Tag Archives: Taboo

Review ~ When Smiles Fade by Paige Dearth

 

 

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Title: When Smiles Fade

Author: Paige Dearth

 

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10 synopsis

Emma was unloved from the moment she was born. Her earliest memory is being severely beaten by her father, Pepper Murphy, when she was eight-years-old. Seething with resentment over the sacrifice of his dreams for a woman he cares little about and children he never wanted, Pepper chooses to blame his oldest daughter. Her mother, Valerie, makes matters worse with her verbal abuse, leaving Emma isolated with a man that had no boundaries in punishing his daughter, taking his abuse to unimaginable levels.

Emma’s father’s coldblooded beatings and the ultimate abuse to which he subjects her, lays the foundation of the person she becomes. As she matures into a resourceful teenager, she is unwilling and unable to stifle her desire for revenge. Reaching her breaking point she can no longer control the impulse to fight back and finally takes matters into her own hands.

Having learned the art of hatred from her father and the mastery of manipulation from her mother, young Emma now sets out to make a better life for herself, leaving the memory of the abused child she had once been behind her. Hardened by the heartless brutality she encounters and the dangerous situations she must overcome in the course of her journey, she faces every challenge that comes her way in her quest for a normal life for herself and for those she loves.

Finally a person emerges from within that guides her toward a better life until she learns of a secret that sets her on the path of ultimate redemption.

Review

I had to take a small break after reading her One Among Us book. It was a great book but it did take a tole on me because I have children that are the same age and it just hit close to home for me. I couldn’t wait to start another one of her books though. I love her writing. It is so raw, dark, gritty and a side that I never thought much about. I look at people who are on the street different now. I never put much thought into what their story might be. That being said after I had a few light reads under my belt I jumped right into this one. I wanted to know more about Emma because we get a little bit of info about her in One Among Us. I was left wondering what happened with her. So I was excited to learn more about her story.

This one broke my heart as much as the first, this one was easier for me to read but there is just as much heartbreak in it. Now I know that there are parents like this out there in the real world and it hurts my heart to know that there are children who feel completely unsafe, and scared to be home. There are so many things that happen and I felt like just when she was able to catch a break something else would happen.

I have read a total of 2 of her 3 books and after finishing this one up I will say that reading the next one is an absolute guarantee and I WILL be reading it. She can pull you in and make you feel like you are there living the situations. She has a way of writing that brings to light so many issues that many don’t want to know about or would much rather not think about. She helps get a story across in a way that you will never judge another person because you truly don’t know their story.

Now there were a few aspects in this story that were a bit over the top, not saying that they are unrealistic; I mean I know I was 100% behind Emma on the first 2 situations I am talking about specifically. There are 3 others that happen that I was kind of ehh about but over all the last one I thought was pretty good. She had to do what she needed to do to survive and I think that for that reason alone I can understand.

This story is not for everyone, there are some situations that may be a trigger for some and some may just find very difficult to read and get through. I believe that is what is great about books, you will have so many that may or may not enjoy a story. What one person may love another may not.

Paige Dearth has become an author that I will read what she puts out because she just has a way of pulling me in.

I love that her books are LONG, I feel like I get a complete story not a story that ends after 200 pages and I am left with questions. These though are so long that I just feel like everything is answered. The only thing I was not a big fan of was the way she would end some chapters. Giving you an idea of what is to come. I like to find out what is going to happen as I read and it happens not to know at the end of one chapter what is destined to be her downfall or whatnot. That is honestly the only thing that I had an issue with. Everything else I enjoyed. Very Much.


Review ~ One Among Us by Paige Dearth

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Title: One Among Us

Author: Paige Dearth

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10 synopsis

 

Eleven-year-old Maggie Clarke is an average suburban girl known for her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, her life’s path is tragically altered when Maggie is ripped from her family and thrust into the horrific underworld of human sex trafficking. In captivity, Maggie watches over a young boy, who gives her a reason to live. Robbed of her innocence and freedom, Maggie does whatever it takes to survive.

With the help of Detective Rae Harker, the Clarkes’ frantically search for their daughter. Haunted by his own demons, Detective Harker vows to find Maggie—dead or alive. Meanwhile on the vile streets of Philadelphia, a strange man approaches Maggie with a dangerous proposition, and she risks everything to break free of the network of unsavory characters that control her. Not even she can know how far she will go to get even with the people who ruined her life.

Raw, edgy, and intense, One Among Us ultimately offers hope through Maggie, who grows stronger and more resourceful through her experiences. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, rooting for Maggie as she fights for her life.

Review

I was looking for something that was dark and gritty. This definitely fit the bill. I enjoyed this book I read it and it took a while to get through it because I did have to put it down a few times just because it was a lot to take in. This book is very graphic and emotional. There is a lot that goes on. There were a few things that were not amazing, but it didn’t affect my overall rating. I will break it down in a list. I think that will work best here. I will try and keep this as spoiler free as possible but there might be a couple because I just need to bring it up but I will keep it as minimal as possible.

Maggie talks like an adult (well thinks like one) when she is 11 years old. (it happens, there are kids that are very smart and articulate) Some people didn’t like this some didn’t have an issue with it. I did not.

There are a few times in the book that we don’t know something until it’s happening how she would know it. For example, someone gets hurt and she knows how to help. We find out after the fact that the reasons she knows what to do is because she read books about it. There were a few moments where this came to play. When I was reading this the fist time I did wonder What the hell??? How does she know this? She is too young.

* The whole book is in third person and that isn’t really an issue because that way we are able to see things in other people’s minds. I personally prefer that it was in third person for that simple fact. I almost want to say that it would have maybe even come across better as her telling the story and looking back over everything that happened might have worked out pretty well also, although we wouldn’t have been able to really see things in the others minds also.

* It is very graphic, it did take me a while because I have a son that is 10 and daughter that is 5. It hit close to home for me because all I could think is I will NEVER EVER EVER let my children out of my sight again. I there are some things that just broke my heart reading. This may be a big trigger for some.

* Some found her will to fight back and stay strong a little ill-placed, how it was convenient that she would be strong right when something bad would happen. I believe that it worked out fine. She was compliant and would do what she needed to do well what she had to do so that she wouldn’t be singled out, she would start to feel like she was losing who she was and would fight to hold onto it. So, of course, there are consequences. There is no question in my mind that happens. When it comes to human trafficking is there really a right or wrong way that a person should deal with it while they are going through that horror? Let alone it be a child?

* It is a LONG book. Some found this to be an issue I for one did not. I LOVE that this is a long, full novel. I felt like I got a complete story. I wish more would write longer stories instead of breaking books up into a series, when you could have just finished the book as a whole and it just have been a longer book.
* At the end of some of the chapters it lets you know pretty much about something that will be happening in the future. I kind of wish those were not there. It didn’t so much hurt the story, but I just like to not know ahead of time what to expect when reading a story. When it ends with “this will be what helps her in the future” I just wasn’t a big fan of that.

* When it comes to human trafficking I will admit that I don’t usually think of children, and that may be for the simple fact that I just don’t want to. I will also say that I think of other countries, (Mexico, Thailand, Middle East etc…) Now I will be the first to say that Human Trafficking is something that is an ongoing issue here in the United States as well. People just try not to acknowledge it because if we don’t then we think it isn’t an issue.  To think that it happens here (and it does) is just scary.

* There was one part that I did have a bit of an issue with. Now I am not Italian, I am also not a part of the Mafia…But what I want to bring up is Tony and Vincent, when you read this book you will meet them…Now it says that they are the Consiglieri. Okay from my understanding there is usually just one guy that has that role. They don’t sit out and watch someone for the “boss” that is what the capos/soldiers are for or even the underboss if they want someone they can trust to be keeping an eye on someone they care about. That being said I just found that part odd, it didn’t quite go. And they absolutely don’t get their hands “dirty” they are not a part of that. If they want something done they have the soldier/capos for that part. BUT I do believe that if it came down to it, if it is a personal issue that they want to be a part of I can see that being the exception. I just couldn’t wrap my head around that part though. I think if it were changed to one being the Underboss and the other his buddy who is also a capo…that would have been a little more realistic. For me.

* PTSD…we see it throughout the book yet I feel that when it should have been there it wasn’t that was one that I just had a bit of an issue with. Given when a child goes through a traumatic experience, their brain can shut out most of it; but I believe we would have just seen more of it strong willed or not.

Overall it was a great read, I understand that the outcome is rare but it’s fiction and I am so glad it ended the way it did. I couldn’t stop thinking about it after I read it and while I was reading it. It is heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, emotional, dark, taboo, gritty, graphic, and just something that will stick with you. It is not for everyone that’s for sure, some may not be able to get past the subject matter. I enjoyed the read and will read the authors other books. I just need a break in between. 🙂 But I will get to them.


Review ~ Twisted by Marjorie Brody

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Title:  Twisted

Author: Marjorie Brody

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10 synopsis

Sarah Hausman must hide a secret-even from herself. If she acknowledges the truth, it will destroy everyone she loves.
Timid fourteen-year-old Sarah wants her controlling mother to stop prying into what happened the night of the freshman dance. Confess to the police? No way. Confide in her mother? Get real. The woman is too busy, too proud, and too jealous of Sarah to really care if her life disintegrates. Besides, her mother will say Sarah is totally to blame for what the boys did-which Sarah believes is true. So she doubly needs to shield the truth. Not just from Momma. But from everyone. Including herself.
Beautiful, confident, eighteen-year-old Judith Murielle lives the ideal life. She has college plans, respect from family and friends, and a fiance she adores. But as a mysterious connection pulls her toward Sarah, Judith’s perfect world unravels. Acting as Sarah’s sole confidante, Judith gains the power to expose her secret. Will the truth be worth the sacrifice? Or will Sarah stop at nothing to keep Judith quiet?

ReviewWow.

Okay this is not like any books I have read so far. And to be honest it took a while to pull me in. I was confused at first. And maybe for me part of the reason I wasn’t pulled in so easily or fast is because it is a fourteen year old girl who is raped. I know things like this happen but, having a daughter it isn’t something I ever like to think about.
That being said it did take a while to pull me in to the point where I just couldn’t put the book down. I did get sucked in at about 84% I hate that it took that long to get me hooked. But I will say OMG once I got there I stopped anything and everything to finish it.
I had to even stop to talk about it with my husband he thought my guesses were wrong but I was hell bent on it. At the same time I was questioning them myself and trying to figure out how other things went together. So it was something that had me guessing.
Once I got to the part where everything comes together

OMG
It is definitely one to make you think one that will make you wonder and keep you on edge there towards the end. It was different for me.

Brandy


Review ~ The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

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Title: The Angel

Author: Tiffany Reisz

Series: The Original Sinners #2

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10 synopsis

No safe word can protect the heart

Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.

Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.

But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.

Review

We get more of Griffin in this one. OH how I love me some Griffin! We also get more of Michael. I had wondered if we were going to get more Michael after meeting him in The Siren.

In this one Nora has to go and lay low because there is something going on and Soren doesn’t want his secrets to come out so he sends her and Michael to go and stay with Griffin.

He sends Michael along with her because he wants her to take care of him as well as train him while they are away. Soren thinks that it is time for him to learn.

There is a lot going on with poor Michael and he isn’t sure how exactly to handle it all but Nora helps him to understand that he is not alone in how he feels. She helps him to understand that he is not the only person who feels the way he does or needs what he needs.

Griffin is one of the funniest guys and hot (well in my mind he sure is!)

There is a lot going on with Soren, things are being put into question about him. SO, with that, we get to learn more about him; AND let me just say WOW, was NOT expecting what we learn about him!! That was just…well I don’t know what I was expecting but not that.

Then that ending!! That is another thing I wasn’t expecting…boy am I happy that I waited to read because I can jump right into the next one. I would hate to have had to wait to find out what happens.
Oh cliffhangers how I have a love/hate relationship with you!!!!

FYI…there is blood play in this one…may not be for everyone. It isn’t a lot but it is still there. For me though. It makes the story that much better! It just fits in well to who the person is who does it.

~favorites~

“Fetishes…they’re the pet you feed or the beat that eats you.”

“…going on about the abomination of sodomy. Nora had patted the woman on the back and said, “If it’s an abomination, it’s because you’re doing it wrong. Bear down hard, then relax. It’ll fit better.”

you just clenched your ass tighter than the second pair of Spanx on a drag queen.”

“You know St. Andrew?”…”According to legend he requested that he die on an X-shaped cross instead of T-shaped as he did not feel worthy to die like his savior. And he was bound not nailed.”

“Cops?”…”Oh yeah. The bigger and tougher they pretend to be, the more likely they are to want a woman to call them a slut and put her foot on the back of their neck.”

“Flirting’s for people who don’t mean it…I seduce.”

“Ink doesn’t get into your skin. It gets into your soul. Changes you.”

“We value the most what we must sacrifice to have.”

Brandy


Review ~ Cult of Beauty by K.M. Dylan

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Book: Cult of Beauty: The Secret Life of a Supermodel

Author: K.M. Dylan

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~Blurb~

Supermodel Katie Wolfer takes a call from her stepfather as she steps off the Dior runway in Paris: her mother has died. As she struggles to move forward with her now-parentless life, two men loom large for Katie—Gavin Poole, a hot, emerging fashion designer with an inability to commit, and her charismatic, wealthy French stepfather, Daniel de Goncourt. Katie becomes entangled with both of them, exploring her darkest sexual desires amidst a lavish, decadent lifestyle.

Deeply erotic, thoughtful, and thrilling, this fashion model’s fictionalized memoir is sure to arouse and intrigue you.

~Our Thoughts~

Okay so my girl who is doing this blog with me didn’t care much for the book and so I was a little apprehensive when I finally got a chance to start it. I will have to say that yes this book may not be for everyone, I did like it. It was a good hot read that I was in need for and I do believe that is a HUGE reason as to why someone will or will not like your book. You have to be in the mood for that ‘type’ of book. There are a few books that I didn’t care for but others absolutely LOVED and well when it all comes down to it probably was because I was in the mood for something different then what that book was about. Anywho… with that being said here is what I thought of the book.

I started it and saw the forward and decided I wanted to know more about the author first before I got into it. It was set up as if the author was a model and I wanted to check it out and see if that was true or if it was just part of the book. So like I said I went to her Website and clicked on her about section and got so excited!

I am a former model. I am half French, half American and live in NYC. I love art, fashion, beauty and the erotic. I love to travel and especially the beach. Katie’s erotic adventures in the Cult of Beauty novels are loosely based on my own crazy experiences in life… The key word is “loosely!”

My taste as a reader and a writer is toward decadent erotica—women with a streak of perversity who enjoy sex for it’s own sake, who like to be dirty, and will get a little kinky—whether it be with other women, multiple partners or exploring S&M.

There is a little bit of everything in this book and maybe that is what I liked about it. There is crazy sex, drugs and some taboo things that go on.

It is not a long book so for me it was a quick read, with that you will see that it is very fast paced which I enjoyed because there was never a dull moment. While reading I wanted to believe that this is how it is for models because well in all fairness, in movies they are portrayed a lot in the way that it is written.

It would be awesome to hear some of her actual stories with no fiction mixed in because to be honest I wanted to believe that this was all about her and what she has been through. 🙂

There were so many different scenarios that were played out and all though there were a few spots that I felt that she could have gone more into the story because well I wanted to know more, like with Ryan, overall I did enjoy the whole story. I will have to say that ending left me wondering what the hell was going to happen. haha I was at a loss and didn’t know what to think, it was a bit of a cliffhanger.

This book is not for everyone and I understand that, there is SO much that goes on sex wise so if you are all about a hot steamy, sex filled book this is absolutely for you!

4 stars

Brandy

Cult of Beauty is about a supermodel who gets the call that her mother has passed while shes finishing a fashion show in Paris. This pushes her into an erotic journey that includes women, her stepfather, college boys, drugs and extravagance. It honestly was hard for me to get into. I think the only thing that kept me reading was the hot sex! lol But overall the whole vibe of it was very strange for me. She lusted after her stepfather, wore her dead mothers pearl thong, did drugs with her stepfather, and had sex with anyone around including her step sister. It was just all over the place. I feel like there was a lack of connection to her for me. She had a complete lack of any emotion to losing her mom, although they were not close over the past few years. The ending kind of abruptly stopped and was sad as well. Sounds like there might be a sequel, but I’m not sure if I would read it. So besides the “hotness” of the sex, this book didnt draw me in like I wished it would.

2 stars

Nikki


Review – Finding Home by Lauren Baker & Bonnie Dee

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Her family, her friends and her conscience all say it’s wrong to fall for the hustler she rescued from the streets. How come it feels so right? When Megan first meets Mouth, a homeless teenage hustler, on the streets of L.A., he’s the perfect subject for the street life expose she hopes will help her break into journalism. She doesn’t expect to be drawn into his life and become his friend-or to take him in after he’s been beaten and robbed by thugs. As they learn to live together, a powerful attraction flourishes between Megan and the young man. Although he’s street smart, tough and mature, he’s also a youth in transition. When they finally give in to the sexual heat between them, Megan fears she’s taking advantage of her position as his mentor. Their relationship challenges every aspect of her life. Megan must make difficult choices between the conflicting demands of her friends and family, her career and love. Warning: Explicit sex, reference to underage sex, graphic language, violence.

MY THOUGHTS:

WOW! I had heard this was a good story and it absolutely was it breaks your heart right from the start. I mean I know this stuff goes on in reality and I just fell in love with “Mouth” and wanted to do EXACTLY what Megan did. I just loved watching him figure himself out and learning that not EVERYONE is evil and out to hurt and get him. I just fell in love with him even though he was so broken and lonely. And it did kill me that he was 17 for most of the book because he just always seemed so much older and I know it is for the fact that he had no choice but to grow up and deal with life when he shouldn’t have had to. I just adore everything about this story. Yes it may not be for everyone because of the things that go on in it but if you can look past the issues it is a GOOD story!!!!