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Ashes to Ashes (Experiment in Terror, #8)
Karina Halle

Is it just me or was the first book far better.

Sempre: Redemption (Forever, #2) - J.M. Darhower


It dragged. It was too long and needed a good editing. Also Haeven's innocence/naivete was exaggerated. Actually while I'm at it many scenes were terribly unrealistic, and I don't mean the fiction part, I meant how charterers acted and interacted, they felt like puppets.

What else... Here are some passages that made me cringe :


  • Haeven saving the kitten.


  • How she gets the guy to take care of it.


  • How Corrado introduces himself to Haeven' neighbor when it's not necessary for her to know him anymore.

“Do you know who I am?” he prompted.
“An officer of some kind?” she asked. “Isn’t that what we decided?”
Corrado smirked. “I’m Corrado Moretti. My father, Vito, died in prison while doing a life sentence for a murder commissioned by Antonio DeMarco.” He pointed to Carmine. “Antonio was his grandfather. His name’s Carmine DeMarco, and his father, Vincent, died in a shootout at Salvatore Capozzi’s house.” He pointed to Haven. “Salvatore was her great-uncle. Her name’s Haven Antonelli, and her father, Michael . . . well . . . let’s just say it all comes full circle.”
Kelsey gaped at him, her mouth hanging open.
“We’re a family,” he continued. “Sometimes we fight, and sometimes we go our separate ways, but at the end of the day, we’re still a family. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
After a few seconds of hesitation, Kelsey nodded. “I grew up in New York. I know all about the, uh . . .”
“The family,” Corrado said, finishing her sentence for her.

I mean did he really need to share that much info? And give her everyone's freaking full name.


  • Another one is the conversation between Corrado and Gavin

"... I know you said she’s important to your family, but she’s just a girl . . . a regular girl. Being with her wasn’t work. It was kind of nice. And my father . . . well . . . one thing he did teach me was you don’t rob a friend. And taking this feels a hell of a lot like stealing.”
Corrado took the envelope and slipped it back into his coat with a shake of his head. “How did she get to you?”
“I’m just curious how she won you over,” he replied. “How she got under your skin and made it worth risking offending me by refusing my money.”
Gavin sighed, his eyes drifting across the room to where a small white kitten lay, fast asleep in the corner. “Honestly? I don’t know how it happened.”
Corrado stared at him for a moment before turning to leave. “They never do.” 

Does this sound like something two mafiosi would say to each other? Imagine this: 'The Godfather': soap opera edition.


I liked the first book, this one was too long and the narrative was choppy I think. I wasted too much time reading about Haven and Carmen's every step in their lives. I wanted to just finish it and go on with my life.

My thoughts about this series.

Convicted  - Aleatha Romig


A few thoughts about all three books, I just can't stop seething long enough to write a proper review


I read all three books because I was hoping that the Claire I glimpsed on the end of book 1 was the real Claire, determined, strong, self-reliant and finally  found her true self after months of physical and mostly mental abuse and brain washing.


Sadly, it turned out that the meek creature who just laid there and took it was in fact the real Claire. If only I had realized that in the beginning, I wouldn't have wasted my time and frustrated myself for nothing .


Romig keeps telling us how strong Claire is, and how Tony loved her for her strength and 'smart mouth' *snort*, yeah right.


The message she tries to send is so wrong, she basically says that Claire is strong because she adapts to her new situation *raises eyebrows* and finds ways to be happy there.

How about this



  • "If you hold a woman captive long enough, she will eventually love you"


  • "If you find yourself in dire straights, don't fight them, just go with it" This is a quote that stuck with me, I'm just going to leave it here. “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”


  • "You can't achieve anything in life unless there is a strong man (preferably in love with you) to do them for you" First it's Tony, then John her Brother in law, then it's Harry, then it's the PI. She is useless on her own, think about it.


She is a good person because she strikes a friendship with the woman who keeps praising her captor and declaring him a good man, and urging her to just go with it.

And also this is a romance apparently because after he rapes her repeatedly and taunts her with footage of the rape, after he beats her into a 2 weeks coma, 'his touch intoxicates her'.


So, no. There is no strength in Claire. Her actions speak for themselves. submitting to abusing and romanticizing your rapist are not things I associate with strong women.


Emily who stands up for Claire is portrayed as the big bad witch.

Claire is annoyed at how her sister doesn't like Tony, I mean who doesn't like Tony? He's hot and everyone knows that is the only thing that matters, well besides being filthy rich. But Romig doesn't use that to redeem him, it's not like she keeps throwing his wealth in our faces and detailing the brands he buys Clair, or the jewelry, or the cars and shopping trips for at least one third of the book.


Claire was an active participant in her captivity. She had numerous chances to escape, she didn't seize them,just because she was told not to. The author doesn't even bother to try to explain how she rationalized that.


Even worse is book 2

Claire has her dream life and she willingly throws it away to be with Tony. At this point I just thought, you know what you deserve what you get. I kept reading because I hoped she would snap out of it, she didn't.


How can you go from planning revenge to swooning after him, have some self respect dammit!


Book 3: the plot is all over the place, an attempt to redeem Tony by making him go through hardships so we would feel sorry for him, and again poor Emily is the bad guy, because she still hates him. Emily is the only character I can relate to actually.




If you qualify the relationship of Tony and Claire as a love story, I'm sorry we can't be friends.

"“All you have to do is make sure it doesn't happen again.” I give him a sunny smile. “Simple.”
“The only thing simple is you. Stubborn little…”"
World After  - Susan Ee

 I love their relationship, and I love how they're not all cheesy and sappy and googly-eyed.


 Some would say there isn't enough romance in this book, but this is not a romance, this is what post-apocalyptic YA should aspire to be when they grow up.

World After  - Susan Ee

I have been waiting for this book for so long.  Angelfall was the best I've read in terms of post-apocalyptic YA, I'm glad Susan Ee took her time with it. I'd rather wait for a good book, then have the series ruined.

I'm so excited I can't just sit down and read. 

I can't decide which one I hate more, Claire or Tony.

Convicted  - Aleatha Romig

A quote from Claire -no joke, this is word for word what she said-


 Some would argue that a foundation built on kidnapping, isolation, violence, and yes—even rape—would never stand. I must disagree.” 



All the Gif's on the internet can not convey the rage I'm feeling right now.


Writing a review on this book is testing my limits.


Convicted  - Aleatha Romig

This has been dragging on for ever. Someone should have edited the shit out of it before releasing it.

Also it's clearly not going where I was hoping it would (I'm rooting against Tony). And right now I wish I just gave up on the series from the star when it started pissing me off, but instead here I am, giving my self an ulcer and raging at my screen.

26% I like Claire again

Convicted  - Aleatha Romig

Clair and I have a love/hate relationship. I admit to wanting to pull a Tony on her meek ass on numerous occasions, but right now as in the end of book one (when she stood up for herself ) I'm rooting for her again. 


Now we're talking, I want to see him squirm. 

I wonder if he would cry.I guess we'll see.

Payback time.

  • edited: 30%

I'm giving up. I'll finish the book I have to, but I'm giving up on whatever hopes I had for this book to redeem the series.Clair and Tony presented as a romantic couple are never going to work for me. Contrarily  to Claire, I do not have amnesia, I don't do compartmentalization ( the author's way to ignore the issues she created at the very beginning and just sweep them under the rug) every other character besides Claire sees everything perfectly. 

I can't enjoy a book when I want to main couple to break up and the 'hero' to die. And this is obviously where things are headed. They are portrayed as having this epic love, their reunion here at 30% makes me want to throw stuff at the wall. So, this is not going to be a happy ride. 

18% My thoughts so far

Convicted  - Aleatha Romig

First, a word on Phil. Phil is the one taking Claire undercover (again there is always someone in love with her acting on her behalf, this is really annoying )


We have a list of characteristics such as ex-military, PI, worked for Tony, his social life is non-existing aaaaand he's in love with Claire (who isn't), but that is just what he is i.e, a list. He's not a character, he's a sock puppet and a plot device. This didn't show in previous books as he had a small part in them, but Now we can see that he has no personality .


Moving on.

The whole escape thing is ludicrous. The sole motivation is Claire being afraid of an old woman, Tony's housekeeper(or something) with no money or power of her own. She thinks she can harm her and her child and so instead of doing the obvious thing, telling someone AND hiding oversees too, why not, but then again Claire was never known for her smarts.


I first assumed (and rejoiced) that she was leaving Tony for good.It would have been the sweetest revenge to have framed him for her murder as he did her, take away his freedom as he has taken hers, it would have been freaking poetic (god I'm disappointed) but now that has contacted authorities, why the f**k is she faking a disappearance? And why would the FBI give a shit since she's not missing.


Oh, and the FBI dragged her ex into it, you know why? Because this a freaking soap opera, that's why.

This book reminds me what NA is really about

Unteachable - Leah Raeder

Coming of age . A girl's journey to adulthood. Serious issues being dealt with and not teenager angst and relationship drama.


Even if the monologues from Maise's pov sometimes lean towards purple prose, there was never an eye-rolling moment for me. Maise's decisions and actions though there are many times the wrong ones, do not make her come across as idiotic ( again, I'm comparing this to most books I've read of this genre) the writing makes it easy to put yourself in her shoes, I actually understand why she does what she does.


The resolution of the story though some might see it as too ...(I'm not sure yet -I'll edit later- and I don't want to spoil it anyway) still doesn't annoy me and this is a feat because most stories with a predominant romantic element offend my cynical sensibilities and send me into cringing episodes.


Raeder knows how to create an atmosphere, I was hooked from the first few pages, I felt as if I was right in the middle of that carnival.

This is from the first page, the writing is not perfect my objective side tells me, but I don't care, I lost myself in this book and I felt like I was walking around in Maisie's skin, seeing what she sees, feeling what she feels.



It was the kind of greenhouse August heat that feels positively Jurassic. Everything was melting a little: the liquid black sky, the silver gel-penned stars, the neon lights bleeding color everywhere. All summer there’s a carnival a mile from my house, in a no-man’s-land rife with weeds and saw grass, a sea of flat earth. It feels like the edge of forever out there. I cracked a tallboy and it echoed like a rifle shot. I took a swig of that pissy weak stuff, savoring the coolness. I was sitting on a picnic bench, watching the rollercoaster go up and down and up again, the joyous screams phasing in and out like a distant radio station. Rollercoasters scare me, and it has everything to do with me losing my stuffed bunny George when I was five. George fell from a hundred feet in the sky when I threw my hands up in cruel, careless glee. Mom sewed new eyes on, but I cried and cried and said he was dead until she let me bury him in the backyard. We made a coffin out of a Fruit Loops box. Mom, so drunk she was crying too, gave the eulogy.



Now some of the issues I can think of were the fact that through a decent chunk of the book I felt like some important characters like Wesley or Evan were almost like ... ghosts, not that they were two-dimensional but you get the feeling that they only existed around Maisie, like they only existed to serve a purpose in her life we don't know much  about what they do when they are on their own when it's not related to her and it makes them lacking as characters and less real.  Although i have to acknowledge  they actually had depth and were not only there to get the story where it needed to go, and yes I know the story revolves around Maisie but they were an important part of it and I was actually curious about them and interested in their background.


Some plot lines were maybe a little too neatly tied, but hey I'm not complaining, I liked the way things went. 


I'm glad I stumbled across this book, i would recommend it to anyone interested in NA and even to some of those who gave up on the genre.

Hoping for the best

Convicted  - Aleatha Romig

I refrained from making a judgement about the previous books until I have finished the series.



I hated the first one but found myself captivated by the end, I was expecting a different Claire, a stronger one, one who would avenge herself and grow into a woman who could stand toe to toe with her abuser. She did that... for the briefest while and then she turned around and went back to provoking me into strangling her.


I don't like reading about abused women who just lay down and take it, or convince themselves it's not that bad, or -oh god it disgusts me to even say it- adapt (argh!) .

It happens enough in real life, for these books to have a purpose, there needs to be something more, and THAT is what I'm hoping to get from this last book. A strong Claire, a Claire who if put back in book one would not take shit from anyone, and would not be grateful for her captor when they... I'm deviating from my subject, what I want the big picture to compensate for what Claire's lack of spine. I don't want to find out I've struggled through the emotional torture of 'Consequences' and 'Truth' for nothing.

Book Pages

Oh look there is a book page now. yay! It's a new feature, I remember clicking on a book took me to Amazon when I first tried it.

 I appreciate the effort the booklikes team makes to make us feel welcome, you guys are awesome.

If You Stay - Courtney Cole

It started on a strong note, but somewhere in the middle I just lost interest

The opening of this book left my jaw on the floor. i didn't know what to make of it, Mila came across as interesting I remember, but almost a month after I finished this book the only thing I remember is the beginning and the impression it left me with. I can't remember a thing about the ending, the plot, the storyline... nothing.

How to Kill a Rock Star - Tiffanie DeBartolo 3.5 stars
I loved the first half. The second half relied too much on cheap plot devices, misunderstandings, lack of communication, and the ending could have been better. It was an enjoyable read none the less.
A Lady's Lesson in Scandal - Meredith Duran This story is so drawn out. I'm putting it on pause for the time being, who knows maybe I'll finish it .
Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare

The plot is so unrealistic, it hinders me from getting emotionally involved in the story. And if a romance leaves me feeling cold it has failed its purpose, I don't read them for the historical aspect.
The banter and playfulness are always welcome additions, but you have to know were and when to use them, otherwise you end-up ruining a scene that was meant to be moving, or that was important to the plot progress. Not to mention it crosses the line from comical to absolutely ridiculous.

Cringe-inducing, ridiculous, unrealistic (even by HR standards, even though I know beforehand the pairing was between a duke and a maid). The tender moments were cheesy, many scenes (meant to express the characters' vitality,'spunk' gave me the impression that I was reading a script for a sitcom and other scenes meant to be dramatic were soap opera worthy. I just couldn't take this book seriously.

I used to think this of all historical romances until I run across a few that gave me faith in the genre again and my expectation of the genre are higher than before. I'm giving it 2 stars because it was easy to read, somewhat entertaining, and I didn't actively hate it.

The Redemption of Callie & Kayden - Jessica Sorensen I skimmed through a lot of it, by 30% It seemed like there wasn't going to be anything new to this story and that the characters were going to keep rehashing the same feelings and thoughts until they get closer in the last few chapters.It wasn't a bad read, but I lost interest (I first started reading it about a month ago, the day it was released)and I felt like the story didn't have enough in it for a full length book.

That's my only complaint though, and I'll forego rating it since I skipped too much.