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.

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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.
description
(…) 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
description
“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.
description
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?

At Peace by Kristen Ashley

It’ll be really hard to write a review of this book since it’s one of my favorite love stories ever, so I’ll just mostly tell you a bit about what it did to me. Lets see.

I’ll start with admitting I have it on my cellphone and every once in a while (actually, often) I’d find my self re-reading bits of it, my favorite ones and discovering new ones I love, or ones I didn’t remember and then I end up reading the whole thing again because it is completely worth reading a bunch of times. That, being said by someone who doesn’t re-read books even twice.

We have this long complicated, page turner, sleep depraving story. Vi has a stalker and since he killed her husband now she’s living in the ‘Burg with her two daughters. She is the neighbor of all things hot Joe Callahan (who is part huge, part hot, part super hot, part Italian, part broken). She gets on and off, and hot on and hot off again with him. Has cool people like Feb and Colt living down the street. Also she has a fling with sexy, sweet Mike. Her stalker keeps lurking around all through it. Her brother was an instant fall hard for me too. And a bunch and hundred other things that happen in this book. But mostly, for me, is about Joe falling for Vi and getting inside her, Kate and Keiry’s lives.

I am, to this day, madly in love with Joe Callahan. He is the epitome of alpha, embodiment of every sexual fantasy I’ve had, and he is essentially everything I wish for in a man. In fact I get utterly frustrated now when I read books and the heroes are often too much of a pussy (pardon my french). Yes, he is mostly a douchebag for half the book or so, but he had good reasons and he actually really felt deep for her. For me, it was easy to love him from the star despite his jerkness because KA gave us his POV and I got him, I really did even if I didn’t agree with how he acted.

Vi, well I can’t say I agree with many decisions she made, but I kinda got her and she was straight forward all along so I let most of them fly. Her kids, wow, made me want to have sisters. Joe, I love you. Bea and her husband, super sweet. Their story of Tim and Vi younger and building a family with their support brought tears to my eyes (well, most o this book did that to me, but just saying).

I don’t know what else can I say about this book. It is profoundly emotional, it wraps you tight around the characters and their lives, to a point where you feel like you are somehow a part of it too. It had many, many ups and downs. Sweet moments, sad ones, laugh at loud and want-to-moan-at-loud ones (ups), some where you want to rip people head’s off, and not one single page is boring or skippable. It is a contemporary romance book masterpiece.

A book that set unconscious standards for me, and now makes me struggle to like another love story.

If I could give it ten stars I would. LOVED IT!

From Rags by Suzanne Wright

OMG what a greeat read! I absolutely loved it!

This book is pretty much everything the description tells you it is, a hot funny romance between Jaxx, such a strong heroine I think I wanna be her, and Connor, such a clueless alpha male I indeed want him for myself. 

Jaxx and Connor lived together on foster care 8 years ago, she loved him and she was pretty much everything to him, but then he had to leave when his 16 birthday came along and life went awfully different for the two. When Connor left, he became a F1 driver, but 2 years later when Jaxx did, after filling a full bag of crap that happened to her, she still lived in the lowest areas of London. But things changed, she became a model and soon their reunion made their senses explode. It all goes on between being fuck buddies to becoming friends again. Or somewhat that.

Jaxx is probably one of my favorite h ever! She is strong in every sense of the word and yet she has this sweet side to her, she has a foul mouth but what an honest and funny one it is, she does not take crap from any one and is so down to earth is a bath of fresh air.
Connor, is the classic rich playboy, a straight forward commitment phobe, but oh what a loveable character he is! Of course the only girl that gets to him is Jaxx, precisely the only one who asks him to “sod off” repeatedly.

He has been possessive towards her since they were teenagers, but things had changed and Jaxx doesn’t want him in her life, so they had to work with the other’s apprehensions. I loved the honesty of both Connor and Jaxx! They both say to each other what they want and what they won’t give. They fight, they make up, they want each other, they crave the other, but Connor refuses to settle down and Jaxx refuses to fall for him, again, and get hurt, again. 
But well, they get together, things steam up, an ex girlfriend enters the picture, a stalker gets involved, and the great second characters make it all more fantastic!

I really don’t want to spoil the book, so the only thing you should know is that it’s a more than worthy read full of sparks, funny moments, sad memories, struggles, and love; a light book with deepness to it.
A total 5 stars for me, but then again, I’m a sucker for this kind of books 

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.

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

You can find this review on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/550118410

March 02 to 03, 2013

 

Ok so before I grabbed this one I actually checked reviews, and I was surprised to see everyone either loved it or hated it. In fact, I relate to almost every rating two of my GR friends give, and each of them had a total different opinion about it. Needless to say, that intrigued me enough to pick it up (not to mention the title, I mean “beautiful bastard”, really? <3<3)

So yesterday I started it, and at first I didn’t like Bennett all that much, I was bothered by the fact that Chloe supposedly hated him but still opened up her legs wide for him, and some other stuffs. However, I was liking where this two characters were going. I was even flushing with the sex, I must admit, and though the whole book did seem like a amateur written porn, I was liking it. Mostly because I was in the mood for exactly this kind of read: all things sex.

We get both Bennett and Chloe’s point of view through the whole book, and even if I liked that at times, it wasn’t necessary all the time.. Though, it did help me to understand her train of thought at specific times I needed it, and to fall for Bennett as he realized (and expressed!!! Yes, kudos to a man who actually speaks his mind and heart) his feelings for her. That being said, it made the book be too long for my liking.

I had a few overall issues. 
*Like the fact that Bennett’s voice wasn’t too believable for me, I mean, what man recognizes he’s feeling 4 different things at once and the reasons behind each, or over-analyzes everything he does, etc?  Maybe it would’ve been better and more real if his POV had been written in the second person instead of the first. 
*At the end it was tooo mushy mawkishness for me. Specially since it somehow came across as if he was more sweet that Chloe. I get girls like their man to be loving, but I have a bigger weakness for badasses who are only so at specific timeless times.. *sigh* -So, no, it may probably work for you but I’m pointing out what did not for me. 
*Also, the breaking point was sooooo silly. It wasn’t a plausible enough excuse for me to have them feel ashamed of their relationship because of why they said they did. At points, ok I got it, but not completely. You know? Well, no you don’t. 

Anyway, all that being said I liked this book, and before thinking there’s something wrong with my “standards” I made up my theory of how books are completely subjective, stronger. 

Try it out ppl, you may like this Beautiful Bastard!