Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: Captive by Brighton Walsh

He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.

Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.


4 out of 5 stars

The very second that I heard that Brighton Walsh had a new book coming out, I added it to my to-read list.  There was no doubt in my mind that it would be great and that I would love it and that I would be inundated with swoons and UNFs.

Then I read the synopsis and a teeeeeny tiny little bit of me got worried because I am not generally a fan of  captor/captive story lines.  Okay, so maybe I was a little more than worried.   Maybe I was a lot worried.

But then I remembered that I am a huge fan of Brighton Walsh and that I have thoroughly enjoyed every single things she has written.   And there was no way she would write something squicky.  No way.

So I told that teeny tiny worried voice in the back of my head to get over it and I jumped at the chance to get my hands on an ARC.

Yeah...I was not disappointed.

At first glance, Madison and Ghost seem like polar opposites.  She is a college student that comes from a life of privilege and he is a hired thug that dropped out of high school.  But you know what they say about judging a book by its cover -- don't.   They have more in common than either one of them ever expected.

And without giving anything away, that's when things get interesting.  

At its simplest, yes, Captive is a story where the captive and her captor develop feelings for one another.  That much is true. But once you peel back that first layer, there is soooo much more.  And not one single word of it is squicky.

Definitely give this one a shot.   You'll be glad you did.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

With his college graduation gown expertly pitched into the trash, Justin Akron is ready for the road trip he planned with his best friend Landry— and ready for one last summer of escape from his mother’s controlling grip. Climbing into the Winnebago his father left him, they set out across America in search of the sites his father had captured through the lens of his Nikon.

As an aspiring photographer, Justin can think of no better way to honor his father’s memory than to scatter his ashes at the sites he held sacred. And there’s no one Justin would rather share the experience with more than Landry.

But Justin knows he can’t escape forever. Eventually he’ll have to return home and join his mother’s Senate campaign. Nor can he escape the truth of who he is, and the fact that he’s in love with his out-and-proud travel companion.

Admitting what he wants could hurt his mother’s conservative political career. But with every click of his shutter and every sprinkle of ash, Justin can’t resist Landry’s pull. And when the truth comes into focus, neither is prepared for the secrets the other is hiding.

4 out of 5 stars

I finished this book just over a week ago and thought for sure that as soon as the snow melted and my kids were back in school that I'd sit down and my thoughts on this book would flow.  Because I had all the thoughts and all the feelings and Justin and Landry thawed my frozen book heart.

Yeah...I'm staring at the screen again wishing I could just say "read this book" and you would say "okay" and then you would love it and everybody would be happy.   

It would certainly make writing reviews easier - especially in this case.  Because I have no idea where to start.

I love book boys.  Boys in books.  NA/YA/Adult...I fall for them every time.  Because they are perfect in their own fictional way -- and in this book, THERE ARE TWO OF THEM!!!!   

PLUS, it is a friends to more story which will never lead you wrong.

AND...there is a road trip.

It is like the perfect storm of my favorite things.  

All this even before emotions got involved -- and once the emotional floodgates were opened, I was a lost cause.  This book was everything I want to feel as a reader.  There was humor and snark and romance and unf and fear and loathing and dread and tears and anger and pure love and love and love and love.  I am so afraid that somebody will see this book and be turned off without giving it a chance solely because it is a M/M story -- but that isn't what this story is about.   Finding the inner strength to trust himself, getting beyond the fears, the "rules", the prejudices that have kept him from feeling whole -- THAT was the journey for Justin.

I have a twelve year old who is so worried about what others think that he is afraid to take chances.  There have been instances where I can SEE his desire to let loose and be silly, and yet he doesn't let go because he is afraid to do things "wrong".  And I'm talking about insignificant things -- diving from the blocks during swim team practice, dancing at cotillion, playing soccer.  He is so terrified of being ridiculed that he holds himself back.  Just watching him hold back on the small things makes me want to hug him and I constantly try and figure out ways to make him get past the perceived social constructs of 6th grade.   

I can't even fathom watching somebody I love struggle with the bigger things.  Just reading Justin's -- a FICTIONAL character's -- battle within himself just about broke me.  

Reading Landry's struggles with Justin's struggles -- are you following me, here -- they were almost worse.  His light dimmed with every hesitation and while I knew Justin had to get "there" on his own, I wanted to smack him and make him see what was happening around him.  


Trust the Focus isn't my first Megan Erickson read...but I think it may be my favorite.       

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday -- Favorite Books From The Past Three Years

Each week, The Broke and Bookish host a Top Ten Tuesday based on various bookish topics. Other bloggers are able to participate and post their own top ten list based on the topic.  What a fun way to add new titles to your to-read list!
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME Favorite Books From The Past Three Years.

It has been quite a while since I took part in Top Ten Tuesday -- so it makes complete sense that I would choose such a difficult list to mark my return.  Nothing like jumping in with both feet, right?

Here is my Top Ten in no particular order: