Review- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Book Description

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My Thoughts

You know it´s a sad day when a book lover thinks the movie was better than the book.
I think this book and I didn´t have a great start to begin with. 
It all started when a good friend of mine gifted me `Gone Girl` by Gillian Flynn as a Christmas present. That alone is a tricky thing to do because I think gifting books is nice, but it gives me the chills. Especially when the person who gifts me a book says „ The lady at the bookstore said you might like it.“ If my friend doesn´t know what I like…then how would a stranger know what I like? * shaking head* To my friends credit…he´s a guy. I forgave him and thought the idea was still cute ( and still creepy).

It´s hard to say if I just didn´t enjoy this book or if I hated it. I´m a bit torn about the whole thing. First…it took me ages to get into the story. The first half of the book was slow and I found myself putting this book down more often than I would have wanted. The second half was a total clusterfuck. I was just as „ emotionally bent“ as the characters were ( God, that was mentioned so often in this book that I now dislike that term ).

Did I like the mystery in this book? No. Did I like the characters? Not really. Why?

I don´t know if it was the characters or their story in general… but I couldn´t understand this book. There was nothing I could relate to at all. There were some things that were mentioned where I understood Amy, but other than that….I disliked her and thought she was just a bored psycho. Nick, Amy´s husband, did nothing for me, either. I couldn´t sympathize with him at all. I didn´t see him as the good or bad guy. He was twisted in his own special way.

My biggest concern was: If a couple is happy on the outside, but can´t stand each other within their own four walls….then why not split up? Happens everyday….the characters should have tried it out.

As for the story…..Well, Amy disappears on their 5th anniversary into thin air and ….the main suspect becomes Nick. Did he really kill Amy or did Amy, the UBER PSYCHO/ WEIRDO / bored housewife ( who thought it would be funny to cause a shitstorm) want attention?

I have no clue because now I´m confused, but only because I don´t know why this story would be a book of the year.

The dual POV`s ( Amy´s POV came more from the diaries she wrote before ) confused me and when I finally „ got it“ I didn´t like it.

The end was…..dull. I expected a huge firework ending to make up for the crappy story. That did not happen. After the last page I couldn´t believe I spent my time reading this book.

The only thing I really liked was the writing style. But that didn´t make up for the rest.

On a positive note- I did like the movie a tad bit better. I thought Ben Affleck nailed Nick 🙂 

`Gone Girl` is a typical love or hate book. You´ll either think it´s brilliant or you´ll be as aggravated as I am.

The Cover- 4 stars ( I like the cover alot.)

The Story – 2 stars ( what a royal clusterfuck.)

The Characters- 2 stars ( Seriously, both deserved each other. Such nut-jobs)

My emotional state after finishing this read- I´m just going to repeat my statement above about it being a sad day when a book lover thinks the movie was better. That should sum it up.

I´m giving `Gone Girl` by Gillian Flynn 2 out of 5 stars.

 

 

Review- The Precious Ruby ( The Precious Trilogy, #1) by C. Renee

Book Description

At twenty-five, Louise Carter has lived a life beyond her years; she has endured emotional and physical abuse and has now found the courage to leave her biker ex-boyfriend.

When Louise moves back into town and in with her best friend, all aspects of her life start to fall into place until something unexpected happens … she meets Alex, a rich playboy and known womanizer.

Alex wonders whether he has met Louise previously as she piques his interest in ways no other woman has before… 

Will Louise fall for his fake personality, or will she have time to fall for the real one?

*Copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for a Book Box Feature & review*

My Thoughts

I admit, I have never heard from author C. Renee before, nor have I heard of her novel The Precious Ruby`The Precious Ruby`. It was only when the author contacted me on Instagram did I notice the stunning cover and eye-catching title.

`The Precious Ruby` ( The Precious Trilogy, #1) is the author´s debut novel and for that reason I will not be too critical or harsh on the author or her work. Normally, I don´t read debut novels because they´re hard to judge. There are so many things a reader should consider when being honest about a book. And I´m not here to bring down someone´s „baby“. This book, however, was easy to judge.

I really liked the book. Despite a few editorial hiccups, questionable sentence structure ( some words are just too non-american) and a few chaotic scenes, I thought the story was enjoyable. It was certainly entertaining and the story DOES get you interested in more.

The idea of the story isn´t new but it is told in a unique fashion and that´s basically why I liked it.

What `The Precious Ruby` has is alot of drama and it´s also packed with emotions. Although I liked the story I felt that certain scenes were a bit over dramatized / over exaggerated.

The reading experience was also a tad bumpy, which interrupted a nice reading flow but that can be worked on. Let´s blame all that on the fact that this is a debut novel. No one has ever written a masterpiece from the get-go.

All in all, not a bad pick. I´m ready for the story to continue and that´s always a good sign.

C. Renee is on a great path and I can see great things happening for her in this ruthless book world.

The Cover- 4 stars ( I like the simplicity of it. Black with one object on it. It´s definitely an eye catcher.)

The Story – 3 stars ( As stated above- it´s not new but the writing style gives the old a nice unique touch to it. )

The Characters -3 stars ( Matt was a brilliant villain. Alex was a great Hero. The only problem I had was with Louise. Her character was too bipolar. The key is normally to let a character gradually grow and letting them go from one state of mind into another. A slow progress.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Positively surprised and I can´t wait to continue the story.

From all the debut novels I´ve read in my career, `The Precious Ruby` has proven to be one of the good one´s. That is why I will encourage C. Renee with 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase this book by clicking here.

 

Enjoy. xxx

Review- The Knight ( Endgame #2) by Skye Warren

Book Description

The power of pleasure…

Gabriel Miller took everything from me. My family. My innocence. My home. The only thing I have left is the determination to get back what’s mine.

He thinks he’s beaten me. He thinks he’s won. What he doesn’t realize is that every pawn has the chance to become a queen.

And the game has only just begun.

* * * * * *

THE KNIGHT is book two in the Endgame series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

My Thoughts

Again- Another fabulous title. An even more fabulous tagline. The content?

Let´s put it this way- I´m still not 100% satisfied or convinced.

`The Knight` ( Endgame #2 ) by Skye Warren, was just as okay as the first book `The Pawn` ( review here ) was. There was a whole lot of stuff happening but nothing that was able to knock me out of my socks.

Think `human chess´, only you know your opponents next move before he even thinks about it himself. That´s how it felt for me while reading this book.

Usually, the first book in a trilogy or series is for the story build-up. Characters are introduced in length, a mystery starts, etc etc. and the second book is all about the story. It´s where the action begins.

The game of revenge and seduction has begun and I saw less revenge and great seduction happening in `The Knight`. I guess I was expecting more. Definitely more attitude from the Heroine ( after all, she auctioned herself off in the first book. Surely, it´s time to grow up? ) or more excitement from Gabriel ( Hero- a.k.a. The guy who bought her virginity ).

The events were, as in the first book, predictable. The ball scene, the time spent with Gabriel  * sigh *, the threat….

On a positive note- I do like the writing. It´s engaging. I like how there´s a great balance between details, storytelling and dialogue. I couldn´t have finished this book within 7 hours ( yes, that´s how I will sit and read.) if the story wasn´t well written.

What I found extremely cool were the motel scenes. From the room Avery occupated to the prostitute next door, to Avery´s bum-like friend, Will. I thought those scenes were far more interesting and exciting. Including a diary from a family member was also a nice touch to the story and did shed some truthful light onto Avery´s family.

Not alot of surprises in this one for me. Yet- I´d still like to know how the story ends. Will Avery find full happiness with Gabriel or will she set off on her own and live life without having Gabriel call her „ My little virgin”? I mean- she not a virgin anymore. Why continue to call her that? It doesn´t make sense.

You know what? I think that´s still my problem. I still cannot relate to the whole losing-my-virginity issue. Maybe I´m also thinking too realistic. Maybe I´m over analyzing the story.

Bah. Now I´m confused.

Anyways- `The Knight` was an okay read. I´m still waiting for the next one because I´m now at a point where I would like to know how the story ends. Let´s keep our fingers crossed for a knock out book #3, which is due in April 2017!

The Cover – 5 stars ( I absolutely love it. It´s perfect )

The Story – 3 stars ( I´m undecided. It´s not good enough to go nuts over yet it´s not the worst story I´ve ever read either. Some parts are fantastic and other parts are not for me. )

The Characters – 3 stars ( Besides Will, my feelings towards the characters haven´t changed. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Still patiently waiting for the big KABOOM.

I´m giving `The Knight` ( Endgame #2 ), by Skye Warren, 3 out of 5 stars

the-knight

Available as ebook and paperback.

Review-Grievous ( Scarlet Scars #2 ) by J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairy tales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious they call Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know—the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairy tales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you see every day in the mirror.

My Thoughts

** ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review **

And God said, „ Thou shalt not fall in love with a fictional criminal, especially with one who´s lost all his fucking marbles.“

But, hot damn!! I´m already so truly, madly, deeply in love with Lorenzo „ Scar“. I can´t help myself. He´s probably the worst and deadliest passionate nutcase I´ve ever encountered in a book, yet here I am, a 34 year old woman, desperately wanting to become apart of Lorenzo´s world. * ugly cry* ( I definitely have to think about what went wrong in my life…* cracking up* )

The story of Lorenzo and Morgan continues. * pulling hair * And just why did everything have to end? I mean- it sure as Hell felt like the end. I´m a mess. I don´t want to be a mess. I´m supposed to be happy but I´m not. I feel like the author gave me a gift and ripped it away again with the final words of the story. Damn it. That woman better keep on writing or I´ll turn into an even greater mess, suffering from an odd book hangover for only God knows how long.

( Need to get back to the story )

Where were we? Aah, yes. The story continues with Morgan still trying to get her child back from Kassian, the head of the russian mafia. And much to Lorenzo´s delight he helps Morgan. But one does not simply walk onto russian mafia territory and kidnap the prize. No. Getting back Morgan´s child proves to be a difficult matter and it takes a whole lot of craziness to get the job done.

When two mafia bosses collide… shit´s about to get ugly.

The story was intense, ruthless and so damn awesome.

Lorenzo was his logical / illogical self, doing unpredictable stunts at every turn… all while looking like a sexy, imperfect God. I shit you not- you never knew when he was going to kill someone or not or when he was going to be civilized. The important thing to know was- never fuck with him, especially when he was in his library ( I´m going to miss reading about that room.). So, his previous boredom from the first book ( Menace ) has vanished and he was happily occupied with half blindly swinging his gun at people.

`Grievous` is packed with action, tension, betrayal, sex ( which is mighty fine, if you ask me), death, suspense, forgiveness and above all- love.

The romance between Lorenzo and Morgan is not what you´d expect. No typical knight in shining armor, not damsel in distress story. What we´ve got here is a „ You´re fucking nuts, I´m not that crispy either but we got something good going.“ type of romance. AWESOME! So different from all the other love stories I´ve read so far.

There was one line, one moment in the story where I completely lost it.

„ Morgan,“ he says, his voice quiet as he whispers my name….. „Open your eyes, baby.“

You might think that those few words aren´t really special but when you read the story and get to know these people and read what they went through together you understand the significance of those words. And when you do I dare you not to let out a little noise of disbelief. * sigh * So touching and just….$/()(/%&$%§“§$§%$&%/& Everything after that just clicks into place and you KNOW. You just know.

And the end….Holy Heaven! I loved it. I can´t say anything about it without giving the story away so you´ll just have to take my word for it. It´s so satisfying.

I might be a little over enthusiastic about this story but I don´t care. I´m in love and that might never change. This is my favoite story written by my new favorite author.

I recommend this story to everyone who wants some adventure in their romance.

The Cover – 3 stars ( Meeh, not feeling this cover much.)

The Story – 5+ stars ( I´d need to write an extra review for another round of love gushing. Great read. I´ll have to get myself the paperbacks for my sacred bookshelf )

The Characters – 5+ stars ( I love how crazy these folks acted and how normal they thought their lives were. Lorenzo is a brilliant character. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – I want to high five the author for writing such a brilliant story.

I´m giving `Grievous` ( Scarlet Scars #2 ), by the awesome J. M. Darhower, 5 out of 5 stars

Check out my review for  Menace ( Scarlet Scars #1 )

grievous To purchase this book all you need to do is go on over to Amazon.com ( or just click here ) and buy the book. Seriously. You´ll love it.  Trust me.

The Pawn ( Endgame #1) – Skye Warren

Book Description

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. 

My Thoughts

I loved the title…I loved the tagline on the cover and I enjoyed the story.

It´s sexy, it´s dark, it´s…… sadly predictable.

It´s hard for me to give just one reason why I didn´t fall head over heels for `The Pawn` ( Endgame #1). Maybe it´s because I tried to relate to the Heroine and failed miserably. Or, maybe I´m not emotionally attached to a hymen anymore ( like the Heroine is / was ). It´s been a while since…. Well, you get the point, right? The importance of my virginity is long forgotten.

The story is basically about a young woman, Avery, who comes from a wealthy family and loses everything overnight due to her father´s crooked businesses. Having no other choice, Avery decides to give away her virginity to a man who knowingly destroyed her family´s name. Gabriel Miller.

This is where I heard an imaginary buzzer go off in my head.

She lost everything and the family name was ruined beyond means. Why not just leave town, grow some boobs and start new? Characters always have different life struggles to choose from * shoulder shrug *.

BUT, Avery decides to take the gritty route and auctions herself off in an exclusive gentlemen´s club to raise money so she can pay for her fathers medical care. 3…2…1 sold, to the lucky bastard, Gabriel Miller, a.k.a. the mysterious, dark, criminal / business man.

Yeah, no….maybe. * throws hands up in defeat * I´m having mixed feeling all over.

The idea of the story isn´t bad but it was kind of drastic, fast paced and predictable.

But then there were parts I loved. For one- the sex scenes are the bomb! The sub-characters were interesting as hell and the details were great.

I wish I could say more about the story but I can´t. Not without spoiling more than I already have.

What I can say is that I haven´t given up hope yet. The story ends with a cliffhanger and I´m really eager to find out how the story ends ( despite my complaints ).

The Cover – 5 stars ( Gorgeous!)

The Story – 3 stars (  I didn´t buy the „I have nothing to my name besides my virginity“ thing in this one)

The Characters – 3-4 stars ( I disliked Avery but loved everyone else. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Not completely satisfied but still eager to know how the story ends.

I´m giving `The Pawn` ( Endgame #1 ), by Skye Warren, 3 out of 5 stars

`The Pawn is available on Amazon.com. Just click here and enjoy!

the-pawn

FEATURED in Morgana´s Book Box on Instagram

Menace ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) – J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.

Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.

Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him–a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.

** ARC Kindly Provided by The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review **

My Thoughts

Dear readers, I´m in story heaven!

Bless J. M. Darhower, for that woman is one hell of a storyteller. I went through 346 pages of brilliant holy shitballs! Damn, what a story. `Menace` ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) by J. M. Darhower has definitely earned a place on my sacred „Fuck Yeah!“ bookshelf.

This story is even more nail-bite-worthy than the `Monster In His Eyes` series was ( and I LOVED that story / series to bits ). `Menace` is brutal, unforgiving, captivating, unpredictable, dark, sexy as hell and filled with action. Exactly what I want in a book.

Still- I´d like to remind that this story comes with a small warning.

Scarlet Scars contains dark elements that some readers may find disturbing“

The warning is there for a reason. Although none of the dark elements disturbed me, I´m sure they could bother other readers.

Lorenzo „Scar“ Gambini, a twisted, ruthless killer / mafia boss gets bored out of his wits until he finds someone who brings the spark back into his boring world ( That, alone, screams „READ ME“ because which mafia boss ever gets bored?).

We meet Lorenzo in `Targets On Our Backs`, and even then I was 100% convinced that the passionate nutcase needed his own book. Lorenzo was so bat shit crazy and unpredictable, even I was terrified for the other characters lives.

There´s no doubt Lorenzo is one of the most mental Heros I´ve ever come across. He´s impulsive and completely disturbed and he can be scary as hell. On the flip side- Lorenzo is a clever guy with a heart hidden somewhere beneath the many layers of crazyness. He always has a good explanation for his actions ( and the explanations make sense * face palm * ). He´s just a super complex character you have to love ( no matter what crime he commits ) That character is so full of surprises.

Morgan / Scar ( Heroine )was just as out of this world cool. She has her own package to carry but she´s still a wonderful character. I fell in love with her from the start and loved her even more at the end.

I´m in love. There isn´t a thing I can complain about because this book has the whole package.

The writing is as brilliant as I expected it to be. The dialogue is fantastic. Have I forgotten to mention how in love I am? I have? Tough shit. I´ll say it over and over again just so you won´t forget it.

If you´re looking for something dark, something twisted and so full of everything then I highly recommend this intense read.

Totally re-read worthy. 

The Cover – 3 stars ( Yeah, I´m not a huge fan of the cover. )

The Story – 5 stars ( Scratch the 5 stars. I´m going for 20 stars!)

The Characters -5 stars ( * Way cool. Like- out of this world screwed up but still cool )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Still recovering. But I desperately want to become apart of Lorenzo´s gang. ( That sounds weird, I know. )

stars15

I´m giving `Menace` ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) by J. M. Darhower 5 out of 5 stars.

Release date: January 16. 2017.

Make sure to get your copy on Amazon.com menace

Target on Our Backs ( Monster in His Eyes #3 ) – J. M. Darhower

Book Description

The best way to keep your word is never to give it.

Not long ago, in a chapel in Vegas, I swore to love Karissa for the rest of my days. But nobody’s promised an infinite number of tomorrows. Nobody’s promised forever. Sometimes, all we have left is today.

Carpe Diem
Seize the day.

It should’ve been over, we should’ve been happy, but people are making it hard for me to live in peace. I’ve got so much blood on my hands they’ll never be clean, and somebody out there seems to want me to pay for it. Happily Ever After always comes at a cost, one any real man would be willing to pay. But that doesn’t mean I’m just going to roll over and accept these consequences.

Because when it comes to the woman I love? The life I’ve fought for?

Nobody is safe. 

My Thoughts

Oh Ignazio, Ignazio.. How you´ve changed-  A little, or alot. I´m not sure. You´re confusing me.

`Target on Our Backs` by J. M. Darhower is the 3rd and hopefully the last of the `Monster in His Eyes` series. It´s been a while since I read `Monster in His Eyes ( book #1 review) and Torture to Her Soul ( Book #2 review) and my love for J. M. Darhowers character´s has lessened.

I mean- how can a reader unlove perfection?! Ignazio „Naz“ is one of those mind-blowing, unforgettable Heros. Badass and deadly in the finest way possible. Karissa is a strong young lady with good head on her shoulders- Together they´re one hell of a dynamic duo no matter what they go through. How is it possible to find these figures less powerful than they were?

In the beginning of this book the characters acted different.

I started and finished `Target on Our Backs` in one sitting and I was semi-happy with the way the story turned out. I was glad about the happily ever after. The rest was- good. Great. Fine.

What I love most about this series is how dangerous and mysterious the characters are and what they do to survive. We´re talking about the mob here and about 1 person who´s the ultimate killing machine ( or- he once was). Naz. In book 1 & 2  Naz was THE person no one fucked around with. When he wanted someone dead then that was it. There was no running from him. A cool, collected killer with so much love for Karissa.

In this book he made an effort to change. He wanted out of the business, wanted to try to become a better person for Karissa ( the key word is: try). But as it was- events happened and Naz was starting to disappear at night just to get some „ business“ done or taken care of.

I was sort of relieved that Naz started sneaking out because I thought the role fit him better than the role of a normal husband. He´s supposed to be the monster. Monsters don´t retire.

It didn´t take long before Naz realized he was being targeted by someone. But who? And why? Wasn´t Naz on the right track? Didn´t he want to change for Karissa?

`Target on Our Backs` is a rollercoaster ride of wanting to do the right thing but fucking up along the way. A brutal, romantic, sexy, emotional read.

Despite all the above I do have small complaints. The sex in this story- let´s say they´ve had better. I knew from book #1&2 that Naz had a hard edge to his persona and he wasn´t the lovey dovey type… but one scene in particular did nothing for me. It left me questioning the character. Some things aren´t to my liking and that special thing was included in this book.

Plus- I find the term „ submissive“ pretty boring. It´s been used to describe how Karissa is in bed and for some reason I´m just turned off by it.

I mean- is there a story out there that hasn´t gotten rid of the word yet? Everyone is using „submissive“ or some character is „submissive“….. It´s getting old. It´s obvious that a couple can´t function correctly when both are fully dominant. The visual alone is hilarious. Why point it out all the damn time?

Another thing that made me frown was the end. Book #1 and #2 both ended with a big bang. What happened with this one? Where did the spark go? I was thinking „ That´s it?“The end was too quick. Within a blink of an eye it was there and disappeared. POOF!

Anyways- `Target on Our backs` was a cool addition to the first 2 books. Maybe not as eventful, but still a good and exciting read.

The Cover- 3 stars ( Yeah, no. I´m not convinced. The image doesn´t stand out enough and if I wasn´t fully aware of this being the third book of my all time favorite series I wouldn´t have bothered)

The Story- 4 stars ( There were fantastic parts and not so fantastic parts. )

The Characters- 3 stars ( I would have loved to see Naz struggle more with his „ trying to be better“. It seemed like he had less trouble. Karissa, I loved. The sub-characters were okay. )

My emotional state after finishing this story– Happy and a tiny bit disappointed.

stars-16

I´m giving `Target on Our Backs` ( Monster in His Eyes #3) by J. M. Darhower 3 out of 5 stars

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com   target-on-our-backs

promo-monster