Best Kind of Broken. Chelsea Fine. Best Kind of Broken is something like an emotional roller-coaster. The kind that starts off by hurtling you into the air at 75mph before throwing you through 360 degree loops. In this case, that means the first intro you get to the characters is when Sarah/”Pixie” is threatening to suffocate her next door neighbor, Levi, who is working on her aunt’s ranch for the summer. The two have a history together — one that is incredibly tormenting and which neither have properly come to terms with. I found this to be an easy read, but also one that had me emotionally invested in its main characters. Pixie and Levi are incredibly broken, likely a result of their ineffective (read: nonexistent) ways of coping. The two were practically raised together – Levi’s wholesome family was a safe haven from Pixie’s emotionally traumatizing mother. While being together could ease their pain, simply being around each other is a constant, painful reminder of how good their lives used to be.
Mile High. Sally Clements. 2013. 87 pages. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Mile High is a shorter romance novel that recounts the courtship of rich, handsome “Kill,” and Cori, a financial advisor. Their first meeting is physically charged, as Cori coaches Kill through his first flight after a traumatizing accident he experienced five years earlier. It’s even more charged once the two realize and act on their attractions to one another. As luck would have it, the two are bound for the same Mediterranean island, although for strikingly different purposes. Cori is trying to relax away the effects of a terrible relationship and Kill is there to keep his sister from making what he considers to be the biggest mistake of her life. This gives them ample opportunity to explore their attraction further, but the two still struggle to choose how far it will actually go.
The Secret and the Flame. J. Hopfinger. 2013. Amazon Digital Services. 308 pages. [Source: ARC provided couresty of author] The Secret and the Flame is a contemporary romance that details the relationship between Emma Delaney, a PhD candidate at Northwestern University, and Dylan O’Shea, a Chicago firefighter. The book follows their initial meeting when Dylan rescues her from an apartment fire to their experiences as roommates and, eventually, lovers. Some of the other people who factor largely in their livesare Jeremy, Emma’s skeevy and meddlesome ex-boyfriend, and Mary, Dylan’s well-read mother who happens to work at Northwestern and has as penchant for Irish writers. Overall, I found the book an easy read. It was interesting from the outset and the plot kept a fairly steady pace. When you start off the book with a fire that destroys the main character’s life, it can be difficult to keep a reader engaged as life settles back to normal. The Secret and the Flame is technically sound, which I expected once I learned the author is a graduate of Northwestern’s journalism program. This is definitely a strong effort for Hopfinger’s debut novel.
The Billionaire’s Obsession: The Complete Collection Boxed Set (Mine For Tonight, Mine For Now, Mine Forever, Mine Completely) J.S. Scott. 2013. 286 pages. Golden Unicorn Enterprises Inc. [Source: Personal copy] I’m reviewing this boxed set as a whole because it’s a serial novel. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of serial novels at all. Cliffhangers are best left for chapters where the resolution doesn’t string you along to purchase another book. Having said that … the best (and kindest) way I can describe this is as a lite version of the 50 Shades trilogy. As much as I hate comparing one book to another, it’s really hard to ignore with this serial. In The Billionaire’s Obsession, you get a condensed version of the same conflicts in works that just about equal 50 Shades of Grey. From character background, dialogue, and plot, I found myself getting lost between the details of this series and the epics featuring Christian Grey. With that taken care of, I offer my review. I picked this series up because a friend read the first book, Make You Mine, and said “If you read 50 Shades, you have GOT to read this! I swear it’s Christian and Ana. It’s deja vu.” Really, you…
Make You Mine. Niobia Bryant. 2009. 352 pages. Dafina. [Source: Personal copy] First — I read this book in less than a day, it is THAT engaging. I absolutely could not put it down. This was my first time reading Ms. Bryant, and I was thoroughly pleased. Make You Mine follows Julius and Caress, who truly define the phrase “opposites attract.” She’s an unemployed slob; he’s a successful photographer who borders on OCD. When they go on a blind date with mutual friends, what should have been a one-night stand turns the pair into unlikely roommates.