Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Hollywood Lies

Hollywood Lies

Title: Hollywood Lies
Author: N.K Smith
Publication Date: June 20, 2013
Source: Publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): In a world where make believe is a multibillion dollar industry, it’s hard to know where the fantasy ends and real life begins. When Collette Stroud, an influential Hollywood actor and director, takes a chance on two young actors for her romantic teen movie, three lives converge in a complicated web of publicity, passion, lust, and lies.

The web is cast when Stroud, a woman with a few skeletons in her closet, hires two young artists in her low-budget film. She handpicks Liliana Addison and Devon Maddox to be Hollywood’s next big stars. Former child star Liliana has had limited success with her previous roles but hopes to take the world by storm under Collette’s tutelage. While Devon is an out of work actor, he never stops dreaming about making it big. The director’s interest in him assures Devon his dreams are about to become reality.

Sparks between Collette and Devon set their lives ablaze, but the studio has other plans. Executives concoct a fictitious romance in order to drive box office sales and launch careers between Devon and Liliana. When the studio offers to make the young actors into bona fide stars, will the price be too high to pay, or will the deal be too sweet to pass up?

Can the trio handle the pressure of a hidden romance coupled with a phony public relationship? Will love be enough to conquer the promise of fame, fortune, and a lasting legacy, or will it be an easy sacrifice?

All three will tread the thin line of Hollywood Lies and genuine passion on the most important red carpet walk of their lives.

When it seems like every blog I follow is featuring one book and raving about it I know it’s a book I need to get my hands on. Especially when it promises hot sex. C’mon, I’m a smut whore. Of course I’m going to want to get my hands on a book that has reviewers panting and running for cold showers.

After readers have dried off and taken care of their needs, they’ve found time to give N.K. Smith’s Hollywood Lies rave reviews. So I quickly logged into my email, sent the fabulous ladies over at TWCS a note and virtually batted my eyelashes to get a peek at this novel.

Now I admit the one thing that made me hesitant to request it before now was because of all the sex that was said to be in it. Obviously I’m no prude since I love my erotica, but I don’t love reading books that has sex thrown in just for the sake of having sex thrown in. In that case there is a thing as too much sex. I get bored with the repetitiveness of it and instead of finding it hot I just find it blah. I want it to be part of the plot, not just something tossed around to fill up pages.

But I’m getting a head of myself. Let’s look at the characters and story before I jump right into bed.

The novel is done in first person POV of both main characters Devon and Collette aka Cole. I’m not a fan of first person but the author made it work for me. Devon is the struggling actor, while Cole is the superstar who has been around the block a few times. And by that I mean she has been around every kind of block you can imagine. Sex, drugs, abuse, abduction…you name it, this character has experienced it. I loved that she had such a twisted past, although there wasn’t a whole lot of detail given about the horrible things done to her. I get why the author wouldn’t want to go into that kind of gore, but her past was the reason she was the way she was. It formed the person she become and it was hinted at and talked about so much in the novel I just feel it should have been more detailed out when she finally opened up to Devon about it.

But you’ll learn that Cole is a very private, shut off person who trusts no one and expects everyone to leave and disappoint her. And let’s face it, millions of women can relate to that and usually have enough past experience to feel that way. There were times I wanted to smack her and scream, “What the fuck are you doing?!” But at the same time I got why she was acting the way she was and I think she was justified in doing so.

Devon is the sweet, somewhat na├»ve, newcomer to Hollywood. He’s down to earth and intelligent (most of the time) and talented, even if there were many times he let his dick do the thinking. But that’s men, right? He falls fast and hard for Cole and seems to have everything he’s ever wanted—so why does he do the shit that he does? Again, another one I wanted to kick in the nuts. But alas, a story wouldn’t be a story without drama thrown in, right?

N.K Smith did a good job at mixing the sex with the plot, although sometimes I felt like the characters were just getting it to show how sexual they were and how many different ways they could make each other come—and to lengthen the book. I also found it kind of funny how both Devon and Collette gushed about finally being with someone who they could talk to about real, intelligent things, yet all they seemed to do was fuck. You want to gush about all those deep convos? I want to read about them!

Aside from that, I thought Hollywood Lies lived up to all the hype surrounding it. It’s another winner for this publishing house, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Beatiful Bastard

Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1)

Title: Beautiful Bastard
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Bought
Summary (from Goodreads): An ambitious intern.
A perfectionist executive.
And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

You know what I liked about this book? It owned what it was right up front: fan fiction. Right there in the first few pages among the praise for Beautiful Bastard was a section praising its original version as The Office. There was no skirting around the issue where these words had first been. There was no pretending like it wasn’t a used copy, a story first built on someone else’s characters. Yes, most FF turned OF is obvious and if you don’t know where it originally started someone else does and you’ll soon be filled in. But, in my opinion, once an author decides to publish their fan fiction it’s as if most of them want you to forget where it originally came from. That’s not the case. Whether it’s the most amazing piece of work anyone can ever read it still started as FF, and it seems like (some) authors don’t want to be reminded of that.

These authors? They owned that by putting it right there in their book. Of course everyone and their grandmother knew about this story in the FF world so there really would have been no way to hide, but still. Because of that simple fact they have my respect. Maybe they were made to, who knows. But I can count on one hand the number of FF turns OF that I have read that have ever acknowledged it the way this book did.

That being said…the book was just okay for me. It was the same story I’ve read hundreds of other times. There was nothing special about it. There was nothing to make it stand out as a must read for me. Sure there were some funny parts, one or two touching moments, but overall it was the same assistant/boss plot that has been used over and over again.

I think the thing that bugged me the most was the sex. Yes, fine it was hot—at the start. But then it got boring. It felt like the sex scenes were thrown in there just for the sake of being able to write sex scenes. I’m all for a hot book filled with sex—when said sex is actually part of the plot and not just there for the sake of horny readers. I need it to mean something, to be a part of the story. I don’t need to read about just to the authors can write their own version of 101 Places/Ways To Get It On. Panty ripping? Hot. Panty ripping every single time? Boring and predictable and no one wants that in a book—or their sex life.

It also kind of got on my nerves how they always referred to each other as Miss/Mr—especially in their own thoughts! Yes, he’s your boss. But she’s also your assistant that you’ve been secretly jerking off to for a year. You’d think every once in a while first names would slip in there somewhere.

I do think these two authors are a great writing team, however. The book was well written and you can tell each brought something of their own to the table. I would be interested in reading something truly original from them in the future. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: The Satyr's Curse

The Satyr's Curse

Title: The Satyr's Curse
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Publication Date:  June 1, 2013
Source: Author
Summary (from Goodreads):
Gruesome murders are rocking New Orleans.

But Jazzmyn Livaudais is too busy running her restaurant to pay attention to the sensational headlines. And when the charismatic Julian Devereau enters Jazzmyn’s life, she becomes even more distracted by the handsome stranger.

Seduced by Julian’s charm, Jazzmyn is swept up in a passionate romance. Then she learns the horrific truth about Julian and the murders. Cursed to an unending life where no woman can satisfy his lust and no wine can quench his thirst, Julian needs Jazzmyn’s love to free him from his torment.

But Jazzmyn is in love with someone else. And Julian isn’t very happy about it.

He vows to keep on killing until Jazzmyn submits to his will.

For Jazzmyn Livaudais the nightmare is just beginning.

No one can ever break The Satyr’s Curse.

I know a great book is about to hit my email inbox when I get a message from this author! 
The Satyr’s Curse did not disappoint.

I love how all her books are set in New Orleans. I’m a huge fan of the South—whether it’s the food, the culture, the hot accents, I love everything about it. So to be able to read a great book set in my favourite location makes me oh so very happy.

If you read the summary for this book it pretty much gives away exactly what the book is about and what happens. Or so I thought. There’s enough little surprises along the way that made the summary not as simple as it seemed.

Love. Lust. Voodoo. Curses. This book has it all.

And can I just say how much I love Kyle. *swoon* Adding him to my list of book boyfriends. Yes he was hot tempered and acted like an ass at times, but he was also sweet and adorable and just wanted what was best for Jazzmyn and sure that made him act like a jealous dick sometimes but that’s okay. We forgive Kyle.

The most surprising thing for me was the ending. I thought for sure it would turn out totally different than it did and everyone would have closure in some way—even if it wasn’t in a good way. I don’t want to give too much away, but I definitely saw something different happening to Julian. But the ending does leave an option for a sequel. I would love to see what happens with these characters x amount of years down the road.

Another winner from Ms. Weis

**I received a free copy from the author in exchange for a honest review.
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