Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review of Master Over You

Master Over You: 
A Dark Romance Novel

By Cerys Du Lys & Ethan Winters


There's a monster in every closet, and I'm in yours.

My name is Noah. I'm not a nice person. This isn't cupcakes and candyland, love.

I'll take you, break you, and offer you to the highest bidder without a second thought. You're mine now. It's business, nothing personal. You wouldn't understand, and I'm not going to explain it. Sorry, love, you don't mean a thing to me. 

Just know that there's a monster in every closet, and I'm in yours. 

Author Note - This dark romance novel contains themes that may be discomforting to some people. If you are sensitive to depictions of violence, then this book is not recommended for you. 

(Ethan Winters official debut release co-authored with USA Today bestselling author Cerys du Lys) 

Man’s POV = Ethan, Woman’s POV = Cerys 

There is a light at the end of every dark tunnel, no matter how dim it may seem.

Source: Goodreads

My Rating: 4.6 / 5

My Thoughts:

**I received a free ecopy of this book through via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**

Disturbing, intense but mind blowing. Master over you is this and much more. I was warned before I read it that it is rather graphic and at first I thought it was an exaggeration, but after reading it I realised that this definitely needs a warning sign. There’s a lot of bad language so it’s definitely not for children.

Noah is a slave trafficker. He knows he's a monster but in his own mind there are worse monsters out there and its better him than them. He knows he does wrong but he still does it.

When he abducts Chastity White, I was imagining some sort of romance between the two that she'd end up being the girl that changes his way, and so on. But when Angeline turns up and kidnaps them both, now that was unexpected.

Angeline. My God, she is psychotic and crazy and obsessive, and so much more. One minute she's ripping off Noah's fingernails with some ancient mechanical device to punish him, and the next minute she's cuddling him and licking his blood off his wounds. She has a weird blood fetish and her sadistic nature was so creepy but utterly believable. This is probably because the story is told through all three characters' points of view and when Angeline's broken thoughts come across, it gave me the chills.

But there's more to Angeline than meets the eye and that back-story was epic. This book was written awesomely and I can imagine great things to come from these authors.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

Sometimes it is easier to suffer than to die. I think it is because of hope. You do not have hope once you are dead, because you do not have anything. Who is to say that dying is less painful than living? We do not know. We will never know.

I am not responsible for anyone else’s actions. They must deal with their own consequences.

“Noah, you are incorrigible and rude.”
“You fucking kidnapped me. You bit me. You slammed my head against a fucking wall. What the fuck do you want from me, love?”

I’d probably find it attractive id she didn’t have me strapped to a chair after previously almost suffocating me. And biting me before that, slamming my head against a wall, knocking the air out of my lungs...
I don’t think Angeline and I are going to get along, and how cute she looks when walking on the balls of her feet isn’t going to change that, is basically what I’m saying here.

“We need to have a talk, Noah,” she says.
“What the fuck are we going to talk about, love?” I reply. Shit. That’s two things she hates in one sentence. She’s going to fucking drown me with orange juice now.

You either have a monster in your closet, or you are the monster in someone’s closet. There is nothing else. That’s the only rule in this fucked up game of life.

“Maybe it is easier if you hate me,” I say. “I think I will like it if you love me, though.”

On the bedside table, there’s a knife. Looks dangerous. Yeah, I just said that a knife looks dangerous. All knives are fucking dangerous, alright? A fucking butter knife can gouge your damn eye out. Don’t play around with this shit, kids. I’m a professional. I know things.

What I’m saying here is you can have a nice time with someone and it might turn out well in the end, but it’s not fucking magical. Love is bullshit.

Be kind to others, asshole. You believe in God? God wants you to be kind. You believe in Buddha? Yeah, he wants you to be kind, too. You believe in the goddamn power of the sun? The sun wants you to be kind. Even if you don’t believe in any of that shit, it’s a good fucking thing to be kind to other people. It’s called common fucking decency.

Trying is not doing, and doing is the only thing that matters in this sick fucking twisted rendition of the world.

It is wrong. He deserves punishment for what he did, and yet the only thing that happened to him was death?
Sometimes I do not think this world is a fair place. Sometimes I do not understand why he was allowed to die, but I was forced to live.

I fell in love with a  monster and she ate my fucking soul. I let her, though.

Shit changes, and then you do things because of the changes, and more shit happens, and then you forget how the fuck you used to be in the first place.

I don’t believe in prayer and hope, though. I believe in getting shit done. If I can save someone, I’ll fucking save them.
If I can’t, I’m sorry.

Enough of this sob story emotional bullshit, though. I’m an asshole. I’m not a nice person. I’m nice tonight, though. I’m nice for her.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thoughts on Bullying and review of 'Every Ugly Word'

Every Ugly Word

By Aimee L. Salter


When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.


My rating: 4.75 / 5

My Thoughts:

Such a sad, thought-provoking read about bullying and the horribleness of it all. Unfortunately, bullying occurs in almost every high school and in this case Ashley is the victim. Bullies don’t realise that their actions can have severe psychological effects on the victim, which can last for the rest of their life. We see the damage the bullies do to Ashley when she talks to her future self in the mirror, and how the future self is suffering too from the lasting effects of bullying. 

In Ashley’s case, there was very little of a support system. Other students knew she was being bullied and were too afraid to side with her, which left her with one friend, Matt. And as we learned through the story, even he isn’t perfect. Matt is Ashley’s best friend but she’s in love with him, which made things a whole lot more difficult. Especially when he starts to date the girl that made her life hell. Even Matt can’t fix it all, and Ashley can’t tell him all the ‘incidents’ either, because she’s afraid he won’t believe her anyway. Instead of trying to help, Ashley’s mother is embarrassed of her daughter and accuses Ash for not making enough of an effort to fit in. And when you think that Ash only has Matt and her mother, there’s no wonder she feels like giving up and having almost suicidal thoughts.  

Bullying is not something to be taken lightly and until I read this book, even I brushed the topic off as something that is part of human nature and will not change. Ashley’s story tells us to be strong and to believe in ourselves and each other. Sometimes it is only having that one person to support you that makes all the difference between fighting and giving up. You may not be the victim and I certainly hope you’re not the bully, but if you do come across any sort of bullying, then you shouldn’t turn a blind eye. If you can’t confront and stop the bully, then support the victim and just let them know that they’re not alone. It takes a lot of courage because there’s always the fear that the bully might change its prey, but you could be saving someone’s life.

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

“People you love should always be more important than people who judge you.”

But I didn’t have any answers. I had to be alone. And maybe I did need to kill myself, because if it could get worse than this, I didn’t have it in me to survive anyway.

It isn’t what happens to you in your life that destroys you. It’s what you do about it.

As long as I had hope, the good things would stay good. So no, I’d never be a kick-ass movie star heroine. But I was real. And loveable. And for now, that was enough. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review of Duplicity by Nikki Jefford


(Spellbound #2)

By Nikki Jefford


If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn't seem to get that Lee's boyfriend, Raj, is off limits. Then there's the problem of Adrian. He expects one of the Graylees to be his.

Nearly a year later, the council is on to them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper. 

If the two Grays work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive.

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 3.5/5

My Thoughts:

**I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
Firstly, just wanted to say that I love the cover of this book. It doesn't do much in terms of explaining the story but it is stunning. 
Duplicity, the second book in the Spellbound series was an interesting but slightly confusing read. First Graylee Perez was taken from her body and put into another’s and now there are two Grays, one in Charlene’s body and the other in Stacey Morehouse’s body. It was confusing because I read the first book quite a long time ago so it took me a while to remember what had happened, plus having two Grays in different bodies, one who just came into existence after almost a year from the original ‘switch,’ is enough to confuse anyone! To prevent further confusion I’ll refer to the ‘duplicate’ Graylee that is in Charlene’s body as ‘Gray’ and the original Graylee that is in Stacey’s body, ‘Lee,’ as these are the names used in the book.
I pitied Gray, because she’s come back to find that she’s missed out on the last 8 or so months, another Gray has been filling her place, her boyfriend’s moved on with Lee and basically everyone has been fine without her. Not to mention that someone has put a spell on the town which is making everyone’s powers out of control, Gray coming back (again) isn’t exactly big news. The worst thing is that both the girls are Graylee but Gray is seen as the duplicate; the excess version when really they were all doing fine without her. Talk about feeling unwanted!
Surprisingly, or perhaps it isn’t that surprising really, Lee and Gray do not get along, to put it lightly. Each thinks the other is the ‘intruder.’ Gray feels that Lee has stolen her life, whereas Lee is feeling threatened by Gray’s return, especially since Gray looks more like the original Graylee Perez.
I’m not particularly fond of Raj, he’s too loved up with Lee for my liking, not that it stopped him from kissing Gray because he was ‘confused.’ Ha! Although to be fair it’s not exactly his fault since Gray can’t seem to accept that Raj is Lee’s boyfriend, not hers. Adrian, on the other hand, is far more interesting. Slightly evil, crazy and power hungry, but definitely has more appeal than Raj. I feel that he and Gray may share some interesting chemistry in the next book. Overall, a light and fun albeit confusing read but I recommend reading book one first!
Zed (:
Favourite Quote:
She didn’t come up with anything other than what she felt wasZ a reasonable question: if it was okay for doppelgangers to run around, why couldn’t there be two people with the same mind and memories? Who was that bothering, really?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Review of Outlander book 2

Dragonfly in Amber

(Outlander #2)

By Diana Gabaldon


With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters — Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander....

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ... and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves...

Source: Goodreads

My rating: 4.9 /5

My Thoughts:

Full of suspense, adventure and the entertaining Claire-James romance this book has increased my love for the Outlander series.

Dragonfly in Amber was more subdued than the first book in the Outlander series, but still incredibly addictive. The book starts off with Claire back in the 1900s, with her almost 18 year old daughter, Brianna (Bree), on a visit to Scotland. My first thoughts were ‘WTH’ and ‘Where’s Jamie?’ I even thought of abandoning the book if Jamie was dead but clearly I couldn’t stop reading either! We find out that Frank died two years ago and Bree doesn’t  know that Frank wasn’t her father (how she wasn’t curious about her lack of resemblance to Frank I have no idea) until Claire tells Bree and Roger Wakefield of her journey in Scotland what happened up to Jamie’s death.

 Claire’s story starts with her marriage life with Jamie, having accepted her decision to stay with him, rather than go back (or forward?) through the stones to Frank to the 20th century. Although she is pregnant, she and Jamie have taken on a mission to do everything in their power to prevent the fatal battle of Culloden from taking place.

 Although Claire can’t remember much of the Culloden battle, what she does know is devastating. History says that Prince Charles will attempt to reclaim the crown for his family but he will fail because there will never be another Stuart King. The passionate attempts by the Jacobites will essentially be futile since they will lose horrifically at the Battle of Culloden and the ground will be drenched with Scottish blood. They don’t know if they will be successful, but Claire and Jamie decide that they cannot sit back and do nothing, Jamie will not let his people of Lallybroch die without even trying to save them. Jamie’s best bet in making any difference is by stopping Prince Charles, and the only way he can do that is by gaining his trust and learning the plans in order to succeed in thwarting them.

 Their time in Paris was fun to read, partly because it made a welcome change from reading about their barbaric living conditions whilst in prison, or the less than great time in the Scottish countryside. Another reason I liked reading about the events in France was because there was a lot happening and it was often really difficult to determine whose side the different characters were on. Were they on the side of the English? Did they want Charles to succeed? Or, was there another plan? Because if there was one thing that I learnt from this book, it was that everyone had an agenda.

My new favourite character was Raymond, the toad-like sorcerer, who despite his reputation wasn’t a ‘bad guy.’ Well, not as bad as a lot of others. He had a number of quirks, like having a secret room where he kept bones of extinct animals, but his genuine concern for Claire saved her life and I liked him most for that. Fergus, the French pick-pocket, with his admiration for Jamie and utter devotion to serving him was adorable.

 Jamie is as passionate and stubborn as always, but this book sees his relationship with Claire having some severe ups and downs. Inevitably, they get through it all and become stronger as a result, but there were times when I thought perhaps all might be lost. The ending was fantastically awesome and I kinda knew what would happen (blame Wikipedia and my impatient curiousity!) but it was still brilliant!

Zed (:

Favourite Quotes:

“No, thank God. I skulked about against a wardrobe, trying to look like part of the furniture, wi’ the bitty wee comtes and ducs all glancing at me out of the sides of their eyes as though Scottishness were catching.”

He shrugged. “Well, if it does or no, it’s the bargain God’s made for him, and he’s little choice but to make the best of it.”

“Go to hell, Jamie,” I said at last, wiping my eyes. “Go directly to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. There. Do you feel better now?”
“Aye, I do,” he said, his expression lightening. “When ye start to talk daft, I know you’re all right. Do you feel better, Sassenach?”

“Well, I’ll tell ye, Sassenach, ‘graceful’ is possibly not the first word that springs to mind at thought of you.” He slipped an arm behind me, one hand large and warm around my silk-clad shoulder.
“But I talk to you as I talk to my own soul,” he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple.
“And, Sassenach,” he whispered, “your face is my heart.”

“Sauce for the gander,” I retorted coldly. “Is being married to me sufficient occupation for you? I don’t notice you hanging round the house all day, adoring me. And as for the household, bosh.”
“Bosh? What’s bosh?” he demanded.
“Stuff and nonsense. Rot. Horsefeathers. In other words, don’t be ridiculous...”

“And what’s wrong wi’ the way ye smell?” he said heatedly. “At least ye smelt like a woman, not a damn flower garden. What d’ye think I am, a man or a bumblebee?...”

“Who would want to intercept His Highness’s mail?” I asked. “Besides us, I mean.”

“You! You bloody frog-faced little worm!”
“Me, Madonna? I have done you no harm, have I?” [Master Raymond]
“Aside from causing me to have violent diarrhea in the presence of thirty-odd people, making me think I was having a miscarriage, and scaring my husband out of his skin, no harm at all!”

“Kill me? God, if I found you wi’ another man, I’d kill him.” He paused, and one corner of his mouth quirked wryly. “Mind ye,” he said, “I’d no be verra pleased wi’ you, either, but still, it’s him I’d kill.”
“Typical man,” I said. “Always missing the point.”

Wentworth. Where he had given his soul to save my life, and suffered the tortures of the damned in retrieving it.

“Most physicians of my acquaintance would say, ‘All I can do is try to heal her.’ You will help her to heal? It’s interesting that you perceive the difference...”

“I can stand a lot! But just because I can, does that mean I must? Do I have to bear everyone’s weakness? Can I not have my own?”

“I’m honest enough to say that I dinna care what the right and wrong of it may be, so long as you are here wi’ me, Claire,” he said softly. “If it was a sin for you to choose me...then I would go to the Devil himself and bless him for tempting ye to it.”

I had always heretofore assumed that the tendency of eighteenth-century ladies to swoon was due to tight stays; now I rather thought it might be due to the idiocy of eighteenth-century men.

So depressing only to wear dark colours all the time; what kind of religion would make its followers wear such plain clothes all the time? Obviously the Devil’s work, anyone can see that. They are afraid of women, that’s what it is, so they...” [Louise]

But one cannot kill a man for his beliefs, even if the exercise of those beliefs means the death of innocents-or can one?

“Between hell now, and hell later, Sassenach,” he said, his speech measured and precise, “I will take later, every time.”

“I land in Scotland near dead wi’ the crossing, ride for four days over the hills to get here, and when I arrive, I canna even come in the house for a drop to wet my parched throat; instead I’m off through the mud, huntin’ lost sheep. And once I do get here, ye want me to send me out in the dark again to piss on the doorposts. Tcha!”

Healing comes from the healed; not from the physician.

“Honor has killed one bloody hell of a lot of men,” I said to the dark groove of his bruised back. “Honor without sense is...foolishness. A gallant foolishness, but foolishness nonetheless.”

“Or do you not believe in witchcraft?” I asked.
He laughed, a pure, carefree sound in the sunlit room. “A man who doesn’t believe in God can scarce credit power to Satan, can he?”

Hodie mihi cras tibi, said the inscription. Sic transit Gloria mundi. My turn today, yours tomorrow. And thus passes away the glory of the world.

“Damn Frank!” he said ferociously. “Damn all Randalls! Damn Jack Randall, and damn Mary Hawkins Randall, and damn Alex Randall – er, God rest his soul, I mean,” he amended hastily, crossing himself.

I was out of practice, but deception had at one point been second nature to me. Lying was like riding a bicycle, I thought, you don’t forget how.