Sunday, January 21, 2018

BOOK REVIEW LJ Shen's MIDNIGHT BLUE


MIDNIGHT BLUE
LJ SHEN
Release date: January 17, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimited at time of release

There are times when writing reviews can be tricky. How does one adequately express their thoughts and feelings on a book and make them clear? I find myself in this odd situation with LJ Shen's Midnight Blue.

This is a rockstar romance telling the story of Alex Winslow, British rocker extraordinaire, a musical powerhouse that has turned to drugs as his coping mechanism for dealing with the pressures of life, and Indigo "Indie" Bellamy, a young, creative seamstress, dealing with the aftermath of her family being destroyed a few years earlier.  Indie is hired as Alex's sobriety companion during a three-month tour. It's during this time that their tumultuous relationship develops into something so much more.

LJ Shen is without question, one of the most talented storytellers in the romance genre today. Midnight Blue is a strong read that will make the reader want to read straight through. It is very reminiscent of Vicious, the first book in her Sinners of Saint series. The plot twists, while unique, weren't surprising.

 I had a very hard time finding redemption in Alex. I wished readers had insight into his fight for sobriety and the daily challenges he faced as a sober man. I will say that I fully recognize current societal issues surfaced for me too while reading Midnight Blue. While I understand that fiction is just that, fiction, it's sometimes hard to ignore reality when reading. Alex's constant need to throw his power around was a bit much for me.

Overall this is a standalone read that should not be overlooked.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Alessandra Torre’s HIDDEN SEAMS

http://amzn.to/2DlGY2J



HIDDEN SEAMS
Alessandra Torre
Released: January 18, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimited on release day

Double entendres: literature  ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation (Merriam-Webster)

No, I don’t normally begin a review with a vocabulary lesson, but “double entendres” played on a continuous loop for me as I moved through Alessandra Torre’s sixteenth release, HIDDEN SEAMS. 

I admit to only having read her previously released, HOLLYWOOD DIRT, a sweet romance set in the south. And while I know of her darker romantic thrillers, I didn’t know what to expect from an author that wrote such a fun and funny romantic story. What did I get? A unique, clever, fast-paced romance that is more than skin deep.

This is the story of Marco Lent, a fashion mogul willing to be someone he’s not to achieve fame, and Avery McKenna, a good-hearted thief willing to be the cold-hearted bitch to find the missing piece in her life. When the two combine, they can’t deny the truth of who they are, what they want, and that fate has put them together. 

Marco and Avery are perhaps two of the most unique protagonists I’ve read in a long time because I had an instant reaction to them: I liked them and I disliked them. I’ve never had that mixed reaction to characters before. I liked their “real” selves, so much of the inner dialogue. The personas they took on for those around them were difficult for me, though I understood why they did. 

While the end felt a tad rushed to me, it’s fully satisfying and not completely what I expected. 

Hidden Seams is a full-length, standalone novel. 



Thursday, January 11, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: BEGIN AGAIN Anthology



BEGIN AGAIN Anthology
A.M. Johnson, Stephanie Rose, J.A. DeRouen,
Ginger Scott, Anne Jolin, Ariadne Wayne,
Emery Jacobs, M. Andrews, K.P. Haigh,
Kay Renee, Maria MacDonald, Faith Andrews,
K.K. Allen, Mara White, Autumn Grey, 
Josephine Brierley, Amanda Richardson,
Stephie Walls, Jaci Wheeler, Stephanie Alba,
and L.A. Taylor
Foreword by Rebecca Yarros 
Released January 11, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimted at time of release






I sometimes find it challenging to start a review. For a book that I loved, it can be almost impossible for me to put into words all that I feel. So, bear with me as I try to explain all the reasons the 22 authors who contributed to the BEGIN AGAIN anthology are my heroines. 

Longtime followers of my reviews know that in August 2017 I shut down Angelically Devilish Book Blog. I stepped away from the book community, from most people, from life, as I was struggling with severe depression. I found myself accused by those I considered friends as not reciprocating the friendship, being selfish, seeking attention. What these people didn't know, what most people didn't know, was how hard I was fighting to open my eyes each morning. Leaving my bed to take a shower and brush my teeth were overwhelming. There was no effort in doing my job. One business collapsed and the other, the one I worked years building, was on the verge. My life was dying around me, and I didn't care. 

Feeling heartbroken, rejected, used, dismissed, embarrassed, worthless, and lonely, I realized I was at the bottom and had to find a way out of the darkness. I admit, suicide flash in my thoughts for one brief second, but I couldn't do that to my mother or my dogs (and I live for my dogs). It took several visits with therapists, a few unconventional ones, but I finally found one who worked for me. 

Okay, so why am I including this in a book review? Because this book contains 22 stories about people like me. People who have found themselves, for various reasons, in darkness at some point in their lives, but gratefully found the help and just as important, the HOPE needed to get out of bed each day and tackle life. Because no matter how far they've fallen, no matter how deep into the hole they've crawled, they've learned, through the love and support of family and friends, there's always a way up and out, and back into the light. 

These authors, these incredibly open, honest, brave, generous, caring authors, in 22 stories, shine a light on a subject few want to discuss: mental illness. This may be the greatest taboo of all, especially in the world of romance. There's no better genre of literature to tackle such a difficult subject because each story ends with a happily ever after, they end with hope. And when you can't see any good anywhere, one story with hope is what is needed. 

So thank you, Amanda Johnson, for bringing together these authors and these stories. Thank you, Rebecca Yarros, for your honesty. Thank you for showing that we are not victims, not seeking attention, but only seeking connection and needing to make others aware. We are seeking light, love, hope, and a chance to begin again from the darkness.

All proceeds from the sale of BEGIN AGAIN will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Author K. Webster's MY TORIN

MY TORIN
K. Webster
Release date: January 9, 2018

Happy 2018! Are you ready to kick off the year with great reading? Let me just get to the point: Kristi Webster's MY TORIN not only will make my list of top reads of 2018 (yep, declaring that right now on the 8th day of January), but it makes my top list of ALL TIME READS!

I've read stories that have left me stunned in the best possible way after reading them, but it's rare to read a story (love, sci-fi, non-fic) that has left me stunned and grateful. I'm grateful to live in a world where an author has taken time to show that ALL are capable and deserving of love. She's written a fictional character so beautiful and complex in Torin, but he is so deeply grounded in reality. I'm grateful eyes will be opened, and horizons will expand after readers meet him. And I believe a few readers will be changed.

There's a very personal element to this story for me, one that I hope will happen for those I love as it did for Torin. To say any more will reveal too much and spoil this incredible book. I will say I'm a ginormous Kristi Webster fan and she has outdone herself! Brava!


http://amzn.to/2qCeZqq


BOOK REVIEW Autumn Grey's DESOLATE

desolate (Grace trilogy #1) Autumn Grey Release date: September 21, 2018 Have you ever given thought to the voices in your head or th...