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: Perfect Harmony – Emily Albright

synopsis single

Pippa Wyndham is a top cellist―she’d never settle for anything less. Determined to get into the nation’s most prestigious music college, nothing’s going to stand in her way . . . Until her senior year of high school when a new guy from a fancy New York conservatory transfers to her school. 

Declan Brogan’s cocky, and he knows how amazing he is at the cello. He has every intention of knocking Pippa out of first chair and showing her who really belongs on top. Forced together when assigned a duet, their personal competition and mutual dislike transform into a teasing friendship.

Torn between her childhood crush and the boy who threatens her dreams, Pippa finds herself at risk of losing her best friend, her future, and the boy who makes her heart melt. Struggling to make things right, Pippa discovers that sometimes the thing you want the most doesn’t always end up being the thing you need.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

♦ ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review♦

 

`Perfect Harmony` just made my list of Best YA Romance Novels 2018!

The cover is what stopped me in my tracks. The synopsis is what sealed the deal. For some odd reason I felt this novel was going to be a winner. And a winner it was!

Perfect Harmony

I won´t bother summing up the story for you because the synopsis reveals more than enough. So, instead, I´ll focus on sharing my emotions and praises.

 


 

What I Loved

  • The characters. Pippa was a bundle of book Heroine joy. She acted her age, her dialogue was also age appropriate and she´s a cellist. How exciting is that?! She´s a 100% relatable and lovable figure. Declan´s character was made for me. I loved the cocky side of him and the fact that he, too, is a cellist and and and…. He´s just someone I would have chased back in School. * sigh *
  • The relationship between the characters. For me, sparks were constantly flying across the pages ( that´s how much energy there was )
  • The music. There´s just something magical reading about musicians.
  • The pace. Reading this book was hiccup – less ride I fully enjoyed. I didn´t feel bored nor did I come across slower parts that would have pulled the story down.
  • The YA angst! Oooh, how I love myself some subtle angst.
  • The writing. It´s not everyday I get to read a book that´s very well written.

 

Although I loved this book it can´t be ignored that there are a few things that others might find challenging.

 

What Others Might Find Challenging

  • The romance. While a romance was definitely there, it wasn´t one in a classical sense. This can be because the story is categorized as YA and therefore not leaning on the heavy romantic side. The focus is on entirely on the romance. It´s divided between love, life and music.
  • The story is nothing new. Yes, I hate to say this… I´ve read similar YA romances like this one before.
  • The end. Although I´m a fan of the book ending others might not like it.

 


 

Personally, I believe`Perfect Harmony` is a perfect harmonious read that touches all the right buttons.

 

Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would. Anyone looking for a great, cute, light and entertaining Young Adult read will love `Perfect Harmony`.

Would I reread this book? Yes. I would.

 


 

The Cover – 5 stars ( The soft colors are eye friendly. The cover art is a total eye – catcher )

The Story – 5 stars (  The story is in all areas well balanced. Loved the romance. Loved the music. Loved loved loved. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Perfect )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Completely satisfied! 100% happy that I found another 5 star read and a new author I can add to my fav list!

5 stars

Don´t forget to mark your calendars! 

Perfect Harmony

by Emily Albright

Expected Pub Date: 25 Sep 2018
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Pages: 304
Perfect Harmony

 


 

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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: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

synopsis 2

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare …

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well – until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street, where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her . . . down to the very soul.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Years…. It´s been eons when I found this little romantic gem and to this day ( 5 years after publication and purchase ) I´m still going back to this book for a reread (either the whole thing or reread certain parts of the book ).

An unforgettable emotional romance.

Unforgettable indeed! `On Dublin Street` by author Samantha Young belongs to those romances that has a wrecked Heroine and an Alpha sex God who´ll stop at nothing to have and love the one person who doesn´t want him. On Dublin Street

Back in 2012/2013 those stories were so damn popular and the book market was over flooded with romances like this one but none came close to Samantha Young´s story.

I won´t bother with a story description because the synopsis provides enough info to whet a readers appetite. Instead I´ll focus on a little character analyzing and revealing my emotions.

 

The idea of the story isn´t anything new. Woman meets prick. Prick wants woman. Cat and mouse chase. Dramatic moments. More dramatic moments. The big threat followed by a big emotional disaster. A big bang. The end.

But it´s still heart-strings – tugging romantic. How can I not love something as simple yet overly dramatic? You´re right. I can´t. I have to love the overbearing Hero, Braden, and his bossy behavior. I have to love Jocelyn, the Heroine, for being a difficult little booger throughout the whole book. Because these figures made this book right.

 

And in the end, everything was still very dramatic and exciting.

Will they? Will they not? What´s with the sub characters? Will they get their own book? Will we continue to see the characters from this book in other books from the author?

I can answer the 4th and 5th question for you: Yes. There are more books to the series and characters from `On Dublin Street` get their own book. We also get to see the main characters from this book in the following books. Something I really appreciated.


My Opinion Then vs. My Opinion Now

 

It´s been 5 years. Opinions can shift with time and certain world views often change, as do tastes in all areas.  Has anything changed for me regarding this book? Yes and no.

The love I felt for this book 5 years ago certainly has changed. The asshole-ish behavior from the Hero doesn´t appeal to me as it once did. I find it rather annoying to read about ANOTHER cocky, smooth, sharp minded Hero who has it all and so much more. Braden´s behavior is often questionable ( something I blindly ignored back then ). If I were single and I´d bump into someone like Braden NOW I´d definitely have a few things to say to him.

The same goes for Jocelyn, the ever push – away protagonist. I recognized her as a difficult character 5 years ago and today, I just think she´s just pushing it too far. The emotional damage her character has isn´t unrealistic but it dictates her life and affects everyone around her. It´s like having the case of ” If I can´t have fun then I don´t want you to have fun, either. But I don´t want you to know that so, please, continue to try to have fun.” Jocelyn is an exhausting little chica who´s like the Duracell bunny- She goes on and on and on….

What hasn´t changed was: My love for the sub – characters. I loved every bit about them, then, and still do. They make up half the story because they´re weaved into the lives of the main characters.


 Would I, after my POV shift, still recommend this book? I most certainly would. Because the story is great. It´s romantic and challenging. It´s an emotional rollercoaster ride that´ll have your heart melting or boiling. This book is for any NA, contemporary romance reader who loves a classical romantic alpha story with steamy sex scenes.

Would I reread this book? I´ve been rereading it for 5 years. That should say a lot.


 

The Cover – 4 stars ( I have the first released edition with a different cover. The new cover is nothing like the original one but still great.)

The Story – 4 stars ( It´s more a relationship story than anything else. It´s about love and friendship. Trust and loyalty are big subjects.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( Slighty irrational. Slightly overbearing. Slightly too much when the MCs could have delivered the same emotional effect with less )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Still in love. I can´t help myself. I´m sentimental that way. Despite the negatives I still feel myself drawn to this book.

 

My 31-year-old self gave `On Dublin Street` ( On Dublin Street #1 ) by Samantha Young 5+ stars.

36-year-old me is giving `On Dublin Street` 4 out of 5 stars.

4 stars

 

Buy On Dublin Street On Dublin Street