ARC REVIEW: Maverick by Karina Halle

img_4037Original title: Maverick
Year published: 2017
Published by: Metal Blonde Books
Number of pages:
First sentence: Fuck.”

 Plot: Forget playing it safe.

John “Maverick” Nelson likes to live his life on the edge – literally. A crucial member of the search and rescue team in the mountainous British Columbian town of North Ridge, Maverick’s brash and bold attitude means he’s the first one to ascend into danger, no matter the risk.

When it comes to women, though, Maverick errs on the side of caution. For all his cocky charm, rugged good looks and sexual swagger, he remains as unreachable as the surrounding peaks. Hot, wild sex? He’ll tell you there’s no better way to spend a cold, wintry night. Relationships? He’d rather freeze.

That is until he lays his eyes on American Riley Clarke. Trading in the crippling expenses of Aspen for BC, Riley is North Ridge’s newest member of their search and rescue team and the only woman on the job, which means spending a lot of time with Mav in adrenaline-pumping situations.

With the chemistry between them hot enough to melt snow, keeping their hands off each other is detriment to the success of their team. Besides, Maverick’s her boss and she didn’t work her ass off in Colorado just to throw it all away for some mind-blowing sex.

But when the worst winter in years sweeps in, Riley and Maverick will have to battle the elements along with their attraction for each other. And if either of them slip up, both of them will be in for a deep freeze.

 

My thoughts: I don’t even know where to begin. It’s hard to put the feelings I felt when reading this book in to actual words. Karina described as not as angsty as some of her other books. This was supposed to be lighter, easier, not as much heartbreak and suffering. That was a fucking lie. This book starts out with a fucking heartbreak. Then it does gets easier and you get to enjoy all the superhot sex scenes and all that jazz. Until there’s fucking heartbreak again. Like, I wanted to die, that kind of heartbreak. I was not okay because nothing about that scene was okay, neither were the ones after. I just need you to prepare to get your heart broken because I wasn’t prepared and now I’m sat here writing this like a mess.

I loved the characters in this book and it makes me sad that I haven’t read the previous book in the series, Wild Card, because even though these can totally be red as standalones you kind of miss some stuff because the characters in the books are all connected. Maybe I’ll read it later, who knows. The most important characters are of course Maverick and Riley and I’m not sure what to say about these characters, you kind of have to get to know them yourself, they’re kind of complex. Both of them have a sad/messy past and it just adds so much to who they are. I’ll just say that they are made for each other, like for real.

The book is out now, where you usually buy books and you should really buy this one, and drown in it, like I did. The next book, Hot Shot, is about Maverick’s brother Fox and it will be out in January!

 

FIVE FUCKING STARS!

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The Play by Karina Halle

Original title: The PlayThe Play AMAZON (1)Year published: 2015
Published by: Metal Blonde Books
Number of pages: 432
First sentence: “It had started to snow the night before”

Plot: Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram’s cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life – tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he’s the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan’s quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn’t until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can’t stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.

 

My thoughts: *takes deep breath*

*and another*

*and another*

Okay, I’m still not over this god damn book. But, I’m gonna start off with a massive fucking thank you to Karina for writing this book! Actually thank you for writing books in general but for this in particular. I needed this. I’ve had some trouble reading lately and this brought me out of my slump, big time! I felt like I’d been waiting for this book forever so when it finally landed on my Kindle I only lasted a day before I started reading it. I’m in the middle of writing a huge ass paper for uni so really I don’t have the time to read but I did it anyway. So 24 hours later I was finished with the book and I was left feeling completely empty. So if this review turns into a major mess/sob fest I so apologize but this is what your books do to me and I’m still trying to recover. So here goes nothing.

I was hooked from the prologue where we get to know more about our leading man’s past. It was utterly heartbreaking and I knew that it was only going to get worse as I went along.

Karina has once again written an absolutely amazing piece of literature and I am just in awe of this woman and all her work! When I read this I felt as if I was there, in San Francisco and in Edinburgh. I could smell the old beer and the leather inside the Burgundy Lion and the dog drool and fur in Lachlan’s apartment, okay maybe that’s ‘cause I have a dog of my own but still. I could feel every emotion as if I was going through them myself. It felt as if it was me that Lachlan was – okay, let’s not go there. You get the picture. The thing is that this was in no way a surprise to me. Karina always does this, and I love it. But this time I felt as if she took it a step further.

I never really liked Kayla in The Offer, but I think that’s just because I never got to know her that well. Now, I LOVE Kayla. (And OMG it feels weird to write Kayla, it’s like I’m talking about myself in third person) I relate to her so much! Except I’m not quite as…. experienced as she is. I suffered so much with her in this book. My heart broke when hers did. I just feel Kayla on a deeper level and it’s not just because of the name.

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Lachlan… Jeez, I don’t even know what to say about this man. I loved him. I hated him. He’s so fucking hot. Him and Kayla together are so fucking hot. I needed more than one cold shower. There were parts were I was so fucking mad at him that I wanted to throw my iPad through the window because he was so unbelievably fucking stupid. Jesus I’m swearing a lot. I blame Kayla, she’s got a really dirty mouth.

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We kind of know all the other characters in this book already, Linden, Steph, Nicola, BRAM. There were some new additions with Kayla’s family and the Scottish people. Btw, am I the only one hoping for a Brigs novel? Can I be the leading lady? Pretty please…

I think that this book has the best sex in any of the Karina Halle books I’ve read SO FAR. I mean hoooooooot damn. *fans self*

My reaction after I’ve just finished the book was this: “You’ve fucking done it again Karina! In fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve outdone yourself. I never thought that any story could make me feel as much as Love, in English did or that any of your men could ever top Mateo or that any McGregor could top Bram. But damn! You did it!” And I fucking let it be known!

This book just left me with so many feels and I cried in such an ugly way. I should’ve filmed myself the last 5% of this book. There were a lot of “ no no no no” and “oh thank fucking fuck” because holy fuck what a rollercoaster ride.

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Some GIF’s that maybe makes me make more sense?

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This review is such a mess. If my words aren’t enough to sway you, keep in mind that for the duration of this week the book is only $2.99 and $1 of those goes to help dogs who need it. So of not for a steamy amazing read then do it for the pups ❤

Racing the Sun (Where Sea Meets Sky #2) by Karina Halle

23492585Original title: Racing the Sun
Year published: 2015
Published by: Atria
Number of pages: 336
First sentence:

Plot: It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.

My thoughts: *SCREAMS* Oh my fucking God, you guys! I never thought that Karina Halle could write a leading man that had me falling harder than Mateo did in Love, In English but she fucking did it! Damn! *takes deep breath* okay, I’m okay…

So…. I mean you guys know that I love everything Karina Halle, right? Her books always make me feel things… But damn, she really outdid herself with this one. This book follows Amber, who we met in Where Sea Meets Sky as she tries to make some money in Italy… Seriously I don’t even know how to write this because WOW. But I’ll try.

As with WSMS the world building is just WOW. I mean she doesn’t build her own world but she might as well have. I felt like I was there, I could smell the lemons and hear the ocean and feel the heat. I really want to go to Capri after reading this book. Karina always manages to awaken my wanderlust and the list of places from her books that I wanna visit just keeps getting longer.

And then there are these amazing characters who you just fall in love with. Amber reminds me so much of myself, she’s insecure about how she looks, her hair is untamable and she’s grown up with a dad who hasn’t exactly told her that she’s worth much. I relate so much to her that it’s almost scary. Amber is the kind of character who you want things to go well for because they’ve deserved it after all the shit they’ve been through, y’know?

Amber goes to Capri to teach English to seven year old twins. Now these twins, Alfonso and Anabella (spelling?) are real brats at first, which is kinda understandable since they lost their parents. They get a lot nicer as the story progresses and they become this weird family.

Amber meets an American girl at a pub and the bond over the fact they’re both American. Shay is a really nice person with some baggage of her own. She’s getting her own story, Bright Midnight releases sometime next year.

Last but definitely not least we have Derio. Oh my God, Derio. I fell in love with Derio as soon as Amber saw him out on that patio and he was all grumpy. But he too evolved and he opened up to Amber about his life and his fears. It’s like he became a new person entirely and I just love him. Really I do. I can’t help it. His and Amber’s love is just… It’s the kind of love that everybody should have, the kind of love that everybody deserves to have. The help each other grow and face there fears. Also he’s hot, which of course is the reason I fell instantly in love with him, haha. Enough about the characters.

Towards the end of this book there’s this entire event that had me in tears. I bawled my eyes out and then it was over. And I was left with this empty feeling inside, like what am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to go on with my life after this book? How am I ever gonna be able to read anything else? Karina’s advice was to have some wine, which I didn’t have… *cries*

Okay, so this review is really messy because I have no control whatsoever about my feelings towards this book. I really did love it and I’m (not so) patiently awaiting the release of Bright Midnight next year.

Becoming Darkness by Lindsay Francis Bramble

BecomingDarknessOriginal title: Becoming Darkness
Year published: 2015
Published by: Switch Press
Number of pages: 496
First sentence: “You can see them in the background of photographs and motion pictures from before the war.”

Plot: Like everyone else living in Haven, seventeen-year-old Sophie Harkness is an Immune–a carrier of the genetic mutation that protects her from the virus Hitler unleashed upon the world more than half a century ago. A virus that wiped out most of humanity and turned two-hundred million people into vamps. But after her best friend is brutally murdered and several attempts are made on her own life, Sophie becomes determined to find answers to what seems to be a conspiracy running generations deep. And when she questions the peace treaty that keeps her small community protected, Sophie begins to discover terrible truths about herself and what it means to be human in a world ruled by darkness.

(From Goodreads)

 

My thoughts: OH MY GOD. Okay, so I’d been in the mood from some new vampire fiction and I found it. I love all things vampire so there was never any doubt as to whether or not I’d read this. But I found that it was so much more than that. Let’s get down to business shall we?

Basically this book is a mix of my two favorite things, paranormal and dystopia. Except is not really dystopia as it actually takes place in 2003. Up until World War Two the world was as we’ve always known it but somehow a virus was spread that turned most of the worlds population into vampires. Those don’t affected by the virus – the Immunes – were sent to a place called Haven. This is where we meet our leading lady, Sophie.

This book has got it all! Forbidden love, yummy goodness, a hot vampire guy, conspiracies, action. You name it, this has it!

There were twists. I mean twist, after twist, after twist. You never knew what was gonna happen next and on those rare occasions when you thought you had it all figured out something else twisted. It certainly kept me on my toes!

The writing is spectacular! I felt as if I were there or like I was watching a movie. It was amazing. It’s a really good story and it’s interesting to think about what the world would have been like today if things had gone differently during the war.

All I can really do is praise the hell out of this book because it sure deserves it! You guys should definitely read it!

Becoming Darkness releases on October 1st!

Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins (The Sweet Trilogy #4)

4c362-sweettemptationOriginal title: Sweet Temptation
Year published: 2015
Published by: Harper Teen
Number of pages: 483
First sentence: “Sit down, son.”

Plot: Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

My thoughts: My boy Kai finally got his own book! *squeals* OMFG you guys! *fans self* This was hot. HOT! I always knew that Kai had a dirty mind but this was way dirtier than I expected, but he’s the son of the Duke of Lust after all.

So this book takes us through all of the most important events throughout the series. We get to know Kaidan’s thoughts the first time he sees Anna, the first time he meets her, when she meets his dad – who by the way gets even more fucking disgusting in this book – and the events of the summit and so on. It was really interesting and really painful so prepare the tissues, the chocolate and if you’re old enough maybe some wine?

I’m not even sure how to write this review without spoiling anything. I wanna tell it all! But I’m going to try and keep a lid on it so that you guys can enjoy the book spoiler free!

I always wanted to know more about all of the stuff surrounding the nephilim, how they work, their home lives and stuff like that and in this book you really get to know those stuff. You also get to see some of the inner workings of Pharzuph’s work with Marisa (the madame?) and things take a pretty disgusting turn. I guess that’s kind of a warning? Watch out for some scenes involving Kaidan’s dad if you’re squeamish.

I don’t feel like I have to talk about the characters because hopefully you’ve read the previous books in the series so you already know all the characters!

This book was also very hot! Like damn! I could’ve used a cold shower or two! I was also craving brownies, you’ll know why once you’ve read the book!

Some of my reactions:

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This review isn’t doing this book justice! I LOVED THIS BOOK! READ IT!

Sweet Temptation releases on September 8th!

Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle (Where Sea Meets Sky #1)

bd8b0-whereseameetsskyOriginal title: Where Sea Meets Sky
Year published: 2015
Published by: Atria
Number of pages: 384
First sentence: “I get an erection the moment I first lay eyes on her.” 

Plot: Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can’t get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

It’s not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma’s name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go even when you know you have to say goodbye.

My thoughts: Oh my god, the feels. I think I remember crying. Yeah I definitely cried some.

Karina Halle has done it again, people! She’s written yet another fun, sexy and heart breaking novel. Throughout this book I kept getting bombarded with feels and I laughed, I cried and I got a bit hot and bothered (read: a lot).

About 10 pages in I realized that the Josh in this book is the same Josh as in Love, In English (Vera’s brother) and I was like “OMG” because I really enjoyed Josh in that book even though he had a small part in it. And let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed by Josh in this one! He is what I would say is my kind of guy, like really. He’s tall (YAY!), he’s got dark hair, tattoos and piercings (swoon). He’s also funny, loving, caring, sexy, a good driver (yes, this is important) and like me he’s afraid of confined spaces and heights, at least that’s the impression I’m getting. So basically if Josh came up to me and asked me to marry him I’d say “HELL YES!”.

What about Gemma? Well, I quite liked Gemma, even though I sometimes wanted to smack her upside down because she’s so unbelievably fucking stupid. Okay, I got that out of my system.

Gemma is actually a pretty cool chick, in that adventurous, sexy kind of way. She’s into all this scary stuff like rafting (through a fucking cave system), zip lining, hiking (okay, not that crazy) and swimming in ice water. She works at a gym and she’s super fit and could probably kick most guys asses. But underneath that bad ass exterior she’s a really sensitive girl who’s been through a lot of hard stuff in her life.

There’s also Amber, who’s Gemma’s cousin from the States. I’m not gonna say much about her since she got her own book, Racing The Sun, which is waiting for me on my shelf. But she’s funny and cute and I really enjoyed her.

Karina – as always – paints a picture of a place I’d really like to visit. She’s got a real eye for detail and she writes in a way that makes it feel like you’re right there with the characters, drinking beer in Mr. Orange and rolling your eyes at Nick the Dick.

So this is a book filled with adventure, heartbreak, love and people finding themselves. I really enjoyed it and I definitely think that you should read it!

P.S. If you can, please go back and read this in a New Zealand accent, way more fun that way!

The CEO Buys In by Nancy Herkness (Wager of Hearts #1)

OTheCEOBuysInriginal title: The CEO Buys In
Year published: 2015
Published by: Montlake Romance
Number of pages: 386
First sentence: ““Scotch, straight up.””

Plot: Self-made billionaire Nathan Trainor feels restless and disillusioned. His company may be thriving, but he can’t find a woman who sees him for more than his wealth. With his love life in the red, he meets two other billionaire bachelors at the ultra-exclusive Bellwether Club. The three of them make a wager of the heart: they must find women who love them for who they are, not their money.

Savvy office temp Chloe Russell is trying to scrape together the money she needs to support her grandmother. So when a flu epidemic strikes Trainor Electronics and she’s promoted to Nathan Trainor’s assistant, she jumps at the lucrative opportunity. But then Nathan himself falls ill, and he and Chloe must work from his penthouse while he recuperates. Before long, it’s clear there’s genuine heat between them, and it’s more than just a fever spike. Will Nathan win Chloe’s heart—and the bet? Or will their differences destroy any chance for love?

My thoughts: I am a sucker for books like this. Really. Poor (kind of) woman falls for billionaire and they have hot sex. Yeah, that does it.

Really I don’t know what to say about this book other than that I really enjoyed it and I completely fell in love with Nathan. He’s like a Christian Grey without all of the BDSM and Fifty Shades of fucked up stuff. Okay so maybe the stuff with his dad fucked him up a bit but still. Now I’m mad at myself for writing another review where I compare the leading man to Christian Grey. Will I ever stop doing this? God, I hope so!

Anyway, if you want something with suspense, sassiness, douche baggery and hot sex, this is something for you!

Bonus points for Grandmillie and the Doc – who’s name I can’t remember – I really enjoyed those characters. Also Chloe doesn’t take any shit, and you guys know how I love that!

This turned out way shorter than I planned. *sighs* that Nathan though…

The CEO Buys In releases today, July 21st!