Monday, November 17, 2014

Saving Poughkeepsie (The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood #3) by Debra Anastasia

ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review

The last installment in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series, Saving Poughkeepsie, was a bittersweet read for me. I’ve been a fan of this series and it’s cast of off the wall characters since I was first introduced to Blake and his endless tally of Livia’s smiles. My affair with this tale started on a train platform and after a long, drama filled journey, it ended with the love and devotion of three men – brothers not of blood, but of heart, soul and circumstance.

Blake and Livia are the most adorable couple. Livia, always the loving wife and mother, grew stronger and sweeter. Blake, forever the gentle poetic soul, evolved into a more fierce and protective man. I must confess out of all the brothers, he is my favorite. The way he loves his family, the tenderness within his soul and the way proclaims his love for Livia is magical. I will always hold his character near and dear to my heart.

Cole and Kyle – their journey was not an easy one and I connected with their pain and longing for a family.  Cole’s character shines through in this last episode. I adored the way he remains forever faithful and optimistic, despite the mountainous challenges life presents, by gleaming with hope. Where as Blake stole my heart, Cole touched my soul. And Kyle, her witty personality adds levity into the dark storyline with her sarcasm. Here, she matures into a woman who embraces her family.

The man with the plan…the one and only, Beckett. “Becky” is as crazy as ever, perhaps even more so.  He is incredibly tenacious in his role as protector of his brothers, family and Eve. There is much to admire when it comes to Beckett, regardless of the fact that he is a criminal and vigilante. He and Eve are quite the pair. Their passionate relationship, explosive and consuming, made for some pretty hot and heavy love scenes.

Beckett’s character underwent a tremendous transformation within this series.  From an out of control punk, to a man who takes control in steering his family on a better path, he is almost gallant in his efforts. Almost being the operative word, since his ways are felonious. I admired his loyalty, his big-hearted nature and the sheer lunacy he brings into the storyline.

Eve is the perfect match for all that is Beckett and one hell of a tough broad. I like a woman who is fearless and has big balls. She’s no wishy-washy annoying chick. Eve, like all the main characters, is a survivor. She had many tragedies to overcome and worked her way through them spectacularly.

There are some dynamic secondary characters I fell for as well, like Ryan and Dr. Hartt. Ryan’s banter with Beckett was hysterical as well as his ongoing hijinks with crazy Trish. Dr. Hartt caused my heart shatter into a thousand pieces and brought me to tears. There were some I bitterly despised - Rodolfo and Nicholas – two venomous bastards that I wanted to gut.  They both added high levels of angst and majorly pissed me off.

Debra Anastasia has a unique writing style that incorporates elements of dark humor, drama, desire and emotion. The snarky characters she created grew on me. Her tales run high on angst, and the plot never ceases to twist. I must admit there was one particular intense moment that I could not move past. My heart severely ached and was broken, leaving me with a feeling of gloom for the remainder of this read. It is a testament to Anastasia’s talents that her words affected me so emotionally. All in all, The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood was a great series and an amazing experience for me.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons #2) by Christina Lauren

Received from author in exchange for an honest review 

One drunken wild and crazy night in Vegas brought Harlow and Finn together as husband and wife. The morning after brought them back to their senses and they parted ways as soon to be divorcees. However, the sparks they ignited never faded. Their paths soon cross again and they discover that despite being from two different worlds, they share an insatiable desire to consume one another. Both burdened with problems in the real world, they decide to seek comfort within their shared passion and off the charts unbelievably hot sex. Harlow and Finn definitely know how to distract one another from the difficulties life dealt them by getting deliciously kinky. The more they hook up, the more they realize their relationship isn’t just about raw, animalistic sex.

Harlow’s a likable female lead with just the perfect amount of sassiness and tough girl edge. She’s witty, smart, sultry and sarcastic. I loved that she was not a push over, wishy-washy character. She may be brutally honest at times, but underneath her tough as nails shell, lays a heart of gold. She's the type of girl who would do anything to help family and friends in time of need. Harlow soon learns that she cannot fix everyone's problems, especially when it comes to a man like Finn.

“It’s you,” he whispers, and then bends to kiss my hair.
It’s you.
And suddenly, I’m on an epic mental bender, imagining all of the things he could have meant when he said it. It takes no time for him to clarify, though.
“I want to be good to you.” He rolls me to face him, and kisses me once before admitting, “I’m just fucking wild for you.”

I have to confess I was a little leery jumping into this story. I fell in love with sweet adorable Ansel, and Finn had his work cut out for him to be held to Ansels high standards. It didn’t take long before all things ‘Finn’ infatuated me. I had my doubts in the beginning because he gave me a cold and standoffish type of vibe. I got over it real fast and holy hell did he sizzle! His panty melting dirty talk and masterful use of ropes made me an instant Finn fan girl - total Alpha male who is snarky as well as domineering I could not resist his charms. He had total control in the bedroom and Harlow wasn't the only one swooning over the scrumptiously hot, rough sex that was mind blowing and scorching. OMG, Finn’s filthy mouth was such a turn on. He's the perfect type of man Harlow needs to surrender her will and satisfy her sexually.

“Has anyone ever spanked you, Ginger Snap?”

As hot as he isFinn is stubborn and not really an easygoing type of guy. Just like he is in the bedroom, Finn's character burns with such intensity. As much as I loved him, he managed to severely piss me off big time. (Frustrating me to the point where a wanted to fling my kindle). Yes, his stubbornness and pride caused him to go total "asshole" on Harlow. She may have crossed a fine line during a particular situation, but her heart was in the right place. Finn acted like a huge jerk, causing some tension in the story line. (Don’t get me wrong I loved angst and all the emotions it stirred in me). Harlow, bless her soul, has a forgiving heart - a little too kind for my liking. But in the end, I adored this couple and appreciate all the hardships they experienced.

Dirty Rowdy Thing, in fact this entire series, took me by surprise. I quickly became a fan of the storytelling duo that is Christina Lauren, their refreshing stories and dynamic characters. I like the dual points of view, the AMAZINGLY hot sex scenes, the characters' chemistry and the intensity of their romance. I totally fell in love with this series and cannot wait to see what Oliver has in store for us.