlier, a music producer and composer, the sexy Scot should never have made sense for Nora. But somehow, in each other, they found the light they were looking for, the laughter and the passion—the strength to play on despite their past losses.

But when life dealt Aidan another unlucky hand, instead of reaching for her he disappeared. The agonizing loss of him inspired something within Nora. It fired her spirit— the anger and hurt pushing her forward to take control and reach for her dreams.

Finally pursuing a career on stage while she put herself through college, everything is how Nora wants it. She’s avoiding heartbreak and concentrating on her goals.

Sounds easy but it’s not. Because Aidan is back. And for some reason he hates Nora.

He’s determined to be at war with her. And she has absolutely no idea why.

My Thoughts

Samantha Young is my go-to author. When I´m in need of a gut twisting romance I always think of the author first.

`Play On` did not disappoint me. I´m a total confused mess when it comes to keeping track of new releases or even stalking authors. I´m always late when finding out the author published something new. I don´t know how late I was with `Play On` but it didn´t matter. I´m so glad I didn´t miss this one completely.Play On

I won´t bore you with my own synopsis or any spoilers but I will say this:

If you love the author´s work then you´ll definitely like this one as well. If you love a slow grow romance where the characters have their own demons to tackle while finding love then this story is for you!

`Play On` is emotional. Heart breaking and heart mending at the same time.

I know some readers have a problem when characters have big age gaps. If you feel like you belong to that group and can´t stomache a 12 year age difference then I advise you to skip this read. Personally, age gaps don´t bother me. I like to read about a struggle ( if there is one). I´m a firm believer in young people having a beautiful old mind and older people who are older but young at heart. Love it. That´s what I got with `Play On´..

The only issue I have with this story was the Heroine, Nora. I liked her but that poor girl had no confidence what so ever. That usually leads to a character constantly questioning their own self-worth and that get´s slightly annoying with time. I would have liked for her to have more backbone despite the issues she´d dealt with before she met Aidan.

Besides Nora, the rest of the characters were fab. All loving, caring, fierce figures who were super engaging and interesting.

The end of the story didn´t knock me off my feet but it was still good.

All in all a great read. I´m looking forward to read the next book!

Would I reread this book? Yes. Probably.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. This is a must have for Samantha Young fans. It´s also a great read for romance lovers.

The Cover – 5 stars (It´s playful. It´s soft on the eye. It reflects the story. I think it´s great.)

The Story – 4 stars ( Nothing I haven´t already read before but since I like the author´s writing I enjoyed it alot.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Nora was a small thorn in my thumb.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Happy.

I´m giving `Play On` ( Play On #1) by Samantha Young 4 out of 5 starsstars14

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Review- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Description

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart .

My Thoughts

A good read, but not something I would go nuts over.

I hate to say this- It´s another bold duplicate of past popular stories I´ve read before.

The only difference was the writing style, which was (in my opinion) rather great.

Victoria Aveyard´s storytelling ability is remarkable and so catchy… I really had no troubles what-so-ever with anything. The complete story was well-balanced.

So what was my problem with the story? Well, for one- I´m not a huge fan of dystopian. I have to be completely convinced before I even go near anything sci-fi-ish / dystopian book. The synopsis sounded great, though, and the hundreds of instagram features convinced me enough. so I thought I´d give it a go. And the story was…okay. But not okay enough for me to give it a full rating.

`Red Queen` ( Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard wasn´t my cup of tea.Red Queen

I liked everything except nothing tickled me senseless. Nothing about the story flashed me nor did I feel the moments that were supposed to be nail-bite-worthy. I didn´t like the story enough.

Maybe the reason for that were the main characters and how they were portrayed. Mare / Mareena ( Heroine ) felt an awful lot like Katniss from The Hunger Games. Not a complete unlikable character but there were definitely moments when I was thinking „Okay Katniss, time to reel it in. Let Mare take over again“ . Mare was strong, foolish and in sometimes even a little annoying.

Mare, the Red, became some sort of a prodigy. Not human nor Silver. Something in between. Something everyone feared because no one understood what Mare was but they knew she was powerful, more than some of the other Silvers who carried special abilities ( and there were quite a few Silvers who had some badass moves ). But then again, the Silvers knew what Mare was. They used her. Tricked her. Played her and everyone else. By „they“ I mean the Royal family and by „everyone else“ I´m referring to the many Silver Houses, Silver folk and Reds.

Yes. The `Red Queen` is political. Lots of mind games, upholding etiquette, keeping secrets, lies, spies and everything else. And in the middle of politics you can even spot a romance. It´s subtle, but it´s there and it´s also good.

The story as a whole is more of a „this is an unfair world and I´m going to play the chosen one and try to make everything better again.“ story. Right the wrongs and create peace.

As I´ve said- It´s a good story but not really what I was hoping for.

`Red Queen` is the first installment in the Red Queen series. I think it´s safe for me to say that I won´t be continuing the series. For me- The story ends with book #1. There isn´t enough interest on my part.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would. I can see many YA, dystopian fans gushing over this story. It has a strong Heroine and great Hero(s).

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

The Cover – 5 stars ( Absolutely brilliant. Love the crown & blood and the stark contrast of the white and red. Very eye catchy.)

The Story – 3 stars ( an okay read.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( Practically perfect but a little too similar to other popular fictional figures. Cersei= the Queen, Mare= Katniss, etc. )

My emotional state after finishing this read: Indifferent.

I´m giving `Red Queen` ( Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard 3 out of 5 stars.

stars-16

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de