Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I've Read So Far in 2015

Hey, guys!

Today I'm going in The Broke and The Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday. This week's topic is the best books we've read so far this year, and it's a great one. I was just thinking about it the other day, and I had a hard time narrowing it down. 2015 has been the best reading year I've ever had so far; I've found several new favorite authors, read books that completely changed my opinion on certain topics, laughed my ass off and had my heart ripped out, and accumulated quite the collection of book boyfriends. ;) I'm absolutely cheating, what with a lot of these being series, but oh well.

In no real order:

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New adult, romantic mystery, with some seriously screwed up themes

My name is Calla Price. I'm eighteen years old, and I'm one half of a whole. My other half—my twin brother, my Finn—is crazy. I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I'm terrified he'll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me. I'm doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I'm drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. Dare DuBray. He's my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I'm afraid, where I belong, where I'm lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. He has the power to destroy me. Maybe that's ok. Because I can't seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. Why? Because of a secret. A secret I'm so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. You won't either.

This book was a complete mindfuck. I loved it! It was eh for about 100 pages, but that really just lulled me into a false sense of security. Then it was just WHAM, what the actual fuck is going on here? Book 1 in a trilogy. Final book is scheduled for an August release.

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New adult, romantic horror, paranormal-ish (neither main character is a paranormal, which is refreshing). Book one of nine.

There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twentysomething, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts. Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance. Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems. 

While I wouldn't count this book specifically as one of my top 10, the series as a whole is incredible. Don't judge until after you've read the second book. I didn't care for the first, and nearly didn't pick up the second. What a world I would've missed! Sexy, smart, hilarious, terrifying, strangely vulnerable, very intense reads.

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New adult, contemporary romance

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

This book was amazing. The character development, the idea of coping with impending deafness at such a young age, huge responsibility, an incredible friends to lovers romance, the character's passion for what he does, all of it just blew me away.

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New adult/young adult (though it does not read like it, and deals with some very intense subject matter), contemporary romance, a bit dark. Well, a lot dark.

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

This book is about incest, and I almost didn't read it. I found the topic disgusting, and was gearing up for a retelling of Flowers in The Attic. That's not what happened. It was...incredible. It changed my view on the topic slightly; while I still find it a bit appalling, and I don't think any children should ever come from such a relationship....is it really, truly my place to tell two consenting people who they can or can't love? How is what they're doing effecting me in the grand scheme of things? My mind was going in circles when I was done with this.
I have never in my life read a book that hurt me as much as this book did. I was full on ugly crying during the last half of the book, and I was gutted by the end. I don't think I've ever had such a reaction to a book. I remember closing the book and just sitting there for a good ten minutes trying to absorb what I read. A beautifully written, brutally honest, agonizing book. Fair warning: it is not a happy ending.

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Adult, darkish contemporary romance

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

Karina Halle has quickly made her way to the top of my favorite authors list this year, and this is the book that started it all. First in a trilogy. One of my very few 6 star reads! I loved how Halle took characters that weren't likable and were really screwed up, and made me feel so much for them. My review for the first book, Sins and Needles, can be found here.

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Adult, contemporary romance

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...

This is the perfect light, fluffy, hilarious read. I laughed my ass off all the way through this, and the hero is a man after my own heart (I tell you, there is nothing sexier than a man with a camera. Nothing.). Very quick read and easy read.

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New/young adult, contemporary mystery romance

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. 
Complete strangers since this morning. 
He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget. 

This is book one of a three part novellas series. Second book is out, third is rumored to be out this summer but does not yet have a release date. Awful cliffhangers but so, so interesting and engaging. They're very short books (150 pages?), and they have a lot of information in them, but I never once felt they were rushed. I'm a big Colleen Hoover fan, but I didn't realize just how much talent she had until I read this.

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New adult, contemporary romance

She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.
Their real vice may be each other. 

This is another book that really opened my eyes and made me think about an uncomfortable topic. I've never given addiction much though, and the Ritchie twins really made me think about the issue. The way they showcased the controversial topic of sex addiction was so enlightening, and showed that it truly is an addiction. This is the first book in the series. 
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New adult (I think? May be adult; it's such a weird genre to pin down), contemporary romance

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

Oh, Archer. I just adored him. I cried so much during this book. So sweet and heartfelt, great character development, and holy chemistry!
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New adult (from what I'm understanding, it's *this close* to being adult), contemporary romance

He’s thirty-eight. I’m twenty-three.

He speaks Spanish. I speak English.

He lives in Spain. I live in Canada.

He dresses in thousand-dollar suits. I’m covered in tattoos.

He’s married and has a five-year old daughter.

I’m single and can’t commit to anyone or anything.

Until now.

Yet another one that made me stop and think. I love all books, but the ones that can get me to really examine my views are my favorites. This one got me thinking about age gaps and cheating, and I loved that it wasn't a perfect, happily ever after for the two of them. It was so realistic and beyond refreshing. In Halle's usual style, it was so easy to read. I read it in a day!

There we have it! What books make your list?

- The Bibliophile Babe 

Monday, June 29, 2015

6 Books I Am Dying to Read

Hey, everyone!

Happy Monday! I've been very good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) this month and haven't bought a single book. Gasp, I know. However, I'm finally getting my ass into gear and will be buying some professional lighting, backdrops and props that I've been meaning to get for months. I'm excited to learn how to use it all, but it's put book buying on the back burning. Not for too long, though! I'll be ordering these books very soon.

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Young adult, mystery, contemporary romance

Vic Howard never wanted to go to the party. He’s the Invisible Guy at school, a special kind of hell for quiet, nice guys. But because his best friend is as popular as Vic is ignored, he went…

And wished he hadn’t.

Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie's best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.

But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life…

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Contemporary romance, suspense. Adult or new adult, not sure which.

One of my favorite reviewers recently started buzzing about this, and it's so highly rated!
As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives--a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes. 

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving? 

Spanning 15 years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma—physical and mental—and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love. 

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Adult, dark erotic thriller (with romance?)
My twisted little brain loves the sound of this.

I haven't touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it's not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide... my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets... one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl's life depending on you venturing into society?

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New adult, contemporary romance

There doesn't seem to be a middle ground with this book; people are either rating it 4-5 stars or shelving it as a DNF. I'm absurdly drawn to the cover, and that's what put it on my TBR. I'm not sure what I'll think.

Lose your heart to your new bad boy book boyfriend. Wes Carter - sexy, edgy, behind bars, with emotional scars as permanent as the ink on his skin, just waiting to be healed by love...

Fans of Samantha Young, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans and Prison Break will find this powerful love story utterly addictive and unforgettable.

Their love is forbidden. But won't be denied... Can true love heal the deepest scars?

For Kat Lane, teaching inmates at a New York prison is her way of upholding the legacy of her beloved father, murdered fifteen years ago. But when new student Wes Carter walks into her classroom, she's shaken by the strength of her attraction to him. Carter is as handsome as he is dangerous, as mysterious as he is quick-witted - and he ensures people keep their distance. Yet vibrant Kat bypasses his defences and challenges him to reveal the real man behind the intimidating reputation. As their emotional barriers crumble, their inescapable but forbidden feelings cannot be ignored. But will Kat's discovery of Carter's role on the night her father died force them apart...or bind their hearts for ever?

A Pound of Flesh is a tale of loyalty, redemption and all-consuming love against the odds, introducing an irresistible bad boy hero...

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New adult, contemporary romance
I loved Archer's Voice, though I'm having trouble getting into another book by the author.

Grace Hamilton was the girl with a plan. She knew exactly where her life was going and prided herself on always achieving her goals. It was who she was, and how she lived her life. She never stepped outside the lines, and never considered what she might desire and whom she was actually trying so hard to please. Until him . . . 

Carson Stinger was a man who didn't play by any rules except his own. Working in the adult entertainment industry, he didn't care what others thought, and took each day as it came, no direction, no plan. He knew what women wanted from him and believed it was all he had to offer. Until her . . . 

When circumstances forced them to spend several hours together, they walked away changed. But for two people who never should have meshed, overcoming the reality of their vastly different lives wasn't possible. At least not yet . . .

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Young adult, fantasy/paranormal romance

I was wildly entertained by this author's Soul Screamer series, enough that I actually pushed through a love triangle (and was happy with who won!). This has been getting really high ratings from reviewers I wouldn't have expected to like it.

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

What books are you currently lusting after?

- The Bibliophile Babe 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Currently Reading

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I'm about 150 pages into this, and I don't like it. It ticks off nearly half the boxes on my 11 Book Trends I am Beyond Sick Of list, and it feels like the author is trying too hard to make the characters likable and funny. They're not. This has a 4.20 rating on Goodreads, and so many of my most trusted reviews have raved about it. I swear, I'm destined to never like the "cool" and popular books.

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 I started this in early April (I know...stop looking at me like that!), and at less than 200 pages, I can't believe I haven't finished it. However, there's a feeling I got that this is a love triangle of some form, and I can't find a spoiler to tell me what happens. I won't subject myself to a love triangle, I just won't!

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Another one started in April. Oy. While I like the interesting angle of this story, I had huge trouble staying into it. I need to pick it up and slog though it, see if it'll entrap me.

What are you reading?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Review: Lover Awakened - J. R. Ward

WARNING: This is the third book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and it's the only one I've read. There may or may not be some minor spoilers in this review, as I don't know what is and isn't common knowledge for starting the series. 


From Goodreads:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Zsadist, or Z, is one of the six bothers in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He was captured at a young age and used as a blood slave and sex slave for decades, and the scars left on him by the experience run deep, both physically and mentally. A cruel and ruthless vampire, he lives a life of constant anger, pain, humiliation, and a cold detachment from his fellow vampires, even his own Brothers. Getting off on the terror of others and constantly punishing himself because of how he is, he is trapped inside a life of hopeless darkness - until he meets and rescues Bella. Bella is a stunning aristocrat who was held captive by the vampires' sworn enemy, The Lessers. 
Once freed, they struggle to come to terms with their connection; Z, terrified of being near Bella, fights it every step of the way, while Bella is determined to crack down his walls and be let in. With a very rough road ahead of them, and danger and drama at every turn, the two must decide just how much damage can be repaired, and what is worth fighting for.

That is really all I can say about it without spoiling the story, but it has an interesting and engaging plot. Now, on to the review!

This book was...a bit ridiculous, but I truly enjoyed it. Definitely going on my "guiltiest of guilty pleasures" shelf, right next to my Crossfire and Night Huntress series. I devoured it, and will covertly be reading the others. 

I had several issues with this book, some of which were mild, others had me grinding my teeth in annoyance. 
First and foremost being holy fucking multiple points of views! There's at least 6 regular, alternating voices, and it got both confusing and frustrating trying to keep everyone straight. There's Zsadist, Bella, Phury (Z's twin), John, the main Lesser, and occasionally a bit from Butch and Bella's brother. The book is in third person, which made it even more tough to follow. I felt like I kept getting spoiled by bits, or wasting my time with unnecessary information. Don't get me wrong, I can see why Ward put more people in than just Z and Bella. Phury was an excellent addition, and I grew to really like John's view of the world. Everyone else, though? I could've happily done without them. Truth be told, I wound up skimming some of this novel.

All the strange names for people and things! I had to constantly refer to the glossary in the beginning of the book. 

The names of the Brothers. Maybe it's explained in the first two books, but why such odd spellings? Zsadist, Phury, Rhage, Vishous, Thorment.... I don't get it. 

The way the book panned out was a bit weird for me. The ending felt very, very rushed, and we didn't get to see much of Z and Bella actually being together. It was a fairly long book at around 440 pages, but it felt like there should've been more to it. We had all this angst and longing between the couple, and there wasn't much closure for me. 
On that note....while the ending was sweet, I didn't really see it as fitting for the couple. Maybe if we'd gotten to see them being together I would've been more satisfied, but given the way it was, it felt more just like Ward was trying to wrap everything up with a cute moment. 

There's a pretty big thing that happens towards the climax of the book, and while I understand that this story wasn't for that character, it felt totally unresolved. Even in the epilogue we don't get a mention, and I read the scene as being monumental to the Brotherhood. 

This line: "An 18-wheeler orgasm overtook him. As the top of his cock blew off..." I'm sorry, but all I pictured is someone getting smushed by a Mac truck, while dealing with a very bloody and very painful dick. 

Apart from that though, I really enjoyed this book. It says something that I could have so many issues with a novel and still devour it. And third person, no less! 

"You are clean."
"Oh, no, I'm not. I'm really not. I'm filthy.  I am so very dirty. I am dirty, dirty.... Can you see the dirt? I see it everywhere. It coats me. It seals me in. I can feel it on my skin -"

Zsadist. I love him. My heart broke for him at every page. Despite having so, so many issues, he didn't read like the typical self-loathing male. He truly believes that he is beyond repair, and he doesn't enjoy the feeling the way so many book men do. I teared up on more than one occasion reading what he felt, what he experienced, or how he thought about himself. He starves himself, washes himself raw, deprives himself of the most basic forms of comfort, and it broke me to read him. The scars left on him by his physical and sexual abuse run so deep, and he can't hide them. Can't fix them. 

"What are you saying, Zsadist?"
He glanced back down at the pencil in his hand and then turned to the table. Flipping the spiral notebook to a new page, he bent way over and labored on the top of the page for quite a while. Then he ripped the sheet free.
His hand was shaking as he held it out. "It's messy."
Bella took the paper. In a child's even block letters there were three words: 
I love you
"Maybe you can't read it," He said in a small voice. "I can do it over."

(this expert is what made me want to read the book)

Zsadist is illiterate. Of all the things, this one struck especially hard. Just imagine for a minute what it's like to not be able to read. Looking at this post and not comprehending a single thing I've written. It probably is a greater horror for us as passionate readers to imagine, but even if you weren't someone who took such joys in reading and writing, the effects of illiteracy are staggering. Not being able to read street signs, warnings, directions. Not being able to write your own name. It's a horrifying thought that there are people, adults, who can't read. It's not as uncommon as you may think. There's more than likely at least one person in your town who doesn't know the gift of words. It's simply appalling to even think of that.

I couldn't get a good read on Bella. I never really connected with her, so I had a difficult time seeing things through her eyes. 

The sex scenes were interesting between Z and Bella. We delve so deep into Z's issues that their trysts become more about how he is coping and thinking, rather than getting turned on by vampy sexy times, and I loved that. Z's sexual abuse has shaped him so much into what he is and how he processes, and the sex between them really did a good job of illustrating how far he could go and how much he was willing to try and repair himself, even when he wasn't actively acknowledging it. It was a clever way to show that Z was willing to try and heal for Bella, even as he so desperately fought it.

"You've got to understand that I die for you every day. Your pain is mine."

Something I found fascinating was the relationship between Zsadist and his twin brother, Phury. That bond they have...holy hell. It was so intense! Sometimes you read a book and two characters' chemistry just jumps off the page. Whether between lovers, friends, or siblings, it's an amazing thing to see. That's how it was with Z and Phury. The care Phury has for his brother, the torture he goes through at seeing him hurt, the way he will do anything in his power to help Z was so beautiful. And Z, for all his problems, cares just as deeply. The reconciliation scene...I cried. I enjoyed seeing the two of them interact more than anything else in the entire story.

It took me 100 pages or so to really get into the book, but after that I breezed through it. It was fast paced, engaging, and kept me wanting. When I wasn't reading it, I was itching to get back to it. That's the sign of a good book to me, despite the problems I had with it. I would recommend it, with a tissue warning.


Rating: 3.75 stars
Genre: Adult, paranormal romance
Length: 334 pages (paperback)
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 3
POV: 3rd person, multiple
Steam/sexual content: Steamy, explicit sex
Warnings: violence, graphic mental, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, graphic sex, drug use
Cliffhanger: For this couple, no
HEA: Yes
From my library 

- The Bibliophile Babe 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Free Book Friday

Hey, guys!

Just a quick post today since I will have a review up for y'all tomorrow, so here are a few of the recent free Kindle books I've downloading. Side note: I think I'm finally going to breakdown and buy a Kindle Paperwhite!

Paranormal romantic suspense, according to Goodreads.


Erotica. Not sure if it's erotic romance or just flat out porn.


Young adult paranormal romance.


New adult romantic suspense.


Paranormal romance I'm assuming. I find the title absurdly funny.


New adult romance. People seem to like this one!


Contemporary romance. I'm not into the motorcycle club thing, but that cover.....

- The Bibliophile Babe

Thursday, June 25, 2015

11 Book Trends I Am Beyond Sick Of

Hey, everyone!

Today's post is something that's been nagging at me for a little while, especially when I try and find fresh or more unique reads. I keep slapping into plot lines that are being beat to death, so much so that I feel I've read every book I'm seeing. I don't know why they are so popular right now, but I am fed up with them! I'm sure y'all can relate, and feel free to share you trend peeves in the comments!

In no particular order:

11. "I'm such a man."
Or, the douche-y manwhore.

I'm beyond tired with the hero being a bit of an asshole who will stick it into anything that walks by him in a short skirt. Ew. What is it about these men that is attractive?

10. "It's not you, it's me."
Or, I won't have sex with you for some otherworldly reason, and I don't care what you have to say about it. 

I've had to stay away from a lot of YA paranormal for this very reason. Hero (because it's always the hero who's the paranormal, isn't it?) constantly claims to want Heroine, but won't "go all the way" with her due to some reason relating to his ethereal being. Not giving her a choice in the matter, of course. He will hold firm (haha...hold firm. Get it? I kill me!) in his choice until the end or nearly so in the series, when suddenly his issues are unwarranted. 

9. "Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy...."
Or, I am in love with you. Truly, madly, deeply. Who cares that I literally just laid my eyes upon you for the first time? We're meant to be, I just know it!

Insta-love: the ultimate form of lazy writing. Holy shit on a shit stick, this one gives me an eye twitch. Trying to pass it off as something to do with just being a paranormal being doesn't make it better, either! 
I don't believe in an insta-love romance. I just don't. You have no build up, no chemistry, no connection, nothing but stalker-like obsession, and you expect me to ship this?

8. "I'm really not that special. Seriously, guys, stoooooop."
Or, I'm so humble, I'm not humble.

This one is becoming frightfully common in the YA world, and it's another that just grates on me. We have this girl who either won't see how "special" she is, or keeps down playing it, to the extent that she counters every compliment or action with a dismissal. Perhaps I'm just prideful and good at what I do, but when someone gives me a compliment on my work, I accept it, especially when I know it's genuine. There is nothing wrong with being good at something and being proud of it. You don't need to be a boastful ass, but constantly putting yourself down and fishing for compliments that you can then deflect is just unattractive. And annoying.

7. "My issues have issues, and don't you forget it!"
Or, the person who will not shut up about how screwed up they are. No one else could ever have a problem as great as theirs. Ever. Don't you dare even suggestion such a thing.

This is usually the male love interest, but it can be the female protagonist on occasion. There is no one more messed up than them, and anyone else's problems are non-exsistant compared to theirs. This person lives to talk about just how fucked up they are. May or may not be accompanied by the standard "I'm not good for you" line.

6. "I'm fifty shades of fu- oh wait, wrong book."
Or, the billionaire Dominant.

Just because 50 Shades is absurdly successful doesn't mean you have to copy E. L. James. Please stop. 50 Shades was bad enough without adding to the melee. 

5. "What's a butt plug?"
Or, the completely naive virgin who let's her inner hussy out seconds after popping that cherry.

This is mainly a 50 Shades issue, but I've seen it popping up more and more lately, especially with Kindle books. The girl who is so pure and virginal she's never even gotten herself off is suddenly willing and capable of being a submissive in a BDSM relationship and deep throating a cock just days after having sex for the first time. Right. I can't brush past the tip of my tongue without gagging, and I know what a butt plug is. Give me a break, Ana. 

4. "I failed third grade English, but damn right I can write a book."
Or, you need to proofread!

I love self published and indie writers. I really, really do. They're often diamonds in the rough, with incredible ideas and an engrossing story. However...reread what you've written. I'm forgiving of typos and various other issues, but when you manage to miss the basics (your/you're, too/two/to, they're/there/their, ect) it irks me. Deeply, deeply irks me.

3. "My family is awful!!! No one understands me and I have so much responsibly."
Or, the parents who don't care or the child who cares for the adult.

From Bella to Katniss, this is the thing to have in a YA book as of late. Yes, shitty parents happen. However, I'd like to read about an involved family for once!

2. "You've crushed all my dreams."
Or, not matching up the pair who were perfect for each other in favor of other people I can't stand.

I can't be the only one who will be rooting so hard for a certain pairing, only to get my heart brutalized when the writer decides to match them off with other people. It's always someone who just doesn't do it for me with the other person, and annoys me almost as much as the next trend I'll talk about. 
I remember being around 9 years old or so and reading Little Women, and being furious when Teddy wound up with Amy instead of Jo. So furious I could barely finish the book. Just a few years ago it happened when I read the Hunger Games, and Katniss picked Peeta over Gale. I may or may not have tossed my book across the room after reading that.

1. "I love you...and them, too."
Or, that fucking love triangle.

Just. Stop. It. 

I feel worlds better for getting that off my chest, haha! What are some trends you're sick of reading about?

- The Bibliophile Babe 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Step F#@K Book Tour

Meet Jai in this sexy stepbrother romance!  



That's all I did. A few too many glasses of wine with my best friend and the bitch convinced me to go on one of those dating websites.

A one-night stand.

A booty call.

And you know what? It.was.amazing.

I spent all night in a sexy stranger's arms, hot and sweaty, until it was time to sneak out and do the walk of shame back to my apartment.

I never thought I'd see sexy stranger again, and I was totally fine with that - until my mother's wedding.

She's getting remarried, see. And sexy stranger just happens to be my new stepbrother.

All the wine in the world isn't going to make this better.


 I’m reaching for a napkin when I see that Jai is on the other side of the table, helping himself to a generous portion of the oysters.
     “You know what they say about oysters,” he says. I pretend I didn’t hear him, but when I look over, he’s staring right at me.
     “What?” I hiss. “You think you’re being clever? You think you’re going to impress me with that totally unoriginal line, like I’ve never heard that oysters are an aphrodisiac? That’s not why I took some—I happen to like how they taste very much and as a poor college student, I can’t afford to eat like this!”
     He’s still staring. At my chest. Then the smirk returns. “Might want to pull up that dress, Janet Jackson.”
     “What?” I look down. My left breast has completely popped out of the top of the dress, my nipple there on full display for anyone who happens to be looking. “Shit!” I try to stuff myself back in the dress, dropping the plate of salad and oysters in the process. “Fuck!”
     “You know, they’ve got things you can paste on in these sorts of situations.” He reaches over and picks up the wayward oysters and puts them back on my plate.
     “I’m not eating those,” I say. “I need to talk to you.”
     I wriggle my shoulders and try to get myself as secure in the dress as I can before I hurry around to the other side of the buffet table. “I need to talk to you over here.” We go to the back of the restaurant, near the hallway to the bathroom, and I strategically place myself behind one of the columns that keeps us partially obscured from the rest of the restaurant.
     “Imagine meeting you here,” Jai says, a slow grin spreading across his face. “I really had no idea. No idea at all. I knew I was going to be getting some stepsisters out of this blessed union, but I really had no clue—”
     “Are you fucking kidding me? You expect me to believe that? You’re a fucking dog. A total fucking asshole.”
     “I really do like the scarf. And the dress, too. You should’ve left the tit out. You’ve got great tits, you know.”
     “I do NOT want to talk about my tits!”
     “That’s certainly not the tune you were singing last night.”
     “Do you realize how not funny this is? What a complete disaster this is? OUR PARENTS ARE GETTING MARRIED. That means we’re going to be brother and sister.”
     Step brother and sister. There’s a difference, darling.”

Series Reading Order

Part Two 
Releasing June 25th

Part Three 
Releasing July 3rd

Part Four
Releasing July 10th

My Review
2 stars

This is the first installment in the series, and I was surprised at how short it was. Amazon says it's 34 pages, and it just ends. Now, I do have the other four books and I'll be reading them, but since only the first book is out, that's the only book I read. I'd much rather review what you can get now, rather than what will come.

Anyway, Emma is having a bit of a dry spell after breaking up with her boyfriend six months ago. He roommate and best friend has her join a dating site, and she instantly meets SexyStranger, aka Jai, a hot guy who wants to bang her. They decide to meet up at his hotel room that night, and sexy times commence. 

This book was funny, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, and the characters' voices were engaging and easy to read. It's very fast paced, which is to be expected of such a short book, and the storyline is easy to follow. The main characters seem likable enough, and it was a quick and easy read.
I don't know, I guess I just cannot fathom doing the things that Emma does in this story. She's...not very smart with her choices, to put it mildly. Come to think of it, Jai isn't being very smart, either. Between sleeping (literally and figuratively) with a total stranger she just met online, to letting him buy her a drink without her seeing it... I don't know, a lot of it just bothered me. 
However, it is a quick read as I said, and if you're able to look past very questionable choices, it's a fair bit of smut for $.99.

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, clearly. ;)

About the Author:

Scarlett Ward is a yoga-loving, coffee-drinking writer who finally took the plunge and wrote her first book. Her own stepbrother wasn't remotely good-looking, but the one she dreamed up for Step F*@k is absolutely DIVINE.

Scarlett hates long walks on the beach. That shit is hard. She prefers laying out by the pool with her laptop, writing her next story while working on her tan.

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