Book Review: What He Always Knew – Kandi Steiner

Synopsis

Left or right. 

It’s that simple, and it isn’t simple at all.

If I turn left, the road will lead me back to the man I promised my life to, the one I’d imagined building a family with, the one who’s done everything in his power to get me back.

If I turn right, the road will take me to the man I loved first, the man who brought me back to life, the man who would do anything to keep me.

I knew the fork in the road was inevitable; it was the decision I never wanted to make between choices I didn’t know I had. 

And I love them both.

My heart is destined to exist in two equal halves — one with each man. But one half beats stronger, the vein running deepest, and holds my choice in silence long before I know it for myself. 

The realization of what I have to do, of the heart I have to break, just might break mine too. 

Left or right. 

All I have to do is take a breath and turn.

 

My Thoughts

If there ever was moment when I needed a huge bottle of wine,.. it would be after reading `What He Always Knew` book #2 in the What He Doesn´t Know Duet by Kandi Steiner.

What he always knew

This book / this duet  is simply a wonderful piece of work bundled up in 304 pages.

The emotional disaster Charlie dealt with in book #1 `What He Doesn´t Know` ( review here ) finds an end.

No more hoping. No more biting fingernails or chewing on my hair. The wait is over because Charlie makes up her mind.

In book #1 Charlie had a tough decision to make: Leave her husband and build a new future with her teenage crush or stay with her husband and become more miserable than she already was.

I really REALLY loved how the author let that love triangle play out. As a reader you think you´ve got it all figured out but you really have no clue. All a reader gets are the hopes and dreams from all three characters from each of their POVs.

We KNOW how much Charlie suffers and struggles with her feelings on what is right and what´s wrong. We KNOW she loves both men and that both men adore her.

But who will win her heart in the end? Will Cameron, her caring husband, be the one who get´s to keep her or will it be Reese, the teenage crush, who´ll steal her away and finally get to have her?

The moment of truth that´ll turn any reader´s heart to mush.

 “Just… give me this time with your heart before you decide to give it all to him.”

– Kandi Steiner, What He Always Knew

Oh, what am I saying…. The whole book is capable of giving your heart a good workout.

What I loved most about the story was how there wasn´t a “bad guy”. The author went out of her way to paint each Hero in a good light and make them both great candidates for Charlie… Which made this love triangle extremely difficult because:

It´s easy to hate someone for the mistakes they´ve done. It´s easy to point out the bad despite all the good someone has done. The characters in this book have made plenty mistakes and have their faults in equal proportions. All three screwed up in their own special way yet all three stayed civilized and reacted accordingly while struggling with their goal (s).

This book is about love, trust, friendship and lust. It´s about loss and about healing. It´s about forgiveness and about moving forward. It´s about the past, present and future.

I flipping loved this story.

Would I recommend this book / this duet? Hands down – YES!

Would I re – read this book / this duet? I most certainly will.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( I love the fact that the covers from both books match)

The Story – 5 + stars  ( Painful, relatable, wonderful, beautiful. It´s what I would call a perfect.)

The Characters – 5 + stars ( Again, I can´t mention enough how wonderful I thought they all were. Charlie for being delicate but still strong. Cameron for taking that step. Reese for his… Well, read the story and find out for yourself.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – It´s BOOK HANGOVER TIME! Let the “being in an emotional funk” games begin!

5 stars

Purchase Link What he always knew

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Book Review: What He Doesn´t Know – Kandi Steiner

Synopsis

On the northeast side of town, there is a house.

The house was once magical, filled with love and joy and plans for the future. 

Inside its walls are many things that belong to me — my books, the china from my mother on my wedding day, the beautiful cage once home to two birds, now empty, just like me.

And a man.

A man who also belongs to me.

A man I no longer wish to keep.

A man who, no doubt, has not slept, though the sun is rising. Because the house where he waits is where I laid my head to rest every night for eight years. Until last night.

No one who knows me would believe Charlie Pierce, the quiet, bookish girl who never made waves is pulling out of the driveway of a man who isn’t her husband.

But they don’t know me at all.

I don’t even know me.

Not anymore.

They say there are two sides to every story, and I suppose in most cases, that’s true. But the one I live inside of? It has three.

On the northeast side of town, there is a house.

But there is no longer a home.

 

My Thoughts

This book was right up my alley.

As if the author had crawled into my head and listened to my thoughts on what makes a good book.

`What He Doesn´t Know` ( What He Doesn´t Know Duet #1 ) by Kandi Steiner is everything I need in a romance. It´s a fully satisfying read.Kandi 1

What do you do when your teenage crush pops back into your already rattled world? Would you welcome him back with open arms? Would you keep your distance and continue on as if he never existed?

 

Kandi Steiner wrote an incredible slow burn rekindled romance / love triangle / emotional whirlwind that had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the bitter end! ( That was not a spoiler. The end is not bitter. The end has an painful cliffhanger, though )

What this book did to me…. I can´t really put in words.

My heart is doing all kinds of weird things after reading book #1. My blood pressure is suffering. I´m just an emotional mess after having read one of the best love triangles available.

And right now, I´m sitting here comparing `What He Doesn´t Know` to “Thoughtless` by S.C. Stephens. It´s THAT good ( that is, if you liked Thoughtless, of course ). Both stories aren´t necessarily 100% alike but they do have that incledible slow moving, painful, train wreck relationship anyone who has dealt with loving 2 people can easily relate to.

I really don´t want to spoil anything about this story because it´s not one of those every day Jerry Springer filled, over exaggerated reads but I will say this: You´ll love them all. You´ll love both men ( well, not exactly right away. But you´ll get to that point sooner than later ). You´ll love Charlie for her mistakes and her strengths. You´ve love not knowing what will happen next. You´ll also understand that it´s possible to love more than one person.

kandi graphic

THE HEARTBREAK!! THE HEARTACHE!

Kandi Steiner nailed it. She owns the love triangle world.  Now it´s time to dive into book #2, `What He Always Knew`

 

Would I recommend this book? YES! Yes yes yes yes.

Would I re-read this book? YES!

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Love the lighting, the colors, the beautifully clothed models. What a beautiful and emotional image. The title is also very catchy.)

The Story – 5 + stars ( I´m a sucker for love triangles, especially when they´re written beautifully. It´s a calming yet explosive romance.)

The Characters – 5 + stars ( I felt them. I suffered with them. I loved Charlie the most , though. Her actions and thoughts… she was just a great character I was able to relate to. Both male protagonists were also fabulous. Both so different from one another. Both lovable, although you don´t get to fully love Carmeron until book #2 )

My emotional state after finishing this book – I need more wine to drown the heavy emotions this book brought out of me. And I need more books from Kandi Steiner.

5 stars

Purchase Links    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.de

 

 

Review- RARE ´17 Berlin Book Signing Event

There are different types of book signing events. There are the ones we all know from back in the days, where authors had a table at a bookstore and signed tons of books for their fans.(Good thing  is – those signings still exist. They´re rare…but every now and again published authors pop into a bookstore and do a signing. * YAY *)

In this Era, book signing events have become more interesting, to say the least. Due to the massive amount of self-publishers ( and their wildly growing fan-bases ) alot of author events have turned into something bizarre ( and that´s putting it mildly ).

Book signings are said to be a great way to meet your favorite author ( maybe even hold a chitchat with them for 2 minutes ) and get your books, kindle covers, boobs and scrapbooks signed. Some signing events also offer full weekends of drinks, parties, meet & greets, and other fun stuff for readers and bloggers. Which is like- the ultimate thing for any book nerd!

Of course, those events aren´t for free. The prices for tickets can be from $10 – $400 , depending on which signing event a visitor decides to go to. In my opinion… I´d rather buy books worth 400 smackers than go to an event that costs that much, plus paying for a hotel room and traveling has to be taken under consideration, too- Unless you´re up for snoozing in your car. BUT…I was told that those highly expensive events were totally worth the money ( I shall never find out ).

I´ve been to quite a few book signings in my life but none have left such impressions as the last 2 I´ve visited. That is why I´ll focus on the last 2 bigger book signing events, here, and I´ll compare them.

I´m generally a happy person. I love to laugh and all that. And I´m also ALWAYS under alot of stress ( work, family, household, bla bla bla). When I´m at a signing I like to think I´m treating myself. Taking a break from being a highly responsible adult and having some Morgana-time without my babies actually helps me recharge enegery. I don´t need a 2 week vacation away from the family. A day or even a few hours can also work wonders.

But when I´m surrounded by madness it´s hard to think I´m treating myself in any way. It´s also impossible to enjoy my Morgana-time away from the family when I´m in a room surrounded by nearly 500 women who run around like headless chicks ( who also sporadically scream from the top of their lungs from excitement) That´s not book heaven. It´s definitely not my idea of having a good time.

And that´s exactly what happened at my first romance book event a few years back in London. Crazed women rushing from author table to author table in hopes of spending endless minutes with their favorite authors. It felt like I was in the Mean Girls movie with 100 Regina George clones.

After that unholy event I swore to never attend a romance book signing event ever again. I valued my sanity far too much to deal with another day of chaotic book women.

Years have passed and the nightmare from the past event eventually faded until I spotted an ad for another romance author event. RARE ´17 Berlin.Rare

Berlin? My heart melted. There was a romance book signing in the country I live in! I didn´t have to leave the country to visit a book signing and I could get a hotel room and I could….. Then it hit me. No. I swore I´d never put myself through another round of disappointment. But the author lineup for the RARE ´17 Berlin event was AWESOME! There was no way I could stay away.

After a week of back and forth I decided to give romance book signings another try. Why not, right? It´s been a few years since the last one. Readers / fans change. ( or, I hoped they did ). I wasn´t 100% convinced but I kept thinking happy thoughts. Everything was going to be alright.

After all- who would want to miss out on meeting Jodi Ellen Malpas, Monica James, Lesley Jones, Kandi Steiner, etc, etc? No me.

After a gruesome 5 hour drive from Frankfurt a.M. To Berlin I finally arrived. My hair looked like squirrels tried to braid it ( driving with an open window cannot be recommended) but I didn´t care. I was on a book mission, not trying to win a beauty contest. As long as no one noticed the chocolate stains in the crotch area I was good to go and halfway presentable. ( I do not recommend eating a chocolate croissant while driving on the Autobahn, either )

Needless to say- I arrived looking like a crazed forest witch, ready to spend time and money.

3 hours, 10 signed books and 6000 spoken words later I reached my limit and decided it was time to go home ( because I totally forgot to book a hotel room ). I wanted to spend some quality time with my newest reads!

And guess what? My fear was…gone. I was confronted with peaceful, nice people. The authors were wonderful. Everyone was smiling, chatting and just having a good time. I was shocked beyond belief! Hof was this possible? The last book signing event was a nightmare. Rare ´17 wasn´t. RARE ´17 Berlin was civilized, organized and just a great place to be.

Was I happy? Definitely. The event was a total success for me. Would I visit another RARE book signing?

Yes. I would.

Ticket price 36.87 Euros

Location – Hotel Estrel in Berlin

Author count – Roughly around 60 ( give or take)

Atmosphere-  Friendly

The authors- The ones I was able to meet were such sweethearts.

My biggest regret- Forgetting my hair brush at home. Forgetting to take pics with all the authors I talked to.

My mood from beginning to end-  Excited to happily exhausted.

All in all a wonderful event filled with awesomeness! Until next time, RARE!

And now – let´s take a look at what the forest witch looked like with the awesome authors! Have fun!

Event Monica

Left: Monica James. Author of the `I Surrender` , `Something Like Normal` & the `Hard Love Romance` books. Make sure to stalk her on Social Media!

Event Ashley

 

Right: Katie Ashley. Author of the `Proposition` & `Runaway Train` books.

 

Event Halle

Right: Karina Halle. Author of `The Pact` and `Dirty Angels`books.

 

Event steiner

Left: Kandi Steiner. Author of `Weightless` & `A Love Letter To Whiskey`.

 

Event Malpas

Right: Jodi Ellen Malpas. Author of the `This Man`& `One Night`books.