Author: Jen (page 1 of 115)

BOOK REVIEW: Darker Water (Once and Forever #1) by Lauren Stewart

BOOK REVIEW: Darker Water (Once and Forever #1) by Lauren StewartDarker Water (Once and Forever #1)
by Lauren Stewart
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Some fairytales begin with a kiss...

Laney
I finally get it. And to think, it only took my heart being pried out of my chest and stomped on five separate times by men who claimed they loved me. That’s got to be a record, right?
Let me put it as simply as I can.
Fairy tales aren’t real. Love is a lie. And, at least in my experience, sex never comes with a happy ending.
Fortunately, I still have a battery-operated boyfriend who’ll never fall out of love with me. I won’t walk in on him in bed with another woman either. Nope. As long as I keep supplying him with fresh batteries, B.O.B’s only purpose in life is to make me happy.
And, damn it, I deserve to be happy. I’m a nice person. I work hard. And, most importantly, I've learned my lesson:
I will never, ever let a man near my heart again.

Carson
My secret to happiness is to be completely upfront with what I want and, trust me, it has nothing to do with Laney’s heart. Her lips? Hell yeah. A few other parts of her body? You better f*cking believe it. But her heart? Nope. Not even a little.
Until it does…a lot.
Forget I said that. I don’t have feelings for anyone. They were all ripped out of me when I was a kid.
This thing between Laney and me could be great. But we have to follow certain rules. We have a good time—no dates, no sleepovers, no expectations. When one of us is ready for something new or if she starts getting too attached, we move on with no hard feelings. Win-win, and everybody’s happy.
I came into this thinking it would be the same thing as it had always been and that she was like any other woman.
It isn’t. She isn’t.
But how do I tell her she deserves someone better, someone who can love her, someone who’s not broken, if I can’t seem to let her go?

Review:

Darker Water was a steamy, heart-felt story that constantly had me smiling.  Just within those first few pages, I was already laughing and obsessed with our two main characters.  It all flowed so seamlessly and I devoured it in no time at all. Darker Water became an instant favorite and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t pick it up sooner.  Especially since I bought this book four years ago.

He was ten times more wicked than anyone I’d ever dated, the complete opposite of everything I used to look for in a man. Untamed, irreverent, demanding. Exactly what I needed. I wouldn’t fall in fake-love with a guy like this in a million years.

Laney Temple had sworn off guys, after having her heart stomped on again and again.  So when Carson Bennett barged into her life, she told him to go away. Their first conversation had me cracking up so hard and it’s going down as one of my favorite meet cutes!  You see, Carson knew what he wanted and it was Laney in his bed.  He didn’t do relationships and he was completely upfront with Laney.  It seemed crazy at first, but then it started to sound like the perfect situation.  But something got in their way and they parted, which left me begging for more!

“Do you ever think us spending time with each other is one big, drawn out lapse of good judgment?”
“All the fucking time,” he muttered, his lips grazing my forehead before he walked away.

From there, Carson and Laney started to meet for coffee which lead to them hanging out.  They weren’t dating, they weren’t having sex, they were actually getting to know one another.  So while a friendship and trust started to form, they struck a deal. Laney wanted to learn how to not mix sex and love.  And Carson had never been friends with someone he slept with.  And while neither of them wanted to get attached, it’s funny how life doesn’t always work out how you want it too.

“If I get you drunk, will you let me take advantage of you?” I teased.
“Alright, that’s it,” he growled. He took the dress box from me, picked me up, plopped my ass on a display of jeans, and nudged my knees apart so he could stand between them. “I tried to be patient. I really did, but this friend thing sucks.”
“Umm…” I took a quick breath when he put his hands on my thighs. “You know we’re in public, right?”

I. Loved. Carson.  If you love alpha males then you have to meet Carson.  He was addictive, seductive, powerful and charming without any effort at all. His words and actions had me melting into a puddle.  Even if he was kind of an ass at times, but that didn’t matter because I loved how kind he was to Laney.  I was so obsessed with him that I’ve already gone back and re-read so many of the scenes where he shows exactly who he was and what he could do.  Sigh.

“If I turn around now things are going to escalate, Lane.” I spoke with my eyes closed, my hands clutching the countertop. “So what would you say if I asked you how far you wanted to go with this?”
“I’d say, ‘Why are you asking me questions when you should be fucking me?’”

I loved Laney too!  She was brave, outspoken and I loved how she stood up for herself.  I had so much respect for her and her sharp mouth. So when Laney and Carson were together?  Be prepared to laugh, they were hilarious! They were so perfect together, especially when they crossed that physical line.  Those moments were toe curling and would leave the hugest smile on my face.  I loved how steamy and exhilarating they were *fans face*.

“Being with you makes me feel like I’m more of a man, because I know without a doubt that I would do whatever it took to protect you.” My voice caught. “So that’s what I’m finally doing. I’m telling you to go away.”
She lifted her head to say one word: “No.”

This book also had a strong emotional side and I kept hoping they’d see what I saw.  How much they deserved one another. So looking back, this book was a ton of fun. Darker Water made me laugh, smile, sigh and even tugged on my heart which made tears spill from my eyes.  Now I’m looking forward to picking up the second book.  It’s about Carson’s brother and just from the few glances we got of him, I can’t wait to learn all there is about Hayden!

GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: The Ruins (The Union #2) by T.H. Hernandez

The first two books in one of my favorite series are currently free!  So check out what this series is about, go grab two of my favorite books for free and enter a fabulous giveaway!  Enjoy!

The Ruins
T.H. Hernandez
(The Union #2)
Publication date: June 16th 2015
Genres: Adventure, Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.

Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.

When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched. Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

Excerpt:

I slide the zipper of my duffel bag closed just as a knock comes on the front door. Eddie answers it, and I see my friends on the porch over his shoulder. Eddie greets them with a nod and pulls the door open to let them in. He met Lisa and Colin years ago in the Eastern Province when he was attempting to connect with his long lost daughter. Recognition replaces the indifference on Eddie’s face, and he smiles, shaking their hands.

“Eddie, you remember Bryce. This is Jack. Jack, this is my…my Eddie. Eddie McIntyre.”

Jack shakes Eddie’s hand with genuine enthusiasm. “It’s nice to meet you, sir. I’m a big fan.”

Eddie’s smile grows wide. This is his world, the one he knows how to live in — the one with adoring fans. “Good to meet you, Jack.”

Great, he can turn it on for a complete stranger, a fan, but his own daughter? I get stony silence.

Bryce reaches out and takes my bag, slinging it over his shoulder. I stand next to Eddie, not sure if I should hug him goodbye. He makes the decision for me, reaching an arm around and giving me an awkward pat on the back.

“Have fun,” he says, closing the door behind us.

We make our way to the express elevators in silence, no one finding it necessary to clue me in. Gliding down one hundred levels without a word spoken only increases the already building tension spiraling inside me, but asking questions when everyone else is quietly clenching their jaw, won’t get me anywhere.

Once on the ground, we take a commuter train the twenty-five miles out to the coast, emerging from the dark station into bright late morning sun. It’s a perfect Western Province day, all blue cloudless skies and yellow sunshine. We walk out to the boardwalk, a cool ocean breeze skating across my skin, fluttering strands of hair. The crashing surf is interspersed with screeching seagulls and children’s laughter. This is the most I’ve felt at home since getting back to the Union. Cleanliness aside, this is as close to being in the Ruins as I’ll get here.

A four-wheel-drive sand cruiser shuttles us to the check-in tent. We step out onto a path of groomed sand lined with solar luminaries that will light up at dusk, creating a glowing walkway. A campground employee leads us to a grouping of three white canvas tents adorned with strands of solar lights. Each tent has two cots, a small table with a vase of fresh honeysuckle and gardenias, and two folding chairs. Lisa and Jack dump their bags in one tent, and I follow Colin into another, setting my bag down. I suppose I could have let Colin and Bryce bunk together, but I don’t want to be alone.

The flap from the tent falls into place, and I spin around. “Colin, what the hell—”

He cuts me off, putting a finger to his lips. I’m trying hard not to freak out, but he’s making it difficult. His eyes roam over my face, his mouth pressed in a tight line. “I’ve got my ticket for the Northwest. I leave in a week.”

“Oh.” I drop into one of the chairs. Over the past couple of days, I haven’t thought much about him leaving. We both lapse back into silence. After a few minutes, I get up and go peek outside, looking for the others. Jack, Bryce, and Lisa head toward us with grave expressions. Turning back to Colin, I realize it’s the same expression he’s had the whole time we’ve been in here. Something really bad is going on.

They file into our tent, and Jack pulls a palm-sized electronic device from his pocket, moving it over the seams of the tent, the cots, the table. After glancing at a display on the front of the device, he motions for me to approach and sweeps it over me from head to toe. His shoulders relax and his jaw loosens for the first time since he arrived at my door this morning.

I raise both eyebrows, waiting for someone to clue me in, not sure if I’m allowed to speak yet.

Jack glances at Bryce before turning to me. “Someone bugged Lisa’s apartment.”

“What do you mean ‘bugged’?”

“I was helping her put up some speakers when I found a tiny Union-issue listening device. I swept her place with this and discovered twelve in total.”

“That’s insane.”

“We checked our place, too, and found another dozen there,” Jack says. “We need to check your dad’s place.”

“Why would anyone do that?

“You were gone a long time and so were we,” Bryce says, hands stuffed in the front pockets of his jeans. “Apparently someone noticed. We checked everyone’s clothing because we don’t know who planted the bugs, what all they had access to, or how long ago. We figured we’d be safest out here.”

A sliver of fear pierces me. “What did we say in Lisa’s apartment?”

Bryce shifts, pulling his hands from his pockets. “I don’t think it was anything specific. What about you at your dad’s?”

I shake my head. “Nothing. What about you guys at Lisa’s place before I got there?”

“Nothing much I can remember,” Jack says, dropping the device into his shirt pocket.

“What’s going on?” I ask, sinking onto my cot, my voice barely above a whisper.

“I don’t know,” Jack says. “But we’ve stumbled onto something even bigger than we realized.”


 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), & Book Depository (click on book #)
The Union by T.H. Hernandez
The Union #1
Reviews:
Jen
the ruins th hernandez
The Ruins #2
Reviews:
Jen
The Uprising (The Union Series #3) by T.H. Hernandez
The Uprising #3
Reviews:
Jen

The Invasion #4
Reviews:
Jen
About T.H. Hernandez:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.”

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Favorite Couples In Books

Top Ten Tuesday.13

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Today we’re sharing some of our Favorite Couples In Books.  There’s no way we could each narrow it down three choices!  So to help us out, we are each listing three of our favorite couples from the books we read in 2018.  So they are…..


(Cassie’s Choice – Review)

(Cassie’s Choice – Review)

1. In Harmony by Emma Scott
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Willow & Isaac  – I absolutely adored the story of Willow & Isaac. From their first encounter to the very last page (and everything in between), I was swept away by their love story. Willow and Isaac, while both strong and independent, were even better together. Life threw a lot at them (well, 380 pages worth of life), but it only made them a better couple in the end.

 

2. 9 Days and 9 Nights (99 Days #2) by Katie Cotugno
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Molly & Gabe – After the events of 99 Days, it was so incredibly wonderful to dive back into the complicated relationship of Molly and Gabe. As they travel across Europe with their current significant others, it was fascinating to see how much they grew up after everything that had happened in the past. Both Molly and Gabe were funny, sarcastic and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. I smiled so much reading this book and love this duology so much.

 


(Cassie’s Choice)

(Chelsea’s Choice – Review)

3. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Elian & Lira  – We’ve talked about this book (and Elian!) a lot on this blog, and there’s a good reason for it. This book is SO good. But what makes it amazing is the dynamic and relationship between Lira and Elian. If you are looking for humor, action, peril and smoldering tension, mixed with pirates and non-Disney mermaids, then this is the perfect book. I honestly couldn’t love the relationship between Lira and Elian more, and am sad this was only a standalone and not a series.

 

4. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Cardan and Jude DUH – I know these two might not count as a couple-but no other COUPLE makes my heart beat as fast, slow, and all inbetween causing a frenzy of nerves, butterflies, and epic feels and romantic pining than these two do.  I want them to kiss until they are sick of it *smirk*.

 


(Chelsea’s Choice – Review)

(Chelsea’s Choice – Review)

5. Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Jamie and Claire Frasier – I cant even believe it took me so long to find these two darling babies because Claire is hilarious and Jamie is…Jamie is…Jamie is beyond words loyal, passionate, and loving and so devoted to Claire I can’t even breathe when I think of him.

 

6. The Diviners (The Diviners #1) by Libba Bray
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Sam and Evie – Again, do these two count??? I DON’T CARE ALRIGHT THEY ARE MY DAHHHLLIINNGGGGSSSSS AND I MUST PUT THEM BECAUSE SAM IS EVERYTHING and so in love with Evie I can’t even DEAL and Evie is pos-i-tute-ly the berries and I am obsessed with them BOTH. I need them to both me happy and SAFE, OKAY?!

 


(Jen’s Choice – Review)

(Jen’s Choice – Review)

7. The Prophecy (Titan #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Seth and Josie – There is something so powerful about love conquering all.  And what Josie and Seth had was definitely true love. It not only conquered all, but it gave them strength.  Strength with each other and it also helped them find strength within themselves. But they definitely didn’t have an easy path.  They had so many obstacles in their way. Yet they persevered. And their love grew stronger because of everything they faced. I loved that by the end, Seth and Josie truly felt like a power couple.

 

8. The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Luc and Evie – Yes I chose another book by JLA, she writes couples that capture my heart!  I can’t talk much about Luc and Evie because of huge spoilers but just know that sacrifice, love and devotion were everything in this book. 

 


(Jen’s Choice – Review)

(Arielle’s Choice – Review)

9. Glitter and Sparkle (Glitter and Sparkle #1) by Shari L. Tapscott
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Lauren and Harrison – Not only is Harrison her older brother’s best friend, but there was a huge hate to love vibe between them.  So as I watched them grow, they found a forever place in my heart.  I think about them often and this is one of my favorite books ever.

10. Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Jane and Thatcher~ Tangled Like Us:  I honestly don’t know what to say about these two without just a lot of crazy gesticulating hand movements and muttering.  They are one of my top favorite couples of ALL TIME.  Their relationship was so sweet and straightforward and there was never any miscommunications or big conflicts.  Their chemistry was off the freakin charts and so sexy I can barely handle it

 


(Arielle’s Choice – Review)
 
(Arielle’s Choice – Review)

11. Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Billy and Arsinoe – I was a little late to this series, but better late than never!  I loved that these two started out with a tentative, almost wary friendship that slowly blossomed into more.  Even after it was clear to me that they caught feelings, I enjoyed seeing them both deny it and continue to basically just heckle each other.  Billy is a 100% a cinnamon roll, too pure for this earth.

 

12. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Amazon * Book Depository * Goodreads
Josh and Hazel – Omg these two were too much for my heart to handle.  From TA and student, to friends, to friends who shared a drunken sexy time, to TWO PEOPLE MADLY IN LOVE, I loved every second of their togetherness.  The best part may have been Josh never wanting Hazel to change her crazy ways (and I say that with love), always wanting her to be the person she was, no matter what!

So these are our Favorite Couples In Books from 2018. Have you read any of these books yet? Or are they on your tbr? If not, then which books had your favorite couples in them last year?

 

BOOK REVIEW: Bad Intentions (Bad Love #2) by Charleigh Rose

BOOK REVIEW: Bad Intentions (Bad Love #2) by Charleigh RoseBad Intentions (Bad Love #2)
by Charleigh Rose
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Lo
Moving to River’s Edge was supposed to be a fresh start.
Away from chaos.
Away from bad influences and worse relationships.
All I wanted was to give my little brother more of a chance than I ever had.
It should’ve been simple.
I didn’t count on my transgressions following me.
And I definitely didn’t count on meeting Dare.
Tall, tortured, and tattooed.
A Lost Boy through and through.
Falling for someone like him was asking for heartache.
But I was a sucker for punishment.

Dare
I had a routine.
Eat, work, sleep, repeat, only ever doing the bare minimum to keep up appearances.
I kept my circle small and my guard high.
I spent years making sure I didn’t repeat the mistakes of my past, forming an impenetrable layer of ice around my heart.
Then Logan showed up in my town, in my tattoo shop, testing my patience along with my self-control.
She was fire and I was ice.
I should’ve stayed away.
But I had been cold for far too long.

Review:

Bad Intentions is my second Charleigh Rose book and I am beyond addicted.  She writes emotional, sexy stories that come to life off of the pages. The characters pull me in quickly and I keep finding myself with tears in my eyes, while I watch them try their hardest to find happiness, hope, and love.  This book was smile inducing, crazy seductive, emotional and I can’t recommend Bad Intentions enough!  While this book can easily be read as a standalone, I highly recommend starting with Bad Habit.  It’s about Dare’s friend, Asher, who you have to meet!  You can read my review of that book here. 

“Aren’t small-town folk supposed to be welcoming, and I don’t know, nice? You don’t have to be a dick about it.”
“Okay.”
“Okay?” Who the hell responds with okay?
His lackadaisical response only frustrates me further.
“Okay,” he repeats. “I’m a dick. You’re an asshole who can’t take no for an answer. Glad we’ve established that. Nice to meet you. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

It’s always just been Logan, aka Lo, and her younger brother, who is a senior in high school.  Their father abandoned them and their mother was an addict.  Lo and her brother, Jesse, just had each other.  And I loved how deep their love ran for one another.  It was one of the countless gems in this book!  In desperate need of a fresh start, Lo tracked down their father and moved her and her brother to the mountains to live with him.  

We’re all flawed, selfish humans doing what it takes in order to survive. Myself included. – Lo

I loved Lo’s voice and it felt like she spoke right to me, she was brutally honest and a realist.  Even though life could be rough for her, she continually pulled herself together to take care of her brother.  Lo had a heart of gold and was beyond resilient.  I had so much respect for her.  Even though it looked like life was finally starting to turn around, shadows from her past hung in the background.  And we got to see exactly how tough she was when it all hit the fan.

Don’t ask her if she’s okay. Don’t ask her if she’s okay.
“You okay?”
Smooth
.

While out searching for a job, Lo ran into Dare, who owned the local tattoo shop.  To say he turned her down for a job would be an understatement ha.  It quickly became obvious how tiny this new town was because no matter what happened, they kept finding themselves near each other.  And what started out as a rough meeting, lead the way into Lo and Dare messing with the other.  They made me laugh so hard because it was playful, but at the same time it was also seductive.  While they toyed with each other, it was obvious that there was a carnal attraction that ran between them.  But as time passed, they slowly started to become intertwined into each other’s lives and whatever was between them turned something else.  Lust.  Friendship.  Feelings.  And more.  It all swirled together and was insanely addicting and hot as hell.

I decide that even though I don’t deserve her, I’m too fucking self-serving not to take the only thing that offers me peace. The only thing that allows me to feel warmth when I’ve been cold all my life.

I was obsessed with Dare.  He came across as a closed off jerk, and you know how much I love those guys.  But we eventually got to see all the different sides of him and he had such a beautiful heart.  That heart caused me to have tears in my eyes a few different times.  You see, he became protective of Lo.  He stood up for her. He helped her out.  He was such an amazing man.  Yet while he was thoughtful for others, he was his own worst enemy at times.  His past haunted him.  Just like Lo’s did too.  Unfortunately, not everything stays buried forever.  No matter how hard you wish it would.

This girl is a part of me. The one part of me I love. – Dare

This was such an emotional book.  Countless times I had tears in my eyes.  But I loved how it was extremely sexual too.  So I felt like we got the best of both worlds in this story.  Now I want to go binge read her next two books, they’re so addicting!  If you’re a fan of NA romance that is seductive, hilarious and will pull at your heart then definitely pick this one up!

I had so many countless favorite quotes….so here are a few more I loved:

Dare. That’s not a name. That’s a warning. And I’ve been with enough bad boys to heed the warning. I think.

 

Well, that was one hell of a first kiss. And I didn’t even make it to her mouth.

 

“It’s gorgeous,” she breathes.
“Sure the fuck is,” I say, but I’m not talking about the drawing. She looks at it, but I’m looking at her.

 

“Lo. Stop.” I hold her shoulders, trying to get her to meet my eyes. “I’m just…fuck, I’m concerned for you, okay?”
“I can take care of myself,” she insists, her voice still full of steel.
“I see that. I
know that,” I agree. “But it doesn’t mean no one else can give a shit.”

 

She’s been here for a couple of weeks, and she’s bringing shit out of me that I thought had died long ago. Conflicted doesn’t even fucking begin to cover it.

BOOK REVIEW: Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins

BOOK REVIEW: Soul in Darkness by Wendy HigginsSoul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty.

But gods are known for their jealousy.

Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts.

Psyche's punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely.

Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche from Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

Review:

Soul in Darkness was enchanting, seductive and smile inducing.  This story was everything I love about Wendy Higgins.  It had the most delicious sexual tension, characters that I quickly loved and a story that made me fly through this book way too fast.  If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, retellings, or Wendy Higgins then definitely pick this one up. I absolutely loved this story and can’t recommend it enough!  

“Bright soul, why must you make this difficult?”
In his nearness, I felt his words on my cheek. A scream immobilized in my throat as I was suddenly overcome by the surprising scent of rain and honeysuckle. That was not what a monster should smell like.

If you aren’t familiar with the mythology surrounding Cupid and Psyche, their story is an exhilarating ride.  Princess Psyche was said to be so beautiful that the villagers brought her gifts, instead of the Gods.  With Venus angered, she asked her son, Cupid, to punish Psyche.  Psyche’s punishment ended up being married to a creature that was described as a dark-deeded winged serpent.  Oh how I loved Wendy Higgins’ approach to this classic tale.  What unfolded was a story woven with betrayal, love, twists, friendship, trust and sacrifice that completely enraptured me .

“Sometimes,” he said, “we fear that which we should embrace because we do not know better.”
I swallowed, shaking my head, closing my eyes.
“When I touch you,” he breathed, “your fear disappears. You enjoy my touch.”
No, I don’t,” I blurted.
“Your lies are useless.”

Psyche was filled with such loneliness, beauty was truly her curse.  She had no friends, she was terrified to make her sisters jealous and men saw her for nothing more than her beauty.  My heart hurt for her. Especially when she showed us time and again what a kind heart she had.  So when her fate of marrying a monster was laid out to her, her bravery was remarkable.  Psyche proved herself in that moment that she was born to be a queen.  She was spirited, determined, smart and I absolutely loved her!

“Trust yourself, Psyche. Trust your soul.”

Upon arriving on her husband’s land, Psyche discovered there were rules.  She wasn’t able to see her husband, yet he could touch her.  And while she had free reign of his lands during the day, she had to spend her nights with him.  Psyche’s fears leaped off of the pages.  Her thoughts were consuming and I truly understood her horror of being a prisoner, married to a monster.  Yet her husband wasn’t anything like she expected.

“I cannot say all the things I wish to say.” His voice was deeper and huskier than ever, sending a ripple through me. “But if you listen, Psyche, listen to my touch…perhaps you will hear.”

Psyche’s husband showed her kindness.  He was compassionate, heartfelt, listened and tried to make her happy.  Yet creatures, especially those shrouded in mystery, can be deceiving.  So Psyche was waiting for the moment that he would cause her physical and mental anguish.  Now here’s the thing. I don’t care what others think, but I absolutely loved her husband.  While it seemed like he could give her the world, I only wanted what Psyche desperately needed the most.  To be able to see him.

All I knew for a fact was that if he was an enemy, he was the most dangerous enemy possible, because when I was with him, my heart, my body, and my soul wanted him.

I loved how Psyche’s husband made me laugh, he had such a funny way with words.  And it warmed my heart that he called her bright soul. His words could be mesmerizing.  But what I loved the most, was when he touched her.  Soul in Darkness was extremely seductive, sensual and the tension between them was electrifying.  Even with fear looming in the back of Psyche’s mind, she couldn’t deny that her husband made her body come alive.

When I got to his earlobe, my teeth grazed the skin there as I took it into my mouth and dragged my lips away. He whispered my name and shuddered. Everything in me felt animalistic and proud that such a small gesture could bring about a reaction from an immortal.

While I guessed some of the secrets in this book, I still found my heart beating hard in my chest.  I could taste Psyche’s terror and I was even filled with dread over her fate.  As the story unfolded, it took turns I wasn’t prepared for.  I cried my heart out and I was ecstatic when I reached the end of the book and found an epilogue.  It left the hugest smile on my face.  So yes, I definitely recommend Soul in Darkness, this story was completely enchanting.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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