Guys! We are almost to the end of this challenge, we can do it! I gave us all some extra time on this one because the holidays can be stressful and reading should be fun, not stressful! Check out the results and keep scrolling to the bottom so you can get our Round 13 special number! Happy reading!
This is the second book in Hill’s Nature of Desire series and it is a Fem Domme favorite of many fans of BDSM. I was excited to finally read a book that had been recommended to me by many trusted sources. Let’s start with our characters, Mac and Violet because they are the core of this story, their journey to each other. I think it’s safe to put this book in the insta-love category, whether Mac and Violet are comfortable admitting that, it’s impossible to miss that particular reality. I mean I get it, meeting in a BDSM club and getting naked and having an orgasm less than an hour after you meet will make you want to go back for another taste. They clearly liked that initial taste and wanted another bite. Mac is 100% alpha male, there is no mistaking that and in his past Domme/sub relationships, he definitely topped from the bottom. He is good at playing the role of sub but until Violet, he never considered actually letting go and fully embracing what his heart, head, and body had been screaming for his entire life.
That’s another thing I enjoyed about this book. Neither Mac nor Violet had some traumatic experience that broke them and forced them into the “lifestyle”. I really hate it when books do that shit, if some past trauma is the only reason you like your sex a certain way, well, you might need a therapist more than a sex club. I think it’s rather lazy to make that a character’s motivation and I’m happy Hill didn’t go there with our main characters.
I also appreciated the amount of talking they did to establish the trust in their relationship. Yes, it happened fast but for such a closed-off guy, Mac opened right up, with a little push back of course, once he found his missing piece. Violet might be relatively new to her role as Domme but she fully understands her role in the relationship and holds Mac’s feet to the fire when he allows his walls to pop back up and hinder their complete connection. She is small but she is might in spirit, she’s a very enjoyable character to read, likable on all levels.
My problem is, and I’m willing to say it’s more me than the book is, the crime-solving is so secondary to the plot, it felt rushed. I’m thinking I just went in this with the wrong mindset. The book kicks off in the throes of a serial killer mystery Mac is investigating. His investigation leads him to a BDSM club and really, the next ¾ of the book is BDSM relationship building. Once we get back to the case, it feels a bit rushed because it all happens so fast, out of nowhere, really. I would’ve liked a little better balance between the two plot points, that’s really my only critique of the book. There is a lot of sex, it’s well written but even the vanilla sex has a clearly defined edge to it. You have to be okay with watching your giant alpha hero being sexually submissive and I don’t have a problem with that at all, mainly because Hill does a nice job getting us into Mac’s head. The sex isn’t mindless, the emotional content is clearly defined and fleshed out, I found that very enjoyable. I loved the way both characters are willing to sacrifice themselves for the other, that’s a level of commitment I like, especially in an insta-love situation. The climax and epilogue were good but again, I missed the buildup that could’ve happened in greater detail with the actual crime investigation, especially since both MCs are in law enforcement. 3.5 stars
I haven’t read a lot of Colleen Hoover’s books recently but I need to get back to her. In this book, Tate is coming to live with her brother while she works and goes to school. She runs into Miles, her brother’s best friend totally drunk on the doorstep of her brother’s apartment. Tate doesn’t want to like Miles and he is definitely not warm and fuzzy to her but there is something palpable between them that neither can ignore. So, a no strings attached arrangement ensues.
Throughout the book we slowly get Miles’ backstory on why he is so damaged, why he feels so undeserving of happiness, or anything other than existence. It’s a classic Colleen Hoover story of heartbreak, circumstance and life experience that has caused this young man to be so wounded and hurt. Thankfully he has surrounded himself with some good friends who help. However just because he has some really crappy circumstances and things happen it doesn’t mean he gets a free pass to be a complete ass, and he is, more than once. Tate is so understanding and patient more than I could have ever been with the crap that he threw at her. Overall I really enjoyed this book and it’s a reminder that I need to get back to reading Colleen Hoover. She is a master storyteller. 4 stars
Jessica | Bring Me Back by Karen Booth
We can all relate to that teenage crush that you still think about today…the what if. Heather had Tommy Lee, Katie had Tom, I had Jon Bon Jovi and Claire had Chris. Karen Booth wrote an amazing character in Claire in that she is completely relatable and gets the chance, I know I would love by getting to interview her teenager crush, British rock star Christopher Penman.
Karen pulled me in right from the beginning with a diary except and then continues to give us a book that is inspirational, funny and emotional. I don’t usually read rock romances because they are too much sometimes, but this book was a winner for me. I loved how the two developed their friendship into a relationship and it seems realistic in the challenges of trying to keep it going long distance. I would definitely read this again to laugh and cry again and I’ll for sure get the next book to see how it continues. 4 ½ stars
P.S. Jon, I’m still waiting.
After scanning the Facebook Secret Vault and our Goodreads group, it looks like several people fell into the dreaded December reading slump. Let me tell you guys, I feel you, I hit that slump too, like a brick wall and I’m slowly, just now, maybe, kinda’ sorta pulling myself up and over that wall. We will finish this challenge ladies! Round 13 starts now, and the random number on your list is Book #1. For me, that means Once a Gypsy by Danica Winter – not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous about this one. How about you, what’s your #1 book? Get to reading, I’ll post the Round 13 results on February 2.
Smooches,Tags: Colleen Hoover, Joey W. Hill, karen booth, TBR Lottery Challenge