Shameless (Bitter Creek #14) by Joan Johnston

Shameless (Bitter Creek #14)Shameless by Joan Johnston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pippa Grayhawk now finds herself nineteen, single and pregnant after falling in love with a married man that had lied to her telling her he loved her and wanted to marry her only to get her into bed. Her father comes to her rescue but she quickly finds herself an outcast in the small community near her home in Australia. When Pippa’s father gets an offer from his own estranged father to return home to Wyoming to inherit the family ranch he takes the deal for not only his daughter’s sake but his own.

When arriving in the states Pippa hides her pregnancy being ashamed. She finds herself in a constant battle with her father’s sisters at the ranch as he has told them they are to leave the ranch when he inherits it. Pippa meets a young man while out riding that she befriends but soon finds herself fighting feelings for Devon as she can’t bring herself to tell him about the baby and doesn’t think she could stand having her heart broken again.

Shameless is the fourteenth book in the Bitter Creek series but actually the first of the series I’ve read myself. There are some old family issues mentioned here and there but I never felt like I was lost with anything brought up and was given enough information with what was going on currently that it was fine as a standalone novel.

I think I probably would have enjoyed this story more if it weren’t constantly putting down Pippa for being single and pregnant. I felt like I must of been reading a historical novel but it is supposed to be taking place in present time. Yes, it’s terrible that she’s young and was lied to but in this day and age she’s certainly not alone in being a young unwed mother.

Also, when we get the background on Pippa’s own parents we find that her father was only sixteen and her mother fourteen at the time of her conception. Now her father keeps at her to put the baby up for adoption saying just how hard it is to be a single parent etc but I can’t help to wonder if he was determined to keep his daughter and raise her on his own why he would be so insistent since Pippa would at least have her father to help her and this would be his grandchild.

I did enjoy the fact that the relationship between Devon and Pippa wasn’t rushed into and the pair had plenty of opportunity to build something together. Pippa seemed very young and naive but I take it that is a product of being raised on a ranch without much interaction with others outside her father.

Overall, I would be interested in reading more of the books in the series when finished with this one. Thought it was a good read other than some details with dealing with the pregnancy but the families involved seem to have a lot of interesting secrets to pull in a reader.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Coming Back (Ink & Chrome) by Lauren Dane

Coming Back (Ink & Chrome)Coming Back by Lauren Dane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Coming Back is the third book in the Ink and Chrome series by Lauren Dane. All could be read as standalone book with each featuring a different relationship of one of the owners of Twisted Steel. This particular installment features Mick Roberts and his relationship with his long time best friends Jess and Adam.

Mick, Jess and Adam grew up together and knew they all loved one another but things tore the trio apart in the past. When Mick gets home from the service he takes time to get his life together before meeting back up with Jess and Adam, inviting both to a celebration hosted by Twisted Steel. Mick and Adam both have families that don’t accept the fact that the guys are bi-sexual which has led to a lot of tension for the trio but none of them have ever lost their love for the others.

One thing Lauren Dane does well is putting together characters that seem to fit each other perfectly and make sense. The steamy chemistry between her characters is never lacking in the least and that can be said for this particular book as well. I didn’t particularly care for Adam’s dominance at times but it’s who he was and he did seem to fit into the trio well regardless.

What I did feel was lacking in this particular book was expanding on the plot outside of the relationship between Mick, Adam and Jess. There are family issues brought into the dynamic but it seems like a lot of times it ended up being put in as an after thought and could’ve been given a lot more attention.

Overall, a male/male/female relationship with a lot of steamy chemistry but a bit lacking in plot beyond the relationship dynamic.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Taming of Malcolm Grant (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #4) by Paula Quinn

The Taming of Malcolm Grant (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #4)The Taming of Malcolm Grant by Paula Quinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Malcolm Grant decides to take his younger brother, Cailean, who is still a virgin, to a brothel that is owned by his old friend Harry Grey. Malcolm used to frequent the brothel himself and all of the girls love him and want to be with him again. Malcolm though has been trying not to lead that sort of life and only is interested in helping his brother. When the pair come to the defense of one of the girls at the brothel another clan decides to take revenge on them and the Grant brothers end up getting shot. Harry seeks out the help of his sister to take care of the brothers.

Emma Grey was separated from her brother early in life and has only recently reunited with Harry. She was extremely ill as a child and the result of which was losing her sight. A kind old woman took Emma in and nursed her back to health and taught her everything she knew about healing but was later accused of being a witch and killed, forcing Emma to seek out her long lost brother.

As Emma takes care of Malcolm and Cailean’s wounds she begins to develop feelings for Malcolm. Seeing the strength in Emma, Malcolm develops his own feelings but doesn’t know if he is good enough for her.

I wanted to like this a bit more than I did but came out with just kind of an average feeling. It was good and I loved Emma’s character right from the start with all she’d been through and finding her own way to cope in the world. Malcolm on the other hand I didn’t care for at first but he grew on me a bit more during the story. Emma’s brother though was a major annoyance. Perhaps being the only book from the series that I’d read hurt a bit as to not knowing the characters any beforehand but it did read alright as a standalone as far as the story.

I won this book from Goodreads First Reads.

Nexis (Tricksters, #1) by A.L. Davroe

Nexis (Tricksters, #1)Nexis by A.L. Davroe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ellani Drexel is from a domed city known as Evanescence. She has grown up in a world where most members of the city do alterations and modifications on themselves to make them more “perfect”. Ella is what as known as a natural, she hasn’t had any alts or mods done and her father prohibits her from getting any in order to protect a promise made to Ella’s mother before she died.

Ella’s father is the creator of a virtual reality game known as Nexis. After being honored for the creation of Nexis, Ella and her father are in the middle of an argument about being modified when a pod crashes into their home killing her father instantly and leaving Ella wounded having lost her legs in the crash.

Ella’s new caretaker locks her in her father’s office with only the comfort of her “nanny” robot. With the loss of her legs and being trapped she decides to try out the world of Nexis in the hopes of feeling closer to her father and being able to regain her legs in the virtual world.

Nexis is one of those books that drags you in and doesn’t really want to let you go. When finishing this first installment in this new series I just really want the next book right this instant to see where the story is going to go and what happens next. I really can’t even imagine what the author has in store for the rest of the series as the first book itself was quite complex with the different layers in this post-apocalyptic society.

The city of Evanescence itself reminded me a lot of the Capitol in The Hunger Games series. The residents are the elite in the world that spend their time in different indulgences and do strange things to themselves in the name of beauty. While outside of the city you have what are known as the disfavored who seem to be the lower class citizens that aren’t allowed into the dome with the clean air so they are dying off due to the pollution. While the world building gave a good picture of the current state of things I did think it lacked a bit in explaining the disfavored but hopefully more will be touched upon later in the series.

Nexis itself reminds me a lot of Ready, Player, One. You have this “game” in which you are living through your avatar in your mind and when playing it seems like reality. There were different places that Ella and her companions went to that modeled things in the past such as a land that seemed to be taking place in the sixties.

The story is switching between Ella’s reality since the accident and what is going on with her and her participation and companions in the Nexis. The middle of the book seemed to drag a bit with not giving much detail in either world as it was progressing which brought my rating down slightly. But in the end of the story the things I’d been questioning throughout did end up getting expanded upon with an amazing finish to this book.

I will definitely be looking forward to continuing this series as with the ending of this book the possibilities going forward in this YA dystopian post-apocalyptic world seem to be endless. Would definitely recommend checking it out.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)Winter by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Winter is the fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. As with the previous books we are introduced to new characters in this edition with Queen Levana’s stepdaughter Princess Winter and her longtime guard and childhood friend Jacin. The battle continues to overthrow the evil Queen Levana.

I have to say I love the characters in this series, I really couldn’t complain about any of them. Each fills in their personality exactly how you would expect of them including Queen Levana who you just can’t help but despise in her evilness.

That being said though I think maybe it got a bit hectic with even more new additions in this installment. I think perhaps the book could’ve been a bit shorter and still got to the same point. While switching back and forth between events and characters I’d find myself waiting to find out what was happening in other parts of the story. It was still completely action packed and non-stop though.

Overall, 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

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