All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Mini Reviews {3}: What I’ve Been Reading Lately

on July 11, 2018

Every now and then these posts are so good to clear a few books that I don’t really have enough to say about for longer style reviews.

Recently I saw that historical romance author Sarah MacLean posted a few recommendations on twitter of books she’d enjoyed. I love quite a few of Sarah’s books so I downloaded a couple of the recs, the ones that sounded like I might like them the most. Because I’ve been quite stressed out the last week and a half, I’ve been churning through a few books on my iPad rather than review books because I just didn’t have the thinking capacity for many review books.

Double Down (Vegas Top Guns #1)
Katie Porter
Self-published
272p, 2018 (originally 2012)
Purchased personal copy

This was okay. Ryan Haverty is an instructor pilot for the US Air Force based in Nevada. He’s out with some friends one night when he sees a waitress that triggers his dormant fetish by wearing nylons with the seam down the back of the leg. The attraction between them is mutual and the waitress, Cassandra Whitman seems to really share his passion for role-play and dressing up.

The conflict revolves around Ryan’s conflicted feelings about his fetish and his paranoia about being caught because of his job. Apparently he confessed his desires to someone he cared about in the past and was ridiculed and savaged for them so now he keeps that part of his personality clamped down tight. Cassandra really makes that impossible and as much as he enjoys and craves the games, they generally come with an awful lot of self-loathing after.

This was entertaining and I liked the dynamic between Ryan and Cass and now they brought out these different sides of each other. I didn’t really find the conflict did much for me, especially as a large amount of time of it we’re in Ryan’s head and he gets a bit wearying about something that happened when he was in college.

6/10

Book #111 of 2018

The Devil’s Submission (Fallen #2)
Nicola Davidson
Entangled Publishing LLC
114p, 2017
Purchased personal copy

I would’ve liked this a lot more if it’d been longer. The idea was really interesting – Grayson, Lord Deveraux (referred to as ‘Devil’) and his wife Lady Eliza Deveraux became estranged after only a few months of marriage. Eliza resides at one of the country houses whilst Devil remains in town. However her mother begs her to go and request something of her husband and Eliza is pressured into returning.

The reason they’re estranged revolves around Grayson’s sexual…..proclivities and the fact that there was a misunderstanding around the sort of behaviour he prefers from his wife. Grayson was attracted to Eliza because of her bossiness, her assertiveness, the fact that she wasn’t a demure English miss. She was the sort of woman that he thought might be able to indulge him in his preferences and give him what he desires. But then Eliza began acting like precisely the sort of woman he didn’t want to marry – submissive, demure, boring.

I’ve read so many romance novels with a BDSM element and they 99% revolve around the male as the Dom and the female as the submissive role. This was incredibly refreshing because it turns that upside down and it’s a historical as well, which gives a really interesting dynamic. The trouble is, this book is far too short. It’s a novella really and it’s just not enough time to really explore Grayson’s preferences and his admitting to his wife what he wants and her assuming the role he needs. The bones were there and I enjoyed reading this because I thought Grayson was really interesting and he and Eliza had such a fabulous dynamic. I just wanted more. This could’ve been explored so much more in depth and I think it would’ve been amazing.

6/10

Book #113 of 2018

By Her Touch (Blank Canvas #2)
Adriana Anders
Sourcebooks Casablanca
412p, 2017
Purchased personal copy

This was my favourite of the three. Clay Navarro is an undercover agent who spent a long time infiltrating a motorcycle gang and the resulting takedown didn’t net all of the members so now he’s in hiding until the trial. He doesn’t trust anyone and so he finds himself in a remote town to see dermatologist Dr Georgette Hadley who specialises in laser tattoo removal. Clay has plenty of ink, both some he got voluntarily in order to infiltrate and fit in and some he was given against his will when his cover was blown. He needs to get the more offensive stuff removed.

Clay (who is using a different name) has a lot of conflicted feelings over the motorcycle club and I thought they were excellently done. In order to be successful undercover you have to live and breathe your role, become that person. In the club he had acceptance, he had brothers. The lines became quite blurred for him and now that he’s on his own, he’s really struggling. He hasn’t been provided with much in the way of support because he cannot trust anyone – he knows someone ratted him out and that person probably came from within his own department so he’s off the grid. He finds a sort of….peace under George’s hands, despite the pain of the laser removal.

I found myself really invested in Clay and George. They are not without their issues – Clay is one scary looking dude when he rolls up to George’s practice and she’s in there alone. She has to take a huge leap of faith in order to trust him and treat him and the way in which they fulfil something in each other is really well done. I loved Clay’s push-pull factor. He’s still super messed up, his head is all over the place but with George, he has glimpses of a future. Their development felt very natural with a lot of steps back for every steps they make forward and the confrontation you always knew was coming was shadowed and executed really well.

I really liked this and I want to read the others in the series.

8/10

Book #114 of 2018

All of these books helped me feel connected to reading when I was struggling to really focus on anything. The idea of opening a book felt exhausting but for some reason picking up the iPad and reading 50-odd pages didn’t seem as much of an effort. I’m not sure why that is to be honest. Perhaps it’s psychological. Perhaps it’s because so many of my eBooks are these type of romances that I can sink into pretty easily.

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2 responses to “Mini Reviews {3}: What I’ve Been Reading Lately

  1. Meg says:

    Hi Bree, I’m a bit the same as you – when I’ve got a lot going on mentally/emotionally, I find it really hard to sit down with a “proper book”… yet I can immerse myself in ebooks and romance novels without the sense of feeling drained.

    I hope you can resume focus soon, but in the meantime I’m glad you posted this mini review. I remember reading Double Down a few years ago (with a different cover!) and feeling mixed about it – I liked the push/pull tension in Ryan’s head but I did get a bit annoyed by him. Cass was great though, a lovely character and a nice mix of independent and (inevitably) Perfect/Attractive/Forgiving. I’ve read a few of the other Nicola Davidson books in the same series and I found them a bit hard to pin down. I’m keen to try In Her Touch, it sounds good!

    • Hi Meg, there’s just something about romances and those books that are so comforting when things are a bit tough. I read them at other times as well, but they’re the ones I go straight to when I need that little break from reality!

      I felt the push/pull in Ryan got a bit too dominant in the story – I understood why he didn’t want to get caught, he has a job where it’s probably expected he conduct himself in certain ways. But even freaking out about his friends knowing and the guilt felt a bit childish. I agree that Case was a great character though!

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