Sunday, September 2, 2012

Captive in the Dark and Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet series) by CJ Roberts

Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1) 

Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2)
Seduced in the Dark by CJ Roberts

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.

The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.

Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance? 

Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice? (goodreads description)


I will be reviewing Captive in the Dark and Seduced in the Dark together. 

I give Captive in the Dark and Seduced in the Dark by CJ Roberts together 5/5 stars.

**I will slightly discuss both novels with no spoilers from either. The only spoiler I will give for the second novel, Seduced in the Dark  will be  hidden in white. No need to fret. (just scroll over the white area to see spoiler text)**

Captive in the Dark and Seduced in the Dark review: 

I found the Dark Duet series from an article a twitter friend re-tweeted on similar novels to the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Having been suffering from Fifty Shades withdrawal, at the time, I quickly checked out all of the books on the list. The novels from the list were as follows: Bared to YouGabriel's InfernoCaptive in the DarkThe Reluctant Dom, and Rock Me

Captive in the Dark and Seduced in the Dark forced me into a world I was completely unfamiliar with in every way. This not surprising, since I’m sure not many people could relate to being kidnapped and forced/trained into sex slavery. Yet, even as the subject matter challenged me in ways I never expected, I couldn’t help but be fascinated in the world and characters Ms. Roberts created. 

I will admit that in the beginning, I disliked Caleb greatly. I thought he was a very morbid individual who had serious mental issues and I couldn’t foresee any change in him. Of course, I knew Caleb would change his ways; the series wouldn’t be a HEA if he didn’t. Though, I really worried for the majority of the first book and half of the second. Even concurring, that Livvie may end up with someone other than Caleb.


Anyone else rooting for... Agent Matthew Reed in the beginning before the whole Dr. Janice Sloan thing happened? I seriously thought Matthew and Livvie would end up together in the end since Caleb was supposedly dead. Though by the end, I’m glad Livvie and Matthew didn’t end up together. Matthew has some issues he needs to work through. Matthew and Janice seem like they could make a fascinating couple. *wink, wink*



As I mentioned before, I found the Dark Duet series because of its comparison to the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Therefore, I would definitely recommend Captive in the DarkandSeduced in the Dark is in need of a similar series that deals with the same subject as Fifty Shades of Greyand Bared to You

Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover

Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2)
Book cover from goodreads
Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

Hardships and heartache brought them together…now it will tear them apart. 

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’ (goodreads description)


I give Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover 5/5 stars for being absolutely amazing and definitely less gloomy this time around. (Less gloomy equals less blubbering, on my part, which is definitely a good thing.)


Once again, like my review on Slammed, I have found myself completely emotional and struggling to write yet another review for this series. It will be short and sweet but I would give nothing less for such an amazing novel. 

Once of my biggest concern for Point of Retreat was the switch to Will's POV. It almost made me not want to continue the series (I have issues with male POV's). I'm so glad I didn't listen to myself. I would have missed out!

Point of Retreat obsession:

I would love to begin this review by point out that Ms. Hoover has mad skills. I’m not sure why it took me so long to start the Slammed series but I’m sure glad I did. I’ve cried, screamed, swooned, and straight-out want to punch a character in the face. Altogether, Slammed was one of the best books (series) of the year. I’m now eagerly and impatiently waiting for the next installment,Will s Story, due out in 2013. *finger crossed the release dates moves up*

Point of Retreat review:

Point of Retreat begins exactly where Slammed ended. From the epilogue, inSlammed, we find out that it has been an entire year since Layken Cohen and Will Cooper finally became an official couple. Much is happened in the past year, more importantly speaking, Layken and Kel’s mom Julie has inevitably passed in September from lung cancer. Since this is the case, Layken is now the sole guardian of Kel making her predicament very similar to Will and Caulder’s. 

However, of course, there wouldn’t be another novel unless there was more drama arising to destroy Layken and Will’s perfect world. That ‘drama’ is in the form of Will’s ex, Vaugh Gibson. From Slammed, we learned that Vaugh was Will’s girlfriend for the two years before his parents died. Their relationship, ended after Vaugh left Will heartbroken two weeks after his parents died. What a swell girl, huh? Oh you just wait. It gets better.


Yes!. Point of Retreat is a perfect secondary novel to follow Slammed


Once again, I find myself thrilled by the whole idea of slam poetry. I think the whole concept is brilliant and I really wish I could make one of my own. We’ll see. I may even post it later to this review. 

Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover

Slammed (Slammed, #1)
Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope. 

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.


Honestly, if I could give Slammed by Colleen Hoover more than a 5/5 star rating, I would in a heartbeat. That is how much I love Slammed


Due to the blubbering mess that has become of me since finishing Slammed, I’m afraid this novel will not get a proper review until I can control myself. Having said this, I will at least attempt to write some sort of review onSlammed for the time being. 

My attempt at some sort of Slammed review:

First and foremost, I feel the need to explain how much of a disadvantage I was at going into this novel. For the friends who recommended Slammed to me, I hate you all for giving me the wrong impression! I was completely unprepared for this novel. 

From the synopsis, the reader is made aware that 18-year-old Layken Cohen has recently lost her father. Though I fully understand the emotional fallout that would accompany such a tragedy, I was by no means expecting the novel to be as heart-wrenching as it was. 

On a more positive and less depressing note, I thought it was really awesome and such a cool idea how Ms. Hoover integrated slam poetry into her novel. I, for one, have never been too enthusiastic when it came to poetry to begin with but I have to admit, I may like this concept of slam poetry. I would love to actually see it in person one day. 


The only background knowledge I had on this type of poetry prior to the novel dates back to that movie made back in 1999 called Drive Me Crazy(based on the popular song by Britney Spears). You know the one with Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier? I remember the scene where character Adrian Grenier plays, Chase Hammond, is sitting in a coffee shop with his girlfriend and someone (maybe his girlfriend) is performing slam poetry. That is as far as my memory stretches so if I missed a detail, oh well, it was 13 years ago. 


Absolutely. Slammed is such as amazing novel, I would recommend it to any looking for a very powerful read. Yes, I won’t mislead anyone. This novel deals with intense topics that will bring out the water works. 

Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

Cross My Heart
Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie.


I giver Cross My Heart by Katie Klein 3.5/5 stars (rounded up to 4) for being fairly entertaining and teaching me a whole new meaning to the story ark behind Ethan Frome, in which the story heavily relies upon. 


I’m going to do a short review of Cross My Heart. Though, the story was beautifully written and the characters were very lovable, I just feel it if I wrote anything lengthier, at this time, it wouldn’t do the novel any justice since I have many concerns. 

Plus, the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone else from reading it.

Cross My Heart review:

Cross My Heart is one of those cute young adult romances that fellow readers rave about where the good girl meets the bad boy and they fall hopelessly in love despite all odds. Typically, I’m a huge fan of this theme; having read countless books before that used this same formula. However, I just couldn’t get into Cross My Heart for reasons that are still unbeknownst to me. 

I will add that Cross My Heart has one of the biggest shockers. Reading as much as I do, I'm usually very perceptive and catch on to things fairly quickly. No way did I ever see this coming! 

The Mayfair Moon (The Darkwoods Trilogy, #1) by J.A. Redmerski

The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski
The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski

After a nightmarish encounter with a werewolf, seventeen-year-old Adria Dawson loses her sister, but gains the love of a mysterious young man and his legendary family.

Strange and tragic things begin to happen in the small town of Hallowell, Maine: residents come down with an unexplainable ‘illness’ and some disappear. In the midst of everything, Isaac Mayfair is adamant about keeping Adria safe, even from her sister whom he has warned her to stay away from.

As unspeakable secrets unfold all around Adria, impossible choices become hers to bear. Ultimately, no matter what path she takes, her life and the lives of those she loves will be in peril. As she learns about the werewolf world she also learns why her place in it will change the destinies of many.


I give The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski 3.5/5 stars. I found the story to be very entertaining and a cool twist on the werewolf mythology. 

**Spoilers have been hidden in white. No need to fret. (just scroll over the white area to see spoiler text)**

Adria Dawson has never lived a normal life; Stuck in a trailer with her mother, sister, and alcoholic step-father, Adria could be better. When a series of mysterious events lead her to Maine to live with her Aunt Beverlee and Uncle Carl, Adria couldn’t be happier at a new beginning. That is until her sister, Alex, begins act strange. Suddenly, Adria is twisted into a world she never foresaw, finding love in the last place she expected. 

Issac Mayfair is dark and mysterious. He lives a life few teenagers experience. His family holds a secret so big, its ultimate death to anyone who uncovers it. Since Issac's life is filled with such danger and a past of extreme misfortunes, he knows Adria is safer without him. 

**I’m going to change my reviewing format. This will be more of my thoughts versus a review.**

The Mayfair Moon: My thoughts:

I’ll admit that, at one point, I decided I could no longer bear to read The Mayfair Moon any longer. Around chapter four, I remember actually turning to my sister and stating, “This is unbearable, I’m so done.” Nonetheless, because I absolutely hate quitting a novel, I kept going. 

I’m so glad I continued despite my previous reservations!

The writing in the beginning is a bit shaky for my taste. A lot of the sentences felt awkward and it seemed as though the author may have had trouble trying to convey what was going on in the scenes. I ended up having to reread a few sentences to understand what was really going on. In addition, I also felt some sentences were missing, which also contributed to my overall confusion. 

Another factor that really deterred me from enjoying this novel was the heavy Twilight vibes in the beginning. I know the whole Twilight comparison is thrown around a lot now so I will back up my claim; The heroine has just moved into town, the best friend is described as being quirky and strange as well as having a pixie hair cut, the love interest is dark, mysterious, and feels he is a danger to the heroine so she would be wise to avoid him. However, I did find that the further I continued reading, the more the comparisons faded and the story became one of its own. 

I felt that by chapter six, the things I condemned the novel for were fixed and everything was definitely smooth sailing after that. Once, I was able to concrete on the story, I fell in love.

One of the coolest things in The Mayfair Moon was the werewolf mythology. That’s right, there are actually werewolves; standing, furry, huge teeth, and of course, blood. Usually in the werewolf genre, it is a man turning into a wolf so the change was both interesting and exciting. That was until later when the explanation became all scrabbled and confusing (see spoiler).

Shout-out to the Magic Bites Kate Daniels 1. Too bad it involves spoilery content. 


When the werewolves were first introduced; it was two men, one turned into a wolf and the other a werewolf. This is what got me excited about the story in the first place. However, halfway through the werewolf form was then explained to not exactly be another race but a middle ground between a men and werewolf. At this exact part, I remember thinking, “Oh like what the shape shifters do in the Kate Daniels series.” I honestly feel if I had not read the Kate Daniels series first, I would be lost in this description of the races. In all honestly, I’m still confused on whether both races can turn into this middle ground or if one remains stuck where as the other has a choice…



Having decided upon a 3.5 star rating for The Mayfair Moon, I really had a self-battle on whether I would give the novel 3 or 4 stars. It was my need for the next installment that ultimately sealed the deal. 

Since this is the case, I prefer to read Kindred before deciding if I would recommend this series.