***Please note, provided by the author, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review***
A dark angel, with blood on his hands and fire in his eyes
So, three things...
1. Keri Lake is one of my absolute favorite authors.
2. I really, REALLY wanted to love this book.
3. I don't expect mine to be one of 'popular opinion'.
(OTHERWISE I CAN'T FULLY EXPLAIN MY RATING)
What I liked-
Ms. Lake is a master at 'painting the picture'. Her stories always hit the ground running and continue to build throughout. The reader is given a very clear picture of the world she created and the characters that lived there. Also, I have always loved her character dynamics, the ones aside from the H/h. In this case, Nick's relationship with Lauren was very tender and sweet. It added a much needed layer to his dark character. She's very detailed with her characters which gives her readers an in-depth look inside these characters to see what drives them. Overall, Ricochet is a fast paced, action packed, sexy, dark emotional roller coaster that many will absolutely devour.
What I didn't like-
I felt this story went on a bit too long. There were parts, throughout, that in my opinion could have been trimmed. I found myself skimming more often than I should have. I became a fan of Ms. Lake via her paranormal romance and while Ricochet is not, I almost feel like it should have been. That way, there is more room for it to be a little 'out there' when it comes what would actually be considered realistic. It had a bit of a marvel comic turned movie feel to it which was a turn off for me. The things Nick got away with, what all the characters (for the most part) got away with, seemed way over the top.
Little things that didn't work for me such as, Aubree's wrist tattoo. It wasn't like a small little symbol or anything. It was like a four line passage yet, never noticed it before? Where did all the cartoon references come from? She didn't have any children. Safe sex was nonexistent, despite him doing god knows what during his blackouts, and what was so 'dark' exactly? The darkest part of their sex life was 'fade to black'. I never noticed an explanation for the bloody sheets. Also, given HIS situation, the fact that she has a background in anything even remotely associated with therapy...it left a bad taste in my mouth.
I figured out the twist early on and I immediately grew concerned on how it would be handled in the end. I'm all for fantasy. I'm all for the stories and the characters being larger than life. Hell, I'm even all for love conquers all! However, I feel that when an author chooses to add something very real, an actual diagnosis, it changes things entirely. I think that, at that point, the author has an obligation to handle that aspect of the story properly and that any glossing over it or romanticizing it can be dangerous and therefore irresponsible. This is not to preach or to lecture anyone, only my opinion on the subject matter. I know many will disagree and that's okay, difference in opinions is what makes the world go 'round. For me, however, it took away any chance of me fully loving this story or feeling at all satisfied with the ending.
There will be a huge audience for Ricochet and I expect it to be greatly successful. I am still a huge fan of this very talented author and look forward to what she has up her sleeve next!
***Please note, this book was gifted by the author in exchange for an honest review***
"Just promise me you will lean on me when you hurt, I need to know that I can be that person for you."~Jagger
Love/Hate. That was my ride from beginning to end. I haven't been this torn about a book in a very, very long time and so forgive me if this review is shit cause I really don't know how I'm going to properly form an explanation here. I think the best I can do is break it down, the 'good' vs the 'bad'. First, let me say, I am no prude. I personally think a great deal of our society take themselves way too seriously, I don't care what is 'politically correct' and what isn't. Nor do I have a problem with graphic language, as a myself curse...a lot. Having gotten that out of the way, let's start with the good.
*Chapter 2. Chapter 2 was a saving grace because chapter 1 had me thisclose to DNF. Chapter 2 was well written, emotional and riveting. My tears were free flowing. I was nervous going into chapter 3 but I enjoyed that one as well. I loved the feel of the story and journey I thought I was about to be taken on. Chapter 2 was about tragedy and loss and I loved how the author used entertainment headlines to carry the reader through that time in our heroine's (Henley) life and how she began to find her way back.
* The band mates. I loved how each of the guys have their own very distinguishable personality and that said personality was allowed to shine through as the story unfolded. Kip was my absolute favorite, even though his antics wore a little thin at times. I especially appreciated the sneak peak towards the end that gave a little insight to why Kip uses humor as a deflection. Koi, the adorably protective older brother gave me some laugh out loud moments. He's a great character that I hope is explored more as this series continues.
*Emotional. Between the playground kickball flashbacks and the lyrics to "Hands Down", Guitar Face holds some beautifully written, tear jerking moments.
*Chapter 1 and the immature, extremely outdated terms throughout. Chapter one was so incredibly bad. I honestly didn't know if I could go any further. It read like desperate fan fic written by a horny 14 year old. Maybe I'm just getting old but fuck if I know anyone beyond legal driving age who says things like "pork me", "fun hole" or "baloney pony". Henley didn't always say such drivel out loud. No, it was mostly saved for me, the reader, who had to suffer through her mindless, childish inner monologue. It was like she was a bitch in heat and I so desperately wanted to hose her down.
*The word rape. Using it to describe anything other than the violent crime it is, is not cute. It is not flirtatious, nor is it witty. And on that note, the whole 'teaching Kip a lesson' scene didn't set well with me at all. Had that been a female character, shit would have hit the fan.
*Repetition. Pantie dropping. Focus Grasshopper. If she looked to her feet one more time to make sure 'her panties hadn't dropped around her ankles', my kindle would have hit the wall.
*Lack of emotion between the lead couple. I struggled to connect to our couple here. I felt it was more physical than emotional so when the ups and downs hit, I wasn't emotionally invested enough to care either way. I did, however, love how Henley laid down the law on her front porch but two seconds later I was pissed again. The only time I felt an emotional pull was the parking lot scene when Jagger carried her guitar case for her to put in her trunk.
*Some random things that grated my nerves were 1. Everyone one is hot. It was like every single person was oh so very hot. It drove me nuts. 2. Our 115lb heroine drank 4 bottles of wine...OK. 3. Token lesbian and token African American seemed to be exactly that...tokens. It felt out of place, instead of integrating them into the story, they felt like decoration instead. 4. Insta-love. Each band member should have his own book so why, were 2 seemingly thrown into a relationship in book 1? Why rush it? Why not let these relationships develop in their individual books. That of course is a creative decision for the author but it seemed odd to me.
The mystery of other worlds is not one Hannah Winters ever thought she’d solve. However, the day she spots a brown-robed stranger with a magical staff in a neighbor’s field is the day she also discovers Aerisia, a magical land beyond Earth’s sunset.
Here in Aerisia, Hannah is believed to be the Artan, a legendary heroine prophesied to deliver Aerisia from the Dark Powers. Plenty of people, including the Simathe, a race of immortal warriors, and the Moonkind, people of the Moon, are willing to help her discover her true identity, but Hannah’s just an ordinary girl from Earth. She doesn't have any latent magical abilities and she’s not the Artan. However, her allies aren't seeing it that way. Neither are her enemies. In fact, Hannah’s life is in jeopardy nearly from the moment she arrives in Aerisia. And becoming the Artan may be the only way to survive… Buy links...
***Please note, copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.***
"Little wolf," he rasped. "Never run from one such as me." ~Ethan
Surrender to the Chase was a nice little 'happy dance' kind of read for me. Too often, it feels authors get fixated on a specific word count and as a result, the story itself gets buried in all the padding. Trim. the. fat. as Ms. Greene has done so well. I can only speak for myself but I have a hectic schedule, (on a good day!) and so my reading time is precious.
This is a quick start type of story, it hits the ground running. It's been a year since Ethan's friend, fellow assassin, was killed. His first job since the tragedy is a bit of a head scratcher. He's an assassin, not a babysitter. He doesn't have the time nor the patience to chase after some shifter princess runaway. I was sold on Ethan right out the gate. The vampire has a chip on his shoulder but harbors a lot of pain. Ms. Greene provides just enough inner monologue to allow you to get to know him without it going on and on to where you feel like he's always in his head and never shuts up. On a shallow note, a vamp named Ethan, for whatever reason, totally and completely works for me.
Speaking of character names, I can't say that I love the name Fraya. It didn't work for me at all. But...I really liked the character. She made for a great heroine and the chemistry between she and Ethan was spot on. Another character name that didn't work for me was 'Lynn'. Not so much that I just don't like the name. It's because considering the type of character, it just didn't fit. I couldn't get the image of this character in my head. I know that for some readers, it's not a big deal. For me, names are HUGE. I need their names to make sense to me. If they don't, it can stunt the enjoyment factor for me.
This brings me to two other characters that I can't wait to learn more about. Jaxon and Lance appear just briefly but I cannot wait for each of their books. PLEASE let them both have their own book! The Under Realm Assassins series is definitely one I'll keep an eye on, can't wait for book 3!