Drama, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Torn – Carian Cole

Torn Ebook CoverTorn by Carian Cole
Series: Devils Wolves #1
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: forbidden love
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He’s loved me since the day I was born.
He’s taken care of me.
He’s awakened me.

Tor. My father’s best friend.
Fifteen years older than me, he’s always been my protector. The one I should never, ever want.
But I was born to be his.

She’s always loved me.
She’s shattered me.
She’s healed me.
Kenzi. My best friend’s daughter.
I held her the day she was born, and I never let go.
She’s forbidden to me. But she’s the only one that really gets me.
We’re slowly being torn apart by everything we love.
Everything we want.
Everything we desire.

And now I want the one thing I can’t have… I want her.

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Review

Heat: ★★
Rating: ★★★

I wish you weren’t who you are…

This forbidden love romance started off strong enough. I haven’t read Cole’s Ashes & Embers series, and although this spin-off does standalone, I feel that I would have had a deeper understanding of Asher’s character in this, and his past.

I’ll start by saying that I’m a sucker for forbidden romances. I love the drama, the inevitable anguish, and frankly, I love the taboo, too. And this novel had plenty of all of that. Mixed in was a rather emotional, heartbreaking subplot, which made this a recipe for a tearjerker. And, regardless of its flaws, the strength of the story really ensured that this was an enjoyable, slow-paced read.

The characters, although interesting, didn’t quite feel fully developed for me. They occasionally acted very out of character, with Asher towards the end saying and doing things that just didn’t fit the character built up for him. Similarly, I just couldn’t quite get Tor. There were a load of supporting characters which seemed to have their own massive problems too, and a lot of this just felt like a load of build-up for the sequels, rather than having relevance to the story.

I have no past without him, and no future without him.

Where I struggled most was with the writing. To me, the dialogue felt stilted, very forced and robotic; like dialogue being used as a narrative device for both telling the story and attempting to add complexities to the characters. For example, there were conversations between characters which, although an everyday occurrence in reality, simply aren’t necessary to the plot within the pages of a book, and rather than successfully make these characters seem more real, more layered, they instead just detracted from the overall storyline. There’s a fine line between attention to detail and the everyday for realism, and just plain overloading.

Similarly, there were a few occasions where it felt like Cole was trying too much with her language, attempting to make parts sound profound. Instead, it felt like I was reading something disjointed, a patchwork quilt with none of it quite matching but being put together regardless. I would have preferred a more relaxed narrative, something more fluid and easier to read.

We all let go. We followed our hearts. And we all ended up together again.

Yes, this novel had its flaws. It was by no means perfect. Yet, despite this, I still very much enjoyed immersing myself within this world and these characters lives, enjoying the storyline, even if parts just weren’t my cup of tea. Would I read the sequel? I think so, yes. And I’d like to read the original series, too.

Drama, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: In The Spur Of Heath – Sydney Ledger

in the spur of heathIn The Spur Of Heath – Sydney Ledger
Series: In The Spur Of Heath #1
Genre: romantic drama
Themes: forbidden love, friends to lovers, love triangle, unrequited love
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Two hot men, one confused girl and a shitload of emotional trauma; Never let two men fall in love with you, girls. It never ends well…

Reese Singh – the sarcastic, strong-willed Trini girl; a little mean, a little defiant, a little indecisive and a whole lot of fun.
Heath Andrews – the Australian sweetheart, the best friend. The beautiful, harmless soul, and slightly clueless crush of Reese.
Jake Cavanaugh – the seductive, gorgeous lecturer. A witty confidante with a heart of gold. Forever immaculately dressed, and a few haunting secrets up his sleeve.

In pursuit of love from her best friend, Heath; Reese, a free-spirited Trinidadian girl who migrated to the US to pursue a degree in Film, finds herself amidst an even bigger problem when she begins having an unexpected student-teacher affair with the most attractive teacher on campus, Jake Cavanaugh.

Internally conflicted by her love for Heath & her erotic relationship with Jake, things begin to spiral wildly out of control when Jake’s illusive past comes back to haunt him & their budding relationship. Forcing the ultimate decision…

The Best Friend or The Forbidden Love Affair?

A witty erotic romance with a touch of suspense, lots of drama and a roller coaster ride of emotions.

Contains strong sexual content, adult situations and language

Review

Heat: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Rating:
⭐ ⭐

We then slowly pulled away, our eyes still locked and that’s when I realised that it was more than just acting, it was real.

I really wanted to like this. The premise was great; I am a fan of love triangles when they are done well. I am a fan of forbidden love, when it’s done well. I’m a fan of friends to lovers, when it’s done well. I’m a fan of unrequited love, when it’s done well. The problem here is that there are too many themes and romantic tropes all chucked together. It’s like choosing all your favourite ingredients and mixing them together because they should taste great. But it’s not great; the flavours don’t work together, and it’s messy.

The novel opened up with a big infodump, rather than having these character descriptions and pasts weaved seamlessly into the narrative. Yet, once it feels like you get the hang of it and know where you’re going, something completely new is thrown in – in this case, a dose of crime and suspense – and just totally ruins the suspense of disbelief. Not to mention seeming completely out of character. With some of these aspects and themes removed, this novel would have probably been half the length and twice as readable.

I was in the spur of Heath, and with being in the spur of Heath, I eventually lost myself. I broke every bit of morality left in me because I wanted to have my cake and eat it too.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrative voice. There were too many exclamations, and despite it being in first person, this seemed to be an omniscient first person narrative. If the reader needed to know these details, it would have been more effective to either use different POVs or to come out of Reese’s brain and use a third person voice instead. There was also a lot of telling, not showing – I like to be able to make my own mind up about how to feel, rather than be told that particular things are sad or infuriating

Ledger is a new author, and there is certainly potential here. The killer climax, something I was absolutely not expecting, being one example. There was simply too much here to fully be able to invest in the characters, particularly when Reese herself became unrelatable and unlikeable in how long she messed around with these two.

Erotic Romance, Erotica, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: Bad Teacher – Clarissa Wild

image

My name is Thomas and I’m always hard.
No really, that’s my last name. Thomas Hard, the pleasure is all mine … literally.
I can’t help it that my name suits me well.
You know what else suits me well? That girl sitting across the bar, with her lips right where I tell them to be. I want her, and when I want something, it’s gonna be mine.
One night. No names. No phone numbers. Just me, her, and pure pleasure.
Except, that one girl turns out to be the biggest mistake of my life.
Why?
Because I broke my cardinal rule …
Never bang a student.

Review

Title: Bad Teacher
Author: Clarissa Wild
Series: standalone
Genre: erotic forbidden romance
Rating: ****

Well this was a filthy little number. Those sex scenes were some of the hottest I have ever read, and were totally up my street. It’s rare to find humiliation included in erotic romances which aren’t of the dark variety. Yum.

I loved this. One of the best reads of 2016, the characters and relationships were wonderful, strong, confused and passionate. The arrogance of Thomas was delicious, as was the innocence of Hailey. Together they made quite a pair, and it was an easy, quick read. The ending was not a typical romance one, which made this even better. My only complaint? I wanted more. Some of the drama could have been extended to be more emotionally affecting, and have more of a place within the main narrative.

Highly recommended.

Drama, Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: A Beautiful Sin – Terri E. Laine & A.M. Hargrove

a beautiful sinTitle: A Beautiful Sin
Author: Terri E. Laine & A.M. Hargrove
Series: standalone
Genre: drama/forbidden romance
Rating: ****

This is a beautiful story, with the forbidden romance aspect largely on the back-burner for the majority. Instead, the focus is on overcoming abuse, learning to accept the past and overcoming it, alongside finding solace in one another. It’s hard at times to read, but absolutely worth it.

Despite its beauty, it was in no means perfect. I found that it was lacking slightly in emotional impact despite its subject matter, leaving me a little colder throughout that I would have liked. Similarly, there was a lot of telling, rather than showing, in the narrative. Yet this pales in comparison to the actual storyline, which was absolutely gripping. I needed to know how it was resolved, and although it uses some typical romance tropes (no spoilers here, don’t worry), it did it in a way that felt natural and important to the story and the growth of these two characters, rather than an extra bit of drama to mix into the pot for the sake of it.

A very strong, beautiful story about overcoming the demons of the past.

Reviews, Romance

REVIEW: We Shouldn’t and Yet… – Stephanie Witter

25491715Title: We Shouldn’t And Yet…
Author: Stephanie Witter
Series: standalone
Genre: forbidden romance
Rating: **** 

I found this a highly emotional and captivating read, with perfect character development and pacing. I always enjoy seeing two broken people finding comfort and love with one another, and this was no exception to that. Even the forbidden/taboo aspect of their relationship was sensitively written, without leaving that horrible sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

The angst and relationship complications felt completely natural within the plot, nothing forced at all, and flowed brilliantly. The sex scenes were insanely steamy with massive chemistry between Aideen and Jensen, and even the supporting characters were fully developed and complicated.

Highly recommended.