Review: Against the Ropes (Redemption #1) by Sarah Castille

An ARC copy provided by SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca via NetGalley

SYNOPSIS:

He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more…

Makayla never thought she’d set foot in an underground mixed-martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it’s these guys. Trouble is, at her first sight of the club’s owner she’s the one feeling breathless.

All sleek muscle and restrained power, the man they call Torment plays to win at any cost. Whether it’s in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when to use a soft touch and when to launch a full-on assault. He always knows just how far he can push. And he’s about to tempt Makayla in ways she never imagined…


Rating: 3 Stars!

MMA heroes has been quite popular in the market lately after all the Crossfire, Real, and Beautiful Disaster's fame. Thus is one of the reasons why Against the Rope has been on my list of 'currently reading'.

This book has some potential to be a great 5 stars book. Castille built great characters that stands out from the crowd and are likeable! Lets not forget the cover candy we have here...hot, hot, eye-catching hot!

The book does what it says in the description, MMA meets the medics... and the skeleton starts rattling in the closet. Makayla, the sweet contradiction of a heroine, a realistic and relatable character. Torment, the jacks of all trade (I love it when he talk all food connoisseur). Both need to come clean before they have their Happily Ever After. The bold characters helped a lot on the development of the stories as there are some moments that the sarcasm or funny remarks of the characters brightens the scenario. 

Readers who adores fuzzy warm cute moments would love this book as there are several scenes that's just heart melting and some are borderline Nicolas Sparks sugary-sweet.

BUT..

There has been some flaws that let this book down which could easily been ignored if the author has done more 'background research'.

I am not too keen on the way BDSM has been infused on this book. Some scenes has been wrongly approach which could misled the readers of BDSM practices. It would be more reasonable for induction and contracts to be introduced before tying an inexperience submissive to a bike.

"The French Attempts":
                Kudos to Castille to attempt infusing a beautiful language to her book. French, like any other non-mother tongue language, is not easy to master. So it is so important to perhaps get the French scenes proofread by somebody who is fluent and/or native French. Google translate is not a reliable translator.

                 Personally, I found these scenes quite humorous (situation-wise and language-wise). In a way, it reminds me of Bridget Jones for some reason - and I love that girl!

Readers, favourite scene to look out for: 
"You are my cheese sandwiches, pizza, and mashed potatoes with a lot of butter"... "You, Makayla Delaney, are a buffet of sensual delights..." - Torment, 61% of the book.

Only in books that wooing a girl with a load of carbohydrates can be so cute!


Hiatus v2.0

"Ooops, I did it again."~ Britney Spears

The only sentence that would fit in the situation which has been going on with this blog.  No, I have not abandoned or decreased my love for y'all. There has been some serious events happening these past months which will affect the whole of my life, therefore I hope I have not hurt your feelings to harshly by going AWOL for almost half the year *eek!*

I will still posts reviews/interviews/general chatter, but I can not promise it will be generated daily. I have a lot of catching up to do and I shall try my best.

p.s. We have gone for a more simple yet fierce look for our layout, courtesy of an awesome graphic designer! What do you guys think?

Love,
Emiko x

Review: Beck (Corps Security #3) by Harper Sloan


 
 **Warning** This book is intended for a mature reading**
~DEE~
I’ve always been good at wearing masks. Not letting anyone see the real me. I’m content being the happy-go-lucky best friend. The strong willed boss. The independent woman who doesn’t need a man.
But the truth is I’m just as broken as the rest of you. I’m terrified that all it will take is one person to make all my carefully constructed walls crumble into fine dust. So I guard my heart with everything I have. Determined to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again.
All is perfect until HE walks into my life. No… he doesn’t just walk. He struts his good-looking, sex-oozing self-right into my space and demands that I see HIM. Making me want what I know I can’t have.
So I did the only thing I know how to do.
I run.
But he just won’t let me go.
~BECK~
The second I see her, I know she will be mine. I see past the gorgeous smiles and heart-stopping laughter. I see HER. She doesn’t want me to know her secrets or the past that haunts her, but I make it my mission to find out.
To make her mine.
She can run all she wants, but it will never be far enough to stop me from coming after her.
She’s it for me and she knows it.
She’s just too scared to admit it.
**NO cliffhanger, HEA, inter-connected standalones**
  
 


Rate: 4 Stars!
Optional: [I suggest you listen to the song "Demons" by Imagine Dragons before reading this.]

Corps Series are getting better and better! We can definitely see developments in the writer’s voice confidence in this book. Sloan has delved deeper in character’s emotion and conflict; it’s the best she has wrote so far. 
In this book, Sloan creatively used flashbacks and manipulating narrative devices to illuminate Beck and Dee's relationship.It explores back from the first book, Axel, yet from Beck & Dee's perspective. And what a different experience it was.
It's scary how sometimes I felt like I was reading a confessional book (in the likes of Anne Sexton with less disturbing graphic metaphors) than I was reading a romance novel. Readers would get a feel to channel the way how the tone of this book is darker and dealing with ‘more serious’ topics (yes, the predecessors dealt with issues, but I believe this was like a real skeleton inside the closet). The ever-so-fabulous Sway and 'sweet loving' will be present of course, though they'll take the back seat presence.
Expect a lot of drama, tears, birth, and the unfortunate deaths (yes, I cried). So, readers please bring some tissue with you whilst reading this, and as for Harper Sloan - kudos chica! I'm looking forward for the next instalment of the series *grins*. Thank you Twinsie Talk for the opportunity!

About The Author
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her e-reader attached. As an ex-reviewer and blogger, Harper's passion for reading runs deep. It wasn't until 'Axel' decided to take up residence that she realized her true calling. 
She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
Social Links
  
Facebook Author Page ¦ Twitter: @harpersloan ¦ Goodreads Author Page
Pinterest ¦ Instagram: @harper_sloan

  
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Author Interview with Harper Sloan!



New Year, a new beginning~
I hope you guys had a fabulous festivities ending the year of 2013 *smiles* 
what a beginning with the line up such as Harper Sloan! She's an upcoming author to watch, especially with her Corps Security series. Twinsie Talk gives me an opportunity to participate for Sloan's third book Beck and I got a chance to interview the lady.  Below are what we have been discussing...



Quickies
Me: Wine, Spirit, or Cocktail? 
Harper: Cocktail… mainly because I like to say cocktail
Me: Book you most want to see turned into a movie? 
Harper: Real
Me: Favourite day of the week?  
Harper: Saturday

Me: What's your party trick? 
Harper: I can wiggle my ears.  LOL

(I'm so jelly! I wish I could)

Me:Your perfect breakfast consists of –
Harper: A hotpocket and coke.  Yup… pretty healthy, said no one ever.

and... 
Me: If you had a super power, which one would it be? 
Harper: I would read minds

Now, let’s talk about you and your book …

1.      Can you tell us three fun facts about you? Go as crazy as you’d like… 
Harper: I’m insanely dorky.  I like stupid ugly sweaters, I sing and talk to myself and sometimes when I’m feeling froggy I talk to my characters.  What?  They are the best brainstormers.  LOL

2.      Can you tell us what a typical Harper Sloan day is like?
Harper: I can’t work during the day so my day is consumed with one crazy as hell, awesome two year old.  Some reading, some cleaning, and then working until 4-ish in the morning.

3.      What made you take a leap and become a writer? 
Harper: I finally grew some balls and stopped being terrified of failing.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t have ever published Axel without the amazing support system urging me to finish.

4.      What got you to write New Adult genre?
Harper: I don’t know if I would consider my books NA… I think Beck could fall into that genre because he isn’t as raw as the other two but honestly I just write how the characters come to me.  If they cuss like idiots, or have too much sex… then so be it.  LOL

5.      How did you feel when you first started to write Corps Security series?
Harper: Nervous, Scared, worried… I still feel like that.  With every book.  I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.

6.      Where did your ideas for the stories come from? Do you include events inspired by your own life events or someone you know? 
Harper: There is something, even if it’s super small like poprocks, in each of my books that is all me.    Most of it is just where my mind and fingers take me.  

7.      What has been your biggest challenge with writing Beck? 
Harper: The EMOTIONS.  Beck almost killed me.  I was gutted and sobbing for most of the book.  I poured my heart into that baby and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

8.      Who is your favourite character? 
Harper: Sway… or maybe Beck.  

9.      Which character is most/least like you and in what way? 
Harper: Melissa.  She is 100% me with a touch of Sway humor.

10.  Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp? 
Harper: For Beck, absolutely.  It’s hard for people that haven’t even had a touch of depression in their lives to understand Dee.  I know this, and I knew it going in that there would be people that HATE her.  As someone that has suffered myself, I just wanted to put some kind of ‘real’ to it.  There could be someone in your life that is hiding and I’ll tell you, they are good at it.  Know your friends, and be there.. always for whatever they need.

13.  Do you have any funny experience whilst writing the series? 
Harper: If you could see me when I write it would be a ball of laughs.  I write with my music full blast in my bed.  I don’t use a desk, I drag my laptop around and sing at the top of my lungs.  I constantly have to stop what I’m doing to dance around like a major freak.

14.  How has interactions with the fans been?
Harper: I LOVE MY FANS.  I am connected to my iPhone and love the comments and messages I get.  My husband makes fun of my because I’m constantly smiling at my phone.

15.  Have you been surprised at all by how the series has been received by the readers?
Harper: God yes.  I honestly always thought it would just be my mom reading my books.  LOL

16.  What advice can you give to aspiring/ debut authors? 
Harper: Never give up.  Regardless of how scary it can be.  You have a story to tell, tell it.

17.  Name three of your all-time favourite authors.
Harper: Kristen Ashley, JR Ward, Carly Phillips

18.  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Harper: I LOVE Y’ALL!


Review: Blue Love by MJ Field

I am guilty as charged to gone AWOL for quite a while. There shouldn't be any reason to not fulfil my scheduled deadline (aka blog posts) even though it is quite a juggle to reach equilibrium between book reviewing, academic, and personal life. 
My deep apology, i shall try my best.
~Emiko


Blue Love Blog Tour BannerSynopsis

In this New Adult / College, Coming of Age story Tessa Ross tries to fight her attraction to bad boy Lucas Links. He is hot, arrogant, and has a sexual past that most boys his age could only dream of, (If they even knew they could dream of such things).

Lucas, the star quarterback seems to have it all, super star athletic abilities, expensive clothes, cars, and women who literally stop just to watch him walk by. On the outside he appears to have it all.
Tessa is a young woman who lives her life always doing what is right to make everyone else happy. She tries desperately to hold herself accountable to the demanding expectations of her family and everyone around her.
Is Tessa as innocent as she appears? Is Lucas just a spoiled young man who seems to have what every male, and female wants?

If you Love an emotional story that is full of spicy hot goodness. If you Love to follow a story from beginning until the bitter sweet end. If you are often left wondering what happened next... get your tissues and lip balm ready you are in for the read of your life.

As we all know, you should never judge a book by it's cover.

Rating: 3 stars

Thank you for Debra at Book Enthusiast Promotions and MJ Field for the Book Tour opportunity!

For a not-so-rookie author, MJ Field has done quite a good job with Blue Love. On the business side, she has done her market research well. New Adult - especially contemporary ones are 'the bomb' right now. On the literary side, I love that the book is a big one! I got to know the characters more and with the different point of views, there are more twist to the plot. What a treat that it's book one of the Love series!

The structure of this book is good, though with some editing, it could enhance the book better. Especially around voicing embodiment of the POVs and some grammar structure (yes, I'm a bit freaky on that). Interestingly, Field uses a few key characters as the narrator of the story. It's quite challenging to pull it off successfully, and Field has casually succeed in that with just a few mishaps. There are just something with Field's writing that hooks the readers to be entertained from start to finish. 

Reading from the description, I thought it was eerily prophetic for the last words to be "never judge a book by it's cover" for it was true that the book has more depth than what the author has hinted. The plot twist were at times unpredictable and let me tell you - their high school experience is more dramatic than Pretty Little Liars!

The characters were entertaining, and this book is one of the rare occasion where I truly like the heroine. Tessa, our heroine is sassy and funny and loving towards her loved ones. The holy trinity of my approval *smiles* The pairing with Lucas however is a bit  like Marmite. In some scenes, they are hot and sweet HOWEVER there was some particular scene where I was like completely against it (read it to get what I mean). It is not that Lucas is a mean, irritating character - he's crazy for Tessa! but he's really lost and chased by his past that at times he let it rule his decisions. 

This book is definitely enjoyable to read with the fun characters and interesting twists of plot. p.s. the magic happens after chapter three.

Meet the Author

I am a very new self published writer. I will tell you I have always had a very vivid imagination. Starting at age 3 (as it states in my Baby Book).

Sigma was my very first love (imaginary boyfriend). He lived about fifteen miles from my childhood home, (a farm). I took him chicken noodle soup every night on one of our families snowmobiles, (Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring). Apparently he was very ill and "Thank God" I was able to take care of him.

Next was my very first self publishing gig. At eight my cousins and I (and yes I was the president) wrote a newsletter and sold it to our family members.

Years later I decided to put it back into print to entertain my cousin as she was on an aircraft carrier on 9/11 (Kick ass cousin BTW) and very far away from home during a very scary time for our country, (protecting our butts).

Fast forward to 2012. I read 50 shades and thought, I can do that, (meaning writing). I have two complete series The Love Series, and Wrapped. I have two new series Burning Souls and Men of Steel. Ten books in 13 months. CrAzY and wonderful.

I love love! ( I would love to reference Pinks new song here, however I am not sure if that would cause copyright issues.)I also tend to enjoy watching people grow and change with self realization and moments of clarity that just sneak up behind you and smack you in the head. I love people and have always been able to see both sides of a story. Each person that comes into our life leaves us with something it is what we choose to do with it that helps us grow.

I live in central New York in the middle of nowhere and am surrounded by family and friend most the time. I run a small business out of my home and spend time reading and doing the typical Mommy things. Our house is full of pets and friends and noise ninety percent of the time, and I would have it no other way.
I love people,music, laughter, hugs, and books.

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Author Interview: Katy Evans

Title: Mine
Author: Katy Evans
Date for Re-Release of Paperback: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Blog Tour Hosted by: The SUBClub Books
Synopsis
“I will do anything to make her MINE.” —Remington Tate 

In the international bestseller 
REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington “Remy” Tate as vital as the air he breathes . . . and now he can’t live without her. 

Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman’s dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when they need each other the most, Brooke is torn away from the ringside. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing left is to fight for the love of the man she calls 
MINE.

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Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Mine-The-REAL-series-ebook/dp/B00D0MZXCA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383594313&sr=8-1&keywords=katy+evans+mine




About Katy Evans


Hey! I’m Katy Evans and I love family, books, life, and love. I’m married with two children and three dogs and spend my time baking, walking, writing, reading, and taking care of my family. Thank you for spending your time with me and picking up my story. I hope you had an amazing time with it, like I did. If you’d like to know more about books in progress, look me up on the Internet, I’d love to hear from you!




I had the felicity to interview the one and only Katy Evans! she was so nice and fun to chat with, so here below is an insider exclusively for y'all readers of what we have discussed. 
Emiko: Hi pretty lady, welcome to my blog!
  • Hi, Emiko, thanks so much for having me over!
Emiko: How are you? Thank you for joining us today. Congratulation for the success of your book Real, I’m super excited to chat with you, one of my favourite author! *grins*
->Thank you so much, I’m so humbled and excited to hear this!
Emiko: *turn the kettle on* UK is famous for its ‘brew’ especially in tea parties. So before the interview started, do you prefer coffee or tea?
->Oooh, I love both. But how about some tea?
Emiko: Now we’re all have a cuppa (a cup of beverage), let’s start it nice and slow with...

Quickies questions-:
Sweet or Savoury? Sweet
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Print copies or e-books? I still love print best!Reading or Writing? Both!Vampires, Zombies, or werewolves?  I love both vampires and werewolves!
Favourite season?  SpringWine, Spirit, or Cocktail? Cocktail
Book you most want to see turned into a movie?  REAL!! My life would be made haha
Favourite day of the week?  Saturday
What's your party trick? I’ve yet to discover I have any neat tricks
Your perfect breakfast consists of  granola, yogurt, and berries
If you had a super power, which one would it be? I’d always wanted to fly
Now, let’s talk about you and your book …
  1. Can you tell us three fun facts about you? Go as crazy as you’d like…
Well. I wanted to be a veterinarian growing up, because I love animals so much.
I’m an all or nothing kind of girl.
I used to be a ballet dancer.
  1. Can you tell us what a typical Katy Evans day is like?
Typically I wake up to get the kids ready for school, then I wave both Mr. Evans and the kids goodbye, get settled down with my tea by my laptop, try not to check emails until noon, and get writing. By noon, I check emails, have a long walk/or exercise, then shower, and get back to writing before the kids get back from school at 4. My afternoons, I try to spend reading or with the kids, but when I’m on deadline, it’s more writing too!
  1. What made you take a leap and become a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write, since I grew up being a voracious reader. But it was a book that irritated me that made me really sit down and prove (at least to myself) that I could do better.
  1. Where did your ideas for the stories come from? Do you include events inspired by your own life events or someone you know?
I draw from everything. A song, maybe something I feel passionately about, but most of all, my main motor for writing are the birth of my characters in my mind. When I start to really feel them, and they consume me, I can’t do anything but think about them and write, write, write!

  1. What has been your biggest challenge with writing Mine?
Mine was very emotional for me. I love Brooke and Remington so much, I did not want them to hurt one bit. But on the other hand, I needed to be sure that they were ready for each other, so they needed to be challenged in order to grow. Mine is their deepest book.
  1. If you could go back and change any part of the novel, what would it have been?
I would love to have added more of the scenes they had in private, together. I just love watching the way they snuggle.
  1. Your characters are so quirky. What kind of process or research do you go through when fleshing them out?

Nothing at all, they just seem to be like they are, haha.

  1. Who is your favourite character?

I love Brooke, as my narrator, she’s really attuned to herself and to Remy. But of course I love Remy most of all. Love may even fall short.

  1. Which character is most/least like you and in what way?

I’m not like anyone, but if I can say that I admire a lot of their traits, I really do. They have both taught me so much, I adore them to pieces not only for teaching me that, but also for choosing me to tell their story.

  1. What was Remington and Brooke’s greatest and worst personality traits?

I appreciate all of their traits, the good and the bad. The fact that they clearly are imperfect is what makes them real, and human, and capable of learning and improving themselves. I love how they both try to be better, and that they both think the other is so wonderful, that they each privately feel maybe they’re not enough.

  1. Do you have any funny experience whilst writing Mine?

No. Except that the book wrecked me so much, I had a cigarette in the midst of writing, and I quit three years ago.

  1. What advice can you give to aspiring/ debut authors?
Write in your own voice, write what you love, and don’t stop writing!
  1. Name two of your all-time favourite books.
I love Tryst by Elswyth Thane, it’s such a haunting book. I also really love Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
  1. Do you have any future release date in mind?

YES! REMY, the follow up to Real and Mine, releases November 26th, and next year we have the last two books of the Real series releasing – RIPPED and RAW. I can’t wait to share them all.

  1. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Currently I’m working on RIPPED, and I love both the hero and heroine. They seem to dislike each other, even though they have a heated past, so it’s been so fun to watch them realize they’ve still got the hots for each other.

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you!! To all my readers, for your amazing support, your kind notes, your encouragement. When I wrote REAL, I wrote it because Remington was in my head, demanding I tell his story. When I wrote MINE, Brooke was in my head, demanding to show me she would do whatever it took to be with Remy. When I wrote REMY, I could not love REMINGTON TATE an ounce more...but by the end, I did. Thank you for giving these characters I adore a little bit of your time, and a little bit of your love. You also have mine! Hugs!