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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #16: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hello everyone! Here we are with another round of Top Ten Tuesday and we're discussing the Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Well. It's still early to decide, since I still have some books I need to finish. Also, compiling this list has made me realize I've read way more adult books this year than YA. Might go on and rectify that next year, just to keep a balance of things. Anyway, here's my favorite books I read in 2017 so far, in absolutely no particular order:

  1. Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione & Gena Showalter - It's really no surprise I love this book, since it has stories from three of my favorite authors. Read my review here.
  2. Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter - This is probably my bookish discovery of the year in the adult department. I absolutely adored this book and I really encourage you to read this book if you love the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and you want a new, non-fantastical, non-magical, take on the fairy tale. You can also read my review here.
  3. Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell - This was my first poetry book in way, way over a decade. It was recommended to me by Ray from The Royal Polar Bear Reads and I had a ton of fun reading it. You can read my review here.
  4. Monstress Vol 2: The Blood by Marjorie M Liu - Are you surprised that this book is here? This was my favorite comic book EVER. I may still be a newbie in this genre, but I can safely say this book will probably be my favorite comic book for a very, very long time. Read my review here.
  5. Caraval by Stephanie Garber - If there's one super popular YA book that I am thankful for giving in and reading it is this one. Caraval was fantastic and I am very excited for the next book to come out. Read my review here.
  6. Originally Human by Eileen Wilks - This was my first audiobook ever, guys. And it was everything I hoped for. It's a GraphicAudio production, and at the time I listened to it it a freebie. It reminded me of the old theater plays I used to listen to on vinyl as a kid. 
  7. The Becoming by Jeanne C Stein - This was a book I bought on impulse at a second hand store, and I am super happy I got it. It felt like one of the older urban fantasy books I used to read and I really enjoyed it.
  8. Storm of Ecstasy by Setta Jay - Although I absolutely love the entire Guardians of the Realms series, this book showed a widening of the mythology and the entire world within that series, and it reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Stargate. 
  9. Master Bits & Mercenary Bites - Girls Night by Lexi Blake & Suzanne M. Johnson - I couldn't not have a Lexi Blake book on this list. It's just not possible, guys. Okay, so the reason I loved this book is that it took two of my favorite things, mashed them up together perfectly and put them into a single book: food and romance. The recipes are fantastic, the snippets are awesome and I am keeping my fingers crossed for more of these books to come out in the future. Read my review here.
  10. Razr by Larissa Ione - This story was not only fantastic, but I feel it kinda changed the world of the Demonica series a little bit. There were some things going on in this book that I wonder what kind of effects it will have on the world of my beloved demons and angels and horsemen and horsewoman. I am definitely hoping that this will be explored in the future. Read my review here.
This is it guys. The top ten books I've read so far in 2017. I'm not ready for the year to be over though.

What about you? Which books will end up on your Top Ten list for 2017?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Book Review: Denying Ecstasy by Setta Jay

Author: Setta Jay
Series: Guardians Of The Realms #3
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance,
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 28th 2014
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: My copy
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A headstrong sassy mortal, Rain is a Mageia living in Tetartos, the Realm of beasts and Immortals. Her nights have been restless, filled with sensual dreams of a big blonde Guardian whose glares indicate he wants nothing to do with her. She is determined to shake off the odd feelings until she finds out her dream lover is responsible for her rescue from a demented Demi-God. In doing so, his touch ignites something rare and coveted. Something that she’s never anticipated… Something he should have told her about. Rain is set on making him explain and then feel the full force of her ire.

After a devastating betrayal resulting in the loss of a close friend a century ago, Dorian refuses to trust or engage with Immortals other than his Guardian family. His years of brutal fighting in the underground Immortal rings are over. He patrols the Realms and slakes his lust with the humans on Earth. Existing, but not living as he used to. He knows the moment he scents Rain that he has found his mate and after touching her he plans to avoid her as long as he can... Until he learns she is in danger. Raging, his beast demands that he go to her, but taking her from their enemy has repercussions he fully plans to escape at all costs.

For Dorian, finding a way out of mating Rain means he could succumb to madness and harm those that mean so much to him… but giving in to his burning urge for her means losing control in a heated mating frenzy sure to ignite them both and link them forever.
The story of the Guardians of the four realms of the Earth continues in Denying Ecstasy and let me tell you, it was fantastic.

Dorian is a male that's been betrayed in the past, a betrayal that resulted in the death of a really close friend. That betrayal makes him reject the fact that he might have a mate, no matter how badly resisting the frenzy hurts him or Rain. He is a very proud male that doesn't trust easily, and for that reason he tries really hard to resist being with Rain. At the same time, though, he can't help but be drawn to her. He's a very strong, very powerful, very loyal male, and because of his status as one of the twelve Guardians he can't get over the fact that his behavior, his lust, resulted in his best friend dying. He's being really hard on himself, and while his refusal to accept that he's found his mate might seem a bit exaggerated, it kinda makes sense. I saw his refusal as a form of self punishment more than him not trusting Rain, since his best friend will never get the chance to find his fated mate. Sure, there's some mistrust there on his part, since he was betrayed by a female he knew, but I still think it was more him punishing himself than anything else. I really felt sorry for Dorian, because I could tell how truly sorry he was, how much he regretted the past.

At the same time we have Rain, who is the perfect female for Dorian in my opinion. She is Alyssa's best friend, and while Rain is not necessarily jealous of her childhood friend, she's definitely feeling her mortality a little bit. I loved the fact that that she didn't let Dorian walk all over her and that she called him out a few times when she had the chance. At the same time, I also felt sorry for her, because the actions of one hateful woman had so much power over Dorian, and by extent, over Rain herself.

While the focus of the story is mostly on Dorian and Rain, we do get some Brianne and Vane scenes that I love. I kept wishing for them to be mates, because they truly love each other. So I'm really curious to see what will happen with these two.

As already used to from the first two books of the series, this book was HOT. And I do mean steamy, guys! The immortals in this book are sexual creatures and the mortals that are mated to them are just as affected by the mating frenzy as the immortals themselves. So do keep that in mind.

There were a few things going on in this book that made me very, very curious to find out what's next for the Guardians and the world in general. I like the way this story is going and I cannot wait for more.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Book Review: Love And Let Die by Lexi Blake

 Love And Let Die by Lexi Blake
Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Masters and Mercenaries #5
Audience: +18
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM
Publisher: DLZ Entertainment LLC
Release Date: October 1st 2013
My Rating: 5 Cups
Source: Author
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Ian Taggart and the whole McKay-Taggart Security team return in Love and Let Die.

A Tragic Love Story

Charlotte Dennis’s mission was clear: distract and misdirect CIA operative Ian Taggart by any means necessary. If she failed, she would never see her sister again. With her training, it should have been simple, but after one night in Ian’s arms, she knew that saving her sister would mean losing the man of her dreams. Ian was tracking a terrorist when he met the beautiful American daughter of a Russian mobster. His instincts told him Charlotte was trouble, but his body craved her like a drug and his heart would not be denied. She took his ring and his collar. For once he was truly happy. But as he closed in on his target, her betrayal cost him his mission while her sacrifice saved his life. As she died in his arms, Ian vowed he would never love again.

A Dangerous Reunion

For six years, Charlotte has thought of nothing but returning to her husband, her Master. Working in the shadows, she has devoted herself to earning a chance to reclaim her place in Ian’s life. But forgiveness isn’t a part of Ian’s vocabulary. Nothing is more important to Ian Taggart than his new mission. But the information he needs is firmly in the hands of the woman who betrayed him. To catch his most dangerous prey, Ian will have to let Charlotte back into his life. As the hunt takes them to some of the world’s most exotic locations, the danger grows and their passion reignites.

Will Ian forgive his wayward submissive…or lose her again?
*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

The big guy of this series is finally getting his story told and let me tell you, I'm a really happy reader.

You already know about my love of Ian and Charlotte Taggart, so it's no surprise that I love their book as much as I do. I may or may not have read this book multiple times too, because that's just what I do with stories I love as much as this one, I obsess over them.

I finally understood why Ian was as dark as he was in the beginning of this series. And as reckless as he was. It all makes sense. I also kinda understood why he did what he did in the first book of the series, Sean's book, when he made a decision that put his relationship with his brother at risk. But I get it. Everything made sense when I read this book. The fact that Ian survived the emotional pain of losing his wife shows just how strong he is. And I say survived, but definitely not recovered from it, because we know he never truly did recover from it. Charlie was the one for him. And I completely understood the way he treated her in the beginning of this book. He basically got his heart broken twice by the same woman, so him being a bit angry, hurtful and mean makes a lot of sense.

At the same time I couldn't help but love Charlie. She had to overcome a lot of tough shit from her past, and while she had to do some really bad stuff along the way, she didn't lose her humanity or her soul in the process. I loved how throughout the book she and her sister Chelsea are shown to be complete opposites. Chelsea, her younger sister, is darker, more lost due to the horrors of her childhood, while Charlie still has some pureness in her.

I really liked how the issue of commitment in a BDSM relationship was approached in this story. Here we have a guy whose wife died and tried everything in his power to survive that pain and did everything he possibly could to cope and to live in the fantasy of being with her one last time, while at the same time we have a woman who knows her husband is alive and well, and she did everything her Dom told her to do, even after she left him. I liked that aspect, as well as Charlotte's reasoning behind doing some of the things she did to honor her contract with Ian.

There were some funny moments too. As already used to from future books when these two appear, I already knew Ian and Charlie are a really funny couple, so I was very glad to see that this was also present in their book.

The plot was really interesting and it shows how cunning the villain was, and how dehumanizing ultimate power can be for some people. It also kind of explains the first arc of this series really well and it shows that sometimes there's a fine line between good and evil. We also understand what ties together certain events and certain characters, because this book adds a piece to the puzzle that shows exactly those details. The ending was really fitting and I liked how in the end Ian chose Charlie above everything else, even when everything seemed to be pointing towards her not being a trustworthy person. So I liked that he took a chance with her. As always, we get a glimpse in the future of the series and Damon is next. I am very excited to see what his story will bring.

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