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BOOK REVIEW: Amour Amour (Aerial Ethereal #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW: Amour Amour (Aerial Ethereal #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca RitchieAmour Amour (Aerial Ethereal)
by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Love is a circus

"Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future—acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

She’s trying to find herself. Some days I still wonder if I’ve found me. Maybe we never stop searching. Maybe we evolve the way seasons change, seamlessly without really knowing, not until all the leaves have fallen.
This is who I am today.
Tomorrow I may be the same.
But in years, I’ll be someone else. Someone I may like more. Someone I may like less. And that’s okay. Because I’m still living.

It’s no secret that I loved Connor Cobalt with all my heart when I read the Calloway Sisters spin-off series in 2015. He and Rose made me happier than I could have imagined possible. And while I adored those two books that centered on the controlling and over-achieving duo, I just couldn’t fathom liking another book out of that series. They were always a bit long and always….heavy-ish, so I just couldn’t reconcile liking a book by these authors that relatively none of my friends have talked about.

I wish I could tap into his mind, even for a moment. To see how he sees me. For as much as Nikolai conveys, he’s still a mystery.
And I’m the curious girl who’ll step into it. Time and time again.

Then one day I just decided to give it a try….and I met one of the sweetest, most dedicated, most loyal men ever. I swear, why did all these books I adore have to come near the end of the year? What I needed was a book that wasn’t your typical romance, that wasn’t NA smut, something with some substance. And, ya know, normally I don’t love books that are a bit slower build, longer than they really need to be (which is a Ritchie trait, if you ask me) without much action, but it seems that some of my absolute favorites this year are just that: Punk 57, An Enchantment of Ravens, and now Amour Amour. There must be something in the water, because I am DYING of thirst when it comes to these books.

It became something more without noticing. Without realizing. “Am I a mistake—”
“No, myshka. You’re just the unexpected, beautiful thing in my life.”

Thora is selected to go try out for an Aerial company that has circus shows all around the world-her dream show? Amour. I kind of just pictured Cirque-du-Soleil (which I think was the point?) as I read, and it seemed to resonate and help me picture things I might have skimmed over before (I’ve never been that imaginative…which is why I use all the same stock actors and actresses with each book I read lol). Anyway, she gets called in for an audition, but she just isn’t up to par-not yet. And that’s where Nikolai comes in.

And he assumed right. Again. Probably based on Shay’s height, frame, build—like he did me that first night in Vegas. “Can you at least pretend to be full of remorse and regret?” This would be so much easier.
“No. A devil protects his demon.”

Nikolai lives and breathes the circus, grew up participating in shows with his family from the beginning. He’s a show stopper, and the spot for his partner just opened up…which is why Thora is in Vegas trying out for the coveted position. While doing his after-hours show on a Saturday night at a club, he challenges a cute girl to oppose him-and he instantly feels something towards her. A need to shield, to protect her perhaps. When they part ways that night, he warns her to not let the city eat her alive…and then the day of try-outs arrives, and he’s shocked to see that she wasn’t just a visitor in his town, but a tiny girl with more passion than she knows what to do with.

The slight prick of fear heightens my adrenaline, setting a fire beneath me.
Who can explain the drum of their heart or the burst of their lungs? Give me that person. I need them because words fail my senses.

So the story goes. Alas, I will say that, while I knew what the end would produce, the rest of the story was surprising the whole way through, a mystery until the end-and I respected that. I loved that I kept guessing and was never really right, and that, even though the story was a little predictable all in all, the writers kept it out of the cliché zone. Did I love that the motto of the story basically implies love comes second? Hmm no. When I read, I look to escape reality, not drench myself in it. But I did love that they weren’t pushovers for their attraction to one another. Did I love that it took so long for what I wanted to be said and for it to be admitted? Actually…yes. I did. I LOVE a slow burn, and I love how the authors didn’t just give me all the cookies in the cookie jar right away, but also didn’t keep them from being together. I won’t spoil, I’m just saying that it worked for me, and I didn’t think I’d be happy about it…but I was. I SO was, because it just gave me millions of butterflies and melted my crusty self into a puddle of goop when all the little things happened, leading up to a crescendo of feels.

He said, “All you need is luck. The rest, you’ll do great at.”
I smiled. “Is that my trainer speaking?”
“Yes,” he said, “but you’d probably think it’s a problem.”
I hesitated, “Why’s that?”
He stood up, towering above me with those intense grays. “Your trainer is in love with you.”

I’ve gotten even more dramatic in my old age, haven’t I? I’m a sap, a puddle of goo…but I just love that I can still be surprised by books when I thought I was starting to lose all my fangirl feels. Nikolai…I don’t know. He’s Russian, which was hard for me to picture? I know that makes me sound like a snob, but obviously I’m not a total snob because he won my heart over in, like, two pages. He stole my breath at the oddest of times, when I least expected it, and he would do ANYTHING for Thora.

“I’d help you every day so that you could see a better tomorrow. I will never give you less than that.”

***

“Why help me?” I ask softly. I expect him to say, I don’t have an answer.
“I admire your courage. I know what you’ve given up to be here. I know the kind of artist it takes to land a role. I know that you won’t receive one on your own. And I imagine you, myshka, two years from now, working at Phantom with the same aspirations, the same dreams, in the same place where you are now. It’s wasted courage. And wasted love. You shouldn’t have to waste those things.”

Which, okay, let’s talk about that name real quick-it’s like a couple name smash that went wrong-Thor and Nora for the win? Ha BUT ANYWAY, he had rules. He was strict with his ‘Circus before love’ bit. But Thora wiggled into his heart, made him feel whole…and she made him question what was more important. And, when faced with the fact that he may lose her if she didn’t make the Aerial team in January, it broke his heart-but not once did he let it show that he would die if she left, because her dreams were more important to him than his own happiness. I mean…I can’t even. He was just…I can’t. Not once had he been distracted from the true love of his (and Thora’s) life, the circus, but Thora made him break the rules, made him do things he’d never done before. And one scene breaks my heart in the best possible way, and I can’t say but….I think you guys would know if you read it. It’s EVERYTHING.

He stares down at me, waiting. I always pause. And he rarely fills the silence with his own voice. He just looks so deeply into me and gives me time to find the right thing…
“I’m in love with you,” I whisper.
He tries to smile but his eyes flood instead. “Don’t love me more than your dreams, myshka. Because I love you too much to let you give them up for me.”

So yeah, it wasn’t a perfect book-it didn’t have non-stop action, it might have dragged JUST a teensy bit, and I wanted to punch her best friend. But Nikolai’s adorable jealousness, the family bonding that only these sisters can write/produce, the friendships, the palpable love between Nikolai and Thora, the tenderness with which he treats her, takes care of her, the story line that makes you feel like you’re a part of Vegas…yeah, I’d say this is one of my absolute favorites. Hands down. And I’d say you’d be silly to not give this one a try.


I never even dreamed of finding love. It’s been low on my list of pursuits. I thought I’d tackle that later. Maybe in ten years. I’d fall in love for the first time then.

I wish someone would’ve told me that you can’t search for love. That one day, it will find you.
An unexpected thing.

BOOK REVIEW: Fuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3; Addicted #3.1) by Krista Richie

BOOK REVIEW: Fuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3; Addicted #3.1) by Krista RichieFuel the Fire by Becca Ritchie, Krista Ritchie
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Protect your family. At all costs.

It’d take the impossible to hurt Connor Cobalt, even for a moment.

Protect your family. At all costs.

At twenty-six, his narcissistic tendencies have made room for the people he loves.

Protect your family. At all costs.

And he loves Rose. But when his love is threatened, when his greatest dreams with her are compromised — what is the cost then?

Protect your family. At all costs.

Love will guide his choices.
For the first time in his life.

 
I never realized how bored I had been with life. How mundane my surroundings looked. How unchallenged I’d become. 

I never realized all of these things.
Until I met her.

You know those books where you highlight so much that almost every page is filled with a rainbow of colors? No? Well, I can tell you that this happens to me frequently. And it’s not always the same types of books, the same types of characters, the same types of boys….it’s almost every type of book that gets me giddy, and that’s an awesome thing. But, I will admit that certain characters or series do tend to draw out the worst kind of highlighting fangirl in me, marking quote after quote in an endless stream of sighs, giggles, smiles, and heartaches; This is one of those series.

“And Rose?”
“Yes?” I breathe.
“I’m tragically in love with you too.”

I’m shocked to announce that perhaps one of my absolute favorite stories ever is none other than the Calloway Sisters spin-off of the Addicted series. I’ve heard nothing but bad things [from my closest and most trusted friends] when it comes to the first book of the Addicted series, and I was inclined to agree, at the time. However, when a certain best best friend of mine read the spin-off Kiss the Sky first (she is like me-no thank you on the depressing kind of angst) and absolutely GUSHED and OBSESSED over my dear boy Connor, I have to say my interest was piqued. I mean, she is as hardcore on rating as you can get (You know who you are, Dark Pup), and she was sitting here ranting and raving about a NA that is split down the middle on ratings.

Her mouth falls and eyes flame. “What we did wasn’t flirting.”
I arch a brow. “When I was seventeen you said you wanted to perform an autopsy on me, to crack open my rib cage and squeeze my heart until it burst between your fingers.”
What is that-if not flirting?
She lifts her head off a pillow to near me, propping her elbows on the mattress. “That was me hating you, Richard. I dreamed of your death.”
“You dreamed of clutching my heart,” I rebut.
“Of killing you,” she emphasizes.
I lean closer to her, our eyes locking, “Vous m’aimiez.” You loved me.


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But then those magic magic words….Bu-bu-but, CONNOR!!! They changed my life forever. She knew that was all she had to utter to win me over completely, and I am so glad I am a sucker for her bu-bu-but explanations. I mean, what better language to express how abso-fucking-lutely perfect a boy is than utter nonsense babbling between two gal pals?? We know what each other likes, and we know what to pass along-we don’t fuck around by pushing books that test our boundaries in bad ways.

“Then you’ll need to buy me some barf bags.” She looked me up and down. I was always physically fit, and I appeared exactly as I dressed: well-off, cultured, proper, rich. An elite boarding school prick.
“Do you always vomit on guys you like,” I asked, “or just me?”
She glared. “The more you fish for compliments, the more I want to puke on you.”
“So it is just me then.”
She growled.
I grinned.

So when this New Adult book, of all things, brought the Frowner to her knees…I knew I just had to get in on this shit. Now, here I am, a couple months after finishing KTS and HF, having been waiting on the perfect opportunity to finally give enough time and devotion to my man, enough time to cherish his every word, breath, and phrase. I mean look it:

“Why aren’t you wearing green?!” the bartender asks Connor, sliding over my apple-tini and slicing into our conversation. I gratefully take the drink.
Connor has a shadow of irritation in his eyes, only perceptible by me, most likely. He answers the bartender very casually. “I make my own luck, so really St. Patrick’s Day should be celebrating me.” He pauses. “And I prefer
blue.”

I adore him way too much and find him way too funny lol

When I read the first, I had hardly any time to cherish the narcissistic words he spoke, only using the time I had, not knowing how big of a deal my love for him would be. But, you know, there really is no perfect time for your favorite books. *shrugs* There just isn’t. So I finally took the plunge and read the GD book I’ve been wanting to read since early January.

Rose drills a hole in them, like they’ve offended her. “What are those?”
I answer first, “Sneakers. Tennis shoes. Running shoes. There are a plethora of useless names for them in my opinion.”
When her eyes ping to me, they narrow. And I grin, any sort of annoyance starting to seep into better sentiments that I enjoy.
Your opinions are useless,” she retorts.
“And your opinions are biased. Do you want me to keep going?”
Lo cuts in, “Please don’t.”

I can’t say I loved having to read 10-20% a night, this is a travesty to me, breaking apart all he and Rose’s moments as if they didn’t deserve to be read in a perfect sequence with zero interruptions and my undivided attention. It took me basically a week to read it (vile, just vile, I tell you), which normally stunts my enjoyment of a novel. Who likes stopping and re-starting all the time? Not me. But, as I have said many times before, if you love a book enough…it just doesn’t fucking matter. I may have lost some bits and pieces, sure, but no amount of breaks stole the love I had for each and every character and each and every scene about each and every one of them loving, protecting, caring, and watching out for each other. Nothing can top that. Nothing.

I scowl. He always has to one-up me. I’ll beat him, make him uncomfortable for once. Game on. I scan the wall and remove the largest of the dildos, big and fat, also a shade of blue. Its girth alone looks insanely miserable. My vagina quivers in warning like hell no.
I check the tag: horse cock.
I swear I’m not lying.
I rotate it to Connor. He’s not the least bit flustered.


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You see, this wasn’t simply a book about Connor and Rose, though there was that, but a book about the bonds that have been formed throughout this devastatingly hopeful and tragic series. Addictions are abundant in their household, possibly filled with more downs than ups, but they have all stuck together from the very beginning. The Calloway sisters are blood, obviously, but Connor and Ryke and Loren are not. Ryke and Lo are half brothers, and Lo has been around since the girls’ childhood-but, for the most part, and what I’m trying to say here is, these bonds have grown stronger not only by blood, but by friends and lovers who have been through it all together.

A string of tense silence lingers in the air.
He sips his coffee.
I sip mine. “I’ve had better conversations with a stuttering parakeet Frederick used to own, though he wasn’t nearly as intelligent as you.”
Ryke digests my statement quicker than most. “I’m sure you loved hearing your own fucking words repeated back to you.”

This book made me cry more than I have for any other book in a long long time. If I wasn’t laughing out loud or giggling or sighing or my heart wasn’t beating out of my chest and stomach erupting with butterflies, I was tearing up….or bawling. What is it about these people that touch me so deeply? Everyone knows from my first review that I am utterly obsessed, infatuated, and in love with Connor (and Rose, for that matter), but the other characters are like family to me, too. It means so much to love the main two of a story, it does, but when you add in a never ending stream of love and support that break your heart almost as much as your main man does…you really have something here. I cried for Connor as his world came crashing down on him. I cried for Rose and how she would never let Connor go through anything alone, acting as his equal in every physical and intellectual way.

I glare, spinning fully towards him while we wait for the green light. He wears a blue button-down and suit jacket, tailored perfectly for his six-foot-four frame. Connor Cobalt is as classy as he is conceited. Both attract me.
Both annoy me.
I’m a paradox. And maybe that’s why he loves me.

I cried as their hopes and dreams began to crash and burn around them. And I cried for all the brothers, sisters, friends and their broken moments that Connor’s untimely (almost) demise brought down on them.

My defenses waver in my mind.
We have sex tapes.
Staged, they will say.
We have a child.
Business arrangement, they will argue.
I am hopelessly in love with her.
Who else can see this but you?


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So, okay, I won’t make this much longer because I’ve already written a review for KTS that was extremely long already (sigh, I lubbs my Connor), but I do need to touch on Rose and Connor’s growth as a couple-not that they needed much. Did you know the authors didn’t plan this book? They did it for the fans. So, you know, this was just a bunch of extra we got to feast our eyes on-Connor and Rose awesome-ness! And awesome they were-Connor and Rose together are unstoppable. #RCCthisislove …..just sayin’.

Her words flood me, choke me, grip me and burn me.
Her words light me in a lethal blaze, and I’m smothered in hot sentiments that pull at me and beg me to scream. I hold her harder, tighter, my forehead pressed against hers.
I’m on fire, every part of me.


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Connor, to me, was everything I could ever ask for, in this book. Yes, we still got the self-assured, perfectly kempt, responsible, and level-headed boy we have grown to love. Of course he was abundantly arrogant in this, or else would he even be Connor? But what we got to see here was the new and improved Connor.

I cling to the rarities in life, the unusual fragments that open windows into a person’s soul. Rose’s genuine, warm smile is a rarity. It’s not a constant. And I wouldn’t want it to be. It’s a powerful blip that punches me hard. If this happened frequently, it wouldn’t have the same effect. It wouldn’t be unique anymore.

The Connor that loves Rose with all his heart. The Connor that would risk it all to keep his family safe and happy, even at the cost of his own happiness. The Connor we once knew would never have thought of such a thing, risking everything he’d ever worked for and knew to be true in life…but for Rose? He’d risk it all.

Rose will be dragged into this by her ankles, suffocating beneath someone else’s rising tide, and the best I can do is hold her while we go under. I’ve never imagined myself drowning before. Not like this. And I’ve never imagined I’d have these two choices: drown apart or drown together.
Together.
Always.


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And the same for Rose, the ice queen. I absolutely adore her snide comments, stupid tests and rules, and glares that could turn anyone’s heart to ice in less than a moment’s notice. Never Connor, though, he merely catches her glare and smirks in return.

My scathing look could burn holes in a man, and yet Connor doesn’t even bat an eye. He’s sleeping in the same bed as a volcano that would very much like to sear and scald everything around me, including him, and he’s okay with it. What is wrong with my husband?

She is his equal in every way, challenging his mind and heart at every turn. She is everything he has ever needed to make him not an unfeeling monster, but a man who knows everything…but can relinquish his soul that he has kept and held inside and swore wasn’t able to beat in time with another. He can concede on things, bend and break, whereas before he had a rigid finality that kept him perfect and without doubt, completely in control of himself and all those surrounding him.

‘”I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart.’” My lips pull higher, into a livelier smile. ‘”I am, I am, I am.”‘

But this is the story where we see not only his love, but his tears, his heartache, his determination to stop something that already is in motion….and he is finally unable to control something that can tarnish his life forever. I loved, asshole that I am, seeing his broken heart, his loss of control, his tears, his determination to keep Rose safe under any and all circumstances. I just loved seeing him not so sure of himself all the time-and loved every minute when he was. I love every little thing about him, his comments making my day no matter my mood. And his and Rose’s banter, along with Ryke and Lo, caused my heart to squeeze and me to burst into fits of laughter when I least expected it (and even when I did, whatever, it’s all funny no matter what).

“I shoved it up your ass, don’t you remember? Or are you still trying to forget?” I mime a tear streak down my cheek.
There it is. He flashes me that dry half-smile. “Your husband pulled it out for me. He likes my ass.”
I roll my eyes. “I gag at your friendship.” It’s too sweet for me. The compliments they bounce back and forth. Ugh.


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So, yeah, like always, I could go on and on and on about a book I consider a favorite. Would you believe me if I said that I had no clue what to say at the beginning? I typed one sentence, and then BAM! This review took off. I love when that happens, when I don’t want to write a review but end up publishing a book, because that means it was something that truly touched my heart, and that’s hard to come by these days. Rose’s loyalty, Connor’s devotion, Lily’s support, Ryke’s unflinching encouragement, Lo’s underhanded trust and admiration, and Daisy’s unflinching happiness and positivity are things I will never forget. They are all so important to each other, making a broken household whole…and every single one of them will always own a piece of my soul.

(Shout out to Coconut and Sadie :P)

*QUOTES I REFUSE TO DELETE EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T FIT*….

My hand shakes. “Rose,” I murmur, my chest blazing the longer I stare into her. She fuels the fire in my soul, the embers slowly dying, and she tries feverishly to awaken me.

One more step and I’ll feel his pelvis against me. His toned arms always seem larger and more sculpted without a shirt: perfect with a suit on, not too bulky, and perfect with a suit off, not too lean. There is too much perfect behind me-it’s infuriating.

“I don’t know what you want me to say,” I tell her. “And what are you still doing awake?” I feel old, asking my mother this. Connor watches me intently and I whisper to him, “Am I old?”

His lips pull upward. “No, darling. We’re still young.”

****

Rose will be dragged into this by her ankles, suffocating beneath someone else’s rising tide, and the best I can do is hold her while we go under. I’ve never imagined myself drowning before. Not like this. And I’ve never imagined I’d have these two choices: drown apart or drown together.
Together.
Always.


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I mean…I can’t even.

RTC.

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BOOK REVIEW: Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

Kiss the Sky

BOOK REVIEW: Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1) by Krista Ritchie & Becca RitchieKiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1)
by Becca Ritchie, Krista Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared.

Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy.

After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way.

Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity.

This New Adult Romance can be described as Friends meets The Real World. Expect fist fights, drugs, sex of varying degrees, crude humor and competitive alpha males. Definitely for mature readers audiences only.


People hope to touch the sky. I dream of kissing it.
-Connor


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Let’s get this out real fucking quick: This book, this man, this story stole my heart. I know it’s been a lucrative year for me, good book wise, but that’s because I’ve surrounded myself with people who truly know me, my tastes, my obsessions, and, most importantly, my dislikes. And, while this has been on my TBR for probably a couple years, I never took the plunge. Why is that, you ask? All because of the reason I mentioned above-no one I knew loved it enough for me to do so. It’s not enough to have a fandom behind a series, because, let’s face it, that fandom would jump off a cliff for said series, and they just can’t be trusted-sorry. And it’s not because they’re lying about how good the series is-it’s really not that simple, because every opinion is subjective. And herein lies the problem: I have wanted so badly to read this book, but haven’t had enough ammo and found that it went against a number of my rules. Well, and excuse my French here, GR friends, because I’m going to be frank-I ABOUT FUCKING LOST OUT.

I let go of Rose and take a step forward. “We haven’t formally met,” I say, holding out my hand. “I’m Connor Cobalt. The guy whose girlfriend you want to fuck. And just so you understand, the odds don’t look good for you.”

 

If my dear, sweet, Rose-like (haha) Anna hadn’t have read this, I bet this would have sat on my TBR shelf another two years. But, as it is, she made me buy this. She pushed me to give this a try. Her reasoning?? Oh come on, now. Anyone who knows me and reads my reviews enough can probably guess a variation of what I’m about to say, but here it goes anyway: ‘Bu-bu-but…Connor…’ Or wait, am I mistaken? Wasn’t it more like: CONNOR. THAT IS ALL. Either way, it’s fucking clear. She knows me well enough to know that I would see past all the bull shit and drama (honestly it wasn’t what I expected, there wasn’t that much) and fall for the beautiful man that can’t love-Connor Cobalt.

I try to imagine a life without Rose and I see something gray, something motionless-a world without time and a place without color. I see mundane and dreary and lackluster.
I can’t lose her.
Not for anything.


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And it’s true, I do have a lot of book pet peeves, and the list seems to become more excessive with each passing month rather than shrinking as I’d hoped it would. But sometimes the barest needs trump the pesky idiosyncracies that come with the territory of reading so many books. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes….the best books are hiding in your worst nightmare.

I had no one before Rose. No true friends. No family, not really.
Now I have her. I have people I care about. People that I want to protect.
Now I have everything.
The only thing about having everything is that you can lose it all.

And that worst nightmare is a fucking reality show type story (says the blurb, but I say hogwash) with a NA label, an addiction label, and a set of flawed characters that have either scared everyone away or drawn them to an inexplicable high that can only be flamed when a new book in the series is released. I chose to give the series a fair chance by starting with the story that appealed to me most, skipping the more depressing predecessors that scared some of my closest and best friends away. I may be taking risks and calling December my ‘fuck it, I need permanent BBF wins’ month and throwing my bookish inhibitions out the window, but I don’t want to commit book suicide and depress the shit out of myself right before the holidays-and my BDAY-AND VACAY-YAY ME. And even though I didn’t get the build up to Connor and Rose’s tentative relationship and battles from previous books, I couldn’t be happier with what I chose to do, because the minute these words were uttered (and if you read the book you know the context and just who he is talking to): “Suck. My. Cock.” I was a goner. I was in deep shit. I was utterly, completely, inexplicably Connor’s…and that was only in the prologue.

I meet those fierce yellow-green eyes. Even in the wake of my pain, she has this resilience that’s more beautiful than words can describe. It’s fire to my water. And I want her to burn me alive.

 

And one would think I was jumping to fangirly conclusions, but to that I say, you know, wait just a second there, Fella. Because, again, inexplicably, my BBF-dar was right on the money as each passing page made my lady boner fill out a little more and become fully erect by chapter two with every new Connor filled page. He had little flaws, sure, things that might have had me running for the hills (ahem, can anyone say diamond collar???) had I not fallen for him before such things arose, but, as it was, it didn’t bother me. In fact, I could have cared less. It certainly didn’t add to the story, but it didn’t deter my ass either. But then here’s the real kicker, and I am not at all shocked to say this, Connor wasn’t the only contributing factor to my bookgasm: Rose was a badass motherfucker as well….and she not only added to the story, but became one of my favorite heroines-say it like it is, Bitch, I got yo’ back.


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I roll backwards, and he only grins more. This is not a cat-and-mouse game like he believes. I am not a mouse. And he’s not a cat. Or vice versa. I am the fucking shark, and he’s a lame human in my ocean.

Rose and Connor were perfect for one another, and not in the same ways. She’s the bitch to his peacemaker, she’s the cold virgin to his skilled lovemaking, she can love even as he claims love is inconsequential, she’s the business savvy, intelligent, competitive ass to his…well, they are the same on that front, but you get the point.

 

Rose Calloway was different. She was fashionable. But not a sorority girl. She was a genius on paper. But not a team player. She was quick to loathe others. But not against loving.
She was a complicated equation that didn’t need to be solved.

I could maybe understand how people wouldn’t connect with the say-it-like-it-is Rose who gets in people’s faces and snaps her fingers at the drop of a hat, but I did. I loved her. I thought it was comical, her prowess, her knowledge of all things business and things I will never know or understand. But there was an empowering feeling to it, as well, seeing her match word for word with Connor and not backing down on anything…

I hear the criticism already. And I don’t wilt by it. I’m just angry.
So bring it on, motherfuckers. Try to hurt me. Because I won’t let you.


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but I think I’m forgetting my favorite part of Connor (they’re all my favorite, but whatever you get it), and all it did was make me love his cockiness on the outside even more.

She holds up a warning finger at me. “Don’t you dare say do you like what you see? I will break up with you right here if you utter those fucking stupid words.”
I laugh into a wider grin and say, “I don’t have to ask you, Rose. I already know you do.”
She pushes me lightly in the chest and tries not to share my smile. “Why am I with you? You’re so conceited, arrogant-“
“Narcissistic,” I add, “attractive, lovable, brilliant.”
“That wasn’t an invitation for you to compliment yourself.”

Connor had a gentleness to him that truly fleshed out his character and made him into such a circumvent character that my poor little heart had no chance whatsoever. His dedication, loyalty, and adoration for Rose stole my heart, and in those moments when people weren’t looking-and better yet, even when they were-he became someone who would die for the woman he….well….adores. Controlled, arrogant, intelligent, cocky, Connor is the poster child for that guy I’d normally want to strangle, but he just…ugh. I can’t even. You don’t understaaaaandddd. He can’t love, or rather, he was raised to believe love isn’t what matters-However you want to explain it. So you think, okay, no jealousy, right? There can’t be. The cool, calm, collected Connor can’t be jealous if he doesn’t love her…

 

I spent years building barriers and defenses. I could take care of a woman better than any other guy could. But my mother never taught me how to love.

 

but wrong, WrongwrongwrongwrongWRONG. Everything is a game, who can win, who is best, who will get the girl….but it isn’t, not really. Not for Connor. He plays it like it’s not about him loving her, that his goal is only to devirginize her (again, not really, that’s such a small piece of what Connor could be like), but when the cameras stop rolling, when the show airs or he hears things that people say about her or when he thinks Rose is threatened or he might lose her…the real Connor slips, his façade starts to fade, and we begin to see just how deeply he *ahem* adores her, and just how much he’d give up to be by her side. And, I assure you, that was certainly not in the blurb.

I rub her back, the water slowly turning lukewarm. As she rests on my lap, something strong grips my heart. I’ve never been so possessed by another person before. She consumes my body and mind in ways that I can’t articulate.


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Speaking of: That is one of the shittiest blurbs I’ve ever read. That blurb doesn’t do this book justice. I won’t elaborate, but just know that there was so much more that should have been said, or maybe even not said, I don’t know.

I near her, cupping her face with large rough hands. I stare down into her yellow-green eyes. “You’re not a pit stop. You’re my finish line. There’s no one after you.” I kiss her powerfully, my tongue parting her lips, and she responds. But not as much as I hoped. So I break apart and add, “I want you for eternity, not for a brief moment in time.”


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And yeah, there were parts that might have lagged??? I don’t know, because I’ve been very sick, unfortunately, and it was the kind of sick that drained you and you couldn’t read after the day was over because your eyes just wouldn’t let you. So, yeah, I lost connection at times and it truly broke my heart, because this is one of my absolute favorites and that stunted my enjoyment and maybe even my judgment a little, but it should also say something. Even after reading only two chapters a night for a while, this still got a five. C’mon now, that’s amazing.

I think I hate him now.
“I know you’re glaring and I can’t even see your eyes,” Connor tells me. “Would you call that intuition or magic?”
Well, Connor doesn’t believe in magic. If Hogwarts actually existed I’m sure they’d send an owl to shit on his head.

And, finally, Rose’s addiction: I was kind of obsessed with it, no pun intended. She has a severe case of OCD, needs everything to be spick and span, neat, clean, tidy, organized, you name it. And when something goes wrong, she loses it, and this is where Connor’s adorable sweetness shone through, becoming her knight in shining fucking armor, making all his earlier vulnerabilities that much more endearing. Just…sigh. And yes, I did make something about Rose come full circle back to my boy-shut it.

 
“Rose,” Connor says, half with worry and half with warning.
I don’t listen. Still holding my wine glass, I squat down in front of the tabby cat. She’s a hostile bitch (like me). She has scratched my arms. Hissed at me. And I swear she pissed on my Jimmy Choos, although I can’t confirm that.

So…phew. That’s it. I could keep going but I think I’ve fangirled enough, yes?? I’ve touched on it’s flaws, possibly forgetting to mention, perhaps, the heir of unbelievability at times and maybe a few things I wish hadn’t happened arising. But other than that, I have nothing more to say lest I bore you with my word vomit. I didn’t dislike Lo and Lily, but I do wonder how the first books are so popular. Lo is sexy, admittedly, but he can be very cruel, making me cringe at times. And Lily was a tad whiney and backwards for me, making them my least favorite couple-HOWEVER-if not only because I need to see young adversaries, Connor and Rose, in the background (don’t let me fool you, that’s totally why) I may someday commit book suicide to see why book one is so depressing. I will run out of Calloway sisters spin-off books eventually, likely before January 2016 has passed, and I’ll definitely be craving them. I’m a glutton for punishment and will probably hate it…and I might not ever get to it, but I might someday look into it-It’s just not completely off the table, is all I am saying. Who knows. I certainly don’t. I mean….I’ve tried literally everything outside of my comfort zone this year, maybe 2016 will make me crazy like Ryke and Daisy (wooohoooooooo, wordplay). 😛

 

“Kiss the sky with me,” Connor whispers, a beautiful smile pulling his lips, “and don’t ever come down.”

 

 

 

*******************

“Kiss the sky with me,” Connor whispers, a beautiful smile pulling his lips, “and don’t ever come down.”

INSTANT.

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BOOK.

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BOYFRIEND.

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INSTANT.

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FAVORITE.


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‘Nuff said.

Oh, and review to come, if I can!!! I HAVE TO TRY FOR CONNOR!!!!

View all my reviews

BOOK REVIEW – Fuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3) by K. B. Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW – Fuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3) by K. B. RitchieFuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3)
by Becca Ritchie, Krista Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Protect your family. At all costs.

It’d take the impossible to hurt Connor Cobalt, even for a moment.

Protect your family. At all costs.

At twenty-six, his narcissistic tendencies have made room for the people he loves.

Protect your family. At all costs.

And he loves Rose. But when his love is threatened, when his greatest dreams with her are compromised — what is the cost then?

Protect your family. At all costs.

Love will guide his choices.
For the first time in his life.

“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

While I was gathering my thoughts about Fuel the Fire, I drew the conclusion that I needed to find a way to prevent me from rambling and adding a millions quotes. Yes, that happens with this kind of books. Favorites. You know, Connor said something that I found beautiful : that he was attracted by people‘s thoughts, by people‘s fire without never restraining himself in gender boxes, under a label. As I was reading the last page, smiling, I realized that what he said about people is also true when dealing with books.

A great book must make me think, feel, change my world during a few hours, and sometimes, it lingers. Considering how full of tropes the NA genre is, I repeatedly stated how rarely I found enjoyment reading it. It remains true. However, I don’t want to say that Fuel the Fire is a great New-Adult book.

No. It’s an incredible book. Period.

But before I start fangirling, as promised, here’s my bingo.

Now you can take everything in this bingo and multiply my emotions by 1000. I loved this book from start to finish, including its flaws (some repetitions of sayings, a tendency to drag at some point, several mistakes that should have been edited). So many passages made my heart beat in anticipation that I can’t hold a grudge. Except… except when revenge is involved, apparently : I let escape an evil little laugh that my boyfriend found *almost* scary (you’ll know when).

My heart is full. I am so proud of Connor and Rose that it’s getting ridiculous, but I don’t even care. They’re my perfect match.


Ps. After Hothouse Flower I didn’t think that I would read Ryke and Daisy’s next book, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed the dynamics between Ryke and the other characters here (especially Connor), so I might change my mind. Okay, I changed my mind.

BOOK REVIEW – Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2) by K. B. Ritchie

BOOK REVIEW – Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2) by K. B. RitchieHothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2)
by Becca Ritchie, Krista Ritchie
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

yke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway ... she’s all grown up.

Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he’s hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality—he redefines the term likable asshole. But he’s not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.

And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris—a girl that he has never been allowed to have.

Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets.

As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true.

Trigger Warning : I chose to write this review as Ryke’s, therefore there will be a lot of cursing. Sorry about that.

The romance

Ryke and Daisy’s story started as a fucking surprise for me : I didn’t expect to like them that fucking much, but during the first 50% I can’t deny that I spent a great time. The sexual tension between them was fucking off the charts and I couldn’t ship them more. I loved that they were friends and cared about each other so much, loved their complicity and their flirting. After Kiss the Sky I wasn’t sure that I would like these characters, but frankly? They grew on me, even if Daisy stays a little too dependent for my liking, and Rose & Connor stay my favorite by far, even in this one.

Connor,

And then when Ryke and Daisy finally had sex, Fuck. That was fucking hot. Okay, I forgive them the “I’m the only one to give you orgasms” line that was a little ridiculous.

The drama

Well this being said, excuse me but the obstacles to their relationship were fucking dumb in my opinion.

It fucking killed me to see the drama stretch and stretch and stretch around Lo’s possible reaction and I wanted to punch him in the face each time he would make them feel bad only because they were drawn to each other. Just grow a fucking brain and stop being selfish. Now, Ryke annoyed me as well with his “I don’t give a shit what people think” attitude. Look, I don’t like to justify my actions to others either, but sometimes you have to realize that people aren’t in your fucking head to know what you think. Ugh. Talk about useless drama.

The French

It’s starting to fucking spoil my enjoyment because I can’t help but cringe when I read them talking in French. I’m sorry, but asking a native speaker to check is not that hard. No French in his right mind would say something like : “Je serais génial, mais je sais ce qui me fait toujours obstacle”. It just doesn’t make any fucking sense. You don’t use génial to express how you’re feeling. Never.

In a word : More generic NA material than Kiss the Sky (yes, that would mean more stupid angst, more stereotypical leads and unrealistic scenes), but what I fucking loved in the first still owns the show : friendship, family and no girl hate.

Now, if you would excuse me, I’m going to wash my mouth and come back to Connor and Rose’s schemes in Fuel the Fire.

Ps. If you found the fuckings in this review annoying to read, I’m not sure that you will stand Ryke’s POV. Just sayin’.

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