Book Review: Church. – Stylo Fantome

synopsis singleA broken girl.

An unusual boy.

A beautiful face that hides a dark secret and an ugly past.

Sealed lips which hide wicked words and dangerous thoughts.

She would kill for him to love her.

He just wants to kill.

Maybe, if Emma Hartley prays hard enough, Church Logan can make both their wishes come true.

Fuse, meet match.

 


Double Warning 

  1. This is a psychological thriller. If you have triggers – This story will touch on a lot of them.
  2. The language in my review will be very colorful.

My Thoughts 2I don´t remember when I first saw this book. I can´t even recall who recommended this read. All I know is that I was ready and prepared to read some weird, screwed up romance- Something I really REALLY wanted because I´ve been so fed up with the same ´ol, same ´ol, goody goody romance novels. It was time for me to read something with grip.

 

I did NOT expect `Church.`( Church. #1 ) by author Stylo Fantome ( and I´ve read some really crazy shit in my lifetime ). And I SO WANTED TO LOVE THIS BOOK! I SO SO SO SO….

Church.

Let me start out by saying the writing wasn´t my cup of tea. I appreciate all narrative point of views but I´m not necessarily a fan of narrative hopping. While the majority of the story is told in third person narrative the author slips a few chapters, first person main character POVs, into the mix.

This can be great for a story but I felt it didn´t work well for this type of read. A thriller needs to be thrilling. A thriller can hardly create a thrill when a reader is in on all the clues. Which brings me to my next issue-

The story was slightly predictable. That´s another thing I don´t appreciate and I fully blame this on the multiple narrative POVs.

As for the characters….

To be perfectly honest, I find it a shame that I disliked both characters so much because Emma is a great character on her own and Church is fantastic in his own right. But as a couple? Down right hideous. Young adults acting like little turds who don´t have a life.

The genius sociopath and the damaged for life, obsessive beauty. Their thoughts were disturbing. Their time spent together was disturbing. Their plans, how they treated other people and each other… It felt like a bomb exploded in the Church. universe and I was the one who tried to make sense of everything.

“Tell me why you´re the way you are.”

“Hmm, I´ve been abused beyond anyone´s wildest dreams.”

“Wow. That´s fascinating. Now my turn! I´ve been abused, too!”

“Jee wizz! Let´s go and make some random person miserable.. just for the heck of it!”

( Note: The above was not taken from the book. It is not the dialogue.)

To make this rant short: I didn´t like `Church.` Dear sweet baby Jesus… I almost hate the story because of the hatred it carried. Hell, there was so much hatred to pass around and make a reader´s life misrable. Then that ending…. I better not get into that because I´m afraid I might choke on my cornflakes

Bah. I´m going to let my inner 85 year old out and say: My life is too short to waste it on reading about characters who´re bored little shits.


 

Would I recommend this read? The 85 yr old in me says: “Not in this lifetime.”. 36 yr old me says… “Nope.”.

Would I reread this book? Definitely not. I´ve also decided I won´t be reading the second installment.


 

The Cover – 3 stars ( Not the style I prefer to see on a book cover )

The Story – 1 star ( I´m actually surprised I didn´t DNF this book.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( Lots and lots of potential for both MCs. But somehow they turne out horrible and… bla.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Utterly pissed off.

2 stars


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Book Review: Up In The Air (Tetralogy) by R. K. Lilley

before and after

Published back in 2012, the `Up In The Air´tetralogy by author R. K. Lilley celebrated a great success and was announced “One of the hottest erotica novels available” and earned glowing praises from book bloggers across the globe.

That was back in 2012.

Since then the trilogy grew into a tetralogy, leaving a reader with 4 wonderful books about Bianca and James´ relationship. Their very steamy and sexy relationship.

I belonged to the lucky “Lusting after the highly dominant James Cavendish” parade back then… But what about now? After 6 years and 1 reread, do I still feel the same as I once did? Let´s find out! Before & After reviews for book #1 – #4


 

synopsis book 1 In Flight ( Up In The Air: Book 1 )

R. K. Lilley

 

When reserved flight attendant Bianca gets one look at billionaire hotel owner James Cavendish, she loses all of her hard-won composure. For a girl who can easily juggle a tray of champagne flutes at 35,000 feet in three inch heels, she finds herself shockingly weak-kneed from their first encounter. The normally unruffled Bianca can’t seem to look away from his electrifying turquoise gaze. They hold a challenge, and a promise, that she finds impossible to resist, and she is a girl who is used to saying no and meaning it. 

Bianca is accustomed to dealing with supermodels and movie stars in her job as a first class flight attendant, but James Cavendish puts them all to shame in the looks department. If only it were just his looks that she found so irresistible about the intimidating man, Bianca could have ignored his attentions. But what tempts her like never before is the dominant pull he seems to have over her from the moment they meet, and the promise of pleasure, and pain, that she reads in his eyes.

My Thoughts 2

It´s not the books. It´s not even me. It´s the trend that has long passed that has turned this 2012  3 star read into a solid 2 stars. Okay. Maybe the books are the problem.

We all remember the dom / sub trend a few years back. There was hardly a book published ( or self published ) that didn´t have some crazed overly dominant Hero and a meek Heroine who always fought pitifully for her independence. This book definitely belongs in that category.In flight

`In Flight`Up In The Air: Book 1 by R.K. Lilley is a story about a billionaire who falls for a flight attendant. So, basically a romance but on a different level. And this would be a simple romance if not for the BDSM theme.

I don´t know….

In 2012 I kind of ignored the rather heavy dominant / submissive trope and just enjoyed the book. It´s an erotica / BDSM read. No biggy, right?

Well, after my recent reread I discovered a few things.

I don´t like dominant Heroes anymore. They´re full of themselves on so many levels. I´m grateful that trend passed and that my tastes have changed.

“Do this. Do that. Get naked. I´m gonna count….”  So bossy for no greater purpose other than to settle that sexual itch. To be honest- No man would ever come near me with that type of behavior.

The Hero, James Cavendish, is a kinky billionaire who has lots of answers to lots of problems. And many problems can be solved while staying in his bed. Oh, and he has nicknames kindly provided by the Heroine. Mr. Gratification, Mr. Moody, Mr. Mercurial, Mr. Incredible, Mr. BDSM…. The list is long and those are his names used as chapter titles. I remember not being too fond of him when I first read this book. Have my feelings changed after my reread? Yes. I´m now even less impressed than I was years ago.

And what happens when main characters aren´t to one´s liking? The story loses it´s appeal.

How on earth wasn´t I more appalled by his behavior? I mean- It wasn´t the sex I found appalling. The sex was okay. It was his behavior alone. And then Bianca….

Why her character was so eager to put up with someone like him is beyond me.

Still… the story felt a tiny bit unique to me back in 2012. Now? The book still carries that unique vibe but the enjoyment I used to feel is now flatter than a sheet of paper.

2 stars

 


 

synopsis book 2

Mile High ( Up In The Air: Book 2 )

R. K. Lilley

 

James and Bianca’s tumultuous story continues in the sequel to In Flight.

James has initiated Bianca into a dark and drugging world of passion and pain. He taught her about her own submissive, masochistic nature, and she fell swiftly and deeply in love with the undeniably charming and impossibly beautiful Mr. Cavendish, but a painful misunderstanding and the return of the brutally violent demon of her past have combined to overwhelm Bianca, and, confused and hurt, she pushes him away. 

It’s been over a month since the shocking attack that hospitalized her, and since she told a distraught James that she needed space, but her feelings haven’t gone away. Even she knew that it was only a matter of time before he would cast his spell on her again…

 

My Thoughts 2 My reread session for book two consisted of lots of skimming as I didn´t have enough energy to put up with more James Cavendish. Seriously… Why, in all that´s pink and fluffy, is he considered to be a swoon worthy character? And why the 2.0 drama? No, scratch that… `Mile High` ( Up In The Air: Book #2 ) has drama overload. And sex. Lots and lots of Duracell bunny sex. Mile High

I didn´t realize it then but now it somehow dawned on me that James and Bianca have a dysfunctional relationship. He´s weird. She has issues. And together they seem to find a middle ground. Bianca needs to be dominated and James is just the dude to get the job done.

I´m still convinced that Mr. BDSM has too many issues and needs life long therapy ( as they all do ). And Ms. I – have – an – opinion – but – let – it- get – run – over – by – kinky – James…. She needs to just concentrate on life without James.

This book was a 2013 3 star read that has also turned into a 2 star.

2 stars

 


 

Grounded ( Up In The Air: Book #3 ) R. K. Lilley

synopsis book 3 James and Bianca’s story draws to a close in the explosive conclusion to the Up In The Air Trilogy.

After a short but earnest courtship, Bianca can no longer deny her feelings for James, and though she’s tried her hardest, she can’t help but see that he cares deeply for her, as well. In a completely uncharacteristic move, she has put aside her misgivings and agreed to live with the enigmatic billionaire. Is her leap of faith the beginning of something wonderful, or is it too much, too fast?

As James and Bianca feel a growing need for each other that neither can deny, circumstances beyond their control intervene, trying to tear them apart. Amidst the ever mounting threat of a monster who wants Bianca dead, and the constant pitfalls of an indiscreet past that James can’t seem to escape, can these two passionate lovers manage to find their happily ever after?

 

My Thoughts 2 It´s definitely me that has changed as I´m pretty sure no one smuggled this series into my house just recently.

My reading experience from 6 years ago vs. my feelings now couldn´t be more drastic. I simply couldn´t

I was rereading, remember? With this one I had to quit before I could reach the end because I just couldn´t take it all anymore. Too many unnecessary details.. too much sub character involvement.. I´ve also been sexed to death by James and Bianca. Besides, I remember how the story ended. The final scene wasn´t explosive enough for me to want to reread it. grounded

`Grounded`( Up In The Air: Book 3 ) by R. K. Lilley received 3 generous stars back in 2012. Now? I´m not hesitating with a 1 star. 36-year-old me discovered that there isn´t much of a plot but there´s a whole lot of everything else that´s not informative enough.

In which emotional state does this book leave me? Frustrated. Tired. Pooped beyond words.

 

1 star


 

NOTE: I did NOT read book #4 in the Up In The Air series. As far as I´m informed `Mr. Beautiful` is just a rehash from the other books told from Hero´s POV.  POV books never make my priority list so…. mr beautiful

 

 
Now for my over – all opinion on the `Up In The Air` books.

 

The Covers: 2 – 3 stars 

The covers were never really anything overly eye catchy but they match, which is a huge bonus. At least a reader knows the books belong together. Sadly, the image quality of the paperbacks is down right cruel to the eyes. pixellated and blurry. I´m going to be honest here: If I had seen these books in a bookstore with the same horrible image quality then I would never have bought these books. I would never play money for poor quality on a cover. Then the model on the covers… On the one cover you can see that her shoes are a number or two too big for her feet. Really?

 

The Story: 2 stars

Yeah…. No. My 2012 opinion wasn´t as colorful as it is now. Right this moment I can´t seem to come up with a logical explanation as to why I enjoyed reading these books. Why I over looked so many things that usually bug the bejesus out of me. Too much sex, too much filler sex. Too many details. So little actual depth. The writing is simple and engaging but the story itself? There are way better BDSM / dom-sub books worth reading.

 

The Characters: 2 stars

I liked Bianca in book #1 and #2. She nearly killed my vibes in book #3. And James… Poor poor dominating, annoying billionaire hotel owner James just rubbed me the wrong way. He barks at Bianca while tying her up. Who barks at someone in a sexy moment? Who?! That´s many things but not sexy.

Then the sub characters…. They felt new to me during my reread, which tells me that I hadn´t paid attention to them during the first reading round. No more words needed there.

 

My emotional state BEFORE AND AFTER reading the `Up In The Air`books?

Erotica romance novels have to be written in a certain way for me to fully enjoy them. They have to have class, be tasteful and sensual and they have to make my panties change their color. Back in 2012 I remember not having a panty color change. Now, I don´t even want to think about it happening anymore. I think it´s safe to say that I don´t like this story… at all. sex

     2012 Rating                                                                               

3 stars                                  2018 Rating2 stars

 

All books can be purchased on Amazon.com

 


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Book Review- Running Out Of Air by K. T. Swift

synopsis single

Inanna Drew has a problem, and, of course, that problem is a boy. Though she’s quite content to read her books and excel in school, he bothers her and seems incapable of taking a hint. Thus this is a journal, nay, a chronicle that she must put to paper to explain, in her own voice, why he doesn’t deserve the time of day.

All of this changes after a sudden upheaval in her life, making Hadrian Marshall less of a pain in her side and more of a friend to be counted on.


My Thoughts 2

 

**Copy kindly provided by Netgalley & Nine Star Press in exchange for an honest review**

There´s a strong case of „It´s me, not the book.“ here. I´m sure many others would enjoy this read…. I didn´t, though.

While I enjoy coming – of – age novels I don´t enjoy protagonists who don´t act their age. A High school girl with malicious trail of thoughts and a vocabulary of an experienced adult is just a turn off for me.
From experience, I can say that an unlikable and unrelatable Heroine won´t save a story for me. It wasn´t any different with `Running Out Of Air` by K. T. Swift. running out of air

For me, it felt like the author was trying too hard to create a breathtaking novel. Cool wordy characters, lots of drama… The whole package was just far too over – the – top. The feels didn´t flow over to me. I wasn´t fazed. Instead, I was shaking my head, wondering why on earth anyone would create such an unlikable character that has the power to break what could be a decent read.

With encountering topics like LGBT, family drama and death of a loved one, etc… I really thought I was going to finally hold a work of art in my hands. * sigh *

Nice was to see how the Heroine ( Inanna ) and the Hero ( Hadrian ) stayed connected through their milestone years and that they somehow maintained a relationship I clearly had troubles understanding ( due to the questionable Heroine )

A quick read that didn´t tickle me senseless.

Since this book wasn´t anything near my cup of tea I´m going to go ahead and say that I didn´t like `Running Out Of Air`.

Would I recommend this read? No.

 

The Cover – 5 stars: I´m a fan of simple covers that grab a reader’s attention.

The Story – 2 stars: It´s the characters fault. Because if you can´t stand the female lead then you have a hell of a hard time enjoying the rest.

The Characters – 2 stars: Questionable, to say the least. Although, I did like Hadrian a tad more than I did Inanna.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Not happy.

 

2 stars


 


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Book Review: A Court Of Frost And Starlight – Sarah J. Maas

synopsis 2

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

I wasn´t a huge fan of the first 3 books. What was there to be a fan of? Stealing major parts from other successful stories and adding them to an already good story isn´t going to win any plus points from me. ( review- ACOTAR, ACOMAFACOWAR )

So, why did I read `A Court Of Frost And Starlight`( A Court Of Thorns And Roses # 3.1) by Sarah J. MaasA Court Of rost And Starlight?

Because I have hope. That´s all.

I don´t know why but I feel like the autor is just holding back. I could be wrong, though. Let´s hope I´m not wrong. Let´s keep our fingers crossed that the author will write a book that doesn´t have Rhys and Feyre ( MCs from books 1 – 3 ) in it.

I´m not going to beat around the bush with this one.

A Court of Frost and Starlight wasn´t fully a waste of time but it wasn´t a mandatory read, either. It was a book for devoted fans of the series.
When a blogger buddy ( it was Sabrina  @5171 Miles Book Blog )sent me a Whatsapp with the cover I felt my blood pressure rise. ANOTHER ONE? Good Lord above. Aren´t Rhys and Feyre ever going to call it a day? I thought the whole story was done after book #3 – It sure felt like everything was over.

Apparently not. So, as the good blogger I am…. I didn´t bother buying the paperback and went straight for the kindle version and began reading.

The truth? The ugly truth?
This book is about exchanging presents. Nothing more. It´s less about how the characters dealt with their lives after the great war ( although that was mentioned… if only a little ) and more about what each character was going to gift the other in great detail.

A shame, really, because the author had SO many options she could have chosen from for this book to make this an exciting read.

If it weren´t for the Nesta and Cassian scenes I would have eaten my carpet out of pure frustration.
Nesta and Cassian have a really gripping story going on and their spotlight is far over-due.  Unfortunately, Nesta and Cassian´s story is an over shadowed side story at the moment.

The author created SO MANY characters… she could have easily given a few more some major spotlight. But she didn´t. And now I´m not satisfied at all.

 

Would I recommend this book? No. Because 1) it cannot be read as a standalone. One has to read the other 3 bricks to understand this read. 2) It´s basically for the hardcore ACOTAR ninjas. If you are not a fully devoted ACOTAR fan nor a fan of having to start at book 1 to understand book 3.1 then I simply cannot recommend this read.

Would I re – read this book? No.

 

The Cover – 4 stars ( My favorite cover from the whole series so far. )

The Story – 2 stars  ( Not really what I would call a story when you get to read about Faeries going shopping for gifts. Nesta and Cassian saved the day )

The Characters – 2 stars ( My feelings haven´t changed for the characters so far.  All I´m now asking for is to be able to read more about Nesta and Cassian because those are the only 2 characters with substance. I wouldn´t mind seeing a bit more from Tamlin, if I´m honest. His character has so much potential.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Feeling disappointed.

2 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comA Court Of rost And Starlight

 

Book Review: The Divorce ( The Relationship Quo #1 ) – Nicole Strycharz

Synopsis

Jenzy: I love my husband, but he doesn’t see me anymore. We were collage sweethearts and for seven years I’ve been his wife. Five of those years were bliss; the last two have been a long fall from grace.

He’s the love of my life, the sexy and smart man I saw my future with, but now I don’t think he sees it too. I’m tired of not being seen, I’m tired of not being heard, and I’m tired of being in love alone.
I was his optimistic hippie girl that he couldn’t get enough of. Now I’m just his annoyance.

So I told him, I finally found the backbone and this is our story….

Chris: My wife just told me she wants a divorce. What the hell do I say to that? I thought we were fine-, well fine is a bad word, I thought we were okay. Doesn’t matter what I think because she’s moving out and I can’t really let this happen.

Yeah, she annoys me, we’re total opposites, but I knew that when I met her, she hasn’t changed…maybe I have? I was her anchor, her safety, her home. Now I’m that guy that’s wreaked her and there are plenty of men willing to repair the damage I did.

So I have a plan. Find out what happened to change my affection for her within the last two years, and win her back before someone else does, because I still love her, and she still loves me….I guess….

 

My Thoughts

This is definitely one of those “It´s not the book. It´s me.” cases, as I can see why so many would absolutely fall in love with this book. Everyone except for me.

After I read the synopsis I was ready to dive head first into a story about grown-ups who struggled with married life and a divorce. I mean – The Synopsis revealed that much.

I got exactly what the synopsis promised but in a way I wasn´t prepared for.

I might be completely alone with my opinion but`The Divorce` ( The Relationship Quo #1 ) by Nicole Strycharz wasn´t my cup of tea. The Divorce

The idea of the story was great. The execution wasn´t. In fact – there were a whole list of things I didn´t enjoy about this romance.

  1. Married couple are too opposite and stayed that way.

Yeah yeah. I know. Opposites attract. Hell, I even married a guy who´s my complete opposite. But when you´re a couple you rub off on each other after being together for years. You grow with each other ALL WHILE staying true to yourselves. You have a common ground. The characters in `The Divorce`had nothing of the sort. I expect a little more than just a ” He´s the clean and neat business guy and she´s the chaotic hippy.” I need growth. Couple development. I need to see characters compromise and find a common ground.

2) Hero´s a glorified prick. Oh, how I disliked Chris ( Hero ). But this might be because I have no sympathy for characters who are hurtful and refuse the “see the light”. The message I got from him was, “I´m just an oversized boy wearing a suit who´s lost his favorite toy.”  To this moment, I´m still convinced he didn´t see the light.

3) Jenzy ( Heroine) the hippy was unhappy. I understood that. I also understood why she wanted a divorce. Her character wasn´t exactly grounded, though. She filed for the divorce but kept giving in to her still husband. She dated a guy who suited her more yet she still went back to the prick when he magically popped up.

4) The flashbacks weren´t helpful. Not for the story and definitely not for the characters. In fact – they solified my opinion of the Hero. And they made me think the Heroine was strongly naive. I see how being naiive can be cute but Jenzy being THAT dewy – eyed? There´s nothing remotely cute about that.

5) The divorce. Let´s not kid ourselves. Divorces can be ugly. No matter how settled a couple approaches a divorce, one half always suffers more or both suffer terribly. The approach was a bit flat and ended up in a chaotic mess I hardly understood. I couldn´t feel either side. The divorce didn´t feel like one. The divorce felt like a code word for taking a break.

6) The dialogue. Okay. This is definitely something to argue over. In my opinion the dialogue wasn´t emotional, either. If a couple separates, and one half says he´ll do anything to get the marriage working again, I want to feel it. I wan´t to see it. If the other half says she´s hurt and tired of fighting then maybe, MAYBE a reader deserves to feel that exhaustion or pain in the characters words? Am I asking for too much?

 

Let´s do a quick recap:

The marriage the couple had was a mess. The characters weren´t really into whatever they set out to do. The way they approached their relationship / divorce was chaotic.

I`M unhappy.

Would I recommend this book? This is tricky. I would but only if a reader doesn´t care about emotions in a story. For everyone else who wants all the feels? I´d say skip this read.

Would I re- read this book? No.

 

The Cover – 3 stars ( I like the simplicity of the cover but it´s nothing to go nuts over )

The Characters – 1-2 stars ( *sigh* I´m not going there again )

The Story – 2-3 stars ( I love myself a good relationship story. If it´s good. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Unhappy.

2 stars

This book is available on Amazon.com