The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

This is not a story about how two lovers reunite.

This is a story about love, several kinds of it, and how its proven that even under the most defying of times, true love is everlasting and it can conquer all.
I’m giving this book five stars because such a beautifully told story could only get five out of five.
However, this was too heartbreaking for me most times. I don’t know if it gave me hope in love as much as it broke me. Several times. Harshly.

I wanted to make an extensive review explaining this book and how it made me feel, but not only am I too emotionally spent right now, I also realize now why there are not many long reviews out there. This book has so much to it, it feels like such a truthful story with so much depth, I could not help feeling like a terrible gossip if I revealed even just some little piece of it. Specially, because this is the love of a lifetime, and the only way to fully grasp everything that comes with it, is to read it by yourself from the star.

I don’t know if I loved it or totally despised it, I feel that epilogue beguiled my sense of judgment cause I was about ready to give it one star and hate life until it all worked out and I had a really good HEA..

I really wish I get the time to write a proper review on it soon, because it definitely deserves it; at least on how I felt reading it.

But for real, I took this story to heart, maybe too much so, and I’m off to sleep it off and remind my self it’s fiction- Although I do believe is more realistic “fiction” than a simple made-up romance novel. One cannot simply create and evoke all those emotions without having been through them  at one point or another. I’m just glad I read the author is also riding her own happy wave!

Kudos, bravá, aplausos! How marvelous it is when a simple book catches you by surprise and touches places of your soul without your full consent, and you end up adoring the experience, no matter how dreadful it felt at times. Totally surpassed my expectations.

Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank


“What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.”

One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three.
Bukowski once wrote, find what you love and let it kill you.
Tick, tick, tock. Tick, tick, tock. Tick, tick, tock
~ ~
We were two people who were perfectly suited
and met at exactly the wrong time.

Addison:
It was those eyes. They held secrets they shouldn’t have.
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(…) the only semblance of peace for me was with someone I wasn’t allowed to have.

Grayson:
While Grayson brought peace and calm to my life, I brought worry and chaos to his
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“You’re going to be the death of me.”
Life is full of ironies, because with him, I’d never felt more alive

Them?
‘It wasn’t good, and it wasn’t evil—it was just love.
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It wasn’t wrong. No—it was just misunderstood.

Ultimately:
I had nothing I could say to comfort her because no matter what she wanted, the wheels were in motion. Nothing could stop the inevitable from happening.
There was no escaping it—my crimes had finally caught up to my passion.

And I cried like a baby through this because:
Our choices tore us apart, and my decision led me here.

I wanted to give this one a full review, but two things are stopping me:

Before I started this I read a bunch of cryptic reviews and I was pissed and kept putting it off because everyone was talking about the ending of this book and giving all sorts of sad-ending signals.
BUT
Now that I finally put my big-girl pants on and read it, I realize I can’t spoil it for anyone.
YOU SHOULD GO A READ THIS WITHOUT MUCH TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO GET. Because what you do get is B r i l l i a n t  and worth the leap of faith.
And second, if you know me you know I would have definitely not rated this or loved this so much if it wasn’t WORTH IT (in other words: going through so much anxiety and hurt is, at the end, not in vain)
And, I, ladies and gentlemen, absolutely loved this. With every tear, every sob, every heart-pain, every feeling of despondency, of doomness.. Books that make you feel (not only hots from Ella’s writing but actual feels) and! Think, analyze, question life… Those are the books that ultimately stay with you forever.
I’m not saying this was the best book I’ve read, but it was exceptional.

We always have a choice. The real decision is—do we pick right, or do we pick wrong? Or do we float around in the grey area, somewhere in between?

The Dark Light of Day by T.M. Frazier

 

After all, we all have darkness within us.
Some of us more than others.

I don’t know if to give this book five stars for Magnificent, or one for TOODANGMUCH

The book stars slow, with a semblance of your regular dark novella.. But as you go on you find yourself with an event that makes you loose all faith in humanity. Period. I knew it was going to be dark, but those twists just, plain, fuck you up in the head and in your heart.

Bout The Book:
This is the story of a broken girl, destroyed mentally spiritually and physically by the hands of her own parents and other happenings in her life. She can’t even stand touch from other people because it burns her.
The things she has gone through are straight out of some sick nightmare.

And how along her way, a path marred by awful events, she meets this blue eyed badboy Jake.

Jake, a boy strongly wronged by his father, but more than that: a person, a guy, a man, who decided to be a killer. Not so much in the romantic I-have-a-twisted-hero-complex variety, but more in the It-makes-me-feel-good-to-kill-bastards sense.

I fell asleep that night in the arms of a killer. I’d never slept better.

The perfect portrait of Jake and Abby
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(I took this image from the SmittensBookClub, they have nothing to do with my review)

Sick, twisted Abby was in love with the sick, twisted, beautiful Jake.

They have this instant connection you should be aware of. They belong.
On normal instances this is a big let down, but put yourself in their messed up shoes, and it’s understandable. It kinda fits. It makes sense.

We were just us. Broken and bruised. Fucked up and messy. And together we were everything we never thought we could be. We didn’t need sweet and gentle. I didn’t need to be coddled.
I needed Jake, and he gave himself to me just as I gave myself to him.

There are many matters in this book worth thinking about on your own and analyzing. But the main query is always:

How could broken plus broken ever equal whole?
I don’t know how. But is does.

And I should also point out, that for me this book was more about Abby and her life, what she goes through, how she deals, how she loves, how she fights, how she’s so, so strong. Her romance with Jake is like icing on a cake, a necessary up point, he’s an interesting character that gives her strength and at times reinforces her.
But over all, I feel like this is the story of how Abby, the girl from the wrong side of life, finds there is light in darkness.

~~
As I am writing this review I have to sacrifice several of my comments and thoughts in order to advise you, that if you think your heart can take it, do it. Grab this in the comfort of a secluded place in your house where you can cry and die without disruption and experience all that is Abby’ life.
It isn’t pretty, it doesn’t really give you much hope, the heartache gets deep, but in some twisted sick way sometimes we need this sort of book (like once a year) for our personal growth. To be thankful. To be aware. To feel.

After all,
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

Is there a happy ending, at least, you may be wondering?
Maybe..

I have to say:
Had I known what I know now would I have read it a first time again?
Yes. 
But, now that I did, will I pick it up again?
No.
Will I ever pick up another book from this author? 
Probably, but very carefully.

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

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really liked this book

You’ll see when I have a book with this description I assume I already know what to expect:
Short read,
Immature dramatic insecure leading lady,
Douche guy who really tries, but makes a stupid mistake concerning a model-like girl (this happens when you’re 75% through the book) and you know the rest..
And Boring sex if at all.

Even so, I took a chance and boy am I glad!
NOT ONE OF THE THINGS ABOVE HAPPENEDDDD❤❤

___

So, what the book is about:

You have Kinsley Bryant, a nineteen year old soccer star in the making, who knows what she wants and does all in her power to get it. Namely, at first: the Olympics. Later: Mr Liam Wilder.

My Kinsley
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All the hotness that is Liam Wilder:
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I know, I know, Jimmy doesnt play the same sport, but do you see that face??
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Yum.

Liam is a soccer star of its own, 25 years of sexy muscle and a really nice personality to go with it; he’s attempting to redeem his public playboy-partyboy image and that’s how he comes to be second coach to the ladies team where Kinsley is.. And needles too say, fireworks spark since the first time they meet..

But there are two things that make their attraction infeasible to work through: they have it prohibited for their coach-student position, and it could lead to both their careers sinking because of the imbecile public opinion.

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For someone who wants a soccer career above all else, you see how this is a mighty inconvinient for Kinsley.. Specially since she can’t keep her thoughts or wandering imagination out of everything Liam.. And it seems like he feels the exact same way!

Of course bitches make an appearence, namely the captain of the team: That Tara Bitch. She’s a constant plague.
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But thre are also good friends in the picture: Becca and Emily, whose banter and friendship with Kinsley is great! Relatable and funny at the same time. I looved that.
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This was longer than I was expecting but it was a nice go for the author since she tried to build up their relationship in a way we were all cheering for them instead of doubting it would work.
And I was a hundred percent supporting that love boat!

I absolutely loved how Kinsley was, how she dealt with the issues thrown her way, how she had an actual head on her shoulders, her silly-funny humor, her principles, how she gave it her all to make the Liam thing work, I really really liked her!

Liam. I mean, Liam Wilder. What can I say? He was equal times a nice guy and an alpha man. Equal parts a cool-spend time talking or partying with guy and a man you can’t keep your tongue and limbs off. He stepped up when it was needed and kept doing right by Kinsley.. I don’t think after reading this bookm there was a single thing more you could ask of him. I Loveed him 

Did I mention this book wasn’t your typical read on an alike theme? Well it isn’t. Though I’m not a fan of the paparazzi- PR issues (a big time non fan, hence the four stars)
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I overall really liked this book. It left me with a big smile on my face and many hopes and dreams and sportsy fantasies rekindled. And isn’t that what romance books are about? 🙂
I cant wait to get my hands on another book from this author.

An almost five stars!! ❤❤

Good by S. Walden

4/5 starts for me.

I know. I really know I shouldn’t give it four stars but let me explain myself.

I only read one review before going in, it dissed the whole book as being completely inappropiate, and I have to agree. Starting this book I was even like “ok, let’s just mark this as cnf” but I kept at it, and well,
It ended up being the right kind of inappropiate.

See, this is the kind of book you shouldn’t read when you are young but would love if you did; the kind you can read when your older but will hate because, well, you know better.

Let me tell you I’m really open minded; even so, I still can’t grap my head around 30something men with ten year old girls only two centuries ago, though. I’m BIG (huge) against Pedophilia, mostly because I don’t think such young children have the maturity to decide if they are in fact willing to commit emotionally and sexually to other people, especially older, more experienced ones; and those old people who try are taking advantage. Simple as that.

Even so, also, this is one of the most recurent fantasies among society, believe it or not. Being with older men or women and in some cases, being with younger girls or boys. (Second one, yuck, JS! NONONONO.) But moving on.

Now, this story will make you question such facts so don’t go all prude on me. It is not the kind of book that will rip your soul apart or make you major in psychology just from how deep it was. It is not. But some way or another it’ll make you question yourself “do you think this is appropiate” , “is what he’s doing so wrong?” , “is she a victim or is she mature enough to decide for herself?” et cetera.

You should def not read it if your moral code is too uptight, just warning you. It isn’t as explicit as an erotic novel, but there is sex and there is a relationship between a 28 year old guy and a 17 year old girl going on through the whole book. So, if you gonna puke or sue, don’t read it.

Now, for those of you who don’t mind, or are trying to understand this sort of beheavior, hell, maybe you just wanna see if it is even so wrong in this case, then definitely buy the book. I was the last two, and I was not disappointed.

I wasn’t a fan at first, but along the way I made a few decission you should know about, maybe they’ll help you understand why the 4 stars:

First: I was gonna do something that’s hard for me since I invest myself a lot emotionally in my readings, but I was gonna try and view this in the most literature-listic-ly way possible..
Secondly: I tried to zone in to my fifteen year old – twilight lover – self, and channel in my hot professor – in high school- fantasies (it was hard, I had none growing up and was always disgusted by them because well they were all really old and yuck. But I push through)
And Thirdly and most importantly: Really early, with my deep respects for the author, I realized this guy was so totally not 28. I mean, when you read it you’ll notice. He’s like a centered and professional and slightly urban-geeky 22 year old. One who is so totally made up by a mind the likes of a fifteen-twilight-lover year old, it just eliminated all kind of fear of him being a threat for me.
So I was cool with it.
Yeah, is not ideal. She was a minor, and in the eyes of many of you that automatially makes it wrong, but c’mmon, were you ever seventeen? Exactly.

So I was okey with it. I mean, yeah she was a bit (lot) of an easy mark because she was vulnerable and in deep need of love and attention. Do I think it was bad of him giving it to her? Read the story and you tell me. Do I think at some points he did use the experience advantge to push her? Read the story, and you tell me. Do I think overall because of the way the story was made out to be they just worked? Please read the story and let me know.

Anyways, I’m on to the next one, please don’t puke or sue me.

 

You can find this review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/597550997?type=review#rating_23431977

Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

I started this book on the quest for a hot bad college guy..
Boy did I go wrong!
Boy do I abso-effing-lutely do not regret it!!..
Wanna know what it is about?

Start of College. An innocent girl carying a heavy loss. A golden boy carying a heavy load. Helplessness. Beautifulness. Trying. Deep, gorgeous souls. Love. Wisdom. FEELINGS.

Oh, but I know you care
I know it is always been there
But there is trouble ahead I can feel it
You were just saving yourself when you hide it
Yeah I know you care
I see it in the way you stare
As if there was trouble ahead and you knew it
I’ll be saving myself from the ruin ..

 

That's mostly all about this book. 
Except there is so much more.
I mean, THE FEELS.

“Every time you close your eyes, regardless of where I am or where you are, I want you to remember this.” His fingers laced with mine and then he pressed my hand against my own chest. “Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, alive or dead, young or old, my heart will always be with yours. Every beat you feel against your fingertips…” His finger tapped against my chest, once, twice. “…is me calling out to you. It’s you returning the call. It’s us talking, communicating, bonding, sharing. Living — Kiersten, it’s us living. There may come a time in your life when your heart will have to beat for mine… but you’ll have to carry on if I can’t. Just like there may come a time when I have to do the same for you. But in the end, one of us will always carry on this.” He tapped again. “So there’s never a reason to be afraid of running out of time — because we keep our own.”

Do I need to say more?
Just do yourself a favor and go pick some tissues, make the time on your calendar, grab some hot cocoa, and immerse yourself in a story that both teaches you about life and yourself as it gives you warm and raw feelings without depressing you.
Wonderful work Rachel Van Dyken!

Love. Sex. Repeat. by Alessandra Torre

This is the story of a free minded woman, a woman who loves sex because it feels good and doesn’t have the same morals as most.. A woman who has two men in her life. Two men she Fucks. Loves. And repeat.
“And that is how it is. I fuck Stewart, I fuck Paul, and they both know about it. And the more I fuck one (…) the more competitive, aggressive, loving, they become. It is a constant, whirling sea of sex. I love it, and they love it.”

It wasn’t easy for me. I have a strict code of morals very different to the one Maddison so carefreely enjoys. But there is a point in every book where you don’t agree with the leading character, or things that happen are just too out of your comfort zone, that you have to decide. You get to say “Screw this, it isn’t worth the knot in my stomach” or you get to say “Oh, eff my morals, let’s see how this goes”.
At the fear of being obvious I won’t point out which one I chose this time..
And, anyway, the bottom of it is…

“I understand that you hate me. That you curse me for my greed. But if I am okay with it, and they are okay with it, how is it anyone else’s right to judge?”

So see, she is with two types of men: Stewart, the business guy; the one who’s first priority is work, and also his first love is work, and almost the only thing he does is, well, work. Paul on the other hand, is a surfer; a lay down guy, the one who is always there, who loves Maddison even more than he loves the sea.

“Their love. Paul loves me with unconditional warmth, his affection public and obvious, his arms pulling me into his warmth, his mouth littering my body with frequent kisses. Stewart loves me with a tiger’s intensity, his need taking my breath away, his confidence in our relationship strong enough to not be bothered by the presence of another man. He stares into my soul as if he owns it, and shows his love with money, sex, and rare moments of time.”

In fact, they are so different that it is Stewart who proposes her to have another boyfriend to keep her cherished, Paul, well..

“While Stewart wants me to have a second man to keep me off the streets, to keep me from being lonely, to keep me in his life – Paul accepts that I have a second man because it was what he signed up for. And now, as in the beginning, he’d rather have half of me than none of me.”

“I get that you don’t understand. That you wonder how someone could possibly be aroused, turned on by the thought of something so forbidden. But often, it is the forbidden that is the hottest, and the depraved that is the most arousing.”

You get to live the beginning of this story with flashbacks, and understand a little better what goes on with Maddison’s head, as well. You get to live their agreement. You get to experience this sort-of threesome. You get to fall or hate Stewart or Paul. You get to be Maddison at some point, because the writing floats away so smoothly you don’t even realize, she sucked you in.

But you also know it isn’t going to last forever. How can it possibly? There is the ever present question of, who will she choose? What would be the circumstance? Will they meet? Would she be able to keep them both?

“Life is too unpredictable to plan for that. What I do know, as I watch this beautiful man sleep, his face relaxed and body still, is that I love him. Just as much as I love Paul. And that, one day, will be a problem.”

This author’s writing style is pretty good. Everything just happens and you keep going. And you get the perfect amount of information about everything, the exact amount needed to understand, connect and enjoy without getting too overwhelmed, sick or mad. She is so good writing that you almost don’t care so much for the life they live, you (almost) feel like it isn’t all that bad. You may even get turned on about it (hey, it didn’t happen to me but many people did love it).

What I have failed to mention is the woman watching it all from afar. The other woman who holds both Stewart and Paul closely to her heart. The one who discovers their secret. The one who hates Maddison. The woman who will bring with her The Biggest TWIST!

There are several of those, actually. You get to choose which one is bigger. There aren’t big jumps of the heart, but you definitely will be sitting up tenser.

To be fair, and to keep it real, I have to say this was a solid four out of five stars for me. You may rest in peace, this ends with a HEA that works for everyone. At least I think so. But I had the misfortune of reading the Epilogue. I have to say, it left me with a queasy stomach. Did not like. Three stars.

I have a feeling Alessandra Torre likes to play the Bitch. Likes to be questioned and judged.
Good thing with her book at least, it all worked out for the better.